An avid Pokemon GO fan has tracked the Pokemon that players are using to defend across 100 gyms, attempting to capture a current meta snapshot. The results should point toward which Pokemon are most reliable at holding gym positions and trends. Not only does the player, going by the name of TheTraveller, track which Pokemon are defending gyms, but also which Pokemon are first-placed defenders. In this way, you can measure how players prioritize which Pocket Monster get top billing, which helps show how rarer Pokemon might be stronger defenders.
According to TheTraveller’s data there are 22 beasts that were defending at least 5 different gyms. Of those 22, six in particular were used much more often than others. Here are the six most popular Pokemon for defending gyms:
- Snorlax (60)
- Vaporeon (60)
- Rhydon (43)
- Gyarados (41)
- Blissey (40)
- Dragonite (29)
After Dragonite, the next closest Pokemon is a tie between Exeggutor and Tyranitar with 17 Pokemon GO gym defender positions total – a steep fall. No other Pokemon was seen more than 12 times.
Here’s where things get interesting. According to The Traveller’s data, despite being placed over 60 times within gyms as a defender, only 17 Snorlax were placed as first defender. That’s just 25% of Snorlax, showing that it’s commonality might be inflating its value as a defender. However, that detail is also true of virtually all of the top 6 Pokemon. Vaporeon also sits at 25% first defender rating, Rhydon at 16%, and Gyarados at 22%.
Meanwhile, only one of the top six shows a significant margin of advantage over its fellows. Blissey, found in just 40 overall gym defender positions, had a first-placement rate of 50%. That’s more than Snorlax or Vaporeon despite their much larger reach overall. The implication is that Blissey is either a much more uncommon Pokemon, or that not as many Pokemon trainers have caught on to Blissey’s defending strength. Blissey could very well be the strongest gym defender overall, according to the court of public opinion.
This data must, of course, be taken with a grain of salt. 100 gyms are not a reliable sample size, not to mention that Pokemon rarity changes based on location. And while the data showing Blissey’s strength as a defender does seem reliable, less popular defenders are more difficult to measure the strength of due to a lack of information. Nevertheless, the data does give an interesting look at Pokemon GO‘s current gym meta and give prospective gym leaders a place to start doing their own research.
Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android devices.