Now, we all have a whole range of mixed feelings about Pokémon Go. Some of us hopped in, intrigued, at launch, only to drop it like Snoop Dogg when it’s hot. Which is definitely understandable, what with the glitches, bugs, shonky tracking and all. Others of us resolutely plodded on with the app, never wavering from our quest to catch ‘em all.
There are also those, of course, who were tempted back by all of the recent work Niantic has been doing to Go (trading, friends lists, research quests, lucky Pokémon and the like). Whatever kind of player you may be, though, there’s one thing you’ve certainly tried at some point or another: the battling.
This is another contentious issue surrounding the game. The simplistic, screen-tappin’ combat is hardly the most engaging, and has aggravated old Track and Field injuries around the world. If you enjoy that competitive feeling of taking and re-taking certain Gyms, however, you’ve no option but to engage with it.
As such, regular Go battlers will want to be sure that their fighting parties are the best they can be. Getting the appropriate moveset is a horribly RNG-flavoured proposition (slightly eased by the new TMs), and you’ll want a diverse party, but before that, let’s do some simple math: which Pokémon have the highest CP potential?
In this rundown, we’re going to look at the Pokémon with the highest max CP currently possible in the game, in ascending order (this data comes from Pokémon Go Info, if you’d like to check out more stats there).
Hold on to your underpants, friends, because, as the internet likes to say, number one will surprise you.
Regice: Max CP- 3,087
When I say everybody’s favorite, you understand, I mean mine. Never mind that, though, because we’re kicking off this party the right way- with a legendary. The only member of the legendary Regi squad to make the list, Regice is the 25th most powerful Pokémon currently available.
A max possible CP of just over 3,000 is respectable enough, there’s no doubt about that. By comparison, Registeel can currently only muster 2,261 at the most, putting it in 98th place on the list. I mean, heck, my grandma has more than 2,261 CP. Good job, Regice, trying to save your colleagues a little embarrassment.
Mew: Max CP- 3,090
Edging out our freakish seven-eyed buddy Regice by a measly three points, we have Mew. A lot of Go players are surely relieved to see that this thing is among the most powerful Pokémon in the game. After all, if you’re going through all those missions for it, you expect something decent to be waiting at the end of the journey.
I can’t be the only one whose hopes, dreams and earthly soul started to cry a little, when I saw that I had to evolve another Magikarp. The first one took me almost two years to do. Let’s just hope that our Mews are worth it when we finally earn them. Just over 3,000? That’ll do fine.
Celebi: Max CP- 3,090
In the main series games, Mew and Celebi are both mythical Pokémon, with identical base stats of 100 across the board. In deference to that, their current max CP in Pokémon Go is tied too. 3,090 is the very best they can get, get friends.
Celebi was quite a recent addition to the game, with its quest line being available to progress right alongside Mew’s. There’s no overlap between them, so you can safely chip away at both as and when you’re able.
As our guide to catching Celebi demonstrates, Celebi’s missions center around Grass-types, trading and making friends, as well as completing tasks over the course of several days. This is a neat little touch, referencing the Pokémon’s nature as a forest-dweller and time traveler.
Vaporeon: Max CP- 3,157
Ah, Vaporeon. In the earlier days of Pokémon Go, this beast made itself quite notorious. As hilarious as it may sound to players of the main series, Vaporeon’s Water Gun spam was about the most powerful threat in the game, dispatching gym Pokémon with ease (the move’s incredible speed racked up DPS like nothing else on the face of the dang earth).
While those sorts of shenanigans have been nerfed now, Vaporeon is still a powerhouse.
It’s easy and cheap to obtain, candy-wise, and it’s still right up there with some of the game’s most powerful critters if you can max it out.
Blissey: Max CP- 3,219
As I say, Vaporeon was once the scourge of Pokémon Go players everywhere. Who is it now? Well, in my eyes, it’s our old buddy Blissey.
If you’re a competitive Pokémon player, you’ve surely come across the horror that is Blissey. It tanks special hits like Arnold Schwarzenegger being filled full of lead in the Terminator movies, and Eviolite Chansey is even more of a pain in the cheeks to break.
Over in Go, meanwhile, it’s just as infuriating. If you’re not equipped to deal with it, Blissey’s vast HP will see your battle timer dwindling as you struggle to take it down. Which is no surprise, when you consider that it can reach 3,219 CP.
Moltres: Max CP- 3,272
At the upper echelons of competitive Pokémon play, you’ll very rarely come across the legendary birds. Well, sure, Zapdos is a common pick, but the other two? Nope. Nopey nopety nopeola.
Moltres is a powerful special attacker, though, and it sure proves that in Go. One of the first legendary Pokémon available through raids and research tasks, Moltres maxes out at a mighty 3,272 CP, putting it at 20th place in the overall power ranking. That’s a dang good effort, whichever way you slice it, and proves that you shouldn’t write off the non-Thunderbolt-ing and Tailwind-ing legendary birds. Great work, there.
Gyarados: Max CP- 3,281
Now, I’ve already snarked on Gyarados, and how darn difficult it can be to get yourself one in Go. You can’t just slap an EXP Share on your lame Magikarp and let it evolve out of harm’s way here. For newer and less active players (or just those who rarely see Magikarp on their travels), 400 candies can take about seven centuries to gather.
As in the main games, though, you sure do get yourself a furious, watery ballistic missile of power and hatred for your troubles. Gyarados currently caps out at 3,281 CP, which makes it a powerful addition to anyone’s battle party.
Rhydon: Max CP- 3,300
I don’t know about you, but I sure was surprised to see that Rhydon edges out Gyarados in terms of maximum CP potential. Just by the skin of its scaly toenails, granted, but it does. 3,300 CP? Dang, don’t mind if I do.
The frightening thing is, Rhydon isn’t quite done yet. It’s still baking.
What happens when, at some point down the line, Rhyperior is released? It’ll be kept in check by its unfortunate Rock and Ground typing (which renders it weak to freaking everything ever), but still. We’re talking some major power here, friends. I don’t want to see this bad boy in any rival gyms, that’s for sure.
Zapdos: Max CP- 3,330
So, yes. It was pretty well inevitable that Zapdos would be the best of the legendary birds of Kanto. Because it… well, it is. In terms of CP in Go, that holds true, as it boasts CP that edges out Moltres’s by… well, a decent margin (3,272 to 3,330).
Articuno, meanwhile, can’t quite hit 3,000 (maxing out at 2,933), leaving it languishing at a still-respectable 32nd spot on the list. The iconic Power Plant-dweller from Pokémon Red and Blue is the most powerful of generation one’s legendary Pokémon, then… other than a certain obvious exception we’ll meet later in this rundown.
Raikou: Max CP- 3,349
From the legendary birds of Kanto to the legendary… whatever-you-want-to-call-them of Johto (dogs, beasts, even ‘hamsters’ are all terms fans use). Competitively speaking, the Johto trio are usually seen as much more viable than the birds overall, and that holds true here. The first we’re coming across is Raikou, which was recently made available to players through the research tasks.
I guess a 19 CP lead doesn’t count for much in the long run, and there’s very little to choose between these two legendary Electric-types. If they wanted to fight from supremacy, though, I’m sure they could convince Chris Hemsworth, in full costume, to referee. Now that would be a sight.
Snorlax: Max CP- 3,355
As Snorlax is my all-time favorite Pokémon (tied with Articuno, if you want to get pernickety), I spent a long time in Go hoping it would spawn. It’s darn rare to find in the wild, and when it finally did appear, you’d better believe I could’ve poked my way straight through my phone as I eagerly clicked it.
What CP did my Snorlax have? 44 CP, that’s how much. The darn thing’s lucky that I love it, or it would’ve been tossed straight into the candy meat-grinder.
Mine may be hopeless, but Snorlax itself has the potential to be darn strong, hitting a maximum CP of 3,355.
Latias: Max CP- 3,377
Now, we may have been inundated with legendary Dragon-types over the years, but the Lati twins have always been one of my favorites. There’s just something different about them. They don’t fall into the hackneyed trap of trying to look as huge and intimidating as possible, and I can appreciate that.
In the main games, the two are very similar in terms of stats, with Latias leaning more to the defensive and Latios being a little more powerful.
That’s also true here, with Latias’s max CP potential of 3,377 lagging a bit behind the power her male counterpart can muster. More on that later, naturally.
Entei: Max CP- 3,377
As far as I’m concerned, Entei has always been criminally underrated. It tends to be overlooked in favor of its fellow good and fiery boy, Arcanine, because the latter has access to Intimidate and such. It’s criminal, in my book.
Here in Pokémon Go, however, Entei seems to get the appreciation it deserves. Its maximum possible CP matches that of Latias, at 3,377. It’s not the highest around, true enough, but it’s certainly getting up there. It’s the strongest of the Johto trio (Suicune is third, sitting at 39th on the list with 2,823), and that’s impressive enough. No wonder volcanoes erupt whenever this thing barks.
Salamence: Max CP- 3,532
After Entei, there’s a bit of a jump until our next entry. About 150 CP points later (which is over three times as many as my Snorlax has, and I’m still totally aggrieved about the whole situation), Salamence shows up for the party.
A few generations back, in the main games, Salamence was a huge threat. These were the days before Garchomp (who stole its thunder completely). Until Salamence transformed into the Mega Croissant (those wings!), it was completely outclassed. Here in Pokémon Go, however, Mega Pokémon aren’t a thing, and regular Salamence reaches a formidable max CP of 3,532.
Dragonite: Max CP- 3,581
Of course, we can’t wax lyrics about the dragons of yesteryear without mentioning Dragonite. Compared to its pre-evolutions, this thing fell out of the derp tree, hit every derpy branch on the way down and landed in a haystack of derpy hay, a la Assassin’s creed: Derp, but still. We’ve got some real power on our hands here, and we’ve known it since Lance busted out his own Dragonite back in 1998.
Couple that with the super-rarity of Dratini in Go, and you’ll expect something really special from Dragonite. It’s not likely to disappoint, then, with a max CP of 3,581.
Lugia: Max CP- 3,598
Later in Pokémon Go’s lifespan, raid battles were introduced. These are a neat and challenging way to ‘earn’ legendary Pokémon for our collection, but defeating super powerful versions of them in battle at Pokéstops.
This isn’t a viable option for a lot of us, as many of said Pokémon have CP in the 40,000+ range.
One of the first –and most challenging—of these was Lugia. Of course, you don’t get to keep it at that ridiculously inflated rate. Still, though, this particular legendary Pokémon caps out at 3,598 CP, which is just enough for it to make the top 10 most powerful.
Metagross: Max CP- 3,637
In at number 9, we have another formidable Psychic-type. Metagross has had a rough time of it of late, with the nerf to Steel giving it two new weaknesses (Dark and Ghost), but it’s not letting that bring it down. It’s also seen a boom in usefulness, with its Mega forme and all of those new Fairies everywhere.
In Pokémon Go specifically, it’s quite a common sight. If you have one, you’ll probably want it battling or defending a gym. It’s just tough to get, compared to some others on this rundown, but totally worth the bother. The strongest Steel-type in the game just now.
Latios: Max CP- 3,644
Metagross may be the strongest Steel-type in Go, but there are stronger Psychic-types. One that beats it out is Latios. By a super-slim margin, granted, but do you think Latios cares about that? Nope. Just look at that gloating face.
By just 7 CP points, Latios hits 8th place on the list. Even if you have a raid team ready to take it down, it’s not an easy one to get. It swaps regions with Latias, so you’ll need to know where it’ll be and when. Definitely hunt it down if you’re up to the challenge, though, because this is a real powerhouse right here.
Rayquaza: Max CP- 3,645
Oh, come on, Rayquaza. You just had to be Pokémon Go’s strongest Dragon-type by a single point, didn’t you? That’s so you. You’re the kind of guy who just decides you don’t need a Mega Stone to Mega Evolve, after all, just because that showboating life is what you’re all about.
There it is, friends. At 3,645 maximum possible CP, Rayquaza just narrowly squeaks past Latios into 7th position. Judging by what we know about these Pokémon from the main games, I’d have expected a much bigger gap between the two, but there it is.
One thing’s for sure: If a monster like Rayquaza is way down in 7th, there are some real doozies still to come in this list.
Tyranitar: Max CP- 3,670
I’m a little conflicted about this one, If I’m honest. On the one hand, nobody can deny that Tyranitar has been an excellent and top-tier Pokémon since it first appeared in the series. Still, though, it’s leaving things like freaking Rayquaza in its wake. I’m not sure if it’s out of its league way up here.
Nevertheless, the numbers don’t lie. Tyranitar can reach a towering 3,670 CP.
If you’ve ever tried to take one on in a raid (those nonstop darn attacks that ensure it will not be caught, ever), I guess all this would make more sense to you.
Ho-Oh: Max CP- 3,889
So here we are at last, at the top 5 strongest Pokémon in Go. Could there be a more appropriate sight to greet us up here than a huge, magnificent phoenix?
The elegant Ho-Oh has long been one of my favorite legendary Pokémon. There’s just something about the idea of the phoenix that just tickles my fancy in every possible way, and it’s such a good uber Pokémon to boot. I was thrilled to see it release in Pokémon Go, and its raid certainly proved to be a challenging one. If your Rock-types aren’t up to par, you’re probably going to have a bad time.
Mewtwo: Max CP- 3,982
Do you remember that first Pokémon Go trailer featuring Mewtwo, with trainers from all over teaming up to take it on? It was more melodramatic than a cheesy Romanian soap opera, but it got the point across: Mewtwo’s eventually coming to Go, and it’s going to crush your hopes and dreams into sorry slices of spam when it does.
As with a lot of things with Pokémon Go, Mewtwo was a long time coming. Once it did, though, the most powerful force in Kanto soon made its presence felt. It was accessed by EX Raid Pass (awarded by victories at certain tiers of raids) and gave players quite a battle. As you’d expect, from a Pokémon that falls just short of 4,000 CP.
Kyogre: Max CP- 4,074
Next up, we have the first Pokémon to actually break that 4,000 CP threshold: Kyogre. Needless to say, this titan has been laying claim to everyone’s darn lunch money since it was first introduced, back in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Its Choice Scarf Water Spouts are the stuff of legend, and as for its Primal forme? Don’t even remind me about that nonsense.
In Pokémon Go, it was always going to be a force to be reckoned with. I mean, it’s Kyogre. True enough, it boasts a mighty 4,074 CP at max, the second-highest total currently possible. Now that’s a yikes.
Groudon: Max CP- 4,074
If you were wondering how Kyogre, the 3rd place Pokémon, has the second highest CP total… well, you weren’t wondering, because you saw this coming a mile away. It shares its absurd 4,074 CP with its counterpart, Groudon.
Both of these iconic Pokémon have made a huge impact on the metagame of the main series. Primal Groudon, Mega Kangaskhan, Xerneas and friends were the go-to team for tryhardery a few years back.
Groudon certainly lives up to its fearsome reputation in Go.
You can’t leave these Pokémon to defend gyms, true enough, but as collector’s pieces and fighting forces, they’re second to none. Well, except our final, super-surprising entry.
Slaking: Max CP- 4,548
Oh, yes indeed, friends. Just feast your eyes on that number. 4,548 CP. Almost 500 points higher than the behemoths in second place, Groudon and Kyogre. And what can reach that mind-boggling number? Slaking, that’s what.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate Slaking, I really can. It has fantastic stats, only hampered by its awful ability. It had to be held back, or it’d go on an unstoppable rampage, like it’s Godzilla and all of its Poké-opponents are Tokyo.
Be all of that as it may, this is just a regular Pokémon. You can defend gyms with it. It has, and I think we’ve been over this already, 4,548 CP. I don’t even know what I’m looking at right here.
The hilarious flaw is that its only Fast Attack is Yawn, which does no damage and only goes towards powering its Charge Attack. Nevertheless, we’re only looking at CP itself here, which is where Slaking still reigns supreme.