Pokemon Go Advanced Gym Strategy

pokemon go gym strategy

When do I start?

Ideally you want to be at least level 20 before you start doing gyms. However, if you intend to get into gym battling it’s important to start early. Make sure to join a team before you try to start battling!

Make sure you hold onto your mid and low cp pokemon as you’re leveling up. Keep your low cp ‘good’ pokemon, they’ll pay off later when you’re training a friendly gym.

To attack you want to tap the screen, the goal is to deplete the opponent’s health bar completely for all opposing pokemon.

You can long press the screen to use charge attacks, you can tell when they are ready based off the blue bar under your health bar. The bar will begin glowing blue when a charge attack is ready. You can dodge by swiping left or right.

To take over a gym you must deplete the prestige of a gym to 0 and then place
your Pokemon inside. Fighting a friendly gym will train it increasing its prestige thus making it stronger and while adding more available slots for friendly Pokemon with each level increased.


This is one of the most tricky game mechanics in Pokemon Go. When the screen flashes yellow swipe left or right to dodge the attack (some moves don’t match their animations e.g. bubble).

It is worth noting that dodging does not always completely negate damage, but reduces it by around 80%. It is important to make sure you don’t get caught in your long charge animations (most notably hyper beam takes a whole 5 seconds before you can do anything).

As a general rule of thumb assume the AI charges its charge move bar is about half as fast as you assuming no dodging, (note that there is randomness involved). This means if the enemy pokemon is using psychic (2 charges) and you are using blizzard (1 charge) by the time blizzard is charged you may want to wait for the enemy pokemon to use its charge before you use blizzard as it is likely you will get caught in the animation.

At the beginning of a battle the opposing pokemon will use their quick attack twice in quick succession, it may be helpful to dodge these 2 attacks if conserving health is of high priority.

Sometimes it is not worth dodging and faster to spam attack rather than to dodge to save a potential hyperbeam of damage (even if dodged).

What to deposit

Generally you want to deposit your strongest pokemon with the best defending move set (this is often not the same for attacking, for example on slowbro confusion is much better than water gun for defending).

If you are training a gym into the higher levels (7 or above) you may want to consider laying a base pokemon if there isn’t one already or you are unable to deposit anything meaningful.

You may also want to consider adding a pokemon of a different type if there is 4 dragonites and 3 vaporeons already, variety makes your opponent’s life a bit harder.

Base Pokemon

Base Pokemon are the pokemon at the bottom of a gym, often in higher level gyms you’ll see that the lowest pokemon is significantly weaker than the rest.

This is because the pokemon is used to train against to raise the prestige of a gym ina more potion efficient manner. Beating a 2000cp arcanine with a 1000cp vaporeon will grant the same amount of prestige and xp as beating a 150 magikarp with a 75 golduck.

You may also want to consider depositing a base pokemon if the lowest pokemon in the gym is a lapras/snorlax/vaporeon or something similar to help make it easier for other people.
Best Base Pokemon

The best base pokemon are fire types as water types are generally much tankier and have type advantage, or high cp magikarp, as they only have access to splash and struggle.

(Splash does 1 damage as the damage formula is Damage = Floor ( .5 Attack / Defense x Power x STAB x Weakness ) + 1)

It is noteworthy that base pokemon are the first to go when being attacked, so you’ll be taking one for the team.


IVs and Moves


IV stands for individual value, they are a mechanic taken from mainline pokemon games but are largely simplified in PoGo.

Each pokemon has 3 stats: Stamina, Defense, Attack. Each pokemon has a random number assigned to each stat between 0-15, the higher the better.Some people will tell you their IV’s as a percentage, which basically means how “perfect” the pokemon is.


Moves are more important than IVs. A CP1900 Gyarados with Dbreath/Hydro pump is better than a CP2000 Gyarados with Dbreath/Twister.

Moves are generally what makes or breaks a pokemon (apart from CP of course). Moves do not affect CP so it is easy to misjudge the power of a pokemon.

Since the balance change, quick moves have become much closer in strength to each other. However as a general rule of thumb faster moves are better than slow moves (for attacking gyms).

Defending a gym is the other way around, high base damage moves are better than low base damage moves as the AI attacks at a fixed rate. For example poliwrath with bubble is much stronger than poliwrath with mud shot for defending.

Charge Moves

Charge Moves are very important in both defending and attacking, most of the best charge moves only have 1 or 2 charges. As a general rule of thumb, a high damage charge move that is affected by STAB to maximize time spent quick attacking without sacrificing damage or risk getting caught in animations during attacking.

For defending, moves with more charges and STAB may be better. The AI will use them much more frequently and are often harder to dodge.

This is most notable when facing against a Dragonite with dragon claw, opposed to one with hyper-beam.

Hyper beam takes a total of 5 seconds to complete its animation and is very easy to dodge, unlike dragonclaw which has a subtle animation which comes out almost instant.


STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) is an attack power bonus given when a move used by a pokemon matches the pokemon’s type, increasing the damage by 25% (A Nidoking with Earthquake will have 125 base damage instead of the normal 100)

This concludes the detailed training course on combating Poke-Gyms!

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Credit and Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheSilphRoad/
Thanks to SilphRoad for the great amount of effort and hard work they put into their data.

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