Snorlax Pokémon GO

Before there was Blissey, Snorlax was the king of Gym defense. The fallen king now firmly resides in the II tier, but it is still one of the best gym defenders out there and a great alternative to put in a gym if there is a Blissey or a Chansey already. This battledex entry will analyse Snorlax viability in the current metagame, its moves and whether or not you should use it in raids.

Pokémon Stats Max CP
Pokemon GO SnorlaxSnorlax Normal 190 190 320 3355

Snorlax overview

Snorlax is one of the strongest Gym defenders, but unlike Blissey it has some offensive potential. Its attack stat is not too high by any means, but it is certainly higher than Blissey’s. It has very good bulk and a massive base stamina stat, which makes it a difficult Pokémon to take down in gyms. Furthermore, it is able to learn Zen Headbutt as a fast move, which will deal super effective damage to those Fighting type counters out there.

Its main strengths are:

  • It has great bulk and massive stamina. Furthermore, its attack stat is not too high but still decent, which is something to consider when facing Snorlax in a gym
  • It is able to learn Hyper Beam, the strongest Normal charge move in the game. It is quite easy to dodge, but if the attacker is not able to dodge an incoming Hyper Beam, the damage output will be high, as it also benefits from STAB
  • Consider yourself lucky if you keep a legacy Body Slam Snorlax, as it is one of the most annoying gym defenders in the game
  • Placing Snorlax in a gym next to Blissey and Chansey normally deters incoming attackers, not only due to its bulk, but also due to the fact that is has a high CP and contributes to the high CP gym defending strategy

However, its main weaknesses should be mentioned too:

  • It is outclassed by Blissey and Chansey. Blissey is the best gym defender in the game and this won’t probably change in the near future. Chansey, despite having a significantly lower Max CP, is also a great gym defender due to its massive bulk and stamina stat and also due to its very low CP decay rate
  • Machamp, unlike in the early days of Pokémon GO, is able to learn Counter and Dynamic Punch. There have been plenty of events with boosted Machop spawns and Machamp has also been in raids for a long time. At this point, and especially after the introduction of the dynamic weather system, almost everyone has a Machamp army ready to wreck gyms. Snorlax won’t be able to last too long against a team of level 30+ Machamps. Furthermore, with the introduction of Generation 3, Hariyama, Blaziken and Breloom are also great counters to Snorlax
  • Its best charge move, Body Slam, is a legacy move. Furthermore, Hyper Beam is too easy to dodge and has a massive move cooldown, aside from the fact that it takes forever to gain enough energy to fire it off
  • It has a very high Max CP, so expect its motivation to drop quite fast
Best Snorlax movesets
 Role Quick move Charge move
Gym offense Lick ghost Hyper Beam normal
Gym defense Zen Headbutt psychic Body Slam* or Hyper Beam normal
PvP (speculative) Lick ghost Hyper Beam normal

* Legacy move

Best Snorlax moves in Pokémon GO

The following Table compares the cycle DPS (with STAB) of every single moveset that Snorlax is able to learn. Some movesets are more viable or commonly used than others. Keep in mind that some movesets might not top the DPS charts but could be good to use in certain scenarios! For example, Body Slam might not be the best option DPS-wise, but it is one of the most annoying moves to deal with when fighting against Snorlax.

Snorlax moves in Pokémon GO
Fast Move Charge Move Cycle DPS (STAB)
Lick Ghost Hyper Beam Normal 21.70
Zen Headbutt Psychic Hyper Beam Normal 20.27
Lick Ghost Body Slam Normal 18.82
Zen Headbutt Psychic Body Slam Normal 18.01
Lick Ghost Heavy Slam Steel 17.82
Zen Headbutt Psychic Heavy Slam Steel 17.11
Lick Ghost Earthquake Ground 17.04
Zen Headbutt Psychic Earthquake Ground 16.44

*Keep in mind that STAB cycle DPS calculations just compare the different movesets and they are not Pokémon-specific

  • Lick is better than Zen Headbutt for offensive purposes, as it has a smaller move cooldown and it will help charge up the energy bar to fire off Snorlax’ charge move. Keep in mind, though, that there are plenty of better attackers than Snorlax
  • Hyper Beam is the charge move that hits harder, and it benefits from STAB
  • Zen Headbutt and Body Slam is the best moveset for defensive purposes. If you ever faced one, you will know why. Body Slam benefits from STAB and Snorlax is able to fire it off relatively quickly. Furthermore, its small damage window makes it even harder to dodge. Unfortunately, it is a legacy move and it is not possible to obtain it anymore
  • Heavy Slam is also quite annoying to fight against, but Body Slam is strictly superior
  • If your Snorlax has Earthquake as its charge move, do not hesitate to TM it away. It’s the worst charge move by far and quite easy to dodge with its endless damage window and move cooldown

Snorlax counters in Pokémon GO

Supreme Counters

 Pokémon Fast move Charge move
Pokemon GO MachampMachamp Fighting Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting
Pokemon GO HariyamaHariyama Fighting Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting
Pokemon GO BlazikenBlaziken Fire Fighting Counter Fighting Focus Blast Fighting
Pokemon GO MewtwoMewtwo Psychic Psycho Cut or Confusion Psychic Focus Blast Fighting
Pokemon GO RayquazaRayquaza Dragon Flying Dragon Tail Dragon Outrage Dragon
Pokemon GO DragoniteDragonite Dragon Flying Dragon Tail Dragon Outrage Dragon

Machamp is the #1 choice when it comes to fighting Snorlax (and the duo Blissey-Chansey too), followed by Hariyama. The main difference between these two Pokémon is that Machamp will finish the job faster than Hariyama (since it has a higher attack stat) but Hariyama will probably have higher HP due to its greater bulk. From a time to win perspective, Machamp wins, but Hariyama is a very good alternative that costs less candies to evolve.

Blaziken has a high attack stat as well, but Focus Blast (even though it is a heavy-hitting charge move) is not as consistent and efficient as Dynamic Punch. Focus Blast is a full-bar charge move, whereas Dynamic Punch is a 2-bar charge move. Multi-bar charge moves are normally better than full-bar charge moves when attacking gyms due to the fact that (almost) no energy is lost and there will be plenty of situations where Blaziken could faint before firing off its charge move for the last time. It is a great alternative and in certain situations it will take less damage because it takes neutral damage from Snorlax’ Heavy Slam, whereas the other fighting types take neutral damage. However, it will take super effective damage from Earthquake, which is something to consider as well.

The three remaining slots are outstanding generalists. Mewtwo has the highest attack stat in the game as of now and it even learns a charge move that deals super effective damage against Snorlax, Focus Blast, plus it also resists Snorlax’ Zen Headbutt! Keep in mind, however, that Focus Blast is a slightly inconsistent full-bar charge move and it does not benefit from STAB.

Rayquaza and Dragonite are also oustanding generalists, but they won’t finish the job as fast as fighting type attackers who benefit from the STAB and super effective damage bonuses. Dragon Tail and Outrage is one of the best movesets in the game, and paired up with the legendary-tier attack stat of these beasts, it makes a great combo to use against Snorlax. Furthermore, they are able to double resist incoming Earthquakes.

Other viable alternatives

 Pokémon Fast move Charge move
Pokemon GO BreloomBreloom Grass Fighting Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting
Pokemon GO HeracrossHeracross Bug Fighting Counter Fighting Close Combat Fighting
Pokemon GO LatiosLatios Dragon Psychic Dragon Breath Dragon Dragon Claw Dragon
Pokemon GO RaikouRaikou Electric Thunder Shock Electric Wild Charge Electric
Pokemon GO MoltresMoltres Fire Flying Fire Spin Fire Overheat Fire
Pokemon GO KyogreKyogre Water Waterfall Water Hydro Pump Water
Pokemon GO ExeggutorExeggutor Grass Psychic Zen Headbutt or Confusion* Psychic Solar Beam Grass

* Legacy move

Breloom has a high attack stat, but it is a glass cannon. It is a good choice from a time to win perspective but not from a potion-efficient one. Heracross is a good counter but Close Combat is not as good of a charge move as Dynamic Punch.

Raikou, Moltres, Latios and Kyogre are great generalists with very good movesets, and Moltres even resists fairy type attacks! Exeggutor deals tons of damage with its Solar Beams and it resists psychic type attacks such as Zen Headbutt.

Weather influence

Weather Pros Cons
Sunny Boosts its Ground type moves
Partly Cloudy Boosts its Normal type moves
Cloudy Boosts super-effective Fighting type moves
Windy Boosts its Psychic type moves
Snow Boosts its Steel type moves

Viability in raids

Snorlax is not a very useful Pokémon to use in raids. It is a Normal type, and thus it is not able to deal super effective damage against any other type. One potential use for Snorlax is a last-slot anchor, but offensive-wise there are plenty of better specialist options out there.

If you really want to use Snorlax in raids, try to avoid using it against raid bosses that might have a Fighting type move, such as Focus Blast Mewtwo, and try to take advantage of its non-STAB moves such as Lick, Zen Headbutt, Heavy Slam or Earthquake. They will not benefit from STAB but using them against some raid bosses could deal super effective damage. Memorize the type chart and play around, in case you want to use Snorlax as a raid attacker.


Snorlax, the Sleeping Pokémon. Snorlax isn’t satisfied unless it eats at least 900 pounds of food per day. Once it is full, it promptly goes to sleep.


 Pokémon Attacker Defender Generalist Overall Tier
Pokemon GO SnorlaxSnorlax Normal 2/5 4/5 1.5/5 3.5/5 II

Snorlax, the old king of the gym defending metagame, is still a great defender in Pokémon GO. It has great bulk, massive stamina and access to heavy-hitting charge moves with STAB such as Hyper Beam. Sadly, Body Slam is a legacy move but Snorlax will be pretty difficult to take down nonetheless. Placing Snorlax in a gym next to Blissey and Chansey normally deters incoming attackers, not only due to its bulk, but also due to the fact that is has a high CP and contributes to the high CP gym defending strategy. For offensive purposes, it could work as a final slot anchor, but we do not recommend that if you are short on numbers.