Best Lucky Pokémon for Trades

Lucky Friends

A complete list of Best Pokémon for Lucky Trades is finally available on the Hub! The list covers all Gen 1 through Gen 4 Pokémon you should be spending your Lucky trade on. We will update the article with valuable Gen 5 additions when they become available.

This guide was a highly requested one, and you know the drill: you ask, we deliver. If you have some lucky trades pending and you don’t know what to prioritize, don’t worry, as in this article we’ll go over Pokémon worth trading. Legacy moves will be written in italics.

Three types of trainers come to mind: battlers, raiders and collectors (or shiny hunters). We’ll try to cover most targets no matter what type of trainer you are, but if we forget something do not hesitate to let us know! So let’s get right into it.

Keep in mind that only those Pokémon that have been officially released in the Game are included in this analysis! It will be updated as soon as more Generation 5 Pokémon are released.

Best Pokémon for raids and gyms

Let’s begin with PvE. Let’s take a look at the best gym/raid attackers in Pokémon GO (not necessarily in order of importance):

Best PvE target Pokémon for lucky trades
Pokémon Legacy? Special trade?
Pokemon GO RampardosRampardos No No
Pokemon GO Giratina (Origin)Giratina (Origin) No Yes
Pokemon GO RayquazaRayquaza No Yes
Pokemon GO MetagrossMetagross Yes (Meteor Mash) No (Yes if shiny)
Pokemon GO MewtwoMewtwo Yes (if it has Shadow Ball or Psystrike) Yes
Pokemon GO MoltresMoltres Yes (Sky Attack) Yes
Pokemon GO GarchompGarchomp No No
Pokemon GO KyogreKyogre No Yes
Pokemon GO GroudonGroudon No Yes
Pokemon GO ChandelureChandelure No No

Explanation

Rampardos is the best rock type attacker in the game by far. It has one of the best attack stats in the game (295) combined with the best rock type moveset. It is the #1 counter to plenty of raid bosses in the past and it will most likely be the best counter against some legendary raid bosses in Gen 5. Rampardos is a must-have attacker.

Giratina-O is one of the best counters to plenty of legendary raid bosses due to the amount of psychic-type legendaries out there. It may not have the highest attack stat among all ghost type attackers, but its amazing moveset and TDO make up for it and make it the best ghost type attacker in the game in most situations (analysis).

Rayquaza is the best dragon type attacker in the game as of now. Wonderful attacker and generalist (although those aren’t used as much nowadays). Outrage Salamence is not too far in performance and Gen 5 dragons could be great contenders depending on what movesets they get, so keep that in mind…

Metagross needs Meteor Mash (a legacy CD move) to be a relevant attacker. MM Metagross is a wonderful attacker that hasn’t had much use in raid battles yet, but it will soon shine as some Gen 5 legendary Pokémon are weak to steel types. It is also a great generalist.

Shadow Ball Mewtwo used to be the best ghost type attacker, but the changes in type effectiveness have been rough to one of our favourite attackers (analysis). Regardless of those changes, SB Mewtwo is a great attacker that can be used in almost any situation if it has a second charge move.

Psystrike Mewtwo is probably the best attacker in the game and it is now also considered the best generalist, outclassing very powerful Pokémon such as Rayquaza. If you want to read a full analysis to check out Psystrike Mewtwo’s potential, we’ve got you covered!

Sky Attack Moltres is a great attacker in Pokémon GO (article), as it is arguably the best fire AND flying type attacker as of now. Fire Spin (or Wing Attack) + Sky Attack and Overheat Moltres is a wonderful raider/gym sweeper. Whether Pokémon coming in future generations will dethrone it or not is still unknown as it really depends on what movesets they get.

The Garchomp family is one of the rarest ones to find in Pokémon GO. Hatching a Gible is almost impossible due to the absurdly low odds and finding Gible/Gabite in the wild is not easy either. Garchomp is a very powerful dragon type attacker (not the best though), but where it really shines is as a ground type attacker because of its typing (3x resistance to electric type moves). It might get Earth Power or a better dragon type move in a future CD, so keep that in mind before evolving!

Kyogre is arguably still the best water type attacker in the game. While it is outperformed in terms of DPS by Crabhammer Kingler, its bulk & TDO make it outperform Kingler in the long run. Whether or not it is still worth investing in a Kyogre when you have a non-legendary alternative is debatable. Keep in mind that it will most likely be able to learn its signature move (Origin Pulse) in the future, though!

Let’s be clear: Earthquake is a disappointing move in PvE. Groudon is the best ground type attacker in the game (or the close #2 if Garchomp triple resists incoming moves), but ground type moves are not that useful in raids and gyms nowadays. And when they are, ground type attackers are usually outperformed by other attackers that also deal super effective damage but have significantly better movesets. It will most likely learn its signature move (Precipice Blades) in the future, so keep that in mind.

Chandelure is an amazing attacker. Its performance as a ghost type attacker is comparable to Giratina Origin Forme’s. It deals more DPS but has lower bulk. Litwick is a difficult Pokémon to get, but if you get one and you need a ghost type attacker, you should definitely consider saving it for a lucky trade.

Alternatives

These Pokémon are amazing targets for lucky trades, but let’s take a look at some very interesting alternatives:

Interesting PvE alternative target Pokémon for lucky trades
Pokémon Legacy? Special trade?
Pokemon GO GengarGengar Yes No (Yes if shiny)
Pokemon GO SalamenceSalamence Yes No (Yes if shiny)
Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitar Yes (if it has Smack Down) No (Yes if shiny)
Pokemon GO RaikouRaikou No Yes
Pokemon GO DialgaDialga No Yes
Pokemon GO PalkiaPalkia No Yes
Pokemon GO ExcadrillExcadrill No No

Shadow Claw or Lick Gengar (both legacy fast moves) has the highest ghost-type DPS in the game as of now. If you want to see how it compares to Giratina-O in battle, you can check out this article.

Outrage Salamence’s performance is excellent. It’s so good that it can compete with Rayquaza (and you won’t need rare candies to power it up). Full analysis here.

Smack Down Tyranitar has been the best rock type attacker for a while. Now, it has been outperformed by Rampardos in terms of DPS. However, SD Tyranitar is still very useful as a rock type attacker, and it is in fact one of the best (if not the best) Pokémon for Team Rocket Battles, so keep that in mind!

Raikou is the best electric type Pokémon as of now, but it will most likely be outperformed as soon as Thundurus is released in Pokémon GO. Furthermore, Electivire is almost as good as Raikou (in fact, it deals a bit more DPS) and you don’t need to spend rare candies to power it up.

Dialga is a very interesting pick. Its dragon type moveset is not the best, but its typing is amazing. In PvP, Dialga is a very powerful Pokémon to use in Master League. Regarding PvE, its TDO is amazing vs. dragon type raid bosses with dragon type moves, but fairy types such as Togekiss (that now have access to Charm) can also do the job.

Palkia is a very powerful dragon type attacker (not 4x weak to ice type moves), but it does not have access to Outrage. Great dragon type attacker, but not really worth the investment due to the amount of great dragon type attackers out there (similar performance to the non-legendary alternative Outrage Salamence)

Drillbur and Excadrill are easier to get, but that does not make them useless at all. In fact, thanks to Drill Run, Excadrill deals more DPS than Groudon as a ground type attacker. However, Groudon is a better overall attacker, as it has much better TDO. Don’t forget that Landorus-T will outclass them both as soon as it is released, though!

Lower tier alternatives

And finally, some other alternatives you could consider if none of those convince you or if you have plenty of them already:

  • Swinub/Piloswine/Mamoswine (best ice type attacker as of now, it destroys dragon/flying type Pokémon but Swinub is a common spawn/hatch nowadays and we already had a Swinub CD and Swinub also nests)
  • Roselia/Roserade (best grass type attacker, but Roselia is quite common in the wild)
  • Krabby/Kingler (best water-type DPS with Crabhammer, but it is a “common” spawn depending on where you live)
  • Rhyhorn/Rhydon/Rhyperior (good rock and ground type DPS, but not the best attacker of those types. It might be featured in a future event with a new move. Furthermore, Rhyhorn nests)
  • Machop/Machoke/Machamp (best gym attacker, but it has been featured in plenty of events, Machop nests and you can still find it in quests)
  • Dragonite (very good dragon type attacker but it is outperformed by other dragons. Not bad as a gym defender (provided it has Outrage, though))

Best Pokémon for PvP

We have an article by BinetCauchy that you might find interesting regarding this topic, and you can find it here. However, I’ll try to sum it all up and split the content in different sections to cover all leagues:

Master League

You already know that in Master League there is no CP limit. Thus, you want to have 100% IV Pokémon. The following list recaps what’s good in that league, so that you have an idea of what to seek out:

Interesting Master League PvP target Pokémon for lucky trades
Pokémon Legacy? Special trade? Moveset
Fast Move Charge Move 2nd Charge Move
Pokemon GO Giratina (Origin)Giratina (Origin) No Yes
  • Shadow Claw or Dragon Breath (Altered)
  • Shadow Claw (Origin)
  • Dragon Claw (Altered)
  • Shadow Ball (Origin)
  • Ancient Power or Shadow Sneak (Altered)
  • Dragon Pulse or Ominous Wind (Origin)
Pokemon GO DialgaDialga No Yes Dragon Breath Draco Meteor Iron Head
Pokemon GO GarchompGarchomp No No Mud Shot Outrage Earthquake
Pokemon GO SwampertSwampert Yes No Mud Shot Hydro Cannon Earthquake
Pokemon GO GroudonGroudon No Yes Mud Shot Earthquake Solar Beam or Fire Blast
Pokemon GO MelmetalMelmetal No Yes Thunder Shock Rock Slide Thunderbolt or Flash Cannon
Pokemon GO DragoniteDragonite Yes No Dragon Breath Dragon Claw Hurricane, Outrage or Draco Meteor
Pokemon GO TogekissTogekiss No No Charm Ancient Power Flamethrower or Aerial Ace
Pokemon GO SnorlaxSnorlax Yes No Lick Body Slam Outrage or Earthquake
Pokemon GO RaikouRaikou No Yes Thunder Shock Wild Charge Shadow Ball
Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitar Yes (if it has Smack Down) No Smack Down or Bite Stone Edge Crunch
Pokemon GO MewtwoMewtwo Yes (if it has Shadow Ball) Yes Psycho Cut Shadow Ball Ice Beam or any other move depending on the matchup
Pokemon GO LugiaLugia No Yes Dragon Tail Sky Attack Hydro Pump or Future Sight
Pokemon GO GyaradosGyarados Yes (Dragon Breath) No Dragon Breath Crunch Outrage or Hydro Pump
Pokemon GO HeatranHeatran No Yes Fire Spin Iron Head Stone Edge
Pokemon GO MamoswineMamoswine Yes (if it has Ancient Power) No Powder Snow Avalanche Ancient Power or Stone Edge

Some of them are legacy Pokémon and some of them are still obtainable. My advice would be to seek out those that are legacy because they cannot be obtained anymore unless you trade or a special event comes out in the future. Best of luck with the IV rerolls!

Ultra League

Unlike in the Master League, here there is a CP limit. Thus, it would not make sense to cover everything that’s good in that league but just those Pokémon that max out close to 2500CP. Why? Well, because you want to reduce the amount of stardust needed to power them up and obtaining them via lucky trades is definitely a good idea. And if they do max out above 2500CP, we’ll try to only suggest the ones who would not lose much performance from a non-optimal IV spread (e.g. – Those who max out above 2500CP but not much higher). Here are some suggestions:

Best Ultra League PvP target Pokémon for lucky trades
Pokémon Legacy? Special Trade? Moveset
Fast Move Charge Move 2nd Charge Move
Pokemon GO PolitoedPolitoed Yes No Mud Shot Earthquake Surf
Pokemon GO BlastoiseBlastoise Yes No (Yes if shiny) Water Gun Hydro Cannon Ice Beam
Pokemon GO DrapionDrapion No No Bite Aqua Tail Crunch
Pokemon GO MeganiumMeganium Yes No (Yes if shiny) Vine Whip Frenzy Plant Earthquake
Pokemon GO MagnetonMagneton Yes No Thunder Shock Discharge Magnet Bomb
Pokemon GO KingdraKingdra No No (Yes if shiny) Dragon Breath Outrage Hydro Pump
Pokemon GO SteelixSteelix No No (Yes if shiny) Dragon Tail Crunch Earthquake
Pokemon GO ToxicroakToxicroak No No Counter Mud Bomb Dynamic Punch
Pokemon GO PoliwrathPoliwrath Yes No Mud Shot Power-Up Punch Ice Punch

Great League

The most important league, at least if we consider the amount of tournaments held by now. The following shortlist features the most optimal lucky trades if you want to save stardust while still getting a very optimal IV spread (in most cases you can even get the most optimal one).

Best Great League PvP target Pokémon for lucky trades
Pokémon Legacy? Special Trade? Moveset
Fast Move Charge Move 2nd Charge Move
Pokemon GO MedichamMedicham No No (Yes if shiny) Counter Power-Up Punch Ice Punch
Pokemon GO AzumarillAzumarill No No (Yes if shiny) Bubble Hydro Pump Ice Beam or Play Rough
Pokemon GO BastiodonBastiodon No No Smack Down Stone Edge Flamethrower
Pokemon GO SableyeSableye No No (Yes if shiny) Shadow Claw Foul Play Power Gem or Shadow Sneak

Best PvP IV spreads you can get from lucky trades and the most optimal ones:

  • Medicham: 15/15/15 – 100% (maxes out below 1500CP)
  • Azumarill: 12/15/13 from a lucky trade (rank #57), 8/15/15 is the overall #1
  • Bastiodon: 12/15/15 is the most optimal one (also obtainable from a lucky trade)
  • Sableye: 15/15/15 – 100% (maxes out below 1500CP)

The Sinister PvP Cup was announced, and Dusclops is now a viable option too! The best IV spread you can get from a lucky trade is 12/13/12 (@L38.5), whose overall rank #98. The best one you could get without lucky trading is 8/15/15 (@L39.5). Regarding its moveset, you could go with either Hex or Faint Attack (matchup dependant) as fast moves and Shadow Punch + Fire Punch as charge moves.

Best Pokémon for collectors or shiny hunters

Some trainers want to complete the lucky dex (each entry as a lucky Pokémon with the exception of those that cannot be traded such as mythical Pokémon). Those trainers should primarily focus on obtaining regional Pokémon through trades because of the limited availability they have. Furthermore, other interesting Pokémon to seek out are legendary Pokémon (because you cannot mass trade them). And once those are already in the dex, the remaining trades can just be regular lucky trades until the lucky dex is filled.

Regarding shiny hunters, things get a bit more difficult. Some shiny Pokémon are really easy to get (either because they had a Community Day where their shiny odds were boosted or because they have been featured in several events and thus the amount of them you could catch is significantly higher), whereas some others are very difficult to get (e.g. – shiny regionals, shiny babies, special forms such as flower crown Eevee or Pikachu, and many others whose shiny or spawn rate was very limited). In my opinion, the most difficult ones should be the main target for this kind of trainers. But be prepared, because you’ll probably need to give a very rare Pokémon in return too!

And finally, legacy move collectors. To be honest, out of the huge amount of legacy Pokémon obtainable in the game, just a few deserve to be powered up. For example, Brine Omanyte is almost useless in this game, whereas Shadow Claw Gengar is a very useful attacker. In my opinion, meta-relevant Pokémon should be prioritized if you want to obtain them through lucky trades. Why? Because the main point of lucky Pokémon is to save resources when powering up. If you don’t plan to spend stardust on them, you might as well do a regular trade to get them.