With everything that’s been going on in Pokémon GO during the past month, it’s to be expected that many Trainers will be returning to the game after long hiatuses, starting out their Pokémon GO journeys, or participating more actively in the raid scene.

Whatever the case, we must acknowledge that not everyone can invest the time and effort needed to obtain top-tier attackers to use in raids and battles. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of Pokémon that are easy to get and can hold their own in the battling metagame.

Legendaries are not included in this list, as they are still difficult to obtain for many players. However, if your area has an active raid scene, it’s easy to fill up your battling roster (even at lower levels) by simply raiding and catching legendaries.

Pokémon Candy to evo Alternative to Usage in Meta
Houndoom

Snarl, Foul Play

50 Tyranitar Mewtwo, Latios and Latias raids
Arcanine

Fire Fang, Fire Blast or Wild Charge

50
MoltresEntei Future Regice and Registeel Raids
Flareon

Fire Spin, Overheat

25 MoltresEntei Future Regice and Registeel Raids
Jolteon

Thunderbolt

RaikouZapdos Charizard Raids
Espeon

Future Sight

MewtwoAlakazam High DPS glass cannon
Vaporeon

Water Gun, Hydro Pump or Aqua Tail

 GyaradosKyogre Tyranitar, Charizard and Aggron Raids, future Regirock Raids
Cloyster

Frost Breath, Avalanche 

50 ArticunoLapras Rayquaza Raids, future Latios and Latias Raids
Piloswine

Ice Shard, Avalanche 

50
Rhydon

Mud Slap, Earthquake

50 Groudon Future Regirock and Registeel Raids, Aggron Raids
Hariyama

Counter, Dynamic Punch

50
Machamp Tyranitar, Aggron, Lapras and Absol Raids, future Regirock, Regice and Registeel Raids
Ursaring

Counter, Close Combat

50
Breloom

Counter, Dynamic Punch

50
Exeggutor

Solar Beam

50
None; Exeggutor is  the strongest Solar Beam Pokémon and it’s now easily obtainable from Tier 2 raids. What a joy! Tyranitar and Aggron Raids, Future Regirock Raids
Golem

Rock Throw, Stone Edge

125

None; Geodude is fairly common and Golem is an excellent meta Pokémon on its own Charizard  and Rayquaza Raids

(*) Check out our guide to evolving Eevee in order to get correct eeveelutions for your 100% Eevees.

Note: Not every Pokémon on this list will be easy to get for everyone — biomes and climate (weather) will greatly impact your ability to find some of these species. This is simply a list of common alternatives to, or “cheaper” (in terms of Candy cost to evolve) high-performance Pokémon.

All of these Pokémon are strong battlers on their own, even if they aren’t the best of the best in their respective niches. They are great discount options to use for casual players, but of course this only lists recommendations.

Keep in mind other Pokémon in the game which are more common to your specific biome and weather patterns, be creative with how you build your battling teams, and of course, have fun!