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
HoundoomHoundoom

Snarl, Foul Play

50 TyranitarTyranitar Mewtwo, Latios and Latias raids
ArcanineArcanine

Fire Fang, Fire Blast or Wild Charge

50
MoltresMoltresEnteiEntei Future Regice and Registeel Raids
FlareonFlareon

Fire Spin, Overheat

25 MoltresMoltresEnteiEntei Future Regice and Registeel Raids
JolteonJolteon

Thunderbolt

RaikouRaikouZapdosZapdos Charizard Raids
EspeonEspeon

Future Sight

MewtwoMewtwoAlakazamAlakazam High DPS glass cannon
VaporeonVaporeon

Water Gun, Hydro Pump or Aqua Tail

 GyaradosGyaradosKyogreKyogre Tyranitar, Charizard and Aggron Raids, future Regirock Raids
CloysterCloyster

Frost Breath, Avalanche 

50 ArticunoArticunoLaprasLapras Rayquaza Raids, future Latios and Latias Raids
PiloswinePiloswine

Ice Shard, Avalanche 

50
RhydonRhydon

Mud Slap, Earthquake

50 GroudonGroudon Future Regirock and Registeel Raids, Aggron Raids
HariyamaHariyama

Counter, Dynamic Punch

50
MachampMachamp Tyranitar, Aggron, Lapras and Absol Raids, future Regirock, Regice and Registeel Raids
UrsaringUrsaring

Counter, Close Combat

50
BreloomBreloom

Counter, Dynamic Punch

50
ExeggutorExeggutor

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
GolemGolem

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!