Rare Candy Tier List – Best Pokémon to use your Rare Candy on

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How many times have you looked at your rare candy count and thought: “Alright, I know I have to use them on something, but which Pokémon should be getting them?”.

I’ve had this problem for a while and that’s why I decided to write this article. We’ll see which Pokémon are worth spending rare candies on based on their performance in the meta or their rarity so that you have less trouble managing your bag space.

Best Legendary and Mythical Pokémon to use Rare Candy On

Legendary Pokémon are usually the safest rare candy investment, because unlike other species, you can’t catch them in the wild and they don’t hatch from eggs. So the only way of farming let’s say Rayquaza candies is by doing Rayquaza raids or setting it as your buddy and walking 20km to get one Rayquaza candy.

Mythical Pokémon on the other hand are a slightly different case. Some of them can be caught in raids (Genesect and Darkrai, for example) whereas others (such as Mew or Celebi) are unique and you can only get one of each.

Here is my shortlist of legendary/mythical Pokémon that are worth spending rare candy on and a short explanation of why they have been picked:

Legendary & Mythical Pokémon shortlist
Pokémon PvE pick? PvP pick? STATS
Mewtwo Psychic Yes Yes 300 182 214
Moltres Fire Flying Yes No 251 181 207
Raikou Electric Yes ~ 241 195 207
Rayquaza Dragon Flying Yes No 284 170 213
Reshiram Dragon Fire Yes ~ 275 211 205
Zekrom Dragon Electric Yes Yes 275 211 205
Giratina (Origin) Ghost Dragon Yes Yes 225 187 284
Dialga Steel Dragon Yes Yes 275 211 205
Groudon Ground Yes Yes 270 228 205
Kyogre Water Yes Yes 270 228 205
Darkrai Dark Yes ~ 285 198 172
Yveltal Dark Flying Yes Yes 250 185 246
Zacian (Hero) Fairy Yes Yes 254 236 192
Landorus (Therian) Ground Flying Yes Yes 289 179 205
Zarude Dark Grass Yes Yes 242 215 233
Thundurus (Therian) Electric Flying Yes No 295 161 188

Here’s why:

Mewtwo Psychic Moltres Fire Flying
  • Shadow Moltres is one of the best non-mega fire type attackers and the best non-mega flying type attacker
  • Sky Attack (legacy) + Overheat is a deadly combo
  • Regular Sky Attack + Overheat Moltres is still a top-tier attacker in PvE, but outperformed by Reshiram
Raikou Electric
  • Shadow Raikou is the best electric type attacker in the game
  • Regular Raikou is also a great attacker, but slightly outclassed by Zekrom & other shadows
  • Usable in PvP, good coverage with Shadow Ball
Rayquaza Dragon Flying
  • Best non-mega & non-shadow dragon type attacker
  • Signature move: Dragon Ascent (a flying type move 😉 )
  • Can mega evolve in the future. Its mega will be crazy good
Reshiram Dragon Fire
  • Best non-mega & non-shadow fire type attacker
  • Signature moves: Fusion Flare and Blue Flare (not available yet)
  • Usable in PvP, but there are better options
Zekrom Dragon Electric
  • Best non-mega & non-shadow electric type attacker
  • Signature moves: Fusion Bolt and Bolt Strike (not available yet)
  • Good pick in Master League
Giratina (Origin) Ghost Dragon
  • Probably the best non-mega & non-shadow ghost type attacker
  • Signature move: Shadow Force (not available yet)
  • Meta-defining Pokémon in Master League, also usable in Ultra League
Dialga Steel Dragon
  • The dragon that doesn’t take SE damage from other dragons
  • Great dragon type attacker vs. other dragons with moves such as Outrage or Draco Meteor
  • Great Pokémon to use vs. Team GO Rocket
  • Signature move: Roar of Time (not available yet)
  • King of the Master League, one of the best and safest investments if you’re into PvP. Pro tip: best buddy it to hit the Dragon Breath breakpoint in the mirror match. You won’t regret it
Groudon Ground
  • One of the best non-mega & non-shadow ground type attackers, slightly outclassed by Landorus-T and Earth Power Garchomp
  • Has a primal reversion coming in the future
  • Excellent signature move (Precipice Blades), not available as of now
  • Meta-defining Pokémon in Master League, but you’ll need to teach it Fire Punch (legacy move)
Kyogre Water
  • Best non-mega & non-shadow water type attacker
  • Has a primal reversion coming in the future
  • Excellent signature move (Origin Pulse), not available as of now
  • Very solid choice in Master League. Forms a very strong core with Dialga+Togekiss
Darkrai Dark
  • Best non-mega & non-shadow dark type attacker
  • Amazing vs. psychic type raid bosses, and there are plenty
  • Signature move: Dark Void (not available yet)
  • A bit too fragile to use in PvP
Yveltal Dark Flying
  • One of the best dark type attackers in the game
  • Does Darkrai’s job in PvP, but significantly better
  • Signature move: Oblivion Wing (not available yet)
Zacian (Hero) Fairy
  • Very good pseudo-fairy attacker
  • One of the most versatile Pokémon to use in Master League. Works as a lead, as a safe swap and has tremendous closing power
  • Its Crowned Sword variant will be even better
  • Signature move: Behemoth Blade (not available yet)
Landorus (Therian) Ground Flying
  • One of the best ground type attackers in the game, only slightly outclassed by Earth Power Garchomp (and the ground type megas)
  • Solid pick in PvP (Master League)
  • Has potential to be even better in the future (can learn better moves, at least PvE wise)
Zarude Dark Grass Thundurus (Therian) Electric Flying
  • Highest non-mega & non-shadow electric type DPS in the game. Overall, slightly outclassed by Zekrom but still one of the best electric type attackers in the raid meta
  • Can learn Thunder Shock AND Wild Charge in the main series games, so there’s still room for improvement

Honorable mentions

And some honorable mentions:

Honorable mentions (Legendary & Mythical)
Pokémon PvE pick? PvP pick? STATS
Cresselia Psychic No Yes 152 258 260
Mew Psychic No Yes 210 210 225
Articuno Ice Flying No Yes 192 236 207
Deoxys (Defense) Psychic No Yes 144 330 137
Registeel Steel No Yes 143 285 190
Mewtwo (Armored) Psychic No Yes 182 278 214
Entei Fire Yes ~ 235 171 251
Zapdos Electric Flying Yes Yes 253 185 207
Ho-Oh Fire Flying No

(not yet, at least)

Yes 239 244 214
Palkia Water Dragon Yes Yes 280 215 189
Giratina (Altered) Ghost Dragon No Yes 187 225 284
Landorus (Normal) Ground Flying Yes Yes 261 182 205
Heatran Fire Steel Yes Yes 251 213 209
Genesect (Normal) Bug Steel ~ Yes 252 199 174
Victini Psychic Fire No ~ 210 210 225
Jirachi Steel Psychic No ~ 210 210 225

Here’s why:

Cresselia Psychic
  • Not a good attacker in PvE, it lacks offensive power
  • Meta-defining Pokémon in open Ultra League and a very good pick in Great League too
Mew Psychic
  • You never know what moves Mew will be using against you, it’s one of the best wild cards to use in PvP, especially in Great League and Ultra League
Articuno Ice Flying
  • There are plenty of better options as an ice type attacker. Outclassed by many even as a shadow
  • Very strong pick in Ultra League, thanks to Icy Wind and decent bulk
Deoxys (Defense) Psychic
  • Not usable in PvE at all
  • Dominant Pokémon in Great League and a very solid choice in Ultra League (XL)
Registeel Steel
  • Absolutely terrible in PvE
  • Not as dominant as it used to be in both GL and UL after the nerfs but still a very decent choice
Mewtwo (Armored) Psychic
  • Good bulk and a very decent moveset (Confusion, Psystrike + Dynamic Punch or Rock Slide) make it a very solid choice in open Ultra League, but that’s about it
Entei Fire
  • Shadow Entei is one of the best fire type attackers in the game, only outclassed by the fire type megas
  • If it gets access to Sacred Fire (assuming it has similar stats to Aeroblast), it could shake up the fire type attacking meta
  • Needs to be shadow to compete with the top-tier fire type attackers
Zapdos Electric Flying
  • (Shadow) Zapdos is a spicy (and fragile) choice for Great League and Ultra League
  • It’s not a cheap investment for GL at all, as it needs to have Thunder Shock (legacy) and also manage to not hit 1.5k CP
  • Very good electric type attacker (as a shadow), but if you have to invest that much (Elite Fast TM + power up costs), it’d probably be better to invest in a shadow Electivire/Magnezone or of course Shadow Raikou
Ho-Oh Fire Flying
  • Not amazing in PvE (as of now)
  • Signature move: Sacred Fire (I’d say there’s a good chance it might be coming sooner than expected, and if it’s an Aeroblast clone things might get hot indeed!)
  • Very solid Master League pick with Incinerate, Brave Bird + Earthquake (legacy)
Palkia Water Dragon
  • Very decent dragon type attacker, but outclassed by Rayquaza, shadow dragons and dragon type megas
  • Signature move: Spacial Rend (not available yet)
  • Decent in PvP (ML), but not as good as it some of us expected it to be
Giratina (Altered) Ghost Dragon
  • Not a great choice in PvE, lacks offensive power
  • Meta-defining Pokémon in open Ultra League, also usable in Master League (where the Origin Forme dominates)
Landorus (Normal) Ground Flying
  • Decent choice as a ground type attacker, but its Therian forme is the real deal
  • Usable in Master League as a wild card as it gets access to Mud Shot, Rock Slide + Earth Power and counters the steel types pretty well
Heatran Fire Steel
  • Heatran definitely got the shaft when Niantic decided to nerf it by giving it Fire Blast
  • Signature move: Magma Storm (might shake things up!)
  • Usable in open Master League as an anti-steel, outperformed by other options in that role
Genesect (Normal) Bug Steel
  • Technically the best non-mega and non-shadow bug type attacker in the game, but bug type attacks are really bad so I’d use other raid attackers if possible
  • Solid performance in PvP (full analysis here)
  • Signature move: Techno Blast
Victini Psychic Fire
  • Not usable in raids, there are tons of better options
  • V-Create hits pretty hard in PvP, but it’s mostly a spicy pick
  • It’s a mythical, so there’s that
Jirachi Steel Psychic
  • Similar case. Not usable in raids as it is significantly outclassed by (shadow) MM Metagross
  • Doom Desire is a good move in PvP. Jirachi can work as a wild card and in certain restricted metas, especially in Great League
  • Mythical bonus points

Best non-Legendary and non-Mythical Pokémon to use Rare Candy on

Alright, now it’s time to analyse which “regular” Pokémon are worth using rare candies on. Personally, I would save my rare candies for the Pokémon listed in the tables above. But I understand that some people want to finish their Pokédex or need some of the rarest Pokémon for raids or PvP.

If you decide to spend them in non-legendary and non-mythical Pokémon, in general the safest bet is to use them on pseudo-legendaries or very rare Pokémon that are viable in the current metagame.

Here is my shortlist, where I will be listing only the final evolution of the line:

Non-legendary & non-mythical Pokémon shortlist
Pokémon PvE pick? PvP pick? STATS
Haxorus Dragon Yes Yes 284 172 183
Lucario Fighting Steel Yes Yes 236 144 172
Conkeldurr Fighting Yes Yes 243 158 233
Hydreigon Dark Dragon ~ Yes 256 188 211
Garchomp Dragon Ground Yes Yes 261 193 239
Darmanitan (Galarian Zen) Ice Fire Yes ~ 323 123 233
Rampardos Rock Yes No 295 109 219
Goodra Dragon ~ Yes 220 242 207
Carracosta Water Rock No No 192 197 179
Archeops Rock Flying Not yet No 292 139 181

Here’s why:

Haxorus Dragon
  • What’s an Axew? Seriously, that Pokémon is way too rare both in the wild and in eggs
  • Solid PvE dragon type attacker
  • Strong pick in Master League Premier
Lucario Fighting Steel
  • Probably the best non-shadow fighting type attacker in the game, thanks to Aura Sphere. A bit fragile, though
  • Will be able to mega evolve in the future, and its mega will be really good
  • Riolu can only be hatched from eggs
  • Incredible fighter to use in Team GO Rocket battles
  • Usable in PvP, but not amazing (yet, we’ll see if Mega Evolutions can be used in GBL someday)
Conkeldurr Fighting Hydreigon Dark Dragon
  • Outclassed in PvE both as a dragon and dark type attacker
  • Deino is one of the best Pokémon in Little Cup
  • Zweilous is a very solid pick in Great League (especially in certain restricted metas and cups)
  • Although Deino has been featured in several events, it remains as a rare Pokémon in Pokémon GO
  • Will probably have a Community Day (eventually), so keep that in mind before spending your RCs
Garchomp Dragon Ground
  • Very good dragon type attacker in PvE and an the best non-mega and non-shadow ground type attacker thanks to Earth Power
  • Good pick in Master League (both open ML and Premier)
  • Potential access to moves such as Dragon Rush (not in the game yet) and more
  • Gible already had a Community Day. I’d hold off, unless you missed it
Darmanitan (Galarian Zen) Ice Fire
  • Galarian Darmanitan is currently the best non-shadow ice type attacker in the game
  • Its Zen Forme (not available as of now) is ridiculously overpowered and might get nerfed before release (similar case as Landorus-T)
  • Unfortunately, its Zen Forme didn’t get access to a fire type fast move (only Ice Fang and Tackle). With Fire Fang + Overheat, it’d be more powerful than Shadow Moltres, just to give you an idea of what this Pokémon is capable of
  • Probably not the best option, as it has been featured in several events
Rampardos Rock
  • Rampardos is the one of the best rock type attackers in PvE. In fact, it’s so overpowered (base ATK of 295) that not even rock type megas can reach its level of DPS. It’s a bit of a glass cannon, though
  • Cranidos has been featured in multiple events and it’s not a legendary or raid-only Pokémon, I’d hold off unless it’s strictly necessary
Goodra Dragon
  • Still a rare Pokémon to this day. Not amazing in PvE, as there are plenty of better alternatives
  • Solid pick in Ultra League
  • Will probably have a Community Day (eventually), so keep that in mind before spending your RCs
Carracosta Water Rock
  • Tirtouga is one of the rarest Pokémon in the game. It’s not good or anything… just rare. If you’re a dex completionist, go for it
Archeops Rock Flying
  • Archen is also one of the rarest Pokémon in the game
  • However, unlike Tirtouga, Archen’s evolution (Archeops) has the potential to become one of the best rock AND flying type attackers in the game. It’s only held off by its TERRIBLE moveset
  • All it needs is either Rock Slide or Fly and its viability will skyrocket. I mean, just look at its insane attack stat
  • Probably not gonna happen anytime soon, if ever. Its ability in the main series games (Defeatist) halves its attack and special Attack while it is at or less than half of its maximum HP

I haven’t included things such as (Shadow) Metagross, (Shadow) Salamence/Dragonite, Chandelure and many others because (even though they still define the meta) there have been multiple events featuring their base forms in the past, so it was pretty easy to farm their candies.


Regional Pokémon can only be caught in certain regions of the world. Some of them (such as Pansear, Pansage and Panpour) even evolve. And the only way to farm their candies is by walking them as buddies or by giving them rare candies.

Some regional Pokémon such as Tropius are also pretty good in PvP. If you don’t have enough candies to power them up and/or give them a 2nd charge move, spending rare candies on them is not a bad choice at all. The only regional Pokémon that are somehow relevant in the meta are Tropius (PvP), Pachirisu (PvP) and Heracross (~PvP and PvE).

Parting Words

That’s it, trainers! Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope my shortlists helped you decide what to spend your rare candy on and manage your bag space better.

If you think I’ve missed anything, let me know in the comments section down below or tag me on Twitter.

Take care! 😉

Author & tags

Pokémon fan since 2000. Played every single game without exception. I'm an engineer, a tech lover and also a big sports fan. Science is my religion :)

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