Massively on the Go: 10 Pokemon Go Mega Pokemon to invest now – and 2 for later

    
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Roughly two years ago, Pokemon GO’s Mega Evolution system got its third reworking, which was a major reason I made our list of pokemon to invest in, both present (now past) and future (our present). Since then, we’ve seen not only the release of some of the predicted “future” investments but unforeseeable upgrades to them, primarily Primal Kyogre, Primal Groudon, and Mega Rayquaza. In other words, a simple update isn’t quite enough so we’re doing it again, though it won’t be for the last time.

Things may be more stable but Pokemon Legends: Z-A  has teased that we’ll have even more Megas in our future. For now, though, the majority of the most powerful pokemon, including Megas, are either out or have their data in-game. The Primals and Mega Ray dominate the Mega scene in ways certain pokemon will just be utterly useless except to the newest or most casual of players, so for today’s Massively on the Go, we’re going to make a new list, with new criteria, to help budget trainers (and even some min-maxers) figure out who deserves your resources and time first.

How to use this guide

In an ideal world, every player would have equal access to acquiring the basic energy needed to Mega every ‘mon as well as have a perfect species to invest in, enough energy to evolve it daily until it hits the Mega level cap, and the time to do this for every Mega. Even better if players could walk their Megas for consistent energy gains and have multiples of the most useful ones on this list. From someone who’s deeply invested in the system, I can tell you that the gains are incredible!

However, that probably is not the case for most players. It’s a lot of time, work, and walking, the last of which doesn’t play nicely with most of the games our site covers. Instead, the idea behind this guide is to help you focus your attention on the Megas that can make the biggest impact on your play, mostly in terms of Megas as a candy/XP boosting tool, but also for raid use, Rocket battles, and even PvP (including gyms).

If you just get the basic Mega Energy requirement to evolve one of each species we mention once, you can simply Mega it every time its free-evolve cooldown hits zero, plus that will allow you to walk others in its family to get Mega Energy if need be (so if you just evolve the first Pidgeot you have but later find a better one, you can walk the new one for energy too). I also recommend that you make a Mega tag and put everything you’ve Mega’d (or want to Mega) into it so it’s easier to find who needs to be Mega’d whenever you want (and also so you can easily find your options for, say, raids or Community Days).

In terms of coverage, I would suggest people at least Mega the following pokemon:

  • Mega Lopunny (Normal/Fighting)
  • Mega Rayquaza (Dragon/Flying/Psychic)
  • Mega Beedrill (Bug/Poison)
  • Mega Steelix (Ground/Steel)
  • Primal Groudon (Ground/Grass/Fire)
  • Mega Aerodactyl (Rock/Flying)
  • Mega Sableye (Dark/Ghost)
  • Primal Kyogre (Water/Electric/Bug)
  • Mega Abomasnow (Ice/Grass)
  • Mega Altaria (Dragon/Fairy)

While not all of these are “the best,” they should cover you for all types with minimal investment, though obviously you won’t be able to grab them at a moment’s notice. That being said, it also means you’ll know which pokemon to watch for in our monthly POGO round-up posts – or use the rest of this guide to see where you may want to make a substitution.

No, not like this.

Redefining ‘best’

“The best” isn’t always objective, which is why we’re going to set some parameters again. As the Mega system has changed, maybe even stagnated in some ways, the old definitions don’t quite work the same as they did before. Likewise, the previous mention of how some Megas are good at “team killing” their own types means certain combinations are very useful. For those who don’t care about methodology and want to skip ahead to the list, just know this: The highest score on our list is 19, but I’ve made it flexible enough to account for some future curveballs. For those who care, let’s get into that.

Want to read about our methodology in excruciating detail? Click here to expand our discussion.

Our first criterion is going to be basic utility. By basic, I mean affecting the core gameplay loop focused on leveling your trainer (spin a stop, receive catching ammo, catch some pokemon for xp, repeat) and the pokemon leveling system (catch for candy and stardust, invest in pokemon, possibly do raids for more candy of said pokemon, repeat). For Megas, this means how useful their types are when it comes to the bonuses granted by sharing their type(s) with caught and even raided pokemon. For new players, the reason Megas are so valuable is that they grant additional XP, candy, and even XL candy based on their Mega level.

As before, I briefly considered having accessibility as a criterion, but with all the reward Mega Energy options, Remote Raids to increase the ability to acquire base Energy costs, and the new Mega system that brings the cost down to zero, access to a Mega that’s relevant is even more trivial now than when I made the previous guide. The larger issue is often whether or not a Mega is available to be raided at all, and unless you run the company, there’s no way to determine that. In addition, some of the most accessible pokemon (such as my favorite, Blastoise) just aren’t that good, and I can’t in good conscience recommend them when there are so many better options that can pop up at any given moment.

Our second criteria will be raid utility. While part of this is damage the pokemon itself can inflict, we’ll also be looking at a pokemon’s ability to maintain raid buffs and how useful that type is. For this, I will heavily be relying on Reddit user catsarerunning’s coverage on this topic, Gamepress’ DPS spreadsheet, and Gamepress’ article on using Megas for DPS support. Things have evolved a bit since then for some of these guides, so I’m factoring that in, particularly for Primals and Mega Rayquaza (which does provide background damage bonuses like the primals: 30% to their weather group types, 10% to everything else, even when fainted or switched-out of your raid team).

Passive damage buffs aren’t the only reason I’m talking about raid utility instead of just damage. There is also the ability to help deal super effective damage and generate bonus XL candy for its target. We’re calling this “Type-Team Frag,” or just “team frag” for short, from the FPS term to kill one’s team mates. That immediately means Dragon and Ghost Megas get a bonus because they are vulnerable to themselves, but this would also help Mega Aerodactly because many Flying types end up being weak (or even taking quad-damage) to Rock. I’ll get into that later.

Especially for PvP players dealing with new cups and rulesets, XL candy has somehow become more important for legendary ‘mon, and the odd rule that regular candy bonuses are granted for any Mega but XL candy are only for matching the same type as the boss seems counter-intuitive to battle basics. That being said, its existence means we have to address the situation.

PvP as a sole factor has been dropped because, frankly, Niantic hasn’t really done much with Megas in League Play, and using Megas to battle in gyms is a fairly low-priority factor. Instead, we’ll just be discussing whether a ‘mon is gym relevant for attacking, but the usefulness the specific Mega in PvP and even Rocket battles will be used as a tie-breaker, as our “Strong Pokemon Types” category looks at the usefulness of the typing in those areas as a whole. With that in mind, basic utility will be made up of the following criteria:

  • Bonuses Awarded Per Type: 1 point max per type bonus at a time
  • Bonuses Awarded to Strong Pokemon Types: 2 points max per type bonus at a time
  • Bonuses Awarded to Common Pokemon Types: 2 points max per type bonus at a time
  • Strong Against Gym Meta: 1 point max per type
  • Seasonal Bonus: 1 point max per type

That “at a time” clause is important as some pokemon have multiple Mega forms. In some ways, this seems as if it could save you some investment opportunities. However, it does mean you don’t have access to all of that Pokemon’s potential at the same time, and as Mega Evolution isn’t free, you would have to pay for the Mega each time you switch back and forth. If, for example, you need Dragon and Flying bonuses, it’s far easier to use Mega Salamence or Mega Rayquaza than it is to switch between Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y.

We’re giving a bonuses per type a flat point each because it shows flexibility. Even if you use Blastoise during a Water event, basically any other Water Mega with a second type is even slightly more useful in terms of utility, and I say this as a lifelong Blastoise fan.

The Gym Meta takes into account both the best defenders but also the “do not bring” list, as those are sadly the most common defenders you’ll see. As well, we’re counting only the pokemon’s active types because, let’s face it, most gym attacks are done by a single player, so the bonuses won’t matter. Similarly, we aren’t giving extra points if the pokemon itself is strong unless there’s a need for a tie-breaker. Again, Megas on their own in combat are a very small piece of the puzzle, hence the use of typing strengths as a whole.

On the topic of strength, this is frequently debatable. I used a combination of Gamepress’ Pokemon List, this Reddit analysis, and this list of quad-weakness pokemon, and then made some rough notes based on all that. For example, nothing is quad-weak to Dragon, but Dragons frequently make up the highest tiers in terms of both CP and Attack stat, so while it’s not the strongest type in general, it’s still strong. On the other hand, Bug may have some things that are quad-weak to it, but they are very infrequent and rarely relevant to raiding or PvP, plus bugs tend to have low CP and Attack, so it’s admittedly weak. This varies between general use and legendaries, which I’ll address in the relevant sections below.

For the “seasonal” bonus, certain pokemon types get a bonus for major seasonal events. For example, while there may be Psychic or Electric events, they rarely last a week, if that. By comparison, Ghost and Dark are heavily featured for October Halloween ‘mon and a bit in November for Day of the Dead, while Ice types are useful for basically all of December and at least part of JanuaryGrass, Water, and Fire each get a point as well, as they’re starters who are usually featured in at least two generation-based events per year that take up roughly a month plus any other event pushing starters, such as about a third of the Community Days and the yearly December Community Day Round-Up.

For those wondering where our Pokemon count numbers are coming from, we’ve gone with a combination of the now-dated full count list here and cross-checked it with Bulbapedia’s up-to-date full type-combo list here. While those alone aren’t bad, in weighing POGO Megas, I think it’s nice to see how many pokemon fit into single-type categories to help determine how often a certain Mega type could be useful. Now that being said, readers should also know that Normal, Water, Flying, Poison, Grass, Rock, and Bug often are dual types.

While I am actually no pokemon master (more of a pokemon tour guide) and may be forgetting some odd forms I should be counting, I have added plus one for all the Arceus forms (aside from Normal because that’s its default) and added certain other forms (like for Zygarde and Toxtricity forms plus Genesect disks) – but not Primals, Megas, or gigantimaxes as I truly doubt we would even see them as wild catchables. So this is roughly the count:

Normal Fire Water Electric Grass Ice Fighting Poison Ground
140 93 161 83 143 60 85 93 82
Flying Psychic Bug Rock Ghost Dragon Dark Steel Fairy
118 124 95 81 75 81 83 79 68

Bold text is for the top three most common types. Any type above 100 species got the full points 2, with bold being a potential tie-breaker criteria. Between 90 and 99 got a single point.

For “strength,” I’ve used this Reddit analysis to balance out the base-stats tier list since I found it the most thoughtful and practical way to break down the idea of type strengths. POGO is very different from the main series since our battles are a bit more like time trials (even in PvP where you can wall someone to death), so I’ve focused far more on the offensive side of things. There could be some fine-tuning to this source to make it better, but it’s above average and will get the job done. I used that to pick the top six strongest overall types, which are underlined and italicized. This helps balance raiding strength with PvP (to an extent), gyms, and Rocket battle strength. Ground, Grass, Psychic, Ghost, Dragon and Dark each get a point as they’re often still above average in use, aside from Psychic and Dragon because they’re solid neutral picks.

While this scoring method immediately gives the Primals and Mega Ray an advantage, the advantage is big enough that we can’t ignore it, but we will ignore other ‘mon with the same typing. Case in point: Mega Camerupt. While it is unreleased, it shares the same typing (Ground/Fire) as Primal Groudon, but Primal Groudon also gives bonuses to Grass pokemon. In the long run, it would be better to just Mega Evolve another Groudon than it would to bother with a single Camerupt – unless you’re unable to get Primal Groudon or are a really big fan of Camerupt.

For scoring, raid utility is similar:

  • Bonuses Awarded Per Type: 1 point max per type bonus at a time- no limit
  • Bonuses Awarded in Type-Team Frag Scenarios: 1 point per potential type affected
  • Bonuses Awarded to Strong Pokemon Types: 2 points max per type bonus at a time
  • Bonuses Awarded to Common Pokemon Types: 2 points max per type bonus at a time

We immediately need to address the “Type-Team Frag Scenario” criterion. As I hinted at before the methodology, there are certain pokemon who are weak to themselves, meaning you can use them in raids to deal extra damage, boost raid members who share that typing, and grant bonus XL candy to boot, so you don’t have to choose between a Mega for helping others and a Mega for helping yourself.

This does have limitations, however. For example, I’m not going through all pokemon and seeing where this may be neutralized, such as Mega Altaria being used in a Mega Altaria raid, which would not help with bonus damage (the Fairy typing leaves it resistant to Dragon) but would help generate bonus candy. At the same time, Mega Altaria would only gain one point against Dragon because both it and Fairy are Super Effective against Dragon.

Because of this, a perfect score is flexible. Certain type combos just don’t exist right now, let alone in Mega forms, and for all we know, Niantic may come up with reasons to give more Megas three bonus types, nullifying this list like our last one. While some single-type Megas may be good for DPS in a raid, such as Absol, they far too niche to really consider in terms of long-term investments. Every semi-active player can potentially get every Mega and eventually max out its Mega level, but the purpose of this guide is to help players focus their attention and resources on the ones that’ll bring them the broadest and most long-term bonuses.

Now, for both Strong Pokemon types and Common types, I didn’t have a good reference list, so I had to make one. In terms of numbers, as of Indigo Disk’s epilogue content, we have the following type/count chart:

Normal Fire Water Electric Grass Ice Fighting Poison Ground
9 13 13 11 16 9 21 10 9
Flying Psychic Bug Rock Ghost Dragon Dark Steel Fairy
22 42 8 9 11 32 14 25 15

Legendary-ish and Mythicals were taken from this list combined with Serebii’s research (mostly for Ultra Beasts the other list forgot), though the prior did pile in paradoxes based on legendary pokemon (like Iron Boulder), just in case POGO treats them as such. In addition, I’ve added plus one for all the Arceus forms (aside from Normal because that’s its default), but I did not factor in potential Tera Legendaries because no one knows how that could work if we even get the mechanic in-game (which we should).

We’re including all of these – even the odd legendaries that evolve – in case they become raid bosses and also evolutions. We don’t know how/whether they’ll be involved, and Niantic is fairly inconsistent with some of these at the present (such as Deoxys not being able to change forms but Hoopa and Shaymin can), so I’d rather be better safe than sorry.

As for Strong types, in addition to the above Reddit analysis on grading types, I used the previously referenced base stats Bulbapedia page to look at the totals of all combined stats, then added known factors (such as Regigas having terrible Fast moves to mimic its main series ability that hamstrings is, or the Megas basically not being usable in PvP and thus extra candy for them is less a factor than for their base forms).

While bolded text in the tables indicates the top three most numerous types, any type that had between 20-24 species got full points. Any type with between 15-19 species got one point in this category simply because I didn’t want it to be all-or-none, plus Dark types don’t feel that numerous, nor do Water or Fire, so it’s a mix of math and gut instincts here.

Pokemon underlined and italicized in the table are for the top seven strongest types and their counters against other legendaries. The italic-bolded ‘mon all get full 2 points in the Strong category. I originally went with six because it’s a third of the total and gives me some flexibility, but Dark and Ghost are nearly identical in many situations when we talk about strength, and as both strong pokemon and numerous legendaries are Psychics, they hold a large advantage over other types. Everything else other than Normal, Poison, Flying, and Bug get a single point in the “Strong” category because they are used a reasonable amount of the of time. While Poison, Flying, and even Bug do have legendary+ enemies with quad weaknesses, they’re both infrequent and rarely meta-relevant at this time.

These seven types are different from the raid utility picks because we’re talking only about Legendary-and-stronger pokemon. For example, for the most part, Psychic pokemon really aren’t that useful. You don’t really need them in raids, and they’re often squishy against Rockets. However, Mewtwo and a few other Legendary+ Psychics negate this rule, especially in Master League play and against certain Rocket line-ups. As such, there’s a much higher reason to value Mewtwo than, well, basically any non-legendary Psychic outside of a few Megas, and the Mega Mewtwos will be changing that too.

One thing that will get types extra points, especially in the case of a tie, is the ability for the type to deal quad-damage against Legendaries, Mythicals, Megas/Primals, and/or Gigantimaxes. The above list sadly is missing a few ‘mon (like Primal Groudon and Scarlet/Violet legendaries), but I’ve noted them in my head as needed.

Finally – same as last time – we’ll be keeping Megas that share the same typing in mind. For example, Megas for Gyarados and Sharpedo are both Water/Dark. Even if one is only slightly better than the other, the loser will be dropped just so we can help promote type diversity for investments, but runners-up will be noted.

With all that in mind, here’s our list.

10. Mega Gardevoir: 15 (7/8)

To note, we had five Mega Pokemon hit the 15-point mark, hence all the tie-breakers mentioned above. Respect to Mega Gyarados and Mega Lopunny, but we won’t discuss them much going forward. Mega Gardy won the tie breaker only because its base form is far more useful and makes a useable gym defender when it’s not being used, though stick to very short term defense, like a popular gym right before a raid starts. You do not want this ‘mon gone for long!

While both Psychic and Fairy have limited use in raids, especially the combat side, they do have enough utility to warrant their investment, especially as we’ve seen a few events thematically feature both types.

9. Mega Swampert: 15 (10/5)

This was our #3 future investment pick last time, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not somewhat surprised it still made the list. Swampert wins its tie because, in its base form, it’s very good in PvP, even at the Master level. Also, as previously mentioned, Swampy is unique in its ability to be useful for any overlapping Groudon/Kyogre events as it shares typing with both of them, and those have happened on several occasions in the past. In fact, for the upcoming March 2024 raid days, a player lacking both those primals would be set with a single Mega Swampert. That being said, I actually keep two of these myself because we’ve had multi-day events featuring Groudon and Kyogre raids. It’s really a useful Mega, but it only goes up from here.

8. Mega Sableye: 15 (8/7) 

We warned you this would be one to invest in! While it’s still part of that big tie-breaker cluster, Mega Sable wins because it’s the pokemon to use for nearly all of October and part of November at the least. I actually keep four of these so I can constantly keep the benefits, especially as Niantic holds a few Ghosts as fairly seasonal (looking at you, Spiritomb).

Mega Sableye also is technically the perfect pokemon for foggy weather, as only Dark and Ghost benefit from that type. That being said, as someone who lives in a foggy location, I rarely see foggy weather, even when I can’t even see across the street. The rare times the game actually recognizes the fog instead of simply saying it’s “cloudy,” though, is a good time to bust out Mega Sable.

That’s not all, though. It can be used to buff Ghost and Dark in raids. While the two types are generally interchangeable, Sableye allows you to help both when teaming up with random players. In comparison, Gengar scored only a 12 because its other typing, Poison, is both weak and not well represented among legendaries. Sable may not deal a lot of damage, but as we noted last time, it helps raids as a buffer, getting more and more useful as you have more and more allies in the raid. While you may not use it a ton the rest of the year outside of the odd Ghost legendary raids, it gets heavy use in autumn.

7. Mega Sceptile: 16 (8/8)

I’d be lying if I said I saw this one coming. At the time it and Mega Blaziken were released, we were preparing for the Hoenn Tour, so we were all hyped up on Mega Swampert. However, between the lack of PvP use Megas see and long-term play options, Mega Sceptile has actually come out ahead. Grass and Water are both common, but Grassy Sceptile also gets the coveted Dragon typing when it evolves. I realized I was using it more often during certain raid periods when we’d have Dragon bosses and spawns but I had sunny weather Grasses. It wasn’t until I started scoring that I realized why I was using it as much as I was.

The biggest boon here is that Dragon typing helps in raids and helps collect extra XL candies. Combined with the Grass typing and Sunny weather being fairly common around the world, plus being featured in certain events, it’s a pretty good typing combination in terms of utility. Admittedly, my Mega Scept doesn’t see a lot of combat because Ice is stronger and there are better Dragons to Mega, but this particular combination is nice for when you don’t want to switch around a lot, especially if you need only the XL candy from a single raid boss in a busy area or against an easy Dragon (no offense, Rayquaza). The fact that new generations often come out with a Grass Starter and a Dragon to hunt only sweetens the deal.

6. Mega Blaziken: 16 (9/7)

Yet another surprise for me! Mega Swampert’s usefulness for the Hoenn Tour really blinded us to its more useful counterparts, though in all fairness, we also thought Megas would be featured in rank play more. As that hasn’t been the case, and since Megas are 90% about their bonuses, Mega Swampert isn’t too tough to outshine in theory.

While technically tied with Mega Sceptile, Mega Blaz wins because more raid-relevant ‘mon are quad weak to Fire than Grass, plus un-Mega’d Blaziken is more useful than regular Sceptile. I find it useful to have for Ice, Grass, and Steel Rockets, as all of those can have a type that’s quad-weak to Blazi’s Fire or Fighting types. I also keep two separate Blazis for each type since you never know which you’ll need, and unlike Mega Scept, it has a Fast Move for each of its types. Heck, I’ve even used its Mega for a few gym situations. It’s a worthwhile investment to be sure.

5. Primal Kyogre: 16 (10/6)

Another shocker, right? Yes, Primal Kyogre was tied with two Hoenn starters. That doesn’t sound great, especially for those of us who are fans of the whale. What it really came down to is raw strength: Water is useful enough in non-raid battles, and this whale has a lot of fire power to take down your opponents. When it’s Mega’d, those’ll go even faster. But Megas aren’t just about their combat skills, especially since this game is more about catching than battling.

While Kyogre is great for rainy weather bonuses, Water events, and helping to counter its fellow Water types in raids thanks to granting Electric damage raid bonuses (plus being pretty good in Master League), it basically is collecting some weaker types under its umbrella. Bug just isn’t that useful, and Electric is about average in strength and numbers.

4. Mega Medicham: 19 (8/11)

Yet another surprise pick, but it makes sense. Again, when we originally did these calculations, we thought Megas would see more PvP play. Two other Megas – Mega Gallade and Mega Mewtwo X – share the same typings as Mega Medi, but Gallade has a higher possible CP and Mega Mewtwo is… well, we’ll get to its awesomeness later, but it blows the other two out of the water. Mega Medi did seems as if it could do well in Great and Ultra Leagues, but that didn’t happen.

But that’s why at least I missed its value. Fighting/Psychic gives us the coveted Team Frag point, and Medi’s bulk is enough to assist raid allies a la Mega Sableye. Admittedly, in raids, Dark and Ghost end up being a bit more useful, so Mega Sable will be included in more raids, but Mega Medi will still be pretty helpful when it sees combat. We’ve also had Fighting/Psychic events in the past, plus we’ll be seeing some more legendary Dark pokemon coming in Gen 9. And of course, there’s the glut of Psychic-type legendaries, so Mega Medi is fairly well-rounded.

That being said, I admit this ranking is in a bit of a vacuum, as other pokemon cover its other typings separately. Medi’s not going to see a ton of Rocket battles compared to Mega Blaziken, and there’s an arguably better ‘mon to cover Psychic, but even though I have multiples of those ‘mon myself, I still find myself activating Mega Medicham more often than a good number of other Megas that aren’t on our list.

3. Mega Abomasnow: 19 (11/7)

Mega Abomasnow went from the bottom of our last list to nearly the top, but some of you may be wondering why this grassy snowman is so high on our list. One word: typing. Specifically, Ice-typing.

There are only two Ice-type Megas, and the other, Mega Glalie, is a mono-type. While it does more damage than Aboma, as you’ve noticed, Megas don’t get a ton of combat experience. They’re mostly a tool, and we don’t want unitaskers in the kitchen for our Megas. And Aboma was fairly well blessed with its second typing: Grass.

Grass is fairly plentiful and useable, with many things that are weak to Water also being Weak to Grass. Honestly, an Ice/Water Mega would be great, but until then, Ice/Grass gives us a lot of coverage. Grass isn’t a top raid pick, but Ice is. Ice is also the least common typing for wild pokemon, so the Grass half of Aboma nets us a lot of potential ‘mons. It’s especially useful for people in snowless-areas, as we tend to have a lot of sun instead (desert people unite!), so Mr. Snowman’s use for sunny winter weather players in the winter is hard to compete with, especially as most of December and part of January features Ice ‘mon.

Oddly enough, Aboma can actually see some gym-attacking use too! Even though Ice and Grass are good against some of the lesser threats on our tier pyramid, half of the “do not bring” tier is weak to either Grass or Ice. There have been a few times where it was just easier for me to blast through a weak gym in Winter with my Mega Aboma that was auto-recommended than for me to switch to my Gym Attack team and sweep it with my perfect, maxed out Machamp, traditionally one of the best gym attackers. That says a lot about Aboma!

Some readers will note, however, that Mega Abomasnow tied with Mega Medicham. In addition to the gym-clearing mentioned above, Aboma also wins the tie because so many relevant raid bosses take quad damage against Ice, and Mega Sceptile also shares Aboma’s Grass typing, so newer players can harvest some extra XL Candy through that. Plus, again, you’ve got a whole vacation season for Mega Aboma. From first hand experience, I can tell you this is certainly one worth having extras of!

2. Mega Rayquaza: 23 (9/14)

While it’s still high on the list, this probably is not where you were expecting Mega Rayquaza, eh? I mean, it boosts Flying, Dragon, and Psychic types! Those are some of the most plentiful legendaries and even non-legendary types in the game – and among the most powerful too! This is the reason Mega Salamence and the Mega Latis aren’t even on this list: There’s almost no reason to use them after you have Mega Ray, and even then, they are vastly inferior to Ray in almost every measurable way aside from accessibility.

The thing is, Dragon and Psychic aren’t as strong as people often think they are. Remember, most content in Pokemon GO is timer-based. You’re running against the clock, and you’re limited to only two Charge Attacks. This makes doing Super Effective damage a lot more important than in the main series games.

Dragon and Psychic are a good neutral picks (not Flying for the most part), especially as they have some pokemon with the highest stats in the game, which is why I still give each type a single point in basic utility, but the fact of the matter is that Ray’s Flying typing does a lot of the heavy lifting. It may not be the most common type, but it is close to being in the top three for normal and legendary+ pokemon. Legendary raids, though, is where the Psychics and Dragons are more worthwhile, as many of those neutral picks for PvE play are PvP monsters you’ll want to harvest XL candy for.

Mega Rayquaza is basically the PvP farmer’s dream ‘mon, but also the lazy raider’s pick, as currently it’s so strong that even with neutral damage, it can make the top 10 list in raid damage potential. That being said, as of this writing, you can probably Mega only 2 of these max unless you got very lucky during the Mega Rayquaza event. They’re certainly worth having multiples, especially for those of us who do Daily Adventure Incense, as Flying is super common (and all the Galarian birds are Flying…), Psychic is pretty common, and it’s nice to have that Dragon typing in the rare times your incense spawns one. It’s a very high-end Mega.

1. Primal Groudon: 23 (13/10)

While technically tied with Mega Rayquaza, Groudon objectively is the top “Mega” to invest in based on our criteria. I’m sure this has caught more than a few people by surprise, including me. But granting bonuses to Fire and Grass in addition to Ground means that it covers two-thirds of the starters in any starter-based event. Fire’s also quite strong in taking out certain Rockets, as is Grass, and Grass is fairly numerous to boot.

But it’s not just about utility. A perfect Groudon helps with raids a lot, to the point that it’s capable of soloing some Five Star raids at max level on its own. It has two non-Megas it deals quad damage to while being quad resist to Electric, plus it makes the quad-weak-to-Fire ‘mon even easier to take out. It’s also got its own kind of rock-paper-scissors thing going on, so it’s quite good at taking out its own bonus types: Ground is weak to Grass, Grass is weak to Fire, Fire is weak to Ground.

However, Groudon is basically above average outside of its raid-damage capabilities and use as a non-Primal in PvP. While Rayquaza gives bonus XL candy to some of the most powerful pokemon in the game, ultimately, the tie-breaker came down to Groudon giving bonuses to more types that deal quad-damage against raid-relevant ‘mon, having more event content it can be used for, plus tending to be more useful in PvP even in its base form. It was a very close race, but Groud-zilla now reigns supreme.

Future investments

Looking to the future, we have some niche ‘mon, but overall very few things will shake up this list. Mega Audino was looking interesting as a general damage booster before, but as Primals give that bonus even when fainted, it most likely won’t be relevant at all, and my attempt to score it indicated as much. Mega Mawile gets the coveted Team Frag bonus against fellow Fairies thank to being part Steel as well, but that won’t help it either. There are only two Pokemon you really need to be looking out for in terms of long-term investment.

2. Mega Lucario: 15 (5/10)

No surprise the Steel Ruler’s back, right? But it barely makes our list this time, further bloating that 15-point tie we had earlier and edging out Mega Metagross by one point. This is basically only because Lucario’s Fighting/Steel typing allows for a Team Frag score: Steel is weak to Fighting, allowing you to raid with Mega Lucario against Steels and still get bonus XL candy from them.

It won’t be making our top 10 list despite that 15-point massive tie; it loses to Mega Gardevoir because Steel in POGO is offensively weak. The timed nature of our battles puts more emphasis on offense than Steel’s iron-defense priority, so it’s often left to rust. I will note, however, that base Lucario is a great gym attacker, and it would make my personal list, but I’m much more invested in the gym system than most players, which is why I objectively kept the gym scene’s point values low. That being said, Mega Lucario’s worthy of this honorable mention because for gym fans or those in a pinch, Mega Lucario will really help tear down an enemy gym. You’ll just also want to find a Riolu/Lucario with the stats worth investing in, as its an egg-only pokemon.

1. Mega Mewtwo X: 19 (8/11)

And now we’ve landed on some meat. No, Mega Mewtwo X isn’t replacing either of the top two, but it’s strong. It’s a direct upgrade to Medicham and a reason that Mega Gallade barely registers as a potential investment. The only reason anyone might consider Gallade over Medicham would be if a player doesn’t have access to Medi and if Niantic allows us to walk any Raltz to gain both Gallade and Gardevoir Mega Energy.

That being said, Mewtwo on its own is a very strong Pokemon, arguably the strongest. Its Mega Y form has a better stat product, but unless it gets a new mechanic a la the Primals/Mega Ray, Y’s single typing will cut out a lot of the utility you get out of X. However, despite the tie with Abomasnow, I’d still give the advantage to Aboma just because Ice is that strong and has high seasonal utility. The frequency of Ice quad-weaknesses in the meta is frequent and can actually go up, while Fighting and Psychic are far less common.

Unlike Mega Medi, though, Mega Mewtwo (in X or Y form) would see a good amount of use. Already Shadow Mewtwo is a very strong neutral pick, and as Mewtwo can learn several elementals, including Ice Beam, it sometimes outclasses pokemon that would get STAB bonuses from said elements.

Mega Evolving should at least be similar, possibly even more. Mega X does currently lack a Fighting fast move, but in the base games, it can learn Low Kick, so Niantic could boost it even further to take over as a Fighter. Focus Blast isn’t the best Fighting move, but Aura Sphere is another potential move that could make the scary Mew clone scarier, so not only is it already statistically strong, but it could get stronger. Contrary to its counterpart in the main games, Mewtwo probably won’t reign supreme in Pokemon GO, but it will be a force to reckon with.

While this should keep you going for at least the next two years or so, things could change as in any MMO. In fact, we know they will, so don’t be surprised if this guide sees updates or, heaven forbid, another do-over!

Massively OP’s Andrew Ross is an admitted Pokemon geek and expert ARG-watcher. Nobody knows Niantic and Nintendo like he does! His Massively on the Go column covers Pokemon Go as well as other mobile MMOs and augmented reality titles!
Pokemon Go studio Niantic is considered a controversial gaming company owing to multiple scandals and deceptions, starting with the Wi-Spy privacy scandal; over the years, it’s repeatedly failed to secure player data, endangered players during the pandemic, and refused to address documented stalking in POGO. It also rolled back popular accessibility features to incentivize data collection, faked data, and lied about event results. Following 2021’s community-driven Pokemon No boycott, Niantic vowed transparency and communication; it has not delivered.
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