Gym Defense has fallen far to the wayside since the early days of Pokemon GO. That said, there are still incentives to be aware of good Gym Defenders. If your Team holds a Gym before a Raid, you get Bonus Premier Balls, Gym Defense is still a good way to casually earn Poke Coins, and then there’s always the personal goal of getting Gold Gym Badges. Whatever the reason may be, there is still interest in Gym Defense so the question must be answered: “Who are the Best Gym Defenders?”
While Gym Defense isn’t as popular as it once was, the mechanics of the “new” Gyms are pretty interesting. There are Tall Gyms vs Short Gyms, CP Decay, and Motivation Decay. Because of these unique effects, different motivations for defending a gym, and unique Gym turnover rates, one single basic Tier List doesn’t cover all the nuances of defending a Gym. As a result, there are effectively 3 different styles of Gym Defense, leading us to the 3 columns of the “Specific Gym Defense Tier List.”
Pre-Raid/<2 Hour Gym Defense focuses on Pokemon at peak performance with little to no CP or Motivation Decay. You’d want to use these Pokemon to hold a Gym before a Raid or to better hold a Gym in a bigger city. 2-6 Hour Gym Defense focuses on Pokemon that Defend Gyms well over an extended period of time and help keep the Gym Tall. You’d want to use these Pokemon to hold a Gym for 4+ hours to get your daily Poke Coins, typically in a medium/small city or suburban area. 6+ Hour Gym Defense focuses on Pokemon that perform well up to 24 hours. While pretty niche, these Pokemon can help ward off attackers in more remote areas for little upkeep, and can help bring in Gym Coins throughout the week so you don’t have to attack Gyms every day.