Top 15 Best Tank Pokémon in Combat

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
Whether in the anime or through the games, here is my list of the best tankiest non legendary Pokemon, with the best defense, alongside other attributes like typing, moveset, and overall base stats that make them the tankiest Pokemon in battle! I wanted to take in to consideration a whole load of different features, rather than just a copy/paste of the highest base defense Pokémon in the series. There are a few candidates here that are super interesting and real wildcards, they might not be what you expect! Here there are no mega evolutions, Dynamax, or wormhole Pokémon, for the same reason as that, like legendries, they would surely fill up this list first and foremost! With Pokemon of all types from Pokemon Anime and every game, here are the best Tank Pokemon in Battle and beyond!


15. Bastiodon

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
A hard-headed wannabe dinosaur like Pokemon, known as the Shield Pokemon, from Generation 4, this dual Rock and Steel Type beast has a whopping 168 defense and 138 Sp. Defense, making it one of the bulkiest hybrid tanks around. Aside from those stats, though, Bastiodon has very little in the way of battle application. The rest of its stats don't quite match up and that includes its HP. It’s in PU on Smogon for a reason. It appears to be a cross between a ceratopsian such as Zuniceratops and a bulldozer, and, resisting an impressive 9 typings, it is the go-to Pokémon in Great League used to counter veterans like Altaria, Skarmory, and Tropius.

14. Shuckle

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
Often considered to be something of a living legend amongst the Pokémon community, this hardy critter is a dual Bug and Rock Type Pokémon from Generation 2. It is known as the Mold Pokémon and is the epitome of chill, being a little yellow noodle relaxing in its shell on tropical beaches, living out all our retirement dreams. Even though it seems pretty averse to battle situations and carries a laidback temperment, it’s actually got the highest base defense of any regular Pokémon in the series, including legendaries too! It's such a surprise Pokemon, one of those hidden Easter Eggs that prove appearances are deceiving. It’s not just got extreme defense, either, it has a matching Sp. Defense to match that base 230. Unfortunately, the rest of its stats are kind of bad. There are some tricky ways to turn Shuckle into a powerhouse. But those strategies aren’t very practical. Although having all your stats allocated to defense isn't always a bad thing, as proved by Maple aka Kaede Honjou in our Best Anime with OP MC ranking!

13. Cloyster

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
Best Tank Pokemon Designs
Known as the Bivalve Pokémon, a dual type Water and Ice Pokemon we've known since Generation 1, this little black pearl clam-like critter is a familiar face. This questionably-shaped Pokémon become infamous ever since it was introduced alongside the original 151 Pokémon. It is encased inside a light grey shell, inside a blue violet coloured casing, which not only looks interesting but offers incredible defense stat. Cloyster is a rather unique tank Pokemon, on account of it having great potential as a sweeper or a wall breaker. This is in no small part thanks to its access to moves like Spikes and Shell Smash. It can also have the Skill Link ability which makes multi-strike moves such as Icicle hit as many times as possible, meaning Cloyster becomes your very own heavily-armored chip damage machine-gun. However, where Cloyster should excel on paper, is in defense. It has a base defense of 180, which is pretty high, especially for an old-school Pokémon. It does have one giant weakness that prevents it from being a competitively viable wall, though: Its ice typing. Ice-types aren’t really seen in the competitive circuit. There are too many counters that can punch holes through and ice types defenses, regardless of how high a Pokémon’s stats are.

12. Miltank

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
A Normal type Pokémon introduced in Generation 2, it is known as the Milk Cow Pokémon and is known to produce a very nutritious milk, a perfect drink for reviving sick Pokémon. With only a defense of 105, although it does have a surprisingly high speed of 100, the reason it is included here is for one reason only: Whitney. We all remember the pain of playing through Gold and Silver and coming up against this brick wall. For the level you’re at when you encounter this gym, you are not ready for the self-healing and damage absorption capabilities that Miltank brings to the table. Sure, you’re not going to see this pink menace represented at the Championships anytime soon. But the memory of Whitney’s gym is still fresh in the minds of many a survivor.

11. Metagross

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
With a mention in the Heaviest Pokemon Ranked list, you might expect Metagross to have some serious tank-ability! A dual Steel and Psychic type Pokémon from Generation 3, it is known as the Iron Leg Pokémon and has some all-around good stats that make it viably competitive in any format, with the exception of Ubers. A base defense of 130 and an attack of 135 means that you can build a Metagross to be either attack or defense based, whichever you prefer. Even if it isn't as competitive as other steel types, with the highest base Defense stat of all pseudo-legendary Pokémon, it more than deserves its place on this list.

10. Snorlax

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
Even though Snorlax gets a little left out in recent years, with each new generation bringing out rosters that knock Snorlax lower and lower down the tier totem pole, it still carries an Sp. Defense and an attack of 110, meaning it is still perfectly capable of holding its own. Despite its relaxed demeanor and napping habits, it's actually got a pretty healthy HP stat of 160 to boot. Sometimes you can't go wrong with an OG! Game Freak knew what they were doing when they created this gentle giant.

9. Umbreon

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
Umbreon doesn’t look like your average tanky Pokemon, but it can really take a hit! A base Sp. Defense of 130 and Defense of 110 guarantees this eveelution a spot in the lower levels of competition for years to come. Appearing a lot like a black cat Pokemon, it is a Dark type Eeveelution Pokemon from Generation 2 that is also known as the Moonlight Pokémon. It carries beautiful gold rounded ring markings on its black body that glow in the dark and this elegant shadowy Pokemon, unlike the original three Eeveelutions, which all required specific elemental stones, can be evolved from an Eevee with a high-enough friendship level, so long as you level it up during night (another game mechanic first added in Generation 2). It has access to both Wish and Heal Bell, making it one of the best clerics in the game regardless of format. It’s unfortunate that we don’t see much of it when the pros play.

8. Chansey

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
A big pink, puffy Pokemon from Generation 1, Chansey is a Normal Type Pokemon known as the Egg Pokemon for its ability to provide delicious and nutritious eggs for all to eat! Like a super tanky chicken Pokemon, it also appears on this list! Chansey's monstrous base HP of 250 and high Special Defense stats make it the bulkiest special wall in the tier, boasting the ability to reliably handle the majority of the special attackers that the OU tier has to offer. To further accentuate its defensive prowess, Chansey has access to a plethora of viable utility moves such as Stealth Rock, Toxic, Thunder Wave, and Heal Bell, which makes it a must on almost all stall teams. Chansey, given that it hasn’t evolved, can make use of the Eviolite. This niche held item gives Chansey a 1.5x boost to both its defense and Sp. defensive stats. Even though its typing may be unadventageous, you may often catch a glimpse of this pink Pokemon being put up against legendaries in the competitive arena. In the right situation and opportunity, Chansey is a total dark horse in the competition and can become an absolute world-beater at all levels of play.

7. Blissey

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
The evolved form of Chansey, statwise Blissey seems superior to it in every way. Let's just disregard the potential that the Eviolite brings to the table. Blissey’s stats are simply better, with an Sp. defense of 135 and an HP of 255. Like Chansey, it only has one weakness, too, which is pretty amazing. A Normal type Pokémon introduced in Generation 2, it is known as the Happiness Pokémon and has a large, ovoid body with a pink upper body and white lower body. It has cherub-like curls on either side of its head. Which evolution of the Blissey line you prefer to use ultimately comes down to personal preference and confidence. You can run a stronger Chansey, but then you’re pigeon-holed into using an Eviolite. Blissey doesn’t carry that restriction, giving you greater variety when it comes to playstyle.

6. Tyranitar

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
Built as an absolute beast and our strongest Dark Type Pokemon ranked! It possesses dual Rock and Dark typing and was first introduced in Generation 2, known as the Armour Pokemon. It has an epic movepool, even alongside its amazing offensive stats and a Mega Evolution making it even more formidable, including powerful same-type moves like Crunch, and others to provide coverage like Earthquake or Fire Punch. It may be a bit of a wait levelling him up to evolve in to this badass form but you will enjoy every inch of this strongest Dark Type Pokemon! We all know and love this Pokémon, no matter how many hours of your life you’ve wasted breeding genetically altered animals to pit against others in combat. Tyranitar is typically built as an attacker. And that’s understandable given its base 134 attack. However, it also has a defense of 110 and an Sp. Defense of 100. Combine that with it being built perfectly for a Sandstorm team, and great STAB potential to complement those stats, too, making T-Tar one of the most powerful hybrid tanks in the Pokedex. PS check out these Best Tyranitar Nicknames ideas here!

5. Steelix

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
With an astronomical 200 base defense, Steelix is one of the best tank Pokemon to date! This Iron Snake Pokemon from Generation 2 also carries solid dual Steel and Ground typing and has a mega evolution that boasts the highest defense in the game, tied with Shuckle. Now we’re getting into the big boys of the defensive game as its attacking potential is well worth noting too, plus Steelix also gets access to Stealth Rock. How could one be tankier?

4. Skarmory

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
A dual Steel/Flying Type Pokémon from Generation 2, it is known as the Armor Bird Pokémon and carries a defensive stat of 140 and an attack of 80, both of which are lower than Steelix. Despite this, Skarmory sees action at the very top of the Pokémon mountain, which is territory untouched by Steelix. Having access to moves such as Toxic, Whirlwind, and spikes, it's all to do with Skarmory’s ability to set up. It definitely looks like part, entirely encased in hard, protective armor. This Pokémon flies at close to 190 mph and is overall a staple for Great League PvP, featuring great bulk, an excellent typing, and a good moveset. Being well-known as a terrific flier in the meta, it's almost always a great pick due to its 10 resistances and excellent performance in the meta. Who knew a bird, thought to be such a tiny and delicate creature, could have such good defense?

3. Avalugg

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
I will never not think this Pokemon's name is inviting me for a cuddle. That and avocados. Avalugg is a niche pick, but it dominates that niche with force. It possesses a defense of 184 alongside an attack of 117, which is very, very nice. An Ice type Pokémon introduced in Generation 6, it is known as the Iceberg Pokémon and possesses a hard frozen coating that resembles an iceberg. It possesses massive physical bulk that is hugely advantageous in combat, allows it to stomach hits from pretty much any physical attacker... physically oriented Gliscor, Mega Pinsir, and Mega Mawile lacking Iron Head. Its only qualm is its defensive typing is possibly one of the worst in the game, which can leave it prone to being worn down by hazards, mostly Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes. Ahh typing. The metagame hasn’t been ice friendly for a long time.

2. Toxapex

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
A dual Poison/Water type Pokémon introduced in Generation 7, it is known as the Brutal Star Pokémon and may be somewhat new to the game but definitely packs a punch. It has already made an impact on the meta comparable to world-beaters like Garchomp and Hydreigon, although for entirely different reasons. Along with an incredible moveset that sports numerous heals, Haze, and Toxic Spikes, it also has a formidable base defense of 152 and an Sp. Defense of 142. Its typing is definitely curious too and performs beautifully defensively in combat, making Toxapex one of the greatest defensive picks for Pokémon at its highest level and best defensive Pokemon all round, even if it looks like the spiky outerside of a conker shell!

1. Ferrothorn

Best Tank Pokemon Designs
A dual Grass/Steel type Pokémon from Generation 5, it is known as the Thorn Pod Pokémon and is our Tankiest Pokemon on this list! When Ferrothorn was first introduced back in the day, it shot to the very top of the competitive circuit. Ferrothorn has been a defensive stalwart since its introduction, with tremendous defensive stats on both sides of the spectrum, and solid typing that affords it 9 resistances and an immunity, it is a tough nut to crack. As one of the best hazard setters the game has ever seen, a defense and Sp. Defense of 131 and 116 respectively put it at the mid-to-high tier of overall defense. Its typing is just formidable too, with access to both Spikes and Stealth Rock, which is invaluable. It can also learn Knock Off and Leech Seed to complement its entry hazard setting capabilities. Ferrothorn regularly makes an appearance in the Master’s Division and will continue to do so for years to come. Great for solo runs in the main titles too, it proves to be one of the most versatile Pokemon in combat and one of the best defensive Pokemon all round!


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