The most useful Pokemon
Tyranitar has to be the top of this list for many reasons. For starters hes the highest base stat pokemon in the game! He dominates attacking gyms, several current raid bosses, and future legendary pokemon( If you haven't already read about future raid boss match-ups here! He is a top choice for 7 of the 11 legendary from gen 1 and 2). He has two great move setups Bite Crunch (the pure dark setup) and Bite Stone Edge( dark rock setup). He will have a long life in the current game as he is, then late in the game he will Mega-Evolve( a state which makes the base stats of a pokemon shoot through the roof!) and once again be a very top tier pokemon.. even in gen 7! Talk about a pokemon you can get a lot of use out of with the investment of dust!
Rhydon is already one of the highest base stat pokemon we have access too. He will be the best counter for the legendary pokemon Raiku by using dual ground moves, Mudslap and Earthquake. He is also the best counter for a tier 3 Jolteon with this move set. So the really good news? He evolves again in gen 4 ! When he evolves in gen 4 into Rhyperior he will have higher base stats than tyranitar! So this is a pokemon you will definitely be able to get some use out of!
Scizor has yet too have a major usefulness in the game yet, but this is simply because of matchups with whats in the game. Scizor will be to the legendary pokemon Celebi what machamp is to tyranitar.. but better because he will not only have the massive damage output, he also is resistant to almost everything Celebi has access to for attacks! In fact scizor is only weak too one thing, fire!( it is a double weakness so definitely avoid using Scizor against a fire type!) What makes this even more valuable to max out ? He also has a future Mega Evolution!
So you want strong pokemon to throw in gyms with the new gym system? You also don't want to be completely wasting stardust on something that will only be useful for a brief period? Steelix is an excellent choice, hes a touch defender in the current gym system, he wont suffer 10% decay per hour when hes maxed out and oh yeah, he mega evolves so he will be useful again in the future!
Note: Gym defenders should be secondary things to work on, you should focus on attacking teams first, especially with legendary raids and PVP in the not too distant future!
Slowbro is another excellent choice as a gym defender, for his base stats he is insanely strong! His combination of attacks also give him nasty defending combinations! Also, you guessed it, he has a future mega evolution!
Ampharos is only weak to ground type attacks, has a good balance of its stats. It can currently be useful versus a Tier 4 Lapras boss. It is also a good choice as a gym defender because it only has 1 weakness! This is also yet another pokemon with a mega evolution! When Ampharos mega evolves his typing changes to dragon and electric. But he will still be another useful pokemon in the future! This is a decent choice that can serve some purpose now in the very short term for raid battles against Lapras(who has few viable pokemon that are good against it), be used as a good gym defender and will mega evolve in the future to get more bang for your buck! Pretty good addition to a trainers collection!
Side note: If you're wanting it mainly as an electric type attacker I would suggest holding out for Zapdos or Raiku. If you want something to play with now, then once those come out use it as a defender till it mega evolves in the future, Ampharos could give you a lot of use for the stardust!
Gyarados isn't currently a great investment, or at least not to max out! He was best as a gym defender before the update made anything over 3000 CP essentially useless to drop(because pokemon CP 3000 or more deteriorate at 10% well anything below does at 1% .. yeah pretty stupid). He also is a mediocre attacker, because of the attacks he has available! But he also has a mega evolution which gives him massive stat increases in the future, this evolution turns him into a Dark Water type, which this might now make sense for you reading this as to why he has bite and crunch as available attack sets ;)
Pinsir is a single type bug pokemon. He isn't super useful mainly because everything he could shine at he is a second best choice to Scizor. The reason why is he has slightly lower base stats(very slightly) than Scizor. The main thing though that makes him a poor choice in comparison is his typing. Scizor being a Steel-Bug dual type makes him have much better resistances! The fact that both of their charge moves are the same and the difference in their fast moves that are current is a relatively insignificant difference(BiteBite for Pinsir and FuryCutter for Scizor, BugBite has better DPS but but FuryCutter has superior EPS). He will get double weakness bonus versus the legendary pokemon Celebi with his BugBite X-Scissor combo, however he wont be able to take as much punishment as Scizor can because Scizor has better resistance matchups. Pinsir does have a future mega evolution just like Scizor, so he wouldnt be a bad investment, however Scizor is a much better investment. I personally will eventually max out a pinsir just because, but its not something i'm rushing for(I have a 98% and will most likely wait for a 100%), this is because I wont use him very much if at all.
Heracross is a dual type Bug Fighting pokemon. He currently isn't the best for anything as his main usefulness would be using his fighting type as a counter for a tier 4 tyranitar. However Machamp is the better choice because he has Dynamic punch and Heracross only has Close Combat. However since Heracross has a future mega evolution, powering up a Heracross over a Machamp would give you more usefullness over time. However when the Mega evolution for Heracross is out Mega Mewtwo X will also be available which is a dual Psychic Fighting type and will dwarf Mega pinsir in base stats.. by a lot! So you could get some good use out of him, however he isnt going to be the best at doing anything currently or in the distant future!
Gengar is a dual type Ghost Poison type pokemon. He has a massive attack stat comparatively to pokemon in game. Unfortunately the things he would be most useful against he is weak against because of having a Poison type hes weak against psychic, because hes Ghost hes weak against Ghost! The upside is he is the strongest Ghost type, he has massive damage through Shadow Claw(a legacy move Hex is the current best move) and Shadow Ball, and he has a future Mega evolution! As his practical usefulness isn't great i wouldn't make this a top pick, but he would be a good addition to a collection.
Dragonite is the second highest base stat pokemon in the game and even once all 11 legendary pokemon in gen 1 and 2 are released he will still be ranked 4th. He has some huge damage attacks, and only two types are resistant to his dragon moves(steel and fairy). He also is a flying type and is currently the strongest Dragon and Flying type pokemon! He will be useful for a long time despite him having no mega evolution. This is a pokemon that is a great addition for any trainers attacking team!
Side Note: DO NOT Re Roll Dragon Breath or Dragon Claw! These two moves are very powerful and are legacy! A Dragonite with either or both of these moves will be a top pick for future pvp!
Vaporeon is the strongest of the water type pokemon in the game and will even still be the strongest when the water type legendary pokemon Suicune is released. Vaporeon has been insanely strong since the game was released, both as a defender and an attacker. In fact Vaporeon has been so over-powered it has been nerfed(reduced in strength) multiple times and is still a top tier pokemon! You should already have this pokemon, if not you should get one! No future evolutions or mega, but in current game it is the best of its type, a pokemon every trainer needs to have!
Exeggutor is a dual type Grass Psychic pokemon. It is currently the highest base stat pokemon for grass type and has two insanely powerful grass type moves, Seed Bomb and Solarbeam. With Solarbeam this pokemon is an insanely powerful attacker! With Seed Bomb it is a strong defender! This is an excellent choice as an addition to a trainers team! I sometimes use a full team of Exeggutors, when I solo tier 3 Vaporeon at least half of my team is Exeggutor!
Venasaur was one of my favorite pokemon growing up, despite him being the strongest pure Grass type pokemon, he is a little underwhelming. However he is still useful as an attacker despite him doing less damage than Exeggutor. What makes Venasaur a decent addition to your pokemon team is that he is currently useful(unless you have 6 max Exeggutors) and he has a Future Mega evolution. This means you can currently get some use out of him and then in the future you will get some more use out of him! Not a bad choice to put dust into!
Aerodactyle is a mediocre pokemon as well as being difficult to acquire candies for. He doesnt even have stab moves for primary attacks. If you just want something cool to throw in a gym you could power him up and eventually maybe get some usefulness out of him other than that with future mega evolution. I have a 98 and a lot of candies and still wont dump dust into him up to this point though, which is saying a lot considering I have up to 13 max versions of some pokemon!
Charizard is a cool pokemon, I think a lot of pokemon fans would agree. However hes just not very good in the Pogo world. He has two mega evolutions which is something to be hopeful for, but lets be real, he has a lot of weaknesses and even double weaknesses and he isnt even the strongest for either one of his types. He exhibits no move sets that aren't available on better pokemon of his type. But if you think hes cool powering one up to toss in gyms and waiting for his two mega evolutions wouldn't be a terrible idea in my opinion if you have extra stardust. This being said, if youre in need of stronger attacking teams and aren't already set, this would be a very bad idea as hes a very poor choice for actual usefulness.
Blastoise i am honestly only putting in here because I figured if I didn't people would think i made a mistake! But no, if you were wondering, Blastoise despite having a future mega evolution, is a terrible allocation of resources. Even his Mega evolution is so weak it will probably never have any use. I would only power one up if i just literally had so much dust i couldn't use it all on the rest of the life of the game. I have a 100% best attacks and cant power him up, because it would be a literal waste as i wouldn't ever put him in my team. What makes him so poor is you're talking about a pokemon that when it mega evolves would not be much higher stats than Vaporeon is currently.. and their best moves are the same. I liked him as a trainer.. but that doesn't exist anymore, hes a collectors piece now!
Alakazam has usefulness in the game currently as the hardest hitting psychic type and has the highest attack stat of any pokemon currently in the game( When legendary are released he will still be #2.. but #1 is Mewtwo). The problem with Alakazam is the same problem there has always been with Alakazam, hes what we used to call back in the 90's the "poor-mans Mewtwo", why ? because he is literally just a weak version of Mewtwo. He is Dwarfed by Mewtwo in every department, Attack, Defense and HP. Hes so Dwarfed that even with a much better attack (future sight), he still does way less DPS than Mewtwo with Psychic. He has a Mega evolution .. but Mewtwo has 2. Once you have a Mewtwo you wont ever use him again, with legendary pokemon hopefully coming soon, youre probably better off waiting and hunting a Mewtwo.. or a Lugia, or a Mew.. all Psychic pokemon.. all better than Alakazam!(Mewtwo is the king of the Psychic types though, remember that!)
Machamp has the best possible fighting type move combination in the game currently, and with Tyranitar bosses and their double weakness to fighting(1.9X damage), they are very useful for this purpose. This is something that could help you a lot for this purpose, as well as being a decent choice versus Lapras or Rhydon(against Rhydon though .. i would go with Vaporeon or Exeggutor for sure!) bosses. This is a pokemon that will be helpful, but will have a short lived usefulness, I wouldn't go powering up a ton if you're not stacked on dust!
Lapras is one of the best defenders in the current meta. However it isn't going to see much usefulness in the future! It alright for attacking gyms, but even with double weakness against a Dragonite its still not that great due to its insanely poor attack stat(i just use a Dragonite versus a Dragonite). If you get a good one and have the candies maybe make one, if you really want strong defenders and you already are set on attacking teams then it might be worthwhile.
Blissey is the Reining champion of the gym and will continue to be for a long time to come(even more so with the change that makes placement not determined by CP). However now its better as a defender as long as it is under 3000 CP(ideally just under). This is a pokemon that will have uses in future PVP. Both Blissey and Chansey are still used in current pokemon game tournaments(some of this usefulness will be determined by what features from pokemon games transfer over to Pogo). If you want a really strong defender this is an excellent choice(but i think we all know that !)!
Jolteon is the best electric type available in the game because of its stats and available attacks. It is useful currently, but with Zapdos and Raiku coming soon this isn't somewhere I would recommend dumping stardust, once you have a Zapdos or Raiku Jolteon will be forever useless! If you want a Electric pokemon I would say go for Ampharos, since it has a future mega, you will most likely get more out of the investment of your resources there!
Conclusion: These are all the most useful pokemon currently available. Some of them are absolute must investments, as they are currently the best and will have future use as well! Others are simply here because they are the current best of their type, but their days are very numbered(hopefully a short number! I think we all want legendary pokemon!), as well as a few I just felt people would want to know about or I think should know about! I hope this information helps you plan your resources better so you can be as strong of a trainer as possible with what your resources are!
SideNote: I make these guides solely to help players, the whole reason I even bought this domain, built this site and spend tons of time out of my gaming time to write these guides is because I found it so annoying how much bad information is out there simply made to generate clicks(why i don't run adds on my site). Even so called "trusted sources" I have found to be so poor I cant even make it through reading or watching them. I have been gaming for 20+ years and I know what its like to put work into a game, trust bad information and waste a ton of work I put into something to simply find out I wasted my time and now needed to work for something else. Quite simply it takes away a lot of the fun. Quite frankly writing it once in a blog so i can just link it also makes it way easier to give advice than rewriting or reteaching the same information over and over ! Haha!
There are a ton of amazing people I have met in this community and you all are the ones that motivate me to spend my time writing these, thank you all for the friendship and fun we have all had over the last year playing this game! I hope this next year leads to even more friendships and fun for all of us! hope this helps as many people as possible to have as much fun as possible!
Final Note: I have large lapses in my posts and the main reasons are I have limited time as this is something I do in my free time and so I mainly write these for major things I believe will help players(smaller things I will sometimes hit record and throw on my Youtube account, if you want event advice from me thats the only way you will get it, because first I am a player!). I also specifically don't write guides immediately after major updates, why? With most major updates things don't stay the same, theres small adjustments and changes, so giving advice right away could be detrimental to a player. The other reason for this is the only way to give the best advice is after actually testing things, crunching numbers etc. We have some major updates in the near future, the biggest updates additions and changes we have seen! I will make a point to get guides out for everyone as soon as possible! Few other small project i might be able to complete in the meantime depending on when we get a major addition or update :)
Addition due to questions
Golem: Not originally adding Golem was no mistake, i just covered legendary pokemon match-ups here.( ill make it simple here, but if you want a more in depth explanation click for that guide on Legendary match-ups.). Golem only has 1 thing going for him, rock fast and rock charge moves. This only gives him a slight advantage over tyranitar versus 3 legendary birds out of 11, tyranitar for instance is a counter to 7. Tyranitar not only is more useful in way more of these matchups, hes also the strongest Rock and Dark type, and he has a future mega evolution. Which seems smarter, powering the one that is already the strongest current pokemon of two types, has a future mega evolution and is a counter to 7 of the 11 legendary pokemon. Or the pokemon that is 3rd best rock, 3rd best ground has no future evolution etc, all because it has a few % better dps in 3 fights. This guide is for value, golem is not a value.