When I tear-up enemy gyms, I always select my favourite pokemon as the initial defender. He has only 500-CP. Sure, he is defeated soon after, but that is ok. He is my buddy. I want him to have the glory. And, I have no clue about how to defend gyms... it seems to me that picking a high CP pokemon makes no difference and wastes potions.

So, can I make my low CP pokemon the lead defender of a friendly gym? If I battle with one of my 2000+CP pokemons and defeat everyone in a friendly gym, could I make my 500-CP the top defender? So everyone can (briefly) see him at the top? Or, is the order of defense only based on CP? Ignoring HP is ridiculous, but whatever. CP decides the order of defense?

  • 2
    CP decides the order of defense? - Yes
    – pay
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


The gym leader of the gym (or as you state, the lead defender) is decided only by CP. The strongest CP Pokemon is the gym leader. The order of Pokemon you battle in an opposing gym corresponds to ascending CP, starting with the lowest CP Pokemon and ending with the highest CP Pokemon, which is the gym leader.

Here's a relevant article that explains how to become a gym leader.

  • I don't think that article is correct. In the past, I've defeated 2 out of 3 defenders in a friendly gym. I get some XP, but no slots open-up. Next time I see a Flareon at the bottom, I'll light him up with some Vaporeon action and see if a slot opens up. I don't think it will. Too low on potions to try right now though. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 20:14
  • 1
    Take a look here: ca.ign.com/wikis/pokemon-go/… - This explains the different gym levels, the XP required for those levels and how many slots they have available.
    – pay
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 20:40
  • @khaeson Slots don't open up when you are training (when you are battling a friendly gym). Here's a helpful question: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/272556/…
    – wcarhart
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 22:12
  • @ThePickleTickler Slot do open up when training, once the Gym acquires enough prestige to level up - as the answer to that question states. Did you mean they don't open up when Attacking?
    – EBongo
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 0:52
  • @EBongo training can raise the prestige, which then causes more slots to open up, but it is the prestige that opens slots, not specifically because you beat another friendly Pokemon while training
    – wcarhart
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 1:19

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