Why Vaporeons Dominate 'Pokémon Go' Gyms & What to Do About It

Pokémon Go

While the whole point of Pokémon Go is to get off your ass and endeavor to, as they say, catch 'em all, it turns out you need only one particular Pokémon to easily dominate the game's Gyms: Vaporeon. Look around your neighborhood and you'll find dozens of Gyms defended by Vaporeons, countless other trainers with at least one Vaporeon, and perhaps even a stampede of people attempting to catch a wild Vaporeon. They're everywhere -- and for good reason. 

The apparent proliferation of Vaporeons is likely due to how ridiculously easy it is to attain them. All you have to do is evolve an Eevee, which requires just 25 Eevee Candy, and utilize a widely known Easter Egg to ensure you end up with a Vaporeon instead of the two other 'Eeveelutions,' Jolteon and Flareon. Combine this with Vaporeon's place as the 13th most powerful Pokémon in the entire game, and it suddenly makes perfect sense why everyone's got one and why you probably want one so badly now.

The Vaporeon advantage has even become a bit of running joke among some players:

Other players, however, are calling on the company behind the game, Niantic Labs, to release an update in which Vaporeon is less powerful and effective in Pokémon battles, or as they say in gamer parlance, "nerf" it. A growing Reddit thread thoroughly details the issue:

As many commenters explain, the problem boils down to how easy it is to get a Vaporeon, its unusually high base stats, and most importantly, the potentially unmatched combination of speed and damage of its standard Water Gun attack. Specifically, Water Gun can be used twice per second and inflicts 10 damage. Meanwhile, the electric Pokémon that are traditionally good against Water types are saddled with a Thunder Shock attack that you'd think would be equally effective, but is actually slower and only does 5 damage, according to a report by Kotaku.

The Kotaku report goes on to explain how this translates in battle: "... Vaporeon’s edge lies mainly in its high damage per second output, as well as its ability to take a hit thanks to high stamina. And given that 'super effective' moves only do 1.2 times damage instead of the typical 2x in the main games, even monsters that are supposed to wreck Vaporeon don’t really pose much of a threat." Well, damn.

Silph Road

So... how the hell can you beat a Vaporeon?

Let's just say it's not going to be easy. Remember, Vaporeon is the 13th most powerful Pokémon in the game, which means there are 12 others that are potentially strong enough and suited to defeat it. The only problem is, unlike Vaporeon, these 12 Pokémon are either difficult to attain or -- in the case of Mew, Mewtwo, and the three Legendary Birds -- so rare that they haven't even appeared in the game yet. However, some players suggest relatively rare Pokémon like Snorlax or Lapras as your best bet.

Some have also suggested using strong Grass types, like Victreebell. We've also heard of cases in which a Venusaur smacked down a Vaporeon with its Solar Beam attack, so it's probably not impossible to beat them by other means if your Pokémon of choice is similarly powerful. One thing is certain, though: you'll never find out if you don't try. Good luck. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and made the mistake of going with a Jolteon with his first Eevee evolution. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.