Here’s How To Counter Pokémon GO’s Legendary Raid Pokémon

No more rumors. Legendary Pokémon are officially coming to Pokémon GO this very weekend, first starting at Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, and if the players there defeat them (hint: they will), they’ll be released into the wide world.

As such, it’s time to start readying yourself for battle. While Tyranitar raids are currently the hardest activity in the game, expect Legendaries to be even tougher, despite having similar CP levels. They will definitely require a good-sized group to take on, and you’re going to want to give it your best shot by using the correct type of Pokémon to counter each legendary.

To figure all this out, we have to go to the series’ famous type-matching system and cross reference it with some of the strongest Pokémon currently available in Gens 1 and 2 of GO. I’m not going to include the Legendaries themselves once they’re caught, but obviously a few of them would be good counters for each other. Send that Moltres up against an Articuno, for instance.

I’m going to go ahead and just do the full list of eleven Legendaries and Mythics from both Gens, even though I doubt they’re all going to be arriving this weekend. Early indications are that it’s probably going to be the five Legendary Birds and maybe Mewtwo that show up first, with others to come later. I’ve compiled this from a lot of different guides out there, and my own experience in the game. When I say “X moveset” you want to steer toward moves of that type, if you can given the slot, and usually the most powerful moves in that slot, ie. Avalanche, Solar Beam etc. Let’s begin:

THE BIRDS

Articuno’s Best Counters:

Flareon (fire moveset), Tyranitar (rock moveset), Charizard (fire moveset), Omastar (rock moveset), Golem (rock moveset)

Zapdos’s Best Counters:

Pillowswine (rock moveset), Golem (rock moveset), Dragonite (dragon moveset), Jynx (ice/rock moveset), Tyranitar (dark/rock moveset)

Moltres’s Best Counters:

Tyranitar (dark/rock moveset), Omastar (rock moveset), Starmie (water moveset), Golem (rock moveset), Sudowudo (rock moveset)

Ho-Oh’s Best Counters:

Exactly the same as Moltres

Lugia’s Best Counters

Tyranitar (dark/rock movesest), Gengar (dark movesest), Jolteon (lightning moveset), Magneton (electric moveset), Hounddoom (dark moveset), Jynx (ice moveset)

As you can see, get yourself a Golem and a Tyranitar and pump them up as much as you can.

THE BIRDS

Articuno’s Best Counters:

Flareon (fire moveset), Tyranitar (rock moveset), Charizard (fire moveset), Omastar (rock moveset), Golem (rock moveset)

Zapdos’s Best Counters:

Pillowswine (rock moveset), Golem (rock moveset), Dragonite (dragon moveset), Jynx (ice/rock moveset), Tyranitar (dark/rock moveset)

Moltres’s Best Counters:

Tyranitar (dark/rock moveset), Omastar (rock moveset), Starmie (water moveset), Golem (rock moveset), Sudowudo (rock moveset)

Ho-Oh’s Best Counters:

Exactly the same as Moltres

Lugia’s Best Counters

Tyranitar (dark/rock movesest), Gengar (dark movesest), Jolteon (lightning moveset), Magneton (electric moveset), Hounddoom (dark moveset), Jynx (ice moveset)

As you can see, get yourself a Golem and a Tyranitar and pump them up as much as you can.

THE BEASTS

Suicune’s Best Counters:

Jolteon (electric moveset), Exeggutor (grass moveset), Venusaur (grass moveset), Victreebel (grass moveset)

Enkei’s Best Counters:

Golem (ground/rock moveset), Tyranitar (dark/rock moveset), Rhydon (ground/rock moveset), Omastar (water/rock moveset)

Raikou’s Best Counters:

Golem (ground/rock moveset), Dragonite (dragon moveset), Tyranitar (dark/rock moveset), Rhydon (ground/rock moveset), Gengar (poison/dark moveset)

Golem and Tyranitar doing similar amounts of work here, but Suicune being water not ice means it’s time for some grass types to get to work.

THE LEGENDS

Mewtwo’s Best Counters:

Tyranitar (dark moveset), Scizor (bug moveset), Pinsir (bug moveset), Alakazam (psychic/dark moveset) Gengar (dark moveset), Hounddoom (dark moveset)

Mew’s Best Counters:

Exactly the same as Metwo’s

Celebi’s Best Counters

Tyranitar (dark moveset), Pinsir (bug moveset), Scizor (bug moveset), Hounddoom (dark moveset), Gengar (dark moveset)

Gengar and bugs abound here due to the Mythic’s propensity to be psychic. Excited to use my nearly perfect Scizor for these guys.

Again, I have a hunch that at most, we will see the five legendary birds launching, but keep this page handy for reference when you want to look up counters in the future. If you type match correctly and use these specific strong Pokémon, you will greatly increase your chance of your group taking the boss down. Don’t be the person using Blissey because it has a lot of health. Strategize.

Happy hunting, stay tuned for more tips.