Best Pokémon to Evolve, TM, and Power-up for Raids

What are the Pokémon you need to evolve, use Training Machines on, and power-up to beat the Bosses in Pokémon Go's new Battle Raids? Here's your updated list!

With Battle Raids, you and other trainers of all three teams join up to beat the Raid Boss in order to win rare candies, Quick and Charge TMs, Golden Razz Berries, and a chance to catch the Boss! But, in order to win treats, catches, and glory, you need the best Pokémon for the battle, and those Pokémon need the best movesets.

To get the best Pokémon, you have to catch or evolve them. To get the best movesets, you'll need luck and Technical Machines (TM). To power them up, you'll need stardust and candy. But before you can get the best, you need to know the best to get. Here they are!


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TL;DR: What are the best Pokémon to evolve, TM, and power-up for Raids?

Pokémon Fast Charge Use to counter
Machamp Counter Dynamic Punch Lapras, Snorlax, Tyranitar
Rhydon Mud Slap Earthquake Quilava, Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Arcanine, Flareon, Jolteon, Charizard
Golem Mud Slap Earthquake Quilava, Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Arcanine, Flareon, Jolteon, Charizard
Vaporeon Water Gun Hydro Pump Rhydon, Tyranitar, Charizard, Arcanine, Magmar, Flareon
Tyranitar Bite Crunch Alakazam, Gengar, Weezing, Electabuzz
Exeggutor Bullet Seed Solar Beam Blastoise, Rhydon, Vaporeon, Croconaw, Machamp
Venusaur Vine Whip Solar Beam Blastoise, Rhydon, Vaporeon, Croconaw, Tyranitar
Jolteon Thunder Shock Thunderbolt Blastoise, Lapras, Croconaw
Flareon Fire Spin Overheat Exeggutor, Venusaur, Bayleaf
Charizard Fire Spin Overheat Exeggutor, Venusaur, Bayleaf
Alakazam Confusion Future Sight Machamp, Snorlax
Espeon Confusion Future sight Machamp
Scizor Fury Cutter X-Scissor Exeggutor, Alakazam
Dragonite Dragon Tail Outrage Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Machamp, Venusaur, Snorlax, Bayleaf

Machamp

Beats Tyranitar, Snorlax, Lapras

Machamp with Counter + Dynamic Punch was already a force to be reckoned with in Gyms and it's every bit as devastating in Raids. Tyranitar-breaker, Snorlax-smasher, Lapras-crusher, and maybe one day, Blissey's bane, the combination of Fighting-type and double Fighting moves earns it same-type bonus and double effective against Tyranitar, and makes it one of the few Pokémon that can also put a hurt on the big Normal types. Machamp isn't a tank, so dodge the big charge moves when you can, and it doesn't counter as many Bosses as Rydon, but it counters the most Tier 4 Bosses right now, and that makes it not just a Machamp but a Raid Champ as well.

Evolve: 25 candies from Machop to Machoke, 100 candies from Machoke to Machamp

Best movesets: Counter + Dynamic Punch

Usable movesets: Counter + Close Combat, Karate Chop + Cross Chop



Rhydon

Beats Quilava, Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Arcanine, Flareon, Jolteon, and Charizard

Rhydon keeps surprising. Last year it got a CP boost that put it among the top Gym squatters. This year, its type-matching and movesets makes it the most versatile Boss-beater in the game. It may not counter the Tier 4 Bosses like Machamp, but it counters the most Bosses. Score Mud Slap and Earthquake and it's the best counter to Quilava, Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Arcanine, Flareon, Jolteon, and Charizard. That's thanks to its Ground typing, and Raid Battles totally avoiding its otherwise double weakness to Water and Grass.

Evolve: 50 candies from Rhyhorn to Rhydon

Best movesets: Mud Slap + Earthquake (against Quilava, Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Jolteon, Flareon)

Usable Movesets: Mud Slap + Stone Edge (against Arcanine, Flareon, Charizard)


Golem

Beats Quilava, Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Arcanine, Flareon, Jolteon, and Charizard

Golem has always been a less powerful, harder to evolve, if less vulnerable, version of Rhydon. That was enough to keep it off of Gyms under the old system but now it lets Golem go toe-to-hoof against many of the same Raid Bosses and, in the case of Fire- and Flying-type combos, match up even better. That's good now for Charizard but it could be even better when the Legendary Raids come and Moltres makes an appearance. Either way, Golem is now a must-have to round out any Rhydon lineup.

Evolve: 25 candies from Geodude to Gravler, 100 candies from Graveler to Golem.

Best movesets: Mud Slap + Earthquake (Quilava, Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Arcanine, Jolteon, potentially Zapados)

Usable Movesets: Rock Throw + Stone Edge (against Arcanine, Flareon, Charizard, potentially Moltres)



Vaporeon

Beats Rhydon, Tyranitar, Charizard, Arcanine, Magmar, Flareon

Vaporeon has had its ups and downs in Pokémon Go but thanks to its tank-like endurance and high damage output its always managed to claim a high spot on every list. The same holds true for Raid Battles. Neither Rhydon nor Tyranitar can hold up against Vape's Water Gun and Hydro Pump combo, and because attackers get to pick the matchups, you can totally avoid any big Grass-types that would otherwise do it harm. Vaporeon is even useful as backup against the Fire Bosses: Arcanine, Magmar, and Flareon.

Evolve: 25 candies from Eevee to Vaporeon. (Note: Split evolution).

Best movesets: Water Gun + Hydro Pump

Usable movesets: Water Gun + Aqua Tail



Tyranitar

Beats Alakazam, Gengar, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Charizard, Snorlax

Tyranitar is the Godzilla of Pokémon Go but up until now has also been something of a mixed monster: super-high CP but super weak to Fighting and weak to water. With Raids, though, you get to put the monster first, and that means Tyranitar's huge stats and Dark and Stone combo with Bite + Stone Edge can mix it up with Psychics, Poisons, and some Electrics, and Fires. With double Dark movesets, namely Bite with Crunch, Tyranitar can really put a pounding on Psychic types like Alakazam — and perhaps one day soon, Mew and Mewtwo as well.

Evolve: 25 candies from Larvitar to Pupitar, 100 candies from Pupitar to Tyranitar.

Best movesets: Bite + Stone Edge (against Alakazam, Gengar, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Charizard)

Usable movesets: Bite + Crunch (against Alakazam, Gengar, potentially Mew and Mewtwo)


Dragonite

Beats Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Machamp, Venusaur, Snorlax, Bayleaf

Dragonite is and always will be a badass in Pokémon Go. So, even though it's not the best counter to any of the current Raid Bosses, it's a good counter to many of them. Since a lot of people collected and maxed out a lot of them, that makes Dragonite one of the best ways to round out any Battle Group and put a beating on a bunch of different bosses.

Evolve: 25 candies from Dratini to Dragonair, 100 candies from Dragonair to Dragonite

Best movesets: Dragon Tail + Outrage

Usable movesets: Dragon Tail + Hurricane (against Machamp)



Should you evolve first, or power up first?

Evolve first, power up second. It's tempting to power up first, because instant gratification is instant, but it'll cost you less Stardust in the long run to evolve and strategically power up only your best Raid Boss beaters.

Long story short, you never know what moveset you're going to end up with until you evolve (see below). And even though you can get Technical Machines now and teach your Pokémon new moves, the better moves you get up front, the more you can save those TMs for the Pokémon that really need them.

So, get the evolution out of the way and then you'll know exactly what you're spending your precious Stardust and TMs on and can make a more informed decision.

Should you evolve and power up right away or wait for better Pokémon?

The longer you wait, the better chance you have of catching or hatching a base Pokémon with higher stats (IV). The higher the stats, the higher the potential CP of you eventual Pokémon evolution. So, it makes sense to wait as long as you can before evolving. For example, if you're going for a third stage evolution, don't do the second stage right away. Wait and do both the second stage right before you're ready to do the third stage. That way, if you get a higher stats later, you can evovle that one instead. You're not stuck with your earlier evolution.

In other words, don't evolve Pupitar until you're ready to evolve Tyranitar because you could get a much better Larvitar by the time you get to 125 candies than the one you had at 25 candies.

And even if you get to 125 candies, if you don't have a Pokémon with high stats (IV) to evolve, you can keep waiting until you do.

Great... but how do you get enough Candy to evolve?

To evolve you need Candy. A lot of it. The amount you need starts small but grows as you get to higher levels. Candy also has to match the Pokéman family you want to evolve or power up. So you need Geodude Candy to evolve to Graveler and Golem, and you need more Geodude Candy to power up Golem as well.

  • 3 Candies per base-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
  • 5 Candies per second-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
  • 10 Candies per third-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
  • 1 Candy per Pokémon transferred to the Professor.
  • 5 to 15 Candies per 2 KM Egg hatched.
  • 10 to 21 Candies per 5 KM Egg hatched.
  • 16 to 32 Candies per 10 KM Egg hatched.
  • 1 Candy per Buddy distance walked.
  • 6 Candies per base-level Pokémon caught in the wild while using a Pinap Berry.
  • 10 Candies per second-level Pokémon caught in the wild while using a Pinap Berry.
  • 20 Candies per third-level Pokémon caught in the wild while using a Pinap Berry.

How do you know which specific Pokémon to evolve?

If a Pokémon is particularly rare you might not have much choice as to which one you evolve. If you live in a place where Eevee spawn every few minutes, though, deciding which one(s) to evolve can be trickier. That's where appraisals come in.

Appraisals are how Pokémon Go surfaces the hidden IV stats of the game. All Pokémon have these three stats: stamina, attack, and defense. You can get a good idea of where your Pokémon ranks by having your Team Leader appraise your Pokémon.

How to appraise your Pokémon in Pokémon Go

Ideally, you want to evolve the Pokémon with the best appraisal. Those will be the ones with the highest stats and, eventually, the highest CP.

  • Instinct: "Overall, your [Pokémon looks like it can really battle with the best of them!"
  • Mystic: "Your [Pokémon] is a wonder! What a breathtaking Pokémon!"
  • Valor: "Overall, your [Pokémon] simply amazes me! It can accomplish anything!"

If you get one of those, you know your Pokémon is likely in the top 80%. The next set tells you where its strong:

  • "It's HP is its strongest feature."
  • "I'm just as impressed with its Attack."
  • "I'm just as impressed with its Defense."

The more stats it calls out, the better it's potential. You just need to know the limits:

  • Instinct: "Its stats are the best I've ever seen! No doubt about it!"
  • Mystic: "Its stats exceed my calculations. It's incredible!"
  • Valor: "I'm blown away by its stats. WOW!"

That means the stats that were called out are also maxed out. And if all three were called out, your Pokémon is perfect.

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Once you evolve, how do you know which specific Pokémon to power up?

This is where movesets come in. Arguably, movesets are the most important and frustrating aspect of the Pokémon Go Gym system. A moveset is exactly what the name implies — the set of Quick Moves and Charge Moves available to your Pokémon. The bad news is, movesets are determined at random when you evolve. No matter how great your starting moves, how high your initial CP, or how good your appraisal, the moment you tap the evolve button you're putting your Pokémon's fate in the hands of chance.

The good news is, thanks to Technical Machines, introduced alongside Raid Battles, you can now change terrible movesets into ideal ones.

Either way, you should if you have for ideal movesets — evolved or trained — there's no need to wait. Just power up and get to battling.

How do you get TMs in Pokémon Go?

You get Technical Machines — both Fast TM and Charge TM — by beating Raid Bosses. Each time you do, you get rewards. The higher level the raid — from one to four normally, five for special events — the more rewards you get and the more likely it is you'll get one or more technical machines.

So, if you want TMs, you're going to have to fight for them.

How do you get enough Stardust to power up your Pokémon?

To power up you need more Candy but you also need Stardust. Stardust is generic. You can use any Stardust you got from any source on any Pokémon you want. The amount you need starts small but grows as you get to higher levels. So, how do you get as much Candy and Stardust as possible to power up as much as possible?

  • 100 Stardust per base-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
  • 300 Stardust per second-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
  • 500 Stardust per third-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
  • 500-1500 Stardust per 2 KM Egg hatched.
  • 1000-2100 Stardust per 5KM Egg hatched.
  • 1600-3200 Stardust per 10 KM Egg hatched.
  • 500 Stardust per Pokémon, per Gym, per 21 hours.

To evolve a Dratini into Dragonair and Dragonite takes 125 Dratini Candy. To power up a Dragonite to over 3000 CP could take another 70 Dratini Candy and 80,000 Stardust or more.

So, catch, hatch, walk, and claim as much Candy and Stardust as you can.

TL;DR: What are the best Pokémon to evolve, TM, and power-up for Raids?

Pokémon Fast Charge Use to counter
Machamp Counter Dynamic Punch Lapras, Snorlax, Tyranitar
Rhydon Mud Slap Earthquake Quilava, Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Arcanine, Flareon, Jolteon, Charizard
Golem Mud Slap Earthquake Arcanine, Flareon, Charizard
Vaporeon Water Gun Hydro Pump Rhydon, Tyranitar, Charizard, Arcanine, Magmar, Flareon
Tyranitar Bite Crunch Alakazam, Gengar, Weezing, Electabuzz
Exegguter Bullet Seed Solar Beam Blastoise, Rhydon, Vaporeon, Croconaw, Machamp
Venusaur Vine Whip Solar Beam Blastoise, Rhydon, Vaporeon, Croconaw, Tyranitar
Jolteon Thunder Shock Thunderbolt Blastoise, Lapras, Croconaw
Flareon Fire Spin Overheat Exeggutor, Venusaur, Bayleaf
Charizard Fire Spin Overheat Exeggutor, Venusaur, Bayleaf
Alakazam Confusion Future Sight Machamp, Snorlax
Espeon Confusion Future sight Machamp
Scyzer Fury Cutter X-Scissor Exeggutor, Alakazam
Dragonite Dragon Tail Outrage Muk, Weezing, Electabuzz, Magmar, Machamp, Venusaur, Snorlax, Bayleaf

Any questions about the Pokémon you absolutely need to evolve, TM, and power-up for Raids?

If you have any questions about the Pokémon you want in your Battle Group, the Fast TM and Charge TM you need to use on them to get the right movesets, and whether or not they're truly Star Dust worthy, drop them — and your own recommendations — in the comments below!