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Best Pokémon Go movesets for Mewtwo, Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, and Lugia

What are the best movesets for the Legendary and Mythical Pokémon like Mewtwo, Zapdos, Moltres, Lugia, and Articuno? Once you beat and catch the Raid Boss, here are the movesets you want to use your TMs on!{.intro}

Now that Pokémon Go has released Legendary Raids and made Lugia, Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos available in the game, we've gone from wanting to know how to beat the Legendary Raid Bosses to how to catch the Legendary Raid Pokémon to what are their best movesets are.

You can't use Legendary Pokémon to defend Gyms, but you can use them to attack both Gyms and other Raid Bosses. That means defensive moves don't matter as much. Attack is where it's at. And that makes it a lot easier to decide what to use your Fast TMs and Charge TMs on.

TL;DR: What are the best movesets for the Legendary and Mythical Pokémon?

The Legendary and Mythical Pokémon have had at least placeholder movesets in the game for a while now. Lugia, Articuno, and Moltres, launched with exactly those movesets, so it's safe to at least assume the others will as well. At least until the next big shake up! With that in mind, here are the ones you want.

LegendaryAttackDefense
ArticunoFrost Breath + Blizzard or Ice BeamFrost Breath + Blizzard or Ice Beam
ZapdosCharge Beam + Thunder BoltCharge Beam + Thunder Bolt
MoltresFire Spin + OverheatFire Spin + Overheat
MewtwoConfusion + PsychicConfusion + Shadow Ball
MewPound + Solar Beam or Focus BlastPound + Solar Beam
RaikouThunder Shock + Wild ChargeVolt Switch + Wild Charge
EnteiFire Spin + OverheatFire Spin + Overheat
SicuneExtrasensory + Hydro PumpExtrasensory + Hydro Pump
LugiaExtrasensory + Future SightExtrasensory + Future Sight
Ho-OhExtrasensory + Solar BeamExtrasensory + Fire Blast or Solar Beam
CelebiConfusion + Hyper BeamConfusion + Dazzling Gleam
RegirockRock Throw + Stone EdgeRock Smash + Focus Blast
RegiceFrost Breath + BlizzardRock Smash + Blizzard
RegisteelMetal Claw + Hyper BeamRock Smash + Hyper Beam
LatiasDragon Breath + Dragon ClawDragon Breath + Dragon Claw
LatioDragon Breath + Solar BeamZen Headbutt + Solar Beam
KyogreWaterfall + Hydro PumpWaterfall + Hydro Pump
GroudonMud Shot + EarthquakeMud Shot + Solar Beam
RayquazaDragon Tail + OutrageDragon Tail + Outrage
JirachiConfusion + Doom DesireConfusion + Dazzling Gleam
DeoxysZen Headbutt + Zap CannonZen Heabutt + Zap Cannon

Again, since Legendary Pokémon can't currently be placed it Gyms, these are all attack-centric movesets.

What if you don't have the best movesets?

Movesets are like the lottery. No matter what Moveset a Legendary Raid Boss begins with, it will be randomized when you catch it. That means you never know what you're going to get. Some Legendary Pokémon have upwards of six or more moveset combinations, some amazingly good, others terrible.

If you have an ideal moveset, it's great. You'll do the most damage in the least amount of time while maintaining the best ability to dodge. If you don't, not all is lost. You could still have the same type of moves, only less damaging or slower.

For example, Lugia with Extrasensory and Future Sight will tear through Machamp Raid Bosses like a Psyblade through brain butter. (Sorry, bad visual!) Lugia with Dragon Tail and Hydro Pump, not so much.

That's where Technical Machines come in. Two of the possible rewards for beating Raid Bosses, Legendary included, are Quick TM and Fast TM, which can be used to change Quick Moves and Charge Moves respectively.

So, if you get a great Legendary but a not-so-great Moveset, don't worry. Get a few TMs and change them.

How do you change movesets in Pokémon Go? With Technical Machines (TM)!

What are the best Pokémon Go movesets for Lugia?

Lugia is one of the most powerful Legendary Pokémon in the game. It can easily reach a CP over 3000, it's got stats that put it up there with the best, and movesets that pack a punch. Specifically, Lugia is Psychic/Flying type and has Psychic movesets available to it that can destroy Fighting types like Machamp. Dragon Tail with Sky Attack and Hydro Pump are powerful as well, can make Lugia a good general attacker, like Dragonite. and can put a hurt on a range of other Pokémon, but when you have a Psychic destroyer of this stature, let it be a Psychic destroyer.

  • Best Movesets: Extrasensory + Futiure Sight. Picture an Alakazam with the bulk of a Snorlax. Now, Machamp knows fear.
  • Secondary Movesets: Dragon Tail with Sky Attack. Still packs a wallop, even without same type attack bonus (STAB) on the fast move.
  • Counter: Tyrantiar with Bite + Crunch or Stone Edge.

What are the best Pokémon Go movesets for Articuno?

With a potential CP almost but not quite reaching the 3000s, Articuno is like Lapras on Hulk serum. OK, more Hulk serum. Unlike Lapras, though, Articuno only has access to Ice type movesets. No Water types. That makes Frost Breath its only Quick Move and, so, winner by default. For Charge Moves, Blizzard packs more power but takes longer to deliver it. Ice Beam can be spammed over and over again.

  • Best Movesets: Frost Breath + Blizzard or Ice Beam. Blizzard hits harder but Ice Beam hits more often.
  • Counter: Tyrantiar with Bite + Stone Edge.

What are the best Pokémon Go movesets for Moltres?

Moltres is a Flying/Fire type, just like Charizard, but with a CP that can reach over 3000. It currently doesn't have any Flying-type movesets assigned to it, but it has Fire Spin + Overheat, which is the best Fire-type moveset in the game. That makes Moltres, essentially, a super-Charizard. Use it to burn Bugs Grass-types down to ash.

  • Best Movesets: Fire Spin + Overheat. It's not fast but it hits like the inferno.
  • Counter: Golem with Rock Throw + Stone Edge or Tyranitar with Bite + Stone Edge.

What are the best Pokémon Go movesets for Zapdos?

Zapdos is a mixed blessing. It has better stats than any previous Electric-type in the game... but it doesn't have access to movesets that would really push it over the top. As it is, Zapdos is Flying/Electric and has a CP that can soar about 3300. For Fast move, all Zapdos has access to is Charge Beam. For Charge Move, Zap Cannon and Thunder, but also Thunderbolt. It's not Wild Charge, but it'll do.

  • Best Movesets: Charge Beam + Zap Cannon. It'l still light up water types.
  • Counter: Golem with Rock Throw + Stone Edge or Tyranitar with Bite + Stone Edge.

What are the best Pokémon Go movesets for Zapdos?

Mewtwo was looking to be the most powerful, game-altering addition to Pokémon Go thus far. But then, right before releasing Mewtwo in Japan, Pokémon Go "nerfed" its stats. Hard. Now Mewtwo is still a monster but a monster more in line with the rest of the game. Score Confusion/Psychic and you have the best mind-blaster in the business.

  • Best Movesets: Confusion + Psychic. It'll decimate fighting types... and others.
  • Counter: Tyranitar with Bite + Crunch.

Hit me with that cheat sheet again?

LegendaryAttackDefense
ArticunoFrost Breath + Blizzard or Ice BeamFrost Breath + Blizzard or Ice Beam
ZapdosCharge Beam + Thunder BoltCharge Beam + Thunder Bolt
MoltresFire Spin + OverheatFire Spin + Overheat
MewtwoConfusion + PsychicConfusion + Shadow Ball
MewPound + Solar Beam or Focus BlastPound + Solar Beam
RaikouThunder Shock + Wild ChargeVolt Switch + Wild Charge
EnteiFire Spin + OverheatFire Spin + Overheat
SicuneExtrasensory + Hydro PumpExtrasensory + Hydro Pump
LugiaExtrasensory + Future SightExtrasensory + Future Sight
Ho-OhExtrasensory + Solar BeamExtrasensory + Fire Blast or Solar Beam
CelebiConfusion + Hyper BeamConfusion + Dazzling Gleam
RegirockRock Throw + Stone EdgeRock Smash + Focus Blast
RegiceFrost Breath + BlizzardRock Smash + Blizzard
RegisteelMetal Claw + Hyper BeamRock Smash + Hyper Beam
LatiasDragon Breath + Dragon ClawDragon Breath + Dragon Claw
LatioDragon Breath + Solar BeamZen Headbutt + Solar Beam
KyogreWaterfall + Hydro PumpWaterfall + Hydro Pump
GroudonMud Shot + EarthquakeMud Shot + Solar Beam
RayquazaDragon Tail + OutrageDragon Tail + Outrage
JirachiConfusion + Doom DesireConfusion + Dazzling Gleam
DeoxysZen Headbutt + Zap CannonZen Heabutt + Zap Cannon

Which Pokémon Go Legendary Raid Boss beaters are you considering?

If you have other Pokémon higher up on your Legendary Raid Battle counters list, let me know which ones and why!

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.