Shadow Raids have arrived in Pokémon Go and Shadow Articuno is coming. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to beat it and add this powerful Pokémon to your roster!
Who is Shadow Articuno in Pokémon Go?
One of the original trio of Legendary Birds, Articuno is an Ice and Flying type. Along side Zapdos and Moltres, these three are ruled over by Lugia, the only Pokémon capable of stopping them once they've begun to battle. In Pokémon Go, Articuno is no longer a top tier Pokémon, but its Shadow variant, an even more powerful version captured and controlled by Giovanni of Team GO Rocket, is still valuable for PVP. Now you can fight and capture Shadow Articuno in Shadow Raids. These raids are incredibly tough and can only be battled in person.
Also be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories, so you can be fully equipped on your Pokémon Journey!
There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Shadow Articuno, focusing on each of its weakness: Rock, Steel, Fire, and Electric. However, as Rock is a double weakness, Rock types are your best bet.
If at all possible, Mega Aerodactyl is the Mega Evolved Pokémon you want in your raid party. This Rock and Flying type takes super effective damage from both Rock and Ice type moves, but it's the only Rock type Mega currently available, so make sure to have lots of Revives and Potions on hand. Rock Throw and Rock Slide are the best moves for Mega Aerodactyl in this raid.
Although it won't perform as well as Mega Aerodactyl and won't boost Rock types, Mega Aggron is another great performer in this raid. It's a pure Steel type, so it resists both Ice and Rock type moves and will provide a boost to the rare Steel type counter. Aggron also has access to the Rock type moves Smack Down and Meteor Beam, which are ideal for this raid.
If you don't have access to Mega Aerodactyl, Mega Blaziken also performs well in this raid. This Fire and Fighting type resists Ice type damage and has no weaknesses Shadow Articuno can exploit. If you add Mega Blaziken to your team, it should know Fire Spin and Blast Burn.
While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:
- Mega Charizard Y with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Mega Ampharos with Volt Switch and Power Gem
- Mega Houndoom with Fire Fang and Flamethrower
- Mega Charizard X with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Mega Manectric with Thunder Fang and Wild Charge
Mega Articuno is an Ice and Flying type with access to Ice and Rock type moves. Its weaknesses include Rock, Fire, Steel, and Electric; however, Rock is a double weakness, so you'll want to prioritize Rock types in this raid.
A fossil Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region, Rampardos is the top standard counter for Shadow Articuno. As a pure Rock type, it has no weaknesses Articuno can exploit. Rampardos is also incredibly common, having been featured in a number of events, and being inexpensive to fully evolve. Smack Down and Rock Slide are the moves your Rampardos should know for this raid.
Next up is the Sinnoh Stone evolution, Rhyperior. It's a Ground and Rock type, so it's weak against Ice type moves, but resistant to Rock type damage. The Rhyperior line has been featured in many events, including Community Day, so most active players have it already powered up. If you're bringing Rhyperior to this fight, it should know Smack Down and Rock Wrecker.
One of the Legendary Swords of Justice, Terrakion is next up. This Fighting and Rock type resists Rock type damage and has no relevant weaknesses. Terrakion has had several runs in raids, so most active players have had the chance to add it to their roster. Its best moveset for this fight is Smack Down and Rock Slide.
Another great counter for Shadow Articuno is the Unovan native Gigalith. It's a pure Rock type so it brings no notable resistances or weaknesses to this fight. Although Gigalith has a high evolution cost, it benefits from Trade Evolution, leaving lots of candy for powering up. Smack Down and Meteor Beam are the moves you're looking for in this raid.
Originally encountered in the Johto region of Gen II, Tyranitar is another great choice in this fight. It's a Dark and Rock type so it doesn't resist any of Articuno's moves, but it doesn't take super effective damage either. Tyranitar has been available in so many ways for so long that there's really no excuse for active players not to have it already. If you're bringing Tyranitar to this fight, it should know Smack Down and Stone Edge.
Next up is Hoenn native, Aggron. This Steel and Rock type takes reduced damage from all of Shadow Articuno's moves. The Aggron line has also been featured in tons of events and have both Shadow and Mega variants, so most active players will have this Pokémon in their roster already. Smack Down and Meteor Beam is the moveset best suited for this raid.
Another fossil Pokémon, Aurorus was originally discovered in the Kalos region. Its a Rock and Ice type, giving it resistance to Ice type damage, but a weakness to Rock type moves. The Aurorus line has been boosted in a couple of events, so there is a good chance you already have this prehistoric Pokémon in your roster. Rock Throw and Meteor Beam are the best moves for Aurorus in this raid.
Another fossil Pokémon discovered in the Kalos region, Tyrantrum performs great against Shadow Articuno. As a Rock and Dragon type, Tyrantrum takes super effective damage from Ice type moves. The Tyrantrum line has not been featured often, so you might not have one fully powered up, but if you do, Rock Throw and Meteor Beam are the moves you're looking for.
Originally encountered in the Alola region, Lycanroc (Midday) is our next top counter. A pure Rock type that brings no useful resistances to this fight, it also has no weaknesses Articuno can exploit. Lycanroc's first stage, Rockruff has been featured in raids many, many times so most active players have had plenty of chances to catch and evolve this Pokémon. If you add Lycanroc to your team, it should know Rock Throw and Stone Edge.
Last but certainly not least is a fossil from the Kanto region, Omastar. Omastar is a Rock and Water type, so it has no weaknesses Articuno can exploit and it resists Ice type damage. As a Gen I Pokémon that has been featured in countless ways, there's really no excuse not to have a couple fully powered up at this point. Rock Throw and Rock Slide is the moveset your Omastar should know in this fight.
Back up counters
Although most players will be able to make a team of the best counters, if you're finding a gap in your team, there are plenty of back ups who work well in larger groups. Just make sure you're dodging and any of the following could be a decent back up:
- Hisuian Arcanine with Fire Fang and Rock Slide
- Alolan Golem with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Lycanroc (Midnight) with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Nihilego with Acid and Rock Slide
- Darmanitan with Fire Fang and Rock Slide
- Excadrill with Metal Claw and Rock Slide
- Reshiram with Fire Fang and Fusion Flare
- Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Xurkitree with spark and Discharge
- Sudowoodo with Rock Throw and Meteor Beam
- Kleavor with Quick Attack and Rock Slide
- Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Hisuian Avalugg with Powder Snow and Rock Slide
- Golem with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Solrock with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Lunatone with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Regirock with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Rock) and Sacred Fire++
- Melmetal with Thunder Shock and Rock Slide
- Crustle with Smack Down and Rock Slide
The rebalance of Shadow Pokémon rescued from Team GO Rocket make them excellent glass cannons. Not only are their stats boosted, but during special events or with Elite TMs, it's possible to change their moves. If you happen to have any of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this raid:
- Shadow Tyranitar with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Aggron with Smack Down and Meteor Beam
- Shadow Omastar with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Shadow Sudowoodo with Rock Throw and Meteor Beam
- Shadow Golem with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Shadow Machamp with Bullet Punch and Rock Slide
- Shadow Entei with Fire Fang and Overheat
- Shadow Blaziken with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Shadow Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Rock) and Sacred Fire++
Shadow Raids are incredibly challenging. Even using the best counters and Purified Gems, top trainers should aim for parties of at least three members. More importantly, you're going to need to communicate during the raid to time use of Purified Gems and Mega Evolved Pokémon. We recommend getting together as large a group as possible for this raid, and stock up on as many Purified Gems, Revives, and Potions as you can.
Weather conditions that can impact this raid include:
- Snow will boost Shadow Articuno's Ice type moves, as well as your Steel type counters
- Partly Cloudy Weather will boost its Rock type move, as well as your Rock type counters
- Rain will boost your Electric type counters
- Sunny/Clear Weather will boost your Fire type counters
Don't miss your chance to catch Shadow Articuno in Pokémon Go!
Shadow Articuno is only available for a limited time. Don't miss your chance to add it to your roster and be sure to check out the rest of our Pokémon Go guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!
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Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.