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Pokémon Go: Kartana raid guide

Pokémon Go Kartana
(Image credit: Future)

The Legendary Ultra Beast, Kartana has arrived in Pokémon Go. For a limited time, you can challenge this powerful Pokémon in Legendary raids. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to beat Kartana and add it to your team!

Who is Kartana in Pokémon Go? 

Pokémon 798 Kartana

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

UB-04 Blade, Kartana is the fourth Ultra Beast, a special class of Legendary Pokémon found only in Ultra Space. Very rarely, Ultra Wormholes will appear in the Alola region, providing people and Pokémon alike with the ability to cross between the Pokémon world and Ultra Space. Now the Ultra Beasts have made their way into Pokémon Go raids.

In terms of gameplay, Kartana is an amazing Grass type attacker. Its defense is basically nonexistent, but it more than makes up for it by hitting hard and fast. This isn't a raid you'll want to miss, and be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories so you can be fully equipped on your Pokémon journey!

Mega Evolution strategies for Kartana in Pokémon Go? 

Pokémon Go Mega Energy

(Image credit: Niantic)

There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Kartana. While it has two weaknesses: Fire and Fighting, Fire is a double weakness. 

Mega Charizard Y

Pokémon 006 Mega Charizard Y

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Mega Charizard Y should be your first choice for Mega Pokémon against Kartana. This Fire and Flying type resists Grass and Bug type damage, while having no weaknesses Kartana can exploit. If you're bringing Mega Charizard Y to this fight, it should know Fire Spin and Blast Burn.

Mega Charizard X

Pokémon 006 Mega Charizard X

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

If you can't bring Mega Charizard Y, Mega Charizard X if the next best option. It's a Fire and Dragon type, so it also resists Grass and Bug type damage and has no relevant weaknesses. Fire Spin and Blast Burn is also the best moveset for Mega Charizard X.

Mega Houndoom

Pokémon 229 Houndoom Mega

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Mega Houndoom is another option for Mega Pokémon in this raid. It's a Fire and Dark type, so it resists Dark and Grass type damage, while having no relevant weaknesses. Fire Fang and Flamethrower is the best moveset for Mega Houndoom facing Kartana.

Honorable mentions

While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid: 

What are the best counters for Kartana in Pokémon Go? 

Kartana is a Steel and Grass type with access to Grass, Flying, Dark, and Bug type moves. Its weaknesses include Fighting and Fire type moves, but Fire is a double weakness, so that should be where you focus your team building efforts.

Reshiram

Pokémon 643 Reshiram

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The best non-Mega, non-Shadow counter for Kartana is the Legendary mascot of Pokémon Black, Reshiram. This Fire and Dragon type resists Grass and Bug type damage and has no weaknesses relevant to this raid. Reshiram has only had two proper runs in raids, so you may not have enough candy to power it up. If you are bringing it to the fight, your Reshiram should know Fire Fang and Overheat.

Ho-Oh

Pokémon 250 Ho-oh

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Gold, Ho-Oh is the next top counter, but specifically Apex Ho-Oh. This version of Ho-Oh is limited to one per account and only to players who completed the lengthy Apex Masterwork Research. A Fire and Flying type, resists Bug and Grass type damage. If you're bringing a Ho-Oh to face Kartana, it should know Incinerate and Sacred Fire++. Ho-Oh's next best performing charged move, Sacred Fire, doesn't compete with the other top counters.

Moltres

Pokémon 146 Moltres

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Next up is one of the Legendary birds of Kanto, Moltres. A Fire and Flying type, Moltres has no weaknesses Kartana can take advantage of and it resists Grass and Bug type damage. Moltres has been available so many times in so many ways that there's really no good excuse not to have a couple by this point. Fire Spin and Overheat are the ideal moves for Moltres here.

Darmanitan

Pokémon 555 Darmanitan

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Originally encountered in the Unova region of Gen V, Darmanitan also performs well against Kartana. As a pure Fire type, Darmanitan resists Bug and Grass type damage and isn't weak against any of Kartana's moves. Its line is incredibly common and has been featured in a number of events, so most active players have had the chance to add this Pokémon to their roster. Fire Fang and Overheat are the moves you're looking for.

Entei

Pokémon 244 Entei

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

One of the Legendary beasts of Johto, Entei is our next top counter. It's another pure Fire type, so it resists Bug and Grass type damage. Entei hasn't been available quite as often as Moltres, but close, so most active players have at least one powered up. Fire Fang and Overheat is the ideal moveset for Entei in this raid.

Heatran

Pokémon 485 Heatran

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

A Legendary from the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Heatran performs well against Kartana. This Fire and Steel type resists Grass, Flying, and Bug type damage. It's also had several runs in raids, so chances are you have one already. If you're including Heatran on your team, Fire Spin and Flamethrower are the moves you'll want it to know.

Blaziken

Pokémon 257 Blaziken

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The Fire starter from the Hoenn region, Blaziken is another excellent choice for the fight. It's a Fire and Fighting type, meaning it resists Grass, Dark, and Bug type damage, but Flying type moves will hit for super effective damage. As a starter, it's been featured in many events, including Community Day, so most active players have a few. Fire Spin and Blast Burn are the moves your Blaziken should know.

Emboar

Pokémon 500 Emboar

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Fire starter from Unova, Emboar is another common counter for Kartana. It's also a Fire and Fighting type, giving it resistance to Grass, Bug, and Dark type damage, but a weakness to Flying type moves. Like the Blaziken line, Emboar's line has been in a number of events and Community Day, so most players have it already. Emboar's best moves for this raid are Ember and Blast Burn.

Charizard

Pokémon 006 Charizard

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The original Fire starter, Charizard is a great choice for this fight. It's a Fire and Flying type, so it resists Grass and Bug type damage. Charizard has been in the game since day one and featured in many, many events, so there's really no good reason not to have a couple. Fire Spin and Blast Burn is the ideal moveset for Charizard.

Chandelure

Pokémon 609 Chandelure

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Last but not least is Unovan native, Chandelure. As a Fire and Ghost type, it resists Grass and Bug type damage, but Dark type moves hit for super effective damage. The Chandelure line has been featured in a few events so most active players have had the chance to add it to their team. Fire Spin and Overheat are the moves you'll want it to know going up against Kartana.

Back ups?

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 Flamethrower
  • Victini with Quick Attack and V-Create
  • Arcanine with Fire Fang and Flamethrower
  • Typhlosion with Incinerate and Blast Burn
  • Infernape with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Flareon with Fire Spin and Overheat
  • Magmortar with Fire Spin and Fire Punch
  • Delphox with Fire Spin and Flamethrower
  • Salamence with Fire Fang and Fire Blast
  • Houndoom with Fire Fang and Flamethrower
  • Incineroar with Fire Fang and Fire Blast
  • Salazzle with Incinerate and Fire Blast
  • Pyroar with Fire Fang and Overheat
  • Simisear with Fire Spin and Flamethrower
  • Heatmor with Fire Spin and Flamethrower
  • Terrakion with Double Kick and Sacred Sword
  • Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Flamethrower
  • Ninetales with Fire Spin and Weather Ball
  • Togekiss with Hidden Power (Fire) and Flamethrower

Shadow Pokémon?

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 Ho-Oh with Incinerate and Sacred Fire+
  • Shadow Moltres with Fire spin and Overheat
  • Shadow Entei with Fire Fang and Overheat
  • Shadow Charizard with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Shadow Arcanine with Fire Fang and Flamethrower
  • Shadow Magmortar with Fire Spin and Fire Punch
  • Shadow Salamence with Fire Fang and Fire Blast
  • Shadow Typhlosion with Ember and Blast Burn
  • Shadow Houndoom with Fire Fang and Flamethrower
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Flamethrower

How many players does it take to beat Kartana in Pokémon Go? 

While Kartana hits very, very hard, its defense is basically nonexistent. This raid can be cleared by two top level players under ideal conditions, so lower level players or those lacking the top counters should be fine with three or four players.

Weather conditions that can impact this raid include:

  • Sunny/Clear Weather will boost Kartana's Grass type moves, as well as your Fire type counters
  • Wind will boost its Flying type moves
  • Rain will boost its Bug type move
  • Fog will boost its Dark type move
  • Cloudy/Overcast Weather will boost your Fighting type counters

Questions about taking on Kartana in Pokémon Go?

Do you have any questions about taking on the Legendary Ultra Beast, Kartana in Pokémon Go? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our other Pokémon Go guides, so you can be the very best like no one ever was! 

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.