Pokémon Go Articuno Raid Guide for September 2018

Pokemon Go Moltres vs Articuno
Pokemon Go Moltres vs Articuno (Image credit: iMore)

Articuno was the first Legendary Bird to appear when Legendary Raids were announced in the summer of 2017. It's returned several times thereafter, including in additional Legendary Raids, as a Field Research Breakthrough Reward, and for its own Articuno Day Bonus following Safari Zone Germany.

Now, Articuno is back again, but just for one week. Here's how to beat it and maybe get a Shiny!

When is Articuno back?

For one week only:

  • Starts: Thursday, September 13, 2018, 1pm PT / 4pm ET
  • Ends: Thursday, September 20, 2018, 1pm PT / 4pm ET

Will any bonuses be in effect?

Stardust rewards will be over, so it doesn't look like it right now.

Why is Articuno back?

Because Ice, Ice, Icebird, baby! (Sorry!)

Here's what Pokémon Go has said:

First, starting September 13 at 1:00 P.M. (PDT), Trainers all over the world will be able to encounter three Legendary Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region!. Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres will appear in Raid Battles until September 20. And if you're lucky, you may be able to encounter their Shiny forms!

What are the best counters for Articuno?

Articuno is a Flying- and Ice-type Pokémon, so here's what you want to set up for your Raid Teams:

  • Tyranitar with Smack Down + Stone Edge (if you managed to score them during the June Community Day).
  • Omastar with Rock Throw + Rock Slide (if you have the legacy moveset).
  • Golem with Rock Throw + Stone Edge
  • Tyranitar with Bite + Stone Edge
  • Entei, Moltres, Charizard, Flareon, or Blaziken with Fire Spin + Overheat (or Charizard with Fire Spin + Blast Burn if you have it from the May Community Day.)
  • Raikou with Thunder Shock + Wild Charge
  • Metagross with Bullet Punch + Flash Cannon

Having at least two teams set up, a primary and a backup, can help you get back in quickly if you faint out, or still have strong counters if you forget to heal up between Raids.

Is Shiny Articuno still available?

Absolutely. Pokémon Go has already confirmed it. Hopefully at the same 1/10 ratio as the last two Legendary Bird Raid Days. Could go to 1/19, though, which is the usual for Legendary Raids. But, since everything is random you may get it right away or not at all. Yeah, pure randomness is still terrible.

Like other Shiny Legendary Pokémon, Shiny Articuno looks to have a 100% catch rate so, if you do encounter one, hit it with a Pineapp Berry and grab the extra candy.

What's the best moveset 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.

Articuno has been available before, right?

Right. Articuno was the first Legendary Raid unlocked following Pokémon Go Fest Chicago 2017 and has popped back into Raids in the past as well as been available as the Field Research reward for June, 2018.

Wait, what is Articuno?

Articuno is one of the Legendary Birds of Gen 1, originally discovered in the Kanto Region. In Pokémon Go, it's also the symbol of Team Mystic.

From Pokémon:

Articuno is a legendary bird Pokémon that can control ice. The flapping of its wings chills the air. As a result, it is said that when this Pokémon flies, snow will fall.

From Bulbapedia):

Articuno is a large avian Pokémon with predominantly blue plumage and large wings said to be made of ice. It has a head crest that consists of three, darker blue rhombus-shaped feathers on its forehead and circular red eyes. Its beak is short and gray, and its long, thin legs are the same color. It has a long, streamer-like tail that is longer than its body and the same shade of blue as its crest. When Articuno flaps its wings, it can chill the moisture in the air around it, making snow fall. It flies from icy mountain to icy mountain. According to legend, it appears before doomed travelers lost in icy regions. As seen in the anime, Articuno sometimes aids travelers and guides them to safety. Articuno lives in cold, isolated locations, such as mountain peaks.

Any Articuno or Legendary Raid questions?

If you have any questions about Articuno Day or Raids, drop them in the comments below!

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.