Articuno is coming back to Legendary Raids in Pokémon Go. Although this Legendary Pokémon has been available many times over and in a number of ways, this will be the first time Trainers can challenge the icy bird with Mega Evolved Pokémon. How will Mega Evolution impact this battle? Read ahead to find out!
Who is Articuno in Pokémon Go?
One of three Legendary birds from the Kanto region of Gen I, Articuno is the first Legendary Pokémon in the National Pokédex, as well as the mascot for Team Mystic. Along with Zapdos and Moltres, these three forces of nature are ruled by Lugia, the only Pokémon capable of keeping them in balance. Articuno is also the first Legendary Pokémon to have a regional variant, with its Galarian form being a Psychic and Flying type; however, only its Kanto version is available in Pokémon Go for now.
What are the best counters for Articuno in Pokémon Go?
An Ice and Flying type, Articuno takes double damage from Steel, Fire, and Electric type attacks, and quad damage from Rock type attacks. It is capable of dealing Ice and Rock type damage. Most of the best counters will be Rock types, but with the introduction of Mega Evolution, Trainers who are able to coordinate using either Mega Evolved Charizard with Fire type teams can take advantage of the boosted damage.
The best non-Shadow counter for Articuno is the Rock type fossil Pokémon, Rampardos. First discovered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Rampardos brings no notable weaknesses or resistances to this Raid, but as one of the strongest Rock type attackers in Pokémon Go, it can do quad damage to Articuno with Smack Down and Rock Slide. Even better, its first stage Cranidos is quite common, having been featured in events and eggs, and it only requires 50 Candies to fully evolve, so most players have at least one or two of this prehistoric Pokémon powered up.
Mega Charizard Y
One of two Mega Evolutions of the Gen I Fire type Starter, Mega Charizard Y is the better of Charizard's Mega Evolutions to bring to this Raid. While this Fire and Flying type takes quad damage from Articuno's Rock type attack, that doesn't slow Mega Charizard Y down. If you're bringing Mega Charizard Y to this Raid, you'll want to coordinate with the rest of the Raiding party to take advantage of the Fire type boost. Fire Spin and Blast Burn are the moves you'll want it to know.
The final evolution of Gen I's Rhyhorn, Rhyperior is a Ground and Rock type that most players already have in their roster. Rhyperior requires a lot of Candy and a Sinnoh Stone to evolve, but was also featured in a Community Day on top of evolving from a common Pokémon that has been available since day one. Although Rhyperior takes double damage from Ice type attacks, it takes half damage from Rock type attacks. Over all, it's a tank and with Smack Down and Rock Wrecker, Rhyperior can deal quad damage to Articuno. If you don't have the Community Day exclusive move or an Elite TM to spare, Stone Edge can also work.
One of the Legendary Swords of Justice, Terrakion is a Rock and Fighting type. It resists Rock type damage and takes normal damage from Ice type attacks. Although a Legendary Pokémon, Terrakion has been available in a couple of ways, so many players already have at least one powered up. If you're bringing Terrakion to this Raid, you'll want it to know Smack Down and Rock Slide.
The Dark and Rock type pseudo-Legendary Tyranitar is always a solid pick when you need Rock type damage. It brings no resistances or weaknesses of note to this fight, but having been readily available through events, a Community Day, and even Raids, most players have a few in their rosters. If you're bringing Tyranitar to this Rair, you'll want Smack Down and Stone Edge for its moveset.
Mega Charizard X
Although not quite as good a match as Mega Charizard Y, Mega Charizard X is still an excellent choice for this Raid. It takes double damage from Rock type attacks and can deal double damage with Fire Spin and Blast Burn, while also boosting Fire type attackers. You'll want to coordinate with your Raiding party to bring their own Fire type counters if you're planning on bringing either Mega Charizard along.
Fairly new to Pokémon Go, Gigalith is a Rock type Pokémon first discovered in the Gen V Unova region. Although it requires a ton of Candy to evolve, between Trade Evolution and Roggenrola being featured in the Ultra Unlock Unova Week, you might already have one or two already powered up. If you're bringing Gigalith to this Raid, you'll want Smack Down for the fast attack and Rock Slide for the charged attack.
A fossil Pokémon first discovered in the Gen I Kanto region, there's no good reason not to have at least a few strong Omastar in your roster. It's been available since the beginning of Pokémon Go, been featured in events and Raids, and even as a Shadow Pokémon. Plus, it only requires 50 Candies to evolve. Taking half damage from Ice type attacks also means your Omastar will last a long while in this Raid. If you're bringing Omastar, you'll want it to know Rock Throw and Rock Slide.
A Fire type Pokémon first discovered in the Gen V Unova region, Darmanitan is a particularly interesting Pokémon that has multiple formes and regional variants. The standard Unovan Darmanitan is the one you'll want for this fight with the moves Fire Fang and Rock Slide. It will take double damage if the Articuno you're fighting has Ancient Power, but it takes half damage from the rest of Articuno's moves.
Although the Alolan variant of Gen I's Golem slightly outperforms its Kantonian counterpart, either Golem will work very well in this Raid. Both have been abundantly available and benefit from Trade Evolution, so most players will have one or both already powered up. Alolan Golem is a Rock and Electric type, with not weaknesses or resistances of note; while the Kantonian Golem is a Rock and Ground type, that takes half damage from Rock and double damage from Ice. Rock Throw and Stone Edge are the moves of choice for either Golem.
Although there are a lot of readily available Pokémon in the top counters for this Raid, if you're looking to build a back up team or even just fill in a spot or two on your main team, consider the following good counters:
- Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Excadrill with Metal Claw and Rock Slide
- Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Reshiram with Fire Fang and Stone Edge
- Crustle with Smack Down and Rock Slide
- Heatran with Fire Spin and Stone Edge
- Solrock with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Lunatone with Rock Throw 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, 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
- Shadow Omastar
- Shadow Metagross
- Shadow Machamp
- Shadow Entei
- Shadow Raikou
- Shadow Magnezone
- Shadow Moltres
- Shadow Electivire
Note: Shadow Tyranitar outperforms all of the best counters. Likewise, Shadow Omastar, Shadow Metagross, and Shadow Machamp all perform at the same level as the Pokémon in the best counters list.
How many players does it take to beat Articuno in Pokémon Go?
Although it is technically possible for two Trainers with top counters to take on Articuno alone, you may need four or five if you're lower level or missing the top counters. Weather Conditions that could play into this battle include:
- Snow will boost Articuno's Ice type attacks and Steel type counters.
- Partially Cloudy weather will boost Articuno's Ancient Power, as well as your Rock type counters.
- Sunny/Clear weather will boost Fire type counters.
- Rain will boost your Electric type counters.
Questions about Articuno in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on Articuno? Any tips for fellow trainers? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many other Pokémon Go Guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!
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