One of the Legendary birds of Kanto, Articuno isn't currently available in Legendary raids in Pokémon Go. However, if you want to get your team ready, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to win this fight and add Articuno to your roster. Here are all the best counters for Articuno.
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.
Only the original Kanto version of Articuno is available in Pokémon Go for now. Articuno also has a Shadow form which happens to be one of the best Ice type Pokémon in the game, so even if you have plenty of Articuno already, you'll want to catch plenty more for the Candy and XL Candy necessary to power up your Shadow Articuno. And be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories so you're fully equipped for this raid.
Mega Evolution strategies for Articuno in Pokémon Go?
There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Articuno, focusing on some of its weaknesses: Rock, Fire, and Electric.
If at all possible, you're going to want to bring along Mega Aerodactyl for this fight. This Rock and Flying type will provie a Mega Boost to other Rock types on the field, takign advantage of Articuno's double weakness to Rock type damage. Unfortunately, Mega Aerodactyl is also weak to all of Articuno's attacks, so be sure to stock up on Potions and Revives to keep your Aerodactyl in the fight. Rock Throw and Rock Slide is the moveset you'll want your Mega Aerodactyl to know in this raid.
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, but either make a great lead for Fire based Raid parties. While this Fire and Flying type takes quad damage from Articuno's Rock type attack, that doesn't slow Mega Charizard Y down. You'll want to coordinate with the rest of the Raiding party to take advantage of the Fire type boost, and Fire Spin and Blast Burn are the moves you'll want it to know.
If you're set on mounting an Electric based offensive, Mega Ampharos is your best option in this Raid. As an Electric and Dragon type, it resists Flying and has no weaknesses Articuno can exploit. If you are bringing Mega Ampharos to this Raid, the moveset you're looking for is Volt Switch and Power Gem - which is far from the moveset you would normally want for your Ampharos. If you happen to have a Mega Ampharos with Charge Beam or Zap Cannon, it won't perform quite as well but can still provide a great lead for Electric based Raid parties.
While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:
- Mega Manectric with Thunder Fang and Wild Charge
- Mega Charizard X with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Mega Houndoom with Fire Fang and Flamethrower
What are the best counters for Articuno in Pokémon Go?
Articuno is an Ice and Flying type with access to Ice and Flying type moves. Its weaknesses include takes Steel, Fire, Electric and Rock type; however, it has a double weakness to Rock type damage, so that's what you'll want to focus on in this raid.
The best non-Shadow, non-Mega counter for Articuno is the fossil Pokémon, Rampardos. First discovered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Rampardos brings no notable weaknesses or resistances to this raid. Even better, its first stage Cranidos is quite common, having been featured in events and eggs, and it only requires 50 Candy to fully evolve, so most players have at least one or two of this prehistoric Pokémon powered up. If you're bringing Rampardos to this fight, Smack Down and Rock Slide are the moves it should know.
The Sinnoh Stone evolution of Gen I's Rhyhorn, Rhyperior is great counter for Articuno. As a Ground and Rock type, it is weak to Ice type damage, but resists Rock type moves. It's been featured in multiple events, including Community Day on top of evolving from a common Pokémon that has been available since day one, so most active players have at least one ready to go. Ideally, your Rhyperior should know Smack Down and Rock Wrecker; however, 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 another excellent choice for this fight. 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 many times in multiple 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 Gen II pseudo-Legendary Tyranitar is always a solid pick when you need Rock type damage. It's a Rock and Dark type, so it brings no relevant resistances or weaknesses 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 Raid, you'll want Smack Down and Stone Edge for its moveset.
First discovered in the Gen V Unova region, Gigalith is another solid counter for Articuno. Although it requires a ton of Candy to evolve, it benefits from Trade Evolution and its first stage has been featured in events, so 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.
Originally encountered in the Alola region of Gen VII, either version of Lycanroc is an excellent counter for Articuno, but the Midday forme performs best. As a pure Rock type, it doesn't bring any useful resistances to this fight, but it's also not taking super effective damage from any of Articuno's moves. Lycanroc is also very obtainable, as its first stage Rockruff has been available in raids most of this year on top of being featured in events. If you are bringing a Lycanroc to this fight, Rock Throw and Stone Edge are the moves it should know.
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 at this point. 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. As a Rock and Water type, it resists Ice type attacks, so 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.
Originally encountered in the Alola region of Gen VII, Midnight forme Lycanroc is also a great option here. As a pure Rock type, it doesn't bring any useful resistances to this fight, but it's also not taking super effective damage from any of Articuno's moves. Lycanroc is also very obtainable, as its first stage Rockruff has been available in raids most of this year on top of being featured in events. If you are bringing a Lycanroc to this fight, Rock Throw and Stone Edge are the moves it should know.
One of the fossil Pokémon from Alola, Tyrantrum performs well against Articuno despite being weak against most of its attacks. This Rock and Dragon type takes super effective damage from Ice type moves, and it's not super common. However, if you include it in your team, Rock Throw and Stone Edge are the moves your Tyrantrum should know for this raid.
Relatively new to Pokémon Go, Hisuian Arcanine is another excellent counter for Articuno. This Fire and Rock type resists Ice type damage, but Rock type moves hit for super effective damage. Although it's not been available for long, Hisuian Growlithe has been featured in many events, raids, Field Research rewards, and more, so most active players have had the chance to add it to their roster. Fire Fang and Rock Slide are the moves Hisuian Arcanine should know in this raid.
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's a pure Fire type, so 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. Fortunately, Darumaka has been readily available, featuring in multiple events and eggs, so chances are, you've got everything you need to bring at least one along to this Raid.
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:
- Alolan Golem with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Nihilego with Acid and Rock Slide
- Excadrill with Metal Claw and Rock Slide
- Reshiram with Fire Fang and Stone Edge
- Golem with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Xurkitree with Thunder Shock and Discharge
- Landorus (Incarnate forme) with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Regirock with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Heatran with Fire Spin and Stone Edge
- Lunatone with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Solrock with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Crustle with Smack Down and Rock Slide
- Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Rock) and Sacred Fire++
- Carracosta with Rock Throw and Ancient Power
- Emboar with Ember and Rock Slide
- Chandelure with Fire Spin and Overheat
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 Omastar with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Shadow Golem with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Shadow Sudowoodo with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Rock) and Sacred Fire+
- Shadow Machamp with Bullet Punch and Rock Slide
- Shadow Electivire with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge
- Shadow Hippowdon with Thunder Fang and Weather Ball
- Shadow Entei with Fire Fang and Overheat
Note: Shadow Tyranitar outperforms all of the best counters except Mega Aerodactyl. Shadow Omastar, Shadow Aggron, Shadow Aerodactyl, Shadow Metagross, and Shadow Golem also perform on par with the top counters.
How many players does it take to beat Articuno in Pokémon Go?
Although it is technically possible for two high level Trainers to take on Articuno under the best of circumstances, you may need three or four 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 your 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 other 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.