From Tuesday, November 24, 2020, through Monday November 30, Trainers will have the chance to challenge the Lake Trio - Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit in Legendary Raids again. A lot has changed in Pokémon Go since these three Legendary Pokémon were available, but we here at iMore have everything you need to know to take on all three of them.
Who is Azelf and what is the Lake Trio in Pokémon Go?
The Lake Guardians are a trio of Legendary Pokémon originally encountered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV. Each of the three represent a specific concept. Azelf represents willpower, Uxie represents knowledge, and Mesprit represents emotion. Although all three are Psychic types, with the same weaknesses and resistances, they do have slightly different stats and movesets. Additionally, they are the only region locked Legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Go. Although they have rotated before, each of the three is only able to be challenged in a specific area of the world at a time.
What are the best counters for Azelf in Pokémon Go?
Azelf is a Psychic type Pokémon capable of dealing Psychic, Fire, and Normal type damage. It takes double damage from Dark, Ghost, and Bug type attacks. With the introduction of Mega Evolution, there are a number of viable strategies for countering Azelf that take advantage of boosted Dark, Ghost, or Bug type moves if you are able to coordinate with your fellow Pokémon Trainers.
The best possible counter for Azelf is easily Mega Gengar. Despite taking double damage from Azelf's Psychic type attacks, this Poison and Ghost type wipes the floor with the Lake Guardians. You'll want to coordinate with your fellow Trainers to take advantage of the Ghost type boost it will bring to the field. If you are bringing Mega Gengar to the battle, you'll want Lick and Shadow Ball for the moveset.
Although Mega Gengar is the top counter, Mega Houndoom is very close behind. As a Dark and Fire type, Mega Houndoom takes half damage from Azelf's Fire type attack and only a quarter damage from it's Psychic attacks. Snarl and Foul Play are the moves you'll want your Mega Houndoom to know and, as with any other Mega Pokémon, you'll want to coordinate with your fellow Trainers to bring along Dark type Pokémon.
The Mythical Dark type Pokémon Darkrai is an excellent counter for Azelf. As a pure Dark type, it takes quarter damage from Azelf's Psychic type attacks and has no weaknesses the Lake Trio can take advantage of. While it is a Mythical Pokémon, Darkrai has had much wider availability in Pokémon Go than the other Mythicals and so most Trainers have at least one or two. Snarl and Shadow Ball are the moves you'll want Darkrai to know for this Raid.
Giratina Origin Forme
A Legendary Pokémon originally encountered in Gen IV's Sinnoh region, Giratina is a Ghost and Dragon type with two formes. You'll want the Origin Forme specifically for the charged move Shadow Ball. Paired with Shadow Claw, Giratina O will take a huge chunk out of Azelf's health. It takes half damage from Azelf's Fire type attack and quarter damage from its Normal type attack. Although Giratina's Altered Forme has seen wider availability than the Origin Forme in Pokémon Go, it's still been available in Raids multiple times, so you probably have at least one or two in your roster.
A Ghost and Fire type introduced in the Gen V Unova region, Chandelure performs quite well against Azelf. It takes half damage from Fire and quarter damage from Normal, with Psychic attacks doing normal damage. Its first stage, Litwick has been available in multiple events, so you likely already have one powered up for this Raid. You'll want your Chandelure to know Hex and Shadow Ball.
A pseudo-Legendary originally discovered in the Unova region of Gen V, Hydreigon is a Dark and Dragon type that performs very well in this Raid. It has no weaknesses the Lake Trio can take advantage of and takes reduced damage from Psychic and Fire type attacks. Although its first stage, Deino is pretty rare, if you have a Hydreigon already powered up, you'll want it to know Bite and Dark Pulse for this fight.
The king of Psychic types, Legendary Mewtwo is a great choice for this Raid. It has no weaknesses the Lake Trio can take advantage of and takes half damage from Psychic type attacks. However, the real reason Mewtwo makes the top counters list is its access to Shadow Ball. Mewtwo has also been available in a number of different ways since Gen I, so you probably already have one or two ready for the fight.
The Gen II pseudo-Legendary Tyranitar is a great counter for the Lake Trio that has been available in events, Raids, and more. Most top players have entire teams of Tyranitar already powered up, so odds are you've got some ready for this Raid. As a Rock and Dark type, it resists all of Azelf's moves, adding to its already tank-like status. Bite and Crunch are the moves you'll want your Tyranitar to know for this Raid.
Although Mega Houndoom is certainly ideal, your regular Houndoom are also excellent counters, especially paired with another Trainer's Mega Houndoom. As a very common Gen II Pokémon, most players have plenty of this Dark and Fire type already. You'll still want Snarl and Foul Play for the moveset.
Likewise, pairing Gengar with with another Trainer's Mega Gengar will take advantage of the Ghost type attack boost. This Ghost and Poison type from Gen I has been around since the very beginning of Pokémon Go and featured in many events, including it's own Community Day. You'll still want your Gengar to know Lick and Shadow Ball for this Raid.
If you need to fill a spot or two in your team or are making a back up team, consider one of these counters:
- Mega Beedrill with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
- Weaville with Snarl and Foul Play
- Krookodile with Snarl and Crunch
- Mega Blastoise with Bite and Hydro Cannon
- Honchkrow with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Absol with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
- Raikou with Thunder Shock and Shadow Ball
- Sharpedo with Bite and Crunch
- Banette with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
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 with TMs. If you happen to have Shadow versions of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this Raid:
- Shadow Tyranitar
- Shadow Mewtwo
- Shadow Houndoom
- Shadow Weavile
- Shadow Absol
- Shadow Scizor
- Shadow Raikou
- Shadow Sharpedo
- Shadow Banette
- Shadow Cacturne
- Shadow Pinsir
- Shadow Shiftry
- Shadow Gyarados
Note: Shadow Tyranitar and Shadow Mewtwo outperform all of the best, non-Mega counters. Likewise, Shadow Houndoom, Shadow Weavile, Shadow Absol, Shadow Scizor, Shadow Raikou, Shadow Sharpedo, and Shadow Banette all perform at the same level as the Pokémon in the best counters list. If you are able to coordinate the use of either Mega Gengar, Mega Houndoom, or even Mega Beedrill they will boost Ghost, Dark, and Bug type attackers on the field respectively, making other Pokémon far more competitive.
How many players does it take to beat Azelf in Pokémon Go?
While it is technically possible for just two top level Trainers with excellent counters to take on Azelf, if you're not bringing Mega Evolved Pokémon, Shadow Pokémon, or are just lower level, you may need as many as four Trainers. Of the trio, Azelf is the easiest to take on. Weather Conditions that may play into the battle include:
- Windy Weather will boost Azelf's Psychic type attacks.
- Partly Cloudly Weather will boost Azelf's Normal type attack.
- Sunny/Clear Weather will boost Azelf's Fire type attack.
- Fog will boost your Ghost and Dark type counters.
- Rain will boost your Bug type counters.
Questions about taking on Azelf in Pokémon Go?
There you have it. With these Pokémon, Azelf should be an easy addition to your Pokédex. Do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our Best Portable Battery Packs guide so you can keep your phone charged while you're out Raiding!