Having been featured in Raids and as a Research Breakthrough Reward, Pokémon Go has brought back Raikou, the Legendary Beast of Johto. Only, this time, as a Shadow Pokémon in Giovanni's roster! Fortunately, the same counters you would use in a Raid are going to work here and you'll probably only need one.
What is Raikou anyway?
Raikou is part of a trio known as the Legendary Beasts of Johto. Each based on a big cat, the Legendary Beasts were originally three Pokémon who perished in a fire and were reincarnated by the Legendary bird Ho-Oh. Ho-Oh gave each of the Beasts powers based on the events of the fire. Raikou was given Electric powers to represent the lightning strike that started the fire.
In more practical terms, Raikou is the strongest Electric-type Pokémon in all of Pokémon Go. It's definitely a Pokémon you'll want in your roster. Its attack stat isn't quite as high as Zapdos but it has a better move pool. With Thunder Shock and Wild Charge, Raikou is simply the best when it comes to Electricity!
What are the best counters?
As a pure Electric-type, Raikou is resistant to Flying, Steel, and Electric-type moves. It has a double weakness to Ground-type moves, but that's Raikou's only weakness. Fortunately, there are some excellent Ground-type Pokémon to choose from.
The new best Ground-type in Pokémon Go, Excadrill is the final evolution of the Gen V Drilbur. Drilbur aren't super common so you might not have this Pokémon yet. If you do, it should be your first choice against Electric types like Raikou. Excadrill outperforms the rest due to an excellent Charged move. You'll want it to know Mud Slap and Drill Run to challenge Raikou.
A Gen IV Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, Garchomp isn't easy to get in Pokémon Go but is well worth the effort. This Dragon and Ground Type is the final evolution of Gible and will take down Raikou easily. The best moveset here is Mud Shot and Earthquake.
The only Legendary Pokémon on this list, Groudon was the mascot for Pokémon Ruby and has been featured in a number of Raids and as a Research Breakthrough Reward. You probably have at least a couple in your roster so it makes for a great counter against Raikou. Groudon's best moves to take on Electric types are Mud Shot and Earthquake.
The final evolution of Gen I Rhyhorn, Rhyperior was already the easiest of the great counters to obtain and power up, but after Rhyhorn's Community Day, there's no excuse not to have a few high CP Rhyperior. Rhyperior doesn't fare quite as well as the others but should still easily take down Raikou in Raids or as a Shadow Pokémon. You'll want it to know Mud Slap and Earthquake - not the Community Day exclusive move, Rock Wrecker.
If you don't have one of the four best counters, there are still options. These Pokémon will do in a pinch:
- Rhydon with Mud Slap and Earthquake
- Flygon with Mud Shot and Earth Power
- Hippowdon with Fire Fang and Earth Power
- Donphan with Mud Slap and Earthquake
- Mamoswine with Mud Slap and Bulldoze
- Golem with Mud Shot and Earthquake
How many players does it take to beat Raikou?
Right now, Raikou is available as a Shadow Pokémon, but when it's available in Raids, it's possible for three level-40 Trainers with the best counters and favorable Weather conditions to beat Raikou. On average, a team of four to six should be able to take out this Raid easily. Fog and Rain will boost Raikou's attacks, while Sunny/ Clear Weather will boost your counters.
Any questions about Raikou?
Got any questions about Raikou? Any tips for fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our other Pokémon Go Guides and our Complete Pokédex so you too can be a Pokémon Master!
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