Pokémon Go has released the Legendary Beasts. Part of Gen 2, and that includes Raikou, probably the best Electric-type Pokémon in the game for a while to come. It was available to catch from September 1 to September 30, 2017, in Legendary Raids. Now it's back from August 1 to August 31, 2018 in Field Research.

July 26, 2018: Raikou returning to Pokémon Go... as Field Research!

If you missed out on Raikou during its Raid window, or simply missed getting a good one or half-dozen, here's your chance to get up to four more:

Raikou rewards will start at 1pm PT / 4pm ET on August 1, so if you really want to get one as fast as possible, don't open your rewards until after then.

Also, since rewards can't flee, you might want to use a Pineapp Berry in your encounter so you can snag a little extra candy.

What is Raikou in Pokémon Go?

Raikou is one of the Legendary Beasts — Pokémon Go calls them "Legendary Dogs" — of Generation 2. It's an Electric-type Pokémon and, since it has elite stats and can learn the best Electric-type moves currently in the game, becomes the best Electric-type available in Pokémon Go today.

Here's the official description from Pokémon:

Raikou embodies the speed of lightning. The roars of this Pokémon send shock waves shuddering through the air and shake the ground as if lightning bolts had come crashing down.

And Bulbepedia):

Along with Entei and Suicune, it is one of the Legendary beasts resurrected by Ho-Oh after the burning of the Brass Tower. Of the three Legendary beasts, Raikou is said to represent the lightning strike which ignited the fire that consumed the Brass Tower.

It's origins are from Japanese mythology, according to Fox of Inari:

Raikou (ライコウ Raikou) is a legendary 'dog' pokémon, more closely resembling a cat. It is based on the raijuu (雷獣), a thunder demon said to be the companion of Raijin. The creature is said to be able to take the form of a tiger, a monkey or a blue wolf wrapped in lightning. Raikou appears to be based on the tiger form.

How do you beat the Legendary Raikou Raid Boss in Pokémon Go?

Since Raiku is an Electric-type Pokémon — the Electric-type Pokémon for the first few generations at least — it resists Electric, Flying, and Steel attacks but is weak to Ground-types. Conversely, Earth-types are super-resistant to Electric-type moves, making them especially well suited.

That means you want to focus on Ground-type attackers that also have Ground-type Quick and Charge moves, specifically Mud-slap and Earthquake. Since Ground-moves in Pokémon Go aren't as damaging as Rock-type charge moves, namely Stone Edge. That puts Groudon and Rhydon right up front, with Golem and Donphan right behind.

For generalists, you'll want to stick to Dragonite and Mewtwo.

Pokémon Fast Move Charge Move
Groudon Mud Shot Earthquake
Rhydon Mud Slap Earthquake
Golem Mud-slap Earthquake
Donphan Counter Earthquake
Dragonite Dragon Tail Outrage
Mewtwo Confusion Psychic

How do you catch the Legendary Raikou Raid Boss in Pokémon Go?

Legendary Raid Bosses are really hard to catch and Raikou is no exception. You won't catch everyone you face but, there are some things you can do to maximize your chances.

  1. ABC. Always be curving. Once you can nail Curve Ball every time, you'll get a 1.7x bonus every time.
  2. Max out your medals. Some are easier to get than others but once you get them, it's an automatic 1.1x to 1.3x bonus to your catch.
  3. Play patient. Raid bosses defend better than normal Pokémon, so wait until 3/4 of the way through their attack animation and then make your catch. You should hit just as the ring appears.
  4. Consistency counts. Aim for the smallest throw bonus you can nail every time. If that's Nice, it's nice. If that's Great or Excellent, even nicer. But better the bonus you get then one you miss, and every extra 1.3 to 2x counts.
  5. Nanab over nothing. If you have a hard time even hitting the Raid Boss, use a Nanab. Some chance is better than no chance.
  6. Go Golden: If you have Golden Razz Berries, and the Raid Boss you're trying to catch is either your first or the higher stats (IV) you've encountered, lay them on. Their 2.5x modifiers are the best in the game.
  7. Keep hitting. Your chance to catch with any one Premier Ball is low but your chance to catch with multiple Premier Ball hits over multiple Raids becomes close to a statistical sure thing. So never give up!

What's the catch rate for Raikou?

Raikou, like the other Legendary Beasts, has a base catch rate of 2%. From there, you have the following modifiers:

  • Curve Premiere Ball: x1.7
  • Curve Premiere Ball with Razz Berry: x2.55
  • Curve Premiere Ball with Golden Razz Berry: x4.25

  • Nice throw: 1x to 1.3x

  • Great throw: 1.3 to 1.7x
  • Excellent throw: 1.7 to 2x.

  • Bronze Rocker medal: 1.1x

  • Silver Rocker medal: 1.2x
  • Gold Rocker medal: 1.3x

Add up all those bonuses, apply them over the course of 6-14 ball throws, and most people should be able to catch Raiku somewhere between half the time (if you use regular Razz Berry and do everything else optimally) and 75% of the time (if you use Golden Razz Berry and do everything else optimally). (Of course, odds being odds, some people might catch many in a row, others might see several run away.)

What if you really want to catch Raikou?

To maximize your chances to catch Raikou, get as many Premiere Balls as you can (Team Bonus, Damage Bonus, Gym Control), and use Golden Razz Berry every time you throw. If you can hit Great/Excellent throws, can get the Curve Ball bonus every time, you'll have the best chance possible to catch Raikou.

If you're running low on Golden Razz, try using regular Razz for the first half of your throws, then switch to Golden Razz for the second half. It'll still hurt your chances but not by as much.

What if you really want Raikou candy?

If you've already got your ideal Raikou and all you want now is candy, use Pinap Berry. Your chance to catch will be much lower but if you do catch, you'll get double the candy.

If you have some Rare Candy or you also want to catch some more Raikou, you can try the first half of your throws with Pinap and then switch to Golden Razz for the last half.

How do you hit Raikou? It keeps moving around!

Raikou has an interesting movement pattern. It jumps like Tyranitar, but also does a quick shuffle-step back. That means you can send a perfect curve ball right at Raiku only to have it withdraw or pounce and cause you to miss.

Still, there are some general and specific guidelines you can follow in addition to the above:

  1. Raikou can double or even triple jump, so if you're trying to time jumps before you throw, keep that in mind.
  2. While Raikou can jump after an attack, the timing is a bit slower so you have a better chance of hitting in between.
  3. If you're patient, your best bet is still to wait 3/4 of the way through the attack animation, then send your premiere ball flying.
  4. If you're not patient, you can try to hit in between jumps, but you may hit nothing but air or, even worse, watching your balls bounce off yet-another-move-animation.

Your tips on catching Raikou?

There are a bunch of other tips floating out there, including setting your target size before throwing, alternating Nanab Berry, waiting to press "OK", and more. It all comes down to math, though. You have a 2% base chance of catching Raikou and every bonus and ball increases that chance. You throw, Pokémon Go generates a random number, and if that number is less than your modified catch rate, you get Raiku.

If you've found anything else that works better for you, though, let me know!

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