Raikou is coming back to Legendary raids in Pokémon Go. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to win this fight and add Raikou to your roster. And be sure to check out our Best Pokémon Go accessories, so you can be fully equipped for your Pokémon Journey!
Who is Raikou in Pokémon Go?
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 one of the strongest non-Shadow Electric type Pokémon and Shadow Raikou is the strongest Electric type in Pokémon Go. It's definitely a Pokémon you'll want in your roster. Even if you already have high IV/CP Raikou already, the extra Raikou Candy will be useful for powering up your Shadow Raikou.
What are the best counters for Raikou in Pokémon Go?
As a pure Electric type, Raikou's only weakness is to Ground types. It's move pool is almost entirely Electric save for a single Ghost type attack, Shadow Ball. Mega Evolution doesn't currently play a big role in this raid. Once introduced, Mega Garchomp, Mega Camerupt, or Mega Swampert would make this Raid even easier, but until then, there are plenty of Ground type Pokémon and Shadow Pokémon to add to your roster.
Landorus (Therian forme)
Although Incarnate forme Landorus has a better moveset, Therian forme Landorus is still the top counter for Raikou. As a Ground and Flying type, Landorus resists Electric type damage and has no relevant weaknesses. It's not been available as often as the other forme, but they share the same Candy, so there's a good chance you already have the resources to power it up. If you're bringing a Therian forme Landorus to this Raid, you'll want it to know Mud Shot and Earthquake.
A Gen IV pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, Garchomp is an excellent counter for Raikou even without its Mega Evolution. Its first stage, Gible has been featured in a number of events, including Community Day, so you probably already have at least one Garchomp in your roster. This Dragon and Ground Type resists Raikou's Electric type attacks and has no weaknesses that the Thunder Pokémon can exploit. The best moveset for your Garchomp is Mud Shot and Earth Power. If you don't have the Community Day exclusive move or the Elite TM to spare, Earthquake still puts Garchomp in the top counters.
The Sinnoh Stone evolution of Gen I's Rhyhorn, Rhyperior was already readily available, but after Rhyhorn's Community Day, there's no excuse not to have a few high CP Rhyperior. This Ground and Rock type resists Raikou's Electric type attacks and has no weaknesses the Thunder Pokémon can exploit. However, you'll want your Rhyperior to know Mud-Slap and Earthquake - not the Community Day exclusive move, Rock Wrecker. If your Rhyperior already knows Rock Wrecker, don't TM it away. Rock Wrecker is super useful in other Raids and a Legacy move you won't be able to get back without an Elite TM.
Originally encountered in the Unova region of Gen V, Excadrill is the final evolution of Drilbur. As Drillbur has been featured in a number of events and only requires 50 Candy to evolve, you probably have at least one or two Excadrill already powered up. A Ground and Steel type, it has no relevant weaknesses and resists Raikou's Electric type attacks. You'll want it to know Mud-Slap and Drill Run to challenge Raikou.
The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Ruby, Groudon performs very well against Raikou. It has been featured in a number of raids and as a Research Breakthrough Reward, so you probably have a couple in your roster already. As a pure Ground type, it takes reduced damage from Raikou's Electric attacks and has no relevant weaknesses. Groudon's best moves to take on Electric types are Mud Shot and Earthquake.
Landorus (Incarnate forme)
Although its Therian forme performs better, Landorus Incarnate is also an excellent counter for Raikou. It has had multiple runs in raids and was also available as a Pokémon Go Battle League reward encounter, so you may already have one or two powered up. As a Ground and Flying type, Landorus has no weaknesses Raikou can exploit and it resists Electric attacks. Mud Shot and Earth Power are the moves you'll want your Landorus to know for this fight.
While Rhyperior is definitely better, Rhydon also performs very well against Raikou. This Ground and Rock type from Gen I resists Electric type attacks and has no relevant weaknesses. It's also incredibly common and has been in the game since day one. If you're bringing Rhydon to this Raid, you'll want Mud-Slap for the fast attack and Earthquake for the charged attack.
Gen V's Krookodile is another great counter if you happen to have one. Its first stage, Sandile is only available in the 12KM Strange Eggs rescued from the Team Go Rocket Executives, so many Trainers don't even have one, much less the Candy to power it up. However, if you have it, this Ground and Dark type resists all of Raikou's moves. You'll want your Krookodile to know Mud-Slap and Earthquake for this fight.
Originally discovered in the Unova region of Gen V, Golurk performs well in this Raid. As a Ground and Ghost type, it resists Electric attacks, but takes double damage from Shadow Ball. Golett is pretty common from Eggs and was featured in multiple Halloween events. Additionally, it only requires 50 Candy to fully evolve, leaving lots leftover for powering up. Mud-Slap and Earth Power are the moves you'll want for this Raid.
Originally encountered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Mamoswine is the final evolution of Gen II's Swinub. It's been featured in a number of events, including Community Day, so you probably have plenty of Candy to power your Mamoswine up. As an Ice and Ground type, it resists Electric attacks and has no weaknesses Raikou can exploit. Mud-Slap and Bulldoze is the moveset you'll want your Mamoswine to know.
Gen I's Golem is a great counter for Raikou. It's a Rock and Ground type, so it has no weaknesses Raikou can exploit and it resists Electric type damage. As a Gen I Pokémon, it was already incredibly common, but with its Alolan variant so often being featured in events and sharing the same Candy, there's no good reason not to have at least one powered up. Mud-Slap and Earthquake are the moves you'll want your Golem to know for this fight.
Originally encountered in the Johto region of Gen II, Donphan is the last of our top counters for Raikou. As a pure Ground type, it has no relevant weaknesses and it resists Electric type moves. Donphan is also very common, with its first stage, Phanpy having been featured in events. If you're bringing Donphan to this fight, you'll want Mud-Slap for the fast move and Earth Power for the charged.
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:
- Regigigas with Hidden Power and Giga Impact
- Mega Gengar with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
- Flygon with Mud Shot and Earth Power
- Haxorus with Dragon Tail and Earthquake
- Mega Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Earth Power
- Mega Beedrill with Poison Jab and Drill Run
- Mega Charizard Y with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Swampert with Mud Shot and Earthquake
- Hoopa (Unbound) with Confusion and Psychic
- Mega Charizard X with Dragon Breath and Blast Burn
- Reshiram with Fire Fang and Overheat
- Zekrom with Dragon Breath and Outrage
- Hippowdon with Ice Fang and Earth Power
- Seismitoad with Mud Shot and Earth Power
- Mega Lopunny with Pound and Return
- Nidoking with Fury Cutter and Earth Power
- Dialga with Dragon Breath and Draco Meteor
- Terrakion with Smack Down and Sacred Sword
- Rayquaza with Dragon Tail and Outrage
- Latios with Dragon Breath and Psychic
- Alolan Dugtrio with Mud-Slap and Earthquake
- Gastrodon with Mud-Slap and Earth Power
Note: While Mega Evolved Pokémon are included in this list, they will not provide the same type Mega Boost which is normally a priority so there is no need to build a team around any of them or necessarily waste the Mega Energy bringing them along.
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 Mamoswine with Mud-Slap and Bulldoze
- Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Psystrike
- Shadow Flygon with Mud Shot and Earth Power
- Shadow Swampert with Mud Shot and Earthquake
- Shadow Nidoking with Fury Cutter and Earth Power
- Shadow Salamence with Dragon Tail and Outrage
- Shadow Dragonite with Dragon Tail and Outrage
- Shadow Sandslash with Mud Shot and Earthquake
- Shadow Metagross with Zen Headbutt and Earthquake
- Shadow Torterra with Razor Leaf and Earthquake
- Shadow PorygonZ with Hidden Power and Tri Attack
- Shadow Ho-Oh with Hidden Power and Earthquake
How many players does it take to beat Raikou in Pokémon Go?
Although it is technically possible for three high level Trainers with the best counters and favorable Weather conditions to beat Raikou, if you're lower level or lacking the best counters, you may need four or five until one of the Mega Evolved Ground types become available.
Weather conditions that can impact this Raid include:
- Rain will boost Raikou's Electric attacks.
- Fog will boost Raikou's Shadow Ball.
- Sunny/Clear Weather will boost your Ground counters.
Questions about taking on Raikou in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on the Legendary Pokémon, Raikou? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, so you can be the very best like no one every was!
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.