Pokémon Go: Cresselia Raid Guide

Pokemon Go Cresselia
Pokemon Go Cresselia (Image credit: Niantic)

Cresselia 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 Cresselia 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 Cresselia in Pokémon Go?

Pokemon 488 Cresselia (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

A Legendary Psychic type Pokémon first encountered in the Sinnoh Region of Gen IV, Cresselia is the counterpart of Darkrai forming the Lunar Duo. While Darkrai is infamous for its ability to cause nightmares, Cresselia can both grant pleasant dreams and dispel Darkrai's nightmares, as well as heal humans and Pokémon alike. Unlike many Legendary Pokémon, Cresselia are all female. Feathers from Cresselia are prized among people for their healing abilities.

In the core games, Cresselia's high defense has its uses, but in Pokémon Go, it really isn't much more than a Pokédex entry. Because Legendaries can't be put in gyms, there's just not a good use for her. However, you can transfer your Cresselia from Pokémon Go to Pokémon HOME, and given that Shiny hunting is much easier in Go than the core games, it may still be worth your while to catch this one.

What are the best counters for Cresselia in Pokémon Go?

A pure Psychic type Pokémon, Cresselia is weak against Bug, Ghost, and Dark type attacks. She can deal Psychic, Fairy, and Ice type damage. Mega Evolution and Shadow Pokémon are the key to winning this Raid quickly.

Mega Gengar

Pokemon 094 Gengar Mega (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The absolute best Pokémon you can bring up against Cresselia is Mega Gengar, beating out even the best Shadow Pokémon. As a Ghost and Poison type, it resists her Fairy type move, but takes super effective damage from Psychic type moves. You'll definitely want to coordinate with the rest of your Raid party to make the most of its Ghost type Mega Boost, but even if you cannot coordinate, Mega Gengard is worth having on your team. Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball are the best moves for Mega Gengar to know here.

Mega Houndoom

Pokemon 229 Houndoom Mega (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Coming in at a close second, Mega Houndoom also beats out all the best Shadow Pokémon in this Raid. As a Dark and Fire type, it resists Cresselia's Psychic and Ice type attacks, while having no weaknesses relevant to this Raid. Snarl and Foul Play are the moves you'll want your Mega Houndoom to know, and be sure to coordinate with the rest of your Raid party to make the most of the Dark type Mega Boost.

Mega Absol

Pokemon 359 Absol Mega (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

While it can't quite keep up with Mega Gengar or Mega Houndoom, Mega Absol performs very well in this raid. As a pure Dark type, it resists Cresselia's Psychic type attacks, but takes increased damage from the Fairy type move, Moonblast. You'll want to coordinate with the rest of your Raid party to make the most of its Dark type Mega Boost and your Mega Absol should know Snarl and Dark Pulse to do the most damage.

Chandelure

Pokemon 609 Chandelure (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

A Ghost and Fire type originally discovered in the Unova region of Gen V, Chandelure is one of the best in both its types. It takes half damage from both Fairy and Ice type attacks, while taking normal damage from Psychic types. For this Raid, you'll want to focus on its Ghost type moves Hex and Shadow Ball to do super effective damage to Cresselia. Although Litwick isn't a particularly common spawn, its availability during Halloween and Pokémon Go Fest 2020 means most players have had a chance to catch and evolve this little guy.

Darkrai

Pokemon 491 Darkrai (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Cresselia's counterpart in the Lunar Duo, Darkrai makes for an excellent counter in this Raid. As a Dark type Pokémon, Darkrai takes quarter damage from Cresselia's Psychic type attacks, but double damage from her Fairy type attack. Although technically a Mythical Pokémon, Darkrai was available in Raids and as a Pokémon Go Battle League Legendary Reward Encounter, so many players have at least one powered up already. Snarl and Shadow Ball are the ideal moves in a vaccum, but Dark Pulse works better when paired with Mega Houndoom or Mega Gyarados.

Mega Gyarados

Pokemon 130 Gyarados Mega (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Another great choice for a Mega counter is Mega Gyarados. As a Water and Dark type, it will take increased damage from Cresselia's Fairy type move, but resists her Psychic and Ice type moves. You'll want to coordinate with the rest of your Raid party to bring in teams of Dark type Pokémon. Bite and Crunch is the moveset you're looking for.

Hoopa

Pokemon 720 Hoopa Confined (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The Mythical Pokémon Hoopa is another excellent choice to counter Cresselia. This Ghost and Psychic type resists Psychic type moves and has no weaknesses relevant to this raid. However, like most Mythical Pokémon, it is limited to just one per account and requires completing Special Research to catch. Still, if you have one, it's a good investment for your Rare Candy. Astonish and Shadow Ball are the moves you'll want your Hoopa to know going up against Cresselia.

Mega Beedrill

Pokemon 015 Beedrill Mega (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Although Ghost and Dark type Megas perform better, Mega Beedrill is the key to a Bug based offensive. One of the first Mega Pokémon introduced in Pokémon Go, Mega Beedrill is also the cheapest of the Mega Pokémon to get so far. This Bug and Poison type brings a resistance to Fairy type damage, but a weakness to Psychic type attacks. Even with that weakness, it will boost other Bug types, making it ideal for this Raid. If you're bringing in Mega Beedrill, you'll want it to know Bug Bite and X-Scissor.

Giratina Origin Forme

Pokemon 487 Giratina Origin (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The Legendary Ghost and Dragon type from the Gen IV Sinnoh region, Giratina performs very well in this Raid. You'll want Origin Forme Giratina because of its access to the best Ghost move in Pokémon Go: Shadow Ball. Paired with Shadow Claw, Giratina will do super effective damage to Cresselia. However, be prepared to go through a lot of Revives and Potions because Giratina takes double damage from both Fairy and Ice type attacks. Fortunately, Giratina has been available many times, so most players have at least one or two powered up for this fight.

Gengar

Pokemon 094 Gengar (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Much like its Mega Evolved variant, Gengar performs great in this RaId. As a Ghost and Poison type, it takes increased damage from Psychic type moves, while resisting Fairy type damage. It's been around since day one, on top of having its own Community Day and being featured in every Halloween event, and it even benefits from Trade Evolution, so most active players have entire teams of Gengar. If you're bringing Gengar to this fight, you'll want it to know Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball.

Yveltal

Pokemon 717 Yveltal (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The mascot of Pokémon Y, Yveltal performs very well against Cresselia. A Dark and Flying type, it takes increased damage from both Fairy and Ice type, but resists Psychic type. Although it's only had one run in Raids, Yveltal was the focus of the Luminous Legends Y event, so most active players have had the chance to add it to their roster. Snarl and Dark Pulse are the moves you'll want your Yveltal to know.

Weavile

Pokemon 461 Weavile (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

A Dark and Ice type Pokémon first encountered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Weavile performs superbly against Cresselia. It resists her Psychic and Ice type moves, while taking double damage from Fairy type. Although it requires a Sinnoh Stone to evolve, its first stage Sneasal is common both as a spawn and as a Shadow Pokémon. If you're bringing a Weavile to this Raid, you'll want it to know Snarl and Foul Play.

Mewtwo

Pokemon 150 Mewtwo (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Gen I Legendary Mewtwo performs great against Cresselia. As a pure Psychic type, it resists Psychic type moves and has no weaknesses Cresselia can exploit. What really makes Mewtwo shine in this role, however, is access to Shadow Ball. Pair this powerful Ghost type move with Psycho Cut to maximize your damage; however, if your Mewtwo knows Psystrike do not TM this move away! It's a Legacy move that will cost you an Elite TM to get back.

Hydreigon

Pokemon 635 Hydreigon (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The pseudo-Legendary Dark and Dragon type, Hydreigon works really well against Cresselia, only taking quarter damage from its Psychic type attacks. However it takes double damage from her Ice type attack and quad damage from her Fairy type attack, so it's best to know the moveset you're up against before including this Pokémon in your team. It's first stage Deino is a very rare spawn, but has been featured in a number of events. If you are bringing Hydreigon along, Bite and Dark Pulse are the ideal moveset.

Houndoom

Pokemon 229 Houndoom (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Like its Mega Evolved variant, Houndoom is a great counter for Cresselia. Its Dark and Fire typing mean it takes reduced damage from Ice and Psychic type moves, and none of its weaknesses are relevant here. Plus, it was very common even before its Mega Evolution was introduced. If you're bringing Houndoom to this fight, you'll want it to know Snarl and Foul Play.

Tyranitar

Pokemon 248 Tyranitar (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The pseudo-Legendary Rock and Dark type of Gen II's Johto region, Tyranitar is one of the most accessible and useful Pokémon in Pokémon Go. Having been featured in a Community Day, events and Raids, and even as a Shadow Pokémon, most players have whole teams of Tyranitar at this point. Tyranitar takes quarter damage from Psychic type attacks, but double damage from Fairy type. Bite and Crunch are the moves you're looking for in this fight.

Backups?

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:

  • Zarude with Bite and Dark Pulse
  • Bisharp with Snarl and Dark Pulse
  • Escavalier with Bug Bite and Megahorn
  • Honchkrow with Snarl and Dark Pulse
  • Genesect with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
  • Absol with Snarl and Dark Pulse
  • Banette with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
  • Pinsir with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
  • Trevenant with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
  • Krookodile with Snarl and Crunch
  • Mismagius with Hex and Shadow Ball
  • Mega Blastoise with Bite and Hydro Cannon
  • Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
  • Yanmega with Bug Bite and Bug Buzz
  • Mega Manectric with Snarl and Wild Charge
  • Durant with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
  • Shiftry with Snarl and Foul Play
  • Thundurus (Therian forme) with Bite and Thunderbolt
  • Haunter with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball

Shadow Pokémon?

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 Weaville with Snarl and Foul Play
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
  • Shadow Tyranitar with Bite and Crunch
  • Shadow Houdoom with Snarl and Foul Play
  • Shadow Honchkrow with Snarl and Dark Pulse
  • Shadow Banette with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
  • Shadow Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
  • Shadow Pinsir with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
  • Shadow Absol with Snarl and Dark Pulse
  • Shadow Mismagius with Hex and Shadow Ball
  • Shadow Raikou with Thunder Shock and Shadow Ball
  • Shadow Alakazam with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
  • Shadow Sharpedo with Bite and Crunch
  • Shadow Shiftry with Snarl and Foul Play
  • Shadow Salamence with Bite and Draco Meteor

Note: This is an especially good Raid for Shadow Pokémon. Shadow Weavile and Shadow Mewtwo outperform all non-Mega counters. Everything through Shadow Mismagius perform comparably with the rest of the top counters. Of course, if you can coordinate the use of a Mega Pokémon, it will boost the same typed Pokémon making them perform even better.

How many players does it take to beat Cresselia in Pokémon Go?

While three high level Trainers going up against the easiest of Cresselia's movesets can win this Raid, you may need as many as five, especially if you're lacking the top counters or are lower level. She doesn't do much damage, but her defense is massive.

Weather Conditions that could impact the difficulty of this Raid include:

  • Wind will boost Cresselia's Psychic type attacks.
  • Cloudy Weather will boost her Fairy type attack.
  • Snow will boost her Ice type attack.
  • Rain will boost your Bug type counters.
  • Fog will boost both your Dark and Ghost type counters.

Questions about taking on Cresselia in Pokémon Go?

Do you have any questions about taking on Cresselia in Pokémon Go? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many other Pokémon Go guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!