Pokémon Go: Deoxys (Defense) guide
How to take on Defense Deoxys in Pokémon Go
The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys is coming back to Legendary raids in Pokémon Go. One of the oddest Mythical Pokémon out there, Deoxys has four different formes, each needing a different strategy to beat. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to take on this Raid and be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories so you can be fully equipped on your Pokémon Journey!
Who is Deoxys in Pokémon Go?
One of the most unusual Pokémon, Deoxys was formed by the mutation of an alien virus in space. It takes for different formes: Normal, Attack, Defense, and Speed. Each forme has a different shape and different stats, but they're all the same type and the same basic colors.
Where the formes really differ is their movesets:
- Normal Forme Deoxys can deal out Psychic, Electric, and Normal type damage.
- Attack Forme Deoxys can deal Psychic, Electric, Dark, and Poison type damage.
- Defense Forme Deoxys can deal Psychic, Electric, Fighting, and Rock type damage.
- Speed Forme Deoxys can deal Psychic, Electric, and Normal type damage.
This means you may have to tailor your counter teams a bit depending on the forme you're facing. This guide is focused on the Defense Forme.
Mega Evolution strategies for Defense Deoxys in Pokémon Go?
There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Defense Deoxys, focusing on each of its weaknesses: Ghost, Dark, and Bug type.
Best of the best, Mega Gengar is the top performer in this raid. As a Ghost and Poison type, it takes super effective damage from Psychic type moves, but it resists Fighting type damage. If you are bringing a Mega Gengar to this raid, you'll want it to know Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball.
If you don't have enough Gengar Mega Energy or you're better equipped for a Dark based offensive, Mega Houndoom is the best of the Dark type Mega Pokémon to bring against Deoxys. As a Dark and Fire type, you'll have to watch out for Deoxys's Fighting and Rock type attacks, but it will resists the Psychic type moves. Snarl and Foul Play are the ideal moves for Mega Houndoom here.
Another great choice to lead your Dark based offensive is Mega Absol. This pure Dark type takes super effective damage from Fighting type moves, but resists Psychic type damage. If you add it to your team, your Mega Absol should know Snarl and Dark Pulse for this fight.
Last of the top Mega counters, Mega Beedrill is the key to a Bug type offensive. This Bug and Poison type takes super effective damage from Psychic and Rock type moves, so it won't last as long, but it does have a resistance to Fighting type damage. If you're bringing Mega Beedrill to this fight, you'll want it to know Bug Bite and X-Scissor.
While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:
- Mega Gyarados with Bite and Crunch
- Mega Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
- Mega Manectric with Snarl and Wild Charge
What are the best counters for Deoxys in Pokémon Go?
Deoxys is a pure Psychic type with access to Psychic, Fighting, Electric, and Rock type moves. Its weaknesses include Ghost, Dark, and Bug type, leaving room for multiple winning strategies.
Pseudo-Legendary from the Unova region, Hydreigon is the top non-Shadow, non-Mega counter for Deoxys. It's been featured in multiple events, including Community Day, so most active players have at least one or two already powered up. As a Dark and Dragon type, Electric and Psychic type moves will deal reduced damage, but Fighting type moves will hit for super effective damage. Bite and Brutal Swing is the moveset you're looking for in this raid. If you don't have the Community Day move or an Elite TM to spare, Dark Pulse is the next best option, but puts Hydreigon's performance down to back up levels.
The Mythical Gen IV Pokémon, Darkrai might look like a Ghost, but it's actually a Dark type, and despite being a Mythical Pokémon, it's seen widespread availability. It resists Psychic type damage, but is weak to Fighting type moves. If you're bringing Darkrai to this raid, you'll want it to know Snarl and Shadow Ball or Dark Pulse. Shadow Ball does slightly more damage even without the benefit of STAB, but if you're running with a Dark type Mega Pokémon, Dark Pulse will perform better.
One of the Legendary Ultra Beasts of Alola, Pheromosa is an excellent counter for Deoxys. This Bug and Fighting type takes super effective damage from Psychic type moves, but it resists Fighting type damage. Unfortunately, the Ultra Beasts have had extremely limited availability, only appearing during Pokémon Go Fest 2022 events, so many players haven't even seen one. Still, if you have Pheromosa, the best moves for it in this raid are Bug Bite and Bug Buzz.
A Sinnoh region Legenday, Giratina is another great counter for Deoxys, but specifically its Origin Forme. Giratina's Origin forme hasn't been available as often as its Altered forme, but they do use the same candy. As a Ghost and Dragon type, it resists Electric and Normal type damage, and it has no weaknesses the DNA Pokémon can exploit. Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball are the moves you'll want your Giratina to know.
Both formes of the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa perform very well against Deoxys; however, the Confined Forme does best in this particular raid. As a Psychic and Ghost type, it has no weaknesses Deoxys can exploit and it resists both Psychic and Fighting type damage. Unfortunately, Hoopa is extremely limited, only one per account and only for players who completed the limited Special Research: Misunderstood Mischief. Still, if you have one, Astonish and Shadow Ball is the moveset you're looking for.
Hoopa's Unbound Forme also performs great in this raid, if you've already changed yours and don't want to spend the Candy and Stardust changing it back. As a Psychic and Dark type, it resists Psychic type moves and has no weaknesses relevant to this fight. Unfortunately, not only is Hoopa limited to one per account, but changing forms is expensive. Still, if you're bringing an Unbound Hoopa to this fight, you'll want Astonish and Shadow Ball for its moveset.
Originally encountered in the Unova region of Gen V, Chandelure performs very well against Deoxys. As a Ghost and Fire type, Chandelure takes super effective damage from Rock type attacks, but resists Fighting type. Its first stage, Litwick has been featured in several events, so most active players have at least one or two powered up already. Hex and Shadow Ball are the ideal moveset for this Raid.
Gen I's Gengar is a solid choice for this raid. It's been available for so long and in so many ways that there's just no excuse not to have at least a couple in your roster. On top of that, with the introduction of Trade Evolution, you can evolve Haunter into Gengar without spending any candy. However, like its Mega Evolved version, Gengar is weak to Psychic damage, so make sure you have plenty of Revives and Potions on hand. For the moves, Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball work best.
The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Y, Yveltal is another great choice. As a Dark and Flying type, Electric and Rock type moves deal super effective damage, but it resists Psychic type damage. Unfortunately, the Destruction Pokémon has only had one run in raids so far, so some players may not have it yet. Still, if you have Yveltal, Snarl and Dark Pulse are the moves you'll want it to know for this raid.
Last but not least is the Sinnoh Stone evolution of Sneasel, Weavile. This Dark and Ice type, it resists Psychic type damage, while Fighting and Rock type moves will hit for super effective damage. The Weavile line has been featured in multiple events, so most active players will already have one or two powered up. If you're adding Weavile to your team, Snarl and Foul Play are the moves it should know.
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
- Genesect with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
- Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
- Tyranitar with Bite and Crunch
- Bisharp with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Escalavier with Bug Bite and Mega Horn
- Honchkrow with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Trevenant with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
- Vikavolt with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
- Deoxys (Attack) with Poison Jab and Dark Pulse
- Krookodile with Snarl and Crunch
- Absol with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Houndoom with Snarl and Foul Play
- Banette with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Pinsir with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
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. If you happen to have any of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this Raid:
- Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Weavile with Snarl and Foul Play
- Shadow Tyranitar with Bite and Crunch
- Shadow Banette with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Absol with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Shadow Pinsir with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
- Shadow Mismagius with Hex and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Honchkrow with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Shadow Houndoom with Snarl and Foul Play
- Shadow Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
- Shadow Shiftry with Snarl and Foul Play
- Shadow Raikou with Thunder Shock and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Cacturne with Sucker Punch and Dark Pulse
- Shadow Scyther with Fury Cutter and Bug Buzz
Note: Shadow Mewtwo, and Shadow Weavile outperform every non-Mega Pokémon in the best counters list.
How many players does it take to defeat Deoxys in Pokémon Go?
While other formes of Deoxys can be beat with three or even two top level players, the Defense forme has, as the name implies, much higher defense and so take a lot more damage to beat. You should aim to have at least four players when challenging this forme of the DNA Pokémon, and at least six if you're lower level or lacking the best counters.
Weather conditions that can impact this Raid include:
- Wind will boost Deoxys's Psychic type moves
- Partly Cloudy Weather will boost Deoxys's Rock type move
- Rain will boost Deoxys's Electric type move, as well as your Bug type counters
- Cloudy/Overcast Weather will boost Deoxys's Fighting type move
- Fog will boost your Dark and Ghost type counters
Questions about Deoxys in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on the Legendary Psychic type Pokémon Deoxys? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our other Pokémon Go guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!
Get the best of iMore in your inbox, every day!
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.