Pokémon Go: How to beat Ex-Raids and get Deoxys

Ex-Raids, or exclusive raids, are invitation-only encounters in Pokémon Go. At first, they offered players around the world the chance to battle and catch the Legendary Gen 1 Pokémon, Mewtwo. Now, the Mythical Gen 3 Pokémon, the multi-form Deoxys, is taking over.

June 21, 2019: Speed Forme Deoxys Raids start June 23

Starting on June 23, 2019, at 8 a.m. PDT, Trainers who receive EX Raid Passes will encounter Speed Forme Deoxys in EX Raids!

March 13, 2019: Defense Forme Deoxys Raids start March 25

The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, has tested the strength of Trainers in EX Raids and has changed form again! Defense Forme Deoxys will be in EX Raids with stronger defenses than previously seen, so make sure your team is prepared. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge beginning March 25.

Still just a dex entry, alas.

December 17, 2018: Deoxys is about to shift to Attack Forme starting December 20

After two long months, Pokémon Go is finally shifting to the next forme: Attack:

The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, has tested the strength of Trainers in EX Raids and has now changed form! Attack Forme Deoxys will be in EX Raid Battles, with more power than previously seen, so make sure your team is prepared. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge beginning with the next cycle of EX Raid invitations, after December 20.

September 19, 2018: Deoxys takes over EX-Raids!

From Pokémon Go

It's time to prepare for a new challenge from a powerful Mythical Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region! The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, will arrive for EX Raid Battles. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge in its Normal Forme beginning with the next cycle of EX Raid invitations.Are you new to EX Raids? You can become eligible to receive an EX Raid Pass when you win a Raid Battle at a qualifying Gym. And from now on, you'll be able to see which Gyms can host an EX Raid through a handy tag when you look at the Gym details. EX Raid Passes will give you the date and time when you'll be able to challenge Deoxys, so mark your calendar and prepare your Pokémon for an epic battle!Battling Deoxys will be a difficult challenge that requires Trainers to take advantage of every opportunity—and maybe get a little help from a friend! From now on, when you receive an EX Raid Pass, you will be able to invite one friend to go with you! Keep in mind that invites can only be sent to an Ultra Friend or Best Friend, so don't forget to battle with friends, send Gifts, and trade Pokémon to build up your Friendship level.

Deoxys is nowhere nearly as relevant a Pokémon as Mewtwo, but it'll be a fun change of pace.

What is Deoxys?

Deoxys is a Mythical Pokémon from Gen 3. It's not nearly as good of an attacker as Mewtwo, but you'll still want at least one of each forme for your Pokédex and as good a one of each as possible for your collection.

Here's the official Pokémon description:

The DNA of a space virus underwent a sudden mutation upon exposure to a laser beam and resulted in Deoxys. The crystalline organ on this Pokémon's chest appears to be its brain.

And the Bulbapedia) entry:

Deoxys is an alien-like bipedal Pokémon that has four Formes, each focused on a different stat. The main components that are constant for all four Formes are a dominant reddish orange color, a bluish-green face, and three bluish-green dots on its back arranged in a triangle. Typically, there is a purple stripe running down the center of its face and a purple, crystalline organ in its chest. Its white, circular eyes are set inside rectangular, black eye sockets. It is shown in the anime, that Deoxys may have a green crystalline organ and facial stripe.Deoxys was formed by the mutation of a virus from space. The Pokémon is highly intelligent; its brain appears to be the crystal in its chest. This organ is capable of firing laser beams. Additionally, Deoxys can use psychokinetic powers, which are useful for its signature move Psycho Boost. As shown in the anime, it is able to regenerate any part of its body that it may have lost during a battle. It has also demonstrated the ability to create an aurora without changing its Forme. These auroras can have different electromagnetic wavelengths and are used to communicate with other Deoxys. It is also shown that the various electromagnetic waves given off by people, Pokémon, and all electronics can obscure its vision if there is enough interference with its communication. This Pokémon came from outer space from inside of a meteor.

Specific to the Normal Forme:

In its Normal Forme, Deoxys has tapering legs with a segmented, vertical, blue stripe on the upper portion. The abdomen is black with vertical lines, while the majority of its skin is reddish-orange. The arms are capable of taking different forms, usually a pair of tentacles coiled in a double helix. One tentacle is the primarily skin color, while the other is light blue. Alternately, it can form more humanoid arms with a red top and blue underside and a five-fingered hand. This Forme has a blunt protrusion with a single blue stripe on either side of its head and stubby tail.

What are Deoxys' other formes?


While in its Attack Forme, its legs remain tapered. However, its blue stripes are no longer segmented and run the entire length of the leg and there is now a large spike on the knee. Two pairs of whip-like tentacles with pointed tips, one reddish-orange and one blue, replace its previous coiled, blunted tentacles. The protrusions on its head are now triangular with an additional one extending from the top of its head. Most of its reddish-orange skin has receded, revealing a striated, black chest and abdomen. Finally, its tail is now longer and more pointed.


Deoxys's Defense Forme has bulky, wide legs that are somewhat flat at the end with a bluish-green spot on each knee. It retains its two pairs of red and blue tentacles, but they are now flat and broad. The head has fused with its body and all protrusions are gone, causing it to resemble a helmet. The reddish-orange skin now covers the entire body, so none of its inner black portion is visible. There is now a single blue stripe on each shoulder, and its tail has disappeared.


The Speed Forme of this Pokémon has a sleek black body with thin striation. The reddish-orange skin now covers only its head, hip joints, and the area around its crystal. There is now only one tentacle on each side of its body, one red and one blue. The protrusions on its head now point upward and the back of its head now forms a long spike. There is a long, thick blue stripe running down the center of this longer protrusion. More blue stripes appear on either hip joint and on its legs.

What are Ex-Raids?

Ex-Raids are short for Exclusive Raids and were meant to be a way for Pokémon Go to add greater depth and dimension to the Raid system.

Here's how Pokémon Go announced them:

Exclusive Raid Battles are similar to existing Raid Battles, with a few notable differences. Exclusive raids will periodically appear at Gyms around the world; however, unlike existing raids, Trainers will be invited to join an Exclusive Raid Battle. To receive an invitation to participate in an Exclusive Raid Battle, Trainers must have successfully completed a raid recently, by defeating the Raid Boss, at the Gym where the Exclusive Raid Battle will be taking place. The invitations will include advance warning of when the Exclusive Raid will take place, giving them ample time to coordinate with other Trainers before taking on the powerful Raid Boss.

Rumor has it Lugia was supposed to be the first Ex-Raid, launched at Pokémon Go Fest Chicago in July of 2017. But, that event was a bust, and so Lugia got released for everyone. Taking its place as the first Ex-Raid, then, was Mewtwo.

And, while Pokémon Go originally announced others would follow within weeks, it took a year for Deoxys to be rotated in.

How do you know if you get an Ex-Raid pass?

Pokemon Go EX Raid notification

Pokemon Go EX Raid notification (Image credit: iMore/Rene Ritchie)

If everything goes the way it should, you'll get notified about the Ex-Raid pass even if you're not in the game. It'll show up on your lock screen or in your notification center / shade.

If you miss the notification, or if you simply want to check or double check on whether or not you have a pass, you can find it in your Items alongside Free Raid Passes and Premium Raid Passes you may have in stock. Tap the Ex-Raid pass and you'll see the invitation.

You can also find it in your Gym Badges. Specifically, if you have any Ex-Raid invitations, they'll be indicated on the appropriate Gym. Tap the Gym and you'll see the invitation.

Currently, Pokémon Go seems be sending out one wave of Ex-Raid passes per week, alternating between Gyms. So, if a Gym has an Ex-Raid one week, it goes dormant the next, and then activates again the week after.

How do you get an Ex-Raid pass?

Raid at an Ex-Raid eligible Gym. There's a lot of complex geo-science behind it, involving Google's global cell grid system. But, suffice it to say, when you tap on a Gym, if it's Ex-Raid eligible, you'll see an little "Ex Raid" label at the top right. Find all those Gyms you can, raid at them regularly, and you should be able to score a pass.

Is it possible to raid at eligible Gyms and not get an Ex-Raid pass?

Yes. If not enough unique accounts raid at that Gym, it's possible they won't trigger for an Ex Raid. (Current theories suggest you need 20+ unique accounts raiding at the Gym during the week to trigger an Ex Raid.)

Someone said we got "Clock Blocked", what does that mean?

There appears to be a long-running bug in Pokémon Go where, if Ex-Raid passes go out, and there's currently a Raid active at that Gym, "phantom" passes go out instead which both:

  1. Fail to show up for anyone supposed to get an Ex-Raid at that Gym.
  2. Prevent anyone from getting an Ex-Raid at the next elligeable Gym instead.

It's super annoying but Ninatic has given no indication it's working on a fix.

Are all Ex-Raids on the weekends?

Not at all. Pokémon Go seems to hold an Ex-Raid a couple of times on one day, then move on to the next day. So, a couple of Saturday Ex-Raid dates will be followed by a couple of Sundays, then Mondays, then Tuesdays, and so.

Are all Ex-Raids during the day?

The time seems to vary from around lunch time to early evening. Some Ex-Raids take place at the same time, others at different times.

How do you beat Deoxys?

Easily. People have already beat the Normal Forme with 2 players and are theorizing that the Speed Forme with 1 player (albeit with good counters).

When you get your Ex-Raid invitation and you get ready to battle Deoxys, here are the Pokémon you want on your team:

  1. Mewtwo with Shadow Ball
  2. Tyranitar with Bite + Crunch (Bite + Stone Edge is also ok.).
  3. Gyarados with Bite + Crunch (Bite + Hydro Pump is also ok.)
  4. Rayquaza or Dragonite with Dragon Tail + Outrage (or anything, really.)
  5. Snorlax with Lick + Hyper Beam.
  6. Lugia with Dragon Tail + Sky Attack.

If you already have a Deoxys, you can use it against other Mewtwo as well. Anything + Shadow Ball is best.

How do you catch Deoxys?

Deoxys has a higher catch rate than most other Legendary Raid bosses. But you still have to hit it, and you still have to have odds high enough to catch it.

In terms of hitting it, Deoxys stands a bit further away than you might expect. So, throw with authority. In terms of catching it:

  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 Psychic medal. It's an automatic 1.1x to 1.3x bonus to your catch, and every modifier matters.
  3. Play patient. Deoxys, like any Raid boss, defends 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. Go Golden: If you have Golden Razz Berries, use them. This is Deoxys and the Golden Razz modifier, at 2.5x, is the best in the game.
  6. 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 best Moveset for Deoxys?

You'd think its signature move, Psycho Boost would be Deoxys' best move, but Pokémon Go made it kinda lame. So... Electric it is:

  • Charge Beam + Thunderbolt.

Yeah, why is right?

Before you start to power Deoxys up, though, read this from GamePress:

I see you there eyeing up that 345 base attack stat. Before you think that this makes a Pokemon good, I want to direct your attention to Deoxys Normal's defense stat. It's 115. How bad could that be? For reference, Gengar's base defense is 156. 115 sounds really frail now, doesn't it? But 345 base attack! With 2 of the worse fast moves in the game and Hyper Beam. Having its signature move Psycho Boost could have been a gain, but it deals little damage and has a 4 second cooldown (which is even slower than Hyper Beam). In short, Deoxys-Normal Forme is bad, like really bad. Abort mission. Do not power up. Niantic pls buff.

Can you trade Deoxys?

No, like the previous Mythicals, Mew and Celebi, Pokémon Go won't let you trade Deoxys.

Can you transfer Deoxys?

Yes! Unluke Mew and Celebi, each of which is restricted to a single specimen per player, you can catch multiple Deoxys and so are free to transfer any you don't want to clear out storage space.

Any Ex-Raid or Deoxys questions?

We'll have to wait and see just how well and sincerely Pokémon Go has fixed Ex-Raids and how many dedicated players really get a shot at Deoxys. In the meantime, if you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.