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.

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.

September 10, 2018: No more Ex Raids... for now

Pokémon Go has announced that, as part of the Ultra Reward for completing all the research tasks for all the summer events in Europe, North America, and Asia, Mewtwo is going to become a standard — i.e. non Ex Raid exclusive — Legendary Raid boss from September 20 to October 23, 2018.

What, if anything, will be done with the Ex Raid mechanic between now and then, and there after, remains to be seen.

When's the next set of Ex-Raids?

The current set of invitations went out on Saturday, August 25, 2018, for Ex-Raids taking place on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

The next set... didn't go out as expected on September 8. It's possible Pokémon Go wanted to avoid clock-blocking all of North American by sending out invitations right before or during Moltres Day —though that would be an admission of the bug the company has thus far been ignoring. It's also possible Pokémon Go is shaking things up.

We'll have to wait and see.

What is Mewtwo?

Mewtwo is a Legendary Pokémon from Gen 1. It's also one of the best attackers in the game — even after Pokémon Go reduced (nerfed) its stats.

Here's the official Pokémon description:

Mewtwo is a Pokémon that was created by genetic manipulation. However, even though the scientific power of humans created this Pokémon's body, they failed to endow Mewtwo with a compassionate heart.

And the Bulbapedia entry:

Mewtwo is a Pokémon created by science. It is a bipedal, humanoid creature with some feline features. It is primarily gray with a long, purple tail. On top of its head are two short, blunt horns, and it has purple eyes. A tube extends from the back of its skull to the top of its spine, bypassing its neck. It has a defined chest and shoulders, which resemble a breastplate. The three digits on each hand and foot have spherical tips. Its tail is thick at the base, but thins before ending in a small bulb.

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, some nine months later, Mewtwo remains the only Ex-Raid in the game.

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

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, find your local Raid groups, chat with them, and learn all the Gyms in your area that host Ex-Raids. Then Raid at those Gyms as often as you can.

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 Mewtwo?

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

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

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

How do you catch Mewtwo?

Mewtwo 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, Mewtwo 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. Mewtwo, 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 Mewtwo 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 Mewtwo?

Once you catch your Mewtwo, if you have the Quick and Charge TMs to spare, here's the moveset you want:

  • Confusion + Shadow Ball.

Any Ex-Raid or Mewtwo 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 Mewtwo. In the meantime, if you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!

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