As the Season of Go continues, Zacian is returning to Legendary raids in Pokémon Go. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to beat it and add this Legendary Pokémon 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 Zacian in Pokémon Go?
The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Sword, Zacian is part of a pair of Legendary Pokémon, the Hero Duo. These two are the protectors of the Galar region who battled against Eternatus. The Warrior Pokémon, Zacian is is the mascot of Pokémon Sword and the elder of the duo. Both have two forms: Hero of Many Battles, and Crowned Sword or Crowned Shield. In their Hero of Many Battles forms, Zacian is a pure Fairy type and Zamazenta is a pure Fighting type. Their Crowned forms add a secondary Steel typing.
In terms of Pokémon Go, we'll just be facing the Hero of Many Battles form for now. Zacian's current movepool includes a wide range of types, but only one Fairy type moves. Although its stats are great, the lack of a Fairy type fast move really holds it back. However, its Crowned Sword forme may hold some promise yet, and as always, new moves or rebalances could impact it.
Mega Evolution strategies for Zacian in Pokémon Go?
There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Zacian, focusing on both of its weaknesses: Poison and Steel.
Beat only by Shadow Metagross for the top of the best counters for Zacian is Mega Gengar. This Poison and Ghost type resists Fairy, Normal, and Fighting type damage, while taking increased damage from its Dark type move. If you can safely coordinate with the rest of your raid party, Mega Gengar will provide a nice boost to other Poison types on the field. Lick and Sludge Bomb are the best moveset for your Mega Gengar going up against Zacian.
Although it can't quite keep up with Mega Gengar, Mega Beedrill is still a fantastic Mega for this raid. A Bug and Poison type, it will take increased damage from Fire type moves, while resisting Fairy and Fighting type damage. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb are the moves you'll want your Mega Beedrill to know and be sure to coordinate with the rest of your Raid party if you can to get the most out of the Poison type Mega Boost.
While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:
- Mega Venusaur with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
- Mega Steelix with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam
- Mega Aerodactyl with Steel Wing and Iron Head
- Mega Pidgeot with Steel Wing and Brave Bird
What are the best counters for Zacian in Pokémon Go?
Zacian (Hero of Many Battles) is a pure Fairy type with access to Fairy, Fire, Steel, Normal, Dark, Electric, and Fighting type moves. Its weaknesses are Poison and Steel type, leaving room for a couple winning strategies.
Gen III pseudo-Legendary Metagross is the top non-Mega, non-Shadow counter for Zacian. This Steel and Psychic type resists Fairy, Normal, and Steel type damage, while taking super effective damage from Fire and Dark type moves. Having been featured in a number of events, including a Steel and Psychic Incense Day and a Community Day, not to mention as a Shadow Pokémon, most players have had plenty of opportunities to add Metagross to their rosters. Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash are the moves you'll want your Metagross to know, but if you don't have the Community Day exclusive move or the Elite TM to spare, Flash Cannon can also work.
One of the Legendary Ultra Beasts originally discovered in Alola, Nihilego is an excellent counter for Zacian. This Poison and Rock type resists Fairy, Fire, and Normal type damage, while taking super effective damage from Steel type moves. Unfortunately, Nihilego is very new to Pokémon Go, having been introduced during Pokémon Go Fest 2022. The few players who did get to challenge it only had one day, so most players don't have the candy to power it up. Still, if you have Nihilego, Acid and Sludge Bomb are its best moves for this raid.
The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Dialga makes for a great counter to Zacian. A Steel and Dragon type, it resists Steel, Electric, and Normal type damage, while taking increased damage from Fighting type moves. Dialga has been featured in raids multiple times, so most active players have had the chance to add it to their roster. If you're bringing Dialga to this fight, you'll want Metal Claw and Iron Head for its moves.
Sinnoh Stone evolution, Roserade is another top counter for Zacian. It had a Community Day and has a baby form, Budew that often hatches from eggs, so most players have had the chance to add Roserade to their roster. This Poison and Grass type takes increased damage from Fire type moves, but it resists Fairy, Fighting, and Electric type damage. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb are the best moveset for Roserade in this fight.
A Mythical Pokémon from Gen III, Jirachi was originally encountered in the Hoenn region. As a Psychic and Steel type, it resists Fairy, Normal, and Steel type damage, but takes super effective damage from Dark and Fire type. Unfortunately, like most Mythicals, Jirachi is limited to one per account only obtainable from completing a Special Research line, so it is very expensive to power up. Still, if you've invested the Rare Candy into beefing up your Jirachi, it will perform very well in this Raid with Charge Beam and Doom Desire.
Gen V's Excadrill is another excellent counter for Zacian. As a Steel and Ground type, Excadrill resists Fairy, Normal, Steel, and Electric type damage, while Fighting and Fire type moves hit for super effective damage. It only has two stages and its first stage, Drilbur has been featured in events and is fairly common, so most players have had the chance to catch and evolve it. Metal Claw and Iron Head are the ideal moves for your Excadrill in this Raid.
A Mythical fossil Pokémon from Unova, Genesect is a great counter for Zacian. Although it is a Mythical Pokémon, Genesect has been available in raids multiple times on top of its paid Special Research event, A Drive to Investigate, so it's far more readily available than most Mythicals. It's a Steel and Bug type, giving it resistance to Steel, Normal, and Fairy type damage; however, its double weakness to Fire can be a problem if Zacian has Fire Fang. Metal Claw and Magnet Bomb is the moveset you're looking for.
Gen VIII's Overqwil is another excellent counter for Zacian. This Dark and Poison type resists Dark type damage and has no weaknesses relevant to this raid. Unfortunately, Overqwil can only be obtained by evolving a Hisuian Qwilfish and both were only just introduced to the game, so many players don't even have one yet. Still, if you have Overqwil, Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb is its ideal moveset for this fight.
Although you can only bring one Mega Gengar to a Raid, you can bring as many Gengar as you want. This Ghost and Poison type from Kanto has the same weaknesses and resistances as its Mega Evolution and is widely available, having been in the game since day one and featured in many events, including every Halloween event and even its own Community Day. You'll want your Gengar to know Lick for the fast move and Sludge Bomb for the charged.
Originally discovered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Toxicroak is our final top counter for this raid. This Fighting and Poison type resist Dark and Fighting type damage and has no weaknesses Zacian can exploit. Plus, Toxicroak is incredibly common, having been featured in a number of events. If you include it in your team, you'll want your Toxicroak to know Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb.
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:
- Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
- Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Regigigas with Hidden Power (Steel) and Giga Impact
- Vileplume with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Scoliopede with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
- Darkrai with Snarl and Sludge Bomb
- Ho-Oh with Steel Wing and Sacred Fire++
- Salazzle with Poison Jab and Sludge Wave
- Galarian Slowbro with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Muk with Acid and Gunk Shot
- Durant with Metal Claw and Iron Head
- Heatran with Fire Spin and Iron Head
- Aggron with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam
- Zacian (Hero of Many Battles) with Metal Claw and Iron Head
- Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Hoopa (Unbound) with Confusion and Psychic
- Xurkitree with Thunder Shock and Discharge
- Alolan Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
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 Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Shadow Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
- Shadow Vileplume with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
- Shadow Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
- Shadow Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Ho-Oh with Steel wing and Brave Bird
- Shadow Nidoking with Poison Jab and Sludge Wave
- Shadow Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hurricane
- Shadow Venusaur with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Entei with Fire Spin and Iron Head
- Shadow Aggron with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam
- Shadow Weezing with Acid and Sludge Bomb
Note: Shadow Metagross outperforms every other counter, including the Megas. While there are Poison type Mega Pokémon who will boost other Poison types on the field, given how common Metagross is, a team of Metagross and/or Shadow Metagross is the best you can do without coordinating with your Raid party to focus on Poison types.
How many players does it take to beat Zacian in Pokémon Go?
Although it should be possible for three top level trainers with the best counters and conditions to take out Zacian in its Hero of Many Battles forme, if you're lower level, are facing a difficult moveset, or are lacking the best counters, you may need five or more players.
Weather conditions that can impact this Raid include:
- Cloudy Weather will boost Zacian's Fairy and Fighting type moves, as well as your Poison type counters
- Snow will boost it's Steel type moves, as well as your Steel type counters
- Partly Cloudy Weather will boost its Normal type move
- Rain will boost its Electric type move
- Sunny/Clear Weather will boost its Fire type move
- Fog will boost its Dark type move
Questions about taking on Zacian in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on the Hero of Many Battles forme of Zacian in Pokémon Go? 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!
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.