Skipping over the entirety of Gen VII, as well as many other Legendary and Mythical Pokémon, Zacian and Zamazenta are coming to Pokémon Go Raids. Both will be featured during the Ultra Unlock part three: Sword and Shield event, alongside a handful of additional Galarian Pokémon. Although movepools have yet to be confirmed, we've got a list of counters so you can start prepping, 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 forms for now. Zacian's current movepool includes a single Psychic fast move, Psycho Cut, and three charged moves, the Fairy type Play Rough, the Electric type Wild Charge, and the Normal type Hyper Beam. Although Zacian's stats are great, the lack of a Fairy type fast move is going to hold it back. For now, it's not much more than a dex filler; however, its Crowned Sword forme may hold some promise yet, and as always, new moves or rebalances could impact it.
What are the best counters for Zacian in Pokémon Go?
As a pure Fairy type, Zacian's only weaknesses are Poison and Steel. It can deal Psychic, Fairy, Electric, and Normal type damage.
Beat only by Shadow Metagross for the top of the best counters for Zacian is Mega Gengar. This Poison and Ghost type resists Zacian's Fairy and Normal type moves, while taking increased damage from its Psychic type fast 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.
While it doesn't do quite as much damage as Mega Gengar, Metagross comes very close and is far more accessible. This Steel and Psychic type pseudo-Legendary resists Fairy, Normal, and Psychic type damage. 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. Pokémon Go has yet to introduce any Mega Steel types, so it won't benefit from a Mega boost, but that also means you don't have to worry about coordinating with your Raid party. 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.
Although Mega Gengar should be the first pick for a Mega Pokémon in this Raid, Mega Beedrill is a solid choice if you don't have the Mega Gengar Energy. A Bug and Poison type, it will take increased damage from Psychic type moves, while resisting Fairy. 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.
The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Diamond and the upcoming Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Dialga makes for a great counter to Zacian. A Steel and Dragon type, it resists Psychic, Electric, and Normal type moves, while having no weaknesses Zacian can exploit. Dialga has been featured in Raids multiple times, including during the Ultra Unlock: Time event, so most active players have had the chance to add it to their rosters. If you're bringing Dialga to this fight, you'll want Metal Claw and Iron Head for its moves.
Gen V's Excadrill is another excellent counter for Zacian. As a Steel and Ground type, Excadrill has the perfect type combination to resist all of Zacian's moves. 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.
Last, but not least, Gen IV's Roserade is another top counter for Zacian. Although it requires 100 Candy and a Sinnoh Stone to evolve, it was featured in 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 Psychic type moves, but it resists Fairy and Electric and it benefits from the Mega Boost of Mega Gengar or Mega Beedrill. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb are the best moveset for Roserade in this fight.
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 Psychic, Normal, and Fairy type damage and no weaknesses Zacian can exploit. Metal Claw and Magnet Bomb is the moveset you're looking for.
Another Mythical Pokémon for the list, Jirachi was originally encountered in the Hoenn region. Unfortunately, like most Mythicals, Jirachi is limited to one per account only obtainable from the Special Research line, A Thousand-Year Slumber. 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.
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.
Although it lasts considerably longer than Mega Beedrill, Mega Venusaur doesn't deal nearly as much damage in this Raid due to its lack of a poison type fast move. However, because it lasts so much longer, it may still be a better option for your team if you're able to coordinate with the rest of your Raid party. As a Grass and Poison type, it takes increased damage from Psychic type attacks, but resists Fairy and Electric. If you are bringing Mega Venusaur to this fight, you'll want Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb for the moveset.
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:
- Mega Pidgeot with Steel Wing and Brave Bird
- Vileplume with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Bisharp with Metal Claw and Iron Head
- Regigigas with Hidden Power (Steel) and Giga Impact
- Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
- Scoliopede with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Toxicroak with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Heatran with Fire Spin and Iron Head
- Galarian Slowbro with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Durant with Metal Claw and Iron Head
- Aggron with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam
- Alolan Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
- Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
- Ho-Oh with Steel Wing and Brave Bird
- Empoleon with Metal Claw and Flash Cannon
- Nidoking with Poison Jab and Sludge Wave
- Magneton with Spark and Magnet Bomb
- Kyurem with Steel Wing and Blizzard
- Venusaur with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
- Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hurricane
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 Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Psystrike
- Shadow Vileplume with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
- Shadow Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Aggron with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam
- Shadow Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
- Shadow Magneton with Thunder Shock and Magnet Bomb
- Shadow Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hurricane
- Shadow Venusaur with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Nidoking with Poison Jab and Sludge Wave
- Shadow Ho-Oh with Steel wing and Brave Bird
- Shadow Machamp with Bullet Punch and Heavy Slam
- Shadow Tyranitar with Iron Tail and Stone Edge
- Shadow Aerodactyl with Steel Wing and Iron Head
Note: Shadow Metagross outperforms every other Pokémon in the best counters list. While there are Poison type Mega Pokémon who will boost other Poison types on the field, given Metagross's abundance, 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, cannot coordinate with your Raid party, and/or 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 type attack, as well as your Poison type counters
- Wind will boost its Psychic type move
- Partly Cloudy Weather will boost its Normal type move
- Rain will boost its Electric type move
- Snow will boost your Steel type counters
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 Complete Pokédex, so you can be the very best like no one ever was!