Legendary Raids: How to beat Heatran in Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go Heatran
Pokémon Go Heatran (Image credit: Niantic)

Pokémon Go Legendary Raids are in full effect. We've already had the Gen 1 Legendary Birds, the Gen 2 Legendary Beasts, their masters, Lugia and Ho-Oh, and the Gen 3 Weather Trio, Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza, the Eon Duo, Latios and Latios, and now the Legendary Titans of Hoeen, Regice, Registeel, and Regirock are ready to rumber.

December 18, 2018: Heatran, the Lava Dome Pokémon is taking over Legendary Raids into the New Year!

One more legendary surprise is coming to Pokémon GO in 2018! The Fire- and Steel-type Lava Dome Pokémon, Heatran, will join Raid Battles across the world from December 18 at 1:00 p.m. PST to January 15 at 1:00 p.m. PST!Be sure to assemble a team that includes Water-, Fighting-, and Ground-type Pokémon to take down this Legendary Pokémon before it overpowers your team with its massive strength!

Get your Groudon, Rhyperior or Rhydon, or Golems with double ground moves, or Kyogre or Machamps ready to Raid!

December 14, 2018: Lugia and Ho-Oh are back, back again. Shiny too. Tell a friend!

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Great for new players or for anyone without a Shiny bird leader yet!

August 24, 2018: Ho-Oh Legendary Raids return... until August 27

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Fun times!

August 16, 2018: Regirock rolls into Legendary Raids... Until September 20!

Last, but it's really hard to argue which is least, the Ground-type Titan is now available in Pokémon Go.

As another season of Pokémon's legendary year comes to a close, a Legendary Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region will emerge—Regirock, which begins its domination of Raid Battles on August 16!Regirock, the Rock Peak Pokémon, has arrived on the scene and will take over Raid Battles from the Steel-type Legendary Pokémon Registeel until September 20. This Rock-type Legendary Pokémon has a sturdy defense, but it's weak to Water-, Grass-, Fighting-, Ground-, and Steel-type attacks.

Get ready to Rock & Raid!

July 19, 2018: Registeel is taking over Legendary Raids... Until August 16!

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Keep your Moltres, Entei, and Machamp at the ready!

July 12, 2018: Zapdos Day is coming on July 21

Just like Articuno Day, not as cold, but more charged:

Are you ready for round two of Professor Willow's Global Challenge? Starting July 14 through July 15, each area of the world will have to meet the challenge requirements during Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, USA! If each area achieves its respective goals, Candy-related bonuses will unlock starting on July 16—including bonuses for catching Pokémon and participating in Raid Battles. Trainers can also unlock a bonus to reduce the distance needed to hatch Eggs!If all goals are achieved, Trainers all over the globe will be able to receive up to five free Raid passes when they spin a Photo Disc at a Gym during Zapdos Day, featuring the Legendary Pokémon Zapdos. On Saturday, July 21, Zapdos will be exclusively available in Raid Battles around the world for a three-hour period. During that time, all Zapdos caught will know the Fast Attack Thundershock. You might even encounter a Shiny Zapdos!

Get your Smack Down Tyranitars and Outrage Dragons ready!

July 7, 2018: Articuno Raid rewards are here... and a chance for a Shiny!

Well, this is new and different!

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The in-game news item mentions the potential for 5 free Raid Passes, and a 3-hour window (same as Community Day) to Raid... and maybe get a Shiny form.

So, break out your Tyranitar — especially with Smack Down + Stone Edge — and your Entei and Moltres with Fire Spin + Overheat and get ready to get your ice bird Raids on!

June 21, 2018: Regice is the new Legendary Boss until July 19

Regice is the first of the Legendary titans of Hoenn to enter Pokémon Go — and will be available to Raid until July 19!

Pokémon's legendary year continues with three Legendary Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region harnessing their power to take over Raid Battles in Pokémon GO, starting with Regice on June 21!Regice, the Iceberg Pokémon, has awakened from its slumber and will be the first to appear in Raid Battles across the world until July 19. This Ice-type Legendary Pokémon has a strong defense, but is weak to Fire-, Fighting-, Rock-, and Steel-type attacks.The presence of this defensive powerhouse kicks off a summer of earth-shattering events, as Regirock and Registeel will also roar into Gyms worldwide!Don't miss this chance to catch this Legendary Pokémon before it returns to another long slumber! Stay safe, and happy exploring!

June 7, 2018: Kyogre is back, and Shiny Kyogre is with it — until June 21!

Pokemon Go shiny Kyogre

Pokemon Go shiny Kyogre (Image credit: iMore/ Rene Ritchie)

If you missed catching Kyogre, the best Water-type Pokémon for generations, you can try again until June 21. What's more, Kyogre's Shiny form is available now as well!

Raid Battles will also feature powerful Water-type Pokémon for the duration of the celebration, including the exciting return of the Legendary Pokémon Kyogre. And, if you challenge Kyogre during the event and come out victorious, there is a chance you'll encounter its Shiny form!

May 18, 2018: Ho-Oh joins Latias and Latios in Legendary Raids until June 7!

If you missed out on catching the Leader of the Legendary Beasts, you've now got another chance to get your Ho-Oh on!

From Pokémon Go

Get ready for a surprise: The Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh will return to Raid Battles in Pokémon GO on May 19! A powerful Fire- and Flying-type Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region, the Rainbow Pokémon Ho-Oh will appear in Gyms across the globe alongside Latias and Latios, which will remain in their designated regions. Plus, if you're fortunate, you might be able to encounter a Shiny Ho-Oh after you win the battle! You can challenge Ho-Oh until June 7 and seize the opportunity to add this Legendary Pokémon to your Pokédex. So, gather your strongest party to take on Ho-Oh before it returns to the skies!

That's right, Shiny Ho-Oh, and when it's Shiny, it's got a 100% catch-rate.

Of course, it adds the usual uncertainty over which Tier 5 Egg will hatch which Legendary, and that can make it harder to get organized and get people out for one or the other Raids. So, not everyone is going to be happy about it. We'll have to wait and see.

May 8, 2018: Latias and Latios Legendary Raids until June 5! (And they've just switched places!)

It's May 8, and that means Latias is now live in North America, South America, and Africa, and Latios has moved on to Europe and Asia.

The Eon Duo is here! Generation 3's Psychic- Dragon-types, Latias and Latios have arrived in Raids.

From Pokémon Go:

The Legendary Pokémon Latias will appear in Raid Battles across Europe and Asia, while Latios will appear in North America, South America, and Africa. On May 8, the Eon Pokémon will switch locations and will be available until June 5, so all Trainers will have the opportunity to catch both powerful Pokémon.

Happy Raiding!

March 15, 2018: Lugia Legendary Raids are back until April 2!

Rather than give us a new Legendary Boss to Raid, Pokémon Go is bringing back the very first! Lugia returns from March 16 to April 2.

From Pokémon Go:

The Legendary Pokémon Lugia will return to Raid Battles in Pokémon GO on March 16! A powerful Psychic- and Flying-type Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region, Lugia will appear in Gyms across the globe as the Legendary Pokémon Rayquaza returns to the ozone layer. You can challenge Lugia, which will know the newly improved Flying-type move Sky Attack, until April 2. So gather your strongest party to take on this Legendary Pokémon before it returns to the sea!

February 23, 2018: Kyogre and Groudon join Rayquaza in Raids until March 5

If you missed out on battling, beating, and catching the Legendary Ground-type, Groudon, or Water-type, Kyogre — two of the best Pokémon in the game — you now have a second chance... for one week only.

From Pokémon Go:

Now is the time to test your strength! Legendary Pokémon Kyogre and Groudon return to Raid Battles alongside Rayquaza for a limited time. Now is an excellent chance to finally catch all three ancient Legendary Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region!Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza each have their own strengths and weaknesses, so challenging all three will take skill! Power up your strongest Pokémon, grab your friends, and head to nearby Gyms for a chance to battle and catch them from February 23 until March 5.We're in for some legendary battles, and the overall result will be exciting! If Rayquaza is defeated more than Kyogre and Groudon combined, Pokémon that typically prefer windy weather (for example, Bagon) are more likely to hatch from Eggs from March 5 to March 16. If not, Pokémon that prefer sunny or rainy weather (like Trapinch or Lotad) are more likely to hatch.These battles will be tough, so we have new special boxes debuting on February 24, containing Raid Passes to help you prepare. Visit the in-game store to find out more.Did you know Pokémon is celebrating a 'legendary' year in 2018? You can learn about more about these and other Legendary Pokémon at Pokemon.com/Legendary.

February 8, 2018: Legendary Rayquaza Raids until March 16

From Pokémon Go:

Prepare for exciting new adventures as you encounter even more Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region on February 9! Alongside several Flying- and Dragon-type Pokémon appearing in Pokémon GO for the first time, the Legendary Pokémon Rayquaza will descend from the ozone layer and become available in Raid Battles for a limited time.The Legendary Pokémon Rayquaza will be appearing in Raid Battles in Gyms near you until March 16. You'll also have a chance to battle the Legendary Water-type Pokémon Kyogre before it swims away on February 14. Will you be the first to catch all three ancient Legendary Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region?

Who comes next, the Rocks?

January 12, 2018: Legendary Kyogre Raids until February 14

Pokemon Go Kyogre

Pokemon Go Kyogre (Image credit: Niantic)

Legendary Groudon Raids are still on for a few more days but now it's greatest rival, Kyogre, is also showing up in Legendary Raids around the world.

From Pokémon Go

Kyogre, the Water-type Legendary Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region, is now appearing in Raid Battles around the world! Keep an eye out for Kyogre at Gyms near you, and you may be one of the first to catch this Legendary Pokémon. But don't delay—Kyogre will only be available until 1:00 P.M. PST on February 14, 2018. Good luck, Trainers!

It's widely anticipated that the final member of the Weather Trio, the Dragon-type Rayquaza, will follow in early March.

December 15, 2017: Legendary Groudon Raids until January 15

Legendary Ho-Oh Raids may be over but Legendary Groudon is here to take its place!

From Pokémon Go

Groudon, the Ground-type Legendary Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region, is now appearing in Raid Battles around the world! Keep an eye out for Groudon at Gyms near you, and you may be one of the first to catch this Legendary Pokémon. But don't delay—Groudon will only be available until 1:00 p.m. PST on January 15, 2018.

Start watching that clock because Groudon will disappear late on January 15, 2018.

December 14, 2017:

Bye-bye birdie. Hopefully, Ho-Oh will make a return appearance soon.

November 30, 2017: The Legendary Dog Raids — Raikou, Entei, and Suicune — are over

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Sadness. Hopefully they, like the Legendary Birds, will return at some point. And, Shiny.

November 27, 2017: Ho-Oh Legendary Raids are on until December 12!

Ho-Oh, the Legendary Pokémon and master of the Legendary Beasts, has been unlocked.

From Pokémon Go:

Congratulations! We issued a challenge—and you answered the call. Collectively, you caught over 3 billion Pokémon during the Global Catch Challenge, unlocking some amazing rewards along the way. But that's not all… As a result of all your hard work, Ho-Oh is now appearing in Raid Battles at Gyms around the world until December 12, 2017. So, gather your friends and find a Legendary Raid near you!

October 31, 207:

The Legendary Beasts have made their final rotation. Here's where they stand:

  • Raikou, an Electric-type Legendary Pokémon, can be battled throughout Europe and Africa.
  • Entei, a Fire-type Legendary Pokémon, can be battled throughout the Asia-Pacific region
  • Suicune, a Water-type Legendary Pokémon, can be battled throughout the Americas.

September 30, 2017: Legendary Beast Raids have rotated!

A new month means a new Legendary Beast to catch. Here's the migration:

  • Entei, a Fire-type Legendary Pokémon, can be battled throughout the Americas
  • Suicune, a Water-type Legendary Pokémon, can be battled throughout Europe and Africa.
  • Raikou, an Electric-type Legendary Pokémon, can be battled throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

What are Pokémon Go Legendary Raids?

From Pokémon Go:

On September 30, all three of these Legendary Pokémon will move to a different location and will be available for Trainers to battle with friends until October 31. They will make their final stop in the last remaining location on October 31. Raikou, Entei, and Suicune will be available for this limited time period, so make sure to battle against them when they arrive at Gyms near you!While these Legendary Pokémon are traveling the world, we'll also begin an EX Raid Battle (formerly Exclusive Raid Battle) field-testing phase at select Gyms before the feature is made available globally. We have collected some valuable early feedback on the new EX Raid Battle feature and will look to further test and hone the experience through the feedback of the dedicated global Trainer community. During the field test, we'll be making periodic adjustments to EX Raid eligibility requirements, frequency, times, locations, and durations with the goal of making the EX Raid Battle feature engaging, rewarding, and most importantly, fun for Trainers who regularly participate in Raid Battles.The first EX Raid Passes will be sent out soon, and those invited will have an opportunity to try out the new system as early as September 6. Stay tuned for more updates as we launch the EX Raid Battle field test to more Gyms in the weeks ahead. We look forward to reading all your constructive feedback on our social media channels and encourage you to continue share your thoughts throughout the EX Raid Battle field test!

When did Legendary Raids start?

Lugia debuted immediately following Pokémon Go Fest Chicago on July 22, 2017 and was available through Thursday, August 31, 2017. Initially, the other Legendary Birds debuted as follows:

  • Articuno (Team Mystic) released on Saturday, July 22 and available through Monday, July 31.
  • Moltres (Team Valor) to be released on Monday, July 31 and available through Monday, August 7.
  • Zapdos (Team Instinct) to be released on Monday, August 7 and available through Monday, August 14.

Then, Pokémon Go re-released all three Legendary Birds on August 14, 2017 and let them run until August 31, 2017.

If you missed a Legendary Pokémon, can you still get it?

Sometimes. The initial run of the Legendary Birds ended but they were brought back for an encore. Lugia was the first Legendary Raid in July of 2017 and has been brought back for 2 weeks in March of 2018, and with its Shiny form as well.

Similarly, just at the Legendary Weather Trio was coming to an end, all of them made a return appearance for a week. Luigia, Ho-Oh, and Kyogre have also come back again with Shiny variants as well.

While there haven't been any Legendary Pokémon released in the wild, Field Research has been capping off seven days of success with a Legendary encounter. April was Moltres. May was Zapdos. June, Articuno. That may continue with re-runs of all the Legendary Pokémon.

Either way, you're still best off grabbing a Legendary Pokémon whenever you can because who knows when — or how — the game will give you another chance.

What about Mewtwo? When will that Legendary be released?

Mewtwo has already been released. It's being done through invitation-only Ex-Raids, though. And so far, they've been a bit of a frustration.

Pokémon Go, Ex-Raids, and Mewtwo: What you need to know!

And the Mythicals, Mew and Celebi? Will they be released soon too?

Mew became available when Field Research launched. Celebi will be available starting August 20.

What are the best counters for Legendary Raid Battles in Pokémon Go?

There are a lot of lists out there and a lot of opinions on what it takes to make it on a list. I've tested various counters in over 1000 Battle Raids, including over 700 Legendary Raids, and this is the list I've come to depend on.

What I've found during the course of many, many raids is that, due to how hard Charge Moves from Raid Bosses are to dodge, and how glitchy the Pokémon Go servers are in general, high DPS and perfect type matching aren't enough. For example, Pokémon like Gengar just don't last long enough to really take advantage of their high damage output. Same is, unfortunately, true for Golem. It can get shredded after a single Stone Edge.

Also, because Stardust, Technical Machines (TM) and other resources are scarce, Pokémon that can be used against several Raid Bosses, like Tyrantiar, are better than unitaskers who're only useful against one, like Piloswine.

If you don't have these Pokémon, try to get them from Raid Battles. If you have them but don't have the right movesets, try to change them with TMs. If you absolutely can't get them or get enough of them, use Pokémon of the same type and similar typing and movesets. It's not ideal but sometimes you have to dance with the Pokémon you have.

How do you beat the Legendary Raid Bosses in Pokémon Go?

Tyranitar is the hero in this list, especially against the Legendary Birds so getting one, making sure it has good moves, and then powering it up to around Level 30 will be paramount. Golem, thanks to good stats and great typing can be great as well, provided you can successfully dodge a few Charge moves. Rhydon works well against some of the the Legendary Dogs as well.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PokémonTypeBest counterOther counters
**RegirockGroundKyogreMachamp or Groudon
**RegisteelSteelMoltres or EnteiMachamp or Hariyama
RegiceIceMoltres or EnteiMachamp or Hariyama
LatiasDragon / FlyingAny big Dragon-type (Dragon moves)Tyranitar (Crunch)
LatiosDragon / FlyingAny big Dragon-type (Dragon moves)Tyranitar (Crunch)
** Rayquaza**Dragon / FlyingArticuno or Lapras (Blizzard / Ice Beam)Dragonite or Rayquaza (Outrage)
GroundonGroundExeggutor (Solar Beam)Gyarados (Hydro Pump)
KyogreWaterRaikou (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge)Exeggutor or Venusaur (Solar Beam)
ArticunoFlying/IceTyranitar (Stone Edge)Moltres or any big Fire-type (Fire Spin + Overheat)
MoltresFlying/FireGolem (Rock Throw + Stone Edge)Tyranitar (Bite + Stone Edge) or Vaporeon (Hydro Pump)
ZapdosFlying/ElectricGolem (Rock Throw + Stone Edge)Tyranitar (Stone Edge) or Dragonite (Dragon Tail + Outrage)
MewtwoPsychicTyranitar (Bite + Crunch)Dragonite
MewPsychicTyranitar (Bite + Crunch)Gengar (Hex + Shadow Ball)
RaikouElectricRhydon or Golem (Mud Slap + Earthquake)Dragonite
EnteiFireGolem (Mud Slap + Stone Edge)Vaporeon (Hydro Pump)
SuicuneWaterRaikou (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge)Exeggutor or Venusaur (Solar Beam)
LugiaFlying/PsychicTyranitar (Bite + Crunch)
Gyarados (Bite + Crunch)
Zapdos (Charge beam + Thunderbolt) | Raikou (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge)
Zapdos (Charge Beam + Thunderbolt) | Golem (Mud Slap + Stone Edge)
Ho-OhFlying/FireTyranitar (Stone Edge)Golem (Rock Throw + Stone Edge)
Raikou (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge)
CelebiGrass/PsychicTyranitar (Bite + Crunch)Flareon (Fire Spin + Overheat) or Scizor or Pinsir (Fury Cutter + X-Scissor)

What are the best movesets for the Legendary and Mythical Pokémon?

Some of the best movesets are really the best. Others are a matter of opinion or what you want to use them to counter.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PokémonTypeQuick MoveChange Move
ArticunoIce/FlyingFrost BreathBlizzard
ZapdosElectric/FlyingCharge BeamThunder Bolt
MoltresFire/FlyingFire SpinOverheat
MewPsychicPoundSolar Beam or Focus Blast
RaikouElectricThunder ShockWild Charge
EnteiFireFire SpinOverheat
SicuneWaterExtrasensoryHydro Hump
LugiaPsychic/FlyingExtrasensoryFuture Sight
Ho-OhFire/FlyingExtrasensoryFire Blast or Solar Beam
CelebiGrass/PsychicConfusionDazzling Gleam
GroudonGroundDragon TailSolar Beam
KyogreWaterWaterfallHydro Pump
RayquazaDragon / FlyingDragon TailOutrage
LatiosDragon/FlyingDragon TailDragon Claw
LatiasDragon/FlyingDragon BreathOutrage
RegiceFrost BreathBlizzardRow 16 - Cell 3

These are all attack-centric movesets, since those will be the ones that matter. Because...

Will you be able to put Legendary and Mythical Pokémon on Gyms?

No. Pokémon Go said that right up front:

While Legendary Pokémon will help them take on the toughest Raid Bosses and Gym Battles, they're not willing to leave their Trainer's side, so they can't be left to defend Gyms.

So, yeah, focus on offense.

Which Pokémon Go Legendary Raid Boss beaters are you considering?

If you have other Pokémon higher up on your Legendary Raid Battle counters list, let me know which ones and why!

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.