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!
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!
Looking for more Legendary Pokémon to add to your Ultra League battle party? From Friday, December 14, to Monday, December 17, Lugia and Ho-Oh are returning for a Special Raid Weekend! #GOBattle https://t.co/WPZiFZIFhU pic.twitter.com/dsB2NJJIQuLooking for more Legendary Pokémon to add to your Ultra League battle party? From Friday, December 14, to Monday, December 17, Lugia and Ho-Oh are returning for a Special Raid Weekend! #GOBattle https://t.co/WPZiFZIFhU pic.twitter.com/dsB2NJJIQu— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) December 13, 2018December 13, 2018
Great for new players or for anyone without a Shiny bird leader yet!
August 24, 2018: Ho-Oh Legendary Raids return... until August 27
Attention, Trainers! For a limited time until August 27, the Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh is returning to Raid Battles. This will be your chance to end Johto Week with a surprise, as you just might encounter its Shiny form! pic.twitter.com/mvMFhkngcCAttention, Trainers! For a limited time until August 27, the Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh is returning to Raid Battles. This will be your chance to end Johto Week with a surprise, as you just might encounter its Shiny form! pic.twitter.com/mvMFhkngcC— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 24, 2018August 24, 2018
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.
Get ready to Rock & Raid!
July 19, 2018: Registeel is taking over Legendary Raids... Until August 16!
Trainers, get ready to battle Registeel! The Iron Pokémon has emerged and will take over Raid Battles from the Ice-type Legendary Pokémon Regice until August 16. pic.twitter.com/uRDaQAUxaFTrainers, get ready to battle Registeel! The Iron Pokémon has emerged and will take over Raid Battles from the Ice-type Legendary Pokémon Regice until August 16. pic.twitter.com/uRDaQAUxaF— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 19, 2018July 19, 2018
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:
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!
Professor Willow needs your help! Participate in Professor Willow's Global Challenge on June 30 and July 1 to unlock special bonuses! pic.twitter.com/oQmghFuGs4Professor Willow needs your help! Participate in Professor Willow's Global Challenge on June 30 and July 1 to unlock special bonuses! pic.twitter.com/oQmghFuGs4— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) June 29, 2018June 29, 2018
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!
June 7, 2018: Kyogre is back, and Shiny Kyogre is with it — until June 21!
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!
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
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:
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:
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:
February 8, 2018: Legendary Rayquaza Raids until March 16
From Pokémon Go:
Who comes next, the Rocks?
January 12, 2018: Legendary Kyogre Raids until February 14
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
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
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
Trainers, remember that you only have until 1 P.M. PST on 11/30 to battle Suicune in the Americas. Good luck! pic.twitter.com/EdKYss9T5pTrainers, remember that you only have until 1 P.M. PST on 11/30 to battle Suicune in the Americas. Good luck! pic.twitter.com/EdKYss9T5p— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) November 29, 2017November 29, 2017
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:
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:
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.
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.
- Pokémon Go and Mew: How to finish Mythical Discovery Field Research fast!
- Pokémon Go and Celebi: How to finish the quest fast
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.
|Pokémon||Type||Best counter||Other counters|
|**Regirock||Ground||Kyogre||Machamp or Groudon|
|**Registeel||Steel||Moltres or Entei||Machamp or Hariyama|
|Regice||Ice||Moltres or Entei||Machamp or Hariyama|
|Latias||Dragon / Flying||Any big Dragon-type (Dragon moves)||Tyranitar (Crunch)|
|Latios||Dragon / Flying||Any big Dragon-type (Dragon moves)||Tyranitar (Crunch)|
|** Rayquaza**||Dragon / Flying||Articuno or Lapras (Blizzard / Ice Beam)||Dragonite or Rayquaza (Outrage)|
|Groundon||Ground||Exeggutor (Solar Beam)||Gyarados (Hydro Pump)|
|Kyogre||Water||Raikou (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge)||Exeggutor or Venusaur (Solar Beam)|
|Articuno||Flying/Ice||Tyranitar (Stone Edge)||Moltres or any big Fire-type (Fire Spin + Overheat)|
|Moltres||Flying/Fire||Golem (Rock Throw + Stone Edge)||Tyranitar (Bite + Stone Edge) or Vaporeon (Hydro Pump)|
|Zapdos||Flying/Electric||Golem (Rock Throw + Stone Edge)||Tyranitar (Stone Edge) or Dragonite (Dragon Tail + Outrage)|
|Mewtwo||Psychic||Tyranitar (Bite + Crunch)||Dragonite|
|Mew||Psychic||Tyranitar (Bite + Crunch)||Gengar (Hex + Shadow Ball)|
|Raikou||Electric||Rhydon or Golem (Mud Slap + Earthquake)||Dragonite|
|Entei||Fire||Golem (Mud Slap + Stone Edge)||Vaporeon (Hydro Pump)|
|Suicune||Water||Raikou (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge)||Exeggutor or Venusaur (Solar Beam)|
|Lugia||Flying/Psychic||Tyranitar (Bite + Crunch)|
Gyarados (Bite + Crunch)
|Zapdos (Charge beam + Thunderbolt) | Raikou (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge)|
Zapdos (Charge Beam + Thunderbolt) | Golem (Mud Slap + Stone Edge)
|Ho-Oh||Flying/Fire||Tyranitar (Stone Edge)||Golem (Rock Throw + Stone Edge)|
Raikou (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge)
|Celebi||Grass/Psychic||Tyranitar (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.
|Pokémon||Type||Quick Move||Change Move|
|Zapdos||Electric/Flying||Charge Beam||Thunder Bolt|
|Mew||Psychic||Pound||Solar Beam or Focus Blast|
|Raikou||Electric||Thunder Shock||Wild Charge|
|Ho-Oh||Fire/Flying||Extrasensory||Fire Blast or Solar Beam|
|Groudon||Ground||Dragon Tail||Solar Beam|
|Rayquaza||Dragon / Flying||Dragon Tail||Outrage|
|Latios||Dragon/Flying||Dragon Tail||Dragon Claw|
|Regice||Frost Breath||Blizzard||Row 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:
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!
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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.