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!

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.

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
Articuno Ice/Flying Frost Breath Blizzard
Zapdos Electric/Flying Charge Beam Thunder Bolt
Moltres Fire/Flying Fire Spin Overheat
Mewtwo Psychic Confusion Psychic
Mew Psychic Pound Solar Beam or Focus Blast
Raikou Electric Thunder Shock Wild Charge
Entei Fire Fire Spin Overheat
Sicune Water Extrasensory Hydro Hump
Lugia Psychic/Flying Extrasensory Future Sight
Ho-Oh Fire/Flying Extrasensory Fire Blast or Solar Beam
Celebi Grass/Psychic Confusion Dazzling Gleam
Groudon Ground Dragon Tail Solar Beam
Kyogre Water Waterfall Hydro Pump
Rayquaza Dragon / Flying Dragon Tail Outrage
Latios Dragon/Flying Dragon Tail Dragon Claw
Latias Dragon/Flying Dragon Breath Outrage
Regice Frost Breath Blizzard

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!

Pokemon Go