Mastering Pokémon Go

How to beat Rayquaza, Kyogre, Groudon and other Legendary Raids in Pokémon Go

Legendary Kyogre Raids continue until February 14, Legendary Rayquaza Raids start now and run until March 16. Catch 'em all!

Pokémon Go Legendary Raids are in full effect. Legendary Kyogre Raids are winding down but Legendary Rayquaza Raids have just started! But, in order to catch a Legendary Pokémon, you have to beat them first. Here's how!

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

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

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

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 has Pokémon Go said about 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 and was available through Thursday, August 31. 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 and let them run until August 31.

If you missed the Legendary Birds can you still get them?

Maybe? The initial run of the Legendary Birds has ended but there are shiny forms in the game that haven't been released yet and it's possible Pokémon Go might put them back into rotation or make them available in some other way. 100K Legendary Eggs, anyone?

Get them while you can!

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 disappointment. Here's hoping Pokémon Go has fixed them.

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

Raikou, Entei, and Suicune have already started, though?

They did, but they're over. At least for now.

It's possible Pokémon Go will then re-release the Legendary Dogs all together like they did with the Legendary Birds, but it's best not to take any chances. Catch your Legendary Dogs as soon as possible.

What about Ho-Oh, the Beasts' Legendary leader?

Also over for now! Ho-Oh was out from November 27 to December 14.

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

No word yet on Mew or Celebi.

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 600 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
** 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)


Beats Mew, Mewtwo, Lugia, hurts Celebi, Articuno, Moltres, Zapdos, and Raikou

Tyranitar is the Godzilla of Pokémon Go but up until now has also been something of a mixed monster: super-high CP but super weak to Fighting and weak to water. With Legendary Raids, though, you get to put the monster first, and that means Tyranitar's huge stats and double Dark combo with Bite and Crunch punishing to Psychic types, including Mew and Mewtwo.

Many would point out Mew's lack of a Psychic quick move means Gengar is a more damaging counter. In my experience, though, thanks to hard-to-dodge charge moves and glitchy, death-loop infested gameplay, Gengar often doesn't last long enough to deliver that damage. So, Tyranitar may just prove the best combination of damage and longevity in both Psychic battles. (Just avoid Focus Blast. Because, ouch.)

If you have Tyranitar with Bite and Stone Edge instead, you can round out Golem attackers and last even longer in a fight against the Legendary Birds and even Beasts as well.

Evolve: 25 candies from Larvitar to Pupitar, 100 candies from Pupitar to Tyranitar. (But you're better off getting one from a Tier 4 Raid Battle and saving those candies to power it up.)

Best movesets: Bite + Crunch (against Mew and Mewtwo)

Secondary movesets: Bite + Stone Edge (Moltres, Zapdos, Articuno)


Beats Moltres, Zapdos, Ho-Oh, hurts Zapdos, decent against Articuno

Golem has always been a less powerful, harder to evolve, but less vulnerable version of Rhydon. Thanks to its Rock-type fast move, though, it comes out of the shadows to be one of the best counters to the Legendary Birds. Like with Charizard, Golem resists Moltres' Fire- and Flying-type moves, and also dishes out double super effective damage with Rock Throw and Stone Edge. Against Zapdos, Golem double resists Electric and resists Flying moves, and deals out super effective damage. Even against Articuno, Golem resists flying and does double super effective damage... but takes super effective damage from Ice-type attacks.

With Mud Slap and Earthquake instead of Stone Edge, Golem can be used to round out a Rhydon army when taking on two of the Legendary Beasts, Raiku and Entei.

Evolve: 25 candies from Geodude to Gravler, 100 candies from Graveler to Golem.

Best movesets: Rock Throw + Stone Edge (Moltres, Zapdos, Articuno)

Secondary movesets: Mud Slap + Earthquake (Raiku and Entei)


Beats Raikou, Entei, helps with Moltres

Rhydon keeps surprising. Last year it got a CP boost that put it among the top Gym squatters. This year, its type-matching and movesets makes it the most versatile Boss-beater in the game. That carries over to Legendaries as well.

Score Mud Slap and Earthquake and it's the best counter to Raiku and Entei. That's thanks to its Ground typing, and totally avoiding its otherwise double weaknesses to Water and Grass. Score Stone Edge and you can help reinforce your Golems against Moltres and Zapdos too.

All this combines to make Rhydon not just the most versatile regular Raid Boss beater in the game, especially for Tier 1 through Tier 3, but a force to be reckoned with for Legendary as well.

Evolve: 50 candies from Rhyhorn to Rhydon

Best movesets: Mud Slap + Earthquake (Raiku, Entei)

Usable Movesets: Mud Slap + Stone Edge (Moltres)

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

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!

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