Beginning Saturday, February 20, 2021, Moltres will return to Legendary Raids in Pokémon Go for just nine days. It will be joined by Articuno, Zapdos, and Mewtwo for the Pokémon Go Tour: Kanto and the 25th anniversary of Pokémon. With new Mega Evolutions and Shadow Pokémon, this Raid will be a little different than the last time we encountered the Flame Pokémon. Fortunately, we here at iMore know everything you need to know to take on this Raid! And be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories, so you can be fully equipped on your Pokémon Journey!
Who is Moltres in Pokémon Go?
One of the Legendary birds from the Gen I Kanto Region, Moltres is the second Legendary Pokémon in the National Pokédex, as well as the mascot for Team Valor. Along with Articuno and Zapdos, these three bird are elemental forces of nature that can only be tamed by Lugia. Moltres is also one of the only Pokémon with a regional variant; however, it's Kantonian version is the one we'll be facing for now. Moltres is an excellent Fire type, but an even better Flying type, and its Shadow forme is one of the best in the game. So, even if you have a whole team of Moltres, you won't want to miss this chance for more Moltres Candy and XL Candy to fully power them up.
What are the best counters for Moltres in Pokémon Go?
A Fire and Flying type, Moltres is capable of dealing Fire, Rock, and Flying type damage. It takes double damage from Electric and Water type attacks, and quad damage from Rock type attacks. Rock type damage is generally what you'll want to focus on for this Raid, but if you're able to coordinate with your fellow Trainers, either Mega Ampharos or Mega Blastoise provide paths to reliable Electric or Water based Raid parties.
A fossil Pokémon originally encountered in the Sinnoh region, Rampardos is the top non-Shadow counter for Moltres. It's first stage, Cranidos are pretty common and it only costs 50 Candy to evolve, so most players have at least one to bring to this Raid. As a Rock type, Rampardos takes half damage from Moltres' Fire and Flying type attacks while having no weaknesses the firebird can exploit. the moveset you'll want your Rampardos to know is Smack Down and Rock Slide.
The final evolution of Gen I's Rhyhorn, Rhyperior is a fantastic counter for Moltres. As a Ground and Rock type, it takes half damage from all of the the firebird's attacks and having been featured in multiple events and a Community Day, most players have at least one or two powered up already. Smack Down and Rock Wrecker are the ideal moves for this Raid, but if you don't have the Community Day exclusive move or an Elite TM to spare, Stone Edge works well too.
One of the Legendary Swords of Justice, Terrakion is a a great choice to counter Moltres. As a Rock and Fighting type, it takes half damage from all of Moltres' attacks except Wing Attack and, even though it is a Legendary Pokémon, it's been featured multiple times in multiple ways, so many players already have at least one powered up. If you're bringing Terrakion to this Raid, you'll want it to know Smack Down and Rock Slide.
The pseudo-Legendary from Johto, Tyranitar is an excellent choice for this Raid. It's readily available, having been featured in Raids, events, a Community Day, and as a Shadow Pokémon, and as one of the top attackers in the game, most players have a few powered up already. As a Rock and Dark type, Tyranitar takes half damage from Fire and Flying type attacks as well. Smack Down and Stone Edge are the moves you'll want your Tyranitar to know for this fight.
A relative newcomer to Pokémon Go, Gigalith is a Rock type originally encountered in the Unova region of Gen V. Its first stage, Roggenrola was boosted during Unova Week and it benefits from Trade Evolution, so many players have one already. Gigalith takes reduced damage from Fire and Flying type attacks, and normal damage from Wing Attack. Smack Down and Rock Slide are the ideal moveset.
Aerodactyl is a fossil Pokémon originally discovered in the Gen I Kanto region. Having been in the game since the start and featured in a number of events, most players have plenty of this prehistoric Rock and Flying type. Aerodactyl takes half damage from Flying and Fire type attacks, but double damage from Rock type attacks. If you're bringing Aerodactyl to this Raid, you'll want it to know Rock Throw and Rock Slide.
While Rock types will generally outperform Electric types in this Raid, the introduction of Mega Ampharos provides a solid path for Electric based counters. As a Dragon and Electric type, Mega Ampharos takes reduced damage from Fire and Flying type attacks and has no weaknesses that Moltres can exploit. If you are bringing Mega Ampharos to this Raid, the moveset you're looking for is Volt Switch and Power Gem - neither of which are moves you would normally want for your Ampharos. However, if you happen to have a Mega Ampharos with Charge Beam or Zap Cannon, it won't perform quite as well but can still provide a great lead for Electric based Raid parties.
As one of the Legendary Forces of Nature from the Unova region, Landorus seems like an odd pick for this Raid. He's a Ground and Flying type and so brings no weaknesses or resistances of note against Moltres. However, he has access to the Rock type attacks Rock Throw and Rock Slide. He's only been available in Raids once and that was during a global pandemic, but he's also been available as a Pokémon Go Battle League reward encounter, so you might already have one or two ready for this fight.
Another fossil Pokémon originally found in the Kanto region, Omastar has also been featured in a number of events, as well as Raids and as a Shadow Pokémon. As a Rock and Water type, it takes half damage from Wing Attack and only a quarter of the damage from Moltres' Fire type attacks. You'll want your Omastar to know Rock Throw and Rock Slide for this Raid.
Although the Alolan variant of Golem outperforms its Kantonian counterpart by a touch, either Golem makes for a great counter to Moltres and both have been readily available. The Kanto Golem takes half damage from all of Moltres' attacks, while the Alolan takes half damage from Fire, quarter damage from Flying, and normal damage from Rock. Regardless which Golem you bring, you'll want it to know Rock Throw and Stone Edge.
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 Blastoise with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon
- Archeops with Wing Attack and Ancient Power
- Regirock with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Solrock with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Lunatone with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Zekrom with Charge Beam and Wild Charge
- Carracosta with Rock Throw and Ancient Power
- Crustle with Smack Down and Rock Slide
- Kyogre with Waterfall and Surf
- Sudowoodo with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Swampert with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon
- Raikou with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge
- Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Ancient Power
- Moltres with Wing Attack and Ancient Power
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 Tyranitar with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Omastar with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Swampert with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon
- Shadow Raikou with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge
- Shadow Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Ancient Power
- Shadow Moltres with Wing Attack and Ancient Power
Note: Shadow Tyranitar outperforms all of the best counters. Likewise, Shadow Omastar and Shadow Aerodactyl perform at the same level as the Pokémon in the best counters list. If you can safely coordinate the use of Mega Ampharos or Mega Blastoise, it will boost Electric and Water types respectively, making them perform even better.
How many players does it take to beat Moltres in Pokémon Go?
Although it is technically possible for two high level Trainers to take on Moltres under the best conditions, you may need three or more if you're lower level or missing the top counters.
Weather Conditions that could play into this battle include:
- Sunny/Clear Weather will boost Moltres' Fire type attacks.
- Wind will boost Moltres' Wing Attack.
- Partly Cloudy Weather will boost Moltres' Ancient Power, as well as your Rock type counters.
- Rain will boost your Water and Electric type counters.
Questions about Moltres in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on Moltres? Any tips for fellow trainers? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many other Pokémon Go Guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!