Pokémon Go: Pheromosa Raid Guide

Pokemon Go Pheromosa
Pokemon Go Pheromosa (Image credit: Niantic)

Ultra Beast Pheromosa is returning to raids in Pokémon Go. The Ultra Beasts have very limited availability and are pretty tough. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to beat them.

Who is Pheromosa in Pokémon Go?

Pokemon 795 Pheromosa

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UB-02 Beauty, Pheromosa is the second of the Ultra Beasts, a special class of Legendary Pokémon found only in Ultra Space. Very rarely, Ultra Wormholes will appear in the Alola region, providing people and Pokémon alike with the ability to cross between the Pokémon world and Ultra Space. Now, the Ultra Beasts have found their way into Pokémon Go.

In terms of gameplay, Pheromosa shares its typing, Bug and Fighting, with fellow Ultra Beast, Buzzwole. Although Pheromosa has an incredible attack stat, it is incredibly fragile – the definition of a glass cannon. Still, it has a lot of potential, so be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories and tackle all these Pheromosa raids!

Mega counters

Pokémon Go Mega Energy

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There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Pheromosa, focusing on each of its weaknesses: Flying, Fire, Psychic, and Fairy.

Mega Pidgeot

Pokemon 018 Pidgeot Mega

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If at all possible, Mega Pidgeot is the Mega Evolved Pokémon to bring against Pheromosa. As a Normal and Flying type, it resists Bug type damage and has no weaknesses Pheromosa can exploit. More important, it will provide a same type Mega Boost to all other Flying types on the field and Flying types make up the vast majority of the recommended counters. If you're bringing Mega Pidgeot to this raid, you'll want it to know Gust and Brave Bird.

Mega Charizard Y

Mega Charizard Y

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If you can't afford to Mega Evolve a Pidgeot, Mega Charizard Y is the next best option. As a Fire and Flying type, it takes reduced damage from both Bug and Fighting type moves, while simultaneously boosting two of Pheromosa's weaknesses. It doesn't have access to a Flying type charged move, though so it won't be able to deal as much damage, but Air Slash and Blast Burn are its best moveset for this fight.

Mega Latios

Pokemon 381 Latios Mega

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Although I wouldn't recommend a Psychic based strategy for this raid, if you don't have the Mega Energy for Pidgeot or Charizard, or you already have Mega Latios ready, it does very well against Pheromosa. As a Psychic and Dragon type, the Ultra Beast's Bug type moves will hit for super effective damage, but Latios will resist its Fighting type moves. Zen Headbutt and Psychic are the moves you'll want your Mega Latios to know.

Honorable mentions

While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:

Top counters

Pheromosa is a Bug and Fighting type with access to Bug and Fighting type moves. Its weaknesses include Flying, Fire, Psychic, and Fairy type; however, Flying is a double weakness so it's best to focus on Flying types if at all possible.

Moltres

Pokemon 146 Moltres

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One of the Legendary Birds of Kanto, Moltres is an excellent counter for Pheromosa. It's a Fire and Flying type, meaning it resists both Bug and Fighting type damage. Moltres has also been available so many times, in so many different ways that there's really no reason for active players to lack this Legendary Pokémon. If you are bringing Moltres along, Wing Attack and Sky Attack are the moves you'll want it to know.

Rayquaza

Pokemon 384 Raquaza

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The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Emerald, Rayquaza performs great in this raid. This Flying and Dragon type takes reduced damage from both Bug and Fighting type moves, and has had several runs in raids, giving players plenty of opportunities to catch and power it up. If you're bringing Rayquaza to this fight, it should know Air Slash and Hurricane.

Ho-Oh

Pokemon 250 Ho-oh

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The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Gold, Ho-Oh is another great counter for Pheromosa. It's also a Fire and Flying type, so it will resist both Bug and Fighting type damage. Ho-Oh hasn't been available quite as often as Moltres, but has seen many runs in raids and time as a Shadow Pokémon, so most active players have had the chance to catch at least one or two. Hidden Power (Flying) and Brave Bird are Ho-Oh's best moves for this raid. If you didn't luck out on the Hidden Power typing, it's best to leave your Ho-Oh on the bench.

Lugia

Pokemon 249 Lugia

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Another excellent counter for Pheromosa is the Legendary mascot of Pokémon Silver, Lugia. However, only one specific Lugia will do: the Apex Lugia earned by completing the limited Apex Masterwork Research. This specific Lugia, which is limited to one per account, can learn Aeroblast++, which pairs well with Extrasensory to deal devastating damage. With standard Aeroblast it cannot compete with the top counters. If you're bringing this Psychic and Flying type, it will take reduced damage from Fighting type moves and standard damage from Bug type.

Braviary

Pokemon 628 Braviary

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Originally discovered in the Unova region of Gen V, Braviary is another great choice for this raid. It's a Normal and Flying type, giving it resistance to Bug type damage and no weaknesses Pheromosa can exploit. However, Braviary can only be acquired via Evolution and its first stage doesn't spawn normally. Still, if you have one, you'll want your Braviary to know Air Slash and Brave Bird.

Galarian Articuno

Pokémon 144 Articuno Galarian

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Very new to Pokémon Go, Galarian Articuno is an excellent counter for Pheromosa. This regional variant of the Gen I Legendary is a Psychic and Flying type, meaning it resists Fighting type damage and has no weaknesses relevant to this raid. Unfortunately, Galarian Articuno can only be encountered using the new Daily Incense feature, so many players haven't even seen one, much less caught it. Still, if you have one, Psycho Cut and Brave Bird are the moves your Articuno should know.

Yveltal

Pokemon 717 Yveltal

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Another Legendary mascot, Yveltal was featured in Pokémon Y and also performs well in this raid. It's a Dark and Flying type, so it has no relevant resistances or weaknesses and it hasn't had many runs in raids, so some players haven't earned enough candy to fully power it up. Still, if you have one, your Yveltal should know Gust and Hurricane when facing Pheromosa.

Tornadus (Therian)

Pokémon 641 Tornadus Therian

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One of the Legendary Forces of Nature, Tornadus (Therian) also performs great against Pheromosa. He's a pure Flying type, so he will take reduced damage from all of Pheromosa's attacks, and both formes have been in raids multiple times now. If you're bringing a Therian Tornadus to this fight, Gust and Hurricane are the moves you'll want him to know.

Tornadus (Incarnate)

Pokémon 641 Tornadus Incarnate

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Although its Therian forme is a touch better, Tornadus (Incarnate) is a great option for this fight. As a pure Flying type, he resists both Bug and Fighting type damage, and his Incarnate forme has seen wider availability in Pokémon Go. On top of that, both formes share candy, making it easier to power them up. Air Slash and Hurricane is the ideal moveset for this forme of Tornadus.

Zapdos

Pokemon 145 Zapdos

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The second of the Legendary Birds of Kanto, Zapdos is a great counter for Pheromosa. This Electric and Flying type resists both Bug and Fighting type damage and it's been available in so many ways throughout Pokémon Go that there's no good reason for active players not to have one yet. If you include Zapdos in your team, you'll want it to know Thunder Shock and Drill Peck

Hisuian Braviary

Pokémon 628 Braviary Hisuian

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While the standard Braviary is a better choice, Hisuian Braviary also performs great in this raid. It's a Psychic and Flying type, so it resists Fighting type damage while having no weaknesses Pheromosa can exploit. Unfortunately, Hisuian Braviary is even rarer that the original. It was only recently introduced during the Hisuian Discoveries event, so most players don't even have one. Still, if you're bringing a Hisuian Braviary to this fight, Air Slash and Brave Bird is the moveset you're looking for.

Staraptor

Pokemon 398 Staraptor

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The most common of the top counters for Pheromosa is Gen IV's Staraptor. This Normal and Flying type resists Bug type damage and has no relevant weaknesses. Not only is its first stage incredibly common, but it's also have the Community Day Treatment, so most active players have caught and evolved a few. The best moveset for Staraptor is Gust and Brave Bird.

Honchkrow

Pokemon 430 Honchkrow

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The Sinnoh Stone evolution of Gen II's Murkrow, Honchkrow is a great option for this fight. As a Dark and Flying type, it offers no notable resistances, but it's not weak to any of Pheromosa's moves either. It's also the only readily available top counter, with its first stage being a common spawn. If you're bringing Honchkrow to this fight, Peck and Sky Attack is its ideal moveset.

Back up counters

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:

  • Galarian Moltres with Wing Attack and Brave Bird
  • Togekiss with Air Slash and Aerial Ace
  • Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
  • Yanmega with Wing Attack and Aerial Ace
  • Unfezant with Air Slash and Sky Attack
  • Toucannon with Peck and Drill Peck
  • Scyther with Air Slash and Aerial Ace
  • Noivern with Air Slash and Hurricane
  • Charizard with Air Slash and Blast Burn
  • Chandelure with Fire Spin and Overheat
  • Reshiram with Fire Fang and Overheat
  • Talonflame with Peck and Brave Bird
  • Oricorio (Sensu) with Air Slash and Hurricane
  • Hoopa (Confined) with Confusion and Psychic
  • Galarian Zapdos with Counter and Brave Bird
  • Victini with Confusion and V-Create
  • Kartana with Air Slash and Aerial Ace

Shadow counters

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 Moltres with Wing Attack and Sky Attack
  • Shadow Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Flying) and Brave Bird
  • Shadow Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Drill Peck
  • Shadow Lugia with Extrasensory and Aeroblast+
  • Shadow Staraptor with Gust and Brave Bird
  • Shadow Scyther with Air Slash and Aerial Ace
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
  • Shadow Charizard with Air Slash and Blast Burn
  • Shadow Crobat with Air Slash and Air Cutter
  • Shadow Dragonite with Dragon Tail and Hurricane
  • Shadow Gliscor with Wing Attack and Aerial Ace

Note: This is a great raid for Shadow Pokémon. Shadow Moltres and Apex Shadow Ho-Oh outperform every other Pokémon in the best counters list, while Shadow Zapdos and Shadow Lugia are only beat by Mega Pidgeot. The more commonly available Shadow Staraptor and Shadow Scyther perform on par with the top counters.

More details

Although the Ultra Beasts have promised to be especially challenging raids, Pheromosa is the easiest. Under the best conditions, two top level players should be able to beat it together. If you're lacking in the best counters or are lower level, you might want to aim for a party of four.

Weather conditions that can impact this raid include:

  • Rain will boost Pheromosa's Bug type moves
  • Cloudy/Overcast Weather will boost its Fighting type moves, as well as your Fairy type counters
  • Wind will boost your Flying and Psychic type counters
  • Sunny/Clear weather will boost your Fire type counters

Don't miss your chance to catch Pheromosa in Pokémon Go!

Pheromosa will only be available in raids for a limited time so you don't want to miss this chance to battle and catch one. Also, be sure to check out our other Pokémon Go Guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!