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Pokémon Go: Rayquaza Raid Guide

Pokémon Go Rayquaza
Pokémon Go Rayquaza (Image credit: Niantic)

For Pokémon Go Fest 2021, Niantic is bringing back every Legendary Raid for one day only. On Sunday, July 18, Rayquaza will return to Raids, alongside dozens of other Legenday Pokémon. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to win this fight and add Rayquaza to your roster. And be sure to check out our Best Pokémon Go Accessories, so you can be fully equipped for your Pokémon Journey!

Who is Rayquaza in Pokémon Go?

Pokemon 384 Raquaza (Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

A Legendary Dragon and Flying type from the Gen III Hoenn Region, Rayquaza is the leader of the Weather Trio, the only Pokémon capable of calming Groudon and Kyogre's fight, and the first Pokémon to ever Mega Evolve.

Pokemon 384 Rayquaza Mega (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Rayquaza is also the only Pokémon who can Mega Evolve without a Mega Stone. Although Mega Rayquaza isn't here yet, with the introduction of Mega Evolution to Pokémon Go, it's only a matter of time. So you're going to want to have at least one of this powerful Pokémon ready when it arrives.

What are the best counters for Rayquaza in Pokémon Go?

As a Dragon and Flying type, Rayquaza is weak to Rock, Dragon, and Fairy type moves, and has a quad weakness to Ice type moves. It can deal Dragon, Flying, and Rock type damage.

Mega Abomasnow

Pokemon 460 Abomasnow Mega (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Head of the pack, Mega Abomasnow is the best non-Shadow counter and definitely who you want to prioritize for this Raid. Even if you cannot coordinate with the other players in your Raid party, Mega Abomasnow exploits Rayquaza's quad weakness to Ice. As an Ice and Grass type, it will take double damage from Rayquaza's Flying and Rock type attacks, but more than makes up for it by boosting all the other Ice type counters. Powder Snow and Weather Ball are the moves you'll want your Mega Abomasnow to know.

Galarian Darmanitan

Pokemon 555 Darmanitan Galarian Standard Mode (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

A regional variant and one of few Gen VIII Pokémon in the game, Galarian Darmanitan brings no notable resistances to this battle and is weak to Rayquaza's Ancient Power. However, it's still one of the top counters for Rayquaza and readily available. Because it shares Candy with its Unovan version, and both the original Darumaka and Galarian Darumaka have been in events and Eggs, most players have at least one or two of this Ice type. You'll want it to know Ice Fang and Avalanche.

Mamoswine

Pokemon 473 Mamoswine (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The Sinnoh Stone evolution of Gen II's Piloswine, Mamoswine performs great against Rayquaza. As an Ice and Ground type, it brings no notable resistances or weaknesses to this fight, but it's quite the tank. Having been featured in a Community Day, most players also have a few fully powered up. Powder Snow and Avalanche is the moveset you want your Mamoswine to know for this Raid.

Glaceon

Pokemon 471 Glaceon (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The Ice type "eeveelution", Glaceon is super easy to get and power up. Eevee has been around since day one, featured in multiple events, and the star of a Community Day, so odds are you have at least a couple strong Glaceon. Like many of the counters, Ancient Power does double damage to Glaceon, but it still shines in this Raid. The moveset you'll want is Frost Breath and Avalanche.

Weavile

Pokemon 461 Weavile (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Another Sinnoh Stone evolution, Weavile performs great against Rayquaza. As an Ice and Dark type, Weavile is weak to Rock type moves, like so many other counters. It's first stage, Sneasal is a common spawn and has been featured in multiple events, so most players have a few. If you're bringing Weavile to this fight, you'll want it to know Ice Shard and Avalanche.

Mewtwo

Pokemon 150 Mewtwo (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Although there are definitely better uses for the Gen I Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo, with the right moves, it can perform very well against Rayquaza. As a Psychic type, it isn't weak to any of Rayquaza's attacks and there have been plenty of opportunities to add Mewtwo to your roster. For it to work in this Raid, you'll want Psycho Cut and Ice Beam; however, if your Mewtwo knows Psystrike and/or Shadow Ball, do not TM these moves! Both are Legacy moves and the strongest moves of their type. If your Mewtwo doesn't know Ice Beam, leave it on the bench this time.

Jynx

Pokemon 124 Jynx (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Originally discovered in the Kanto region of Gen I, Jynx is a readily accessible counter for Rayquaza. Having been around since the game started and having a baby stage introduced later on, most players have had plenty of chances to catch Jynx. As an Ice and Psychic type, she is weak to Rock type attacks, like most of the counters. Frost Breath and Avalanche are the moves you'll want your Jynx to know for this Raid.

Beartic

Pokemon 614 Beartic (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Gen V's Beartic makes an excellent counter for Rayquaza, although it's not quite as common as some of the other counters. Although Beartic's first stage, Cubchoo has been featured in events, one of those was a costumed variant which cannot be evolved. Still, if you have a powered up Beartic, it will perform well in this Raid. As an Ice type, it's also weak to Rock type attacks, but with Powder Snow and Ice Punch you'll be golden.

Vanilluxe

Pokemon 584 Vanilluxe (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

A literal ice cream cone, Vanilluxe is an unusual Pokémon from the Unovan region. Its first stage, Vanillite was introduced for the Holiday 2020 event, but it was in Eggs, Raids, and Research, as well as having increased spawns during the event, so you might have one or two in your roster. As a pure Ice type, it takes double damage from Rock. Frost Breath and Blizzard is the moveset you'll want your Vanilluxe to know.

Kyurem

Pokemon 646 Kyurem (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2, Kyurem is the last of our top counters. As a Dragon and Ice type, It takes double damage from both Rock and Dragon, so be prepared to go through a lot of Revives and Potions. Lots of players don't have the Candy for powering up Kyurem, since it has only been featured in Raids twice, during a global pandemic. Still, if you have one, Dragon Breath and Blizzard are the moves you'll want.

Back-ups?

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:

  • Abomasnow with Powder Snow and Weather Ball
  • Articuno with Frost Breath and Ice Beam
  • Piloswine with Ice Shard and Avalanche
  • Alolan Ninetales with Powder Snow and Weather Ball
  • Mr. Rime with Ice Shard and Ice Punch
  • Porygon-Z with Hidden Power and Blizzard
  • Cloyster with Frost Breath and Avalanche
  • Regice with Frost Breath and Blizzard
  • Mew with Frost Breath and Ice Beam
  • Walrein with Frost Breath and Blizzard
  • Rampardos with Smack Down and Rock Slide
  • Dialga with Dragon Breath and Draco Meteor
  • Zekrom with Dragon Breath and Outrage
  • Garchomp with Dragon Tail and Outrage
  • Lapras with Frost Breath and Ice Beam
  • Palkia with Dragon Tail and Draco Meteor
  • Rhyperior with Smack Down and Rock Wrecker

Shadow Pokémon?

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 Mamoswine with Powder Snow and Avalanche
  • Shadow Weavile with Ice Shard and Avalanche
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Ice Beam
  • Shadow Articuno with Frost Breath and Ice Beam
  • Shadow Abomasnow with Powder Snow and Weather Ball
  • Shadow Porygon-Z with Hidden Power and Blizzard
  • Shadow Piloswine with Ice Shard and Avalanche
  • Shadow Cloyster with Frost Breath and Avalanche
  • Shadow Walrein with Frost Breath and Blizzard
  • Shadow Lapras with Frost Breath and Ice Beam
  • Shadow Electivire with Thunder Shock and Ice Punch
  • Shadow Tyranitar with Smack Down and Stone Edge
  • Shadow Gardevoir with Charm and Dazzling Gleam

Note: Shadow Mamoswine, Shadow Weavile, and Shadow Mewtwo outperform every other Pokémon in the best counters list. Shadow Articuno, Shadow Abomasnow, and Shadow Porygon-Z also perform on par with the other best counters. When paired with Mega Abomasnow, all the Ice type Shadow Pokémon will perform even better.

How many players does it take to beat Rayquaza in Pokémon Go?

While it is technically possible for just two high level players with the best counters and Mega Evolution on their side to take out Rayquaza, if you're lower level or lacking in the best counters, you may want to aim for five or six players.

Weather conditions that can impact this Raid include:

  • Windy Weather will boost Ryaquaza's Dragon and Flying type moves, as well as your Dragon Counters
  • Partly Cloudy Weather will boost Rayquaza's Rock type move, as well as Rock type counters.
  • Snow will boost your Ice type counters.
  • Cloudy Weather will boost your Fairy type counters.

Questions about taking on Rayquaza in Pokémon Go?

Do you have any questions about taking on the Legendary Pokémon Rayquaza? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many Pokémon Go Guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.