Tapu Bulu is returning to Legendary raids in Pokémon Go. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to take on this Legendary Pokémon and add it to your roster.
Who is Tapu Bulu in Pokémon Go?
One of the Legendary Guardian Deities of Alola, Tapu Bulu serves alongside Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, and Tapu Fini to protect the Alolan Islands. Tapu Bulu, the guardian deity of Ula'Ula island is often rumored to be lazy, but in actuality, it's a peaceful Pokémon who doesn't like violence. It rings its bell to alert others of its presence and can control the growth and shape of any vegetation.
In Pokémon Go, Tapu Bulu has solid stats and a great moveset. It is a powerful Grass type that is well worth the effort. Like most Fairy types, it lacks a Fairy type fast move at the moment, but future move changes could make it more useful as a Fairy type. Its typing also gives it a pretty solid place in the Pokémon Go Battle League, so you're probably going to want to pick up a couple Tapu Bulu before it leaves raids.
Also, be sure to check out our Best Pokémon Go Accessories, so you can be fully equipped for all the Lugia raids!
There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Tapu Bulu, but the best bet is to focus on its double weakness: Poison.
If at all possible, Mega Beedrill is the Mega Evolved Pokémon to build your team around in this raid. As a Bug and Poison type, it resists all of Tapu Bulu's attacks, making up for its usual fragility. As the best counters are all Poison types, players also don't need to worry too much about coordinating with the rest of their raid party to make the most of the same type Mega Boost. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb is the moveset you'll want your Mega Beedrill to know for this fight.
If you cannot bring Mega Beedrill, Mega Gengar also performs great in this raid. It's a Ghost and Poison type, which means it also resists all of Tapu Bulu's attacks. What holds Mega Gengar back, however, is its lack of a Poison type fast move. Still, with Hex and Sludge Bomb, it can deal a ton of damage to Tapu Bulu while providing a Mega Boost for other Poison types on the field.
Mega Charizard Y
Although Poison will get the job done much faster, if you're trying to mount a Fire based offensive, Mega Charizard Y is the best choice for this fight. It's a Fire and Flying type, so it resists all of Tapu Bulu's attacks, while providing a Mega Boost to other Fire types on the field. If you're planning on bringing Mega Charizard Y, make sure to coordinate with the rest of your raid party to make the most of that boost. You'll want your Charizard to know Fire Spin and Blast Burn.
While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:
- Mega Blaziken with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Mega Charizard X with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Mega Venusaur with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
- Mega Pidgeot with Gust and Brave Bird
- Mega Houndoom with Fire Fang and Flame Thrower
Tapu Bulu is a Grass and Fairy type with access to Grass, Fairy, Fighting, and Bug type moves. It's weaknesses include Fire, Steel, Flying, and Ice types, but it has a double weakness to Poison type, so that should be your first choice.
The top standard counter for Tapu Bulu is the Legendary Ultra Beast, Nihilego. This Poison and Rock type resists Bug and Fairy type damage and has no weaknesses the Alolan Deity can exploit. Unfortunately, Nihilego has had very limited availability so far, but if you have one Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb are the moves it should know.
Next up is the Sinnoh Stone evolution, Roserade. A Grass and Poison type, it resists Grass, Fairy, and Fighting type damage and has no weaknesses Tapu Bulu can exploit. Roserade is also very easy to obtain, having a common first stage and a baby stage, both of which have been featured in events. If you're bringing Roserade to this fight, Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb are the moves you're looking for.
The next top counter is the evolution of the Hisuian variant of Qwilfish, Overqwil. A Poison and Dark type, it resists Grass type damage and has no weaknesses Tapu Bulu can exploit. Unfortunately, Hisuian Qwilfish is largely limited to 7KM Friend Eggs, so you might not have enough candy to fully power it up. If you are bringing Overqwil to this fight, it should know Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb.
Another great counter for Tapu Bulu is Gen IV's Toxicroak. As a Poison and Fighting type, Toxicroak resists Fighting, Grass, and Bug type damage, and it has no relevant weaknesses. It's also very common, with only one other stage, so most players have had plenty of opportunities to add it to their roster. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb is the moveset your Toxicroak should know for this raid.
Much like its Mega Evolved form, Gengar is a great counter for Tapu Bulu. It resists all of Tapu Bulu's attacks and is likely already in your roster. Gengar has been featured in Community Day, Mega Raids, and every Halloween event in Pokémon Go, so many players have entire teams of Gengar already powered up. If you're bringing Gengar to this fight, you'll want it to know Hex and Sludge Bomb.
You could also bring Gen I's Victreebel to this raid. It's a Grass and Poison type, so it resists Grass, Fighting, and Fairy type damage, while taking normal damage from Bug type moves. Victreebel has been in the game since day one and its first stage has been featured in events and eggs many times, so most active players have had the chance to add this Pokémon to their roster. The fast move you'll want your Victreebel to know is Acid and Sludge Bomb is the charged move you'll want.
Another excellent counter for Tapu Bulu is Gen V's Scolipede. As a Bug and Poison type, it resists all of Tapu Bulu's attacks, and it's fairly common. Scolipede's first stage, Venipede has been featured in events, eggs, and raids, so most active players have had the chance to evolve at least one or two. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb is the moveset your Scolipede should know to do the most damage in this raid.
Gen I's Vileplume is also a fantastic counter for Tapu Bulu. Its Grass and Poison typing give it resistance to three of Tapu Bulu's attack types, with Bug type being the only one to do full damage. In addition to being in the game since day one, Vileplume's first stage has been featured in many events, eggs, and more, so you likely already have at least one or two strong ones at your disposal. If you're bringing Vileplume to this fight, it should know Acid and Sludge Bomb.
Originally encountered in the Alola region, Salazzle is an excellent counter for Tapu Bulu, if you are lucky enough to have one that is. Unfortunately, the only way to get her is by hatching a female Salandit from one of the 12KM Strange Eggs obtained from beating a Team GO Rocket leader, so many players don't have a Salazzle yet. However, if you do have one, her Fire and Poison typing means she resists all of Tapu Bulu's moves. Poison Jab and Sludge Wave is the ideal moveset for Salazzle in this raid.
Last but not least is Galarian Slowbro. It's a Psychic and Poison type, so Tapu Bulu's Bug type move is the only one that deals full damage. The Galarian variant of Slowpoke has had the Community Day treatment, so most active players will have a few. If you're bringing Galarian Slowbro to this fight, Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb are the moves you'll want it to know.
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:
- Reshiram with Fire Fang and Fusion Flare
- Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
- Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Poison) and Sacred Fire++
- Alolan Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
- Hisuian Qwilfish with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Weezing with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Genesect (Douse) with Metal Claw and Gunk Shot
- Beedrill with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Moltres with Fire Spin and Sky Attack
- Drapion with Poison Sting and Sludge Bomb
- Darkrai with Snarl and Sludge Bomb
- Deoxys (Attack) with Poison Jab and Psycho Boost
- Dragalge with Acid and Gunk Shot
- Crobat with Air Slash and Sludge Bomb
- Galarian Slowking with Acid and Sludge Wave
- Sneasler with Poison Jab and Close Combat
- Haunter with Lick and Sludge Bomb
- Chandelure with Fire Spin and Overheat
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 Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Vileplume with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
- Shadow Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Alolan Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
- Shadow Weezing with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Shadow Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Poison) and Brave Bird
- Shadow Beedrill with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Moltres with Fire Spin and Sky Attack
- Shadow Drapion with Poison Sting and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Crobat with Air Slash and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Entei with Fire Fang and Overheat
Note: Shadow Pokémon do very well in this fight. Shadow Entei is the only Shadow Pokémon on our list that doesn't perform on par with top counters.
Under ideal conditions, it is possible for top level players to duo this raid; however, most of the best counters for this raid haven't seen a ton of utility in other raids. If you're lacking the best counters or haven't invested the resources in evolving and powering them up, you may want to aim for four players for this fight.
Weather conditions that can impact this raid include:
- Sunny/Clear weather will boost Tapu Bulu's Grass type moves and your Fire type counters
- Cloudy/Overcast Weather will boost its Fairy and Fighting type moves, as well as your Poison type counters
- Rain will boost its Bug type move
- Wind will boost your Flying type counters
- Snow will boost your Steel and Ice type counters
Don't miss your chance to catch Tapu Bulu in Pokémon Go!
Tapu Bulu is back for a limited time only 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!
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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.