As the Season of Alola presses on, Tapu Lele is returning to Legendary raids in Pokémon Go. Fortunately, we here at iMore know exactly what it takes to beat Tapu Lele. And be sure to check out our Best Pokémon Go Accessories, so you can be fully equipped for your Pokémon Journey!
Who is Tapu Lele in Pokémon Go?
One of the Legendary Guardian Deities of Alola, Tapu Lele serves alongside Tapu Koko, Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Fini to protect the Alolan Islands. Tapu Lele sheds powerful scales that can heal wounds, but cause destruction when there are too many.
In Pokémon Go, Tapu Lele isn't too much to look at. Its typing and stats are comparable to the far more easily obtained Gardevoir (which also has a Mega Evolution that will eventually be released.) It also lacks a Fairy type fast move. The lack of Fairy type moves hinders most Fairy types in Pokémon Go, but it is possible this could be changed with the addition of new moves in the future. Until then, Tapu Lele probably isn't much more than dex filler.
Mega Evolution strategies for Tapu Lele in Pokémon Go?
There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Tapu Lele, focusing on each of its weaknesses: Ghost, Poison, and Steel.
Second to only Shadow Metagross, Mega Gengar is the top counter for Tapu Lele and the best choice of Mega Pokémon for this fight. As a Poison and Ghost type, it provides a same type Mega Boost to the majority of Tapu Lele's best counters. Its typing does mean it takes increased damage from Tapu Lele's Psychic and Ghost type moves, but Gengar also resists Fairy and Fighting type damage. Shadow Claw and Sludge Bomb are the ideal moves for Mega Gengar here; however, Shadow Ball is extremely close in performance and overall a more valuable move.
Although Mega Gengar is the better option, Mega Beedrill can also be the key to a Poison based offensive. As a Poison and Bug type, it takes reduced damage from Fairy and Fighting type moves, but increased damage from Psychic type moves. If you're bringing Mega Beedrill to fight Tapu Lele, Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb is the moveset you'll want it to know.
Although its performance pales in comparison to Mega Gengar and Mega Beedrill, Mega Steelix is currently the only Mega Evolved option for a Steel based strategy. Its Steel and Ground typing gives it resistance to Fairy and Psychic type moves, but leaves it weak to Fighting type damage. It won't last very long, so you're going to want lots of Potions and Revives, but it will boost all Steel types on the field, including Metagross, so you'll want to coordinate with the rest of your raid party to make the most of that boost. Iron Tail and Heavy Slam are the moves you'll want for this fight.
While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:
- Mega Aerodactyl with Steel Wing and Iron Head
- Mega Venusaur with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
- Mega Charizard Y with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Mega Pidgeot with Steel Wing and Brave Bird
What are the best counters for Tapu Lele in Pokémon Go?
As a Psychic and Fairy type, Tapu Lele can deal Psychic, Fairy, Ghost, and Fighting type damage. Its weaknesses include Ghost, Poison, and Steel, each of which provides a winning strategy.
A pseudo-Legendary from the Hoenn region, Metagross is the best non-Mega counter for Tapu Lele. This Steel and Psychic type takes increased damage from Ghost type moves, but it resists Psychic and Fairy type damage. Of the top counters, Metagross is one of the most obtainable, having been featured in multiple events including a Community Day so most active players already have a few. Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash are the moves you'll want your Metagross to know; however, if you don't have the Community Day move or the Elite TM to spare, Flash Cannon is a decent option.
Gen V's Chandelure is another excellent counter for Tapu Lele. As a Ghost and Fire type, Ghost type moves will deal super effective damage to it, but it resists Fairy and Fighting type damage. Chandelure has been featured in multiple events, including Halloween, so many players should already have at least one powered up. If you're bringing Chandelure to this fight, you'll want it to know Hex for the fast move and Shadow Ball for its charged.
Originally encountered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Giratina performs very well in this raid, but specifically Origin forme Giratina. It's a Ghost and Dragon type, which unfortunately leaves it weak to Ghost and Fairy type moves, but it does resist Fighting type damage. Of the two formes, Origin forme Giratina hasn't been in raids often, but if you have it, you'll want it to know Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball.
Another great counter for Tapu Lele is the Mythical Pokémon, Hoopa. For this fight, Hoopa Confined performs better, which is nice given that is its base forme and only requires ten Candy and 2,000 Stardust. However, as a Mythical Pokémon, Hoopa is extremely limited: only one per account and only if the player completed a limited Special Research line. As a Psychic and Ghost type, it takes increased damage from Ghost type moves, but resists Fighting and Psychic. Astonish and Shadow Ball are the ideal moves for Hoopa Confined.
Dialga, the Legengary mascot of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond performs very well against Tapu Lele. It's a Dragon and Steel type, meaning it resists Psychic type damage, but is weak to Fighting type moves. Dialga has been available several times, so many players have a few. Metal Claw and Iron Head is the moveset you'll want for this raid.
The Mythical fossil Pokémon, Genesect is another excellent counter in this raid. Although it is a Mythical Pokémon, Genesect has been available in raids multiple times, so most active players have had the chance to add it to their roster. It's a Steel and Bug type, so it's one of the few Pokémon with no weaknesses Tapu Lele can exploit and it resists Fairy and Psychic. If you're bringing Genesect to this fight, you'll want it to know Metal Claw and Magnet Bomb.
Yet another Mythical Pokémon, Jirachi is a great counter for Tapu Lele. Like Hoopa, Jirachi is also limited to one per account and requires completing a lengthy Special Research line. It's a Steel and Psychic type like Metagross, so Ghost type moves will hit extra hard while it resists Psychic and Fairy type moves. You'll want your Jirachi to have Charge Beam and Doom Desire for its moveset.
Last but not least, Gen I's Gengar is a great counter for Tapu Lele even when it's not Mega Evolved. Having been in the game since day one and featured in every Halloween event, as well as having Mega Raids, virtually every active player has had the chance to add Gengar to their team. If you're bringing Gengar to this fight, you'll want it to know Shadow Claw and Sludge Bomb or Shadow Ball. Sludge Bomb slightly outperforms Shadow Ball, especially if the Mega Pokémon on the field is Mega Beedrill, however, Shadow Ball is generally the move valuable move to have.
Gen I Legendary Mewtwo is a great option for battling Tapu Lele. As a pure Psychic type, it resists Psychic and Fighting type damage, while being weak to Ghost type moves. Mewtwo has been available so many times in so many ways that there really isn't a good excuse not to have at least one by now. Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball are the ideal moves for Mewtwo in this fight. If you don't have the Legacy move Shadow Ball, you'll want to leave your Mewtwo on the bench though.
Although its Confined forme performs better, if you already have your Hoopa Unbound and don't want to spend the Candy and Stardust to revert it, Hoopa Unbound is also an excellent counter. In this forme, its typing changes to Psychic and Dark, so Fairy type moves will hit for super effective damage. It does resist Psychic type damage though. Astonish and Shadow Ball are also the ideal moves for Hoopa Unbound when battling Tapu Lele.
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:
- Excadrill with Metal Claw and Iron Head
- Roserade with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Trevenant with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Ho-Oh with Steel Wing and Sacred Fire++
- Regigigas with Hidden Power (Steel) and Giga Impact
- Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
- Bisharp with Metal Claw and Iron Head
- Darkrai with Snarl and Sludge Bomb
- Heatran with Fire Spin and Iron Head
- Banette with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Mismagius with Hex and Shadow Ball
- Archeops with Steel Wing and Return
- Raikou with Thunder Shock and Shadow Ball
- Deoxys (Attack) with Poison Jab and Dark Pulse
- Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Galarian Slowbro with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Drifblim with Hex and Shadow Ball
- Scoliopede with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
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 Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
- Shadow Raikou with Thunder Shock and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Ho-Oh with Steel Wing and Brave Bird
- Shadow Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Banette with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Vileplume with Acid and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Aggron with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam
- Shadow Mismagius with Hex and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Drapion with Poison Sting and Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hurricane
- Shadow Gardevoir with Charge Beam and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Alakazam with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
Note: Shadow Metagross outperforms every other Pokémon in the best counters list, Mega Gengar included. Barring the use of a Ghost or Poison type Mega Pokémon, a team of Shadow Metagross is the best you can bring against Tapu Lele.
How many players does it take to beat Tapu Lele in Pokémon Go?
With the ideal counters, three high level players can beat Tapu Lele; however, if you're lacking the best counters or are a lower level, you may want to aim for five.
Weather conditions that can impact this Raid include:
- Wind will boost Tapu Lele's Psychic type moves
- Cloudy Weather will boost its Fairy and Fighting type moves, as well as your Poison type counters
- Fog will boost both Tapu Lele's Ghost type move, as well as your Ghost type counters
- Snow will boost your Steel type counters
Questions about taking on Tapu Lele in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on the Legendary Tapu Lele in Pokémon Go? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, so you can be the very best like no one ever was!
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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.