Until November 24, 2020, the Swords of Justice are back in Pokémon Go. Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion have taken over Legendary Raids for one week only. Their availability will overlap with the Pokémon GO Pokémon HOME celebration event. We've seen these Legendary Pokémon before, but not since the introduction of Mega Evolution. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to take on these Legendary Pokémon!
Who is Virizion, and what are the Swords of Justice?
Like most Legendary Pokémon, Virizion is one of a set. This particular set is known as the Swords of Justice, and they are loosely based on The Three Musketeers. Cobalion represents Athos, the oldest and de facto leader of the group, Terrakion represents Porthos, the strongest member of the group, Virizion represents Aramis, the feminine and romantic member of the group, and Keldeo represents d'Artagnan, the young new addition to the group.
While these four form a quartet in both the core games and their own Pokémon movie, so far we haven't seen Keldeo yet. Given that Keldeo is a Mythical Pokémon, not a Legendary like the other Swords of Justice, its introduction will likely be handled differently than the other Swords of Justice.
What are the best counters for Virizion on Pokémon Go?
As a Grass and Fighting type, Virizion takes double damage from Psychic, Fairy, Poison, Fire, and Ice type attacks, and quad damage from Flying. It is capable of dealing Grass, Fighting, Rock, Psychic, and Normal type damage.
Mega Pidgeot is the obvious choice for first place in this Raid. As one of the most common Gen I Pokémon, every player should have at least a couple solid IV Pidgeot in their roster and though Mega Evolution is a little expensive, Mega Pidgeot is one of the more affordable ones. A Normal and Flying type, Mega Pidgeot takes half damage from Virizion's Grass type attack, but double damage from its Rock type attack. Wing Attack and Brave Bird is the moveset you'll want your Mega Pidgeot to know for this Raid.
The Legendary Fire and Flying type from Gen I, Moltres is a superb counter for Virizion even with the introduction of Mega Pokémon and the rebalance of Shadow Pokémon. It's been available a number of times in Raids, Research Breakthrough Rewards, and even as a Shadow Pokémon, so most players have at least a couple powered up. It takes quarter damage from Grass and half damage from Fighting, but quad damage from Rock type attacks. Wing Attack and Sky Attack is the moveset you'll want, but a Moltres with Overheat will also serve well against Virizion.
Mega Charizard Y
Another Flying and Fire type, Mega Charizard Y can boost other Fire and Flying type attacks. Although the Mega Energy cost is high, most every player has a few solid Charizard already powered up thanks to it having multiple Community Days. Like Moltres, it takes quarter damage from Grass, half from Fighting, and quad from Rock. Air Slash and Blast Burn is the moveset you'll want your Mega Charizard Y to know.
The Dark and Flying type Honchkrow isn't as durable as some of the other Pokémon on this counters list, but it can definitely pack a punch with Peck and Sky Attack. It takes quarter damage from Psychic, half from Grass, but double from Rock. Murkrow are plentiful enough, but it requires a Sinnoh Stone to evolve.
The Legendary Rayquaza from Gen III's Hoenn region performs very well in this Raid with one caveat: it needs to know Air Slash and Aerial Ace. In general, Rayquaza performs best focusing on its Dragon type moves; however, if you already have one that knows its Flying type moves, it will serve you well. Rayquaza has been featured in a number of events and in Raids, so lots of players have a handful already powered up. It takes quarter damage from Grass and half from Fighting, but like so many others on this list, double from Rock.
Another Legendary on the list, Ho-Oh hasn't seen the widespread availability that Moltres has, but it comes pretty close. As a Fire and Flying type, it takes quad damage from the Rock type move Stone Edge, but resists both Fighting and Grass type moves. Hidden Power and Brave Bird is the moveset you'll want your Ho-Oh to know going into this Raid; however, Extrasensory can work as well, if you either don't have Hidden Power or got the wrong type for Hidden Power.
A Normal and Flying type originally encountered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Staraptor works well in this Raid, especially when paired with Mega Pidgeot or Mega Charizard Y. It takes half damage from Grass and double damage from Rock. Its first stage, Starly is quite common, making it quite easy to find the Candies necessary to power it up. Wing Attack and Brave Bird is the moveset you'll want your Staraptor to know.
One of the Forces of Nature Trio of the Unova region, Tornadus is a great choice for this Raid. Tornadus was available in Raids just prior to the start of the pandemic, but hasn't been featured again since so it isn't as common as the other Forces of Nature. As a pure Flying type, it takes half damage from Grass and Fighting, and double damage from Rock. If you're bringing Tornadus to this fight, you'll want it to know Air Slash and Huricanne.
Another Normal and Flying type, Braviary was originally discovered in the Gen V Unova region. Although it only has two stages, its first stage Rufflet is fairly uncommon with most coming from the Pokémon GO Battle League. Still, if you have it, you'll want it to know Air Slash and Brave Bird.
Because there weren't enough Normal and Flying types, Unfezant is yet another, originally encountered in the Unova region of Gen V. Unlike Braviary or even Staraptor, however, Unfezant's first stage, Pidove is as common as Pidgey, meaning tons of Candy for evolving and powering up. If you're bringing Unfezant to this Raid, Air Slash is the fast attack you'll want it to know and Sky Attack is the charged attack.
If you don't have a solid team of the best counters, there are still plenty of back ups to choose from. This won't be a super difficult Raid so don't worry if you have to use a few of the following:
- Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike.
- Zapdos with Charge Beam and Drill Peck.
- Mega Gengar with Lick and Sludge Bomb
- Mega Beedrill with Poison Jab and Aerial Ace.
- Togekiss with Air Slash and Aerial Ace.
- Mega Charizard X with Air Slash and Blast Burn.
- Lugia with Extrasensory and Sky Attack.
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, it's possible to change their moves with TMs. If you happen to have Shadow versions of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this Raid:
- Shadow Moltres
- Shadow Mewtwo
- Shadow Zapdos
- Shadow Scyther
- Shadow Alakazam
- Shadow Metagross
- Shadow Gliscor
- Shadow Dragonite
- Shadow Crobat
- Shadow Exeggutor
- Shadow Skarmory
- Shadow Entei
- Shadow Gallade
Note: Shadow Moltres, Shadow Mewtwo, and Shadow Zapdos outperform all of the best, non-Mega counters. If you are able to coordinate the use of either Mega Pidgeot or Mega Charizard Y, they will boost all Flying type attackers on the field, and Mega Charizard Y will also boost Fire type attacks, making a number of Shadow Pokémon perform much better.
How many players does it take to beat Virizion?
With the top counters, two high level Trainers can take out Virizion alone, but most of the top counters take double or even quad damage from Stone Edge, so moveset is very important when deciding how many players you'll need. If you are lower level or uncertain of the moveset, aim for four Trainers and you should be fine. Weather Conditions that could impact this Raid include:
- Partly Cloudy Weather will boost Virizion's Stone Edge, as well as its Normal move Quick Attack.
- Windy Weather will boost your Flying and Psychic type counters, as well as Virizion's Zen Headbutt.
- Cloudy Weather will boost Virizion's Fighting type attack, as well as Poison and Fairy type counters.
- Sunny/Clear Weather will boost your Fire type counters, as well as Virizion's Grass type move.
Questions about taking on Virizion?
There you have it. With these Pokémon, Virizion should be an easy addition to your Pokédex. Do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our Best Portable Battery Packs guide so you can keep your phone charged while you're out Raiding!