Pokemon Swords of Justice Cobalion Terrakion Virizion and KeldeoSource: The Pokémon Company

Starting May 12, 2020, the third of the Swords of Justice, Virizion is returning to Legendary Raids. To celebrate the introduction of Remote Raid Passes, this Grass and Fighting type Legendary Pokémon is coming back, and you have just one week to catch it! While it is weak to seven different types, there are definitely some real contenders in this fight and other Pokémon who just won't make the cut. We're here to walk you through building the perfect team for taking on this 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.

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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.

For the time being, Virizion is not all that impressive. Despite being a Legendary Pokémon, its stats aren't particularly outstanding. It has decent defense, but as Legendary Pokémon cannot be put in Gyms, that isn't particulary useful in Pokémon Go. It is possible that future moveset changes or stat rebalances could make Virizion more useful, but it is an easy addition to your Pokédex, so don't miss out on your chance to catch one!

What are the best counters?

While Virizion is weak against Psychic, Fairy, Poison, Fire, and Ice type moves, your best bet is to focus on Flying types. It is twice as weak against Flying type moves as the other types, and its only strong counter move to Flying types is Stone Edge. Fortunately, there are plenty of Pokémon to choose from for this battle, and many of them are fairly common. You likely won't have trouble building a team iof our best counters.

Moltres

Pokemon 146 MoltresSource: The Pokemon Company

Still the best option for countering Virizion, Moltres won't flinch in the face of the Grassland Pokémon. The only thing you'll have to worry even a little about is if Virizion has Stone Edge, and the weather is Partly Cloudy. Moltres takes quad damage from Rock type moves, but still outclasses Virizion. Given how plentiful opportunities to catch Moltres have been, many players will be able to take a whole team of just Moltres in to fight this Raid. Wing Attack and Sky Attack is the moveset you'll want, but a Moltres with Overheat will also serve well against Virizion.

Rayquaza

Pokemon 384 RaquazaSource: The Pokemon Company

With Air Slash and Aerial Ace, Rayquaza puts the hurt on Virizion. It's weak to Virizion's Rock type move, but only taking double damage, as opposed to the quad damage Moltres takes. Although its Dragon type moves perform better in general, if you already have one with Flying type moves or can spare one or two to TM, it will serve you well in this Raid. Opportunities to catch Raquaza haven't been as plentiful as the others on this list, but if you have it, use it.

Honchkrow

Pokemon 430 HonchkrowSource: The Pokémon Company

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 is resistant to Virizion's Grass and Psychic type moves too. Murkrow are plentiful enough, but it requires a Sinnoh Stone to evolve. Given just how many Pokémon require that evolution item, you probably don't have many Honchkrow lying around.

Unfezant

Pokemon 521 UnfezantSource: The Pokémon Company

A relative newcomer to the game, Unfezant with Air Slash and Sky Attack can also do a lot of damage to Virizion. And since Pidoves are so common, you probably have one or two of these already. Like most of the recommended counters, Unfezant is weak to Virizion's Stone Edge, but is resistant to Leaf Blade.

Mewtwo

Pokemon 150 MewtwoSource: The Pokemon Company

As with so many other Raids, Mewtwo continues to be one of the most useful Pokémon in the game. It is the only non-Flying type to make this list. With a resistance to Close Combat and normal damage from the rest of Virizion's potential moves, Mewtwo will wipe the floor with Virizion. Confusion and the Legacy move Psystrike are your best bet here, but even the Charged Move Psychic will make your Mewtwo an excellent counter for Virizion.

Ho-Oh

Pokemon 250 Ho-ohSource: The Pokémon Company

Another Legendary on the list, Ho-Oh hasn't seen the widespread availability that Moltres has, but it's come pretty close. As a Fire and Flying type, it takes quad damage from the Rock type move Stone Edge, but is resistant to both Fighting and Grass type moves. Extrasensory and Brave Bird is the moveset you'll want your Ho-Oh to know going into this Raid.

Lugia

Pokemon 249 LugiaSource: The Pokemon Company

Combining the Psychic-type move Extrasensory with the Flying-type move Sky Attack makes Lugia an extremely powerful counter for Virizion. It is also quite bulky, so it'll likely last you a long time in battle. Between Raids and Research Breakthrough Rewards, you probably have at least a couple Lugia ready for this fight.

Togekiss

Pokemon 468 TogekissSource: The Pokémon Company

Another Pokémon reliant on a Sinnoh Stone to evolve, Togekiss is the final evolution of Togepi. There aren't many opportunities to catch Togepi or its evolution Togetic, but it does hatch from Eggs, so you've likely hatched a few if you're a mildly active player. With Air Slash and Aerial Ace, Togekiss can do some serious damage to Virizion. It takes super effective damage from Stone Edge, but is resistant to Close Combat and Leaf Blade.

Zapdos

Pokemon  145 ZapdosSource: The Pokémon Company

One more Legendary for the list, Zapdos has also seen pretty widespread availability. Like most of Virizion's counters, it is weak against Stone Edge, but resistant to Close Combat and Leaf Blade. However, only having Electric type fast moves which Vizirion is resistant to makes Zapdos far less useful in this Raid than the other recommendations. On top of that, the Charged move you would want, Drill Peck isn't very useful elsewhere. Still, if you need to fill a slot and already have a Zapdos with Drill Peck, it can serve well in this Raid.

Back ups

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:

  • Charizard with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Staraptor with Wing Attack and Brave Bird
  • Fearow with Peck and Sky Attack
  • Swellow with Wing Attack and Aerial Ace
  • Yanmega with Wing Attack and Aerial Ace
  • Chandelure with Fire Spin and Overheat
  • Alakazam with Confusion and Psychic
  • Rosearade with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
  • Exeggutor with the Confusion and Psychic
  • Latios with Zen Headbutt and Psychic
  • Espeon with Confusion and Psychic

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, 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:

  • Moltres
  • Zapdos
  • Charizard
  • Alakazam
  • Exeggutor

How many players does it take to beat Virizion?

While Virizion is not particularly useful in-game, that does mean that it is easy to take down. Two strong players with top Flying-type attackers can handle this Raid alone. If you have a team of 5 decent players, you should be able to take it down easily. Its Grass and Psychic type moves are boosted by Sunny and Cloudy weather, but so are the Fire and Flying type counter moves respectively. The only weather you really need to watch out for is Partly Cloudy, and only if it happens to have the Charged Move Stone Edge. If you're coming up against a Virizion with Stone Edge in Partly Cloudy weather, you will definitely need a larger team.

Questions about taking on Virizion?

Do you have any questions about taking on Virizion? 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 other Pokémon Go guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

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