Pokemon Go XerneasSource: Niantic

For Pokémon Go Fest 2021, Niantic is bringing back every Legendary Raid for one day only. On Sunday, July 18, Xerneas 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 Xerneas 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 Xerneas in Pokémon Go?

Pokemon 716 XerneasSource: The Pokémon Company

The Legendary Generation VI Fairy type Pokémon Xerneas was the mascot of Pokémon X. It is one of three Legendary Pokémon from the Kalos region, found in the Team Flare Secret HQ. The Life Pokémon transformed itself into a tree and slept for a millenium before awakening to share its gift by using its horns, which glow in seven colors. It is tied to the Destruction Pokémon Yveltal, which steals life energy from everything around it.

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As for Pokémon Go, Xerneas is held back by its lack of a Fairy type fast move. It has great stats and Fairy typing is useful, so Niantic could save it with an additional move, but for now, it's a Pokédex entry and not much else.

What are the best counters for Xerneas in Pokémon Go?

As a Fairy type Pokémon, Xerneas is weak to Poison and Steel type moves. It is immune to Dragon attacks and resistant to Fighting, Bug, and Dark moves. It can use Normal, Psychic, Fairy, Electric, Fighting, and Bug attacks. Although there are three great options for Poison type Mega Pokémon right now, given the otherwise lack of strong Poison counters, your best bet here is to focus on Steel, especially Metagross and Shadow Metagross, especially if you cannot coordinate with your fellow Trainers.

Mega Gengar

Pokemon 094 Gengar MegaSource: The Pokémon Company

Mega Gengar is the best non-Shadow counter in this raid. The Gen I Ghost and Poison type resist Fairy, Bug, Normal, and Fighting type damage, but takes increased damage from Psychic type moves. Make sure to coordinate with the rest of your Raid party to make the most of the Mega Boost to Poison types.Lick and Sludge Bomb is the best moveset for Gengar in this fight.

Metagross

Pokemon 376 MetagrossSource: The Pokémon Company

The pseudo-Legendary from the Hoenn region, Metagross is an excellent counter for Xerneas. As a Steel and Psychic type, Metagross takes reduced damage from Fairy, Normal, and Psychic type moves, and has no relevant weaknesses. It's also been featured in a number of events, including a Community Day and an Incense Day, so most players have a couple already powered up. Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash is the best move set; however, if you don't have the Community Day exclusive move or an Elite TM to spare, Flash Cannon is an acceptable substitute.

Mega Beedrill

Pokemon 015 Beedrill MegaSource: The Pokémon Company

While the final evolution of Weedle isn't particularly powerful on its own, Mega Beedrill is a solid choice in this Raid, especially if you don't have the Mega Energy for Gengar. A Bug and Poison type, Mega Beedrill is resistant to Fairy, Fighting, and Bug type attacks, but weak to Psychic type damage. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb is the ideal move set.

Dialga

Pokemon 483 DialgaSource: The Pokémon Company

The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Diamond and the upcoming Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Dialga is an excellent choice to counter Xerneas. As a Steel and Dragon type, it resists Bug, Psychic, Normal, and Electric type damage, but takes increased damage from Fighting type moves. Dialga has only had two runs in Raids, so many players don't have the Candy to power it up, but if you have one, you'll want it to know Metal Claw and Iron Head for this fight.

Genesect

Pokemon 649 GenesectSource: The Pokémon Company

Extinct for 300 million years, Genesect was revived by Team Plasma scientists who also equipped it with a cannon and other techonology. If you were able to catch the Mythical fossil Pokémon when it appeared in Legendary Raids, this Bug and Steel type will resist Fairy, Bug, Psychic, and Normal type attacks. You'll want your Genesect to know Metal Claw and Magnet Bomb.

Excadrill

Pokemon 530 ExcadrillSource: The Pokémon Company

Excadrill, the evolution of the Unova Pokémon Drilbur, is another great option. Drillbur has been featured in a number of events and it only costs 50 Candy to evolve, so most active players already have at least one or two Excadrill already powered up. As a Ground and Steel type, it takes reduced damage from Fairy, Normal, Bug, Psychic, and Electric type moves, while taking increased damage from Xerneas's Fighting type attack. You'll want Metal Claw and Iron Head for your Excadrill's moves.

Roserade

Pokemon 407 RoseradeSource: The Pokémon Company

Another great counter for Xerneas is the Sinnoh Stone evolution, Roserade. Its first stage, Roselia featured in a Community Day, and is a relatively common spawn, so most active players have Roserade already. The Grass and Poison type Pokémon takes extra damage from Xerneas's Psychic attacks but is resistant to its Fighting, Electric, and Fairy type moves. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb are the ideal moves for this Raid.

Gengar

Pokemon 094 GengarSource: The Pokémon Company

Even if you don't have enough Mega Energy, Gengar is still a great counter. It's been in the game since day one, had a Community Day, is boosted during Halloween, and is a Mega Raid, so there's really no good reason not to have an entire team of Gengar in your roster. This Poison and Ghost type Pokémon is vulnerable to Xerneas's Psychic attacks but takes reduced damage from Bug, Fairy, Normal, and Fighting type moves. Just like with Mega Gengar you'll want Lick and Sludge Bomb.

Jirachi

Pokemon 385 JirachiSource: The Pokémon Company

The Wish Pokémon Jirachi, originally introduced in Gen III, was the reward from the Field Research the Thousand-Year Slumber Field. As a mythic Pokémon it's tough to get enough Candy to power it up properly, but if you do, this Steel and Psychic type resists Fairy, Psychic, and Normal type attacks, while having no weaknesses Xerneas can exploit. You'll want your Jirachi to know Charge Beam and Doom Desire.

Mega Venusaur

Pokemon 003 Venusaur MegaSource: The Pokémon Company

Although it won't compete with Mega Gengar or Mega Beedrill, Mega Venusaur is a solid choice for countering Xerneas. A Poison and Grass type, it resists Fairy, Electric, and Fighting type attacks, but takes increased damage from Psychic type moves. It will provide a considerable Mega Boost to other Poison types, but its lack of a Poison type fast move really holds it back. Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb is the ideal move set in this Raid.

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:

  • Mega Pidgeot with Steel Wing and Brave Bird
  • Regigigas with Hidden Power and Giga Impact
  • Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
  • Ho-Oh with Steel Wing and Brave Bird
  • Heatran with Fire Spin and Iron Head
  • Vileplume with Acid and Sludge Bomb
  • Toxicroak with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
  • Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
  • Aggron with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam
  • Galarian Slowbro with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
  • Scolipede with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
  • Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hurricane
  • Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
  • Bisharp with Metal Claw and Iron Head
  • Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
  • Deoxys (Attack forme) with Poison Jab and Dark Pulse
  • Alolan Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
  • Durant with Metal Claw and Iron Head
  • Empoleon with Metal Claw and Hydro Cannon
  • Venusaur with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
  • Perrserker with Metal Claw and Iron Head
  • Kyurem with Steel Wing and Blizzard

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 Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
  • Shadow Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
  • Shadow Vileplume with Acid and Sludge Bomb
  • Shadow Ho-Oh with Steel Wing and Brave Bird
  • Shadow Victreebel with Acid and Sludge Bomb
  • Shadow Muk with Poison Jab and Gunk Shot
  • Shadow Skuntank with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb
  • Shadow Aggron with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam
  • Shadow Venusaur with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
  • Shadow Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hurricane
  • Shadow Entei with Fire Fang and Iron Head
  • Shadow Aerodactyl with Steel Wing and Iron Head
  • Shadow Moltres with Fire Spin and Sky Attack
  • Shadow Tangrowth with Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb
  • Shadow Tyranitar with Iron Tail and Stone Edge

Note: Shadow Metagross outperforms every other Pokémon in the best counters list. If you can safely coordinate with the rest of your Raid party, Mega Gengar, Mega Beedrill, or Mega Venusaur will boost Poison types making them perform even better.

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

You should be able to beat Xerneas with three trainers using strong counters. Since many of the best options for this fight are Mega Evolutions, you should try to coordinate with the other players on using your Mega Energy at the right time.

Weather conditions that can impact this Raid include:

  • Cloudy Weather will boost Xerneas's Fairy and Fighting type attacks as well as your Poison type counters.
  • Partially Cloudy Weather will boost its Normal type attacks.
  • Wind will boost its Psychic type attack.
  • Rain will boost its Bug type and Electric type attacks.
  • Snow will boost your Steel counters.

Questions about taking on Xerneas in Pokémon Go?

Do you have any questions about taking on the Legendary Fairy type Pokémon Xerneas? 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!