Pokemon Go XerneasSource: Niantic

Xerneas is making its Pokémon Go debut in Legendary Raids during the Luminous Legends X event from May 4-18. You'll definitely want to try to defeat and catch one to use to fight Yveltal, the Legendary Dark and Flying type Pokémon which will be hitting raids right after the event ends. We've got everything you need to know to assemble a winning team, though you might also want to check out some of the best Pokémon Go accessories to get an edge.

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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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 and probably the best Pokémon to use in the raid. The Gen I Ghost and Poison Pokémon made its Mega Evolution debut before Halloween 2020 so hopefully you got all the Mega Energy you need then. Lick and Sludge Bomb is the best moveset, though so long as you're capitalizing on the Poison vulnerability with Sludge Bomb, the fast attack doesn't really matter.

Metagross

Pokemon 376 MetagrossSource: The Pokémon Company

Capitalize on Xerneas' vulverability to Steel with the Iron Leg Pokémon Metagross. As a Steel and Psychic type, Metagross takes half damage from most of Xerneas' attacks, so it should survive a long time. Metagross is the final evolution of Beldum, which was part of a March 14 Steel and Psychic Insense Day, so if you played then you should be able to evolve and power one up. Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash is the best move set, though Meteor Mash will require an Elite TM.

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 since the Bug and Poison type Pokémon is resistant to Fairy, Fighting, and Psychic attacks and can capitalize on Xerneas' Poison vulnerability. Its base form is super common in the wild, so you should have plenty of Candy to power it up. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb is the ideal move set.

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 in January, the Bug and Steel type Pokémon will make a strong match for Xerneas with its Steel type attacks Metal Claw and Magnet Bomb.

Excadrill

Pokemon 530 ExcadrillSource: The Pokémon Company

The evolution of the Unova Pokémon Drilbur is Ground and Steel type so it takes reduced damage from almost all of Xerneas' attacks and can capitalize on its Steel weakness. You'll want Metal Claw and Iron Head as the rest of Excadrill's attacks are either Earth or Rock type, which won't work nearly as well.

Roserade

Pokemon 407 RoseradeSource: The Pokémon Company

Roselia was the featured Pokémon for the February Pokémon Go Community Day, so if you were able to catch a powerful one and gather plenty of candy to evolve it, Roserade is a solid choice to face Xerneas. The Grass and Poison type Pokémon takes extra damage from Xerneas' Psychic attacks but is resistant to its Fighting, Electric, and Fairy moves. Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb are the ideal moves because of Xerneas' Poison vulnerability.

Gengar

Pokemon 094 GengarSource: The Pokémon Company

Even if you don't have Mega Energy, regular Gengar should do the trick. Since Ghost type Pokémon are common during October, you should hopefully have a good one and all the Candy needed to power it up. The Poison and Ghost type Pokémon is vulnerable to Xerneas' Psychic attacks but takes reduced damage from its Bug, Fairy, Normal, and Fighting moves. Just like with Mega Gengar you'll want Lick and Sludge Bomb, but the charged attack is the more important one.

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 you'll have a Pokémon that's resistant to most of Xerneas' attacks. The Steel Charge Attack Doom Desire is the most important move you can have.

Mega Venusaur

Pokemon 003 Venusaur MegaSource: The Pokémon Company

The Gen I Pokémon Grass and Poison Pokémon Venusaur has been a formidable fighter since Pokémon Go launched and got even more valuable after the addition of Mega Evolutions. Mega Venusaur hasn't been available in raids since October 2020, so hopefully you were able to collect enough Venusaur Mega Energy then or from Field Tasks and Timed Research. Vine Whip and Sludge Bomb is the ideal move set, but Sludge Bomb is really all that's important.

Mega Charizard Y

Pokemon 006 Mega Charizard YSource: The Pokémon Company

Another Mega Evolved starter, Mega Charizard Y got even more accessible if you've been making use of the referral program since you'll be able to both catch a Charizard and collect Mega Charizard Energy from defeating Team GO Rocket. The Fire and Flying type Pokémon is resistant to most of Xerneas' attacks, though it's vulnerable to its Electric moves. Fire Spin and Blast Burn are its highest damage moves in this fight and in general, though Blast Burn requires an Elite TM.

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
  • Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
  • Scizor with Bullet Punch and Iron Head
  • Heatran with Fire Spin and Iron Head
  • Ho-Oh with Steel Wing and Brave Bird

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 Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
  • 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 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

Note: Shadow Metagross outperforms every other Pokémon in the best counters list. Shadow Scizor and Shadow Mewtwo also perform on par with the other best counters.

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' Fairy and Fighting attacks as well as your Poison type counters.
  • Partially Cloudy weather will boost Xerneas' Normal type attacks.
  • Windy weather will boost Xerneas' Psychic type attacks.
  • Rainy weather will boost Xerneas' Bug 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!