Pokemon Go ZapdosSource: Niantic

Zapdos is coming back to Legendary Raids in Pokémon Go. Although this Legendary Pokémon has been available many times over and in a number of ways, this will be the first time Trainers can challenge the storm bird with Mega Evolved Pokémon. How will Mega Evolution impact this battle? Read ahead to find out!

Who is Zapdos Pokémon Go?

Pokemon  145 ZapdosSource: The Pokémon Company

One of the Legendary birds from the Gen I Kanto Region, Zapdos is the second Legendary Pokémon in the National Pokédex, as well as the mascot for Team Instinct. Along with Articuno and Moltres, these three bird are elemental forces of nature that can only be tamed by Lugia. Zapdos is also one of the only Pokémon with a regional variant. We'll be encountering the original Zapdos in Pokémon Go this time, for one week only.

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What are the best counters for Zapdos in Pokémon Go?

An Electric and Flying type, Zapdos is capable of dealing Electric, Rock, and Flying type damage. It takes double damage from Rock and Ice type attacks.


Pokemon 464 RhyperiorSource: The Pokémon Company

Beat only by Shadow Tyranitar, Rhyperior is the top non-Shadow counter for Zapdos. Rhyperior is final evolution of the Gen I Pokémon, Rhyhorn and the star of a Community Day, so most players have at least one already powered up. It takes quarter damage from Zapdos' Electric type attacks and half damage from its Rock and Flying attacks thanks to its Ground and Rock typing. If you're bringing Rhyperior to this Raid, you'll want it to know Smack Down and Rock Wrecker; however, if you don't have the Community Day exclusive move or the Elite TM to spare, Stone Edge also works well.


Pokemon 473 MamoswineSource: The Pokémon Company

Mamoswine is the final evolution of Swinub. It requires a lot of candy and a Sinnoh Stone to full evolve, but having been featured in events and a Community Day, many Trainers have a few already powered up. As a Ground and Ice type, Mamoswine takes quarter damage from Zapdos' Electric type attacks. You'll want your Mamoswine to know Powder Snow and Avalanche for this Raid.


Pokemon 409 RampardosSource: The Pokémon Company

Rampardos is a Rock type fossil Pokémon from the Gen IV Sinnoh region. It takes half damage from Zapdos' Drill Peck, and has no relevant weaknesses Zapdos can exploit. Having been featured in events and eggs, and only requiring 50 Candies to evolve, many players have a couple already powered up. If you're bringing Rampardos to this Raid, the moveset you're looking for is Smack Down and Rock Slide.


Pokemon 639 TerrakionSource: The Pokémon Company

One of the Legendary Swords of Justice, Terrakion is a Rock and Fighting type that works very well in this Raid. It takes half damage from Ancient Power and has no weaknesses Zapdos can exploit. Although Terrakion is a Legendary Pokémon, it has been available multiple times so many Trainers have at least one. If you're bringing it to this Raid, you'll want Smack Down for the fast move and Rock Slide for the charged move.

Mega Charizard X

Pokemon 006 Mega Charizard XSource: The Pokémon Company

Although Mega Charizard X cannot take advantage of Zapdos' weaknesses, as a Fire and Dragon type it takes half damage from Electric type attacks. On top of the massive stat boost Mega Evolution grants, Mega Charizard X makes an excellent choice for this Raid. You'll want to be careful of the moveset because it takes double damage from Ancient Power and the cost of Mega Evolution makes it less than ideal, but if you already had one Mega Evolved, you'll want Fire Spin and Blast Burn for this fight.

Galarian Darmanitan

Pokemon 555 Darmanitan Galarian Standard ModeSource: The Pokémon Company

The Galarian variant of Gen V's Darmanitan, Galarian Darmanitan is one of the best Ice types in Pokémon Go. It takes double damage from Ancient Power, but otherwise holds up very well against Zapdos. Although neither version of Darumaka has been in the game for long, they're relatively easy to come by, so many players already have both versions. If you're bringing a Galarian Darmanitan to this Raid, you'll want Ice Fang and Avalanche for the moveset.


Pokemon 248 TyranitarSource: The Pokémon Company

The pseudo-Legendary Rock and Dark type of Gen II, Tyranitar remains one of the most accessible and useful Pokémon in Go. It's been featured in Raids, events, a Community Day and even as a Shadow Pokémon, so most high level players have an entire team of Tyranitar. It resists Drill Peck and takes normal damage from Zapdos' Electric and Rock type moves. Smack Down and Stone Edge are the moves you'll want.


Pokemon 471 GlaceonSource: The Pokémon Company

The Ice type Eeveelution originally encountered in the Sinnoh Region, Glaceon is extremely easy to acquire and power up. Although you need to spin a stop with a Glacial lure Mod to evolve Glaceon, you can evolve as many as you want while the mod is active and most players have a ton of extra Eevee Candy for powering up. You'll want to watch out for Ancient Power which will make quick work of Glaceon, but against Electric or Flying type moves, it performs admirably. Ice Shard and Avalanche is the moveset you want.


Pokemon 150 MewtwoSource: The Pokemon Company

Boasting incredible stats and a plethora of move types, the Legedary Mewtwo of Gen I's Kanto region is often at the top of counter lists. It brings no weaknesses or resistances of note to this Raid and it won't get STAB for Ice Beam, but it still performs well enough to make our top ten non-Shadow counters. Even better, it has a Shadow forme, as well as having been available numerous times in numerous ways. Psycho Cut is marginally better than Confusion for the fast attack, but both work well with Ice Beam to do Ice type damage without the weakness to Ancient Power.


Pokemon 461 WeavileSource: The Pokémon Company

The final evolution of Sneasal, Weavile is an Ice and Dark type Pokémon originally encountered in the Sinnoh region. Although it requires a Sinnoh Stone to evolve, because Sneasal are common and have been featured in multiple events, many players not only have Weavile but plenty of Candy to power them up. As with other Ice types, you'll want to avoid using Weavile if Zapdos knows Ancient Power, but otherwise, with Ice Shard and Avalanche, it will perform well in this Raid.

Back ups?

Need to fill in a spot or two on your team? Consider one of these back ups:

  • Mega Beedrill with Poison Jab and Slidge Bomb
  • Gigalith with Smack Down and Rock Slide
  • Landorus with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
  • Regigigas with Hidden Power and Giga Impact
  • Golem (Kantonian or Alolan) with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
  • Kyurem with Dragon Breath and Blizzard
  • Reshiram with Fire Fang and Stone Edge

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. If you happen to have any of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this Raid:

Note: Shadow Tyranitar outperforms all of the best counters. Likewise, Shadow Mewtwo, Shadow Weavile, and Shadow Abomasnow all perform at the same level as the Pokémon in the best counters list.

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

Although it is technically possible for three Trainers with top counters to take on Zapdos alone, you may need four or five if you're lower level or missing the top counters. Weather Conditions that could play into this battle include:

  • Rain will boost Zapdos' Electric type attacks.
  • Partially Cloudy weather will boost Zapdos' Ancient Power, as well as your Rock type counters.
  • Windy weather will boost Zapdos' Drill Peck
  • Snow will boost your Ice type counters.

Questions about Zapdos in Pokémon Go?

Do you have any questions about taking on Zapdos? Any tips for fellow trainers? Let us know 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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