Pokemon Go Rayquaza Raid: counters and strategy to get yourself a Rayquaza – but no shiny this time

By Alex Donaldson, Friday, 15 March 2019 11:20 GMT

Legendary Dragon and Flying-type Pokemon Rayquaza is back as a Pokemon Go Raid boss one weekend in March – and you’ll need to make sure your Rayquaza counters are ready to abuse and exploit its weaknesses if you want a hope of winning for a chance at catching a Rayquaza of your very own.

As a limited-time event, as ever you’ll want to think about your plan for Rayquaza in Pokemon Go ahead of time. Once the event kicks off you’ll only have a few days to gather together a party of trainers and take down the legendary Dragon (who was once a boss in Super Smash Bros, so you know he’s hard as nails) – and having a pre-prepared party full of counters to the weaknesses and strengths of any given super-hard raid boss will give you a much better hope of that. So – here’s our tips so you can get prepared, powering up the Pokemon you need for these super-difficult raids, plus everything else you need to know about this limited raid event.

Pokemon Go Rayquaza Special Raid Weekend: event date, start time and end time

Rayquaza is a busy, powerful Pokemon, so it doesn’t have time to hang about waiting for trainers. As such, it’s only in the Pokemon Go Gym Raids for a limited amount of time. Beyond Ray (we call him that now), the current Pokemon Go Raid bosses list remains in place.

Rayquaza will appear at random between the following dates and times:

  • Rayquaza Raid Event Start: March 15th 2019, 9pm UK time, 10pm CET, 3pm EST, 1pm PST
  • Rayquaza Raid Event End: March 18th 2019, 9pm UK time, 10pm CET, 3pm EST, 1pm PST

Once you win the raid, you’ll have a chance to catch a Rayquaza – a very powerful legendary Pokemon.

And what of Shiny Rayquaza? Well, sadly, this time Pokemon Go developer Niantic has confirmed that this event won’t give a chance to catch a shiny Rayquaza – setting it apart from other events of its kind and leading to some confusion. No shiny this time, though – there you have it.

Pokemon Go Rayquaza Raid: counters, weaknesses, strategy and advice

You’ve scheduled your time that weekend – now you actually have to prep to fully fight Rayquaza, and this guy is tough. Luckily, there’s measures you can take to help make him more managable. First, let’s kick off with some facts about the boss:

As a boss, Rayquaza will have in the region of 49,000 to 50,000 CP. Naturally, this means that this isn’t anything near a solo possible raid. Ideally you’re going to need two to four trainers of a high level (level 30 and up), and if you’re brave enough to tackle this boss in a lower-level situation you’ll need more than that – way more. Prepare and text your friends accordingly!

Once Rayquaza counters and weakness exploitation have seen you to victory, you’ll have the chance to catch it. Its base Catch CP will be between 2102 CP and 2191 CP, while its Boosted CP (via Windy weather) will bump that up to 2627 CP or more.

Finally, these are the moves you can expect Rayquaza to have:

  • Dragon Tail (fast, Dragon-type)
  • Air Slash (fast, Flying-type)
  • Aerial Ace (charged, Flying-type)
  • Ancient Power (charged, Rock-type)
  • Outrage (charged, Dragon-type)

Rayquaza Counters & Weakness List for raids

Rayquaza is a beast of a Pokemon, make no mistake – but its dual type of Dragon and Flying has some unique implications that mean you’ll be able to take it down if you plan ahead carefully enough. Specifically, Rayquaza’s dual type means it has a double weakness to ice-type Pokemon and moves, making them the absolute best to use.

In all, Rayquaza counters are pretty easy to find: it’s weak to Ice (x2), Dragon, Fairy and Rock-type Pokemon and moves. This is a good deck of Pokemon type weaknesses to exploit. Just watch out, as Rayquaza is strong against Bug, Dragon, Fighting and Grass-type Pokemon and moves thanks to its type affinity.

Remember too that Weather Boost can have an effect on counters – we’d avoid fighting Rayquaza in windy conditions if you can at all help it, unless you’re countering with a dragon-type Pokemon yourself – but Rayquaza is strong against them, so that shouldn’t be an option. Snowy weather conditions could significantly turn the tide of this battle – but obviously that’s deeply situational.

Based on the type weaknesses and the Pokemon Go Best Pokemon Tier List, below are the Pokemon we feel are the best counters for taking down Rayquaza in the event, plus the moves that’ll help them to remain effective – and it’s a real ice cold affair:

  • Mamoswine (with Powder Snow & Avalanche)
  • Weavle (with Ice Shard & Avalanche)
  • Glaceon (with Frost Breath & Avalanche)
  • Cloyster (with Frost Breath & Avalanche)
  • Articuno (with Frost Breath & Ice Beam)
  • Jynx (with Frost Breath & Avalanche)
  • Lapras (with Frost Breath & Ice Beam)
  • Glalie (with Frost Breath & Avalanche)

If you’re after non-ice options, there are a few we can suggest:

  • Mewtwo is great, and can also learn Ice Beam if you’re lucky.
  • Dragonite can be very useful with Dragon Tail and Draco Meteor, but its health will be blasted back down just as quickly thanks to the dragon typing
  • The old Tyranitar combo of Smack Down and Stone Edge is solid even in this scenario

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