How to take on Articuno in Pokémon Go
Do you have what it takes to beat Articuno?
For Pokémon Go Fest 2021, Niantic is bringing back every Legendary Raid for one day only. On Sunday, July 18, Articuno 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 Articuno 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 Articuno in Pokémon Go?
One of three Legendary birds from the Kanto region of Gen I, Articuno is the first Legendary Pokémon in the National Pokédex, as well as the mascot for Team Mystic. Along with Zapdos and Moltres, these three forces of nature are ruled by Lugia, the only Pokémon capable of keeping them in balance. Articuno is also the first Legendary Pokémon to have a regional variant, with its Galarian form being a Psychic and Flying type.
Only the original Kanto version of Articuno is available in Pokémon Go for now. Articuno also has a Shadow forme which happens to be one of the best Ice type Pokémon in the game, so even if you have plenty of Articuno already, you'll want to catch plenty more for the Candy and XL Candy necessary to power up your Shadow Articuno.
What are the best counters for Articuno in Pokémon Go?
An Ice and Flying type, Articuno takes double damage from Steel, Fire, and Electric type attacks, and quad damage from Rock type attacks. It is capable of dealing Ice and Rock type damage. Most of the best counters will be Rock types, but with the introduction of Mega Evolution, coordinating the use of a Mega Evolved Pokémon allows for winning Fire or Electric based counters.
The best counter for Articuno is the Rock type fossil Pokémon, Rampardos. First discovered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Rampardos brings no notable weaknesses to this Raid. As one of the strongest Rock type attackers in Pokémon Go, it can do quad damage to Articuno with Smack Down and Rock Slide. Even better, its first stage Cranidos is quite common, having been featured in events and Eggs, and it only requires 50 Candy to fully evolve, so most players have at least one or two of this prehistoric Pokémon powered up.
The Sinnoh Stone evolution of Gen I's Rhyhorn, Rhyperior is a Ground and Rock type that most players already have in their roster. Rhyperior requires a lot of Candy and a Sinnoh Stone to evolve, but was also featured in a Community Day on top of evolving from a common Pokémon that has been available since day one. Although Rhyperior takes double damage from Ice type attacks, it takes half damage from Rock type attacks. Over all, it's a tank and with Smack Down and Rock Wrecker, Rhyperior can deal quad damage to Articuno. If you don't have the Community Day exclusive move or an Elite TM to spare, Stone Edge can also work.
One of the Legendary Swords of Justice, Terrakion is a Rock and Fighting type. It resists Rock type damage and takes normal damage from Ice type attacks. Although a Legendary Pokémon, Terrakion has been available in a couple of ways, so many players already have at least one powered up. If you're bringing Terrakion to this Raid, you'll want it to know Smack Down and Rock Slide.
The Dark and Rock type pseudo-Legendary Tyranitar is always a solid pick when you need Rock type damage. It brings no resistances or weaknesses of note to this fight, but having been readily available through events, a Community Day, and even Raids, most players have a few in their rosters. If you're bringing Tyranitar to this Rair, you'll want Smack Down and Stone Edge for its moveset.
Gigalith is a Rock type Pokémon first discovered in the Gen V Unova region. Although it requires a ton of Candy to evolve, between Trade Evolution and Roggenrola being featured in the Ultra Unlock Unova Week, you might already have one or two already powered up. If you're bringing Gigalith to this Raid, you'll want Smack Down for the fast attack and Rock Slide for the charged attack.
A fossil Pokémon first discovered in the Gen I Kanto region, there's no good reason not to have at least a few strong Omastar in your roster. It's been available since the beginning of Pokémon Go, been featured in events and Raids, and even as a Shadow Pokémon. Plus, it only requires 50 Candies to evolve. Taking half damage from Ice type attacks also means your Omastar will last a long while in this Raid. If you're bringing Omastar, you'll want it to know Rock Throw and Rock Slide.
Mega Charizard Y
One of two Mega Evolutions of the Gen I Fire type Starter, Mega Charizard Y is the better of Charizard's Mega Evolutions to bring to this Raid, but either make a great lead for Fire based Raid parties. While this Fire and Flying type takes quad damage from Articuno's Rock type attack, that doesn't slow Mega Charizard Y down. If you're bringing Mega Charizard Y to this Raid, you'll want to coordinate with the rest of the Raiding party to take advantage of the Fire type boost. Fire Spin and Blast Burn are the moves you'll want it to know.
A Fire type Pokémon first discovered in the Gen V Unova region, Darmanitan is a particularly interesting Pokémon that has multiple formes and regional variants. The standard Unovan Darmanitan is the one you'll want for this fight with the moves Fire Fang and Rock Slide. It will take double damage if the Articuno you're fighting has Ancient Power, but it takes half damage from the rest of Articuno's moves.
While Mega Charizard Y is the better option, if you're lacking Mega Charizard Energy or already have Ampharos ready, Mega Ampharos performs well in this Raid. As an Electric and Dragon type, it resists Flying and has no weaknesses Articuno can exploit. If you are bringing Mega Ampharos to this Raid, the moveset you're looking for is Volt Switch and Power Gem - neither of which are moves you would normally want for your Ampharos. However, if you happen to have a Mega Ampharos with Charge Beam or Zap Cannon, it won't perform quite as well but can still provide a great lead for Electric based Raid parties.
Although the Alolan variant of Gen I's Golem outperforms its Kantonian counterpart, either Golem will work very well in this Raid. Both have been abundantly available and benefit from Trade Evolution, so most players will have one or both already powered up. Alolan Golem is a Rock and Electric type, with not weaknesses or resistances of note; while the Kantonian Golem is a Rock and Ground type, that takes half damage from Rock and double damage from Ice. Rock Throw and Stone Edge are the moves of choice for either Golem.
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:
- Excadrill with Metal Claw and Rock Slide
- Reshiram with Fire Fang and Stone Edge
- Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Golem with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Landorus (Incarnate forme) with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Heatran with Fire Spin and Stone Edge
- Mega Charizard X with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Regirock with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Solrock with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Lunatone with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Hippowdon with Thunder Fang and Weather Ball
- Mega Houndoom with Fire Fang and Flamethrower
- Crustle with Smack Down and Rock Slide
- Mega Manectric with Charge Beam and Wild Charge
- Emboar with Ember and Rock Slide
- Carracosta with Rock Throw and Ancient Power
- Melmetal with Thunder Shock and Rock Slide
- Chandelure with Fire Spin and Overheat
- Zekrom with Charge Beam and Wild Charge
- Sudowoodo with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Blaziken with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
- Machamp with Bullet Punch and Rock Slide
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 Tyranitar with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Omastar with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Shadow Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Machamp with Bullet Punch and Rock Slide
- Shadow Electivire with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge
- Shadow Entei with Fire Fang and Overheat
- Shadow Raikou with Volt Switch and Wild Charge
- Shadow Moltres with Fire Spin and Overheat
- Shadow Armaldo with Fury Cutter and Rock Blast
- Shadow Magnezone with Spark and Wild Charge
Note: Shadow Tyranitar outperforms all of the best counters except Rampardos. If you are able to safely coordinate the use of either Mega Charizard, Mega Ampharos, or Mega Manectric they will boost Fire or Electric types respectively, making them perform much better.
How many players does it take to beat Articuno in Pokémon Go?
Although it is technically possible for two high level Trainers to take on Articuno under the best of circumstances, 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:
- Snow will boost Articuno's Ice type attacks and your Steel type counters.
- Partially Cloudy weather will boost Articuno's Ancient Power, as well as your Rock type counters.
- Sunny/Clear weather will boost Fire type counters.
- Rain will boost your Electric type counters.
Questions about Articuno in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on Articuno? 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!