How to take on Virizion in Pokémon Go

Do you have what it takes to beat Virizion?

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

Like most Legendary Pokémon, Virizion is one of a set. This particular set is known as the Swords of Justice, and they are loosely based on The Three Musketeers. Cobalion represents Athos, the oldest and de facto leader of the group, Terrakion represents Porthos, the strongest member of the group, Virizion represents Aramis, the feminine and romantic member of the group, and Keldeo represents d'Artagnan, the young new addition to the group.

In terms of Pokémon Go, Virizion is lackluster. It's stats aren't great, but what really holds it back is its movepool. Virizion doesn't have a Grass or Fighting fast attack. Still, Niantic could give it additional moves and there's always the opportunity for Shiny hunting.

What are the best counters for Virizion on Pokémon Go?

As a Grass and Fighting type, Virizion takes increased damage from Psychic, Fairy, Poison, Fire, and Ice type attacks, and quad damage from Flying. It is capable of dealing Grass, Fighting, Rock, Psychic, and Normal type damage.

Mega Pidgeot

Mega Pidgeot is the obvious choice for first place in this Raid. As one of the most common Gen I Pokémon, every player should have at least a couple solid IV Pidgeot in their roster and though Mega Evolution is a little expensive, Mega Pidgeot is one of the more affordable ones. A Normal and Flying type, Mega Pidgeot takes reduced damage from Virizion's Grass type attack, but increased damage from its Rock type attack. Gust and Brave Bird is the moveset you'll want your Mega Pidgeot to know for this Raid.

Moltres

The Legendary Fire and Flying type from Gen I, Moltres is a superb counter for Virizion even with the introduction of Mega Pokémon and the rebalance of Shadow Pokémon. It's been available a number of times in Raids, Research Breakthrough Rewards, and even as a Shadow Pokémon, so most players have at least a couple powered up. It takes reduced damage from Grass and Fighting, but increased damage from Rock type attacks. Wing Attack and Sky Attack is the moveset you'll want, but a Moltres with Overheat will also serve well against Virizion.

Rayquaza

The Legendary Rayquaza from Gen III's Hoenn region performs very well in this Raid with one caveat: it needs to know Air Slash and Hurricane. In general, Rayquaza performs best focusing on its Dragon type moves; however, if you already have one that knows its Flying type moves, it will serve you well. Rayquaza has been featured in a number of events and in Raids, so lots of players have a handful already powered up. It takes quarter damage from Grass and half from Fighting, but like so many others on this list, double from Rock.

Mega Charizard Y

Another Flying and Fire type, Mega Charizard Y can boost both Fire and Flying type attacks, making it the safer choice if you cannot coordinate with the rest of your Raid party. Like Moltres, it takes reduced damage from Grass and Fighting, and increased damage from Rock typ moves. Air Slash and Blast Burn is the moveset you'll want your Mega Charizard Y to know.

Yveltal

The Legendary mascot from Pokémon Y, Yveltal is a great choice to counter Virizion. A Dark and Flying type, it resists Psychic and Grass, but takes super effective damage from Rock type moves. Although Yveltal has only had one run in Raids, it was heavily featured in the Luminous Legends Y event, so most active players have had the chance to add it to their rosters. Gust and Hurricane are the moves you'll want your Yveltal to know for this fight.

Honchkrow

The Dark and Flying type Honchkrow isn't as durable as some of the other Pokémon on this counters list, but it can definitely pack a punch with Peck and Sky Attack. It takes reduced damage from Psychic and Grass, but it's weak to Rock type moves. Murkrow are plentiful enough, but it also requires a Sinnoh Stone to evolve.

Ho-Oh

Another Legendary on the list, Ho-Oh hasn't been available as often as Moltres has, but it comes pretty close. As a Fire and Flying type, it takes quad damage from the Rock type move Stone Edge, but resists both Fighting and Grass type moves. Hidden Power and Brave Bird is the moveset you'll want your Ho-Oh to know going into this Raid; however, Extrasensory can work as well, if you either don't have Hidden Power or got the wrong type.

Braviary

Another Normal and Flying type, Braviary was originally discovered in the Gen V Unova region. Although it only has two stages, its first stage Rufflet is fairly uncommon with most coming from the Pokémon GO Battle League. Still, if you have it, you'll want it to know Air Slash and Brave Bird.

Tornadus (Incarnate forme)

One of the Forces of Nature Trio of the Unova region, Tornadus (Incarnate forme) is a great choice for this Raid. Tornadus has been available a few times in Raids and the Incarnate forme is the older of the two, so most players have had the chance to catch at least one or two. As a pure Flying type, it resists Grass and Fighting type moves, but takes increased damage from Rock. If you're bringing Tornadus to this fight, you'll want it to know Air Slash and Huricanne.

Staraptor

A Normal and Flying type originally encountered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Staraptor works well in this Raid, especially when paired with Mega Pidgeot or Mega Charizard Y. It takes half damage from Grass and double damage from Rock. Its first stage, Starly is quite common, making it quite easy to find the Candies necessary to power it up. Wing Attack and Brave Bird is the moveset you'll want your Staraptor to know.

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:

  • Unfezant with Air Slash and Sky Attack
  • Tornadus (Therian forme) with Gust and Hurricane
  • Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Psystrike.
  • Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Drill Peck.
  • Lugia with Extrasensory and Aeroblast.
  • Togekiss with Air Slash and Aerial Ace.
  • Mega Charizard X with Air Slash and Blast Burn.
  • Mega Beedrill with Poison Jab and Aerial Ace.
  • Mega Gengar with Lick and Sludge Bomb
  • Mega Altaria with Peck and Sky Attack
  • Yanmega with Wing Attack and Aerial Ace
  • Blaziken with Fire Spin and Brave Bird
  • Noivern with Air Slash and Hurricane
  • Reshiram with Fire Fang and Overheat
  • Fearow with Peck and Sky Attack
  • Swellow with Wing Attack and Sky Attack
  • Pidgeot with Gust and Brave Bird
  • Mega Houndoom with Fire Fang and Flamethrower
  • Sirfetch'd with Fury Cutter and Brave Bird
  • Darmanitan with Fire Fang and Overheat

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 Moltres with Wing Attack and Sky Attack
  • Shadow Honchkrow with Peck and Sky Attack
  • Shadow Staraptor with Wing Attack and Brave Bird
  • Shadow Ho-Oh with Hidden Power and Brave Bird
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
  • Shadow Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Drill Peck
  • Shadow Alakazam with Confusion and Psychic
  • Shadow Dragonite with Dragon Tail and Hurricane
  • Shadow Metagross with Zen Headbutt and Psychic
  • Shadow Gliscor with Wing Attack and Aerial Ace
  • Shadow Scyther with Air Slash and Aerial Ace
  • Shadow Skarmory with Air Slash and Sky Attack
  • Shadow Entei with Fire Fang and Overheat
  • Shadow Crobat with Air Slash and Air Cutter
  • Shadow Exeggutor with Confusion and Psychic

Note: Shadow Moltres, Shadow Mewtwo, and Shadow Zapdos outperform all of the best, non-Mega counters. If you are able to coordinate the use of either Mega Pidgeot or Mega Charizard Y, they will boost all Flying type attackers on the field, and Mega Charizard Y will also boost Fire type attacks, making a number of Shadow Pokémon perform much better.

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

With the top counters, two high level Trainers can take out Virizion alone, but most of the top counters take double or even quad damage from Stone Edge, so moveset is very important when deciding how many players you'll need. If you are lower level or uncertain of the moveset, aim for four Trainers and you should be fine. Weather Conditions that could impact this Raid include:

  • Partly Cloudy Weather will boost Virizion's Stone Edge, as well as its Normal move Quick Attack.
  • Windy Weather will boost your Flying and Psychic type counters, as well as Virizion's Zen Headbutt.
  • Cloudy Weather will boost Virizion's Fighting type attack, as well as Poison and Fairy type counters.
  • Sunny/Clear Weather will boost your Fire type counters, as well as Virizion's Grass type move.

Questions about taking on Virizion in Pokémon Go?

There you have it. With these Pokémon, Virizion should be an easy addition to your Pokédex. Do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our Best Portable Battery Packs guide so you can keep your phone charged while you're out Raiding!

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