Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos: Legendary raid tips for Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go recently celebrated its first birthday with the release of the two legendary Pokemon, Lugia and Articuno.  The latter was unlocked as a reward to the Team Mystic (for whom Articuno is the mascot) for the high participation rate of Mystic trainers during the recent worldwide event last weekend.

This is what you're up against.

This is what you’re up against.

In addition to the legendary raids, trainers were also treated to an array of passive bonuses

  • Double Stardust
  • Double Candy
  • Double XP
  • Increased Pokémon encounters
  • Reduced hatching distance
  • Reduced buddy distance

After the initial timeframe of 48 hours, Niantic extended the length of this bonus period by a further 72 hours (finishing Friday 10am AEST).

Today, Niantic released the timeframes for all the legendary bird raids. Articuno will be available until July 31st. Trainers will be able to battle the fire/flying Moltres from July 31 until August 7, and the electric/flying bird, Zapdos from August 7 until August 14.

No information has been given regarding what happens to the three legendary birds after this period finishes, but rumours say the legendary raids will continue with a significantly lower spawn rate.

Raiders are having varying levels of success, but as the week progresses, a few techniques and strategies have started to emerge if you want to catch ’em all:

  • Avoid tanks – while the automatic team the app will assign you is usually a fair choice, DPS is king. Your Blissey may survive longer than a Gyarados, but the low DPS runs the risk of time running out
  • Get a team – the minimum number of players in the raid should be 8 trainers around level 30. Legendaries will wipe whole battle teams quickly, and you’ll need others to keep up the damage while people are inactive while healing or sending in a new team. Weight of numbers is the game and 14+ trainers should take out a legendary with time spare.
  • Typing is key – Damage, damage, damage! If you lose all your Pokemon but sustain DPS through the raid, you’ll get your opportunity. All legendaries announced are flying types, making electric and ice type moves super effective. Rock-based moves a solid choice(*a-hur hur*). Dark and ghost attacks work well against Lugia and Fire is effective at melting the icy heart of Articuno.
  • No dodging, only attack – DPS! DPS! LEEEEROOOOOOOY NNNNNJEEEEEEENKIIIIINS!!! (use at your own risk)
  • Golden razz and great, curve balls – the real challenge seems to be catching the Pokemon, instead of winning the battle. As curve balls and nice/great/excellent bonuses increase catch rate, trainers might want to try these out, though it does run the risk of wasting those precious Premier balls with wayward throws. Use a golden razzberry every time.

Have any more tips? Let us know in the comments. Happy hunting!

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