Kyurem Raids Have Officially Arrived In Pokémon GO

Summer 2020 is the era of the dragons for Pokémon GO raids. As Niantic makes major changes to the mobile app to accommodate players who are still dealing with quarantine as a result of COVID-19, legendary raids remain a staple of the gameplay. Leading up to their first remote Pokémon GO Fest event later this July, Niantic has introduced powerful dragons to raids that have shaken the game's meta. First up were Reshiram and Zekrom, which dominated five-star raids throughout June. Now, completing this legendary trio of dragons, Pokémon GO introduces Kyurem raids today at 1:00 p.m. Pacific, 4:00PM Eastern.

The official ad for the Unova dragon release. Credit: Niantic Labs, Inc.
The official ad for the Unova dragon release. Credit: Niantic Labs, Inc.

Kyurem, dubbed "the boundary Pokémon," is a dragon/ice powerhouse that any trainer will want to add to their teams. Here are three tips to keep in mind as you enter raids in hopes to capture this defense-heavy Pokémon.

1. Top Kyurem Counters

If you don't coordinate with a raid group, it may be difficult trying to find enough trainers to take on this wintry warrior. Trainers will want to make sure that their teams are packed with the best counters, so that they can be a force to be reckoned with when taking on Kyurem raids. Here are the top picks, along with their best movesets.

  • Lucario: Being an ice-type, Kyurem is weak to fighting. Lucario is currently the premiere fighting-type Pokémon in the game with Counter as its fast attack and Aura Sphere as its Charged Attack.
  • Metagross: For this psychic/steel hitter, it needs its Community Day move of Meteor Mash to bring the pain to Kyurem. Thankfully, Niantic has recently introduced Elite TMs as a way to obtain these legacy moves. Paired with a fast move of Bullet Punch, a Meteor Mash Metagross is one of the most useful monsters in the game.
  • Conkeldurr: Only available from raids and eggs in its base form of Timburr, Conkeldurr is a fighting powerhouse with the moves Counter and Dynamic Punch.
  • Dialga: It has been out of raids for a long time, so it could potentially be difficult to come by, but Dialga is the only dragon-type in the game that is not weak to dragon-type attacks. Mix this one up with the steel-type fast attack of Metal Claw and the dragon-type charged attack of Draco Meteor.
  • Rhyperior: This rock/ground-type has always been a killer counter to dragons, and with its new Community Day move of Rock Wrecker paired with the fast attack Smack Down, you will undoubtedly see this Pokémon in every experienced trainer's Kyurem team.
  • Machamp: Old faithful. Machamp, long before Conkeldurr and Lucario were added to the game, has been the go-to fighting-type Pokémon. Make sure the attacks are Counter and Dynamic Punch, and this classic favorite will show you why it's still relevant.

2. Shadow Pokemon May Reign Supreme

In the list above, I've left out Shadow Pokémon, which may be difficult to come by. Recently, Pokémon GO has introduced a new mechanic called a "Shadow Boost," where Shadow Pokémon caught after encounters from Team GO Rocket grunts and leaders boast an incredibly boosted attack, but with decreased defense. This makes Shadow Pokémon ideal for raiding. However, the moves of Shadow Pokémon are normally locked to the useless charged attack Frustration, except during special events. Niantic has recently been teasing the possibility of a new Team Rocket Invasion, so stay tuned for details. Until then, though, here is how you can capture the most powerful Shadow Pokémon for Kyurem Raids.

  • Shadow Metagross: Currently available with a shiny possibility during battles with Team GO Rocket leader Sierra.
  • Shadow Dragonite: Currently unavailable.
  • Shadow Gardevoir: Currently available at its base form of Ralts in encounters with Team GO Rocket grunts.
  • Shadow Tyranitar: Currently available at its base form of Larvitar in encounters with Team GO Rocket grunts.
  • Shadow Salamence: Currently unavailable.

Again, keep an eye on Bleeding Cool for new Team GO Rocket news, because the last time there was an invasion event, normally unavailable Pokémon like Shadow Salamence became obtainable for a brief time.

3. Build Up Your Candy in Kyurem Raids

Kyurem, like Giratina and Deoxys before it, has multiple forms: Kyurem White and Kyurem Black. These alternate forms will be far more powerful than the standard version when released in Kyurem raids. Forms like these have historically been able to be powered up by one type of candy, rather than a different candy for each form. This means that the more standard Kyurem you catch, the quicker you will be able to power up its elite variant forms when they are released.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.