We don’t know yet when Legendary Pokémon will appear, but it might be soon and time is running out to prepare. A lot of us hope they will show up during/after Go-Fest. There are multiple lists circulating the best raid Pokémon available to fight the Legendaries. But what is the cheapest and quickest way to get some of these battlers if you don’t have them already? This article looks at the cost and effort of getting a battler for a legendary raid as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

For a good legendary raid battler, you’re looking at a level 30 Pokémon, he or she has a max attack for IV (15) and also has the optimal move set to fight the legendaries. In addition, this Pokémon is in the top 6 of battlers against at least one Legendary as determined by Pokebattler.com

First the cost: 6+ Raid passes, <1 charge TM, 72-73.2K dust

Does this look too cheap for you? There are a few assumptions here, and I will explain how it works. All values are averages – I can’t do anything to increase your luck. The first step is getting some good battlers quickly. I then show how I derive the cost.

Doing raids seems to turbocharge your quest for a good legendary raid battler. There are 9 current raid bosses which appear in the top 6 as attackers for various Legendaries at least once:


Tier 2


High damage Solar Beam special attack along with strong psychic and grass quick attacks

Tier 3


Very high damage ghost moves along with some high resists to various attacks


Another high damage Pokemon, this time with psychic attacks


A common eeveelution who happens to be the strongest water pokemon in the game, unleashing huge hydro pumps


Another eeveelution who is the strongest electric pokemon in the game, with multiple good electric moves including Thunderbolt


The final easy to obtain eeveelution who is the strongest fire Pokemon in the game, with multiple good fire moves, especially Fire Spin and Overheat

Tier 4


A very strong Pokemon featuring a great dark quick attack and 2 strong special moves in Stone Edge and Crunch


A flying/fire Pokemon with good moves and resists for some legendaries


Arguably the strongest grass Pokemon, with huge Solar Beam just like Exeggutor but without the psychic type vulnerabilities.

I haven’t added Machamp to the list as he is not a good attacker for a legendary raid. But these same principles apply to him as well if you after tier 4 raids, so it might be good to do raids against him too if you have the opportunity.

Catching a raid boss gives you an evolved Pokémon of that type. This Pokémon starts at level 20 with random IV rankings of 10-15 which are equivalent to egg IVs. This means you will have to catch on average of 6 raid bosses to get one with a max attack IV of 15. This is where I get my cost of 6+ raid passes from. 6 is the minimum for a 100% catch rate. If you are good at throwing curve balls and always use golden Razz’s then you can get close to a 6 out of 6 catch rate for some of the battlers. You need some additional raid passes if you miss often or if you preferably go for the tier 4 raid bosses. This additional cost depends on your skill, the number of balls you manage to get, etc. The value, therefore, is 6+ and I can’t give a more accurate number.

Once we have a good Pokémon, we want to ensure it actually has the best possible move set. This is where we need TMs. There are 2 quick moves. You have a 50% chance to get the right quick move straight away. This leave 1 x 0.5 = 0.5 Fast TM to correct the wrong move. I assume that 6+ raids will give you 0.5 (or more) fast TMs – therefore this cost is left out as the raids pay for it already. For the charge move the chance is 33.3% to get the right move. You then have a 50% chance to get the charge move you want. This leave (1 + 0.5 + 0.25 + 0.125 + …) x 2/3 = 1 1/3 Charge TM needed on average to get the charge move you want. I assume you will get at least 1/3 of a charge TM for your 6+ raids. Therefore, the cost is <1 charge TM. The value might be too optimistic for tier 2, but it is well deserved for tier 3 and tier 4 and should actually gain you charge TMs.

The next cost is candy. This cost is actually around zero as well – isn’t this fantastic? We need none for evolution – great start. We then need 66 to upgrade a Pokémon from level 20 to level 30. We gain 35 candies from catching 6 2-evolution Pokémon and releasing 5 of them. We gain 65 candies for catching 6 3-evolution Pokémon and releasing 5 of them. This doesn’t yet take into account the additional rare candy we get from the 6+ raids. So, we might slightly fall short for the Eevee evolutions, Exeggutor and Gengar – all candy that isn’t too hard to get, while all the 3-evolution Pokemon gain us candy on our quest for a good battler. Therefore, I regard the candy cost as zero overall.

This leads us to the only true cost that doesn’t easily pay for itself or can be substituted by money – dust. It costs us 75K dust to power up our Pokémon from level 20 to level 30. We gain 1800 for the 2-evolution Pokémon and 3000 for the 3-evolution Pokémon. This leaves us with 72-73.2K of dust as the only cost that requires us to grind or raid our dust storage.

All the calculations are for a single raid attacker. Multiply with six if you go for a full team. It is beneficial if you have some spare TMs and candy before you start as you might get lucky. But long term it should pay for itself apart from the costs listed.

So go out, fight lots of raids, don’t ignore the tier 3 ones, check for 15 attack IV and store them to be fully prepared. I hope you have a good stash of dust. Just don’t send me the bill for all the Poke coins you have to buy.

Assumptions and other possibly useful information:

Going for different battlers

Candy cost assumes you go only for one specific Pokémon type. You will have to pay ‘advance candy’ if you mix them and will get candy for other species. Eventually, it will even out.

Catch rate

Is a catch rate of close to 100% even possible? I hear lots of stories of raid bosses fleeing. There are three factors needed to get close to 100%. a) Get as many balls as possible. Some aspects are in your control. To get the max damage balls (3) you need a good damage output and a group that isn’t too big. Max contribution of your team (3) depends on whom you pair up with. This should give you 11 balls. 11 balls give you an 87% overall chance if you can always hit it with a golden Razz and a nice ball. It gives you 96% if you manage always a curved nice ball with golden Razz. Where most trainers (including me) fail is that they never saw a Tyranitar and throw at the wrong time and therefore waste a lot of throws. I guess practice makes perfect.

Effect of luck

I use random and average values. Table 1 shows the chance of getting at least 1 IV 15 attack Pokémon depending on number of raids done

RaidsChance (%) for 15 Attack IVAverage number of 15 attack IV Pokemon

Going beyond 30

You might want to go beyond level 30. The additional cost for leveling beyond level 30 is given in table 2.


Going for high IV

Not everyone is just interested in every 15 attack IV Pokémon – most trainers want to ensure they also have good overall IV. The good news is – if you only take raid bosses with 15 attack IV then your worst possible IV is 78% and you have a 92% chance for a wonder (IV 82% or better) and a 42% chance for an attacker with total IV of >90%. This is especially important if you want to level up beyond level 30. Table 3 outlines the chances for each IV and a multiplier which means how many more raids you need to do if you restrict yourself to this total IV minimum. Only the number of raids need to be multiplied as you will gain additional TMs, candy and even a little bit of dust with every additional raid.

total IVChanceRaid Multiplier

In Summary

You will still be able to get some battlers for legendary bosses ahead of Go Fest even if you still miss some for your line up. All you need is some dust stashed away, a friend to help with tier 3 raids (if you can’t do them on your own) and somewhere with lots of gyms for a variety of raids. Long term this works for anyone who wants to build up a raid army. The cost (apart from dust) is actually pretty minimal. You even have a free raid pass each day if you don’t want to invest real money – it just will take you longer.