High Resolution Tier 5 Counter Download

Printable Tier 5 Counter Download

Tier 3 and 4 Raids

This article is going to be a bit different than most. Its intended to cover all the events of the last day and a half. There was so many things going on, raids, research, farming for stardust and of course updating the raid guide

Saturday Night

Relaxing on the couch after a long day catching Pokemon at Santa Monica Pier to do my part to make sure we got our reward, I saw a post on Reddit.  Legendaries were out!. I fired up the Silph Road app and found a raid and went there. It was a bit disappointing, with a few people sitting in their cars and not gathered around. We never actually got together to start the raid at the same time. I think we could have beaten the boss if we had.    As I discovered quite painfully, Articuno is a serious beast and deals a whole bunch of damage. Going in with a small group of unorganized people is certain failure. Lucky for us, Niantic is not as diabolical as I am. While I would have had you fighting a level 50 pokemon with 15000 health in 180 seconds, Niantic has you fighting only a level 40 Pokemon with 12500 health in 300 seconds. A little bit of organization and a good legendary counter infographic should help solve the problem!  First to the video

Changes from predicted legendary battles

My unfortunate Articuno raid did give have a nice side effect. I was able to analyze the data and figure out exactly what was going on with raid bosses.

  1. 300 seconds was the most obvious difference. This reduces the effectiveness of glass cannons like Golem a small bit. 50 seconds per pokemon to finish off a boss instead of 30 seconds is a big deal. You will want to try and make sure you dodge if you can. This is harder than it seems due to #2
  2. Bosses gain energy from other group members. I had seen this before on Tier 4 raids but with 8 people in a raid it was extremely obvious. Energy gain from other attackers was not factored into my simulations previously. Adding this causes certain defender move sets (like Ice Beam oh my god) to trigger like crazy. Back to back to back specials will crush even a beefy Tyranitar. This really hurts glass cannons and makes dodging extremely hard.
  3. Legendary raid boss CPM is only 0.79 not the expected 0.85 from the video analysis below. This is equivalent to a level 40 pokemon. This shifts rankings around a small amount due to damage breakpoints on both offense and defense. Not too dramatic but its there.
  4. 12500 hp. Thanks to /u/ClamusChowderus and /u/333-blue on /r/pokebattler for the formula analysis. This is not as bad as it seems! You have extra time so you can bring in additional pokemon. I probably wouldnt try to heal them though, better to just bring in whatever. Even Blissey is better than 0 damage.


Analysis video and spreadsheet used to deduce CPM:

Google doc with analysis 

So basically Flareon was the most obvious Pokemon that determined that the 0.85 value was too high. There were too many incoming quick attacks and special attacks before he died so we had to go lower.  0.79, the same as tier 4 raids, matched very well with all of 6 of the Pokemon from the video.

Development time

Saturday night and Sunday night was spent updating https://www.pokebattler.com/ with the following

  • Updated stats for all tier 5 raid bosses
  • Added group energy gain for tier 4 and 5 raid bosses. Bosses now gain energy at a rate as if there were 5 other attackers with you. Energy gain is maxhealth / max combat time * (5/6) / 2.
  • Changed Overall rating for tier 5 raids to 50% power and 50% time to win to account for there being 300s and picking new pokemon is very slow
  • Added legendary birds to rankings and pokedex
  • So many bug fixes

Sunday raids and farming

Sunday raids were quite a bit of fun. I met up with a couple different groups and beat 3 Articuno and 2 Lugia.  Finding a good discord or slack group to meet up with people worked well and seems like a good idea. This is how I met one of the groups. The other was formed organically, took far longer to form and then broke up. Not very efficient. Using the Pokebattler raid guide was a useful way to make sure that I got the extra balls from high damage.  I tried to share the information from the guide but people were too excited to listen. More balls for me I guess!  On that note, it seems that if you want 3 extra balls, you do not want to go with a full group. The highest anyone admitted to getting was 1 bonus ball in our competent 20 person group.  Perhaps some people were not paying attention but I wouldn’t be surprised if the damage bonus is from doing a certain percentage of the bosses health.

This is what you are looking to do, catch a high IV Articuno and level it up to at least level 30 for Lugia. For those off you who are level 35 or higher, if you have enough star dust and rare candy to get to level 36.5 with 15 attack iv, you will do 6 damage per Frost Breath instead of only 5. This jumps you from an overall rating of 170% at level 36 to 188% at 36.5! Note that level 31 is 164.5% so you won’t gain much until you can spend a huge chunk of star dust and candy to get from 31 all the way to 36.5, but it’s worth it!

With the bonuses to star dust and experience, farming at a place with high pokemon spawn rate AND a good egg walking path AND good internet is crucial. I chose La Brea Tar Pits for this. While the spawn rate is not as crazy as the Santa Monica Pier, it is closer to my house, and importantly has a circular route you can take for walking. Santa Monica Pier was insanely crowded from what I hear and I always have issues with internet when this happens.  Los Angeles players, return to La Brea Tar Pits! They are great exercise. That is why you play the game right? Not to drive around in your cars all day looking for legendary raids ;).

Legendary Counters

Now that the legendaries are officially out and the site is updated, its time for yet another infographic! Most of these bosses only have 1 type of move which makes them relatively easy to choose counters against. Lugia on the other hand has 3 very different, very powerful special attacks. Make sure to choose the correct counters based on move set! You can usually figure out which move it is ahead of time by looking at what Pokemon are suggested.
Tier 5 Raid Counters

Raid BossQuickSpecialOverall
LugiaDragon TailHydro Pump194.6%
LugiaExtrasensoryHydro Pump194.4%
LugiaDragon TailSky Attack198.6%
LugiaDragon TailFuture Sight200.5%
LugiaExtrasensorySky Attack201.8%
LugiaExtrasensoryFuture Sight211.1%
ArticunoFrost BreathIce Beam248.8%
ArticunoFrost BreathBlizzard275.6%
ArticunoFrost BreathIcy Wind297.3%
MoltresFire SpinOverheat349.0%
MoltresFire SpinFire Blast366.7%
MoltresFire SpinHeat Wave204.7%
ZapdosCharge BeamThunderbolt252.9%
ZapdosCharge BeamZap Cannon255.9%
ZapdosCharge BeamThunder257.7%


I had a ton of fun this weekend. It honestly passed by as a blur. The amount of content in this article would normally be spread out across at least 3 separate articles. I hope everyone enjoyed the format. I certainly enjoyed writing it. If there is any take away from this, it’s that the vast majority of players out there are NOT reading articles like these. They are not using good counters for your fights. You won’t beat Articuno with 6 random players or Lugia with 8 random players if they are not prepared. Even telling them which pokemon to use before the fight starts won’t work because they haven’t powered up the right pokemon.

The only solution is long term education. Point them to the Silph Road Reddit. Let them know about Gamepress. Tell them about Pokebattler. Its in everyone’s best interest to inform others about these resources. An educated player base will make these raids easier for everyone involved.