Terrakion is a beast, get it from raids now. Best fighting type, better than Shadow Machamp, Lucario and all others. Also a good rock type if you lack Rampardos and Rhyperior.
Keldeo: A great attacker, but not worth the $8 ticket.
- Low Kick (current): Around Shadow Machamp level, worse than Terrakion.
- Double Kick (HYPOTHETICAL): Becomes best fighting type, very narrowly edging out Terrakion due to typing advantage (e.g. Focus Blast Darkrai). But only by ~2% (2-3 Pokemon levels), and situational.
- A worst-case 10/10/10 IV will be 2% worse. Insignificant, despite this technically makes it slightly below the abovementioned options respectively. (But this may undermine the DK Keldeo vs Terrakion advantage.)
- For $8, you can do 8 Terrakion raids. Or get a single Keldeo with random IVs for the benefit of not getting hit hard by Focus Blast and Earthquake. Go figure.
- Best fighting mega for now, bullies Mega Lopunny. All the ones that will outclass it seem far away.
- Raw power sits between Terrakion and Shadow Machamp, but with dodging it can even surpass Terrakion.
- Unlock second move!
Keep reading for:
- Do I have to buy a ticket to get Keldeo?
- DK Keldeo vs Terrakion, in detail
- List of my previous analyses (in Appendix 2)
As part of the ongoing Mythic Blade event:
- For US$8 or equivalent currency, you can purchase the Something Extraordinary ticket that gives you Keldeo, a Gen 5 Mythical Pokemon. This paid research is available until 8PM on Sunday, December 11.
- Sacred Sword is NOT a legacy/exclusive move on Keldeo, and you can use a regular Charged TM to get it.
- Terrakion is in raids again until 10AM on Thursday, December 15.
- Any Terrakion caught before 10am on that day will learn its raid-exclusive move, Sacred Sword.
- On an old Terrakion caught in 2020 or earlier, you may need an Elite Charged TM to get Sacred Sword.
Terrakion went from zero to hero as a raid attacker since September 2022, when it received Double Kick (TM-able). The fighting-type fast move immediately made it the best fighting attacker at the time, surpassing Shadow Machamp, as I discussed back then.
With the same stats as Terrakion but different moves and typing, will Keldeo enjoy the same level of success in raids? That’s the question I’ll address today.
A third Pokemon under the spotlight today is Mega Blaziken, which was introduced during the Hoenn mega raid day last week. It’s already a top-tier fire attacker, as I wrote two days ago. But less well-known is that Mega Blaziken also excels as a fighting type! Stay tuned.
How to get a Keldeo? Do I need to buy a ticket?
For those who aren’t familiar with how these usually work:
- Currently, the only way to get Keldeo is indeed to purchase the $8 ticket (and then completing the research).
- Historically, paywalled dex entries are usually made available later on. This applies to Regigigas, Genesect and Galarian Mr. Mime, each of which had its dedicated ticketed event but became free later (even though in the case of Galarian Mr. Mime, Niantic didn’t announce it would).
- The question is how long you have to wait. Galarian Mr. Mime took one year. And we’re still waiting for Shaymin, which is currently still exclusive to Go Fest 2022 ticket holders, even though other Go Fest mythicals had typically been available for free by this time of the year.
- If you expect to still be playing the game 1-2 years from now, chances are you’ll get Keldeo for free within that time. But technically, nobody can say that for sure.
Keldeo vs Terrakion: Stats, Moves and Typing
In Pokemon Go, Keldeo and Terrakion have identical base stats: 260 attack, 192 defense, 209 HP. Their attack stat is the 6th highest among all present and future non-mega fighting types, only behind Pheromosa (316), Iron Valiant (279), Marshadow (265), Koraidon (263) and Slither Wing (261).
Both Keldeo and Terrakion also have an overpowered (OP) signature move, Sacred Sword. Even if you don’t know how OP it is, you probably know how OP Frenzy Plant is. Yes, they’re quite similar in strength! Combining top-tier attack stats and an OP move, you get an OP attacker in Terrakion that even dethrones a shadow.
That’s where the similarities end. And the first difference is one that really hurts Keldeo: the fast moves.
- In September, Terrakion (together with Cobalion and Virizion) received Double Kick, a top-tier fighting fast move.
- Keldeo, however, didn’t get Double Kick as it was unreleased at that time. Instead, it enters the game with a three-year-old Game Master move pool, so Low Kick is its only option. It’s functional, but inferior to Double Kick.
Thankfully, the other difference works in Keldeo’s favor: typing.
- Terrakion, being a Rock/Fighting type, has 7 glaring weaknesses: Fighting, Ground, Steel, Water, Grass, Psychic and Fairy. Most of these weaknesses come from its rock typing, which is a poor defensive type.
- Keldeo is a Water/Fighting type instead. Water is known as a good defensive type (just look at Azumarill, Swampert etc in GBL). As a result, Keldeo only has 5 weaknesses: Flying, Grass, Electric, Psychic and Fairy.
- Specifically, against the 5 types that fighting attackers are good against, if the raid boss has STAB moves:
|Boss types/moves||Terrakion takes […] damage||Keldeo takes […] damage||Winner|
That’s 2 wins for Keldeo and 1 for Terrakion. In addition, normal-type raid bosses and moves are rare, whereas ice and steel are more likely what you would be fighting against in practice.
In addition, Terrakion is also weak to Fighting and Ground. Several fighting-weak bosses happen to have these moves: Think Focus Blast Darkrai and Regis, Earthquake Regice, and Cobalion and Terrakion (the boss) with fighting moves and Earthquake.
So when we combine these differences and put both Terrakion and Keldeo against all (challenging) raids – T5, UB, Mega, T3 – how do they compare?
For individual charts, or if you’re having trouble viewing the images, here’s an imgur link.
See Appendix 1 (at the end of this article) for technical details and how to read the charts. The Chandelure analysis also contains explanations on ASE vs ASTTW.
Equivalent Rating (ER) is a new theoretical metric that’s basically DPS3*TDO: namely, it’s (DPS3*TDO)1/4. For more details, read this Reddit post.
I have to reiterate because I really don’t want people to miss out.
Terrakion (Double Kick/Sacred Sword) is the best non-mega fighting attacker, being slightly better than Shadow Machamp (by 3-6%, or ~5 Pokemon levels), significantly better than Lucario and Conkeldurr (by 10-15%), and everything you can think of.
- Basically, think of it as a better (non-shadow) Meteor Mash Metagross but more useful against more bosses.
- I’ve covered Terrakion with a bit more detail in its own analysis article.
Don’t forget: Terrakion is also a good rock attacker, even though not the best. It sits below the big names Rampardos and Rhyperior (Rock Wrecker), but above everything else, such as Community Day Gigalith and Tyranitar. If you don’t have enough Rampardos and Rhyperior, Terrakion is a great candidate for unlocking a second move.
Keldeo and the struggle with fast moves
Low Kick – Right now
As I said earlier, Keldeo doesn’t have the ideal fast move Double Kick yet, and instead has to work with the inferior Low Kick. This drops its DPS to below Lucario and Shadow Hariyama, away from Terrakion and Shadow Machamp.
As a result, in terms of raid performance, Low Kick/Sacred Sword Keldeo becomes similar to Shadow Machamp (slower but bulkier), and 5-7% below Terrakion.
- Using Pokebattler Estimators (ASE metric), a 15/15/15 LK Keldeo is very close to Shadow Machamp at the same Pokemon level, without dodging. This applies best to smaller lobbies where relobbying may be a concern.
- Using Pokebattler TTW (ASTTW metric), a 15/15/15 LK Keldeo is now generally below Shadow Machamp, though only by 2-3%. This applies best to medium (6+) or large lobbies where you typically don’t need to relobby.
- The divergence between Terrakion and Keldeo is smaller in estimator and larger in TTW. This is likely a consequence of Keldeo having more “effective bulk” on average due to better defensive typing.
Double Kick – Hypothetical
But what if Keldeo gets Double Kick one day, just like the other Swords of Justice had? Double Kick Keldeo has the exact same stats and moves as Terrakion, resulting in same DPS and ER values, with the only difference being in typing.
And the typing advantage does show up! When averaged across all raid bosses, a 15/15/15 Double Kick Keldeo does perform better than Terrakion on average… But very slightly.
- At Level 40, 15/15/15 Keldeo’s ASE is 2.4% better (with relobbying concerns). That’s worth maybe 2-3 Pokemon levels.
- In ASTTW it is only 0.7% better (6+ lobbies).
- If you dodge, the difference also shrinks to <1%.
- This difference mostly comes from boss movesets that hurt Terrakion more than Keldeo. Half of T5/Mega raids pack such moves, even though you’ll only face them 39% of the time. (Details in the next section.)
This also means the comparison depends highly on Pokemon level and IVs. A few power-ups will make Terrakion superior on average, and so are better IVs (especially attack IV). More on IVs later.
DK Keldeo vs Terrakion
Let’s do a detailed breakdown by raid bosses and their movesets. Suppose you’re lucky to have a 15/15/15 Keldeo, powered it up to level 40, and want to compare it against a 15/15/15 Terrakion.
Because they’re so similar, in neutral scenarios the difference is often smaller than 1%. Therefore, we only consider when one is >1% better than another. Also, we only consider T5/UB and Mega raid bosses, as T3 raids can be easily beaten by both.
|Keldeo better by >1%||Terrakion is better by >1%|
|Estimator, by boss||55% (18/33)||3% (1/33)|
|Estimator, by boss (dodge)||58% (19/33)||6% (2/33)|
|Estimator, by boss moveset||39% (101/258)||16% (40/258)|
|Estimator, by boss moveset (dodge)||43% (110/258)||7% (18/258)|
|TTW, by boss||21% (7/33)||12% (4/33)|
|TTW, by boss moveset||18% (46/258)||26% (66/258)|
The percentages in each line don’t add up to 100%. The rest are when both are equal (<1% difference).
TL;DR: 45% of the time there’s no difference, but when there is a difference, it usually helps Keldeo, and most of the relevant T5/Mega bosses have such movesets (e.g. Focus Blast Darkrai). Keldeo also has a greater advantage in these cases.
For more than half of the T5 and Mega raid bosses, the boss has movesets that hurt Terrakion more than Keldeo on average. (Example: Focus Blast on Darkrai and Regis.) In these specific movesets, Keldeo does ~7.6% better than Terrakion.
- This includes most of the raid bosses you actually care about: Dialga, Darkrai, Kyurem, Cobalion, two of the four Regis, Terrakion the boss (dodge), and Mega Lucario.
- These movesets typically have fighting, ground, steel and ice moves.
- (Using TTW may be misleading and unrealistic in these setups. Curious? Ask in comments.)
- Note that most of these cases still won’t OHKO a Terrakion at full health. Even in the toughest case I can find, Focus Blast Regigigas, Terrakion still survives even though it can’t take any more fast moves. Most other scenarios will have significantly more leeway.
Terrakion does have its own advantageous boss movesets, but they happen less often. In these movesets, Terrakion only does ~3.7% better than Keldeo.
So if you enter any fighting-weak T5 or Mega raid:
- Even though there’s a 45% chance that they’ll be almost identical, if they’re not, it’s more likely to be a moveset that favors Keldeo instead of the other way round.
- Keldeo has a bigger advantage in its favorable movesets than Terrakion does in its own.
Currently, we can only get one Keldeo encounter from the paid research. While it has a 10/10/10 IV floor, that’s obviously worse than IV hunting in (several) raids.
On average, a 10/10/10 Keldeo does ~2% worse than a 15/15/15 Keldeo.
- This result is consistent for both Low Kick and Double Kick, and for all my metrics.
- Keep in mind that on average, you should expect a 12.5/12.5/12.5, which would be ~1% worse than the hundo. The 10/10/10 is a worst case.
This is a very small and insignificant difference that won’t be moving Keldeo down a whole tier. Even though technically it’s enough to flip a few rankings:
- With Low Kick, 10/10/10 Keldeo is now generally below Shadow Machamp instead of being similar. But the difference is still very small and not worth stressing on. The main thing is that LK Keldeo is still firmly below Terrakion either way.
- With Double Kick, 10/10/10 Keldeo ties Terrakion in ASE instead of being slightly above it. It becomes worse if you dodge.
- Do note these are just averages and will be boss-dependent.
(For those interested in the importance of 3 IVs: See this tweet for preliminary results. Attack is the most important, but not everything. I think it’s like “1 attack IV = 2-3 defense+HP IV combined”).
Summary & Verdict: Is the Keldeo ticket worth it?
Even ignoring the $8 cost and associated P2W concerns, I’ll say: Not really.
- The current version, Low Kick, is underwhelming and drops Keldeo down to Shadow Machamp level, rather than Terrakion level.
- Although Double Kick puts it very slightly above Terrakion because of better typing, the difference is situational, and only worth 2-3 Pokemon levels (2.4%) for a 15/15/15 Keldeo.
- You also can’t guarantee good IVs, even though they’re not that important. If you’re unlucky, that may eliminate the tiny advantage from Shadow Machamp (for LK Keldeo) and Terrakion (for DK Keldeo).
- Since Terrakion is in raids, it’s also much easier to get (XL) candies.
Now factor in the $8 and it should be a no-brainer. That’s enough to do at least 8 Terrakion raids, which will probably net you a 15 attack Terrakion. Not worth spending them on a single Keldeo with random IVs just to avoid being hit by Focus Blast Darkrai and others.
The only case in which I can see the $8 being worthwhile is if you’re really into “Unique 6” teams and challenges, and want them right now.
Mega Blaziken: Best Mega, For Now
Before everyone forgets…
Blaziken is better known in the raiding scene as a fire attacker, especially as a mega. But did you forget that Blaziken also has a double fighting moveset?
Counter/Focus Blast is not ideal, but it’s sufficient. With this moveset, Mega Blaziken becomes the best currently released fighting-type mega, outclassing Mega Lopunny by a mile in raw power. Even a Level 50 Mega Lopunny is only as good as a Level 30-35 Mega Blaziken.
- Mega Lopunny isn’t significantly bulkier than Mega Blaziken, so survival time isn’t a concern even in group raids.
Mega Blaziken even makes a run at becoming the best fighting attacker, period, but it requires dodging to do that. ASE with dodging does makes it surpass both Terrakion and DK Keldeo. This is both because of Blaziken’s glassiness and Focus Blast being a 1-bar move.
Without dodging, it falls between Terrakion and Shadow Machamp – still very good, even though not #1.
- Of course, this doesn’t factor in the 30% mega boost to other players’ fighting damage. With the boost, Mega Blaziken is a clear winner.
Given Mega Blaziken’s excellence in both fire and fighting types, it’s a perfect candidate for unlocking a second move. Especially when it only costs 10k stardust!
As we get more megas, Blaziken will eventually be outclassed by Mega Lucario, Mega Heracross and Mega Mewtwo X. All three seem like faraway candidates though, so your Mega Blaziken may stay as the top mega for longer than you might expect!
- I covered all future fighting-type megas in this September article (or chart only).
- Note that Mega Gallade may end up being better in group raids thanks to being significantly tankier. This was mentioned in the article linked above.
A word on Aura Sphere Blaziken
There’s actually a legitimate reason to consider saving your Torchic unevolved for this possibility. Aura Sphere is a legal move for Blaziken in the MSG. IF it ever comes to Go – and that’s a BIG IF there – Aura Sphere Blaziken will be a monster.
- Its non-shadow form already lands between Shadow Machamp and Shadow Hariyama. Not touching Terrakion, but much better than Lucario and Conkeldurr.
- Aura Sphere Mega Blaziken is even stronger than Mega Lucario!
- I’ve discussed both in the September article linked above.
The big question is how likely that would happen. Niantic seems to be keeping Aura Sphere exclusive to Lucario (despite its wider distribution in Gen 8 MSG). Another Blaziken raid day with Aura Sphere in a few years when contents run out won’t surprise me, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Articles coming up next
When my IRL schedule permits, I plan to analyze the following:
- Ground: Mega Swampert, Shadow Mamoswine and Shadow Golurk. Part 1 of this will only include current attackers, because I need time to work on…
- December Community Day guide. This will be done after the ground-type analysis, because I need Earth Power Garchomp to be there obviously.
- Fighting and Ground again with future and speculative attackers.
- Ice: Mega Glalie, when it enters raids. Maybe Niantic will surprise us with B/W Kyurem too?
- Shadow Mewtwo and other shadow legendaries: I was working on this during most of November, but the workload is absolutely huge, so I diverted my attention to this article instead. It will definitely come at some point, but no ETA.
- Dragon: Probably when Mega Salamence comes, since its mega portrait is being hinted at in the datamines.
- Fairy: Probably when Mega Gardevoir comes, if the speculations come true.
Appendix 1: Guide on how to read the charts & Technical details
Don’t know how to read the charts?
If you’re totally lost, just look at the first two plots, or just the first one if you don’t dodge in raids. These two plots are based on my Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which approximates in-raid performance using Pokebattler Estimator, best suited for realistic shortmanning (2-5 raiders).
The Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW) plots are similar, but best suited for medium or large lobbies (6+ raiders). This metric assumes no relobbying (i.e. reentering the raid after all Pokemon fainted).
The ER (aka DPS3*TDO scaled) and DPS plots are for experienced players who want to check these metrics.
In all six plots, the higher, the better. Example: Terrakion is generally better than Shadow Machamp, which is better than Lucario, if they’re all at the same Pokémon level. But everything listed is perfectly usable and will let you pull your weight in raids.
You can also compare different attackers at different levels: points on the same horizontal line mean they’re equally as good. Example: Looking at the “ASE no dodging” plot, A Level 35 Terrakion performs similarly to Level 40 Shadow Machamp and Level 50 Lucario.
Reminder: All plots show average performance against many raid bosses. Against a specific raid boss, the rankings can be different.
- The first two plots are based on my in-house Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which estimates in-raid performance by automatically computing the average Pokebattler estimators against a variety of T5, Mega and T3 raid bosses, scaled so that the best attacker at L40 gets 1.0. The smaller, the better. For more details, refer to my Venusaur analysis in January and the comments.
- The middle two plots using Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW) follow the same methodology, but replaces Pokebattler estimator with TTW.
- “ASE Dodge” uses simulations with the “Dodge Specials” + “Realistic Dodging” options on Pokebattler. You can compare it to ASE without dodging to see how much dodging helps an attacker.
- For example, Lucario’s ASE at Level 40 drops from 1.165 without dodging to 1.126 with dodging, so dodging generally helps Lucario’s performance.
- However, Conkeldurr’s L40 ASE rises from 1.169 to 1.193 with dodging, so dodging may hurt Hydreigon more than it helps.
Appendix 2: Past analyses on other types
- Bug: Bug Out
- Dark/Ghost: Shadow Force Giratina-O (no future attackers yet); Chandelure CD (with Shadow Chandelure)
- Dragon: Shadow Salamence (no charts yet)
- Electric: Bug Out
- Fighting: This article; September update (future megas); Galarian birds, Ultra Beasts & Sneasler
- Fire: Gen 3 mega starters
- Flying: Staraptor CD
- Grass: Gen 3 mega starters; Kartana (with more future attackers)
- Psychic: September update/Psychic Spectacular
- Rock: Gigalith CD
- Steel: Mega Aggron
- Water: Gen 3 mega starters
Missing types: Fairy (planned – Mega Gardevoir), Ground (planned – Mega Swampert, Shadow Mamoswine), Ice (planned – Mega Glalie), Poison