Mega Rayquaza is #1 Flying and #1 Dragon in solo power, in a league of its own. Regular Rayquaza is also #1 non-mega Flying attacker, above Shadow Moltres.
- Double move your Mega Ray: Dragon Ascent & Breaking Swipe (or Outrage)
Sadly, utilities of flying types leave much to be desired: only useful against a small number of legendary bosses, most of which are easy duos. The saving grace is that it’s often the only option whenever it can be used, and Rayquaza and Yveltal are also top counters for Mega Mewtwo X raids.
Even as a generalist, Mega Rayquaza has insane power. It’s comparable to top-tier specialists from almost every type, even when Mega Ray “only” deals neutral damage with Dragon Ascent. It can fill a spot on most of your raid teams.
Mega Ray’s only “downside”: It’s a solo player, but not quite a group player. In raids with 5+ people using Dragons, it contributes less damage than future Mega Garchomp or a background Primal.
(My analysis on Geomancy Xerneas and Mega Diancie can be found here, in case you missed it.)
Event Info & A Note on Meteorites
Mega Rayquaza has been released at in-person Go Fests, and will be available for everyone at Go Fest Global Day 2 on Sunday, August 27.
Rayquaza needs to learn the flying-type charged move Dragon Ascent in order to Mega Evolve. You can permanently teach it Dragon Ascent using a Meteorite, a “Dragon Ascent-specific Elite TM”.
How to obtain Meteorites:
- Go Fest Global (Aug 27): 1 free for everyone from special research, 1 paid for Go Fest Global ticket holders
- In-person Go Fests: 2 each for ticket holders
- Catching Rayquaza from raids also has a small chance of dropping a Meteorite
(possibly only after completing the special research)(edit: possible even if you didn’t complete the special research).
Keep in mind: This means both Dragon Ascent Rayquaza and Mega Rayquaza are (generally) limited in quantity.
- It’s unclear if we’ll be able to get (guaranteed) Meteorites again when Rayquaza returns to raids in the future.
- Also, it’s unclear whether future Shadow Rayquaza will also be able to learn Dragon Ascent, but keep that in mind.
Yveltal returns to raids during August 16-23 and August 27-September 1, together with Xerneas. Yveltal caught during this time will know its exclusive flying-type charged move Oblivion Wing (and Xerneas with Geomancy). You can able use an Elite Charged TM to get Oblivion Wing.
Flying Attackers and Megas: Mega Ray, Ray, Yveltal
Chart with ASE and ASE Dodge can be found here.
Mega Rayquaza (Air Slash/Dragon Ascent) is uncontested. Simple as that.
Regular Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent also immediately jumps to the top among flying types, with a massive 33% improvement over Hurricane.
- It’s also consistently above the previous best attacker, Shadow Moltres (just that I didn’t show the comparison charts).
- The only downside is that Meteorite is quantity-limited, so you’re unlikely to have more than 1-2 Rayquazas of any form on your flying team. Which brings us to…
Oblivion Wing Yveltal also emerges as a strong option, itself seeing a significant 21% improvement, just overshadowed by Rayquaza and Shadow Moltres.
- However, it’s realistically the best option that’s not quantity-limited by premium items (Meteorites and Elite TMs for Shadow Moltres), if you got it from raiding a new one this time round.
- For anyone looking to use an Elite Charged TM (aside from PvP considerations), I still recommend waiting for Shadow Moltres raids; see below.
Yveltal vs. Xerneas: Which one to raid?
In terms or utility in raids only, they’re polar opposites:
- Yveltal has the strength (quite strong in its type, quantity limits considered), but lacks the utility (see the next section).
- Xerneas has the utility (fairy attackers counter a huge number of raid bosses), but lacks the strength (worse than most dragons and Shadow Gardevoir).
If you’re not interested in PvP, and want to use some raid passes right now, I’d go for Yveltal.
But if raid passes are a limiting factor, it might not be a bad idea to wait. Mega Ray and Primal raids are coming up, and Shadow Moltres may enter Shadow Raids 2 seasons from now, being a “better Yveltal” overall, though it does require an Elite Charged TM whereas Yveltal doesn’t right now.
- Flying-type Shadow Moltres > Flying-type Yveltal; Fire-type Shadow Moltres >> Dark-type Yveltal.
Utility of Flying Attackers: Low?
[Section TL;DR] Flying types are only useful against a relatively small number of bosses, most of which are easy duos even by L40 budget counters. However, it’s often the only counter whenever it is useful. Rayquaza and Yveltal are also top counters for Mega Mewtwo X raids.
Previously, in February 2023, I made the Type Utility chart and Strength and Utility (S&U) chart (explanations in this article), both aiming to quantify how useful each type is – in terms of how many raid bosses you can use them against.
On both charts, Flying type ranks as average to below average.
Flying attackers are super effective against Grass, Bug and Fighting, none of which see substantial representation among legendary raid bosses. The main targets are:
- Tier 5: Virizion, Pheromosa, Buzzwole, Zamazenta, Urshifu (Rapid Strike)
- Future Megas: Heracross, Mewtwo X, Gallade
- Speculative Mythicals in Elite Raids: Shaymin (Land), Keldeo
- Bold are bosses with a double weakness to flying. These bosses effectively have flying attackers as their only counters.
- Italics are other bosses that Rayquaza is the best non-mega counter against.
Positives and negatives for flying attackers:
- [–] The list of useful bosses is short, compared to other types.
- [++] When flying is useful, it’s often the only counter. (Double weaknesses)
- [-] The bolded bosses with double weaknesses to flying are all easy duos, so an expensive flying team seems less necessary.
- Even without friendship, Virizion, Buzzwole and Mega Heracross can be duoed by L40 non-shadow Honchkrow and CD Staraptor (even Stone Edge Virizion). Pheromosa can even be soloed.
- A Mega Heracross solo does seem to require a couple of Rayquaza, Shadow Moltres and Yveltal, but that’s more as a challenge.
- [+] Rayquaza and Yveltal are also top counters for Mega Mewtwo X raids, a big name in itself that’s likely hard to beat.
- On the Mega Mewtwo X counters list, you may see non-mega Rayquaza falling behind, but that’s primarily because of Ice Beam. Otherwise, it’s the best non-mega against Thunderbolt, Flamethrower and Focus Blast.
- If the boss has Psychic, then Yveltal rises to the top, followed by Shadow Moltres and then Rayquaza.
- The same applies to Mega Gallade.
- [+] Rayquaza ≈ regular Mewtwo against Fighting-type bosses, only below Shadow Mewtwo.
- Considering how expensive Shadow Mewtwo is, even a non-mega Rayquaza will likely appear on your anti-Fighting team. Though, keep in mind, this is a rare scenario.
- If people found non-shadow Mewtwo a good investment (I disagree), then Rayquaza is equally good while having more secondary uses (as a dragon attacker).
- [+] Mega Rayquaza is the current best counter against all abovementioned bosses. It even rivals future Mega Mewtwo Y.
Only you can decide whether a flying team is worth it for you. It’s not a top priority, but for those with rare candies, having a mixed team of expensive counters (Rayquaza, Shadow Moltres, OW Yveltal) and cheap counters (Honchkrow, Staraptor) hits the right balance between resources and quality, which also includes consistency for the duos.
Mega Rayquaza as a Dragon Attacker and Mega
Chart with ASE and ASE Dodge can be found here.
Again, in individual power, Mega Rayquaza is in a tier of its own. Not even future Mega Garchomp can compete.
- Charged move: Breaking Swipe is the best on average, but it’s a legacy move. Non-legacy Outrage is extremely close and situationally better. (Old analysis)
The only “issue” with Mega Rayquaza – I repeat, the only one – is its lower bulk than Mega Garchomp (and Mega Salamence). This is more of an issue for megas, which provide a damage boost when they’re alive.
As a result, in large lobbies (5+ players total), Mega Garchomp and a background Primal contribute more damage (group DPS) than Mega Rayquaza.
- Note that Mega Rayquaza does NOT provide a “background boost”, as shown here.
- Mega Garchomp is also much easier to XL than Mega Rayquaza.
Mega Rayquaza as a Generalist?
As I said in the table and TL;DR… Mega Rayquaza is OP. A neutral-damage-dealing Mega Ray is as strong as top-tier specialists dealing Super Effective damage!
Copying over points from the table, DT/DA Mega Ray is:
- Stronger than (almost) all Bug, Electric, Ice, Poison-type attackers
- Ties top Fairy, Fighting, Grass, Rock-type attackers
- Ties top non-mega Fire, Ground, Water-type attackers
- Remains top-tier compared to Dark/Ghost, Psychic, Steel-type attackers
As long as the raid boss doesn’t resist Dragon Ascent (typically, not an Electric, Rock or Steel-type boss), and doesn’t have a double weakness, chances are:
- If you don’t know what counters to bring, using a Mega Rayquaza is always a safe bet.
- If you have a weak spot in a type-specific team, Mega Rayquaza can fill that hole.
These may even apply to players with well-prepared raid teams.
This is so OP that honestly it’s a bit broken. We haven’t seen such a strong generalist since 2017/18, before the super effectiveness multiplier was changed.
Also, FYI, Mega Rayquaza has higher neutral DPS than Mega Mewtwo Y.
Mega Rayquaza as a “Psychic-type” Mega
Even when dealing neutral damage, it can already function as a “fake Psychic mega”, being similar to Mega Lati@s and Gardevoir.
- See the bottom black lines on the chart.
As an anti-Fighting mega, Mega Rayquaza is the clear top choice. It deals Super Effective damage, and you also don’t have to worry about whether others are bringing psychic or flying types.
- See the top black lines on the chart.
- It does get outperformed by a background Primal in larger lobbies, and eventually by Mega Mewtwo Y narrowly.
Brief Future Considerations
Who has a chance to challenge regular Rayquaza as a flying attacker?
- Shadow Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent (of course)
- Shadow Dragonite, but only if given Wing Attack and Fly
- Shadow Salamence, but only if given Air Slash and Fly
- Shadow Ho-Oh, but only if given Gust and Fly
- Mega Charizard Y and Mega Salamence, but only if given Fly (and Air Slash for Salamence)
- Shadow Archeops, but only if given Sky Attack, and only in TTW (not in estimator)
And that’s it.
None of these, aside from Shadow Rayquaza, has a remotely realistic chance of happening anytime soon. The fact that I have to resort to listing these just shows how ridiculously future-proof Rayquaza is.
When Shadow Rayquaza drops – and assuming it can learn Dragon Ascent – it will probably never be surpassed among non-megas. Never.
Shadow Yveltal is much less outstanding, but I expect it to be slightly above regular Rayquaza, only second to Shadow Ray. Problem is, we’re probably looking at 2030 or later. Will you still be playing by then?
Past analyses on other types
A complete list of all my past analyses – on every single type other than normal – can now be found in this spreadsheet!