Professor Willow’s Handbook: Raids

Raid battles

Raid bosses are strong Pokémon that spawn for 45 min in a gym. Depending on their level they can be done solo or require several players to be defeated. Successfully completing a raid awards special rewards depending on the raid bosses’ level and the number of premier balls received.

1.1     Raid rewards

The Silph Road research team did some excellent research regarding the raid rewards (link). Summarized: The more premier balls one gets and the higher the raid level, the more rewards one gets. The following items can be acquired from raids:

  • Revives, Potions
    Only useful if one doesn’t get enough from Pokéstops
  • Rare Candy
    Feeding to a Pokémon of choice converts them into candy of that Pokémon’s family
  • Golden Razz Berries
    The best berries to catch Pokémon and restore motivation in gyms
  • TMs
    Item to change a Pokémon’s attacks

1.2     Raid bosses and levels

There are five different raid levels. Raid bosses of the same level all have the same hit points (HP, see Table 5), but keep their natural base stats for attack and defense (source, see also 6.1). Pokémon who naturally (when they are not a raid boss) have high attack and defense but low HP are the hardest raid bosses, because the HP stat gets scaled up with a higher factor. For example, a Blissey’s HP as a level 1 raid boss would get increased by a factor of 2 (600/313), while a Shuckle’s HP would be increased by a factor of 19 (600/32) and it would keep the highest defense stat in the game.

Raid level Hit points (HP)
Level 1 600
Level 2 1800
Level 3 3000
Level 4 7500
Level 5 12500

Table 5: Raid boss hit points (source)

The Pokébattler website (link) is a very good source for raid strategies. Its simulations are pretty accurate and offer a vast variety of battle strategies and the use of custom Pokémon teams (see Pokébattler Guide).

1.3     Premier balls

The amount of premier balls rewarded depends heavily on the player’s and team’s performance (see Table 6).

Source Awarded balls
Base (raid boss defeated) 6
Individual damage 0-3
Team damage 0-3
Gym control 2 for gym controlling the team

Table 6: Premier Ball sources at raids

The bonus balls for damage depend on the total damage done by the player and the team (see Table 7 and Table 8).

Individual damage Bonus balls
< 5 % 0
5 % – 15 % 1
15 % – 20 % 2
> 20 % 3

Table 7: Required individual damage percentage for bonus balls (Source)

Team damage Bonus balls
< 20 % 0
20 % – 40 % 1
40 % – 50 % 2
> 50 % 3

Table 8: Required team damage percentage for bonus balls (Source), numbers are rough estimations.

Looking at the required percentages one sees, the optimal raid group consists of a maximum of four players of the same team, ideally raiding at a gym under their team’s control. One should always try to battle a raid with the least number of players possible to maximize premier balls rewarded for everyone. In groups of 10 or more players, those on the minority team will often only get 6-8 balls, heavily reducing their chances of catching the raid boss.

What should we do if there are not enough players to split teams?

In this case, it is possible to support a small team until they can finish the raid on their own. At this point, the supporters just leave the raid and complete it on their own. Important note: The support should be as little as possible so that the remaining players still have a chance to get the full damage bonus.

Using this “split and boost” technique, one can also split groups of 8 or 9 people of the same team for raids that require approx. 5 people, resulting in 1-2 more balls for everyone. This requires some experience, but it increases the catch chances and raid rewards for everyone!

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