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Pokemon Go: Virizion raid guide

by Paul Cotton
Background: Pokemon Go Hub

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Another Gen 5 legend is on its way to Pokemon Go. The Grassland Pokemon, Virizion, is coming to five star Raid Battles.

It is the third Pokemon from the Swords of Justice, a quartet of legends from the games Pokemon Black and White. The remaining one is Keldeo, although this Mythical species isn't expected to make its way to the game for a while yet. The dual grass and fighting-type joins Cobalion and Terrakion, who were both added to the mobile game in November.

Virizion officially makes its debut on Tuesday, December 17 at 1pm PST (4pm EST and 9pm GMT). It will remain in the Raid Battle pool until January 7, 2020.

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Virizion is one quarter of the Swords of Justice...

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How does Virizion compare to its Swords of Justice counterparts, though, and what are the best counters to take it down in Raid Battles?

Virizion stats

The official Pokemon Go blog reads: "This Grass- and Fighting-type Legendary Pokemon has been said to confound opponents with its swift movements." This makes it sound somewhat unbeatable, but in reality it isn't all that strong. In fact, Virizion's stats aren't all that impressive.

The same could be said for Terrakion, and when comparing to it directly for base stats and the ranking of them, it is notably behind. Those stats are as follows:

  • Attack 192 - 207 of 688
  • Defence 229 - 25 of 685
  • Stamina 209 - 101 of 685

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In large part due to its dual typing, it is resistant and vulnerable to many types. When trying to defeat it, look no further than a flying-type Pokemon. It is double weak to it as both grass and fighting-types are vulnerable.

Best counters

The best counter for Virizion is Moltres. It can currently be found as a research breakthrough reward throughout November and December. It has powerful attacking stats, and both its types are effective against grass.

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Moltres' dual fire and flying typing makes it a perfect counter to Virizion...

The ideal scenario is to have a Moltres with two flying-type attacks to maximize Virizion's double weakness (4x damage). However, the more common fire-type moves it has, such as Fire Spin, Fire Blast, and Overheat, are also effective.

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Beyond the Kanto legend, Rayquaza is another natural counter. It is among the best attackers on the game, and if you have one that utilizes Air Slash and Aerial Ace, Virizion should be relatively easy to defeat.

Other counters include the flying-types Honchkrow and Unfezant. Their flying moves, by default, make them a good option. Elsewhere, Mewtwo, as is the case with a lot of Pokemon, is also a good counter. Virizion's fighting status makes it weak to Mewtwo's psychic moves, and we all know how powerful it can be – after all it is the fifth best attacker in the game.

What's next?

Keldeo will follow at some point in 2020, but given its Mythical status, it's unclear exactly when. It's more likely we'll see the likes of Cobalion and Terrakion returns to Raid Battles in Pokemon Go before the adopted Swords of Justice member makes its introduction.