Xerneas Pokemon Go raids: How to beat, best counters, weaknesses

Pokemon Go XerneasNiantic / The Pokemon Company

The Legendary Fairy-type Xerneas has finally made its Pokemon Go debut in 5 Star Raids, and you’ll need some strong counters if you want to take it down and catch it.

In an effort to live up to its name, the Season of Legends has moved on from the Forces of Nature trio Thundurus, Tornadus, and Landorus and is now focusing on another Legendary creature, X & Y’s Xerneas.

Below, we’ve put together a guide for the best counters you should be taking into battle against Xerneas to capitalize on its weaknesses, as well as the movesets that will lead you to victory.

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Xerneas PokemonThe Pokemon Company
Kalos’ Legendary Pokemon Xerneas is making its debut in 5 Star Raids.

Xerneas Pokemon Go raids explained

Known as the Life Pokemon, Xerneas will be appearing in 5 Star Raids from Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at 10AM until Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at 10AM local time, coinciding with the Luminous Legends X event.

In order to take part in a raid battle, trainers need to look for gyms that have been taken over by a Boss Pokemon – you can tell because an egg will appear above it. Find a 5 Star Raid, and you’ve got yourself a Xerneas encounter.

Xerneas weaknesses

The stag-like Xerneas first appeared in Pokemon X & Y on the Nintendo 3DS back in 2013, alongside its fellow Gen 6 Legendary Yveltal. It was the first Fairy-type Legendary introduced to the franchise.

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Because of its Fairy typing, this Kalos region ‘mon is weak only to Steel and Poison-type moves. When it comes to Xerneas’ resistances, you’ll want to avoid using Dark, Dragon, and Fighting-type Pokemon.

Xerneas is a pretty tanky opponent with 52,441 CP, and its power is also boosted by Cloudy weather, so avoid battling it during these conditions – unless you want a challenge, that is!

Xerneas counters in Pokemon Go

Arguably the best counters to use in this battle would be Shadow Metagross and Mega Gengar, but many trainers won’t have access to these powered-up creatures.

Instead, we’ve listed the best non-Mega and non-Shadow counters to take into battle against Xerneas below.

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Pokemon Fast Move Charged Move Sprite
Metagross Bullet Punch Meteor Mash Metagross
Dialga Metal Claw Iron Head Pokemon Go Dialga Master League
Genesect Metal Claw Magnet Bomb Genesect Pokemon Go
Roserade Poison Jab Sludge Bomb Roserade
Gengar Lick Sludge Bomb Gengar
Excadrill Metal Claw Iron Head Excadrill
Jirachi Charge Beam Doom Desire Jirachi
Victreebel Acid Sludge Bomb Victreebel Pokemon Go
Aggron Iron Tail Heavy Slam Aggron
Vileplume Acid Sludge Bomb Vileplume Pokemon Go Dex

There’s a good mix of rare Legendaries and more common finds in the table above, so there should be something for every trainer to take into battle against the iconic Xerneas.

If you don’t have any of those, though, don’t panic. Simply focus on your most powerful Steel and Poison-type Pokemon, team up with at least four other trainers, and you should have a good shot at success.

Is Xerneas worth getting?

While trainers will no doubt be eager to add another Legendary to their collection, many players have already criticized Niantic for giving Xerneas a poor selection of fast moves, with only Tackle and Zen Headbutt currently available.

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Xerneas Pokemon Go Dex background

It does have some decent charged moves, with the potential to learn Megahorn, Close Combat, Thunder, Giga Impact, and the STAB-boosted Moonblast. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t seem as though Xerneas will have much impact on the Go meta.

Can Xerneas be Shiny in Pokemon Go?

As it only just made its debut, Shiny Xerneas is currently unavailable in Pokemon Go.

If Niantic follows their previous Go patterns, it’s likely that the Shiny variation of Xerneas will be added in a future celebration event, where the Legendary creature returns to 5 Star Raids once again.

Remember, you’ve got until Tuesday, May 18, 2021, to take on Xerneas in 5 Star Raids. After that, it will be replaced by the Dark-type Legendary creature Yveltal.

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