Moltres (Battledex)

Moltres Day

Moltres is arguably the best Fire type attacker in the current meta, boasting not only the highest Attack among Fire types, but also the best Fire type moveset by DPS: Fire Spin and Overheat. It is the yin to Entei’s yang, Moltres being Attack oriented in contrast to Entei’s Defense-inclined stats. It’s up for debate on which one is better; each has its own advantages over the other, and both have a right to be called the best Fire type in the current meta.

Besides its absurdly high attack, what sets Moltres apart is its Flying type which makes it strong against Bug and Grass type opponents, and completely removes its Ground weakness. Even though it doesn’t have a Flying type Fast move, its pure Fire type moveset is still great, considering that Metagross is getting more and more common as a defender. Its event-exclusive move Sky Attack is great if you opt for a generalist Moltres, or even a Moltres dedicated to battling Grass and Bug type opponents. Finally, while it can be considered a sweeper or glass cannon, its has enough bulk to allow it to survive a Charge Attack from defenders.

ID Sprite Pokémon MAX CP ATK STA DEF
146 Moltres fire flying 3272 251 184 180

Moltres overview

The current best Fire Pokemon are Moltres, Entei, Flareon, and Charizard, and some might even consider Houndoom or Blaziken. Moltres has the highest Attack stat among these Pokemon.

Its main strengths are:

  • It is able to learn Fire Spin and Overheat, the best Fire moveset in the game. 
  • It has decent bulk compared to other glass cannons and sweepers.
  • Its only “okay” bulk isn’t a huge issue. Since it’s a Legendary Pokemon, you can’t place it in gyms. You’ll be using it against Pokemon that are weak to Fire (with most of them not being effective against Fire as well), so bulk would rarely be a problem in a 1v1 scenario.

However, its main weaknesses should be mentioned too:

  • Because it’s a Legendary Pokemon, powering it up means you might have to use Rare Candies unless it’s available as a Raid Boss or a Research Breakthrough.
  • If you use it to fight multiple defenders or to battle a solo raid, it would lose health much more quickly than Entei, which has amazing bulk while sacrificing just a small amount of firepower.
  • It’s not really future-proof. Pokemon like Reshiram, Volcarona and Darmanitan will likely be more powerful as long as they are given optimal movesets. It’s a good thing for Moltres that all of them are two generations away (one if Generation IV is officially released).

Best Moltres movesets

 Role Quick move Charge move
Gym offense Fire Spin Fire Overheat Fire
Gym defense
Fire Spin Fire Heat Wave Fire / Sky Attack Flying
PvP (speculative) Fire Spin Fire Heat Wave Fire / Sky Attack Flying


Best Moltres moves in Pokémon GO

As said earlier, Fire Spin and Overheat is the best moveset, but we’ll go more in-depth on why it’s good in most scenarios. Keep in mind that some movesets might not top the DPS charts but could be good to use in certain scenarios!

Moltres moves in Pokemon GO
Fast Move Charge Move Cycle DPS (STAB)
Fire Spin Fire Sky Attack Flying 24.00
Fire Spin Fire Overheat Fire 24.00
Fire Spin Fire Fire Blast Fire 22.11
Fire Spin Fire Heat Wave Fire 20.14

*Keep in mind that STAB cycle DPS calculations just compare the different movesets and they are not Pokémon-specific

  • Fire Spin is the only Fast move Moltres has access to, but we shouldn’t be complaining since it’s a great Fire Fast Move.
  • Sky Attack is technically the best Charge move, but it doesn’t play well with what Moltres is commonly used for, namely Steel and Ice Raid Bosses. It is still a great generalist choice, and will be useful against future Raid Bosses like Virizion, Buzzwole, and Pheromosa, and some of the current/past Raid Bosses like Scyther, Pinsir, Roselia, and Tangela.
  • Overheat is the choice Charge move. It’s better than Fire Blast in every way, being faster and more powerful.
  • Heat Wave may not be the best DPS-wise, but its quick animation makes it harder to dodge than any other Charge Move, making it useful in theory on PvP and defending.
  • Again, Fire Blast is a weaker version of Overheat, so TM it away.

Moltres Counters in Pokémon GO

Supreme Counters

 Pokémon Fast move Charge move
Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitar Rock Dark Smack Down* Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO OmastarOmastar Rock Water Rock Throw* Rock
Water Gun Water
Rock Slide* Rock
Hydro Pump Water
Pokemon GO GolemGolem Rock Ground Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO GolemGolem Rock ElectricAlolan Form Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO KyogreKyogre Water Waterfall Water Hydro Pump Water
Pokemon GO GyaradosGyarados Water Flying Waterfall Water Hydro Pump Water
Pokemon GO RaikouRaikou Electric Thunder Shock Electric Wild Charge Electric
Pokemon GO ZapdosZapdos Electric Flying Thunder Shock* Electric
Charge Beam Electric
Zap Cannon Electric

*Legacy Move

Tyranitar is the best Rock type attacker in the game, sporting a massive 251 Attack. It exploits Moltres’ double weakness to Rock, and at the same time, resists all of its possible moves including Sky Attack.

Golem (both Regular and Alolan) also does great against Moltres for the same reason. Even if it’s a notch weaker than Tyranitar, it’s not to say it’s bad against Moltres. Its Fire resistance and STAB double super-effective Rock moves can still obliterate Moltres. You can actually use it if you plan on saving Tyranitar for another opponent, or do not have access to Smack Down. Alolan Golem has the edge over Regular Golem when battling a Sky Attack Moltres

Kyogre, GyaradosRaikou, and Zapdos may not be the best options, but they are still great counters especially in Rainy weather. Their moves lack double super-effectiveness, but their raw strength is enough to power through Moltres raids very quickly.

Omastar with the Legacy Rock move Rock Throw is a great option, since Omastar double resists Fire moves. If you don’t have access to its Legacy Rock moves, he’s only slightly better than the second-option Pokemon.

Other viable alternatives

 Pokémon Fast move Charge move
Pokemon GO VaporeonVaporeon Water Water Gun Water Hydro Pump Water
Pokemon GO JolteonJolteon Electric Thunder Shock Electric Thunderbolt Electric
Pokemon GO RegirockRegirock Rock Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock
Pokemon GO KingdraKingdra Water Dragon Water Gun* Water
Waterfall Water
Hydro Pump Water
Pokemon GO FeraligatrFeraligatr Water Water Gun* Water
Waterfall Water
Hydro Pump Water
Pokemon GO DragoniteDragonite Dragon Flying Dragon Tail Dragon Outrage Dragon
Pokemon GO RayquazaRayquaza Dragon Flying Dragon Tail Dragon Outrage Dragon
Pokemon GO MewtwoMewtwo Psychic Confusion Psychic Shadow Ball Ghost

*Legacy Move

Speaking of second options, Pokemon like Vaporeon and Jolteon are still considered great counters even though they are vastly outclassed by every Pokemon mentioned earlier. If you don’t have access to those, these two are great attackers to rely on.

Regirock gets a shoutout here because even though it doesn’t have the Attack stat to compete with the top Rock attackers, just having the moveset of Rock Throw and Stone Edge is enough for it to be viable.

Kingdra and Feraligatr may not be your top picks, but each has its own advantages. Kingdra may not have the Attack stat, but its double resistance to Fire makes it last longer than most counters. Feraligatr’s attack stat is low compared to those of top Water Pokemon, but it’s still respectable enough to warrant it a spot on the list.

Finally, generalist attackers like MewtwoRayquaza, and Dragonite are also great choices, specifically the latter two for having resistance to Fire type moves.

Weather influence

Weather Pros Cons
Sunny Boosts its Fire type moves
Partly Cloudy Boosts double super-effective Rock type moves
Rainy Boosts super-effective Water and Electric type moves
Windy Boosts its Flying type moves

Viability in raids

Moltres is a beast in raids where it lands super effective hits. Sadly, those raids are rare and hard to come by, limiting its use in the current meta. Here’s a list of Legendary Raid Bosses to which it is one of the top counters:

 Raid Boss Fast move to use Charge move to use
Pokemon GO ArticunoArticunoIce Flying Fire Spin Fire Overheat Fire
Pokemon GO RegiceRegiceIce Fire Spin Fire Overheat Fire
Pokemon GO RegisteelRegisteelSteel Fire Spin Fire Overheat Fire

Still, its massive power and great offensive typing makes it a great generalist in Sunny weather. Here are some of the Legendary Raids where Moltres will deal a decent amount of damage, even if it’s not a top counter:

  • Mewtwo
  • Lugia (w/o Hydro Pump)

Because of the bulk Moltres has, you should stay away from Raid Bosses that have Water, Electric, or Rock moves, like Lugia with Hydro Pump. There are better counters for the raid bosses listed above, but if it’s Sunny, you’ll be surprised at how powerful Moltres can be. Give it a chance if you don’t have better specialist Pokémon for a specific matchup!