Starting with August 1, at 1:00 p.m PDT, Raikou will become the featured weekly Research Breakthrough reward! If you manage to collect seven Research stamps, you will be able to encounter a guaranteed-to-catch Level 15 Raikou from your Weekly reward. In this guide, we’ll outline everything you need to do to properly prepare for the Thunder Beast!
Timing your Research Stamps
If you correctly time your research stamps, you will be able to encounter Raikou five times, rather than just four. Here’s how you do it:
Raikou reward release date and time
Niantic has shared that the Raikou reward will be live starting with August 1, 1:00 p.m. PDT, which means that you need to calculate your local time accordingly. We suggest using the following Google search to get it: https://www.google.com/search?q=1+p.m.+pdt.
- Collect six (not seven!) research stamps and sit on them until August 1, 1:00 p.m. PDT. Do not collect seven research stamps, as that will unlock this month’s weekly reward and you’ll end up with a Body Slam Snorlax when you start the encounter.
- Prepare to complete a research task after August 1, 1:00 p.m. PDT (don’t worry, we’ll tweet when it’s safe to complete the task).
- Do not touch the Field Research button before it’s safe to collect the seventh stamp!
Important dates for completing the research rewards
If you manage to get your first Raikou on August 1st, the following dates will be dates of your next Raikou encounters:
This method guarantees you will collect 5 Raikous, but it makes it impossible to repeat the same thing next month. Given that the next Research Breakthrough reward can be either Suicune (disappointing) or Entei (slightly better than Moltres), we don’t really think our readers will care much about that.
Catching the Raikou
As you know already, Research reward encounters feature Level 15 Pokemon that cannot flee. In other words, you want to stock up on two items in particular:
Don’t overthink it, used curved great / excellent throws with a Pinap Berry and wait it out. If you’re lucky, you could use as little as a few Berry / Ball combos! In terms of IVs and CPs, you can encounter a Raikou in the following CP range:
- Min research encounter CP: 1373
- Max research encounter CP: 1435
Should you be excited for Raikou as a Research Breakthrough?
Raikou is currently the strongest available Electric type in game, dealing damage more reliably than Zapdos, as outlined in our Thunder Shock Zapdos analysis: just how good is Thunder Shock?. Zapdos may have an edge in terms of DPS, but overall damage output is always on Raikou’s side – mostly due to higher defense!
|Pokémon||Stats||Max CP||Best FM||Best CM||Moveset cycle DPS*|
|241||210||180||3349||Thunder Shock Electric||Wild Charge Electric||22.91|
|253||188||180||3330||Thunder Shock* Electric||Thunderbolt Electric||21.36|
Of course, there’s the small issue of Wild Charge as well, an incredible Electric-type charged move, which simply outperforms every other Electric move. 90 damage per charge, two charges, bring it on!
So yes, you should be excited for Raikou!
Anything else I should know?
Just one thing: don’t mess up the first encounter, aka, don’t collect the 7th day stamp before Raikou goes live. If you collect it before, that research reward will contain Snorlax, as the reward is determined on the date when the last stamp is collected.
Maybe one more thing: Raikou could be outclassed by future Electric type Legendaries, but aside from them, it’s a monster! Even when it’s not super effective, it’s an amazing generalists, on par with Dragonite, sitting just under Rayquaza and Mewtwo.
And that’s it – good luck and be prepared!