Pokemon GO Raids have undoubtedly become a pinnacle of Pokémon GO since their introduction in June 2017, and have enriched the social game play experience of millions of players worldwide. So far, over a hundred Pokémon have made appearances as raid bosses, with some being clearly “better” than others in terms of player popularity and meta-relevance.
Since there are far too many Pokémon who have been a part of the raid scene to individually rank, here are the 10 best Pokemon GO raid bosses that the general player base would love to see remain in the raid pool (or make a comeback). Let’s also throw in the worst, most nonsensical picks for raid bosses by Niantic, just for kicks and giggles!
Author’s note: (This article is loosely based on a player survey, although the results are likely not free of bias due to the small sample size. Still, please note that these lists also reflect the opinions of me, the author. If you disagree with any of these rankings, feel free to discuss in the comments!) Also, Mewtwo has been excluded from the list because it’s not a regular raid boss.
Top 10 Best Pokemon GO Raid Bosses
0. Shuckle. Don’t fuckle with Shuckle.
1. Tyranitar (T4) This powerful Pokémon has been around in Raids since the beginning, and has never really lost popularity since. It is one of the few raids that the majority of Trainers are still willing to battle aside from the current legendary, and there’s no such thing as “too much Larvitar candy!” If that wasn’t enough, it’s also a great option for challenge-raiders to duo.
2. Machamp (T3) And what do you use to beat Tyranitar, along with the popular gym defenders Blissey, Snorlax, Aggron, and Slaking? The best Fighting type currently in the game, of course! Machamp is another “permanent” raid boss with a solid place in the meta, and is perfect for beginners to the solo scene. Even hardcore players can have a lot of fun challenging this boss — a perfect example is ProdigiesNation’s Timed Machamp Solo Contest, in which the winner defeated Machamp with 62 seconds left on the clock!
3. Rayquaza (T5) This high-flying dragon is another meta-relevant, duoable raid boss that was extremely popular during its time in the spotlight. Pokebattler even hosted a contest to see who could duo it first. Let’s hope that Rayquaza will roar into Raid Battles again in the future with a smashing shiny form in tow!
From this point on, the list gets a little more subjective based on personal opinions. Honestly, you could put the following raid bosses in any order and I’d find it hard to disagree.
5. Raikou (T5) Like Rayquaza, Raikou is another legendary raid boss that people are simply clamoring for to return. It’s the best Electric type and an amazing counter to the legendary birds (except Zapdos) and Kyogre should they return again, leading us to the next spot on our list…
6. Kyogre (T5) Yet another meta Legendary boss makes it onto our list. Kyogre is an amazing Water type which deserves a place on the list just for how good it is — however, I can clearly recall my local community complaining of “revive drought” while Kyogre was the resident Tier 5 boss.
7. Kirlia (T2) Did anyone complain about easily obtainable Ralts candy and a good chance to catch a male Kirlia in preparation for Gen 4’s Gallade? Didn’t think so. By the way, did you know that the gender of a particular Raid Boss will remain consistent for every Trainer who catches it? If you catch a male Kirlia from a raid, let your local group know!
8. Alakazam (T3) Hardcore players in particular will remember how popular of a solo challenge Alakazam was back in the day. Alongside it are the likes of Flareon, Ninetales, and other difficult Tier 3 solos.
9. Absol (T4) Absol is nowhere near as popular of a raid boss as Tyranitar, however the shiny chance lets it stay relevant in the raid scene. Thankfully, it’s an easy duo with the right Fighting or Bug teams.
10. Muk (T2) Before the introduction of its Alolan form, Grimer was one of the rarest Pokémon in the game but many players were able to register Muk, a good Poison type, into their Pokédexes without having to search endlessly for wild Grimers.
Why, Niantic? (worst to slightly less worse)
1. Metapod (T1) Does this really need an explanation?
2. Shuckle (T3) Okay, in all honesty Shuckle was a pretty terrible choice for a Tier 3 boss.
3. Venomoth, Dewgong, Primeape, Sandslash, Marowak, Manectric, Sudowoodo, Nosepass (T2) All-around not very good for anything.
4. Azumarill (T3) I think everyone forgot that Azumarill was a raid boss at one point; it’s not hard to see why. Even if other bosses from the Tier 3 pool aren’t incredibly meta-relevant, they can at least present some sort of solo challenge.
5. Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Poliwrath, Victreebel (T4) I’m sure I’m not the only one who has watched a Level 4 egg hatch, hoping for a Tyranitar — and one of these pops out. Depending on how rare their base forms are where you live, they could be good for a dex entry, but that’s about it.
6. Regi Trio (T5) They’re useless and we’re stuck with them for 3 grueling months. Yes, I’m aware that they’re legendary Pokémon that need to be introduced through raids first, but that doesn’t make them any more exciting.
- Regirock Raid Counter Guide
- Registeel Raid Guide: Best Counters, Moves, IVs and CPs
- Regice Raid Counters Guide
7. Suicune (T5) A beautiful Pokémon, but a total let-down. Ah well, at least there was a double XP event going on when it was first introduced to raids.
8. Latias (T5) Not a terrible Pokémon, Rayquaza and Dragonite are just better.
9. Golem, Rhydon, Houndoom (T4) Again, they’re pretty good Pokémon on their own, but it’s difficult to scrape together a group willing to raid them.
10. Porygon (T3) Porygon is a generally unpopular raid boss, since most longtime players have acquired quite a stash of Porygon candy from hatches already. It’s still a decent raid for people new or returning to the game.