Pokemon GO Rayquaza
Rayquaza DragonFlying

The almighty Rayquaza. A DPS monster, one of the most powerful legendaries with a broken mega evolution and an attitude so badass that it can even pin the likes of Groudon, Kyogre and Deoxys. 

This dragon has always been one of the most coveted monsters in Pokémon Go. Its damage potential is off the charts but if there was any chink in its scaly armour, it was the fact that Rayquaza wasn’t exactly usable in PvP. 

Its stats made it a potential entrant into the Master League meta. However, its decent bulk and more importantly, an underwhelming moveset that just didn’t make the cut in PvP, constrained Rayquaza from rampaging around in the Master League. 

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Groudon and Kyogre, two top ML Pokémon, were having the laughs and mocking this long green snek dragon until…

Dragon Tail received a buff in PvP

What was once chiefly a PvE Dragon type fast move, has now turned into one of the hardest hitting fast moves in the game! With a (DPT/EPT) set of (4.33/3.00), Dragon Tail is a formidable move, especially with STAB. 

So how does Draco Major, Rayquaza, fare in the Master League meta with a stronger tail? Does it follow poetic justice and beat both Groudon and Kyogre? 

You will find out with the help of this article. Before we get a detailed understanding of Rayquaza’s ML performance, let’s sort out the nitty-gritty of this legendary dragon. 

Typing and Match-ups

Rayquaza is a Dragon Flying Pokémon and as such, is weak to Dragon Fairy Ice and Rock moves with the Ice weakness being 2x. 

With this dual typing, Rayquaza resists the Grass Ground Bug Fighting Fire and Water types. 

Needless to say, this is a really impressive crop of resistances. 

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It is worth noting that Ground and Fighting are the best offensive types in terms of maximum super-effective coverage. Additionally, Fire, Grass and Water are your textbook starter types. So basically, Rayquaza resists some of the most common types of Pokémon that one would find in a competent team. 

Neat. 

Stats

As one of the most powerful legendary Pokémon, Rayquaza is bound to boast of some really good stats. It does not disappoint.

Rayquaza DragonFlying
Max CP at Level 50 4336 | Max CP at Level 40 3835
ATK 284 DEF 170 HP 213
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Fairy Ice Rock Dragon Bug Grass Fighting

 

Rayquaza’s phenomenal ATK stat is its sales pitch. Any STAB move coming out of that 284 is going to hurt. A lot. 

While the 170 DEF raises eyebrows, Rayquaza kind of makes up for it with its commendable 213 HP. 

So it’s not a severe glass cannon. Neither is it too squishy. It just cannot take enough hits as some other meatier dragons like Dragonite and Garchomp. 

However, that shouldn’t really matter as Rayquaza comes out with all guns blazing and unless there’s a sadistic Togekiss out there, it will go down by dishing out good numbers in damage. 

Let’s see how!

Moveset Analysis

Rayquaza learns the following moves in Pokémon Go:

Fast Moves Charged Moves
  • Dragon Tail Dragon
  • Air Slash Flying
  • Outrage Dragon
  • Ancient Power Rock
  • Aerial Ace Flying
  • Hurricane* Flying

*denotes a legacy move

Dragon Tail is the seal of approval on Rayquaza and is the very reason why this article even exists. 

Air Slash is not great, not terrible. It sports the borderline (DPT/EPT) set of (3.00/3.00) and is usable. But Dragon Tail with (4.33/3.00) and wider coverage is clearly the fast move of choice. 

Outrage is the best Dragon type charged move in the current Pokémon Go meta and is mandatory on Rayquaza. Sporting 110 DMG and an energy requirement of 60, this move is expensive, yes, but when all is said and done and the shields are down, an Outrage from that 284 ATK is a nuclear explosion. 

Both Aerial Ace and Ancient Power have the same energy requirement of 45 and are worthy contenders for a second charged move. 

  • Aerial Ace has a stronger DMG output of 55, has STAB and can deal with Machamp and Conkeldurr, who typically come with Rock Slide and Stone Edge respectively. In addition, Aerial Ace has good neutral coverage as well (where it does not cover only the Electric, Steel and Rock types)
  • Ancient Power has a lower DMG output of 45 but has a 10% chance of boosting both ATK and DEF by 2 stages. It can deal with Flying type opponents to some extent

While Ancient Power’s chance to make Rayquaza go Super Saiyan and hit Togekiss for super-effective damage is a mouth-watering prospect, it’s just not enough to make the mark

For one, the boost odds are really low at 10%. In addition, Rayquaza won’t hurt Togekiss much with even an unshielded Ancient Power. In fact, Togekiss will have more than 40% of its health left even after eating ancient rocks from Rayquaza.

As such, Aerial Ace dealing 10 more damage than Ancient Power and carrying STAB is the clear winner between the two for being worthy of a second charged move. 

Hurricane is powerful but painfully expensive for Ray. It has the same DMG as Outrage (110) but costs 5 more energy (65). Since Rayquaza doesn’t exactly have a low EPT fast move and isn’t bulky enough, even PvP players from the meteorological department don’t care about this Hurricane.

Rayquaza’s Ideal PvP Moveset

Clear as the sky, Rayquaza’s best PvP moveset is Dragon Tail paired with Outrage and Aerial Ace

Now let’s summon the mighty Rayquaza from the skies for the Master League!

Performance in the Master League Classic

Rayquaza scores more than a 70% win rate in the ML Classic, making full usage of its powerful Dragon Tail to whip many meta relevant Pokémon’s grass. 

The grass is greener on Rayquaza’s side as it manages to secure key wins such as the following:

  • Obviously, it beats Mud Shot Groudon in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Dragon Tail Groudon in (0-0)
  • Obviously, it beats Kyogre in (1-1) and (0-0)

Poetic justice, yes!

Anyway…

  • Beats Dragonite in (1-1)
  • Beats Mud Shot Garchomp in (1-1)
  • Beats Dragon Tail Garchomp in (0-0)
  • Beats Yveltal in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Psystrike + Focus Blast Mewtwo in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Psystrike + Shadow Ball Mewtwo in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Swampert in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Machamp in (0-0)
  • Beats Conkeldurr in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Dragon Breath Gyarados in (0-0)
  • Beats Waterfall Gyarados in both (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Palkia in (0-0)
  • Beats Giratina (Origin) in (0-0)

It is easy to understand that Rayquaza struggles against Steel types but is successful against other typical Dragon types and heavyweights such as Mewtwo, Yveltal, Gyarados and Giratina (Origin).

Performance in the Open Master League

Rayquaza racks up its performance and scores a stylish 77% win rate in the Open ML, taking full advantage of its high ATK and the buffer Dragon Tail. 

 Let’s find out if XL Rayquaza replicates its wins from the ML Classic in the Open ML!

  • Beats Mud Shot Groudon in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Dragon Tail Groudon in (0-0)
  • Beats Kyogre in (1-1) and (0-0)

Poetic justice (x2)

  • Doesn’t beat Dragonite in (1-1) or (0-0)
  • Doesn’t beat Mud Shot Garchomp in (1-1) or (0-0)
  • Beats Dragon Tail Garchomp in (0-0)
  • Beats Goodra with Draco Meteor or Power Whip in (0-0)
  • Doesn’t beat Goodra with Draco Meteor or Power Whip in (1-1)
  • Doesn’t beat Hydreigon in (1-1) or (0-0) 
  • Beats Dragon Tail Haxorus in (1-1)
  • Doesn’t beat Dragon Tail Haxorus in (0-0)
  • Beats Yveltal in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Psystrike + Focus Blast Mewtwo in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Psystrike + Shadow Ball Mewtwo in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Swampert in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Machamp in (0-0)
  • Beats Conkeldurr in (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Dragon Breath Gyarados in (0-0)
  • Beats Waterfall Gyarados in both (1-1) and (0-0)
  • Beats Palkia in (0-0)
  • Beats Giratina (Origin) in (0-0)

XL Ray does replicate a large portion of its ML Classic performance. While it does perform really well against most of the meta, it has one new problem in the Open ML: Dragons.

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For instance, it loses badly to Dragonite and Garchomp. It should be noted that Rayquaza did have a good showing against these two pseudo legendary dragons in ML Classic. However, those bulkier dragons get the upper claw in the Open ML. 

A similar pattern is observed with other Dragon types such as Goodra, Haxorus and Hydreigon. It is worth noting that at the time of this writing, none of these three dragons have had their Community Day yet and with it, they can get even better. 

In a nutshell, Rayquaza does perform remarkably well in the Open ML but struggles severely against other Dragon types.

Conclusion

So let’s answer the burning question…

Is Rayquaza worth it in the Master League?

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Maybe

Let me explain…

Why yes?

Rayquaza combines its offensive prowess with its dangerous fast move pretty well. Common ML threats like Groudon, Kyogre, Yveltal, Mewtwo and the Fighting types are effectively taken care of in both the Classic and Open formats. Needless to say, those are some pretty noteworthy wins and as such, Rayquaza can definitely fit into your Dragon slot and function quite well. 

Why maybe?

I didn’t say no. And that’s because it isn’t Rayquaza’s fault that it doesn’t get “yes” all across the board. It’s simply because the other Dragon types do it better. Be it bulk, better movesets or typing… all the other notable dragons of the ML kingdom have something or the other that gives them an edge over Rayquaza. 

So instead of leaving you high and dry, I will tell you what you make out from Rayquaza’s résumé for the Master League:

If you want to use it as a generalist to rampage through much of the ML meta, go for it!

If you want to use it as a dragon to do what dragons do and more, then there are many better options

But ultimately, there is absolutely no doubt about the fact that the Dragon Tail buff has taken Rayquaza to newer heights and has made it a bigger ML threat than ever. 

This PvP viability has simply resulted in a greater ‘dragon ascent’ for Rayquaza! And till it descends down upon our world with powers of ‘mega’ proportions…

Dracarys.

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My name is Niladri Sarkar. A Team Valor Trainer, I'm a Pokémon Battle Mechanics Specialist & a Dragon Master on Smogon's Pokémon Showdown where I particularly excel with Dragon types and Weather teams in Ubers / OU. I love to apply my vast knowledge and experience to the ever changing meta of Pokémon Go, specialising in DPS/TDO math, movesets, the Master League and Dragon types. Garchomp is my best Pokémon pal through and through.