Elite Raids – what could replace Hoopa Unbound?

Hi there trainers,

Elite Raids have been around three times now and have (at least local to me) become less popular each time for multiple reasons briefly mentioned below but discussed elsewhere in detail and what improvements can be made.

  • inability to remote invite
  • lack of promised special spawns
  • the difficulty of the raid boss itself
  • lack of shiny/exclusive move

But we’re not here to discuss the issues around Elite Raids though, what I’d like to talk about is what could replace Hoopa Unbound as the raid boss.

As a de facto successor to EX Raids, Elite Raids definitely have the potential to offer some very exciting exclusive raid bosses. Some ideas are discussed below, only Niantic knows what is in store for this new feature which has so much potential!

Existing and future Mythical encounters

Fairly self explanatory, as of December 2022 ‘true’ mythical encounters (Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Victini, Shaymin, Meloetta, Zarude and very recently Keldeo) have had only a couple of encounters and if you lucked out on the IV then that is unfortunate for you…… but bringing them in on a rotating basis into Elite Raids that have been happening once or twice a month is a great chance not just to improve your IV but also grind out valuable candy and rare XL candy. 

Galarian Birds

Zapdos (Galarian) Articuno (Galarian) Moltres (Galarian)

Released alongside Daily Incense, the Galarian birds Zapdos, Articuno and Moltres have been hot property! Not only do you need to be lucky to encounter one you also need to be even more lucky to catch it with their low catch and very high flee rate. I for one have seen 2 Galar birds and caught 0 so far, so certainly from my own experience I would value the chances to raid one very much!



The Pokémon God from Sinnoh region, as of yet unreleased and not even a whiff of info available. Partly due to its typing options this is a potential headache for Niantic who may still be trying to figure how to implement this into GO. I see a few options for them –

  • Randomise the typing in each raid, so every trainer will catch Grass Arceus for example. Will take a long time for trainers to collect all though with a random element.
  • Release as Normal typing with a Mew-size move pool so each Arceus can be whatever the trainer wishes, albeit without the STAB boost. Not very satisfying as it doesn’t completely play true to the main series games.
  • Develop a system where Pokémon can change typing through a form change. Sure it will cost dust and candy each time, but I think this is the most viable option at present.

Legendary Mega’s

Mewtwo (Mega X) Mewtwo (Mega Y) Rayquaza (Mega)

Latios and Latias have had the Mega treatment already, Kyogre and Groudon are having their Primal forms released as part of the Hoenn tour, which leaves two forms of Mewtwo and Rayquaza still to go. All potentially game-breakingly powerful, highly coveted and likely to be the very last Mega monsters unleased. Deservedly tough to beat and exclusively rare, this seems the most logical way to release them. Mewtwo was the OG EX Raid boss and for maybe two years was the only means of obtaining one. 

Parting words

Elite raids have a huge potential to be a real save-the-date event for trainers everywhere, there have been teething issues but with a bit more development and regular boss rotation I think Niantic would be really on to something here to bring people out in numbers.

What do you think should be the next Elite Raid boss? Let us know in the comments below!

Author & tags

UK Instinct player since 14/07/2016, currently at 160m XP, aiming for level 50 eventually. All-round good guy who likes to take on the big raids with as few people as possible!

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