Pokémon GO Zapdos: can it raid?


USER GUIDES | Written by D.K. on July 07 2017As expected, Pokémon GO Zapdos is a well rounded addition to the electric type roster.

A common theme with Legendaries: they tend to have overall higher, well-rounded stats. Which means in most cases, especially in Go, they represent a better combination of power and bulk than other Pokemon of their type. Articuno is an upgrade to Lapras and Cloyster, and Zapdos is an upgrade to Jolteon and Ampharos.

Zapdos in Pokémon GO:  overview 

Pokémon GO Zapdos overview
STATS Quick Moves Charge Moves
MAX CP 3300 Charge Beam Thunder
Zap Cannon
ATK 253
STA 180
DEF 188


Out of Generation I and II, Zapdos has the second highest Electric type DPS (Raikou has the highest), and given that very few things resist Electric, Zapdos does make for a solid generalist. However, it is important to note that the value of Generalists has fallen in the current meta.

STAB was reduced by 5%, and Super Effective damage was buffed by 15%, making Neutral DPS less attractive. Not to mention, you only need to defeat 6 defenders in most Gyms.

Thus, it is to your time advantage to choose high DPS attackers with type advantage. Generalists like Dragonite are still good, just not quite as useful as they were previously.

Now with that out of the way, let’s talk about raids.

Zapdos as a Raider

Zapdos has only one useful matchup in Tier 3 raids, but that’s still one more than Articuno (LOL GET REKT MYSTIC7). Zapdos will deal heaps of damage to Vaporeon, and easily outlives Jolteon and Ampharos. If you have trouble soloing Vaporeon, Zapdos will be able to help you out with that.

Among Tier 4 raid bosses, three have a weakness to Electric:

  • Charizard – weak to Electric attacks, but is better exploited by Rock Throw/Stone Edge Golem and Rock Throw/Rock Slide Omastar (which is a very rare legacy moveset). Tyranitar Bite/Stone Edge is also a very strong option as well, though because Tyranitar doesn’t have a Super Effective quick move, Zapdos will actually have a better DPS output. If you don’t have 6 Golem with Rock moves, then your next best attacker is Zapdos (assuming you don’t have a legacy Omastar).
  • Blastoise – Zapdos will deal higher DPS to Blastoise than any non-Legendary. You do have to be wary of Ice Beam, which is Super Effective against Zapdos. Even still, this is a better matchup for Zapdos than Rhydon is for Articuno (Rhydon hits harder than Blastoise, and Stone Edge is double Super Effective to Articuno). Ice Beam is something that lower DPS Grass type counters have to worry about as well. So given the choice, you are better off with Zapdos than with Exeggutor, Venusaur, Victreebel, or Vileplume.
  • Lapras – Zapdos also deals very high damage to Lapras, though Counter/Dynamic Punch Machamp actually deals more DPS (slightly higher than Raikou as well). The problem here is that Zapdos is weak to Ice. There’s only a 1/6 chance that you will be going up against a Neutral Water move set (Water Gun/Hydro Pump). Likely, you will have to face Super Effective Ice moves. If it’s a mixed Water/Ice move set, Zapdos will still do okay, but you will want steer clear of double Ice.

Quick note on raids

The challenge of raiding is finding the balance between DPS and Total Damage Output. No, they aren’t the same thing. With raids, obviously you need to beat the clock, but you also need Pokemon that can survive long enough to win. This challenge is more apparent in smaller groups/lower level players.

If you have a Pokemon that deals damage very quickly, that’s good – but consider this: Attacker 1 deals 100 damage in 5 seconds, Attacker 2 deals 120 damage in 7 seconds. Attacker 1 has the higher DPS (20 vs 17), but Attacker 2 dealt more damage in its life (120 vs 100).

In extreme cases like Gengar, it may well deal the highest DPS to a given raid boss, but it may not contribute as much damage overall as Tankier, lower DPS attackers. In large groups, this doesn’t even matter, you can choose almost anything and win since the collective damage from 20 people is immense.

Not all Legendaries top the DPS charts, but they do represent a good combination of survivability and DPS, and can help you find that balance you need for Raiding when you don’t have a lot of players to rely on.

Author & tags

Antonio started the Hub in July 2016 and hasn't had much sleep since. Software developer. Discord username: Zeroghan. 29 years old.

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