Pokémon GO Articuno: can it raid?

USER GUIDES | Written by D.K. on July 07 2017

Pokémon GO Articuno

Based on our previous data mines, we’ve determined that Legendaries will likely be released in raids. It also appears that, unless something changes in the code, Niantic will not allow Legendaries to be deployed as Gym defenders.

There will be future guides that cover how to counter Legendary raid bosses, but for now let’s look at how they will perform on offense, specifically within the context of raids. My assessment will need to be updated if Niantic changes the raid bosses, but for now let’s proceed with an analysis of the meta at present.

Articuno in Pokémon GO: overview

Pokémon GO Articuno overview
STATS Quick Moves Charge Moves
MAX CP 2933 Frost Breath Blizzard
Ice Beam
Icy Wind
ATK 192
STA 180
DEF 249

Pokémon GO Articuno was previously criticized for its relatively low max CP, weaknesses to fire and electric, as well as a double weakness to rock. But none of that matters now, since CP ordering no longer exists and Legendaries appear to be prohibited from gym defense anyway.

I noted that Articuno would shine on offense, offering the best combination of DPS and bulk as an Ice counter to Dragonite. But we live in a new era of gym defense now; no longer do we see towers stacked with Dragonites. Only six can defend a gym at a time, and you cannot have duplicates of the same species. There is less value in having a Tanky attacker into Dragonite, because you only need to be able to beat one.

Jynx, still the reigning DPS king for Ice attacks, was never favored beyond a prestiging role due to its low effective health, and inability to defeat multiple defenders. But in a meta with 6 attackers and 6 defenders, your Pokemon need only win a 1 vs 1 matchup. Jynx will take out Dragonite faster than any other Pokemon, and that’s all it needs to do.

Until more dragon type Pokemon are released into the game, you really won’t be able to utilize Articuno to its full potential in regular gym battles.

Articuno as a Raider

Unfortunately, none of the current Tier 3 raid bosses are weak to Ice. Articuno is going to be weak to Jolteon, Flareon, and Arcanine, and deal Not Very Effective damage to Vaporeon.

Only two Tier 4 raid bosses have a weakness to Ice, Venusaur and Rhydon.

Because Articuno is also Flying, it does resist Venusaur’s Grass attacks. It will not have the highest DPS output, surpassed by Alakazam, Flareon, Jynx, Espeon, and Charizard, but it does have a nice balance of DPS and bulk. Even with Charizard’s double resistance to Grass, Articuno will live longer against Venusaur and as a result will deal more damage overall. In short, Articuno is a great choice for taking out Venusaur.

Against Rhydon, things are a bit trickier. Articuno has an immunity (.51x) to Mud-Slap and Earthquake, and resists Megahorn. But with that double (1.96x) weakness to Rock, Stone Edge can be a huge problem.

The fact is that you don’t know what a raid bosses’s moveset is before you enter battle, and if you choose Articuno you are gambling on a 1/3 chance that Rhydon has Stone Edge. While Ice is Super Effective against Ground,

Water and Grass are much better type choices because they are double Super Effective.

Gyarados has all of Articuno’s Flying type benefits, deals double Super Effective damage with Hydro Pump, and only has a single weakness to Stone Edge.

Articuno is definitely usable against the right Rhydon moveset, but it is risky and there are much better DPS options.

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.