For the month of August, Rayquaza is the Legendary starring in level 5 Raids in Pokemon Go. Last time Rayquaza popped by was in March of 2019, but this month is the first time that Rayquaza has appeared with a shiny form. Side from the potential (and amazingly sexy) shiny, Rayquaza is mostly the same, with the same attacks and all that. But the weather dragon is probably one of the best raid bosses around.
Why? Well, there’s three main reasons.
The first is that Rayquaza has lately seemed to coincide with events or reasons that make it easier to fight Rayquaza. Right now there is a Go Fest event which has made ice Pokemon spawns more common, meaning you can more easily obtain Pokemon like Sneasel and Swinub, both of which evolve into Pokemon that perfectly counter Rayquaza. If you have been doing the Jump Start quest, you’ll have gotten a Dragonite, which is also good against Rayquaza. The previous time Rayquaza was here, everyone had just filled up on Swinubs from the recent Community Day, and Mamoswine is basically the go-to for Rayquaza raids.
The second reason is that there are plenty of counters even if you don’t have an army of Mamoswines. Most Dragon-types will do good damage to Rayquaza, even if they die quickly to it. The most optimal dragon is Rayquaza itself, but Salamence, previously mass-obtainable on the Bagon Community Day, is a great choice that does little to your damage output. There are also Ice-types you can use, like Weavile or the newly released Glaceon, who both do pretty damn good damage and are technically a bit cheaper to evolve than Mamoswines. But even if you have none of those, Rayquaza also has a weakness to Rock, meaning that any Pokemon with Rock moves will also do the job, things like Smack Down/Stone Edge Tyranitar (last seen blasting through Team Rocket Pokestops) and Rampardos will do a huge amount of damage with ease. Then there are strong Pokemon with ice moves, like Mewtwo with Ice Beam and Kyogre with Blizzard, and frankly everyone should have gotten a dragon from the recent research breakthroughs featuring Latios and Latias.
If you’re really desperate, you can squad up with Rhyperiors and Aggrons with Rock-type moves, but these guys are slow to attack and are more of a last-ditch effort.
But the biggest reason is that you don’t need many people to do Rayquaza. Maxed out players with level 40 squads can easily do Rayquaza raids with just 2 players, while I’ve managed to defeat Rayquaza with Dragon Tail and Outrage with three accounts (two level 38s and a level 34) with 90 seconds to spare. Granted, these are all raids where people have been prepared, but you can get the raids done more easily if you are ready to go. Unfortunately that’s not always the case, depending on location. Because you can’t just do Rayquaza with any old accounts, you do need some good Pokemon.
At least Rayquaza is within the realms of possibility though. Because some raid bosses tend to need too many people and are too tough on people who live in the middle of nowhere.