How to beat Zapdos in Pokémon Go – Weaknesses, counters, strategies

What’s the best way to take it down?

Image via Niantic

One of the three legendary birds from the original Pokémon games, Zapdos is a fearsome foe in Pokémon Go. You can encounter it when it’s available in the five-star raid rotations, and you need a full group of at least five other trainers to help you take it down. Despite it being the first generation, it doesn’t mean it’ll be a pushover, though.

Zapdos’ weaknesses

Zapdos is an Electric and Flying-type Pokémon. It’s only weak to Ice and Rock-type attacks, though, so your options are limited. It’s resistant to Bug, Fighting, Flying, Grass, Ground, and Steel-type attacks. You want to avoid any of those attacks on your raid Pokémon when battling it.

Pokémon to counter Zapdos

The best Pokémon to use to take it down during the raid include Rhyperior, Mamoswine, and Rampardos.

Rhyperior is one of the better Rock and Ground-type Pokémon and is a solid choice for nearly any raid where you need a Pokémon to use Rock-type attacks. It has a maximum CP of 3,733, an attack of 241, a defense of 190, and stamina of 251. Unfortunately, the best attack you can have on it is the charge attack rock wrecker, but it’s a legacy attack. Only a handful of trainers likely have a Rhyperior that knows it. Alternatively, you can use one that knows smack down and stone edge, and be fine to win a Zapdos raid.

Your next choice is Mamoswine, the Ground and Ice-type Pokémon. This choice is much more offensive and has minimal defensive capabilities, which is always suitable for a raid. Although, Mamoswine is exceptionally resistant to Electric-type attacks, so it should do well against Zapdos in that regard. It has a maximum CP of 3,328, an attack of 247, a defense of 146, and a stamina of 242. The best moves it can now include the fast move powder snow and stone edge for its charge attack.

The last optimal choice is Rampardos, a Rock-type Pokémon. It has far more attack than it does defense, aligning it more closely to Mamoswine than Rhyperior, but that’s perfect for a five-star raid when you want to do the most damage. It has a maximum CP of 3,298, an attack of 295, a defense of 109, and stamina of 219. The best moves you can have on your Rampardos include the fast attack smack down and the charge attack rock slide.

If you have none of the choices above, there are plenty of other Pokémon to choose from. You can always use Galarian DDarmanitan, Golem, Tyranitar, Alola Golem, Gigalith, Glaceon, Weavile, Garchomp, Kyurem, Zekrom, Regigigas, Aggron, Abomasnow, or Regirock.

Once you defeat Zapdos, you have a limited number of choices to capture it based on the number of Premier Balls you receive. You and your teammates receive more if you are friends with each other, and you can receive more if the Gym the raid is being held at was held by your team, if you did the most damage, and how quickly you beat the five-star raid.