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Rayquaza Counters and Infographic

March 7, 2019 - Jace

Download Printable High-Res Infographic




Over a year since Its initial debut, Rayquaza is back to grace our skys!

While much has changed, Rayquaza has eluded becoming obsolete, and still stands as the highest pure Dragon and Flying type DPS pokemon! It has tight competition in both typings however, leading to not being strictly the best in all situations anymore, just the most reliable bet. No shiny or exclusive move is scheduled this time around, but Rayquaza is incredibly versatilite. It has top tier generalist status, as well as role as a specialist Flying and Dragon type attacker makes this a raid boss you will not want to miss!

Rayquaza Movesets

  • Aerial Ace This is Rayquaza’s  easiest moveset to beat, hitting none of its top counters for super effective damage.
  • Ancient Power Hits frequently, and hits most those Ice types and (Flying) Dragons super effectively.
  • Outrage Despite the infamous DPS of Dragon types like Rayquaza and Dragonite, Outrage hits so hard that all Dragon types fall to near the edge of the list of counters. Even more than otherwise, Ice types are king here, occupying all of the top 15 counters.

Dragon Tail / Outrage is the moveset you are most likely going to want to shoot for. Aerial Ace has some rare uses in raids against Pokemon weak to Flying attacks. Ancient Power is rarely usable in raids but does find its use in PvP but Rayquaza’s double weakness to ice makes it a worse option than other options.

General Rayquaza Counters

A lot has changed since our last Rayquaza Graphic! For one thing, Ice types are no longer the plucky underpowered type they used to be, as many new faces are in the top tier counters to Rayquaza. Super effectiveness has been increased to 60% boost which means double super effectiveness is a whopping 156% increase in damage! The double weakness means Ice types will definitely be your best bet, but a handful of new Dragons and Rock types have also joined the fray, as well as at least one new Fairy.

Rayquaza takes 1.6x damage from and 2.56x damage from

Rayquaza can be beaten by 2 players in optimal weather, with max friendship and perfect level 40 counters or by 3 unfriended players using level 20 counters from this guide. When caught, Rayquaza will be between 2102 and 2191 cp without a weather boost. In Windy weather, Rayquaza will be between 2627 and 2739 when caught.


  • Powder Snow / 

     Requires 2 players with level 35 Mamoswine

  • Mud-Slap / 

    Alternative fast move

Mamoswine is in almost every way the best choice for almost all players against Rayquaza. Right off the bat, it has the highest overall Damage against Rayquaza, against all movesets, and in all weather conditions. Mamoswine’s Ground dual typing makes him one of the few Ice types that isn’t hindered by Rayquaza’s Ancient Power. Add in Mamoswine’ss excellent defensive stats which grant him the best overall Bulk of any counter and you begin to understand why it’s such a powerhouse. Finally, while normally a tough pokemon to come by (requiring a lot of candy, and an evolution item) it has recently had a community day weekend where it was made incredibly accessible. It’s likely you have at least one.

WARNING: if you evolved Mamoswine during the community day times, it will have the charge move “Ancient Power” instead of “Avalanche,” making it tremendously less powerful here. If you have the Charge TM’s to spare, or stardust and candy for a second charge move, getting it Avalanche is needed to make it a monster Dragon Slayer.


  • Ice Shard / 

    Requires 2 players with level 35 Weavile

  • Feint Attack / 

    Alternative fast move

Another newcomer from gen 4, Weavile is is second fiddle to Mamoswine in almost all situations. Weavile may be expected to be a glass cannon, but its bulk actually doesn’t fall that far below the average Ice type,matching Lapras and Articuno. On average Weavile still has significantly more durability than any of the Dragon Type options, so appearances can be misleading.

Don’t worry so much about the Fast Move if you are low on TMs, with Feint Attack Weavile remaining in the top 5 counters. Weavile is however somewhat expensive, Sneasel spawns are very biome dependent, so it is not the most available counter if you are starting from scratch.



  • Psycho Cut / 

    Ice Beam
     Requires 2 players with level 35 Mewtwo

Greedy Mewtwo couldn’t settle for just topping the charts in terms of Ghost and Psychic Type damage, Niantic had to go and give it (and its crazy attack stat) elemental moves too. The other Ice types stats are so mediocre that even without STAB Bonus Mewtwo vaults ahead of all of them in terms of Damage. It also boasts neutral damage to Ancient Power giving him an edge against that moveset. Psycho Cut is the preferred Fast Move but Confusion does not perform much worse, so don’t sweat the Fast TM too much.

Mewtwo is an extremely hard to acquire and power up Pokemon at this point if you do not have one ready, and Mewtwo has many other roles that it fulfills better than any other option. Mewtwo isn’t exactly a practical choice for an Ice counter unless you have the resources readily available.



  • Frost Breath / 

     Requires 2 players with level 35 Jynx

Dethroned from its position as the Ice type with the highest Damage, Jynx is still plenty usable if you have them sitting around. Unlike  Weavile, fragility does become an issue with Jynx, especially in pursuit of a duo as the rejoins begin to add up. Jynx however has the advantage of not needing to be evolved and can be found in the wild at high levels, as well as is a nesting species.


  • Hidden Power / 

     Requires 2 players with level 35 Porygon-Z

If you are willing to play the Hidden Power lottery, Porygon-Z is a esoteric option for Ice type damage. Managing to be both comically resource intensive and very risky (given limited utility outside of hidden power jackpot) if you really want to use him and are hardcore enough, you can theoretically make a duo happen with them. Not that any of you would be crazy enough to invest to pull that off, right?

Warning: Hidden Power type is set when you obtain the Pokemon. You can not use fast TMs to change the type of Hidden Power. You must evolve another Porygon-Z or trade with another player when Porygon-Z does NOT have Hidden Power as its move.  We do not recommend this, please do not ask for TM and stardust refunds from Pokebattler.


  • Powder Snow / 

     Requires 2 players with level 35 Piloswine

If you’re short on Sinnoh Stones or Swinub candy, Teenage Mamoswine is still a top tier counter. It retains neutral damage to Ancient Power, and has the bulk to eat Rayquaza’s charge moves. Just like with Mamoswine, don’t worry too much about which Fast Move you have. Who said that pre-evolves can’t be useful?

Alternative Rayquaza Counters


  • Frost Breath / 

    Ice Beam 
    Requires 2 players with level 35 Articuno

Articuno really got a tough break, being entirely outclassed by non Legendary Pokemon. But if you want to show off your Team Mystic pride, hope for Arial Ace, where Articuno slips into the top 6 options, and actually rivals Mamoswine for Survival. Its double weakness to Ancient Power however makes it a dangerous choice, but it can still pull its weight if you are willing to burn revives.


  • Frost Breath / 

     Requires 2 players with level 35 Cloyster

Probably the first Pokemon on this list that can truly claim to be accessible, Shelder has had many periods being plentiful around water biomes, and remains not that uncommon in many biomes.


  • Frost Breath / 

    Requires 2 players with level 35 Walrein

Similar to Cloyster, although a tad more expensive as a second stage Pokemon. Walrein is still within range of a duo at level 35 if you are missing the rarer counters


  • Frost Breath / 

     Requires 3 players with level 35 Regice

While the Regi trio are often the sad end of jokes given their low attack stats, Regice is pretty impressive as an Ice type. Pre-Gen 4 ice types are all pretty balanced, with a linear relationship between Bulk and Damage, but Regice breaks the trend, and manages to excel defensively without falling behind the other ice types offensively either. It is currently available in research rewards, but for most intents and purposes, not a good place to to try to build a team from scratch.


  • Frost Breath / 

     Requires 3 players with level 35 Mew

Mew is in an interesting place. On one hand, it is incredibly unlikely to have a Mew with the right moveset from scratch, and anyone can only have one Mew. On the other hand, Mew’s Ice moveset is one of its most useful movesets, so many people have spent the time and investment to get a Snowball Mew out of a desire to make it useful. If this sounds like you, Rayquaza is probably the best chance you’re going to have to use Mew, so let the little guy out!

Odds of getting double snow Mew is so low we almost excluded it. Once again, don’t ask for TM refunds from Pokebattler


  • Frost Breath / 

    Ice Beam 
    Requires 3 players with level 35 Lapras

Lapras is another Ice type that’s hard to come by if you weren’t playing during the Winter Events, and power creep has led it to slowly slide down the viability rankings. Putting that to the side, it can still achieve a duo, and has above average bulk against Aerial Ace if you are looking to avoid rejoining.


  • Smack Down / 

    Rock Slide 
    Requires 3 players with level 35 Rampardos

Time for a curve ball! Rampardos has the distinction of being the only Rock type counter to break through the icy fog due to its sheer Damage potential. Sadly this is not Rampardos moment to excel, but rest assured, there are plenty of Legendary Pokemon you will want Rock types for. Rampardos is a frail counter, but who doesn’t love bringing out the shiny new Pokemon?


  • Frost Breath / 

     Requires 3 players with level 35 Glalie

One of the big winners of Niantic’s rebalances! Amusingly, similar in performance to Rampardos.

Sandslash – Alola

  • Powder Snow / 

     Requires 3 players with level 35 Sandslash – Alola

Fairly common from friend’s gifts, if you trade Sandslash – Alola and get a Lucky Pokemon, its one of the most common candies in the game. A good choice for new players to power up to level 30 if lucky.

Rayquaza Dragonite

  • Dragon Tail / 

    Requires 3 players with level 35 Rayquaza/Dragonite

They both actually perform very well!-Except against Outrage. Then they get decimated so bad they aren’t even visible on the list. More than anyone else, this pair’s viability depends on the moveset. Both of them however are accessible, Dragonite was featured in a community day, and briefly in raids earlier this month. Rayquaza, not to be outdone-is this very raid. So if you can get some folk to help out, you can start building up a Rayquaza army to use against the beast himself.

Dialga Palkia

  • Dragon Breath / 

    Draco Meteor 
    Requires 3 players with level 35 Dialga/Palkia

These shiny new Dragons are unfortunately rather outclassed here by the Ice types hitting for double weakness. Although at least they are a little less scared of Outrage than Dragonite and Rayquaza.


  • Powder Snow / 

    Requires 3 players with level 35 Froslass

Glalie’s Spooky Gen 4 sister! Higher attack stat, and lower bulk lead to very similar performance, although usually worse.

Ninetales – AlolaTogekiss

  • Powder Snow / 

    Ice Beam
     Requires 3 players with level 35 Alolan Ninetales
  • Hidden Power Ice / Dazzling Gleam Requires 3 players with level 35 Togekiss

Ninetales’ resistance to dragon promised to have incredible bulk against Rayquaza. To its credit, it has the second best bulk against double Dragon movesets ( sandwiched by Togekiss and Gardevoir) managing to even outdo Mamoswine in this situation.

Togekiss is a similar story, but even more extreme. Ancient Power punts Togekiss out of the rankings, but against Dragon Moves Togekiss has even better survivability than Ninetales. Both of them are good options if you are looking for an anchor against dragon movesets.



  • Hidden Power / 

    Ice Beam
     Requires 3 players with level 35 Starmie

Again with the hidden power but I have a soft spot for this

[email protected]

  • Dragon Breath / 

    Dragon Claw
     Requires 3 players with level 35 Latios

Latias and Latios are not very good options due to Draco Meteor but still in trio range


  • Powder Snow / 

    Requires 3 players with level 35 Abomasnow

Abomasnow is much better used in PvP great league but it does look cool

Weather Notes


Rayquaza Duos start becoming insanely easy. If a best friend is sitting in the lobby for you, it is possible to functionally solo Rayquaza with 12 Mamoswine about 60% of the time. If your Pokemon has Ice moves, it very likely can be used in a duo under these conditions.


Those pesky forgotten Fairy types claw back up into B-tier status! Togekiss in particular starts to excel in terms of Bulkiness, and Gardevoir pops its head out and finally makes its way back into the rankings.


Dialga and Rayquaza overcome the odds and break into the top 6 choices, with Dragonite, Palkia, Salamence and La[email protected] not far behind

Closing Thoughts

Rayquaza is back after quite a long wait, and it retains its status as an incredibly useful Pokemon. Its low defense stat also means that you wont need too many people to take Rayquaza down – just a hefty amount of max revives. If you didn’t get the chance to grab some Mamoswine, most anything that can throw snowballs at RayRay will do just fine. And if you are really starting from scratch you can also start collecting Rayquaza against itself! Looking forward to seeing all the bizarre duo challenges the community comes up with!

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