Ah yes, the legendary trio of Kyogre, Groudon and mOoN DUcK.
Cresselia certainly is an interesting choice to accompany Kyogre and Groudon. Delightfully, however, it joins the other two in having its beautiful shiny released! We can’t say for sure how Niantic might skew the chances of getting one, but here’s hoping!
Cresselia is a GEN IV legendary, part of a lunar duo with Darkrai (who, curiously, is a mythical Pokemon). Its moveset is great to cover its weaknesses, but its stats are extremely defensively oriented.
AVAILABILITY: Monday, May 27, 2019, at 1 p.m. to Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at 1 p.m. PDT (GMT −7)
Moonblast has excellent coverage for Cresselia, hitting Giratina, and dark types for weakness. Gengar’s poison duel typing brushes it off though.
Aurora Beam also has excellent coverage for Cresselia. It hits for weakness on lots of top Pokemon despite not directly hitting a type it is weak against such as Giratina, Yamega, Honchkrow. Lots of Dark types are great picks here – Tyranitar, Weavile and Houndoom all eat it up just fine.
Here Cresselia gets stab bonus, and embarrassingly knocks Gengar down a peg (or 14…). Dark types benefit the most here with their double resistance bulk.
Cresselia is sadly pretty lousy as a raid attacker, and it sadly cannot be placed in gyms. Much more accessible Pokemon like Espeon outclass it in utility. It’s very similar in power to the most defensive of the lake trio, being Uxie.
General Cresselia Counters
Cresselia has incredibly study defensive stats and great movesets, but not the attack power to carry out on the threat of them. Your enemy is as much the clock as having enough counters. You may or may not need to rejoin if you have 3 well equiped players, and almost certainly won’t if you have 5 but you still might not make it if you don’t have the raw damage output.
Cresselia takes 1.6x damage from Bug / Ghost / Dark .
Cresselia can be beaten by 3 players in optimal weather
As if the lake trio wasn’t enough, Giratina (Origin Forme) stars as the headliner choice against another raid boss! Much like with Mesprit, Giratina is miffed by the Ice type attack (here being Aurora Beam)-but Cresselia hits like a wet noodle. It still has more bulk here than the other top choices except Tyranitar.
The same can be said of Moonblast, fairy weakness is bad, but Cresselia can’t deliver too much hurt.
Even against double psychic moves it comes in at #1 choice in TTW, despite Dark Types having double resistances.
As long as you have Shadow Ball you will be ok, even with Dragon Tail he only falls down to the #7th spot with Houndoom.
Shadow Claw /
Shadow Ball Requires 4 players with level 35 Gengar
Gengar, bless his heart, is once again on average second fiddle to Giratina. But(!) his poison duel typing comes in handy (something that is generally not true, given it makes him WEAK to psychic attacks). Gengar has resistances to Fairy attacks, and Giratina has weakness making them actually equal out in Bulk vs Psycho Cut/Moonbast! With higher Damage output to boot.
Confusion however obliterates that edge, as that fast move does heavy damage all by itself.
He is also #1 against Aurora Beam, but that’s entirely due to Giratina’s weakness.
The aforementioned psychic weakness means against double psychic moves he drops down to 15th place, making him pretty inconsistent.
But that’s not so bad given he is #1 against 2/3 of Giratina’s charge moves.
If you are using the non-legacy Hex however, Gengar does drop to #5 or so, but still great.
Psycho Cut /
Shadow Ball Requires 4 players with level 35 Mewtwo
Tyranitar resists Aurora Beam and double resists Psychic, which more than makes up for its weakness to Moonblast. Its overall bulk is phenomenal, there’s a strong argument that its survivability is far superior to Giratina given how well it does against Psychic moves really. His bulkiness makes it likely if you have even one on your team that you won’t need to rejoin.
Feint Attack /
Foul Play Requires 4 players with level 35 Weavile
Banette is pretty boring, no notable type match ups against any of its movesets. But it’s very highly ranked, accessible, and consistent (albeit, consistently frail). Also quite a fan of Moon Blast, if only because it hurts most of the competition above it.
Alternative Cresselia Counters
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Foul Play Requires 4 players with level 35 Houndoom
Not much to say here, its lack of resistances mean it will never be top choice in favorable matchups, but it’s still tied for best bug type, inching ahead in damage. In rain though, it’s a whole different story and he becomes a top tier option.
Dark Pulse Requires 4 players with level 35 Honchkrow
While Honchkrow is an excellent dark type and a great pick, boy is he inconsistent. It does phenomenal against Future sight, Gets its feathers ruffled by Moonblast, and does awful against Aurora Beam dropping a whole 10 placings. Honkrow does require a Sinnoh stone, and Murcrow’s aren’t as common as they used to be.
Yanmega is another Sinnoh stone evolution of a Pokemon that is somewhat uncommon. Not a fan of Aurora Beam, but still mages to mostly keep pace with the other bugs in B tier. In rain he jumps up with them to top 6!
Sucker Punch /
Shadow Ball Requires 4 players with level 35 Mismagius
Raikou’s electric typing renders it indifferent to all of Cressia’s moveset. Although you might get a lot of funny looks rolling up to a raid with one of these bad boys, its moveset isn’t very well known, and it has far better utility as an electric type Pokemon.
Feint Attack /
Foul Play Requires 5 players with level 35 Shiftry
Outside of the Halloween event Drifblim is extremely hard to acquire. Drifbloom is very nearly a Windy exclusive Pokemon. Drifblim while generally tanky, has its relative bulk crushed down due to blizzard.
Psycho Cut /
Shadow Ball Requires 5 players with level 35 Alakazam
Deoxys-Attack continues to pop up stretching the limits of how much DPS can make up for Caterpie level bulk. If you go for one of these boys you are asking to have to rejoin, but some just wanna live fast die young.
Shadow Ball Requires 5 players with level 35 Haunter
Haurnter is absolutely absurd in this matchup, if you have a legacy one he becomes the 6TH best counter against Moonblast! This is only with the legacy moveset, otherwise it stays right where it is at #20, and isn’t even on the list outside of Moonblast.
Fury Cutter /
X-Scissor Requires 5 players with level 35 Scyther
Quite appreciative of Snow, but legacy moves are a pain to acquire if you weren’t playing at the right time. He is here purely out of high neutral DPS and resisting all of Cresselia’s attacks. Its attacks don’t hit super effectively, hence the unusually low raw Damage.
Night Slash Requires 5 players with level 35 Crawdaunt
Alolan Muk is cool in that is a dark type that has NONE of the weaknesses of dark type Pokemon. So it will survive, but it might not do too much else. It notably retains a degree of resistance to psychic types despite the poison duel typing.
Cresselia isn’t a raid meta defining Pokemon my any means, but it’s a beautiful Pokemon with (subjectively) one of the more beautiful shiny designs. If that’s not enough for you the more violent Pokemon of Groudon and Kyogre will be ready and waiting as well.