Pokemon GO update: how to beat Raikou in the USA

This morning the folks at Niantic released an update server-side for the first new Legendary Dog Pokemon. This is Raikou, one of three new Legendary Raid Bosses that'll be coming to the three major regions of the world: the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe/Africa. Each of the three Legendary Dogs will come to these three regions one at a time.

Raikou Release and Switch Dates

Starting today, August 31st, until September 30th, Raikou will be here in the United States. This Pokemon will be part of standard Raid Battles – just the same as the battles we've been fighting against the Legendary Bird Pokemon and others. Raikou will switch to another location on September 30th, and the USA will get either Entei or Suicune. On October 31st, the switch will be made again, and we'll get whatever dog we've not yet gotten at that point.

SEE ALSO: 5 Steps to catch a Legendary Pokemon in Pokemon GOLegendary Dog Pokemon Raid Battles:

• Raikou: USA first, switch on Sep.30, Oct.31.

• Entei: Europe and Africa first

• Suicune: Asia-Pacific first

These Johto-region Pokemon won't likely be around again for a LONG time after this three-month event series. The same goes for the first Legendary Birds – now gone from the world of Pokemon GO Raid Battles for an unannounced amount of time.

NOTE: The image at the head of this article was made by Arvalis from DeviantArt. It's meant to be a tattoo in its original form (without the American flag and the GO TIME images all around it).

How to beat Raikou

Lucky us, Raikou is pretty much the best Legendary Pokemon in the game thus far (aside from Mewtwo), and most certainly the best Lightning-type Pokemon in the game. This monster as a Raid Boss is not soloable – or so we've found thus far. The base number of trainers one should expect to need to battle Raikou is around 7. Seriously this dog is basically the Thor of Pokemon.

Raikou's biggest weakness is Ground-type Pokemon since this dog is pure Electric-type. Much like we discussed with our Mewtwo dodging discussion, it's fairly important that trainers use their dodges – just so long as their team is strong enough to beat Raikou in the allotted time with dodges in play. If a raider team is too small, they may just have to go full-force without dodging, and switch out to a second team before they lose their last Pokemon.

SEE TOO: Pokemon GO's 5 best raiders VS Legendary Raid Bosses

Raikou can have either Volt Switch or Thunder Shock as a quick move – that's a damage of 20 or 5, respectively. Charged moves are Wild Charge or Thunderbolt, both with half energy meter charges, doing 90 and 80 damage respectively. Raikou can also potentially have Thunder, which is a full charge bar and a delivery of 100 damage.

Raikou is weak against Ground-type Pokemon and strong against Electric, Flying, and Steel-type Pokemon. Don't attack Raikou with a Zapdos – it's just a bad idea.

Best Pokemon to beat Raikou

Much like the Zapdos list of best Pokemon Raid counters, Raikou's weak in a big way to Pokemon like Golem and Tyranitar. Users will want to make sure their main attackers have Stone Edge or Earthquake – assuming they're using Golem, Rhydon, or Tyranitar. Donphan is also a beast against Raikou, especially if it has Tackle and Earthquake.

Also consider a hefty-sized Sandslash on your team with two ground moves like Mud Shot and Eathquake. While Nidoking is a Poison-type Pokemon in addition to Ground-type, he's a major clobbering force with Fury Cutter and Earthquake. Steelix with Earthquake will also do some significant damage. Basically any Pokemon with Earthquake takes Raikou for a considerable ride of damage.

What about Mewtwo?

It would seem that more work was necessary on the EX Raid Battle system before Mewtwo was allowed to descend upon the greater Pokemon GO universe. While it was possible that Mewtwo would be released today, the three Legendary Dogs were unleashed instead. Mewtwo is still very much in play for the near future – just as soon as EX Raid Battles are fully sorted out.

Mewtwo isn't a normal sort of Raid Boss. Unlike the lower tiers of Pokemon Raid Bosses, there's absolutely no way a small group or single trainer can beat Mewtwo as a Raid Boss. We found that out through our friends in Japan – and the code for the game which dictates that Mewtwo isn't one to be trifled with. As such, EX Raids are required. These raids are made specifically to bring large amounts of people in to a single Raid Battle so that they might have a chance to beat the Pokemon Raid Boss at hand – in this case Mewtwo.

EX Raid Battle (formerly Exclusive Raid Battle)

What was previously referred to as "Exclusive Raid Battles" will now be called "EX Raid Battles". These battles are NOT yet in the game (as of the posting of this article) but they will be soon. The EX Raid Battle system will be in field-testing very soon, and the release regions for this system will be appearing soon.

Niantic will be releasing EX Raid Passes "soon" to Pokemon GO users around the world, and the first EX Raid will take place as early as September 6th. This is straight from a Niantic rep, who also says that the roll-out to different sorts of users will be made based on several factors. Periodic adjustments to EX Raid (test) eligibility requirements will be made, along with frequency, times, locations, and durations.

Stick around our Pokemon GO Central community on Facebook for more information and discussion about the future of this game. See graphics as they appear in the game for the first time there, as well. And don't forget the videos and the gif images!