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Palkia's Place in the Raid and Trainer Battle Meta

02-02-2019
Change Log

Introduction

On January 29th Kyogre and Groudon left the raid pool to make way for Rayquaza Palkia. While Palkia isn’t the Dragon we were hoping for, it will be holding our rare candies and charge TMs hostage for the next month. Between Palkia’s powerful Dragon/Water defensive dual-typing and powerful Dragon Tail and single bar charge moves, this fight should be reminiscent of Kyogre in difficulty. Even more so after the 1/31 update boosting raid boss HP by 20%. The guide below goes over how to best take it down and will discuss its potential use in the raid and PvP meta.  

Hydro Pump and Fire Blast

Hydro Pump and Fire Blast are the two “easy modes” of the Palkia fight. Unlike with the Draco Meteor set, high level offending Dragon-type Pokemon can fully exploit Palkia’s Dragon-type weakness without fear of getting OHKO’d. While almost any Dragon-type will serve you well, Rayquaza and Dragonite stand out as the best overall options. When powered to max they will pack enough punch to assist in a duo clear and at a minimum investment of level 21.5 they will be able to assist in a trio.

If this isn’t your first rodeo, Palkia also stands out as a powerful self counter. In fact, it’s the most powerful option in this raid thanks to its double resistance to Fire and Water-type damage. Palkia isn’t as recommended as Rayquaza and Dragonite due to the steep overhead cost and lower utility outside of this particular raid. That said, if you are a player who enjoys some variety, Palkia will not disappoint.

Draco Meteor

Draco Meteor is Palkia’s “hard mode.” Blizzard Kyogre in Dragon form if you will. While most Dragon-types are still going to be your high DPS options, getting OHKO’d every few seconds by Draco Meteor limits their utility. If you’re the type of player who hates frequently relobbying, then you may want to turn your attention away from the Dragons and bring in the Fairies. If you want the best of both worlds (DPS and surviving long), perhaps set an “A Team” of Dragons only and a “B Team” of Fairies.  

Most Fairy-types will tank this fight due to their resistance to Dragon types, but the best of the lot are Gardevoir and Togekiss. At levels 28 and 31 respectively they’re more powerful than most other Fairy-types at level 40. For fast moves you’ll want to use Confusion and Air Slash. If you’re using Togekiss and you have a few extra Fast TMs on hand, you may want to check if it’s carrying Hidden Power Dragon as it will make Togekiss much more effective in this fight. Any other Hidden Power type will be worse than Air Slash. Unfortunately there is no Hidden Power Fairy and there still aren’t any Fairy-type fast moves.

Breakpoints and Bulkpoints

It’s not mandatory to hit these breakpoints or bulkpoints, but they are the levels where your attacker will have a noticeable improvement in their performance. If you are unfamiliar with what a breakpoint or bulkpoint is, we suggest checking out our guides on breakpoints or bulkpoints. If you’re curious about the breakpoints of other Pokemon or fast moves, you can find them using our breakpoint tool. You can find your Pokemon’s unique bulkpoints using our bulkpoint tool as well.

Weather boosts will also affect the breakpoints of Pokemon. We have noted the relevant breakpoints for weather boosted Pokemon down below. Friendship will also influence breakpoints. This article will assume a best friend status as you will need friends to take this boss down.

Pokemon Breakpoints Bulkpoints
Rayquaza 21.5, 30, 36 | 21🌬️, 31🌬️, 36🌬️ 29.5, 30.5, 33.5, 34.5, 38
Dragonite (Dragon Tail) 21.5, 32, 39 | 21.5🌬️, 29.5🌬️, 34.5🌬️ 29, 30, 32.5, 35.5
Palkia (Dragon Tail) 22, 31.5, 38 | 21.5🌬️, 32.5🌬️, 38🌬️ 25, 27.5, 28.5, 36.5
Gardevoir (Confusion) 28.5, 36 | 30🌬️, 37.5🌬️ 31.5, 33.5, 35, 38.5
Togekiss (Air Slash) 24.5, 31 | 26.5🌬️, 33.5🌬️ 30.5, 34.5, 36.5
Gyarados (Dragon Tail) 28.5, 36 | 30🌬️, 37.5🌬️ 30, 32.5, 34.5, 37, 40
Latios 28.5 | 26🌬️, 35🌬️ 29.5, 31.5, 33, 35, 37.5
Salamence 22.5, 32.5, 39.5 | 22🌬️, 34,🌬️ 39.5🌬️ 29, 30.5, 31.5, 32.5, 34.5, 37

Raids and PvP

If you love Palkia and have the resources to use, Palkia will certainly serve you well in the raid scene. That said, Rayquaza and Dragonite will likely be better Dragon-type investments than Palkia. The bottom line is Draco Meteor. No matter how much bulk or how many resistances Palkia has in a single fight, the inconsistency of a single bar charge move vs a multi-bar one will hold it back in comparison to Dragonite and Rayquaza.

In PvP the only league Palkia stands out in is the Master League. In the Master League, Palkia can function much like Kyogre does: finishing off a Pokemon purely with Fast Move damage and then nuking the next Pokemon with a single bar charge move. However, this strategy comes with the same hangups. If your opponent still has a shield in stock or if their last Pokemon is strong versus Palkia, you have few options to finesse your way to victory. Overall, Palkia will be more inconsistent than some of the best options such as Giratina and Dragonite but could be a welcomed addition to your arsenal. One cheeky strategy could be to take out your opponents Dragon-type counter by baiting it with Giratina and then surprise cleaning up shop at the end with Palkia.

Conclusion

While Palkia isn’t the Dragon-type raid boss we were hoping for, it’s the Dragon-type raid boss we got. Just like the Kyogre raids, the “easy mode” Hydro Pump and Fire Blast sets will be a cake walk while the “hard mode” Draco Meteor set may necessitate investing in some specific counters (namely Togekiss and Gardevoir). Even with the buffed raid boss HP this fight is certainly domitable. As for Palkia’s meta-viability, in PvE (raids) Dragonite and Rayquaza will be better investments due to Outrage’s consistency but Palkia is far from a bad option. For PvP (trainer battles) Palkia will be a powerful “finisher” for your team but its effectiveness will be reliant on your opponent spending all of their shields before its reveal. Overall, Palkia is a worthwhile investment if it is one of your favorite Legendary Pokemon but you may want to power up other Pokemon first.

So I guess this means Dialga’s up next?