How to take on Thundurus, the Bolt Strike Pokémon
Incarnate forme Thundurus will return to Legendary Raids on March 11, 2021.
Starting Saturday, March 11, 2021, Thundurus is back in Pokémon Go as part of the Season of Legends. A lot has changed since we last faced off against the Bolt Strike Pokémon, including the introduction of Mega Evolution, as well as many new Shadow Pokémon, but we here at iMore have everything you need to know to beat Thundurus. And be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories so you can be fully equipped for the battle!
Who is Thundurus and what are the Forces of Nature?
Introduced in the Gen V games Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, the Forces of Nature are a Legendary Trio. Fans have also called them the Legendary Genies, the Kami Trio, and the Cloud Trio. They include Tornadus: the Cyclone Pokémon, Thundurus: the Bolt Strike Pokémon, and Landorus: the Abundance Pokémon. Landorus, the strongest of the three, was said to have stopped the other two from wreaking destruction across the Unova Region. In more recent times, the Mythical Pokémon, Meloetta was able to calm all three of the Forces of Nature to save the Unova Region from their destructive powers.
The Forces of Nature are also some of the select few Pokémon with multiple Formes. Normally seen in their Incarnate forms where they resemble genies, they can also take on a Therian forme where they resemble a bird, a dragon, and a large cat. The Therian formes of the Forces of Nature will make their Pokémon Go debut in just a couple weeks. Guides for the other Forces of Nature and the Therian formes can be found here:
- To prep for Incarnate forme Landorus, check out our Landorus Incarnate Raid Guide.
- To prep for Incarnate forme Tornadus, check out our Tornadus Incarnate Raid Guide.
- To prep for Therian forme Tornadus, check back soon for our Tornadus Therian Raid Guide.
- To prep for Therian forme Thundurus, check back soon for our Thundurus Therain Raid Guide.
- To prep for Therian forme Landorus, check back soon for our Landorus Therian Raid Guide.
What are the best counters for Thundurus in Pokémon Go?
As an Electric and Flying type, Thundurus only has two weaknesses: Rock and Ice. It also has a wide range of attack types, including Electric, Ghost, Dark, and Fighting. With the introduction of Mega Evolution and Mega Abomasnow, the best strategy is using Ice types with Mega Abomasnow leading. However, if you cannot safely coordinate with your fellow Trainers, a mix of Rock and Ice counters will still work.
Standing above all the rest, Rampardos is the best non-Shadow counter for Thundurus. This Rock type fossil Pokémon takes double damage from Fighting, but they’re readily available, thanks to its first stage, Cranidos hatching from Eggs. If you’re bringing Rampardos to this fight, Smack Down and Rock Slide are the moves you’ll want it to know.
The Sinnoh Stone evolution of Gen I’s Rhydon, Rhyperior performs very well in this Raid. Thanks to the Rhyhorn Community Day, as well as other events, most players have at least one or two powered up. As a Ground and Rock type, it resists Electric type attacks, but takes double damage from Fighting. If you are bringing Rhyperior to this fight, you’ll want it to know Smack Down and Rock Wrecker; however, if you don’t have the Community Day exclusive move or the Elite TM to spare, Stone Edge also works well.
In a vacuum, both Rampardos and Rhyperior perform better than Mega Abomasnow; however, if you can safely coordinate with the other Trainers in your Raid party, Mega Abomasnow will boost their Ice type Pokémon making for a better team overall. As a Grass and Ice type, it takes half damage from Electric, but double from Fighting. If you’re bringing Mega Abomasnow to this Raid, you’ll want Powder Snow for the fast move and Weather Ball for the charged move.
One of the select few Gen VIII Pokémon in Pokémon Go, Galarian Darmanitan is a regional variant of Gen V’s Darmanitan. Between sharing Candy and Darumaka being a common Egg hatch, most players have plenty of Candy for powering up this Ice type. Like many other counters, it does take added damage from Thundurus’ Fighting type move, Brick Break. Ice Fang and Avalanche is the moveset you’re looking for.
The final evolution of Swinub, Mamoswine makes a great counter for the Bolt Strike Pokémon. As an Ice and Ground type, it takes reduced damage from Electric attacks, but double from Fighting. Having been feaured in a number of events, including Community Day, most players have a couple in their roster, as well as plenty of Candy for powering them up. Powder Snow and Avalanche are the moves you’ll want your Mamoswine to know for this fight.
One of the Legendary Swords of Justice, Terrakion is a great counter for Thundurus. In addition to its three runs in Raids, it was also featured as a Pokémon Go Battle League reward encounter, so most players have had a chance to add this Legendary to their collection. As a Rock and Fighting type, Terrakion takes half damage from Dark and double from Fighting. Smack Down and Rock Slide is the moveset you’re aiming for.
Another great counter for Thundurus is Gen II’s Tyranitar. Between Community Day, Raids, Eggs, and more, there’s no good excuse not to have several Tyranitar. A Rock and Dark type, Tyranitar takes quad damage from Fighting, but it resists Dark and Ghost type attacks. You’re going to want the Community Day Exclusive Move, Smack Down, paired with Stone Edge to get the best performance in this Raid.
The Ice type Eevolution, Glaceon is pretty easy to evolve and power up, even with the necessity of a Glacial lure mod. It doesn’t resist any of Thundurus’ attacks and, like most counters, takes added damage from Fighting; however, if you’re bringing Glaceon along, Frost Breath and Avalanche are the moves you’ll want for this battle.
Gen IV’s Weavile makes a great counter for Thundurus for an Ice based strategy. This Ice and Dark type resists both Dark and Ghost types, but takes quad damage from Fighting. On top of that, its first stage, Sneasal has been featured in events, Special Research, and is a relatively common spawn, so it’s readily accessible. If you’re bringing Weavile along, you’ll want Ice Shard for the fast move and Avalanche for the charged.
Gen I’s Legendary Psychic type, Mewtwo performs well in this Raid. Although it takes double damage from Dark and Ghost type moves, it’s one of the only counters that resists Fighting type attacks. Once a relatively rare, Mewtwo was featured in Raids during the Pokémon Go Tour: Kanto event, as well as the Kanto Celebration, giving Trainers the chance to catch as many Mewtwo as they could make time for. However, the real reason Mewtwo is so effective in this Raid is its access to the charged move, Ice Beam. Paired with Psycho Cut, Ice Beam is necessary for Mewtwo to have value in this Raid. That having been said, if your Mewtwo already knows Psystrike or Shadow Ball DO NOT TM! Both Psystrike and Shadow Ball are far more useful and Legacy moves, so you won’t be able to get them back without an Elite TM.
Although most players will be able to make a team of the best counters, if you’re finding a gap in your team, there are plenty of back ups who work well in larger groups. Just make sure you’re dodging and any of the following could be a decent back up:
- Mega Gengar with Lick and Shadow Ball
- Landorus with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Gigalith with Smack Down and Rock Slide
- Mega Ampharos with Volt Switch and Power Gem
- Jynx with Frost Breath and Avalanche
- Abomasnow with Powder Snow and Weather Ball
- Piloswine with Ice Shard and Avalanche
- Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Porygon-Z with Lock-On and Blizzard
- Articuno with Frost Breath and Ice Beam
- Omastar with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Golem or Alolan Golem with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
The rebalance of Shadow Pokémon rescued from Team GO Rocket make them excellent glass cannons. Not only are their stats boosted, but during special events or with Elite TMs, it’s possible to change their moves. If you happen to have any of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this Raid:
- Shadow Mamoswine with Powder Snow and Avalache
- Shadow Tyranitar with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Weavile with Ice Shard and Avalanche
- Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Ice Beam
- Shadow Abomasnow with Powder Snow and Weather Ball
- Shadow Piloswine with Powder Snow and Avalanche
- Shadow Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Porygon-Z with Lock-On and Blizzard
- Shadow Articuno with Frost Breath and Ice Beam
- Shadow Omastar with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
Note: Shadow Mamoswine outperforms every other Pokémon in the best counters list. Shadow Tyranitar, Shadow Weavile, Shadow Mewtwo, Shadow Abomasnow and Shadow Piloswine also perform on par with the other best counters.
How many players does it take to beat Thundurus in Pokémon Go?
Under ideal conditions and with the right moveset, Thundurus can be beat with just two high level Trainers. However, if you’re lower level or up against a Thundurus with Brick Break, you may need as many as five to win this Raid.
Weather conditions that can impact this Raid include:
- Rain will boost Thundurus’ Electric type attacks.
- Cloudy Weather will boost his Fighting type attack.
- Fog will boost his Dark and Ghost type attacks.
- Snow will boost your Ice type counters.
- Partly Cloudy Weather will boost your Rock type counters.
Questions about taking on Thundurus in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on the Legendary Pokémon, Thundurus? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, so you can be the very best like no one every was!