Dominate Battles with Johto Legendary Pokémon

Two nimble Pokémon from the Johto region are bringing some bite to the recent string of Legendary Pokémon distributions. The Electric-type Raikou and the Fire-type Entei are now available to join your team, both of which are permitted for use in the Battle Tree and against other players at the Battle Spot. Details about how to get them on your team are available at

As strong as they are, even these powerful Legendary Pokémon won't reach their full potential without help from you, their Trainer. Whether you're looking to battle other Trainers in Single Battles or Double Battles, or just hoping to be coolest Trainer in Alola, training your Pokémon wisely will make them more impressive yet. Read on for some tips to help your new teammates perform better in battle.

Training Tips

You'll receive a different Legendary Pokémon depending on which game you use to redeem your code. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Sun games will receive Entei, while Pokémon Ultra Moon and Pokémon Moon will receive Raikou instead. Additionally, you'll receive higher-level Pokémon that know stronger moves with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, and they'll also be holding a super-rare Gold Bottle Cap.

The Pokémon you receive with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon will be level 100—perfect for Hyper Training. If you visit Mr. Hyper at the Hau'oli City Shopping Mall and present him with a Gold Bottle Cap, you can instantly max out your Legendary Pokémon's individual strengths. That quickly gets one big element of powering up your Pokémon out of the way.

Even though your Pokémon won't need any more Exp. Points, you should take it into battle to train its base stats. And note its Nature—Entei tends to perform best with an Adamant Nature. You'll definitely want to focus on training its Attack, but it can be equally effective with a boost in either Speed or a mix of HP and other defensive stats. The speedy Raikou benefits most from a Timid Nature and by focusing its training on Speed and Special Attack. Check out our guide to raising battle-ready Pokémon for details.

Don't forget you can help these high-level Pokémon relearn moves they'd normally learn by leveling up if you bring a Heart Scale to Madam Memorial in the Pokémon Center on Mount Lanakila. You can collect Heart Scales easily by visiting the restaurants across Alola.

Shock and Awe

Raikou was once one of the most effective Legendary Pokémon permitted in battle facilities, but it's become trickier to help it stand out. It's quick and powerful, but so are many other Electric-type Pokémon, and it's tough for it to keep up with Zapdos' utility or Tapu Koko's greater Speed and variety in attacks. Raikou lacks a move like Entei's Sacred Fire that makes it hard to ignore, but it can learn some tricks that separate it from its competition.

A Raikou with Calm Mind differentiates it from its rivals in Single Battles. A quick boost to Raikou's Special Attack and Special Defense ensures it will win most duels that don't involve physical attacks. Teaching Raikou Thunderbolt, plus an Ice-type or Grass-type Hidden Power to deal with Ground types and Shadow Ball or Hyper Beam with a matching Z-Crystal, will make it formidable indeed. If you're looking for a riskier strategy that's more likely to win you a battle—or to backfire completely—you can try to stack up as many Calm Minds as possible by replacing an attack with Substitute and giving Raikou Leftovers to hold.

Giving Raikou a Z-Crystal to hold has been a popular workaround in Double Battles to compensate for its lack of a secondary type. The Ghostium Z and Shadow Ball combination outperforms Hyper Beam and Normalium Z in this format, and both Thunderbolt and Protect are nearly mandatory for Raikou to function. Raikou can learn a number of fun utility moves, giving you some options for its final act. Quash is tricky, forcing a Pokémon quicker than Raikou's partner to move after it instead. Snarl's potential to reduce both opponents' Special Attack makes it a worthy alternative. Raikou can learn both Light Screen and Reflect if you're looking for a more defensive choice.

Burn, Baby, Burn

In the past, Entei's inability to utilize its high Attack stat made it the butt of jokes at Pokémon tournaments, but the Volcano Pokémon has flipped the narrative—it may now be the most powerful member of its trio! Its stout defensive stats help combat powerful new attacks discovered in recent years, and now an incredible move helps it make the most of that big Attack stat: Sacred Fire.

Harnessing a move only Entei and Ho-Oh can learn by leveling up is a great way to Be Legendary. Sacred Fire's 100 Power and 95 Accuracy would already put it into consideration for the best physical Fire-type attack around, but its 50% chance to inflict a burn makes it truly amazing. Burned Pokémon only deal half their normal damage with physical attacks, so no Pokémon reliant on their Attack stat can switch into battle against Entei safely.

With its full complement of attacks, Entei does best when it holds a Choice Band or Assault Vest in Single Battles. As for which moves it should learn, you should start your strategy with Sacred Fire, and you should consider teaching it Flame Charge as well to compensate for Sacred Fire's low PP. Stone Edge and Stomping Tantrum are great choices to take down opposing Fire-type Pokémon that will resist Entei's Fire-type attacks, and Stomping Tantrum covers Rock types, too. Fire-type Pokémon resist Fairy-type attacks, so you may also want to consider teaching Entei Iron Head to gain a similar advantage on offense.

The best attacks for Entei in Double Battles are similar to its Single Battle setup. The big difference is that you'll normally want to teach Entei Protect to defend itself, which makes it tougher to make room for Flame Charge. Stomping Tantrum is even better in Double Battles than in Single Battles, but it's worth considering Bulldoze instead because it can lower the Speed of all other grounded Pokémon in a Double Battle. Assault Vest and Choice Band don't mix well with Protect, so you should give Entei a Z-Crystal, a Mago Berry, or a Figy Berry for Double Battles instead.

We hope you enjoy your adventures with these fantastic Legendary Pokémon. You can find more information about upcoming distributions at, and you can check out the list of all ongoing Pokémon distributions to make sure you're caught up. Don't forget to check out more Pokémon TCG and video game articles, strategy, and tournament analysis at

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