Pokémon GO Raid Battles are heating up once again—the Fire- and Steel-type Legendary Pokémon Heatran is finally blazing a trail into Pokémon GO Gyms. Originally discovered in the Sinnoh region, Heatran makes its dwelling in volcanic caves and is sure to be one of the most coveted Fire-type attackers in Pokémon GO. Be sure to add it to your lineup before it disappears from Gyms on January 15, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. PST.
To catch Heatran, you can use only the Premier Balls you earn from defeating it, so it's crucial to be prepared. Help your team take over the Gym before the raid starts, battle alongside your friends, and pick Pokémon that will perform well in battle to maximize your chances. Check out our guide to training Pokémon in Pokémon GO to get your team up to speed, and then read on for some tips specific to the Lava Dome Pokémon.
Heatran is a Fire- and Steel-type Pokémon best known for its powerful Fire-type attacks. Its Fast Attack can be either the Fire-type Fire Spin or the Bug-type Bug Bite, while its Charged Attack may be either the Fire-type Fire Blast, the Steel-type Iron Head, or the Rock-type Stone Edge. The Legendary Pokémon is especially weak against Ground-type attacks, which will be more impactful than ever thanks to some recent changes to battles. Heatran is also weak against Fighting-type and Water-type attacks, and you'll rarely want to use an attack of virtually any other type—this Legendary Pokémon is resistant to Normal-, Grass-, Ice-, Poison-, Flying-, Psychic-, Bug-, Dragon-, Steel-, and Fairy-type attacks.
If you're only concerned about dealing damage, you should fill your team mostly with Ground-type Pokémon. There's nothing too revolutionary about the best Pokémon for this encounter—Groudon remains the king of the hill, while the newly available Rhyperior has become the runner-up among Ground types. (Be sure to keep doing Field Research tasks for Research Breakthroughs and take part in Trainer Battles when you can to earn those Sinnoh Stones to evolve Rhydon.) Rhydon remains the next-best Ground-type attacker, followed by a Golem or Swampert that knows Ground-type attacks. Even Alolan Dugtrio or Flygon is worth deploying if you're light on the better options for battling Heatran.
Add a little punch to your lineup with Fighting-type Pokémon when the weather is cloudy, if you're running low on the best Ground types—or if you're trying to conserve healing items for after facing a Heatran that knows Stone Edge. Machamp will deal more damage to Heatran than even most Ground-type Pokémon will, and Blaziken, Breloom, and Hariyama can outclass some frailer Ground types. Heracross and Lucario can also dish out solid damage to Heatran, but be careful not to select them against a Heatran that knows Fire-type attacks. (Note that Heracross and Blaziken won't resist the Rock-type Stone Edge, either.)
Ride a wave of Water-type Pokémon when it's raining—or if you're trying to avoid using too many Potions and Revives after battling a Heatran that knows Fire Blast or Iron Head. Kyogre is a top-tier attacker in any weather, and a few other Water types are powerful choices, too. Gyarados is the strongest Water type available that is not a Legendary Pokémon, while Omastar and Swampert slide in next (with either their Ground- or Water-type attacks). Vaporeon, Starmie, and Feraligatr round out the group of stronger choices, but almost any Water-type Pokémon will endure Heatran's attacks effectively while dishing out respectable damage.
This is one encounter where you should try not to use many of the usual generalist attackers. Heatran resists Dragonite's and Rayquaza's Dragon-type attacks, Mewtwo's Psychic-type attacks, and Metagross's Steel-type attacks, so you're much better off focusing on Pokémon with type advantages this time.
Make each Premier Ball you earn count, because you'll have a limited amount to catch Heatran once you've defeated it. You can earn extra Premier Balls if you defeat Heatran alongside your friends, so be sure to bring extra hands with you. Use a Golden Razz Berry before each throw, and remember to stock up on them beforehand by defeating other Raid Bosses.
The odds of catching Heatran are greatest while the target ring is at a small enough diameter for you to score Excellent Throws, and throwing Curveballs can improve your chances further. But work within your abilities—if you don't think you can hit Excellent Curveballs reliably, aim for Nice Throws or Great Throws rather than risk missing the target ring completely.
To not waste any Premier Balls, don't throw any while Heatran is moving around. Wait for it to start acting up and for its target ring to disappear, then time your throw so that the Premier Ball lands as the target ring reappears.
Heatran is a tough Pokémon to catch, so don't be discouraged if it gets away the first time you defeat it. Stock up on useful items, such as Max Potions, Max Revives, and Golden Razz Berries, and try again later with some friends. Good luck with your next Raid Battle, and remember to check back at Pokemon.com/Strategy for more Pokémon GO, video game, and Pokémon TCG tips.