Pokémon Go: Nihilego raid guide

As the Season of Alola comes to a close, Niantic has teased the first of the Ultra Beasts, Nihilego. This is a highly anticipated Pokémon that you won’t want to miss out on! Fortunately, we here at iMore have already put together this guide so you can start preparing your team. And be sure to check out our Best Pokémon Go Accessories, so you can be fully equipped for your Pokémon Journey!

Who is Nihilego in Pokémon Go?

Source: The Pokémon Company

UB-01 Symbiont, Nihilego is the first of the Ultra Beasts, a special class of Legendary Pokémon found only in Ultra Space. Very rarely, Ultra Wormholes will appear in the Alola region, providing people and Pokémon alike with the ability to cross between the Pokémon world and Ultra Space. Niantic has teased that these Ultra Wormholes will be appearing in Pokémon Go soon and with them, the first Ultra Beast will appear.

In terms of gameplay, Nihilego appears promising. It is the only Pokémon of its type combination, Rock and Poison, and boasts impressive stats. Although the core games treat Ultra Beasts like Legendaries, dataminers have found they have a separate class in Pokémon Go. We don’t yet know how they will operate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing your teams to face off against this interstellar jellyfish.

Mega Evolution strategies for Nihilego in Pokémon Go?

There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Nihilego, focusing on its weaknesses: Ground, Psychic, Steel, and Water.

Mega Aerodactyl

Pokemon 142 Aerodactyl Mega

Source: The Pokémon Company

Mega Aerodactyl is the top performing Mega Pokémon for this raid, despite not being the right types. As a Flying and Rock type, it resists Poison type damage, but it takes increased damage from Rock type moves. It won’t provide the same type Mega Boost for other counters, but Aerodactyl has access to both Steel and Ground type moves that make it perform well. Steel Wing and Earth Power are the moves you’ll want if you’re bringing Mega Aerodactyl to this fight.

Mega Latin

Pokemon 381 Latios Mega

Source: The Pokémon Company

Mega Latios is the next best choice against Nihilego in a vacuum. All the top counters are Ground types, so it probably won’t be providing a same type Mega Boost; However, as a Psychic and Dragon type, as well as a Mega Legendary, it can deal a ton of damage in this fight. If you’re going with Mega Latios, you’ll want it to know Zen Headbutt and Psychic And it wouldn’t hurt to coordinate with your raid party to bring along a few other Psychic types.

Mega Kangaskhan

Pokemon 115 Kangaskhan Mega

Source: The Pokémon Company

Mega Kangaskhan also performs really well against Nihilego, despite not having a type advantage. As a normal type, it is unlikely that Nihilego will have any moves that can deal super effective damage and it has access to impressive ground type moves. Mud-Slap and Earthquake is the moveset you’ll want and you won’t need to coordinate with your raid party if you’re bringing Mega Kangaskhan along.

Honorable mentions

While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:

What are the best counters for Nihilego in Pokémon Go?

Nihilego is a Rock and Poison type with access to Poison and Rock type moves. Its weaknesses include Ground, Steel, Water, and Psychic type; However, Ground is a double weakness, so should be your first choice.

Rhyperior

Pokemon 464 Rhyperior

Source: The Pokémon Company

The Sinnoh Stone evolution of Gen I’s Rhydon, Rhyperior is the top non-Shadow counter for Nihilego. This Ground and Rock type resists both Poison and Rock type damage. Rhyperior is the evolution of a common Gen I Pokémon and it’s had the Community Day treatment, so most active players have had the chance to add it to their roster. Mud-Slap and Earthquake are the moves you’ll want your Rhyperior to know for this fight.

Excadrill

Pokemon 530 Excadrill

Source: The Pokémon Company

Next up is Gen V’s Excadrill. A Ground and Steel type, Excadrill is super resistant to Poison and Rock type damage. It’s also very obtainable, requiring only 50 Candy to fully evolve and having a common first stage that has been featured in events. If you’re bringing Excadrill to this fight, you’ll want Mud-Slap for its fast move and Drill Run for the charged.

Landorus (Therian)

Pokemon 645 Landorus Therian

Source: The Pokémon Company

One of the Legendary Forces of Nature, Landorus is another great option for this fight. While either form works, the Therian form is the better option here, but both have had multiple runs in raids and share Candy, making it easier to power up. As a Ground and Flying type, Landorus takes reduced damage from Poison type moves. Mud Shot and Earthquake are the moves you’ll want your Landorus to know going up against Nihilego.

Garchomp

Pokemon 445 Garchomp

Source: The Pokémon Company

A pseudo-legendary originally encountered in the Sinnoh region of Gen IV, Garchomp is a great choice for fighting Nihilego. As a Ground and Dragon type, it takes reduced damage from both Rock and Poison type moves. Its first stage, Gible has been featured in multiple events, including a Community Day, so most active players already have one or two Garchomp at their disposal. If you’re bringing one to this fight, you’ll want it to know Mud Shot and Earth Power.

Landorus (Incarnate)

Pokemon Landorus Incarnate

Source: The Pokémon Company

While Therian form Landorus is preferred, Incarnate Landorus is also a top counter for Nihilego. It’s been in raids even more often than its Therian counterpart, so most active players have had the chance to catch plenty. It’s also a Ground and Flying type, giving it resistance to Poison type damage. Mud Shot and Earth Power are the moves of choice for Incarnate Landorus in this raid.

Golurk

Pokemon 623 Golurk

Source: The Pokémon Company

The Unovan Golurk is another great counter for Nihilego. It’s a Ghost and Ground type, so it resists both Rock and Poison type damage. Golurk and its first stage, Golett have been featured in events, eggs, and raids, so most active players have had the chance to catch and evolve it. Mud-Slap and Earth Power is the moveset you’ll want your Golurk to know for this fight.

Groudon

Pokemon 383 Groudon

Source: The Pokémon Company

The Legendary mascot of Pokémon Ruby, Groudon is an obvious choice for countering Nihilego. It’s a pure Ground type, so it resists both Rock and Poison type damage. Groudon has also been featured many, many times in Pokémon Go, so most active players have a couple already. If you’re bringing Groudon to this fight, you’ll want it to know Mud Shot and Earthquake.

Rhydon

Pokemon 112 Rhydon

Source: The Pokémon Company

While Rhyperior will perform much better, if you don’t have the Sinnoh Stone and/or Candy to spare, Rhydon is also a top counter for Nihilego. It’s also a Ground and Rock type, so it resists both Poison and Rock type damage, and it’s incredibly easy to catch and evolve, seeing as it has been in the game since day one and was featured in many events. Mud-Slap and Earthquake are the moves you’ll want your Rhydon to know for this fight.

Krookodile

Pokemon 553 Krookodile

Source: The Pokémon Company

Originally encountered in the Unova region of Gen V, Krookodile is another great choice for this fight. It’s a Ground and Dark type, so it resists Rock and Poison. Unfortunately, Krookodile can only be obtained via evolution and its first stage is only available in 12KM Strange Eggs rescued from the Leaders of Team GO Rocket, so many players don’t even have one much less the candy to power it up. Still, if you have one, you’ll want your Krookodile to know Mud-Slap and Earthquake when facing Nihilego.

Mamoswine

Pokemon 473 Mamoswine

Source: The Pokémon Company

Last but not least is Gen IV’s Mamoswine. This Ice and Ground type resists Poison type damage and takes standard damage from Rock type moves. Mamoswine has been featured in events, including Community Day and an Incense Day, so most active players have had the chance to catch and evolve this woolly mammoth Pokémon. If you’re bringing Mamoswine along, you’ll want Mud-Slap for its fast move and Bulldoze for its charged move.

Back ups?

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:

  • Golem with Mud-Slap and Earthquake
  • Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
  • Donphan with Mud-Slap and Earthquake
  • Hoopa (Unbound) with Confusion and Psychic
  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Earthquake
  • Flygon with Mud Shot and Earth Power
  • Swampert with Mud Shot and Earthquake
  • Hoopa (Confined) with Confusion and Psychic
  • Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Ground) and Earthquake
  • Seismitoad with Mud Shot and Earth Power
  • Alolan Dugtrio with Mud-Slap and Earthquake
  • Terrakion with Zen Headbutt and Earthquake
  • Hippowdon with Thunder Fang and Earth Power
  • Gastrodon with Mud-Slap and Earth Power
  • Kingler with Mud Shot and Crabhammer
  • Jirachi with Confusion and Doom Desire
  • Espeon with Confusion and Psychic
  • Latios with Zen Headbutt and Psychic
  • Nidoking with Fury Cutter and Earth Power

Shadow Pokémon?

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 Mud-Slap and Bulldoze
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike
  • Shadow Swampert with Mud Shot and Earthquake
  • Shadow Flygon with Mud Shot and Earth Power
  • Shadow Metagross with Bullet Punch and Earthquake
  • Shadow Ho-Oh with Hidden Power (Ground) and Earthquake
  • Shadow Hippowedon with Thunder Fang and Earth Power
  • Shadow Nidoking with Fury Cutter and Earth Power
  • Shadow Alakazam with Confusion and Psychic
  • Shadow Sandslash with Mud Shot and Earthquake
  • Shadow Aerodactyl with Steel Wing and Earth Power
  • Shadow Exeggutor with Confusion and Psychic
  • Shadow Gallade with Confusion and Psychic

Note: Shadow Mamoswine and Shadow Mewtwo outperform every other Pokémon in the best counters list, including the Megas.

How many players does it take to beat Nihilego in Pokémon Go?

We don’t yet know how many players it will take to beat Nihilego, but dataminers suggest that Ultra Beasts are a completely different class of raid, so expect this to be a challenging raid.

Weather conditions that can impact this Raid include:

  • Partly Cloudy Weather will boost Nihilego’s Rock type moves
  • Cloudy/Overcast weather will boost its Poison type moves
  • Sunny/Clear Weather will boost your Ground type counters
  • Snow will boost your Steel type counters
  • Windy Weather will boost your Psychic type counters
  • Rain will boost your Water type counters

Questions about taking on Nihilego in Pokémon Go?

Do you have any questions about taking on the Ultra Beast Nihilego in Pokémon Go? 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 ever was!

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