Raikou vs Zapdos: Whom to Power Up

Raikou vs Zapdos: Whom to Power Up

Legendary Beasts Raikou, Entei and Suicune are currently roaming the Pokemon Go world. At present Raikou can be found in the Americas, Entei in Europe and Africa, and Suicane in the Asia-Pacific region. They were released after Legendary Birds Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres left the Game on 31st August.

A lot of trainers by now have both Raikou and Zapdos, and thinking which Legendary Pokemon is stronger and should be Powered Up: Raikou or Zapdos.

Why not both Raikou and Zapdos?

As stardust is limited and valuable in Pokemon Go, one has to think before spending it to Power Up any Pokemon.

Raikou vs Zapdos

We will compare both the Legendaries base stats and moves in this analysis to help you decide on Raikou or Zapdos:

Zapdos Stats

  • ATK = 253
  • DEF = 188
  • STA = 180

Zapdos Best Movesets:

  • Charge Beam + Zap Cannon (100%)
  • Charge Beam + Thunderbolt (98%)
  • Charge Beam + Thunder

Raikou Stats

  • ATK = 241
  • DEF = 210
  • STA = 180

Raikou Best Movesets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge (100%)
  • Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt (93%)
Max CP33013282
Max HP153153
Quick Move:ThundershockCharge Beam
Charge Move:Wild ChargeZap Cannon
Moveset DPS109.68%100%
Net DPS104.48%100%
Quick Move Speed0.6sec (Very Low)1.1sec (High)
Charge Move Speed2.6sec (Moderate)3.7sec (Very High)
Charge Move Energy50100


Analysis Raikou vs Zapdos

So as you can see, their stamina is the same. Zapdos has 12 more attack, while Raikou has 22 more defense. Since their stats are pretty similar, it comes down to their move pools.

Quick Move Speed:

  • Thundershock = 10th-17th/60
  • Charge Beam = 38th-47th/60

Charge Move Speed:

  • Wild Charge = 47th-57th/126
  • Zap Cannon = 108th-112th/126

Moveset DPS:

Zapdos legacy moveset (Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt) is 102% as effective as its current top moveset (Charge Beam + Zap Cannon) than its current best moveset. This same moveset on Raikou is only 93% as effective as its current top moveset (Thunder Shock + Wild Charge). So the DPS is calculated using these ratios:

102% * (100% / 93%) = 109.68%.

These values were obtained using PokeGenie, which considers energy gain and gives cycle DPS for how well the moves work together. This doesn’t consider rounding because that, as always, depends on the defense of the Pokemon they are attacking. For a general defender (as opposed to a raid boss with a known fixed defense) it is best to not include rounding effects as every Pokemon that is defending in the gym has a different level, a different defense value, and a different defense IV. The one that does more DPS normally gets the benefit of rounding more often than the one that doesn’t.

Net DPS:

Calculated with (Moveset DPS) * (Ratio of ATK stats).

109.68% * (241 ATK/ 253 ATK) = 104.48%


Also known as total damage output, or how much damage it can do before it faints. If you take the ratio of Moveset DPS and then multiply by the ratio of the ATK, DEF and STA that gives a good approximation.

109.68% * (241 ATK / 253 ATK) * (210 DEF / 188 DEF) * (180 STA / 180 STA) = 117.26%

Raikou Zapdos Jolteon

Conclusion Raikou or Zapdos:

Raikou is approximately 17.26% better than Zapdos. Considering that there are no good Raids that Zapdos will be above-and-beyond more useful for than any of our current attackers, the average player is better off saving their Rare Candy and Stardust for Raikou rather than spending it on Zapdos (if only for strategic purposes).

Additional Thoughts on Raikou vs Zapdos

Raikou is worth leveling up because of the large number of raid bosses weak to electric and the fact that he’s vulnerable to so little. Specifically, he should be:

  • Great vs Vaporeon, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is normal vs water type)
  • Great vs Charizard, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is resistant to flying but normal vs fire and dragon types )
  • Great vs Blastoise, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is resistant to steel and normal vs water, ice, and dark types)
  • Great vs Lapras, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is normal vs water, ice, dragon types)
  • Great vs Articuno, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is normal vs ice type)
  • Great vs Moltres, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is normal vs fire type)
  • Great vs Suicune, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is normal vs water, normal, psychic types)
  • Great vs Lugia, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is normal vs psychic, water, flying, dragon types)
  • Great vs Ho-Oh, who is weak to electric type (while Raikou is resistant to steel and normal vs psychic, flying, fire, grass types)

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