Return of the Monkey
Use Annihilape. That’s it. That’s the guide.
The meta monkey cannot, will not, and must not be stopped. After seeing this monster annihilate two raids in a row, I surely thought Game Freak would stop it this time. After all, Inteleon has killer synergy with the Snipe ability and the move Air Cutter, which would finally put an end to the almighty Rage Fist. But Game Freak said no, not only will we not stop Annihilape, but we will also go out of our way to make sure Annihilape is an absolutely perfect counter.
Annihilape is the protagonist of Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, and we’re just all here to cheer it on. Well, I guess players do need more context than this, so perhaps a guide is in order. Let’s get the usual details out of the way.
Inteleon will always appear with the Ice Tera Type, and its moveset will remain the same no matter how much you fight it. Only one Inteleon may be caught per save file, but you can run the encounter as many times as you want for the bonus loot. If you participate, make sure you bring a level 100 Pokemon with optimized EVs and IVs. For an example of what this process looks like, dip into our Azumarill build guide. Not that you’d want to use Azumarill when a blatantly superior option exists.
As predicted, Inteleon is a pure special attacker. It honestly doesn’t bring an overwhelming spread of offensive options. Inteleon will use Snipe Shot, Blizzard, and Dark Pulse. That’s it. In other words, Inteleon will use Water, Ice, and Dark-Type attacks. Its fourth regular move in its moveset is Tearful Look, which will lower your Pokemon’s Attack and Special Attack stats by one stage. This is an extremely funny inclusion in Inteleon’s kit for reasons we will get to later.
The main gimmick here rests in Inteleon’s additional moves it will forcibly use throughout the fight. On Turn 1, Inteleon sets up both Mist and Snowscape. Mist prevents any stat-lowering moves from landing on Inteleon, so don’t bother using attacks like Screech. Snowscape is a bit scarier, as it boosts the accuracy of Blizzard to 100%. Even without weather established, Inteleon will generally spam Blizzard due to the attack’s high base power.
With Mist up, Inteleon won’t cleanse its stats throughout the fight. It will, however, reset all your positive stat boosts shortly after its shield phase begins. Speaking of, Inteleon doesn’t need to lose much HP before it puts up its shield. In my testing, parties should expect the shield within two to four turns of the battle starting. Plan accordingly for this if you will rely on moves like Drain Punch.
Fortunately, Inteleon won’t bother to spam Mist and Snowscape throughout the fight. Instead, it appears to simply reapply each whenever their duration should expire. This gives us some fairly easy counterplay here, so let’s get into that.
How to counter Inteleon
Right off the bat, Sunny Day demolishes Inteleon. Not only do you remove the accuracy buff from Blizzard, but you also weaken the power of Snipe Shot as well. If you immediately overwrite Snowscape with Harsh Sunlight, any future casts of Sunny Day will naturally line up with when Inteleon tries to reapply Snow. A single support Pokemon can easily cover this base.
Inteleon’s use of Tearful Look may seem tricky on paper. However, you just need to be reminded that the ability Defiant exists. Any Pokemon who knows Defiant will receive sharp attack boosts whenever an enemy tries to lower its attack, effectively turning Tearful Look into free buffs. Wouldn’t it be convenient if an already dominant counter to this fight also knew Defiant?
Aside from that, there isn’t much to say about Inteleon. Because of its insistence on spamming Blizzard, we highly recommend equipping a Covert Cloak. This will prevent your Pokemon from freezing, which should make your clears more consistent. Otherwise, let’s get to what you probably came here for.
The best Pokemon to bring for Inteleon
Even if I didn’t spoil it at the beginning, you all would probably guess who the top pick would be.
DPS MVP: Annihilape
There could not be a more perfect fight for Annihilape to succeed in. Capacity to learn Sunny Day for turn 1 support? Check. Access to the ability Defiant for free stat boosts from Tearful Look? Check. Self-sustain by inflicting Super Effective STAB damage with Drain Punch? Check. Oh, yeah, and Rage Fist is still ridiculously strong. By the time Annihilape takes five hits, the Ghost-Type attack will out-damage any of its offensive options. It’s really the total package.
Once again, Annihilape is solo-viable. Simply use Sunny Day on turn one, spam Drain Punch to sustain HP, and switch to Rage Fist if you don’t need healing or just want to finish it off. If your Annihilape has the Fighting Tera Type, this will boost your performance even more. If it has the Ghost Tera Type, avoid Terastalization to prevent getting blasted by Dark Pulse. That said, if you have teammates playing heavy support, you may be able to sustain going pure Ghost to boost the power of Rage Fist.
Make sure to prioritize survivability when bringing Annihilape to online rooms. If your HP gets too low, use a Healing Cheer to make sure you stay in the game. No need to play risky when you don’t need to!
Support MVP: Chansey (or Blissey)
Okay everyone, I know I always recommend Chansey, but she’s never been more equipped to support than now. If you build her for HP and Special Defense, Inteleon will barely make even the slightest dent in Chansey’s health. This is without the Eviolite too, so feel free to give her a Covert Cloak.
Due to the nature of the encounter, Chansey brings absolutely optimal support. Sunny Day can be used immediately to weaken Inteleon’s offenses. Light Screen will provide even further support, making Inteleon’s onslaught bearable by any half-decent counter. From there, use Life Dew to heal any incoming damage. If you use Sunny Day on turn one and Light Screen on turn two, you’ll have a clear visual indication of when you need to reapply them.
Since Chansey shouldn’t hold an Eviolite for optimal performance, Blissey technically reigns as the superior option. However, Chansey already walls Inteleon hard, so you don’t necessarily need Blissey’s extra stats. Either way, consider equipping Chansey or Blissey with the Healer hidden ability. In case your allies didn’t equip Covert Cloaks, this gives Chansey a passive opportunity to save them if they get frozen.
Since I already listed the three essential support moves, your fourth slot can go in one of two ways. The obvious inclusion is Helping Hand, as you’ll likely have at least one free turn to boost a party member’s strength. However, you may consider Healing Pulse in case you need to top off a specific ally fast. You’ll likely run into this scenario if you play with someone using this next pick.
Honorable Mention: Iron Hands
Even if Annhilape will be preferred by most players, Iron Hands can dish out some ridiculous damage. Considering how popular Iron Hands is for general Tera Raids, many players likely have this monster optimally built already. We don’t typically see Iron Hands pop up in these 7-Star fights, but its typical spammy moveset surprisingly works here.
Yes, Belly Drum does work here alongside of a proper support. An Iron Hands player who pulls off a Belly Drum turn one can inflict serious damage before Inteleon’s shield goes up. That said, considering Inteleon will reset stat boosts early in the fight, you’ll need to weigh if this damage is worth the cost. Otherwise, Drain Punch still does the trick and gives Iron Hands valuable sustain. From here, you have a few options.
Close Combat may be used strictly as a finishing move, but don’t rely on this for damage throughout the fight. Electric Terrain activates Iron Hands’ Quark Drive, freeing it from needing to hold a Booster Energy. Some sources recommend Wild Charge used alongside the Electric Terrain boost, but I’ve been burned by recoil moves in Tera Raids before. If you’re worried about running out of Drain Punch uses, consider investing some PP Ups in it.
I’m willing to bet that a properly coordinated team can use Iron Hands to wipe Inteleon in a single strike. However, even outside of that environment, Iron Hands still performs well. Maybe not as well as Annihilape, but you know, there’s no beating the main character.
Find what works for you
As incredibly easy and silly as Inteleon is, my online experiences were still all over the place. I don’t know why anyone would bring Typhlosion to this fight, but I saw so many that I thought I was at a Generation 2 convention.
That said, I’ve seen reports of seemingly unreasonable picks doing the job here. The biggest of these is Koraidon, who I wouldn’t even consider due to taking Super Effective damage from Blizzard. Yet even the box-legendary is apparently solo viable, so you might find some goofy strategies still. I just wouldn’t bother with them myself when Annihilape completely rocks the encounter.
In a certain sense, seeing mainstay Pokemon succeed here is nice. After all, building optimal Pokemon is fairly time-consuming. That said, with how fast 7-Star events keep appearing, it’s just hard to feel any enthusiasm for an encounter like this. Watching Annihilape become meta again is very funny, and I do not deny the innate joy there. Otherwise, I already feel like I’m forgetting this fight now that I’ve written down the relevant mechanics.
Anyway, don’t let my musings distract you. Best of luck fighting Inteleon, and enjoy capturing your own Mightiest Mark monster!