You do, in fact, stand a ghost of a chance
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet have released so many 7-Star Tera Raids lately that they’ve started to blur together in my mind. With the debut of Typhlosion from Generation 2, that feeling has only intensified. Sure, it has some unique strategies you’ll have to play around. But seeing a certain Pokemon wreak havoc again in the fight’s emerging meta triggers my déjà vu. Of course, I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
For those just tuning in to what has become a biweekly feature, let’s give the usual rundown. No matter how you find 7-Star Typhlosion, it will always sport the Ghost Tera Type and the same moveset. You can only catch one Typhlosion per savefile, but you can continue to farm the fight while it lasts for rare goodies. To contend with this monster, make sure any Pokemon you bring is level 100 and has maxed out EVs and IVs. If this is new to you, check out our Azumarill build guide to see what this process is like (except don’t bring Azumarill, this is no time to use Belly Drum).
Compared to past 7-Star raids, Typhlosion is an interesting case. It’s a remarkably easy solo clear, but getting consistent online success requires some extra synergy. Let’s go over the basics.
As we should have expected, Typhlosion is a mixed attacker. Physical and special moves are all on the table, so any Pokemon you bring has to contend with those. For physical attacks, Typhlosion will use Play Rough and Earthquake. For special attacks, it predictably brings Shadow Ball and Eruption. Altogether, Typhlosion is capable of inflicting Fairy, Ground, Ghost, and Fire-Type damage. This is a brutal spread that shuts down many expected counters, but we’ll get to that later.
Typhlosion’s main mechanic involves setting up Sunny Day throughout the fight. Since it generally prioritizes whatever move hits you the hardest, this virtually guarantees it will spam Eruption. Typhlosion likes to spam Sunny Day the way previous 7-Star bosses use moves like Swords Dance, making this a persistent threat throughout the encounter.
Otherwise, this is a straightforward battle. Typhlosion will nullify your positive stat changes relatively early in the fight, so don’t lead with more stat-boosting moves than necessary. Additionally, it will reset its own negative stat changes after its shield phase is cracked. It can trigger this during the shield phase too, but only after several turns have passed. Otherwise, you don’t have any mechanics to worry about past this point in the fight.
How to counter Typhlosion
First, there are no “safe” Types to use against Typhlosion. Many speculated Dark-Type monsters would excel, but they’ll take Super Effective damage from Play Rough. Meanwhile, Ghost-Types play a risky game, as they have to endure Typhlosion’s STAB-boosted Shadow Ball. This means the best attackers will need dedicated supporters to ensure they survive.
Since Typhlosion takes so long to cleanse its own stat debuffs, anything you hit it with early will stick for quite some time. Whether you choose to use Screech to lower its Defense or Charm to lower its Attack is up to you. As always, prioritize keeping yourself alive early on, as knock-outs will instantly trigger Typhlosion’s shield. Remember, once a shield goes up, only moves that deal direct damage will work against it.
If you wish, you can overwrite Typhlosion’s Sunny Day with Rain Dance, turning that Fire buff into a Fire debuff. As mentioned above, you’ll have to reapply Rain Dance a few times throughout the fight, as Typhlosion will gladly spam Sunny Day. You should also consider the implications of goading Typhlosion out of using Eruption, as this may disrupt your party member’s strategies that rely on this move specifically being used. If that is not a consideration for your party, Rain Dance is a viable way to weaken the monster’s heaviest hitting move.
That’s really all there is to fight-specific mechanics. Keep in mind that lowering a mixed attacker’s physical or special stats may cause it to use different moves on you. For example, if Typhlosion spams Earthquake, it may switch to Shadow Ball if its Attack is lowered enough. This is typically a positive result, but keep this detail in mind as you plan your counter play.
The best Pokemon to bring
As of writing, many people in online rooms are still using a wide variety of monsters to face Typhlosion, There is no firm meta yet like we’ve seen in previous encounters. There is one returning champion that has seen frequent use, so all subsequent MVP picks are based around this monster. In fact, let’s not delay the reveal any longer.
DPS MVP: Annihilape
Rage Fist is too good. It took down Samurott without too much trouble last month, and the same is technically true here. Since Annihilape’s Rage Fist will continue to accrue power throughout the battle – even persisting if it is KO’d – there is hardly a better damage option you’ll find. You’ll want to equip Annihilape with a Shell Bell to give it valuable HP sustain throughout the encounter. Additionally, use Screech early in the fight to give Annihilape a valuable attack boost for several turns. For bonus damage, use the Defiant ability for free stat buffs after hits from Shadow Ball.
Just like last month’s 7-Star battle, Annihilape can solo this encounter. While you may need to reroll your AI companions, the combination of Screech into Rage Fist lets Annihilape steamroll the fight. Don’t be discouraged if you get KO’d once or twice, as you can generate enough power to pull off a win even with time losses. Additionally, your Annihilape can use its Tera Type strategically. If it’s Ghost, Terastalize to soak up more HP recovery via Shell Bell. If it’s not Ghost, Terastalize defensively to survive a Shadow Ball that would otherwise knock you out. A Normal Tera Type can trick Typhlosion into using a useless Shadow Ball, though this requires many Tera Shards for a relatively small perk.
As funny as this ape’s reign is, you should keep your expectations in check. In online rooms, it is still extraordinarily easy for Annihilape to get knocked out. Without anyone playing dedicated support roles, Typhlosion will likely beat out Annihilape. For clean victories against Typhlosion, I recommend using at least two support Pokemon to help out any player using Annihilape. There are many picks that work here, but these two have given me consistent results.
Healer MVP: Chansey
Of all the Pokemon I predicted as potential counters to Typhlosion, this was the only one I got right. Though Chansey’s low defense stat might look like a liability, it can use Charm to put Typhlosion at a disadvantage as soon as the fight starts. Even a Special Defense-focused Chansey holding an Eviolite will have enough bulk to endure Typhlosion’s hits after this. Furthermore, if your team is on the path to victory, Typhlosion will only cleanse this debuff after its shield break. Simply use Charm again to ensure Chansey survives the rest of the fight.
From here, Chansey has a smattering of support options. Light Screen is essential, especially since Annihilape players will predominately endure special attacks. You can also opt to bring Rain Dance, though only if you aren’t partied with the next Pokemon on the MVP list. Of course, there’s one tool that sets Chansey apart specifically: Life Dew. Healing your party is always helpful, especially as Annihilape struggles to regenerate its own health during the shield phase. You may even consider Healing Pulse to specifically help your allied DPS monkeys survive.
As always, Helping Hand can be put on Chansey to help your DPS lead nuke Typhlosion. Find which options work for you, since Chansey has no shortage of viable movesets here. That said, even an optimally played Chansey likely won’t support your team by itself. For that, you should consider bringing our next pick.
Tank MVP: Garganacl
That’s right, we have our very first Tank MVP for a 7-Star Tera Raid encounter. How can a Pokemon tank during a Tera Raid, you might ask? Simple: Wide Guard.
In short, Wide Guard will protect your team against attacks that strike your entire party. This typically doesn’t see use in 7-Star encounters, but Eruption and Earthquake both fall into the category of party-wide attacks. As these are Typhlosion’s heaviest hitting moves, Wide Guard will consistency block Typhlosion’s attacks.
Garganacl’s typing is also clutch here. It will take Super Effective damage from Earthquake, but this salt monster’s incredible Defense will help it take these hits. Additionally, as a Rock-Type, it packs resistance to Eruption. What’s more, its signature ability Salt Cure specifically protects it against Ghost-Type attacks. If used alongside a Chansey, Garganacl’s defenses will be even better.
Honestly, Garganacl can simply spam Wide Guard throughout the fight and mitigate a ridiculous amount of damage. That said, the salt monster has other viable support moves if your mitigation is covered. Salt Cure can add extra damage, even if the monster is built purely for support. Helping Hand is viable too for those boosted Annihilape nukes. Garganacle learns Recover too, giving it self-sustain in the event it needs it. You’ll predominately use Wide Guard, but you’ll have plenty of other options to lean on between turns.
Honorable Mention: Iron Valiant
Though I couldn’t personally test this monster, I do want to point out that Iron Valiant is also a Wide Guard user. Additionally, it can also learn the move Spirit Break, a rare attack that directly lowers an enemy’s Special Attack. I could see Iron Valiant working as a more offense-focused variant of Garganacl, especially since it can learn both Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball. If you have an Iron Valiant build that works for you, let us know in the comments!
Find your optimal strategy
The focus here was on Annihilape-friendly builds, as that’s the one constant in online rooms as of writing. That said, monsters like Flutter Mane may pack more stable defense alongside respectable offense, especially since Typhlosion’s Sunny Day will trigger its Protosynthesis ability. Grafaiai may also be viable, as its signature move Doodle will overwrite every party member’s ability with that of its target. Since Typhlosion knows Flash Fire, which effectively grants Fire immunity, you can see how this would help. The meta may continue to evolve as the event lingers, similar to how Stored Power Slowbro gained dominance against Cinderace.
That said, we may be witnessing the rise of Annihilape as a Tera Raid mainstay. Since so many players have this ape built, it’s easier to centralize emerging strategies around it to avoid investing in new Pokemon builds. Of course, we haven’t seen Slowbro since Greninja, so Game Freak may come up with ways to limit Annihilape’s power in future encounters. Either way, it’ll be exciting to watch how tactics evolve as more Tera Raids are added to the game.
Tune in next time for more 7-Star Tera Raid coverage, which at this rate should be announced by the time I finish writing this sentence.