Most of us know how to raid. You stand in range of the gym, tap on it, feed your raid pass to it and voila! You’re in the lobby for the next 120 seconds waiting for up to 19 other players to join you. During that time you’ll select your team or if you’ve done so, you’ll sit back and relax and hope RNGsus favours you when it comes to catching the Pokemon. Then the raid starts and you realise your fellow player is using the likes of Blissey and Aggron to fight. Its not so bad if you have like 20 people against one raid boss but if you’re shortmanning the raid and every player counts, then you’re either going to time out or you better get that second team ready.
Its very frustrating to experience that and sometimes its because the other player goes with what the game recommends. Obviously its a feature meant to help you, the player pick the best team but is that necessarily the best team for you? That isn’t always the case. The recommended team is more of what you would call a guideline rather than an actual rule. Lets first understand how the feature works then how you can use it to choose a better team.
How Recommended Team Works
This is an observation I’ve made over many raid battles. The recommended team picks the team of 6 that will survive. It does not pick the team that will do the most damage. Yes, a Pokemon needs to last a good amount of time to dish out a significant amount of damage but neither its attack stat nor its attacks are factored in when choosing this. The game does appear to go with higher CP so that is one positive I’ll say about it.
Apart from CP, the other major factor and I’d say this probably takes priority over CP is the type match up. The game picks the 6 with the best type combination to handle the boss’ attacks. For example, when Latios was the raid boss and it was using a moveset that included Solarbeam as its charge move. The game would select 6 Dragonite for me because Dragonite’s dragon/flying typing would double resist Solarbeam. In this case it was a good choice because Dragonite has great offensive stats and moves. On the other hand, I’d often get teams of Aggrons when facing off against a Mewtwo with Psychic as its charged move. Aggron’s rock/steel typing does resist psychic but Aggron has a mediocre attack stat so it might end up hindering you. It looks like it hits hard but the only thing taking a hit is your happiness when you time out because Aggron hits like a pillow.
Why This Matters
So what you say, it doesn’t matter as long as the boss is down. Yes it does, it does affect how many premier balls you are awarded. The chances of you catching a higher level raid boss are very low. Take for example a level 5 raid boss. The best case scenario where you have a gold medal for that typing, throw an excellent curved ball and use a golden razzberry gives you a 15.65% for a successful catch. This also assumes the boss doesn’t smack your ball away or jumps out of the way. If you want to maximise your chances of getting it, you’ll want more premier balls.
Using a mediocre team will result you in you getting less premier balls. You get 6 for winning, so that’s a given. If you are fortunate, your team controls the gym but that won’t always be the case, so the extra 2 balls may not be awarded. If you have in-game friends, that could net you an extra 4 balls. However if they aren’t there or you don’t own multiple accounts, you won’t get those. What you can control is the number of balls awarded for individual damage and team damage. The best case for this is an extra 6 balls, 3 for individual and 3 for being the team to deal the most damage.
If you’re doing a 20 man raid, the number awarded is realistically going to be at most 4. 3 for team , 1 for you. If you use a really weak team, its possible to get no balls for damage and receive less for team effort. Every ball counts, so you should aim to get the most that you can and damage done is one area which you can directly influence.
Picking The Best Team
Now with all of that in mind, how do you use the recommended mechanic to your advantage?
Use it to predict what moves the boss has. The game will pick 6 Pokemon for you and these 6 are less likely to have a weakness to the boss’ moves. It also helps if you know what are the possible movesets with the boss. You can do so looking up the moves on most of the major Pokemon Go websites, they should be fairly accurate with it. It also helps if you know what types resist or are weak to those moves so you can make an educated guess about what to use.
With that in mind, you can then switch out the recommended Pokemon for better ones. The higher the CP, the better. If you don’t have Pokemon which resist the boss’ moves and can deal supereffective damage, then you have two choices. You can go with the glass cannon option , which is to use Pokemon that deal a lot of damage but take more because of lower defences or they take supereffective damage. The other option is the neutral one, use Pokemon that don’t deal supereffective damage but they don’t receive it either. Its for when you don’t have a strong roster yet so you use your highest CP Pokemon , regardless of who the opponent it is. Its fine if you have to do that.
Hopefully this helps you become a better player at raids, and also to avoid being that player who brings Aggrons and Blisseys to a raid. No one likes that player, no one. Not even Team Rocket.