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Cobalion in the Raid and Trainer Battle Meta

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Introduction

Starting November 4th, Cobalion is coming to Pokemon GO. This will kick off what may be the beginning of the Swords of Justice raid rotation. The Swords of Justice include Cobalion, Virizion, Terrakion, and Keldeo. While all four are Fighting-types, their secondary types give them all a unique set of counters. For example, Cobalion’s Steel-typing makes it neutral to Psychic, Flying, and Fairy, but also weak to Fighting, Fire, and Ground. The article below details the best counters to the Cobalion raid, and highlights Cobalion’s use in the Pokemon GO meta.

Counters

Source: @RyanSwag

The best counters to Cobalion include Candelure, Machamp, and Blaziken. Which one is the best overall will depend on the weather. If it’s Cloudy outside, then Machamp is your best bet. If it’s Clear, then Chandelure and Blaziken better answers. If it’s neither, then going with whichever you already have powered up will be fine. Do be aware that Chandelure and Moltres will be more powerful against Close Combat and Iron Head Cobalion, but significantly weaker against Stone Edge. Likewise, Machamp’s resistance to Rock-type attacks makes it the premier pick for Stone Edge. That said, if it’s Clear outside, don’t let Stone Edge Cobalion stop you from burning it down with your Fire-type Pokemon- Weather > Weakness. 

If you’re lacking the aforementioned Pokemon, Breloom, Hariyama, and Flareon all make respectable, low investment replacements. Moltres, Entei, Heatran, Groudon, and Excadrill are all great counters to Cobalion as well. It’s worth highlighting however that a level 30 Machamp is roughly on the same level as all of these Pokemon at max. You don’t need level 40 Machamp’s with 15 Atk IVs to contribute well to clearing the raid, any with Counter + Dynamic Punch will help more than a maxed hundo Lugia or Aggron. 

As for Blaziken’s moveset: Counter + Blast Burn is the best in neutral weather, Fire Spin + Blast Burn in Clear, and Counter + Focus Blast in Cloudy. Given how close Counter is to Fire Spin in Clear, and Blast Burn is to Focus Blast in Cloudy, just keeping your Blaziken’s as Counter + Blast Burn is probably the safest way to roll. If you have a team of all Machamp’s for Cloudy, however, then you may as well just have Blaziken prepared for Clear weather with Fire Spin.

Breakpoints and Bulkpoints

It’s not mandatory to hit these breakpoints or bulkpoints, but they are the levels where your attacker will have a noticeable improvement in their performance. If you are unfamiliar with what a breakpoint or bulkpoint is, we suggest checking out our guides on breakpoints and bulkpoints. If you’re curious about the breakpoints of other Pokemon or fast moves, you can find them using our breakpoint tool. You can find your Pokemon’s unique bulkpoints using our bulkpoint tool as well.

Weather boosts will also affect the breakpoints of Pokemon. We have noted the relevant breakpoints for weather boosted Pokemon down below. Friendship will also influence breakpoints. This article will assume a best friend status as you will need friends to take this boss down.

Pokemon Breakpoints | Weather Bulkpoints (CC👊IH👷SE⛰️)
Chandelure 26.5, 30, 37.5 | 26.5☀️, 29.5☀️, 35☀️ 29👷⛰️, 34👊, 38👷👊
Machamp 25.5, 30.5 | 28.5☁️, 35.5☁️ 33.5👷👊⛰️, 36.5👊
Blaziken(Counter) 24.5, 29, 37.5 | 27.5☁️, 32.5☁️ 37.5👷, 38.5 👊⛰️
Blaziken(Fire Spin) 25, 29, 36 | 26.5☀️, 29.5☀️, 36☀️
Breloom 28.5, 37 | 27☁️, 32☁️ 32👊, 38.5👊, 39⛰️, 40👷
Hariyama 26, 33 | 26☁️, 31☁️ 29.5 ⛰️ 👊, 35👊⛰️
Flareon(Fire Spin) 27.5, 33 | 28.5☀️, 33☀️ 30 👷, 33⛰️, 37.5⛰️

Use in Meta

For raid content, there is no hope for Cobalion to be useful. Even if it had a better movepool than Zen Headbutt and Metal Claw, there is no salvaging a 192 base attack stat. Low attack stats, however, pair well with Trainer Battles. Unfortunately for Cobalion, it falls flat there too. It could have a chance if it received Sacred Sword in the future and if the stats on Sacred Sword were really good. However, Sacred Sword would need a really low energy cost and a ton of power to compete with the Steel-type overlord that is Registeel. Like many raid bosses before it, Cobalion’s use in the meta is just as a TM and Rare Candy dispenser for a month.

Conclusion

The Swords of Justice have been anticipated as raid bosses since Gen 5’s release, and it’s good to finally have this train going. While Cobalion isn’t the most exciting of the four, it is exciting to know we’ll be getting powerhouses such as Terrakion or fan favorites like Keldeo in the near future. The only question now is, who will come next? Virizion the Flying-weak? Or Terrakion the mighty?

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