Deoxys Attack Forme in the Raid and PvP Meta

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Starting December 28th, Deoxys Attack Forme will be replacing Deoxys Normal Forme in the EX raid pool. This is an exciting event as Deoxys Attack Forme has the highest Attack Stat of all Pokemon in Pokemon Go. To counterbalance its massive attack, it also has one of the lowest Defense Stats. This has players wondering just how good Deoxys-A will be in Pokemon GO. Will it be the ultimate attacker? Or will it be too fragile to launch a charge move? 

Best Moveset: Poison Jab + Dark Pulse

Best PvP Moveset: Poison Jab + Psycho Boost

  • Poison Jab is superior to Zen Headbutt, as Zen Headbutt has poor type synergy with Dark Pulse and is too slow to rate in PvP.

  • Psycho Boost is a terrible move to use in raids (slow), but is quite powerful in PvP where it is fast enough to snipe weaker opponents before they can launch their charge move (talk about a total 180!).

  • Dark Pulse is Deoxys-A’s best Charge Move in raids, offering the highest neutral damage in the game.

  • Zap Cannon is too slow to use in both raid and PvP content.

I see you there eyeing up that 414 base attack stat. Before you think that this makes a Pokemon good, I want to direct your attention to Deoxys Attack's defense stat; It's 46. How bad could that be? For reference, Gengar's base defense is 156. 46 sounds really frail now, doesn't it? But 414 base attack! If it weren’t for Dark Pulse, Deoxys Attack would probably faint before launching a Charge Move. That said, with Dark Pulse it can. It’ll deal more DPS than any other Pokemon in the game, but for how long and at what cost? The choice is yours.

Countering Attack Deoxys

Have you ever wished you could solo a Tier 5 raid boss? Well against Deoxys-A you probably can! If Deoxys-A has the typical Tier 5 raid boss stats, it will be incredulously easy to solo with most Pokemon. Of the Pokemon featured, most options above the 50 DPS marker can contribute to a solo at level 30. The master, Tyranitar, could contribute at as low as level 20. Bear in mind that not every single solo-contributing Pokemon is featured here. Check your favorite team out in GoBattleSim and see if it qualifies!

In the event Niantic uses “Tier 6” stats, the difficulty of the solo goes up a few notches. It is still achievable with high-level Dark and Ghost-type Pokemon, but it will take some investment. All in all, Tyranitar is the ultimate counter to this raid. If you’re in the mood for some variety, Weavile, Honchkrow, Shadow Ball Mewtwo, both Lick and Shadow Claw Gengar, and Deoxys-A itself make Tier-6-viable options for a solo. If you’re unconfident in your ability to take on Deoxys-A yourself, don’t sweat going in with a few extra players. If using the same teams, your ability to get the 3 damage ball bonus won’t drop until you exceed 5 players (20% damage each).

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 no friendship status due to the potential to solo Deoxys-A.

Pokemon Breakpoints Best Friendship Bulkpoints
Tyranitar 24.5, 27, 29.5, 34, 39.5 24.5, 26.5, 29, 32, 37 29, 30.5, 33, 35.5, 38.5
Honchkrow 30, 32.5, 35.5, 38 29.5, 31, 33.5, 36, 38.5 32
Weavile 29.5, 31.5, 35, 38 29.5, 32, 35, 38 28, 37
Gengar, Lick 30, 35.5 30, 35
Gengar, SC 30, 36.5, 40 31, 34, 37, 40
Mewtwo, PC 24, 30.5 25, 32 32.5, 34, 38
Scizor 30.5 | 29.5☔, 38☔ 30, 40 | 28.5☔, 34.5☔ 28.5, 32.5, 38
Pinsir, Bug Bite 29, 34 | 30☔, 35☔ 30, 35 | 29.5☔, 33.5☔, 38.5☔ 28, 29, 31, 33.5, 37.5, 39

Attack Deoxys in the Meta


Deoxys-A’s role in the raiding meta is that of a “Dark-type” Glass Cannon. In this, Deoxys not only faces competition from other Dark-types, such as Weavile and Tyranitar but also faces competition from Ghost-types, such as Gengar and Shadow Ball Mewtwo. Overall, if you have several Gengar’s powered up, Deoxys-A will only add a new face to your arsenal but won’t enable you to do anything you can’t already achieve in the game.

Competition aside, due to Deoxys (a Psychic-type Pokemon) inhabiting the EX raid pool, you will find use in a powered up, Dark Pulse Deoxys-A. We also have 3 Psychic-type raid bosses to look forward to in the future in the Sinnoh Lake Trio. While Deoxys-A isn’t as generally useful as Tyranitar, Gengar, or Mewtwo as a Psychic-type counter, its massive damage potential in the lead slot may be appealing (albeit not necessary).  


Interestingly enough, in the Great League, despite Deoxys-A’s low bulk, it could make for an interesting gimmick Pokemon to sweep your opponent’s team. While having a high total damage output (TDO) is important for Pokemon in PvP, dealing lethal damage faster than your opponent can is also a route to success. Due to Psycho Boost’s low energy cost and high damage in PvP, coupled with Deoxys-A’s attack stat, Deoxys-A can KO nearly any Pokemon in the Great League that doesn’t resist Psychic-type damage in one hit.  

You should be cautioned that if your opponent were to shield your attack, Deoxys-A would likely faint from their fast move damage alone. Additionally, anything that can launch a Charge Move faster than Deoxys (such as Thunder Shock and Mud Shot users) will give our space boy a hard time. Therefore, Deoxys-A’s use in the Great League is more of a gimmick than a legitimate threat. If you want to test this strategy out you won’t need much investment, Deoxys-A has Great League viable CP between levels 20 and 20.5. Just make sure you’re using Poison Jab and Psycho Boost.

Deoxys-A’s gimmick is significantly less effective in the Ultra and Master Leagues. Due to the relative increase in bulk, the pool of Pokemon Deoxys-A can one shot is significantly lower. Even though everything else has more bulk in the higher leagues, Deoxys-A still can’t tolerate Fast Moves well. If you’re missing the one hit knockout, then Deoxys-A will fail and is therefore non-viable for the Ultra and Master Leagues.


Deoxys Normal Forme being replaced by the Attack Forme is a welcomed change in the EX raid pool. Now instead of having a meta-unviable Pokemon in EX raids, we now have an interesting Glass Cannon. And better yet, it looks like an easy solo! If it’s worth investing in Deoxys-A is entirely up to the player. It has its advantages in DPS, but the loss in bulk may make it too flimsy for most players.

If you want to have some fun, a low-level Deoxys-A can make for an interesting gimmick in the Great League, sniping slower Pokemon with Psycho Boost. Just don’t expect it to perform as well in Ultra or Masters. If you want a PvP viable Deoxys, then its best advised saving your candy for the future Defense Forme. On paper, it looks like it’s going to be a monster.

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