Speed Raiding Formats and Leagues

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Speed Raiding Formats and Leagues

Types of Speed Raiding Formats

Types of Speed Raiding Formats

If you’re looking for more of a challenge than generic solos, duos, and trios then you might want to check out speed raiding! Finishing raids in the quickest possible time is the most obvious speed raid format, but others might not be very fast at all!

Fastest Time to Win

Definitely the most straightforward format. Get your best team of six and try to defeat the boss as quickly as possible. Take advantage of the weather!

Fastest Time to Win, No Weather Boost

Similar to fastest time to win, but this format requires all of your Pokémon to have moves that are not boosted by weather.

The boss CAN be boosted in this format, and sometimes their boosted moves can help. For example, a boss’s boosted moves will fill your energy up faster, allowing you to use more charged moves. But make sure you survive and/or don’t waste too much energy when individual Pokémon faint.

First to Do

When a new boss comes out, players like to be the first one to do it in a particular weather. For example, no one is bragging about being the first to beat Sharpedo, but being the first to beat Ninetales was a huge deal (this was before weather, Kyogre, and Waterfall).

As bosses are released, look for Pokémon that have a time to win or close to 180 (tier 3 solos), 360 (tier 4 duos), and a multiple of 300 (tier 5 raids). These bosses are difficult to beat with the smallest possible group, so the world’s best will compete hard to do it first.

1 vs. 1

It’s pretty easy to beat a tier 2 or tier 3 boss. It’s much more difficult to beat some of these bosses using only one Pokémon and never fainting. Perhaps the most famous 1 vs. 1 is the Venomoth challenge, where a single Venomoth must take down an Exeggutor. Other popular challenge targets have included Breloom, Sharpedo, and the very difficult Lugia vs Machamp.

1 vs. 1 will test your battling skills more than anything else. You’ll need the knowledge to find the best movesets and weather. Dodging will be required, and some matchups need frequent and perfect dodges. You’ll become a master at managing energy and knowing when to dodge vs when to tank the boss’s moves.

Unique Pokémon

Raiding for time is great, but usually involves using the same 6 Pokémon. 1 vs. 1s are exciting, but there are a very limited number of bosses that can be defeated this way. So the next step is using only unique Pokémon.

The “standard” for unique Pokémon records is 6 unique Pokémon for a tier 3 solo, with none of them receiving the benefit of weather boost. Many players take this even further. Some exclude Legendaries or even exclude pseudo Legendaries (Dragonite, Tyranitar, etc.). Others try to solo the whole gauntlet of tier 3s without ever repeating a single Pokémon.

This isn’t just for soloists either. Unique 12 duos and unique 18 trios are fun and challenging. This format will have much slower times than others, but it’s nice to use some different Pokémon which are not always top counters.

Level 30 or Less

A common complaint about speed raiding is “the people with the best Pokémon always win” or that speed raiding is pay to win. That can be true if a boss’s top counters are Legendaries, but one format puts everyone on a much more level playing field.

As you might expect, “level 30 or less” requires you to beat a boss using only Pokémon that have been powered to level 30 or less. None of your Pokémon can be weather boosted.

The universe of solos gets much more difficult without maxed counters. One of the first things you will notice is the reduced bulk of your Pokémon, so dodging plays in this format more than other Time to Win based challenges. In addition, sometimes the top counters at 30 are different than what is seen at 40.

This is a great format for those who are new to speed raids. You’ll quickly be able to compete, and you’ll find yourself rapidly improving.



PokeDraft is a novel format that is quickly gaining popularity. If you play fantasy sports or have done booster draft in card games like Magic or Pokémon, the concept should look quite familiar.

A group of 6 to 8 players draft teams of 10 to 12 Pokémon to use in raid battles. You can only use the Pokémon you draft, and once a mon is picked by someone nobody else can select it. From there, you battle 4 to 6 raids bosses with teams of 6 from the Pokemon you selected. The best cumulative time wins. The twist is you don’t know the bosses you will battle during the “season,” so you need to predict.

This format solves 2 huge gameplay holes in Pokémon Go:

  • It gives players a way to directly compete with each other

  • It makes a wide variety of Pokémon useful

So many awesome creatures sit unused in your Pokebox. A draft format requires you to use lower tier Pokemon such as Latias, Starmie, Banette, and Swampert.

This idea originated from Michael Obregon, grew in the Elite4Soloist chat, and promoted by WazzaBiceps & icarusvonlubey. The format is still in beta, but check out their website with rules, rosters, and raid results.

The concept is rapidly spreading. Many local Discord chats have started their own versions, and r/pogoraids recently launched a relatively large scale league. If you have not tried this, gather your friends and check it out.

Record Keeping

There are two main sources for records:

  • The Verified Level 40 group tracks the fastest boosted and unboosted times for all raids, tiers 1 through 5. At least half of the players involved must be level 40 (though they don’t need to be in the Verified Facebook group). VL40 uses the confetti standard to determine the moment a raid is won, and time is calculated as time to win (if the clock says 166 on a Magikarp raid, it was 14 seconds)

  • r/pogoraids has a record book that tracks tiers 3 through 5 as well as 1v1s for some tier 2s. In addition to unboosted and boosted records, they track 6 unique, 1v1, and level 30 or fewer records. Anyone may submit. They use the button standard (removal of the button to exit a raid) as the final time, and times are recorded based on how much time is left in the raid.

Both require video proof of raid battles.

Other localized websites and discords also track records. Tracking local records on your own raid chat is a great way to increase player engagement.