The mascot of Team Instinct, Pokémon GO’s smallest team, but the bird itself is arguably the best legendary released into the game so far.
To date, Pokémon GO has had a problem with seriously underpowered electric Pokémon. The only one worth a damn has been Jolteon, with others like Raichu or Magneton or even Ampharos not where they need to be stat-wise. Zapdos’ arrival should change all that, which is why you should absolutely be trying to snap him up over the course of the next week before he disappears.
Like all other Legendary Pokémon, Zapdos will be tough to beat, but probably not as hard as Articuno and Lugia, and closer to Moltres instead. That means you might be able to take him down with 4-5 competent teammates, but I would get a group of 8-10 to be safe.
As a flying/electric type, Zapdos has some pretty interesting counters, namely ice and rock. That’s rock, not ground, which Zapdos is strong against to a certain extent, because this is how the weird type system works in Pokémon.
What that means is that there are certain rock-types or Pokémon with rock-based moves that should help you out in battle. As ever, the two most valuable Pokémon in this Legendary fight will be Golem and Tyranitar with rock moves. Dragonite is also a good pick this time, and most players will have at least one of those hanging around at this point. You may also get some use out of a powerful Pillowswine, due to its HP and ice moves.
Even Jynx may end up being kind of a heavy hitter for you in this battle with her ice kit, though her health is lacking. Rhydon is a mixed bag, relying mostly on ground moves, but it has high CP/health and will at least stay in battle a while. But definitely don’t put more than one on your squad.
After you beat Zapdos, that’s where the real fun begins, trying to catch him.Like Moltres and Articuno, Zapdos only has a 3% base capture rate, and with far less electric types in the world, you may not have an electric capture gold medal at this point for an extra bonus. That means you’ll have to land all the Great! throws and curveballs you can, in addition to using a golden razzberry each time.
Zapdos is a little closer to the screen than Moltres, so you do not have to lob balls super far away like you’re trying to snag a Zubat. Zapdos has a zig-zag dodge that’s similar to what we’ve seen with Pokémon like Yanma, so wait until he’s done with that dance before throwing. Also, his “buck the circle” attack lasts just slightly longer than you think, so once he’s angry, wait for him to settle before throwing.
This is also the first time a Legendary has debuted where Niantic has officially acknowledged the “last ball” problem. Despite anecdotal claims to the contrary, the vast, vast majority of the time, it is physically impossible to catch a raid boss with your last Premiere Ball.
Until Niantic fixes it, you may not want to waste a golden razzberry on the attempt. To compensate, Niantic is giving everyone an extra ball until this issue is resolved, which is a slap-dash fix, but pretty helpful
This is lame because it’s anywhere from 10% or more of your balls, and if you manage to land a solid throw with your last ball, if it’s completely negated that dramatically reduces your overall capture chances each boss battle. Niantic needs to fix this quickly, but if it happens to you, just be aware that this bug does exist.