Like Charizard and Cinderace before it, Greninja is coming to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet through a seven-star tera raid at the end of the month. The limited time event will give you and your friends a chance to catch the Kalos water starter, but it will be a tough battle. While we still don’t know what Greninja’s moveset will be, there’s some prep work you can do ahead of time to give you a good chance at taking it out and adding it to your team. Let’s run down the who, what, where, and when of Scarlet and Violet’s next big tera raid.
What to expect in the Greninja tera raid
Greninja will be available for two windows as a seven-star raid. The first will be later this month, from January 27 at 7 p.m. Eastern time until January 29 at 6:59 p.m. ET. Then the frog ninja will go into the vault until February 10 at 7 p.m. ET, and remain available until February 12 at 6:59 p.m. ET.
As is the case with all seven-star raids, Greninja will be at level 100, so any Pokémon you bring to fight it should also be at max level. Its base typing is water/dark, but it will have a poison tera type, which will override its water and dark affinities. However, just because it won’t be strong and weak against the attacks associated with those types doesn’t mean you can discount them, as Greninja’s moveset will likely be mostly water and dark attacks.
For example, an Armarouge might have psychic attacks to weaken Greninja’s poison tera type, but as a fire and psychic type itself, it would be very susceptible to Greninja’s water and dark abilities. With tera raids, it’s important to be able to not just weaken the boss’ tera type, but also to withstand the attacks they’ll actually be using, which will be primarily water and dark. So even if you don’t pick the Pokémon we bring up in this guide, do keep this in mind.
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In previous raids, Charizard was spec’d to be a special attacker and Cinderace was a physical attacker. Greninja has a respectable physical and special attack stat, though its special attack comes out ahead. However, it balances out by having lower defense, so if you can withstand its attacks, you can probably do meaningful damage in return if you’ve got the right Pokémon and moves.
Because Greninja is well-balanced offensively, its moveset will likely be varied. Some safe bets will be its signature move Water Shuriken, which is a special, multi-hit water attack. Its dark attacks are less predictable, as it can learn physical moves like Night Slash and special ones like Dark Pulse. While those are its base elements covered, Greninja also has an eclectic pool to draw from to cover other typings, as well. Aerial Ace is a reliable flying attack that can do decent damage against bug, grass, or fighting-type Pokémon. It can even learn psychic moves like Extrasensory and ghost attacks like Shadow Sneak. So more than Cinderace and Charizard, Greninja’s potential moveset has a ton of coverage.
The biggest thing to be wary of is that Greninja is fast. It’s faster than Charizard and just a bit faster than Cinderace. It’ll be hitting hard and quick, so your Pokémon’s survivability will be a key factor in taking it down.
The best Pokémon and moves to bring to the fight for the Greninja raid
The funny thing about the recent Cinderace raid was that some of the best strategies for December’s Charizard raid remained pretty solid for that one as well. This trend continues with Greninja, as the Slowbro Stored Power build can still do some real damage because of the boss’ poison tera type. This tactic involves a Slowbro that knows Stored Power, Iron Defense, and Nasty Plot. Stored Power is a psychic attack that increases in power for each stat boost the user has received during battle. After three uses of Iron Defense and three uses of Nasty Plot, Slowbro can drop a devastating Stored Power, and I’mspeaking from personal experience when I say that using this build, alongside teammates using Helping Hand to give your attacks a further boost, was potent enough to take Cinderace down in the last raid almost instantly.
The trouble is, Greninja’s dark base typing puts Slowbro at much higher risk than it was during the Cinderace raid. Slowbro is bulky and has high defense stats, but Greninja is a heavy hitter, and if it fixates on using dark-type attacks on your damage-dealing Slowbro, actually getting this combo off can be a challenge. There are a few things you can do to keep the pressure off Slowbro while it prepares to use Stored Power. The easiest option is to bring a Pokémon that knows Follow Me, which will divert an enemy’s attention to you as its sole target for a few turns. However, in Scarlet and Violet, there are only three Pokémon that can learn this move: Indeedee, Pachirisu, and Maushold. Indeedee is a psychic type, so it would be just as susceptible to Greninja’s dark attacks as Slowbro; Maushold’s defensive stats are fine; Pachirisu’s are somewhat better. None of the options are great, but it is one way to divert attention away from Slowbro while it stores power.
The other route you can go is to just prioritize supporting Slowbro and keeping it alive. This can be done through using cheers to heal and raise your team’s defenses, as well as by bringing Pokémon to the fight who can use abilities like Heal Pulse. There are a handful of Pokémon who can learn this move, but a lot of them are psychic and will be at risk of getting smacked down by Greninja’s dark attacks. Blissey is one of the most effective support Pokémon in the game, and wouldn’t be weakened by either of Greninja’s base typings. Having a player who acts as the support character is a good rule of thumb for tera raids, and Blissey’s a good one to have both for Heal Pulse and for Helping Hand to boost attacks.
If you want something less risky, Gastrodon and Clodsire are leading the pack in the Pokémon community as reliable counters to a poison-type Greninja. Gastrodon as a water/ground type is both relatively resistant to Greninja’s water attacks, and has an inherent strength against Greninja’s poison tera type with ground attacks. Gastrodon also has an ability called Storm Drain, which draws all water attacks to it, nullifies damage, and increases the special attack stat. Couple this with reliable ground moves like Earth Power and self-healing moves like Recover, and Gastrodon can both deal and take a lot of damage in this fight.
Another strategy is to use Clodsire, which has a possible immunity to water with the right ability. Clodsire is a poison/ground type, which makes it technically weakened by water attacks, but it can also have an ability called Water Absorb that converts any water damage to HP. So if you want to render some of Greninja’s attacks not only useless, but beneficial to you, Clodsire’s a good choice.
As for its moveset, Earth Power remains a reliable ground-type damage dealer, but Clodsire’s survivability is one of its key perks in this fight. While Water Absorb will keep Greninja’s water attacks at bay, it can also learn ice attacks like Ice Beam or Ice Punch. Clodsire’s a bulky Pokémon with a lot of HP, but if Greninja starts using ice attacks, keeping Recover in your moveset is a good way to ensure it stays on the field. You can also raise Clodsire’s defense stats in the battle by using Stockpile, because as long as you don’t use Spit Up or Swallow, this will increase Clodsire’s defense and special defense. Keeping Blissey around as support will also help keep Clodsire up and ready to dish out Earth Power.
Getting Recover for Clodsire will be a bit trickier than for Gastrodon, however, as it can only learn it through breeding. This means if you want your Clodsire to know it, you’ll have to breed a Paldean Wooper through a female Wooper or Clodsire and a male Pokémon that is compatible with Wooper or Clodsire that knows Recover. The Pokémon who fall into this criteria would be a male Shellos, Gastrodon, Mareanie, Toxapex, and Pincurchin. All of the potential fathers in this situation can learn Recover by leveling up, so that process is much easier. Make sure they know the move when you make a picnic for them to get to breeding, then the Wooper that pops out of the egg when it hatches should know the skill. Then you’re free to raise it up to a tanky Clodsire.
If you’ve got a Clodsire or Gastrodon but neither have the abilities mentioned above, you can change it by using an Ability Capsule. These can be found as drops during high-level tera raids, or bought at Chansey Supply stores after completing the main game.
Will Greninja have Battle Bond?
Something Greninja can have that no other Pokémon has is an ability called Battle Bond, which was part of an event-only distribution in Pokémon Sun and Moon. This lets Greninja transform into a different, more powerful form called Ash-Greninja after it takes out an enemy Pokémon. While not confirmed, it seems unlikely that Greninja will have such an ability in the tera raid for a few reasons. As the name implies, Battle Bond is framed as the result of a connection between Greninja and its trainer, and since this is a wild Pokémon, there’s no trainer for it to bond with. Greninjas who have Battle Bond also cannot breed, and because this is the only way to catch Greninja’s evolutionary line in Scarlet and Violet, the only way to get its pre-evolutions, Froakie and Frogadier, is through breeding. Therefore it would be surprising if Greninja has Battle Bond in the raid, so don’t worry about building your team based on that, for now.
Reminder: You can only catch one Greninja
As was the case with Charizard and Cinderace, you can take on the tera raid for Greninja as many times as you like during the event, but you won’t be able to capture more than one per save file. The Pokémon will also be shiny locked, which means you won’t be able to shiny hunt through the raid. That being said, you can still throw a picnic for Greninja and a Ditto to breed Froakie eggs, which will give you a chance to acquire a shiny Greninja in Scarlet and Violet.
Correction, 1/17/23 8:45 p.m. ET: This post previously described Storm Drain as it existed in previous generations without including recent additions like boosting special attack and nullifying damage. Kotaku regrets the error.