Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Greninja 7-Star Raid Guide

The next Pokemon Scarlet and Violet seven-star raid is here, with a poison-type branchinja. The first round runs until Monday 30 January, with the second round picking up about two weeks later, from Friday 10. February to Monday 13 February. Like the other seven-star raid Pokémon, Greninja has the most powerful mark , and you’ll only be able to catch one per save file. Just like former seven-star raidPokemon will take some careful strategy to beat.

Here are the full details of the raid: Greninja will have his hidden ability, Protean, following the hidden abilities of Charizard and Cinderace in the previous seven-star raids. Fortunately, it won’t affect the raid itself, as terastallization negates the effect of the protean name. We can only plan around the tera type.

Greninja has a poison tera-type for the raid, and the following moveset:

  • Hydro pump.
  • Night Slash.
  • Gunk Shot.
  • Ice beam.
  • Double layer.
  • Poisonous spikes.

Greninja will always start the battle using Double Team to increase his evasion and Toxic Spikes to poison your Pokemon when they return from being knocked out. It’s an annoying setup to deal with, partly because missing attacks means you’re waiting longer to charge your tera orb and terastallize, and also because rushing attacks wastes precious time. After that, Greninja will mainly rely on Hydro Pump against Pokemon that aren’t immune to water attacks, or Gunk Shot against water-immune Pokemon. It throws in Night Slash and Ice Beam less often.

A Steel Vaporeon can help you counter Greninja.

Nintendo; screenshot by Adam Benjamin/CNET

Best Greninja Counters

These are the Pokemon that can most reliably win Greninja raid battles. To give yourself the best chance of victory, make sure your Pokemon is level 100 and has a nature that increases its relevant attack stat (usually Modest for special attackers and Adamant for physical attackers). Our favorite counters are:

  • Gastrodon.
  • Vaporeon.
  • Clodsire/Quagsire.
  • Klefki.
  • Kingambit.


Terrain Type: Hill
Ability: Storm Drain
Item: Expert Belt / Soft Sand

EV Spread: 252 HP / 252 Special Attack / 4 Special Defense


  • Clear smog.
  • Earth power.
  • Save.
  • Recover.

Gastrodon is one of the premier Greninja raid counters, thanks to its advantageous typing and ability. Storm Drain prevents you from taking any Hydro Pump damage, instead boosting your special attack to help you put up more damage. Saves increase your defense, which helps you hang around longer, making you less likely to rely on Recover. Open with Clear Smog to negate Double Team’s evasion boost, then save a few times before unleashing Earth Powers.


Tera Type: Steel
Ability: Water absorbent
Item: Bright Powder

EV Spread: 252 HP / 252 Special Attack / 4 Special Defense


  • Stored power.
  • Calm mind.
  • Swift/Dis.
  • Wish.

The water-type Eeveelution is an effective raid-buster, with one catch. If you can terastallize Vaporeon into a steel type and survive one attack afterwards, it’s practically immortal. However, it is susceptible to Gunk Shot until it terastallizes, dying after two or three hits depending on damage. The strategy involves using Bright Powder to lower Gunk Shot’s base 80% accuracy down to approx. 70%, while using Swift for the first three turns to guarantee you can terrastallize as early as possible. Getting knocked out before then isn’t game over if it allows you to terastall at full HP — Ice Beam and Night Slash don’t threaten you, and in your steel tera form you’re immune to the other two attacks. With Vaporeon’s decently high special attack stat and immunity to water attacks on top of massive HP, stacking Calm Minds into Stored Power is a reliable way to work down the raid boss’s health. You can also run Haze instead of Swift to negate Greninja’s evasion increases


Tera Type: Earth (although you might want to avoid terastalling sometimes to maintain your double poison resistance)
Ability: Water absorbent
Item: Expert Belt / Soft Sand

EV Spread: 252 HP / 252 Attack / 4 Special Defense


  • Earthquake/Bulldoze.
  • Curse.
  • Recover.
  • Fog.

An unlikely hero, Clodsire has a lot of stamina against Greninja. The water absorption ability allows Clodsire to turn a traditional weakness (water-type attacks) into HP recovery, and its natural typing means it only takes 25% damage from poison-type attacks. Clodsire takes double damage from Ice Beam, but is otherwise a powerful special tank with huge HP, strong special defense and access to Recover. Use Haze to eliminate Greninja’s evasion boost, then sink in a few Curses to increase your attack and defense. From there, unleash Earthquake for double damage. Clodsire’s non-Paldean counterpart, Quagsire, is also a good counter without Clodsire’s ice weakness, and you can get its pre-evolution by trading an NPC in Cascarrafa.


Tera Type: Steel
Ability: Pranks
Item: Leftovers

EV Spread: 252 HP / 252 Special Attack / 4 Special Defense


  • Stored power.
  • Calm mind.
  • Iron Defense.
  • Sunny day.

This Pokémon benefits from its steel/fey typing, which gives it resistance to dark-type attacks and full immunity to Greninja’s tera-enhanced poison attacks. Klefki also has access to the same “stack Calm Mind into Stored Power” combo that Vaporeon has, which I can further boost with Iron Defense. And a natural immunity to poison negates Greninja’s powerful Gunk Shot move. Open with a Prankster-boosted Sunny Day to reduce the Hydro Pump damage, which will otherwise wipe out about half of Klefki’s HP.


Tera Type: Steel
Ability: Despite
Item: Shell Bell

EV Spread: 252 HP / 252 Attack / 4 Defense


  • Zen headbutt.
  • Sword dance.
  • Iron Defense.
  • Sandstorm.

Kingambit is another steel type that benefits from poison immunity and provides an OK counter, although it is less consistent than others on this list. A strong physical attacker, Kingambit can perform Swords Dance to increase his attack and unleash super effective Zen Headbutts on the poisonous Greninja. The downside is that Kingambit doesn’t resist Greninja’s powerful water moves, which hit Kingambit for neutral damage. It’s worth noting that Zen Headbutt only has 90% accuracy, making this a higher-risk strategy than bringing other counters, especially after Double Team. The lack of recovery moves for Kingambit means you’re practically required to run Shell Bell as your item to help you last through the raid.

Greninja faints in tera raid

With the right Pokémon, you will be able to defeat and capture Greninja.

Nintendo; screenshot by Adam Benjamin/CNET

Other Greninja raid tips

You may choose to run more support builds instead of offensive builds, as many of the counters listed here have solid defensive stats. But when you bring a support Pokémon to a seven-star raid, you’re relying on your other three teammates to do a ton of damage, which can be a game with random teammates. In premade groups, you can build support-based teams capable of taking out the raid boss in one shot with careful planning. However, after losing many Cinderace raids due to lack of damage, I recommend offensive builds if you rely on unknown teammates.

Remember that the clock is your real enemy in seven-star raids: the only way to win is to effectively drain your opponent’s HP. Big damage bursts are the most effective way to do it, which is why I recommend stacking Calm Mind into Stored Power as one of the most reliable ways to fight Greninja. But staying alive is also important, as being knocked out by Greninja will immediately remove a portion of the remaining raid timer, putting a bigger squeeze on a limited resource. Pay attention to how much damage you take from each attack, and use your recovery moves and cheers to keep your Pokemon healthy enough to survive the next attack.

If your HP is in the red, don’t waste your terastallization unless you can knock out the raid boss this turn or heal up to a safe range. Instead, it’s better to terastallize after being knocked out, giving you more time with your tera-type. Using three or more moves in your tera form is almost always more valuable than using just one move a turn earlier.

And don’t feel bad about leaving a raid if the team preview looks bad. Some players may be tempted to bring Psychic types to combat Greninja’s poisonous tera type, but they will quickly die to Night Slash. Once you start the raid, you’re stuck in it, so bounce early if you think it’s a losing battle.

When you defeat Greninja, you will be able to capture it once and you will receive an Ability Patch and TM 91 for your first victory. You will also be able to earn a ton of Experience Candy L/XL, poison tera shards, Ability Capsules, Rare Candies, vitamins and items that you can sell on repeated wins. Good luck out there!

Vaporeon is sleeping

Give your Pokémon a break after beating Greninja – they’ve earned it!

Nintendo; screenshot by Adam Benjamin/CNET

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