Catching a Legendary Pokemon is tough. Like others, you have to catch them after the raid encounter. The chances of catching a legendary Pokemon is pretty slim.
How to capture Legendary Pokemon
- The base catch rate for Legendary Pokémon, aside from Mewtwo, is currently 3% – meaning with no modifiers of any kind, throwing the ball straight, not using any berries, and not even getting a “Nice” throw, you have a 1 in 33 chance of catching the Pokémon – not great odds.
- There are several ways of increasing your chances – Golden Razz Berries and Curveballs (when you spin the PokéBall before releasing your throw) drastically increase your chances, whilst Nice, Great, and Excellent throws increase those chances further respectively, and there’s also a small bonus for having a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Medal (see more in our guide to Pokémon Go Catch Bonuses).
- A Golden Razz Berry, Curveball, and Excellent throw, with a Gold medal for that Legendary’s Type, give you a 24% chance of catching the Legendary – meaning one in roughly four throws like this will catch it, which is much better considering the roughly 5-13 balls that will be available!
- Mewtwo’s base catch rate is currently a 6% chance – meaning it’s considerably easier to catch than the other legendaries, and actually easier than some Tier 4 Raid bosses, too!
How to catch Legendaries and unlock Legendary Raids?
- Legendaries are only available via Legendary Raids, the highest difficulty of Raid Battle – although they’re now beginning to reappear as Research Breakthrough Rewards for completing Field Research Quests, too.
- While regular Raids appear at random, Legendary Raids appear for set periods. For example, in Autumn 2017, the Legendary beasts Raikou, Entei and Suicune rotated between regions each month. Before that, Legendary Birds debuted for one week at a time over summer 2017. You can read the current active Legendaries later in the article.
- EX Raid Battles see certain elusive Legendaries, such as Mewtwo, require an EX Raid Pass invite before you can participate. To get an invite, you must beat a Raid Boss at that Gym before the EX Raid appears, as well as several other requirements discussed in our Raids article.
- Legendary Raid Pokémon has the highest CP of any Raid creature. For example, Articuno was at 37,603, Moltres at 41,953, Zapdos at 42,691, Lugia at 42,753 and MewTwo at a staggering 49,430.
- Once the battle is over, the Legendary still must be captured like any other Raid, though the capture rate is lower.
- Once you have captured the Legendary, you cannot use it to defend Gyms – but they can of course attack with them in subsequent Raids.
- The Buddy Distance for Legendaries is 20km per one Candy – so we’d recommend using Rare Candy rewards from Raid battles as a way to easily power them up.