Xerneas Pokemon Go Guide: The Fountain of Youth

Latest posts by Emily Medlock, Resident Pokémon Go Expert (see all)

A Xerneas Pokémon GO guide is precisely what you need if you plan on acquiring or battling this deer. Each Pokémon in Pokémon GO has unique skill sets, abilities, and weaknesses. Xerneas is a beautiful Legendary, and catching him was one of the highlights of my Pokémon GO journey. After all, X meant a lot to me, so getting the mascot in Pokémon GO was more than just another raid.

Xerneas Pokémon GO Guide – Need to Know

  • Xerneas is a Fairy-type Legendary Pokémon that was introduced in Pokémon X. He is said to give eternal life, turning into a tree for 1000 years if he gets too tired.
  • In Pokémon GO, you could get Xerneas in Tier 5 Raid Battles from 2021, as well as from the 2021 GO Battle League. If you missed these opportunities, you can either get him via trade or wait for the next Xerneas event.
  • His best moveset in Pokémon GO is Tackle/Giga Impact for offense and Zen Headbutt/Giga Impact for defense.
  • Because he is Fairy-type, Xerneas is weak against Poison and Steel. He is strong against Fighting, Bug, Dark, and Dragon.

Xerneas Before Pokémon GO

Xerneas was introduced in Pokémon X as the mascot for the game. It has also appeared in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, Sun/Moon, and Sword/Shield during events or trade. But in X and Ultra Sun you can get it one in the wild. In Y, you also must trade it or wait for an event. In the anime, Xerneas debuted in Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction when it gave Diancie its Fairy Aura.

After restoring everything that its counterpart Yveltal petrified, it transformed into a tree where it shall rest for 1000 years. Later on, Xerneas appeared a few times in the series in flashbacks and silhouettes.

Xerneas Neutral Vs Active Mode

Xerneas Pokémon GO

Xerneas has two modes – neutral and active. These two modes affect the appearance of Xerneas, but that’s not all. In Active Mode, Xerneas has faint gold markings over its antlers and body. It also has rainbow jewels on its antlers. In Neutral Mode, Xerneas is free of bright decorations. Instead, what was gold is now light blue. There are no extra accents.

When Xerneas is in Neutral Mode, he is passive. But whenever it’s time to battle, he goes into Active Mode. This is present in both the games and the anime – it’s easy to see the difference in context.

Xerneas Stats and Moves in Pokémon GO

  • Attack – 250
  • Defense – 185
  • Stamina – 246

If you’re not familiar with stats in Pokémon GO, don’t worry. The highest Attack in the game is 345 (Deoxys), the highest Defense is 396 (Shuckle), and the highest Stamina is 496 (Blissey). 

The lowest of all three of these is under 70. So as you can see, Xerneas has quite average stats. His Attack is relatively the best, and it shows. But none of his stats are comparatively low. 

Other Stats

  • Max CP Level 40 – 3781
  • Max HP Level 40 – 206
  • Base Capture Rate – 2%
  • Base Flee Rate – 10%
  • Buddy Walk Distance – 20km

All Moves

Xerneas Pokémon GO
Tackle (Quick)Normal510
Zen Headbutt (Quick)Psychic1211
Close CombatFighting10043
Giga ImpactNormal20042

Xerneas Pokémon GO Combat Tips

Xerneas doesn’t appear as a regular Raid Boss, but he did appear in 2021 both as a Raid Boss and a GO League reward. To defeat Xerneas in Pokémon GO, you should come prepared.

Top 10 Best Counters for Xerneas

Xerneas is weak against Poison and Steel. So any Pokémon with either of those move types can do damage. But it’s also important to try to avoid Pokémon, who may be weak against Xerneas’ attacks. These Pokémon are not only amazing choices to keep in a party, but I’ve also picked them out specifically to defeat Xerneas. Use the recommended moves as a guideline rather than a rule.

Zacian (Crowned Sword)

zacian (crowned sword)
  • Metal Claw
  • Iron Head

Zacian is one of my favorite Generation VIII. I’m a sucker for anything wolf-like, so I was excited when it was announced as a new addition to GO in 2021. Though the Hero version works, the Crowned Sword version is better against Xerneas.

If you are choosing long-term moves, stick with Metal Claw or Snarl and Play Rough. However, if you want to create Xerneas’ worst nightmare, then use Metal Claw and Iron Head instead.


  • Bullet Punch
  • Meteor Mash

Metagross is a great against Xerneas. Because he has a high max CP at 3791, he’s always been one of my top competitive picks. He’s in the top 25 highest CP overall but is in the top 10 highest CP if you don’t include Legendaries.

When it comes to facing Xerneas, Metagross is an easy win. Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash is the highest DPS – especially with the STAB damage – combo anyway, so you don’t have to switch out moves for raids.

Deoxys (Attack)

  • Poison Jab
  • Zap Cannon

Deoxys’ attack form has the highest base and max attack in the game. I don’t recommend Poison Jab under normal circumstances because Zen Headbutt has STAB. But Poison is good against Xerneas.

You can get by with just having Zap Cannon and Zen Headbutt, however, which is what I recommend. Because Zen Headbutt does good damage anyway, even if it doesn’t have type advantage.


  • Metal Claw
  • Iron Head

Dialga is all-around an amazing Pokémon in Pokémon GO. He is one of the highest CP Pokémon and has a really good attack stat for someone as tanky as he is. That’s why he’s one of my mains.

When it comes to fighting Xerneas, I don’t recommend using Dialga if you have Draco Meteor as your charged attack. While it is good, it will be very weak against him. Instead, use Iron Head.


  • Poison Jab
  • Sludge Bomb

Roserade is kind of a wildcard pick if you forget that she can use Poison moves. She’s a top Grass-type attacker, but other than that, her base stats aren’t all that amazing. Now, that said, not everyone has Legendaries to fight Xerneas with. If you don’t, then Roserade is one of the best low-tier Pokémon that you can use as long as you throw out Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb (underrated move.)


  • Acid
  • Sludge Bomb

Nihilego is one of the most mesmerizing Pokémon I’ve ever seen. He’s an ultra beast, sometimes called UB-01 Symbiont. But in Pokémon GO he is always called Nihilego.

This jellyfish Pokémon is a great choice against Xerneas because it has amazing Poison DPS. If you’re lucky enough to have one, pick any of the Poison moves that it has and go to town.


  • Poison Jab
  • Sludge Bomb

Eternatus is a wonderful, strong Pokémon in Pokémon GO. It has the second-highest CP, and ranks high in both the attack and stamina charts. The only catch is that you may not have the ideal moveset for Xerneas.

This is quite unconventional, and I don’t recommend it. But if you’re struggling against Xerneas, then try switching out those OP Dragon moves for Poison and try again.


  • Metal Claw
  • Magnet Bomb

Genesect isn’t the best at anything, but he is surprisingly well-rounded. He only has one weakness – Fire – though he’s very, very weak against it. Thankfully, that won’t be a problem with Xerneas.

Another thing that makes Genesect a good option against Xerneas is his ideal moveset doesn’t change. Metal Claw and Magnet Bomb are always his best moves DPS-wise.


  • Lick
  • Sludge Bomb

Gengar isn’t my first choice against Xerneas, but I do have a few from the Halloween event a few years ago. So if you’re like me, then you have a decent Gengar that you can customize to face Xerneas. Stick with Lick for the fast move, even if it doesn’t have type advantage. After all, it has STAB damage. Then, Sludge Bomb (or Sludge Wave) works as a surprise Poison attack. Don’t forget Gengar can Mega Evolve.


  • Metal Claw
  • Iron Head

Excadrill is a well-rounded Pokémon that is surprisingly easy to get if you keep an eye out for Drilbur. So if you have one, you can use him as a last resort because for a non-Legendary, he’s good. Stick with Steel attacks rather than his standard Ground-type attacks if you’re gearing him to face off against Xerneas. Otherwise, keep the Ground and let things happen with the rest of the party carrying you to victory.

When to Use Xerneas

Xerneas is strong against Fighting, Bug, Dark, and Dragon. While this is an easy way to decide when to use Xerneas, there are specific Pokémon that become a real problem, real quick.


Mewtwo is always difficult to face. But if your Xerneas knows Megahorn, then not only can it do damage, but it won’t take much from Mewtwo, no matter what moveset the Psychic Pokémon has.

Mewtwo is all around such a great Pokémon, so having Xerneas there as a backup if you don’t have a better option is great. Just don’t forget to switch out for Megahorn.



Slaking doesn’t put out much damage and doesn’t have any moves that are good against Fairy anyway. If you have Close Combat on Xerneas, he will do insane damage to this super tank.

Slaking is the single highest CP of all Pokémon. He also is in the top 15 overall HP, Attack, and Stamina. He’s a great party remember, but one good Fighting move can take him down. 


Machamp isn’t an easy battle. But if you have Zen Headbutt as your quick move and Moonblast as your Charged Move, then you can do 160% damage 100% of the time against Machamp.

Xerneas also takes reduced damage against all of his best moves. The catch is that he can learn Bullet Punch and Heavy Slam. If he pulls these stops, then it’s an even match again.


I’ve struggled against Rayquaza before, but with a Xerneas, it’s much easier. Most likely, the Rayquaza will have Dragon moves, which will do extremely reduced damage.

If you pick up Moonblast, you’ll do tons of damage with your charged attack. The best offense is a good defense in most cases, but why not have both?

When to Switch Out as Xerneas


Just because the other Pokémon’s type counters Fairy, doesn’t mean you need to immediately switch out. After all, type doesn’t matter (on the offense) whenever you don’t use the right type of moves.

For example, most players that use Xerneas, don’t use Play Rough, it’s only possible Fairy-type move. This can be flipped around. Either way, keep an eye on damage trades during each matchup.

If you’re fighting a Zacian (its number one counter) that has Quick Attack and Close Combat, it won’t be very effective against Xerneas. But if it has Metal Claw and Iron Head, you better watch out.


Question: Is Xerneas Coming Back to Pokémon GO?

Answer: This has not been disclosed. I haven’t heard any news of Xerneas coming back any time soon, but it’s likely that it will. After all, most Legendaries Pokémon will swing back around to raids eventually.

Question: Is Yveltal in Pokémon GO?

Answer: Yes. It came out around the same time as Xerneas did and will likely follow a similar timeline in the future. The two go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately for Yveltal, Xerneas counters it.

Question: What Color is Shiny Xerneas?

Answer: Shiny Xerneas in its Active form has white legs rather than black and a more cyan top. Shiny Neutral Xerneas also has a white body, and both its antlers and upper body are a cyan color.

Is Xerneas Worth it in Pokémon GO?

For collectors, all Pokémon are worth it. I am a collector, and I always want to catch them all. But if you are solely focused on PvP and Raids, then Xerneas may not be necessary.

Xerneas is a decent fighter, but it doesn’t have any specific stats that make it special. After all, Sylveon is just as good if you want a Fairy-type Pokémon. Legendaries naturally have higher stats, but compared to other Legendaries, Xerneas is lacking.

So, all in all, Xerneas is good, but it’s not great. You can do better statistically. But if you love Xerneas and want it on your team, then it will make a great addition.

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