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Pokémon GO Raid-Ladder Nuzlocke    

Pokémon GO Raid-Ladder Nuzlocke

Brief summary: The point of these rules is to see how far you can get in Pokémon GO using only six Pokémon at a time. You have to start with the first six wild Pokémon you find, and all subsequent Pokémon must be acquired through solo gym raids. After every successful raid catch you have to transfer a Pokémon so that you always have exactly six in your Nuzlocke team. For a general introduction to Nuzlocke rules used in the main-series Pokémon games, see the Bulbapedia article Nuzlocke Challenge.

In the original Pokémon GO game, the non-linear free-form nature of the game and complete randomness of spawns (along with species biomes and nests) made it impossible to construct a meaningful Nuzlocke ruleset. However, the June 2017 gym rework update has introduced Raid Battles, which allow defining a fairly linear and constrained "storyline" for the player to follow.

Differences From Original Nuzlocke

The original Nuzlocke challenge had two very simple rules:

All the rest of the Nuzlocke rules were added later. Nuzlocke has been adapted in minor ways for the main-series games; but for Pokémon GO the changes must be somewhat greater.

In particular, the non-linear nature of Pokémon GO makes it pretty much impossible to define "regions" in any way that is comparable to the main-series games, unless you lay out a course for your own geographic area; but such would not be playable by anyone except other Trainers in your area.

Also, it is difficult to select gym battles that will be well-matched to any team of random wild Pokémon that you happen to have at the moment. Most Gyms will contain a first defender that is greatly overpowered for your team of six; and the Gym system does not let you acquire new Pokémon by achieving victories.

A Typical Raid-Ladder Storyline

Your mission is to journey far and wide in search of Arenas, challenging their Raid Bosses in the arena with your team of six Pokémon. After each successful battle you claim the Raid Boss as your prize and may add it to your team of six (releasing an existing team member back to the Professor for his research). As always, you seek to be The Very Best — in this case, by beating as many different types of Raid Bosses as possible.

One will typically start by using the six wild catches to solo-raid the easiest raid boss. (The easiest was originally Magikarp, later Metapod, later we had both, and it will probably change again.) After catching the boss, discard the worst of the wild catches in exchange for the newly caught one. Continue solo-raiding the easiest boss enough times to be able to evolve it (i.e. Magikarp -> Gyarados, or Metapod -> Buttefree), then use that to solo-raid whichever type makes sense (Gyarados can easily beat Quilava, Butterfree should go after a grass type like Ivysaur). After one has caught enough Quilava with adequate movesets (possibly powering up and/or evolving one or more of them) the player might start raiding Bayleef, and so on. But some players might successfully use a mixture of caught bosses of different types to win new types of raid bosses in fewer total raids.

Metapod Solo Raid Guide

Unlike in mainstream Nuzlocke, reviving fainted Pokémon is allowed. The point of these rules is to try to work yourself "up the ladder" from the tier-1 raid bosses to tier-2 and possibly even tier-3. One will need much practise in Pokémon GO battling to develop the special art of solo-raiding; knowing which movesets to keep and how to win in the arena.

In mainstream Nuzlocke Randomness is provided by the game's choice of which Pokémon you happen upon in the tall grass; in Pokémon GO Nuzlocke it's all about the randomly-chosen movesets that the game gives you when you catch a raid boss, and luck and skill in catching. A raid that ends in a failure to catch still counts against your Nuzlocke score.


A lot of skill and strategic decision is needed. Consider the questions:


Your Pokémon GO Nuzlocke game is scored by two numbers:

So for example, a player might say "I have caught 7 different raid bosses after a total of 143 raids."

Detailed Rules

Because using a second account is against the game's Terms of Service, many of these rules are intended to make it possible to do Nuzlocke play in a normal Pokémon GO account without disrupting your existing Pokémon collection.

There are also some rules that make play more efficient; for example you can skip most of your Magikarp raids if you already have Magikarp candy, but you must adjust your score fairly based on how many raids you would have had to perform to get the number of candies you're using.

Single Account Compliance

Your Starters

Provisions for Starting Players

In the unlikely event that someone plays these rules from a brand-new account, the following rules are to be used only if necessary:

Maintaining your Nuzlocke Team, and Use of Outside Items

The First Rung of the Ladder

Provisions for Trainer Diversity

The following rules are to be used only if necessary. They provide for situations that typically arise when a lower-level trainer gets six weak Starters, or when a high-level trainer has one or more very strong Starters:

Working Up The Ladder

Expedited Rules

It will take many raids (at least 58, depending on your catch rate and use of Pinap Berries) to get your first Gyarados. Because this would make play impractical, it is permitted to use candy from your normal game provided that you account for this in your Nuzlocke score:

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