The month of December is generally Pokemon Go’s double-feature catch-up Community Day. Over the course of two days (December 12th and 13th this year), players can traditionally evolve previously featured Community Day pokemon to have meta-defining moves – Meteor Mash Metagross – which goes from D-tier all around to A-tier. Many of them also have Mega Evolutions, a feature allowing pokemon to gain stat bonuses and other perks, which went from terrible to quite useable recently.
Niantic had previously mentioned there would be different ways to get these moves in the future, but that was back in September. As Megas keep rolling out and December breaks the usual tradition, players seem understandably anxious about how to tackle the now official news that none of these relevant 2018 CD pokemon will be able to reach its full potential. As the Go Beyond update has certainly revitalized the game and brought back players, leaving out such series-defining pokemon that are also meta-defining creates a power gap that feels like a step back from all the improvements we’ve been seeing from the team.
In looking over the official post, we note that the main pokemon a new player could really benefit from are Rhyperior, Gyarados, Sceptile, Blaziken, Swampert, and Salamence, with Feraligatr, Mamoswine, Gengar, and Empoleon having some uses in PvP or budget situations. Those are fine, but given the losses, not so much. Players are losing access to half the most useful Community Day pokemon and arguably some of the most visible creatures in the series. Be aware that Charizard is mentioned for its fast move Dragon Breath, not its significantly more useful charge attack, Blast Burn.
We’ve reached out to Niantic’s PR about how the company may roll out other ways to access past CD pokemon, as well as to see whether there are plans for a Rocket Event so that Shadow Pokemon can learn their Community Day moves. We will update this article if we receive any new information. 12/7 Update: Via Niantic’s PR specifically about a pre-Community Day Rocket Event, we were told, “Keep an eye out for news soon!”12/9 Update: Yes, Rocket invasions will occur on Thursday, December 10 at 4pm local time.
However, shortly after Community Day, Niantic will be helping to promote Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle with another crossover, including another Pikachu, new Jessie and James battles (and free outfits), a chance to find shiny rufflet, and a new quest that will end by granting you a free shiny Celebi, a pokemon that’s rarely available in this form outside of Japan.