The Pokemon GO Kanto Tour is almost upon us! On Saturday, February 20th, ticket holders will have an opportunity to collect most of the 151 Kanto Pokemon plus trade for some, much like in the original Game Boy days. Except without wires. And now with color. Well, you know what I’m saying.
Unlike most Pokemon Go events though, the Kanto Tour has a heavy focus on collecting specific pokemon, and it requires trading (2/19 Update: for the collection badges, not the main quest). The payoff? A questline for the exceptionally rare shiny Mew. Also shiny Ditto, but mostly, shiny Mew. Niantic has already given us an event schedule, so that should help, but it’s a 12-hour long event with spawns changing on the hour. Plus, we still have that “COVID” thing haunting us. It may be a good idea to prep a bit before jumping in. In this edition of Massively on the Go, we’ve got the guide for you.
About the checklist
First, to note, the main event is on February 20th, but from Sunday, February 21st, 2021, at 10:00 am to Saturday, February 27th, 2021, at 8:00 pm local time, you’ll still be able to catch many of the Pokemon. You can also evolve many of the past Kanto Pokemon who had Community Days to get their special moves during this time. You’ll also be able to do distance trades, so don’t feel like you’re alone here. 2/18 Update: Post-event, Feb 28 will be a Legendary Bird/Rocket event where you get 5 raid passes plus can TM away frustration, but that mostly means any Shadow Pokemon you wanted to learn CD moves will require an Elite TM.
So now you see not only your options but what the shinies look like. In terms of trade value and power, both sides are about equal. Red Version has Pokemon that had shinies released earlier in the game for the most part, while Green has some newer ones. I know many people feel that Green version has more rare shinies while some feel Red’s are more striking. Talk it out with your friend. While my own friend let me choose for us, I noticed I liked more pokemon from Green (because it’s based on Blue version), while my traitorous Red friend had favs in Red.
Now for friends. If you don’t have any, Silph Road might be able to help you out. Find a local Discord and see if you can find someone(s) to trade with. Remember, until March 1st, 2021, you can trade with people 40km/~25 miles away. When working with local groups, use your best judgment, especially if you’ve yet to play with them. Using a zip code should be good enough to figure out if you’re within the trade distance limit. Make sure you note which version you choose. Also, especially if you can’t play a lot or have a favorite shiny you want, don’t be afraid to set up trades with someone who has the same version as you.
Next is a big one: incense. The entire event will cost you 12 incense. If you don’t have that, or need more, you can get packs of 8 for 250 coins (or $2.50 US). Lots of events use incense these days, and they make playing from home much easier in terms of spawns, so feel free to stock-up. They last one hour each these days, and spawns can be rather fast.
This is why your safe place to play should, ideally, have plenty of PokeStops and gyms. We know there will be NPC Trainers based on the winners of the Kanto Contest somewhere in the wild, but we have no idea how important those will be. If you’re in lockdown, obviously your options are limited. For me, I looked at places ahead of time. I wanted places where I could not only get supplies, but be outside, socially distant, have a potential place to sit, and could potentially stand still for a bit if needed. Other people may simply want a nice place to park their car and play from there. Have your criteria in mind and see what fits it.
In-game supplies at first may seem obvious: balls, berries, potions, and revives. And you did get an incense for each hour you want to play, right? But it’s a bit more than that. For example, I mostly use my Go+ for auto-catching and throw by hand with Ultras, so I’ll be cutting down my Great ball supplies. I also hate downtime, so I’m tossing potions and revives when I can to replace them with max revives. Remember, Mewtwo raids will be active, and even if you have good Legendary Birds, the trio have Galarian counterparts who will most likely use the same candy.
This also includes Pokemon space! You’ll be catching a lot of pokemon – 150, or more, you see. You’ll probably toss a lot, but you don’t want to have to do that often during the event, so the more space, the better. If possible, you can just buy extra slots, but sadly, not everyone has the cash or coins for that (as for myr fellow hoarders, Niantic just won’t let us increase it more).
You can trade Pokemon now (100 total per day, and there are currently increased chances for Lucky Trades/Friends right now), but you can also send anything too good to trade/trash to Pokemon Home: It holds 30 for free-users (which then must be transferred to one of the Switch games), or a few thousand for premium users. Do not check your supplies box until you make space for new Pokemon! 2/19 Update: There are reports of people doing 5 special trades at the moment, so this could help you clear up some space! Apparently this is good for today and tomorrow.
That’s not all, though. I will be collecting and sending out gifts the night before so that friends will be able to open gifts to resupply themselves as needed. You may want to contact friends about doing this!
Real-life supplies are going to vary. If you’re going outside, there’s masks, food, water, hand-sanitizer, and Venusaur-esque outfits, but also make sure you have spare exterior batteries and backup cords for however long you plan to be out. Parking someplace with a meter? Have change (unless it’s a fancy one that takes credit card, then just don’t forget your card).
For Buddy Pokemon, you’ll want something that at least has Rank 2 as your active choice. This is because Rank 2 makes it so that if your Pokeball is swatted away while catching, there’s a chance your buddy will bounce it back for a guaranteed hit (not necessarily a catch). Don’t forget, though, if your buddy is from a family you’ve Mega-Evolved before, it can generate Mega Energy.
Now, Mega Energy. This one’s optional, but I’ve been a bit passionate about since the system’s been improved (but still not perfect). Most Kanto Pokemon have been pushed out several times. I doubt most dedicated players are low on candy for many Kanto-mon aside from Chansey. However, the new XL Candy takes 100 regular candies to make just one XL Candy, so there is an argument for using a Mega Pokemon to generate more candy. Remember, whatever Mega Pokemon you are using (buddy or not) will generate one additional candy for any pokemon that shares its type or if you’re catching a Pokemon from a raid. That means for Pidgeot, you gain extra candy one extra candy for Dragonite because it’s part Flying, one for Chansey because it’s normal, one for Mewtwo after a raid, but still only one for other Pidgeots because one is the max – pinaples don’t increase that.
I suggest Mega Pidgeot because many rare Pokemon in Gen 1 are normal or flying types, such as Dragonite, but some are also regionals like Kangaskhan, Farfetch’d, and Tauros. Kangaskhan has a Mega form, while Farfetch’d has a Galarian version, so if they’re from outside your region, you may want to stock up on candy while you have the chance. In addition, PvP rewards often have the Legendary-rank raiding pokemon as possible rewards. Unlike in raids, you actually need to share the pokemon’s type to generate additional candy when catching PvP reward pokemon. As all the birds are part Flying-type, and there’s three of them vs. only one Mewtwo (and there are currently no Psychic-type Mega Pokemon in PoGO), Mega Pidgeot is the clear winner here.
Alternatively, for new players who don’t care about gyms, I’d suggest either Mega Charizard X (for dratini candy and potentially Moltres candy from PvP catches) or Mega Ampharos (also for dratini candy, but also potentially Zapdos candy, plus electabuzz candy if you missed the recent Community Days). The downside to these options, though, is that they cost more energy to activate than good ol’ Pidgeot, and Pidgeot generates energy after fewer kilometers walked. Charizard is more useful in a fight, though. Ampharos takes the longest to generate energy; if you have poffins, those might make it more bearable. Remember, the excited state halves your candy/energy reward distance requirement on your buddy!
For Focus Pokemon, note the blank. This might be something you want to write in. Maybe you don’t have a good Squirtle yet to Mega Evolve. Write it down. Need a good Umbreon for PvP? Write down Eevee. Living in the UK but want more Farfetch’d candy? Again, write it down. 2/19 Update: Niantic has released an FAQ that includes information on the themed hours. Regionals will not be spawning in the wild. Niantic has noted that there will be a free pack including 200 pokeballs, 3 remote raid passes, and a total of 9 daily raid passes, so consider how you want to use those.
It’s going to vary from player to player, but I would recommend at least writing down Starters, Pidgey, Weedle, Eevee, Chansey, Snorlax, Mr. Mime, Magikarp, Kangaskhan, Farfetch’d, and Dratini. The main reason is that most of those pokemon are either rare and/or have Mega forms. The starters, Pidgey, Weedle, and Magikarp have Mega forms that are currently out and are quite useful (Update: Magikarp is supposedly giving 40 candy, 80 with pinap berries). There’s also the level 47 requirement of maxing out three Pokemon, which will take a lot of XL Candy, and these largely plentiful pokemon not only should be easier to get candy with, but are reasonable investments.
Mr. Mime is on there because it has a Galarian form that has only been released during a paid event, though will likely see a return sometime in the future™. That form also makes people salty as heck, so its value to you may very.
2/19 Update: Schedule of events with Pokemon
- 9 am-10 am, 2 pm-3 pm: Pallet Town- Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Caterpie, Weedle, Pidgey, Rattata, Spearow, Pikachu, and Zubat
- 10 am-11 am, 3 pm-4 pm: Pewter City- Nidoran♀, Nidoran♂, Clefairy, Paras, Diglett, Geodude, Magnemite, Onix, Voltorb, and Rhyhorn
- 11 am-12 pm, 4 pm-5 pm: Cerulean City– Jigglypuff, Psyduck, Poliwag, Tentacool, Shellder, Krabby, Horsea, Goldeen, Staryu, and Magikarp
- 12 pm-1 pm, 5 pm-6 pm: Fuchsia City-Venonat, Abra, Ponyta, Grimer, Gastly, Drowzee, Exeggcute, Koffing, Omanyte, and Kabuto
- 1 pm-2 pm, 6 pm-7 pm: Pokemon League-Machop, Slowpoke, Doduo, Seel, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Jynx, Eevee, Porygon, and Dratini
- 7 pm-9 pm: All previous Pokemon
Your event-exclusive pokemon will only spawn from incense. Increased rate pokemon will still be wild.
It was earlier said on Serebii.net (and on the Japanese support site) that Cubone, Lickitung, Chansey, Tangela, Lapras, Ditto, Aerodactyl, and Snorlax will appear as reward encounters from the GO Tour: Kanto Special Research tasks. Serebii also has a more visual version of the above list. Niantic has since amended their announcement with the follower: “Additionally, Lickitung, Chansey, Tangela, Lapras, and Aerodactyl will be appearing rarely in the wild throughout the event (not tied to a specific hour). If you’re lucky you might encounter a Snorlax in the wild as well!”
No matter who you are, if you can only play two hours of this event, they should be from 7 to 9 p.m. local time. That’s when all previous featured pokemon will be out. We don’t know what the other hours hold (I’m guessing Chansey and Kangskhan will be during the Fuschia hour and starters will be during Pallet), but everything is coming back for the last two hours. Most likely, you’ll want to play from your car/home during that time as it’ll be dark for most of us.
Finally, schedule post-event trades. Trading is a big part of the event. Certain pokemon can only be obtained for you from other people. You may also have friends who want specific shinies (add those to your Focus list), and as those are Special Trades, you can only do that once per day. Same with any Pokemon you don’t already have. Remember, Feb 20th is just the main event. You have until the 27th to finish, so talk with your friends and see when they have time to trade.
While there may be other things you can do to prepare, such as stacking quest rewards, I think most other tips not only are more time consuming, but may not help you that much more than the list I’ve compiled. If you’ve got other tips, though, feel free to share them in the comments below!
Massively OP’s Andrew Ross is an admitted Pokemon geek and expert ARG-watcher. Nobody knows Niantic and Nintendo like he does! His Massively on the Go column covers Pokemon Go as well as other mobile MMOs and augmented reality titles!