Massively on the Go: Pokemon Go’s June events bring slowpoke days and poison pvp buffs

    
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Ah yes, summer. Relaxing on beaches, letting shellfish pokemon bite your tail or head to cause evolution, maybe move to an England-inspired territory and gain a poison typing… sounds like a normal summer for the slowpoke family, but also just a bit of what’s happening in June for Pokemon Go players.

We’re seeing shakeups for not just how Mega Raids are treated but an introduction of the Galarian Slowpoke, Galarian Slowbro, and Mega Slowbro, making this both a Gen 6 and Gen 8 introduction (6/1 Update: Galarian Slowking, which we’d asked PR about, was referenced in an announcement today). We’re also seeing Gen 5’s Mienfoo appear as a rank 5 PvP reward starting when Season 8 debuts on May 31st. But June and Season 8 aren’t just bringing new pokemon; there’s more on deck, as we’ll tackle in this edition of Massively on the Go.

Poison-type pokemon have long suffered in Pokemon Go. The game launched without a poison stat to drain XP, and stat changes are still limited to PvP and Rocket battles. However, Niantic’s rebalancing several poison moves for PvP. While a few damage buffs and energy costs are being played with, the big news is when these are applied to buff/debuff moves or their effects are added. For example, Acid Spray has always debuffed the defender’s defense by two levels, but its cost was high. Poison fans can look forward to it being cheaper, but can also use Poison Fang – a cheaper charge move – which will drop defense by one level. Cross-Poison will deal more damage but also have a higher chance to raise your pokemon’s attack by two levels. No damage over time effects yet, but the changes do feel like Niantic’s starting to “get” what a poison theme needs to be threatening. We just need that to translate into the PvE side of the game.

Poison’s not the only one getting PvP love, though. Flying’s Feather Dance, appearing on Pidgeot, will be a new Attack-debuffing Charged Attack to unleash on opponents, while a rock version of Weather Ball will give Hippowdon yet another anti-flying tool. And Ariados, a generally “meh” bug/poison pick, will get access to Lunge, which will hopefully bring up its usefulness. Previously nerfed Focus Blast is getting its damage buffed, so we’ll see if Niantic maybe found its sweet spot yet.

Additionally, Niantic is granting Korrina-themed clothes at rank 21 (gloves), 22 (shoes), 23 (outfit), and 24 (pose). This spreads out the rewards to more ranks, and in my opinion, can help motivate people to keep pushing in the higher end of PvP when previous exclusive rewards didn’t appear until rank 24. It’s a good change that I’m surprised didn’t happen sooner.

Don’t worry, non-PvP fans, there’s some good news for you still. If Mega Slowbro, our first Pyschic-type Mega, isn’t interesting enough for you, perhaps hearing that Megas will spawn only one variety will be a bit of good news. Admittedly, it seems as if Megas are farmed only the first day or so for people to get enough energy to unlock the ability to walk the pokemon for additional energy, but this helps make sure people can find other players for Megas faster.

Not into Megas? No worries. The Regis will be back in town for the Wednesday 6 p.m. raid hours, with Regirock appearing June 2nd, Registeel on June 8th, and Regice arriving on June 16th. June 23rd and 30th will have different pokemon, but they’re TBA. My guess is that either it’ll be one of the other legendary trios (like the beards or the beasts) or a legendary duo, like Kyogre/Groudon or Latias/Latios.

Speaking of mysteries, Niantic teased that “Trainers will be able to sink their two front teeth into an unexpected event” from June 25th to July 1st. Seeing as July 1st is Canada Day, perhaps Bidoof the Beaver pokemon is going to be doing something special. It’s probably too much to wish for Niantic to acknowledge the legendary non-official perfect-Bidoof Peanut Butter, but I fully expect fans to come up with art should the beaver get some special treatment from Niantic.

6/15 Update: The Bidoofs will be landing! Shiny Bidoof release, Shadow Bidoof release, a slow spawn increase of (shiny) Bidoofs throughout the event… it’s going to be fun. Also, double, triple, and eventually quadruple catch bonuses coming every two days, starting on June 25 and ending the 29th (not stacking though, sorry). The Bidoof-themed moves are basically for Little Cup only (PvP) and can probably be ignored by most players, but we’re also told there’ll be another announcement on June 28, so keep your eyes open for that.

And as for special treatment, the previously mentioned Slowpokes get their time from June 8th-13th, featuring not just the Galarian variations and the release of the Mega Slowbro but a collection quest and other lazy pokemon spawns. My money’s on more Snorlax and Slak-family. Galarian Ponyta will also be appearing from 7k eggs and timed research from June 1st-8th to make up for its shiny being accidentally turned off6/1 Update: Galarian Slowking was teased as part of the event announcement, which not only mentioned the pokemon but included a King’s Rock as listed quest reward. This may be so vanilla Slowking isn’t left out, but perhaps may be Niantic’s way of recycling an underused item for future content. The event also rewards a new avatar shirt and features the pokemon I’d predicted either in the wild or in raids, plus others that are, well, not all that useful. But hey, there will more Slowpoke-themed stuff in the cash shop and as stickers, so enjoy that.

There’s also a summer/winter solstice event corresponding with your hemisphere starting on June 17th, but we’ll have to wait for June 16th for the details.

6/15 Update: We’ve got Solstice details! The major news is the return of Regigas, which was barely released in an event and EX Raid before COVID shut it down. While not a great pokemon, it is a collectible, especially now that it can be shiny. Lunatone and Solrock will be spawning more before the event ends and they switch hemispheres again, so you may want to grab one if you haven’t already. The walking distance to earn hearts on your buddy will be halved, and they’ll also bring you more gifts, such as pokeballs, during the event, which is especially nice for players who may have to stay home (or are beating the heat indoors).

As usual, a new month means new Rocket activity, and while Zapdos will be the target to rescue starting June 1st (if you didn’t rescue it in April due to the Rocket balloons not spawning), we’re told Giovani will have new pokemon starting on June 17th. Hmm, that matches the solstice. Sounds suspicious, but once again, we’ll have to wait to hear further details. 6/10 Update: The new Shadow Pokemon will be Shadow Ho-oh, available from a new quest starting June 17 and leaving at midnight September 1, so make sure to finish the quest before the end of August!

The Tuesday 6 p.m. spotlight hours aren’t exactly exciting this month, though. June 1st will be Dwebble with double catch XP. June 8th is Abra and double candy, so people preparing for Mega Alakazam can farm for their perfect yellow buddy while people who are sick of it could simply use their Meltan boxes for more Meltan candy. June 15th will be Slowpoke hour for people who aren’t sick of the little guy yet (or who want to farm more XL candy to power up their new Megas), and you’ll earn twice the candy for transferring Pokemon.
Swinub gets the June 22nd spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the XP for evolving Pokemon, but really, the main thing will be farming that sweet XL Candy, as Swinub’s final form is one of the top ice-type attackers. Finally, June 29th is Aipom spotlight, which isn’t all that exciting, but hey, it’s also double stardust from catching, so there’s that.

Speaking of stardust, this month’s research breakthrough is Clamperl, a generally uncommon pokemon that’s worth extra stardust. The bonus breakthrough will also be our source of Remote Raid Passes this month (and will stack above the usual limit of 5), plus we’ll be getting more xp for reasons Niantic will explain at a later date.

Finally, if you hadn’t heard, June 6th is Gible Community Day. It’s a great dragon pokemon, though its CD move will be Earth Power, making it an even better ground-type pokemon. It’s a good investment too, as it’s a pokemon that will get a Mega-form, so maybe choose your favorite Dragon Mega-mon (Mega Alteria, Mega Ampharos, or Mega Charizard X) to help you farm candy. It’s not a great-looking shiny, but it’ll pull its weight on your team, trust me. 6/4 Update: Niantic’s added additional storage space for purchase, including a 2-for-1 deal via a single Event box purchase, which should make Gible Day and Go Fest 2021 easier to prepare for. Lures will also last 3 hours during the event, so if you live near a stop or will be responsibly going out with others, lures are an option again!

5/30 Update: We now have some details on The Season of Discovery, running from June 1 to September 1. The main things not previously covered are the predictable Deerling forms corresponding to your hemisphere (Summer form up North, Winter down South), Togepi hatching from 5k eggs, Noibat and Goomy hatching from 10k eggs, and double xp from Research Breakthroughs throughout the season. In addition, the weekly Adventure Sync rewards will be quite interesting. Cranidos, Shieldon, Skrelp, Clauncher, and “more” will be hatching from 5k eggs earned from Adventure Sync rewards, while Bagon, Beldum, Gible, Riolu, and more will be hatching from 10k egg rewards. The 5k rewards are actually quite nice, as Cranidos’s final form is like Gengar for Rock types (Glass canon), but more sturdy, while adult Shieldon can be useful in certain niches for Great League. You’ll need to walk 25km per week before Monday at 9am local time for the rewards and have a free egg slot, and that’s only for a chance at these pokemon, but they are not common spawns, so hopefully they’ll act as some summer exercise motivation.

6/7 Update: Niantic will have a special raid weekend from 10am on June 12 to 8pm June 13. The site states that the bonuses are:

  • Earn twice the Candy for catching Pokémon
  • Trainers level 40 and above will have three times the chance to obtain Candy XL from catching Pokémon
  • Raids will be happening more frequently, including five-star raids and Mega Raids

The wording is a bit unclear though, as it doesn’t specify if this is for all pokemon or simply raid-caught pokemon. The latter becomes even more problematic if this is only raid caught pokemon, as they already are guaranteed to drop XL candy. The triple chances for bonus XL candy would be nice, but we’ve reached out to PR for clarity. For those planning ahead, especially for raids, the most useful pokemon to target would be Registeel for PvP use and Timberr for those who want a better Machamp but not-as-good Lucario for their fighting roster (though it will probably be rarer due to the increase in 5 star and Mega raids).

6/7 Update 2: We were told that yes, “The bonus is for catching all Pokémon (not just wild/raid), and that bonus is “3 fixed XL candy for catching any legendary/mythical Pokémon (and it doesn’t need to be in a raid. GBL legendaries also come with 3 fixed XL candy).” That’s on top of the non-event odds to receive up to 3 XL candy, meaning you could get 6 XL Candy from a single legendary/mythical catch, and not just in raids. This could be a good time to farm Meltan XL candy, but it seems Timburr XL Candy bonuses won’t be so great.

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!

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