Massively on the Go: Pokemon GO’s December events and regional virtual tour

    
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Did you miss a few Community Days in Pokemon Go this year? Well, have no fear because… OK, this year actually wasn’t great in terms of powerful pokemon or popular ones. Neither was last year, thanks to COVID. But there are a few you may want to hit on the December 18th-19th community days. Let’s recap what to expect from the game in December in this edition of Massively on the Go!

First, Machop, Roselia, and Gible are good picks for PvE players (Machop mostly for the candies), and PvP players shouldn’t forget about Fletchling. Sunday is basically for Eevee fans, though unlike Eevee’s Community Days earlier this year, this one offers no evolution shortcuts, so start walking your foxes now so they can evolve correctly.

Speaking of evolution, the CD bonus moves will be available the Friday and Monday around the event, and includes last year’s pokemon in the pool as well. Again, it wasn’t a great year in terms of power, but Rhyhorn’s Rock Wrecker is something you should consider. Players will also get an additional trade each day, so Community Day should be a good time to either catch up or even start playing.

December is also when Niantic is introducing a new Season, hosting a Johto region tour event (probably akin to the Kanto Tour) and several new events, plus hinting at a Pokemon Legends: Arceus crossover.

Pokémon Legends ArecusWhile Niantic’s official news is more visual than it was a year ago, the announcements are also full of teasers of teasers. The biggest one is the logo and font of the new season starting December 1st: Season of Heritage. The resemblance to the Legends logo in both image and text is strong, and the game’s January 28th release mixed with the winter season only reinforces this.

We may not have direct news of a tie-in, but this season does have some nice bonuses. The biggest is that, for the next three months, trades will give a bonus candy and guaranteed XL Candy. The XL candy bonus alone should help people power up more pokemon over the former level cap. Other bonuses, such as monthly team-leader-led timed events, give players access to tiered level challenges that reward both rare pokemon and new avatar fashion items.

December 5th will see Swinub getting an incense event and access to its Community Day move, though it’s mostly useful for PvP. The event alternates between ice and ground types, with Galarian Darumaka being a potential spawn for the ice windows and Larvitar being available for ground, both of which are fairly useful for PvE.

December 7th-12th will be some sort of Dragonspiral Tower-inspired event. We already know Reshiram and Zekrom will be back Dec 1st-16th (with Kyurem closing out the month), but the tower was also a location for Druddigon, so perhaps Niantic is finally releasing it (12/2 Update: Druddigon confirmed, 12/6 Update: Details here). Mienfoo, a PvP reward, could also become a wild spawn for the event, and Basculin could see more spawns both because it was a spawn pokemon in the tower and because of its upcoming new form in Legends. As usually, we’ll have to wait and see for more details, but Niantic did reveal that the next community days are January 16th and February 12th, followed by the Johto Tour event from February 26th-27th. Again, no further details on any of those events at the moment.

Image Via StadiumGaming

12/7 Update: We’ve got more information on the Johto Tour now. Once again you’ll be choosing versions, though the exclusives aren’t quite as polarizing as before. Check the Johto event tag for updates.

December 1st-23th sees Mega Steelix entering POGO finally. While not exactly the best mega, it does give us both Ground and Steel Mega options for candy generation. For players without a Nintendo Switch and/or limited access to Pokemon HOME, Mega Steelix gives players low on Meltan access the ability to gain an additional candy per catch while the Mega is activated.

The spotlight hours are nothing fantastic, but as Electabuzz (December 7th) and Magmar (December 14th) had Community Days last year and won’t spawn during the round up this year, fans of the pokemon could use these hours to catch a good one and evolve them during the round-up CD. Neither is particularly useful, but both are fan favorites.

Snover’s December 21st spotlight hour is slightly more useful, as Mega Abomasnow’s Ice-type mega-ness means extra ice candies from catches while active. Given the season, that’s a good bonus to have, though a bit late if the Dragonspiral Tower event is heavy on Dragon-type raids where it’d be useful. It’s also late for the December 16th-31st holiday event. The only details on the event are ice-type pokemon spawning, event Field Research quests, winter-themed avatar clothing, and “a bonanza of bonuses.” While Niantic’s had a rough year as a company in terms of understanding its players and their safety needs during this extended pandemic, they have given some generous bonuses from time to time. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the month and its announcements pay off.

12/8 Update: The Powered Up Pokestop feature, which we’ve mentioned before, is now live. Just like before, certain communities aren’t excited for this. While the distnace-nerf aspect didn’t go live, players are unhappy about being asked to do work that would normally be paid for minor bonuses, the “best” thus far being a new spawn every hour or so. Players who wish to try the feature but not provide Niantic with data may scan their hand or protest signs, though the help center article mentions that recorded data goes to Niantic and not public reviewers.

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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