Massively on the Go: A guide to preparing for Pokemon Go’s Johto Tour 2022


While Niantic is prone to dropping information at the last minute (2/23 Update: It’s started), we now have enough information on Pokemon Go’s upcoming February 26th Johto Tour to at least address the core preparation aspects, much as we did in last year’s Kanto guide, which I found immensely useful for myself. As previously noted, last year’s event was a bit disappointing, not only because of clarity issues but because major bugs made an already jam-packed event even more difficult to tackle, hence the need for players to go in as prepared as possible.

Note that this guide may be updated the night before as PR sends last-minute news or the game’s ultimate beta testers (New Zealanders, RIP) report in, but as a frequent player with a diverse group, I think I can cover most of the bases. Again, while the following checklist has the basics, I’ve gone into greater detail to help explain what that may entail and why it may be different from past events.

Pick a color, pick a friend

We’ve talked about picking your version options before, and nothing seems to have changed aside from the fact that legendary birds may not be spawning off of incense despite what Niantic’s wording and influencer infographs indicated. Leaving out personal favs and shiny preferences, I’d say the two versions are very close to being even in terms of being good raiders, gym defenders, and PvP picks. If all else fails, note that Lugia often outranks Ho-oh in popularity, so maybe Silver will be the more popular version. You and a friend can figure it out from there.

If there’s any argument, I would say have the person who plays the most take the version that’s most popular with the group, as that person will have a better chance at getting spare pokemon to trade the others. This is important if you have an odd number of people, as the Kanto event last year just felt like way too much for one day, and my own group is already intimidated just by the idea that this is a 12-hour event.

Image Via StadiumGaming

Incense requirements

One big thing to note about the event so far is that while incense is used to attract version exclusives (I still think there was a communication issue about the mascot birds being on incense), we have no confirmation from Niantic or PR that incense will be included as part of the ticket prices, nor how long it’ll last. 2/24 Update: Niantic PR told us that, “unless indicated otherwise on the Pokémon GO blog, it will be as long as it normally is in gameplay,” which basically means what we’ve been saying: assume it’ll be an hour until Niantic says otherwise. Second 2/24 Update: Incense is only lasting 1 hour.

While the current Ultra Box contains 5 incense, 18 raid passes, and 5 super incubators, unless you really need to raid, I’d suggest saving your 1480 coins and instead purchase 8 incense for 250 coins during the eventand only if you need them.

Choosing a setting for your Johto journey

Those who didn’t play last year’s Kanto event need to know these “tours” last 12 hours. That’s not a typo! Now, you don’t need to play the whole event, but last year’s event gave many gamers the impression there was too much do in a single day. Moreover, the event ends long after the sun goes down, and at least in my own area, COVID numbers aren’t quite back to even our early December levels, so you’ll have to watch out for yourself through the whole ordeal.

COVID practices aside, there are a few things you really should look for in terms of a place to do your Johto journey. For one, public restrooms. Someone at some point is going to need to go. If you’re looking to eat out, make sure the nearby restaurants actually have a place you can go (and because of COVID, you may also need to make reservations or bring vaccination cards, so keep that in mind).

You may also want to consider the available gyms and their placement. I recently took a long walk on a trail with multiple gyms hoping to invite some people to a few legendary raids. Unfortunately, the only available raids were behind government-protected gates, and as I’ve been saving my Remote Raid Passes for this Saturday, I was out of luck. You don’t want this happening to you, especially if you want to do the worldwide regional raids for Heracross or Corsola. Unlike the legendary pokemon, these two rarely become available for players outside their regions.

Of course, you’ll still want a place that has lots of pokestops and spawns, but don’t feel as if you need to stay in a single area. I’ll be changing things up myself, not only because of the gym situation but also for a change in scenery. Beyond my desire to not look suspicious when pacing the same area while staring at my phone, location-based games’ strong point is that we can actually move while playing. We don’t have the final spawn schedule yet, but you can use a less-desirable spawn hour not only for a break but to change up the scenery. You probably don’t want to be driving too far, but we all know which parks have good spawns or tons of stops or few gyms. Talk to your group/friends, set up a general meeting spot, and maybe even carpool if you feel safe.

Virtual supplies

While the current pokeball event is a good boost, you should also consider what supplies you’ll need during the event – and what you won’t. Naturally, you’ll want as many pokeballs as possible, but consider your playstyle. I mostly catch with my Go+, so red pokeballs are my priority. I’ll probably trash most of my great balls since if I catch by hand, ultra balls work faster.

Are you going to raid a lot? Maybe you can sacrifice some ball space to ensure you have enough potions and revives. As a high-level player, I can dump a lot of my regular revives and low-end potions. Max potions are still useful to an extent, so I’ll probably rely on those and hyper potions at first, though I have too many at the moment and will probably cut down on them to make room for balls. 2/23 Update: Niantic just noted that in-person raids (meaning non-remote raids) will be giving at least one Rare Candy XL to players at 5-star raids, and an increased chance of getting one from 1 and 3 star raids.

PvP- and raid-centric players may have a good number of rare candies. If you need to make some space, consider converting some of those into Lugia or Ho-oh candy, as Shadow pokemon require additional candy to raise. If you’re swimming in TMs, one nice thing you can do is consider using them on high-level pokemon you can trade friends, either now or during the event, but we’ll discuss this a bit later.

Make space for more pokemon

Nothing slows an event down more than having to go through what you caught and trashing the pokemon that didn’t quite make the cut. But the Johto Tour is a 12-hour event with a lot going on, so I can’t imagine even casual players having a ton of space. Between regionals, legendaries, and the very few new shinies, there’s probably going to be a few new pokemon clogging up your backspace soon.

Naturally, the best thing you can do is to go through your entire collection and trash/trade/transfer what you don’t want/need. Niantic’s transfer events have certainly helped me and some friends make sure we’re trashing pokemon more often, but even I found a few pokemon I could get rid of before the event.

But maybe you don’t have a ton of time, so here are a few tips. First, arrange your pokemon by their pokedex number. Then, search for shiny pokemon (just type “shiny” or click the icon). This will show you all the shinies you have, but having it by number will also show how many repeats you have. Community Day pokemon are often a big offender here.

Another idea is to at least check pokemon by type. Search for each type and your strongest 6, making sure you have at least 6 raid-usable pokemon per type (aside from Normal). You may find that you have some pokemon you invested in but simply don’t use anymore. Consider passing those along to any newer or less powerful players who may be in your group. Again, if you’re limited on time, focus on the upcoming raid pokemon.

For legendary raids, there’s Lugia, Ho-oh, Entei, Raikou, and Suicune. Of those, Lugia and Suicune aren’t great PvE options, and while Lugia is a top pick for PvP, Suicune’s PvP use is limited. A solid team of Rock-using pokemon should get you through 3/5 of legendaries, as will Electric types. Ground works against 2/3 of the dogs. Rhyperior and Golem (either version) can do some good work, and as they’ve been fairly common and featured a few times recently, you hopefully have a healthy amount either prebuilt or ready to invest in. Even better, they work well with Mega Aerodactyl, which some people may be using anyway, but I’ll save that for the Mega Pokemon discussion.

For the regular raids, it really depends on what you’re aiming for, but I would be remiss if I didn’t remind readers once again that Corsola and Heracross are regionals, with the latter getting a Mega form. If you lack either of them, get at least one. Corsola’s shiny is new, so shiny hunters may want to focus on that. Heracross as a bug-type Mega may have questionable value as a fighter, but once it’s released, it will at least have a unique typing to make use of for generating extra catch candy.

Pack a bag

OK, so you have a lot of your virtual bags set. Think about your real-life supplies now. Play in a sunny spot? Have sunscreen. Still cold outside? Maybe bring fingerless gloves. Use a Go+? Grab a spare battery and the right-sized screwdriver. Some supplies will vary depending on playstyle and location. A few things that most people should consider bringing are:

  • Water
  • Snack(s)
  • External battery
  • COVID mask (you never know)

This all assumes most of you carry a wallet with your ID and cash/cards. I know that sounds silly, but you wouldn’t believe some of the adults I’ve met who forget these things.

You may also want to consider your pokemon swag. Big events like this are a good way to meet your fellow local players. Admittedly, since Niantic isn’t great about player safety, some people may be hesitant about this. I know I’ll probably be more on the down-low when my friends aren’t around, but I have a collection of official and unofficial merchandise I’ve bought or been gifted that’s both obvious and not-so-obvious. It’s a bit late if you have nothing, but if you’re mostly set for Saturday and can afford it, you might want to grab a little something for future events.

Bring a buddy

This may be related to the next point as well, but one big thing to remember is that, especially if you’re walking a lot, bring a Buddy Pokemon that’s at least rank 2. This is because rank 2 pokemon have the ability to bounce balls back should the target pokemon reflect them. It’s a small thing, but especially if you plan on raiding, that one ball could be the difference between a catch or a loss.

As a reminder, your buddy doesn’t just generate candy. Level 40+ players’ buddies can generate XL Candy, which is still fairly rare but required to level pokemon to the max. In addition, if your buddy pokemon is from a family you’ve Mega Evolved, it will also generate Mega Energy. For example, if you’ve Evolved Charizard-1 into Mega Charizard X, and are walking Charizard-2 in hopes of one day turning it into Charizard Y, Charizard-2 will still produce Mega Charizard Energy via walking because you’ve accessed a Mega in its family.

Mega power

Choosing a Mega Pokemon to use during this event is tough. There’s a reasonably decent discussion on The Silph Road, but I’d boil it down to choosing between Mega Pidgeot and Mega Aerodactyl, as Flying-types are highly represented in the series overall and include rares like Togetic and Scyther (which just got a new form in Pokemon Legends Arceus, meaning you may one day need a spare to evolve, if not the extra candy).

Mega Pidgeot’s biggest draw is that normals are well-represented, and the infamous Chansey will be available during the event, so the extra candy is useful there. However, Mega Aerodactyl helps with Larvitar candy no matter which form you may find, and that requires a lot of candy, especially considering it’s a strong pick for Rock and Dark types, plus it has a future Mega form itself. It also has its Community Day move, Smack Down, available during the event. Mega Aerodactyl also boosts Rock Raid damage, which is useful if raiding the legendary birds or Entei.

Priority Pokemon

For people not familiar with the main series, here’s a visual list of all the Johto pokemon.  As usual, your mileage may vary, but there are a few pokemon families players may want to focus on:

  • Slowpoke (only Psychic Mega for now)
  • Onix (only Ground and Steel Mega for now)
  • Chansey (best gym defender)
  • Scyther (future Mega and Hisuian variant)
  • Eevee (good for newbies, PvP use)
  • Chikarita and Totadile (useful for new players, access to CD move)
  • Cyndaquil (useful for new players, access to CD move, future Hisuian variant)
  • Togetic (good Fairy-type)
  • Mareep (evolve for CD move, useful Mega for candy)
  • Marill (useful for PvP and gym defense)
  • Murkrow (decent Dark/Flying raid evolution)
  • Wobbuffet (annoying gym defender)
  • Gligar (PvP uses)
  • Snubbul (useable Fairy-type)
  • Heracross (regional, future Mega)
  • Sneasel (useful Dark/Ice raid evolution)
  • Swinub (great Ice raid evolution)
  • Corsola (regional, new shiny)
  • Remoraid (new shiny)
  • Delibird (grants bonus stardust)
  • Mantine (new shiny)
  • Skarmory (good PvP use)
  • Houndour (useful Mega)
  • Phanpy (new shiny)
  • Tyrogue (new shiny itself and for Hitmontop)
  • Raikou (useful raid pokemon)
  • Entei (useful raid pokemon)
  • Larvitar (useful for raids, Rockets, access to CD move, future Mega)
  • Lugia (useful for PvP)
  • Ho-oh (useful for PvP and raids)

That’s a long list, but in all honesty, veteran players will mostly whittle that down to a few pokemon. For example, my list basically consists of Chansey, Scyther, Cyndaquil, Togetic, Wobbuffet, Heracross, plus Miltank and Shuckle. Of them, only Heracross, Scyther, and Cyndaquil are ones I want for IVs, the rest just being for XL Candy generation (there’s no such thing as too many Blisseys!). Consider your own needs/goals and figure out a plan of attack.

Now, part of the issue is that we don’t know the full schedule of spawns. 2/25 Update: has the hourly spawns. In addition, it’s confirmed that the legendary beasts/dogs are appearing in the wild with high flee rates. Be sure to take a picture of them for some rewards!

We know the times, though, and what was in the previous games, so for now, I’ll simply repeat those times with links to the original spawns and note a good pokemon or two (using local time):

  • New Bark Town: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Starter pokemon, Eevee)
  • Violet City: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Mareep, Togetic)
  • National Park: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Scyther)
  • Goldenrod City: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Chansey)
  • Mt. Silver: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Larvitar)

The final two hours of the event will have everything spawning, so if you miss or skip one of the slots, you still have a chance to get more between 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time.

Tags for your bags

Tags are very useful for finding pokemon you need or want quickly. If you need a guide, here’s an official one. I’d suggest, for the moment, to have one for evolution during the event and one for trading.

The evolution one is so that – assuming you’ve gone through your collection – you won’t forget which pokemon to evolve during the event for their Community Day moves (those pokemon are Meganium, Typhlosion, Feraligatr, Tyranitar, Espeon, Umbreon, and Mamoswine; you will not have to walk Eevee to evolve it into Umbreon or Espeon during the event). Admittedly, you may get a better pokemon during the event, but it’s better to label what you have, just in case.

Similarly, either now or during the event, there may be pokemon you wish to trade away. Don’t forget, you get six special trades during the event. I would advise doing these before the event ends, as last year, they disappeared without warning… which brings us to our last point.

Wrap-up with trades

No matter how long you plan to play, at some point the event will end. Niantic has made no notice of permitting distance trades, so I’d assume you can trade only with people you’re physically near. Now that you hopefully have a wishlist of pokemon, talk to a few friends. Figure out who wants what, and maybe even schedule trades if someone you don’t normally see will be present, especially if you’re Lucky Friends.

Keep in mind that there may be version-exclusive shiny pokemon you want. Unlike last year, this year the list of new shinies is shorter, which means that hopefully it’ll be easier to secure those new shinies and find someone who has the one you don’t have access to.

While I’m sure we’ll miss something due to the live nature of the event and Niantic’s history of learning-on-the-spot, this checklist and explanation should help ensure that your Johto Tour event at least starts off well and has a vague plan to follow.

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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