Massively on the Go: Pokemon Go March and Season of Alola


It’s officially March now, and in Pokemon Go that means we’ll be experiencing both a new month of content and shift seasons, so say goodbye to that extra trade candy. Also, say goodbye (again?) to stationary bonuses from incense, though Niantic’s said that the time will be boosted from 60 minutes to 90 (in spite of early reports that indicate spawns at a stand still are 1 per 5 minutes). The same Niantic missive also notes an increase of daily raid passes for the season (meaning from the start of March to the end of May). We assume this means people will be able to do at least two raids per day for free as per the seasonal post.

Clearly there’s a bit of a shake-up going on in the game’s meta, so in this edition of Massively on the Go, we’ll talk about not only what’s in store for March, but some of the larger implications of the Season of Alola. Gen 7 is more fully upon us, as many had been previously released in 2018 when the Sun and Moon games originally came out. So crack open a coconut and let’s have a look at what March and the rest of the season is bringing us.

Image Via StadiumGaming

3/9 Update: At this point, we all have confirmed that we get 2 gym passes per day (3 if you don’t use both of passes from the previous day). In addition, Niantic’s also announced several in-person Community Day events around the world.

First, season-long spawns. Highlights include the rare fossil pokemon Archen and Tirtouga, which aren’t super useful but are super rare, so hit those beaches and mountains, especially the later as the unique ground/ghost type Golett spawns there as well, but beaches also have Frillish, so hey, a little nature-trip motivation! Deer differences aside, the Northern Hemisphere may get Bagon, but the Southern one gets the ever-useful Beldum and the rare Nincada.

Image Via StadiumGaming

At the same time the season begins, we have the Welcome to Alola event coming from March 1st through 9th. This kicks off the full start of Gen 7’s introduction. Of the wild pokemon, two are Flying types and two are normal types, so Mega Pidgeot will give you the most bang for your buck, granting extra candy for half of the new pokemon (the new dragon, Jangmo-o, is reportedly spawning in the wild), including a starter. Raiders also get an additional candy, and as both Rockruff and Tapu Koko (an electric/fairy type legendary that was briefly released as a PvP reward yesterday) are new, that’s a total of five new candy you could get from Mega Pidgeot. Remember, we get two raid passes per day, so don’t be afraid to try out Rockruff if it looks like you’re not able to get at least one Tapu Koko per day.

As for their usefulness, well, that varies. Even before getting Community Day moves, Rowlett and Poplio’s final forms may be somewhat useful in their secondary typings (ghost and fairy respectively), while Tapu Koko may be somewhat comparable to the so-so Electivire and unusable as a fairy type for the moment. 3/9 Update: Rowlett’s final form sadly isn’t that useful except maybe on gym defense, but Poplio’s line has some use for defense and even in the Fairy department.

There’ll also be special research every few weeks based on various islands in the region. We don’t have specific information on these, but we do know it’ll culminate with a final event for players who complete them, so keep an eye open for updates not only in March but April and May as well.

Speaking of season-long events, there is so much going on during the interlude season we previously covered. For example, there’ll be a free-timed research ticket in the store for PvP this season granting a bit more stardust. March 5th will see a Seel themed battle day when you can do 20 sets of 5 (meaning 100 battles) per day, up from 5 sets, but it also grants this season’s avatar shoes.

You can see what’s in store for the rest of the season beyond March, which we’ll discuss more later. However, a few major notes that affect the whole month: First, players who reach rank 20 will receive the full season avatar outfit and pose plus Pikalibre pokemon, which normally requires a player to reach rank 25. Rank 20 allows players to maintain their current rank even through losses, so it’s highly advisable to really give PvP a push this season if you’re a collector of pokemon and/or avatar items – especially if the “mega” news mentioned for the May 29th event means Mega Pokemon may soon be coming to ranked matches.

While we mentioned the season-long perks of extra free passes and 90-minute incense, we’re once again getting one-coin bundles with remote raid passes (and don’t worry, the previous season page ensured that Remote Raid Damage Boosts will remain a perk). March is also going to feature Alola Vulpix as the breakthrough reward.

Interestingly, though, there’s been no mention of evolving current Alola forms that come from Kanto pokemon, such as Alola Exeggcuter, Alola Raichu, and Alola Marowak. I say this because Cubone and Exeggcute are the first two Spotlight Hour pokemon. Perhaps this is something that’ll be addressed soon, though, as the announcement makes no mention of new major features, a tradition upheld at the release of every other new generation to date except for Gen 5, which instead started with a lot of legendary raids and a special research task.


A few other things to note: Paras is a pokemon that gives 500 stardust, making it a better option for using Star Pieces if you’re limited on supplies. Growlithe may not have an Alola form, but it does have a Hisuian form from the recently released Pokemon Legends game, so new players especially may want to stock up on candy.

3/1 Update: At least on release day, it’s been reported that Kanto pokemon that evolve into Alola version have not been given a method to do so.

Next, Community Days. We covered this before; the next three Community Day will be held Sunday, March 13th; Saturday, April 23rd; and Saturday, May 21st. The most relevant (and only one with details) is the March event, which will feature Sandshrew’s family, and both sides at that. Admittedly, their CD moves are a mixed bag from early analysis, mostly helping the Alola Sandslash as a side-grade, while Kanto’s Sandslash actually seems like a downgrade in many aspects for open play.

After that, there’s something called the Festival of Colors, from Tuesday, March 15th, to Sunday, March 20th, when players “can experience a fluttering of festive hues.” It’s a tad late for Mardi Gras, but players are thinking the event is either related to Vivillon or Oricorio, the latter of which makes more sense to me personally, considering this is about Gen 7. Plus, you know, datamining. That being said, Niantic could potentially do both. We’ll update this as we learn more information.

Image Via StadiumGaming

3/10 Update: Niantic’s released information on the event. As I’d guessed, the featured pokemon is Oricorio, but despite it having various forms, Niantic is at least releasing them as regionals, with Baile Style (fire/flying) appearing in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; Pom-Pom Style (flying/electric) appearing in the Americas; Pa’u Style (flying/psychic) appearing in African, Asian, Pacific and Caribbean islands; and Sensu Style (flying/ghost) appearing in the Asia-Pacific region. The rest of the event isn’t great, as the global research only helps trainers in India (probably as the event is based on their holiday, Holi), though Drowzy’s evolution is useful for PvP as is. The Kanto Starters and Fletchling are too, but only with their Community Day moves.

Finally, there’s the Lush Jungle event from Tuesday, March 22nd, to Tuesday, March 29th, when players can “brave the jungle during this Alola-inspired adventure.” While it doesn’t give us a lot of details, the Wednesday raid hours this month are question marks for March 23rd and 30th, meaning a new pokemon is on the way. Therian Forme Tornadus is coming from March 15th through 27th, probably to help boost the “fluttering” festivities, but otherwise, I’m not sure if there’s a connection to this new pokemon. Again looking at what’s been datamined, I wonder if it could be Tapu Lele, as it was found in the Lush Jungle in the manga, and/or Tapu Bulu, as it’s part grass type. Both pokemon showed up in recent datamined assets, so we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds.

3/17 Update: We’ve got new details on the Lush Jungle event, and we were correct about Tapu Lele being the new raid legendary, which may have some non-Charming use. We’ll also be seeing the release of the Fomantis line, and while they aren’t currently predicted to be great, it’s also dependent on how bad of a moveset they get. For the most part, assume they’ll be Pokedex entries only. Saturday, March 26, at 10:00 am to Sunday, March 27, at 8:00 pm (local time) will have a “park spotlight,” where Cottonee will be spawning more and have its shiny released. It’s evolution isn’t a terrible pick in some PvP cups, so consider grabbing one. The current questline will continue from where the previous one left off, but the rest of the event spawns aren’t exactly great aside from maybe Pinsir due to it having an unreleased Mega Evolution in the future.

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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