Massively on the Go: Pokemon Go’s May events make for a frontloaded month

    
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It’s been a weird news week for Pokemon GO. Mega news came out oddly and sporadically resulting in our Megas evaluation piece, while the Go Fest news release was messy for fansites/influencers who get into the gritty details. It’s made the May announcements messier than usual, but there’s suspiciously good stuff here.

Not only have we gotten a new Mega system for the third time and the global release of a regional-restricted new Mega, but also we have new legendary Megas coming, with a new and potentially useful legendary, followed by a more relaxed (though still very imperfect Community Day), and ending with a kind of round-up of the Season of Alola as we prepare for whatever’s coming this summer.

This month’s weekly Research Breakthrough is sadly only Alola Grimer, but one interesting change is the non-mention of the weekly Remote Raid passes. We’ve asked PR to clarify whether this means the long-standing COVID feature is being removed and will update this should we learn more. There is a “buddy widget” for phones going live early this month as well as the previous Season of Heritage bonus event hats going to the game’s shop, but I think the missing Remote Passes will be far more noticeable to the playerbase. 5/2 Update: The 1 coin Remote Raid Pass packs have luckily continued, without Niantic commenting beforehand.

5/19 Update: And now we know why this was left out of the May update. 1 coin weekly Remote Raid passes are over starting May 23 and will instead be different items weekly. Ahead of this change, Niantic has increased the 3-pack of Remote Raid passes to 300 coins without warning, up from 250 amidst a pandemic on the rise. The company is trying its hand at their own kind of social media tool, but the company’s history of creating stalking apps and going as far as nerfing their own support to avoid helping players does not make them seem trustworthy.

As previously announced, May 1st will be a Mega Kangaskhan Raid “Day” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. It’s not the most useful Mega, but it is traditionally an Australia-only pokemon, so that plus the increased shiny odds may motivate people to go out and hit the gyms, especially as we’ll be able to get up to five free Daily Passes from spinning.

Hot on the heels of that is the May 3rd through 8th Pokemon Air Adventures event. Infographs on the event were released yesterday for those who enjoy them, but for you text people, notice the halved distance on egg hatching, Noibat (a rare, cool, but unuseful pokemon) and Togepi (a very useful pokemon usually restricted to eggs) from 7k eggs, and yes, our first Mega Legendaries. Again, as I previously covered, their use is incredibly limited. I’d still advise people to grab enough Energy to Mega them before another sudden nerf, but if you’re looking for Dragons to invest in, Charizard or Altaria are better options. For Psychics, Slowbro’s your only option, but as wild ones aren’t as good as many legendary options, you’d probably use this as a newer player, so Bro’s Water-typing would also help.

Speaking of legendaries, Tapu Fini finally arrives May 10th through 25th. It’s a bit like Azumarill in function for Ultra and Master leagues from the initial reports, except we also recently got Primarina, who is the same type, not a legendary, and receives the deadly Charm attack. Like the other Tapus, it’s more useful for its non-Fairy typing, and even that’s questionable for raid fans. Certainly it’ll bring some excitement to PvP though. As a reminder, all the Tapus will have a second chance to be tackled between May 25th through June 1st.

As for the other Mega raids, as much as I love Blastoise, don’t worry too much about its appearance unless you don’t want to quest for its Mega Energy. There are better things to use passes on. Mega Altaria from May 25th to June 1st is a higher-priority if you lack the Energy to evolve one, especially in light of the recent Energy hike. Otherwise, if you’ve Mega’d one before, just remember to walk it once in a while for spare Energy.

While we strongly questioned the ideas behind and execution of April’s Stufful Day, May’s Community Day may be slightly better. As we mentioned in that article, Alola Geodude and its shiny isn’t a new pokemon, so despite the lure bonuses, players will most likely be more comfortable walking and playing, especially now that we know the secret bonus-increase (this time to stardust) works from an increased range, even if the spawns don’t. It’s still only a three-hour event, but Community “Day” starts at 11 a.m. local time and goes to 2 p.m. this time, 4 p.m. being the cutoff for the new fast move, Rollout, which seems OK on this rock but could become deadly in the hands of other pokemon.

Looking at our Spotlight hours, we’d say May 17th is the most relevant due to the Mega Evolution system reworking and Gyrados being a prime pick. Double evolution XP isn’t too bad either. Similarly, especially for new players, May 3rd’s double catch candy applies to raids, so you may actually want to try to use your passes on Tuesday instead of Wednesday for the extra candy.

Numel also gets a Mega form down the line, so some people may want to nab a good one, but May 10th will be better for transferring candy, especially as Numel’s shiny will be released during Go Fest this year. Its Mega just isn’t very useful and becomes completely outclassed once Primal Groudon comes to town, as they have the same typing but the latter has vastly better stats and moves.

If you saved some of those trash pokemon from April’s Sustainability Week, May 24th is the night to cash them in for bonus stardust. Seel’s also a decent Great League pick, so maybe check for a good one if you’re into that.

In the more distant future, May 12th, 2022, to Friday, May 20th, will be the Water Festival. We haven’t had one of these since 2019, and the event is always different but water-themed. I would guess the Dewpider family that was datamined and mentioned last month will be included during this, or the 2021 datamined bowtie Lapras, but everything else is up in the air, so check back here once the information’s been released.

5/9 Update: We now have an official update from Niantic, and yes, we were correct about Dewpider and bowtie “scarf” “Drip” Lapras, but players will also be able to have an avatar version of the “scarf” to, uh wear on their heads. The event is also giving double hatch candy and increased XL hatch candy, though the featured 7k egg hatches aren’t exactly exciting aside from Feebus (being somewhat rare) and Mudkip for people still lacking a perfect one to invest in. People lacking Gyarados or Blastoise Mega Energy will be able to secure some from research tasks. While a new questline goes live tomorrow (May 10), May 11 kicks off a Global Challenge tasking the world-wide community with getting 600 million water types caught in exchange for unlocking double catch candy during the event.

May 25th through 31st will be the Alola to Alola event as we close out the Season of Alola. Considering how we’re revisiting all the Tapus from this season, we’d say it’s pretty safe to assume it’ll be a wrap-up event, but how that’s executed in-game will have to wait until Niantic provides us with more details. There are a lot of features from the original games that Niantic didn’t touch, but I’m doubting any will see release during this time. I’d love to be wrong here though, so watch this space to see if Niantic makes me eat Murkrow.

5/18 Update: Niantic has released the official information, and sadly, I was correct about the lack of new features. Trainers who completed each island’s Special Research before June 1 will get a free “Island Path” quest, valued at $4.99 (US), and additional quests may be purchased. I don’t exactly feel the money is worth it unless you really like a certain hat that’s included, but it is a fun bonus that gives us play-style quests and rewards.

During the May 25-31 event, you’ll be able to evolve Cubone to Alola Marowak with its event move, Shadow Bone. Hope you have a spare Shadow Cubone on hand, as you never know when Shadow Alola Marowak will be useful.

7k eggs aren’t looking good, with previous commons Alola Sandshrew and Alola Diglett being in the “rares” with, uh, Stuffel, but in terms of spawns, Popplio (as previously mentioned) is quite useful now and in the future, so get hunting! And for you Mega fans, much like at release, Mega Pidgeot is looking like the winner, giving bonuses to 4/9 event spawns. However, raiders may wish to make use of Mega Altaria’s Fairy form to get bonus XL Candy from all the returning Tapus in raids/Battle League rewards.

5/23 Update: And now we’ve got official news that was teased earlier: May 29 will be a one-day Go Battle Day that allows Mega Pokemon. You’ll also get 4x stardust from wins and be able to do 100 battles. Gamepress has a covered which Mega ‘mon look particularly promising to them. As our own Mega list used various Gamepress authors (among other resources) to figure out what pokemon would be the most useful to our readers, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we once again tip out hat to their hard work. To note, Megas must be activated to use them! There will not be any special system that allows you to pick anything, so hopefully you have energy to spare.

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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