Massively on the Go: Pokemon GO’s Mythical Wishes season needs to win players back


Without a doubt, Pokemon Go’s Season of Light has been the roughest season yet, plagued with not only miscommunications the company is practically known for at this point but also lies, bugs, and what sure seems like fewer players. It’s not a strong end for the year, especially since, as of this writing, Niantic has not released the December event details. Saving the date is one thing, but when we saw the infograph leak literally showing events stacked on events on Christmas Eve, it kind of makes it hard to decide whether we should organize POGO holiday parties (not to mention family and friend events). While the company is giving us some new toys, I’m not sure there’s much hype for them.

Seeing that our weekly research breakthrough is a lottery of pokemon – Galarian Mr Mime, Bagon, Delibird, Deino, Furfrou, or Goomy – doesn’t inspire confidence, especially as two of those pokemon already had Community Day moves they need and Delibird is basically a dud. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In this season’s overview, Niantic has said that guaranteed gifts and increased effects from walking while using Incense are permanent features. The gift one should have been a feature from release, and the Incense one was a pity bonus after Niantic nerfed COVID rates (which had been a major boon for players with movement issues), having been around so long at this point that taking it would have only further enraged players who care and brought backlash against those who had only experienced a nerf. Gift-wise, these aren’t even new socks; it’s your mom telling you she won’t take your socks away.

Remote Raid damage seems safe for another season, and while we won’t be doing two raids per day, we are getting one bonus candy (and XL candy for level 31+ players) per trade this season. You can also send 125 gifts per day and open 40. Seasonal spawns… exist? But by now even new players have had chances to catch a reasonable amount, so they’re not even worth mentioning.

This season’s announcements are getting worse before they get better though, folks. Niantic announced in the PvP schedule that Classic Cups are being retired after this season. This means pay-to-win for Master League will define the meta, as XL Candy may be more common, but not enough that free-to-play players will be able to fully power-up a legendary pokemon to its max level without paying to raid more (and let’s not even talk about Mythicals that cheaters may use devices to “walk” for candy generation).

As you can see above, we also have some move shakeups. Stadium Gaming has a more in-depth writeup about these, and while there are clearly official errors, for most of our readers, the main info is that Charm will do a bit less damage and Poison Fang will cost a little more. If Wing Attack is generating more energy, that’ll be good for Flyers as well. While a lot of pokemon got new moves, none of them helps much in PvE besides High Horsepower for Mamoswine, which now makes it vastly more useful against Electric pokemon. Time to build those Ground ‘swine!

Updated from the infograph previously posted and taken down by Niantic India to the recent official Tweeted version

Again, as of this writing, Niantic hasn’t yet officially released full info for the month, but the Seasons page does mention Mega Glalie and other bonuses the above infograph Niantic India mistakenly put out early, so we’ll trust it for now.

11/29 Update: Niantic has finally issued the official schedule hours at the least, most likely thanks to someone poking the community manager. There’s still some confusion and details that need to be expanded on, but we’ve updated the above image.

The return of the Swords of Justice doesn’t inspire much fervor. While they’re more usable thanks to getting Double Kick, all but Terrakion (who you should focus on) are outranked by non-legendaries when it comes to raid DPS. Their return probably has more to do with Keldeo, the only unreleased member of the group, as it’s a Mythical and most likely part of the “Mythical Wishes” theme, even getting its own event December 10th-11th. As usual, details on the Keldeo Special Research are scant, so we’ll update this as we learn more.

The Mythic Blade event from December 6th-11th is probably the lead-up event, as the dates overlap. Once again though, we have no details on this, so watch this space for updates.

12/2 Update: And now we have event details. The overall Mythic Blade event is less about swords than Fighting Types, though the Terrakion, Virizion, and Keldeo caught during the event will have the move Sacred Sword (not Cobalion though). That being said, Keldeo is only available if you pay $7.99 for a special research ticket which cannot be purchased with coins. As per raid analyzer Teban54, Keldeo will be similar to Shadow Machamp, which from person experience is quite good, but that’s still behind the raidable Terrakion. Add to that the paid spawns require active incense, and it’s not exactly the best sounding deal. Admittedly, Crabrawler is making its debut for the event (for free), and the paid research subs it out for Beldum, which is far more useful.

For research, Galarian Farfetch’d will be available, which is nice but really raid viable. Machops are the main draw, mostly if you still lack one with good IVs and/or need candy, though Mankey spawns may motivate some people looking toward the horizon.

We also know December 10 is an Elite Raid Day, but yeesh, those have been more of a bust than boon to the game. It is the first time an Elite Raid Day isn’t coming on the heels of a Community Day, but unless Niantic suddenly begins communicating, I’d expect the worst: still little time to plan, poor communication that it’s Hoopa again, and broken post-raid spawns. If Niantic feels like giving more information on this, in any language we’re able to decipher (last time only the Japanese channel gave good details), we’ll report it here.

The other part, of course, would be Jirachi, who will most likely be re-released for this year’s Pokemon Go Tour: Hoenn. Details are light, but we should be getting some soon. We do know, however, that Niantic recently teased Primal Kyogre and Groudon, which are top-tier Megas in terms in raw damage. The event will most likely be in February as past ones have been.

Speaking of which, December 3rd is Heading to Hoenn Mega Raid Day. We know dataminers found the Mega forms of the Gen 3 starters, so this isn’t terribly surprising aside from the fact that it’s a one-day only event, running from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Niantic has said they’ll be returning for the Hoenn tour, but we don’t know if it’ll be like this event: five additional daily passes, legacy Community Day moves, and increased shiny rates. There’s also a $5 ticket to get more passes, stardust, XL candy, and more, as you can see above.

Note that Sceptile is a Grass/Dragon type, Blaziken is a Fighting/Fire, and Swampert is a Water/Ground, all of which are good combinations for collecting candy and xp. Sceptile is also quad-weak to Ice and Swampert is quad-weak to Grass, which should make them much easier. While Mega Blaziken has no quad weakness, its Fighting-type means it’s vulnerable to the DPS king, Mewtwo, and other Psychics that tend to sit on the raid bench.

12/9 Update: Despite being on the calendar since the leak, Niantic made no update to their website calendar (until hours into New Zealand’s start time) or social media. Players have repeatedly noted it’s once again Hoopa, which the late-update on the calendar now confirms, though Niantic could have given players the originally promised 24-hour warning, as this is the first Elite Raid Day not occurring the day after a Community Day. The lack of announcements makes it seem as though players shouldn’t expect anything to be fixed, and we will not be covering the event unless something drastic occurs for good or ill.

December 15th-23rd is Winter Holiday Part 1. Historically, expect more Ice-type pokemon, the ability to send and open more gifts, and costumes for pokemon and players alike. December 15th-January 1st is Mega Glalie, a new Mega, so clearly that’s part of it (though it’s not as useful as Mega Abomasnow, so it’s more of a spare Ice-Mega). We’ll update the details of this event as Niantic releases them.

12/12 Update: As predicted, the event is allowing players to hold more gifts and features a slew of ice types, but Niantic is giving a 50% raid xp bonus in hopes that you’ll spend more. Speaking of spending, Niantic is also selling special research that includes two incubators, an incense, Mega Abomasnow energy, and “various” event costumed pokemon. Whether the pose is the same that’ll be sold in the store, along with other seasonal avatar items, is unknown, but players have been disappointed with recent paid research. The monetary value may be there, but the general disrespect from the company as it nickles and dimes players is taking its toll, and players are already speaking out against it.

As for the event itself, note that Amaura is in 7k eggs, which some people may want, as is Sneasel which is useful for players into glass canons or its Hisui version. Wild Bergmite can be shiny during the event, so be on the lookout for that during its Dec 20th spotlight hour. New raiders probably should stock up on Piloswine for both Ice and Ground encounters, while vets can get extra XL candy by using Mega Abomasnow throughout the event (Mega Glalie will be too new to get the XL candy bonus and is a mono-type Ice, so its far less useful). For those looking for Stardust, grab Shellders and Glaceons but stack the rewards for Community Day, as you’ll be able to get double stardust for them.

During that time there’s the Community Day round-up, December 17th-18th, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Expect spawns for Spheal, Hoppip, both Sandshrew variants, Stufful, Alolan Geodude, Deino, Starly, Galarian Zigzagoon, Roggenrola, Litwick, and Teddirusa. However, you should be able to also get CD moves for Machop, Roselia, Fletchling, Snivy, Swablu, Gible, Tepig, all the Eevees, Oshawott, Duskull, and Shinx. That’s a long list, so let’s break it down a bit.

Raiders should focus on Deino, Gible, Starly (if you need Flying-types), Litwick, and Roselia. PvP obviously varies, but the most solid investments in my mind would be Fletchling and Sylveon. For gym battlers, a Machamp with Payback could be useful and Sylveon is usable for gym defense. Investors may want to grab a good Oshowatt, as it gets a Hisui evolution.

Stars are all-arounders, triangles are PvP picks, and the highlighted circles are raid picks

12/5 Update: Niantic’s released the full details of the event now. It seems Niantic decided to include the Classic Community Day pokemon in this, and we’re seeing basically all the bonuses: double candy, stardust, xp, increased XL candy, and even half-hatching. The above notes on Eevees still stand, but they’re such a crap shoot, I felt it best not to include them here, especially as Niantic has said nothing about modifying some of their harder evolution requirements nor have they mentioned them getting their Community Day moves. We’ve contacted PR about this, especially as Niantic is prone to errors (note the wrong zigzagoon pictured above on the official infograph we added highlights to).

12/9 Update: Niantic PR did not respond to us personally, but did post an update on their site and social media. As predicted, the 2021 ‘mon are getting their CD moves when evolved, but Eevee’s in a different situation. Niantic’s site says Eevee will getting their other CD move, Last Resort, during the event. Whether is is intentional or a copy and paste error– which Niantic frequently does– is unknown. It’s also unknown if Eevee will have lowered evolution requirements as its had during past CD events. We’ve naturally asked Niantic this via social media and will update should they say anything.

You can get the CD moves by evolving most pokemon between 9am and 9pm local time on both days except for Ursaluna. For that pokemon, you have specific hours to watch out for:

  • 2:00pm December 17 to 6:00am December 18
  • 2:00pm December 18 to 9:00pm December 18

12/15 Update: The event’s also introduced Vivillon, a rather useless pokemon with 18 different forms. Getting one isn’t too bad, as you can pin postcards (not retroactively) and earn credit towards a form. Simply go to your medals page (click your avatar portrait, scroll down the “Me” tab), click the butterfly looking medallion, and scroll down to see what’s catchable. That being said, wait to catch! You can get more candy if you use a Mega Pokemon like Beedrill or Scizor at their max Mega Level plus do it during a double catch candy event… like this coming Community Day.

December 24th-31st is Winter Holiday Part 2. With luck, we’ll get to spin pokestops for single-use Incubators, but anything else is up in the air, though generally an extension of Part 1. We’ll let you know more as soon as we know more ourselves.

However, during that time, there are more events. December 24th-25th is Winter Wonderland. No idea what this is, and the events are clearly stuffed at this point. The timing – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for most of the English-speaking world plus large parts of Europe – makes me hope it’s light, solo content that can be done from home. That being said, this is the same company that asked people to do company-invite-only Mewtwo EX Raids on Christmas Day, so don’t count on it.

Niantic’s not done stuffing the holidays with its own events though! During Winter Wonderland is December 24th’s Hisuian Avalugg Raid Day, which is mildly surprising. Seems like a weird time, but as it’s quad weak to Fighting-types, I’m hoping we can solo this one. At the same time, though, it’s also probably not going to be terribly useful, between two quad weaknesses (Fighting and Steel), being weak to fighting (read: not a viable gym defender, major issue in PvP), and having too little attack power to be raid relevant. We’ll add details as Niantic gives them to us.

12/20 Update: And now we’ve got the official event details. Aside from the deluge of new pokemon yet only “allowing” the purchase of 50 more storage spaces plus the events being scheduled right before and on the biggest holiday of the year, Niantic’s done well.

The new Eevee costume for it and its forms was already known from Pokeminers data, but I’m sure some people will enjoy that. Being able to evolve last year’s Cubchoo too, especially if you got one with good stats. It’s not the best pokemon, but even some of my casual long-term players are short on Ice types, so this should help motivated some people.


But the event proper is where the real presents lay: timed (hopefully not paid) research that gives a bonus to catching, hatching, or stardust collecting; two special trades per day; 30-minute long Daily Incense for increased chances to catch the Galarian birds; for returning players, you can now get 15 guaranteed lucky pokemon and the ‘mon can come as late at 2017 (and this is a permanent change); a collection quest that will reward Galarian Mr. Mime and incense; Hisuian Avalugg (not very useful outside of PvP, but FYI, it is quad weak to Fighting types like Machamp and the recent Terrakion, plus quad weak to Steel) has its Dec. 24 raid day from 2pm-5pm, can be shiny, and grants up to five free daily passes; and Kyurem with signature move Glaciate arrives (not great but still an improvement).

12/23 Update: As you can see from the above LeekDuck image, the event is both free and the bonuses activate once you’ve chosen your path. As a side note, for those looking for event eevees, you want the “Send 5 gifts to friends” event quest (orange

Naturally, Mega Abomasnow is still the best to use right now for XL/candy.

Finally, there’s the Spotlight hours. Players who need space sadly have to wait until December 27th, after Community Day Round up, so make some space now or pray that Niantic sells us some slots (save those coins if you don’t want to pay real currency). No need to worry about Cubchoo that day unless you’re a fan. Wooper on December 6th will prep you for its eventual Scarlet and Violet version if you care, though the extra stardust is nice, so save research pokemon for that. December 13th with Spheal is OK if you really want to still use it in PvP after the nerf, but at least we got bonus catch xp.

December 20th is interesting, though, as we mentioned Hisuian Avalugg is getting a raid day. Bergmite, December 20th’s spotlight pokemon, evolves into it. Whether or not Niantic allows this during the event is a question, but this should help you at least stock up on candy should you wish to use it. The extra candy bonus is nice if you’ve saved research pokemon for that or if you want to use your Meltan box.

11/29 Update: While Niantic has posted a modified version of the old infograph, the spotlight hour section is the same, so we’re still not sure if it’s double, triple, or sextuple bonuses for December 6, 13, and 27. We’ve reached out via social media and will update this should we actually learn anything. 11/30 Update: The bonus is only 2x.

As always, we’ll update this throughout the month, but overall, the Mythical Wishes season looks like it’s off to a rocky start. Hoenn Megas are nice, but releasing them in such a limited fashion with nearly no advanced warning is another bad move after a whole season of bad moves. Especially in the Americas and Europe, December is a jam-packed month for real-world events that often center on family. Pushing limited-time, non-solo-based content once again shows Niantic can’t read the room and doesn’t care about its players, only about manipulating them into playing more. Niantic needs to be giving, not taking, especially not taking time from them this holiday season.

12/22 Update: And the new year is not starting strong it seems, as Niantic has outlined a rather recycled-sounding New Year’s event starting at 8pm December 31 and ending 8pm on January 4. Party hat pokemon and previous New Year ‘mon are being trotted out, though last year’s Hoothoot with hat will become a Noctowl with hat. Pikachu and only Pikachu gets a new hat, though hopefully we’ll see less of him with Ash and Pikachu are retiring soon (I doubt this means Raichu is getting any love soon though).

Niantic is also pushing their egg widget again, with the first three eggs incubating while using the widget getting reduced to 1/4 of the normal requirement, not on top of the 1/2 distance that will be active for the whole event. We’re not sure what else January brings, but Reshiram with Fusion Flare is coming, and it’ll be a step up from the current Flareless version previously released. Unless Niantic is holding back, there’s not a whole lot more to get excited about unless you really like hats or various baby pokemon from 7k eggs (Togepi and Wynaut have uses, especially for newer players, but don’t go crazy on gambling for shinies.

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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