Pokemon GO’s Hoenn Tour is swiftly approaching, and as usual for the POGO regional tours, we have a nice little checklist for you global players out there. While, as usual, Niantic is still poor at providing details, we can make some inferences from the Vegas Tour. Those who read that guide will notice some overlap, but this is a beast of a different nature.
For today’s Massively On the Go, we’re not only giving you a new checklist but also outlining some new specifics to focus on, especially in light of recent rumors of Remote Raid Pass nerfs.
Above is our usual checklist in its purest form, but as always, it’s distilled down from longer explanations. Readers who used our previous checklists will notice a few differences.
First is the “versions” changing to badges. Again, unless something changes from Vegas to Global in this department, the only exclusives are the Latis twins. Without trading, I was able to complete all of the Vegas quests; none required catching either version’s pokemon. Even better was it lacked the long lists of “Catch them all!” the past two Tours included, which did help bring down the chores list. That being said, people who did not choose a version bumped into some issues.
For reference, Latias (red) is tanky; Latios (blue) is DPS. You may encounter your version’s Lati in the wild and possibly get a one-time-per-day second shot at capturing them if you remember to take a picture of them! This will complete a quest for an encounter, and many people noted getting a shiny from this. However, if you see a wild shiny Lati, it will not flee. That means you’ll probably lose a lot of balls/berries, but feel free to use Pinaps to ensure double candy.
The other point of your badge, though, is that you contribute to the Primal Raid spawns, with the winning side having its chosen team mascot appearing more often as raid bosses. Admittedly, at least in Vegas, it may have been rigged to give each team a chance, as announcements occasionally came sooner than expected and always seemed to switch teams on the hour, but this could be different for the Global Tour.
My personal advice if you’re really unsure is to choose your badge based on the Latis or local weather. Remember, Primals boost xp, candies, and damage for all pokemon sharing the type of weather they represent, Kyogre being Rainy (Water, Electric, and Bug) and Groudon being Sunny (Ground, Fire, and Grass). While I personally chose Sapphire because I love Kyogore, I raided it less because I need good Groudons. I was also in Vegas, and when the game actually worked, I had plenty of gyms to choose from. You may not have that luxury.
Next is egg preparation. Longtime players may notice that the 10k eggs not only are pokemon from different physical regions but can also be shiny. I would not advise anyone to gamble on these, but for collection purposes, you may want to make space. The 2k eggs are starters and junk, 5ks are all new shinies, and 7ks give access to Feebas (evolves into Milotic, a decent defender), plus Bagon and Beldum (each evolving into very useful pokemon which eventually get Mega forms).
There are two ways to prepare for this. The first is to walk as many non-2k eggs before the event as possible. That way, if you want to save incubators/coins, you can just walk 2k eggs during the event to quickly replace them with event eggs.
The other idea would be to stock up on big eggs, like 12ks and 10ks, incubate them so they will hatch at the same time while walking them to near-fully-hatched, then turn off Adventure Sync and stop playing until the event starts on Saturday. Once the event begins, you would probably want to possibly use a Lucky Egg and/or Starpiece for even more bonuses. Obviously this uses a lot of premium items and requires more preparation, but it can pay off. Either way, I know it’s a bit late to mention this, but it’s been a dramatic week with little honest communication from Niantic, making it hard to get this out and accurate in a timely manner. Sorry!
Next is preparing Primal Raid teams. This is important because in Vegas, we noticed both a shortage of energy rewards and premier ball rewards. This is the same issue the Mega Lati@s twins experienced at release. Support refused to answer anyone’s questions about whether this was an error or feature, and much like the Lati twins, Primal Kyogre is quite difficult. There are a lot of options to counter it, but I recommend these specific results from Pokebattler for casual players to help build anti-Kyogre teams, as even the top counter that aren’t Megas or Shadow pokemon are large investments. This largely matches Reddit raid analyst and fellow blogger Teban54’s advice from our Hoenn Tour Vegas Guide.
Primal Groudon is much easier to tackle, as it’s quad-weak to Water. The above pokemon (minus the unreleased one I’ve digitally scratched off) are all accessible, with nearly all being released for a while, having a Community Day, or all three.
A group of four players could probably do Groudon, while six could be doable for Kyogre if you’ve got strong players. The problem, though, is that the rewards even in full lobbies required five raids to activate a single Primal Evolution. That means unless Niantic changes something or grants additional raid passes, players will need to do at least 10 successful Primal Raids during the Hoenn Tour, hence the emphasis on having good teams prepared.
2/24 Update: So far it seems there are no extra raid passes for this event, and the Primal Energy rewards are still low, but Serebii.net notes that the quests award 2 Premium Raid Passes plus 200 Primal Energy based on your chosen badge.
New GO Tour Hoenn: Global event details. Costumed Pokémon, Wild legendaries, Wild spawns & more! #PokemonGO 👀🆕 pic.twitter.com/dOp2avU9qV
— The Poke GO Hunter (@thepokegohunter) January 24, 2023
Next is the incense prep for rotating habitats. The above infograph shows some of the prime candidates for those hours, which should help you decide on how many incense you’ll need per day (remember, the global event is two days this year, February 25th-26th from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.). If you plan on playing all day for both days, that’s 16 incense. However, incense lasted three hours during the Vegas Tour. If you feel like gambling, that means you may get away with just six. Also, incense was a reward from some of the one-time collection and story quests. I wouldn’t count on those, but at the same time, know that you should get some replacements.
2/24 Update: Confirmation from New Zealand players that the incense is not boosted, so you will need incense for every hour you want extra/special pokemon from.
For your safe space to play, as always, it shouldn’t just be low on danger; preferably it’ll need to have an accessible bathroom at the least. Places to sit, get water, eat, stand, sit, and socialize are important too. If possible, you also want as many Pokestops and Gyms nearby for quest and raid options. Yeah, that can be a tall order.
Storage is tricky this year, especially as Niantic gave players the option to buy only 50 spaces more. If you have time, arrange trades before the event, but also most assuredly after. Heck, if it gets bad, maybe even do some during the event. As a side note, this season’s bonus trade candy (+1 regular and 1 guaranteed XL candy) expires at the end of the month, so this is really prime trading time.
For supplies, as always, check the weather for the weekend and know your play space. For example, I once again have to worry about rain, so I’ve got a poncho ready and am picking out which amazing umbrella I may want to bring, as well as my own hot drinks should I be forced to stay in my car. Extra batteries and even cables are a must!
For Buddy Pokemon, this goes hand-in-hand with Megas and even Primals. In terms of raids, Mega Swampert is the best ‘mon to use as it’ll generate extra (XL) Candy from both Groudon and Kyogre. However, some players plan to walk Groudon or Kyogre up to 19/20km required to generate candy, then after getting access to Primal forms, switch that buddy in and walk it to generate energy (even better if you pop a poffin). It’s not a bad idea, especially as Primal Forms are powerful enough for me to recommend players invest in 3 Groudon and 3 Kyogre. This makes it so that you can eventually consistently have their bonuses running every day if need be. Just remember to only Mega them when their rest period is over, unless you’re in a rush to max them all out (which I wouldn’t suggest). Again, you don’t need to pump candy and stardust into them for bonuses, just remember to Mega/Primal them when their timer is up, unless you plan to use them in combat. That’s when you want to get some with good IVs, but that’s another story.
That being said, most people I know aren’t that hardcore about their buddies, and many missed the single Hoenn Megas Raid Day. You can get Mega energy for them during the event via quests, but it’s slow going, especially if you stay in one area, as quests will not refresh until the next day. Vegas players did get enough energy to Mega each starter one time at the end of the story questline, just remember that not only will new Megas get you less powerful bonuses but Global players get a different quest, which may not end the same. LeekDuck already shows that there’s a branching quest option which the Vegas players did not have. Also, remember that you want your buddy to be at the second Buddy level for the catch assist bonus, which randomly flings back pokeballs wild/raid pokemon fling back at you, so getting a new buddy from a raid and using it during the event is not advised.
If you don’t have access to Mega Swampert, Redditor JULTAR has quite a list for you. I would recommend choosing either Mega Slowbro or Mega Charizard X for one or both days. Mega Slowbro mostly helps with candy and xp from Kyogre, either Lati, Ralts, and Beldum, among other less useful ‘mon, plus you can use it against Primal Groudon. Charizard X is good for Groudon, either Lati, Bagon, and maybe Rayquaza (if it appears ago like it did in Vegas). It’s not very useful in raids though, so I find Mega Slowbro slightly more useful, but it really depends on your priorities.
For pokemon to focus on, I’ll refer you all back to our Vegas Guide, as our guests had some good advice for a variety of players. That being said, the part about evolution still holds true as Niantic has still not clarified whether Community Day moves will be available; they were not during the Vegas event and are not available now during the Primal Rumblings Event. This is quite a change from the past two Tours, but as always, watch this space for potential updates.
2/24 Update: Early timezone players have noted the Community Day moves are not available. Any Hoenn pokemon you were saving to evolve to obtain CD moves should not be evolved during this weekend’s event unless we hear of a correction.
Preparing for the future
Now, I hate to be a downer, but I need to stress that players should make the most of this event. Niantic does have a history of making negative announcements after events, and it’s already happened, as we mentioned in our Vegas Tour review: Dataminers found evidence of Remote Raid Passes getting daily use restrictions, which helps confirm part of a rumor among the Chinese-speaking POGO Community that Remote Raids will see price increases and restrictions after the Tour event.
That is on top of after last year’s Johto Tour when Niantic announced nerfs to Incense only days later and then Community Day hours nerfs, which included non-remote raidable raids, a month later. And then again after 2022’s summer Go Fest, with Niantic once again introducing Elite Raid system, which also cannot be remote raided and since launch has been so broken that Niantic itself gave the events minimal promotion and updates on bug fixes, to the point that we stopped covering how badly the events went over.
Admittedly, 2022 was a bad year for POGO; it lost more money than the previous low point between 2016’s release and 2017 (when the disastrous Go Fest occurred), but Niantic has been on the warpath to making bad choices and getting worse about it, to the point that our trusted Pokeminers have lessened their content output.
Generation 3 is, without a doubt, Niantic’s best-released generation. All other generations released in-game to date have been serviceable at best, including the recent Season of Alola, which released none of the Sun and Moon features it was based on. And that’s including the fact that we still haven’t heard anything about the data-mined Pokemon Contests actually being released or without hints of adding fan-favorite secret bases, another beloved Gen 3 feature.
In other words, the bar is low for Niantic. People mostly only expect a functioning game, and as we’ve chronicled, the studio fails on that consistently. Gen 3 was probably the best quality-of-life and content update we’ve seen beyond COVID changes, but the Vegas Tour did it a disservice, and there’s growing concern about the quality of the Global version. Unless something big is announced or Tours see a dramatic change, this may be the last “good” Tour we get for years. And until Niantic remembers Pokemon GO is supposed to be a game and not a vehicle for consumer marketing research and guidance, I don’t expect things to get better.
So enjoy the heck out of Hoenn, especially for my fellow Primal form and weather lovers, but temper your expectations for the future. The outlook is stormy indeed.