Massively on the Go: Pokemon GO shows little love for February


Pokemon Go‘s roadmap for February is out, but once again leakers have deflated some of that potential hype Niantic tends to squander anyway. While Niantic is trying to build interest for the Sinnoh Tours this month, the Los Angeles event already seems problematic because of its locations, and the poké-pics for the event seem oddly incomplete.

And that’s this month’s main event! The rest of February has some highly questionable choices that’ll probably help you better appreciate the other loves in your life. Just the same, Massively on the Go will try to break down this month’s event outlook to help you avoid some potential heartbreak.

Let’s start with raids. Darkrai is nice, but Sludge Bomb doesn’t do much for it in raids, and both CD Hydreigon and regular Tyranitar are about as good if not not better than the mythical for Dark damage, yeesh. Cresselia is a PvP pokemon, the Lake Trio are useless regional legendaries (the worst kind), Heatran often feels more useful against Rockets than in raids, but Giratina Origine is about as “good” as Darkrai except for having PvP use. It’s very much a Sinnoh lineup, which only helps reinforce a gutcheck that the majority of this month’s raids are not great.

During the event (as we’ll deep-dive in a Sinnoh LA guide coming later this week), Origin Dialga and Origin Palkia will be high priorities. Their normal forms aren’t bad, but I wouldn’t waste time or effort on them.

For Megas, the Latis aren’t bad, especially for their typing, but Mega Rayquaza does everything they do and more in terms of utility in and out of raids. Mega Absol coming back is nice for new players looking for pokedex entries, but it’s largely overshadowed by every other Mega that shares its typing as they all also get a second typing that help with their utility. Oh, and Mega Garchomp will be back already, being the feast to Mega Absol’s famine, the latter of which hasn’t been seen since November 5th, 2021.

Finally, let’s really zoom in on that last bit and note why there’s no Valentine’s Day raid hour: There’s a February 14th Elite Raid instead. As a reminder, Elite Raids cannot be remote raided. This is also a one-day event, during the traditional work week, on a romantic holiday, with the hours during what would be people’s breaks or meal times. Even as someone not in a relationship, I do not appreciate the timing of this. One of our favorite PvP analysts noted that fewer than 50% of his readers participated in the recent Shadow Ho-oh raids, which also cannot be remote raided. While I’m sure it’ll eventually come back, Enamorus at least has the raw stats to be a useful Fairy type, but without moves, we don’t know how much of an advantage this ‘mon may be giving just yet.

2/1 Update: We now have details on the Enamorus Elite Raid Day and it’s not great. To note, we haven’t had an Elite Raid Day since May 2023, and that was a make-up event for the failure in April 2023, er March 2023, as it took the company over a month to properly schedule a half apology in the form of a redo. In particular, the spawning of additional pokemon after Elite Raids has been largely broken and Niantic remained silent on that throughout the ordeal. While there’s nothing to really be excited about if/when the spawns fail this time, the fact that Niantic brought back and continues to push a buggy, heavily disliked feature hammers home how out of touch the company is with its playerbase.

2/14 Update: While there have been worse Elite Raids in the past, this one still wasn’t good: worst timing thus far despite being semi-useful, poor timing also made it harder than average to find other players while also rewarding multi-accounters, and as usual, the after raid “event spawns” were largely broken. This wasn’t even just my experience but ones across my communities and among Reddit users.

Speaking of Shadow Raids, we’re once again getting Shadow Articuno for February weekend Shadow Raids. Again, this is not only the most useless of the three, but it’s also the one we’ve had the absolute most. And this is after Shadow Moltres, the most useful one, lost a weekend to Shadow Ho-oh.


We skipped ahead a bit with the events and Enamorus, but even Niantic places the Elite Raid Day as being worthy of being an event. The month kicks off with another pseudo-sub from Niantic, minus loyalty rewards and now asking players to cut Google/Apple out and directly pay for it via the Niantic webstore. And obviously expect a month full of extra paid tickets as well. Watch your wallets, trainers!

On February 4th, we have the controversial Chansey Community Day. Chansey being one of the original pokemon means it’s been out for years so not a ton of hype for catching one, plus its shiny (and even costume shiny) have equally been out for a long time, and its CD move, Wild Charge, doesn’t really help it in a significant way.

As RyanSwag notes in his video on the topic, it’s a good move for Blissey on defense, though I add it’s only for neutral picks and Dazzling Gleam and Psychic are better moves in most situations, plus in PvP terms it only goes up to four relevant wins in the meta from two. On the other hand, though, this will make harvesting the XL candy much better, so for those of us who actively defend gyms or are just entering the game/scene, it’s the biggest boost we can get.

There’s also a 1/4 hatch bonus, so for those preparing for the Sinnoh Tour can clear out their eggs in preparation. Free-to-play players, aim to hatch the non-2k eggs; you can clear the 2k eggs the quickest during the event and replace them with the event eggs.

Immediately following that, we have the Lunar New Year Event from February 5th-11th. It’s interesting to say the least. First there’s the release of Drampa, a fairly weak Dragon/Normal type that might find niche use only in PvP if it releases as predicted, thanks to Fast Moves that could build quickly and power Fly, a relatively good move that few ‘mon have access to. I’ll update this once the PvP experts run the hard numbers.

The rest of the event is equally dicey. While Jangmo-O is rare, having a quad-Fairy weakness in its family does it no favors in the long run, and the other dragons are more about personal favorites than usefulness. Tyrunt isn’t a terrible research reward, nor are some of the other dragons, especially if you missed their Community Days.

And that’s the other gamble. Throwing one billion global Nice throws is set to unlock certain moves on certain pokemon. Niantic has revealed only the types, but it feels safe to guess that the first Ground move would be Flygon’s CD move Earth Power, the second Ground being Garchomp’s Earth Power, the Fairy move being Moonblast for Altaria, and Boom Burst for Noivern. Garchomp is the major winner here, followed by Altaria.

2/7 Update: The challenge has been completed and has details. Our above predictions were correct, plus Salamence lucky got its CD move. In addition, Falinks, Deino, Bagon, Trapinch, Swablu, Gible, Unova’s (Fire) Darumaka, Tyrunt, and Goomy are all wild spawns for the rest of the event too.

The Dragon move is a bit of a toss-up, being either Draco Meter for Dragonite (not great) or Outrage for Salamence (required). Outrage Salamence would be great, as Niantic messed up its ability to learn the move during Go Fest, held no make-up event for it or the other affected Pokemon, and held it back from being learned in events for over two years prior to that Go Fest. That may also be the reason we should fear Niantic grants it Dragonite.

Catching targets aside, the event benefits of increased XL candy based on throw qualities and increased lucky friend and lucky pokemon triggers are nice. It’ll be a good time to clear storage to prepare for the Sinnoh Tour(s).

During that time, there’s also a February 10th Battle Day, so expect 100 total possible PvP battles and extra stardust. I’d wager there’ll also be paid research for more bonuses, though I doubt they’ll include any extra rank-required PvP avatar gear. As always, we’ll update this as we learn more.

The final day of the Lunar New Year event will have a Hisuian Decidueye Raid Day on February 11th, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Like the others, it probably won’t have much of an impact on the meta, but we’ll update this if new details change that. Yes, it’s the same day as the Superbowl, so if the stats do make it useable, it’ll be POGO’s Superb Owl Sunday (pitchforks down, please!).

The previously mentioned Enamorus Elite Raid Day falls in the middle of a February 13th-15th Carnival of Love mini-event. Traditionally, Valentine’s events include at least double catch candy, pink pokemon, and especially the Chansey family, but as the latter is getting it’s CD event at the start of the month, that part of the event could be a bit underwhelming.

CDN media

2/1 Update: We were correct about the pink theme, but this year’s event is pretty disappointing. While Oricorio will now have its shiny variant out, it’s only for its relevant region. Flabebe, also being featured and locked into its own regional variants, cannot be shiny. There’s also no extra catch or transfer candy (even with the event tickets or Brazil-only Carnival regional aspect), but oddly there’s bonus XL candy for evolving. Unfortunately, only the Flabebes and Quaxley are event pokemon worth using this bonus on. At the least, though, players can store Clamperls from Research for future stardust bonus events.

February 16th-18th is the Sinnoh Tour: Los Angeles. It’s a local event we’ll cover in our guide later this week, but there may be a chance you can do remote raids for the previously mentioned Origin Dialga and Origin Palkia. 2/1 Update: Here’s the guide!

Speaking of Sinnoh, February 19th-23rd is the Road to Sinnoh event. This is where all those Sinnoh 5-star raids with event moves come in, half hatch distance, and some new clothes. Oh, and two $5 event ticket options: one for hatch bonuses (double hatch xp, candy, and stardust) and one for raids (three Daily Passes per day for the event, 5k xp from raids, and a bonus candy from raids, plus piddling amounts of featured raid-mon candy). Most of the event is pretty self explanatory, and I’ve mentioned the usefulness or lack thereof previously concerning the featured raid picks, but Riolu in eggs is nice for those still looking for a good one. It’s one of the few useful non-legendary, non-shadow Fighting types, and it’ll get Mega Evolution that’ll be worth investing in.

Following that will the the Global Sinnoh Tour event proper from February 24th-25th. Tours are always big events, so we’ll also have that covered elsewhere after I’ve checked out the LA specific one.

Finally, let’s talk Spotlight hours. Dratini on February 6th isn’t too exciting. Some players may appreciate the double catch XP, but new players needing Dragons should hit this up, both for the additional boost to their medal during the Lunar Event that’s already pushing dragons and for help fielding a good team to take on Palkia with during the Sinnoh Tour(s).

Munna on February 13th isn’t terrible; it fits the pink theme and may help people clear space in their research stack of any rare encounters they’ve been holding. Munna’s family isn’t anything great, but at least it’s on our list of vaguely useful gym defenders.

For those who noticed, no, there’s no Spotlight Hour on the 21st. The Road to Sinnoh event basically has a week of Raid Hour that Niantic will apparently let override the Spotlight hour.

February 27th may feature one of my favorite pokemon and its variant, but it’s not terribly useful. The transfer event could have come sooner, but the note about “transfer Rare Candy XL” is curious. I’m guessing it just means a rare chance that you’ll get bonus XL candy when transferring, but I suppose it could actually mean there’s a chance to get Rare Candy XL the item. That being said, Niantic’s done this in an event before, and the odds were incredibly low, roughly 0.5% chance of getting the candy.

2/27 Update: And our first assumption, that there was a rare chance to get XL Candy, because of course Niantic doesn’t have a good editor like we have here at MassivelyOP. Funnier still, though, is that Niantic screwed up the initial spawns and brought out Pikachus instead of Sandshrews, which would have made more sense given today was Pokemon Day.

And that’s that, trainers! As always, watch this space for updates and stay safe out there!

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!
Pokemon Go studio Niantic is considered a controversial gaming company owing to multiple scandals and deceptions, starting with the Wi-Spy privacy scandal; over the years, it’s repeatedly failed to secure player data, endangered players during the pandemic, and refused to address documented stalking in POGO. It also rolled back popular accessibility features to incentivize data collection, faked data, and lied about event results. Following 2021’s community-driven Pokemon No boycott, Niantic vowed transparency and communication; it has not delivered.
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