Massively on the Go: Pokemon GO’s April content isn’t all laughs

    
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Pokemon Go isn’t talking about its yearly April Fools’ day event yet, but we do have some details on the rest of the month, and they’re a mixed bag. There’s a new Mega, but not a super useful one. Half the world gets a great raider, the other half a joke. We get a great Spotlight hour ‘mon for Stardust farming, but its bonus is for xp.

This edition of Massively on the Go will try to steer you towards the known fun content we have coming up while tempering expectations for the rest – at least until Niantic rolls out more information in its general slow-drip fashion.

Let’s start with raids, especially as the previous three-month-long paid research wasn’t even discussed by Niantic. As I mentioned last month, Shadow Entei for the weekend Shadow raids (*cringe*) is only a smidge better than the Shadow starters, such as Shadow Charizard with Blast Burn. It’s also a legendary, so it’s vastly more expensive, can be acquired only via raiding, and has a lower IV floor, so don’t worry if you miss out on it.

I’m personally¬†super¬†excited about Mega Heracross (April 13th-25th), as it’s one of my favorite Bugs, but it didn’t even make it to honorable mention for our Megas to invest in list, nor was it worth talking about in terms of Megas that could help¬†POGO. It’s an interesting combo, and you should grab it for fun (especially if you don’t live in South America, where it’s usually the regional), but don’t expect to use it. Even Darkrai, which has many moves Heracross resists, has more to worry about that this bug.¬† The other two Megas coming back just aren’t really worth discussing, as Charizard energy flows pretty freely and Mega Aggron’s uses are¬†extremely¬†limited.

Tapu Bulu with Nature’s Madness (April 12th-25th) isn’t terrible in theory (use Poison against it!), but Registeel (April 25th-May 2nd) will be a good raid target for PvPers, as it’s still a top pick in Great and Ultra PvP leagues. For raiders in the Northern Hemisphere, Kartana is great. Don’t sleep on it! Sadly, Southern Hemisphere players will need remote raids. While Kartana and Celesteela (April 4th-12th) are getting their shinies too, I figure only collectors will care about shiny Celesteela as it’s just not a great ‘mon in general.

We’ll update this section with the April Fools’ day event info when/if we get it, as already Niantic’s skipping Eggstravaganza for the first time¬†ever. Even COVID didn’t stop it before, so unless it’s being combined with April Fools’ day, the company is either becoming more forgetful or more experimental.

3/31 Update: Despite the fact that, when released, the in-game link leads to a 404’d error page, early reports indicate that this is not an April Fool’s joke. All throws are registering as Excellent Throws for at least the day, so if you have any difficult quests requiring Excellents (or want to evolve a Galarian Farfetch’d), today’s the day to clear them out.

Speaking of experiments, April 4th-9th is the Sizeable Surprises¬†event. I’ve previously used¬†POGO¬†as an example of games¬†not¬†to emulate in terms of tackling and monetizing hoarding, and this event will most likely cement that sentiment by increasing the odds for players to encounter XXL pokemon and the currently-useless-but-maybe-one-day-useful XXS ‘mon. Shiny Wimpod’s introduction is cute, and the bonus xp for throw quality is always appreciated (how it’s not a base feature of the game is still beyond me), but this is mostly an event that seems geared at getting some players to buy more storage and potentially driving out those who are already maxed out and desperate for space.

Somewhat related is the April 7th Bagon Community Day Classic, as the Sizeable Surprises bonus xp will¬†not¬†stack with triple xp from catches. For those without super-useful Mega Rayquaza or people who can’t afford to walk enough to keep it going for whole events, getting a good Bagon from this to use as Mega Salamence is nice. However, Shadow¬†Salamence is one of the top Dragon attackers¬†if¬†it has the CD move, Outrage, even being better than the Mega. Hopefully, you have at least one of these ready, as we’ve previously noted that not only did Niantic put this one away for years, but it was one of several ‘mon that lost its CD move early during Go Fest 2023 – and probably the most meta-relevant. Niantic also didn’t do a make-up event for the affected ‘mon, so while this is appreciated, it’s also coming after a screw-up the company swept under the rug and a Dragon event that also gave us access to the move.

Then we have the Bug Out event from April 12th-17th. Traditionally, it’s an infrequent event that involves bugs, often with a new shiny bug, if not new species introduction(s). We’ll fill you in on what’s going down as we learn more.

During Bug Out is the April 13th¬†Mega Heracross Raid Day. Again, unless something big changes, this isn’t a great ‘mon, so it’s easier not to shell out extra cash for this. Mega Pinsir can help boost Flying types to do quad damage to Mega Hera, but it doesn’t learn any Flying moves as of this writing, so it would purely be to help others while giving you extra XL candy. I’d only use it in the largest of groups to speed things up. Get enough energy to Mega it once and feel free to either walk it for more energy or forget about it. Sorry, buggy buddy!

April 20th’s the proper¬†Community Day. What that is, we’re not sure, as it seems Niantic has plugged its leaks. There has been some talk that it may be a Bug-type, but as the event is three days after Bug Out, I don’t expect it. Tune in later to full details and assessment!

4/15 Update: It’s officially Bellsprout, which only really helps in PvP. Doing “Magical Leaf” on 4/20 seems like kind of an adult joke for a family-friendly game, but Niantic isn’t exactly known for catering to its audience these days. While the ‘mon may seem skippable, you do get triple stardust, so there may still be a reason for some of ya’ll to go out anyway.

Sustainability Week (April 22nd-26th, which you’ll note is¬†not¬†a week) is back, but again, no details. Worse, it’s fallen in recent years, traditionally speaking, starting with 2022’s event having no real-world Earth Day cleanup goals at all. That shouldn’t stop POGO¬†players from at least cleaning their local parks, but they won’t be gaining rewards as they have in years past. As for what we’re actually getting, we’ll have to wait for Niantic to grant us details at a later date.

4/16 Update: We now have official details on the event. Admittedly, most of the event isn’t exactly exciting, but having Combee, Trubbish, and Foongus as research rewards means you can renew your reward stack with high-stardust yielding prizes so soon after the triple dust Bellsprout Community Day is nice. For players who don’t walk much or who rotate buddies, it’s also a good time to earn buddy hearts. But we’re not receiving any new pokemon, new shinies, or anything really Earth Day-themed.

Finally, April 28th will be a¬†Hatch Day. Why Niantic didn’t do this around Easter is still odd, but these events are also fairly cringey: Niantic features a single pokemon in 2k eggs for a few hours (not 24) and tries to sell you more incubators at the same time. We don’t know what the pokemon will be, but I would highly suggest keeping expectations low and egg inventories filled with 2k eggs for now. That way, it’s easier to naturally walk your 2k eggs and make room for new ones without having to use premium incubators. We’ll update this strategy and section as we learn more.

4/18 Update:¬†We now have official information on the Clefa Hatch Day event, oof. The good news is that we have a 1/2 hatch bonus from Friday, April 26th at 10am until the event ends with the proper Hatch “Day” 5m cut off on the 28th. However, not only is Clefa just not great or motivating, but the double stardust bonus we’ve had before is now paywalled behind a $1 event ticket. We’ll still have double hatch candy during the event, but honestly, ya’ll may wanna stock up on 10k, 12k, or even 7k eggs for that weekend. Especially with Clefairy’s spotlight hour a couple days afterward, the only winners here are Shiny Clefa pursuers and Clefairy fans.

As we often do, we’ll wrap up with the Spotlight Hour ‘mon. April 2nd’s Zubat has me worried Niantic will get us Zubat’s for April Fools’ day, which has almost no use, but at least it’s a double transfer event. What’s nice about that is you can save your junk Shadow Mewtwos from March’s Shadow Mewtwo Raid Weekend and cash them in without their clogging space for long.

Croagunk on April 9th with evolution xp isn’t great, nor is “worm day” on April 16th, though at least Weedle has a Mega that’s sometimes useful for both candy generation and raids, such as against Tapu Bulu this month. Mega Venusaur’s a smidge better against Tapu, as it gets the “Team Frag” bonus we’ve been discussing lately (having a Mega type bonus that do Super Effective damage against the Mega’s other typing, such as Poison harming Grass), but desperate new players or those in small communities who are seconds away from victory may want to use Mega Beedril.

The biggest Spotlight to focus on will be April 23rd’s Trubbish, as it grants 750 base stardust per catch. The worms may get a stardust bonus, but if you’re light on star pieces, save it for Trubbish! April 30th’s Clefairy at the end of the month with double catch candy just isn’t worth talking about unless you need a low-tier, accessible Fairy-type defender.

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

4/15 Update: Niantic has some more events that mostly seem marketing’s doing. We don’t have full details yet, but what we do know is that many of the upcoming “features” have not met tester approval, especially the face options, which come on April 17th. The biomes are coming April 22nd, with yet another Kanto event, and just for reference, there’ll be a “revamped GO Snapshot feature” coming May 7th. As always, we’ll update this space as we learn more.

4/22 Update:¬†We now have details on the Biomes and Kanto event, though the post doesn’t mention that Wiglett is a new release for Beach Biomes, making this year’s Earth Day only slightly less worse than the previous four years. The event ends May 9th and it’s… an event, technically. It is nice that the Kanto starters get their CD charge moves (so no Dragon Breath on Charizard), but overall it feels more like an event for new players and casual Kanto shiny hunters. Those who don’t live by the ocean may be able to find Wiglett near other bodies of water, though hopefully Niantic has something for desert dwellers.

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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