Massively on the Go: MOP’s planning guide for Pokemon Go Global Go Fest 2024

    
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It’s almost time, Pokemon Go trainers: Go Fest 2024 arrives July 13th to 14th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time each day, and as usual, Massively on the Go is here to help with some of the ins and outs of the event. Between collectors being limited to roughly two pokemon of each variant (such as shiny, shadow, shiny shadow) and Niantic releasing only three new pokemon families in roughly seven months, it’s no surprise that Go Fest is looking like slim pickings, but some of those pickings are admittedly quite strong. Let’s dig in!

Costumed Espeon and Umbreon

Ticket value

I must admit that this year, the ticket value seems low. As predicted, nothing has been as good as the 2021 Go Fest: The themes haven’t been great, the raid options have been more limited, and Niantic has been stingier. Admittedly, that was also the 5th Anniversary Go Fest, so you would expect it to be a bit better, but the other Go Fests since have been buggier at the least and thematically felt weaker.

Sun and Moon are the themes this year, but for a POGO generation, it’s been the weakest one released, leaving a lot on the table that still isn’t being addressed in this event. We got some general Snapshot changes in May, but they seem fairly generic and in no way reflect the Sun and Moon gameplay. Instead, we get costumed Umbreon and Espeon, which may evolve during the day or night respectively, but that’s a Gen 2 feature with Gen 2 ‘mon. They’re supposedly coming via incense, but none of the graphs show that yet, only revealing them as 3-star raid options, which is pretty pitiful when you consider the other, more useful raid options this year.

Some of the avatar items are nice, and having the Ultra Beasts all together is too, but avatar items are premium content on top of a premium event, and the Ultra Beasts never should have been regional in the first place. Paying for a short-term event to make some arguably collector-only ‘mon less painful to farm for shinies via even more premium content (raid passes) is the very picture of greed.

Ticket holders still get more raid passes, six special trades, access to some non-UB regionals via incense (Maractus, which is nothing, and Corsola, which at least gets a Galarian variant you could hoard candy for), some “special” 7k eggs if you care, and a hidden increase in shiny rates. You also get access to Marshadow, but unlike in past years, its use is very limited, with Annihilape doing basically everything it does but better, despite having less CP.

Niantic also recently noted that ticket holders also get bonus spawns on Routes, which are basically newer shinies, plus exclusive Party bonuses, though what those are and whether they’re available when grouping with a non-ticket holder remains to be seen.

As usual though, I remind readers to keep expectations ground-level low, as the LA Sinnoh event had similar vibes but occurred before the main event. Niantic seems to be saving the “testing” for the actual event, which should concern all ticket holders. Putting some new shinies on Routes, which didn’t go well for the Sinnoh Tour, seems out of touch with the reality of these events.

The big focus this time is once again power, as last year we got both Diancie (meh) and Mega Diancie (whoa) plus Mega Rayquaza, a top Mega pick. This year’s biggy is Necrozma and its fusions, which is complex enough that Redditor noobwowo has assembled an FAQ about its most basic functions. Necro itself isn’t anything to write home about, but as our favorite PvE analyst Teban54, mentions, its forms are stupid powerful. These use a new “fusion” mechanic, temporarily removing either Solgaleo or Lunala from your storage to change Necro into that variant, using Necro’s stats (i.e., if you have a perfect Solgaleo and fuse it with a 10/10/10 Necro, your Dusk Mane will be a 10/10/10).

Its Dawn Wings variant is like Gengar on steroids: It’s going to do heavy damage, but it has two quad weaknesses (technically x2.56, which isn’t quite double the usual 1.6 extra damage a single weakness in POGO inflicts, but we continue this term because mainline players understand it and it helps steer new players away from ‘mon that often get ripped apart). While Gengar fears the Pyschics he’s sent out to destroy, Dawn Wings has that fear from fellow Ghosts, but many of them and Psychics often have Ghost or Dark moves that could destroy it rather quickly. Still, the only thing that compares to it in power are Megas. That’s a major brag.

Dusk Mane, on the other hand, similarly blasts Steel types out of the water in its ranking, but that pool was already rather empty. According to Teban, Dawn Wings is about 6% better than its competition, while Dusk Mane is 11%, but Steel isn’t as useful a type as Ghost. Steel teams are a bit harder to build outside of events that grant Metagross its Community Day move, Meteor Mash, but I also don’t think we’ll see many players running around with multiple leveled Dusk Manes any time soon.

In terms of choosing which to prioritize, I’d probably look first at your teams. Are you missing more in the Steel department or Ghost/Dark department? If you’re a longtime player and/or more into PvP, also consider your PvP options. According to one of our most trusted PvP analysts, JRESeawolf, Dawn Wings wins out again in terms of general usability, but don’t count Dusk Mane out if it may better suit your team. Either way, though, it may be difficult/impossible to build either of these without a ticket for the event. We don’t have the numbers on anything and most likely won’t until the event goes live.

There are also Adventure Effects to consider, but they are objectively weaker than the Sinnoh Tour ones. Offering only three candy compared to five for the Sinnoh Dragons is nice but is actually still worse in terms of cost, as at least the Dragons give more unique and potentially useful ‘mon and can even at least get you back the stardust costs. Unless you live at a real-world pole where you spend months in sunshine or darkness, these are just really not something most players – or whales – would use.

Again, though, this is all in pursuit of power. Certain players (who don’t care about PvP or shinies, have no problems clearing raids, and/or live in the city and can play only on Sunday) could conceivably skip the tickets this year. If you need to spend, spend them on raid passes, and do so before the event, as Niantic is known to cut out relevant boxes with discounts to essentially jack up the prices.

High-value targets

As usual, Saturday is habitats day, so every hour on the hour, at least spawns will change, but hopefully quests will too, though there’s no update noting it yet. Long story short, most of the spawns are for fun/catching up and nothing worth going hard on outside of shinies/fav ‘mon. If you plan on going hard that day and need a specific hour to sit out, Dawn Meadow (2pm-3pm) is probably your best bet, unless you’re a PvE purist and done with Mudkips and Deinos, which would mean you could break for Darkest Night (1pm-2pm). Feel free to either skip ahead to the next section or keep reading about why this year’s spawns feel so blasé.

Now, unlike in past years, we’re mostly going to focus on PvE this year unless something has a major PvP use. While I do know PvP communities exist, a lot are better served elsewhere, and those players tend to be more hardcore. PvE info is usually graph-and-toss content with few exceptions and little to no consideration of rarity and resources. My assumption is that most of our readers are more on the casual-content side rather than min-maxers.

With that in mind, I must admit that, this year, the pickings are slim. If you’re a new/lapsed player just returning, there are a few targets to consider. Dratini, Axew, Gibble, and Deino are all good ‘mon to watch for, though Axew sadly needs to be evolved during Community Day to get the most out of it. Dratini’s line does have a CD move, but it’s unnecessary and often not as good as other options.

7/12 Update: There’s been confirmation that some Pokemon are getting their Community Day Moves: Charizard (Blast Burn only), Dragonite, Garchomp, Haxorus, Hydreigon, Serperior, and Swampert thus far. We’ll update as we learn more.

Gibble and Deino are both Dragon types, but Gibble’s line is a strong Ground type, so I’d probably save the best ones for a Community Day evolve, as that’s how it gets its best move. It can also serve as a great Dragon type in a pinch, but unless you’re really swimming in Gibble candy and still somehow need Dragons for raids, save them. Similarly, Deino’s line is much better as a Dark-type attacker and also needs a Community Day to unlock its best ability, but it’s a pretty poor chase as a Dragon attacker. You have much better options around.

If you’re wondering why I haven’t spoken about Jangmo-oh’s line, it’s because it’s really not great. Lower than Deino, even. Get it for shiny collecting, if you’re a fan or willing to wait for its Community Day and a miracle, as like other Dragons, it has a 4x weakness. It’s technically well ranked as a PvP ‘mon and within the top 100 of most cups, but a quad Fairy weakness is a huge issue to overcome. While it may beat a lot of people in various cups, it often loses badly to common stuff like Azumarill or Cresselia.

While Tyrunt’s line may have a Dragon typing, it’s more useful for Rock raids if you don’t have better. Related is the Charmander line, which isn’t a terrible Fire type, but in certain raids, Flareon is better, and it doesn’t require a CD move. And don’t get me started on it as a Dragon attacker; it won’t make any top 20 ranks these days, even without Megas, Shadows, or even Legendaries. Grab Charmanders only because you like them or have PvP plans for them.

Outside of (pseudo) Dragons, Mudkip’s line is worth pursuing, but mostly for its Mega. It’s useful in Rocket Battles too, particularly by spamming Muddy Waters, which isn’t a CD move (though having it is certainly useful in raids). Roselia can help with both Poison and Grass without needing its CD move as well, though Kartana is much better and available in raids, so if you need only one or two slots, raid Kartana instead. Similarly, Litwick can work as a Ghost or Fire type and also doesn’t need its CD move, same with the Eeveelutions, though do note that evolving Sylveon is such a pain that you may as well just use Granbull.

As you can see, the 7k egg pool isn’t wonderful either, unless you’re a shiny hunter or a fan of a specific pokemon. While it’s nice we get a week of half-hatch distance if you’re a ticket holder, it basically just means increased odds of getting shiny Larvesta again, and while I’ve marked it as useful, its rarity and evolution cost (400 candy) combined with its stats means that it’s often easier to build a legendary, mythical (like Genesect), or Ultra Beast than it is to build Larvy’s final form, though for Bug-types, Grubbin’s line, which is a wild spawn, is nearly as good.

Readers should also be reminded that just because something is in the same tier doesn’t mean it has the same odds as others in that tier. So while both Larvesta and Rockruff-Dusk Form are “ultra rare,” it may be that the odds of getting the pup are higher than getting the bug. This is why I always try to emphasize that when it comes to incubators, buy them because you want their stardust/xp prizes, not to gamble on the ‘mon/candy contents. It’s far less disappointing, and you’ll find you have more incubators for when the eggs are much more consumer-friendly.

In the same vein, remember that outside those Ultra Rares and Budew (which gets a second-move discount before you evolve it into Roselia), all the other egg-mon are either wild spawns or incense spawns. The only difference is the shiny odds. That does make getting the regionals feel more fair for those not into hatching, but it also makes this year’s egg pool look and feel weak. It’s hard for Niantic’s devs to win here, but it’s also their game and their rules, so it’s hard to feel sorry for them.

Raid options

We’ll be skipping the 1- and 3-star raid options as they’re basically fluff that can be soloed without much difficulty. Also, one thing should be clear to those who aren’t buying a ticket or have limited time/means: Use Saturday for bare minimum raiding, then hit Necrozoma’s fusions hard on Sunday. Part of this is because Saturday is the only day for biomes, but mostly it’s because Necro’s fusions are only released for Sunday.

While it seems like a lot of the Ultra Beasts are useful, keep in mind that they’re all repeats. I’ll go over them again, but as we discussed in this month’s event round-up, each one gets a raid day leading up to the event, and the paid research that goes with it isn’t half bad if you plan on spending anyway. This is why I say to use Saturday for the bare minimum, unless you’re really into the non-stat altering background alternatives randomly appearing on UBs caught during the event.

With that in mind, Necrozma’s fusions (not so much Necro itself) are stupid strong, so you probably want to focus on them mostly. It’s not that Kartana isn’t useful by comparison (because it is), but use your free Saturday passes there. Especially after the way Mega Rayquaza was re-released, set your expectations very low on the Fusions eventual return after this event. It won’t be pretty, so go hard during Go Fest if you can.

As I’ve said before, not all these “useful” UBs are created equally. For example, Buzzwole can do OK in certain Bug situations, and Pheramosa does better, but it’s also super glassy. Combined with being both an Ultra Beast and regionally restricted, it’s difficult to build and the payoff is low, especially with how infrequently we use Bug types. Even worse, its typing makes it vulnerable to Psychics, its biggest use. Blacephalon is fine, but Chandelure can fill its niche in a similar, if lesser, way.

If you’re super limited on Saturday, the big ones I’d target are Kartana and Xurkitree. Grass and Electric are more common as good raid counters. Poison feels more useful than Bug, but that’s really not saying a lot, hence the very short list I’m recommending until Sunday, when you hit both Dusk Mane and Dawn Wing hard. Via the links, you can see they’re relatively easy, needing roughly three and two trainers, respectively. You should also certainly have Megas prepared to harvest their candy!

Mega picks

Honestly, in my mind, there’s only really one Mega for this event: Mega Rayquaza. Between all the Dragons and Necrozma’s two forms being part Psychic, it’s pretty obvious Mega Ray rules this event. However, if you want to use Saturday for focused catching, fine – just use whatever generates the candy you need. Mega Ray is still good for Sunday, but you can also do Mega Gardevoir, especially as it learns Shadow Ball, a very useful move to use against either boss but especially quad-weak to Ghost Dawn Wing. It’s rarely going to be this straightforward, but again, it’s slim pickings in terms of useful spawns, and mostly focused on Dragons. Mega Latias/Latios are decent as well, but Mega Ray also giving bonus xp and (XL) candy to five Flying-types really puts it over the top, even if those five aren’t hugely meta relevant for the most part.

As always, as new information trickles in, we’ll update our guide and give you more tips. As it is, it’s probably best to find a decent place with lots of people to raid with, bathrooms, an easy Route, plenty of spawns and Stops, and of course, accessibility for you and your friends/preferred trainers.

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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