What a month it has been for Pokémon GO players… and we're only four days in. Since the start of December, Niantic introduced the Season of Celebration, raised the level cap by introducing Levels 41 – 50, released the Kalos region for the first time, and announced a ton of upcoming featured including a Shiny Celebi Timed Research questline, the release of Shiny Rufflet, the return of Jessie and James, a new Costumed Pikachu, and more. While this was going on, another change in Pokémon GO that would have, in the past, been a huge headline instead happened with little fanfare due to the sheer level of insanity going on in the game right now. Durant and Heatmor, two regional Pokémon, have now swapped hemispheres in Pokémon GO. Durant can now be found in the western hemisphere and Heatmor can now be found in the eastern hemisphere.
While regional swaps have been done before, this Durant and Heatmor swap isn't switch that Pokémon GO trainers should take lightly. First, both of these species are Shiny-capable with Durant taking on a lighter brown hue while Heatmor turns into one of the most stunning Shinies in the game, taking on the look of charred black volcanic rock with glowing hot magma blazing through the cracks. It's not just the fact that these Shinies are available that makes this change meaningful, though. This is the first time that we're seeing the impacts that these new Seasons have on Pokémon GO. This swap happening unannounced during the first Season could mean that future regional swaps are going to play ongoing parts in upcoming seasons. We will see four additional seasons in 2021, with a new one kicking off every four months, so players can only guess what those will entail. Such an impactful regional swap in the first one, though, seems promising for future regionals.
For those hoping to get their first Durant and Heatmor due to this swap, keep in mind that they are still rare in the wild. Good luck hunting, fellow trainers!