Giovanni's "Different" Shadow In Pokémon GO For March is Articuno

Well, it looks as if Niantic meant "different than Mewtwo" rather than "different than what he's had before" when they announced that Giovanni would soon have a different Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon GO. For the next three months, the Team GO Rocket boss will cycle through the Legendary Birds of Kanto, giving those who complete the Special Research a chance to capture Shadow Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres for the third time.

Giovanni in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Giovanni in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

On the official Pokémon GO blog, Niantic announced:

Incoming: New Team GO Rocket Special Research!

It appears that after a few months of rest, Giovanni and his Grunts are up to no good once again! What's worse, they've obtained more Shadow Pokémon—including Shadow Legendary Pokémon! Early investigations into Giovanni's movements suggest he'll be using these Shadow Legendary Pokémon at different times.

March 2021: Shadow Articuno

April 2021: Shadow Zapdos

May 2021: Shadow Moltres

Starting on Sunday, February 28, 2021, at 12:00 a.m. local time, play through this Season's new Team GO Rocket Special Research to earn a Super Rocket Radar and take down Giovanni! There will be other opportunities to earn Super Rocket Radars at the beginning of each month this Season, so stay tuned for more information!

I have to admit, this throws me for a loop. I theorized on which Shadow Legendary Pokémon could be coming earlier this week, but I never could've guessed it'd be one that we've already seen twice before when Giovanni has only ever had a total of seven Shadow Legendaries. With monthly Team GO Rocket Special Research missing from the game since October, and stuck in an inconsistent pattern since March 2020 before that, it feels like an odd move to bring it back three months in a row while offering nothing new to Pokémon GO trainers who have been waiting a long time.

Now, of course, Niantic has to string these Shadow releases out over a long period of time, as they intend it to be a permanent aspect of the game. Still, it strikes me personally as an odd move to create hype about this by announcing a "different" Shadow coming only for it to be something that most players will already have. In any case, it's good to see Giovanni back. Hopefully, he'll stick around and offer something more exciting in June.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.