Falinks was initially intended to appear in Tier Three raids during Pokémon GO's current Ultra Unlock Part Three Week One: Sword event. However, an issue with the game's graphics has caused Niantic to remove Falinks from the raid rotation. Let's get into the details.
Niantic posted the news, along with their solution for Pokémon GO players, over on their official company Twitter:
Trainers, Falinks will be removed from three-star raids for the duration of this event due to a bug causing it to appear distorted. Falinks can still be encountered in Field Research, and will appear more frequently in the wild.
This is one of the few instances of Niantic messing up that I can't imagine even the Pokémon GO fanbase will manage to spin into a major negative. Now, we're getting Falinks as a fairly common wild spawn. I can confirm after a day of moderate gameplay that Falinks seems to be spawning almost as much now as Wooloo and Skwovet.
So… what's in its place?
In its place, Machamp will be appearing in 3-star raids from Friday, 8/20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. to Thursday, 8/26, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. local time and Gengar will be appearing in 3-star raids from Thursday, 8/26, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. to Wednesday, 9/1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. local time
Personally, I'd have rather they kept it as is and just increased the Galarian Weezing and Lapras raids. Machamp is… not an interesting addition. However, the problem was broken Falinks raids in Pokémon GO, and this solution is certainly fixing that core issue.
Niantic also posted information regarding another bug in the game, which may impact gameplay for some Pokémon GO trainers. They wrote:
Trainers, we're looking into a bug causing certain Pokémon to appear an incorrect size on the map. Tapping on these incorrectly sized Pokémon may cause the app to crash. To prevent these errors from occurring, please refresh your game data. We apologize for the inconvenience.