While we are still gearing up for Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto on Saturday, February 20th, Niantic is looking ahead. We already knew that a week-long event called Kanto Celebration will follow the one-day Tour, continuing the focus on Generation One Pokémon. Now, Niantic has announced Kanto Raid Day for Sunday, February 28th from 11 AM through 2 PM which focuses on the Legendary Birds. That's not it, though. The day will also debut a new Rocket Research that culminated in an encounter with Giovanni with a new Shadow Pokémon.
Niantic announced the details on the official Pokémon GO blog:
Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres will be appearing in five-star raids! If you're lucky, you might even encounter a Shiny Articuno, Shiny Zapdos, or Shiny Moltres!
While this takes place during the normal Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Mewtwo raid rotation, this is still special. Historically, Raid Days feature Pokémon with a super-boosted Shiny rate, with researchers generally observing the rate to be approximately one in 10 encounters. If you haven't gotten your Shiny set by this time, you'll have a major chance to do so here.
We're hearing reports that Giovanni will be returning with a different Shadow Legendary Pokémon in his clutches. Get ready to complete some new Team GO Rocket Special Research to save this Pokémon, Trainers!
So far, Giovanni has had Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Mewtwo, and even a non-Legendary with Persian during GO Fest 2020. Ho-Oh and Lugia are possible options here and would make sense considering the fact that we were, for a time, going in order of generations with these Shadow Legendary releases. Shadow Lugia would make the most sense as a tie-in to Pokémon Day, as it is the most iconic Shadow in the franchise and has an entirely different look than other Shadows. There is no word if Niantic will adopt this depiction of Shadow Lugia. Currently, these two options are just theories, but we will report when we know.
Pick up a free bundle of three Remote Raid Passes in the shop starting on Saturday, February 27 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time to Monday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time. Earn up to five free Raid Passes by spinning Photo Discs at PokéStops or Gyms during event hours.
I can't help but think this would've made more sense as a Remote Raid Pass bundle, but this is indeed how Raid Days have historically been done.
During the event period, you can use a Charged TM to help a Shadow Pokémon forget the Charged Attack Frustration. Team GO Rocket Grunts will be appearing more frequently at PokéStops and in balloons throughout the event window.
The mixture of the Raid Day features and the Team GO Rocket takeover features is a major win, in my opinion. These features can co-exist for players who want to engage in both, and will also be prevalent enough for trainers who prefer to focus on one over the other.
As more details come in on this and other Pokémon GO events, Bleeding Cool will be here to report.