Pokémon GO Dragon Week Review: Roaring Success Or Deino Disaster?

Dragon Week, the first act of the three-part Ultra Unlock event in Pokémon GO, is nearing its ends. As the game and dedicated trainers prepare to switch into Enigma Week, we at Bleeding Cool take a look back at Dragon Week for a comprehensive review of what worked, what didn't work, and what didn't seem to exist at all within this Pokémon GO event.

Dragon Week in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Dragon Week in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

Dragon Week Spawns

Spawns didn't have a ton of variety, but were… well, actually a bit spicy. There were filler spawns such as Swablu, Trapinch, and Horsea, the latter of which even took over the game for Spotlight Hour on Tuesday, but the amount of rarer spawns such as Dratini and Bagon made Dragon Week well-worth it for new players who haven't seen much of those two, as well as older players looking for more candy to power-up their Shadow Salamence and Dragonites, now that those two have become meta-relevant. The rare Gible, though its raid frequency was a big problem with this week, was available in the wild, albeit at a very low rate. Still, with a Pokémon that rare, some are better than none.

The absence of Deino in the wild, though, considering this week was its Shiny release, is egregious. More on that below.

Dragon Raids

Rayquaza was the Legendary Raid boss of the week, and, although there is no data on this yet, the ease of Remote Raid Invites plus the popularity of Shiny Rayquaza made this likely one of Niantic's most profitable events in the history of Pokémon GO. While this was a hugely fun aspect of Dragon Week, there was only one other Pokémon as worthy of a Raid Pass as Rayquaza: Gible. It was amazing to see Gible in raids, but the problem is that very few trainers actually did see it. Gible raids were as rare as a wild sighting, which is one of two major weaknesses this event had. It was disheartening to see Tier Two raids, where Gible could be found, hatch in abundance into the hyper common Sneasel, Croconaw, and Alolan Exeggutor. Removing Croconaw and Sneasel from the Raid pool would have been a start, but increasing Gible raids would have prevented this from feeling like Niantic built excitement with Gible's presence, only to disappoint trainers with its low frequency.

Dragon Week in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Dragon Week in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic


Eggs were the weakest aspect of Dragon Week, with the 7KM Egg pool dominated by common Pokémon, with Deino hatching at a rate so low that researchers haven't been able to determine a Shiny rate, because they've had trouble hatching even non-Shiny Deino. Bleeding Cool investigated this issue earlier today, but this is the one major, major loss for Dragon Week.

Dragon Week Tasks & Ultra Unlock Research

PokéStop tasks were minimal but fun, offering encounters with either Bagon or Dratini. The best one, though, was the reward of one Rare Candy for the very doable "Catch 3 Dragon-Type Pokémon" task. Rare Candies being in PokéStop tasks is appreciated. Beyond that, the Limited Research was fun and easy and is the only way to guarantee two encounters with Deino. It would have made more sense if every Ultra Unlock week had its own Limited Research, but it seems as if, so far, it will only be Dragon Week.

Shiny Release

As said above, the new release of Deino was almost impossible to get. It's great that the Pokémon is now available Shiny in the game, but Niantic made it no more available than before. It's almost a guarantee that Enigma Week's release of Shiny Staryu will be more readily available, but unfortunately, some of the playerbase does feel burned on Deino's release.

NEXT: Complete Guide to Ultra Unlock: Enigma Week in Pokémon GO

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.