Pokémon GO Kanto Raid Day 2021 Review: Bird Trio

Yesterday, Niantic ended a week of Kanto-themed Pokémon GO festivities with Kanto Raid Day, which focused on the Legendary Birds Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres with a little Team GO Rocket action thrown in. Let's take a look at what worked and what didn't work in this Pokémon GO event.

Kanto Birds in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Kanto Birds in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

What Worked in this Pokémon GO Event

  • Raid Days return: Raid Days are far and few between these days, so even though the focus of this one was a bit of a miss (we'll get into that below), it's great to see them return for the future of the game. Raid Days offer raids at virtually every game in the gym with a timer set for the entire event, and the Shiny rates are dramatically boosted. It's a great style of event that I hope returns in 2021 in a major way.
  • Team GO Rocket: The best part of this Raid Day was that it wasn't just a Raid Day. There was boosted Team GO Rocket activity via Pokéstops and Balloons, new Giovanni Research, and the ability to use Charged TMs to remove…
  • Frustration: Removing Frustration from Shadow Pokémon is a major perk of any event, and a rare one. This, on top of the other Team GO Rocket activity, made this event worth playing.

What Didn't Work in this Pokémon GO Event

  • Shadow Articuno: This is less a critique of this specific event and more of Niantic's choice overall. Advertising that Giovanni will have a "different" Shadow Pokémon as if it's a big deal only to reveal it's one that we've been able to get twice before is bad marketing to say the very least. Personally, if we're putting the kibosh on giving Giovanni new Legendaries until July earliest as was just announced, I'd much rather see him with a non-Legendary Shadow than just the same encounter again.
  • The Birds: This is no major deal, but historically Raid Days have offered something different outside of what is available in the standard raid rotation. The focus on Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres for this Raid Day after a week of them being in raids did cut the hype of that aspect of the event.


While the focus of the Raid Day was poorly chosen considering the Kanto Birds have been available all week, the Team GO Rocket activity made this a fun event even with the odd return of Shadow Articuno as Giovanni's encounterable Pokémon.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.