Pokémon GO Rayquaza Special Raid Weekend 2021 Review

We were critical of Weather Week in our last Pokémon GO review, but another event-within-an-event happened this past weekend: Rayquaza Special Raid Weekend. Let's see if this two-day event offered anything more to Pokémon GO trainers than the disappointing Weather Week event.

Rayquaza in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Rayquaza in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

What worked for this Pokémon GO event

  • Rayquaza itself: This is a no-brainer. Niantic followed through on the mystery of this event in a major, major way. In the past, they have had an issue with the way they market "surprise" bosses. For example, when they released Shiny Giratina Altered Forme as the pre-Halloween Raid Boss and teased a "surprise" boss for Halloween, the community was excited. Giratina Altered Forme, let alone with its Shiny available, was one of the most anticipated things in Pokémon GO for well over a year. If that was what was happening before the surprise, just imagine the surprise! Well, it turned out the surprise was Darkrai, a Pokémon that that already had its Shiny released and had been featured multiple times. Niantic made what would've been a decent raid rotation into a letdown more memorable than the Halloween 2020 event itself. Here, with this Special Raid Weekend, Niantic didn't hype it up at all and then, right before it began, announced the boss as Rayquaza, one of the biggest fan-favorite Legendaries. That is a reason to keep a boss a secret. Hopefully, Niantic can learn from this, see why it worked, and apply it to future Pokémon GO events.
  • The timing: Right as many trainers are finishing up the second page of the Shiny Mew Masterwork Research, this weekend came in clutch to help out with the "Catch 30 Dragon-types task."

What didn't work for this Pokémon GO event

  • Nothing at all.


This was a perfect raid weekend. It was exciting but still low-key, a good boss with a nice chance at weather boost because… you know, April. Niantic hit this one out of the park.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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