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Pokémon GO Tour: Johto – Complete Ticketed Event Review

Yesterday, Pokémon GO hosted the ticketed and remote Pokémon GO Tour: Johto event. The second of the Tour-style events following last year's Kanto-focused offering, this Saturday's festivities saw the release of all remaining Generation Two Shinies, Apex Shadow Ho-Oh and Lugia, and more. Let's see if this year's event measured up to Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto, which I ranked as the game's top event of 2021.

Pokémon GO Tour: Johto graphic. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO Tour: Johto graphic. Credit: Niantic

What worked in Pokémon GO Tour: Johto

  • Event style: Continuing with the Pokémon GO Tour style was a terrific move and it's something I hope we see annually for each generation. (Could a Hoenn tour event in 2023 be one of the reasons Niantic is holding back on Kecleon?) Overall, the event stuck to the pattern established by the Kanto tour to its extreme benefit. It was, for many reasons, the most fun I've had playing Pokémon GO in some time.
  • Raids: In addition to the remaining Johto Shiny reveal, another element matched from last year's Kanto tour was all regionals and all Legendaries from Johto in raids. I'm a huge fan of Corsola and I know that many trainers expressed frustration with doing 20+ raids and not getting a Shiny but, to be frank, that's not that many raids considering its Shiny rate was likely between one in 60 and one in 150. If Corsola was actually full odds (one in 500) as some are speculating, that's a bad move, but the number of Shinies I'm seeing makes me strongly doubt that. What must be remembered is that this is a single-day event and there are only so many raids to be found, but I personally like the chaos and mad scramble during the day.
  • Legendaries in the wild: Another fun aspect of the event was the Johto Beasts spawning in the wild. While most trainers will have their chance at these via raids, seeing Legendaries pop on your map is quite a rush for long-time players.
  • Special Research and Masterwork Research switch-up: Niantic had to get creative this year because the main feature for Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto was that Special Research unlocked Shiny Ditto for us for the first time ever which in turn unlocked a Masterwork Research with a guaranteed Shiny Mew. Niantic had to do some problem solving with Pokémon GO Tour: Johto, because the generation's Mythical, Celebi, had already been given its Shiny release through a promotion for the Secrets of the Jungle movie. This time around, the Special Research rather than Masterwork offered the Mythical encounter with Celebi suited with a special move while the Masterwork Research debuted Apex Shadow Pokémon with Ho-Oh and Lugia. This change works in my opinion as long as next year gets back to the Shiny Mythical release. Pokémon GO Tour: Hoenn with a guaranteed Shiny Jirachi, please.

What didn't work in Pokémon GO Tour: Johto

  • The Trainer Challenge: This was the only very negative aspect of the experience and it's a shame because Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto aced this feature. The Trainers who we had to battle were beyond difficult to find. I found more Shinies than I did Trainers. With a Timed Research dedicated to this feature, the scarcity of Trainers was a shame and is something I hope Niantic looks at to examine how this went wrong, considering it was such a positive feature of last year's event.
  • Espeon & Umbreon: While the Collection Challenge wasn't a huge payout, I found it unfair that there was no warning to trainers about Eevee's daytime-only Espeon evolution. This is the definition of a "save it until the end" type challenge, so for those who did that… well, tough Timburr for you, unfortunately. Considering Niantic removed the walking limit, you'd think this aspect would've been tweaked as well.
  • Trading: Last year had extended trading distance and this didn't. While I get that Pokémon GO is meant to be a social game, extended distance seemed like an obvious feature to include. Walking requirements are perfectly fine to me and I personally believe it's well past time for Pokémon GO to return to being primarily a game that gets us out there in the real world, but there are many rural players who won't be able to find anyone else playing no matter how many KM they walk.


While Pokémon GO Tour: Johto had a few flaws that Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto did not, this ticketed event was still fun to play, exciting to experience, and well worth the price of admission.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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