Back in October, Niantic unleashed it’s annual event for their mobile AR hit, Pokémon Go, on the world. With it, we players received our first look at Pokemon species originally glimpsed in the Generation III games Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. With the Hoenn region’s Ghost type Pokemon unleashed on the world, we were promised the rest of the region’s Pokémon were going to be “gradually released throughout the month of December. Well, not only did they live up to that promise, but they unleashed some of the best updates to game mechanics we have seen yet. Let’s take a look at these exciting changes, starting with the most obvious…
Welcome to Hoenn!!!
On December 8th, Niantic delivered on their promise of beginning their release of Generation 3 Pokemon by putting out 50 Pokemon from that region’s Pokedex, including the starters and two brand new shiny Pokémon, Absol and Mawile. A week later, we were surprised with the release of the newest Legendary Raid Boss, Groudon, and a week after that Niantic announced PoGo’s Christmas Event and 20 more Hoenn Pokemon, this time all Water and Ice types. Santa Hat Pikach also returned, plus, we got the first sighting of Johto’s Delibird, both of which have the fast move, Present. This move awards 250 Stardust on capture instead of the normal 100.
With over half of Hoenn’s Pokemon now in the game, the excitement of catching them all has been reignited in players worldwide. Stick around to the end of the article to get a detailed list of Pokemon from the Hoenn region now available!
Dynamic In-Game Weather System
With the introduction of Generation 3, Niantic also rolled out another new surprise feature with the Dynamic Weather System. This new weather system, put plainly, entirely changes the way people play the game. You see, the in-game weather is loosely determined by the weather in the real world, and each of the weather conditions in the game (there are 78) trigger a host of effects. These include increased spawn for certain types, as well as damage and defensive boosts for Gym and Raid Battles.
For example, on the first day the weather effects took place, the game registered Clear weather conditions, which gave boosts to Grass, Ground, and Fire types. On that day, I did a Ho-Oh raid with a group of 10 people. Now, in pre-weather Pokémon Go, 10 people for a Ho-Oh raid was more than enough to take it down with ease, but with the new weather systems in place, we had a tough time taking it down. All 10 of us went through not one, but two full teams and then some. Not only was Ho-Oh getting a defensive boost as a Fire type, it knew Solar Beam, which was an instant kill to all of the Rock and Water types we were using trying to take it down. On the flipside, the very next day it was Cloudy, which gives boost to Fighting types, and I was able to take down a Tyranitar, easily the hardest Tier 4 boss, with a 4-man crew, which would have taken at least 8 people of reasonable level pre-weather conditions. The weather dynamic has made me use Pokémon I never would have considered using before, simply because I can put out massive damage because of the boosts it provides. At the bottom of the page, I’ll lay out which Pokémon get boosts from which weather conditions!
I Wanna Be the Very Best!
The biggest change to Pokemon GO comes in the form of the new AR+ feature. An iPhone exclusive, AR+ utilizes Apple’s ARKit, and in doing so makes the Pokemon catching experience more interactive than ever before. Turning on the AR when catching a pokemon now allows you to creep and crawl around the area to find Pokemon hiding in tall grass. When the Pokemon appears, it now has a gauge that, if filled red, will cause the pokemon to flee before you even throw a ball. The goal is to physically move around until the gauge lowers and the Expert Catcher prompt appears, and if the Pokemon is successfully caught, the player receives a bonus to their XP gain. As stated, this is an Apple iPhone exclusive, and as such, I have not been able to sample this awesome new game mode in all its glory. From the videos I’ve watched and the things my friends have told me, it seems like a fun new way to play the game and make yourself look like a fool at the same time.
All said, new the Pokémon of the Hoenn region are the least exciting thing implemented in the latest update. The weather system has had a remarkable effect on gameplay worldwide, and the new AR+ has made catching Pokemon seem more like we have all imagined it would be since we were kids watching Ash and Pikachu on Saturday morning cartoons. The best part is that a lot of these updates were surprises that no one was expecting, which at least brings me hope that Niantic isn’t dragging their knuckles on this game as many naysayers would have us believing.
Full List of New Pokemon (As of this writing)
Delibird (Gen 2)
Treeko > Groovyle > Septile
Torchic > Combusken > Blaziken
Mudkip > Marshtomp > Swampert
Poochyena > Mightyena
Zigzagoon > Linoon
Wurmple > Silcoon > Beautifly
Cascoon > Dustox
Lotad > Lombre > Ludicolo
Seedot > Nuzleaf > Shrifty
Ralts > Kirlia > Gardevoir
Shroomish > Breloof
Slakoth > Vigoroth > Slaking
Makuhita > Hariyama
Azurill (5K Egg exclusive)
Skitty > Delcatty
Mawile (Tier 2 Raid exclusive?) (shiny)
Meditite > Medicham
Electrike > Manectric
Plusle (Region exclusive: Americas & Africa)
Minun (Region exclusive: Europe, Asia, Oceania)
Gulpin > Swalot
Carvana > Sharpedo
Wailmer (Tier 1 Raid) > Wailord (400 Candies)
Spoink > Grumpig
(Region exclusive: Americas & Africa) Updated: 1/4/18 – Now available only in Europe, Asia, Oceania
(Europe, Asia, Oceania) Updated: 1/4/18 – Now available only in the Americas & Africa
Barboach > Whiscash
Corphish > Crawdaunt
Feebas > Milotic (20KM walking buddy requirement, 100 Candies)
Absol (Tier 4 raid exclusive?) (shiny)
Wynaut (5K Egg exclusive)
Snorunt (shiny) > Glalie (shiny)
Spheal > Sealeo > Walrein
Relicanth (Region exclusive: Oceania)
Groudon (Legendary Raid exclusive)
Clear/Sunny – Fire, Grass, Ground
Partly Cloudy – Normal, Rock
Cloudy – Fairy, Fighting, Poison
Rain – Bug, Electric, Water
Snow – Ice, Steel
Fog – Dark, Ghost
Windy – Dragon, Flying, Psychic
Extreme – No Bonuses