Following a year of waiting and a disastrous Pokemon GO Fest event, legendary Pokemon have finally been added to Niantic’s popular mobile game in the form of Articuno and Lugia. Unfortunately, the introduction of legendary Pokemon to Pokemon GO hasn’t gone smoothly, with some fans feeling as though catching them is more of a headache than anything else.
Articuno and Lugia spawn in legendary raids with extraordinarily high CPs of around 40,000. Defeating them is a monumental task in and of itself, requiring multiple Pokemon GO players with the strongest Pokemon possible to work together to take them down. If players are able to defeat Articuno or Lugia, they then have a slim chance to catch the beasts using a limited number of premier balls.
Legendary Raids Can Be Disappointing
And herein lies the main problem with legendary raids in Pokemon GO. Players can spend hours powering up the necessary Pokemon, go through the trouble of organizing a raid group, using a raid pass, winning the legendary raid, and still walk away empty-handed. Sure, they will unlock some of the typical raid rewards like rare candies and golden razz berries, but similar rewards can be earned with a lot less effort, like in Magikarp raids, for instance.
While nothing official has been released by Niantic on the matter just yet, some estimates claim the catch rate for Articuno and Lugia is as low as 2%. It’s possible to increase one’s odds of catching the legendary birds by feeding them berries, as is the case with every other Pokemon in the game, but even then the creatures are more likely to escape from a premier ball than not.
This astronomically low catch rate makes tackling legendary raids more trouble than it’s worth for many Pokemon GO players. What’s worse is that legendary Pokemon have less uses than other Pokemon in the game, meaning that there’s not a lot of reasons to bother catching them besides filling out one’s Pokedex.
Legendary Pokemon Don’t Have Many Uses
At the time of this writing, legendary Pokemon can’t defend gyms in Pokemon GO. Legendary Pokemon can be used to take gyms, but after players go through the trouble of winning a gym for their team, those legendary Pokemon can’t be left to defend the gym and earn Pokecoins. Limiting legendary Pokemon’s functionality compared to other Pokemon seems like an odd move, and may be an indication that similar restrictions are on the way once player versus player battles are added to the game.
Of course, that’s just speculation at this time, but if legendary Pokemon can’t be used to defend gyms, why would Niantic allow them to be used in PvP battles? We should have more definitive answers on that front once PvP actually makes its way into the game, but with how slowly Niantic has added features to Pokemon GO, there’s no telling when that may be.
In the meantime, there are other reasons to worry about legendary raids and their functionality in Pokemon GO. Right now, legendary raids featuring Articuno and Lugia are fairly easy to find for Pokemon GO players, but that is expected to change once the Pokemon GO Fest bonuses go away. Once the legendary raids become rarer, it will be even more frustrating when players fail to catch a legendary Pokemon from them.
How to Fix Legendary Raids?
So, how can Niantic fix legendary raids in Pokemon GO? It seems like the easiest solution would be to simply increase the catch rate for legendary Pokemon to a more reasonable number. By increasing the chances players have of catching the legendary Pokemon, they can participate in raids and not feel like they’ve wasted their time. Alternatively, Niantic could make the bonuses for legendary raids more appealing, so even if they fail to catch Articuno or Lugia, players will still feel as though their efforts were worth it.
There may be other ways to make legendary raids more worthwhile. For now, Pokemon GO fans will just have to deal with the current system and keep their fingers crossed that when they complete a legendary raid, they will successfully catch Articuno and Lugia afterwards.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.