Adventure Incense, The Quest for the Galarian Legends

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Late July 2022, Pokemon GO began rolling out a new feature: Daily Adventure Incense. Daily Adventure Incense functions like normal Incense with a couple twists: It’s blue instead of green, it lasts 15 minutes, spawns require movement, there is a wider variety of spawns (including Raid and Egg exclusive Pokemon), and it refreshes for free daily at midnight. There are also 3 Legendary Pokemon spawns exclusive to Daily Adventure Incense: Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos, and Galarian Moltres. All spawns (including Raid/Egg/Legendary) have level and IV rules consistent with normal wild Pokemon (level 1-30, up to 35 with weather, and 0 IV floor). This creates an opportunity to get some exclusive Pokemon into the Great League.

As an added perk, if you activate the Daily Adventure Incense while you have 30 or fewer total Poke Balls, Great Balls, and Ultra Balls, you will automatically be granted 30 Poke Balls (provided you have available bag space). This helps ensure you’ll be able to participate even if you’re low on Balls with no Pokestop in sight. 

How to get Daily Adventure Incense

To obtain the Daily Adventure Incense, you’ll need to first activate an associated Special Research task. If you don’t have the task yet, then the feature hasn’t been rolled out to your region yet.

Daily Adventure Incense Tips

The Pokemon spawn rate for Daily Adventure Incense appears to cap at 1 Pokemon every 30 seconds, which can be achieved with a normal walking pace. Without stopping, roughly 27-28 spawns is consistently achievable. You don’t need to travel in a straight line to maximize spawns, but try not to backtrack. Also, try to plan a route that doesn’t take you through busy intersections, as time spent waiting is time spent not getting spawns. Anecdotally, this author achieves 28 spawns walking a 15 minute rectangle around their neighborhood.

Other minor tips include turning off wifi if you expect to leave wifi so randomly connecting to wifi doesn’t interrupt your connection to Pokemon GO. Going to the bathroom before leaving the house. If you expect to be out for longer than 20 minutes, consider wearing sunscreen. Be mindful of the weather. If you’re too nice to ignore people, practice saying “Sorry, I gotta Pokemon GO!” several times in the mirror before heading out. Remember to stay hydrated and listen to your body. And most importantly, DO NOT TRY TO START YOUR ADVENTURE AFTER 11:45 PM LOCAL TIME (as Daily Adventure Incense is disabled at this time).

The Spawns

Right now spawns aren’t 100% known. The good people at The Silph Road are working on collecting data on this. You can follow their updates and user reports here. Given how new this feature is, the spawn rates of any Pokemon are currently unknown. If this were any other mobile app game they’d be provided in detail. Unfortunately, Pokemon GO likes to keep us in the dark. Hopefully the Silph Team can compile enough information in the coming weeks!

Notable exclusive spawns: Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos, Galarian Moltres, Rockruff, Espurr, Vullaby, Azelf*, Uxie*, Mesprit* (Lake Trio appears to still be region locked)*.

Galar Bird Catch Rate

While encountering the Galarian Bird Trio will be exciting, be emotionally prepared for them to flee on you (much like roaming Pokemon from the main series games). Opposed to the usual 2% catch rate for Legendary Pokemon, the Galarian Birds have an abysmal 0.3% catch rate. To add to the “challenge” they also have a 90% flee rate. The chart below highlights how likely it is on average to capture the Galarian Birds. On average, if you use an Ultra Ball, Golden Razz Berry, throw a curve ball, have both Platinum Medals, and make a Great or Excellent throw,  you’re looking at an 8% chance (assuming Critical Catch is 1%). 


Modified Catch Rate (MCR) = 0.01+0.99*(1-((1-(0.003/(2*CPM)))^(2*2.5*1.7*1.4*Circle Bonus)))

True Catch Rate = MCR/(MCR+0.9-0.9*MCR)

CPM is a catch rate modifier based on the Pokemon’s level

The Circle Bonus ranges based on size. Excellent being 1.7-2, Great 1.3-1.7, Nice 1-1.3

The Galarian Bird Trio

  • Galarian Articuno is a Psychic/Flying-type Pokemon
  • Galarian Zapdos is a Fighting/Flying-type Pokemon
  • Galarian Moltres is a Dark/Flying-type Pokemon

Currently, none of the Galar Birds stand out in Raids. Galarian Articuno could beat out Kantonian Moltres in the future as a Flying-type, should it get a Flying-type Fast Move and either Sky Attack or Fly. Galarian Zapdos could also be a top Fighting-type Pokemon, should it get its signature attack Thundurus Kick in the future as a good Charge Move. Galarian Moltres is unfortunately cursed with an Atk stat that’s too low for modern Raid attackers. 

In Trainer Battles, all 3 Galar Birds have potential. Galarian Articuno is effectively a glass cannon version of Lugia, trading its bulk and neutral Dragon Tail for Confusion, Psycho Cut, and Brave Bird. This suggests it may be effective in Ultra League and not too bad in the Great League. Galarian Moltres parallels Vullaby, with Wing Attack instead of Air Slash and Payback instead of Foul Play. This suggests it could be a budget sidegrade for Vullaby in the Great League and could be the Ultra League’s Vullaby. Galarian Zapdos stands out as a completely unique Pokemon in PvP, with a devastating Counter + Close Combat + Brave Bird combination (along with Ancient Power for perfect coverage). Hawlucha may creep on this niche in the future, but doesn’t carry Counter in the current game files, suggesting Galarian Zapdos may keep this niche. 

The PvP potential of the Galar Birds is exciting but may be a concern for meta minded players, as they’re only available through this completely random system and have abysmal catch rates. While they may be added to Raids in the future, their Raid versions won’t be able to reach 1500 CP. Even if they are added as one time special research rewards, there would still be a disparity in access related to PvP IVs. Considering Play Pokemon now hosts an official Pokemon GO Championship circuit with cash prizes, Pokemon GO should heavily consider adding features to the game addressing accessibility and IV control going forward. 

The Wrap Up

The Daily Adventure Incense is a great reminder to take a break and get some lite exercise each day. The spawn pool is enticing enough for the feature to not be slept on, but is tame enough that you don’t have to sweat days you forget or can’t possibly use it. The <30 Poke Ball feature is also a nice boon to rural players/players without easy PokeStop access. 

The main criticism of the feature is how unlikely it is for players to capture the exclusive Galar Birds due to their impact on the Trainer Battle metas. A simple solution would be to add a pity system to their encounters, increasing your probability to encounter each individual bird for each day and spawn you don’t encounter and catch them, and adding a similar pity system to their catch and flee rates. This solution would address the accessibility issue while still keeping the random, roaming Pokemon element to them. 

Overall though, the Daily Adventure Incense is a great addition to Pokemon GO. It will be interesting to see what future updates will have. Perhaps we will get Great League sized Giratina in the future. 

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