Community Day January 2021 Guide

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Basic Info

  • Drastically increased spawns for the Pokemon Machop
    • Obtainable from catches, hatches, and research
    • An increased Shiny rate (roughly 1 in 23) during Community Day hours
  • 3-hour Incense
  • 3x Catch Dust
  • Increased trading range
    • temporarily increased to 40 km
    • from Friday Jan 15th @ 11:00 am to Monday Jan 18th @ 11 am
    • Remember that traded Machoke can be evolved without spending candy!
  • Take a Snapshot during Community Day for a Machop Photobomb (up to 5 times)
  • One-time purchasable Community Day bundle
    • 1,280 PokeCoins
    • 1 Elite Charge TM
    • 30 Ultra Balls
    • 4 Star Piece
    • 4 Incense
  • Special Research story: Straight to the Top
    • $1 or equivalent local currency
      • Free if Pokemon GO Tour: Kanto is purchased before Wednesday Jan 13th at 11:59 pm PST
    • does not include an in-game medal
  • All Machoke evolved into Machamp during Community Day hours learn the exclusive move Payback
    • TMs and learning a New Move will not give you this exclusive move
    • Must evolve a Machoke during CD in your region (or up to two hours after)
    • Have a stable internet connection and consider doing a test evolve, as Niantic acknowledges server issues can and do happen during CD, yet refuses to compensate/correct this known issue.
Date Time
Saturday, Jan 16th 2020 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM in your local time zone. Exclusive move available until 7:00 PM.

Community Day and Covid-19

Niantic has altered Community Day events to be more suited to the pandemic allowing them to be fully enjoyed while at home. For additional Coronavirus considerations, check out our article on that subject as well.

Those looking for additional Community Day tips can check out February's guide, our last before worldwide lockdowns. Wear a mask and practice social distancing if you do decide to go out and play.

Updates from New Zealand

Where applicable, this section will be updated to include new information as our friendly NZ “beta testers” experience CD before anyone else in the world. On Community Days with new, unpredictable features, the only way to know for sure how they’ll function is having others experience it first. Check back here before CD to see if there’s any last-minute tips you need to know!

Playing in NZ? Thanks! We monitor reports on The Silph Road carefully, though you can also submit reports here on GamePress or directly to NoLucksGiven on twitter. Additionally, it is even more recommended you have a stable internet connection and consider doing a test evolve, as Niantic acknowledges server issues can and do happen (especially in your region) during CD, yet refuses to compensate/correct this known issue.

Items to Bring

2+ Incense

Each Incense lasts 3 hours, meaning 2 will allow you to play the entire event while Incensed, a necessity for those hoping to play while at home.

Turn on vibrate or connect your Pokemon Go+. Incense Pokemon are actually invisible for a few seconds after spawning. Navigating through other menus can help reload the map and make these Pokemon appear quicker.

Stacking Incense will allow you to run additional Incense for 3 hours, past the end of the event. This can be good for finding extra Enigma Week spawns. Even if you only click 1/3 of those incensed spawns, that's as efficient as an normal Incense. Anything after that is bonus!

1-12 Star Pieces

Triple dust makes this the best time to make use of Star Pieces possible. Even if you only make use of 1/3 of the time, a Star Piece during this event is quickly worthwhile. Definitely use one with your daily streak bonus and to clear your research stack. Consult "Breaking the Bank" for more tips on maximizing your Stardust this CD!

Lucky Egg

Because your friends might also be playing during CD, now may be the perfect time to coordinate friendship level ups. 6-hour Community Days are long enough that you don't miss much by cracking an egg, though this also means coordinating level ups might be more difficult to agree on a time for.

Plenty of Pokeballs

Make it a priority to open as many gifts as possible each day to restock on Pokeballs before the event. After the event, keep opening to prepare for the next one!

Increase your storage capacity so you can keep opening. This will allow you to stockpile more balls when you’re not playing as much to prepare for events like this.

Don't forget to check the in-game shop for 30 free Ultra Balls. (not currently announced for this CD)

Breaking The Bank

The Research “Bank” or “stack” aka queue is a feature that is officially not supported by Niantic. This means proceed with caution. Niantic’s official stance is that they will not in any way compensate for any errors that arise from using this feature. That all said, it can be very helpful on CDs offering bonus Stardust.

research bank queue stack

When you run from a research encounter (or an error occurs or your collection is full), the encounter is stored above your existing research tasks. This gives the appearance of having 4 research tasks.

Fleeing from additional tasks (simply claim your reward then run away from the encounter) will allow you to store multiple encounters this way. This is what is commonly referred to as the “bank” “stack” or “queue”. The research will appear here from oldest to newest, meaning if you accidentally run from an encounter, you will have to clear through your entire bank to find it again. Rewards will appear in the order that you complete the task, with only one visible at a time. They’re not gone. Even though you can only see one at a time, the other research is “underneath” the top encounter in your stack. Catch that Pokemon and the next will be visible. While you can store breakthrough encounters and Special research encounters, these follow different rules and do not appear in the same bank.

What’s the Catch?

There is a limit of 100 banked Pokemon. When exceeding this limit, Pokemon will be deleted from the bank. This is the part Niantic now claims no responsibility for. Bank carefully. If you’re going to make use of this feature, consider downloading a counting widget to track your capacity. Recent reports have the oldest banked Pokemon being deleted (though it's always possible this can change). It’s a good idea to know the first Pokemon you have banked and check to see if that changes after acquiring more rewards. If so, you’re at capacity and should catch a few before completing more research.

Using the bank can be a very rewarding element to quickly completing research tasks. After becoming familiar with throwing at task rewards, banking them will allow you to quickly encounter Pokemon that are easy to throw at. The Research Task List can give you a full list of currently available task rewards.

Even if you currently have 0 banked research encounter rewards, start saving today!

Star Piece Like a Beast

You’ll want to make room in your Pokemon Storage if you haven’t already. Delete room for Weedle so you can IV check them after. Clear 100 slots for your banked encounters (which may also have good IV) and clean even more space for wild encounters. You’ll want as much room as possible going into CD and you’ll want to make sure you spend as little time switching menus as possible so that you can catch anything that pops up. Even common spawns during this even grant as much dust as you’d normally receive for a Stage 1 Pokemon on a Star Piece.

No Event Star Piece 3x Stardust 3x + Star Piece
Base 100 150 300 450
+Weather Boost 125 187 375 562
Stage 1 (ie. Kakuna) 300 450 900 1350
+Weather Boost 375 750 1125 1688
Stage 2 (ie. Beedrill) 500 750 1500 2250
+Weather Boost 625 937 1875 2812
1st Catch Daily Bonus 1800 2700 5400* 8100*
7th Day Streak Bonus 9000 13500 27000* 40500*

1st and 7th Day Streak Catch bonuses are added onto dust value based on evolution stage.

*It is unconfirmed that streak bonuses, increased due to COVID lockdowns, are additionally increased for triple dust events.

Because this bonus can be quite large and you'll likely be using a Star Piece to make it even larger, it can be beneficial to avoid catching Pokemon after midnight on the day of Community Day.

You can view your current streak progress at the bottom of the Today view.

Before Community Day Starts

Here are a few other things to keep in mind right before Community Day starts for making the most of the granted bonuses.

  • If coordinating Lucky Egg friendships, encourage your friends to egg and advance friendships before the event starts. This allows you to focus on catching once the featured Pokemon starts spawning!
  • Before you catch anything before CD starts, consult Breaking the Bank's tips on maximizing your Stardust.
  • In similar vein, you may not want to catch Shadow Pokemon from Rocket Battles. Those used to battling a Grunt right at midnight may easily forget this one. It's possible to still complete your battle but run instead of catching the Pokemon.
  • Existing spawns can change to the featured Pokemon. Clicking on Pokemon to catch or even just to shiny check will prevent them from turning into the featured Pokemon. It’s fine though to check for shinies you don’t yet have. If you want to catch the most of the featured Pokemon, avoid clicking on spawns as Community Day is about to begin.
  • You can only complete research from each stop once daily.  If you complete a task at a given stop, you cannot receive the “Catch 3” task from that stop during Community Day. Occasionally, receiving the task from a stop will lock it into its non-CD task.
    • Tasks revert to their pre-CD tasks when CD is over but you cannot receive research from Stops where you completed “Catch 3” or the original research.
    • Because of this, you may decide to skip over stops during CD that you know give desirable research (from Discord, Facebook, etc.) or complete them before CD starts.
    • Many players may do the opposite, choosing not to complete Research in areas they know they will be during CD for easy rewards.
    • Check to see if you have completed the Research Task of a given Pokestop by the indicator in the top right corner of a Pokestop

Now, with those in mind, there is still room for choice. If you’ll be playing all Community Day then you might not care about one spawn point here and there, and catching weather boosted Machop or shiny checking a Wailmer may be worth it to you. Likewise, you may not find it necessary to fill your inventory with Community Day eggs.

Use this time before the event starts to prep; spin stops, transfer Pokemon, open gifts (and level up friendships), Raid, check-in, and obtain/give out Meltan boxes.

Research "Straight to the Top"

This month and next, the CD special research are free for those who purchase Pokemon GO Tour: Kanto early. Purchase on or before Jan 13th to qualify.

For reference, rewards for October's special research "A Tale of Tails" were

  • Charmander encounter
  • Charmeleon
  • Charizard
  • 60 Charmander candy
  • 300 Mega Charizard energy
  • 15,000 Stardust
  • 1 Poffin
  • 3 Incense
  • 3 Rare Candy
  • 5 Golden Razzberry
  • 5 Silver Pinaps
  • 10 Pokeballs
  • 6,000 XP

This has mostly been an over-costed bad buy in the past, but it's only a buck, so many players will purchase it anyway. Also note that "A Tale of Tails" will not award an in-game badge. Research does not need to be completed before the end of Community Day, though it is beneficial to do so for the increased shiny odds and for a the exclusive move. Only Machop encounters can be shiny.

During Community Day, Field Research Tasks are changed to “Catch 3 Machop” with the following rewards;

  • 500 Stardust
  • 2 Ultra Balls
  • 5 Great Balls
  • 2 Pinap Berries
  • 1 Golden Razzberry
  • Machop encounter (perfect CP = 548)

There is no announced free timed research for this Community Day.

Item Bundle with an Elite Fast TM

The featured May Community Day Bundle will be a one-time purchase, costing 1280 PokeCoins and containing 1 Elite Charge TM, 30 Ultra Balls, 4 Star Piece, and 4 Incense

Community Day Bundle boxes are limit 1 per account per month and alternate between Fast and Charge TMs. Elite TMs are priceless items and can save a ton of dust powering up a new Pokemon when an exclusive move is released. Move exclusive moves are Charge moves, so boxes featuring Elite Charge TMs are a great buy. The value lies fully in how you value an Elite Charge TM but these are generally considered a good buy.

A Quick Pic (x5)

Taking a snapshot of one of your Pokemon will trigger a special Photobomb during this event. This occurs during the first picture in any photo shoot. The featured Pokemon will photobomb up to 5 times during the event! This is only 5 extra spawns in the grand scheme of things, but can be helpful for those that are low. Spawns follow similar rules to Incensed spawns (one on the map at a time and quick catching is funky). It's also an easy way to progress the Photobomb bagde.

Shiny Pokemon do not appear shiny in the Photobomb and on the world map. This is a change to previous Shiny Photobomb encounters. Make sure you click it after taking a pic!

Community Day Raids and Eggs and Rocket Grunts

Recent CDs have not included the featured Pokemon in additional forms of content like Raids and Rocket Battles but past CDs have. Once the event has started in NZ, we’ll update this space. Check back later!


You won't be able to TM away Frustration from your current Shadow Machop to evolve them with the exclusive move Payback for this event. Your only choice is to hope that Niantic allows us to TM it away before December's Community Day recap event and that they give us enough advance notice that we can act on it. Expect more words on this continually unaddressed issue in an upcoming article.

Machamp machPvP Analysis

Machamp's recent addition of Rock Slide gives it amazing coverage compared to other Fighting-types, and it has seen healthy play in all three leagues after this moveset addition. You can read more about Machamp's performance on it's Pokemon page, linked above. What we'll dive into in this section is the utility of Payback specifically.

Fighting types are celebrated for their coverage, struggling against a few select (but common!) types. Fighting damage is resisted by Poison, Flying, Psychic, Bug, and Fairy types, and double resisted by Ghosts.

Payback's PvP Stats
Base Power Energy Requirement
110 60
Machamp Coverage Comparison
Poison Flying Psychic Bug Ghost Fairy
Fighting .5 .5 .5 .5 .25 .5
Rock 2 2
Dark 2 2 .5

While both Dark and Rock give SE coverage to two of Machamp's weaknesses, Dark-type attacks share the overlapping weakness against Fairy-type Pokemon. In theory, Machamp could run both moves along with the damage from Counter as a Fighting-type fast move, but Cross Chop is likely too powerful (and too cheap) of a move to want to give up. This would cause Machamp to be worse against a few things, but most notably against other Fighting-types which resist Rock and Dark attacks.

In actual play, dual-types make this simplification a little more complicated.

In the Azumarill Great League, having no coverage against a Fairy type seems like a bad idea. Ghost-types in the 1500CP limit are also frail enough that a Rock Slide can do them in, so Payback is a liability with little upside in this league. Great League is likely the league with the most Psychic-types, so running Payback has merit, though the move might also appreciate formats with a little more time to build up energy since GL Machamp can feint before building up to the Dark-type move against Psythic-type opponents.

The Ultra League Premiere Cup is basically GL without Azumarill, While Payback could be a good expensive option, coverage against Dragonite, Togekiss, and Clefable is probably preferable still. Payback has a few Psychic-types it can hit in the ULPC, though it's probably fair to categorize Rock Slide as safer and Payback as win-more due to energy costs alone.

The Ultra League proper is much more defined by Payback-weak Pokemon than any other league, with Cresselia and Giratina sharing the crown. Foir this reason, this is probably Machamp's worth league of the main five, but it technically makes it Payback's best league too. Despite those legendary threats, Machamp still functions in the league to scare away things that beat Giratina, like Lapras, Snorlax, and Registeel. Obstagoon is probably a better Pokemon, but Machamp can take down one of the Pokemon its meant to beat even easier and offer a scare to an incoming Cresselia after.

The Master League Premier Cup certainly has a lot of fliers, making Rock Slide really really good, but it is worth noting that Payback flips the Metagross matchup with shield bating and Metagross is a central Pokemon in this cup. With the likes of Dragonite, Gyarados, Togekiss and more roaming the skies, it's probably a better bet to stick with Payback.

The Master League (without Mega Pokemon) presents the most interesting choices for Machamp. This League has a few notable Pokemon weak to either of Machamp's coverage moves in decent enough numbers that both are worth considering. Double coverage Machamp also has some play, since it can also be used to completely farm down Dialga and threaten whatever comes out next.

Pay it Forward

Despite current analysis of Payback, three ideas to keep in mind going forward are;

1) Changes in the metagame may make the move better in the future.

2) Move rebalances may make the move better in the future.

3) and most importantly, Machamp can now bluff Payback and the existence of the move in his learnset provides more opportunities to outplay your opponents.

It should not be overlooked that Machamp now has an additional, useful Charge Move. Because of this the move can be bluffed, giving Machamp effectively 3 different Charge Moves. Pokemon with 3 Charge Moves have additional power in being able to threaten moves without actually having them. An Azumarill with Play Rough and Ice Beam can still build up energy to a Hydro Pump and then throw an Ice Beam to earn a shield. A Machamp can do the same now just because of the existence of Payback even if you don't play it yourself.

PvP Ready CPs

Finding Pokemon that can be evolved to be near the CP-cap in PvP leagues can save a lot of Stardust. Before evolving, consult a CP/IV calculator to confirm your Charmander will stay below the CP thresholds. Looking for Charmander with CP around or below these thresholds can be great for trainers interested in PvP with limited resources;

For Great League Machamp, look for Machop with CP 579-625 and below.

For Ultra League Machamp, look for Machop with CP 962-1036 and below.

Machamp PvE Analysis

Machamp has long been one of the most useful Pokemon in Pokemon go, earning it a consistent spot at the top of the GamePress Attackers Tier List. With added generations, new challenger's have bumped Machamp off it's top spot, but only by a little bit. Machamp is still one of the best investments for players joining the game.

Fighting-type attackers against a Normal-type defender

While Shadow Machop isn't being featured this Community Day, the candy acquired can still be used to power up a Shadow Machamp to really put those fists to use. One thing Machamp has going for it is accessibility, as Conkeldurr and Lucario will likely require Rare Candy or a lot of Raid Passes/Incubators to max out. Machamp is much more accessible, especially with a Community Day this weekend!

Shadow Machamp is absolutely devastating, firmly cementing its position at S+ Tier on the Attackers Tier List. Dedicated players should definitely looking to use resources from Community Day towards a Shadow Machamp, but it is worth noting that with the rarity of XL candy (and especially for Conkeldurr and Lucario), it's worth examining Level 50 Machamp against Level 40 versions of the rarer fighters. At the same level, Machamp trails the other two, but with this boost, it's able to slightly outperform the level 40 counterparts

Fighting-type attackers against a Normal-type defender

An "Xtra" Reason to Play

The addition of XL candy to Pokemon Go provides an additional incentive to take Community Days seriously. Events that contain a lot of one spawn allow players to stock up on this otherwise rare resource. Candy can also be converted to XL candy at a rate of 100 to 1. While this rate is obviously unreasonable for rare and Legendary Pokemon, Community Days can allow you to take advantage of this rate.

Weather or Not

Weather boost has interesting trade-offs in Pokemon Go that might mean you want to tailor your play towards specific areas and times based on the weather. Machop is boosted in Cloudy weather.

Weather boost will result in higher leveled Pokemon with higher IVs, which may be worse for PVP (that isn't Master League). It will also give you higher chances to earn XL candy for each catch and transfer, as the drop rate is tied to Pokemon level. Along with additional stardust, this makes looking for Cloudy weather extremely beneficial this CD.

Time to Trade

Increased trading distance for the weekend means that finding a trading partner to swap Machop with could be a great use of stardust for players in need of Machamp on the cheap. Since this stretches from Friday to Monday, this means you can complete 4 Special trades, including 3 shiny Machop (on Sat, Sun, and Mon).

This is also a great time to contact outstanding Lucky friends and negotiate a trade from the comfort of your home!

This may be a feature tied directly to Machamp, since it is able to be evolved for free after a trade, but it may also be a recurring feature which means its even more important to open and send as many gifts as you can daily to build friendships and to get lucky with Best Friends.

Note that while the trading distance is extended till Monday, you will only be able to get Payback till 7:00 pm on Saturday. If you'd like Payback after that, it'll cost an Elite TM or waiting till December.

Looking Forward

This Community Day set an interesting precedent, as it was one year ago that Machop, along with Vulpix and Dratini, lost the Feburary 2020 CD vote to Ryhorn. At the time, I joked that it was best to vote for the worst exclusive move, as the other Pokemon may just be given the moves anyways. In the case of Vulpix I was proven right, as it has just received Weather Ball in the Season 6.5 rebalance. However, Machop wasn't as lucky, and Payback is now locked behind the exclusive layer, despite it not currently being seen as the top meta choice.

I think the only thing that this means is that for future Community Days, absolutely everything is fair game. March could be Machop again with a different exclusive charge move and I don't think we would be particularly shocked. "Anything is possible" has never sounded more pessimistic.

There's a balance between appreciating the CDs that we get and being upset that certain Pokemon are being slowrolled, On one hand Machop has never been a boosted shiny outside of paid events, and it's a great Pokemon nonetheless. We're in a global pandemic still believe it or not and a Gible Community Day could be seen as irresponsible even, with many players unable to access it fully on lockdown. For this reason, it's good to have "bad" Community Days.

Some defenders of "bad" CDs harp on it being a free event, and that everyone should be happy with what we get, but this view also minimizes the huge impact that Community Day's exclusive moves have on the game. Machamp Community Day simultaneously allows new players to catch up, while punishing future new players with additional gated content. It is effective for keeping players heavily invested, but the tradeoff there is excessive successive events can lead to burnout and ultimately push more players away. There's no such thing as a free evolution.

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About the Author(s)

NoLucksGiven is a Digital Card Game Streamer and YouTuber with a specialty in "limited" formats. With a lifetime of powering up his skills in resource management, quick analysis, and on-the-fly ranking, Pokemon Go has become a perfect fit for NLG. NoLucks makes it a goal (and succeeds) to reach the top echelon of players in any game he plays including being the #1 Ranked Drafter in Solforge. Through his articles and stream and YouTube content, his goal is to help other players that are looking for tips to level up their own game.