GoFest is here! Well, local GoFest. GoFest without flights and hotels edition? As much fun as this event is sure to be, the preparations can be just as stressful. So many mons to consider. Different habitats? What do I catch? What do I save? What are the new shinies? Let’s get right into the information to answer those questions and more.
While all players will have access to most of the spawns, players who purchase the ticket will get a special research that ends with catching the Mythical Pokémon Shaymin, increased shiny odds, and special extra spawns while using incense.
These special incense Pokémon include great spawns such as Axew, Tropius, and Unown. Costume Pikachu and Unown will be spawning all day from incense while the other incense spawns will rotate with the habitats.
On the topic of the ticket: factoring in a third day later this summer, I think the ticket at 5 dollars a day is worth it to improve the event experience. But what you do with your money is up to you. I will try to specify which mons are incense mons as we go through, but try to understand that I will mostly be writing this guide from the perspective of a ticket holder.
A couple XL Candy related things to consider. One of this season's bonuses is guaranteed XL candy while trading. If there is a mon that you really need XL Candy for, save it for trades later or trade them out at night between the two days. If you have enough free storage space going into the event, there’s no reason you can’t meet your XL goals. Also, Megas now award extra candy and a greater chance at XL Candy depending on your mon’s Mega level. Remember to rotate your active Mega for each habitat. If there is a spawn you really need XL for, pick a Mega that matches one of its types. I’ll suggest an optimal mega for each habitat, but only you can know what you really need XL for.
Notes/disclaimers: You have to be at least level 31 to collect XL candy and unless otherwise noted the IVs I list as target/ideal will be assuming a level 50 cap and the requisite XL candy. For a quick explanation on how PvP IVs work refer to this article. I would recommend using the rank checker of your choice, such as GOStadium, to see how good the IVs on your mons are. IVs matter but aren't everything. I would rather run a poor PvP IV Skarmory than a perfect PvP IV Fearow.
With that out of the way, let’s analyze the habitats!
Living waste, animated hunks of metal, and scrappy street brawlers; The City Habitat is full of all kinds of things you would expect to find in a city. Well…at least the kind of things you would expect to find in the cartoon version of a city.
Lots of people in cities. Lots of people mean lots of garbage and debris. But one person's trash can be a prepared trainer's treasure! Alolan Grimer evolves into Alolan Muk, a mainstay in the Ultra League and strong pick in themed cups in the Great League. A-Grimer itself sees play in Great League, but more so in limited metas like Halloween Cup.
Speaking of living garbage: Trubbish, while not a great mon for PvP (its evolution, Garbodor, is a spice pick at best), is an incredible source of dust. Each Trubbish comes with a base dust rate of 750! Catch as many as you can for the great dust gains and maybe you’ll luck into its awesome shiny.
Pink Burmy’s evolution, Wormadam Trash, is basically the only Burmy evolution and variant of Wormadam that is Worthadam in trainer battles. Be on the lookout for Burmy with good PvP IVs but remember, only the female evolves into Wormadam. An optimal Wormadam will require somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 XL Candy, so if you’re lacking in XL try to save some extra Burmy for trades.
Representing the city's technology and power is Magnemite. Magemite’s evolutions (moreso Magnezone than Magneton) make for the rare family that sees play across all leagues. Magnezone has long seen play in Master Prem and Ultra League Premier while Magneton has been good in metas like Kanto Cup. Be sure to pick up a Magnezone for all three leagues and a Magneton for the Great League.
Bronze is a classic material in building and sculpting, so Bronzor is a logical inclusion in the City Habitat. Bronzor itself is the best Pokémon in Little League. Its evolution, Bronzong, is a solid but seldom used pick in the Great League and a spice pick in the Ultra League. I should mention that an optimal Little League Bronzor and Ultra League Bronzong each require a hefty investment of 296 XL candy. If that number seems too daunting, then just look for a more reasonable Little League Bronzor (the 5/15/15 requires no XL Candy) and a Great League Bronzong. Just don't tell @yourcalcprof that you’re skipping the Ultra Bell.
I imagine Claydol is supposed to represent things like bricks and concrete. Its evolution, Baltoy, never seems to see play. It has decent stats and Niantic has given it a lot of decent moves, but awkward typing and an array of better Psychic type options limit its use and potential. It’s worth stashing one with good PvP IVs, but not worth stressing over.
Golett is the Automaton Pokemon which fits nicely into the city theme of machines and technology. Its evolution Golurk sees incredibly little play, mostly as an anti-meta pick in Halloween Cup, but finding Great League eligible Golurk isn’t always easy. Stash one with good PvP IVs away for a rainy (spooky?) day.
Hitmonchan, is the city's scrappy street fighter. The shadow version is generally preferred for PvP but no reason not to save one with good PvP IVs for the Great League. More importantly, Hitmonchan spawns represent an opportunity to farm Tyrogue XL candy through catches and subsequent trades. This XL can be tough to come by and is necessary for the Ultra League version of Hitmonchan and Hitmontop. While these are far from core meta picks, there’s no reason to waste a rare chance to farm hard to get XL Candy.
Gothita is…humanoid I guess? It doesn’t fit all that well thematically and its evolutions see little to no play in PvP currently. Let’s move on.
We can’t forget the many cute critters that inhabit our cities! Pidove and its evolutions are…basically useless, but maybe you still need the shiny! Litten’s final evolution Incineroar may be good with Blast Burn someday, but that’s a big maybe and requires waiting for the Community Day. I wouldn’t worry about saving either of these when there are so many other things to focus on.
Klink is a cool shiny (and you need 3 for the family living shiny dex) but is pretty useless. Galarian Weezing is a rarer shiny previously locked behind raids. I’ll personally be looking for Ultra League PvP IVs and finishing off the XL candy required for it, but it’ll take a serious move update for the mon to be anything more than a meme.
- Star of the Habitat: Bronzor
- New Shinies: None
- PvP Must Haves: Bronzor, Magnemite, Pink Burmy, Grimer
- XL Farming: Bronzor, Hitmonchan, Burmy
- Other Notables: Trubbish for dust
- Optimal Mega: Steelix or Beedrill
The Plains Habitat is pretty simple. It’s a bunch of animal-like Pokémon roughly themed around the African Plains and American Great Plains type environments.
I feel obliged to put this first and as a stand-alone comment. This is the Axew habitat. That’s Axew, the incredibly rare Dragon Pokémon THAT CAN SPARKLE FOR THE FIRST TIME. Its final evolution Haxorus sees play in Master Prem and its middle evolution Fraxure isn’t completely useless in the Great League. But let’s be honest, most trainers won’t be hunting Axew for its PvP potential this weekend. Pop that incense, hunt for Axew, and Prayge for them to be shiny or perfect…or both.
With that out of the way it should be said that most of this habitat’s mons are not very useful. One master league Mon, a couple new shinies, and an excellent XL farming opportunity are all that keep this habitat from being titled “Axew or Bust”. Trapinch’s final evolution, Flygon, saw play for a little bit as a premium Galvantula counter, but is now relegated to spice status. Patrat is useless and common. Girafarig is a mon with an incredible design, but middling stats and a tepid moveset. Buizel and Rufflet have pretty similar profiles. Not very useful as mons, but both have great and sought after shinies. Shelmet sees a little play in Little League, but its importance here is the debut of its shiny. Numel is another new shiny without a ton of practical value. Its evolution, Camerupt, has an interesting Fire/Ground dual typing, but is more meme than monster in trainer battles. Dunsparce is a lovable meme of a mon. It’s not very good right now, but the introduction of the move Rollout on Geodude Community Day has a lot of trainers hoping for Dunsparce to pick up the move in a future update and move all the way from meme tier to…fringe meta?
Moving on to useful PvP spawns, Drillbur’s evolution Excadrill is a Master League mainstay. It provides a strong answer to things like Dialga and Togekiss. This is a good chance to farm XL towards an Open Masters (Level 50) Excadrill. Not being introduced as a shiny is kind of a bummer.
Litleo is a strange case of a Pokémon where the base form sees play in PvP, but the evolution Pyroar, sees none. The Normal/Fire type Litleo is an incredible Ghost counter, walling theme cup star Froslass particularly hard. Any cup where Froslass is common, such as Halloween Cup, will provide a solid opportunity for Litleo to shine. It’s worth noting that an optimal Great League Litleo requires 296 XL candy to build.
I already mentioned Axew at the start of this section but…SHINY FREAKING AXEW. The other incense mon of this habitat, Torkoal, is not some meta shaking mon but it certainly has play in more limited metas. The reason you should care about it is its status as a regional. Most people either don’t have one, or the one they have is from a trade (often a guaranteed lucky trade), so this will be a good opportunity for most of us to finally nab a good PvP IV Torkoal.
- Star of the Habitat: Shiny Freaking Axew
- New Shinies: Axew, Shelmet, Numel
- PvP Must Haves: Drillbur, Litleo
- XL Farming: Larvitar, Drillbur, Litleo, Axew
- Other Notables: Torkoal outside of its region
- Optimal Mega: Charizard X
I loved going to the Rainforest Cafe as a kid. If you haven’t been, I suggest you check it out or at least Google it. It doesn’t appeal as much to adults but was a really fun time back in the day. Personal anecdote out of the way, the Rainforest Habitat is themed around the types of things you might find in a rainforest or lush river environment. It’s like the Plains Habitat, but instead of lions and giraffes, we get bugs, birds and amphibians.
Skrelp’s evolution, Dragalge, is an incredibly useful Pokémon in Great League themed cups and Ultra League formats. An optimal Ultra Dragalge will require 200+ XL candy to build, so this is a great chance to farm and trade Skrelp for those coveted cakes.
Slakoth’s middle evolution, Vigoroth, has long been a spammy menace and stubborn safe switch in Great League. Another long running menacing safe switch in the Great League is Seedot’s final evolution, Shiftry. Most experienced PvPers will already have these mons built, but it’s never too late to catch up! Be sure to save a Seedot and a Slakoth with great PvP IVs.
Mudkip, Turtwig, and Chimchar are all mons that have had Community Days or in Mudkip’s case two of them. Mudkip’s final evolution, Swampert, is the only great PvP mon here, but require the exclusive move Hydro Cannon to really shine. Let’s move on.
Shroomish is a new shiny. Binnacle’s shiny only debuted very recently. Neither are very good for PvP. I wish you good shiny luck on these mons!
Venipede’s evolution, Scolipede, has seen some play in themed GBL cups such as Love Cup but isn’t that great of a mon outside of these specific cases. The real star of this Bug duo is Karrablast. A fine pick in certain Great League metas and a long time part of the Open Ultra and Ultra Prem metas, Karrablast’s evolution Escalvier is a wonderful tool in the toolbox for any battler. Add in a shiny debut and this will be a wonderful time to hunt Karrablast spawns. An interesting Karrablast quirk is that traded Karrablast can be evolved for free, something to keep in mind for candy strapped trainers.
Pancham’s evolution, Pangoro, isn’t very good. I’ll throw that out there. What matters here is that this will be by the far the easiest access to Great League eligible Pangoro we have ever had.
It feels weird sticking this at the end, but TROPIUS WILL BE SPAWNING IN INCENSE THIS HOUR. This spawn alone is probably worth the price of a ticket. The last time the majority of legit players had access to this Flying Grass type was Safari Zone Montreal…3 years ago. This is the easiest and best access we have ever had to this important PvP mon. Don’t miss your opportunity to farm a good banana tree!
- Star of the Habitat: Tropius
- New Shinies: Shroomish, Karrablast
- PvP Must Haves: Tropius, Karrablast, Mudkip, Seedot, Skrelp, Slakoth
- XL Farming: Skrelp, Mudkip
- Other notables: Binnacle isn’t a new shiny but it’s pretty new and pretty rare
- Optimal Mega: Gyarados
Brr. It’s cold in here. There must be some PvP spawns in the atmosphere! (Bonus points to anyone who catches that reference)
The Tundra Habitat will feature Pokemon that you would expect to see either in an ocean or arctic type habitat. This is the most skippable of the 4 habitats so if you need a lunch or travel break, this is where you should take it. That being said, there are still some excellent PvP and XL farming opportunities to be had.
Meditite evolves into Medicham. This meditating mauler has been a star of Great League PvP since day 1. In the first Silph Cup, Boulder Cup, people would run 2 or even 3 of them (before the rules changed to only allow one of each mon) That’s how dominant it was. Many Counter users have come along since then, but Medi is still a premium puncher. An optimal Medicham will require up to 296 XL candy to build, but is certainly worth the effort. I would recommend going for the rank one (which can be acquired through Best Friends trades!) but for a full analysis check out RyanSwags IV breakdown.
Wingull evolves into Pelliper, an interesting Water Flier with the spammy combo of Wing Attack into Weather Ball. The Weather Ball nerf caused a huge hit in The Toilet Bird’s Open Great League stock, but this mon is still too good to not have one at the ready.
Swinub’s final evolution, Mamoswine, has long been known as the premier Rayquaza killer. While that title has been usurped by the Shadow Version of Mamoswine, these spawns are incredibly valuable for farming the XL candy needed to take these incredible PvE mons to level 50. Regular Mamoswine is still a valuable pick in Master League Premier so if you already have a hundo or happen to find one this weekend, it is still very useful. Swinub itself sees play in Little League formats so it’s worth finding one below 500 with PvP IVs for that. The middle evolution, Piloswine, sees some run in limited Great League formats but it is often the shadow variant being used.
People thought Bergmite’s evolution, Avalugg, would shake up the meta when it came to Pokémon Go, but Walrein ended up being the Ice Type chosen one. On that note, both Spheal and Piplup evolve into incredibly relevant PvP mons. The problem is that you will have to spend an eliteTM (or two for Walrein) to build them unless you wait for December. If you find a really high ranked candidate of either mon and you’re willing to spend that resource or willing to wait, go for it. I would recommend using what you have or trading for one before using an EliteTM though.
I feel the same way about Wailmer, Omanyte, Vanillite, and Cubchoo. Basically useless in PvP and PvE and the available shinies have been around for a while.
Popplio evolves into Primarina, yet another powerful Water Fairy. It sees some play right now purely on the back of its typing and access to Charm, but its true value lies in whenever it can get Hydro Cannon from a future Community Day. That could be months from now. That could be years from now. If you consider that you’ll be able to catch a bunch of them on said Com Day, I wouldn’t advise most people to hold on to anything other than a hundo or one with top 10 PvP IVs.
Galarian Darumaka’s evolution Darmanitan is a really good Ice Type PvE attacker. Save your hundos/high IV ones and hope you luck into a shiny. This is also a great opportunity to farm Darumaka XL for the future. It remains to be seen how Niantic will handle the Zen Mode version of this mon, which should be superior to the current version, butI would personally advise to save your XL for that as long as you have other good Ice Type attackers.
Galarian Mr. Mime was a controversial Pokémon upon release as it was locked behind a paid event ticket. Luckily, it’s not very good so the drama died pretty quickly. We were given access to a couple of them via timed and special research, but this is your best (only) chance yet to farm this mon for PvP IVs.
- Star of the Habitat: Meditite?? This is why it’s a skippable hour
- New Shinies: None
- PvP Must Haves: Swinub, Wingull, Meditite
- XL Farming: Swinub, Meditite
- Optimal Mega: Abomasnow or Slowbro
The thing with raids is that they’ll almost never have optimal PvP IVs due to the raid catch IV floor. Raid catches can, however, be good for Master League. Kyogre and Groudon are both strong Master League mainstays (though Groudon will require an EliteTM for Fire Punch) and guaranteed XL from these raids will help for the inevitable transition to Level 50 only Master League.
While Snorlax, Druddigon, and Rockruff’s evolution Midnight Lycanroc all have some foothold in various PvP metas, I wouldn’t go crazy on these for that purpose. Axew (and its new shiny chance) will be in raids but HUGE buyer beware: shinies like these will become less rare over time. We’ve seen it with Gible, we are seeing it with Deino and Rufflet, and we will probably see it someday with Axew. Spend responsibly chasing this shiny and know what you’re buying in to.
There is a “certain Pokémon [that] will be making its Pokémon GO debut in five-star raids” on Sunday. Most people think it will be an Ultra Beast, specifically Nihilego. I’ve heard some other interesting guesses. Nihiilego’s stats and moves were added to the game master and the response was tepid to say the least. I’ll spare you my ramblings on the matter and just link you to our article on the subject. GamePress or I will send out a tweet once we know more.
Little Cup Hoarder Meter
Once upon a time, life with Little Cup was simple. We knew it could only be the first stage of mons that evolved. Now it seems like basically all mons are fair game. Until we have more little cups like Little Jungle, stashing evolved forms under 500 CP is still INCREDIBLY speculative but such is life. Anyways, in order of how much people will judge you for keeping these mons for Little Cup
Smart: Bronzor, Skrelp, Swinub,
Reasonable: Litleo, Shelmet, Binnacle, Turtwig, Grimer
Starting to get questionable: Mudkip, Magnemite, Seedot, Wingull
Super speculative: Tropius, Hitmonchan, and any evolutions
Full On Hoarder: Drilbur, Dunsparce, Girafarig, Numel, Shroomish, Rufflet
This article is hovering around 3000 words as is. I’m sorry. I know there's a lot to take in and so much to prepare and too much to do this weekend. But try to remember that this is supposed to be a fun event in a game you play for fun. There’s almost nothing here that you can’t live without. There are a lot of cool new shinies, plenty of good PvP mons and many great XL candy farming opportunities, but most of it is stuff that you could make up for in the future with effort and planning. The few things that I do think you would really regret not getting done this