Niantic Announces New Kanto Raid Day, Giovanni's Return

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Article by Brian Tein

It seems that Niantic still isn't quite done with the festivities surrounding the upcoming Kanto Tour. On top of the Elite Move raid bosses and the entire set of bonuses, we're also set to have our first Legendary raid day in quite some time, as well as Giovanni's return with a yet-to-be-announced Shadow Pokemon!

February 28, 2021
Event Start Event End
11:00 a.m. Local Time 2:00 p.m. Local Time
  • Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres will be featured in raids globally, taking over virtually every gym in the range of event hours if this event is like previous events
  • Five free raid passes will be available during raid hours from spinning gyms
  • A pack of 3 remote raid passes will be available in the shop between February 27 and March 1. The official announcement does not specifically state that these passes are free, but it seems very likely.
    • UPDATE: the official post has been updated to state that this bundle is free.

Team Rocket Takeover

Occuring at the same time as the raid day event, players will be able to enjoy a brand new Team Rocket Takeover event!

  • Using a Charged TM during the event will allow players to remove Frustration from Shadow Pokemon
  • Team Rocket grunts will be appearing more frequently at stops and in balloons
  • Giovanni will make his grand return, including a new special research line and "a different Shadow Legendary Pokémon in his clutches"
    • This could simply mean that he won't have Mewtwo, or that he'll have an entirely new Shadow Pokemon.

Either way, we have a new chance to remove Frustration from our shadow Pokemon, so this in-and-of itself is nice, and definitely something to look forward to.

Full Announcement

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Full Text


We’re closing out the Pokémon Day weekend festivities with a Kanto-themed Raid Day! Join us to celebrate some fan-favorite Pokémon as the Season of Celebration comes to an end.

Date + Time

Sunday, February 28, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time


  • Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres will be appearing in five-star raids! If you’re lucky, you might even encounter a Shiny Articuno, Shiny Zapdos, or Shiny Moltres!
  • We’re hearing reports that Giovanni will be returning with a different Shadow Legendary Pokémon in his clutches. Get ready to complete some new Team GO Rocket Special Research to save this Pokémon, Trainers!
  • Pick up a bundle of three Remote Raid Passes in the shop starting on Saturday, February 27 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time to Monday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time.
  • Earn up to five free Raid Passes by spinning Photo Discs at PokéStops or Gyms during event hours.
  • During the event period, you can use a Charged TM to help a Shadow Pokémon forget the Charged Attack Frustration.
  • Team GO Rocket Grunts will be appearing more frequently at PokéStops and in balloons throughout the event window.

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidelines from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change. Be sure to follow us on social media, opt in to receiving push notifications, and subscribe to our emails to stay updated. For the latest on in-game events and feature updates, be sure to check this help center article.

—The Pokémon GO team

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About the Author(s)

Gamepress Pokemon Go site lead with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization and a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.