Pokemon Go: Pokemon Tags, Raid Bosses, Research Breakthrough and More Confirmed for December 2020

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November is coming to a close, and December is getting ready to escort 2020 out once and for all! So let's take a look at how Niantic is planning on celebrating the upcoming new year!

December's Raid Bosses: A Chilly Winter

Kyurem Raids
Raids Begin Raids End
December 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST January 1, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. PST

In a rather interesting move, our five star raid boss for all of December 2020 is none other than Kyurem: the Ice/Dragon Type legendary Pokemon and member of the Tao trio from Generation 5/Unova.

Kyurem is... well, it's useless as it stands. It has little to no presence in any existing game mode. It's too weak to be a Dragon Type raider, its moveset keeps it from being a viable Ice Type raider, and its rather mediocre overall performance makes it a poor choice for PvP. As it sits, spending coins to raid Kyurem is not recommended. However, let's look into the future a bit before saying that with absolute certainty: 

Kyurem Candy and XL Candy

With the re-release of Kyurem will come the grand release of the Go Beyond update. We'll be able to surpass Lv.40, and players that are Lv.40 and over will be able to obtain XL candy from Kyurem raids. XL Candy, and normal candy to a lesser extent, is the main reason to raid for Kyurem/try for a high IV individual. But given its utility now, why is this important? Well...

Potential Moveset Updates

We have been getting moveset updates with every new Go Battle League, so it's entirely possible that Kyurem will be the subject of an update in the future. Noteworthy changes could include the addition of a new Ice Type Fast Move in the game (since it can't learn any of the existing Ice Type fast moves) which could make it a great Ice Type attacker, getting Icy Wind like its pre-release datamine showed to give it more PvP presence, or even its signature attack; Glaciate.  And this isn't even the most exciting prospect for Kyurem.

Kyurem Black and Kyurem White

Kyurem's two fused formes, Kyurem Black when fused with Zekrom and Kyurem White when fused with Reshiram, are monsterous. Kyurem Black in particular is on the road to becoming one of the best non-Mega Pokemon in the entire game. Having candy to prep for these monsters is not a bad idea, though we don't know when/how these formes will appear in Go!

Mega Abomasnow's Debut

It's time for yet another Mega Evolution! This time, we get Mega Abomasnow; the Ice/Grass Type Mega Evolution that is in fact the strongest Ice Type Mega Evolution in Go given current stats and movesets. For those who want to complete their collection or simply obtain the best Mega Evolutions in the game for each type, Mega Abomasnow will be a must-have.

Mega Blastoise Departing Raids

To make room for Mega Abomasnow, Mega Blastoise will be leaving the raid scene for the forseeable future. It will be gone on December 1st at 1:00 p.m. PST, so consider raiding a few to build up enough energy to be able to Mega Evolve a Blastoise once and then walk for energy moving forward.

December 2020 Research Brekthrough

Players will be able to encounter one of these two Pokemon via research encounter in December, and they will both grant bonus XP when captured. A fairly interesting duo with a fire/ice contrast that mirrors the summer/winter relationship of the northern and southern hemisphere, though Darumaka is generally the superior encounter.

Pokemon Spotlight Hours

Spotlight hours have been a bit of a mixed bag since they started. We'll occasionally get a semi-valuable Pokemon, and we can always count on one predictable 2x Stardust hour per month. However, December 2020 will bring a new dimension to this system, as XL Candy will be available for these spotlight days! 

Pokemon Spotlight Hour: 6:00 p.m. Local Time Every Tuesday

Spotlight Date Spotlight Pokemon Spotlight Bonus
December 1, 2020 Seel 2x Evolution XP
December 8, 2020 Swinub 2x Catch Stardust
December 15, 2020 TBA 2x Catch Candy
December 22, 2020 Snorunt 2x Transfer Candy
December 29, 2020 Snover 2x Evolution XP

Pokemon Tagging

Another previously datamined feature, Pokemon Tagging is coming this december. For those of us with multiple thousands of Pokemon in our boxes, this is huge, as soon we'll be able to tag our Pokemon for their primary usage, what reason we have for keeping them, or basically anything that we desire, and recall a list of Pokemon based on our tags. More on this system as it's announced!

Full Announcement

Full Text


The year may be coming to a close, but it’s not over yet! We’ve got lots of fun in store to wrap up 2020 as we head into the holiday season. Let’s GO!

December Research Breakthrough encounter

From Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, January 1, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8), Trainers will have a chance of encountering either Lapras or Unovan Darumaka in Research Breakthrough encounters, and catching either will reward bonus XP.

The Legendary Pokémon Kyurem returns to raids, and Mega Abomasnow arrives in Pokémon GO

The Legendary Pokémon Kyurem will be appearing in five-star raids from Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, January 1, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8). Don’t miss your chance to encounter the Boundary Pokémon!

In addition, Mega Abomasnow will be appearing in Mega Raids beginning Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m PST (GMT −8), replacing Mega Blastoise. Until then, Mega Blastoise will be appearing more frequently in Mega Raids, so be sure to challenge it while you can!

Pokémon Spotlight Hours

In the month of December, Pokémon Spotlight Hour will take place every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. local time, and each hour will spotlight a different Pokémon and special bonus!

  • Tuesday, December 1, 2020: Seel will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the XP for evolving Pokémon.
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2020: Swinub will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the Stardust for catching Pokémon.
  • Tuesday, December 15, 2020: A surprise Pokémon will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the Candy for catching Pokémon.
  • Tuesday, December 22, 2020: Snorunt will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the Candy for transferring Pokémon.
  • Tuesday, December 29, 2020: Snover will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the XP for evolving Pokémon.

Double Catch XP bonus ends Thursday, December 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. local time

As part of our huge GO Beyond update in December, we’ll be increasing the level cap to 50! To help Trainers level up during this time, a double Catch XP bonus has been live since Wednesday, November 18, 2020, at 1:00 p.m., and it’ll stay in effect until Thursday, December 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. local time.

More exciting feature updates

Managing your Pokémon is about to become much easier with the introduction of Pokémon tagging and other general search updates. Pokémon tagging will allow you to create different colored tags, apply them to Pokémon, and use them to filter Pokémon in your collection. The Pokémon search function will also be updated to allow for enhanced usability. When you tap into the search bar, a new screen will appear with recommended search terms, such as Pokémon Type, Region, Buddy Level, Shiny, and more.

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 writer with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization with 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.