March is the kick off to the “Pokemon Go’s” Season of Legends and the most important activities revolve around five-star raids.
The raid season kicks off a little early with a Feb. 28 event that wraps up Kanto celebration. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 28, more Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres will show up in five-star raids. They also have their legacy moves: Articuno has Hurricane, Moltres has Sky Attack and Zapdos has Thunder Shock. Friends from Australia have confirmed this. Players get five free Raid passes by spinning Poke Stops or Gyms. In addition, players will also get a free bundle of three Remote Raid Passes that’s available until 1 p.m. March 1. You should save those remotes because there are more important legendary pocket monsters to use it on.
A Team Go Rocket event is tied to this day as well. Its leader, Gioavnni, will be returning with Shadow Legendary Pokemon. In March, players have a chance at getting Shadow Articuno. In April, Shadow Zapdos will be available. May wraps up the Giovanni legendary birds quests with Shadow Moltres. Players should not purify their shadow legendaries and keep them as is. Shadow Pokemon are some of the most effective in raids and in sections of Go Battle League.
The last part of Feb. 28 to-do list is the removal of Frustration on shadow Pokemon. I hoard Charged TMs for this reason and use them on all Shadow Pokemon I saved. It’s better to overuse them rather than save the items. The opportunity to TM away Frustration comes every few months. Don’t waste it.
RAIDS, RAIDS, RAIDS
As I mentioned before, players should save remote raid passes because the Season of Legends is heavy on new legendaries and legendary shinies. That starts with the Forces of Nature trio. Here’s the schedule:
8 a.m. March 1 to 8 a.m. March 6 — Incarnate Forme Landorus will appear in five-star raids and it can be shiny for the first time.
8 a.m. March 6 to 8 a.m. March 11 — Incarnate Form Tornadus will appear in five-star raids and it can be shiny for the first time.
8 a.m. March 11 to 10 a.m. March 16 — Incarnate Forme Thundurus will appear in five-star raids and it can be shiny for the first time.
10 a.m. March 16 to 10 a.m. March 30 — Therian Forme Thundurus will appear in five-star raids for the first time.
10 a.m. March 30 to a time to be announced later — Therian Forme Tornadus will appear in five-star raids for the first time.
The most notable Mega Raid is one involving a surprise Pokemon. That begins at 10 a.m. March 16. I suspect there will be some event tied to it. A bonus raid hour will occur on March 15 for the Incarnate Forme of Thundurus. That’s because the way the schedule works out, it won’t appear in raids on a Wednesday. The best part of all this raiding is that players get extra XP for completing five-star raids. That will help players pushing for level 50.
NEW POKEMON AND SHINY VARIANTS MAKE THEIR DEBUT
For those hunting for new shinies, they should mark March 9 to March 14 on their calendar as shiny Nosepass makes its debut. The Compass Pokemon’s variant is gold and stands out compared to its normal counterpart. It could be one of the more sought-after shinies because Nosepass’ evolution, Probopass, is a decent pick for the Great League. Those looking for shiny Beldums will have a strong chance of getting one thanks to an Incense Day March 14. These events require players to use Incense to attract specified Pokemon. They’re a big time commitment if you want a variant of the Iron Ball Pokemon but given how effective it is in Go Battle League and Raids, Incense Day is an investment worth making.
March 16 to March 22 is notable because it’s called the Charge Up event. Players can expect new Electric-type Pokemon to make their debut. That could mean anything from the Kalos region Dedenne, which is adorable, to Unova’s Tynamo, which evolves to Eelektrik.
March 24 to 29 is called Weather Week. It celebrates the new forms of the Forces of Nature coming to the game. I suspect Castform will play role in the event. It is the Weather Pokemon after all and only the cloudy form has been released as a shiny.
Lastly, the weekend of March 27 and 28 will feature a special raid event.
IMPORTANT SPOTLIGHT HOURS
Players will get a whopping five spotlight hours in March and four those will be important for players looking for XL candy, experience points or stardust. These are the 6 p.m. events that should be on your radar.
March 2 — Krabby will be showing up a lot more. The shiny is rather rare so it’s worth making an effort to grab it, but more importantly, players should be transferring those legendary and rare Pokemon that aren’t great but take up storage space. Players get double candy and that can go a long way to maxing out Pokemon for Master League or raids.
March 9 — Drowzee is the star of this spotlight hour and it’s worth looking for a good one. Drowzee’s evolution Hypno is must-have in Great League battles and in the Kanto Cup. The bonus of getting twice the XP for evolving Pokemon is good but it’s a bit onerous. This would be a good hour to use a Lucky Egg to get the maximum XP though.
March 16 — If you didn’t get a shiny Voltorb during the Kanto events, this is your last best chance to get one for at least a while. The shiny version of this Pokemon is blue and stands out. It also doesn’t hurt that the bonus for this hour is double stardust. Of all the March Spotlight hours, this is the one to go all in on.
March 23 — The star of this spotlight hour, Surksit, isn’t great but the bonus is worthwhile. The double catch XP will help those players striving to level up. This is the perfect time to use a Lucky Egg.
NEW BONUS HOURS
Maybe Niantic likes days that begin with T because the company is adding another event to the list with Bonus Hours. Starting at 6 p.m. Thursdays, players will find new types of in-game bonuses. A few of them sound a bit cumbersome. The one tied to Mega-Evolved Pokemon sounds too complicated while the prospects of more Mega Raids and Team Go Rocket encounters draw a big meh. They don’t seem to be a big deal but that could change depending announcements.
MARCH COMMUNITY DAY
On the other hand, The March Community Day is interesting as trainers get their first Kalos Pokemon in the monthly spotlight. I wrote about what you should prioritize in this event, but the short of it is that players should go hard for a perfect Fletchling in order to turn it into a Talonflame. With the fast move Incinerate, the Pokemon becomes a force in Ultra League battles but players need plenty of XL Candy to do that. It’s best to grab as many of these Pokemon as possible.
MORE CHANCES AT XL CANDY
Since the idea of level 50 Pokemon were introduced into the game, one of the biggest gripes has been the difficulty in getting XL Candy. Players could get them in raids and through catches some of the time, but it’s still rather rare. Now, Niantic is helping players get more by letting players have a chance of obtaining XL Candy through trades. The big caveat is that trade distance is a major factor on receiving the item. The greater the distance, the more likely you’ll receive XL Candy.
Players can also earn XL Candy by walking their buddy, and thankfully, XL Candy will be a guaranteed reward for legendary, mythical and evolved Pokemon.