The first legendries, Articuno and Lugia, were released following on from the Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago with the promise that the other legendary birds would follow, and now Niantic have confirmed the release dates for the rest of the bunch.
Articuno spawned from July 22nd through to Monday 31st and has now been cycled out. There has been no confirmation from Niantic as to when or even if the legendries will return, but it would seem likely that they will be spawned for a few weeks after every Pokémon Fest event. I battled for a week to get an Articuno to call my own and finally managed to catch one on raid 13 after 111 balls thrown, so don’t expect it to be easy.
Moltres started spawning on July 31st and will continue to spawn until August 7th. I’ve currently completed four raids and thrown 36 balls at Mr Moltres with no luck. All the legendary birds have a base capture chance of 3% which then goes up with berry, badge and throw bonuses. There have been a wide range of reports on capture rates, from people catching on the first throw of their first raid to some people going a full twenty raids with no success at all. Some people have collections of 10+ of each released legendary whereas others are struggling to capture any at all. Whether this is the work of a bug or just of luck being a cruel mistress, hasn’t been confirmed.
Zapdos will be spawning from August 7th until Monday 14th after which the legendary birds will rotate out. It is assumed that Lugia, who was released at the same time as Articuno, will be sticking around after the event, and there are also rumours that Ho-oh might be cycling in after the legendary birds vacate the stage on August 14th, but that hasn’t been confirmed by any official source.
As it is, there’s no doubt that the release of the legendries has revitalized the game. I attended a discord raid last Sunday, to chase after my elusive Aricuno capture, which amassed well over 80 players across the three groups, Mystic, Valor and Instinct. Without a doubt, the raids are doing what Niantic planned, bringing crowds of players outside to battle together. It’s just a shame that rural players don’t get to share in that joy, and my heart does go out to anyone who doesn’t live within easy commute of a large city or tourist hotspot.
Anyway, happy hunting to anyone chasing those legendries this week, and don’t forget to wear your lucky pair of shorts. You may just need it.