Pokémon Go's next evolution event is a bit odd
Meanwhile, datamine points to possible Pikachu Libre.
The latest in Pokémon Go's ongoing carousel of in-game events is an odd one - themed around Pokémon evolution.
The event, which kicks off tonight, features Pokémon in the wild, in tasks and in raids with unusual evolution types and requirements, such as those which require items, or those with branching evolution - think Eevee, Burmy, and Tyrogue.
Shiny Burmy will be released (which you'll need a lot of to get all the various evolution combinations). Lures will last one hour, you'll get double XP when evolving Pokémon, and you'll gain evolution items from raids.
Speaking of raids - this is the slightly strange bit. There will be a raid day this Saturday, 11am-2pm local time, with five free passes. This bit is great. But the Pokémon on offer? They're the Gen 1 Kanto starters. As Pokémon commonly available and featured repeatedly within the game (costumed versions were raidable as recently as Halloween), this bit is less great.
A mix of Tier 1, 2 and 4 raids will offer a mix of Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle alongside each of their respective evolutions. And in a key detail bizarrely relegated to an announcement via Niantic's YouTube partners and on Reddit, each stage will be available Shiny.
Off the top of my head, it's only the second time a Stage 2/3 Pokémon has been available as a Shiny from raids, after Gengar raid day.
And while the lure of raiding a Shiny-possible Charizard, Venausaur and Blastoise in T4s is certainly worth using up those free passes, the fact you have to choose between their fully evolved versions and their middle stage which you can then evolve for their better Community Day move during December's Community Day is odd.
Meanwhile, in other Pokémon Go news, a new datamine today points to several upcoming end-of-year cosmetic items themed around Stantler, and new moves headed to the game such as Aura Sphere (learned by the extremely meta relevant Lucario, Togekiss, Dialga and Palkia) and Flying Press.
This latter move is fascinating as it is the signature of Gen 6 Pokémon Hawlucha - something we're still at least a year away from seeing. The only other critter to learn Flying Press is Pikachu Libre, a costumed luchadore version of Pikachu seen in games such as Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokkén Tournament and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Pikachu Libre is the far likelier candidate to use the move in the near future, and would be the latest in a long line of costumed Pikachu added to Pokémon Go - the most recent being a Mimikyu-inspired design for Halloween.