TagPokemon

My Pokemon Gym: Steel

Welcome to the fifteenth iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, Fairy, Electric, Bug, Fire, Flying, Normal, Ghost, Dark, and Rock type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Magnezone

For as much as I like the Magnemite line, I genuinely never know how to use it properly in competitive play. It’s a bulky special attacker in my mind, even though everyone plays it as an anti-Steel Pokemon. As much as I know what the right way to play Magnezone should be thanks to the existence of the internet, I just roll with it the same way I have for generations now — Tri Attack, otherwise Rain Dance then spam Thunder.

Ability: Magnet Pull
Item: Shuca Berry
Moves: Rain Dance, Thunder, Tri Attack, Flash Cannon

Skarmory

The Skarmory/Blissey defensive core was downright terrifying in earlier generations if you didn’t know how to handle for it. And while Blissey is one of my least favorite Pokemon ever, I have a soft spot in my heart for Skarmory. So much so that I’m still just a little annoyed that instead of getting an evolution for Skarmory in Sword/Shield, we got Corviknight. Which, yeah, good Pokemon. But Skarmory deserved better.

Skarmory is on this team to be bulky and to try to flinch opponents. That means Roost, Rock Slide, and Iron Head were guaranteed spots in the build. The last spot came down to Aerial Ace or Toxic. I decided on the former just in case there were ever a situation where I needed a guaranteed hit.

Ability: Sturdy
Item: Leftovers
Moves: Roost, Rock Slide, Aerial Ace, Iron Head

Scizor

One of the unfortunate things about the Steel typing is that it has two Pokemon that I love using Mega Evolutions for1The more I play Shield, the less I like the Dynamax concept. — Scizor and Metagross. In deciding which of the two to have as a mega on this team, I thought about my history with using each of them. And while I’ve used both in their mega forms on my teams before, only Scizor managed to stay useful to me in its base form. This is thanks in large part to its Technician ability, as well as an array of moves that get a boost from it, such as Bullet Punch, Vacuum Wave, Aerial Ace, Thief, and Bug Bite. This set lacks recovery, but that could easily be fixed by dropping Aerial Ace for Roost.

Ability: Technician
Item: Metronome
Moves: Swords Dance, Bullet Punch, Bug Bite, Aerial Ace

Mega Metagross

On the list of non-legendary Pokemon abilities, Tough Claws has to be near the top of the list in terms of most overpowered, right? It powers up ANY move that makes contact. That includes things like Grass Knot. Yes, Grass Knot is powered up by Tough Claws, despite being a special move. Anyway, Mega Metagross is OP, please nerf.

Ability: Tough Claws (Light Metal before Mega Evolution)
Item: Metagrossite
Moves: Meteor Mash, Zen Headbutt, Ice Punch, Grass Knot

Alolan Sandslash

As much as I love the concept of the Ice/Steel typing, even I’m willing to admit it’s not a particularly practical nor useful type. When you have a 4x weakness to both Fire and Fighting — two of the best offensive typings in the game — you’re gonna have a bad time. That said, I just really like Alolan Sandslash. It’s not going to live long. I know that. But if it’s able to switch in on something it can set up on with Curse, it becomes hilariously hard to stop thanks to Gyro Ball.

Ability: Snow Cloak
Item: Focus Sash
Moves: Curse, Flail, Poison Jab, Gyro Ball

Empoleon

Can we take a moment to talk about how so many of the starter Pokemon have terrible hidden abilities for what they’re used for? Empoleon is an example of this. Instead of getting an ability that benfits its excellent defensive typing, its bulk, or its special attack, it gets…Defiant? Defiant works well on a Pokemon with good attack. But unless you’re dead set on making your Emploeon a mixed attacker, there’s not much point. I decided to use it because why not. But what the hell?

Ability: Defiant
Item: Petaya Berry
Moves: Surf, Power Trip, Steel Wing, Double Team

The Best Shiny Pokemon by Color

Shiny Pokemon: the reason everyone still taps on trash Pokemon in Pokemon Go even though they’re getting bored with the game itself.

All kidding aside1I’m not kidding., ever since shiny variants of Pokemon were introduced in Generation II, they have captured the attention of the Pokemon fan base. For those not familiar with the concept, shiny Pokemon are Pokemon that have a color variation different from the main color scheme for that Pokemon. For example, here we have the regular version of Gyarados (all images courtesy pokemondb.net)

And here we have shiny Gyarados.

Got the concept? Good.

I got into a discussion with Lola from the blog That Little Lola regarding some of our favorite shiny Pokemon. I’ve wanted to do a post about shinies for quite some time now, but ultimately didn’t land on the right topic until after that conversation. What follows in this post is my thoughts on the best shiny variant for each color that’s part of this list. Here are the rules.

  • What color a Pokemon is listed under below is dictated by the primary color of its shiny variant. Gyarados would fall under red rather than blue for this reason.
  • Mega evolutions, forms, and regional variants are all considered for this post.
  • I’ve chosen to limit myself to a maximum of three honorable mentions for each color.

Got it? Good. I’m also doing a blog post with the Pokemon I think have the worst shinies by each color as a Patreon reward2By the time this post comes out, the Patreon post will have already gone live., so if you’re interested in seeing that list too, go support me on Patreon.

Red – Dhelmise

We begin with arguably the hardest color on this list to cut down the honorable mentions for. While there aren’t a ton of good red shinies in earlier generations, we more than make up for that from Generation V onward. Even Hoenn gave us Solrock’s criminally underrated shiny form. That said, one of my favorite Pokemon designs, Dhelmise, also gives us my favorite primarily red shiny. I really like how the red seaweed accents the rusted anchor, making for one of the better color contrasts of all shiny Pokemon.

Honorable mentions: Solrock, Clawitzer, Yveltal

Orange – Shellder

While orange has the shortest list of honorable mentions on this list3The day before publishing this post, I realized I completely skipped Gen III when making my orange list, meaning I’d forgot about the amazing shinies belonging to both Seedot and Linoone. Only one makes the list, but I’m adding this note instead of changing the paragraph because of how much it annoyed me that I did that., it does have my single favorite shiny in all of Pokemon, Shellder. Shellder’s orange sprite is so much better than its normal purple coloration that I wish this was the regular form. Of course, if Shellder had a purple shiny, it would make so much more sense for Cloyster to have the weird blue shiny it has. As a side note, orange also features the only Gen VIII appearance on this list. Most of the Sword/Shield shinies are pretty lackluster, but Cramorant’s is nice.

Honorable mentions: Chandelure, Cramorant, Seedot

Yellow/Gold – Drifloon

I combined yellow and gold in part because it was hard for me to draw the line on certain color distinctions — as you’ll see when we get further down the list. Either way, Drifloon was the easy winner from this group, with both it and its evolution having awesome yellow shiny forms. Lucario’s shiny is a bit underrated, though I’m sure that’s driven by the fact that Mega Lucario is just so ugly.

Honorable mentions: Azumarill, Lucario

Green – Taillow

I adore lime green. I really do. I cut four lime green shinies from the honorable mentions section of this color. Not picking Scizor or Beedrill here hurt a little. But of all the green shinies in existence, my favorite is Taillow. The adorable tiny bird has a shade of green that doesn’t show up in many shiny Pokemon. Though PokemonDB’s sprite doesn’t show it off well, trust me. It’s awesome.

Honorable mentions: Beedrill, Espeon, Scizor

Blue – Simipour

This might be the first time Simipour has ever been at the top of a positive Pokemon list. That said, I quite prefer Simipour’s shiny to its regular coloration. Hell, that’s the case with all of the Pokemon in this color’s section of the post, though I think Simipour’s is the biggest improvement over its regular sprite. Of course, the less said about the downfall of the Gible line’s shinies as you get further along the evolutionary chain, the better.

Honorable mentions: Shuckle, Gible, Xurkitree

Purple – Pupitar

Speaking of Pokemon evolutionary chains that have one good shiny amid a sea of not good shinies, I give you Pupitar. Larvitar’s shiny is fine. Tyrannitar’s is underwhelming. But the purple shiny on Pupitar jumps off the screen. It’s striking in a good way. You’ll notice that Murkrow makes my honorable mentions, as I went through quite the mental debate whether or not to classify it as purple (a color it didn’t win) or pink (a color it would have won). To me, it looks more purple than pink, so I chose to put it here. That said, I’m also bad at color theory.

Honorable mentions: Murkrow, Tentacool, Rogenrolla

Pink – Dragonair

Good lord, that’s a good shiny. The pink and the white work really well together. The gold accents are amazing. It’s just beautifully done. Despite pink being a middling color to me outside of the world of Pokemon, there are a TON of good pink shinies in the games, particularly from early generations. I can’t wait for Furret to be allowed in Sword/Shield for shiny Furret sweeping shenanigans.

Honorable mentions: Furret, Mega Mawile, Crobat

Brown – Cacturne

There’s not a ton of brown shiny Pokemon in general. But of the ones that do exist, it really came down to Cacturne and Kantonian Sandslash for this spot. If I’m being honest, a small reason why Cacturne got the nod here is because what makes Sandslash’s shiny so cool is the red spikes and their contrast against the brown, not the brown itself. Cacturne wins out here as a result, but this was the closest choice of any on this list.

Honorable mentions: Sandslash (Kantonian Form), Liepard, Lopunny

Black – Umbreon

Black shinies just look cool. That’s all there is to it. But of all the black shinies in existence, the one that’s my favorite is one of the ones with the most subtle changes from its base coloration, Umbreon. Going from the yellow to the blue accents against the black is just a great touch. It’s not as drastic of a change as Mega Gardevoir or Oricorio Balie go through, but it’s extremely effective.

Honorable mentions: Mega Gardevoir, Palossand, Oricorio (Baile Form)

White – Victini

Like black shiny forms, white shiny Pokemon often also follow the Rule of Cool when it comes to their coloration. That said, white shinies are much harder to come by, which I have to assume is because it’s really hard to color them if you’re a child4You may think I’m kidding, but this is intended to be a child’s game after all. You have to take your target audience into consideration.. That said, of all the white shinies in existence, it’s really Victini and then everything else. It’s too bad getting a Victini is literally impossible now — not that Game Freak intentionally has it that way or anything.

Honorable mentions: Eevee, Litten, Pelipper

Silver/Gray – Fennekin

Hahahahahahahaha. It’s a silver fox. Get it?

Honorable mentions: Metagross, Ferroseed, Vikavolt

My Pokemon Gym: Rock

Welcome to the fourteenth iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, Fairy, Electric, Bug, Fire, Flying, Normal, Ghost, and Dark type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Kabutops

Alright. I’m going to level with you. I really don’t like the Rock type. You want to know how many Rock Pokemon made their way onto other lists in this series? Three. That’d be Magcargo (Fire), Shuckle (Bug), and Alolan Golem (Electric). You might recognize those as two other types I really don’t like, plus Bug. So this list is extremely Gen I heavy, especially compared to other lists. In fact, there were only three Pokemon I had on this entire list initially, two of which came from Gen I.

With that said, Kabutops is one of my favorite Pokemon designs, full stop. It’s the Grim Reaper as a dinosaur. I don’t care that it’s terrible and that Omastar is objectively better. Kabutops is a sure-fire member of this team. Unfortunately, since Rock has a notorious weakness to Water, we won’t be having any Swift Swim shenanigans here. Instead, our goal is to set up Stealth Rock and to force some switches. Kabutops has some speed for it, particularly in comparison to the rest of this team. That said, most of the heavy lifting will be handled by the rest of the team.

Ability: Battle Armor
Item: Focus Sash
Moves: Stealth Rock, Aqua Tail, Night Slash, X-Scissor

Omastar

Speaking of Lord Helix, it was the second of three Pokemon I immediately knew belonged on this team. Though my active love for it didn’t come until after Twitch Plays Pokemon, I still found the fossil choice in Mt. Moon in Gen I to be one of the most annoying choices you had to make in the entire game, save for the one Eeveelution limit1I didn’t have friends to trade with.. It’s always bothered me that what was effectively Omastar’s signature move, Spike Cannon, was both non-STAB as well as used Omastar’s meager Attack stat rather than its Special Attack. Fortunately, Omastar gets a bunch of other moves that make it annoying to deal with via status conditions…plus a move that requires transferring from Gen I that is always hilarious to catch people off guard with.

Ability: Shell Armor
Item: Choice Scarf
Moves: Scald, Horn Drill, Icy Wind, Water Pulse

Aurorus

Aside from the anchor Pokemon on this team, everything from here on out was more of an “I guess” pick than an actual love pick. Aurorus has two of my favorite abilities in the game in Refrigerate and Snow Warning. Considering how these two abilities help set up what I love doing for my typical Ice-focused teams, it’s pretty great. That said, this is my Rock type team. And Aurorus is…let’s go with lacking…in good Rock moves. Hell, it just has a weird movepool in general, getting access to Dream Eater, but nothing with which to put opponents to sleep, as well nearly as many damage-dealing Electric moves than Rock moves2Electric has Discharge, Charge Beam, Thunder, and Thunderbolt. Rock has Rock Throw, Stone Edge, Ancient Power, Rock Tomb, and Rock Slide.. In light of this, we’re going to give Aurorus a moveset that makes just as little sense.

Ability: Snow Warning
Item: Lum Berry
Moves: Swagger, Psych Up, Iron Head, Earthquake

Rhydon

Whoever at Game Freak that did Rhydon dirty by giving it Rhyperior as its evolution clearly had something against Giovanni’s signature Pokemon. Which is a shame, because I really liked it in Gen I. Granted, not as much as I liked using Nidoqueen or Dugtrio. But I liked it. Sure, it’s glacially slow, but it hits like a truck. Plus Eviolite helps it a little. Look, I’m stretching here.

Ability: Rock Head
Item: Eviolite
Moves: Take Down, Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, Megahorn

Solrock

Another one? Fuck. Um. It’s a sun. And. Um. It knows moves. And. It can be released from a Poke Ball before battle?

Ability: Levitate
Item: Normal Gem
Moves: Explosion

Sudowoodo

Oh. Thank god. Finally a Pokemon I like again. Unlike Rhydon, Sudowoodo actually has a moveset that puts Rock Head to good use. But that’s not what I to talk about here. Did you know that Sudowoodo can learn Calm Mind? That’s right. The Pokemon with 30 base Special Attack. THIRTY! It can learn Calm Mind. I get that it’s for the Special Defense more than Special Attack. But why not give it Cosmic Power then? I’m throwing that on the set just because of how absurd it is.

Ability: Rock Head
Item: Apicot Berry
Moves: Calm Mind, Wood Hammer, Head Smash, Rest

My Pokemon Gym: Dark

Welcome to the eleventh iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, Fairy, Electric, Bug, Fire, Flying, Normal, and Ghost type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Liepard

While I’ve made a concerted effort to use the Sword/Shield movepools for Pokemon that are available in those games in my last two posts, I am choosing to ignore that with Liepard. The main reason? Sword/Shield gets rid of Liepard’s most iconic move, Assist. For those unaware, a Pokemon using Assist will use a random move that one of the other Pokemon in your party knows. Considering the moves the rest of the Pokemon on this team know, this could yield hilarious results. Or it could do nothing. That’s the beauty of Assist. It’s Metronome with a pre-selected movepool. My Liepard also runs Fake Out for Normal Gem/Unburden boosting shenanigans, as well as Aerial Ace and Hone Claws because I needed four moves.

Ability: Unburden
Item: Normal Gem
Moves: Fake Out, Assist, Aerial Ace, Hone Claws

Umbreon

Speaking of Pokemon whose movepools Sword/Shield screwed up, why can’t Umbreon learn Toxic anymore? Granted, I worked around it in this case. But it’s the quintessential stalling Pokemon. What’s Umbreon without Toxic? I honestly can’t remember how Last Resort works with the combination of Rest and Sleep Talk, and most of my normal Pokemon sites were no help. In the event this set wouldn’t work in reality, just mentally replace Last Resort with Foul Play.

Ability: Inner Focus
Item: Leftovers
Moves: Last Resort, Confuse Ray, Rest, Sleep Talk

Cacturne

An older cousin of mine introduced me to Pokemon via Red/Blue. That said, it wasn’t until the Gen IV games that I was knowledgeable enough about Pokemon to be able to beat him. The Pokemon I ended up beating him with? Iron Ball Cacturne with Fling. I took out his next to last Pokemon (which wasn’t weak to Dark) with Fling, then won because his Psychic type couldn’t hit me. I recognize I likely got lucky. But you know what? Luck is good enough to make this team. Plus Cacturne’s design is hilarious to me.

Ability: Water Absorb
Item: Iron Ball
Moves: Spiky Shield, Power-Up Punch, Fling, Foul Play

Shiftry

For those unaware, Seedot has one of my favorite shiny sprites in all of the Pokemon series. Because of this, I wanted to make sure I found a way to feature it or its evolution on either this team or the Grass type team. It fit better onto this team, particularly thanks to its synergy with the next Pokemon this list. The goal here is to get Sunny Day up and maybe get a Solar Blade off once I do. That said, I know that Shiftry isn’t the powerhouse of this team. If worse comes to worst, a sneaky Explosion will do some damage to my opponent, but Shiftry is helper Pokemon on this team.

Ability: Chlorophyll
Item: Focus Sash
Moves: Solar Blade, Throat Chop, Sunny Day, Explosion

Incineroar

Another Pokemon whose potential Gen VIII moveset we’re ignoring, though not quite for the same reasons. I love Incineroar’s unique Z-move, Malicious Moonsault. I’m going to ignore the fact that Incineroar is actually doing a 450 splash instead of the moonsault. It’s just an awesome move. I love the pro wrestling vibe Incineroar has, plus it comes from arguably the cutest starter form ever.

Ability: Intimidate
Item: Incinium-Z
Moves: Darkest Lariat, Drain Punch, Blaze Kick, Body Slam

Alolan Muk

I want to give full credit to my brother-in-law for causing me to love Alolan Muk as much as I do. When we would battle doubles, he would use Muk with an Air Balloon and a Power of Alchemy set that had a goal of inheriting the Levitate ability from its partner Rotom when it died. The set worked beautifully and caused several hilarious disconnects when playing online. While Power of Alchemy has no use in singles battles, I paid homage to the rest of his set here, replacing his preferred Poison Jab with extra coverage in the form of Hidden Power Grass.

Ability: Poison Touch
Item: Air Balloon
Moves: Knock Off, Stockpile, Hidden Power Grass, Rock Slide

Ranking Every Pokemon Go Community Day…So Far

One of the most well-liked events in the Pokemon Go player base — particularly by those players who are more casual players — is Pokemon Go’s Community Day events. For the unaware, Niantic1The company that runs the Pokemon Go game. will feature one Pokemon a month for an event known as Community Day. During this event, the featured Pokemon will appear in the wild significantly more frequently than normal. The event has typically also coincided with the release of the featured Pokemon’s shiny variant(s), as well as other bonuses for playing during the event. The events themselves usually last three hours, though there have been three exceptions to this rule.

While I don’t typically talk about each individual Community Day as it happens — go read That Little Lola’s work if you want some of those — I did want to take a look back at each Community Day thus far and rank them to determine which one was the best representation of what Community Day done well looks like. In doing that, I took six different factors into consideration.

  1. How useful is the Community Day Pokemon’s end-stage evolution at the time of the Community Day?
  2. How much did I personally care about the Pokemon in question?
  3. How useful is the special Community Day move(s) given to the Pokemon?
  4. How good were the Community Day specific bonuses?
  5. How good were any other bonuses that you could take advantage of on Community Day?
  6. How good is the shiny evolution chain for the Community Day Pokemon?

This allowed me to rank 23 of the 25 Community Days through January 20th, 2020 and determine which ones were the best and worst so far. I’ve chosen not to rank the two super Community Days in December 2018 and 2019, as they were structured a little differently. That said, my very quick thoughts on those.

  • December 2018 was bad because of the massively nerfed shiny rates for most of the event2The typical Community Day shiny Pokemon rate is around 1 in 25. This specific two-day event had a speculated shiny rate of around 1 in 100..
  • December 2019 was better but felt very disorganized because of the split, yet overlapping spawn pool.

With all that out of the way, here are the rest of the Community Days from #23 to #1. Feel free to get angry at and/or love me in the comments.

#23 – Slakoth (June 2019)

To say Slakoth was the worst Community Day event we’ve had so far would be a massive understatement. In addition to being a fairly standard Community Day bonuses-wise, this day featured a Pokemon that has minimal use in the game as a whole. Even in its primary role as a gym defender, Slaking’s outclassed by many lower CP options, including things like Togekiss and Wobbuffet when warding off Fighting types. The featured move, Body Slam, was actually a downgrade to Slaking’s best move, Play Rough. Combine that with a below-average shiny3I’m okay with Slakoth’s shiny, but the evolved shinies are very bad. and this was the most skippable day we’ve had.

#22 – Cyndaquil (November 2018)

I know a lot of people liked Cyndaquil day, but it wasn’t my thing. Typhlosion was a middling Fire type even with the release of Blast Burn into its move pool. Considering it couldn’t even outclass Charizard in terms of usefulness, there was definitely a ceiling here. Plus this was the one outlier Community Day where none of the bonuses were 3 or 4 times bonuses, which was very strange at the time. But combine that with an underwhelming shiny line and my dislike for Gen II starters and Cyndaquil is near the bottom of this list.

#21 – Chimchar (November 2019)

Cyndaquil day with better bonuses. At least Infernape’s shiny is better than Typhlosion’s.

#20 – Turtwig (September 2019)

In my spreadsheet ranking these Community Day’s, Turtwig, Chimchar, and Cyndaquil all tied with the same point total. Turtwig gets the nod over those two for two reasons. First, it’s a competent PvP fighter and decent lower-tier gym defender. Second, this is one of two Community Days to try introducing the featured Pokemon into raids for the day. It’s a good concept, but considering the low number of raid spawns — especially in comparison to the overload of Rocket stops featuring Turtwig4The longer the Team Go Rocket concept is out, the less I like it. It’s a massive grind for bad rewards. — and this feels like a poorly executed concept that should have been a good idea.

#19 – Trapinch (October 2019)

If Flygon had any relevance in Pokemon Go, this would be much higher on the list. But alas, even Earth Power can’t save Flygon. At least Flygon and Vibrava’s shinies make up for the trainwreck that is Trapinch’s teal sprite. I typically love green/teal shinies. Trapinch’s is bad.

#18 – Mareep (April 2018)

I wanted to like Mareep Community Day. I really did. Ampharos is one of my favorite Electric Pokemon. And if we ever get Mega Evolutions in Go, perhaps this day jumps up the list. But like Slaking getting Body Slam, Dragon Pulse is a straight downgrade to Ampharos’ other charge moves. Plus the pink shiny isn’t good. At all. If I didn’t like Mareep so much, this would have been a bottom two Community Day.

#17 – Pikachu (January 2018)

The very first Community Day ever had no right being this high on the list. The first event of anything is supposed to be a terrible, buggy mess. And it was buggy. And Pikachu got a horrid featured move. And its shiny is the second-worst one we’ve had featured on any Community Day. But this Community Day did two things very, very right that we’ve yet to see replicated.

  1. The featured Community Day move could be accessed via TM during the event.
  2. There was a flat 2x XP bonus for all activities during the event.

Seriously. Considering how unrealistic those two things are for ANY event now, it’s a bit crazy to see that BOTH were done for the very first Community Day.

#16 – Charmander (May 2018)

Let’s get the good out of the way. Blast Burn was not only the best possible news for Charizard, it made it meta-relevant at a time where Entei and Moltres were hard to come by. Its relevance didn’t last long, but it was good while it lasted. Now the bad. Average bonuses, a Pokemon whose end-stage evolution has one of the worst shinies in Pokemon history5Purple Charizard for life. — though not the worst…we’re getting there — and is the single most overmarketed Pokemon this side of Pikachu. At least Charmander itself is cute.

#15 – Chikorita (September 2018)

Chikorita day would have been just slightly better than Cyndaquil day by itself. Frenzy Plant is relevant on Meganium, so it’s not like this day would have been a total bust. That said, the reason this is at #15 rather than in the 20s is because of what happened immediately after the day. Meltan’s soft launch happened. I have not seen the Pokemon Go community as hyped about something as Meltan’s launch, either before or since, with the possible exception of trading. It was the most exciting 30 minutes of a Community Day thus far.

#14 – Bulbasaur (March  2018)

In PvP, Venusaur with Frenzy Plant is STILL relevant. Think about that for a second. It’s almost two years later and a Gen I starter that isn’t the face of the franchise or a prominent member of Ash’s team is still relevant in a mode of Go. That said, nearly everyone I talked to hated this day solely because of how similar Bulbasaur’s shiny looked to its regular sprite. And…yeah, that’s totally valid. It was terrible. This is still the day where I’ve caught the most Community Day shinies to date (11). But during a time where the game’s shiny indicator didn’t exist yet, this day was tedious.

#13 – Totodile (January 2019)

There was no hope for a Gen II starter to make the top 10. That said, Totodile day is what I think of as an average Community Day at this point. Nothing too exciting. The move is an upgrade to the end-stage evolution’s current moveset, making that Pokemon relevant if you have a week pool of Pokemon to pull from. Otherwise, it’s about the shiny (average in Totodile’s case) and spawn rate (same).

#12 – Bagon (April 2019)

I expected Outrage to be better on Salamance than it was. But Salamance’s movepool is just so weird. And Bagon day had one of the lower spawn rates of any Community Day to this point. So while Bagon day should be higher on this list, Niantic did a great job managing to disappoint on this specific event.

#11 – Treecko (March 2019)

One of two Community Days I’ve missed over the past two years, Treecko day comes across as Totodile day, but with a Pokemon with better stats. To this point, it’s the best Grass type Community Day we’ve had, though I’m sure that’ll change once Snivy comes out6I swear to god, if I run into one more Serperior with Leaf Tornado in PvP…. It’s a really good shiny at least?

#10 – Ralts (August 2019)

Ralts is a bunch of ifs mashed into one day. Ralts has great shinies…if we ever get Mega evolutions. Ralts has a great Community Day move…if Synchoronoise ever gets its secondary bonus effect. Dropping 10k eggs all day would be great…if they weren’t all Ralts. The Ralts line is one of my favorite evolutionary lines in the game. This was a disappointment though.

#9 – Squirtle (July 2018)

The biggest thing about Squirtle day that I think people forget in retrospect is that even with Hydro Cannon, Blastoise was never really meta-relevant. That said, no one remembers this because Squirtle day featured the first instance of being able to encounter shiny Pokemon from Pokestop tasks AND gave us sunglasses Squirtle from those tasks. Sure, the sunglasses aren’t the ones worn by the Squirtle Squad. But it was a unique Community Day concept that there really hasn’t been a way to repeat to this point.

#8 – Torchic (May 2019)

Torchic Community Day was the first of two Community Days we’ve had wherein the end-stage evolution of the featured Pokemon got its signature move released along with the Community Day move. While Blast Burn is objectively better than Blaze Kick in most scenarios, I tend to run Blaze Kick/Brave Bird on my Blaziken in PvP for better shield breaking. Torchic’s shiny is one of the more difficult ones to discern from the original in Go, but it’s not Bulbasaur levels of bad. We got a meta-relevant Pokemon (albeit on the fringes) in this Community Day with more than one move available to it. While I don’t like this exact format as much as Pikachu day or another day I’ll be talking about later in this list, doing the signature move release alongside the Community Day move has been pretty successful in the past.

#7 – Dratini (February 2018)

Dratini’s Community Day was really good. Dragonite was still a top tier Pokemon — one that candy was hard to come by for at the time. While Draco Meteor wasn’t an upgrade for Dragonite, it was a nice alternative to Outrage at a time before having a second charged move was a thing. Spawn rates this day were crazy, even by Community Day standards. So why doesn’t this day rank higher? I took a couple of points off for this being the first Community Day to set the precedent for specializing what bonuses you receive on Community Day. That by itself though only knocked it down from second to fourth. What dropped it all the way to seventh was the fact that Dragonite has the single worst shiny sprite in all of Pokemon. Which is a shame, considering how good Dratini and Dragonaire’s are. But it’s still true.

#6 – Larvitar (June 2018)

The second of two Community Days I missed on this list was likely one of the best. At the time, Tyrannitar was the best Dark type attacker. The Community Day fast move Smack Down also made it the best Rock type attacker. That’s insane to think about. That said, everything from #3 through #6 on this list was within 1 point of each other, so it came down to shiny version and personal preference for that Pokemon. In both of those categories, Larvitar is average, all while going up against Pokemon I like a lot and that have good to great shinies. Pupitar has the best purple shiny in the game…but Larvitar and Tyrannitar’s are just kind of there.

#5 – Piplup (January 2020)

The most recent Community Day was, despite the strange hemisphere time offsetting thing, one of the better Community Days we’ve had in a while. You got a Pokemon that benefits massively from its Community Day move, combined with some of the best spawn rates I’ve seen in months, plus a very good shiny, great typing, and a Pokemon whose evolution chain I loved. This specific day had me written all over it. It doesn’t make it higher than fifth on the list because Empoleon isn’t particularly relevant outside of PvP and because I recognize that unlike the four above it, Piplup day is boosted because of my bias for it.

#4 – Eevee (August 2018)

Eevee day was actually a two-day event, where there were two separate windows where Eevee spawns were boosted. This allowed players to catch an absurd amount of a Pokemon that you NEED a lot of, considering it has 8 possible evolutions (even though only five were out at the time). Both Eevee and its evolutions evolved between the start of the first day’s window and the end of the second day’s window got the special move Last Resort. While it isn’t the best move, it did have some light meta usefulness at the time, particularly on Umbreon and Jolteon. I’d personally love to see all Community Days follow this two-day, two window format, but I understand that Eevee was a special case. Considering how helpful this was to get a ton of budget7Aside from the fact that you were likely using a TM to get rid of Last Resort. PvE attackers in the form of Flareon, Jolteon, and Espeon8You could argue Vaporeon belongs here too, but considering the prevalence of Gyarados, Poliwrath, Suicune, and Kingdra by this point, nevermind the fact that Kyogre was also out (but not readily available), and Vaporeon was there to fill the back end of most teams, even by this point., it’s one of the better days we’ve had.

#3 – Beldum (October 2018)

Beldum day was the last Community Day I remember looking back on and being annoyed I didn’t plan ahead for it. While people online had a good idea at the time what the pattern for non-starter Community Day Pokemon was, it really wasn’t confirmed by any stretch by the point Beldum was released. So of course when I got my 100% Beldum on day 1 after it was released, I walked it and caught more and evolved it straight away. Too bad Metagross has terrible charge moves without its Community Day move, Meteor Mash. And Meteor Mash did make Metagross relevant, though not as much as you might think. But considering how much this Pokemon needed a Community Day, combined with the boost its signature move gave and the top-tier shiny it gets, getting a podium finish on this list was a foregone conclusion.

#2 – Mudkip (July 2019)

Is there a Pokemon — with the possible exceptions of Charizard and Larvitar — that benefitted as much from its Community Day move as Swampert? Swampert went from being a good but not great Pokemon to one of the best Water attackers around with Hydro Cannon. Before Hydro Cannon got nerfed recently, having a Hydro Cannon Swampert on your team was the best way to cheese any battle with Giovanni. Considering how terrible of a grind the Giovanni quests are, this was a massive blessing. The Mudkip line has good shiny forms, which helps. Plus this was the second Community Day to have a signature move released at the same time as the Community Day move, though Muddy Water didn’t have the same impact as Blaze Kick. If it weren’t for amazing timing that happened in February 2019, Mudkip would have been an easy pick for the top of this list.

#1 – Swinub (February 2019)

Let’s get the bad out of the way here. Ancient Power is only useful in PvP for Mamoswine9Generally speaking, that is. That said, I did use it as my way of handling Giovanni’s Articuno in the Rocket battles, as I desperately lack good Rock attackers.. Granted, you can use it for other things — see the footnote in the previous sentence — but it is a gimmick. And the Swinub line’s shinies are alright at best. But let’s talk the bonuses for this Community Day. During Swinub Community Day, players got the following bonuses.

  • 3x catch stardust
  • 2x catch candy
  • 5x the rewards from trainer battles, including guaranteed Sinnoh Stones
  • 6-hour lure modules

The first two items on this list are relatively standard Community Day rewards10Though we haven’t had a catch candy reward to this point, this is what I’d imagine it’d be if we did get one.. The trainer battle rewards were game-changing at the time, as most players were struggling to find ONE Sinnoh Stone, nevermind being guaranteed five just from doing PvP battles. Combine that with the fact that lure modules — which typically last 3 hours from Community Day — were further doubled by the Valentine’s Day event that was going on, and people were able to catch like crazy. This fact makes Swinub Community Day the bar a Community Day needs to beat in order to be considered the best…and it’s not particularly close.