Post Mortem: How Charmander Community Day and Charizard’s Blast Burn were leaked

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When you think about it, we really do spoil a lot of things. Shiny sprites, Game Master updates, data mines — Charmander’s Community Day appearance and Charizard’s Blast Burn as Community Day exclusive move are no exceptions to this.

Today, instead of leaking something, let’s travel back through time and see how it all went down over the last few weeks. It’s quite a journey, especially if you consider how early some of the hints were captured.

Timeline of key events (so far)

April 15 2018 — Mareep Community Day happens, players start speculating rampantly about the next Community Day Pokémon. The player base is convinced that the next Pokémon will be Charmander, suggesting that Niantic is following a starter-filler-starter pattern of Community day Pokémon.

April 16 2018 — Japanese Pokémon GO website updates their Community Day page with an incomplete translation that mentions Charizard (リザードン Lizardon). The Hub reports on it, the post gets a fair amount of traction. We, like many, are sceptical and put up a fair amount of disclaimers, but the info (fortunately) proves correct a day later.

The partially updated Charmander text on the Japanese Pokémon GO website

April 17 2018 — Niantic officially acknowledges the upcoming Charmander Community Day and confirms that Charizard will be able to learn a special move. Josh writes a great guide for the event and mentions that we’re expecting Blast Burn as Charizard’s exclusive move, as it is inline with the Gamefreak’s original Pokémon games (Blast Burn is exclusive to starters).

May 10 2018 — Niantic adds Charmander Community Day field research texts to the translation bundle (link). Chrales discovers the info, posts it on reddit and on his personal Github repository. No hints of Blast Burn yet, but confidence is high.

Catch {0} Charmander

May 11 2018 — A mysterious Pokémon GO update, version 0.103.2 on Android, appears on APK Mirror. Zeroghan stops working on the Hub’s simulator and data mines the update, discovering that a new move was added in the code base: Blast Burn (finally!).


The info is posted on the Hub and shared on reddit, gaining traction on both places. Zeroghan notes that Blast Burn’s visual and sound assets are not in the APK yet, hinting that we are due for at least one additional app update before May 19th.

May 14 2018 — GameWith’s Yamada, a popular Japanese Pokémon GO Youtuber, publishes a video that shows a Charizard using Fire Blast on his channel. GameWith summons GO Hub on Twitter (huge thank you!) and the Hub writes about it: Blast Burn revealed in Japan: Charizard’s EX move has two bars and 100 damage.

What’s next?

With the main corpus of the event information already made available, there are only a few big things that are not yet released / leaked:

  • Blast Burn assets — a possible APK update is expected this week that will include Blast Burn move sound, animations and visuals. However, technically, Niantic could have developed a way to distribute these without an APK update, therefore we’re labelling this as possible. If it happens, we’re expecting the update to happen soon (maybe even tomorrow, Tuesday May 15th).
  • Blast Burn stats — according to the video shown by GameWith, Blast Burn looks like a carbon copy of Frenzy Plant, but that is yet to be confirmed by a detailed analysis of it’s performance. Probably will be available post event.
  • Shiny Charmander, Charmeleon and Charizard sprites — every Community Day was accompanied by shiny sprites leaks, and we expect the same thing to happen later this week, probably Friday.

Parting words

With all that was said and leaked, we hope you enjoyed this overview of the process and how we got here. We are looking forward to the next few days, especially to seeing the new potential shiny sprites.

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