Should Team GO Rocket Takeover Events happen more often?

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Team GO Rocket Takeover events were introduced last year, but we haven’t had as many as some players would’ve imagined. These events were originally designed to just boost the appearance rate of Team GO Rocket grunts and leaders for a limited period of time. But then everything changed.

Shadow Pokémon rebalance

On March 2nd, Niantic announced a shadow Pokémon stat rebalance and more importantly, the fact that during certain time periods Shadow Pokémon would be able to forget the (useless) Charged Attack Frustration by learning a different Charged Attack with a Charged TM. And then the first Rocket takeover (where we were able to TM away frustration) happened. On March 7th, to be more precise.

The truth is, many players (myself included) purified their good IV shadow Pokémon and transferred their shadow Pokémon with good PvP IVs because being stuck with the charge attack Frustration rendered them almost useless and they couldn’t learn Community Day/Event moves (before Niantic unexpectedly decided to change the rules of the game and allow that…). So you can imagine that many trainers didn’t have enough time to prepare for this event properly.

Team GO Rocket Leaders & Giovanni

At that point, we all thought that Team GO Rocket takeover events would be more common. But unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. Totally understandable, as we were in the middle of a global pandemic and Team GO Rocket Balloons were not in the game yet.

Now we have TGR Balloons and everything is set up for more Rocket Takeover events, but the last f2p Team GO Rocket Takeover event was that one I mentioned, in March. But why?

The importance of having more Team GO Rocket takeover events

Team GO Rocket events are VERY important. Every once in a while I find the occasional post on Reddit where a frustrated (pun intended) trainer asks when the next TGR takeover event will take place because his/her shadow Pokémon are useless without a proper charge move.

In my opinion, you should NOT be able to TM away Frustration unless you purify the Pokémon. It just makes zero sense… but that’s a different topic. If you would like me to cover that topic, please let me know in the comments section down below or on Twitter.

Anyway, back to where we were. If shadow Pokémon are so ridiculously overpowered, new moves are regularly being added and move rebalances are being made, why would you not allow us to TM away Frustration to actually use our shadow Pokémon in raids or PvP?

This could’ve been a great shadow Snorlax for Master League 🙁

We had the Team GO Rocket Strange Eggs event not too long ago, but to our surprise, even though TGR’s appearance rate was boosted and the main focus of the event was Team GO Rocket, TMing away frustration was not allowed. Not even on the shadow Mewtwo you got from the Special Research.

Shadow Mewtwo is ridiculously overpowered. In fact, it’s probably the best Pokémon in the game as of now. But if you want to use it properly, you either have to wait until the next TGR takeover event or double move it to actually make it learn a decent charge move. Feel free to check the meta analysis linked above in which I do an in-depth analysis of shadow Mewtwo’s performance in the current metagame.

If you didn’t participate in this year’s GO Fest in July, the last chance you had to TM away Frustration was 8 months ago. Crazy, right?

List of Team GO Rocket Takeover events

Here is the list of Team GO Rocket Takeover events until now:

List of TGR Takeover Events
Event Date Frustration TMable? Rocket Balloons? Paid Event?
July 28th, 2019 No No No
November 24th, 2019 No No No
March 7th, 2020 Yes No No
July 12th, 2020 Yes Yes Yes

PvPing with Frustration

Shadow Pokémon in PvP

Raids and gyms are not really competitive, PvP is where the competitive scene mainly takes place. With new themed cups being featured on a regular basis, you’d imagine that some shadow Pokémon shine in very specific metas.

As an example, shadow Aerodactyl and shadow Skarmory would be good Pokémon to add to your team for the Flying Cup, but you actually can’t unless you decide to run them with only 1 charge move. They are not crazy broken (there are some tradeoffs from using their shadow version rather than their regular counterpart), but that could happen in the future if a new themed cup revolves around a very specific Pokémon with its shadow version being available.


Team GO Rocket Balloon
  • Team GO Rocket takeover events should happen more often, even if they are limited to just fighting grunts from Balloons (with a high balloon spawn rate) due to the current pandemic and lockdown measures in some countries.
  • A monthly takeover event where the Rocket Leaders have their older shadow Pokémon would be amazing! For example, Sierra could be using Sneasel or Beldum and Arlo could be using Bagon
  • If Takeover events do not happen very often, there should be a different way to TM away Frustration from shadow Pokémon
  • Limiting stuff behind paywalls and very strict limited-time events is very bad for the game. It just promotes FOMO
  • Shadow Pokémon are unnecessarily overpowered, but that’s a different topic that I’d cover in the future if there’s enough interest

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