Verdant Wonders Event: Top Priorities

G’day PoGO lovers! The Verdant Wonders event is upon us, with the long-awaited (albeit ticket-locked) return of Zarude, shiny Flabébe, and a host of Grass-types in tow. Apologies for the delay in this guide being published, as the event has already commenced around the world! Hopefully this won’t deter you from tackling a few priorities throughout the event.

Event Details Event icon

Date & Time 📅

  • Starts Thursday, March 21, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. local time
  • Ends Monday, March 25, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. local time

Ticket Holder Bonuses 🎁

Incense icon Certain Pokémon will appear more frequently on Incense when used during the event
Pokemon Encounter icon Shiny Flabébé will debut in Pokémon GO
Pokemon Encounter icon Costume Cottonee and Whimsicott will be introduced

Priority 1: Zarude Pokemon Encounter icon


While I am not necessarily pleased about another ticket-locked legendary, the rarity of Zarude’s appearances in the game mean that this may be a high priority for you. Even more so if your IV’s from it’s initial release were average (like my 10-12-13 variant), this is a great opportunity for an IV re-roll, so to speak – if you’re willing to pay for it that is. If not (which is perfectly valid) then we’ll have to hope Zarude is released into raids or a research task some day – when is the ultimate question.

Zarude isn’t overly common in the Master League, but it puts in a very solid performance against many popular picks such as Mewtwo, Kyogre, Groudon, Landorus, Giratina, and Rhyperior (even sneaking away with a win against Zygarde!). It does struggle a bit against the many Dragon types and Ho-Oh, and losing to Solgaleo despite hitting for super-effective Dark type damage hurts. All that aside – you’ll need to grind hard for XL candy to power it up, and given its lack of accessibility this might be a show stopper for you. The choice is yours!

If PvE is more your thing, Zarude is the #4 ranked Grass type attacker in the game – which means it has utility across both formats.

In terms of the research line, now is a good time to get cracking on this with the many Grass and Dark types spawning, which form the majority of the tasks you’ll need to complete.

Priority 2: Primal Groudon Raid Day Pokemon Encounter icon

Groudon (Primal)

Primal Groudon Raid Day takes place on Saturday, March 23, 2024, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time. During that time, Primal Groudon will appear more frequently in 5-Star Primal Raids, and you may encounter a Shiny one!

From a PvP perspective – Groudon is pretty awesome in the Master League. It’s a fantastic Dialga-counter, and overall has a really strong win-loss performance. One thing that is perhaps holding it back in the current meta is the rise of Landorus, which resists its signature Ground-type charged move Precipice Blades. Additionally, the introduction of Palkia-Origin into the game is also hurting its performance a little, due to the requirement to bait with the resisted Fire Punch before landing the nuke charged move to have a chance of a KO. However – I don’t think this is a reason not to build a Groudon, as it is amazing for both PvP and PvE (Primal Groudon is the #1 Ground type attacker in the game, regular Groudon is #7), meaning it has strong utility regardless of movements in the PvP meta. This is an excellent opportunity to grind for the XL candy you need to power up to level 50, and hopefully snag the hundo during your travels.

One thing to consider is that Groudon really needs Precipice Blades and Fire Punch in its arsenal to be at full strength – both of which are legacy moves requiring an Elite Charged TM. Precipice Blades hasn’t featured on Groudon since its initial release, and who knows when it will be re-released? If you’ve got spares to use, now could be the time.

Details of the event are below:

Date & Time 📅

  • Saturday, March 23, 2024, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time

Bonuses 🎁

  • Raid icon Primal Groudon will appear more frequently in raids.
  • Shiny icon You'll have an increased chance of encountering Shiny Groudon.
  • Raid Pass icon Receive up to five additional free Raid Passes from spinning Gym Photo Discs.
  • Raid Pass icon The Remote Raid limit will be increased to 20 on Saturday, March 22, 2024, from 5:00 p.m. to Sunday, March 23, 2024, 8:00 p.m. PDT.

Priority 3: Flabébe Pokemon Encounter icon


I’ve written before about Florges in the PvP meta here, so I won’t go into tooooo much detail. Overall, Flabebe should be high in your priority list for the following reasons:

  1. It’s really good in the Master League, which requires 296 XL candy to max out the hundo; and
  2. It’s also very decent in the Ultra League; and
  3. Flabébé hasn’t been seen in the wild en masse very often since its initial release (the recent Dazzling Dream event the main exception); AND
  4. Now it’s shiny form is available!

Although Florges is a bit less flexible and bulky than the standard Zacian / Xerneas core, it’s still a very decent Fairy type pick that puts in a lot of work in the current Dragon heavy meta. Get your mega-Altaria / Gardevoir / Diancie rotation going and start grinding for a solid PvP Florges build!

Pokémon GO Valentine’s Day 2022 Event: Flabébé appearing, Valentine’s Day–themed Collection Challenges, and more!
Pokémon GO Valentine’s Day 2022 Event: Flabébé appearing, Valentine’s Day–themed Collection Challenges, and more!

Priority 4: Tangela Pokemon Encounter icon


This might feel a bit left field, but hear me out – a Tangrowth build should be in your priority list. With the upcoming return of the Master League Premier Cup in the GBL rotation from April 27, now is a great opportunity to grind for the XL candy you need to power it up. Tangrowth puts in serious work in this format, with excellent coverage against Water, Ground, Flying and Fire types with its versatile Grass and Rock moveset of Vine Whip, Power Whip and Rock Slide. If you don’t have a L50 built yet, now is the chance to mega evolve your Venusaur / Sceptile / Abomasnow combo and begin the grind!

Tangrowth is also very decent in the Ultra League Premier Cup – which is also returning soon! So all in all, don’t sleep on the Tangela spawns during this event.

Priority 5: Shiny Hunting Pokemon Encounter icon

Hmm, am I scraping the barrel a little? Maybe so, which sadly shows you what’s on offer for PvP during this event. Personally, I’m a big shiny fan and working on my living shiny dex, so the opportunity to help complete that is nice (finally got my shiny Cottonee during this event already, and with a crown nonetheless!)

The below mons have increased spawn rates through incense – and their shinies are all relatively recent releases. 

Thanks for reading, I hope this quick guide has helped you prioritise your PvP grinding for this event, and as always, you can find me on Twitter or Instagram for more analysis. Good luck with your XL grinding and the shiny hunt!

See ya later,


Author & tags

The one enlisted to explain games to new starters. Lover of all things Pokemon. Great League and Ultra League PvP specialist, and a dabbler in PvE.

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