we want to share our perspective on the release of Ho-Oh in Pokémon GO, as we’ve collected a number of hints on the place and time of it’s release. This article is speculative in nature, but it’s an educated guess, as the evidence is piling up.

We believe that Ho-Oh will be released at the Japanese Pokémon Stadium event (Monday, August 14, 2017 18:00 – 21:00), that takes place during the Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama (August 9 – 15). This event will tie in perfectly with the movie, as the movie retells Ash’s original journey through Kanto, including the Ho-Oh encounter.

There are several strong hints for this, we’ll list them with dates and explanation of the hint. Before reading the hints, be aware of the following: Pokémon the Movie 20: I choose you! is the driving force behind the Pokémon Company’s marketing and sale efforts this summer, extending to all properties, Pokémon GO included.

A timeline of Ho-Oh hints

June 30, 2017Toho Cinemas posts a Pokémon the Movie 20 video trailer for Japanese audiences. The trailer features a PokéStop dropping items, an Ash Hat Pikachu and a Ho-Oh shadow (0:02). This trailer was also the first hint of an Ash Hat Pikachu

July 12, 2017 — Niantic publishes Pokémon GO events around the world!, highlighting three major events this summer: GO Fest (now past), EU Safari Zones (Moltres and Zapdos debut expected) and the Pikachu Outbreak.

July 15, 2017Pokémon GO Stadium website goes live, only GO Hub and Slashgear notice and cover the news. The official How to Enter guide requires Stadium participants to have Level 5+ Pokémon GO accounts, hinting Raids will be the core feature. The official event page says the following: “The event is scheduled to run about once every 15 minutes, with tickets valid for one program only”, indicating several Raid encounters.

July 20, 2017 — Niantic publishes “A Legendary first year of Pokémon GO!” and the first Legendary Trailer, featuring Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, Lugia and Ho-Oh, all of which have attached placeholder Combat Power. Mewtwo makes a guest appearance at the end, no CP.

July 21, 2017ZeChrales (PoGODev community) notices that the app network traffic contains five new icons, no traces of Ho-Oh:

July 22, 2017 — GO Fest happens, two Legendary Pokémon released despite all the technical difficulties: Articuno and Lugia. On the same day, Niantic publishes “Legendary Pokémon are here!” which explains that Zapdos and Moltres will also soon become available, again, no mention of Ho-Oh:

“Don’t worry, Team Instinct and Team Valor, the Legendary Pokémon Zapdos and Moltres will also make their way into the real world soon, so stay tuned for more information”

July 23, 2017 — Two new short trailers are published on the official Pokémon GO Youtube channel, both featuring the same messaging and finally featuring Ho-Oh with other legendaries:

  • James Oliff

    In that case Mewtwo and Mew should be early next year on the 20 anniversary of the first movie

    • Michael Wang

      I think they should save it for the 2nd anniversary too and just release the other Pokemon. Out of many of the legendary, mew is one of the top “2” known.

  • FullmetalFlam3

    So am I the only one who’s a little frustrated at the fact that in the very first Pokemon GO trailer, where at the end it showed a bunch of people battling Mewtwo and then when they defeated it, everyone that participated seemed to receive Mewtwo, but now that legendaries are here, you still have to catch them? The biggest challenges with legendaries aren’t actually battling them. It’s first getting together a large enough group of people to beat the boss in the time limit, and then actually catching it. Catching a legendary is incredibly difficult for any level player, and for some players that have a hard time finding enough other players to participate in a successful legendary raid, it seems highly unfair to then pull the mat out from under them by almost denying them the prize of a legendary Pokemon. Not to mention their 20 km buddy distance, which is a whole different level of insanely unfair, especially given the fact that they can’t even by used in gym defense.

    • Trams87

      Very, very true and tbh they literally did what I talked about in my live stream last Saturday. They esstenially made a P2P event where everyone who attended “bought” into owning a legendary only for cell data to go down and everyone got a free legendary anyways.

      I think it does need to be refined and tweaked slightly.

      • FullmetalFlam3

        Yeah I don’t mind the desire of Niantic to lower the number of people who can obtain a Legendary, in order to increase its value in the player base and whatnot, but by the sheer fact alone that in order to beat a Legendary, you need at least 13 decent level players with good movesets, the additional nightmare of having to try and capture the beasts is just too much and I wouldn’t be surprised if that mechanic ends up turning a number of players off from the game. My girlfriend was able to participate in a group that beat a Lugia yesterday, and her game was glitching during the capture sequence, and she actually had captured Lugia properly but her game’s glitching caused Lugia to not appear in her Pokemon list, which made her quite understandably frustrated and not very willing to continue playing. :/ (P.S. I want to inform Niantic of what happened with her game glitching because she’s never had any issues before and there was plenty of evidence I saw that leads me to believe that Niantic messed up.)

        • Michael Wang

          It’ isn’t that easy to catch it and I who went the miles to encounter and beat 4 people (without including waiting outside under the blazing sun) .. all 4 of them had flee =/ Kind of want the game to make at least the first one easier to obtain / catch (regardless of the IV/CP)

          • FullmetalFlam3

            I agree, that way those players (most of us I’d presume) who are going for a complete Pokedex can actually obtain just that without it feeling like an impossible task.

        • Ignacio Castañeira

          One of the guys I was raiding with yesterday had a similar glitch, except in his case it worked on his behalf:

          The guy threw a ball (not sure how many had already thrown) and captured Lugia in it. Before any shaking animation or anything, the game glitched and the app turned off. He then turned it on again and to his surprise, Lugia was caught!!

          • FullmetalFlam3

            Lucky for him I suppose.

          • Lion

            This happens to me from time to time. I am pretty sure that from the very moment your ball hits the Pokemon (and you see the little swirling “loading” pokeball in the top left corner of your screen) the game has already determined if you have caught it. The shake animations are just for dramatic effect, so if your game crashes right after a pokeball hits, there’s a chance you got it or didn’t get it. The glitch most likely would not cause you to catch it. I’ve had it freeze up or restart during the catch with some pokemon and I did not catch them.

        • Lion

          Honestly, I’ve been doing a lot of Legendary raids lately and I think they’d be a lot less fun if you instantly caught it just for beating it, and people would have way too many of the legendaries by now. The capture part requires some skill, since a well-aimed curveball is your best shot at catching it (and maxing out your medals for that type), and I think that adds a layer of skill required to catch legendaries, making them indeed a nice trophy to show off.

          I think maybe for Mewtwo, who is pretty much the “supreme” legendary for most Pokemon players (and is in terms of stats and max CP), there should be something like what they showed in the commercial… a longer, harder raid battle, and for those who can defeat it, an instant capture, and you are limited to one Mewtwo per account. I’d like it if they mixed it up in some way, maybe like this, for some special events, but for now I really like the challenge of having to capture the Pokemon after you raid. It adds some excitement, and of course, sadly, some disappointment at times, but it keeps the game more interesting.

          • FullmetalFlam3

            A well-constructed response, and I certainly agree with your point of view.

    • David Shuer

      If legendaries were captured immediately upon defeat people would complain that the game is pay-to-win as people could simply trade raid passes for legendaries.

      • Hedronal

        Maybe just the first one guaranteed could work. Especially given that legendaries are set to be temporarily.

        • FullmetalFlam3

          Yes that’s kind of what I had in mind.

      • FullmetalFlam3

        You do have a valid point, though they could make it so that maybe your daily raid pass would automatically net you a legendary and any after that you’d have to catch. Something along those lines.

      • Peter Pasveer

        Trade with what ?

    • AlphaOkami

      I wasn’t even able to gather a large enough raid group to try Articuno at all. I suspect I won’t be able to for any legendary, considering I haven’t even been able to gather enough people to take on a Machamp raid.

      • FullmetalFlam3

        I was invited to join a Facebook messenger group that’s sole purpose is coordinating raids, so I’d suggest something along those lines if you can.

        • AlphaOkami

          Yeah, I found the local Pokemon GO page and am now having an easier time (though sometimes we still can’t get enough people because it’s a small town and like 75% of the players go to church and stay home the rest of the day every Sunday, have kids in hockey practice 3+ times every week, work 60+ hour weeks, etc.)

    • Peter Pasveer

      20km ? Man what about rare candy. With that you can fill it up

      • FullmetalFlam3

        I don’t want to spend rare candies on a Pokemon that can’t even be used in a gym.

  • FullmetalFlam3

    I can’t seem to find the article recently that mentioned this new feature, so I just wanted to ask someone on the forums if I was misremembering some information I thought I saw; that being that now you can feed a Pokemon in a Gym on your team unlimited berries? It was either that or that you can now feed berries to Pokemon beyond if they have their motivation maxed out. Can someone please help me clear this issue up?

    • Austin Tang

      You may have seen this in the App Store for the PoGo update. It did mention that players may now feed pokemon in gyms even if its motivation bar was full. This does not increase cp, it’s just a way to earn more stardust.

      • FullmetalFlam3

        Right that’s where I saw it thanks! I was just curious if Pokemon can still get full, and won’t eat anymore berries for a set time, regardless of how full their motivation is?

        • Higher_Ground

          yeah it maxes out at 10 berries, not sure when it resets (if ever)

          • FullmetalFlam3

            I’m guessing several hours, at which point you’re no longer near that gym anyway.

  • Antonio Mercurio

    Pokemon Go need a Huge event, this event could attract thousands and will, this will bring heaps of people in japan back to the game and possibly more event like this is places all around the world

  • Gregory

    I didnt capture any legendary yesterday (0/10). I do understand that they are hard to capture but I think its unfair that you cannot use your normal pokeballs to catch it. The legendary pokemon has 2% capture rate but Niantic only give you maximum of 11 balls to catch it. For me this is a big joke! Though i already got my lugia and articuno. But im done with this game after I use all my paid raid pass.

    • leonidaswin

      I catched 3/5 , two lugia and one articuno. I guess it is because I have the +3 bonus for catching in their types.

    • Lion

      Some of the legendary Pokemon have 3% and some have 2% capture rate. You can enhance that all the way up to about 24% and 15% respectively if you take advantage of the catch rate multipliers, each of which add percentage to the catch chance. Golden razz berry, curve ball, target hit (nice, great, or excellent), and having earned medals for the type of Pokemon you are trying to catch (these are shown on your trainer page and are earned by simply catching many Pokemon of that type). If you practice throwing good curve balls to get great or excellent throws, or even nice throws each time, and use the golden razz berries every time, you have a pretty decent catch rate. I caught 3 of 6 Zapdos today, mostly thanks to consistent “great” curveball throws and golden razz berries, and having gold medal for flying type and silver for electric type.

      Many people eschew the curveball, especially for Legendaries, because it’s harder to hit the target, but I say practice them (on every pokemon you see in the wild). The multiplier for a curve ball is 1.7, so if you have all the other multipliers happening on an a straight excellent throw on a legendary bird your catch rate will be about 14%. Managing the same throw with a curve ball would get you up to a whopping 24%. It makes a big difference.