Team Rocket Invasions are Live in Pokemon GO!

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Trainers, this is not a drill! Team GO Rocket Invasions are live and they could be happening around you at this very moment, but we’re getting reports only from Level 40 trainers that they’ve encountered them. I’ve had the luck to encounter one on a PokeStop almost right next to me so here’s how it looks like.

TLDR of things observed:

  • Team Rocket is called Team GO Rocket in Pokemon GO
  • Team GO Rocket Grunts use three Pokemon of the same main type
  • GO Rocket invasions include a Trainer Battle and a Catch encounter
  • There are two new badges (Hero and Purifier) that increase the number of Premier Balls you get while catching the Shadow Pokemon
  • Shadow Pokemon can be purified. Purification changes the Pokemon IVs and level. For me, Purification resulted in a Level 25 Squirtle.
  • A new move, Return Normal is available in the game.

Team GO Rocket Invasions

The first sign of a GO Rocket invasion was a PokeStop that had shifting colors, changing from a deep blue to regular PokeStop blue gradient. Curious to see what’s going on, I’ve walked to the PokeStop and clicked on it. Blanche, the Team Mystic Leader, popped up and warned me that there is some strange activity going on.

Blanche suggested investigating the PokeStop and a Team GO Rocket grunt popped up, challenging me to a Trainer Battle. Of course, I agreed. I’ve encountered a Water themed Team Rocket Grunt that had three Pokemon:

Squirtle Marshtomp Blastoise

All three were shadow Pokemon with massively increased CP. The encounter was a Trainer Battle that felt like every other Trainer Battle (we’re guessing it’s the same sub-system), it even had the new Charge Move mini games implemented. The fight was quick and upon winning I was rewarded with 5 Premier Balls (you can get more by raising the new Badges).

New badges are:

  • Hero – Defeat 10 / 100 / 1000 Team GO Rocket Grunts
  • Purifier – Purify 5 / 50 / 500 Shadow Pokemon

After defeating the Team Rocket Grunt, a catch encounter was started. The Shadow Pokemon I encountered was a Squirtle with 37 CP, but it felt more difficult than that.

After catching the Squirtle, I was taken to the regular Pokemon screen, where you have a new option to Purify the Pokemon. Purification costs 2000 Stardust and 2 Candy, at least in my case.

Once Purified, the Shadow Squirtle was converted into a Purified Squirtle and his stats have changed dramatically:

Shadow Purified
CP 37 629
HP 23 94
Atk IV 9 11 (+2)
Def IV 4 6 (+2)
Sta IV 14 15 (+1)

It seems like the purification process increases IV values, but it’s too early to say if they’re increased by +2 IV in each stat or it was just a statistical coincidence in my case. Anyhow, the Squirtle caught was a Level 25 Pokemon once purified.

Curiously, the Squirtle knew Return, a new Normal type move with three bars in PvE and two bars in PvP:

Return (Pokemon GO)

  • PvE: Normal, three bars, 35 damage per bar
  • PvP: Normal, two bars, 50 damage per bar, no confirmed stat effect

One of our Discord members shared an amazing video of the encounter:

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