The end of March 2021 gave us the first-ever Weather Week in Pokémon GO, and the forecast was rainy with a chance of sparkles. The event brought the debut of shiny Rainy Castform, the first time this shiny has been available in any Pokémon game. This was an exciting development for Pokémon GO trainers, and yet for many, the event went down like a lead Drifloon. Let’s break it down.
The concept of Weather Week got us all hot under the collar but ended up being a bit…well, anticlimactic. Rainy Castform was the poster Pokémon for Weather Week (literally), and the fact that the shiny was exclusive to Pokémon GO was genuinely exciting. The problem was that this new and exclusive shiny was too difficult to obtain. Rainy Castform only spawned when it was raining in-game.
For many players living in sunny climates, there was a serious Rainy Castform drought. Instead, players were trolled by (derpy) Sunny Castform. Many trainers also found the unreliable weather system in-game to be extremely annoying. Even if the weather outside was raining cats and dogs (or should we say, Meowth and Lillipup), this was not always reflected in the app.
Reviewing spawns for an event is difficult as it is entirely subjective. If Lotad is your ultimate BFF, then Weather Week was probably your favorite event, like, ever. However, for long-term players, the spawns were a bit dull. Shiny Plusle is probably the worst shiny in-game, and most trainers refused to even click on them. Plusle, Minun, Lotad, and regular Castform have all had mini-events with boosted shiny rates in the past. If you’ve been playing Pokémon GO for a while, you probably already have these shinies in your collection.
For PvP aficionados, the event did offer some decent catches. Stunfisk, Skarmory, and Drifloon were spawning as part of the event, which was great for candy grinding or IV hunting. Vaporeon were also (rarely) available in the wild, and catching them gave guaranteed Eevee candy XL. This was a great opportunity for trainers trying to power-up an Umbreon to Level 50 for Ultra League.
Weather Week brought the added bonus of 1.5 x stardust for catching weather-boosted Pokémon. Trainers are usually (Electa)buzzing with excitement for any sort of stardust increase, but the bonus felt a little flat. The stardust boost was minimal and only applied to a portion of the spawns.
Stardust is the real currency in Pokémon GO and many new trainers find it difficult to build reserves. If Niantic really wants PvP to take off, they need to make stardust more accessible for new and more casual trainers. One way to do this is to make it easier to accumulate, especially during events.
The event featured 2 different research tasks that led to an encounter with Rainy Castform. The quests were medium difficulty, requiring trainers to catch 7 Pokémon of specific types which were available in the wild. For many, the research tasks were the only way they could encounter the event’s featured Pokémon. This did mean that trainers in sunny climates could still hunt for shiny Rainy Castform by grinding research tasks. However, task-hunting is not possible for trainers stuck in lockdown or trying to play from home.
Niantic did try to combat this a little with the Timed Research, which was playable from home. Trainers could encounter several Rainy Castform by completing the Timed Research in the Today View. The handful of encounters wasn’t enough to have us all on cloud nine, but it was certainly better than nothing.
Weather Week offered a good variety of raids. Therian Forme Thundurus was the 5* Raid Boss, the best electric-type attacker in terms of DPS. PvP pros were excited to see Lickitung, Poliwrath, and Pelipper in 3* raids. The other raid bosses were also helpful for trainers trying to complete their Mew Special Research. Many players have been struggling to find dark- and ice-type Pokémon since the Season of Legends began, and so Murkrow, Mega Houndoom, and Mega Abomasnow were welcome additions to the raid roster.
Trainers that had been struggling to catch Dragon-type Pokémon were also in for a welcome surprise. The event finished with a Raid Weekend featuring fan-favorite Rayquaza. Everybody and their Grandma was excited about this, especially since the introduction of guaranteed candy XL from legendary raids. In a way, Rayray stole Rainy Castform’s thunder and was the real star of the event.
For us, Weather Week was kind of a wet blanket. The introduction of a new shiny exclusive to Pokémon GO was thrilling at first but then left trainers frustrated as it was too difficult to obtain. The other event spawns weren’t exciting for long-term players, and the stardust bonus was also a little lackluster. Rayquaza Raid Weekend was a (sky) high point but only lasted 2 days and could be considered a mini-event in itself. Overall, this event scores an underwhelming 4/10.