Pokémon GO Holidays 2021: Research Breakthrough, Tier 5 Raid Bosses & More

Pokemon Go holidays
Pokemon Go holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Niantic are making sure that Pokémon GO players are able to get in the holiday spirit with a new event for 2021. With a new Research Breakthrough encounter, new Shiny Legendaries and Raid/Spotlight hours a plenty, there’s definitely something for everyone in the upcoming Pokémon GO Holiday Events.


Research Breakthrough – Deino

If you complete a Research task that you get from spinning a Pokéstop, you’ll get a date stamp on your game. Completing seven of these gives you the chance for your Research Breakthrough encounter. November saw you have the chance to encounter Vullaby, and this time around, from 1st December at 1pm PST (GMT -8) right up until 1st January at 1pm PST (GMT -8), you will have the chance to encounter Deino.

The Dark/Dragon type is highly sought after, due to still being rare in the game, and even more so currently as the green shiny form of Deino has been previously released. Depending on your timings, you should be able to get at least four Deino encounters if you manage to do a Research task every day, which is doable due to Niantic auto sending you a task at the beginning of each day.


Tier 5 Raid Bosses

December brings both new Tier 5 Raid Bosses and Mega Raid bosses.

From 1st December (10am local time) until 16th December (10am local time), both Reshiram and Zekrom will be coming back into Tier 5 raids. Both of them will also have their shiny forms released, being identifiable by Reshiram’s gold collar and tail, and Zekrom’s green tinge. Reshiram is weak to Dragon, Ground and Rock, so your best counters are Dialga, Rayquaza, Rhyperior and Rampardos. Zekrom is weak to Dragon, Fairy, Ice and Ground, so your best counters are Palkia, Zekrom, Reshiram and Dialga. Be wary of the movesets though, and remember Dragon types are weak to Dragon type moves.

Then, from 16th December (10am local time) to 31st December (10am local time), Kyurem will take over as the Tier 5 Raid Boss. Also having its shiny form spotted by its pink/purple toned skin, Kyurem is weak to Dragon, Fairy, Fighting, Rock and Steel, so your best counters are Lucario, Metagross and Rhyperior. Each of these three Pokémon will also be appearing in Raid hours.

Every Wednesday between 6-7pm local time, there will be a Tier 5 Raid boss on every gym that will last for an hour. Reshiram will appear on 1st, 8th and 15th December, Zekrom will be on 1st, 8th and 15th December as well, and then Kyurem will be on the 22nd and 29th December.


Mega Raid Bosses

There’s one new Mega Raid boss and one returning boss covering the whole of December and the beginning of January.

For the first time, Mega Steelix will be appearing in Mega Raids from 1st December (10am local time) until 23rd December (10am local time). As with other Mega Raids, you will battle Steelix in its Mega form, and then you will have the chance to catch it in its normal form, as well as earning Mega Candy to be able to evolve your own Steelix to Mega. It will also have the chance to be encountered shiny, which is clearly obvious from the sparkling gold. Steelix is weak to Fighting, Ground, Fire and Water, so your best counters are Lucario, Kyogre and Mega Houndour.

Then, from 23rd December (10am local time) until 7th January (10am local time), Mega Abomasnow will be back. Its shiny has already been released, and is double weak to Fire, so your best counters are Reshiram, Darmanitan and Entei.


Spotlight Hours

Every Tuesday, between 6pm and 7pm local time, Niantic picks a Pokémon to increase spawns, along with a special bonus that will be live during that hour. Each of the four Pokémon featuring in the December Spotlight hours has the chance to be shiny, and here they are, along with their bonuses:

7th December: Electabuzz (bonus – double transfer candy)
14th December: Magmar (bonus – double XP for evolving Pokémon)
21st December: Snover (bonus – double catch XP)
28th December: Cubchoo (bonus – double catch XP)

Don’t forget the big Community Day event that is happening between 18th-19th December as well, that features Pokémon from 2020 and 2021 Community days.

Pokémon GO is available on iOS and Android.

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