The two rare birds, Lugia and Articuno are now available for Pokemon Go fanatics around the world. Finding a Legendary Raid is pretty much the same as finding a normal one: the raids that you’re interested in are indicated by five little Rhydon icons, and you’ll see a big, majestic bird next to each. Raid countdown timers do not seem to be appearing anymore, so the birds will just show up when they show up.

Some players attempting these raids are finding that adding legendaries to their compendium is a tough prospect, partially because of Niantic’s design, and partially due to good technical network issues. You can either check gyms around you or see if your area has a tool like this one to search wider. It’s worth noting that for right now, the concept of a Legendary Raid Pass does not appear to have made its way into the game. Legendary Raids work much like normal Raids in this regard: you just need to find the raid and spend a standard pass to get in.

The first hurdle is having a suitable and strong enough monster. A Lugia that spawned near me this morning had a CP of 42,753, which means that I couldn’t just waltz in with any monster. This makes sense, of course.

So then: we all need the help of other players. If you live in a rural area, where both players and gyms are scarce, you might be shit out of luck. These players told me that they couldn’t find enough players near them, either—they had traveled across the city to get to that gym, to no avail.

As a rule, Dark-type is a good counter for the Psychic-type Lugia, and Fire is a good counter to Articuno’s Ice. Stone-type counters Flying, so those attacks can be reliable against both. One word of advice: Lugia sometimes comes at you with the water attack Hydro Pump, which can decimate otherwise solid counters like Tyrannitar or Golem.

While there are reports of players defeating legendaries a handful of trainers (I’ve heard of runs with 7-10 players), most of us will likely need close to the 20 available raid slots filled, ideally with beefed-up critters like Tyranitar. Unless you’re already a part of a group and can coordinate these encounters, just starting the battle may be difficult. Given Niantic’s trailers, where huge groups of people are always visible, this is all intended.

In the Pokémon spin-off Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team Articuno appears in the Frosty Forest level, where it will attack the player. It can be recruited later in the game. In the mobile app Pokémon Go, Team Mystic is represented by Articuno as a mascot.

Fortunately, it is possible to defeat a legendary even if some people in your group haven’t fully prepared for it. Once a legendary is downed, you’ll receive a limited number of Premiere Balls, which outline how many chances you’ll have at capturing the monster. According to data miners, the capture rate starts at a measly 2%, a percentage that can increase with berries—but not by much.

The thing is, network issues aside, it makes sense for legendaries to be hard to catch. They’re legendaries! It wouldn’t feel special for everyone to just have one, now would it? At the same time, I can see why some people feel frustrated. In the main games, you don’t have to rely on other players to get what you want, and it’s also very easy to become overpowered.

The tension of capturing a legendary lies less in the combat encounter than it does in the low capture rate. Even that can be circumvented: the real games have Master Balls with 100% capture rate and failing that, anyone can just reset their game and try again. Not so IRL: not only are there a number of logistical issues to overcome, you are limited by Premiere Balls.

The next level is to up your coordination game. Bringing a friend or two is a good start, but the best way to go is to head to social media. Many cities and other areas have Facebook groups, Discord channels or subreddits where people organize raids, so that might be a good way to see how many people are heading to a given raid. If you find yourself at a raid with some other people, say hi: they might point you towards the best resources in your area. It’s a bit intimidating at first, especially if you don’t think of yourself of the kind of person that joins a Pokémon-oriented Facebook group, but take a leap. You’ll like it.

Once you’re in the fight, it’s a lot like a regular Raid. You’ve got far more time to defeat a Legendary Bird, but you’ll still want to be stingy about dodging to make sure your damage output is as high as possible. Also remember that if all of your Pokémon go down, you can always head back in with new ones or revive the ones you have. With more time in the fight this becomes much more effective.

It is natural that a legend pokemon such as Articuno is a rare catch. But that’s not going to take care of things on its own. Raids are about fighting as a team, and that’s absolutely paramount with high-difficulty Legendary Raids. Far more important than getting your own house in order is making sure you’ve got the requisite teammates to finish things off.
Granted, a good number of folks out there have had enough luck to nab a legendary, even if it does take a few tries.

So it’s entirely possible for players to go through the trouble of powering up their monsters, assembling a group, winning the battle…and then walking away with nothing. Well, that’s if things go according to plan.

A number of players have unfortunately encountered connection issues just trying to start a raid, or trying to capture a Lugia. I’ve also heard stories from players in large groups where only a couple of people got the prize, despite everyone chipping in.

A number of players have unfortunately encountered connection issues just trying to start a raid, or trying to capture a Lugia. I’ve also heard stories from players in large groups where only a couple of people got the prize, despite everyone chipping in.

Pokémon Go’s devotion to cooperation means that we’re all getting a more “authentic” legendary experience, while paradoxically straying from what it’s usually like to play Pokémon. Pokémon players, myself included, are not used to having legendaries actually be rare and tough to catch.

As usual, this whole process is going to be a lot more difficult for trainers living in rural and suburban areas. This has been a struggle for Pokémon GO for the start, and the Raid update remains slanted towards players who live in denser areas

If everything comes off right, you’ll wind up with a shot at catching an Articuno or a Lugia. At that point, you’ve just got to nail your curveballs and hope for the best. Happy hunting.



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