Just like Articuno earlier this month, Pokémon Go is using Zapdos, another of the Legendary Birds, as a Global Research Challenge reward. This time for Pokémon Go Fest Chicago.

Here's everything we know, and what you need to do to prepare — and get that Shiny Articuno!

What day is Zapdos Raid Day?

  • Saturday, July 21, 2018

Will any bonuses be in effect?

Candy bonuses should be, so you'll be able to stock up on your Zapdos candy.

What time do the Zapdos Day Raids start and end?

No word yet, but if it's the same as Articuno Day, it'll be:

  • Asia-Pacific: 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. JST (GMT +9)
  • Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India: 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. UTC (GMT +0)
  • Americas and Greenland: 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. PST (GMT -8) / 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. EST (GMT -5)

What is Zapdos Day?

Pokémon Go has been doing Community Day for a while now but these new Legendary Raid Days have just started, so it's hard to tell what it means or how long it will last yet.

Here's what Pokémon Go has said:

Are you ready for round two of Professor Willow's Global Challenge? Starting July 14 through July 15, each area of the world will have to meet the challenge requirements during Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, USA! If each area achieves its respective goals, Candy-related bonuses will unlock starting on July 16—including bonuses for catching Pokémon and participating in Raid Battles. Trainers can also unlock a bonus to reduce the distance needed to hatch Eggs!

If all goals are achieved, Trainers all over the globe will be able to receive up to five free Raid passes when they spin a Photo Disc at a Gym during Zapdos Day, featuring the Legendary Pokémon Zapdos. On Saturday, July 21, Zapdos will be exclusively available in Raid Battles around the world for a three-hour period. During that time, all Zapdos caught will know the Fast Attack Thundershock. You might even encounter a Shiny Zapdos!

All you have to do to get your free Raid Passes is spin the Photo Disc on a Gym?

Yes, though you only get one at a time. So, go to a Raid, spin the Photo Disc on the Gym, get your pass, complete the Raid, and then go on to the next Raid and repeat the process. You can do this up to five times for free passes, then you need to start using premium (paid) raid passes.

Will Zapdos be the only Raid during Zapdos Day hours?

Also yes! Zapdos will spawn at every Gym — with the exception of Gyms with active Ex Raid passes for next week — and stay spawned for the full three hours.

So, if you can get a group together, go from Gym to Gym and Raid to Raid as often as you want to or can for the full three hours.

Is it true Zapdos Raids will have Tier 4 CP and timers?

No word yet, but that's what happened with Articuno Day. 180 seconds per Raid instead of 300, and the CP to match.

It shouldn't change the size of the Raid group you need, but it should let you get in more Raids.

But you still get Tier 5 XP and rewards?

Again, that's what happened with Articuno Day but there's no way to know for sure until Zapdos Day starts. If it's on, you'll get 10,000 XP per raid, double candy, and extra Rare Candy.

Plus all the usual Tier 5 item drops.

What's the best way to get in the most Zapdos Raids?

You don't have to think about speed and quantity. You can play at a relaxed pace, get in your five free Raids, and totally not stress about it.

If you want to maximize your chances of scoring a 100% or Shiny, though, you'll have to go all-in on Wafu style Raiding.

Basically, get a team together that can take down the Raid Boss without any problems. Have someone in charge of finding the next Raid, someone in charge of getting you there, and someone in charge of starting the timer as soon as possible.

Then, you make sure everyone gets in, do the Raid, and immediately head to the next one.

If someone wants to catch a Shiny or high IV Raid Boss, and they aren't fast enough between Raids, they miss a Raid while catching, then jump back in.

It's relentless, it's exhausting, but it's what lets people get 50+ Raids done in 3 hours.

Just think twice before putting yourself (and your wallet and stress levels) through it

What are the best counters for Zapdos?

Articuno is a Flying- and Electric-type Pokémon, so here's what you want to set up for your Raid Teams:

  • Tyranitar with Smack Down + Stone Edge (if you managed to score them during the June Community Day).
  • Golem with Rock Throw + Stone Edge.
  • Rayquaza or Dragonite with Dragon Tail + Outrage.
  • Mewtwo with Confusion + Shadowball.

Having at least two teams set up, a primary and a backup, can help you get back in quickly if you faint out, or still have strong counters if you forget to heal up between Raids.

Is Shiny Zapdos coming for Raid Day?

Absolutely. Pokémon Go has already confirmed it. Hopefully, it'll be the same 1/20 rate used for Articuno and Community Days. But, since everything is random you may get it right away or not at all. Yeah, pure randomness is still terrible.

Also hopefully, Shiny Zapdos will have the same 100% catch rate as other Shiny Legendary so, if you do encounter one, a Pinap Berry will nab you even more extra candy.

(And, yeah, since Pokémon Go used the traditional Shiny colors for the standard Zapdos, they'll have to figure something else out for Shiny Zapdos.)


What's the best moveset for Articuno?

Zapdos is a mixed blessing. It has better stats than any previous Electric-type in the game... but it doesn't have access to movesets that would really push it over the top, like Raikou does with Wild Charge.

Getting Thundershock as an event move will be interesting but will it really make a difference in Raids? As it is, Zapdos is Flying/Electric and has a CP that can soar about 3300. But for the rest, we'll have to wait and see.

  • Best Movesets: Thundershock + Zap Cannon. It'll still light up water types.


Zapdos has been available before, right?

Right. Zapdos was the last of the Legendary Birds unlocked following the original Pokémon Go Fest Chicago 2017, and has popped back into Raids in the past as well as been available as the Field Research reward for May, 2018.

Wait, what is Zapdos?

Zapdos is one of the Legendary Birds of Gen 1, originally discovered in the Kanto Region. In Pokémon Go, it's also the symbol of Team Instinct.

From Pokémon:

Zapdos is a legendary bird Pokémon that has the ability to control electricity. It usually lives in thunderclouds. The Pokémon gains power if it is stricken by lightning bolts.

From Bulbapedia:

Zapdos is a large avian Pokémon with predominantly yellow plumage. Black rings encircle its eyes, and it has a long, thin, light orange beak. Its wings and tail are a mass of spiky feathers, with black feathers covering the back of its wings and inner tail feathers. A large crest of spiked feathers surrounds its head. Its thighs are a khaki color, and it has anisodactyl feet ending in talons.

When Zapdos flaps its glittering wings, it releases electricity that can potentially cause thunderstorms. It produces massive crackling and snapping sounds when it flies; these are attributed to the lightning bolts it sheds when airborne. When stricken by lightning, it gains power. Zapdos reportedly appears only during thunderstorms, and is said to live among thunderclouds. However, it is rarely seen.

Any Zapdos Day Raid questions?

If you have any questions about Zapdos Day or Raids, drop them in the comments below!

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