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Pokemon Go – Everything You Need to Know About New Gym Mechanics, Items & Raid Bosses

We’re getting close to the one year anniversary of Pokemon Go; and while many of you probably stopped playing a long time ago, Niantic has some major updates planned that will totally revamp the entire game. Between improved Gym Battles, Rare Candies, TMs and Co-Op raid bosses (that will most likely introduce Legendaries), Pokemon Go is about to see a major improvement in Gameplay. So what’s exactly happening? Let’s break it down:

How Gym Battles Will Be Reworked:

One of the biggest problems with Gyms currently was how Gym possession basically fell into the hands of a few Trainers for weeks on end. Earning Prestige at a Gym was almost impossible for casual players without a group, making many gyms untouchable even if they beat every Pokemon there. To make matters even worse, the Meta Game was basically filled with Gyms of nothing but Dragonites, Tyranitars and the worst of all Blissey – who’s Stats are so high you’re likely to Time Out before you can beat it. The new Gym update will change all of that with several new key features.

  • Each Pokemon assigned to a Gym must be unique. (i.e.: No gyms full of Blissey anymore)
  • Instead of earning Prestige at a Gym, each Gym will already have 6 slots and Pokemon Deposited there will be faced in order. The catch is that your Pokemon’s motivation will come into play. Over time and losses, a Pokemon’s Motivation will drop causing it’s CP to drop as well unless you feed it berries.
  • Upon entering the battle screen, you can select your challenging Pokemon while seeing which Pokemon are stationed in the gym – as opposed to researching the Gym and then remembering as you pick your Pokemon on a separate screen.
  • Gym Icons can now be swiped like PokeStops and can award a Raid Pass – but more on that later.

All in all, these changes add a lot more balance to the game. How many times have you passed a gym with the same high level player week in and week out. Chances are, they might not even live in the area. They just passed by once and have Pokemon that overwhelm the locals. This new system will put and end to the casual ‘leave and earn rewards for weeks and weeks’ style of gameplay. There’s trainers out there who can barely hold a Gym for a half day while others can hold over 10 gyms for weeks. This change gives a lot more availability to the casual player, and thus should improve the player numbers.

Earn Gym Badges To Strength Your Might:

Like in the game and anime, upon claiming a Gym you will receive a Gym Badge. Gym Badges act as mementos of you aiding gyms and by Swiping the Gym Icon, Feeding your Pokemon Berries, and Winning Battles you can level up your Gym Badge. Leveled up Gym Badges will grant you additional  rewards when interacting with those Gyms.

More info needs to be given but it seems like it’ll play out like this. Say you place your Pokemon the “Green Park Gym” and maintain it. You swipe, you feed the Pokemon and you in general put a lot of effort in until someone knocks you out. Well all that work won’t go to waste because that Gym Badge will remember all you did to support that gym. So the next time you take it, you’ll get better rewards to reflect all that prior work you put in.

Co-Op Raid Battles – Capture Rare & Legendary Power:

There is one more major change coming to Gyms, and those are Raids. In case the other preventatives didn’t fix the current Gym system, Raid can do the job by kicking out all placed Pokemon before an emerging Raid. After this a giant egg will appear in a Gym and once the countdown hits zero a incredibly strong Pokemon will emerge. How strong? Strong enough to require up to 20 Players of any team.

Raid Bosses will be your chance to work with all fellow Pokemon Trainers as you face Rare Pokemon with CP well above 20,000. You can keep track of Nearby Raids next to your ‘Nearby Pokemon’ checker and see which Pokemon have appeared and which have still to hatch. Once the raid is complete and if you all manage to defeat the Pokemon within 5 minutes, you’ll have a chance to catch such a powerful Pokemon of your own. As exciting as it is to have the chance to catch a Tyranitar, Blissey or other high level Boss, it’s what this feature will most likely be used for in the future that has me most excited: LEGENDARIES!

In the initial Pokemon Go trailer, we saw a bunch of Trainers gathered in Time Square working to weaken a Mewtwo. This game mechanic looks an awful lot like that teaser. So perhaps you should start supporting Team Harmony because whether you’re Valor, Mystic or Instinct we all will have to work together to beat these mighty foes!

New Items – Rare Candy, TMs and More:

The excitement of Raid Bosses doesn’t end with just a chance at catching that Pokemon but also a bunch of exclusive Raid Item Rewards such as Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries and the long awaited introduction of Technical Machines! So what does each do?

  • Golden Razz Berries – improve your chances of catching a Pokemon even further!
  • Rare Candies – when used on a Pokemon will reward a bunch of Candy!
  • Technical Machines (TMs) – there are two types (Fast and Changed) and can permanently change your attacks.

These items each offer huge bonuses and help for gameplay. For starters, the Golden Razz Berries will come in handy for Raid Bosses. Rare Candies will be especially helpful when used on a Rare or Legendary Pokemon you don’t often find in the wild. As for TMs, how many times have you evolved that Perfect IV Pokemon only for it to have AWFUL attacks. Well TM’s will finally give you a chance to change all that and give your ace Pokemon the attacks it deserves!

Of course all of these changes and more will begin to be implemented after the Gym shutdown, but it’ll all be beyond worth it!

Images Credit: Niantic

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