I had been waiting for this moment since Pokemon Go first launched more than two years ago. As soon as I saw that Pokemon Go Gen 4 had finally arrived, I went looking for Sinnoh's single greatest Pokemon: the nobile Bidoof. And as it happened, there was one sitting right in my living room.
Okay, I may be overstating Bidoof's greatness just a little bit—any popularity it has is mostly owed to its sheer dopiness—but the fourth generation of Pokemon is still pretty sweet. It was the generation that did the most to rescue older monsters—Gligar, Piloswine, Lickitung—from the scrap heap. It gave us Infernape. It let us catch God for some reason.
I'll write more about why I like the Sinnoh region in another post. In the meantime, let's talk about the raids we'd like to see now that Pokemon Go Gen 4 is finally here.
The Raids We Want in Pokemon Go Gen 4
So if you've spent much time with Pokemon Go, you're probably familiar with raids. They're cooperative battles with difficulty that's rated on a scale of one to five. At the lowest level you'll be able to solo monsters like Charmander. At the highest level, you'll be fighting the likes of Lugia and Mewtwo, which take a dozen or more high-level trainers to take down.
The funniest thing about Pokemon Go raids is that the monster in question is huge. Even comparatively mundane foe are roughly three times the size of your own Pokemon, and depending on what you're fighting, the effect is either intimidating or hilarious. Let me tell you, fighting a 50-foot tall Magikarp never gets old.
Ultimately, raids are probably the deepest and most interesting aspect of Pokemon Go, and accordingly have attracted a large hardcore playerbase who run them regularly. You can already see some raids just by playing the game—like Bidoof!—and more will be revealed soon, I'm sure. But while we wait, here are the raids I'm hoping to see in Pokemon Go Gen 4.
Tier 1: Rotom
Rotom is one of Sinnoh's most interesting Pokemon. Initially a simple electric/ghost-type monster, it gained the ability to take the form of appliances in Platinum. With no fewer than five (!) different forms to obtain, Pokemon Go players are going to be extremely busy gathering Rotom candy. For the record, the lawnmower form is my favorite.
With that in mind, having relatively easy access to Rotom via raids would be a blessing. It would also be interesting to fight, as its electric/ghost typing isn't exactly common. In any case, Bidoof already occupies one of Gen 4's lowest level raid slots, but Rotom is another good candidate.
Tier 2: Electivire
The two star raid slot tends to be reserved for lower tier evolutions like Slowbro, which makes it the perfect home for one of Gen 4's most iconic Pokemon: Electivire. Like its sibling, Magmortar, Electivire is a nifty evolution of a comparatively forgotten Pokemon, in this instance, Electabuzz. It was one of the first Gen 4 Pokemon to properly appear in the anime, defeating Pikachu in a rematch between Ash and Gary. It was Infernape's main rival. When I think of Sinnoh, I invariably think of Electivire.
Electabuzz is fairly rare compared to Magmar, at least in my neck of the woods, so being able to battle it in a raid would be ideal. Plus, it's just really cool looking. It's exactly the sort of Pokemon that would draw people out of their houses and to the local street corner for a quick battle.
Tier 3: Lucario
This one is a given, isn't it? Lucario is one of Gen 4's defining Pokemon. Its Sinnoh's main representative in Super Smash Bros., fighting alongside Pikachu, Charizard, and Greninja. It almost feels like Lucario has to get a raid, and that either Tier 3 or Tier 4 would be where it would land.
Okay, now that I've got that out of the way, time for an admission: I don't actually have any special feelings about Lucario. It's a blue fox that stands upright. It has some special powers reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z. It's pretty much designed to sell merch. Pokemon have always been created with marketability in mind, but Lucario is an especially egregious case.
But I don't know, it would feel wrong somehow if Lucario didn't have a raid. Its design is cynical, but by dint of sheer longevity it's managed to become iconic. Anyway, I guess I just don't want to go through the trouble of having to hatch and evolve one.
Tier 4: Garchomp
Oh Land Shark. I thought Garchomp was kind of the worst when Pokemon Diamond and Pearl first debuted lo these many years ago. But Garchomp is Cynthia's signature Pokemon, and Cynthia is the best champion of them all, so I'm contractually obligated to like Garchomp now, even if it was one of the first really nasty instances of power creep in Pokemon.
Anyway, dragons aren't often raid targets, but it's not completely out of the realm of possibility. After all, Tyranitar is a high-tier raid target, and it's a pseudo-legendary monster much like Garchomp. Like Lucario, Garchomp has such an outsized role in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl that it feels kind of right for it to be available via a raid.
If it does appear, we'll be reminded once again of what a beast it is, since its sheer power and large number of type advantages will make it very difficult to take down. A good challenge for high level players.
Tier 5: Darkrai
Pretty much any legendary from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl can appear in this slot. I expect we'll be fighting Cresselia, Regigigas, and possibly even Arceus at some point. Gen 4 has a lot of options to choose from.
I'm mostly throwing out Darkrai because its one of the coolest legendary monsters to date. It's a ghost-type legendary that haunts your dreams, and for quite a while it was only available via event distribution. Owning a Darkrai was a mark of pride.
Whichever Pokemon ultimately get spotlighted through raids, Pokemon Go will doubtlessly continue to roll right along. It has improved exponentially over the past couple years, adding many great features en route to solidifying its fanbase. Next month we'll get Pokemon Let's Go, further tying Niantic's insanely successful mobile game to the series that helped spawn it. I personally can't wait.