Yes, finally after a year of waiting the legendary Pokémon have arrived, at least for some. Legendary raids were released on Sunday and work similar to the gym battles added in June. Raids randomly spawn at Pokémon gyms. Players then team up and battle the raid Pokémon, beating the Pokémon then leads to a chance to catch it. Legendary raids take between eight and fifteen players to beat, depending on the level and skill of the team members and it is great to see the streets filled with loitering Pokémon go players again. However, the event hasn’t passed without issue.

Legendary raids have worked to further alienate the rural players, who struggle with low population to build big enough groups to beat the gym bosses, and there is currently no cross gym pooling to ease this issue. Added to this is the catch percentage- 2% base for legendaries – which seems to be benefiting some players and persecuting others. There have been reports that some players are coming away with a 50% catch rate while other less fortunate players have complete in excess of ten raids with not a single legendary catch. This is something to bear in mind if you’re planning to invest in some premium raid passes and hit the raids. There is some speculation that player level may have some influence in the catch ratio for some players, and many reports have indicated situations where lower level players have caught multiple legendaries whereas higher level players, attending the same raids, have caught nothing.

My personal experience with legendary raids is as follows. I’m currently a level 33 player, and I went out on Sunday with a friend at level 29. I battled four raids and my friend battle two. He threw 8 balls and caught two legendaries – one of them on his first throw. I, on the other hand, threw 37 balls and caught not a single legendary. I then followed this up on the Monday with one more raid, squeezed in after work, and threw another 8 balls and still caught nothing. Between the two of us I’m the more experience player and the better ball thrower. Most of my throws were great and excellent and all with the Golden Razz Berry bonus.

So what went wrong? Well, it’s hard to know. Perhaps, I was just incredibly unlucky and he was incredibly lucky. Perhaps, there is some return of earlier issues with the bug that led to better throws giving worse results or perhaps there is some sort of bug whereby lower level players really are getting an unintended catch bonus. Only Niantic can really know, and they haven’t commented as to if the catch rate is or is not working as intended. This data sample size is very small and personal and therefore may not be representative on a large scale but you may nevertheless want to bear this possibility in mind if you are intending to raid as a level 30+, as there have been other reports of similar situations.

  Without a doubt Niantic embarked on their anniversary celebrations with good intentions but with the connection/ service failure issue at their Pokémon Go Fest event leading to mass refunds and with their further alienation of the rural players, it has left a bitter taste in some mouths. The good news is that the bonuses earned through the Fest event have been extended to Thursday 27th July which includes bonuses to EXP, stardust, egg hatching speed, buddy walking and candy and no one is grumbling about that.

Happy legendary hunting to all of you who are venturing out this week and I wish you better luck then I’ve had.

Update 28th July – I have now completed seven raids throwing a total of 63 balls and still have not caught a legendary. I can now confirm that there is definitely a bug affecting the catch rate of some players. This seems to be linked to day one accounts and seemly prevents the golden razzberry bonus from taking affecting, meaning you are effectively throwing with a non berried catch rate. I’ve just uninstalled and then reinstalled the pokemon go app to see if this fixes the bug. Further updates to follow…