Pokemusings Pokemon Go Edition: Splitting Into Teams For Raids

There’s a person in my local Pokemon Go community that complains — loudly and annoyingly — whenever people split into teams for raids. She doesn’t understand why people take the time to set up private raids based on teams. The reasons have been explained to her multiple times by multiple people. Hopefully, you don’t have to suffer similar idiocy in your Pokemon Go community…but just in case you do, here’s some explanation ammo.

It’s All About Bonus Balls

After a successful raid, bonus premiere balls are awarded (partially discussed here). There are three ways to acquire bonus balls. The team that controls the gym gets extra balls. Players that inflict the most damage on a raid boss gets extra balls. And the team that does the most damage gets extra balls. The bonus balls can be anywhere from one to three, depending on the percentage of damage dealt to the raid boss.

Bonus balls are especially essential for catching legendary pokemon. (Legendaries are difficult to capture by design.) Let’s look at Rayquaza, for example. Using a straight throw that just makes contact gives you less than a two-percent chance of catching. The catch rate only gets as high as a shade over 12 percent when using a golden raspberry and throwing an excellent curveball.

Looking at those numbers, the chances of catching a Rayquaza are small. You can give yourself more chances of catching it — and other legendary pokemon with similarly low catch rates — by splitting into teams during raids. If there are six Team Mystic players and six Team Valor trainers at a raid, it would be wasteful for them to raid as a group of 12. By splitting into two raid groups based on teams, each trainer will get more precious chances to catch rare pokemon.

Pokemon Go Pokemusings Team Instinct
Raiding with excellent trainers that are on the same team — like JayMon79’s family — will ensure that you get the most chances at catching rare pokemon.
Finding the Right Raid Partners

As a Team Intinct trainer, it was tough when raids first started in Pokemon Go. Most of the players I met were on Team Mystic or Team Valor. As I got to meet more people in the local community, I found some fantastic Team Instinct trainers. There’s a core group that’s an absolute pleasure to raid with. They’re all high level, they have great pokemon, and they have a strong understanding of the Pokemon Go metagame. (i.e. They don’t do stupid things, like fighting Latios with a Lugia.) Raiding with these types of trainers makes battles easier and ensures that all of us get more chances at catching legendary pokemon.

Now just in case you play with an overly loud and whiny trainer in your community, here’s the tl;dr response of why you should split into teams for raids — you get more bonus balls ergo more chances at catching rare pokemon. (This response can be yelled and ended with “stupid!” or “idiot!” for maximum effect.)

Pokemusings Pokemon Go Edition: Recommended Teams & Bonus Balls

Pokemon Go recommends some truly questionable teams for battles and raids. The suggestions are especially problematic for the latter. The game seems to favor survivability over damage output, which…isn’t the best. Recently, I’ve done a few four-person raids against Latios and have seen fellow trainers achieve suboptimal results thanks to Pokemon Go’s team recommendations.

One trainer I bumped into was perfectly happy with his recommended team, which was full of steel pokemon. He was content to battle Latios with a team full of Aggrons and Steelix. Those pokemon are great for enduring a battle and saving some healing items, but they’re poor at damaging Latios. In fact, I wouldn’t even put them in the top 20 pokemon to use against Latios.

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Pokemusings Pokemon Go Edition: Ignoring EPS and Overvaluing CP

Pokemon Go is a game full of numbers and stats. Many players overlook important numbers and place too much of an emphasis on certain stats. Two of the most common mistakes I’ve seen from dedicated players (that aren’t quite hardcore trainers) are ignoring energy person second (EPS) and overvaluing combat points (CP). The former is often ignored in favor of damage per second (DPS), while the latter can obscure the value of certain pokemon in some trainers’ eyes.

The Value of EPS

Ignoring EPS is a mistake many Pokemon Go trainers make when choosing a quick move for their pokemon. Some trainers look at the DPS number and assume that the move with the higher DPS is superior, simply because it does more damage. For many pokemon, the point of the fast move isn’t to inflict damage, but to generate energy.

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Pokemusings Pokemon Go Edition: Accounts and Levels

When Pokemon Go players look for raid help on Discord or Facebook Messenger, two of the most common responses are variations of:

On my way with 4 accounts.

and

I can help. Level 35.

Neither response is terribly helpful. While it’s nice to know the number of players that can help out and what their levels are, there’s more useful information. The person with four accounts could have four level 25s, which isn’t the best help for raids. The level 35 players could be a trainer that doesn’t bother to level up his or her Pokemon. Maybe the players on the way don’t have the right counters or they always use Pokemon Go’s recommended raid counters (which are rarely optimal). You’d be better served raiding with four high-level players that understand the Pokemon Go metagame than nine casual players that simply follow in-game recommendations.

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T-Mobile Giving Free Data to Pokemon Go Players

T-Mobile has announced that it’s giving customers free data to play Pokemon Go as part of its T-Mobile Tuesdays promotions. Starting next Tuesday July 19, customers will receive free data and a bunch of other discounts (while you “gotta catch ’em all,” the company has to sell accessories). Here are the official particulars from the press release.

Next Tuesday, as part of T-Mobile Tuesdays, we’re thanking customers with:

  • Unlimited data for Pokemon Go through August 2017
  • A free Frosty (you gotta stay fueled up to hunt)
  • A free Lyft ride up to $15 (to explore new Gyms and PokéStops)
  • 50% of select accessories like battery packs (to keep playing for hours and hours)

On top of that, 250 people will win $100 to spend on PokéCoins, and five will win trips anywhere in the US to hunt new Pokemon with a guest.

Out of the four major US mobile carriers, T-Mobile has had the most interesting marketing efforts. This is another stellar example of the company’s fantastic marketing. Pokemon Go is the mobile craze at the moment and it’s borderline shocking that a telecommunications company has taken advantage of the phenomenon so quickly. Then again, this is T-Mobile — the company with the most charming (and quite possibly unbalanced) CEO in the industry. T-Mobile plays loud and bold, so if any of the “big four” took advantage of a modern trend, I’d expect the company to be first.

While free Pokemon Go data through August 2017 is outstanding, the other bonuses are pretty sweet too. The Lyft ride can be useful for finding new Pokemon and going on PokeStop binges. The battery pack discount is fantastic, as an external charger is a must for serious players (I highly recommend this Anker external battery).

T-Mobile’s Pokemon Go promotion is absolutely clever. It makes the company seem more in touch with today’s trends, as it sells lots of accessories. While I’m on old, stodgy, and boring Verizon, I’ve been wanting to switch back to T-Mobile for a few years. I want to support cool marketing efforts and an insane CEO while saving money on my mobile bill. Who’s with me?!?