Team Rocket finally blast into Pokémon Go

After weeks of buildup, the villainous Team Rocket have finally touched down in Pokmon Go.

Reports of their entrance began trickling in after 9pm UK time last night, as the first sightings of “invaded” PokStops began. These Stops – which appear blackened and glitched – reveal a waiting Rocket grunt when approached.

Engage with the Rocket gang member and you’ll be taken into a PVE battle against three of their Pokmon. If you win, you’ll then get to catch a Shadow Pokmon the grunt has left behind.

Shadow Pokmon are a special type whose souls have been “closed off” by an artificial process. They’re Pokmon made to do bad things by bad people, essentially. You can choose to keep said Shadow Pokmon as it is, all glowing red eyes and all – or you can pay a relatively small Stardust/Candy cost to Purify it, raising its stats.

There’s a lot of new mechanics for fans to chew through here – not least the ability to acquire two new forms of each Team Rocket Pokmon (Shadow and Purified).

So far, we’ve seen reports of Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, Rattata, Zubat and Snorlax as being available – although a datamine of the game suggests many more will be in the future. (And yes, Shiny-possible Shadow species can also be Shiny.)

More intriguing for hardcore fans is the ability to get great stats on these Pokmon species by trading them. Stacking the stat boost of a Lucky Trade and the further stat boost of Purifying a Shadow Pokmon gives a high chance of a ‘mon with perfect – 100 per cent – stats.

But whether you care about stats or just collecting a few new things, it feels great to have a fresh feature in Pokmon Go after a relatively quiet 2019 so far – and a new reason to detour off your regular path to find something new.

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