Yesterday, an e-mail posted on Reddit sent waves throughout the Pokemon GO community. The e-mail, supposedly from a Japanese Niantic representative, claimed that the legendary bird Ho-Oh would be added to the popular mobile game as part of an EX Raid scheduled to kick off in December. Niantic has since debunked these claims, dashing the hopes of anyone hoping to see Ho-Oh added to the game any time soon.
If rumors of a Ho-Oh EX Raid turned out to be true, it would be the second EX Raid in Pokemon GO. The first EX Raid features Mewtwo, and as its name implies, it is an “exclusive” Raid, only accessible through invitation. Some community members have responded negatively to this set-up, as raids are already notoriously difficult on their own, and adding another roadblock to gathering a competent raid group seems counterproductive to Niantic’s goals with the game.
If Ho-Oh is added to Pokemon GO, it would be surprising if it was as an EX Raid, as opposed to a regular legendary raid. After all, the other legendary birds – including Ho-Oh’s Pokemon Silver counterpart Lugia – have all been available in legendary raids, with Mewtwo standing as the only EX Raid Pokemon to date.
Then again, Ho-Oh has been given a somewhat elevated status in the Pokemon universe. Ash Ketchum famously spots Ho-Oh in the beginning of the Pokemon anime, and this moment will also be a key point in the upcoming Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You! film, which looks to retell large portions of the anime’s story. Considering the importance given to Ho-Oh in the franchise’s popular anime adaptation, it’s possible that the legendary bird will in fact be an EX Raid Pokemon after all.
Even though the other legendary birds aren’t in EX Raids, the fact that Ho-Oh was the only one excluded from the lineup is suspect. It could very well be further evidence that the creature will be a part of EX Raids instead of legendary raids, but of course, that’s just speculation at this time.
While the e-mail posted on Reddit has turned out to be a fake, there’s evidence that suggests Ho-Oh will still be in an EX Raid, as well as evidence that points to the contrary. Unfortunately, Pokemon GO fans won’t know for sure until Niantic is ready to reveal more information about Ho-Oh’s introduction to the game, and with other major updates coming to the augmented reality title in the near future, it’s hard to say when that will be.