Last weekend, for the first time ever, I won a Raid Battle in Pokémon Go. And it wasn’t just a standard Raid, but a legendary Pokémon battle — the most anxiety-inducing, important Raid battles of all.
Imagine how stoked I was to be surrounded by enough high-level trainers to actually defeat Kyogre, the legendary Pokémon featured in Raid battles nationwide for a limited time. And then imagine how not-so-stoked I was when I remembered, ah, yes, Raid Battles are a two-step process ... and the second step is so frustrating that I’m almost utterly turned off the co-op feature entirely.
Kyogre isn’t just unique because it’s a rare Pokémon only obtainable through Feb. 14; it’s also extremely tough to catch. I know this both anecdotally and through the teeming reports from other players who have experienced my same woes. After winning a Raid battle, everyone is given the chance to capture the legendary Pokémon. There’s no guarantee that you will, which isn’t unfair, necessarily. But it feels harsh that there’s a limited number of the required Premier Balls available to capture the legendary Pokémon with at the battle’s end, and Kyogre in particular is a moving target.
Unlike its complementary third-generation legendary, Groudon, Kyogre is super anxious to just keep floating across the screen. (This is typical for most floating Pokémon.) I only have seven Premier Balls at my disposal anyway, so I felt doomed to miss the big blue fish-dude from the get-go. And I missed Kyogre seven times straight, with each ball whizzing past it as it maneuvered to the opposite side of the field.
It’s not that winning a Raid, especially a tough one, is not an achievement in itself. I received a ton of nice items and experience points for my trouble (as, admittedly, a hanger-on supported by way more dedicated players). I did not receive that Kyogre, though, and I have zero confidence that I ever will. And with my primary interest in Pokémon Go centered on actually catching ‘em all, I can’t help but feel spurned by the swift and impossible fight against a legendary Pokémon, a monster that typically offers a suspenseful, satisfying challenge.