We found out last week that Pokemon Go had set the base capture rate for Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Lugia, and the other Legendary Pokemon at 2%, making them the hardest Pokemon to catch in the game. A 2% rate was less than half the capture rate of a Pokemon like Charizard, Tyranitar, or Dragonite, which previously were the most difficult Pokemon to catch in the game.
However, last night, Pokemon Go updated its GAME_MASTER file to modify the capture rates for Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. The base capture rate for those three Pokemon is now 3%. That might not seem like a big change, but it is a 50% increase compared to Pokemon Go‘s old stats.
Lugia’s base capture rate was not changed, likely because Lugia is sticking around in Pokemon Go a lot longer than the other Legendary birds.
When factoring catch rate bonuses in, the tweak in Articuno’s base capture rate should make a big difference for a lot of players. Pokemon Go‘s various catch bonuses stack, so the key is to trigger as many catch bonuses as you can when trying to grab a Legendary Pokemon. A curve ball might only increase a player’s chances of catching Articuno by a couple percentage points, but it could make all the difference when stacked with a Golden Razz Berry and a gold medal bonuses for catching Flying and Ice-Type Pokemon.
Previously, when players who fed Articuno a Golden Razz Berry and then hit it with a “Great” curve ball throw and had both gold capture medals, they had about a 13% chance of catching Articuno by throw. Now, that same throw has about a 19% chance of catching Articuno.
A perfect throw (with an “excellent” bonus) and all the other bonuses listed above will now give players about a 24% chance to capture Articuno.
Of course, the more “good” throws you have, the better odds you have of catching Articuno. Hitting Articuno with five “great” curve balls throws with berry and medal bonuses would give players about a 65% chance of catching Articuno (when factoring escape rate in) compared to about 50% before.
Ultimately, catching Articuno (and the other Legendary Birds) comes down to luck and odds. There’s no fool-proof way to catch Articuno, but last night’s tweak should make a big difference for a lot of players.