So far this week, we’ve written about five great places downtown and five wonderful City parks where you can idle away the hours catching Pokémon, hitting Pokéstops and swapping tips with fellow players on everything from which bars are closest to the most stops and how it is, exactly, you set up on those lures. Hint: you have to click on the Pokéstop.
Our final piece on the subject of Pokémon Go was supposed to be “IRL Pokéshops: Raleigh’s 5 Best Shopping Centers to Catch ‘Em All” but we realized: unless we included strip malls and the like, there were only six legitimate sites to write about — Crabtree Mall, Triangle Town Center, North Hills, Brier Creek, Cameron Village and City Market — so it seemed a little silly to do a top five list.
Instead, we tried to compile a list of what we believe to be some of the rarer Pokémon ’round these parts, and where it is you can go to find them. Although we’re only including Pokémon that we’ve actually caught ourselves, and not just seen listed as “nearby” or let escape (Charmander @ Lake Lynn: why did you have to run away??). We also did not include evolved versions of extremely common types (Pidgeot/Pidgey, Raticate/Rattata).
We tried to be as specific as we could with the locations, but for the ones out at Lake Lynn & Lake Johnson, all you can really do is walk around a loop out at both, and monsters are found sporadically throughout it.
Your opinion on the value and availability of the following monsters may vary, so please let us know in the comments section. For your convenience, we’ve bolded the locations so you don’t have to waste hardly any more time reading and can get back to Pokémon Go ASAP.
If you want to forego reading altogether, you can check out this amazing community map being put together by Anthony Negron which highlights gyms, Pokéstops and Pokémon sightings. There’s another link to it at the bottom if you decide to read through the list.
10. Magmar: As the strongest, most readily available Pokémon in the greater Raleigh area, this 4’3″ fire-type monster probably deserves a higher spot on the list. But it’s that second part that got him booted to number ten; out at Lake Johnson, he’s about as common as the Rattatas and Pidgeys of downtown Raleigh. Magmar (we named ours Burnout) does not evolve from or into any other monsters. As a fire type, he is strong against bug, grass, ice & steel types and vulnerable to ground, rock and water types.
9. Poliwag: This thin-skinned (literally, those swirls are supposed to be his innards) 2′ tall water-type Pokemon can be found out at Lake Lynn in North Raleigh. Lake Lynn, by the way, is probably tied with Lake Johnson for the prestigious title of best Pokémon hunting grounds in the city. Just a little “pro-tip” for you Pokéfans out there. Poliwag (we named ours Scalawag) can evolve into Poliwhirl once you have 30 of his candies. As a water-type, he is strong against fire, ground and rock and vulnerable to electric and grass.
8. Doduo: This goofy-looking two-headed (the heads take turns sleeping) Ostrich-inspired monster is apparently a flying-type despite not possessing any visible wings. He/They (wouldn’t want to offend by using the wrong pronoun!) can, like Poliwag, be found out at Lake Lynn in North Raleigh. We also hatched one from an egg, but Arceus only knows where that egg came from. The 4’7″ Doduo (we named ours Dodummy) can evolve into a Dodrio with 50 candies. As a flying-type, they are strong against bug, fighting and grass Pokémon and vulnerable to electric, ice and rock types.
7. Tangela: We’re not sure if that dopey “Flying Spaghetti Monster” meme was inspired by Tangela or if it was the other way around, but either way, “non-flying spaghetti monster” is a pretty fair way to describe this grass-type Pokémon. The spaghetti is actually supposed to be vines. We caught her out at Brier Creek (near the movie theater) but when we were near the entrance to the State Fair Grounds, we overheard some punk kid celebrating that he’d just caught a Tangela right there in the parking lot. Good for him. Tangela (we left the name as is, it’s kind of cool) doesn’t evolve from or into any other Pokémon. UPDATE: We also caught her right outside Paddy O’Beers on Fayetteville Street. As a grass-type, she’s strong against ground, rock and water monsters and vulnerable to bug, fire, flying, ice and poison types.
6. Jynx: According to her description on the Pokémon Go database, Jynx’ “motions are so bouncingly alluring, people seeing it are compelled to shake their hips without giving any thought to what they are doing.” We didn’t witness much of this out at Pullen Park, where Jynx is regularly found hanging around the carousel. Jynx (we named ours BuyMeACoke) doesn’t evolve from or into any other monsters. As both an ice and a psychic-type, she is strong against dragon, flying, grass, ground, fighting and poison types, and vulnerable to fighting, fire, rock, steel, bug, dark and ghost types.
5. Dratini: This snake-looking critter with the weird ears is actually the area’s only readily available dragon-type Pokémon who, given what we imagine is a high-crossover rate between Game of Thrones and Pokémon Go, is likely to be in high demand. Luckily, he can be found without too much trouble out at Lake Lynn. He’s also one of only a handful of “full dragon” type monsters in the game. If you’re wondering, the ever-popular Charmander is *not* a dragon-type. Dratini (we named ours Drat! although Dratini is probably better) can evolve into a Dragonair once you collect 25 of his candies. (Dragonair can evolve into Dragonite.) As a dragon-type, he is strong against other dragons, and vulnerable to fairy, ice and other dragon monsters.
4. Slowpoke: Arguably the most-memed Pokémon of all time, Slowpoke maybe isn’t one of the game’s best fighters, but as a funny-looking fan favorite, it’s hard to deny his appeal. His character description is probably our favorite one in that Pokémon Go database: “this Pokémon often forgets what it’s doing and often spends entire days just loafing at water’s edge.” Slowpoke has the good fortune of being found at both Lake Johnson and Lake Lynn, and while he’s not as common as Magmar, it shouldn’t take you long to build up a nice little collection of them. Slowpoke (we couldn’t improve on this perfect name) can evolve into Slowbro once you collect 50 candies. As a water/psychic-type, he is strong against fire, ground, rock, fighting and poison types and vulnerable to electric, grass, bug, dark and ghost types.
3. Jigglypuff: Another fan-favorite due to his inclusion in the Super Smash Brothers fighting-game series from Nintendo, Jigglypuff is without a doubt one of the game’s more adorable monsters. We caught him out at Lake Lynn, but we only saw him once, and believe he’s much rarer than most of the other types on this list. UPDATE: we have also caught Jigglypuff at Nash Square, and more abundantly, at the Crabtree Valley Mall. Jigglypuff (We named ours Jiggy) can evolve into Wigglytuff with 50 candies. This 1’8″ fairy/normal-type monster is strong against dark, dragon and fighting monsters and vulnerable to fighting, poison and steel types.
2. Electabuzz: Considering how common Electabuzz is at Nash Square (we also caught one wandering around Centennial Campus), it almost feels unfair to place him so far high up on the list while poor Magmar is stuck all the way down at number ten. But he’s the first rare Pokémon we caught, which earned him a lot of goodwill points. Plus he’s definitely not *as* common as Magmar. Electabuzz (we named ours Gelheadasaur, which we stole from the brilliant William N. Finley IV) doesn’t evolve from or into any other monsters. As an electric-type, he is strong against water and flying Pokémon and vulnerable to ground types.
1. Squirtle/Bulbasaur: In the original Pokémon Red/Blue games I was embarrassingly enamored with in high school, you were forced at the start to choose between Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur: as best I can remember, there was no other real way to obtain the other two once you’d made your decision. So imagine my excitement at running across a Bulbasaur out at the State Fair Grounds (near the Kerr Scott Building) on the very first day of playing. We also spotted him as being “nearby” when hanging at Halifax Mall, but didn’t catch him out there. The same thing happened out at Lake Johnson, where we did manage to catch a Squirtle. As we mentioned in a previous post, we started a new account and chose Pikachu as our starting monster, so our “starter Pokémon” set is almost complete. Bulbasaur (Bulby) can evolve into Ivysaur with 25 candies, while Squirtle (Squirt) evolves into Wartortle for the same cost. As a water-type Pokémon, Squirtle is strong against fire, ground and rock monsters and vulnerable to electric and grass types. As a grass/poison-type, Bulbasaur is strong against ground, rock, water, fairy and grass monsters and vulnerable to bug, fire, flying, ice, poison, ground and psychic types.
BONUS: Gotta evolve ’em all!
Originally we were going to include a list of rumored sightings of particularly rare-type Pokémon we ourselves hadn’t caught yet, but that super-cool map pretty much has that handled. Instead, we thought we’d point out two good “evolution” opportunities for two semi-rare Pokémon who didn’t quite make the list: Psyduck and Magikarp.
Psyduck and Magikarp are both found by large bodies of water, and appear in abundance both out at Lake Johnson and at Lake Lynn. I’ve even caught a few out at Lake Beaman, behind my condo building in North Raleigh, although there’s no real public access to it. Psyduck, a water-type monster, requires 50 candies to evolve into the much more powerful Golduck.
We were able to collect those candies pretty quickly through a few tripes out to Lakes Johnson & Lynn, and are now the proud owners of our very own Golduck. As these two sites are prime Poké-hotspots, we recommend going there anyway, and while you’re there, picking up enough Psyducks to breed yourself a Golduck.
Magikarp is in a similar situation in terms of locations, and is often found near most lakes and bodies of water. We collected a decent amount out at Lakes Lynn and Johnson. Unfortunately, this essentially-useless water-type Pokémon requires a much greater amount of candy to evolve: 400, to be exact.
However, Magikarp’s transformation into Gyrados turns him into one of the most powerful monsters in the game, at least if Pokémon Red/Blue are any guide. We’re only about 25 percent of the way to collecting enough candies, but, like Psyduck, he’s common enough that you should be trying to catch as many of them as you can. Now get out there and have fun! And don’t forget: on Saturday, July 30, there will be a huge Pokémon Go meetup at the Convention Center in downtown Raleigh. Be there or don’t be square.
Eevee is a common sight in downtown Raleigh, particularly near Moore and Nash Squares. But if you’re walking around the city, you’re bound to run into them and quickly collect the 25 pieces of candy required to upgrade her. Now, here’s the tricky part: Eevee randomly evolves into one of three monsters: fire-type Flareon, water-type Vaporeon, and electric-type Jolteon. All three are quite powerful right off the bat, although you may have a personal preference. In order to choose which of the three you want Eevee to evolve into, you must change her name (listed in the corresponding order of the monsters above) to either “Pyro” “Rainer” or “Sparky” If you’re doing this name change right before evolving her, make sure to restart the game.