The Curious Case of Zorua | Pokemon GO

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Hey everyone! I know I don’t write much about Pokemon GO anymore, but I wanted to do some theorycrafting around the Pokemon Zorua and Zororark. As you might be aware in playing Pokemon GO, these two Pokemon are of only five to have not been included yet – Larvesta, Volcarona and Keldeo being the other three.

I might reflect on Larvesta and Volcarona later (and Keldeo may be a Swords of Justice-themed Special Research down the line), but today I wanted to focus on Zorua and Zoroark, as they have had a lot of missed opportunities regarding their releases.

What makes these two Pokemon unique is their Illusion Ability. It allows them to enter the battle disguised as the Pokemon that’s in the last party slot. It’s a pretty useful Ability, but can easily be overcome by hitting it hard, in my experiences anyway.

A Unova Unveiling (September 2019)

Of course, the first event we’re discussing is the Ultra Bonus Event where several Unova Pokemon were released for the first time. A whole host of Pokemon was released in this event, most of which I would class as being rare to this day, but it might be different depending on where in the world you are, as well as the seasons.

There’s no rhyme nor reason to it, it could have been here anyway.

Halloween (October 2019)

Trick or treat, am I right? Zorua is the Tricky Fox Pokemon, so you’d have thought…but no. The only new Pokemon of late (Darkrai aside) were Yamask and Cofagrigus, which became locked to Halloween events specifically.

Tricky Pokemon (April 2020)

Tricky Pokemon was an April Fool’s Day that focused on pranksters and masters of disguise. Sound familiar? Well turns out Niantic forgot the memo and only added Stunfisk to the roster. But Croagunk and Toxicroak were part of the event and I don’t see the trickiness in that line at all. I feel it was just an excuse to bring another shiny out, while Voltorb and Foongus could have had shinies out at this point.

Abra Community Day (April 2020)

What? What does Abra Community Day have to do with this? I’ll let you in on a bit of theorycrafting that went on in March 2020. When the name of the event was datamined, it was heavily implied that it would lead to Zorua and Zororark’s release and that we would see it launched in a Special Research story. But it was Abra instead, and I was confused.

Abra isn’t known for illusions, it’s known for effing teleporting. In fact, it only alludes to illusions in its Silver and SoulSilver Pokedex entries, where it creates copies of itself when teleporting. Bit of a reach for Niantic, if I’m honest.

Team GO Rocket Event (July 2020)

This particular event featured an abundance of Dark-type and Poison-type Pokemon, meaning that the shiny Croagunk from the Tricky event could have been better placed here, as it was a regular spawn. Because of the density of Dark-types spawning, this would have been the best breeding ground for Zorua to spawn, maybe at a higher frequency initially.

There wasn’t any Special Research to tie in this event, so it would have been a good opportunity to put that storyline to good use.

Unova Week (August 2020)

August saw the Unova Week, as part of the Ultra Unlock series for the year. It saw a bunch of Pokemon released (and by “a bunch”, I mean “seven, with one being region-locked to America – again”).

Once again, this would have been a perfect time to release Zorua, as part of a highly-anticipated reward. Especially after the fuck-up they did with Deino during the Dragon Week beforehand.

The Seasons Change: Part 2 (October 2020)

This was an event that focused on (once again) Team GO Rocket. It released Dark-type Pokemon in Strange Eggs (Scam Eggs as I like to call them), such as Vullaby, Sandile and Pawniard. Once again, Dark-type Pokemon were a major focal point for spawns.

Niantic could have easily thrown Zorua into the Scam Eggs and called it a day, but the fact that a lot of things were thrown into that pool already wasn’t fun. Of course, they didn’t want Zorua in the wild either.

Halloween (October 2020)

You knew this would be here, didn’t you?

Instead, they focused on Galarian Yamask and the dumb ugly Gengar costume.

Oh and shiny Spiritomb, which I managed to snag, but not the point.

Unova Celebration (January 2021)

When there’s a Unova event, there’s a case for Zorua to come into it. However, they just focused on the Pokemon that have already been distributed in several events prior.

I mean, a lot of them would be rare anyway, but can’t hurt to have some new blood apart from a new form of Genesect that can’t be shiny.

Team GO Rocket Celebration (February 2021)

This event gave me trauma because I’d just levelled up to 45 a couple of weeks earlier, after toiling for the GO Rocket battles. Once again, featuring Dark- and Poison-types, the Field Research was also super-heavy, requiring a lot of catching.

And still no Zorua. 18 months and ten events in, no Zorua. Holy moly.

Tricky Pokemon (April 2021)

This event was even worse than the last, and still, Croagunk is there even though we established that Croagunk has no business being here – same with Purrloin now, although Purrloin fits the bill, just not as obviously. The main focus of this event was (once again) GO Rocket and GO Battle League.

I mean sure, it was a one-day event, but it was still bad.

Hoopa’s Arrival (September 2021)

Another one-day event, this time featuring Hoopa. Hoopa’s known for mischief, right? Well yes, but Niantic didn’t even think of Zorua which is literally right there in terms of mischief-making.

Halloween (October 2021)

Three years in a row they neglected a literal trickster Pokemon on the one event where it’s all about tricks and treats?

I’m out.

Misunderstood Mischief (Special Research)

I wanted to put this in here because now the Special Research is finally completable, why the heck would they give us a Dusknoir for all of our time and efforts, especially after the Duskull Community Day.

Zorua would have been an amazing closer for the event, especially since we’d be guaranteed a good IV one right off the bat.

Mischief Unbound (Special Research)

As with the previous, this would have been good if they actually utilised this event instead of overlapping it with the godawful Ed Sheeran event (I mean, why?).

Hopes for the future:

What hopes? I mean, hopefully, when Legends: Arceus comes out it’ll be out. Only because of its Hisuian form, mind. Otherwise, I doubt we’d see these Pokemon in the game for a long time still.

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