One of the more minor problems with Pokemon in general is that they never realised how successful Pokemon would be, and ended up introducing the literal god of the Pokemon universe in Generation 4. A Mythical Pokemon by the name of Arceus. Which a 10 year old kid can catch in a Pokeball. Now, you can only really meet Arceus in the Generation 4 games, and Arceus has a lot of special abilities. Most notably, Arceus can change its Type based on what special item it’s holding, and its signature move, Judgement, deals damage based on Arceus’s type.
Now that Generation 4 is reaching its end in Pokemon Go, this means that Arceus needs to be added to the game. But Pokemon Go functions insanely differently compared to normal Pokemon. There are no held items and Pokemon have only two moves: a fast attack and a charge attack. So how do you add a Pokemon that can change its type using items and does damage based on its type, when you are limited by these factors?
At first glance, Arceus’s fate looks pretty glum and gloomy. Current Pokemon who have similar abilities haven’t had the best renditions in Pokemon Go. Deoxys and Castform, two Pokemon that change forms (one based on an item it is holding and one based on the current weather) were both added into Pokemon Go as separate forms – there are four different Deoxys you can catch and only normal Castform has a shiny, which screws over people who only ever see sunny, rainy or snowy variants. With Deoxys, this isn’t too painful, because it means each Deoxys has different and more usable stats, but we can’t do this to Arceus. There are currently 18 different Pokemon types, which means you would need 18 different Arceus!
That won’t do. That’s too much of a grind and, aside from utter lunatics and fanatics, I don’t think anyone would want to grind for 18 different Arceus. This also makes no fucking sense since Arceus is supposed to be literally a god who created the universe. So how DO we implement Arceus into Pokemon Go?
The most obvious way is to add Special Research for Arceus, the same way Mew, Celebi, Meltan and Jirachi have. But Mew, Celebi and Jirachi aren’t that useful gameplay-wise, they’ve always been more like trophies than anything else. Arceus is an insanely powerful being and while it makes sense to only ever be able to catch one Arceus, that does make things pretty unfair for the large majority of people who will complete special research, only to receive a Pokemon with IVs less than 80%. And this also doesn’t really solve the problem of Arceus having different types.
Sticking Arceus in EX Raids isn’t an answer either. Because that would take forever, especially if Arceus is released as a bunch of separate Pokemon. People are going to want more than one Arceus and they’re not going to want to wait 2-4 weeks per chance to catch this Pokemon.
But we still haven’t discussed how we do Arceus and his type mechanics. 18 different Arceus isn’t the answer, so we’ll have to be able to change each Arceus’s moves at will. This is made harder by the fact that there are no held items in Pokemon Go. I’ve already dismissed the idea of having multiple Arceus, but going the route of Mew and being able to learn any move in the game isn’t going to help either, even less so when you throw the move Judgement into the equation. It’s made even worse when you consider how random Fast and Charge TMs are, it could take forever to get a viable move, let alone a move you want. Adding a held item system just for Arceus also seems a bit silly, unless Niantic are willing to add more held items for other Pokemon, but then backpack space becomes an issue.
The way I see it, we have two options. Maybe three.
The first option is that we give Arceus two charge moves right off the bat – any Arceus caught will have Judgement and a random charge move. That charge move will then affect Arceus’s typing and the type of damage Judgement does. This still has the same issue Mew has, that you can’t easily get the moves you want, but it does mean that you don’t have to worry too much about Judgement. But I doubt this would happen because Niantic want you to grind for those candies and that stardust, and giving a Pokemon a free second charge move kinda goes against that.
The second option is that we give players a way to change Arceus’s type, via an item or something like that, like you do in the normal games. You change Arceus’s type by giving it a Plate, and then any Fast and Charge TMs you use on Arceus will only give you moves from that type. This narrows the pool down a bit when it comes to giving Arceus moves but becomes an issue if/when Arceus’s signature move is released, because Pokemon and signature moves are rarely added at the same time.
The third option is the simplest but maybe not the best. Any Arceus you catch has Judgement by default and its other move determines Arceus’s type. Judgement seems like it should be a charge move and its fast move determining Arceus’s type makes more sense, but if you make Judgement into a fast move, then you have a LOT more flexibility with what type and what moves Arceus has. If you decide to give Arceus a second charge move, then the first move would determine its type.
No matter what, Arceus’s addition to Pokemon Go is going to be pretty iffy and it certainly won’t please everyone. But more importantly, how Arceus is implemented is going to affect another, far more popular Pokemon: Rotom. Because I think EVERYONE would hate it if Rotom was added the same way Castform and Deoxys were…