Pokémon Go's weekly cycle of legendary Pokémon has entered into its final stretch with the long-awaited arrival of Zapdos. The Electric-type bird and Team Instinct mascot began appearing in co-operative Raids around the world from 7 August, leaving players roughly seven days to catch the rare beast.
Like Lugia, Moltres and Articuno before it, Zapdos is part of the first wave of legendary Pokémon introduced to Niantic's hugely popular augmented reality mobile app.
Zapdos will leave the game on 14 August, although it's unclear if, or more likely when, the ultra-rare Pokémon will return.
The four elusive monsters were introduced after Pokémon Go's first public event held in Chicago - an event which didn't exactly go as well as developer Niantic would no doubt have liked.
While the wait continues for the other legendary monsters from the first two Pokémon generations currently available in Go - namely Mewtwo, Ho-Oh, Entei, Suicune, Mew, and Celebi - for now for now it will be up to trainers to band together to take-down and catch a Zapdos before it disappears.
As was the case with its unique pals, Zapdos is a Raid-exclusive encounter, which means you'll need to wait for the thunder-spewing fowl to appear at a Gym and pay up with either a free daily Raid Pass, or buy a premium pass (for 100 in-game coins) if you've run out.
Of course that's the easy bit. To actually get a chance at catching Zapdos you'll need to defeat the over 40,000CP-powered bird in battle, and to accomplish that feat you'll need a sizable group of fellow trainers with you at the same time.
In our experience, it's usually manageable with a team of 10-15 people between level 25-30, although that will also depend on the Pokemon you bring with you. Thankfully Zapdos has two key weaknesses: Ice and Rock-type attacks.
Pokémon used in the big showdown also need to avoid any weakness to Electric attacks, so that puts all of those dual Ice/Water-types out of contention, sorry Lapras. The best Pokéboys for Zapdos-taming seem to be Golem and Rhydon with the all-powerful Stone Edge charged attack.
If you win, congratulations... now you've got to catch it with however many Premier Balls you were awarded from the Raid. Depending on how much damage you did - as well as the Gym's current allegiance and several other factors - you'll either be flush with balls or looking at a single-digit tally, but either way the four-part strategy is the same to actually catch the beast:
- Throw a Golden Razz Berry (or a standard one if you have it);
- Wait for Zapdos to stop flailing around;
- Aim for shrinking ring - the smaller the better; and
- Cross your fingers.
Good luck, Zapdos hunters.