Pokemon Go just nerfed the stats of a powerful Legendary Pokemon, right before its potential addition to the game.
Yesterday, game developers made several tweaks to the GAME_MASTER file in preparation of the upcoming Halloween event. While most of the changes were related to new Pokemon, dataminers noticed that Pokemon Go also tinkered with the stats of Ho-Oh, the only Gen 1/Gen 2 Legendary Pokemon that hasn't been released in the game yet.
Ho-Oh's base stats were all decreased by 9%, dropping its max CP from 4650 to 3889. This means that Ho-Oh's no longer the most powerful potential Pokemon in Pokemon Go, as it now has a lower CP than Mewtwo, whose stats were also nerfed over the summer.
With the decreases, Ho-Oh's Stamina is now 193, its Attack is now 239, and its Defense is now 274. These are all pretty great stats....just not as great as they were a few days ago.
Ho-Oh joins a very exclusive list of Pokemon that has had their base stats directly edited by Pokemon Go. While several Pokemon were affected by changes to how the game calculates its CP, game developers have only directly changed Mewtwo's stats. Mewtwo's stats were also dropped by 9% over the summer, dropping its max CP from 4760 to 3982.
It seems that Pokemon Go's developers want to keep Pokemon's stats below 4000, which could impact several Gen 3 Pokemon after their release. Slaking, Kyogre, and Groudon all have CPs above 4000, so expect to see their stats lowered before their official addition to the game.
The nerf actually has some positive connotations, as it's a sign that Ho-Oh could go live in Pokemon Go as soon as today. Pokemon Go previously changed Mewtwo's stats just one day before they officially released it at the Pikachu Outbreak Festival in Japan. If Pokemon Go is editing Ho-Oh's stats, it could mean they're planning on using it for the Halloween event, which could begin as early as today.
We'll have more news on Pokemon Go throughout the day. Stay tuned for more big news!