I was at work Fri when a friend excitedly messaged that there were Relicanth in Washington DC. Niantic often runs local special event alongside other ones, and in this case the other special event was the 2019 Pokémon World Championships at the DC Convention Center. Events like these or other gaming conferences will sometimes results in rare spawns (Unowns!) or research encounters for rare spawns.
After a quick check of the Sliph Road subreddit, I found the Relicanth were available via the “Send 2 Gifts to Friends” research quest from nearby Pokéstops. Another encounter was available from “Catch 10 Pokémon” (Aerodactyl), which wasn’t as interesting since we already had them. Although that encounter would provide a chance at a shiny.
The Relicanth is a rare New Zealand regional, so I’ve only ever seen them on gyms. Trading for one proved very difficult because the players with them generally only wanted to trade for rare shinies, and I’m not shiny hunter so I have nothing to trade back. This was a chance to get one, without flying to New Zealand. (I’ve been there and it was an AMAZING vacation, but I can’t zoom over just to catch a Pokemon!). Since I live in the DC exurbs, going in wasn’t a big deal – not something I do on a daily basis, but not difficult – and to catch a regional we’d otherwise not get… the decision was easy. My friend and I skipped out of work early to head into DC. 🙂
Once at the convention center, we walked a search grid collecting the quest. Once we had 3 copies of the quest, we’d send 2 gifts to complete all 3 quests at the same time and collect Relicanth. Repeat and even after meeting up with another friend who works in DC (another reliable PoGo Community Day player and boardgaming friend) and having dinner, I caught 30 Relicanth. I’ll hold ~5 back for other friends, keep a few for myself, and leave the rest for trade with my local raid group in case people couldn’t get in for the quest.
We also chatted for several minutes with a group of PoGo players outside the convention center. They were also hunting for the Relicanth quest, but they were also spectators at the tournament and playing a scavenger hunt. Each needed a picture of one of their Pokémon on a gym, a trade with a player whose name started with D or C, a trade of at least 6000 km, AR photos, etc. It looked kind of fun and there were prizes. Since it was a mixed group of various teams (Valor, Mystic, Instinct) we took turns fighting a nearby gym for control so people could get their checklist done.