10 things beginners should know about Shadow Pokémon

Although there are many different types of Pokémon that appear in Pokémon GO, Shadow-type Pokémon operate differently from others. Originally appeared in Pokémon Colosseum And Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, Shadow Pokémon are Pokémon that have been stripped of their emotions, turning them into cold-hearted creatures designed specifically for battle.

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Shadow Pokémon are certainly beautiful, but it’s important to understand how they work and what makes them different. When Trainers encounter Shadow Pokémon, they are forced to make a series of decisions such as whether or not to purify the Pokémon and whether or not it is worth upgrading the Pokémon.

Updated October 28, 2021 by Jake Koran: With the addition of new Shadow Pokémon Pokémon GO as time goes by, the meta around them changes. However, the importance of these Pocket Monsters remains. Due to the nature of Pokémon GO’s creatures, they tend to be very useful for raid battles. While some are also viable in the GO Battle League, this isn’t true for everyone. One thing is certain: Shadow Pokémon were a revolutionary addition to Pokémon GO and are here to stay.


10 What are Shadow Pokémon?

In Pokémon GO, Shadow Pokémon are Pokémon that have been modified by Team GO Rocket. As a result, these Pokémon are surrounded by a dark aura and have red, angry eyes. While battling Team GO Rocket, Trainers will find that enemy Shadow Pokémon are more powerful than regular Pokémon due to their modification.

These Shadow Pokémon have a unique Charged Attack called Frustration. Unless specified by an event, this attack cannot be changed using a TM. Using these events, however, trainers can transform their Pocket Monsters into some of the best Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon GO. The only other way to change the charged attack is through purification.

9 How Do I Catch Shadow Pokémon?

After defeating Team GO Rocket in a battle, coaches are rewarded with special capture balls, called Premier Balls, based on the coach’s performance in the battle. The trainer is then able to use these Premier Balls to attempt to catch the Shadow Pokémon.

Typically, the Shadow Pokémon that Trainers will have a chance to catch will be one of the Pokémon they just fought against and was left behind by Team GO Rocket after their defeat. Coaches will not be able to keep any remaining Premier Balls.

8 Purify a Shadow Pokémon

Once a Trainer has captured a Shadow Pokémon, they have the ability to purify it if they wish. The trainer can select the Shadow Pokémon and click on the Purify option.

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To purify the Shadow Pokémon, the trainer will have to spend a certain amount of stardust and candy, the amount of which depends on the specific Pokémon. Once the Pokémon has been purified, it will no longer be surrounded by the dark aura and will instead be surrounded by sparkles to reflect its new purified Pokémon status.

7 Is it worth purifying Shadow Pokémon?

Shadow Pokémon represent a unique decision for trainers to make. Once the Trainers have rescued the Shadow Pokémon from Team GO Rocket, they will need to determine what to do with their new Pokémon.

Trainers can keep Pokémon as is or they can purify them. Shadow Pokémon have a higher Attack stat, receiving a 20% increase during raids and Gym battles, but also experience a reduced defensive stat, receiving a 20% reduction. Purified Pokémon receive a stat boost and also get a 10% discount on Stardust and Candy costs for upgrades.

6 Is there any benefit to keeping Shadow Pokémon?

Trainers who choose to keep their Pokémon as Shadow Pokémon will benefit from an increase in attack stats, but at the cost of a decrease in defensive stats. For some coaches, these stronger attacks are worth the trade-off.

Furthermore, there is also the aesthetic advantage of keeping it as a Shadow Pokémon. The dark aura and flaming red eyes are a more intimidating aspect for Pokémon. For Pokémon with some of the scariest designs, this change in appearance makes them even scarier. These Shadow Pokémon also have the added aesthetic benefit of giving the Gyms where they are placed a creepy and intimidating appearance.

5 Can Shadow Pokémon be traded?

Shadow Aron, Spheal and Swinub sit in a promo for Pokemon GO

Due to their unique appearance and enhanced stats, Shadow Pokémon can be a highly sought after product. However, Shadow Pokémon cannot be traded. This makes the acquisition of a Shadow Pokémon, especially one as iconic as Mewtwo, an encounter that the trainer has to experience for himself.

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Unlike Shadow Pokémon, Purified Pokémon can be traded. Trainers interested in trading a specific Shadow Pokémon will need to purify that Pokémon before trading. This difference is an additional factor that trainers need to consider when deciding whether or not to purify a Shadow Pokémon.

4 Can Shadow Pokémon also be lucky?

Lucky Pokémon are Pokémon that require 50% less Stardust to power up. This special state allows Trainers to upgrade their Pokémon to maximum fighting power as quickly as possible. Pokémon can become Lucky once they have been traded with another trainer.

Since Pokémon become lucky via trading and Shadow Pokémon cannot currently be traded, it is no longer possible for Shadow Pokémon to be lucky as well. However, it was possible when Shadow Pokémon were tradable. However, purified Pokémon can now also become Lucky via trade.

3 Is it worth upgrading Shadow Mewtwo?

Shadow Mewtwo appears in a Trainer's collection in Pokemon GO

Since Mewtwo is such a rare Pokémon, it can be difficult and time-consuming to collect enough candy to power it up. Therefore, trainers who manage to catch a Shadow Mewtwo may be wondering if it’s worth the investment to upgrade it.

Unlike other Shadow Pokémon, Shadow Mewtwo gains a visible energy surrounding it that is unique compared to others. Additionally, Mewtwo’s shadow boost to attack stats makes it a powerful option for battles and raids. If a trainer is able to trade Frustration for a different Charged Attack, the choice to upgrade Shadow Mewtwo becomes even clearer. With a powerful and intimidating appearance, Mewtwo is one of the most iconic Pokémon of the first generation and its Shadow version deserves to be upgraded.

2 What are the best shadow Pokémon to use?

Shadow Suicune, Entei and Raikou lunge forward in front of Giovanni

There are many choices for large Shadow Pokémon, and the best one to use depends on the situation. That said, the best Shadow Pokémon tend to be the ones that already have a high attack stat in their base form, as shadow boosting makes their attack stats skyrocket. The best Shadow Pokémon also tend to have a decent defense stat, as even with the reduction, they can take some damage.

An example of this is the difference between Weavile and Sharpedo. The former is better than the latter overall, but their Shadow versions make the gap between them much larger. Shadow Weavile, one of the best glass cannons of Pokémon series, is one of the best non-legendary shadow Pokémon, and Shadow Sharpedo, on the other hand, is far less viable. They both share the same attack stat, but while neither has an outstanding defense stat, Weavile’s is high enough for them to survive for a while during a raid battle. Sharpedo, however, lets it be eliminated very quickly.

1 Are shadow Pokémon better than purified Pokémon?

Shadow Entei roars next to Giovanni in the Pokemon GO promo

The purified Pokémon experience has reduced the cost of candy and stardust to power up Pokémon. Both of these costs are reduced by 10% for purified Pokémon. This is a good incentive for trainers to purify their Pokémon.

While the aesthetics and enhancements of the attacks are a tempting reason to keep a Shadow Pokémon, the reduced cost of powering up and the improved defensive stats for purified Pokémon make the decision between purifying or maintaining the Shadow Pokémon difficult. Shadow Pokémon are the best offensive option while Purified Pokémon are more complete Pokémon.

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