With the invasion of Team Go Rocket last year, Shadow Pokemons were introduced in the game. These Pokemons with red eyes and bluish-purple aura caught the attention of everyone, and many trainers started the quest to have everyone of them in their collection. But how good are they actually in the game? Read on to find out.

What Are Shadow And Purified Pokemons?

IrisGuardian Shadow Pokemon

Shadow Pokemons are creatures who were captured by the Team Go Rocket and had the doors to their hearts shut artificially, thus making them heartless beasts. They look different than the normal Pokemons- they have angry blazing red eyes, and a burning purple aura surrounding them. These can be obtained only by defeating the Team Go Rocket grunts.

Once you catch a shadow Pokemon, the next step is to purify them. This process takes up a certain amount of stardust and candies, and gives a huge CP boost, with a boost of +2 to its IV. The purified Pokemons have normal eyes, with a sparkling white aura.

How To Catch A Shadow Pokemon?

IrisGuardian Shadow Pokemon

The first step to catch a Shadow Pokemon is to find a PokeStop invaded by Team Go Rocket- these PokeStops necessarily have a slight darker appearance which twitches erratically. When you get close enough, the Team Go Rocket logo will appear above, as well as the Grunt which is housed there. Now battle and defeat the grunt, and the Grunt will abandon one of their Shadow Pokemons.

Tip: You can know the type of Shadow Pokemon you shall encounter ahead of time if you pay attention to their dialogue. For example:

  • “These waters are treacherous!”- Water type encounter
  • “Do you know how hot Pokemon fire breath can get?”- Fire type encounter
  • “Don’t tangle with us!”- Grass type encounter

Also Read: How To Catch Spinda In Pokemon Go in 2020

How To Purify A Shadow Pokemon?

IrisGuardian Shadow Pokemon

Now that you’ve rescued the Shadow Pokemon from the Team Go Rocket, the next step is to purify them.

First pick the Shadow Pokemon you want to purify. You’ll notice there is new option available above ‘Power Up’ and ‘Evolve’- Purify.

Purifying costs a specific amount of Stardust and candy, depending upon the Pokemon. Select ‘Purify’ and then ‘Yes’ and watch your Pokemon being cleansed of the evil which invaded it’s heart.

How Good Are Shadow Pokemons In PvP Battle?

IrisGuardian Shadow Pokemon

Shadow Pokemons have a dark aura, use the attack Frustration, and look pretty darn cool. But on their release, there was no reason as to why you wouldn’t purify them as:

  • Their primary charged move is Frustration(dealing only 10 damage), which cannot be changed by TMs.
  • They cost 20% more candy and stardust (before February it was 200%) to power up and teach second charge move.

One of the only ways they can be beneficial in battles is to bait your opponent into using a shield by overcharging and pretending to use a much more powerful move; but most likely your opponent would know what to expect when a Shadow Pokemon, and can easily call your bluff.

Benefits Of Purifying

While Shadow Pokemons might seem off-putting in battles, this shouldn’t discourage you from using their Purified counterparts. They have a number of perks which set them apart from other Pokemons. These include:

  • Candy and Stardust cost for powering up or teaching a secondary move is reduced by 10%
  • IV is increased by 2 in every stat and level is increased to 25.
  • Frustration is replaced by Return (a normal type move dealing 70 damage). This can also be changed by TMs.

Shadow Pokemon Boost In 2020

Because of the low usability of shadow Pokemons, many players simply ignored the Team Go Rocket’s shenanigans. Even with the release of Giovanni and his legendary Pokemons, players generally completed the quest line and then left. Thus, in order to give players incentive to fight the Team Go Rocket grunts, Pokemon Go decided to give the Shadow mons a boost.

Shadow Pokemons now see a boost to their attack stats(+20%), but a drop to their defence(-17%) as a compensation. All this without affecting their CP or base stats. Also, the 200% candy and stardust cost was dropped, but still costs around 20% more.

Is There A Benefit In Purifying Them In 2020?

The answer would invariably be a No. Though in some cases a normal Pokemon can outperform it’s shadow form in PvP, shadow Pokemons are currently always superior than its non-shadow form in raids. And with the increase in attack stats, they are highly superior than its Purified forme.

That said, the Shadow mons need to get rid of Frustration, as it is the biggest obstacle in their utility. Many Shadow Pokemons like Salamance or Metagross genuinely need to get back their Elite moves in order to unleash their maximum potential.

Use Of Shadow Pokemons In PvP?

IrisGuardian Shadow Pokemon

Great and Ultra League

These leagues have CP caps, and you mostly have to rely on higher CP to win. But Shadow Pokemons work differently as shadow boost changes the stats while not affecting the CP. The increased offense can be of a great advantage for offensive gameplay, and they can be used as good starters. For example, Shadow Gradevoir in great league is vastly superior than its non-shadow form. It’s devastatingly powerful Charm can kill a Pokemon before its low defence starts to matter.

Master League

Shadow Pokemons are highly rare here, as they can’t reach such a high CP. Also, even if you use up your stardust and candies to power it up, the loss of defence can be really painful. But there are some exceptions here: Pokemons like Shadow Dragonite can make use of the offence boost to their already high attack, thus being able to highly improve your offensive-oriented play style. But then again, powering up shadow Pokemons can be highly costly.

Stand-out Shadow Pokemons

For PvP, the most useful shadow Pokemons are:

  • Metagross
  • Salamance
  • Dragonite
  • Weavile
  • Hypno
  • Swampert
  • Moltress
  • Gardevoir
  • Zapdos

While different Pokemons have different utilities and niches, the above list of Pokemons stand out for their high DPS and offensive attacks.

Stand-Out Purified Pokemons

With return as their move, some of the Purified Pokemons have shined bright showing their true potential. Here’s the list:

  • Banette
  • Ivysaur
  • Gloom
  • Dragonair
Written By

Swetabh Srivastava

Swetabh Srivastava is the Co-founder & author at IrisGuardian. He's an avid tech enthusiast, having experience in the field of tech journalism for years. He now contributes his knowledge in various online platforms including IrisGuardian and most other social platforms. For most part, he's a writer by day and reader by night. When he's off work, you can find him sketching or reading novels of Stephen King on the go.