Originally, Shadow Pokemon were a type of Pokemon in Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. They were described as “closed” by the emotion Cipher so that they would become fighting machines. They couldn’t use attacks that weren’t “shadow” moves, and couldn’t gain any experience in combat. The only way to return them to their normal state is a process called “Cleansing”, which will open the last lock on the door to the Pokemon’s heart.
Pokemon GO offers its own version of Shadow Pokemon, which may have some similarities to Colosseum/XD, but with enough differences to stand out on its own. Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon GO are distinguished by a purple aura and red eyes. Although they lack the shadow-based moves that their Colosseum/XD counterparts have, GO Shadow Pokemon attacks have a “shadow bonus” that deals an extra point or two of damage. If players manage to catch one of Team GO Rocket, they can choose to Clear it or leave it as a shadow Pokemon. But which choice is better?
Catching Shadow Pokemon
Unlike regular Pokemon, Shadow Pokemon cannot be found in the wild, and they are not a reward for an “unexpected encounter” for doing field research or special research. Rather, players will need to defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts or Leaders to get a chance to catch one of their shadow Pokemon.
The GO Rocket command can be triggered on black pokestops or by touching any rocket balls that may appear on the map. Team GO Rocket leaders can only be challenged if the players have and use Rocket Radar. Finally, Giovanni (the boss of Team Rocket) can be met if the players have a Super Rocket Radar. Defeating any of these opponents in battle will lead players to the “bonus stage” where they will catch one of their opponent’s shadow Pokemon.
Most Pokemon can be caught as shadow Pokemon, including legendary ones. However, legendary Pokemon like Shadow Latios are exclusive to Giovanni’s team and cannot be found in the regular Grunt team. Shadow Pokemon can only be caught using Premier Balls. There are several factors affecting the number of chances of players catching a shadow Pokemon:
The Grumpy/Leader defeated the remaining Pokemon of the Medal rank of the Hero of the Medal Rank Cleaner
All Pokemon in the Team GO Rocket group are shadow Pokemon, which means they will deal more damage than the Pokemon found in a normal trainer battle. Bring Pokemon with good IV and high CP to have a chance to win. If the players lose, they can either have a rematch or give up the fight.
Pros and cons of cleaning
Although the obvious thing to do when catching a Shadow Pokemon is to clean it, cleaning is not required and players can keep their shadow Pokemon. There are both good and bad reasons why players should stick with shadow Pokemon. Firstly, their movements will cause more damage by reducing protection. A Shadow Pokemon can be left in the gym and assigned as a buddy, just like a regular/cleaned Pokemon. However, they cannot be transferred to other players.
Reasons to Keep Shadow Pokemon Fast and charged Shadow Pokemon moves have a “Shadow Bonus” that deals additional damage to enemies. They are strong fighters, which makes them good for fighting other trainers (including Team GO Rocket). Weather Boost effects will still count for Shadow Pokemon, essentially giving them a Shadow Bonus and Weather Boost added to their attacks. Reasons to Clear Shadow Pokemon Shadow Pokemon costs 20% more candy and stardust to enhance, develop or learn a new charged technique. The cleaned Pokemon will have a better score and will receive 2 points to all its IV. This could potentially turn a 2-star Shadow Pokemon into a 3-star one if it is cleared. A purified Pokemon will receive a significant increase in combat power (CP). Some special research tasks require players to clear a certain number of Shadow Pokemon.
One drawback is that both Shadow and Purified Pokemon have Frustration (Shadow) and Return (Purified) attacks. The latter is a normal type attack that has decent DPS and can be used well in PVP if the players know what they are doing. On the other hand, Frustration/Return may not be worth keeping on Pokemon with the best charged movements.
A normal type like Snorlax makes better use of these exclusive moves than Pokemon with weak IV attacks. Of course, the movement is a disappointment/The return can be easily replaced by studying the movement with a Charged TM or using Candy/Stardust to study a new movement. However, it may take some time if the players don’t have enough resources, and these resources can be better used to develop/strengthen Pokemon.
Pokemon GO is available for mobile devices.