Let’s Talk About the ‘Value’ and Devaluing of Shinies

With the surprise announcement of Gible Community Day for June 6th, there are a lot of mixed feelings among the community online about how this affects the ‘value’ of their shiny Gible. With the shiny having been in game for a little while now, people have grinded events to try and get their hands on this elusive shiny, including spending cash money on raid passes and super incubators. This has left a chunk of the community more than a little salty that Gible is now getting its very own Community Day, so let’s talk about shinies and their ‘value’!

What is ‘value’?

What does a shiny having value really mean? For many, the more rare a Pokémon is, the better, and therefore more value, it has for them. If you are trading for a shiny Pokémon, you’ll usually start to see peoples value system in place. A Community Day Pokémon is generally considered a lower value shiny, because they were readily available at high shiny rates, whereas a shiny like Deino is considered super high value because it is so incredibly rare that it is almost impossible to get. A costume shiny is a shiny that seems to be of two extremes, either you adore the costume Pokémon and want all the shinies (like me), or you loathe them and don’t want the shiny and will happily trade it away for something you deem more valuable.

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I’ve happily traded duplicate shinies away to people for 40000 stardust in exchange for a costume shiny that might only cost me 800 stardust to trade (like a flower crown shiny Pikachu when I have shiny Pikachu registered), because for me, a costume shiny is a limited time shiny that is super high value, so worth the extra dust cost giving someone else a brand new shiny. The difficulty of obtaining a shiny can also affect how valuable people consider it. Spinda, Shinx, Klink, all can only be obtained in a specific way, either field research, 10km, or raids, so people generally assign them a higher value, but not necessarily the highest value, like Deino.

Shadow shinies are another high value shiny because they cannot be traded for. They involve a lot of work if you aren’t paying for Rocket Radars, and the rates for these shinies isn’t particularly high, so many people generally consider shiny shadow Pokémon to be valued. With trading an impossibility, the only way to get these shinies is to do it yourself.

Most of the community would say that the rarer a shiny, the higher the value as a general rule.

Personal Value

So what else affects the ‘value’ of a shiny Pokémon? Well… that’s up to you. Only you can decide how valuable a Pokémon is to you. My friend Scott might sigh when he gets yet another shiny Onix because he seems to be plagued by them, whereas someone else might be absolutely delighted and love their shiny Onix because it is their favourite Pokémon and they really wanted it. My own personal most valued shinies are my shlundo (100% lucky shiny) Turtwig, shundo (100% shiny) Snubbull, my first ever shiny in game which was Duskull, and a shiny balloon costume Pikachu. Why? Because Turtwig is my fave and to get a shiny, lucky, 100% IV was incredible, Snubbull is a really great shiny and as a 100% IV is super rare, getting my first ever shiny was super exciting, and I just think the balloon costume Pikachu is particularly adorable.

I have nearly 50 shinies of the Turtwig family and hope to trade to get that 50, and everyone of them has value to me, and I would never trade one away. Most people would consider Turtwig a low value shiny, but it isn’t to me! I also have other shinies I would never trade away no matter what, such as the shiny Murkrow my friend Annette traded me before she moved abroad, or the shiny Shellder I caught on the bus on the way to see the Spice Girls in concert (she’s called Ginger spice FYI). Neither are particularly rare or otherwise valuable shinies, but they have special memories attached that make them valuable to me specifically. Sometimes value is less about rarity and more about emotions, memories, and simply how much you like a specific Pokémon.

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‘Devaluing’ a Shiny

When people talk of a shiny losing its value, they are usually referring to a previously rare shiny Pokémon suddenly being readily available, and Gible getting a Community Day is a prime example of that. I was the first person to get a shiny Gible in my local community, when I posted my screenshot I was asked to share the location tag and a screenshot of my journal as proof it hadn’t been spoofed! Nope, just an ridiculously lucky 10km egg hatch from an egg picked up by my GO Plus on my way to my office. I remember being so excited because I had something no one else had, people offered me multiple shinies in exchange for it, but I kept hold of it and still have it now. As Gible became more common, as a featured Pokémon in events, via raids, and most recently 7km egg hatches, it isn’t rare like it used to be. I’ve since gotten a second shiny Gible, and know a fair few people who have the full shiny family because of these events. A lot of players would therefore consider Gible to be less valuable because it is more common, and after Gible Community Day, it will join the ranks of the least valuable shinies because it has had those amazing Community Day shiny rates and the chances are that the whole community now has one.

But is it really devalued? Sure you might not be able to trade it for another super rare shiny, but did you want to trade away such a rare high value shiny anyway? A shiny is valuable because of what it means to you, and not less valuable because someone else also has it. Now when I look at my shiny Gible I look at the date tag and think, ‘I had you first’, making that Gible more valuable to me, than any I will catch this Community Day, but it doesn’t lose its value to me because I have more, or because everyone will have the chance to get it. I can still say I got it first! The memory, and the excitement is what gave it value, not exclusivity.

Conclusion

With any Pokémon in Pokémon GO, there is always the ‘risk’ that the previously super rare Pokémon may be featured in an event, or even a Community Day, making it far easier to obtain than it has previously. The biggest issue in my opinion is that many of these previously rare Pokémon have been only obtainable via raids and egg hatches, so to try get them with any kind of a grind involved spending money in game, and to see it now released for ‘free’ with Community Day, having spent money on raid passes or incubators, is frustrating for sure. I’d say it is pretty fair to be salty when you’ve spent your hard earned money to grind! During the current Luminous Legends X event I’ve bought incubators because of the possibility of hatching a shiny Gible or shiny Azurill from 7km eggs, but now I know Gible Community Day is coming, I won’t buy any more, and I probably wouldn’t have bought any to begin with if I had known this was coming.

It is important to keep in mind with any shiny that it can suddenly become ultra common. Deino is one of the rarest ever shinies currently as it is barely seen in the wild, and exclusive to 12km eggs obtained from Team GO Rocket leaders, but that doesn’t mean we won’t potentially see it feature in a Community Day eventually. Many of the previously ‘rare’ Pokémon have had Community Days, like Larvitar, but after that Community Day, they go back to being as rare as they always have been.

A Pokémon has the value that you assign to it, and nothing can take that away. Maybe we all need to start looking at the ‘value’ of Pokémon in a different way. How many of us have a favourite Pokémon because we used it in our youth as part of our team, or because it was one of the first Pokémon we ever caught? Those special memories are what give them value, not their rarity. Ultimately as much as we love them, our Pokémon are just pixels on a screen, and someone else also having those same pixels doesn’t affect your pixels.

I was surprised to see so much anger and vitriol towards Niantic for this Community Day announcement. We have been crying out for a more ‘relevant’ and rare Community Day, and here we are with a truly amazing one, and still people are not happy. It seems there may be no pleasing some when it comes to Community Day at this point unfortunately.

It might be a bit sappy to say, but with the community so far apart, maybe we should be focusing on the memories and special moments we caught our Pokémon, rather than their rarity, to assign them value.

(But I mean who am I kidding, if I hatch shiny Deino I am absolutely gonna squeal with delight and consider it super valuable!)

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