Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Pokémon GO Shadow Pokémon! In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon GO, including how to catch them, purify them, how much Stardust Shadow Pokémon cost, when and how you should purify, and how to make the most of their unique abilities.
Shadow Pokémon can be a strong addition to your team, offering boosted damage higher DPS than their non-Shadow counterpart. However, catching and purifying costs Stardust and Candy, so it’s quite important to understand the mechanics involved to maximize your chances of success.
Whether you’re a seasoned Pokémon GO player or just starting out, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to become a Shadow Pokémon expert. So let’s get started and uncover the secrets of these mysterious Team GO Rocket abducted creatures.
What are Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO Shadow Pokémon are special, Team GO Rocket abducted, versions of Pokémon. Shadow Pokémon have a 20% increased Attack and 20% reduced Defense stats, they have an exclusive charge move called Frustration and they can be Purified in order to release them from Team GO Rocket’s influence.
Shadow Pokémon are only available from Team GO Rocket encounters – PokéStop, GO Rocket Balloon, Leader and Giovanni fights.
Shadow Pokémon are caught at Level 8 without weather boost and Level 13 with weather boost. Shadow Pokémon cannot be traded. Shadow Pokémon cost 20% more Candy and Stardust to power up and unlock the second charge move than their normal forms.
Shadow Pokémon mechanics in Pokémon GO
20% Attack boost and Defense reduction
Shadow Pokémon have a 20% boost to their Attack stats in both PvP and PvE (Raids and Gym battles) at the cost of a 20% decrease to their Defense stats.
- In PvE, this results in Shadow Pokémon being much stronger than their normal versions, since the huge increase in damage outweighs the lower bulk.
- It’s a lot more complicated in PvP, but usually Shadow Pokémon are better than their normal forms. See Shadow vs Purified Pokémon in PvP for more information.
Frustration – an unwanted moves
When you catch a Shadow Pokémon, they will always know a charge move called Frustration. Frustration is a terrible move, and you need to remove it as soon as possible.
However… Frustration can only be removed during special Team GO Rocket Takeover Events, which happen periodically in Pokémon GO. You can use a Charge TM to remove Frustration.
Shadow Pokémon IVs
Shadow Pokémon caught from Team Rocket Grunts or Team Rocket Leaders don’t have an IV floor. However, there is enough evidence showing that Shadow Mewtwo caught from defeating Giovanni has an IV floor of 6/6/6, which wasn’t the case for past Shadow Legendaries. It is unclear at this time if this change is permanent.
Purified Shadow Pokémon
Shadow Pokémon can be caught and purified, which turn into Purified versions of normal Pokémon which learn the exclusive charge move Return. Shadow Pokémon can be purified in order to release them from Team GO Rocket’s grip:
- When purified, Shadow Pokémon get +2 to every IV. The max IV for each stat is still 15.
- Purified Pokémon are always level 25.
- Purified Pokémon receive a 10% discount for Stardust and Candy to power up, evolve and unlock the second charge move.
Purified Pokémon can be traded, but it counts as a Special Trade.
How to get Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon GO
Shadow Pokémon are only available after defeating a Team Rocket Grunt on a PokéStop near you or from a Team Rocket Balloon, which normally appear on your Pokémon GO map every 6 hours starting midnight. Shadow Pokémon are used for maleficent purposes, most commonly by Team GO Rocket.
After winning a Team Rocket battle, you will be awarded with XP, 500 stardust and a chance to catch one of the Shadow Pokémon that Team GO Rocket left behind.
In order to catch the Shadow Pokémon, each player is granted a number of Premier Balls which are only usable for the Shadow Pokémon Encounter.
The number of Premier Balls received is based on how many of your Pokémon survive the battle, your Purify Pokémon Medal rank, and your Defeat Team Rocket Medal rank.
At the beginning, you will get 5 Premier Balls if you win the battle with no fainted Pokémon. Catching Shadow versions of regular Pokémon is similar to catching a raid boss, but you get way less Premier Balls.
Purifying Shadow Pokémon
Shadow Pokémon have various candy and stardust costs to purify depending on the Pokémon itself. Common Shadow Pokémon such as Rattata, Weedle and Zubat are the cheapest, only costing 1,000 stardust and 1 candy to purify. Shadow Legendary Pokémon are the most expensive, costing 20,000 stardust and 20 candies to purify. Purifying a Shadow Pokémon will do the following:
- Increase the Pokémon’s IV values by +2 (guaranteed)
- Increase the Pokémon’s level to level 25 (guaranteed)
- Replace Frustration with Return, a 3-bar Normal type charge move
Purifying a Shadow Pokémon will also make it stronger and reduce the amount of Stardust and Candy required to Power Up, Evolve, or learn a new attack. Purified Pokemon have a special marker in the Pokemon storage screen, but they can be mass transferred, so be careful when selecting Pokemon for transfer.
Shadow and Purified Pokémon IV values
Shadow Pokémon are caught at Level 8 with a randomized set of IV values. They can be weather boosted, just as normal Pokémon and raid bosses. Weather boosted Shadow Pokémon are at Level 13.
As we mentioned above, Purified Pokémon get a +2 increase in each IV value. As a result, a Shadow Pokémon with 13 / 13 / 13 IVs is guaranteed to become a 100% Purified Pokémon. Weather boosted Shadow Pokémon get their minimum IVs increased to 4/4/4 which increases the chance of getting a better Purified Pokémon.
NOTE: If your Shadow Pokémon has 14 IV, once purified it will have 15 IV in that stat. This is a special case where +2 IVs is applied, but cuts of at 15.
Shadow Pokémon Power Up Chart
The following chart shows Stardust and Candy needed to power up Shadow Pokémon from Level 1 to Level 40. Do note that Level 8 is the minimum Level you will catch a Shadow Pokémon at:
Learn more about Shadow Pokémon Lore
Shadow Pokémon were first introduced in Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. They are Pokémon that are being used for wrongful acts because they had the doors to their hearts shut artificially. Liam has a wonderful in-depth article that covers the whole history and role of Shadow Pokémon in the main series games, which we suggest reading if you’re a lore buff (click on Shadow Mewtwo to start reading):