Analysis of Shadow Mewtwo and future Shadow Legendaries in Raids

How good is Shadow Mewtwo? Should I get multiples of it? Learn today!


This analysis has two parts:

  • Part 1 is on Shadow Mewtwo and its current value only. It aims to appeal to a great variety of players. However, I do assume some basic knowledge of how raids and raid attackers work (e.g. you need to power up your Pokemon to a usable level, like level 30).
  • Part 2 answers the “what to use raders on/which shadow legendary to get multiples of” question. It primarily focuses on veteran PvE players with competent teams built, who are thinking long term.

TL;DR – Part 1: Shadow Mewtwo


Think of Shadow Mewtwo as an Psychic/Ice shadow, with budget coverage as Electric, Ground and Steel types.

  • Psychic (Psystrike): Absolute king with Psystrike, but Psychic type itself is one of the least useful attacking types in raids. Non-legacy move Psychic is ~8% worse, but sufficient.
  • Ice (Ice Beam): Worse than other shadows, but better than all non-shadows (e.g. Mamoswine).
  • Electric (Thunderbolt): Worse than other shadows and legendaries, but better than all non-legendaries (e.g. Electivire, Magnezone).
  • Ghost/Dark (Shadow Ball): <= CD Hydreigon. Not worth an ETM for Shadow Ball in January 2023.
  • Ground and Steel (Psystrike): Good budget counter if you don’t have a full anti-Electric/anti-Fairy team, despite only dealing neutral damage.
  • Viable budget counter as almost every other type, but you already have better budget counters from recent and upcoming events and CDs.

Ice Beam/Psystrike is best, with the flexibility of TMing to Thunderbolt if you need it. Ice Beam/Psychic is fine too.

Advice for different groups of players:

  • If you’re a new player still getting together raid teams for most types, Shadow Mewtwo is an incredible asset to you. It may be your #4-#6 option for every one of the types above, sometimes even better.
  • If you only ever plan to power up one shadow Pokemon, arguably Shadow Mewtwo is the way to go.
  • If you don’t build too many shadows and legendaries, but have competent non-shadow non-legendary teams (e.g. past CD Pokemon), think of Shadow Mewtwo as a Psychic/Ice/Electric shadow. The only things above it are legendaries and shadows.
  • If you have top-tier legendary/shadow teams of Ice & Electric types – especially with Shadow Mamoswine – then Shadow Mewtwo’s only value to you is as a Psychic attacker. In this role, it’s incredibly strong, but rarely useful outside of Terrakion raids and a handful others.

An oversimplification: A “more expensive and quantity-limited Shadow Mamoswine or Shadow Weavile”.

Is my Shadow Mewtwo’s IV bad? NO! Even the “worst” Shadow Mewtwo is still better than a Purified Mewtwo, if you power them up.

Keep reading Part 1 for:

  • Super Rocket Radar 101 – HOW did some players get multiple Shadow Mewtwo
  • Shadow boost explained, and why you shouldn’t purify
  • Confusion vs Psycho Cut, Psystrike vs Psychic
  • IV comparisons – a preliminary score function for comparing different IV spreads
  • Why Psychic attackers are not very useful – and hence I don’t think 6 Shadow Mewtwos are necessary
    • Comparison of every type’s utility
  • Breakdown of Shadow Mewtwo’s performance in every type

TL;DR – Part 2: Future shadow legendaries

Terrakion Counters Guide
Terrakion Counters Guide

In terms of “whether I should get multiples with stackable Super Rocket Radars I saved”:

Tier 1: Shadow Terrakion, Shadow Reshiram, [Shadow Darkrai if Dark Void is OP]

  • Strong, very useful, and far from alternatives
  • 2027-2029

Tier 1.5: Shadow Groudon

  • Best short-term value (up to mid-2024). Very useful coverage, but strength drops off in the future.

All three above share a similar role as anti-Steel, so to diversify things:

Tier 2: [Shadow Darkrai if Dark Void disappoints], Shadow Giratina-O, Shadow Zekrom/Thundurus-T, Shadow Mewtwo, Shadow Landorus-T

  • Check most of the “strong, useful, irreplaceable” boxes, but each with some issues in the long term
  • Mewtwo has highest immediate value (Jan 2023)

Tier 2.5: All Shadow Dragon, Shadow Rayquaza as Flying attacker

  • Dragon attackers are easily replaceable, and Flying has low utility
  • Don’t recommend using stackable SRRs

Tier 3: Shadow Kyogre

  • Surprisingly low utility, don’t recommend using stackable SRRs

Extreme Future (2033+): Shadow Xurkitree, Shadow Kartana

Keep reading Part 2 for:

  • Speculative timeline on when we’ll get future shadow legendaries
  • A Strength & Utility Metric
  • Breakdown of every shadow legendary


Since November, we can obtain Shadow Mewtwo by battling Giovanni with a Super Rocket Radar (SRR) equipped. However, Shadow Mewtwo will go away soon – the last day you can obtain it is January 31, 2023. Starting in February, you will get Shadow Registeel instead.

Considering that Shadow Registeel is a downgrade in PvP and completely useless as a raid attacker, I think everyone should probably complete last season’s “Ultra Beast Protection Efforts” special research if you haven’t (getting one more Shadow Mewtwo in the process).

But some folks naturally have a question: SHOULD I get more than one Shadow Mewtwo? Just exactly how strong and how useful is it as a raid attacker? How does it compare to other shadow legendaries in the future? And if I happen to have some extremely rare “stackable” SRRs from the past, should I go all in and get 6 or more Shadow Mewtwo, or should I save them for something else eventually?

In this article, I tackle these mega questions. After a section on SRR mechanics and HOW one can get multiple Shadow Mewtwo, this analysis then breaks into two parts:

  • Part 1: Everything about Shadow Mewtwo and its current value, in all attacking types
  • Part 2: Everything about every other shadow legendary, and how much they’re worth getting – SHOULD you get more than one Shadow Mewtwo?

You can now follow me (@teban54) onTwitter!

If anyone wants to compare specific IVs and how they do against each boss, DM me with your IVs. I’ll give you simulation results against all bosses (Estimator and TTW), but I’ll only get to do after a while.

Super Rocket Radar 10: How did people get multiple Shadow Mewtwo?

Mewtwo meta analysis
Mewtwo meta analysis

This question has been asked countless times, but I haven’t seen any clear, concise and satisfying explanation yet. Therefore, I’ll attempt to write one.

The standard way to get shadow legendaries, such as Mewtwo, is from battling Giovanni. Each such battle requires a Super Rocket Radar (SRR). This is the black radar. (The white one, which you get from 6 Mysterious Components, is just called Rocket Radar.)

There are two sources of SRRs:

“Sequential” SRR: These are the “regular” SRRs, given out from seasonal special research questlines – once every 3 months – that involve Team Rocket battles.

  • After the step in which you beat Cliff, Arlo and Sierra, you receive an SRR, and the next step requires you to defeat Giovanni.
  • Each special research line is intended for you to get the current shadow legendary. You will only receive this special research if you have completed the previous one by the end of the following season.
  • The most recent special research, given out during Season of Light (Sep-Nov 2022), is titled “Ultra Beast Protection Efforts”, which is intended for you to get Shadow Mewtwo. You need to complete UBPE by the end of February, or else you won’t receive the new special research for Shadow Registeel (regardless of whether you want to actually catch a Shadow Registeel).
  • Pro tip: Always save your sequential SRR until just before the next shadow legendary switches over (in this case, until Jan 31). This allows you to farm Decoy Grunts, which give you Mysterious Components and Shadow Bellsprout.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, here’s a visualization:

Guide on sequential Super Rocket Radar (SRR) mechanics

The key takeaway is that for each sequential SRR, you can only choose between two adjacent shadow legendaries.

  • So when it comes to Mewtwo-Registeel-Regirock-Regice in the speculative timeline above, you can either do 1-1-1-1 (intended), or 0-2-0-2, or 1-0-1-2, or 1-0-1-1 and save the last one for future… But NOT 1-0-0-3, nor 1-0-0-1 and save two for future.
  • Once you skip (put a 0), you have to put a 1 every season until a 2 that you desire.
  • So sequential SRRs alone will allow you to get 2 Shadow Groudon in the future, but not 3. Nor 2 Groudon and 2 Kyogre if they’re back-to-back.

“Stackable” SRR: These are sometimes given out during special events or timed research. They’re “free” ones, in that they do not have any requirements, and whether you use them does not affect your availability to get future special research questlines and SRRs. However, they’re the rarest item in the game, and there was only one stackable SRR given out in 2022 – behind a paywall.

  • Since 2019, only 6 stackable SRRs were given out:
    • Go Fest Weekly Challenge: Battle (July 2020)
    • Go Fest 2020: Rocket Straight to Victory (July 2020, exclusive to ticket holders)
    • Tricky Pokemon (April 2021)
    • Luminous Legends X (May 2021)
    • Misunderstood Mischief (November 2021)
    • Masterwork Research: Apex (February 2022, exclusive to Johto Tour ticket holders)
  • No free ones were out in 2022. In addition, since the beginning of 2022, Niantic has settled on a more consistent pattern of “every season featurs a Team Go Rocket takeover event in the 2nd or 3rd month, with a Frustration TM window, and a special research questline that gives a sequential SRR”, compared to 2021’s absolute mess.
  • Also, there’s no guarantee that paid events like Go Fests and generational Go Tours will reward a stackable SRR.
    • Go Fest 2020 and Johto Tour did, but both events revolved around Team Rocket itself.
    • Go Fest 2021, 2022, and Kanto Tour did not.
  • Therefore, I don’t think you should expect to get more stackable SRRs in the future. Treat it as a surprise when it does happen, but don’t plan your decisions based on the expectation that we’ll get more.

Special thanks to u/red401 for their assistance.

Part 1 – How good is Shadow Mewtwo as a raid attacker?

Mewtwo (Shadow) Psychic

Mewtwo is well-known to be a strong Pokémon, both in the Main Series Games (MSG) and in all battle formats of Pokémon GO. In PoGO raids in particular, it has a top-tier base attack of 300, an overpowered (OP) signature move Psystrike, and a wide array of charged moves of other types.

Shadow Mewtwo further benefits from the Shadow Boost, which makes shadow Pokémon deal 20% more damage while also taking 20% more damage. This provides a huge boost in performance in raids: a shadow is generally 16% stronger than its own non-shadow as a raid attacker, if they’re at the same Pokémon level.

  • Even though shadows take 20% more stardust to power up, a level 30 shadow is often less expensive than a level 40 non-shadow of the same species, yet have better average performance.
    • DO NOT PURIFY your Shadow Mewtwo!!! This can be said for every raid-relevant shadow, but especially for Mewtwo. Just don’t, unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

As a result, Shadow Mewtwo with Confusion/Psystrike has the highest neutral Damage Per Second (DPS) in the game currently. Even Mega Evolutions can’t surpass that, and aside from Mewtwo’s own megas, no future megas or primals will.

However, in raids, what matters the most is not neutral DPS, but type effectiveness. If you’re dealing Super Effective (SE) damage, it’s immediately a 60% damage boost, way more than what Psystrike and the shadow boost provide.

So how well does Shadow Mewtwo function as a raid attacker, with and without Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB)? We will now dive into attackers of the following types, for which Shadow Mewtwo has at least some sort of a role:

  • Psychic;
  • Ice, Ghost, Electric, Fire and Fighting – these are Mewtwo’s coverage moves;
  • and as a neutral attacker, or “generalist”, where Shadow Mewtwo doesn’t deal Super Effective damage but may still show up on the top counters lists occasionally.

Shadow Mewtwo as a Psychic attacker

Psychic attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.
Psychic attackers ranked by DPS^3*TDO and DPS.

See Appendix 1 (at the end of this article) for technical details and how to read the charts. The Chandelure analysis also contains explanations on ASE vs ASTTW.

Psychic is the only type where Shadow Mewtwo not only gets STAB, but also has a fast move that deals Super Effective damage. As such, it utilizes its amazing raw power to the fullest potential.

Shadow Mewtwo with Confusion/Psystrike is the best Psychic-type attacker in the game, period.

  • It’s 16% better than non-shadow Psystrike Mewtwo, and 25%+ better than any non-megas not named Mewtwo (Shadow Latios and Hoopa Unbound).
  • Even a Level 30 Shadow Mewtwo is better than Level 40 regular Mewtwo, and Level 50 of any non-mega Psychic attacker. And it’s cheaper than a non-lucky L40 mon!
  • Whenever Psychic attacks are super effective against the raid boss, and it doesn’t have another double weakness (e.g. against Terrakion, Zamazenta and Mega Blaziken), Shadow Mewtwo is the best counter, bar none.
  • Even against Virizion – which takes 1.6x damage from Psychic but 2.56x from Flying – Shadow Mewtwo still ranks as a good counter similar to non-shadow Staraptor.
    • You may think the same applies to Pheromosa and Buzzwole raids, but Shadow Mewtwo does comparatively worse there, both because their Bug-type moves hurt Mewtwo a lot, and because they don’t have Stone Edge that hurts Flying counters unlike Virizion.

Confusion vs. Psycho Cut

The conventional wisdom is “Confusion has higher DPS, but Psycho Cut is easier to dodge”. However, as seen from the plot (and sections below), even with realistic dodging for both movesets, Confusion still outperforms Psycho Cut in Pokebattler estimator.

  • This is counter-intuitive… I know.
  • It’s definitely true that Confusion makes it harder to dodge due to its longer duration. Simulations seem to suggest that despite this disadvantage, Confusion’s extra damage output still outweighs benefits of dodging.
  • In practice, though, the difference is very small (1.9% on average). You can use either fast move and won’t notice it.

Note that when using Shadow Mewtwo with non-psychic charged moves (e.g. Ice Beam), Psycho Cut becomes better as it charges up the charged moves faster.

Psystrike vs. Psychic

The difference is 7.7%. This ranks above-average among most legacy move improvements: for reference, Reshiram got a 7.0% improvement from Fusion Flare, Zekrom 2.3% from Fusion Bolt, and Giratina-O 4.1% from Shadow Force.

From the perspective of a Psychic attacker alone, this difference is definite worth spending an Elite Charged TM. However, two factors may prevent it from being a slam dunk #1 ETM choice:

  1. Utility: Psychic attackers are rarely needed, as noted in sections below.
  2. Lack of competition: Both Psystrike and Psychic Shadow Mewtwo (and regular Mewtwo) sit way above everything else. Yes, it still matters in absolute performance, but given Mewtwo’s raw power, I think diminishing returns start to kick in. And for the handful raids where Psychic is needed, it doesn’t really make a difference.

Psystrike is still definitely worth an Elite TM, but if you have another priority, you don’t have to do it right now.

Tip: If you want to ETM for Psystrike, do it as the second (unlocked) charged move slot, not the first. In case Niantic ever changes things to make Purified Pokémon more desirable than Shadow Pokémon, this allows you to purify Shadow Mewtwo and still keep Psystrike. This is because upon purification, the first charged move is always replaced by Return, no matter what.

IV Considerations

Shadow legendaries are virtually impossible to get good IVs on. You have essentially only one attempt to catch it, and even though each catch comes with an IV floor of 6/6/6 (not affected by weather boost), on average you’re still expecting a 10.5/10.5/10.5 – about the minimum you get from each raid.

  • FYI, I myself have 3 Shadow Mewtwos, and their IVs are: 10/8/8, 7/11/12, and 6/10/10. Ouch.

So how “bad” is your Shadow Mewtwo compared to a theoretical hundo? And if you have multiples, which one to power up?

In my charts above, I labeled 12/12/12, 9/9/9 and 6/6/6 (the minimum). The difference between a minimum 6/6/6 and a maximum 15/15/15 Shadow Mewtwo is about 5.4% in Estimator (more applicable to smaller lobbies where relobbying may be a concern), and 4.4% in TTW (more applicable for 6+ player lobbies without relobbying).

While this may be a bit bigger gap than the “IVs don’t matter for raids” claim that people sometimes make, a “worst” 6/6/6 Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo is still slightly better than a 100% non-legacy Psychic Shadow Mewtwo, and WAY better than a regular – or purified – Mewtwo.

  • Yet again… Do NOT purify.

But which IV spread is better? Which of the 3 stats is more crucial, and by how much? Don’t worry, I got that covered for you:

Average Scaled Estimator and TTW of Shadow Mewtwo with various IVs and fast moves

For Shadow Mewtwo in particular, I propose a “score function”:

  • Estimator: Attack * 2.5 + Defense + HP
  • TTW: Attack * 4 + Defense + HP
  • If you have no idea what to use, I’d prefer Estimator, or a mix between the two.

For example, applying this to my own 10/8/8 and 7/11/12 Shadow Mewtwos, the former has an estimator score of 41.0 and the latter 40.5. So both are similar, but the higher attack option edges out.

This means attack is the most important IV stat of the three, but it’s not “only attack IV matters”. Each attack point is worth about 2-4 defense or HP points. So a 96% 15/14/14 will likely be better than a 98% 14/15/15, but a 15/0/0 won’t be better than 14/15/15.

For a tiebreaker between defense and HP, lower defense seems like the way to go – but need further confirmation.

Note: This may not apply well to other Pokémon with varying base stats. That’s worth a whole other analysis article on its own. Also, this does not consider PvP Master League, which is generally stricter on IVs with its own breakpoints and bulkpoints.

If anyone wants to compare specific IVs and how they do against each boss, DM me with your IVs. I’ll give you simulation results against all bosses (Estimator and TTW), but I’ll only get to do after a while.

What psychic types can possibly outclass Shadow Mewtwo with Psystrike?

This may be crazy, but theoretically, they do exist!

Two future non-shadow Pokemon (both of which are fusion forms) have potential to outperform non-shadow Mewtwo:

  • Ultra Necrozma (Gen 7), IF it’s given Confusion and Psychic
  • Calyrex Shadow Rider (Gen 8), if it retains the current Game Master moveset, which includes Confusion/Psychic.

Even though the differences from Mewtwo aren’t huge, they do sit above Mewtwo and below Mega Alakazam in my plots above (more plots here*). Thus, their shadows – if we ever see them – will outclass Shadow Mewtwo, albeit not by much.

The obvious question is how they’ll be implemented, both as non-shadows and as shadows. Too much uncertainly to discount Shadow Mewtwo’s power, and not to mention the power difference is small.

TL;DR: Even though Shadow Mewtwo is not definitely absolutely 100% future proof, for all practical discussions, it is.

* Note that Mega Mewtwos in those plots are erroneous and way overestimated.

Utility of psychic attackers, or lack thereof

We now know Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo is incredibly strong as a Psychic type. So why shouldn’t it automatically be the #1 best investment for raids?

The answer is simple, but unpopular: Psychic is, arguably, one of the least useful attacking types in Tier 5 and Mega raids.

Psychic-type attacks are only super effective against Fighting and Poison. Whenever a boss is any of these types, as long as it doesn’t have a double weakness to something else, Shadow Mewtwo is the best counter. But:

  • There are very few Poison-type legendaries. Naganadel (Ultra Beast) and Eternatus (Gen 8) are the only two in all 9 generations.
  • Fighting-type legendaries – that are actually best countered by psychic – are also surprisingly rare. Terrakion, Zamazenta, Urshifu Rapid Strike (Gen 8), that’s it.
    • There’s also Galarian Zapdos, but are we sure it will never leave the Daily Adventure Incense?
    • If you think Gen 9’s Paradox Pokemon will be raid-exclusive, then there’s Great Tusk, Iron Hands and Iron Valiant. But that’s speculative at the moment.
  • Three Fighting-type mythicals may come to Elite Raids: Keldeo, Meloetta Pirouette (unreleased form) and Marshadow (Gen 7).
  • All Psychic-weak megas have already been released (e.g. Gengar, Lopunny, Blaziken), so you’re unlikely to do more than one of those raids in future.

Indeed, Psychic ranks as one of the lowest in type utility against T5 and mega raid bosses:

Utility of all types in T5 and mega raids. Excludes released megas and research mythicals (unless they may come to Elite Raids).

(Here’s an imgur version)

Psychic is literally the least useful type by this metric (if we ignore normal). Yikes.

  • No matter how I tweak the boss selection (whether to include mythicals, research mythicals, released megas), Psychic is consistently among the lowest 5.
  • Keep in mind this does not consider the strength of attackers. So while Ground and Fairy score high, in practice they’re not the most useful. More on this in Part 2.

To be clear, I don’t think this matters for getting one Shadow Mewtwo – its strength alone justifies it. But it does make you wonder if getting multiples – or even 6 – Shadow Mewtwo is even worth it. You’re realistically only bringing them out once or twice a year at most, at the cost of wasting your precious stackable SRRs and not being able to use them on any other shadow legendary.

Also, most aforementioned Psychic-weak raids seem to not require a full team of Shadow Mewtwo for shortmanning – regular Mewtwo is strong enough to do the job.

  • In neutral weather, as T5 raids, they can all be duoed by L40 regular Mewtwo (though just barely for Zamazenta), and as Elite raids, all 3 mythicals can be trioed by L40 regular Mewtwo. Shadow Mewtwo doesn’t make the cut for a solo/duo respectively.
  • Note that weather boost may change things.

The saving grace is that it may be a quality over quantity situation: Terrakion, Keldeo, Eternatus and Marshadow are all relevant or have potential to be in various formats. However, you can say the same to most “underwhelming” attacking types (especially Water and Grass against Kyogre and/or Groudon).

Everyone will interpret this differently, but to me, this presents a very weak case for building an excess number of Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo.

Shadow Mewtwo as non-STAB attacker: Ice, Ghost, Electric, etc

Aside from Psystrike, (Shadow) Mewtwo also has a wide array of other moves in its arsenal: Shadow Ball*, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Focus Blast and Hyper Beam*. (* indicates ETM required.) Using Psycho Cut as the fast move (which generates energy faster), Shadow Mewtwo can function as an attacker of these types.

The problem is that, despite Shadow Mewtwo’s high base attack:

  • You miss out on the 20% Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB), unlike an actual Ice-type Pokemon.
  • Since Shadow Mewtwo only has Psychic-type fast moves, they typically deal neutral (1.0x) or resisted (0.625x) damage. In contrast, an actual Ice-type attacker’s fast move deals super effective (1.6x) or even doubly super effective (2.56x) damage.
  • Often, Shadow Mewtwo also miss out on useful resistances that other attackers have. Examples: Dark resists Ghost, Electric resists Flying, Fire resists Steel. Mewtwo doesn’t have any of that.

People often think of Mewtwo as a great generalist because of its wide coverage. But how good are Shadow Mewtwo here compared to dedicated attackers of these types? Is it worth unlocking a second move (that costs 120k stardust and 120 Mewtwo candies), and in the case of Shadow Ball, another Elite Charged TM?

We’ll look at the notable types one by one, but here’s a high-level TL;DR:

  • Ice Beam: Only below Shadow Mamoswine (and similar to Shadow Weavile), generally above non-shadows. Will earn a spot on most people’s Ice teams.
  • Thunderbolt: Below top legendaries and shadows, but can fill a spot if your team still has some Raikou, Electivire, Magnezone etc.
  • Shadow Ball: Community Day Hydreigon is better and much cheaper. I wouldn’t ETM today.
  • Flamethrower and Focus Blast are not even worth TMing.

Overall, I’d say Ice Beam/Psystrike is the most useful combo in January 2023, with the option to TM to Thunderbolt and serve as a budget electric, replacing an Electivire or Magnezone.

This means non-STAB Shadow Mewtwo will still have good value for anyone without 6 Shadow Mamoswine and Shadow Weavile. It’s not worth getting an extra Shadow Mewtwo specifically for these coverage moves, but if you do have an extra Shadow Mewtwo, adding a second charged move will likely benefit. As long as you’re not locked with Psystrike/Shadow Ball.

Shadow Mewtwo as an ice attacker

Ice attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Starting with the less popular Ice Beam, but it’s actually the best.

Shadow Mewtwo with Ice Beam is worse than Shadow Mamoswine, but better than regular Mamoswine and Galarian Darmanitan. This places Shadow Mewtwo as a solid “Ice-type” shadow and a near-top-tier Ice attacker, similar to Shadow Weavile.

Note that if you have good Dragon, Electric and Rock teams, you will realistically only need your Ice team against bosses double weak to Ice: Rayquaza, Landorus, Shaymin Sky (possible Elite Raids), Mega Sceptile, Mega Salamence and Mega Garchomp. However, even when it misses out on the 2.56x fast move damage, Shadow Mewtwo’s ranking doesn’t change significantly – still similar to Shadow Weavile.

  • For more details on how ice compares to Dragon, Electric and Rock, see my Kyurem analysis.

If you don’t have 6 Shadow Mamoswine, one Shadow Mewtwo with Ice Beam will likely earn a spot on your Ice (anti-Rayquaza) teams. I should note that Shadow Mamoswine itself is an incredibly useful investment and more accessible than Shadow Mewtwo, but unless you have 6, it’s always nice to fill a gap.

Shadow Mewtwo as an electric attacker

Electric attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Even though Thunderbolt is a better move than Ice Beam in power, other Electric types are much stronger than Ice types. As such, Shadow Mewtwo with Thunderbolt sits below all top-tier optionsXurkitree, all shadows (even Luxray), Zekrom (with or without signature move), and Thundurus Therian.

However, a 100% Shadow Mewtwo is still above budget Electric attackers, namely Electivire and Magnezone. (Though a lower IV Shadow Mewtwo will be much closer to Electivire and possibly even surpassed by it.)

  • Also, Electric is used against Flying and Water bosses. Against Flying, Shadow Mewtwo is worse than Rampardos, Rhyperior and Shadow Mamoswine (plots in this article). Against Water, Shadow Mewtwo is worse than Kartana, shadow grasses and Zarude (plots in this article).

The best use of a Thunderbolt Shadow Mewtwo will likely be for players who still have a budget option (Raikou, Electivire, Zapdos, Magnezone) on their Electric team. For those with teams of Xurkitree, Zekrom, Thundurus-T and shadows, it’s not worth it – though admittedly players with full teams of those are rare.

Shadow Mewtwo as a ghost attacker

Dark and Ghost attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

As usual, Ghost and Dark are combined due to similar utility.

A 100% Shadow Mewtwo with Shadow Ball is among the almost equally good Top 6 Dark/Ghost attackers: Shadow Weavile, Hydreigon, Shadow Tyranitar, Giratina-O, Darkrai, and itself. Each may have typing advantages in certain scenarios.

The real problem is that Community Day Hydreigon is on the list, is better than Shadow Mewtwo on average (especially with the latter having random IVs), and was free for everyone less than a month ago.

People want Shadow Ball mostly for the exclusiveness of it, and because Dark/Ghost attackers in general have extremely high utility in T5 raids, being one of the most useful attacker types. However, I think Deino CD smashed the value of Shadow Ball Shadow Mewtwo (for raids) to the ground. Why use an Elite Charged TM, 120k stardust and 120 rare/Mewtwo candies to unlock it (and lock yourself out of Ice Beam and Thunderbolt), when you can just bring up another Brutal Swing Hydreigon at a fraction of the cost, and get better average performance?

January 2023 is not the time to put Shadow Ball on a raid attacker Shadow Mewtwo, even for new players. Maybe it was in 2020, but definitely not now.

Shadow Mewtwo as fire and fighting attackers

Flamethrower and Focus Blast exist in Mewtwo’s movepool. However, they’re really not worth it, even for new players (especially those who did December CD):

  • As a Fire type, Flamethrower Shadow Mewtwo is similar to Blast Burn starters, with Emboar being the closest match. Worse than BB Blaziken, only marginally better than Flareon and BB Charizard, and significantly worse than Chandelure which was featured in December CD.
  • As a Fighting type, Focus Blast Shadow Mewtwo is similar to Toxicroak and Blaziken. Two tiers below regular Machamp.
    • In fact, unless the boss is a Dark or Steel type, even Shadow Mewtwo with Psystrike dealing neutral damage is better than Focus Blast dealing SE damage.

I don’t even think it’s worth burning through regular Charged TMs to get these moves. If your second move isn’t Shadow Ball, just stick with Ice Beam and maybe Thunderbolt.

Shadow Mewtwo as a generalist?

TL;DR: Best use for generalist Mewtwo is anti-Electric and anti-Fairy, if you lack dedicated Ground and Steel teams. You may also find use as a “Flying” attacker.

  • If you’re desperate, it can fill the holes for just about any other type, but you probably have good counters even from recent CDs and upcoming events.

So far, we have only looked at cases where Shadow Mewtwo’s charged moves deal Super Effective damage, regardless of which charged move it’s using. But what if we use it as a neutral damage dealer?

A few reasons why you may consider such uses:

  • If you’re a new player that still struggles to build dedicated teams of each type (even budget counters).
  • Against bosses not weak to one of Mewtwo’s charged moves. For mono-type bosses, there are only 3 such types: Electric, Fairy and fire.
  • If your Shadow Mewtwo is locked with Psystrike/Shadow Ball.
  • If you don’t have enough regular Charged TMs to get Ice Beam and Thunderbolt.

First of all, in this case, Psystrike is the only move worth considering here. Even Psychic (the move) has too much dropoff in power, and often ends up falling behind Eeveelutions.

Here is how a 15/15/15 not-Super-Effective Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo compares to attackers of other types dealing Super Effective damage (1.6x):

Shadow Mewtwo’s power as a neutral damage dealer, compared to other attackers dealing Super Effective damage

Keeping in mind everything below assumes a 15/15/15 Shadow Mewtwo:

The greatest utility for a neutral damage Shadow Mewtwo is as an anti-Electric and anti-Fairy counter, i.e. as a Ground“, “Steel and Poison attacker.

  • Against Electric bosses (Raikou, Xurkitree, Tapu Koko, Regieleki, Mega Manectric), Shadow Mewtwo is only significantly worse than Shadow Mamoswine and Precipice Blades Groudon.
    • It closely trails behind all other Ground types: Garchomp, Landorus-T, Mamoswine (now with High Horsepower), Earthquake Groudon, Excadrill. (Mamoswine is easy to build after the holiday event, but still.)
  • Against Fairy bosses (Xerneas, Zacian Hero, Tapu Koko, Mega Audino), Shadow Mewtwo is only worse than Shadow Metagross, Metagross, Dialga and Nihilego. All other options, such as Roserade and steel Excadrill, are worse.
  • Note Shadow Mewtwo does significantly worse against bosses double weak to Ground, Steel or Poison, i.e. Heatran and Tapu Bulu.

New or unprepared players – especially those without legendary and shadow teams – may also find Shadow Mewtwo useful as a Flying and Grass attacker.

  • Flying doesn’t have too many use cases, but when it is useful, Shadow Mewtwo is usually also among the tier list, and is similar to – or sometimes better than – typical budget options like Staraptor (CD or not) and Honchkrow. Only legendaries and shadows are usually above it.
  • Even though Ice Beam and Thunderbolt cover most of your usage for Grass teams, Psystrike doesn’t do too badly either. As a “Grass” type, it generally outperforms Roserade and anything below.
    • However, this may be less attractive if you got Frenzy Plant Chesnaughts from CD this month, and/or if you have strong Electric and Water teams.
  • I initially had “Ice” here, but decided to remove it for a few reasons: 1) Mamoswine is easy to build, especially after the holiday event. 2) Ice is most useful against bosses double weak to it (e.g. Rayquaza, Landorus-T), where Psystrike falls apart. 3) Shadow Mewtwo can learn Ice Beam.

If you really need budget options, Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo may also find utility as a Dragon“, “Electric“, “Fighting“, “Fire“, “Rock” and “Water attacker. Here, it’s usually worse than even the common budget options, as I highlighted in the chart. These include recent Community Day Pokemon, common spawns (Machamp, Hariyama, Flareon), and upcoming event spawns (Magnezone). In other words, you can build something better at much much lower costs, but if you’re desperate or just want to use Shadow Mewtwo, you can.

It should be noted that against a large number of bosses, Shadow Mewtwo with Psystrike does only 20-40% worse than the top counter. Most of them are Electric and Fairy bosses, but some are not (e.g. Entei, Kyogre, T5 Groudon). While this speaks to Shadow Mewtwo’s insane power, it’s less relevant for someone with well-built raid teams.

  • Here’s a scoreboard of how much worse Shadow Mewtwo does compared to the top counters against many bosses.

To be clear, none of the above necessitate getting multiple Shadow Mewtwos just for its generalist uses. The purpose here is to fill the holes on your teams for some types, so generally 1 or maybe 2 Shadow Mewtwos are enough.

Summary and Verdict (Part 1): Shadow Mewtwo


  • Psychic: Shadow Mewtwo with Psystrike is absolute king, but Psychic type itself is one of the least useful attacking types in raids. Non-legacy Psychic is ~8% worse but sufficient.
  • Ice: Shadow Mewtwo with Ice Beam is a near-top-tier shadow, only behind Shadow Mamoswine and sometimes Shadow Weavile. Better than all non-shadows.
  • Electric: Shadow Mewtwo with Thunderbolt is worse than other shadows and legendaries, but a great budget option if you still have Raikou, Electivire, Magnezone etc on your team.
  • Ghost/Dark: Even though Shadow Mewtwo with Shadow Ball is a top-tier ghost attacker, it’s equivalent to CD Hydreigon or worse, while being much more expensive. Not worth an ETM in January 2023.
  • Ground and Steel: Even with Psystrike, Shadow Mewtwo is a good budget counter, if you lack shadows, Groudon, Earth Power Garchomp, Mamoswine (non-legacy High Horsepower), Excadrill and Meteor Mash Metagross.
  • Flying: Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo is viable here too, similar to non-shadow non-legendaries like Staraptor.
  • Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo is a viable budget counter as almost every other type, but you already have better budget counters from recent and upcoming events and CDs.

Depending on your position, current raid teams and playstyle, the verdict will vary a lot. But I’ll make an attempt:

  • If you’re a new player still getting together raid teams for most types, Shadow Mewtwo is an incredible asset to you (as long as you power it up). It may be your #4-#6 option for every one of the types above, sometimes even better.
  • If you only ever plan to power up one shadow Pokémon, arguably Shadow Mewtwo is the way to go.
  • If you don’t build too many shadows and legendaries, but have competent non-shadow non-legendary teams (e.g. past CD Pokémon), think of Shadow Mewtwo as a Psychic/Ice/Electric shadow. The only things above it are legendaries and shadows.
  • If you have top-tier legendary/shadow teams of Ice & Electric types – especially with Shadow Mamoswine – then Shadow Mewtwo’s only value to you is as a Psychic attacker. In this role, it’s incredibly strong, but rarely useful outside of Terrakion raids and a handful others.

The gist is: Shadow Mewtwo is best seen as an Psychic/Ice shadow, with budget coverage as Electric, Ground and Steel types. The closest comparison one can draw is…

Shadow Mamoswine.

  • Both are great Ice shadows, but Shadow Mamoswine is better.
  • Shadow Mewtwo can do some Ground things, but Shadow Mamoswine is top-tier (similar to Precipice Blades Groudon on average).
  • Shadow Mewtwo has the added benefit of being a top-tier Psychic and also somewhat of an Electric, while Shadow Mamoswine can’t.
  • However, Psychic is among the least useful types, while Ground type itself (disregarding its power) is one of the most useful. (In my type utility metric above, Psychic is literally the lowest while Ground the highest.) Even when Psychic is useful, it doesn’t necessitate Shadow Mewtwo compared to regular ones, especially multiples.
  • Shadow Swinub is still available from grunts as of writing. Shadow Mewtwo is in limited quantities.
  • Shadow Mamoswine is much cheaper in candies than Shadow Mewtwo, especially XLs.

It’s an oversimplification, but for practical purposes of beating T5 and mega raids, calling Shadow Mewtwo a “more expensive and quantity-limited Shadow Mamoswine or Shadow Weavile” may not be totally crazy. This shouldn’t take away the fact that Shadow Mewtwo is the #1 psychic attacker… But it’s a somewhat unusual perspective to think about.

Part 2: Future shadow legendaries

Part 2 Disclaimers

  • This part primarily focuses on my own perspective: veteran PvE players with competent teams built, who are thinking long term and maximizing future payoffs of their investments, and may care less about collection and other aspects.
  • In many ways, this may not apply to you – whether you’re a new player, a PvP player, a completionist, just want your favorite legendary, want to focus on short-term gains, “it’s freaking Mewtwo!”, etc. If that describes you, I fully respect your playstyle and priorities. In return, I kindly ask you to also respect my work, for those that do find it useful.
    • If you exclusively focus on current value, using all radars on Shadow Mewtwo will likely be the best choice for you.
  • Part 2 is highly speculative, and if you look back at this article in 2028, it is guaranteed to be inaccurate. There’s simply no way we can reliably predict the future, with unreleased signature moves, content release schedules, new MSG generations, and possibly even new PoGO mechanics. I’m doing the best I can – I acknowledge things will not play out in this exact manner. Constructive feedback is welcome, but nitpicking is not.

An unfinished summary table for Part 2

I wanted to present a table with all shadow legendaries in varying dimensions, which would have also served as a TL;DR. However, I ran out of time and energy to format it with images.

Therefore, I’m sharing the ugly summary table in Google Sheets instead, for those who are curious. All the information and tier-based coloring is there, but I didn’t add in all the nice visualization that I had planned.

Most of it will also be covered in this article.

Part 2: Future shadow legendaries – which ones to use stacked Super Rocket Radars on?

Given the Super Rocket Radar mechanics, we can draw the following conclusions:

  • Sequential SRRs only matter for choosing between adjacent shadow legendaries.
  • Stackable SRRs can be used on any future shadow legendary, but they’re one of the rarest items in the game. We don’t even know if there will be any more in the future (at least free ones), and they’re less abundant than a lot of people think.

Given the rarity of stackable SRRs, anyone who thinks long term – such as myself – naturally think of the following question: What to use stackable SRRs on?

Note that this question really consists of two aspects:

  1. Will we need multiple copies of the same legendary? For example, are there shortmanning challenges that will only be achievable with 2-6 Shadow Groudon, Shadow Reshiram, etc?
  2. If we want multiple copies, which one is the best to get?

This article primarily focuses on Question 2. I do have a short writeup here for those who care about Question 1, but it’s very unpolished.

Different people will have very different answers to Question 2. I tried asking people’s opinions when planning this article, but the responses are quite mixed, with a significant number of players focusing on dex entries. It’s impossible to cover everyone’s positions in a single article.

So instead, I’m taking advice from u/Vince_Gt4: I’ll present my own perspective, but also hopefully as much information as possible so that you can see how mine differs from yours, and make your own judgment of what you want to do.

My perspective and axioms

TL;DR: Long term thinking, strength + utility, and irreplaceability (how much it stands out from others). (Section largely skippable.)

I’ll mention the key points, then leave the rest of my perspective and axioms in this screenshot. If you see me making certain assumptions elsewhere, they’re probably listed in that screenshot.

  • I want to get strong raid attackers, in general. This may be seen as more important than dex entries and PvP, if necessary.
  • However, I also want to prioritize those with the best utility.
    • Since each shadow legendary costs the same amount of stardust and rare candies, if I get to use them 10 times a year, it’s better than using them once a year.
    • Shoutout to u/LucianDePrydus for also thinking about this.
  • I also care about irreplaceability, i.e. how far ahead the shadow legendary is compared to other more obtainable options.
    • For example, L40 15/15/15 Shadow Kyogre is 9.9% ahead of L40 Shadow Swampert, but only 1.5% ahead of L50 Shadow Swampert, and Kyogre XLs are much harder to obtain than Swampert XLs. Considering your Shadow Kyogre will likely not have 15/15/15 IVs, the L50 shadow non-legendary will likely jump on top.
  • I am thinking long term, and assume I’ll have competent raid teams.

When will we actually see these shadow legendaries?

Given that they seem to be released once every season (3 months), here’s a very speculative, somewhat optimistic timeline:

Speculative timeline of shadow legendary releases

As we get through the generations, the wait time becomes really long. There’s no sugarcoating it.

For some sanity and technical reasons, in this article, I consider the following time frames:

  • Short term: Up to mid-2024 (Gen 3)
  • Long term: Up to 2029 or early 2030 (Gen 5)
  • Extremely long term: Up to 2034 (Gen 7 Ultra Beasts)

A Strength & Utility Metric

(Special thanks to u/ISporE, whose “Most useful Pokemon” post gave me a lot of inspirations for this metric, and everyone who provided feedback here!)

As we established in Part 1, Shadow Mewtwo is incredibly strong, but rarely useful due to Psychic types having few raid bosses to deal Super Effective (SE) damage against.

I also presented the following type utility chart in Part 1:

Utility of all types in T5 and mega raids. Excludes released megas and research mythicals (unless they may come to Elite Raids).

While this does highlight several most useful attacking types in raids, the problem is that it pays no attention to power of individual attackers, and thus overvalues Ground, Fairy and Bug.

Can we design a metric that ranks individual raid attackers by 1) how often it’s used in raids, and 2) how well it performs in these raids?

Of course, I did just that. I’ll call this the “Strength & Utility Metric”, or “S&U Metric”.

I’ll reference specific scores in individual sections for each shadow legendary, but for those who enjoy reading long tables: In a world where all Gen 1-5 shadows and all Gen 1-8 Pokémon have been released, it looks like this:

Strength & Utility scores (with cutoff 1.25)

Yellow cells are speculative moves, some of which are signature move estimates.

Methodology: Against each boss, the #1 counter gets score 1.0, and worse counters get lower scores.

  • Use Pokebattler Estimator, Level 40, best friends.
  • For this table, scores are cut off at 25% worse than the top counter, and any attacker within 25% gets scores scaled linearly based on their performance. For example, if you’re 5% worse, you get score 0.8.

The 25% cutoff can be changed to lower values if you only care about top options, or to higher values if you also care about generalists and/or budget options. Here’s what happens when you change the cutoffs:

Strength & Utility scores for select attackers with various performance cutoffs

(Here’s an imgur version)

  • The horizontal axis is the cutoff, i.e. how much you care about “not #1” counters. To the extreme left, only the #1 counter against each boss gets scores, everything else gets 0. To the extreme right, each attacker gets something if it’s within 50% of the top counter.
  • The vertical axis is the S&U score.


  • Dark/Ghost attackers – Shadow Hydreigon, Shadow Darkrai and Shadow Giratina-O – are extremely useful and rarely substitutable. There are simply too many psychic raids.
  • Shadow Groudon is not always the best counter (which is usually a shadow legendary itself), but it’s usually within 10%. That’s why its curve shoots up in the middle of the plot.
  • Shadow Reshiram and Shadow Terrakion‘s curves are extremely similar – both have very similar utility, and are usually the best counters.
  • While Electric (Shadow Zekrom and Thundurus-T)’s use cases don’t overlap with the above, it’s also generally not as useful as Fire and Fighting. Still, it’s the best among the rest.
  • Yes, Psychic and Water are generally not as useful – Shadow Mewtwo only shoots up towards the tail end of the chart due to being a generalist. Dragons may have also underperformed to your expectations.

Keep in mind this does not consider irreplaceability – if you’re as good as a shadow non-legendary, you still get the same score.

So now, I’ll put all three factors into consideration…

Tier 1: Shadow Terrakion & Shadow Reshiram

In the reasonably long term (2027-2029), these two would be my ultimate pick. Both have strong power, are far ahead of any alternatives, and have generally high utility.

The main drawbacks against getting multiples of them are the long wait time, possible competition from speculative shadow non-legendaries with overpowered (OP) moves, and some overlaps in their utility.

Note: If Dark Void is strong enough – like recent signature moves – Shadow Darkrai joins this tier immediately.

Fighting: Shadow Terrakion

Fighting attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.
Terrakion (Shadow) RockFighting

Estimated time frame: 2027 – early 2030 (Gen 5)

Raw Power

Very strong. Judging by the theoretical metric Equivalent Rating (ER), Shadow Terrakion and Shadow Reshiram are tied as #2 among the non-speculative shadow legendaries, only behind Shadow Mewtwo. Therefore, they’re both generally the best counter(s) whenever applicable.

Shadow Terrakion can also be a Rock attacker, but it falls below Shadow Rhyperior and Shadow Rampardos.


Fighting attackers are generally useful in raids, even though they may not be as much as you expect. In my S&U metric, Shadow Terrakion and Shadow Reshiram are basically a tie, only behind the Dark/Ghosts and Shadow Groudon.

Fighting attacks are SE against Normal, Dark, Ice, Rock and Steel. However, until Gen 8, there are very few Normal and Dark legendaries that are best countered by fighting (Darkrai and Regigigas basically). As a result, Fighting usually ends up as anti-steel, ice and rock. There’s a good number of such bosses, just often overestimated.

  • Some notable bosses: Dialga, Kyurem, Darkrai, Registeel, Mega Tyranitar, Mega Lucario
  • Also note that Gen 9 introduces 4 Dark-type legendaries, 3 of which are best countered by Fighting (Terrakion). This will give Shadow Terrakion a massive utility boost.

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Terrakion is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters.

Irreplaceability and future competition

Shadow Terrakion is far ahead of shadow non-legendaries, and faces little competition.

The main speculative concern is Shadow Conkeldurr with possible CD moves (which will not outclass Shadow Terrakion but may narrow the gap), and possible future Aura Sphere users.

  • In estimator, the next option below Shadow Terrakion is Shadow Conkeldurr and Lucario (themselves a tie), which are 14.7% worse than Shadow Terrakion.
  • Conkeldurr is a very likely Community Day candidate, and has a reasonable choice for its CD move, Hammer Arm. Even if Conkeldurr gets a Fighting-type CD move (looking at you Machamp), and even if it becomes OP like Sacred Sword is, Shadow Conkeldurr is still worse than a 100% Shadow Terrakion. However, the gap gets dangerously close, and is eliminated by IVs and XLs.
  • The other possible concerns are Marshadow (Gen 7 mythical), Urshifu (Gen 8 legendary), and Iron Valiant (Gen 9 Paradox Gallevoir), but only if they get Aura Sphere. It’s unlikely, but any of them with Aura Sphere will dethrone regular Terrakion, so their future shadows will eventually dethrone Shadow Terrakion. However, not only is this very speculative, but their shadows will take a long long time (2034+).
  • Koraidon (Gen 9 legendary) with signature move is also a contender, but only if its signature move is as strong as Sacred Sword.

Comparison to other types

Even though Fighting‘s Super Effective profile has many similarities with other attacking types, Shadow Terrakion generally outperforms its competitors or ties them:

  • Fighting and Fire are both SE against Steel and Ice. Shadow Terrakion and Shadow Reshiram are almost equivalent, and it’s often typing dependent.
  • Fighting and Steel are both SE against Ice and Rock. Shadow Terrakion is better than Shadow Metagross.
  • Fighting and Ground are both SE against Steel and Rock. Shadow Terrakion is better than Shadow Groudon.
  • No real competition against Normal and Dark.

So Shadow Reshiram is the closest competition here. We’ll look at Shadow Reshiram first, then leave the investment decisions to its own section.

Fire: Shadow Reshiram and others

Fire attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.
Reshiram (Shadow) DragonFire

Estimated time frame: 2027 – early 2030 (Gen 5)

Raw Power

Very strong. Judging by the theoretical metric Equivalent Rating (ER), Shadow Reshiram and Shadow Terrakion are tied as #2 among the non-speculative shadow legendaries, only behind Shadow Mewtwo. Therefore, they’re both generally the best counter(s) whenever applicable.

Shadow Reshiram can also be a Dragon attacker, but it falls below most other shadow dragons.


This may surprise you, but… Fire attackers are actually quite useful, especially in the future. This is largely due to the number of Steel-type bosses.

In my S&U metric, Shadow Reshiram and Shadow Terrakion are basically a tie, only behind the Dark/Ghosts and Shadow Groudon.

Fire is SE against Bug, Grass, Ice and Steel, but Bug-type and Grass-type legendaries are rare. As such, Fire attackers generally serve as anti-Steel and anti-Ice. While there are already some Steel– and Ice-type raid bosses, there will be even more in Gen 7-8, and a few highly anticipated megas.

  • Some notable bosses: Kartana, Registeel, Cobalion, Genesect, Zacian Crown, Mega Lucario, Mega Metagross.
  • However, my S&U metric assumes fusion forms (e.g. Necrozma Dusk Mane) are separate raid bosses. Should this not be the case, Reshiram’s utility may drop a bit.

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Reshiram is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters.

Irreplaceability and future competition

Shadow Reshiram is far ahead of shadow non-legendaries, and faces little competition.

  • In estimator, nothing beats even regular Fusion Flare Reshiram right now. So Shadow Reshiram is 16.3% ahead of the next best option – its own non-shadow self.

The main speculative concerns are Shadow Chandelure, Darmanitan and Heatran with possible CD/CD2/signature moves, which will not outclass Shadow Reshiram, but may narrow the gap.

  • Even a “Blast Burn” Shadow Chandelure, Darmanitan or Heatran – which may be possible from CDs or CD2s – will not outperform a hundo Shadow Reshiram. However, they may narrow the 16.3% gap enough such that at level 50, they may be better than L40 Shadow Reshiram.
  • Shadow Blacephalon (Gen 7 Ultra Beast) with “Blast Burn” still does worse than Shadow Reshiram in estimator, though not in TTW.
  • The other concern is Iron Moth (Gen 9 Paradox Volcarona) with its signature move, Fiery Dance. It may outclass regular Reshiram (thus their shadows respectively), but it’s speculative and will take too long.

Comparison to other types

As mentioned above, Shadow Reshiram’s main role as anti-Ice/Steel seems to be shared with Shadow Terrakion. If a boss is weak to both, they’re typically within 4% of each other.

However, both Shadow Reshiram and Shadow Terrakion have significant utility outside of their shared anti-Ice/Steel role. Here’s a breakdown of bosses:

  • Shared: Registeel, Mega Lucario, Regice, Glastrier, Cobalion
  • Reshiram only: Kartana, Mega Metagross, Genesect, Celesteela, Solgaleo, Mega Mawile, Necrozma Dusk Mane, Calyrex Ice Rider, Magearna, Shaymin Land
  • Terrakion only: Dialga, Darkrai, Terrakion, Kyurem, Regigigas, Regirock, Stakataka, Mega Tyranitar, Mega Sharpedo, Meloetta Pirouette

All three lists have both quantity and quality for a wide variety of players. So when it comes to spending extra SRRs, it’s best to treat them separately, but keep in mind their shared roles. For example, splitting SRRs half-half on them may be a good idea (with a potential skew towards Reshiram if we do get CD Conkeldurr with an OP move).

In the rare instances when you’re fighting against Grass or Bug, Shadow Reshiram is #1.

[Honorable mention of other shadow fire attackers]

Shadow Moltres, Shadow Entei and Shadow Heatran (without Magma Storm) are all similar in power. Up until 2022, they were top-tier Fires, but now they’re sadly outclassed by Fusion Flare non-shadow Reshiram. Therefore, outside of Shadow Moltres’s role as a Flying attacker, I don’t think they’re worth multiple SRRs anymore, even if/when they do return.

Shadow Heatran with Magma Storm can be more interesting. Even though an OP Magma Storm Shadow Heatran still doesn’t outclass Shadow Reshiram, it may narrow the gap enough to be a good #2 option, since you probably won’t have 6 Shadow Reshiram. I wouldn’t skip Shadow Heatran, but I also wouldn’t use stackable SRRs on it.

Tier 1.5: Shadow Groudon (and Tier 2’s Shadow Landorus-T)

If you can’t wait for 2027-2029, I think Shadow Groudon with its signature move Precipice Blades is the way to go (assuming PB’s stats aren’t changed before release).

It’s likely the best choice for the short term (2023-2024), with incredible coverage for many raid bosses, relatively strong power for now, and far from other Ground-type alternatives until Shadow Landorus-T.

The main concerns are mostly long-term: lower power than the Gen 5 shadow legendaries in future, Shadow Garchomp being reasonably close (though still behind), and the possibility of Shadow Landorus-T with Sandsear Storm outclassing it.

(I’m discussing Shadow Landorus-T here to combine the discussion with Groudon, but it really should be in Tier 2 unless Sandsear Storm is really OP.)

Ground: Shadow Groudon and Shadow Landorus-T

Ground attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Note that Shadow Landorus-T is not on the chart because I can’t run simulations on it.

Estimated time frame:

  • Groudon: 2023 – mid 2024 (Gen 3)
  • Landorus (Therian): 2027 – early 2030 (Gen 5)

Raw Power

With Precipice Blades, Shadow Groudon now has respectable power, almost eliminating the gap with many other top-tier attackers. It has an ER of 49.4, and compared to other shadows, it’s equivalent to Origin Pulse Kyogre, just above Hydreigon, and just below Rayquaza (dragon), Metagross, Zekrom, Xurkitree and Kartana. (ER itself is imperfect, but you get the point.)

  • FYI: Non-shadow PB Groudon is better than Shadow HH Mamoswine on average.

The same can’t be said to Shadow Landorus-T without signature moves. With Earthquake, it remains one of the several “regular” Ground types, far below other types in power.

However, its signature move Sandsear Storm can really give (Shadow) Groudon a run for its money.

  • Landorus-T’s base attack is 19 higher than Groudon, so it will naturally surpass Groudon if Sandsear Storm is as good as Precipice Blades.
  • Even as an Earth Power clone (which is itself not too amazing), Landorus-T will only be 4.4% worse than Groudon – small enough to be a perfectly good 2nd Ground-type shadow legendary.


Even though Ground types hit Electric, Fire, Poison, Rock and Steel all for SE damage, historically, Ground attackers’ utility was questionable because they were far below others in power, unless you’re forced to use Ground.

No longer true with Precipice Blades. Even though Shadow Groudon is still not the top counter against the non-Electric types (more on this later), it’s now a great and very usable counter against all five types, typically only 5-10% behind the #1. It basically takes on part of Shadow Terrakion’s and Shadow Reshiram’s roles as anti-Rock/Steel, but adds extra anti-Electric/Fire coverage.

  • Some notable bosses: Xurkitree, Dialga, Reshiram, Zekrom, Registeel, Cobalion, Nihilego, Blacephalon, Mega Metagross, Eternatus, Terrakion

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Groudon is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters.

Can’t say much about Shadow Landorus-T here yet. Any dropoff in power may end up reducing its role back to an anti-Electric specialist, but if Sandsear Storm makes it tie or surpass Shadow Groudon, it will “inherit” most of Shadow Groudon’s utility as mentioned above.

Irreplaceability and future competition

Assuming no Shadow Garchomp, in the short term, Shadow Groudon faces little competition immediately after release. Right now, the next best option is regular Groudon (or a Shadow Mamoswine that dodges).

A concern is future Shadow Garchomp with Earth Power. It’s 8.7% behind Shadow Groudon at equal level and IVs – a decent gap, but enough for L50 Shadow Garchomp to be better than L40 Shadow Groudon.

  • Shadow Excadrill is also good, but not as threatening as Garchomp.

The real issue for Shadow Groudon is Shadow Landorus-T with Sandsear Storm, which is very possible to be even better than Shadow Groudon.

Regardless of which one wins, they won’t face much competition elsewhere. With current moves – even Earth Power and High Horsepower – non-legendary Ground types don’t have the stats to compete.

Comparison to other types

Keeping in mind this is after every Gen 1-5 shadow legendary is released, let’s break down the scoreboard:

Boss type Shadow Groudon’s relative performance
Electric or 2x weak Obvious #1
Zekrom & Reshiram ~3% worse than #1 (Shadow Outrage Dialga, S-Garchomp, S-Rhyperior)
Fire ~5% worse than Shadow Kyogre
Rock & Steel ~10% worse than Shadow Reshiram and Shadow Terrakion (also worse than Shadow Metagross against rock)
Poison Worse than Shadow Mewtwo

Does this mean Shadow Groudon should be sidelined because it’s not #1 too often? No. Far from it.

  • Shadow Groudon’s coverage is incredible. In the “type utility” chart, ground type is literally #1. It may trail behind Shadow Reshiram, Terrakion and Kyogre, but it can be used against more bosses (and is not far behind at all), plus picking up Electric and stuff. If you have to pick a single shadow legendary among the 4, I think Shadow Groudon is the choice.
  • In the short-to-medium term, Shadow Groudon will have far more value by simply existing. In the 3-5 years while we wait for these future shadows, Shadow Groudon is generally the best anti-Steel counter.
  • Don’t forget, there are still several bosses that you have to use Ground against! Even just by counting the “#1 counter” frequency, Shadow Groudon is still ranked quite high, with only Shadow Zekrom being above it among shadow legendaries (though now the difference from the rest is a lot smaller).

TL;DR: Shadow Groudon is still not #1 except the “must use Ground” cases, but now it’s top-tier against far more bosses than before, and have very high short-term value before the Gen 5 shadow legendaries arrive.

Tier 2: Shadow Darkrai & Giratina-O, Shadow Zekrom & Thundurus-T, and Shadow Mewtwo

The Tier 1-1.5 choices are all-around good, but they all have a common theme: anti-Steel, with different add-ons (e.g. Kartana, Darkrai, Xurkitree). If you use all your stacked SRRs on them, you may end up with an over-saturated anti-Steel team, but fare worse against other types that they can’t cover.

These Tier 2 choices are here to help you with that, doing things that Tier 1-1.5 can’t do. Each of these has obvious strengths but also weaknesses:

  • Shadow Darkrai and Shadow Giratina-O are among the most useful attackers, but needs to set itself apart from Shadow Hydreigon, even with Dark Void.
    • If Dark Void is OP enough, Shadow Darkrai immediately jumps to Tier 1.
  • Shadow Zekrom and Shadow Thundurus-T (with Wildbolt Storm) are moderately useful, but they themselves are close enough that getting multiples may not be necessary, and Shadow Xurkitree also awaits in the extreme future.
  • Shadow Mewtwo is incredibly powerful with zero competition, but has very low utility for its strength.

Dark/Ghost: Shadow Darkrai, Shadow Giratina-O (and Shadow Hydreigon)

Dark and Ghost attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Note that Shadow Giratina-O is not on the chart because I can’t run simulations on it.

Estimated time frame: mid 2024 – 2026 (Gen 4)

Raw Power

Both (with Darkrai using its current moves) are a bit weaker than the abovementioned options, and more fatally, slightly weaker than Shadow Hydreigon.

However, Dark Void Shadow Darkrai is the wildcard that we’re not sure of yet. Using a Foul Play clone, which is very, very conservative, it already edges out Shadow Hydreigon slightly. In practice, it will be better, likely much better.


Dark and Ghost attackers have a single role: Beating Psychic and Ghost. The sheer abundance of these bosses (especially Psychic) make them the most useful raid attackers in the game.

  • There are very minor differences between them, which in theory make Ghost more useful (most notably against Mega Mewtwo X). However, they’re balanced by Ghost attackers’ lower power and worse typing.
  • Some notable bosses: Mewtwo, Giratinas, Cresselia, Lugia, Deoxys, Mega Mewtwo X/Y (only ghost for X), Mega Metagross, Mega Lati@s, Blacephalon, Calyrex Shadow Rider

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Darkrai is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters. (Uses Foul Play as a Dark Void estimate)

Irreplaceability and future competition

Shadow Hydreigon will come inevitably, and it’s generally better than Shadow Giratina-O and Shadow Darkrai with its current moves. So if you wait long enough, you can build multiple Shadow Hydreigon with Brutal Swing, eliminating the need for multiple Shadow Giratina-O with a rare stackable SRR.

The wildcard is Dark Void Shadow Darkrai. If Dark Void is anywhere close to recent signature moves for other legendaries, it will have significant advantage (~13%) over Shadow Hydreigon to be worth multiples, and jump to Tier 1. However, this is speculative.

Electric: Shadow Zekrom and Shadow Thundurus-T

Electric attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Note that Shadow Thundurus-T is not on the chart because I can’t run simulations on it.

Estimated time frame: 2027 – early 2030 (Gen 5)

Raw Power

While Shadow Zekrom is generally worse than Shadow Reshiram and Terrakion when applicable, it’s still a top-tier counter that usually takes the #1 spot. Their use cases also have little overlap.

Shadow Thundurus-T with Wildbolt Storm is hard to estimate, but if WS is a Wild Charge clone (a reasonable guess given Fusion Bolt), it will be slightly better than Shadow Zekrom on average. Even without a signature move, Thunderbolt Shadow Thundurus-T is only 6.1% behind Shadow Zekrom, thus perfectly fine for a 2nd electric legendary.


Not as much as the ones mentioned above, but still the most useful among the rest.

Electric is only SE against Water and Flying. There’s not a huge number of such raid bosses, and some of them are not weak to Electric (e.g. Zapdos) or double weak to something else; however, there’s still a decent amount for both. The bigger problem is that quality wise, they’re a bit lacking – almost like an anti-Kyogre specialist.

  • Some notable bosses: Kyogre, Lugia, Tapu Fini, Yveltal, Primal Kyogre
  • Note that this analysis doesn’t consider Galarian birds as raid bosses, but they’re all weak to Electric. If they do enter raids, Electric‘s stocks will increase. Here’s a version of S&U list with Galarian birds: No change in rankings, but now almost at Reshiram/Terrakion level.

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Zekrom is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters.

Irreplaceability and future competition

The main issue I have with shadow Electrics is that since you get two of them in the same generation, having one of both is generally sufficient, even if you don’t use stackable SRRs. This is true even without Wildbolt Storm.

In the extreme future (2033), we may also get Shadow Xurkitree, which is stronger than both with just Discharge. And even IF regular Xurkitree gets Wild Charge one day, it will narrow the gap with both shadow legendaries enough for stackable SRR investments to be questionable.

The good thing is all of them are free from any non-shadow-legendary competition. Shadow Zekrom is 14% ahead of regular Xurkitree and Shadow Electivire, the next ones on the list.

Comparison to other types

Aside from Shadow Kartana (2033) and Shadow Galarian Zen Darmanitan, nothing seems to strictly outclass the shadow Electrics. However, against Flying, Shadow Rhyperior and non-shadow Galarian Zen Darmanitan are usually 10% behind, which reduces the need for SRRs. Both also have more consistent anti-Flying coverage.

Psychic: Shadow Mewtwo

Psychic attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.
Mewtwo (Shadow) Psychic

Raw Power

#1 whenever possible.


As I mentioned in Part 1… This is the single problem with Shadow Mewtwo, yet a massive one.

Psychic is only useful against Fighting and Poison. There are really not that many bosses of these types, and some of them are not weak to Psychic, or better countered by something else.

  • Recall that in the “type utility” chart, Psychic is dead last.
  • Shadow Mewtwo always being #1 salvages it, and quality-wise it’s not as “bad” as electric, but that’s not enough. This shows up in my S&U metric, where if you ignore Shadow Mewtwo’s role as a generalist (not relevant for this part of the article), it’s worse than even some weaker types like Rock and Flying.
  • Some notable bosses: Terrakion, Eternatus, Urshifu Rapid Strike, Keldeo, Marshadow

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Mewtwo is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters.

To me, this suggests Shadow Mewtwo isn’t nearly as good of a long-term SRR candidate as the abovementioned options. However, in the extremely short term (January 2023), it has the highest current value.

Irreplaceability and future competition

Unless you’re counting on Shadow Ultra Necrozma and Shadow Calyrex Shadow Rider, it’s completely irreplaceable with no threats from the future.

Tier 2.5: Shadow dragons, and Shadow Rayquaza as flying

While a Dragon team is still valuable to have, each individual Dragon attacker is the anti-thesis of irreplaceability (and part of why I wanted to write this article in the first place). They’re all extremely similar to each other and several non-shadow-legendary options.

Each shadow Dragon is not worth an SRR for the sole purpose of being a dragon, though many of them do have important alternative roles.

I’m lumping Shadow Rayquaza in here for its role as a Flying attacker, with its Flying-type signature move, Dragon Ascent. The main problem is that Flying type itelf still has very low utility, no matter the power.

Dragon: Multiple shadow legendaries

Dragon attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Note that even though Shadow Kyurem with Glaciate is a great anti-Dragon option similar to most shown here, I can’t run sims on it, nor Shadow B/W Kyurem. See Kyurem’s own analysis.

Estimated time frame:

  • Rayquaza: 2023 – mid 2024 (Gen 3)
  • Palkia, Dialga: mid 2024 – 2026 (Gen 4)
  • Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem: 2027 – early 2030 (Gen 5)

First of all: With this time frame, the best Dragon will likely be Shadow Dialga with Roar of Time. But if their signature moves are sufficiently different, Shadow Palkia with Spacial Rend may also be top-tier.

The problem with most dragons is two-fold:

  1. Extremely low irreplaceability. Even with “Roar of Time” as an Outrage clone, Shadow Dialga is only 3-6% better than Black Kyurem, Shadow Garchomp and Shadow Salamence, not to mention every other shadow Dragon legendary, and possible Shadow Haxorus with Breaking Swipe. Even just getting one of each gives you a perfectly competent team, not to mention multiple Shadow Salamence etc, regardless of how strong RoT is.
  2. Dragon types’ utility isn’t actually top-tier. In my S&U chart, Shadow “Outrage” Dialga ranks below Dark/Ghost, Ground, Fire, Fighting and Electric. It’s an extreme case of quality over quantity, as many Dragon bosses are highly relevant, but the numbers alone aren’t great.

Some notable bosses: Reshiram, Zekrom, Giratinas, Palkia, Kyurem, Eternatus

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Dialga is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters. (Uses Outrage as a Roar of Time estimate)

Any of the two problems alone may not be a deal-breaker, but with them combined, any individual shadow Dragon isn’t worth stackable SRRs for being Dragon alone.

  • While Shadow Rayquaza’s short-term relevance may be tempting, it’s a negligible difference over Shadow Salamence. It also underperforms vs other shadow dragons, compared to their non-shadows.
  • I also mentioned future shadow dragons in my Mega Salamence article if you want more details.

If you do want extra Shadow Rayquazas, it will probably be as a Flying type…

Flying: Shadow Rayquaza and Shadow Moltres

Flying attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.

Estimated time frame for Shadow Rayquaza: 2023 – mid 2024 (Gen 3)

I assume Shadow Rayquaza will get Dragon Ascent (a flying move), and use Sky Attack as an approximation. Even though it’s 6.9% better than Shadow Moltres, the main problem is not power, but that Flying type has low utility in raids, as shown in my S&U scores.

Flying is SE against Grass, Bug and Fighting. Grass and Bug are virtually non-existent among legendaries. Fighting is also rare, and then you often have Shadow Mewtwo as competition. As a result, the main role of Flying attackers ends up being the following:

  • Against bosses double weak to Flying (Virizion, Pheromosa, Buzzwole, Mega Heracross). Against these, Flying attackers are must-haves.
  • Against Psychic/Fighting bosses (Mega Mewtwo X, Mega Gallade, Mega Medicham)
    • Shadow SA Rayquaza is often a top or near-top counter here when compared to Shadow Chandelure, but will face competition from Shadow Giratina-O (which is not shown in my products)
  • Note that against Fighting, Shadow SA Rayquaza is generally better than non-shadow Mewtwo, as well as most non-Mewtwo shadows.

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Rayquaza is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters. (Uses Sky Attack as a Dragon Ascent estimate)

The above also largely applies to Shadow Moltres (and Shadow Rayquaza with Hurricane): While its dropoff in power does put it behind a few other counters sometimes, utility remains the issue.

Does the 4 must-have bosses justify investments and SRRs in Flying teams? You decide, but my answer is no. One (or two) Shadow DA Rayquaza plus Shadow Moltres are likely enough.

Tier 3: Shadow Kyogre (and Shadow Palkia as water)

Surprised to see Shadow Kyogre this low? Just like Psychic and Flying types, Water attackers’ main issue is not power, but low utility. Especially when Shadow Groudon covers a decent chunk of what Shadow Kyogre does.

Water attackers ranked by ASE, ASE with dodging, and ASTTW.
Kyogre (Shadow) Water

Estimated time frame:

  • Kyogre: 2023 – mid 2024 (Gen 3)
  • Palkia: mid 2024 – 2026 (Gen 4)

As seen here, Shadow Kyogre definitely doesn’t lack power. 9.9% over Shadow Swampert – not dominating, but does allow L40 Shadow Kyogre to stay above even L50 Shadow Swampert, albeit just barely.

The big issue is utility: In my S&U metric, Kyogre is the least useful of all relevant shadow legendaries against T5/Mega raids.

  • Water is SE against Fire, Rock and Ground. Shadow Groudon also cover Fire and Rock, even though it does worse against Fire than Shadow Kyogre does.
    • Not to mention Fire and Rock bosses are already rare to begin with, and Shadow Metagross is better against Rock.
  • This leaves us with Ground-type raid bosses for Shadow Kyogre’s unique role. Those are rare… Groudon (T5/Primal) and Mega Camerupt are the only ones in Gen 1-8.
    • If you count Gen 9 and assume paradoxes are in raids, you add Great Tusk, Iron Treads and Ting-Lu. Even then, not a lot.

Here’s a scoreboard with all bosses Shadow Kyogre is useful against, and how well it does compared to top counters. (I accidentally counted Primal Groudon twice as both T5 and Mega Legendary raids, but even then, Kyogre’s utility is still low lol.)

Sorry to offend the Kyogre fans out there, but if I were to pick one of the Weather Trio that’s least deserving of a stacked SRR, Shadow Kyogre is certainly it.

Honorable mention to Shadow Palkia. It can’t function as a Water attacker yet, but in Scarlet/Violet it can now learn Waterfall. IF Niantic gives it Waterfall in Go, Shadow Palkia will only be 2.3% behind Shadow Kyogre. This further reduces Shadow Kyogre’s SRR value, lol.

The other current shadow legendaries

These are what you may already have, but I wouldn’t consider them worthy of an SRR anymore – sequential or stacked. They served its role since their introduction, but today they’re generally worse than non-shadow-legendary options, especially with IVs considered.

  • Shadow Raikou and Shadow Zapdos (Electric) used to be top-tier Electric, but even back then, the difference from Shadow Electivire wasn’t huge and was IV-dependent. Now, if you power up a Xurkitree with random raid IVs, it will do better.
  • Same goes for Shadow Moltres (Fire) and Shadow Entei. They stood out as Fire attackers for a long time, but now Fusion Flare Reshiram is better, even with everything at 100% IV.
  • Shadow Latios is worse than Shadow Salamence and Shadow Dragonite.

Note that Shadow Moltres with Sky Attack remains the best Flying attacker, and will still hold its weight well even after Shadow Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent enters the picture. Whether that’s worth powering up is up to you.

The other future shadow legendaries (Gen 1-5)

Worth getting more if they become a thing, but too speculative:

  • Shadow Black Kyurem
    • Shadow White Kyurem is likely inferior, though far from useless

Worth getting one but not more:

  • Shadow Heatran, if Magma Storm becomes good
  • Shadow Tornadus-I, if Bleakwind Storm becomes good
  • Shadow Kyurem (with Glaciate, as anti-dragon)
  • Shadow Keldeo

Not worth it for raids alone (but possibly yes for PvP and collection):

Regis, Giratina-A, Lake Trio, Cresselia, Regigigas, Cobalion, Virizion, Tornadus-T, Thundurus-I, Landorus-I, Genesect

  • Shadow Landorus-I is technically not useless in raids, but not worth the cost.
  • Shadow Genesect will technically be the best Bug if released right now, but several other future shadows, such as Volcarona and Yanmega, are better.
  • Also, Shadow Dialga as a Steel attacker is worse than Shadow Metagross. Still worth it as a Dragon.

Gen 6+ shadow legendaries in the extreme future (2030+)

If you’re willing to wait that long… Then this is the S&U list you should refer to. It shows only current non-shadow attackers, which should also apply to their shadows.

Given the long wait and high uncertainty, the only ones really worth highlighting here are Shadow Xurkitree and Shadow Kartana. The former is a direct upgrade over Shadow Zekrom and Thundurus-T, while the latter blows every Grass attacker out of water (the next best option being its own non-shadow self). Shadow Kartana’s utility is surprisingly low, though.

While some other shadows are worth getting one or more (Yveltal, Nihilego, Xerneas and Tapu Lele if given Fairy fast moves, Eternatus, Zacian Crown, several fusion forms, etc), they’re too speculative at this point.

Summary and my own choice (Part 2)

I don’t want to give a “standardized” list of advice here, because everyone will make different decisions. But my own thoughts up to Gen 5 are:

Worth using stackable SRRs to get multiples:

  • Shadow Terrakion, Shadow Reshiram, (Shadow Darkrai if Dark Void becomes OP)
  • Shadow Groudon if you care more about short-term value

Worth getting one (and maybe using sequential SRRs to get two), but likely not stackable SRRs:

  • Shadow Landorus-T (depending on Sandsear Storm)
  • Shadow Mewtwo (if you don’t care about it as budget attackers of other types)
  • Shadow Darkrai if Dark Void disappoints, & Shadow Giratina-O
  • All shadow dragons, incl. Shadow Rayquaza as Flying
  • Shadow Kyogre
  • “Outclassed” shadow legendaries: Giratina-O, Heatran (Magma Storm), Palkia (Waterfall), Thundurus-T, Landorus-T, Kyurem

Personally, I only have 2 stackable SRRs, and I’m saving them for Terrakion, Reshiram and/or Dark Void Darkrai.

What about you? You decide.

Articles coming up next

In my last article, I said I needed a break… Less than 12 hours later, Niantic announced the next Rocket takeover. Any hope of getting any kind of break was crushed at that point.

For the past 8 days – starting the night after Larvitar CD Classic – writing this has been my unpaid full-time job. Total time spent on this: 44 hours.

So, in case you don’t get it, I really need a break now.

When I do come back, I’ll work on the following:

  • Fairy: Probably when Mega Gardevoir comes, if the speculations come true. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it a fairy-type deep dive (e.g. comparisons with other types – I’m particular excited to see how they compare to dragons against bosses with dragon charged moves, for example).
  • Primal Kyogre and Groudon, & other grounds like HH Mamoswine: Self-explanatory. Might also make this a ground-type deep dive.
  • No, I won’t write on CD Noibat. It sucks. Even if it gets Wing Attack/Fly, which brings it to Unfezant level, it’s still not worth my time.
  • Another thing I may examine is the role of IVs. Can we come up with a better score function that works on more Pokemon? What’s the distinction between defense and HP? Is 15/0/15 a myth or does it actually have value? But again, that’s a whole article’s worth of work and may not come anytime soon.
  • I also plan to make my Strength & Utility metric a customizable spreadsheet in the long term. However, it may take a while.

Appendix 1: Guide on how to read the charts & Technical details

Don’t know how to read the charts?

If you’re totally lost, just look at the first two plots, or just the first one if you don’t dodge in raids. These two plots are based on my Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which approximates in-raid performance using Pokebattler Estimator, best suited for realistic shortmanning (2-5 raiders).

The Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW) plots are similar, but best suited for medium or large lobbies (6+ raiders). This metric assumes no relobbying (i.e. reentering the raid after all Pokémon fainted).

The ER (aka DPS3*TDO scaled) and DPS plots are for experienced players who want to check these metrics.

In all six plots, the higher, the better. Example: Shadow Mewtwo is generally better than Mewtwo, which is better than Hoopa Unbound, if they’re all at the same Pokémon level. But everything listed is perfectly usable and will let you pull your weight in raids.

You can also compare different attackers at different levels: points on the same horizontal line mean they’re equally as good. Example: Looking at the “ASE no dodging” plot, A Level 30 Mewtwo performs similarly to Level 40 Hoopa-Unbound and Level 50 Lunala.

Reminder: All plots show average performance against many raid bosses. Against a specific raid boss, the rankings can be different.

Technical details

  • The first two plots are based on my in-house Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which estimates in-raid performance by automatically computing the average Pokebattler estimators against a variety of T5, Mega and T3 raid bosses, scaled so that the best attacker at L40 gets 1.0. The smaller, the better. For more details, refer to my Venusaur analysis in January 2022 and the comments.
  • The middle two plots using Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW) follow the same methodology, but replaces Pokebattler estimator with TTW.
  • “ASE Dodge” uses simulations with the “Dodge Specials” + “Realistic Dodging” options on Pokebattler. You can compare it to ASE without dodging to see how much dodging helps an attacker.
    • For example, Alakazam’s ASE at Level 40 drops from 1.550 without dodging to 1.501 with dodging, so dodging generally helps Alakazam’s performance.
    • However, Mewtwo’s L40 ASE rises from 1.165 to 1.189 with dodging, so dodging may hurt Mewtwo more than it helps.

Appendix 2: Past analyses on other types

Missing types: Fairy (planned – Mega Gardevoir), Poison

Not all articles are included: the ones here typically have sections not covered in the most recent/”main” articles.

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