Shadow Mewtwo Meta Analysis

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One of the big surprises Niantic had in store for us during GO Fest 2020 was the release of Shadow Mewtwo in Pokémon GO. This was in fact the debut of the shadow version of one of the most powerful Pokémon in the game, so the hype within the community was understandable.

Interestingly enough, Shadow Mewtwo came as a research reward and not as a regular shadow encounter after defeating a rocket leader or Giovanni. What this meant is that this shadow Pokémon in particular had a 10/10/10 IV floor instead of the regular 0/0/0 floor (4/4/4 if weather boosted). Let’s be honest here, even a 0/0/0 shadow Mewtwo would be awesome, but making it a research reward was clever and a nice surprise.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at Shadow Mewtwo’s performance in the current meta.

Mewtwo Psychic
ATK 300 DEF 182 STA 214
Best PvE Moveset
Confusion Psychic Psystrike Psychic

Shadow Mewtwo – should I purify it or not?

I know it is tempting to purify Shadow Mewtwo. Some of you probably caught a Shadow Mewtwo whose IVs were at least 13 in each stat. Purifying a 13/13/13 would make it a hundo, and having a hundo Mewtwo is indeed tempting.

So should you purify it? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I repeat, absolutely not! Don’t even think about doing it! That would be one of the worst mistakes you can make, provided you care about having the best raid counters and the most powerful Pokémon in your roster. I’ll explain why in the next section.

Shadow Mewtwo’s performance in raids (PvE)

Getting straight to the point: Shadow Mewtwo is hands down the best Pokémon in the PvE meta. It has the highest neutral DPS in the entire game. In fact, nothing comes even close to its damage output as of now. If that was not enough, Mewtwo has one of the best movepools in the game as well, which also makes it the best generalist. In fact, it is so powerful that it will probably top the list of counters for plenty of raid bosses despite not having a full super effective moveset.

Oh, you don’t have a full team of Mamoswine against Rayquaza? No worries, Ice Beam Shadow Mewtwo can perform even better. Wanna raid Kyogre and it’s windy? No problem, Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo is (wait for it) the BEST counter (at the level of Shadow Raikou and regular Zekrom) even though it’s not dealing super effective damage with any of its moves. That’s crazy.

I did a couple of raid simulations using Pokebattler and I’ll share the results in this article just to show how powerful Shadow Mewtwo is. As always, full credit to Pokebattler for the results obtained from the sims.

The first sim is vs. Terrakion, no dodging and Best Friends boost. Terrakion’s moveset: Smack Down & Close Combat.

Pokémon Fast Move Charge Move Estimator TTW (s) TDO Number of faints
Mewtwo Psychic Windy Confusion Psychic Psystrike Psychic 1.34 381.6s 1101 14
Mewtwo Psychic


Confusion Psychic Psystrike Psychic 1.40 382.4s 932 17
Mewtwo Psychic


Confusion Psychic Psychic Psychic 1.49 407.8s 875 18
Mewtwo Psychic Confusion Psychic Psystrike Psychic 1.60 454.0s 963 17
Metagross Steel Psychic


Bullet Punch Steel Meteor Mash Steel 1.75 476.9s 828 23
Machamp Fighting


Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting 1.88 509.2s 641 27
Metagross Steel Psychic Bullet Punch Steel Meteor Mash Steel 2.02 559.1s 823 24
Terrakion raid sim results (credit to Pokebattler)

To sum up:

  • Shadow Psystrike Mewtwo is almost as powerful as a weather boosted regular Psystrike Mewtwo
  • Having a Shadow Psystrike Mewtwo is like having a “free (& constant) weather boost” at the expense of losing a bit of bulk, as you can see in the image above. WB Psystrike Mewtwo still performs a bit better as it can last a bit longer in battle (remember, shadow Pokémon take more damage)
  • The shadow bonus is broken. Change my mind
  • Psystrike > Psychic, but if you don’t want to spend an Elite TM, Shadow Psychic Mewtwo will do just fine.
  • A 0/0/0 Shadow Mewtwo is better than a 15/15/15 non-shadow Mewtwo. Of course, a 10/10/10 (the minimum you could possibly get) is much better than a 0/0/0, so even if you were extremely unlucky with the IVs of your Shadow Mewtwo do not worry and power it up anyway, you won’t regret it!

Further sims confirm how broken Shadow Mewtwo is. Against Rayquaza, Shadow Psycho Cut/Ice Beam Mewtwo is arguably the best counter (similar TTW & estimator to Shadow Weavile with 4 less faints). Vs. Kyogre, Shadow Tbolt Mewtwo performs just a bit worse than Zekrom. Vs. Defense Forme Deoxys, Shadow SB Mewtwo is the top performer. And the list goes on… Shadow Mewtwo is a beast.

Shadow Mewtwo in PvP

Surprisingly, Shadow Mewtwo is not really better than regular Mewtwo in Master League (the only league where Mewtwo is relevant).

Mewtwo is one of the best safe switches in Master League. Aside from a couple wild picks like Darkrai, there isn’t anything that really hard counters it. Giratina-Origin is in fact one of its most solid responses and if you don’t switch fast enough, you’ll have to spend all your shields or get Psystriked to death.

The main problem here is that usually Mewtwo does need to land a couple of hits to KO its opponents (except when shields are gone and it’s Focus Blast time). Psystrike and Shadow Ball cannot OHKO most of the meta, and that’s why you usually need to use another charge move to finish the job. And of course, farming down with Psycho Cut is not an option, as it deals very minimal damage (Psycho Cut is used for energy generation). Well, Shadow Mewtwo also misses those OHKOs, and as a shadow Pokémon it takes more damage, so that’s why it’s technically worse. It’s not bad at all, so if you want to use it just go ahead. But you need to know that a regular Mewtwo will work just fine.

In fact, running Focus Blast on Shadow Mewtwo can be a bit risky and Shadow Ball (you’ll need to use an Elite TM), Flamethrower or Ice Beam would perhaps be better alternatives as they are a bit more accessible due to Shadow Mewtwo’s limited bulk.

If you still want to use it, there is a bulkpoint you might be interested in. 15DEF will let you take 1 less damage from Origin Forme Giratina’s Shadow Claws (12 –> 11). That’s about it.

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Pokémon fan since 2000. Played every single game without exception. I'm an engineer, a tech lover and also a big sports fan. Science is my religion :)

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