Hello again, Pokéfriends! Busy times lately with new Pokémon releases, Community Day, Retro Cup and all, eh? But hang on a little while longer… because this week launches another new event with some shadowy implications.

Now there is no conclusive evidence that the Luminous Legends Y event means we’re getting new Shadow Pokémon, but let’s face it: the event DOES encourage us all to take out as many GO Rocket Grunts as possible, allows us to TM away Frustration from our Shadow Pokémon, AND a whole slew of new Shadow Pokémon were datamined just two weeks ago, at the same time that Xerneas, Yveltel, and Sylveon also officially showed up in the game’s code.

So while I make it a habit NOT to speculate about Niantic’s plans, I think the writing is all over the walls for at least SOME of these new Shadow Pokémon to show themselves sometime over the next week or so. And hey, if I’m wrong, you’ll just be getting very advanced notice for whenever they ARE actually released, so win-win!

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Image by the PokeMiners

Anyway, let’s take a look at (the evolved forms) of all ten of the datamined Shadows and see if they have any PvP use, shall we?


All Tangrown Up… Or Stunted Growth? (Tangrowth)

Tangrowth (Shadow)

One that’s been generating a lot of buzz so far is Tangrowth. It has long been a fringe-ish pick in PvP, especially in Ultra League Premier Cup (where it is arguably much more than just fringe). As a solid and relatively tanky Grass type that holds down that role well AND threatens Fires and Ices that prey on Grasses thanks to Rock Slide, it has proven itself in many a battle.

Now we get the Shadow version, which of course means more Attack but also a hit to the bulk. With a ‘mon that relies heavily on its coverage move to stand out from the crowd, that COULD be huge if it means it can more easily knock out Fires and/or Ices with buffed Rock Slides. So… can it?

Great League

Starting in Great League, comparing regular Tangrowth with Shadow Tangrowth shows a notable jump in win total for the latter. On that new win list are notable names like Bastiodon (which it can outrace without needing to bait, Shiftry and Obstagoon (both of which reach three charge moves to beat regular Growth, but only get to two before Shadow Growth finishes them off), Mew (with Flame Charge, at least… reaches two vs regular Growth but only one against Shadow Growth), Sableye (again, gets to one less charge move when facing Shadow Growth), Shadow Victreebel (either Growth reaches two Rock Slides, but only Shadow deals enough damage for the second RS to KO Vic), and Shadow Hypno and Clefable (just simply outracing them to KO damage).

It’s not ALL roses and sunshine… unlike Shadow Growth, regular Tangrowth is able to outlast Pelipper and Munchlax, and Defense Deoxys that lacks Psycho Boost (PB DD beats both versions of Tangrowth). But overall I think it’s hard to argue that Shadow Tangrowth is an upgrade in Great League. This is also true with shields down, where Shadow Growth beats Dewgong, Haunter, Pelipper, Meganium, Sableye, Vigoroth, and Munchlax (seven new wins), counterbalanced by only four losses that regular Growth uniquely beats: Hypno, Drifblim, Mantine, and Razor Leaf Tropius.

At Great League level, BTW, a single landed Rock Slide from either Shadow OR regular Tangrowth is enough to KO things like Talonflame and Charizard, and while Shadow Growth’s Rock Slides obviously deal more damage to things like Froslass and Abomasnow and Alolan Marowak and such (usually on the order of 16-18 more damage each), it’s not enough to suddenly OHKO any of them. Not at this level. That holds it back a bit from truly breaking out… but certainly it’s even more likely to steal shields away from the opponent, even in matchups typically very unfavorable for Grass types.

Ultra League

Now up to Ultra League. In Open, even Shadow Growth just doesn’t really hack it, so how about in Premier Cup? Here is our barometer, as a reminder. So Shadow Tangrowth… huh, actually looks worse on the surface. Digging deeper, there IS good to be found with the damage buff–Talonflame is still a loss but if Rock Slide hits, it basically OHKOs now (Talonflame is left with 3 HP, which is equivalent to a single Vine Whip) and Shadow’s Rock Slide CAN now OHKO a Charizard–but the high level slide back does ring true. The loss of bulk means that Shadow Tangrowth straight up loses in slugfests with Clefable, Galvantula, Meganium, Snorlax, Shadow Gallade, and even Sludge Wave Swampert (!!!) that it won as a non-Shadow. And while it does pick up wins over Drifblim and Umbreon XL (and Cresselia and Melmetal in Open UL), Shadow Tangrowth is still undoubtedly a regression overall in Ultra Premier. Yes, Rock Slide becomes truly terrifying as a Shadow in UL, but Tangrowth has still got to live long enough to make proper use of it, and Shadow Growth simply cannot do that consistently enough. You’d have to rely on engineering an energy or shield lead for it to make it really work out, and that’s not easy to do with any kind of consistency either.

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Master League

Master League? Eh, not really. Shadow IS an upgrade there, gaining wins against Therian Lando and Conkeldurr, but it’s still not enough to really compete except perhaps in a highly specialized anti-Ground, anti-Water role. There are crazier ideas, I guess.

Conclusion

So in short: yes, Shadow is clear upgrade in Great League (and Master, for what it’s worth), but in Ultra League, while the *potential* for big blowouts is there, the slash to Growth’s bulk just holds it back too much, IMO.


When the Bull IS a China Shop (Granbull)

Granbull (Shadow)

So… Granbull now represents the only potential Shadow Charmer aside from Gardevoir (and Gallade if you’re feeling REALLY saucy). Granbull feels pretty glassy, and it is, but at least it has a little more bulk than Gard, and a better typing overall (with one less type vulnerability–Ghost–and one extra resistance–Dark–as compared to Gardevoir), so it often *feels* even bulkier still.

Granbull has another card up its sleeve: pretty fast and diverse charge moves. Most Charmers–even the really good ones like Wigglytuff and Clefable–have charge moves costing 55 or more energy. The only exception is Clefable’s Meteor Mash and Gardevoir’s Legacy move Synchronoise, at 50 energy each. (Well, and Togekiss’ Ancient Power at 45 energy, but that’s just a hope-for-the-bait move most the time.) Those aren’t super expensive in the grand scheme of things, but with Charm building up energy slower than Snorlax running the 50 yard dash, they can take foooooreeeeeeeverrrrrrr to get to in the heat of battle. And here’s Granbull, with not one, but TWO 45-energy moves: Dark type Crunch and Fighting type Close Combat. If you’re ever faced a Granbull down before, the relative speed of those charge moves has probably been noticeable… Granbull can apply some legit shield pressure!

That said, the best strategy with Charmers is often to Charm whatever you initially face all the way down to a fine paste, pocketing as much energy as you can to take into the next battle and throw a charge move (maybe even two) at the next ‘mon up. And you can often see that in sims. Here is regular Bull trying to force charge moves, as compared to Bull just straight Charming. Note the jump in wins… Granbull adds on Shadow Hypno, Abomasnow, Swampert, Drifblim, and Vigoroth by just staying fully committed to the Charm-down farm-down.

Great League

But back on topic… we’re here to see what *Shadow* Bull can do. And I am pleased to say that, just like Shadow Gardevoir is really THE Gardevoir to use most the time in PvP, Shadow Granbull is definitely an upgrade on regular Bull, with *seven* new wins (Hypno, Jellicent, Defense Deoxys, Meganium, Stunfisk, Whiscash, and Mew) against only three new losses (Abomasnow, Swampert, and Pelipper). Interesting, in the scenarios where Granbull uses charge moves, Shadow Bull is a *straight-up* upgrade, with five new wins (Drifblim, Jellicent, Stunfisk, Meganium, Mew) and NO new losses as compared to regular Bull. Can I declare Shadow Granbull the overall best Granbull yet? Bulk… who needs it when you’re a Charmer?!

Ultra League

Well, okay, may as well look at Ultra League. I’m actually going to start with Premier Cup. Sticking with the Charm only strat (which is again slightly better than throwing charge moves, gaining wins over Galvantula XL and the mirror match), Shadow Grunbull shows overall improvement; namely, new wins against Crustle, Alolan Golem, Snorlax, and fellow Charmers Togekiss and Alolan Ninetales, balanced against just two new losses (Jellicent and *Shadow* Snorlax), and the mirror match drops back to a tie. Once again, while it’s not a straight upgrade, I think it’s fair to say that Shadow Granbull IS an upgrade nonetheless in Ultra Premier.

Now back to Open UL. Here, Charm is surprisingly tepid on Shadow AND regular Granbull. (For the record, though, Shadow Charm Bull uniquely beats Togekiss and loses the mirror match, but we already knew those, so….) You do beat the Dragons and Fighters and Darks you would expect to, but that’s the extent of it. At least with something like a Clefable you knock out Snorlax and A-Muk and such too. I know people like to be creative and run Granbull in Ultra, and there’s nothing WRONG with that, but I’d just stick to Premier Cup, where Shadow Bull seems to have much more merit.

Conclusion

So the sum-up here: Granbull is on an upward trajectory as a Shadow Pokémon, similar to how Shadow Gardevoir is often THE way to go with that Charmer as well. There are a small handful of things that slip away as you reduce Granbull’s Defense, but overall the pros far outweigh the cons in Great League and Ultra Premier. This is a Shadow I recommend grinding for.


Johnny Blaze (Blaziken)

Blaziken (Shadow)

Great League

Blaziken is an acquired taste in PvP. It’s very glassy, with less bulk than even most other Fighters (including Machamp, Primeape, and Gallade) and Fires (to include Talonflame, Charizard, and Typhlosion), but MAN can it do some good work before going down. How about as a Shadow then? I think it’s best to call it a sidegrade. Shadow can bring in new wins versus some tasty wins you don’t often see in a Fighting type’s win list: Psychic types Defense Deoxys and Mew, Fighters Scrafty and Vigoroth, and Sableye as well. Neat! The downside is new losses to Grass types Chesnaught and big bad Shadow Victreebel, plus both Stunfisks (which were super close wins as a non-Shadow, in fairness), all which prey on the non-existent bulk of Shadow Blaze.

Ultra League

In Ultra League, as was the case with Shadow Tangrowth, the slashing of Blaze’s already tenuous bulk is tough, and it now loses to Bronzong, Clefable, Alolan Ninetales (with Charm), Poliwrath, Alolan Muk, Scrafty, and fellow Fires Charizard (with either FS or DB) and Typhlosion. Ouch. On the plus side, it does now manage to beat Talonflame, Galvantula XL, Magnezone, Mandibuzz, Toxicroak, and even Kingdra, so it’s certainly not ALL bad.

Master League

And as for Master League, Blaze was just barely clinging to the fringe already, but now, as a Shadow, it can no longer beat Snorlax or Dialga. I mean… that’s a pretty open and shut case, wouldn’t you say?

Conclusion

So final verdict here? Shadow Blaziken has some good things going for it in Great League and is a viable alternative to regular Blaze, but in the bigger leagues it’s more bust than boom.

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King Or Jester? (Kingdra)

Kingdra (Shadow)

Ah, Kingdra. It’s really one you love or hate in PvP, and very few folks are on the fence. The strategy you often hope for is to get a shield with Octazooka, hopefully debuff the opponent (50% chance to drop the opponent’s Attack by two levels), and then force them to swap or try to farm or swap yourself, depending on if you’re ahead or behind. Of course, toting Dragon Breat* and with some very handy resistances (double resist Water and Fire), it can get into some very favorable farm down spots whether Zooka works or not. Other things with Breath like Dragonite and Dragonair are scary as Shadows… can Kingdra catch that same lightning in a bottle?

Eh… sorta? The big difference between Kingdra and those other Dragon Breath Shadows is that Octazooka is its cheapest charge move, and it costs 50 energy. (Its other primary one, Outrage, costs 60.) Dragon Breath is awesome at putting out straight damage, but very average in the energy generation department, so even 50 energy can seem painfully slow to gather up, and if you are NOT successful in getting the shield, Octazooka is a very low power move… just 50 damage for that 50 energy. Dragonite and Dragonair, by contrast, both have moves (Dragon Claw and Aqua Tail, respectively) that put out 50+ damage for only *35* energy, creating a LOT more shield pressure and often not needing to bait at all and just throw out as many Claws or Tails as possible. They both work well as Shadows because having their Attack boosted plays right into what they want to do already: just spam out as much damage as fast as possible and try to grab a shield or two along the way.

Great League

All that to say, at least at first glance, being a Shadow doesn’t do Kingdra many favors as compared to non-Shadow. Its higher cost moves are awkward for a Shadow ‘mon that just wants to run over things. If Octazooka had a chance to drop the opponent’s *Defense* instead, and thus make Dragon Breath even more damaging, it would probably work out better. (As a rough showing of that, see what it looks like with Acid Spray, a move that also costs 50 energy and debuffs the opponent’s Defense. Better, right?) But as is, with Kingdra sometimes being a support ‘mon to get a shield and try to weaken the opposition and then swap out for something else to finish off, what makes Shadows great is kind of wasted. The sheer power of boosted Breaths does bring in news wins there over Pelipper, Alolan Raichu, and even Lapras, but that’s completely counterbalanced by now losing to Whiscash, Jellicent, and Dewgong, all of which Kingdra could beat as a non-Shadow but cannot as a Defense-handicapped Shadow.

Even with shields down, a scenario you would expect to be favorable for Kingdra with the crushing power of an unblocked Outrage after softening them up with Dragon Breath, Shadow Kingdra is no better than regular Kingdra… in fact, it’s worse overall! New wins include Diggersby, Dewgong, Hypno, Mandibuzz, Shiftry, and Air Slash Tropius, but there are even more new losses: Umbreon, Venusaur, Meganium, Chesnaught, Froslass, Drifblim, Galvantula, Scrafty, Talonflame, Whiscash, and the list goes on. Kingdra just doesn’t have the bulk to consistently spam out those big charge moves, a flaw that is only exacerbated as a Shadow, and is a bit underpowered (even as a Shadow) to take full advantage of boosted Dragon Breath damage. It’s just not a great match.

Ultra League

Things are a LITTLE better in Ultra League, where you’re more likely to see Kingdra making a dent in the meta anyway. It’s still not a world beater even in Premier Cup where it most often pops up, but it has a niche role and always has a chance to way overperform the sims if that Octazooka debuff triggers. (Things like that are really hard to sim properly.) Bad news again, though… Shadow Kingdra is worse, losing things like Venusaur, Roserade, Swampert, Politoed, Galvantula, Drifblim, and Blaziken that it beat before but simply cannot survive in its reduced Defense state as a Shadow. Its raw power does bring home news against Alolan Muk, Mandibuzz XL, Shadow Exeggutor, and Altaria XL, but that is not fair compensation for all that it gives up in 1v1 shielding. And yes, while Kingdra does again perform MUCH better overall with shields down, Shadow Kingdra is a step backwards there too. The only place where Shadow actually seems *better* is when you burn BOTH shields (and get the opponent to burn theirs on a pair of Octazookas), as two-shield Shadow Kingdra outpaces regular two-shield Kingdra, and by a decent margin, tacking on new wins versus Crustle, Jellicent, Ampharos, Machamp, Snorlax, Swampert, Sirfetch’d, Tangrowth, and Talonflame, matched against losses to only Poliwrath, Slowbro, and Shadow Snorlax. Finally, a point in Shadow Kingdra’s favor… but the fact that it took THAT much digging should tell you something too.

And that something is that Shadow Kingdra looks to mostly be too frail to capitalize on the increased damage. Unlike spammier Shadow Dragons like Dragonite and Dragonair, Kingdra’s moves just come too slowly to make it as threatening, and it’s still uncomfortably reliant on getting good baits and/or opponent debuffs to achieve top marks. You can use the Shadow version if Kingdra is your personal bread and butter in PvP, sure, but it’s even more boom or bust than it was before. Good luck!


Count Drapula (Drapion)

Drapion (Shadow)

Great League

When I saw that Shadow Drapion was coming, I got excited, as Drap has been one of my favorite and more successful Great League PvP spice picks in the past. The funky dude has carried many players (including this author) to victory in past Silph Arena metas, if nothing else. As one of the infamous Dark and poison] types (along with Skuntank and the star of the trio: Alolan Muk), Drapion is vulnerable only to Ground attacks and takes no worse than neutral damage from everything else. Unlike A-Muk, it relies less on Dark damage and is instead sort of Swiss Army knife, with solid Poison, Ice, Water, and yes, Dark damage options.

While much of its success in limited metas thus far has come with Ice Fang, in open play it does seem a bit underrated as probably the only truly promising user of Poison Sting, a move so mediocre in general that it was still ignored even after its big touted buff back in November. (Seriously, does anyone else even *remember* that?) It still deals hardly any damage (only 1.5 DPT), but at least generates 4.0 Energy Per Turn these days. That puts it on par with moves like Fury Cutter, Spark, and Hex… though they at least deal 2.0 DPT along with that 4.0 EPT (and then there’s Vine Whip and Powder Snow at 2.5 DPT/4.0 EPT… yeah, it just gets uglier and uglier).

But still, you can see in that last sim that Drap isn’t too bad, really, scratching off a good list of Fairies, Grasses, Psychics, Ghosts, and Darks, somehow making Poison Sting work almost despite itself. But Poison Sting is not the kind of move you want on a Shadow Pokémon, and it shows, with Shadow PS Drap losing ground almost across the board, somehow gaining Venusaur but giving up Umbreon, Defense Deoxys, Mew, Haunter, and Munchlax in the process. It can almost sort of work if you go back to Ice Fang and focus on its spammiest charge moves (Crunch and Aqua Tail), with it becoming more of an anti-Grass and anti-Dragon specialist that does still hold down many of the Ghosts and Psychics–a role it has had the bulk of its success with in limited metas of the past–but the Charmers and Azu all slip away, along with some of the Darks and Psychics like Umbreon, DD, and Mew. If Shadow Drapion is going to work, that’s probably its best chance, and it’s worth holding a good one (even if you don’t build it up yet) for use in potential limited metas yet to come. Just not so much for open Great League play.

Ultra League

However, there IS some good news in Ultra League, where Drapion fits nicely in the mid-40s. It’s actually a decently spicy pick in Open Ultra around that level even without being a Shadow, but as a Shadow it’s even better. It does lose out to Abomasnow and Gallade due to the drop in bulk as a Shadow, but look at what it gains: Talonflame, Dragon Breath Charizard, and consistent wins against both Giratinas regardless of their fast move. Add that to how it holds down the Charmers, Dragonite, Gengar, A-Muk, Mewtwo, and most Grasses (including, yes, Venusaur), and now Drap looks more like a legit winner in the Shadow sweepstakes as a spicy splurge. Also consider that even a generally-not-preferred-in-PvP hundo Shadow Drap could save you a boatload of dust and XL candy to build, and really only gives up Clefable, holding those other wins. Hmmm… perhaps Ultra League is where any future Drapion investing should go? 🤔


Island of Misfit Shadows

The rest of these that are soon to be released (or rather, *likely* soon to be… remember that while we can guess, we don’t REALLY know when these Shadows are actually going live, at least not at the time of this writing) are either not very PvP relevant, don’t improve in any great way as a Shadow, or more often than not, *both*. I still want to review them briefly, just in a quicker bulletized list….

Hariyama

Hariyama (Shadow)

Hariyama doesn’t do anything remarkable, but it’s beefier than most Fighters and hang just behind more famous Fighters like Machamp and Primeape and Hitmonchan in performance, making up for lack of coverage moves with its sheer bulk willing it to victory. It typically runs off either Close Combat or Superpower combined with Dynamic Punch, with its bulk allowing it to legit reach DP in meaningful spots and enables to better shrug off the self nerfing of CC and SP better than most. But again, no coverage to speak of leaves it as generally an afterthought behind other more famous Fighters. Maybe a Shadow boost to its Attack is what it needs? Eh, not really. It seems to be a mere sidegrade in Great League, with regular Hairy Yama beating Swampert, Shadow Harry instead beating Mandibuzz, and the win/loss lines otherwise unchanged. And up in Ultra League, especially Premier Cup where Hairy is perhaps a little underrated, the Shadow “boost” is really more of a Shadow “bust”. Turns out it doesn’t appreciate having its one special thing–that bulk–slashed. Shadow Hairy Yama in GL is okay, I guess, but nothing to write home about. And Ultra League looks to be very much not worth the investment.

Staraptor

Staraptor (Shadow)

I love the potential of Starpator, with its handy Close Combat coverage, but the problem it mainly has is that it runs with TWO charge moves that self-nerf, with Brave Bird being the best thing to run alongside CC. Somebody may make it work out if that have a team that can handle giving it a quick hook, but in general it doesn’t even get close to living up to its potential in Great League OR in Ultra League either… there’s a reason you’ve probably never seen one in PvP. As you may have already guessed, something that already slashes its own stats with its moves doesn’t generally appreciate having its Defense reduced even further as a Shadow… it somehow finds a way to even further underwhelm in Great and Ultra. Yes, GL sees a very slight bump, and if you get one of those moves through unshielded it will hit like a truck, but I don’t see Shadow Staraptor seeing ANY more play than the regular one has. I think this is probably a nothingburger as far as PvP goes.

Manectric

Manectric (Shadow)

So tell me, even though I’ve hyped up Zebstrika in several past articles, how many have you ever actually encountered in PvP play? I’ve seen one or two, to my great delight, but that’s about it. Well, Manectric is a worse Zebstrika in PvP, which probably tells you everything you need to know. That said, the sheer power boost of Shadow Manectric IS a notable improvement that now draws close comparisons with Zeb, but the latter matches nearly all the same wins except Deoxys, Galvantula, and a couple Grasses due to relying on Spark rather than Manectric’s Snarl. Oh, and Zebstrika beats stuff you may have heard of like Bastiodon, Mandibuzz, and Tropius, and more effectively beats Azumarill and Dewgong and Sableye and others than does Shadow Manectric. And, not being a Shadow, comes much cheaper too. Shadow Manectric doesn’t hold a candle to Zebstrika in Ultra League either, and again, SO much more expensive. I guess the fact that I’ve turned this into an advert for a completely different Pokémon tells you my thoughts on Shadow Manectric, huh? 😅 Save your dust.

Bibarel

Bibarel (Shadow)

Fan favorite Bibarel is proving itself a legit PvP contender in Retro Cup as I type this… not as a core meta Pokémon, in fairness, but as an incredibly effective Ghost counter (Froslass in particular, resisting all of its Ghost AND Ice moves) that can do a number of other good things too. But as a Shadow, Bibarel slips further into oblivion, giving up previous wins like Dewgong, Lickitung, Snorlax, and even (Sludge Bomb) Gengar. It’s another Pokémon that just doesn’t appreciate the bulk it gives up as a Shadow. And yes, that includes in Open play as well, where regular Bib outshines Shadow Bib again. Looks like Bibarel is likely going to be remain just for certain limited metas, and is probably going to be best as a non-Shadow… but as with everything else, DO TM one this week if you can, since who knows when our next opportunity to TM Frustration again may come. Because never say never!

Mightyena

Mightyena (Shadow)

Mightyena is such an oddball. On the surface, it has the moves to compete, with all three Elemental Fang fast moves and speedy enough charge moves with Poison Fang, Crunch, and even Play Rough if you’re feeling lucky. But it is kinda squishy, which is not good with pure Darks like Mighty being incredibly susceptible to common Fighting and Charm opponents. And it fails to even beat most of the big name Psychics and Darks you’d hope it could overcome. So… any better as a Shadow? Any chance of becoming a legit spice pick? Weeeeeell… it actually IS better, but only just a little, with new wins over Venusaur, Sableye, Zweilous, Haunter, Stunfisk, and Munchlax, but there’s a price, as it now *cannot* beat Alolan Marowak, Pelipper, Ferrothorn, or Diggersby as it did previously. You do have to like some of the new wins even as you cringe as those losses, but either way, I don’t see a sudden Mightyena renaissance on the horizon, with or without Shadow boosts. MAYBE in a future limited meta, but it would have to be an odd meta for Mighty to actually make a sizeable dent.


Diminished Returns

This article has already run WAY long… sorry about that! 😅 But I did want to briefly mention the potential of purifying these new Shadows and running them with Return. Because I want to be merciful and grant you sweet release after this hefty wrtiteup, I’ll keep this very simple: none of these Pokémon really want it. Most are flat out worse–MUCH worse, in most cases–trying to shoehorn Return in there. The *only* one that comes close is Bibarel, who gets STAB damage on top of Return and can slot it in as a slower but much harder hitting Hyper Fang. But even Bibarel loses a little ground with Return, holding all wins it got with Fang except it DOES now lose to Pelipper. Even Staraptor with its current self-debuffing moves is no better with Return. And the others, like I said, just really don’t have room for it, preferring to keep their current move options instead.

Conclusion

Okay, I’m finally ready to wrap up. I do apologize for running so long, but I didn’t want this to be just another “this Shadow is probably good, this one is probably not” type analysis. Now you have some numbers to back that up and can hopefully prioritize what to hunt down! For those who DO just want a clear cut **TL;DR** though, here it is:

In very rough order, for PvP purposes, I rank the new datamined Shadows in the following order:

  • Granbull (Great League)
  • Tangrowth (Great League)
  • Blaziken (Great League)
  • Granbull (Ultra League)
  • Drapion (Ultra League)
  • Kingdra (Ultra League)
  • Tangrowth (Ultra League)
  • Hariyama… and then all the rest

There, keeping it REALLY simple there, as some folks say that even my standard TL;DRs are too long, so *there* ya go, folks. If you want more details than that… well, there’s about 30,000 characters of text I spent much of the past week researching and analyzing and writing down up above, so have at it!

Alrighty, that’s it for now, though I am still working up a (significantly shorter, I promise!) PvP analysis on Sylveon that you’ll hopefully be able to see in the next 24ish hours, so I’ll be back soon! Until then, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon with its tie-in Discord server you can access to get straight through to me for personalized answers to your questions.

Continued thanks to my PvP friends, local and around the world, who have lent their own ideas and suggestions over the last nearly two years of PvP play, and helped teach me to be a better player and student of the game. And thank *you* for reading… I appreciate your attention and encouragement.

Stay safe out there, Pokéfriends, and good hunting!

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