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Shadow Pokémon are mysterious Pokémon that Team GO Rocket Grunts and Leaders leave behind after they lose the battle. They are distinguished from normal Pokémon by a burning purple aura, glowing red eyes and often more menacing expression. Shadow Pokémon can be cured by purifying them to become Purified Pokémon with Stardust and Candy. All Shadow Pokémon that are captured will know the attack Frustration. This feature is only available to Trainers who are Level 8 and above.[1]

For a list of Shadow Pokémon, see List of Shadow Pokémon for purification cost or List of Shadow Pokémon by release date.

Obtaining Shadow Pokémon

See Team GO Rocket Invasion and Team GO Rocket Leaders for more information of the battle mechanic.

Team GO Rocket is invading PokéStops all around the world. These PokéStops have a different appearance than regular PokéStops in the Map View. These PokéStops twitch and appear discolored. As a Trainer approaches an invaded PokéStop, it becomes black and the Team GO Rocket logo will appear over it. If a Trainer interacts with the PokéStop (items are still given) or the enemy, a battle will ensue in order to defend the invaded PokéStop. Winning Team GO Rocket Battles offers a chance to catch Shadow Pokémon and increases the rank of the Hero medal.[1]

Team GO Rocket Battles work similarly to Trainer Battles. Trainers will need to select a party of three Pokémon to defeat the opponent's Shadow Pokémon. After winning a Team GO Rocket Battle, there will be a chance to catch one of the Shadow Pokémon they have left behind. If the battle is lost, a rematch will be offered.[1].


Enemy Shadow Pokémon fought in Team GO Rocket Battles have greatly increased CP above normal limits, similar to Raid Bosses, albeit not as much; roughly 3 times the regular maximum of the Pokémon in the wild. It appears their strength is offensive-biased, meaning they can dish out quite a lot of damage but does not take hits as well as their CP suggests.

Similar to Raid Battles, Premier Balls, will be used to capture left behind Shadow Pokémon. At least three Premier Balls are given after a victory, and the number of extra Premier Balls received (beyond the base number of two) is based on how many Pokémon survive the battle, the rank of the "Purify" medal, and the "Hero" medal.[1]

The Shadow Pokémon available for capture is usually the first one battled, but there is also chance of catching the second one.

When attempting to capture Shadow Pokémon, they attack far more often than normal, making them especially hard to catch. A Nanab Berry can counter this. Also, while Shadow Pokémon often have a deep orange ring (even for common, low-level Pokémon), it seems to be misleading, as the capture rate is not as low as the capture circle implies.

Purification

After capturing a Shadow Pokémon, there will be an option to purify the Pokémon with a combination of Stardust and Candy. Evolving a Shadow Pokémon does not affect the cost, which appears to be based on Buddy Pokémon walking distance.

Purifying a Shadow Pokémon have the following effects:

  • CP is boosted to level 25. If the Shadow Pokémon has been powered up past level 25, it would stay at the higher level (not recommended as powering them up costs 3x as much).
  • Amount of Stardust and Candy required to Power Up, Evolve, or learn a new attack reduced.
  • The Charged Attack, Frustration, will be replaced with the exclusive Charged Attack called Return.
  • Individual Values of the Pokémon will all increase by 2.[2]

Purifying a Shadow Pokémon increases the rank of the Purifier medal. The Pokémon's dark aura will also change to a bright, luminous aura.[1] Purified Pokémon require a Special Trade while Shadow Pokémon cannot be traded.

Improvement costs

The following table shows the multipliers for powering-up, evolving, or adding a second attack to Pokémon.[2] The Stardust cost reduction stacks multiplicatively with Lucky Pokémon (-50% cost); a Pokémon that is both Lucky and Purified costs 45% the normal amount of Stardust to power up.

Pokémon Power-Up Evolve Second Charged Attack
Shadow 1.2× Stardust 1.2× Rare Candy Rare Candy 1.2× Stardust 1.2× Rare Candy
Purified 0.9× Stardust 0.9× Rare Candy 0.9× Rare Candy 0.8× Stardust 0.8× Rare Candy

Shadow Bonus

Starting on March 2nd, 2020, Shadow Pokémon received bonus to make them stronger.[3]

  • The attack of Shadow Pokémon is multiplied by 1.2.
  • The defense of Shadow Pokémon is multiplied by 0.833.

The cost of Power Up and the second Charged Attack requires less Stardust and Candy. The multiplier went from 3 to 1.2.

The attack bonus can be stacked with weather bonus.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Shadow Pokémon was introduced in July 22nd, 2019 with the launch of Team GO Rocket Invasion.[4]
    • However, the feature was suspended one day later.[5] It was found that the adjustments include reduced catch rate, increased attack and dodge rate and Shadow Pokémon are banned from trading.[6]
  • According the official blog:
    • Shadow Pokémon look unusual and behave strangely because Team GO Rocket tried to make them stronger through unnatural means.
    • Purification help Shadow Pokémon return to a more normal state, but Purified Pokémon can also become stronger than their normal counterparts due to the gratitude they feel toward the Trainer who saved them.[7]
  • Shadow Pokémon was released again on July 25th, 2019. After a few days, the Candy and Stardust purification costs were adjusted to current values (it was previously not based on walking distances, and evolved Shadow Pokémon of the same family can have different costs, e.g. Wartortle costed more than Squirtle). In most cases, it is a reduction; exceptions include Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur, which used to cost 2 Candies and 2000 Stardust but now costs 3 and 3000.
  • The number of each Purified Pokémon a Trainer has purified is tracked in the Pokédex.
  • Shadow Pokémon all share a unique background not based on Types. It is dark purple and a silhouette of the Pokémon can be faintly seen.
  • The animation for purification is similar to Evolution. Similar to the latter, purification can be done even if the Pokémon has fainted, and would revive them to full or near full health.
  • The number of Premier Balls you obtain is increased by 1 upon your tenth defeat of a Rocket Grunt, even though technically you don't gain the badge until after the catch.
  • It has been observed that purified Turtwig does not offer a reduced cost in evolution, but the cost is still reduced for unlocking a second charged attack. This difference may be only during Turtwig's Community Day on September 15, 2019.
  • Shadow Pokémon cannot learn Community Day Charged exclusive moves. They will keep Frustration after evolved. Trainers must purify first in order to learn exclusive move, which replaces Return.

References

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