Shadow Pokémon are unique Pokémon that Team GO Rocket kidnapped. Shadow Pokémon having a 20% boost in Attack and a 20% decrease in Defense, they have a distinctive charge move called Frustration, and they may be Purified to be free of Team GO Rocket’s control.
Shadow Pokémon can only be obtained via Team GO Rocket interactions such as PokéStop, GO Rocket Balloon, Leader, and Giovanni battles.
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ON THIS PAGE: Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon GO
Shadow Pokémon may be caught at Level 8 without a weather enhancement and at Level 13 with one. Shadow Pokémon are not tradeable. Shadow Pokémon need 20% more Candy and Stardust to power up and unlock the second charge move than their regular counterparts.
Shadow Pokémon have a 20% increase in Attack stats in both PvP and PvE (raids and Gym fights) at the expense of a 20% drop in Defense numbers. In PvE, this leads in Shadow Pokémon being much more powerful than their regular counterparts, since the massive boost in damage overcomes the decreased weight.
In PvP, things become a lot more convoluted, yet Shadow Pokémon are typically better than their regular forms. For more details, see Shadow vs. Purified Pokémon in PvP.
When a Shadow Pokémon is captured, it learns a charge move called Frustration, which cannot be erased with a Charge TM or Elite Charge TM, except for Team GO Rocket Takeover Events.
Shadow Pokémon obtained from Team Rocket Grunts or Team Rocket Leaders lack an IV floor. However, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the Shadow Mewtwo obtained by beating Giovanni has an IV floor of 6/6/6, which was not the case for previous Shadow Legendaries. It is uncertain if this adjustment will be permanent at this time.
Shadow Pokémon may be collected and purified, transforming them into Purified versions of regular Pokémon that learn the special charge move Return. Shadow Pokémon may be cleansed in order to be freed from Team GO Rocket’s clutches:
Shadow Pokémon get +2 to all IVs after being cleaned. The maximum IV for each stat remains at 15.
Pokémon that have been purified are always level 25.
Purified Pokémon get a 10% discount on Stardust and Candy, which may be used to level up, evolve, and unlock the second charge move.
Purified Pokémon may be exchanged, although it is considered a Special Trade.
Shadow Pokémon may only be obtained either beating a Team Rocket Grunt at a PokéStop near you or by capturing a Team Rocket Balloon, which appears on your Pokémon GO map every 6 hours beginning at midnight. Shadow Pokémon are most typically exploited for malevolent intents by Team GO Rocket.
After defeating Team Rocket, you will be rewarded with XP, 500 stardust, and the opportunity to capture one of the Shadow Pokémon that Team Rocket left behind.
To capture the Shadow Pokémon, each player is given a number of Premier Balls that can only be used during the Shadow Pokémon Encounter.
The quantity of Premier Balls awarded is determined on the number of Pokémon that survive the fight, your Purify Pokémon Medal rank, and your Defeat Team Rocket Medal rank.
At the beginning, you will get 5 Premier Balls if you win the battle with no fainted Pokémon. Catching Shadow versions of regular Pokémon is similar to catching a raid boss, but you get way less Premier Balls.
Shadow Pokémon need different amounts of candy and stardust to purify, depending on the Pokémon. Common Shadow Pokémon like Rattata, Weedle, and Zubat are the cheapest to purify, costing just 1,000 stardust and 1 candy. Shadow Legendary Pokémon are the most costly to purify, costing 20,000 stardust and 20 candies. Purifying a Shadow Pokémon will result in the following effects:
- Increase the Pokémon’s IV values by 2 points (guaranteed)
- Level up the Pokémon to level 25. (guaranteed)
- Frustration should be replaced with Return, a 3-bar Normal type charge move.
Purifying a Shadow Pokémon also strengthens it and reduces the amount of Stardust and Candy needed to Power Up, Evolve, or learn a new move. Purified Pokemon have a distinctive marking on the Pokemon storage screen, however they may be mass moved, so choose your Pokemon carefully.
Shadow Pokémon are captured at Level 8 and have a random set of IV values. They, like regular Pokémon and raid bosses, may be weather enhanced. Shadow Pokémon with weather enhancements have reached Level 13.
Purified Pokémon, as previously stated, get a +2 rise in each IV value.
As a consequence, a Shadow Pokémon with 13 / 13 / 13 IVs will always become a 100% Purified Pokémon. Weather-boosted Shadow Pokémon have their minimum IVs raised to 4/4/4, increasing the likelihood of obtaining a superior Purified Pokémon.
NOTE: If your Shadow Pokémon has 14 IV, it will have 15 IV after purified. This is a particular instance in which +2 IVs are administered but the effect is stopped off at 15.
The following chart shows Stardust and Candy needed to power up Shadow Pokémon from Level 1 to Level 40. Do note that Level 8 is the minimum Level you will catch a Shadow Pokémon at: