With the arrival of Team Rocket in Pokemon Go, the huge mobile game is changing once again – and one new element that’s arrived alongside the villainous team are Shadow Pokemon and, after some trainer effort, Purified Pokemon.
Shadow Pokemon are a special new addition to Pokemon Go, though they have appeared in other Pokemon games before. They appear as part of the Team Rocket Pokestop invasions where Rocket Grunts turn Pokestops into Rocket Stops. In order to encounter Shadow Pokemon you’ll first need to find a Team Rocket Grunt – more information on that in the link above.
How to catch Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon Go
After finding yourself an invaded Rocket Pokestop, you’ll be able to battle the nearby Team Rocket Grunt NPC. These grunts will deploy red-eyed Shadow Pokemon against you in battle. After a battle is complete, you’ll get a chance to catch one of the Rocket Grunt’s Shadow Pokemon – exactly which is plucked from the table of available Shadow Pokemon in the game, which you can find a little below.
The number of Premier Balls you have to catch the Shadow Pokemon will be determined by your battle performance – like with Pokemon Gym Raid Bosses, but in a single-player, player-versus-enemy setting. The Premier Ball allowance is determined by how many Pokemon are still conscious on your team at the end of battle and by some of your medal levels.
Pokemon Go Shadow Battle Counters & Weaknesses
When the time comes to fight Shadow Pokemon and Rocket Grunts, there’s a few Shadow Pokemon you can encounter that form high-end, raid-like boss encounters – Snorlax, Dragonite, Blastoise, Charizard and Venusaur.
As with Pokemon Go Raid bosses, the best thing to be aware of are the counters and weaknesses for fighting these Shadow Pokemon so you can exploit their type strengths and weaknesses with your best Pokemon and defeat them quickly and efficiently. With that in mind, here are some notes for each…
Shadow Snorlax Counters & Weakness
Snorlax is a normal-type Pokemon, which tends to be quite easy to defeat in general – but the Shadow version of this guy is no joke. It can take some serious punishment, soaking up the damage like it’s nothing. We suggest the following counters:
Shadow Dragonite Counters & Weakness
Dragonite presents you with the classic dragon-type Pokemon weakness conundrum – it’s dragon is weak to dragon, so the best way to down it is to bring along another dragon-type… but then that will also be twice as vulnerable to Dragonite’s attacks. It’s also weak to Ice, however. Here’s some strong counters to Shadow Dragonite of both the dragon-type and otherwise…
Shadow Vensaur Counters & Weakness
Venusaur is primarily grass-type (with a side of poison), and so taking down its shadow version is best done with a healthy dose of fire. Here’s some counter suggestions:
Shadow Charizard Counters & Weakness
As a joint Fire and flying-type Pokemon, Charizard has some solid weaknesses that can be exploited as counters for this battle – so despite its power, it’s one of the easier high-end Shadow Pokemon to take down right now. It’s all about the water and rock types…
Shadow Blastoise counters & Weakness
Countering water-type shadow Pokemon is all about bringing out the powerful grass-type beasts. Thunder can work great too, but for our money grass is where it’s at, especially considering a water-type shadow encounter has a chance to be Marshtomp, which will resist Thunder. Here’s some of our Shadow Blastoise counter suggestions…
Purifying Shadow Pokemon to make powerful Purified Pokemon with the exclusive Return move
Once you’ve caught a Shadow Pokemon, it’ll be added to your Pokemon roster like any other catch, but it will retain its shadowy nature, keeping the red eyes and the nasty purple cloud around it. Shadow Pokemon will also have the charged normal-type move Frustration, which is a fine move and all but also not as useful as any of the more specific moves it could have. Other than that, Shadow Pokemon act and function like any other.
The good news is that you can cure that shadowy evil presence with a few simple steps – and this is known and Purifying Pokemon. You can do this from a Pokemon’s profile page, and purifying a Pokemon will cost a small amount of candy and stardust.