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Welcome to Missingno. Master's Guide to Shiny Hunting! It is a comprehensive guide to the art of shiny hunting. No shiny hunter will be complete without following this guide. So, without further ado, Missingno. Master's Guide to Shiny Hunting!
Hello. I am Missingno. Master. And this is Missingno. Master's Guide to Shiny Hunting. So, the first question we must ask ourselves is, what is shiny hunting? Put simply, shiny hunting is the practice of actively seeking out, capturing, and collecting shiny Pokémon. Obviously, this is no easy feat. As any experienced shiny hunter will tell you, the odds of any given Pokémon generated by the game being shiny is 1 in 8192. You have better odds of finding a Chimecho on Mt. Pyre's peak. However, despite these obviously unfavorable odds, shiny hunting remains a popular sport.
What we must now ask ourselves is, why hunt shinies? Simple. Shiny Pokémon are extremely rare, as pointed out before. Many shiny hunters regard them as trophies, or rewards for their patience and/or diligence. Some just hunt shinies because they look cool. Others do so because they love rare Pokémon, and it doesn't get much rarer than shinies.
Chapter 1: The Basics
There are many methods of shiny hunting, but there are some basic criteria a good shiny hunter should meet before going out to hunt shinies.
1: Poké Balls. Even if you're not going out to hunt shinies, no right-minded trainer steps into the tall grass, Surfs on the sea, or sets foot in a cave without a good number of Poké Balls in their bag. I made the mistake of going through the tall grass once with an empty Poké Ball bag and found a shiny Zigzagoon. Now I never travel without a good number of Poké Balls of various varieties. Ultra, Quick, and Dusk Balls are especially good varieties to carry. Try and carry a Master Ball, in case of an extreme emergency. You never know when you'll run into that Abra when your Wynaut or Wobbuffet was just KO'd. Or when you'll find something with Explosion that just locked your Weezing into battle, preventing you from switching in your Damp Poliwrath. Actually, any situation which requires the Master Ball is rather, well, situational, but try and keep at least one handy all the same. I myself always make sure that when I'm done with any given Generation III game, I always give the Master Ball to something before I start Pal Parking. As a result, I have almost 20 Master Balls in my HeartGold.
2: The right Pokémon. You should be prepared for any given situation that would cause the battle to end. Namely, Teleport, Roar, Whirlwind, Selfdestruct, Explosion, Curse, Memento, Final Gambit, Perish Song, and any move that gives recoil. Again, Master Balls help with this, but you shouldn't rely on them, as legally obtainable quantities of them are rather limited. It is very hard to get a sizable amount of Master Balls.
|| How to prepare
|| Possible Pokémon
|| Lead with a Wynaut or Wobbuffet. Shadow Tag prevents Teleport from working. Spider Web, Mean Look, and Block will also block Teleport, but it's advisable to have a really fast Pokémon using the move. It's essential, really, in the case of Abra.
|| Abra, Kadabra, Natu, Ralts, Kirlia
|| Have handy a Pokémon with Suction Cups or Soundproof, both of which prevent Roar from working. Shadow Tag does NOT PREVENT ROAR OR WHIRLWIND FROM WORKING!
|| Raikou, Entei, Loudred, Whismur, Growlithe, Vulpix, Houndour, Houndoom, Poochyena, Mightyena, Aron, Lairon, Electrike, Manectric, Luxio, Herdier, Stoutland
|| Have handy a Pokémon with Suction Cups, which prevents Whirlwind from working. Shadow Tag does NOT PREVENT ROAR OR WHIRLWIND FROM WORKING! Soundproof does NOT BLOCK WHIRLWIND!
|| Pidgey, Pidgeotto, Beautifly, Dustox, Masquerain, Makuhita, Hariyama, Tropius, Starly, Staravia, Sigilyph, Rufflet, Braviary, Vullaby, Mandibuzz
|| Have handy a Pokémon with Damp, which prevents Selfdestruct from working.
|| Geodude, Graveler, Voltorb, Electrode, Koffing, Weezing, Pineco, Baltoy
|| Have handy a Pokémon with Damp, which prevents Explosion from working.
|| Geodude, Graveler, Voltorb, Electrode, Koffing, Weezing, Pineco, Lunatone, Solrock, Baltoy, Skuntank, Boldore
|| Have handy a Pokémon with Taunt, which prevents non-damaging moves like Curse. Note that it is only a danger among Ghost-types.
|| Gastly, Haunter, Gengar, Shuppet, Banette, Duskull, Dusclops, Cofagrigus
|| Have handy a Pokémon with Taunt, which prevents non-damaging moves like Memento.
|| Koffing, Skuntank
| Perish Song
|| Have handy a Pokémon with Taunt. Soundproof will make your Pokémon immune to Perish Song, but it will still affect the user. If you somehow cannot prevent a shiny from using Perish Song, then do your best to catch it before its perish count hits zero.
|| Jynx, Lapras, Politoed, Misdreavus, Smoochum, Altaria, Kricketune
| Final Gambit
|| Have handy a Ghost Pokémon. Final Gambit will not work at all if the target is immune to the move.
|| Mankey, Basculin
The only recoil move shiny you are likely to have trouble with is Beldum, because all it knows is Take Down, and has the capture rate of a legendary. Very bad combination. With other Pokémon, they would generally know one recoil move, if any at all, among likely three other moves, and would definitely not be as hard to catch. My only solution is, if it uses Take Down 20 times and you still can't catch it, chuck a Master Ball.
3: The means to weaken wild Pokémon. You want the capture to be as smooth as possible, am I not right? For that, you need to weaken the target. Good moves for this purpose include Sleep Powder/Hypnosis/Spore, and False Swipe. Do NOT, NOT, NOT poison, burn, or Leech Seed the shiny. And especially, do NOT have a Ghost-type use Curse on the shiny. Because the damage will keep going. It's best to either sleep or paralyze it, and leave the damage to False Swipe. You might want your False Swiper to know Foresight or Odor Sleuth, in the event of a shiny ghost.
4: Common sense. Don't weaken a shiny Paras by having your Arcanine use Flamethrower. Don't send in an Abomasnow against a shiny Wobbuffet you've already False Swiped to 1 HP. And do not, do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT rule out the possibility of critical hits. In the event of the usage of False Swipe, this doesn't matter because False Swipe isn't gonna KO anything, ever. Speaking of False Swipe, here's a few situations in which you do NOT want to use it;
- Anything that ran out of PP and is using Struggle.
- Anything with a recoil move that doesn't have Rock Head (MAKE SURE it has Rock Head before you start Swiping).
- Non-ice types in the area between Mt. Coronet and Snowpoint City. In Platinum, this threat is almost nonexistant. I say "almost" because Ursaring can still be found on Routes 216 and 217 via Dongle method, and the Graveler, Meditite, and Zubat still on Route 216. This obviously also goes for anywhere else it hails, such as Mt. Coronet's peak, and multiple areas in Unova during Winter.
- Anything in a sandstorm that isn't immune to it. In R/S/E, this is no problem. However, in D/P/P, this goes for anything you fish up there or encounter by surfing. Well, except Barboach and Whiscash.
Now, as for finding the shinies themselves, there are a few options to choose from. You can run around in grass/in a cave/Surf on water to try and find shinies. You can Headbutt a tree over and over again. You can hatch eggs. And you can soft-reset. That last one involves saving the game in front of a stationary Pokémon, encountering or recieving it, and resetting the game if it's not shiny. Note that this will NEVER work with Mystery Gift Pokémon; they are programmed to never be shiny unless it's supposed to, like the legendary gerbils that unlock the Zoroark battle. Coming soon will be a list of Pokémon that can be soft-reset for. Obviously excluding Generation I games.
Also, a small note. Some Pokemon that can be soft-reset for will never be shiny, ever. They are as follows:
It is still possible to obtain a shiny Zorua or Zoroark, but only by breeding. The Zorua in Castelia City and the Zoroark in Lostlorn Forest will never be shiny. Moreover, their genders are set, Zorua is male, Zoroark is female. However, there is currently no way at all to obtain a legitimate shiny Reshiram, Zekrom, or Victini.
Chapter 2: Advanced Shiny Hunting Techniques
While simply seeking out wild Pokémon or hatching them and hoping for a shiny is one of the main methods of shiny hunting, there are more advanced techniques that actually increase one's odds of encountering shiny Pokémon.
First is the Poké Radar. This magnificent device, which you obtain in Professor Rowan's lab upon obtaining the National Pokédex, allows you to battle continuous streams of wild Pokémon, these streams called "chains". Here's how it works: When the Poké Radar is used, four patches of grass will respond. If a patch shakes mildly, it probably contains a common Pokémon. If a patch shakes wildly, it probably contains a rare Pokémon. If a patch glows with a pulsing light, it contains a shiny. Defeating or capturing a Pokémon within one of these patches will continue the chain, or start one, as the case may be. Note that entering a patch that is less than 4 or more than 7 tiles away from where you were when it shook, shakes differently than the last one you entered, or else entering a patch that borders a non-grass tile could result in the chain ending. The sole exception is the shiny patch, which seems to automatically continue the chain. As a chain increases in number, the chance of finding a shiny begins to increase. This caps at a chain of 40, which allows the player a 1/200 chance of finding a shiny. With four patches being generated simultaneously, this would in fact be a 1/50 chance. Finally, and most importantly, a chain will break if you use your bicycle, walk out of range of any patches that have shaken or glowed, or if you encounter a wild Pokémon that was not in one of the patches that had responded to the Poké Radar. Obviously, the constant usage of Repels are pretty much a necessity, as well as having your lead Pokémon being at a higher level than any wild Pokémon in the area.
There is a new development in this area. It has recently been discovered that battling a fished-up Pokémon while chaining not only will NOT break your chain, but it will cause the current Radar'd patches to re-react. Including the possibility of turning a normal patch into a shiny patch. Additionally, patches that stay the same after several of these "fishing resets", especially if all the other patches change, have a very good chance of advancing your chain. Bear in mind, however, that just like Radar'd Pokémon, you still have to defeat or capture what you fished up. Credit for this discovery goes fully to kirkeastment of the serebiiforums.
Second is the Masuda method. This involves breeding two Pokémon of different countries of origin. Breeding, say, an American male Scyther with a Japanese female Ninjask, will therefore yield a 1/1366 chance of shiny offspring. This will NOT work with 2 parents from the same foreign language, nor will it work with the Meister's German Magikarp, or Lt. Surge's Pikachu, because they're generated by your own game. Undoubtedly it was implemented as an additional incentive to use the GTS.
Originally, the Masuda Method would not support the Everstone trick for passing down natures, and had a 1/2048 chance of producing a shiny. This changed in Generation V.
There is also another method that has been the subject of great controversy among shinies. In Emerald Version and beyond, the RNG (random number generator) that determines stuff such as IVs, natures, and shinyness in wild and hatched Pokémon has been figured out by experts. Thus, it has gotten out how to abuse the RNG in order to find shinies. This guide does not cover this method for two reasons. One, I don't know myself. And two, the aforementioned controversy. Some people claim that RNG abuse is little different than plugging in an Action Replay and putting in a code to make everything shiny. I actually disagree with this, because from what I hear of it, RNG abuse is wickedly complicated. Another reason why I don't do it- I don't know how. But I don't really care, either.
Well, there you go. I hope this guide is a help to all you shiny hunters out there. Now, if I somehow missed anything that would fit in this guide somewhere, by all means, tell me!