From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
A Shadow Charmander (left) and the same Charmander immediately after purification (right)
Shadow Pokémon (Japanese: シャドウポケモン Shadow Pokémon) are Pokémon in Pokémon GO that have been modified by Team GO Rocket through unnatural means, resulting in them having dark, flaming auras and angry, red eyes. By defeating members of Team GO Rocket, players can capture Shadow Pokémon and restore them to a more normal state through purification.
In the Pokémon Box, Shadow Pokémon have a icon at the bottom left of their image, and Purified Pokémon have a icon. Similar to Lucky Pokémon, the Pokédex will keep count of the number of Pokémon that the player has purified of that species; evolving a Purified Pokémon will not increment the evolution's purified counter.
The Charged Attacks Frustration and Return are exclusive to Shadow Pokémon and Purified Pokémon, respectively. Unlike all other moves, these are not rerolled upon evolution. On Community Days, eligible Purified Pokémon may learn event-exclusive moves, replacing Return upon evolution, even if that Pokémon already knows a second Charged Attack. Shadow Pokémon can only learn their event-exclusive moves if Frustration is first forgotten, either by purification or using a Charged TM during certain events. Once forgotten, Frustration and Return cannot be relearned, even if an Elite Charged TM is used, or if it evolves.
According to the research of Candela and Professor Willow, Shadow Pokémon are the result of having been artificially overpowered by Team GO Rocket, causing them frequent pain from their uncontrollable strength. Shadow Pokémon are surrounded by what looks like a purple fire, or in Mewtwo's case, surrounded by its Psychic power. During a Team GO Rocket battle, Shadow Pokémon used by Team GO Rocket members have significantly inflated stats, especially in Attack, potentially attaining CP values much higher than the maximum possible by powering up. The CP of Team GO Rocket's Pokémon increases with each player's Trainer level. Their Shadow Pokémon's moves, including Charged Attacks, are randomly selected from the species' current move pool.
For further information about how CP is calculated for Team GO Rocket's Shadow Pokémon, see Team GO Rocket → Pokémon.
If a Team GO Rocket member is defeated, they will leave behind one of the Shadow Pokémon used in battle, which the player can then "rescue" by capturing it in a bonus challenge using Premier Balls. During the capture encounter, Shadow Pokémon attack more frequently than their normal counterparts. Although their target rings are colored red to indicate a 5% base capture rate, their actual catch rates appear to be no different from that of their normal forms. Since November 7, 2019, all Shadow Pokémon are caught at an initial Power Up level of 8, or 13 with a Weather Boost, and their IVs are randomly determined the same way as in standard wild encounter. Currently, only Shadow Pokémon left behind by Team GO Rocket Leaders, Jessie, and James have a chance of becoming Shiny.
In addition, Shadow and Purified Pokémon cannot be transferred to Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!.
Shadow Pokémon, once captured by the player, all have the following characteristics:
- Have Frustration as a Charged Attack, which normally cannot be replaced using a Charged TM
- Cost ×1.2* Candy and Stardust to power up and to learn a second Charged Attack
- Have the following stat modifiers (not factored into CP) as a "Shadow Bonus":
- Cannot be traded (since July 25, 2019)
- Cannot Mega Evolve
When viewing the list of currently owned Pokémon, sorted by Pokédex number, they are sorted in the order: normal, Shadow, Purified.
Through a process discovered by Blanche and Professor Willow, players can Purify (Japanese: リトレイン Retrain) Shadow Pokémon using Candy and Stardust, restoring them to a more normal state. Purified Pokémon have almost same appearance as their normal forms, but surrounded by a misty, white aura.
Upon purification, the Pokémon will:
- Power up to the player's Trainer level, up to level 25 (if currently at a lower level)
- Have each of its IVs increased by 2 (up to the maximum 15)
- Have Return replace the Charged Attack in the first slot
- Cost 0.9× Candy to evolve (rounded down)
- Cost 0.9× Stardust and Candy to Power Up (rounded up)
- Cost 0.8× Stardust and Candy to learn a second Charged Attack
- Lose its Shadow Bonus (Attack and Defense modifiers)
- Be eligible for Special Trades, which do not cost extra Stardust if the receiving player already has the purified form registered
- Be able to Mega Evolve, if it can
List of Shadow Pokémon
The cost to purify a Shadow Pokémon is proportional to its Buddy distance. The following is a list of all currently possible Shadow Pokémon grouped by the costs to purify them. Shadow Pokémon with a icon denote those whose Shiny forms have been obtainable.
Unobtainable Shadow Pokémon
These Shadow Pokémon have never been obtainable by players, but have been used by Team GO Rocket members. Game data for their purification costs still exist, and they are grouped accordingly.
- Prior to July 25, 2019, Shadow Pokémon were eligible for Special Trades. However, due to the likelihood of a Lucky Shadow Pokémon being purified with perfect IVs, this feature was restricted.
- Prior to July 31, 2019, purification costs were on average much higher and did not necessarily scale directly with Buddy distance. For starter Pokémon, the purification costs were also higher for the second and third stages.
- Shadow Pokémon received a major update on March 2, 2020. Prior to this, Shadow Pokémon
- Cost 3× the Candy and Stardust to power up or learn a second Charged Attack
- Had no way of forgetting Frustration
- Did not have any special stat modifiers
- Prior to November 7, 2019, Shadow Pokémon were caught between Lv. 1 to 5 or Lv. 6 to 10 if Weather Boosted.
- The English, German, Spanish, French, and Italian terms for Shadow Pokémon and purification are the same as their equivalents (Shadow Pokémon and purification) in Pokémon Colosseum and XD; however, the Japanese and Chinese terms differ (being ダークポケモン Dark Pokémon and リライブ Relive, respectively, in the Nintendo GameCube games).
- Due to every Shadow Pokémon knowing Frustration and Purified Pokémon knowing Return, Weedle, Kakuna, Magikarp, Wobbuffet and Beldum each have two moves in Pokémon GO that they cannot learn in the core series.
In other languages