Best moveset for shadow Zapdos in Pokémon Go

Shadow Zapdos is stronger than the original one.

Image via Niantic

You won’t find too many differences between shadow Zapdos and the regular one in Pokémon Go. These two are fairly similar. The primary difference between the two of them is that shadow Zapdos has a higher attack power, but it gives up a small portion of its defenses for that advantage. The attack boost serves it well in the Master League, but it won’t do well in the Ultra League, and we recommend you use a standard Zapdos for that category. If you want to use Zapdos in PvP or to battle in raids, you want to provide it with the best moveset it can learn.

Shadow Zapdos is an Electric and Flying-type Pokémon. It will be weak to Ice and Rock-type attacks, but it’s resistant to Bug, Fighting, Flying, Grass, Ground, and Steel-type moves. For PvP, shadow Zapdos has a maximum CP of 3,527, an attack of 211, a defense of 158, and a stamina of 175. When using it in raids and PvE, it has an attack of 253, a defense of 185, and a stamina of 207.

These are all of the moves shadow Zapdos can learn.

Fast moves

  • Charged Beam (Electric-type) – 5 damage and 3.6 energy (1.6 damage per turn)
  • Thunder Shock (Electric-type) – 3 damage and 4.5 energy (1.5 damage per turn)

Charged moves

  • Ancient Power (Rock-type) – 45 damage and 45 energy (10% chance to increase attack and defense by two ranks)
  • Drill Peck (Flying-type) – 65 damage and 40 energy
  • Frustration (Normal-type) – 10 damage and 70 energy
  • Return (Normal-type) – 130 damage and 70 energy
  • Thunder (Electric-type) – 100 damage and 60 energy
  • Thunderbolt (Electric-type) – 90 damage and 55 energy
  • Zap Cannon (Electric-type) – 150 damage and 80 energy

When considering shadow Zapdos’ fast moves, thunder shock is your best better. While it does slightly less damage than charged beam, it’s worth it when you review how much energy it’s receiving for each attack. The exchange ensures shadow Zapdos can reliably use its charged moves far more than normal, giving it access to stronger attacks during a fight.

For the charged moves, you want to focus on teaching Zapdos drill peck and thunderbolt. Of all the charged moves Zapdos can learn, those ones require the least amount of energy, and they do a considerable amount of damage. By giving shadow Zapdos a fast move that creates energy at a higher rate, you’ll be able to use these attacks far more often, baiting an opponent’s shields.

The downside is that thundershock is an exclusive move to Zapdos. You’ll have to use an Elite Fast TM to learn it, and another downside is a shadow Pokémon will always know frustration unless you can remove it during a Team Rocket event where Niantic allows this to happen. Outside of these special events, you’re stuck with frustration on a shadow Zapdos.

Shadow Zapdos is a good Pokémon. You want it in your roster if you’re thinking about competing in the Master League. You just have to nudge it into better category by removing frustration, and teaching it those moves. When you do, it’s pretty strong, even when pitted against other Pokémon powered by XL candy.

The best moveset to teach shadow Zapdos is thunder shock for its fast move, and then drill peck and thunderbolt for its charged moves.