Best shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go

These Pokémon are powerful, but corrupted.

Image via Niantic

Ever since Team Rocket has appeared in Pokémon Go, they’ve been causing problems with all of the Pokémon they’ve captured. Many of the shadow Pokémon they have under their control have been available for players to rescue. Any shadow Pokémon you rescue can be purified, or you can keep it shadow, and use it in PvP or PvE battles. A shadow Pokémon as different stats than its original form, with more attack and less defense. For some Pokémon, this can be exactly what they need to be even more useful. These are some of the best shadow Pokémon you can use in Pokémon Go.


Abomasnow’s standard form has become a favorite for players to use in the Great and Ultra League. It has some potential in the Master League, but you need to give it enough XL candy to power it up to its strongest levels. Regardless, the standard Abomasnow is powerful in the Great and Ultra League, and you can expand its strength even more by unleashing the shadow version. Both choices are good, but a shadow Abomasnow is better by expanding its attack stat.


Dragonite is a regular Pokémon that is not a legendary Pokémon that players regularly use in the Master League. If you don’t have a Dragonite, you probably want to prepare to counter one in your matches using a Gyarados, Mewtwo, or Metagross. If you’re lucky enough to encounter the Dragon-type Team Rocket Grunt, and you capture Dratini, you want to power that one up as much as possible and wait to remove the charged move frustration off it. A shadow Dragonite is exactly what you need to take down Groudon, Kyogre, and even Rhyperior in the Master League.


Electivire has become more of a staple in the Ultra League for players who want to counter the many Flying and Water-type Pokémon showing up in this category. It’s become the Pokémon you use in your roster’s last slot to deal the final wave of damage and hold the line. If you give Electivire that extra boost of damage, it becomes perfect at putting all of the final pieces together for your Ultra League team to secure victory.


Like Electivire, Magnezone is another Electric-type that has become more powerful, with several Flying and Water-type Pokémon becoming top picks in the Battle League meta. You can expect to see Magnezone participating in the Ultra and Master League, given its massive amount of CP. It’s also tough to defeat because it’s a Steel-type and has resistance against 12 different Pokémon move types, and it’s only weak to three of them. If you don’t have a Pokémon attack that Mangezone is weak to, you’ll be hard-pressed to defeating it.


Mamoswine has an absurd amount of attack power. It is already considered the most powerful Ice-type Pokémon in the game, and it’s also a Ground-type. Unfortunately, it’s weak to more attacks than it is resistant against, so it’s situational. You don’t want to use it as your first Pokémon, so you want to treat it like Electrivire, where it will be the final Pokémon in your team, and it wipes the floor with most Pokémon because of how much damage it can unleash. As a shadow Pokémon, it’s even stronger.


Shadow Mewtwo is probably one of the rarest and sought-after shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go. It’s only been available a handful of times, and Giovanni is typically protecting it. Mewtwo is already one of the most powerful Pokémon in the game, and if you give it access to the small boost of power as a shadow Pokémon, it does even more damage. It still wields quite a bit of defensive stats to make it tough to defeat. While hard to acquire, shadow Mewtwo is a worthwhile addition for any player.


Politoed has increased its ranking in Pokémon Go because of its new moveset. It gained the ability to learn weather ball (Water-type). That one simple change made it slightly superior to its other transformation, Poliwraith. We’ve recommended it several times over, and if you have the chance to evolve a shadow Poliwag, a shadow Politoed is perfect for the Great or Ultra League.


Raikou is another one of the few legendary Pokémon that Giovanni has captured and turned into a shadow version. Whenever you catch a legendary shadow version, we also recommend you do not purify as these versions as rarer than the original legendary version, which is also difficult to encounter given the five-star rotations. Raikou is a decent chose if you need an Electric-type to participate in the Master League. While the original version is already fine, you can enhance it just enough to beat out Melmetal, Metagross, and Togekiss.


Swampert remains one of the best Pokémon you can use in the Great, Ultra, and Master League. Having a Swampert for each category of the Battle League is not a bad thing. If you want shadow Swampert to be a viable pick, you can use it in both the Great and Master League. In the Ultra League, shadow Swampert is slightly outshined by the original. You have to be a little careful about how you use Swampert. Nearly every trainer uses this Pokémon and has experience of how to take it down. With Swampert’s enhance attack power as a shadow version, you’ll be able to defeat most of the meta legendary Pokémon, such as Melmetal, Machamp, and Groudon. It becomes even stronger when you give it XL candy.


Of the three legendary birds that Giovanni has captured and turned into shadow Pokémon, Zapdos is among the best. The standard Zapdos sits right in the middle of being a solid attacker and can withstand most attacks because it is also an Electric-type. Like Mewtwo, shadow Zapdos does not appear all too often, but you want to catch it when you can. Zapdos sits right in the middle of Master League, so it’s not going to be a pick everyone wants to use, but it’s a good, unexpected choice that can secure victory for you and is great to use in raids.