Overnight, Pokémon GO trainers have been observing and reporting a strange phenomenon. Multiple trainers have posted screenshots confirming that they have caught Shiny Shadow Pokémon after Team GO Rocket Grunt encounters. Speculation is running high as to what this may mean, with one theory suggesting that Niantic may now make it so Team GO Rocket Grunts can award Shiny Shadow encounters. However, this is something we've seen before, and comparing this new data to a previous occurrence of this can give us a better idea of what's probably happening. Let's take a look at the details.
So far, Pokémon GO trainers have reported verified encounters with the following after Team GO Rocket Grunt battles yesterday:
- Shiny Shadow Skorupi
- Shiny Shadow Swinub
- Shiny Shadow Snubbull
- Shiny Shadow Poochyena
Now, we previously reported on a Team GO Rocket Grunt that suddenly started to offer Shiny Shadow Lapras encounters last year. The thought, at the time, was that Niantic was beginning to roll out Shiny Shadows for specific Grunts. The ended up not being the case then and I don't think it is now, either. What happened with the Shiny Shadow Lapras situation was that Niantic was planning a switch to the Team GO Rocket Leaders' encounterable, Shiny-capable Pokémon. Sierra's encounter would be Lapras. As a result of this line-up switch, Niantic enabled Shadow Lapras to be Shiny as it would soon be a Sierra-exclusive encounter. However, trainers were able to earn encounters through Grunts after Niantic switched on its Shiny capability but before it became Sierra exclusive.
We are likely seeing the same here in Pokémon GO. Based on what trainers are reporting, it is likely that we will see a shift in the Team GO Rocket Leader line-ups very soon. Now, the question is… there are only three Leaders so why would there be four new Shiny Shadows? Well, remember — Jessie and James return in just a few days with the start of the Secrets of the Jungle tie-in event, and they are the only non-Leaders that offer Shiny Shadow encounters. It is likely that three of the above Pokémon belong to the Team GO Rocket Leaders and that the spare belongs to either Jessie or James. Stay tuned for further reports.