Should You Purify Apex Shadow Ho-Oh In Pokémon GO?

This is a major question that many are asking after completing the first stage of the Apex Masterwork Research that was given to Trainers who participated in Pokémon GO Tour: Johto. This Masterwork Research debuted Apex Shadow Pokémon which are like normal Shadow Pokémon except they already have their signature moves unlocked and each move features a buffed version of the attack's normal stats. For example, Apex Shadow Ho-Oh has Sacred Fire + rather than Sacred Fire, which is exclusive to this version of Ho-Oh. Normally, Shadow Pokémon are stronger than Purified Pokémon, but certain aspects of Apex Shadow Ho-Oh make this question more complicated than usual. So… should you Purify Apex Shadow Ho-Oh or should you leave it Shadow?

Purifed Apex Ho-Oh in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Purified Apex Ho-Oh in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

There are two schools of thought. First, let's talk about strength. Purifying Apex Shadow Ho-Oh turns Sacred Fire+ into Sacred Fire++ which does indeed make it a stronger move. However, don't forget Shadow Bonus. Shadow Bonus is an aspect of Shadow Pokémon that increases their Attack stats by 20%. This is a dramatic boost, making almost all of the meta for raiding dominated by Shadow Pokémon. This also lowers their Defense stats by 20%, but Attack is what matters most when picking Raid counters. If you are purely looking for an incredibly powerful Ho-Oh, I'd keep it Shadow.

However… hear me out. I've been saying "don't Purify Shadows" when it comes to Legendaries. When it came to Shadow Mewtwo, I advised players to "under no circumstances" Purify it. I stand by all of that advice. The Purified Pokémon aesthetic adds a simple white cloud to their look and otherwise renders them as a normal version of the species. This is not the case with Apex Shadow Ho-Oh. When Purified, Apex Ho-Oh not only has the buffed Sacred Fire++ which while not as powerful as Shadow Bonus is more powerful than standard Ho-Oh, but it also looks entirely different. You can see the unique aura above, which is genuinely stunning. When it comes to AR photos, which is a huge part of the game for many players, you can't beat this. It makes Apex Ho-Oh utterly unique in the game, as this aura isn't just the Apex aura. Apex Lugia gets an entirely different aura.

So, that's what it comes down to. If you're just in it for the battling, don't Purify. If you want something unique that looks stunning in your storage and in AR photos while still being a powerhouse, Purify. Personally, I already have a standard Shadow Ho-Oh, so it's no question. I'm Purifying. I never thought I'd say that about a Shadow Legendary, but Niantic finally found a way to make Purification fun and cool.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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