Some Shiny Shadow Lapras Sneaks Into Pokémon GO

Earlier this week, Niantic introduced Team GO Rocket balloons into Pokémon GO. This feature brought battles with Rocket Grunts, the boss Giovanni, and the powerful Team GO Rocket Leaders Cliff, Arlo, and Sierra to trainers remotely. This was especially of note because it gave players a chance to capture Shiny Shadow Pokémon, a rare variant only available after battles with the three Team GO Rocket leaders, to the comfort of their homes. However, there have been multiple reports of a new release that will shake up Team GO Rocket battles and Shadow Pokémon hunting in general. As of the introduction of the Team GO Rocket ballon, Shiny Shadow Lapras is now available to trainers after defeating a generic Team GO Rocket Grunt. Here's what was spotted, and how you can get this rare Pokémon.

Shiny Shadow Lapras noted by trainers worldwide. Credit: Reddit user RyanVGC666, Twitter account @shauns1288, r/SilphRoad.
Shiny Shadow Lapras noted by trainers worldwide. Credit: Reddit user RyanVGC666, Twitter account @shauns1288, r/SilphRoad.

Team GO Rocket Leaders vs. Grunts

When battling Team GO Rocket leaders, previously the only way to obtain Shiny Shadow Pokemon, trainers would have to either earn a Rocket Radar by defeating six Team GO Rocket Grunts, or buy it from the shop. To battle Rocket Grunts, no extra items are needed. Grunts are generally far easier to defeat than Team Leaders, so this introduction of Shiny Shadow Lapras may be a game-changer for players who haven't been able to defeat Sierra, Arlo, or Cliff yet. However, the Grunt from which Shiny Shadow Lapras is available currently has a team of Pokémon that outclasses the other Grunts. Read on to see how you can identify this Grunt, and how to defeat it.

How to Identify the Grunt that May Have Shiny Shadow Lapras

When players encounter a Team GO Rocket Grunt, the team the Grunt will have is hinted at to trainers during the prelude animation to the battle. Click past the Grunt's challenge, and when it cuts to a close-up of the Grunt where you can click the "Battle" option, the dialogue under the Grunt contains your hint. If the Grunt's quote is any of the following, it may lead to an encounter with Shiny Shadow Lapras.

  • "Winning is for winners."
  • "Get ready to be defeated."
  • "Don't bother — I've already won!"

Though the chances of a Shiny Pokémon are still rare, these are currently the only known phrases that the Grunt encounter with a shot at Shiny Shadow Lapras can boast.

How to Defeat the Grunt

Your best bet is to enter these battles with two fighting-types that have quickly charging moves, and a rock-type attacker. For top results, begin with Lucario with the charged attack Power-Up Punch in the first slot, Conkeldurr with fighting-type moves in the second slot, and Rhyperior with rock-wrecker in the third slot. The great part about these Team GO Rocket battles, though, is that if you lose, you can observe the team the Grunt has and challenge the Grunt again with better counters after the defeat.

Niantic has not officially announced Shiny Shadow Lapras. In the past, they have done secret releases of Shiny Gible during the holidays, which stayed in the game, and Shiny Abra, which was removed from game for a time after it's accidental release at GO Fest. It remains to be seen if this appearance of Shiny Shadow Lapras will remain part of Pokémon GO outside of this upcoming battle event, but if it does, the ability to obtain Shiny Shadows from Grunts is game-changing. Stay tuned for news of tomorrow's pre-GO Fest Battle event, which will reveal more Rocket news, including a three-hour marathon event on Sunday and possibly an update to the Legendary Pokémon that can be obtained from Giovanni.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.