Historically, the Team GO Rocket leaders in Pokémon GO have featured rotating teams of Shadow Pokémon that change every three or so months. When their teams change, so too do their encounterable, Shiny-capable Shadow Pokémon. This provides Pokémon GO players with different Shiny Shadows to chase multiple times a year, keeping the game fresh. Up until now, Niantic has also done a great job of rotating in a returning feature here and there. For example, one can currently catch Shadow Venonat from Arlo, Shadow Seedot from Cliff, and Shadow Sneasel from Sierra. Venonat and Seedot were new Shiny Shadows this time around while Sneasel was initially available in the first rotation back in 2019. It seems, though, that the current rotation has been around for some time. Let's take a look at how long, exactly.
Back in May 2021 during the Luminous Legends Y event in Pokémon GO, I reported a new rotation of Shiny-capable Shadow Pokémon from the leaders. That rotation is the current offering of Venonat, Seedot, and Sneasel. That means that this rotation has straddled three seasons of gameplay. It began in the Season of Legends, ran all the way through the Season of Discovery, and is still active now as we move into the final month of the Season of Mischief. This is not only unusual for Pokémon GO but it makes it seem as if Team GO Rocket content has become an afterthought. They had no feature at GO Fest 2021 after 2020's GO Fest had a full day dedicated to them. They had no presence during Halloween 2021 when they have been a staple of October events leading up to the official Halloween event ever since they were in the game. Finally, the closest thing to a feature was the brief return of Jessie and James for the second Secrets of the Jungle event this month, and even they had the exact same line-ups they had last time. It is high time for Niantic to give this feature a fresh line-up and to then keep doing so every few months in order to keep Team GO Rocket battles, one of the most fun and interesting mechanics when they're done right, an active part of Pokémon GO.
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