What Shiny Shadow Should Rocket Leaders Have Next In Pokémon GO?

It has been a long time since there has been a shift in Team GO Rocket's line-ups. With Niantic already having announced that "Giovanni Special Research will return in October," the pattern set by previous Giovanni researches dictates that we should expect a shake-up with the leaders as well. This may mean that we should expect three new Shiny Shadow Pokémon to be available in-game very soon. Here are our thoughts on which species should make the cut.

Pokémon GO promotional image featuring Team GO Rocket leader Sierra. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO promotional image featuring Team GO Rocket leader Sierra. Credit: Niantic

Shadow Pokémon are some of the most useful species in the game. Due to a 20% buff in Attack, Shadows often dominate the top counters for raids. In the past, these are the Shiny Shadow Pokémon that have been available.

  • Arlo: Scyther, Bagon, Mawile, Pineco
  • Cliff: Meowth, Stantler, Pinsir, Grimer
  • Sierra: Sneasel, Absol, Beldum, Lapras

With the exception of Cliff, the leaders are generally given Pokémon that will be a huge help if they're maxed out. Arlo's Shadow Scyther and Bagon when evolved to their respective ultimate forms of Scizor and Salamence are top meta Pokémon, and Sierra's Absol is great, but Beldum, when the latter is evolved to Shadow Metagross is arguably one of the most useful Pokémon in the game. Even with low IVs, a Shadow Metagross with Meteor Mash will outclass even a 100% standard Metagross.

Taking all of this into account, here are the Shadow Shiny Pokémon that we would love to see the leaders feature:

  • Larvitar: There was a chance to get a Shadow Larvitar from regular Rockets (as with Lapras in the past before it became Sierra's boo thing) but it cannot be overstated how powerful Shadow Tyranitar is. With Smack Down, it's Fast Attack hits like a Charged. Making this more widely available through a leader would be game-changing for hardcore raiders. Shadow Tyranitar also excels as a Dark-type attacker with Bite and Crunch.
  • Magnemite: Shadow Magnezone is at the top of the Electric-type meta and it's not even close. Adding a Shadow Shiny to the mix would be very spicy.
  • Rhyhorn: A Shadow Rhyperior would also be a next level beast. With a team of these (though, imagine the Stardust!), it may be possible, in ideal conditions with the best dodge-hand in the game, to solo some Legendary Pokémon. There is currently footage of one player who managed to do so with a Rampardos, but Shadow Rhyperior? Game over.

Other spicy choices would include the Kanto starters, Eevee, Swinub, and Gible… though, with that last one, we already know Niantic is stretching out Gible's rarity as it is a huge cash cow.

Stay tuned for updates on the next slate of Shadow Pokémon as news comes in.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.