Pokemon Go: Reconsider purifying Shadow Mewtwo and the Legendary birds

Paul Cot

Those of you who bought tickets for Pokemon Go Fest 2020 likely have a few big-name Shadow Pokemon added to your collection. The question is, should you keep them in their Shadow form or purify them.

Many of you will be looking at Shadow Mewtwo, Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres and wondering whether to relieve them of their Shadow status. The Kanto birds have been previously available through Giovanni, so they aren’t exclusive to those who bought tickets.

Deciding whether to purify them is a big deal because once you do it cannot be reversed. Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.


Purifying Pokemon essentially means removing them from their soulless, fighting state. However, many trainers won’t care about the in-game lore and will look at it strictly from a ‘which is more powerful’ perspective.

For each stat (attack, defense, and stamina) that is 13 or less, when you purify a Shadow Pokemon it will receive a +2 stat boost. So, for example, if you purify Shadow Mewtwo and it has IVs of 10 across the board it will become 12 across the board. The maximum stat of 15 remains meaning when purifying a Pokemon with any stat of 14 it will only increase by one.

This is the main benefit of purification. Purifying will also give said Pokemon Return as a Charge Move. It is a normal-type move dealing 130 damage for 70 energy.

Shadow Mewtwo
Shadow Mewtwo was a reward in the Day 2 Special Research of GO Fest 2020…

Keep as a Shadow

Aside from saving on Stardust and Candy (which varies by Pokemon), Shadow Pokemon have a 20% better attack. This does come at the expense of defense though, which is 20% weaker.

Experienced Pokemon Go trainers will know attack is the most important stat in Raid Battles making Shadow Pokemon more valuable. Generally, the same doesn’t hold true in PvP where defense and stamina are more key to success.

In the specific case of Mewtwo, which is one of the best attackers on the game, there is a strong argument to keep it in its Shadow form. The same logic can be applied to Shadow Zapdos and Shadow Moltres as they are both excellent attackers as well.

Shadow Mewtwo also has a unique Shadow aura which some trainers, understandably, don’t want to lose. After all, when you purify it there is no coming back – and who knows how long it’ll be until Shadow Mewtwo is obtainable again.

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