Pokemon

Pokemon Go trainers aren't happy with changes to Shadow Pokemon

by Paul Cotton
Pokemon Company

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Shadow Pokemon have got a lot stronger! Niantic have revealed that Team Rocket has done something to make them more powerful as long as they stay in their Shadow form. These changes haven't gone down well with Pokemon Go trainers, though.

"We’ve received reports of developments regarding Shadow Pokemon," the official Pokemon Go blog shared. Whether these changes are part of the Pokemon Go lore or a way to make Shadow Pokemon more appealing isn't yet known.

Shadow Pokemon changes

The changes are as follows:

  • Shadow Pokemon will now deal 1.2x more damage but their defence will fall by 0.83x
  • Powering up and teaching an additional Charged Attack to Shadow Pokemon now costs less Stardust and Candy
  • Legendary Shadow Pokemon obtained by defeating Team Rocket boss Giovanni will now be stronger

Team Rocket Shadow Pokemon
@PokemonGoApp
Team GO Rocket's Grunts Shadow Pokemon will now hit even harder...

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Another change, which Niantic seemed to remain coy about, is the ability to change the Charged Attack Frustration. This would be achieved by using a Charged TM but this would only be possible in certain time periods. These haven't been announced yet but more details are expected soon.

Trainers react

It's an interesting development as trainers, until now, have been encouraged to purify their Shadow Pokemon as in the game's lore it saves them from pain. Instead, it seems Niantic is somewhat encouraging us to keep them in their Shadow form.

This wasn't lost on Reddit user LittlestCandle who said: "Feels kinda like encouraging animal abuse." This may be a little extreme of an analogy but it's an interesting point nonetheless.

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This sentiment was echoed by Rob K on Twitter who tweeted: "I thought we were supposed to save Pokemon not use the abused rocket Pokemon." Maybe the Shadow effect isn't as bad as we first thought then - hopefully.

Not a bad change after all?

Other trainers have now questioned whether there is any reason at all to purify them. This is a bit of an extreme reaction as there is definitely still incentive to do so.

Firstly, purifying a Shadow Pokemon will automatically take it to Level 25. Secondly, it allows you to remove Return and Frustration although this does come at a cost.

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The concern for shadow 'mons being over powered may be a little over the top. That's considering the above and just how much Stardust it would cost to get it to a viable level.

Reddit
Some interesting discussion into the changes to Shadow Pokemon...

One trainer agrees with this assessment. Gandy899 shared their thoughts on Reddit saying: "If somebody wants to spend 3 million dust on a new team of electric attackers to gain a negligible amount of time more power to them. It doesn’t materially change anything."

They also went on to say that Lucario, Rampardos and Garchomp had become the meta for counters and therefore the changes may mix things up a little in the Pokemon Go world.

The initial reaction to the changes seems to be trainers aren't happy, but after a bit of analysis it seems these fears may not be fully justified. If the changes do turn out to be unbalanced, then hopefully Niantic will be on the ball enough to reverse or lessen them.