A PvP Evaluation on the June 2023 Shadow Pokemon

23 Min Read

Whats up once more, Pokéfriends! I do know it's been a sluggish begin to the brand new GBL Season so far as my analyses go, nevertheless it's time to shake off the rust and take a look at the latest batch of Shadow Pokémon! Let's throw out our customary Backside Line Up Entrance after which simply dive proper in.


  • Shadow Regirock is the perfect of the three Shadow Regis we've had to this point, remaining near non-Shadow's efficiency and even surpassing it in spots. I extremely suggest utilizing a radar for this one, particularly for those who at the moment lack a Nice League-sized Regirock in any other case. It's not wonderful, nevertheless it IS a very good device to have in your PvP toolkit.
  • Shadow Alolan Graveler might be probably the most notable winner among the many different new Shadows… a sidegrade at worst, and an improve in a number of eventualities, when it comes to high quality of latest wins if not all the time easy amount. Alolan Golem is much less thrilling, although.
  • Sure, Shadow Garchomp works the place Garchomp already labored. (Learn as: Grasp League.) It's not going to instantly take over any metas and even transfer the needle on Garchomp all that a lot, however for those who're constructing one for PvE anyway (beneficial!), you possibly can squeeze some further use out of it for PvP, particularly Grasp League Premier. If you wish to.
  • The remaining are quite ho-hum. None are notably worse total than their non-Shadow variations, they simply don't actually acquire sufficient floor to matter any greater than they do as we speak. (And uh… none of them matter a lot as we speak, so that you do the maths.)

Alright, on to the detailed evaluation!


Regirock (Shadow)


Shadow Registeel and Shadow Regice had been each fairly underwhelming as Shadows… downgrades, total. Right here's our closing shot, with REGIROCK now getting the Shadow therapy. Do we wish it?

Regirock (and Regice, for that matter) already has one main drawback as in comparison with its Steely cousin… much less bulk. Not drastically so — solely about 15 much less HP and <10 much less Protection than Registeel — however sufficient to be noticeable. Regirock remains to be on the cumbersome facet for certain, with total bulk and whole stat product proper up there with the likes of Altaria, Hypno, Lanturn, Lapras, Noctowl and others… and greater than these final three I listed. It's within the Prime 40 (out of over 800) Pokemon in Nice League when it comes to stat product, and the Top 15 in Ultra League, forward of issues like Armored Mewtwo, Lapras, Greedent, Miltank, Galarian Stunfisk, Snorlax, and BOTH Giratinas! No, it's not Registeel, however Regirock nonetheless has loads of junk within the trunk!

It's actually within the typing that Regirock present clear inferiority to Metal. Whereas Registeel quite famously resists eleven typings and is left weak to solely Combating, Floor, and Hearth, Regirock resists solely 4 forms of assaults (Flying, Poison, Regular, and Hearth) and is left weak to 5 (the identical Combating and Floor as Registeel, plus Water, Grass, and Metal). That is the primary purpose you solely see it from time to time in PvP, versus Registeel is which is perpetually ever-present.

Nonetheless, Regirock really isn't bad, not within the least. Particularly in Ultra League, the place it's proper there nipping at Registeel‘s heels. (Regardless of our dentists all the time telling us to not stick something metallic in our mouths… 🦷 Regirock is a insurgent!) It's develop into fairly the Restricted meta darling in a number of Cups, particularly these the place it's allowed to play and Registeel isn't.

However now, in fact, the query is… how does its Shadow variant maintain up? Registeel principally fell aside as a Shadow, lacking its lack of bulk far an excessive amount of, and Shadow Regice didn't fare a lot better.

As I did with these, I feel the simplest solution to kick off this evaluation is with a easy side-by-side evaluation. So right here's how Regirock appears to be like in simulations with and with out Shadowification. (Sure, that could be a very actual phrase which I did NOT simply make up. Completely.)

(A notice on this and different following tables: your mileage might fluctuate somewhat bit relying on IVs, each of your Pokemon and the enemy as properly. However these are the outcomes with “common” IVs on each side.)

Shadow Registeel, GL Notable Good points Notable Losses
1v1 Shielding Registeel, Galarian Stunfisk, Lickitung, Dunsparce Altaria, Azumarill, Alolan Sandslash, Vigoroth, Obstagoon, Cofagrigus
0v0 Shielding Shadow Victreebel Altaria, Lickitung, Registeel
2v2 Shielding Azumarill, Cresselia, Lickitung Alolan Sandslash, Shadow Alolan Ninetales (Allure)

So a blended bag to make certain, however wanting a LOT extra constructive than the opposite Shadow Regis! A slight downgrade in 1v1 shielding, by far the most typical situation you'll face in precise gameplay, and a few of these losses actually harm. You'd hope to beat Altaria with a very good Rock kind, however now you don't. Azumarill, A-Slash, and people Counter customers are extra comprehensible, although realizing you COULD beat them however can't now due to Regirock's diminished bulk is painful. BUT, the good points are all quite large. Beating Registeel head to head is largely because of the relative velocity of Stone Edge, the most affordable cost transfer any of the three OG Regis has to supply, permitting it to simply outrace Registeel to Focus Blast. However nonetheless, with out the additional Assault that comes as a Shadow, Regirock can't fairly end off Registeel even with that massive tremendous efficient Blast… solely Shadow can seal that deal. Galarian Stunfisk and Lickitung are gained in the same approach, as is bonus Dunsparce. However the massive story is clearly dealing with Registeel, G-Fisk, and Lickitung, in addition to already having the ability to overcome Walrein (together with Shadow), Alolan Ninetales (additionally incuding Shadow), Noctowl, Skarmory, and lots of different HUGE names within the GL meta… and it CAN nonetheless beat Altaria too depending on IVs.

The roughest spot is with shields down, the place the additional energy does take out a pair edge instances like Shadow Vic, however the lack of bulk reveals out with Altaria, Lickitung, AND Registeel powering by means of. Nevertheless, ought to issues go right down to each shields getting used, Shadow Regirock barely surpasses non-Shadow, which is fairly candy.

So for the primary time with the Regi trio, we have now what I feel I can name a stable sidegrade in Nice League.

Shadow Regirock, UL Notable Good points Notable Losses
1v1 Shielding Cobalion, Shadow Snorlax Altered Giratina (Dragon Breath or Shadow Claw), Drapion, Snorlax, Gliscor
0v0 Shielding Galarian Stunfisk, Shadow Machamp, Scrafty, Tapu Fini, Gliscor, Cofagrigus Altered Giratina (Dragon Breath), Protection Deoxys, Escavalier, Empoleon, Scizor
2v2 Shielding Walrein Registeel, Trevenant, Cofagrigus, Drapion, Gliscor, Sylveon, Granbull, Empoleon

So the excellent news is that there's a slight bump in efficiency with shields down, with G-Fisk, Scrafty, Shadow Machamp, and Tapu Fini being among the many extra thrilling new pickups. However there are some very notable losses as properly, and with any shields in play, the efficiency takes a dive. 1v1 shielding stays considerably shut, however in 2v2 shielding, the brand new losses stack up rapidly. I gained't say Regirock is unviable in Extremely League, nevertheless it's actually far much less thrilling than it's in Nice League.

So what's all of it imply, JRE? Shadow Regirock is the perfect Shadow Regi but (and doubtless finest till, like, 2026 after we get Shadow Regidrago and Shadow Regieleki.) I do know people have understandably skipped the final couple Shadow Regis and opted to carry on to their Tremendous Rocket Radars for future Shadow Legendaries, however I undoubtedly suggest utilizing one for Shadow Regirock. That goes double for anybody that doesn't have any sub-1500 CP Regirocks already on their bench, as this actually really might be your final probability to ever get one that matches in Nice League. Regirock is legit good in that format, regardless of its flaws. Good luck with these IVs!

And now into some thrilling non-Legendaries getting the Shadowification (I'm going to make {that a} factor!) therapy, beginning with our most enjoyable…!


Graveler (Alola Shadow)


Thought I used to be gonna begin with Garchomp, didn't you? There's some intrigue there, however it's Shadow ALOLAN GRAVELER I'm most excited for out of this crop.

Just like Regirock, the Shadow model is extra of a sidegrade, nevertheless it's a fairly candy one in impactful methods:

Shadow Alolan Graveler, GL Notable Good points Notable Losses
1v1 Shielding Azumarill, Lanturn (Spark or Water Gun), Venusaur, Cofagrigus Jellicent, Vigoroth
0v0 Shielding Jellicent, Vigoroth Azumarill, Froslass, Umbreon
2v2 Shielding Registeel, Lickitung, Sableye Altaria, Cresselia, Jellicent, Lanturn (Spark), Alolan Marowak, Alolan Ninetales (Powder Snow)

So the large gainer, in fact, is in 1v1 shielding, the place Shadow A-Grav surpasses non-Shadow, giving up solely Jellicent and Vigoroth to flip three of its formerly-frustrating losses into wins: Azumarill, Venusaur, and arguably the most important of all, on-the-rise Lanturn. Take into account that A-Grav by no means offers higher than impartial injury to Lanturn, and its Volt Swap is outright resisted by Venusaur, all whereas they deal tremendous efficient injury again. To return out on high anyway versus them (and Azu and Cofag) is fairly large.

That is, nevertheless, considerably tempered by the opposite even protect matchups. With shields down, sarcastically the one good points are the identical because the 1shield losses: Jellicent and Vigoroth. And the losses embrace Azumarill, in addition to Froslass and Umbreon. Largely a wash, however barely trending within the improper route.

And it 2v2 shielding, strictly by the numbers, all of it falls aside, with six new losses inadequately balanced by solely three new wins. That mentioned… take a look at these three wins: Registeel, Lickitung, and Sableye, three of the tippy-top meta picks in Nice League. Conversely, apart from Spark Lanturn and Altaria (which is on a downward pattern in utilization), the losses are good picks in Nice League, however not among the many perfect of the perfect. So even right here, I'd nonetheless name Shadow A-Grav a suitable, even perhaps preferrable, sidegrade (I might even argue improve) possibility.

Golem (Alola Shadow)


As for ALOLAN GOLEM, it's a hair worse than A-Grav in Nice League anyway, with Graveler having superior bulk and simply performing higher. Shadow A-Golem is at finest a shaky sidegrade (and actually extra of a slight downgrade) anyway… simply persist with Graveler there. The place A-Golem can exhibit generally is in Extremely League, sometimes with Wild Charge quite than the Stone Edge that Alolan Graveler is extra identified for. (A-Grav has subpar Thunderbolt as an alternative of WIld Cost.) It's notably attention-grabbing (and seen extra generally) in Ultra Premier. And whereas Shadow A-Grav does carve out a few particular wins, like Crustle in 1shield, Umbreon and Escavalier with shields down, and Aurorus, Golisopod, and even Registeel in 2shield, total it's simply worse in Open and in Premier, shedding wins like Dubwool, Empoleon, Snorlax, Escavalier (1shield) and a number of other others. It's not unworkable, however contemplating the quite excessive value of increase an Extremely League Shadow ‘mon as an alternative of simply rolling with non-Shadow, I actually don't suppose it's price it, personally.

So what's all of it imply, JRE? Alolan Graveler is a sidegrade/improve for Nice League. Even in conditions the place non-Shadow will get a higher quantity of wins, the affect of the wins Shadow A-Grav picks up compensates. I extremely suggest looking for a very good one among these whilst you can. Alolan Golem, although, not a lot. Until you discover, like, a Rank 10 A-Golem that could be a Rank 500 Alolan Graveler or one thing, I'd simply persist with common A-Golem. Not price the additional funding for Shadow.


Garchomp (Shadow)


Okay, NOW we will speak GARCHOMP.

Chompy isn't the flimsiest factor in PvP, not by far. Nevertheless it most actually IS glassy, with much less bulk than issues like Electabuzz, the Qwilfishes and Overqwil, Druddigon, Tyranitar and Tyrantrum, Gyarados, and even freaking Darumaka in Nice and/or Extremely Leagues. It's… it's not nice. Add to that the truth that its Floor typing makes it a type of uncommon Dragons that does NOT resist widespread Grass and Water injury, and issues get much more worrying.

So whereas I'll briefly point out that Shadow Garchomp is a sidegrade in Nice League, it's still not very good. (Examine to non-Shadow, and/or to Mud Shot variants.) Garchomp has popped up in a pair Restricted metas, and Shadow represents an alternative choice, however not one I'd stress an excessive amount of about buying. I WOULD be remiss to not a minimum of level out that it CAN be impactful, if solely with good baiting and both shields.

Equally, Shadow Garchomp is simply pretty much as good, if not higher, than non-Shadow Chompy in Ultra League… however clearly nonetheless fairly poor total, even in Premier, and with multiple movesets. You CAN construct a Shadow for Extremely, and the case is even a bit stronger, maybe, than Nice League.

However let's be trustworthy… for those who're searching for a Shadow Garchomp, you're searching for a hundo to max out, principally for its nice use in PvE. (Shoutout to my buddy and colleague u/Teban54 for one more superior PvE evaluation!) And Garchomp is at its finest in PvP when it's maxed out too, stomping around Master League and Master Premier. And with multiple movesets, but once more. And I'm happy to say that, a minimum of in Premier, Shadow is a solid sidegrade (gaining Primarina, generally dropping the mirror) and even an upgrade (gaining Dragonite, Excadrill, generally the mirror, and giving up solely Ice Punch Ursaluna) over non-Shadow. I don't know that I might suggest maxing a loopy costly Shadow Garchomp JUST for PvP, however for those who're already constructing one for PvE, sure, it could actually do double obligation!

So what's all of it imply, JRE? There's nothing improper with Shadow Garchomp in PvP, there's simply not a ton that's proper, both. It's a stable sufficient sidegrade all through the assorted Leagues (notably in Grasp League, the place Chompy takes the most important chunk out of the established meta), nevertheless it appears a number of expense for not rather more return than you already get with non-Shadow. When you construct one up for PvE (the perfect case for making a Shadow Garchomp anyway), then it could show helpful in Grasp.


Hitmontop (Shadow)


You might marvel why I've HITMONTOP buried to this point down right here. Loads of gamers swear by it as a primo Combating kind in Nice League. However as for me, I don't suppose it's even the perfect Hitmon! (Give me Hitmonchan, both regular or Shadow, any day as an alternative.) ‘Prime does have the perfect stat product (and bulk) of the Hitmons, and Shut Fight and Stone Edge are admittedly a candy combo, making Hitmontop sort of a like a bulkier, slower Machamp. However when it comes proper right down to it, in my eyes, Hitmontop just doesn't have it, paling compared to Hitmonchan (with the latter beating issues like Altaria, Swampert, Powder Snow A-Tails, Venusaur, and Vigoroth that ‘Prime can't), to not point out different high (haha puns so humorous) Fighters within the meta. The excellent news is that Shadow Hitmontop is barely higher. The dangerous information is that it's not by almost sufficient to essentially matter….

Shadow Hitmontop, GL Notable Good points Notable Losses
1v1 Shielding Mandibuzz (Air Slash), Vigoroth Diggersby
0v0 Shielding Lanturn (Spark or Water Gun), Mandibuzz (Snarl), Alolan Marowak Froslass, Shadow Alolan Ninetales
2v2 Shielding Swampert, Lickitung none!

So yeah, an improve throughout the board. Huzzah! However nonetheless not a major one, exceeding a 50% winrate solely when shields are down (that's what having two closer-type cost strikes will do for ya) and searching quite pitiful as shields come more and more into play (additionally what having double closers will do for ya!).

Truthfully, purified Hitmontop with Return could also be simply as massive a narrative. One thing to think about, a minimum of.

So what's all of it imply, JRE? Positive, go get a Shadowified Hitmontop. It IS higher. However till and except it will get a correct bait transfer, I don't see Hitmontop making any extra noise as a Shadow than it did as a non-Shadow.


The remainder of these are sadly both not very PvP related, don't enhance in any smart way as a Shadow, or as a rule, each. I nonetheless wish to assessment them briefly, simply in a faster bulletized checklist….

Ledian (Shadow)


  • LEDIAN has lengthy been extra of a meme than precise meta, famously having to be pushed principally all the best way to Degree 50 to achieve even 1500 CP, and regardless of wonderful bulk, nonetheless being mediocre at best even when pushed that far. So what would you say if I informed you that Shadow is clearly a fair steeper funding and really seems a bit worse? Yeeeeeah… don't do it.

Ledyba (Shadow)


  • As an alternative, maybe take into account LEDYBA in Little League, because the Shadow model picks up Mandibuzz and Swampert that non-Shadow can't deal with. There's additionally the brand new potential twist of purified Ledyba to not solely save on value, however carry Return into the combo as a transfer with actual closing energy (quite than the underpowered Silver Wind and particularly Aerial Ace Ledyba is caught with now). On that notice, Return can also be okay on Ledian, and WOULD carry the prices down, however Dynamic Punch (and even Bug Buzz) is only a higher possibility there.

Purugly (Shadow)


  • PURUGLY… properly, lives up to its name in PvP. Shadow is little better, managing to beat out Azumarill, Cresselia, Venusaur, and Froslass, which isn't nothing, however nonetheless may be very subpar at finest. What a waste of an intriguing moveset. Non-Shadow is now beneficial to run with Return (with STAB!) shifting ahead, in order that's… one thing?

Alrighty, that's it for now, although I'm actively engaged on a full evaluation on the upcoming SIngle-Kind Cup that we get for 2 weeks straight (and bonus stardust a type of weeks!), and hopefully shortly there ought to be a collab infographic for this Shadow evaluation as properly! However till then, you possibly can all the time discover me on Twitter with common GO evaluation nuggets or Patreon.

Continued because of my PvP associates, native and world wide, who've lent their very own concepts and recommendations over the past FOUR years of PvP play, and helped train me to be a greater participant and pupil of the sport. And as all the time, thank you for studying… I admire your consideration and encouragement.

Keep secure on the market, Pokéfriends, and good luck throughout this darkish occasion! 🌑

The submit A PvP Evaluation on the June 2023 Shadow Pokemon appeared first on Pokémon GO Hub.

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