A PvP Evaluation on the Rocket Takeover New Shadows

27 Min Read

Howdy once more, Pokéfriends! It’s that point once more already… time for a brand new batch of Shadow Pokémon in PvP! Clearly Regice leads the way in which, however there are another very fascinating and, in some instances, LONG-awaited monsters driving in Regice’s chilly wake.

How do all of them shake out in PvP? Effectively as manner of fast abstract, u/thepokegohunter_ and I’ve as soon as once more teamed as much as deliver you this spiffy infographic to focus on what’s most improved, what your highest precedence targets must be, and IVs to most ideally search out for PvP functions. Take pleasure in!

However for all the small print about WHY these Shadows are good or… uh… not so good, what they’ll and can’t do as in comparison with their non-Shadow selves, learn on! Right here comes your customary complete evaluation on this new batch of Shadow Pokémon!


Regice (Shadow)


Might as properly reply the massive query first: would you like Shadow REGICE in PvP, or not?

Regice has all the time been the least of the three OG Regis in PvP, and there are a pair causes for that:

  • It has the worst defensive typing of the three. Registeel famously resists eleven typings, with simply three much more well-known vulnerabilities. Regirock has a roughly equal variety of resistances and vulnerabilities. However poor Regice has actually the worst defensive typing within the recreation. As a mono-Ice, it’s weak to the identical Fireplace and Preventing as Registeel, the identical Metal as Regirock, and likewise weak to Rock harm… whereas resisting ONLY different Ice harm. Yuck.
  • It’s not practically as cumbersome as Registeel. Regice trails Registeel by about 10 Protection and 15 HP (and 200 Whole Stat Product) in Nice League, and about 5 Protection and 25 HP (and 450 stat product) in Extremely League. In equity, so does Regirock (which has the identical stats as Regice in GO), however once more, Regice has the a lot worse defensive typing, so it actually exhibits in its case.

Total, whereas Registeel is clearly improbable in PvP, and Regirock is criminally underrated, Regice brings up the rear in multiple Leagues.

Nonetheless, for what it’s value, in contrast to Registeel, Shadow Regice is extra of a sidegrade than a straight downgrade, at the least within the league the place it makes the affect in the present day: in Extremely League. Shadow Regice (with the generally-preferred-these-days Earthquake alongside the default Blizzard) does drop CharmTales, Tapu Fini, Cofagrigus, Alolan Muk, Galarian Stunfisk, and Dragon Breath Altered Giratina, however it good points Swampert, Walrein, Gyarados, and Cresselia to almost-kinda-sorta make up for it.

Nonetheless, much like Registeel, the autumn is way tougher in Nice League, the place Shadow Regice (as in comparison with non-Shadow fails to beat Bastiodon, Cofagrigus, Cresselia, Lanturn (one of many huge causes to make use of Earthquake nowadays), Alolan Marowak, Pelipper, Toxapex, Trevenant, Venusaur, Victreebel, or Walrein, and good points solely Azumarill, Diggersby, and Sableye to make up for it. In the long run, it loses a few third of its former win whole. Not good.

In equity, issues are a bit nearer with Blizzard/Thunder Regice. In Nice League, Shadow B/T Regice stays a lot nearer to the ceiling for non-Shadow, shedding now to Cress, Toxapex, Treveant, Venusaur, and Victreebel, and gaining Diggersby, Sableye, and Talonflame, a a lot comparable swap. And up in Extremely League, Blizzard/Thunder Shadow stays neck and neck with non-Shadow, Shadow including Cresselia, Shadow Swampert, and Virizion and giving up solely Alolan Muk, Empoleon, Pidgeot, and Dragon Breath A-Giratina once more to do it.

However once more, Thunder is much less most popular nowadays, so take that for what it’s value.

So what’s all of it imply, JRE? Much like Shadow Registeel, Shadow Regice is, at finest, a shaky sidegrade to non-Shadow, and infrequently a bit worse total. I don’t strongly advocate pursuing it, however should you do, Thunder works higher on it in Nice League, the place you could need to preserve it and depart non-Shadow Regice for Extremely League. And whereas I didn’t point out it above… no, you don’t need Return… it all the time needs Blizzard, after which both Thunder or, extra ideally, Earthquake to deal with Steels and Rocks that may wail on Ice. I received’t say to skip this fully, however I definitely wouldn’t hassle buying multiple Shadow Regice.


Muk (Alola Shadow)


With Regice out of the way in which, let’s get proper to it… Shadow Alolan Muk is the huge winner on this spherical of Shadows.

So first off, what would you like run on Shadow A-Muk? The 2 hottest variants proceed to be Snarl/Sludge Wave or Poison Jab/Acid Spray, each alongside Darkish Pulse. I’ll go forward and make this easy: within the case of Shadow A-Muk, it’s the latter that you really want most. The large strain that comes from the mix of Poison Jab and opponent debuffs from Acid Spray is immense, and proper according to what you need a Shadow to do for you: apply as a lot harm as you’ll be able to as shortly as potential, earlier than your personal slashed bulk catches as much as you. Add to that the truth that A-Muk is of course cumbersome — roughly the identical as Vigoroth, Pidgeot, Clefable, Minun, Aggron, and most apporpriate comparability Nidoqueen — and it could deal with the Protection nerf that comes with being a Shadow significantly better than most Pokémon. Bear in mind how good Shadow Nidoqueen particularly was as a Shadow earlier than the Poison Fang nerf? Shadow A-Muk with Poison Jab and Acid Spray will likely be trying to fill that very same function, albeit with some variations, in fact, that include a Darkish subtyping quite than Floor, and Darkish Pulse quite than Earth Energy. However nonetheless… similar fundamental function.

And the way does it work out? I’m going to put aside my long-winded paragraphs of breakdown and as an alternative simply go straight to the numbers.

(Be aware that for these charts, for Pokémon with a number of viable quick strikes (corresponding to Lanturn with Spark or Water Gun, and Mandibuzz with Snarl or Air Slash), if I don’t notice a particular transfer, then it means BOTH quick strikes are included.)

Shadow Alolan Muk, GL Notable Positive aspects Notable Losses
1v1 Shielding Altaria, Drapion, Dunsparce, Lanturn, Lickitung, Mandibuzz, Noctowl, Obstagoon, Toxapex Froslass, Talonflame, Umbreon
0v0 Shielding Cresselia, DDeoxys, Drapion, Mandibuzz (Snarl), Alolan Marowak, Pelipper, Toxapex, Shadow Walrein Lickitung
2v2 Shielding Drapion, Mandibuzz Altaria, Lanturn (Spark), Alolan Marowak, Noctowl, Obstagoon, Toxapex, Umbreon

Sure, the 2v2 shielding situations are unlucky, with a web lack of 4 wins, however that’s not solely surprising with the discount in bulk that comes with being a Shadow… it catches up extra over protracted battles that 2v2 shielding characterize. However MAN, 0v0 and 1v1 are dang spectacular… +7 and +8 total, respectively. Clearly this isn’t a straight improve, however I feel it’s very reasonable to name this an improve nonetheless total, no? Savvy opponents might study to only burn each shields and wait you out, however even when A-Muk then goes down, it’s achieved a TON of harm within the course of, leaving the opponent bloodied and severely hobbled with possible a number of Acid Spray debuffs, and naturally out of shields. I nonetheless like these odds so long as you’ve gotten the precise teammates for A-Muk to then benefit from that.

I’ll notice right here that Snarl/Darkish Pulse/Sludge Wave A-Muk is additionally a bit higher as a Shadow, however the distinction is often simply 1-2 wins, 2v2 shielding remains to be total a small step backwards, and its total win whole stays under 50%. In the event you occur to seek out a number of good Shadow Alolan Grimers to show into Alolan Muks, certain, go forward and construct each. However I feel you’ll discover you principally all the time need to use the excessive strain Poison Jab model as an alternative… it simply runs a lot extra easily with what a superb Shadow Pokémon needs to do!

Anyway, I digress. Let’s take a look at the PJ/DP/AS numbers in Extremely League!

Shadow Alolan Muk, UL Notable Positive aspects Notable Losses
1v1 Shielding DDeoxys, Dubwool, Jellicent, Mandibuzz (Snarl), Talonflame, Shadow Machamp (tie) Charizard, Altered Giratina (DB), Greedent
0v0 Shielding Charizard, Dubwool, Gyarados, Talonflame, Shadow Machamp (tie) Altered Giratina (DB), Shadow Snorlax
2v2 Shielding Buzzwole, Altered Giratina (SC), Gyarados, Shadow Machamp, Snorlax, Umbreon, Charizard (tie) Dubwool, Scizor, Scrafty

Just a little bit extra muted right here, however nonetheless a web achieve throughout the board… +3 for 0v0 and 1v1 shielding, and never solely does 2v2 shielding not slip backwards because it did in Nice League, however it’s really the most important gainer, at +4 total. The most important movers and shakers of notice are Altered Giratina (an unlucky new loss in 0s and 1s with Dragon Breath, although a nifty pickup in 2s with Shadow Claw), Shadow Machamp (strikes from a loss to a tie in 0s and 1s, and an outright win in 2s), Dubwool (achieve in 0s/1s, loss now in 2s), Charizard (strikes from a loss to a tie in 0s, and a win in 1s), Talonflame (outright win now in 0s and 1s), Gyarados (new win in 1s and 2s), and Umbreon (a BIG pickup now in 2v2 shielding). Aside from Altered Giratina, maybe, I feel the standard of the brand new wins far outshines the standard of the brand new losses. (How a lot affect do issues like Greedent and Scizor have in Open UL play as in comparison with these new names within the win column?!) The numbers aren’t as eye-popping as they had been in Nice League, however they’re steadily on the upswing total at this stage, and I feel A-Muk might find yourself being a fair greater winner right here than it was in Nice League on the finish of the day.

The modifications for Snarl A-Muk are as soon as once more rather more muted, swinging simply 1-2 wins on the most. As costly as Shadow Alolan Muk may be to construct as much as Extremely League dimension, I feel you’ll be able to cease with only one Poison Jab/Darkish Pulse/Acid Spray model and name it a day. And apart from, if for some motive you DO find yourself actually wanting Snarl as an alternative, it’s only a TM away. There aren’t any Legacy strikes to have to bop round right here.

Another factor to level out: don’t overlook concerning the potential of purified Alolan Muk, including Return into the combination. Alongside Acid Spray or particularly Dark Pulse, it provides a wonderful new wrinkle to contemplate as properly! It does similiar issues to what Final Resort does for Umbreon, permitting A-Muk to have a really real looking shot at beating fellow Darkish sorts Guzzlord, Mandibuzz, Drapion, and enemy A-Muks, plus bonuses like Dubwool and Poliwrath. There are nonetheless issues that Shadow A-Muk can beat that even Return can’t contact, like DDeoxys, Jellicent, and Talonflame, however Return A-Muk does some distinctive issues too (all these anti-Dakr wins stay uniquely particular) and appears VERY legit!

So what’s all of it imply, JRE? In the event you do nothing else throughout this Shadow occasion, get good Shadow Alolan Muks for each Nice and Extremely Leagues. I firmly consider it’s the largest winner from this rotation. And once more, it’s the Poison Jab/Darkish Pulse/Acid Spray model you need most, working akin to pre-nerf Shadow Nidoqueen with unimaginable strain from Poison Jabs made an increasing number of efficient with every passing Acid Spray. Oh, and additionally contemplate Purified Alolan Muk for Extremely, as Return appears to be like like a Final Resort kind of weapon for it and provides on some very good wins too!


Blaziken (Shadow)


Blaziken is an odd one in PvP. Many occasions it could get blown out so shortly in sure metas and codecs that the notion of even bringing it to battle appears ludicrous. Different occasions it steps up and sits within the higher echelons and may sweep whole groups… GOOD groups. Counter and Fireplace harm are in a position to decide off a few of the largest names in PvP, and with issues like Stone Edge and Courageous Fowl doubtlessly within the combine too, every shielding choice in opposition to Blaziken is a nailbiter. There are few worse emotions in PvP than understanding Blaze has the power for any of them and deciding whether or not or to not pull the set off… after which shielding a mere Blaze Kick and understanding you’re doomed to make the identical agonizing choice mere moments later. Blaziken already performs like a Shadow due to the massive strain it brings… and its already-shaky bulk.

Shadow Torchic has really been within the recreation for a LONG time, initially being added last April! (Possibly Niantic forgot about it throughout their intervals of turnover final 12 months? 🤷‍♂️) However now it’s lastly time to double down on Blaziken’s excessive Assault and low bulk, upping its Assault prowess and slashing its bulk even additional as a Shadow. How does that work out?

In Nice League, I’ll preserve issues easy and say that it’s principally a textbook sidegrade, gaining quite a few juicy wins like Noctowl, DDeoxys, Sableye, and Vigoroth, but in addition giving up stuff like Galarian Stunfisk, Skarmory, Trevenant, Talonflame, and even Victreebel. That’s with Blast Burn, which is mostly its most popular nearer in GL… the dropoff as a Shadow is extra pronounced with Stone Edge (shedding, for instance, the Altaria win that makes Stone Edge Blaze notably particular) and Courageous Fowl. I’d say should you discover one with good PvP IVs and have additional sweet laying round… certain, go for it.

However the REAL goal is Extremely League, the place Blaze already makes some noise in the present day. It’s not the identical drastic swings you see with, say, Alolan Muk, however it’s all excellent news:

Shadow Blaziken, UL Notable Positive aspects Notable Losses
1v1 Shielding Gliscor, Guzzlord, Mandibuzz (Snarl), Pidgeot, Talonflame, Toxicroak, Trevenant Granbull, Alolan Ninetales, Poliwrath, Sylveon
0v0 Shielding Drapion, Empoleon, Shadow Machamp, Sylveon Shadow Snorlax
2v2 Shielding Cofagrigus, Drapion, Shadow Swampert none!

First off, can I level out how ridiculous it’s that Shadow Blaziken can overcome Shadow Swampert in any respect? Nevertheless it’s true… though you have to shield two Hydro Cannons, Blaze runs by it with straight Counters, and comes out with nonetheless a 3rd of its HP and a full 100 power to throw at no matter follows. Chances are you’ll be at a protect drawback initially, however you received’t be for lengthy after that!

Anyway, the remaining is an effective physique of labor additionally, with web good points throughout the board. (+3 in 0s and 2s, +2 in 1s) 2v2 shielding is a straight improve, with no further losses, however the different even protect situations are a bit extra nuanced, particuarly 1v1 shielding, the place there are practically as many losses that pile up as there are new wins. Nonetheless, I feel good points like Toxicroak, Pidgeot, Talonflame (with nothing however resisted harm!), and Trevenant particularly outweigh a trio of Charmers and Poliwrath, in my thoughts. It’s not good, however that is doubtless an enchancment in Blaziken’s Extremely League inventory total, maybe transferring it from spicy choice to one thing at the least a bit nearer to full-on meta. THIS is the scale I’d construct a superb Shadow Blaziken to.

So what’s all of it imply, JRE? Retaining it quite simple, I feel that Shadow Blaziken is the most important goal (for Extremely League particularly) not named “Alolan Muk”. You possibly can trick it out with the closing transfer of you desire, although its total finest (particularly as a Shadow) stays Blast Burn, which does require an Elite TM, so preserve that in thoughts. Good luck!


Alright, I ran out of catchy titles. Even I’ve my limits, people!

Anyway, the remainder of these are… much less notable, and fewer thrilling. That doesn’t imply they’re all BAD — in reality, I contemplate all of those no worse than sidegrades — it’s simply that they don’t seem to be set as much as have practically as a lot affect on the meta as issues already coated.

Sceptile (Shadow)


  • SCEPTILE was as soon as a real PvP competitor, with speedy Leaf Blade for normal menacing and Earthquake to shock and awe Fireplace and Metal sorts. However that was some time in the past now, in a special period. As of late, it could nonetheless be neat, however is not any higher than a spicy Restricted format possibility. So whereas it IS notably higher as a Shadow — selecting up stuff like Registeel, Toxapex, Venusaur, and Jellicent which far outweigh the Alolan Marowak and Toxicroak it now loses to — it stays what it was earlier than: a spice decide. Extra attractive and potent now, definitely, however nonetheless simply one thing to avoid wasting for sure Cups. Seize one should you can for that function, simply don’t go too loopy considering it is a new curveball for Open codecs.

Drifblim (Shadow)


  • DRIFBLIM too has seen its usefulness degrade a bit over time. The place it was as soon as a terrifying sight, particularly in Extremely League, now it somewhat struggles to make an impact, even in issues like Premier. Sadly, being a Shadow is NOT the brand new lease on life it was in all probability hoping for. Shadow Drifblim will not be solely with out advantages… it does decide up CharmTales, Swampert, and even Shadow Claw A-Giratina in Extremely League, that are all nice. It’s simply that it gives up far more: Jellicent, Gyarados, Scrafty, Sylveon, Dubwool, and Cofagrigus. It IS extra of a pure sidegrade in Nice League, with Shadow Blim uniquely beating Scrafty, Skarmory, and Altaria, and non-Shadow as an alternative getting CharmTales, Pelipper, and Alolan Marowak. However neither are excellent. Similar to Sceptile, even in the very best of circumstances, this doesn’t elevate Drifblim again to its former lofty heights. If something, at the least in Extremely League, this balloon could also be springing one other leak. I WILL say that, for no matter it’s value, Return Drifblim has slightly intrigue in Extremely League.

Donphan (Shadow)


  • DONPHAN, in contrast to Sceptile and Drifblim, has not had a lot of an opportunity to shine thus far. On paper, you work it SHOULD with each Counter AND Appeal as choices, and cost strikes that embody Physique SlamPlay Tough, and STAB Earthquake, AND a mono Floor typing that enables it to make use of most of those strikes with out taking tremendous efficient harm again that different Fighters and Fairies would. (In actual fact, it RESISTS Poison sorts that often give Counter and Appeal customers huge bother.) However that theoretical success has simply never fully materialized. I AM completely satisfied to report that being a Shadow is at the least typically a quite clear improve, corresponding to in Great League, the place Shadow Donnie with Counter provides on stuff like Scrafty, Toxicroak, Walrein, Mandibuzz, Charizard, and Protection Deoxys and at last stands out slightly bit. (And the place Play Rough is a sidegrade, too… good to have choices!) However that success does NOT maintain true the place Donphan arguably has its finest success in the present day: in Extremely League, with Shadow being a downgrade to non-Shadow. And regardless of attending to a competitive-ish CP for Grasp League, it continues to just not do enough, although hey, it DOES beat Dialga, at the least. Because it’s a bit higher in Nice League, I WOULD seize one there should you’re in a position, however that’s about it. As in Hunter’s infographic, I’m calling this one only a sidegrade within the huge image, and a lesser precedence. Donnie wants a particular sort of Cup format to face out, Shadow or not.

Grimer (Alola Shadow)


  • And at last, SHADOW ALOLAN GRIMER. I can see individuals’s head veins bulging considering I forgot about it, however right here we go. And sure, it IS slightly higher as a Shadow than not, to reply your burning query, with new wins versus Altaria, Jellicent, Spark Lanturn, Lickitung, Sableye, and Toxapex, although with new losses to Umbreon, Drapion, Air Slash Mandibuzz, Vigoroth, and Shadow Walrein. The factor is, although, that it principally must be absolutely maxed out, which is a silly excessive funding for a Shadow Pokémon. Particularly when you’ve gotten Skuntank already, who solely must be constructed into the low 20s and comes with the identical strikes and principally the identical Assault, bulk, and stat product. (A-Grimer’s stat product is 1819, and Stank’s is 1820.) Not surprisingly, they’ve a virtually an identical listing of wins and losses, with only a couple modifications like A-Grime’s win over Lanturn, and Stank’s win over Scrafty (as a non-Shadow, at the least). Alolan Grimer is extra enjoyable, even I’ll admit that, however is it actually value that sort of funding when Skuntank is already proper there? I can solely reply for me (“no manner”), however by that very same token, solely you can reply for you.

Alrighty, that’s it for in the present day! Hope this was useful, people.

Till subsequent time, you’ll be able to all the time discover me on Twitter with near-daily PvP evaluation nuggets or Patreon .

Continued due to my PvP buddies, native and around the globe, who’ve lent their very own concepts and strategies during the last 4+ years of PvP play, and helped train me to be a greater participant and pupil of the sport. And thank you for studying… I recognize your consideration and encouragement.

Keep protected on the market, Pokéfriends, and good looking!

The submit A PvP Evaluation on the Rocket Takeover New Shadows appeared first on Pokémon GO Hub.

Share this Article
Leave a comment