Shadow Pokemon to TM this Weekend

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Basic Info

Sunday, July 12, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time

  • Team GO Rocket balloons in the skies and more Team GO Rocket Grunts capturing PokéStops for the duration of the take-over!
  • 2× Stardust when you defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts and Team GO Rocket balloons
  • The Meowth balloon appearing more often than usual
  • The opportunity to use a Charged TM to let your Pokémon forget the move Frustration and learn a new move
  • Team GO Rocket music playing in Pokémon GO

The last (and only) time Frustration was TMable was during the last Go Rocket Takeover on March 6th. A lot has changed in the world since then, causing this much-needed feature to be forgotten about by Niantic for way too long. Fortunately for us, our saviors Team GO Rocket have taken to the skies to protect the world from devastation!  Prepare for trouble and make it double x1.2, another GO Rocket Takeover is here!

FOMO Frustration

Let’s not mix words. This event is about using FOMO (fear of missing out) to scare players into using Charge TMs. Any Pokemon not listed in this article could receive event exclusive moves immediately following this event, making it immediately viable. The only way to obtain these moves on a Shadow Pokemon is by TMing them now, so this event asks you to TM Pokemon now, for the chance that you might use them later.

That's in quotes because that excerpt is taken from the original guide of this ilk written back for March's event. Before promoting this event, before encouraging the expenditure of any TMs, it should be made crystal clear this event is designed to scare you into spending your TMs. To some players this isn't a problem, and the frustration felt by 4 months of no takeover events is certainly felt for those that care.

Community Days

This article will outline the best uses for your TMs, but the only way to be safe is use up all of your Charge TMs. Pokemon not highlighted here may receive additional exclusive moves in the future. Pokemon that have already had their Community Days are not off the table either.

Tyranitar seems like a likely target for another CD. Heck, Shiftry seems just as likely as anything else. Be afraid. Spend those TMs! *sigh*

When I wrote that, it seemed a little far-fetched. Now I look like a regular Jonas Kahnwald. The point is, nothing is off the table for randomly receiving new exclusive moves.

Datamined upcoming CD candidates;

  • Charmander
  • Muk
  • Porygon
  • Bulbasaur
  • Exeggcute 
  • Magikarp
  • But again, anything is possible

Pinsir had an event canceled. Who knows what that could mean. Several other Shadows Mega evolve (which seems very unlikely that it will interact with Shadows but I'd be remiss not to mention it). This is also a reminder to pay attention to which Pokemon have exclusive moves and to wait to evolve them in December.

No Mo FOMO (plz?)

I'd feel more optimistic if I didn't have a subsection with this same name back in March. We can only hope now that Rocket Balloons will bring more frequent takeovers to denounce the evils of truth and love! But really, this event is not a time to rejoice (and this complaint has nothing to do with Shadow Pokemon being in pain in the lore). Even if there was a Rocket Takeover every other week, they would still not be frequent enough. Let's be frank. This mechanic is garbage.

Imagine for a moment that Ghastly had a Shadow variant available (it currently does not). Yeah... it'd be pretty good, and you'd want to be able to evolve one during next weekend's Community Day for its exclusive move. So you TM your best one on Sunday to prep it for a evolution next week. Now let's say you encounter a Shadow Ghastly on Sunday at 2:00, right as the event ends. Your only option for this poor trapped soul is to wait an indiscriminate amount of time to TM it- and let's say that's only 2 more weeks away. You'd still have to wait till December after that to evolve for its exclusive move. This is all for a Pokemon that hasn't had it's Community Day yet. Screw the lore, I'm in pain!

TMing away Frustration locked to Takeovers has the forethought of the Shadow bonus; none at all. I'll be satisfied when this is a guide that doesn't have to be written again because one or both of these mechanics are gone!

Shadow Pokemon in Raids

Shadow Pokemon are totally busted in raiding content, to the point where many players were totally convinced this buff was temporary. Since it looks like it's here to stay, we will be updating the GamePress Attackers Tier List very soon to incorporate Shadow Pokemon. All your other Pokemon are futile. It's time to turn to the dark side.

 20% is the same bonus given to STAB and weather boost. So Shadow Pokemon are basically permanently weather boosted (and can also be actually weather boosted)! Reshiram and Zekrom have the highest CP of any Fire or Electric-types respectively across all released and unreleased Pokemon yet they deal less damage in Raids than Shadow Pokemon of the same type. The only tradeoff for Shadow Pokemon is additional Stardust investment. For every 5 Shadow Pokemon you power up, you could power up 6 non-Shadows instead. However, because they also represent 20% more damage (with almost 0 tradeoff in TDO), they're net even compared to non-Shadow counterparts. Add in the fact that their higher DPS allows your to more easily complete raids, and Shadows are a total win.

Here's a rough breakdown of how we're planning on ranking existing Shadow Pokemon into the Attackers Tier List;

Tier 1

Tier 1.5

Tier 2

(equivalent of current Tier 1)

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6

Tier 7

Tier 8

Shadows in PvP

Shadows seem to be an overall gain in PvP, though performance depends on match specific breakpoints and bulkpoints. In the 3 various leagues, the following Pokemon are already ranked quite highly on our Great, Ultra, and Master League Tier Lists.A Shadow Pokemon being listed here does not indicate it will perform better in every individual matchup, and Pokemon listed here may still perform better as a non-Shadow in certain metas/cups. See "PvP Consideration Points" for more ideas of when to use Shadow Pokemon in PvP.


Top Pokemon:

Note: Sableye also appreciates Purification for access to Return.

Good Pokemon:


Ultra League

Top Pokemon:

Good Pokemon:

Other options:

Master League / Premier Cup

Top Pokemon:

Okay Pokemon:

PvP Consideration Points

Individual matchups are all unique, too much to go over. It’s better to understand concepts and key matchups than memorize hundreds of overall IV based matchups

  • Favors offensive Pokemon like those using Razor Leaf, Charm, Dragon Breath

  • More harsh towards high DEF Pokemon like Cloyster

  • Pokemon who rely on STA for bulk tend to be penalized less, ex. Snorlax, Lapras

  • Matchups gained/lost are IV dependent, almost always due to a break/bulkpoint 

  • Rocket lineups will rotate over time. Pokemon not currently available as Shadow may shift the meta upon their release. Ex. Haunter, other legendaries

  • Shielding can play a big factor. Shadow Pokemon may require shields to make up for their lack of bulk.

  • Similarly, shielding a Shadow Pokemon’s attack will prevent more damage, all else equal

The Purple Rule

If being a Shadow Pokemon doesn't change the amount of Charge Moves a Pokemon can take, it is likely better as a Shadow than a non-Shadow.

Shadow Cheese Teams

Several Shadow Pokemon have become prevalent in "cheese teams", gaining an advantage by using high-damage Shadow Pokemon with strong Fast Moves. The goal with these teams is to make opponent's shields relatively useless, by firing weak/ inconsequential charge moves and gaining an advantage over your opponents by shielding their damage sources. Shadow Pokemon are crucial for such teams.

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About the Author(s)

NoLucksGiven is a Digital Card Game Streamer and YouTuber with a specialty in "limited" formats. With a lifetime of powering up his skills in resource management, quick analysis, and on-the-fly ranking, Pokemon Go has become a perfect fit for NLG. NoLucks makes it a goal (and succeeds) to reach the top echelon of players in any game he plays including being the #1 Ranked Drafter in Solforge. Through his articles and stream and YouTube content, his goal is to help other players that are looking for tips to level up their own game.