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Read This Before You Purify Your Shadow Pokémon

If you’ve come across Team GO Rocket in-game, you’ll have encountered Shadow Pokémon. If you’ve defeated a Grunt or a Team GO Rocket Leader, you’ve had the opportunity to capture a Shadow Pokémon. Once you’ve captured them, you have the opportunity to purify them—or not.

So should you? Let’s go over your options.

What Are Shadow Pokémon?

Shadow Pokémon visually have a dark aura surrounding them, presented as black and purple flame-like wisps emitting from their bodies. You’ll find them when you encounter Team GO Rocket, and have the opportunity to capture one when they are abandoned by a Team GO Rocket member after you defeat them in battle.

Shadow Pokémon have a charged attack called Frustration, and each of their attacks come with a Shadow Bonus, which deals extra damage, just like the Weather Bonus effect that wild Pokémon captured during specific weather conditions have.

Situations To Consider Purifying Shadow Pokémon

In Pokémon GO, there currently aren’t any big tradeoffs in purifying Shadow Pokémon. However, if you care about the resources you have, here are some of the benefits:

  1. High Potential for Full IV: From personal experience, I only find it effective to purify Shadow Pokémon if their IV (individual values) appraisal is close to 3 stars. IV is important when considering how strong your Pokémon will perform in battle, and purifying a Shadow Pokémon in their near-3 star state has the potential to raise their IV stats.
  2. Ease of Powering Up: When Shadow Pokémon are purified, you spend less Stardust and Candy to increase its Combat Power, making for more effective use of your resources to strengthen that Pokémon.
  3. Unlock Charged Attack Return: Every purified Shadow Pokémon learns the charged attack Return, which charges up very quickly and can be useful to deal more damage quicker in battle.
So…Should I Purify My Shadow Pokémon?

The short answer: it depends on the resources you have available.

If you don’t have a lot of Stardust or Candy for that Pokémon, maybe it’s not worth purifying right at this moment. Additionally, if its IVs aren’t that high, maybe you’re better off transferring it to Professor Willow in exchange for Candy rather than purifying it.

However, if the IVs are decent, and you could see that Pokémon filling in a spot on your battle team, I would consider keeping it. If you purify it, it costs less resources to strengthen it. If you don’t, Shadow Pokémon are still powerful in their own right with the charged attack Frustration—they just cost more to power up.

There are no cons to leaving Shadow Pokémon as they are if you have enough resources, but purifying them gives you a chance to improve the Pokémon’s IVs while reducing the amount of resources you use to strengthen it.

To purify or not—it’s a pretty lukewarm decision to make, in my opinion. You don’t win a lot, but you also aren’t losing either. Hopefully this helps!