Pokemon Go Shadow Pokemon Guide – How To Beat Team Rocket Grunts, Giovanni, Shadow Lugia

They still don't have a Pikachu!

Team Rocket (or Team GO Rocket) arrived in Pokemon Go over the summer after a brief spell of teases. After a takeover of the official Pokemon Go social media channels, Team Rocket grunts began hijacking PokeStops around the world, discoloring them and forcing passersby into trainer battles. Here’s our guide on how to defeat Pokemon Go Team Rocket grunts, catch Shadow Pokemon, and what they mean for your team in Pokemon Go!

Team Rocket grunts fight with specially modified Pokemon known as Shadow Pokemon: a phenomenon previously seen in the Nintendo Gamecube games Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. They’re not all too dissimilar from other Pokemon, but the evil they’ve been forced to commit has locked away their hearts. In practice, this turns their eyes a dark red and causes a distinct aura to emanate around them. You’ll know a Shadow Pokemon when you see one!

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What’s the Difference Between Shadow Pokemon? Are Shadow Pokemon Strong?

Shadow Pokemon aren’t massively different from their standard counterparts. They start at a fairly low level, their IVs are random, and their usual charge move is replaced with Frustration.

Once captured, players have the option to purify the Shadow Pokemon for a small Stardust and Candy investment. That instantly boosts the Pokemon to level 25 and increases each of their IVs by two. Frustration is replaced with Return, and the Pokemon in question can be powered up, evolved, and taught a second charge move at a slight discount.

How To Find Team Rocket PokeStops – Pokemon Go Guide

Team Rocket PokeStops are the same as your everyday PokeStops. Similar to how raids take over Gyms, Team Rocket grunts may take over a local PokeStop. It’s mostly random and nobody really knows how to predict them, but you’ll come across them naturally on your travels — you just have to look out for them rather than rely on the something like the “Nearby” window.

Team Rocket PokeStops can be identified by their darker color. Again, you’ll know when you see one. Get close enough and a Team Rocket grunt will appear beside the stop, similar to a Pokemon in the wild. Tap the stop as if to spin it! The grunt will mouth off at you before thrusting you into a battle.

How Long Do Team Rocket PokeStops Last?

Unlike raids atop a gym, there is no counter telling you when a Team Rocket PokeStop will stay the way it is. They don’t last forever, but they will return to normal for the player who defeats the grunt hiding inside.

It’s generally understood that a Team Rocket PokeStop lasts around 30 minutes before naturally returning to normal. You can challenge as many grunts as you can find and invasions can happen even outside of raid hours.

How To Beat Team Rocket Grunts – Pokemon Go Guide

Despite being pushovers in most Pokemon games, Team Rocket grunts in Pokemon Go mean business. The league ruleset used depends on the CP threshold your team triggers, so it’s generally best to stick to a team within the Great or Ultra CP ranges to avoid forcing a needlessly difficult Master League fight.

The good news is their team choices are far more limited. They only use Shadow Pokemon and there aren’t many of those in Pokemon Go just yet. You won’t see a grunt’s team until you’re in the battle, but they will hint their team’s type focus through some text beforehand. Use this information to exploit their weaknesses.

Team Rocket Shadow Pokemon can really hurt; you’ll need as much damage as you can get to come out alive. You can challenge the same grunt to a fight if you lose, however, and their team will stay the same. This gives you a chance to build a more refined counter team.

The team will be the same for anyone who challenges that particular grunt, as will the Shadow Pokemon available to catch at the end.

Team Rocket grunt teams can contain the following Pokemon:

  • Bulbasaur
  • Ivysaur
  • Venusaur
  • Charmander
  • Charmeleon
  • Charizard
  • Squirtle
  • Wartortle
  • Blastoise
  • Rattata
  • Raticate
  • Zubat
  • Golbat
  • Poliwag
  • Poliwhirl
  • Poliwrath
  • Grimer
  • Muk
  • Drowzee
  • Hypno
  • Cubone
  • Marowak
  • Scyther
  • Magikarp
  • Snorlax
  • Dratini
  • Dragonair
  • Dragonite
  • Crobat
  • Houndour
  • Houndoom
  • Mudkip
  • Marshtomp
  • Swampert

Shadow Pokemon list

Shadow Pokemon List – Pokemon Go Guide

At the end of a Team Rocket grunt battle, you have the opportunity to catch one of their Shadow Pokemon. The Pokemon available is chosen randomly from their team, but not every Shadow Pokemon a grunt brings into battle can actually be obtained (usually Stage 2 Pokemon like Venasaur).

Available Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon Go (as of Aug. 6) are as follows:

  • Bulbasaur
  • Ivysaur
  • Charmander
  • Charmeleon
  • Squirtle
  • Wartortle
  • Ratatta
  • Raticate
  • Zubat
  • Golbat
  • Poliwag
  • Grimer
  • Muk
  • Drowzee
  • Hypno
  • Cubone
  • Scyther
  • Magikarp
  • Snorlax
  • Dratini
  • Houndour
  • Houndoom
  • Mudkip
  • Marshtomp
  • Ralts

Catching a Shadow Pokemon is similar to catching Raid Pokemon. You can only use Premier Balls earned through the battle to catch it. You’ll be awarded two balls for the fight, plus one for each undefeated Pokemon on your team. You can then earn one or two more if you have the Purifier or Hero medals — obtained by purifying and defeating a set amount of Pokemon and Team Rocket grunts, respectively.

Shadow Lugia in Pokemon Go – Pokemon Go Guide

Veterans of the Pokemon franchise will no doubt wonder about Shadow Lugia, with the introduction of Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon Go. Shadow Lugia was the main feature of the Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness game and left a lasting impression due to its far more drastic Shadow Pokemon appearance.

It’s only natural to assume (or hope) that Shadow Lugia will show up in Pokemon Go later down the line — similar to the recent introduction of Armored Mewtwo — but we’ll probably be waiting a little while yet. Expect Shadow Lugia to arrive as the Team Rocket invasion storyline progresses over time, likely culminating with a grand battle against Shadow Lugia.

Giovanni in Pokemon Go
Image credit: Twitter – @YAMADA_N_DoMo

Giovanni in Pokemon Go – Pokemon Go Guide

Since the start of the Yokohama Pokemon Go Fest on Aug. 6, players have begun sharing photos of Giovanni, the infamous Team Rocket boss. Giovanni was mentioned briefly during the Team Rocket takeover event earlier, teasing his eventual arrival.

Giovanni is now photo-bombing Pokemon Go snapshots at the event, but it isn’t yet clear what his arrival signifies for the game. Nor do we know when the character will start showing up outside of the Yokohama Pokemon Go Fest event. We’ll just have to wait and see! Be sure to return here for more information as it develops.

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