Best Shadow Pokémon For Gyms in Pokémon Go

Pokémon GO has been a phenomenal game ever since it first got released in 2016, taking the world by storm during its early days. However, it was unable to maintain that level of hype and soon fell off. Even then, you are probably wondering why we see countless players still deeply dedicated to the game. The answer is Shadow Pokémon.

Nintendo has released many recent patches and updates for the game. While the hype may have ended, players still enjoy and love the game just as they were five years ago. The new Shadow Pokémon feature has re-ignited the fan that lives within each of us. 

So, what exactly are Shadow Pokémon?

Shadow Pokémon

Shadow Pokémon For Gyms in Pokémon Go

These are special Pokémons that have been introduced in the game having extra stats. The story goes that the Evil Team GO Rocket abducted and experimented on several Pokémon, which led to the creation of Shadow Pokémon. 

These Pokémon are easy to identify as they are surrounded by a dark aura and have red angry eyes. Additionally, they are stronger than traditional Pokémons.

While players are given the option to purify these Pokémon to remove the influence of Team GO Rocket, many choose not to and instead use these Pokémon in their Gym battles. 

So why are trainers so eager to keep Shadow Pokémon? As it turns out, there are quite a number of advantages to that.

Benefits of Shadow Pokémon

Aside from the aesthetic, there are several benefits to keeping Shadow Pokémon in the game. They include:

  • Shadow Pokémon have 20% increased attack at the cost of 20% reduced defense stats
  • They also have a unique ability called ‘Frustration’
  • Obtain rewards by defeating Team GO Rocket
  • Allows players to collect a new set of Pokémon
  • Once purified, they will consume less stardust and candy to level up.

These are all the benefits that these Pokémon get, including their existing stats and bonuses. Deciding whether to purify a shadow pokémon or not depends on an individual’s play style. As shadow pokémon may be better at offense, while purified Pokémon are better suited to be all-rounders.

And so, here are the top best Shadow Pokémon that you can use for your Gym Battles. 


Shadow Zapdos in Pokémon Go

Zapdos is an amazing value add for any attacking team, being an electric and flying type Pokémon. Being from the Kanto Region (Gen-1,) Zapdos is uncontested in being a top-tier pokémon of its class.

The best thing about Zapdos is its versatility to resist up to six types of Pokémon. As a shadow Pokémon, it has a lot to gain from the 20% increased attack stat without worrying much about the decrease in its defense.

Being one of the best Shadow Legendary Pokémon in the game, it deserves the power-up and TM.



Dragonite hails from the Kanto Region (Gen 1) and is one of the best dragon-type Pokémon that you can find in the game. An impressive attack stat of 263 allows this pokémon to be effectively used in raids and the ultra and master league.

Overall, Dragonite shines in every single role that it can be appointed in, utilizing its dual flying and dragon-type abilities. The already buffed-up attack stats getting a 20% boost is really something worth considering, especially when used in succession to its quick attacks.

Shadow Dragonite is an amazing Pokémon that is deserving of its power-up and TM.


Metagross in Pokémon Go

Metagross is another great dual steel and psychic type Pokémon. Using its diverse skills can be very useful in Gym battles. It uses ground abilities which makes it highly effective against electric-type Pokémon. However, the opposite is true for dragon-type Pokémon, which you should best avoid.

Its high defense stats allow it to take a lot of punishment while dolling out its own attacks. This means it can be used in both PvP as well as PvE.

However, Matagross may not be as effective in the Master League due to the fall in defensive stats.

For more information, be sure to check out our in-depth article on Metagross moveset.


Shadow Machamp

Machamp is an all-rounder pokémon that can face multiple threats at the same time. Belonging to the Gen-I, Machamp has really maintained his form despite the years. A great fighting-type Pokémon that is best for raids and lower league matches.

Despite all this, Machamp was starting to slip. The shadow version of this Pokémon came through and has once again made it one of the top Pokémon. With the overall upgrade, it can now defend, go on raids and attack Gyms effectively.


Shadow Swampert

Swampert is the water and ground type Pokémon that this list needs to be completed. Hailing from the Hoenn Region (Gen-3), its exclusively famous move Hydro Cannon needs no introduction.

This Pokémon, however, is specific to its battles. While it may be highly effective for Raids and Gym Attacking, it falls off in the PvP area due to the decrease in its defense stats.

On the other hand, the increase in its attack stats makes it the best Pokémon used during Raids. And since it has the highest DPS as a water-type Pokémon in the game, it can take on opponents much stronger than itself.


Shadow Mewtwo

This Pokémon needs no introduction, which is why it was saved for the end of this list. Every player has gone through the struggle of trying to get a hold of Mewtwo—making its shadow form an even rarer occurrence. 

It is no news that Mewtwo is the most powerful Pokémon, and the best psychic type Pokémon, hailing from the Kanto Region (Gen-1). Being the strongest Pokémon in-game means that it’s always going to be a tough battle if your opponent has this particular Pokémon in its arsenal.

Already having high stats, with an addition of a 20% boost, is the icing on the cake which makes Mewtwo have the highest DPS in-game. Do not make the mistake of purifying this pokémon. It is every bit deserving of the Elite TM and any power-ups along with it.

Choosing and selecting these pokémon out of many was no easy feat as there are still countless shadow pokemon out there left to be discovered. Hopefully, this list allows you to enhance your Pokémon Go experience and continue your journey to become the best Pokémon trainer in the region!

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