Wondering if Shadow Pokemon are Worth it?

On the 14th of March, there was a Beldum incense event. Much like the Mareep one we had earlier this year, you could get Beldums from incense. It was basically a mini, secondary Community Day, but kinda worse. But, on the plus side, it was another chance to get Meteor Mash on Metagross. Which meant I didn’t have to wait months to evolve my 100% Shadow Beldum.

Using the candy I got from the event, I powered up my 100% Shadow Metagross. I powered it to the same CP as my 100% Purified Metagross. However the costs were pretty high. I spent 125 candy evolving the Metagross and another 200 powering it up. I also spent 250,000 Stardust powering up that Metagross.

A Purified Metagross and a Shadow Metagross duke it out in the city
A Purified Metagross and a Shadow Metagross duke it out in the city

Was it worth it though?

The answer, from a stat perspective, is yes.

Shadow Pokemon have a flat 20% damage boost. Sure, they take more damage as well. But the damage taken isn’t really considered a downside outside of PvP. This is mostly because, well, raid bosses do so much damage anyway. In a Legendary Raid, a Groudon with Solar beam is going to disintegrate pretty much any water-type Pokemon, regardless of whether they are shadow Pokemon or not.

In Metagross’s case though, the answer is a resounding yes. Heck, due to its stats, Shadow Metagross theoretically does more damage than a MEGA Metagross. Okay, sure, this is because Mega Metagross gets its buffs in areas other than Attack. But still, Shadow Metagross is a beast. To the point that a shadow Pokemon’s only other downside, the inability to Mega Evolve, isn’t a problem.

But is it really?

Problem is, we’re looking at Shadow Pokemon in a vacuum. And in said vacuum, we have enough candy to level up a Shadow Pokemon.

That Shadow Metagross I powered up, I could have spent the candy and stardust elsewhere. For the same amount, I could have gotten a normal 100% Metagross to the same level as my Purified one, and had candy and stardust to spare. Enough so to power up a lucky (but not hundo) Metagross to the same level as well! For the price of one really good Shadow Metagross, I could have had 2 pretty good normal Metagrosses.

The same applies for a lot of Pokemon. Shadow Mewtwo is the biggest powerhouse in the game. But the cost to power up a Shadow Mewtwo – just to level 40 mind you – is boggling! Now we have level 50 Pokemon, the hill is even steeper, especially in stardust costs.

Is the effort worth the reward?

This is the big question. While, yes, there’s some achievement in having a level 40, 100% Shadow Tyranitar, as well as my newly evolved Shadow Metagross, was it worth the effort?

I don’t know. Shadow Tyranitar has at least proven his worth. There aren’t really any other Dark types that can compare, and Tyranitar is pretty bulky, so it doesn’t suffer from the lowered defense. I’ve also been able to use Tyranitar a lot, because a lot of bosses are weak to either Dark or Rock. Shadow Metagross though? We’ve barely had a chance to use it.

But here’s the other problem. Are we really doing raids any faster or any better? No. While the extra damage might save us a few seconds here or there, the raid still gets done, as long as we use the right counters. And in PvP, shadow Pokemon generally aren’t favourable, because the meta there is rather bulky.

Personally, I’m starting to think otherwise.

I mean, if you have them, flaunt them. But Shadow Pokemon are expensive to make usable. And, despite the numbers saying otherwise, they don’t FEEL much more powerful. 20% sounds like a lot, but in practice, like, in a raid, I don’t really notice. I mean, I don’t notice them dying any quicker either, but part of me does wonder if all that stardust and candy was worth it?

At the end of the day, that 20% damage boost does sound tempting. But you have to put a lot of work in just to get a Pokemon to the point where you can make use of that damage boost. And if you’re a casual player, then that’s probably not feasible.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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