There’s No Reason Why Smeargle Can’t Be Shiny Any More

The Pokemon Snap event came and went in Pokemon GO. It was nothing special. Yet another timed research and a handful of spawns. Most  of the spawns weren’t particularly interesting. At least, not if you weren’t hunting for shinies. And even then, some of the spawns weren’t shiny-eligible at all, namely Metapod and Dodrio. Annoyingly, we couldn’t have had Caterpie or Doduo spawning as well.

The one standout part of this event was the fact that Smeargle could be shiny.

“Wait, Smeargle is in Pokemon GO?”

Yeah, this seems strange, especially since Kecleon is STILL missing after all these years. Encountering a Smeargle is unique. You only have a chance to see them when taking snapshots of Pokemon you own. Smeargle will photobomb you, then, when you exit from the photo menu, will spawn somewhere nearby in the wild, like an Incense spawn. Normally, you can only get one Smeargle a day that will photo-bomb you. However, the Smeargle you catch will have the moves of the Pokemon it photo-bombed. So you can get some cool combinations.

During the Pokemon Snap event however, there was a chance for Smeargle to be shiny. Alongside this, the chance of a photo-bomb was guaranteed after every picture, and you could get up to 15 Smeargles a day. This meant you had 60 chances at a shiny. After those 60 chances, that was it, you couldn’t get any more.

A Shiny Smeargle from the limited Pokemon Snap event
A Shiny Smeargle from the limited Pokemon Snap event

After the event ended, Shiny Smeargle once again became inaccessible. Why? Who knows? But it sucks for the many people who didn’t get lucky.

Smeargle isn’t really a special Pokemon.

This is kinda strange. Almost all other Pokemon that get shinies still have shinies after their initial release. The only exceptions to this have been Meltan (restricted to a handful of events related to other games), Mew and Ditto (tied to the Kanto event back in February 2021) and Genesect with the Burn Drive. And even then, Burn Drive Genesect will probably come back. Legendary Pokemon aren’t shiny on their initial release but are always shiny in later releases.

Smeargle though? Apparently it’s on the same tier as two mythicals and the original shapeshifter. It flat out can’t be shiny unless Niantic turn it on. Smeargle isn’t a useful Pokemon either. It can’t be used in Baby Cups, because it lacks the prerequisite of a second evolution. Smeargle’s CP is too low to ever find a place in Great League. And its normal typing means it never, ever gets STAB and super effective damage at the same time.

So why turn off its shiny?

You can’t even really grind hard for them.

Smeargle is also one of the hardest Pokemon to amass candy for. Sure, you can get a guaranteed one Smeargle a day. But it can take hundreds of snapshots for it to spawn. It’s supposed to have a 1/60 shiny chance, but even then, the chances of getting a shiny Smeargle would be low. And you can still be super unlucky, even after hundreds of encounters. I am still looking for a non-shadow shiny Scyther, despite having caught every single one I see.

I really can’t see a reason why this shiny would be turned off.

Of course, the reason could just be that the Pokemon Company said so.

After all, Pokemon and its assets are licensed to Niantic. And, most likely, a big chunk of the money Pokemon GO makes goes to not Niantic, but to licensing, as well as giving the Pokemon Company (or Gamefreak or Nintendo) a large cut. Because Niantic isn’t 100% in charge of what goes on in Pokemon GO, it’s possible that one of the licensing companies said no, Smeargle has to be a limited shiny Pokemon.

Or Niantic, Gamefreak, Nintendo or whoever just wanted to make it even more artificially rare. Just for the sake of it being rare.

You never know with these things.


Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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