Pokémon Go: 15 Strongest Shadow Pokémon For Gyms

Pokémon Go has continued to go from strength to strength ever since its launch. While it may not be the worldwide phenomenon it once was, Niantic and Nintendo have put together a series of updates that have really enhanced the game and given players a more wide-ranging experience.

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Besides some modifications to Gym Battles, in recent months, the game has also introduced the concept of Shadow Pokémon. These are Pokémon that have been experimented on and impacted in some way by the evil Team Rocket. While these nefarious mutations can be purified, some players are using these rare Shadow Pokémon in the heat of Gym Battles.

Updated September 10th, 2021 by George Chrysostomou With new Legendary Pokémon being added to the title on a monthly basis and the range of other Shadow options increasing there are plenty more dangerous beasts to attack a Gym with in the hope of winning some glory for a faction. These Pokémon are almost certain to help plant the flag of victory atop the local landmark. 

15 *Dragonite

Dragonite from the Pokemon series

Dragonite has always been a valuable member to have on any team. Durable and resilient, the dragon and flying type is a great combination to have when attacking a Gym, and considering this is the Pokémon’s third phase of evolution a player can exponentially beef up his abilities and stats.

The Shadow iteration of the monster is really something to reckon with. Although he is actually great defensively, his max health in Shadow form definitely helps with allowing the player to last longer in battle. He can deal out further damage as well with a number of progressively quick attacks.

14 *Raikou

Pokemon Go Raikou.webp

While a player in a less populated area might normally struggle to come across a Legendary PokémonPokémon Go has attempted to make them largely more accessible. What’s more, Shadow iterations have been added to the game and Raikou is amongst their most dangerous.

Of course, attacking a Gym with a Legendary Pokémon is always a wise idea regardless, but the electric type’s resistance to flying and steel especially make it useful in battle. His abilities in his Shadow phase certainly pack a larger punch and is a great tactical choice for players.

13 *Articuno

Another Legendary addition and one of the best Shadow Pokémon, beginners should know that one of the best things about Articuno is his defensive skills. He is great to have on the other side of Gym battle, protecting a captured location at all costs.

Articuno is already incredibly powerful and his ice and flying type combinations means that players can equip him with a number of crucial abilities. The only problem with Articuno is he is weakened by a wide range of other types, meaning he has to be played incredibly tactically.

12 *Zapdos

As Pokémon Go adds to its range of available Legendary Pokémon in Shadow form, the electric and flying type Zapdos becomes a clear candidate to have on an attacking team. After all, not only is the bird very versatile in its abilities but is resistant to up to six different types!

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The max cp of the creature is also impressive showcasing that Zapdos can really survive for the long haul if a player is willing to continue to uplevel the mighty monster. If a player is looking for Legendary Shadow Pokémon Zapdos may be the best choice as he’s useful in Raids too!

11 *Suicine

Suicine stands proudly in Pokemon

It’s actually fairly difficult to come across reliable water types that will be useful in battle against a wide range of opponents, rather than just fire types. With a resistance to steel, ice, and water of course as well, Suicine is a great member of the team to have with his stamina wildly increasing thanks to the Shadow boost.

Suicine is really an all-rounder with a high CP as well, although when looking at Gym battles it might be best to put the character on the defensive. When lining up a team, therefore, Shadow Suicine would be best placed in the middle of a squad so that the player can catch their breath and work out their next move.

10 Mewtwo

Mewtwo Pokemon

Mewtwo is, of course, one of the most difficult Pokémon to get a hold of. Found during events and Raids, while Mewtwo isn’t really in circulation at the moment, the concept of a Shadow Mewtwo is even rarer. It took a long time for this mutated character to enter the game.

As one of the most powerful characters in the whole franchise, Mewtwo is only enhanced by the addition of a Shadow effect. In a Gym, Mewtwo would be a formidable foe for anyone to face, with its consistently high HP, attack, and psychic abilities able to hold off the ablest of players.

9 Entei

While Entei was brought in as a Generation II Pokémon, due to its Legendary status, it’s not associated with a particular region in general Pokémon lore. It’s another character that’s difficult to come by in Pokémon Go, but nonetheless, it is on the Pokédex.

As a fire type, this character can certainly bring an edge to any Gym lineup. Indeed, fire types are especially useful against a range of Pokémon. To add the impact of a Shadow mutation to this would result in enhanced abilities and an impressive array of skills. Power up Entei further and it’ll be a threat for both conquering a gym and defending one.

8 Moltres

Much like with Entei, Moltres is another Legendary fire type who can pack a mean punch in battle. Combine this with abilities like Overheat and the impact of having the Shadow iteration of the character, and in either raids or general battles, Moltres is superior to most Pokémon.

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This iconic Generation I character may be somewhat overlooked by players, considering it has been in the game for some time now and it would certainly be their first instinct to purify him. However, for taking on a loaded Gym, Moltres is a powerful Pokémon to bring into the fold.

7 Machamp

As a final evolution, Machamp is quite effective in his own right. His fighting skills have always come in handy when taking on several threats and in many ways, he acts as a bit of an all-rounder, despite his abilities. Shadow versions of the Pokémon are a little more common to come by.

As one of the best Pokémon from Generation I, he has really stood the test of time. Perfect for Gym defense, Counter, Karate Chop and Dynamic Push are all moves that are great to pair with this Shadow iteration of the character.

6 Houndoom

Pokemon GO, Mega Houndoom

Houndoom is a surprisingly versatile member of the Pokémon Go Pokédex. Once again as an evolution, it has the extra advantage of usually sitting at higher power levels, not to mention the Pokémon works extremely well with the Shadow alterations.

As one of the Pokémon that has a Mega Evolution in the mainline games, this is an added bonus for the character. Snarl and Foul Play are especially useful for Raids and Gyms alike, with the combination of a dark and fire type being able to wreak havoc on a wide range of Pokémon.

5 Electivire

Pokemon Go Electivire.webp

Thundershock is very effective as a move in Gym Battles, thanks to its power and speed. Electivire, therefore, brings this special ability to the table, as well as it’s powerful electric attacks that will certainly help to round out the defensive line of any Gym team.

RELATED: The 10 Best Pokémon in Pokémon GO To Demolish Gyms

The character is usually found with pretty high levels of HP, attack, and defense in the wild, and in encounters, although Shadow variations are a little less common. Don’t purify this Pokémon though, as it’s one of the most effective Electric types in this form.

4 Mamoswine

Mamoswine Using Ancient Power in the Pokemon Anime

Mamoswine is an unusual Pokémon and is often used ineffectively in battle. Considering it’s a slower mover, it’s often used in the way Snorlax is, but it actually holds considerably powerful Snow and Ice abilities that are useful when paired for a Shadow iteration.

The character is definitely imposing and, once again, due to its size and the health it can often bring, it’s a great character to place in a Gym to protect it at all costs. Mud-Slap and Avalanche is a good combination to cover all bases when it comes to a range of opponents.

3 Absol

Absol from Pokemon

Absol is mysterious, beautifully designed, and feels more at home in terms of its look with the purified Pokémon. Yet opposites sometimes work and the Shadow variation of this creature works very well with its quick attacks and psychic powers.

Its darker gifts also work well here, with Dark Pulse one to keep in mind when attacking a stacked Gym. Of course, this rare Pokémon is even more difficult to find in the Shadow variation, so keep hold of any rather than purifying them. Once again this also works well for Raids.

2 Metagross

Metagross is quite the staple of Gym battles, thanks to its diverse range of skills. It works with ground abilities, can bring in psychic powers, and it’s much easier to level up this Pokémon in comparison to others. The Shadow versions are even more dangerous in battle.

Metagross can take the brunt of the attack and fire back in quick succession. Avalanche is a good move to keep in mind, but any psychic ability will once again prove fatal with the addition of the Shadow version of the character. This steel type even does pretty well against electric, but avoid dragons!

1 Weavile


Weavile is another underrated addition to the Go game, but one that has started to be used effectively with the Shadow modifications at play. More psychic abilities come in useful here, with Weavile bringing more to the table thanks to its icy powers.

Although not good for being a lone hero attacking a Gym, as part of a more varied team, it may be best left to pick off some of the weaker attackers of a group battle. Snarl, Avalanche, and Foul Play are all moves to look out for with this warrior.

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