Shiny Pokemon have been a series mainstay since Pokemon Gold and Silver. Trainers loved grinding away to catch visually variant versions of their favorite battle creatures. While the actual encounter rates have been speculated in GO, it’s safe to say that it’s going to take several lures and incense to fish one out without Community Events active.
Legendary Pokemon makes the process even more exhausting, but Raids make finding Shiny variants easier. They even advertise it whenever certain Legendaries return to Raids.
Updated December 17th, 2020 by Lee Juckiewicz: With Pokemon GO’s holiday events coming up, many people might be looking to get back into the game this festive season despite social distancing. Starting December 22nd, players will see the debut of the ice-type Vanillite, Pokemon in holiday-themed outfits, and more!
The last week in December also features the return to raid battles of the legendary Pokemon Regice. If you’re hoping to come across a shiny this holiday, start training up your Metagrosses, Chandelures, and Charizards. While you’re waiting, why not refresh yourself on some of the best (and worst) legendary shinies in the mobile game?
16 Best: Cresselia
Cresselia’s original color palette featured soft pastels, namely pale yellow, periwinkle and magenta. Her aurora tail also fades into lighter shades of magenta. The Lunar Pokemon prevents nightmares and blesses people and Pokemon with pleasant dreams, therefore it has a more gentle and soothing appearance.
While Cresselia’s Shiny Forme features a darker palette, it ties back to a typical color scheme associated with the moon: dark purples and blues to symbolize the night. The neon blue contrasts pleasantly with the solid violet shade on her body. Shades of bright blue replace the previous magenta color scheme, rounding out the palette and managing to stay pleasing to the eye.
15 Worst: Groudon
This Shiny Form of Groudon has the shade of yellow that makes you puke rather than be intimidated. The intent seems to make Groudon have a golden color scheme, referencing the naturally occurring mineral that people associate with wealth.
It would be appropriate considering it is a box art Legendary Pokemon, but it just comes off all wrong. It looks more like a slimy yellow than a noble gold. The issue with this Shiny Form is that it takes away what makes Groudon stand out: his red color. It’s bold and symbolizes power, might and rage. You think that Game Freak would replace his color palette with something a little bolder, but no.
14 Best: Celebi
There is beauty in simplicity. Celebi’s color palette doesn’t offer a lot of range. It’s mainly a soft palette green, a slightly darker green (still bright) and aqua blue for its eyes and antenna tips. Like Cresselia, it’s meant to communicate a sense of comfort, stability and care. Trainers need not fear when they approach this mystical Pokemon.
In Celebi’s Shiny Forme, Game Freak swapped out the greens for a pink color scheme. Celebi’s main body is a standard light pink while its lower body and the back of its head is neon pink. The green is not completely gone: Celebi’s eyes and antenna tips are now green and not blue. Considering Celebi is supposed to be cute and disarming, like Mew, and pink and green is a classic pairing, it’s very fitting.
13 Worst: Ho-oh
This legendary was kind of weird to evaluate. The color scheme makes sense, but overall it doesn’t really work. It’s the same reason why you shouldn’t pair silver and gold jewelry – they clash too much, and you might as well just stick to one color.
Ho-oh already has a complex color scheme, considering it’s supposed to be more representative of the hou-ou, a phoenix-like creature from Japanese mythology. Its primary color is red (top half), following with white (underbelly) as it’s secondary color. It’s tail, beak and head plumage are gold while the rest of its wings is white, then lime green.
All these colors are bright and bold but differentiate enough to stand out on Ho-oh. In Ho-oh’s Shiny Form, the colors complete more rather than cooperate harmoniously. The silver, while striking, fades away because Ho-oh retains its white underbelly.
12 Best: Suicune
Most Legendary Pokemon’s Shiny Formes fall into three categories: one-color palette swaps, slightly lighter or darker shade of the original forme, or decently different. Suicune falls into the second category, but unlike the rest of the Dog Trio, it works out to his benefit.
The Aurora Pokemon is a Water-type that is associated with lakes, cleansing and purification. Naturally, the blue color scheme is fitting for it. While the biggest change is the color of its wavy main (from purple to irididescent blue), it reinforces Suicune’s representation. His main body is a lighter shade of blue, but light enough to contrast with the bold blue.
11 Worst: Moltres
It’s hard to fathom how this even happened. It could be blamed on the limited color capabilities of the Game Boy, but Game Freak could have changed it. Articuno and Zapdos’ Shiny Formes feature the bird Legendaries having a slight shade lighter or darker respectively. Moltres, on the the other hand, has his primary body color (yellow) changed from yellow to pink.
In the games, Moltres’ flames are red and yellow, like most Fire-type Pokemon who aren’t Ghost-types. The yellow body, like Rapidash and Magmar, helped the Pokemon’s main body be recognizable from its bodily fire. Because Moltres’ body is pink, its colors looked muddle and off-putting – like melting strawberry icecream. Ugh.
10 Best: Giratina
Unlike Ho-oh, this silver/yellow pairing with Giratina works. The Renegade Pokemon’s Shiny Form features its base color palette inverted and switched around. This is genius when players think about Giratina’s representation and its home, the Distortion World (Reverse World in Japanese).
Giratina’s black shadows remain intact, providing a dark contrast to the rest of the bright colors on its body. It’s golden armor pieces and rings are now silver, and its grey body is a very bright yellow. It’s red stripes and claw-like features on its wings are neon blue. The look is visually appeasing without the colors competing for attention.
9 Worst: Lake Trio
Instead of just one, all of the Lake Trio is going to be called out. While not as egregious as Moltres or Ho-oh, the color pairings do not work. Mesprit, Azelf and Uxie are the Sinnoh Region’s small, cute and Psychic-type Legendaries like Jirachi, Celebi and Mew. Therefore, they are going to have soft, pastel colors as their scheme.
All three of them have a light blue body, while the top of their head is a darker or contrasting color. In all their Shiny Formes, their main bodies gain a pale-yellow color which doesn’t contrast well with any of them. Uxie is the most egregious example, considering its head is already a darker shade of yellow. Mesprit and Azelf looks slightly off-putting in their Shiny Formes.
8 Best: Rayquaza
One of the most popular Legendaries, of course, has one of the best Shiny Formes. Who wouldn’t love a black (or really dark grey?) dragon that rules the stratosphere and defends the Earth from meteorites?
The Air Lock Pokemon’s color change is rather simple, too: just change the emerald green to black. The red and golden accents still stand out on its slender body, too. Rayquaza still manages to look domineering, foreboding and intimidating, similar to Charizard’s Shiny Forme. Good job, Game Freak.
7 Worst: Deoxys
Yellow seems to be the theme for bad Shiny Formes. What made The DNA Pokemon’s original design stand out in terms of color was the natural contrast of red and light blue; bonus points since they’re naturally inverted colors, too. In Deoxys’s Shiny Forme, only the red is replaced with a puke-yellow color.
Because Game Freak did not change the blue color, the yellow and the blue are competing against each other. It just looks bad and distasteful. A dark violet or neon pink would’ve made this Shiny Forme a little more digestible.
6 Best: Kyogre
Go on — tell us you can say “no” to this beautiful Moby Dick? We dare you. Unlike its companion from Pokemon Ruby, Kyogre’s Shiny Forme really compliments its original. Keeping the white underbelly and changing the red lines just a little, it replaces the blue with a vivid shade of purple that is hard to miss.
The Sea Basin Pokemon is the heaviest of the water-types. While not the fanciest or most elegant of the weather trio, it still manages to cut a suave and fun look when not blending in with the deep blue sea of Hoenn.
5 Worst: Raikou
Raikou had a pretty good look going for it. A very Thunder God kind of color palette, some nice, bold stripes, and a sort of purple, storm cloud cloak to finish it off. Unfortunately, when Game Freak designed its Shiny Forme, they chose to throw all that away in favor of a more traditional tiger look.
Now, don’t get us wrong. It isn’t a bad-looking Shiny Forme — it’s just missing a certain something that makes it stand out. Maybe it’s the lack of contrasting colors or the cloak that looks like it’s been dragged through the mud instead of raining down defeat from the sky. Either way, thumbs down in our books.
4 Best: Dialga
Some of the best Shiny Formes in Pokemon are the ones that don’t change drastically, but somehow have a very different vibe to their original. Dialga is one of those designs.
Switching out the typical blue, white, and silver that is so often associated with tech, Dialga’s Shiny Forme is mostly teal, with green, glowing highlights that really pop. It makes us think of precious stones catching the light of the sun underwater, and it’s certainly a diamond in the rough amongst some shoddier color combinations.
3 Worst: Zapdos
Shiny Zapdos doesn’t look bad, per se; its problem is that it doesn’t really look all that different at all. While some subtle Shiny Formes allow Game Freak to make little tweaks that improve the design, Zapdos falls short.
The change in the shade of yellow is hardly noticeable, and the decision to make the feet orange instead of brown makes it look a little bit too much it’s about to start reciting its “ABCs” to us. All that seems to have changed is that the saturation has been upped, and yet again, the yellow Shiny Formes let us down…
2 Best: Mew
Mew has been warming players’ hearts ever since its debut as the 151st Pokemon, with its adorable, gooey bubblegum appearance and pleasant personality. True to its roots, the Shiny Forme has stuck with candy pastel shades, and it made the right choice in doing so.
Its iconic pink body has been replaced with a soft blue that is easy on the eyes, while the original blue eye has been darkened up to suit. It’s a good thing they didn’t just switch the pink and the blue over, thus avoiding a bad case of pink-eye. Its only downside is how tricky it is for Western players to get ahold of.
1 Worst: Latias
Somebody thought that minty fresh green would go with a golden yellow, and that person should stop creating Shiny Forme color palettes. While Latias and Latios originally had a fun red and blue compliment going on, their alternate colors leave a lot to be desired. Latias, however, is worse than its partner.
The original red and white Latias, with its cheerful golden eye, somehow evokes a feeling of childhood nostalgia. Although yellow is the last of the primary colors, it doesn’t have quite the same emotion to it, and this shade is a little too Pikachu-esque for our liking.
NEXT: Best New Unova Pokemon Introduced In Pokemon Go, Ranked
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A fervent writer, consumer of media and all-around chill person, Zuri strives to bring discussion to the media we indulge in daily. Her favorite hobbies include writing short stories, no-lifeing games a month at a time and laying in bed with Hulu and strawberry oatmeal.
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