A Team GO Rocket Takeover starts at 10am on Thursday, October 26, and ends at 8pm on Tuesday, October 31. During this time, you can remove Frustration with a regular Charged TM. All these Shadow Pokemon will continue to be available even after the event.

In this article, I’ll offer a comprehensive review of the newly released Shadow Pokemon that are relevant in raids.

Note: Since Shadow Rhyperior will benefit greatly from its past CD move Rock Wrecker, I recommended TMing any (good) Shadow Rhyhorns that you have, even if their IVs aren’t the best. In case another event that gives Rock Wrecker happens soon, you don’t want to be stuck with Frustration. (This also applies to Shadow Gible!!!)


My own ranking: [Shadow Rhyperior/Rampardos > Shadow Excadrill > Shadow Chandelure] >> Shadow Gengar. Anything within [] is a top-tier attacker of its type.

But it depends on your needs and existing teams. There are also nuances with many comparison pairs, and it’s a personal preference of “glass cannon vs tank” for the most part.

  • [Rock] Shadow Rhyperior/Rampardos both outclass all existing non-Megas. I prefer a mixed team or just Rhyperior, but there’s a whole section on this below.
  • [Ground] Shadow Excadrill (Scorching Sands) lands on the same tier as Shadow Garchomp, and again above all other non-Primals. Between the two, I lean slightly towards Excadrill for accessibility, but make a back-up plan when it has bad typing.
  • [Fire] Shadow Chandelure performs similarly to Fusion Flare Reshiram at the top tier, and largely outclasses all other fire-type shadows. (Sorry, Moltres.)
  • [Dark/Ghost] Brutal Swing Shadow Tyranitar vastly outclasses everything. But it’s good to have some Shadow Chandelure for the 20-30% of cases where Ttar gets destroyed (e.g. Focus Blast Mewtwo).

The first 3 bullet points all seem quite future-proof, with the only predictably better options being future shadow legendaries.

My analyses of other types are in this spreadsheet. You can also follow me on Twitter (X) and Threads!

Rock: Shadow Rhyperior vs. Shadow Rampardos

Rock attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE.
Shadow Rampardos vs. Shadow Rhyperior (L40 not friends)

TL;DR: It’s really more of a personal preference. But if you don’t care about nuances, then use a mixed team, or just Shadow Rhyperior if you have to choose one. It’s much more consistent.

Shadow Rampardos is like gambling: on average you lose money, and even though there are good cases, ultimately it won’t matter much in practice.

This question is apparently worth 318 upvotes, but… I honestly don’t think there’s a one-size-fit-all answer.

This is the classic debate of glass cannons (Shadow Rampardos, with sky high DPS but terrible bulk) and tanks (Shadow Rhyperior, much bulkier but with much less DPS).

By “win rates” alone, Shadow Rampardos technically gets a “win” majority majority of the time, even in Estimator (57%) which is the least forgiving metric for glass cannons. You can say it “underperforms” from non-shadow Rampardos (69%), but honestly, it’s more impressive than I thought.

The problem is when you look at how hard it “wins” and “loses”.

  • When Shadow Rampardos “wins”, it usually doesn’t stand out by much.
    • The most extreme cases with the biggest advantage are: Water charged moves, Grass charged moves, and heavy-hitting Focus Blasts (which may destroy both). But there aren’t too many of them
    • More moderate cases are weak charged moves (e.g. Dragon Claw, Ancient Power) and resisted charged moves (e.g. Hyper Beam, some Overheats) from the boss.
    • T3 (non-shadow) raids are more skewed in favor of Shadow Rampardos.
  • When Shadow Rampardos “loses”, it can lose hard.
    • The moderate cases are often not-so-weak neutral charged moves (e.g. Psychic, Dark Pulse). Big neutral moves (e.g. Future Sight) typically lean even more in favor of Shadow Rhyperior, but not always.
    • Shadow Rampardos’s worst cases are usually boss moves that deal Super Effective damage to rock, such as Ground and Fighting moves.
    • Shadow raids are more skewed in favor of Shadow Rhyperior.

(None of the statements above are in absolute terms: the data is much messier than you might expect.)

And all these only concerns the time it takes to finish the raid (note that Estimator already accounts for relobbying time). Once the raid is over, how many revives will you need?

After checking selected raid bosses:

  • Shadow Rampardos usually has 1.5-2x more deaths.
  • This means in most raids – even if you have 5 other remote raiders – a 6x Shadow Rampardos team will often have one more relobby than a Shadow Rhyperior team.
  • In some cases, it can even “erase” a small (<=5%) advantage in Estimator!
    • Here are some examples that I used, with both estimators and simulations with actual teams (plus a mixed 3+3 team): 1) DT/FS Lugia, 2) Gust/Hurricane Yveltal, 3) DB/Crunch Reshiram, 4) RS/FB Regice.
    • My observation seems to be: Even when Shadow Rampardos has 5% better estimator, the moment it needs one more relobby, win times are about the same. If it doesn’t need a relobby, then it pulls ahead.

I’m not speaking against Shadow Rampardos. There are cases where it shines a lot more than Shadow Rhyperior does… But either you need to be good (dodging, fast relobbying, etc), or the raid boss needs to cooperate (easy moveset, good timing RNG), or you have many other raiders (then why care?), or all of them. I think the maximum potential of Shadow Rampardos is higher, but it’s harder to hit, and the benefits of hitting them are smaller than the drawbacks of missing them.

So if you don’t want to care about all these nuances: A mixed team of both probably gets you the best of both worlds (including whatever high IV specimen you have)But if you have to pick one, Rhyperior.

  • In theory, the best “mixed team” is one that has just enough Shadow Rhyperiors to avoid a relobby.

Ultimately, the difference is VERY minimal in practice. In all 4 examples I used above, the time difference between the two in 6-person raids is often just 3-5 seconds, at most 10-15 seconds. Nothing to stress out about, and both are well above all other non-mega rock attackers anyway.

  • So if you go with Shadow Rampardos to avoid ETMs, that’s also OK.

Ground and Steel: Shadow Excadrill (SS) vs. Shadow Garchomp

Ground attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE.
Shadow Excadrill and Shadow Rhyperior vs. similar Ground attackers (L40 not friends)
Steel attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE.

I’ll keep this much shorter, because I already compared their non-shadow versions last month. Interested readers should go to that article instead.

Shadow Excadrill (with the new Scorching Sands) is faster and glassier than Shadow Garchomp, but much less dramatically than Rampardos vs Rhyperior. For the most part, their differences largely depend on typing, not bulk and DPS differences. Notably, many raid bosses hit Excadrill hard with their Fire, Ground and Fighting (coverage) moves.

  • Shadow vs. non-shadow doesn’t seem to fundamentally change this conclusion.

As with the previous section, a mixed team is probably the best. But given the massive accessibility differences, it’s also reasonable to just go with Shadow Excadrills, but have a back-up plan in case it gets destroyed by the boss.

In any case, both seem to be a tier above Shadow Mamoswine and the new Shadow Rhyperior.

PS. Shadow Excadrill is also a decent Steel attacker, for anyone without (enough) Metagross.

Shadow Chandelure (Fire)

Fire attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE.
Shadow Chandelure vs. similar Fire attackers (L40 not friends)

Shadow Chandelure is generally on the same tier as Fusion Flare Reshiram. It’s stardust vs. legendary candy + ETM: pick your poison.

As for comparison between the two, it’s yet another case of “glass cannon vs tank”. Typing differences seem to be the main culprit, and bulk to a lesser extent:

  • Shadow Chandelure benefits from fighting- and normal-type charged moves from the boss.
  • Reshiram’s bulk makes it more resilient to big bad moves like Earthquake that destroy Chandelure. That, plus some Shadow Ball users, nets it higher ASE on my charts.
  • A Shadow Chandelure that dodges charged moves can be amazing.

Shadow Chandelure greatly reduces, if not eliminates, the demand for other fire-type shadows. Sorry if anyone raided Shadow Moltres hard, but at least you probably won’t raid Shadow Entei now. And say goodbye to the wait for Blast Burn on Shadow Blaziken.

Dark/Ghost: In the Shadows of Tyranitar

Dark and Ghost attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE.
Shadow Chandelure and Shadow Gengar vs. similar Dark attackers (L40 not friends)

This would have been a much more complicated discussion 5 months ago, but now, Shadow Tyranitar with Brutal Swing basically destroyed the competition. Unless it has some serious typing disadvantage, that’s what you should use now. It’s simply that OP in raw power.

In cases where Shadow Ttar gets destroyed (or if you don’t have enough of them), that’s when Shadow Chandelure comes in as a ghost type.

  • We’re talking about the 20-30% of cases where Tyranitar gets hit by a Fighting, Fairy or Grass-type charged move. Not often, but still many such cases (e.g. Focus Blast Mewtwo).
  • There are also cases where only ghost types can be used, but not dark. Most notably Mega Mewtwo X and Mega Gallade.

Shadow Gengar also works as a “Shadow Tyranitar’s companion”, but it’s a textbook glass cannon and thus a lot less reliable. It also doesn’t outperform non-shadows nearly as cleanly as Shadow Chandelure does, if at all. Not useless, but a bit underwhelming.

For those who do build a Shadow Gengar: Shadow Claw and (legacy) Lick are very similar, as a ghost attacker.

  • In theory, the former is better at dealing damage itself, while the latter helps reach charged moves more quickly. But the most practical difference is that Lick allows much easier dodging. (With dodging, Shadow Gengar almost catches up with Shadow Chandelure.)

Poison-type Shadow Gengar…?

Poison attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE.

You’re not at fault for forgetting Shadow Gengar can also be a poison attacker. But by the end of this section, you’ll forget about it again.

On the charts, looks like Shadow Gengar does quite well, slotting between Nihilego and Roserade (and even on par with Nihilego in TTW/Est. Dodge). This is despite it not even having a poison fast move!


  • Poison is among the least useful types in raids, as I discussed in a dedicated poison-type analysis (which is also my least upvoted analysis – I don’t think it’s a coincidence).
  • Tapu Bulu is the only T4+ raid boss against which poison stands out. Yet, Shadow Gengar falls below Roserade against it.
    • Why? Tapu Bulu is double weak to poison (meaning it takes 2.56x damage from poison attacks), whereas all other bosses I use to make the chart only take 1.6x. But Gengar’s fast moves only deal 1x damage to Bulu, whereas Roserade’s Poison Jab deals 2.56x. This huge difference pulls Roserade on top in this scenario, whereas for all other bosses, it’s not enough to overcome Shadow Gengar’s powerful Sludge Bomb.
    • This also means that while Lick is Gengar’s best fast move as a general-purpose poison attacker, Hex is better as a Tapu Bulu specialist. Hex generates energy faster to charge up Sludge Bombs, but deals less damage than Lick. Tapu Bulu being double weak to poison puts extra pressure on racing to 2.56x effective charged moves.
  • If you really need an anti-fairy counter now, use Shadow Excadrill.

There’s some hope that Gengar might get Poison Jab in the future, which would make it significantly better. But for now, no.


For the most part, the shadows that I’m recommending (Rock, Ground and Fire types) are quite future-proof.

  • [Rock] I honestly don’t see anything seriously outclassing Shadow Rhyperior and Rampardos.
  • [Ground] Shadow Groudon will obviously be OP, and Shadow Landorus with Sandsear Storm may also do the same. But among non-legendary non-megas, Shadow Excadrill and Shadow Garchomp have pretty much extracted most of the potential.
  • [Fire] Shadow Reshiram and Shadow Heatran will outclass the shadow non-legendaries. Otherwise, Shadow Darmanitan and Shadow Volcarona will likely be very similar to Shadow Chandelure, but not above.
    • Shadow Volcarona can still set itself apart with its signature move, Fiery Dance (CD move?), but idk when that will happen on a shadow.
  • [Ghost, FYI] Non-shadow Blacephalon, if given the best moveset, can be a literal Shadow Chandelure clone. (Shadow Gholdengo will also be slightly better, but how will it even be released?)

Disclaimer: This does not consider unexpected “signature” moves (Head Smash Rampardos) or wacky moveset additions (Meteor Beam Rhyperior, Scorching Sands Garchomp). They’re always theoretically possible, but seem highly unlikely to happen.

One addition that does seem more plausible, though, is Poison Jab Gengar. If that happens, it will immediately make Shadow Gengar outperform Nihilego (though it doesn’t resolve the low utility of poison types).

PS. If anyone saved Shadow Torchics for Blast Burn but don’t find a need for them anymore, you might want to consider saving them unevolved in case Blaziken gets Aura Sphere one day. Just saying. I admit that I might be asking you to wait for something that, more likely than not, may never happen.

Imgur Links and Additional Charts

General attacker charts: ASE, ASTTW* and ASE Dodge*


* indicates additional charts that are not in the main post.