Everything you need to know about Shadow Ho-oh in Pokemon GO

By Steven Rondina


Jul 26, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Shadow Mewtwo is one of the most sought-after commodities in Pokemon GO, but he’s not the only shadow legendary that’s available in the game. In 2021, Giovanni returned with a new shadow Pokemon in the form of Pokemon Gold cover model Ho-oh.

With Shadow Mewtwo already standing as one of the most powerful in all of Pokemon GO, that naturally attracted a lot of attention towards Shadow Ho-oh. But is Shadow Ho-oh as good as Shadow Mewtwo? And should players consider purifying it? Here’s everything you need to know about Shadow Ho-oh in Pokemon GO.

How to catch Shadow Ho-oh in Pokemon GO

Shadow Ho-oh is obtained during the Go Rocket special research questline A Seven-Colored Shadow. The special research mission primarily revolves around battling members of Go Rocket before eventually facing off with Team Go Rocket leader Giovanni. Instead of having a Shadow Mewtwo, Giovanni’s signature Pokemon is Shadow Ho-oh, which players can capture after defeating Giovanni.

Here are the missions for A Seven-Colored Shadow:

Step 1 of 6

  • Catch 10 Pokemon (Tediursa encounter)
  • Spin 3 PokeStops or Gyms (1 Sun Stone)
  • Purify 1 Shadow Pokemon (15 Poke Balls)

Rewards: 1500 XP, 500 Stardust, Gloom encounter

Step 2 of 6

  • Defeat 5 Team Go Rocket Grunts (5 Hyper Potions)
  • Catch 5 Shadow Pokemon (5 Revives)
  • Purify 3 Shadow Pokemon (15 Great Balls)

Rewards: 2,000 XP, 500 Stardust, Xatu encounter

Step 3 of 6

  • Use 3 super-effective Charged Attacks in Gym Battles (1 Fast TM)
  • Battle another trainer in the Great League (1 Charged TM)
  • Purify 5 Shadow Pokemon (15 Ultra Balls)

Rewards: 2,500 XP, 1,000 Stardust, Rocket Radar

Step 4 of 6

  • Defeat Team Go Rocket Leader Arlo (Flareon encounter)
  • Defeat Team Go Rocket Leader Cliff (Vaporeon encounter)
  • Defeat Team Go Rocket Leader Sierra (Jolteon encounter)

Rewards: 2,500 XP, 100 Stardust, Super Rocket Radar

Step 5 of 6

  • Find the Team Go Rocket Boss (5 Max Potions)
  • Battle the Team Go Rocket Boss (5 Max Revives)
  • Defeat the Team Go Rocket Boss (1 King’s Rock)

Rewards: 3,000 XP, 2,000 Stardust, Larvitar encounter

Step 6 of 6

  • Claim Reward (2,000 XP)
  • Claim Reward – (2,000 XP)
  • Claim Reward – (2,000 XP)

Rewards: 2,000 Stardust, 2 Silver Pinap Berries, 1 Lucky Egg

How to get A Seven-Colored Shadow special research in Pokemon GO

A Seven-Colored Shadow is available to those who signed into Pokemon GO between June 17 and September 1, 2021. Players should have it made available as soon as they sign in. If this isn’t the case, it’s likely because the player needs to complete other Team Go Rocket-related special research missions. A Seven-Colored Shadow should pop up after those are cleared.

Should I purify Shadow Ho-oh?

Pokemon GO players should not purify Shadow Ho-oh. The Shadow boost enjoyed by Shadow Ho-oh makes it stronger than a regular Ho-oh and purifying it requires a significant number of Ho-oh candies that could instead be spent on powering up Ho-oh. The one problem with Shadow Ho-oh is that it’s stuck with Frustration as its charge move unless the player invests 100 candies into picking up a second charge move, or uses a TM during an event.

Not only that, but Shadow Ho-oh is inherently rarer than Purified Ho-oh. Though there may or may not be more Shadow Ho-ohs in existence, Shadow Ho-oh can be purified at any time, but this can’t be reversed. 

If Purified Pokemon become better at some point, players can purify Ho-oh later on. There may never be another opportunity to catch Shadow Ho-oh, though.

Is Shadow Ho-oh good in Pokemon GO?

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Shadow Ho-oh is good, but not great, in Pokemon GO. With sufficient time and effort, Shadow Ho-oh is a solid bulky option for PVP in Pokemon GO. Its relative squishiness will hold it back in some situations, but for Shadow Ho-oh’s serious firepower makes it a solid addition to any team if players can teach it a different charge attack rather than its Frustration ability.

Shadow Mewtwo from 2020’s events still remains the definitive Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon GO. While Ho-oh is better than average, it finds itself trailing in most departments behind its predecessor, particularly due to its devastating weakness to rock-type attacks.