Everything you need to know about Shadow Lugia in Pokemon GO

Steven Rondina • November 25, 13:39

Shadow Pokémon are the most potent offensive options in all of Pokémon GO, and legendaries like Shadow Lugia are particularly fearsome.

The cover monster for Pokémon Silver has arrived in Pokémon GO in Shadow form in the Misunderstood Mischief event. This gives players the chance to add another overpowered psychic-type Pokémon to their lineup.

Of course, that’s much easier said than done. It’s an ordeal getting through the Misunderstood Mischief questline, then it’s difficult to defeat Giovanni, and then it’s difficult to know how to handle the Pokémon and make the most of it. Here’s how to add Shadow Lugia to your team and what you should do with it.

How to get Shadow Lugia in Pokémon GO

Shadow Lugia is the final big reward from the Misunderstood Mischief special research that was introduced in the autumn of 2021. 

Misunderstood Mischief is one of the longest and most involved quest lines ever added to Pokémon GO. The good news is that it has two great rewards to be had in Shadow Lugia and mythical Pokémon Hoopa. 

Part 15 of Misunderstood Mischief turns the player’s attention to Team Go Rocket and culminates with a battle against Giovanni. After defeating Giovanni, an encounter with Shadow Lugia begins that allows players to catch the Pokémon. The encounter isn’t difficult, allowing players to get an easy shot at catching the legendary Pokémon. It’s highly recommended to hit it with a Pinap Berry to get three extra candies.

How do you get Misunderstood Mischief?

Misunderstood Mischief was made available to Pokémon GO players for free during the Season of Mischief event in Pokémon GO. 

The event was a follow-up to Pokémon GO Fest 2021, which included a storyline based around Hoopa that saw the Pokémon summon legendaries and later introduce multiple eighth-generation Pokémon.

A follow-up special research is set to come out in December, revolving around the Unbound version of Hoopa. Players can purchase a ticket for the event, but can receive the special research for free by completing Misunderstood Mischief before December 1.

Should you purify Shadow Lugia?

Players should not purify Shadow Lugia under any circumstances.

Shadow Lugia behaves the same way as any other shadow Pokémon. While getting a huge boost of CP and higher IVs may be tempting, shadow legendaries are best left as-is, thanks to the 20% boost to attack that shadow Pokémon receive. Though the tradeoff is receiving increased damage, this is still preferred over a purified version of the Pokémon.

Even if Pokémon GO is patched in a way that makes shadow Pokémon weaker, players can simply purify them if this becomes the case. Shadow Pokémon can be purified at any time, but this cannot be reversed. This also inherently makes Shadow Lugia rarer than regular or purified versions of the Pokémon.

Is there a shiny Shadow Lugia in Pokémon GO?

Shadow Lugia is not currently available in shiny form.

As of this writing, Shadow Lugia is exclusively available in Pokémon GO through the Misunderstood Mischief event and it seems as though the Pokémon is shiny-locked. This means it cannot be a shiny encounter, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Shiny Lugia (left) compared with regular Lugia (right).

The good news is that Lugia appears as a five-star raid boss relatively often in Pokémon GO, and raid bosses typically have a rare chance of being shiny encounters. If players get lucky, they can get a shiny Lugia even if it isn’t shadow.

Is Shadow Lugia banned?

Shadow Lugia isn’t banned in Pokémon GO, but it is banned from the Pokémon TCG.

A promotional jumbo Shadow Lugia card was made available to players in the United States and Japan for the Nintendo Gamecube title Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. It was never released as a regular card and therefore was never legal in tournament play.

If it had been, the card would have been absurdly powerful, with 300 HP and an attack that does 1,000 damage for four psychic energies. It isn’t an EX, GX, or V card either, so players would only get one prize for knocking it out.

Even by today’s standards, the card would have been wildly overpowered but when the card was first introduced in 2005 it would have been even moreso. The card was never released in regular sizes, which is likely for the best.

What are the best moves for Shadow Lugia?

The best moves for Shadow Lugia in Pokémon GO are Extrasensory and Aeroblast.

Extrasensory gives Shadow Lugia a potent fast move that has STAB damage and solid coverage. Because Extrasensory is a psychic attack, which is resisted by steel, dark, and psychic types, it’s worth rolling with another type for the charge move. Aeroblast is the best option in this regard, with strong damage to go alongside a STAB boost.

With those moves, Shadow Lugia is a very strong threat in every PVP format it’s eligible for and can be raised up to be a devastating force in raids with enough candy. This is a great Pokémon and every Pokémon GO player would be well served in building theirs up.

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