Shiny Shadow Absol? Pokémon GO’s Rocket Leaders Switched Their Teams

The currently-running Holiday Event 2019 has brought a lot of changes to Pokémon GO. The most notable of these changes is, of course, new Pokémon to catch. There’s a Pikachu with a warm cap, a Stantler dressed up like one of Santa’s reindeer, both of which can be shiny. Fifth generation Pokémon Cubchoo and Cryogonal are making their debut in the game. Delibird is getting its shadow form for a limited time. Apparently, Team Rocket’s Leaders also wanted to take part in the festivities. Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra all have new lead members in their teams.

Pokémon GO players were recently introduced to the leadership of the game’s version of Team Rocket. Giovanni is the big boss, of course, but players have to face his three generals before they can get to him. They are Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra. Up until the holidays, trainers could count on the three Rocket Leaders using Scyther, Meowth, and Sneasel, respectively. Now that the new event has started, they use Bagon, Stantler, and Absol, respectively.

The change is significant for several reasons. First, trainers can capture these Pokémon after defeating their corresponding leader. These Pokémon will appear as Shadow Pokémon and can simultaneously be shiny. This marks the first time these three will be available as a combined shiny and shadow variant. Even though the goal of the game is supposed to be to cure Pokémon of the shadow affliction, many players will search for shiny shadow versions of these Pokémon just for the rarity factor.

The other significance of this shift is that players may have to switch up their battle teams to fight the Rocket Leaders. Optimal combat lineups have long been determined, but having brand new Pokémon in the mix will throw a wrench into things. Thankfully, it shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment. Rocket Leaders use a team of three Pokémon, but it seems like they’ve only switched the first Pokémon in their lineup. There are probably already updated guides on how to beat them.

The winter season seems like a strange time to play Pokémon GO, a game that asks you to walk around outside. But there are plenty of bonuses to be had for those who choose to stick it out and play the game on a daily basis until New Year’s. New shadow shiny Pokémon are only the tip of the iceberg. Sadly, the actual iceberg Pokémon isn’t available yet.

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