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"Pokémon GO" Team GO Rocket Invasions Guide

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Sigbog is an avid Level 40 "Pokémon GO" player and raider with lots of knowledge and experience to draw from.

Team GO Rocket Invasions Guide

Battling Team GO Rocket Grunts, capturing and purifying Shadow Pokemon, and more!

Battling Team GO Rocket Grunts, capturing and purifying Shadow Pokemon, and more!

What Are Team GO Rocket Invasions?

Team GO Rocket Invasions are Pokémon Go's way of introducing Team Rocket attacks to the game. Staring in the summer of 2019, Team Go Rocket squads may take over Pokéstops. If you're close to an invaded Pokéstop, it will be dark, have a Team Rocket "R" above it, and a Team Rocket Grunt standing nearby. If you are far away, the Pokéstop will be darker and wiggle around a bit in a somewhat glitchy looking fashion. To clear an invaded Pokéstop, you must battle and defeat Team Go Rocket to remove the invasion. A few things to note:

  • Invasions are random throughout the day and unrestricted by the raid time rules.
  • Invasions last 30 minutes, but there is no timer indicating when it will expire
  • Pokémon used in Invasion battles are not automatically healed, and must be healed separately. Unfortunately, it also appears that the recommendation formula for Invasion battles does not seem to consider health, so it may recommend low health Pokemon.

Simply spin the Pokéstop and you'll trigger a sequence with the Team GO Rocket grunt wherein you can battle them. The battle will be a Master League battle with no combat power limits. The grunt will bring shadow Pokémon into the match to fight with you. Thus far battles have been a little challenging at least. However, if you lose, you can re-match.

After defeating Team Go Rocket, you will have the chance to capture a Shadow Pokémon.

Capturing Shadow Pokémon

After defeating the Team GO Rocket grunt, you will have the opportunity to catch a Shadow Pokémon. Shadow Pokémon have a special purple flare and red eyes. Similar to a raid, you'll be granted a limited number of Pokeballs to attempt to catch the Shadow Pokémon. The number of balls you'll have is determined by:

  • 2 Balls by default just for winning.
  • 1 Ball for each remaining Pokémon from your battle.
  • 1 Bonus ball per "Hero" medal level. Requires defeating 10, 100, and 1000 Team GO Rocket Grunts
  • 1 Bonus ball per "Purifier" medal. Requires purifying 5, 50, and 500 Shadow Pokémon

You'll find that they have a significantly lower catch rate than a non-Shadow Pokémon of equivalent level (or at least they have dark orange or red circles), despite actually being quite low level themselves, so be cautious when attempting to catch them!

A few things to know about Shadow Pokémon:

  • They are all caught between level 1 and 10.
  • They all know the normal type 3-bar charged move "Frustration." It's generally not a good move.
  • They cannot be traded due to some of the effects of purifying Pokémon.
  • You cannot use a Charge TM on a Shadow Pokémon.
  • Shadow Pokémon are not tracked in the Pokedex.

Shadow Ratatta


Currently Available Shadow Pokémon

Niantic has made the following Pokémon available to capture as Shadow Pokémon from Team GO Rocket invasions.

  • Bulbasaur
  • Ivysaur
  • Venusaur
  • Charmander
  • Charmeleon
  • Charizard
  • Squirtle
  • Wartortle
  • Blastoise
  • Weedle
  • Kakuna
  • Beedrill
  • Rattata
  • Raticate
  • Ekans
  • Arbok
  • Sandshrew
  • Sandslash
  • Nidoran female
  • Nidorina
  • Nidoqueen
  • Nidoran male
  • Nidorino
  • Nidoking
  • Vulpix
  • Ninetails
  • Zubat
  • Golbat
  • Oddish
  • Gloom
  • Vileplume
  • Venonat
  • Venomoth
  • Diglett
  • Dugtrio
  • Meowth
  • Persian
  • Psyduck
  • Golduck
  • Growlithe
  • Arcanine
  • Poliwag
  • Poliwhirl
  • Poliwrath
  • Abra
  • Kadabra
  • Alakazam
  • Machop
  • Machoke
  • Machamp
  • Bellspout
  • Weepinbell
  • Victreebel
  • Magnemite
  • Magneton
  • Grimer
  • Muk
  • Drowzee
  • Hypno
  • Exeggcute
  • Exeggutor
  • Cubone
  • Marowak
  • Hitmonlee
  • Hitmonchan
  • Koffing
  • Weezing
  • Scyther
  • Electabuzz
  • Magmar
  • Pinsir
  • Magikarp
  • Gyarados
  • Lapras
  • Porygon
  • Omanyte
  • Omastar
  • Snorlax
  • Articuno
  • Zapdos
  • Moltres
  • Dratini
  • Dragonair
  • Dragonite
  • Crobat
  • Mareep
  • Flaaffy
  • Ampharos
  • Bellossom
  • Politoed
  • Misdreavus
  • Wobbuffet
  • Pineco
  • Forretress
  • Gligar
  • Scizor
  • Shuckle
  • Sneasal
  • Delibird
  • Houndour
  • Houndoom
  • Porygon2
  • Stantler
  • Raikou
  • Entei
  • Suicune
  • Larvitar
  • Pupitar
  • Tyranitar
  • Mudkip
  • Marshtomp
  • Swampert
  • Seedot
  • Nuzleaf
  • Shiftry
  • Ralts
  • Kirlia
  • Gardevoir
  • Sableye
  • Mawile
  • Carvanha
  • Sharpedo
  • Trapinch
  • Vibrava
  • Flygon
  • Cacnea
  • Cacturne
  • Shuppet
  • Banette
  • Duskull
  • Dusclops
  • Absol
  • Bagon
  • Shelgon
  • Salamence
  • Beldum
  • Metang
  • Metagross
  • Turtwig
  • Grotle
  • Torterra
  • Chimchar
  • Monferno
  • Infernape
  • Mismagius
  • Stunky
  • Skuntank
  • Gible
  • Gabite
  • Garchomp
  • Hippopotas
  • Hippowdon
  • Snover
  • Abomasnow
  • Weaville
  • Magnezone
  • Electivire
  • Magmortar
  • Gliscor
  • PorygonZ
  • Gallade
  • Dusknoir

Purifying Shadow Pokémon

After capturing a Shadow Pokémon, you can then Purify it. Purifying a Pokémon costs a comparatively small bit of stardust and candy. Doing so will result in several changes to the Pokémon. This is what you need to know:

  • It will change from Shadow to Purified, with a new icon, and new visual effects, losing the shadowy purple flame and red eyes and instead gaining shiny white sparkle effects.
  • The Pokémon will instantly go up to level 25 (or if you are below level 25, as high as your level).
  • The Pokémon will forget Frustration, and instead learn "Return," a stronger normal type 3-bar charged move.
  • The Pokémon will gain +2 to each of it's individual values. NOTE: Your Pokémon cannot exceed the maximum 15 IV, so if your Pokémon has an IV of 13 or higher, it will just max out at 15.
  • Power up, evolution, and new attack unlock costs will be reduced by 10% for candy requirements and 20% for stardust requirements.
  • You CAN use a Charge TM on a Purified Pokémon.
  • Purified Pokémon are tracked in the Pokédex.

Purified Ratatta


Why You Should Care

Purifying Shadow Pokémon is quite simply a cheaper way to build a strong Pokémon. Because they instantly shoot to level 25 after purification and then have a discount on everything else, it's incredibly cheap to build a raid-worthy Pokémon.

Beyond this, they'll gain +2 to each of their 3 IVs, making it much more accessible to get stronger Pokémon as well.

The downside is that you'll have to spend Charge TMs re-rolling the "Return" move to get something better for your Pokémon, but that's not a bad price to pay.

Tips & Strategies

  • You can filter your Pokébox by Shadow Pokémon by entering "shadow" in the search string, or "purified" in the search string for Purified Pokémon.
  • Don't forget to heal your Pokémon! The team selection screen does not show Pokémon health, so it's easy not to notice.