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The Worst Types of Shiny Pokémon

I am a husband, a father, a writer, and a gamer. I love playing games and writing about them.


About Shiny Pokémon

In the world of Pokémon, players are able to encounter various types of creatures that are able to perform amazing abilities, and finding and catching rarer Pokémon can be a game-changer in the main series games and Pokémon GO.

However, the rarest Pokémon in the game are actually just a different color variation from the original Pokémon, known as shiny Pokémon, and these encounters are so rare that the odds are about 1/4000 in the main games (even higher in earlier versions) and 1/400 in Pokémon GO.

This is why it is quite exciting when shiny Pokémon pop up on the screen, because with odds like that, it feels like winning a lottery of sorts. When it comes to these shiny Pokémon, though, not all that glitters is gold. Some shiny Pokémon are awesome or gorgeous, while other shiny Pokémon are ugly and confusing, even failing to improve upon the original variation.

There are a lot of individual shiny Pokémon that fail to meet the expectations of the player, but there is a larger problem in the world of Pokémon. Many of these ugly shiny Pokémon are part of a theme, and it shows the laziness behind some of the decisions regarding these shiny designs.


A Shade Darker or Lighter

One of the biggest gripes among disgruntled Pokémon players searching for shinies are the ones that barely change color. Often times, it is only the one Pokémon on the screen, so there is nothing to compare.

Players squint, puzzled and perplexed, as they determine whether the Pokémon is a normal or shiny variant.

It is so sad that the mascot of the brand, Pikachu, is one of the worst offenders in this type. It is a slight shade darker than its normal counterpart which takes away a lot of the thrill of finding and catching a shiny. Pikachu's baby form, Pichu, and its evolution, Raichu, also barely change.

A lot of other shiny Pokémon, unfortunately, land in this type, but among the most disappointing are Legendary Pokémon. It is already rare enough to find a shiny, so finding a shiny Legendary is something else. Sadly, Legendaries like Zapdos, Articuno, Cosmog, and Magearna, for example, are among the most disappointing shiny Pokémon due to their elite status and the fact that they barely change between their normal and shiny forms.


Paint It All Green

Another annoying shiny type is the plethora of green shiny Pokémon. Not all of these green shinies are necessarily bad, but due to color limitations in earlier versions of the Pokémon series, many Pokémon were simply given a green palette as an easy and quick shiny. Now that the series is able to use hundreds of colors for shiny variants, so seeing the massive list of green shiny Pokémon is disappointing.

Certain Pokémon like Grimer and Ekans benefit from the green paint, and it seems normal on certain Grass-type Pokémon, but there are many that look ill or poisoned because of this.

Some of the strangest green shinies are Tauros, Dragonite, Espeon, Ursaring, and Stantler. For these and many others, the green paint job feels horribly out-of-place, and as mentioned earlier, a lot of these green shinies look like they ate some funky shrimp and are about to lose their lunch.

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Purple Water Pokémon

Similar to the green shinies, the Pokémon series also has a lot of purple shiny Pokémon. Not all of these purples shinies are water, but it would ignorant to not notice a large amount of the purple shiny variants belonging to the Water-typing. Like with the green, this overuse of purple was largely due to color limitations in earlier games, but the question is, why did GAME FREAK, the creators of Pokémon, decide that purple belongs in the water?

Some of these purple shinies do border on the line of pink as well, but it still begs the question. When it seems like an entire grouping is painted one color, it is difficult to be excited after receiving the umpteenth purple, shiny, water Pokémon.

This is especially sad when a shiny Kyogre, a Legendary, is revealed, and it is understood that this beautiful beast is just another purple, shiny, water Pokémon.


Random Palette Swap

Rounding up the ugly coloring of shiny Pokémon, the random palette swap may be one of the worst offenders in the terrible shiny lineup.

Unlike the green and purple shinies that tend to paint a wide and varied stroke, the random palette swaps can turn cute, beautiful, or awesome Pokémon into absolute disasters.

Miltank is a pink cow that becomes fully blue in its shiny form. Blue is not a common shiny, so seeing a Pokémon like Miltank gets randomly painted blue is baffling. It looks ugly, and it even seems like it is frozen.

The shinies for Drowzee, Hypno, and Moltres all look sunburned because of the shade of pink used on their skin. Moltres is especially strange, because it looks like a feather-plucked bird being cooked alive.


Shiny Pokémon Are Still Shiny Pokémon

Despite these terrible shiny forms, it is still a delight to encounter and catch one of these incredibly rare Pokémon.

Shiny Pokémon are such a fun part of the gameplay, because essentially, these hard-to-find variations of the pocket monsters we love serve no other purpose than being a different color. It is purely cosmetic, but that does not take away from the thrill of finding one. It is just another way to enjoy a game that offers so much to its players.

Pokémon is a series with the English tagline "Gotta Catch 'Em All", a mentality that encourages its players to explore and find all of the unique creatures in its universe. Some players take that a step further and will not put their game down until they collect every Pokémon and all of their shiny variants, from the best shinies to the worst shinies. Even though there are some bad shiny Pokémon out there, the desire to find them is real and quite strong, because we gotta find them all.

We . . . gotta catch 'em all.

© 2019 Jason Reid Capp


Jason Reid Capp (author) from Myrtle Beach, SC USA on November 04, 2019:


Gengar's shiny is absolutely terrible. For such an awesome Pokemon, it is beyond disappointing that his shiny is among the worst. Gold would have been awesome (I am a huge fan of gold shinies. hehe), but I think white would have made the most sense, considering he's a ghost. Have you seen Mega Gengar's shiny form? It is absolutely amazing! Exactly what I think regular Gengar's shiny colors should have been.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 02, 2019:

Some of the shiny designs are pretty lazy. I'll forever be disappointed that Gengar isn't solid gold.

Jason Reid Capp (author) from Myrtle Beach, SC USA on September 26, 2019:

@Jeremy Gill

Thanks! Yeah. I agree. There are certain shinies from the early generations that look absolutely amazing, and even some that make a lot of sense, like the one you pointed out with Ditto and Mew.

I think the new shinies look a lot better, so clearly Game Freak has been paying attention to fans lashing out about some of the lamer shiny Pokemon such as Garchomp. But like I said in the article, I still love finding shinis, even if they are lame ones. haha. Thanks again for the comment!

Jeremy Gill from Louisiana on September 24, 2019:

Nice article! The first two are definitely my biggest peeves, and I bet Nintendo would have dedicated more time to creating appealing shiny forms if they knew how popular they'd become.

That said, they get some things right, like using the similar shiny forms of Ditto and Mew to hint towards their connection (Dittos likely being failed Mew clones).

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