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Top 10 Shiny Pokémon Designs

In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.

What Are the Chances of Finding a Shiny Pokémon?

In terms of battle, shiny Pokémon are no different than regular creatures, carrying the same type, abilities, and stats they normally would. Yet "shinies" bear an alternative color scheme that sets them apart from their counterparts, and they're valued for their incredible scarcity—only 1 in every 4096 Pokémon are shiny.

Yet Nintendo grew lazy with many shiny designs, often only darkening a hue or defaulting to the next pixel color. Thankfully, several exceptions buck this trend with their unique and visually-appealing presentations; here are the ten best shiny designs in Pokémon!

Shiny Gyarados

Shiny Gyarados

10. Shiny Gyarados

Type: Water/Flying

In generations 2–5, shinies were twice as rare as they are now, having only a 1 in 8192 chance of appearing in each encounter. However, in generation two, the Gyarados you must calm in the Lake of Rage is automatically a shiny red form—mind-blowing to players at the time who hadn't yet seen an alternative color.

Gyarados has always been a wrathful Pokémon, and red suits its anger well, but this shiny freebie proved a staunch ally once tamed.

Shiny Steelix

Shiny Steelix

9. Shiny Steelix

Type: Steel/Ground

Onix's upgrade carries an incredible Defense stat and switches the Rock type for the much-sturdier Steel, offering several useful resistances. While he normally carries a gray hue, shiny Steelix adorns a much-flashier golden coat, and he'll maintain it upon mega evolving.

Whether intentional or not, it's cool that Steelix's two possible colors reflect the generation he was introduced in, carrying either a silver or gold tint.

Solgaleo and Shiny Solgaleo

Solgaleo and Shiny Solgaleo

8. Shiny Solgaleo

Type: Psychic/Steel

Despite not being Fire-type, Solgaleo harnesses solar energy, and his shiny red form illustrates his connection to the sun. It's not just his coat that changes, as his orange stripes also meld to a purple-brown.

As the mascot of Pokémon Sun, it's only fitting to have a crimson design, and shiny Solgaleo delivers despite his odd typing.

Shiny Decidueye

Shiny Decidueye

7. Shiny Decidueye

Type: Grass/Ghost

One of the most beloved Grass starters, Decidueye usually adopts a forest-like color scheme made of browns and greens, but his shiny form trades it for sleek shades of black, blue, and red.

What can I say; these are simply cool colors, especially for a Grass shiny (many of whom are lazily given lame yellow-green alternative forms).

Shiny Rapidash

Shiny Rapidash

6. Shiny Rapidash

Type: Fire

Rapidash has always been an impressive-looking Pokemon, carrying a mystical appearance and fire mane. His shiny form turns the flames blue-gray; the exact coloring changes between games.

So whether you prefer a brilliant blue crest or more-subdued blue-gray, there's a shiny Rapidash somewhere to suit your needs.

Shiny Mega Gengar

Shiny Mega Gengar

5. Shiny Mega Gengar

Type: Ghost/Poison

Much as I love Gengar, his shiny form is pretty disappointing, merely adjusting his already-dark shades. However, his mega form offers a new blinding-white color.

Not only is this unique, but it also fits the general coloring of ghosts, making it both thematically and visually impressive. Many shiny megas simply retain their color; Mega Gengar proves Nintendo isn't afraid to experiment.

Shiny Greninja

Shiny Greninja

4. Shiny Greninja

Type: Water/Dark

Some of my favorite shiny forms are ones that not only look cool, but make sense thematically. Shiny Greninja's awesome shades of black don't just look great, but suit his Dark nature and stealth-focused nature. Even his tongue-scarf receives a welcome change, trading pink for a darker, almost-red hue.

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Shiny Primal Kyogre and Shiny Primal Groudon

Shiny Primal Kyogre and Shiny Primal Groudon

3. Shiny Primal Groudon/Primal Kyogre

Type: Fire/Ground, Water

The regular shiny forms of the Ruby and Sapphire legendary mascots are disappointing, carrying unappealing purple and green tones. Fortunately, their shiny Primal forms offer much-superior black coats with glowing golden patterns.

Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre already look pretty cool, and it's great that their shiny alternatives differ from their haphazard previous shiny images.

Shiny Charizard

Shiny Charizard

2. Shiny Charizard

Type: Fire/Flying

Charizard is one of few Pokemon to enjoy two mega evolutions, with Mega Charizard X sporting a fierce black design with blue flames. However, before generation six, trainers could still command a black Charizard with its unique shiny form, offering a dark palette and red wings that grant a much more ferocious appearance.

I'm glad Nintendo gave Charizard this unique color swap, an appreciated change from shiny Charmander and Charmeleon's bland yellow tint. Shiny Mega Charizard Y also gains a dark coat, ensuring either mega form can don the intimidating black colors.

Shiny Rayquaza in the anime

Shiny Rayquaza in the anime

1. Shiny Rayquaza

Type: Dragon/Flying

The mascot of Emerald differs from Kyogre and Groudon in that both his regular and mega form share an awesome black palette. Rayquaza's always been a daunting foe, carrying the powerful Dragon type (especially useful before Fairy's debut), impressive stats, and fierce mega evolution; both his standard and mega shinies reflect his brutal nature.

Shiny Pokémon in Other Media

Shiny Pokémon have been well-received by fans, truly feeling like unique and special companions. They've made appearances in the anime, trading card game, and even spin-offs like Pokemon GO, establishing their status as a Pokémon staple.

For better or worse, shinies are gradually getting easier to obtain, with many being given at special events or having increased encounter rates (like with Let's Go's catch combo multiplier). While still a trial of patience, obtaining them is easier than ever—hopefully, you'll nab something better than my original shiny Zubat. Stupid caves.

© 2019 Jeremy Gill


Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on November 11, 2019:


Hey, great minds think alike. Shinies are really just aesthetic preferences, which vary from person to person--I'll be sure to see which ones you prefer!

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 09, 2019:

I wrote a similar article a few days ago before I knew about this one. It only covers generation 1 though so maybe it's OK? Sorry, Jeremy.

Anonymous on April 16, 2019:

My personals fav has to be shiny Eevee or Shiny Umbreon

Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on March 28, 2019:

@Cheeky Kid

Have you heard the "Dittos are failed Mew clones" theory? Their same shiny colorings are used as evidence to support it!

Cheeky Kid from Milky Way on March 23, 2019:

As of now, my favorite shiny is Ditto. Makes me want to eat it. LOL

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