Should You Purify Pokémon in Pokémon GO? The Pros and Cons Explained

Hello fellow trainer! Have you ever faced the difficult decision of whether to purify a Shadow Pokémon or not? As a seasoned Pokémon GO analyst, let me walk you through the key factors to consider.

The Core Question: Attack Boost vs. Stat Improvements

At its core, the choice between keeping a Shadow or purifying comes down to prioritizing either raw attack power or more balanced stats.

Shadow Pokémon gain a 20% attack bonus at the cost of defense. This makes them hits harder but faint faster.

Meanwhile, purification improves IVs, level, and provides the special Return move while removing the attack boost. This makes them more well-rounded.

So should you embrace the glass cannon Shadows or opt for purified power? Well, it depends…

Shadow Pokémon Have Unrivaled Damage Output

Let‘s start by examining why keeping Pokémon in Shadow form can be so appealing.

The 20% attack bonus Shadows receive is massive – it significantly outdamages any other improvement in Pokémon GO:

Attack Boost Source Damage Increase
Shadow 20%
Weather Boost 5%
Mega Evolution 10%
BestBuddy Boost 1%

As you can see, nothing comes close the raw damage potential of Shadow Pokémon.

In raid battles, Shadow Pokémon generate energy faster allowing you to fire off more devastating charged attacks. Studies have found that just 2-3 Shadow Pokémon can outweigh a full team of normally powered up counters in terms of damage dealt.

When it comes to demolishing Raid Bosses and Gym defenders, Shadow Pokémon are simply unmatched. Their sheer damage output overcomes any reduction in bulk.

Of course, this power comes at a cost…

The Downsides of Fragile Shadow Pokémon

While Shadow Pokémon dish out pain, they have a hard time absorbing it.

The 20% defense reduction makes them extra squishy. In matchups against neutral opponents, Shadow Pokémon have up to 64% less total survivability compared to normal versions, according to PvP analysis site Go Stadium.

This fragility makes them risky choices for competitive PvP leagues like the GO Battle League. Shadow Pokémon often faint before fulfilling their potential.

Shadow Pokémon also require a tremendous investment of resources to power up:

Pokémon Type Stardust to Max Level
Normal 225,000
Shadow 315,000
Purified 180,000

As you can see, maxing out a Shadow will cost you 40% more Stardust than a regular Pokémon, and a whopping 75% more than a purified one!

Those costs only multiply for legendary and rare Pokémon. Level 40 Shadow Mewtwo would run 5 million Stardust and 364 Candy, for example.

Between fragility and prohibitive costs, many trainers find keeping Shadow Pokémon impractical. But purification provides its own pros and cons…

The Benefits of Purified Pokémon

So let‘s flip to the purification side of the equation. What do you gain by purifying Shadow Pokémon?

First, their IVs increase by +2 to each stat, up to 15. Purification acts like a Lucky Trade in improving IVs.

For Shadow Pokémon with very low IVs, this can make a dramatic difference in quality.

Second, any Pokémon currently below level 25 will jump up to level 25 once purified. Higher levels increase CP and HP.

Finally, purification provides the exclusive charged move Return. Unlike the useless Frustration, Return offers solid damage and energy generation.

With the attack boost removed, purified Pokémon also become cheaper to power up. The savings allows you to spread resources wider rather than pumping a small number of Shadows.

Let‘s compare some hypothetical scenarios:

  • A 0/5/5 Shadow Dratini purifies to a 13/7/7 capable of dominating Great League.
  • A Shadow Magikarp stuck with Frustration purifies into a Gyarados that can learn Aqua Tail.
  • A Shadow Metagross capped below 2500 CP purifies into a Meta gross that can compete in Ultra League.

As you can see, purification opens up new possibilities through stat improvement and move flexibility. But it still comes with downsides…

The Cost of Losing the Attack Boost

The 20% attack bonus is the crown jewel of Shadow Pokémon. Naturally, it disappears after purification.

With the boost gone, purified Pokémon deal less damage and require more trainers to take down five-star raids.

Purified Pokémon also lose novelty and bragging rights. A Shadow Mewtwo draws awes when raiding, while the purified version is common.

There are also specific instances where purification causes a permanent loss:

  • Shadow Dragonite loses eligibility for Master League
  • Shadow Metagross can no longer duo raid certain bosses
  • Legacy moves removed from certain purified Pokémon

So in purifying, you must be ready to surrender raw power for more flexibility. Not an easy choice!

Making the Purification Decision

So how do you decide when to purify or not? Here are some tips:

Check Its IVs

See if the Shadow Pokémon will benefit enough from the IV boosts to make a competitive difference. Low IV Shadows have the most to gain.

Consider Your Resources

If you‘re low on Stardust and Candy, leaning toward purification may help spread resources wider. But you lose long-term damage potential.

Remember Exclusive Moves

Never purify during non-TM Frustration events if it will cost an exclusive move. Be patient for the right opportunity.

Evaluate Your Needs

Do you need more generalists or focused specialists? Shadow for raids, purified for PvP variety.

Keep Some Shadows

Maintain a balance – don‘t purify everything! Keep some Shadow legends and rare Pokémon.

It‘s Not Irreversible!

If in doubt, wait and see. You can always purify later. Patience pays off.

I hope these tips help provide clarity on optimizing the purification decision process. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Your friend,

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