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Get Ready for Shadow Raids in ‘Pokémon GO’!

An image of a Pokémon Gym in Pokémon Go taken over by Team Rocket to promote Shadow Raids

Pokémon GO is introducing a new type of raid battle: Shadow Raids. Team GO Rocket is spreading its influence across the Pokémon GO world, infecting not only Pokéstops but Gyms now, too. Though the addition of Shadow Raids will not affect the presence of every other type of raid you’ve gotten used to, they do have slightly different rules, challenges, and rewards to wrap your head around. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most out of Pokémon GO‘s newest feature!

What exactly are Shadow Raids in Pokémon GO?

An extension of Team GO Rocket’s role in Pokémon GO, Shadow Raids occur when they have infiltrated a Pokémon Gym as part of their continued effort to take over Pokémon GO‘s world. Shadow Raids will have you facing Shadow Pokémon, similar to the ones you face and catch when battling a Team GO Rocket grunt, one of the Rocket leaders, or the Team GO Rocket boss, Giovanni.

Unfortunately, trainers cannot participate in Shadow Raids via a remote raid pass. These raids are in-person only, likely as part of Pokémon GO‘s latest push to try and get people to go outside and play as part of a community again. One regular raid pass or premium raid pass is needed to join a Shadow Raid.

Shadow Raids have three tiers: one-star, three-star, or five-star. Five-star Shadow Raids are reserved for Legendary Pokémon. As such, the tier represents the raid’s difficulty level and how many trainers you’ll need to defeat it—one-star raids provide the weakest opponents, and five-star raids provide the strongest. The main difference between Shadow Raids and other types of Pokémon GO raids, however, is that three-star and five-star level Shadow Raid bosses will become “enraged” as you battle them.

Related: The Top 10 Strongest Pokémon of All Time on Gamepur

What are enraged Pokémon in Pokémon GO‘s Shadow Raids?

When a three-star or five-star Shadow Raid boss becomes enraged, their attack and defense stats are boosted. This makes them more difficult to defeat than your average raid boss. It’s important to note that one-star Shadow Raid bosses do not become enraged. However, there is a way to bring an enraged Pokémon’s power levels back down to normal to help you secure the victory you and your team need. To do this, you’ll need what’s known as a Purified Gem—an entirely new item in Pokémon GO.

What is a Purified Gem and how can you get one?

As you defeat Shadow Raid bosses and Team GO Rocket grunts or leaders, one of the rewards you’ll receive are Shadow Shards. Shadow Shards are also a new type of item in Pokémon GO, but they work similarly to the components you receive to create a Rocket Radar. Four Shadow Shards are needed to create a Purified Gem. As soon as you have four shards, the gem will be created for you automatically, much like the aforementioned Rocket Radar. Both Shadow Shards and Purified Gems take up space in your item bag; you can hold a maximum of 10 Purified Gems in your bag at any time.

Once you’ve obtained a Purified Gem, you can utilize them in your battles against three- and five-star Shadow Raid bosses. Using one Purified Gem during a Shadow Raid battle will temporarily lower the Shadow Pokémon’s attack and defense stats. This can you give you a useful opening to take them down. Each participating trainer can use a maximum of five Purified Gems per raid. They can be used at the same time and their effect does stack, so if enough trainers use enough Gems, an enraged Pokémon can become much easier to defeat—and catch.

Go forth and good luck, trainers!

(featured image: The Pokémon Company / Niantic)

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El (she/her) has been working as a freelance writer for various entertainment websites for over a year, ever since she successfully completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including franchises like Marvel and Pokémon, but she is happy to pitch in with gaming content once in a while if it concerns one of the few video games she actually knows anything about. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.