Shiny Pokemon: the reason everyone still taps on trash Pokemon in Pokemon Go even though they’re getting bored with the game itself.
All kidding aside1I’m not kidding., ever since shiny variants of Pokemon were introduced in Generation II, they have captured the attention of the Pokemon fan base. For those not familiar with the concept, shiny Pokemon are Pokemon that have a color variation different from the main color scheme for that Pokemon. For example, here we have the regular version of Gyarados (all images courtesy pokemondb.net)
And here we have shiny Gyarados.
Got the concept? Good.
I got into a discussion with Lola from the blog That Little Lola regarding some of our favorite shiny Pokemon. I’ve wanted to do a post about shinies for quite some time now, but ultimately didn’t land on the right topic until after that conversation. What follows in this post is my thoughts on the best shiny variant for each color that’s part of this list. Here are the rules.
- What color a Pokemon is listed under below is dictated by the primary color of its shiny variant. Gyarados would fall under red rather than blue for this reason.
- Mega evolutions, forms, and regional variants are all considered for this post.
- I’ve chosen to limit myself to a maximum of three honorable mentions for each color.
Got it? Good. I’m also doing a blog post with the Pokemon I think have the worst shinies by each color as a Patreon reward2By the time this post comes out, the Patreon post will have already gone live., so if you’re interested in seeing that list too, go support me on Patreon.
Red – Dhelmise
We begin with arguably the hardest color on this list to cut down the honorable mentions for. While there aren’t a ton of good red shinies in earlier generations, we more than make up for that from Generation V onward. Even Hoenn gave us Solrock’s criminally underrated shiny form. That said, one of my favorite Pokemon designs, Dhelmise, also gives us my favorite primarily red shiny. I really like how the red seaweed accents the rusted anchor, making for one of the better color contrasts of all shiny Pokemon.
Honorable mentions: Solrock, Clawitzer, Yveltal
Orange – Shellder
While orange has the shortest list of honorable mentions on this list3The day before publishing this post, I realized I completely skipped Gen III when making my orange list, meaning I’d forgot about the amazing shinies belonging to both Seedot and Linoone. Only one makes the list, but I’m adding this note instead of changing the paragraph because of how much it annoyed me that I did that., it does have my single favorite shiny in all of Pokemon, Shellder. Shellder’s orange sprite is so much better than its normal purple coloration that I wish this was the regular form. Of course, if Shellder had a purple shiny, it would make so much more sense for Cloyster to have the weird blue shiny it has. As a side note, orange also features the only Gen VIII appearance on this list. Most of the Sword/Shield shinies are pretty lackluster, but Cramorant’s is nice.
Honorable mentions: Chandelure, Cramorant, Seedot
Yellow/Gold – Drifloon
I combined yellow and gold in part because it was hard for me to draw the line on certain color distinctions — as you’ll see when we get further down the list. Either way, Drifloon was the easy winner from this group, with both it and its evolution having awesome yellow shiny forms. Lucario’s shiny is a bit underrated, though I’m sure that’s driven by the fact that Mega Lucario is just so ugly.
Honorable mentions: Azumarill, Lucario
Green – Taillow
I adore lime green. I really do. I cut four lime green shinies from the honorable mentions section of this color. Not picking Scizor or Beedrill here hurt a little. But of all the green shinies in existence, my favorite is Taillow. The adorable tiny bird has a shade of green that doesn’t show up in many shiny Pokemon. Though PokemonDB’s sprite doesn’t show it off well, trust me. It’s awesome.
Honorable mentions: Beedrill, Espeon, Scizor
Blue – Simipour
This might be the first time Simipour has ever been at the top of a positive Pokemon list. That said, I quite prefer Simipour’s shiny to its regular coloration. Hell, that’s the case with all of the Pokemon in this color’s section of the post, though I think Simipour’s is the biggest improvement over its regular sprite. Of course, the less said about the downfall of the Gible line’s shinies as you get further along the evolutionary chain, the better.
Honorable mentions: Shuckle, Gible, Xurkitree
Purple – Pupitar
Speaking of Pokemon evolutionary chains that have one good shiny amid a sea of not good shinies, I give you Pupitar. Larvitar’s shiny is fine. Tyrannitar’s is underwhelming. But the purple shiny on Pupitar jumps off the screen. It’s striking in a good way. You’ll notice that Murkrow makes my honorable mentions, as I went through quite the mental debate whether or not to classify it as purple (a color it didn’t win) or pink (a color it would have won). To me, it looks more purple than pink, so I chose to put it here. That said, I’m also bad at color theory.
Honorable mentions: Murkrow, Tentacool, Rogenrolla
Pink – Dragonair
Good lord, that’s a good shiny. The pink and the white work really well together. The gold accents are amazing. It’s just beautifully done. Despite pink being a middling color to me outside of the world of Pokemon, there are a TON of good pink shinies in the games, particularly from early generations. I can’t wait for Furret to be allowed in Sword/Shield for shiny Furret sweeping shenanigans.
Honorable mentions: Furret, Mega Mawile, Crobat
Brown – Cacturne
There’s not a ton of brown shiny Pokemon in general. But of the ones that do exist, it really came down to Cacturne and Kantonian Sandslash for this spot. If I’m being honest, a small reason why Cacturne got the nod here is because what makes Sandslash’s shiny so cool is the red spikes and their contrast against the brown, not the brown itself. Cacturne wins out here as a result, but this was the closest choice of any on this list.
Honorable mentions: Sandslash (Kantonian Form), Liepard, Lopunny
Black – Umbreon
Black shinies just look cool. That’s all there is to it. But of all the black shinies in existence, the one that’s my favorite is one of the ones with the most subtle changes from its base coloration, Umbreon. Going from the yellow to the blue accents against the black is just a great touch. It’s not as drastic of a change as Mega Gardevoir or Oricorio Balie go through, but it’s extremely effective.
Honorable mentions: Mega Gardevoir, Palossand, Oricorio (Baile Form)
White – Victini
Like black shiny forms, white shiny Pokemon often also follow the Rule of Cool when it comes to their coloration. That said, white shinies are much harder to come by, which I have to assume is because it’s really hard to color them if you’re a child4You may think I’m kidding, but this is intended to be a child’s game after all. You have to take your target audience into consideration.. That said, of all the white shinies in existence, it’s really Victini and then everything else. It’s too bad getting a Victini is literally impossible now — not that Game Freak intentionally has it that way or anything.
Honorable mentions: Eevee, Litten, Pelipper
Silver/Gray – Fennekin
Hahahahahahahaha. It’s a silver fox. Get it?
Honorable mentions: Metagross, Ferroseed, Vikavolt