Best Shiny Pokemon of All Time (Top 20 Picks)
This post was last updated on March 1, 2023
The main goal in most pokemon games is to “catch ’em all”, and with now over 1,000 pokemon to catch, that’s a pretty substantial goal. Of course, that’s only the normal versions of pokemon and many fans aren’t satisfied until they’ve filled their PC with the best shiny pokemon they can come across.
In this article, we’ve ranked the top 20 best shiny pokemon. Get ready for some spicy takes because that means only 2% of all pokemon have made it onto our list.
A Quick Look at Shiny Pokemon
It’s been over twenty years since shiny pokemon were introduced into the world of pokemon. These rare variants of pokemon keep the same design but introduce a new color palette.
Many players’ first shiny pokemon was the famed red Gyarados which you could encounter in the Lake of Rage in the Johto region. This shiny Gyarados replaced its blue color scheme with a red one that matched Magikarp’s, and the world was never the same.
Since then, avid pokemon fans have made it their life goal to track down and catch as many other shiny pokemon as they possibly can. The craze has become such a core piece of the fandom that shiny hunters are way more common than competitive players.
So what’s the deal? Isn’t it just a bunch of differently-colored pokemon? Well, yeah, but there are a lot of reasons why some people might want them.
For starters, shiny variations are incredibly rare. The base rates of finding a shiny pokemon in the first five generations were 1 in 8192. The most recent gens have seen those odds halved to 1 in 4096, but those are still absolutely insane odds to conquer.
The draw of a pokemon’s shiny form itself might be enough to forge a new shiny hunter. Not every shiny is fantastic, and some are downright unnoticeable, but most shiny pokemon are so good-looking that they’ve developed their own cult followings.
Maybe you’re an Eevee fan and are desperately trying to decide whether you like shiny Umbreon or shiny Vaporeon more. Maybe you’ve transferred your shiny Wailord all the way up to Pokemon Home from your first playthrough of Pokemon Ruby.
Or, maybe you’re just realizing that all of these shiny pokemon are out there and you’re ready to dive into the world of shiny hunting so you can grab a shiny Charizard for yourself.
No matter what reason you have for coming to this article, we’re excited to show you our top 20 favorite shiny pokemon.
The 20 Best Shiny Pokemon
Keep in mind, these are our opinion. Unless we judge by stats, there is no objective way to rate shiny pokemon. If we did that, then Garchomp would probably make it on this list, and that would be an absolute tragedy (its color scheme barely changes from its base form).
We’re starting off this list with a gen 6 pokemon that really stands out from the crowd. Since a good shiny is mostly dependent on preference, there are some things we are looking for, and Volcanion’s shiny form definitely brings us several of those features.
- Big Change – Shiny Volcanion’s golden hue and pink accents provide a stark contrast to the bright red hue and yellow accents of its normal form.
- Pleasing Color Palette – This is probably the most subjective, but I’m sure a lot of us can agree on the not-so-pleasing color palettes out there. Volcanion doesn’t have a washed-out puke-green palette, so that means it’s at least better than most shinies.
- Impressive Design – You might have a pokemon whose shiny colors represent a different aspect of the pokemon. You might have a pokemon whose colors are inspired by the real world. Or, you might have a pokemon like Volcanion with a color palette that just feels impressive on its own.
- Good Pokemon – For us to really enjoy a pokemon’s shiny form, we have to enjoy what it looks like normally. Volcanion’s design and theme were already exciting enough to make it a desirable pokemon, so it’s a perfect way to start our list.
Trevanant is our next pick and it’s one that almost didn’t make it onto this list. However, once we locked in our requisites it became quite clear that this was a near-perfect shiny design.
The shiny version of Trevanant features a white bark and red leaves to contrast the basic tree colors of its normal form. This is cool enough as is, giving the pokemon a more ghostly feel, but it gets even more exciting when we realize there’s an actual inspiration behind it.
While a normal Trevenant just takes its inspiration from a tree, a shiny Trevenant has the coloring of a Japanese white maple. Plant life in our world is a source of incredible color schemes, so it makes sense to use that inspiration when coming up with shiny designs for grass-type pokemon.
Shiny Rayquaza might be a lot higher on some peoples’ lists, but we’ve decided to keep it near the bottom in favor of other pokemon that feel more inspired. Still, this is a shiny pokémon that is loved by many and worth inclusion in our list.
Shinies with dark color palettes are immediately in consideration of being a new fan favorite, which explains why this legendary pokemon gets so much attention. Of course, Rayquaza isn’t just any pokemon. Even the regular form of Rayquaza is a highly sought-after pokemon, so of course it just gets cooler with a dark green palette and bright yellow rings.
We’ve already discussed the soft spot that long-time fans have for shiny Gyarados, so of course we have to include it on our list.
This is the only generation 9 pokemon to make it to our list and honestly, we could’ve swapped it out for a number of other new pokemon. One of the issues we ran into when looking at pokemon from Scarlet and Violet is that we just haven’t seen enough of them to make any attachments.
Still, the shiny form of Koraidon is a breathtaking sight. The black scales, red feathers, and consistent white accents make for a pokemon that provides incredible contrast to its normal form.
A pokemon like Camerupt making it so high on this list might surprise some readers, but let it serve as the first evidence that we’re actually putting some judgment into this. We haven’t just selected the most popular pokemon or the best-rated pokemon in pokemon go. We’re choosing pokemon that we truly enjoy.
A shiny Camerupt definitely fits the bill here and presents us with a nice darker tone for this volcano camel. Perhaps the best part of a black shiny fire-type pokemon is that it really feels like it’s made of cooled magma, all of that heat waiting just under the surface.
Shiny Torkoal is nothing short of incredible. Normally, golden-themed shinies end up just getting washed out by overuse of bright yellows and oranges. Torkoal, on the other hand, brings us a palette that’s full of excellent contrast.
Beyond that, Torkoal is a pokemon whose shell makes it look like it’s full of molten lava. Giving it a golden skin tone makes it seem like it’s glowing from the heat stored in its body.
Let’s keep the fire pokemon train going with the first starter pokemon on our list. Incineroar has one of the most noticeable shinies in all of Pokemon, replacing its black banding with a pure white that creates incredible contrast.
This could easily be further up on our list, but honestly, it only made it this far because it looks cool. Incineroar’s shiny version doesn’t have any remarkable inspiration that we know of, and besides the change from black to white, everything else maintains basically the same reds and oranges.
Emboar, however, is a fire starter that could’ve easily gone higher on the list were it a more favorable pokemon in its normal version. Unfortunately, Emboar hasn’t received much love since the generation it was released and it’s never been ranked in the top 100 pokemon by popularity.
Still, its shiny version gives us something exciting, a nice blue fire collar to gawk at and show off to all our friends. Switch out red flames for blue flames and you’ve got enough to make most people love a pokemon at first glance, regardless of what the regular form looks like.
When Obstagoon was announced, many fans were shocked that the Zigzagoon line was receiving any attention. That didn’t stop the Galarian Zigzagoon and its evolutions from becoming incredibly popular. With their black and white ‘rocker’ design, they already feel like shiny versions of the original line, but Obstagoon takes it a step further.
As the new evolution for this regional line of a classic pokemon, Obstagoon really knocked it out of the park. Then, shiny Obstagoon took it several steps further with a pink, blue, and white coloring that takes this pokemon from a heavy metal rocker to a vibrant pop star.
Catching Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go
With half of the list out of the way, let’s take a quick break to appreciate one of the best games for finding and showing off your shinies; Pokemon Go. The free-to-play phone game Pokemon Go has become somewhat of a breeding ground for new shiny hunters and new fans of the franchise as a whole.
Being able to walk around the real world and hunt down shiny pokemon in Pokemon Go is something that people have been falling in love with for the past few years, so we want to give a shoutout to some of the best shiny hunting methods.
First off, watch out for high frequencies of pokemon. Pokemon Go holds loads of events like Community Days, Special Researches, Research Hours, and especially the GO Fests held every summer. Hunting during these times will give you enhanced Pokemon GO shiny odds.
You can also find more shiny pokemon if you utilize some of our Pokemon GO cheats. Our favorite method for catching shiny pokemon in Pokemon GO is going for a long walk and taking advantage of AR mode and the quick catch cheat.
Charizard has received a lot of love throughout the roughly 30 years that Pokemon has been around, so it’s probably no surprise that it has a great shiny. Shiny Charizard’s black coloring and dark red wings make it one of the most sought-after shinies out there.
A shiny Charizard isn’t the end of the line as far as treats go either. Since this pokemon has received so much love, there are plenty of types of shiny Charizard out there, like the blue and green Mega Charizard X or the purple Mega Charizard Y that harkens back to Charizard’s original shiny palette.
Zeraora is a really cool pokemon that gives us the same shonen protagonist feeling we get with others like Greninja and Lucario. Its normal coloring is bright and fun enough to be a shiny palette, so it’s even more incredible that the design team managed to pump out the incredible shiny Zeraora we know and love.
The white fur with yellow lightning bolt whiskers really makes this feel like a classic electric pokemon design, but we still keep some light blue accents carried over from the electric-blue coloring of the original Zeraora.
Back in 2020, Greninja made it to the top of a fan-favorite contest put on by the Pokemon Company itself. This final evolution of a water starter surpassed long-time favorites like Pikachu, Eevee, and Charizard. So of course we have to include it in this top 20 list.
Greninja is another one of those pokemon on our list that starts off with an amazing design. Fortunately, the shiny goes even further, giving our froggy ninja an almost entirely black color palette so it truly looks like a dangerous creature of the night.
Alright, you’ve done it, you’ve made it to a Pokemon that’s on our list because we’re Gen Wunners. Electrode may just be a Pokeball, but it’s a Pokeball that explodes with all the energy it has stored up. What’s not to love?
Honestly, Electrode’s shiny isn’t even technically impressive. It just swaps its red out for a blue, but it creates some of the best contrast you’ll see on a shiny pokemon. So, Electrode takes the number 7 spot and we’re here to celebrate it.
Two out of three members of the weather trio have made it onto our list, and that’s because they may have been some of the best-designed legendary pokémon to date. Groudon’s shiny has a beautiful golden hue that’s impossible not to love.
It’s so bright and full of energy that it may just have inspired the noble pokemon in Legends Arceus, so we’re certainly here to commend it.
We’ve made it to the final five and we certainly hope you enjoy our top picks. We’re starting off with Pallosand, a pokemon that truly has it all. This ghost-type sand castle pokemon is normally, you guessed it, sand-colored yellow.
The shiny Pallosand, however, gives us gorgeous black sand that makes its brightly colored pebbles pop. Not only is a black Pallosand more on brand for it being a ghost type, but black sand is also a real thing. The best shiny pokémon are ones that feel like their existences are grounded in reality, and Pallosand just might do that the best.
We absolutely love Drifblim’s shiny form. It isn’t grounded in reality, and it isn’t the coolest pokémon out there, but you know what? None of that really matters because shiny Drifblim feels like a golden prize.
Coming in at third place is shiny Metagross. Metagross, the only non-dragon-type pseudo legendary, has an absolutely incredible design and colors that feel perfect for it. However, shiny Metagross knocks the original out of the water by giving us a silver-and-gold-colored steel pokémon that feels like it’s actually made from real metal.
What can we say about Hawlucha other than it feels like it lives up to its name? Luchadors come in all sorts of exciting colors and designs, so the shiny palette for Hawlucha feels incredibly fitting. After all, who wouldn’t want a dark and mysterious luchador bird as their partner pokémon?
The number one spot on our list goes to a pokemon that epitomizes the concept of shinies as well as its base form epitomizes what it means to be a pokemon. Ken Sugimori himself has said that the basic design concept behind pokemon is to create something that sits on the border between cool and cute.
Well, Tyrantrum is a pokemon based on a T-Rex that feels like it could simultaneously be our best friend and conquer any pokemon battle without breaking a sweat. Its shiny palette only reinforces this by giving it a royal blue coloring scheme that’s truly fit for the king of lizards itself.
Searching for shiny pokemon is some of the most fun we can have playing pokemon games. Of course, the truly best part of this franchise is that we all get to create our own bonds with pokémon and come up with our own favorites. The same is true for shiny pokemon, so go out there and find out who your favorite is.