Shadow Raids have arrived in Pokémon Go and Shadow Mewtwo is coming. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to beat it and add this powerful Pokémon to your roster!
Who is Shadow Mewtwo in Pokémon Go?
One of the most powerful Pokémon to exist and one of the very first Legendaries, Mewtwo was created using DNA from the ancestor of all Pokémon, Mew. Unlike Mew however, Mewtwo hated all of humanity for the cruelty of its creators and even tried to wipe out all life on the planet, leaving only its cloned Pokémon behind.
In Pokémon Go, Mewtwo was the strongest Pokémon for a long time, but it was eventually unseated by Shadow Mewtwo, an even more powerful version captured and controlled by Giovanni of Team GO Rocket. Now Shadow Mewtwo stands at the top with a handful of Mega Evolved Pokémon, Primal Pokémon, and Shadow Legendaries, so you won't want to miss the chance to add it to your roster even if you already have one.
And be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories, so you can be fully equipped on your Pokémon Journey!
There are a handful of options for Mega Evolution when countering Shadow Mewtwo, focusing on each of its weakness: Ghost, Bug, and Dark.
Best of the best, if at all possible, you will want to bring Mega Gengar to this fight. This Ghost and Poison type resists Fighting type damage, but it takes super effective damage from Psychic type, so make sure you have plenty of Revives on hand. Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball are the ideal moves for Mega Gengar here.
While it won't hit as hard as Mega Gengar, Mega Banette is another great option for a Ghost based offensive. It's a pure Ghost type, so it resists Fighting type damage and it has no weaknesses Mewtwo can exploit. Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball is also the best moveset for Mega Banette.
If you want to mount a Dark based offensive against Shadow Mewtwo, Mega Houndoom is the best option. It's a Dark and Fire type so it resists Psychic, Fire, and Ice type damage, but Fighting type moves hit for super effective damage. If you're bringing Mega Houndoom to this fight, it should know Snarl and Foul Play.
Another option for Dark based teams is Mega Absol. It's a pure Dark type, so it's super resistant to Psychic type damage, but weak against Fighting type moves. Snarl and Dark Pulse are the moves your Absol should know for this raid.
While they will not perform as well, the following Mega Evolved Pokémon can also work for this raid:
- Mega Gyarados with Bite and Crunch
- Mega Alakazam with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
- Mega Gardevoir with Charge Beam and Shadow Ball
- Mega Ampharos with Volt Switch and Brutal Swing
- Mega Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
- Primal Kyogre with Waterfall and Origin Pulse
- Primal Groudon with Mud Shot and Precipice Blades
- Mega Beedrill with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
- Mega Blastoise with Bite and Hydro Cannon
Shadow Mewtwo is a pure Psychic type with access to Psychic, Electric, Fire, Ice, and Fighting type moves. Its weaknesses include Bug, Ghost, and Dark types leaving room for multiple winning strategies.
When it comes to standard Pokémon, Hydreigon is the top performer against Shadow Mewtwo. This Dark and Dragon type resists Psychic, Electric, and Fire type damage, but is weak against Fighting and Ice types. The Hydreigon line was featured in Community Day, among other events, so there's a good chance you have it already. Bite and Brutal Swing are the moves your Hydreigon needs to know here. If you don't have the Legacy Move or an Elite TM to spare, you're better off picking from other top counters.
Next up is a Legendary from Sinnoh, Giratina (Origin). This Ghost and Dragon type resists Electric, Fire, and Fighting type damage, but it's weak against Ice type moves. Both formes of Giratina have had several runs in raid and share candy, so chances are good you have it already powered up. For this fight, your Giratina should know Shadow Claw and Shadow Force.
Another great counter for Shadow Mewtwo is Gen IX's Gholdengo. This Ghost and Steel type takes super effective damage from Fire type moves, but it resists Psychic, Ice, and Fighting type damage. Unfortunately, Gholdengo is still pretty new to Pokémon Go and it requires a whopping 999 Gimmighoul coins to evolve. Still, if you have it, Hex and Shadow Ball are the moves you'll want in this raid.
Originally discovered in the Unova region of Gen V, Chandelure performs very well against Shadow Mewtwo. It's a Ghost and Fire type, so it resists Fire, Ice, and Fighting type damage while having no weaknesses Mewtwo can exploit. Chandelure has had the Community Day treatment, as well as being featured in multiple events, so most active players already have it. Hex and Shadow Ball are the best moves for Chandelure in this fight.
A Mythical from the Sinnoh region, Darkrai is another excellent choice for this raid. It's a pure Dark type, so it resists Psychic type damage, but is weak against Fighting types. Although it's a Mythical, Darkrai has been featured in raids several times, so most active players have had the chance to catch it. Its best moves for this raid are Snarl and Dark Pulse.
Hoopa (Confined) is another great counter for Shadow Mewtwo. This Mythical Pokémon is a Psychic and Ghost type, granting it resistances to both Psychic and Fighting type moves. While Hoopa (Confined) was only able to be caught by completing a limited Timed Research, its Unbound forme has been in raids and it can change formes. If you add Hoopa to your team, Astonish and Shadow Ball are the moves you'll want.
Although its Confined forme performs better in a vacuum, Hoopa (Unbound) is also an excellent choice. Instead of Ghost and Psychic, it's a Dark and Psychic type so it only resists Psychic type damage in this raid. While Elite Raids are only held one day a month, Hoopa (Unbound) has been featured three times on top of being available in limited Timed Research, so there's a good chance you have one. Astonish and Dark Pulse are the best moves for this forme of Hoopa.
Another great counter is the mascot for Pokémon Y, Yveltal. This Flying and Dark type is weak to Electric and Ice type moves, but it resists Psychic type damage. Yveltal has only had a couple runs in raids and it's been a while, so you might not have it fully powered up. However, if you're adding Yveltal to your team, it should know Snarl and Dark Pulse.
The Legendary mascot for Pokémon Moon, Lunala performs great against Shadow Mewtwo. This Ghost and Psychic type resists Psychic and Fighting type damage and it has no weaknesses Mewtwo can exploit. Unfortunately, Lunala can only be obtained by evolving Cosmog which is currently limited to one per account and only for players who completed a past seasonal Timed Research. If you have it though, Air Slash and Shadow Ball are its best moves for this fight.
Last but certainly not least, Mewtwo is a great counter for itself. As a pure Psychic type, it resists Psychic and Fighting type moves while having no relevant weaknesses, and unlike Shadow Mewtwo raids, Mewtwo can learn the powerful Ghost type move, Shadow Ball. Better yet, Mewtwo has been available so many times, in so many ways that many players have entire teams of Mewtwo. Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball are Mewtwo's best moves in this raid.
Back up counters
Although most players will be able to make a team of the best counters, if you're finding a gap in your team, there are plenty of back ups who work well in larger groups. Just make sure you're dodging and any of the following could be a decent back up:
- Zarude with Bite and Dark Pulse
- Giratina (Altered) with Shadow Claw and Shadow Force
- Weavile with Snarl and Foul Play
- Tyranitar with Bite and Crunch
- Guzzlord with Snarl and Brutal Swing
- Zoroark with Snarl and Foul Play
- Vikavolt with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
- Gengar with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Houndoom with Snarl and Foul Play
- Absol with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Bisharp with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Krookodile with Snarl and Crunch
- Pinsir with Bug Bit and X-Scissor
- Incineroar with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Yanmega with Bug Bite and Bug Buzz
- Pheromosa with Bug Bite and Bug Buzz
- Trevenant with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
- Mismagius with Hex and Shadow Ball
- Reshiram with Fire Fang and Crunch
- Raikou with Thunder Shock and Shadow Ball
The rebalance of Shadow Pokémon rescued from Team GO Rocket make them excellent glass cannons. Not only are their stats boosted, but during special events or with Elite TMs, it's possible to change their moves. If you happen to have any of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this raid:
- Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Tyranitar with Bite and Crunch
- Shadow Weavile with Snarl and Foul Play
- Shadow Houndoom with Snarl and Foul Play
- Shadow Pinsir with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
- Shadow Raikou with Thunder Shock and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Mismagius with Sucker Punch and Shadow Ball
- Shadow Absol with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Shadow Alolan Muk with Snarl and Dark Pulse
- Shadow Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
- Shadow Alakazam with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
Shadow Raids are incredibly challenging and Shadow Mewtwo is the most challenging thus far. Even using the best counters and Purified Gems, top trainers should aim for parties of at least five members. More importantly, you're going to need to communicate during the raid to time use of Purified Gems and Mega Evolved Pokémon. We recommend getting together as large a group as possible for this raid, and stock up on as many Purified Gems, Revives, and Potions as you can.
Weather conditions that can impact this raid include:
- Wind will boost Shadow Mewtwo's Psychic type moves
- Sunny/Clear Weather will boost its Fire type move
- Cloudy/Overcast Weather will boost its Fighting type move
- Snow will boost its Ice type move
- Rain will boost its Electric type move, as well as your Bug type counters
- Fog will boost your Ghost and Dark type counters
Don't miss your chance to catch Shadow Mewtwo in Pokémon Go!
Shadow Mewtwo is one of the most powerful Pokémon in all of Pokémon Go and it's only available for a limited time. Don't miss your chance to add it to your roster and be sure to check out the rest of our Pokémon Go guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!
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Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.