How to overcome Team Rocket Invasions and capture Shadow Pokémon

Team Rocket Invasion Pokemon GO

Posted on July 25th, 2019, 08:07 AM by Terry Kim

Team Rocket has invaded.. again! Read up to better your fight against the villains!

This guide briefly goes over the mechanics of Team Rocket Invasions. Invasions are a type of modified overworld PVP(E) content, where the player must find the invaded Pokéstops in the overworld, approach them to battle a Team Rocket Grunt, and upon victory, capture the shadow Pokémon and become its hero.

Each invasion lasts for approximately 30 minutes, after which the Pokéstop will return to its normal state. An invaded Pokéstop can be identified in the overworld map by its darker color & shaking status, and in the close-up menu by the darkened upper segment of the screen.

Upon approaching, the player will be greeted by a Rocket Grunt, with a set message that will hint at what type of Pokémon the Grunt will use in battle (and consequently, what Pokémon you will get to capture at the end). The list of set dialogues will be listed here once sufficient data is gathered, although a player can reasonably deduct what type the Grunt will use, should they pay attention to the dialogue. Once the battle begins, the player will face against the following: 1. The Pokémon you will get to capture, 2: A mid-strength Pokémon (in the middle of their evolution tree), and 3: a finalized 3rd tier Pokémon of their choice. Note: Each invasion features a specific Pokémon, and are shared across all users. If someone else captured a Bulbasaur, so will you.

Upon victory, you will be allowed to have an encounter with the shadow Pokémon, with 2 premier balls as a start, +1 for each Pokémon not fainted in the battle, and an unknown amount of balls depending on the tiers of two new medals.

A Shadow Pokémon has the charged move Frustration, costs more candy and stardust to power up, and can be purified. Purifying costs candy and stardust, but will result in being free of the dark glow, having the charged move change from frustration to return, and costing less candy and stardust to level up (than the base Pokémon). Purifying the Pokémon also boosts each of its IV by 2, and allows the previously untradeable Shadow Pokémon to be traded once in its purified state.

A set of general tips for the battle:

  • Don't think of this as a Raid. Think of it as a user PVP, only you're facing a target you know the line-up of. A metric measurement of your DPS is less important, while type relationships (especially defensive), energy generation, and skill charge timings are more important.
  • The Grunt will start with a weak Pokémon, and progressively send out stronger ones. Use this to your advantage. Razor leaf, a move very well known for its POOR energy gain and SKY-HIGH damage, is an example to consider, as you can use its high damage output to breeze through the first Pokémon without a charge move, and open the battle with the 2nd Pokémon by using the previously charged move.
  • Keep at least one Pokémon that defends itself very well against each known type. A Dragonite (which should be fairly accessible to everyone, with the new Jump-Start Research) performs superbly against Venusaur, due to its double resistance to grass, despite its lack of Super Effective moves against the enemy. A Magnezone, despite its offensive capabilities, performs poorly against Blastoise, outright losing thanks to not having a defensively advantageous typing- while a Leafeon is capable of soloing the entire encounter, thanks to its resistance to water, and its access to Razor Leaf. Magnezones effectively wall off the Crobats, and Tyranitar is effective against Snorlax, thanks to its resistance to both Ghost (Snorlax's fast move is lick) and Normal type.
  • Switch to another Pokémon before it faints; Unless you need that every last bit of health to win the encounter, gaining the extra ball will always be better.
  • You can walk away from the Pokéstop once the battle starts, without having to be near it the entire time.

Currently Available Pokémon:

  • Bulbasaur*~Venusaur*
  • Charmander*~Charizard*
  • Rattata*,Raticate*
  • Zubat*~Crobat*
  • Snorlax
  • Dratini*~Dragonite*
  • Mudkip*~Swampert*

Newly added Research: A Troubling Situation

1/4: Evolve 2 Pokémon: Murkrow* / Power up a Pokémon 5 times: Sableye*. Completion reward: 1000 Stardust, 2000 Exp.

2/4: Catch 2 Shadow Pokémon: Ekans / Defeat 3 Team GO Rocket Grunts: Koffing. Completion reward: 2000 Stardust, 2000 Exp, 5 Golden Razz Berries.

3/4: Purify 3 Shadow Pokémon: 3000 Stardust / Purify a Fire-, Water-, or Grass-type Shadow Pokémon: 3000 Exp. Completion reward: 2000 Stardust, 5 Silver Pinap Berries, 1 Rare Candy.

4/4: (Already Completed): 2000 Stardust, 1000 Exp. Completion reward: 1 Charged TM, 1 Fast TM, 3 Rare Candies.

The Pokémon with a * next to them can be shiny!

This guide will continuously be updated to reflect any additional information and tips!