Part 23: Everything To Do With Shadow Pokemon (XD)Side Course 03: Everything To Do With Shadow Pokemon (XD)
So, firstly, Shadow Pokemon are generated in the same way as before, with it being random when it gets first sent out. Similarly, the Pokemon's OT and ID number will change, however there is now no way for a Shadow Pokemon to be shiny, the game checks against both your and your opponent's numbers and will reroll the Pokemon if it would result in a shiny. Everything else such as IVs, nature, etc, will still be random, but once the Pokemon has been encountered, that info is saved and will not changed if you encounter the Shadow Pokemon again.
The reduction of the Heart Gauge is also the same, so a Shadow Pokemon will not gain experience or EVs or the like until it goes below the fourth gauge. However, since all Shadow Pokemon in this game have a minimum of two Shadow moves, reaching the final bar in the gauge does... nothing, except making Reverse Mode more likely. Everything you couldn't do with Shadow Pokemon in the previous game applies to this game, though Battle Mode is no longer a thing.
One big change that I literally just discovered and I'm pretty sure wasn't on the Bulbapedia page for Shadow Pokemon when I made the previous Side Course, is that all Shadow Pokemon in XD have a 50% boost to their Speed. Interesting, makes them more fun to use I suppose. XD also balances the Shadow type to make it more interesting in battle, as it is now super effective on non-Shadow Pokemon and not very effective on opposing Shadow Pokemon. Note that it only checks that and not the specific typing, so a Shadow move is not 4x effective against a dual typed Pokemon.
Various Shadow moves were added and while Shadow Rush is in, as we saw, it's been reduced in power and no longer has an increased crit chance. Shadow moves can be physical, special or status moves depending on which one they are. Take that Gen 4! The status moves in particular are souped up versions of regular moves and do some crazy effects, usually to both opponents. I go over them when we encounter them for the first time.
Now onto Reverse Mode, it's like Hyper Mode, but shit, since there's no real reason to stay in this mode when a Pokemon enters it at the end of their turn (not as their turn for Hyper Mode at least). You immediately take 1/16th damage at the end of the turn and can only use Shadow moves, disobeying similarly to Hyper Mode when told to use other moves. As before, items cannot be used, but Scents can to end Reverse Mode, as well as Calling to it in battle. That's the main function of Reverse Mode, to reduce the Heart Gauge, as it is actively harmful to the Pokemon to stay in that state and does not effect any Shadow moves or stats.
Next is purification, the methods are mostly similar to Colosseum, aside from the big one that makes all other methods practically useless, but we'll talk about that in a moment. Like before, nature affects how effective the action is on the Heart Gauge. Let's go over them and compare them to Colosseum.
As you can see, most numbers were changed in some way, often being overall lower than their Colosseum counterparts. This is due to the lower starting point for Shadow Pokemon of 1500 instead of 3000. This is why Hotdog nearly lost an entire bar when he was Called. It's pretty nuts and it remains low throughout the game, with a very steady curve for most Pokemon up to 7,000, with some going as high as 10,000, the limit, compared to 20,000 for Tyranitar. So it's a lot easier to purify Pokemon this time around, but that's from mostly ignoring this list. The Day Care has been removed, since the Purify Chamber is so much better and more efficient and free, so the ??? row might not be used, but we don't actually know. Love it. Overall, everything is basically the same as before, with endless walking in Agate Village being the easiest and cheapest option in tandem with the Purify Chamber.
So here's the best way to purify nine Pokemon at a time, putting them in different sets with regular Pokemon to quickly reduce the Heart Gauge while you're doing other stuff. When this system gets rolling, it gets rolling, and you're able to just breeze through all the various Shadow Pokemon with a bit of patience. What you need to do is place Pokemon that have types that are super effective against the Pokemon clockwise to them, and continues around the entire circle.
So this image is a bad example, since types that have no effect, are not very effective or neutral don't boost the Flow very much. So figuring out which Pokemon should be placed in which set is the key. With four Pokemon being super effective against each INCLUDING the Shadow Pokemon on one of the Pokemon, the Flow (and thus the Tempo, which changes the music) will be maxed out and the Pokemon will purify very quickly. Shadow Pokemon use their own types instead of the properties of Shadow moves being super effective against every type, just fyi.
This doesn't take dual types into account, so a Pokemon that is Fire has a Grass/Rock type placed next to it, it will count as super effective on the Grass and that's it, you can use either Grass or Rock to be super effective on the next in line and it doesn't have the match with the previous Pokemon, so if the next Pokemon is Normal/Flying, then Rock will be super effective against it, but the Grass typing still counts for the Fire type. There's a lot of room for experimentation and the music is great, so that helps a lot. To give them a reason for being placed in the Purify Chamber, Normal type Pokemon are counted as super effective against themselves, so four Normal or Ghost types will max out the Flow. And that's all there is to it, we can't do much to begin with, but once you get this facility rolling, you'll be purifying lots of Pokemon, which then gives you more options to purify other Shadow Pokemon. It's a much better system than in Colosseum and once you purify, you can then get going and purify more Pokemon to then purify more Pokemon to then... you get the idea.