10 Best Shiny Pokémon Of All Time (Ranked By Design)

We love every Pokémon equally at Retro Dodo but we can’t contain ourselves whenever we see one of the best Shiny Pokémon of all time.

Shiny Pokémon first appeared back in Pokémon Gold and Silver when an uncommon Red Gyarados emerged from the Lake of Rage in the Johto Region.

The Shiny Pokémon don’t offer any stats boost over their regular Pokémon counterparts but their appearance is often noticeably different.

For our list we’re going to rank the most stylish and visually striking Shiny Pokémon from the series. These rare little (or in some cases, not so little) Pokémon can be tricky to find so an encounter with any Shiny Pokémon should be cherished.

So without further ado, it’s time to put down your Pokéballs, open your Pokédex and see if you’ve found any of the 10 best Shiny Pokémon of all time.

1. Shiny Umbreon

Shiny Umbreon - Best Shiny Pokémon
image credit: game freak/nintendo

The best Shiny Pokémon of all time is the magnificent Shiny Umbreon.

Umbreons have long held a special place in my heart. Perhaps it’s their similarities to real life cats, dogs and rabbits that make them so appealing to me as an animal lover.

Your standard Umbreon, with its black fur and golden rings on its legs, head and around its tail and ears, looks like it could be a pet within the Tron universe.

Instead, this Dark type Pokémon belongs to the Moonlight species and their Shiny version is a thing of beauty and a must see for fans.

The Shiny Umbreon gains a lighter coat, with a strong grey colour replacing the dark black fur and the once yellow rings are now a seriously cool blue.

The standard red eyes are also replaced with yellow peepers, presumably to make them appear even more fierce when they hunt their prey during the night.

2. Shiny Altaria

Shiny Altaria
image credit: game freak/nintendo

Altaria debuted back in Generation III with Pokémon’s arrival on the Game Boy Advance.

While several entries on our list of the best Shiny Pokémon feature revised colour schemes that makes them appear more formidable and ferocious, Shiny Altaria ranks highly for being completely and utterly adorable.

Altaria normally appears as a blue, slender, bird-like, dragon Pokémon with a distinctive plume of white feathers around its body and wings that resembles a tiny cloud. It is undeniably cute.

Seeing these little guys in motion is beautiful. They gracefully soar above the ground and the Shiny golden variant always makes me think of a Tweetie-Pie wearing an oversized woolly jumper.

It’s not only Warner Bros. diminutive Sylvester botherer that Shiny Altaria puts me in the mind of either. There’s another well known retro gaming character that changes from blue to gold in a ‘super’ transformation who I just can’t get enough of…

3. Shiny Zygarde

Shiny Zygarde - Best Shiny Pokémon
image credit: game freak/nintendo

Just look at it! Shiny Zygarde is a masterpiece of character design with its 50% Forme resembling a snake with a geometric scaly collar.

Shiny Zygarde ditches the putrid green and plain black colouration and adopts a pure white crest and colour with a lucid teal body and hexagonal flourishes.

It’s not just Zygarde’s snake-like Forme that benefits from a palette swap either, with Zygarde’s canine-based appearance at 10% Forme also receiving the white and teal make over when Shiny.

Zygarde’s Complete Forme is something else entirely, with the Pokémon taking on a more humanoid visual or perhaps something more akin to a mech from any number of anime series.

Norse mythology may also factor into the design of Shiny Zygarde, with the Dragon Type Pokémon taking inspiration from Jörmungandr, the World Serpent. Next time you revisit 2018’s God of War see if you can spot any similarities between the two!

4. Shiny Haxorus

Shiny Haxorus
image credit: game freak/nintendo

Another Dragon Type Pokémon to grace our list now. It’s almost as if Dragons are universally cool by design.

Vanilla Haxorus was introduced in Pokémon Black and White for the Nintendo DS back in 2010 and evolves from Fraxure at level 48 after beginning life as Axew.

Haxorus is a bipedal Pokémon that bears more than a slight resemblance to the mighty Godzilla. From the stoic stance to the hardened green scales, there’s no doubt in my mind that the developers at Game Freak have paid homage to Toho’s iconic Kaiju.

Homage or not, Haxorus has a Shiny variant that replaces the olive green scales with solid black ones. Their axe like tusks adopt a blood red hue to match their crimson red claws.

Terrifying to behold, Haxorus is surprisingly timid and kind, although getting on the wrong side of one is ill-advised less you feel the full force of their powerful outrage.

5. Shiny Gyarados

Shiny - Gyrados
image credit: game freak/nintendo

I mentioned Gyarados during my introduction to this article and the premiere Shiny Pokémon takes the number five spot on our list of the best Shiny Pokémon of all time.

Pokémon number 130, Gyarados made a literal splash in the original anime after Team Rocket’s James booted Magikarp into the ocean after becoming shipwrecked. Quickly evolving into the fearsome Gyarados, James instantly regrets his decision to neglect his Pokémon.

This scene is so iconic for older fans of the series that a similar event unfolds in the 2019 Detective Pikachu movie, with Gyarados rapidly growing to tower over Pikachu and pals.

Shiny Gyarados may just be a basic palette swap but seeing a red Gyarados has stood the test of time for many fans of the series and remains iconic to this day.

6. Shiny Lechonk

Shiny Lechonk
image credit: game freak/nintendo

The old adage goes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Shiny Lechonk may be one of the more controversial entries on this list of the best Shiny Pokémon of all time.

Lechonk may not be the coolest looking Pokémon ever and they’re certainly not the most outlandish but I cannot resist the appeal of cute piglet!

Where Pokémon like Zygarde and Umbreon are brimming creative flair despite clear real-world inspirations, Lechonk (French for ‘The Chonk’, don’t you know), is quite clearly a pig.

This rotund swine normally sports a muddy brown and black colouration, which is not uncommon for pigs worldwide however the Shiny Lechonk sports a simple and adorable pink hue.

While this list of the best Shiny Pokémon is focuses on the appearance of each Pokémon, I feel that Lechonk’s typical behaviours warrant special mention as this little piggy constantly wanders around looking for food, just like the author of this article.

7. Shiny Emboar

Shiny Embroar - Best Shiny Pokémon
image credit: game freak/nintendo

Emboar is the only Fighting Type Pokémon to appear on our list but it’s plain to see why they’ve made the cut.

The burly Emboar was overlooked by many players when picking their starter Pokémon in Pokémon Black and White and that feels like a criminal injustice to me.

This is a Pokémon with a beard of fire after all. What more could people want out of life?!

Fine, so beards aren’t the be all and end all when considering what makes a Shiny Pokémon special. Emboar’s upright stance and giant claws resemble those of a polar or a grizzly bear and the way that its fur is striped across its body makes it looks like its wearing a pair of jorts in some attempted Crash Bandicoot cosplay.

Shiny Emboar swaps almost all of its original colours making it really stand out as a special Pokémon.

Did I also mention that Shiny Emboar can ignite its fists using its beard of fire?! Maybe beards are the be all and end all after all.

8. Shiny Ponyta

Shiny Ponyta
image credit: game freak/nintendo

Another Pokémon hailing from Red and Blue now with Ponyta galloping into the number eight spot on our list of the 10 best Shiny Pokémon of all time.

Yes, I’ve just waffled on about Emboar having a beard of flame and Ponyta has the same gimmick with its mane and tail ablaze but there’s something more contemplative about Ponyta that doesn’t fill me with the same unbridled (excuse the pun) enthusiasm.

Shiny Ponyta doesn’t deviate massively from the original design and simply replaces the glowing red and orange flames with a vibrant electric blue blaze.

The shift in appearance may be minimal but it’s enough to give Shiny Ponyta the edge over several other Pokémon that didn’t make our list. Better luck next time Luxray!

Trainers that have gained the trust of Ponyta can ride upon its back without fire-retardant jodhpurs.

9. Shiny Charizard

Shiny Charizard - Best Shiny Pokémon
image credit: game freak/nintendo

Pokémon Red’s cover star is the legendary Charizard. This Fire and Flying type Pokémon first appeared in Generation I and evolves from the angsty-looking Charmeleon.

The typical Charizard rocks their matt orange scales but the Shiny variant that pops up in Generation II has a pale purple body and green wings. The colour scheme is remarkably close to that of our own logos and branding so it’s only natural that Shiny Charizard would appear on our list.

Later versions of Shiny Charizard would feature a gunmetal grey body and red inner wings paired with fiery crimson eyes. One constant between each variation is the distinctive flaming tail, even if the colour of that flame would change occasionally too.

If you’re feeling a bit flush you could even look to pick up one of the many extremely valuable Charizard cards but for most people, finding a Shiny Charizard in game will be the most feasible way of seeing these magnificent creatures.

10. Shiny Rayquaza

Shiny Rayquaza
image credit: game freak/nintendo

Another cover star rounds out our list of the best Shiny Pokémon of all time in the form of Ryquaza, who graces the cover of Pokémon Emerald.

The standard Rayquaza, as seen posing on the front of Emerald, is a long serpent looking Pokémon that’s covered in green scales from head to tail.

By contrast, a Shiny Rayquaza listens to My Chemical Romance and is covered in a layer of dark black scales punctuated by vibrant pink and gold highlights.

There’s something timeless powerful about throwing on a little black number and being ready for a fight… just ask Batman.

Rayquaza is an extremely volatile Pokémon and is aggressive towards trespassers however this may attributed to Rayquaza’s duty to protect the Earth from cataclysms.

Regardless of why a Shiny Rayquaza is prone to quarrel with those around it, we can all agree that it looks damn good in black.

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