Shiny Pokémon have been a staple of the series since Generation 2, when players first went to the Lake of Rage and caught the red Gyarados. The Odd Egg in Pokémon Crystal also had a one in eight chance of being shiny, giving players the impression that some Pokémon aren’t quite like the others. Since then, the shiny hunt has become a popular type of game, with many hours spent finding and catching their favorite different colored mons.
Shiny Pokémon are rare. The base chance of finding one is around one in 4000, but there are several ways you can increase this. Breeding a Pokemon from a game in a different language, getting the shiny charm, and making Herba Mystica sandwiches are all methods in Scarlet and Violet. Shiny hunting has gotten easier over the years as more methods have been introduced with the growing popularity of this activity. But that has left many more angry than happy.
You see Shiny Hunting was seen as a status symbol. It was a sign that you were willing to spend hundreds of hours walking around trying to find one. The toughest shinies give the most satisfaction, and people like to look for the hardest to find.
Pokemon Ranger’s Manaphy is a classic example. One Manaphy Egg per bullet is gifted once you complete the game for the first time. The odds were one in 8000 back then and if yours wasn’t brilliant it was time to buy a new copy. Some people like to hunt Pokemon that can run away, like Safari Pokemon, or those that can damage themselves or explode. Others enjoy chasing uncatchable shinies, such as the first Starly you encounter in Diamond and Pearl.
As shiny odds have gotten easier, shiny fans have been trying to find more ways to make their shinies more exclusive. There are now markers that display text when you release your Pokemon in battle, like “Dondozo the Gourmet” or “Garchomp the Once Well-Trained,” but the rarity of these markers combined with the shiny odds means you’ll likely never see one specific shiny with the specific brand you want. Players were looking for a middle ground between a regular shiny and this unattainable goal.
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This is where balls come into play. Pokeballs, of course. Each ball has a different catch rate depending on the situation. A Net Ball is an easy way to catch a Bug or Water-type Pokemon, while a Timer Ball works best if you’ve been in the fight for more than seven turns. The different balls have different effects and also different external appearances. Once you’ve caught a Pokemon in a ball, there’s no turning back. It will remain in this ball for the rest of its life.
Players started catching their target shinies in certain types of balls. This isn’t usually the best ball for the job, but much like Shiny Pokemon, it’s about style over substance. Some people like to catch Pokémon in balls that match the color or pattern of the mon, but another trend also emerged.
As is always the case with exclusivity, people started catching shinies in the most difficult balls possible. These include a Poké Ball, a Premier Ball (appropriately, a Poké Ball of a different color), or a Luxury Ball, all of which have the worst catch rate possible. Well, that’s all well and good, but the problem starts to show itself when people openly blame others for not doing the same thing.
The recent debate revolves around whether a Shiny Pokémon caught in a Quick Ball is valid. Quick Balls can be used in the first round of battle, and often offer a one in three chance of catching the Pokemon, which is one of the best odds in the game for a Pokemon at full health. This is important because many people don’t harm Shinies because if they pass out, they’re gone forever.
So the question is, is a Shiny Pokémon caught in a Quick Ball less valid than one caught in a Luxury Ball? The answer is no. In reality, Shiny Pokémon are no different from regular Pokémon, neither the ball nor the color provide any advantage. If you want to hunt shiny, that’s great. If you want to catch them all in one Premier Ball, awesome. But nobody has to judge how other people play and enjoy their games. Especially about what colors or balls look the coolest.