Pokémon: The 15 Best Unova Gen V Shinies (All Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Fans are already talking about taking a trip back to Unova and hoping for some kind of remakes.
Personally, I’m excited about that.
I know it’ll be a few years before we get that. But Gen V is my favorite iteration of Pokémon by a country mile. I’d say BW2 is the best entry into the franchise, and it’s not even close.
So to try and stoke the flames of speculation and relive my glory days, let’s take a look at some of the best shiny forms in all of Unova.
Maractus is a poor man’s Cacturne as far as I’m concerned.
I mean, why do we need two different cactus species Pokémon? We don’t.
Shiny Maractus does look pretty slick, though.
The purple and white color combination is much more “cactus-y,” if that’s an adjective you’ll allow me to use.
If I was being purely objective, Maractus would probably be a little bit higher on the list. But I just don’t get why it exists in the first place, so it should consider itself lucky to be even making an appearance.
Encountering Volcarona back in the day is still one of the best memories that I have of Pokémon Black and White.
I was still a young one back then, so I wasn’t much for browsing the internet. Meaning it caught me completely off-guard.
It would have been even cooler if the encounter had been a shiny one. But I’ve yet to have a full-odds shiny encounter in over seven generations of Pokémon, so there’s no chance of that happening.
The color change that shiny Volcarona gets is interesting, to say the least.
It makes it look a lot more like a bug. And that can only be a good thing, all things considered.
I hate Garbodor. I hate it so much that I’ll argue it was the only valid criticism Gen V got when it was announced.
That’s why I’m so annoyed by the fact that shiny Garbodor actually looks pretty cool.
In essence, all this shiny form is, is the Pokémon getting a blue garbage bag instead of a green one.
But it’s a nice looking shade of blue, so I’ll bite.
Typically, dragon-type shinies are either great, like Rayquaza, or terrible, like Garchomp.
This is a rule that 99% of dragons follow.
But Hydreigon is an exception.
It’s far from being within the top 10 of shinies, even if we’re only counting the Gen V Dex.
However, it’s still a nice-looking sprite that’s noticeably shiny.
Which is more than I can say for a lot of the competition.
The green and purple combination almost makes Hydreigon look like it should be a poison type. Which, now that I think about it, would be pretty badass.
I’m convinced that the Game Freak folks got the shiny and regular Krookodile sprites mixed up.
As in, there is no way that isn’t what happened.
I mean, regular Krookodile goes from being brown for its entire evolution, to suddenly being a deep red with black stripes.
Meanwhile, its shiny has an almost identical color palette to its prevolutions.
I can’t really say that this is a great-looking shiny on its own, because it looks like how Krookodile should normally look. So I guess that has to count for something.
Game Freak has a chance to do something really special with the Gen V shinies.
I mean, why the hell did the design team not make shiny Zekrom white and shiny Reshiram black?
That color swap wrote itself. Literally. In the goddamn story.
While I’ll never get over the fact that GF dropped the ball so badly here, at least there are a few Gen V legendaries that have good-looking shiny alternatives.
Virizion is the first such example.
It’s already an elegant and feminine-looking Pokémon, so turning the shiny sprite from green to pink compliments that perfectly.
I know we’re meant to be doing away with all these gender norms these days, but you can’t deny that the sleekness of this design and the femininity of the color scheme complement one another really well.
Terrakion’s name comes from being a terracotta loin, and that’s a pretty accurate description.
The Pokémon is a stone tank.
And that’s something that’s made all the more apparent by the shiny sprite it gets.
Not only does it change its base colors to brighter and vibrant alternatives that immediately catch your eye, but its horns also turn red. You can’t tell me that isn’t meant to represent blood, especially since it’s not the only example of Game Freak doing something like this in Gen V.
Either way, it makes shiny Terrakion look like it just got done using a Clefable as a chew toy.
And that’s a kind of macabre that I can appreciate.
Braviary is one of my favorite bird Pokémon of all time.
Talonflame and Corviknight come pretty close. But Braviary just screams America.
I’m not American, nor do I have any connection to America. But Hollywood has us all making the Pledge of Allegiance.
Shiny Braviary exemplifies that fact.
It goes from red to blue, which is pretty on the nose if you ask me.
Unova is based on the US too. So it even makes sense thematically.
I only recently discovered shiny Cofagrigus, but I’m glad that I did.
It’s quickly becoming one of my overall favorite shinies. Which is impressive, considering I didn’t know what it looked like a few weeks ago.
Regular Cofagrigus is great. It’s designed to be a sarcophagus, and the colors reflect that.
Shiny Cofagrigus isn’t meant to be like a sarcophagus, but it looks so good that the thematic issues don’t even come into the equation.
There’s also the added fact that this Pokémon literally mummifies the humans that it encounters. Which is something that the people in the Pokémon universe seem remarkably calm about.
Serperior was my starter of choice for Gen V. And to this day, it’s easily a top-three starter of all time for me.
It’s simply superior, hence the name.
Game Freak (up until BW) had a bit of a history of making terrible-looking shiny starters. This generation broke this trend, and thank Arceus for that.
Serperior’s shiny sprite becomes a more buzz-lightyear-like green, meaning it gets much brighter and more vibrant.
It also gets blue accents around its body that add to this more eye-catching palette, turning shiny Serperior into a Pokémon that looks rare and unique – all without being obnoxious.
If Gigalith was real, then it would be mined extensively.
The crystals on its body can absorb solar energy. So there’s no way the governments of the world wouldn’t be trying to capitalize on it.
I don’t know why Rose was messing around with the Darkest Day when all he had to do was set up an incredibly inhumane operation where he mines minerals out of living beans.
That’s just regular Gigalith, though.
Shiny Gigalith looks like it has diamonds growing on it, so you know where that’s going.
Just imagine the prices of blue Gigalith diamond engagement rings.
I have a thing for purple and black color combinations in Pokémon.
Out of every shiny that has used this palette, none has done so as effectively as Zoroark.
All this color scheme really changes is the color of the Pokémon’s massive ponytail. But I’m just a sucker for the contrast between those two colors, so it’s getting a pretty good spot here.
Samurott is the only Gen V starter that doesn’t get to make the list.
Sorry guys, but the shiny sprite for it sucks.
Emboar, on the other hand, is arguably the best shiny stater overall up to this point.
It undergoes an entire color transformation to blue, including its flames.
Just like how I’m a sucker for black and purple Pokémon, I’m also a sucker for when Game Freak messes around with the colors of flames.
Although I feel like my bias is justified with this entry.
Speaking of playing with fire…
Shiny Chandelure, by all rights, should be at the top of this list.
It’s a design that’s clearly shiny. And it’s not too obnoxious, and it looks great, and it works unbelievably well thematically.
It’s just unfortunate that an arguable “top three of all time” shinies all come out of the same generation.
Chandelure is easily top 10, though.
I just wish I could convince myself to rank it a little higher here, but I can’t.
Why, you ask?
I can’t rank Chandelure any higher because shiny Haxorus exists.
Game Freak knew it did such a good job with this shiny Pokémon that they actually included it as an event monster once you complete your Pokédex.
It’s got a dark black and red combination, but it’s a very deliberate color change.
The only red on its body is on its claws and its tusks.
Just like Terrakion, this makes Haxorus look like it just got done mauling something.
Unlike Terrakion, though, Haxorus would more than likely be goring humans rather than Pokémon. If a shiny sprite can make a Pokémon look like something pulled straight from one of my night terrors, then it deserves this spot.