20 Best Galar Shinies From Gen 8’s Pokémon Sword & ShieldThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Game Freak has been getting progressively better at making shiny Pokémon with every passing generation.
Gen VIII might just be the best that the company has done yet.
While there are no massive standout shiny contenders, there are no abominations either (looking at you, Kyogre).
So with that in mind, let’s take a peek at some of the cooler Galarian shinies from Pokémon Sword and Shield.
And if you’re in the mood for some shiny hunting, here’s a bit of inspiration for you.
Is Drednaw just a cheap rip-off of Blastoise? Yes.
Both its normal and shiny color palettes are “inspired” by the Gen I starter, which is why I’m only putting it here in my ranking, despite the fact that it looks really good.
There’s not really much more to say about Drednaw than that. It’s like the lost evolution between Wartortle and Blastoise. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not exactly original, either.
This Pokémon is…. special.
Out of every single Pokémon design I’ve ever seen, this is the one that baffles me the most.
I mean, if you can explain to me what is meant to be going on here, I’ll be very impressed. And I get it, don’t get me wrong.
It’s a penguin with a giant ice cube for a head.
What I don’t get is why.
That’s only amplified by the fact that its shiny sprite is pink.
There’s no rhyme or reason for that whatsoever. That’s partially why I’m giving it a spot on the list. It might look good, but the real charm comes from how unbelievably confusing it is.
If there’s one way to make something look rare and valuable, it’s to turn it gold.
Geodude is the first Pokémon example I can think of that got this golden shiny treatment way back in the day – but it’s a trend that’s stuck around ever since.
In the case of Sirfetch’d, this golden shiny recolor makes it look positively dashing.
The bird is already based on a knight. So being gilded in golden armor makes the design so much more than a simple recolor.
It’s a case of a simple design being more than the sum of its parts, and that deserves recognition.
Falinks’ regular color scheme is infinitely better than its shiny.
That being said, it’s one of the most appropriate and one of the (possibly) best color designs in Pokémon history, so that’s not saying too much.
Its shiny is still well worth a look at.
It might lack the Spartan red and gold of the original, but the dark brown brings a certain knightly vibe to the ‘mon. Something that is very much in-style throughout Gen VIII.
Simply put: it’s unobtrusive and enjoyable to look at.
And while not overly impressive, it’s better than a lot of the SWSH shinies we got.
I can’t give it any higher spot though, because not designing this palette over the old Persian Empire is a massive missed opportunity.
Grimmsnarl is my least favorite Pokémon of all time. There are very few fictional monsters that I hate with a passion, but this is one of them.
I don’t know who decided that this disaster was good enough to get a full evolution line, but I hope they never design a Pokémon again.
That being said, the color palette that its shiny form uses is pretty cool.
Notice that I’m specifying the colors, because there’s no way to save the actual look of Grimmsnarl itself.
The design goes from black and green to white and purple, almost like the shiny version is albino.
I appreciate when Pokémon designs take after the animal kingdom like that. Although I’m not sure this bipedal nightmare was the right Pokémon to use for something like this.
Rillaboom’s shiny is pretty disappointing.
I always have high hopes for the starters, but more often than not, I get let down.
That’s not to say that shiny Rillaboom looks bad – because it definitely doesn’t.
I’m just saying that it could have been so much better.
And look, I’ll admit: a cool-looking sprite, sure. But what exactly is going on here? It’s just a weird recolor. That’s it.
Keep in mind that this is coming off of Decidueye in Gen VII, which is one of the best shinies of all time – which admittedly makes me harsher on Rillaboom than I probably should be.
Grapploct is massively underrated, both as a shiny and as a Pokémon in general.
Having a wrestling octopus is a stroke of genius from the Game Freak team. So how this guy and Grimmsnarl came out of the same generation is beyond me.
Grapploct’s shiny sprite is bright red rather than its usual blue. Not only does that make it look rare, but it adds to the luchador style that the team is clearly going for here.
Shiny Grapploct is in the same ballpark as Hawlucha, which coincidently is another great-looking Lucha Libre-inspired shiny.
If ever there was an awesome design idea for a Pokémon, it’s Inteleon.
It’s literally a sniper. That’s all.
And that’s incredible.
So why does the shiny sprite not play off that? As in, at all? The hotrod blue and pink color palette looks great, hence why I’m giving it a decent ranking here.
But are you honestly telling me that’s all they could come up with?
You’ve got a sniper Pokémon for crying out loud. The Game Freak design team could have even given it a camouflage pattern, or at least made it that color of green rather than these bright luminous shades that they decided to use.
Does shiny Inteleon look cool? Yes.
Could it look cooler? Absolutely.
Out of all three of the Galar starters, Cinderace is easily the best looking, both in its regular color palette and as a shiny (fight me).
It’s also the shiny that changes the least out of the bunch. Which says a lot, truth be told.
The most obvious change here is that shiny Cinderace is brighter. There are a few color changes, but this is the most obvious.
It takes Cinderace from being a sub for your local soccer club, to a star player in the Premier League (I don’t watch soccer but you get the idea).
There are no standout shiny starters in Gen VIII like there have been in most other recent generations. But if I have to pick a favorite, it’s Cinderace.
When I found out that Galarian Rapidash was going to be a unicorn, I was excited.
You could only imagine how crushed I was when I found out that it was a Shield exclusive.
I traded for it, though. Far before I ever started completing the Dex. So that should tell you how much I like this design.
I’ll admit that I wish the shiny was a little bit more creative, but I can’t complain. The white and bubblegum blue look phenomenal and natural, while also clearly making this feel truly rare compared to its usual color palette.
We’ve been overdue a unicorn Pokémon for over a decade.
And I’m happy to say that the wait was worth it.
It’s a black sheep. Get it?
Honestly, though, it really is clever.
If you’re already a fan of this sheepy boi, you’ll absolutely love its shiny. And truthfully, what’s not to love?
9. Galarian Moltres
These next three entries are very similar to each other (guess what Pokémon they are).
Starting off the trio, we’ve got the shiny Galarian Moltres.
I’ll come out and say that the original color palette is better, but not by much.
And since the initial red and black design is made up of my favorite color combination, that’s saying something.
Shiny Galarian Moltres is colored based on its Kantonian variant. This makes it look like a badass evolution, rather than a regional variant, which is very much a good thing in this case.
The reason that Moltres is lower than the other legendary birds (spoiler alert?) is because of just how much I like the original.
So keep that in mind in case you think it’s better looking than the next two.
8. Galarian Zapdos
I don’t like Galarian Zapdos. It looks like a chicken. I’m sorry, but it’s true.
However, the shiny changes this beast back to its original yellow and black colors. And this shiny form makes it look slightly less stupid—emphasis on slightly.
It honestly makes the sprite look like regular Zapdos got tired of flying and decided to take a stroll.
Given that I’m not too big of a fan of the concept of the regional legendary form, this is a major benefit in my book.
As a footnote for all three of these legendary Galarian birds, they’re all shiny locked.
In other words, you can’t officially get your hands on them. Yet. (Well, as of this writing)
No doubt that they’ll be released in an event in the future, but for now, all we get to do is sit on our hands and admire. Or look up on YouTube to see how other people are glitching/modding the game to get them.
7. Galarian Articuno
Last but not least here, we have Galarian Articuno.
Like Moltres, I sort of prefer the original color design for this icy avian creature.
However, its shiny form has a life entirely its own that makes it unfair to compare the two.
While it’s just an homage to the original Articuno, the blue and white color scheme bring an air of elegance to the Galarian design.
How you can make a Pokémon go from looking like an evil mastermind to a prestigious ballerina dancer, all through nothing more than a color swap?
It’s beyond me, but it deserves recognition.
Yes, I have a shiny Dragapult.
And yes, I’m going to flex that fact.
Dragapult is easily my favorite Pokémon to come out of SWSH.
Not only is the concept of “a stealth bomber dragon that shoots its own children” possibly the best premise for a design in the entire franchise, but it’s also the perfect example of how less is more when it comes to shinies.
I might be biased since I actually spent about a week hunting for one of these myself.
But there’s something special about the simple yellow color swap that screams “I’m shiny!” without being obtrusive or obvious.
It’s possible I only feel that way because I show mine off every chance I get… but can you really blame me?
I’ve talked about shiny Appletun, well, a ton. How could I not though?
It’s one of the simplest yet smartest shiny recolors that I’ve ever seen. And I’ve looked into basically every single shiny Pokémon at this point.
All the sprites do is change from being a red apple to a green one. That’s all.
And yet it works so well.
There’s no one out there that can argue that’s an ingenious idea. Especially when you compare it to the uninspired recolors that dominate most of the shiny Dex.
Like the previous entry, shiny Corviknight is here both because it looks great, and because it makes sense thematically.
Corviknight is already one hell of a badass Pokémon.
I’d go as far as to say it’s the best starting route bird-type Pokémon we’ve ever gotten.
The armor-like body with dark feathers and red eyes makes it look menacing. But when the shiny sprite changes those colors to look like actual steel, it becomes something special.
Shiny Corviknight looks exactly how a knight-inspired bird Pokémon should.
Not only does the color work tremendously well, but I have to give credit to the designers for making its body and feathers actually look like a suit of armor while not being jarringly obvious.
Corviknight is one of the best-designed Pokémon to come out of Gen VIII.
And its shiny version exemplifies that.
Just like all of the legendary shiny Pokémon on this list (including one that’s yet to come), Zamazenta is shiny locked.
Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger.
The fact remains, though, that a shiny version of it does exist – meaning we’re going to get it in the future in some form or another.
But really, Game Freak better hurry up with that event. Because this shiny is absolutely incredible.
The bright pink just blends much better with the design of Zamazenta than its original steak-like color.
That’s not to say that the OG is bad, but this shiny style is just infinitely cooler.
Speaking of shiny locked Pokémon, here we have Zamazenta’s cooler cousin, Zachian.
Not only is the premise (and design) for Pokémon Sword’s legendary much better than Pokémon Shield’s, but its shiny sprite is better as well.
Zachian’s entire body takes on this almost ethereal ice blue hue, making it look like a phantom rather than a dog.
If it weren’t for Game Freak’s ridiculous shiny lock of so many Pokémon, you could bet that I would already have my hands on one of these by now.
All any of us can do for now is wait.
Obstagoon has absolutely no right going as hard as it does.
Never mind the fact that it’s a new evolution for an old Pokémon, but its shiny sprite just shouldn’t work.
It does, though. It works really, really well.
White, bright red, and bubblegum blue are not three colors I would ever think to throw on a Pokémon.
But evidently, I don’t know anything, because this design slaps.
Shiny Obstagoon wants you to know it’s rare.
That’s normally not a good thing.
But in this case, it absolutely is.
I don’t know the first thing about color theory, so don’t ask me for answers or an explanation.
All I’m here to do is to tell you that Obstagoon is (arguably) the best-looking shiny from Gen VIII’s Pokémon Sword and Shield.