Let’s be real: Shiny Pokémon are overrated. No, seriously, think about it. Throughout the generations of Pokémon, there have been many rumors about Shinies having better stats or being more advantageous in competition battles.
Sorry everyone, but Shinies are just different colors. That’s the way the Lava Cookie crumbles! But they do offer a fun color palette and with gamers who breed, tend to have higher IV stats since Shinies just kind of happen in tandem with the breeding roulette.
So taking that into consideration, along with general aesthetic since that’s the most important part, here is every Shiny Legendary alternate form, ranked.
10 Resolute Keldeo
Keldeo changes form into Resolute Keldeo after learning the move Sacred Sword. The form change doesn’t change Keldeo’s stats, but acts more as an indicator of its membership status in the Swords of Justice. In the Pokémon movie Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice, Keldeo had to train in order to learn Sacred Sword so it could join the other three members: Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion.
All things considered, Keldeo’s definitely not the strongest Legendary out there and its form change is solely aesthetic-based. And technically speaking, Keldeo is shiny locked, so any Shiny Keldeo you see in game is a hack. Interpretations of Shiny Keldeo replace the light blue sections with seafoam green and it looks really nice. But it’s not official and hasn’t happened, so sorry Keldeo, you’re disqualified.
9 Meloetta - Pirouette Forme
After using Relic Song in battle, Meloetta will change forms. The form change from Aria (normal) Forme to Pirouette also changes its type from Normal/Psychic to Normal/Fighting. Its stat distribution changes as well, making Pirouette better for physical attack moves as well as increasing Speed.
As for its Shiny colors... wow that is a very nice pink. But Meloetta is another case of being an illegal Shiny, which is so sad because you can’t go wrong with black and pink. For actual battle usage, it’s a decent option and the form changes can work to your advantage since it changes both type and stats.
8 Tornadus - Therian Forme
Easily the least attractive of the Forces of Nature, Tornadus lacks in both aesthetic and competitive advantages. It’s the only one of the trio that isn’t a dual type, lending itself to no different type advantages. In both forms, its stats are pretty basic.
Nothing about Tornadus is aesthetically pleasing. The Therian Forme makes it slightly better, but it looks like the bird has a beer gut. Even in terms of how tough it looks, Thundurus is just... meh? Then again, this entire trio ranks the lowest on overall appearance compared to literally every other Mythical trio out there.
7 Thundurus - Therian Forme
Ok, getting better. Probably the most attractive of the Forces of Nature is the Electric/Flying-type Thundurus. Much like Landorus, its Sp. Atk. maxes out when it changes to Therian Forme. For all three Forces of Nature, each Pokémon changes form after using the Reveal Glass.
Thundurus’s Shiny colors are nothing special and stay pretty close to the original color scheme. Why does this trio exist?
6 Shaymin - Sky Forme
Sorry Shaymin, your movie didn’t do you justice. For being the Gratitude Pokémon, it acted like a brat. Thankfully, the games bring it back on track. Shaymin has two forms, Land Forme and Sky Forme. Sky Forme activates after using a Gracidea flower on it, changing Shaymin into a dual type of Grass/Flying. Stats also get adjusted, though Land Forme is actually perfectly balanced.
As for appearance, Shaymin remains largely similar. Double whammy on Shaymin, we’re docking points for colors.
5 Landorus - Therian Forme
Often overlooked, Landorus is actually a battling beast. As a Ground/Flying dual type, it's resistant to otherwise Super Effective Electric-type moves. Therian Forme highly boosts Landorus’s Attack stat, but cuts Speed and Sp. Def.
Landorus is kosher as a Shiny as long as it meets certain criteria. The biggest change is the orange to yellow and it’s not that great.
4 Deoxys - Attack, Defense, and Speed
Keep in mind, the form you choose for Deoxys in competition battles is reliant on how you shape the rest of your team. Each form has its advantages, but we can all agree that Deoxys’s normal form is useless. With that out of the way, we’ll consider Attack, Defense, and Speed.
Attack form makes for a great sweeper, but can be KO’d very easily depending on your opponent’s Speed stat. Defense has a good moveset to help keep it in battle longer, but Psychic-types don’t make for reliable tanks and Defense’s HP stat isn’t fantastic. Speed form has a massively high Speed stat and a decent defense, but it’s best in a supporting role rather than a one-on-one battle.
As for aesthetics, it’s surprisingly nice? It’s not too garishly bright and the yellow and green actually go well together. Color us impressed, Deoxys.
3 Zygarde - 50% Forme
It’s a dog! It’s a snake! No, it’s Zygarde! As the final member of the aura trio, Zygarde has three forms: 10%, 50% and Complete. Zygarde’s an interesting Legendary, being built from a combination of Zygarde Cores and Zygarde Cells. These are collected and can be assembled with the handy dandy Zygarde Cube. Its stats go up the more complete it becomes. Zygarde usually flies under the radar for competitive use, due to Garchomp being a more popular alternative and the risk of relying on Power Construct for the 10% and 50% forms.
Shiny Zygarde was given away as a Mystery Gift through limited-time code cards from GameStop. So as long as the normal criteria check out for event Pokémon, Shiny Zygarde is 100% legal in the games. And whoa, that’s a very pretty green. Only the 50% Forme was given the Shiny treatment and it’s not recommended to break it down. 50% looks prettier in those colors anyway, so it’s not a total loss.
2 Giratina - Origin Forme
Massive, imposing, and an interdimensional traveler, Giratina rounds out the Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum Legendary trio. Giratina has two forms: Altered and Origin. Despite being called the “Altered” Forme, this is the one most gamers are probably familiar with as Origin Forme can only be triggered when Giratina holds a Griseous Orb. The form change shifts Giratina’s defensive and offensive stats, making it decently versatile for competitive battling.
Shiny Giratina is available in Pokémon Go!, making it dubiously official. And that color scheme matches way better than it should. It takes away from Giratina’s intimidation factor, but replaces that with elegance. The biggest downside is that it makes Giratina look like an Electric-type.
1 Xerneas - Active Mode
Kicking off the introduction of Fairy-type Pokémon, Xerneas comes in as one of the best, rounded Fairy-types available. It has two forms: Neutral Mode and Active Mode. The only difference between them is aesthetic, but if it got a stats boost, it would’ve made Xerneas too overpowered.
Xerneas (and Yveltal) is now a legitimate Shiny in the games, thanks to the 2016 XYZ event. Nintendo even made official art depicting the Legendaries in their Shiny colors, which look fantastic. Xerneas becomes lighter in color, swapping out the black body for white and lightening the blue. Good stats and good colors put Xerneas on top.