The best Pokemon shiny design is incredibly morbid

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Most fans think Shiny Pokémon are just paddle swaps, but some Shinies prove there’s more to their design than it looks.

First introduced in Generation VI of Pokemon, the Honedge line is not only unique in terms of appearance, but it’s also the only one with a Steel / Ghost-type combination, which indicates its immunity to the Magnet Pull ability. These Pokémon were designed by Hitoshi Ariga, a professional artist who began providing illustrations for the Pokémon Trading Card Game in 2011.

While many Shiny Pokémon feature simple paddle trades, Honedge and its evolutions are different. The red on their blades suggests that this morbid design choice was deliberate, as it can be attributed to the origins of the Honedge line. Generally speaking, these unusual Pokémon are conceptually based on the idea of ​​a haunted sword with varying degrees of sensitivity and supernatural abilities. As such, the Ghost-like roster could be linked to several myths that originated in the Eastern Hemisphere.


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Screenshot of Doublade and Aegislash side by side, as seen in Pokémon Sword & Shield.

Japan is known for various legends surrounding objects that have free will or have been left by their owners. One example is the bushido myth behind the use of katanas, which suggests that these swords could act freely after possessing the soul of their user. Another myth relates to thrown or forgotten objects called tsukumogami. They are generally described as swords or umbrellas that act as malicious poltergeists and attack humans. Since the Honedge line drains energy from those who wear it, this concept could also take inspiration from Tryfing, a cursed sword from Norse mythology that drains its wearer’s life whenever it is drawn.


After taking these facts into consideration, it’s hard not to see how one of the coolest Shinie Pokémon comes with a fair share of disturbing implications. Honedge, in particular, is described as a wandering spirit inhabiting a normal sword. He uses either his Ghost-type abilities or his tissue, if caught by the hilt, to drain energy from those who disturb him. The brilliant Honedge’s crimson blade not only confirms his true nature, but also hints at the legend of his life essence comprising the body of a true human who died by Honedge’s blade.

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With Honedge’s first evolution sporting two blades instead of one, Doublade’s brilliant crimson colors only attest to its predecessor’s bloodlust. The two Doublade swords are known to converse telepathically and perform joint attacks, which are difficult to counter and can tear the opponent to shreds. Although this Pokémon’s appearance changes in an unexpected direction with the Second Evolution, its nature remains more or less the same. Although he usually resorts to phantom-type attacks, the crimson outline of Aegislash’s shiny jagged blade suggests that rumors that he once served a king and draining him of his life force are holding back some water after all. .


Compared to other shiny Pokémon, the design of the Honedge range is a breath of fresh air, no matter how disturbing the reference to blood is. It also shows that even the smallest of iterations in the Pokémon designs that make the cut can come with an obscure background story to uncover.

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