As you may know, Pokemon Sword and Shield recently held an event where Magikarp appeared more frequently in raids, and they had a much higher chance of being shiny. While the odds of finding a shiny were not specified, for myself, it appeared to be well over 50% of the raids I joined had a shiny Magikarp. Over the four days shiny fish rained from the sky, I managed to catch quite a few and hope that the time invested in catching them pays dividends in the future.
For shiny hunters like myself, this was great, especially having just come off of a very long 2885 encounter hunt for a shiny Zigzagoon. In fact, the first raid I joined after reading about the event contained a shiny Magikarp. As for every other shiny I’ve ever obtained, I nearly had a heart attack. Of course, I knew the odds of finding a shiny had been increased, but I had yet to realize just how frequently I would be finding these golden fish.
Why this event was so special
For those who are unfamiliar with how shiny Pokemon works, let me quickly explain. Every Pokemon has a shiny variant meaning it is a different color. That’s it. No special abilities. No edge up in battling. Shiny Pokemon are solely for bragging rights. Usually, a trainer has a 1/4096 chance of finding a shiny Pokemon with no guarantee that within 4096 encounters, the Pokemon they are hunting will be shiny. There are multiple ways to increase your odds of finding a shiny Pokemon through method hunting (Masuda Breeding or Repeat Encountering), and a trainer can increase their base odds of finding a shiny tremendously by obtaining the shiny charm taking the base odd from 1/4096 to 1/1365. This, however, is still a .073% chance of finding a shiny.
So, for those familiar with shiny hunting, this shiny Magikarp event was something of a miracle. It may be easy to look at this event and think that now shiny Magikarp is worthless. If Pokemon was handing them out so freely through raids, who would want one? By the laws of supply and demand, if the market has been flooded with shiny Magikarp, what could they possibly be worth?
Why shiny Magikarp is like Bitcoin
Are you familiar with Bitcoin? The most popular cryptocurrency currently worth $7,000+ dollars a coin. At one time, a single Bitcoin cost a few bucks, and at another, Bitcoin reached nearly $20,000 per coin. The price of Bitcoin fluctuates like the stock market but has yet to fall back to its original price point. In Bitcoin’s beginning, it was worthless but eventually grew into something incredibly valuable. Now, this may seem like a stretch, but I think that because of this event, shiny Magikarp is Pokemon’s Bitcoin.
Or at least I sure hope because I have over half a PC box filled with these golden fish…
I know that for the near future, shiny Magikarp won’t be worth much. If you go to a forum or subreddit and attempt to trade a shiny Magikarp for another shiny Pokemon, you will more than likely be ridiculed. Right now, everyone has a shiny Magikarp. But give it a few months. New players will join the community. Old players who didn’t partake in the event will return. This is when shiny Magikarp will be worth the time you invested in catching more than one.
How my plan to win big could fail
That is unless Pokemon does another event like this in the near future. Pokemon has distributed shiny Pokemon before through events but never on this scale. Usually, there is a certain window in which a player has to be at a certain location to claim their shiny, and even then, it is one per game. This shiny Magikarp event was something Pokemon fans have never seen before. The event was accessible to all players from the comfort of their homes with a four-day window to catch as many shiny Magikarp as they please. That on top of the ridiculous odds of finding a shiny.
I know that this was an event to celebrate the New Year, and we have a whole year until the next New Year, but it would be smart for Pokemon to have events like this to prolong the life of Pokemon Sword and Shield. They have already had a few Gigantimax events with Butterfree and Snorlax, but events that increase the odds of shiny Pokemon so drastically could very much lower the value of shiny Pokemon.
Why my plan to win big won’t fail
“But Zack, you just said that this event didn’t lower shiny Magikarp’s value, but now you are saying more events like this would lower the value of shiny Pokemon. Aren’t you contradicting yourself?”
No. If this is the only event of this nature, shiny Magikarp will eventually regain its value. Similar to how Bitcoin has grown from a few bucks a coin to several thousand dollars a coin. It will take time for these goldfish to be worth much, but that is if Pokemon doesn’t have another event like this anytime soon. Another shiny event like this one would once again flood the market with shiny Pokemon, and if that cycle continued, certain Pokemon would lose their value. At least that is how I see it.
It also helps that shiny Magikarp and his evolved form, shiny Gyarados, are two of the best-looking shinies in all of Pokemon. Some shiny Pokemon are sought after not because they are competitively viable but because their shiny variants look beautiful. Some shiny Pokemon look better than their original forms, while others look nearly identical or substantially worse. Shiny Magikarp, however, looks fantastic. And in my opinion, shiny Gyarados looks even better.
If they had this same event for shiny Pikachu or shiny Natu… it wouldn’t have that same “wow” factor. That’s because some shinies are more aesthetically pleasing than others. And some Pokemon may look great shiny, but their evolutionary line doesn’t. Eevee is an excellent example of this. Eevee has a great shiny variant while the majority of her evolutions don’t look that great. Magikarp is a great Pokemon in that both it and its evolved shiny forms are fantastic. Gyarados is a fan favorite for many, and his shiny form has made an appearance in the anime, manga, and a scripted appearance in Pokemon Crystal. His exposure to all parts of the fanbase reassures me that down the line; shiny Magikarp will regain its value.
What I plan to do with my shiny fish
When I say “value” I am not speaking monetarily. While some people do sell shiny Pokemon online via eBay and Craigslist with varied success, I am talking about their value when it comes to trading with other trainers. Trainers are constantly trading Pokemon via the internet through Discord or Reddit or a plethora of other forums. If you have something valuable to offer, chances are you will be able to find what you’re looking for. Trainers particularly trade shiny Pokemon for other shiny Pokemon they don’t have or prefer to have instead. And while I much prefer to hunt and catch my own shiny Pokemon… I’m not opposed to using my horde of shiny Magikarp to obtain a few shiny Pokemon.
TL;DR: After catching a ton of shiny Magikarp, I hope that similar to Bitcoin, their value grows so that I can trade these stinky goldfish away for far more valuable Pokemon.
I would like to know your thoughts on my current predicament. Do you think that shiny Magikarp will regain its value, or has the market for shiny fish been saturated beyond repair? And what were your experiences during the event? Did you find it too easy to find shiny Magikarp, or did you walk away empty-handed? And if that is the case… I know a guy who might like to trade you one.