This week’s Spotlight Hour is all about the worst Kantonian Mouse Pokémon, along with its cooler Alolan cousin, making it the perfect time to catch a perfect Sandshrew and Alolan Sandshrew in Pokémon Go!
Sandshrew is pretty awful in Pokémon Go, as is the Kantonian evolution, Sandslash. However, Alolan Sandslash is semi-competitive in Go Battle League, which is good to know. If competitive play isn’t your cup of Sinistea, the real draw of this Spotlight Hour will be the special bonus that runs alongside the event - the spectacularly wordy double transfer candy and increased chance of Candy XL bonus.
Update Tueday 27th February: Thanks to Niantic Support on X (formally Twitter), it has been confirmed that the increased chance of Rare Candy XL bonus was a mistake. Instead, there is an increased chance of earning Candy XL from transferring Pokémon.
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Alolan Sandshrew 100% perfect IV stats in Pokémon Go
This week’s Spotlight Hour is a great opportunity to catch a Alolan Sandshrew with perfect IV stats.
'Perfect' means two things in Pokémon Go, depending on how you plan to use a given Pokémon. First, there’s the maxed out, 100% IV version, which is the 15/15/15 you’re looking for your 4* Pokédex, raids and Master League. Yet, because of how CP is calculated using three stats, a perfect IV Pokémon is generally only ever the best version of itself in the Master League.
Of course, you can’t see the IV of a Pokémon without catching it first, but, with a little research beforehand, you can quickly spot a perfect Alolan Sandshrew based on the CP alone.
If you’re at Level 30 (or above), you’ll ideally be looking for the following CPs for a perfect 15/15/15 Sandshrew:
If you’re at Level 30 (or above), you’ll ideally be looking for the following CPs for a perfect 15/15/15 Alolan Sandshrew:
The wild CP value aligns with your Trainer Level until you reach Level 30 and, due to the majority of the player base now being above this level, we’ve kept to these values for the sake of simplicity. These values will, however, be different if you’re currently below Level 30.
Is Alolan Sandslash good in PVP?
If you want to run this Pokémon, you’re looking at a combination of Shadow Claw, Ice Punch and Drill Run in the first two leagues, and Powder Snow, Ice Punch and Drill Run in Master League. That said, don’t run this Pokémon in the Master League; you will lose.
Alolan Sandslash is a bulky Pokémon with a perfectly reasonable moveset: Shadow Claw in the lower leagues helps deal with the likes of Cresselia and Giratina. In Great League, Ice Punch helps with Dragons like Altaria and Drill Run is just great coverage, helping you also take down the likes of Bastiodon and Azumarill. Losses will primarily come from Talonflame, Whiscash, Skarmory, Lickitung and Lanturn.
In Ultra League you can expect diminishing returns, with wins against Steelix, Cresselia, Giratina, Jellicent and Golisopod. However, you'll be chalking up more losses overall, including to the likes of Virizion, Cobalion, Talonflame, Poliwrath and Swampert.
The issue is simply its CP range - a perfect 15/15/15 Alolan Sandslash caps out at 2750 CP, meaning that it is woefully underpowered in the Master League. While you can lean into Ice typing to take down Garchomp, Rayquaza, Dragonite, Togekiss and Sylveon, there are vastly better Ice-types out there. Don’t waste your Stardust on an XL Master League Alolan Sandslash.
The World of Wonders season has come to Pokémon Go, giving you the chance to catch Poipole. Don't forget to try out Routes, Gift Exchange and Party Play while you're hunting down rare Pokémon, fighting in the Go Battle League or competing in PokéStop Showcases.
Is there shiny Sandshrew in Pokémon Go?
Yes, all of the Sandshrews and Sandslashes can be shiny! The Kantonians were released in December 2018 at the start of the Tottori Festival, while the Alolans came out in June 2019 as part of the third anniversary event. Both Pokémon have had a shared Community Day since then too, so a shiny Sandshrew is far from a rarity.
Spotlight Hours, unlike Community Days, do not have a boosted shiny rate, so, as you’re hunting for a shiny Alolan Sandshrew, you’ll be doing so with the regular shiny rates in this play. This means, if you really want a shiny Alolan Sandshrew, you need to make the most of this hour!
What does shiny Sandshrew look like?
As you can see below, shiny Sandshrew has been left out in the rain and picked up a layer of moss. This is a real shame for a Pokémon that famously hates water... Shiny Sandslash, meanwhile, went punk rock and simply dyed its quills red.
Shiny Alolan Sandshrew takes on a cool blue colour, really leaning into that icy theme.
However, this is let down by the awful saturation-slider evolution, where shiny Alolan Sandslash is just Alolan Sandslash but more so.
Thanks to Reddit user EgaTehPro for the handy comparison of both forms!
Other tips for this Spotlight Hour
Aside from trying to catch a perfect shiny Alolan Sandshrew in Pokémon Go, there are a couple of other good reasons to partake in this week’s Spotlight Hour. The vast majority of players showing up for this Spotlight Hour will no doubt be doing so for the hour-long special bonus below:
- The best reason is, of course, the double transfer candy. As always, this runs throughout the hour and affects more than just the Pokémon in the spotlight. This is a very important bonus to make the most of, especially for lower-level trainers looking to fill out their Pokédex. The smartest way to maximise do this is to create a Tag in your Pokémon storage just for this purpose.
- We recommend creating a tag called 'Transfer', where you can place Pokémon you don’t want or need. Instead of transferring them as and when you catch them, hold them back for events like these, when you can bulk transfer them. All that Candy adds up very quickly, and is especially useful when transferring something like a Mewtwo for double candy, or after a huge event like Go Fest Global!
- You also have an increased chance of getting Candy XL when transferring Pokémon. The previously stated increased chance of earning Rare Candy XL was, sadly, a mistake made by Niantic.
- If you’re a newcomer, this Spotlight Hour is the perfect time to collect enough Sandshrew candy to fully evolve this Pokémon and register its evolution, Sandslash, in your Pokédex.
- Thanks to Alolan Sandshrew being an Ice and Steel-type Pokémon, catching a bunch during this Spotlight Hour will add progress to your respective catch bonus medals.
Remember - Spotlight Hour events only last for an hour - 6pm to 7pm (local time). Next month’s Spotlight Hours have not been announced yet, but check back next week for a primer on whoever is taking centre stage!
Good luck finding a perfect shiny Sandshrew and Alolan Sandshrew!