Posted: March 16, 2020 | Updated: August 30, 2020

GTS Fun! Steam Siege!

Yes. That is the answer to the question I posited at the end of KarpQuest. Yes, it is absolutely possible to pick another species of Pokémon available to catch in Sword & Shield, go on the HOME GTS, and trade for 100+ unique shiny specimens. Whoa!

Not just any old Pokémon, surely? Quite right. I chose my target somewhat methodically.
– What Pokémon are in Sword & Shield? 435 total.1 As of March 1, 2020. Kay.
– Which are catchable in multiple areas with a decent % chance of appearing?
– Of those, which also appear in raids?
– And of all those, which is the most neglected, forgettable, purposeless pile of pixels?

So, I present your answer: 100 specimens of Undesirable #2 – Torkoal – for you to peruse, mock, admire, pelt with rotten tomatoes, or whatever you want to do. Well, 102, to be exact.

Did you know that John Wayne lives and plays Pokémon? The things you can learn from OTs!

Trading for a hundred of any shiny was unfathomable a few years ago, but franchises do evolve and shiny-hunting brings dozens of hours of content to professional streamers and casual players alike. Odds of 1/512 really do seem to be the effort/reward sweet spot.

Is Torkoal a representative choice of Pokémon? More so than Magikarp. I certainly had to jump through a lot more hoops to get 100 of them, including the bringing up of duplicate (cloned) copies of my self-obtained Gen III-VII legendaries to meet trade requests.

Throughout this challenge, which took a week or two to complete, the GTS itself slowly evolved, too. The supply of shiny Torkoal gradually decreased. With HOME out for a while, perhaps more and more people finished dumping their excess shinies in exchange for Dex-fill. I also noticed how (blatant) cloning of Gen VIII Pokémon began to get a foothold. Sometimes, two or three exact copies of a single Torkoal were listed for trade simultaneously!

But I think the keyword here is excess – why do so many people seem to have not just spare, but unwanted shinies in the first place? Are the odds too favourable after all? Could it be due to growing use of tool-assisted shiny hunting through commercial plug-and-let-play “Switch-Up” macro devices that do all of the work for you? Or is Sword & Shield simply enjoyed by so many, with HOME GTS trading so accessible, that there will always be players doing a little GTS Spring Cleaning?

We’ll try one more time, with another, slightly more attractive target.


1  As of March 1, 2020.