Shiftry is a large, brown bipedal Pokémon. It has a long, shaggy, white mane that covers most of its face. It has long ears, a long pointed nose, and a large mouth with teeth that are usually gritted. Its eyes are opaque yellow with black sclera and pupils. It has three broad leaves with brown spokes on its hands, which it uses to create powerful winds. These winds can move close to 100 feet per second in speed. A female will have smaller leaves than a male. Its feet resemble Japanese tengu-geta.
Shiftry can read an opponent’s mind, and then take preemptive action. It is a wicked and mysterious Pokémon that lives in deep forests. It arrives in chilly, wintry winds. People fear it and consider it the guardian of the forest. In the anime, it was shown to lead large groups of Seedot and Nuzleaf.
Shiftry are based on tengu, who are known for their long noses, cruel tricks, ability to read minds, and for wielding a magical fan called a 羽団扇 hauchiwa, known to have the power to stir great winds. The fact that they are known to live in ancient forests and trees hint that they are likely based on 木葉天狗 konoha-tengu of ko-tengu. Shiftry also bears resemblance to a nutcracker.
Shiftry may be a combination of shifty (deceitful) and tree.
Dirteng may be a combination of dark or dirty and 天狗 tengu (tricky Japanese goblins).