The Shadow Triad (Japanese: ダークトリニティDark Trinity), each referred to individually as Shadow (Japanese: ダークDark), are three faithful servants of Ghetsis and N and are high-ranking members of Team Plasma.
The Shadow Triad are completely loyal to Ghetsis because he once saved their lives.
They appear many times in Pokémon Black and White, mostly to escort the player to either N or Ghetsis. They make very sudden ninja-like appearances, appearing seemingly out of thin air.
The Shadow Triad are the ones who enabled Ghetsis to evade arrest, creating an opening in which Ghetsis was able to escape Cheren's confinement. After defeating Team Plasma, they appear at Marvelous Bridge and on the orders of Ghetsis, give the player the Adamant Orb, Lustrous Orb, and Griseous Orb—the three orbs of the creation trio. However, on Ghetsis's orders, they make no attempt to find him. They vanish from the bridge and are not seen again for the rest of the game.
At some point after Black and White's events, they appear in front of Striaton Gym leaders at Striaton Restaurant, challenge and easily defeat the trio, before disappearing.
The Shadow Triad are later seen in Opelucid City after it has been frozen by the Plasma Frigate. They steal the DNA Splicers so that Ghetsis can use it on Kyurem, but are chased by the player and Drayden. After finally being caught, a Shadow challenges the player to a battle, and even though he loses, they still get away.
The Shadow Triad are seen again on the Plasma Frigate after talking to Ghetsis about Kyurem. Each Shadow battles the player after they give Hugh back his sister's Liepard. After defeating them, they allow the player to leave but warn them about Ghetsis and Kyurem, and end up staying behind with Hugh and Liepard.
After entering the Hall of Fame, they remain in Icirrus City and challenge the player monthly. Still loyal to Ghetsis, they attempt to regain his lost heart by defeating the player.
They are all fought individually, in a Single Battle, Triple Battle, and Rotation Battle, respectively. If the player has fewer than three Pokémon remaining, or declines battle, the remaining opponents will vanish until the season changes.
"... Impressive, Gym Leader of Icirrus City. We, the Shadow Triad, are beings of shadows...and not easily noticed. Our mission was to speak only with <player>, but so be it. Ghetsis has a message for you: come to Dragonspiral Tower. It is there that our lord N waits for you. ...Now, our mission is complete."
"In this castle, you may rest your Pokémon and access your PC. Fear not."
"First, have your Pokémon rest in that room. When they are healed, it is our lord N's wish that you be moved to the innermost part of this castle."
"A battle between you and our lord N will reveal whether our lord N is an ideal heroB/a true heroW. It will also reveal how you feel about protecting the current world, where people live with Pokémon."
"That room was the world that was provided to our lord N..."
"I don't feel anything, even when I go into the room... But you may feel something."
"As we suspected... The hiding place was in the Gym. Well thought out. If Drayden isn't there, we can't get in. If he is there, he's the strongest guard we could possibly face. It also explains why the Pokémon Gym was remodeled. Whatever. The DNA Splicers are in our hands now."
"Now you know, then. We will accomplish our goals, no matter what the cost. We don't have the ability to captivate the hearts of others like Lord N does. Instead, we will bend people to our will with brute force. Two years was a surprisingly long wait."
"I stole this Pokémon five years ago in Aspertia. So it seems likely that it is the Pokémon you're talking about. But now, it only listens to my commands. Such is the fate of Pokémon that are trapped in Poké Balls!"
"Ah... I feel sorry for Pokémon. They're ruled by Poké Balls and the whims of their Trainers... Lord Ghetsis spoke of Pokémon liberation two years ago simply for his own ambitions, but... If his plans had succeeded, many Pokémon would have been saved. This Liepard--well, you knew it as a Purrloin--if it had been released, it might have returned to you. Well then..."
First Shadow, before battle
"You there! I won't let you interfere with Lord Ghetsis's plans!"
"It doesn't bother us a bit if the stolen Pokémon cry or beg."
If talked to
"Can you defeat all three of us?"
Second Shadow, before battle
"We swore to be loyal to Lord Ghetsis since he saved us!"
"It doesn't bother us a bit if we have to use another Pokémon after one is defeated."
After being defeated
"Listen well! The only thing we want is the world Lord Ghetsis desires!"
If talked to
"Even if I lose, Lord Ghetsis simply has to win..."
Third Shadow, upon entering with the second Shadow
"You're not done yet..."
If the player tries to go down the stairs
"If you want to go any further, you'll have to get past us."
"I have no problem with you, but this is for Lord Ghetsis!"
"It doesn't bother us a bit if Pokémon win or lose."
After being defeated
"Even if I lose, Lord Ghetsis simply has to win..."
After all the Shadows have been defeated
"No matter... The only thing you can do is watch Lord Ghetsis use Kyurem to freeze Unova solid. That's all..."
(turns to Hugh) "You... I'll return this Pokémon to you. Considering what Lord Ghetsis is about to do, I have no further need of it."
Giant Chasm – Cave's Deepest Part
"Lord Ghetsis has... lost control... We'll take it from here..."
In Up in the Air, the Shadow Triad begin their operation to retrieve the Dark Stone. While they battle against Lenora, several Team Plasma Grunts infiltrate the Nacrene Museum to find the Dark Stone. The Shadow Triad have the advantage at first, but Lenora is later joined by five of her fellow Gym Leaders, who had secretly been planning to ambush Team Plasma upon learning of their plans. The Triad split up to fight the six Gym Leaders in pairs, allowing an easier battle. Eventually, the Shadow Triad are defeated by Brycen, who captures them with his Cryogonal's ice chains. Refusing to give up, the Shadow Triad reveal their trump card, the Legendary PokémonThundurus, Tornadus, and Landorus. With the power of the Forces of Nature, the Triad trap the Gym Leaders in a swirling vortex of wind and electricity. Though they are unable to obtain the Dark Stone, the Shadow Triad kidnap the Gym Leaders and take them to N's Castle, though Brycen manages to escape.
The Shadow Triad (right) in color
In The Shadow Triad, the trio attempt to capture the Legendary Pokémon Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion. The Pokémon prove to be too powerful for them to capture, so they are forced to retreat. At the P2 Laboratory, they test out the power of Team Plasma's newest creation, Genesect. Soon after, they are ambushed by the Striaton Gym Leaders, Cilan, Cress, and Chili, who had followed them after the incident at Nacrene City. The Triad easily overpower the triplets and mock them by stating that the three need to manage one Gym together. Backed into a corner, the Striaton triplets use stones to evolve their Pokémon. They then rotate their Pokémon and gain the upper hand. The Legendary Pokémon that despise humans, Cobalion, Virizion, Terrakion, and their student, Keldeo watch the pairs of three battle each other.
Keldeo, fearing something about the Triad, attempts to interrupt the battle and attacks the Shadow Triad. The Triad use this opportunity to trap Keldeo and attempt to capture it. Before they can continue, Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion immediately step in and blast the Triad and Striaton triplets away with their swords, severely injuring them. Despite the defeat, the Triad realize that they can't just let the Pokémon escape and they open the P2 Laboratory's door. They use Genesect to freeze Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion as they leave, causing them to sink into the waters below.
The Shadow Triad return as members of Team Plasma. In Therian Forme III, when Blake attempts to arrest Ghetsis after he reveals himself and the Plasma Frigate, the Triad appear to defend their master. Kelden, remembering its previous encounter with the Triad, proceeds to attack them on its own, giving Ghetsis the chance to escape. Blake manages to sneak away and get on the Plasma Frigate, but is forced to leave his Pokémon to fight the Triad and the Forces of Nature without him.
In PS541, the Shadow Triad successfully defeat Blake's Pokémon. The three then head towards Humilau City in order to reach the Plasma Frigate's in Undella Town.
In their first appearance, they all were wearing identical black masks. In all later appearances, they are seen wearing different masks which resemble the elemental monkeys' facial patterns, but are much darker in color.
The Pansage-masked Shadow used a Lilligant to attack Lenora at Nacrene City. Later, she fought against Clay's Excadrill and Elesa's Emolga. Later, she faced the Striaton triplets and had an advantage due to the type match ups.
The Pansear-masked Shadow used a Larvesta to attack Lenora at Nacrene City. Later, he fought against Burgh's Whirlipede and won, only to be defeated by Brycen's Cryogonal. Later, he faced the Striaton triplets and had an advantage due to the type match ups. It was later revealed that Larvesta was hatched from an Egg that was created by Ghetsis's Volcarona.
None of Larvesta's moves are known, and his Ability is Flame Body.
The Panpour-masked Shadow used a Blue-Striped Basculin to attack Lenora at Nacrene City. Later, he was used against Skyla in addition to fighting Lenora. Later, he faced the Striaton triplets and had an advantage due to the type match ups.
Tornadus was caught by Giallo near the Battle Subway train. Later, the Shadow Triad used Tornadus to battle the Gym Leaders at Nacrene City. Afterward, he was given to Hood Man in order to figure out how to change between his Incarnate and Therian Formes.
Thundurus was caught by Giallo near the Battle Subway train. Later, the Shadow Triad used Thundurus to battle the Gym Leaders at Nacrene City. Afterward, he was given to Hood Man in order to figure out how to change between his Incarnate and Therian Formes.
Landorus was caught by Giallo near the Battle Subway train. Later, the Shadow Triad used Landorus to battle the Gym Leaders at Nacrene City. Afterward, he was given to Hood Man in order to figure out how to change between his Incarnate and Therian Formes.
Genesect is a weapon created by Team Plasma. It first appeared in the P2 Laboratory where the Shadow Triad were shown testing its strength. After their defeat at the hands of Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion, the Shadow Triad used Genesect to freeze the three and send them sinking into the water.