The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo are dropping all the important details to prepare for battle in the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games for Nintendo Switch, launching on Nov.15.
To start, say hello to dynamaxing. It’s a new power-up in the video games that allows a Pokémon to become massive in battle and gain a power boost for three turns — but the phenomenon can only occur in certain areas of the Galar region.
Gigantamax Pokémon have their own form of dynamaxing. When the Pokémon gigantamax, they’ll not only grow larger than their trainers and opponents, but they’ll also change their appearances and gain a unique G-Max move. Only rare specimens of Pokémon species (Drednaw and Corviknight) can gigantamax. The remaining Pokémon will retain their normal appearances while dynamaxing.
Gigantamax Drednaw, an approximately 79-inch water/rock Pokémon with strong jaw and shell armor abilities, can stand on its hind legs and become bipedal. When it’s in standing position, it can crash down on its opponents and crush them. Also, it can rapidly shoot its neck out of its shell and use its strong jaws to bite through metal towers and rocky mountains. It can transform into a G-Max Stonesurge to damage an opponent, and to scatter sharp rocks around the opponent to damage Pokémon entering the battlefield.
Meanwhile, the Gigantamax Corviknight, an approximately 46-inch flying/steel Pokémon with pressure and unnerve abilities, can use its massive wings to catch the updrafts created by gigantamax energy and hover in the air during battle. Its body armor is reinforced to minimize the attacks of Pokémon on the ground. The Corviknight’s wing armor can detach and become blade birds, which can fly independently. The Pokémon can also change to G-Max Wind Rage, which removes any effects of moves including Reflect, Light Screen, Spikes, and Electric Terrain from opponents.
New Pokémon for the Galar Region
Pokémon trainers will also be able to discover and catch new species in Galar. Check them out below!
Alcremie, a fairy-type cream Pokémon that stands 1 inch tall and weighs 1.1 pounds, has the Sweet Veil ability. It can produce whipped cream, which becomes richer as the Alcremie becomes happier. Many pastry chefs keep Alcremie as a partner to bake invariably delicious desserts with this cream. The new Pokémon throws sweet-scented cream during battle to distract its opponents or temporarily blind them so it can escape.
Gigantamax Alcremie, an approximately 99-foot-tall fairy-type Pokémon, also has the Sweet Veil ability. However, the cream pouring out of its body hardens when it’s hit. The stronger the impact, the harder it becomes, so that the Alcremie can resist physical attacks. The Pokémon’s giant and hard berry decorations also prevent most attacks. It can launch high-calorie cream missiles around itself to attack opponents. Other Pokémon who touch the cream will feel energized, euphoric, and confused. Gigantamax Alcremie can also turn into G-Max Finale, which can heal all Pokémon on Alcremie’s team and damage opponents.
The new electric-type Puppy Pokémon stands 1 foot tall and weighs 29.8 pounds. The Pokémon is drawn to rapidly moving things and can chase after people, other Pokémon, or vehicles. An organ in its body generates electricity, so it often runs around with electric sparks crackling around it. It has the Ball Fetch ability, which it can use when the trainer throws a Poké Ball at a wild Pokémon, but can’t catch it. Yamper can fetch the first Poké Ball that failed to catch the Pokémon, if it’s not holding anything.
Rolycoly, a 1-foot rock-type coal Pokémon, weighs 26.5 pounds. It has the new Steam Engine ability, which provides a speed stat boost if the Pokémon is hit with a fire or water move during battle. The Pokémon, which also has the Heatproof ability, has red eyes that can illuminate dark areas, and use the lump of coal attached to its body as a wheel to ride through coal mines and caves smoothly, even over rough terrain. Every household in the Galar region had a Rolycoly until about 100 years ago. Families would use the coal that dropped off its body for cooking and heating their homes.
Duraludon is a steel/dragon-type Pokémon that stands 5 feet and 11 inches tall. The Alloy Pokémon, which weighs 88.2 pounds, has the light and heavy metal abilities and lives in caves and mountainous regions. It has two arms in slightly different shapes, which it uses to grind down rock surfaces for food. Its body is made of durable yet light metal, which the Duraludon can move quickly. The Pokémon is known to rust easily because its body is susceptible to corrosion. It shares its habitat with Tyranitar, so the two species battle each other often in the mountains of Galar.
The Galar Region Pokémon League
If you’re looking to join a new league after catching all these new Pokémon, Galar is the place. The region’s Pokémon League holds tournaments to name the next Pokémon Champion. Players must compete with rivals and gym leaders for a spot in the tournament.
They can partake in the Gym Challenge to collect all eight Gym Badges. Each challenger wears a specific uniform, and trainers can choose the uniform’s three numbers. However, only Pokémon trainers who are endorsed by specific people, such as Gym Leaders, can join.
Trainers can also join Galar’s annual Champion Cup, which decides who can challenge the reigning Champion for their seat. Exemplary trainers throughout the region, such as those who successfully complete the Gym Challenge, can participate in the championship tournament. These battles are broadcast on TV in the Galar region and are watched by everyone.
Pokémon trainers will meet five new characters within the league. Leon is the top Galar region trainer. His first sponsor for the Gym Challenge — Chairman Rose — is the chairman of the Galar Galar Pokémon League and the president of a large business conglomerate. Oleana is his secretary and the vice president of his company. Bea is a Galar karate prodigy and an expert on fighting-type Pokémon. Finally, Allister is a gym leader for ghost-type Pokémon. He is very shy, rarely makes public appearances, and spends most of his time around ruins or in cemeteries. I worry about the Pokémon that have this creepy guy as a partner.
Certain Galar towns will have different gyms that trainers can challenge depending on the video game they are playing. In Pokémon Sword, players will face off Bea, while they can battle Allister in Pokémon Shield.
Catch These Special Bonuses
Players who purchase the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield double pack will get two special bonus codes (one per game) for special items called Dynamax Crystals. When trainers use them in the Wild Area, they will be able to face Dynamax Larvitar and Dynamax Jangmo-o, Pokémon that are normally encountered later in the game in Max Raid battles. Although Larvitar won’t appear in Pokémon Sword and Jangmo-o won’t appear in Pokémon Shield during normal gameplay, players will be able to catch them in either version when they use Dynamax Crystals.
Also, if trainers download the video games from Nintendo eShop by next Jan. 15, they can receive a code to redeem 12 Quick Balls, special Poké Balls that are more likely to catch Pokémon if used when a battle begins.
Photos: Nintendo/Pokémon Company International