The State of Pokemon Sword and Shield (July 2019)


Hello and welcome to my monthly update on Pokémon Sword and Shield news, a monthly article covering official updates on the game’s features revealed to date. These articles will continue up to the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, as long as new information comes to light within the month. While last month’s Sword and Shield article covered a controversy concerning a cut feature, the rest of these articles will be covering what is in the games, along with an impression of what was revealed. So, let’s look at what was covered in this month’s Pokémon news.

New Pokémon:

Images of the new Pokemon revealed in July.
  • Duraludon is a steel/dragon type Pokémon, with the abilities light metal or heavy metal.
  • Rolycoly is a rock type Pokémon, with the abilities steam engine or heatproof. Steam engine drastically boosts its speed if hit by a fire or water type attack.
  • Yamper is an electric type Pokémon shown previously in the E3 demo. It has the ball fetch ability, which retrieves the first pokeball thrown in battle, if it doesn’t catch its target. Yamper’s ability doesn’t work if it is holding an item.
  • Alcremie is a fairy type Pokémon that looks similar to Slurpuff. This cake-like Pokémon has the ability sweet veil, and is one of the Pokémon that has a Gigantamax form, a new feature also revealed in this month’s news.


Image of Alcremie after it Gigantamaxes.

Last month, the Dynamax feature was revealed. With it, a Pokémon’s size increases dramatically, and the Pokémon becomes stronger. The Pokémon can also use Max Moves, which changes the damage and adds effects for each of the Pokémon’s moves. Dynamiting lasts for three turns. Only one Pokémon can Dynamax per trainer. Gigantamaxing is a similar feature, but with the following differences:

  • A gigantamaxed Pokémon has its appearance change, where Dynamiting just changes the Pokémon’s size.
  • Gigantamaxed Pokémon have G-Max Moves, a specific move that Dynamaxed Pokémon cannot use at all.
  • Gigantamaxing is something that only rare specimens of certain Pokémon can use. The Pokémon that can Gigantamax are found in raid battles, but are a rare find even in raid battles.
  • If I’m not mistaken, only one Pokémon can Dynamax or Gigantamax per trainer, meaning you can only have one of the two in any given fight.
  • It is unclear if a Pokémon that Gigantamaxes has different stats than if it Dynamaxes, or if there are other differences, such as ability changes or type changes. None of the Pokémon that can Gigantamax that have been revealed have such changes so far.

The following Pokémon can Gigantamax. More will be revealed later, most likely:

  • Alcremie resembles a multilayered wedding cake when it Gigantamaxes. It has the G-Max Move G-Max Finale. It requires a fairy type move to use it, but it damages the opponent and heals all Pokémon on the user’s side of the field.
  • Drednaw stands on its hind legs when it Gigantamaxes. Its water type moves become G-Max Stonesurge, a move that does damage and sets up floating rocks on the opponent’s side of the field. (If I’m not mistaken, this means you get to damage the foe, and trigger the same effect a stealth rocks. This means opposing Pokémon that enter the field will take damage as they switch in.)
  • Corviknight’s appearance doesn’t change that much when it Gigantamaxes. Its G-Max Move is G-Max Wind Rage, which requires a flying type move. The move does damage, and removes opposing light screens, reflects, terrain, and effects like the move spikes. This can disrupt quite a few strategies.

Version Exclusives:

  • The Pokémon Deino and Jangmo-o appear exclusively in sword version. This includes their evolutions too.
  • The Pokémon Larvitar and Goomy appear exclusively in shield version. This includes their evolutions too.
  • The Fighting type gym leader Bea appears only in sword version.
  • The Ghost type gym leader Allister appears only in shield version. It seems like there will be multiple alternate gyms in each game.

There no doubt will be more differences between the versions to be revealed at a later date.

So how do I feel about this month’s news? While the Pokémon Rolycoly and Duraludon don’t give me a strong impression yet, I do like the Pokémon Yamper and Alcremie. The Gigantamax feature sounds like an interesting change, and may have a large effect on competitive battling, just like the Dynamax feature. I do wonder if Gigantamaxing is exclusive to fully evolved Pokémon, or if Pokémon like Alcremie, Corviknight, or Drednaw can evolve too. I initially thought those Pokémon weren’t fully evolved yet. Will the ability to Gigantamax be retained if they do evolve? Will finding a Pokémon that can Gigantamax be really difficult? Will there be a way to know if the Pokémon can Gigantamax before you catch it? I would like to know if this trait can be passed down via Pokémon breeding too. That would make things easier for players who want to make an optimal set with this kind of Pokémon.

All in all, even though there are some features removed from this game, the new content does look good so far. Please bear in mind, we don’t have all the information yet, nor is the game out yet, so how well all these features will feel in the end is unknown at this time. I’m still looking forward to this game, and will review it not too long after release.

And that was a summary of July’s Pokémon Sword and Shield news. What do you like about this batch of news? What don’t you like? How do you feel about the Gigantamax feature? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this article, you can click that like button. You can also subscribe via email to get notifications when a new article goes up. Until next time, have fun gaming!



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