The State of Pokemon Sword and Shield (September 2019)

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For the past few months, I have been covering the news updates for the upcoming Pokémon games, Sword and Shield versions for the Nintendo Switch. Most of the time, I would cover only the current month’s new updates on the game. However, my Nintendo Direct coverage had most of this month’s Pokémon news in it, with only one small update occurring since then. Considering that there is only a little less than two months to go until this game releases, I have decided to go over all the information known about this game up to this date, September 24, 2019.

There should be a quick note that I will not cover rumors or leaks, no matter how credible. The only information here has come from official sources, so there may be some information that will turn up to be true, but isn’t posted here. This will be the case, even if the internet knows more than is posted in this article.

There will be certain categories of information posted here that will be broken up into sections. These include:

  • New Pokémon
  • New forms of existing Pokémon
  • New moves
  • New held items
  • New abilities
  • New battle features
  • New online features
  • Missing features

You may notice that there is no level design based info here, as not much is known about how the game is structured other than an image of the game’s world map. I am saving missing features for last, as it is the most controversial portion of the game, and the full details (outside of potential leaks) is not known. I will do my best to tell all I know about all the included features, and will try to mention anything that is missing or that needs some clarification. Additionally, I will limit the amount of flavor text to simple descriptions, so that my readers know more about how the game functions. So, let’s begin:

New Pokémon: 

PokemonJulyReveal
Just a few new Pokemon in Sword and Shield. Pictured are Alcremie, Yamper, Rolycoly, and Duraludon.
  1. Grooky: This grass type monkey-like Pokémon is one of three starting Pokémon to choose from. It has the ability overgrow.
  2. Scorbunny: This fire type bunny-like Pokémon is one of three starting Pokémon to choose from. It has the ability blaze.
  3. Sobble: This water type Pokémon resembles a lizard. It is one of the three starting Pokémon you choose from at the beginning of the game. It has the ability torrent.
  4. Wooloo: This normal type Pokémon resembles a sheep. It has the abilities fluffy or run away.
  5. Gossifleur: This grass type Pokémon resembles a flower. It has the abilities cotton down (new) or regenerator. It evolves into the next Pokémon:
  6. Eldegoss: A grass type Pokémon that has cotton seeds on it. It also has the abilities cotton down or regenerator.
  7. Drednaw: This water and rock type Pokémon resembles a turtle. It has the strong jaw or shell armor abilities. This Pokémon can also have a gigantamax form. It isn’t known if it is an evolved Pokémon.
  8. Corviknight: This steel and flying type Pokémon resembles a crow or raven. It has the abilities pressure or unnerve. It can also access a gigantamax form. It isn’t known if it is a fully evolved Pokémon.
  9. Yamper: This electric type Pokémon resembles a corgi. It has the ability ball fetch (new).
  10. Impidimp: This dark and fairy type Pokémon resembles an imp or tiny devil. It was only shown in a demo that is available in select areas for a limited time, so little information is known about it. It isn’t on the official site, as of yet.
  11. Alcremie: This fairy type Pokémon resembles a cake. It has the sweet veil ability. There are several “flavors” of this Pokémon, with over 20 different varieties. These variations appear to be cosmetic only. This Pokémon can also access a gigantamax form. It is unknown if it is an evolved Pokémon.
  12. Rolycoly: This rock type Pokémon resembles a lump of coal. It has the abilities steam engine (new) or heatproof.
  13. Duraludon: This steel type Pokémon sort of resembles a metal dinosaur. It has the abilities light metal or heavy metal.
  14. Obstagoon: This normal and dark type Pokémon evolves from the galar form of Linoone. It resembles a badger, but stands on its hind legs. It has the abilities reckless or guts.
  15. Morpeko: This electric and dark type Pokémon resembles a hamster, and looks a little like Pikachu. It has the ability hunger switch (new), which makes it change form every turn. It also has the move aura wheel (new) as well.
  16. Cramorant: This water and flying type Pokémon resembles a type of sea fowl. It has the ability gulp missile (new).
  17. Polteageist: This ghost type Pokémon is a possessed teapot. It has the ability weak armor.
  18. Sirfetch’d: This fighting type Pokémon evolves from Farfetch’d by fighting in enough battles. (Not sure if that requires KO’s, or just getting experience points. It may need to level up after reaching that threshold as well.) It has the ability steadfast, and the unique move meteor assault (new). Also exclusive to Sword version.
  19. Zacian: A legendary Pokémon that resembles a wolf with a sword in its mouth. Type and ability are unknown. Exclusive to Sword version.
  20. Zamazenta: A legendary Pokémon that resembles a wolf, with a front that forms into a shield. Type and ability are unknown. Exclusive to shield version.

In addition, brief images of unidentified Pokémon have been seen in trailers. A total of five have been seen, but not named (one of which appears as part of Cramorant’s gulp missile ability. Is it a separate new Pokémon, or just part of the ability?). It should be noted that there are relatively few new Pokémon that are known about so far. This is somewhat concerning, as there is little time left before the game releases. If we are lucky, they are simply giving players more of a chance to be surprised when the game becomes available. Otherwise, this game has relatively few new Pokémon in it. In previous game releases, more Pokémon were revealed by this point.

New Pokémon Forms:

PokemonGalarForms
Some new Pokemon forms. Pictured are Galarian Weezing, Galarian Zigzagoon, Galarian Linoone, and new Pokemon Obstagoon and Morpeko including its alternate form.
  1. Galarian Weezing: Weezing from the Galar region take this form. Similar to Alolan forms, galarian forms have an odd type combination, and (possibly) different abilities. Galarian Weezing is a poison and fairy type, and has the ability levitate, or the hidden ability neutralizing gas (new). It is most likely that its stats will be a little different from other Weezing. It is unclear if there is a galarian koffing.
  2. Galarian Zigzagoon:  Zigzagoon from the Galar region are normal and dark types with the abilities pickup or gluttony. They evolve into Galarian Linoone.
  3. Galarian Linoone: Is also a normal and dark type. It has the same abilities as Galarian Zigzagoon, and evolves into the new Pokémon, Obstagoon.

This implies there are more galarian forms of old Pokémon. It has been shown that there could be galarian forms of old Pokémon that originate from multiple games (Weezing is from Red and Blue, while Zigzagoon and Linoone are from Ruby and Sapphire), and some may evolve into new Pokémon in this game. I hope there are at least a few more of these Pokémon.

New Moves:

  1. Aura Wheel: This is Morpeko’s signature move, and it is an electric type or dark type move, based on Morpeko’s current form. Power, accuracy, PP, and other effects are not known.
  2. Branch Poke: A grass type move used by Grooky. It isn’t known if other Pokémon can use it. Its power, accuracy, PP, and other effects aren’t known.
  3. Breaking Swipe: A move that damages multiple opponents and lowers their attack. It was revealed that Flygon can use this attack, but other Pokémon might be able to as well. Type, power, accuracy, and PP values are unknown.
  4. Meteor Assault: This move can only be used by Sirfetch’d. I’m guessing the move’s type is fighting, and is a physical attack but that has yet to be confirmed. The user cannot move after using this move, similar to hyper beam. Power, accuracy, and PP values aren’t known yet.
  5. Steel Beam: This move is a special steel type move. It has the power level of 140, although its accuracy and PP is unknown. The move also reduces the user’s HP by 50% of its maximum value. The Pokémon Duraludon has been seen using it, though others might be able to use it as well.
  6.  Obstruct: The details of this move are unknown, though its description says it taunts the opponent, and is used by Obstagoon. It is unclear if it works just like the move taunt, or if it has a different effect associated with this move.

There aren’t many new moves here either, but I’m sure more will be in this game.

New Held Items:

  1. Eject pack: When the holder has any of its stats dropped, it will be forced to switch out. From the looks of it, the item is used up when its effect is used.
  2. Room service: Lowers the holder’s speed when the trick room effect is in play. It appears to be single use.

These are interesting items, but there aren’t many new revealed yet.

New Abilities:

  1. Ball fetch: If the user isn’t holding an item, it will fetch the first failed Pokeball thrown in battle. Yamper is one Pokémon that gets this ability.
  2. Cotton down: Lowers the speed of any Pokémon that attacks this Pokémon (not sure if the move needs to make contact). Gossifleur and Eldegoss can have this ability.
  3. Gulp missile: When this Pokémon uses surf or dive, it will catch a fish in its mouth. If hit by an opponent, the fish will be launched at the opponent for extra damage (not clear as to how much damage). It is the ability of Cramorant.
  4. Hunger switch: Changes Morpeko’s form, and alters the move aura wheel’s type.
  5. Mirror armor: Reflects stat altering effects (not clear if this happens from damaging moves if the move has this as a side effect). Hidden ability of Corviknight.
  6. Nuetralizing gas: Ignores all effects of abilities while this Pokémon is active. Some abilities will activate immediately after this ability is no longer in play, such as the ability intimidate. Hidden ability of Galarian Weezing.
  7. Steam engine: Drastically increases the Pokémon’s speed when hit with a fire or water attack (I’m guessing that means by three stages). Ability of Rolycoly.

I hope to see more neat abilities.

New Battle Features: 

  • Dynamaxing:
PokemonSwordShieldDynamax
This is an image of a Raichu while in dynamax form.

This feature can only be used in stadiums (such as against gym leaders), the wild area, or in online battles. It requires the Dynamax Band item, but a Pokémon can hold any item when dynamaxed. The Pokémon effected will become gigantic for three turns and will have access to Max moves. The Pokémon cannot flinch. You can only activate this effect once per battle. Supposedly, the Pokémon only gets a boost to its HP stat (not sure by how much). There is also a trait called Dynamax level, but how it effects this feature is not known.

  • Max moves:

The power of max moves vary based on the move the Pokémon knows, as does the PP value and if it is special or physical. Max moves keep the typing of the original move as well.

  1. Max Airstream: Flying attacking moves become this move. The move does damage, and boosts the user’s speed.
  2. Max Darkness: Dark attacking moves become this move. Damages and lowers special defense.
  3. Max Flare: Fire attacking moves become this move. Damages and activates harsh sunlight.
  4. Max Geyser: Water attacking moves become this move. Damages and activates rain.
  5. Max Guard: Effect moves become this move. Blocks any attack (including Max moves and their effects), but the chances of failing increases if used multiple turns in a row.
  6. Max Ice: Ice attacking moves become this move. Damages and sets up hail.
  7. Max Knuckle: Fighting attacking moves become this move. Damages and raises the user’s attack.
  8. Max Lightning: Electric attacking moves become this move. Damages and sets electric terrain.
  9. Max Overgrowth: Grass attacking moves become this move. Damages and sets grassy terrain.
  10. Max Rockfall: Rock attacking moves become this move. Damages and sets up sandstorms.
  11. Max Starfall: Fairy attacking moves become this move. Damages and sets up misty terrain.
  12. Max Steelspike: Steel attacking moves become this move. Damages and raises the user’s defense.
  13. Max Strike: Normal attacking moves become this move. Damages and lowers target’s speed.

There should be a few more max moves, one for each type of move in the game. Effects of the remaining move types aren’t known. How much more powerful each move gets isn’t known, but each max move should be stronger than the original move.

  • Gigantamaxing:
PokemonGigantamax
An image of gigantamax Alcremie.

Certain Pokémon caught in max raid battles can access gigantamax forms. They get similar features to dynamaxing, such as it lasting for three turns, but look different from their usual forms. You can only dynamax or gigantamax once per battle. They get access to G-Max moves too. Here are the Pokémon that are known to have gigantamax forms:

  1. Alcremie: Gets the G-Max move G-Max Finale, which damages the opponent and heals all allies on the user’s side (does this include inactive Pokémon? How much does it heal?). Fairy type moves become this move.
  2. Corviknight: Gets the G-Max move G-Max Wind Rage, which damages the opponent and removes effects like reflect, light screen, spikes, and electric terrain (I’m assuming effects like spikes are removed on the user’s side of the field, while light screen would be removed from the opponent’s side. I’m also assuming it removes aurora veil, other effects like spikes, and other terrain effects.). Requires a flying type move.
  3. Drednaw: Gets the G-Max move G-Max Stonesurge, which damages the foe and sets stealth rocks on the opposing side. Water type moves become this move (despite the name).

It is unclear if gigantamaxing is available only to fully evolved Pokémon, or if some Pokémon that evolve can gigantamax as well.

New Online Features:

Many of the online battle features return. This includes:

  • Ranked battles.
  • Casual battles.
  • Online competitions.
  • Rental teams.

With ranked battles, you are ranked only with players in the same tier as you. Your rank can change based on the results of battle. There are no “ratings” like in previous games. You can also check your rank in the Pokémon Home app. You can also earn items for playing too! Your rank will go down a certain amount when the season changes, so keep playing!

There is also a surprise trade feature, replacing wonder trades.

The wild area allows you to participate in Max raid battles. Here, you fight a dynamaxed Pokémon, which stays dynamaxed past the three turn limit. You team up with up to three players, though a computer NPC may help if you do not have enough players. The dynamaxed Pokémon also has some advantages, such as multiple moves per turn, or a shield that must be broken. Defeating it allows you to capture it. One player can also dynamax their own Pokémon, but only for three turns.

The wild area also allows you to interact with other players. This includes with the camp they set up. You may also battle or trade, if I’m not mistaken.

Missing features:

There are some missing features in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Most notable (and controversial) is that some Pokémon are missing from the game. It is not known how many are missing or how many are being added to the game. I already discussed this in an earlier article, so I will not go into detail as to why this is, nor will I restate my opinion on it.

Also missing are mega evolutions and Z-moves, possibly for similar reasons to some Pokémon missing from the game (I’m also unsure of how well this would have worked with dynamaxing).

Since some Pokémon are missing, I’m guessing that some moves aren’t in the game as well, though this isn’t confirmed. If Smeargle is in this game, this might not be the case.

And that is all that I noticed in my research into what is officially known about this game. There is a little over a month left, and only one more of these reports before I review this game. I hope that the game is still fun and look forward to creating content based on Pokémon Sword and Shield.


So that is all that I found out about this upcoming game. What about you? What new feature is your favorite here? Favorite new Pokémon? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this article, be sure to click that like button, and share this article with your friends. You may also subscribe via email to keep up with That’s All Games. Until next time, have fun gaming!

 

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