Overview: Pokemon Sword and Shield DLC: Part 1: The Isle of Armor


Well, the first part of the Pokemon Sword and Shield DLC, the Isle of Armor has been out for about a week. It is time to go over the features new to this DLC. Today, I’ll break down the story, returning Pokemon, and some useful features you can find in the Isle of Armor. I will also post the alternatives to getting the DLC, in case any of my readers are unsure if they want to purchase this add-on. With that being said, let’s take a look.

The Isle of Armor is now available to explore!


This DLC features a side story focused around a dojo in the Isle of Armor. Here you’ll be given a few tasks to earn a new Pokemon, Kubfu. From there, you are tasked to train Kubfu to help it evolve into Urshifu. You have a choice as to what fighting style you want it to evolve into, either the single strike or rapid strike styles. You must challenge one of two different towers to get the style you want. This influences the Pokemon’s type and move set, but not its stats. There isn’t much more to the story other than encountering a new rival type character here. You face Klara in Sword version or Avery in Shield version, and both characters are big undermining jerks. These are possibly the meanest characters in the series, and I found them to be among the most unpleasant people to be around in a Pokemon game.

New and Returning Pokemon:

Kubfu is a new Pokemon you can get in the Isle of Armor

So there are a few completely new Pokemon, as well as a fair number of returning favorites. Here’s a sample:

  • Kubfu and its evolution Urshifu are new to the series. Kubfu is a fighting type, and Urshifu is either a fighting and dark type (single strike style), or a fighting and water type (rapid strike style) depending on where you train it. Urshifu also has a new ability called unseen fist that strikes through protect and similar moves. The single strike Urshifu also has the move wicked blow, a dark type attack which always gets a critical hit. Meanwhile, the rapid strike Urshifu has the move surging strikes, a water type move that strikes three times and always scores a critical hit each time.
  • Galarian Slowpoke now evolves into Galarian Slowbro. Galarian Slowbro is a poison and psychic type, with the new ability quick draw, which might allow it to go first. It also has the new move shell side arm, which is a poison move that deals physical or special damage based on which is more effective. (Of note, I’m not sure of the specifics of how that works.)

Some returning favorites include these Pokemon and their evolution lines:

  • Clawitzer (Sword version)
  • Dragalge (Shield version)
  • Magnezone
  • Talonflame
  • Amoongus
  • Alakazam
  • Chansey
  • Politoed
  • Kingdra
  • Tauros
  • Miltank
  • Tangrowth
  • And more

Around 100 Pokemon return overall in this portion of the DLC.

New Features:

The cram-o-matic can help you get some rare items in the DLC.

Here’s a quick breakdown of some new features.

  • There are some new Gigantamax Pokemon. They include:
    • Venusaur
    • Blastoise
    • Rillaboom
    • Cinderace
    • Inteleon
    • Urshifu
  • In addition, you can grant the Gigantamax factor to any Pokemon that can have this feature. You will need 3 max mushrooms to make max soup to do so. You can also remove the Gigantamax factor from these Pokemon using max soup.
  • There is a new item called Armorite Ore. You can give certain characters this item for a variety of useful services:
    • There are new Move tutor moves, including:
      • Terrain pulse
      • Burning jealousy
      • Flip turn
      • Rising voltage
      • Grassy glide
      • Triple axel
      • Coaching
      • Corrosive gas
      • Scorching sands
      • Dual wingbeat
      • Skitter smack
      • Expanding force
      • Meteor beam
      • Poltergeist
      • Scale shot
      • Lash out
      • Steel roller
      • Misty explosion
    • The digging pa can give you a random amount of watts, in very large quantities.
    • There is a character that can reset a Pokemon’s EVs.
  • You can also upgrade the dojo using watts. The most noteworthy reward for doing so is to buy vitamins in bulk for half price.
  • You have a side quest where you have to track down up to 151 diglett. You earn alolan variants of familiar Pokemon with their hidden abilities after finding a certain amount. 100 diglett gets you an alolan starter with its hidden ability. Finding all of them gets you an alolan diglett.
  • My favorite feature is the cram-o-matic. This device allows you to transform 4 items into 1 new item. Here are some noteworthy recipes:
    • Four comet shards makes a rare candy.
    • Four rare candies makes an ability capsule
    • Either two big nuggets and two comet shards or three big nuggets and one comet shard makes a bottle cap.
    • Four bottle caps makes one gold bottle cap.
    • Four big nuggets makes a PP up.
    • Four rare bones makes one wishing piece.
    • Four apricorns make a somewhat random Pokeball, including some rare Pokeballs that apricorns made in past games. The color of the apricorns has some influence on this.
  • Lastly the game has been updated with a new feature. A new character appears at battle tower, who will add a mark to Pokemon transferred from a previous game. This mark allows it to participate in ranked battles and official tournaments. Getting this mark does delete all of its moves, and replaces them with moves from its standard move set. Rare and transfer only moves will be lost forever, so be careful! This feature does not require the DLC.

Do I have to get the DLC?

The short answer is no. There are alternatives to buying the DLC in order to get new and returning Pokemon. Here they are with their respective costs, as well as a few tips:

  • Trade with players locally that have the DLC or who transferred from other games. You may also join in on other player’s max raid battles locally. (No additional cost.)
  • Trade with other players online that have the DLC or who transferred from other games. You may also join in on other player’s max raid battles online. (Requires Nintendo Switch Online membership. Price options are the following: $3.99 for one month, $7.99 for 3 months, or $19.99 for one year).
  • Transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Bank to Pokemon Home (Pokemon Bank costs $5 for one year) (Pokemon Home Premium is required as well to do this. This costs $2.99 for a month, $4.99 for 3 months, and $15.99 for one year. Nintendo Switch online is not required, despite having to use the internet) (You also need a 3DS and a compatible 3DS Pokemon game, prices vary depending on what model of 3DS and where you buy the Pokemon game. The regular price of the 3DS Pokemon games was $39.99)
  • The Expansion Pass costs $29.99 by itself. Be sure to buy for the game version you own (Sword or Shield). You do not need to buy both.
  • The most expensive option is to buy both Sword and Shield, the expansion pass for both games, a year’s worth of Nintendo switch online, a year’s worth of Pokemon Home, one year of Pokemon Bank, a New 3DS XL, and all eight 3DS Pokemon games. You also would end up buying the virtual console versions of the game boy games for the 3DS as well. There is a lot of overlap between all games and the expansion pass, so this is not necessary.
  • You could also pay month to month for Nintendo Switch online and Pokemon Home. If you do so and it adds up to more than two months total, you are spending more money for 3 or more months of use. While Nintendo Switch Online works for more than just Pokemon games, Pokemon Home is most useful for storing and transferring Pokemon. If your membership lapses, your stored Pokemon will not be deleted, but can’t be accessed until you pay for the membership again.
  • Pokemon Bank’s storage is a little different. If your membership ends, your stored Pokemon will eventually be deleted (I think they last about a month). Be sure to transfer all of them to Pokemon Home before Pokemon Bank expires.

So that wraps up the general features of The Isle of Armor DLC. Part 2, The Crown Tundra is also included in the Expansion Pass which releases in the fall, so there are going to be more features and returning Pokemon in the future. In all the biggest bonuses are easier access to returning features and items, as well as some conveniences.

This DLC does breath new life into the game, but I encourage all players to consider all their options before you buy. Those who don’t have older Pokemon games will get the most out of this expansion, as they have fewer options for acquiring other features. There are some benefits for players who do have older games too, but they need the expansion pass less. Always consider why you play these games before you buy this DLC.

And that wraps up my coverage of the Isle of Armor DLC for Pokemon Sword and Shield. What did you make of this new content? Is there a favorite Pokemon of yours that was added in this expansion? Do you like the new move tutor moves? Did you enjoy exploring this island? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this overview, then click that like button and share it on social media. To keep up with That’s All Games, you can subscribe via email or through WordPress. Until next time, have fun gaming!


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