Finally, after months of waiting, theorising and debating, we now have the first real details about Pokémon Sword and Shield! Today's Pokémon Direct dished the dirt on several new Pokémon, some new features and, of course, the release date: 15th November worldwide! Here's our full roundup of everything announced today:
Category: Flowering Pokémon
Weight: 4.9 lbs.
Ability: Cotton Down / Regenerator
Gossifleur prefers land with clear water and air. Its pollen has a healing effect and is commonly used as a folk medicine remedy and made into a tea given to children in the Galar region when they are ill. Gossifleur travels over long distances by getting blown along by the wind. It controls the direction of its travels by twisting its body and petals.
Category: Cotton Bloom Pokémon
Weight: 5.5 lbs.
Ability: Cotton Down / Regenerator
When Gossifleur evolves into Eldegoss, its head becomes covered in thick cotton fluff. This cotton fluff serves as a cushion that helps to protect Eldegoss’s head from damage. The tiny seeds attached to the cotton fluff are said to be highly nutritious and beneficial to both people and Pokémon. Eldegoss spreads these seeds throughout the region, making the soil of the Galar region rich in nutrients.
Category: Raven Pokémon
Weight: 165.3 lbs.
Ability: Pressure / Unnerve
It is said that Corviknight is the strongest Pokémon living in the skies of the Galar region. It can often be seen fearlessly soaring through the air. Many say that any Pokémon foolish enough to challenge Corviknight are sent running with just a sharp glare and cry from this fearsome Pokémon. Because Corviknight possess superb flying skills and high intelligence, many of them work for the company called Galar Taxi and help transport people from town to town.
Category: Bite Pokémon
Weight: 254.6 lbs.
Ability: Strong Jaw / Shell Armor
The jagged fangs of the Bite Pokémon Drednaw are strong and sharp enough to bite through rock and iron. Though it has a heavy shell, its well-developed muscles allow it to move quickly. Drednaw is known to be extremely aggressive, so it takes a skilled Trainer to tame and handle this Pokémon. It seems that some Trainers will release Drednaw back into the wild once they discover they can’t handle it.
Category: Sheep Pokémon
Weight: 13.2 lbs.
Ability: Fluffy / Run Away
The white fur that covers Wooloo’s body grows throughout its life and will fully grow back in three months even if it has been completely shorn. The fur is used for clothing, carpets, and other goods and is very popular as a specialty product of the Galar region. Wooloo live as a herd and mimic the actions of their Trainer or herd leader. They dislike conflict, and if they need to escape from enemies, they will simply roll away.
The Legendary Pokémon Zacian’s attacks are so graceful that its movements captivate opponents. Holding what appears to be a sword in its mouth, Zacian’s shining blade can cut through anything.
With majestic movements and what appears to be a shield covering its body, the Legendary Pokémon Zamazenta can turn back any attack and overwhelm any opponents that dare face it.
As you might have already guessed, Zacian is the featured Legendary for Pokémon Sword, while Zamazenta is the featured Legendary for Pokémon Shield.
This region's Pokémon Professor is called Professor Magnolia. She fulfils the typical role of providing you with your first starter Pokémon and will continue to support you throughout your Pokémon journey. Her area of expertise is the Galar region phenomenon of 'Dynamaxing'.
Professor Magnolia's granddaughter, Sonia is also the childhood friend of the region's Champion and serves as her Grandmother's assistant - a role that sees her supporting you throughout your journey.
The region's champion, Leon, is a superstar in the region due to Pokémon battles being the biggest form of entertainment in Galar. He is entirely undefeated in his history of official Pokémon battles.
Leon's inexplicably named little brother, Hop, is your rival. He starts his journey alongside you, seeking to topple his brother and claim the role of champion for himself.
The first Gym Leader in the Galar region is Milo. He's a Grass type trainer and specialises in 'endurance' battles - indicating that he might be particularly fond of status effects in battle.
As we've now come to expect, this new generation of Pokémon brings with it a brand new battle mechanic: Dynamaxing.
In special places in the Galar region - such as Gyms - this phenomeon can be used to super size your Pokémon and maximise its attacks. In a sense, Dynamaxing is a sort-of combination of Mega Evolution and Z-Moves, albeit without a Pokemon changing forms. Like those features, this can be done at any point in battle, but can only be done once. Unlike Mega Evolution, however, after three rounds, your Pokémon will return to normal.
You can also encounter Dynamaxed Pokémon in Max Raid Battles. These Pokémon-Go-like raids will see you and up to three other players- either locally or online - team up to take on a massive Dynamaxed Pokémon. The opponent will remain Dynamaxed throughout the battle, while your team will only get one chance for just one of you to Dynamax your own Pokémon for a brief time - demanding co-ordination and strategy. Even though the Nintendo Switch will not support voice chat in-game...
These Max Raid Battles can be found in perhaps the most exciting new feature: the Wild Area.
The Wild Area is a section in the center of the Galar Region where the game effectively transforms into an Open World style title. Here a huge variety of wild Pokémon roam the land - the type of Pokémon you'll see being dictated by the location and the weather at the time - and will change in some way every day.
Unlike those games, however, Sword and Shield will also include Pokémon hiding in the tall grass waiting to ambush you much like previous Pokémon games. If you see an exclamation mark in the grass, you're in for a battle just as much as if you're chased down by one of these Pokémon visible in the world itself.
Finally, we also learned about a couple of key items in the game.
The Dynamax Band, unsurprisingly, is the key to being able to Dynamax your Pokémon. You'll receive this at some point during your journey, but it would seem to be pretty early on as Dynamaxing is demonstrated as being a key component of the first Gym.
The PokéDex in this game is in fact a phone that's been possessed by a Rotom - much like the RotomDex in Alola. As well as serving as the game's PokéDex, this Rotom Phone can also help you out and about in the world, such as being attached to your bike to make it go faster, or to be able to travel across water using it - once that ability is unlocked.
If you want to catch up on the Pokémon Direct itself, or just the trailer, check out our earlier post here. We'll be keeping our ears to the ground for more info as it comes - and we expect a small amount to come next Tuesday from Nintendo's E3 Direct. We'll keep you up to date with everything about Sword and Shield as it comes along, and we definitely have OPINIONS (tm) that we'll be sharing with you on this latest batch of info soon!