The Pokémon Company International announced that Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will be the official video games used for competitive play during the 2020 Play! Pokémon Season and shared new game features that fans can look forward to in the highly anticipated titles. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will launch November 15, 2019, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch™ system. In addition, The Pokémon Company International debuted the next series in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Sword & Shield, based on the upcoming video games as well as a new type of card, Pokémon V.
Battling in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield
In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Trainers can connect to the internet and battle against each other in either Single or Double Battle formats in the Battle Stadium.
In the Battle Stadium, Pokémon Trainers can engage in Ranked Battles where they will face other Trainers and their Battle Teams from across the globe.
- Trainers will battle those with a similar rank and will earn points depending on the results of those battles.
- Each rank in Ranked Battles belongs to a specific tier, and Trainers can increase their rank by earning enough points.
- Trainers can check their own ranking in the Battle Stadium. They can also see how all of the participants placed in a competition on the smartphone version of Pokémon HOME.
In Casual Battles, it’s not about who wins or loses—it’s about becoming a better Trainer.
- One exciting aspect of Casual Battles is the ability to use certain Legendary Pokémon and Mythical Pokémon that are not eligible for Ranked Battles.
Features like Online Competitions and Rental Teams will also allow players to connect with other Trainers in different ways.
Trainers who participate in Online Competitions can battle in either Official Competitions or Friendly Competitions.
- In Official Competitions, participants will take part in special battles with a variety of different rules and restrictions.
- In Friendly Competitions, Trainers can join competitions hosted by other players or even host their own competitions. Regulations in Friendly Competitions are determined by the host.
Rental Teams enable Trainers to borrow Battle Teams by inputting IDs available online—or to make Battle Teams that they’ve put together available as Rental Teams to other Trainers all over the world. Up to five teams can be rented at once, and they can even be used in Ranked Battles.
Dynamaxing and Max Moves
The Dynamax phenomenon not only makes Pokémon huge—it can also give them a boost in power and sway the course of a battle. The Max Moves that only Dynamax Pokémon can use aren’t just powerful but also have impressive additional effects. For example, the Water-type Max Move, Max Geyser, will trigger the rain weather condition, and the Fighting-type Max Move, Max Knuckle, will increase the Attack of all allied Pokémon.
In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, a Trainer’s Pokémon can Dynamax if that Trainer has the Dynamax Band. Pokémon do not have to hold a special item to Dynamax. This means Trainers can choose which one of their Pokémon to Dynamax depending on what’s happening in the battle, and they can even have their Pokémon hold items that boost their strength so they can unleash Max Moves that are even more powerful.
New Abilities and Items
Many new Abilities have been discovered in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. One such Ability is Galarian Weezing’s Neutralizing Gas. This Ability neutralizes the ongoing effects of other Pokémon’s Abilities and even prevents Abilities from being triggered. Once the Pokémon with Neutralizing Gas leaves the battlefield, the Abilities of the other Pokémon will be activated again.
Some Pokémon have rare Abilities known as Hidden Abilities. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Pokémon caught in Max Raid Battles might have these Hidden Abilities. There is also a very small chance that Trainers will encounter a special Pokémon capable of Gigantamaxing in Max Raid Battles. While extremely rare, by attempting many different battles, there’s a chance they could even encounter a Pokémon that can Gigantamax and has a Hidden Ability. One such Hidden Ability is Corviknight’s Mirror Armor, which will bounce back any stat-lowering effects from an opposing Pokémon’s Abilities or moves.
New items that can be combined with specific moves to give Trainers an edge in battle will also be available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. These items include Room Service and Eject Pack. When held by a Pokémon, Room Service will lower that Pokémon’s Speed when the move Trick Room is successfully used. When a Pokémon holding Eject Pack has any of its stats lowered, it will immediately switch out so another Pokémon can be sent in.
Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield and Pokémon V
Also during the 2019 Pokémon World Championships, Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company, unveiled Sword & Shield, a new series coming to the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Included in the series are Pokémon V, powerful new cards that will play an important role in players’ strategies. Event attendees also received a preview of Zacian V and Zamazenta V, which will be available in the series’ upcoming first expansion. More details about the Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield Series will be announced soon.