New details emerged regarding competitive play in Pokémon Sword and Shield during the 2019 Pokémon World Championships. Announcements have come from a video posted to the Official Pokémon YouTube channel, as well as tweets from the Pokémon Twitter page. The new information confirms that Sword and Shield cater to competitive players, perhaps more than any other previous Pokémon game.
Galarian Weezing has a new ability called Neutralizing Gas. When Galarian Weezing is on the field, every other Pokémon’s ability will lose its effect. This allows Weezing to neutralize the threat of many Pokémon who rely on their abilities to be viable. As well, Corviknight possesses a new ability known as Mirror Armor. This ability reflects all effects that lower stats onto the opposing Pokémon. As a result, it seems it is impossible for Corviknight to have its stats lowered (at least by direct means).
Two new items were announced that will contribute to the competitive nature of Pokémon Sword and Shield. Room Service will lower the user’s Speed while under the effects of Trick Room. Of course, since Trick Room causes slower Pokémon to move first, Room Service will actually make the user faster. The other new item, Eject Pack, will make the user automatically switch out if their stats are lowered. The process of switching out then removes that Pokémon’s stat drops.
A new move, Breaking Swipe, can hit multiple opponents and lowers the Attack stat of all Pokémon that it hits. So far, Flygon is the only Pokémon that we know can learn this move. We have also learned new details about Dynamax Pokémon. They appear to be immune to the effects of flinching. It also seems that Dynamax Pokémon can be used in double battles, at least when it comes to online competitive matchups.
Dynamax Pokémon also have special effects that accompany all of their moves. To see these effects, as well as many more competitive features of Pokémon Sword and Shield, in action, watch the video below:
Pokémon has also revealed details about competitive online play in Pokémon Sword and Shield via Twitter. The Battle Stadium will be the hub for online competition in Sword and Shield. Players can choose to fight with their own team, or they can use a Rental Team. Trainers can borrow a Rental Team by inputting an ID that they can find online. You can even design your own teams, then submit them for players around the world to use!
Pokémon Sword and Shield will feature Ranked and Casual modes. In Ranked Battles, trainers will be ranked into tiers and matched against players in the same tier. The Ranked mode also has seasons, and the player’s tier can change at the end of each season. In Casual Battles, trainers can use Mythical and Legendary Pokémon banned from competitive play. Single and Double Battles are available in both the Ranked and Casual modes.
Trainers can also participate in two kinds of Online Competitions. Official Competitions have specific rules set out by the organizers. Conversely, players can host Friendly Competitions with their own rules, or join Friendly Competitions hosted by other trainers.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are packed with new features that will certainly benefit competitive Pokémon players. In addition, Sword and Shield will be the games of choice for the 2020 Play Pokémon season.
Dylan Tate is a student in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, including Smash Bros., Splatoon, ARMS, and Pokémon. Dylan also writes competitive guides for Dignitas and Nintendo news articles for Nintendo Enthusiast.