The last trailer we got for Pokemon Sword & Shield gave us some mixed feelings. Sure Gigantamaxing looks fun, but it’s just another ‘one-time-during-battle’ thing. Where are the new Pokemon, regional variants or added evolutions to existing lines? Well the Pokemon Company just released a brand new trailer that shows off all of this and much more! So let’s take a look at the trailer below and then break down everything we learned.
Galarian Forms – Weezing & Zigzagoon Lines:
My favorite thing about the Sun & Moon games was the introduction of Regional variants of existing Pokemon. Design wise, it’s a fun way to reinvent old Pokemon. Gameplay wise, it’s a way to make previously lackluster Pokemon more competitively viable. So when the Galar region was announced for Sword & Shield, I immediately hoped we’d get some that reflect the United Kingdom, which Galar is based off of. Well Gamefreak did not disappoint as none show this better than Galarian Weezing.
Galarian Weezing combines the look of the stereotypical old-world bearded English gentlemen as well as the tall smoke stacks of the Industrial Revolution era. According to its Pokedex entry, Galarian Weezing breathes in toxic gas and emits clean air. What a gentlemen – and fabulous evolution of the Weezing-style! As for a gameplay perspective, Weezing is the first Poison / Fairy dual type. This is important because Poison is one of the only 2 types strong against Fairy-Type Pokemon. And whereas its Poison typing adds a Ground weakness, one of its potential abilities is Levitate. It also seems to have another ability, but that hasn’t been revealed yet.
The other major Galarian reveal is for the entire Zigzagoon line. Much like the Alolan Rattata line, Zigzagoon’s entire line is being redone as Dark/ Normal. Design wise, the new Zigzagoon line perfectly captures that UK Honey Badger look. In fact, it fits so well you’d think this was the original look for it. The Pokedex entry for Galarian Zigzagoon supports this by saying it is the “oldest branch of the species”. Though more importantly, the Galarian Zigzagoon brings back something we haven’t seen in a while – added evolution! The Galarian version of Zigzagoon has a 3rd form called Obstagoon, which honestly looks more lycanthrope-like than Lycanrock. Gameplay wise, we still have to see; but with access to the abilities like Guts and Reckless, it’s safe to say that the Zigzagoon line has become much more than just being an HM slave.
Morpheko – The Hangry Hamster:
Over the years, there’s been multiple Pokemon that change form for one reason or another. Some were done via held items, while others changed form due to something in battle. The most recent example of this was Wishiwashi from Sun & Moon with its ‘Schooling form’. Well Galar has one of its own named Morpheko that also happens to be this gen’s Pikachu-esque design. Morpheko’s trick is that it constantly burns up electricity, which makes it easily hungry. These Full Belly and Hangry forms represent that. We’ll have to wait to see what these changes mean stat-wise; but we do know that its signature move Aura Wheel will go from Electric to Dark type while in its Hangry form.
Battle to the Top – New Rivals & Their Crazed Fans?
It’s not a Pokemon game without a good rival or two, and Sword & Shield seems to be taking an interesting approach with this generation’s rivals. Bede is the first Rival and – allegedly – has ‘other plans’. It’s hard to really judge whether these plans are nefarious in nature or not, but at the very least I’m assume a Rival similar to Gladion. Marnie is the Rival I’m more intrigued by as she has a horde of adoring fans who worship her and will do ANYTHING to make sure she comes out on top. They are known as Team Yell and whereas this seems like a far departure from the days of actual evil/ misguided organizations, there is a chance here to make things interesting.
For starters, this dynamic really reinforces the ‘Pokemon as a sporting event’ idea this game is offering. Team Yell are the Marnie ‘die-hards’; but will they go too far? Does Marnie even like them? Will they interfere/ cheat in a match causing you to battle with a severe handicap? That would certainly be an interesting addition and way to add difficulty. Hopefully we’ll get more news soon, and the design team will continue to implement new things in both design and gameplay!