Count me in as one of the people who were pretty upset that the full National Dex would not make it to Pokemon Sword and Shield.
I’ve been a competitive breeder/battler in-game since Diamond and Pearl and have built up a very nice bank of non-hacked, legit, competitive ready Pokemon and many, if not most of them won’t be able to see the light of day in Sword and Shield.
I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours across each generation of Pokemon working on this bank of strong Pokemon and yeah, I’m pretty bummed. Not – send death threats to Game Freak bummed – they could delete all my Pokemon from my bank and send me a Donphan turd in the mail and I still wouldn’t go that insane.
But I can certainly empathize with other rational but upset fans that are in a similar boat as me. It’s not a non-issue like other people have suggested, it definitely sucks.
I recently finished my run-through of Sword and Shield and completed Twinfinite’s review. I have to admit that I don’t really miss the National Dex as much as I thought I was going to.
My goal going into every new generation is to only use new Pokemon unless I really can’t find one that I like. Not only is it to fully immerse myself in the new region, but it’s also to get a feel for some of them as I plan my endgame team.
More than any generation since Black and White (mostly since you had to play with new Pokemon), I have really enjoyed my time with the new Pokemon.
The creativity in the designs, typings, signature moves, and abilities are top-notch in Sword and Shield.
One of my favorites has to be Applin (seen above), the Grass/Dragon Pokemon who evolves into either the attack-oriented Flapple or the tanky and defensive Appletun, depending on your version.
Applin is literally a teeny-tiny Dragon that lives in a delicious looking apple and bursts free when it evolves but still keeping the apple as a shell of some sort.
Flapple and Appletun both have access to a signature ability, Ripen, which doubles the effect of Berries and a signature move Grav Apple.
While Grav Apple is just a strong grass attack with a defense down effect, Ripen lets you get real creative with a berry-based strategy. You can double the effect of stat-boosting berries such as Petaya Berry which boosts Special Attack or getting a powerful health boost with double effect Sitrus Berry.
Toxtricity is another very cool Pokemon, the first Poison/Electric typing, with two different forms that have their own unique move, one suited for solo-play and the other team play, while both can use Toxtricity’s signature move, Overdrive.
Overdrive takes advantage of its signature ability, Punk Rock, which boosts the damage of sound-based moves and reduces incoming damage from sound-based moves. It can also learn the incredibly powerful sound move, Boomburst, and paired with Overdrive and a powerful Poison move of your choice, Toxtricity has a very fun move pool to play around with.
Playing into the fantasy of possessing two types known for dealing out status effects, Toxtricity’s rare Gigantamax form has access to G-Max Stun Shock which does high damage and can either paralyze or poison the enemy.
A final example I’ll throw out is the Water/Flying bird, Cramorant. Cramorant is designed to be kind of a meme, but it has one of the coolest abilities in the game: Gulp Missile.
When Cramorant uses Surf or Dive, it will fish out, well, a fish that it will then launch at the opponent for 1/4 of their health and either lower the opponent’s Defense or paralyze them.
Sword and Shield are loaded with Pokemon with something unique about them. And honestly, it’s about time. Almost every typing has been done at this point, and Game Freak is going to need to get creative to justify new Pokemon and fortunately, they are doing that.
I don’t know if Cramorant is going to be a top tier Pokemon, it probably won’t, but it’s going to be really fun to play with and will shake things up somewhere in competitive communities such as Smogon that create Pokemon weight classes of sorts based on usage and popularity in battle.
I can’t wait to see if I can make Frosmoth, a very cool looking, and first of its kind, Bug/Ice Pokemon work using its signature ability, Ice Scales, which halves all incoming damage from special moves.
If the trade-off from not having literally every Pokemon in every game from now is we’re going to get more unique typings, signature moves and abilities, and new types of playstyles, I think I’m going to be able to carry on just fine.