Pokemon Sword and Shield - New Battle Mechanics Revealed

New Battle Features await you in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. We discuss new abilities, held items, details on dynamax, and a new move.

Combat Features

Around a month ago, the Official Pokemon youtube channel posted a video highlighting new features that shape Pokemon battles. Here, we compiled a list of the new abilities, held items, additional effects during Dynamax, and a new move.

New Abilities

Neutralizing Gas

The first ability introduced was Neutralizing Gas. When Pokemon with this ability are out on the field, the abilities of all other Pokemon are suppressed. In the trailer, Galarian Weezing used this ability to enable its ally, Rotom Wash, to perform a powerful water type attack on the opposing Arcanine. Normally, it wouldn’t connect because the opponent’s team had a Gastrodon with the Storm Drain ability. Storm Drain should allow it to draw water type attacks away from its partner. Since Galarian Weezing was able to negate the ability, Rotom Wash’s attack was able to hit Arcanine. However, since Rotom Wash was also affected by the ability, it lost Levitate. Without access to its ability, Gastrodon was able to use a ground type move to knock it out as well.

Mirror Armor

An ability that reflects stat-lowering effects back to its user. In the video Corviknight was able to bounce back Sobble’s debuff move. Hidden Armor proves to be valuable since it forces opponents that rely on disruptive moves to rethink their choices in succeeding turns.

Added Held Items

Room Service

A new item that lowers the speed of the Pokemon holding it. In the video, Rhyperior used Room Service to outspeed the opposing Snorlax under Trick Room. Comparing Rhyperior to Snorlax, its base speed stat is 40, which is 10 points higher than Snorlax’s. Since Trick Room was in play, Snorlax should have gone first since the field reverses the order that Pokemon move. However, with the new item Room Service, Rhyperior was able to lower its speed which allowed it to move first.

Eject Pack

Another held item introduced in the video was Eject Pack. Duraludon, a dragon and steel type Pokemon, summoned comets to shatter the opposing Kommo-o. This is a dragon type attack deals massive damage and is effective against opposing dragons. Despite its high damage, it has a drawback. After using the move, it lowers the user’s special attack by two stages. Thanks to the Eject Pack, Duraludon was able to pivot away from battle. By switching, Duraludon instantly recovered from the stat drop and prevented the opposing Pokemon from affecting it in the opponent’s turn.

A brand new move

Breaking Swipe

Other than abilities and items, the trailer also showed a new move called Breaking Swipe. When it connects, it drops the attack stat of the Pokemon hit. Breaking Swipe has is similar to Snarl, a move that lowers an opponent’s special attack. Breaking Swipe proves useful for decreasing an opposing Pokemon’s attack stat to manageable levels. When coupled with abilities like Intimidate, trainers can punish their opponents from gathering attack boosts through held items and buffs through status moves.

Dynamax features

Immunity to flinches

Dynamax, a mechanic that debuted around three months ago, unlocked a Pokemon’s potential to become a powerhouse. In the video, we saw a demonstration of the abilities given to a Pokemon after its transformation. Previously, flinching was a huge asset in a double battle as it allows the Pokemon to deny its opponent’s Pokemon from moving for one turn. Additionally, Dynamax Pokemon were shown to be immune to flinching. Trainers who have been struggling to cope with the effects of flinching can use Dynamax to safely land their attacks.

Moves gain secondary effects

In addition to Dynamax, we were also introduced to Max Moves which are powerful attacks that replace a Pokemon’s ordinary move pool. During Machamp’s turn, its Dynamax form unleashed a move that struck the opponent with an added effect of sharpening their party’s attack. Similarly, Milotic channeled blocks of ice that not only hurt its opponents but also summoned a vicious hailstorm. Due to the attack’s secondary effect, its ally Froslass was able to set up an Aurora Veil, a defensive barrier that temporarily raises its party’s defense and special defense during a hailstorm. With this in mind, trainers should study their Pokemon’s moves carefully to determine which Max Moves pair well with their ally’s standard move pool.

Pokemon Sword and Shield releases on November 15, 2019 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

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