Traverse the Isle of Armor
What secrets does the Isle of Armor hold?
The Isle of Armor is a new area set in the Galar region. Mr. Hiroyuki Tani, the Director of the games’ expansion pass presented some of the features that the Isle of Armor has to offer. This area focuses on the theme of Growth. Many environments appear in the Isle of Armor. From wave-swept beaches, forests, and even the desert to some extent, the new area is certainly breathtaking.
In addition, according to the game’s producer, Junichi Masuda, features will continue to follow the trend of version exclusives. In other words, if you’re playing Pokemon Sword, the content you’ll find in the Expansion Pass will be different from the ones you’ll encounter in Pokemon Shield. A feature that can attract both old and new players alike.
Judging from the naming convention, the composition, and the mixture of cultures, the Isle of Armor appears to be based on the real life area, the Isle of Man. Various traits teased in the Isle of Armor also coincide with it. Located between Great Britain and Ireland, the Isle of Man consists of many islands with varying terrain. In addition, Mann is a hub where different cultures come together. These are evident with the settlements, known as Manx people. While the area largely consists of people born in the UK, the outpour of “come-overs” have shaped its identity. The involvement of varying cultures ties up with the dojo, one of the design shown later on in the teaser.
From the official website, over 100 species of new Pokemon are waiting for you in your journey through the isle. We speculate that this could hold many different types of Pokemon owing to the many places teased.
Visit the island’s dojo
Possibly a new landmark central to the expanded story is the dojo. The concept art showed a colored sketch of the dojo complete with a Drednaw near the entrance.
Something about the new dojo screams that it was inspired by the Malie Garden of Alola, which according to the lore was an offshoot of Ecruteak city in Johto. With imperial styled architecture that was prominent in traditional Japanese architecture, the dojo certainly captures an old world charm.
Meet new characters
Mustard serves as your mentor as you walk through the Isle of Armor. He also happens to be the mentor of the region’s champion, Leon. As the apprentice, trainers are tasked to develop their skills in this new area. In addition, they also obtain martial arts outfits which consist of a practical tied up hairstyle, Karate gi top, shorts, knee pads, and training shoes.
Depending on your version you’ll also run into two new rivals along the way. Akin to the Gym Leader exlusives, trainers face one of the two characters based on their version. Pokemon Sword players get to find Klara, a poison type specialist. On the other hand, Pokemon Shield players will face Avery, a trainer who excels in the psychic type.
Meet the fighting type Pokemon, Kubfu
In addition to returning Pokemon species, you’ll also find Kubfu. Kubfu is a new fighting type Pokemon native to the Galar region. Many artworks show Kubfu in action, sporting some of the techniques in martial arts. According to the teaser, Kubfu appears to be a gift Pokemon and comes as a gift to trainers that undergo the test in the new area.
Take on battles with Urshifu
After surpassing many challenges, trainers can evolve their Kubfu into Urshifu. This Pokemon can take on one of two styles. The first is known as the Single-Strike Style which gives Urshifu a secondary dark typing. Meanwhile, the other is the Rapid-Strike Style which grants it a secondary water typing. On top of that, Urshifu even gets its own ability, moves, and Gigantamax forms. According to the official website, the two forms don’t depend on the game they evolved in. In fact, the evolution occurs based on the choices made.
Owing to its name, Kubfu is a based on a cub that has undergone martial arts. It has a thick eyebrows, a fortified spirit, and a fur that looks like a makeshift headband. Among the Pokemon we already have, Pancham is likely one of its inspirations due to its type, design, and evolution. This notion carries over upon evolution. When evolved into Urshifu it gets either Dark or Water, depending on the style. While there are already a couple of Fighting types that obtain the secondary dark typing, the water isn’t commonly seen in battles. While these aren’t new type combinations themselves, the teased new ability and moves are something to look forward for.
New Gigantamax forms
So far, Gigantamax have been trickling back through Max raid events. In the recent direct, Gigantamax forms were teased for the starters of the Galar region. It was hinted that trainers can unleash their partner’s Gigantamax forms through their adventure in the Isle of Armor. In the upcoming Season Pass, each of the three starters obtain their unique Gigantamax forms. Apart from that, trainers can also find Gigantamax forms of the other Kanto starters. Get ready to battle others using Gigantamax Venusaur and Gigantamax Blastoise.
Whether you enjoy battling, collecting, or simply enjoying the adventure, there are three new features teased in this expansion. Among them showed new tutor moves which can change the way Pokemon interact in battle. Next are the Apricorns, which is likely a reference to the special Poke balls native to the Johto Region. In the game, these are highly sought after types of Poke balls that can only be obtained after achieving certain feats. Last but not the least, is the Exp. Charm. Previously, we learned that Pokemon can grow stronger through Exp. Candies and Dynamax Candies. Whether this is an extension or a separate feature is yet to be revealed. One thing’s for certain, these quality of life changes seem to address many of the possible flaws that the base game offers, and we think that they will help establish a seamless continuity in the games without resorting to multiple resets.
Get Creative with new outfits and custom decals
Some of these are certainly based on characters already in the game, however the recent showcased content gives trainers who yearn to become their idol, a chance to customize to their hearts content. Choose from a selection of apparel, hairstyles, bags, and even custom designs for your bike.
The Isle of Armor is scheduled to be released this coming June as part of the Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Expansion Pass for the Nintendo Switch.
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