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Pokémon: Sword & Shield


Ben Chard
Vincent Lau

In this section, we’re going to explain the best methods to maximise your Pokémon’s potential. Before you continue, if you’re new to Pokémon, we strongly recommend reading our previous section first. Otherwise, if you think you know your stuff, please carry on!

What Makes a Pokémon?

When everything comes together, you can create some real monsters…

Just to make sure we’re all on the same wavelength, these are the key things are define a particular Pokémon:

  1. Nature: This provides a significant 10% boost to one of their stats.

  2. IVs: When a Pokémon is Level 100, having max IVs in a stat (compared to 0 IVs) results in a 31 point increase.

  3. EVs: When a Pokémon is Level 100, having max EVs in a stat results in a 63 point increase.

  4. Ability: Depending on the Pokémon, the Ability they have can greatly influence their performance.

  5. Moves: Similar to their Ability, the moves learned by a Pokémon can also affect how well they fare against opponents.

Therefore, in order for your Pokémon to be the very best(TM), they must have the best IVs and EVs, plus a Nature, Ability and moves that are best suited for them. Pretty logical, right?

Creating a Killer Pokémon

Traditionally, the primary method of engineering a Pokémon with the traits that you want is via Pokémon breeding. This is still applicable in Sword and Shield and, you’ll be glad to know, it’s easier than it’s ever been.

However, thanks to recent Quality of Life changes, breeding is not the only method. The other method is by catching Pokémon in Max Raid Battles. Then supplement the Pokémon with Hyper Training and Mints.

You may need to mix and match your methods, depending on your Pokémon.

Which method you choose depends on the Pokémon and your available resources. Also, the methods are not mutually exclusive. If you want to breed Hidden Abilities, you’ll probably need to raid. Also, you can supplement Pokémon you’ve bred.

Here are some guidelines to help you:

  1. If you’re lacking BP to purchase Mints, or you’re lacking Bottle Caps (or the BP to buy them) OR you want to conserve resources, you should probably breed.

  2. If you want the Pokémon to Gigantamax, you must catch it via Max Raid Battles and use Mints/Bottle Caps. Because there’s no way to pass down Gigantamax via breeding.

  3. If the Pokémon is Legendary or a species that cannot breed OR it’s shiny, you’ll have to use Mints/Bottle Caps, since breeding is not an option.

Regardless of which method you go with, the actual training part (leveling up and acquiring EVs) is the same. Although, in a similar manner, there are multiple ways to go about it. But we’ll discuss all of that when we get there!

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    21 March 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Pokémon: Sword and Shield, the latest entries in the Pokémon video game franchise. Our guide also incorporates all the DLC, including the Isle of Armor and brand new Crown Tundra DLC.

In Sword and Shield, you explore the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom, alongside rivals Hop, Bede and Marnie, with the aim to dethrone the Pokémon League Champion.

The games introduce several new features such as Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, functions that increase size and change forms of certain Pokémon; the Wild Area, a large open world with free camera movement; and raids with co-op battling. They also reintroduce features previously seen in Sun and Moon and Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, such as regional variants and roaming Pokémon depicted in the overworld.

Brand New October 2020:

Version 1.2

  • A Complete Walkthrough of the Isle of Armor.
  • Details of all 16 new Wild Areas, including Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All the new Max Raid Dens: Locations and Featured Pokémon.
  • Images and Locations of All 150 of the Missing Diglett.
  • The Isle of Armor Pokédex (featuring 100 Returning Pokémon).
  • Recipes for the Cram-o-matic.
  • A Full Walkthrough featuring Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All Gym Encounters and Strategies.
  • New Items: Mints & Natures Explained.
  • Post Game content including Champion Cup.
  • Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing.
  • The Galar Region Pokédex (featuring 400 Pokemon).

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