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Pokémon: Sword & Shield

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Ben Chard
Vincent Lau

Dynamaxed Pokémon are extremely powerful foes.

This is the big new battle gimmick (pun intended) introduced in Sword and Shield, replacing the Mega Evolutions from X and Y, as well as the Z-Moves from Sun and Moon. Basically, Pokémon become gigantic!

Prerequisite of Dynamax

With the exception of the 3 Legendary Pokémon unique to Galar, all Pokémon are capable of Dynamaxing. However, there are two specific conditions that must be met.

  1. You must have a Dynamax Band. Actually, you’ll get one very early on, so you don’t need to worry about this.

  2. There must a Power Spot nearby. Power Spots are commonly located in the very centre of Gym Stadiums, as well as Pokémon Dens.

Mechanically speaking, you can Dynamax during nearly every Gym Leader/Pokémon League battle, Max Raid Battles, plus a handful of story battles. You can also Dynamax during multiplayer battles.

Dynamax, Go!

(1 of 2) Before pressing the Dynamax button.

Before pressing the Dynamax button. (left), After pressing the Dynamax button. (right)

If the conditions to Dynamax are met, you can Dynamax a Pokémon by selecting “Fight” and then pushing the big “Dynamax” button to the left of a Pokémon’s moves (where the old Mega Evolution and Z-Move button would’ve been). Doing this will change all of the Pokémon’s moves to the corresponding Max Moves. Now select a Max Move and you’re good to go!

Pokémon will Dynamax at the very start of the turn, before any Pokémon can use their moves. If both trainers Dynamax at the same time, the Pokémon will the higher Speed stat will Dynamax first. Pokémon will remain Dynamaxed until 3 turns have passed, they are KO’d or they switch out. Similar to Mega Evolution, each trainer can only Dynamax once per battle.

Benefits of Dynamax

Obviously, Dynamax isn’t just for show. Firstly, Pokémon have increased HP for the duration of Dynamax. You can also boost the amount of increased HP by feeding Pokémon Dynamax Candy, earned from winning Max Raid Battles. Also, Dynamaxed mons will not flinch. Combined, this makes Dynamaxed Pokémon more durable and resilient than normal.

In addition, Dynamaxing allows Pokémon to use extremely powerful Max Moves. These are similar to Z-Moves, in that they deal a lot more damage than usual. But that’s not all–they also have very useful secondary effects. Some Max Moves can increase your team’s stats or lower the enemy team’s stats, while others can change the weather or terrain effect.

Max Moves

A well-timed Max Move can potentially turn the tides of the battle!

The Max Moves available to a Pokémon depend on the Type of the Pokémon’s original moves. Meanwhile, the damage of a Max Move scales with the damage of the original move. Max Moves cannot miss and, like Z-Moves, they can partially bypass moves like Protect.

There’s one exception to the rule: if the original move is a status move, it will always change into Max Guard, regardless of its Type. Max Guard works like Protect, but it will completely guard against even Max Moves.

Type Name Secondary Effect
Normal Max Strike Reduces enemy team’s Speed.
Fire Max Flare Triggers Sunny Day.
Water Max Geyser Triggers Rain Dance.
Grass Max Overgrowth Triggers Grassy Terrain
Electric Max Lightning Triggers Electric Terrain
Ice Max Hailstorm Triggers Hail.
Fighting Max Knuckle Boosts ally team’s Attack.
Poison Max Ooze Boosts ally team’s Special Attack.
Ground Max Quake Boosts ally team’s Special Defence.
Flying Max Airstream Boosts ally team’s Speed.
Psychic Max Mindstorm Triggers Psychic Terrain.
Bug Max Flutterby Reduces enemy team’s Special Attack.
Rock Max Rockfall Triggers Sandstorm.
Ghost Max Phantasm Reduces enemy team’s Defence.
Dragon Max Wyrmwind Reduces enemy team’s Attack.
Dark Max Darkness Reduces enemy team’s Special Defence.
Steel Max Steelspike Boosts ally team’s Defence.
Fairy Max Starfall Triggers Misty Terrain.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    4 January 2023
    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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