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Pokémon: Sword & Shield
Strategy Guide

First Published: 15-11-2019 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 12-07-2020 / 00:16 GMT
Version: 1.2 (????) 15-07-2020 / 19:02 GMT

After catching Zacian or Zamazenta, you'll find Sonia waiting for you when you enter the Slumbering Weald. Speak to her and she'll instantly transport you to the endpoint, where Hop is waiting. Once there, approach Hop and the other Legendary Pokémon in front of the altar. Hop will somehow catch the Legendary Pokémon with ease. Afterwards, he'll request one final battle from you.

Pokémon Trainer Hop

Pokémon Level Type
Dubwool 69 Normal
Snorlax 68 Normal
Pincurchin 68 Electric
Corviknight 69 Flying/Steel
Inteleon (if you picked Grookey) 70 Water
Rillaboom (if you picked Scorbunny) 70 Grass
Cinderace (if you picked Sobble) 70 Fire
Zamazenta (Sword) 70 Fighting/Steel
Zacian (Shield) 70 Fairy/Steel

You'll be facing Hop's usual team, but with the addition of a powerful Legendary Pokémon. Also, all of Hop's Pokémon are high Level. So this will be a real test of your skills! Unless you're really confident or a glutton for punishment, we recommend adding Zacian or Zamazenta to your party, to give yourself a much needed edge.

First is the warm up! Like last time, Dubwool can use Cotton Guard to boost its Defence by 3 stages. For attacks, it has a mean Double Edge, plus Double Kick so even Rock and Steel-types can't relax. Fighting-types would be great or any special attacker in general. Ghost-types can also avoid everything it throws.

Hop's Snorlax can use Hammer Arm, Earthquake, Heavy Slam and Crunch. None of them are STAB moves, but they can still hurt if they're super-effective. As usual, Snorlax has considerable bulk, so it might take a while to defeat, but this one can't heal itself (although Hop may use a Full Restore). Again, go with Fighting-types if you can.

Pincurchin has added Recover to its moveset, so it can potentially heal itself. That said, it's not quite as bulky as Snorlax, so two hits should do the trick. It can use Zing Zap for STAB, Poison Jab to hurt Grass and Fairy-types and Liquidation to punish Ground-types. Despite the threat of Liquidation, Ground-types are ideal (unless they're Rock and Ground).

Moving on, we've got Corviknight, which has learned a new trick. Instead of Scary Face, it can use Light Screen to protect its party from special moves. Swap over to physical moves if this happens (or use Brick Break). Otherwise, it's stil got STAB moves and Swagger. Chuck a Fire or Electric-type at it.

When you reach Hop's starter, send out your starter, but be mindful if they've taken damage beforehand. Since his starter is high Level, there's a higher chance they might survive a super-effective hit and/or outspeed you. Of note, Inteleon has Ice Beam (good against Grass), Rillaboom has High Horsepower (good against Fire) and Cinderace has Gunk Shot (high damage).

Finally, Hop will unleash his Legendary Pokémon. You already fought it beforehand, but now you've got to deal with its stronger Crowned form; not to mention your team is probably weakened by Hop's other Pokémon. This is probably a good time to send out your own Legendary Pokémon. Either way, be very, very careful.

If playing Sword, you'll have a much easier time. Simply use Zacian's Sacred Sword. Not only does it deal super-effective damage, it ignores Zamazenta's Defence buffs. Don't want to use Zacian? Go for a Fire-type, especially a special attacker. You could even use Will-O-Wisp to burn it, reducing its damage output. Ground and Fighting should do OK.

Meanwhile, on Shield, godspeed. Even with Zamazenta, Zacian is nigh unstoppable. Unless your party is overleveled or you have really, really fast Pokémon, there's a high chance that Zacian will outspeed and one-shot most of your Pokémon. As for Zamazenta, it will outspeed it and two-shot it, while you'll need at least two hits to defeat it, so you've already lost.

This can be an extremely difficult battle, but don't lose heart!

The safest way to handle Zacian is to find a way to outspeed it and inflict an ailment, like paralysis. If you're lucky, you may have an Electric-type that can naturally outspeed Zacian. Otherwise, you could give your Pokémon the Choice Scarf from the Hammerlocke/Ballonlea Old Letter quest. Once you've impeded Zacian, you'll then have a fighting chance.

To defeat Zacian, you can use Zamazenta's Behemoth Bash--it'll only do neutral damage, but it'll benefit from STAB. Or you can use Fire or Ground-types. Another way to win, if things are looking dire, is to let Zacian Wild Charge itself to death. Keep rotating two Pokémon weak to Wild Charge (Water or Flying-types), reviving each one after they're fainted.

Win against Hop in his final form and you'll receive Hop's Rare League Card. With this, you can invite him to the Wyndon Stadium should you desire a rematch (he'll bring his Legendary Pokémon with him). Once all's done and said, you'll be brought back to Postwick, just outside the entrance to the Slumbering Weald. You'll also be told the Battle Tower has opened in Wyndon.

The Battle Tower

This is a facility created from the infrastructure of the Rose Tower. You can reach here by using the flying taxi and choosing the top-most landmark or by using the monorail in Wyndon. Inside, you can battle trainers who are far stronger than those in the main story.

During battles, all Pokémon will be set to Level 50, so the both of you will be on a level playing field. Also, your opponents will use moves and strategies similar to players in real life. Winning battles will earn you BP, which you can spend on exclusive rewards.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms
    Switch
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    12 July 2020
    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 currently-released Isle of Armor (and in the future, it will cover the Crown Tundra).

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.

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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