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Pokémon: Sword & Shield

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Circhester Stadium (Rock)

Ben Chard
Vincent Lau

Like in Stow-on-Side, the gym is pretty much the same in Sword and Shield, minus the trainers and decorations.

Regardless of what version you’re playing, as you enter the stadium, you’ll bump into Hop on his way out. You’ll receive Gordie’s League Card from him. Once he’s gone, speak to the Ball Guy on the right. This time, you’ll be given a Moon Ball, a rare Poké Ball that’s good at catching Pokémon that evolve via Moon Stone. If you’re ready, speak to the staff member to begin the Gym mission.

This Gym mission makes use of the Nintendo Switch’s HD rumble feature. You’ll be given a trap detector, which reacts to hidden pitfalls in the gym. If there’s a nearby pitfall in the direction you’re facing, your Joy-con controllers will vibrate. The closer the pitfall, the bigger the vibration. Should you fall into a pitfall, you’ll return to the nearest solid platform.

Unfortunately, if you’re playing on a Nintendo Switch Lite (without rumble), you’ll have a much tougher time. Instead of vibrations, you’ll have to carefully watch the radio waves coming from the trap detector. If you see radio waves, it means a pitfall is nearby in the direction you’re facing. The faster the waves, the nearer the pitfall is.

Or you can follow our maps!

To start with, go forward a very short distance, then–as soon as you can–turn right towards the bottom-right corner. Next, go up a short distance and then turn left, so you’re opposite the entrance. From here, you can walk north onto the solid platform. Ahead, there’s a Gym trainer you’ll have to fight.

Gym Trainer Abigail

Pokémon Level Type
"Boldore" IconBoldore 38 Rock

"Boldore" IconBoldore is a Rock Pokémon found in the dusty part of Route 8; it’s the evolved form of "Roggenrola" IconRoggenrola. Since it’s a pure Rock-type, you should know what to use.

After defeating Abigail, go left from the platform, all the way to the wall. Then head north, while keeping close to the wall. As you approach the top-left corner, do not go all the way to the corner. Instead, turn right at the earliest opportunity. With luck, you’ll make it to the other side safely! After touching the exit, all of the pitfalls in the previous area will be revealed.

In the second area, things get a bit more tricky. Do you remember the old days when everything was confined to square tiles? Technically, these tiles still exist, but they’re harder to see because you can freely move between them. Anyway, try to imagine the floor as square tiles. Immediately to the left and the right are a pair of rocks.

Each of these rocks is a square tile. Meanwhile, the space in-between these two rocks are two square tiles. Does that make sense? If so, from the entrance, walk forward exactly 5 square tiles. You should have just gone past a second pair of rocks. Do not continue past the third pair of rocks. Instead, head directly west. Do not go up or down yet.

Keep going until you bump into the rock next to the wall. Hug this rock and go around to the top of the rock. You should be right next to the wall now. Follow the wall north to another rock. Then walk onto the solid platform just ahead. There will be a trainer here. It’s probably easier if you battle her. That said, you can avoid her by heading east.

Gym Trainer Kiera

Pokémon Level Type
"Crustle" IconCrustle 38 Bug/Rock

"Crustle" IconCrustle is an evolved "Dwebble" IconDwebble; you should have bumped into one earlier on Route 8. It’s weak to Water, Rock and Steel.

If you fought Kiera, you can head north from her position. But begin from the top-right corner of the solid platform. Walk 2 square tiles north, then 3 square tiles east to reach the next solid platform. Stop as soon as you reach the corner of this solid platform. That’s because there’s a trainer to the right.

Otherwise, if you plan to skip Kiera, you’ll want to head east instead. From the bottom-right corner of her platform, go east exactly 3 square tiles. Then go south exactly 2 square tiles. After that, go east exactly 2 square tiles. Finally, head directly north towards the next solid platform. But do not walk onto the platform just yet, unless you want to fight the trainer.

To skip the trainer, if you came from the west (after defeating Kiera), walk to the bottom-left corner of the platform. Wait for the trainer to look left, then quickly walk all the way east. If you came from the south (by skipping Kiera), wait till the trainer is looking left, then step onto the platform and go east. Anyway, his details are below.

Gym Trainer Oliver

Pokémon Level Type
"Carkol" IconCarkol 39 Rock/Fire

"Carkol" IconCarkol is an evolved "Rolycoly" IconRolycoly, which has gained the Fire-type. It takes 4x damage from Water and Ground and 2x damage from Rock and Fighting.

Either way, to proceed, you’ll need to head east from Oliver. After stepping off the solid platform, go east 1 square, then up 1 square. You should be just below a rock; in-between you and Oliver should be a space equal to 1 square. From here, head east towards the wall.

Next, head north towards the rock in the top-right corner. From the bottom of this rock, head directly west. Only go up when you bump into the next rock. Finally, continue west to reach the exit. If you thought that was bad, there’s still one more section to come!

In the third and final section, there’s a twist. There’s a thick fog that makes it hard to see your surroundings. So you’ll have to rely on your trap detector more than ever. If you’re playing on a Switch Lite and made it OK so far, don’t worry as you can still see the radio waves through the fog. From the entrance, there are two directions you can go: left or right.

Left is shorter, but a little tricky. First, stand towards the left of the entrance. Go up a few paces while following the first rock on the left. After the rock ends, walk 2 squares left, 1 square up and 1 square left. You should be touching the wall. Now follow the wall north, until you bump into the rock. Then go right 1 square and up 2 squares to the next platform.

Right is slightly longer, but probably easier. Stand towards the right of the entrance. Go forward and turn right as early as you can. Keep going towards the wall. Next, follow the wall up, but stop the moment you go past the rocks on the left. Go left, then head up towards the next platform as soon as you can.

After arriving at the next platform, you can do this the easy way or the hard way. Easy way is just to follow the platform north, along the west side. But there’s a trainer at the far end of the platform, who’s difficult to avoid from this direction. That said, if you walk really slowly and look carefully through the fog, you can just about pull it off.

What you can do is stand 1 square above the line between the two vertical platforms. When the trainer is looking left, run up to her, then dash east. Or you could just meet her head on; he doesn’t take long to defeat. In any case, her details are below.

Gym Trainer Wendy

Pokémon Level Type
"Sudowoodo" IconSudowoodo 39 Rock

"Sudowoodo" IconSudowoodo is another pure Rock-type; this time, it’s evolved from a "Bonsly" IconBonsly. There’s nothing here that should make your worry.

The hard way is to navigate north from the platform, but along the centre. You’ll easily avoid Wendy, but the area is full of pitfalls and there are no platforms to act as safety nets. We strong recommend not going along this route, unless you really want to challenge yourself. In which case, godspeed! Oh, but we are writing a guide, so we should give you some tips at least.

From the horizontal platform, walk up 2 squares. Then go right, until there’s a rock below you. Next, go up 3 squares, left 1 square and up 3 squares. Are you managing so far? If you want a safety net, carefully head left. You’ll reach the platform where Wendy is standing. When she’s looking left, step on the platform to “save” your position. From here, follow the easy way.

Back to the easy way, head all the right from Wendy, towards the wall. Next, go forward until you reach the nearby rock, then head directly left to another rock. Go forward again to yet another rock. Then left to, you guessed it, a rock! Be careful now. Go up 2 squares, so you’re just past the rock on the left. Then walk left to the opposite wall. Head forward again, until you bump into a friendly rock.

Be extremely careful now. From the wall, walk right 1 square, up 2 squares, right 2 squares and up 2 squares to the next platform. That’s the hardest part done! From this platform, head left or right, then go around to the top. Ta-da, you made it to the end! From here, climb up the stairs to end the mission (although you’ll still be walking slowly). After that, it’s time to face the Gym Leader!

Gym Leader Gordie

Pokémon Level Type
"Barbaracle" IconBarbaracle 40 Rock/Water
"Shuckle" IconShuckle 40 Bug/Rock
"Stonjourner" IconStonjourner 41 Rock
"Coalossal" IconCoalossal 42 Rock/Fire

Barbarcle is an evolved "Binacle" IconBinacle; it takes 4x damage from Grass and 2x damage from Electric, Ground and Fighting. It can use Shell Smash to lower is defensive stats, but boost its offensive stats and Speed. Quickly dispose of it with super-effective hits (ideally Grass)!

Next, Gordie may send out "Shuckle" IconShuckle, but it depends. This intriguing creature boasts stellar defensive stats, but zero offensive presence. However, it can use Power Split to steal some of your Pokémon’s Attack and Special Attack. Smack it with Water, Rock or Steel moves.

"Stonjourner" IconStonjourner is a pure Rock-type exclusive to Sword. It can use Stealth Rock to cause residual damage to opposing Pokémon that switch in and Wonder Room to temporarily swap all Pokémon’s Defence and Special Defence stats.

Finally, Gordie’s trump card is his Gigantamax-capable "Coalossal" IconCoalossal. This is the final form of Rolycoly and Carkol. Like its predecessors, it takes 4x damage from Water and Ground and 2x damage from Rock and Fighting. Wash it away with a powerful Max Geyser to make it shake it in boots with Max Quake.

After weathering Gordie’s Rock-types, you’ll receive the Rock Badge. When you’re back at the lobby, you’ll also be given TM48 Rock Tomb and a Rock Uniform. Making sure you haven’t bruised yourself from falling down any pitfalls, exit the stadium to continue your journey.

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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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