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Pokémon: Sword & Shield

Galarian Zapdos at the Wild Area

Ben Chard
Vincent Lau

Zapdos can notice you from a far distance, so sneaking isn’t an option.

When you’ve triggered the start of the Legendary bird quest, Galarian "Zapdos" IconZapdos will begin roaming the Wild Area from the base game. Its location can vary, but to keep things simple, we suggest flying to the Meetup Spot (the initial zone) repeatedly until Zapdos spawns in Rolling Fields, up ahead. It should stick out like a sore thumb.

Once you’ve located Zapdos, this is where the fun part begins! Get close enough to Zapdos and it’ll leg it across the Wild Area. That’s your cue to get on your bike and give chase. If you lose sight of Zapdos, don’t worry as its path is predictable–it’ll generally do a simple loop of the zones.

Although it may seem hopeless at first, since Zapdos easily outruns your bike, eventually Zapdos will start to run out stamina (you may notice sweat drops). Keep at it until you finally catch up with Zapdos. Occasionally, Zapdos may stop and turn around, looking puzzled. That’s a good a time as any to make your Legendary acquaintance.

Legendary Pokémon

Pokémon Level Type
"Zapdos" IconZapdos (Galarian) 70 Fighting/Flying

Zapdos’s Galarian cousin has exchanged the Electric-type for the Fighting-type. It’s weak to Electric, Ice, Flying, Psychic and Fairy. For attacks, it can use Thunderous Kick, a unique move that lowers Defense, Drill Peck, Reversal and Focus Energy. Its Defiant Ability greatly raises its Attack if you lower one of its stats.

The original Zapdos was objectively the best of the three birds, frequently having a place in high level play, with its great Type combination and defensive stats and moveset. Galarian Zapdos has an inferior defensive typing, but it has a completely different role (now a physical attacker), so it’s apples and oranges really.

To deal with this furious-looking road-runner, you could use a Ghost-type to render its Thunderous Kick useless. Other choices include Psychic or Fairy-types. Drill Peck can be a concern though, but it beats being kicked in the face. Resist the urge to try and lower Zapdos’s Attack, as its Attack stat will end up being higher than it started.

Since Zapdos is no longer an Electric-type, it’s not immune to paralysis. Inflicting paralysis will also slow down the bird and slightly reduce the chances of it attacking–two birds in one stone. Otherwise, it’s the usual Legendary routine–wearing it down with weak moves, then throwing your kitchen sink of Poké Balls at it.

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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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