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Ranked Battles, Max Moves, and More Revealed for Pokémon Sword & Shield at Pokémon World Championships

With Pokémon Sword and Shield getting ever-closer to release, and with today being the first day of the Pokémon World Championships, it makes sense that we would receive new details on the upcoming games at the event. After all, with all eyes on the series thanks to these Championships, it makes sense to reveal such info. For that reason, it’s not surprising that we received new details about Pokémon Sword and Shield for Nintendo Switch at the World Championships, but with ranked battled, max moves, new Pokémon abilities and more revealed, it doesn’t make the influx of news any less exciting!

A brand new trailer has been released focused on the battling side of Pokémon Sword and Shield, a decision that makes sense considering the Pokémon World Championships will see the top players of the games and the TCG compete in battles to see who will reign supreme. These abilities look like they could add new tactical considerations to the competitive scene as well! Neutralizing Gas, for example, an ability exclusive to the Galarian Weezing will neutralize the abilities of all other Pokémon, which could have a massive difference on Pokémon who have abilities that impact which moves can hit them, as shown in the trailer. Room Service is a new held item which can lower a creature’s speed during Trick Room, while Eject Pack is another held item that could force a Pokémon to be switched out if its stats are lowered. A new move was also shown, called Breaking Swipe, which lowers the attack of any Pokémon it hits, while a new ability, Mirror Armor, reflects any stat-lowering effects.

More details on the impact of Dynamaxing were also unveiled in this trailer. Moves that cause flinching will no longer cause a Pokémon to flinch, while Max Moves is the name for a new mechanic for dynamaxed Pokémon which are moves that have ‘powerful secondary effects’. This is showcased by a few moves, such as the fighting type Max Move Max Knuckle, a move which will increase the attack of all allied Pokémon as well as the user. All status moves used by a Dynamax Pokémon become Max Guard, which can protect against other Max Moves, while a Pokémon using Protect will not be able to protect itself against a Max Move.

Aside from the battling process itself, a more robust online battle mode has also been introduced, known as the Battle Stadium. This will introduced ranked battles into the series, allowing players to take on trainers from around the world in order to become the very best (like no one ever was!). You can rank up to various tiers from Beginner Tier all the way to Master Ball Tier through this system, and should ensure you always battle against people around your skill level. Alongside this, official competitions will take place, some of which may even allow you to participate in the next World Championships! Casual battles will also exist for those who don’t want to participate in such competitive matches, which will also allow the use of certain Legendary and Mythical Pokémon not eligible for ranked battles. Finally, it will be possible to use rental teams for such online battles (and these will also be eligible for use in ranked battles) for those who don’t want to use their own Pokémon.

Overall, a lot of new details were unveiled at the Pokémon World Championships today for the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games for Nintendo Switch, promising a lot of things that should make battles more exciting and tactical for all those involved.

Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on November 15 worldwide, and you can find out more information on the games over on the official Pokémon website.

©Pokémon/Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.

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