Pokémon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass Announced

Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 2:08pm
Posted by Marriland

The main focus of today’s Pokémon Direct was the Pokémon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass that was announced for the game, bringing in large amounts of new DLC content, adding new Pokémon, and also bringing back over 200 old Pokémon that weren’t present in the Galar region.

The Expansion Passes, which costs US$29.99 each, will unlock two sets of content for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield respectively — The Isle of Armor (June 2020) and The Crown Tundra (Autumn 2020).

Pokémon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass Info

After purchasing the Expansion Passes and once the respective content is available, players will be able to visit the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra so long as they’ve visited the Wild Area, meaning this is not necessarily post-game content. How this will work as far as level scaling and difficulty is currently unknown, but it is an interesting detail to note.

Below is some more information on each of the content that comprises the Expansion Pass.

The Isle of Armor

In this expansion, Trainers will head to the Isle of Armor, the stage of a new adventure in the Galar region. The Isle of Armor is a giant island full of environments not seen in Galar before. There players will find wave-swept beaches, forests, bogs, caves, and sand dunes. There are also plenty of Pokémon that make this island their home, living freely amid the lush natural surroundings. There’s even a dojo here that specializes in some very particular training styles. Trainers and their Pokémon will take up an apprenticeship under the master of this dojo and train hard to become even stronger.

Pokémon Press Release
The Isle of Armor

The Isle of Armor is the first piece of DLC that is included in the Expansion Pass and it releases sometime in June 2020. It features several new characters, including Leon’s mentor, Mustard, as well as a new rival: Klara (Sword-only) or Avery (Shield-only).

Mustard runs a dojo where he trains up strong Trainers. Klara and Avery are two of those Trainers, each hoping to become a Gym Leader someday. Klara uses Poison-type Pokémon while Avery specializes in Psychic-type Pokémon.

This isle contains its own local Pokédex called the Isle of Armor Pokédex, so this is separate from the Galar Pokédex and contains approximately 100 Pokémon not found in the Galar region.

The Crown Tundra

This expansion is set in the snow-swept realm of the Crown Tundra. The Crown Tundra features a beautiful shining, silvery landscape. In this frigid area, with its jagged winter mountains, people live in small communities where they support and rely on one another. A certain person will appoint the player as the leader of their exploration team in the Crown Tundra, where Trainers will be tasked with investigating the reaches of this frozen land. Here, Trainers will be able to explore the full depth of Pokémon Dens, which they’ve so far only been able to glimpse in Max Raid Battles.

Pokémon Press Release
The Crown Tundra

The Crown Tundra is the second piece of DLC available as part of the Expansion Pass, available sometime in Fall 2020 (aka Spring 2020 in the Southern Hemisphere).

As the name implies, the Crown Tundra has harsh, wintry weather conditions, lots of mountains, and will prove to be quite the challenge. “A certain person” will appoint the player as the leader of an exploration team to investigate the area.

Two locations that are mentioned in the Crown Tundra are a strange temple in an unusual place and a mysterious giant tree somewhere it doesn’t seem to belong.

New Pokémon

Several completely new Pokémon were announced today and will be available from the Expansion Pass’ content.

Kubfu

In the Isle of Armor, the player will find wild Kubfu in its mountainous areas. It was originally part of the Galar region long ago, but during its travels, its entire population left the region and one of its new homes is the Isle of Armor.

It is a Fighting-type Pokémon resembling a bear. It has Inner Focus for its ability and is capable of evolving into another new Pokémon. You’ll be able to find this Pokémon as part of The Isle of Armor content in June 2020 and, according to Nintendo of America’s tweet, it is said to be a Legendary Pokémon.

Urshifu

Urshifu is the evolution of Kubfu and it has two distinct styles of fighting — its Single Strike Style and its Rapid Strike Style. Single Strike Style is a Fighting/Dark-type while Rapid Strike Style is a Fighting/Water Type. Urshifu will be able to evolve after completing your training.

It has a new ability, Unseen Fist, although what it does is currently unknown.

Gigantamax Urshifu

Urshifu is capable of Gigantamaxing as well, with two radically different Gigantamax forms.

Calyrex

Calyrex is another entirely new Pokémon, classified as a “King Pokémon” in the Pokédex, but players will need to wait until Fall 2020 for it as it is only available in The Crown Tundra content.

Up-close version of Calyrex

It is a Grass/Psychic-type Pokémon with Unnerve for its ability. Not much else is said about it, other than it used to rule the Galar region in ancient times. It is also considered a Legendary Pokémon.

New Gigantamax Forms

Several new Gigantamax Forms will be added to the game with the release of The Isle of Armor expansion, including Gigantamax Forms of the Kanto and Galar starters, as well as a few others.

That means there’s Gigantamax Rillaboom, Gigantamax Cinderace, Gigantamax Inteleon, as well as Gigantamax Venusaur and Gigantamax Blastoise shown in the Pokémon Direct, although more information on the latter two is not available. As previously mentioned, there are two separate Gigantamax Forms for Urshifu — Gigantamax Urshifu (Single Strike Style) and Gigantamax Urshifu (Rapid Strike Style).

The G-Max moves that these Gigantamax forms have is presently unknown, but you can find some screenshots and artwork of them down below.

More Galarian Pokémon

In addition to all of the new Pokémon and new Gigantamax forms revealed, there are also several Galarian variants of existing Pokémon that have been unveiled.

Galarian Slowpoke

One that is available today is Galarian Slowpoke, a pure-Psychic-type Pokémon that has either Gluttony or Own Tempo for its ability. You can pick up a Galarian Slowpoke by visiting the Wedgehurst Station after updating your Pokémon Sword or Shield version to 1.1.0, regardless of whether you purchased the Expansion Pass or not. You’ll run into Klara or Avery there, depending on which version you’re playing as well.

You won’t be able to evolve this Slowpoke until the Expansion Pass is released, though; the item you need to evolve it into Galarian Slowbro is available only on the Isle of Armor, while the item you need to evolve it into Galarian Slowking can be found only in the Crown Tundra.

Galarian Slowbro or Slowking

Several other Galarian Forms (or at least presumably Galarian Forms) of certain Pokémon were shown during the trailer as well, although information on these Pokémon is presently unknown. These include Galarian Articuno, Galarian Moltres, and Galarian Zapdos, as well as two strange Pokémon relating to the Regi Trio, potentially two alternate forms of Galarian Regigigas or potentially new Regi Pokémon altogether, as the normal Regi Trio of Regirock, Regice, and Registeel were all shown as available. Again, it isn’t necessarily confirmed that these are Galarian forms, but as they appeared right before Slowpoke, it seems very likely.

Other New Features

More Past Pokémon Returning

The Isle of Armor and The Tundra Crown both will bring back numerous Pokémon from previous generations that were unavailable in Pokémon Sword & Shield.

From The Isle of Armor, the Kingdra family, Lycanroc family, Volcarona family, Zorua family, Azurill family, Chansey family, Magnezone family, and Dedenne are all confirmed to return with the release of that update in June 2020.

The Crown Tundra brings back the Beldum family, the Nidoran family, the Aurorus family, the Garchomp family, the Elekid family, the Crobat family, the Sealeo family, and Cryogonal.

These are likely not the only Pokémon returning, but simply the ones they are showing on the official website. Additionally, many, many legendary Pokémon from past games will be available

All of these Pokémon will be available to all players of Pokémon Sword & Shield via trading or transferring with Pokémon HOME (releases in February 2020), regardless of if the Expansion Pass is purchased or not, as soon as the respective part of the Expansion Pass is released. However, you will need the Expansion Pass in order to visit the areas in the game where they can be caught in the wild.

Move Tutor Moves

New moves will be available from Move Tutors in The Isle of Armor expansion, and some of which are said to have never been available as previous Move Tutor moves. This could change the strategy of many Pokémon in competitive battles so it is definitely something to look forward to.

New Clothing Items

There are a lot of new clothing items that will be added in both The Isle of Armor and The Tundra Crown, including outfits resembling Marnie, Chairman Rose, Leon’s cap, and more. Over 100 new clothing items will be added across both expansions, which is wonderful for players that like style options.

Some of these clothing outfits are functional, or at least thematic. In The Isle of Armor, you can acquire a special training uniform, while in The Crown Tundra, there’s exploration gear that can be worn.

Additionally, for purchasing the Expansion Pass, players will receive an email code to the email address associated with their Nintendo Account containing a code that can be redeemed via Mystery Gift to unlock a special Eevee T-Shirt and a special Pikachu T-Shirt. These can only be redeemed once, though, so make sure it is on your main save file — it will be usable in Pokémon Sword & Shield, without the expansions, as well as during your journey through the two new expansions.

More Max Raid Battles

The Isle of Armor and the Tundra Crown both feature Pokémon Dens containing Pokémon that you can face off against in Max Raid Battles, similar to the ones in the Wild Area, although featuring many Pokémon that weren’t available in the Wild Area of Galar.

You can team up with up to three other players to take on these Max Raid Battles, even if the other players don’t have the Expansion Pass.

On top of that, The Crown Tundra expansion will introduce a way to encounter various Legendary Pokémon deep in certain Pokémon Dens with a new gameplay feature.

Screenshots

Below are some other miscellaneous screenshots from the Expansion Pass and things related to it. You can click any of them to view a larger version.


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