If you’ve followed the Pokémon franchise for any length of time, you’re most likely familiar with the way that Nintendo and Game Freak released games in the past. Typically, they’ll create two mainline Pokémon games and then the year after, they’ll introduce a sequel version that utilizes the same graphics with a slightly altered story. However, it looks like going forward, Nintendo is changing things up. For the first time, Pokémon games will have actual story DLC.
Now granted, this isn’t the first time that Pokémon games have had downloadable content, in the past, legendary Pokémon have been available via downloads, the catch, however, was that you usually had to head down to a local video game retailer to receive this free content. Thankfully, with the Nintendo eShop, you can now download the DLC from the comfort of your own home.
So what can you expect from this new DLC? Well read on, as we break down everything coming in the Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra DLC pack.
The Isle Of Armor, Growth And Rivals, Oh My!
Described as a massive island teaming with life, The Isle of Armor features, beaches, bogs, and caves aplenty for those trainers who’ve missed the agony of running into a Zubat every two feet. With the theme of the Isle being growth, players have the opportunity to further train their Pokémon at a specialized Dojo, where the former Pokémon Champion Mustard resides.
As well as Mustard, each version of the game will also have a brand-new rival for you to encounter. Pokémon Sword players will have the opportunity to battle the Poison-type Klara, while Pokémon Shield players will battle the Psychic-type trainer Avery.
By enrolling in the Dojo, players can not only obtain some fantastic new martial arts-themed threads, but you’ll also receive the legendary Pokémon Kubfu.
By training Kubfu under the tutelage of Mustard, it’ll eventually be able to evolve in the substantially more powerful Urshifu.
By completing The Isle of Armor DLC, you’ll be able to unlock one of two fighting styles for the new legendary Pokémon. Single Strike Style is a Dark/Fighting combination that gives Urshifu a powerful single strike Dark-type move. Whereas Rapid-Strike Style is a Water-Fighting mix that uses multiple attacks. At this point, we don’t have details on the specific way these attacks work, but it’s possible that the Dark-type move could behave similarly to Mega Punch in terms of attack power, while also adding a chance to flinch the opponent. It’s also possible that the Water-type move might behave similarly to attacks like Double Kick, where the user attacks multiple times in one turn.
Your choice of style will also affect the way that Urshifu Dynamax’s, with it taking on one of two different forms and gaining a unique G-Max move.
But, it’s not just Urshifu that’s getting a powerful Dynamax form, during the DLC, your starter Pokémon will also reach new heights!
Each start is set to receive a new Gigantamax form that reflects their signature moves e.g. Rillaboom pounds away on a gigantic drumkit, Cinderace stands atop a giant fireball, and Intelion snipes from atop a massive water spout. Each of these transformations will also change up their G-Max moves so be sure to give them a try when you pick the DLC up.
Perhaps the biggest news to come from this DLC is that more Pokémon will be added into the game. This is a decision that’s bound to cause some controversy as it’s the first time that a majority of Pokémon have been locked behind a paywall, but it’s also true that the addition of these extra Pokémon might only be possible because of the extra money gained from the DLC.
Apricorns, EXP Boosts, and All-New Moves!
To round out the first DLC Package, purchasers will gain access to Apricorns, new moves, and bonus experience points. Apricorns will most likely work similarly to their previous incarnation in Pokemon Gold and Silver, where they can be exchanged for differing Pokéballs, depending on the color of the Apricot in question.
Tutor Moves will most likely stay the same as the version currently in the game, but with more moves added from previous Pokémon games.
The EXP. Charm is perhaps the most interesting addition out of the three as it will stack with the EXP sharing system that’s already in place, some fans are no doubt sad that there’s been no word about being able to turn this function off and on at will, to switch between training up one Pokemon and your entire team.
But Wait, There’s More…
Also included with The Isle Of Armor DLC is a wealth of new trainer customization options, including new hairstyles, new clothes, new facial accessories, and even new paint jobs for your Rotom Bike. Also although it wasn’t directly mentioned, we were given a sneak peek at Gigantamax forms for both Blastoise and Venasaur to go along with Charizard’s already existing Gigantamax form.
The Crown Tundra, HOW MANY LEGENDARIES?!
Appropriately named, The Crown Tundra, is a snow-covered land, covered in thick forests and icy cold grasslands. Much like The Isle of Armor, more Pokémon from previous games will be available to catch here, but it’s not just any old Pokémon that’ll be making themselves known in this frigid region.
That’s right, a wide variety of legendary Pokémon from previous installments of the franchise are going to be added into the game, along with a brand new exploration feature called Pokémon Dens which will function similarly to Max Raid Battles, but with as yet unknown differences.
Another New Legendary?!
Yep, you didn’t misread that, you all asked for more Pokémon and Game Freak obliged. Introducing Calyrex.
As of yet, not much is known about this mysterious new Pokémon, save for the fact that it’ll feature heavily in the storyline for The Crown Tundra.
Also appearing are two new unnamed legendary Pokémon, both appear to be new members of the “Regi” tribe of Pokémon, with one bearing a strong resemblance to Yvetal from Pokemon Y.
If you thought we were done with legendary Pokemon, you’re fortunately wrong, as three familiar legendary Pokémon are getting Gigantamax Makeovers.
Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos, will each receive a brand new look in the second DLC, Articuno gains a fetching set of sunglasses, Moltres turns to the dark side with its sith inspired design, and Zapdos does its best Roadrunner (or Chocobo) impression as it descends to the ground in its new form. So far we’ve only seen the concept art for these three, so we’ll have to wait to find out if they have their unique G-Max moves for now.
How Much Will This Cost?
In total, the Expansion Pass is going to end up setting you back $29.99/26.99 depending on where you call home. This includes both DLC packs as well as some bonus trainer customization items as an order bonus.
But what if I don’t have the cash to spare? I hear you ask. Well, fear not, because you’ll still be able to obtain all of the Pokémon available within the DLC through trading, so it might be prudent to start shiny hunting now if you want to have the tools to barter with your friends.
As an added note, starting in February, you’ll be able to transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Bank, and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu to the brand new paid storage service Pokémon Home. Pokémon Home will then allow you to transfer those Pokémon into your Sword or Shield game, so long as the Pokémon in question appears in either game.As one last bonus, starting today at the time of writing, a free update has gone out for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield where you’ll be able to meet one of the two rival trainers you’ll encounter in the game’s DLC as well as a Galarian Slowpoke that can be captured but not evolved at this time.
That wraps up our coverage for this latest update to Pokemon Sword and Shield, are you excited for the Expansion pass? What’re your thoughts on more Pokémon being locked behind paid DLC? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Twitter @ReplayWire and @Wolfencreek.
Check out our review here!