Pokemon Sword and Shield Exclusives Guide – Which Version Has Better Pokemon

With Pokemon Sword and Shield launching soon, many players are wondering which Pokemon they’ll be able to catch on their own, and which ones they’ll have to trade for. As with previous generations, both versions of the game have specific Pokemon that are unique to that version. If you’re still undecided, we’ve got the list of which Pokemon are where, to help you make the right choice (it’s Shield, by the way.)

Naturally, trading and Wonder Trade exist (Wonder Trade is now called Surprise Trade, by the way!), so it’s entirely possible to catch ‘em all without paying for the other version. Which version has the best Pokemon though? We dive in after the breakdown.

First up, the lists:

Turtinator

Drampa

Solrock

Lunatone

Flapple (Version Evolution of Applin)

Appletun (Version Evolution of Applin)

Jangmo-o

Larvitar

Hakamo-o

Pupitar
Kommo-o

Tyranitar

Rufflet

Vullaby
Braviary

Mandibuzz

Passimian

Oranguru
Deino

Goomy

Zweilous

Sliggoo

Hydreigon

Goodra

Mawile

Sableye

Gothita

Solosis
Gothorita

Duosion

Gothitelle

Reuniclus

Farfetch’d (Galarian)

Corsola (Galarian)

Sirfetch’d

Cursola

Darumaka (Galarian)

Ponyta (Galarian)

Darmanitan (Galarian)

Rapidash (Galarian)

Darmanitan (Galarian Zen Mode)

Zacian

Zamazenta

Zacian (Sword Forme)

Zamazenta (Shield Forme)

Which Version Has Better Pokemon?

Naturally, trading and Wonder Trade exist (Wonder Trade is now called Surprise Trade, by the way!), so it’s entirely possible to catch ‘em all without paying for the other version. Which version has the best Pokemon though? Let’s dive in.

Sword gets fan-favorite Sirfetch’d, a Fighting-type, while the Shield equivalent is Cursola. I know the giant leek duck is tempting, but hear me out: Cursola is a Ghost type and gets Perish Body, a new ability that functions like Perish Song when they’re hit with a contact move. 

Pokemon Sword also gets Flapple, which has the highest base attack out of any non-legendary Dragon types (a stunning 110), however, Shield gets Appletun, the only Grass Pokemon that can RESIST Fire moves (Grass/Dragon with the Thick Fat ability, reducing Fire damage in addition to the Dragon subtype).

Darmanitan gives Sword a distinct advantage; unlike in Pokemon Black and White, Darmanitan’s Zen Mode is actually great here. Zen Mode activates when Darmanitan is below 50% HP, changing its type from Ice to Ice/Fire, a first in the series. In addition to the unique typing, they get a huge boost in stats; their Attack jumps from 140 to 160, and their Speed jumps from 95 to 135. Shield gets Ponyta and Rapidash, however, the stats for this form are identical to Kanto’s form, and unfortunately the Psychic / Fairy typing doesn’t bring a whole lot with its limited move pool.

Old favorite in the competitive scene, Tyranitar, makes its return with Shield, and it’s hard to compete with its amazing stats, typing, and move pool. The Kommo-o line in Sword is certainly nothing to sneeze at, however, as it gets a new tool to use now that Z-Moves are history; Clangorous Soul replaces Clangorous Soulblaze, and increases all of Kommo-o’s stats at the cost of 1/3rd its HP.

Finally, Zacian and Zamazenta; what we know about these two is that when they enter the field, the abilities Intrepid Sword and Dauntless Shield activate, raising Attack or Defense by one stage, respectively. They also get the new moves Behemoth Blade and Behemoth Bash, which are pretty respectable 100 base power moves. If you use them against a Dynamaxed Pokemon, they double in power to 200!

Which version are you getting? Are you #teamleek or #teamdeadreef? Apple Dragon or Apple Pie? Sound off down below in the comments!

Credit to the Smogon Community , Bulbapedia, and Pokemon Showdown for the plethora of reference materials.

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James Upton

James is an avid fan of dead series. Ask him how many hours he spent in Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine, or how many times he's platinumed the .hack// HD remake (two). You can make fun of him over at @surtrz on twitter.

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