Pokemon Sword & Shield Kubfu Evolution Guide: Tower of Waters or Darkness?

When you first reach the Isle of Armor in the new Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion, two towers stand above all else in the region. They become accessible toward the middle of the Isle of Armor storyline when your new Kubfu has taken a few steps outdoors and has grown close enough to you for Master Mustard to deem it worthy of evolving.

While Kubfu can only evolve into Urshifu, the form of Urshifu it takes depends on which of the two towers you take it to. Its name and appearance may stay the same, but its typing and signature move depends on which tower you climb. But which should you choose? And how should you go about besting the challenges in them?

Tower of Darkness and Waters preperation guide

Preparing for a Tower

You’ll be sent off to choose a tower when Kubfu gets close enough to you. This shouldn’t take much more than a quick walk to one of the few spots Master Dojo trainers have wandered off to.

The idea is to show Kubfu the world outside the dojo, and one of these sightseeing spots should be enough. Keep it in the front of your party to gain some extra friendship points as it walks by your side and you should be good to go.

Tower of Waters/Darkness Pokemon Level

The real challenge is the tower itself. Though you’ll only go up against five Pokemon, their levels depend on how far you are into the main game’s storyline. If you’ve become that champion, they’ll sit between levels 65-70; otherwise, they’ll be between levels 23-30.

If you haven’t beaten the main game, you can look forward to taking Urshifu on a long journey through Galar. If you have, you’re going to have to grind like crazy.

How to Level Grind on Isle of Armor

It’s Kubfu’s fight and its alone, so you can’t bring other Pokemon to help. You’ll need to level up Kubfu considerably before taking on the challenge, so either burn through your EXP candy reserves or put Hyde’s Exp. Charm to good use. Farming Chansey on the island is a good way to grind this out.

Best Moves for Kubfu

Kubfu learns Aerial Ace in the early double-digit levels. Hold onto it. It’s the one move that’s more or less required to beat what awaits you at the top of the tower — another Kubfu with Aerial Ace!

If you happen to forget the move and don’t want to relearn it at a Pokemon Centre, there are a few other strategies you can use. If it’s an even match-up, a move like Counter or Reversal with a Rocky Helmet for some extra damage can work, but keeping Aerial Ace will turn it into a battle of pure speed.

Isle of Armor Tower of Waters Pokemon

Tower of Waters

If you want your Urshifu to use the Rapid Strike Style with dual Fighting/Water typing, you’ll want to head up the Tower of Waters. Five battles await you here, with each trainer bringing only a single Pokemon into battle.

As you’d expect, everything but the last is a Water-type critter designed to teach Kubfu’s fists to flow like a river, awarding it the move Surging Strikes as it evolves into Urshifu. It’s a Water-type move that always crits, giving Urshifu the ability to ignore the enemy’s stat changes.

Tower of Waters Pokemon list

Note: The levels of the Pokemon in this list depend on whether you’ve beaten the main game or not

  1. Psyduck (Lv. 23 or 65) – Take this down fast. Confusion will hurt.
  2. Krabby (Lv. 24 or 66)
  3. Marill (Lv. 25 or 67)
  4. Poliwhirl (Lv. 26 or 68)
  5. Kubfu (Lv. 30 or 70) – Holds a Focus Sash. Rocky Helmet can help.

Isle of Armor Tower of Darkness Pokemon

Tower of Darkness

Taking on the Tower of Darkness will turn your Kubfu into a Fighting/Dark Single Strike Style version of Urshifu, giving it its exclusive Dark-type move Wicked Blow.

Like Surging Strikes, its Tower of Waters equivalent, this move always crits, so it’ll blow past any stat changes. The Tower of Darkness is easier than the Tower of Waters purely because of Kubfu’s natural advantage over the Dark-type Pokemon inside. The final battle mirrors that of the other tower, however.

Tower of Darkness Pokemon list

Note: The levels of the Pokemon in this list depend on whether you’ve beaten the main game or not

  1. Zorua (Lv 23 or 65)
  2. Scraggy (Lv. 24 or 66)
  3. Inkay (Lv. 25 or 67) – Uses moves with high crit rates.
  4. Krokorok (Lv. 26 or 68)
  5. Kubfu (Lv. 30 or 70) – Holds a Focus Sash. Rocky Helmet can help.

Gigantamaxing Urshifu

Once you’ve mastered your chosen tower and had Kubfu evolve into Urshifu, it’s time to think about its Gigantamax potential. That’s a whole other part of the story you’ll need to take on after becoming the Galar region’s champion.

Hit that point in the story and you’ll be able to follow this guide to unlock get your Urshifu truly combat-ready and unlock Restricted Sparring in the process.