Pokemon Kubfu Guide: How To Evolve Kubfu And Which Urshifu Form Is Better In Isle Of Armor

Sword and Shield's Isle of Armor DLC introduces a new Legendary with two different forms; here's everything you need to know about it.


The centerpiece of Pokemon Sword and Shield's Isle of Armor expansion is a new storyline that centers around Kubfu, a brand-new Legendary Pokemon that you'll receive after you complete all three of the Master Dojo's trials. Unlike most other Legendary Pokemon, Kubfu is actually able to evolve, and its evolution, Urshifu, can take one of two forms: Single Strike or Rapid Strike.

However, evolving Kubfu is a bit more involved than it may initially seem, and Urshifu's two possible forms each have their own strengths and drawbacks. To help you decide which one to choose, we've put together this guide explaining how to evolve Kubfu and how its two evolutions compare. Isle of Armor story spoilers follow.

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How To Evolve Kubfu

After you complete the Master Dojo's three trials, Mustard will gift you the Legendary Pokemon Kubfu. To evolve it, you'll need to challenge one of the Towers of Two Fists, but before you can do that, you'll need to increase your friendship with Kubfu. Fortunately, this is much simpler than the usual methods of improving friendship with your Pokemon.

After you receive Kubfu, Mustard will mark down several areas on your map that have great views. You'll need to visit a couple of these and speak to a dojo member at each to max out your friendship with Kubfu. It doesn't matter which viewpoints you visit, so you have some flexibility over how you approach this trial. Once you've visited the areas and become best friends with Kubfu, return to Mustard and you'll earn the right to challenge either the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Waters.

Each tower consists of five battles, but you can only select one of them to challenge, so think carefully before you begin. Your Kubfu will need to be at least level 70 to gain access to the tower, and it must be the only Pokemon in your party for the challenge. After you defeat the first four trainers, your final battle will be against Mustard, who uses his own Kubfu.

Your Kubfu will evolve differently depending on which of the two towers you challenge. If you complete the Tower of Darkness, it will evolve into Single Strike Urshifu, a Dark/Fighting type; if you complete the Tower of Waters, it will evolve into Rapid Strike Urshifu, a Water/Fighting type.

Which Kubfu Evolution Is Better?

Both Single Strike and Rapid Strike forms of Urshifu have the exact same Ability--Unseen Fist--and base stats, so neither is more powerful than the other. The biggest difference between the two forms is their potential movesets. Although they can learn many of the same attacks, Single Strike Urshifu is able to learn a handful of Dark-type attacks, including the signature move Wicked Blow. This attack deals damage and always results in a critical hit unless the opposing Pokemon has an Ability that prevents crits, such as Battle Armor or Shell Armor.

Similarly, Rapid Strike Urshifu is able to learn a handful of Water-type attacks. This form's signature move is Surging Strikes, a multi-hit attack that strikes opponents three times. Although each hit has a fairly low base power, all three strikes are always critical hits unless the opposing Pokemon has the aforementioned Abilities.

Ultimately, which Urshifu you should choose comes down to personal preference. Single Strike Urshifu's biggest drawback is its 4x weakness to Fairy Pokemon, which are fairly prevalent in competitive play, although it gains immunity from Psychic types. Meanwhile, Rapid Strike Urshifu's Water typing opens up weaknesses to Grass and Electric Pokemon. Another point to keep in mind is that Water/Fighting is a less common type combination than Dark/Fighting. The only other Water/Fighting Pokemon is Poliwrath, while Pangoro and Scrafty share Single Strike Urshifu's typing.

How To Get Gigantamax Urshifu

Both forms of Urshifu are capable of Gigantamaxing, although they won't have that ability innately. As with your Galar starter, you'll need to teach Urshifu how to Gigantamax, but you can't simply feed it a regular Max Soup as you can other Pokemon; you need an additional ingredient for the dish called Max Honey.

Max Honey can only be obtained after defeating a Dynamax Vespiquen raid. You'll be tasked with battling one on Honeycalm Island as part of Isle of Armor's story. After you've obtained the Max Honey, you'll need to combine it with three cluster of Max Mushrooms to create a special Max Soup that will give Urshifu the ability to Gigantamax.

Kubfu isn't the only new Pokemon you can evolve in Isle of Armor; you can also evolve Galarian Slowpoke into Galarian Slowbro, a brand-new regional variant that comes with a unique Ability called Quick Draw and an exclusive Poison-type attack called Shell Side Arm. The Isle of Armor expansion also gives you the ability to teach certain Pokemon how to Gigantamax thanks to a special dish called Max Soup.

If you've just picked up a Sword or Shield Expansion Pass, here's how to access the Isle of Armor. You'll also receive an early purchase bonus for getting it before August 31: new clothing items based on Leon's cap and tights. Here's how to claim those. Be sure to also check out our guides on Master Dojo upgrades and what you get for finding every hidden Diglett around the island.

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