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Pokemon Sword / Shield Isle Of Armor DLC Details: New Features, Gigantamax Forms, And More

The first expansion for the Switch Pokemon games is now live and introduces a variety of new Pokemon and gameplay features.


Pokemon Sword and Shield's Isle of Armor DLC is now live on Nintendo Switch. It's the first of two expansions planned for the Gen 8 Pokemon games, with the second--The Crown Tundra--set to follow later this fall. Each DLC introduces a variety of new characters and features to Sword and Shield, including new Legendaries and Galarian forms, and we've rounded up some of the biggest details The Pokemon Company recently revealed about them below.

On top of the brand-new monsters, more than 200 old Pokemon are also coming to Sword and Shield alongside the DLC. While these can only be caught in the wild in the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra, you don't need to own the expansions to get the monsters. The Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra are bundled together as part of the $30 USD Sword and Shield Expansion Pass. You can learn more in our Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion pre-order guide.

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Gigantamax Urshifu

The Isle of Armor takes players to the titular island, which is home to an assortment of new and returning Pokemon not found in Galar proper, such as the newly revealed Galarian Slowbro. The story of this expansion revolves around a Pokemon dojo run by a former Pokemon League champion named Mustard, who gifts you the Legendary Fighting Pokemon Kubfu.

As part of your training, you'll need to challenge either the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Waters. After successfully clearing one of the two towers, Kubfu will evolve into Urshifu, with its form depending on which tower you challenged. Urshifu is one of the few Pokemon in Sword and Shield capable of Gigantamaxing, and each form has its own signature G-Max move. Single Strike Style Urshifu can use G-Max One Blow, while Rapid Style Urshifu can launch G-Max Rapid Flow. Both attacks can damage an opposing Pokemon, even if it's using Protect.

Gigantamax Venusaur And Blastoise

In addition to Urshifu, The Isle of Armor is introducing two new Gigantamax forms: Gigantamax Venusaur and Gigantamax Blastoise. Based on the trailer above, it appears you'll be given one of the two Pokemon during your travels around the island. Gigantamax Venusaur's signature G-Max move is G-Max Vine Lash, which damages non-Grass-type foes for four turns. Gigantamax Blastoise, meanwhile, is able to use G-Max Cannonade, which similarly damages non-Water-type opponents for four turns.

Gigantamax Venusaur
Gigantamax Venusaur

As previously revealed, the final form of your starter Pokemon in Sword and Shield--Rillaboom, Cinderace, or Inteleon--will also gain the ability to Gigantamax in The Isle of Armor via a special meal called Max Soup. According to the official Pokemon website, "If a Pokemon with great hidden potential drinks Max Soup, it will become a special Pokemon capable of Gigantamaxing."

New Features

Along with a variety of new items and clothing options for your trainer, The Isle of Armor will introduce a handful of new gameplay features to Sword and Shield. One is called the Cram-o-matic. You can feed this bizarre device four items and it will cough out a new item in return. The Pokemon Company says "some combinations might produce rare items."

The elegant Cram-o-matic
The elegant Cram-o-matic

You can also exchange a new item called Armorite Ore to teach your Pokemon new tutor moves. Two such moves are Burning Jealousy and Grassy Glide. The former is a Fire-type attack that deals damage and burns any Pokemon that has had its stats boosted during the battle; the latter is a Grass-type move that has increased priority when Grassy Terrain is in effect.

The Crown Tundra Details

The Pokemon Company has also shared some new details on Sword and Shield's second expansion, The Crown Tundra. This DLC will introduce a handful of new Legendary Pokemon to the games, including Galarian forms of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, as well as two new Regis: the Electric-type Regieleki and the Dragon-type Regidrago.

The expansion also adds a new gameplay mode called the Galarian Star Tournament. In this competition, you'll be able to team up with an NPC and take on characters you've met throughout the game in double battles.

Raihan and Leon teaming up for the Galarian Star Tournament
Raihan and Leon teaming up for the Galarian Star Tournament

In other Pokemon news, a new Max Raid event is underway in Sword and Shield, and it features every Gigantamax Pokemon, giving you another chance to add them to your collection. You can also claim a handful of free Pokemon right now. Galarian Ponyta with its Hidden Ability is available until June 4. If you transfer a Pokemon from Sword or Shield to Pokemon Home, you can also receive the three Galar starters with their Hidden Abilities.

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