Everything about the Isle of Armor expansion and Pokémon VGC

Today June 2nd, it’s been announced that the first DLC for the Pokémon Sword and Shield: Expansion Pass, The Isle of Armor, will release on June 17th.

On this article, we’ll sum all we know for the first release, including returning Pokémon, new Galar variants and Gigantamax forms, and other key features coming back to the games, such as the move tutors! The new format rotation for VGC 2020 to Series 5 is scheduled to July 1st according to the Play! Pokémon rules.

Returning Pokémon

Around a hundred Pokémon have been confirmed to make a return to the games on The Isle of Armor DLC. Besides those, more returning and Legendary Pokémon are announced already for the second expansion, which we will cover at a later date.

These Pokémon and their respective pre-evolutions and forms are all obtainable in the Isle of Armor:

Pokémon returning in The Isle of Armor

Around a hundred Pokémon have been confirmed to make a return to the games on The Isle of Armor DLC. Besides those, more returning and Legendary Pokémon are announced already for the second expansion, which we will cover at a later date.

These Pokémon and their respective pre-evolutions and forms are all obtainable in the Isle of Armor:

Pokémon returning in The Isle of Armor

New Pokémon

Kubfu and Urshifu

Legendary Pokémon Kubfu and its evolution Urshifu are two of the new species introduced in this first DLC. Given their status of Legendary, it is for now unknown whether they will be allowed in competitive VGC play or not.

So far, we know Kubfu can be evolved into either Single Strike Style Urshifu or Rapid Strike Style Urshifu, depending on playthrough. The first is a Fighting/Dark-type Pokémon, while the former is a Fighting/Water-type. Their ability in both styles is Unseen Fist, which allows them to break through protecting moves like Protect or Detect when using moves that make direct contact with the target.

Each style has access to its signature move. Single Strike Urshifu will learn Wicked Blow, a Dark-type move, while Rapid Strike Urshifu will be capable of using Surging Strikes, a Water-type one. Both moves always land a critical hit, so they ignore the target’s stat changes.

On the same fashion, both Urshifu are capable of using the Gigantamax factor in battle. Their new G-Max Moves, G-Max One Blow (for Single Strike Style Urshifu) and G-Max Rapid Flow (for Rapid Strike Style) both deal damage through protecting moves such as Max Guard.

Galarian Slowpoke and Slowbro

These two charismatic Pokémon from Kanto, Slowpoke and Slowbro, are found in a local, Galarian variant in the Isle of Armor.

Slowpoke is now a Psychic-type Pokémon, while Slowbro is both Psychic/Poison-type. Galarian Slowbro has access to a new signature move, Shell Side Arm, a move that hits on the weaker defense of the target (either Defense or Special Defense). While the exact mechanics of the move are unknown and the official description is ambiguous, some players are already speculating about the topic.

New Gigantamax forms

The final forms of the Galarian starters, Rillaboom, Cinderace and Inteleon, as well as both Venusaur and Blastoise, will all be capable of using the Gigantamax factor in battles.

Galarian Starters

Rillaboom, Cinderace and Inteleon will all get new G-Max Moves that will replace their Grass, Fire, and Water-type moves respectively for an over-powered move that will ignore the effects of the target’s ability in all three of them.

Venusaur and Blastoise

Venusaur and Blastoise are allowed to join Charizard on the Gigantamax party and are given a couple new G-Max moves, G-Max Vine Lash and G-Max Cannonade, respectively. These are Grass and Water-type moves that hit the target for damage and will continue to whittle any opposing Pokémon on the opposing field that is not Grass or Water-type.

Hidden Ability Starters

The Starter Pokémon of Galar, Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble, will be obtainable with their Hidden Abilities on Pokémon HOME, the smartphone app.

That means that Grassy Surge Rillaboom, Libero Cinderace and Sniper Inteleon are already obtainable and playable in VGC 2020 Series 4!

How do I get my starters?

All you need to do to get your three starters is:

    1. Open the menu of the Pokémon HOME mobile version.
    2. Select Mystery Gifts > Gift Box.
    3. Select which Gift Box you’d like to claim, and click Receive.
How do I transfer them to the game?

To transfer your Pokémon from the HOME app to the Sword and Shield games, you will need to:

    1. Open the Switch version of HOME and click on Pokémon.
    2. Select the game you want to connect to and the user save data you want to transfer the Pokémon to.
    3. Select the Pokémon to move from HOME to the game, and the box they shall be placed on the game.
    4. Press the + Button after completing your transfer process to make sure the changes are saved.

New tutor moves

New tutor moves will be available for you and your Pokémon in the Isle of Armor. To make use of those, you will need Armorite Ore, a substance found on the Max Raid Battles in the Isle of Armor or through other means yet to be known.

According to the Pokémon website, new tutor moves will only be added in this first DLC, and won’t be a part of The Crown Tundra.

Burning Jealousy

Burning Jealousy is a new spread Fire-type move that damages both opposing Pokémon and burns any having increased their stats on the current turn.

Grassy Slide

Grassy Slide is also a new move can be taught in the Isle of Armor. This Grass-type attack will have increased priority when used in Grassy Terrain.

New game features

The Cram-o-matic

The Cram-o-matic is a recycling device available in the Isle of Armor which allows you to combine 4 items and produce a new one in exchange, such as special Poké Balls, PP Ups and other interesting items. The Apricorns, which were announced already on the release trailer, will be key in this new feature.


Max Soup

Max Soup is a special dish made from ingredients you can gather in the Isle of Armor. If a Pokémon with “great hidden potential” drinks Max Soup, it will be able to Gigantamax. More details on this mechanic are yet to be known.


Get your Expansion Pass early for rewards

Players having already purchased or getting their Expansion Pass soon after the launch of The Isle of Armor DLC will receive Leon’s Look Sport Cap and Patterned Tights in the game. These items will be available until 7.59 am PDT on August 31st.

On the other hand, if you can’t get an Expansion Pass just yet or are waiting for it, a free update to Pokémon Sword and Shield will be made, granting you access to all the new Pokémon and forms at no cost.


What's next?

The first Pokémon DLC ever is around the corner, and with it a major rotation to the VGC 2020 format, which has got somewhat stagnant over the last weeks as no face-to-face tournaments are held due to the pandemic.

However, plenty of online action is coming up soon! The Pokémon Players Cup will be played throughout July in the new format, and the 2020 European Cup will kick off later this month, so make sure to stay connected on Twitter for all updates and events!

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