Posts Tagged ‘Wild Area’

So you have just received your Pokédex from Magnolia, and have boarded the train at Postwick, or will board the train soon. Unlike previous generations of Pokémon games where you had limited Pokémon variety prior to the first gym or trial, Pokémon Sword & Shield allow players to pass through the Wild Area much prior to the first gym. This presents players with a large variety of Pokémon to catch, as well as a good method to level up, quite early in the game. The Wild Area may appear overwhelming to players at first since players now have access to so much more Pokémon. I have compiled a list of the Pokémon that I most recommend catching.

Growlithe (Sh)/Vulpix (Sw)
Type: Fire
Priority: B (Growlithe), C (Vulpix), F (if you chose Scorbunny)
A fire Pokémon will greatly help for the first gym. Unfortunately, you do not have much of a choice for now. If you picked Scorbunny as your starter, you can safely skip these until later in the game. An arguably better fire Pokémon, Sizzlipede, resides in Route 3, the next route you will traverse, albeit at a 1% encounter rate. Between Growlithe and Vulpix, Growlithe ends up with better stats and greater move variety.

Magikarp
Type: Water
Priority: A, F (if you chose Sobble)
If you can get Magikarp to at least level 21, you have a very solid physical attacker quite early in the game. At that level, it can learn Waterfall, Ice Fang, and Bite, giving it very good coverage. Thanks to this game’s inherent Exp. Share, you never have to put Magikarp in battle to level it up, making a Gyarados easy to own. If you prefer speedy Pokémon…

Arrokuda
Type: Water
Priority: B, F (if you chose Sobble)
You actually catch Arrokuda in Route 2, not the Wild Area. Arrokuda’s final form Barraskewda ends up with about as much physical attack as Gyarados. While it cannot take a hit as well as Gyarados, it makes up for it with a lot of speed, more than Sobble’s final form. Barraskewda also learns some interesting coverage moves such as Drill Run, Close Combat, Throat Chop, and Psychic Fangs.

* Both water and grass cover rock and ground. Water covers fire, while grass covers water. If you picked Grookey and decide not to add a water type to your team, I strongly suggest catching a ground or rock Pokémon to cover fire, which I list below.

Roselia
Type: Grass/Poison
Priority: B, F (if you chose Grookey)
Lucky players can actually obtain a Roserade already by testing their luck at the Digging Duo. Roserade has similar stats to Grookey’s final form Rillaboom, boasting special attack equal to Rillaboom’s attack, but with slightly more speed. However, Roserade does not learn too many coverage moves outside of Dazzling Gleam and Shadow Ball (also Extrasensory, which requires breeding). A Pokémon further down this list uses those latter two moves better, so you may consider sticking two support moves on Roserade instead.

Bounsweet
Type: Grass
Priority: C, F (if you chose Grookey)
Consider Bounsweet’s final form Tsareena a slightly weaker Rillaboom. Tsareena’s main selling points include her signature ability, Queenly Majesty, and her signature attack, Trop Kick. To get Queenly Majesty, make sure you catch a Bounsweet with the Oblivious ability. Tsareena can eventually learn some coverage moves such as Hi Jump Kick and Acrobatics, helping to make up for having lower stats compared to Roserade or Rillaboom.

Swinub
Type: Ice/Ground
Priority: B
Most water Pokémon can learn Ice Beam, allowing for coverage without the weaknesses of ice types. Swinub stands out as a solid all-around physical ice and ground attacker. Much later in the game, obtaining Swinub’s final form Mamoswine from a 5* raid may yield its hidden ability, Thick Fat, which eliminates two of its weaknesses. However, Mamoswine’s strongest physical ice attack requires breeding.

Sneasel
Type: Ice/Dark
Priority: B, D (if you chose Sobble)
Early on, Sneasel will not appear in the wild – instead, it has a chance at appearing in a raid at one particular den. You can start catching it in the wild following the third gym. Sneasel shares similar stats to Arrokuda – it has great physical attack and speed, but otherwise cannot take hits well. Later in the game, Sobble’s final form Inteleon can learn Ice Beam and Dark Pulse, which covers both types of Sneasel. Until you can get these moves on Inteleon, Sneasel makes a good speedy dark & ice attacker.

Tyrogue
Type: Fighting
Priority: A (Shield), C (Sword)
Look for a Tyrogue with more attack than defense so that it can evolve into Hitmonlee. This will serve as a main fighting type for Shield players. Sword players will encounter another fighting type to catch after the first gym.

Ralts
Type: Psychic/Fairy
Priority: A
With great special attack and decent speed, Ralts will serve you well all the way until the end of the story. With Psychic, Moonblast, and Shadow Ball (TR required), you can hit just about anything for at least neutral damage.

Drilbur
Type: Ground/Steel (upon evolution)
Priority: A
Like Sneasel, you cannot encounter Drilbur in the early sections of the Wild Area – you can only encounter it a raid at one specific den. However, you will still encounter wild Drilbur prior to the first gym. Drilbur evolves into Excadrill, one of the best attackers in the game. Given Earthquake (or High Horsepower to avoid hitting teammates), Iron Head, and Rock Slide, Excadrill can hit just about anything for at least neutral damage. Both of its abilities make it better in a sandstorm, so consider teaching it Sandstorm, or bringing a teammate that can start a sandstorm.

Gastly
Type: Ghost/Poison
Priority: C
Gastly counters psychic and ghost types hard, but cannot take a hit at all. You will also need to trade it to obtain its final form Gengar. Gengar has high special attack and speed, and can learn a wide variety of moves. Later on, another ghost type, Chandelure, has even higher special attack and can take a hit better than Gengar.

Types not suggested to catch yet:

  • Electric: You will receive Toxel, a much better electric (and poison) attacker, a route prior to needing an electric type for a gym.
  • Poison: See the note about Toxel above.
  • Flying: Fire covers grass and bug, while psychic or fairy covers fighting. This game does not have any Pokémon double-weak to flying attacks.
  • Bug: You can find a Sizzlipede, a great bug and fire attacker, in Route 3.
  • Rock: Teach Rock Slide to a Drilbur/Excadrill for a rock attacker.