Pokémon VGC News from Sword and Shield

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During the opening ceremonies for the 2019 Pokémon World Championships, some major news was revealed for Pokémon Sword and Shield that's relevant for VGC Players and competitive Pokémon in general. This article will cover the main news you'll need to know while playing Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield VGC on the Nintendo Switch!

Battle Stadium

Battle Stadium, a new feature, is their new version of an online mode. Players will be able to use the Battle Stadium to play online matches, use rental teams, and even compete in various online competitions to battle players from all across the globe! Please note that a Nintendo Switch Online paid membership is required to connect online and you also will not need to use the Pokémon Global Link.

Ranked Battles – Ranked Battles are their official version of an online ladder. After each battle, your rank will change depending on whether you win or lose and the difference in rank between you and your opponent. The more you win, the more you can increase your rank. You can also even receive items by meeting certain requirements, such as battling multiple times in a row. The image on the right is the tier and rank. Players will start in the Beginner Tier and can work their way up to the Master Ball Tier by winning matches. The stronger your rank, the more intense your battles will be.

You can check your rank while competing and be sure to check Pokémon HOME if you want to see how your rank is compared to everyone else. At the end of each season, everyone's rank will be finalized and then reset before the beginning of a new season.

Online Competitions

Online Competitions return in the form of two types of events, Friendly and Official Competitions. Official Competitions are sanctioned by the Pokémon Company which can even include the International Challenges which can allow top players to earn Championship Points which can be used to earn an invite to the World Championships each year. Friendly Competitions are events you can set up. You'll be able to choose the regulations of each event and even invite other players to compete in your events.

Rental Teams

Rental Teams are making a return from Sun and Moon to Sword and Shield. Players can upload their own teams for others to use or use teams uploaded by other players. Players will only be able to rent up to five teams and once teams are rented can be used in ranked battles.

New Abilities and Items

During the same announcement, a few new abilities and items were announced as well that promises to shake up competitive Pokémon.
  • Neutralizing Gas – A new ability for Galarian Weezing, Neutralizing Gas nullifies all abilities on the field. In the reveal trailer, this ability was shown to allow its partner Rotom-Wash to successfully use Hydro Pump even though an opposing Gastrodon's Storm Drain was active, but the enemy Gastrodon was able to use Earth Power onto Rotom-Wash. Neutralizing Gas will be a very interesting ability as Pokémon that rely on their ability won't enjoy Weezing taking that away. Please note that once the Pokémon with Neutralizing Gas is not on the battlefield, all other abilities will resume as normal.
  • Room Service – Room Service is a very interesting item because if Trick Room is successfully set up, then the holder's speed is lowered. This item could be used on Pokémon that really want to be in Trick Room or could be used to move before very slow Pokémon in Trick Room.
  • Eject Pack – Another new item, Eject Pack, is very interesting because it immediately switches out the holder if any of its stats are lowered. In the reveal trailer, a Duraludon was shown using Draco Meteor before immediately switching out due to the Eject Pack. This could be a very annoying item for the user to use as intended in VGC due to the popularity of abilities like Intimidate being so prevalent or moves like Icy Wind, not to mention the countless attacks that have a small chance to lower stats, but it could find a home on Pokémon that really don't want their stats lowered.


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