Today, 9 January, Nintendo held a special Pokémon Direct. During the presentation, the massive games company detailed the upcoming Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, coming to the Nintendo Switch on 6 March 2020, Pokémon Home, coming in February 2020, and the new Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass.
During the presentation, the video moves to Pokemon Sword and Shield producer Junichi Masuda and Pokemon Sword and Shield Director Shigeru Ohmori, who detail what’s to come in the DLCs via the Expansion Pass.
Source of all images: Nintendo YouTube
What is the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass?
Each game will have its own Expansion Pass that costs £26.99 ($29.99) but each will give access to the same two new regions.
Coming in June 2020 is The Isle of Armor, which features a new set of adventures, a dojo, a new legendary Pokémon, and a slew of returning Pokémon – some of which will be exclusive to either game.
In Autumn 2020, the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield passes will grant access to The Crown Tundra. In an icy wilderness, the theme of the gameplay will be exploration. Players will encounter legendary Pokémon new and old as well as many returning Pokémon.
The Isle of Armor is all about Growth
The Isle of Armor part of the Expansion Pass, which arrives in June 2020, features many different biomes and areas to explore on this previously unseen island of the Galar region.
The main feature of The Isle of Armor storyline is the dojo, where you’ll become an apprentice to a former Galar Champion and the former tutor of Leon.
It is said that when the Isle of Armor hits its release date, the map will be bigger than the Wild Area and have even more activities to enjoy.
The new items being introduced to Sword and Shield, along with many new customisation options, are some true fan favourites. The most notable of the three is Apricorns, which can be made into Poké Balls.
All-new moves learned in Tutor Moves will also be introduced, and you’ll be able to get an Exp. Charm to further enhance the speed at which you level-up your Pokemon.
One of the most exciting aspects of part one of the expansions is the infusion of familiar Pokemon as well as a new legendary Pokemon. In The Isle of Armor, that legendary Pokemon is Kubfu, who evolves into Urshifu.
Urshifu can have two forms, which are Single-Strike Style, making it a fighting dark-type, and Rapid Strike Style, to make it a fighting water-type. It can also Gigantamax, with the styles dictating its new appearance.
The Crown Tundra brings in many legendary Pokémon
Coming in with The Crown Tundra expansion when it releases in Autumn (Fall) 2020, is the new legendary Pokémon Calyrex, which is a psychic grass-type Pokémon.
As well as a new legendary, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield players will get to engage in a new form of co-operative gaming with den exploration.
The whole theme of The Crown Tundra expansion is exploration, and when it comes out, you’ll be able to venture into the underground dens of Pokémon and discover the legendary Pokémon from previous games.
Along with returning legendaries in these dens, you’ll also encounter three new legendary birds which, by the looks of them, might just be Galar versions of the original three legendary birds: Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres.
In the video for The Crown Tundra, a few more special Pokemon were revealed in the form of artwork, quite possibly adding to the set of legendary titans: Registeel, Regice, Regirock, and the master, Regigigas.
By the looks of the two new potentially legendary titans to join the ‘Regi’ family, one might be electric-type, and the other might be ghost-type or dark-type.
Of course, this is just guesswork at this stage.
There are already some great legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield, but hopefully, you’ve been able to hold onto your Master Ball for these upcoming DLCs.
Even more Gigantamaxing Pokémon
Along with the final stages of your new starter Pokémon being able to Gigantamax, the expansion passes also look set to bring in Bulbasaur and Squirtle to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
Not only this, but you’ll be able to encounter Gigantamax Venusaur (shown above) and Gigantamax Blastoise (shown below) to combine with your Gigantamax Charizard.
There was a huge amount of information on offer in the Pokémon Direct of 9 January 2020. It even stated that over 200 more Pokémon from previous games will be coming to Pokémon Sword and Shield via the expansion passes.
Pokemon Sword and Shield trying a different strategy
Below, you’ll find the full video that includes all of the major announcements and some snips of new Pokémon coming to the Galar region.
The Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass and Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass mark a new direction for the mainline Pokémon series. Usually, Nintendo and developers Game Freak release a new third game or second-wave of iterations that build on the game and bring in more Pokémon and missions.
Instead of needing to start all over again in a new game, you’ll be able to continue in the same game but be able to explore the new Pokémon Sword and Shield DLCs if you get an expansion pass.
Many players will be very excited for even more Pokémon and even more open-world areas coming to Pokémon Sword and Shield. Hopefully, even more information will be revealed closer to the release dates of The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra DLC expansions.
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