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Pokémon Sword/Shield Updates; Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Announced; TCG News & More

Catch up on all the Pokémon News from today in one place.

Pokémon Direct 1.9.2020

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX and the Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass Arrive in 2020

Get a first look at Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX and the upcoming Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass.

We’re barely into the new year, and already there’s big Pokémon news to get excited for. Via a Pokémon Direct, Pokémon President Tsunekazu Ishihara, as well as developers from GAME FREAK, delivered two big announcements. You can watch the full event at the top of this page.

First, get ready for the return of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, this time on the Nintendo Switch system. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX reimagines the original Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team games that were released for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance systems about 15 years ago. Updated graphics will bring the world of talking Pokémon to a new generation of Pokémon fans!

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX will be released March 6, 2020. But you can get a first look at the upcoming game by downloading the demo today on Nintendo eShop!

Get more information on Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX.

Next, you’ll soon have even more places to visit and Pokémon to discover in Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield with the upcoming Expansion Pass. Previously, GAME FREAK has developed additional, separate titles set in the same region as earlier games, such as they did with Pokémon Ultra SunPokémon Ultra Moon, and Pokémon Platinum Version. But with the Expansion Pass, you can set out on new adventures in the familiar Galar region using your Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield save data and Pokémon teams.

The Expansion Pass will comprise two expansions: The Isle of Armor, planned for release in early summer 2020, and The Crown Tundra, planned for release in fall 2020. If you purchase the Expansion Pass, you’ll have access to both of these expansions.

The Isle of Armor is a beautiful locale with varied habitats, such as beaches, forests, and caves. You’ll meet a new mentor named Mustard, a former Champion himself. Plus, you can discover the Legendary Pokémon Kubfu, a Fighting-type Pokémon that can evolve into the powerful Urshifu.

The Crown Tundra is a wintry area just waiting to be explored. You can travel the frigid fields and encounter amazing Pokémon in Pokémon Dens. Plus, you’ll discover the Legendary Pokémon Calyrex, a graceful Pokémon that was once said to rule over parts of Galar.

Additionally, when the Expansion Pass launches, look forward to free updates for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield that will let even Trainers who don’t get the Expansion Pass to obtain its Pokémon through other means, such as trading.

Finally, for Trainers already exploring in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, head out and take on Max Raid Battles in the Wild Area to encounter more Gigantamax Pokémon, including Lapras, Coalossal, Flapple, and Appletun! Plus, a game update going live today will let you find Galarian Slowpoke, who’s wandered in from the Isle of Armor. It can evolve into Galarian Slowbro with an item found only on the Isle of Armor—or into Galarian Slowking with an item found exclusively in the Crown Tundra.

That’s only a small amount of what you can expect in the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass! Visit the official site for more details.

There’s one more bit of news to share: we now have a date for the launch of Pokémon HOME… and it’s February 2020! When Pokémon HOME launches for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, you’ll be able to store, manage, and trade Pokémon on the go. Stay tuned for more details on this service.

What a way to kick off the new year, and we’re just getting started. Look forward to everything announced today launching in 2020, as well as more big stuff coming throughout the year. Stay on top of all the news at

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass—Announcement Trailer

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX—Announcement Trailer

Lapras, Coalossal, Flapple, and Appletun in Gigantamax forms in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Max Raid Battles

For a limited time, you can encounter these incredible Gigantamax Pokémon in Pokémon Dens.

Get your Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield teams powered up, Trainers. You’re about to face new Gigantamax Pokémon during a special Max Raid Battle period. Pokémon Sword players are more likely to encounter Gigantamax Coalossal and Gigantamax Flapple in Max Raid Battles, while Pokémon Shield players are more likely to encounter Gigantamax Lapras and Gigantamax Appletun.

To encounter these Pokémon in a Max Raid Battle, you’ll need to connect your Nintendo Switch system to the internet. Then, whenever you see a pillar of light shining from a Pokémon Den in the Wild Area, you can walk up to the Pokémon Den and interact with it to start a Max Raid Battle with a Dynamax Pokémon. In rare cases, one of these Gigantamax Pokémon can appear instead of a Dynamax Pokémon.

To get some valuable advice for tackling these challenging battles, be sure to read our Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Max Raid Battle Tips article. And don’t wait—these Pokémon will be appearing in Max Raid Battles only until early February. Don’t miss out on your chance to catch them!

Prepare for the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Galar Newcomers Online Competition

Compete using Pokémon first discovered in the Galar region, and earn Battle Points just for participating.

The second Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Online Competition, Galar Newcomers, is now accepting registrations! In this Double Battle competition, you’ll be permitted to include only Pokémon first discovered in the Galar region and Galarian forms of previously discovered Pokémon on your team. Show off what you’ve learned from your first Galar battles by composing a team of your newest allies. Has your training revealed the best new battling tricks?

The sign-up period will last until Thursday, January 30, 2020, at 3:59 p.m. PST, and the competition will take place from January 30, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. PST until February 2, 2020, at 3:59 p.m. PST. Register now using your Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield game by entering the VS menu and selecting Battle StadiumOnline Competitions, and finally Search Official Competitions.

Just like with most other Online Competitions and Ranked Battles, there’ll be a few other additional rules. All Pokémon will become Lv. 50 for the duration of each battle. No two Pokémon in your Battle Team can hold the same item. Certain special Pokémon will not be permitted, including Zacian and Zamazenta. And this time, you willbe permitted to use any of your Pokémon with the Gigantamax Factor, and they’ll be able to Gigantamax in battle!

Make sure to compete, whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran, because you’ll get a tidy reward of 50 Battle Points just for participating in at least one battle, win or lose. You’ll need to sign up before the competition starts in order to participate, so don’t delay. Good luck in your battles!

Changes Coming to the Pokémon TCG with Sword & Shield

Card errata, rule changes, and more are coming with the introduction of the new Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield Series.

The introduction of a new series to the Pokémon Trading Card Game is always an exciting time, and the Sword & Shield Series is no exception. Pokémon V and Pokémon VMAX are here to shake up the game, and lots of brand-new Pokémon are making their debut in the Pokémon TCG. Additionally, there are some changes to existing rules and mechanics on the way. Let’s take a look at them.

Rule Change: First Turn

At the start of the XY Series, a rule was introduced to prevent the player who goes first from attacking on the first turn. Starting on February 21, 2020 (the date that Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield becomes legal for tournament play), there will be an additional restriction: the player who goes first cannot play a Supporter card on the first turn.

This change is an attempt to make it less of an advantage to go first. Some strategies may benefit when the player goes second, but others might work out better if the player goes first. We hope this results in interesting choices in both gameplay and deck building.

Weakness and Resistance

For over a decade (all the way back to the Diamond & Pearl Series), Resistance has meant that a Pokémon takes 20 less damage from attacks of the listed type. However, Pokémon introduced in the Sword & Shield Series have a Resistance of -30 instead of -20.

For example, Zacian V has a -30 Resistance to Grass-type Pokémon. Any Pokémon from a previous series that has a -20 Resistance will continue to be treated that way—follow what’s written on the card.

Weakness is unchanged, but a few of the common type matchups have shifted. This won’t apply to every Pokémon, but here are some of the general changes:

  • Water-type Pokémon: Weakness to Lightning instead of Grass
  • Psychic-type Pokémon: Weakness to Darkness instead of Psychic
  • Darkness-type Pokémon: Weakness to Grass instead of Fighting

You may also find that some types of Pokémon have a Resistance that they didn’t have in the past. Be on the lookout for these changes to Weakness and Resistance!

Type Rearrangement

The Fairy type, which was introduced in the XY Series, will no longer be supported in the Sword & Shield Series. Pokémon that are Fairy types in the Pokémon video game series will now generally be represented as Psychic-type Pokémon in the Pokémon TCG. To maintain a balance among types, Pokémon that are Poison types in the video games will now be represented as Darkness types instead of Psychic types. For the time being, basic Fairy Energy can still be used in the Standard format, but that may change in the future.

Card Errata

Several cards will be issued errata, effective February 21, 2020:

  • Energy Retrieval
    (Shining Legends, 59/73; Sun & Moon, 116/149; XY—Evolutions, 77/108; XY—Ancient Origins, 99/98; XY—Primal Clash, 126/160; Black & White—Plasma Blast, 80/101; Black & White, 92/114; Legendary Collection, 107/110; Base Set 2, 110/130; Base Set, 81/102)Minor text change:
    “Put up to 2 basic Energy cards from your discard pile into your hand.”
  • Lum Berry
    (EX Emerald, 78/106; EX Ruby & Sapphire, 84/109)Minor text change:
    At the end of each turn, if the Pokémon this card is attached to is affected by any Special Conditions, it recovers from all of them, and discard this card.”
  • Pal Pad
    (Sun & Moon—Ultra Prism, 132/156; XY—Flashfire, 92/106)Minor text change:
    “Shuffle up to 2 Supporter cards from your discard pile into your deck.”
  • Sitrus Berry
    (EX Unseen Forces, 91/115)Minor text change:
    At the end of each turn, if the Pokémon this card is attached to has 3 or more damage counters on it, heal 30 damage from it and discard this card.”
  • Hyper Potion
    (Skyridge, 127/144)Major text change:
    Heal 120 damage from 1 of your Pokémon that has at least 2 Energy attached. If you healed any damage in this way, discard 2 Energy from it.
  • Quick Ball
    (Diamond & Pearl—Majestic Dawn, 86/100; Diamond & Pearl—Mysterious Treasures, 114/123)Major text change:
    You can play this card only if you discard another card from your hand. Search your deck for a Basic Pokémon, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.

These are considered official errata, so all versions of these cards will be legal for use in tournament play (but older ones will be played as if they had the updated text).

Plentiful Professors

The card Professor’s Research will debut in Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield. Players may remember this card’s effect from the previous cards Professor Sycamore and Professor Juniper.

From now on, instead of giving the card a new name each time, the name Professor’s Research will be used. If the card is updated in the future, the new professor’s name will appear in the upper-right corner of the card, but the card name will remain Professor’s Research.

In the Expanded format, there’s already a rule that says you can’t include Professor Sycamore and Professor Juniper in the same deck—players must choose one or the other. The same rule applies to Professor’s Research, meaning it cannot be in the same deck as Professor Sycamore or Professor Juniper.

Pokémon Checkup

A new term called Pokémon Checkup will replace the phrase “between turns,” but it works the same way. After a player’s turn is complete, you’ll enter Pokémon Checkup before going to the next player’s turn. Here are the steps that occur during Pokémon Checkup:

  • Check for Special Conditions in this order: Poisoned, Burned, Asleep, and Paralyzed.
  • Check Abilities and effects of Trainer cards that happen during Pokémon Checkup.
    • You can choose to do this step before checking for Special Conditions. However, you can’t mix the two steps—for example, you can’t add Poison damage, then apply an Ability, and then go back to check if a Pokémon is still Asleep.
  • Check to see if any Pokémon are Knocked Out.


Back in the Black & White Series, the term “heal” was introduced. For example, the card Potion says, “Heal 30 damage from 1 of your Pokémon.” Prior to that, it would have said, “Remove 3 damage counters from 1 of your Pokémon.”

For the Sword & Shield Series, a similar term will be introduced for effects that remove Special Conditions. Going forward, this term will be “recover.” As an example, the card Pokémon Center Lady has been updated in Sword & Shield to say “Heal 60 damage from 1 of your Pokémon, and it recovers from all Special Conditions.” It still has the same effect, but now the word “recover” can be associated with Special Conditions just like “heal” is associated with damage.

Reminder Text Removal

In the past, Abilities that could be used during your turn included the reminder text “(before your attack)” to clarify that attacking was the last thing you could do in a turn. Starting with Sword & Shield, that reminder text won’t appear anymore. In some cases, that reminder text could cause the text to be incorrect, since there are some Abilities that can be used during the effects of attacks. For example, if you use Persian-GX‘s Slash Back-GX attack and switch it with Heatran-GXHeatran-GX‘s Burning Road Ability activates when it becomes Active, even though that happens during the attack. To prevent this confusion altogether, this reminder text will be removed in the Sword & Shield Series.

Regulation Marks

You may notice that cards from the Sword & Shield Series have a white box containing a letter in the bottom-left corner (for example, all cards in the Sword & Shield expansion have a “D” mark).

This is called a regulation mark, and it will be used in the future to determine which cards are legal to use in tournament play. For example, there might be a point in time when only cards with a “D” regulation mark can be used in the Standard format. This change will get more attention in the future, but for now, just take note that it’s there.

There are lots of new things to learn in the Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield Series! This is only the beginning, and there may be more changes and updates as more expansions get released. Be sure to check back at for all the latest news on the Pokémon TCG!


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About rpleasant

A would-be writer, who enjoys living the geek life and indulging in comics, cosplay, anime, and more. He hopes to one day have something created that other people can enjoy and review, but until then continues to work on various projects such as parodies and short stories.

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