Raising a competitive Pokémon for battle has always been a hefty task. If you’re not up to the labor of finding the perfect nature, breeding egg moves, or just grinding out levels, then you’ll be happy to hear that Pokémon Sword and Shield are bringing some much-needed quality of life improvements.
Taking the busy work out of competitive
Several new items are coming to help you make the perfect competitive-ready Pokémon in Sword and Shield. The biggest change comes with the new Mint items that allow you to change a Pokémon’s nature. Natures typically affect two stats, raising one and lowering the other by a not-insignificant 10%. With 25 natures to pull from, this can mean a lot of trial and error in catching or breeding. Now all the player needs to do is feed their Pokémon a nature-changing Mint.
Another major aspect of competitive Pokémon is breeding the perfect monster. The player gets more control over the variables this way, as well as the ability to pass on moves that the Pokémon normally wouldn’t learn. Now, these egg moves can be transferred without breeding, meaning your precious Pokémon won’t be bred into obsolescence.
Exp Candy has also been added to the game. Rare Candies are items that automatically raise a Pokémon’s level, but Exp Candy instead provides a static amount of experience points, meaning you can save your Rare Candies for higher levels. We also see the handy new ability to feed EV-raising vitamins in large stacks, rather than one by one. Finally, players are now able to access the Pokémon Box from nearly any location, for on-the-fly party swapping.
These new quality of life improvements are a godsend for making the perfect team on a busy trainer’s schedule. The only things remaining to seal the deal is the Hyper Training that allows players to max out IVs (preset ability modifiers), and the EV (earned ability modifiers) resetting berries, both introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. If both of those features return, then every Pokémon will have the potential to be a star player — assuming you put in the resources.