The most anticipated calendar event for Pokéfans the world over is once again upon us.
Game Freak last week unveiled Pokémon Sword and Shield in a one-off special Nintendo Direct presentation, in turn signalling the go-ahead for supposed leaks and rumors to commence infiltrating the internet from all directions. That being the case, it’s not at all surprising that sometimes-reliable site 4Chan has provided the juiciest rumour yet for Game Freak’s potential plans heading into Generation 8. Before we dive in, however, it’s worthwhile to note that this particular rumor comes from the same source that accurately name-dropped Sword and Shield ahead of their official announcement, but even so, take everything to follow with a healthy dose of salt.
According to the unverified rumor, Pokémon Sword and Shield will introduce a brand new evolutionary mechanic dubbed ‘Armored Pokémon.’ What exactly this new method of advancement entails isn’t specified, but specific critters like Mewtwo, Charizard, Flygon and Zeroora are mentioned as being able to undergo the new evolution. It’s a strenuous link, but Game Freak’s initial gameplay footage of Sword and Shield did feature a Trainer using Flygon in battle, so it’s at least confirmed that existing Pokémon will be available in the new set of games.
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What’s more, Game Freak has set a precedent for such fundamental mechanical changes with the likes of Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions, and with the latter looking increasingly likely to have been sidelined or altogether abandoned as a concept, the developer could well be priming so-called Armored Pokémon to take its place.
With little else to go on besides the above, tipping the scales in favor of true or false is a tough ask, and we’ve ultimately no choice but to wait until Game Freak decides it’s time to reveal more about this year’s Pokémon offerings.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are due to launch in late 2019 for Nintendo Switch, marking the first time since the series’ inception that the mainline games won’t be releasing for a handheld Nintendo console.