With the start of the Adventures Abound Season, we’ve seen the introduction of several Pokémon from the Paldea region. Amidst all the buzz, it may be easy to overlook the fact that Niantic seems to have (mostly) skipped a generation.
The Pokémon of Galar have yet to be brought to Pokémon GO, save for a small selection. We’ve met Wooloo, Skwovet, Falinks, Regieleki, Regidrago, Zarude, and the “baby” forms of Zacian and Zamazenta. We’ve also seen some Galarian forms of Pokémon, including Galarian Mr. Mime and evolution Mr. Rime, Galarian Meowth and evolution Perrserker, Galarian Yamask and evolution Runerigus, Galarian Zigzagoon and their evolutions Linoone and Obstagoon, and Galarian Farfetch’d and evolution Sirfetch’d. This is likely due to the Galar region’s lackluster popularity, especially compared to Paldea.
While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Sword and Shield, I don’t think that they deserved to be passed over. At the very least, the starters should have been released alongside the others. Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to go over some of the Non-Legendary Galarian Pokémon we can look forward to some time in the future. Keep in mind that this is purely speculative based on base stats and datamined movesets. We won’t truly see the impact of these Pokémon until their release. With that being said, let’s dive in!
I know I can ramble on and on about main series mechanics, so if you want to skip this section and go straight for the list, please go for it.
TLDR for this section: some Pokémon have a special form known as a Gigantamax form, which I would love to see be treated similarly to Mega Evolution. We could see so many more different Pokémon in Mega/G-Max raids for years to come. Pokémon with a G-Max form will have an asterisk next to their name.
I think Dynamax is an important aspect of Galar to touch upon before we get started.
Dynamax was the gimmick mechanic introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Basically, Pokémon get big. While its a bit more complex than that, this mechanic definitely caught some flak when it was first announced. However, Dynamax proved to be one of the best, most balanced mechanics in terms of main series PVP, at least in Doubles/VGC (sorry Singles players).
One thing that brought some interest to the mechanic was a special version of Dynamax called Gigantamax. When certain specific species of Pokémon Dynamaxed, they took on a unique new form, called a Gigantamax form. Some of these forms were extremely impactful on the metagame (looking at you, G-Max Charizard).
Niantic hasn’t implemented every gimmick into Pokémon GO (I’m more than happy to let Z-Moves be a thing of the past). Dynamax itself seems like a mechanic that would be unrealistic to implement within the game. However, the Gigantamax forms of Pokémon could be a different story.
There are a plethora of spinoff Pokémon fan games that open up new ways to play the games we all know and love, from playing through Kanto with a full National Pokédex to custom Mega Evolutions (please give us Mega Flygon GameFreak). Several of these games have found interesting ways of implementing Dynamax. A popular Pokémon Fire Red Rom Hack called Pokémon Radical Red not only has implemented Dynamax, but they have also found a great way to implement Gigantamax.
It’s actually quite simple. They treat Gigantamax forms as Mega Evolutions. I would love to see this transfer over to Pokémon GO. There are only so many Mega Evolutions, but extending the criteria to Gigantamax forms would mean new “Megas” for years to come. Sure it would mean some Pokémon get some extra love (Charizard gets ANOTHER special form), it would definitely add another layer to Pokémon GO. Here’s hoping we can battle G-Max Toxtricity in Raids some time in the future.
Sorry for yet another long winded explanation. Now let’s start off with my #10 pick on the list.
Appletun is a dual Grass and Dragon type Pokémon. It is one of Applin’s two evolutions, the other being Flapple. When Applin is given a Sweet Apple item, it evolves into this hilariously adorable apple pie with legs.
While Flapple is more offensively focused, Appletun has significantly higher bulk. I can see it having some play in PVP thanks to its stat distribution. It’s datamined moveset includes Bullet Seed as a fast move, with moves like Seed Bomb and Outrage for charged moves. Against the right matchups, Appletun could become a defensive tank that can 4x resist any incoming Grass or Water damage.
Those of you who are familiar with Sword and Shield may be confused as to why Dracovish is so low on this list. For those who aren’t, Dracovish is a dual Water and Dragon type Pokémon. It is one of the four Fossil Pokémon of Galar, which were all themed to be mismatched creatures based on incorrectly assembled fossils. Dracovish was quickly discovered to be one of the strongest Galarian Pokémon, with a powerful signature move Fishious Rend Water (yes I know the name is ridiculous) that paired well with its ability and typing, able to knock out even resisted targets in a single hit.
Dracovish unfortunately won’t be able to emulate that power in Pokémon GO. However, it has decent bulk and good defensive typing, the same typing as Palkia. With Dragon Breath to deal consistent damage, it could find some play in PVP, especially if you get a lucky Ancient Power boost.
Grimmsnarl is a dual Dark and Fairy type Pokémon, and is (so far) the only evolutionary line to boast this typing in the series. Grimmsnarl definitely breaks the Fairy type trope of being cute and friendly, while still maintaining some of the whimsical charm of the typing. In the main series, Grimmsnarl is an incredible support Pokémon, but it boasts an Attack stat that is powerful enough to leave a dent in the opponent without any EV investment.
Grimmsnarl’s current datamined movepool unfortunately leaves it with 3 extremely underwhelming fast moves in Bite, Sucker Punch, and Low Kick. While this means it won’t have a place in open PVP, it could see some play in limited formats, particularly those revolving around Dark types. It’s Fairy typing means it 4x resists Dark moves, and a moveset of Low Kick, Power-Up Punch, and Play Rough could be deadly.
The first of the starters to make the list, Inteleon is a pure Water type based on a James Bond-esque spy. It evolves from Sobble, the adorable Water starter that constantly bursts into tears and turns invisible when it touches water. It shoots jets of water out of its fingertips, which it wields like finger guns. It’s a fun design to be sure.
Inteleon is extremely glassy, having lower HP and Defense stats in favor of a whopping 262 Attack stat. While its moves of Surf and Shadow Ball could be interesting in PVP, its lack of bulk combined with poor fast move Water Gun means Inteleon likely wouldn’t fair well in the GBL. However, it would make for a good raid attacker once it gets access to Hydro Cannon for its Community Day. Inteleon’s signature move, Snipe Shot Water, could also be implemented to further improve it as well, maybe similarly to Greninja’s Water Shuriken.
Coalossal is next on our list. This dual Rock and Fire type Pokémon may seem underwhelming, but it had a trick up its sleeve that allowed it to see some play. Its ability, Steam Engine, allowed Coalossal to max its Speed stat when hit with a fire or water type move. While it may seem like you want to hit it with a 4x resisted Fire move rather than a 4x Super Effective Water move, it utilized Dynamax and the Weakness Policy item to tank a weak Water hit from its partner in VGC and sweep the enemy team away.
While Coalossal maintains its two 4x weaknesses to Water and Ground in Pokémon GO, this typing does mach up favorably against other opponents. It gets access to either Incinerate or Smack Down as fast moves, as well as Flame Charge as a charged move. We’ve seen how effective this is on Talonflame despite its lackluster bulk, so Coalossal has some potential to massively boost itself in PVP. With Rock Blast as another cheap charged move option, I’m excited to see how Coalossal will fare in the GBL.
Cinderace is a pure Fire type that is the second of Galar’s starters to make the list. Scorbunny was my starter of choice for my first playthrough, and Sword and Shield’s DLC made sure that I could take the Pokémon I started my journey with and make it the strongest it could be through G-Max Soup and an Ability Patch to unlock its Hidden Ability. Cinderace left its mark on the competitive scene through its ability Libero, which allowed it to change its typing to match the typing of the move it was using.
In Pokémon GO, Cinderace has stats comparable to Blaziken, with identical HP, 2 points less in Attack, and 22 points higher in Defense. There are some pros and cons to both when compared, but the biggest difference is Blaziken’s secondary Fighting type. This changes the way these two Pokémon match up against various threats. However, due to having similar stats, there could definitely be some scenarios where Cinderace out performs Blaziken.
While we still have yet to see Cinderace in action, it will likely have some play once it inevitably receives Blast Burn during its Community Day. While its stats aren’t super well suited for PVP, it has access to Flame Charge and Focus Blast as charged moves, meaning it could potentially be a spice pick down the line. Cinderace’s only fast moves are Tackle and Ember, both mediocre moves similarly to Inteleon. However, Cinderace also has a signature move, Pyro Ball Fire, which could provide an extra layer of depth if it were to be added to its movepool as a fast move similarly to Inteleon.
Galar’s regional bird is up next. Corviknight is a dual Steel type Pokémon. In the Galar Region, Corviknight carry around taxis that help the people of Galar travel between cities easier. It is the second of the regional birds behind Talonflame to receive a secondary typing that isn’t Normal, and its pre-evolutions are the only pure types in the game other than Tornadus.and
Corviknight shares its typing with Skarmory and has comparable bulk, with less Defense but higher HP and Attack. Its moveset is near identical, but it trades Sky Attack for Drill Peck and Flash Cannon for Iron Head. This makes its Steel type coverage more viable than Skarmory in the GBL. It will definitely be interesting to compare the two’s performance in practice upon Corviknight’s release.
The last of Galar’s starters has found a spot pretty high on our list. Rillaboom is a pure Grass type Pokémon that evolves from Grookey. Rillaboom was a decent Pokémon when it was introduced, but thanks to Sword and Shield’s Isle of Armor DLC, Rillaboom became an absolute menace. It gained access to its Hidden Ability, Grassy Surge, which boosts its Grass type moves and provides some passive healing each turn. It also got access to the new move Grassy Glide, a powerful move with no drawbacks, but had the added benefit of gaining priority on Grassy Terrain. Rillaboom became a significant threat that every player had to have an answer for.
In Pokémon GO, Rillaboom has the most well-rounded stats of all the starters. It will make for a good option in PVE once it gains access to Frenzy Plant. It also has the benefit of the excellent coverage move of Earth Power. Just like its two counterparts, however, Rillaboom is extremely limited by its fast moves, at least in a PVP sense. Razor Leaf is extremely slow to generate energy, meaning it can’t take advantage of its powerful charged moves. However, in addition to its potential signature move Drum Beating, Rillaboom has access to the move Branch Poke, which is Grookey’s early game STAB move, introduced as an alternative to Razor Leaf that is a comparable physical move to Leafage or Ember. If it were introduced as a Grass type clone of Tackle, Rillaboom could get interesting real quick.
The runner up on the list is none other than Galar’s pseudo-legendary Pokémon. Dragapult is a dual Dragon and Ghost type Pokémon. It is based off of a stealth bomber, making its secondary typing extremely appropriate. It combines with two of its base form, Dreepy, which it launches out like missiles to perform its signature more Dragon Darts.
Naturally, Dragapult will be a top contender in Pokémon GO. It isn’t limited by the physical/special attack split that plagues its movepool in the main series. On the flip side, however, its Speed, which is its greatest asset in the main series, plays no role in its performance in Pokémon GO. It has below average bulk, meaning it will likely be used primarily as a raid attacker. I would love to see it get access to Dragon Darts as a possible Community Day move to pair with its incredible Shiny form!
The top pick for this list may be a surprise for some of you. Duraludon is a dual Steel and Dragon type Pokémon and is the ace of Gym Leader Raihan in Sword and Shield. It is able to be used as an offensive, defensive, or support Pokémon thanks to its wide movepool and great all around stats.
Duraludon has been blessed with the same typing as Dialga, so those of you who play Master League PVP are likely familiar with this type combo. It has a whopping 9 resistances and 1 immunity in exchange for 2 weaknesses. It has the benefit of being able to combat opposing Dragon types effectively due to not being weak to their attacks in return, and has the added benefit of not being weak to Fairy attacks. Duraludon’s datamined movepool includes Dragon Tail and Dragon Claw for consistent damage and cheap charged moves in PVP with Flash Cannon as a closing move. It will also be useful against Dragon type Raid Bosses for the same reasons listed above.
In the recently announced Indigo Disc DLC for Scarlet and Violet, it was revealed that Duraludon also gets an evolution called Archaludon, which will definitely be an exciting addition down the line. Duraludon maxes out at 3468 CP already, so its evolution is sure to be a game changer!
And there we have it! These are my personal top picks from Galar. Of course these are all my own opinion. However, I expect most of these Pokémon to see some relevance upon their introduction. Additionally, 8/10 of the Pokémon on this list have a G-Max form, which could be exciting if Niantic finds a way to implement them. Like I mentioned before, I would love to see these treated similarly to Mega Evolution. Regardless, I hope this list has got you just as excited for what’s to come as I am!