Pokemon Sword and Shield Wild Area and GIgantamaxing Guide
For anyone who hasn’t completed the game, there are mild spoilers, so please be weary.
For anyone who is confused about Gigantamaxing, where to find them, and weather in the wild area, this should help clear things up.
Every Pokemon can Dynamax but there are a few Pokemon that can Gigantamax. These Pokemon function the same as normal Pokemon with 2 key differences:
1). The appearance
2). One of the typed Dynamax moves is replaced with a “G-Max” move.
These moves will perform the same power as a normal Dynamax move but the effect that’s tagged onto the end of the move will be different. For example, Meowth Gigantamaxed will have his “Max Strike” move replaced with “G-Max Goldrush.” This move instead of lowering the opponents speed one stage will drop a large sum of gold at the end of the battle. Other Pokemon like Lapras will setup Aurora Veil instead of summoning hail, and Hatterene will confuse the opponent instead of setting up misty terrain. Other than these differences, the Pokemon are functionally the same outside of these unique forms.
Gigantamax Encounter Methods
There are three ways to obtain a Gigantamaxed Pokemon:
1). Inside and outside of game events
2). Raiding events that increase spawn rates
3). A Gigantamax Pokemon’s home den location
As for the first method, it covers both the inside event Gigantamax Pokemon such as the Charmander you will receive in Leon’s bedroom, as well as outside of game events like the Meowth event running until the end of December.
The second method is probably the method that is creating confusion right now. For anyone who doesn’t know, there is currently an event running right now for the spawn rate of Gigantamax Pokemon in the wild area. The details are as follows:
– Butterfree is now more common in both versions of the game.
– Sandaconda and Drednaw are more common in Pokemon Sword
– Corviknight and Centiskorch are more common in Pokemon Shield
This event is currently running until the end of December. Once this event is over, the only way to receive the above Pokemon will be from this third method:
The third (and most arduous) method to receive these Pokemon is raiding at the Pokemon’s home den. Serebii has a wonderful few pages that explain which Pokemon can be found at what raid dens.
As you may have encountered already, there are two types of raids:
– Common Raids: The red light beams out of a raid location.
– Rare Raids: The purple light that pours out of a raid location.
In addition to the color, each raid has a ranking from 1 to 5 stars. The number of stars can do a number of things depending on the raid battle:
– 1 to 2 stars function as a normal battle but against an opponent with a large health pool
– 3 to 4 stars becomes more difficult as the raid Pokemon gain 2 new abilities:
• The Pokemon will now create a barrier when a certain health point is reached. This could be towards the beginning or the end but is most of the time in the middle. The Pokemon will gain anywhere from 2 to 4 “Barrier Points” that must be broken. A single attack breaks 1 while a Dynamax move breaks 2.
• The Pokemon will also now be able to move an additional time per turn. Your team is notified when the Pokemon reaches this point when it states “It’s becoming Desperate”
– 5 star raids take the new additions from the 3 to 4 star raids but double it. Now there is a second barrier point during the battle and it will move 3 times per turn once the 2nd barrier point is reached. There may also be 5 or 6 barrier points per barrier now but there could be as few as 4.
Okay But What About GIGANTAMAX Pokemon
Now, each of the locations has two den tables, corresponding to either the red or purple light. The Gigantamax Pokemon are only available from SPECIFIC locations ONLY at 5 stars AND from the Purple or Rare Raids. On top of this, the spawn rates for the forms is a whopping 5% once all of those requirements have been met.
Now, this may seem daunting, and honestly it kind of is, but if you are willing to put in the time, here are a few tips as to how to increase your odds of finding these rare Pokemon!
Raid With Friends
This one may seem obvious, but if you and 3 other friends work together to encounter these rare Pokemon, you all will have the chance to catch it in your encounter once you find it! Even finding one person to help you will double your chances of finding these rare Pokemon.
Watts, Watts, Watts
Once you finish the game, your watts counter goes from 200 a beam location and 50 a normal location to 2,000 a beam and 200 a normal. Use this to your advantage and accumulate as many watts as possible. Clear out every raid is it appears. If you use a level 100 Pokemon, you can easily clear up to a 3 or 4 star raid on your own. Some 5 star raids may be difficult, but ask a friend or search online for help. As there are about 7 beams that appear per “cycle” you can accumulate watts insanely quickly if you continue to clear these raids as you walk up to them.
Many of the Watt vendors around the Wild Area will sell wishing stars for 3,000 watts a piece. Use all the watts you’ve accumulated from cycles to purchase these. These special items will spawn a raid when dropped into any of the raid locations. As far as the rates go, it’s about 4 common raids for every 1 rare raid.
Find Your Gigantamax Location
Once you’ve picked out a Gigantamax Pokemon you’d like to hunt for, make sure it isn’t part of any special events first as there may be an easier way to encounter the Pokemon you want. Once you’ve checked (and there isn’t) you will need to locate it’s home dungeon. As stated before, Serebii is a wonderful resource for locating where a Gigantamax Pokemon is hiding. Den numbers 77-93 have Gigantamax Pokemon in them, so it’s important to find out EXACTLY where the den you’re looking for is located. For example, Gigantamax Hatterene is den 87. Den 87 is located between the two bridges crossing the wild area and is just west of a world spawn Beheeyem. This raid location is the ONLY place to encounter a Gigantamax Hatterene without the help of events.
Start Digging… Er, Raiding!
Once you’ve accumulated many wishing stars (I personally like to get 20-25 before I commit to Gigantamax Raiding) and located where your Gigantamax Pokemon is hiding, it’s time to throw wishing stars in. Fight whatever Pokemon comes out of the raid location (either alone or with friends) each time you put a star in. This will be a tedious process, but don’t give up hope! These Pokemon are truly unique and are well worth the effort you put into them.
A Few Notes and Tricks
There are a few things to note before going into this hunt and tricks that may speed up the process.
Watt Cycling: There are about 7 raids in a cycle, and there’s ALWAYS 1 purple raid. Interact with every beacon location to retrieve your 2,000 watts and fight the Pokemon inside. Once all 7 raids have been completed, 7 new raids will appear and all the raid locations will reset. This is the fastest way to accumulate watts for wishing stars.
When you’re watt cycling, be sure to finish off every raid that you get watts from. DO NOT leave a raid beam while only taking the watts. It is far more effective to complete whatever cycle your doing before going to hunt the Giant Pokemon due to the limited flying points in the Wild Area. The travel time to go back to the beams later is wasting time.
Don’t let the raid NPC’s make you upset. I know that seeing a Magikarp in a raid who’s Hydro Pump seems to miss every time is frustrating, but if you’re using a level 100 Pokemon, as long as they’re attacking most turns, even some of the 5 star raids are easy to clear without help. That being said, I have yet to finish a 5 star Gardevoir raid without help, but wide moves like Dazzling Gleam and Earthquake are very hard to play against. There are usually people willing to help if you connect to the internet for raids like this so don’t give up hope!
Switch up your team and try new raid mechanics if you’re getting bored of the same Pokemon over and over again. Here are a few things I’ve tried and love:
– Box Legendary: Zacian and Zamazanta have unique moves in their alternative forms that do DOUBLE damage to giant Pokemon. These moves are IMMENSELY helpful for the top tier raids as they allow you to blow through a raid Pokemon’s health even before the barriers go down.
– Perrserker’s Steely Spirit: While Watt Cycling, I encountered a Perrserker raid which gave me his hidden ability Steely Spirit. This allows me to boost all of the steel moves being used in a raid which was extremely helpful for me while searching for Gigantamax Hatterene. I especially loved this Pokemon because it was boosting Zacian and Zamazanta’s raid moves to immense power levels. Many 5 star raids went from 4 or 5 turns to 2 or 3 turns cutting raid time in almost half.
– Stonjourner’s Power Spot: Another new ability with this generation comes with Stonjourner which comes in handy for raiding. Though he may lack special defense, it isn’t something EV investment, Nature, Assault Vest AND a sandstorm can’t fix. Because the rock Max move summons a sandstorm, this Pokemon’s tiny special defense becomes very bulky with the right setup. All this while it’s boosting the power of the other 3 Pokemon in the raid while also doing it’s own damage with it’s 125 attack stat.
One last trick is to set the date on your switch to manipulate the weather. There is an interesting aspect of the “randomized” weather of the wild area, and that is that it can be manipulated by changing the date on your switch. If you’ve ever been frustrated that you couldn’t see a raid location because of hail or mist, here a few important dates to jot down.
– Normal Weather: 05/01/20
– Cloudy Weather: 03/01/20
– Rainy Weather: 10/01/20
– Thunderstorm: 11/01/20
– Snowing: 12/01/20
– Snowstorm: 02/01/20 (LOCKED UNTIL MID GAME COMPLETE)
– Bright Sunlight: 07/01/20
– Sandstorm: 04/01/20 (LOCKED UNTIL MID GAME COMPLETE)
– Fog/Mist: 06/01/20 (LOCKED MAIN STORY HAS BEEN COMPLETED)
Changing your switch to these dates will make the weather these types EVERYWHERE in the wild area. It is rather interesting seeing a sandstorm over the lakes or snowstorm in the desert but none-the-less, it works. It’s also a neat trick when you want to search for a specific Pokemon like Stonjourner that goes from a 2% in it’s normal location to a 5% in a wild area sandstorm.
I know it’s very confusing with the event going on mixing a few Gigantamaxs into the pool of normal raids. I hope this clears things up. Just as a quick calculation, It’s about 1 in 240 just straight probability to find a Gigantamax from any given wishing stone putting it one par with shinies, but you also need to take into account that once one is found, it’s something 4 people can have a chance at, technically bringing it down to 1 in 60 if you find 3 other friends to help you. This probability comes from it being 1 in 4 (I’m being optimistic, sometimes you don’t get a purple raid for quite a few stars) to get a purple raid, and then there are 3 different star difficulties. 4 x 3 x 20 (5% is 1 in 20) = 240. There are a few people who have been very lucky to receive GMax Gengar, Alcremie and Hatterene that I know of so this method works, you just need to stick with it and use everything you can to speed up the process. I am writing this mostly out of all the things I’ve learned not to do and from what I found works in the last few days.
There is currently and event for the wild area increasing the spawn rates of 5 different Gigantamax Pokemon. Outside of these 5 there are specific locations to obtain the rest. Please read the article for more information.