Surprise Pokemon Sword and Shield battle trailer reveals new moves and held items

The latest Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer is all about the strategies hopeful trainers will use as they battle in the Galar region. We got a look at some new special and hidden abilities, two new held items, and plenty of powerful attacks including some Max Moves only accessible to Dynamax Pokemon. 

Let's start with the new moves. It seems the newly revealed Galarian-form Pokemon have their own special abilities. Galarian Weezing, for example, can neutralize the special abilities of all other Pokemon in the battle using Neutralizing Gas. If it faints or withdraws, the effect will dissipate, but Neutralizing Gas could lead to some powerful control strategies in competitive play. 

We also saw Corviknight's hidden ability, Mirror Armor, in action. This reflects all stat-lowering effects like speed down and defense down, effectively making Corviknight immune to attacks which weaken Pokemon. This is especially interesting thanks to another new move revealed in the trailer: Breaking Swipe, a physical attack which lowers the Attack of the Pokemon it hits

(Image credit: Nintendo)

As a blog post accompanying the new trailer explains, Corviknight doesn't learn Mirror Armor naturally. Only the Dynamax Corviknights encountered in Max Raid Battles will have this ability, and even that's just a chance. The same goes for other Pokemon and their hidden abilities, and it's also possible to catch Pokemon that can Gigantamax and have hidden abilities, which suggests raid hunting may well become the new Shiny hunting. 

Speaking of Dynamax-exclusive abilities: the Max Moves available to Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokemon often come with substantial bonuses. A separate blog post detailed two Max Moves and their effects. Max Geyser, a Water-type Max Move, will trigger the Rain weather status, buffing Water-type moves and weakening Fire-type moves, among other things. Meanwhile, the Fighting-type Max Move Max Knuckle will increases the attack of all allied Pokemon, including the user. 

Just as importantly, we learned that defensive moves like Protect will not completely nullify Max Moves. However, as The Pokemon Company explains, "all status moves used by a Dynamax Pokémon become Max Guard, which can even protect against other Max Moves." Additionally, Dynamax Pokemon ignore effects which cause flinching, letting them attack uninterrupted. In our Pokemon Sword and Shield preview, we found that Dynamax adds an unexpected but welcome layer of difficulty to battles, and little strategic wrinkles like these will hopefully take that even further. 

Finally, today's trailer showed two new held items in action. The Room Service item will lower a Pokemon's speed when the Psychic-type move Trick Room is used, while the Eject Pack item will automatically withdraw a Pokemon if its stats are lowered. Held items were absent in Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee - which, granted, wasn't technically a mainline game - so it's nice to see them return, especially alongside this suite of strategic sweetness. 

Outside of battles, thanks to the new Pokemon Sword and Shield Poke jobs, even your reserve Pokemon can earn XP and rare items. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.