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Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer reveals some new battle mechanics

(Image credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company)

The Pokémon World Championships are taking place right now and that makes it the perfect time for Nintendo and Game Freak to drop some brand new Pokémon Sword and Shield information, including a new trailer. 

The new details revolve around the game’s updated and layered battle system which will have some new attacks and abilities as well as some new items to use. 

New abilities will include Galarian Weezing’s Neutralizing Gas, which, as the name suggests, will neutralize the abilities of all other Pokémon on the battle field (including those of your teammate as the trailer shows with the failure of poor Rotom’s Levitate). We're not sure what happens if two Galarian Weezings go head to floating head and we're even less sure we want to find out. 

In a similar vein, Corviknight is shown to have a Hidden Ability called Mirror Armor which will allow it to reflect any stat-lowering effects back at its opponents. 

Hidden Abilities, it’s been confirmedin a blog post, are slightly more special than standard abilities as they’ll only feature in Pokémon that have been caught in Max Raid Battles (so a Corviknight you catch from a normal encounter won't have the Mirror Armor ability). 

These Max Raid Battles, coincidentally, are the way to encounter another kind of special Pokémon: one that's capable of Gigantamaxing. If you’re really lucky you might go into a Max Raid Battle and come away with a Pokémon that can Gigantamax and has a Hidden Ability but that’ll be a very rare event and you’ll have to take part in a lot of Raids. 

The first new held item revealed in the trailer is Room Service, which will lower the speed of the Pokémon holding it during Trick Room. The other is Eject Pack which will switch the holding Pokémon out of battle if its stats are lowered, allowing you to replace it with another from your team. 

New moves are always exciting and the trailer reveals one called Breaking Swipe, an attack capable of hitting two Pokémon at once and lowering their attacks. 

Max Moves

The biggest (and we mean that literally) detail to come from the trailer is with regards to the new Dynamaxing mechanic. 

You can Dynamax any Galar region Pokémon as long you have the Dynamax band (making this different to the aforementioned Gigantamaxing, which only some Pokémon species can do) and those you ‘make big’ will never feel the inconvenient effects of flinching. Even better, their powerful Max Moves will have secondary effects that could see your team gain advantage in battle. Max Geyser, for example, is a Water-type Max Move that will bring rain to the battlefield, strengthening Water-type moves and weakening Fire-type moves, something that could really give you the edge.

Finally, a few more details on the Online Battle Stadium have been confirmed. Players with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription will be able to connect over the internet and compete in single or double battles. These battles can be ranked or casual, with the former involving facing trainers of similar ranks to try and earn points to move up, while the latter is, well, just for fun. 

Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on Nintendo Switch on November 15. If you’re attending Gamescom 2019 this month you can get hands on with the game at Nintendo’s booth on the show floor.