Pokemon Sword & Shield Isle of Armour Discussion

I have beaten the Isle of Armor. I started playing it on the 18th, and I beat the story part of it on the 21st. It went rather fast even if I had to spend some extra time on things I thought I wouldn't need to do. I think it took me about 10-15 hours of gameplay time to beat the story part. Afterwards, I have been playing around doing other things like catching Pokemon, exploring the areas and training my teams. I wanted to share my thoughts on it in a similar way to what I did with the main game, so here we go. I wanted to get this post done earlier but I just haven't had the time to post this until now. This took a week to get done... I really need to stop making long posts like this.
Before the release of the Isle of Armor, I started doing some preparations on my game, which I started with on the 11th. This also meant I had to take another break from XC2. While I have beaten the main story in that game, I am still far from done with it as I have a lot of other things left to do, including the DLC. I really like XC2 and I have had a ton of fun with it, but I have been playing it a lot after I considered myself done with Sword back in January, so I felt that I needed a break from XC2 now.

After returning to Sword, I immediately remembered why I stopped playing it to start with and why I hadn't played it since January. I really dislike some of the decisions that were made for this game. But I have to live with them, and I quickly got back into the game despite all the issues I have with it. Within a few days, I had done everything I had planned to get done before the release of the Isle of Armor. The main thing was to create a new team that I had planned to use for the Isle of Armor. I had decided on some members for this team, and I quickly made up my mind about the rest of the team as well. Getting the Pokémon I needed went quickly, I had them all ready in time. Then I trained them a little too. Once all of that was done, I was ready.

I got the Isle of Armor on the 18th. Couldn't start playing it on the release date since it was released on a Wednesday, and I was busy that evening even if it was for a slightly different reason than usual. But that doesn't matter. Downloading the DLC went very quickly. In retrospect, I could easily have downloaded it on the 17th instead of the 18th, but it didn't make much of a difference. So I started playing it on the 18th.
Before the release, I had read that this DLC was supposed to have "level scaling", in the way that the levels of all opponents would scale according to the levels of your current party. I thought it sounded really great and that it was going to be really great, because it meant you would always face a rather balanced challenge as the levels of all opponents would match yours no matter what level your party was at. And I still think such a concept sounds really great for a Pokémon game. While I'm not sold on the idea of the games having level scaling according to your current progress in the game (in terms of badges/story progress or similar), I think having the levels scale according to the levels of your own party members sounded like a really great idea. So I went into the DLC with that in mind, thinking it would be amazing.

But as we all know, the DLC did not feature level scaling. Or at least not to the extent that had been said before the release. I was rather disappointed when I found out about this, which I did the hard way. I entered the Isle of Armor and quickly got into the first mandatory battle against Klara, which I had to win before I could continue. She sends out a level 58 Venipede against my team which is at level 10-11... I got nuked so hard. After this, I was wondering if there had been a mistake. Or maybe, Klara was just an exception to this level scaling? I decided to defeat her with some members of my old in-game teams, then see if I maybe the wild Pokémon would be similar to the levels of my party. The result? Nope! No matter which Pokémon I had in my party, all the wild Pokémon I met was at level 60. I resorted to the internet to see if I had done something wrong, but no. The pre-release info was what had been wrong. There was no level scaling to the extent we had been told, the levels just varied depending on whether you had beaten the main story or not.

After this, I was unsure about how I wanted to do. I had created a new team for the Isle of Armor, and I really wanted to use it! But it was not strong enough at this point. I also did not just want to breeze through everything with my old in-game team members. I thought about it a little and decided that I should use my new team, no matter what. This didn't force me to abandon them completely, I just had to change my plans a bit. I decided to train them all to level 55 before continuing. This meant I would be slightly lower than the wild Pokémon of the Isle, giving me a slight disadvantage in terms of levels (in the beginning, if nothing else). I decided to get this training done as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it meant I wouldn't get to see my team grow in the way I had hoped since they would all be fully evolved when I started exploring the Isle of Armor for real. But that's okay. The training went rather quickly, I got everything to level 55 on the next day. It could probably have gone even faster if there had been better training spots in the game, but this was still pretty fast, so that's all fine.

That's not all there is to levels though. As I played through the Isle of Armor, all wild Pokémon I met were at level 60, and trainer battles were at about that level too... but when I got Kubfu, it out of all things is at level 10? This was annoying for two reasons: I knew I would have to use Kubfu in the Tower of my choice later on, and I had planned to add it to my team too. When I obtained it, the rest of my team was at level 62. So I had to take another break and train Kubfu for a while. Fortunately, it also went fast. Then when I arrived at the Tower, they recommended me to be at level 70. I was at level 67 at that point, but I couldn't be bothered to train Kubfu any longer. So I decided to try it anyway, and it worked.

Lastly, the levels of Mustard's Pokémon during the final battle against him. He was at level 73-75, while my own team was at level 68-69. Another quite big jump. I still won without issues though.

I really like the concept of level scaling - as in levels scaling according to your current party - but I guess that's something the future will show if we'll ever actually see in a Pokémon game. Other than that, I thought the levels of the Isle of Armor were mostly fine, but I wish we hadn't been given this false information before the release.
Some thoughts about the core of the franchise, the Pokémon themselves, in relation to the Isle of Armor.

First, the new Pokémon. There's only three, but I want to say some things about them anyway. I like Kubfu. I had seen it getting a bit of criticism for its design before the release of the Isle of Armor, but I don't agree with that. I think it's just fine. A nice blend of tough and cute. Urshifu is great too, a more tough and rough Pokémon. I wish there was more of a difference between its two forms though. I think they look more or less completely the same, I can't tell them apart. Their Gigantamax forms fixes this though and makes them look different enough. There's also Zarude, which is in the game data now from what I have understood, and I guess it will be available whenever it gets released. I still like it too, a pretty cool monkey and another well-designed mythical Pokémon.

Then there's new Galarian forms. I am a little disappointed in that there are only two in total, and that both were revealed before the DLC release, but I guess I shouldn't have expected anything else. Either way, Slowpoke is my least favorite Galarian form so far, sad as it is. While I don't think it is downright bad, it is at the same time nowhere between great and downright fantastic like every other Galarian form. It is just... okay. I wish it was more different from regular Slowpoke, I think it looks too similar to regular Slowpoke. But it is Slowpoke after all, and I can't dislike it. Slowbro on the other hand is really good. I like how Shellder decided to bite its hand instead of the tail. It also has a unique type combination, and its stat spread is a bit different compared to most other regional variants as it exchanges Defense for Attack, really cool! And Quick Draw is a cool signature Ability. I like the concept of it, basically Quick Claw in item form. And they also have almost the same name! It also seems like an absurdly good Ability. In some of my battles against Klara, it felt like it activated every single turn. I guess she got really lucky there though since it only has a 20% chance of activating according to Bulbapedia, which is pretty low compared to what it felt like. Or maybe she just rigged it to activate more often than that. Either way, I fully approve of Galarian Slowbro.

But that's not all, since there's the old Pokémon too! I'm really happy how they brought back several old Pokémon, including some of my top favorites such as Alakazam, Starmie, Lilligant, Magnezone, Azumarill, Talonflame, Lycanroc, Zoroark, Mienshao, Volcarona, Palossand, Clawitzer, the Porygon line and others. That said, it is kind of sad that one of the selling points of the DLC is that it allows us to get old Pokémon back when they should have been available through transfer from the start. But at the same time, seeing various old Pokémon that wasn't in the main game was really fun.

Which old regions got the highest representation in terms of Pokémon returning? I decided to take a look at this, and Kanto gets the highest number, which is sadly not very surprising. 33 or 40 Kanto Pokémon return (depending on how you count). Unova comes at second place with 22 Pokémon returning. Johto gets 13 and Sinnoh 10, but over half of these are related to Pokémon from other regions (mostly Kanto). Kalos and Alola get even fewer but that's understandable since they have fewer Pokémon in total. But the big loser is Hoenn which only gets 6 new Pokémon back despite having the third largest amount of Pokémon overall. I do not approve of them bringing back so many from Kanto and so few from Hoenn. I guess it is a little fair for Kanto though since it had quite few in the main game compared to Unova, but still. They could have balanced it better. I also get the impression that they really wanted to include all Pokémon which has an Alola form.

There's the Gigantamax forms too. Not going to say much about them since I still don't care much for Gigantamax as a concept, the only one I'm interested in is Urshifu which is also the only one I'm using. Chances are that it will also be the only Gigantamax Pokémon I'll ever use and train.
I think the Isle of Armor handled the concept of a Wild Area much better than the main game. Here, the entire place is a wild area, not just one area. It is also just a wild area instead of being a mix of both a wild area and regular routes, like in the main game. I really liked exploring it. I also really appreciate the lack of random encounters, it makes exploring the areas so much more fun since you don't run into wild Pokémon at random intervals. I like how there are many different environments, such as plains, a forest, a desert, mountains and wetlands. There's also caves and sea routes, which are types of areas that weren't in the wild area in the main game, and they were not really available as regular areas either. One other thing I liked about the wild areas on the Isle of Armor is that the wild Pokémon that appear here seem to be a lot less weather-dependant compared to the wild area at the Galar mainland. I could be very wrong here, but that was the impression I got at least.

That said, it still has one issue that the regular wild area also has - there are no regular trainers anywhere. Why? Is it forbidden for regular NPC trainers to be in the wild areas, or has Game Freak suddenly decided that they don't like trainer battles? I almost get that impression from some recent games. Would it break the game too much to have some regular trainers here and there? I don't think so.

Another issue with the wild area at the Isle of Armor is that that there are several bad camera angles. I don't know if this happens in the wild area in the main game as well, if it does, then I did at least never notice it. Either way, if you rotate the camera at certain points, it zooms in too much when it isn't supposed too, which creates bad camera angles and sometimes also hides your player character. Here's a photo to show what I mean, from a small hill/cliff near the entrance to the cave at the Fields of Honor, on the opposite of the river from the Dojo:



So that's another issue that needs to be fixed. I really like having the ability to rotate the camera in the wild area, but it seems like it isn't without issues.

Other than that, I think it was great to have this as a post-game thing, not sure if I would have appreciated it quite as much if I had played it during the main game. But it would have been an optional side-game that way at least. On the whole, this is another thing I think could work well for Pokémon games: having a linear main game and a more open world post-game. I can see it work very well and the Isle of Armor almost shows that it does.

Overall, I think the concept of a wild area in the games is cool, but it is far from perfect. It works, but they really need to improve upon some things regarding the execution of it.
I want to say something about the story and characters too. On the whole, I enjoyed the story at the Isle of Armor. It was short but pretty good and fun on the whole. I liked how you got invited to the Dojo even if another person was supposed to get the invitation and not you.

The overall story with the Dojo and Kubfu was fun. I liked the first trial a lot, the concept of fast Slowpoke was hilarious! Basically turning them into Fastpoke. Getting friendly with Kubfu was interesting too, I think that's the first time they have made friendship with Pokémon a mandatory thing in the of a game story. I liked going to various places with it just to see the view, that was great. Climbing the Tower with Kubfu was fun and a bit of a challenge too since you could also use Kubfu there, it wasn't super hard but it still gave me quite a bit of suspense at times. The last battle against Mustard was a little scary but it was still no problems in the end. The Towers were really cool on the whole too.

The "post-game" story with Hop was fun too. I especially loved going into the forest to help Petilil and Lilligant, that was super adorable. Yes, I'm biased because I love Lilligant. Having to fight alone in a Max Raid against a Vespiquen was cool too. And then everything ended with another battle against Mustard, that was great.

Next, the characters. I really liked Klara. She's a good rival on the whole. She pretends to be sweet but is actually rather manipulative as well as a little scary, and she only puts in the minimal amount of effort needed to get something done. On the whole, she is a bit of an "odd Ducklett", as Honey says it. I'd say she is another of my favorite rivals... making her a part of my top... 11? I also liked how she cheated in the battle during the third trial by laying Toxic Spikes on the battlefield before the fight. Too bad I could use that against her as it gave a boost to my Obstagoon which has Guts and knows Facade!

This is the face of a cheater:


Since I'll never get to play Shield, I really wonder what Avery is like. I'm guessing he is different from Klara in terms of personality, at least I get that impression from his design.

There's also Mustard and Honey. I love their names! And Mustard was a great character, a good mentor and teacher for the trainers at the Dojo. I loved how his usual appearance was that of an old man, but then he goes all out and shows that he still has a lot of fighting spirit in him during the last two battles. I was really surprised when I saw that during the battle against him in the Tower. I also like how he is playing Pokémon Quest at the Dojo when he isn't doing anything else, and how he tells you to move if you stand between him and the TV! Honey was a sweet woman who cares about her family and the others at the Dojo.
I wanted to post my new team as well, and decided to do it here and not in the in-game team thread since I don't have that much to say about it compared to my previous in-game teams.

Since this is a team made for the Isle of Armor, I named it the Armor team. It is the third full team I have made on Sword, following the Champion and Reserve team. I have already given some hints about which Pokémon my team consisted of, and here are the full details for them.

Team at a glance:
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I decided to only use Galar Pokémon and Galarian forms since as usual, I wanted to focus on using new Pokémon. I also decided to only use Pokémon/forms that I have never used before, as usual. As well as Pokémon that could evolve since I wanted to see them grow as I played through the Isle of Armor (but as said earlier, that didn't really happen). There were several others I considered, most notably Boltund, Perrserker, Mr. Rime, Appletun and Galarian Darmanitan but in the end, it came down to these six. I decided to obtain them with useful Natures at least (yes, I know some of the Natures could have been even better) and good Abilities. I also gave them hold items that would benefit them. Some of them also got egg moves since I got them all through breeding. I won't go into any super long details for them, just some short words about them.

Team details:

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Inteleon (M) @ Wise Glasses
Ability: Torrent
Nature: Timid
- Snipe Shot
- Ice Beam
- Dark Pulse
- Aqua Jet

Decided to use Inteleon here since it is my second favorite Galar starter and I wanted to use it... somewhere. It is fast and has high Sp.att, I like that. Not the best special movepool in the world, but it worked. Snipe Shot was the main STAB move, Surf or even Scald would probably have been better, but some signature moves are just too cool to skip out on. Ice Beam and Dark Pulse for coverage, then Aqua Jet in the last slot for priority. Inteleon has lower Attack but it is still decent enough, it could be useful as a finisher or for chip damage at times.

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Rapidash-G (F) @ Pixie Plate ** Cozy Glow
Ability: Pastel Veil
Nature: Jolly
- Zen Headbutt
- Play Rough
- Smart Strike
- Morning Sun

Really wanted to use this magic horse somewhere, and it became here. Not best pony since that spot goes to Keldeo, but it is still great. I also wish it was an alicorn but whatever! Still 20% cooler than regular Rapidash. Zen Headbutt and Play Rough are the mandatory STAB moves which are unfortunately inaccurate, then Smart Strike as filler for coverage as well as full accuracy. Morning Sun in the last slot to recover HP, it was useful at times. This is also the only one with a nickname since I didn't need to know that it is a Rapidash, I already knew that even if it is a Galarian form. I thought about naming it something different but this was my original idea and I decided to stick with it.

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Corviknight (M) @ Sharp Beak
Ability: Pressure
Nature: Jolly
- Brave Bird
- Iron Head
- Body Press
- Roost

Decided to give the regional bird a try after skipping it for the main game. I have grown to like it more and more as time has gone by and I felt like using it somewhere. Brave Bird and Iron Head are powerful STAB moves, then Body Press for coverage, I thought it could be great since Corviknight has high Defense. Roost in the last slot to recover HP. Having a Steel- and Flying-type on my team was very useful at times, I'm glad I used it.

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Centiskorch (M) @ Charcoal
Ability: Flash Fire
Nature: Careful
- Fire Lash
- Leech Life
- Crunch
- Coil

This became the fourth member of the team. I was very close to using Centiskorch on my main game team, but I ended up not going with it. So I decided to use it here instead. It doesn't have the greatest movepool in the world but it gets just enough moves to work. Fire Lash and Leech Life are the obvious STAB moves, Leech Life also lets it recover HP which is never bad. Could have gone with Flare Blitz over Fire Lash but decided not to. Crunch for coverage, and Coil to boost its stats a bit.

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Obstagoon (M) @ Muscle Band
Ability: Guts
Nature: Adamant
- Facade
- Throat Chop
- Thunder Punch
- Obstruct

Not the last member of the team, but the last one I decided on. I have come to the conclusion that I really like the new evolutions of regional variants, so I wanted to use another one. It became Obstagoon. It is the second regional evolution I use after I used Sirfetch'd on my in-game team. Facade and Throat Chop are two strong STAB moves, Facade gets an incredible power boost combined with Guts if it should get afflicted by status. Wasn't sure which moves to use in the last slots, but it ended up being Thunder Punch and Obstruct. I'm not sure which the best options are though, there are many others to choose from since Obstagoon has an insane movepool, which is another reason I wanted to use it.

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Urshifu-Rapid (M) @ Black Belt
Ability: Unseen Fist
Nature: Impish (Minted to Adamant)
- Close Combat
- Surging Strikes
- Iron Head
- Thunder Punch

The last member of the team. Since Kubfu seemed to have a big role in the Isle of Armor, I decided to use it on my team. This is the first time I'm using a legendary on an in-game team since Ruby or Diamond, depending on how you count. I decided to go with the Rapid Strike form since I prefer Water over Dark in terms of types. Not sure which one of them is better overall, though it doesn't matter since I won't be using it for anything else than in-game, maybe also Battle Tower and Restricted Sparring (if it is allowed there). Close Combat is the best Fighting-move it gets, Surging Strikes since it is a signature move and for secondary STAB. Iron Head and Thunder Punch for coverage. Like with Obstagoon, I'm not sure if the last two moves are the most optimal, I might change them to something else.

This team was good and fun to use, but it was rather unbalanced when it comes to Physical and Special. 5 out of 6 the Pokémon I used were physical attackers. I generally prefer more balanced teams, or teams that focus on Special over Physical since I like Special better than Physical, but this was still okay in the end.

Making a new team for the Isle of Armor was a ton of fun, and I'm definitely considering doing it for the Crown Tundra later on as well. But when I do, I'll try to make it more balanced between Physical and Special.
I thought the gameplay for the Isle of Armor was pretty good on the whole. At first, I was a bit annoyed about the lack of a healing spot at the station, but it quickly got solved since there was one at the Dojo instead.

As expected, there was a Pokédex expansion for the Isle, it had the 100 new Pokémon in it as well as slightly more than 100 old ones, which was about what I had expected. It seems like the new ones doesn't count to your "total" in the game though, which is a shame.

I noticed two new encounter methods on the Isle. One that I liked, one that I disliked. The one I liked was Emolga flying between the trees in the forest, that was really awesome. The one I disliked was Sharpedo chasing after you at the sea routes. Repels did not work to keep it away either. It was not fun, it made the sea routes a lot less enjoyable to explore. Fortunately, there wasn't a lot to explore on them apart from water and small islands. While the Sharpedo encounter might be realistic, I never asked for that. I'll always take a fun gameplay feature over a realistic one.

As for other new features in the expansion... First of all, the following Pokémon feature. I didn't like it. It is completely useless and the overall execution is just as bad as it was in HG/SS. It is almost worse in some aspects. That said, I'm going to give it a pass this time just because it is optional and can be turned off. Which is something I did as soon as I learned that you could do that and how to do it. So in fact, I'm going to say that's another plus on the whole. Optional features are always an example of good game design. Well done, Game Freak! And I think the concept of following Pokémon could be great if they could just give it a better execution.

On one small island in the sea, I found a woman who (if I understood her correctly) can remove all the EVs of one Pokémon for the price of a few pieces of Armorite Ore. That is really awesome, it is something I will consider if I ever need to remove all of the EVs for a Pokémon on Sword. I really like it since it feels like a better alternative than using berries, farming the EV-reducing berries (and berries in general) is a lot less convenient here than it was in Gen 7.

You can upgrade the Dojo with more stuff like a stylist and a PC, at the cost of Watts. Seems cool, not sure if I will upgrade it to full though. That said, from what I understood, you can get some rare league cards from Honey and even go on a "date" with her if you give enough watts? I have to say that it sounds very interesting... but I'm not sure. On the other hand, I don't really need all those watts, and farming more is pretty easy, so maybe. I haven't decided yet.

I really like the Cram-o-matic. I think it is really cool that you can use it to create items, the most notable for me being TRs! One of the issues I had with the main game was how TRs were so limited and could not be re-obtained in some good way, but now that they have added one, I'm all for it!

I like the idea of finding Alolan Diglett hidden around the Isle, but I'm not sure if I will try to find them all. It seems like the gift Pokémon you get are mostly Alola forms, Alola Pokémon and some Kantonian forms too. While that's cool, I'll probably never use them, so I don't see the need to do it. There's also a girl who can trade you Kantonian variants for several Galarian forms, which is also cool but also something I'll probably not make use of.

A very minor thing, but I noticed that the message when shaking berry trees changed after getting the DLC. Both on the Isle of Armor and the Galar mainland. I don't mind it, but I found it very unexpected. Guess that was because Apricorns can now fall from berry trees and not just berries.

Max Soup is another thing I approve of. Now, you can just use it on any Pokémon that has an Gigantamax form to allow them to Gigantamax even if they couldn't from the start, or reverse a Gigantamax Pokémon so that they use a regular Dynamax instead. So awesome! That said, I don't think I'll use it that much myself. I only used it on my Urshifu so far and I think that will be it.

There's Move Tutors, which have completely new moves... and most of these moves seem really weird. I'll probably never use them but I think it's quite cool that they were created and added. I wonder if any of them will get any good use in competitive or semi-competitive play. From my perspective, most of them didn't feel particularly useful for in-game use at least, but I could be wrong.

The Isle of Armor adds some more and easier way to train. First of all, there's the Exp. Charm. This is awesome since it gives more Exp. at all times, I don't think you can ever get too much Exp so I approve of it. It is especially helpful here in Sword since this game doesn't have super good training spots. But that's another thing that the Isle also improves upon, since it allows you to have daily rematches with Mustard and Klara/Avery once you have beaten it, which is great! Mustard even makes a comment about the battle is about who gets the most Exp. when you have rematch with him, he definitely knew what I was really after. And another thing is that you can now find Chansey and Blissey in the wild, which allows for more Exp. They seem to be rather rare though. But on the whole, it is a bit of an improvement, which I really appreciate.

Lastly, there's Restricted Sparring. This is really cool. Similar to the Type Expert Tournaments at the PWT in B2/W2 but with an unfair twist as your opponents are not limited to just one type as they can use whatever they want. It has limited healing too, which adds another layer of challenge to it. It seems fun, and it seems to already have received quite a bit of popularity in the Tower thread which now has leaderboards for it as well, many players have already given it a try. And unlike the Tower, it seems to ban cover legendaries and mythicals at least, which means it is a bit more restricted, so that's cool. Though you can still use Dynamax and Gigantamax while I'm unsure if the opponents can/will use that as well. I tried it once with some members of my in-game teams but lost in the first battle, guess I shouldn't have expected anything else. But I really like how they added a new Battle Facility in the DLC. I have considered trying it for real in the future, but I'm not sure. If it had been added in Gen 6 or 7, I would have tried it without hesitation, now I don't know.
While this isn't about the Isle of Armor, I thought I'd say it here as well. I have finally gotten Home. The one thing that won me over was the shiny Zeraora event. Zeraora is my 4th favorite mythical overall and getting a shiny one is going to be really awesome. I managed to defeat 2 Zeraora in raids myself, though I'm not sure if my contribution was added since I don't have NSO. But we reached the goal anyway, so that's really good! I also got the HA starters from Home which was a nice bonus, it will be fun if I ever decide to raise any of them. I might train a Libero Cinderace in the future, or a Rillaboom with Grassy Surge for the Crown Tundra later on...

This means I can also get the Magearna, and now that Magearna can be transferred to S/S, it feels more worth it. But I'm not sure about it. If I have understood things correctly, you need an actual living Dex to get it, and transfer said Dex to Home, which means several Pokémon will be locked into Home Prison until you can transfer them to a future game, some might even be locked in there forever. As much as I love Magearna, I don't think I will do this. I don't even have the ability to do it right now since I am missing some Pokémon for a living dex, the most notable being Cosmog, Cosmoem, Type: Null, Zamazenta and Kubfu. As well as Meltan and Melmetal if you need mythicals too. I may consider it for the future though, especially if Dexit should no longer be a thing. But that depends a lot on how the future of the series is going to be, and my interest in it. This is another situation where I would have done it immediately in Gen 7 (or 5/6), but can't see the need to do it in Gen 8.

I also find Home to be a bit unnecessarily overcomplicated. You need both the Switch and Mobile versions in order to do everything. There are some features that can only be done in one of them, yet you still need both, and you can't be logged into both at once... I don't get why they had to make it so complicated. Things were easier back in the good old days where you didn't need a mobile app and features such as the GTS, Wonder Trade, Medals and the National Dex were in the actual main series games themselves and not in extra apps. I miss those days now. Apart from events, I will probably not use Home that much. Especially not compared to how much I used Bank during Gen 6/7.
Don't know if this is allowed (if not, I apologize), but I wanted to share some pictures from my playthrough of the Isle of Armor, now that I have gained the ability to upload images from my Switch to the internet. I made a Twitter account just for the sole purpose of being able to upload pictures from my Switch, will probably never use it for anything else.



The Armor Team before and after going through the Isle of Armor (and a lot of training!).


Is she serious about this, or is she just trying to find a better way to be bad?


He's onto something...




Some pictures of Klara, just because.


During a battle against her. This might have been the one where she cheated during the trial, don't remember exactly.


Welcome to the Armor Team!


The Tower of Water.


Mustard getting serious.


Cuteness overload!


Mine and Mustard's Gigantamax Urshifu in a fierce battle!


Not really related to the Isle of Armor, but from a Zeraora raid (which I won, Copperajah was awesome here!).


Klara gives a good summary of how I feel about Pokémon on the whole right now.
What's next for me? First of all, I will continue playing Sword for a bit, I have already completed the majority of the Armor Dex, but I won't be able to complete it to 100%. I can't get Porygon2/Z or Slowking, and maybe not Skrelp/Dragalge either, it depends on the GTS. I was fortunate to get a Heracross though, so there's a small chance at least. I'm also unsure about Scizor and Kingdra, it depends on if the weather will be what it needs to be for them to appear in the areas they can appear at. But that's okay, I might complete the Armor Dex at a later point, or not. I also beat the Champion Cup once with my Armor team, the only thing I have left to do right now is to train all members of my three teams to level 80, which should go rather fast. I'm also going to get the shiny Zeraora once it releases. But once all of that is done, I'm taking another break and going back to XC2, which will likely happen sometime early next month. Then I'll go back to Sword once more when the Crown Tundra releases, but there's still at least 4-5 months left until that happens.

There are some other things I have thought about doing though. I kind of want to make some mid-game or post-game team in Sword, but I just don't have the interest or motivation to do it right now. Not sure if I will do it in the future either.

There's also the Battle Facilities. I have planned to return to the Battle Tower and make some teams of my own for it in the future, but I have decided to wait until the Crown Tundra so that I can choose from as many different Pokémon as possible. The same goes for Restricted Sparring, if I decide to try it in the future, I'll probably wait with it until the Crown Tundra has been released.

I said this at an earlier point, but I'll say it here too because it has become more apparent now. I feel that I'm getting burnt out on Pokémon. It is sad to say, but that's just how it is. I guess it isn't too strange since I have been playing the games so much since 2011, only having one somewhat longer break during most of 2015 (but even so, it was not a complete break), then I have only had shorter, breaks that lasted for about a week or so at best. My interest in Pokémon has also gradually been falling since OR/AS, so I guess this is just the next step that was bound to happen sooner or later. Getting burnt out has happened to me once before. Back then, it lasted from December 2008 to March 2011, the feeling I'm having now is pretty much the same as back then. I have no problems playing through the main game of Sword or the Isle of Armor, or doing casual things in the games. Even more hardcore things like completing the Pokédex or battling at the Battle Tower (albeit with rental teams). I don't have any problems with playing the Subway in White either (and if I do, it is because I have gotten unsure about my team there and have been thinking of changing it, but that's for a different discussion). But when it comes to training more serious teams on Sword, like a mid-/post-game team or teams for the Battle Tower/Restricted Sparring, I just have no motivation to do it. Everything I need for it requires so much time and effort, and it just feels so boring to me right now. I really enjoy reading posts by other people in the Battle Tower thread, I really wish I could share their enthusiasm and be a part of it myself, but I just can't. The exact same thing happened during my previous burnout. I know this feeling very well.

I also said in a previous post that I will quit Pokémon. But despite what I just said above, I'm not sure anymore. On one hand, I am getting burnt out and doesn't have as much enthusiasm for the series anymore, the recent games (especially Gen 7 and on) have also had some rather big issues which made them less enjoyable to play. But on the other hand, I still do like playing these games despite their issues. And even if the newer games have issues, there's nothing stopping me from playing the older games instead. I have also been a Pokémon fan for so long that I don't know if I can quit at this point. So I don't know. Another idea I have had is to just quit my hardcore and semi-competitive playing altogether (but that won't be until after I have beaten the Subway for real) and just became a casual player to 100%. Or I might just need to take a longer break from Pokémon and see how I feel during/after that. Plus, the future after the Crown Tundra (and the Subway) is still very uncertain. Future Pokémon games will be the ones that decide my future interest in the series.

Sorry if I'm rambling, but I just wanted to get all that off my chest.
To summarize, I thought this was a fun DLC expansion. It was not perfect as it had some issues, but I still enjoyed it a lot and had tons of fun with it. In fact, it is similar to my experience with the Sword main game as I felt pretty much the same about it. I think the Isle of Armor improved upon the main game in some areas and it even dowright fixed some issues I had with the main game, which is awesome! I can't compare it to anything though. I wanted to compare it to the DLC for other Switch games, but I can't do that yet since I haven't started on the DLC for BOTW, and I have not done much on the DLC for XC2 either, just some minor things. I still have a lot of big things left (most notably Torna). And I guess it is also too early to do a comparison to other games since the full DLC isn't out yet, we still have the Crown Tundra left. So I think I will wait with a full review until that has been released too. But even so, I still think the Isle of Armor did very well for being Pokémon's first real DLC. It didn't really re-ignite my interest in Pokémon in any significant way, but was still enjoyable for what it was.

And lastly, on a different note, I'm still mostly on hiatus from the forums. Not really back for real quite yet, just wanted to get this post done while the Isle of Armor is still reasonably new. I'm hoping to get "back" (more or less) at some point next month.
 
Still playing through the DLC but I just gotta say I’m salty that you can find Thick Clubs just laying around the Isle but it’s impossible to find Leeks outside of wild Farfetch’d/Sirfetch’d :psygrump:. Some of us have Shield Gamefreak!
 
It feels like IoA spawns way more items per area than the normal Wild Area, I wound if there's any tables listing out rarities and such.


Actually, related, but did any of the returning Pokemon have their wild held items changed?
 
One thing I will rant about is that they didn't add a Rusty Bottle Cap or something of the sort to make an IV 0. I had to encounter literally over 120 Sandygast to find a single one with 0 Spe, and I shudder when I think about all the breeding I'm gonna have to do even before the Masuda Method stuff starts (get 0 atk and spe IVs on a single Sandygast, then breed for apriball transferral). While it could be argued that it's too easy for Pokemon to do everything for you... Showdown exists and is arguably more popular than cart. Not to mention I could take any wild Pokemon I find and (bar 0 IVs or HAs) make it competitively ready in about 30 minutes or less (buy EV enhancing items, bottle caps, Ability Capsules, etc.)
 
One thing I will rant about is that they didn't add a Rusty Bottle Cap or something of the sort to make an IV 0. I had to encounter literally over 120 Sandygast to find a single one with 0 Spe, and I shudder when I think about all the breeding I'm gonna have to do even before the Masuda Method stuff starts (get 0 atk and spe IVs on a single Sandygast, then breed for apriball transferral). While it could be argued that it's too easy for Pokemon to do everything for you... Showdown exists and is arguably more popular than cart. Not to mention I could take any wild Pokemon I find and (bar 0 IVs or HAs) make it competitively ready in about 30 minutes or less (buy EV enhancing items, bottle caps, Ability Capsules, etc.)
TECNICALLY you can guarantee passing the 0 IVs to offsprings by using the relative stat macho braces once you have the parents, and use bottle caps later, just saying
 
TECNICALLY you can guarantee passing the 0 IVs to offsprings by using the relative stat macho braces once you have the parents, and use bottle caps later, just saying
That's definitely what I'm going to be doing for the Sandygast breeding, but.... come on. I wasted 1 1/2 hours of my life on the preperation to Masuda Method breed for a shiny. The preperation isn't even done yet! And then when you consider Pokemon like Cinderace that just eat a bunch of vitamins and a few Bottle Caps and are already competitively ready, it's relatively far more inconvenient to try and breed for a 0 atk 0 spe sandygast.
 
TECNICALLY you can guarantee passing the 0 IVs to offsprings by using the relative stat macho braces once you have the parents, and use bottle caps later, just saying
Yeah I've bred a whole Trick Room team with this method. I don't even use Bottle Caps. With a 0 IV Ditto and a perfect Ditto it's really easy to chain perfect + 0 speed Pokemon.

If anyone reading this needs a perfect Ditto check for giveaways on Facebook and Reddit. Bottle Caps are great but can get BP pricy if you breed a lot.

Edit: Oh if you're looking for a perfect shiny... good luck.
 
Yeah I've bred a whole Trick Room team with this method. I don't even use Bottle Caps. With a 0 IV Ditto and a perfect Ditto it's really easy to chain perfect + 0 speed Pokemon.

If anyone reading this needs a perfect Ditto check for giveaways on Facebook and Reddit. Bottle Caps are great but can get BP pricy if you breed a lot.
Gets a little harder when you don't want to use hacked Dittos. I luckily have a legit 6IV ditto from that easter raid event. Of course, the offspring are legitimate, but I know in my heart they're not.
 
Gets a little harder when you don't want to use hacked Dittos. I luckily have a legit 6IV ditto from that easter raid event. Of course, the offspring are legitimate, but I know in my heart they're not.
You just need a Ditto with 0 speed. The rest of the IVs don't matter. Just catch like 50 of them and hope you get lucky. Use it to breed a baby sandygast with 0 speed then switch to a good nature ditto to get a 0 speed sandy with the right nature. Give the baby sandy an everstone and 6 iv ditto a Destiny knot and breed like normal.

If you're adamant about getting a shiny it might take a while but getting a 0 speed Ditto is probably the easiest part.
 
I'm guessing gamefreak sees 0IVs too niche and don't like the idea of 0ing them out, especially since unlike EVs you have to really jump through an expensive hoop to get the rest up to snuff if you mess up
 
You just need a Ditto with 0 speed. The rest of the IVs don't matter. Just catch like 50 of them and hope you get lucky. Use it to breed a baby sandygast with 0 speed then switch to a good nature ditto to get a 0 speed sandy with the right nature. Give the baby sandy an everstone and 6 iv ditto a Destiny knot and breed like normal.

If you're adamant about getting a shiny it might take a while but getting a 0 speed Ditto is probably the easiest part.
It took me 122 encounters to get my 0 Spe Sandygast, luck does not favor me :P
 
If you have USUM, Bank, and Home there was some scripted Ditto encounters in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon that have pre-determined IVs, including one with an Attack IV of 0 and one with a Speed IV of 0. Transferring them to Gen VIII for breeding would make it easier for future breeding Endeavors.
 
Finished the DLC tonight. In my opinion, it was an improvement over the base game and I hope that it is a sign of things to come in Crown Tundra and beyond. There are some things I enjoyed, some I was neutral on, and others I disliked.

• Overall, the art direction for Isle is much better than it was for SwSh. It’s amazing how a bit more grass and flowers as well as some puddles make the environment seem more lively and realistic. The lighting, shading, and color palettes were also better and I hope it’s a sign of things to come.

• It feels like the weather has been a little restricted (to more appropriate terrain) for Isle? Not that I’m complaining (I hate the weather system in the base game), but it’s nice not getting a full on blizzard in the desert or a sandstorm on the sea.

• Adding on to that, you actually do feel like you are in different habitats on Isle as opposed to the main game. The forest feels like a forest, caves feel and look like caves, etc. Kudos to whoever decided to make the seperation much more distinct.

• Sharpedo chasing you like a horror movie killer, Emolga floating through the trees, etc. really helped in making the Pokémon feel less robotic. Here’s hoping that GF will figure out how to make Bug Pokémon crawl up trees at some point.

• The characters are fun, with your rival probably being the most fleshed out. I like the allusion to some sort of Ragnarok event in the near future (also is that why all the gym leaders are visiting the island? Are they training?)

• QoL improvements, such as mints, ability capsules, and vitamins being more readily available or cheaper is appreciated.

• The variety of Pokémon was good, and I appreciated that you could still capture trade Pokémon in the wild (also Volcarona).

• The story was short and straightforward. Mustard felt like an adequate final boss and the other battles were decent as long as you didn’t overprep. The first battle could be more challenging.

• Polygon-Z is going to be the bane of my existence in this game. Why oh why did they bring back a Pokémon that needs 2! Item trades to evolve in a generation which makes you jump through hoops to do it. This thing better be in some dens...

• The Cramorant Machine is a good idea, and I hope it’s formula is refined in the future.

• The Diglett quest is annoying. If they popped up once in a while or made a noise (or you got something like an Itemfinder for them) it would be tolerable. As it is now, unless you want to waste hours of your life, just use a walkthrough and plow through it. Also, the quest is mostly redundant as there is an NPC that will trade you a local mon for its regional version, so unless you are looking specifically for Hidden Abilities for competitions you can skip this entirely.

• Traversing the sea could use more thought. Specifically, it’s too slow on the bike, especially with all those Sharpedos gunning after you. They should make the RotoBoost last longer or introduce a new method of surfing.

• Following Pokémon speeds. Why is my Sharpedo so lethargic in the water GF when wild Sharpedo are so fast? Has being caught broken it’s will to live? Some consistency, if not inter species, than at least intra, would be nice.
 
I finished the DLC a few days ago. I rate it a 5/10, though SwSh I'd rate a 4/10. A definite improvement but it's like polishing Rhydon shit. SwSh were a bunch of 10/10 ideas in a 4/10 game. Also spoiler alert I'm so fucking drunk and I have a new phone which doesn't yet understand Pokemon names. If I make any typos oh well, at least I tried. Don't read this if you care about the 2 hours of story spoilers aka 3 fetch quests.

The DLC is neat. The island is fun to explore and the story mode with the punchy teddy bear is vaguely interesting. But also like, I paid 60 dollars for an apparently finished game, and probably 90% the content of the DLC is the stuff they cut returning and are now selling back to me. At least half of the fucks I give are Tentacruel and Porygon Z returning. Don't give me the bullshit "the patch released all the Pokemon for free". It isn't free, I have to import everything from Home which I paid for, and Nintendo online which I also paid for. Also Pokemon Bank because fuck me I'll pay for that too. Yeah I can play for "free" and join online max raids or trade but that's free in the same way EA let's you play as Darth Vadar for free in BF2. Also if you don't buy the DLC you're locked out of move tutors that were seemingly designed around competitive online play.

The actual isle of armor story is... what, 8 battles? 5 of which are in a tower that suggests you be level 70, but starts off at level 68 lol. Hop shows up and at that point I actually want to fight him (because by then all I've done is fucking fetch quests) but nope the very concept of challenging the player is as alien to Gamefreak as Deoxys. Also would it kill Gamefreak to evolve your opponent's Pokemon? You have a level 58 Venipede man, I've literally enslaved God or whatever Zacian is and you're still sending baby bugs at me? I almost feel bad killing your squiggly children. The rival is vaguely an asshole so that's nice but the only battle that even kind of challenges you is Mustard. Oops spoiler I guess but you already knew that. He's like level 75 and I no item solo'd him with a level 70 Tentacruel. Dynamax is broken and unhealthy to any format including VGC and single player! But hey at least ol' Musty uses 6 Pokemon. That's hard by today's standard!

Anyway 97% of the dlc is just fetch quests. That stupid Diglett challenge jerked off some part of my primordial cave man brain and I spend far more time than I care to admit looking for Diglett for a reward I didn't even want. But that's okay! If you can't make battles hard at least let me enjoy the closest thing to an open world Pokemon game that we have ever had. Can you imagine a Pokemon game with Animal Crossing level of complexity? Fetch quests are great if you can masturbate the player hard enough for doing them. The issue is when you grind items in Animal Crossing / Minecraft etc the reward is those items let you actually do something. What do the fetch quests let me do in Pokemon? Nothing really. TMs and move tutors but there isn't even anything to fight against on the island! Isle of Armor is a definite improvement over SwSh but that game was clearly rushed. Tundra will come out in a few months but if it's anything like Armor it sounds like 90% of the content will be previous content that they're selling back to me.

Tldr version ignoring the Pokemon that were killed by dexit and returned (aka not game play) the only thing this expansion adds is 2 hours of fetch quests and a few tutors. Yeah the island is nice but it's like paying 30 dollars for photos of an Ex to masturbate to. Just a taste of what could have been.

I rate Isle of Armor a 5/10 I guess. Fuck Gamefreak and Dexit.
 
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• The Diglett quest is annoying. If they popped up once in a while or made a noise (or you got something like an Itemfinder for them) it would be tolerable. As it is now, unless you want to waste hours of your life, just use a walkthrough and plow through it. Also, the quest is mostly redundant as there is an NPC that will trade you a local mon for its regional version, so unless you are looking specifically for Hidden Abilities for competitions you can skip this entirely.
Actually, the only two Pokemon the Diglett guy and the trader have in Common are Alolan Exeggutor and Alolan Marowak.

The Diglett guy exclusively has Alolan Meowth, Kantonian Slowpoke, Alolan Vulpix, Alolan Sandshrew, Alolan Raichu, Alolan Starters, and Alolan Diglett.

The trader exclusively has non-Galarian versions of Farfetch'd, Corsola, Ponyta, Darumakka, Zigzagoon, Stunfisk, and Weezing, on top of being the second in-game trader to give Kantonian Meowth and Mr. Mime, only this time without nicknames.
 
Bought the DLC yesterday and finished it the same night. It's pretty damn short, but I thought it had a lot more personality and humor than the main game. IoA is a lot better than the Wild Area.
 

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