SPOILERS! Pokemon Sword & Shield Pre-Release SPOILERS - Check Post 2!

I think the "evolution" or development in fiction is done wrong most of the time; someone doesn't change from black to white in the curse of an adventure.
As with everything else, it's possible to do character development badly, but I don't think it's as bad as you make it sound. Compare Bianca and Cheren with Hugh.

Bianca is going on a Pokemon journey to find her independence as a person. She and Elesa confront her father (who may merely be overprotective or outright emotionally abusive; both interpretations are possible, and you can form your own opinion) but through her interactions with you and Cheren she comes to terms with the fact that the path you seem to be pursuing isn't hers, ending up assisting the professor with research since that's what she finds rewarding.

Cheren's goal is to become the Champion. His use of held items rather than Potions conveys his strategic nature and lends a sense that he has the makings of a strong trainer in him, but when Alder asks what he plans to do after he's on top of the world he has no response. Being the League Champion in Unova isn't like climbing Everest, where "because it's there" is a valid reason to do it; it's a role with a significant amount of influence, and Cheren has no idea what he'd do with that even if he did get it. In the end, N explicitly chooses you as his counterpart over Cheren, who bows out with grace (but still succeeds at fighting his way through the Elite Four, as if just to prove to himself that he was at least in with a shot) and becomes a Gym Leader, using his expertise and wisdom to assist his fellow Trainers.

Hugh is a kid who wants to get his sister's Purrloin back. He shouts a lot at people wearing Team Plasma uniforms, ignoring any nuance in the scenario (like the former Team Plasma members wearing their old uniforms as a symbol of contrition and loyalty to N); he cares about Pokemon, and thinks that things like stealing them and making them sad is bad in the abstract, but he only actually cares about his sister's Purrloin. Eventually he gets back the Purrloin, and he crashes to a halt as a character. The battle in Victory Road is a formality - previous Pokemon games have a rival fight in the run-up to the Pokemon League, so here's Hugh again.
 
Could be a M-Lati situation, in that the split evos have the same G-max form.
It’ll be interesting to find out what the answer is. I just can’t see the two designs converging in a g-max form that looks so similar to their pre-evolution; why level up to something that is seemingly just a cooler version that looks like the Pokémon that it used to be, Applin? It just confuses me from a design standpoint. M-Latios and M-Latias looking similar in their mega evo makes sense not only thematically, but given the context of their relationship as a duo of two different but intrinsically interconnected Pokémon. Appletun and Flapple could fit that definition considering it’s a split evo, but it just seems like a sort of design cop-out to merge the Pokémon line back with a g-max form.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
 
There are 100 TMs and 100 TRs, the latter being a replacement for move tutor. You can purchase the latter but have to use the watt currency if I'm not mistaken.

Do we know how we go about acquiring watts in-game yet? Are they just from Max Raid battles? That ought to make things rather grindy
 
I am a fan of the TRs and TMs. Always liked the old TM system for ingame purposes and making choices more important, but when it comes to competitive I can see how limited important move sources could be a pain. The new TMs were convenient but I felt at the same time it was easy to put Return or whatever good TM you found to be optimal on everything, and end up with a lot of moveslots in common. Now you can have infinite of the standard variety moves, but the powerful/uncommon moves are limited. Makes sense to have these different power levels on different standards, and we're even seeing weird choices like signature moves thrown into the mix now.

Speaking of moves, the fact that Darkest Lariat is still in makes me think that they weren't too hasty to delete things, or at least reconsidered a use for them and there might probably be a fair share of unused moves in the data. I personally hope the legendary sig moves like Fusion Flare or Spacial Rend are in so Metronome can still call them.

All these TRs being rebuyable is nice too, so you don't have to start a new game or cheat to get something like Earthquake, and also for ingame if you're the type to worry about wasting a TM. Putting them in shops also makes them easy to find in a standard location, and not have to hunt around in the overworld for. You can do some window shopping, scan the selections before you buy, and set a goal for yourself. The balance might depend on how easy or grindable Watts will be, though I think availability will be a deiciding factor.
 
So, I thought of something concerning Technical Records.

You know how Darkest Lariat is a TR now? Well, that could possibly mean the other Alola starters could have their signature moves endure via this mechanic. Which means...

SPIRIT SHACKLE TR?? MORE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED, ACTUALLY POWERFUL PHYSICAL GHOST STAB?!???
With Mystical Fire also on the TM list, it seems they want much higher distribution of starter moves.

Here's some speculation of who might learn what.

Roselia
Snover (pine needles)
Ferroseed
Corsola
Maractus (already learns it)
Qwilfish
Maybe Mareanie?
Falinks
Turtonator
Togedemaru (already learns it)
Pincurchin

Vulpix
Natu
Ralts
Drifloon
Duskull
Gastly
Pumpkaboo
Litwick
Sinistea
Probably some other Fires and Ghosts

Sobble
Accelgor (already learns it)
Uhhh, nothing else really looks like it would throw ninja stars. It would be kinda cool if Cloyster got it, but I have a feeling this won't be a TM.

Other than maybe Dreepy, nothing in the dex looks like it might fire a ghostly arrow, or any arrow for that matter.

Obstagoon
Diggersby
Golett
Pancham
Machop
Timburr
Maybe Galarian Meowth?
Grimmsnarl
Croagunk
Throh
Sawk
Beartic
Hawlucha
Clobbopus
Grapploct
Passimian
Darumaka
Hakamo-o
Any other Pokemon that looks like it might throw down

Ludicolo
Tympole
Milotic
Wailmer (whale song)
Lapras
Probably some other Waters

Even if this doesn't actually become a TM, Lapras absolutely needs to get this move somehow.


The presence of Razor Shell also reminded me of Tepig's signature Heat Crash. Even if it isn't a TM, I am 95% certain that Coalossal will learn Heat Crash, and maybe even Carkoal too.
 
Putting them in shops also makes them easy to find in a standard location, and not have to hunt around in the overworld for.
Hopefully all of them are purchaseable, but I can already see a couple issues.

The first and recurring one is that some of them are on the post-game. The Battle Tower is selling them, and I hope there are some other ways to get them, because I think Dragon Dance was one of the TRs there.

The other is that the leaker already confirmed that some TRs can be found on the overworld. Whether or not you can rebuy them is unclear.
 
Do we have any info on Mystical Fire's BP, PP, secondary effs?
Yes. (Got sort of sniped)

I like how a lot of Pokemon that were snapped by Dexit now have their previous exclusive moves as TMs. It's like going to Goodwill and buying someone's dead grandma's dress.
Eh, since many Pokemon are now going to learn it, I'd say it's more akin to putting out a line of dresses inspired by your dead grandma's hand-sewn clothes. What was once exclusive to one old lady is now available to the masses. Oh, and there's always the chance of your grandma rising from the grave at some point down the line.

That was a weird metaphor.
 
At times, I actually doubt they aim for optimal set, to control the meta.

Remember, they have locked Contrary Serperior for a long time and even then its movepool is too barren to really make use of it. There's Contrary Lurantis, which is well....
Minor example would be Koko having higher Atk, yet people have to use its SpA more because of how its Atk options are devoid of Fairy.

What are you talking about?

Contrary Serperior is amazing. It’s by far the best offensive mono-Grass, and an absolute baller utility (Glare, Taunt , Leech Seed) and stall breaker mon and anti-sweeper with a scarf. All it really needs for coverage is Dragon Pulse and Hidden Power Fire.

I’m a little upset Lurantis is gone too, actually. I was able to use it to some effect or Trick Room teams with a mixed set of Leaf Storm, Superpower, Knock Off and Hidden Power Fire.
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

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Oh wow, I didn't even know it was already a move. I thought it was a brand new Gen8 move.

I hope they give Gengar a new way to learn Sludge Wave
Mystical Fire has been a move since Gen 6 actually. It was initially Delphox's signature move and had 65 BP in XY, then Mismagius could learn it starting from ORAS. I don't blame you for not realizing it was a move though, its low BP makes it virtually unseen in competitive and only two Pokemon ever learned it prior to Gen 8 (both of which happen to be based on witches, mind you xD).
 
So i have a question. With max moves and the ever blessed heavy duty boots, has Hail finally been blessed with the buffs it needs to be taken seriously?
eh, what hail needs is a blizzard buff really imo, or even something like 1.25x power on ice moves. All the buffs seem to be more or less defensively related, but ice typing is notoriously bad.
 

Yung Dramps

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I hope they don't get too restrictive with the TM/TR distribution. I don't want the vast majority of TMs to be fodder shit while having to go through a tedious pre-Gen 5 style grind to get the actually useful moves. Thankfully, not every single viable move has been restricted to TRs (the TMs for U-Turn, Rock Slide and Will-O-Wisp still exist, Giga Drain has transitioned from tutor to TM and Mystical Fire seems like a promising new addition if it gets distributed to Pokemon that previously relied on HP Fire), but unless a lot of the currently known TM moves are getting buffs the ratio is still not ideal, and some critical moves already being delegated to TR status like BoltBeam and Focus Blast is not a good sign.

With that concern out of the way, this system sounds really cool for the sheer variety it provides. Offering the effective equivalent of 200 TMs is really neat, and from what we've seen so far there's tons of different choices, including formerly incredibly restricted moves like Mystical Fire and Darkest Lariat. Now, just include the "big three" tutor moves (Defog, Stealth Rock, Knock Off) between either TM/TR set and we're good to go!
 
So i have a question. With max moves and the ever blessed heavy duty boots, has Hail finally been blessed with the buffs it needs to be taken seriously?
That new moth Pokemon with the boots and Quiver Dance should be good. Gets walled by steels and some fire types, but that's it.

The other big buff ice has gotten is G-max Lapras, which can set Aurora Veil with a damaging move and no Hail requirement.

Neither of these options needs hail, but they appreciate it.
 
So i have a question. With max moves and the ever blessed heavy duty boots, has Hail finally been blessed with the buffs it needs to be taken seriously?
Doubtful. These don't address the issues Hail has. The other weather effects are so powerful because they:

A: Benefit multiple types of Pokemon. You're not stuck using only water types in a rain team. You can bring electric types, things 4x weak to fire, and etc. In sandstorms you can bring Rock/Ground/Steel, but Hail? You can only use Ice types or you'll take chip damage that does more harm than good.

B: No passive secondary effect. Sandstorm, Sun, and Rain, all give stat boosts, resistances, damage boosts, accuracy boosts and etc. while they're active. Hail only gives Blizzard a accuracy buff and that's it. If you meet the requirements to not take damage in a Sandstorm, you can be rewarded with a stat boost. If you meet the requirements to not take damage from Hail it doesn't "help" you... it just doesn't punish you. And that's no good enough.

C: The one type that it was made to serve: Ice types. And that type is too much of a liability. Very few Pokemon want Ice as a secondary type because it brings so many weaknesses with it.

If Hail is going to become a huge threat, it needs to give passive bonuses if you meet the requirements of being an Ice type (and not just punishment avoidance), it'd need to benefit more than one type like how Rain benefits more than just water moves/pokemon, and/or Ice type itself would need resistance changes to help it be worth running a whole team of ice types/ice-hybrid types.
 
So i have a question. With max moves and the ever blessed heavy duty boots, has Hail finally been blessed with the buffs it needs to be taken seriously?
Unlikely, because the issue was always hail itself providing little benefits compared to other weather besides making blizzard always accurate. So until that's fixed it's always going to be inferior to sandstorm boosting special defense or the boost to fire and water attacks in strong sunlight and rain.

That and with Sandslash gone we're back to Beartic as your only slush rush user.

Edit: ninja'd.
 
What are you talking about?

Contrary Serperior is amazing. It’s by far the best offensive mono-Grass, and an absolute baller utility (Glare, Taunt , Leech Seed) and stall breaker mon and anti-sweeper with a scarf. All it really needs for coverage is Dragon Pulse and Hidden Power Fire.

I’m a little upset Lurantis is gone too, actually. I was able to use it to some effect or Trick Room teams with a mixed set of Leaf Storm, Superpower, Knock Off and Hidden Power Fire.
I'm not saying Serp is terrible to use it. I meant Serp can't really make the best use of its SpA/Contrary with such movepool, and as such rely on what it has as of now. When all you got is hammer....
 

Punchshroom

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Some other pokemon have another problem where they look too much like thing they take their design inspiration from. The best example of this is dragapult, which is quite literally a jet plane with a face on it and a dragon's body dangling below it. Now, there's nothing wrong with a pokemon being based on a jet plane, but the execution here is just very unsubtle. If you compare it to Garchomp, a dragon that also heavily resembles a jet, the difference becomes clear. Garchomp's execution is just a lot more subtle, which makes the design less goofy and one-dimensional, and more badass, suiting for a pseudo legendary. Another example is Stonejourner, which is quite literally just stonehenge with a face on it. It makes me question why that concept even had to be a pokemon in the first place. It's just so forced to me, like gamefreak thinks that we expect stonehenge to be in the game in some way, so they just make it a pokemon since that's in the name of the game after all. If GF can't be bothered to do something interesting with the concept, I'd rather them not even try. Stonehenge could have easily been a location instead of a pokemon.
Would just like to point out that "Jet Plane Face Dragon" is based on the Diplocaulus, a prehistoric animal that actually existed.

So yeah the fact that you didn't even know about Dragapult's origins speaks a lot more about its subtlety than your comparison to "Land Shark" Garchomp.
 

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