With the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield players have been treated to a region filled with brand new pokémon. Like with any Pokémon game new or old both beginning and veteran trainers alike know that one of the most important decisions to make is who, ultimately, will make it onto your team of six. Some players want the powerhouses: teams of heavy hitters that can sweep other trainers in the blink of an eye. Others may instead look for a team that meets their aesthetic tastes.
Regardless of your preference, there is a whole slew of new pokémon to choose from, and if you aren't in the business of catching them all, definitely don't hesitate to catch the ones that you may find appealing. In the interest of highlighting some winners, here are 10 of the best new Galar pokémon, ranked.
Meowth is making a return in Sword and Shield and it's once again getting a region-specific form. Galarian Meowth is Viking themed, and its evolved form, Perrserker, really leans into that. With ears that look like a Viking helmet and a sharp toothy grin hiding beneath an impressive beard, Galarian Meowth and Perrserker are Steel types - one of the less common types across the series. This translates to great resistances, which is always welcome when you're making your way on your pokemon journey. On top of that, Perrserker has a pretty decent base attack stat, which is all the better.
Sometimes the coolness of a pokémon can't be measured just in design alone. Sometimes we, as players, have to acknowledge that some unique aspect of the pokémon can make it cool even if it doesn't look the part. Morpeko is the Sword and Shield resident cute rodent Pokémon that we see in every game, but this little one has a trick up its sleeve; it can change forms based on hunger, and when it gets hungry it also gets mean.
This might be a thing that has trainers wondering "How in the world is this useful?" but in battle, Morpeko's hunger can change its signature move from an electric-type move to a dark-type. It's creative, to say the least, and at this point in the series, creativity means cool.
Another evolved form of a Kanto original, Sirfetch'd is the culmination of a lot of generations of patience, and good for Farfetch'd for holding out as long as it has. It may seem like an odd choice to finally give an evolution to, but this form is certainly not one to be messed with. Wielding a much more impressive leek, an equally impressive shield, and a look of confidence that no other pokémon can really quite match, Sirfetch'd is pretty promising. It's impressive base physical attack stat also seems appropriate somehow and, considering how confident Sirfetch'd looks, we don't plan to challenge him on it.
Zigzagoon and its evolved form, Linoone, were not particularly useful in Gen III when they were first introduced. The Pickup ability was handy for finding extra goodies when traveling around a new area but otherwise we would not be surprised to hear that either of these pokémon were picked up by players primarily for HM use. Galarian Zigzagoon gets a new, much more intimidating third form known as Obstagoon in Sword and Shield and is a perfect fit for the new Team Yell introduced in the games. If anything, Obstagoon's design is so far different from Linoone that it certainly deserves a mention; after all, what Pokémon player hasn't caught a pokémon or two just because it looked cool?
Grapploct, the Jiujitsu pokémon, joins the Pokédex ranks as an octopus inspired pokémon, but don't get it confused with Octillery from Gen II. A pure fighting-type despite its octopus theme, Grapploct has a great base attack stat and access to the new move Octolock which prevents a target from fleeing and reduces its defense and special defense every turn; a move that's incredibly useful for strategies focus on wearing down beefy pokémon.
It just goes to show how Grapploct would give opposing pokémon with high defenses a run for their money. If fighting-type pokémon are your scene, definitely consider adding Grapploct to your roster.
Coalossal may seem like nothing more than a mountain of coal and...well, actually, that would be a pretty accurate observation. Still, this pokémon is a pretty great defensive addition to your party. With a high base defense stat and an almost equally high base HP stat, Coalossal can do a fantastic job at walling physical attackers. Additionally, its design is reminiscent of Golem to a much more impressive degree. It's dual fire- and rock-typing gives it access to some useful offensive moves to complement its defensive capabilities. It also has a gigantamax form, making it that much more useful in-game.
Corviknight seems to be a no-brainer for a multitude of players, and rightfully so. Its starting form of Rookidee can be found very early on, and as the new token early game flying-type, this is helpful, as players will likely have a Corviknight.
Corviknight has some decently rounded stats and a particularly noteworthy defense, not unlike most steel-types. On top of that, Corviknight also has one of the coolest new designs of all the Galar region pokémon - something players seem to universally agree on.
Toxtricity is an awesome new addition to the Pokémon franchise. This electric- and poison-type learns some great moves, has a good base special attack stat, and, like other pokémon from the Galar region where variety is key, has two different forms it can evolve into: its amped-up form and its low-key form depending on the Pokemon's nature. Its form ends up determining its unique move and its ability, which can impact Toxtricity's role in your team. Regardless of how you plan to train yours up, it's nice to have the versatility available with Toxtricity.
It wouldn't be a complete list without addressing perhaps the most important question in Pokémon history: which starter did you pick? While there tend to be arguments in favor of each one in every game, for Sword and Shield we're going to give Rillaboom, the final evolved form of Grookey, the grass-type starter.
Rillaboom simply looks the coolest of the three, ultimately evolving into a powerhouse of a pokémon with a sweet drum to boot. Its highest base stat is its attack, so throw on your best physical moves and let Rillaboom go to work. Sorry, Cinderace and Intelleon; it's the grass-type starter's time to shine.
We've got to give some love to Sword and Shield's pseudo-legendary, Dragapult. For those that don't know, pseudo-legendaries have followed a consistent pattern across the series; they are usually available late game, are part of a three-stage evolutionary line, and have a total base stat amount of 600 once finally evolved. Pseudo-legendaries are usually powerhouses and a welcome addition to any pokémon team. Dragapult is definitely a departure from what veteran players expect from the series, but being the first of its kind as a dual Dragon- and Ghost-type, it's hard to resist the urge to set out to catch one and see exactly what its capable of. From the design perspective, Dragapult is certainly a little unorthodox, but the stealth bomber motif is something that can certainly grow on players if given the chance; trust us on this one, a pseudo-legendary will always be worth it.