Pokémon Sword and Shield introduced a new mechanic called Dynamaxing. Early on in the storyline, a wishing star falls to the trainer while visiting the Professor. Being a proper British host, she invites everyone inside for supper while she fashions it into something she calls a "Dynamax Band".
This band harnesses a curious sort of energy that is accumulated in various hot zones throughout Galar. The Dynamax band enables trainers to channel this energy, causing their pokémon to take on gigantic forms, some changing their appearances altogether.
The hot zones take the form of Dynamax dens which appear as circles of rubble throughout the Wild Area. An active Dynamax den will emit a vibrant red beacon. Trainers may enter these dens to battle the Dynamax pokémon within. The Galar Gym stadiums are built on top of Dynamax hot zones as well- with the exception of Spikemuth- allowing both Gym Leaders and Challengers to Dynamax their pokémon for a show-stopping finale. The other scenario in which Dynamaxing can occur is within PvP link battles.
The Difference Between Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing
All pokemon have the ability to Dynamax within any of the aforementioned hot zones. Additionally, certain pokémon are capable of an advanced form of Dynamaxing known as Gigantamaxing which causes these pokémon to change appearances in their colossal forms. Pokémon that take on these exclusive Gigantamax forms are listed below.
- Gigantamax Alcremie
- Gigantamax Appletun
- Gigantamax Butterfree
- Gigantamax Centiskorch
- Gigantamax Charizard
- Gigantamax Coalossal
- Gigantamax Copperajah
- Gigantamax Corviknight
- Gigantamax Drednaw
- Gigantamax Duraludon
- Gigantamax Eevee
- Gigntamax Flapple
- Gigantamax Garbodor
- Gigantamax Gengar
- Gigantamax Grimmsnarl
- Gigantamax Hatterene
- Gigantamax Kingler
- Gigantamax Lapras
- Gigantamax Machamp
- Gigantamax Meowth
- Gigantamax Orbeetle
- Gigantamax Pikachu
- Gigantamax Sandaconda
- Gigantamax Snorlax
Dynamaxed pokémon switch out their usual move sets for an alternative Max move. The Max move they adopt correlates to the original move's elemental type. This means a pokémon with all normal-type moves could only use Max Strike unless one of the original moves was defensive, then that move would translate into Max Guard.
The same stipulations apply to Gigantamaxing, though the moves are known as G-Max moves. Unlike Max move effects that amplify type advantages via weather conditions or buffs and debuffs, Gigantamax moves boast effects capable of overriding type advantages altogether! For instance, Gigantamaxed Pikachu is guaranteed to paralyze even ground-types, Charizard burns all non-fire-types for four turns, and Snorlax has the unique ability to restore previously eaten berries to pokémon who were holding them.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
- If a trainer wants to use a particular move that causes a certain status effect or hit multiple turns in a row such as Sing or Bind, they must do so before Dynamaxing, or wait until after Dynamaxing has worn off.
- It is beneficial to learn the different weather and status effects caused by Max moves, they can create a big advantage on the battlefield.
- Trainers may only Dynamax once per battle and the effects only last for three turns, so typically saving Dynamaxing for the end of a battle is best. It is a bit of overkill to use a Dynamax pokémon against a regular. Likewise, a trainer's regular pokémon will usually get taken out pretty quick when facing off against a Dynamax form.
- Dynamaxing boosts a pokémon's max HP, so it could theoretically be used to get out of a tight spot where the pokémon is otherwise outmatched. However, given the stipulations on Dynamaxing, this would be highly circumstantial.
- Use Dynamax Candies, obtained through Max Raid Battles, to boost a pokémon's Dynamax level. This increases the amount of HP gained when Dynamaxing. There are eleven Dynamax levels ranging from 0-10.
So to recap, Dynamaxing is a phenomenon in the Galar region, enabling pokémon to grow to a colossal size when in the range of a hot zone. Gigantamaxing is an advanced form of Dynamaxing that changes the pokémon's appearance as well. And Max moves create an advantage on the battlefield through weather conditions and stat changes, while G-Max moves may nullify type-advantages altogether. Now equipped with the know-how to harness this strange Dynamax energy, go forth and make the most out of the giganta-power it provides!