Like every game in the Pokémon series, the end content revolves around defeating the best trainers in the world in order to take your place among them. Pokémon Sword & Shield breaks with the traditional confrontation against the Elite Four, but the core concept remains in place as players strive to dominate the Pokémon League.
This new format makes the story more interesting as other characters from the main story come back to face off against you because they too are looking to be named Champion. Instead of the Elite Four, players first face off against their rivals, and then some previously conquered gym leaders. Defeating all these opponents nets you a shot at the Champion.
The Ideal Team Is Balanced
Veterans of the series will know that having a balanced team is often necessary, unless of course one plans to over level the content by such a large margin that type advantage or weakness hardly matters. For those who do not want to level their team to level 70 or so before taking at shot at being the champion, they should consider having a team representing most of the following types to exploit their type weaknesses:
Obviously, one cannot have all of these types, but having a team consisting of as many as possible with provide the most advantages in a fight and will make the entire process easier.
Marnie and Hop are your first two opponents, and compared to what lies ahead, their Pokémon are quite low in level.
Marnie will have the following Pokémon ready to battle, and Grimmsnarl will be Gigantamaxed as soon as it hits the battlefield.
- Liepard, level 47, dark
- Scrafty, level 47, dark/fighting
- Toxicroak, level 47, poison/fighting
- Morpeko, level 48, electric/dark
- Grimmsnarl, level 49, fairy/dark
Since four out of five of Marnie’s Pokémon are dark based, a strong Fighting, Bug, or Fairy Pokémon should make short work of her lineup. Since Marnie has stacked so many of the same type, this fight should be a walk in the park.
Hop feels far more like a traditional rival from previous games, since his lineup with consist of a balanced spread of Pokémon types and a fully evolved starter Pokémon based on your selection of starter.
- Dubwool, level 48, normal
- Snorlax, level 48, normal
- Corviknight, level 48, flying/steel
- Pincurchin, level 47, electric
- Rillaboom/Inteleon/Cinderace, level 49, grass/water/fire
As expected, Hop will Dynamax his evolved starter as soon as it enters the battlefield but using your Fighting and Electric type Pokémon should allow you to easily deal with most of his roster without breaking a sweat.
Competition becomes more difficult in the next stage with the average level of Pokémon about five levels higher. Players will first face off against Bede who foolishly brings a Fairy and Psychic-heavy composition with him, which can easily be countered with Steel type Pokémon.
- Mawile, level 51, fairy/steel
- Gardevoir, level 51, fairy/psychic
- Rapidash, level 52, fairy
- Hatterene, level 53, fairy/psychic
After defeating Bede, players will face Nessa and Raihan, and then either Bea or Allister depending on which version of the game one has. Each will Gigantamax their last Pokémon.
- Golisopod, level 51, water/bug
- Pelipper, level 51, water/flying
- Seaking, level 52, water
- Barraskewda, level 52, water
- Drednaw, level 53, water/rock
Taking down Nessa requires one strong Electric type for every battle, except for Drednaw, where a Fighting or Steel type will suffice.
Bea’s Team – Sword only:
- Hawlucha, level 52, fighting/flying
- Falinks, level 53, fighting
- Grapploct, level 52, fighting
- Sirfetch’d, level 52, fighting
- Machamp, level 54, fighting
Fairy and Flying Pokémon will take out Bea’s Pokemon Fight Club, and this should be a walk in the park.
Allister’s Team – Shield only:
- Dusknoir, level 52, ghost
- Chandelure, level 52, ghost/fire
- Cursola, level 53, ghost
- Polteageist, level 53, ghost
- Gengar, level 54, ghost/poison
Ghost and Dark Pokémon will work well here against Allister’s team, but since few players run Ghost, Dark is most likely the option one will have.
- Torkoal, level 53, fire
- Goodra, level 54, dragon
- Turtonator, level 54, fire/dragon
- Flygon, level 54, dragon/ground
- Duraludon, level 55, steel/dragon
Most of the team consists of Dragons, so Fairy type is what most players will have on hand to deal with the threat. A water type will be needed to make quick work of Torkoal.
Leon’s Pokémon range between levels 62-65, making them far deadlier than any opponents seen in the game to this point. He will have the following 4 Pokémon always:
- Aegislash, level 62, steel/ghost
- Dragapult, level 62, dragon/ghost
- Haxorus, level 63, dragon
- Charizard, level 65, fire
In addition, the other two will depend on which Starter Pokémon was chosen when beginning the game. Players who chose Scorbunny will see Leon’s team consist of Mr. Rime, level 64, ice/psychic, and Inteleon, level 64, water. Sobble means that Leon will have Rhyperior, level 64, ground/rock and Rillaboom, level 64, grass. Grookey will mean Leon has Seismitoad, level 64, water/ground and Cinderace, level 64, fire.
Leon is a far greater challenge than anyone else so far not only because of the increased levels of his team, but also because his composition is significantly more balanced. To deal with Aegislash, players will likely have a Dark or Fighting type. Dragapult also requires Dark, Fairy, or Ice to defeat. Haxorus too will go down to Fairy and Ice attacks. Charizard should go down to Water, but players need to consider that Leon will certainly Gigantamax it, and it will be difficult to deal with in one or two rounds. As for the two starter-specific Pokémon, players will need to use an appropriate type to exploit their weakness.
Defeating Leon is no easy task, but it is necessary to become the next Champion!