Your Guide to Pokemon Sword and Shield Gym Leaders

Currently, Pokemon Sword and Shield are expected to come out on November 15 of 2019. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that a fair amount of information has been released about the upcoming titles, which serves to keep interested individuals tuned in. So far, the marketing material for Pokemon Sword and Shield has covered four of the gym leaders. Here is what we know about the four gym leaders who have been revealed for Pokemon Sword and Shield:

Milo

Milo has been revealed to be the first gym leader for some time. In short, he would be the big, well-built man with the hat whose overall look seems meant to evoke images of farmers. This makes sense because Milo is a Grass-type gym leader, thus making farmers an excellent source of inspiration. Some people might wonder about the choice to connect the Grass-type gym of the Galar region with farmland rather than, say, the woodlands that can still be found throughout the United Kingdom. However, it is interesting to note that the country’s ancient woodland is scarce and expected to become scarcer still. Regardless, Milo showed a Dynamaxed Eldegoss. For those who are unfamiliar, both Eldegoss and its pre-evolution Gossifleur are based on the cotton plant. In Gossifleur’s case, it is still a flower, whereas in Eldegoss’s case, it has become a cotton boll. Currently, it is unknown whether Eldegoss will have an evolution of its own, but for the time being, it hasn’t been ruled out.

Nessa

Chances are good that people who have been following the fan art for Pokemon Sword and Shield will have caught sight of Nessa at some point in time. In short, she would be the dark-skinned girl with the blue-black hair who is wearing a tankini. Based on this, interested individuals should have no problems guessing that Nessa is supposed to be the Water-type gym leader. However, nothing has been revealed about when players will be expected to face off against her in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Pokemon-wise, Nessa has been spotted with a Dynamaxed Drednaw. Said Pokemon is believed to be based on the alligator snapping turtle because of the shape of its head as well as the emphasis put upon its powerful bite. For context, alligator snapping turtles are said to possess one of the most powerful bites that can be found in the animal kingdom, so much so that they can bite through bone with trivial ease. As such, while there are no reports of alligator snapping turtles ever managing to kill a human, there are plenty of stories about foolish individuals losing fingers to them. The latest information says nothing about either a potential pre-evolution or a potential evolution for Drednaw, but it is interesting to note that the Pokemon is one of the select species with a special Gigantamax form.

Bea

Bea is one of the two gym leaders who have been revealed to be version exclusives. In her case, she is a gray-haired girl in a fighting outfight who serves as the gym leader of the Fighting-type gym in Pokemon Sword. There has been a fair amount of speculation that Bea and her counterpart will be found in the same city to emphasize their status as version exclusives, but for the time being, that remains nothing more than speculation. Unfortunately, Bea’s reveal wasn’t paired with a new Pokemon reveal. Instead, she is known to come with a Hitmontop, which is a Pokemon that was introduced in the Generation II titles. For those who could use a refresher, Hitmontop comes from the same line as both Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan. The trio evolve from Tyrogue, with Hitmontop being the rarest evolution because it needed to evolve from a Tyrogue with the same values for both Attack and Defense. Besides this, there has been some speculation about Bea having the new Pokemon Sirfetch’d, who is an evolution of the much-maligned Farfetch’d from Generation I. This is because the Normal-type Farfetch’d turns into the Fighting-type Sirfetch’d, which would line up well with Bea’s type specialization.

Allister

Allister is the other gym leader who has been revealed to be a version exclusive. He is very recognizable, seeing as how he combines a white mask with slicked, black hair as well as what one might call a rather ghoulish posture. Given the name, one can’t help but wonder whether Allister was named for Aleister Crowley, an English occultist who founded the new religious movement of Thelema. In any case, Allister is a Ghost-type gym leader to presumably make him contrast more with Bea as a Fighting-type gym leader. Like Bea, Allister was shown with a Pokemon from a previous generation. In his case, said Pokemon was Mimikyu, the Ghost/Fairy-type Pokemon that a lot of people will recognize as the knock-off Pikachu from Pokemon Sun and Moon. Similar to how people have speculated about Bea having a Sirfetch’d, there are those who have speculated about Allister having a Ghost-type evolution of Ponyta because of British legends of supernatural horses. However, that particular line of speculation seems to be weaker following our first look at Galarian Ponyta, which looks more like a Fairy-type than a Ghost-type. Still, nothing has been ruled out so far, meaning that this speculation isn’t 100 percent dead at this point in time.

Further Thoughts

So far, just four gym leaders have been revealed for Pokemon Sword and Shield. However, more are bound to be revealed in the weeks to come. For a while, there was a belief that the upcoming titles would feature an unprecedented 18 gym leaders. However, that has been confirmed to be a misinterpretation of a not particularly good translation. Instead, both titles will feature the standard 8 gym leaders, though the roster of one will not be the same as the roster of the other.


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