Pokémon Sword & Shield: The 15 Best New Galar Pokémon, Ranked

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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.

Updated by Michael Connor Smith on February 21, 2020: Every new generation that GameFreak bestows upon is will be inevitably filled with tons of fresh, exciting Pokémon to add to the massive Pokédex. Sword & Shield has a plethora of new creatures to discover and catch, and some of them show just how powerful the world of Pokémon can be.

We thought it best to update this list with some additional Galar region Pokémon that have what it takes to rise up above the others as the competitive scene changes and player opinions shift.

15 Perrserker

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.

14 Morpeko

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.

13 Frosmoth

Evolving from possibly one of the cutest Pokémon in existence, Snom, Frosmoth brings both an adorable and threatening presence to the table. Snom and Frosmoth are also the first ice-bug types in the entire series, showing that Sword and Shield is all about bringing new things to the table.

Frosmoth is actually quite scary in battle, mainly thanks to its ability, Ice Scales. This defensive ability halves any incoming special damage, making it very effective at taking down some pesky special attackers with its own amazing special attack stat and moves like Quiver Dance.

12 Sirfetch'd

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.

11 Barraskewda

This smug, torpedo-like mon thrives on stealing your lunch money with its blinding speed. If its insane 136 base speed and the ability Swift Swim doesn't convey that Barraskewda is heavily focused on agility, then facing one in battle surely will.

You'll likely never have a party member that can effectively outspeed it, and it's made even scarier when seeing its great attack and moveset. It's extremely frail, of course, getting fried into a nice fish sandwich by just about any other Pokémon because of its poor defenses; but as a smug, lovable one-trick pony, it does just fine.

10 Obstagoon

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?

9 Grapploct

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.

8 Coalossal

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.

7 Hatterene

Your vibes better be top-notch around Hatterene, or you're in for a world of hurt. The newest fairy Pokémon addition into Sword & Shield is also the most offputting, as its cute demeanor hides its terrifying Pokédex entry of- "If you're too loud around it, you risk being torn apart by the claws on its tentacle".

Hatterene is something you'd see straight out of a horror anime, and that's the best part, not even mentioning how good it is in battle. Its stats are quite ridiculous, actually, and it is a likely contender as the best user of Trick Room in the entire game. With Magic Bounce, healing moves, stat buffs, and hard-hitting attacks, it's best to keep your distance.

6 Grimmsnarl

"How has it taken almost 25 years to get a goblin Pokémon?" you might ask, but the end result with Grimmsnarl is worth the wait. It has quite a surprising typing with dark-fairy, which also happens to be an extremely powerful and volatile combination.

Usually, a Pokémon spotted with the Prankster ability automatically does well with seasoned players. Grimmsnarl is a whole different beast with it, however, as it makes amazing use of moves like Bulk Up and Taunt to gain respectable control over the flow of the battle and take advantage of its great stat spread.

5 Corviknight

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.

4 Toxtricity

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.

3 Rillaboom

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. The usually underrated grass starter won't be left in the dust this time around.

2 Cinderace

Sorry, Rillaboom, but the fire-type starter takes the cake once again. All three starters are great this time around in terms of design and power, but Cinderace has the best mix of both. Standing firmly at the top of the OU tier, Cinderace has the tools to take down most foes in its path.

Both its speed and attack are nothing short of phenomenal, made even better with its useful moveset. Field hazards mean absolutely nothing to Cinderace, with Court Change whisking them back towards the opponent for that sweet control of the playing field.

1 Dragapult

We've got to give some love to Sword and Shield's pseudo-legendary, Dragapult. 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.

NEXT: Pokémon Sword & Shield: 5 Scariest Galar Pokémon (& 5 Most Adorable)