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29 days until Pokémon Sword & Shield release!

Our Pokémon Sword & Shield journey into Galar starts on November 15th, but how will it start? Likely, you’ll meet a local professor in a new-to-you region. After what feels like endless dialogue with a parent–historically your mother–you’ll arrive at the starting line for all Pokémon trainers: choosing a starter Pokémon.

At this point we have had limited information on the Galar starters. Despite a trailer-corroborated information leak, the release trailer, gameplay videos, official website information, and GameInformer interviews, we still seem to know nothing about the starters’ evolution lines.

So, with what feels like limited information, how do you choose? This time around Masuda and Pokémon Company have emphasized that never before have the starter Pokémon had such strong emphasis on their unique personalities. In fact, Masuda suggested players who are undecided should choose their starter based on the Pokémon’s personality.

Personality

For Galar, the Pokémon visual designers collaborated in teams with the gameplay/feature design team. Therefore, battle style and personality are integrated into Pokémon design. In a series of Game Informer interviews, the makers described the Pokémon’s personalities.

  • Grookey likes to party and surround itself with others. It invigorates groups with its jovial spirit. Grookey is also described as mischievous. This Pokémon wants to have fun.
  • Scorbunny’s bandages represent a rambunctious, adventurous, and youthful disposition. This energetic Pokémon does not want to stop moving.
  • Sobble enjoys staying out of the spotlight. It’s a depressed Pokémon who can quite literally be invisible in a crowd. Despite being bashful, it is kind and caring.

Characteristics

The Chimp Pokémon Grookey’s stick gains its power from the energy Grookey’s green fur photosynthesizes and stores within its body. The stick can restore life to plants and Pokémon when drummed.

Proud of its legs, the Rabbit Pokémon Scorbunny leaps to evade and scorches enemies with kicks. The bandages on its feet mirror that on its nose, yet the former are incendiary. Scorbunny has a fire sac within its chest referred to as its “second heart,” which can be activated via warm-up exercises like running. The fire sac awakens Scorbunny’s full physical capabilities and battle potential.

Sobble, the Water Lizard Pokémon, blends into its environment when touching water. So, when nervous or embarrassed, Sobble’s sweat makes it disappear. This sensitive Pokémon’s tears makes other people cry with the intensity of 100 onions. When threatened, Sobble cries making its opponents cry uncontrollably. and escapes as they are distracted.

Battle + Movepools

Observe Grookey and Sobble attempting physical blows. Scorbunny launches fire from its extended foot.
  • Scorbunny leaps from a gravity-defying sprint up a turning gear, lands, and runs across grass, leaving flaming footprints in its wake.
  • Sobble phases out of invisibility to squirt water from its mouth and extinguish the flames. Yet retracts and disappears as it hears something approach.
  • Grookey taps its healing stick rhythmically against a rock and restores the grass, then climbs to the peak of the city skyline.

Although no data has been confirmed or leaked regarding movepools, we have been able to establish the starters have access to the following moves:

  • Grookey’s Movepool
    Grass: Branch Poke, Razor Leaf, Wood Hammer
    Dark: Taunt, Knock Off
    Normal: Uproar, Slam, Scratch, Growl
  • Scorbunny’s Movepool
    Fire: Flame Charge, Ember
    Fighting: Double-Kick
    Normal: Quick Attack, Double-Edge, Headbutt
  • Sobble’s Movepool
    Water: Liquidation, Soak, Water Pulse, Water Gun, Rain Dance
    Normal: Bind, Growl

Evolution

Rather than discussing evolution lines by species, typing, abilities, or unique moves, the makers indicated that the personalities embodied in the designs indicate the Pokémon’s evolution lines.

  • Grookey’s evolution was discussed in passing. The interviewer asked how Grookey compared to Chimchar. Ohmori merely stated that the evolution would follow a logical progression and, as there are many types of monkeys, so would Grookey’s forms be distinct from Infernape.
  • Scorbunny’s was compared to how a rambunctious child grows, you do not know what you to expect. Its evolutions are equally suspenseful, in that players will not know the direction it will take.
  • Sobble’s evolution happens to be James Turner’s favorite. He said he enjoys their design best, but did not give any further details.

The Affleck Leak on Evolution

Warning spoiler territory ahead! The information following is garnered from a popular leak. While this information is being shared as truth, it is should be interpreted as speculation as the information shared below may not be accurate when Pokémon Sword & Shield are officially released.

  • Grookey evolves into a Gorilla that uses a drum to attack.
  • Scorbunny learns Fighting type attacks, but is pure fighter*. It evolves into a Pokémon named Raboot, and the final evolution is humanoid.
    *thought to be a typographical error for “fire”
  • Sobble evolves into Sizzile and then Intelleon: a chameleon with a spy theme.

Investigate Further!

You can read the full descriptions released on the official Pokémon Sword & Shield website: Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble.

And watch James Turner, Shigeru Ohmori, and Junichi Masuda discuss Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble in the GameInformer interviews.

Speculation!

What could all of this information mean for Grookey?

  • Dark type moves (Taunt, Knock Off)
  • Has access to new Grass type move “Branch Poke”
  • Mischievous and fun-loving
  • Rhythmically taps stick to restore life around it
  • Evolves into a gorilla who uses a drum to attack

What could all of this information mean for Scorbunny?

  • Learns Fighting type move (Double Kick)
  • Rambunctious and energetic
  • Fire sac “second heart” activates from cardiovascular activity
  • Bandages on feet scorch the ground beneath its feet.
  • Evolves into Raboot and final evolution looks humanoid

What could all of this information mean for Sobble?

  • Primarily learns Water type moves, including Rain Dance and Soak
  • Depressed and bashful, yet caring
  • Tears make those around it cry uncontrollably
  • Becomes invisible when in contact with water.
  • Evolution names “Sizzile” and “Intelleon
  • Spy theme

What do you think? Head over to our official Discord server for more Pokémon conversation and follow us on Twitter for the latest Pokémon news. Also, check out @PokratesTweets on Twitter for shareable info-graphics to support your starter team!


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Writing for PokeJungle by moonlight. Speech-pathologist by daylight. Never running... from a donut! He is the one named Jon.Twitter: @PokratesTweets Instagram: @Pokrates YouTube: Pokrates