Dynamax is a new feature unique to Pokemon Sword and Shield. When you play the game, you will discover that Dynamax is a feature unique to the Galar Region. Even though all Pokemon can Dynamax, some Pokemon have a higher power level and are worth adding to your party.
Let's take a look at Dynamax, Gigantamax, Raid Battles and how to strengthen your Dynamax Pokemon.
What is Dynamax in Pokemon Sword and Shield?
Dynamax is a unique phenomenon in Galar which allows Pokemon to grow to huge sizes, gaining a lot of HP, a lot of stats and some special moves called "Max Moves". Every Pokemon in the game can Dynamax. Gigantamax forms look a little bit different than the original forms of the Pokemon.
You will gain access to Dynamax at an early stage in the game. Professor Magnolia will give you a Dynamax Band after visiting her for the first time. You can Dynamax a Pokemon once per battle and it will last for three turns. You can also only Dynamax/Gigantamax in three areas:
- Link Battles online
- Max Raid Battles
- Gym and Champion Battles in Stadiums
Dynamax Level and Dynamax Candy
Every Pokemon has 10 bars that you can see in the summary called "Dynamax Level", right above its ability. The higher the Dynamax Level, the more HP the Pokemon will have when in Dynamax form. The amount of HP is also proportional to the Pokemons level as well so if you a Level 100, 10 bar Dynamax Level Pokemon will have the highest possible HP.
You can increase a Pokemon's Dynamax Level by giving it Dynamax Candy. You can get Dynamax Candy when you successfully complete a Max Raid Battle. One Dynamax Candy will raise a Pokemon's Dynamax Level by one.
When Dynamaxing, the Pokemon's moves will get replaced with a set of "Max Moves", which do a lot of damage and have special effects. There are 19 different Max Moves, one for each Type and 2 for Normal Type. Max Moves also get additional strength if the original move has good strength or from STABs (Same Type Attack Bonuses).
Here is a list of Max Moves in the format Move (Type) - Additional Effect:
- Max Airstream (Flying) - Raises the user's and ally Pokémon's Speed by 1 stage.
- Max Darkness (Dark) - Lowers opponent's Special Defence by 1 stage.
- Max Flare (Fire) - Changes the weather condition to harsh sunlight for 5 turns, which boosts fire-type moves by 50% and reduces water-type moves by 50%.
- Max Flutterby (Bug) - Lowers opponent's Special Attack by 1 stage.
- Max Geyser (Water) - Changes the weather condition to harsh sunlight for 5 turns, which boosts water-type moves by 50% and reduces fire-type moves by 50%.
- Max Guard (Normal) - Any status move will transform into this move. User protects itself from all moves used on the same turn. Move more likely to fail if used repeatedly.
- Max Hailstorm (Ice) - Changes the weather condition to hail for 5 turns. All Pokémon, but ice-types, will take damage equal to 1/16 of their HP at the end of each turn.
- Max Knuckle (Fighting) - Raises the user's and ally Pokémon's Attack by 1 stage.
- Max Lightning (Electric) - Electrifies the battlefield for 5 turns. During this period, Pokémon can't fall asleep and all electric-type moves are 50% stronger if performed by Pokémon on the ground.
- Max Mindstorm (Psychic) - Covers the battlefield with psychic energy for 5 turns. During this period, Pokémon on the ground will evade high-priority moves and psychic-type attacks will deal 50% more damage.
- Max Ooze (Poison) - Raises the user's and ally Pokémon's Special Attack by 1 stage.
- Max Overgrowth (Grass) - Covers the battlefield with grass for 5 turns. Pokémon on the ground during this period will recover 1/16 of their max HP and grass-type moves become 50% more powerful. The damage dealt by both Bulldoze and Earthquake is halved.
- Max Phantasm (Ghost) - Lower's opponent's Defence by 1 stage.
- Max Quake (Ground) - Raises the user's and ally Pokémon's Special Defence by 1 stage.
- Max Rockfall (Rock) - Changes the weather conditions to a sandstorm for 5 turns. Special Defence of rock-type Pokémon is boosted by 50%. Other than rock, ground and steel-type Pokémon, all Pokémon take damage equal to 1/16 of their health.
- Max Starfall (Fairy) - Covers the battlefield in mist for 5 turns. During this time, Pokémon on the ground can't be affected by new status conditions or confusion. If a Pokémon on the ground uses a dragon-type move, then this moves damage is halved.
- Max Steelspike (Steel) - Raises the user's and ally Pokémon's Defence by 1 stage.
- Max Strike (Normal) - Lowers opponent's Speed by 1 stage.
- Max Wyrmwind (Dragon) - Lowers opponent's Attack by 1 stage.
Additionally, Gigantamax Pokemon have specific moves for the Pokemon and their type called "G-Max Moves".
Max Raid Battles
In the Wild Areas, there are "Dens" you can spot everywhere. You can collect "Watts" from these Dens, a currency which is used to trade items from Watt Traders in Wild Areas. If you wish to battle a Dynamax/Gigantamax Pokemon, you'll also need a "Wishing Piece".
A "Wishing Piece" is an item which allows you to Battle certain Dynamax Pokemon in Dens. You can get them from Watt Traders.
These wild Dynamax Pokemon are known as "Max Raid Battles". You will need to play with up to 4 players against a powerful Dynamax Pokemon. You can choose to play offline with 3 NPCs or with 3 other players online. Max Raid Battles end when all 4 Pokemon have fainted or 10 turns in the Battle have passed.
Unlike Wild Pokemon, you have to completely deplete the Dynamax Pokemon and then you will get a chance to catch the Pokemon. Defeating or catching a Dynamax Pokemon will give you rewards such as Watts, Dynamax Candy and more.
Certain Pokemon have higher chances of appearing, such as Butterfree which is available till January 2020 and most recently, Gigantamax Snorlax.