Pokemon Sword and Shield is days away from release, but now that the game has been unofficially seen in the wild, Sword and Shield has finally gotten the long-awaited datamine treatment.
As is tradition with Pokemon at this point, the datamine points to tons of new information that has not been officially revealed to the public. Spoilers ahead, so those who don't want inner mechanics, changes or anything else revealed you have been warned.
The bulk of the datamine has been collected and compiled on the Smogon forums, the unofficial competitive battle space of the Pokemon franchise. As such, a lot of the focus is on competitive balance, but they also address other changes found in Sword and Shield that some fans have not been happy about.
Outside of the National Dex controversy, the recent datamines have also discovered that 132 different moves have been cut from Pokemon Sword and Shield. For the first time in the series, moves going from game to game, that are not new or HM moves, will not transfer over. The majority of the moves were exclusives to Pokemon not in Sword and Shield, as well as Z-moves, but some standouts caught the ire of fans, including competitively viable moves such as Pursuit, Hidden Power, Return and Signal Beam.
To compensate, however, almost every Pokemon in the game has been given a moveset overhaul, which made certain moves much more viable for certain Pokemon. A big number of Pokemon were given Weather Ball, Mystic Fire, and new moves called Life Dew and Body Press. Some Pokemon got massive overhauls, while others were given moves that have been requested by fans for ages.
The removal of moves seems to be carefully considered, and the balancing done to compensate for their removal is definitly shown in the new movesets for the entire Pokedex.
It was also revealed that new Pokemon are actually in the game still. Outside of the now controversial 400 Pokemon dex, additional data was found for 35 more monsters, including the Kanto and Alola starters, and a select number of Legendary and Mythical Pokemon such as the Swords of Justice trio, Mewtwo, Meltan and Melmetal. It is currently unknown how to obtain these Pokemon, with speculation being they are rewards or will be added later to the game through Max Raids. The sprite sheet of all of those Pokemon, along with alternate forms and new Gigantamax Forms, has been posted above.
A number of quality of life changes were also made. Pokemon such as Leafeon and Glacion, along with Charjabug, now evolve through evolutionary stones instead of being in a specific place on the map. New items, of course, include the already revealed training enhancing items, along with some story-spoiler key items, which I won't put here. One curious addition is a key item called the High Tech Earbuds, which allows the player to control the volume and sound of the games. Locking this behind an optional key item seems to be the opposite of the quality of life focus seen otherwise.
Finally, the entire TM list has had a massive overhaul. First, there are actually two lists, standard TMs, which still have infinite use, and the new TR list, which are one time, tutor-like moves that disappear after use. Most of the TR moves are also old TM's or move Tutors, being massive attack moves like Ice Beam, Earthquake, or great support moves like Baton Pass. Players can only obtain TR's through participation in raid battles online, where they are dropped by Pokemon after being defeated. The standard TM's, however, are no slouch either, containing several key moves such as Snarl, the Terrains, Speed and Power Swap, and old school favorites like Hyper Beam and Solar Beam.
The datamine has also uncovered trainer data, for almost every single trainer battle, and post game trainer battles in Sword and Shield.
All in all, the changes made in Sword and Shield seem to reflect balancing the game as much as possible, though time will tell if these changes will be reflected in the overall metagame of Generation VIII.
What are your thoughts on this datamine? Leave your comments below.