Pokémon Sword and Shield has brought us a new Pokémon battle mechanic - Dynamaxing!
Dynamax Pokémon towers over their opponents and can use a selection of special moves, called Max Moves.
Using Dynamax Candy you can increase a Pokémon's Dynamax Level, which will make them even more powerful in their giant form.
There is even a subset of Pokémon who will change their form while being Dynamaxed, called Gigantamax Pokémon.
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What is Dynamaxing in Pokémon Sword and Shield?
Dynamaxing is a special transformation that Pokémon in the Galar region can undergo, becoming giant versions of themselves. Certain Pokémon will also change form completely after being Dynmaxed and are called Gigantamax Pokémon.
You gain the ability to Dynamax your Pokémon within the very first hours of the game, when you visit Professor Magnolia for the first time. She'll gift you a Dynamax Band, which will glow whenever you have the opportunity to Dynmax a Pokémon.
You can only Dynamax one Pokémon per battle, with the process lasting for three turns, and you can only do it in specific locations, which are:
- Link Battles with other players
- Max Raid Battles in the Wild Area
- Stadium Battles, which includes Gym Leaders and Champion Cup Battles
Dynamaxing a Pokémon will increase the Pokémon's HP, while its other stats will remain the same.
It also transforms your Pokémon's moveset into a collection of Max Moves. These Max Moves are determined by the elemental types of the original moves and have additional effects, such as changing the weather of the battlefield.
Dynamaxing a Pokémon will also make it incapable of flinching or being forced from battle. It will also be immune to any attacks that are based on weight, such as Low Kick, while its Dynamaxed.
Finally, the effects of hold items, including the Choice Scarf and Choice Specs, are negated when a Pokémon is Dynamaxed.
Dynamax Level and Dynamax Candy in Pokémon Sword and Shield explained
On the stats page of a Pokémon's Summary, you'll find an option called Dynamax Level.
The Dynamax Level of a Pokémon determines how much their HP is boosted by when they are Dynamaxed.
There are 11 Dynamax Levels in total, including the number zero, and its raised by feeding a Pokémon Dynamax Candy.
The amount of bonus HP your Pokémon receives from increasing its Dynamax Level is proportionate to their level, so, the higher your Pokémon's level, the more HP they will receive.
You can receive Dynamax Candy by successfully completing one of the Max Raids that can be found in the Wild Area.
Max Moves for Dynamax Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield explained
After Dynamaxing a Pokémon, you'll discover that they're moveset has completely changed into a selection of Max Moves, which are special moves that can only be used by Dynamaxed Pokémon.
Each Max Move is based off one of the elemental types that found within the Pokémon universe. This means that if you have a Pokémon whose moveset is made entirely of fire-type moves, then it will only be able to use the Max Move, Max Flare.
There are 19 Max Moves in total, with normal-type moves having a choice of two different Max Moves.
The strength of a Max Move depends on how powerful the original move was, so, before Dynamaxing your Pokémon, it's a good idea to plan out which moves you want to focus on.
Below you'll find a complete list of Max Moves, including each ones special effects and elemental type:
|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 engery 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 uder'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.|
2020 has seen a few new announcements - such as Mythical Zarude, the ability to transfer Pokémon to Pokémon Home, news of the Sword and Shield Expansion Pass and the release of Gigantamax Toxtricity. Elsewhere, our Pokémon Sword and Shield walkthrough gives an overview of the game. Otherwise, we cover everything from the Wild Area, starters Sobble, Scorbunny and Grookey, lists of all TM locations and TRs, all Galarian forms and the Legendaries Zacian and Zamazenta.
What attacks are Dynamax Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield immune to?
Thanks to their large size, Dynamax Pokémon are immune to a specific selection of attacks.
This includes any attack that is based around a Pokémon's weight or has a secondary effect, which will either cause a Pokémon to flinch or be forced from a battle.
It's a good idea to know which moves Dynamax Pokémon are immune to, just in case you have to battle one using a regular Pokémon.
Below are all the moves that Dynamax Pokémon are immune to:
|Grass Knot||Grass||The heavier the user is compared to their opponent, the more powerful this move will become.|
|Heat Crush||Fire||The heavier the user is compared to their opponent, the more powerful this move will become.|
|Heavy Slam||Steel||The heavier the user is compared to their opponent, the more powerful this move will become.|
|Low Kick||Fighting||The heavier the user is compared to their opponent, the more powerful this move will become.|
Below are all the moves that lose their secondary effect when used on a Dynamaxed Pokémon:
|Air Slash||Flying||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Astonish||Ghost||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Bite||Dark||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Circle Throw||Fighting||Forces opponent to swap out during a Trainer battle, unless there are no other Pokémon avaliable to battle.|
|Dark Pulse||Dark||Has a 20% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Dragon Rush||Dragon||Has a 20% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Dragon Tail||Dragon||Forces opponent to swap out during a Trainer battle, unless there are no other Pokémon avaliable to battle.|
|Extrasensory||Psychic||Has a 10% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Fake Out||Normal||Makes the target flinch if used on the first turn.|
|Grudge||Ghost||Any move that causes the user to fainty will have its PP reduced to 0.|
|Headbutt||Normal||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Icicle Crash||Ice||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Instruct||Psychic||Opponent is forced to re-use move.|
|Iron Head||Steel||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Roar||Normal||Forces opponent to swap out during a Trainer battle, unless there are no other Pokémon avaliable to battle.|
|Rock Slide||Rock||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Skill Swap||Psychic||Swaps the user's and opponent's Abilities.|
|Sky Attack||Flying||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Snore||Normal||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Stomp||Normal||Has a 30% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Throat Chop||Dark||Opponent won't be able to use sound based moves for 2 turns.|
|Torment||Dark||Makes the target unable to use the same move twice in a row.|
|Twister||Dragon||Has a 20% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Waterfall||Water||Has a 20% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Zen Headbutt||Psychic||Has a 20% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
|Zing Zap||Electric||Has a 20% chance of making the opponent flinch.|
We also have a guide on Gigantamax Pokémon, which you might find helpful.