Galarian Pokémon Forms
Similar to Alolan Pokémon in Sun and Moon, the Sword and Shield games introduce Galarian variants of old favorites. These creatures have new types, abilities, and sometimes adjusted stats or even entirely new evolutions!
As a whole, the new forms impress, usually outmatching their original renditions—which reign supreme? These are the ten best (and only) alternate Galarian Pokémon!
10. Galarian Stunfisk
Regular Stunfisk is Ground/Electric; swapping Electric for Steel gives a few more resistances, which is always nice. Stunfisk's base stat total remains 471, but Galarian swaps his Attack and Special Attack scores as well as Defense and Special Defense, now favoring physical over special.
But there are two problems. First, unlike many of our other entries, he didn't gain a new evolution. Then, he only has one potential ability, Mimicry, which changes his type based on the current terrain. This essentially negates his new typing advantage, can be exploited by enemy moves, and doesn't give the versatility of his original three ability choices.
9. Galarian Yamask
Galarian Yamask adds Ground to his original Ghost-type. This gives him more STABs (same-type attack bonus) to work with, but Ground's, admittedly, not a great defensive type, so it might be harming more than helping him. He swaps Attack and Special Attack to now favor the former and trades the Mummy ability for Wandering Spirit, both of which emphasize manipulating other abilities.
But instead of evolving into Cofagrigus as usual, Galarian Yamask can become Runerigus. They're pretty similar, but it's nice that you can pick one based on whether you prefer Attack (go with Runerigus) or Special Attack (Cofagrigus) and whether you want that added Ground type or not.
8. Galarian Linoone
At first, I wasn't terribly impressed with Zigzagoon's and Linoone's Galarian form—adding Dark to their Normal type isn't ideal since it gives them a quadruple weakness to Fighting (a common aggro type). Plus, Dark's resistance to Ghost is redundant since Normal is already immune to it.
So not the best typing, but Galarian Linoone gains a much-needed third evolution, Obstagoon, wielding a far-superior 520 stat total. These are pretty evenly spread, which unfortunately doesn't let Obstagoon excel in any area; coupled with his bad typing, he's not a top-tier creature, but still an upgrade on a Pokémon that undoubtedly needed one.
7. Galarian Mr. Mime
Regular Mr. Mime is Psychic/Fairy, and swapping Fairy for Ice doesn't do any favors for tanking, as Ice is easily the worst defensive type in the game. I also don't like Mime's new stat adjustment, weakening his formerly great Special Defense to reinforce his mediocre Attack and Speed.
However, like Linoone, Galarian Mr. Mime gains a much-needed new form: Mr. Rime, similarly wielding a 520 stat total that emphasizes Special Attack and Special Defense. And while his typing exposes him to several super-effective attacks, none are quad weaknesses, and the elements do at least give nice STAB coverage.
6. Galarian Meowth
Meowth and Persian's Dark-type Alolan forms set a high bar, being surprisingly competitive Pokémon. Galarian Meowth greatly differs from his prior versions, shifting to Steel-type and lowering Speed to emphasize Attack and Defense.
There isn't a Galarian Persian; instead, Meowth now evolves into Perrserker. Steel is a great defensive type, making Perrserker a respectable tank, and two of his three potential abilities help him hit back; Tough Claws increases contact moves by 30% and Steely Spirit increases Steel attacks by 50%.
5. Galarian Darmanitan
Type: Ice (Ice/Fire in Zen)
High-risk, high-reward best describes Galarian Darmanitan. He exchanges his Fire-type for Ice, unfortunately, the worst defensive element in the game. Coupled with poor defense scores, Galarian Darmanitan won't take many hits before falling.
However, he retains his good Attack and Speed and further increases damage with the new Gorilla Tactics ability, which increases Attack by 50% but locks you into your first move. But you can stack this with the Choice Band held item for an amazing 125% boost, leading to a ridiculous Attack of 315!
While risky, this strategy can pulverize opponents, just think carefully when choosing the move you'll have to repeat. You can also trade Gorilla Tactics for the Zen Mode ability, which transforms Darmanitan into a stronger form when HP hits half or lower, but this carries its own set of risks and misses out on that outstanding Attack.
4. Galarian Farfetch'd
Prior to generation eight, Farfetch'd was lauded as one of the franchise's worst Pokémon, bearing an abysmal stat total, unremarkable type, and no evolutions. Thankfully, Galarian Farfetch'd trades Normal/Flying for Fighting and places more emphasis on Attack.
More importantly, he can now evolve into Sirfetch'd, whose stat total skyrockets from 377 to 507. I recommend his hidden Scrappy ability (which lets you hit Ghosts with Normal and Fighting moves) over Steadfast, creating a viable physical sweeper out of a former dud.
3. Galarian Rapidash
My Little Pony over here changes out Fire for Psychic as Galarian Ponyta and adds Fairy upon evolving into Galarian Rapidash. But don't discount Twilight Sparkle; her typing only has three weaknesses, and two of them (Poison and Steel) aren't common offensive types.
Plus, Fairy and Psychic have good coverage, with Fairy being super-effective against Dark (which is immune to Psychic) and Psychic trumping Poison (which resists Fairy). Top it all off with the potential Pastel Veil ability, which prevents Rapidash and allies from getting poisoned, and you've got a Galarian form that easily outclasses the original.
2. Galarian Weezing
Galarian Weezing keeps his Poison-type but adds Fairy, a nice pairing with several resistances and only a few weaknesses. Fairy usually fares better on offense than Poison, making it easier for Weezing to hit hard, though he's still a tank at heart, preferring physical Defense.
Like his original form, you can negate Weezing's weakness to Ground by choosing the Levitate ability, but you also might want his new hidden trait, Misty Surge, which auto-creates Misty Terrain on entrance. This prevents non-volatile status effects and halves Dragon attacks for several turns, further increasing Weezing's longevity.
1. Galarian Corsola
Corsola was formerly a terrible Pokémon, bearing a low stat total and undesirable Water/Rock pairing. Thankfully, Galarian Corsola tosses both types for simple Ghost. She also lowers her Speed and HP a bit to boost Defense and Special Defense, which further enhances her endurance.
But of course, the real prize is her new evolution, Cursola, who is pitifully slow but compensates with fantastic Special Attack and Special Defense. Her potential Perish Body ability also creates the unique Perish Song effect that faints units after three turns, giving the potential for trap-and-stall strategies.
From zero to hero, Galarian Corsola and Cursola shine the spotlight onto a formerly-forgotten Pokémon.
|Base Pokémon||Galarian Evolution||Requirement|
Travel under Dusty Bowl's stone brdige after Yamask takes at least 49 damage without fainting
Level up at night at level 35 or above
Use an Ice Stone
Land three critical hits in one battle
How to Evolve Galarian Pokémon
Today we explored the best alternative Galarian forms—consult the chart above to review evolutionary requirements. Some are pretty simple, like leveling Corsola to 38. Others are rather odd, like getting Farfetch'd to land three critical hits in one battle.
I appreciate how Galarian forms not only offer new takes on existing creatures, but often reinvigorate forgotten ones with new evolutions. Time will tell whether Galar conceals more alternate species, but for now, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill