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Pokemon Sword & Shield: Every Raid Mistake You’re Probably Making

One of the best and most ubiquitous features of the newest installment in the Pokemon main series, Sword & Shield, is the Max Raid system. Join up with some friends (or NPCs, or both) and defeat a large, Dynamaxed Pokemon for a chance to catch it.

But, like any online multiplayer game, you might notice some annoying mistakes that other players make that can ruin your chances at taking down the raid boss. If you’re looking to avoid making these mistakes and being “that person,” here’s the list for you. This is every raid mistake you’re probably making.

Not Caring About Types

One of the most important aspects of any Pokemon battle is knowing your type matchups. You aren’t going to make it very far if you’re up against a Ground-type Pokemon with only Electric moves. In a raid battle, you can really be a detriment to your team if you don’t take into consideration these matchups.

This is an intentional mistake made by some people you find online who seem to be showing off their shinies or Legendaries. It’s really great that they’ve caught those, but if you lose a raid because they brought a shiny instead of a good counter, it can be frustrating.

Not Catching the Pokemon

You only get one chance to catch a Pokemon at the end of a Max Raid, but you should try to make it count. Of course, many people grind Max Raids in search of a shiny, but that’s not the only reason to do them.

Max Raid Pokemon have higher chances at better IVs. The higher the raid’s level, the better your chances at perfect IVs. You should always throw at least a standard Poke Ball. You never know!

Additionally, in the Dynamax Adventures system in the Crown Tundra, you can’t see if a Pokemon is shiny until the final screen when it asks you which Pokemon you’d like to keep. So, you should definitely catch all of the Pokemon in a Dynamax Adventures run.

Forgetting or Not Noticing Certain Abilities

Bringing Pokemon with certain abilities can really hinder your chances at defeating a raid boss. Some of the most prominent examples include Lightning Rod and Storm Drain. Both of these abilities draw in all attacks of Electric-typing or Water-typing, respectively, even from allies.

This means if one of your teammates brings a Shellos with Storm Drain against a Carkol raid boss and you also brought a Water-type, you won’t be hitting that Carkol most of the time because the Shellos will just absorb the Water attacks. Be wary of abilities that can hinder a raid and try to avoid bringing them in with you.

Not Dynamaxing

The Dynamax phenomenon should not be underestimated, even if you believe it’s just this generation’s resident gimmick. It can make the difference between doing enough to defeat the raid boss and falling just short.

Many Dynamax and Gigantamax attacks have special effects that can really help out your team. Additionally, they remove two bars of a boss’ mysterious barrier, whereas regular attacks only remove one. You should definitely Dynamax when it makes sense to.

Using Dynamax Wrong

However, watch out for the times when you might Dynamax but it doesn’t make sense to. There are a few times that it isn’t wise to Dynamax your Pokemon.

If you are facing a boss that has a weakness to your teammates’ Pokemon but not yours, it’s best to let them Dynamax instead. For example, Toxtricity has a double-weakness to Ground-type moves. If you bring in Excadrill but an ally Dynamaxes their Eldegoss, you might be rightfully annoyed, or at least confused.

Additionally, sometimes Dynamax is just a waste of everyone’s time. There’s nothing more comically annoying than when you sit through the entire animation of someone Dynamaxing their Pokemon, just to watch a different teammate take down the boss with one move.

Choice Scarf and Other Held Items

In the same vein as forgetting about abilities that can hinder your chances of victory, don’t forget about certain held items that can ruin your good time in a Max Raid.

One of the best examples of this is a Choice Scarf. More than a couple people have accidentally left one on one of their Pokemon, just to bring it into a raid and be locked into using Will-O-Wisp or some other move that is unhelpful in repetition.

Using Moves That Strikes Allies

Surf, Earthquake, and Petal Blizzard are powerful moves that are nice to use repeatedly in battle, ensuring a quick victory in many cases. However, it’s easy to forget that they hit your allies, too. In a Max Raid, it’s not wise to use moves that are going to cause damage to your teammates, both because it’ll make the raid harder, but because it’ll anger your allies too.

Opt for alternatives, like Muddy Water, High Horsepower, and Leaf Blade instead. The last thing you want to do is use up one of your four knockouts because of your own mistake.

Relying on Stat Changes and Status Moves

Status moves that inflict burns, sleep, and other effects are great in battle. Much of the time, they can make a pivotal difference in who has the upper hand. Stat-changing moves are also great, and a hallmark of competitive battling.

However, in Max Raids, it’s better to focus on pure offense. Raid bosses in Max Raids have the power to remove all stat changes, abilities, and non-volatile status conditions. If you’ve spent turns setting up a stat increase just for it to be wiped out in one fell swoop, you’ve wasted a lot of time.

Sometimes, of course, these stat changes or status effects can be great before they’re removed. But, don’t rely on them for the duration of the fight.

Using Useless Moves

In addition to relying on stat changes and status conditions, there are other moves that just completely do not work. The following moves fail when used in a Max Raid, due to their mechanics: Bug Bite, Destiny Bond, Explosion, Incinerate, Instruct, Knock Off, Perish Song, Pluck, Self-Destruct, Super Fang, and Thief.

Moves that cause flinch, one-hit knockout moves, attacks with a weight calculation mechanic, and others will fail as well. It doesn’t seem like fans have determined a definitive list of moves that fail, but keep an eye out for moves your Pokemon may not know that fail when you try to use them in a Max Raid, and don’t use them in the future.

NEXT: The Weakest Pokemon From Each Generation, Ranked

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Michael is a journalist with several years of experience writing about video games, television, and social issues. He loves indie platformers, Pokémon, and Hack ‘n Slashers.

Currently playing: Cities: Skylines, Hyrule Warriors, and Stardew Valley.

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