Pokemon Sword and Shield is making Gigantamax Pikachu available to all players for the very first time. Pokemon Sword and Shield has launched a new Max Raid Battle event in which players can find and battle Gigantamax Pikachu in the wild. This marks the first time that Gigantamax Pikachu has been available for all players to catch since the games' launch back in November. This will also be the first time that Pokemon Sword and Shield players can get their hands on a Gigantamax Pikachu with the Hidden Ability Lightning Rod. Notably, Gigantamax Pikachu will also have the move Surf in its arsenal, meaning that players can't rely on pounding the Pokemon into submission with Ground-type Pokemon.
Gigantamax Pikachu was the poster child for the Gigantamax mechanic, which changes a Pokemon's size and shape in battle. Gigantamax Pikachu reverts to its "chubby" Pikachu look as seen in the original Pokemon games, but with a massive tail made entirely of electricity. The Gigantamax Pikachu also knows the move G-Max Volt Crash, which automatically paralyzes opponents...even those that can't usually be paralyzed by an Electric-type attack. Some competitive players have already discovered that Gigantamax Pikachu is surprisingly useful, so this Max Raid Battle event marks a chance to find a Gigantamax Pikachu with even better stats or a better Nature.
While Pokemon Sword and Shield players could get a Gigantamax Pikachu at launch, players needed to have the save data for Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu on their Nintendo Switch in order to obtain it. Today's event also indicates that players could see Pokemon like Gigantamax Meowth and Gigantamax Eevee in future events, as both of those Pokemon were also previously unavailable to catch in the wild.
Players will only have a limited time to capture Gigantamax Pikachu in the wild. The Pokemon will appear in Max Raid Battles from today through May 18th.