Pokémon: 10 Hoenn Creatures That Never Made It Into Sword & Shield

The Hoenn region is full of fan-favorite Pokémon, but a surprising number of them have yet to appear in a Generation VIII game.

The flagship games of Pokémon’s eighth generation, Sword and Shield received some criticism from fans for not including the full roster of Pokémon. Upon their release, Sword and Shield included a total of 400 Pokémon. The Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra DLCs increased this number, but there are still plenty of Pokémon that never made it into these games.

Generation III introduced a wide range of fan-favorite Pokémon, many of which didn’t make it into Sword, Shield, or the DLCs. With Generation VIII moving along quite quickly, it seems likely that the days of new Sword and Shield content are at an end.

10Beautifly And Dustox Are Too Similar To Other Bugs

Most Pokémon games feature Bug types in their early routes. These help introduce new types to the player, as well as help demonstrate the concept of Pokémon evolution. Like the Kanto, Hoenn included two different early Bug types. Beautifly and Dustox evolve from a common base Pokémon, Wurmple. They also match the types of the Kanto Bug types, with Beautifly being a Bug/Flying type like Butterfree and Dustox being a Bug/Poison type, just like Beedril. There are plenty of Bug types to choose from, so it’s unsurprising that these two didn’t make the cut.

9Mightyena Got Replaced By Its Counterpart

The early-game Bug type Pokémon are often accompanied by Normal type Pokémon, giving the player a chance to expand their party. Hoenn featured Zigzagoon and Linoone as their Normal types, but they were accompanied by the Dark types Poochyena its evolved form Mightyena. Zigzagoon returned in Sword and Shield, but its new Galarian form is Dark/Normal type. In some ways, the new Zigzagoon and Linoone forms, along with their new final evolution Obstagoon replace Mightyena and Poochyena in Generation VIII.

8Breloom Is One Of The Few Of Its Typing, But New Ones Are Arriving All The Time

Breloom evolves from the Mushroom Pokémon Shroomish. It is a Grass/Fighting type, a relatively rare combination in Pokémon games, at least until recently.

Breloom has been extremely difficult to get ahold of in recent years, as Shroomish was last catchable in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Legends: Arceus introduces two new Grass/Fighting types in Hisuian Liligant and Hisuian Decidueye, the latter of which actually somewhat resembles Breloom in overall design.

7Slaking Has A Unique Evolutionary Line

This Normal type was the signature Pokémon of the player’s father Norman, the fifth gym leader in the Hoenn League. The Slaking line has an interesting evolutionary pattern. It begins life as a Slakoth, also known as the Slacker Pokémon. Upon evolving into Vigoroth at level 18, it becomes the Wild Monkey Pokémon, full of energy and always itching for a fight. It calms down again upon evolving into Slaking, gaining the Truant ability and the moniker the Lazy Pokémon. This kind of storytelling in evolution lines is a great example of what Pokémon is capable of, but it seems fair that a tropical, sloth-based Pokémon wouldn’t be featured in a region based on England.

6Hariyama Is A Perfect Fighting Type

Hariyama, and its predecessor Makuhita, are archetypical examples of the Fighting Pokémon type. Like the Generation I Fighting types Machamp, Hitmonchan, and Hitmonlee, it is clearly a martial artist with exceptional martial prowess. The Fighting type has something of an identity crisis in Pokémon, with Pokémon like Hisuian Sneasel, Galarian Zapdos, Heracross, and Bewear being Fighting types without clear reason. Hariyama is a great example of the type, but it never made it to Sword and Shield.

5Medicham Could Be Another Psychic/Fighting Type

As might be expected, Psychic/Fighting is a rare combination in Pokémon. In fact, the only Fighting/Psychic type available in Sword and Shield is Gallade. Medicham could have provided another good option, especially given its exceptionally powerful ability, Pure Power.

This ability doubles the Pokémon’s attack stat, boosting Medicham’s otherwise unremarkable physical prowess. Medicham has a much lower base stat total than Gallade, but it still would have been nice to have an extra option.

4Plusle And Minun Are The Original Pikachu Clones

Pokémon games are full of running themes. Every region has its own take on the early-route Bug, Flying, and Normal types, the Pokémon that blocks routes, and the powerful Pokémon that evolves from humble beginnings. One of the most time honored Pokémon traditions is the Pikachu clone. Every generation since Generation III has included a small, rodent-like Electric type to accompany the franchise mascot. The first of these were the pair Plusle and Minun, each representing an opposite electric charge.

3Volbeat And Illumise Struggle To Find A Place

Bug type Pokémon tend to fall into two camps. Some, like Butterfree, Kricketune, and Ribombee are fairly weak, often introduced in the first routes of a game, and rarely see use throughout a player’s run. Others, like Volcarona, Scyther, and Golisopod, are much more powerful and are usually found later in the game.

Volbeat and Illumise are something of an anomaly, as they don’t appear until a good way into the Hoenn games, but they really aren’t very powerful. Their exclusion from Sword and Shield is hard to argue against.

2Seviper And Zangoose Are Too Tied To Hoenn

The Hoenn games were full of paired Pokémon, which helped to illustrate the ecosystems at play in the region and highlight the ecological themes. Seviper and Zangoose were one such pair, drawing inspiration from the supposed rivalry between the mongoose and the cobra. Seviper and Zangoose aren’t exceptionally powerful in battle, and it would feel fairly artificial to try and move their specific ecological niche to another whole place in the Pokémon world.

1Kecleon Could Have Been A Protean User

This humble chameleon Pokémon has one specific claim to fame that makes its exclusion from Sword and Shield a huge missed opportunity. Alongside the Froakie line, Kecleon is one of only four Pokémon with access to the Protean ability. This powerful ability causes the Pokémon to change type to match each move it makes. This ensure it is always getting the Same Type Attack Bonus, or STAB, no matter what move it uses. Neither Kecleon nor the Froakie line are available in Sword and Shield, meaning that the Protean ability is entirely absent from these games.

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