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Pokémon Sword and Shield gym leaders - gotta beat ‘em all

If you want to be Pokémon champion you need to collect eight badges, and that's where our handy Pokémon Sword and Shield gym leader guide comes in

Allistar stood in front of a Gengar

As much as we all enjoy wandering around and enjoying the scenery in Pokémon Sword and Shield, there’s more to the game than pretty surroundings and catching adorable creatures. The idea is to be the best like no one ever was, which means battles, lots of them. You need to train your Pokémon into a formidable team that can withstand the ultimate test, and that’s becoming champion. Of course, there’s the slight issue of getting gym badges before you can dethrone the reigning champ.

With our Pokémon Sword and Shield gym leaders guide, we aim to not only tell you where to find them, but what Pokémon type they use, and which monsters make their team. We also offer some advice on how to counter these creatures. No matter how much you love a certain Pokémon, you’ve got to be smart. You can’t bring a Growlithe to a water fight.

If you’re after some more advice, we have a Pokémon Sword and Shield starters guide to help you find the right companion for you. If you fancy a freebie, we also have a Pokémon Sword and Shield mystery gift codes list. Or, if you want to experience the monster-catching action on a brisk walk, check out Pokémon Go and give our Pokémon Go codes list a once over for some goodies.

Now, let’s get into our Pokémon Sword and Shield gym leader guide.

Pokémon Sword and Shield gym leaders

Pokemon Sword and Shield Milo

Pokémon Sword and Shield Milo

The first gym you encounter is in Turffield, and it’s home to Milo, a master of grass-type Pokémon. As he’s the first gym leader, he only has two creatures on his team, both of which you can wipe out with a fire-type Pokémon.

However, to face him, you must complete the gym mission. You need to assemble a herd of Wooloo into their pens. Yes, you read that right. This is Pokémon meets Farming Simulator.

Milo’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Gossifleur 19 Grass Fire, flying, ice, bug, poison No
Eldegoss 20 Grass Fire, ice, flying, poison, bug Yes

If you begin your adventure with Scorbunny, this battle is a walk in the park. If you didn’t, don’t worry, just grab a bird or a bug and you’re golden.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Nessa

Pokémon Sword and Shield Nessa

Nessa is the second gym leader, and you can find her in Hulbury. Her type of choice is water, which is highly susceptible to attacks from grass and electric-types. If you start with Grookey, this fight will be over before she even knows what’s occurring.

When you first arrive in town, Nessa is at the lighthouse. You must speak to her here, or she won’t return to the gym. After this, you need to work your way through a maze that changes paths and fills with water. Once you’re out the other side, you can face Nessa.

Nessa’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Goldeen 22 Water Grass, electric No
Arrokuda 23 Water Electric, grass No
Drednaw 24 Water, rock Electric, fighting, grass, ground Yes

An electric or grass-type Pokémon is a must here, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble filling this spot on your team. By now you could even have the electrifying Pikachu.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Kabu

Pokémon Sword and Shield Kabu

Kabu is the third gym leader, and he is in Motostoke. He has three Pokémon on his team, all of which are fire-types, with the final one also being part bug – I guess kill it with fire doesn’t apply here.

His gym challenge is one of the more fun ones. Sure, you have to face other people but that just means you can boast about how great you are. You need to get five points before your opponents, which is simple enough, just capture some wild Pokémon. Defeating one nets you a single point, but making them comfy in a Poké ball rewards you with three points.

Kabu’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Ninetails 25 Fire Water, rock, ground No
Arcanine 25 Fire Water, rock, ground No
Centiskorch 27 Fire, bug Water, rock, ground Yes

It should go without saying that this team is weak to water, but a decent rock or ground-type will also put those fires out.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Bea

Pokémon Sword Bea

Okay, this is the first of the game exclusive gym leaders. Bea is in Pokémon Sword only, and can be found in Stow-on-Side. She and her Pokémon are fighters, so prepare yourself for a tough battle. Bea has four monsters on her team, so you best have a good squad.

The gym mission here is a fun one, just go down the massive slide and avoid the obstacles. We couldn’t help but slide back down again to gloat about our victory.

Bea’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Hitmontop 34 Fighting Psychic, fairy, flying No
Pangoro 34 Fighting, dark Flying, psychic, fairy No
Sirfetch’d 35 Fighting Flying, fair, psychic No
Machamp 36 Fighting Fairy, flying, psychic Yes

Fighting Pokémon can be tricky if you don’t have the correct member on your squad. However, if you have a flying, fairy, or psychic-type on your team, it won’t be long before they throw the towel in.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Allistar

Pokémon Shield Allister

The fourth gym leader in Pokémon Shield is Allister, and we hope you like all things spooky, as he specialises in the ghost-type. However, you do get to take part in what is arguably the best gym mission in all of Sword and Shield.

You get to ride around in a tea cup, one that you have full control of, just navigate your way through the area and use the glowing green hands if you feel the need for speed.

Allister’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Yamask 34 Ghost, ground Water, dark, steel No
Mimikyu 34 Ghost Steel, ghost No
Cursola 35 Ghost Dark, ghost No
Gengar 36 Ghost Ghost, Dark, Psychic Yes

As you can see, there are a few types that this group is weak to. However, they don’t all share a single weakness. Instead, you’re going to have to come prepared with a couple of different types to counter this team. You can even opt to use ghost Pokémon, but they could be susceptible to incoming attacks, just as the opposition is to your own.

Honestly, we suggest investing in a dark-type Pokémon, they might just come in handy later on.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Opal

Pokémon Sword and Shield Opal

Opal is the fifth gym leader and she has a passion for fairy-type Pokémon, yet just one of her four creatures is pure fairy. Three of them have a secondary type too.

We hope you’re ready for a quick Q&A as this gym mission requires you to answer some questions. You must face other trainers in battles, then from time to time, Opal pipes up with a question. If you can’t be bothered to think, not to worry, we have the answers:

  • Do you know about fairy-types’ weaknesses? – Poison or steel
  • What was the previous trainer’s name? – Annette
  • What do I eat for breakfast every morning? – Omelettes

Get all of those right for some stat boosts.

Opal’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Weezing 36 Poison, fairy Psychic, steel No
Mawile 36 Fairy, steel Fire, ground No
Togekiss 37 Fairy, flying Electric, ice, rock, poison, steel No
Alcremie 38 Fairy Dark, poison, steel Yes

There are a few types that will serve you well in this battle, and the chances are, if you have a diverse team, you have Pokémon that are up to the task.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Gordie

Pokémon Sword Gordie

Gordie is the sixth gym leader in Pokémon Sword, and can be found in Chirchester. He specialises in rock-types, though most of his party also belong to a second type.

The gym mission here tasks you with making it across the room in a sand storm. Not only that, but pieces of the floor give way when you stand on them. Fortunately, you do have a sensor that indicates when you’re about to fall down a hole.

Gordie’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Barbacle 40 Rock, water Electric, grass, fighting, ground No
Shuckle 40 Bug, rock Water, bug, steel No
Stonjourner 41 Rock Ground, Fighting, grass, ice No
Coalossal 42 Rock, fire Water, ground, fighting Yes

Grass, water, and fighting Pokémon are your best friends for this gym, and the chances are you have a powerful Pokémon that at least falls partly into one of these types.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Melony

Pokémon Shield Melony

Melony is an ice-type specialist that serves as the sixth gym leader in Pokémon Shield. If you have a strong fire Pokémon, you’re in for an easy ride, for the most part, at least.

The gym mission is the same as in Pokémon Sword, you must navigate some dodgy flooring through the use of a sensor.

Melony’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Frosmoth 40 Ice, bug Fire No
Darmantian 40 Ice Fire, rock, fighting, steel No
Eiscue 41 Ice Fire, rock, fighting, steel No
Lapras 42 Water, ice Electric, grass, fighting, rock Yes

Fire and rock, that’s the combination you should go for here. Seriously, pair them up and watch your worries melt away.

Pokemon Sword and shield Piers

Pokémon Sword and Shield Piers

You can find the seventh Pokémon Sword and Shield gym leader in Spikemuth – we hear it’s lovely this time of year. Piers runs this town and happens to be the older brother of Marnie, your rival. At first, you can’t enter, but your frienemy lets you in. Piers embraces the dark side, so prepare yourself for a fight.

Your gym mission is simply to defeat Team Yell, a faction that Piers is in charge of. Funnily enough, Marnie helps you out, wanting to prove she’s the best through fair competition, rather than having her big brother refuse to face other trainers.

Piers’ Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Scrafty 44 Fighting, dark Fighting, flying, fairy No
Malamar 45 Psychic, dark Bug, fairy No
Skuntank 45 Poison, dark ground No
Obstagoon 46 Dark, normal Fighting, fairy No

It would be fair to say that fighting and fairy-types tend to do well in this battle, so bear that in mind before heading in.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Raihan

Pokémon Sword and Shield Raihan

We hope you’re ready for a fight, because this is the toughest challenge you will have faced so far. Raihan is the final gym leader, you can find him in Hammerlocke, and he uses dragon-type Pokémon.

The gym mission is simple enough, face four trainers in double battles while a different weather setting wreaks havoc on the battle.

Raihan’s Pokémon

Name Level Type Weakness Dynamax
Gigalith 46 Rock Water, grass, fighting, ground, steel No
Flygon 47 Ground, dragon Ice, fairy, dragon No
Scandaconda 46 Ground Flying, bug, grass No
Duraludon 48 Dragon, steel Ice, fairy Yes

We suggest reading the weaknesses of this team carefully, but if you have a fairy, grass, or ice-type Pokémon at your disposal there’s no better time to equip them. You could use Raihan’s own type against him but given it’s a dragon-eat-dragon kind of world, it could be a risky move.

There you have it, everything you need to know about the Pokémon Sword and Shield gym leaders. We hope it helps you to get those badges and prove you’re simply the best. If you’re after something new to play, we have a selection of the best Switch RPGs here.