Celebrate Pokémon Day with a special max raid event in Pokémon Sword & Shield

Screenshot of Gigantamax Charizard and Venusaur

As we build up to everyone’s favourite holiday, Pokémon Day, on February 27, the Pokémon Company is treating us to a week full of surprises. They’ve used the second of the week’s announcements to breathe new life into Pokémon Sword and Shield, with a range of special max raid battles, including some nostalgic favourites in their most intimidating forms.

Many ears pricked up when the developer revealed that a Pokémon Sword and Shield event would arrive as part of the week-long celebrations. As with anything Pokémon-related, speculation went into overdrive. While it’s not the wildest update we’ve ever seen, it certainly will bring some players back to Galar, with many booking their return flight from Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ Hisui as we speak.

With the Pokémon Sword and Shield max raid event only running for a few short days, from now until Pokémon Day itself, you only have a small space of time to get the big Pokémon before they go home. Once you complete your hunt, be sure to see our thoughts on the latest Pokémon adventure in our Pokémon Legends: Arceus review, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus tips, for transferring your trainer skills over to a new region.

What Pokémon will appear in the Pokémon Sword and Shield max raid event?

The main draw for this event is the return of all three first-generation starters in their Gigantamax form. That’s right, not only are Charizard, Venusaur, and Blastoise all back for another round, but this time they’re breaking the norm of level 60 Gigantamax battles by leveling them up to 80. Of course, that’s quite the challenge compared to a standard Gigantamax raid, so you’re going to want to take along something super-effective.

Other Pokémon featuring as part of the event include Blipbug, Chewtle, Ditto, Rookidee, Sizzilipede, Wooloo, and standard versions of Centiskorch, Corviknight, Drednaw, Dubwool, and Orbeetle. These picks aren’t quite as exciting as the inclusion of the Kanto starters, but it can never hurt to stock up on Ditto for the daycare, especially if you can find one with good IVs.

Remember, this event only runs for a few days, so get out into the wild area of Galar as soon as possible to capture these super-sized ‘mons. Once you’ve caught all three, you can keep with the big old Pokémon theme by heading over to Hisui and getting your hands on some Pokémon Legends: Arceus alpha Pokémon and Pokémon Legends: Arceus legendaries.