Like the vast majority of games in the series, Pokémon Sword and Shield starts the player off by offering a choice between three “starters,” with a different option for Grass, Water and Fire. Galar’s Champion Leon is the one to present this choice when the player first encounters him, displaying the region’s three starter Pokémon. Fire is represented by the Rabbit Pokémon Scorbunny, Grass by the Chimp Pokémon Grookey and Water by the Water Lizard Pokémon Sobble. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so choosing a starter Pokémon is often seen as the game’s earliest defining choice for the rest of the player’s journey.
Sobble is the Water-type starter and remains a pure Water-type for the entirety of its evolutionary line. It’s categorized by its sad, weepy nature, appearing timid and crying with very little provocation. But that doesn’t mean it can’t stand its ground in fights — the chameleon-like Pokémon boasts a powerful Special Attack stat and becomes a heavy hitter in the late game once it reaches its final evolution. But not all aspects of that process are clear, so let’s walk through each step of obtaining, evolving and G-Maxing Sobble.
Sobble is a fairly timid-looking chameleon, but the lizard is still a great choice for the early game. Players can obtain it by following the early game story, meeting Leon at the nearby Pokémon Lab after following Hop there. Then they have to pick the water starter from the three choices presented to them. The Sobble they receive will have the ability Torrent, boosting its Water-type attacks by 50% once it hits one-third of its maximum health. A Sobble with the Hidden ability of Sniper (boosting critical hit damage by 50%) can be acquired as a Mystery Gift through Pokémon HOME.
Sobble evolves into its middle form of Drizzile at level 16, with no special requirements. Players need to use it in battles, as knocking out enemy combatants will grant experience points. Each point gets the Water Pokémon closer to its next level, granting boosted stats and new moves. Evolving to Drizzile gives a huge bonus to stats, with a base stat increase of over 25% compared to Sobble’s total. It also gains access to several new moves. Sucker Punch lets Drizzile strike enemies with priority and potentially cause them to flinch, while U-Turn is highly prized in competitive battles for its ability to let a Pokémon switch out after landing a hit.
Drizzile evolves into its final stable evolution, Inteleon, at level 35. The Water-Type starter’s final form once again comes with a huge increase in base stats, as well as several new special moves. It learns Snipe Shot immediately upon evolving, a signature move available only to Inteleon. The 80-power Water-type move packs a punch but also has an increased critical hit ratio and ignores the effects of redirection moves and abilities like Follow Me and Storm Drain. This allows the sniper chameleon to always hit its intended target and pairs well with its hidden ability since Sniper increases the damage of critical hits.
Inteleon’s most advanced form is only temporary, but that doesn’t make it any less devastating. G-Max Inteleon sits atop a storm cloud perch with a sniper rifle made of flowing water, ready to take aim and fire. It can only be acquired through the Isle of Armor DLC, which retails separately from the base game at a price of around $30.
Once a player has made that purchase, they can go to the newly-available Isle of Armor and collect Max Mushrooms. Completing Master Mustard’s trials at the Max Dojo will convince him to teach you the recipe for Max Soup, which can be made with Max Mushrooms and fed to Inteleon to unlock its G-Max potential. After that, Gigantamaxing the Pokémon is as simple as tapping the relevant button in battle, although the player will need to be in one of the game’s few battle arenas that allows Gigantamaxing.