Pokémon Sword and Shield were the first brand new Pokémon games for the Nintendo Switch, following the pseudo-remakes Let’s Go, Eevee! and Let’s Go, Pikachu!. Upon their release in 2019, they included 400 Pokémon, drawing from a pool of both brand new creatures, new versions of existing monsters, and returning favorites.
This number was relatively low compared to the over 800 Pokémon in existence at the time, and many fans were disappointed to not see their favorite Pokémon making a return. The Crown Tundra and Isle of Armor DLCs added some extra Pokémon, but there are still plenty of creatures that never made it into Sword and Shield. With the latter half of Generation VIII well underway, it seems safe to say that Sword and Shield are done receiving new additions, and these Pokémon will be out of the games for good.
10Furret Has To Compete For Space
Sentret and Furret fulfill the Pokémon archetype of the early-route Normal type. Since the beginning of the franchise, nearly every region has had some kind of Normal type found early on that gives the player a chance to fill out their team and quickly grasp the evolution mechanics. Since there are a lot of early-game Normal types to choose from, it makes sense that some wouldn’t make it all the way to Sword and Shield. In fact, Furret hasn’t been catchable sin a main series game since Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
9Ariados & Ledyba Are The Early Bugs
The early-route Normal types in Pokémon games are often accompanied by early Bug types. These help to flesh out the variety of types a player can put on their team early. Spinarak, Ariados, Ledyba, and Ledian were the early Bug types found in Johto, but they never featured in Sword and Shield. Neither of these Pokémon lines has been featured in a main series game at all since Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
8Ampharos Comes From Humble Beginnings
The humble Electric type sheep Pokémon Mareep eventually evolves into a fearsome, bipedal monster. Ampharos got a nice boost back in Generation VI with the addition of a Dragon type Mega Evolution known for its incredible hairdo. But unfortunately for Ampharos, the more recent generations haven’t been as kind. Like so many Pokémon, it has yet to see an appearance in a single Generation VIII game.
7Aipom Is A Mischievous Little Pokémon
Aipom was among several Generation II Pokémon who received evolutions in Generation IV. Aipom and Ambipom resemble small monkeys with extremely prehensile tails that resemble hands, which they use to commit all sorts of mischief.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus players encounter plenty of Aipoms early on in that game, and it features in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as well, but these are its only Generation VIII appearances to date.
6Murkrow Evolved In Generation IV
The evolved form of this Pokémon, Honchkrow, helped to give it more of an identity. It’s base form, introduced in Generation II, has some general bad luck associated with it, but Honchkrow’s design and Pokédex entries help cement its mobster theming. Both Murkrow and Honchkrow can be found throughout the Hisui region in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, but is totally absent from Sword and Shield.
5Unown Is Mysterious And Narratively Important
One of the most unique Pokémon in the entire franchise is the mysterious Unown. Unown resembles a script, with several different variations representing each letter. This Pokémon is strongly connected with the Legendary Pokémon Arceus, and accordingly it features prominently in Legends: Arceus. Prior to their reintroduction Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Unown was last catchable in a main series game in Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby.
4Houndoom Had A Mega, But No Longer
Houndour and Houndoom are Dark/Fire Pokémon, and their species name “The Dark Pokémon” really reflects their nature. They bear skeletal growths on their body and spew flames to defeat their enemies.
Houndoom was one of the many Pokémon to receive a Mega Evolution during Generation VI, which reappeared during Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon in Generation VII. Houndoom’s base form also appears in both Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but never appeared in Sword and Shield.
3Forretress Has Some Fine Substitutes
Bug/Steel is not an exceptionally common type combination in Pokémon. With eight resistances, one immunity, and only a single weakness, it is quite durable and capable of taking some hits. Other Pokémon of this type, such as Scizor, Durant, and Escavalier are readily accessible in Sword and Shield. In fact, Forretress and Escavalier both have access to the ability Overcoat, making Escavalier a fair replacement.
2Smeargle Can Use Any Move, Basically
This humble Normal type has quite a reputation in the Pokémon community thanks to its use of the move Sketch. When used, Sketch permanently becomes the last move used by the opponent. This can be used to gain access to incredibly powerful moves like Spore or King’s Shield.
In formats where it is allowed, its Moody ability could be combined with the move Baton Pass to create incredibly powerful combat setups. Smeargle and Sketch are available in full swing in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but not in Sword and Shield.
1The Starters Are The Biggest Ommission
The most sorely felt lack in Sword and Shield from Johto are the Generation II starters. Typhlosion, Meganium, and Feraligatr are completely unobtainable in these games, despite being fan-favorites for decades. The Generation II starters are available in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and Typhlosion received a new regional form in Legends: Arceus.