The Unova region was unique among Pokémon regions in that it attempted something not done in the franchise since the beginning. Rather than include a mix of new and old Pokémon, it introduced about 150 brand new creatures. This was done in large part because Unova was the first region not to take inspiration directly from Japan, instead looking to the Americas, and specifically New York City, to shape the themes of the region.
Pokémon Sword and Shield similarly lacked a good deal of previous Pokémon. But back in Black and White, most of the previous region’s Pokémon were accessible eventually. This was not the case in Sword and Shield, which lacks a good deal of Pokémon even after its two DLCs.
10The Simis Were Part Of A Fun Gimmick
Nearly every Pokémon game since the beginning has included three starters: a Grass type, a Water type, and a Fire type. This trio creates a convenient rochambeau triangle, easily demonstrating Pokémon’s system of elemental types that damage one another differently. The Unova region introduced a secondary trio as part of its first Gym. The Striaton Gym is run by three chefs, each one specializing in one of the three starter types. The gym actually selects the leader that will be super effective against the player’s starter. Simisage, Simipour, and Simisear aren’t exceptionally well-liked among the Pokémon community, but they have a fun gimmick that might have been fun to see in Sword and Shield.
9Zebstrika Is Kind Of Like An Unofficial Regional Form
A common theme among Unova Pokémon was to revisit ideas from Generation I with a slightly new twist. Bouffalant is, in many ways, a retread of Tauros. If Black and White were made today, many of these Pokémon might be regional variants instead. Zebstrika is an example of a Unova Pokémon that is different enough from a Generation I Pokémon, in this case the Ponyta line, while still echoing the prior generation. Zebstrika is a unique Pokémon with access to several fun abilities, so its omission from Sword and Shield is a real shame.
8Watchog Just Doesn’t Quite Cut It
As far as early-route Normal types go, its easy to do worse than Watchog, but its also easier to do a lot better. Its first form, Patrat, resembles a chipmunk with bright red and orange eyes, highlighting its exceptional powers of perception.
When it evolves, it gains yellow stripes on its body that resemble the kind of high-visibility vests worn by construction workers. There are a ton of pure Normal types to pull from, so while Watchog might be a fun Pokémon, it makes sense that it never made the jump to Sword and Shield.
7Swanna Gets Lost In The Flock
Ducklett and Swanna are a good example of Pokémon that fell through the cracks in Sword and Shield not for any particular glaring fault, but simply for not standing out enough. There are a ton of bird Pokémon to choose from throughout the generations, many of which have fantastic designs, typings, and/or abilities. One big reason they aren’t included might be the introduction of the Generation VIII Pokémon Cramorant, another Water/Flying type based on an aquatic bird.
6Leavanny Has A Rare Typing
Surprisingly, Bug/Grass Pokémon are not very common throughout the Pokémon world. Only three Pokémon families share this type: Plant-Cloak Wormadam, Paras and Parasect, and the Sewaddle line. Unfortunately, none of these Pokémon are accessible in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Sewaddle, Swadloon, and Leavanny have fun designs, decent stats, and a cool evolution mechanic, making their omission from Sword and Shield a real shame.
5Sawsbuck Is Too Tied To Its Home Region
Pokémon Black and White introduced a season mechanic which cycled each month of real-world time. This cycle affected the locations of various NPCs, several wild Pokémon encounter rates, music, and the forms Sawsbuck and Deerling take. Sawsbuck’s antlers are decorated with flowers or leaves depending on the season, while Deerling changes its whole coat. The lack of a seasoned mechanic in Sword and Shield makes including this line very difficult.
4Alomomola Has A Conspicuous Non-Relative
Alomomola is perhaps most famous for what it is not, rather than for what it is. Pokémon fans have long drawn parallels between this Unova Pokémon and the Hoenn Pokémon Luvdisc, as they are both pink heart-shaped fish with access to the Hydration ability.
It might seem like Alomomola should be the evolved form of Luvdisc, but they are in fact unrelated. Neither Pokémon is present in Sword and Shield, or indeed in Generation VIII writ large.
3Eelektross Is Completely Without Weakness
Eelektross and its pre-evolved forms have a high distinction among all 900 Pokémon, as they are the only creatures with absolutely no type weaknesses. As pure Electric types, they are only weak to Ground types. Fortunately, they possess the Levitate ability, making them immune to Ground moves. Having such a unique Pokémon missing from Sword and Shield is really a big gap, especially since Galar is inspired by the British Isles and eels are very common to the area.
2Meloetta Is Only Ever An Event Pokémon
Mythical and Legendary Pokémon are often very powerful and useful in competitive play, so lots of recent Pokémon games have included these creatures as a part of their post-game content.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s Mirage spots, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon’s Ultra Space Wilds, and Sword and Shield’s Max Lair Adventures are all examples of how these games introduce powerful Pokémon from other regions. Unfortunately, Meloetta the Melody Pokémon has only ever been available as part of a special event, never appearing in any of these post-game realms.
1The Starters Are Sorely Missed
The core of any Pokémon game is its starters. A member of this trio, almost always a Grass type, a Water type, or a Fire type, is a player’s main companion throughout their journey, and many of these Pokémon are huge fan-favorites. The Unova starters are not the most well-loved starter trio, with Emboar specifically drawing some heat for being the third Fire/Fighting starter in a row. But it’s still very sad to see these Pokémon missing from Sword and Shield.