What Are The *RAREST* Pokemon in Sword & Shield?


– Greetings, Pokefans! Michael here, and a few months ago, I made a video talking about what the rarest Pokemon in every main series Pokemon game was. That video did not include Pokemon Sword and Shield, because, obviously, it wasn’t out yet. But now that the games have been released, I figured, they should be covered. However, determining the rarest Pokemon in Sword and Shield is, well, it’s pretty freaking complicated. In the older games, it was pretty easy to figure out. You got Pokemon by random grass encounters, and that was basically it, since the other encounter and obtaining methods of breeding or static encounters or gift Pokemon don’t really have a rarity associated with them. So figuring out the rarest Pokemon was as simple as figuring out which Pokemon had the lowest encounter percentage in the fewest number of places.

But Sword and Shield make things a heck of a lot more complicated. You’ve got random grass encounters, you’ve got overworld encounters, you’ve got overworld strong spawns, you’ve got Max Raid battles. The encounter tables change every day depending on the weather. It’s a mess! However, despite the complexity, I think I’ve succeeded in coming up with a numerical way to figure out what the rarest Pokemon in Sword and Shield are. It’s not gonna be perfect, and it’s gonna get a little bit mathy, and I’ve probably made some mistakes at some point, but I tried my best to figure out what the rarest Sword and Shield Pokemon are, in the most numerical and objective way possible. Before I get started, there are going to be some exclusions, just like there was in the first video. One of those is Pokemon that have no chance associated with obtaining them. So, static encounter legendaries or gift starters or fossils. You do a certain thing, and then you get the Pokemon. There’s no randomness involved, other than trying to hunt for the specific type of fossil that you want, but we don’t have the percentages for those, and you’re hunting for the item, not the Pokemon.

I will also be excluding shiny Pokemon, because obviously the shiny version of a Pokemon is more rare than the normal version, so it would be redundant to just say the shiny version of this particular species. I’m just focusing on the plain old regular species in this video. Speaking of species, individual members of an evolutionary line are different species, so they will be counted totally separately. Also, I’m gonna be figuring this out as if no exploits were possible. So in other words, I’m gonna pretend as if changing your Switch clock to impact the weather in the game is not impossible.

It’d get way too messy to factor that in. All right, I think that covers all of the exclusions, so before we get started, be sure sure to subscribe to my channel. You know, in case you haven’t, I’m almost at a million subs, so it’d be cool to hit that soon. But now we can start with what exactly are the rarest Pokemon in Sword and Shield, and I say “what are” rather than “what is” because it’s not really easy to determine the definitive single Pokemon that’s the rarest, because of the layer of complexity added due to Max Raid battles. Now, we do have data for the exact encounter rates for Max Raid battles. If you use a wishing piece on a particular den, we can know the exact chance of a certain Pokemon showing up, to a degree. Assuming we know whether the den has spawned a common red beam or a rare purple beam, and we also know the star level of the raid that shows up, we know the exact odds of a certain species showing up.

But that’s it. We don’t know the chance of the beam being red versus purple, and we also don’t the individual chances for what star level of raid will show up, which is also impacted by how far into the game you are. So there’s a lot we don’t know. Additionally, we don’t know the odds of any particular den spawning a raid on its own without a wishing piece, and there’s the added layer of complexity of being able to get Pokemon from raids from other people’s games that you normally wouldn’t be able to. I have caught Shield exclusives in my Sword version because I joined someone’s raid who was playing Shield. Max Raids clearly make rarity calculations too complicated so I’m gonna keep ’em separate. I’m gonna figure out the rarest Max Raid boss Pokemon assuming you stand a den and throw a wishing piece in. That’s it, they’re their own thing, it would be too messy to combine them with all the other stuff.

Without a doubt, the rarest Max Raid boss Pokemon are some of the Gigantamax Pokemon. And I say “some” for a reason that I’ll explain in a little bit. But before I dive in, there’s another exclusion that I have to go over that I didn’t mention earlier, those being event dens. If you didn’t know, there is currently an ongoing event in the wild area that is dramatically boosting the spawn rate for certain Pokemon, including several Gigantamax Pokemon. Those are Gigantamax Butterfree in both games, Gigantamax Drednaw and Sandaconda in Sword, and Gigantamax Corviknight and Centiskorch in Shield. These spawns are boosted by the use of an event den that has its own encounter table, and this event den can spawn at any location in the entire wild area.

This makes these event den Pokemon so much easier to find than they would be otherwise. However, when the event is over in January 2020, these Gigantamax forms are going to become super freaking rare, like so many of the other Gigantamax forms. But, in exchange, some other Gigantamax Pokemon will probably take their place, and become far easier to find. Because of the temporary nature of the events, I didn’t think it made sense to include event dens in my discussion of what the rarest Max Raid boss Pokemon is, because something that’s rare right now may not be in a couple months. And something that is not rare right now, will be substantially rarer in a couple months. The events make things too complicated, so we’re gonna act as if the events don’t exist.

So the rarest Max Raid boss Pokemon are, as I said some of the Gigantamax forms. And more specifically, it’s the ones that are only found in one den, and only in five star raids, and only have a 5% chance of showing up. And that 5% is if the raid is determined to be a five star raid, of all the possible five star Pokemon, there’s only a 5% chance of it being the Gigantamax form. As I mentioned earlier, we don’t have the exact data for what the chances are for a rare purple beam to show up, since all Gigantamax forms outside of events only show up in purple beams, and we don’t have the percentage chance for what the different star levels will be any time a particular raid is generated.

But we do know that they’re extremely freaking rare! And you basically only see the rare Gigantamax forms if someone’s doing the exploit. The Gigantamax Pokemon that are found under this extremely rare criteria differ depending on what version you’re playing. In Sword, they are Charizard, Machamp, Garbodor, Corviknight, Drednaw, Coalossal, Centiskorch, Hatterene, Copperajah, and Duraludon. In Shield, the list is the same, except replace Machamp and Coalossal with Gengar and Lapras.

The other Gigantamax forms that are currently available are certainly very rare, but they can be found in more than one den or at more than one star level. So that covers the rarest Max Raid boss Pokemon, but now that I have covered that, from here on out, I’m not taking into account Max Raid battles at all. As I said, they’re super complicated, so adding that when figuring out the rarity of all the other Pokemon, it’s just gonna be too much. So Max Raid battles, we’re done discussing. However, there’s another method of obtaining Pokemon that’s not as complicated as Max Raid battles, but still kinda weird. But before we dive into that, I want to let guys you know that I am doing a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale on my merch store! Several old limited designs are back and available, also you can get 10% off the entire store if you use code GRAPPLOCT at checkout. My Patrons actually get an even better discount code, so if you’re a Patron, check your Patreon feed. This sale will only last until the end of the day on Tuesday, December 3rd, so if you want one of these limited designs, and you want to save some money on some merch, go get it right now, link’s in the description.

Anyways back to what I was discussing. The other kinda weird method are strong spawns. You may have noticed in the wild area that there are several Pokemon wandering around separate from the other wild Pokemon. They’re not in the grass, and they don’t despawn unless you encounter them or wait until the next day. These are widely known as strong spawn Pokemon, and they have much higher levels than the other wild Pokemon you find. We have the data on which strong spawn Pokemon can show up in which parts of the wild area, and under which types of weather.

However, we don’t have the data on the percentage chance of each certain spawn point generating a certain species of Pokemon. We know Milotic’s a heck of a lot rarer than Gyarados, but we don’t know how much rarer. Therefore, I had to come up with another method of determining what the rarest strong spawn Pokemon were. First, I looked at a list of all the strong spawn Pokemon and eliminated all of the ones that do not show up anywhere else in the wild area as a strong spawn specifically. Then, I looked to see if that particular species can show up anywhere else in the Galar region via any other method other than Max Raids. If they can be found anywhere else, they are again, eliminated. Then of the remaining Pokemon, I looked to see how many different weathers they can show up under. As a result of all this elimination, the rarest strong spawn Pokemon are those that only show up in one area of the wild area, show up nowhere else in the game, and only show up during one weather pattern.

Those Pokemon are Clefable, Bellossom, Kirlia, Vespiquen, Mime Jr., Lucario, Weavile, Chandelure, Aegislash, and all the Eeveelutions except Glaceon, since Glaceon can show up in both snow and snowstorm. If you are exploring the wild area and see one of these Pokemon running around, you should catch it, because it’s not gonna be there tomorrow. So now I’ve figured out the rarest Max Raid boss Pokemon, and the rarest strong spawn Pokemon, totally separate from the other encounter methods, ’cause they kinda needed to be separate. So now all that’s left is determining the rarest Pokemon in the more traditional encounter sense, of both overworld and random grass encounters, and fishing. But these I can combine together, it’s just kinda complicated. There are two main factors that cause this complication.

The first is the difference between overworld encounters and random grass encounters/fishing. Overworld encounters, you can see multiple Pokemon at once, so the effective encounter rate is substantially higher, because you don’t have to enter a battle and wait for it start to see what the Pokemon is. Whereas for random grass and fishing, you have to find an exclamation point, and run into and then see what it is. If it’s not what you want, run, try again. It’s much slower, so the encounter rates mean more. And the second factor is weather. Weather in the wild area dramatically impacts the spawns that will show up in any given area on any given day. And it makes Pokemon more rare than they would be otherwise. For example, a Pokemon may have a worst encounter rate on a route, but you can find it any time.

If a Pokemon has a better encounter rate in the wild area, but it only shows up on one of the nine different weathers, and weather only changes once per day, if you don’t change your Switch clock, it could take you a really long time to find that Pokemon. I have taken all these factors into account and created a metic that I am calling the rarity score. Which I hope will accurately give a good numerical indication of how truly rare a Pokemon is by considering the difference between overworld and random encounters, and also the impacts of the weather. To figure out a Pokemon’s rarity score, you first look at its encounter rate, for example, 2%, 5%, 50%, whatever. If that encounter rate is done via the random grass encounters or fishing, it stays the same. However, if that rate is for an overworld encounter, the effective rate gets doubled, because as I said, if you can see multiple Pokemon at once, you’re gonna find what you need faster. The two times multiplier is admittedly subjective, but I figure just a simple multiplier of two is what made the most sense.

Then you take into account how many different places it is found. For example, if it’s found on one route at any time, that’s a location number of one. However, if it’s only found under a specific type of weather, that changes once per day, that’s an effective location number of 1/9, since there are nine different weathers. Since weather seems to be determined randomly, you have a one out of nine chance to get a particular weather on a particular day. So therefore, if it’s only found under one weather, you’re only gonna find that Pokemon on average, one out of every nine days. So that definitely has to be taken into account and make the Pokemon rarer than it would be if it could be found on a route at any time. So you take the Pokemon’s effective encounter rate and multiply it by the effective number of locations. If the rates are different in different locations, then you multiply that rate by that location number and then add them all together.

The math works out the same. I know I got a little heavy on the math there, so I’ll go into an example that will hopefully clarify this for you. So I’ll discuss Stonjourner, a Pokemon widely considered to be extremely rare in Pokemon Sword. Stonjourner is found on Route 10 with a 2% random grass encounter at any time. It is also found at the Lake of Outrage, but only under intense sun at a random grass rate of 2%, and under sandstorm at a random grass rate of 5%. So that works out to two times one, plus two times 1/9, plus five times 1/9, resulting in a rarity score of 2.777. So now that you hopefully understand how a rarity score works, let’s go through several Pokemon that are considered widely to be some of the rarest in these games, and figure out exactly how rare they are.

Eiscue, the shield counterpart for Stonjourner, unsurprisingly has an identical rarity score. It is also found only via random grass encounters with a 2% rate on Route 10, a 2% rate in snow at the Lake of Outrage, and a 5% rate in a snowstorm at the Lake of Outrage. The formula ends up exactly the same, so it also has a rarity score of 2.777. Feebas is a pretty rare Pokemon, only being found by fishing on Route two with a 1% encounter rate. Fishing is not overworld, so the 1% is unchanged, but it can be found during any weather on any day, so it’s a full location number. Therefore 1% times one location means its rarity score is one. Sizzlipede is in a near identical situation. Ignoring the guaranteed encounter in the Motostoke gym, it’s only a 1% encounter rate on Route 3, randomly in the grass.

This also makes a rarity score of one. Another Pokemon that’s pretty rare is Rotom. It is only found at the Lake of Outrage when it is either raining or thunderstorming. However it’s an overworld encounter, so based on my formula, its 2% encounter rate gets doubled to an effective encounter rate of 4%. Four times 2/9 gives a rarity score of 0.888. Dreepy, the base form pseudo-legendary for generation eight, is also quite rare, actually being substantially rarer than its evolution Drakloak. It is only found via random grass encounters, again at the Lake of Outrage, under three different weathers. In rain and thunderstorms, it’s found at a 2% rate, and when it’s overcast, it’s found a 1% rate. This creates a formula of two times 2/9, plus one times 1/9, giving a rarity score of 0.555. Hitmontop is pretty rare too, actually being the rarest of the Hitmon line. It’s an overworld encounter in the Lake of Outrage, so its 2% rate gets bumped to 4%.

However it’s only during Overcast weather, meaning its rarity score is only 0.444. Togekiss is in a similar situation. It’s only in the Dusty Bowl in foggy weather with a 2% overworld encounter rate. It’s a pre-set flying encounter which is Braviary or Mandibuzz 98% of the time, but since you can still see it in the overworld, it gets the rate bumped to 4%, meaning another 0.444 rarity score.

Mimikyu is also quite rare. Excluding its potential as a strong spawn, which is what I’ve been doing this whole time, it can only be found in Giants Mirror under foggy weather. It’s a random grass encounter with only a 3% encounter rate. Three times 1/9 gives a rarity score of 0.333. But none of these are the rarest Pokemon. There are actually eight Pokemon with even lower rarity scores. In Sword, the first is Flygon. It can spawn as a strong spawn in the Dusty Bowl, but in the Lake of Outrage, it only has a 1% encounter rate and only during Intense Sunlight. It is an overworld encounter though, so the effective rate gets bumped to 2%. That multiplied by 1/9th gives a rarity score of 0.222.

In Shield, Haxorus is in the same situation as Flygon. It can be found in other places as a strong spawn, but in the Lake of Outrage, it only shows up during thunderstorms with a 1% overworld encounter rate, giving it another 0.222 rarity score. It should be noted that Flygon and Haxorus are not version exclusives, they just have substantially different rarities, depending on the games. So they’re pseudo-version exclusives. However, there are six other Pokemon that also have rarity scores of 0.222, that I consider to be the rarest Pokemon in Sword and Shield, not Flygon or Haxorus. The reason for that is that these other Pokemon can’t be found anywhere else, whereas Haxorus and Flygon can be found as strong spawns. I know I said I was excluding strong spawns, which I have been doing this whole time, except when you have a tie, and some of them can be found elsewhere some way, excluding Max Raid battles, and some cannot, that’s the only way.

The one where it’s the only way, those ones are rarer. The true rarest Pokemon are Deino, Hakamo-o, and Turtonator in Sword, and in Shield, they are Goomy, Sliggoo, and Drampa. All six of these Pokemon can only be found at the Lake of Outrage doing random grass encounters with a measly 2% encounter rate under one weather each, giving them all rarity scores of 0.222. Deino and Goomy are only found when it’s raining. Turtonator is only found in the intense sunlight, and Hakamo-o, Sliggoo, and Drampa are only found in thunderstorms. All of these Pokemon can only be found at the Lake of Outrage, only doing random grass encounters, with only a 2% rate, and only under one weather, and they are nowhere else in the game other than Max Raid battles. These are definitively the rarest Pokemon in Sword and Shield, at least in regards to the typical encounter method.

So the moral of this story is if you have a dragon type Pokemon, it’s probably rare and you should breed it for your friends. Thank you so much for watching and an extra special thanks to my Patrons for supporting me over on Patreon giving me some income that’s independent of the fickle YouTube ad revenue. If you want to help support the channel make my income more stable, (laughs) link’s in the description. Also, don’t forget to check out the merch sale before that goes away, and if you wanna check out my Pokemon Sword Let’s Play that’s been ongoing, you can click right here. All right, that’s all I have for now! So ’til next time Pokefans, gotta catch them all!

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