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Pokémon Sword and Shield will have different gym leaders

If you want to battle the shy guy, then you’ll have to buy Pokémon Shield

Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

A new trailer for Pokémon Shield and Pokémon Sword revealed a notable change for the franchise: Some of the newly announced gym leaders won’t come to both versions. The gym leaders you face will depend on whether you buy Sword or Shield. Allister the ghost type leader, will only be on Shield, and Bea, the fighting type leader, will only be on Sword.

We don’t know if there will be more version-exclusive gym leaders other than these two. According to the website, fan favorite Nessa and grass type leader Milo will be in both games.

The exclusives will give players another way to decide between which version to buy. Personally, I want to battle the creepy masked Allister and might buy Shield just to do that.

Gym Leader Allister
Pokémon Co./Game Freak

The building designs for each gym are similar, except for the color scheme and gym logo.

Here they are:

Allister’s gym is only Pokémon Shield
Pokémon Co./Game Freak
Bea’s gym is only in Pokémon Sword.
Pokémon Co./Game Freak

Version-exclusive gym leaders is one of many significant changes to the Pokémon games in the latest titles. Others announcements include that not every Pokémon will be in the new games and the new battle mechanic, Dynamax Battles.

Pokémon Sword and Shield will come to Nintendo Switch Nov. 15.

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