As Pokemon Sword and Shield releases its Crown Tundra DLC, what is the Galarian Star Tournament and how to you beat it to become a Pokemon Master?
If you want to be the very best (like no one ever was), Nintendo has a new competition for you - thanks to the introduction of the Pokemon: Sword and Shield Crown Tundra DLC.
As the seasons change in real-life and we find ourselves channelling our inner Jon Snow by reciting, "Winter is coming", it's much of the same in the Galar Region. A cold wind is blowing in and bringing the icy realms of the Crown Tundra with it.
Alongside a whole new story and new places to explore, there's the addition of some more pocket monsters thanks to the arrival of Galarian Slowking and Gigantamax Melmetal. More than this, there's the Galarian Star Tournament, which the Pokemon Company has dubbed its "hardest challenge" yet. As well as duking it out with old favourites, new characters like Klara, Avery, and Mustard will all get their time in the spotlight with the Galarian Star Tournament.
How do you unlock the Galarian Star Tournament?
Getting to the Galarian Star Tournament is half the battle and involves players having completed both The Isle of Armour and The Crown Tundra DLCs. If that wasn't enough, you also need to finish the main storyline from Sword and Shield, but we expect you polished that off months ago.
After completing all chapters, head back into The Crown Tundra, where Leon will send you an invite and tell you to meet him in Wyndon. It's here the Galarian Star Tournament has just been unlocked and is waiting patiently for your participation.
How does the Galarian Star Tournament work?
The Galarian Star Tournament was apparently the brainchild of former champion, Leon, who wanted to "lift the spirits of Galar". You'll partner with gym leaders and rivals alike to take on the might of Galar in this 2 v 2 battle. The tournament gives a new twist to classic rematches, but this time, you aren't just facing-off against those who've entered the Champion Cup.
You'll be thrown into the arena for Multi Battles in different pairings - giving players the chance to build their own all-star line-up of teammates. As VG247 explained, "This is basically a doubles Pokemon battle tournament, but there’s a twist – you choose which of the famous characters you’ve encountered you want to partner with – be that gym leaders, the champion, or other significant figures from Sword and Shield. Everybody else is then paired off, and then you engage in a knock-out tournament".
The rules of the Tag Battle are pretty simple and follow the standard format of Double Battles. The only real difference is you can't control your partner's Pokemon. The advice is to look at your partner's team.
Each gym leader tends to have their own specific type of team, so plan your squad accordingly to cover weaknesses. Put it this way, don't pair with Kabu and think you'll get away with using fire-type Pokemon. One opposition water trainer and you'll soon find your flame is extinguished.
What else does the Galarian Star Cup include?
You can expect to learn more about the trainers you've already come across on your journey around Galar. The GST will unlock exclusive dialogue that may (or may not) show a softer side of your rivals. The story will play out in different ways depending on who you're partnered with and who faces you in doubles. The Pokemon games have long tried to capture the spirit of the cartoons rather than just be a standard RPG, meaning the Galarian Star Tournament is adding a touch of this anime charm to The Crown Tundra.
It's unclear whether you'll be able to unlock everyone from the start, with the suggestion being it might be a case of expanding your roster the further you progress in the Galaraian Star Tournament. All in all, The Crown Tundra is throwing down the gauntlet and giving you a mountain to climb. Can you rise to the rank of The Galarian Star Tournament or will you be sent packing back to Pallet Town? Give it a go for yourselves.
Images via Nintendo