Pokemon Sword and Shield Unleash Masuda Magic

The glorious Galar region, providing plenty of exploration and adventure in Pokemon Sword and Shield.

One not-so-inconvenient universal truth is that there is absolutely nothing better than a new mainline Pokemon game. Yeah, Spider-Man for PS4 looks super cool, but it’s missing something. Impossible to say exactly what it’s missing, except that it’s very easy to identify the absent piece. It doesn’t have any Pokemon; in fact, it doesn’t even have shiny Pokemon. Well, a recent release dropped on the Switch that has both standard pocket monsters and shiny little guys: Pokemon Sword and Shield for Nintendo Switch.

Yet another attempt by Game Freak and The Pokemon Company to try to make this monstrosity cool.

Something that’s hard to guess about me from reading my other blog posts is that I go cuckoo for Pokemon. I love Pokemon. Pokemon is so rad. Briefly, my Pokemon journey goes something like this: I was given a copy of Pokemon Yellow because my two brothers had a copy of Red and Blue. I’m a day one Pikachu hater. That stupid chubby yellow mouse is not aesthetically pleasing, electric types are overrated, and Pikachu is just plain lame. Raichu, however, is very cool, but if Pikachu was evolved in Pokemon Yellow, he wouldn’t follow you anymore. The humanity! Still, loved the game – back then, Staryu and Dugtrio were my main companions.

Then, Generation 2 was announced, and Chikorita was a beautiful creature. I didn’t even really consider Totodile or Cyndaquil, despite loving them both. Chikorita is perfect in my eyes. In fact, all of Pokemon Gold (Ho-Oh is supreme. How anyone would choose Silver version to get Lugia when Ho-Oh in Gold was an option is beyond me, but I digress) was magical. What a game! When Generation 3 came out, I was reaching an age that it was a little bit awkward to still be playing Pokemon, but I bought Sapphire version, and selected Mudkip as my starter. I was young, awkward, and stupid. Obviously, Treecko is the best starter in that generation. Anyway, the bottom line is I love Pokemon. I still have not played Generation 4 or 7, but every other generation has captivated me.

Shiny Vulpix
The first shiny Pokemon I acquired aside from the famous red Gyarados from the Lake of Rage in Pokemon Gold.

In playing Let’s Go Eevee, I discovered the joy of shiny hunting. So, when Pokemon Sword and Shield were announced, I was amped to get some brand new shinies. Well, jokes on us – Game Freak decided to make shiny Pokemon appear non-shiny in the overworld – the agony! Never fear, though, because a favored method of shiny hunting that was not in Let’s Go has returned to the series: the Masuda Method.

A standard, non-shiny Hoothoot, posted here because the fluffer doesn’t get enough respect.

The Masuda Method is a sometimes-efficient method of breeding Pokemon to hatch a shiny little baby. Now, if you’re like me, you had fun with the breeding mechanic in Gold version to get the baby Pokemon. I mean, come on, Smoochum is freaking cute, but as a casual player, I never really dove too deep into all of the wonderful breeding mechanics Game Freak has developed, until now.

Prior to Let’s Go, my only shiny Pokemon had been the red Gyarados from the Lake of Rage in the original Gold version, Crystal version, and of course, perhaps the best Pokemon game of all time, HeartGold. In Let’s Go, however, I acquired a shiny Vulpix, shiny Staryu (Yassss Queen), shiny Tentacruel, and a shiny Golbat (which I acquired while I was hunting for a shiny Jynx). I’m addicted to shiny Pokemon now. I needed shiny Pokemon in my playthrough of Pokemon Shield.

There are lots of methods to improve your odds of encountering a shiny in Pokemon Sword and Shield. I won’t go into all of them here, but there are plenty of videos on YouTube explaining these methods. I recommend HDVee and TheSupremeRk9s as solid Poketubers, but after watching HDVee chain for 12+ hours attempting to encounter a shiny Wooloo, I thought giving the Masuda Method a go would be my best option for these games.

The Masuda Method is quite simple: if a parent Pokemon is from a game from a foreign region to your game, shiny odds will be increased for the offspring if it is bred with a Pokemon that is native to the region of your game. For example, if I breed a female Scorbunny with a Skwovet obtained from a Japanese game, my chances of hatching a shiny Scorbunny improves. Now, it’s important to note that the parents must be in a compatible egg group (Scorbunny and Skwovet are both in the field egg group), and the offspring will always match the species of the female parent, unless bred with a Ditto. Breeding with a Ditto will result in an egg of the non-Ditto Pokemon, regardless of gender. This is why foreign Ditto are so coveted – they are universal for the Masuda method.

The first shiny starter I’ve ever acquired. Beautiful, spunky Laverne.

So, how do you acquire a foreign Pokemon anyway? Well, all of mine have been acquired through the Surprise Trade mechanic, in which you select a Pokemon, and it matches you with a trade partner, and you have no idea what you’re getting. Otherwise, you can spend time on forums searching for trading partners, but I’ve had a lot of luck getting a variety of foreign Pokemon in a variety of egg groups through the surprise trade.

So, there we have it: I’m a Masuda breeder now. I’ve successfully acquired a shiny Galarian Corsola, and a shiny Scorbunny. Let me tell you, if you’re worried about the thrill of finding a shiny being dampened by acquiring it through breeding, have no fear: it rocks. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about accidentally making the shiny faint, or not catching it for some reason.

Plus, it’s a pretty passive way to breed. Load up your party with eggs you get from the breeder, pop your Switch out of the dock, and watch your favorite soap opera or whatever you’re into, and hatch, hatch, hatch. Is it quick? Sometimes. My Corsola came in just a few hours whereas I’m in the middle of breeding for a shiny Galarian Ponyta, and several evenings have been spent passively hatching eggs. Still, this method has won me two shinies, and that makes me a happy trainer.


By: Dan Burkett

  Shiny Galarian Corsola. Beautiful, sad boy.

2 thoughts on “Pokemon Sword and Shield Unleash Masuda Magic

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