Pokemon Sword and Shield Post Game guide: the Master Ball, Legendary Pokemon and Rare League Cards
The aim in Pokemon Sword and Shield is to unseat Leon as the Champion Pokemon Trainer of the Galar Region. That brings with it fame, recognition and responsibility - but what else is there for a powerful Pokemon Trainer to do once they're champion? In this series, the end of the game is rarely the endgame. That, my friends, is where the post game comes into play.
A strong post game segment is a bit of a Pokemon tradition, but we want to be honest with you: the post game in Pokemon Sword and Shield is arguably one of the weaker ones in recent memory, and that's despite the game making numerous tweaks to certain mechanics that seem aimed at making the post game more fun, deep and accessible. The truth is that there just isn't all that much to do after becoming Champion - but there's still some cool tasks you can take part in.
On this page, we'll list all of the things you can in the postgame - just so that you know what to do and can check things off and shoot for 100% completion.
Use the Master Ball to catch Zacian or Zamazenta, the final legendary Pokemon
The post game of Pokemon Sword and Shield kicks off in earnest when you go back to your home and are visited by Professor Magnolia. A post-championship chat with the Pokemon Prof. is something of a series tradition, and it's no different here.
Professor Magnolia has a special surprise for you, however - she'll gift you with a Master Ball. Seasoned Pokemon fans will know this item well, but in case you're not aware - this is a special type of Poke Ball that never fails to catch a Pokemon. Throw it once, they're caught. But it's a one-time deal - so you'll want to save that Master Ball for something big.
On that topic - once you're in the post game, you can now undertake a special quest of sorts to catch Zacian in Pokemon Sword and Zamazenta in Pokemon Shield, the two Pokemon that appear on the covers of those games. In real terms, your Master Ball is really designed for catching these powerful and rarest of Pokemon - and now you have it, the next stop should arguably be to go and do so.
Zacian and Zamazenta are both found in the Slumbering Weald, where you mysteriously encountered them in the earliest stages of your Pokemon adventure. When you go to Slumbering Weald you'll meet two mysterious characters with sword and shield-based haircuts, and you'll have to fight through a few tough encounters in order to earn the chance to catch one of the two legendary beasts. When you do, it's time to deploy that Master Ball.
Zacian is a fairy-type Pokemon, while Zamazenta is a fighting-type. Both can also gain the ability to have a secondary type of Shield when they're equipped with a specific item.
Collect Rare League Cards by revisiting Gyms and old Rivals
If more Pokemon battles are what you crave in the post game, your best bet is actually to journey back to the various gyms where you'll find some all-new post game challenges worthy of the Champion - all-new raid-style boss encounters with Dynamaxed Pokemon that essentially amount to single-player raid bosses of a sort.
Completing these raid battles will get you some neat story scenes with the gym leaders, but it'll also get you some specific rewards to prove that you've done it - rare league cards featuring cool art of all the gym leaders. A few more of these rare league cards can be found through other means, too. Here's all of the Rare League Cards you can pick up in the post game, plus where you can find them:
- Milo's Rare League Card: defeat the dynamax Tsareena at the Turffield Stadium
- Nessa's Rare League Card: defeat the dynamax Gyarados at the Hulbury Stadium
- Kabu's Rare League Card: defeat the dynamax Torkoal at Motostoke Stadium
- Bea's Rare League Card (Sword) OR Allister's Rare League Card (Shield): defeat the dynamaxed Pokemon at Stow-on-Side Stadium
- Bede's Rare League Card AND Opal's Rare League Card: defeat Bede in Ballonlea Stadium
- Gordie's Rare League Card (Sword) OR Melony's Rare League Card (Shield):beat the dynamax Pokemon at Circhester Stadium
- Piers' Rare League Card: a reward from Piers after capturing Zacian or Zamazenta
- Raihan's Rare League Card: defeat the dynamax Haxorus at Hammerlocke Stadium
- Rose's Rare League Card: a reward from Oleana in the post-game. Find her at Galar Mine
- Ball Guy's Rare League Card: from the Ball Guy in Motostoke during the post game
- Leon's Rare League Card: beat Leon again in the Battle Tower
Get a free Charmander and raise it into a Gigantamax Charizard
As well as all of the above, there's another small reward waiting for you for becoming champion. Head back to your home town and visit Hop's house. Inside, the previous Champion, Leon, has left you a Poke ball - and inside is a Charmander, one of the most beloved starter Pokemon in the series.
This isn't just any ordinary Charmander - like Leon's prized Charizard, this particular critter can turn into the Gigantamax form of Charizard once it's been leveled up enough to evolve to Charizard at level 36. That makes it pretty unique - and one of the coolest late-game Pokemon around. It also might be useful for some of the fire-weak challenges in the Rare League Card hunt.
Build your team and take on Max Raid Battles
The final point in the Pokemon Sword and Shield post game is simply to take to the Wild Area and get stuck into the Max Raid Battles - challenging fights against Pokemon that range in strength from challenging to painfully powerful. The wild area raid battles are an absolutely key component of the Pokemon Sword and Shield online multiplayer, and it's really where you'll be able to sink most of your time in the postgame.
Indeed, the game seems to have been designed with grinding out max raid battles in mind. Many of the best competitive moves are 'TRs' rather than TMs this time around, the one-time-use TRs are only available as rewards from various places, including primarily max raid battles. It's also a great chance to catch some of the rarer Pokemon in the Galarian Pokedex, such as Eevee and its evolutions... so give that a try.
Another thing you can spend some time doing, after completing Max Raid Battles, is spending those hard-earned Watts to get the Digging Duo to dig for rare items including Pokemon Fossils and evolutionary stones - all useful for filling out your Pokedex.