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How good are fossil Pokémon in Sword and Shield?

What are the Generation 8 fossil Pokémon and how good are they for battles?

Traditionally, all Pokémon games let you find fossils of extinct species so that you can revive the dinosaur era creatures. Every Pokémon game has a set of fossils that can be restored into what is otherwise thought of as an extinct and unobtainable Pokémon. It started with Kabuto (evolves to Kabutops), Omanyte (evolves to Omaster), and Aerodactyl back in Pokémon Red and Blue, and the tradition continued all the way. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, these fossil Pokémon work differently to some extent. You can fuse two different fossils to create a unique Pokémon.

There are a total of 27 fossil Pokémon spanning all the generations.

The fossil Pokémon in Sword and Shield

There are four types of fossils you can find in Sword and Shield.

  1. Fossilized Drake (Shield)
  2. Fossilized Fish (Shield)
  3. Fossilized Dino (Sword)
  4. Fossilized Bird (Sword)

Using these fossils, there are four different types of Pokémon fusions you can create:

  1. Bird + Drake = Dracozolt (electric/dragon; 100 attack/80 special attack)
  2. Bird + Dino = Arctozolt (electric/ice; 100 attack/90 special attack)
  3. Fish + Drake = Dracovish (water/dragon; 90 attack/70 special attack)
  4. Fish + Dino = Arctovish (water/ice; 90 attack/80 special attack)

Simply put, both drake and dino fossils are bodies while the bird and fish fossils are like habitats. You can only have either a drake or a dino in both, the bird and the fish habitats. The drake ones have prefixed Draco, the dino ones Arcto. The Bird ones are suffixed zolt, and the fish ones are suffixed vish.

Quick facts about Sword and Shield fossil Pokémon

All these fossil Pokémon are the first of their kind. This is the first-ever fossil Pokémon batch that’s genderless, doesn’t have Rock-typing, uses more than one fossil for revival, and cannot breed.

This bunch is probably also the first that’s thoroughly impractical (not just in looks, but in their lives as well). According to Pokédex entries:

  • Dracovish and Dracozolt were both apex predators and became extinct because they ate way too much (Dracovish ate up all its prey, while Dracozolt ate up all the plants). Although Dracovish has legs that allow it to run at 40 mph, it can’t breathe unless underwater.
  • Arctovish can easily capture prey, but can’t easily eat them because its mouth is on top of its head. Thanks to that and basic breathing difficulty, it became extinct. Nature wasn’t too kind to Arctozolt either. Arctozolt is clearly shivering all the time, and the shivering generates electricity. The Pokémon has a hard time walking around. Although it was able to eat well, it went extinct simply because it moved way too slow.

(And you all thought Magikarp was the most useless).

This absurdity is a rabbit hole. Typically, you’d guess it’s pretty standard to get these mismatched body proportions because the scientists basically put one upper body part and one lower body part together and wait to see the magic.

(Oh, I wonder what this one will do!)

But the Dex entries talk about their extinction and its cause, meaning these exact species roamed the planet.

Guess evolution went all bonkers.

I agree that this could all be bad humor. The Dex trying hard to justify the existence of absurd Pokémon (this creature had very powerful legs, it also couldn’t breathe) is not the joke. These Pokémon were not like this, or they’re heavily mismatched in the revival, and the joke is that the Dex treats these abominations like they really existed and we buy it.

Yes, it’s just a hypothesis.

The revival process of fossil Pokémon is clearly not perfect. Does it mean the Rock-typing the previous fossil Pokémon got is due to the defossilising process itself? Were there features that the process cannot replicate? Are we only getting the “best possible recreation” when we revive a fossil Pokémon and not the real deal? Can a pizza box be made out of pizza itself?

The revival system raises some questions that are inclining towards biological philosophy and should be left alone.

Artist RZGmon200 on DeviantArt created this combination chart of what would be the result of all permutations between the four fossils. 4*4=16 options. You’ll notice that the most “ideal” combinations are the ones placed diagonally from the top left to bottom right.

Are the fossil Pokémon in Sword and Shield good?

All four fossil Pokémon of Generation VIII have a base HP of 90 and are predominantly physical attackers. Dracozolt and Dracovish both mostly learn physical moves while Arctozolt and Arctovish both mainly learn special moves.

All four have a combined total of 505 in stats. The Draco’s have 75 speed while the Arcto’s have 55.

Dracovish is the only Pokémon of the set that’s great for competitive matches thanks to its signature move. Its move Fishious Rend (water/physical) deals 85 damage. It deals double the damage if it moves first. As it’s a bite-class move, it’s affected by Strong Jaw (an ability that makes bite-class move deal 50% more damage). Fishious Rend also gets STAB.

Fishious Rend.

The right way to exploit Dracovish is to increase its speed as much as you possibly can. Fishious Rend will deal 85+85=170 damage if Dracovish moves first. Not to mention STAB (50% same-type attack bonus). If you have Strong Jaw, the final damage is 50% more on top of that. In a nutshell, it’s broken strong and only a few can withstand it.

You’re looking at an annihilating (85+85) + 50% STAB + 50% damage from Strong Jaw = 382.5 damage.

The mantra is “Multiple Fishious Rends until your enemy’s team is deleted.” Mostly no enemy can survive it. It’s a terrifying sweeper move.

What do you have to do? Go for Adamant or Jolly nature, EV train for speed and attack. Item choices can be Choice Band (for attack – add another 50% to the calculation) or Choice Scarf (for speed). Dracovish also has several utility moves and coverage (Psychic Fangs or Ice Fang for grass walls, for example).

Although Arctovish shares this move, it has a speed of 55 which makes it a terrible candidate to properly utilize it. On the other hand, both Dracozolt and Arctozolt share the signature move Bolt Beak. Bolt Beak is basically the Electric-type version of Fishious Rend, but none of the Pokémon have Strong Jaw (or beak?) to improve it. Needless to mention Arctovish also has a poor 55 speed. Both additionally lack coverage moves and have poorer typing in general.

So yeah, not all Generation VIII fossil Pokémon are great. And if you manage to get it right, Dracovish is insanely broken.

How to get fossil Pokémon in Sword and Shield

Technically, you can get all four Pokémon in either game. But both games have certain fossils that are more common, as I wrote in the first list. You will most probably need to trade a Pokémon with a fossil and receive another Pokémon with another fossil that you don’t have in your version.

The Digging Duo in Wild Area.

Very rarely, you can also obtain the other set of fossils from the Digging Duo in the Wild Area. The item drop rate for the four fossils is 4% each, while you have to pay 500 Watts every time. It’s infinite grinding.

By Santiago Vargas

Santiago is a humble gamer from Peru who brings in the much needed breathing space amid all the hardware talk here at Spearblade. We liked his blog so much that we had to onboard him. You'll find Santiago publishing game-related articles, sometimes with a focus on hardware, as that's the bread and butter of Spearblade.

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