Piers from Pokemon Sword & Shield is the only Gym Leader in the series who uses a Pokemon with EVs invested in any of its stats.
The Pokemon series has been criticized for its lack of difficulty. The single-player story mode rarely offers any kind of challenge, as the player can just breeze through most battles with minimal leveling. The teams used by prominent trainers almost never use any kind of special strategies, except for a few joke cases, like the trainer in Pokemon Sword & Shield who uses the F.E.A.R technique. The Gym Leaders and Elite Four members are no exception, as their difficulty mostly comes from using high leveled Pokemon, rather than any thought put into the composition of their teams.
Related: Pokemon Red & Blue: Was Erika Meant To Be A Ghost-Type Gym Leader?
Pokemon Sword & Shield finally added a Dark-type Gym to the series, but it turned out to be a letdown. The leader of the Gym was Piers, who had an awesome battle theme, but his team left something to be desired. Pokemon trainers cannot Dynamax their Pokemon in Spikemuth, which means that Piers’ whole gimmick is that he doesn’t use Dynamaxing at all. This means that his Gym has the least interesting battles in the entire game.
It turns out that there is something special about Piers’ Pokemon after all. According to the Pokemon Reddit page, Piers’ Obstagoon is the only Pokemon outside of one of the battle facilities to have EVs (Effort Values) invested in any of its stats. Obstagoon has 252 EVs in both Defense and Special Defense, making it a lot harder to take down than most Pokemon the player will encounter. This is to make up for the fact that Piers’ doesn’t use any Dyanamx Pokemon on his team. It doesn’t account for the fact that it has a double weakness to Fighting-type moves, meaning that it will easily be steamrolled by a mighty Sirfetch’d.
The people who don’t use a Fighting-type Pokemon might have struggled more against Obstagoon if Piers wasn’t the seventh Gym Leader, as most players will have a full team of high-level Pokemon by the time they reach him. The fact that the developers of Pokemon Sword & Shield put some extra effort into Piers’ team is appreciated, but it doesn’t make up for easy the rest of the game is.
Next: Every Hoenn Gym Leader’s Signature Pokémon (& Their Level)
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Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in 2017 and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has previously written gaming articles for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.
Scott thinks Chrono Trigger is the best video game of all time, followed closely by Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur’s Gate 2. He pretends that sorcerer is his favorite Dungeons & Dragons class in public but he secretly loves bards.
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