The new Mythical Pokémon Zarude was revealed earlier today to kick off the Pokémon Day celebration, but it’s still unclear when it’ll be available in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Even though there’s no set date for when Zarude will be added to the games, we have a pretty good timeline for a release window based on other Pokémon media that will be released in the coming months.
Like most Mythical Pokémon, Zarude is going to be one of the main focuses of the upcoming Pokémon film, Coco, which is going to be released on July 10 in Japan. This basically guarantees that Zerude will be added to Sword and Shield through an event prior to that—at least in Japan.
That also lines up with the scheduled release of the first Sword and Shield Expansion Pass, The Isle of Armor, which is supposed to drop in June. It’d make a lot of sense for Game Freak to release the DLC and then have a special event closer to the movie’s release that lets players encounter Zarude, too.
The main thing most players want to avoid is the simple gifting of Mythical and Legendary Pokémon that’s been happening over the last several generations. Most trainers probably don’t want to just walk into the Pokémon Center and be handed a Zarude by a delivery man.
Instead, players want something closer to what Game Freak used to do in generations four and five, where a short event is added into the game that actually makes you work to capture the new Pokémon.
This could be something as simple as traveling to a small island and battling some evil trainers, like the Victini event in Black and White, or something more dialogue focused similar to the Shaymin event in Platinum. Anything is better than just being given a new, supposedly super-rare Pokémon without anything special happening around it.
With Game Freak leaning into DLC content, this is much more likely to happen now than it was in the 3DS games.
With that said, expect a wide release of Zarude in June, likely timed just after the first Sword and Shield Expansion Pass become available and before the Pokémon movie Coco is out in Japanese theaters on July 10.