Now is as good a time as ever to jump back into Pokemon, and why not make it the latest entry, Sword & Shield? It’s the perfect game to play at any time, as you can switch your brain off while you roam around the world, filling up your Pokedex.
But there is a lot of strategy to a Pokemon game, including what to do with the mythical Master Ball. This Poke Ball gives you a guaranteed capture of any Pokemon in the game. You may be tempted to use it on a garden variety Pokemon, but the masters of the game will tell you to save it for the real big catches and elusive creatures.
To give you a leg up, here’s our list of the Pokemon you should save the Master Ball for in Pokémon Sword & Shield. This can give you much needed practice and experience before the release of the fourth generation Pokemon game remakes, Pokemon Shining Diamond and Brilliant Pearl.
Updated September 20, 2021 by Jerrad Wyche: The release of the fourth generation remakes, Pokemon Shining Diamond and Brilliant Pearl have fans excited for the future of the Pokemon franchise following the release of Pokemon Sword & Shield and its subsequent DLC expansions in the last few years. The franchise's longevity is due to many factors, one of which is the ability to transfer captured Pokemon forward through generations, and that includes all of the Pokemon trainers have caught with the use of a Master Ball.
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16 Pokemon That Help Catch Other Pokemon
Pokemon in the wild can be quite difficult to catch depending on their behaviors. The idea of using the Master Ball on these tough opponents is a good thought, but what if that attention was turned towards Pokemon that aided in catching other Pokemon?
This strategy allows you to use your Master Ball on a creature that can help catch numerous others and provides a big return on investment in terms of using a Pokeball that has a 100 percent catch rate.
Added in The Isle of Armor, Chansey makes its reappearance as a fairly common Pokemon on the overworld. It shouldn't take long to see one, and although it tries to run away you, it doesn't run very fast. This usually means that it isn't worth using the Master Ball, since it appears so often in the overworld.
However, Chansey also has a relatively low catch rate compared to other Pokemon. It may be a common Pokemon, but that doesn't make it any easier to catch. Sure, it's easily possible to catch a Chansey in a Quick Ball or an Ultra Ball and call it a day, but why take the hassle when the Master Ball gets it in one shot? It's a decent choice, at least.
Another returning Pokemon in The Isle of Armor, Volcarona is a special wandering encounter that's higher level than others in the area. This bug has the potential to be quite dangerous, along with being a great ally in battles. Many trainers were likely happy to see it reappear and breed a new companion with a new moveset.
However, Volcarona also has the lowest catch rate of any non-Mythical Pokemon in the entire game. It sits at a very low 15 catch rate, making it incredibly hard to pin down. This is especially true for those looking to grab one in a Max Raid Battle. So, for anyone looking to get this strong firey bug, a Master Ball may be the ideal home for it.
Abra makes its appearance in the first area of The Isle of Armor, like Chansey. However, Abra is a bit less common to see in the overworld, and it teleporting around makes it hard to run into. It has a decently high catch rate, so once you find it, there should be no problem, right?
Well, Teleporting is the problem, as it turns out. Teleport instantly ends the battle without the ability to trap it using Shadow Tag, Mean Look, or Fake Out to keep it in place. Weakening it to make catching easier is also useless. A Quick Ball can do the job, but not reliably. The only thing you can really trust is the Master Ball to capture this psychic friend, especially since it can be bred with the Master Ball passed down to better Abra.
In terms of famously rare Pokemon, Dratini is one of the most iconic. There's a low chance of finding it in nearly all of its appearances, in any form. The only game where it consistently shows up is Pokemon GO. In The Crown Tundra DLC, Dratini makes a reappearance as both an overworld encounter or a through using the fishing rod.
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However, Dratini is a very rare encounter, only appearing 5 percent of the time through fishing or in the overworld. It isn't the rarest in this game, but it's still a pain to fish for hours with only one hit. Once you get that hit, maybe it's for the best to just finish the job cleanly and easily with one Master Ball. A pseudo-legendary dragon type is always worth it.
11 Your Favorite Pokemon
The Master Ball is considered a rare item, since each file normally only gets one. This rarity makes it hard to find a good place to use it. For many players, it may go unused through the entire game, as they're trying to save it for a day that never comes. This is a conundrum that happens with rare items in RPGs more often than not.
The solution? Use it on your favorite Pokemon. It doesn't matter if you love Magikarp more than anything. Besides, what's a harder flex than sending out a common Pokemon caught using a Master Ball? This is especially true for competitive breeding or shiny hunting, where the Poke Ball the egg Pokemon uses is passed down by its parent. That means the Master Ball design can live on and continue to be used as a totally unnecessary flex.
10 Zacian & Zamazenta
Zacian and Zamazenta are the two legendary Pokemon in Sword & Shield. They’re both the most powerful Pokemon in their base games, and you’re not able to catch them until the very end. If you don’t play multiplayer, and you’re not interested in any of the upcoming DLC, then one of these two is the perfect candidate to use the Master Ball on.
Zacian (Sword) is a Fairy-type, while Zamazenta (Shield) is a Fighting-type, and both of them are also Steel-type. They’re powerful Pokemon to have as you continue your adventure, or as the final touches to completing your Pokedex.
9 The Legendary Birds
The Crown Tundra reintroduces roaming legendaries into the game through the Galarian forms of the legendary birds. These birds have to be hunted down in the three overworld areas: The Wild Area, The Isle of Armor, and the Crown Tundra. They will still battle the player, and may even try to flee if a capture fails.
Roaming legendaries in the past have always been a good target for a Master Ball. In a situation where you run out of Poke Balls, it becomes a pain to hunt down that legendary again after finding it the first time. Alleviate the headache by using the Master Ball on whichever one is giving you the most trouble.
8 Gigantamax Snorlax
Gigantamax Pokemon are Pokemon that, when commanded to Dynamax, change forms entirely. These Pokemon are incredibly powerful, giving you new attacks, but they’re also very rare. Believe it or not, Gigantamax Snorlax is one of the most impressive of the Gigantamax Pokemon thanks to its high number of hit points, and its powerful G-Max move.
Gigantamax Snorlax can only be captured in a Max Raid Battle, meaning a fight with a Dynamaxed Pokemon. Which Pokemon you get is random, so it may take a long time to come across a Snorlax, but your patience will be worth the wait.
Regis are a special type of Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, & Emerald. They’re legendary Pokemon, and have a mythical and mysterious backstory built around them. And like many other Pokemon on this list, they’re incredibly rare, requiring some puzzle-solving to uncover.
In The Crown Tundra, all of the Regis, along with two new ones, make an appearance in the game. Each of them are equally hard to catch, so it might be the best to use the Master Ball on one of these Pokemon that are giving you trouble. Maybe even save it for Regigigas, although Regigigas doesn't really feel legendary.
6 Calyrex (And Its Steed)
Calyrex is the legendary Pokemon that can be considered the "box legendary" for The Crown Tundra. Those of you who were waiting to catch Calyrex using the Master Ball won't be disappointed, although you can't actually catch it the first time you see it. You'll need to capture their steed, Glastrier or Spectrier.
Not that Calyrex would be a waste, anyway. Calyrex comes in two different fused forms, each being an incredibly powerful Pokemon statwise. Calyrex also comes with an Unnerve ability, which stops opposing Pokemon from consuming berries during combat. Plus, it’s a legendary, that alone makes it worthy of a Master Ball.
5 Dynamax Adventure Legendaries
In The Crown Tundra, you are given the opportunity to engage in Dynamax Adventures. These are short dungeons in which you and three others team up with Rental Pokemon to take down various bosses, including a rare Pokemon at the end. This rare Pokemon is one of many different legendaries throughout the series.
In these battles, capturing a Pokemon is guaranteed, which is nice. It makes the Master Ball a little less necessary though. However, what's a better way to commemorate the capture of a beast like Palkia or Dialga than by capturing them in a rare Poke Ball? It's only fair to Pokemon of their status.
4 Galarian Forms
Introduced in Sun & Moon, the idea behind Galarian Forms is that they’re a bunch of familiar Pokemon that have different looks and abilities. Whether it be Ponyta that’s now a Psychic-type, a top-hat wearing Weezing, or Meowth looking like a combination of the Tasmanian Devil and a dust bunny, these new version of classic Pokemon are both powerful and shake things up a bit.
These Galarian Pokemon can be hard to find, as many only spawn in specific areas at random. If you’re after a specific one of these, it could be worth using the Master Ball on.
3 Gigantamax Lapras
Another Gigantamax worth thinking about spending a Master Ball on is Lapras, a massively over-powered G-Max Pokemon that can deal a ton of damage, withstand a lot of attacks, and can even boost the defense of your other Pokemon in the process with its Resonance move.
If you play your cards right, using a Gigantamax Lapras can make your life infinitely easier as you take out dragons with ease, and give yourself an extra two or three turns to withstand damage. Like other G-Max Pokemon, this version of Lapras can only be found in Max Raid battles.
It wouldn’t be a Pokemon game without shinies, would it? And like in previous Pokemon games, it’s almost impossible to find one, much less catch one, with odds of encountering a shiny coming in at 1 in 4,096. No, shinies aren’t necessarily the greatest Pokemon in the world, but with odds like that, do you want to risk letting one slip through your fingers?
To increase your odds, your best bet is to get the Shiny Charm first, which increases your chances of finding shinies. To do this, you have to fill out your Pokedex, then talk to the Director at Circhester.
1 Gigantamax Drednaw
One of the harder to find, yet incredibly powerful Gigantamax Pokemon is Drednaw, a walking battleship of a Rock-type that wants nothing more than to ruin your day. With its Stonesurge G-max move, Drednaw can simultaneously attack any opposing Pokemon already on the field, and leave behind rocks that act like landmines for any new Pokemon coming in.
Again, a Gigantamax can only be found in Max Raid battles, and if you’re only going to go after one G-Max Pokemon, Drednaw is possibly the best of the bunch.