Since Pokémon X and Y, the Pokémon franchise has introduced a new gimmick to each new generation of games. Usually, these gimmicks involve giving older Pokémon new moves or giving them new shapes to make them more relevant. In the X and Y, Mega Evolutions were introduced, which were unique types of evolutions that increase the stats of fully evolved Pokémon. Unlike regular evolutions, Mega Evolutions were only temporary and only last until the end of the game or when the Mega Evolved Pokémon passed out.
In the Sun and Moon, Z-Moves have been introduced. The trainer has to perform a particular pose and gives their Pokémon an unspeakable strength, which they unleash in a mighty move.
The trick inside Sword and Shield are Dynamax and Gigantamax forms. Dynamaxing is when a Pokémon becomes huge, becoming as tall as a Kaiju. Their stats are increased and strong Max Moves replace their moves. Gigantamax is the same thing, except it also changes the Pokémon's appearance. Each Gigantamax form has its own unique G-Max move.
All Gigantamax Pokémon on the leaderboard
All Pokémon can Dynamax, players need to catch Gigantamax Pokémon in specific Raid Max battles that are found in lairs throughout the wild area in Sword and Shield. In general, I like most of the Gigantamax forms; some G-Max moves are more useful than others. There are 26 Gigantamax Pokémon confirmed in Sword and Shield, and we will rank them based on their designs, the relevance of their G-Max moves, and the ability of the Pokémon in general. Special thanks to Serebii for compiling all the information about Gigantamax on their website.
Related: Top 10 Sword and Shield Pokémon
Incredibly, Game Freak decided to give Kingler a Gigantamax shape. I like Kingler, but he was never one of the most iconic Pokémon originating from the original 151. Gigantamax Kingler is a giant bearded and mustache crab made out of foam, which is cool, I guess. Its G-Max is considerably less impressive; G-Max Foam Burst is a water attack that reduces the speed of opponents. Lowering enemy stats is always crucial in strategy against much stronger enemies than you, however relatively this G-Max move is boring.
Gengar already had a Mega Evolution, so it was strange that he was also given a Gigantamax form. The Gigantamax form of him is just a giant face of Gengar slowly traversing the floor, with his large protruding tongue. His G-Max move, G-Max Terror, is also useless. It is a ghost-type move that prevents opposing Pokémon from escaping. You can only use Dynamax at specific points in the game, mainly in Max Raids in the wild area. In Max Raids, the Dynamax Pokémon you face most likely won't escape you (if ever), making the ability to prevent enemy Pokémon from escaping meaningless. It might be useful for this move in competitive mode, but in casual gameplay, it's not beneficial.
Sandaconda probably has one of the silliest Gigantamax designs. He transforms into a giant snake, coiled on the tip of his tail, surrounded by a spinning cloud of earth just below his head. His G-Max move, G-Max Sandblast, causes a sandstorm to appear for 4-5 rounds. Sandstorm is a weather effect that injures all Pokémon on the field that are not rock, earth, or steel-type. Sandblasting isn't anything special as there are normal moves and Pokémon abilities that cause sandstorms. However, Sandaconda isn't the most surprising Pokémon in terms of stats.
Gigantamax Eevee looks like a normal Eevee, except with a more prominent mane. This is the only significant difference between the two, outside of the boost stat that Gigantamax Eevee earns. G-Max Cuddle, Eevee's unique G-Max move, infatuates all opposing Pokémon on the field. Being infatuated means that a Pokémon can purposely refuse to attack a Pokémon because they fall in love with it. It's a good enough status effect to give to your enemies, making G-Max Cuddle a reasonably good move to use, especially in team matches. Eevee, however, doesn't have good stats, making it one of the weaker Gigantamax forms.
Who would have thought Meowth would have one of the best G-Max moves? G-Max Gold Rush confuses all opposing Pokémon on the field, and in the Trainer battles, you earn extra money if you win the match. If you want to earn extra cash, take Meowth to the Champion Cup and play Gold Rush at least once every game. Confusion is also a beneficial addition; there is always a chance that a confused Pokémon will get hurt at the end of each turn. Gigantamax Meowth also has a very creepy design, with an absurdly high bust. Too bad Meowth isn't the strongest Pokémon out there, but with the right stats, it can be very useful.
Flapple, which is one of the two evolutions for the Pokémon Applin, has a pretty good Gigantamax shape. Normal Flapple looks like a lizard that uses an outer layer of an apple as wings. In Gigantamax form, it becomes a giant snake inside a huge apple that is filled with a honey-like substance. Sadly, his G-Max move, G-Max Tartness, isn't the most exciting of all time. Reduces the evasiveness of enemy Pokémon after being hit. Reducing evasion means that the opponent is less likely to avoid your attacks, including attacks with a low hit rate. It's a valuable move to have, but it's uninteresting. The attack animation shows giant apples growing from seeds, which is certainly a nice touch.
Grimmsnarl has an elegant and intimidating Gigantamax shape. Usually a troll-like Pokémon, Gigantamax Grimmsnarl becomes a lean, demonic-looking Pokémon. His G-Move is disappointing, as it's just a better version of the Yawn move. G-Max Snooze forces all Pokémon on the opposing side to fall asleep in the next turn. The one thing that makes Snooze a better move than Yawn is the fact that it hits all Pokémon on the enemy's side, making it very useful in team battles. Not a bad G-Max move; it just feels pedestrian compared to other G-Max moves. It also doesn't match Gigantamax Grimmsnarl's scary appearance.
Butterfree's G-Max move has a random element. G-Max Befuddle will cause poisoning, paralysis, or sleep for Pokémon. In team battles, not all Pokémon hit by Befuddle get the same status effects. One could be poison, while the other falls asleep. You will never know what you will get. The surprise factor makes a move more unpredictable than the average attack, which can become a hindrance for players who need to know which moves do what.
Lovingly referred to as a large Pikachu by fans, this Gigantamax form is based on Pikachu's initial design in the early days of the Pokémon franchise. It was rounder and sturdier, which is in stark contrast to its taller, slimmer design we're all used to. Honestly, I love this design, and its G-Max move is pretty big too. G-Max Volt Crash paralyzes all enemies on the field. The only real problem with this Gigantamax form is that Pikachu isn't the strongest Pokémon ever, even with the fantastic stat boost in Gigantamax form. There are more powerful Gigantamax Pokémon in the game.
Gigantamax Machamp has the misfortune of being a bit handsome. Its small head and large torso make this Pokémon both ridiculous and menacing. The bright orange fists are a nice touch, although in general it's hard to take this Pokémon seriously. Machamp's G-Max Chi Strike increases the chance of critical hits. Critical hits are always right, and having a higher chance of landing one is an advantage. However, that doesn't make Chi Strike a particularly great move.
Three new Gigantamax forms for Sword and Shield have been discovered in the data. These Gigantamax modules are not available in the game, and while the gameplay for all three is available online, they cannot be discovered by reasonable means. You'll likely have to hack the game to get them, at least until the Pokémon Company officially releases them. Serebii lists Melmetal's G-Max move as Meltdown G-Max, which is a move that makes opponents unable to use the same move twice in a row. Honestly, I wish Gigantamax Melmetal was already available for the game.
The Pokémon company has announced that Gigantamax Snorlax will be available in Max Raid battles for a limited time starting December 4th. Snorlax will become the first Gigantamax Pokémon found in the game files that will be available to players. Snorlax's G-Max Move, G-Max Replenish, restores all berries that have been eaten. The move can be useful if a player uses berries a lot in battles. The real draw for Gigantamax Snorlax would be the stats, which should be surprising considering Snorlax's good stats.
Gigantamax Toxtricity is the last Pokémon in this ranking that is not in the main game right now. Normal Toxtricity is a good Pokémon as it is, with a large variety of electric and poison moves that can be very useful in average gameplay. Gigantamax Toxtricity's G-Max move is G-Max Stun Shock, which is a move that will poison or paralyze opponents. Giving opponents a status effect is always good to do in battle, and having a move that is almost guaranteed to deliver one to an enemy is excellent. The purple light effect for Stun Shock looks stunning. Toxtricity using a guitar made of electricity is also very impressive.
In challenging Max Raid battles in Sword and Shield, Gigantamax Alcremie can be a godsend. His G-Max move, G-Max Ultimate, heals a small HP sample for all allied Pokémon. When faced with a powerful Dynamax Pokémon in maximum raids, having a Pokémon that can heal all partners is incredibly helpful. Not only that, but Gigantamax Alcremie looks excellent. It's a giant cake with a cute Pokémon on top; What is not to love?
I think Gigantamax Coalossal is better than regular Coalossal. I wish Gigantamax Coalossal was the default appearance of the regular Coalossal as Dynamaxing will likely not appear in future Pokémon games and Coalossal will remain stuck with its current default appearance. Coalossal's G-Max move, G-Max Volcalith, will continue to cause damage to opponents for the next four turns after the move hit. This move can cause significant damage to enemies, especially weak ones against the rock.
The golden son of the Pokémon company, Charizard, is probably one of the most significant Pokémon in the entire franchise. It could only be second to Pikachu in terms of appearances and overall importance. I know some fans are sick of how much love Charizard gets in games. However, I cannot deny how beautiful its Gigantamax form is. His intense look on his face and wings made of flames are just amazing. His G-Max move is similar to Coalossal's - G-Max Wildfire will continue to cause damage to opponents for the next four turns after hitting.
Centiskorch is another great Gigantamax design. A fire centipede, Gigantamax Centiskorch's body becomes incredibly long. It's a nice touch and works with the Centiskorch aesthetic. It almost looks like a long Chinese dragon, except it's a millipede with a flaming whiskers. G-Max Centiferno, Centiskorch's unique G-Max move, traps enemies in fire for 4-5 turns. It's like a more powerful version of Fire Spin, catching opponents until the effects wear off.
Corviknight's Gigantamax form is in control of a series of metal feathers and sends it out to attack its opponents. It looks striking and makes Corviknight more impressive. His G-Max move, G-Max Wind Rage, can also be useful against some Pokémon. Removes the effects of Reflect and Light Screen, usually of a psychic type which reduces damage from physical and special moves, respectively. Using Reflect and Light Screen are common strategies used by trainers to reduce damage taken. Getting rid of it with Wind Rage could potentially ruin your opponents' plans and save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Appletun, the other potential evolution for the Pokémon Applin, has a Gigantamax form that is almost exactly like Flapple's. Appletun becomes a giant snake into a giant apple, just like Flapple. The only real significant difference is that Appletun has a different G-Max move. The animation for Appleton's G-Max Sweetness is the same as Flapple's G-Max Tartness. However, G-Max Sweetness heals all status conditions of allies, such as poison or paralysis. The G-Max move can be a vital asset in battle, especially against Pokémon, which can cause a variety of status conditions against you.
Hatterene is a psychic and fairy-type Pokémon that looks like a mixture of a classic maiden and a witch. In Gigantamax form, Hatterene becomes a more sinister looking creature with bright red eyes and an extremely tall body. His signature G-Max move, G-Max Smite, is similar to Meowth's Gold Rush. Smite confuses all enemy Pokémon when it hits. Confusion is always a good condition for defeating your opponents, as any Confused Pokémon has the potential to harm itself at the end of each turn. Hatterene has good stats overall, making him one of the best Gigantamax forms in the game.
Garbodor is the literal trash Pokémon; it is a pile of sentient garbage that can walk. Fans often criticize Garbodor and his pre-evolved form Trubbish for their ridiculous concept and design. They are often described as some of the worst Pokémon in the entire series, which is why it is strange that Garbodor got a Gigantamax form in Sword and Shield. Strange again, Garbodor has a pretty good Gigantamax form.
Gigantamax Garbodor grows so large that giant toys in his body start appearing all over the place. It's a good idea; there is even a small toy boat swimming in the middle of all the garbage. His G-Max move, G-Max Malodor, poisons all opposing Pokémon. Poisoning is a status effect that removes a portion of a Pokémon's HP at the end of each turn until it is healed. It's an excellent status effect for hitting enemies, especially those who can't heal poison.
I don't like Copperajah's Gigantamax form. However, he has one of the best G-Max moves in the game. One of the best non-Max moves in the game is Stealth Rock. Stealth Rock is when a Pokémon scatters a series of floating rocks above battle. Whenever the opposing team swaps their Pokémon, the new Pokémon that enters the battlefield takes damage from the rocks. Stealth Rock discourages opponents from switching Pokémon in the middle of battle, and is a difficult move to free.
The reason I argue this is that Copperajah's G-Max does the same thing as Stealth Rock. After Copperajah's G-Max Steelsurge hits a Pokémon, metal spikes are scattered all over the field. These spikes injure enemy Pokémon as they pass the battlefield. Steelsurge prevents your opponent from switching Pokémon.
Drednaw essentially becomes Gamora, the Kaiju turtle of classic Japanese cinema, when she transforms into her Gigantamax form. She stands on two legs, her neck widens and a rock horn hug grows. Just like Copperajah, her G-Max move has a similar effect to Stealth Rocks. After Gigantamax Drednaw hits enemies with his G-Max Stonesurge (which, despite the name, is a water-type move), sharp rocks are scattered across the battlefield. Now whenever your opponent switches their Pokémon, the scattered rocks will damage the Pokémon that enters the battlefield. As established, these types of moves are some of the best to have in the Pokémon games. It dissuades competitors from switching Pokémon and will harm any Pokémon that enter battle.
Duraludon starts out as a strange dragon-looking stapler. When it transforms into its Gigantamax form, however, it becomes a giant tower. It even has windows; it honestly looks ridiculous. At least his G-Max move is pretty good. G-Max depletion reduces the PP of the last move used by the enemy Pokémon. PP is the number of times a Pokémon can use a certain move. For example, the Flamethrower move only has 15 PP, which means it can only be used 15 times before a Pokémon needs to be healed in a Poké Center. Exhaustion will drain enemy Pokémon of their PP faster, potentially forcing them not to be able to use some of their moves in the middle of a fight.
Lapras looks like the Loch Ness monster with a giant shell on it. Its Gigantamax form looks mostly the same, except now it has musical notes that magically float around it. His G-Max move, G-Max Resonance, reduces damage taken for five turns. Normal Lapras is pretty decent power and averages 535. Its Gigantamax form is even more powerful and its G-Max move further helps it take more hits during battle. It can withstand much longer battles than the average Pokémon, which makes Lapras a very viable Pokémon, especially if it has a Gigantamax form.
Orbeetle is a psychic and bug type Pokémon that looks like a hanging ladybug. Its Gigantamax shape makes its wings look like a flying saucer, making it more alien. His G-Max move, G-Max Gravitas, changes gravity for five turns. This means that ground moves can now affect all Pokémon. In typical gameplay, flying types and Pokémon with the Levitate ability were completely immune to ground moves. Thanks to G-Max Gravitas, everything can be hit by ground movements. G-Max Gravitas also prevents you from using some other moves, and Pokémon hit by it get their Evasion lowered.
While Orbeetle doesn't learn any ground-type moves, G-Max Gravitas can be very useful in team battles. Ground Pokémon on your team can now damage those that used to be immune to it. Gravitas G-Max can be very useful, particularly against Pokémon, which would usually be weak against ground moves if it weren't for immunity.