Galarian Zapdos is a new regional form introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Crown Tundra expansion. Modeled after the original classic Kantonian Zapdos, Galarian Zapdos drops its electric-typing for fighting-typing and specializes in physical attacks. This change is emphasized by its signature move, Thunderous Kick.

Finding and catching Galarian Zapdos is a fairly simple affair. The first step is to have your initial encounter with all three Galarian legendary birds in the Ballimere Lake subzone of the Crown Tundra.

At the center of the Ballimere Lake subzone, you’ll see a massive tree. Approaching it will initiate a cutscene in which Galarian Zapdos, Moltres, and Articuno flee to various locations around Galar.

East Lake Axewell in the Wild Area is Zapdos’s destination, so fly there. Rather than staying in a static location, Galarian Zapdos will run around the lake at high speeds. It’s fast enough that you might have more luck waiting for it and intercepting it than trying to race around and catch up, even while riding your bike.

Catching up with it will start a battle with Galarian Zapdos. Be mindful that it’s a fairly powerful Pokémon and that you’ll be fighting it at level 70. It specializes in fighting-type moves, so avoid using Pokémon that will be weak to them.

Also be aware that its ability, Defiant, will raise its attack by two stages whenever its stats are lowered, so avoid even passive stat-dropping effects like Intimidate. Galarian Zapdos already has a high attack stat, so inadvertently triggering this boost can be deadly.

It has a fairly low catch rate, so it’s recommended that you whittle its health down until its HP bar turns red, and then use sleep or paralysis to increase your odds of catching it. False swipe can be useful here if you’re afraid of accidentally knocking it out. Once you get lucky with a Pokéball, you’ll have a Galarian Zapdos of your own.

In summary:

  • Start the legendary birds’ cutscene under the huge tree at Ballimere Lake.
  • Fly to East Lake Axewell in the Wild Area.
  • Intercept Galarian Zapdos as it runs around the lake.
  • Catch it as you would any other Pokemon.

That sums up how you get Galarian Zapdos in Pokémon Sword and Shield!

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