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Pokemon Shield Gets an Exclusive Regional Variant, Galarian Ponyta

The Galarian variant of Ponyta, a puffy pastel take on Gen 1’s classic flame-maned foal, was the star of a recent and very unorthodox Pokemon Sword and Shield reveal. Today, we’ve learned a little more about Galarian Ponyta, along with the most important piece of info for anyone who wants one of their own: you can only catch Galarian Ponyta in Pokemon Shield.

A new, short trailer gives us a better look at Galarian Ponyta in motion than it’s debut did last week. Fans who patiently waited through last Friday’s 24-hour “livestream” of the Galarian forest Glimwood Tangle (or who waited for an edited-down highlight reel) got a short glimpse of a couple of the new Ponyta galloping through the woods, but now we have a bit of in-game footage of Glarian Ponytas at a trot, in battle, and at play.

The website for Pokemon Sword and Shield also has an entry on Galarian Ponyta that reveals its type and its unique ability. Galarian Ponyta are pure Psychic types-not Fairy type as some suspected, and not a cross with standard Ponyta’s Fire type. Pastel Veil, a new Pokemon ability introduced in Sword and Shield, protects any Pokemon fighting alongside a Galarian Ponyta from being poisoned, and also cures poisoned Pokemon when they’re brought into a battle.

The entry also sheds some light on why it differs from Ponyta found in other regions. The Pastel Veil ability fits nicely with the lore of Galarian Ponyta, which says that exposure to “the overflowing life energy of the forest” (Glimwood Tangle, presumably) has changed their appearance and lets them “absorb the life energy of the surrounding atmosphere.”

While Galarian Ponyta is technically not a brand-new Pokemon, it is the second Pokemon being introduced with Sword and Shield that has been confirmed to be a version exclusive. Sirfetch’d, the new evolved form of Ponyta’s fellow Gen 1 Pokemon Farfetch’d, is exclusive to Pokemon Sword. Of the Kanto remixes coming to Sword and Shield we’ve seen so far, I’m not sure anything has bested the smokestack top hats on the Galarian form of Weezing, but Galarian Ponyta’s posi-vibes come close.

Keep up to date with all things Pokemon Sword and Shield in our need-to-know guide. Sword and Shield launch on the Nintendo Switch on November 15.

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