The Crown Tundra has introduced the first ever Galarian forms of legendary Pokemon, which are Galarian Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltress. These new forms have different typing than the originals. Articuno is a psychic flying, Zapdos is a fighting flying type, and Moltress is a dark flying. They also have different abilities than their original forms.
In this article I will be telling you how to catch Galarian Zapdos. Beware: there are some spoilers, as you must progress through the Crown Tundra storyline to get Galarian Zapdos.
How to unlock Galarian Zapdos
First you must do the introductory quests to the Crown Tundra to unlock Galarian Zapdos. To get there, go to Wedgehurst Station and talk to the guy in the green vest. He will then ask if you want to go to the Armor Station or Crown Tundra Station. Pick the Crown Tundra Station.
Once you exit, you have to battle Peony who has level 70 steel type Pokemon, so be prepared. After that just follow the story until you finish the Dynamax adventures, set up your base on the Crown Tundra, and Peony gives you three quests. The Bird Pokemon of Legend quest is the one that will lead you to Galarian Zapdos.
Once you have the Bird Pokemon of Legend quest, make your way South. Look on your map: the giant tree with pink leaves is where you need to go to. To get there, just go down, keep right in Giant’s Bed, and go through the Old Cemetery. Continue towards the right and you will see a river: you need to go on this river and follow it until it meets land. On your left will be the area the tree is in.
When you arrive at the tree you will get a cutscene that will release the legendary birds into your game. Now you will be able to catch Galarian Zapdos, which is found in the wild area from the main game.
Preparing to catch Galarian Zapdos
Before trying to catch Galarian Zapdos, make sure you are prepared. Have plenty of Ultra Balls and Timer Balls, or whatever Pokeball you want to catch Galarian Zapdos in. If it is night time, you can also use Dusk Balls which have a better catch rate than Ultra Balls. Make sure you also have plenty of Revives and Max Potions.
Galarian Zapdos is level 70, so make sure to have a full team of Pokemon that are level 70 or higher. Galarian Zapdos has Reversal, Focus Energy, Drill Peck, and Thunderous Kick. So make sure to bring Pokemon that are not weak to fighting or flying type moves.
You will want at least one or more Pokemon with False Swipe to get Galarian Zapdos to 1 hp. Along with False Swipe, you will also want a Pokemon with a status move that can inflict paralysis or sleep, since these increase the chances of capturing Galarian Zapdos. Good Pokemon to fill this role are Zeraora, Gallade, Venusaur, Parasect, and Mew.
Be aware that many of these to have a weakness to flying type moves. So make sure to bring other Pokemon that can inflict status effects if you need, as well as back up False Swipers. When I fought Galarian Zapdos it preferred to use fighting type moves against my Gallade, but maybe I got lucky.
Battling Galarian Zapdos
Once you are ready, fly to the Meetup Spot or East Lake Axewell, and Galarian Zapdos will appear before you as you walk into the wild area. Galarian Zapdos has a set path it runs through, which goes from the Rolling Fields to East Lake Axewell, to behind the Watchtower Ruins, to Dappled Grove, and finally back where it started at Rolling Fields.
Just so you know, it is possible to get a Galarian Zapdos with a mark on it, making it one of the only legendary Pokemon that can be marked. If you want to know how to get a marked Galarian Zapdos, we have a guide about that.
Galarian Zapdos’ path is a circular path and a set one, so you can predict where Galarian Zapdos will go. To catch up to Galarian Zapdos, you must chase it on your Rotom Bike and use your bike dash. Eventually you will catch up, but to make things faster try to cut Galarian Zapdos off by watching its path.
Be aware that Galarian Zapdos will change directions if you get in front of it – so you want to make sure to be directly behind Galarian Zapdos as you close in. Once you manage to catch up to it, you can save your game, just in case something bad happens, and then start your battle.
Galarian Zapdos itself is not that tough to take down. Just be cautious of Focus Energy and Thunderous Kick. Focus Energy will make most of Galarian Zapdos’ moves have critical hits, which can quickly dispatch your Pokemon. As for Thunderous Kick, this move can reduce the defenses of your Pokemon. You can reset these defense drops by switching out your Pokemon.
On your first turn you should throw out a Quick Ball for that chance at a one-turn catch. If that fails, then paralyze of False Swipe the Galarian Zapdos. Once you have Galarian Zapdos at 1 HP you can choose to put it to sleep, if you prefer that over paralysis. Now you can throw Dusk Balls if it is night, or Timer Balls if 8 turns have passed. Feel free to use any Pokeball you want, I only recommend these Pokeballs since they have the best capture chances.
Enjoy your newly caught Galarian Zapdos in Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Crown Tundra! If you need help catching the other birds, I have guides for them as well. Go here for my Galarian Articuno guide, and here for my Galarian Moltress guide.
Stay tuned for more guides on The Crown Tundra to answer any other questions you may have. Thanks for reading and have fun exploring The Crown Tundra!