One of my favorite new additions the Isle of Armor brought to Pokemon Sword and Shield was Max Soup. When players prepare this soup from Max Mushrooms and give it to certain Pokemon, it unlocks their Gigantamax form. Previously, Gigantamax forms were available only via raids, and unless the Gigantamax form you were looking for was currently a promoted raid, it was a very rare encounter.
Before the release of Armor of Isle, I was a bit worried about the Max Soup. It seemed like it would totally invalidate the grind so many players had gone through to get their Gigantamax forms. However, Game Freak made the wise decision to make Max Soup not readily available. In fact, it’s a decent grind to get enough of the required Max Mushrooms to make the soup.
Players have to complete multiple max raids just for a chance for these mushrooms to show up on the map. If you are interested in a more in-depth guide on how to find these ingredients, we have one ready for you.
Two sides of the Pokemon playerbase
There are tons of players who put in a lot of time to collect Pokemon that are shiny, in cool Pokeballs, and have unique marks. With the introduction of Gigantamax forms, these kinds of players now have something else to grind for. Personally, I spent hours at raid dens when Sword and Shield first released to get Gigantamax Orbeetle.
To make these forms easily obtainable in the Armor of Isle DLC would have been discouraging for everyone who had spent hours fighting raid after raid to get these Gigantamax forms.
Of course, things like Pokeballs, shininess, and marks have no bearing on competitive play. Gigantamax forms, on the other hand, have quite a big impact. I love the competitive aspect of Pokemon, and having access to Gigantamax forms is important for the competitive scene.
The soup is particularly helpful here since there are some Pokemon players want specific stats for. It was incredibly difficult to get these specific stats when raids were the only way to get Gigantamax forms. This soup allows players to breed the desired Pokemon, and the desired stats, and give it the Gigatamax form.
Sword and Shield has its fair share of criticisms for things like its poor graphics and the removal of the national Pokedex. However, the way Game Freak implemented the Max Soup gives me hope that they still have an understanding of their player base.