Tips & Hacks

The Isle of Armor Guide – How to Unlock Restricted Sparring and Catch Bouffalant

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Here’s how to unlock the new expansion’s post-game activity and catch a powerful new Pokemon.


After completing the main story for The Isle of Armor in Pokemon Sword and Shield, you’ll unlock Restricted Sparring. Think of this as an end-game activity that tests your knowledge of battling under restricted conditions. To participate, speak to the girl blocking the dojo’s entrance.

Restricted Sparring has specific rules. You need to choose three Pokemon of the specified type. Dual-type Pokemon can be used here which is good. There are five battles against trainers and you can only heal twice in between battles. Consumables won’t respawn in these battles until using restore so it’s best to use Leftovers and Choice items. Due to the restricted healing, you should also stay away from Life Orbs or anything else that will reduce your max health.

Dynamax and Gigantamax are allowed once per battle but restrictions on consumables are eliminated when used. The key to Restricted Sparring is that your opponents’ Pokemon could be a type that’s strong against yours. Diversify your movesets and try to cover any weaknesses. Also try to emphasize more on Pokemon with higher speeds and attempt to take down opponents before they can get a turn off.

Each trainer defeated in Restricted Sparring will give 3 BP each. At the fifth battle, you’ll receive 20 BP plus a one-time prize of 30 BP. Continue the process and you’ll once again receive 3 BP each for battles six to nine. At the tenth battle, you’ll receive 20 BP again. There are also specific challenges you can complete, with a first time completion providing 30 BP.

One important caveat: Though the two free heals will recharge after each battle, past the fifth battle, this will no longer be the case. So you’ll have to keep fighting without any additional heals. Unless you’re feeling super-confident in your team composition, it’s best to start over from the first battle rather than continuing on after the fifth.

How to Catch Bouffalant

Bouffalant is a returning Pokemon and exclusive to The Isle of Armor expansion. You’ll find it in the Soothing Wetlands where it has a 5 percent change of showing up. This is irrespective of the weather. With a base 95 HP, 110 Attack and 95 Defense, it’s quite the powerhouse to have.

Its abilities include Reckless, which powers up any moves that causes recoil damage; Sap Sipper, which increases attack if it’s hit by a Grass-type ability; and Soundproof, which makes it immune to any sound-based abilities. Bouffalant is strong against Ghost-type Pokemon and weak against Fighting-type Pokemon.


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