Pokemon Sword and Shield: How to catch the Legendary Birds in the Crown Tundra

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Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Crown Tundra has it’s own set of Galarian Legendary Birds: Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno. Here’s how to catch them!

When you get to the Crown Tundra in Pokemon Sword and Shield, you eventually make your way to the Dyna Tree Hill. It’s a hill containing a massive tree that, itself, holds a bizarre hidden battle, but it also hosts the three Galarian variants of the Legendary Trio of birds, Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno.

These three, beyond just looking really cool, have completely new types.

Moltres is a dark type, Zapdos is a fighting type and Articuno is a psychic type. Each has a special move that harkens to their original form. For example, Zapdos can jump in the air and create a lightning fast kick that literally brings lightning with it.

When you encounter them at the Dyna Tree they scatter in different directions. Moltres flies off to the Isle of Armor, Articuno scoots away somewhere else in the Crown Tundra and Zapdos takes to the Wild Area.

Each needs to be found and each requires a little trickery to catch it.

Let’s start with Moltres.

Catching Moltres

As I mentioned earlier, the Galarian Moltres is now a Dark-type, and it really shows it’s dark nature by just being an absolute butt to catch.

Moltres literally flies over all of the Isle of Armor. Land and water both. It’s cool though because unlike most Pokemon out and about, you can actually see the legendary birds as far as you can see in the game (something that really made me wonder why the draw distance on most other wild Pokemon is so bad).

You’re supposed to chase it down and try to get in front of it, whistling to get its attention. Luckily for you, dear reader, I love to run in video games as much as I do in real life, which is to say, not at all.

Instead of chasing it around, I realized it follows the exact same flight pattern every time so I found a REALLY good spot to catch it. If you hang out on the beach near the Dojo, you’re going to see the Moltres coming from your right.

When you see it, go back past the Dojo and slightly past the nice NPC that lets you alter your bike colors and then just wait. You’ll think it’s about to fly away from you twice but eventually, it flies right over you. Just whistle a few times. The first time will stop it and a second or third will get it to attack you.

The battle itself is pretty easy as long as you’re not weak to dark, flying or fire. Plan accordingly and you’ll get this. And just like all the other legendaries in the game, if you accidentally defeat it instead of catching it, it will merely respawn. No need to restart the game, just go to another city, come back and chill at the bottleneck again.

Personally, I ended up just trying Luxury Balls for a bit because I’m fancy before switching to Timer Balls. But the Timer Balls worked and I got it.

Now let’s get that roadrunner-looking Zapdos.

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