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Rating the Pokémon Sword and Shield 2019 draft class

The first few fans to get Pokémon Sword and Shield at a midnight ET release event Friday in New York City celebrate their purchase. Pokémon Sword and Shield has 400 monsters to catch and is the first full Pokémon game released on the Nintendo Switch. Provided by Nintendo of America

The 2019 Pokémon class has the chance to be the very best, like no one ever was.

But like every class, there are plenty of booms and busts on the field for Pokémon Sword and Shield. Here's a look at some of the top prospects that came out of Galar at midnight on Thursday and what to expect as they begin their journey toward a championship -- or being just a stepping stone on another trainer's path.

Grookey | 1 foot, 11 lbs

  • Athleticism: 90

  • Footwork: 85

  • Evolution chain: 99

  • Move set: 85

  • Overall: 90

Slippery and evasive, Grookeys are difficult to catch and difficult to control. They have a mind of their own, and their boundless curiosity will lead them unexpected places, not always what a more organized trainer would like, and this behavior continues up the evolution chain. Save this one for the more open-minded, creative trainers.

-- Emily Rand

Scorbunny | 1 foot, 9.9 lbs

  • Athleticism: 99

  • Footwork: 99

  • Evolution chain: 80

  • Move set: 80

  • Overall: 90

Small for her position but very hard to catch out in space. Poor hands and Pokéball security that will need to be worked on. Has room to grow, but her ceiling is lower than others on the board.

-- Sean Morrison

Galarian Weezing | 9-foot-10, 35.3 lbs

  • Athleticism: 50

  • Footwork: 75

  • Evolution chain: 80

  • Move set: 85

  • Overall: 85

Don't expect anything extremely quick, agile, or in any way athletic from this one. It's right there in the Pokémon name: "Weezing." Its strengths lie in spreading that inability to breathe to opponents, rendering them incapacitated. Yet, the aesthetics of it having a giant top hat and facial hair made of toxic sludge in addition to also being a fairy type count for, well, a lot. If you're me. Playing Pokémon Sword and Shield.

-- Rand

Sobble | 1 foot, 8.8 lbs

  • Vision: 99

  • Catching: 99

  • Evolution chain: 85

  • Move set: 90

  • Overall: 93

More elusive than you'd expect with sticky hands that will become more valuable as he grows. Temperament is a problem; prone to outbursts and not the best locker room guy. Will need a bit of time to mature but could be one of the better picks in this class.

-- Morrison

Polteageist | 8 inches, 0.9 lbs

  • Athleticism: 30

  • Footwork: 99

  • Evolution chain: 80

  • Move set: 80

  • Overall: ???

Mrs. Potts, is that you? Obvious "Beauty and the Beast" references aside (this is a Disney company, after all), we're not sure what to think about this one. It's fast and light, with little to no athletic ability or strength and a cursed body. On the plus side, if you befriend a Polteageist, it will learn to serve your favorite tea, which is definitely a positive that could outweigh its lack of power.

-- Rand

Wooloo | 2 feet, 13.2 lbs

  • Strength: 99

  • Hair: 99

  • Everything else: 99

  • Literally everything else: 99

  • Overall: 99

An absolute unit. Very strong despite her looks and can roll over just about anyone. An obvious No. 1 pick who will have a few titles to her name when it's all said and done.

-- Morrison

Galarian Ponyta | 2-foot-7, 52.9 lbs

  • Athleticism: 99

  • Footwork: 99

  • Evolution chain: 99

  • Move set: 99

  • Overall: It's a pink and purple unicorn; the answer should be obvious.

You shouldn't need me, or anyone, to convince you because the design alone should do the job perfectly. The Ponyta/Rapidash evolution line has somehow become even more amazing in Pokémon Sword and Shield with its Galarian form, which is a pink and purple unicorn. That's it. You can keep your statistics. I prefer the magic.

-- Rand

Yamper | 1 foot, 29.8 lbs

  • Speed: 70

  • Potential: 99

  • Evolution chain: 99

  • Move set: 80

Comes into the draft a little oversized but gets after the Pokéball as well as anyone in this class. Tons of potential down the road and has the frame to be one of the fastest in the league. Great locker room guy who's comfortable being a vocal leader.

-- Morrison

Rolycoly | 1 foot, 26.5 lbs

  • Balance: 99

  • Energy: 99

  • Evolution chain: 95

  • Move set: 80

  • Overall: 93

Impressive speed for his size with plenty of room left to put on muscle. Performs best when put to the fire. Might struggle with leverage against more slippery opponents.

-- Morrison

Sirfetch'd | 2-foot-7, 257.9 lbs

  • Chivalry: 99

  • Swordplay: 99

  • Strength: 97

  • Move set: 90

  • Overall: 96

One of the strongest in this class with an adamant nature about him. Steadfast in his approach to the game and never gives up on the Pokéball. A little one-dimensional but a great pick in the right offense.

-- Morrison

Corviknight | 7-foot-3, 165.3 lbs

  • Athleticism: 99

  • Footwork: 90

  • Evolution Chain: 99

  • Move set: 95

  • Overall: 95

I'll let Edgar Allan Poe take it away on this one:

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore --

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth Corviknight "Nevermore."

-- Rand

Alcremie | 1 foot, 1.1 lbs

  • Taste: 99

  • Texture: 99

  • Presentation: 99

  • Things that actually matter for a Pokémon: 0

  • Overall: 74

Not even sure what's going on here, but now I'm hungry. Pass on this one; it'll take way too much effort to whip him into shape.

-- Morrison