Doesn’t Raihan look like Garchomp? Considering his sandstorm…weather team….do you think it was a wasted opportunity that he didn’t have a Garchomp?
I mean I suppose they’re saving him for the rumored diamond pearl remakes…but what are your thoughts?
Yeah, I guess I can see it? Like, those particular shades of navy blue and scarlet, together with the white “spikes” on his hoodie… seems like it could be a deliberate stylistic reference. I can think of reasons not to give him a Garchomp, but not fantastic reasons. Like, as you said, if they were planning to release Pokémon: Timey Diamond and Spacey Pearl or whatever in 2020 or 2021, then those games would definitely have Garchomp, so there’s a decent argument for leaving it out of Sword and Shield, but I think you are allowed to put it in both; there are several Sinnoh-native Pokémon in Sword and Shield, including the iconic Rotom and Lucario, so there is going to be overlap anyway. You could also argue that gym leaders almost always have a signature Pokémon that’s new in their own generation – in Raihan’s case, Duraludon – and putting a “pseudo-legendary” Pokémon like Garchomp on his gym team would overshadow his star player, which is clearly undesirable. However, his Champion Cup team actually does include a pseudo-legendary Dragon, namely Goodra. I don’t think it was necessarily a mistake to leave Garchomp out of the Galar Pokédex and thus deny Raihan the opportunity to use it, but I do think it was a weird choice to do that and then lean into what seems like a Garchomp-inspired character design, rather than picking one of the many other Dragon Pokémon that do exist in Galar, like Haxorus or Noivern.
Then again, I can see an argument for that being kind of the point. The Pokémon that are missing from Galar aren’t gone for good, and they even have fans in Galar; maybe Raihan loves Garchomp but has never had the opportunity to catch one. Arguably his costume would look… well, over-the-top if it matched a Pokémon he actually used, but comes across a bit more subtle as a reference to a foreign Pokémon that he likes but doesn’t have.