While Pokémon Sword and Shield and other recent entries in the franchise have been divisive in part for their lower difficulty levels, that’s not always a bad thing. The games have also received some quality-of-life changes that make certain Pokémon easier to catch and evolve than they have been in the past. A perfect example of this is the Generation III Fish Pokémon Feebas.
Originally one of the most difficult Pokémon to find, Feebas’ evolutionary method was also unique — and potentially frustrating. However, due to gameplay and mechanical changes, this has been made much easier over the years. Now, in Sword and Shield, Feebas and Milotic are easier to obtain than ever.
Similar to the infamous Magikarp, Feebas is a weak Water-type Pokémon with an impressive evolution. Unlike Magikarp, which is ridiculously common, Feebas is hard to find. Most fishing spots provide only a 1% chance of finding a Feebas, and even in places where it is more common like the Crown Tundra’s Ballimere Lake, that chance only jumps to 5%. While it can appear as a Dynamax Raid, the chances of encountering it are only 2%.
Still, this is an improvement. In Gen III, it was found on Route 119 — but only on six fishing tiles, which were randomized and would change whenever the trendy phrase in Dewford Town changed. In Generation IV, it could be found inside Mt. Coronet on four fishing tiles that changed daily. Later games made Feebas easier to find, but still rare, but for its first two generations, Feebas might as well have been an urban legend.
Once captured, Feebas is very much like Magikarp. Its stats are terrible, and it only learns a handful of moves — including the useless Splash — and its Abilities are Swift Swim and Oblivious, with Adaptability as a Hidden Ability. It can learn some useful moves using TMs and TRs or through breeding, but it’s best to evolve your Feebas as soon as possible.
To evolve a Feebas into Milotic, players will have to trade one that is holding a Prism Scale. One can be found hidden in the water on Route 2 after obtaining the Rotom Bike. It can also be found in the Wild Area’s South Lake Miloch, where it’ll regenerate.
Like Feebas bears similarities to Magikarp, Milotic bears similarities to Gyarados, having similar stats and being a serpentine Water Pokémon that evolves from a weak fish. However, this is where the similarities end, as Milotic’s design and singular Water-typing are its own. Its Abilities are Marvel Scale and Competitive with a Hidden Ability of Cute Charm, and while Gyarados seems built for destruction Milotic is built for beauty — which makes sense considering it was originally associated with Generation III and IV’s Pokémon Contests.
Unlike most previous generations, Milotic can be found in the wild in Sword and Shield. It has the same encounter rates in Dynamax Raid dens of 2%. It can also be found in foggy weather in the Lake of Outrage and South Lake Miloch, as well as Giant’s Bed in the Crown Tundra DLC. One spawns like each day, meaning it is easier than ever to obtain a Milotic, whether that’s throguh evolving a Feebas or simply catching one.
How This Has Changed
Initially, Feebas could only evolve if it leveled up after maxing out its Beauty stat. This meant making the best blue Pokéblocks (Poffins in Gen IV) possible and hoping Feebas’ nature means it favors that kind. However, Generation V changes this, as there were no contests and the secondary stats associated with them were removed.
From here on, Feebas could be evolved using the current method of trading it while holding a Prism Scale. The original method returned for the Gen III remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, but it did so alongside the new method, meaning even a Feebas that hated blue Pokéblocks could evolve. This makes the evolutionary line unique, as it is the only one that can be evolved through multiple methods to obtain the same result in one game. While Feebas and Milotic are still among the rarest Water-type Pokémon around, they are much easier to obtain now than they were when they were introduced.