Pokemon Urshifu guide: How to evolve Kubfu and which evolution is better

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Elia Tabuenca García
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The centerpiece of Pokemon Sword and Shield's Isle of Armor Expansion is a new storyline revolving around Kubfu, a brand-new Legendary Pokemon that you'll receive after completing all three Master Dojo attempts. Unlike most other Legendary Pokémon, Kubfu is capable of evolving and its evolution, Urshifu, can take one of two forms: Single Strike ou Fast attack.


However, the evolution of Kubfu is a little more involved than it initially appears, and the two possible forms of Urshifu have their own advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide which one to choose, we've put together this guide explaining how to evolve Kubfu and how its two evolutions compare. Spoilers for the Isle of Armor story follow.


How to evolve Kubfu

After completing the Dojo Master's three attempts, Mustard will offer the Legendary Pokemon Kubfu. To evolve it, you'll need to challenge one of the Towers of Two Fists, but before you can do that, you'll need to increase your friendship with Kubfu. Fortunately, this is much simpler than the usual methods of improving friendships with your Pokemon.

After receiving the Kubfu, Mustard will mark various areas of your map with great views. You'll need to visit three of them and talk to a dojo member in each one to maximize your friendship with Kubfu. It doesn't matter which viewpoints you visit, so you have some flexibility in how you approach this test. After visiting three of the areas, head back to Mustard and you'll earn the right to challenge the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Waters.

Each tower consists of five battles, but you can only select one of them to challenge; so think carefully before you start. Your Kubfu will need to be at least level 70 to gain access to the tower, and it must be the only Pokemon in your party for the challenge. After defeating the first four trainers, your final battle will be against Mustard, who uses his own Kubfu.



Your Kubfu will evolve differently depending on which of the two towers you challenge. If you complete the Tower of Darkness, it will evolve into Single Strike Urshifu, a Dark/Fighting type; if you complete the Tower of Waters, it will evolve into the Water/Combat-type Rapid Strike Urshifu.

Which evolution of Kubfu is better?

Urshifu's forms, Single Strike and Rapid Strike, have the exact same skill – Invisible Fist – and base stats, so neither is more powerful than the other. The biggest difference between the two forms is their movement potential. While they can learn many of the same attacks, Single Strike Urshifu is capable of learning a handful of Dark-type attacks, including the signature move Wicked Blow. This attack deals damage and always results in a critical hit unless the opposing Pokémon has an Ability that avoids crits, such as Battle Armor or Shell Armor.

Likewise, Rapid Strike Urshifu is capable of learning some Water-type attacks. This form's signature move is Surging Strikes, a multi-hit attack that hits opponents three times. While each hit has a fairly low base potency, all three attacks are always Critical unless the opposing Pokémon has the aforementioned Abilities.

Ultimately, which Urshifu you should choose comes down to personal preference. Single Strike Urshifu's biggest downside is its 4x weakness to Fairy Pokemon, which are quite prevalent in competitive play, although it gains immunity from Psychic types. Meanwhile, Rapid Strike Urshifu's Water typing opens up weaknesses for Grass and Electric Pokemon. Another point to keep in mind is that Water/Fighting is a less common type combo than Dark/Fighting. The only other Water/Fighting Pokémon is Poliwrath, while Pangoro and Scrafty share Single Strike Urshifu's typing.



How to get Gigantamax Urshifu

Both forms of Urshifu are capable of Gigantamaxing, though they don't have that ability inside. Just like your Galar starter, you'll need to teach Urshifu how to Gigantamax, but you can't just give it a regular Max Soup like other Pokémon; you need an additional ingredient for the dish called Max Honey.

Max Honey can only be obtained after defeating a Dynamax Vespiquen attack. You will be tasked with fighting one on Honeycalm Island as part of the Armor Island story. Once you get Max Honey, you'll need to combine it with three groups of Max Mushrooms to create a special Max Soup that will give Urshifu the ability to Gigantamax.

Kubfu isn't the only new Pokemon you can evolve on Isle of Armor; You can also evolve Galarian Slowpoke into Galarian Slowbro, a brand-new regional variant that comes with a unique ability called Quick Draw and a unique poison-type attack called Shell Side Arm. The Isle of Armor expansion also offers the ability to teach certain Pokemon how to Gigantamax thanks to a special dish called the Max Soup.

If you've just picked up a Sword or Shield Expansion Pass, here's how to access Isle of Armor. You'll also receive an early purchase bonus for purchasing it before August 31: new apparel items based on Leon's cap and tights. Here's how to claim those. Also be sure to check out our guides on Dojo Master Updates and what you get for finding all the Digletts hidden around the island.

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