Chivalrous Fighter-type to debut in Pokémon Sword.

The famous tagline of the Pokémon franchise is “Gotta catch ‘em all,” but catching alone will really only take you half-way to becoming a Pokémon Master. As seasoned veterans know, once you’ve caught ’em, the next step is to evolve ’em into stronger forms through battle-won experience and/or transformation-triggering items.

However, a select few Pokémon have never had any evolution capabilities, leaving their species in limbo as far as advancement goes. But one original-generation Pokémon is finally getting an evolved form in the upcoming Pokémon Sword.

The evolution was first teased in graphic-glitched form a few days ago, with part of its garbled Japanese-text name looking like a corrupted version of the word “knight” or “night.” There was also what looked like a lance, which fits with Sword and Shield’s U.K.-inspired motifs, but it turns out that it’s actually not a lance, but a leek!

▼ Well, technically it’s a lance and a leek.

Thanks to the Pokémon’s full reveal, we now know that the new species is named Sirfetch’d. Exclusive to the Sword release of paired games Pokémon Sword and Shield, it’s the first-ever evolution of Farfetch’d, the green onion-carrying duck-like Pokémon who shows up in the series’ very first games.

▼ Sirfetch’d’s preview video. Despite its compact size, the Fighting-type Pokémon tips the scales at a hefty 117 kilograms (257.9 pounds).

Farfetch’d, who had to wait so long for an evolved form that Ash actually won a Pokémon League championship before it got one.

Sirfetch’d is described as a stalwart, chivalrous knight who adheres to a strict code of fair combat. Such standards do still allow it to unleash Meteor Assault, an exclusive attack in which it charges its opponent like a jousting knight, but delivers the strike with classic Japanese chambara flair, complete with fluttering sakura petals and a shoji lattice frame door background motif.

Getting back to that leek lance, Sirfetch’ds take up but one weapon for their entire lives, maintaining and sharpening it diligently. Once the weapon ages or is damaged beyond repair, a Sirfetch’d will retire from the world of Pokémon combat, which might explain why Farfetch’ds are said to be fiercely competitive in claiming choice green onions.

Also, while it might look like Sirfetch’d is flipping his opponents off, that’s actually a stout shield made of leaves trimmed from the leek’s stalk.

Over here in Japan, Sirfetch’d is called “Negiganaito.” Like so many Pokémon species names, it’s a multilayered pun, playing off of “negi ga nai to” (meaning “gotta have a green onion”) and naito (the corrupted Japanese pronunciation of the English “knight”). It’s also a reference to the Japanese phrase “Kamo ga negi wo shotte kuru,” literally “A duck bringing you leeks,” which essentially means “Here comes a sucker” or “There’s a sucker born every minute,” since not only can you eat the duck, you can season the dish with the leek he himself brought you.

▼ Japanese kamo nabe (duck hot pot) always includes green onion.

Sirfetch’d takes the field of battle on November 15, when Pokémon Sword launches worldwide.

Source: Pokémon official website via Otakomu
Top image: YouTube/The Official Pokémon YouTube channel
Insert images: Pokémon official website (1, 2, 3, 4)
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