Pokémon poll lets fans choose Players Cup IV in-game item distribution
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The Pokémon Company has announced that fans will get to vote on the in-game item distribution appearing in Pokémon Sword and Shield during the Regional and Global Finals of the Players Cup IV this summer.

Pokémon go to the polls

This time around, fans get to choose which item will appear in the Pokémon Players Cup IV Regional Finals distribution. The Play Pokémon Twitter account released a poll on May 18 allowing fans to choose among four in-game items: PP Max, Focus Sash, Lucky Egg and Gold Bottle Cap.

“Glory, battling, AND free stuff? We’re in. From now until May 20. you can decide which of the #PokemonSwordShield items below will be distributed during the Players Cup IV broadcasts when they kick off later this summer,” the Play Pokémon account tweeted alongside the poll.

Likewise, there is another poll for a card distribution in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. TCG players get to pick either Marnie, Sonia, Rose or Leon. Both the video game and trading card game polls will run through May 20.

While fans get a say in the Players Cup IV Regional Finals, the Pokémon Company has already set the item distributions for the Global Finals. Pokémon Sword and Shield players can get a Beast Ball, while TCG Online players can get a Crobat card.

How to claim rewards during the Pokémon Players Cup item distribution

During the Players Cup IV broadcasts, codes will appear that viewers can use to unlock items in their respective games. TCG Online distributions are limited to the first 50,000 players to redeem their codes during the Regional Finals and the first 25,000 during the Global Finals. Conversely, there are no such restrictions for the Pokémon Sword and Shield item distributions.

The Pokémon Players Cup IV will be broadcast in July and August on Pokémon’s official Twitch and YouTube channels. The Pokémon Company has not yet released a stream schedule with specific dates.

How to use each of the possible Pokémon Sword and Shield items

All of the options in the item distribution poll can give Pokémon Sword and Shield VGC players a competitive edge. Trainers can use a PP Max to give a single move 8/5 of its base PP. Thus, it allows the Pokémon to use that move the maximum number of times possible. This can be especially helpful for moves with a low base PP, like Zacian’s Behemoth Blade or Urshifu’s Wicked Blow– which they can ordinarily use only five times each.

A Pokémon holding a Focus Sash can survive any attack when it is at full HP. This is often the go-to item for frail support Pokémon like Whimsicott and Indeedee. The Focus Sash either forces opposing Pokémon to double into the holder to get the immediate knockout or it guarantees that they will survive for at least one turn.

The Lucky Egg does not directly support Pokémon in competitive matches, but instead assists trainers as they prepare their teams. A Pokémon holding the Lucky Egg will receive 1.5x the normal amount of experience at the end of a battle. In this way, it can help players prepare their teams for competition more quickly.

Likewise, the Gold Bottle Cap can help trainers quickly make one of their Pokémon viable for competitive play. When given to a League Staff attendant, the Gold Bottle Cap will raise all of a given Pokémon’s IVs to the maximum value of 31, making the Pokémon as strong as possible in all of its stats.

While the Play Pokémon Twitter poll will determine which of the above items will appear during the Regional Finals distribution, viewers are guaranteed to get a code for a Beast Ball during the Global Finals. The Beast Ball is a type of Poké Ball that improves the chances of catching an Ultra Beast. Popular Ultra Beasts in competitive play include Celesteela and Kartana.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.