The newest feature coming to Pokemon Masters is the Battle Villa, a tower of challenging battles that can knock out sync pairs for an entire day — but only in the Battle Villa. This new event likely won’t be the thing that brings you back if you’re a lapsed player (though maybe the new chapters and sync pairs added since launch can), but it is an interesting way to mix up daily in-game tasks.
If you are one of those lapsed players, here’s a short rundown of all the other things added to Pokemon Masters since its launch last summer:
Chapter 19 to 24
Weekly bingo missions
Sync pair level cap increased to 120
New sync pairs, including Legendary Pokemon
Interactable characters in the Dex
Pokemon Masters Battle Villa
The Battle Villa was definitely designed with longtime players in mind given how quickly it gets difficult. The challenge in this event space is to defeat as many of 25 “halls” of enemies as you can to earn tons of rewards before the two-week event is over. Each hall can have one to three rounds of opponents waiting, and you can scope out their Pokemon weaknesses through the Area Details menu like you can in any other battle.
But unlike the rest of Pokemon Masters, any damage your sync pair takes stays with them for the whole day and you can only select nine sync pairs to play within the Battle Villa for that day. You can heal during a battle and once out of battle if you have the right items. However, you can’t heal any sync pair that have fainted within the Battle Villa, so you’ll need to wait until the next day to get them back.
I went into the Battle Villa with several sync pairs of varying types at max level. At first I felt confident I’d clear the Battle Villa quickly. My recommended power was almost always vastly over what was recommended — at least for the first five halls. By the time I completed the fifth hall on the first day of playing, my sync pairs were starting to struggle to deal out enough damage to keep them in the fight. The Battle Villa did test my strategy, which was nice. I felt a bit more pressured to not only consider the obvious type matchups, but to also think about how my three sync pair’s skills and moves work together to try and prevent pairs from fainting.
By the seventh hall, I lost significant momentum. Not necessarily in a bad way, but my sheer power wasn’t really giving me much of an advantage anymore. Some days it felt like I was just throwing pairs at a Hall to weaken them enough until I could cycle in the real damage dealers back in the next day. Opponents don’t recover health and any progress made in a hall persists between days. I do wish there was a way to revive at least one sync pair per day, though. If my sync pairs were all generally lower level, I feel like the Battle Villa would be more of me throwing sync pairs at battles with little chance for success rather than having options for tactics.
If you make it far enough into the Battle Villa (and have sync pairs at level 80) you can start earning a new item for the new Lucky Skills. These Lucky Skills are bestowed at random and can raise a sync pair’s stats with a Crunchy Lucky Cookie or prevent stats from being lowered with a creamy lucky cookie. There’s also a Crispy Lucky Cookie that shields sync pairs from status and “certain other conditions.” There’s also a Lucky Scroll for learning Lucky Skills. You can’t earn too many of these is a complete Battle Villa run, so you’ll want to save them for your favorite pairs.
The Battle Villa is an interesting addition to Pokémon Masters’ daily offerings. I know if I want to attempt to make it through all 25 halls (and get the numerous rewards that come with it) I’m going to need to get to work to do some extra training with all my sync pairs. I do wish the final rewards were more appealing than more Lucky Skill, leveling items, and just enough gems for a few more pulls, but I do appreciate having a new challenge to conquer.
For more on Pokémon, be sure to check out our coverage of the newly announced Mythical Pokémon, Zarude.
Happy Pokémon Day! Miranda Sanchez is an executive editor at IGN and is celebrating the day with her Sobble, Pikachu, and her other favorite Pokémon. You can chat with her about Pokémon and other video games on Twitter.