Pokemon fans need to claim Ash Greninja before it’s gone for good

pokemon ash greninja battle bond

On March 27, Nintendo is shutting down the eShop for the Wii U and 3DS, effectively locking players out of obtaining the demo-exclusive Ash Greninja, making this Pokemon one of the rarest species in the franchise.

No one could have known that Gen 6’s Froakie would evolve into one of the most beloved Pokemon of all time. And its time in the anime was a defining moment for Ash, with Greninja’s taking on the appearance of Ketchum. The two eventually parted ways, but not before a special Greninja was added to the games via promotion.

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This variant of Greninja is often referred to as “Ash Greninja,” but it gets this appearance thanks to an ability called Battle Bond. A Greninja with the Battle Bond ability operates similarly to Mega Evolving, but instead of using a stone, Greninja has to knock out a Pokemon to transform.

The catch is, Battle Bond can’t be obtained in any of the mainline games. You can’t use Ability Capsules or Patches, and you can’t breed for it, either. In fact, you can’t breed a Greninja that has Battle Bond at all. The only way to obtain Battle Bond Greninja is through the Pokemon Sun & Moon demo, which will disappear on March 27, 2023.

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Ash-Pokemon-Ultimate-Journeys-Team-Leon-Battle-Final-GreninjaThe Pokemon Company
Hidekazu Tanaka composed the opening for Pokemon Journeys.

How to get Ash Greninja with Battle Bond

This guide will only work until March 27, 2023. If you’re here after March 27 and don’t have the Pokemon Sun & Moon demo downloaded, you have missed out on getting Battle Bond Greninja.

Battle Bond Greninja requires a 3DS and internet access to obtain. And if you want to transfer it to modern games, you’ll need access to a Nintendo Switch or a Smart Phone, but we will discuss that later.

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Below is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain Ash Greninja with Battle Bond:

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  • Launch the Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo 3DS
  • Download the Pokemon Sun & Moon DEMO
  • Obtain the Battle Bond Greninja from the mailbox
  • Complete the entire Demo
    • Team Skull grunts
    • Dragon Trial
    • Plumeria battle
  • Talk to Professor Kukui in the Pokecenter
  • Tell him you want to send Greninja to the Full Game
  • In a full copy of Pokemon Sun & Moon, talk to a Mystery Gift attendant at a Pokecenter
  • Receive Ash Greninja

How to get Ash Greninja in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

Now that you own an Ash Greninja in the Gen 7 games, here is how to transfer it to Pokemon Scarlet & Violet and beyond. These steps can be completed after March 27 as long as the player has Pokemon Bank downloaded.

  • After transferring Greninja to Pokemon Sun & Moon, save and launch Pokemon Bank
  • Transfer Greninja from Pokemon Sun & Moon to Pokemon Bank
  • Select Move Pokemon to Pokemon HOME from the main menu
  • Select the box you want to transfer (you cannot select individual Pokemon)
  • Open Pokemon HOME on Nintendo Switch or Mobile Device
  • On Mobile Device, press the green Menu icon, then select Options, and select Move Pokemon
  • On Nintendo Switch, select the 3DS Icon, then Begin Move
  • Enter the Moving Key that is generated in Pokemon HOME into Pokemon Bank
  • Wait for the transfer to complete
  • From Pokemon HOME on Switch, move Greninja to compatible titles

Right now, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet isn’t compatible with Pokemon HOME, but it will be soon. Once it is, players can use Pokemon HOME to transfer their Greninja into the Gen 9 games.

However, Battle Bond Greninja won’t look the same in Gen 9 as in Gen 7. According to Bulbapedia, “Battle Bond no longer changes Greninja into Ash-Greninja. Instead, when a Pokémon with Battle Bond directly causes another Pokémon (including allies) to faint by using a damaging move, its Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats are increased by one stage. This ability only activates once per battle.”

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