Hello Hat Lovers!
The Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire demo has been distributed around the world, and hackers have found some data regarding the new Mega Evolutions stat distribution (as well as OR/AS’s level up moves, egg moves, and tutor compatibility). For those of you that don’t want any spoilers for the new Mega Pokemon or their stats, I recommend you not to read any farther. For those who are always itching to learn more about the new games as their release date approaches, read on! I’ve given my thoughts on the new Megas and how I think they’ll fair next season.
In VGC 2014 there were 25 Mega Evolutions available for use. ORAS has given us another 18 Mega Evolutions that will probably all be legal in VGC 2015, along with Mega Blaziken, Latias and Latios being usable for the first time.
I think Game Freak wanted to make more powerful Megas for XY so that we wouldn’t end up with only 2-3 of them being viable. With ORAS there was less pressure to make the new Megas really powerful as we already had a good variety. As such few of the new Mega Evolutions seem poised to take their place at the top of VGC 2015.
Here are the new Mega Evolutions
I love what Game Freak has done here, they really did everything they could to make Mega Beedrill as good as possible. Even with all they gave M-Beedrill, I fear that all of this won’t be enough, as M-Beedrill is still going to get OHKO’d by any priority move in the metagame. If I had to use M-Beedrill I’d give it U-Turn, Poison Jab and Protect. I might not even give it a fourth move, I just want to spam U-Turn all day.
Ability: No Guard
Mega Pidgeot, you get No Guard and Hurricane. That is what you can do, M-Pidgeot. You have Heat Wave and Hidden Power for coverage as well, so good for you M-Pidgeot. I have no doubt that this Mega will accomplish nothing all year.
Mega Slowbro looks ridiculous. What’s not to like about a Slowbro that is being eaten by its shell? The most ridiculous think about M-Slowbro is that for the first time since RBY I’m considering whether or not Amnesia is a viable move. With M-Slowbro’s massive physical bulk and an Ability that blocks critical hits patching up the meagre base 80 Special Defence seems like a good idea. Once Slowbro’s defences have gone through the roof it can start firing off Scald and Psychic while healing with Slack Off. This thing seems like it will be really hard to KO if it can get set up. I could see Slowbro being one of the lower-tier-but-still-good Megas.
I think M-Steelix looks worse then regular Steelix does on paper, and Steelix didn’t look great to begin with. M-Steelix has more Attack and Special Defence (the boost in Defence is just redundant) then Steelix, but it gives up on an item slot and another Mega Evolution to get these boosts. Regular Steelix has access to Sheer Force + Life Orb, which is more reliable then trying to set up Sand for Sand Force. M-Steelix also looks like a worse M-Aggron, with more weaknesses and no Filter to reduce their damage. When you’re worse then M-Aggron and Steelix, something isn’t right.
When I first saw M-Sceptile I was not impressed. Grass/Dragon typing gives M-Sceptile weaknesses to Bug, Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Ice and Poison. M-Sceptile still has low defences and a shallow move pool. Sceptile gets Energy Ball/Leaf Storm and Dragon Pulse as STAB moves, and Hidden Power as coverage (unless you want to use Focus Blast). Sceptile is going to have to deal with its Flying and 4x Ice weaknesses, meaning Talonflame and Mamoswine will be able to OHKO it with a priority move.
Having said all that, I did just win a Premiere Challenge with a Choice Scarf Zapdos that likes to use Discharge alongside Raichu, so I can see potential for M-Sceptile. I don’t expect it to be a big part of the metagame, but I’m definitively going to try it out and have some fun with it.
Swampert got about what I would’ve hoped for it in terms of stats. Mega Swampert sports a fantastic base 150 Attack as well as 100 / 110 / 110 Defences. Swift Swim isn’t a bad ability by any means, but Swampert could’ve gotten a much more useful ability (Sap Sipper anyone?) that could really make it scary. Swampert can fully invest in speed and still be out sped by other Swift Swim users and faster Choice Scarf users. Investing heavily in speed is going to take away from Swampert’s bulk and make it a weaker Pokemon overall.
I expect Swampert to have a tough time in the metagame. Ludicolo isn’t going anywhere next format, and there are plenty of other strong Grass types as well. Swampert does have a niche as a bulky Swift Swim user that can’t get paralyzed, so it at least has that going for it. Swampert will still work reasonably well outside of Rain due to its great bulk and few weaknesses. Overall I don’t think M-Swampert will be worth the mega slot.
Here’s another Mega that would’ve been neat in 2014 but probably won’t have a place in 2015. M-Sableye can forgo Prankster in exchange for more bulk and Magic Bounce. This would’ve been something for everyone bemoaning the Khan-Artist lead to use. I don’t see M-Sableye seeing much success this year, but if you really don’t want to lose to Dark Void and opposing Pranksters M-Sableye has your back.
Mega Sharpedo seems ready to secure it’s position as the second best Water/Dark Pokemon in the game (behind what is obviously the best Water/Dark Pokemon; Mega Gyarados). Mega Sharpedo is another fast and frail Mega Evolution, which doesn’t bode well for it. 70 / 70 / 65 defences aren’t going to last long, and Talonflame will be really to Brave Bird you into oblivion. I suppose its worth mentioning Sharpedo’s merits. In base form Sharpedo has Speed Boost, so you can get a boost before Mega Evolving and reach an incredible speed stat. 140 base attack is pretty good when you add in Strong Jaw, which will make Sharpedo’s Crunches hurt.
The best thing about M-Sharpedo is that people will think you’re using it. I want to use a Focus Sash set that aims to lure in Talonflame, survive the Brave Bird and OHKO with Waterfall in return. After that Sharpedo can use Destiny Bond and try to take another Pokemon with it.
M-Camerupt has pretty high Special Attack, and its Defences are good, and its Speed would be great in Trick Room. M-Camerupt could be a solid anti-meta Pokemon. Once you’ve set up Trick Room M-Camerupt can roast Mawile and Metagross with Sheer Force boosted Heat Waves. Maybe HP Ice is enough to KO M-Salamence, I’m not going to bother calculating it.
We finally have that Dragon/Fairy type I wanted when XY were announced. Despite my hype for this type, Mega Altaria doesn’t seem like it will be all that good. M-Altaria will get Pixilate Hyper Voice, but so does Sylveon and M-Gardevoir, not to mention M-Salamence has Aerilate Hyper Voice with a higher base Special Attack. M-Altaria could also use Dragon Dance with Pixilate Return (Altaria seems too happy to give Frustration) but once again Salamence seems better suited for the role.
Oh hi Glalie, what do you do? Ice attacks, eh? Anything else? Nope, just more Ice attacks. M-Glalie retains it’s 80/80/80 bulk along with the worst defensive type in the game, so its not going to take many hits. Glalie only reaches 100 speed, which puts it in an unfortunate speed tie range this season and more Pokemon are coming back next season that are faster then that.
The only thing Mega Glalie seems like it can do it Explode and try to take out two opponents at once. So if you face a Glalie on Showdown at some point, use Protect or Wide Guard a lot. Then be sure to get out of the <1100 range so you won’t have to look at this thing again.
This is pretty much the best we could’ve gotten for Mega-Metagross stat wise. In our VGC 2015 predictions post I mentioned that Metagross wanted to reach 110 Speed and waste as little on Special Attack as possible. That’s exactly what we ended up getting with 110 Speed and only 10 points wasted on Special Attack.
110 Speed would be a great speed in the current metagame, though its not clear if base 100 is still an important speed tier for VGC 2015. A lot of the new Mega Evolutions surpass base 100 Speed and we could be betting Pokemon like Thundurus back which out speed Mega Metagross. Base 145 attack will be great when backed by Tough Claws, though Metagross won’t pack as much power as Mega-Charizard-X it has much greater bulk and doesn’t suffer massive recoil from Flare Blitz. 80 / 150 / 110 will provide some nice bulk and makes Metagross difficult to OHKO.
I see Mega-Metagross facing 4 move-slot syndrome as it has in the past. There are so many useful coverage moves on Metagross and it will be tough to decide which ones not to use.
Mega Salamence got a very interesting stat distribution. Both attack stats got boosted by 10, so Mega Salamence will be hitting a bit harder then regular Salamence did on both sides of the spectrum. The big 50 point boost in Defence will allow Salamence to take physical well comfortably, especially with Intimidate from its base form. The boost in speed is appreciated, putting Salamence above most Pokemon without boosts.
Aerilate gives Salamence some options for both physical and special sets. Aerilate Frustration backed by 145 attack is going to hurt whatever it attacks, and Salamence has the option to Dragon Dance and boost its attack and speed even further. Salamence is also getting Hyper Voice via move tutor in OR/AS, so a special set that spams Hyper Voice will also be viable.
I think the most dangerous part about Mega Salamence is that it has so many more potential sets it can run on top of the decent variety of sets it could already run. We’ve seen Choice Scarf standard, Specs, Life Orb, Physical, and Haban Berry Salamence running around throughout the season. Now we’re going to have to guess whether or not it will Mega Evolve and whether or not it’ll be physical or special on top of all that. Ludicolo is currently a great answer to Salamence, but once it has to worry about Aerilate Frustration.
Salamence seems like a Pokemon that has everything going for it next season. It still gets Intimidate before it Mega Evolves, it has so many good movesets to run and nothing is going to be safe from it until it reveals what kind of set it is.
Low bulk? Check. Not especially strong? Check. Weak to Brave Bird? Check. I think we’re done here. Lopunny might’ve been neat this season as another Pokemon that can eliminate Kangaskhan right off the bat, but without Kangaskhan dominating the format anymore Lopunny lost the only niche I see it fulfilling.
Mega Gallade reminds me of Mega Lucario in that it seems like the main draw to it is beating Mega Kangaskhan. Inner Focus prevents Gallade from being flinched, the attack boost ensures that Kangaskhan is going to get OHKO’d by Close Combat, the speed boost puts it above Kangaskhan and the defence boost helps it take a Sucker Punch.
I expect Gallade to be one of those Pokemon that isn’t especially great yet players will use anyways because its a cool Pokemon. We’re probably still going to have Talonflame next year, making Gallade’s life a pain. Both Mega Salamence and Mega Metagross have a good matchup against it, as do old favourites Mawile and Charizard. That said, it looks good enough that I can see it being fun to play and it’ll win some Premiere Challenges at the least.
I really don’t know what to say about M-Audino. I’m not even going to make a pun about it’s name, I just don’t so a team that wants M-Audino that I want to use. It could make for a solid support Mon, but I don’t want to dedicate my Mega to support. My Mega should be taking names, not using Heal Pulse on it’s partner. For the record: I’m not saying M-Audino won’t be usable, just that I don’t see what it’s going to accomplish.
Its tough to say how good those new Megas will be without knowing what our format will be in 2015. Pokemon like Cresselia and Heatran could go a long way towards keeping these new Mega Evolutions in check. Regardless of what our format is next year, keep an eye on Metagross and Salamence as they will see a lot of usage.