The new battle gimmick for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has been unveiled, with Tera types and the ability to Terastallize set to shake up the series.
Since Pokemon X and Y introduced mega evolution, each generation has had a unique addition to battling. Pokemon Sun and Moon brought in Z-Moves, Sword and Shield brought in Dynamax, and Scarlet and Violet are set to bring the Terastallize mechanic. This new gimmick is similar to mega evolution, allowing Pokemon to change form within a battle.
The latest Pokemon Presents showcase did a deep dive on this new gameplay mechanic. Here’s everything you need to know about the Terastallize ability and Tera types.
What is a Tera type in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet?
The Terastallize mechanic sees Pokemon assume a crystalline form, boosting their power with specific types of moves and potentially changing types in some cases, which is called a “Tera Type.”
This new battle mechanic is a balanced answer to Dynamax and Gigantamax, which sometimes caused serious balance issues. The Pokemon reverts back to their normal type after the battle. As with Dynamax and Gigantamax, all Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet can do it but each Pokemon can hypothetically transform into any type after Terrastalizing.
“Each Pokémon has a Tera Type. A Pokémon’s Tera Type is inactive until the Pokémon Terastallizes, at which time the Pokémon’s type will change to its Tera Type. For example, some Eevee will have a Normal Tera Type, but some other Eevee have a Flying Tera Type. There are 18 types, meaning there are countless combinations of Pokémon and Tera Types,” the official website reads.
This new mechanic will likely be a major boon to Pokemon with strong stats and move pools that are held back by poor typings. Tyranitar and Heatran have troublesome double weaknesses but would come significantly more powerful if they had different typings. This will make this mechanic an important X-factor in multiplayer battles.
Will mega evolution return in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet?
Mega evolution is not returning in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, and neither are Z-Moves or Dynamax.
The addition of the Terastallize mechanic and Tera types replaces the Dynamax feature of Pokemon Sword and Shield. Dynamax allowed players to recall and re-summon their Pokemon with a significant increase in size and health. Certain Pokemon had the ability to Gigantamax, giving them an alternate appearance and unique moves. The system was largely unpopular but did have some fans.
Since Pokemon X and Y, a new gimmick that defines the battle system has been introduced. The first example of this was Mega Evolution, which was followed by the Z-Moves of Pokemon Sun and Moon. Though Pokemon Sun and Moon had both Z moves and Mega Evolution available, Pokemon Sword and Shield threw out both in favor of Dynamax.
As of this writing, it seems like Gigantamax and Dynamax will be a thing of the past. While Z-Moves and Mega Evolution fit together comfortably as an extra wrinkle to held items, that isn’t the case with Gigantamax. Gigantamax is a completely new mechanic that doesn’t leave room for other mechanics.
Though some fans are still frustrated over the removal of mega evolution, there’s no question that stacking four different battle mechanics on top of one another would be unwieldy. Ultimately, fans will have to make do with just the ability to Terastallize and assume a Tera type in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.