Ever since Dynamaxing basically replaced Mega Evolution in Pokemon Sword & Shield, there’s been a great debate among Pokemon’s fanbase on which gimmicky battling feature was better. There’s no definitive way to determine which was better, but one way you certainly could was the new Pokemon forms they introduced.
A select few Pokemon got some love for both Mega Evolutions and Gigantamax forms, though they are not created equal, whether it’s from a design or competitive viability perspective. These fifteen certainly stand out one way or another from the pool of both versions of temporary alternate forms in Pokemon.
15 Gigantamax Pikachu
Not only is this an actually viable way to use Pikachu in a competitive battle, but it proves to be one of the better Gigantamax Pokemon out there. That’s thanks to its G-Max move, G-Max Volt Crash, which ensures paralysis to all enemy Pokemon.
Its design, while relatively simple compared to the others, brought back memories from fans as a nod to the “fat Pikachu” design that Game Freak rolled with for the first few generations of Pokemon.
14 Mega Mewtwo Y
Mewtwo didn’t really need a Mega Evolution, but you knew for sure Game Freak wasn’t going to pass up on the chance to rile up the fanbase with the release of Mega Mewtwo Y. Discussions of a potential “Mewthree” had never been more rampant than after the release of its silhouette.
Aside from that hype surrounding it, Y makes it here over X thanks to the slightly better viability it has going for it. While Mega Mewtwo X has the highest Attack stat ever at 190, Mega Mewtwo Y one-ups it just a tad with the highest Special Attack stat ever at 194.
13 Mega Swampert
While Sceptile’s Mega hasn’t had much competitive viability and Blaziken’s is just the regular version with better stats, Mega Swampert is an excellent rehash of Swampert’s capabilities on the battlefield while still staying true to its in-world biology.
As soon as it was introduced in Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, Mega Swampert swiftly took over as the best rain sweeper. That’s thanks to Swift Swim, which works great with its excellent Attack-stat and hard-to-pin-down Water/Ground defensive typing.
12 Gigantamax Inteleon
All the Galar starters’ Gigantamaxes are excellent, but Inteleon’s is arguably the best in that it improves on its somewhat uninspired design when compared to Rillaboom’s and Cinderace’s. It should have played more into that sniper concept from the start, but at least the Gigantamax makes up for it.
Despite the starters’ differences in design, they all have essentially the same G-Max Move. Aside from the types, G-Max Hydrosnipe works the same as Rillaboom’s G-Max Drum Solo and Cinderace’s Fireball, in that they execute the attack regardless of the opponent’s ability.
11 Gigantamax Copperajah
Design-wise, Gigantamax Copperajah isn’t too unsightly, but it’s certainly weird. It follows Orbeetle and Centiskorch’s trend of turning into an unnatural shape upon Gigantamaxing, looking not unlike a plain rectangle with a gigantic snout and feet.
What puts Gigantamax Copperajah here is its G-Max Move, G-Max Steelsurge. After it performs its attack, it leaves a Steel-type Stealth Rock equivalent on the opponent’s side of the battlefield, dealing Steel-type damage to the entering Pokemon instead of Rock-type.
10 Gigantamax Venusaur
While Charizard’s Gigantamax form is very similar to its original and Blastoise’s is a bit too over-the-top, Venusaur’s is just different enough to nab the spot here. Who would’ve thought Venusaur should use its flower as an overhead shield?
It also gets the spot here for just being the most competitively viable Kanto starter in general, barring Mega Evolutions (as you’ll see in a later entry). Its G-Max Vine Lash’s effect of dealing Grass-type damage for extra turns is also great.
9 Mega Lopunny
What was once considered a pushover pure Normal-type turned into a formidable Normal/Fighting-type freight train upon Mega Evolution. Lopunny was kind of a blank slate from a competitive standpoint, not having any real niche, so giving it the kind of Mega Evolution it had was a good move.
Said Mega Evolution, as alluded to, gains the Fighting-type, as well as the Scrappy ability that allows it to hit Ghost-types with both STABs that would otherwise have no effect.
8 Mega Gengar
While its big-mouthed Gigantamax is kinda out there, Mega Gengar was the perfect way to rejig Gengar’s iconic design, making it even cooler than it already was while staying true to its original concept.
Despite those differences in design, both the Mega’s Shadow Tag ability and G-Max Terror had the same effect of preventing the opponent’s escape. The Mega was banned as a result, which makes sense considering how Mega Gengar’s stats are also boosted quite a bit, getting an excellent 170 Special Attack and 130 Speed.
7 Gigantamax Lapras
As beloved as Lapras has been over the years, a competitive rejuvenation was long overdue. It got its shot with a new Gigantamax form and an excellent G-Max Move.
While the Ice-type Max Move sets up hail as a decent bonus, G-Max Resonance took it up a notch and set up Aurora Veil on the user’s side instead. It isn’t as out-of-the-box as, say, Copperajah’s G-Max Steelsurge, but from a competitive standpoint, it gives your team a much-needed boost. With this newfound viability and a creative ship-like design to boot, this Lapras makeover knocks it out of the park.
6 Mega Mawile
Prior to Generation VI, no one in the competitive scene cared about Mawile. After the release of its Mega, everyone was scared of potentially running into it in a battle.
While that wasn’t exactly the case with casual fans, competitive players saw Mega Mawile’s significantly buffed stats and Huge Power ability, and shivered in their boots. The fact that it was a Steel/Fairy-type, arguably the best type combo in the game, made it even stronger, and it also had a motherlode of coverage moves to check its weaknesses. It’s unfortunate that Mawile can’t access this Mega Evolution anymore, because it caused many people to finally put some respect on its name.
5 Mega Charizard X
Back in Generation VI, giving Charizard new forms felt like a breath of fresh air rather than overrating it beyond belief, like Gigantamax Charizard did to some people when it was revealed to be the Champion’s ace.
In terms of competitive viability, Mega Charizard X is on par with its counterpart, Mega Charizard Y, which is to say that both of them are great. X’s color scheme puts it over the top, though; black and blue is an undefeated color combo. It helps that strong Trainer characters such as Red from Pokemon Origins and Masters, and Alain in the anime have this specific rendition of the Kanto starter.
4 Mega Lucario
In retrospect, Mega Lucario was the perfect Pokemon to give to the player as an introduction to Mega Evolution in Pokemon X and Y. It took a cool, beloved Pokemon, and made it even cooler and even stronger. Granted, it’s part of why those games were too easy, but that’s for an entirely different discussion.
Either way, Mega Lucario made its money through Adaptability, an ability that boosted the STAB multiplier from 1.5x to 2x. For two great offensive types in Fighting and Steel, that’s all you could really ask for.
3 Gigantamax Urshifu
While the two distinct designs of Urshifu’s two styles can be hard to pinpoint at first glance, there’s no mistaking their G-Max forms. With Single Strike donning the red and Rapid Strike donning the blue, there are enough differences between the two beyond simply the fighting stance. They’re also just dope designs in general.
Their respective G-Max Moves, One Blow and Rapid Flow, aren’t too shabby either. They’re essentially Max versions of Wicked Blow and Surging Strikes respectively, in that they hit for full damage through protection, including Max Guard.
2 Mega Kangaskhan
Two words: Parental Bond. That ability, which allowed Mega Kangaskhan to strike a second time at a quarter the power, struck fear in many a competitive player.
That, along with the boosts to most of its stats upon Mega Evolution, made it one of the most highly pursued Mega Evolutions in competitive battling. Above all else, it gets second place here because it fulfills Mega Evolution’s supposed purpose: getting an underused Pokemon and making it more powerful than you’d expect.
1 Mega Rayquaza
No one over at Game Freak even considered game balance when they came up with Mega Rayquaza. This Mega Evolution turned Rayquaza from an already incredibly powerful Legendary to an absolute machine that was broken beyond belief. Get this: it was banned from Ubers, where all the banned Legendaries supposedly go.
Regardless of how fans feel about making Rayquaza so overpowered, it’s arguably the coolest-designed out of any Pokemon, period. At the very least, its extreme power that even surpasses Arceus’s, and its status as a de facto symbol of Mega Evolution have to be enough reason to put it numero uno here.
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