Mega Evolution Candidates (Part 3) -- Game Balance
by, 19th November 2013 at 09:24 AM (9405 Views)
Good day, everyone! We shall be continuing the series of Mega Evolutions, this time taking on the challenge of "Game Balance" candidates. I am now basing the criteria on the last of them all from this quote: "The standard selection process for Pokémon to be Mega-Evolvable is based on three points: visual looks, popularity and game balance."
Of the three criteria, this one is the hardest to pick candidates for, because that means taking unfulfilled or small-numbered niches and filling them. I decided to prioritise two things: first is to make sure every type is touched on, and the second is to cover a role rarely touched on. I thought my picks are the best I could picked without spending too much time, so I present you with twelve candidates. If you are ready to continue, let's go!
Ability: Sand Rush
Stat Increases: Atk +30, Def +5, SpDef +20, Speed +45
There aren't many sand attackers compared to Sun and Rain, so a new one would be ideal. When choosing possible choices, I went for Golem for its formidable STAB combo. It's also to complete the trade evolutions of Kanto, since Machamp was chosen in the last article.
Sand Rush is the only ability that would be worth it for something like Golem, to give it an extra edge in Speed, especially in Sandstorm. I added that much Speed to outpace Excadrill, who is currently the fastest Sand Rush user. The Rock-type would at least make Golem able to take some Special attacks. The next biggest increase is Attack, because in order to do a lot of damage, it needs a lot of power. It's prepetuated by the fact that Golem doesn't have an Attack+ move besides Power-Up Punch.
The direction on design that Golem would take would show that it is more streamlined, so the rock body that Golem has would be smoother. It would also have a less bulky body, with less of a spherical rock, but more of an armour around a creature.
Stat Increases: Atk +10, Def +40, SpAtk +20, SpDef +10, Speed +20
Gooey is such a cool ability because it has a Speed-reducing property. Reducing Speed of various threats passively is a handy thing to have, so it's not something to underestimate. Thinking of other possible Pokémon to inherit this ability is tricky, until I remember there is Muk, who is possible one of the very few who could have this ability too. What's great about Poison is that several of its resistances are contact moves, so Muk would be able to take advantage of this a lot better than Goodra.
Since contact moves are usually Physical, Mega Muk will have a huge increase in Defence, allowing for more hits to be taken. Speed is increased slightly to give it a good Speed to outspeed the things it slows down (at max Speed, Muk outspeeds anything slower than base 130). I added a Water-type to better manage certain threats with the extra resistances, namely Talonflame and Scizor. A minor increase is Special Attack, which would allow Muk to use some Special attacks (Fire is preferred) better. If Muk gets a new Water move, it would be Surf (It would be hilarous and awkward to see a trailing pollution over water if Muk used Surf, though).
For Mega Muk's design, it would be a step up from its evolution from Grimer, where it gains more viscosity and flow, explaining the Speed increase and extra Water-type. Perhaps it would have a lighter colouration and a slimmer look to go with a more fluid appearance. The weight of Mega Muk won't increase or decrease, but its size will increase.
Ability: Flower Gift
Stat Increases: Atk +30, Def +30, SpAtk +20, SpDef +20
Sun Teams usually are not as good as Rain because Rain's abusers have a lot of variety in their type combinations, including those that are not Water-types. It's a good step for GameFreak to gear Charizard as a considerable Sun abuser, as well as Houndoom receiving Solar Power, but perhaps a step further could be taken. Introducing Mega Sunflora!
Instead of being Grass-type, it will have an extra Fire-type to mitigate two weaknesses. Since new moves tend to be added to a Pokémon's movepool once a Mega Evolution is planned, as is the case with Heracross suddenly getting multi-hit moves and Blastoise receiving Pulse moves, Sunflora will receive a few Fire-type attacks like Flamethrower and Flare Blitz, which has the benefit of helping its regular form as well.
Now here's how Sunflora becomes a Sun abuser. It will gain an ability originally exclusive to Cherrim, which is Flower Gift. By powering up Sunflora's Attack and Special Defence, it will make Sunflora better in the Sun with those extra stats. It's better to use it in Doubles where a teammate could benefit from the ability, or Trick Room because Sunflora's still slow.
I added a bit more into Attack and Defence because Flower Gift benefits Attack, so the extra Attack helps. The Defence is to make it so that Sunflora isn't quite frail, which helps. This would make Sunflora a good mixed Attacker, with moves like Earth Power, Flamethrower and even Petal Blizzard.
Thankfully, Sunflora has got great status moves to help it in Doubles too. It has the rare Flower Shield, which increases the Defence of Grass-types, After You for a partner could go first in Trick Room, and Encore to hinder Protect users. Maybe it wouldn't make Sunflora suddenly a top choice, but being a great Sun supporter will help a ton.
Sunflora's design will be based around the "sun", so its sunflower will have flare patterns that resembles fire (but not actually burning). Its face will be darker, and its eyes will open to show contrast. Its normally plump body will be taller, while its feet will be darker, like how roots are normally coloured.
Ability: Magic Bounce
Stat Increases: Atk +20, Def +10, SpAtk +40, SpDef +20, Speed +10
Magic Bounce is quite a handy ability for its hazard and status deflector. Quite a few Pokémon got this ability, one of them being Absol's Mega Evolution. The next trick is to find the Pokémon that would take this ability. Of the candidates, Stantler stood out by not standing out much. Besides, it does fit well with this ability. Stantler has psychic powers and its horns can distort reality.
The next part is to determine Stantler's type, as to whether it will stay as it is, or gain an extra type. Its nature make it befitting of a Psychic-type, while a Ghost-type would allow it to take Ghost/Fighting (best neutral coverage) and escape from traps. After some time, I thought an extra Ghost-type would be interesting solely for its movepool in conjunction with that type. As an example, a Ghost-type with dual screens is an advantage (that Rotom rarely could use).
Stats are more offensively oriented, so that we have another offensive Magic Bounce user. Its attack stats are better (especially the Special side), with slightly better defences (though still relatively frail) and a bit more Speed. This would give Stantler some differentiation over Absol, who is faster and has much better Physical attack.
Now for some design possibilities for Mega Stantler. Its horns, the main part of Stantler, would have the black dot moving and glowing instead of being idle, which gives it a more mystical look. Its colouration would be a bit darker and would have some misty trails on its feet due to the Ghost-type.
Stat Increases: Atk +10, Def +40, SpAtk +30, SpDef +20
The compilation of this list revealed a shocking detail: I didn't have any Generation 3 Pokémon! Another thing is, I also lacked a Dragon-type Pokémon! Let's kill two birds with one stone by giving a bird a Mega Evolution. Usually, Dragon-types are difficult to balance because of their overall advantage in moves and strength, so I will attempt to make a Dragon-type that can easily take on other Dragons.
The first thing you will notice is that Mega Altaria has a new Fairy-type instead of Flying. This type combination isn't unique as far as this series is concerned (Dragonite was suggested to get it), but I believe Altaria makes use of this combination better, and it would make a better defensive Pokémon. As such, you will see that its Defence is increased the most to take advantage of Fairy's resistances, with Special Attack to make the most out of using Fairy attacks (some with Pixilate).
When it comes to Mega Altaria's design, I envision it becoming more fairy-like by making it more like the fairy maidens in Chinese myths. Altaria's would look like as if a trail of cloth is draped around to look like them. In addition to this, its whisker hair would be tied in a loop to resemble their look. Perhaps it would have a bit more colour than just light blue and white to better represent the Peng (a Chinese legendary bird), since the technology allows for more colours.
Ability: No Guard
Stat Increases: Atk +40, Def +10, SpAtk +30, SpDef +20
With some good Ghost-types getting into the action and some of them becoming a menace, Spiritomb could shine as a suitable Pokémon against any Ghost-type out there. Its unique type combination and access to moves would allow it to do what it does best: trap Psychics and Ghosts. The advantage over other Dark-types is its Fighting immunity and Bug neutrality, which are good qualities to have, especially the former.
For Spiritomb's ability, I decided for No Guard to catch some unsuspecting evasion such as Phantom Force. It is also to guarantee a hit with Hypnosis and Will-o-Wisp, two deadly status conditions. Because of this, Spiritomb's Speed remains low to make it more balanced. Of course, No Guard has its disadvantages, namely always being hit by the opponent's moves.
As you may see in the stats, Spiritomb has a big upgrade in both offences, which will allow it to hit the opponents with powerful priority attacks, while the Special side didn't get as big an upgrade since Spiritomb has boosting Special attacks.
Design-wise, Spiritomb's would thematically have a face that looks like it is burning. In addition to this, it would look like there are some individual flames with faces on it, to match No Guard, due to having more "allies" to target, while being more susceptible as a result.
Ability: Magnet Pull
Stat Increases: Atk +20, Def +10, SpAtk +30, Speed +40
Now that Steel-types have a type advantage over Fairy, Steel trapping is more important than ever. This is where Magnezone is needed, since it is the best Steel-type trapper. Its ability and type are still the same, but that doesn't matter, because they're great.
The Speed is optimal for dispatching some of the most dangerous Steel-types, such as Heatran and Excadrill. Of course, you do this when they are not attacking (such as slow U-turns) because chances are, they will strike you with a lethal Ground attack. Aegislash gets a free pass only because it cannot be trapped.
Speed is the tricky part of the balance. Gaining 40 points will outspeed a lot of Steel-types (even Genesect), with a few exceptions (Cobalion and Durant, and Mega Lucario), so it's got the Steel part down. The other stats are not as important, but Special Attack gets extra mention because of the extra power.
One idea for Magnezone's Mega Evolution is to make Magnezone more like a UFO with a few satellites. It would have some extra magnets to signify a more powerful electromagnetic force in play, considering how it is stronger than before.
Stat Increases: Atk +10, Def +30, SpAtk +20, SpDef +20, Speed +20
When a very powerful Pokémon starts setting up, you are in trouble if you don't deal with them fast enough. Sometimes, you can't even deal with them. This is where Unaware comes in. With Unaware, you can guarantee that the opponent has an obstacle to deal with before they could do anything. Since Psychic is a type that might see less use as a Fighting absorber, I decided to use Musharna as a potential Unaware user.
Musharna has the best bulk, compared to the other current Unaware users. It doesn't have an immunity that the others come with, but it makes up for that with powerful bulk (that could be boosted; it's an Unaware tradition). It does have some nasty weaknesses to contend with too, but I didn't add too much bulk in case Musharna could be difficult to handle. Still though, Musharna can't necessarily fit every move in four slots, so knowing what the opponent use is the key.
Musharna's Mega design could make it more dream-like. It's hard to describe what is more dream-like, but to highlight the Unaware ability Musharna just received, it will open its pink eyes. It might have more dream mist emanating from its body, particularly from not only the forehead, but another spot on its head like a whale's spout. Its body could have some frills around the neck and limbs to make it look like a nightgown.
Ability: Thick Fat
Stat Increases: Atk +20, Def +40, SpDef +50, Speed -10
I felt that Cacturne or Maractus didn't do the real cacti justice, since the real ones are tough plants, unlike those two who are quite frail. This would require a type addition, however.
To simulate the toughness, I will add Steel, giving it more resistances. In addition to this, Thick Fat will be the ability of choice to reduce the impact of its weaknesses. Since the "Water type with mandatory Ice coverage" problem isn't solved yet, another Grass-type who could take that damage would be welcomed.
There exists Ferrothorn already, who has better defences, but Maractus is able to differentiate itself from Ferrothorn. Besides the ability, Maractus could hit harder, and could set up more easily with Acupressure. Initially, I wanted to use Cacturne for this Mega Evolution, but in the end, I changed to Maractus because it needed more help, even though Cacturne would benefit this change better. Maractus also has a powerful Grass-type attack that Cacturne wished it had, mainly Wood Hammer.
In terms of the design, Maractus could become bulkier and more like a tank. It could also be designed like a dancer with a lot of clothes to display its increased resilience and the ability to take fire and ice attacks.
Ability: Snow Warning
Stat Increases: Def +20, SpAtk +30, SpDef +10, Speed +40
The Fairy-types that we have aren't consistent on dealing with Dragon-types, because they are mainly Special walls, while Dragon-types usually can deal with Fairy-types due to the Speed advantage they normally have and their good coverage. Since Ice and Fairy both have advantages over Dragon, let's combine those. This is why Vanilluxe is chosen for the job.
Snow Warning is my ability, because it has the dual purpose of chipping away the Dragon-type's HP and making its Blizzard fully accurate. To make up for the new Fairy-type, Dazzling Gleam would have been added.
Stats-wise, Speed is meant to outpace every Dragon besides Noivern, who is deathly afraid of Ice anyway. Next to that is the Special Attack, because power is needed to dish out the damage. The other stats go to the defences for better tanking. With the new Fairy-type, there are more ways to switch in.
Vanilluxe's Mega design could take on a sweeter look by taking a variety of colours, perhaps with extra sprinkles on the snow. It would have an extra "straw" on its other head to shoot out more icy winds. Maybe a "cherry" (actually a hat) could be added for a nice touch.
Ability: Compound Eyes
Stat Increases: Atk +10, Def +20, SpAtk +40, SpDef +20, Speed +10
When it comes to new Bug-types, there are very few Special-based ones. Vivillon is the new one, true, but if you look at the three Mega Evolutions, you will see that they are all Physical. In order to remedy this, we should have a Special Mega Bug-type. This is a tough one, but in the end, Galvantula is invited due to the rumour earlier that Galvantula had a Mega Evolution.
Between the possible abilities between Mold Breaker and Tinted Lens, I picked Mold Breaker because with the Speed that Galvantula is at currently, it would be too strong (for reference, none of Tinted Lens' users have a base Speed of 100+). Mold Breaker could be useful for guaranteeing Sticky Web, and it could get past Electric-immune abilites such as Seaking and Lanturn. Stat boosts are straightforward. Special Attack got a high boost because of being a Special attacker, while the other stats received a minor boost.
Mega Galvantula could become a bigger spider with hairier feet and some small wings (not for flying, but for buzzing). Since Galvantula's design is intricate enough, the changes don't need to be major.
After some comments stating that Compound Eyes is better (mainly to use Thunder more reliably), I changed the ability from Mould Breaker to Compound Eyes to satisfy some readers.
Stat Increases: Atk +40, Def +30, SpDef +10, Speed +20
Finally, we have Braviary. In a bid to choose something to cover the remaining two types (Fighting and Flying), I found something most suited for that combination. Braviary also looks like it is quite fitting for a legend, don't you think?
The combination of Fighting and Flying is quite a good defensive combination. A Flying-type without a Rock weakness is a big advantage itself. The combination lends itself to being more Physical, not only for its STABs, but its resistances. Four out of five are Physically-inclined, while Flying is the only Physically-inclined weaknesses. To emphasise this, Intimidate and some Defence are added.
The other stats are to make Braviary a pivot. Its high Attack will do a good job in scaring potential counters, which it could switch out with U-turn or use the time to heal with Roost. The good Speed ensures that it has an advantage over slower foes, while Special Defence is buffed a bit for more survivability.
What a Mega Braviary could look like is to take a cue from the Native American chief. Its headdress will have bigger plumage with more features. It would look more stern, because chiefs of those kind are usually intimidating figure, demanding of respect. Its shoulders could have some form of epaulette and its body has a vest pattern to represent its extra defence and a more hardened warrior. Considering how Braviary is one of the more complex designs, it would require some good balancing to make it work.
Okie dokie, with this one done, all the criteria are completed. If you ask me, this series is fun at first, but it got challenging. In a sense, I want to present my choices in a balanced manner, where I attempt to cover as many types as possible while not repeating any ability, as well as choosing a mix of popular and unpopular Pokémon as candidates. Another attempt I did is to imitate as many of GameFreak's direction on the Mega Evolution on some of my choices, such as Aggron's Mono-type conversion (Lapras turning to pure Water).
But it's not over, everyone. If you remember my first article, you will remember I have six planned. The next one will be dealing with reader's requests. That's right, you can suggest the Pokémon to receive Mega Evolutions to me, and I will design it! I might even design a new ability to help out some candidates a little. To have a bit of control and limit on the choices, some criteria is required for choices. Here they are:
- Up to 12 picks. No more. If you pick, it's recommended to have at least 2.
- No Generation 6 Pokémon. They will have their own list in the future.
- Fully-evolved Pokémon only. For example, you can't choose Pikachu or Palpitoad, but their respective evolutions (Raichu and Seismitoad).
- Pokémon that didn't receive a Mega Evolution. Refer to this article for those that did.
- Pokémon that I didn't touched on before. If you can't be inconvenienced to check, here's the list:
Happy voting! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Thanks for reading.
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