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Old 09-24-2017, 05:28 PM   #6
Median Dia
About Time
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The West Side (of the world)
Posts: 1,255
I guess I don't have too much room to speak, seeing as I haven't played any of the games the mechanics are in and don't hang around Showdown all that much, but I figure I might as well give my two-cents on the matter since I'm here. Just be aware that anything I try to use as a supporting detail might just be not actually be correct as a result.

Mega Evolution appealed to me from the beginning as a concept, to be perfectly honest. Mega Mawile in particular sorta just blew me away- I never understood why I liked the thing despite knowing that it was so bad (its one good stat was mediocre at best), but having something come along to fix all its issues and improve on its design was an absolute treat. And while I still stand on the idea that it probably should have been a regular evolution, it did get revealed alongside Mega Ampharos- a pokemon that wouldn't have been able to get another evolution otherwise- so I was pretty okay with that end result.

That said, I don't think anyone would've been able to guess that they would be as influential on the high-tier battle field as they were. Mawile hit OU, kangaskahn managed to get itself banned from that tier after being practically ignored for around a decade, and gardevoir managed to bring its prowess as a beloved in-game pokemon into high level play. After they had all managed to not really be affected by the advent of Hidden Abilities, such a thing was likely unthinkable during the Unovan generation! Every generation has added a mechanic that shifted the dynamic of what pokemon was powerful and what pokemon wasn't, but none were quite so drastic on so many individuals as Mega Evolution.

From a design standpoint, the vast majority of them are improvements in my eyes. Yes, pokemon like altaria kept things simple, but I doubt that anyone's gonna complain about the extra floof on it too much, right? Of course, not all of them were met with a positive response on my end- I can't look at Mega Glalie without thinking that it looks like a Heartless, and hoo boy, was I not at all pleased to find out that gardevoir had literally gone full-on waifu! But it isn't just the standard designs one needs to contemplate- Mega Evolution fixed two "barely changed" shinies, and even made it so that Mega Gardevoir wasn't quite as disappointing. And while I'm still not fond of shiny Mega Garchomp, Mega Gengar and Mega Gardevoir look a whole lot better now than they did before the Mega, color-wise!

Now, with Sun and Moon, it was made every apparent that GF wasn't too pleased with how dramatic Mega Evolution's impact on competitive was and tried to tone things down a little. And while they certainly could've just restricted their use in official tournaments, they opted instead to give the Megas whose lines were in the games the most awful 'dex entries they could think of in an attempt to make people feel like utter pieces of crap about using them to boot! And for a little bit, it seemed this emotional side had some effect on the fandom, with quite the outcry coming up as people came to find out about it.As for me myself, I wasn't too bothered by it. Alakazam losing the functionality in its muscles was hardly an issue when it barely ever used them in the first place (heck, it even levitated back into position when it was hit in the older console games!), gyarados being even more focused on destruction really didn't change much at all, and glalie... I dunno if my memories making stuff up, but I seem to recall it being mentioned that its jaw was incapable of closing when it was first revealed. And it isn't like such misfortune should be entirely unexpected, either- weren't thew first batch of Mega Stones created from the residual energy of when a thousand pokemons' souls were sacrificed to wipe a thousand more from the face of the earth (numbers may vary)? From that point of view, it's only natural that Mega Evolution isn't always all sunshine and rainbows, so why were people freaking out over it?

The part of the whole deal that really bugs me, though, is just how deliberate SM's Mega list was. There was a whopping one remotely positive 'dex entry among the bunch, and even that was counteracted by a negative one on the other version. Granted, both of those entries are very much natural maternal feelings, but still. How come there's no Mega Gardevoir or Gallade detailing how the process allows them to better play their roles as their trainer's protectors, or Mega Audino bringing up its improved healing prowess? And you can't tell me that Mega Lopunny wouldn't have at least one cheery bit of info, seeing as it's a friggin' Happiness evolution before that! And what did get in? Aerodactyl, which has no business being in an area based off of Hawaii (especially since it's the only fossilmon in the games), and it has one of the least justifiably unfortunate bits of gloom! If that doesn't say "we chose which ones we're doing first on purpose", I don't know what does!

@Dopple: Honestly, the whole Ability thing really only applies to the meta-defining Megas (though there are admittedly a good few of those). A fair number of the bunch wound up getting unimpressive Abilities in the overall grand scheme of things, such as Mold Breaker on M. Gyarados and M. Ampharos (due to how uncommon the Abilities resisting their Types generally are and how much rarer pokemon with Marvel Scale are) and M. Gallade has Inner Focus, an Ability that generally gets laughed at by the fandom (from what I've seen). Prankster, while a powerful Ability in its own right, notably has negative usefulness for M. Banette, which is forced to focus on either using it or its solid Attack stat thanks to 4 Moveset Syndrome. M. Sceptile's Lightningrod is only good for switch-ins and pressure placing in Doubles, since nobody's going to be using an Electric attacks against a Grass/Dragon Type normally due to the quad resistance. And let's not forget that some blaziken, medicham, audino, and tyranitar witness no change in their Ability upon Mega Evolving whatsoever- in those cases, it's awfully hard to keep the claim that the Ability makes every Mega, no?

Is that to say that no Abilities were broken> No, of course not! The -ate Abilities and Parental Bond earned their respective nerfs in Gen. 7 unfair and square! The nerf to the former even came with a buff to Normalize, making a decidedly crappy Ability slightly less so, which I'd say helps balance things out just a little bit more. That said, I'm not sure the Parental Bond nerf really did what it wanted all the way- it still functions as a powered up Serene Grace or a damaging Swords Dance when Mega Kangaskahn uses certain moves, which is still a bit of an issue.

That said, the 'ate Abilities still weren't as ridiculous as the new Water Bubble Ability- combining Water Veil and Heatproof was fine enough, I suppose, but doubling the power of Water moves on top of that? Ridiculous!

~ ~ ~

Z-Moves, on the other hand, were sorta just there to me. Sure, having a one-time nuke button's great and all, but... that's really about it for the most popular use of them. It really doesn't help that a few of the generic ones do a pretty poor job of being applicable to every member of the Type- I mean, Bloom Doom isn't exactly the most appropriate attack for trevenant and lileep, ya know?

The Status variants don't exactly help the case much, either. A one stage increase to a single stat isn't exactly the greatest use of your one Z-Move per match, to put it mildly. And that's what the vast majority of them do- add to one stat on top of the normal effect. Yay.

That said, the few Status moves that do more do a lot more. No one can deny that Porygon-Z witnessed a huge increase in use once everyone realized that Z-Conversion gave it an Ancient Power increase as well as give it a more favorable Type, gourgeist is fond of getting a sizable boost for doing something it was gonna do anyway (i.e., set up Trick-or-Treat). But even then, all stat boosts are vulnerable of being phased by Whirlwind or Haze, making even these star players rather imperfect. At least Z-Parting Shot can only be wasted by using it to switch to a healthy ally!

tl;dr: I like Mega Evolution far more in general over Z-Moves, but am not pleased with how the first batch of 'dex entries for them was handled. Sound fair enough?

Tangled Feet- "Only I have the right to hit me!"
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