2Dynamax and Gigantamax
Replacing Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves, Dynamax is this year’s new battling mechanic. At first, I was very unsure about the idea. It looked kind of goofy and awkward in the trailers. After twenty hours of playing Pokemon Sword and Shield, I’ve come to accept it’s an okay mechanic.
Functionally, it actually serves as a kind of mix of the two other previous mechanics I mentioned. Your Pokemon change form (Mega Evolution) which grants them access to special, flashy moves (Z-Moves). Game Freak has argued that Megas were overpowered but Dynamax is supposed to be balanced.
By ‘balanced’ they apparently meant Dynamax Eternatus having a stat total of 1125. That dwarfs Primal Rayquaza’s 780, a number deemed so high it was banned from Uber tier. You know, the Smogon competitive tier literally designed to accommodate broken legendaries. It scares me as to what they’re planning to do in the future. Primal Arceus might end up with a stat total exceeding 2000. That’s presuming they ever decide to care about Mega Evolutions again.
If there is one major balance advantage to Dynamax, it’s the limitation placed upon it. Pokemon can only stay Dynamaxed for three turns. I can imagine in competitive battling there may be stalling tactics to waste the opponent’s Dynamax.
A handful of Game Freak’s favorite Pokemon feature signature Gigantamax forms. Whilst functionally very similar to regular Dynamax, they have unique looks and special moves exclusive to them. To emphasize, select Pokemon look different after transforming and use moves exclusive to themselves. Sound familiar? Yeah, Dynamax is just a marginally worse version of what we’ve already had in past games.