The amazing power of Mega Evolution can help you dominate battles! Mega Evolution isn’t quite as prevalent in the Alola region as in Hoenn or Kalos, but there’s no need to despair if you’re a little short on Mega Stones. Special codes that can help boost your stockpile of these powerful items were released in both April and May, so check out those links for details on how to Mega Evolve your collection in Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon.
The Mega Stones released in May were a Pidgeotite, Steelixite, Heracronite, and a Houndoominite, which allow Pidgeot, Steelix, Heracross, and Houndoom to Mega Evolve during battle. Each of these Pokémon can be extremely powerful under the right circumstances, so we’ll break down how to really take each Mega-Evolved Pokémon to the next level. But please note you won’t be able to catch any of these Pokémon in the Alola region, so trade with your friends or bring them to Alola through Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter if you caught them during your previous adventures.
One more important note before we get started: if you haven’t acquired the Mega Ring in Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon, your Pokémon won’t yet be able to Mega Evolve. Continue exploring Poni Island if you haven’t already acquired this Key Item. Once you’re ready to go, our tips will help with the tough battles you’ll face at the Battle Tree or against other players, since your adventures in the Alola region will mostly be complete by the time your Pokémon can Mega Evolve. And don’t forget that you can only Mega Evolve one Pokémon per battle!
Pidgeot Flies Again
Many Trainers have fond memories of Pidgeot anchoring their teams as they explored the Kanto region. But while they may have been happy to have Pidgeot fly them around Kanto, most had the Bird Pokémon fly right back into the PC before battling other players. Harnessing the power of Mega Evolution gives Pidgeot some powerful new battling tricks—and a flashy new look. “Bird” may be the word again thanks to this Pokémon’s newfound strength!
Have Pidgeot forget Fly this time—it gains a huge boost to its Special Attack stat when it Mega Evolves, but its Attack stays the same. A normal Pidgeot is already deceptively fast, and the Speed it gains when Mega Evolving allows it to outpace all but the quickest of foes. But Mega Pidgeot’s defensive stats are middling, so you’ll want to focus on promptly grounding foes instead of dealing smaller pecks of damage.
Most importantly, Mega Pidgeot offers a key Ability that a regular Pidgeot doesn’t have. No Guard guarantees moves used by—or against—your fine feathered friend always find their mark. That means Mega Pidgeot can execute the normally unreliable Hurricane with perfect accuracy, making it one of the best Pokémon at dishing out special Flying-type damage.
Unfortunately, Pidgeot can’t learn many other moves that take advantage of Mega Pidgeot’s unique strengths. If you have Pokémon Omega Ruby or Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, and a subscription to Pokémon Bank, you may want to raise your Pidgeot in Hoenn instead of Alola. There, you’ll be able to find a Move Tutor that can teach Pidgeot Heat Wave, a special Fire-type attack that eases battles against the Steel-type Pokémon that resist Hurricane.
It’s great if your Pidgeot’s Hidden Power type is one like Grass or Ice that can easily take advantage of your opponents’ weaknesses. You’ll need to fill out the rest of your Pidgeot’s moves with some niche choices, especially if you consider raising it in Hoenn to be a flight of fancy. U-turn won’t impress with its potency, but it allows Pidgeot to deal damage and flee battle against opponents it can’t defeat. Tailwind can help Pidgeot speed up its teammates, while Roost allows it to restore its own HP. If you’re feeling really crazy, you could party like it’s 1996 by teaching Pidgeot the iconic Hyper Beam to obliterate one foe, in an emergency.
Steel Your Defense
Mega Steelix has the highest Defense of any Pokémon, enabling a unique style of play. It’s nearly impervious to physical assault, so you won’t have to worry about it crumbling—even from a supereffective Close Combat or Earthquake. Its plodding Speed synergizes well with Trick Room, and unlike similarly sluggish Pokémon such as Torkoal, it doesn’t really need support. With absurd Defense and impressive Attack, Mega Steelix can trade blows against foes reliant on physical attacks and stand victorious even with a Speed disadvantage.
Though its Defense stat is almost impenetrable, this Pokémon’s overall defenses are not. Steelix’s Special Defense improves significantly when it Mega Evolves, but neither that or its HP will be breaking records. You’ll want to try to keep it away from strong special moves—especially from types it’s weak against. For instance, many Trainers forget that Ground-type Pokémon do not resist Fire-type attacks because so many Rock types are also part Ground type. Don’t forget that the Steel- and Ground-type Steelix is weak to Fire-type attacks, or you may find it burned down with Onix-pected speed by a Fire Blast or Overheat.
Mega Steelix’s Ability is Sand Force, which increases the damage of many attacks during a sandstorm. But it shares common weaknesses with every Pokémon that has the Sand Stream Ability, so it’s best used to counter sand-based strategies instead of executing them. Between the Steel-type Heavy Slam or Gyro Ball and the Ground-type Earthquake, Mega Steelix can pick apart most Pokémon used in such strategies with machine-like efficiency.
Steelix can learn a surprising variety of other moves, too. Curse fits beautifully, providing a massive boost to its hefty Attack and Defense for an irrelevant drop in Speed. Taunt and Roar are great for stopping shenanigans by foes the defense-oriented Steelix can’t knock out quickly. Stealth Rock is fantastic in Single Battles, as opponents are likely to switch out their physical attackers as soon as they see Steelix’s steely gaze. Crunch and Stone Edge provide attacking options from different types, while the powerful Explosion allows the Iron Snake Pokémon to exit battle with a destructive bang once its health is low.
Heracross began as a deceptively sturdy Pokémon with middling Speed capable of dealing incredible damage. As more and more powerful Pokémon were discovered, Heracross’s effective power in tournament battles started to wane. By harnessing the power of Mega Evolution, Heracross can become Mega Heracross—a deceptively sturdy Pokémon with middling Speed capable of dealing incredible damage.
Mega Heracross’s Attack stat is so high that it will often devastate even Pokémon that resist its attacks. Heracross slows down when it Mega Evolves, but the lost Speed is meager enough that it won’t affect many battles. In exchange, it gains a little Special Defense and a lot of Defense, allowing it to better endure the powerful attacks of modern Pokémon battles. Its mix of the Fighting and Bug types can be awkward—its Bug-type attacks can easily crush Psychic-type Pokémon, but its Fighting-type weakness to Psychic-type moves may really bug you if Mega Heracross is knocked out before it gets the chance to put the bite on opponents. Its types make it one of the best Pokémon at making opposing Dark types see the light, however, and few Pokémon resist both Fighting- and Bug-type attacks.
Mega Heracross gains the Ability Skill Link, which guarantees five hits from moves that hit 2–5 times. You’ll want to teach it very different moves than you would a regular Heracross to exploit this powerful Ability. Forget its trademark Megahorn. Instead, look toward level-up moves Bullet Seed and Pin Missile. If you’re able to, hatch your Heracross instead of capturing one in the wild. And, if possible, try to have it inherit the Egg Move Rock Blast, which provides much-needed help against Flying-type opponents. These moves combined with Skill Link give Heracross an amazing combination of power, variety, and accuracy. Heracross can also learn the multi-hit Arm Thrust, but you’ll get more damage from Close Combat.
Keep Heracross away from quick Flying- and Psychic-type Pokémon that can prey on its weaknesses. In Double Battles, you’ll probably want to support Heracross with teammates that know Thunder Wave, Tailwind, Icy Wind, Follow Me, or Rage Powder. If Single Battles are more your style, consider teaching Heracross Swords Dance to help it knock out its opponents in a single turn.
Fire and Mega Stone
Houndoom’s Mega Evolution is similar to Heracross’s in many regards. Mega Evolution accents both of their existing strengths by greatly increasing their most important stats—in Houndoom’s case, Special Attack and Speed. But, unlike Heracross, Houndoom starts with several exploitable stats, so even a hardy Defense boost can’t prevent Mega Houndoom from becoming something of a glass cannon.
Don’t let its relative frailty fool you—Mega Houndoom is a powerful Pokémon that can be a lot of fun to take into battle. Fire- and Dark-type attacks are both super effective against a number of popular Pokémon, enabling Houndoom to incinerate many Pokémon before they’re able to attack. And after a Special Attack boost from the move Nasty Plot, only the stoutest foes will be able to escape your master plan. The increased Speed Houndoom receives when Mega Evolving is extremely important, allowing it to outpace Kangaskhan, Charizard, Garchomp, Zapdos, and Kartana.
Mega Houndoom’s Ability is tricky to exploit, leaving potential power buried. Solar Power increases its Special Attack when the sun is shining on the battlefield, but both Torkoal and Ninetales from Kanto are Fire-type Pokémon. Adding the Drought Ability to a team with Mega Houndoom dishevels team balance quickly, so we don’t recommend building around Solar Power. The Special Attack increase from Nasty Plot will have to do.
Houndoom’s pool of available moves is shallow, but it learns exactly what it needs to learn. Flamethrower is the high-accuracy Fire-type offering, while Fire Blast further turns up the heat at the expense of lower accuracy. Dark Pulse’s base damage isn’t extraordinary, but it’ll still mean lights out for most foes after a Nasty Plot. These moves will often be all Houndoom needs.
For a fourth move, look to Protect in Double Battles. Will-O-Wisp and Taunt are Houndoom’s most reliable supportive moves in Single Battles, but it’s unlikely to survive using either of them in Doubles. Sludge Bomb and Hidden Power are its next best attacking moves, while Destiny Bond, an Egg Move, can help Houndoom exploit its own weakness by taking down a foe looking for an easy knockout.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download your Mega Stones. Click here for more about May’s Mega Stones and here for April’s. We hope you enjoy training each of these unique and powerful Pokémon. And don’t forget to keep checking back at Pokemon.com/Strategy for more Pokémon TCG and video game strategy, tips, and tournament analysis.