An extra burst of power from Mega Evolution can help you defeat your toughest enemies—as long as you have the right Mega Stones. You’ll only be able to find a few Mega Stones while travelling around the Alola region, but you can supplement your supply of Mega Stones by entering some special codes. Last month’s code is for the Abomasite, Aggronite, Manectite, and Tyranitarite Mega Stones, which can help Abomasnow, Aggron, Manectric, and Tyranitar Mega Evolve. There were also special codes released in April, May, and June, so check out those links if you need to catch up.
Each of this month’s marvelous Mega-Evolved Pokémon can be extremely powerful under the right circumstances, so we’ll break down how to take each one to the next level. But please note that you won’t be able to catch these Pokémon in the Alola region. You can transfer them through Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter if you teamed up with them during your previous adventures, but you’ll have to make some trades with your friends if you didn’t.
You’ll need the Key Stone for your Z-Ring in Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon before your Pokémon will be able to Mega Evolve. Continue exploring Poni Island if you haven’t already acquired this Key Item. Your adventures in Alola will nearly be complete once your Pokémon can Mega Evolve, so we’ll focus on top tactics for the tough battles you might face against other players or at the Battle Tree. And don’t forget that only one of your Pokémon can Mega Evolve per battle!
All Hail Mega Abomasnow
The Snow Warning Ability helped Abomasnow become one of the strongest competitors in the early years of the Video Game Championships, and its Mega Evolution enhances its most important traits. The Frost Tree Pokémon’s Attack, Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense solidly increase after Mega Evolution, while its Speed slips to compensate. Battling with a slow Mega-Evolved Pokémon can be tricky, so keep cool by including a Pokémon that knows Trick Room on your team.
Abomasnow and Mega Abomasnow are best known for one thing—firing off powerful Blizzard attacks under the hail weather condition. Their Snow Warning Ability provides the hail, perfecting Blizzard’s accuracy. If the hail dissipates before Abomasnow Mega Evolves, the Snow Warning Ability will activate again once it does Mega Evolve. Remember this trick to get the most from Trick Room—you only have a few turns of reversed Speed to work with, so don’t be too hasty with your Key Stone or you’ll have to switch Mega Abomasnow in and out of battle to restore its winter wonderland.
Mega Abomasnow is one of the few Pokémon that are normally taught both physical and special attacks, so look for one with a Brave or Quiet Nature. After Blizzard, you’ll want to teach it a Grass-type attack to stop Water-type foes from putting a damper on your Blizzard strategy. Some Trainers play it safe with the special move Giga Drain, but the physical move Wood Hammer deals far more damage if you’re comfortable with some recoil damage.
You’ll often want your Mega Abomasnow to be able to use Ice Shard. Attacking with increased priority can be game-changing when Trick Room isn’t active, especially if Abomasnow can ice a vulnerable target like Landorus or Salamence before they can move. Consider finishing up with the Ground-type Earthquake in Single Battles, while in Double Battles you should teach the sluggish Frost Tree Pokémon Protect. You could also consider a Fire-type Hidden Power as something of a Hail Mary against Steel-type Pokémon and other Abomasnow.
The Unbreakable Iron Armor Pokémon
Mega Aggron is very similar to Mega Steelix, a Pokémon we covered in May. Like Mega Steelix, Mega Aggron’s stats are oriented toward defense instead of offense. Its impassable Defense stat stands out most—it ties Mega Steelix and (surprisingly) Shuckle for the highest among all Pokémon. Unlike Mega Steelix, Mega Aggron gets a big boost to its defensive stability by dropping one of its previous form’s types when it Mega Evolves, becoming a purely Steel-type Pokémon.
Another way the two sturdy Steel-type Mega-Evolved Pokémon are similar is in their struggle to knock out their opponents in battle instead of just surviving turns. Mega Aggron’s Attack stat is a bit higher than Mega Steelix’s, and it can learn some strong attacks like Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Superpower. Unfortunately, none of these moves are likely to break matches open without the benefit of a same-type attack bonus. It’s vital to teach Aggron Heavy Slam, but it often struggles to deal significant damage to foes that resist Steel-type attacks.
One way to increase Mega Aggron’s power is by using Curse. The Attack boost makes Mega Aggron’s attacks much harder to ignore, and reducing its Speed helps it use another trick—Metal Burst. This uncommon move enables Mega Aggron to retaliate against the opponent that last inflicted damage on it with much greater force. Unlike Counter or Mirror Coat, it can return damage from physical or special attacks. One tiny restriction applies—Metal Burst doesn’t have decreased priority like Counter and Mirror Coat, and it only works if Mega Aggron moves after the Pokémon attacking it. That handy Speed drop from Curse can help you avoid embarrassing Metal Burst whiffs.
Mega Aggron can learn several other moves that take advantage of how difficult it is to knock out. Toxic is a proven winner for defensive Pokémon, and Mega Aggron is as stout as they come. Taunt is another great move to consider—not only can you shut down moves like Belly Drum and Tailwind, but it’s much easier to use Metal Burst successfully when your opponent can only attack or switch. Roar can eject dangerous opponents from battle, while Rock Tomb and Bulldoze can slow down opponents to help Mega Aggron’s teammates.
Zig and Zag with Mega Manectric
Mega Manectric is an incredibly fun Pokémon to battle with, but it’s one of the most complicated Pokémon to battle with, too. It performs best by shocking opponents with a guerilla-style attack that makes the most of two excellent Abilities.
Start with a Manectric that has the Lightning Rod Ability, which attracts and negates Electric-type attacks. Mega Manectric gains the Intimidate Ability after it Mega Evolves, which will immediately reduce the opposing Pokémon’s Attack stat. The impact of both Abilities can be amplified using the Volt Switch move, which lets the Discharge Pokémon deal some damage and preserve its HP by exiting battle. You often shouldn’t Mega Evolve Manectric immediately—having the right Ability at the right time is key to its success, especially in Double Battles.
Volt Switch is easily Mega Manectric’s most important attack. Retreating from battle to Intimidate foes again and again devastates physical attackers. Even without Intimidate, Volt Switch would be a key attack for Mega Manectric because it excels in Speed rather than offense or defense. The Discharge Pokémon deals respectable damage, but it can’t score too many one-hit knockouts—and many Pokémon can knock it out in one hit in return. Fight smart—have Mega Manectric use Volt Switch against healthy opponents, then finish them off once they’ve been weakened.
Most Trainers teach Manectric a second, more powerful Electric-type attack. Thunderbolt is the safest choice, but Thunder enables more power if you have a Pokémon with the Drizzle Ability, and the Discharge Pokémon can even use the move Discharge to attack multiple opponents at the same time. Like most Electric-type Pokémon, Manectric greatly benefits from an Ice- or Grass-type Hidden Power to deal with opposing Ground-type Pokémon. And it’s one of the only Electric-type Pokémon that can learn Flamethrower and Overheat to incinerate its Grass-type foes.
Don’t forget about Snarl—the Dark-type attack won’t deal much damage, but combined with the Intimidate Ability it enables Manectric to lower both foes’ Attack and Special Attack stats in a single turn in a Double Battle.
Mega Manectric can be a riskier choice than some other Mega-Evolved Pokémon, but its reliance on Volt Switch and its Abilities makes it an interesting Pokémon to battle with. It won’t output the same amount of damage as Mega Charizard Y or Mega Salamence, but it can be just as effective with clever strategy.
Return of the King
Tyranitar is a truly fearsome opponent. It has been a top-performing Pokémon in Single Battles since the release of Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver, and it’s been one of the most successful Pokémon in the history of the Video Game Championships, too. The biggest knock against Mega Tyranitar may be that Tyranitar is so strong that it almost doesn’t need to Mega Evolve!
Mega Evolution does give Mega Tyranitar some unique advantages, especially in Double Battles. The Armor Pokémon’s Attack and Defense increase significantly when it becomes Mega Tyranitar, and it gains a tiny boost to its Speed, too. The impact of the modest Speed boost is significant because Tyranitar destined for Mega Evolution are often taught Dragon Dance. Mega Tyranitar can outpace some key opponents with one level of increased Speed that the regular Tyranitar cannot—especially Mega Salamence, Mega Gengar, and Weavile.
Mega Tyranitar has the same Sand Stream Ability that most Tyranitar have, and like Abomasnow, keeping its Ability after Mega Evolution is a boon for Tyranitar. Mega Tyranitar’s Sand Stream is particularly effective against Mega Charizard Y—if Charizard and Tyranitar Mega Evolve on the same turn, Tyranitar will normally attack and Mega Evolve second, allowing Sand Stream to blow away the harsh sun immediately.
Trainers will need at least a couple of attacks to take advantage of Dragon Dance. Rock Slide deals big Rock-type damage, and since Tyranitar will probably be moving first after hitting the dance floor, players will have a chance to make their opponents flinch, too. There’s not much to say about Crunch—it’s a safe choice if you’re looking to deal Dark-type damage. You’ll have to transfer a Tyranitar from Hoenn if you want it to use Fire Punch, Ice Punch, or Low Kick, but each can help Tyranitar’s matchup against problematic opponents.
This month features some particularly potent Mega Stones, so make sure to click here to learn more about how to receive this month’s Mega Stones if you haven’t already picked them up. 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.