Stoned: Mega Evolutions in OU

By Treecko and Electrolyte. Art by andrew3391.
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Introduction

With the introduction of a new generation of Pokémon, players around the world have discovered loads of mechanical changes from previous games. Sleep mechanics have been changed, a new type has been introduced, and weather abilities have been toned down from their previously everlasting nature. Probably the most revolutionary of the new changes, however, was the addition of new Mega Evolutions. Certain Pokéemon from past generations were given an additional evolution, which can be activated in battle when the Pokéemon is holding a particular stone. Some of the top threats of past generations, including Lucario and Scizor, received one of these evolutions, alongside other less dominating presences, including Ampharos, Pinsir, Mawile, and more. Some of these are still overshadowed by other Pokémon—or in rare cases, even their normal counterparts! However, others have been transformed into top threats in the OU metagame. The following Pokémon fit that bill perfectly, and if you're looking to get into XY OU, you'll want to be prepared for them.

Mega Lucario

Mega Lucario
Type: Fighting / Steel
Ability: Adaptability
Stats: 70 HP / 145 Atk / 88 Def / 140 SpA / 70 SpD / 112 Spe

Mega Lucario is one of the most fearsome Pokémon in all of OU. With a whopping base 145 Attack and 140 Special Attack, it has the ability to attack either physically or specially—or even both at once! It also has Adaptability, which boosts its STAB attacks to twice their original power, making it incredibly hard to wall. All of this is without mentioning probably the scariest part of Mega Lucario—its base 112 Speed, which makes it extremely difficult to outrun without a Choice Scarf user. It has two main sets, Swords Dance and Nasty Plot, both of which have almost entirely different checks, only furthering its ability to break through opposing teams.

Lucario @ Lucarionite
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Close Combat
- Bullet Punch / Extreme Speed
- Crunch

Mega Lucario's Swords Dance set is just as horrifying for offense to face as Lucario's BW set was. What makes this set so frightening is that most of the Pokémon which naturally outspeed it have issues OHKOing it, and even the ones that can rarely want to take priority attacks. For example, Choice Scarf Terrakion will fall to a boosted Bullet Punch, while Starmie will lose to sets running Extreme Speed. In fact, finding out its priority move is half of the struggle when battling Mega Lucario—although Choice Band Talonflame might be able to beat Bullet Punch variants, it will lose to ones using Extreme Speed. Because of this, some of the most reliable checks to this set are bulkier Choice Scarf users. Garchomp, Landorus-T, and Keldeo are all great examples, but even they can lose with enough prior damage.

Lucario @ Lucarionite
Ability: Steadfast
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Aura Sphere
- Flash Cannon
- Shadow Ball / Vacuum Wave

While its Swords Dance set is a nightmare for offensive teams because of its powerful priority and great Speed, Mega Lucario's Nasty Plot set is very difficult for many defensive teams to handle, largely because of its fantastic coverage. An immunity to Toxic, the ability to brush off Will-O-Wisp's normally debilitating Attack drop, and a lack of weakness to common forms of passive damage such as sandstorm and Stealth Rock are only icing on the cake. You can even choose to drop its coverage move in order to run Vacuum Wave and beat most revenge killers. Despite its focus on wallbreaking, Mega Lucario can use Nasty Plot in order to sweep under the right conditions because of its sheer power and Speed.

Mega Mawile

Mega Mawile
Type: Steel / Fairy
Ability: Huge Power
Stats: 50 HP / 105 Atk / 125 Def / 55 SpA / 95 SpD / 50 Spe

Mawile is the most extreme rags-to-riches story in the transition from one generation to the next. Aside from receiving the new Fairy-type, Mawile was also blessed with a Mega Evolution that caused its viability to skyrocket. In BW, Mawile was rarely ever seen, even in NU, but its Mega Evolution is a scary presence in XY OU for any team to face. With a newly respectable base 105 Attack and solid 50 / 125 / 95 bulk, Mega Mawile was given a chance to shine, but what really makes it so threatening is the ability it was given—Huge Power. This ability boosts its base 105 Attack to an effective base 259 with maximum investment, which means that only the sturdiest of OU walls want to take a hit from it. Tack onto this its access to Swords Dance and priority with Sucker Punch, and you're looking at a terror for offensive and defensive teams alike.

Mawile @ Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 132 HP / 252 Atk / 124 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Play Rough
- Sucker Punch
- Fire Fang

With its common Swords Dance set, Mawile uses its great bulk and nearly unrivaled defensive typing in order to set up and sweep the opponent. Most of the time, Mega Mawile will be using Play Rough indiscriminately against defensive teams and Sucker Punch against offensive ones, but Fire Fang, a move that normally does not warrant usage because of its very low Base Power, is able to 2HKO Skarmory without a boost. One of the only solid checks to this set is Heatran, which can outspeed Mega Mawile and use Will-O-Wisp to burn it and prevent a sweep. However, a boosted Sucker Punch has a solid chance to KO defensive Heatran after Stealth Rock damage, so those without Will-O-Wisp sometimes even find themselves hard-pressed to beat it. Rotom-W can also outspeed and burn it, but not without taking massive damage in the process. Still, offensive teams struggle a good bit less against it, as there are a decent number of Pokémon that can withstand a +2 Sucker Punch, outspeed, and knock out Mawile, including Landorus-T and Terrakion.

Mawile @ Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Substitute
- Focus Punch
- Play Rough
- Sucker Punch

Remember how I kept mentioning Heatran checking the Swords Dance set? Yeah, Mega Mawile can still reliably beat it with a Sub Focus Punch set. This set is even more infuriating for certain teams, as it set allows Mawile to ease prediction with Substitute and utilize Focus Punch's fantastic power and coverage to muscle through most of the tier. This set punishes most Dragon-types, particularly those that run Choice items, as well as many weaker attackers. Checking it is done a bit differently, but it's certainly still possible. Probably the best defensive check for this set is Mega Venusaur, which resists both Play Rough and Focus Punch, easily takes Sucker Punch, and can threaten back with Earthquake and Sleep Powder. Offensive teams can play around it in very much the same ways that they handle the Swords Dance set, but a misplay leading to a free Substitute for Mega Mawile will almost always result in the loss of a Pokémon.

Mega Pinsir

Mega Pinsir
Mega Pinsir
Type: Bug / Flying
Ability: Aerilate
Stats: 65 HP / 155 Atk / 120 Def / 65 SpA / 90 SpD / 105 Spe

Mega Pinsir is a really interesting case of a Pokémon. When it was first revealed to have gained the Flying-type alongside its token Bug-type, most of us just assumed it would be mediocre. A terrible defensive typing, no good Flying-type STAB to utilize, and a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock made it seem as though Mega Pinsir would reside in lower tiers. However, the more we learned about Mega Pinsir, the more clear it became that it would be great despite these flaws. In fact, one of these flaws ended up being completely irrelevant thanks to its ability, Aerilate, which turns Normal-type attacks into Flying-type attacks and grants a 1.3x power boost to them. This meant that Mega Pinsir could utilize an effectively 199 Base Power Flying-type attack in Return and a 78 Base Power Flying-type priority move in Quick Attack. Mega Pinsir also has a hefty base 155 Attack to utilize these power attacks with, as well as Swords Dance to further boost its power.

Pinsir @ Pinsirite
Ability: Hyper Cutter / Mold Breaker
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Quick Attack
- Return
- Earthquake

With the above set, Mega Pinsir can simultaneously break defensive cores and crumble offensive teams with its powerful STAB Return and Quick Attack. Earthquake provides coverage against Aegislash and can even be used to lure and severely weaken Rotom-W, one of its best counters, if played carefully. Mold Breaker can allow Pinsir's regular form to bypass Rotom-W's Levitate if you decide against Mega Evolving on an obvious switch to it. In that same regard, Hyper Cutter can be played to your advantage if the opponent is trying to check Mega Pinsir with an Intimidate user such as Landorus-T. Because Mega Evolving takes place after switches, Mega Pinsir can gain a +2 Attack boost and ignore Intimidate's Attack drop. As previously mentioned, Rotom-W is one of the best answers for Mega Pinsir in the game. With its unique Water/Electric typing along with Levitate, the best that a Mega Pinsir can do to it is use Return, while Rotom-W can fire off a Thunderbolt or Volt Switch to deal massive damage to it or use Will-O-Wisp to severely hinder its sweeping capabilities. Thundurus is another solid check, as it can paralyze Mega Pinsir with its priority Thunder Wave or just outspeed and outright KO it while resisting its Flying STABs, but it does lose about half of its HP from a boosted Quick Attack.

Mega Charizard X

Mega Charizard X
Type: Fire / Dragon
Ability: Tough Claws
Stats: 78 HP / 130 Atk / 111 Def / 130 SpA / 85 SpD / 100 Spe

After countless years of teasing what is clearly a dragon with Fire / Flying typing, the 6th generation finally brought to us nearly every fan's wish by giving Charizard a Mega Evolution with the coveted Fire/Dragon typing. They honestly outdid themselves in the process by also giving it a heavily boosted Attack stat, bringing it up to a solid base 130, and Tough Claws, a new ability which boosts contact moves by 33%. Nearly unresisted coverage in its STAB moves alone and both Swords Dance and Dragon Dance to boost its already high offensive prowess really push Mega Charizard X to a whole new level and make it one of the most threatening Mega Evolutions introduced this generation.

Charizard @ Charizardite
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Flare Blitz
- Dragon Claw / Outrage
- Roost / Earthquake

This is by far Mega Charizard X's scariest and most successful set. With good bulk for an offensive Pokémon and an awesome defensive typing which makes it immune to being burned, many conventional checks for physical attackers simply cannot prevent Mega Charizard X from sweeping through the opposing team. Because its two STAB moves cover so much of the metagame on their own, it can even afford to run Roost in the last slot, which helps it continue boosting without the fear of being worn down. Even so, Earthquake can be run instead to hit Aegislash without having to worry about King Shield's Attack drop and to take down Heatran, one of only two Pokémon that resist both of its STAB moves. The other is Azumarill, which can also check Mega Charizard X defensively and threaten back with a powerful Waterfall or Play Rough. Certain Choice Scarf users can also dispatch Mega Charizard X if it hasn't boosted beyond +1. Garchomp and Terrakion are two great examples of this, but because neither of them want to switch into a Dragon Claw or an Outrage, it's important to play carefully with them.

Mega Tyranitar

Mega Tyranitar
Mega Tyranitar
Type: Rock / Dark
Ability: Sand Stream
Stats: 100 HP / 164 Atk / 150 Def / 95 SpA / 120 SpD / 71 Spe

Out of all the Pokémon to receive a Mega Evolution this generation, Tyranitar is one of those that comes to mind as being totally unnecessary. Tyranitar has been a fantastic Pokémon in OU ever since its introduction in GSC, and giving it a Mega Evolution with respectable Speed, phenomenal 100 / 150 / 120 bulk, and an incredible base 164 Attack in the same generation where Steel no longer resists Dark quite simply begs the question, "why?" Mega Tyranitar is undoubtedly a fantastic Pokémon, but its stats are slightly deceiving. What looks to be a clearly broken Pokémon is actually a pretty balanced one; base 71 Speed leaves it outsped by the majority of the OU metagame before boosting, and its base 164 Attack cannot be boosted by Life Orb or Choice Band because it is forced to hold its Mega Stone. Still, it would be foolish to call Mega Tyranitar anything but a threat.

Tyranitar @ Tyranitarite
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Crunch
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake / Ice Punch

Dragon Dance Tyranitar has been a fairly rare sight for some time now, but its Mega Evolution is perfect for the job. Dragon Dance further boosts its already fantastic base 164 Attack and helps compensate for its lack of immediate Speed. Its incredible bulk also allows it to set up on a wide variety of threats, especially when sand is active and it receives a passive +1 boost to its Special Defense. Mega Tyranitar typically uses Earthquake for coverage in order to take out bulky Steel-types that can't be taken out easily by Crunch, but Ice Punch is also a solid choice to take on Dragon-, Ground-, and Grass-types. Fast Fighting-types are fantastic checks to Tyranitar. Keldeo, Terrakion, and Mega Lucario can both come in on anything but a boosted Earthquake and take it out with their Fighting-type STABs (or in Keldeo's case, its Water-type STAB as well). Ferrothorn, Conkeldurr, and Landorus-T are some good defensive options which you can use in order to check it, though Landorus-T needs to scout for Ice Punch.

Conclusion

With such a wide variety of Mega Evolutions available in OU, it would be silly not to prepare for them or try your hand at using them yourself. Hopefully you've now got a better understanding of how some of the most popular Mega Evolutions in OU work. Godspeed, and mega force be with you.

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