Mega Evolve Your Team, Gallant or Cute

Z-Moves aren't the only special way to enhance your team in the Alola region—you can augment it through the power of Mega Evolution, too! Your Pokémon will need to hold Mega Stones to Mega Evolve, and you'll find only a few of the stones while travelling the Alola region. Don't worry, though—we've got some special codes that you can use to supplement your supply of Mega Stones. This month's code is for the Galladite, Gardevoirite, Lopunnite, and Diancite stones, which allow Gallade, Gardevoir, Lopunny, and Diancie to Mega Evolve. There were also special codes released in April, May, June, and July, so check out those links if you need to catch up.

This month's majestic 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. Please note, however, 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 also 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 be nearly 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!

Gear Up Your Team with Gallade

The gallant look of Kirlia's Psychic- and Fighting-type Evolution has always made quite the impression on the battlefield, and some changes in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon may make its efficacy just as impressive. Mega Gallade has never lacked for power, boasting one of the highest Attack stats possible and a varied arsenal of moves. But there's something else that may make a difference in Alola—Gallade gains a lot of Speed when it Mega Evolves, and in the process, it can now outpace key opponents like Mega Kangaskhan and Mega Charizard Y.

Mega Gallade's potent offense is enhanced because it is both a Psychic- and Fighting-type Pokémon. Psychic-type Pokémon tend to struggle offensively against Steel-type opponents, but the Blade Pokémon can cut through them with ease using Close Combat. Similarly, most Fighting-type Pokémon have trouble dealing damage to Poison-type Pokémon, but they're easy prey for Mega Gallade's Zen Headbutt. The Inner Focus Ability makes Mega Gallade even tougher to stop—since Mega Gallade will never flinch, it can't be shut down by the Fake Out move like other quick, frailer attackers.

Gallade's propensity to learn a variety of moves from different types makes it an exciting Pokémon to train. You can take advantage of its adaptability by teaching it attacks that fill holes your team might have: the Grass-type Leaf Blade, the Poison-type Poison Jab, the Rock-type Stone Edge, the Dark-type Knock Off, or the Ice-type Ice Punch, for example. Don't forget to teach it Protect to defend itself in Double Battles or Swords Dance to power-up for Single Battles if they're more your speed. You can even have a little fun by pulling from Gallade's surprisingly deep pool of supportive moves like Feint, Trick Room, Wide Guard, Quick Guard, Heal Pulse, and Helping Hand.

Psych Out Your Foes with Gardevoir

Kirlia's other Evolution is no stranger to high-stakes battles. Mega Gardevoir was a key part of both teams in the finals of the 2015 Masters Division US National Championships, and it's quite a powerful Pokémon in Single Battles, too. The Pixilate Ability takes the Embrace Pokémon's impressive special attacks to another level by transforming Normal-type moves into Fairy-type moves and increasing their power. You'll want your Gardevoir to Mega Evolve quickly to gain the Pixilate Ability, but you should still make sure it has Trace—copying a key Ability like Intimidate before Mega Evolution can change the flow of a match.

Like Mega Gallade, Mega Gardevoir benefits from having two types that complement each other well. Pixilate makes Fairy-type moves your preferred means of attack, which can make for tough going against Steel-, Fire-, and Poison-type Pokémon. But Mega Gardevoir will quickly defeat most Poison-type opponents with Psychic or Psyshock, and many Fire-type foes won't fare much better. You'll probably be best off leaving Steel-type foes to a partner in Double Battles—unless your Gardevoir has a Fire- or Ground-type Hidden Power—but many Trainers teach it the famously unreliable Focus Blast for Single Battles.

Mega Gardevoir is much more powerful if it knows Hyper Voice to play off Pixilate, but it can learn this move only with the help of a Move Tutor that isn't found in Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon. Most Trainers finish up with Will-O-Wisp in Single Battles, while Protect and Trick Room are hard to give up in Double Battles. Be thoughtful about when you have it use Trick Room, though. Mega Gardevoir is much quicker than most Pokémon that are taught Trick Room, so take care to use it only when your team benefits. And don't forget about Shadow Ball, Calm Mind, Disable, Taunt, or Imprison if you're looking for something different.

Get a Leg Up with Lopunny

Few Trainers gave Lopunny a serious look before the discovery of the Lopunnite item, but Mega Lopunny has plenty of ways to catch Trainers' attention. Lopunny changes from a Normal-type Pokémon into a Normal- and Fighting-type Pokémon after it Mega Evolves, and it gains a huge boost to Attack and Speed, as well. It also gets the Scrappy Ability, which negates the biggest weakness of its type combination by allowing it to hit Ghost-type Pokémon with Normal- and Fighting-type attacks.

Mega Lopunny can do damage quickly, but you'll need to battle with care because it tends to rack up damage in a hurry, too. Start out by teaching it the Return move—it'll do a lot of damage only if Lopunny's friendship with you is high, but your hard work will reap just rewards. Lopunny can't learn Close Combat, so you'll have to settle for the unreliable Hi Jump Kick instead. It's a “Hi” risk, “Hi” reward move, dealing a lot of damage when it hits, but causing Mega Lopunny to take enormous recoil damage if it misses. Be especially careful in Double Battles—Mega Lopunny also takes recoil damage when it uses Hi Jump Kick against opponents that have used Protect (or a similar move).

Many of the Rabbit Pokémon's other strong moves are excellent in Single Battles and risky in Double Battles. It's great at catching foes using a stat-increasing move or Protect with Encore because of its high Speed, and Fake Out's flinch and free damage are always welcome. But Mega Lopunny's lower defensive stats often means there's nothing “free” about using these moves in Double Battles unless the Pokémon Mega Lopunny isn't focusing on is unable to attack. If you're looking to teach Lopunny some more attacks instead, consider Ice Punch to handle Dragon-type Pokémon and the troublesome Landorus.

Brighten Your Team with the Jewel Pokémon

You're in for a treat if you're lucky enough to have a Diancie. It's the only Mythical Pokémon capable of Mega Evolution, and the Jewel Pokémon's hidden beauty is really brought to the forefront after it transforms. This sparkly Pokémon is more than pretty—even after it trades some defensive power for dynamic Attack and Special Attacks stats, its Defense, Special Defense, and Speed are still well above average. Its weakness is a concerning lack of Hit Points—no Pokémon gains HP when it Mega Evolves.

One of the most fun reasons to use Mega Diancie is its trademark Diamond Storm attack. This powerful move has 100 Power and 95 Accuracy, and its secondary effect is particularly eye-catching: Diamond Storm has an extraordinarily higher than normal chance to sharply raise Mega Diancie's Defense stat each time it hits an opponent—and it hits both opponents in a Double Battle. You can expect Mega Diancie's Defense to raise sharply twice in the same turn almost one out of four times it uses Diamond Storm in Double Battles, effectively turning its weaknesses into resistances.

Determining which other moves you teach Diancie can be a little bit tricky. Diamond Storm is a physical attack, but since Diancie can't learn the physical Fairy-type attack Play Rough, you'll probably want to teach it some special attacks. We suggest teaching it Moonblast, the most powerful Fairy-type special attack. Earth Power is a huge help against Steel-type foes, but the Move Tutor to teach it isn't found in Alola. You can get Diancie only by transferring it from a past adventure, so try to take a trip to Hoenn before you do. Diancie's other strong moves are mostly defensive in nature—Protect is great in Double Battles, Calm Mind can increase its stats, and Light Screen, Reflect, Trick Room, and Safeguard are all great to support your team.

This month's Mega-Evolved Pokémon can all dish out damage in a hurry, so click here to learn more about how to bolster your team using this month's Mega Stones. We hope you enjoy training each of these powerful Pokémon! And don't forget to keep checking back at Pokemon.co.uk/Strategy for more Pokémon TCG and video game strategy, tips, and tournament analysis.

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