Elevate Heroic Hoenn Pokémon with Mega Evolution

The peerless power of Mega Evolution can help you defeat your toughest enemies—as long as you have the right Mega Stones. You'll be able to find only a few Mega Stones in your travels around the Alola region, but you can supplement your supply by entering some special codes. This month's code is for the Sceptilite, Blazikenite, Swampertite, Cameruptite, and Banettite Mega Stones, which can help Sceptile, Blaziken, Swampert, Camerupt, and Banette Mega Evolve. There were also special codes released in April and May, so check out those links if you need to catch up.

The latest batch of Mega Stones features a horde of Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region. 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 these Pokémon in the Alola region. You'll have to transfer them to Alola through Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter if you teamed up with them during your previous adventures, or 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. Our tips will help with the tough battles you might face at the Battle Tree or against other players, since your adventures in the Alola region will be nearly complete by the time your Pokémon can Mega Evolve. And don't forget that only one of your Pokémon can Mega Evolve per battle!

Forest's Flash

Sceptile boasts lofty Speed and Special Attack stats, and its strengths grow even further after it Mega Evolves. Mega Sceptile also branches out a little—not only are its Speed and Special Attack stats increased, but its Attack stat is brought up to a formidable level, too. The Forest Pokémon develops two other interesting traits after Mega Evolution—the Lightning Rod Ability and a new type. Gone are the days when Sceptile needed to stall out its toughest foes with Leech Seed, Substitute, and Protect—the time to go on the offensive is now!

Giving the Lightning Rod Ability to the Forest Pokémon sounds like a forest fire waiting to happen, but its impact may shock you. That particular Ability attracts Electric-type attacks to Mega Sceptile, negating them completely and boosting its Special Attack by one stage. While Electric-type attacks wouldn't have caused Mega Sceptile to bristle much, it's a blessing for such a fast Pokémon to gain immunity to the Speed-lowering effect of Thunder Wave's paralysis. Lightning Rod also makes Sceptile a great partner for Pokémon weak against Electric-type attacks in Double Battles—just be aware of the Ice-type Hidden Power often possessed by experienced Trainers' Electric-type Pokémon.

Mega Sceptile becomes both a Grass- and Dragon-type Pokémon after Mega Evolution, creating the potential for some great offensive versatility. Unfortunately, Sceptile can't learn many Dragon-type attacks, preventing it from achieving its full potential.

If you're able to train your Sceptile in Hoenn, a Move Tutor can help it learn Dragon Pulse—otherwise, you might be better off not teaching Sceptile any Dragon-type attacks at all. Sceptile can't learn Draco Meteor, so instead consider its Grass-type equivalent—Leaf Storm. You may want to teach Sceptile Giga Drain as well: it avoids Leaf Storm's drawbacks and lets Mega Sceptile regenerate missing HP. Focus Blast and Hidden Power stand out if you're looking for more attacks, while Substitute (for Single Battles) or Detect (Double Battles) will help keep Mega Sceptile's roots planted.

If you'd like to teach your Sceptile some Dragon-type attacks and can't get to Hoenn, consider a strategy based around physical attacks. Mega Sceptile's Attack stat leaves something to be desired, but it can be sharpened using Swords Dance. Teach it the Grass-type Leaf Blade and a Dragon-type attack like Dragon Claw or Dual Chop. You'll probably want its final move to be Earthquake, but it can also learn Rock Slide, Brick Break, and Pursuit.

Blazing Speed

Blaziken is one of the few first-partner Pokémon that can bring even tournament players' excitement to a fever pitch, thanks to its excellent damage output and its Speed Boost Hidden Ability. Mega Blaziken keeps Speed Boost, and its increased stats enable damage output similar to a Blaziken holding the Life Orb item, without the side effect of enduring recoil damage. But the similarities between Blaziken and Mega Blaziken pose an interesting conundrum—if Blaziken doesn't change much when it Mega Evolves, why not Mega Evolve another Pokémon instead?

We'd suggest focusing on Mega Blaziken's advantages over Blaziken to avoid its becoming a wasted Mega Evolution. Mega Blaziken gains Speed when it Mega Evolves, and a single Speed Boost allows it to outpace some Pokémon that the regular Blaziken can't. Mega Blaziken performs best when taught moves focusing on only physical or only special attacks, leaving the rest of its base stats to augment its Speed.

It's easiest to get physical: Seek out a Blaziken with a Jolly or Adamant Nature, then teach it Flare Blitz and a strong Fighting-type move like High Jump Kick. You can go several directions with its third move: Stone Edge and Earthquake increase its offensive variety, Swords Dance boosts its damage, and the Egg Move Baton Pass lets it pass its increased Speed from Speed Boost along to a teammate.

Protect is a mainstay of Double Battles that rarely crosses over into Single Battles, but even a Single Battle-focused Blaziken should learn Protect for two key reasons. Protect keeps it safe while you scout for attacks that could knock it out and Protect also lets Mega Blaziken get a turbo boost from its Speed Boost Ability without exposing it to an attack. This trick is particularly important against opponents like Mega Salamence that Mega Blaziken can't outpace without help from Speed Boost.

If you're looking for something a little more complex, Mega Blaziken is one of the few Pokémon that can perform well using a mix of physical and special attacks. An Ice-type Hidden Power and Overheat are practically required in order to pull off this strategy. Hidden Power gives Mega Blaziken a fighting chance against intimidating foes like Landorus Therian Forme and Mega Salamence, while Overheat provides overwhelming power. But that power comes at the cost of sharply lowering Mega Blaziken's Special Attack. The drawback could be too much for a Mega Blaziken trained to use only special attacks, but you can avoid melting down with a physical Fighting-type move like High Jump Kick.

Creating Waterfalls

Fans of the Mud Fish Pokémon have a lot to be excited about after the release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. The stout Mega Swampert hasn't changed much itself, but it gained a phenomenal Double Battle partner in the Alola region. We hope this makes up for Buzzwole challenging Mega Swampert for the giant-forearm throne.

Pokémon don't gain HP when they Mega Evolve, so Mega Evolution can be particularly impactful for Pokémon that naturally have strong HP stats like Swampert. Mega Swampert is both a powerful attacker and extremely difficult to knock out—as long as you keep it away from Grass-type attacks. Mega Swampert's stoutness comes at the cost of much lower Speed than Mega Blaziken or Mega Sceptile.

But Mega Swampert doesn't need to stay slower than its rivals—its Swift Swim Ability can double its Speed in rainy weather conditions. Mega Swampert's Ability can be difficult to exploit because it requires both a weather condition and Mega Evolution, but the Pelipper found in Alola makes things much easier. Not only does Pelipper's Drizzle Ability open the rainclouds, but it can also avoid Mega Swampert's Earthquake attack in Double Battles. Pelipper can even hit the Grass-type Pokémon that trouble Mega Swampert with Hurricane for supereffective damage.

The first two move choices for any Mega Swampert are simple—Earthquake for Ground-type damage and Waterfall for Water-type damage. But it can't learn many other earth-shattering moves, so filling out its move set can be tricky. It can't learn the best physical Ice-type attacks, so consider teaching it Ice Beam instead to help it out against Dragon-type Pokémon. Wide Guard and Protect are both solid defensive choices in Double Battles. In Single Battles, you'll probably want attacks like Stone Edge and Hammer Arm.

Listless Lava

The slow-but-powerful Camerupt has a well-defined niche that is solidified through Mega Evolution. Not only does Mega Camerupt become much more powerful, but it also gets even slower. Few Pokémon move with more leisurely Speed than Mega Camerupt, so it greatly benefits from a teammate that knows Trick Room. If Mega Camerupt gets rolling, it can erupt with a firestorm of damage that few other Pokémon can match.

Mega Camerupt has two key attacks—Eruption and Earth Power. Eruption will devastate almost any foe while Mega Camerupt is healthy, and Earth Power allows it to defeat the Fire- and Rock-type Pokémon that resist Eruption. But its remaining moves are a little uninspiring. Protect is a great idea in Double Battles, especially because Mega Camerupt will not function as advertised when wet. Fire Blast gives Camerupt a more reliable single-target Fire-type attack, while an Ice-type Hidden Power best covers its weaknesses.

The biggest challenge with Camerupt is finding the teammates to help it shine. It faces significant competition among slower Fire-type Pokémon: Torkoal provides more support with the Drought Ability, while the Legendary Heatran has an advantage in stats. Mega Camerupt's strength lies in its Ability to beat these similar Pokémon—it has an edge against its substitutes as a Ground-type Pokémon, so try it out when you have a team that struggles against them.

Phantom Pranks

Originally, most Trainers viewed Mega Banette as one of the weaker Mega Evolutions, but one 2015 Regional Championships flipped the script. Wolfe Glick built a defensive team featuring a Mega Banette that debilitated its foes with Prankster-boosted Disable, Will-O-Wisp, and Pain Split attacks. Few Trainers use their Mega-Evolved Pokémon in a supportive role, but Wolfe proved it could be a successful tactic.

If you're looking to take Mega Banette into a Double Battle, we'd advise reaching back into Wolfe's bag of tricks. But don't forget that Prankster isn't as powerful in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon as it was in the past. Be careful against Tapu Lele because the Psychic Terrain created by its Psychic Surge Ability will block Mega Banette's Prankster-boosted attacks. And Dark-type Pokémon are now immune to moves enhanced by Prankster altogether, so Banette's Disable won't stop Tyranitar from clamping down with a supereffective Crunch.

Mega Banette tends to be best deployed more aggressively in Single Battles. Its Attack stat is enormous—even higher than that of Mega Blaziken and Mega Swampert. But its massive Attack stat comes at the expense of all its other stats, as it is neither quick nor sturdy. If you think Mega Banette can last through the turn, dish out some massive damage with Shadow Claw or Sucker Punch. Otherwise, try using Destiny Bond—allowing your Mega-Evolved Pokémon to be knocked out is unfortunate, but Prankster makes it easy to trade knockouts.

That's all for this month, so don't forget to click here for more information about receiving this month's Mega Stones if you haven't already. 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.

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