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Making the Most of Tera Types

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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s new gimmick adds unpredictability to battles, which shakes up competitive fights and breaks through the Pokémon meta.

Battle gimmicks have become a regular part of the Pokémon series. Each new mainline game has introduced something new since the fifth generation, but they only became more Pokémon focused recently. Mega Evolutions, Dynamax, and now Scarlet & Violet‘s Terastallized Pokémon all revolve around the Pokémon themselves. While not all gimmicks have been hits, Tera Pokémon present an interesting addition to battle as they allow players to change the tide in unexpected ways. To use it properly, it’s important to understand what it does first.

Any Pokémon can Terastallize just like any Pokémon could Dynamax in Sword & Shield. When used, the Pokémon becomes encased in crystal and gains a giant sort of crown on its head representing its Tera type. Normally, the type is dictated by the Pokémon’s main typing, so a fire type would be Tera fire, and Wooper, a water/ground type, would likely be Tera water. However, this isn’t set in stone and wild Tera Pokémon or those caught in raids can have any type. This is what makes battling in Scarlet & Violet interesting.

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Players can throw a wrench into a battle or strategy by changing a Pokémon’s type. For example, an opponent could be using a Magmortar and the obvious strategy would be to use a water, ground, or rock-type Pokémon or moves. However, that strategy would go out the window if Magmortar Terastallizes into a grass type. The player will need to pivot unless they have something to counter this sudden change. There is no way for a player to tell what an opponent’s Tera type will be either, so the flow of battle can quickly change at any time. It’s more important than ever to make sure Pokémon have a good variety of moves to properly counter opponents.

When a Pokémon’s type changes, it also affects moves and the Same-Type Attack Bonus. So once the hypothetical Magmortar becomes grass through Terastallization, its Solar Beam will get a major power up, and any of the types it would normally be weak against are suddenly in danger. This can greatly benefit players who like to pull surprises by giving Pokémon unusual moves that get powered up by their Tera types.

While Tera Pokémon aren’t always the prettiest-looking forms, they add much to the already stellar gameplay. They change the way players battle and make ranked battles and competitions more interesting. Instead of simply relying on the best teams and meta, players will need to be ready for Tera types that can turn battles around.

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