For years and years, the ultimate form a Pokémon could achieve would be its third stage. Not only were these the most desirable and powerful states that your favorites could reach, but they were often the coolest, like turning your lizard into a fire-breathing dragon or your lowly turtle into an artillery-wielding doom machine.
This tradition was started with the original games in the franchise, and held fast for five generations, but was swiftly ended with Pokémon X and Y of Generation VI.
There, the concept of “Mega Evolution” was born. Using a Mega Stone and Key Stone, Trainers could force their Pokémon into a mutated evolution that, although temporary, was incredibly powerful.
At first glance, the transformation lasting for only a single battle at a time seems like a waste, but Nintendo geared these metamorphoses towards being game-breakers, which made the apparent drawbacks of limited availability be quickly forgotten.
Nintendo, aware that this major shift in the structure of the Pokémon games could upset longtime fans, made sure to butter them up with the concept being inserted (rather sloppily, if we’re being honest) into the Pokémon Origins mini-series, but their fears were never realized, as the concept was quickly embraced.
That said, while Mega Evolutions are popular, even beloved by some, not every transformation is worth the amount of love that it receives, and in our list, we are going to countdown why some of your favorites don’t have much substance beyond looking cool.
With that said, here are the 20 Mega Evolution Pokémon Everyone Uses (That Are Actually Useless).
20 Mega Alakazam
In the original games, Alakazam and the rest of its psychic kin were beyond broken, and laid waste to just about everything that crossed their path.
Alas, Mega Alakazam is a far cry from its all-powerful debut, acting like more of a polar opposite than anything else.
We’ll be honest: his appearance as some zen-achieved, aged monk is pretty cool, but while his mind has been strengthened, his body’s ability to take any form of punishment has severely dwindled.
Perhaps best described as a glass cannon, Mega Alakazam can still dish out swift and devastating attacks, but its frailty is a major setback for players hoping to relive this Pokémon’s glory days, which is a shame.
19 Mega Slowbro
Slowpoke, Slowbro, and Slowking have always been an odd bunch of Pokémon.
Apparently burdened with delicious tails that are an expensive delicacy, Slowpoke and Slowbro are, as their name suggests, characteristically slow and dumb, despite their psychic inklings. Meanwhile, Slowking possesses incredible intelligence.
So where does this leave Mega Slowbro? In kind of a weird and useless place, to be sure.
The Shellder that would either chomp on the tail or head of a Slowpoke now envelops its entire body, giving the pocket monster a powerful defensive shell - and that’s about it.
Sure, it can act as an impenetrable vanguard for a team, but serving as a punching bag won’t do much to push you towards victory.
18 Mega Aerodactyl
Do you remember that one episode of the original Pokémon anime, “Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon?” It featured gigantic Pokémon that were thought to long be extinct going on a rampage.
Kabuto, Kabutops, Omastar and Omanyte all appeared, but so did the granddaddy of them all, Aerodactyl.
This pterodactyl-like beast goes on an awesome attack before triggering Charmeleon’s evolution into the disagreeable Charizard, who does battle with the beast before a sassy Jigglypuff puts everyone to sleep.
Aerodactyl was cemented as a fantastic Pokémon that day but, alas, its Mega Evolution doesn’t live up to its legendary status.
Instead of being an ancient god of destruction, it’s more of a mid-tier evolution that doesn’t go too far in either direction, leaving it no real place on a competitive team.
17 Mega Camerupt
Earlier in this list, we described Mega Alakazam as a “glass cannon.” This term refers to something that’s incredibly powerful, but is easily shattered.
High power for low durability is a tantalizing trade-off that appeals to those of us who have a taste for gambling, but it’s not for everyone - and it’s especially not for Mega Camerupt.
While this mega evolved pocket monster has an arsenal of exceptional offensive abilities, you’ll need to relay almost exclusively on them and hope that they all hit their marks because one wrong move will send a raging Mega Camerupt back into its Pokeball, knocked out cold.
Heavy attacks are great, but with sluggish (at best) speed and weaknesses comparable to the Death Star’s exhaust port, Mega Camerupt is a dangerous gamble.
16 Mega Houndoom
An issue that runs rampant throughout the pantheon of Mega Evolutions is form over function.
So many of these forms have a whizz-bang-pow super-cool look to them, but that seems to be the only thing the designers were considering as they created them, instead of A) a reason to exist in the first place and B) what they should actually do now that they existed.
Mega Houndoom is a casualty of both A and B, and it painfully shows.
It can reach its offensive peak by using its special ability, Solar Power, but that comes with far too many hurdles to be effective.
Even on a sun-based team, a turn must be wasted to use Sunny Day (if the Draught ability isn’t around) and even then, Mega Houndoom loses a little HP each turn, despite the significant offensive boost.
15 Mega Abomasnow
In our entry on Mega Camerupt, we mentioned its abysmal speed and how, despite the creature’s extensive offensive capabilities, its weaknesses were left open to attack because of it.
Speed is a critical component of high-level competitive Pokémon, and it can make or break any team combination.
Alas, Mega Abomasnow falls into the same boat as Mega Camerupt, gutting whatever chances it had at being a top-tier contender.
Attack and defense are certainly at a high-level for this mega evolution, but the suped-up Abomasnow takes a brutal hit to its speed, leaving it in the crosshairs of speedy Fire Pokémon that can burn it into oblivion by taking full advantage of its Ice and Grass-type configuration.
14 Mega Diancie
Nintendo sure loves their glass cannons, as Mega Diancie is, once again, a Pokémon that is a major gamble to use, and one that doesn’t often pay off.
To start, Diancie itself is a Mythical Pokémon, which traditionally feature abnormal stats that put them in a league of their own.
Unfortunately, the Mega Evolution that Diancie goes through a change that, while having its benefits, makes it a far less balanced contender than before.
A surge in attack results in a nosedive for defense, and combined with its brittle HP, leaves Mega Diancie in an unfortunate spot, with easily exploited weaknesses by Steel-type attacks and Pocket Monsters.
Mega Diancie certainly still has benefits, like nearly every entry on this list does, but it’s hard to justify its use when compared to is peers.
13 Mega Gengar
The original trio of Ghost-type Pokémon had a memorable animated debut where, we’re not kidding, Ash and Pikachu have the life crushed out of them by a chandelier, and they join their new friends Ghastly, Haunter, and Gengar as ghosts.
Of course, the duo comes back to life, and Haunter would join them in their quest to defeat Sabrina, but the ghostly trio left a memorable mark on fans, so it was only natural that Gengar would get a Mega Evolution.
Unlike other entrants on this list, Mega Gengar is actually a worthy addition to your team, and dangerous - like seriously dangerous, but he’s still useless.
Why is that? Because he’s so overpowered that fans from every walk of life have tried to get it banned from use in official tournaments due to its broken-nature, so don’t get too attached.
12 Mega Banette
On the subject of Ghost Pokémon, let’s transition from the classic Gengar and its Mega Evolution to the relative newcomer, Banette, who has its own stone-induced mutation.
Mega Banette has an insanely high attack stat, leaving it far and away the most powerful Ghost-type Pocket Monster in terms of raw offense.
It’s a confusing shame, then, that its ability, Prankster, gives boosts to moves that don’t deal damage, which seems to be the antithesis of the Pokémon’s original design and actual move set.
Perhaps the most painful thing to consider about Mega Banette is that there are just so many other Mega Evolution options that are not only more versatile, but empirically better, and would serve your single Mega Evolution slot (and team as a whole) at afar great capacity.
11 Mega Glalie
The design of Mega Glalie is simple but effective: a giant, frozen skull that has madness in its eyes, with a gaping maw ready to consume the flesh of mortals as it reigns down holy (and frozen) judgment upon the mere peons that infest its lands.
Alright, so it’s not exactly that intense when it comes to its design, but it’s still pretty dang cool (pun intended).
Alas, coolness just doesn’t cut it with Mega Evolutions, especially since you’ve only got one slot to fill up, and you wouldn’t want to waste it on something that just has so few uses when compared to others capable of the metamorphosis.
With one worthwhile nuclear bomb of an attack, and comparatively mediocre stats, Glalie just doesn’t measure up.
This that’s a shame because it really looks like a god of destruction.
10 Mega Absol
Absol, to start, is already a higher-end Pokémon with impressive stats, particularly in the decisive speed category.
One would think that channeling the power of the Mega Stone and awakening a brilliant new form known only as Mega Absol would enhance these states and create an even further-sharpened battle-ready weapon.
You would be wrong, though, because of Nintendo’s seemingly arbitrary decision making.
After the Mega Evolution, Absol receives no boosts to its defense or special defense. Of course, it still gets armed with excellent abilities, but its comparative lack of defensive upgrades leaves Mega Absol incredibly vulnerable.
It takes a lot of skill (and a lot of luck) to effectively wield Mega Absol, but the risk never really dwindles no matter how well your team is set-up, or how skilled you are.
9 Mega Garchomp
As another victim of form versus function, Mega Garchomp is a sight to behold, but that’s about it.
Garchomp, in its standard form, is a favorite among Trainers, and is a great addition to any team due to its formidable stats and move set.
Not unlike Absol, however, its Mega Evolution leaves much to be desired.
Instead of taking Garchomp to a newfound level of might and increasing its utility, the Mega Evolution leaves Mega Garchamp playing second fiddle to its original form, which is just baffling.
With little utility and issues with speed, Mega Garchomp while looking legitimately slick and having one of the coolest aesthetics in the franchise, flounders, making him a waste of a slot at worst.
8 Mega Sceptile
In fighting games, fans like to separate all the characters into “tiers,” with the top tier often being referred to as “God Tier,” and usually comprising of borderline (if not outright) broken characters.
Then there are mid-tier entrants, who are reasonably powerful, especially in the hands of a skilled player.
Last is the bottom tier, which is stocked with pitifully weak entrants that even the most skilled players have a difficult time incorporating into competitive play.
Mega Sceptile is a member of that final tier, if there were a comprehensive tier list of every Mega Evolution.
This is a shame, as Mega Sceptile looks great with an appealing design.
It’s just that it’s so weak and seemingly has no elements that make it worth taking up your Mega Evolution slot.
There’s just nothing special about the poor thing.
7 Mega Audino
Pokémon is, at its core, an RPG. For young fans that grew up with the original games, but had never touched something like Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior, they were secretly being groomed into loving a classic gameplay style.
While it’s true that Pokémon’s RPG elements certainly have their own flavor, it is possible to arrange your “party” of Pokémon in a way that fulfills the classes of old-school JRPGs, like strong-but-slow warriors or, in this case, healers.
While Pokémon like Bulbasaur had moves like Leech Seed, Audino is a full-on support Pokémon, built entirely around the concept, and this is only amplified in its Mega state.
That’s great, but with only one Mega slot, why bother taking it up with a Pokémon designed explicitly for a specific task instead of one that can handle any number of challenges?
6 Mega Ampharos
Ampharos has an intriguing design, and was an interesting addition to the world of Pokémon, as were its previous forms of Mareep and Flaffy, when video game and Pokémon enthusiasts got their hands on the Gold and Silver versions.
Sadly, when compared with others, Ampharos and its evolutionary line sort of fell into the shadows.
Thankfully, Mega Evolution gave Ampharos a much-needed thrust back into the spotlight, but the sad truth is that there wasn’t much reason to keep it there, despite the theatrics.
In short, Mega Ampharos is outclassed and outperformed by almost every other Mega Evolution, and even some vanilla Pokémon, which is a tragically embarrassing and makes us cringe as we write it.
5 Mega Sharpedo
Mega Sharpedo has an awesome design… or scary, if you’re afraid of sharks, torpedoes, or a combination of both.
Unfortunately, Mega Sharpedo, despite its Mega Stone-enhanced form, just doesn’t measure up to its comrades, like so many other victims of form over function.
First, we’ll state the positives: it’s fast - incredibly fast, even. We stated earlier that speed can make or break a competitive match, and it’s been a critical component when considering the efficacy of Mega forms.
Well, that’s good, but what about the bad? Sharpedo is brittle. So despite the speed, Mega Sharpedo could easily end up shattered into a million pieces.
So why do people still use it, despite being useless? It just looks cool, as most sharks and torpedoes do (again, if you’re not scared of them.)
4 Mega Latias/Latios
Latias and Latios are very well liked Pokémon, perhaps even beloved. They have a great array of functions, have a slick and sleek design, and are just pretty dang cool.
Their Mega forms are a bust though, but for an unexpected reason.
While other popular Mega forms that we’ve discussed seem to have a fatal flaw that immediately makes them useless, Latias and Latios don’t. Their Mega forms are just… redundant.
Not only do they look the same, but the transformation feels like it shouldn’t even exist. There’s no concrete benefit to taking up your Mega slot with one of them when their base forms are just as useful.
Because of this, these Mega forms are the definition of useless.
3 Mega Scizor
Let’s get this out of the way right away: Scyther and Scizor have always been super popular Pokémon.
Why? Because they look incredibly cool. Who would hate a giant, blade-armed humanoid bug who could fly? Also, who would hate its evolved form, armed with scorpion claws, a slick red paintjob, and a taste of the power of Steel? No one, that’s who.
So what’s up with Scizor’s Mega form? Despite its popularity, its abilities are wasted, and quickly become obsolete depending on your move set.
If it had another ability more suited to its move set and strengths, things would be a different story, but just like Mega Banette, its abilities are puzzle pieces that don’t fit the puzzle.
2 Mega Gyarados
Pokémon fans have long held a fascination for Gyarados. Whether it was seeing its tremendous might when it debuted in the anime, the hard and repetitive work it took to evolve a wimpy Magikarp into the behemoth, or even the fact that it was the world’s first taste of “Shiny” Pokémon, it’s hard to not appreciate Gyarados, or at least have an affinity for it.
With its strong popularity, it seemed right to give it a Mega form. So why is it so useless?
Firstly, unlike so many other Mega Evolutions, Gyarados’ design seems awfully phoned in. “I know; let’s add a giant find and call it a day!” is likely how the design meeting went.
Secondly, its Mega Evolution actually gives it more weaknesses, which is just insane.
Why do this to such an icon?
1 Mega Charizard
We’re going to take a major swerve now, and deviate from our path of tackling the popular in-game Mega Evolutions, instead opting to discuss Pokémon Origins.
To market Mega Evolutions, Nintendo felt the need to have Charizard go through the transformation in order to fight Mewtwo, despite this clearly never happening in Generation 1.
Now, in the games, both Mega Charizards are unquestionably great additions to a team, but something’s amiss.
Despite what this particular adaptation shows us, we should consider the actual Gen I Mewtwo it allegedly portrays, including his animated appearencs.
In those games and movie, Mewtwo is an impossibly broken and powerful entity, and we find it incredibly hard to believe that even Mega Charizard could stand up to him if he weren’t nerfed for Origins.
In this particular case, though, Mega Charizard is totally useless.
Are there any other Mega Evolution Pokémon that are surprisingly weak? Let us know in the comments!