The Pokémon games get a lot of criticism for always staying the same, essentially releasing identical games with new Pokémon every few years. These critics often overlook the fact that Pokémon has actually been aggressively changing and refining its gameplay mechanics for some time, with huge changes coming in recent generations.
One of these changes was Generation VI's Mega Evolutions, a mechanic that allowed certain Pokémon the ability to evolve in battle as long as they were holding the right item. Mega Evolutions were largely given to Pokémon from previous generations, especially the first one, but more were added from others, too. These Mega Evolutions were quickly proven to be extremely powerful, providing a big stat boost and occasionally even changing the Pokémon's type and ability. Naturally, pretty much every Pokémon that got a Mega Evolution saw a big increase to its use in competitive play.
Despite the obvious power increase, some Pokémon were still under-appreciated, and it would take time before players realized their true potential. This list counts down these Pokémon alongside the Mega Evolutions that underwhelmed. Whether it was speedy attacking Pokémon (frequently called "sweepers") or bulkier defensive Pokémon (frequently called "tanks" or "walls"), Mega Evolutions were pretty much always an improvement. Of course, players can find a use for any Pokémon, and we're not insulting you if you happen to love a Pokémon that isn't great in battle. It's just that some are definitely better battlers than others.
Here are 11 Mega Evolutions Even Stronger Than Fans Thought (And 9 That Are Worthless).
20 STRONGER: Mega Blaziken
Unlike many of the Pokémon on this list, Blaziken didn't really need a Mega Evolution. With its Fire/Fighting type combo, decent offense, and great ability Speed Boost, it already had a presence at the highest levels of the competitive scene. When it did get a Mega Evolution, some fans worried that it would mess with a good thing and actually make Blaziken worse.
Instead, Blaziken's Mega Evolution builds on its already existing strengths and turns it into an even more fearsome weapon. Blaziken's Attack and Speed increase and it keeps the Speed Boost ability, so all you really need to dominate a battle is a Mega Blaziken that knows Swords Dance.
19 WORTHLESS: Mega Audino
Audino isn't a great Pokémon in battle, and its Mega Evolution didn't really improve on that. Both versions of Audino are defensive support Pokémon, meaning they can heal their team of status conditions and give status conditions to opponents. While this can be useful in the right circumstances (it sometimes finds a nice in doubles battles), Mega Audino just isn't that helpful.
Mega Audino doesn't even get a new ability, making it not that different from its normal form. It has high defenses, but there isn't that much of a benefit to a wall that can't really damage anybody. Steel and Poison types render Mega Audino useless, and there are virtually no Pokémon that it can reliably take down.
18 STRONGER: Mega Salamence
"Pseudolegendary" Pokémon-- Pokémon that claim similar stat lines to legendaries without being legendary themselves-- are some of the strongest in the Pokémon games. The majority of these Pokémon also have Mega Evolutions, and while Salamence may not be the most notable of the bunch before, after Mega evolving it might just be the best of the lot.
Mega Salamence has a titanic stat line, especially in its Attack and Speed. This allows it to be an excellent sweeper like Mega Lucario, but it simultaneously has much more bulk to fend off attackers. Its ability to recover using Roost while also punishing foes with an Aerilated Double-Edge makes it a tough Pokémon to safely take out. Fans who thought its double weakness to Ice would limit it were sorely mistaken.
17 WORTHLESS: Mega Camerupt
Camperupt has never been a particularly effective Pokémon, with its stat line just a little too spread out and its Speed too low to be any real use. Unfortunately, Mega Camerupt didn't change all this, as it did give Camperupt a stat increase and an ability to hit much harder, but that's about it.
Mega Camerupt has a high Special Attack stat, and a strong ability in Sheer Force, but that's about all that can be said for it. Fire/Ground isn't even a bad type, but minuscule speed and mediocre defenses make it relatively easy to wipe out. Add in its crippling double weakness to Water-- an extremely common type at every level of the game-- and Camerupt can't find a foothold even with a Mega Evolution.
16 STRONGER: Mega Kangaskhan
Kangaskhan was a decent Pokémon to pick in early generations thanks to a nice statline, but fell far behind in competitive circles in later years. Nowadays, its normal form is largely forgotten, as Mega Kangaskhan dominates the higher levels of competition, mostly thanks to its extremely powerful signature ability Parental Bond.
Parental Bond allows Kangaskhan to attack twice (at reduced power the second time) with every move, a hugely powerful boost to moves like Fake Out, Drain Punch, Body Slam, or Power-Up Punch. With its decent Attack and Speed stats, it can threaten all kinds of powerful Pokémon. Mega Kangaskhan doesn't stop there, as it can also utilize Seismic Toss to whittle down even the best defensive Pokémon. The more players explored Mega Kangaskhan's uses, the better it seemed.
15 WORTHLESS: Mega Ampharos
Mega Ampharos is a perfectly acceptable Pokémon, but is ultimately underwhelming. With its Mega Evolution, plain Electric-type Ampharos became Electric/Dragon and got a big boost to its Special Attack, but that wasn't enough to make it viable in competitive play.
Mega Ampharos packs a serious punch and can take a hit thanks to some bulk, but its poor Speed, small movepool, and largely useless ability Mold Breaker prevent it from being a real threat. The Mega Evolution elevates Ampharos a bit, but its only real value is in boosting its stats. Players will do better finding another Dragon or Electric Pokémon. The new fluffy hairdo sure is nice to look at, though.
14 STRONGER: Mega Metagross
Rhere was no way Mega Metagross was going to be a bad Pokémon. The question on fans' minds was simply how good was it going to be. The answer, as it turned out, was extremely good. Another pseudolegendary Mega Evolution, Mega Metagross takes Metagross' already-impressive stat line and makes it absolutely fearsome.
Add to its huge stats the ability Tough Claws and you've got a Pokémon that can take a hit from offensive threats, outspeed anything that isn't a speed demon, and hit hard enough to bother even tanks. Metagross is essentially a tank that becomes a decent sweeper, allowing it a ton of versatility and coverage and making it a favorite for competitive players.
13 WORTHLESS: Mega Blastoise
Admittedly, Mega Blastoise isn't actually useless, but its problem is that it only really has one use. If you want a bulky Pokémon that can hit hard and also use Rapid Spin, Mega Blastoise is the giant turtle for you. Mega Blastoise doesn't boast much variety, because its movepool and ability pretty much mandate the same four moves.
Mega Blastoise's ability Mega Launcher boosts the power of a few specific moves, so Blastoise ends up running Dark Pulse and Aura Sphere in every set alongside the standard Hydro Pump and Rapid Spin. This predictability, combined with how easily it can be worn down since it doesn't use recovery moves, keeps Mega Blastoise at the bottom of the tier lists.
12 STRONGER: Mega Gengar
Gengar's Mega Evolution is notorious among competitive Pokémon players thanks to its unique mix of moves, typing, and an extremely powerful ability called Shadow Tag. Shadow Tag traps whatever Pokémon is currently in battle with Mega Gengar, stopping trainers from switching out. Since the competitive scene is obviously quite reliant on switching out to get favorable matchups, this makes Mega Gengar a force to be reckoned with.
Mega Gengar has extremely high speed and Special Attack, making it a sweeper that can pick and trap its favored targets. Add tricky moves like Taunt and Will-O-Wisp to its powerful Ghost and Poison attacks, and Mega Gengar is hard to avoid and even harder to take down. Its rise through the competitive ranks has been inexorable. Nowadays, there are even players who think it should be banned from the highest levels.
11 WORTHLESS: Mega Steelix
Mega Steelix has a sky-high Defense stat, and that's about it. Much like its un-evolved normal form, Mega Steelix can wall just about any physical attacker, but that's pretty much all it can do. Any foes that use Special attacks or have a type advantage on Steelix will give it a hard time, and it's not like there's a dearth of those.
Fighting, Ground, Water, and Fire types will all mop the floor with Mega Steelix, especially if they don't use physical attacks. Steelix also has very low Speed, meaning that pretty much every other Pokémon in the game will act before it, giving opponents plenty of time to whittle its health down. All in all, it's not a great idea to waste your one Mega Evolution slot on this Pokémon.
10 STRONGER: Mega Mawile
When it first came out, Mawile was a decent but unimpressive Pokémon, not boasting much beyond a good defensive typing. With its Mega Evolution, though, Mega Mawile surprised the Pokémon world as it became an offensive and defensive force to be reckoned with. Its ability Huge Power doubles its Attack stat, giving it physical power that can flatten most opponents.
Combine that with dramatically boosted defenses and the ability to learn Swords Dance, and Mawile becomes a tank that can simultaneously wipe out whole teams. There are only a few Pokémon that are bulky enough to withstand Mega Mawile's attacks, and speedy Pokémon tend to fall prey to its Sucker Punch.
9 WORTHLESS: Mega Abomasnow
Abomasnow suffers from what is quite possibly the very worst type combination in all of Pokémon: Grass and Ice. Both of those types have a litany of weaknesses and won't do well for any defensively minded Pokémon. Unfortunately for Abomasnow, its balanced stats doesn't do anything to help.
While fans hoped Mega Abomasnow would improve on this with new ability and maybe a type change, they were sorely disappointed. Mega Abomasnow gains decent offensive stats, but retains the same ability (Snow Warning) that is only useful its first turn out. Plus, its type combination is the same, relegating Mega Abomasnow to the same rubbish heap its normal form calls home.
8 STRONGER: Mega Pinsir
Pinsir spent much of its life in the early Pokémon generations known as a scary-looking bug only notable for its Attack stat. Then, when Heracross came out, it was largely obsolete. Until it received a Mega Evolution, that is. Mega Pinsir turned heads for its elevated Attack and Speed, not to mention its new ability Aerilate.
Aerilate allowed Pinsir to treat Normal-type moves like Return or Double Edge like Flying-type moves, giving it a huge offensive presence. Mega Pinsir's standard set of Swords Dance, Return, and Quick Attack allows it to hit hard and fast, KO'ing even the sturdiest tanks around. Nobody expected Game Freak to boost Pinsir like this, but those who use it in battle certainly aren't complaining.
7 STRONGER: Mega Medicham
Much like Mega Mawile, Mega Medicham earns its spot on this list thanks to its ability Pure Power. Normal Medicham also has this ability, but its stats are so low that it doesn't end up threatening much. Thus, Poké-fans didn't expect anything too impressive from the Mega Evolution, and boy, were we wrong.
Mega Medicham gets a big boost to its Attack and Speed, making it one of the most powerful offensive Pokémon around thanks to Pure Power. Strong moves like High Jump Kick and Zen Headbutt give it plenty of type coverage, so it becomes a threat to a wide range of Pokémon. Nobody expected Mega Medicham to be able to threaten even legendary Pokémon, but it does that easily.
6 WORTHLESS: Mega Houndoom
Houndoom is a fun Pokémon to look at, and its Mega Evolution's design is just as good. Unfortunately, outside of the usual stat increase, Mega Houndoom isn't that much of an improvement over its normal form. Mega Houndoom's typing remains the same, and its ability is as much of a hindrance as a help.
Mega Houndoom's new ability Solar Power is only active during sunny weather, and while it powers up the fire dog's Special Attack, it also takes a piece of its health at the end of every turn, making it extremely easy to whittle down and take out. You'd think its stat boost would go towards upgrading its Speed and Special Attack, but a perplexingly high portion goes to upgrade its useless Defense.
5 STRONGER: Mega Swampert
Swampert was always a decent, if unimpressive, Pokémon, relying on its Water/Ground (which is only weak to Grass) to stand out. Mega Swampert, on the other hand, is an offensive powerhouse that finds a niche even in the stronger competitive tiers. Swampert's ability Swift Swim is specially designed to function in rain, which doubles its speed.
Combined with a huge Attack stat, Swampert becomes a sweeper that doesn't sacrifice bulk in rain. Nobody thought Swampert could ever be a sweeper-- the stat line of its normal form is too balanced, and its Speed is too low. Swift Swim and Mega Swampert's newly high Attack changes all of that, giving it a completely new role.
4 WORTHLESS: Mega Sceptile
In every generation of starter Pokémon, there always seems to be one of the trio that falls behind its siblings. For Generation III, that one is Sceptile. Just like its counterparts Swampert and Blaziken, Sceptile got a Mega Evolution, but it just didn't do the same wonders for it that it did for the others.
Mega Sceptile becomes Grass/Dragon-type, and it also gains the Lightning Rod ability, which negates Electric attacks and uses them to increase its own Special Attack. The main problem here is that Mega Sceptile already has a double resistance to Electric-type, making Lightning Rod only a half-effective ploy. In the end, while Mega Sceptile's Special Attack and Speed are excellent, it is simultaneously too weak and too vulnerable to too many Pokémon.
3 STRONGER: Mega Lucario
Mega Lucario was essentially the face of Generation VI's newfangled Mega Evolution mechanic, and for good reason: it's an extremely powerful Pokémon. Lucario was already a decent offensive Pokémon when its Mega Evolution skyrocketed its Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats, but that boost was all it needed to become one of the very best battlers in the game.
Mega Lucario also adds the ability Adaptability to the fold, which further empowers its Fighting and Steel attacks. Given that its moves include already powerful attacks like Meteor Mash and Close Combat, that's pretty much all Mega Lucario needs to succeed. Very few creatures can stand up to Mega Lucario's hyper offensive style, and it is this trait that makes it even more powerful than one would expect the Mega Evolution poster child to be.
2 WORTHLESS: Mega Glalie
Glalie was never a strong Pokémon in battle, but Mega Evolutions are supposed to change all that. While Mega Glalie can work as a fast attacker, its stat spread leaves a lot to be desired. In higher levels of competitive play, Mega Glalie is usually passed over for other Pokémon that can do the same thing only better.
With its ability Refrigerate, Glalie turns Normal-type attacks to Ice-type and gives them a power boost. This is helpful, and certainly improves on its normal form, but it isn't enough to really differentiate it from the plethora of other fast, offensive Ice Pokémon. In the end, since you're only allowed to use one Mega Evolution per battle, Glalie just isn't worth it.
1 STRONGER: Mega Rayquaza
You had to know Mega Rayquaza would make an appearance here. Rayquaza was always a strong legendary Pokémon, boasting especially high attack stats, but its Mega Evolution vaulted it to an entirely new level. Not only is Mega Rayquaza the consensus strongest Pokémon in the entire game, it is the only one to be banned from almost every level of competitive play.
Mega Rayquaza's Attack and Special Attack stats are both absolutely monstrous, and its Speed is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, its ability Delta Stream limits damage from super effective attacks, and it doesn't use an item to evolve. This allows it to sweep with Dragon Dance without worrying about threats while also opening the door to a vast array of other movesets. We always knew Mega Rayquaza would be strong, but no one imagined it would be this strong.
Which Mega Evolution is your favorite in Pokémon? Let us know in the comments!