Pokémon’s Generational “Flagship Mechanics”

How you know $#!t just got real.

As part of my eternal contract of service to the Dark Council of my highest-tier Patreon supporters (to whom special thanks, and a mighty tribute of souls and magic, are as always due), I regularly solicit topics from them to discuss in longer articles – and once again, that time has come.  Today I’m supposed to be talking about the (so far) three generational flagship mechanics of the Pokémon games – X and Y’s Mega Evolution, Sun and Moon’s Z-Moves and Sword and Shield’s Dynamax – in all their aspects, both how they practically work in the game and how they influence the story and lore of their worlds.  “Flagship mechanics” is my own term for these, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else say it, but I like it better than “gimmicks” because I think it’s a better reflection of what the developers seem to want them to be, so I’m gonna keep using it, and you all just have to deal with that because… it’s my blog, so shut up.

Let’s start with a summary for people who might not be familiar with one or more of the games that introduced and featured these mechanics:

  • Mega Evolution first appeared in Pokémon: X and Y, was also an important mechanic in Pokémon: Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby and was retained for all of the generation VII games (though no longer having any significant role in the story).  It allows a single Pokémon on your team to transform, for the duration of a single battle, into a vastly more powerful final evolution, often with a new type combination and ability as well as increased stats.  Because a Mega form is effectively a whole new Pokémon design, only a few species of Pokémon have them – 28 in X and Y, with another 18 added in Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, for a total of 46.
  • Z-Moves appeared only in Pokémon: Sun and Moon and their sequels/alternates/deluxe versions, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.  A Z-Move is an extremely powerful enhanced version of one of a Pokémon’s ordinary moves; you can use only one in the course of a whole battle, but any Pokémon can use a Z-Move.  Z-Moves do a lot of damage, never miss and are only weakened by moves like Protect and Detect, not negated entirely; however, they usually don’t have secondary effects.  There’s one standard Z-Move for each type (Grass, Water, Fire, etc.), as well as a range of signature Z-Moves that can only be used by certain Pokémon.  Non-damaging moves can also be converted into Z-Moves, in which case they keep their normal effects and typically give the user an extra buff.
    • Furthermore, I will remind you all that in New Zealand we normally pronounce Z as “zed,” not “zee”; therefore, I have always instinctively said “Zed-Move” and expect all of you to imagine this pronunciation when reading anything I write on the subject.
      • look, I’ve been spelling “defence” with a c and “Pokémon Centre” with an -re on this blog for 10 goddamn years and not one of you has ever said anything so it’s too late to complain now; I’m committed to this $#!t
  • Finally, Dynamax belongs to Pokémon: Sword and Shield.  Dynamaxing causes a single Pokémon to grow to enormous size for no more than three turns.  Dynamax Pokémon have huge reserves of extra hit points, allowing them to soak up a lot of damage, but their other stats are unaltered.  Their moves are all replaced with high-powered Max Moves with powerful secondary effects that alter the entire battlefield (as with Z-Moves, there is one Max Move for every type, plus one more, Max Guard, that replaces all non-damaging moves).  Although you can only Dynamax once in a battle, any Pokémon can Dynamax.
    • “Gigantamax” is a variant that is only available to specific individuals of certain species; as well as simply making a Pokémon huge, Gigantamaxing actually changes its form like Mega Evolution.  However, Gigantamax is not more powerful than Dynamax: mechanically the only difference is that each Gigantamax Pokémon has access to a “G-Max Move” that replaces one of the standard Max Moves.  These have unique secondary effects that are different from those of ordinary Max Moves, but usually not obviously better.
    • Wild Pokémon can also Dynamax under certain conditions and are fought in 4v1 multiplayer cooperative “raid battles.”  Here I’m mostly going to be concerned with Dynamax as something players can do, but raid battles are a pretty significant part of the multiplayer scene and overall feel of Sword and Shield so they’re worth keeping in the back of our heads.
A Mega Ring, worn by Serena, the female protagonist of X and Y. NPCs have all kinds of different jewellery as settings for their Key Stones; for instance, Kalos Champion Diantha has a necklace, while Team Aqua leader Archie has a ridiculous gold anchor.

All three phenomena are tied to special items, which the player character normally wears as a bracelet: the Key Stone, Z-Ring and Dynamax Band.  All three can only be used once per battle, because they’re drawing on some vague but limited source of power that the trainer’s item supplies or channels, but other than that you can use them as often as you like; there’s no cost or penalty associated with (for instance) Mega Evolving in literally every battle you fight.  In addition, Mega Evolution requires the Pokémon to be holding a catalyst, a Mega Stone, that is unique to its species (except for Rayquaza, who cheats and doesn’t need a stone); Z-Moves likewise require the Pokémon to be holding a Z-Crystal of the same type as the Z-Move it wants to use.  You can give Mega Stones or Z-Crystals to multiple Pokémon on your team, but you’ll still only be able to use one per battle and you’ll be giving up the option of more useful items for your “spares.”  Pokémon can Dynamax without holding a special item, which means you don’t need to plan which Pokémon you’ll Dynamax ahead of time – you can choose on the fly.  However, Dynamax is only available in special locations like gym stadiums or raid dens, so you can’t use it to curbstomp normie NPC trainers like you can with the previous two flagship mechanics; you’ll only ever Dynamax against trainers like Gym Leaders who are willing and able to do exactly the same awful things right back at you, which makes the single player experience feel a lot “fairer” to your hapless opponents.

So, now that that’s out of the way: what’s actually the deal with these things?

There is an argument, to which I am fairly sympathetic, that the fundamentals of Pokémon’s battle system haven’t really changed since Diamond and Pearl, which are now almost 15 years old.  Obviously this is a matter of definition and we can debate what counts as a “fundamental” change but it’s definitely possible (at least in single-player) to go from generation VIII to generation IV or V without feeling like you’re playing a completely different game, which is markedly less true of generations I-III (especially if you start mucking about with the hidden values like EVs, which were overhauled dramatically in generation III and have remained largely the same since then).  There’s just not a lot more you can do to refine the underlying system at this point.  The reason I know that is because… well, first of all I’ve tried to think of ways to do that and it’s really hard, but also I semi-regularly get suggestions in my question box, and most of them are not particularly good (obviously, gentle reader, I don’t mean any of your ideas; it’s all these other morons we need to be wary of).  But if you’re a game designer, you don’t want to just make the same game over and over again with more Pokémon every time; you want to try new things and give players something radically different to play with, not just new combinations of existing traits, stats and effects.  What’s more, you don’t commit to keeping the new toys around forever, because you want the battle mechanics of each game in your series to have their own distinct feel (and keeping the old risks both overshadowing the new and overcomplicating the whole system).  You also write the new toys into the story, because you want them to be part of the culture of each game’s setting.  So let’s talk about both of those things, starting with how the three flagship mechanics practically work and what they do for battles in their respective generations.

Just two Pokémon have multiple Mega Evolutions: Charizard and Mewtwo, who have two each.

Mega Evolution is – obviously – really cool.  A Pokémon that can Mega Evolve acts as a “centrepiece” for your team; if it isn’t going to steamroll your enemies by itself, like Mega Alakazam or Mega Pinsir, then it’s probably going to provide crucial support using a powerful ability, like Mega Charizard Y’s Drought, Mega Sableye’s Magic Bounce or Mega Gengar’s Shadow Tag.  The explosive animation and extravagant new form associated with Mega Evolution emphasise the importance of this one special Pokémon.  Fundamentally, a lot of people play Pokémon for the Pokémon designs, and Mega Evolution doesn’t just mean more new designs, it means designs that are turned up to eleven, exaggerating the things that already made a given Pokémon unique.  Whatever you like about a Pokémon, Mega Evolution generally gives you more of it.  The sheer popularity of Mega Evolution and its associated extra Pokémon designs, I think, is probably behind its greater longevity compared to its successor, Z-Moves: Mega Evolution not only made it into Sun and Moon despite no longer having any relevance to the story of the Alola games, it actually shows up in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, which don’t even have Z-Moves or Pokémon item slots (Mega Stones just sit in your inventory; the Pokémon don’t need to hold them).  Deciding which Mega Pokémon to put on your team has profound consequences for the way all your battles run in generations VI and VII, which is good, because meaningful decisions are at the heart of all good gameplay.  When you actually use it, you get this satisfying rush of power that goes beyond the normal capabilities of your team.  But if you’ve ever played any of the Pokémon games that feature Mega Evolution, you don’t need me to tell you any of that.  You need me to be a dick about it and talk about the limits of Mega Evolution as a game mechanic.


Most Pokémon don’t lose anything in the act of Mega Evolving.  A couple of them like Abomasnow and Garchomp get slower, and for those that change their type or ability it’s obviously possible for the new one to be situationally worse.  For the most part, though, there’s never any reason not to Mega Evolve a Pokémon as soon as you send it out.  When you describe Mega Evolution, it sounds like something that’s supposed to give a Pokémon two distinct “modes” or strategic options, like an emergency boost; in practice you just have one really strong Pokémon that can’t use an item (because it’s already holding the stone).  What’s more, the things Mega Evolved Pokémon can do are all still drawn from the same set of things that regular Pokémon can do; there are no special Mega-exclusive moves and only three Mega-exclusive abilities (five if you count Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon as Megas).  They are, in all ways, like ordinary Pokémon but with bigger numbers.  Mega Evolution looks cool and using it feels cool, but from a game design perspective there’s basically two things you can do with it.  One: you can add a few Pokémon that are crazy overpowered without completely ruining the game balance.  This is largely irrelevant, because every generation always includes a few Pokémon that are crazy overpowered anyway – some on purpose, others apparently by accident – and Game Freak have given us every reason to believe that competitive balance is a relatively low priority for them.  Two: you can revitalise Pokémon that have previously been too weak to consider using.  This also doesn’t seem to have been a major consideration for Game Freak, looking at which Pokémon actually got Mega Evolutions; most of them were powerful already.  Besides that, Mega Evolution’s biggest strength is also its biggest weakness: we love the cool new over-the-top designs of Mega Pokémon, but it’s impossible for the vast majority of Pokémon to participate in that, because every Mega Evolution is a new design.  It’s just too much; even half of all Pokémon being able to Mega Evolve is a pipe dream on the same level as the idea of me ever starting my Galar Pokémon reviews.

So generation VII went in another direction, trying to let every Pokémon get in on the action with its flagship mechanic: Z-Moves.

(Z, according to one or two pieces of in-game dialogue, stands for “zenith”; once again I will remind you that it is pronounced “zed”).

Pikachu prepares for murder.

Z-Moves are just as spectacular as Mega Evolutions, and a Z-Move is actually (most of the time) more powerful than anything a Mega Pokémon could do in a single turn in terms of sheer damage output.  The way Z-Moves are tied into the story of Sun and Moon, with Z-Crystals effectively replacing gym badges in Alola and the player character needing to learn special gestures and movements to activate each one, means that the mechanic comes with a sense of progression that is largely absent from both Mega Evolution and Dynamax.  People don’t really get attached to Z-Moves, though – because, again, most of us got into Pokémon for the Pokémon, and unlike Mega Evolution, Z-Moves don’t give us more Pokémon designs.  It’s always tricky to make statements about the attitudes of the whole Pokémon community, but I think there’s a definite enthusiasm gap between Z-Moves and the other two flagship mechanics.  Fan-created Mega Evolutions are a dime a dozen; fan-created signature Z-Moves are another story.  Because the animations of standard Z-Moves aren’t personalised to individual Pokémon, they can often end up looking pretty silly if the Pokémon’s own model and animations don’t match up neatly with the Z-Move (peaking with Incineroar using the Bug-type Z-Move, Savage Spinout, which fires a thick cable of sticky white spider silk… right out of Incineroar’s crotch).  Having said that, though, a few of the signature Z-Moves are pretty iconic – just watch Snorlax use its Pulverising Pancake attack and try to tell me that its flashing eyes won’t haunt your dreams.

The Z-Ring worn by the protagonist of Sun and Moon. The diamond shape serves as a slot for a Z-Crystal.

Z-Moves are interesting primarily because they can give a Pokémon one chance to blow through the defences of an opponent that would normally counter it.  Maybe you’re using a souped-up version of your normal primary attacks; maybe you’re boosting a weird, obscure coverage move that would normally be too weak to bother with, like Hidden Power or Fire/Thunder/Ice Fang.  Z-Moves are basically the successors to Black and White’s elemental Gems, consumable items that provide a 50% boost in power to a single damaging attack of a matching type (Gems theoretically exist in the code for all the games from X and Y to Ultra SMoon, but are impossible to obtain legitimately).  The increase for Z-Moves varies a bit depending on which move you’re enhancing, but tends to be closer to 100%.  On the other hand, Z-Moves usually don’t keep beneficial side-effects.  A Dark Gem will boost Pursuit and still catch a Pokémon as it switches out, but a Darkinium-Z Crystal will just turn Pursuit into the Dark-type Z-Move, Black Hole Eclipse, which doesn’t have Pursuit’s “chase” effect.  That cuts both ways; Draco Meteor won’t burn your special attack stat if you enhance it into Devastating Drake (however, high-power moves with negative side-effects tend to get smaller power boosts when turned into Z-Moves).  Then there’s the Z-versions of non-damaging moves, which mostly add stat boosts on top of their ordinary effects.  For the most part, the moves with the best Z-versions are ones that aren’t normally worth using at all (Z-Splash, for instance, gives the user an eye-watering 3 levels of bonus attack, more than a Swords Dance), while already-powerful setup moves like Dragon Dance and Calm Mind just clear any stat debuffs you’re suffering.  There are exceptions, though.  Z-Sleep Powder and Z-Hypnosis can boost the speed of Pokémon who might not otherwise have any way to do that; Z-Aromatherapy and Z-Heal Bell fully restore the user’s HP; Z-Memento fully heals whichever Pokémon enters play after the user faints.  And of course, we’d be remiss not to bring up Kommo-o’s signature Z-Move, Clangorous Soulblaze, which not only does huge Dragon-type damage but increases all of the user’s stats into the bargain.  Choosing to use a Z-Move is reliably a pivotal moment in a battle, in a way that Mega Evolution, surprisingly, isn’t.

Z-Moves are a lot harder for an opponent to predict than Mega Evolution.  The list of Pokémon that can Mega Evolve is fairly short, and if your opponent only has one of those Pokémon on their team, chances are it won’t catch you by surprise.  By contrast, any Pokémon can use a Z-Move and it’s rarely obvious which one of your opponent’s Pokémon (if any) is going to be packing a Z-Crystal.  What’s more, one of the best ways to use a Z-Move is to get just one solid shot with a weaker coverage move that might not otherwise deserve consideration for your Pokémon’s limited slots.  Not only could any of your opponent’s team members use a Z-Move, it could be of an attack type that that Pokémon wouldn’t normally carry.  On the other hand, if you do successfully counter a Z-Move – for instance, with an opportune switch, or by using Protect (which doesn’t completely block Z-Moves, but does dramatically reduce their damage) – you’ve deprived your opponent of a valuable resource.  It’s also very possible to waste a Z-Move; you might hit something that was low on HP anyway, or hit the wrong target with your coverage Z-Move, or heck, you might just choose the wrong Z-Crystal to bring into battle.  It takes a little creativity to find the best Z-Move for your strategy and a fair bit of skill to find the right moment to use it.


I’ve always thought that Dynamax was meant as an effort to find a middle ground between the greatest strengths of both Mega Evolution and Z-Moves.  Like Z-Moves, Dynamax is a mechanic that all Pokémon can participate in.  It doesn’t matter who’s on your team or which one you like best; any of them can get a huge power boost and strut their stuff as a colossal attention-grabbing Dynamax Pokémon.  On the other hand, the Gigantamax variant of the mechanic lets the designers give something extra-special to a few Pokémon – like Mega Evolutions, but with a distinctive style that tends more towards the surreal, almost dream-like (or, arguably, nightmarish).  Moreover, Dynamax Pokémon are team players: their superpowered Max Moves don’t just give them a damage output comparable to a Mega Pokémon, they also come with field effects that your other Pokémon can use to their own advantage (and all the best competitive teams in generation VIII do so mercilessly).  The Fire, Water, Ice and Rock Max Moves all set up weather effects; the Grass, Electric, Psychic and Fairy ones all set up terrain effects; most of the rest apply stat buffs or debuffs that will also affect partners in a double battle.  The variant G-Max moves used by Gigantamax Pokémon have similar effects, like Giga Orbeetle’s G-Max Gravitas setting up Gravity, or Giga Lapras’ G-Max Resonance setting up Aurora Veil.  Dynamax Pokémon are powerful on their own, but can excel at creating the conditions for other Pokémon to thrive.  Being able to Dynamax any of your Pokémon, without needing to set it up in advance of the battle, also makes it much more dynamic (lol) than the previous two flagship mechanics; deciding which of your Pokémon to Dynamax and when is always an interesting choice that tests your ability to predict the flow of battle.  But at the same time, that’s… kind of a problem.

A Dynamax Pangoro faces off against several smaller opponents in promotional art of a raid battle.

Smogon University, the biggest and arguably most influential English-speaking fan community for competitive Pokémon battles, famously and controversially banned Dynamaxing from most of its competitive tiers quite early in the Sword and Shield era, because – the argument went – the sheer flexibility of Dynamax makes it too unpredictable for any kind of planned response.  Dynamax Pokémon can’t really be “countered” in the traditional sense of competitive Pokémon parlance (to whit: there’s almost nothing that can both switch in safely against a Dynamax Pokémon and pose such an immediate danger that it has no choice but to switch out), because they have so much HP that only the most ludicrous of threats can force them to retreat.  In fact, because players often give the item Weakness Policy to a Pokémon they plan to Dynamax (triggering attack and special attack boosts if the Pokémon suffers a super-effective hit), actually trying to take down a Dynamax Pokémon can very easily backfire.  They also get a lot of powerful fringe benefits that Mega Pokémon didn’t.  They’re immune to Roar and Whirlwind, so you can’t just make them leave, and if a Pokémon is holding a Choice item, the item is temporarily suppressed when that Pokémon Dynamaxes, so Pokémon using these powerful items can easily cheat their way out of the restrictions that come with them.  For Smogon’s formats in particular, the situation is further complicated by the fact that one of the best ways to deal with a Dynamax Pokémon is to put it to sleep, or threaten to do so with Yawn – and Smogon has long-standing rules that strictly limit the power of sleep effects (which… to be fair, have been consistently nasty for Pokémon’s entire history, in spite of multiple nerfs).  Pretty much the only thing that can reliably stop a Dynamax Pokémon is… your own Dynamax Pokémon.  If you can Dynamax the right one at the right time.

The Dynamax Band worn by major characters in Sword and Shield. Considering how many different Key Stone trinkets NPC trainers had in generation VI, it’s amazing it’s taken this long to progress from “bracelet” to “armband.”

And that’s the crux of the problem: if both players can do it, it’s obviously “fair.”  The issue (if you choose to see it as one) is that Dynamaxing regularly causes battles to turn on single critical points of decision.  Fail to predict which Pokémon your opponent is going to Dynamax and when, and you may never get a chance to fix your mistake.  Z-Moves are pivotal points in the flow of a battle, but they only give you one powerful turn.  Dynamax gives you three, and Max Moves tend to have field-wide effects that can shape the battle for several more turns after that.  To some extent, that’s obviously the whole point.  Look at Galar’s huge stadiums; the setting itself tells you that this generation’s battles are supposed to be shaped by Dynamaxing, much more overtly than either of the previous generations were by their own mechanics.  It’s meant to be the most powerful thing you can do, by a significant margin.  Nonetheless, I get the impression that there are a lot of competitive Pokémon players who’d be quite happy with the possibility that Dynamax was never meant to stick around.  I’m inclined to assume at this point that generation IX will have its own flagship mechanic, and its designers will want that mechanic to define battling in those games, just as Dynamax defines the battles of generation VIII.  And yeah, I think I’m on board with this; I think it’s good that Dynamax is here in VIII and I simultaneously think it should be gone in IX (though not necessarily forever; that’s just wasting perfectly good IP, and there’s no reason not to keep using it periodically in spinoff games, the Pokémon anime and so on, just like Mega Evolution); I dunno if that’s a particularly spicy take or not, but it’s mine and I’m sticking with it.

The flagship mechanics are meant, in my opinion, to advance a feeling of uniqueness in each instalment of the Pokémon core series – to escape from Pokémon’s long-standing and honestly pretty strange model of every game trying to be a continuation and further development of all the previous ones (“Dexit,” the controversial decision to leave hundreds of Pokémon out of Sword and Shield, could be seen in the same light).  Battles in Kalos, Alola and Galar feel different from battles in other Pokémon regions, not just because there are new Pokémon and new moves in every game – that’s old news, we understand new Pokémon and new moves – but because there are whole new categories of action you can take, and those won’t always be with us.  I know a lot of people miss Mega Evolution and want it back, but I think ditching it, along with Z-Moves, for Sword and Shield was the right call.  Not every game should have everything in it; Pokémon has traditionally had a very kitchen-sink approach to game design, but frankly more is not always better.  Sometimes more is just confusing and dilutes your vision.  On a different level altogether, in the same way as it feels weird to cart our legendary Pokémon all over the world (doesn’t bringing the four Tapu to Galar cheapen their special relationship with the islands of Alola a little bit?  Isn’t it kind of immersion-breaking to have a whole mess of incredibly rare and specific items like Arceus’ Plates or the Griseous Orb just show up in a dinky little antique shop in Hau’oli City?), it seems almost disrespectful to previous games to take a phenomenon with close ties to their setting’s history and lore and just… say, with no preamble, “yes this is everywhere now.”  I suppose maybe that’s just globalism in action.  But if we’re going to do some Serious Lore Analysis… this one’s gonna have to be a two-parter.

Yeah I know what I said, look, I- I lied, in the introduction; I lied.  This is just something you’re going to have to get used to in our relationship.

8 thoughts on “Pokémon’s Generational “Flagship Mechanics”

  1. You know I feel like we could clear up the risk of new battle mechanics cluttering the gameplay if we, like, gave players the option to set custom rules for online battles? I do agree that not every previous flagship should be a part of the game’s main story, in order to give it a sense of identity, but I feel like it’s just a waste to throw it away and only bring it back sometimes. I believe in having a coherent and focused core campaign, but I also believe in having a fully customizable post game that allows for a greater amount of freedom and experimentation. That’s also how I feel about the Dexit situation, we shouldn’t just phase out new Pokemon from being transferable to the new games just because, especially since some previous generation Pokemon have always been unobtainable in a game without transfer, and I don’t think Game Freak believes cutting them out is really “building an identity” either considering they tried to justify it by saying they were “building models from the ground up”(which is its own other disputable thing, but whatever). And honestly if they keep adding on a new “Flagship Mechanic” every generation, eventually it’s just gonna be another way of doing the same thing over and over, and I doubt they’re clever enough to make every new “super powerful attack mode” feel newly unique in its own right. Hell some are even arguing that Dynamaxing is already kind of a stale imitation of what’s come before, I don’t know if I agree with them, but it’ll probably eventually be true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean, in theory having every option and making online battles customizable works… but what happens when we have over a dozen flagship mechanics to parse? Matchmaking becomes worse as we split the demographic, and fans will constantly fight over it all… and eventually there would just be too many to implement and we get a “Dexit” situation but with mechanics, with people getting upset that every past feature wasn’t brought forward. I sorta agree with Chris in that they can’t and shouldn’t bring everything forward every time. Not every Pokemon, not every mechanic, it just bloats the games, adds too many layers, and wasted dev time every time they want to do an actual meaningful update because they have to update EVERYTHING.

      Also, as Chris noted, no mechanic is necessarily dead for good. Mega evolution has been in numerous spin-offs already. Though mega evolution was my least favorite mechanic because, while it looked cool, it ultimately mainly gave popular Pokemon an even bigger chance to shine, and practically insisted every team have one of those few dozen blessed Pokemon in their party.


      1. Well the solution to that is simple, don’t have a dozen flagship mechanics, as I said you can only add so many before they all feel like the same concept under a different name and mostly feel arbitrary.


        1. And how do you propose they differentiate each generation? At the end of the day there may be only so much they could do but they still should at least try. I particularly liked the direction they went with dynamax since the ideas of the power spots are actually based on real Mythos in the region. I’m totally for that stuff. Who cares if they mechanically start to feel similar? The real point is to make each region unique, and so the aesthetic and lore is where this becomes important. Either way, they’ve opened Pandora’s box and any region going forth that doesn’t bother with a flagship mechanic will feel underwhelming. I still don’t even believe we should have had megas and z moves overlap, we don’t need every option in every game, and that’s my entire point. The series has become way too bloated and should regularly have its content parsed down for each entry.


  2. “peaking with Incineroar using the Bug-type Z-Move, Savage Spinout, which fires a thick cable of sticky white spider silk… right out of Incineroar’s crotch”

    Another hilarious one is Slaking using the Normal-type Z-Move, Breakneck Blitz, because it doesn’t bother leaving its “draw me like one of your Kalosian girls” pose while allegedly running so fast that the bottom of its model is covered by dust clouds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Almost everything is funny with breakneck blitz, because nothing actually uses a running animation. So not everything is on the level of slaking, but the beauty of it is that the first Z-move you get is liable to have a funny animation with one of your team members, if not more than one.

      I loved using it with my grimer, who stretched like a Gen 1 golbat and froze in the pose, prolapsing across the battlefield with a grimace.

      Also gotta love using a drifloon you find in Hau’oli cemetery with the flying z-move, where a balloon dives like a falcon at breakneck speed.

      Liked by 2 people

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