Analytic Mareep asks:

Guilty confession time:
I’m warming up to Greninja’s battle bond ability, and think that the concept is something Pokemon should continue to explore.
Hear me out. I know Ash-Greninja specifically is pure pandering to anime fans. But the implementation of the concept is, in my opinion, mega evolution done right. Mega Evolution was supposed to be about a strong bond between Pokemon and trainers making the Pokemon stronger, which would strengthen the franchise’s partnership concept. But of course, mega stones simply became an OP held item that you could use as soon as you obtained them. Battle Bond, on the other hand, really emphasizes the participation of the trainer (I think Ash feels pain when his Greninja does or something?) and occurs in the heat of the battle, once the Pokemon has already started taking out foes. What if in a future generation, all the starters’ final evolutions had battle bond as an ability? It might need some adjustments, like needing to be at a certain level to activate, and maybe a friendship or affection requirement as well. But overall, I think Game Freak could really work with this.

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Mega Bidoof asks:

Do you think Game Freak will continue to add new evolutions to existing Pokemon now that mega evolutions exist?

I think the two are largely unconnected.  Think about it: generation V had no new evolutions of existing Pokémon, before Mega Evolution was introduced, and generation VII featured neither.  In fact, the only new evolution of the past three generations – Sylveon – actually coincided with the introduction of Mega Evolution.  It’s true that both serve a similar thematic purpose; they both give a new generation of games a more concrete link to Pokémon’s past.  I agree that new evolutions seem to be on the way out, but I think the “replacement” concept to fill that role, if any, is much more likely to be the continuation of regional variant Pokémon.  Mega Evolution is generation VI’s mechanic and tied to the history of Kalos and Hoenn, just as Z-moves are generation VII’s mechanic and tied to the history of Alola, just as the Dream World was generation V’s and has not returned (though the hidden abilities it unlocked remain).  The concept of regional variation, by contrast, doesn’t carry mechanical or worldbuilding baggage, and innately lends itself to being reused again and again through new forms that express the personality of each new region.  Even that, though, is not certain; the designers may have liked regional variation as a feature of Alola specifically, expressing the unusual paths that evolution can take on archipelagos in the real world.  To me it’s most plausible that generation VIII will feature no new evolutions of existing Pokémon, no new Mega Evolutions, and no new species-specific Z-moves (I’m 50/50 on new regional variations), instead spotlighting some other entirely new mechanic that will be tied to the history of the new region and the plot of the new games.

All of this is, of course, as likely as not to be proven completely wrong within the next couple of weeks (heck, maybe even days).  I don’t do predictions; it makes me ill-tempered.

Anonymous asks:

If Aerodactyl is from prehistoric times, then how do you think there’s a Mega Stone for the species when AZ’s ultimate weapon was fired only three thousand years ago? PS: I hope your PhD is going well!

crap I never thought of it like that

uh…

I suppose it’s possible that either the Aerodactylite results from some relict population of Aerodactyl (the anime seems to like having isolated populations of “fossil” Pokémon that turn out to be not quite extinct) or that the ancient Kalosian kingdom had some magical equivalent of the modern processes used to revive individuals of extinct Pokémon species.  But I’m kinda taking shots in the dark here.

PhD is actually kind of on hold at the moment, in favour of a year’s intensive study in Greece, with a bunch of other students at a similar point in their careers.  But yes, it is amazing.

Anonymous asks:

I was wondering what you thought of the pokedex entries on Mega Glalie from Sun and Moon – “The excess energy from Mega Evolution spilled over from its mouth, breaking its jaw. It spews endless blizzards” and “It envelops prey in its mouth, freezing them instantly. But its jaw is dislocated, so it’s unable to eat them.” This seems like pretty direct evidence that Mega Evolution is harmful, and known to be such, by the people who put the dex together. Why are the professors pushing this?

I don’t know how harmful it can possibly be, seeing as mega evolution never lasts more than a few minutes and all the changes are instantly reversed.  I think lines like this stress that mega evolved forms are not actually viable organisms and aren’t supposed to be; they’re ridiculous super-overpowered battle modes that exaggerate everything about the base Pokémon to the point that it becomes self-defeating in non-combat situations.

Anonymous asks:

how broken would a grass/dragon mega serperior w contrary and draco meteor be?

Hmm.  Well, Serperior is pretty good now with just Contrary, Leaf Storm, and basically no other special movepool to speak of, and Grass has terrible type coverage.  The only other point of comparison is Malamar’s Superpower, which is a lot weaker for several reasons.  I don’t know if it’d quite be broken broken because un-STABed Draco Meteor isn’t going to be that much better than Leaf Storm a lot of the time, but it’d definitely be top tier.

EDIT: Derp, misread the question.  Eh, a Grass/Dragon mega evolution would be strong, but I don’t think *that* much more ridiculous than a bunch of other mega evolutions, and you get eaten alive by Ice Shard.  Also, would Serperior actually be able to learn Draco Meteor anyway?  Only Dragon-types can use the move tutor, and Ampharos can’t, despite having a Dragon-type mega evolution.

Rockcutter64 asks:

Since they seemed to have abandoned mega evolution for the moment, any idea what you’d do with megas of the 2nd gen starters?

Not really… I’ve never been wild about any of the generation II starter Pokémon (not even Meganium, who enjoys the benefit of my blanket fondness for all Grass Pokémon), and honestly I don’t really like designing mega evolutions very much.  Typhlosion in generation VII actually got an interesting little almost-signature-move (she shares it with Moltres, and it can be bred into Growlithe, but hey, who’s counting?) – Burn Up, which gives you one really powerful Fire attack and then strips you of your Fire type, which in Typhlosion’s case makes her typeless.  I’d sort of like to give Meganium and Feraligatr something new to match, and then maybe these putative mega forms could have new abilities that mesh with the signature moves somehow.  For Typhlosion, you could have her automatically regain her Fire type at the end of the turn after losing it (for any reason – Burn Up, but also Soak, or anything else added to the game in the future that can cause a Pokémon to lose its original type) and increase her special attack whenever that happens.  Meganium ought to have something better than Sweet Scent that emphasises her ability to quell violence and conflict or restore life… maybe a kind of mass Wish, a delayed full restore that affects everything in play, with an ability that causes all healing from Meganium’s moves to recur one turn later, with reduced effect.  And Feraligatr can just… I don’t know, be able to bite everything in half, or whatever.

Random Access asks:

The only Pokémon with multiple mega evolutions are Charizard and Mewtwo. In Pokémon Origins, Red is given a key stone and a Charizard mega stone by Mr. Fuji, who was also said to have a hand in creating Mewtwo. Do you think there might be some sort of connection?

Ehh… honestly… no, not really.  If that was supposed to be a significant detail, I think Origins probably would have found a way to show one of Mewtwo’s mega evolutions.  I don’t really see anything there that rises above the level of coincidence.