The more we hear about Pokémon Sword and Shield, the more we worry about the game’s future competitive scene. Certain Pokémon will be excluded from the game, which means trainers can only pick and play with Pokémon that are in the Galar Pokédex. Mega Evolutions and Z Moves, two staple elements in the Pokémon series, have also been removed from the game and replaced by a new feature called Dynamax.
Dynamaxing is a new way to battle in-game. By using the feature, you can turn one of your Pokémon into a giant Godzilla-like being for three turns, increasing its power, defense, and everything else for a limited time only. You also gain access to a one-time powerful move to use against an opposing Pokémon. But Dynamax should be banned from competitive Pokémon Sword and Shield.
It’s the big selling point of the game so far and The Pokémon Company will likely want to integrate it into competitive play like it did with Z Moves and other new elements in previous titles. But we think that it’s not competitively viable, at least at the start.
Let’s look back at the first time a new element was bought into the series too quickly and went through an awkward time for a few years. Mega Evolution was a mixed bag of awkwardness in previous competitive formats. Mega Evolutions were legal for a while, but changes were constantly made to them. The Pokémon Company tried to fix this because insanely powerful Mega Pokémon like Kangaskhan could fit into almost any team due to its ludicrous ability to tip the balance in its favor. Mega Evolution was eventually nerfed overall, dealing less damage in later installments.
We hoped that the company would learn from past mistakes before implementing new, unknown features like Dynamax. At first glance, we hope that Dynamaxing is banned when Pokémon Sword and Shield becomes the competitive game in the series for at least a year with the option to implement it later. This would give all trainers a chance to get used to the feature and give The Pokémon Company time to assess its viability.
We also live in a world where games can be patched, so if certain Pokémon or Dynamax features are too strong, there’s a possibility that The Pokémon Company could change something about them to make it a viable competitive option.
We have no idea at the time of writing how strong this feature is, so throwing it straight into competitive could potentially cause a whole host of issues. We also don’t know if there are more new features hiding within the game as we head toward its November release date.
Honestly, though, it doesn’t matter what we or anyone thinks. The Pokémon Company plays by its own rules and will do what it feels is best for the scene. There isn’t much room for debate, so let’s just wait and see what happens.