Incineroar posing in a grassy field in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Pokémon pros say Mega Evolution wouldn’t break Incineroar in Legends: Z-A

"I'm praying on its downfall."

Ever since Mega Evolution was teased in the first Pokémon Legends: Z-A trailer, VGC players have seen Incineroar as a potential candidate for the Mega mechanic. Dot Esports spoke to top players about the possibility of Mega Incineroar in the upcoming game as well as future VGC formats.

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Incineroar is no stranger to competitive play, and it proved its dominance once more at the Europe International Championships (EUIC), where it was the most-used Pokémon on days one and two of the event. In addition to asking pro players about Incineroar in the current Regulation F format, we also looked ahead at the possibility of getting Mega Incineroar in Legends: Z-A, as previously pointed out by former world champ Wolfe Glick.

Incineroar holding a Mega Stone in Pokémon.
Will Mega Incineroar become a reality? Screenshot by Dot Esports. Image via Game Freak. Remixed by Dot Esports

Initially, this sounds quite intimidating. Mega Evolution gives a select few Pokémon a boost in stats and often new Abilities or typings, and this could easily turn an average Pokémon into a broken one like Mega Kangaskhan. In theory, you’d assume Incineroar—one of the best Pokémon in VGC—would become even more busted with a Mega Evolution. But in reality, pro players don’t think this will be the case; in fact, Mega Incineroar could end up being weaker than its regular form.

“It’s not a ‘mon that I ever thought particularly needed a Mega because I just feel like it’s kinda solid as is,” Joseph Ugarte explained to Dot Esports. “It’d have to be doing something very different than what it does in its regular form because a Mega is like a big commitment.” You’d not only have to commit your one Mega slot to Incineroar but also dedicate its item slot to its Mega Stone.

This could end up being problematic since Incineroar prefers to hold other items. “Normally you want more support items such as the Safety Goggles, the Shuca Berry, Sitrus Berries,” James Baek said. That way, Incineroar can support another Mega Evolution ‘mon rather than Mega Evolving itself. “Unless it’s got incredible stats… I just can’t see it being better than regular Incineroar.”

When it comes to Mega Incineroar “doing something different” from its standard form, many of the pros agreed with Chuppa Cross IV’s take: “Usually, Incin’s moving in and out a lot, but maybe it pops that Mega Stone, gets a speed boost and attack boost, and suddenly you don’t have that pivot when you come in anymore. Maybe you have worse defensive typing than Fire/Dark. That would be really interesting to see.” Normal Incineroar is known for its fantastic support and utility, so it would definitely be refreshing to see a more offensive cat in action.

Jeudy Azzarelli can see Mega Evolution being “more of a sidegrade than an upgrade” for Incineroar, referencing Mega Tyranitar and Mega Garchomp who aren’t necessarily better than their normal forms. But even if Mega Incineroar is just a side grade, Azzarelli is “praying on its downfall” to keep it away from competitive play. “Hopefully, it’s just so bad that we never use it. That’s the goal.”


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Author
Karli Iwamasa
Karli is a freelance writer based in the Bay Area. She has written about your favorite video games on sites like Dot Esports and TheGamer. When she's not writing, she's playing VALORANT or the latest Pokémon game.