Since Pokemon X and Y, Pokemon has made an effort to introduce a "gimmick" with every generational release. In Generation 6, there was Mega Evolution, which gave some Pokemon access to powerful transformations with new looks, types, and abilities. Generation 7 introduced Z-Crystals, held items that allowed one Pokemon to use a powerful and flashy Z-Move to punch a hole in your opponent's team.
Generation 8 introduced Dynamax, a phenomenon where one of your Pokemon can blow itself up to colossal size and access powerful Max Moves. Some Pokemon could even Gigantimax, altering their appearance and unlocking exclusive Max Moves! And now, Generation 9 (Pokemon Scarlet & Violet) has arrived with its new gimmick, the Terastal phenomenon. Much like its predecessors, Terastallizing has a massive effect on how you play the game.
What Is Terastallizing?
Simply put, Terastallizing allows your Pokemon to change its type. Every Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet has something called a Tera type, which varies from Pokemon to Pokemon. When your Pokemon Terastallizes, they exchange their original typing for their Tera type. This is powered by the Tera Orb, which must be recharged - so do not expect to be able to Terastallize frequently.
How Do You Terastallize?
You'll unlock Terastallizing from Nemona when you're roughly half an hour into the game. You can follow these steps to Terastallize:
- Enter a battle and select the Battle option.
- To the left of your moves, there should be a button labeled Terastallize. Click this button or press R to Terastallize, empowering your moves.
- That's it; your Pokemon will be Terastallized for the remainder of the battle.
Remember that you can only Terastallize only one Pokemon at a time.
Terastallizing uses up power from the Tera Orb but recharging it is as easy as going to a Pokemon Center and healing your Pokemon.
What Is A Tera Type?
A Tera type is a third type assigned to each Pokemon that can only be accessed through Terastallizing. Your Pokemon's Tera type can be viewed in the Menu underneath their regular typing. Usually, a Pokemon's Tera type will match one of its existing types. For example, a Pikachu will often have an Electric Tera type. When Pikachu uses an Electric-type attack, that attack will be powered up by 50% - this mechanic is known as the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB).
All Pokemon receive STAB for attacks that match their type. When a Pokemon with a Tera type matches its existing type, they receive a bonus 50% damage boost to attacks of that type, which stacks with existing STAB for massive damage. So, if Pikachu Terastallizes into an Electric-type, his Thunderbolt will be boosted by both STAB and Terastallization.
Sometimes, a Pokemon may possess a Tera type that is different from one of its existing types. For example, there is a planned event that will distribute a Charizard with a Dragon Tera type through Tera Raids. Normally, Charizard is a Fire- and Flying-type Pokemon. This typing makes Charizard strong against Fighting-, Bug-, Steel-, Grass-, and Ice-type Pokemon and weak against Rock-, Water-, and Electric-type attacks. When Charizard Terastallizes, something very interesting occurs.
Defensively, Charizard will be considered Dragon-type. However, when attacking, Charizard will not only receive STAB for its newly acquired Dragon-type but also retain its Fire- and Flying-type STAB! Indeed, if a Pokemon has a Tera type that does not match its original typing, rest assured that your regular STAB is not going anywhere.
What Is The Benefit Of Terastallizing?
Terastallizing can provide a huge benefit to you and your team. Terastallizing can be used offensively and defensively. Terastallizing can help power up moves not affected by the Pokemon's natural STAB bonus, allowing you to hit Pokemon that can threaten you for more damage.
Furthermore, the newly introduced Tera Blast move gives every Pokemon a new form of coverage. Tera Blast will change its type to match your Tera type while the user is Terastallized, allowing you to hit Pokemon super-effectively with type coverage you may not have possessed previously. On the defensive side, Terastallizing into a type that covers your standard weaknesses can turn your Pokemon into a brick wall.
For example, Hydreigon is a Dark- and Dragon-type Pokemon. This leaves it weak to Fairy-, Fighting-, Bug-, Dragon-, and Ice-type attacks. However, if Hydreigon Terastallizes into a Poison-type, things change. Poison takes neutral damage from Dragon- and Ice-type attacks and resists Fighting-, Bug-, and Fairy-type attacks, removing Hydreigon's usual weaknesses.
Of course, Poison possesses its own weaknesses -- Ground- and Psychic-type moves. However, Hydreigon possesses the Levitate ability, which grants it immunity to Ground-type moves, and Hydreigon's standard Dark-typing makes it immune to Psychic-type moves, making opponents wary of using Psychic-moves in the event Hydreigon does not Terastallize. Hydreigon also possesses multiple moves that can handle Psychic-type opponents. By Terastallizing into an effective type, you can effectively remove all of your weaknesses with proper planning.
Is It Possible To Change A Pokemon's Tera Type?
Yes, in fact, it is! By participating in Tera Raids, you can collect items known as Tera Shards. There are 18 types of Tera Shards, each one corresponding to one of the 18 types Pokemon can have. When enough Tera Shards of one type are gathered, you can take them to Treasure Eatery in Medali, which will use the gathered shards to change your Pokemon's Tera type.