30 Jun 2021 4:15 PM +00:00

Meloetta Makes a Perfect Case for Real-Time Form Switching in Pokemon GO

With Meloetta all but confirmed for this year's Pokemon GO Fest celebrations and its signature Relic Song move found in the latest datamine, it's time to talk about what the Melody Pokemon should mean for the game.

Pokemon GO skips out on many of the core combat mechanics of the mainline Pokemon games. Status ailments like Poison and Burn are absent, and form switching—an increasingly common ability of more and more Pokemon—hasn't really made it into the game either.

But Meloetta could be the one to change all that with real-time Pokemon GO form switching. It probably won't, but it really should.

The Pokemon Meloetta in its Aria form.
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As it stands right now, Pokemon forme are either treated as entirely different species (like Defense Form Deoxys) or, in the case of Mega Evolution, time-limited transformations.

In the main games, any Pokemon that can change forms usually does so on a near-permanent basis: you use an item and it stays in the resulting form until it's used again.

Either option opens up distinct battle strategies, but in the case of Meloetta, things could be so much more dynamic if only real-time Pokemon GO form switching were a thing.

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Meloetta doesn't rely on an item to change its form. Whenever it uses its signature move Relic Song, it deals damage and toggles between its Aria and Pirouette forms. Oh, and it sometimes puts a Pokemon to sleep: but we've been over why that won't happen this time around.

So why would this make a good mechanic for Pokemon GO? Because Meloetta's type changes alongside its form. The possibilities aren't endless, but the real-time nature of the game's combat could make for the kind of shakeup the game really needs right now.

It wouldn't make sense for Meloetta to change form with each tap of the Charged Attack button. That wouldn't be fluidity at that point, but a mere annoyance: a bit like Darmanitan's Zen form or Morpeko's Hangry state.

But thanks to the semi-recent (by Pokemon GO's standard) addition of an additional Charged Attack slot, there's a case to be made for Meloetta using a standard Charged Move and keeping Relic Song ready as a strategic choice.

A PvP battle in Pokemon GO.
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With a dual-type moveset like Confusion and Dynamic Punch/Relic Song against something like Tyranitar, Meloetta would deal little damage with Confusion but a lot with Dynamic Punch.

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To make use of STAB and reduce incoming damage, it could rely on Relic Song to switch between its Normal/Psychic and Normal/Fighting in response to the situation.

Meloetta could rely on its Normal/Psychic form to deal more damage with Confusion, then use Relic Song to switch to its Normal/Fighting Pirouette Form to increase the damage it deals with the super-effective Dynamic Punch.

In other hypothetical situations in both PvE and PvP, Relic Song could be used to switch between forms to reduce the damage of potentially incoming super-effective attacks.

Though Niantic has done reasonably well in adapting some key Pokemon features for its game in recent years, most would probably agree that more can be done to spice up Pokemon GO's over-reliance on frantic tapping.

Though we probably won't get a sudden, fluid Pokemon GO form switching feature at Pokemon GO Fest this year, its headline act Meloetta certainly makes a good case for it.

Sing it from the rooftops, Mel.

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