Mega Evolution Dynamics: Why is Mega Charizard Y Deadlier than Mega Charizard X?

Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y
Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y

Trainers! It has been quite a while since we have had the introduction of Mega Evolutions in Pokémon Go. While the reviews were mixed, to say the least, it simply cannot be denied that mega evolutions have taken the meta by storm. 

Particularly in Raid Battles (Mega evolved Pokémon aren’t allowed in GBL yet), most Mega evolutions absolutely dominate the DPS department, unanimously turning into top tier counters in raids.

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During the inception of mega evolved Pokémon in the game, probably none was more anticipated than Mega Charizard X. 

The Pokémon fandom has always believed that Charizard should have been a Dragon type. Game Freak obliged by giving Charizard two mega evolutions (a distinction shared by none other than the almighty Mewtwo) with one of them being a Fire Dragon type!

Mega Charizard X got not just the cherry on the top of the cake… it got the entire cake! A black coloured dragon with blue flames spouting out of its mouth, having horns and spikes, and an ominous stance of soaring in the air… Charizard fandom rejoiced!

The propaganda didn’t end here though. The XY and XYZ anime showed Alain’s Mega Charizard X as an unstoppable monster, rampaging through almost everything on its path and defeating Ash’s legitimately competitive Kalos team in the process. 

So naturally, Pokémon Go trainers were looking forward to owning one in their team and crushing the meta.

However…

The stats begged to differ. While Mega Charizard X came with a very respectful ATK stat of 273, one could only stare in awe at the ATK stat of Mega Charizard Y: 319

All of us who marvelled over Mewtwo’s ATK stat of 300 were brutally introduced to the sheer power of mega evolutions by Mega Charizard Y’s astronomical ATK stat.

But more importantly, it totally put the infamous Mega Charizard X to shame.

Was it an injustice on the draconic variant of Charizard due to Pokémon Go’s system or stat conversion? Or was it just how it was meant to be?

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Also, even if we keep stats aside, why is Mega Charizard Y the more formidable form of our good old Charizard?

And ultimately, how do Mega Charizard X and Y fare against their peers?

We will find out about that and more in…

Why is Mega Charizard Y Deadlier than Mega Charizard X?

Let’s begin!

Stats conversion from the main series games

Let us check out the stats for Charizard’s two mega evolutions in Pokémon Go:

Charizard (Mega X) FireDragon
Max CP at Level 40 3850 | Max CP at Level 50 4353
ATK 273 DEF 213 HP 186
Weak to Strong Against
Rock Ground Dragon Grass Bug Ice Steel Dragon

 

Charizard (Mega Y) FireFlying
Max CP at Level 40 4455 | Max CP at Level 50 5037
ATK 319 DEF 212 HP 186
Weak to Strong Against
Rock Electric Water Grass Bug Steel Fighting Ice

 

We are all aware of the three defining stats of Pokémon in Pokémon Go: ATK, DEF and HP. 

Yes, we also have CP but that’s technically derived from the three stats mentioned above. 

It should be understood that the ATK, DEF and HP of each pocket monster in Pokémon Go is derived by mathematical calculations from their six stats in the main series games: Stamina (HP), Attack (Atk), Special Attack (SpA), Defense (Def), Special Defense (SpD) and Speed (Spe).

For the mega evolutions of Charizard:

Stats for Charizard, Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y from the main series games, Courtesy: Smogon

Attack or ‘Physical’ refers to a move wherein the attacking Pokémon makes physical contact and interaction with the forces behind the move. Examples include Thunder Punch, Ice Fang, Flame Wheel, Outrage

The ‘Special’ refers to a move wherein the attacking Pokémon does not make bodily interaction (interaction, not talking about contact here) with the forces behind the move. Examples include Thunder, Ice Beam, Flamethrower, Draco Meteor etc.  

Looks complicated?

Fortunately in Pokémon Go, it’s quite simple with only 3 governing stats and no differentiation between physical and special attacks. 

But in order to understand why Mega Charizard Y hits way harder than Mega Charizard X in Pokémon Go, let us take a look at their respective stats in the main series games:

While Mega Charizard X has a very good 130 in both Atk and SpA, Mega Charizard Y has a dramatic 159 Atk. 

So Mega Charizard X is a mixed attacker (equally good as both a physical and special attacker), shelling out damage from a 130 Atk/SpA stat…

Mega Charizard Y is primarily a special attacker, shelling out a whopping 159 SpA stat 

So in terms of the Atk/SpA distribution from the main series games, Mega Charizard Y ends up having a higher figure.

So basically, if both Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y breathe fire at you, bet on the fact that Mega Charizard Y is going to hurt you more and make you feel deep-fried, extra crispy. 

It is worth noting that the Speed stat is also a factor when considering the base ATK in Pokémon Go. However, both forms of Mega Charizard have the same speed.


 

The lore behind Charizard’s mega evolutions: Y >> X

To understand this, let’s see why Mewtwo and Charizard have 2 mega evolutions.

I’ll start with Mewtwo because quite honestly, it’s logical, easier to understand and does not appear forced.

Mega evolution is a natural progression towards a more powerful form through energy generated by a corresponding mega stone. The presence of the key stone and the mega stone in tandem is analogous to an activation agent (key stone) and a catalytic converter (mega stone). 

Now the Y variant of mega evolution is the ‘natural’ mega evolution. Mewtwo, after all, is a clone of Mew. So when Mewtwo evolves into Mega Mewtwo Y, it becomes smaller, boosts its Psychic abilities and looks closer to a Mew, its natural form. 

Mega Mewtwo X, on the other hand, is an ‘artificial’ form of mega evolution. This mode of mega evolution acts like steroids, literally bulking up Mewtwo and turning it into a Psychic Fighting type. 

Similarly, when we come to Charizard, the Y mega evolution is a natural one. Charizard, a Fire Flying lizard, turns into a leaner and meaner flying machine with larger jarred wings that make it fly to altitudes almost unachievable by other Flying types. 

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Its internal bodily heating system lets it breathe unimaginably hotter flames and is hot enough to produce extreme heat all around its vicinity as atmosphere, making you feel like you’re stuck in a furnace. This is what grants Mega Charizard Y the Drought ability in the main series games, making its bodily heat project itself like the sun shining brighter and warmer than before. 

So the Y mega evolution literally improves upon what Charizard has been doing all the while and turns into a more terrifying fire breathing fire lizard. 

When we come to Charizard’s other mega evolution, this mode is all about activating base Charizard’s dormant draconic genes and granting it the Dragon typing in the process. 

It gains the ability Tough Claws, which boosts the power of contact moves by 1.3x

You have a dragon that relies on coming in physical contact with you in order to perform its best

While the other can move better, makes the sunlight harsher, can breathe hotter fire and does not need to come in contact with you to decimate you. 

Yes, Mega Charizard is no longer a Flying type and as such, it cannot maneuver as well as its Y counterpart. Y anyway has a more aerodynamic design and so you can see why Charizard (who usually battles airborne) is more comfortable in its Y form. 

To go into more competitive detail, Mega Charizard X needs to take a turn to use Dragon Dance and set-up in order to threaten Mega Charizard Y. 

The Y variant can simply use a super-effective Dragon Pulse and OHKO Mega Charizard X depending on the SpA EVs and nature. 

Fun fact: It is of no wonder that even Mega Mewtwo Y is more powerful than its X variant.

Mega Charizard Y easily takes the win in every format.  


 

How meta relevant are Charizard’s mega evolutions in Pokémon Go?

DPS-wise, Mega Blaziken will surpass Mega Charizard Y marginally owing to its 329 ATK stat. 

However, Mega Charizard Y is bulkier and boasts of better TDO. This is very convenient in raid battles as Mega Charizard Y can last for a longer time, keeping the mega evolution power boost running for more time and sport nearly the same DPS as Mega Blaziken. Plus, Mega Charizard Y’s typing grants it lesser weaknesses and more resistances. At the end of the day when the sun goes down, Mega Charizard Y will still remain the more viable Fire type mega evolution. 

Mega Charizard X, on the other hand, cannot occupy a competitive position either as a Fire or a Dragon type.

As a Dragon type, Megas Rayquaza, Garchomp and Salamence will crush Mega Charizard X due to superior stats and better moveset.

Fun fact: Due to stat conversions and main series games stats, Mega Garchomp is a much more powerful Dragon than Mega Salamence even though base Salamence has a higher ATK stat than base Garchomp. Mega Salamence has an ATK stat of 310 in Pokémon Go while Mega Garchomp has an astronomical ATK stat of 339!


Conclusion

Charizard may just be another one of your typical starters in the meta, but Mega Charizard Y is an entirely different level of monstrosity in the meta. 

Use your Elite Charged TMs and give your Charizard Blast Burn. The Fire Spin + Blast Burn and Dragon Claw is your go-to raid monster. And a wholesome Steel killer in PvP. 

The good news is the fact that it will always remain a dominant force to be reckoned with. 

Rise high, flying close to the sunlight’s embrace and watch the meta burn… burn in flames that are hotter than you can imagine!

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My name is Niladri Sarkar. A Team Valor Trainer, I'm a Pokémon Battle Mechanics Specialist & an Ace Dragon Trainer on Smogon's Pokémon Showdown, where I particularly excel with Dragon types, Sandstorm and Rain teams. I love to apply my knowledge and experience of the competitive scene to the ever changing meta of Pokémon Go. Garchomp is my best Pokémon pal through and through.