In Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the Terastallize feature is introduced, and a fan points out a major missed opportunity with certain Pokemon types.
Terastallized Pokemon is one of many new features in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, replacing the Dynamaxing feature from the eighth-generation Pokemon Sword and Shield, but it may have missed a significant opportunity for one gym leader’s top Pokemon. Pokemon can now take on any type in the game, switching their special-type attack bonus and breathing new life into the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet battle system.
Similar to the Dynamax ability, Terastallize can only be used once per battle and only when sufficient energy has been accumulated. Trainers, the game’s antagonist, and even gym leaders can use this ability to transform any monotype or duotype Pokémon into a completely different type, giving terastallizing Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet an element of surprise during battle.
Orochiwonka, a Reddit user, brings up the unrealized potential of Scarlet and Violet’s first gym leader, Brassius, and his ace Pokemon, Sudowoodo. Brassius, relying on a trio of grass-type pocket monsters, begins the battle with a Petalil and follows it up with a Smoliv, two relatively simple Pokémon to defeat. As his third and final Pokémon, he sends out the rock-type Sudowoodo to combat trainers who rely heavily on fire-type Pokémon. It turns out that his terastallized form is a grass type, which makes perfect sense given the gym’s theme.
This could have been an opportunity for excellent synergy and a momentum swing in the gym leader’s favor by transforming Sudowoodo into a ground or water type, two elements with an advantage over fire-type Pokémon. In Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, terastal Pokemon retain their same-type attack bonus, also known as STAB, making Sudowoodo an unstoppable force if multiple Pokemon types are targeted by elemental types. Sadly for Brassius and his ace Sudowoodo, the terastal grass form exposes Sudowoodo to a weakness he previously lacked.
In Pokemon Gold and Silver, Sudowoodo was introduced as a tree-like figure that blocked pathways. The in-game mechanic functioned similarly to Snorlax’s representation in Pokemon Blue and Red, with the exception that Sudowoodo required a Squirt bottle in order for the player to provoke it to battle. Possibly Game Freak intended this as an Easter egg to pay homage to the Pokemon’s debut and the misconception that it was both a rock and grass type when, in reality, it was only a mono-rock type. Terastal Pokemon are widely regarded as one of the best gimmicks since Pokemon introduced Mega Evolutions, and the infinite combination possibilities keep the game exciting at every turn.