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Pokémon competitive players ban Dynamax from Smogon tournaments

Dynamaxing in Pokémon Sword and Shield has proven divisive among competitive players, with a big community site rejecting the feature from their tournaments.

Pokémon Sword and Shield introduced both Dynamax and Gigantamax, a feature whereby a Pokémon’s size and stats are ballooned for three turns.  

The official Pokémon tournaments will utilise both features in the 2020 competitive scene, but Smogon, one of the biggest community sites which hosts its own, has decided to ban Dynamax altogether.  

In a post explaining the decision, they wrote: “The reasoning behind the Dynamax ban involves the increase in power, the impact of secondary effects each type’s move has, the defensive merit gained through doubling the HP of any Dynamax user, and the element of unpredictability that comes alongside being able to Dynamax with any Pokémon at any point of the game.” 

They added: “There is no true limit to how potent Dynamax moves can be given that each type provides different benefits that can potentially be game-changing; some of the most versatile Pokémon that are already great in the current metagame are made much stronger due to this, which makes finding reliable counterplay a virtual impossibility at times.” 

They also describe the ruling as a solution to “create a competitively balanced metagame that prioritises player skill”. 

The decision was made through a poll conducted by qualified players on the site.

While not an official Nintendo tournament, it’ll likely raise questions among the whole competitive scene over whether Dynamax should be included.  


Dynamax has proven a controversial inclusion among competitive players (Picture: Nintendo/Game Freak) 

Ginx previously spoke to competitive Pokémon players entering the official tournaments who were generally a lot more positive about the mechanic’s impact, although there was some concern for the early stages. 

Aaron “Cybertron” Zheng said: “A lot of people see Pokémon as just doing heavy damage and trading blows left and right, but with Dynamax you can play it offensively for big knockouts, or defensively for raising your own stats or decreasing your opponent’s stats.  

“I think the mark of a good team will be one that’s super flexible and can pull off Dynamaxing at any given point.” 

The official rules for competitive Pokémon Sword and Shield are effective from 4 January 2020.  

Adam Starkey

Adam Starkey

Written by GINX redaction

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