With several layers to the mechanic itself, what Terastallization does and doesn’t give a Pokemon in terms of benefits in battle can be confusing and unintuitive. But as always, we’re here to dispel the mysteries behind the transformations, and how you can apply Terastallization to its fullest potential.
What is Terastallization in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet?
Terastallization is the act of transforming a Pokemon into a crystalline state, changing one or both of their types. This is done with the use of a Tera Orb, which trainers in Paldea can obtain through various means. This very requirement makes it similar to Mega Evolutions in Generation VI (X & Y/Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire) — as Pokemon capable of Mega Evolving need to hold Mega Stones, while trainers that wish to induce Mega Evolution need to use a Mega Bracelet.
Unlike Mega Evolution, however, Terastallization does not require a Pokemon to hold specific items. Instead, every Pokemon is capable of Terastallizing, with no known exceptions.
What Does Terastallization Do?
As mentioned above, the main function of Terastallization is changing a Pokemon’s types. A Pokemon can only change its type to a specific one — known as its Tera Type. For example, a Breloom (Grass/Fighting) may have a Tera Type of Water, or perhaps Psychic. All Pokemon have access to every type in the game in this regard, so the sky is the limit when it comes to assigning Tera Types to different Pokemon.
A Pokemon that changes its type this way enjoys all the benefits and drawbacks that their Tera Type possesses, with a few differences thrown in. A Pokemon that transforms into a Poison-type, for example, becomes immune to the Poison and Toxic Poison status effects, and becomes resistant to Poison, Fighting, Bug, Grass, and Fairy-type moves. However, that Pokemon also inherits the Poison type’s weaknesses to Ground and Psychic.
While Terastallized, Pokemon also receive the benefits of the same type attack bonus — also known as STAB in competitive circles — of the type that they transform into. For example, an Azumarill that transforms into the Dark type will receive a 50 percent damage bonus to its Dark-type moves, such as Knock Off.
Even better, though, Pokemon that Terastallize into a Tera Type that matches one of their native types receive double the STAB damage increase. The same Azumarill from before would therefore enjoy double damage on any of its Water or Fairy-type moves. This can be devastating in a battle, as moves that were once just shy of scoring one-hit KOs (OHKO) on certain opponents may become powerful enough to do so after Terastallization.
In addition, moves below 60 base power that are not multi-strike moves (e.g. Bullet Seed or Icicle Spear) have their base power boosted to 60. Curiously, this effect is never mentioned anywhere in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, and are a “stealth” buff of sorts exclusive to Terastallization. Pokemon with priority moves like Mach Punch and Ice Shard will definitely enjoy this buff.
What are the Limitations of Terastallization in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet?
The main drawback of Terastallization is the fact that only one Pokemon in a player’s party can use it for the duration of the battle. Once activated by a Pokemon, that Pokemon’s teammates lose access to Terastallization. Moreover, should a Terastallized Pokemon faint at any time, they will lose the transformation for the rest of the battle. Terastallization is otherwise permanent and cannot be undone.
Thus, choosing when to activate the mechanic is crucial to getting the most out of it. Activating it while a Pokemon is weakened health-wise may not be the best idea, as you may lose access to the mechanic before you even get anything done with it. On the flipside, activating it in order to change to a type that matches up well with the opponent can save a Pokemon from fainting.
Additionally, Pokemon can only Terastallize to a preset Tera Type. For example, a Tinkaton might go into a battle with Flying as its Tera Type, in order to make itself immune to Ground-type attacks which would otherwise severely damage it. Tinkaton will be locked to this Tera Type for the duration of the battle, and cannot change its Tera Type until the battle is over.
Changing Tera Types also requires Tera Shards, which are obtained through various means on the overworld map. To change a Pokemon’s Tera Type, visit the Treasure Eatery at the Medali Gym upon completing the gym challenge there to exchange Tera Shards.
Finally, players must recharge their Tera Orb at a Pokemon center after each use. Not really a huge deal considering the open world nature of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, but it’s good to keep in mind for when you need Terastallization in an area without easy access to a Pokemon Center.
There are plenty of factors to consider here, which makes Terastallization a tricky beast to tame. Used correctly, though, it can swing a battle heavily in your favor — making it well worth the effort and brain power.
What Tera Types Should I Expect from Wild Pokemon?
Most wild Pokemon will have Tera Types that match one of their native types out of the box. Note that Tera Types cannot be passed down through breeding, so you can expect some consistency here when it comes to the Tera Types of a Pokemon’s offspring.
There are, however, wild Pokemon that possess Tera Types outside of their native typing. Exactly 68 wild Pokemon in the region of Paldea are classified as “Tera Pokemon”, found in fixed areas on the map. These Pokemon, indicated by their glowing bodies, will immediately Terastallize upon getting into a battle with the player character.
Tera Pokemon cannot be caught until sustaining a certain amount of damage from attacks, at which point they will lose their Terastallization and revert to their normal form. Tera Raid Battles also feature Tera Pokemon, though defeating such Pokemon in battle is a much more difficult task compared to Tera Pokemon found in the wild.
What is Tera Blast in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet?
There exists a move in both games that hinges entirely on a Pokemon’s Tera Type, called Tera Blast. At 80 base power and 100 percent accuracy, it’s already a pretty good attacking move by default. But where it really shines is when used in conjunction with a Pokemon’s Tera Type. Tera Blast changes its type depending on the user’s Tera Type, making it great for improving type coverage for Pokemon that need it.
It is, however, limited to special attackers for the most part. Physically-inclined Pokemon might not find much use for it as a result. Still, Tera Blast is comparable to what the competitive scene calls “BoltBeam coverage”, in reference to moves Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Flash Cannon, and Flamethrower — 100 percent accurate moves that hit quite hard and are of useful attacking types.
Tera Blast is 10 base power weaker than most BoltBeam-style moves, but makes up for it in sheer versatility.