In this page, we are reviewing all we know of the Terastal Phenomenon and its impact in competitive VGC battles!
Latest Update: 20 November 2022
Table of Contents
What is Terastal?
The Terastal Phenomenon is the new mechanic introduced in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, and sort of the spiritual successor to Dynamax, the mechanic of last Generation, as well as Z-moves and Megas from previous eras.
During a battle, one of your Pokémon can undergo Terastallization at any time you choose, allowing it to change its typing for offensive and defensive purposes and gain an advantage in battle! In battle, the effects last until your Pokémon is defeated, even if you switch it out the field and send it back in later turns.
How do I choose my Pokémon's Tera Type?
All Pokémon have a Tera Type defined on capture or hatching from an Egg. Most of the times, said Tera Type is one of its base types, but you you can encounter and catch Pokémon with rare Tera Types in overworld spawns, which appear visibly shiny and sparkly, as well as in Tera Raid Battles.
You can also change your Pokémon’s Tera Type with 50 Tera Shards at the Treasure Eatery in Medali. The Tera Shards are mostly given as rewards on Tera Raid Battles, but you can also earn them by defeating wild Pokémon and in random overworld spawns. Thanks to this NPC, you can change your Pokémon’s Tera Type into any that you want, all 18 Types are possible.
How do the Type changes work?
When you Terastallize your Pokémon, the Type changes apply differently for offensive and defensive purposes:
- Offense: your Pokémon keeps the same-type attack bonus (STAB) for its previous types, and gains it for the Tera Type. For example, if my Salamence (Dragon/Flying) terastallizes into a Fire-type, it will keep Dragon and Flying-type attacks with a 1.5x boost, and now Fire-type moves will also gain a 1.5x extra power. If the Tera Type matches any of the base types, then that type gets a 2x boost.
- Defense: your Pokémon loses its previous type(s) for all defensive purposes, and becomes a single-type for its Tera Type. Still with my Tera-Fire Salamence, that means that it looses all resistances and weaknesses of Dragon/Flying in exchange for those of Fire.
This also means that any special effects granted by any of the base typings are gone, and only those of the Tera Type apply. For example, Tyranitar with Grass-tera would lose both Prankster immunity (Dark) and Sp. Def. sand boost (Rock), but would gain immunity to spore moves (Grass).
These changes only apply while the Pokémon is Terastallized. When used in a battle before pressing the Terastal button, your Pokémon will behave regularly with its base type(s).
How do I tell my opponent's Tera Types?
Tera Types do NOT show on Team Preview, which means you go into the battle without knowing the potential Tera Types of your opponent! The same is true the other way, though, which means you could (and should!) leverage Terastallization to your best to win your matches.