In the world of Pokemon, the Pokemon evolve in different ways. Most evolve through level-up, others evolve through learning a move, Friendship or trading. But there are some that evolve in varying, strange ways that pique the interest of trainers.
With that, here are my top 10 unique evolution mechanics that fascinate me.
Honourable Mention: Kubfu to Urshifu
At the time of writing, we’d had the Legendary Pokemon for the Isle of Armor expansion announced, Kubfu. We’ll be given one to train with, and depending on the choices we make with Kubfu, it will evolve into one of two forms of Urshifu – Single Strike (Fighting/Dark) or Rapid Strike (Fighting/Water). You obtain Single Strike by training in the Tower of Darkness, and Rapid Strike by training in the Tower of Two Fists.
10. Farfetch’d to Sirfetch’d
Farfetch’d was a Pokemon that everyone wanted an evolution for, and we got that – technically. Galarian Farfetch’d has a focus on battling, and will evolve into Sirfetch’d when hitting three critical hits in one battle. It sounds really difficult but is actually quite simple. I chose a higher-level enemy that would take a few hits, I put a Dire Hit and the Leek on the Farfetch’d and spammed Leaf Blade, to almost ensure a critical hit every time I attacked.
9. Mantyke to Mantine / Pancham to Pangoro
Mantyke is adorable, and Mantine always had a connection to Remoraid – in its official artwork and early sprites, it is always seen with a Remoraid under its left wing. With this in mind, Mantyke will be able to evolve into Mantine when it is levelled up with a Remoraid in the party.
Pancham evolves into Pangoro in a similar fashion. Instead of having a specific Pokemon in your party, you only need a Dark-type to evolve Pancham, starting at level 32. I suppose this is because that Dark-type would have an influence on Pancham, as Pangoro becomes Fighting/Dark-type.
8. Eevee to Sylveon
Eevee has a lot of different Eeveelutions that it evolves into with differing circumstances. Sylveon, up to Generation 8, was the most unique – Eevee had to have two criteria to evolve into Sylveon – having two hearts in affection, which could only be obtained through Pokemon Amie/Refresh, and Eevee had to have a Fairy-type move learned – Baby-Doll Eyes is the key move to have on your Eevee in this case.
7. Toxel to Toxtricity
It’s only natural that Toxel and Toxtricity would be on this list. Starting from level 30, Toxel will evolve into one of two forms of Toxtricity depending on the Nature of the Toxel in question. Low Key and Amped Forms don’t have different stat distributions but will have different appearances based on an electric and bass guitar respectively. They also learn a different move at level 52. The distribution consists of the following:
6. Feebas to Milotic
Feebas and Milotic has two different evolution mechanics, depending on the game. When it was first introduced, Contests were the norm in the games, and you used to have to raise the Beauty condition of the Feebas before levelling it up and evolving it into Milotic. However, when Contests were removed in Generation 5, you simply had to trade a Feebas that was holding a Prism Scale, with the exception of the ORAS games, which used the Contest mechanic once more. It’s definitely an evolution method that makes sense considering its The Ugly Duckling-like evolution.
5. Yamask to Runerigus
Yamask got a Galarian form and a new evolution in Generation 8, and it’s quite a challenge. You have to have the Yamask lose 49 points of health in battle, and then take it to the overhead rock in the Dusty Bowl in the Wild Area, and then it’ll evolve into Runerigus. My tip is to have it hold a Focus Sash, run into a strong enemy, let the Focus Sash activate and then use a Poke Doll to exit the battle. It’s quite fun when you know how to trigger the conditions to evolve, but it seemed so difficult at first. It makes me wonder how they’d implement it further down the line if they decide to expand this Galarian line.
4. Milcery to Alcremie
The evolution mechanic is so fun to do, and it makes a lot of sense. All you need to do is have the Milcery hold a Sweet of your choice and spin around, depending on what form you want your Alcremie to become. I’d recommend looking at this page to find out all of the different forms. However, the shiny form is unaffected by this, and the only changes you can make to it comes from the Sweet that you give to it.
3. Karrablast with Shelmet
I love this evolution mechanic because it doesn’t seem to make sense when you first hear about it, but when you look at Accelgor and Escavalier, it makes a whole lot of sense. Basically, you have to trade one for the other to trigger the evolution. One of them holding an Everstone means that neither evolve. This is because, during the trade sequence, Karrablast steals the shell from Shelmet. This results in the evolution to Accelgor and Escavalier respectively, as they adapt to the change.
2. Porygon line
Porygon is the only Pokemon of which you can obtain both evolve it all the way at level 1. The trades are necessary because of Porygon being a virtual Pokemon, and trading with different items correlates to upgrades. The Up Grade trade evolves Porygon to Porygon2 while trading a Porygon2 holding the Dubious Disc will evolve it into Porygon-Z. During the last evolution, the Dubious Disc has an issue within its programming, resulting in Porygon-Z seemingly infected with a virus. This sort of thing fascinates me – as it should, my boyfriend studied Computing.
1. Inkay to Malamar
I always cite Inkay’s evolution to Malamar a fun one, because it involves some fun with the console’s gyroscope, and the design of Malamar compared to Inkay fully reflects that, as well as its category as the Overturning Pokemon. All you have to do is level up the Inkay to 30 while you have your 3DS or Switch handheld system upside down (note that the Switch controllers alone won’t do the trick). I doubt we’ll ever see any more gyroscope-based evolutions, so make this one count!