Dynamax

Members of one of the world's largest competitive Pokémon communities, Smogon University, have voted to ban one of Pokémon Sword and Shield's new and prominent gameplay mechanics from its online matches.

The feature in question is Dynamaxing (a new mechanic which temporarily boosts a Pokémon's power and allows a number of potential side effects to take place in battle). Smogon staff held a vote to determine whether the feature should be banned or should remain intact, with a 60% majority being needed for the ban to take place. Qualified users took to the site to make their voice heard (to be qualified, players had to be sufficiently experienced and skilled) and the majority opted to have the feature removed from play.

In a statement, Smogon has said, "The reasoning behind the Dynamax ban involves the increase in power, the impact of the 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 Pokemon at any point of the game." It also notes that its "ultimate goal from a tiering perspective is to create a competitively balanced metagame that prioritises player skill as a determinant of who ultimately wins each battle".

A Dynamaxed Pokémon can change the flow of battle in a heartbeat
A Dynamaxed Pokémon can change the flow of battle in a heartbeat

Of course, this won't impact official tournaments held by The Pokémon Company - indeed, rules for the official Pokémon Video Game Championships 2020 were announced earlier this month - but it indicates that serious players aren't fans of the unpredictable nature of the Dynamax feature.

It reminds us of the professional Super Smash Bros. community - the phrase 'No Items, Fox Only, Final Destination' has become something of a meme at this point, referencing pro players who believe that matches should be made to be as equal and 'fair' as possible, disregarding the game's very nature of randomised items and stages.

Do you enjoy the odd competitive Pokémon battle or two? Do you find the Dynamax feature to be an exciting change, or a nuisance in battle? Share your thoughts with us below.

[via smogon.com, kotaku.co.uk]