Gigantamax vs Tera Raids – Which Pokemon Gimmick Is Better?

Which gimmick is more fun for everyone?

If you’ve been following Pokemon, even just for a little while, you’ll notice that there are gimmicks to be discovered with each new game. Lots of features have been swapped in and out of the franchise with each generation, such as Egg Trades, a PokeGear, functional seasons, and a lot more. Battle-centric gimmicks began to come into play with Mega Evolutions, one that paraded during the time of Pokemon X and Pokemon Y’s release window, bringing 3D Pokemon into a brand new age of battle-focused, ever-changing gameplay.

The two most recent gimmicks have been Gigantamax and Tera Raids. They share a lot of similarities in terms of how it changes the gameplay throughout the main campaign but differentiates in benefits and competitive gameplay down the line. Which one is better?

Gigantamaxing: A Big Bold Step in a New Direction

Gigantamaxing was the first gimmick to really focus on multiple Trainers duking it out against a Pokemon, which probably explains the motivation behind big Pokemon in the first place. After all, why would you need to gang up on a Pokemon in a 4 to 1 fight involving multiple Trainers? Simply make them huge, and you have a great reason that ties into the necessity of co-op play. In the last couple of years, it’s been clear that the GameFreak team has wanted to emphasize the community of Pokemon, offering more ways for fans and friends to play together.

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Gigantamaxing introduced many new things that promoted the inclusion of more multiplayer modes. Gigantamax Raids required multiple players to gang up against a gigantic Pokemon, one that either had an entirely different design or was just huge in comparison to its original size. With this growth, power and even the moves of such Pokemon took on huge changes and massive boosts in power as well. The rewards for a Gigantamax Raid include items like Rare Candies, Experience Candies, Berries, TMs, and Dynamax Candies.

Terastallization: A Shiny New Gimmick With Lots To Show Off

Terastallization is the franchise’s newest battle gimmick brought upon by Gen 9, making its debut in Paldea. It focuses on the defenses of a Pokemon, changing whatever the defending Pokemon’s type is to the same as its Tera Type. During Terastillization, the Pokemon functionally becomes whatever Tera Type it is, granting a STAB bonus to that Tera Type. Just like with Gigantamaxing, Terrastilization is cause for multiplayer Raid Battles, which can be accessed via beacon lights in the open world areas of the game.

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Four players take on one Terrastallized Pokemon, hammering away at it until the crystal-like defenses shatter, and the Pokemon can be captured. The rewards for Tera Raid Battles are also similar to Dynamax Raid Battles: experience candies, Rare Candies, Berries, and Tera Shards instead of Dynamax Candies. Both gimmicks, at least gameplay-wise, promote the same thing and offer the same rewards. So what makes them different? What makes one better than another?

Similarities and Difference Between Gigantamaxing and Terastillization

It’s hard to say which one is better than another, considering all the similarities, so we’ll have to narrow down the differences to get a better picture. There are two stark differences between the two gimmicks that we can evaluate in their respective games and even in the meta-game beyond just the titles where each has appeared. The first is the Raid battles themselves and how each is handled during the respective game’s heyday.

Gigantamax Raid Battles, while unique, were unfortunately slow. It was great to be able to play with other players, and the rewards were satisfying in their own way, especially for progressing in the game quickly. However, the pacing of Raid Battles back in Sword and Shield was far slower than in the improved version we got with Tera Raid Battles. Players didn’t necessarily have to wait their turn to make a move, but the entire system felt clunkier and slower in comparison to what we have now. Tera Raid Battles now are far faster and implement a few quality-of-life fixes that make Tera Raid Battles, at least in a purely gameplay perspective vacuum, better.

Gimmicks and Competitive Play

The other factor to consider is the meta-game. Gigantamaxing as a battle mechanic is a little like Mega Evolution on steroids. The only hiccup that Mega Evolution ever got criticized for is the fact that only a select few Pokemon can do it. That means those who have a favorite without a Mega are at an automatic disadvantage. With Gigantamaxing, however, anyone can do it. Terastillization is the same way; any Pokemon can do it, giving every Trainer, regardless of their selected team, the same tools to work with.

Looking strictly at battle versatility for Terastillization and Dynamaxing, however, it’s easy to see which is the preferred mechanic when it comes to competitive play. While Dynamaxing may be able to super-charge and super-size a Pokemon temporarily, there isn’t too much of a counter for it. It essentially makes your Pokemon a gigantic powerhouse with few weaknesses and overwhelming attack potential.

Because of this, Gigantamax Pokemon are often their only counter; one must fight fire with fire to win, and not participating in Gigantamaxxing at all is a disadvantage all on its own. For that inflexibility, this makes Gigantamaxing a little inconvenient as a mechanic. While Terastillization also has this problem of mechanic reliance in order to win, it does come with some battle advantages that Gigantamaxing does not.

Terastilization functions almost like Protean or other abilities and moves that change a Pokemon’s type. If your Pokemon has a wide move pool and the right Tera Type loaded up, it can do devastating damage that it couldn’t before. This factor alone makes Terastilization more fun as a competitive mechanic, giving both Trainers another ace up their sleeves, making the decision to Terastilize or not becoming a key component in Paldea battling.

Which is Better: Tera Raid Battles or Dynamax Raid Battles?

Ultimately, the answer to the question comes down to preference at the end of the day. However, with the advantage that Tera Raid Battles have concerning speed and streamlining, all while having similar, if not better, rewards than Dynamax Raids, Tera Raid battles place themselves just a notch above Dynamax Raids for the campaign-playing Trainers. For those who enjoy competitive play, Terastillization functions as a more fair gameplay mechanic, giving advantages and disadvantages that depend on the strategy of the Trainer, without the mechanic getting in the way via huge stats and move power like with Dynamax Pokemon.