Not long ago, we were introduced to a brand new Pokemon called Meltan, a mythical Pokemon that was to be obtainable in Pokemon Go, and was able to be transferred to the upcoming Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee games. On the surface, there wasn’t much to Meltan. It was a simple little Pokemon that clearly was hiding something unique to it. After teasing another form Meltan could assume, the world was finally introduced to its evolution: Melmetal.
Melmetal is the first evolution of a mythical Pokemon, and it looks to be quite the formidable foe. Standing at a massive 8-foot-2, Melmetal is an absolute tank that is ready for battle. What could the future hold for Melmetal in the realm of competitive Pokemon, and will it even have a chance to see one at all?
How to Obtain Melmetal
Canonically, Melmetal is formed by a group of Meltan that merge together. In the games, Melmetal seems to only be available through Pokemon Go after feeding a Meltan 400 candies. This high barrier for evolution isn’t new by any means, but The Pokemon Company has said that there will be shortcuts players can use in order to evolve their Meltan more easily. So far, this is the only way that players are able to obtain Melmetal, and it’s unknown whether or not an evolution method for Meltan exists outside of Pokemon Go.
Competitively Theorycrafting Melmetal
While we currently know nothing about Melmetal’s stats or ability, we can make some assumptions on how this Pokemon will perform. Judging by its hulking stature, it’s reasonable to assume that Melmetal will excel in both its defenses and its physical attack. We do know that Melmetal is a pure Steel-type, which pretty much guarantees that it will be an excellent defensive Pokemon, considering that Steel is one of the best defensive types in the game.
In regards to Melmetal’s offensive capabilities, its looking like a Pokemon packing one heck of a punch. According to its official page on the website for Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, Melmetal becomes “vastly stronger than before”, likely implying that it has a significant offensive boost over Meltan.
One thing we do know about what kind of attacker Melmetal will be is learned through the reveal of its signature move, Double Iron Bash. All we know about this attack is that it is a multi-hit, Steel-type physical attack that may cause the opponent to flinch. I would say to think about it like a multi-hit Iron Head, but part of me doesn’t want to think of it that way. How absurdly broken this move will be will be determined by its base power, and mainly whether or not each hit has a chance to flinch, or if it’s just a single chance.
Granted, attacks that are able to flinch are far more useful on faster Pokemon, so maybe this attack won’t be as big of a problem as we think. However, Trick Room exists, and Melmetal’s steel body is flexible, so maybe there’s a chance that it could be faster than we think.
Melmetal’s Competitive Future
Unfortunately, since Meltan and Melmetal are classified as “Mythical Pokemon”, that pretty much automatically disqualifies their usage in VGC. The Pokemon VGC formats have never allowed Mythical Pokemon (regardless of how weak/powerful each one is), and its likely that Melmetal will be no exception.
However, there is a high possibility that it will see some success in the Smogon singles metagame, as powerful, defensive Steel-types always have a place in the higher tiers.
One thing does remain uncertain: how will Melmetal be obtained outside of Pokemon Go and the Pokemon Let’s Go titles? As we’ve seen by now, the Pokemon Let’s Go games are not intended to be competitive in any way, which means that all of this competitive talk about Melmetal remains pointless until we see the release of the next generation of main series Pokemon titles. It would be hard to believe that Meltan and Melmetal would be exclusive to Pokemon Go and Pokemon Let’s Go, but if that were the case, Meltan and Melmetal wouldn’t have a competitive future at all.
We’ll just have to wait and see if Meltan and Melmetal will find their way out of these games as we inch closer to 2019 and a brand new generation of competitive Pokemon.
Images from Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International