While Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are introducing a few new Pokémon to the franchise, the real star of the upcoming releases is Necrozma, a bizarre light-stealing creature likely created by Lex Luthor (with all the light gone, he can finally defeat Superman!). Necrozma could be found randomly at Ten Carat Hill in Sun and Moon (with no explanation besides Looker’s “That’s not an Ultra Beast”), but the Ultra remakes flesh out the Pokémon’s backstory and make it the focal point of the story, dragging the player on an interdimensional journey to save Sogaleo/Lunala and thwart Necrozma’s evil plans.
As a pure Psychic-type Pokémon with a 600 stat count, a natural comparison to Necrozma is Mew, the original extra Pokémon from Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow. (While Necrozma’s antagonistic backstory is more reminiscent of Mewtwo, the latter has a signifcant stat advantage.) How might the G7 legendary hold up against its super-flexible G1 counterpart? You know the drill by now: it’s face-off time!
(As always, the data in the following analysis comes from the good folks at Serebii.net.)
While the type comparison is a dead heat (again, both are pure Psychic types), the stat comparison is an interesting one. Mew is best known for its moveset flexibility, but its across-the-board 100s (each a respectable score in its own right) make it a viable choice for nearly any situation. Although Necrozma can dish out a bit more pain than Mew (especially with special attacks), it comes at the cost of a noticeable Spec. Defense deficit and a major Speed disadvantage. Power is only useful if you’re fast or bulky enough to use it, so Mew walks away with the victory here.
Sychronize is a decent ability by itself, but it can be worked around it certain circumstances (for example, Fire-type Pokémon can’t be burned by it) if the opponent knows that it’s there. Prism Armor, however, reduces the power of super-effective moves against Necrozma by 25%, so opponents either have to use neutral moves or swallow the damage reduction regardless of circumstance. Throw in the fact that Necrozma’s Spec. Defense is a little shaky and makes Prism Armor all the more critical, and the armor is a clear win here.
|Top 3 STAB Attacks|
|Top 3 Non-STAB Attacks|
|Wring Out||Normal||Opp. HP||S||Aura Sphere||Fighting||80||S|
|Power Gem||Rock||80||S||Mega Punch||Normal||80||P|
|Night Slash||Dark||70||P||Ancient Power||Rock||60||S|
|Other Notable Moves|
|Moonlight||Restores 1/2 HP||Amnesia||Sharply raises Spec. Defense|
|Autotomize||Sharply raises Speed||Nasty Plot||Sharply raises Spec. Attack|
|Charge Beam||Electric||50||S||Transform||Become a copy of the opponent|
It’s one thing to be flexible, but it’s another thing to be a “jack of all trades, master of none.” I’m actually surprised as how sparse Mew’s moveset actually is: It covers the absolute essentials (the best Psychic move, a few other things for type coverage), includes a ton of stat boosters (Nasty Plot, Amnesia, Barrier), and throws Transform on top of it all to let you copy a strong opponent. While this set makes Mew potentially viable in any situation, it also keeps it from filling any traditional roles on a Pokémon team, and thus the Pokémon is always your second choice in a scenario, but never your first one.
Necrozma’s moveset is a bit more conventional, but it’s also in the running for a Finebut award:
- Prismatic Laser’s phenomenal cosmic power is fine, but you lose your next turn after using it.
- Psycho Cut’s 70 power is fine, but it’s a physical move that relies on Necrozma’s lower Attack stat. (Then again, 101 Attack is no joke.)
- Wring Out’s type coverage is fine, but its damage is variable based on the opponent’s HP.
Surprisingly, it’s the “other” moves that are most interesting here: Mew’s stat boosters give its sweeping potential, while Necrozma’s Autotomize and Moonlight/Morning Sun help cover its weaknesses. In the end, however, I’m going with Necrozma because its moveset clearly makes it the top play in certain scenarios, whereas Mew just never seems to have a place to truly shine.
|Top 4 TM Moves|
|Dark Pulse||Dark||80||S||Fire Blast||Fire||110||S|
Mew can use every TM ever made, so it pretty much wins this category by default. However, it’s worth noting just how poorly Necrozma’s TM pool meshes with its stats: It gets Psychic and can pair Earthquake with Gravity for a nice combination, but its TM movepool is dominated by psychical moves, which don’t take advantage of its Spec. Attack stat. This category is a blowout win for Mew.
The results of this face-off hinge on a single question: Does Mew have a role besides “do whatever the rest of the team can’t do?” EV training can make it fast, bulky, or powerful, and TMs can give it whatever type coverage you want, but when it comes down to a must-win situation, Mew isn’t really the Pokémon you want to see coming out of the bullpen. In comparison, Autotomize and a few decent Psychic moves can turn Necrozma into a frightening special sweeper with just enough bulk to leave its mark on the match. I’ve got to go with the new Pokémon on the block this time.
To be fair, a jack-of-all-trades Pokémon like Mew still has value as a team filler, as it can cover holes and roles that your other five monsters can’t. There’s usually a better choice to cover whatever holes and roles you’re worried about, however, and on a well-balanced team you’re likely better off making that choice over Mew.