One of the biggest competitive Pokémon communities has banned Dynamaxing from its official matches. In a statement last night, staff from PC-based Smogon University said that following a landslide community vote, the franchise’s new battle mechanic will only be available in casual matches.
Smogon’s statement says that “the reasoning behind the Dynamax ban involves the increase in power, the impact of secondary effects each type’s moves 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 Pokémon at any point of the game.”
The post explores all of these concepts in detail, discussing the increasingly defensive nature of the meta, the impact of secondary move effects, and immunity to certain moves. However, it also states that “the biggest reason for banning Dynamax is [...] the unpredictability that comes alongside it,” and that Smogon prioritises “skillful play and minimising guesswork” - something that the mechanic throws out of the window due to its potential relevancy for all creatures at all phases of a game.
Dynamaxing, which was introduced to the series with Sword and Shield, increases the size (and in some cases appearance) of a given monster during battle. Like Mega Evolution, it can only be used on one monster per match, but unlike Mega Evolution, it only lasts for three turns. During that time, the Dynamaxed Pokémon gains extra hitpoints, and transforms their moves into 'Max Moves', changing their effects based on their elemental type, and adding new effects across the entire battlefield.
241 of the community’s highest-ranked players contributed to the vote, with 86.7% voting to ban it from the standard ‘OU’ competitive tier and all lower tiers. Dynamaxing will still be allowed in casual games or unofficial tournaments, and the ruling will have no effect on official Nintendo tournaments.