The Pokémon series brought us many amazing battles and storylines over the years, and one of the most interesting features apart from Pokémon is definitely the evolution aspect of the anime. Every Pokémon series had different types of evolutions, generations of Pokémon, and just mechanics that changed with the different series. In this article, we will discuss what does Greninja evolve into and explain its Mega Evolution in the Pokémon XYZ series.
Greninja, the first Pokémon that Ash catches in the Kalos region, cannot necessarily Mega Evolve because a Pokémon needs a special Mega Stone, which is intended for each Pokémon, for it to Mega Evolve. Greninja does not have that luxury but it does have another cool feature – it can call upon a similar evolution to Mega one, The Bond Phenomenon.
We will discuss this topic further by questioning if Greninja can evolve at all, which evolution it requires, and further explain the Mega Evolution in the Pokémon XYZ series. Moreover, we will compare the strengths of Mega Evolved Pokémon and Greninja, so if you are interested in this topic, stick with us until the end of the article.
What Is Mega Evolution?
As we already mentioned previously, new features and innovative mechanics in the Pokémon world are not strange at all. In particular, the Pokémon XYZ series introduced the Mega Evolution, where Pokémon trainers need to acquire a Mega Stone, specific for their Pokémon and use it for Mega Evolution.
During the battle, a Mega Stone can be activated while its corresponding Pokémon is on the field. The Mega Stone needs to be in Pokémon’s possession for it to activate it or in some other series, it can be in possession of the Pokémon’s trainer. Mega Evolution is only a temporary transformation of a certain Pokémon, which usually happens during battle.
Of course, with Mega Evolution, the base stats of the Pokémon changes, with the exception of HP, and the Mega Evolved Pokémon can have different Abilities and types from their original form before Mega Evolution. Every Mega Pokémon, besides Mega Alakazam in Generation VI, has a base stat total of hundred points higher.
However, the big question is whether the Greninja Ash caught can Mega Evolve at all, and if there is a Mega Stone made specifically made for it in the Pokémon world.
Can Greninja Mega Evolve?
One confusion about the Pokémon XYZ series that made fans discuss it was whether Greninja can Mega Evolve. Well, in the Pokémon XYZ series it was established that the Greninja Ash Ketchum possesses cannot Mega Evolve because there are no known Mega Stones specifically made for it. Besides the Mega Stone, Ash does not have a Key Stone in his possession which is required for the Pokémon to Mega Evolve.
However, as usual, with Ash and his Pokémon, Greninja does have a special evolution. Professor Sycamore, an expert in the Mega Evolution in the Pokémon X series, talks about the Bond Phenomena, an evolution that occurs when a Pokémon and its Trainer are fully in sync, hence the name Bond Phenomenon.
This specific evolution does not acquire items like Key Stone and Mega Stone for the Pokémon to Mega Evolve, instead, it can be achieved when the trust between the Trainer and the Pokémon reaches maximum.
What Does Greninja Evolve Into?
Since it does not have a Mega Evolution, Greninja does not turn into anything significant. The Bond Phenomenon provides a so-called “fusion”, not complete though, of a Pokémon and its trainer where a Pokémon takes some features of its Trainer.
Because of that, Greninja is not called Mega Greninja or just Greninja – he is called Ash Greninja. This is the only known Bond Phenomenon that occurred in the Pokémon XYZ series, but we will probably see one more in the future Pokémon series.
The first evolution of Greninja we see in the Pokémon XYZ series is in the 7th episode of the XYZ Pokémon season called “A Festival of Decisions!”, where Ash’s Frogadier evolved to Greninja and assumed the Ash Greninja form.
It was truly acknowledged in the “Kalos League Passion with a Certain Flare!” episode where Professor Sycamore addressed the Bond Phenomenon for the first time.
Why Is Ash’s Greninja So Special?
Ash Greninja is really special if you compare it to other Mega Evolved Pokémon. As we already mentioned, Mega Evolved Pokémon gain bonus hundred points on their base stats, while Ash Greninja gains 110 extra points, which makes it automatically stronger than its opponents.
Because Ash and Greninja now share a special bond and some features, Ash is also physically connected to his Pokémon – whenever Ash Greninja is hit, Ash also feels dealt damage to his Pokémon.
In its final form, the water veil that moves around Ash Greninja’s body forms an X shape that resembles wings. We still don’t know its full capabilities but it appears that Ash Greninja has great speed and power boost that can rival any Mega Evolved Pokémon.
Besides sharing the pain, Ash is also shown to see from Ash Greninja’s point of view and even imitate its movements during battle. It was also revealed why Ash Greninja and Ash are connected and synchronized, they both share the same heartbeat and feelings. Of course, if Ash Greninja is really injured or exhausted in the fight, Ash can pass out due to the exhaustion and pain.
When it comes to Ash Greninja, fans loved it. One of the reasons is the evolution itself but also the fact that during decades of the Pokémon series, every Water-type Pokémon that was in possession Ash, never got full evolution – Tottodile, Squirtle, and more.
During Pokémon XYZ, showrunners actually separated Ash from Greninja and the episode “Facing the Needs of the Many!”, where that occurred, is considered one of the worst Pokémon episodes ever by the fans. Thankfully, Ash Greninja is back with Ash in the Journeys series, even though Ash finally gets a Mega Evolved Pokémon in the Journeys with Mega Lucario.
Unfortunately, Greninja did not officially rejoin Ash’s crew as Charizard did in Pokémon Black and White.