Having noticed that recent generations of Pokémon always include some cool new battle mechanic - Mega Evolution, Z-Moves, Dynamax - at some point during the summer of 2019 I tried to come up with my own.
My goal was for the mechanic to make any Pokémon competitively viable and dismantle the stale, boring way competitive Pokémon are usually played. Also, I didn't want it to be overpowered and overly specialised like Mega Evolution can be. It should make weak Pokémon much stronger, while already strong Pokémon should be affected very little.
The Result: (VERSION 1)
Sigma Armour, an Imaginary Battle Mechanic
"In all Pokémon there live microscopic symbionts with mysterious power.
Modern technology allows us to stimulate these symbionts under specific conditions, making them multiply and grow into temporary additional tissue on the host's body to assist them in battle."
Using the activating item Sigma Resonator on any eligible Pokémon will cause that Pokémon to grow Sigma Armour. Sigma Armour makes the Pokémon very strong, but is rather unstable and falls apart after taking 5 direct hits. The Resonator must be charged between uses, so the transformation can be made only once per battle.
Specifically, Sigma Armour raises the subject's base stats so that their total becomes 600. Pokémon with a BST equal to or greater than that are considered very strong already and not in need of more power. They are not eligible for growing Sigma Armour.
The main points of the stat modification are A) that it doesn't modify HP and B) that it raises the lowest stats first and most.
For strong Pokémon with a high BST this means patching up their weaker stats. For weak Pokémon with a low BST this means a significant rise that turns the weakest of their weak stats into base 100+ strong stats, turning them into instant pseudo-Legendaries that can confront traditionally strong Pokémon.
The stats are increased in a relatively simple process I have a detailed proposition for, but not with me right now. It will be up later. Any thoughts for now?
In detail, what Sigma Armor does is compute the difference D=600-(base stat total). The difference D is then split into portions, the size of which depends on how big D is. These portions are then added to the Pokémon's base stats: first portion to the lowest stat, second to the second lowest etc.
The portions are divided like this:
Divide D by 2 and round it up. This gives you the maximum portion size M.
If M is under 50, raise it to 50. The increase must be significant.
If M is above 100, reduce it to 100 to 90. The increase mustn't be ridiculously too much, which is why it was nerfed to 90. This was done to avoid stats of 150 in weak Pokémon (for non-Legendaries and non-Mega Evolutions, anything beyond 130 is absurdly powerful) and to make the 3rd adding portion substantial.
Starting from the lowest base stat, excluding HP, add M points to it (or all you have left if there are less than M left) and subtract them from D.
If there are several equally low stats, they split all portions one of them would get equally.
Once you empty D, you are done.
After this procedure, the starting Pokémon has a BST of 600 reached by boosting its lowest stats. The idea was that 2 weakest stats are boosted, and the portion sizes were set accordingly. For very weak Pokémon (here defined as having a BST under 400), more than 2 are boosted.
Let me illustrate what I mean with a few examples.
Torterra, with stats distributed as 95/109/105/75/85/56 and a BST of 525, has a difference D=600-525=75.
Step 1: 75/2 rounded up is 38<50, so maximal portion M=50.
Step 2: Our portions are then 50 and 25. Torterra's lowest stat, Speed, gets the 50, and its second lowest stat, Special Attack, gets the 25.
In the end we have Armoured Torterra with stats 95/109/105/100/85/106 and BST 600.
Ledian, with stats 55/35/50/55/110/85 and a BST of 390, has a difference D=600-390=210.
Step1: 210/2=110>100, so M=90.
Step 2: Our portions are 90, 90 and 30, added in that order to the weakest stats Attack, Defense and Special Attack.
In the end we have Armoured Ledian with stats 55/125/140/85/110/85 and BST 600.
Ledian of all things now hits like a truck and is amazingly durable.
Example 3 (the ultimate test):
Solo Form Wishiwashi, with stats 45/20/20/25/25/40 and the lowest BST of all Pokémon at 175, has a difference D=600-175=425.
Step 1: 425/2>100 so M=90.
Step 2: Our portions are 90, 90, 90, 90, 65. All available stats are increased.
In the end we have the horror that is Armoured Wishiwashi with stats 45/110/110/115/115/105, only slightly weaker than School Form Wishiwashi, but three times as fast.
EDIT: changed upper bound for portion size if there are more than 2 portions to 90
The idea is to take any weak Pokémon and turn it very powerful in an unexpected way.
Even though most Pokémon have a relatively wide specially/physically mixed set of teachable moves, most are competitively useful for one way of attacking and serious battlers don't bother using the moves of the wrong category on them. This system can help you have a viable specially oriented Unfezant or physically strong Ledian if you want it.
Very weak Pokémon have large, ~100 adding portions and their stat increase is frankly dramatic and completely changes their role in battle. That's why the system had to be tweaked to make the portions 90 at most - powerful, but manageable. With 100 they climbed to 150(!!!), which is just too much.
Look at this:
Sableye and Mawile, with stat distributions 50/75/75/65/65/50 and 50/85/85/55/55/50, respectively, and a BST of 380.
The difference is 600-380=220, so they will get increases in portions of 100, 100 and 20 90, 90 and 40.
The lowest stat for both is Speed, so it gets the first 90 and is now 140 (incredibly high!).
Special Attack and Special Defense are tied for their second-lowest stats. If they were not tied, one would get the 90 and the other 40. However, as they are tied, each gets half of that: 45 to both, 20 to both, so that both stats are increased by 65.
Now we have absurdly fast, specially defensive special sweepers Armoured Sableye at 50/75/75/130/130/140 and Armoured Mawile at 50/85/85/125/125/140.
I haven't even touched on the possibility of putting Armour on unevolved Pokémon. Those stats would be wild - all, like, base 30, and suddenly it's 120. In several stats. Even Armoured Wurmple would be terrifying.
Version 1 Armour was usable without needing a held item. Further thought led me to conclude a specific held item should be given for balancing purposes. With it I thought up a whole new theme for it:
"There exist mysterious minerals that absorb the energy radiated by Pokémon.
Small pieces of them are equipped to Pokémon, and in places saturated with background energy (where Pokémon often battle, such as Gyms), they react and grow over the wearer's body into shining, crystalline armour that covers weaknesses."
In this version, Armour is can be activated by a Pokémon holding the activating item Crystal Piece at an Armour-enabling location. The Armour itself works exactly like it did before: boosts weaker stats to get a BST 600, breaks after 5 hits.
It's intended to be very versatile and friendly to weaker Pokémon and Pokémon with balanced mediocre stats.
Since it's Christmas time, I'm feeling inspired to give Pokémon Santa Delibird the Armour treatment!
Delibird's BST is 330, distributed 45/55/45/65/45/75.
The difference D is 600-330=270. That is greater than 200, so maximal portion size is 100 90 and the portions are 90, 90 and 90. Delibird's lowest stats are Defense, Sp. Defense and Attack, and each gets a boost of 90.
Presenting the tanky vessel of destruction Armoured Delibird with stats 45/145/135/65/135/75. With defenses almost on par with Toxapex's, sky high Attack and quite a wide physical movepool, this thing would be fierce. Who would have guessed we'd ever say that about Delibird?
Plus, with all that extra strength, it can carry even more presents!