From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Transform (Japanese: へんしん Transformation) is a non-damaging Template:Type2 move introduced in Generation I.
Transform changes the user's current type(s), current stats, current stat levels, current move(s), current species, current cry, and current catch rate to that of the target's.
Each move copied by Transform will have 5 PP. With this in mind, if a Ditto encounters another Ditto in this game, both Ditto will continually Transform into each other, replenishing the 5 PP constantly and making the battle seemingly endless.
Transform does not copy the target's status ailments, level, current or maximum HP, base experience, palette colors, or the generic minimize image. The current stat changes due to Transform will be ignored by critical hits, because critical hits are based upon the Pokémon's original stats. Transform affects the user and not the target, so it is not affected by modification to the Accuracy stat and Evasion stat. However, Transform cannot be used on a target that is in the semi-invulnerable turn of a move such as Dig or Fly.
In-game, if a wild Pokémon uses Transform and is subsequently caught, it will become a Ditto, regardless of what species it originally was. It will then have all the stats and moves of a Ditto, except for its current HP, which will remain unaltered by this change.
In Stadium, Transform will not work if the target's current species is Ditto.
Transform, if used by a shiny Pokémon, will cause the Pokémon species transformed into to appear shiny. Likewise, a normal Pokémon transforming into a shiny target's species will appear as a normal version.
Now, Transform can only be used by the first Pokémon that uses it. If another Pokémon attempts to transform afterwards, the attack will fail.
Unlike Generations II and III, the user of the move instead copies the target's alternate coloration. Therefore, if the target is shiny, then the user's transformed state will be shiny as well. If Transform is used on a Spiky-eared Pichu, then the Pokémon who used it will transform into a Spiky-eared Pichu. If Transform is used on a Giratina (Origin Form), or Arceus, and the Pokémon who used Transform is not holding a plate or Griseous Orb, the Pokémon will first transform to its target, and at the end of the turn transform into Giratina or Normal type Arceus.
Transform will fail if used on a Pokémon behind a Substitute. If Transform is used on Giratina (Origin Forme) the Pokémon who used Transform will remain in Origin Form even if it is not holding a Griseous Orb, instead of reverting to Giratina (Altered Forme). If Transform is used by a Pokémon not holding a plate on an Arceus holding a plate, the Pokémon will retain the target Arceus's typing and not revert to Normal, but its own Judgment will be Normal type.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon
When Transform is used, it merely takes the form of a random Pokémon on the dungeon's floor. However, it does not copy the moves, leaving the player only the basic attack left to use (unless the Pokémon is Mew or used Transform via Assist or Sketch). It also does not copy the type of the target Pokémon.
Because Transform takes on the exact form of the Pokémon transformed into, strange things can occur when a Pokémon uses the move to become another. Specifically, Pokémon with multiple forms cause the transforming Pokémon to behave oddly.
If the Pokémon that is Transforming has previously had Gastro Acid used on it and then subsequently uses Transform without switching out beforehand, the Pokémon that it transforms into will not regain its ability, and thus will not change forms if the ability of the Pokémon transformed into causes this.
Origin Forme Giratina
In Generation IV, when a Pokémon transforms into Origin Forme Giratina, they will retain this form only briefly, and then will revert to Altered Forme. This is because only Giratina can hold the Griseous Orb, which forces this form outside of the Distortion World. Note that if the player is able to have a Pokémon that can transform when battling Giratina for the first time in the Distortion World, that Pokémon will be able to retain its transformation into Origin Forme (due to being inside of the Distortion World).
In contrast, in Generation V, when a Pokémon transforms into Origin Forme Giratina, it will retain the Origin Forme.
When a Pokémon transforms into Arceus, it will become Arceus in its Normal form, unless it is holding a plate. Holding a plate, the transformed Pokémon will at first take Arceus's current form, and then subsequently transform into the alternate form dictated by the plate.
In contrast, in Generation V, when a Pokémon transforms into a plate-holding Arceus, it will retain the Arceus's appearance and type, but Judgment will remain Normal unless the tranformed Pokémon is holding a plate itself.
The Transform Paradox
In Generation I if Ditto (or another Pokémon with only Transform) faces another Pokémon with Transform in a Trainer battle where neither Trainer has any items and no Pokémon besides the Pokémon with Transform, the battle will never end. This is because when Transform is used, the Pokémon will turn into its opponent, resulting in a Transform moveset of, again, only Transform. Since every time Transform is used, it gives the Pokémon using it the target's moveset with 5 PP each, Transform will continue to Transform into itself, restoring the PP every time it is used. Due to this, one will never reach a point where it can only use Struggle, unlike Wynaut and Wobbuffet in later generations who, although they too have no directly damaging moves, will eventually run out of PP and thus be able to use Struggle. This is likely why few Trainers have Ditto in the Generation I games.
This bug is not present in any other games because of a change in Transform mechanics: from Generation II onwards, it is not possible to Transform into a Pokémon that is the Transformation of another Pokémon.
While transformed, any attempt to use a PP restoring item on the moves acquired during transformation will fail. However, if the transformed Pokémon is holding a Leppa Berry, a copied move low on PP will be restored.
In the anime
In the manga
- In the German version of the Generation II games, this move was renamed from Wandler into Verwandler. The reason for this is unknown. Even though the difference in meaning is minimal, this change was retracted in the following generations.
- Transform is the only way that players can see the second sprite of Cherrim's Sun Form's battle animation prior to Generation V, as a Cherrim sent from a Poké Ball will always be sent out in Overcast Form. A Ditto that transforms into Cherrim, however, will play the Sun Form animation if it escapes from a thrown Poké Ball. The same occurs with Castform's alternate forms.
- Both Pokémon that can learn Transform by leveling up are pink and have an alternate color form that is blue.
In other languages
- Chinese: 變身 Biànshēn
- French: Morphing
- German: Wandler, Verwandler (Gen II only)
- Greek: Μεταμόρφωση
- Italian: Trasformaz.
- Korean: 변신 Byeonsin
- Spanish: Transformación
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