A tier list dedicated to the Pokemon GO Sinnoh Release Wave on November 14th, 2018.

Introduction

The first wave of cross-generation Gen 4 evolutions is here! Any Pokemon that evolves with an evolution item in the Gen 4 main series games can be evolved in Pokemon GO with the new Sinnoh Stone, a rare item that is currently only obtainable in weekly research breakthroughs. Because of this, players will want to use their Sinnoh Stone wisely.

This article and accompanying video will examine the current best uses for the Sinnoh Stone and discuss current and future competition these Pokemon have, as well as exclusive moves to potentially hold out for. It is worth noting that Pokemon from Gen 4 who evolve based on location or by knowing a specific move are not included. Also, we’ve never had a Pokemon requiring an item for evolution featured on Community Day or featured as a raid boss. This probably makes all Pokemon listed in this article less likely targets for exclusive moves in general.

Before we continue, we’d like to mention with extra emphasis that as usual, it’s best to save resources until absolutely needed. If you evolve an Electabuzz today and Niantic surprises us with Heatran as a raid boss a week later, you may wish you had a Rhyperior instead.

This article is also available in audio/video form here for those that prefer that style of content. There's a lot of information covered here. Let us read it for you while you crack a Lucky Egg and level up with some new info!

Top Tier

These Pokemon have the ability to be the best options in your battle party. Their great performance makes them good additions to the roster of many players, both established and new.

These Pokemon face competition from other species, so your desire to evolve Pokemon from this section should reflect your current collection. For example, a player with multiple maxed Grass-types may find that they don’t have the desire to power up a Roserade. If, instead, you lack powered Groudon, Rhyperior might be a better choice.

The above infographic and below descriptions detail some of these alternatives to consider: if you have enough of them, you may wish to drop its rank accordingly. The optimal use of a Sinnoh Stone is always going to be a Pokemon you power up and use.

1. Electivire

Thunder Shock + Wild Charge

This incredible evolution leads the charge among Electric attackers. With the exception of the fragile Deoxys, Electivire has the highest DPS against Pokemon weak to Electric. It does bring less bulk than Raikou, failing to completely obsolete the other legendary option.

Highest DPS Electric Attackers:

Competitors: Raikou, Zapdos

Looking Forward

Don’t count on an exclusive moveset. Considering it already tops the charts, there’s not much room to improve on Electivire. It also has a baby form (somewhat awkward for a Community Day) and just had its shiny released via the Gen 4 Hatchathon.

The biggest drawback to evolving Electivire is its lack of utility in legendary tier 5 raids. Depending on future bosses, other Pokemon's rankings may improve.

Those in need of an Electric-type attacker should feel great about using their Sinnoh Stones on Electabuzz. Electivire should remain the top dog until Gen 5 brings a pair of Electric legendaries, and that’s not something to expect any time soon.

2. Roserade

Razor Leaf + Solar Beam

Roserade ranks atop the Grass-type DPS charts, though still falls behind Frenzy Plant Venusaur in most simulations. The one-bar Solar Beam on a frail Pokemon like Roserade, paired with a low EPS fast move like Razor Leaf, typically leaves you with energy loss and lowered DPS.

Grass is a useful attacking type, but there are many other good and available Grass attackers, meaning Roserade may not be worth your Sinnoh Stone just for this purpose. Without the help of weather boost, Grass attackers fall behind the best Water-types against Ground and Rock and behind the best Electric attackers against Water-type targets. For this reason, too, Electivire may be a better candidate. Grass-types still remain second class attackers in Pokemon Go overall.

Highest DPS Grass Type Pokemon:

Competitors; Electivire, Raikou, Zapdos, Kyogre, Gyrados, Venusaur, Sceptile

Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb

Roserade also boasts the top Poison DPS in GO. Poison has less type coverage than Grass, effective against only Fairy and non-Poison Grass-types, but this double role helps Roserade stand out. However, again, it needs weather boost to compete with Meteor Mash Metagross or elite Fire-types in the relevant matchups.

Competitors: Moltres, Entei, Flareon, Metagross

Looking Forward

This is a similar story to Electabuzz, making it an equally safe bet. There’s a baby form and the shiny has already been released in its own mini event featuring increased shiny rates.

Unlike Electabuzz, though, expect to see Roserade fully dethorned once Sceptile gets Frenzy Plant. As a Poison attacker though, nothing threatens Roserade’s spot except a Gen 7 legendary, making this the least likely Pokemon to become obsolete on this list.

3. Weavile

Feint Attack + Foul Play

Weavile currently has the highest Dark-type DPS. Similar to the Grass / Electric comparison, the best Dark attackers typically fall behind the top Ghosts, but both are boosted in fog. Thus, Dark’s only edge over Ghost comes from its defensive strengths against Psychic, Ghost and Dark attacks, contributing towards higher TDO.

Highest DPS Ghost Counters:

TDO is where Tyranitar really comes out ahead against the newcomer Weavile. Dedicated players who likely have armies of powered Tyranitar and Gengar at the ready may reconsider evolving Sneasel just for the Dark specialization.

Competitors: Mewtwo, Gengar, Tyranitar, Absol, Banette

Ice Shard + Avalanche

Weavile was also blessed with a powerful set of Ice attacks, putting it in the position of the game’s best Ice-type attacker. If Rayquaza returns tomorrow, Weavile is solidly the top counter. This dual utility contributes to Weavile being an excellent recipient of a Sinnoh Stone.

Competitors: Mewtwo

Looking Forward

Weavile is going to very quickly get outclassed as we see more Sinnoh Pokemon released. Piloswine’s evolution Mamoswine and the mythical Darkrai will both strictly surpass it as Ice and Dark attackers, respectively. Glaceon will also encroach on Weavile’s icy niche, providing a more common alternative with similar performance.

Highest DPS Rayquaza Counters:

Weavile has the most powerful Ice- and Dark-type movesets already, and would be a bit out of left field as an exclusive move target. If anything, should we ever see repeat Community Days, Tyranitar could use a boost with Foul Play to put it back on top.

4. Rhyperior

Smack Down + Stone Edge

It’s hard to talk about Rock Pokemon without again talking about Tyranitar, as it's been the undisputed King of Rock since its Community Day, but now Rhyperior comes pretty close. Rhyperior’s Smack Down isn’t locked behind a 3-hour exclusive window, and Rhyhorn is a far more common wild spawn. Many trainers are low on Larvitar candy after evolving and powering up two separate Tyranitar teams for the legendary birds and Mewtwo. Unlike Smack Down Tyranitar, Smack Down Rhyperior can be TMed at will, allowing you to power up one and make use of both sets.

Highest DPS Rock Type Attackers:

Unfortunately, the stat rebalance means Rhyperior loses slightly to Tyranitar in both DPS and TDO. If Ho-oh or other Flying legendaries return soon, Rhyperior is a great option.

Competitors: Tyranitar

Mud Slap + Earthquake

Ground-type is finally getting a makeover with the Gen 4 release. The previous serviceable Ground attackers were Groudon and Rhydon. Rhydon is still 93% as good as Rhyperior here, and both trail Groudon while remaining good budget options, far better than the next best option, Golem.

Competitors: Groudon, an unevolved Rhydon

Looking Forward

Rampardos on the horizon threatens Rhyperior and Tyranitar both. Rhyhorn being so common will allow it to remain a great budget option. On the Ground front, Rhyperior should see a lot of use when Dialga and Heatran come to legendary raids, but soon Garchomp will overtake it.

Highest DPS Electric Counters:

Trainers considering spending their precious Sinnoh Stone on a high IV Rhyperior for its Ground or Rock movesets may want to consider potential future exclusive moves. Rock Wrecker is a signature move for Rhyperior, similar to Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, and Hydro Cannon for the respective starters. Earth Power has already been found in network traffic. With no current shiny, this 3 stage Pokemon might be an option for a future Community Day.

Now, should it receive Earth Power, your existing Rhyperior can become Rock attackers. If it gets Rock Wrecker, TM your Rhyperior to Ground attacks. Because of its spot high on both lists, a Rhyperior you evolve now will still have some niche that you can feel safe investing in.

Benchwarmers

These Pokemon aren’t going to be leading any battle parties but are serviceable 2nd string attackers. Usually, they won’t even make your top six. Competitors are less of a concern when evolving Pokemon in this category because these are more obviously outclassed.

Whereas previously listed options have competitors, these Pokemon are strictly outclassed by better options. Benchwarmer Pokemon take a back seat specifically because they are likely to be outclassed in most all trainer’s collections.

5. Honchkrow

Snarl + Dark Pulse

Many of the same things can be said for Honchkrow that were said for Weavile, though the ‘krow comes with less DPS and less bulk. Consult the above chart for specifics. Honchkrow’s draw is that it is much more common, but that doesn’t help much when the bottleneck is Sinnoh Stones.

Competitors: Weavile’s list + Weavile

Peck + Brave Bird

Honchkrow tops the list for non-legendary Breloom counters, but otherwise most Flying-types fall flat. In more common scenarios where Pokemon are only singly weak to Flying, top Psychic or Fire attackers will perform much better.

Highest DPS Breloom Counters:

Looking Forward

Murkrow received its shiny treatment for April Fools Day 2018. Unlike most pranks, this one actually gets funnier if it happens again. It’s a next level troll. The joke is on Niantic though because this bird actually can find some use with Gen 4. What’s a better troll than giving it Foul Play and propelling it near Darkrai’s DPS?

Jokes aside, Honchkrow will probably stay right where it is, right behind another Dark-type that also requires a Sinnoh Stone.

6. Togekiss

The final stop in the Togepi evolution line has an interesting claim to fame; considerable bulk and a double resistance to Fighting attacks. This makes for a decent gym defender, though recent stat nerfs to the typical Normal-type gym walls leave gym defense in a state of flux.

Air Slash + Dazzling Gleam

Still left without a Fairy fast-move (there is no Hidden Power Fairy), Togekiss as an attacker isn’t yet the Fairy queen we need.

Highest DPS Machamp Counters:

Togekiss’s rank improves significantly in cloudy weather, but there remain many other powerful options and better investments to get the job done. Machamp counters are always nice and for that alone (plus maybe its flexibility with Hidden Power) it will be a defendable Pokedraft pick, though an extremely expensive one, requiring uncommon candy and Sinnoh Stone Hidden Power evolutions.

As a bonus, the above chart shows just how deep you have to go to make Honchkrow a relevant Flying attacker.

Looking Forward

One can always hope that Togekiss will gain a Fairy fast move, as it remains the only Fairy-type Pokemon with access to a Fairy-type move (Fairy Wind) that hasn’t yet been implemented in Pokemon GO. Future generations feature a handful of Pokemon doubly weak to Fairy - these present a chance for Togekiss to shine. Hydreigon, in particular, is a pseudo-legendary, and even a weak Fairy fast move would make it the optimal counter by a fair margin.

Although Togepi is rare and a beloved Pokemon, a Community Day for it would deviate from established precedent considering it's a baby Pokemon with a shiny variant already released. It’s unlikely that Togetic would appear in boosted numbers and Togepi has never spawned in the wild itself. Togepi CD or a Togetic raid day are both possible but don’t expect them.

7. Magmortar

Fire Spin + Fire Punch or Fire Blast

Magmortar, like the unreleased Heatran, got a bad draw in the moveset lottery, hampering its viability as a Fire contender. Its best charged moves are Fire Punch and Fire Blast, both significantly inferior to Overheat. As it's strictly inferior to the ubiquitous Flareon, it can’t be high on a Sinnoh Stone priority list.

Highest DPS Fire Attackers:

Looking Forward

While Magmortar lacks an established signature move for a prospective Community Day, if it were just given access to Overheat it could secure the 2nd highest Fire DPS behind Moltres. This would place roughly on par with Blast Burn Charizard, giving a reprieve to those who missed Community Day and lack the resources for legendaries.

While unlikely, it’s not impossible for Niantic to release Overheat Magmortar in a future moveset update. Keep in mind, however, that Heatran vastly outguns Magmortar, so the same can be said for Heatran. We already have Shiny Magby too, echoing the sentiments of many of these Gen 4 Pokemon, so a Community Day seems unlikely.

8. Mismagius

Hex or Sucker Punch + Shadow Ball

Highest DPS Ghost Counters:

Mismagius is next in line for Dark / Ghost attackers with a bit more bulk than some other options. Noticeably, it sits behind Tyranitar in DPS with much lower TDO.

This is a hard pass unless you’ve already bought the matching hat, in which case its a top tier buddy Pokemon.

Looking Forward

There’s not much room for this Pokemon to improve. It can’t learn Lick or Shadow Claw and even with those moves, it would reach around Sharpedo levels on the above chat.

Dex Filler

9. Porygon-Z

Porygon-Z has great base stats but suffers from its movepool. Normal-type Pokemon can’t get STAB and have their attacks be super effective, which already sets it back, even with its incredibly high Attack.

As a defender, it is another punching ball for the ubiquitous Machamp.

Looking Forward

Porygon is a former 10km egg Pokemon that seems to have been skipped as a Community Day target. Without a shiny variant released, it would be a very reasonable Pokemon to feature.

Porygon also has a noteworthy signature Normal-type move in Tri Attack. A Normal-type fast move could make Porygon-Z in partly cloudy weather comparable to Metagross as a generalist, although type effectiveness (1.4x) is typically going to be more powerful than STAB (1.2x).

All of these things contribute to Porygon being the best candidate on this list for a potential exclusive move.

10. Gliscor

This 185 Attack Pokemon doesn’t break the top 40 Breloom counters even with a double Flying moveset. It could make for a decent gym defender, at least.

Looking forward

This Pokemon needs too much help. If you use your Sinnoh Stone here, you’ll at least be the first in your community to add it to your Pokedex.

The main reason to not evolve is so that you don’t have to waste another Sinnoh Stone down the line when the shiny variant is released.

11. Dusknoir

With 180 Attack (less than Gastly), this one-eyed Ghost unfortunately doesn’t have much going for it. Gengar, Banette, Mismagius, and Drifblim outperform it in every possible way. The latter is also a better gym defender, even though Dusknoir boasts the 19th highest Defence stat in the game. Hopefully, you managed to acquire some Rare Candy as a quest reward in exchange for your Duskull candy during the Halloween event.

Looking Forward

It would need a complete gameplay overhaul to have a chance at becoming good. Shedinja probably has better odds towards being useful.

At least Dusknoir already has a shiny so we don’t need to worry about a horrible future Community Day. One final word of warning; shiny Duskull and Dusclops are much sweeter than shiny Dusknoir. Avoid using a Sinnoh Stone here at all costs!