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Unova Stone Tier List

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Intro

Niantic recently introduceda brand new evolutionary item to Pokémon GO that's specific to Generation 5: the Unova Stone. Much like the Sinnoh Stone before it, it serves to evolve Pokemon that need different items or methods in the main series games. A few of them are already released, and we know the rest by the code that was datamined. 

The availability of the Unova Stone remains very limited for now, as it’s only found in weekly Research Breakthroughs. This article examines its most relevant current uses.

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High Priority

Not much to say here. If you’re not into PvP (and even if you are, probably) there is only one pokemon that truly deserves your precious Unova Stone.

Chandelure

With its dual typing, Chandelure is a fantastic addition to any Ghost or Fire team. It’s blessed with an extremely high Attack stat and it won the move lottery, getting the best possible sets for both of its types!

ChandelureFire

As a Fire-type, Chandelure currently sits right on par with Blast Burn Blaziken as a non-exclusive pokemon, with less survivability than Moltres (which uses the same set of Fire Spin and Overheat) but significantly more raw damage output. It will soon face tougher competition from fellow Gen 5 critters, namely Volcarona, Darmanitan and, most importantly, the legendary Reshiram, which is going to reign over Fire-types for a long time. Chandelure is still going to be a great, more easily available pick, with its Ghost typing allowing for niche advantages. For example (as noted by RyanSwag) it resists or double resists all of Registeel’s moves, which will make it a very powerful anchor for whenever that living trash can will return.

ChandelureGhost

The Ghost side of things is where Chandelure gets even more interesting. It does not boast the absurd tankiness of Giratina-Origin, nor it reaches Gengar’s DPS heights, but it actually goes quite near, staying well above Shadow Ball Mewtwo. Also, unlike Gengar, it’s not weak to Psychic, which makes its performance much more reliable against the many legendaries of that typing. Comparing it to Dark-types (which are in constant competition with Ghost-types since they’re both super effective on Psychic and Ghost itself), Chandelure is way ahead of all current ones in terms of damage output and it will be at Darkrai’s level when that one gets released.

If you were lucky enough to catch a high IV Litwick, though, you might not want to rush the evolution. Chandelure is a fan favorite pokemon that is part of a 3-stage evolution line and has a sweet shiny variant: that’s the perfect fit for a Community Day. If, when and how, we cannot know for sure yet. Looking at its movepool from the main series games, among Ghost moves it could only gain status ones (Confuse Ray, Spite, Curse) that would need the Charm treatment to be translated in Pokémon GO. However, there are a couple of interesting Fire options; Inferno and Incinerate, which could let it close the DPS gap with Reshiram eventually. Flamethrower is a possibility too, but a very disappointing one.

Lastly, if you’re one to prioritize PvP, Chandelure isn’t your man, or your chandelier. It’s way too squishy to compete in Great League, where we already have a superior pick with the same dual typing in Alolan Marowak, and in higher leagues there are many better Ghosts (looking at you, Giratina) populating the meta as well.

Low Priority

This section would be split in two sections — one with pokemon that are viable for PvP, and the other with the mere Pokédex fillers. However, in reality, all the ones below are completely useless for raids and gyms, and at the borderline of viability in PvP, maybe. Let’s be clear, they won’t ever see the light of relevance in general Great or Ultra League, but they might be usable at some point in Silph Cups. Those have proved time and time again, with all the different restrictions, that even the most unsuspecting pokemon can have their time in the spotlight.

Elektross

In the main series games, Elektross has the ability Levitate, which adds an immunity to Ground to make it the only pokemon without any weakness. Here, stripped of abilities, the electric eel is just that, an ordinary Electric-type. Not a bulky one at that either, having defensive stats similar to Raichu, Raikou and Magnezone. So, how can it stand out from those? The answer might only be its very diverse movepool, with Spark quickly generating energy and many options like Dragon Claw for spammy damage, Crunch for unique coverage, Thunderbolt for a big STAB hit or Acid Spray for tricks.

Simi

The three pseudo-starters; Simisage, Simisear, and Simipour, are exclusive to different parts of the world, aren’t at all bulky and have pure Grass, Fire and Water typings. Not very exciting for PvP, given how many top picks of those types exist already. The monkeys have parallel movesets too, with Bite and a STAB option as fast attacks, and Crunch to combine with a STAB charged move. The differentiating moves aren’t bad, actually: Vine Whip and Grass Knot for Simisage, Fire Spin and Flamethrower for Simisear, Water Gun and Surf for Simipour. That’s still not enough to make them look good, though. Maybe if at some point Niantic decides to give them a little extra spice (Shadow Claw?), or if the Dark-type coverage is really crucial in some Silph Cup, we’ll see them in action.

Cinccino

This fluff ball named Cinccino is a Normal-type Charm user, and the Great League is not new to those — Wigglytuff and Delcatty come to mind. Cinccino at least is the only one to have Aqua Tail and Thunderbolt as weird coverage moves with reasonable energy costs, but it also doesn’t have nearly as much bulk as the two mentioned above. In fact, it is so fragile that it loses to Altaria without shielding. It will probably be bound to the sidelines, but hey, at least it’s cute!

Musharna

Musharna is Psychic-type with the horrible Zen Headbutt and Charge Beam as fast moves, plus very limited coverage in Psyshock and Dazzling Gleam, is never going to make waves in PvP, despite how tanky Musharna actually is. With a decent max CP of 2723, it could at least make for a nice anti-Machamp gym defender — if it was only able to learn Confusion, that is. There aren’t actually many moves that could improve Musharna, from the ones it can learn in the main series games: Shadow Ball, Signal Beam and Rock Slide would be nice coverage, but the fast move issue will likely always remain.

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