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How to Sinnoh Stone: A guide to making the most out of your investment

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MCLA chapter.

Recently, on Feb. 15, 2019, Pokemon Go had their Swinub Community Day event. Community Days are monthly events centered around a Pokemon Niantic chooses. During these events, the shiny rates are spiked up high, and there is usually an exclusive “legacy” move that the player can only obtain by acquiring the given Pokemon during a three hour period on the day of the event.

Well, this time Niantic also practically gave players everywhere access to what essentially amounted to  free Sinnoh Stones. Sinnoh Stones are a big deal. They are usually very rare and used to access incredibly powerful Pokemon, but they can also be wasted on a Pokemon who ends up being merely a Pokedex filler. To help you make your decision on how to best use your Sinnoh Stones, I threw together a guide.

At the time of writing this, there are 16 available Pokemon which can only be accessed via Sinnoh Stone usage. Some of them have proven to define the metagame for their respective typings. Others have proven to simply just suck. This will not only show which are the better investments, but it will also talk about each Pokemon’s best role(s) and moveset(s) as to make the most of the hefty price tag on its shoulders.

Starting off with:

  1. Mamoswine





Explanation: This should really come as no surprise. Mamoswine has single handedly turned the Ice typing from a joke into something to be feared and respected. This thing not only puts out more Damage Per Second than the glass cannon specialist Weavile, but it dominates Articuno and Mewtwo in Total Damage Done as well! It’s so blatantly superior to the competition that if you don’t aspire to build an Ice team consisting simply of six Mamoswines, then you are missing out. Big time. It even has a viable, albeit suboptimal, Ground type moveset.

In terms of roles, Mamoswine is clearly best used as an attacker, though it has some tricks up its sleeve that make it a decent gym defender. In terms of fulfilling the former, a simple set of Powder Snow + Avalanche is what you want. If you’re desperate for a Ground type attacker, Mud Slap + Bulldoze works, and it actually works pretty well, ultimately outperforming anything not named Groudon at being a Ground type attacker. That said, its calling is quite clearly as the game’s best Ice type attacker by far, meaning you should only use it as a Ground type attacker if you really, really need a Ground type attacker. On offense, there is no reason to give Stone Edge and especially Ancient Power as much as a passing glance; the former is inferior to Avalanche in every way, and the latter is just piss-weak and slow. On offense, your fast move will want to synergize with your charge move of choice; pair Powder Snow with Avalanche and Mud Slap with Bulldoze. On defense, you definitely want Mud Slap for a fast move due to how weak Powder Snow is. Avalanche is generally your best option on defense thanks to its wide coverage, but Stone Edge enters the discussion due to how fast it is, combined with the coverage it gets on attacking Fire types. Bulldoze and Ancient Power are just too slow to be useful on defense.

  1. Electivire



Explanation: While Mamoswine is definitely the best Sinnoh Stone evolution, numbers two through four are practically a toss-up. Electivire is chosen because the Electric typing is slightly more relevant, and generally useful, than the Bug typing Yanmega has or the Poison + Grass movesets Roserade can run. Electivire does not define the Electric type metagame like Mamoswine does with the Ice type metagame, but it is currently the third best Electric type in the game, packed in a flurry of large competition the typing offers. The key to Electivire’s usefulness is its access to Wild Charge, which is a must-have move. TM until you get it!

    Electivire can be useful on both offense and in gym defense, but it is best used as an attacker due to its moderate fragility. As previously mentioned, Thundershock + Wild Charge is practically the only moveset ever worth running on offense. Low Kick is blatantly inferior to Thundershock as a fast move for obvious reasons, while Wild Charge is just so much better than either Thunder or Thunderpunch. It is stronger and faster than the two moves, and is generally one of the best charge moves in the entire game. On defense, Low Kick has merit due to being slightly stronger and getting better coverage on Electivire’s counters than Thundershock. Still, Wild Charge is superior on defense for largely the same reasons it’s best on offense.

  1. Yanmega

Explanation: Yanmega is extremely influential in the Bug type metagame, competing only with Scizor for the best Bug in the game. If you laughed at that, then you probably already know why Yanmega is in third, and not second or first; the Bug typing is pretty useless in the grand scheme of things. When the Lake Guardians of Sinnoh and Darkrai come by, it’ll be alright. After that, you won’t see another T5 boss where Yanmega, or any Bug type, will be an appropriate response. Fret not! Yanmega thrives in matchups at all other tiers and is a great Pokemon to have when the Bug typing is useful. It’s simply held back by its typing, stopping it from being a top tier in the game as a whole.

Yanmega can generally fulfill the role of being a passable gym defender in addition to being a good attacker. It probably isn’t exactly rocket science to be able to tell that its bread-n-butter Bug type moveset is its go to in both situations. Bug Bite + Bug Buzz are the way to go, for maximum neutral DPS and thorough milking out of Yanmega’s typing, as much as it possibly can be. Use your Sinnoh Stone here with confidence; Yanmega’s uses are pretty specific, but it fills them with ruthless efficiency.

  1. Roserade

Explanation: If there’s one typing in this game more useless than Bug, it’s Poison. Still, Roserade shapes the Poison type metagame around it (for however much that’s worth), and is also able to put out incredible neutral DPS with its Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb moveset. Roserade isn’t a one trick pony either, with a good Grass moveset in Razor Lead + Solar Beam that puts it amongst the top of the Grass type conglomerate. Looking for a niche, specific, but decent Hydro Pump Palkia counter? You may yet consider putting Dazzling Gleam on Roserade so it could do exactly that!

Roserade is both a standout defender and a standout attacker. On defense, Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb is great, albeit easily resisted. Anything not named Heatran will take a good chunk of damage trying to bring it down, or at least take a lot of time to do so. On offense, you can either go for the classic Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb set, or if you’re hankering for some Grass type offense, Razor Leaf + Solar Beam is for you. Dazzling Gleam has seen some use against Palkia raid bosses with Hydro Pump, though the move has absolutely no use outside of this sole situation. That said, in theory, a Roserade player could decide to spend resources on a second Charged move in order to pick up Dazzling Gleam. This would not only make Roserade decent at combating Dragon types, but it would create a very interesting tool in matchups against the likes of Tyranitar and Honchkrow in PvP. These are Pokemon who think they’ve got you beat, especially in Tyranitar’s case when it sees you’re running Poison Jab, until you show them this! Overall, Roserade is a jack-of-all trades which could theoretically be useful in any matchup where Poison is not being resisted. But, it’s not as great as it could be due to the limited usefulness of the Poison typing and the competition Roserade faces as a Grass type attacker.

  1. Rhyperior

Explanation: You either have a top level Rock type attacker, or a top level Ground type attacker. Sweet. Rhyperior isn’t on Groudon or Mamoswine’s level for Ground type offense, and its DPS on the Rock end isn’t as high as Rampardos’, but Rhyperior is excellent at doing both regardless. Think of this thing as if Tyranitar traded away its Dark typing for a Ground one in that respect.

Rhyperior would make for an incredible gym defender, with a great moveset and stellar stats for the job if it wasn’t for its abysmal defensive typing. This thing is begging for the average Water or Grass type to come in and absolutely demolish it. The average Machamp or Groudon could do that pretty easily too. Where Rhyperior really shines is on offense. Smack Down + Stone Edge or Mud Slap + Earthquake are bare bones, basic attacking sets, and both make for great attacking sets in situations where Rock and Ground, respectively, would be useful. Deploy with confidence.

  1. Honchkrow

Explanation: Honchkrow is a good Pokemon with a well-defined, albeit very competitive, niche as a Dark type glass cannon. It competes with Absol, who is usually favored due to its slightly higher offenses. However, Honchkrow is slightly bulkier than Absol and boasts a neutrality to Fighting, making it generally more useful against Alakazam and Gengar raids. Honchkrow  is also slightly more accessible than Absol, who can only be acquired via an extremely rare egg hatch or defeating the T4 Raid Boss Absol. This is something that requires resources and almost always requires at least one friend to help with. As a standalone Pokemon, Honchkrow can generally do the job of a glass cannon quite well. It has the right moveset and the right stats for the job.

This should hardly need much explanation, but Honchkrow is really best suited for raid and gym offense since its fragility holds it back as a defender. To that end, Snarl + Dark Pulse is the go-to moveset for this purpose. While it does have Peck as a fast move and Brave Bird as a charge move, Honchkrow is a pretty underwhelming Flying type attacker, and Flying doesn’t have great relevance in the world of today anyway. Finally, Psychic is very clearly a no-go for Honchkrow, as the move is never, ever, ever going to be useful for it to run. Great use of a Charged Move TM. 

  1. Mismagius

Explanation: This is more or less Honchkrow if it was a Ghost type. Mismagius, however, can’t compete with Gengar for the title of best Ghost type glass cannon, and so it is relegated to a general damage dealing role against Raid Bosses. On that end, Mismagius faces competition from Tyranitar; generally, situations where Ghosts are useful are ones where Dark types are useful. Tyranitar is a lot bulkier than Mismagius, though Mismagius’ DPS is a good deal better.

Mismagius should be used almost strictly as a raider. There, Hex + Shadow Ball is its best attacking set. Dark Pulse and Dazzling Gleam are both awful and cause Mismagius to become utterly useless.

  1. Tangrowth

Explanation: Tangrowth was hyped up as the coming of the new Grass type king. While it isn’t at all bad at Grass type offense, it has failed to live up entirely to the pre-release hype it got. Any player loaded with Solar Beam Groudon and Roserade, Frenzy Plant Venusaur or Grass Knot Breloom really has no reason to invest in Tangrowth outside of as a Pokedex filler. Still, Tangrowth isn’t hopeless like actual garbage, such as Meganium or Sunflora. It can work if you need a Grass type attacker.

Tangrowth’s excellent bulk makes it a great contender for a gym defender. It will be able to successfully waste your opponent’s time while stalling for that Raid Egg to hatch, just as it can take the time to wear down their Pokemon in the process. On offense, Tangrowth is a generic Grass type, and should be used accordingly.

  1. Togekiss

Explanation: It’s not so much that Togekiss is bad, it’s more so that it just isn’t useful. Fairies in this game are generally bad, and for any situation where you’d find a use for Togekiss, Gardevoir will generally outperform it. Ever since Palkia came out, Togekiss has been picking up some traction as a Tank who can take hits from Palkia well and retaliate with super effective Dazzling Gleams. The problem is, Togekiss isn’t actually doing remarkable damage to Palkia despite hitting it super effectively, so it’s really not as helpful as it looks. To illustrate what I mean consider that, if the minimum amount of people with a party of six Togekisses attacked a Palkia Raid boss and ended up fighting Draco Meteor Palkia (the variant Togekiss is designed to counter), it would take six players to beat Palkia in the allotted time given to beat a Tier 5 Raid boss. Six players! Togekiss just doesn’t really have much of a niche in today’s metagame.

Togekiss, with great bulk and a tricky defensive typing, can make for an excellent gym defender. It deters Machamps, can hit Tyranitar and there isn’t really a failsafe counter to it that won’t waste plenty of time trying to take it down. On offense, Togekiss’ best set is Air Slash + Dazzling Gleam. If you happen to get ahold of Hidden Power Dragon, then that becomes your best bet for fighting Dragon types with.

  1. Gliscor

Explanation: Gliscor isn’t useful in today’s metagame. The only viable moveset it can put together is as a Flying type attacker. Its stats aren’t built very well for this game’s engine, and because abilities aren’t a thing in Pokemon Go, Gliscor can’t abuse Toxic Heal like it can in the mainstream games to pretty much live forever.

Gliscor’s great bulk combined with fast and decently hard-hitting attacks makes it a solid candidate for a gym defender. Anything with Ice type attacks will annihilate it, but mostly anything else can be roadblocked by Gliscor. On offense, Wing Attack + Aerial Ace is really the only thing you’ve got that isn’t totally pathetic. Too bad the Flying type isn’t more useful in this game.

  1. Gallade


Explanation: I guess this is the part of the article where the more pessimistic side of me comes out. Gallade is totally worthless. Just totally useless. It is outclassed entirely by at least half a dozen Fighting types, possibly more. It’s also outclassed on the Psychic type end by roughly about as many Psychic types. Gallade lacks a niche in this game and is therefore not worthy of a Sinnoh Stone investment.

  1. Porygon-Z

Explanation: Porygon-Z has the stats to be useful in this game (more attack than even Gengar!), but it’s let down by a useless typing and a bizarre move pool conveying no useful value. Porygon-Z is marginally useful with a Charge Beam + Solar Beam set to combat Water types, but this set is outclassed by many different Grass types, Raikou, Zapdos, and just about any decent Electric type attacker to boot. Porygon-Z’s Hyper Beam his obscenely hard, especially backed by a weather boost, but the move is simply too slow and doesn’t synergize well with Porygon-Z’s relative frailty. Simply put, this Pokemon has tons of potential, and if it ever gets good legacy moves, it may yet have better days ahead. But for now, it collects dust for the average trainer.

  1. Froslass

Explanation: Okay. The Ice type king Mamoswine, accessible by the very same Sinnoh Stone the noticeably worse Froslass requires, just came out, and this is how you want to spend your Sinnoh Stone? Froslass is utterly worthless. Even if other Ice types and Ghost types didn’t exist, Froslass’ stats are so bad that this alone renders it unviable. Did Niantic seriously give this thing Crunch as a charge move? I guess someone in Niantic management has an agenda against Froslass, whoever inspired the creation of Froslass or maybe they lost a game of mainstream Pokemon to their buddy who was using a Froslass or something someday.

  1. Dusknoir

Explanation: If Pokemon were viable based on how cool they looked, Dusknoir would be a top tier. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way, and Dusknoir is subsequently garbage. It’s a Ghost type with meh bulk and terrible offenses, with a bad move pool to boot. Give me a break.

  1. Magmortar

Explanation: Magmortar is just another useless Fire type in an overflowing pile of useless Fire types. There is nothing Magmortar can do that allows it to stand out. Absolutely nothing.

  1. Lickilicky

Explanation: Normal types in this game suck, and Lickilicky is no exception. A bland move pool sprinkled with useless, slow one bar charge moves and no STAB fast moves all but seal Lickilicky’s fate to being mere Pokedex filler. Lickilicky is only even slightly usable on defense, where access to only one bar charge moves is ultimately its undoing on that front. If you truly must give this thing a whirl, a set of Zen Headbutt + Hyper Beam is probably best. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what your charge move is: they’re all slow, extremely easy to dodge and Lickilicky will likely get destroyed by Machamp before it can even get an attack off anyway.

Meghan is a sophomore who majors in Psychology with a minor in behavior analysis. She is one of the two campus correspondents of the MCLA chapter. Writing has become first nature for her- it's like riding a bike into paradise. She primarily writes about love with the hope to become the female version of Nicholas Sparks someday.