So we just had a days-long opportunity to catch Pansear around the world as part of the “Ultra Bonus” after the first GO Fest. So you just KNOW the others are coming too… three live GO Fest, three apes: SIMISEAR, SIMIPOUR, and SIMISAGE.
Let’s not beat around the bush here… do we want any of them for PvP? Let’s just get right to answering that by putting all three… under the lights!
- Short answer to the question? No, not really. Simisage is okay-ish in Great League, and Simisear in Ultra League, mostly because their typings just perform well in general against those respective metas. But they’re far from shining examples of their typings.
- Crunch coverage and some decent STAB moves don’t go nearly far enough to overcome their below average bulk.
- With a move shakeup, at least one of them COULD become more interesting. If you don’t intend to read all the below, skip to the last major section of this article to see what I mean.
Alright, if you’re still with me, let’s dive into the good and… uh… the not-so-good.
SIMISAGE, SIMIPOUR, SIMISEAR Stats & Moves
Great League Stats
|137 (135 High Stat Product)||95 (96 High Stat Product)||126 (128 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-14-15, 1497 CP, Level 24)
Ultra League Stats
|177 (175 High Stat Product)||122 (124 High Stat Product)||163 (164 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 3-15-15, 2495 CP, Level 49.5)
Same typings as the starters, and I imagine the pros and cons of Grass, Fire, and Water types are well understood by now, so I won’t waste your time there. The only thing I’ll highlight is the bulk… or lack thereof.
Anything that falls below 100 in any particular stat in Great League is notable, so that 95-ish Defense sticks out like a sore thumb. Generally, the Attack and overall bulk of the Simis is virtually identical to Hydreigon (who just had its Community Day, of course).
Check their stats here to see what I mean. Without going too far down into the weeds, Defense determines how much damage a Pokémon takes from each individual move, and HP determines how many of those hits a Pokémon can take before fainting. In other words, there will be times where one of the SImis will take more damage per hit (fast move and/or charge move) than does Hydreigon, since the latter has a higher Defense stat.
But the Simis can also take more damage overall than Hydreigon, since the Simis have (on average) about 10 more HP. Usually that will roughly come out in the wash, with the compiling damage over the course of battle dealing a little more to the SImis over time and eating up their HP or dealing a little less over time to something like Hydreigon but still dooming it the same way, as it has less HP to give up.
There will be some exceptions where one or the other has an advantage, of course, depending on breakpoints or bulkpoints being hit (especially in terms of fast move breakpoints, since those add up FAST during a protracted battle), but generally I call cases like this “roughly equivalent”.
Hydreigon and the Simis all have roughly equivalent stats, though note that Hydreigon has a very slight advantage in stat product (1640 vs 1628 for the Simis) because of the higher Defense, which makes it easier to hit key bulkpoints.
Got all that? If not, let’s make this very simple: the three Simis have below average bulk. Less than things like Charizard and Trevenant, and roughly equivalent to Machamp and Toxicroak (who both have the same Attack as the Simis, just slightly less or slightly more Defense/HP), for just a couple of many possible examples.
Their goal is to hit hard and fast before their flimsy frame catches up to them. Have they got the moves to do that? Let’s see….
- SIMISAGE: Vine Whip – Grass type, 2.5 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 1.0 Cooldown
- SIMIPOUR: Water Gun – Water type, 3.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 0.5 CD
- SIMISEAR: Fire Spin – Fire type, 3.0 DPT, 3.33 EPT, 1.5 CD
- ALL: Bite – Dark type, 4.0 DPT, 2.0 EPT, 0.5 CD
So beyond the typings, of course, the other big difference between the Simis are their moves.
Each gets arguably the most basic move in their respective typings, with Water Gun being as basic as it comes for Simipour (exactly average Damage Per Turn and Energy Per Turn), and Fire Spin being the de facto move for Fire types like Simisear.
Perhaps the only notable one is Vine Whip for Simisage, as it deals just a bit below average damage while putting up 4.0 EPT (being a two turn move, that means 8 energy per Vine Whip, which is really good).
They all share Bite in common, but uh… no thanks. Not for these three.
How about the charge moves?
- ALL: Crunch – Dark type, 70 damage, 45 energy, 30% Chance to Decrease Opponent Defense -1 Stage
- SIMISAGE: Grass Knot – Grass type, 90 damage, 50 energy
- SIMISAGE: Solar Beam – Grass type, 150 damage, 80 energy
- SIMISEAR: Flamethrower – Fire type, 90 damage, 55 energy
- SIMISEAR: Fire Blast – Fire type, 140 damage, 80 energy
- SIMIPOUR: Surf – Water type, 65 damage, 40 energy
- SIMIPOUR: Hydro Pump – Water type, 130 damage, 75 energy
Yet again, while there are vast differences, all three Simis share a Dark move in common: Crunch. It deals solid damage for the cost, has pretty wide neutral coverage, and of course now comes with that big opponent debuff chance. It’s also the cheapest charge move two of the Simis have available, and as you’ll see in a moment, unlike fast move Bite, all three Simis likely want to use it.
The reason? Each of them comes with two STAB moves, but each Simi is likely only going to ever want one.
Simisage has arguably the best of all of them, with Grass Knot coming for only five more energy than Crunch, and dealing 20 more damage (plus STAB!) for a nice 1.8 Damage Per Energy (DPE).
But here you see what I meant about probably only wanting one STAB move, as the other for Simisage is Solar Beam, which actually has the best DPE of any charge move listed above (1.88) but is also the move expensive charge move in PvP (tied with several others) behind only the useless Struggle at 100 energy. (Yeah, seriously, Struggle costs 100 energy… and deals only 35 damage.)
Yes, Vine Whip and its above average energy gains can get to it in “only” 10 seconds (20 turns), but it’s not a move you want to rely on unless you can guarantee shields are down already. Simisage wants to stick with Grass Knot for its main damage dealer and Crunch for (neutral) coverage.
And so it goes with the others. Simipour gets the cheapest move of all with Surf, though it’s also the lowest damage move in this list. That said, it will still deal more damage than Crunch thanks to benefitting from STAB. And its other move is the big but expensive Hydro Pump… with the lowest energy generating move of the three Simis in Water Gun.
As a result, even though Hydro Pump is the cheapest of the three big closers here (at 75 rather than 80 energy), it still comes slower than the others because their fast moves (Vine Whip and Fire Spin) generate energy faster, and both hit 80 energy before Water Gun hits 75. Generally, you want to just stick with Surf and, again, Crunch.
And again with Simisear, we have Flamethrower as the “cheap” STAB move, and Fire Blast as the expensive closer. Flamethrower isn’t a bad move by any means, but it’s a bit lackluster overall.
I mean, just compare it to Simisage’s Grass Knot… both deal the same damage, but Flamethrower costs 5 more energy. Fire Burst too is rather disappointing, dealing 10 less damage than Sage’s Solar Beam, for the same 80 energy.
This is somewhat compensated by the damage advantage of Fire Spin as compared to Vine Whip, but only somewhat. Just going by moves alone, without considering typings, Simisear looks like overall the weakest of the three Simis.
But that’s all just on paper. Let’s see what the sims say….
So just by record, Simisage is the best in Great League, though with barely over a third of the core meta in the win column, “best” is a bit of a misnomer. It does do about everything you’d want of a basic Grass, beating most all Waters (though losses to Walrein and Pelipper are disappointing), Grounds (Nidoqueen and G-Fisk get away), and Rocks (including Bastiodon, which is nice).
Crunch gives it some rather unusual-for-Grasses wins, like Froslass, Trevenant, Sableye, and Meganium. (And makes for surer, safer wins versus Lapras and Jellicent.) But uh… beyond that and a couple “hey, how about that?” wins versus Cofagrigus, Cresselia, and sometimes Mew, that’s about it.
You’re basically talking a worse Carnivine (who has basically the exact same moveset but a bit more bulk, giving it additional wins versus Obstagoon and Pelipper) and of course a MUCH worse Trevenant (though it IS worth noting that Trevor loses to Dewgong, Diggersby, and Lapras, which Simisage and Carnivine usually overcome).
And again, that’s the high bar. Simisear roasts easy Fire targets like Registeel, Skarmory, Alolan Ninetales, Wigglytuff, Galvantula, Meganium, and Abomasnow, and somehow outlasts Cofagrigus and Drifblim (and Drapion that lacks Aqua Tail), but that’s where it ends. It doesn’t even manage to beat Venusaur, Trevenant, Froslass or other burnable targets.
But even more sad is Simipour, which trails too many other Water options to list, but here’s just one example: generally terrible PvP option Feraligatr more than doubles Simipour’s win total when it also has Water Gun, and still is better even with Waterfall.
Consider that Gatr may have been dead last on any starter analysis going into this past Battle Weekend, and that should speak volumes about the viability of an even WORSE option like Simipour. I guess it’s time to… pour one out for it, eh? 😏 Oh, I can hear your groaning from here!
Yes, the Simis can all reach 2500 CP, though only deep into XL investment (approaching Level 50). Are they worth it?
In a word, no. But in more words:
- Simipour remains very, very sad. Only Fire types (Charizard and Talonflame specifically), Galarian Stunfisk, Skarmory, and Scizor (mostly due to resisting its Steel damage) get washed away. If you’re looking for a Water Gunner, just stick with Blastoise.
- Interestingly, Simisage falls back at this level. It does handle most Waters, sure, plus Machamp, Sirfetch’d, Defense Deoxys, Granbull, and Galarian Stunfisk. (Though some of those are reeeeeeeeeeally close. 😬) But the cracks start to show when you see it loses to Gyarados, Steelix, Barbaracle (DOUBLE weak to Grass!) and others, and nor does Sage inspire confidence against anything NOT weak to Grass. The Ultra League meta requires a Grass type with more unique traits than just carrying Crunch.
- It is now Simisear that pulls ahead of the pack, though as with Simisage’s high bar in Great League, that “high” is still pretty low. The only reason Sear climbs as high as it manages it because of the number of flammable things in the Ultra League core meta… Simisear beats all the big Grasses, Charmers, and burnable Articuno, Escavalier, Scizor, Skarmory, Melmetal, Registeel, and Galvantula, as well as a nice bonus win over Cresselia. (Resisting Grass Knot and Moonblast is obviously the biggest story there.) But as with its simian chums, it is simply outclassed by other available options of its type, with things like Charizard, Typhlosion, and heck, even freaking Flareon leaving Simisear smoldering in a ditch by the roadside. This is just not a great PvP Pokémon, folks.
And really, despite some intriguing moves, I think it’s safe to unfortunately declare all of the Simis basically a bust in PvP. At least in their current form. Is there ANY real hope for them down the line? Are there any moves that could lift them up to a competitive level?
MONKEYING AROUND WITH MOVES
- Simisage can learn the likes of Leaf Storm, Seed Bomb, and Shadow Claw in MSG, among others. But Shadow Claw doesn’t particularly help (Vine Whip isn’t Sage’s problem, and Claw just turns it into a much worse Trevenant anyway), and even Leaf Storm doesn’t really lift it. I think this one is about as good as it can realistically expect to get.
- Simipour could use something with a little more knockout power than Surf or Crunch, but not as expensive as Hydro Pump. Unfortunately, about all it gets in MSG that would fit the bill is Scald, which decidedly does NOT help. Probably what it needs most is a different fast move… something like Shadow Claw (which ALL the Simis can learn in MSG) would be interesting, though I don’t consider that likely in GO. And even then… yeah, still not a great win percentage. Boo.
- There’s some very interesting potential with Simisear. It can get Incinerate in MSG, for one, which is a little bit better. Combine that with a more interesting Fire charge move from MSG, like Flame Charge or Overheat, and now we might be… well, cooking. 🔥 Yesssssss… keep those groans coming. I feed off of it. 🙃 Anyway, there may yet be some hope for Simisear, at least. One can hope!
Alright, that’s all I got for today. Made a lot more out of three somewhat irrelevant Pokémon than I thought I would, but as I often say, sometimes it’s just as useful knowing WHY something bad is bad, rather than just saying “yeah, it’s bad”.
Helps us appreciate why good things ARE good. Plus… a number of folks asked me about Simisear, so here ya go. 😅 Hope this was educational! I worked on it through my birthday yesterday, after all! 🥳
Thanks for your faithful readership, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!