Howdy folks! Our next Limited Research Day is just about here, this time centred on both versions of STUNFISK! Obviously, Stunfisk is a name that is WELL known in PvP by now, and while you may think you know everything you need to about it (at least the Galarian version), let’s see if we can take this opportunity to highlight some new-to-you information anyway!
But first, as per usual, our Bottom Line Up Front…
- Yes, Galarian Stunfisk really IS worth all the hype in both Great and Ultra Leagues… but you knew that already, right?
- What you may NOT know is that this is a case where high-rank IVs really DO help in Great League, and Best Buddying for Ultra League sees some immediate return on investment as well!
- Unovan Stunfisk plays differently but is still a solid option in Great League Limited metas, and is perhaps worth a fresh look in even Open play. It’s also decent in Ultra League, but uh… use those XLs for Galarian first and foremost before you get too cute with that.
Alright, now for the deeper dive.
STUNFISKS – Stats and MovesStunfisk GroundElectric Stunfisk (Galarian) GroundSteel
Great League Stats
|102 (100 High Stat Product)||128 (127 High Stat Product)||169 (177 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-12-15, 1499 CP, Level 27)
Ultra League Stats
|134 (134 at Level 51)||156 (157 at Level 51)||214 (215 at Level 51)|
(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs, CP 2445 at Level 50, 2474 at Level 51)
Yep, that’s right if you didn’t know it already, both Stunfisks have the exact same stats. And those stats are actually REALLY good. They’re both in the Top 25 in Great League in terms of Total Stat Product, which is basically how much a Pokemon’s combination of stats they can squeeze in under a particular League’s CP limit. For Great League, obviously, that means 1500 CP or less. Out of the three stats each Pokemon has in GO — Attack, Defense, and HP — Attack is weighted the most heavily, so things with a high Attack stat will generally bump up against 1500 CP with far less bulk than things like the Stunfisks. Take, for example, the extreme case of Haunter. It has the right spammy moves to make the most of its super high Attack and can do a lot of good work before its lack of bulk catches up to it, but in the end, its Total Stat Product is an abysmal 1379. The Stunfisks have 2200, better than things like Defense Deoxys, Lugia, Tropius, Dewgong, Altaria, Dusclops, HYpno, and a ton of other noted beefy ‘mons. (Here’s where they sit, if you want to see what else is around them.) Long story short: they are some of the bulkiest Pokemon around, and by stats alone, easily among the best Pokemon in PvP.
But they do not sit on equal footing (finning? 🤔) when it comes to their typing. Both are half-Ground, but their subtyping takes them in two very different directions from there.
Galarian Stunfisk is really good in PvP for many reasons, but one big one is that its subtyping is the best defensive typing in the franchise: Steel. By itself, Steel comes with only three weaknesses (Fighting, Fire, Ground) and eleven resistances (Normal, Flying, Rock, Bug, Steel, Grass, Psychic, Ice, Dragon, Fairy, and 2x Poison). Adding in G-Fisk’s Ground typing adds on a double resistance to Electric and further resistance to Poison (now 3x!) and Rock, though it does make Grass and Ice now deal neutral, and adds an outright weakness to Water. Still, four weaknesses compared to 10 solid resistances is pretty darn good! Easily one of the best defensive-type combinations out there. Combined with that high bulk and stat product, you can see why G-FIsk sits pretty in Great League especially.
Not so much with OG Stunfisk, though. Its subtype is Electric, which does resist Steel, Flying, and Electric, and has but a single weakness (to Ground), but leaves Stunfisk with four weaknesses and only five resistances. Perhaps worse, those weaknesses are all quite common (Water, Grass, Ice, and Ground), whereas many of its resistances (Electric, Rock, and Steel in particular) are far less so. It immediately is disadvantaged as compared to its Galarian cousin.
But that’s far from insurmountable! Like I said, if something as flimsy as Haunter can make a big impact in PvP, clearly moves can overcome such flaws. Let’s see how that goes for these two!
- Both: Mud Shot – Ground type, 1.5 DPT, 4.5 EPT, 1.0 CoolDown
- Unovan: Thunder Shock – Electric type, 1.5 DPT, 4.5 EPT, 1.0 CD
- Galarian: Metal Claw – Steel type, 2.5 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 1.0 CD
Normally, this is going to be Mud Shot for both of these two, though sometimes you’ll see Thunder Shock on Unovan Flatfish. They have the same great stats, though Mud Shot usually wins out with its effectiveness profile (super effective vs Steel, Rock, Poison, Fire, and Electric, resisted only by Grass, Bug, Flying) as compared to Thunder Shock (super effective versus only Water and Flying, and resisted by Grass, Electric, Dragon, and Ground). But both moves have exactly the same low damage and high energy generation, so even having the “wrong” one still allows Stunfisk to do what it does best: spam out charge moves like there’s no tomorrow.
Galarian Stunfisk is even easier to sort out, as Metal Claw is a below-average move. You may on very rare occasion see it in Little League where G-Fisk is allowed as a surprise against things like Cottonee, but even there it’s almost always Mud Shot and the high charge move pressure it brings that will win out.
Speaking of those charge moves, they differ pretty widely between the two Stunfisks, so here I will split things up.
Charge Moves, Unovan Stunfisk
- Muddy Water – Water type, 35 damage, 35 energy, 30% Chance: Decrease Opponent Attack -1 Stage
- Mud Bomb – Ground type, 55 damage, 40 energy
- Discharge – Electric type, 65 damage, 45 energy
The good news is that Original Recipe Stunfisk is even spammier than its Galarian cousin, with Mud Bomb coming in fast, and even its most expensive charge move, Discharge, coming at the same speed as G-Fisk’s standard fastest charge move at only 45 energy. The rather obvious downside, however, is lacking any charge moves with higher than Discharge’s 65 damage. Stunfisk will wear you down and apply tremendous shield pressure, but anyone that’s used it can tell you that it can be very frustrating sometimes trying to actually finish opponents off. Remember that later.
For now, the other side of the pancake…
Charge Moves, Galarian Stunfisk
- Muddy Water – Water type, 35 damage, 35 energy, 30% Chance: Decrease Opponent Attack -1 Stage
- Rock Slide – Rock type, 75 damage, 45 energy
- Earthquake – Ground type, 120 damage, 65 energy
- Flash Cannon – Steel type, 110 damage, 70 energy
I suppose I should at least give a quick mention to Muddy Water, as it’s the only charge move shared by both Stunfisks. Neither of them ever really want it though, even with Water sometimes being handy coverage, because it barely tickles most things, and while its debuff can be nice, it only goes off less a third of the time, statistically speaking. Once again, in the wilds of Little League, you’ll sometimes see it on Galarian Stunfisk, as even a paltry 35 damage can feel like a lot when everything is at 500 CP or less, but that’s about it. You will also sometimes see Flash Cannon there for its ability to blow away Cottonee and others out of nowhere, but again, basically nowhere else.
That leaves us with G-Fisk’s most famous and by far most common moveset: Rock Slide for baits and coverage (particuarly against Ice and Flying types), and a surprisingly fast and hard-to-predict Earthquake for the big closing power that U-Fisk lacks. (Heck, even non-STAB Rock Slide on G-Fisk usually only deals 1-2 less damage than STAB Discharge does for U-Fisk, for the same energy cost… and that is, again, the MOST damage U-Fisk can put out at once!)
So far, probably nothing you didn’t already know, right? And you may think you know everything there is to know about their PvP performance too, but let’s see if ol’ JRE can still surprise you…
So the big topic is G-Fisk, of course, which is widely recognized as one of the very best options in Open Great League (and ranked #2, if you needed any more evidence) and basically every Limited format where it is permitted as well. Even one with very average to even poor PvP IVs (such as ones with a 10 IV floor minimum like you’ll find during Stunfisk Limited Research Day) put in a high overall performance in Great League. It has flaws (as everything does), typically losing rather hard to a steady dose of Fighting, Water, or Ground damage, being iffy against certain Ice (Walrein) and Grass (Venusaur, Trevenant, etc.) types, and these days losing even to certain Flyers (Pelipper and even Noctowl now that it can spring Shadow Ball at the right time). But many other matchups with big beefy opponents like Umbreon and Azumarill come right down to the wire… G-Fisk can hang in there with the best of them, and Earthquake proves itself an amazing equalizer. Not just Poisons and Fires and Rocks and Flyers and Electrics and Steels that G-Fisk wails on for super effective damage fall, nor things that it resists along the way like Cresselia and Lickitung and Charmers and the like, but big dangerous stuff like Dunsparce, Shadow Victreebel, Froslass, Cofagrigus, and many others. If it doesn’t hard counter G-Fisk, it’s likely in for a rough time. Particularly with high rank Galarian Stunfisk, which can add on wins like Walrein and Noctowl too! Similarly, high rank G-Fisk tacks on Noctowl, Alolan Marowak, and the mirror match in 2v2 shielding (as opposed to less ideal IVs). It would seem that one can mostly set it and forget it if you have a high rank G-Fisk you can build for Great League.
Less heralded is Unovan Stunfisk, which puts up less impressive but still more than passable numbers in Great League, particularly with high rank IVs, with which it can tack on Umbreon and Noctowl. I think it is worth noting that Thunder Shock beats Noctowl even with less than ideal IVs already (high rank does still add on Umbreon, as you would expect since Mud Shot and Thunder Shock are completely equal to each other in that matchup), and may get a slight nod overall… though for my money, I still prefer Mud Shot and the extra damage it does versus Steels and Poisons and such. As I said, though… no wrong answer!
As for differences between the two, that’s rather simple. G-Fisk has the overall advantage, doing much better versus Psychics (like Cress), Dragons (like Altaria), Ices (like Froslass and Shadow Walrein), Charmers, Grasses, and then stuff like Lickitung and Lanturn, thanks in large part to all its extra resistances. But OG Stunfisk does have one big advantage of its own: handling a wide array of Fighting types that beat up on G-Fisk, including Toxicroak, Obstagoon, and DDeoxys, as well as Flyers that G-Fisk struggles to outrace like Charizard and Pelipper. Yes, G-Fisk is generally “better”, but in several Limited metas (and/or the right team in Open GL), Unovan Stunfisk is sometimes worth a close look as well. Don’t forget about it!
So to clear it up right off the bat, either one of these has to be FULLY maxed to really be at its best in Ultra League. They don’t even clear 2450 CP at Level 50, and don’t get to 2500 CP even when Best Buddied and pushed to Level 51! (More on that later.)
So if nothing else, use this event to try to grind for XL Candies, as this is a rare opportunity to potentially get a bunch in a short time period. Sadly there is no XL Candy bonus or increased odds (the only bonus is apparently increased shiny odds… c’mon, Niantic, throw us a bone here!), but still, each one caught is potentially more XL Candy in your pocket for those who still need an UL Stunfisk.
And yes, it is totally worth the grind. Galarian Stunfisk is not all-powerful and meta-wrecking, but it IS absolutely a very, very good option in Open UL.. a Top 25 option, at least. (And it only gets better in Ultra Premier.) Mostly what’s true in Great League is still true here… avoid big Waters, Fighters, a few Grasses (Trevor and Venusaur), and a couple big Shadow Clawers (Giratina-A and Cofagrigus), and a couple random Flyers (Gliscor and Talonflame, mostly), and you should otherwise be pretty free to roam. LOTS of Steels, Fairies, Poisons, Flyers, Psychics, Dragons, and others to pick on at this level, and you can outbulk stuff like Umbreon, Snorlax, Giratina (with Dragon Breath), and even scary Gyarados and Defense Deoxys at this level too. G-Fisk has some famous holes in its armor, but there is a LOT it can exploit if you build one up to this level.
And as they say… “in for a penny, in for a pound”. If you’re going to push one up to Level 50, may as well go all the way by Best Buddying it and pushing it to Level 51, which adds on not only the mirror match, but Altered Giratina with Shadow Claw and often Jellicent too!
So, the justification for building up G-Fisk is certainly there. What about the original pancake fish? Weeeeeellllll…
Especially at Ultra League level, it’s often better to have a big charge move with closing power than not. Some can get by without that (see: Altered Giratina, Galvantula, Scizor, etc.), but generally only with a great defensive typing and/or widely unresisted spam moves. OG Stunfisk doesn’t really have that. Ground damage obviously still has a place, but Mud Bomb is just too low powered to finish many things off before its rather poor defensive typing catches up to it. Resisting Electric, Flying, Rock, and Steel are far less relevant at UL level than they are in Great League, and the weaknesses to Grass, Ground, Ice, and Water are FAR more relevant and outweigh the good. And unlike G-Fisk, not even pushing to Level 51 helps. (I mean, it DOES make Mud Shot Fisky a hair better than Level 50, with new wins over Poliwrath and Jellicent, but uh… Thunder Shock already gets those anyway. 🤷♂️) Even in Ultra League Premier you barely break even as far as record goes. U-Fisk is still a fine weapon to have, yes, but worth making that kind of committed grind to build up? I guess if you have it left over AFTER building a Galarian version first, then sure, go for it. But I don’t know that I’d consider that a priority. I guess I will point out that you can underlevel a bit and be mostly okay, just don’t cheap out TOO much!
Especially with all that’s going on in the game right now, I completely understand if you want to take it easy this weekend and skip out on the Research
Day Three Hour Tour. I myself have some home projects I’ll likely spend the time catching up on instead. But if you DO venture out, wondering if the grind is worth it, and just HOW good the Super Flatfish Bros really are in PvP, hopefully this helps inform you. Good luck in your IV and XL hunt, folks!
Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon.
Good hunting! Stay safe out there, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!