This year, I expect to have less time to play PoGo, but have finally found two friends to shortman raids with (as opposed to raiding in 20-account lobbies as is common in Singapore). Hence my grinding for the essential newer species has to be more time-efficient (so I can still enjoy taking down gyms and earn gold badges).
I have 740 Rare Candy (item storage is maxed) and have maxed one each of Mewtwo, Moltres (SA+OH), Raikou, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza and Darkrai. My best Giratina-O is 84% but I have parked enough candies to max out any 96+% that I may get on its return.
Rampardos: My best one is 9/15/15 (now level 30) and I walked it 1000+ km. Add Pinaped wild catches and I have 386 candy, so my goal is to get one with IVs worth maxing out.
Chandelure: The Litwick that I earned from Halloween research was 98% and is now a level 30 Chandelure which I have walked 600km. Then I hatched a perfect Litwick, which gave me just enough candy to max out the first 98%…and an interesting dilemma! Should I max out the 98%, the perfect (which may need RC) or both (which definitely would need RC)?
Lucario: Only ever hatched two Riolus, with mediocre IVs, and walked one almost 300km before switching to Excadrill because I want to max one out for Heatran (still 20 candy to go before I switch back). Finding one with IVs worth maxing out poses a dilemma, as the only other good 7km egg hatch is Happiny, while 10km eggs have more good hatches, notably Cranidos (and Timburr, but that can be raided). I easily hit 50km per week, but for the past two weeks, an egg was about 0.5km away from hatching on Monday. If/once I acquire one with IVs worth maxing out, I would be very tempted to spend RC on it.
Conkeldurr: Since Timburr is a raid boss, I can easily get high-IV ones, but the candy cost is still steep, as I am not going to spend many premium passes on it (and if I trade with a lucky friend, I may get a 12/12/12). Perhaps Timburr would be a better buddy than Riolu?
Which other Gen 4 and 5 non-legendary species (whether already released or not) deserve to be discussed in the same tier as the above?
For your perfect Litwick, personally I’d wait a bit. Since it’s a hatch, you’ll need more candies to power it up besides evolving it. And more crucially because no future Gen 5 Legendaries are weak to Ghost or Fire, and when Mythicl Genesect is out, Reshiram is probably already out and it’ll be a better Fire attacker. For Alolan Marowak, 3-man don’t necessarily require many Chandelure, so you can definitely afford to wait.
For Timburr and Riolu, there’s no urgent need to power up a team either. Only Kyurem and its other two forms are weak to Fighting, and lvl 30 Machamp are enough to 3-man them in raids. I personally will try to keep maybe 1-2 boosted Timburr for Lucky Trade, and trade the spare ones to gamble ivs. 250 candies to evolve is massive compare to Lucario’s cost (50 candies + 25 to unlock 2nd attack), while still not outperforming Lucario in many cases. And since neither can be obtained in the wild at lvl 30+, personally I’d concentrate on powering up Lucario first, and very slowly replace my Machamp with Conkeldurr with time.
As for the unreleased strong Gen 5 mon, if there’s no change in their current move pool, Landorus Therian form, Reshiram and Zekrom will be the new best Ground, Fire and Electric attackers.
Black Kyurem will be the best Dragon attacker. It’ll probably be released much later than other Gen 5 Legendaries, but it’ll also probably use the same candy as normal Kyurem, like Giratina with its two forms. Therefore it might be of interest to raid Kyurem normal form to amass candies. Idem for raiding Landorus Incarnate Form (behind Excadrill in Ground DPS) to prepare for the stronger Therian form.
Volcarona will be the beat Bug and good Fire (just behind Chandelure) , but it’s datamined to be 400 candies to evolve. :(
Darmanitan will be the second best Fire behind Reshiram. Whether to power one or a few up, depends on when it’ll be released compare to Reshiram and Genesect and one’s RC reserve. Darmanitan’s Galarian normal form will be the top Ice Type if given the right move, and its Galarian Zen mode is even crazier with more than 300 attack and will be best Fire and Ice if given the right move. But I don’t think it’s yet in the code, so probably far down the line.
Zoroark will have Dark DPS between Darkrai and Weavile, so definitely good but won’t top the chart. And it’s in the Glass Cannon department.
Among released Gen 4 and Gen 5 Pokemon, Haxorus is between Palkia and Dragonite, so it’s also a good one but no urgent need.
Garchomp is worth building for current Heatran and future Zekrom and Reshiram raids, if you have enough candies and a specimen, although you can also use other Ground, Dragon and Rock attackers depending on weather and boss move.
Other sinnoh Stone evolutions will still mostly remain relevant. If we consider the rest Gen Legendaries that are most likely to enter raids this year, namely Tao trio (Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem) and the Force of Nature trio (Landorus, Thundrus, Tornadus), besides the Pokemon you already plan to build, the following will also be worth amassing candies:
Mamoswine, 2xSE against Landorus
Rhyperior, useful against all of them except for Landorus
CD Tyranitar and Terrakion (Thundrus, Tornadus, Reshiram, Kyurem)
Electivire, Magnezone and Raikou (Thundurus, Tornadus), although Raikou you might hold off and wait for Zekrom instead.
If you are going to shortman raids you will need more then one pokemon of each of the best counters. Heatran is possible with 2 but if you are using pokemon that are level 30-35 you will need to relobby (depending on the attack a relobby could even happen if you use level 40 counters).
Your goal should be if you want to shortman to have 6 topcounters at level 35 (or higher), and do not forget that you will need new teams each month or so
You will also need more revives and potions wich will lead to needing more time to spin stops…
And a last word not all the Tier 5 bosses are as easy as the last few, Armored Mewtwo was a fair bit harder to take down compared to Heatran. Regigigas isn’t the easiest EX Rais boss either…
So be prepared to spend some dust and candies because you will need if you are coming from 20 man raids to 3 man raids.
Should I max the 98% Chandelure or earn more candy to max the perfect Litwick?
Should I walk Riolu or Timburr? Which should I spend RC on?
How can I optimise my time in grinding for a 96+% Cranidos and a 96+% Riolu (without becoming a whale)?
Hardcore gymming burns potions and revives quickly but I have never been short in supply.
True. I do have decent teams for the most relevant types. Even when most of my legendary raids were in 20-account groups, I would occasionally end up with a smaller group (e.g. 5-6 accounts) that I would have to carry. I also did tier 3 solos back when they were more challenging.
Maxed: 3 x SD Tyranitar
L30: 2 x SD Tyranitar, 1 x Cranidos, 2 x Golem, 1 x Rhyperior (can TM another 3 Rhyperiors)
Others: 2 x 98% Rhyhorn (and many 89/91% ones) waiting for their CD.
Ice (Landorus/Thundurus/Tornadus or if Rayquaza returns)
Maxed: 2 x Mamoswine, 1 x Glaceon (can TM Mewtwo to IB or Weavile to IS/Av)
L30: 3 x Mamoswine, 2 x Glaceon, 1 x Articuno, 1 x Jynx, 1 x Cloyster,
Others: 1 x 96% Swinub ready to max out when needed.
Dark/Ghost (if various Gen 3/4 legendaries return)
Maxed: 1 x Darkrai, 2 x Tyranitar, 1 x Weavile, 1 x Lk Gengar
L30: 1 x SC Gengar, 1 x Chandelure (98%), 1 x Giratina-O, 1 x Weavile, 1 x Houndoom, 1 x Shiftry
Others: 100% Litwick and 2 x SC Gengar ready to max out when needed.
Dragon (Zekrom/Reshiram, maybe Kyurem, if Palkia/Giratina return)
Maxed: 1 x Rayquaza, 1 x Dragonite
L30: 4 x Dragonite (one 96%), 1 x OR Salamence
Others: 1 x 96% Dialga and 1 x 98% Salamence ready to max out when needed.
Fighting (gyms, Regigigas/Kyurem, various tier 4 bosses)
Maxed: 5 x Machamp
L30: 2 x Machamp, 1 x Hariyama, 1 x Poliwrath
Electric (Tornadus/Yveltal, if Kyogre returns)
Maxed: 1 x Raikou, 1 x Electivire (can TM Mewtwo to TB)
L30: 2 x Magnezone, 1 x Jolteon
Maxed: 1 x Groudon (can TM Swampert to MS/EQ or Mamoswine to MS/BD)
L30: 1 x Excadrill (96%), 3 x Rhyperior, 1 x Rhydon, 1 x Donphan (can TM 2 x Golem)
Water (A-Marowak/Rhydon/Golem and other Tier 4 bosses)
Maxed: 1 x Kyogre, 1 x Gyarados, 1 x Swampert
L30: 2 x Gyarados, 1 x Feraligatr, 1 x Vaporeon
Others: Recently got a lucky 93% Kingler.
I still think the odds are good for Litwick getting a CD down the line, so there’s likely no harm in spending the resources on your current Chandelure. You’ll earn more than enough candy when Litwick CD comes around.
Even if it doesn’t get a community day, your hundo isn’t going anywhere and the difference between a 98 and a hundo is incredibly miniscule, at best. Your Chandelure is already lvl 30, so give that candelabra of death some love!
Personally, I’d say walk Riolu. Both Mons are limited in their availability, but Riolu is the more limited of the two since it can only be hatched from eggs. Plus, Lucario outperforms Conkeldurr in most scenarios.
I also wouldn’t advise spending rare candy on either, though given your stockpile, you could easily get away with it. That said, since it doesn’t sound like you have a candidate that you’re comfortable evolving and powering up, I see no need to sink any additional resources into them just yet.
There’s really no perfect way to optimize grinding for these two without becoming a whale. One is currently limited by being a 10k egg hatch and a fairly rare wild spawn, while the other is entirely limited to 7k and AS egg hatches.
If you choose to walk your Riolu, that will help immensely with the candy grind in the long run. As for Cranidos, it was already featured as a research task reward last year for the rock event. I wouldn’t be shocked if it came back in a similar capacity, which would be your opportunity to grind for a high IV specimen.
Also, Lucario still has an unreleased shiny. It’s entirely possible (and somewhat likely) that once its shiny is introduced, especially if it’s part of an event, Riolu hatch rates may see an overall increase. Or maybe Niantic will give us a Lucario raid day. I could see one of the two coinciding with the fighting event, should Niantic bring that back for a third time.
It looks that you already have good teams set. If your friends also have similar teams and have Friend bonus with you, you should be able to 3-man most T5 except for bulky Psychic bosses such as Lugia, Deoxys Defense, Armored Mewtwo, Cresselia and Uxie, 3 Regis in T5, and T6 Darkrai. Based on this information, my opinion on your questions are the following:
Personally, from a strictly resource-saving perspective, I’d say there’s no urgent need for either options at the moment. But I’d definitely level up or max the 98% Chandelure if:
you want to solo Claydol with no weather boost in the current rotation. Your team of maxed Darkrai, Kyogre, Weavil (Snarl/Avalanche) and Gengar should be quite close to succeed or is already successful, and 1 more maxed Kingler or Chandelure should be able to secure the win.
Skarmory returns to T3 and you want to solo it with no weather boost. Your team of maxed Raikou and Electivire is already a solid backbone. If you already have a maxed Moltres, you can take your Chandelure to lvl 30.5 (if 15 Atk iv) or lvl 31 (if 14 Atk iv) breakpoint. If your other maxed Fire types are Blaziken or Entei, then you may need to max your Chandelure to be safe.
Cresselia or Uxie returns and you want to 3-man with Best Friend bonus but without weather boost. Maxing a Chandelure will then be necessary, and preferably a Giratina-O too to replace Tyranitar, provided that your friends have similar maxed teams. Lugia, Deoxys and Armored Mewtwo are impossible or very difficult to 3-man without weather boost.
Registeel returns in T5 and you want to 3-man with BF bonus and without weather boost. With maxed Moltres, Blaziken and Machamp it’s doable but pretty tight. Adding a few Chandelure or Lucario may give a bit more of a wiggle room.
As for the perfect Litwick, I would leave it as it is for the moment. I too think that Litwick will likely get a CD in the future. While candies will be less of a concern, a perfect one is not easy to come by. If it gets a better CD move, I personally would prefer a perfect Chandelure getting it if I had the opportunity.
Chandelure does have its current best Ghost and Fire movesets possible, and to improve its Ghost set, Nitantic will need to pull another Charm and turn a non-damaging move into a damaging one. But in its Fire side, there are still other moves that are not in PoGo such as Inferno, so an improved Fire moveset is definitely not impossible. Moreover, Chandelure with its current Fire set is set to be surpassed by Reshiram and Darmanitan (normal form) when they’ll be released, which shouldn’t be too long a wait since they’re all from Gen 5. Therefore, the possibility of an improved Fire set is worth taking into account when considering whether to invest in IMHO.
Of course, I definitely understand the argument that it’s better and more fun to use a pokemon then let it idle in the storage. Before Cobalion entered the raid, I evolved a lvl 29 Litwick with so-so iv and level it to relevant breakpoints instead of my other hatched high iv ones, and I have no regret. Because it was necessary and the most efficient course resource-wise at that moment for me to contribute to the T5 raids. But since Cobalion left the raids, there’s no urgent need for Ghost or Fire attackers currently or in foreseeable future, I’d say one can definitely afford to wait to evolve Litwick, especially one already has a battle-ready Chandelure available.
I’d say prioritising walking Riolu too, as Lucario performs better than Conkeldurr in general except for bosses with Fighting moves. Timburr is also easier to target with its availability in raids.
I’d say no need to spend RC, either, as no urgent need as for now. Among all the T5 boss, including the unreleased 2 sets of Gen 5 Trio, it seems that there’s only Registeel in T5, against which maxed Lucario can meaningfully improve TTW in BF bonus no weather 3-man. Against other bosses, either maxed Machamp can already reasonably 3-man, or neither Lucario nor Conkeldurr can cut the TTW enough to be a comfortable 3-man. And I assume that you already have no problem with Team Rocket Leaders. Lucario is very good in this format, but definitely not irreplaceable.
With Cranidos and Riolu no longer have any overlap in eggs, it’s indeed difficult to optimise between these two for a high iv specimen. Currently AS eggs are the best bets for Riolu. If you occasionally buy boxes, you can also try to always keep a 7 km egg running besides incubating Pokestop eggs in the infinite one. At least Budew, Elekid and Togepi are all useful pokemon.
To ensure you have an egg space open for the AS reward, you can try to save one or two 2 km eggs during the week to put in the incubator on Sunday.
If you already have 1 egg space open on Monday before 9 am, but still want to spin stops or open gifts etc, you can keep your pokemon storage full and clean out the space minutes before the AS reward. This way you can ensure that you won’t accidentally receive an egg, but this is indeed tedious if you still want to shiny check.
I’ve also read that if you still have an egg closer to hatch when the AS reward is about to hit, you can stay on the about-to-hatch egg’s page and walk a bit until it hatches. The AS reward will trigger after you go back to overworld. I remember trying it once a few months back and that it worked at that time, but I haven’t tried recently, so I’d suggest it more like a last resort.
I managed to get enough candies to max my Excadrill, so I am again walking Riolu.
These two are the hardest Tier 3 bosses. I have soloed Claydol once, but it went down to the wire and I think I was lucky with the moveset. I lack a proper team for Skarmory (three maxed counters - Moltres, Raikou and Electivire - are not enough) so with the Latis back, I certainly could do with a maxed Chandelure!
OK, the 98% Chandelure it is, since I have just enough candies to max it. The perfect Litwick will wait for its time to shine (pun intended).
Guess I will not spend Rare Candy on Riolu or Timburr until either I have a candidate worth maxing out or unless my bag will burst if I do not.
I may not need them for legendary raids, but I would need them for gyms.
Today, I managed to empty a slot for an AS egg, put it into a Super Incubator (I bought a couple of boxes during the Christmas event) and got a Riolu…2* though.
Their return also makes me wonder whether Dialga is worth maxing out. Dragon is the major type where my team is weakest (and the gap will widen if Rhyhorn gets its CD). Its typing would be an advantage over Salamence against Zekrom and especially Kyurem, but a hindrance against Reshiram (and Draco Meteor holds it back). I suspect Palkia and Giratina may also return later this year.
I’m in the same boat, wondering whether to power up a Dialga. So far I’m leaning to holding it off until Dialga returns to raids, because I barely did any last time and thus almost no candies, and also because Flying Dragons have ok TTW against Zekrom and Reshiram, and I have MM Metagross and Fighting mons stand-by for Kyurem, so no absolute needs for a Dialga so far for me.
UPDATE: Did lots of Sinnoh event research and was rewarded with this. Any reason (such as a possible exclusive move) to not immediately max it out? Candy is not a problem (have almost 500) and neither is dust.
Rampardos would need a brand new move (Head Smash?) that would also need to be a really strong 2-bar move for it to get any better. I maxed out the 100 Cranidos I got from the Regigigas Day special research, and I have zero regrets. It puts in work!
This doesn’t apply to the OP, but for anyone else who reads this you might consider saving your research task Cranidos encounters and stacking them to catch on the Valentine’s Day event when it’s double catch candy. I’m desperate for candy, so this is what I’m going to do.
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