As usual for a main series Pokémon game, there are a few gimmick evolutions that use new mechanics in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. One of these is the way you need to evolve Finizen into Palafin. Time to phone a friend!
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What You Need to Do to Evolve Finizen
The first step you need to take to evolve Finizen is to train it until it reaches level 38. At that point, you then need to head to the Union Circle of any Pokémon Center. The Union Circle is the yellow circle that sticks out from the site of Pokémon Centers.
Next, you need to stand in or near the Union Circle with Finizen while there is another player in or near the Union Circle with you. Now, you need to increase Finizen’s level once more while you’re hanging out in or around a Union Circle with your friend. An easy way to level it up is to use a Rare Candy or an Exp item of some kind.
Also, your Finizen needs to be outside of their Poké Ball for this to work. Place it into the first slot of your party and then press the R button to send them out of their Poké Ball. When you move around, your Finizen will follow you closely.
How to Use a Union Circle
To use a Union Circle, press the A button when facing the yellow sign on the wall.
After doing so, you enter the Union Circle menu. Here, you can choose to either form a group or join a group. If you decide to form a group, you will become the leader of a new squad.
The two main options are to set out with your group or to leave your group. If you are the leader of a group (the one who created it) your group will get disbanded if you leave it.
At this point, you need to share the Link Code in the bottom left of the screen with the friends who you want to join your group. Without this specific Link Code, your friends won’t be able to join your group. You must message them through a different source than Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, as the game does not have a built-in messaging system.
Unfortunately, to access Online Mode, you need to have a Nintendo Switch Online Membership. Without one, you’re stuck in Offline Mode and won’t be able to evolve Finizen.
Is Palafin Any Good?
Yes, Palafin can be very good if you need a physical Water-type on your team. Despite the lack of visual change, Palafin can become much stronger than Finizen.
This is due to Palafin’s unique ability: Zero to Hero. When a Palafin that is in combat switches out by any means (including getting forced out by opponent moves like Whirlwind and Roar), Zero to Hero will trigger.
When it triggers, Palafin transforms into its Hero Form for the rest of the current battle. Palafin’s stats in Hero Form are much higher than when it’s in Zero Form. It might as well be a different Pokémon at that point.
Here are Palafin’s Zero Form base stats:
- HP – 100
- Attack – 70
- Defense – 72
- Special Attack – 53
- Special Defense – 62
- Speed – 100
And here are Palafin’s base stats in Hero Form for comparison:
- HP – 100
- Attack – 160
- Defense – 97
- Special Attack – 106
- Special Defense – 87
- Speed – 100
Put simply, all of Palafin’s base stats except HP and Speed get a huge boost when it enters Hero Form. For this reason, you want to change your Palafin’s form as quickly as possible in each battle.
With 160 base Attack, Palafin rivals the infamous Slaking in terms of sheer physical power—but without the cripplingly bad ability. Plus, with 100 base Speed, Palafin in Hero Form can be a deadly physical sweeper.
Palafin has access to a lot of useful Water-type moves. Since it is Water-type, it gains a STAB (same type attack bonus) from these handy maneuvers. Firstly, you have Jet Punch, which is a +1 priority attack that has 60 base power. This is easily one of the best offensive priority moves in the game—especially for a Palafin.
Next, you have Flip Turn (learned upon evolving), which deals damage and then switches out the user. This is the ideal move to use for changing Palafin’s form, as you deal some damage to the foe and then immediately swap out, which triggers Zero to Hero. The base power of Flip Turn is 60, so, this fact combined with it being Water-type means that you can inflict reliable damage with it.
Last but not least of Palafin’s best STAB moves is Wave Crash (learned at level 61). This powerful attack has a whopping 120 base power and 100 accuracy, however, it does 33% recoil damage. With that said, this is your best bet for taking down a target in one shot.
Besides those, Palafin doesn’t learn any other noteworthy moves through leveling up. Though, it can learn some great ones via TMs and breeding. Here’s a list of other great moves you can teach your Palafin through TM use and breeding:
- Zen Headbutt (TM059)
- Body Slam (TM066)
- Ice Punch (TM069)
- Drain Punch (TM073)
- Iron Head (TM099)
- Outrage (TM156)
- Close Combat (TM167)
- Bounce (Breeding)