Pansear is available as a gift Pokémon in the Dreamyard, but only for players that picked Oshawott as their starter. It can also be found in Pinwheel Forest and Lostlorn Forest, regardless of the player's starter, but only in the rustling grass and with a 10% probability.
A Fire Stone may be obtained in Castelia City, by telling the girl that the player received a Pansear in the Dreamyard. Another Fire Stone is available in the Desert Resort. Further Fire Stones may be found randomly in dust clouds.
Any elemental monkey is a godsend for Unova players in the short term, providing an immediate response to the threat that is the first gym in the game, by no means easy for the player's starter. Just like their human descendants, these monkeys have the gift of versatility, covering the jack-of-all-trades role of the team very well; however, they are also masters of none: while they can fill in any missing team slot for the early and middle game, they may also fall short in a number of occasions in the late game, due to the enhanced powerfulness of the opponents they are bound to face. Nevertheless, they remain quite reliable for most of the ride, learning useful moves fairly early and getting access to plenty of TMs.
Cheren (Striaton City): Pansear is easily the best weapon against his Snivy, being able to deal super effective damage and incinerating its Berry. Purrloin should be easy enough too, as its moves are not strong.
Gym #1 - Cilan (Striaton City, Grass-type): Pansear is not adequate to fight Lillipup, as its Incinerate is a 4HKO on average and that would leave Lillipup way too much time to use Work Up and then spam Tackle to destroy the whole team. On the other hand, Pansear is also as good as it gets to fight Pansage, and Incinerate even has the plus of getting rid of the opponent's annoying Berry.
Cheren (Route 3): Same team as the Striaton City fight. Pansear defeats Snivy very easily with Incinerate, and will generally not have trouble beating Purrloin, either.
N (Nacrene City): Pansear is outmatched by Pidove due to Quick Attack, but should be able to pull off a victory regardless. However, it may be wise to save Pansear's health for Timburr instead, as it has Yawn and can help immensely with circumventing Timburr's Bide; since the monkey is light, Low Kick will not do much damage, usually ranging around a 4-5HKO, but be wary of Focus Energy and/or Leer regardless. Avoid Tympole at all costs.
Gym #2 - Lenora (Nacrene City, Normal-type): The only relatively risk-free contribution of Pansear to this fight would be using Yawn against Herdier, with hopes of Take Down not one-shotting the frail monkey; it would also need a switch-in for the following turn, before Herdier falls asleep. Do not let Pansear anywhere close to Watchog, it will kill it if it uses Retaliate on the first turn; even after that, Retaliate is a 2HKO, and Watchog's Speed simply does not permit Pansear to do any work.
Gym #3 - Burgh (Castelia City, Bug-type): A Pansear holding an Eviolite has a good matchup against Leavanny, potentially netting an OHKO with Flame Burst; it may also win against Whirlipede the same way, but Flame Burst is a certain 2HKO against it and Antidotes will be needed if it causes toxic poisoning with Poison Tail. Either way, Simisear will defeat both of them very easily. Dwebble is not a good opponent for either, though unlike Pansear, Simisear is more capable of dealing with it; however, it will once again be just a 2HKO and Dwebble could Sand-Attack and ruin Simisear's parade when Leavanny is sent out.
Bianca (Castelia City): Herdier is best handled by Simisear rather than Pansear; Pansear can take two Take Down from it thanks to the Eviolite, but Flame Burst will also be a 3HKO and thus expose it to critical hits during the fight. Simisear can 2HKO, so it does not have this problem. There is no chance of either Pansear or Simisear fighting whatever Water-type Bianca may have. Pignite's Arm Thrust is dangerous for Pansear, but Simisear will do better against it; not by much, however, as it resists both Flame Burst and Bite: Simisear would be better off finding a better counter either way. Bianca's Pansear, Munna, and her Grass-types are all fair game.
Cheren (Route 4): Essentially the same principles as the Bianca fight, but with Pidove instead of Munna and Liepard instead of Herdier. The matchups stay the same: Pidove is fine for both, Liepard is not advised unless Simisear is already evolved but can be taken on by Eviolite Pansear in a pinch, Grass-types are easy at both evolutionary stages, and Water-types are never to be fought.
N (Nimbasa City): Avoid Sandile with Pansear, whereas Simisear can 2HKO it without a problem while taking little in the way of damage from Sand Tomb. Scraggy and Darumaka are good to go with both Eviolite Pansear and Simisear, though Eviolite Pansear is almost even with them in damage, and will thus need to be healed more often. Pansear will need confusion heals as well, since Scraggy has Swagger. Do not overestimate the monkey's non-existent bulk; a single hit in confusion, with a crit from Scraggy in the process, could easily do it in notwithstanding the Eviolite. Sigilyph is a monster for both, but Pansear even more so; Simisear's Bite will beat it in either two or three hits, but its offensive is rather powerful - Psybeam being a 3HKO, not counting the confusion chance - and it could boost its Speed with Tailwind. If Simisear has already healed confusion from the Scraggy fight and its Attack is doubled, this will not be a problem, but this circumstance is rare.
Gym #4 - Elesa (Nimbasa City, Electric-type): Pansear stands no chances against Zebstrika, but can manage one of the Emolga with Rock Tomb and the Eviolite attached, plus healing items as needed. If Simisear is already evolved, it can take down the Emolga more easily and Zebstrika will fall after using Dig twice, but beware that Elesa can still switch out if either of her Emolga are still able to battle. Pay attention to Zebstrika's Spark, as well: it is quite powerful and Simisear's defensive prowess is by no means great; it takes up to around 40% from it. The Emolga are usually just annoying, but Simisear will still likely need to heal at least once if it has plans to solo this gym, not counting the potential paralysis inflicted by Spark.
Cheren (Route 5): Once again, no dice for Pansear outside of Cheren's Grass-types and his Liepard, and Pansear must be holding the Eviolite as usual; it is still somewhat dangerous to fight something with Pursuit with an unevolved Pokémon, though: should there be a need to switch out, this will be a major threat. Thankfully, Flame Burst 3HKOs easily, so this should not be a problem. Simisear has a much easier ride, and can easily defeat anything but Panpour and Dewott.
Gym #5 - Clay (Driftveil City, Ground-type): No for Pansear. If Simisear is evolved and has Fire Blast, however, it will have an excellent matchup against Krokorok and Excadrill, providing that the move does not miss; both Pokémon are OHKOed by it. In a pinch, Simisear should also be able to defeat Palpitoad with Grass Knot, but it will take two hits and Palpitoad can OHKO with a critical Muddy Water, so preferably avoid taking this risk.
Bianca (Driftveil City): As usual, Herdier and Pignite are the biggest difference between what Simisear can do that Pansear cannot, though Musharna is also being added to the group; it is very strong and bulky, way too much for unevolved Pokémon, as its Psybeam outdamages an Eviolite Pansear's Bite. Any one between Herdier and Musharna may be viable for Pansear, it would just needlessly risk critical hits and probably not be the best option anyway. The rest stays the same: Grass-types are always fine, Water-types never are.
N (Chargestone Cave): Do not attempt Boldore, it will take a Grass Knot thanks to Sturdy and then retaliate with Smack Down. The other three are all weak to Fire moves, so both Pansear and Simisear will do well against them; only Simisear can OHKO, unless Pansear already knows Fire Blast, but this will not be a problem as the Eviolite will shield the monkey from gross amounts of damage.
Gym #6 - Skyla (Mistralton City, Flying-type): If Pansear is still unevolved, it will not get to do much at this point. Assuming Simisear has evolved, instead, the fight should be doable. Swoobat will likely outspeed, but Simisear's Shadow Claw is a clean 2HKO, whereas Swoobat's Acrobatics is only a 3HKO. Unfezant has its ways of being pesky with the high critical hit ratio of Razor Wind, though it is also a two-turn move, which runs off its worse offensive stat; Flame Burst, or Fire Blast if Simisear has it, will respectively 3HKO and 2HKO (Flame Burst has a small chance of 2HKOing and Fire Blast can OHKO with a high damage roll and a burn), though Simisear may require some healing items depending on its luck or lack thereof. Naturally, Swanna is no opponent for Simisear.
Cheren (Route 7): Very much the usual, with Simisear being capable of taking down Liepard and the Grass-types fairly easily, and now having a better matchup against the Fire ones thanks to Acrobatics. Unfezant's only offensive move is Air Slash, though it has Super Luck and a Scope Lens, meaning crits might rain from the heavens; watch out if Simisear's health is below half. Steer clear from the Water-types.
Gym #7 - Brycen (Icirrus City, Ice-type): This matchup could not possibly get any better: the Brick Break TM is available in the Icirrus Pokémon Center as a gift, and so is Fire Blast from the shop, if Simisear evolved too early to learn it. Unlike Fire Blast, Brick Break will easily net the OHKO against Cryogonal, which has a good enough special bulk to withstand Simisear's best STAB; Vanillish and Beartic are best disposed of with Fire Blast instead. Vanillish falls to a Fire Blast, but Beartic may or may not, depending on Simisear's Special Attack and level. While Beartic does have Brine, its Special Attack is only average, meaning it will not KO Simisear unless its health is already below half.
Bianca (Route 8): Simisear does not want to mess with her Intimidate Stoutland. One does not simply take down an Intimidate Stoutland with Brick Break, though Fire Blast can actually 2HKO, if Simisear manages to make both hits connect. The Intimidate nerf will really matter if Brick Break is needed, as without it Simisear would score a 2HKO instead of a 3HKO; this is also bad news because Stoutland has Work Up. If there is something on the team that can take down Stoutland more easily, it is recommended to use that instead, or teach Simisear Fire Blast if not. Water-types are also a no-go, but everything else is fine; bring Shadow Claw for Musharna.
Gym #8 - Iris/Drayden (Opelucid City, Dragon-type): While Fraxure may be 2HKOed by a Simisear with strong Attack and Acrobatics, Druddigon and Haxorus are unthinkable. Simisear would take way too much damage from them, and they are both very strong even defensively. In addition to that, Simisear would be mere Dragon Dance fodder for Haxorus, which is really bad.
Cheren (Route 10): Again, careful with critical hits from Unfezant if Simisear's health is low. Liepard should not be a problem, except for the same reason as Unfezant, with Night Slash; regardless, one Fire Blast should do it in (Brick Break is highly unlikely to OHKO, unless Simisear has sky-high Attack). Anything Grass is easy, anything Fire is doable and easy enough with Acrobatics, and anything Water is a no.
Elite Four Shauntal (Pokémon League, Ghost-type): Cofagrigus can be 2HKOed by Fire Blast, which has better damage throughput than Shadow Claw. If Simisear wants to take on the rest, however, it needs to pack Work Up as well, and spam it against Cofagrigus until at least three or four boosts are achieved, hoping all in the while that Cofagrigus' Psychic and Shadow Ball do not make Simisear's Special Defense drop. Simisear can take two Shadow Ball from Cofagrigus, but the setup will go down south fast if Cofagrigus either scores a critical hit or the Special Defense drop occurs, transforming Shadow Ball into a 2HKO. Jellicent and Chandelure can 2HKO Simisear, whereas Golurk's Earthquake means death even from full health; if Simisear can OHKO them for certain with a non-critical Shadow Claw after Work Up has done its job, the matchup is good, but that will only happen upwards of +3 Attack.
Elite Four Marshal (Pokémon League, Fighting-type): Acrobatics, Acrobatics, and even more Acrobatics. Mienshao will not live a hit, unless Simisear's Attack is really low, but the others will. Throh's Stone Edge will hurt, so only fight it if Simisear has a Flying Gem; even with a Flying Gem, Simisear's Attack will need to be around 140 or higher to secure the OHKO. Sawk will live due to Sturdy; avoid it, because it has Stone Edge and a higher Attack stat than Throh. It would also be wise to avoid Conkeldurr unless Simisear has a Flying Gem that Simisear has not used in the fight yet, because its bulk is remarkable and Stone Edge is once again a thing. However, to secure the OHKO with Flying Gem Acrobatics against Conkeldurr, Simisear will need to have maximum Attack EV investment, near-perfect IVs in Attack, and an Attack-boosting nature.
Elite Four Grimsley (Pokémon League, Dark-type): Profit of Scrafty's relatively non-threatening Attack to spam more Work Up if Simisear wants to sweep Grimsley's team alone; its STABs are only a 3HKO. Again, there is a considerable risk of Crunch lowering Simisear's Defense and ruining the parade, but otherwise it can work if Simisear is healed frequently. Be wary of Liepard's Sand Attack, though; it can be very detrimental to the long-term success of the setup. After Simisear is done using Work Up, Brick Break everything into oblivion. If Simisear somehow cannot set up: 2HKO Scrafty with Acrobatics, use Fire Blast against Liepard and hope for the OHKO, and definitely OHKO Bisharp with it; avoid Krookodile altogether.
Elite Four Caitlin (Pokémon League, Psychic-type): Do not fight Reuniclus or Gothitelle, they are much too strong for Simisear. Sigilyph and Musharna may be doable; Simisear can take one Psychic and, at +1 Attack from Work Up, Musharna can be 2HKOed by Shadow Claw, and so can Sigilyph. However, Musharna also has Reflect, which can compromise the sweep and make any attempts at setting up useless. After a Work Up, even Fire Blast can 2HKO, but its miss rate makes it a dangerous move to use repeatedly.
Reshiram/Zekrom (N's Castle): Simisear would be completely destroyed by both of them and even Dig, its best asset for this fight, has a ridiculous base power for their defensive prowess. Do not do it.
N (N's Castle): Stay very far away from N's Reshiram or Zekrom, for the same reasons as the previous matchup and their even more dangerous movesets. Vanilluxe and Klinklang, however, are both easy to take down with Fire Blast. Zoroark will be 2HKOed by Brick Break, but it needs to be unmasked first; Fire Blast might also deal it more damage than Brick Break, as it has higher base power, unless Simisear's monkey is Adamant or has otherwise skewed offensive stats, due to its IV distribution. Do not tread anywhere close to Archeops or Carracosta; Carracosta's Sturdy will make the OHKO impossible, even with Grass Knot.
Ghetsis (N's Castle): Depending on how easy or hard it was to set up against Shauntal's Cofagrigus, Simisear may or may not want to repeat the process here. Simisear will need to heal even more, though, as Cofagrigus loves spamming Toxic and Protect. If Simisear set up enough - no less than four boosts with Work Up - it can then OHKO the rest of his team. If this somehow ends up not working out, Bisharp is essentially the only safe enemy to fight, as all of the other Pokémon either have super effective moves against Fire-types, and/or are much too strong for Simisear in general. Again, Seismitoad may fall to Grass Knot, but the likelihood of this happening depends on Simisear's Special Attack; only a value close to 150 will guarantee victory, preventing Simisear from dying to Seismitoad's Earthquake. If Simisear's health is still well above half when Eelektross comes around, it can be attempted, but only the imprecise Fire Blast can 2HKO and Wild Charge is frightening to take; play Simisear's cards accordingly.
Post-Game: It is commendable to take a Simisear to the end. Do not push its luck further.
When received, Panpour knows Scratch, Leer, Lick and Incinerate. Its moveset is very basic; Incinerate provides STAB and Lick can be moderately useful for catching, especially if the paralysis occurs. Unfortunately, it does not get brilliant moves for a while; at level 13, it learns the subpar Fury Swipes, which is only situationally preferable to Scratch, and at level 16 it learns Yawn, which is generally a good move to have but probably ineffective on Pansear, as it is frail. Finally, at level 19, it gets Bite, which is a good move with the fairly high flinch rate to back it up, and Pansear's decent Speed. At level 22, it gets the even more amazing Flame Burst, which is Pansear's best available STAB move until the advent of more powerful Fire TMs; this move should definitely be waited on before evolution, as Simisear will not get access to any other special Fire move for a while otherwise. Level 25 comes with Amnesia, which can help greatly against special attackers as it improves Simisear's specially defensive potential greatly; Fling, at 28, is just terrible instead. If Pansear has been kept unevolved, patience will be rewarded at level 31, when the line learns Acrobatics. Getting access to this move before fighting Skyla can actually come in handy in a few situations, though not exceedingly so against Skyla herself, since Acrobatics can be learned by TM afterwards. At level 34, it gets Fire Blast, which can be a good move to have although the imperfect accuracy makes it a gamble; then it learns the useless Recycle and Natural Gift at levels 37 and 40 respectively, ignore both of those. Lastly, at level 43, Crunch comes around, which is the last move Pansear learns normally; it would be a great move to have, but most players will not wait for that long to evolve their frail Fire monkey, especially since its usefulness in matchups is close to nonexistent if kept unevolved for a long period of time.
Having exactly even offensive stats, Simisear can benefit from a wide range of available TMs. On the special side, there is the obvious duo of Fire moves to pick from: Fire Blast for those who prefer a higher risk and higher return, and Overheat for an even higher base power, but shorter span of usefulness; Overheat is generally the best alternative as the one special move on an otherwise entirely physical set, but it is only available during the postgame. Even Flamethrower, which would likely work better than Fire Blast, is a postgame exclusive. Grass Knot allows it to hit dual Water/Ground-types for super effective damage, although this is likely risky against Pokémon with a standard x2 weakness to Grass, as they will hit Simisear harder than it can take; still a move to consider, however. Another option is Focus Blast, which is powerful but inaccurate. For physically oriented monkeys, Brick Break and Shadow Claw are a good pair for coverage purposes; their base power is not very high, but almost nothing resists both, and Shadow Claw is a valid alternative to Crunch, which most Simisear will never learn. Moves such as Rock Slide and Dig are also available, and Simisear can make good use of Low Sweep before Brick Break is obtained, too. For Simisear that evolved early, Acrobatics can also be learned via TM. Lastly, Work Up is good to have if Simisear is up against an opponent that cannot damage it a lot, but all elemental monkeys are fragile; use with caution.
Recommended moveset: Fire Blast, Shadow Claw / Crunch, and any two between Brick Break / Acrobatics / Work Up
Grass-types: All of Simisear's weaknesses are well covered by Grass-types, which also resist all but Rock. Grass-types in general are good to have in Unova, as the number of threatening Pokémon for them in the course of the game is relatively low compared to their many weaknesses.
Water-types: If not a Grass-type, Simisear should definitely be accompanied by a Water-type. This is usually covered by the starter, Samurott, since the majority of nuzlocke Simisear will be Dreamyard gifts; in the rare occurrence of a non-Dreamyard Simisear in a game where a starter other than Oshawott was chosen, there are still a number of Water options to pick from.
Physical tanks: Neither of Simisear's defensive stats is good. Although Fire-types have uncommon weaknesses, strong physical moves can still endanger Simisear, such as Fighting-type moves, which are prevalent in the late game. There should be a proper counter for physical hitters.
Special tanks: Although less evident than its physical frailty, due to Rock and Ground being largely physical types, Simisear's relatively low special bulk also needs appropriate coverage. Fortunately, Unova is ripe with easily available special tanks.
Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.
Pansear Line Ratings
What Nature do I want? The best are probably Lonely and Naughty, as Simisear has a mainly physical movepool with few good special moves to account for. Mild and Rash will by no means suck, though. Adamant and Modest can work, but the former will nerf Flame Burst for a good long while before Simisear gets better moves, while the latter is initially amazing, but later becomes cumbersome due to the lack of proper support for physical moves.
At what point in the game should I be evolved? It depends on the team's needs. No sooner than level 22, in any case, so that Pansear has enough time to learn Flame Burst; after that, it is up to the player to choose whether to wait for Acrobatics or not, and after then, Crunch. Going with an Eviolite Pansear until Acrobatics level is somewhat difficult, but possible; it becomes really hard until Crunch level, though.
How good is the Pansear line in a Nuzlocke? In the beginning, it is about as good as it gets, particularly for players who decide to evolve it as early as possible. A Simisear that evolves in Castelia, for example, will have consistently good matchups throughout the game until Clay, and still sport decent prowess after that. Towards the very late game, from the last gym onwards, it starts losing steam fairly fast, but can still manage to make itself useful thanks to its versatility.
Weaknesses: Ground, Rock, Water
Resistances: Bug, Steel, Fire, Grass, Ice
Neutralities: Normal, Fighting, Flying, Poison, Ghost, Electric, Psychic, Dragon, Dark