The Black Tea Pokémon Sinistea comes in two flavors, Antique Form and Phony Form, but we show you how to spot the fake and evolve each one.
Pokémon Sword and Shield introduces quite a few cleverly designed monsters to the series; a perfect example of this creativity is illustrated with the four freakish Fossil Pokémon. However, one of my favorite Generation VIII Pokémon to date is Sinistea and its evolution Polteageist—both pure Ghost-type ‘Mon.
Sinistea’s Antique Form Pokédex entry from Pokémon Shield reads, “The teacup in which this Pokémon makes its home is a famous piece of antique tableware. Many forgeries are in circulation.” Its Phony Form entry, from the same game, reads, “It absorbs the life-force of those who drink it. It waits patiently, but opportunities are fleeting—it tastes so bad that it gets spat out immediately.”
But how can one tell faux from authentic, and what are the requirements for evolving each one? After you manage to catch Sinistea in Glimwood Tangle, you can verify its authenticity. A few methods can be used to achieve this.
Using Items as Verification
The Cracked Pot
There are two ways to receive the Cracked Pot in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Visit Stow-on-Side, the town that lies between Route 6 to the east and Glimwood Tangle to the north. Shimmy up the ladder (Fig. 1) on the building that’s to the left of the Street Market area. Once you’re on top of the building, head right and you will see a Poké Ball—you can’t miss it. Pick it up to receive the Cracked Pot (Fig. 2).
The alternative to the above method can be a bit tedious, but at least you won’t need to leave Stow-on-Side. Visit the Street Market and talk to the guy on the right; he’s a regular merchant that sells goods daily (Fig. 3). His inventory is widely random, and varied, so you’ll need to check back every day until he offers to sell you the Cracked Pot.
The Chipped Pot
The Chipped Pot is also sold by the same merchant who sells the Cracked Pot; however, it’s a bit more difficult to come by (Fig. 4). For example, it took me more than 30 attempts before the merchant finally sold one to me; simply talk to him daily until he offers it up. (Our YouTube video shows you how to skip days using Pokémon Dens—this will help you get the Chipped Pot much faster.)
Revealing Sinistea’s True Form
You can use the Cracked Pot or Chipped Pot to reveal Sinistea’s true form. With Sinistea in your party, open your Bag and navigate to the “Other Items” tab. Scroll down and select one of the Pots. From here, one of two things will happen—Sinistea will either be “compatible” or “incompatible” with each item (Fig. 5 and Fig. 6).
For the record, the Cracked Pot and Chipped Pot are not required to figure out Sinistea’s Form. These items are, however, required should you choose to evolve Sinistea into Polteageist.
Another way to determine Sinistea’s Form is to setup Pokémon Camp; Sinistea must be in your party in order for this to work. Our short video below shows you how to identify Antique Form Sinistea. If you look closely, you can see the light blue stamp on the inside of the cup’s foot.
Evolving Each Form of Sinistea
Evolving Sinistea is extremely easy once you have the Cracked Pot or Chipped Pot. All that’s required is to use a compatible Pot on Sinistea. Phony Form Sinistea evolves into Polteageist with the Cracked Pot. Antique Form Sinistea evolves into Polteageist with the Chipped Pot. Once either item is used on Sinistea, the evolution process is immediate. Also, when Antique Form Sinistea evolves into Polteageist, its seal of authenticity will be carried over.
Antique Sinistea vs. Phony Sinistea
There’s only one key difference between Sinistea’s two forms: Antique Form Sinistea brandishes the stamp of authenticity, while Phony Form Sinistea does not. That’s it.
Sinistea Encounter Rates
There’s a 10 percent chance of randomly encountering the forged version of Sinistea. And there’s only a 1 percent chance of randomly encountering Antique Form Sinistea, according to Serebii. Sinistea is currently found only in Glimwood Tangle.