FRLG in-game tier list

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Relatively minor note, but I just noticed Espeon and Umbreon on your post-E4 list of Pokemon. Eevee actually can not evolve into either of them in FRLG since there it does not keep track of time of day in any fashion.

I'd like to push Staryu for top tier again. It's available at level 24 range immediately after Snorlax, which isn't bad at all. If you don't care for minimize you can evolve it immediately, and Starmie's stats are downright excellent for that point in the game. Its 100 SpAtk/115 speed are reasonably comparable to Kadabra's 120 SpAtk/105 speed which most people agree is pretty good even unevolved, and it has significantly better defenses to use Recover. It does decently against the next two gyms and slaughters the last two. The high speed means it can outrun Lance's dragons even at a level disadvantage and hopefully OHKO them with Ice Beam, it'll fair better than things like Blastoise, Lapras, Vaporeon, etc. that'll probably get outsped by the Dragonites at least. Gary's Tyranitar is the case where it'll fare worse then them, but Thunderbolt at least means they don't get a free ride, either.

Starmie feels like a clearcut choice for best water in the second half of the game, especially the E4, and water's a pretty good type to have. It might well be the best for the whole game, depends on how much credit Squirtle gets for being available in the first half.
I see that Mewtwo is on the list, and that even Lugia, Ho-oh, Deoxys, Espeon and Umbreon are mentioned as normally unattainable. Why, then, aren't the attainable post-Elite Four Pokémon ranked? My guess is that you thought their inclusion would not be a noteworthy contribution, seeing as it is obvious that almost all of those Johto Pokémon have very low usability on account of being available so late (allowing them to be used just for Islands 4-7 and the second Elite Four round) and at an average level of 20.

However, there are exceptions to the rule in Raikou, Entei and Suicune (due to higher base stats and level, which is 50), Cerulean Cave Wobbuffet (which shares the level range of the resident Kanto Pokémon), and lastly, the 9 Pokémon that evolve from Kanto Pokémon obtained much earlier in the game (Crobat, Bellossom, Politoed, Slowking, Steelix, Scizor, Kingdra, Porygon2 and Blissey; Espeon and Umbreon are excluded for reasons already covered, and Hitmontop evolves from another Johto Pokémon that is even harder to obtain than the rest). The latter of nine evolutions should all be ranked separately from their pre-evolutions or alternate evolutions, as the case may be.

I argue that all of the above deserve to be ranked no less than Mewtwo does, since they are in fact available before or as soon as it can be caught, and at reasonably lower levels than its own. The evolutions may ultimately be found to have little in-game usability due to either being inferior to alternate Kanto evolutions (if only because they are made available significantly later on), requiring to struggle with pre-evolutions until the Elite Four is defeated (specifically in regard to Crobat and Blissey, which evolve from Golbat and Chansey that have necessarily been trained), or entailing that a trade be made (in the case of Politoed, Slowking, Steelix, Scizor, Kingdra and Porygon2). Nevertheless, I believe that even they should be included. Additionally, should you change your mind and choose to include the other available Johto Pokémon, the following is their non-ranked list:



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Yes, they definitely should be included, but I decided to replay the game first since my memory on what exactly happens on Sevii Islands was more foggy than I thought. I put Mewtwo in Mid basically since he has little to no availability whatsoever, but unmatched battle output and no resources required whatsoever.

The dogs, indeed, require a similar ranking. I'll put them in Mid for now, though requiring a Master Ball or some clever trap like Wobbuffet to be caught and now being as godly as Mewtwo makes me even consider Low for them. And I'm not even looking at their general failure in IVs either.

All the others seem to be Low tier material.

Crobat just adds a little on Zubat's case, but not enough to make him Top. Chansey isn't coming out of Low with it either. Other than Bellossom, all other evolutions seem to require trading.

Anyways, to go slightly off-topic, part of the reason I posted this as well as the old one (the only game I didn't discuss there is FRLG) is because I wanted to stir up a little debate about it. Possibly even starting some kind of nerdy debate tournament too, if anyone is up for it. Obviously only if there's enough dedicated people to participate and judge, of course! Debating between two characters is what I do all the time in Fire Emblem, so I was thinking debating between two Pokemon could be very fun as well.
If Staryu is pushed to the top then what about Poliwag, Shellder, and Slowpoke? They are also available at around the same time. Poliwag/whirl is readily available to be evolved, unless of course you wanna get Body Slam and Belly Drum, in which case Poliwhirl ain't half bad either. Shellder has Stab Aurora Beam, is also readily available to evolve(I'm sure you're not waiting for Leer and Clamp?)and is pretty tough to bring down as well. And then there's Slowpoke, with decent Psychic + Water Stab, and he also has Yawn. Slowpoke does evolve rather slow at 37, unfortunately.
I disagree with Articuno being the top of the top tier. Articuno sould not be placed above the starters, or the first pokemon you get.

Articuno has a level advantage (50), and it can be conveniently gotten while passing through Seafoam Islands. But, it should be easier for the player to surf directly from Pallet Town to Cinnabar Island, as the random trainers on the routes and the huge puzzle at Seafoam Islands waste a lot of time.

On top of that, Articuno is really hard to catch. The maximum chance for you to catch one is about 22%:

Catch % chance -

((4*Total HP - 2* Current HP)*Catch Rate)/Total HP + Status

Articuno's max total HP at level 50 is 165, and the lowest HP it can get to is 1.
Its catch rate with a tultra ball is 3*2 = 6
Articuno's Catch Rate of 3 is the lowest in the game.

((4*165 - 2*1)*6)/165 + 11(Sleep/Frozen)

((660 - 2)*6)/176
= 22.432%

That is, if you happen to have a Sleep-inducing move and False Swipe, which none of the Pokemon in either Top or Mid can learn. Catching Articuno is frustrating, which makes the game harder.

How much can Articuno contribute to the game? It only can be obtained after Fuschia City, the only parts of the game left are:
Three Islands
E4 Rematch

The starters and the pokemon which appear earlier in the game help much more, not just the ending part of the game.

Articuno has a wide and diverse offensive movepool covering a staggering FOUR types - Ice, Flying, Normal and Steel.

Ice is from Ice Beam, Blizzard (TM).
Flying is from Aerial Ace (TM) and Fly (HM)
Normal is from Secret Power (TM) and Return (TM)
Steel is from Steel Wing (TM)

These moves are all resisted by a Steel-type, and Articuno does not have a significant advantage over the Elite Four and the Gym Leaders, that warrants using it over other pokemon.

On the contrary, a Nidoking with Thunderbolt and Ice Beam can pretty much tear through the elite four. It also contributes more for the player, having to go through 6 more gyms.

I feel that Articuno should be bumped down to mid or even low as it
-is frustrating to catch
-does not contribute much
-has a limited movepool


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I lied at the top of the first post, where it said Pokemon are not in any order within a tier. They actually are in an order - alphabetical one. That's why Articuno is on top of the list.

Articuno to another tier, sure, but I'd say that if his triple OHKO on Lance's Dragons does not net him Top, then Moltres sure as hell does not deserve being there either.

EDIT: Shellder does not get STAB on Aurora Beam, he gains his Ice-type upon evolving into Cloyster. Then again, this may as well be immediatly, though whether that is only good for him is questionable. He already had Surf for STAB, but now he becomes weak to Bruno, Aerodactyl, and neutral to the Cinnabar gym. Poliwag...I'd have to think about it more. I think Mid is managable for both of these. Starmie's Natural Cure is pretty big in my opinion.
Really, low level is a matter of opinion and order through which you play the game. I have had a couple of runthroughs where Lapras was only maybe 3 levels below my party when I got it. Maybe because I like playing through things out of order, and enjoy the challenge of playing through with a under-leveled team. If you can somehow beat your rival with a team that weak (which I have done), Lapras can easily be slotted into your party. The minimum requirement to get into Silph Co. is to beat Pokemon Tower. That, in turn, is also after only a minimum of 3 badges. For that reason, I would say Lapras isn't really low, but more suitable for mid.
What if in addition to the in-game tier list, there was also an in-game tier list divided by type and sorted by order?

That would, IMO, be of equal if not even greater utility to a trainer who is looking to build a team of pokemon with diverse typing. Rather than skim through the list for flying types who may not be sorted within a tier (spearow, pidgey) he can look up a list of maybe the top 5 flying types and go from there.

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Speaking of which, how would you compare TMs and Pokemon bought at the Celadon Game Corner? I really don't think that they're that hard to get at all in the game. Though I'm going to glance at the list quickly:

Articuno I think is perhaps better under "low". The reason is he only really shines in two places: Going against Giovanni and Lance. It's otherwise the most unnecessary of the birds in my opinion. In fact, he's probably not only the easiest to miss, but also is in almost the middle of nowhere and can be avoided in the quest. I don't think he's all that stellar, but otherwise he just seems someone that isn't used that much. In a serious sense, who goes through Seafoam Islands when you can go to Pallet Town, Surf, and get there so much faster?

I think Poliwrath needs moar love. SubPunching is still pretty deadly and having STAB on Focus Punch helps as well as having natural Hypnosis. He doesn't come in too late or anything either (around level 25, so it's 5 levels lower than Snorlax), and also has access to the Water Stone for evolution. I guess if you can wait for level 43 (bad idea probably), but Hypnosis / Belly Drum / Brick Break / Rock Tomb could possibly pummel through battles. Otherwise it gets STAB Surf and still has access to Ice Beam and Psychic, which still runs off his modest 70 Special Attack stat.

I'd like to argue about Growlithe, but there isn't much contributing to him... >_>; Other than his nice stats.
Articuno gets free Ice Beam off good special attack and comes pre-built at level 50 and takes hits fairly well in a pinch. Considering that good Ice damage is one of your highest priorities for the Elite 4 (unless you *want* Lance to kick your ass needlessly), that's a pretty good case to use him - especially if you're using a Water type that's not so great with Ice Beam due to middling special attack. Like say, Poliwrath? <_<

Also, I can't see how Articuno is more unnecessary than Moltres. Yeah, 125 Special Attack >> 95, but Fire is pretty much a useless attack type for every subsequent boss while Ice is probably the single best type.

As for the game corner TMs, my personal experience is that you can afford 1 of them by midgame and about 2-3 of them before the E4. They should count more than OPG TMs/tutors like Earthquake and Rock Slide but less than HMs and storebought ones, which are cheap enough to be effectively free by endgame.

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It's not like I was holy hell praising Poliwrath, but at least mid was good.

As far as Articuno, okay, I can see how he's useful. BUT, let's not forget that many Water-types can learn Ice Beam already, and at least they can push through Blaine and Giovanni with little efforts while Articuno has to be weary of Fire Blasts from Blaine and Rock Slide from Giovanni (though I'm thinking you won't have to worry about the latter so much as the former). Now granted, Articuno can learn Water Pulse, which would be his best weapon against Blaine, but that TM could've been used already by any other Water-type waiting for Surf or even Nidoking. And besides that he's not really "sweeping" the Elite 4 either. He's doing nothing to Lorelei and Bruno's Machamp I can bet can survive an Ice Beam and hurt Articuno with Rock Slide. Agatha I guess he can win against, but he still has to be wary of Toxic, Hypnosis, and Thunderbolt from Haunter and the two Gengars. Obviously we all know about Lance, but definately not pushing through Gyarados anytime soon and Aerodactyl can threaten with Rock Slide.

...OR we could just train Starmie and gain more versitality out of him. Better movepool, a recovery move, Natural Cure, 115 Base Speed, 100 Special Attack, STAB Surf, easily available.

OR we could get Articuno, which despite good Defenses and STAB Ice Beam, is in the middle of nowhere, and has pretty much a horrible movepool. And obviously Moltres is worse than Articuno in most cases.

I guess I based Articuno more of "if you were playing a Speed-run". While you could waste valuable time doing something else, you're basically catching a Pokemon that isn't entirely needed. Starmie could be as great, if not better, of a Dragon slayer anyways, and is alreadly threatening much of the Elite Four. In a theory sense, Psychic / Surf / Thunderbolt / Ice Beam Starmie sweeps everyone in the Elite Four Super Effective except Jynx and Alakazam. That's two Pokemon! In the later one we suffer a bit more of a roadblock as far as not hitting Misdreavus Super Effective, but that isn't stopping you that badly.

IMO Starmie > Articuno. I know you aren't stating about Articuno being better than Starmie, but I just think Articuno isn't worth even getting in the first place, despite STAB Ice Beam is appealing. And it's not like Blastoise and Vaporeon are bogging you down any more than Articuno was.
I'm getting a bit sleepy, so these points will be a bit disjointed.

-Why would Articuno use Ice Beam against Machamp instead of Fly?

-This topic specifically presumed a team of 3-5 Pokemon, not trying to solo the entire game with one Pokemon or do a speedrun. You don't have to do well against every single Elite Four Pokemon to get a good tier ranking, just perform well enough against either quantity (random trainers) or quality (non-sucky bosses) opponents. Articuno comes at a high level with free STAB Ice Beam off 95 base special attack for the former and works very well against Lance's dragons, which are legitimately dangerous if you don't KO them quickly.

- Mekkah's tiers aren't that coarse, so you don't have to be *that* good to end up in top. Starmie > Articuno, yes. It also > everything available after it except for Mewtwo, pretty much, if you're going to TM it up that heavily. If everything had to perform at least as well as Starmie to be top tier than the list would be a lot shorter than it is currently.

-For that matter, if Articuno is low because Starmie obsoletes it, then what does that say about Poliwrath? Everything it can hit super-effective Starmie can do too with some combination of Surf/Ice Beam/Thunderbolt, and off much better offensive stats to boot. But you're still arguing Poliwrath for Middle. Being obsolete doesn't automatically drop you down a tier (otherwise there be like 20 tiers).

-You're overestimating the gym leader/E4 movesets. Giovanni has no rock attacks except on his two Rhyhorns. Lance's Gyarados has a mighty Dragon Rage/Bite/Twister/Hyper Beam moveset first time around, which Articuno will curbstomp. Agatha has no Thunderbolt until the second time around, when Misdreavus and the L70 Gengar do.

-Starmie's offensive stats are good enough that Articuno is mostly obsolete even against 4x Ice weaks, yes. But you can't assume every single person is going to use Starmie every single game - otherwise that low tier is gonna get a whole lot longer. If your chosen Water type has less impressive special attack (Blastoise, Tentacruel, Poliwrath, just to name three), OHKOing the dragons is far form guaranteed, so having a stronger Ice Beamer on the team would be welcome. Noticably slow water types likes Vaporeon will be taking hits from all of Lance's dragons and will likely get worn down over time. Articuno's ability to be a stronger overall counter to these Dragons is then a useful service, for something that requires minimal training.


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Also note how Starmie isn't guaranteed to get Ice Beam. It's just a very good idea for killing stuff, but there's also a negative: you used a TM that you could have saved or could have used on something else...I'm not sure if you are "allowed" to use one-time stuff, but for now the fact that it could have gone to something else is a point against it.

Articuno also works against about half of Gary's team after Giovanni (Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggcute/Venusaur...then again those are about the easiest you can get) and he requires no EXP pretty much to be good. However, not requiring EXP is kinda canceled out by not being there to help your team during early and midgame...I think mid is fair for him.

Poliwrath does fine with a bought Brick Break, I see no need to use your one Focus Punch TM on it.

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I guess the reason I mentioned Focus Punch was just for the sake of helping to explain he can do some other things. And I personally admit that Articuno probably should stay Mid at best. I also kind of disagree a bit with the Ice Beam TM since technically it is an "endless" TM but definately requires time (I easily can do the slots, so that's why I sort of mentioned about Game Corner TMs). I guess I personally didn't know about one-time TMs, so forgive me about the Focus Punch / etc.

Also, I forgot: Kingdra would add on to those not being hit Super Effective by Psychic / Surf / Ice Beam / Thunderbolt.

Since this topic interested me, I'm trying a in-game on FR again. Jynx was one of them I wanted to try: comes in decently, has STAB Psychic to push through Team Rocket, has Ice Beam for the occasional Grass-types and Flying-types that horde (sp?) around Fuschia City, and finally Lovely Kiss. AND she can at least after you can catch a Poliwhirl, in other words, four badges, so she's available around the time Staryu is.

Also, after seeing the other post hinode made, I was half asleep when I posted it, and I know this isn't smart for a discussion, but I apologize for the half-ass comments I made. I haven't played it VERY recently, so I didn't exactly know who had Rock Slide in Giovanni's gym and such (and I thought Agatha's Haunter did have Thunderbolt, but I guess I slipped there too). I guess I overestimated a bit as far as the gym leaders and such, and at least the x4 weakness to Rock isn't to worry much since Rock Slide isn't heavily used.

I'd like to take back my discussion though about Poliwag though, because after re-glancing around again, the only time he'd probably be used would be right around when you face Blaine and that would be because Normal-types aren't as spammed as it was near the beginning, more Poison-types and even Water-types pop up everywhere, and then he can't train even around Fuschia as far as Pidgeys and Pidgeottos, unless he's still a Poliwhirl and you've used the Ice Beam TM on Poliwhirl over Squirtle / Staryu / Vaporeon. I guess low does seem better for him after thinking a lot more about this, because he'd only really be useful around when it's pretty late in the game, and he does stand a chance since he can take on Blaine / Giovanni / some of Lorelei and the Onixs from Bruno, but otherwise without that Ice Beam TM he's not charging in on Lance and stands shaky ground against Gary other than Rhydon and Arcanine, and yes Charizard has AA. Very sorry to bring that up.
I really don't think that Mewtwo should be ranked. He's only available after you beat the Elite Four which is the game's main challenge; the islands are a joke by comparison and you should easily be stomping everything in your path already. Besides, you didn't rank anything from the islands. I'd put him in the same category as Athos: When you have him, he's probably your best unit. But because he's available for only the last part of the game, he doesn't belong on the tier list. If if you do place him on the tier list, rename your "top" tier as "high," because Mewtwo belongs in a class of his own.
The remixed version of the Elite Four still exists for Mewtwo to be used against. But, yeah... he's basically Athos 2.0 as far as tiering goes.

Ice Beam isn't one per game, which makes it more reasonable than stuff like Earthquake or Rock Slide, though it's still not almost-free like Brick Break. You should be able to afford two boltbeam tier TMs from the Game Corner if you fight the majority of trainers in-game, more if you prioritize getting the Amulet Coin. Last run through I managed to buy 2xThunderbolt, 1xIce Beam, 1xShadow Ball before the E4 even, and I didn't touch slots at all.
I feel that Magnemite should be moved up from Low to Mid. It is obtainable after Fuchsia City. Magnemite is obtainable at around level 20 in the Power Plant, which is quite a low level compared to the rest your pokemon. However, it has some things to make up for its lower levels.

Magnemite and Magneton have a Steel/Electric Typing, which resists or is immune to Eleven out of Seventeen types. It has the most number of resistances for a pokemon that is available in the midgame.

To get Magnemite, you must have Surf. Magnemite can use the Pokemon encountered while Surfing to level up easily, with a STABed SE Spark/Thundershock. Magnemite can also level up on the many Swimmers/Fishermen in the Surf routes leading to Cinnabar. It also evolves quite soon after you get it. There are also a lot of routes conatining Dlying-type Pokemon near Fuchsia.

Magneton is stuck with a tiny movepool consisting of only Electric-type and Normal moves, but Electric is resisted by other Electric-types (who can't hurt Magneton much), Grass (about the same, just that they spread a lot of status), Dragon (very rare, Lance's Dragons can be walled by Magneton) and Ground.
Obviously when Magneton is facing a Ground-type it should switch. Non-usefulness at combating Ground-types is not really detrimental, given the availability of Surf, and to a lesser extent, Ice Beam.

Magneton should be placed in Mid because of its excellent typing and the fact that it can easily level which partly makes up for its underlevelled-ness.

Magneton can wall 17 of the Elite Four's pokemon (Lorelei's Jynx, Lapras, Cloyster; Agatha's Gengar (lead), Haunter, Arbok, Golbat and Gengar; Lance's Gyarados, two Dragonairs, Dragonite, Aerodactyl; your Rival's Exeggutor, Alakazam, Pidgeot, Venusaur) out of 30 possible pokemon (25 sans Bruno, which rapes Magneton).
Should Venomoth be placed in mid? When I caught one in the Safari Zone, it was level 32, just 3 levels off my usual team. Venomoth has confusion to feed off the bikers and cue balls who all have psychic and fighting pokemon. It also does decently well in Koga's gym, plus it nautrally learns Psychic for killing off Bruno and Agatha. Only problem I see with it is that it's a bit hard to find in Safari Zone, but it sure is more common than all those underleveled Chansey/Tauros/Pinsir/Scyther that you find.

Poliwag's fine. Water types have no problem fighting Bikers/Cue Balls, and most of the rockets. Poliwrath can even stand up to supereffective flying attacks from the likes of the Bird keepers. Don't forget, he can still fight swimmers as well, coz' most of their water types can't touch him with Water Absorb. Use Brick Break/Body Slam on Waters.


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@Kikuichimonjonbo: Mewtwo is definitely Athos, but I think he is going to be your best bet bar none against Revenge of the Elite Four, and I'm definitely counting those as they actually provide difficulty. He plumbers Agatha and Bruno, and he's not afraid of anything else either, especially not now that you should have built up more cash for TMs and all.

However, Mewtwo is not there during the core of the game, but when he is there he is in a league of his own. So I'd say Mid overall is acceptable, assuming all Pokemon are rankable. I didn't bother ranking the rest of Sevii because they all seem Low material pretty much. So perhaps they should be there.

@Aquilae: Magnemite has the same problem as Pikachu and Electabuzz. To get him, you need to go to Power Plant, which alone is a detour. And when you get there, it is only a small stretch to get Zapdos to make him pretty much totally obsolete. Of course, the east path of Fushia and the Swimmers on the way to Pallet Town work very much in his favor indeed. idea. His gym/E4 performance though...Blane's gym isn't a pretty sight. Giovanni's gym seems too void of Rock Slide to be huge worry and Confusion hits a few things SE there, but then he can't seem to be very good against Gary except maybe Venusaur. Bruno and Agatha, sure, but the rest seems to not care. And yeah, Safari Zone is annoying. Being easier to find than Chansey/Tauros/Pinsir/Scyther isn't really something to boast about, it's like saying "well, Heath joins late, but he's no Nino!" or "well, Lapras may be underleveled, but he's no Sevii Island anything!".

I'm pretty sure Poliwag is sitting just fine in Mid. Almost anything that resists his favourite attack Brick Break can be Surfed.
Getting Magnemite/Magneton in Power Plant is not much of a detour. It can be easily accessed by Flying to Rock Tunnel, then Surfing to the Power Plant.
Since Magnemite is pretty common, it wouldn't take much time, only about a few minutes.

Magnemite has some useful advantages over Zapdos. Both Magnemite and Zapdos do not learn Thunderbolt, and Magnemite does better without the Thunderbolt TM, having Spark as an alternative.

As I mentioned earlier, Magneton has superior typing, which allows it to wall a lot of stuff with its 11 resistances and immunities.

Lastly, Zapdos has the same catch rate as Articuno, a meager 3. Zapdos is going to require a lot of patience to catch, and you have to walk the whole length of the Power Plant to get to it, taking a lot of time, whilst Magnemite is considerably easier to catch and find, and does not require as big a detour.
I think Zapdos and Articuno should keep their ranking. As Aquilae proved earlier, you have a 22% chance of catching either bird at best. Even if you lower it to only 1/4 hp, it still has nearly a 20% catch rate, which is pretty damn good- it would take at most 5 minutes to catch. Plus, it Articuno does come at level 50. Articuno can also learn water pulse (a useless TM from Misty), which may come in handy on the weak pokemon in Blaine and Giovanni's gym.

I don't understand why getting TM's at the game corner is such a burden. They only cost 4000 coins at most, just buy 100 or so and win the rest. It might take me about 15 minutes to do so, which I consider a reasonable investment.
I think Zapdos and Articuno should keep their ranking. As Aquilae proved earlier, you have a 22% chance of catching either bird at best. Even if you lower it to only 1/4 hp, it still has nearly a 20% catch rate, which is pretty damn good- it would take at most 5 minutes to catch. Plus, it Articuno does come at level 50. Articuno can also learn water pulse (a useless TM from Misty), which may come in handy on the weak pokemon in Blaine and Giovanni's gym.
I have to correct my post earlier, saying Articuno has a 22% catch rate at best. I ignored a game mechanic which calculates the random number deciding whether the pokemon is caught. Using the formula, we get a number of 22. The game then rolls a random number between zero and 255, which decides whether the pokemon is caught.

So the actual maximum catch rate for Articuno is (22 * 100) / 255, which turns out to be a measly 8.63%.

I forgot about Water Pulse in my earlier post, but it is pretty situational, it is only suited to be used on Fire-types, as Ice Beam takes care of the Rocks and Grounds.

Moltres and Zapdos have the same base hp and level, and therefore have the same maximum catch rate at 8.63%.

After redoing my calculations, I feel that Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno should be moved to Low as they are extremely hard to catch and require a considerable detour to reach, each at the end of a long dungeon. (Zapdos Power Plant, Moltres One Island, Articuno Seafoam Islands)


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Articuno can also learn water pulse (a useless TM from Misty)
This TM is far from useless. It gives Water types a pretty considerable boost to until they get Surf, and more importantly, it gives friends like Rattata a way to kill Geodude. Sure, there's also Dig, but that is useful on even more Pokemon (plus has less PP and takes a turn to "load").

I'd understand Moltres and Articuno for Low, but Zapdos..."I like him." He's very steady for a lot of things ahead of you, and his detour is easily the shortest (I forgot what One Island was like though). Seafoam is extremely annoying, Power Plant is pretty straightforward and (iirc) has more cool items, or items at all.
Moltres' detour is the shortest, as it only requires the completion of Mt. Ember, and the Ember Spa is mandatory for Rock Smash. Moltres is on the top of Mount Ember, meaning that there are fixed locations where you encounter pokemon (aka tall grass), and the encounter rate is lower compared to the Power Plant and Seafoam Islands.

Power Plant and Seafoam Islands are pretty major detours (there is an alternative route to Cinnabar other than Seafoam Islands, that is from Pallet Town). Even with the legendary birds' level leads, it is generally going to be time-consuming to go through the dungeons, and catch one.
A Master Ball can be used, but that robs you of the ability to catch Raikou/Entei/Suicune, or Mewtwo to some extent.

IMO, Zapdos shouldn't be in High. Compared to the other High Tier pokemon, Zapdos is much harder to catch and reach, and is missing for a big part of the game.

Moltres and Articuno should be demoted to Low tier, because of the same reasons as Zapdos, and the fact that that Moltres and Articuno have an inferior movepool compared to Zapdos.

(Articuno can learn Water Pulse, but there is stiff competition for it, as it gives some earlygame normal-types an ability to KO Rock/Grounds, and it is a more powerful Water move before Surf, as Mekkah mentioned.)

(Note: I don't think Water Pulse should be used on the early Water-types, Water Gun is probably sufficient for that period)
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