HeartGold and SoulSilver ingame tiers Permission from Jellicent, much of the setup taken from SuperJOCKE's BW2 thread I'll make this all nice later, I just wanted to get a thread up so we could start discussion. The onsite article for this is a bit old now, and is missing some information and is wrong at other things, mainly due to the Pokewalker details not being handled correctly. That being said, like the other new ingame tier threads, this one will probably end up going a bit more in-depth than the last one. What is an in-game tier list? In-game tier lists rank Pokémon according to their usefulness during the main portion of the game—that is, until the credits roll for the first time. In-game tier lists provide players with the information needed to complete the game as quickly and as effortlessly as possible. For competitively-minded players, this approach to playing the game gives them more immediate access to useful items, TMs, and HMs. What are the tiers? In this in-game tier list there will be five tiers. Pokémon that are the most useful belong in Top Tier, while Pokémon that are the least useful belong in Bottom Tier. The tiers are as follows: -Top Tier -High Tier -Middle Tier -Low Tier -Bottom Tier Pokémon the belong in Top Tier are found early in the game or at a high level, can defeat enemies easily, have strong level-up movepools, have useful typing, have high stats, learn a variety of TMs and HMs, and match up well against the game's trainers, gym leaders, and Elite 4. Other aspects, such as self-healing and useful abilities, also positively contribute to a Pokémon's tiering. This all being said, I'm open to splitting the Middle tier if need be, as there are a lot of options in this game. I'll leave this up for people to discuss. Which Pokémon are available in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver? As HeartGold and SoulSilver have Pokemon from nearly the entirety of two generations, as well as a few from newer ones, the games have a ton of variety when it comes to choices. Pokemon are listed in the first area they are available only. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide New Bark Town: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile Route 29: Pidgey, Rattata, Sentret, Hoothoot Route 46: Spearow, Geodude Route 30: Caterpie (HG), Weedle (SS), Ledyba (SS), Spinarak (HG) Route 31: Bellsprout Dark Cave: Zubat, Dunsparce Violet City (before beating Gym): Onix Sprout Tower: Gastly Violet City (after beating Gym): Togepi Route 32: Ekans (SS), Mareep, Hoppip, Wooper Ruins of Alph (ruins): Unown Old Rod: Poliwag, Tentacool, Goldeen, Krabby, Magikarp Union Cave: Sandshrew (HG) Slowpoke Well: Slowpoke Ilex Forest: Oddish, Paras Headbutt: Exeggcute, Aipom, Heracross, Pineco Route 34: Abra, Drowzee, Ditto Goldenrod Game Corner: Ekans (HG), Sandshrew (SS), Dratini Goldenrod City: Machop Route 35: Nidoran-F, Nidoran-M, Yanma National Park: Sunkern Bug-Catching Contest: Caterpie (SS), Weedle (HG), Venonat, Scyther, Pinsir Route 36: Vulpix (SS), Growlithe (HG), Sudowoodo, Stantler Goldenrod City (after visiting Ecruteak): Eevee Burned Tower: Koffing, Magmar Roaming: Raikou, Entei Surf: Psyduck Union Cave (lower level): Lapras Route 42: Mankey (HG) Route 38: Meowth (SS), Magnemite, Farfetch'd, Tauros, Snubbull, Miltank Olivine City: Voltorb Good Rod: Shellder, Staryu, Chinchou, Qwilfish, Corsola Ruins of Alph (outside): Natu, Smeargle Route 41: Mantine (HG) Cianwood City: Shuckle Route 47: Seel Route 48: Diglett Safari Zone: Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Doduo, Grimer, Cubone, Lickitung, Rhyhorn, Kangaskhan, Mr. Mime, Marill, Murkrow, Misdreavus, Wobbuffet, Girafarig, Larvitar Lake of Rage: Gyarados (special) Bell Tower: Ho-Oh (HG) Whirl Islands: Horsea, Lugia (SS) Route 44: Tangela, Remoraid Ice Path: Jynx, Swinub, Delibird (SS) Waterfall: Tyrogue Route 45: Gligar (HG), Teddiursa (SS), Skarmory (SS), Phanpy (HG) Route 27: Ponyta Some Pokemon are only available in Kanto as well, and will not get their own tiers as such. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Kanto: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Chansey, Electabuzz, Porygon, Omanyte, Kabuto, Aerodactyl, Snorlax, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Slugma, Houndour, Suicune, Lugia (HG), Ho-Oh (SS) Will Pokewalker Pokemon be tiered? Unlike standard event Pokemon, any Pokemon found in an area before and including the Town Outskirts area is available in the included Pokewalker accessory before the Elite Four and as early as two Pokemon are caught in the game. These Pokemon will get a tier, while those available after the Elite Four will not. Note that with a neutral Pokemon to an area, 1 watt takes 20 steps, while with a favorably-typed Pokemon, it takes only 15. Here is a list of available Pokewalker Pokemon that are noteworthy to consider for tiering purposes: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Pokewalker: 20 steps per watt, 15 with preferred type Refreshing Field (0 watts): Nidoran-F (500 steps), Nidoran-M (500 steps), Doduo (2000 steps), Kangaskhan (3000 steps) Noisy Forest (0 watts): Oddish (0 steps), Paras (700 steps), Venonat (700 steps), Wobbuffet (4000 steps) Rugged Road (50 watts): Machop (1000 steps), Ponyta (1000 steps), Onix (4000 steps), Magby (5000 steps) Beautiful Beach (200 watts): Sunkern (0 steps), Wooper (0 steps), Slowpoke (1000 steps), Poliwag (1500 steps), Psyduck (4000 steps), Staryu (5000 steps) Suburban Area (500 watts): Magnemite (1000 steps), Murkrow (1000 steps), Magnemite (4000 steps), Elekid (5000 steps) Dim Cave (1000 watts): Smoochum (5000 steps) Blue Lake (2000 watts): Tentacool (0 steps), Goldeen (0 steps), Shellder (500 steps), Krabby (500 steps), Dratini (5000 steps) Town Outskirts (3000 watts): Grimer (1500 steps), Koffing (1500 steps), Voltorb (3000 steps), Abra (5000 steps) Beyond the Sea (GTS needed, only after getting to Goldenrod City): Remoraid (0 steps, 5000 to catch Octillery), Chinchou (0 steps), Horsea (2500 steps), Corsola (2500 steps), Staryu (5000 steps, comes with Water Stone) Current Rankings Preliminary tier list (without entries for reference) Pokemon with asterisks do not have a write-up yet. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Top Cyndaquil* Heracross Magikarp/Gyarados* Scyther (without evo)* Totodile* High Growlithe Lugia (SS)* (just needs writeup finished with Kanto matchups) Magnemite Nidoran-F* Nidoran-M* Pinsir* Slowpoke Staryu Tauros* Mid Caterpie* Chikorita* Hoothoot Rattata* Sentret* Top Tier Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Heracross Availability: Found in both games through various trees around Johto that can be headbutted. Can be found as low as Level 2 in Azalea Town. Stats: Heracross sports an incredibly high attack stat, in fact the highest Attack stat by any Pokemon at its earliest encounter in the games through legal means. Heracross also sports 80/75/95 Defenses, so it will be able to take most neutral attacks throughout the game. Heracross also has an average speed stat which shouldn't be depended on all the time. Typing: Heracross has Bug and Fighting-typing. Bug typing gives Heracross resistances to Fighting, Ground, and Grass attacks, the latter two which aren't common through most of the game. Fighting-type gives Heracross a resistance to Bug- and Dark-type moves, but both are incredibly rare themselves through the entirety of the game. On the opposite end, Heracross has a crippling 4x weakness to Flying-type moves, but thankfully Flying-types aren't all that common outside of the obvious bird trainers. Heracross also has weaknesses to Fire-type and Psychic-type moves but neither are commonly used outside of your rival and Will in the Elite Four, so there are very few opportunities where Heracross isn't all that useful. Movepool: Early on Heracross doesn't have that strong of a movepool, its only glimmers of hope are Horn Attack, Aerial Ace, and Brick Break learned by default and levels 13 and 19, respectively. It may seem that Heracross looks weak early on, but thanks to its monster Attack stat Heracross can trudge its way through most of the Johto region with little resistance. Heracross really begins to turn into a monster at Level 37 by learning Close Combat, and at Level 55 learns Megahorn which sadly won't be practical until after the first Elite Four battle (unless you grind to hell). With a Heart Scale that you can find either through Rock Smashing or at the Pokeathlon, Heracross can be taught Night Slash via the Move Relearner in Blackthorn City. Heracross's learning pool may be shallow but its raw power definitely comes in handy throughout the game. Major Battles: Heracross's only real issue throughout the Johto part of HGSS is Morty, mainly because Heracross can only attack his pokemon with Aerial Ace while they can easily wipe it away with Shadow Balls. Beyond Morty, Heracross is a huge help against Whitney and her Miltank upon learning Brick Break and can also easily handle Chuck with Aerial Ace. Jasmine and Pryce are both easily handled by Heracross thanks to Brick Break. Team Rocket can easily be beaten with neutral attacks from Heracross, and they can even lead to their own demise if one is unfortunate enough to Poison or Burn Heracross if it has Guts. Although some other Pokemon may have issues with Clair, Heracross benefits greatly with its strong Attack stat and the added benefit of Close Combat, the only real issue would be Clair's Gyarados. Heracross is also at a distinct advantage against most of the Rival's team, being able to beat Sneasel, Magneton, Kadabra, Haunter, and Meganium with Close Combat, Aerial Ace, and Night Slash. Will, Bruno, and Karen will not be all too hard with Heracross either, but it would be wise to make sure you have a few Ethers on you due to Close Combat's pitiful 5 PP. Heracross can also help against some of Koga's team but should definitely stay out of the battle with Lance, since its strongest attack is resisted by almost all of Lance's team. After the Elite Four, Heracross comes in handy again through the Kanto region against the likes of Brock, Lt. Surge (if you teach it Earthquake via TM), Erika, Sabrina, Janine, and parts of Blue's team, too. Additional Comments: Heracross can be found at the earliest in Azalea Town thanks to the Headbutt tutor, but that will only be available after you've beaten Bugsy and your Rival. Heracross is one of the best Pokemon to use through the game, but its encounters are held strictly to Headbutting trees which can be quite a tedious task. Beyond that little set back once Heracross is on your team you will greatly enjoy its presence throughout the entire storyline of the game, and its power will surely get you out of a sticky situation if the need arises. High Tier Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Growlithe Availability: (HG only) Routes 7-8, 36-37, 48. ~Level 13-15 on Routes 36-37 and ~Level 21-25 on Route 48. Stats: Sporting good Attack and Special Attack stats along with average Speed makes it a rather impeccable attacker mid-late game for gym challenges. However it sports below average HP, Defense, and Special Defense meaning that it is not the best at taking stronger neutral and super effective hits. Its Defense gets a pseudo boost thanks to Intimidate and makes it passable taking physical hits. Typing: Mono Fire-typing is both a blessing and a curse at this point in the game. It's a blessing because unless you picked Cyndaquil, Growlithe will be your first Fire-type encounter in the entire game and its STAB attack will definitely help for future gym leaders Jasmine and Pryce, along with being a strong move to use throughout the middle portion of the game. It is a curse because the short term journey ahead has an overwhelming amount of Water-types along with an overwhelming amount of Rock-types throughout Victory Road, making it a pain to train at times. Movepool: Growlithe gets no brownie points early on for its movepool, the only notable ones upon capture are Bite (chance of not having it), Flame Wheel (Lv. 20), and Reversal (Lv. 25). At level 34 Growlithe finally starts to bloom with the learning of Flamethrower. At Level 42 it learns Crunch and at Level 48 it learns the extremely powerful Flare Blitz. Upon evolution with a Fire Stone (only available from an NPC and the Pokeathlon before the E4) into Arcanine and with a Heart Scale it can learn Extremespeed, a moderately powerful move guaranteed to pick off weakened opponents that may outspeed you. Major Battles: If captured with Bite on Routes 36 and 37, Growlithe will be a huge help against Morty by providing a strong super-effective attack to take out his Haunter and Gengar. Growlithe should sit out the battle against Chuck, as both his Pokemon know moves that will heavily damage, if not OHKO Growlithe entirely. If Growlithe is leveled up enough and has learned Flamethrower (Lv. 34) or you spent $5500 and got Fire Blast at the Dept. Store, you'll have an easy battle against Jasmine, just watch out for Steelix's Rock Throw. Team Rocket will definitely not enjoy Growlithe bar the occasional Houndour and Houndoom. Pryce will also be a relative cakewalk but his Piloswine can pose a threat with Mud Bomb. Growlithe should sit out against Clair since its attacks won't pose much threat against Clair at all. Your Rival's team is surprisingly weak to two of Growlithe's attacks bar his starter (unless it's Meganium) and Golbat. In the Elite Four battles, Growlithe/Arcanine can dispose of Will single handedly with Crunch and eliminate a good part of Koga's team with its Fire STAB. Arcanine does pose some use against Lance thanks to the TM for Dragon Pulse, but it should be avoided since all of Lance's Pokemon have incredibly powerful moves that will harm Arcanine severely before it can put Dragon Pulse to use. Additional Comments: While Growlithe does not stand out much upon capture, by really only being useful against Morty and being dead weight afterwards up until the battle against Jasmine. It has a slower than normal growth rate but that is remedied later on by the Ice Cave and the plethora of trainers before going into Victory Road. Growlithe is a good tool against the Rival at various points in the game, and really stands out from Jasmine up to the final battle in the Elite Four by being an incredibly powerful attacker. After the first Elite Four battle, Growlithe/Arcanine has a lot of use through the Kanto Region against various trainers along with the gym battles against Sabrina and Erika. Magnemite Availability: Route 38/39, common, level 16 Stats: It has good Special Attack and solid Defense. Unfortunately, it is let down by poor Speed, average Special Defense and poor HP, meaning it has poor Special bulk. Typing: Electric/Steel moves give it decent attack coverage. Electric is not really resisted as Electric, Grass and Dragon types are relatively rare, while Steel (Magnet Bomb) disposes of Rock/Ground types. Movepool: Magnemite wins no prizes here. The only notable offensive moves at are: Spark at level 20, Magnet Bomb at level 30, and Discharge at an annoying level 38 (40 as a Magneton). It also gets Thunder Wave at the start. It can learn Thunderbolt by TM but Discharge is more than enough. Major Battles: Chuck's Poliwrath is risky, but it can be beaten one-on-one. It beats Pryce, although that's not really saying much. It has some troubles with Piloswine's Mud Bomb, however. It obviously beats Clair's Gyarados. Where it stars, however, is the fact that it beats every single Team Rocket member comfortably, besides Houndour/Houndoom: It resists pretty much everything Team Rocket throws at it, can't be poisoned, and laughs at Selfdestruct. Unfortunately, its poor Special bulk means that Clair's Kingdra can beat it (a resisted Dragon Pulse will do about the same damage as Discharge at similar levels). This carries over into the Elite Four: It can beat some things, but expect it to take a fair chunk from even resisted Special attacks (i.e. Will's Slowbro). Additional Comments: Magnemite really wishes it resisted Water moves. Thanks to its poor Special bulk, it can be OHKOed by a critical-hit Bubblebeam by Tentacruel at similar levels, which means that initially leveling Magnemite up is a huge pain in going back to the Pokémon Center constantly. It doesn't help that it is easily outsped, so Goldeen/Poliwag in the other Surfing areas can sleep/confuse it and whittle it down before Magnemite OHKOs in return. Once you get over that speed bump, however, you will have a sturdy Pokémon who hits most things neutrally for a decent amount of damage, and has great utility in Thunder Wave. You don't need to evolve it to a Magnezone for it to be good, although it is useful to do so. Slowpoke High Tier Availability: Slowpoke is available really early, at the Slow Poke Well; however it is almost pointless to get it at this point in the game. It will come at an unbearably pathetic level of 6-8, making it horribly under-leveled to face Bugsy's Kakuna/Metapod, let Alone Scyther and its super effective U-Turn. Slowpoke is also useless against Whitney's Milktank, and against the powerful Shadow Ball attacks of Morty's Pokemon. However, after passing through Ecruteak city, you can bump into a hiker at the beginning of Route 42 (east of Ecruteak) to find yourself with both the Surf and Strength HMs-- the moves you need to get access to the second level of the Slowpoke well. It's a long walk all the way back to Azalea from Ecruteak, but it's worth it-- with the Repel trick, you can get yourself a Level 30 fully evolved Slowbro! (specific: Slowbro 10% Encounter Surfing, levels 15-30) Note: You can also catch a level 25 Slowpoke and use the King's Rock found here to get Slowking, but Slowbro is so much better (just by being 5 levels higher). Slowking gets Nasty Plot, but it doesn't get Slack Off by level up-- only way to get a Slack Off Slowking is to raise Slowpoke to level 39. Most likely you won't bother with Slack Off and just use Hyper Potions instead. Assuming you get a very high leveled Slowbro, it should be at the same level or better than the rest of your team! Stats: Slowbro has fantastic stats. It is one of the most physically bulky non-legendary Pokemon in the game, let alone in-game. It's Special Bulk is not too shabby either, and 100 Special Attack makes it a real power house! Unfortunately, it is slow, so you'll most likely be needing to pack healing items for when Slowbro inevitably gets outsped and statused along the way. Slowking is the same but reversed defensive stats (handicapped by being at a lower level on capture). Typing: Slowbro has terrific typing-- useful resistances, and weaknesses that are very rare in the latter half of the Johto (you've already cleared the Bug and Ghost gyms-- Karen is the only major opponent Slowbro has a type disadvantage against). It does have some repetitiveness with Red Gyarados, but you are going to need both Surf and Waterfall on your adventure anyway-- and having 2 Water-types can be great in-game. Movepool: Slowbro's Movepool is amazing. It comes with Water Pulse and Confusion, but you can immediately teach it the very powerful Surf. It also learns Zen Head Butt at level 34, and Slowbro has just enough ATK to make decent use of it. Unfortunately, Psychic does come at a very late level of 54, but in the mean time you can try some TMs. While a bit pricy (oh come on, you can afford it), Slowbro can learn both Fire Blast and Blizzard, both sold at Golden Rod's department store for 5500 Yen. It can even use Shadow Ball, though this move understandably has more competition. As icing on the cake, Slowbro learns Slack Off at level 41. Slowking has the same movepool + Nasty Plot (-Slack Off essentially) Major Battles: Chuck-- You have an absolute advantage against Poliwrath, Primeape, and everything else in this gym. There is literally nothing any of the trainers here can do to pierce your slimy armor. You will also very likely be at a higher level than the Gym leader's Pokemon. Jasmine-- Slowbro can't take on the Magnemites (who have Thunderbolt), but Slowbro switches into Steelix effortlessly and destroys it with Surf. Pryce-- You resist every attack on his team except for Piloswine's Mud Bomb (you destroy swine with Surf, and its SpA is pathetic), and Seel's Snore (lol). However, Dewgong has Rest / Sleep Talk, and Dewgong actually resists your Fire Blast (Thick Fat). This could be an annoying fight-- you might want to level up to 34 and get Zen Head Butt if you want to tackle Dewgong with Slowbro. Level 34 Slowbro's Zen Head Butt can 3 HKO Level 32 Dewgong. Clair-- Not the best matchup for Slowbro, as everything resists Water; it can be helpful, and can overcome foes with patience if it has Blizzard and Slack Off, but there are probably better ways to handle this gym. Gyarados's Intimidate drops Zen Headbutt's power, and the only other attack you can use against it is the inaccurate Blizzard. Granted Slowbro will easily overcome the two Dragonair if it has Blizzard. Kingdra is a pretty bad matchup for Slowbro, since it has its powerful and reliable STAB Dragon Pulse, while Slowbro has to use the innaccurate/low PP Blizzard, which Kingdra is not weak to. Plus, it has Smoke Screen (against your Blizzard...), Sitrus Berry, and Clair will heal it. Slowbro's pretty much overwhelmed by Kingdra. Note: If you are using Slowking, it will be more useful in this gym because of its great Special Bulk-- however, it still faces the problem of having no way to deal real damage to Kingdra. Will-- Mirror Match up? Not really. Slowbro has a huge advantage here, especially if it knows Shadow Ball. Even without Shadow Ball though, Slowbro handles him well. Both Xatu will bite the dust against Blizzard (or even STAB Surf), while their "super effective" attacks don't do nearly enough damage to Slowbro. Jynx can sleep you, but it can't really do anything to you, so eventually you'll wake up and Fire Blast/Surf it. Exeggcutor is in the same situation, able to sleep with Hypnosis but not do much else, while Blizzard/Fire Blast destroy it. Without Shadow Ball, you have no real way of getting around his Slowbro, but just leave that to something else. Koga-- If you have Fire Blast and Zen Head Butt, you're golden here, but you can get around not having one or the other. All the Bugs can be destroyed by Fire Blast (everything but Muk/Crobat), but you could always just Surf them to death too. All the Poison types (everything but Forretress) is vaporized by Zen Head Butt, but Surf can handle Crobat well enough too. Taking down Muk with Surf can be annoying though. Bruno-- Bruno is literally helpless in front of Slowbro and its STAB Surf. Zen Head Butt just adds insult to injury if you have it (protip: Don't Zen Head Butt Hitmontop-- it has Counter...) Karen-- Ughhh... the one E-4 member that stomps Slowbro flat. I mean, Slowbro can kind of be useful since it can survive Houndoom/Murkrow's hits and use Surf/Blizzard; but between being annoyed to death by Umbreon, Vileplume's Petal Dance, Gengar's Destiny Bond, and Murkrow/Doom's Dark attacks, you really shouldn't bother with Slowbro here. Lance--Gyarados's intimidate can be annoying, but it literally can do nothing to hurt slowbro. My recommendation would be to start with your own Gyarados, then switch to Slowbro to take Gyarados down with full power Zen Head Butts. The first Dragonite has Thunder, so be careful of it, but nothing else on the team can overcome Slowbro, and it destroys all of them with super effective Blizzard (Dragonites) / Surf (Aerodactyle/Charizard). Additional Comments: If you couldn't tell, Slowbro has pretty bad 4 slot symdrom (in-game, wow!). Surf, Zen Head Butt, Blizzard, Fire Blast, Slack Off and Shadow Ball are all useful attacks, and have their good matchups in the E4. I'd personally recommend Surf / Blizzard / Zen Head Butt / Slack Off. Fire Blast is useful against forretress (who's killed by Surf), Jynx (who you can still hit with Surf) and Exeggcutor (who kinda sucks-- beat it with something else). Shadow Ball is only really needed for the enemy Slowbro. Staryu Availability: Route 47 (Surf, 10%, Day only), Route 19, 34, 40, 47, Olivine City, Union Cave, and Cherry Grove (Fish, 3% w/ Good Rod, 30% w/ Super Rod, Night Only). Obtainable as early as the Third Badge. Stats: Staryu is a Pokémon definitely geared towards being a Special Sweeper, with an acceptable Base 100 Sp. Attack as a Starmie, as well as a tremendous 115 Speed. Its bulk of 60 HP/85 Defence/85 Sp. Defence leaves much to be desired, but when you can outspeed an deal lots of damage, it does not tend to matter much. Typing: As a Staryu, it is a mono-water, and becomes a Water/Psychic upon evolution. The Psychic-Type gained gives it three extra nasty weaknesses to Bug, Ghost, and Dark, alongside Electric and Grass, but also gives you a nifty Fighting and Psychic resist if needed, alongside the resistances Water already gives you. Movepool: Staryu has a so-so level-up movepool, but it has nifty moves including Recover, Camouflage, Power Gem, Hydro Pump, and Light Screen, but where Staryu really shines is through the coverage it gains from TM's. Electric, Ice, and STAB Psychic coverage as a Starmie can really set it up. It even gets the three water-based HM's in Surf, Waterfall, and Whirlpool. In the end you will probably be likely to use Surf/Hydro Pump, Thunder/Thunderbolt, Blizzard/Ice Beam, and a filler, since that is all Starmie basically needs to be effective. It should be noted that if you plan to go for Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, be prepared to shell out some time on Voltorb Flip...So unless you seriously hate Focus Blast level reliability, or you are contempt with the idea of spending hours on end at the Voltorb Flip, you are better off just shelling out 11k at the Goldenrod Department Store to buy the Blizzard and Thunder TM's. Also, no STAB Psychic coverage until after the E4 sucks a lot. Major Battles: -Rival #3 (Assuming you went out of your way to get Staryu): Gastly and Zubat are winnable, Magnemite is generally a no, wins against Quilava, can win against Croconaw if you have invested in Electric Coverage, and unlikely to beat Bayleef with Ice Coverage. -Morty: You virtually lose to Gengar as either Staryu is too fragile to withstand a Shadow Ball, or Starmie suffers from being a Psychic-Type with that Ghost weakness. The Gastly and two Haunter are winnable, especially if you have Starmie, as you can bash through them in one or two hits, and you can use Awakening to take advantage of the Sleep shenanigans one of the two Haunter provides. -Chuck: Chuck is winnable, as with Starmie, you can plough through Primeape with Surf, and spam Thunder/bolt against Poliwrath for the win. -Jasmine: Unless you are certain you can OHKO with Surf, keep Starmie away from the Magnemite, but Steelix can easily be handled with Starmie's STAB Surf. -Petrel #1: Zubat and Koffing fall like flies, but beware of Raticate and its Dark Coverage. -Ariana #1: Assuming you have evolved, all of Ariana's Pokémon have SE Coverage, but Lance teams up with you this encounter, so things tend to be easier, especially he targets Ariana. -Pryce: Seel and Dewgong fall to Electric coverage, while STAB Surf ruins Piloswine. -Rival #4: Golbat falls to Electric Coverage, be wary when taking on Haunter, Sneasel, and Magnemite, Quilava is easy, Feraligatr can be troublesome, but falls to Electric coverage, while Ice coverage can take care of Meganium, but STAB Petal Dance will give you troubles. -Petrel #2: STAB Surf downs the five Koffing, and can deal a large dent in Weezing, who cannot do much back bar exploding. -Proton #2: Golbat gets zapped, Weezing gets drowned by Surf. Luckily this Weezing does not blow up. -Ariana #2: A troublesome encounter as Arbok can just Crunch you while Surf can only 2HKO at best with no crits, Vileplume survives an Ice Beam and can deal lots with Mega Drain, and you can take out Murkrow with Electric/Ice coverage, as long as you out-speed. -Archer: Seems troublesome, but not really. Houndour and Houndoom falls to Surf, provided you outspeed, and Koffing is nothing special to deal with. -Clair: Gyarados falls to Thunder/Thunderbolt, the two Dragonair fall to Blizzard/Ice Beam, and Kingdra is a bit of a challenge, as you have to rely on your Electric/Ice coverage to prevail. -Kimono Girls: Lose to Umbreon and Jolteon, win against Flareon and Vaporeon, and Espeon is so-so. -Rival #5: Likely to lose to Sneasel, Golbat and Kadabra are winnable, Lose to Magneton unless you hit hard enough, Haunter is shaky, then there is your Rival's starter. Beat Typhlosion, can beat Feraligatr and Meganium if you hit hard enough. -Will: Bolt-beam coverage and Water coverage is all you need. The Xatu fall to bolt-beam, Exeggutor falls to Ice coverage if you can OHKO, Slowbro gets zapped, and Jynx cannot take repeated Surfs. -Koga: This encounter is so much easier of you had Psychic Coverage...Ariados falls to Surf if you are strong enough, but beware Giga Drain, Venomoth also falls to Surf, with no Bug Coverage helping, Forretress can blow you up, but Surf can deal lots to it still, Muk is annoying as fuck, but Surf can wear it down. Finally, bolt-beam takes care of Crobat. -Bruno: Proof that Starmie badly needed Psychic coverage before the E4. Hitmontop fails to do much to Starmie, likewise Hitmonlee, though Hi Jump Kick can still deal impressive damage. You lose to Hitmonchan's Thunderpunch spam, while Onix falls to Surf. Machamp can deal hefty damage with Rock Slide, but repeated Surfs will suffice. -Karen: Murkrow and Houndoom aside, who Starmie can deal with effectively bar Sucker Punch from Murkrow, the other three really give Starmie headaches. -Lance: The three Dragonite have a serious case of Ice coverage headaches, Gyarados falls to Electric coverage, whilst Surf drowns Charizard and Aerodactyl, though Aerodactyl has Crunch and will outspeed unless Starmie has a Choice Scarf on, so watch out there. Additional Comments: Staryu can be obtained pretty early, and you can get a Starmie virtually straight away, since you can get the Water Stone via the Pokéathlon Shop on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Staryu suffers from slow growth, a low encounter rate, and has one ability (Natural Cure) that is infinitely better than the other (Illuminate). Even at a level as low as the mid-30's, Starmie can fare well against the E4 with a Choice Scarf, and there is no real "terrible" match-up before Kanto per se. In Kanto, it gains Psychic-Coverage, and can continue to shine, destroying Janine, Brock, and Blaine, and can really give Misty a run for her money. Ultimately, the idea to using Starmie is to abuse its good Sp. Attack, Speed, and its great Water/Electric/Ice coverage, and by doing exactly that, Starmie will rarely ever let you down. Middle Tier Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Hoothoot Availability: First catchable on Route 29, making it one of the earliest available mons - but only at night! Stats: As a Hoothoot? Pretty pathetic. Terrible offenses, and it's best base is 60 HP. That's pretty bad. When it evolves to Noctowl, things don't get much better, but it has respectable HP and SpD, and passable SpA. Typing: Normal/Flying. Yeah. Flying is a great type to have in this game though, being advantageous over several gyms, and Grass and Bug types are relatively common. Movepool: What differentiates Hoothoot from other fliers is its ability to use Psychic moves in battle. With Team Rocket's Poisons everywhere, this gives Hoothoot the edge over the likes of Pidgey. It also has a few neat tricks like Hypnosis, Reflect and Psycho Shift to support the team. Notably, it's the earliest Sleeper you can find, gaining Hypnosis at level 5. And of course, Fly utility. Major Battles: Falkner - You can handle Pidgey, but Pidgeotto will completely wreck you. Get in a Hypnosis and switch to Geodude. Bugsy - You'd think this would be a good match, but Scyther is too powerful and Peck is too weak to give Hoothoot a fair chance. Yeah, it beats the cocoons, but what doesn't? Whitney - You can beat Clefairy if you're high enough levelled. Don't even think about Miltank. Morty - You should be Noctowl by now. This is the fight he was tailor made to cheese. Insomnia, its Normal typing and Confusion allow for an easy victory here. Literally all Morty can do is Curse at you. Chuck - Don't take him on without Air Slash (level 32). Reflect and Hypnosis also help make this fight a lot easier, but watch out for Primeape's Rock Slide. Jasmine - Just... No... WHY WOULD YOU EVEN TRY THIS WITH NOCTOWL Pryce - Again, no. Clair - Sadly, Noctowl can't do much here. Two Dragonair have super effective moves, and Kingdra completely outmuscles and outspeeds it. Various Rival Battles - You beat the Bat and the Ghost. And the starter, if you picked Totodile. Various Team Rocket Encounters - Noctowl's Psychic moves make the difference here. Beat down those Koffings with Confusion and Air Slash the Glooms and whatnot. Kimono Girls - You can beat Espeon if you have Shadow Ball I guess? Will - Noctowl actually makes a decent Special sponge, so it can do well here, apart from Jynx. You should really have Shadow Ball if you want to take on Will with Noctowl though... Koga - Noctowl wins handily, apart from Forretress and possibly Muk if it gets too many evasion boosts. Bruno - Noctowl can probably even take on lolOnix. But beware Hitmonchan's punches and Machamp's Stone Edge. And be prepared for a mostly 2HKOs with Air Slash. Karen - Vileplume? Gengar? Murkrow? Umbreon? Ain't no thang. Houndoom, however... You can sponge it a little, but you will probably lose. Lance - Just when things were looking up. Poor Noctowl can't win against a single mon on Lance's team. Brock - No. Misty - No. Surge - GOD NO. Erika - Air Slash for days yo. Janine - Koga redux! Except no Muk and Forretress. GG. Sabrina - Do you have Shadow Ball? Yeah, you can take her on. Even if you don't, you can sponge at least. Blaine - Magmar and Rapidash outspeed you and Magcargo is part rock. Don't expect to win. Blue - You beat Exeggutor and Machamp and can go toe to toe with Pidgeot. Red - ... Well you beat Venusaur. That's something. Additional Comments: Noctowl has a lot of damn good matchups, and a sleep immunity is always welcome. Hypnosis can bail you out in a pinch, but shouldn't really be relied on due to the shaky accuracy. It has a lot of mid-game utility due to Team Rocket's complete wimpitude in the face of the mighty owl and if you carry it to Kanto and the E4, might just surprise you. Give him a whirl! Low Tier Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide ... Bottom Tier Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide ... Formatting Use the following format when submitting a Pokémon: Name: - Tier Availability: When does this Pokémon become available? Is it easy or hard to encounter? Stats: Describe how a Pokémon's stats make it excel. Is it a deadly sweeper or a strong wall? Discuss why you would use this Pokemon thank to its stats. Typing: Discuss this Pokémon's typing in a sentence or two. Is its STAB effecient or not, does it have any great resistances or glaring weaknesses? Movepool: Describe this Pokémon's movepool in a few sentences. Does it have many effective movepool options through level up? Is it over reliant on TMs to function? Does it have access to useful HMs to help you traverse the region? Major Battles: Describe how the Pokémon handles the major opponents throughout the game. Notable opponents and battles include the Gym Leaders, battles against various members of Team Rocket, the final rival battle before the Elite Four, the Elite Four themselves, and the Champion. Additional Comments: Discuss any miscellaneous information not covered in other sections here. Factors such as experience growth, abilities, and other lesser characteristics can be discussed here. Please write somewhat professionally (Don't use words such as lol etc.) No glitches are allowed. If Pokemon can evolve via trade, it can be taken into account but not necessarily assumed. If a Pokemon's viability is significantly different based on whether a trade is available, a separate tier may be considered for a Pokemon and its evolution. Note: We will be tiering Pokemon in the main game up to Red, but not Hoenn/Sinnoh Pokemon only available in the Safari Zone. Feel free to debate other people's submissions as long as it doesn't get too rude, and have fun!