Much like Bill Simmon's BBOB, I think it'd be a good exercise to try and build a Hall of Fame for 5th gen Pokemon, and you start at the top, so I'm going to list my top 12 Pokemon of 5th Gen based on criteria almost adopted from BBOB. To be considered the true class of Gen 5, the Pokemon need to pass most, or all, of the following: - Did the Pokemon introduce new concepts to the game, did it shape the future of the game? [This really hurts B/W2 Mons] - How important was the Pokemon in high levels of play? Could it be successful against good opponents/teams, as much as it was against bad ones? - Did the Pokemon make a difference on good teams? - Did it absolutely dominate a point in time of the game? Was it ever a suspect? - How much did opposing players need to adapt their teams to deal with the Pokemon? Would the game change without its presence and how? That last question in particular is perhaps the most important, it questions the presence the Pokemon had and what it changed by being there. But all in all the goal is simply: Could I show a complete stranger these 12 Pokemon with short 5th gen blurbs and could they come up with a reasonable idea of what 5th gen was all about? I'm going to get a TON of flak for my list and choices, but the goal is you guys come up with your own pantheons so we can accurately describe and summarize 5th gen. Trust me when I say you're going to say this list is awful, but I simply just used my own criteria, memory, and blurbs about the past metagames (logs, RMTs, and discussion threads). I'd rather my list be bad and get some solid discussion about Gen 5's history and development than nothing at all. 12.] Rotom-W This was really a huge debate for me. I originally had Haxorus here, typed up my feelings, read it, and just felt that I was wrong. Haxorus definitely was the first powerhouse role player of 5th gen, weakening walls and completely redefining the concept of Dragon Spam and Offensive teams (Haxorus was top 15 in usage at one point, and usually hovered around top 20). You had to deal with Haxorus and you had to bring Steel-types or a team of fast shit that couldn't let it break you apart. But when I was reading that, I realized that Rotom-W was the real role player of 5th gen. Not only was it far better competitively, but it molded Volt-Turning, which is far more influential than what Haxorus did, despite how dominant it was. You want to speak about dominant? I think Volt-Turn was single-handily the most dominant strategy when it first caught on and it completely had some players at a loss on how to beat it. Add on the dominant broken Pokemon that it was volt-turning to, and now you're in a position where Rotom-W is definitely among the best of the best Pokemon. It had fantastic typing and stats, and just partnered AND dealt with threats. It forced players to adapt to the fast paced style of Volt-Turn, rather than a switch around style, and that is one of the very first aspects that changed Stall and turned B/W into a much faster and ferocious metagame. You take Rotom-W away, and Volt-Turn never takes off, teams never feel that pressure, certain threats are never fully realized as the powerhouses they are (Blaziken and Excadrill benefited huge off Volt-Turning, you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise). 11.] Dugtrio Dugtrio was molded by weather, but its importance in B/W cannot be understated. It single-handily was the key difference in winning the "weather war" AND it aided teams that were relying on Latias, Latios, etc. 40% of Heatran are carrying Air Balloons, and Dugtrio plays a large role in that. I can't stress enough how much some of B/W was decided simply on who was better at using Dugtrio (switching it in efficiently). You take Dugtrio away, you completely change a portion of BW - I can't even begin to predict how it would have turned out during that missing time. It's existence shaped how the metagame continued, especially in tournament play. If you want to play the "did it make teams better" card, again, I just point to the teams that were using it. It made ANY weather team better, and it made ANY team abusing shit like Latios or Tornadus better (Just Dugtrio here, revenging Jirachi/Heatran/Blissey, no big deal!). It was even key in busting Genesect with U-Turn -> Dugtrio being pretty much the best thing ever. In a Gen 5 Hall of Fame, Dugtrio is definitely in the top 12 IMO. 10.] Reuniclus This was one of the best Pokemon and one of the most metagame defining. Unlike the other Pokemon listed so far, not only did Reuniclus influence stall teams (and in many instances, shatter them), but it completely altered offensive teams as well. You couldn't play the game of Glass Cannons when a bulky and obscenely powerful recoil and status free Life Orb Trick Roomer was hanging around. Both Reuniclus sets could fit onto any team because they both handled business so well, which made it even scarier. It was even put on as a Suspect, which basically means it fits all criteria. I can still see paralysis teams that could use a CM Reuniclus to simply sweep through anything at the end of games, or defensive teams that got the jump on opposing stall by just bringing in their Reuniclus. It's taken a serious hit overtime, almost being non-existent in today's metagame, which takes it down a few spots, but it was still a premiere Pokemon that quickly shifted the focus of the metagame into what it was to become. I am fully convinced Reuniclus jump-started BW development by just existing. 9.] Latios Another blow to stall but just all-around important in the metagame. It again, jump-started our metagame by ditching notions of "Safe-switching" by abusing a Life Orb and Specs set better than it previously could have thanks to Psyshock. The game got faster and turned towards Jirachi quickly as a means of checking threats like Latios, Reuniclus, and Tornadus. Underrated aspect? Latios + Latias double team dominated the metagame for a short amount of time and Latios is part of the dominant aspect of Dragon-type spam. You take away Latios, BW is a completely different game until B/W2 comes around because you've taken away the best 1 for 1 artist in the game. Dragon spam becomes less popular, you've lost a valuable check for a lot of threats because you've taken away something that just held so much power. 8.] Volcarona This has to be in the top 12 because of Stealth Rock and how teams are shaped. Volcarona is one of two Pokemon that absolutely DEMANDS Stealth Rock and Choice Scarfers (the other is number 4 on this list!). It dominated competitive games completely, just abused multiple sets, and made us dedicate team slots. It had more 6-0s in tournament games than any Pokemon I ever saw. If Volcarona was removed from the game, I think things change drastically. We aren't as concerned with Scarfing Terrakion or Landorus in BW1, and we're definitely not looking at Pokemon like Ferrothorn and Forretress as possible liabilities. Mew, Latias, Jirachi, Celebi all become far more popular far sooner and the metagame shifts to a more defensive game than it is. 7.] Excadrill The only banned Pokemon on this list (I'll get to why at the end), it fits all criteria but let's talk about what happened when it was there - Sand was the dominant weather without question, Entry Hazards were not as important, Choice Scarf was meaningless, Conkeldurr shot up so high in usage that it took forever for it to drop back down to normal [also blame Darkrai for this] and even Azumarill got usage. Rock Polish Terrakion was a thing (lol) and Gliscor had to have been top 10 at a few different points (which is ridiculous) and that ride probably lasted even post ban of Excadrill. NOTHING else that was banned ever shaped a metagame like Excadrill did, we saw the results of taking it away first-hand. It completely changed the game. 6.] Jellicent This was an elite Pokemon. It wasn't a suspect, but if you consider shaping the metagame, let's look at what removing Jellicent does: Takes away the best Ghost-type in the game, completely opening the doors again for Rapid Spinning. Without a reliable way to stop Spinning, Volcarona and Dragonite usage combined with Spinners go up because they really don't have an option against you anymore. To keep this in check, Terrakion rises to the top as the best Pokemon in the game because it can check the Stealth Rock weak Pokemon, Starmie becomes 1st in usage because it can Spin reliably even against Gengar and checks Terrakion. Ferrothorn keeps Starmie in check and can punish it for Spinning, causing Ferrothorn usage to skyrocket as a means of somewhat keeping stuff in check while it lays down Stealth Rock. But Volcarona and Fire Punch Dragonite shit on Ferrothorn, causing them to only be used more and the cycle continues. Somewhere down the road, the metagame becomes teams of Starmie/Ferrothorn/Terrakion/Dragonite/Volcarona/Wildcard because why use anything else when you can use 2 of the top 5 sweepers in the game, knowing that they have ZERO way to stop Rapid Spin. The threat of Jellicent is what kept these 2 in check. Yeah, it's somewhat dramatized, but are you telling me you couldn't totally see this scenario happening down the road when people realize "hey, Volcarona is really fucking good when you can Spin Stealth Rock easily every single game". Then you have it completely being the face of let's shit on stall teams with Taunt/Recover/Burn move. It checked Rain as well, and just played a huge part in planning and team construction. 5.] Landorus You have almost as much Volt-Turn force as Rotom-W here, but then you also have the game's best Choice Scarfer in BW1 and best LO sweeper in BW2. Disagree all you want, but Landorus hasn't missed a beat. You take him away, and EVERYTHING suffers in BW1. He was keeping Sun, Sand, Volca, D-Nite, etc all in check. And if anything else, he has a bit of history in BW1, being suspect because of an incorrect calculation of PO, causing him to gain 1.5x attack rather than 1.3x for his ability. That needs to be chronicled through time as a cautionary tale of DOING DAMAGE CALCS! 4.] Dragonite Take everything I said with Volcarona, then give it the option of running the best Choice Band set in the history of the game to that point because ExtremeSpeed is ridiculous, coupled with one of the best abiltiies ever made. You have to mention how Dragonite would have roamed without Stealth Rock and probably would have been banned without it. IIRC, it was a suspect as well, which means it easily passes every criteria. You take away Dragonite and the obsession of Steel-types, of Bulky Waters, of HP Ice Scarfers, of Scarf Terrakion, it all deteriorates somewhat. It has my vote as the BEST Pokemon of Gen 5 so in a Hall of Fame, it has to count for something. 3.] Venusaur I put this way over Ninetales. You could easily argue that it's easily replaced by Victreebel but I don't see it at all. Venusaur IS sun teams. It is without a doubt THE BEST Pokemon on sun-teams and it single-handily forces you to keep it in mind when building a team. Those Choice Scarfers I mentioned weren't just for Dnite and Volcarona, they also were needed for Venusaur. Venusaur is a summary of everything wrong with Gen 5 in reality. It abuses a busted Sleep mechanic. It turns a weather advantage into an unfair advantage. It destroys Speed Tiers. It has a ridiculous Boosting move if it wants it, akin to Quiver Dance or Shell Smash. It can change its moveset around to cover any threat, making games decided on Team Match-up. You remove it, and you remove Sun imo. Replace it with Victreebel if you can, but it isn't even close to a replacement with those stats. I think it needs to be recognized in the Hall of Fame because it has brute strength AND it's a case study on the worst traits. 2.] Ferrothorn Number 1 is obvious, but this is game-defining because it is the best hazard layer, the best game stopper, the best everything. Consider the ramifications of taking this away: - Hazards are nowhere near as good - Dragon-type attacks can hardly be checked, Latios doesn't have to use shitty HP Fire until Rain is banned. Hell, Latios is probably banned. - Thunder Spam becomes popular on Rain teams, Jolteon is a thing again. Politoed loses a huge check and Rain is banned. - Sun becomes far too powerful without Rain, is also banned. - Choice Banded everything can run rampant, how are you deterring just an onslaught of everything. - kd24 wins the Secret Santa Tournament last year instead of losing to Iron Barbs This is the biggest chain reaction, everything changes and BW is never the same. I can't even imagine the metagame. With how good it actually is during the game too, it is without a doubt in the Hall of Fame and as number 2. 1.] Politoed Ferrothorn is game-defining...Politoed is generation defining. We could all write essays about how Politoed and Drizzle changed BW and BW2, the fact of the matter is that it definitely did. Everything was changed. The viability of some Pokemon, the factoring of resistances, the strength of sweepers, it all was there. This was akin to Leftovers in GSC and natures in ADV, everything changes completely with the introduction of Auto-Drizzle in OU. Good or bad, Politoed is the face of my Hall of Fame. What missed the cut: Deoxys-S/D: Hazard setters, they didn't play a role like Ferrothorn did. We've seen the result of them being banned, less heavy offense but everything stays the same basically. They're both really amazing but that's it. Kyurem-B: By the time BW2 rolled around, Haxorus already showed the wallbreaker aspect, the role player aspect, the freight train aspect, Kyurem-B was just much better in every way at it. Same with Keldeo, Genesect, and Tornadus-T: they rose usage of Pokemon as checks, but they didn't define anything. They're just very strong but we saw that already in BW1. Had they come out in BW1, they would be on the list no question. Thundurus: We saw it banned, and the metagame didn't change much. IMO, Latios/Volcarona are all-around better as well. You could say it made stall worse, but we have that with other Pokemon on this list already. Ninetales: I don't even think Sun is that big of a deal. Politoed shows time and time again that you remove the pieces, and Rain stays as dominant as ever. With Sun, I think you remove Venusaur and it isn't anywhere close to being as good. Tyranitar: It just doesn't click with me the way the other ones do. You take away Tyranitar, Scizor usage goes up a lot to cover some stuff, Hippowdon rises up in usage to abuse Terrakion and Landorus, and that is about it. Rain already had the advantage of Sand, that doesn't change with Tyranitar leaving, it just means sand is weaker. Blaziken: What even changed when it was banned? Slowbro usage went down a bit, same with Azumarill. It was just another broken Pokemon that got to enjoy a long stay without really affecting games other than "Blaziken is broken, pray it doesn't kill you" I would consider Keldeo > Dugtrio but Dugtrio's importance in certain eras of the game make it hard to drop.