Resource LC SuMo Viability Rankings (updated @ post #204)

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Berks

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Alright, so there are a few nominations I'd like to make after playing this meta for a while. I'll start off with existing noms I agree with and then some of my own. First, I'll start with the ones I disagree with. First off, Vullaby definitely should not be moving down. If anything, the meta trends have been favorable towards it because of the usage rise of Abra and Ghosts. It is easily one of the most splashable mons in the tier along with Mienfoo, its unpredictability factor hugely in its favor as it could mean losing a mon just because you mispredicted a set. Vullaby's just a downright amazing glue mon for pretty much any team, being able to fulfill a pivot / wallbreaker / revenge killer / sweeper / wall all excellently. Sure, Snubbull pressures it but just because a mon has a check does not mean it is not meta-defining, and I would go so far as to say the rise of Snubbull is attributed partially to Vullaby's ubiquity. Also, I don't agree with Corphish moving down: it's a very potent, powerful wallbreaker and Water Spam is pretty good right now; Berks covered mainly why I disagree so I will just leave it at that. I'm still on the fence about Abra but I think A+ is fine for it atm, LO requires webs to function to its potential and Sash can be played around, even if running Counter. Also, it struggles against common walls like Grimer-A and Ferroseed. Anyway, onto the nominations!

Diglett: A+ > S
This may be a little controversial but I think Diglett is worth S-Rank. Diglett alleviates so much pressure vs certain threats, it's kind of crazy in a sense. If you have Diglett, you are guaranteed to kill Ponyta or Croagunk or Pawniard--whatever your team needs. And the reason this works in practice is because the opponent can't switch out. Even though there are plenty of bulky mons who can comfortably live a hit from Diglett the problem is they just cannot switch in. Diglett also can't really be prepared for; if you have a Bloom Doom Ponyta, it will be beaten by Diglett, etc. Diglett is not dead weight versus non-trapped opponents either: Gastly has to be wary of Sucker Punch and Vullaby has to be mindful of Rock Slide, for example. Granted, Diglett probably isn't OHKOing much unless you're running Groundium Z, but where it really shines is in the endgame, when the mons Diglett needs to beat Diglett is able to beat and it is MUCH scarier. Even for Pokemon Diglett cannot beat, Memento is a good option to pivot into your win condition and neutralize threats, which is very important in a late-game scenario. Diglett is singlehandedly the best revenge killer in the metagame and has a huge impact right now.

Diglett also is really easy to fit on teams now. It can deal with almost any threat once weakened, and chances are that if you have a sweeper it benefits from Diglett in some way. Diglett requires no support because it does its job fine on its own; this makes Diglett really easy to slap onto any team, no matter the archetype. Diglett also has the element of surprise at its arsenal; the opponent may think its safe to Shell Smash with Shellder, but Diglett turns out to be Scarf. The same situation applies to Omanyte and Sash Diglett, or Croagunk and LO / Groundium Diglett. Diglett applies a lot of pressure in a late-game scenario when the opponent (presumably) is trying to set up their win condition. Diglett can easily remove a threat that might otherwise have caused you to lose the game, without the risk of the threat switching out.

Diglett also has been seeing lots of usage in high-level play in SPL and LCPL. Recent Pokemon rising in popularity such as Croagunk and Kabuto have also contributed to Diglett's effectiveness. In conclusion, the amazing support Diglett provides to almost any team and its ability to threaten opposing teams tremendously warrants an S-ranking in my opinion.
Chinchou: A > A+
Chinchou is a superb glue Pokemon for many teams, and has two very good sets allowing it to be even more splashable. As a bulky pivot, Chinchou has few competitors, as it has the ability to both tank and offensively threaten many common threats, such as Doduo and Magnemite, and then have the capability to switch into another team member. It is also one of the only viable clerics in LC, allowing Hex Gastly and Foongus to be much less threatening. BJ Chinchou has the ability to threaten top-tier threats such as Vullaby and Staryu as well as support the team offensively, threatening common switch-ins via Ice Beam / HP Ground. I think one of the main selling points of Chinchou is how few switch-ins it actually has: Ground-types are obviously threatened by Water STAB, Grass-types are threatened by Ice Beam (Scarf Chinchou can 2HKO Foongus with hazards up), and opposing Chinchou are 2HKOed by HP Ground. Along with its walling / revenge killing capacity, Chinchou can become a very threatening Pokemon when given a switch-in.

Chinchou is also an amazing Scarfer, and, since I have had more experience with that set, I will talk about it more. Scarf Chinchou revenge kills so many common threats and has pretty good coverage which gives it merit over some other Scarfers that it faces competition with like Magnemite. Not only is it a great pivot for offensive teams, it has a powerful Hydro Pump, which allows it to dent some common threats such as Mienfoo and Snubbull. Unlike other Scarfers, Chinchou gets many chances to switch in to the opponent thanks to Volt Absorb as well as resisting common offensive types: Flying, Water, Ice, Steel, Fire. Chinchou is also amazing on Water Spam, which is a good playstyle currently, allowing it to carve itself a niche on those teams as well. Overall, Water / Flying / Ground pressure is really good right now, and, for all of the functions it can perform, I believe Chinchou should be A+.
Onix: A > A+

Flying-types are really common right now making Onix a very popular mon and a staple for successful balance and offense. Hazards (or just Rocks really) are very important because it's great to have an advantage vs Sturdy and Flying-types and Onix is by far the best setter as well as being able to consistently pressure the opposing team. Onix also sports a fantastic 17 Speed which allows to outspeed Vullaby, Rufflet, Pawniard, and Dwebble, which makes Onix even more reliable. Both SturdyJuice and WA allow you ample opportunistic to get up Rocks as well as still being able to apply offensive pressure. Having an extremely high Defense is a huge bonus as well. Onix fits on plenty of teams because of how many important roles it provides: Flying check, Electric check, hazard setter, physical wall, and set-up sweeper stop all in one.

The current metagame has also been very favorable to Onix. As I said before, Flying-types are very common, and Onix, especially WA Onix, is the best check to them. Hazards are set up by few viable Pokemon, being opposing Onix, Dwebble, and Diglett (although another move is generally better), allowing SturdyJuice to be extremely consistent. Another pro for SturdyJuice is that it negates quite possibly the biggest drawback of Onix which is its poor defensive typing, allowing it to take at least 2 hits before dying. Weak Armor is a great check to many fast physical attackers that otherwise would be very threatening with hazards up. Onix absolutely does not struggle for a teamslot, it is extremely effective and highly rewarding, which is why it fits on many teams. Onix also synergizes well with other Pokemon and is really great for balance cores: Staryu / Onix / Vullaby and Onix / Foongus / Doduo are fantastic in their ability to check common threats and are pretty common, looking at LCPL replays.

Another reason people might want Onix is that it face competition as a Ground-type from Diglett, but those two play different enough roles I think it's okay to have them this close to each other on the VR. Onix is more of a hazard setting, physical tank and check to common attackers while Diglett is, primarily, a revenge killer. Its role certainly isn't outclassed by any other Pokemon, and, while it does not define the meta, Onix is one the best Pokemon in LC and a great pick for many teams. (I know that A+ was rejected by the previous VR update but honestly I think Onix deserves it.)
Doduo: A- > A
Doduo is an extremely strong and popular wallbreaker right now and for good reasons: Flying Spam is good and and Doduo is nearly impossible to check without a WA Rock-type, which more are being forgone in favor of Diglett (aside from Onix, of course). Doduo may not be meta-defining, but it certainly is a top-level threat, which is what I think of A to begin with.

Doduo has a really, really strong Brave Bird along with fantastic coverage, which is perhaps its strongest selling point. It has a good Attack and Speed, allowing it to be one of the most effective physical wallbreakers in the metagame. In my opinion, it's a better Rufflet; powerful, faster, and without the annoying accuracy drops. Doduo also can Knock Off Eviolites giving it more utility than just a wallbreaker, and Jump Kick is great coverage, allowing it to hit Rock and Steel-types who otherwise could switch into Brave Bird safely. Doduo requires very little support because of how self-sufficient it already is with its coverage. A slow pivot is really all that is needed, as Doduo cannot safely switch into attacks. Doduo partners well with Mienfoo and Chinchou which both can fulfill this role nicely, as well as pressuring WA Rock-types. Doduo also partners well with Foongus, Diglett, Timburr, Staryu, and Onix, all of which are very good team options which help further fit Doduo into teams. If you want an even faster revenge killer, Choice Scarf Doduo allows you to revenge kill ScarfFoo, Scarf Chinchou, Adamant A-Sandshrew in hail, and the entirety of the unboosted metagame. Scarf Doduo can easily clean teams with Brave Bird or Return, making it just as much as an offensive threat as LO / BJ.

Doduo, however, certainly has flaws, which is why I think A is a good place for it. Being a very strong and reliable wallbreaker or cleaner depending on the set and being a good team option for those looking for a fast, powerful Flying-type (which is appreciated considering the popularity of Fighting-types) makes it A-rank, in my opinion.
Kabuto: B > B+
Kabuto provides amazing role compression for many teams. Hazard removal + hazard support is great in its own right as the only other viable hazard removal is Staryu (and I guess Defensive Vullaby) and neither have the ability to set up hazards. It can damage or cripple Ghost-type spinblockers through Knock Off (OHKOing Gastly). Kabuto also has the other benefit of being a WA Rock allowing it to check Flying-types. Specific mons that Kabuto can check are Vullaby, Doduo, Rufflet, Pawniard (kind of), and Onix (if carrying Waterfall). Since balanced teams usually don't have teamslots to spare this can be really helpful in place of using Staryu + a hazard setter. Kabuto also synergizes very well with offensive Bug, Fire, and Grass-types like Larvesta or Snivy that appreciate Stealth Rock support, hazard removal, and the ability to check Flying-types. It's a lot more useful to teams than other things in B (Houndour, Pancham, Amaura) and thus should rise to B+.

And for a nomination of my own...

Mienfoo + Timburr: S > A+
So I've been talking about rises this entire time so now it's time to discuss a drop. I have grouped Mienfoo and Timburr together because I'm lazy I don't think one is better than the other but honestly I would be fine with either dropping. But with potentially 6 Pokemon in S pending the next update, I think S-rank could use some cleaning. I'm guessing this will be pretty controversial so allow me to explain myself:

The current metagame has not been very kind to Fighting-types. Snubbull usage is on the rise, as is Abra. Flying-Spam and Flying-types have dominated the harsh ecosystem that is Little Cup. Fighting checks like Snubbull, Foongus, Pumpkaboo, Croagunk, and Spritzee are commonplace and definitely not hard to fit on any team. Physically defensive Pokemon like Shellder and Mudbray are naturally popular. It's not hard to see why Timburr and Mienfoo would not be as thriving as before, and, in my opinion at least, they have abdicated their S-Rank position. Try to find a successful team that doesn't have sturdy checks to these Pokemon: you won't be able to! And although that may just be a consequence of them being good Pokemon, it seems that these two just don't threaten teams enough anymore to deserve an S-Rank. Don't get me wrong--they are still great mons, they just aren't as meta-defining as say, Vullaby. A+ is still a fantastic rank, and I feel that is where these need to go. But, for argument's sake, I will analyze why I feel each indiviual mon deserves to be moved down a rank.

Mienfoo is a little underwhelming right now. Its own popularity has led to its demise, in a way: Fighting checks are now very common and Mienfoo struggles to break past them without resorting to a less effective set, such as Z-Bounce. Mienfoo also struggles to maintain offensive pressure: bulkier variants are outsped often and Scarf variants have to worry about being locked into a move. Unlike Timburr, Mienfoo does not have access to Guts, making it susceptible to burns from Flame Body users and Gastly, which further hinders its offensive capacity. Bulkier variants of Mienfoo also have to worry about being set-up bait to common sweepers in the tier, Shellder and NP Vullaby. Mienfoo also suffers from 4MSS, wanting to run Drain Punch but also Stone Edge and Poison Jab as coverage and Fake Out as utility. And sure, Mienfoo has a whirligig of sets to choose from, but only Scarf and Bulky Pivot really stand out. SD Pass can work on certain teams but it certainly is not the best set Mienfoo has. Mienfoo certainly, however, has a lot of upsides, which is why it should still be A+. I just don't think it is quite S material, due to the way the metagame has adapted to it.

Timburr suffers from similar things that Mienfoo does, so this section will be a bit shorter. Obviously, as I have mentioned before, the popularity of Fighting checks in the tier have sort of left Timburr behind, and Timburr, unlike Mienfoo, does not have much versatility to offer. Timburr has two sets: Bulky Attacker and Bulk Up. Timburr (as well as Mienfoo) lacks a way to hit Poison-types super-effectively. Although Ice Punch is super-effective against Foongus, it only 3HKOes. Timburr also suffers from 4MSS, having to decide between Ice Punch and Poison Jab. Timburr would also appreciate the effects of Guts and Iron Fist (1ASS?), but can only choose one. Timburr has an edge over Mienfoo in Mach Punch, although Timburr's otherwise slow speed allows it to be easily revenge killed.

The overarching reason I think Mienfoo and Timburr are not as good as before is that I think the metagame has just adapted to them and moved on. Fighting checks, even unintentionally, find their way on all teams, and Flying-types as well as Abra and Gastly's popularity contribute to why offensive checks to Mienfoo and Timburr are more commonplace. And competition for a teamslot with other Fighting-types like Scraggy and Croagunk has risen as well. Nevertheless, the two Fighting-types will continue to be strong forces in the metagame, which is why I think they are well suited for A+.

Thank you for reading and props if you actually read all the stuff I wrote! Would add more but I'm tired of writing
Oh also yeah I used LCPL replays for most of my research
I'd like to start by complimenting you on this incredibly well put together post; it's not often that you see a post this well thought through from someone not named Levi or Fiend. I'd like to add some more discussion to each of the points you've raised!

Diglett: A+ > S || No
Having set Diglett in A+ for so long seems to have had a psychological effect on the community and their teambuilding: because we've decided it's not that good, we don't need to be as worried about it. This has created a metagame trend in which Diglett-weak mons are perceived as less of a liability, which in turn actually makes them more of a liability! This is the general trend of metagame development: a threat is on the rise, is adapted to, and falls out of favor; then, because it falls out of favor, that same threat becomes less prepared for and therefore comes back on the rise. Normally, this happens over a period of months, but Diglett always seems to be a hot topic. I would definitely say that Diglett is on the rise; however, that is a measure of a trend, rather than a measure of overall viability. Diglett, unlike most other top-tier Pokemon, relies wholly on the usage of certain other Pokemon to be viable. For example, if people happened to just stop using Pawniard, Mienfoo would still be a phenomenal Pokemon thanks to its overall combination of excellent offensive presence, variability of sets, and solid defensive presence. Diglett, on the other hand, would become nigh unviable if Pokemon such as Ponyta, Mareanie, and Croagunk stopped being used. Though Diglett being on the rise may seem indicative of its deserving S rank, its general effect on the metagame tends to fluctuate so much more wildly than those of other Pokemon that it is difficult to justify an actual rank move. In terms of its true viability, Diglett has a lot going for it. Being what is essentially the best revenge killer in the tier is a huge asset, but Diglett struggles with extreme frailty and only mediocre damage output against most Pokemon. Essentially, though it's on the rise, I believe that Diglett's overall viability fits in well with A+.

Chinchou: A > A+ || Yes
I agree wholeheartedly with this nomination. Chinchou's combination of solid bulk, killer STAB coverage, variability in sets, and prowess as a Choice Scarf user in particular make this a no-brainer move for me. Your last paragraph in particular really nails the benefits of ScarfChou on the head. Being one of the few scarfers with a good enough bulk and type matchup to switch in on a number of threats is a huge boon to offensive teams, and is actually the main reason I think Chinchou is the best scarfer in the tier. Once again, I'd just like to throw my whole weight behind this nom. Oh, and don't sleep on 17 Speed Subzero Slammer Chinchou either ;)

Onix: A > A+ || Yes
Once again, I think you've hit the nail right on the head. Onix is, to put it frankly, one of the most consistent Pokemon in the tier. The fact that Onix can comfortably switch into enormous physical attacking threats such as LO Doduo's Jump Kick (which it survives regardless of which set you're using and either lives QA top KO in return with Rock Blast or pops Berry Juice to reestablish Sturdy) is just incredible. It consistently sets up Stealth Rock, moreso than just about any other rock setter. Additionally, Onix can get in some more damage via its excellent STAB coverage, access to the potent combination of Weak Armor and Explosion, or via phazing with Roar or Dragon Tail. In short, you'd be hard pressed to say Onix isn't the best rocker in the tier - a quality which in itself deserves A rank - and everything else that comes in the Onix package is enough, in my opinion, to bump it up to A+.

Doduo: A- > A || Abstain
I'll abstain from discussing this one. On the one hand, Doduo is just an absolute monstrous offensive force; like you said, its only true checks are Weak Armor Rock-type Pokemon. However, the issue is that it has such a difficult time getting in consistently. There's only one, maybe two good hazard removers, and Doduo has to focus on free switches from pivots and teammate KOs or risky switches in on things like Drilbur just to get onto the field. I have a lot of experience with it, as one of the best teams I've built this gen have it, but I'm torn between ranks for Doduo. If there was a rank between A- and A, I'd put it there, but for now I'll abstain on any move.

Kabuto: B > B+ || Yes
Though I haven't used it much (I like Pawniard as a rocker too much and I never clear hazards) Kabuto's recent performance in tours such as SPL, LCPL, and Seasonal has really made a good case for its rise. Even considering that it shares a rank with Pokemon such as Amaura and Pancham is somewhat absurd, and, in my opinion, this is one of the easiest moves out there. Get it up to B+!

Mienfoo + Timburr: S > A+ || No
Mienfoo and Timburr single-handedly define the LC metagame. They are the reason Pawniard has dropped out of glory, they are the reason Snubbull and Spritzee are good, and they are the reason that you will not find a successful team without at least one hard check and one soft check to them and other Fighting-types. Each of them received buffs in this metagame, and each of them still warrants S rank. Let's go over each individually!

Mienfoo is perhaps the truest jack-of-all-trades that has ever existed in Little Cup. Outside of hazard control, it can basically fulfill any role your team may need. If you need a pivot, Mienfoo has two viable pivot sets in Fast and Slow Pivot; the Fast Pivot set benefits from a quick Taunt and a threatening High Jump Kick, and the Slow Pivot set benefits from increased bulk and annoying longevity. Mienfoo also checks all the marks of a good Choice Scarf user: it has a base Speed over 32, access to a high-powered STAB attack, access to a pivot move, and the ability to switch in on several threats. All of this is without mentioning its other potentially threatening niche sets, such as its Z-Move sets and its Baton Pass set. To put it frankly, Mienfoo can do anything you want it to, and it can justifiably fill that niche over many other Pokemon without the risk of being outclassed or underperforming. Mienfoo is a little like the Lando-T of Little Cup; it's probably the best all-around Pokemon in the tier, and it's just too good overall to not be represented as a top-tier threat. When a Pokemon can do anything you want it to whenever you want it to on whatever team you want it to, how can it be anything but S?

Timburr, on the other hand, has a stronger case for a drop. It's slow, and it's not overtly strong. What bolsters Timburr is its defensive capabilities. As long as you have a Timburr, you cannot be swept by an Omanyte, a Pawniard, a Tirtouga, or anything else that's weak to Fighting. It can't be OHKOed by Shellder or Sash Abra (!!) and it's just a phenomenally annoying Pokemon to get rid of. Its Bulk Up set is falling out of favor in my opinion, but its Bulky Attacker set is truly annoying. Unless you specifically have a Spritzee or Snubbull, you won't have anything that can comfortably switch into Timburr throughout the match.

All of this is without mentioning what happens when you pair Mienfoo and Timburr together. Dealing with one of them is hard enough, but unless you're running a Birdspam build or a Carvanha-less Waterspam build, you'll probably have a tough time with these two together. The metagame has had a long, long time to adapt to these two Pokemon, and the fact that they are still so prominent and threatening is a testament to their overall viability as Pokemon. Though many of your points hold water, they just don't change the fact that these two Pokemon are just so good. they shape the metagame more than any other Pokemon, and that's why I believe they have a solid place at the top of the viability rankings.

Thanks for spurring some good discussion!
 
Last edited:

Drew

formerly LitsYaBoi1337
is a Contributor to Smogon
I'd like to start by complimenting you on this incredibly well put together post; it's not often that you see a post this well thought through from someone not named Levi or Fiend. I'd like to add some more discussion to each of the points you've raised!

Diglett: A+ > S
Having set Diglett in A+ for so long seems to have had a psychological effect on the community and their teambuilding: because we've decided it's not that good, we don't need to be as worried about it. This has created a metagame trend in which Diglett-weak mons are perceived as less of a liability, which in turn actually makes them more of a liability! This is the general trend of metagame development: a threat is on the rise, is adapted to, and falls out of favor; then, because it falls out of favor, that same threat becomes less prepared for and therefore comes back on the rise. Normally, this happens over a period of months, but Diglett always seems to be a hot topic. I would definitely say that Diglett is on the rise; however, that is a measure of a trend, rather than a measure of overall viability. Diglett, unlike most other top-tier Pokemon, relies wholly on the usage of certain other Pokemon to be viable. For example, if people happened to just stop using Pawniard, Mienfoo would still be a phenomenal Pokemon thanks to its overall combination of excellent offensive presence, variability of sets, and solid defensive presence. Diglett, on the other hand, would become nigh unviable if Pokemon such as Ponyta, Mareanie, and Croagunk stopped being used. Though Diglett being on the rise may seem indicative of its deserving S rank, its general effect on the metagame tends to fluctuate so much more wildly than those of other Pokemon that it is difficult to justify an actual rank move. In terms of its true viability, Diglett has a lot going for it. Being what is essentially the best revenge killer in the tier is a huge asset, but Diglett struggles with extreme frailty and only mediocre damage output against most Pokemon. Essentially, though it's on the rise, I believe that Diglett's overall viability fits in well with A+.

Chinchou: A > A+
I agree wholeheartedly with this nomination. Chinchou's combination of solid bulk, killer STAB coverage, variability in sets, and prowess as a Choice Scarf user in particular make this a no-brainer move for me. Your last paragraph in particular really nails the benefits of ScarfChou on the head. Being one of the few scarfers with a good enough bulk and type matchup to switch in on a number of threats is a huge boon to offensive teams, and is actually the main reason I think Chinchou is the best scarfer in the tier. Once again, I'd just like to throw my whole weight behind this nom. Oh, and don't sleep on 17 Speed Subzero Slammer Chinchou either ;)

Onix: A > A+
Once again, I think you've hit the nail right on the head. Onix is, to put it frankly, one of the most consistent Pokemon in the tier. The fact that Onix can comfortably switch into enormous physical attacking threats such as LO Doduo's Jump Kick (which it survives regardless of which set you're using and either lives QA top KO in return with Rock Blast or pops Berry Juice to reestablish Sturdy) is just incredible. It consistently sets up Stealth Rock, moreso than just about any other rock setter. Additionally, Onix can get in some more damage via its excellent STAB coverage, access to the potent combination of Weak Armor and Explosion, or via phazing with Roar or Dragon Tail. In short, you'd be hard pressed to say Onix isn't the best rocker in the tier - a quality which in itself deserves A rank - and everything else that comes in the Onix package is enough, in my opinion, to bump it up to A+.

Doduo: A- > A
I'll abstain from discussing this one. On the one hand, Doduo is just an absolute monstrous offensive force; like you said, its only true checks are Weak Armor Rock-type Pokemon. However, the issue is that it has such a difficult time getting in consistently. There's only one, maybe two good hazard removers, and Doduo has to focus on free switches from pivots and teammate KOs or risky switches in on things like Drilbur just to get onto the field. I have a lot of experience with it, as one of the best teams I've built this gen have it, but I'm torn between ranks for Doduo. If there was a rank between A- and A, I'd put it there, but for now I'll abstain on any move.

Kabuto: B > B+
Though I haven't used it much (I like Pawniard as a rocker too much and I never clear hazards) Kabuto's recent performance in tours such as SPL, LCPL, and Seasonal has really made a good case for its rise. Even considering that it shares a rank with Pokemon such as Amaura and Pancham is somewhat absurd, and, in my opinion, this is one of the easiest moves out there. Get it up to B+!

Mienfoo + Timburr: S > A+
Mienfoo and Timburr single-handedly define the LC metagame. They are the reason Pawniard has dropped out of glory, they are the reason Snubbull and Spritzee are good, and they are the reason that you will not find a successful team without at least one hard check and one soft check to them and other Fighting-types. Each of them received buffs in this metagame, and each of them still warrants S rank. Let's go over each individually!

Mienfoo is perhaps the truest jack-of-all-trades that has ever existed in Little Cup. Outside of hazard control, it can basically fulfill any role your team may need. If you need a pivot, Mienfoo has two viable pivot sets in Fast and Slow Pivot; the Fast Pivot set benefits from a quick Taunt and a threatening High Jump Kick, and the Slow Pivot set benefits from increased bulk and annoying longevity. Mienfoo also checks all the marks of a good Choice Scarf user: it has a base Speed over 32, access to a high-powered STAB attack, access to a pivot move, and the ability to switch in on several threats. All of this is without mentioning its other potentially threatening niche sets, such as its Z-Move sets and its Baton Pass set. To put it frankly, Mienfoo can do anything you want it to, and it can justifiably fill that niche over many other Pokemon without the risk of being outclassed or underperforming. Mienfoo is a little like the Lando-T of Little Cup; it's probably the best all-around Pokemon in the tier, and it's just too good overall to not be represented as a top-tier threat. When a Pokemon can do anything you want it to whenever you want it to on whatever team you want it to, how can it be anything but S?

Timburr, on the other hand, has a stronger case for a drop. It's slow, and it's not overtly strong. What bolsters Timburr is its defensive capabilities. As long as you have a Timburr, you cannot be swept by an Omanyte, a Pawniard, a Tirtouga, or anything else that's weak to Fighting. It can't be OHKOed by Shellder or Sash Abra (!!) and it's just a phenomenally annoying Pokemon to get rid of. Its Bulk Up set is falling out of favor in my opinion, but its Bulky Attacker set is truly annoying. Unless you specifically have a Spritzee or Snubbull, you won't have anything that can comfortably switch into Timburr throughout the match.

All of this is without mentioning what happens when you pair Mienfoo and Timburr together. Dealing with one of them is hard enough, but unless you're running a Birdspam build or a Carvanha-less Waterspam build, you'll probably have a tough time with these two together. The metagame has had a long, long time to adapt to these two Pokemon, and the fact that they are still so prominent and threatening is a testament to their overall viability as Pokemon. Though many of your points hold water, they just don't change the fact that these two Pokemon are just so good. they shape the metagame more than any other Pokemon, and that's why I believe they have a solid place at the top of the viability rankings.

Thanks for spurring some good discussion!
Since it seems like the cool thing to post about, here's my thoughts on one certain nomination.

Chinchou: A > A+ Yes, yes a million times YES

I completely believe that Chinchou is easily top 10 Pokemon in the meta. Literally all of Chinchou's "switch-ins" are either hit decently hard by Ice Beam (Foongus, Snivy, Pumpkaboo-XL, *insert Grass-type that isn't Ferroseed here*) or are extremely threatened by Volt Switch into a check, Mienfoo a particularly common partner for Chinchou being able to beat Ferroseed and Munchlax. Also, every single good Ground-type bar Sturdy Onix is extremely, EXTREMELY threatened by a Scald. Chinchou is also the best Flying-type check in the tier other than Weak Armor Rock-types, and a pivot/Flying-type check is a pretty good combination, especially when most Flying-type checks don't really like switching in and out constantly. Chinchou has 2 sets, and usually it's very difficult to guess from team preview, where as something like Sandshrew-A (So cute :O) can only be one of two sets based solely on its team. Its bulky set functions as both a great offensive and defensive set, as well as one of the best slow pivots in the game, while its Choice Scarf set makes Chinchou an amazing fast pivot, hard hitter, and revenge killer. Finally, the fall of Magnemite has brought Chinchou into the spotlight as a Volt Switch pivot, and it is VERY valuable. Also do sleep on 17 Speed Subzero Slammer Chinchou.

Great job KittenGaming, that was a great post near the level of even (dare I say) Levi. As Berks stated, its not often a post of a newer LC contributor, or even many experienced players, is this well thought through. Stick around!
 

Xayah

We always have a plan
is a Contributor to Smogon
Hmm imma talk about Abra again

Abra A+ -> S

Yeah yeah I've done this before, but it still hasn't happened so I'll make my arguments again. Abra has two sets that I'll talk about individually first, and then make some comments about the two together.

Focus Sash is the first set I'm going to be talking about, and it is absolutely amazing right now. The addition of Counter into Abra's arsenal makes this set ridiculously good, while still keeping all qualities it had before. This set was already close to the best revenge killer back in ORAS, but now with the Fletchling nerf and many very fast Scarfers like Doduo and Gastly running around that need to be rk'ed, there is simply no contest anymore. It is the only revenge killer that will 99% of the time kill something when it comes in; I am aware Diglett exists and does this job admirably as well, but Scarf Diglett is too weak to kill most things and is easy to switch into, Sash also has this problem while being vulnerable to hazards and scarfers, and other sets are vulnerable to scarfers and speed boosters. Abra isn't; the only Pokemon that Abra will not revenge kill practically all the time are multi-hit users that outspeed it, like +2 Shellder, +2 Dwebble, and +2 Onix. That's it. And guess what: very few other Pokemon can reliably revenge kill these if they're at full. Now you might be saying 'but Xayah, I always just go out into my Alolan Grimer/Scarf Pawniard/whatever other Abra check I have when it comes out'. And sure that's fine. But it's not like Agrimer and Scarf Pawn are going to get out of that exchange alive because of Counter, and any other Abra check can be taken out with some kind of coverage move (since SashBra doesn't need HP Fighting anymore, it can now run HP Fire for Ferroseed for example). All in all, the Sash set is simply the best revenge killer in the game and its incredible reliability is an asset to most teams it finds itself on.

Nest up is Life Orb, which is very often accompanied by Webs. KittenGaming stated (nice post btw) that this set needs Webs to function, which is simply untrue. Without Webs, Life Orb Abra is a devastating wallbreaker that outspeeds most of the metagame outside of Scarfers, Diglett, and Elekid. Even teams without a weakness to Webs need to have someway to reliably deal with this set, as they're just gonna be run all over if they don't. But when this set gets that support, gets the Sticky Web down, that's where it becomes truly terrifying. It becomes a devastating sweeper that very, very few things can reliably deal with, as it resists the most common forms of priority in Mach Punch and Vacuum Wave, kills nearly everything (some walls will need to be weakened a bit of course), and can't be outsped because of the Sticky Web anymore (unless you have a Snivy or Scarf Bird). We've all seen it happen, I don't feel the need to post the LCPL replays again.
The main thing about this is though, that while Life Orb Abra doesn't necessarily need Webs, Webs does need Life Orb Abra. It has quickly become the defining Pokemon of the playstyle, and with Webs being arguably the best playstyle out there right now, this alone should be reflected with an S rank in my opinion.

Of course we're not done. On their own, both of Abra's sets would've already gotten it close S already, though maybe not quite in there yet. What pushes it over the edge is its (relatively small but still very relevant) versatility, as well as its ability to beat its own counters. Let's look at the S rank mons:
  • I'm going to group Mienfoo and Timburr together for this. Sometimes when building you'll see 'damn I'm a bit Fighting weak' and you slap on a Snubbull, Spritzee, Foongus, or another Fighting check and you're good since they're able to consistently and reliably beat these. Maybe you'll slap on a secondary check like a Scarf bird just to be sure, but it's generally not that big of an issue if you don't have this.
  • Staryu is similar. Obviously this Pokemon is not in S for its shear offensive capabilities but more for being by far the best hazard removal we have, so it's not entirely comparable, but bear with me. Almost never in your building will you feel like 'Staryu tears me apart completely'. At most, you're going to be a bit Water weak. When that's the case, you replace your Timburr with a Croagunk and you're good. Again, it's not hard to prepare for Staryu.
  • Vullaby is probably the hardest to prepare for out of the current S rank Pokemon. Its wide coverage movepool means you can't just slap on an Onix or Pawniard out of fear of HP Grass or Heat Wave. As such, this Pokemon is a huge problem when building and you'll often feel like 'yeah I'll be fine against most birds, but if he brings HP Grass Vullaby I'm in trouble'. Yet, Vullaby has multiple soft checks in the metagame, like the aforementioned Onix and Pawniard but also things like Spritzee and Snubbull, as well as more niche stuff like Scarf Elekid, and since many of these (except for ScarfKid) have other utility outside of checking Vullaby, you won't feel too bad for using them.
Abra is different. When your team is weak to Abra, you don't say 'hmm my team is Psychic weak, lemme slap on a Dark type and we're good', because first off, Abra is the only relevant offensive Psychic, so you'll say Abra weak, not Psychic weak, and second, Abra has ways around every Dark-type. Counter is the first thing that comes to mind, as it allows Sash sets to easily remove Alolan Grimer or Pawniard without going down in the process. Abra also gets Dazzling Gleam to scare Vullaby from switching in (and Pawniard as well actually), and Life Orb sets tend to run HP Ground to threaten Alolan Grimer. In addition, Substitute means Abra gets around Pawniard's Sucker Punch as well. This means that even with Abra's best counterplay on your team, you're still not done. You're gonna need some other way to actually take it out if your 'counter' didn't work. Generally this will involve a Scarfer that is immune to Webs (like Doduo) and/or a very strong user of priority that is not Sucker Punch (like Corphish). Oftentimes you won't want to place these on your team, but you'll simply have no choice if you don't want to lose to this single Pokemon.

Abra's biggest issue is its complete lack of defensive utility, but teams with SashBra should generally not worry about this as Abra can simply take out one troubling Pokemon at least, while Life Orb Abra is most commonly found on Webs teams, which forgo defensive prowess for offensive pressure anyway. If you really need to, it's very possible to build a team with enough defensive power with just 5 mons.

In conclusion, Abra is a devastating Pokemon, being the best revenge killer, one of the most powerful wallbreakers, and the defining Pokemon of the most powerful playstyle right now. It's capable of beating its own counters and is incredibly centralizing, and even its biggest flaw can easily be worked around. It's one of the most defining Pokemon in the current metagame and this should be reflected by an S rank.
 

Fiend

the hound.
is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
it's been awhile.

I agree with merr; D rank does in fact need a cleaning. I think generally the ranks are off essentially from the bottom up, though they are the worst here and most of my issues are being addressed by everyone else which is a fun sight.

Things getting unranked:
Aron
: No niche; it loses to everything, and is revenge killed by anything it can set up on.
Crabrawler it only beats mud; worse than reckless scarf foo, or mankey, or normal scarf foo, in most matchups. not worth the slot, and generally fails to bluff anything making it a fairly 1 dimensional mon and pretty mediocre at best. Almost any team with it is 100% improved if it is submitted for one of the aforementioned sets. It's bad.
Diglett-Alola. all i can really toss behind this guy is that it is fun and it can viably use z moves to mild success. it can also theoretically work in sand but sand is less represented than hail, and hail is considered a meme usually, or is used literally just for Aurora Veil.
Growlithe. fire-types are one of the most fun things to use in the meta, however growlithe has little going for it. it lacks the offensive power of every other ranked fire-type, and has such a mediocre defensive ability that it just doesn't feel worth it. wisp + intimidate is cool on paper, but stacking up sr weakness, a slow pace, and limited recovery, it fails to be a solid wall.
Poliwag. it's a bad sweeper and is easily revenge killed by any decent team.
Yungoos. i'm genuinely sad that we ever ranked this thing. it doesn't ko shit, and most things are a-okay staying in on it. only heavily weakened mons really fear it, but with how good offensive normals are that's nothing special, and it still manages to hit weaker than others on a switch. it's the worst.

I'm really unsure of what to do with Munna, as bp isn't really important with a whopping 1 user using it and then only sometimes. For the time being, I'll let it be. Piplup is also something that i think can stay even though it isn't particularly effective. It can work, but i'm very on the fence about keeping it ranked. If it isn't convincingly vouched for it'll be gone.

I'll toss my weight behind some other more pressing nominations,

Diglett: A+ to S
I'm a pretty avid Diglett user, and I'm not very convinced with this nomination. Yes, Diglett does do a ton to help pick up grounded threats, ranging from Aipom to Grimer-A, from Abra to Onix, you have to get it into a position where it can actually do this. That's something which has been time and time again overlooked about Diglett, and its excessively underwhelming bulk makes this risky at best. KittenGaming, your nomination is a fairly good example of this common jump in logic:
Diglett alleviates so much pressure vs certain threats, it's kind of crazy in a sense. If you have Diglett, you are guaranteed to kill Ponyta or Croagunk or Pawniard--whatever your team needs. And the reason this works in practice is because the opponent can't switch out. Even though there are plenty of bulky mons who can comfortably live a hit from Diglett the problem is they just cannot switch in.
If anyone says this, in any circumstance, I'm forced to ask how you get Diglett in versus Ponyta, or Croagunk, or whatever. Back in ORAS, U-turn was a pretty decent answer, and for Croagunk it isn't an unrealistic answer still. However Ponyta is, at least in my experience off the ladder, some offensive variation and hardly keen on switch-in unless on something that it can KO without being hit too hard (on in some cases on a Nasty Plot or Stealth Rock, but that's circumstantial and they're predicting you to make a beneficial move and this is their best play to diminish the returns of said good play, largely meaning that you shouldn't be doubling to a Diglett here 99% of the time). Diglett cannot, therefore, be a reliable and continuous way to handle Ponyta. Similarly, it is not a reliable way to handle Grimer-A, and for several reasons it is not a reliable trapper for Onix and Kabuto. Croagunk continues to be very prone to traping however, and Abra or most 19 Speed wall breakers are prone to being easily revenged. It's all pretty circumstantial; for Abra you need beat up for; for Pawniard you need to avoid Sucker Punch or be at 100%; for Kabuto they can't be packing Aqua Jet; Onix which might unexpectedly have an Eviolite. It's not an infallible catch-all, though it is pretty good at being a usable check for a lot of irksome things providing you play appropriately. Diglett shines based off of aggressive play, but this also makes it depend very much on one's ability to predict or at least control the game with your other 5 Pokemon.

Further, you state that Diglett can't be prepared for, and this is a statement which I find to be thoroughly inaccurate and a single sided and extremely biased way to view the game. Simply adding a counter to a threat is not the only way to prepare for it, and while Diglett's arguably broken trapping ability removes direct counters, it is still victim to being revenge killed, set up on, or even just not getting the opportunity to trap anything through adequate play. I will concede that if you have several Diglett weak Pokemon then you must remove one of them to have a more Diglett proof team--however I would argue that the inability to (supposably) utilize viably several Diglett weak Pokemon at once is not so much a sign of it being broken or overly constraining or what have you, but instead just the sign of a poor team. Being Diglett weak typically means you are incredibly weak to Mudbray, or offensive Drilbur too. And moreover, things like Life Orb Abra, Life Orb Staryu, or even just flying-types with coverage (ie all the ones we consider viable nowadays,,,) have a tendency to dismantle teams that would rely on a multitude of Diglett-bait Pokemon as defensive stops. Teams which rely on Diglett to revenge kill a multitude of things are molested by the various incredibly powerful Choice Scarfers of the tier, and Life Orb Sucker Punch can only do so much to deter them. Groundium Z Sucker Punch doesn't deter most anyway.

Now ever if you disagree with me here, and that's fine--many very good players do--I would go so far as to say that this is part of what has thrusted Diglett up to A+ and while certainly a major factor in how it could be placed into S, is not going to make or break this nomination alone.

The last bit you add about Diglett is rather on point however, and this is what makes me feel like maybe we should have S- rank though I find that idea not very good all things considered. It isn't a deadweight, naturally if it was then it wouldn't be ranked so high. And its high speed and moderately useful coverage complements this. However Diglett isn't really able to come in as easily as it would like, making its utility a possible double edged sword when you face a Scraggy team or something similar. To get it in, you have to either get a good u-turn off on something important, double really well, or make a sack. And while those aren't particularly hard, getting this wrong could very easily mean you lose a game. Moreover, Diglett only has 4 move slots and so many things it wants to run, which makes it hard to 100% play around while also acting to make Diglett only able to trap certain things that it would need to. This is further complicated by Groundium-z vs LO, as groundium z fails to kill Croagunk with stock EQ and if it burns its z move it becomes pretty damn passive. This can be offset via memento, but that's essentially trading something you trap for Diglett and a bit of momentum, while also factoring however the fuck you got Diglett in (which in the case of groundium z feels like it is a sack more often than not, personally speaking.) It also really opens teams up to struggling to fit a rocker, or a flying resist; moreover it makes teams pretty prone to being swept by whatever fast thing it simply cannot KO with whatever set you are running.

No one will disagree that Diglett has a huge impact, and most would probably let you say it is the top of A+ right now after Abra. However, I think the largest thing holding Diglett back is the lack of a potent core that utilizes it. Shellder hardly needs it, and frankly having the two on the same team opens it up to a variety of weaknesses that I find it generally ill advised (it works out sometimes). Vullaby generally beats its checks by itself, though trapping BJ Onix and sometimes Pawniard is nice. Doduo and Rufflet just smash everything regardless of Diglett, and frequently abuse its presence on the opposing team. Omanyte is rare, and generally prefers Wynaut to help remove irksome priority. Carvanha is similar. I think that Diglett has many, many good points to it. I use it frequently and one of my more enjoyable teams to use has it and several U-turners to get it in safely. However it has very sharp flaws to consider, and a lack of anything solid to pair it with unlike last generation. This is why I personally find that Diglett isn't suitable to be S.

Chinchou:
A to A+
There has seemingly always been a group of users which adore Scarf Chinchou. Every single gen that the set is legal it has garnered a small group which thinks it is the shit. Yet I've never really been part of that group, and in SM it feels like the worse it has ever been. Staryu gives it ample opportunities to come in, sure. Yet it is 3HKOed by 0 SpA Scald from Analytic Staryu. And while this isn't a set really, the very common 116 SpA Analytic Hydro Pump set 2hkoes after Rocks most of the time, 100% of the time when you consider switch in on rocks twice. This is an issue when you consider that the major draw to Chinchou is its typing and momentum grabbing ability, which makes it prone to being quickly weakened by hazard stack, and then being too low of health to check things that you need it to. It is also one of the weakest Scarfers, with Hydro Pump being its strongest attack, followed by Thunderbolt, then Volt Switch, then Ice Beam. This makes it pretty poor at revenge killing anything somewhat bulky and not weak to its STABs. Ice Beam barely chunks some of its best switch ins too, and Foongus is regularly able to sponge the hit then heal it mostly off going into something which doesn't mind the Ice attack. Scraggy is pretty threatening to teams which rely on Chinchou as their revenge killer of choice, unless it runs Dazzling Gleam over Thunderbolt. Yet this isn't a great option as now you are forced to switch out versus Staryu, making it possible to stay in and recover up. You also have an unreliable Water-stab, which sucks, unless you run Scald which is just painfully weak and forces something nifty like Ice Beam or Thunderbolt off the set.

I really don't see how Scarf Chinchou is suddenly better than it has been recently, and I wouldn't call it particularly good to begin with. I really don't like pairing it with too much either, as it just gets abused by most of what it should be beating simply by the type chart. Defensive Chinchou is also not super good, and the rise of HP Grass NP Vullaby really makes it a pretty dull choice. I don't feel like Chinchou is a particularly good Pokemon, and I've been eyeing its ranking for the last while and considering dropping it.

Mienfoo
: S to A+
Timburr
: S to A+
I honestly don't really see what the real idea is behind these two nominations. Mach Punch is one of the best ways to round off a team, and the bulk that Timburr has in tandem with the raw power and flexibility of its 4th slot makes me feel like this wouldn't be an accurate representation of Timburr in the metagame. However Mienfoo's nomination does feel more on the mark and not to long ago I would have agreed with it. I do think that standard utility/semi support Mienfoo is pretty mediocre in the metagame--truthfully that set alone would leave it in A+ maybe A. Yet Scarf Mienfoo is fucking great and arguably that set alone is S. Additionally it has a few other potent yet gimmick sets like SD Reckless, SD Pass, and Z-move lure sets. It's too good to drop; maybe some day depending on metagame shifts but certainly not today.

Doduo
: A- to A
This is actually a hard call. Either choice would be perfectly acceptable to me actually. I'm inclined to believe that it is worth of the mid A ranking however, simply due to how effective it is at punishing anything slower than it. SD sets are pretty eh, but Substitute sets, flat out 4 attacks, Scarf, and even awkward Z-move sets are superb in the metagame and seemingly make up for Doduo's pretty nonexistent defensive presence and general telegraphed attacks.

Things I'm going to push through in the following days unless someone objects well enough:

Abra: A+ to S
Onix: A to A+
Kabuto: B to B+
Surskit: B to B+
Scraggy: B+ to A-
Sandshrew: B- to C+
Croagunk: A to A+

I'm keeping Torchic, Houndour, Skrelp, Pikipek, and Sandile where they are for now.
I may just toss Stunky, Shellos, and Larvesta down into C soon too. Rufflet might drop down to B+.
Spinarak, Wingull, and Wynaut are possible rises soon too.
 

Drew

formerly LitsYaBoi1337
is a Contributor to Smogon
Spinarak, Wingull, and Wynaut are possible rises soon too.
Dude I'm down.


Wingull (featured above being chased and assaulted by user: Shrug) has long been considered a sort of "noob trap" Pokemon, a sort of Pokemon that newer users latch on to that can destroy the lower ladder but starts going down in viability against better players, a good example being Meowth (come at me Jox ). However, Wingull has recently been on the rise due to its great viability against the current metagame and its usage in LCPL. So lets go into what makes Wingull pretty good:

Wingull's STAB combination and high Special Attack stat let it obliterate many common "meta" Pokemon quite easily. This STAB combination is also only resisted by Chinchou and Dry Skin Helioptile, the latter being a non-issue. Additionally, Wingull has an excellent Speed tier, sitting high and wet at 19 Speed. It also has access to 2 excellent utility moves: Knock Off and U-turn, and with them can be a great wallbreaker and pivot respectively. Now onto Wingull's anit-meta aspects.
Here take some calcs:
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 236+ SpD Eviolite Timburr: 23-31 (95.8 - 129.1%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 31-39 (147.6 - 185.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 52 HP / 116 SpD Eviolite Croagunk: 26-34 (118.1 - 154.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 36 SpD Eviolite Scraggy: 23-31 (104.5 - 140.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 116 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Vullaby: 12-16 (48 - 64%) -- 96.5% chance to 2HKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Staryu: 13-17 (68.4 - 89.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Shellder: 19-23 (95 - 115%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 36 SpD Eviolite Grimer-Alola: 13-17 (52 - 68%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 124 HP / 160 SpD Eviolite Foongus: 23-31 (92 - 124%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Abra: 21-25 (110.5 - 131.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 31-39 (172.2 - 216.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 76 HP / 0 SpD Onix: 62-78 (295.2 - 371.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hidden Power Ground vs. 76 HP / 0 SpD Chinchou: 16-21 (64 - 84%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hidden Power Ground vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Magnemite: 31-42 (163.1 - 221%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 80 SpD Gastly: 21-27 (105 - 135%) -- guaranteed OHKO
0- Atk Life Orb Wingull Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 36 HP / 40 Def Gastly: 16-21 (80 - 105%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 0 HP / 116 SpD Eviolite Pawniard: 9-13 (42.8 - 61.9%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 116 HP / 236+ SpD Eviolite Mudbray: 18-23 (72 - 92%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 116 SpD Snubbull: 21-25 (91.3 - 108.6%) -- 50% chance to OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Snivy: 26-34 (123.8 - 161.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Carvanha: 25-31 (131.5 - 163.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Corphish: 16-19 (80 - 95%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 40 SpD Eviolite Cottonee: 26-34 (123.8 - 161.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Doduo: 23-29 (115 - 145%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Dwebble: 34-42 (161.9 - 200%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 84 HP / 228 SpD Eviolite Ferroseed: 9-12 (40.9 - 54.5%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 0 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Ponyta: 18-23 (85.7 - 109.5%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Rufflet: 21-27 (91.3 - 117.3%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 36 SpD Eviolite Scraggy: 23-31 (104.5 - 140.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 212 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Spritzee: 12-16 (44.4 - 59.2%) -- 12.1% chance to 2HKO

What you see there is Wingull having a more than 50% chance to OHKO or 2HKO every S, A+, A, and A tier bar Ferroseed and Spritzee (and if not running Hidden Power Ground Chinchou). Put my man in C+

NEED
I
SAY
MORE
 

tko

Redefining Success
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Wingull should be higher than c+; it is a great anti meta poke. I'm gonna talk about how it has performed in tournament replays to justify this argument. But if you don't wanna see the replays then the gist of this message is that Wingull does very well against common offensive / balance teams. Water Flying is a great dual typing, especially because people use Onix or Kabuto as a bird check on many teams, and Wingull kills Onix and smacks Kabuto with ease. It's speed is what allows it to be this anti meta Pokemon, as it means anything below 19 can get a hard Hurricane or Scald, and then it can also pivot out after doing damage. The main thing that hurts Wingull is its pathetic defenses, which means the only thing it will really be stopping is Caterpie (I was gonna say Mudbray, but Heavy Slam with rocks up does a ridiculous amount, Wingull really can't switch in on anything safely).

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7lc-287540

So I noticed that Eternal Spirit was using some common builds throughout LC seasonal, and it has clearly gotten him far. I told Kingler before the match, however, that all of his builds, while solid, are easily pressured by Wingull, and I think this replay displays its threatening presence versus a standard team.
Foongus / Mienfoo / Onix / Vullaby / Scraggy / Abra is easily one of the builds that can reliably tackle the major threats of the meta; everything at the top of the viability rankings can be dealt with through the combination of these 6, and teams similar to this has done well in tournaments (for example, Heysup brought a team with similar vibes to ES' team in SPL week 5, with dual bird spam instead of dual fighters). But, as shown in the replay, once Wingull came in, ES had difficulty playing around Wingull, while Kingler was mindlessly clicking attacks (attacking what was in front of him, because he knew if ES switched, he could combat it). It was able to pick up two kills and weaken his team a bit (Kingler was dong for sacking it to scarf Scraggy though). Overall, though, this replay highlights its pressure on a solid team.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7lc-291056

As I skimmed through Finch's replays, I was debating on what mon I should have built around to counter style him a bit. I noticed that he also had a tendency to bring more offensive builds, and I was expecting his rocker to be either Omanyte or Kabuto. Because of this, I knew Wingull would be a good pick to bring against him, especially because my teammate, Ice Tea, told me to bring HP Grass as my last slot. Looking at Finch's team, the main issue that the Wingull had to deal with was SpDef Vullaby, so if I were to get hazards up I would be able to pressure his team if I kept the Vulla low enough to where I could kill it off with SSSS. The rest of his team was not able to switch into my Wingull, which is what allowed me to pressure him (I actually made a turn misplay which meant that I wasn't able to clean with my Wingull like I expected, so it was saved in the back, but nonetheless, even with his team with the rather bulky support of Drilbur + Omantye + Vullaby, I was able to use Wingull to pressure him down and win with gunker). Wingull could have done more that game if I clicked the Z move, but I was playing pretty defensively. Replay still shows its good team matchup.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-566867898

Another replay, this time showing how well it does against a team with a Flying resist in Pawniard, as well as being able to check stuff like Doduo with Snubbull. This just shows how good of an anti meta poke it can be; its Water typing helps it beat down common checks to Flying type mons. Dundies was able to use that to his advantage, and kill 2 while weakening the Snubbull. Overall a pretty straightforward replay; Wingull was able to provide Dundies the team support of weakening Jox's team enough so that SS Dweb was able to win late game. It capitalizes Wingull's team breaking ability and offensive support that it can give to a team, as well as just showing how it did vs a well built standard team.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7lc-249156

This was the replay that probably shed the light on Wingull on the first place. This was Kingler vs Ice Tea for SPL way long ago, but nonetheless shows the solid choice Kingler had for picking a mon that was good against Ice Tea's style. Initially looking at team preview, Wingull would be nice for coming in on Mienfoo (once Kingler was able to confirm that it was not scarf), and do a number to icy's team. Icy had two great bird checks (in Scarf Amaura and Kabuto), yet they can't comfortably switch into Scald and Kingler was able to use that to his edge and could weaken his team a bit, so that his Timburr could win (Wingull smacked Icy's Spritzee so that Timburr could end up winning, as well as force Icy to sack Snivy, which helped for Archen and Timburr. While it wasn't as powerful in this replay as the others, it still shows how Wingull was able to use its typing and speed to its advantage and, while not shown well on paper, pressure his opponent so that he could win.

These replays show Wingull and how it fairs against teams in the current meta. Wingull has done surprisingly well in the tournament games it has been in, and these games reaffirm how it is a very solid offensive presence (there was also another LCPL game it was in, and while Wingull was good in that game, the game overall didn't really showcase it enough to be in this post, but in all the LCPL games Wingull has been in, that team won (correct me if I'm wrong). I believe it is a very good anti meta mon, and it should be like B- or B. C+ is too low for something this good against so many popular Pokemon.

I don't know if this post is the best because I hardly post in Viability Rankings. This was my first and probably last post in here. I just had to fight for my mans Wingull. tko out
 
yeah wingull definitely deserves a rise; i think i've posted about it here before? not sure though. tko's post is really good and pretty much outlines everything i need to say lol but having 19 speed is good to offensively check shit (you can switch in like once on defensive mienfoo!!! nah jk it switches in on p much nothing). Relatively, I think it should move up to B+ since it's pretty much as good as a lot of the mons in that tier but it looks like some of the other ranks need a bit of clearing up too, so I'll let the mods decide where this goes
 
Hippopotas: B+ to B

Initially, Hippopotas was a decent option thanks to its invaluable ability to stop the extremely prevalent sun archetype in its tracks via Sand Stream. However, now that Vulpix is banned, that niche is worthless. Hippopotas now struggles for a teamslot, facing great competition from Mudbray as a bulky Ground-type, which has a far better offensive presence and ability. While Hippopotas's access to Stealth Rock, Whirlwind and Slack Off do differentiate it from Mudbray, this usually isn't enough to make it worthwhile. To make matters worse, it also competes with Onix, which is very common right now because it can effectively stop Flying-types, unlike Hippopotas. It doesn't fit in with the other Pokemon in the B+ rank such as Kabuto, Torchic and Surskit which receive much more usage, so I think a drop is necessary.
 
Here with some toxic noms from lower down the rankings
Venipede and Salandit to C+

Venipede- An incredible spikes stacker. Counters fighting mons (bar flyinium foo), spritzee, foongus and is an excellent offensive check to abra. Not great but way better than the other mons in C rn. It can also run grassium solarbeam which just ohkoes onix bar sturdy in tact

Salandit- This mon is a poor man's ponyta, but it has poison type which is really nice in this fighting based metagame. Staryu and Diglett are obviously threats but fire blast/flamethrower and sludge bomb for dual stab hurts from a base 70 special attack stat. Alongside it's potential to run z-crystals well chunking mons salandit should be higher than C.
 
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blizzardy

Link Together With All
Just wanted to touch on the Mienfoo to A+ suggestion.

In my opinion, Mienfoo deserves S rank more than any of the other Pokemon there.
Mienfoo has always been on the top. He was on top even when Misdreavus and Murkrow were allowed. He was on top when Fairys were introduced and even when the likes of Tangela and Gligar were around. He was on top despite the power of birdspam in Gen 6, despite the power of Sand in Gen 5, despite a lot of things. Mienfoo, right now, is the king of Little Cup.
Why is this? Because Mienfoo is the perfect Pokemon. It has a great offensive and defensive typing, a fantastic ability, great stat spread and of course and very expansive movepool. Seriously, I cannot stress how amazing Mienfoo's movepool is. For support or utility it has U-turn, Baton Pass, Knock Off and Fake Out. Offensively, it can basically pick its counters with coverage moves in Stone Edge, Poison Jab, Knock Off, Acrobatics, Bounce + Flynium Z and Hi Jump Kick.

Sure it has its issues to face, but Mienfoo has so many positives that, most of the time, putting him on your team is a direct upgrade.
You know a Pokemon is powerful when its biggest drawback is that its too powerful.

Mienfoo is a top, metagame defining Pokemon and will continue to be for a long time. If it is not S rank then I don't know what is.
 

Xayah

We always have a plan
is a Contributor to Smogon
I'm going to make a nomination that the people who know me well will say 'saw that one coming' and the people who don't will probably be surprised at first.

Taillow B- -> B+
I have been legitimately spamming the Taillow team that I built for my LCPL game against Kaori and also recently RMTd and I can honestly say Taillow is exceptional right now. In order for this post to make sense, I want to clarify that this is the Taillow set I have been using and will be talking about here.

Taillow @ Life Orb
Ability: Scrappy
Level: 5
EVs: 36 Def / 200 SpA / 36 SpD / 236 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 18 HP / 30 Atk / 30 SpA
- Boomburst
- Heat Wave
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Brave Bird

As you can see, it's a mixed Life Orb set.

So why do I think Taillow is so good? Well as we all know, birds are pretty terrifying right now, and many teams have to rely on Weak Armor Onix or Kabuto in order to combat them. Those are exactly the type of teams this Taillow preys on. Its major tool lies in its access to STAB Boomburst which, even though Taillow only has 12 SpA, hits almost as hard as LO Abra's Psychic:

200 SpA Life Orb Taillow Boomburst vs. 36 HP / 116 SpD Snubbull: 21-25 (91.3 - 108.6%) -- 50% chance to OHKO
240 SpA Life Orb Abra Psychic vs. 36 HP / 116 SpD Snubbull: 21-27 (91.3 - 117.3%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO
(just an example calc)

In addition, since it's a special move, it doesn't pop Weak Armor. That is Taillow's major advantage over other birds: if Weak Armor Onix or Kabuto switches in, it takes a Boomburst to the face and then goes down to HP Grass (which always OHKOes even Eviolite Onix btw), since it still can't outspeed. Other common Normal resists such as Ferroseed or Pawniard go down to Heat Wave after taking a Boomburst. This just goes to show that even the things that should be able to switch into Taillow really can't.

And all of that is without talking about its 19 Speed tier, which is absolutely gorgeous. It outspeeds most of the metagame and ties with Abra, which is already great of course. But this speed tier is emphasised especially when it is put on the teams it performs best on: Sticky Web. When working together with its two best friends, Abra and Surskit, Taillow becomes an absolute monster. I already talked about its ridiculous power, but it can still struggle to break through incredibly bulky mons (Spritzee is not 2HKOed without Rocks for example). As such, teams with a high amount of sheer bulk will be able to take on Taillow. However, no team has enough raw bulk to take on both Taillow and Life Orb Abra, the two functioning similar to a type spam core, as they take down bulky mons for each other, so that one of them can sweep in the late game. Obviously they are both vulnerable to Choice Scarf users, but Surskit's Webs solve this issue, leaving Taillow and Abra doing whatever they want. The recent decline of Scarf Doduo usage is also very good for this combination, as the team is now less pressured to go into Onix constantly.

In my personal opinion, Taillow is the second best Webs abuser in the metagame, only falling behind Abra, and the third best bird, falling behind Doduo and Vullaby. Yes, I think Taillow > Rufflet due to more reliability and a bigger niche (taking out classic bird checks). However, I am aware that not many people share this opinion, so I'm not raising it to the same rank as Rufflet, but in stead want to see it in B+. Taillow has its flaws (mainly low bulk, though it can take the priority it needs to, and getting worn down easily) and does require some support. But the power it has, especially on the incredibly good Webs teams right now, should be respected and it definitely deserves a spot in B+ (I kinda want it in A- but I'm fine with B+ for now).

PS: This entire thing was written while completely ignoring its Guts set, which is essentially a more reliable Rufflet (though w/o Fighting coverage, which is pretty big):

236 Atk Guts Taillow Facade (140 BP) vs. 212 HP / 196+ Def Eviolite Spritzee: 15-18 (55.5 - 66.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Hustle Rufflet Brave Bird vs. 212 HP / 196+ Def Eviolite Spritzee: 15-18 (55.5 - 66.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
 
I completely agree with everything that Xayah has said about Taillow. I've been using Taillow on the majority of the teams that I've built since I started LC back in BW, and I must say Boomburst is what makes it deserve not to be not only in B+, but I'd say A-. I really don't feel the need to show anymore evidence than Xayah has.

Also, I agree with Drew's post in regards to Wingull. I did some Wingull playtesting and teams are completely unprepared for it. It is probably the most anti-meta poke we have right now, and its terrifying if you don't know how hard it hits. Wingull for C+/B-
 
I know I posted like seven posts ago but new VR update means new discussion, and VR posting is fun! First off, I'd like to thank all you guys for your kind words, even if some of my last post was a little ill-informed. I am very grateful. And I've come around on Abra and Timburr and I'm still kinda on the fence about Diglett but I'm fine with it staying in A+. However, nobody wants to hear me talk about that, so onto the nominations!

Wingull - C- to B- / B


One of the only currently discussed noms so yeah I'll respond to it. Haven't used this mon except on a water spam team that I don't really use but just seeing LCPL and SPL replays Wingull shows how good offensively it is. Hurricane is a superb STAB move and Wingull has Knock and U-turn as utility outside of that. Scald is also a good move. The above posts outlined p much everything I could say; if the jump is too drastic I would at least put it in C+

Taillow - B to B+


I need to play with Taillow more but I really like the combination of Boomburst + HP Grass atm and agree that Taillow can be really effective on webs. However the main thing that concerns me about Taillow is that it has a lot less bulk than other Birds meaning it is very susceptible to revenge killing and relies on Webs to alleviate that. I'm leaning towards a rise though until I play with Taillow more.

Gastly - A to A+


Honestly I though this mon was already A+ but it isn't and that I do not like that. Generally if you are looking for a good strong special attacker you have three choices: Abra, Staryu, and Gastly. Ghost / Poison coverage is hard to check and Gastly's main switch ins, Pawniard and Grimer-A, do not appreciate a wisp. I believe that what makes Gastly so good is that not only is it powerful and fast, but it can deal really easily with common switch ins. You can smack Pawn with HP Fighting, Darks with Dgleam and trade with Dbond if necessary. Nothing really likes taking burns unless I'm totally missing a good special attacking check. Also determining whether Hex / LO Gastly is being used plays a large role in switching into it and you also have to watch out for the aforementioned coverage. Gastly also has a nice speed tier meaning you are a lot harder to revenge then, for example, Vullaby.

Ghost / Poison is also a really cool typing allowing it get some switch ins despite poor bulk; HJK and Spin immunity in particular. Mienfoo's HJK is a really great move to be immune to in particular because Mienfoo is a very common mon rn. Switching in is risky but very rewarding with correct prediction. And switch in opportunities are the main thing holding Gastly back. But two type immunities and one pseudo-immunity give it a much easier time switching in and immediately exerting pressure over the opposing team.

Gastly, once in battle, is extremely threatening. If you switch into a Scarf HJK from a Mienfoo, for example, than you can immediately capitalize on the switch by (a) wisp (b) sub (c) predicting the switch or (d) pivoting out. Because of Gastly's wide variety of options it can easily gain momentum in a match. Gastly can also serve as a wallbreaker and cleaner in the same slot which is important given the number of roles many archetypes, primarily balance, have to fill in a little amount of slots. Gastly is a top offensive Pokemon right now and definitely deserves A+

Mienfoo - S to A+


Yeah I still agree with this nom: I changed my mind about Timburr because powerful Fighting priority, great bulk, and the ability to be sustainable throughout an entire match is just too good to give up S. Mienfoo, however, has a better case for a drop imo.
Just wanted to touch on the Mienfoo to A+ suggestion.

In my opinion, Mienfoo deserves S rank more than any of the other Pokemon there.
Mienfoo has always been on the top. He was on top even when Misdreavus and Murkrow were allowed. He was on top when Fairys were introduced and even when the likes of Tangela and Gligar were around. He was on top despite the power of birdspam in Gen 6, despite the power of Sand in Gen 5, despite a lot of things. Mienfoo, right now, is the king of Little Cup.
Why is this? Because Mienfoo is the perfect Pokemon. It has a great offensive and defensive typing, a fantastic ability, great stat spread and of course and very expansive movepool. Seriously, I cannot stress how amazing Mienfoo's movepool is. For support or utility it has U-turn, Baton Pass, Knock Off and Fake Out. Offensively, it can basically pick its counters with coverage moves in Stone Edge, Poison Jab, Knock Off, Acrobatics, Bounce + Flynium Z and Hi Jump Kick.

Sure it has its issues to face, but Mienfoo has so many positives that, most of the time, putting him on your team is a direct upgrade.
You know a Pokemon is powerful when its biggest drawback is that its too powerful.

Mienfoo is a top, metagame defining Pokemon and will continue to be for a long time. If it is not S rank then I don't know what is.
Going to pick on your post a little because you specifically addressed this nom recently. Don't mean to be rude or anything.

I get that this is your intro, but just because Mienfoo was successful before does not mean it is successful now. The metas you described are way different than the metas now. And we are talking about Mienfoo in the current meta game. Just saying, this is not a very good argument.

You say Mienfoo is perfect but fail to describe convincingly why. It has pretty good offensive capabilities but is super reliant an Eviolite for its defensive capabilities meaning after you are knocked then the opp can force you out with a multitude of Pokemon, especially walls, that can capitalize on your lessened bulk. Sure you can switch out and gain a chunk of health but you'll end up having to switch back in to an attack and be left in a similar position. You could in theory use a pivot of revenge something but then you focus less on Mienfoo's sole capabilities. Regenerator is a good ability but not amazing, especially on an offensive Pokemon; the situation I just described is the main problem with it. And I wouldn't say Fighting is a "great defensive typing" when it leaves you weak to Psychic, Flying, and Fairy, common attacking types. And listing Mienfoo's coverage options is kinda misleading considering you'll only be able to run a few of them, Bounce and Acrobatics give the same coverage, and HJK is not a coverage option. Calcing with the Bulky Pivot spread, Poison Jab doesn't 2HKO Spritzee and isn't guaranteed to 2HKO Snubbull, but if Snubbull's at full then BJ will activate so its essentially a 3HKO. Acrobatics is dependent on Eviolite being knocked off which means you have to be at a disadvantage in order for it to work which is my main quarrel with it. Mienfoo can Knock Pumpkaboo but has to risk being burned or set up on. Even a crit Stone Edge won't kill offensive / NP Vullaby which is the most common Flying type right now. Bounce + Flyinium Z requires you to run a completely different subpar set which, in most cases, is not worth it.

Mienfoo is put on many teams do to it being a good glue mon. And honestly I think because it is S-rank it will be used more than Croagunk or Scraggy or even Timburr, because it is a more comfortable mon to use. And iirc Timburr is newer than Mienfoo on the VR. However the question is should it really be used as much as it does? I would say maybe a little less, because it has less of a defined niche or role that it is good at. Although I would say Scarf Mienfoo is a good revenge killer it also has to lock itself into HJK in order to significant damage most of the time which leads to the problem of Ghosts or the potential of it missing (which directly damages you so I think it is something to consider when talking about the move.) Unlike Scraggy it doesn't have a secondary STAB move, unlike Timburr it doesn't have powerful priority, and unlike Croagunk it can't set up and sweep effectively. (I guess SD Pass could sweep but that isn't its main goal.) Usage, most of the time, correlates to viability; however, this isn't always perfect and just because a Pokemon is used a lot does not mean it is good. Now, don't get me wrong, Mienfoo is good, but maybe not up to par with other S-ranks.

I'd like to take its 1v1 matchup against other S ranks, for example. I'm going to use a Bulky Pivot / Scarf Mienfoo set to take into account its two most viable options (although I agree with Fiend that Scarf is its best). I won't take into account Stealth Rocks for either side to be completely unbiased. I am also going to be using the standard analysis sets (so Drain Punch / U-turn / Knock Off / HJK for both sets and I will be using Regenerator > Reckless because arguably that is the better ability). And for both sides I will be using min rolls as that is the worst case scenario that doesn't involve hax. Italics represents Scarf. Let's start, shall we: Mienfoo loses to Sash Abra using the standard set and BP loses to LO Abra as well. Timburr gets an easy win, as does Psychic Staryu. Vullaby can use Bulky Pivot Mienfoo as set-up bait and wins versus Scarf and Bulky Pivot. The only sets I can think of that win versus S-ranks are Scarf beating LO Abra and Mienfoo in general beating Defensive Staryu (although that risks being Scald burned and you could potentially recover stall HJKs.) I'll let you see the calcs for yourself:
Vs Abra (Sash)

240 SpA Abra Psychic vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 18-24 (85.7 - 114.2%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
76+ Atk Mienfoo U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Abra: 22-26 (115.7 - 136.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
The following turn, Abra kills. Mienfoo loses, unless Fake Out.

236 Atk Mienfoo U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Abra: 22-28 (115.7 - 147.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
240 SpA Abra Psychic vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mienfoo: 36-44 (171.4 - 209.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.


Vs Abra (Life Orb)

240 SpA Life Orb Abra Psychic vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 23-31 (109.5 - 147.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.

236 Atk Mienfoo Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Abra: 32-38 (168.4 - 200%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo wins.
(Although in the situation LO Abra is paired with webs, it would win.)


Vs Timburr

76+ Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Timburr: 12-15 (50 - 62.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
196+ Atk Iron Fist Timburr Drain Punch vs. 0 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 9-12 (42.8 - 57.1%) -- 12.1% chance to 2HKO
Timburr currently has 71% HP after DP recovery. Mienfoo has 58%.
The turn repeats, with Timburr now at 42% and Mienfoo at 16%.
196+ Atk Iron Fist Timburr Mach Punch vs. 0 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 6-7 (28.5 - 33.3%) -- 0% chance to 3HKO
Mienfoo loses.

236 Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Timburr: 12-15 (50 - 62.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
196+ Atk Iron Fist Timburr Drain Punch vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Mienfoo: 15-18 (71.4 - 85.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Mienfoo still loses.


Sidenote: Mienfoo will always lose DP wars with Timburr in this case, which is why I wasn't calcing it. And Knock + HJK loses as well.

Vs Staryu

116 SpA Staryu Psychic vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 10-14 (47.6 - 66.6%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO
76+ Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Staryu: 12-15 (63.1 - 78.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Mienfoo loses.

236 Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Staryu: 12-15 (63.1 - 78.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
116 SpA Analytic Staryu Psychic vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mienfoo: 22-28 (104.7 - 133.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.

Vs Vullaby (Offensive)

156 Atk Vullaby Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 18-24 (85.7 - 114.2%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
76+ Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 116 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Vullaby: 12-15 (48 - 60%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO
Mienfoo loses.

236 Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 116 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Vullaby: 12-15 (48 - 60%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO
156 Atk Vullaby Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Mienfoo: 32-38 (152.3 - 180.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.

Vs Vullaby (Nasty Plot)

Vullaby Nasty Plots.
76+ Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 116 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Vullaby: 12-15 (48 - 60%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO
+2 240+ SpA Vullaby Air Slash vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 24-30 (114.2 - 142.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses and gives Vullaby a free +2 +2.

236 Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 116 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Vullaby: 12-15 (48 - 60%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO
240+ SpA Vullaby Air Slash vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mienfoo: 24-30 (114.2 - 142.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.


I won't do all the calcs for the A+ mons but using common sense I imagine Mienfoo loses versus Croagunk, Shellder (calced this and ScarfFoo loses but Bulky wins), and Foongus; SturdyJuice Onix actually wins vs Bulky and trades with Scarf Foo if running Explosion; and Mienfoo wins vs Diglett and Grimer-A. Should an S-rank really have this bad of a record? Out of 11 other Pokemon, Mienfoo only guaran otees a win versus 2 of them!

Now I know what you might be thinking. That showing all these 1v1 calcs does not really prove anything because Mienfoo will rarely be in a 1v1 scenario and can just pivot out of a bad matchup. But that's the problem; being forced to pivot out by a variety of top tier threats. In a lot of situations Mienfoo is forced to lose the matchup or switch and hope for a better one. And if the opponent plays correctly, they won't give Mienfoo this better situation. And, to be fair, even non-fast pivot Mienfoo ends up leading a lot anyways.

But, given these calcs, the better set for Mienfoo is Scarf. However, there a myriad of issues with ScarfFoo I think people overlook. First off, locking yourself into Hi Jump Kick. This basically forces a switch if the opponent has a Ghost or a Pokemon with Protect (Spritzee, for example) which is definitely a momentum loss for you. On these teams, you need to lock yourself into Drain Punch or Knock Off. Drain Punch has much less power, however, and Knock Off can easily be taken advantage of. Another key problem ScarfFoo faces is its bulk, meaning it can't switch into moves that would otherwise be very favorable to switch into, like LO Gastly's Shadow Ball or LO Pawniard's Iron Head. This limits ScarfFoo's utility and makes it even harder to successfully carve its way into a match.

Also, I'd like to take a look at how common Mienfoo's best checks are. This is using 1760 usage stats from May, which I know aren't the most reliable (i.e Larvesta getting more usage than Ponyta) but should give you a somewhat accurate representation of what is popular / most used in the metagame right now. Here are some results:
1 | Vullaby | 46.50774% | 25310 | 20.934% | 19546 | 21.173%
Most common Pokemon and one of the best Mienfoo checks.
7 | Abra | 24.91100% | 34877 | 28.847% | 24647 | 26.699%
One of the best offensive checks to Mienfoo and is great right now.
8 | Foongus | 19.37756% | 11771 | 9.736% | 9204 | 9.970%
On another side of the spectrum, a great defensive check to common Mienfoo sets.
15 | Snubbull | 10.91294% | 5958 | 4.928% | 4679 | 5.068%
Still in the top 15, and walls Mienfoo entirely (except non-PJ variants)

And these are just Mienfoo's best checks, it has a slew of other checks in the top 15 (Timburr, Staryu, Gastly, Shellder, BJ Chinchou) that all make it hard for Mienfoo to succeed in the metagame. But although you could Knock their items off and could predict the switch and you could chip these threats down this brings up a whole new problem of prediction and hypothetical scenarios which have risks entirely their own. But let's say you don't trust these usage stats and instead want to focus on a more reliable source. Courtesy of Drew we have access to LCPL usage stats so we can also take a look at those for some more data.

Now, glancing at these usage stats, they all look fairly similar. Mienfoo, Onix, and Vullaby in the top 3 slots (which was the case for all weeks except 4 where Pawniard stole the number 2 spot) and then trailed by a few key Pokemon. Here's some Week 6 data for you:
| 1 | Vullaby | 17 | 56.67% | 52.94% |
| 2 | Mienfoo | 15 | 50.00% | 46.67% |
| 3 | Onix | 13 | 43.33% | 61.54% |
| 4 | Pawniard | 12 | 40.00% | 33.33% |
| 5 | Foongus | 9 | 30.00% | 55.56% |
| 5 | Staryu | 9 | 30.00% | 44.44% |
| 5 | Abra | 9 | 30.00% | 33.33% |
| 8 | Croagunk | 7 | 23.33% | 57.14% |
| - | Pumpkaboo-* | 7 | 23.33% | 42.86% |

| 9 | Diglett | 6 | 20.00% | 83.33% |
| 10 | Doduo | 5 | 16.67% | 60.00% |
| 10 | Spritzee | 5 | 16.67% | 40.00%

I've Italicized Pokemon, in the most common scenario, that check Mienfoo. Onix, Pawniard, and Diglett were the only ones (I think) I did not Italicize. Some of these you could argue against (Dodrio can't switch into a HJK, for example) but for the most part I would say it's an accurate list. As you can clearly see, there are very few Pokemon that Mienfoo beats most of the time on here. And you might say that's because of how good Mienfoo, and, while that is partially true, it is also because these mons are good, and that Mienfoo can't keep up with how many of its checks are succeeding in the metagame right now.

I've given you the paper, and you will probably argue with the practice. However, all S and A+ mons will do pretty good in practice. That's why they are ranked so high. And, because I really want to wrap this up, I'm not going to provide some LCPL replays where Mienfoo did nothing because that would be hard to find, hard to argue, and a lot of work. Mienfoo will probably do something every match. But is it significant? Sure, Mienfoo can Fake Out mons on Webs but it still has a pretty terrible matchup in that case where the only mon it really can succeed against is Pawniard. And, for the most part, Mienfoo cannot switch into Pawniard. Furthermore, Mienfoo is almost useless versus LO Abra, which should be on every Webs team and the only thing I can see Mienfoo doing vs it is Fake Outing it. That's it. Pumpkaboo is also a pretty big thorn in Mienfoo's side, as Scarf can't click HJK like you would want to in that scenario. Webs is undoubtedly one of the best playstyles right now, which is why I am using it as an example.

Well I've written too much probably about this topic and I know you will still probably not be convinced. My argument probably has some flaws I've overlooked. Although it is my hope by writing like 10 paragraphs about this nom that you at least somewhat consider it.

e: oops maybe I shouldn't focus so much on bad noms
 
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Nineage

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The issue with that argument is that it fails to analyze cause and effect. Yes, some of the most common Pokemon in the metagame are Mienfoo checks. This is not what limits Mienfoo's viability, it is (at least partially) because of Mienfoo's viability. I'm not saying Foongus, Vullaby, or Spritzee would be bad Pokemon were Mienfoo not in the metagame, but the abundance of Mienfoo and its Fighting-type cousins is a major factor in what causes these Pokemon to be common. Thus, Mienfoo has a major influence on the metagame, and should be ranked as such.

What's more, by using usage statistics as your primary argument, you contradict yourself. You show that the Pokemon that check Mienfoo are abundant, but you also show that Mienfoo appears frequently on teams. This suggests, accurately, that Mienfoo is so potent in the metagame that it forces every team to have checks to it, but still manages to perform its role despite the presence of said checks. Though checks to Mienfoo are abundant, their abundance doesn't deter people from using it, another testament to its overall viability.

The fact is, though, that usage statistics, even from a relatively high-level tournament, can't be used as the full basis for a viability move, so let me reiterate a few points about Mienfoo. Mienfoo is, quite simply, the single most splashable and effective Pokemon in LC. It has fantastic stats, which it can easily use to blanket check a ton of Pokemon, pivot out with U-turn, and win its team momentum. The statistics might show that the Pokemon that check Mienfoo are common, but the Pokemon that Mienfoo can deal with, whether it pivots in once to get crucial chip damage or is preserved as a last-ditch stop to the Pokemon or really fully counters the foe, are so numerous that they appear on almost every team. This means that there is essentially not a downside to using Mienfoo, because it is virtually guaranteed to be useful at least once during a match.

I think the argument above tends to focus too much on Mienfoo as an offensive threat as well. Sure, Mienfoo is powerful, and its STAB moves are threatening, but its real role comes in its utility. LC is an offensive metagame, and it is beneficial to condense roles to support your offensive Pokemon into as few team slots as possible so you can afford more firepower in the offensive slots. Mienfoo fills crucial roles which help offensive Pokemon in LC. It sponges hits from a laundry list of Pokemon as mentioned above, it provides Knock Off support, and it makes it extremely easy for an offensive team to maintain momentum with U-turn. You'll notice that a lot of Pokemon are ranked highly on the Viab rankings because they condense roles so well- think Croagunk or Foongus. Mienfoo is set apart by its ability to do so much so well, while maintaining a stellar offensive presence that makes it never really safe to switch into. The exception to all of this would be the scarf set, which is more offensive overall. While definitely threatening, the scarf set is not the reason Mienfoo is S rank.

In short, Mienfoo is the king of the metagame, and there is no reason to move it out of S rank. I think I speak for the whole viability rankings council when I say that, in the current state of the metagame, Mienfoo is absolutely staying where it is, so feel free to nitpick my argument if you want, but its very unlikely that Mienfoo's icon will be moving from the top of that list.

I'll try and comment on the other noms when I have a chance (probably after tkos finish winning lcpl).
 

blizzardy

Link Together With All
I know I posted like seven posts ago but new VR update means new discussion, and VR posting is fun! First off, I'd like to thank all you guys for your kind words, even if some of my last post was a little ill-informed. I am very grateful. And I've come around on Abra and Timburr and I'm still kinda on the fence about Diglett but I'm fine with it staying in A+. However, nobody wants to hear me talk about that, so onto the nominations!

Wingull - C- to B- / B


One of the only currently discussed noms so yeah I'll respond to it. Haven't used this mon except on a water spam team that I don't really use but just seeing LCPL and SPL replays Wingull shows how good offensively it is. Hurricane is a superb STAB move and Wingull has Knock and U-turn as utility outside of that. Scald is also a good move. The above posts outlined p much everything I could say; if the jump is too drastic I would at least put it in C+

Taillow - B to B+


I need to play with Taillow more but I really like the combination of Boomburst + HP Grass atm and agree that Taillow can be really effective on webs. However the main thing that concerns me about Taillow is that it has a lot less bulk than other Birds meaning it is very susceptible to revenge killing and relies on Webs to alleviate that. I'm leaning towards a rise though until I play with Taillow more.

Gastly - A to A+


Honestly I though this mon was already A+ but it isn't and that I do not like that. Generally if you are looking for a good strong special attacker you have three choices: Abra, Staryu, and Gastly. Ghost / Poison coverage is hard to check and Gastly's main switch ins, Pawniard and Grimer-A, do not appreciate a wisp. I believe that what makes Gastly so good is that not only is it powerful and fast, but it can deal really easily with common switch ins. You can smack Pawn with HP Fighting, Darks with Dgleam and trade with Dbond if necessary. Nothing really likes taking burns unless I'm totally missing a good special attacking check. Also determining whether Hex / LO Gastly is being used plays a large role in switching into it and you also have to watch out for the aforementioned coverage. Gastly also has a nice speed tier meaning you are a lot harder to revenge then, for example, Vullaby.

Ghost / Poison is also a really cool typing allowing it get some switch ins despite poor bulk; HJK and Spin immunity in particular. Mienfoo's HJK is a really great move to be immune to in particular because Mienfoo is a very common mon rn. Switching in is risky but very rewarding with correct prediction. And switch in opportunities are the main thing holding Gastly back. But two type immunities and one pseudo-immunity give it a much easier time switching in and immediately exerting pressure over the opposing team.

Gastly, once in battle, is extremely threatening. If you switch into a Scarf HJK from a Mienfoo, for example, than you can immediately capitalize on the switch by (a) wisp (b) sub (c) predicting the switch or (d) pivoting out. Because of Gastly's wide variety of options it can easily gain momentum in a match. Gastly can also serve as a wallbreaker and cleaner in the same slot which is important given the number of roles many archetypes, primarily balance, have to fill in a little amount of slots. Gastly is a top offensive Pokemon right now and definitely deserves A+

Mienfoo - S to A+


Yeah I still agree with this nom: I changed my mind about Timburr because powerful Fighting priority, great bulk, and the ability to be sustainable throughout an entire match is just too good to give up S. Mienfoo, however, has a better case for a drop imo.


Going to pick on your post a little because you specifically addressed this nom recently. Don't mean to be rude or anything.

I get that this is your intro, but just because Mienfoo was successful before does not mean it is successful now. The metas you described are way different than the metas now. And we are talking about Mienfoo in the current meta game. Just saying, this is not a very good argument.

You say Mienfoo is perfect but fail to describe convincingly why. It has pretty good offensive capabilities but is super reliant an Eviolite for its defensive capabilities meaning after you are knocked then the opp can force you out with a multitude of Pokemon, especially walls, that can capitalize on your lessened bulk. Sure you can switch out and gain a chunk of health but you'll end up having to switch back in to an attack and be left in a similar position. You could in theory use a pivot of revenge something but then you focus less on Mienfoo's sole capabilities. Regenerator is a good ability but not amazing, especially on an offensive Pokemon; the situation I just described is the main problem with it. And I wouldn't say Fighting is a "great defensive typing" when it leaves you weak to Psychic, Flying, and Fairy, common attacking types. And listing Mienfoo's coverage options is kinda misleading considering you'll only be able to run a few of them, Bounce and Acrobatics give the same coverage, and HJK is not a coverage option. Calcing with the Bulky Pivot spread, Poison Jab doesn't 2HKO Spritzee and isn't guaranteed to 2HKO Snubbull, but if Snubbull's at full then BJ will activate so its essentially a 3HKO. Acrobatics is dependent on Eviolite being knocked off which means you have to be at a disadvantage in order for it to work which is my main quarrel with it. Mienfoo can Knock Pumpkaboo but has to risk being burned or set up on. Even a crit Stone Edge won't kill offensive / NP Vullaby which is the most common Flying type right now. Bounce + Flyinium Z requires you to run a completely different subpar set which, in most cases, is not worth it.

Mienfoo is put on many teams do to it being a good glue mon. And honestly I think because it is S-rank it will be used more than Croagunk or Scraggy or even Timburr, because it is a more comfortable mon to use. And iirc Timburr is newer than Mienfoo on the VR. However the question is should it really be used as much as it does? I would say maybe a little less, because it has less of a defined niche or role that it is good at. Although I would say Scarf Mienfoo is a good revenge killer it also has to lock itself into HJK in order to significant damage most of the time which leads to the problem of Ghosts or the potential of it missing (which directly damages you so I think it is something to consider when talking about the move.) Unlike Scraggy it doesn't have a secondary STAB move, unlike Timburr it doesn't have powerful priority, and unlike Croagunk it can't set up and sweep effectively. (I guess SD Pass could sweep but that isn't its main goal.) Usage, most of the time, correlates to viability; however, this isn't always perfect and just because a Pokemon is used a lot does not mean it is good. Now, don't get me wrong, Mienfoo is good, but maybe not up to par with other S-ranks.

I'd like to take its 1v1 matchup against other S ranks, for example. I'm going to use a Bulky Pivot / Scarf Mienfoo set to take into account its two most viable options (although I agree with Fiend that Scarf is its best). I won't take into account Stealth Rocks for either side to be completely unbiased. I am also going to be using the standard analysis sets (so Drain Punch / U-turn / Knock Off / HJK for both sets and I will be using Regenerator > Reckless because arguably that is the better ability). And for both sides I will be using min rolls as that is the worst case scenario that doesn't involve hax. Italics represents Scarf. Let's start, shall we: Mienfoo loses to Sash Abra using the standard set and BP loses to LO Abra as well. Timburr gets an easy win, as does Psychic Staryu. Vullaby can use Bulky Pivot Mienfoo as set-up bait and wins versus Scarf and Bulky Pivot. The only sets I can think of that win versus S-ranks are Scarf beating LO Abra and Mienfoo in general beating Defensive Staryu (although that risks being Scald burned and you could potentially recover stall HJKs.) I'll let you see the calcs for yourself:
Vs Abra (Sash)

240 SpA Abra Psychic vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 18-24 (85.7 - 114.2%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
76+ Atk Mienfoo U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Abra: 22-26 (115.7 - 136.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
The following turn, Abra kills. Mienfoo loses, unless Fake Out.

236 Atk Mienfoo U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Abra: 22-28 (115.7 - 147.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
240 SpA Abra Psychic vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mienfoo: 36-44 (171.4 - 209.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.


Vs Abra (Life Orb)

240 SpA Life Orb Abra Psychic vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 23-31 (109.5 - 147.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.

236 Atk Mienfoo Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Abra: 32-38 (168.4 - 200%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo wins.
(Although in the situation LO Abra is paired with webs, it would win.)


Vs Timburr

76+ Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Timburr: 12-15 (50 - 62.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
196+ Atk Iron Fist Timburr Drain Punch vs. 0 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 9-12 (42.8 - 57.1%) -- 12.1% chance to 2HKO
Timburr currently has 71% HP after DP recovery. Mienfoo has 58%.
The turn repeats, with Timburr now at 42% and Mienfoo at 16%.
196+ Atk Iron Fist Timburr Mach Punch vs. 0 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 6-7 (28.5 - 33.3%) -- 0% chance to 3HKO
Mienfoo loses.

236 Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Timburr: 12-15 (50 - 62.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
196+ Atk Iron Fist Timburr Drain Punch vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Mienfoo: 15-18 (71.4 - 85.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Mienfoo still loses.


Sidenote: Mienfoo will always lose DP wars with Timburr in this case, which is why I wasn't calcing it. And Knock + HJK loses as well.

Vs Staryu

116 SpA Staryu Psychic vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 10-14 (47.6 - 66.6%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO
76+ Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Staryu: 12-15 (63.1 - 78.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Mienfoo loses.

236 Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Staryu: 12-15 (63.1 - 78.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
116 SpA Analytic Staryu Psychic vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mienfoo: 22-28 (104.7 - 133.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.

Vs Vullaby (Offensive)

156 Atk Vullaby Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 18-24 (85.7 - 114.2%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
76+ Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 116 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Vullaby: 12-15 (48 - 60%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO
Mienfoo loses.

236 Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 116 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Vullaby: 12-15 (48 - 60%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO
156 Atk Vullaby Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Mienfoo: 32-38 (152.3 - 180.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.

Vs Vullaby (Nasty Plot)

Vullaby Nasty Plots.
76+ Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 116 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Vullaby: 12-15 (48 - 60%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO
+2 240+ SpA Vullaby Air Slash vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 24-30 (114.2 - 142.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses and gives Vullaby a free +2 +2.

236 Atk Mienfoo High Jump Kick vs. 116 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Vullaby: 12-15 (48 - 60%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO
240+ SpA Vullaby Air Slash vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mienfoo: 24-30 (114.2 - 142.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Mienfoo loses.


I won't do all the calcs for the A+ mons but using common sense I imagine Mienfoo loses versus Croagunk, Shellder (calced this and ScarfFoo loses but Bulky wins), and Foongus; SturdyJuice Onix actually wins vs Bulky and trades with Scarf Foo if running Explosion; and Mienfoo wins vs Diglett and Grimer-A. Should an S-rank really have this bad of a record? Out of 11 other Pokemon, Mienfoo only guaran otees a win versus 2 of them!

Now I know what you might be thinking. That showing all these 1v1 calcs does not really prove anything because Mienfoo will rarely be in a 1v1 scenario and can just pivot out of a bad matchup. But that's the problem; being forced to pivot out by a variety of top tier threats. In a lot of situations Mienfoo is forced to lose the matchup or switch and hope for a better one. And if the opponent plays correctly, they won't give Mienfoo this better situation. And, to be fair, even non-fast pivot Mienfoo ends up leading a lot anyways.

But, given these calcs, the better set for Mienfoo is Scarf. However, there a myriad of issues with ScarfFoo I think people overlook. First off, locking yourself into Hi Jump Kick. This basically forces a switch if the opponent has a Ghost or a Pokemon with Protect (Spritzee, for example) which is definitely a momentum loss for you. On these teams, you need to lock yourself into Drain Punch or Knock Off. Drain Punch has much less power, however, and Knock Off can easily be taken advantage of. Another key problem ScarfFoo faces is its bulk, meaning it can't switch into moves that would otherwise be very favorable to switch into, like LO Gastly's Shadow Ball or LO Pawniard's Iron Head. This limits ScarfFoo's utility and makes it even harder to successfully carve its way into a match.

Also, I'd like to take a look at how common Mienfoo's best checks are. This is using 1760 usage stats from May, which I know aren't the most reliable (i.e Larvesta getting more usage than Ponyta) but should give you a somewhat accurate representation of what is popular / most used in the metagame right now. Here are some results:
1 | Vullaby | 46.50774% | 25310 | 20.934% | 19546 | 21.173%
Most common Pokemon and one of the best Mienfoo checks.
7 | Abra | 24.91100% | 34877 | 28.847% | 24647 | 26.699%
One of the best offensive checks to Mienfoo and is great right now.
8 | Foongus | 19.37756% | 11771 | 9.736% | 9204 | 9.970%
On another side of the spectrum, a great defensive check to common Mienfoo sets.
15 | Snubbull | 10.91294% | 5958 | 4.928% | 4679 | 5.068%
Still in the top 15, and walls Mienfoo entirely (except non-PJ variants)

And these are just Mienfoo's best checks, it has a slew of other checks in the top 15 (Timburr, Staryu, Gastly, Shellder, BJ Chinchou) that all make it hard for Mienfoo to succeed in the metagame. But although you could Knock their items off and could predict the switch and you could chip these threats down this brings up a whole new problem of prediction and hypothetical scenarios which have risks entirely their own. But let's say you don't trust these usage stats and instead want to focus on a more reliable source. Courtesy of Drew we have access to LCPL usage stats so we can also take a look at those for some more data.

Now, glancing at these usage stats, they all look fairly similar. Mienfoo, Onix, and Vullaby in the top 3 slots (which was the case for all weeks except 4 where Pawniard stole the number 2 spot) and then trailed by a few key Pokemon. Here's some Week 6 data for you:
| 1 | Vullaby | 17 | 56.67% | 52.94% |
| 2 | Mienfoo | 15 | 50.00% | 46.67% |
| 3 | Onix | 13 | 43.33% | 61.54% |
| 4 | Pawniard | 12 | 40.00% | 33.33% |
| 5 | Foongus | 9 | 30.00% | 55.56% |
| 5 | Staryu | 9 | 30.00% | 44.44% |
| 5 | Abra | 9 | 30.00% | 33.33% |
| 8 | Croagunk | 7 | 23.33% | 57.14% |
| - | Pumpkaboo-* | 7 | 23.33% | 42.86% |

| 9 | Diglett | 6 | 20.00% | 83.33% |
| 10 | Doduo | 5 | 16.67% | 60.00% |
| 10 | Spritzee | 5 | 16.67% | 40.00%

I've Italicized Pokemon, in the most common scenario, that check Mienfoo. Onix, Pawniard, and Diglett were the only ones (I think) I did not Italicize. Some of these you could argue against (Dodrio can't switch into a HJK, for example) but for the most part I would say it's an accurate list. As you can clearly see, there are very few Pokemon that Mienfoo beats most of the time on here. And you might say that's because of how good Mienfoo, and, while that is partially true, it is also because these mons are good, and that Mienfoo can't keep up with how many of its checks are succeeding in the metagame right now.

I've given you the paper, and you will probably argue with the practice. However, all S and A+ mons will do pretty good in practice. That's why they are ranked so high. And, because I really want to wrap this up, I'm not going to provide some LCPL replays where Mienfoo did nothing because that would be hard to find, hard to argue, and a lot of work. Mienfoo will probably do something every match. But is it significant? Sure, Mienfoo can Fake Out mons on Webs but it still has a pretty terrible matchup in that case where the only mon it really can succeed against is Pawniard. And, for the most part, Mienfoo cannot switch into Pawniard. Furthermore, Mienfoo is almost useless versus LO Abra, which should be on every Webs team and the only thing I can see Mienfoo doing vs it is Fake Outing it. That's it. Pumpkaboo is also a pretty big thorn in Mienfoo's side, as Scarf can't click HJK like you would want to in that scenario. Webs is undoubtedly one of the best playstyles right now, which is why I am using it as an example.

Well I've written too much probably about this topic and I know you will still probably not be convinced. My argument probably has some flaws I've overlooked. Although it is my hope by writing like 10 paragraphs about this nom that you at least somewhat consider it.
"Now I know what you might be thinking. That showing all these 1v1 calcs does not really prove anything because Mienfoo will rarely be in a 1v1 scenario"

That is precisely why your argument falls apart.

Lets take a step back and understand what the S rank means. The S rank is not for Pokemon who are over-powered or broken. It is for the Pokemon who define the metagame. You can see by the usage stats you posted that Mienfoo certainly defines the meta. You don't get to the number 2 spot by being "useless."

Scarf Mienfoo is not a sweeper, its a cleaner. Encounter this Pokemon in the late game, when all of its checks aren't at full HP and still holding onto eviolite, (and Mienfoo is still healthy because of its fantastic ability) and come back and tell me its 'useless.' I mean, judging just by your usages stats Mienfoo still manages to 2KO most of its checks even at full HP with eviolite. Thats damn powerful.
You seem to think that less damage = less useful. You have to consider how important pivots are to succeeding in the metagame. Mienfoo's ability to come in and get out consistently while also restoring HP is extremely useful. Its usefulness may not be obvious, sure, but gaining the momentum can easily put the match in your favor.

And like Nineage said above me (just read his post its much better than mine) Mienfoo can just do so much. I did not list all of its coverage and support moves to try and show how it can 1v1 the entire metagame. Of course not, no Pokemon can do that. The reason I said Mienfoo is the perfect Pokemon is because it is one of the few Pokemon where its stats, abilities and movesets seemingly come together in perfect harmony. Mienfoo is the pepperoni pizza of Pokemon.
No other Pokemon comes close to providing the same amount of utility as Mienfoo does.

I apologize if my post comes off as rude, thats not my intention. I'm just sort of surprised that Mienfoo dropping out of S is even being considerd. I must say, though, your post is very well written and I do agree with the other nominations you made.
 
I would like to bring this mon into everyone's notice !

Skorupi @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sniper
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 196 Atk / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Cross Poison
- Brick Break / Aqua Tail
- Pursuit


Uhm...I found this set better than the accupressure one. This thing has 4x resistance to fighting type moves which 99% of the teams have. Not much people know of this pokemon or its set so it will be a good surprise for the opposing player. Cross Poison / Poison Jab are its only reliable STAB move which is used against fairy and grass types. Knock off is a great utility move which removes life orb or eviolite and does a great damage o psychic and ghost types. Brick Break is something which I loved to use because mostly Pawniard is used as a switch-in for Skorupi so why not OHKO Pawniard with Brick Break? Brick Break doesn't do much damage to rock types like Onix so Aqua Tail can be used instead. If you have a fighting type + this mon as your core then I would recommend you to use Aqua Tail. It already has such a great amount of defense so most likely you will get a negligible damage from Fighting/Bug/Poison/Grass/Fairy moves. If you are using Sniper and luckily get a crit then the resulting damage would be too high. It is basically used as a mid game or an end game changer. Its inability to take special hits is its only disadvantage since its SpD is very low. Pairing it with Diglett is more than too much for the opposite team since Diglett traps the opposing rock/fire types and OHKOs with Earthquake or Rock Slide OR you may pair it with Staryu which resists fire moves or Drilbur which resists rock moves and further helps in removing hazards through Rapid Spin.
Stop underestimating this pokemon and give it a rank...

Lord Skorupi: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-563533631
 
Last edited:

Drew

formerly LitsYaBoi1337
is a Contributor to Smogon
I would like to bring this mon into everyone's notice !

Skorupi @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sniper
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 196 Atk / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Cross Poison
- Brick Break / Aqua Tail
- Pursuit


Uhm...I found this set better than the accupressure one. This thing has 4x resistance to fighting type moves which 99% of the teams have. Not much people know of this pokemon or its set so it will be a good surprise for the opposing player. Cross Poison / Poison Jab are its only reliable STAB move which is used against fairy and grass types. Knock off is a great utility move which removes life orb or eviolite and does a great damage o psychic and ghost types. Brick Break is something which I loved to use because mostly Pawniard is used as a switch-in for Skorupi so why not OHKO Pawniard with Brick Break? Brick Break doesn't do much damage to rock types like Onix so Aqua Tail can be used instead. If you have a fighting type + this mon as your core then I would recommend you to use Aqua Tail. It already has such a great amount of defense so most likely you will get a negligible damage from Fighting/Bug/Poison/Grass/Fairy moves. If you are using Sniper and luckily get a crit then the resulting damage would be too high. It is basically used as a mid game or an end game changer. Its inability to take special hits is its only disadvantage since its SpD is very low. Pairing it with Diglett is more than too much for the opposite team since Diglett traps the opposing rock/fire types and OHKOs with Earthquake or Rock Slide OR you may pair it with Staryu which resists fire moves or Drilbur which resists rock moves and further helps in removing hazards through Rapid Spin.
Stop underestimating this pokemon and give it a rank...

Lord Skorupi: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-563533631
Ignoring your points to make a point of my own, how does that replay show how Skorupi is good at all. Everything it did in that game Grimer-A could have done better. In fact, the first time you were in you against it you just switched out to Onix which worked fine, and yes I do understand you were locked into Pursuit, but A-Grimes could had easily stayed in and Poison Jabbed if you needed chip damage. Towards the end where you were against Foo, you just died to a few Knock Offs, where Grimes could've survived a few Drain Punches anyway while dealing more damage and having a better chance to poison. I feel like you just chose a replay with Skorupi without actually looking for one that showcased it well. :/
 
Slowpoke to A-

Slowpoke has gained a lot of usage throughout lcpl and ssnls due to it being a reliable answer/wall to a lot of scary mons such as mudbray, onix, croagunk and shellder to name a few. It's ridiculously bulky with regenerator scald (which speaks for itself) and slack off not to mention switching in to it's dual stab isn't the easiest thing mons like pumpkaboo and vullaby being chipped and potentially burned by scald and mons like pawniard and ferroseed risking potential fire blast. Overall it's an incredible mon to check a lot of common threats right now and I feel it should move up.


Wynaut to B+
This mon is really solid right now. It's a trapper having the ability with max speed to encore berry juice and trap mons like Timburr, Snubbull, Foongus, Slowpoke, Abra etc. Basically if it can't ohko wynaut (which is hard to do) and doesn't have knock off. It dies to wynaut. The ability to simply trap and kill at least one pokemon of choice makes it a very good mon right now and it's rank should rise because of this.
 

Shrug

Sexuall Posts
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
Mag to A-. Bad bird check when everything has knock off and the secondary STAB being steel is less useful than Chou's water. it's also outclasses by chinchou in terms of coming into other things (ex staryu). more powerful sure but eh, better bring chou and supplement it with knock offs rather than bring a dumbass mag and gain no defensive and minimal offensive synergy. recycle users should be shot

Doduo to A. this thing is a menace in most games. good coverage w jump kick, utility in knock and quick attack, and obviously power in brave bird. cute flyium-z set too with ssss to get a kill and mirror move for select opportunities. i once switched flyz doduo into an onix eq zmmd and swept, which felt almost unbelievably good. scarf gets a lot of shit for dying to 3 brave bird recoils but shouts to all my real ones (currently just me) using drill peck over dumbshit pursuit or whatever on scarf doduo. allows u to get kills on SE thigns where BB is doing 143%-157% in the calc while cutting 60% of ur own hp. save the extra power for that 72% staryu pr whatever lategame.

Cottonee to B+. sometimes im like yea i want a fighting check that dies to sludge bomb from croagunk ice punch from timburr and allows miefoo to uturn into the pokeequivalent of a cannon to fire off an attack for 1 million damadge. when i do this, i click cottonee and then wonder "hm, why am i losing"

Torchic to A-. yeaaaa boy. love tryna contort myself into a 69 like position to get a good switchin to lo fireblast STAB, but when 69ing in theory both sides are being pleasured, while w torchic yr just getting rudely fucked. and then u do it and suddenly a mon with 24 def 48 attack and 25 hp w intact eviolite has +3 speed and all ur counters are gone to the fire bladts. this thing totally deserves to be in b rank with hippopotas, the mon that eveyeryone hates and that sucks. just kidding, move it up
 
hi fellers. bad news. i am being blackmailed by an esteemed user of this community. i have no choice but to comply or lose my reputation as the man behind little cup's spiciest takes. and so i present to you, with a little regret, the mud pony post.

(pictured: mudbray leaping from a to b+)
i nominate mudbray to move from a to b+ rank

mudbray is called the
donkey pokemon because it looks like a donkey and is a pokemon. however despite its sassy mohawk i think it is really more of a pony because it grows up into a horse.

however the current metagame is not friendly to mudbray. this is probably due to
racism and speciesism.

why is mudbray bad said the ignoramus.

i will tell you why mudbray is bad said the man behind little cup's spiciest takes.

1. staryu
staryu is one of the best pokemon in little cup. it has great utility and splashability and can perform many different roles. it can safely switch in on and beat all non-choice scarf mudbray.

2. abra
abra (especially life orb abra on sticky web teams) is probably the most centralizing pokemon in little cup right now. it has very few switch-ins. mudbray is more often than not dead weight against abra webs teams. while berry juice mudbray nominally has a chance beat life orb abra without energy ball 1v1, it is easily chipped and will probably not be at full health.

3. not really a consistent physical attacker check
mudbray lacks reliable recovery outside of rest and thus is an unreliable check to notable physical attackers because it is so easily worn down. its low speed does not help it in this regard. it lacks the splashability of a pokemon like foongus or snubbull and is most often outclassed defensively and in terms of utility by these pokemon. if rest mudbray is used, it lacks offensive presence and puts little pressure on the opponent. mudbray's best set is probably choice scarf, which i will address later in this post.

4. birds
flying-types, like vullaby, doduo, and rufflet, often force mudbray users to predict. while heavy slam can do high damage to pokemon, it is not as powerful as stab earthquake. rock slide only really hits flying-types considering mudbray's other coverage moves and does little damage if not super-effective. close combat has the unfortunate side effect of lowering mudbray's defenses, which is really not good for a pokemon supposed to have defensive utility.

5. ground-type scarfers are easily played around
ground-type scarfers like drilbur and mudbray are appealing because they have very high attack stats and thus can do a lot of damage. however ground-types are unfortunately, as explored above, easily checked by flying-types and are forced into frequent 50/50's because of this. this is especially detrimental to the choice scarf set because it cannot switch moves. mudbray is also a very slow scarfer, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but one of the most important aspects of the current little cup metagame is speed control- note how most every team has a choice scarf user or a weak armor user or multiple sources of priority or any combination thereof. as mudbray is so slow it cannot perform many of the important roles a scarfer performs on a contemporary team (e.g. checking weak armor users).

there are other reasons but i'm in a rush because i am scared that coconut someone will steal my ideas! please enjoy my post.
 
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I think to start off, I will just simply give my thoughts on nominations.

Wynaut B- ---> B+ (Strongly Agree)

Wynaut is so underrated rn. Not only can it disable many top threats offensively, most notably Abra, but it can give set-up sweepers a free turn of set-up against hazard-stack teams. Not much else to this one honestly. Rise it, because wynaut? .3.

Doduo A- ---> A (Agree)

It is a great revenge killer, taking out key threats such as Mienfoo and Vullaby, two major threats in LC. I don't exactly know what if anything has changed in Doduo's favor, but ig I feel it's underrated...

Mienfoo S ---> A+ (HAHAHA)

Why is this being considered? Mienfoo is simply meta-defining with Scarf and Regenerator. It shines the best out of all the fighting-types. Mienfoo is easily the best Pokémon in the metagame, and has no real reason to drop.

Not a formal nomination, but I do think Timburr needs to drop. I can't put my finger on why, but I just do.
 
Corphish A- to B+

Corphish has struggled with Croagunk seeing high usage and bulky grasses such as Foongus and Ferroseed being defensive backbones for a lot of teams. Being forced to run 2 water moves as well as a boosting move really hinders it, water just isnt a great offensive typing right now. It also struggles with coverage besides knock off and is forced to run stuff like flynium z which compromises its defenses and limits what it can setup on.
Torchic B+ to A-

Torchic has been really good lately, both by itself and on webs teams which is a more recent trend. It can function as a late game cleaner as well as a wallbreaker with sets like Z-Fire Blast being popular. Considering Carvanha is in A- right now and they do a lot of the same things Torchic has a strong case to be there. Like carv, torch hits hard with strong STAB and coverage but torch stands out by being able to stay healthier by pivoting out with baton pass while also passing speed. Not dying to mach punch is also a huge benefit for torch. I also failed to mention this when talking about z fire blast but Zmove torchic can switch into weaker knock offs from things like ferroseed and it's always nice to gain momentum like that.
Archen B to B+

Archen has seen a rise in usage recently, notably in some LCPL matches. With mixed archen having great coverage in heat wave and hidden power grass while also having access to extremely strong STAB moves in Acrobatics, Head Smash, and Rock slide Arhcen deserves a rise to B+. It's just so hard to switch into nowadays and can also provide support with defog and other utlity moves. It can fill a lot of coverage slots while also switching into certain things because of it's typing and berry juice.
Elekid B+ to A-

Elekid has always been good but seems to really be doing well with new innovations. The Z-Psychic set is amazing for dealing with fighters, and also doesn't get worn down like LO does. Z-Thunderbolt also deserves a mention as a nuke to catch certain stuff off guard like agrime. LO Elekid is still good and pressures teams quite a bit because very few mons can switch into elekid's coverage.


I would also like to add that I somewhat agree wtih Mudbray dropping, just not to B+, A- seems like a good place for it right now. It's been very underwhelming lately, as an offensive presence it struggles due to its speed and the fact that it's STAB is switched into by flying types and close combat weakens its defenses and also is outclassed by bj chou as a stop to shellder(niche role btw ), but at the same time it's still an amazing defensive pokemon that causes headaches with Stamina. I also agree Plas's nom of Slowpoke to A- and I'll add a little bit to what plas said by mentioning the calm mind set is really good right now and fucntions a lot like CM Lati in UU and is very hard to stop after a few boosts once things like pawnaird are removed due to it's ridicoulus defense and HP. Shrug's noms of Torchic to A- and Cott to B+ I also agree with wholeheartedly. I didn't see your nom earlier shrug so sorry for doubling the torchic nom but I really agree with both Torch and Cott moving. Cottonee has struggled to do it's job lately with things like grimer a running around and struggles to switch into any fighter, as shrug mentioned ice punch timburr, but also you just lose momentum switching it into a foo that might uturn or even pjab(tho that is admittedly rare) and Torch I wnet over above.
 
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