Pokemon RBY In-game Tiers - Mark II

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This is random, but was I the only person who was unaware that it is actually possible to obtain 5 pokeballs from Professor Oak in RBY?!? If you beat your rival on route 22 and then backtrack and talk to Oak without buying any pokeballs or catching any pokemon, he will give you 5 pokeballs! And I thought I knew everything about this game...

I'm thinking from my current playthrough that Yellow Squirtle is good enough for High. I was a little concerned about the very low level it came at, but it is very easy for it to catch up. I babied it against the trainers east of Vermillion (it was even able to beat a few things on its own). It was at level 18 when all the trainers were beaten. Then I just went to Diglett's Cave and took it to level 22, at which point I decided that level 22 was good enough. The whole process of going from level 10 to level 22 took around 30 minutes. I continued my journey by going east of Cerulean, where Wartortle proved to be very useful against the large number of Ground types there (it also held its own against the weak normal types like Rattata). Its usefulness continued through Rock Tunnel, and from there it just plays like RB Squirtle.

It isn't top because it does come at a very low level, but given how easy it is to grind and how useful it proves to be along the upcoming routes (and the game in general), High seems like a good fit.

Also, in regards to my quest for Porygon, I have been spending as little money as possible so I can get it as soon as I can (I have bought 1 pokeball total which I was able to get away with thanks to discovering that Oak can give you pokeballs). I have also been selling anything that I didn't absolutely need. This includes basic stuff like Potions but also things like Vitamins and even TMs that I wan't going to use, like Bide and Seismic Toss! I'm at Lavender and I have enough for about 5000 coins, so I'm probably NOT going to be able to get it as soon as I reach Celadon (not that I was expecting to). Not that it matters; Porygon is obviously going to be Low tier (I'm only using it so I can get an idea of its battling strengths, though I'm not expecting much).
This is random, but was I the only person who was unaware that it is actually possible to obtain 5 pokeballs from Professor Oak in RBY?!? If you beat your rival on route 22 and then backtrack and talk to Oak without buying any pokeballs or catching any pokemon, he will give you 5 pokeballs! And I thought I knew everything about this game...
O.O wait what???
I did not know that Atsync, I mean I knew about it in other generations but wow.

I actually just found a Pokemon Trading Card Game secret as well, so that's cool. It's good we are playing through all of these old games, we're finding secrets we didn't know before.

In any case, I think Porygon will be ultimately Bottom-tier. It's really hard to obtain, and giving it Hyper Beam will be really expensive, but possibly necessary.


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I swear its true lol. I read about it randomly on Bulbapaedia's Pallet Town page when I was looking for hidden items to find and sell for Porygon, so I decided to test it and it worked!

@ Garud: I wasn't even gonna bother with Hyper Beam. It's bad enough that I have to get all of this money for Porygon and going for Hyper Beam just adds to that! I plan to just run Thunderbolt/Blizzard/Psychic/Recover because I have the TMs free. If I need a STAB I guess I'll just use Tri Attack or something...


EDIT: Ok I know I said that I wouldn't have enough coins for Porygon during my 1st visit in Celadon, and I don't, but I should say that by the time I left I had 8660 coins. I can thank the Rocket Hideout for that, as it has 2 Nuggets, a Rare Candy, 2 Vitamins, and a few useless TMs (I also sold Double-Edge since I didn't want it). Once I get through Pokemon Tower I should be close to 9999.


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Didn't porygon cost like 6500 coins in Blue?
Yes, but it also comes at level 18, whereas Red and Yellow get it for 9999 coins at level 26. I think Blue still wins out slightly (I would actually have Porygon by now if I were playing Blue), but neither option is particularly great.
I swear its true lol. I read about it randomly on Bulbapaedia's Pallet Town page when I was looking for hidden items to find and sell for Porygon, so I decided to test it and it worked!
The only reason that's on there is because I added it. [/shameless plug]
In fact, my edit was reverted twice by two different people claiming it was false, until I showed them a Youtube video which I had found earlier entirely by accident.

For something as basic as receiving 5 Poke Balls at the start of the game, it's almost ridiculously obscure. Not many people would try to solo an optional battle and then go all the way back to Pallet and talk to Oak.

(Note: The video description also fails to mention that you cannot evolve your starter. If you do, you have 2 Pokemon in your Pokedex and the game will act as if you have caught another Pokemon.)


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Mind is blown.

I'll probably have time to update tomorrow. A bit back I posted some feedback on the last submitted entries...I hope the people who wrote those entries can implement that (it's the reason I held off on updating). If you wrote something after that, I guess you'll just have to wait for a bit!
So I finished my Red playthrough (which took far longer than it should have), and here are the entries for the Pokemon I used. If anything seems off, please say so.

Jigglypuff - Low Tier
-Availability: You can catch it at Route 3 in Red and Blue, at levels 3, 5, and 7. In Yellow, you have to wait until you get to Route 5. It evolves by using a Moon Stone, which can be obtained shortly after catching Jigglypuff.
-Stats: The only stat that can be considered "good" is HP, which is actually a curse in disguise, as if it has low health, it'll take more items to heal it than others. It's also one of those Pokemon that are actually outsped by some of the non-boss trainers' Pokemon.
-Movepool: Considering its only move before reaching level 9 is Sing, it needs Water Gun and/or Mega Punch to actually fight. Also, aside from Rest and Body Slam at levels 29 and 34, respectively, its level-up movepool is absolutely barren, thus requiring the use of even more TMs for it to try to keep up.
-Power: If you evolved it ASAP (which you should have) and taught it Mega Punch, it's actually pretty decent. Then you reach Rock Tunnel, and it can't do much in there unless you taught it Water Gun/BubbleBeam/Seismic Toss, and it has trouble in Pokemon Tower no matter what you taught it. The Poison-types of Cycling Road and Silph are also a pain unless you taught it Psychic. To make a long story short, Wigglytuff needs TMs to be usable for at least half of the game.
-Type: Normal has no type advantages against anything else, not even Ghost because the only Ghost-type move that won't affect Normal-types is the pathetic Lick. The fact that Normal-types don't hit anything super-effectively balances out how uncommon Fighting-types are in-game.
--Misty: An interesting trick against Misty that actually works: Before fighting her, make sure Wigglytuff knows Mega Punch and Bide. Then, when fighting her, defeat Staryu normally, with Mega Punch. After that, use Bide. Wigglytuff's bulk should allow it to take 4 BubbleBeams (barring crits, of course), and if it loses at least 30 HP, its Bide will be strong enough to OHKO Starmie.
--Lt. Surge: Wigglytuff can take a Thunderbolt from Raichu, but not much else on top of it.
--Erika: You'll get Wrapped up when fighting Victreebel. It can beat her other Pokemon, but only if you taught it Ice Beam or Psychic.
--Koga: In Red and Blue, his Pokemon are physically defensive juggernauts, all of which take minor damage from Strength, and in Yellow, they all know some sort of status move. Keep in mind that his Pokemon are most likely faster than Wigglytuff.
--Sabrina: Wigglytuff can defeat her Kadabra if it knows Body Slam and manages to paralyze it. For the others, it has to hope they use Psywave instead of Psybeam/Psychic.
--Blaine: Fire Blast is going to do a lot, regardless of who's using it. Don't forget that Ninetales (Yellow only) and Rapidash know Fire Spin. Also, Arcanine can actually survive 2 uses of Strength.
--Giovanni: Wigglytuff needs Ice Beam or Blizzard for this fight, or else it's going to be walled. The sad thing is, his Nidos, Dugtrio, and Persian are all faster than Wiggs, and of those, Dugtrio's the only one that can't withstand a Blizzard.
--Lorelei: Thunderbolt is required here, as 3 of her Pokemon have great physical bulk, and Dewgong (obviously not one of the above 3) has Rest. Of course, Thunderbolt has trouble 2HKOing the majority of her team, all of which (minus Slowbro) are faster than it, meaning it'll most likely take at least 3 hits from each mon.
--Bruno: I don't think any explanation as to how Bruno defeats Wigglytuff is necessary.
--Agatha: If Wigglytuff has a hard time in Pokemon Tower, how well do you honestly think it'll do against Agatha?
--Lance: It's a sad day when a Thunderbolt fails to even 2HKO a Gyarados. Same goes for Blizzard and everything else on his team, except for Aerodactyl and Dragonite. Thankfully, Wigglytuff has just enough bulk to survive a Hyper Beam from anything not named Gyarados or Dragonite.
--Rival: It needs TMs to do well against any of his Pokemon, with the exceptions of Exeggutor, which is the worst Pokemon on his team, and his Alakazam and starter, which can't be beaten regardless of what you taught Wigglytuff. Ninetales also poses a serious threat, thanks to Fire Spin.
-Additional Comments: Third worst Pokemon in the game, right here. Jigglypuff is comparable to a parasite, as they both rob you of important things (exclusive TMs for the former, nutrients for the latter) and weaken your performance overall. Thankfully, Jigglypuff is easier to get rid of than a parasite, and the way do do so is as follows:
Step 1: Deposit Jigglypuff/Wigglytuff.
Step 2: Release Jigglypuff/Wigglytuff.
That's pretty much all you need to know about Jigglypuff.

Mankey (unavailable in Blue) - Mid Tier
-Availability: In Yellow, you can find it as early as Route 22, while in Red, you'll have to wait until Route 5, where it can be found at levels 10, 12, 14, and 16. It evolves at level 28, which is rather late for a Pokemon that only evolves once.
-Stats: Standard combination of good Speed and Attack, even though it's somewhat lacking for the latter. Admittedly, its Speed could be considered overkill, considering the fact that Karate Chop, its main move, crits all of the time.
-Movepool: In terms of level-up moves, it doesn't really gain much of note outside of Low Kick (Yellow only) and Karate Chop. For TMs, it greatly appreciates Dig to hit Poison-types. It's also one of the few Pokemon that can learn and make good use of Rock Slide. Believe it or not, Submission, its best STAB, is actually not as good as you might think, because despite the fact that it nabs several KOes Karate Chop can't, its 80% accuracy combined with its 1/3 recoil.
-Power: Mankey's between a rock and a hard place here, as unless it's using Submission (which makes its frailty even more noticable), its neutral hits just barely miss out on OHKOing its opponents, even after evolving. This holds true for the entire game.
-Type: Fighting is resisted by the majority of Pokemon in the game, and the lack of a secondary type doesn't exactly help it in that regard.
--Brock: He is swept, thanks to Low Kick.
--Misty: Mankey's just too frail to stand up to Starmie.
--Lt. Surge: Victory or loss agaist Lt. Surge in Red depends on whether you taught Mankey Dig or not. However, in Yellow, Raichu outspeeds Mankey and OHKOes it.
--Erika: Primeape can beat either Vileplume or Victreebel, but not both. It beats Tangela no matter what.
--Koga: In Red, all of his Pokemon are able to stomach a Dig and strike back with Sludge or Selfdestruct, and in Yellow, his entire team knows Psychic.
--Sabrina: Primeape's fast enough to get the first swing in, but can't OHKO any of her Pokemon. It then gets OHKOed with Psybeam or Psychic. At least it can beat Mr. Mime and Venomoth.
--Blaine: Fire Blast and Take Down both hurt, but if Primeape knows Dig (which it should if you're using it), it can beat all of his Pokemon, save for Arcanine.
--Giovanni: All of his Pokemon (except for Persian) can withstand a Submission and strike back with Earthquake/Thunder/Body Slam.
--Lorelei: Dewgong will spam Rest even if it's at full health because it's a Psychic-type move, allowing Primeape to beat it easily. The same applies for Slowbro and Amnesia, but it's easily more durable, taking as much damage from Karate Chop as a Super Potion heals, leading to a stalemate. It can also beat Jynx and Cloyster, but has trouble with Lapras.
--Bruno: This is an uncommon scenario: one where Hitmonchan is actually threatening. The reason? Counter. If you use any attacking move not called Rock Slide or Dig on Hitmonchan, it can Counter it and most likely KO Primeape. Hitmonlee's and Machamp's attacks also hurt.
--Agatha: This battle is a lost cause if Primeape doesn't know Dig, but with Dig, she is swept, save for Golbat, who can be crushed by Rock Slide.
--Lance: In Red, his Dragonair and Dragonite know non-damaging Psychic-type attacks, allowing Primeape to beat them without taking any damage. In Yellow, however, Lance's entire team becomes much more threatening, and Primeape can only beat the Dragonair.
--Rival: Alakazam and the starter always win against Primeape, while the rest of his team has varying levels of easiness (Gyarados = no dice, Pidgeot, Ninetales, Cloyster, and Sandslash are risky but doable, Rhydon and Exeggutor don't stand much of a chance).
-Additional Comments: Mankey is a poor man's Sandshrew, seeing as how it's weaker, frailer, and evolves later. Despite this, Mankey is definitely usable and has potential to be good, albeit at the price of Dig and possibly Rock Slide.

Scyther (unavailable in Blue) - Low Tier
-Availability: There are 2 ways to get a Scyther, and neither of them are pretty. The less expensive but also less recommended way is by looking for it in the Safari Zone. Keep in mind that it's a 4% encounter at best, and they tend to run away after one turn. The recommended but far more expensive method is to spend 110,000 poke (130,000 in Yellow) at the Game Corner. Regardless of the method, it'll be at level 25 (or close to it) when you get it.
-Stats: It has good Attack and great Speed. It also has enough bulk to take a few neutral physical hits.
-Movepool: Scyther's movepool is disappointingly shallow, outside of Slash (which it learns at level 29). It learns Swords Dance and Agility, but it never has a use for either of them, as Slash's omnipresent criticals negate the attack boosts from Swords Dance and Scyther's already faster than almost everything already, making Agility useless. Also, its attacking movepool is composed entirely of Normal-type attacks, with the exception of Wing Attack in Yellow, but Scyther doesn't learn it until level 50, and it's so weak that the only thing it hits harder than Slash is Ghost-types, which are in only one battle in the game by the time Scyther might have learned it.
-Power: By the time you get it (assuming you played the game normally), you'll be at Pokemon Tower, where the majority of enemies happen to be Ghost-types, which wall Scyther better than *insert food of your choice here* tastes. Assuming you chose to go to Cycling Road first, Scyther's going to have a very rough time catching up thanks to seemingly everybody there having a Poison-type with good Defense. Also, even with Slash, it still has a bit of trouble OHKOing Pokemon that have decent Defense.
-Typing: With everything else it has in mind, Scyther really would've appreciated if it was at least part Normal-type, so it would get STAB from Slash. Instead, it gets no STAB whatsoever (if you say Wing Attack...) as well as a weakness to Poison-type attacks. At least it isn't part Grass-type...
-Match-ups: Note: All of the following are assuming Scyther knows Slash, as its capabilities are quite feeble without it.
--Lt. Surge: His team is swept in Red, but Raichu can occasionally survive a Slash in Yellow thanks to its higher level and then proceed to OHKO with Thunderbolt.
--Erika: Scyther's faster than her team, making Wrap not as threatening as it would've been (unless of course Scyther got paralyzed prior to the fight), and it has a 4x resistance to Grass-type moves.
--Koga: Considering Scyther's weak to Poison-type attacks and Slash failing to 2HKO Koffing, things won't go well for it in Red. In Yellow, it has a better chance, and might be able to take down more than one of his Pokemon, assuming none of them use Stun Spore or Sleep Powder.
--Sabrina: Her entire team is outsped, and Kadabra and Mr. Mime are flat out OHKOed by Slash. Venomoth and Alakazam can both survive one Slash, but they need to use Psybeam and Psychic to beat Scyther. In Yellow, Scyther loses the Speed advantage and the ability to OHKO Kadabra, because of it being higher levelled.
--Blaine: Every member of his team knows Fire Blast, and as such I feel no need to explain what the outcome of this battle might be.
--Giovanni: His Rhyhorn/don wall Scyther, and the Nidos have enough bulk to take a Slash. In the transition from Red to Yellow, there's good news and bad news: the good news it that he got rid of his Rhyhorn and Dugtrio can no longer touch Scyther. The bad news is that Persian can do more to you than Rhyhorn can, and the Nidos learned Thunder.
--Lorelei: All of her Pokemon (barring Jynx, who is outsped and OHKOed) fit at least 1 of 2 criteria:
1. Can take repeated Slashes.
2. Know an Ice-type move of some sort.
--Bruno: This battle features a double rarity: His Onix actually holding their own against something, and Hitmonchan being genuinely threatening (thanks, Counter!).
--Agatha: Nothing doing.
--Lance: Hyper Beam does a chunk regardless of who's using it, and Scyther has trouble 2HKOing anything on his team. In Yellow, things are even more hostile, as all of his Pokemon, with the exception of Gyarados, know super-effective moves.
--Rival: First of all, make a list of every Pokemon he'll use when you fight him. Then, cross out anything that's faster than Scyther, are physically bulky, or have a type advantage. The remaining Pokemon on the list should be Exeggutor and Venusaur, as while Blastoise and Vaporeon don't completely meet any of the above categories, keep in mind that they know Ice-type attacks.
-Additional Comments: Scyther is the closest thing to a one-trick pony in RBY; it has Slash, but nothing else. It's also one of the most expensive Pokemon in the game, second only to Porygon, and when all you get from 5500 coins is a Pokemon which has only one good move (which has absolutely no super-effective coverage), something's wrong.

I'll write up the other entries when I have enough free time.


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Just updating to say I finally got Porygon! After Pokemon Tower I sold everything I could and bought coins to put me at 9860 coins total. I decided to gamble for the rest, which was a bit tideous. I saved in front of a slot machine and resaved when even I made a profit (and reset if I made a loss). So I guess Porygon can technically be obtained mid-game, althought it requires a lot of sacrifices.

I'm currently grinding it at Pokemon Tower (immune to Lick and can take a few Night Shades, but being so slow makes Confuse Ray annoying).
I apologize, I saw that image on the internet and thought it was funny. I didn't realize that one was an internet meme, actually.

Also, is it me, or does the Jolteon section need a remake? Its good, but not complete, even lacking Gym #4 - Gym #7 on the match ups section.

I'll copy and paste the write up so you guys can see what I mean

Jolteon - High Tier

Availability: Rather early (Erika's gym) and you can evolve it right away, but it's at a low level of 20.
Stats: Awesome Special and the highest Speed in the game bar Electrode. It's rather frail, however.
Movepool: Thunderbolt + 25% crit rate is just too good to pass up. Doesn't have much else of note, however.
Giovanni - Pretty poor match up here, unfortunately.
Lorelei - Almost a full sweep except for Jynx, who you should definitely switch out of. Everything else dies to Thunderbolt.
Bruno - Can't hit his 2 Onix, but beats the rest of his Pokemon with Thunderbolt.
Agatha - Struggles to take down her two Gengar and Haunter (who like to hit it with annoying status), but easily takes care of Golbat and Arbok.
Lance - OHKOes Gyarados, but not a fantastic match-up otherwise.
Rival - KOes Gyarados, Blastoise, Pidgeot, and Charizard with Thunderbolt. It won't get past Venusaur or Exeggutor and can't touch Rhydon.
I used a Staryu in my Red playthrough, so you don't have to use it. On the other hand, Shellder doesn't have an entry, meaning you can do that instead.

As for the Staryu entry, I'll get to it in 10-20 minutes. EDIT: Here it is.

-Staryu - High Tier
-Availability: Like most late-game Water-types, Staryu can be found in Seafoam Islands, at or around level 30. However, if you're really impatient, you can use a Super Rod at Fuschia City to catch one, but keep in mind that it can only be found at level 15 by that method. Being a stone evolution Pokemon, Staryu can evolve whenever you want.
-Stats: Starmie's Speed allows it to outspeed everything in the game (except for your rival's Jolteon in Yellow, but Jolteon wins that match-up regardless) as well as giving it a formidable 22.5% critical hit ratio, while its Special makes it a solid special attacker and also giving it decent special bulk.
-Movepool: Its unimpressive level-up movepool (barring the almighty Recover) is a double-edged sword; while it allows you to evolve Staryu as soon as you catch it, it also means it's largely reliant on TMs and Surf to be good. Thankfully, all it really needs is Surf and Psychic (whose competition is Mr. Mime, Jynx, and maybe Drowzee. In other words, fellow Psychic-types) to be a quality contributor. Thunderbolt and Ice Beam are just additional perks.
-Power: From the moment you evolve it and teach it Surf (and hopefully Psychic as well), Starmie is ready to duke it out with a good amount of trainers, and it will need to beat a lot in order to completely catch up, as the rest of your team should be at least level 36, while Starmie's only level 30-32, and it takes longer for it to level up than most others. Despite being on even playing ground in terms of levels, Starmie can still easily plow through opponents, provided it can hit them super-effectively. Once it's caught up, it can wash unresisted opponents away with Surf alone, and it's also one of the few late-game Water-types that doesn't have too much difficulty with fellow Water-types (thanks, Psychic and Thunderbolt!).
-Type: Starmie is one of a few Pokemon that have not just one, but two great STABs to use; Psychic is super-effective on a wide variety of things, and Surf allows it to absolutely flood Cinnabar and Viridian Gyms. Even Water Gun (which it should know when you catch it) can be useful for dealing with some Water-weak Pokemon, such as Rhyhorn or Growlithe, without wasting Surf's PP. Also, Grass, Electric, and Bug are all uncommon types in-game, meaning Starmie's opponents will most likely not be able to threaten it too much, thanks to Recover.
--Lt. Surge: Provided Raichu's Thunderbolt doesn't crit, Starmie has a pretty smooth time against him.
--Erika: To make a long story short, Starmie has no trouble with her if it knows Ice Beam or Psychic.
--Koga: Because you need to beat him to Surf outside of battle, you'll have to use one caught via the Super Rod, and thus have to train it up at least 20 levels to stand a chance against him. For the battle itself, Psychic destroys him in Red and Blue, and in Yellow, its performance is a bit rougher, but still doable.
--Sabrina: Starmie's at a stalemate against her Alakazam, as Surf and Psychic each do less than Recover heals. Your chances of victory in Yellow are slimmer, thanks to the level bump.
--Blaine: Swept away by Surf.
--Giovanni: Persian and Nidoqueen can take a Surf, but aside from that, he's the same as Blaine.
--Lorelei: Lapras is the only Pokemon on her team that can deal notable damage to Starmie, but Starmie will have a lot of trouble if it doesn't know Thunderbolt.
--Bruno: Considering that his entire team is weak to Starmie's STABs, not to mention the fact that none of them have good Special, this outcome should be obvious.
--Agatha: Her Ghost-types have enough special bulk to take a Psychic and confuse Starmie or put it to sleep. Her other Pokemon aren't too bad.
--Lance: Starmie sweeps his team, but only if it knows both Thunderbolt and Ice Beam. The former is needed for Gyarados, while the latter OHKOes his Dragonair and Dragonite.
--Rival: How well it does depends on what you taught it, but keep in mind that it will almost never beat his Alakazam, Magneton, or Jolteon.
-Additional Comments: Of all the late-game Water-types, Starmie stands out as quite possibly the (second) best of them, due to its great stats and wide (albeit TM dependent) movepool. While it doesn't excel from the moment you get it (not to mention it takes a while to catch up to the rest of the team), once it's caught up, it becomes a great Pokemon that's capable of beating most of the major battles by itself, given the proper support.
This is random, but was I the only person who was unaware that it is actually possible to obtain 5 pokeballs from Professor Oak in RBY?!?
looool, I think it is the opposite, almost nobody in the world knew this.

About Porygon:

I am thinking that the move Conversion gives an extra utility, Walls completly Lorelei(I can't remember if Dewgong has a Normal type attack and Lapras does in Yellow with Body Slam) and can "counter"(not much due to its crappy stats) Sabrina and Koga.

And remember that the move Conversion in RBY converts to the user into the type(s) of the opponent.

It learns Agility for to improve its crappy speed, but suffers a 4MSS (Agility/Conversion/Recover/Move that will be PP Stalled) and learns Agility late, at level 35.

With Conversion, the Normal STAB disappears(reminds me to Kecleon xd), but Porygon will be using x2 moves anyways, unless against physical frail with huge special such as most of Psychic mons.

Against Sabrina it can use Swift(TM) against her Psychic mons and against Psychic trainers at the Gym and Psybeam(for more PP) against the (Charmers?, users of ghosts)
Swift has the advantage of not being affected by Abra's Flash in Yellow.

Sadly it cannot learn Body Slam, it would help it with its low speed and with a good physical move, although logical, a cybernetic mon attacking with its body? (The logic runs away through the window when it can learn Tackle and Take Down/Double Edge)


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I am thinking that the move Conversion gives an extra utility
I'm glad you mentioned Conversion because I have used it in-game to some success. It works nicely because most pokemon rely on STAB + Normal for coverage, and converting to a type that resists itself adds to its survivability. Unfortunately it's too slow to pull it off consistently. Agility is there but Porygon will still have to take a hit as a Normal type to set it up so...

Walls completly Lorelei(I can't remember if Dewgong has a Normal type attack and Lapras does in Yellow with Body Slam) and can "counter"(not much due to its crappy stats) Sabrina and Koga. Against Sabrina it can use Swift(TM) against her Psychic mons and against Psychic trainers at the Gym and Psybeam(for more PP) against the (Charmers?, users of ghosts). Swift has the advantage of not being affected by Abra's Flash in Yellow.
For Koga, Conversion isn't a good choice in Yellow because Venonat and Venomoth are weak to their own moves, but in RB it is a very good option, especially combined with Psybeam/Psychic.

Porygon should stay away from Sabrina. Alakazam OHKOed Porygon as a Normal type in my playthrough, so even if you use Conversion to Abra for the Psychic resistance, you'll probably be outsped and 2HKOed anyway. Swift won't help much; it is too weak, especially if Reflect is used.

Not sure about Lorelei. It might work ok, especially if you gave Porygon Thunderbolt, but I'm not sure.


So anyway, I think I'm close to ready to write these up. My placements are probably going to be:
  • Yellow Squirtle in High for reasons I've already. Basically, Availability is a bit crappy but not overly difficult to overcome and performance wise it's the same as in RB.
  • Porygon in Low. As a battler it isn't as bad as it first seems. Thunderbolt + Psybeam proved to be useful coverage for the routes going to Fuchsia, since pretty much everything is weak to one of those. It does lag toward the end though, and obviously it has horrible availability.
  • Seel in Top, though I wouldn't mind more opinions on that. Seel/Dewgong can be traded as a reasonable level on Cinnabar (you can actually get it as soon as you beat Koga) for a pokemon that is pretty much next door to the trade regardless of version, it grinds so easily in the Mansion and the Fire gym thanks to typing/movepool and the boosted experience it gets from being a traded pokemon (which not only helps itself but its teammates), it performs excellently from the point you get it thanks to good power and match-ups, and it has everything it needs available to it straight away (Surf and Ice moves). It's pretty much the perfect combination of availability, power and usefulness, and it's by far the best water type in RB if you don't pick Squirtle. In Yellow it actually gives Squirtle a run for its money thanks to superior availability, in the sense that it doesn't require you to stop you progress to catch-up. I think it definitely deserves a position in Top. At the very least it's High though, and if everyone else wants that I'm willing to comply.
EDIT: Well I guess "by far that best Water type" is an exageration since Omanyte can do a similar thing, but the boosted experience does make a significant difference, it can be obtained at a higher level and it evolves sooner so I guess it has slightly better availability.

So yeah I'll hopefully get these written up soon. I want to get them done before the Orange League starts so I can focus on that...


Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
Sorry for the double post.

I went a bit overboard and did analyses for Yellow Squirtle, Porygon, and Seel. I also separated Pikachu by version. Although they end up in the same tier, they are quite different in terms of how they play. I also separated Nidoran-M and Nidoran-F. This was done solely due to me personally preferring them to be separate. However, they are very similar (I should know; I actually used both together in my most recent playthrough alongside Squirtle, Porygon, Seel and Pikachu). If people think they should stay together then you don't have to use them.

Feedback is welcome as usual.

-Squirtle (Yellow) - High Tier
-Availability: This is obtained in Vermillion city after you beat Lt. Surge. It comes at level 10, which is rather low. Although this does mean you have to grind it (which slows things down a bit), it doesn’t take particularly long. The trainers east of Vermillion provide an excellent source of experience (you’ll need to baby it though). You should be close to level 20 by the time all the trainers are beaten. From there, Diglett’s Cave can be used to finish the job. After this, more experience can be gained from beating the Hikers between Cerulean City and Lavender Town. By then, Yellow Squirtle should play similarly to RB Squirtle.
-Stats: Blastoise’s stats are solid overall, if not spectacular. His highest stat is Defence (100) but his other stats are perfectly acceptable for in-game play. He has enough Attack and Special to hit things hard and he has enough Speed to be going first most of the time.
-Movepool: Squirtle’s level up movepool is not particularly noteworthy. Bubble and Water Gun provide STABs early on, and Bite is decently powerful (although a tad too late to be overly useful), but other than that it’ll be relying on TM/HM support. Thankfully, Blastoise gets lots to choose from. BubbleBeam is an excellent STAB move early on, and Surf comes just as BubbleBeam is starting to lose its usefulness. It can learn Ice Beam and Blizzard, giving it nice coverage. It also gets Dig/Earthquake, Submission and Body Slam (plus the numerous other Normal TMs). You should have no problem putting a good moveset together.
-Power: Blastoise should be at least 2HKOing everything thanks to its excellent coverage, and it is capable of outspeeding and OHKOing plenty of things. It is very consistent and its power will never lag, making it useful throughout the whole game.
-Type: Water is a very good type in this game. It particularly shines towards the end, where it eats the last few gyms alive and matches up well with the elite 4. The Electric weakness is hardly an issue since Electric moves are rare. The Grass weakness is a bit more concerning, but it is a weakness that can easily be covered by teammates, and Blastoise can still use an Ice attack to defend itself.
-Match-ups: Erika – Wartortle isn’t that good here. You should hopefully have Ice Beam which helps a lot, but it isn’t strong enough to OHKO her Pokémon and that leaves him vulnerable to a status move or Grass move.
Koga – Type-wise there isn’t much to say, but Blastoise should do well here based on Power alone. Venonat is a weakling, though Venomoth can be a tough opponent.
Sabrina – No type advantage to mention. If you have physical moves then they will help out, but you may find yourself outsped and KOed. At the very least, you’ll beat Abra, and Kadabra is beatable too.
Blaine – There is absolutely no reason why you would lose here. You have a clear type advantage and you have the stats to pull off a sweep.
Giovanni – Basically what applies to Blaine applies here too. You have to watch for Nidoqueen and Nidoking though, as they will try to Thunder you.
Lorelei – This is a mirror match. You don’t ‘lose’ but there are superior choices for this battle. You can beat Jynx just fine though.
Bruno – This is easy. Onix is Surf bait and his Fighting types can’t stomach Special moves for long. Blastoise has the bulk to take a hit.
Agatha – Earthquake is a huge help here for Arbok and the Ghosts (Arbok can’t take Surf well anyway), and Ice Beam covers Golbat. However, the Ghosts might outspeed and status you. One of the Gengar has Mega Drain too.
Lance – Ice Beam/Blizzard covers the Dragons, and Surf nails Aerodactyl. Gyarados is beatable, though you can’t exactly plow through it. Watch out for Electric moves from his Dragons too.
Blue – You should be fine to take on Sandslash, Alakazam, Exeggutor, Ninetales, Vaporeon, Cloyster and Flareon.
-Additional Comments: This suffers a bit in Yellow from poor availability, but it is an issue that can be overcome somewhat easily, and the results are definitely worth it.

-Porygon - Low Tier
-Availability: Porygon is obtained as a prize from the Game Corner. In Red and Yellow, it costs an obscene 9999 coins and comes at level 26. In Blue, it is a relatively more reasonable 6500 coins, but comes at level 18, somewhat cancelling out the advantage (although Blue players probably do have it better). Although this may seem like it would take ages to obtain, it is possible to obtain it at least mid-game, before the 5th gym (and even before the 4th in Blue). This involves finding and selling every single item that you don’t absolutely need, including useless TMs and vitamins. You should keep your spending to a minimum, and you should do every battle possible to get as much money as possible. Then you simply buy all the coins that are required. This is the quickest way to get it, although this requires you to sacrifice many items. If you aren’t willing to be that anal about it, then you don’t have to be, but don’t expect to get Porygon before late-game.
-Stats: Porygon has poor stats overall. Its highest stat, Special, is a mere 75, giving it barely average special hit taking abilities, and limiting its power. 60 Attack makes it hard to use STABs properly, 65 Defence is not impressive, and 40 Speed makes it slow as hell. These deficiencies will really begin to show as the game goes on.
-Movepool: Porygon actually has an interesting level-up movepool, although that doesn’t necessarily translate to a great one. Tackle, Psybeam and Tri Attack are all it gets for offensive options. What Porygon DOES get is Recover, which is useful on anything that gets it. It also gets the gimmicky Conversion, which works well in 1st gen thanks to most opponents only running STAB + Normal coverage. Changing into a type that resists itself can improve its survivability, especially with Recover. It is a bit too slow to abuse this properly though. Agility can be run to fix its speed issues. Porygon’s offense will come from TMs, where you have Ice Beam/Blizzard, Thunderbolt and Psychic to pick from. This provides excellent coverage and makes Porygon much more useful, albeit at the cost of the TMs.
-Power: If you can get it mid-game, Porygon can pull its weight for a little while. It can carry Psychic + Electric coverage, which is phenomenal along the routes heading towards Fuchsia. It also works well against Rocket Grunts. However, later in the game where everything is fully evolved and has better stats, Porygon’s poor stats really begin to show.
-Type: ‘Beige’ is probably the best way to describe Normal. Normal has no super-effective coverage, which contributes to why Porygon shouldn’t really be using STAB moves in the first place (the low Attack is also a key reason). Porygon also lacks resistances which is disappointing. It would really kill for some to potentially give it better bulk. Of course, this all gets thrown out the window when Conversion comes into play!
-Match-ups: Koga – Conversion is a huge help in RB, allowing you to take his hits much more easily. Psychic coverage helps immensely. Don’t use Conversion in Yellow, as you’ll make yourself weak to Psychic. Just spam Psychic attacks until you die.
Sabrina – Avoid this battle. Porygon is too slow and weak. Conversion may seem helpful but it’ll be hard to pull it off before you get hit. Clearly you’ll beat Abra in Yellow though.
Blaine – You get screwed by your low stats once again. In RB, Growlithe and Ponyta are beatable, but otherwise you don’t do much.
Giovanni – Again, stats prevent you from truely owning this battle, despite the type coverage.
Lorelei – Conversion + Thunderbolt can work here, but only if you manage to pull it off in time (you are so slow). Lapras is the toughest opponent thanks to Body Slam.
Bruno – You can beat Onix with Blizzard. Hitmonchan is beatable with Psychic since it lacks any Fighting attacks besides Counter. Avoid Hitmonlee and Machamp.
Agatha – Psychic covers everything, but have fun getting a hit in while she has her way with you with her annoying status moves. If she switches a lot against you, you might be able to do something.
Lance – Blizzard and Thunderbolt provide perfect coverage. You can actually do ok here since his Pokémon use mostly crappy or unSTABed moves, but a full sweep is difficult to pull off.
Blue – Interestingly, if you carry Thunderbolt, Blizzard/Ice Beam and Psychic, you have super-effective coverage on everything except Alakazam, Arcanine, Magneton, Ninetales and Jolteon. You can contribute here, but your low stats will make a complete sweep a real challenge.
-Additional Comments: This just isn’t a good Pokémon. It is way too much trouble to obtain, requiring a lot of sacrifices to get at a reasonable time. Once you get it, it just doesn’t perform well enough to justify obtaining it in the first place. It is an interesting choice, but this should be left for your fun teams.

-Seel - Top Tier
-Availability: Well, you COULD catch it in the Seaform Islands if you wanted to, but why would you? The best way to obtain this is from the trade on Cinnabar Island. In RB, you trade Ponyta for Seel. In Yellow, you trade Growlithe for Dewgong. Cinnabar Island seems a bit late, since you need to at least beat Koga to get there. However, Seel/Dewgong is an example of a Pokémon with excellent availability simply because it comes at the right place at the right time. The Pokémon you are trading away (regardless of version) is found easily in the Pokémon Mansion nearby. It will generally be caught in the mid-30 level range. Once you trade for your Seel/Dewgong, you can teach it Surf and then head back to Pokémon Mansion. It will happily beat the Fire trainers here, gaining a ton of experience as a result. If you have Seel, it should evolve into Dewgong quite quickly. At the end of it you’ll have the Blizzard TM which you can use if you like (it isn’t necessary though). Once the Mansion is done, you can head straight to the Cinnabar gym and solo the entire gym (this is more difficult in Yellow since Blaine is more challenging, but it’ll still do a great job in the gym as a whole). At the end of this, you should have a Dewgong that will have caught up to your team (and then some, should you choose to go overboard). You now have a powerful Water type obtained with little effort to help you through the last trainers of the game (i.e. the Elite 4).
-Stats: The best way to describe Dewgong’s stats would be ‘good enough’. 95 Special gives it great power to abuse its nice STABs, and 90 HP and 80 Defence give it a good amount of bulk. 70 Speed is decent by in-game standards and you should be moving first most of the time.
-Movepool: Dewgong’s movepool is basically the default one for Water types but it has all it needs. Surf and Ice Beam/Blizzard provide plenty of coverage. Body Slam (or another Normal move) can be used to cover Water types if you want, although there are better choices for Body Slam than Dewgong. A thing to note about Dewgong is that it has Aurora Beam and Ice Beam by level up. This is useful because it allows Dewgong to run an Ice attack without using up a TM (so you can use them on something else). However, if you have it free then you should use it on Dewgong.
-Power: When you first get it, it has enough power to beat what it needs to beat: Fire types. Once you sweep them, you’ll gain a massive level/power boost, allowing you to hold your own against everything else. Conveniently, Water/Ice is an excellent type combo late game so you’ll be powering through things easily regardless.
-Type: Again, Water/Ice is excellent at the point you get it in the game. It covers most of the Elite 4 by itself. From a defensive point of view Water/Ice is a bit shaky, but you’ll be killing things before they move so...
-Match-ups: Blaine – You sweep him with Surf. In Yellow it is a bit more difficult since Ninetales is stronger than Growlithe and Ponyta, but you’ll definitely contribute and even if you lose this particular battle you’ll still beat all of the other trainers.
Giovanni – Surf has perfect coverage against everything except Persian in Yellow, who is a weakling. Just watch for Thunder and Rock Slide and you’ll be fine.
Lorelei – This is probably the worst match-up that Dewgong will likely face. You can’t do much to each other. If you have a Normal move like Body Slam, it will help you out a bit. Surf is fine for Jynx.
Bruno – You beat Onix with Surf and you beat the others with powerful special attacks. Machamp is probably the most dangerous thing since it is the best prepared for surviving Surf, but at a good level (which isn’t unreasonable given the boosted experience) you’ll beat that too.
Agatha – Ice Beam/Blizzard hits Golbat and Surf is sufficient for Arbok. The Ghosts are trickier thanks to higher Specials and annoying status moves. It isn’t an auto-loss situation though.
Lance – Your STABs cover absolutely everything except Gyarados. Lance is a joke match-up in RB. In Yellow you also have to watch for Electric attacks, but you have the bulk to take at least one.
Blue – Your STABs cover Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor, Charizard, Arcanine, Venusaur (watch for grass attacks), Sandslash, Ninetales and Flareon. The Water types can be taken on, although there are more efficient choices.
-Additional Comments: With the exception of RB Squirtle, Seel/Dewgong is the best Water type in the game. It just has a perfect combination of convenient availability, great power and helpful match-ups, and the boosted experience it gets from being a traded Pokémon makes it a breeze to train and also saves some experience for its teammates to use. The only thing wrong with it is that it comes later than many other Pokémon, but Water types aren’t even necessary before then. It is the late game where Water types really shine, and the game has been designed so that Dewgong arrives just when it is needed. This is a Top tier Pokémon for sure, and is highly recommended.

-Pikachu (RB) - Mid Tier
-Availability: It can be caught as early as Viridian Forest, although it is at a low level and will require grinding to catch-up. It evolves with the Thunderstone, which you can obtain at Celadon City. Feel free to do so as soon as possible because Pikachu doesn’t have anything to wait for.
-Stats: Speed is its main claim to fame. Before it evolves its stats are otherwise poor overall, but Raichu has 90 Attack and Special. This gives it good power from both ends and allows it to take special attacks well. It still has poor physical tanking abilities though.
-Movepool: ThunderShock from the start is useful for the early game birds, and Thunder Wave is always useful, but otherwise Pikachu’s level-up movepool is nothing special. From TMs, Pikachu gets the powerful Thunderbolt, as well as Body Slam/Mega Punch and the unnecessary Submission. It can achieve nice coverage but requires TMs to do so.
-Power: Pikachu’s power is adequate for the time you have it. It will start to lag a bit, but you’ll be able to evolve just in the nick of time, where Raichu will take over with its superior stats. Raichu’s power will not have your jaw dropping but it will certainly pull its weight.
-Type: Electric has good coverage, although it should be said that Grass and Ground types are common and Raichu isn’t really able to cover these with the rest of its movepool. Electric has few weaknesses but few resistances. There isn’t really much else to say otherwise.
-Match-ups: Brock – You suck here. The best you can do is support with Growl, but otherwise you are useless.
Misty – Despite the type advantage you don’t get a free ride here simply because Starmie is so strong. You can do ok here though. Starmie can be beaten if Misty is stupid (which she often is) and of course Staryu loses to you.
Lt. Surge – Mirror match! You can actually do ok because his Pokémon don’t really have any powerful moves that you don’t resist, especially if you gave it Body Slam.
Erika – You should be fully evolved by now but it isn’t a good idea to use Raichu here. Body Slam isn’t enough to stop you from getting statused.
Koga – Thunderbolt is potent against his Pokémon but Raichu won’t enjoy the physical assaults coming back at it. Koffing is a joke though so...
Sabrina – If you have Body Slam and are at a good level then you can do well here. Thunder Wave is useful for paralysing Alakazam.
Blaine – Type-wise there isn’t much to say but Growlithe and Ponyta are rubbish. It can take on the others too.
Giovanni – This isn’t a good match-up, but at the same time Dugtrio is the only thing with a Ground move not called Fissure. With Body Slam you can at least take on Dugtrio (switch out of Dig), Nidoqueen and Nidoking. Let something else take on Rhyhorn and Rhydon.
Lorelei – This is a great match-up. Thunderbolt nails everything except Jynx, who will not enjoy Body Slam.
Bruno – Onix should be left to something else. The Hitmons and Machamp can be beat with Thunderbolt, but have a back-up just in case Machamp survives and kills you with a physical move.
Agatha – This match-up is ok. Golbat and Arbok should be beaten just fine. Honestly the Ghosts can be beaten too, but as usual be ready for status.
Lance – Gyarados and Aerodactyl lose to you. Dragonite can also be beaten but Hyper Beam hurts quite a bit. The Dragonair resist Thunderbolt, although they are quite weak so you can beat them one-on-one with Body Slam.
Blue – Your main targets are Pidgeot, Gyarados, Charizard and Blastoise. Things like Arcanine, Alakazam and even Exeggutor can also be taken on if required. All in all, Raichu is reasonably useful in this battle.
-Additional Comments: Raichu can be described as ‘adequate’. It isn’t particularly outstanding in any way but it is a good Pokémon that is useful during many points of the game. Its biggest flaw is probably the way it eats up some useful TMs to be as good as it can be, but it is still an decent option.

-Pikachu (Yellow) - Mid Tier
-Availability: Pikachu is a starter Pokémon which is a good thing for obvious reasons. However, Pikachu’s biggest flaw is undoubtedly its inability to fully evolve, which means you have to use Pikachu for the whole game if you want to use it.
-Stats: Pikachu has the worst stats in the game for a ‘fully evolved’ Pokémon (which it basically is in Yellow). 90 Speed is good, allowing it to outspeed pretty much everything. However, 55 Attack and 50 Speed make it a weak attacker, and its abysmal 35 HP and 30 Defence mean that it can be KOed by a light breeze. Its stats are ok early on, but towards the end it will start to lag.
-Movepool: Pikachu actually gained a larger level-up movepool in Yellow, but most of it isn’t particularly useful. What Pikachu did gain that was useful is Thunderbolt at level 26. This makes it the only Pokémon with Thunderbolt from level-up, which is useful because it allows you to save the TM for something else. Aside from Thunderbolt and Thunder Wave (which really helps out against faster opponents like Misty's Starmie), Pikachu’s movepool isn’t that great. It can use Body Slam/Mega Punch and Submission, but other than that you’ll be using Thunderbolt most of the time.
-Power: Pikachu’s power probably peaks when it first learns Thunderbolt. Before then, it has to rely on that weaker Thundershock, which is fine for killing birds but will struggle to do a lot against anything else. Thunderbolt allows Pikachu to 2HKO most things that don’t resist it. However, as the game goes on you’ll find that Pikachu’s awful defences will start to rear its head, and it will only be useful for taking on things that are weak to Electric.
-Type: Electric is a good offensive type. The things that are weak to it are fairly common, although on the flip side the things that resist it appear frequently too. Regardless, STAB Electric coverage is quite useful. The problem with Electric from a defensive point of view is not so much that it has lots of weaknesses (it’s only weak to Ground) but that it lacks resistances, which the frail Pikachu is in desparate need for.
-Match-ups: Brock – This sucks because his Pokémon are immune to ThunderShock. It is actually possible for Pikachu to win with a combination of Double Team, Tail Whip and Quick Attack, but this is slow and requires a bit of overleveling to get Double Team at level 15.
Misty – You have the type advantage but it isn’t as easy as you might think. Starmie is a fast and powerful Pokémon that can beat with BubbleBeam. To beat it you kind of have to hope that Misty shoots herself in the foot by using Tackle, Harden and X Defend. Thankfully this actually isn’t too uncommon. At the very least, Pikachu can beat Staryu guaranteed and can at least wound Starmie for a partner to finish off.
Lt. Surge – If you are at a reasonable level and have given Pikachu Body Slam, then you can actually take him on. However, you still rely a bit on luck because Mega Punch and Mega Kick will hurt.
Erika – Don’t bother. They resist Thunderbolt and will shrug off anything else you can throw at them.
Koga – You can take the Venonats because they are just as weak as you are! Venomoth will beat you down though.
Sabrina – You get badly out-Specialed here. Abra is obviously beatable, but Alakazam is a bit much for it.
Blaine – Actually not that different from Sabrina. Ninetales can take Thunderbolt and hit back with Flamethrower, as can Arcanine. Rapidash is probably the best match-up, but overall Pikachu is just too frail to work without grinding for levels.
Giovanni – You would be foolish to try anything here, although Persian can be beaten.
Lorelei – You do ok here. Thunderbolt is super-effective on 4 of her Pokémon. However, your low stats make it difficult to beat everything here.
Bruno – Your best match-up is Hitmonchan because it is frail on the Special side and relies on pathetic elemental punches to do damage. Hitmonlee is just as frail but hits you hard, and Machamp is even worse. Stay away from Onix.
Agatha – Golbat is Thunderbolt bait. Arbok and Haunter are beatable too. Gengar is trickier since it can take your Thunderbolts and status you.
Lance – Gyarados is your main target, and Aerodactyl should be beatable too. However, Dragonair resists Thunderbolt and Dragonite is just too strong for you.
Blue – You really don’t have many targets. You’re stuck with Cloyster and Vaporeon, with potentially the Electric types, the Fire types and Alakazam also (you probably won’t be strong enough beat all of these at once though). If you have Body Slam then you might be able to expand your targets but you should really leave it to something else.
-Additional Comments: This is clearly the worst starter in RBY, and perhaps even one of the worst starters in the whole series. What saves it is Thunderbolt by level-up, which allows it to be useful against regular trainers for quite a while and early on it can perform just as well as most of the stuff that’s available at that point. Just make sure you have some stronger teammates at your side to bit those tougher match-ups.

-Nidoran-M - Top Tier
-Availability: It can be caught around Viridian City before the first gym. It naturally comes at a low level, but it gains experience quickly so it doesn’t take too long for it to catch up. It evolves at level 16 and then by exposure to a Moon Stone. Moon Stones can be found before the second gym, so you can have a powerful fully evolved Pokémon before Cerulean City.
-Stats: Nidoking is basically a well balanced Pokémon. None of its stats are outstanding but it has no real weaknesses. Compared to its female counterpart it is more focused on Speed and offense, but the difference is minor.
-Movepool: In terms of level-up movepool, Nidoran-M gets Horn Attack at level 8, which is fairly powerful at that point in the game. It also gets Double Kick at level 12 in Yellow. After that it doesn’t get that much of note, but it does get Thrash at level 23 as a Nidoking. Nidoking’s real strength is in its TM compatibility. Between Earthquake, Rock Slide, Thunderbolt, Surf/BubbleBeam/Water Gun, Fire Blast, Ice Beam/Blizzard and Body Slam, you should be able to put together a powerful moveset with ease. The only problem with Nidoking is that it can’t learn Dig, so it lacks a powerful STAB move until it reaches Earthquake. This isn’t a huge problem though, because it can work without it and Earthquake comes mid-game at the earliest.
-Power: With its well rounded stats and the phenomenal type coverage it carries, it is capable of powering through all kinds of Pokémon. It doesn’t truely take off until it gets all of its TMs but that doesn’t take too long and Nidoking can pull its weight adequately in the meantime.
-Type: Ground is an excellent offensive typing with great coverage. It notably makes short work of many of Team Rocket’s Pokémon, which is a huge plus. From a defensive point of view it does carry some annoying weaknesses to Water, Ice, Ground and Psychic, but in most cases this doesn’t matter because it can beat things before they move anyway.
-Match-ups: Brock – In Yellow it is a good choice because it gets Double Kick early. It won’t OHKO his Pokémon but it will beat them one-on-one. In RB it is significantly less useful because it doesn’t get Double Kick. At best it can support with Leer and maybe try Horn Attack after a few Defence drops, but there are better choices.
Misty – Stay away from her. If you have fully evolved it then it preys on your Water weakness. You could try Nidorino instead, but then you get beaten by stats alone.
Lt. Surge – Electric immunity makes this an easy battle for Nidoking. Shame it doesn’t have a Ground move yet (most likely).
Erika – If you have Ice Beam then it will help a lot. Nidoking can so ok here, but the lack of Grass resistance means you shouldn’t expect a huge showing.
Koga – Koga is a joke in RB. You 4x resist Poison and if you have Earthquake then it is even easier. In Yellow, you have a Psychic weakness to worry about, but with Rock Slide you can take down a few bugs.
Sabrina – Your Psychic weakness puts you in a real bind. It is just too risky, especially in Yellow, but if you can outpace her Pokémon then you can hit hard with Earthquake.
Blaine – You have a STAB super-effective move, so this is fairly straightforward.
Giovanni – Chances are you’ll have a move for at least some of his Pokémon. Surf and Ice Beam/Blizzard are great here, as is Earthquake. Just be wary of your own Ground weakness.
Lorelei – Bad match-up. Water and Ice weaknesses hinder you. Rock Slide and Thunderbolt cover everything though.
Bruno – You should be fine here. Onix should be weak to one of your moves, and the Fighting resistance you carry helps you beat his Fighting types. Hitmonchan has Ice Punch but it does pitiful damage.
Agatha – Earthquake deals with Gengar/Haunter and Arbok well. Thunderbolt/Rock Slide/Ice Beam/Blizzard deals with Golbat. As usual, try to keep the status in check.
Lance – BoltBeam coverage places you well, but you have to be mindful of the weaknesses you carry (Gyarados’s Hydro Pump, Dragonair’s Ice Beam, Dragonite’s Blizzard, etc.).
Blue – You potentially have a moveset that will cover a large number of his Pokémon. Again, you just have to take care with his super-effective attacks.
-Additional Comments: This is a great Pokémon. Good stats, good availability, wide movepool, useful match-ups... this is one of the best Pokémon in the game for in-game runs. Note that Nidoking arguably has the edge over Nidoqueen because Horn Attack is better than Scratch, though Nidoqueen has her own advantages.

-Nidoran-F - Top Tier
-Availability: It is obtained very early (before the first gym). It evolves into Nidorina at level 16 and then into Nidoqueen using a Moon Stone. You obtain your first Moon Stone in Mt. Moon, which means that it will be fully evolved before Cerulean City!
-Stats: Nidoqueen is the definition of balance, but it is more focused on defences than Nidoking. This difference is quite small however. Nidoqueen has good stats overall, and although it lacks any particular strengths it is still a powerful Pokémon.
-Movepool: Nidoran-F got the short end of the stick in regards to level-up movepool. Unlike its male counterpart, who gets Horn Attack at level 8, Nidoran-F got the much weaker Scratch which gives it less potential in regards to pumping out damage. Although Yellow helps it out by giving it Double Kick, this doesn’t solve the issue entirely because lots of things resist it early on. The one thing it has over Nidoran-M is that Nidoqueen gets Body Slam at level 23, which gives you access to the best in-game Normal type move in the game without using up the TM. Where Nidoqueen truely rules the roost is its TM compatibility. It is capable of learn all kinds of awesome TM/HM moves, from Earthquake to Thunderbolt to Surf to Rock Slide and pretty much everything in between. This obviously comes with an opportunity cost but since it learns so many moves you should be able to put together a great moveset without harming overall efficiency quite easily. The only real downside is that it gets no good STAB moves before Earthquake, but the coverage it gets makes this an incredibly minor problem.
-Power: Technically this is weaker than Nidoking, but the difference is small and most of the time it will achieve the same kills that Nidoking can. Balanced stats and wonderful coverage make for a powerful offensive Pokémon.
-Type: It will mainly be using Ground coverage for STAB since it lacks any good poison move. This is ok though, as it has great coverage. Nidoqueen does have a few nasty weaknesses though, including Psychic and Water, but these will be inconsequential most of the time when you’ll be killing things before they move. Nidoqueen’s slightly bulkier stat distribution makes it better at dealing with these moves than Nidoking, but it’s a small difference. Poison/Ground does also have some useful resistances too (Electric, Rock, Fighting, etc.).
-Match-ups: Brock – You are pretty much useless against Brock in RB. All you can really do is support teammates with Growl. In Yellow you do much better with Double Kick.
Misty – This isn’t a good match-up. Nidoqueen is weak to Water and Nidorina is just weak.
Lt. Surge – Your Electric immunity alone will allow you to win here.
Erika – You are vulnerable to status just like everything else. It sucks that you don’t resist Grass unless you actually held out on evolution, but Ice Beam is helpful here.
Koga – There is no reason why you would lose to Koga in RB, what with Earthquake combined with Poison resistance. Yellow Koga is tougher thanks to Psychic moves coming your way but Rock Slide makes mince meat of his weak bugs.
Sabrina – This is too risky. Sure you can hit her hard with STAB Earthquake but STAB Psychic hits you very hard.
Blaine – By now, you should have a super-effective move of some sort for him. If not Earthquake, then at least Surf or even Rock Slide.
Giovanni – You win on type coverage alone. Earthquake, Surf, Ice Beam... just one of these is enough.
Lorelei – Your Water and Ice weaknesses hurt you here. At the very least, your type coverage will help you take at least some of her team down. Have a back-up ready though.
Bruno – Bruno is a joke for Nidoqueen. Onix dies to a number of your possible moves and your Fighting resistance makes beating his Fighting types a breeze.
Agatha – You hopefully have the required moves, so now you just have to beat everything you can. Golbat and Arbok are dead for sure; the Ghosts are trickier if they outspeed you.
Lance – Ideally, you will have Thunderbolt and Ice Beam which makes this battle straight forward. Well, not quite. You still have to contend with potential super-effective hits from Gyarados and (in Yellow) his Dragons. This is easier in RB.
Blue – What you can beat depends on what you run, but I guarantee that you’ll have something for some of his Pokémon at least. Just watch for super-effective moves as many of his Pokémon have them.
-Additional Comments: Nidoqueen is arguably worse than Nidoking because Horn Attack allows it to perform better early game, especially before all of those TMs start coming in. However, Nidoqueen is not directly outclassed by it because it has Body Slam by level up and its better bulk DOES come into play in some situations. Regardless of the Nidoking comparisons, Nidoqueen is a terrific Pokémon in its own right. It is up to the player to pick which one they want to use.
I feel Pikachu (most particularly Yellow Pika) should have at least a mention of Thunder Wave. Even though its stats are bad, 90 Speed means its pretty much the fastest Pokemon earlygame. Even if Pikachu can't kill the opponent, he can at least TWave so that whoever goes in next has a chance of switching in for free. TWave is also very very useful for Starmie (I don't remember if Gym Leaders have the infinite Full Heals bullshit though so just saying since even if they do Misty has to waste a turn using it)

Such a pity this guy literally has nothing over Jolteon or Electrode. L26 TBolt is very useful... but limited in usefulness because its Pikachu. :/
I agree with Dewgong being the best Water Type besides RB Squirtle. Sure, it comes late, but Waters relevance is mostly late game anyway.

By the way, the Magikarp section on the first page says he resists Grass and is weak to Ice. Neither which is true.


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I feel Pikachu (most particularly Yellow Pika) should have at least a mention of Thunder Wave. Even though its stats are bad, 90 Speed means its pretty much the fastest Pokemon earlygame. Even if Pikachu can't kill the opponent, he can at least TWave so that whoever goes in next has a chance of switching in for free. TWave is also very very useful for Starmie (I don't remember if Gym Leaders have the infinite Full Heals bullshit though so just saying since even if they do Misty has to waste a turn using it)
I added a bit in Movepool on it. To be perfectly honest Misty's Starmie is the only thing I used it on in this playthrough (I tried it on Sabrina's Alakazam but got OHKOed by Psychic derp Pikachu sucks). It's not like it has any other moves to run though...
Pikachu should also get a mention of Mega Kick / Mega Punch. This is a big defining advantage over Jolteon, in that Pikachu can both a) use its ATK to do decent damae and b) can get a powerful normal move without using up Body Slam. Mega Punch and Mega Kick come before Cerulean City, and there are very few other Pokemon that want them (Charmeleon and Wartortle being the only ones really... the Nidos get Thrash / Body Slam around the same time). Since there are 2 attacks, you can give one to Pikachu and one to your starter.

edit: Also, I do agree with Seel being top, and:

I know that you all seem to hate on Gyarados's babying needs, but seriously... it seeing the same tier as Pikachu and Ninetales seems kind of dumb.


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Pikachu should also get a mention of Mega Kick / Mega Punch. This is a big defining advantage over Jolteon, in that Pikachu can both a) use its ATK to do decent damae and b) can get a powerful normal move without using up Body Slam. Mega Punch and Mega Kick come before Cerulean City, and there are very few other Pokemon that want them (Charmeleon and Wartortle being the only ones really... the Nidos get Thrash / Body Slam around the same time). Since there are 2 attacks, you can give one to Pikachu and one to your starter.
While I have no problem adding Mega Punch in, Mega Kick does NOT come before Cerulean in RBY (it does in FRLG but that's hardly relevent). You get Mega Kick from the Celadon Department Store at the earliest.
Thundershock Pikachu is too weak, I had to give mine Seismic Toss TM until he learned Thunderbolt. he actually grinds pretty easily due to Zubat and Tentacool being everywhere.
What does the guy outside Mt. Moon give you? (the guy you can only access if you talk to him before jumping into the grass west of cerulean city)

I could have sworn he gives you mega kick but my memory could be messing with me.
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