Mekkah messaged me and asked if I wanted to take this over. Thanks for all the hard work! If a mod could lock the old one that would be great. Those who are interested in the older threads can find them here: Pokemon RBY In-game tiers - Mark I Pokemon RBY In-game tiers - Mark II Here's the list so far: Quick List (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Quick List (open) Quick List (close) -Top- Abra Articuno Clefairy Diglett Nidoran F Nidoran M Squirtle (RB) Zapdos -High- Bulbasaur (RB) Charmander Doduo Farfetch'd (RB) Gastly Jolteon Jynx Krabby (BY) Mr. Mime Omanyte Sandshrew Seel Shellder Snorlax Squirtle (Y) Staryu Tentacool Vaporeon -Mid- Bellsprout Bulbasaur (Y) Drowzee Electabuzz Exeggcute Flareon Geodude Goldeen Growlithe (R) Hitmonlee Horsea Jigglypuff Kabuto Krabby (R) Magikarp Magnemite Mankey Meowth Oddish Pikachu (RB) Pikachu (Y) Poliwag Psyduck (RB) Rattata Slowpoke Spearow Voltorb -Low- Aerodactyl Caterpie Chansey Cubone Ditto Dratini Ekans Farfetch'd (Y) Grimer Growlithe (Y) Hitmonchan Kangaskhan Koffing Lapras Lickitung (RB) Machop Magmar Moltres Onix Paras Pidgey Pinsir Ponyta Porygon Psyduck (Y) Rhyhorn Scyther Tangela Tauros Venonat Vulpix Weedle Zubat -Unavailable- Lickitung (Y) Mewtwo Mew Top Tier (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Top Tier (open) Top Tier (close) -Abra - Top Tier -Availability: This is probably Abra's biggest flaw. It can be caught at Routes 24 and 25 in Red and Blue, with its level being either 8, 10, or 12. In Yellow, you'll have to wait until Route 5. Although it arrives relatively early, Abra are notoriously difficult to catch, as they have the lowest catch rate of anything in the Routes where they're found, and they Teleport away from battle on the first turn. Because of this, having a Pokemon that knows a sleep-inducing move, such as Butterfree or Clefable, helps a ton here. Abra first evolve by reaching level 16, and then by trade. -Stats: Alakazam has one of the highest Special stats in the game, second only to Mewtwo, who isn't obtainable until the end of the game. It's also fast enough to outpace anything that isn't called Aerodactyl, Jolteon, Electrode, or Dugtrio. Paper-thin defenses might seem bad, but you'll hardly notice it because you'll be too busy obliterating everything in sight. While Kadabra's stats aren't quite as impressive as Alakazam's, they're still good enough to get the job done, and you should only see the difference during major battles. -Movepool: When caught, Teleport will be Abra's only move, and it is useless in trainer battles. It does, however, have some utility outside of battle. Notable example would be right after meeting Bill and going to the Power Plant to catch Zapdos. In Route 25, you can get TM19, Seismic Toss. Seismic Toss, while a set damage move, is Abra's only means of doing damage until it evolves, and it's Alakazam's best means of attacking fellow Psychic-types. Route 25 also holds the Thunder Wave TM, which provides Abra with a nice filler option that has its uses in particular match-ups, like Misty's Starmie and Sabrina's Alakazam. Kadabra learns Confusion at level 16, Psybeam at level 27, and Psychic at level 38. Each of these are great attacks at the time they're learned, and Confusion and Psybeam can usually take care of anything weak to Psychic-type attacks. Also, Kadabra and Alakazam have access to Recover, but it won't usually be needed unless it's facing down another Psychic-type. -Power: As mentioned above, Abra's only move when it's first caught is Teleport, meaning that unless you teach it Seismic Toss, it won't be doing much of anything until it evolves. Once it evolves and learns actual damaging Psychic-type attacks, it positively wrecks its adversaries, with the only exeptions being fellow Psychic-types. The above statement applies to Kadabra just as much as it does to Alakazam. -Type: Psychic is without a doubt the best type in RBY. It hits the abundant Poison-types super effectively and is only resisted by other Psychic-types. Its only weakness is to Bug-type attacks, most of which are wielded either by Pokemon who are either weak to Psychic-type attacks or lack the Attack stat to deal enough damage with them. -Match-ups: --Misty: With Seismic Toss, Alakazam can go toe-to-toe with her Starmie and crush Staryu. It isn't a guaranteed victory, but Alakazam definitely helps. --Blue (S.S. Anne): Alakazam should have no trouble sweeping most of Blue's team, although Kadabra can probably be dealt with by different means for faster results. If he chose Bulbasaur as his starter then you have a free kill right there. --Lt. Surge: Thanks to Alakazam's ludicrous Special, it doesn't have to worry about Raichu's Thunderbolt as much as others neutral to it would be. It does, however, have to worry about Mega Punch and Mega Kick from Raichu in Yellow. --Erika: The only Pokemon on her team that isn't weak to Psybeam is pathetic. In fact, Alakazam could solo the entire gym if you felt like it. --Blue (Pokemon Tower): Gyarados might be an issue thanks to its high Special and Attack, although Bite is its only physical move and his team is probably going to be underleveled. Other than that, level advantage should make this battle easy for Alakazam. --Koga: Considering we're talking about a Psychic-type with base 135 Special, this outcome couldn't be more obvious. --Blue (Silph Co.): This match-up is most difficult if he picked Charmander, but Pidgeot is weak and Exeggcute has no offensive moves. Alakazam and Gyarados should be taken on by different Pokemon. Charizard can be dangerous with Slash, but the other starters aren't that strong. --Sabrina: Alakazam can defeat all of Sabrina's Pokemon in Red and Blue with the exception of her Alakazam provided it knows Seismic Toss. Her Alakazam (in all games) in addition to her Kadabra in Yellow can Recover more HP than Seismic Toss inflicts, although this will only be an issue if Sabrina is smart enough to spam Recover. --Blaine: Take Down and Stomp definitely leave marks, so how well Alakazam does against Blaine depends on how often his Pokemon use those 2 moves. --Giovanni: The only Pokemon on Giovanni's team who might be able to stop Alakazam would be Persian and Dugtrio. Everything else gets swept under the rug. --Blue (Route 22, 2nd battle): Pidgeot, Rhyhorn, Growlithe and Exeggcute aren't that strong. Again, Gyarados and Alakazam can be killed more efficiently with something else. Charizard is the only starter that can pose any sort of threat. --Lorelei: Lapras is the only Pokemon on her team capable of beating Alakazam, as Dewgong and Cloyster fall to a Psychic followed by a Psybeam and Slowbro and Jynx get worn down by repeated Seismic Tosses. --Bruno: He gets swept. You can use Psybeam on his Fighting-types if you want, as they can't even take that. --Agatha: Similar to Bruno, but you'll need Psychic to take down her Ghost-types, as they actually have good Special. --Lance: All of his Pokemon know Hyper Beam, which is capable of disintegrating Alakazam. However, all of his Pokemon (with the exception of Aerodactyl) are slower than Alakazam, allowing the PSI Pokemon to get a hit in before going down. --Blue: As with Sabrina, Alakazam vs. Alakazam can result in a potential stalemate, although Blue's Alakazam probably won't be clever enough to abuse Recover to counter Seismic Toss. The other Pokemon Alakazam would have trouble with would be Gyarados, Arcanine, and Charizard. -Additional Comments: While it is difficult to catch and has to rely on Seismic Toss to deal damage for 4-8 levels, its ability to steamroll the rest of the game after evolving with few exceptions establishes it as one of the best Pokemon in the game. Even if you can't trade to evolve it completely, the difference in performance between Kadabra and Alakazam is minor, and is only noticeable during major battles. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Articuno - Top Tier -Availability: Articuno can be obtained after the 5th gym. Beating Koga enables you to use the Surf HM, where you can go to the Seafoam Island. In the Seafoam Island you must search the cave and use the Strength HM to solve puzzles to get to Articuno. Articuno comes at a high level of 50 and is hard to catch, so make sure to save the game before you fight it and have a ton of Ultra Balls ready. -Stats: Due to its status as a legendary, Articuno has a huge BST. Most notable is its 125 Special, which allows it to tank Special moves and plow through foes with its STAB Ice moves. -Movepool: When you encounter it Articuno it has Peck and Ice Beam, and learns Blizzard one level later. While it seems counterproductive to have to have two Ice moves on the same Pokemon, Blizzard's low PP rate means that having Ice Beam as a back-up will be helpful. Peck is weak, but you can always give Articuno the HM02 Fly if you want Physical STAB. -Power: Articuno's Blizzard is the most powerful Special Attack in the game, and it will dent anything that doesn't resist it -Type: Ice/Flying is fantastic offensive combo that is unresisted by anything that you'll encounter in-game. -Match-ups: --Blue (Silph Co.): Articuno gets super-effective hits on Pidgeot, Exeggcute, Charizard, Venusaur, and Sandslash. Given its massive level advantage, it shouldn't have too much trouble having an impact. Cloyster should probably be left to something else. --Sabrina: Articuno has the bulk to take on her Psychics attacks, and Fly hits them on their lower defense stat. Keep in mind though, that Alakazam can abuse the first turn of Fly as a chance to Recover or set up Reflect. --Blaine: You would think Articuno would be dead weight against a Fire gym, but Articuno is surprisingly useful here. Articuno's high Special means it can actually handle a Fire Blast, and its Blizzards will do a lot to Blaine's Pokemon (remember Fire doesn't resist Ice in RBY). --Giovanni: His entire team is weak to Blizzard except for Persian in Yellow, who isn't too much of a threat to Articuno. --Blue (Route 22, 2nd battle): This is similar to the Silph Co. battle, except that now RB players have a free kill on Rhyhorn. --Lorelei: If there was an Achilles's heel for Articuno's match-ups, it would be this fight. All of her Pokemon resist Ice, and all of them besides Jynx have the Physical bulk to take Fly. --Bruno: Fly takes out his Fighting Pokemon easily, while Ice Beam can handle his Onix's. --Agatha: Articuno doesn't have a type advantage here, but can overwhelm her Pokemon through sheer force alone. Just watch out for Confuse Ray hax. --Lance: Articuno can easily sweep the Dragons and Aerodactyl due to their weakness to Ice. Gyarados is tougher fight for the legendary bird due to not being weak to Ice, but is still beatable. --Blue: Venusaur, Exeggutor, Rhydon, Pidgeot and Charizard are all weak to Ice. Arcanine has the type advantage, but his strongest STAB here is the weak Ember. Blastoise, Alakazam and Gyarados are probably Articuno's toughest fight here, but Articuno can still be of help against those three. In Yellow, Sandslash, Alakazam, and Exeggutor are manageable. However, Ninetails can trap you with Fire Spin, Cloyster walls you, and Jolteon's Thunderbolt can hurt once you factor its massive critical hit rate. -Additional Comments: As you can see, Articuno is a great asset to any team. However you have to deal with the burden of exploring Seafoam Island and spending a lot of time capturing the Pokemon. But if you can get by that, you'll be set for many battles. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Clefairy - Top Tier -Availability: Clefairy can be caught in Mt. Moon but are uncommon (highest encounter rate in Red and Blue is 6%). Their levels range from 8 to 12. They evolve via Moon Stone, which is also available in Mt. Moon. Clefairy should be evolved immediately as they do not learn any useful moves by level-up. If the low encounter rate turns you off, you can buy one in the Rocket Game Corner for 500 coins in Red and 750 coins in Blue. It is inexpensive but underleveled, so it is recommended to be patient in Mt. Moon instead. -Stats: Clefable's average stats, high HP, and fast exp. rate make it a Pokémon that is moderately powerful and very bulky. -Movepool: As Clefairy's level-up movepool is barren (though Sing can be useful), it relies on TMs. Fortunately it learns most of them and can mix and match based on the needs of your team. Useful TMs it can learn include Mega Punch, Water Gun, Bubblebeam, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt and Thunder, Ice Beam and Blizzard, Psychic, Body Slam, Tri Attack, Double-Edge, and Hyper Beam. Some of these moves are both low-demand and extra-tasty, such as Psychic and Bubblebeam. Even if you run a TM-heavy party, however, Clefairy's omnivorous nature ensures that it will have a strong moveset with some coverage, though its exact moves vary from run to run. -Power: Clefairy's peak power is in Mt. Moon and immediately thereafter as Clefairy's Mega Punch is your strongest possible move at that point. Due to Normal STAB, Clefairy's Mega Punch, Body Slam, Tri Attack, or Strength will continue to be strong (if not exceptionally so) throughout the whole game. Clefairy can also swing hard from the special side, especially with Psychic which commonly has type advantage in first generation's Poison-heavy atmosphere. Type: Clefairy usually hits and gets hit for neutral damage. -Match-ups: It is difficult to cover all of Clefairy's many movesets. This write-up assumes Clefairy, as a base, learned Mega Punch in Mt. Moon and continues to use a strong Normal STAB throughout the game. --Blue (Cerulean City): Clefable's STAB Mega Punch makes short work of his entire team. Water Gun is particularly effective on Sandshrew. --Misty: Clefable is the best non-Grass Pokémon at defeating Misty, given its peerless bulk and power at this part of the game. It can take 3 non-critical Bubblebeams from Starmie and can 3HKO it with Mega Punch. This matchup favors you considering Misty likes to mess around with Tackle and Water Gun. Sing and Thunder Wave can also help your odds. --Blue (S.S. Anne): This is pretty much identical to the Cerulean City battle, except it's even easier because your level advantage is greater. --Lt. Surge: Clefable can withstand 2 to 3 Thunderbolts from Raichu and 2HKO back with Mega Punch. However, Raichu's faster, so you may have to rely on a lucky critical or a bad move choice by Raichu. As before, Thunder Wave or Sing can help. --Erika: Clefable should be able to power through with its Normal moves, but it risks being trapped by Victreebel's Wrap or Erika's various status moves. If Clefable knows Ice Beam or Psychic, the battle will go somewhat more smoothly. --Blue (Pokemon Tower): Clefable is still just as good here as in the previous rival battles. Its STAB attacks and natural bulk are more than enough to most of his Pokemon, and its potential coverage moves (Psychic, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam) can deal with particular targets. --Koga: Clefable dislikes the defensive standard of Koga's Pokémon and needs some luck to outpace him in damage. However, Clefable can sweep him. Psychic makes the battle much easier and a status move like Sing and Thunder Wave couldn't hurt, especially against Muk and Weezing. --Blue (Silph Co.): In RB, most of his team has yet to evolve completely so Clefable can leave a huge mark in this battle. Even some of the fully evolved Pokemon (e.g. Pidgeot) are easily taken down. In Yellow, most of his Pokemon have mediocre movesets so he isn't much better. --Sabrina: Clefable's physical power and special bulk make it an excellent choice for this fight. It can win by the brute force of its Normal moves, though Alakazam can ruin your sweep if it decides to use Psychic. --Blaine: Clefable should sweep. Rapidash's Fire Spin and Arcanine's Fire Blast hurt, though, and it is possible to lose if Blaine chooses his moves well, which is rare. --Giovanni: Clefable should use whatever Special move it may have to defeat Rhyhorn and Rhydon as it will not make progress with its Normal moves. Dugtrio, Nidoqueen, and Nidoking can be beaten in a more straightforward fashion, especially if Giovanni spends his time applying Guard Spec. instead of attacking; they do occasionally put up a fight. In Yellow, his Nidoqueen and Rhydon can actually pose an offensive threat, making things overall more dangerous for Clefable, who will get worn down quite quickly when fighting Dugtrio and Persian alone. --Blue (Route 22, 2nd battle): This isn't much different from the Silph Co. battle. Rhyhorn resists your STAB but it can't do much back and there is a good chance that you'll have at least one move that can OHKO it. Other than that, most of his Pokemon are still unevolved in RB and most of his Yellow Pokemon have bad movesets. His Yellow starters are more powerful now (Vaporeon has Hydro Pump, Jolteon has Thunder, and Flareon has Flamethrower), but Clefable can take a hit from them. --Lorelei: Clefable with Thunderbolt or Thunder can damage Lorelei's Pokémon and, with items such as X Special, even orchestrate a sweep. If Clefable doesn't have Thunderbolt, however, it does not like the physical bulk of Lorelei's Pokémon and struggles to beat more than one in a row. --Bruno: Watch out for Hi Jump Kick from Hitmonlee and Submission from Machamp. --Agatha: Even if Clefable knows Psychic, Agatha is a rough battle and you should not expect to sweep her. Without Psychic Clefable can not make satisfactory progress against her Ghosts. --Lance: Clefable can challenge the Dragonair with its Normal moves but will probably be overpowered if it challenges Lance's other Dragons that way. Thunder or Thunderbolt allows it to defeat Gyarados whereas Ice Beam or Blizzard expediates the rest of the fight. --Blue: Clefable's chances against each of Rival's Pokémon depends on its moveset. It can always defeat Pidgeot, Arcanine, and Exeggutor. With Ice Beam, Blizzard, or Psychic it can challenge Venusaur and Rhydon; with Thunderbolt or Thunder it can challenge Gyarados and Blastoise; with any of those Electric or Ice moves it can challenge Charizard. With Thunder Wave or Sing it improves its odds against everyone and enables Alakazam to be beaten too. -Additional Comments: Overall, Clefairy is comparable to the Nidoran lines, with the distinct advantage of having a more luxurious selection of STABs to choose from. Its game-long power through high stats, Normal STAB, and elemental coverage is enough on its own to make Clefable one of the better Pokémon in the game. Its ability to fill any role that your team is missing, whether it be a Water Gun/Bubblebeam user to defeat early-game Rocks, or Psychic to defeat the Rocket Poison-types, or Thunderbolt to ream the Flying and Water Pokémon leading up to Cinnabar, is what makes Clefable a truly good teammate. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Diglett - Top Tier -Availability: Diglett can be found in, well, Diglett's Cave, right next to Vermillion. It's impossible to miss them at L15-L22 (pretty high), but you might want to stick around and try to hit the Jackpot: you have a 5% chance of encountering a L29-L31 Dugtrio, and those guys absolutely break the game. -Stats: This line's defensive stats are awful, but you can count on them outspeeding anything and everything. Fairly average base Attack, but who cares, they have the typing and movepool to back it up. -Movepool: Diglett's strength is not that it gets many moves, but that it gets just the right ones to go to work in a timely fashion. You can catch them with Dig already learned (L19 or higher, pretty easy to do), and that move alone can last you the whole game. It has a whopping 100 base power, making it just a slightly delayed Earthquake that hits half the game for super effective damage. Slash comes soon enough at L35 (can be as little as four levels if you caught a Dugtrio), and you don't even have to spend your Earthquake TM on this since it gets just that move at L47. The Rock Slide TM is useful to better deal with fliers and bugs if you desire so. But if you really must face those with Dugtrio, Slash usually does fine since it has almost as much power taking the 100% crit into account. -Power: Dugtrio demolishes everything, especially things weak to Ground. If it does fail to OHKO, it can be in a bit of trouble since its HP and defenses are so bad, but it should be able to survive. If you use it against someone like Lorelei, you are obviously doing it wrong and you can't get your money back. -Type: Ground STAB is an amazing type for two reasons. One is that a lot of things are weak to it (Poison is a common enemy type, and Electric is present as well). The other is that Dig's 100 base power works very well with STAB and being super effective. Resistances don't really matter because if you're taking hits you're playing this game wrong. But being immune to Electric and resisting Poison has its uses. -Match-ups: --Blue (S.S. Anne): Diglett will have STAB Dig at this point and it can hit many of his Pokemon hard. This battle is especially easy in Yellow because he uses unevolved Pokemon. Pidgeotto and Spearow are immune so you can only Scratch them. In RB, if he is using Charmeleon, then that gives you a free kill. Just beware that if Wartortle, Ivysaur, Kadabra or Raticate survive Dig, you might get OHKOed. --Lt. Surge: Surge picked a terrible place for his Electric gym and is probably the easiest gym battle in any Pokemon game. Just spam Dig to win. --Erika: One of the few fights Dugtrio sucks against, although at least Dig isn't resisted. Dugtrio should sit this out thanks to its Grass weakness. --Blue (Pokemon Tower): In RB, if you don't have Rock Slide, Gyarados should be taken out by something else because it's immune to Dig and can destroy you with Hydro Pump. Growlithe and Charmeleon are easy kills, and Dugtrio should have enough power to take out the rest of his team. This battle is pretty straight-forward in Yellow too. Vulpix and Magnemite die, as does pretty much everything else because they are mostly unevolved. Fearow is the most dangerous thing but a quick Rock Slide deals with that. --Koga: RB Koga is laughably easy with STAB Ground attacks on your side. In Yellow, his Pokemon aren't weak to Ground but Dugtrio can still do ok against his frail bugs, especially if it has Rock Slide. --Blue (Silph Co.): Not much has changed in RB, other than the fact that more Pokemon are evolved now. Venusaur and Blastoise are more dangerous now because they can take Dig/Earthquake and kill you in response, and Charizard is immune to Dig (Rock Slide beats it instead). In Yellow, Magneton, Ninetales, Jolteon, Flareon, and Kadabra should be beatable. Cloyster can take a hit and wreck you with a STAB move, and Sandslash is bulky and can deal a lot of damage with Slash. Vaporeon should be left alone too. --Sabrina: Dugtrio has Speed on its side and Earthquake will deal plenty of damage to her frail Pokemon. Just remember that Dugtrio will likely be OHKOed if it has to take a hit. --Blaine: You should have no trouble here with super-effective STAB Earthquake. --Giovanni: Dugtrio is useful here because of super-effective hits against Rhyhorn/Rhydon, Nidoqueen and Nidoking, and it is fully capable of beating itself! --Blue (Route 22, 2nd battle): In RB the addition of Rhyhorn isn't really important to Dugtrio. Aside from that, this will play out similarly to the Silph Co. battle. Exeggcute is the new addition in Yellow but it isn't that big of a deal, and he still has many frail and/or Dig-weak targets for you. --Lorelei: This is another match-up to stay away from. You can hit her Pokemon for good damage but many of them can take a hit and simply destroy with super-effective STAB moves. --Bruno: His Onix are speed bumps for Dugtrio and Hitmonlee is too frail to take you on. Machamp is really the only thing that could be considered dangerous to Dugtrio. --Agatha: Excellent match-up because Earthquake covers 4 of her Pokemon, and Golbat can be dealt with using Slash or Rock Slide. --Lance: This is a bit irritating because he has 3 Pokemon with Ground immunities, although all of them are weak to Rock Slide. Gyarados can nail you with Hydro Pump and should be dealt with using something else. Aerodactyl and Dragonite are beatable but carry Hyper Beam. Dragonair shouldn't be too dangerous. In Yellow, the match-up is even worse because of the superior movesets of his Pokemon. --Blue: Eathquake and Slash provide plenty of targets, including Rhydon, Alakazam, Arcanine, and Exeggutor. Rock Slide is a huge help here and expands your targets to things like Pidgeot and Charizard, but Slash is an option for them anyway. In Yellow, go for Magneton, Jolteon, Ninetales, Flareon, and Exeggutor. Dugtrio doesn't really contribute as much against Blue as a Water-type does, but it can still see plenty of action. -Additional Comments: Dugtrio has high Speed and solid Attack, it isn't very costly on your TM stash, it arrives reasonably early and at a convenient time, and it has plenty of very good match-ups against important trainers. Dugtrio is very close to a perfect Pokemon and is highly recommended. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -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! Alternatively, there is a traded Nidoran-F on Route 5 (for Nidoran-M) and a traded Nidorina on Route 11 (for Nidorino). The traded versions have an advantage in boosted experience gain, but because both trades require you to catch a Nidoran-M and leave it unevolved, it is overall easier to catch Nidoran-F in the wild and stick with that. -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. --Blue (Cerulean City): Nidoqueen should be strong enough to beat Blue's unevolved Pokemon. Squirtle has STAB Water Gun but it's fairly weak anyway. --Misty: This isn’t a good match-up. Nidoqueen is weak to Water and Nidorina is just weak. --Blue (S.S. Anne): Being weak to Kadabra's Confusion and Wartortle's Water Gun sucks, but you still have the other Pokemon that you can take on. Nidoqueen can beat them on strength alone. This battle is much easier in Yellow too. --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. --Blue (Pokemon Tower): In addition to Wartortle and Kadabra, RB adds a Gyarados with Hydro Pump to his team. If you have Thunderbolt then this is meaningless, but otherwise you should probably stay away. All of his other Pokemon are perfectly beatable though, especially if you started dumping your spare TMs in Nidoqueen (Earthquake, Ice Beam, etc). This battle is a mere speed bump in Yellow (Shellder with Clamp is the only thing hitting you super-effectively, and his team is mostly unevolved). The fact that you have a significant level advantage helps too. --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. --Blue (Silph Co.): In RB, his Pokemon are at better levels compared to the last battle, but you can still contribute comfortably. Charizard is immune to Earthquake, but Rock Slide can destroy it. This battle isn't so bad in Yellow since most of his Pokemon are weak to Earthquake or a coverage move. Just be careful around Vaporeon and maybe Cloyster. --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. Just be aware that Earthquake hits Nidoqueen for super-effective damage in Yellow. --Blue (Route 22, 2nd battle): In RB, the addition of Rhyhorn is irrelevent. Basically, if you beat a particular Pokemon in the last battle then you can probably beat it in this battle too. Much the same applies to Yellow, except that his starter Pokemon have more powerful moves now. His new Exeggcute resists Earthquake but is weak to a number of your potential coverage moves. --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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -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. --Blue (Cerulean City): Nidoking can win on power alone. It's weak to Squirtle's STAB but it's not that tough. --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. --Blue (S.S. Anne): Nidoking is weak to some of his moves (Confusion and Water Gun), but it can beat most of his team thanks to its good stats. This is even easier in Yellow. --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. --Blue (Pokemon Tower): This really isn't too challenging because you're at a higher level, although the addition of a Gyarados with Hydro Pump in RB is important. All of his Pokemon can be beaten with the appropriate coverage move, or just using its power advantage. --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. --Blue (Silph Co.): This is a bit of a step up from the last battle thanks to the superior levels of his team. You can still go toe to toe with him though. It's just a matter of picking your targets to suit your movepool. Note that Charizard gained an immunity to Ground when it evolved, but that it's now weaker to Rock Slide and Thunderbolt. Yellow Blue added a Kadabra with Psybeam, but your STAB is pretty useful against his Electric and Fire types. --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. --Blue (Route 22, 2nd battle): No matter what game you're playing, the new additions to his team didn't change much abot how you perform against him. Your strategies should be similar to the Silph Co. battle. --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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Squirtle (RB): Top Tier -Availability: Starter Pokemon. Evolves at Level 16, which would be early in the game, and then again at Level 36, during the middle of the game. -Stats: Blastoise has balanced stats. His offensive stats may not scream sweeper, but he can still hit hard. His defensive are also good and can let him take hits properly. -Movepool: Squirtle has a very good movepool to choose from. From its STAB it learns Bubble and Water Gun through level-up, then gets the BubbleBeam TM after beating Misty, and finally the Surf HM in Fuscia City. He can also get the Ice Beam or Blizzard TM to hit Grass and Dragon types, and either the Dig or Earthquake TM to hit Electric types. Keep in mind the Dig TM is in high demand, and being that Electric Pokemon don't resist Water, Squritle does not need the Dig TM. -Power: Squritle's offensive stats are now sweeper material, but he can OHKO or 2HKO many threats. -Type: Offensively, Water is a great type that is only resisted by Water, Grass, and Dragon. Dragon and Grass can be hit by a Ice Beam, meaning only opposing Water types can truly wall Squirtle. Defensively, Water is weak to Grass and Electric. Strong Electric moves are not common in the game, with only LT. Surge's Raichu having Thunderbolt. Grass types can be bothersome, especially since they Powder moves to status Squirtle. -Matchups: --Brock: Squirtle should have Bubble at this point, which not only has STAB but is 4x Super Effective on Brock's Pokemon. --Misty: Starmie resists Water but is Physically Frail, either raising Wartortle to learn Bite or teaching him the Mega Punch TM can help him overcome Misty. --LT Surge: Wartortle can get pass Voltorb and Pikachu just fine due to their lack of strong Electric moves. Wartortle loses to Raichu, however. --Erika: Wartortle can get the Ice Beam TM at this point to hit Erika's Pokemon for Super Effective damage but he will still have a hard time against this gym. Victreebell's Razor leaf is not only Super Effective but has a high Critical Hit Ratio, and Vileplume can use Mega Drain to hit for Super Effective and recover off previous damage. Tangela shouldn't be a threat due to his lack of Grass moves though. --Koga: While Water isn't Super Effective on Poison, Koga's Pokemon do not enjoy taking Special Hits, including STAB Surf. --Sabrina: Blastoise has the bulk to survive a Psychic or Psybeam and hit hard with a Physical move. --Blaine: Blastoise can spam Surf to hit his Pokemon for Super Effective Damage. --Giovanni: Same as Blaine. --Lorelei: Blastoise is walled here. Not only due most of her Pokemon resist Water and Ice, but they have good defenses to take Physical Attacks, especially Slowbro and Cloyster. However, keep in mind her Dewgong and Slowbro can't do much back to Blastoise, while Jynx doesn't even resist Water. --Bruno: Surf destroys his entire team due to Onix being 4x weak and the Fighting types having poor Specials. --Agatha: If you have Earthquake or Dig, you can use that to hit her Physically-frail Pokemon. Ice Beam/Blizzard takes down Golbat. --Lance: Surf takes down Aerodactyl while Ice Beam/Blizzard takes down the Dragons. However, Blastoise may have trouble with Gyarados as he resists Water and has the bulk to take on Ice moves. --Gary: Surf takes down Arcanine and Rhydon, while an Ice move hits Pidgeot. Unfortunately, Gary's Alakazam is a lot more threatening than Sabrina's as Gary's knows Psychic. Gyarados once again shows up to bother Blastoise, and Venusaur has the bulk to take an Ice move and hit back with Razor Leaf. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Zapdos - Top Tier -Availability: Zapdos is available mid-game after you beat Koga and are allowed to use the HM Surf outside a battle. A detour is needed to get to the Power Plant, but he comes at a high level of 50. -Stats: Zapdos has one of the highest BST in the game. Its stats allow it to outspeed most in-game threats, perform as a mixed a sweeper, and gives it the bulk to takes hit. -Movepool: When you capture Zapdos he has ThunderShock and Drill Peck, and is only 1 level away from learning Thunder. ThunderShock's low Base Power and Thunder's accuracy may be a turn off, so be sure to save the Thunderbolt TM that LT Surge gave you. Thunderbolt + Drill Peck is basically all Zapdos needs, the other two slots are basically just filler and can be used to slap the Fly HM on there. -Power: With 90 Base Attack and 125 Special, Drill Peck and Thunderbolt will hurt anything that isn't the Rock/Ground types or an Electric type. Electric Pokemon are not really really common after the Power Plant segment. The Rock/Ground types are 4x weak to both Grass and Water, so a Grass or Water type Pokemon partner is recommended to eliminate them for Zapdos. -Type: Electric/Flying means Zapdos is only weak to Rock and Ice. Rock moves are not common at all in the game. Most users of Ice moves in the games are Water types and are easily taken out by Thunderbolt -Match-ups: --Sabrina: Zapdos high Special means it has the bulk to take her attacks, and Drill Peck makes short work of her Pokemon due to their low Defense. --Blaine: Zapdos isn't guaranteed a sweep here but he can be a good help here. This battle is tougher in Yellow due to the higher levels and Blaine now having Ninetails on his team. --Giovanni: Zapdos can handle Dugtrio rather easily, and it can assist against Persian and the Nidos. However, Rhydon walls Zapdos due to its immunity to Thunderbolt and resistance to Drill Peck. --Lorelei: Zapdos is actually weak to Ice, but Thunderbolt can take out all of her Pokemon besides Jynx due to them being part Water. --Bruno: Zapdos resists Fighting and can Drill Peck his fighting types to KO, but sadly his Onix's wall Zapdos. --Agatha: The Ghosts low defense means Drill Peck will easily defeat them. Golbat and Arbok are easily taken out by Thunderbolt as well. --Lance: Zapdos outspeeds Gyarados and OHKO's it with Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is also Super Effective on Aerodactyl, but the latter out-speeds you so be ready to take a Hyper Beam. In RB, Zapdos can beat down on Dragonair and Dragonite with Drill Peck and Thunderbolt, respectively. The Dragons are tougher for Zapdos to fight in Yellow version due to one of his Dragonair's and his Dragonite having Ice moves, however. --Gary: Drill Peck takes out his Grass types where as Thunderbolt can take out his Water types and his Pidgeot. Zapdos can also use Drill Peck to take on his Alakazam and his Fire types if needed to. Zapdos has trouble against Rhydon, Jolteon, and Magneton however as they resist both of his STABs. -Additional Comments: As you can see Zapdos is worthy of his title as a legend. While it requires a detour, tons of patience to capture it, and the Thunderbolt TM you'll have a powerful Level 50 Pokemon that stays relevant throughout the entire game. A strong recommendation if you want to add a legendary to your team. High Tier (Move your mouse to reveal the content) High Tier (open) High Tier (close) -Bulbasaur (RB) - High Tier -Availability: Starter Pokemon -Stats: Above Average, his high Special works well with Razor Leaf’s critical hit ratio. -Movepool: Bulbasaur only gets Grass and Normal moves to work with. This provides it with strong neutral coverage and the Gastly line is the only one that resists Grass/Normal, although the amount of Pokemon that resist Grass demonstrate the limitations of Bulbasaur's movepool. Bulbasaur's early moves (Tackle and Vine Whip) are a bit weak, but it can also learn Razor Leaf reasonably early. Leech Seed is a neat move but has limited use in-game. Venusaur can also try a Growth + Mega Drain set, but probably isn’t the suitable Grass-type for this set due to learning Growth and Sleep Powder at such a late level. -Power: Bulbasaur can run into a few problems thanks to its limited coverage and weaker moves. It struggles early on, especially on Route 3, in Mt. Moon, and on Nugget Bridge. In general, Bulbasaur lacks overwhelming power before Razor Leaf, especially if Body Slam is unavailable to it. However, once it does learn Razor Leaf it can be quite a powerful attacker. It still runs into coverage problems at times, most notably in Pokemon Tower, but Razor Leaf is capable of OHKOing or 2HKOing almost everything. -Type: Grass/Poison. While Grass gives him the advantage over early gym leader, its STAB is resisted by many types. Most notable the abundance of Poison types in this game resist Razor Leaf, putting a damper on its power. -Match-ups: --Brock: Vine Whip is 4x Super Effective on his Pokemon and should take them out easily. However, Vine Whip may require a bit of grinding to obtain before Brock, and a combination of Leech Seed and Growl may be used to beat him instead. --Misty: Grass resists Water, and Ivysaur’s Vince Whip can take out Staryu and Starmie. --LT Surge: Ivysaur resists Electric, meaning he can take a hit here. Surge’s Pikachu and Raichu both know Thunder Wave, so outside of Paralyze Hax, you should be fine. --Erika: Erika's Pokemon resist Grass, so it will need a strong normal move such as Body Slam or Double-Edge if it wants to hold its own. Even if you have a strong normal move, Victreebel still might be a tough fight due to Sleep Powder + Wrap. Tangela can take a hit, but he can’t do much back to Venusaur. Vileplume is completely walled by Venusaur. --Koga: Posion resists Grass, and his Pokemon have good Defense to take a Normal move. However, his Pokemon don’t really have the best movesets and Razor Leaf spam can wear down his team. --Sabrina: Venusaur is weak to Psychic meaning he wont be able to accomplish much here. Also, Venusaur is actually weak to Bug in RBY, so even Venomoth threatens Venusaur. --Blaine: A strong normal move can take out Ponyta and Growlithe, but Rapidash outspeeds you and can Fire Spin trap you. Blaine’s Arcanine knows Fire Blast, which Venusaur wont enjoy taking at all. --Giovanni: Razor Leaf will easily dispose of Rhyhorn, Rhydon, and Dugtrio. Nidoqueen and Nidoking are not weak to Razor Leaf, but Venusaur can still take them out 1-1. --Lorlelei: Venusaur is weak to Ice, but if you are at an appropriate level, Razor Leaf will make short work of Dewgong, Cloyster, and Slowbro. Jynx however isn’t weak to Grass, and Lapras has the bulk to take a Razor Leaf and retaliate with Blizzard. --Bruno: Razor Leaf sweeps his whole team due to Brunos’ Pokemon having low Special. --Agatha: Her entire team resists Grass, and the Ghosts even resist your Normal Moves. --Lance: Due to the AI always going for Super Effective hits, his Dragonairs and Dragonites will only use Agility/Barrier and Venusaur can take them. Gyarados has a powerful Hyper Beam, but Venusaur resists his Hydro Pump and can wear him down with Razor Leaf. Aerodatyl is also another powerful user of Hyper Beam, but his low Special means Razor Leaf will make short work of him. --Blue: On a positive note, Rhydon is OHKO’d by a Grass move. Gary’s Exeggutor doesn’t know Psychic so Venusaur can beat him with a strong normal move. Venusaur resists Gyarados’s Hydro Pump, just watch out for Hyper Beam. However, Pidgeot resists Grass and Sky Attack will either make you switch out or be fainted. Alakazam outspeeds Venusaur and destroys it with Psychic. Charizard can also take you out with Fire Blast. -Additional Comments: Much like Charmander and Squirtle, Bulbasaur is a great in-game starter Pokemon, although it has a few flaws. It's limited movepool prevents it from being the powerful sweeper it could have been at many points in the game, and it will need some assistance from its teammates. However, Bulbasaur is mostly redeemed by its wonderful STAB Razor Leaf, as well as its type advantage over the early-game Gyms (which are arguably more difficult to overcome than many of the late-game ones). It also performs admirably against the Elite 4. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Charmander - High Tier -Availability: In RB, its a starter Pokemon. In Yellow, You get it at around the second gym at level 10. It comes under-leveled, but there is a patch of grass nearby containing Bellsprout, Oddish and Venonat, all of which Charmander can beat and all of which give plenty of experience. It does slow your playthrough a bit but it does not take Charmander too long to catch up and it’s worth it in the long run. -Stats: Charmander has good stats but Charmeleon’s 64 Attack and 64 Special are mediocre for a mid game Pokemon. Charizard’s stats are reasonably balanced. 100 Speed is great for in-game runs, and 84 Attack and 85 Special are acceptable. 78/78/85 bulk gives Charizard reasonable defensive capabilities, allowing it to takes hits now and then. -Movepool: Its level up movepool is not that great early on. Charmeleon needs Dig. Without it, Charmeleon is quite mediocre until it gets Slash at level 33. This is an issue since Dig is a valuable TM, but Charizard is a great user of Dig so don’t think of it as a waste. Charizard only needs Dig and Slash to dominate, and Fly and Flamethrower are mere bonuses. Note that Charizard only learns Fly in Yellow. -Power: Early Charmander gets a lucky break due to the omnipresent Bug trainers, but as soon as they start to fade out Charmander/Charmeleon enters a lag phase. Charmeleon makes a comeback with Dig (and later Slash) to start pulling its weight. Once it evolves it becomes excellent. Charizard is a great in-game Pokémon, powering through opponents with ease. -Type: It learns Fly (Yellow Only) and Flamethrower, which have good coverage (although Charizard will be using Slash and Dig for the most part). Defensively, it has a niche as a Fire type that is immune to Ground. Water, Rock, Ice and Electric weaknesses aren’t helpful but in most battles they are irrelevant because Charizard will kill opponents before they move. -Match-ups: --Brock: Brock's Pokemon resist Ember, but their low Special means they will still be hurt by Ember. Just don't attack Onix during his Bide period and you should be fine. It is only possible for Charmander to fight Brock in Red & Blue. --Rival (Nugget Bridge): Abra has no attacking moves, and Charmeleon can contribute against his Normal types. Squirtle has Water Gun though, so watch out. This match is only possible in R&B --Misty: Bad match-up, but Charmeleon with Dig can still act as a supporting attacker for teams lacking a specific answer to her team (e.g. finishing off Starmie after it's weakened and paralyzed). Rival (SS Anne) – In R&B Charmeleon should be able to handle his non-Wartortle due to them being underleveled, Charmeleon does a better job of contributing in Yellow due to the rival’s lack of a Water Pokemon at this point. --Lt. Surge: If you have Dig and are at an acceptable level, you will do well here. Without Dig or Mega Punch/Body Slam TM, Charmeleon will have a tough fight due lack of a strong move and being hit by Raichu's powerful Thunderbolt. --Erika: The sad thing is that Ember is not that powerful despite the type advantage, if you are high leveled enough to have Slash at this point you are better off using that. Overall, the grass resistance should be enough for you to contribute. --Rival (Pokemon Tower): Again in R&B his non-Wartortle Pokemon shouldn’t be a threat due to being underleveled. One good thing about picking Charmander means your rival will not have Gyarados, who can actually be a threat at this point if the game (if you didn’t use your Thunderbolt TM) due to its high stats and access to Dragon Rage & Hydro Pump. In Yellow Charmeleon shouldn’t have too much of a problem here except for Shellder. --Koga: In RB his Pokemon are weak against Ground meaning Dig will take them out, even without Dig Charizard stands a good chance due to Koga's Pokemon having poor move sets. In Yellow Fly is super-effective against his whole team and Psychic doesn’t exactly take Charizard down instantly. --Rival (Silph Co): In R&B Slash should be good enough for his team, it can even contribute against Blastoise as Blastoise best STAB at this point is the pathetic Water Gun. In Yellow, the Rival will have either a Vaperon/Cloyster or a Jolteon/Magneton that can hit Charizard super effectively. The Electric types are beatable if Charizard has enough health to survive ThunderShock and kill them with Dig, but the Water types are bulky enough to survive Charizard’s hits. Vaperon only has the weak Water Gun to hit Charizard, but Cloyster has STAB Aurora Beam. --Sabrina: Slash deals plenty of damage on her Pokémon’s lower defense stat. As long as you are at a reasonable level you should be fine. --Blaine: You win with access to Dig. Even without Dig, you still win due to Slash and a resistance to Fire. --Giovanni: Dig is Super Effective against his whole team except Persian and Dugtrio, both of which Charizard can overwhelm with Slash. Without Dig Giovanni will be harder to beat as his Pokemon can take a hit, especially considering in Yellow his Nido's have Thunder and his Rhydon has Rock Slide. --Rival (Pre-Victory Road): In R&B Pidgeot, Growlithe, Rhyhorn, and Exeggucute are easily beaten. Alakazam is also manageable but watch out for its Psychic. Charizard has to watch out for Blastoise here, as it now knows Hydro Pump. In Yellow, Charizard can handle everything except for Jolteon’s Thunder, Vaperon’s Hydro Pump, and Cloyster’s Clamp/Aurora Beam. --Lorelei: Charizard is actually weak to Ice in RBY (plus Water obviously) so this isn’t a good match-up. Slash should beat Jynx though. --Bruno: Dig for Onix, but they have Rock moves. Fighting resistance is helpful for Hitmonlee and Machamp. In Yellow, Charizard can use STAB Fly to score a Super Effective hit on his Fighting types. --Agatha: Dig/Fly/Earthquake is great against everything except Golbat, who isn’t that strong anyway. Without Dig, Charizard will have a tough time taking her Pokemon down to their high Special and immunity to Slash. If you plan on fighting Agatha in Yellow by using Dig/Fly, watch out for Substitute on her first Gengar. --Lance: Its weaknesses to Ice, Electric and Water hurt it, and Aerodactyl is the only Pokémon in the game to resist all of Charizard’s main moves. This isn’t a great match-up for Charizard. --Blue: You should be fine to take on Sandslash, Rhydon, Pidgeot, Exeggutor, Ninetales, Arcanine, Flareon, and Alakazam is perfectly beatable thanks to Slash. -Additional Comments: The main thing that prevents Charmander being Top tier is that it is rather weak before Slash, as it has to rely on Scratch and Ember. Before Slash, it gets a few notable TM's such as Mega Punch, Body Slam, and Dig. But the most efficient one (Dig) is a highly contested TM. Once Charizard has Slash and Dig, he becomes quite a monster and a valuable edition to any team. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Doduo - High Tier -Availability: After Gym 3, once the player has made it to Celadon. Doduo can be found in RB at a rate of 25% between the levels of 18-22 on Route 16. In Yellow, it can be found at a rate of 35% between the levels of 22-26. Doduo can also be found on Route 17, 18 and in the Safari Zone. Wild Dodrio can also be found at level 29 at a rate of 1% on Route 17 in Yellow - that's probably not worth your time, though. -Stats: Doduo, and later Dodrio, has strong attack and speed stats. It's not as strong on the defensive side, with middling HP, defense and special. -Movepool: While extremely shallow, Doduo's move pool is tailor made towards its stats and typing. Through level up, it learns mostly normal and flying type attacks which are physical - notably Drill Peck at a mere level 30. It starts with Peck and Growl but can inexplicably be taught the Fly HM (conveniently located right on Route 16!) for a great, early attack. Doduo's move pool is so shallow that it actually wants the Fly HM; quite convenient. While it learns Tri Attack naturally, TM49 can be obtained in the Celadon Department Store on the roof in exchange for a Lemonade. Not many pokemon can learn and effectively make use of the Tri AttackTM so it's a worthwhile investment on Doduo. It can also learn TM08 Body Slam and TM10 Double-Edge for other normal STABs but Tri Attack will arguably suffice if those two TMs need to be saved. Later, Dodrio can learn TM15 Hyper Beam which makes for a strong finishing move. Recommended move set for Doduo/Dodrio would be Drill Peck, Tri Attack, Fly, and one of Body Slam, Double-Edge or Hyper Beam. -Power: The attack stat coupled with STAB on its damaging moves gives Doduo/Dodrio a lot of punch. Most pokemon that don't resist normal or flying will have a difficult time standing up to Drill Peck and Tri Attack. The speed stat allows for a quick strike and more critical hits, making Doduo/Dodrio even more dangerous. -Type: While Normal/Flying typing doesn't scream "offensive dynamo," not much in the gameplay can actually stand up to that combination of STAB attacks. Most pokemon will at least take neutral damage from either Flying or Normal attacks. The only type to watch out for is Rock, which can handily be disposed of by a Grass or Water type partner. Defensively, Electric, Ice and Rock moves are what to watch out for but with low HP and defensive stats, hard hitters of any type can be a threat - especially because Dodrio only resists Grass and Bug moves (the latter of which is extremely rare). -Match-ups: --Erika: Doduo can make quick work of all of the trainers in the Celadon Gym. This is made even easier by teaching it Fly. --Koga: Koga in RB features a group of poison types which can be hit for decent damage with STABs, although they are physically bulky and there are better Pokemon for this match-up than Dodrio. Yellow version Koga is destroyed by Flying type attacks. --Sabrina: Sabrina's Psychic types are weak on the defensive side and will take plenty of damage from Drill Peck or Tri Attack. Dodrio is frail but it will still do quite well here. --Blaine: Blaine's gym might be weak to Water attacks but again, STAB Drill Peck hits hard. There is little reason to use Dodrio here over something like Blastoise, but it does well regardless. --Giovanni: Dodrio isn't all that great here but it can destroy Dugtrio pretty easily. Persian is beatable in Yellow too. Dodrio will need to sit out against the Rock-types, and the Nidos have Thunder in Yellow. --Lorelei: You have an Ice weakness and her Pokemon are bulky overall. Jynx is your main target but other than that you can probably leave this to something else. --Bruno: He carries Fighting types and they are easy pickings with their weakness to Drill Peck. Leave Onix for something else. --Agatha: Her ghosts can be hit hard by Drill Peck, though not for super effective damage. --Lance: Not much to say here. Dodrio can probably beat the Dragonair on stats alone. This is more challenging in Yellow thanks to Thunderbolt/Thunder and Ice Beam/Blizzard being used by his Dragons. --Blue: In RB, Dodrio can be used against the champion's Venusaur/Exeggutor for super-effective results and against his Pidgeot and Alakazam for large chunks of neutral damage. In Yellow, Sandslash can't do much to you, and Alakazam, Exeggutor, and Ninetales are all fairly easy to beat. -Additional comments: A smart Doduo trainer will beeline west from Rock Tunnel to Route 16 immediately and make capture a priority. This allows for maximum opportunities to get Doduo up to par level and moveset wise. Probably one of the few notable downsides to Doduo is that it's slightly behind when you catch it. That said, Doduo's placement just outside of Celadon couldn't be more perfect. There are plenty of useful, new TMs that Doduo learns that become available in Celadon and many fodder trainers to use for experience growth, especially everyone in the 4th Gym. It also evolves at level 31 into Dodrio which is a huge power boost. No TMs are a must but it is recommended that the Tri AttackTM be used instead of waiting until level 45 for Dodrio to learn it. Fly is also recommended as there's space in the move set for it without sacrificing another attack. It's very handy when a roster mon can also assist with HM duties without any drawbacks. Doduo/Dodrio is a quick, straight forward attacker which has the ability to quickly one shot many trainer opponents with its high attack and speed and for that it deserves a spot among the better Pokemon in the game. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Farfetch'd (RB) - High Tier -Availability: Spearow can be traded for Farfetch'd in Vermilion City. Spearow themselves are common in the early routes and can be found up to level 17 just outside Vermilion. -Stats: Farfetch'd's base stats are all near 60. Its low stats are somewhat redeemed by the exp. bonus it gets from being an outsider. When you account for its extra levels, Farfetch'd is roughly equivalent to a Pokémon with base 90 attack and its other stats at base 75, which is unremarkable but acceptable. -Movepool: Farfetch'd has a narrow but coherent movepool. It can learn Body Slam, Double-Edge, and Fly by TM and HM—these are its attacks for most of the game. At level 23 it learns Swords Dance, making it much more dangerous against bosses and other multi-Pokémon trainers, and at level 39 it learns Slash, an immensely powerful move that can one-shot many opponents. Agility, which it learns at level 31, is a decent replacement for one of the above moves that allows it to avoid hits and better sweep bosses. It should also be noted that Farfetch'd is the only Pokemon in RB that can learn Cut and Fly, which makes it one of the better HM slaves and saves you a small amount of time spent catching separate Cut and Fly slaves. -Power: Due to its STAB on Body Slam and Fly, coupled with Swords Dance, as well as its late-game Slash (which is unaffected by the Swords Dance attack boosts but does much more damage without setup), Farfetch'd is an offensive juggernaut. -Type: Farfetch'd both hits and gets hit for neutral damage most of the time. -Match-ups: --Lt. Surge: Raichu OHKO's Farfetch'd. --Erika: Farfetch'd should win with Fly. It cannot OHKO Victreebel, unfortunately, which leaves it open to Sleep Powder. --Koga: Farfetch'd can set up on the first Koffing, though Smokescreen can complicate your sweep. Muk's Sludge and Weezing's Selfdestruct will probably kill you if they hit. --Sabrina: Kadabra and Alakazam are strong enough to two-shot Farfetch'd at least, so if you're going for a sweep you have to hope they choose other moves. Your best strategy is probably to leave Kadabra to one of your other Pokémon and set up your Swords Dance (and Agility, if you have it) on Mr. Mime. --Blaine: Farfetch'd's newly-learned Slash will ream Blaine's gym, 2HKOing even his bulky Arcanine. You could also set up Swords Dance as usual. --Giovanni: As silly as it looks, Farfetch'd can Swords Dance on Giovanni's Rhyhorn and sweep his team. It will have to endure residual damage and there are Pokémon who can beat Rhyhorn and Rhydon faster. Farfetch'd can also outpower Giovanni's non-Rock Pokémon with Slash. --Lorelei: Farfetch'd can set up against Slowbro and sweep through Jynx and Lapras. It can win individually against Dewgong but will get heavily damaged. Cloyster's high defense and Aurora Beam will defeat Farfetch'd. --Agatha: Farfetch'd must risk various status effects to beat Agatha's Pokémon. It faces additional problems setting up a sweep in that the attack boosts from Swords Dance will increase confusion damage and Golbat can Haze away its boosts. Farfetch'd can usually beat Agatha's Pokémon individually but a sweep is unlikely. --Lance: Farfetch'd is too frail to survive Lance's heavy attacks. --Rival: Farfetch'd does not like Alakazam but can win in a pinch if Alakazam does not use Psychic or Psybeam. It also struggles against the sheer power of Gyarados, Blastoise, and Charizard. A Farfetch'd with both Swords Dance and Agility can set up a full sweep on Rival's Pidgeot; if only Swords Dance, then it can set up against Rhydon and hopefully make it to Rival's last Pokémon. -Additional comments: Farfetch'd is a much more serious Pokémon than it looks. It makes up for mediocre speed and bulk and slight TM dependence with its great power. It one- or two-shots most common enemies and matches well against most bosses. Be careful not to exceed the level at which you can control outsiders, though, or your greatest ally can turn into your worst nightmare. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Gastly/Haunter - High Tier -Availability: Lavender Town, after defeating Celadon Rockets, comes at a decent level of around 25 (slightly below or equal to your teammates). Grinding the Ghosts isn't too difficult, and the Fighting Dojo deserves particular emphasis as a grinding spot for the Ghosts because they are completely immune to all of their attacks. The weaker unevolved Ghastly is available, and you're guaranteed to run into them--but why bother when you can catch a wild Haunter relatively easily? Haunter should be immediately evolved to its final form, Gengar. -Stats: Excellent Speed and Special, all it needs to excel despite its poor physical bulk and low Attack. -Movepool: Gengar's biggest problem is a lack of any STAB attacks (besides lick, which we might as well forget). Even if it had STAB attacks, its STABs are both physical. Gengar pretty much needs TM support to be effective, and will be using up some combination of Psychic / Thunderbolt / Mega Drain. If you really don't want to give it your Psychic TM, you can try relying on the shaky accuracy of Hypnosis to abuse Dream Eater, a TM you can easily get by flying back to Viridian from Celadon. With Gengar's frail bulk though, you're usually best off not relying on shaky accuracy moves like Hypnosis and Thunder. -Power: Hits more than reasonably hard. Don't expect it to wipe teams out like Alakazam (since it has no STAB) but it can definitely dish out the pain. -Type: Ah, here's the real attraction. Immunity to Normal attacks is HUGE in RBY, in-game as well as competitively, since basically everything relies on Normal attacks for coverage. With just that, Gengar is immune to more than half of all the attacks of all the NPC characters, and its resistances to Poison and Grass only sweeten the deal, as does immunity to poison status. The Weakness to Psychic is a problem only against a handful of the stronger characters, and the weakness to Ground is almost irrelevant as so few foes actually carry Ground-type attacks. -Match-ups: --Erika: You're not awfully likely to still have this match-up at the point you get Gengar, but Gengar excels here nonetheless. Psychic destroys all of Erika's Pokemon (her two strongest are Poison-types), and Gengar is immune to Poison Powder and resists Grass-type attacks. --Koga: Gengar can easily take on his entire team, being 4x resistant to Sludge and being immune to all Normal-type attacks, including Koga's most dangerous technique, Self-Destruct. However, Gengar's Speed and powerful Psychic attack would destroy Koga regardless. --Sabrina: Hahahahaha... use something else... No, Lick does not work... --Blaine: Not a great match-up but Gengar does have the advantage since Blaine's Pokemon will have to rely on their Special Fire-type attacks to damage Gengar, who will defend and attack with its high Special. --Giovani: With Psychic and Mega Drain, Gengar can basically take out everything Giovani has. If he tries to hit Gengar with Dugtrio's Dig, just switch to a Flying-type. --Lorelei: Gengar can do well here, but only if you gave it Thunderbolt or Thunder. --Bruno: Hahahaha... with Psychic and Mega Drain Gengar out speeds and one shots everything Bruno has. --Agatha: Psychic kills all her Pokemon. The only attack she has that is of any threat is Dream Eater, so just use the Pokeflute to avoid it completely. Keep in mind that her boss Gengar has Psychic itself in Yellow version, so you will have to level up Gengar to beat hers in this quick-draw Psychic battle. --Lance: In Red and Blue, Gengar is immune to every attack Lance has except for Dragon Rage (lol) and Gyarados's Hydro Pump (so just teach Gengar Thunderbolt...). In the Yellow, his Dragon's can attack you with their weak un-STAB elemental attacks, but really, they're not that much of a threat. --Rival: With Thunderbolt / Psychic / Mega Drain, Gengar destroys Pidgeot, Rhydon, Arcanine (Ember is its only Fire-type move...), Ninetales (It's slower and only has Fire Spin...), Exeggcutor (Barrage and Stomp are its only moves...), Venusaur, Cloyster, Gyarados, and Vaporeon. Charizard, Flareon, Jolteon, and Magneton can give Gengar some trouble, while Alakazam and Sandslash kill Gengar outright. -Additional Comments: With its fantastic typing and stats, Gengar can really excel against numerous foes of the in-game world-- only problem is it sucks up a lot of useful TMs. If you don't need to give Psychic to something else, it's worth a go, and if you (for some bizarre reason) don't mind giving up Thunderbolt, definitely give Gengar a go. Offensively, it's inferior to Alakazam and Starmie, but it's far superior to both defensively thanks to its amazing typing. Gengar is also easier to obtain than either, not requiring the bullshit Abra gives you to capture and evolve it to Kadabra, and appears much earlier than Staryu. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Jolteon - High Tier -Availability: Jolteon is given to you as a level 25 Eevee in Celadon City. It evolves to Jolteon through use of a Thunderstone, which happen to be for sale in Celadon Department Store. -Stats: With base 110 Special, Jolteon's attacks pack quite a punch against anything that don't resist them, while base 130 Speed ensures that it outpaces everything, with very few exceptions. Its physical isn't the best in the world, but it usually won't matter in most situations as most physical attackers (barring Ground-types, of course) don't have the bulk to take a Thunderbolt. -Movepool: Jolteon's movepool basically consists of Thundershock, Thunderbolt, and filler such as Pin Missile. Thunderbolt is the attack Jolteon should be using in most situations, and it's very close to being necessary for Jolteon to do well. Thundershock allows it to take care of the Pokemon weak to Thunderbolt (which happen to be quite common after dealing with the Snorlax on Route 12) without wasting too much PP, but keep in mind it can't learn Thundershock in Yellow. Of all of Jolteon's remaining moves, the one with the most potential would be Pin Missile. It is learned at level 36 in Yellow and hits Psychic-types super effectively, but don't be surprised if they survive due to Jolteon's below average Attack. Still, it's likely to be better than Thunderbolt against Psychic-types, but Jolteon can't really use it in Red or Blue due to not learning it until level 48. It also hits every Grass-type not named Tangela or Parasect for 4x effective damage, making it very useful against them, but Grass-types are uncommon after Celadon Gym. While Double Kick is a Fighting-type move, it fails to do significant damage to Rock-types, making it almost completely useless. Another possible move Jolteon might make use of is Thunder Wave, as it can paralyze speedy Pokemon for a slow teammate to crush or set up on, but it has very little use otherwise, as the best thing to do in most other situations is to just attack. -Power: The only things that can reliably take Jolteon's Thunderbolt are either Ground- or Grass-types, and Jolteon doesn't even need Thunderbolt for Flying- or Water-types, as Thundershock will usually get the job done against them. Notable exceptions to the above are Lapras and Slowbro. -Type: Electric-type moves have great neutral coverage, only being resisted by Ground-types and Grass-types, both of which are quite uncommon outside of the Viridian and Celadon Gyms, respectively. It also hits Flying-types and Water-types super effectively, both of which are quite common after Pokemon Tower. -Match-ups: --Erika: Jolteon can't do much here due to her Pokemon all having both good Special and a resistance to Electric-type moves. --Koga: Sludge can hurt quite a bit, especially from Muk, the Pokemon on his team most likely to withstand a Thunderbolt. Things are better in Yellow as none of his Pokemon have (threatening) STAB and are generally frailer than in Red and Blue. --Sabrina: Her Pokemon all have high Special, canceling out Jolteon's impressive Special, but Thunderbolt deals more damage to Kadabra than Recover heals, meaning Jolteon is guaranteed to take down at least 3 of her Pokemon in Red and Blue. Despite being able to learn Pin Missile at that point in Yellow, it actually does worse against her than in Red and Blue, due to all of her Pokemon actually having a Speed advantage against it. --Blaine: As with RB Sabrina, Jolteon can beat all of his Pokemon minus Arcanine. --Giovanni: Jolteon can't do much of anything here. --Lorelei: Jolteon can beat Dewgong, Cloyster, and Slowbro with little trouble. It can also defeat Jynx one-on-one, but Lapras can take a hit and retaliate with either a 120 base power STAB move or with Body Slam/Confuse Ray to inflict status. --Bruno: His duo of Onix wall Jolteon without hesitation or worry, but his Fighting-types will easily fall to Thunderbolt. --Agatha: Each of her Ghost-types can take a Thunderbolt, albeit without losing a noticeable chunk of HP, and proceed to status Jolteon; however, should they not, Jolteon can beat them. --Lance: His Gyarados is fried before you can bat an eye. Aerodactyl is also OHKOed, but it is faster due to its higher level, and Hyper Beam hits like a truck. His other Pokemon can easily take a Thunderbolt and Hyper Beam in return. --Rival: Regardless of the game, his Water-type will always be beaten. His Grass-type can be taken down with Pin Missile, but don't expect Jolteon to get off scot free. His Charizard, should he have it, is another Pokemon who's defeated without much worry, and the same can be said about Pidgeot. There's no way Jolteon's getting past Rhydon (RB) or Sandslash (Y), and it also has trouble with Alakazam.-Additional Comments: If you plan on using Jolteon, teaching it Thunderbolt is almost a necessity, as its movepool is quite barren otherwise. This is especially notable in Yellow, as it can't even learn Thundershock in that game. However, if given Thunderbolt, Jolteon will excel and cruise through more than half the time it's in your party, with the only times it does poorly being Celadon and Viridian Gyms. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Jynx - High Tier -Availability: Jynx is obtained through a trade in Cerulean City in Red and Blue, but the Poliwhirl you need in order to get it is unavailable until you have the Super Rod. That means you can obtain Jynx as soon as you get the Poke Flute, as you can fish for Poliwhirl in Celadon City/Route 10 and have a 50% chance to get it. From there, Jynx has about half the game ahead of it. -Stats: Jynx is fragile, but fast enough to outspeed pretty much anything with a level lead. It can be outraced by something like Lance's Aerodactyl if you didn't use an X-Speed though. -Movepool: When you get your (probably L23 or so) Jynx, the only good move it will have is Lovely Kiss. However, the Ice Beam and Psychic TMs are available to it as soon as you get it. If you don't want to invest Ice Beam into Jynx, it also learns Ice Punch at L31, and even Blizzard at L58 (though it's unlikely to end up that high if your party is reasonably large, so if you want Blizzard just use the TM). It also learns Body Slam naturally at L39, which can be used against fellow Psychics. -Power: Jynx's Special is pretty good, Attack not so much. However, its attacking moves are backed by high base power, STAB, AND usually a type advantage, so it tends to destroy everything from the getgo. -Type: Ice/Psychic is the best offensive typing you could get in-game, probably. Both of its types hit super effective on a lot of common and important enemies. Jynx's weaknesses generally don't end up being exploited because the types it's weak to are fairly rare other than perhaps Fire, plus it's so fast and powerful that whatever gets hit by it ends up crumbling. For example, it's weak to Rock Slide, but Jynx isn't afraid of Rhydon. -Match-ups: The best part about Jynx. With just the Psychic TM, Jynx can go the distance against Team Rocket in Silph Co., the Fighting Dojo, the Bikers on the Cycling Road, Erika and Koga. It might not OHKO all of these right away, but it grows really fast thanks to the trade EXP bonus, so it will soon enough. Ice Punch or Ice Beam works well against Giovanni's gym. From there, Jynx does fine against Lorelei (though if you want to conserve her PP, its best to leave her out of that one), and then proceeds to massacre Bruno, Agatha and Lance (except Gyarados, but you can Lovely Kiss that). Jynx can also assist in battles against Gary, able to do a number on Pidgeot, Rhydon, and Venusaur/Exeggutor. It's also one of the safer ways to tackle Sabrina and Gary's Alakazam, since it can paralyze them with Body Slam, freeze with an Ice move, and/or use Psychic to drop their Special without being at risk of getting KO'd in the meantime. -Additional comments: Jynx does pretty much require the Psychic TM, so obviously don't use it in the same playthrough as something else that wants to use that. Even though Jynx will start underleveled, the trade EXP and its high offense let it stand on its own legs very quickly. Lovely Kiss is also very powerful in a game where you can't attack on the same turn you wake up. It lets Jynx put strong enemies to sleep and stay in with very little risk, and it also assists in catching Pokemon. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Krabby (Blue/Yellow) – High Tier -Availability: While Krabby can be caught in its base form by fishing with the Super Rod in various areas including (but not limited to) Fuschia City, Vermilion City, and Routes 11, 12, 18, it'll only be level 15, meaning it would have quite a long way to catch up the rest of the party. In Yellow, Krabby can be found in the bottom 2 floors of Seafoam Islands by means of the Super Rod at level 35 as a Kingler. However, Kingler can be found at the B3 floor of Seafoam Islands level 39, which should be very similar in level to the rest of your team, provided you went to get it before clearing out Silph Co. While they only have a 4% chance of appearing, Repels remedy this, provided the Pokemon leading your party isn't below level 34 or above level 39 at the time. Krabby can evolve at level 28, in other words right after being caught. -Stats: Kingler has a massive base 130 Attack, which is tied with Rhydon and Flareon and second only to Dragonite, which is almost impossible to get in-game without a large amount of grinding. Its Defense isn't too far behind, and its Speed is enough to outpace an almost all of the game's remaining Pokemon (at least those who aren't higher leveled than it). However, Kingler's weakest stat is Special, at a dismal base 50. Of course, If you settled for Krabby to get earlier access to Crabhammer, you don't have to worry too much, as it still has solid Attack and Defense. -Movepool: Krabby and Kingler have exclusive access to the move Crabhammer, which acts like a slightly more powerful, 85% accurate, Water-type Slash, and as such is the best Water-type move in the game. As such, it makes up for Kingler's pathetic Special, and is mandatory on it. Kingler, like most other Water-types, has access to Ice Beam and Blizzard, but its awful Special means its usability outside of Lance is just as bad. Also, Kingler can learn Guillotine, which is an OHKO move and as such can make it quite useful for major battles in combination with X Accuracy and X Speed when Crabhammer and Strength can't cut it. Kingler learns Guillotine at level 25 and Crabhammer at level 42. Also, catching Krabby rather than Kingler in Yellow for an earlier Crabhammer is a definite option, as Krabby learns it at level 35. If you teach Kingler Surf and Strength, it can also act as a useful HM slave alongside its role of killing things with Crabhammer. -Power: Against the majority of trainers, Kingler does well, with Crabhammer to annihilate anything weak to it and Strength to deal with everything else. Crabhammer and Water-typing combined with a titanic Base 130 Attack make Kingler a mixed attacker while simultaneously having perfect type coverage in just 2 moves, allowing it to hold its own against the majority of the game's remaining trainers. -Type: While Kingler is a Water-type with no secondary typings, it isn't too bad, because Kingler's weaknesses are both very uncommon, meaning Kingler won't have much to worry about in the majority of battles as far as type match-ups are concerned. -Match-ups: The X item + Guillotine combination will not be taken into account for these battles, as Kingler defeats everybody (with the exceptions of Agatha and Sabrina) with it. --Sabrina: Although Strength hits her Pokemon like a truck, the majority of her Pokemon are faster than Kingler and hurt it hard due to its dismal Special. --Blaine: Considering the fact that his Pokemon are weak to Crabhammer and the fact that Kingler can confidently take physical hits not boosted by STAB, the outcome of this should be easy to see. --Giovanni: Giovanni is steamrolled in Red and Blue, but he is definitely more threatening to Kingler in Yellow, as both his Nidos know Thunder, meaning if they survive a Crabhammer, there's a 70% chance of it getting fried. --Lorelei: Unfortunately for Kingler, Lorelei happens to have Cloyster, Slowbro, and Lapras: the 3 Water-types that give Kingler the most trouble, in her arsenal. --Bruno: Kingler can take a good amount of his Pokemon's attacks and whack them hard with Crabhammer, but don't expect Kingler to take hits from his entire team, as it only 2HKOes the Fighting-types, meaning they're guaranteed to get at least one hit in, and Hitmonlee can attack a second time before going down, thanks to its superior Speed. --Agatha: Her Ghost-types can comfortably take everything Kingler can throw at it, although multiple Crabhammers will wear them down over time. It doesn't help that her first Gengar in Yellow knows Mega Drain. --Lance: While Kingler can withstand more than one Hyper Beam, the only Pokemon it can do large amounts of damage against without the need for TMs is Aerodactyl. If Blizzard is added to the mix, Kingler can take out some of his Dragon-types, but they're merely 2HKOes against them, which when combined with Blizzards pathetic 5 PP means it usually won't be able to defeat his 2 Dragonair and his Dragonite in the same battle. In Yellow, Lance's first Dragonair and Dragonite know Thunderbolt and Thunder, respectively, neutralizing any attempts at chilling them to the bone. --Rival: Needless to say, Alakazam, Magneton, and Jolteon beat Kingler with little trouble. Venusaur also does this, but it would require you to start the game with Squirtle, which means that scenario is very unlikely to happen. Gyarados, Cloyster, and Vaporeon can cause trouble, thanks to their usable, stellar, and solid (respectively) physical bulk. Everything else is handily beaten. -Additional Comments: Kingler's greatest asset is its access to Crabhammer. Because of this, Repels aren't completely necessary, as Krabby should be able to hold its own until it learns Crabhammer at level 35. Of course, the second-highest Attack stat in the game as well as possessing perfect type coverage and the ability to hit solidly on both ends of the spectrum at the same time help its cause as well. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Mr. Mime - High Tier -Availability: Obtained from a trade (Abra in RB and Clefairy in Yellow). Its level when you receive it depends on the level of the Pokémon you are trading. Chances are it will be underleveled unless you happen to level up the Pokémon you are going to trade away as you are heading to Vermillion City. However, the boosted experience allows Mr. Mime to gain levels very quickly and it will catch up to the rest of your team in a flash. -Stats: Mr. Mime has good Speed (90) and Special (100), giving it strong battling capabilities. The HP (40) and Defense (65) are low but it isn’t a crippling problem because most opponents will fold before they strike. Its frailty may come into play in gym leader battle though. -Movepool: Sadly, Mr. Mime has a poor level-up movepool. Confusion is its only decent attack, although it is acceptable early on and makes a good back-up to Psychic for killing weaklings and conserving PP. Speaking of which, it can learn Psychic through TM, which is pretty much all it needs. It also gets Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is its best option against other Psychics and it expands its coverage a bit, but it isn't something that Mr. Mime is in desperate need for and it should only be used if you have nothing else to give it to (Electric-types get first dibs). -Power: Mr. Mime is actually the weakest fully evolved pure-Psychic type, but this is more of a reflection of the quality of the other Psychics rather than Mr. Mime itself. It doesn’t quite OHKO with Confusion like Kadabra/Alakazam tend to but it is still a powerful Pokémon capable of at least 2HKOing pretty much everything. When it gets Psychic (obtainable before Erika) it really takes off and is capable of OHKOing most things. -Type: Psychic is highly regarded as the best type in RBY. Psychic is super-effective against Fighting and Poison, allowing it to blast through Team Rocket grunts, and it is only resisted by itself so it has excellent neutral coverage. -Match-ups: --Lt. Surge: Decent match-up in RB thanks to high Special and his team's lack of powerful physical moves. Yellow is harder thanks to Mega Punch and Mega Kick. Raichu can take Confusion fairly easily too. --Erika: Psychic destroys almost everything in this whole gym. Tangela can take it better than Gloom/Vileplume and Weepinbell/Victreebel but it can’t do much back. --Koga: Psychic is super-effective against everything and it resists the Psychic attacks being fired back at it in Yellow. It should do great here. --Sabrina: Pretty much a mirror match. The outcome depends on level but Recover gives Kadabra and Alakazam a bit of an edge unfortunately. You should beat Venomoth in RB easily though. --Blaine: This also depends on level but Mr. Mime’s high special helps it take Flamethrower/Fire Blast. It doesn’t dominate because physical attacks hurt but it can contribute. --Giovanni: Psychic makes short work of Nidoqueen and Nidoking. His other Pokémon have poor Special stats but they can hit back hard. Mr. Mime can contribute here too but just be wary of things like Persian's Slash. --Lorelei: A neutral match-up overall, although Slowbro and Jynx resist Psychic so they are tricky to take down (note that Slowbro has Amnesia). Thunderbolt is useful here if you gave it to Mr. Mime, although your Electric type probably got it instead. --Bruno: You win easily here. His fighting Pokémon lose. Onix is frail and can't hit back hard enough to be a real threat. --Agatha: Psychic is super-effective against everything. You should win unless you get unlucky with confusion damage or something. --Lance: There isn’t really an advantage or a disadvantage type wise. Mr. Mime won’t want to take Hyper Beam too much, but it can take special attacks which is handy in Yellow. Thunderbolt is great for Gyarados and Aerodactyl. --Blue: None of his Pokémon are actually weak to Psychic except Venusaur, so this will come down to stats. You should be able to at least beat things like Venusaur, Pidgeot, and Rhydon among others. Thunderbolt will expand your targets too. Overall, Mr. Mime can pull its weight and you just have to pick your targets wisely. -Additional Comments: Although it doesn't have the raw killing power of Alakazam, it is still a great battler and the massive amount of experience this gains from battling makes it a great choice. It makes Mr. Mime a breeze to train and it also give more opportunities for its teammates to jump into battle and gain experience, making it a great team supporter. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Omanyte - High Tier -Availability: Omanyte is accessible as soon as you have the ability to Surf, which requires the defeat of Koga. Omanyte comes at a strong Lv30, 10 levels away from evolution, and can defeat the local gym rather quickly for free experience. -Stats: Omanyte possesses good Defense and Special, allowing it to have excellent bulk at both ends of the offensive spectrum. Said Special also gives him great offense as his STAB Surfs are ridiculously powerful, and he can use Ice Beam/Blizzard as auxiliary coverage. Omanyte has average speed but it is enough for most in-game purposes. -Movepool: Omanyte has instant access to one of the best moves in the game in Surf, and is an investment well worth making since Omanyte with Surf is capable of steamrolling Blaine's entire gym at base level. Omanyte can also use Ice Beam / Blizzard to great effect, especially against enemies such as Lance. -Power: Instant access to 95 BP STAB does wonders for Omanyte, especially when it makes training a breeze. Omanyte has instant wins over Blaine and RB Giovanni/Lance, and can help out significantly in most other battles due to the sheer power of STAB Surf. -Type: Omanyte's Rock-typing is a double-edged sword. It does not bring any STAB to the table, not even Rock Slide. Rather, it brings to the table a Fighting and Ground weakness and compounds the Grass weakness of the Water-typing. However, Rock also gives it a nice resistance to Normal to complement its excellent defense. Omastar's coverage is generally limited to Surf/Blizzard or Ice Beam, but Omastar is strong enough that it usually ends up spamming these most of the time. -Matchups: --Erika: Chances are you will not have Omanyte around for this battle, but regardless it's best not to use Omanyte here, even if you have taught Ice Beam or Blizzard. This is because Erika's Pokemon will outrun and hit hard with Razor Leaf/Mega Drain. --Sabrina: Omastar is a decent choice for this battle, although don't expect it to contribute significantly, since Sabrina's Pokemon have equally good Specials. --Blaine: Omanyte can literally walk in here at base level and steamroll everything. Due to a resistance to Normal/Fire, Omanyte tanks almost everything here with ease even when underlevelled and retaliates hard with Surf. --Giovanni: Omastar will have a good time here in RB due to everything being weak to Surf. In Yellow, Giovanni packs Earthquake Dugtrio and Thunder Nidos that make using Omastar a risky prospect. He's still one of the best candidates to kill Rhydon, if not for free EXP. --Rival (Pre-Victory Road): It wins Pidgeot and Exeggcute with Blizzard, as well as all the fire types and Rhydon with Surf. It's stalemated against Gyarados/Alakazam, while Blastoise and Venusaur can beat it. --Lorelei: Not a battle that Omastar performs well in. Her stuff either resists Surf, Ice Beam/Blizzard, or both, not including that all of them have relatively good special. --Bruno: A cakewalk. Omastar can survive one of Hitmonlee's attacks and retaliate with Surf, Hitmonchan and Onix are both jokes, and Machamp can be handled if Omastar enters with full HP. --Agatha: The only thing you really need to watch out here is Mega Drain/Psychic Gengar, otherwise Omastar can tank everything else easily due to them being physical attacks. Lance: RB Lance is easily taken care of by Omastar with the support of an electric-type to remove Gyarados. For Yellow, it's slightly trickier since Omastar has both Thunderbolt Dragonair and Thunder Dragonite to contend with. --Blue: Almost the same deal as the other rival battle, i.e. bad against Blastoise/Venusaur/Exeggutor, wins Pidgeot/Rhydon/Fire-type, stalemates on Alakazam/Gyarados. -Additional Comments: Omanyte's main asset is being a late-game water: it's also one of the strongest at that. Rock-typing makes playing Omastar slightly more interesting than the others, but overall it's still one of those generic water-types. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Sandshrew - High Tier -Availability: Sandshrew is only available in Blue and Yellow. You can get it on Route 4 in Blue, or even earlier on Route 3 or Mt Moon (1F) if you're playing Yellow. -Stats: This line has some pretty good Attack and Defense. Nothing else really stands out, but it has enough Speed to get the jump on most enemies as long as it's got the usual level advantage. That sore Special is only a problem when it has to take a hit. -Movepool: It learns Slash at L17, giving Sandshrew 62.5% chance to score a CH. Sandslash has the full 99.6%. However, beyond that, the level-up movepool is completely barren. The best TM move you can teach it is Dig, which is also the only TM it will ever really need to perform well. It's a costly one, though, but few Pokemon can claim to use it better. Earthquake TM can be a nice PP addition or even replacement for Dig when you get it in Silph Co. Rock Slide might come in handy occasionally, but usually you can use Slash on fliers and bugs to come out on top. -Power: As soon as Sandshrew evolves at L22, it should be able to sweep just about anything with Slash and Dig thanks to its 100 base Attack. Only bulky enemies will be able to survive. -Match-ups: --Misty - Really bad match-up. --Lt. Surge - Autowin, even without Dig his Pokemon just can't outdamage Slash. --Erika - You don't really want to get tangled up with her if you're Sandslash. --Koga - Autowin. --Blaine - You should be able to Dig or Earthquake his Pokemon into oblivion. Flamethrower/Fire Blast can be painful but in Blue only Arcanine has either of those, and in Yellow only Ninetales and Arcanine do. You will be able to take at least one strong attack. --Giovanni - You have a typing advantage over 4/5 of his team in Blue, and 3/5 in Yellow. He shouldn't be a problem. --Lorelei - Every single one of her Pokemon has a Water or Ice move, so Sandslash should sit this one out. --Bruno - While Sandslash doesn't do badly, you probably have Pokemon in your party that can OHKO all of his Pokemon, especially the Onixes. --Agatha - Chances are everything on her team will get OHKO'd by Earthquake, except for Golbat, which you can probably beat too despite confusion. Mega Drain and Psychic from the Gengars in Yellow can sting but won't OHKO. --Lance - You should avoid Gyarados and its Hydro Pump, and Aerodactyl too unless you have Rock Slide. Everything else is fair game in Blue, though a Pokemon with an Ice move would be better. In Yellow, Dragonite and the second Dragonair have Ice moves, so Sandslash is even more restricted there. Additional Comments: Overall, Sandslash's important battle match-ups are on the shaky side, but it can pull its weight overall considering just how powerful Slash and STAB Dig are. If you don't have the Dig TM to spare on your playthrough, he becomes significantly less powerful until Silph Co. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Seel - High Tier -Availability: Seel is catchable in the Seafoam Islands, but 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 still great because it comes at the right place at the right time. The Pokémon you are trading away 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 gather experience there. 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 assist 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 the Ice Beam or Blizzard TMs free then you should use them on Dewgong. -Power: When you first get it, it has enough power to beat what it needs to beat: Fire types. Once you defeat them, you’ll gain a massive level/power boost, allowing you to contribute 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 (weak to Rock, Fighting, Grass and Electric), although this isn't really that important against most regular trainers. -Match-ups: --Blaine: You can potentially 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 you can still beat if you are in good shape. 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, but there are better choices for Lorelei than Dewgong. Surf is fine for Jynx though. --Bruno: You beat Onix with Surf and you can even 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, Sandslash, Ninetales and Flareon. The Water types can be taken on, although there are more efficient choices. -Additional Comments: Seel/Dewgong is the best of the late-game Water-types. It just has a perfect combination of convenient availability, acceptable 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 it still gets plenty of time to shine. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Shellder - High Tier -Availability: There are numerous methods for obtaining Shellder. It is possible to fish it up with the Super Rod. This isn’t the best choice in RB because it is severely underleveled. In Yellow, it is more viable because it can be obtained as high as level 40. In RB, you are better off waiting until you reach the Seaform Islands, where it comes at a more reasonable level (28-33, depending on version). Although this may seem a bit low compared to what your team will be at, it can (like most later game water types) head to Cinnabar and gain levels easily using the wild Pokémon and trainers in the Mansion and Gym. Despite coming somewhat late, Shellder comes at the time where Water/Ice coverage is most valuable. It should also be noted that Shellder can be evolved right away, which means you don’t have to worry about using the weaker Shellder at all. -Stats: The most striking stat is the huge 180 Defence. Cloyster has 95 Attack and 85 Special, allowing it to hit reasonably hard from both ends of the spectrum. 70 Speed is adequate for in-game runs. Cloyster’s only low stat is its 50 HP, but this isn’t a huge concern for a simple run through of the main game, and in terms of physical bulk its insane Defence makes up for it. -Movepool: Cloyster starts off with Surf/Bubblebeam and an Ice move, assuming you catch it at level 30 (which is required for Aurora Beam). In fact, having Aurora Beam this early allows you to avoid using one of the Ice TMs on it if required. However, Cloyster greatly appreciates Ice Beam/Blizzard. Beyond its STABs, all it gets are Normal attacks. Tri Attack is probably the pick of the lot because it has decent power with no drawbacks, and the fact that it is such an exclusive move means that it is very likely to be available to Cloyster. -Power: Cloyster is strong enough for what it needs to do, and that is take advantage of the excellent coverage that its STABs provide late game. Powerful moves and solid stats serve it well. Note that Cloyster, like many Water types, will struggle a bit against opposing Water types. Tri Attack helps but does not solve the problem completely, although Cloyster can probably defend itself better than many other Water types thanks to higher Attack, Water and Ice resistance, and great Defence to take Normal attacks. -Type: Water/Ice is a fantastic offensive combination considering when Cloyster joins the team. It covers many of the important trainers towards the end, which is invaluable. Cloyster does have a few nasty weaknesses though. Its massive Defence allows it to take Fighting and Rock attacks but Electric and Grass attacks will sting. Thankfully, as long as you have good knowledge of the movesets of your opponents, particularly Gym Leaders and Elite 4 members, these attacks are easy to predict and avoid. -Match-ups: --Blaine: You have STAB Surf on your side. You laugh at their physical attacks. Just don’t underestimate the power of STAB Fire Blast. 85 Special is good but 50 HP may leave you vulnerable, especially in Yellow where Ninetales is the lead. --Giovanni: Surf (or an Ice attack) basically adds up to a clean sweep. Persian isn’t doing much to you with your 180 Defence. Be careful about Thunder from Nidoqueen and Nidoking though. --Lorelei: Mirror Match. There are better choices but you can actually do better here than some of the other water types. 180 Defence combined with your Water and Ice resistances makes it a bit difficult for her to harm you significantly, and you have Tri Attack backed up by 95 Attack. Only Slowbro (in Yellow) has a Special attack that can hit you neutrally. Naturally, Cloyster should probably sit this out for a more efficient choice, but knowing that Cloyster can tank most of her Pokémon’s attacks is reassuring if you need a back up. --Bruno: Surf covers Onix, and it hits his Fighting types hard too. The Fighting weakness isn’t that bad considering your 180 Defence. You should be able to pull off a sweep. --Agatha: No type advantage here. You can hit Golbat with an Ice attack, and Arbok is weak. The ghosts are trickier because there are bulky on the special side and can annoy you with status. Also, watch out for the Gengar with Mega Drain in Yellow. --Lance: Your STABs cover everything except Gyarados. Even Gyarados can be beaten one on one with Tri Attack and 180 Defence, although it is easier to send your Thunderbolt Pokémon in to deal with it. In Yellow, Dragonite and Dragonair have Electric moves. However, given how Dragonair is fairly weak and Dragonite is probably going to be OHKOed by your Ice attack, it isn’t a huge deal. --Blue: You can beat Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor, Charizard, Arcanine, Venusaur, Sandslash, Ninetales and Flareon for sure. If you want, you can take on his Water Pokémon too. Just steer clear of his Electric types and you’ll be fine. Cloyster is unbelievably useful for this battle. -Additional Comments: This is a good water Pokémon for late game use. It has competition from other water types like Omaster, Dewgong and Starmie though. Cloyster is a good Pokémon in its own right regardless of comparisons, and it distinguishes itself with its massive Defence and above average Attack. The biggest advantage it has over its competition is its efficiency. By coming at a high level and having access to a great moveset without any significant sacrifices, Cloyster can fit in on almost any team. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Snorlax - High Tier -Availability: 2 that are available after getting the Pokeflute. Comes at a whopping level 30 (should be about the same or better than your other teammates). You can even use both if you want (1 with Surf, and another with Ice Beam / Blizzard / EQ, lol). -Stats: Some of the best stats in the game-- Snorlax is an OU level beast with fantastic HP and ATK. It's speed is bad, and its defensive stats are more than passable with that MONSTER HP. Amnesia can patch up its special... very fast... -Movepool: Comes with Headbutt and quickly gets Body Slam (one of the best Normal moves in the game), which also preserves your precious Body Slam TM. It comes with Rest + Amnesia (+ Pokeflute) which is stupid, especially since Body Slam + boosted Surf can destroy everything in the game. Body Slam / Rest / Surf / Amnesia is probably the best in-game set, especially if you aren't cloning TMs. Basically, Snorlax can rape everything without using any TMs. If you are cloning TMs, you can give it Earthquake or Blizzard. Not really important, but it learns Hyper Beam on its own too... -Power: It has awesome ATK, and Amnesia pumps up its Special like crazy. It can sweep on either side. -Type: Normal is arguably better than Psychic. While it has no resistances (much like Psychic), it also has basically no weaknesses as Fighting attacks are almost non-existent (Fighting Gym/Bruno's Hitmonlee, Bruno's Machamp--that's it). Normal has perfect or near-perfect coverage with so many types in the game-- Rhydon/Golem and Gengar are the only things in all of RBY that hold up to Normal attacks, and Snorlax has access to Surf, Blizzard/Ice Beam, and Earthquake. Yeah, no problemo. -Match-ups: --Erika: Snorlax laughs at status, Amnesia's through all their attacks, and destroys them with Headbutt/Body Slam. If you gave Snorlax Ice Beam... Ice Beam + Amnesia, lol --Koga: A little bit tough since Sludge hits Snorlax's weak physical side, but you can Amnesia up against something weak like Koffing, Rest of any Poison/damage and sweep with Surf / Ice Beam. --Sabrina: Amnesia to max special against Kadabra / Mr. Mime. Sweep with Ice Beam / Surf / Body Slam. Body Slam from a decent leveled Snorlax OHKO's Alakazam, and comes close even through Reflect. Psychic from Alakazam does laughable damage when Snorlax is at +6 Special. Sucks if Psychic crits you though... --Blaine: Amnesia + Rest + Surf= lol If you went with Earthquake, you'll be getting hit hard by Fire Blasts but you'll OHKO everything while you still have health. If you taught Snorlax Ice Beam / Blizzard, it still does well with Body Slam. Sucks if Arcanine's Fire Blast crits you. --Giovani: Amnesia + Surf + Rest = Sweep --Lorelei: It'll take some effort to break through her Ice-types relying on Body Slam, but she won't be able to touch you without a critical hit once you've amnesia'd up against Dewgong. Sucks if something crits you with Blizzard though... --Bruno: Just watch out for Hitmonlee and Machamp. Surf Snorlax destroys everything else. --Agatha: Gengars can literally do nothing to Snorlax, especially after it Amnesia's up. Amnesia + Surf / Ice Beam for the sweep. If you went with Earthquake, you'll OHKO everything except Golbat, who will die to Body Slams. Agatha is no threat. --Lance: Snorlax won't like repeated Hyper Beams, but it can definitely hold its own (especially if you taught it Ice Beam / Blizzard) --Rival: Pidgeot can't do shit to Snorlax, so feel free to set up Amnesia and sweep his whole team. Pokemon Yellow is harder since Sand Attack and powerful physical attacks from Sandslash are annoying, but Snorlax will still hold its own as a powerful attacker. -Additional Comments: Snorlax has the power and movepool to destroy everything. It requires minimum TM investment (none at all if you abuse Surf + Amnesia), and almost no healing item support thanks to Rest + Pokeflute. It can even sweep using Strength + Surf, packing HMs while beating shit up simultaneously. Snorlax's only real problem is being slow... really slow... which means it can really get fucked up by critical hits in RBY. Since Snorlaxe's Special Defense is only 65 in RBY, a crit at the wrong time can be really bad when Amnesia-boosted Snorlax gets OHKO'd by a Psychic, Blizzard or Fire Blast it would have otherwise lol'd at. If you just pack some extra Hyper Potions to help Snorlax out in the face of some unfortunate hax, it can sweep through most enemies. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -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. -Match-ups: --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 performance against Sabrina is arguably superior to most of the other Water-types in the game thanks to its impressive Speed and Psychic resistance. However, Starmie can potentially end up in a stalemate against her Alakazam, as Surf and Psychic each do less than Recover heals. This may not actually happen though, considering the inconsistent intelligence of the AI. 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Tentacool - High Tier -Availability: The best way to obtain Tentacool is to encounter it by surfing. The Tentacool south of Fuchsia City vary wildly in level, ranging from level 5 to level 40. However, it doesn’t take very long to get a high level Tentacool, and by using Repels strategically you can encounter one sooner. It is also possible to use the Super Rod to fish one up in various locations. This is really only viable in Yellow because the RB Tentacool caught by fishing are underleveled (and you can even fish up a Tentacruel in Yellow). Tentacool evolves at level 30 so if you catch a high level one you can obtain Tentacruel quickly. Although Tentacool is relatively late, it comes at a convenient time where Tentacruel’s strengths are most useful. -Stats: The stat that should get the most attention is Special. At an incredible 120, Tentacruel edges out Omaster as the most powerful Water type when hitting from the special side. This is supported by 100 Speed, which is outspeeding practically all opponents in game. Tentacruel’s only remotely poor stat is Defence, but it isn’t at the same level of “pathetic” as something like Alakazam, and thanks to its high power this is easy to work around. -Movepool: Tentacruel doesn’t have much of note within its level up move, although Hydro Pump is very powerful and Barrier can be used to patch up its weak Defence if you so wish. Its best moves come from TMs. It is a given that Tentacruel will get Surf, which hits like a truck from its 120 Special. It gets Ice Beam and Blizzard for coverage and although both are valuable TMs, it is standard to give at least one of those to the water type on your team. As such, Tentacruel can safely assume access to an Ice move. Tentacruel is also compatible with Mega Drain, and is the only Water type capable of learning the attack. It isn’t something Tentacruel absolutely must have, but it provides super-effective coverage against opposing Water types while recovering HP at the same time. Water types love being able to hit other Water types, and with 120 Special and its resistances to back it up, Tentacruel can use it hold its own against Water types much better than many of its Water type brethren. -Power: With its stats and coverage, Tentacruel is a destructive force to be reckoned with. Many of the late game opponents simply cannot stand up to Tentacruel. Tentacruel can plow through certain teams with ease, making the last parts of the game much easier for you. -Type: Tentacruel is the only Water/Poison type in RBY, although the Poison type doesn’t help it at all. STAB Water attacks are invaluable late game thank to super-effective hits on Fire and Ground types. Water provides it with resistances to Water, Ice and Fire. Tentacruel carries a weakness to Electric carried by all Water types, so make sure you have teammates that can take them. The Poison type neutralises the usual Grass weakness of Water, but at the same time adds Bug, Ground and Psychic weaknesses. This is of little concern because Bug attacks are weak in general, Tentacruel can destroy pretty much anything with a Ground move before they strike, and Psychic types are rare after Sabrina. -Match-ups: --Sabrina: Many Water types tend to struggle against Sabrina’s Psychic types, but Tentacruel has it particularly bad because it is actually weak to Psychic moves. You do have your high Special on your side and Tentacruel can contribute somewhat against her weaker pokemon, but using Tentacruel for this battle isn’t the best idea and sending it in on Alakazam is foolish. --Blaine: You absolutely destroy Blaine. They absolutely cannot stand up to your extreme power. --Giovanni: The is a similar story to Blaine, but it is more risky in Yellow because Dugtrio might outspeed you and nail you with Earthquake. If Persian outspeeds you then its Slash may sting (Tentacruel should still win as long as you have plenty of HP in reserve though). Other than that, you can pretty much kill anything else effortlessly. --Lorelei: Tentacruel fairs better than most Water types because of Mega Drain and its 120 Special. Tentacruel shouldn’t be the number one choice for this battle (that honour goes to your STAB Electric spammer should you be carrying one) but Tentacruel can definitely pull its wait here. --Bruno: This is an easy battle for you. Onix is a joke, and Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are frail. Machamp has the option of hitting you with a crit Karate Chop in Yellow, but other than that you should have no serious issues. The fact that Tentacruel resists Fighting attacks is the icing on the cake. --Agatha: Golbat and Arbok shouldn’t prove to be a problem. The ghosts are more concerning since they have high Specials and annoying status moves. One of her Gengar even has Psychic in Yellow. Using Tentacruel against the ghosts isn’t the best way to deal with them. --Lance: Water/Ice coverage covers most of his team. Gyarados should be dealt with using a different Pokémon because Hyper Beam hits Tentacruel hard. Some of his Dragons have Electric attacks in Yellow but Tentacruel should have the speed advantage and it can take a non-STAB Thunderbolt/Thunder. --Blue: Tentacruel’s coverage really comes in handy here. If you have Surf, Ice Beam/Blizzard and Mega Drain, you can hit Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor, Charizard, Arcanine, Blastoise and Venusaur in RB. In Yellow, the hitlist is Sandslash, Exeggutor, Ninetales, Vaporeon, Cloyster and Flareon. The main things to avoid would be Alakazam and the Electric types. -Additional Comments: Tentacruel is yet another great late game Water type. The main things differentiating it from the competition are its massive Special, its Poison type (for better or for worse) and Mega Drain. Tentacruel’s only “problem” is its lateness, but Tentacruel comes just when it’s needed and unless you started with Squirtle your Water type options are fairly limited before Tentacruel anyway. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Vaporeon - High Tier -Availability: Given to you in Celadon City at level 25. You need a Water Stone to evolve Eevee into this. -Stats: Vaporeon has one of the best stat spreads for in-game use. While its Speed might seem mediocre, it's actually just enough for it to outspeed most of the in-game threats and OHKO them, thanks to its more than adequate Special. If it gets outsped, or if the opponent survives a hit, it won't be taking much damage thanks to its massive HP. -Movepool: BubbleBeam and Ice Beam (via TMs 11 and 13, respectively) are all it gets in terms of moves when you get it, but that's really all it needs. When you get to Fuchsia, you can teach it Surf as well, but keep Bubblebeam. It also learns Ice Beam by TM and Aurora Beam by level-up (note: it only learns Aurora Beam in Yellow), allowing you to deal with the Bird Keepers without wasting Bubblebeam's or Surf's PP. Keep in mind that BubbleBeam and Ice Beam are both exclusive TMs, and as such Vaporeon might have competition with your other team members. Another thing of note is it's bulky enough to utilize the Rest/Poke Flute combination for (somewhat) reliable recovery. -Power: From the moment you get it and teach it Bubblebeam, Vaporeon performs excellently against most of its adversaries. In fact, it can take out the Celadon Grunts by itself if you're willing to teach it Ice Beam and use a few Super Potions. After that, Vappy should be caught up with the rest of your team. Unfortunately, the Ghost-types of Lavender Tower are faster than Vaporeon, but it can still do adequately, provided you don't get confused and paralyzed at the same time. From then on, Vappy does quite well against most of the remaining trainers, save for the abundant Swimmers late-game. -Type: Unlike most other Water-types, Vaporeon doesn't have a second type or a move that hurts fellow Water-types effectively, meaning it can't really do much between Fuchsia and Cinnabar. -Match-ups: Generally, Vaporeon's high HP and Special allow it to perform adequately against the Gym Leaders and Elite Four. --Lt. Surge: If you choose to fight him right after obtaining Vaporeon, don't expect a victory from it, as his Raichu does around half with Thunderbolt, and you have to defeat his Voltorb (which knows Sonicboom) and Pikachu before fighting it. In Yellow, Raichu is his only Pokemon, but its "possible 2HKO" gets bumped up to a "solid 2HKO". In other words, don't use Vaporeon against him, at least not without prior training. --Erika: Her Victreebel/Weepinbell happens to know Razor Leaf, which is almost guaranteed to KO in one hit. However, it is also OHKOed by Ice Beam, so whether Vaporeon or Victreebel comes out alive depends on who's faster. Tangela is more easily beaten, regardless of which game you're playing. Vileplume/Gloom knows Petal Dance, and Vileplume in particular can stomach an Ice Beam. Did I forget to mention Tangela is the only Pokemon of hers that doesn't know Sleep Powder? --Koga: Much more managable than above, thanks to the neutral type match-up, and the fact that his Pokemon have shabby Special. In Yellow, he has 3 Venonats and a Venomoth, all of which are at least level 44 and know status-inducing moves. --Sabrina: Her Pokemon, for the most part, are faster than Vaporeon, but Vappy's great special bulk will allow it to take a few Psychics, along with high HP allowing it to take (seemingly) minimal damage from Psywave. Unfortunately, it can't do too much back, thanks to their high Special. It can still beat at least one of her Pokemon by itself. --Blaine: Literally, the only thing on his team that's actually threatening is Rapidash, and that's only if it spams Fire Spin for about 25 turns. --Giovanni: Provided Dugtrio doesn't spam Sand Attack, you're good to go. In Yellow, his Persian can leave a mark with Slash, and his Nidos know Thunder, but he's still not too threatening. --Lorelei: Don't expect much to come from this fight, as they resist each other's STABs. --Bruno: His Onix are merely speed bumps, and the Hitmons have seemingly no Special. Vaporeon also has enough bulk to take a Hi Jump Kick or Submission if need be, and if it does get hit by Submission, Machamp will lose a chunk of its HP on recoil alone. --Agatha: About her Ghost-types: think of them similarly to Sabrina's Kadabra and Alakazam, except with the threat of status instead of STAB Psychic. Also, the first Gengar knows Mega Drain in Yellow. Aside from that, she's pretty mild. --Lance: All of his Pokemon, barring Gyarados, are OHKOed by Ice Beam, and his Aerodactyl can even be dealt with by Bubblebeam. Vappy also has the bulk to take a non-crit Hyper Beam, but it can't do much to Gyara, and Dragonite knows Thunder (Yellow only) and outspeeds it. Another thing to watch out for is his second Dragonair, as it knows Thunderbolt. --Blue: In Red and Blue, the only ones on his team Vappy shouldn't take on by itself would be Alakazam, Venusaur, and possibly Gyarados. In Yellow, it has a bit more trouble, as Ninetales and Cloyster can continuously trap it with Fire Spin and Clamp, respectively. Also, it is recommended not to have Vaporeon fight Magneton or Jolteon, for obvious reasons. -Additional comments: From the moment you get it, Vaporeon is a great Pokemon, thanks to its barely-high-enough Speed, high Special, and great endurance. It doesn't even need grinding, thanks to Team Rocket, and it only has 2 problems: While it's effective when fighting most of the Pokemon in the game, it can't really do much to other Water-types not named Gyarados. It's also greatly dependent on BubbleBeam in order to be useful before Fuschia Mid Tier (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Mid Tier (open) Mid Tier (close) -Bellsprout (Blue and Yellow only) - Mid Tier -Availability: Bellsprout can be caught as early as Route 24. This is convenient because this is around the same time as the Misty battle, where it acts as one of the better counters to her. It ranges from level 12-14, which isn’t a complete disaster. It evolves at level 21 and then again using a Leaf Stone. -Stats: The Bellsprout family has a focus on offense. Bellsprout actually starts with decent 75 Attack and 70 Special. Once fully evolved, Victreebel sports impressive 105 Attack and 100 Special, backed up by a usable 70 Speed. It’s only remotely poor stat is Defence, but it doesn’t really harm Victreebel much in-game. -Movepool: Victreebel basically has the same movepool as Venusaur, but because it takes longer to get its strongest moves it may end up being used somewhat differently. Victreebel learned Razor Leaf, but it comes quite late, which leaves you with Vine Whip and Cut as your main offense early on. On the plus side, Bellsprout gets Growth and the status powders early, and it can potential run a boosting set with Growth, Sleep Powder, and Mega Drain. Although this isn't as immediately powerful as Razor Leaf spam, it does do better against certain trainers and it allows you to fully evolve sooner. Beyond its grass STAB, it gets Body Slam but only as Victreebel, so you won’t be able to get it until Celadon City. If you are waiting for Razor Leaf, you may prefer to use Double-Edge instead (or in the meantime). It also gets Acid, but it is very weak. Acid does seem useful in theory to cover Bug and Grass types, but a large number of them have secondary typings that remove the weakness, making this irrelevant. -Power: Bellsprout is ok for a while but it will struggle against anything that resists Grass, especially before it gets a strong Normal attack. It doesn’t really take off until Razor Leaf and Body Slam/Double-Edge come along. Even then, it will still suffer a bit from having its strongest STAB resisted by many opponents, although there are many opponents that don’t and Razor Leaf is brutal against them. -Type: As an offensive type, Grass is very hit-and-miss. Grass has coverage against some important types (Water, Ground and Rock), but it is resisted by common Poison, Bug, Grass, Fire, and Flying types (as well as Dragon, but they will only be encountered in one battle). Weaknesses to Fire, Flying, Psychic, Bug and Ice are irritating as well. Victreebel may need to be a bit more selective about what to take on if it wants to avoid damage, but Grass definitely has its uses. -Match-ups: Misty – This match-up is one of the best reasons to use Bellsprout. Resisting BubbleBeam makes this quite a bit easier and with STAB Vine Whip on your side you can’t afford to lose. Just make sure you are at a reasonable level, although this shouldn’t be a problem. Lt. Surge – Another good match-up in RB. Electric resistance allows you to take Thunderbolt from Raichu, and if you can stop that then you can stop the others. Don’t get reckless in Yellow though. Raichu’s Mega Kick and Mega Punch are brutal. You may need to try a status move to win. Erika – This isn’t a great match-up for either side. However, Victreebel can work out well here. Grass resistance and Body Slam from 105 Attack is potent, and being immune to PoisonPowder can provide free turns in RB assuming she is stupid. You are still vulnerable to Sleep Powder and Stun Spore, but you have those on your side as well. If you are still Bellsprout/Weepinbell, you can try the same thing with Double-Edge over Body Slam, but it isn’t as effective. Koga – You aren’t really useful here. His Pokémon resist Grass and high Defence allows them to take Body Slam (especially Weezing and Muk). Of course, they have terrible movesets so they can’t really do too much back, so you can “win” if you must use Victreebel. In Yellow, Body Slam is a more potent weapon, but they can hit you with Psychic moves. Venomoth is pretty much the only threatening Pokémon on his team though. Sabrina – Stay away. Super-Effective Psychic moves make this a battle that Victreebel should sit out. Still, Body Slam from 105 Attack is powerful against her frail Pokémon, so you may be able to take some of them out. You can also try boosting with Growth to buff up your defenses and protect yourself from Psychic attacks. Blaine – Another gym that you aren’t that great in, although you can always try boosting. In RB, you can beat Growlithe and Ponyta, but Fire Blast from Arcanine is devastating to Victreebel. In Yellow, Growlithe and Ponyta have been replaced by a Ninetales with Flamethrower, making the match-up even worse. Giovanni – This is the first gym in a while where you have a good match-up. Razor Leaf dispatches of Rhyhorn, Rhydon, Dugtrio and Persian. Nidoqueen and Nidoking aren’t weak to Grass but can be beaten. Lorelei – Razor Leaf is super effective against most of her team (and Jynx hates Body Slam from 105 Attack) but then you are weak to Psychic and Ice attacks. A Growth boosting set may actually do better here than Razor Leaf spam, and although it isn't the absolute best choice it can get the job done. Use it if you want, but have a back-up ready. Bruno – You destroy Onix, and Razor Leaf hits his Fighting types hard as well. You also resist Fighting, so this is a good match-up overall. Agatha – You are kind of useless here. You really can’t do anything to her Ghosts, and although you can beat Golbat and Arbok with Body Slam an attempt to do so may result in confusion or paralysis. Lance – His Dragon types resist Grass, but Razor Leaf should be enough for Aerodactyl, and Victreebel's Poison typing allows it to abuse Lance's stupidity with Agility. In Yellow, you have to watch out for Ice, Fire and Flying moves. Blue – Using its resistances, and Razor Leaf and Body Slam, you can beat Rhydon, Exeggutor, Blastoise, Venusaur, Sandslash, Cloyster, Vaporeon, Magneton and Jolteon. Just watch out for Ice moves from the Water types, and Pin Missile from Jolteon. -Additional Comments: This is pretty much the best Grass type if you don’t go with Bulbasaur, and in Yellow it gives Bulbasaur some serious competition because of the nerf Bulbasaur got in its availability. It is a useful Pokémon thanks to its good stats and the sheer power of Razor Leaf, but tends to be hit-and-miss thanks to its somewhat limited movepool, and unlike RB Bulbasaur it doesn’t provide a no-drawbacks win condition against Brock and Misty. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bulbasaur (Yellow) - Mid Tier -Availability: Given to you in Cerulean City, at level 10. Keep in mind that to get it, you need Pikachu to have high happiness. -Stats: Decent all around, with good Special. -Movepool: It starts off without any STAB moves, meaning you're not exactly doing well with it until it gets to level 13, when it gets Vine Whip, which has a staggering 35 base power and a shocking 10 PP. However, 17 levels (assuming you evolved it, which you should've) later, it gains access to the far superior Razor Leaf, which is better than Vine Whip in every way. Aside from that, keep in mind that it's a Grass-type that can't use Stun Spore or Sleep Powder (although it can learn Sleep Powder, it doesn't get the chance until level 55, and you should've beaten the game by then). Body Slam is quite helpful for those who aren't hit super-effectively by Vine Whip, but keep in mind that you're using up an exclusive TM, and resisted Razor Leaf does around the same amount of damage (assuming criticals and a 2x resistance, of course). -Power: Since you get it at the measly level 10, when the rest of your party should be at least level 15, Bulbasaur is underlevelled when you get it, and it can't really do anything to anybody until it learns Vine Whip. Early evolution is helpful, but it'll eventually fall behind again, specifically after you get through Rock Tunnel, as seemingly half the trainers have a Pokemon that resists Vine Whip. Body Slam can help, as it has notably more Base Power than Vine Whip. Once it learns Razor Leaf, expect things to take a turn for the better, and thanks to evolving again 2 levels after that, Venusaur will pulverize everything that doesn't resist Grass, and even some things that do. Once you get to the water routes, it'll be smooth sailing for Venusaur. -Type: Grass is useful until you get through Rock Tunnel, and picks up again when you get finish Silph. Shame its secondary typing doesn't really do much to help it aside from making it neutral to Poison and immune to Poison (status), as it gives almost no extra coverage and also adds a weakness to Psychic. -Match-ups: Misty: Assuming you went to see Bill first, you should be fine, because of Ivysaur's good (at the time) Special combined with its type advantage should give you an easy victory. Don't use it against her if you just got it, though, because of a severe level disadvantage as well as the fact that Bulbasaur doesn't know any Grass-type moves (ignoring the useless Leech Seed) when you get it. Lt. Surge: Not quite as easy as Misty, as his Raichu knows Mega Kick and has a solid Attack stat to back it up. Erika: Seeing as how her entire team resists Grass-type moves (in fact, Weepinbell and Gloom resist Razor Leaf with the critical factored in), and 2 of her Pokemon know Sleep Powder, using Ivysaur against her is not recommended. Koga: His team resists Razor Leaf even with criticals factored in, and they all know Psychic. Even though they don't get STAB from it, his weakest Pokemon is level 44. Sabrina: Beating her Abra without taking any damage isn't notable, as even a Magikarp could do it. Her other Pokemon have high Special, are level 50, and get STAB on Psychic, which means you'll have to rely on them using Psywave and getting low damage rolls as you Body Slam them. Blaine: Venusaur can take a Fire Blast if necessary, but don't expect it to take repeated uses of it. Giovanni: All of his Pokemon (minus Persian, who has Slash which is still quite powerful) know Earthquake, which can leave a dent in Venusaur, but all of them are OHKOed by Razor Leaf, barring the Nidos. Lorelei: 4 of her Pokemon are weak to Razor Leaf, but Lapras can take a hit, while Jynx outright outspeeds Venusaur, allowing both of them to attack it with Blizzard and Ice Punch, respectively. Bruno: *insert sentence here about his Onix getting destroyed by even Vine Whip* Overall, his Pokemon have low Special, and Venusaur resists Fighting, and both of these things mean that your Venusaur should have little trouble dealing with him. Agatha: Her Ghosts are a nightmare, as they have high Special, are resistant to Grass-type moves, and are immune to Normal. Her Golbat 4x resists Razor Leaf, meaning that you're best off using Venusaur against her Arbok or not at all. Lance: Venusaur can beat Gyarados 1-on-1, but is defeated by his first Dragonair, Aerodactyl, and Dragonite. Not much else to say here. Gary: Sandslash, Cloyster, Magneton, and Jolteon (keep an eye out for Pin Missile, though) are the only things Venusaur has a likely victory against on its own. If you have the Poke Flute with you (which you should) and taught Venusaur Body Slam, you can add Exeggutor to that list, as it doesn't know any Psychic-type moves. The reason why it can't easily beat his other Pokemon can be explained as such: Alakazam has a type advantage (not to mention the fact that it's Alakazam), Ninetales knows Fire Spin and Confuse Ray, Vaporeon has great special bulk and knows Aurora Beam, and Flareon knows Fire Spin and Flamethrower. -Additional Comments: Bulbasaur has a (very) weak start, and only ascends to "average" until it learns Razor Leaf and evolves again. When those things happen, expect OHKOes on everything that doesn't resist it, and even a few that do. Keep in mind, however, that you need to baby it for the first few levels, and it can't really do anything in places like Lavender Tower. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Drowzee - Mid Tier -Availability: Drowzee are at Route 11, at levels 9-15 in Red and Blue and at 15-19 in Yellow. The chance of finding them is 1-in-4, so you don't have to worry about scouring the Route for hours on end looking for them. They evolve at level 26, which is when you should be either fighting the last trainers on the S.S. Anne or approaching Rock Tunnel. -Stats: Unfortunately, Drowzee's uncomfortably slow and (physically) weak. Thankfully, its impressive Special makes up for its Speed somewhat. When Drowzee evolves, it can outspeed most Pokemon in the game that aren't considerably fast (or in the possession of a Gym Leader/Elite Four member). Its Special also gets a nice boost, and its increased Defense means that if it fails to OHKO its opponent (which is a fair assumption considering how late it gets Psychic), it won't have to worry about counterattacks as much. -Movepool: Unless you're playing Yellow and caught it at level 17 or higher, Drowzee won't know Confusion, having only the pathetic Pound with which to harm others. Headbutt is usable, but is only useful for fellow Psychic-types, as they usually have high Special and resist Psychic-type attacks, not to mention Hypno's Special is far greater than its Attack. Also, Hypno doesn't learn Psychic naturally until level 37 and the only Psychic attacks available to it at that point are Confusion and the unreliable Dream Eater, so teaching it Psychic via TM29 isn't completely unreasonable. Drowzee also knows Hypnosis from the moment you catch it, but its unreliable accuracy means that it's far from necessary. -Power: As mentioned above, Drowzee won't know Confusion until level 17, so until then, it has to 6HKO its enemies with Pound. Once it knows Confusion, it starts to do adequately, and when it evolves, it gets even better, but despite this, its Confusion has a tendency not to OHKO things that aren't weak to it. Psychic, whether it be at level 37 or when you first enter Saffron City, fixes this problem and allows it to deal heavy damage to anything that's not a fellow Psychic-type. Unfortunately, Hypno doesn't do as well as Mr. Mime or Abra in Pokemon Tower, mainly due to it being slower than the numerous Gastly and Haunter, and some of them tend to go for the Confuse Ray on the first turn, and their high Special allows them to survive a Confusion more often than not. -Type: Psychic is well known for being the best type back in the day, and not having a second type isn't the end of the world, as Psychic-type attacks have great coverage on their own, only being resisted by fellow Psychic-types, who can't do much to Hypno in return. -Match-ups: While you could just use Hypnosis against everybody, these match-ups will assume you don't use it. --Lt. Surge: You can handle him in Red and Blue if Drowzee's evolved by this point. In Yellow, however, Mega Punch and Mega Kick leave marks regardless of whether it's a Drowzee or Hypno you're using. --Erika: Victreebel/Weepinbell is faster than Hypno and can trap it continuously with Wrap. The rest of her team is much easier to deal with, just watch out for Sleep Powder. Getting Hypno statused prior to the battle, which shouldn't be too much of a problem considering the fact that half of the Gym's trainers know status-inducing moves, prevents the threat of Sleep Powder and allows Gloom/Vileplume to be pulverized. Keep in mind that if Hypno gets paralyzed, it's vulnerable to Bind from Tangela. --Koga: Hypno should have Psychic by this point, but even Confusion has enough power to OHKO his Koffings. Psychic, however, is needed to OHKO his Muk and Weezing, and greatly helps its performance against him in Yellow, although it never really struggles against him in the first place. --Sabrina: Hypno resists Psychic-type attacks, causing Sabrina's Pokemon to use everything but Psychic-type moves, allowing Hypno to Headbutt them until they're down. Alakazam, though, is a problem, as Recover its its only non-Psychic-type attack, meaning it will endlessly spam it, healing off more than Headbutt will do. There are 2 possible solutions to this, but neither are efficient: the first being to use Disable (which Hypno knows when you catch it) and hope it disables Recover, or to use Meditate (which is learned at level 43) so Headbutt does more than Recover heals. --Blaine: Fire Spin is annoying, as is Confuse Ray from Ninetales (only appears in Yellow), but Hypno does decently against him otherwise. --Giovanni: Everything on his team, save for Persian in Yellow and Dugtrio. Hypno can beat them one-on-one, but not both of them in the same match. --Lorelei: Hypno doesn't do too poorly against her, but Slowbro and Lapras can comfortably take whatever Hypno throws at them. --Bruno: Ignoring the Onix because they're terrible, Hypno can take on all of his Fighting-types, at least assuming Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee don't use Mega Punch and Mega Kick, respectively. --Agatha: Her Ghosts and Golbat know Confuse Ray and are faster than Hypno, potentially leading to a very frustrating battle. --Lance: Hypno can take a Hyper Beam from his Dragonair, but nothing else on his team. As such, Hypno can beat one of his Dragonair, but good luck defeating anything else on his team with it. --Rival: To make things short: Pidgeot, Rhydon, and Venusaur are easily beaten. Hypno vs. Alakazam results in a stalemate, due to Alakazam's only Normal-type attack being Recover. Exeggutor can be beaten, but it'll take a while. Arcanine, Magneton, Vaporeon, and Jolteon can be troublesome but still manageable provided Hypno doesn't take too much damage against others. Finally, Fire Spin and Clamp make Ninetales and Cloyster infuriating, and Sandslash's, Gyarados's, and Flareon's Attack makes having Hypno fight them inadvisable. -Additional Comments: Drowzee is a good Pokemon, but one who has competition with Abra and Mr. Mime, the former of which comes earlier and has better stats, and the latter gains boosted exp due to being a traded Pokemon. However, Drowzee is somewhat more convenient to obtain compared to its competition, especially Abra and RB Mr. Mime, and Hypno hits harder than Mr. Mime. Of course, its forgettable start also hampers it somewhat, but its solid match-ups against the game's bosses makes up for it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Electabuzz (Red only) - Mid Tier -Availability: Electabuzz can only be found at the Power Plant, meaning you need to have beaten Koga to access it, and you need to noticeably out of the way, as you can't directly Fly to Route 10's Pokemon Center like you can in later generations. Electabuzz themselves aren't the most common encounter (5%) and they can tend to be more stubborn than others when it comes to actually being caught, on par with that of Onix. Also, Electabuzz appear at levels 33-36. -Stats: Statistically, Electabuzz is very similar to Raichu, but with (slightly) better Speed at the cost of some Attack. This poses a problem for Electabuzz, as Raichu can be caught as early as Viridian Forest (as a Pikachu, of course), which is before the first Gym, while Electabuzz is completely unavailable until after the fifth. -Movepool: Electabuzz's movepool is slightly larger than that of fellow Electric-types and includes moves such as Thunderpunch (which is essentially a weaker but still Thunderbolt) and Psychic, although its movepool is still rather thin. Thunder Wave is another useful move that it has access to that can support teammates in taking down faster Pokemon like Sabrina's Alakazam. -Power: If given Thunderbolt, Electabuzz acts almost entirely the same as Raichu would, due to their similar stats and typing, but if given Psychic, Electabuzz suddenly has the ability to OHKO every Grunt's Poison-types, something Raichu could not hope to do without a crit. Of course, the schools of Water-types are no match for an Electabuzz that knows Thunderpunch, which it should know by that point. -Type: Electabuzz comes at a time when Water-types are quite commonplace, which is good for Electabuzz considering it's an Electric-type. -Match-ups: These match-ups are all assuming you taught Electabuzz Psychic, as all it has for offense is Quick Attack, Thundershock, and Thunderpunch otherwise. --Sabrina: Electabuzz isn't sweeping her any time soon, but it can beat at least 2 of her Pokemon most of the time. --Blaine: Electabuzz can beat Growlithe and Ponyta easily, and occasionally Rapidash depending on how much damage it (Electabuzz) took against Blaine's previous two Pokemon. --Giovanni: How well Electabuzz does against Giovanni depends on whether you taught it Psychic or not: if you did, it can do respectably against his entire team except for Dugtrio, but it has absolutely no chance against him if it doesn't know Psychic. --Lorelei: Jynx's neutrality to Electric-type attacks and Lapras's immense special bulk allow them to take on Electabuzz, but the rest of Lorelei's team easily falls. Just make sure you don't allow Slowbro to get more than one Amnesia up, though! --Bruno: This fight is very similar to Giovanni: If Electabuzz knows Psychic, it wins. If it doesn't, it can beat Hitmonchan and maybe Hitmonlee, but has some trouble with Machamp and (embarassingly) can't touch his 2 Onix. --Agatha: each of her Ghosts can stomach a Psychic, and their naturally high Speed allows each of them (with the possible exception of Haunter) to Confuse Electabuzz or put it to sleep. Golbat and Arbok on the other hand are jokes. --Lance: Gyarados is completely fried, as is Aerodactyl if it uses Take Down, Leer, or Fly rather than Hyper Beam or Supersonic. Electabuzz can't do much else to Lance's team, unfortunately. --Rival: Pidgeot, Gyarados, Cloyster, and possibly Vaporeon and Blastoise are all (predictably) beaten, but Electabuzz doesn't exactly excel against anything else on his team, save for Rhydon if it knows Psychic. -Additional Comments: Electabuzz is an adequate Pokemon, one with a good typing for the time in the game it's caught as well as being unique in that it's one of the very few Generation I Electric-types who don't need Thunderbolt thanks to its exclusive access to Thunderpunch. However, Electabuzz suffers from having solid competition from Raichu, who has similar stats but can be obtained earlier, and Zapdos, who is in the same area as Electabuzz but has a much higher level and better stats all around. Electabuzz's main niche in all of this is its exclusive (for Electric-types, at least) access to Psychic and Thunderpunch, eliminating its need for Thunderbolt (as mentioned above) that all other Electric-types demand. In other words, if you're not going to teach Electabuzz Psychic, don't use it, as other Electric-types can do its job better otherwise. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Exeggcute - Low Tier Availability: Pretty damn late... it appears in the Safari Zone, though it's fairly common and easy to catch, and comes at a max of level 26-27, which is... decidedly underleveled. Thankfully, it can be immediately evolved with a Leaf Stone, and this gives it enough raw power to make grinding easy. Pokemon Tower, Cycling Road, the Fighting Dojo, and Silph Co. are all good examples of places where Exeggutor grinds well. Stats: The evolved Exeggcutor has freaking amazing stats-- of course, it's one of the most used OU Pokemon after all. Massive fat 125 Special, and above average stats everywhere but Speed-- stats are a major reason why Exeggcutor is an amazing force in competition. Movepool: Exeggcute comes to you with a pretty meh movepool of Hypnosis, Barrage, and Reflect, and immediately learns the similarly almost-good-but-still-meh Leech Seed. It's best Grass Stab is Mega Drain (ew...), so like competitive sets, you will likely be depending on the Psychic TM as your main means of doing damage; though you do have immediate access to the Psychic TM at the point in the game you get Exeggcute. Exeggcutor does have a decent 95 Attack stat and can use Strength, Stomp, or Hyper Beam. It gets the powders too, but really late (level 48 for Sleep Powder... ew...), so you'll likely be immediately evolving and just enduring with Hypnosis. Explosion, probably don't want to use it in-game. Power: Psychic and 125 Special rips shit up. Mega Drain can do decent damage against opponents it hits super effectively, and Exeggcutor's decent Attack means it can actually best other Psychic-types like Alakazam by stomping them to death on their weaker physical side. Type: Grass / Psychic is obviously good typing in general-- it's the main reason Exeggcutor is so popular in OU. However, in-game, Grass does more to hurt Exeggcutor than help, especially at the point in the game you get it. Ground-, Electric-, and Water-type attacks are rare enough that these much-sought resistances in the competitive scene are less useful in game. Low Speed and weaknesses to Fire-, Poison-, and Ice-type attacks are a bit of a burden. Match-ups: Koga: If you evolve it and teach it Psychic, it can destroy anything he has. Keep in mind you will be horribly outmatched level-wise (you catch Exeggcutor in Fushia at max level 27, Koga's Pokes are all level 37-50). In RB, if you don't do some major grinding, his pokes will outrun and smack you with powerful super effective Sludge attacks. In Yellow, the Venonats can only status you, but Venomoth carries the 4x super effective Leech Life (though... it is only Leech Life), and is at level 50. Sabrina: Exeggcutor can do well here if you have trained it sufficiently and taught it Stomp or Strength. Its Psychic resistance, high Special, and decent Attack give it a significant advantage--again, assuming you've leveled up sufficiently. Blaine: Er... just don't get hit by a Fire-type attack. Yeah... Giovanni: Exeggcutor obviously dominates this gym. Lorelei: Exeggcutor's not dead weight here, with its massive Special allowing it to whether some Ice-type attacks, and retaliate with super effective Mega Drain (healing back in the process). However, your low Speed, high probability of being under leveled, and the sheer power of Lapras's Blizzard will not make this an easy match up for Eggy. Bruno: Eggy basically laughs at anything Bruno can do (again, provided you get to a decent level). Agatha: Everything she has will be destroyed by a STAB Psychic attack, but with your low speed, prepared to face several turns of sleeping and hurting yourself in confusion (and being extremely annoyed) before you can claim victory here... eventually. Lance: You're slow and will not like taking repeated Hyper Beams. In Yellow, 2nd Dragonair and Dragonite can hit you with powerful super effective attacks. Not dead weight, but not great. Rival: Exeggcutor has an advantage against most of his Pokemon. Just be wary of those with Flying and Fire attacks. Additional Comments: Exeggutor is a very powerful Pokemon with great stats and STAB Psychic attacks to power through Poison-heavy segments of the game, and that alone makes it worth a team slot. Exeggcute is mainly let down by it late availability, its below average Speed and its TM dependency (though it must be said that Psychic isn't as hugely contested as Dig or certain other TMs). However, it is definitely less inefficient than a lot of the other late-game Pokemon, and if you are willing to give it a chance it can be very a useful late-game tool. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Flareon - Mid Tier -Availability: Flareon is given to you as a level 25 Eevee, and can be evolved via a Fire Stone, which costs an easily affordable 2100 Poke. -Stats: Flareon not only posesses high attacking stats on both ends of the spectrum, but it also has enough speed to outpace anything that isn't particularly fast or is used by a Gym Leader/Elite Four member. Its Defense and HP do let it down, though. -Movepool: Flareon starts off with Tackle (or Quick Attack in Yellow, which is an ok filler move for finishing off weakened Pokemon that outspeed you) as its most powerful move, which makes Body Slam an option to be considered. However, Flareon learns an adequate move a few levels after obtaining it (Bite at level 30 in Yellow and Ember at level 31 in Red and Blue), but Body Slam should still be at least considered, as its extra base power nets it OHKOes where Bite and Ember do not. Of course, being a Fire-type, Flareon has TM access to Fire Blast, and considering the fact that all Flareon learns in terms of attacks are either Fire-type or Normal-type moves (unless you're actually counting the pathetic Smog as a usable attack), Flareon will easily have space for it. Also, Flareon learns Fire Spin at level 42 (level 36 in Yellow), but while Fire Spin's trapping effect might seem appealing at first glance, it slows the game's progress immensly, making it not recommended. -Power: As mentioned above, before it learns Ember/Bite (and also assuming that you didn't teach it Body Slam), it has a noticable lack of power and as such has trouble early on when you first get it. Once it learns Ember/Bite, its combat abilities improve considerably, but its low combined Defense and HP cause its health to wear down quickly, and more often than not, it generally ends up being the first Pokemon in your party to faint. When the water routes come along, Flareon predictably has a bit of a rough time, but its incredible Attack allows it to fend for itself better than an Arcanine or Ninetales would. Also, teaching it Body Slam helps it out greatly, allowing it to achieve multiple OHKOes that Bite and Ember can't. -Type: Fire typing, while helpful in Celadon and against the random Grass-type user, doesn't really stand out anywhere else, and causes it to have trouble late-game, where Water-types are abundant. -Match-ups: --Erika: Her Victreebel happens to be faster than you and knows Wrap. Thankfully, her Tangela and Vileplume happen to be slower than you and thanks to RBY's AI, they will never use Mega Drain or Petal Dance against you, as it would be not very effective, thus allowing Flareon to Bite (or better yet, Ember) its way through her team. --Koga: Let's face it. While Ember's power is enough to cut it against the average trainer, it's just not enough to so much as 3HKO his Muk or Weezing. Things might seem better in Yellow at first glance, with his entire team being weak to Fire-type attacks and weak overall, but the problem is that Flareon's only Fire-type attack at that point in the game is Fire Spin, which burns time more efficiently than Koga's multiple Venonat. --Sabrina: By this time, Flareon should be high enough in level that it can withstand 2 Psybeams from her Pokemon, and Bite should be doing more to Kadabra than Recover heals. Flareon can also beat Alakazam if it knows Body Slam, but only if it paralyzes it. In Yellow, however, Flareon would need to be lucky to beat her Kadabra by itself, and this is assuming it knows Body Slam! --Blaine: Thanks to RBY's AI as mentioned above, Blaine's Pokemon will never use a single Fire-type attack against Flareon. It still has to watch out for Rapidash's Stomp and Arcanine's Take Down, with the former being faster than Flareon, thus giving Stomp the chance at flinching Flareon, and the latter coming off of a respectable Attack stat. Still, Flareon should be able to beat every Pokemon on his team, with the possible exception of Arcanine, with little worry. --Giovanni: Flareon can't do much to Rhyhorn or Rhydon without wasting Fire Blast's PP, which isn't enough to deal with both of them. Also, every one of Giovanni's Pokemon (except Persian) threatens Flareon in Yellow, thanks all of them knowing Earthquake, but regardless of version, Flareon flat out loses to Dugtrio. Thankfully, the Nidos are manageable in Red and Blue. --Lorelei: Simply put, the only Pokemon of hers you should even consider having Flareon fight is Jynx. It falls on its face against anybody else. --Bruno: The 2 Onix he has aren't worth wasting Fire Blast's PP. Let somebody else deal with them. Fire Blast OHKOes both of the Hitmons, but Machamp can stomach a blast. Keep in mind though that his Hitmons are faster than Flareon. --Agatha: Flareon can't do much to her Ghosts, thanks to their having a Special that is enough to take minor damage from even Fire Blast combined with an immunity to Normal-type attacks. Her Golbat and Arbok are both faster than Flareon and can withstand a Fire Blast, but outside of status, Golbat (and Arbok in Red and Blue) won't be doing much back. --Lance: Flareon won't be doing much of anything this fight, as all of them not only resist Fire Blast, Flareon's main attack, but they all know Hyper Beam, which does a large amount of damage to whatever doesn't resist it or have respectable Defense, and simply put, Flareon does not fit either of the above criteria. --Rival: Pidgeot, Exeggutor, and Venusaur are all easily beaten. Flareon can potentially beat Alakazam, but it needs Body Slam and don't expect it to do much else, as Psychic can easily wear it down, and the same goes with Jolteon. Also, unless you're using it as fodder (which I hope you're not), Flareon should never go up against Gyarados, Cloyster, or Blastoise, for obvious reasons. -Additional comments: While Flareon isn't much of a help against the game's major battles, its performance against the trainers after Pokemon Tower (as well as doing better against Water-types than its non-Charmander competition) makes up for it, and makes Flareon an acceptable choice for a spot on your team. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Geodude - Mid Tier -Availability: Early! Comes after Mount Moon and is the first OU family you will meet. Evolves quickly, reaching Graveler (and immediately Golem by trade) at level 25. -Stats: The Geoddude''s stats are kind of a mixed bag. While boasting great Attack and Defense stats, it also comes with a mediocre Special and Speed stat. -Movepool: For STAB Geodude learns Rock Throw and Earthquake by Learn-Up, or Rock Slide and Dig by TM, those are the only real moves Geodude needs as Rock/Ground is unresisted in RBY. Geodude doesn't start off with STAB moves, so giving him Mega Punch can help in the earlier game. -Power: Thanks to a high Attack stat and fantastic coverage, Geodude can hit anything hard, provided they don't OHKO him before he attacks. -Type: Much like his stats, his typing is a mixed bag. While Rock/Ground grants him a resistance to Normal, Flying, Poison, Fire, & Electric, it also makes him weak to Fighting, Ice, Water, Grass, and Ground. -Match-ups: --Misty: As Geodude is quadruply weak to Water moves and has low Special, even Staryu will be too much for Geodude to handle. --Lt. Surge: Thanks to his immunity to Electric and resistance to Normal, Geodude walls this entire gym. --Erika: Golem's quadruply weakness to Grass and low speed means Golem shouldn't even be fighting the trainers in this gym. --Koga: Golem's Earthquake/Dig and resistances to Sludge and Explosion make it basically unstoppable here. In Yellow, this match is harder due to the omnipresence of Psychic moves hitting Golem on his low Special, but all of Koga's Pokemon in Yellow are weak to Rock Slide. --Sabrina: Alakazam outspeeds and overwhelms Golem. --Blaine: Golem resists Fire and his can destroys Blaine's Pokemon with Earthquake. However, Golem is also slower than Blaine's Pokemon and his Fire moves hit Golem on his lower Special. A Fire Blast burn can put Golem in a major predicament. --Giovanni: In RB, Golem sweeps his entire team except for Dugtrio who can use Dig to dodge Earthquake (Gen I Dig is unaffected by Earthquake). In Yellow, Golem can beat the newly added Persian, but will have an overall harder time sweeping due to Ground moves being omnipresent in this match. --Lorelei: All of her Pokemon outspeed Golem and can hit him with a Super Effective move. --Bruno: Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, and Machamp all hit you for super effective damage. In Yellow, the Onyx's can also hurt you with Dig / Earthquake. Although Golem's defense and Hitmonchan's low Special means Golem can contribute to this battle, it wont be able to sweep like a Water or Psychic type would. --Agatha: Golem's STABs have super-effective coverage against Agatha's entire team, but the difference in Speed... be prepared for a long bout of annoyance by Confusion, Sleep, Paralysis and Poison if you try to defeat her with Golem. In Yellow, the first Gengar has Mega Drain (instant death) and the second has Psychic (close to instant death). Again, Golem can contribute, but can't sweep as well as a Psychic type would. --Lance: In RB, Golem can trounce everything besides Hydro Pump Gyarados. In Yellow, not only does Gyarados still OHKO you, but now he has a Dragonair with Ice Beam and a Dragonite with Blizzard. --Rival: Golem beats Pidgeot, Rhydon, Fire-types, Electric-types, and Exeggutor. Don't bother with anything else. -Additional Comments: In competitive RBY, Rock/Ground is essential, with Rhydon or Golem being on every team, and Rhyhorn appears horribly late in-game, making Golem your only real choice. However, while their ability to flat-out wall Zapdos and other opponents on the competitive scene is useful, Golem's horribly slow Speed and awful Special handicaps it against a good portion of opponents in-game, starting with Misty and Erika and becoming increasingly bad as more Water- and Ice-type users appear later. It's low Special means it's outright destroyed by Psychic-type users as well. Golem has great stats, moves, and completely destroys many opponents, but there are so many that also destroy it. Early game, it's no better than the Nidos (who appear early, are immune to Poison status and are useful throughout the game), and late game, it's outclassed by Water/Psychic types, who destroy the enemy Ground / Rock / Fire / Poison types more easily. If you real hate enemy Self Destruct / Explosion users though, it's a solid choice. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Goldeen - Mid Tier -Availability: This can be obtained as soon as you get the Super Rod. RB players should head over to Route 23 and fish up a level 23 Seaking. This is slightly underleveled but it’s not unsalvageable. Yellow players can catch a level 30 Seaking north of Cerulean City, which requires no grinding at all. If preferred, Yellow players can also wait until they get Surf, which allows them to Surf to the Cerulean City water and fish up a Level 40 Seaking. Given that Water types really take off towards the end of the game, this is a viable choice too. -Stats: With 92 Attack and 80 Special, Seaking has the stats to hit reasonably hard from both sides of the spectrum. 68 Speed is a bit on the low side but it’s just enough to ensure that you are only outsped by the fastest opponents (e.g. Alakazam). Seaking has decent special bulk, although its physical bulk isn’t that great. This is not a serious issue against regular trainers though. -Movepool: Seaking’s main problem is that it has no good physical moves to use with its good Attack. It has to turn to Double-Edge or Horn Attack to deal with opposing Waters, although Horn Drill can be used to deal with them. Seaking gets BubbleBeam/Surf and Ice moves and this is what it will be using most of the time. Seaking has enough Special to make good use of them too. -Power: Seaking’s power is adequate when using Surf and Ice moves, and its Normal moves will allow it to beat most Water types one-on-one, if a bit slowly. Seaking is far from spectacular but as a Water type it gets the job done. -Type: Water proves to be very useful throughout the game, but is particularly great late-game thanks to good match-ups. Water covers a lot of the late-game Pokémon and with Ice moves for coverage it should be a helpful tool to get you through the end of the game. Water’s defensive weaknesses are usually a non-issue. Ice moves hit Grass types and Electric moves are rare and predictable for the most part. -Match-ups: Koga – Nothing to say here really. STAB Surf hits his specially frail Pokémon fairly well in RB, although a sweep is difficult. In Yellow, don’t expect a sweep either and just be content with taking down a Venonat or two. Sabrina – Like many Water types, Seaking isn’t that useful here. The large Special stats of her Pokémon soak up Surf fairly easily and Seaking is too slow to try sweeping with its Normal moves. Blaine – An excellent match-up. STAB Surf hits his Pokémon hard. Be careful around Arcanine’s Take Down though, as it hits you on your weaker side. Giovanni – Another good match-up. Surf covers everything bar Persian, who you may be better off leaving to someone else (you can beat it but it will leave you with a bit a damage). Yellow is a tougher battle because of the better move sets you are facing (e.g. Thunder from Nidoqueen and Nidoking). Lorelei – Seaking is fairly worthless here. Double-Edge and Horn Attack aren’t going to be enough to sweep, and you may have to resort to Horn Drill if you really must use Seaking. You are always better off using something else though. Bruno – Onix dies fairly easily, and Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee have poor Specials and lose quickly to Surf. However, be prepared for Hitmonlee and Machamp hitting you with powerful physical attacks. Agatha – Golbat is weak to Ice, and Arbok isn’t that powerful. Leave the ghosts to something else. They’ll just outspeed and status you (one of the Gengar even has Mega Drain), and you can’t do much back Lance – With Surf and an Ice move, you cover everything except Gyarados, who should be dealt with by other means. Be careful around Dragonite especially; if it outspeeds you then you may eat a Thunder. Blue – With Surf and Ice Beam/Blizzard, you can hit Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor, Charizard and Arcanine in RB, and Sandslash, Exeggutor, Ninetales, and Flareon in Yellow. -Additional Comments: Goldeen is an outclassed fish and it has little merit over many of the other Water types in the game. However, it can still get the job done adequately if you are willing to give it a try. It brings the usual benefits of Water types to the team, isn’t too taxing on your TM stash, and is fairly easy to obtain. Overall, Seaking is a fine choice, although there is little reason to use it over its competition unless you think it looks cool or something. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Growlithe (Red) - Mid Tier -Availability: In RB, it is found on Route 8. It is underlevelled, although it can catch up using Dig's supereffective coverage against some of the other Pokemon on the route. -Stats: Arcanine has excellent stats. 110 Attack and 95 Speed make it a powerful physical attacker. It has 90 HP, 80 Defence and 80 Special, giving it good bulk and allowing it to use Fire Blast effectively. -Movepool: Growlithe’s movepool is small overall. Growlithe’s level up movepool isn’t the greatest, but it starts with Bite, which is ok. It also gets Flamethrower but it comes far too late and it isn’t worth delaying evolution. Arcanine gets Dig from TM, which you’ll need if you want Arcanine to reach its full potential. Body Slam is also helpful but not required (Double-Edge and Take Down are acceptable but inferior alternatives and although they aren’t great moves they are tolerable if you are using Dig as your main attack), and Fire Blast can also be used although it comes late. -Power: Arcanine is a powerhouse, blasting through almost all trainers with ridiculous ease. Pretty much everything is at least 2HKOed, and most regular trainer Pokémon are OHKOed. Of course, this is assuming it gets the moves it wants (Dig mainly). Without Dig it is much less powerful. -Type: Fire is certainly not the best STAB in the game but you probably won’t be using it throughout most of your playthrough anyway (Fire Blast comes late and Ember is nearly useless). Fire has some bad weaknesses too, although it should be said that with the right moves you'll often avoid taking damage anyway. -Match-ups: Erika - Ember is too weak to kill Victreebel and Vileplume quickly but Tangela (who has a terrible moveset) can be 2HKOed. Grass resistance also gives Arcanine a good shot at contributing here, and the fact that none of her Pokemon have Stun Spore in Red makes this easier. Koga – It can sweep through Koga just fine in Red with Dig. His team isn’t that great and even if you lose you’ll inflict enough damage to finish him off with something else. Sabrina – No type advantage but you actually do ok here because you have enough bulk to take a hit and you are hitting against the weaker Defence stat. A full sweep probably won't happen but you will contribute. Blaine – You can sweep with Dig. Ponyta and Growlithe are weak and you should have enough power to take down Rapidash and Arcanine Giovanni – You should do ok with Dig, and most of the team lacks super-effective moves (Dugtrio has Dig but it can be avoided with a Dig of your own, or a switch). Lorelei – You should stay away from her Water types, but Jynx is beatable. Bruno – You can beat the fighting types as long as you are at a good enough level since they don't like Fire Blast. You have Dig for Onix. Agatha – Dig smacks her Ghosts and Arbok around. You can beat Golbat on pure strength alone. Lance - This isn’t a particularly good match-up. Aerodactyl walls you and Gyarados has Hydro Pump. You might beat the Dragons as long as your level is good enough because they have bad move sets. Blue – Blastoise and Gyarados are the things to stay away from. Dig and Fire Blast have a few targets and this allows Arcanine to contribute. -Additional Comments: This is really hurt by its movepool. Arcanine has a lot of potential power thanks to its impressive stats, but it is highly TM dependent. Without Dig, it is far less useful, and although it is still usable it really isn't worth using over something else if it doesn't get the moves it wants. If it does get what it needs, however, it is an incredible asset because it hits like a truck and can gain the upper hand against a number of gyms leaders/elite 4 members. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hitmonlee - Mid Tier -Availability: You can get it as soon as you reach Celadon by heading into Saffron straight after. You get one at level 30, and if you get it as soon as possible it requires no grinding whatsoever. -Stats: Decent speed and large attack make Hitmonlee quite dangerous offensively. However, Hitmonlee has horrible defenses and tends to take tons of damage from most neutral attacks (or gets OHKOed). -Movepool: Hitmonlee has access to Rolling Kick, Jump Kick and Hi Jump Kick. This makes it the only pure Fighting-type with access to strong, reliable STAB moves. It can learn Mega Punch (the TM can be bought from Celadon) to help it around Fighting-resistant opponents. The only other offensive move that it would have any need to learn is Seismic Toss since it's the only move it has to hurt Ghost-types, but it isn't necessary. Meditate can be used to boost its attack. -Power: Decent speed and high power make Hitmonlee a force to be reckoned; he hits everything that doesn't resist him hard. However, Hitmonlee's frailty can cause problems if it can't OHKO (or it misses) and you need to be careful about keeping it healthy. -Type: Fighting is not a great type in RBY. The only notable thing about it is that it's the only type to hit Normal super-effectively, but conversely you deal with common Poison-types resisting your STAB (and they are often bulky enough to survive a coverage move). -Match-ups: Erika: Provided you give him a decent Normal-type move, Hitmonlee should do ok against Erika. It's not a full sweep though, and he can be wrecked by paralysis. Koga: Not great here because all of Koga's pokemon resist Fighting-type moves. Hitmonlee can do well after 2 Meditates if you taught it Swift as the first Koffing is fairly easy to set up on. In Yellow, his whole team knows Psychic moves, although he should have no problem taking out Venonat because it's a weakling. Sabrina: Sabrina is hard for obvious reasons. Type disadvantage is going to hurt here, although if Hitmonlee is around level 44 it can outspeed Kadabra and possibly take out Mr Mime and Venomoth also. Hitmonlee doesn't stand a chance against Alakazam. Even though Hitmonlee can set up 6 meditates on Sabrina's Abra in Yellow, both Kadabra and Alakazam outspeed and KO anyway. Blaine: Hitmonlee sweeps with relative ease using only Jump Kick, and OHKOing both Growlithe and Ponyta. While it may take 2 hits to take out Rapidash and Arcanine, if you set up a few meditates on Blaine's joke Pokemon, you will be all right. Hitmonlee is a good choice here as nothing in Blaine's team resists Fighting. Note that setting up Meditate is more difficult in Yellow because Ninetales can roast you with Flamethrower. Giovanni: Even though Hitmonlee gets type advantage against Rhyhorn and Rhydon, their high defense mean that Hitmonlee will not be scoring OHKO's unless he is carrying HJK, which is available at level 48. Still, Hitmonlee does well here provided you gave him Double-Edge or Body-Slam. The trick is to Meditate on Rhyhorn to get your attack up a few levels, and then just sweep with your best moves. Use your kick attack (JK or HJK) for Rhyhorn, Rhydon and Dugtrio, and use Body-Slam or Double-Edge on the Nidos, which will ensure the sweep. In Yellow, setting up isn't as easy thanks to Giovanni's enhanced team, but at least Persian is a joke, being a Normal-type with poor defense. Lorelei: Hitmonlee performs very admirably here as he has a great type advantage against numerous Pokemon that Lorelei has, including Dewgong, Lapras and Cloyster. In addition, Jynx can only hit you neutrally as she has no Psychic-type attacks. Slowbro doesn't go down so easily but it's only a real threat in Yellow (RB Slowbro only has Water Gun to hit you with). Bruno: Despite having a Hitmonlee himself, yours should be better. Use Onix to set up multiple Meditates and proceed to sweep his team with Hi Jump Kick. Agatha: Hitmonlee isn't that great here since Seismic Toss is the only thing it can harm her Ghost-types with. This is not a good match-up in any way for you; just pick a Psychic-type to do the work here. Lance: Lance isn't easy, but he isn't difficult either. Both Dragonairs and Aerodactyl are neutral to Hi Jump Kick, so Hitmonlee does have room for damage. Just beware of Gyarados and Dragonite, who are both bulky and can do some serious damage in response. Blue: No matter which starter you pick, Hitmonlee will have trouble here in various amounts as your rival will always carry numerous flying types (Charizard, Gyarados, Pidgeot), a poison type (Venasaur) and numerous Psychics (Alakazam, Exeggutor). That being said, Hitmonlee can deal serious damage to any pokemon that doesn't resist Fighting, and you can look no further than Rhydon for that. Hitmonlee does much better in Yellow as there are less Pokemon in Gary's team that resist Hi Jump Kick, so feel free to go nuts here. Additional Comments: Hitmonlee is the best pure Fighting-type in the game. It has well-distributed stats, it gets the best Fighting-type moves, and you get it at level 30, which is around the level your team would be at the time. It can perform fairly well on some routes on sheer power aline. None of this changes the fact that Hitmonlee is a Fighting-type with limited coverage though. It doesn't have many good match-ups against the hardest of the gym leaders/elite 4 members, aside from Lorelei possibly. It also has pathetic defenses and a single miss or failed OHKO can be costly. Still, if you need a strong physical attacker that requires no grinding, Hitmonlee is a solid choice as long as you provide it with support for when it falls short. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Horsea - Mid Tier -Availability: In RB, you can get it mid-game with the Super Rod just below Fuchsia. It comes at level 23 as a Seadra on Route 23. Red players have the option of waiting a bit longer for the Horsea and Seadra of the Seafoam Islands. That option is viable because it still allows Seadra to contribute against the late-game trainers that its typing gives it an advantage against. In Yellow it is even more viable because it can be caught at higher levels, which means less grinding, and less time lost spent to getting it to catch up. -Stats: Horsea has well-rounded stats. In fact, Seadra has 95 Special and Defense, which makes RBY Seadra comparible to its later-gen evolved form Kingdra in some respects. Its Speed is solid and it can outspeed pretty much all regular route Pokemon, but may fall short against Pokemon like Alakazam. Its Attack (65) is a let down and limits it usable movepool significantly. Its HP (55) is also poor. -Movepool: Horsea's entire usable movepool consists of Surf, Ice Beam, Blizzard and Hydro Pump. Other than that, it gets the usual set of generic Normal moves that almost everything gets, but Seadra can't use these very well. It's this lack of versatility that limits Seadra the most. At least it has no trouble getting the moves it can use though. Surf has no opportunity cost and there are two Ice TMs (Ice Beam and Blizzard) so it has a good chance of getting at least one of those. -Power: Horsea is quite strong because it can hit a lot of types with Super Effective moves with its Ice/Water coverage. Once it gets rolling, Horsea can OHKO many different pokemon comfortably. However, Seadra is probably the worst Water-type to use against other Water-types because of its low Attack and lack of good coverage moves. -Type: Water types have 2 weaknesses, Grass and Electric, neither of which are common. Resisting Fire, Ice and Water is quite useful, especially since many of the end-game trainers have those types on-hand. -Match-ups: Koga: Sweeps fairly easily, but if you fail to KO a Pokemon, be prepared to be frustrated by Smokescreen/Minimize a little more. May take more than one hit to KO Weezing, depending on your level. Sabrina: Seadra isn't that great here. Even with STAB Surf, you fail to OHKO the likes of Kadabra and Mr Mime. In addition, it's almost impossible to beat Alakazam even at a higher level; his Special is too high and Psybeam does too much damage. You could try using moves like Double-Edge and Body Slam for this battle, but it won't necessarily be worth wasting a TM on Seadra for this one battle, especially since its Attack stat isn't spectacular. Blaine: Surf sweeps Blaine even if you are underleveled. Seadra also won't be taking a lot of damage from anything Blaine can do, so even if you fail to OHKO Arcanine, you can be sure that he won't hit you very hard back. In Yellow, Ninetails may try to give you problems as it can take a couple of Surfs with it's high Special, but it will not be hitting you hard back. Giovanni: Surf will ensure that Horsea will OHKO every Pokemon on his team, due to their cumulative weaknesses and terrible Special stats.. Also viable moves Seadra can use in this battle to score OHKOs include Hydro Pump, Blizzard, Ice Beam, Bubblebeam and Water Gun. Even though Persian is neutral to Water-type moves, he will still be at Seadra's mercy here. Lorelei: This is a bad match-up here, because all her Pokemon resist Water and Ice (barring Jynx from the former). You resist it too, but there's nothing of value gained here, save your PP for later. Bruno: Clean sweep to say the least; Surf should take out pretty much anything on his team. There's not much his Pokemon can respond with in return, even Thunderpunch off Hitmonchan will be pathetic at best. Agatha: Agatha isn't as easy as she looks. Gengar and Haunter can take a few Surfs to take down and can whittle you away with Confuse Ray and Night Shade (one of the Gengar even has Mega Drain). It really comes down to your level versus theirs, but you won't be hitting them efficiently. Golbat is easy enough, going down to Ice Beam, but beware paralysis from Arbok's Glare. Lance: Water types always do well against Lance, and this is no exception. Surf nails Aerodactyl, while Ice Beam takes out Dragonair and Dragonite. Gyarados is neutral to all of your attacks, and while it is better to let an Electric-type handle it, it just means Seadra will be weakened. Blue: Your rival will be difficult under any circumstance, certain pokemon can be beaten much easier than others. Rhydon, Charizard and Arcanine fall to Surf, Pidgeot, Venasaur and Exeggutor lose to Ice Beam. And it is likely you will lose out to the likes of Alakazam and Jolteon, while Gyarados and Blastoise will hit you hard with their powerful normal moves. It's worse for Seadra in Yellow as now Gary has an Electric-type Pokemon which Seadra will have trouble getting past. Additional comments: While Horsea does have some good points and it is a solid choice overall, its lack of attributes outside of the useful Water/Ice coverage makes it difficult to justify using it over another Water-type. Most of the other Water-types have wider movepools, better Attack stats, good secondary types, and even boosted experience to compliment the Water/Ice coverage, while Horsea is the absolute definition of "generic Water-type". Being outclassed doesn't mean Horsea isn't godd on its own merits though, as it holds its own quite well throughout the game and you get it around the time you get Surf which is a huge plus. Furthermore, its stats compare favourably to the other Mid tier Water-types, as it has the highest Speed and the second highest Special of all of them. Overall, it's a decent Pokemon, shame she can barely touch other Water types. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jigglypuff - Mid 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. Grinding Jigglypuff to match your team can be a bit painful, but thankfully it evolves by using a Moon Stone obtained shortly after catching Jigglypuff. -Stats: Jigglypuff's HP is outstanding but its defenses are low, giving it average hit-taking abilities. 70 Attack is decent for a Pokemon obtained as early as Wigglytuff and allows it to make good use of its STABS, but its Special is disappointing considering its movepool. 45 Speed is poor, although it isn't a huge problem early-game when everything is unevolved and underleveled. -Movepool: Wigglytuff is very TM dependent but it has access to a low of TMs so it can fit on most teams pretty easily. Most of these moves are special moves, however. As far as STAB is concerned, it has plenty to pick from. Mega Punch is available right away and will be one of your team's strongest attacks for quite a while. If that isn't available, then Body Slam and Tri Attack will also come along, and Mega Punch can be purchased in Celadon City anyway. Wigglytuff would also like a Water move to cover Rock-types, and there are 2 of those so it has a good chance of getting at least one of them. Everything other offensive move is pure filler and these can be used by other Pokemon better. Moves like Thunderbolt and Psychic do improve its coverage but there aren't necessary. In regards to supporting moves, it can learn Thunder Wave by TM, and it also has Sing. -Power: If you evolved it ASAP (which you should have) and taught it Mega Punch, it's actually pretty decent. STAB Mega Punch is very powerful at that point in the game and it remains powerful for a while. A water move (which it will almost certainly have) will help it past early-game Rock-types too. Its performance on some routes will depend on what moves you teach it though. For example, it is mediocre on Cycling Road (and near worthless in Pokemon Tower) without Psychic. Ultimately it depends on the moveset which will never be constant across all playthroughs, but Wigglytuff will always have somewhere to show its power. Note that its Speed may cause problems during some of the later parts of the game where the Pokemon tend to be faster. -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. -Match-ups: --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. If you don't want to do it that way, Thunder Wave is useful for crippling Starmie. --Lt. Surge: It can power through Voltorb and Pikachu easily. It can also 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, particularly 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. If you have Psychic on your side it can work nicely here. --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: Arcanine's Fire Blast is going to do a lot. Don't forget that Ninetales (Yellow only) knows Flamethrower 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: Onix can be beaten with BubbleBeam/Water Gun/Ice Beam/Blizzard, and Hitmonchan has bad moves. Hitmonlee and Machamp are too dangerous. --Agatha: Psychic covers everything, if you have it. But even with Psychic, don't expect a sweep. --Lance: Wigglytuff can cover everything with BoltBeam coverage, although it might not be strong enough to pull off a sweep even with those moves. Wigglytuff has just enough bulk to survive a Hyper Beam from anything not named Gyarados or Dragonite. --Blue: It is hard to summarise Wigglytuff's performance here because its moveset is so variable. Pidgeot and Exeggutor are obviously beatable regardless of what you gave it. It is up to you to figure out what you should take on because only you know its moveset. -Additional Comments: Jigglypuff is a decent Pokemon when considered on its own merits. It is obtained early, it grows and evolves quickly, it packs good power thanks to its strong STAB options, and it learns a ton of TMs. It is let down by its low Speed and its low catch level. Also keep in mind that Jigglypuff is completely outclassed by Clefairy, so make sure you consider using that first before you go for Jigglypuff. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Kabuto - Mid Tier -Availability: It is obtained from the Dome Fossil. You can obtain it as soon as you get Surf. It comes at level 30 and starts off a bit slowly. However, Kabuto catches up quickly thanks to being able to grind easily at the Pokémon Mansion. It evolves at level 40, which doesn’t actually take that long from the level that you obtain it. -Stats: Although Kabuto isn’t particularly powerful stat wise, Kabutops has good stats overall. 115 Attack is nothing to scoff at. 70 Special is not that bad for the purposes of Surf, 80 Speed is fast enough for in-game, and it also has decent 60/105/80 defences. -Movepool: It has a small movepool but it gets everything it needs without any TM support. Slash is awesome from 115 Attack, and Surf from 70 Special is an acceptable secondary attack. It also gets Submission, Ice Beam and Blizzard but it does not need any of these to be successful. The main downside is its lack of physical STAB, but Slash is a good alternative. -Power: Kabuto is mediocre but you don’t have to put up with it for long. When it evolves, Kabutops becomes a great sweeper. Slash can make short work of many teams thanks to its high Attack and decent Speed. Surf deals with the Rock types that resist it. -Type: STAB on Water is not a bad thing to have in this game, especially because it deals with all of the Slash-resisting Rock types. From a defensive standpoint, Rock/Water has some interesting resistances. Normal resistance is so useful, especially because many things in the game are limited to STAB + Normal coverage. Kabutops flat-out walls some Pokémon, especially Fire and Flying types. Of course, Rock/Water has some annoying weaknesses too (especially Grass), so you need to be careful when these types pop up in important battles (using something else is safer but Kabutops can still win on power alone). -Match-ups: Sabrina – Slash is brutal against her. At this point you should be able to out-speed and sweep her entire team. Blaine – You can’t possibly lose here unless you get extremely unlucky. You wall his whole team completely and you can hit them with Surf. Giovanni – You can sweep with Surf (Slash is fine for Persian), but look out for Thunder and Earthquake in Yellow. Lorelei – Aside from Jynx, her team is rather bulky. Slash hits everything but a full sweep is asking a lot of Kabutops. Its lack of Rock Slide is really noticable here. Bruno – Onix is beaten with Surf. You should probably stay away from Hitmonlee and Machamp (you can beat them but their Fighting attacks are brutal. Hitmonchan is too weak to be that much of an issue unless you get surprised by Counter! Agatha – This is a bit tricky. You should beat Golbat and Arbok but the Ghosts are immune to Slash and can take Surf easily. One of them has Mega Drain. Stay away from the Ghosts. Lance – You are good to go in RB because you wall Aerodactyl and all of the Dragons. Gyarados can leave a bit of a dent with Hydro Pump though. This is harder in Yellow where you have to deal with Thunderbolt and Thunder. Aerodactyl still can’t touch you and the Ice Beam/BubbleBeam Dragonair is beatable. Blue – You actually do really well against Blue. You can take on Pidgeot, Alakazam (Slash destroys it), Rhydon, Exeggutor, Charizard, Arcanine, Ninetales and Flareon. The Water types are doable, as is Sandslash (Earthquake is powerful against it though). -Additional Comments: This comes a bit late and starts off a bit weak, but Kabutops is a powerful team member with good stats and a small but precise movepool that has strong match-ups against many of the important trainers that it will likely face during its time on your team. You could do a lot worse. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Krabby (Red) - Mid Tier -Availability: Unlike in Blue or Yellow, Red Krabby can't be caught in Seafoam Islands, meaning the best opportunity to catch Krabby is by surving up a level 23 Kingler at Route 23 with the Super Rod. You will need to have beaten Erika to access Route 23's fishing spots. -Stats: As mentioned in its Blue/Yellow entry, Kingler has impeccable Attack and very adequate Defense, but its Special leaves a lot to be desired. -Movepool: Kingler will know Bubble, Leer, and Vicegrip when caught assuming you caught it as a level 23 Kingler. It'll then proceed to learn Guillotine 2 levels later. Unfortunately, Kingler won't be able to know Crabhammer until level 42, which means it'll be stuck without a powerful STAB for 19 levels. Kingler will definitely want Body Slam to be the best it can be, although it can cope without it by using Vice Grip andd then Stomp. Swords Dance can be used to buff up its physical power if you have it at that point, but you probably won't. BubbleBeam (and later Surf) are STAB options that it can make do with until Crabhammer. The only other notable TM moves Kingler can learn are Ice Beam and Blizzard, but even those moves might not be worth it in the long run due to Kingler's disappointing base 50 Special. Still, Blizzard is a noteworthy option as it allows Kingler to take down some of Lance's Dragon-types. -Power: Since it'll join underleveled with Vicegrip as its best attack, it should come as no surprise that Kingler won't exactly be excelling. Body Slam definitely helps it here; it's Kingler's best attack for a good while. Of course, once it reaches level 42, it'll know Crabhammer and then play exactly like it would in Blue or Yellow. However, this isn't until Seafoam Islands, meaning Kingler will be doing mediocre for at least 2 gyms, in other words a fourth of the game. -Type: Water itself is a good type, but Red Kingler really wishes it was Normal-type instead of Water-type; a specially-oriented typing combined with a pathetic Special isn't ideal when you first get it, but when Crabhammer comes along it will finally show its worth. -Match-ups: --Koga: Kingler isn't that great for this fight, as most of its good attacks at this point in the game are physical, and all of Koga's Pokemon have the bulk to withstand more than a few physical attacks. Surf might have some use because it targets his Pokemon's weaker Special, but Kingler's Special ian't much better. --Sabrina: Sabrina's Pokemon are all faster than Kingler and their attacks target its pitiful Special. --Blaine: By this time, Kingler should know Crabhammer, making this fight a walk in the park. --Giovanni: See Blaine. --Lorelei: Aside from crushing Jynx with Strength, don't expect Kingler to do much in this fight. --Bruno: All of Bruno's Pokemon are either weak to Crabhammer or have Special stats that make Kingler's seem adequate. --Agatha: Her Ghosts can take whatever Kingler lobs at it, but can't do much back to it outside of status. --Lance: This is probably the only time in the game where Kingler would use Blizzard, as 4 of his Pokemon are weak to it, and one of them is weak to Crabhammer, meaning you don't have to waste Blizzard's PP on it. Keep in mind, however, that it'll usually take 2 Blizzards to down one of Lance's Dragons --Rival: To sum it up quickly, Kingler can comfortably beat Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor, Arcanine, and Charizard. It loses to everything else. -Additional Comments: The problem with Krabby in Red is that it misses out on what makes it good in Blue and Yellow: access to Crabhammer shortly after catching it, and the lack of need to catch it up with the rest of the party (though the latter applies solely to Blue). Without those characteristics, Krabby becomes less unimpressive. Still, there's no denying that Crabhammer is a powerful move once you get there and Kingler's late-game performance is excellent. Red Kingler is clearly worse than the other versions but it still has merit. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Magikarp - Mid Tier -Availability: You can buy it almost for free (500 Poke, to be precise) after the first time, but at level 5. It evolves at level 20. -Stats: As a Magikarp, it's got nothing going for it, except for okay Speed. Once it evolves, all of its stats (minus Speed) grow from pathetic to great. -Movepool: As a Magikarp, it starts out with the useless Splash, and can't properly defend itself until it grows to level 15 and learns Tackle. Once it's a Gyarados, however, it gets the more powerful Bite, and you can teach it BubbleBeam via TM11. BubbleBeam can later by upgraded to Surf or Hydro Pump, where as Bite can be upgraded to Body Slam or Strength. It can also learn Thunderbolt and Ice Beam by TM, and Dragon Rage and Hyper Beam through level up. -Power: For the first 15 levels, it won't be able to beat even a Caterpie 1-on-1. After it evolves, it can occasionally take on entire Routes by itself. -Type: Water's great when you get it, but it can't use any Water-type moves when you get it. When it evolves, its weakness to Electric becomes more amplified, but it loses its weakness to Grass and gains an immunity to Ground. Its newfound weaknesses to Rock isn't too bad, because Rock-types are washed away by Water moves. -Match-ups: Because of how pathetic it is as a Magikarp, all of the following are assuming it's a Gyarados. --Misty: High Attack and resistance to Water mean that Misty's Pokemon are reliably beaten; however, it's quite unlikely that you'll have evolved Magikarp by the time you fight her. --Lt. Surge: As Gyarados suffers a double weakness to Electric, Raichu's Thunderbolt will OHKO Gyarados. --Erika: Gyarados can work his way through this gym by the sheer force of Bite and Dragon Rage, but has to watch out for status. Alternatively, you could teach Gyarados the Ice Beam TM and sweep the entire gym in a flash. --Koga: Surf hits his Pokemon's weaker Special, often KOing in 2 hits. --Sabrina: Bite/Body Slam/other Normal attack squishes her fragile Psychic-types. --Blaine: Gyarados resists Fire, and his STAB Water moves make short work of Blaine. --Giovanni: Gyarados is immune to Ground, and Surf hits his entire team for Super Effective damage except for Persian. Keep in mind in Pokemon Yellow, his Nidoqueen and Nidoking know Thunder. --Lorelei: If Gyarados was give the Thunderbolt TM he can do serious damage to her Pokemon, but without it he will struggle due to Lorelei's Pokemon having good Physical Bulk and a resistance to Water. --Bruno: His 2 Onix are turned to rubble by (insert Water-type attack here), and Hi Jump Kick/Submission is resisted by Gyarados's Flying secondary typing. --Agatha: Golbat and Arbok are easily beaten, but her Ghosts are immune to Gyarados's Physical Moves and have the bulk to take Surf. Don't use it against her unless you like seeing your sea serpent get statused. --Lance: Aerodactyl is weak to Water, but his other Pokemon all resist it. If Gyarados was taught Thunderbolt he can take out Lance's Gyarados and if Gyarados was taught Ice Beam/Blizzard, it can take out Lance's Dragons. In Yellow, keep in mind that one of his Dragonair and Dragonite know Thunderbolt and Thunder, respectively. -Additional Comments: As shown above, Gyarados is awesome, but if you want to use it, you'll have to bear with the completely useless Magikarp for 15 long levels, due to its experience curve (Slow). Another problem is that Gyarados is TM dependent as it a lot of its sweeping potential relies on BoltBeam coverage. Once it evolves and has the right coverage, however, it becomes incredibly powerful and self-sufficient. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Magnemite - Mid Tier -Availability: In RB, you can find it in the Power Plant. Wild Magnemite are at a rather low level, but Magneton can be caught at up to level 35 so they require less catch-up time. In Yellow it arrives as early as Route 10 (outside the Power Plant). It will require a bit of grinding (it is level 22 at its highest) but it isn't too hard for it to catch up. -Stats: Magnemite and Magneton have high Special stats, with Magneton carrying up to 120 Special. This is supported by good 50/95/120 bulk. Magnemite is a tad slow (45 Speed) but Magneton is just fast enough to work well (70 Speed). -Movepool: Magneton has a terrible level-up movepool. In fact, you absolutely NEED to give this Thunderbolt for it to be worthwhile. If not, you’ll be using Thundershock for a while until you get the unreliable Thunder. Of course, since Magnemite is probably going to be the only Electric type on the team it only has to compete for Thunderbolt with non-Electrics looking for additional coverage, so Magnemite will likely receive this move just fine. -Power: Magneton’s Thunderbolt allows it to OHKO almost anything that doesn’t resist it. Magneton will power through many trainers with ease. However, due to mono-Electric coverage it struggles against Ground types (particularly Rock/Ground types), Grass types and opposing Electric types (the latter 2 groups can survive Thunderbolt and hit back with paralysis). -Type: Since the Steel type doesn't exist in the 1st generation, Magnemite is purely an Electric-type in RBY. Electric gives plenty of coverage, and is particularly powerful against the Water types that appear late game, although the things that resist it appear frequently throughout the game too, lowering its power a bit. Electric isn’t particularly useful defensively. Flying resistance is unnecessary because all the birds are OHKOed, and Electric resistance isn’t helpful because opposing Electric types resist your main attack anyway. -Match-ups: Erika – You don’t do well here. Her Pokémon take Thunderbolt and hit back with whatever they want. Koga – RB Koga is a joke. Thunderbolt is strong enough to sweep him. In Yellow, Magneton really benefits from having a high Special, which allows it to take Psychic. Sabrina – You have 120 Special so you can take a few hits. Thunder Wave is very useful here, so even if you faint you can at least slow down Alakazam for your teammates. Blaine – No type advantage, but you can win if you have a sufficient level. This is notably easier in RB due to the worse team he has there. Giovanni – You are quite hopeless here. In Yellow you can at least beat Persian, but everything else walls you. Lorelei – This is a great match-up because Thunderbolt eats most of her team alive. It is evenly matched with Jynx, but watch out for Lovely Kiss in Yellow. Bruno – You should beat his fighting types, but you should use something else for Onix. Agatha – Golbat and Arbok should not be a problem to beat. Gengar and Haunter may outspeed and try to confuse and sleep you though. Lance – You beat Gyarados and Aerodactyl. Dragonair resists Thunderbolt though you may be able to beat them just because they suck so much. Dragonite is beatable unless you have been weakened. Blue – You beat Pidgeot, Gyarados, Charizard, Blastoise, Cloyster and Vaporeon, and you should be able to take on Alakazam, Arcanine and Ninetales too. -Additional Comments: Magneton packs incredible power. However, it is severely let down by its necessity for Thunderbolt. If you have it reserved for something else then Magneton is less useful. It also requires support to get around anything that resists Thunderbolt, lowering its killing potential. If you can get around these issues then it is a good choice that will contribute to beating the game efficiently. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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, are too crippling for a Pokemon with Mankey's unremarkable bulk. -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. -Match-ups: --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: As far as Fighting-types go, Mankey is adequate. It's dependent on Dig and doesn't last long when it isn't hitting its targets super effectively, but if given Dig and Rock Slide it can hold its own for a good portion of the game. It also has one of the best match-ups against Brock in Yellow, and this makes Mankey one of the best partners for the starter Pikachu. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Meowth (Blue only) - Mid Tier -Availability: The Scratch Cat Pokemon can be seen in the routes bordering Saffron City, the earliest of which being Routes 5 and 6. Out of all the Pokemon in those routes, approximately one fourth of them are Meowth, their levels ranging from 10 to 16. Meowth tend to evolve when they reach level 28. -Stats: When looking at Meowth's stats, its Speed is far above the rest, being double any of its other stats, which are in the range of usability offensively, but leaves something to be desired defensively. Its evolution, Persian, follows this trend with all of its stats being noticeably higher than Meowth's, but keeping the theme of blazing speed and its other stats being average. -Movepool: All Meowth level 12 or higher have Bite, a move with solid base power and the potential to flinch its target, in their arsenal. Meowth are also known for using Pay Day, a move which has the same power as Scratch but has the added effect of getting extra money at the end of battles. However, the sheer amount of trainers in the game means that you won't need it and will find it more of a hindrance than anything else. While Persian does eventually learn Slash, it won't do so until level 53, by which time you should have beaten the game. Being a Normal-type, Meowth and Persian have a usable TM movepool, though not as impressive as some of its fellow Normal-types. It has access to Bubblebeam and Thunderbolt, the former being useful against the Ground-types in Rock Tunnel and the latter being helpful for the Bird Keepers and Swimmers that become quite common after Pokemon Tower (as well as being ironic). However, both of those TMs are exclusive, so if you're also using (or plan to use) an Electric-type or a (non-Seafoam Islands) Water-type in addition to Meowth, the Scratch Cat most likely won't be able to use either of those moves. Meowth can also learn Water Gun, but it is not recommended as it fails to OHKO anything that's even 4x weak to it. As with several Pokemon, Meowth can be taught Body Slam, but the fact that it has Bite in its arsenal when you get it means Meowth benefits less from it than a teammate such as Ivysaur would. -Power: Bite allows Meowth to be a reliable, albeit frail, attacker once it catches up, and it's not defenseless before it catches up. Its previously mentioned frailty can be a problem, though. It can't do much in Pokemon Tower, for obvious reasons, but it does quite well in Routes 13 and 14 as well as the water Routes if it is taught Thunderbolt. Overall, Persian doesn't usually disappoint, but at the same time its performance doesn't regularly blow people away. -Type: Having a Normal typing can be useful in the early-game, as most Pokemon typically have only Normal-type damaging moves in their arsenal at that point in the game. However, Meowth comes a bit late to the party, because by that point in the game the Bubblebeam and Dig TMs are available, and Pokemon who learn STAB my means of leveling up starts to learn those moves at the point Meowth becomes available. After that, Normal STAB becomes less and less useful due to it having absolutely no super effective coverage, despite having impressive neutral coverage. This is where secondary typings would come in handy, but Persian doesn't have one, hampering its potential usefulness. -Match-ups: --Lt. Surge: Due to Meowth's frailty, the chance of it taking more than one Thunderbolt is almost null. --Erika: Persian can beat Victreebel one-on-one, but don't expect it to beat Vileplume afterward. --Koga: Thanks to Koffing and Weezing being quite sturdy physically, it should come as no surprise that Persian has trouble against Koga if it doesn't have Thunderbolt. --Sabrina: Persian can take her Alakazam on by itself and come on top in most cases. It also does well against her other Pokemon, but don't expect it to beat her by itself. --Blaine: Unlike Persian, Blaine's Arcanine has usable bulk and a very threatening (to those who don't resist it, that is) STAB, proving that dogs normally defeat cats in one-on-one fights. Thankfully for Persian, it's faster than Rapidash, meaning that it has less to worry from Fire Spin than a Pokemon like Nidoqueen would. --Giovanni: There's no way Persian's getting past his Rhydon without Bubblebeam. Dugtrio can be defeated, but it'll take a large chunk of Persian's health in the process, and the Nidos do similarly. --Lorelei: Without Thunderbolt, Persian can beat Dewgong and Jynx, but nothing else, mainly due to the rest of her team having impressive physical bulk. If Thunderbolt is taken into account, Cloyster can be added to the above list. --Bruno: Onix can take any of Persian's moves not called Bubblebeam, Hitmonchan can Counter any Normal-type assault from Persian back at it, and Bruno's other Pokemon know Fighting-type moves. --Agatha: Persian can't do much of anything to her Ghost-types, the most threatening members of her team, but Golbat and Arbok are manageable. Just keep in mind Arbok can Wrap Persian into oblivion if Persian gets paralyzed. --Lance: Persian might be able to take Gyarados's Hyper Beam or Hydro Pump and fry it with 2 consecutive Thunderbolts (if it has the move), but that's the best Persian can do for this fight. --Rival: Unlike Sabrina's, the Champion's Alakazam beats Persian more often than the other way around, thanks to its level advantage as well as it actually knowing Psychic. The Champion's Gyarados, just like Lance's, is beaten provided Persian knows Thunderbolt. Everything else on his team that Persian can take down can also be defeated by a number of other Pokemon. -Additional Comments: Meowth can fend for itself shortly after being caught, but the problem with it (and its evolution) is that outside of its Speed, none of its stats are impressive, despite none of them being truly bad, with the possible exception of Defense (which is a bit mediocre). This causes it to have a consistently average performance. Its movepool can be another problem, as its level-up movepool outside of an early Bite and a too-late Slash is quite scarce. This causes Meowth to be a bit high-maintenance at times, but not necessarily useless if left to its own devices. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Oddish - Mid Tier -Availability: Oddish is exclusive to Red and Yellow. It is first found north of Cerulean City at levels 12-14. It is slightly underleveled, but thankfully there are a few Hikers on the way to Bill’s house that provide easy experience for Oddish so it isn’t too difficult for it to catch up. -Stats: Oddish and family have nice stats overall, with Special being its strongest stat. It peaks at 100 as Vileplume, and Oddish starts with 75 Special which is very good for an unevolved Pokémon. This is supported by Vileplume’s 75 HP and 85 Defence, and even its Attack is solid (80). However, Oddish is horribly slow. Before evolving into Vileplume it’ll find itself going last quite often. Vileplume’s 50 Speed is still below average but it’s just enough to allow it to go first in many battles when accounting for stat experience and level differences. Faster species will still outspeed it however. -Movepool: This is what lets Oddish down significantly. Compared to its fellow early-game Grass types, it really has little to go on. It starts with the weak Absorb, although the HP recovery is helpful against Grass-weak opponents. For a while, its whole moveset will consist of Absorb, Cut and Acid which prevents it from powering through many opponents. It does get the status powders early on however, which at least lets it beat things more safely. Vileplume’s strongest STAB is Petal Dance, but with a modest 70 Base Power it isn’t particularly spectacular. Furthermore, it has unfavourable side effects and it can only learn it as Oddish or Gloom, so you can’t evolve Gloom right away unless you are willing to give up Petal Dance (not recommended). From TMs, it gets Mega Drain which is a good replacement for Absorb. It also gets Swords Dance and Body Slam (Body Slam can only be learnt by Vileplume, not Oddish or Gloom). -Power: The issue isn’t so much that it can’t beat things. The problem is that it can’t beat things quickly. It is using moves with low base power and mainly gets around opponents by slowly whittling away their health rather than blasting through them. This isn’t ideal in an efficient playthrough. Still, the fact is that Oddish does beat things in the end. -Type: Grass is a very good type early on, and this is probably the main reason why you would use Oddish. The Water, Grass and Electric resistances are very useful, and super-effective hits on Water, Rock and Ground are great. Grass/Poison has a few weaknesses, including Psychic, Bug, Flying, Fire and Ice, so Oddish will need some support. -Match-ups: Misty: Oddish wins. Absorb actually does pathetic damage to Starmie thanks to its high Special but Oddish beats it in the end. Lt. Surge: Gloom’s Electric resistance and nice bulk allow it to do great here too. His Pokémon can’t really do that much to you, although it may need help in Yellow if Raichu selects Mega Kick and Mega Punch repeatedly. Erika – There are better choices for this battle. Gloom’s Acid is super-effective against Tangela at least, but Gloom is an inefficient choice for this battle and there is no reason to use it here over something else. Koga – You can’t do much to his Poison types in RB and Gloom/Vileplume will be worn down, although you at least carry an immunity to poison status. You’re even worse in Yellow since you’ll be hit with Psychic attacks. Sabrina – This is even worse than Koga, and using Vileplume here is dumb. Blaine – You’re weak to Fire and his Pokémon resist Grass. Use something else. Giovanni – Vileplume gets to have a bit of a comeback here after bad match-ups in the last few gyms. It destroys Dugtrio, Rhyhorn and Rhydon, and it can beat Nidoqueen and Nidoking one-on-one. Persian’s Slash might sting, but overall you can do well. Lorelei – The Ice weakness limits you, and Slowbro has Psychic in Yellow. It can beat Slowbro in RB easily but Vileplume isn’t a good choice for this battle. Bruno – You beat Onix, and the fighting types have poor Specials (and you even resist Fighting moves). Vileplume does very well against Bruno. Agatha – Agatha isn’t really threatening overall but there are so many better choices for Agatha than Vileplume. Vileplume’s typing and movepool is just all wrong for this battle! Lance – His dragon’s resist Grass. In Yellow, the threat of receiving an Ice attack is present too. Aerodactyl is beatable in RB unless you get haxed, but it has Fly in Yellow. Gyarados’s Hyper Beam will leave a mark but you resist Hydro Pump at least. If it acts dumb then you can beat it. Blue – Here’s a list of Pokémon you can beat easily: Rhydon, Exeggutor, Sandslash and Magneton. There are other match-ups that you can win with a bit of luck/patience, including the water types (they have Ice moves), Jolteon (it has 4x effective Pin Missile), Gyarados (basically the same as Lance’s) and Venusaur (you wall it although you don’t really do a lot back). -Additional Comments: Oddish makes it into Mid because its typing gives it great match-ups early on. Grass is a great offensive type before you reach Lavender Town and Oddish will put in a lot of work along the way. Being able to beat the first 2 gym leaders you encounter after you catch it is sweet too. However, it is important to note that Bellsprout and Bulbasaur completely outclass Oddish thanks to better stat distributions and movepools. Oddish is only recommended if you are playing Red and didn’t pick Bulbasaur. In Yellow, you should just use one of the other Grass types as they do the same job much better. Still, if you absolutely insist on picking Oddish over Bellsprout and Bulbasaur then it is still a useful choice. Just make sure to give it plenty of support because it’s going to need it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -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 Seismic Toss, 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, Seismic Toss, 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Poliwag - Mid Tier -Availability: You can catch this as a Poliwag or a Poliwhirl with the Super Rod. Level 23 Poliwhirl on Route 10 is the best you can do in RB but that's still pretty good. In Yellow, it is even better because you can get a level 40 Poliwhirl on route 23. This is notably one level shy of it learning Amnesia! In either game, you can evolve it straight away to get Poliwrath. -Stats: Poliwrath is basically a middleman. It is a well-balanced Pokemon that isn't outstanding in any area, but at the same time it doesn't have any crippling flaws either. On their own merits, Poliwraths stats are good overall. -Movepool: Poliwrath has a great movepool. It is notable that it has Body Slam in its level-up movepool, which means it can learn Body Slam without using up the TM. It learns BubbleBeam/Surf, Ice Beam/Blizzard, Psychic, Earthquake and Submission from TM/HM, allowing it to gain excellent coverage. It also has Amnesia (the best boosting move in the game), although this should only be seriously considered by Yellow players (level 41 is a bit too far for RB players). -Power: Poliwrath just doesn’t have the stats to power through absolutely everything, even if it has Amnesia on its side, but the awesome coverage allows it to be useful during many parts of the game. It will always contribute, though it won’t do anything amazing. -Type: Water is a great STAB, and although Poliwrath’s Special isn’t as high as it could be, Surf should be sufficient to gain at least a 2HKO on most things. Its typing is unique, but to be honest the Fighting type hurts it more than it helps it, adding Psychic and Flying weaknesses in addition to the Electric and Grass ones. -Match-ups: Koga – You should be fine in RB, especially if you gave it Psychic. In Yellow, you can attempt a sweep by setting in front of the first Venonat, who can't hurt you much even with Psychic, but this isn't reliable because Venonat can put you to sleep and chip away at your help. Furthermore, a single cirt from Venomoth (who is faster) will cut your sweep short. Sabrina – You’re a Fighting type. This is a Psychic gym. It won’t end well. If you aren't above using X Accuracy, Yellow players can try to set up on Abra as it spams Flash, use X Accuracy to cancel out Flash, and then attempt a sweep. However, Kadabra and Alakazam will outspeed you and a crit from either of them kills Poliwrath. Blaine – You do great here. Surf will deal with his Pokémon nicely. Giovanni – Basically the same as Blaine, but you have to watch for Thunder from Nidoqueen and Nidoking. You should be able to take at least 1 though. Lorelei – An even match. If you have Submission you can hit her Ice types harder than they can hit back. Watch for Psychic from Slowbro in Yellow. Bruno – Onix dies to Surf and the Hitmons have horrible Specials. This should be easy. Agatha – Being weak to Psychic isn’t helpful, particularly in Yellow (one of her Gengar has Psychic in Yellow). It’s more manageable in RB as long as you don’t stay asleep for too long (just use the Pokeflute). If you have Earthquake then it should be effective here, and Golbat is weak to Ice Beam. Lance – Ice Beam is a huge help against the Dragons and Aerodactyl, though there are better choices are Gyarados. Yellow is harder thanks to Fly and Thunderbolt. Blue – You can actually take on anything except Alakazam (and perhaps Venusaur) in RB if you have the right moves, particularly Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor, Charizard and Arcanine. In Yellow, you should be fine against everything except Jolteon, Magneton and Alakazam. -Additional Comments: Poliwag is a solid Water-type. It works in any of the 3 games, but it deserved more props in Yellow because its high catch level removes any need to grind and allows you to focus on training its teams mates. It also has a wide movepool. Its stats aren't really spectacular though, and its part Fighting-type really doesn't do it any favours against most of the late-game gym leaders and elite 4 trainers. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Psyduck (RB) - Mid Tier -Availability: RB Psyduck can be caught at Seafoam Islands or using Super Rods at certain Routes. Both Seaform Islands and Super Rod are only accessible around Koga, so mid-late game. -Stats: Golduck's stats can be described as "Jack of all Trades, Master of None." All his stats are good, but none of them particularly stand out. -Movepool: Golduck's movepool is pretty much the same as most water types. It can get by on STAB Surf, Ice Beam/Blizzard TM, and Strength for Physical Coverage. Golduck also learns Confusion via levelup, but Confusion has a low base power means that even a STAB Surf will do more damage than a Super Effective Confusion most of the time. -Power: As a Psyduck, it doesn't hit hard at all. However, the ones at Seaform Island can be caught at level high enough that it will evolve into Golduck fast. Golduck is good at taking foes out. -Type: Water. Water is a great type to get in the late-game, as it hits the final two gyms for Super Effective. Water is weak to Grass and Electric, but those moves are not common in the later parts of Red and Blue. -Match-ups: --Sabrina: Her Pokemon have powerful Special stats that wear fast. Golduck can stay in against Venomoth, but don't expect a sweep here. --Blaine: Golduck resists Fire, and his STAB Surf hits Blaine's entire team for Super Effective damage. --Giovanni: Giovanni's whole team is weak to Water, so Surf will take them out easily. --Lorelei: With the exception of Jynx her whole team resists Water and is good at taking Physical Attacks/Ice moves. So don't use Golduck unless its a last resort. --Bruno: Surf OHKO's both Onix, and easily deposes of his Fighting Pokemon due to their weak Special. --Agatha: Golbat and Arbok are manageable, but her Ghosts have high Specials and can wear you down easily. --Lance: Aerodactyl is weak to Water and the Dragons go down to Ice Moves. Gyarados can take Golduck's attacks and packs a powerful Hyper Beam, so have a teammate eliminate Gyarados before attempting a Golduck sweep. --Rival: Golduck can beat Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor (with an Ice attack), and his Fire Pokemon (either Charizard or Arcanine). However Alakazam, Venusaur, and his Water types can be problematic for Golduck. -Additional Comments: As you can see, Golduck seems like a generic in-game Water type. What makes Golduck excel so well it comes at the right time and at the right moment. It comes at a time where Water becomes a highly relevant type, with the Fire and Ground bosses being at the late game. Overall, Golduck doesn't really anything that makes it stand out compared to other Water Pokemon, but it fulfills the niches of a Water Pokemon well. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Rattata - Mid Tier -Availability: Obtainable on the very first route in all versions and is exceedingly common and easy to catch. Will likely be one of the first two Pokemon you catch. -Stats: Rattata is fast and will move first against most opponents. Its other stats aren't remarkable though. Its Attack is ok, but it's frail and its Special is low. -Movepool: Rattata has several STAB options to pick from. Hyper Fang is accessed at a very low level and is very powerful at that point in the game. STAB Quick attack is very useful for picking off weakened foes. It gets STAB on Double-Edge if you want more power, but the recoil will hurt. Rattata can learn Dig which is a great move, but it is a highly-contested TM. Rattata also has a luxurious special movepool, but its Special isn't as high as it would have liked. Water Gun and BubbleBeam can cover Rock-types and it has a good chance of getting at least one of these without harming the rest of your team. It also gets Thunderbolt, Thunder, Ice Beam, and Blizzard, which have their uses. Given that there are two Ice moves, Raticate has a high chance of getting one of those, and Thunder isn't too much of a stretch either, although Thunderbolt is better spent on something else. If you need a filler move, Super Fang is useful as it can weaken wild Pokemon safely, most notably Articuno and Zapdos. -Power: Rattata starts off strong, becomes a liability before evolving, get's strong again after evolving before slowly petering off. However, Raticate's decent Attack and High speed can actually prove surprisingly effective late game, making Raticate a good choice for quickly striking fast but frail threats such as Kadabra and Jynx. -Type: Normal is a very bland type since it can't hit anything super-effectively. It only has 1 weakness, but having no resistance is a shame considering Raticate's lack of bulk. -Match-ups: Brock- Rattata is limited to a supporting role in this battle and will be outdamaged even if you try Tail Whip shenanigans. Misty- It can handle Staryu fine but Starmie creams just about everything at that level unless it has a resistance, and Rattata is no exception. Lt. Surge - His weaker Pokemon are actually beaten fairly handily, but Raichu will eat Raticate for breakfast. Give him Dig and it's another story though. Erika - Raticate should have solid STAB at this point and they can leave a mark on her Pokemon, but its low Special can make Razor Leaf and Petal Dance dangerous to it, especially if he gets paralyzed. Koga - His Pokemon are just too bulky and Raticate is just too frail. Even with Dig something else is probably a better option, though with it Raticate will do in a pinch. Sabrina - Surprisingly actually one of the best options for her, able to move faster and hit hard enough to KO her weaker Pokemon. Can't take a hit from them though, so if it doesn't OHKO it'll probably go down. Blaine - Fares very well if you give it Dig, but less well if you don't have it. Will take lots of damage from Arcanine's Fire Blast and Ninetale's Flamethrower, beware. Giovanni - Might stand a chance against Dugtrio and Persian, and Water Gun/Bubble Beam deals a ton to Rhyhorn and Rhydon. Again, having Dig gives Raticate a much bigger chance against them. Lorelei - Might handle Jynx, but low Special and the bulk of her Pokemon means he won't last long. Bruno - You could Water Gun/Bubblebeam his Onix. Leave the Fighting-types for something else (well, except Hitmonchan since that blows) Agatha - Arbok and Golbat shouldn't be too rough. Raticate can't really scratch her ghost types without Dig, but with it might actually be a good choice. Lance - Same issue as Lorelei, too much bulk on their side and not enough on Raticate's. Blue - Might be able to beat Pidgeot and MAYBE Alakazam, but the rest are all risky propositions due to their bulk and power. Again, Dig will give it more usefulness against some such as Jolteon and Arcanine, but remember Raticate likely won't survive the counter-attack. Additional Comments: Rattata starts off very well thanks to STAB Hyper Fang, although it drops off a bit towards the end of the game. It's a solid choice because it is reasonably fast and powerful, and it's easier to obtain than almost anything. If it had higher Special and it wasn't so frail, it would have been even better. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Slowpoke - Mid Tier -Availability: Slowpoke and Slowbro can be fished up with a Super Rod in a number of locations, but its slowness makes it a pain to grind. You are better off waiting for the Slowpoke/Slowbro in the Seafoam Islands. Slowpoke's levels vary from 28 to 33, but keep in mind that if you're playing Blue, it'll only appear on the ground floor, and at level 28, and it's notably harder to find (5% encounter as opposed to 15%). However, if you're lucky/patient enough, you might encounter a level 37 or 39 Slowbro, which is mostly caught up to the rest of your team. Slowbro also appear in Blue and Yellow, but it's a 1% (as opposed to 4% in Red) encounter in both games and Slowbro will only be level 31 in Yellow. -Stats: If there's anything Slowpoke's known for, that would be its pathetic Speed that that causes it to be outsped by almost everything. When it evolves, its Speed improves to "half the game outspeeding you" as opposed to "almost all of the game outspeeding you". Its Defense also becomes quite respectable, and its Special (which is quite meager as a Slowpoke) becomes more usable. -Movepool: Slowpoke has a surprisingly large movepool which not only includes standards such as Surf and Ice Beam, but less likely options like Earthquake and even Fire Blast! However, the jewel in Slowpoke's movepool is Amnesia, which is essentially 2 Calm Minds in one turn. It gets it a bit late, though, at level 44 (level 40 if you can bear with Slowpoke not evolving for 3 more levels. Unfortunately, Slowbro doesn't have much else in its movepool (it learns Psychic naturally, but at level 55 which it shouldn't normally be at before the end of the game), making it reliant on TMs to fight adequately, and the TMs it desires are Blizzard/Ice Beam and Psychic, both of which are exclusive and as such will have competition from others. -Power: Simply put, Slowpoke, with its average bulk and awful Speed mean that it won't exactly be doing well until it evolves. Slowbro, on the other hand, is quite decent, although its still poor speed combined with its Special not being high enough to OHKO enemies with neutral hits hurts it somewhat. -Type: Slowpoke and Slowbro have 2 of the best types in the game, with Psychic hitting the remaining Rockets super-effectively and only being resisted by fellow Psychic-types, most of which can be set up on with Amnesia. Being a Water-type also gives Slowbro the ability to breeze past Fire-types and Ground-types without having to waste Psychic's PP. -Match-ups: This list is assuming you caught Slowpoke (or Slowbro) at the Seafoam Islands, which is why Koga is not listed. --Sabrina: Slowbro can deal with all of her Pokemon easily, with the exception of Alakazam, who, thanks to RBY's AI, will repeatedly use Recover, which heals more damage than Surf deals, meaning that if you plan on having Slowbro take her on by itself, it should know Amnesia beforehand (which is not likely if you evolved it immediately). Setting up in Yellow is far less doable, at least against her Abra, as due to the aforementioned AI, it will use Flash over and over... and over... and over... Fortunately, the only non-Psychic-type attack Kadabra and Alakazam knows is Recover, allowing for an easy setup against them. --Blaine: The outcome of this fight should be obvious, taking type-match up alone into account, and this is true in Red and Blue, with Slowbro's high defense allowing it to take repeated Normal-type attacks with ease. In Yellow, though, his Ninetales knows Confuse Ray and will use it often. The rest of his team is easily beaten. --Giovanni: First of all, the only Pokemon in his party that's not hit super-effectively is Persian in Yellow. Secondly, while his Nidos in Yellow know Thunder, it's nothing an Amnesia or two beforehand cand remedy. Third of all, Slowbro's Defense allows it to take a good amount of Earthquakes. Watch out for Dugtrio in Yellow, as it knows Fissure and is easily faster than Slowbro. --Lorelei: Her Pokemon can't significantly harm Slowbro, easily allowing it to get to +6, and it needs to be at least at +4 to beat her Slowbro. Once her Slowbro is down, the rest of the fight should finish quickly. --Bruno: Well, considering the fact that his Onix are demolished with the drop of a hat and that Slowbro has high Defense and resists Fighting-type moves... --Agatha: Her Pokemon are all faster than Slowbro, and RBY's AI happens to register that Ghost-type moves are super-effective against Psychic-types, so if you're having Slowbro fight her Ghost-types, expect to get constantly confused. Also, her first Gengar in Yellow knows Mega Drain. Arbok and Golbat are manageable, but still frustrating to fight against. --Lance: His team is faster than you, and while Slowbro can take two Hyper Beams, it needs to set up in order to seriously harm his Pokemon, especially if it doesn't know Ice Beam or Blizzard. In Yellow, things are harder for Slowbro, as Lance's second Dragonair and his Dragonite know SE attacks, which while they can be stomached with enough Amnesias, Slowbro will need to be at +6 for them to do less than Hyper Beam. --Rival: Slowbro can easily set up on Pidgeot and proceed to plow through his team, with the exception of Venusaur, which is only on his team if you started with Squirtle, and if you did that, there would be almost no reason to use Slowpoke. In Yellow, his Sandslash knows Toxic and Sand Attack, making setting up on it inadvisable. However, Slowbro can set up on his Alakazam and do the same thing to his team that it would in Red and Blue, with the roadblocks being a Ninetales that knows Confuse Ray and a Jolteon that has a ~23% critical hit rate. -Additional comments: Slowpoke has a bit of a slow start, but after it evolves, it becomes a solid Pokemon that can beat a good amount of the game's remaining bosses. Of course, its middling Speed is a definite problem that causes it to be worn down faster than other potential team members despite its high Defense and decent Special. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Spearow - Mid Tier -Availability: Spearow can be caught at Route 22 at levels 3 through 5 in Red and Blue and at levels 2 through 6 in Yellow. However, finding them could potentially be time-consuming, as it has a one-in-ten chance of appearing. As for evolving, Spearow evolve at the fairly average level of 20. -Stats: Spearow and Fearow are fast and have a solid Attack stat, but they're both frail. Also, their Attack tends to fade into the "average" range as the game reaches its climax. -Movepool: Spearow's movepool isn't exactly vast; the only moves it can learn, with the exception of Agility, which is rather useless due to Spearows high Speed, are either Normal- or Flying-type. It gets Peck from the start, which allows it to differentiate itself from Pidgey in addition to mauling almost everything in Viridian Forest. Fury Attack, while time-consuming due to it being a multi-hit attack, is more powerful against those neutral to Peck on average. Later on, Spearow (which should be a Fearow by then) learns Drill Peck at level 34, which is after it gets access to Fly, but since the two have similar base powers and Fly is a 2-turn attack, Drill Peck is often the better choice between the two. Mirror Move, while unreliable, has its uses, and with Drill Peck and Fly being the only mandatory moves, Fearow definitely has room for it. -Power: As mentioned above, Spearow destroys everything in Viridian Forest, barring the hard-to-find Pikachu in Red and Blue and the occasional Pidgey as well as the Nidoran trainer in the bottom left corner of the woods. While Spearow doesn't exactly do well in Mt. Moon or Rock Tunnel, the small amount of Rock-types in between allows Spearow to hold its own. After Rock Tunnel come Pokemon Tower and Celadon Gym, both of which are handily beaten by Fearow, courtesy of Fly. However, once those areas are cleared, Koffing and Weezing appear, causing Fearow's usefulness to decrease to the part of the game before Rock Tunnel but after Mt. Moon. -Type: Normal doesn't do much for Spearow, but its secondary Flying typing allows it to crush the Grass- and Bug-types that are commonplace early on in the game, but also leaves it vulnerable to the Rock-types that appear at around the same time. Another thing to take into account is the redundant coverage Fire- and Flying-type moves have: they both hit Grass- and Bug-types super effectively, and they're both resisted by Rock-types. This means that if you chose Charmander as your starter, you probably shouldn't be using Spearow. -Match-ups: --Brock: Spearow isn't of much help to you in this fight, due to Peck being resisted by both of his Pokemon. --Misty: While Spearow's attacks aren't resisted by any of her Pokemon, her Starmie outspeeds it and deals a hefty chunk of damage to it with Bubblebeam. --Lt. Surge: Same story as Brock, but Lt. Surge actually has a move that hits Fearow super-effectively. --Erika: While her Victreebel/Weepinbell does know Wrap, Fearow is faster and it should know Fly at that point. Also, because Erika will not attack Fearow with a move that it resists, even if it doesn't do damage in the first place, none of her Pokemon will not use Stun Spore, Sleep Powder, or Petal Dance against it, making Fearow's job much easier. In fact, if you wanted, you could possibly defeat the entire Gym with Fearow alone. --Koga: Unfortunately for Fearow, Koga's team in Red and Blue has 3 Pokemon with respectable Defense, meaning that while it does better against him than against Brock, it doesn't exactly excell against him either. In Yellow, it's a different story, thanks to his team literally consisting of 3 Venonat and a Venomoth. Repeated Psychic-type attacks do take their toll, however. --Sabrina: In Red and Blue, this fight is the best shot Fearow has at utilizing Mirror Move. If Mr. Mime uses Light Screen, Fearow can Mirror Move it, halving all special damage (barring Psywave). However, if Mr. Mime doesn't use Light Screen, odds are that Fearow will lose against Alakazam. In Yellow, all of Sabrina's Pokemon are a whopping level 50, and as such are faster than Fearow. When this is combined with Kadabra and Alakazam's incredible Special, it shouldn't take long to notice that Fearow doesn't do too well. --Blaine: Honestly, this fight could go either way, but the odds are somewhat in Blaine's favor due to Rapidash's Fire Spin and Arcanine's surprisingly usable bulk. --Giovanni: It should go without saying that Fearow shouldn't even come near his Rhyhorn or Rhydon. In Red and Blue, Dugtrio has Slash, which Fearow will gladly Mirror Move back in its face for the probable OHKO, while Dugtrio can't even touch Fearow in Yellow. Speakin of which, Yellow has Persian, who also knows Slash, which does a ton when used against it via Mirror Move. Finally, the Nidos, while easily manageable in Red and Blue, know Thunder in Yellow, causing Fearow to have second thoughts about taking them on. --Lorelei: All of Lorelei's Pokemon either have great physical bulk, an Ice-type attack, or both. The outcome of this match is obvious. --Bruno: His Fighting-types are soundly beaten, while his 2 Onix stand(?) tall against Fearow's assault. --Agatha: While Fearow does impeccably in Pokemon Tower, that performance doesn't transition to the fight against Agatha, mainly due to the fact that the Ghost-types in Pokemon Tower were lower-levelled than Fearow while it's the other way around for Agatha. However, her main strategy in Red and Blue is to put her opponents to sleep or confuse them, and the former can be remedied via the Poke Flute. --Lance: Considering Fearow's forgettable physical bulk as well as the considerable strength of most of Lance's Pokemon, it should be safe to assume that Fearow's not going to be taking any Hyper Beams from them any time soon. In Yellow, his 2 Dragonair and Dragonite know moves super effective against Fearow, meaning they might not even have to use Hyper Beam against it. --Rival: Unfortunately for Fearow, the only notable Pokemon it can beat on a regular basis is Venusaur. Everything else either beats it or isn't impressive to beat. -Additional Comments: Spearow is your average early-game Flying-type: it's great against the numerous Bug-types early on and is otherwise solid whenever it isn't face to face with a Rock-type, but it isn't always the best choice in a major battle, due to its poor bulk and lack of coverage outside of STAB. It also has to contend with being mediocre when being used with Pikachu and Charmander: the former due to the fact that it tends to hog the Viridian Forest exp. while being no good against Brock and the latter due to redundant type coverage. However, Spearow is still a solid Pokemon, notably one that is able to clear out Pokemon Tower without having to use Dig or a Psychic-type attack. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Voltorb - Mid Tier -Availability: Fairly early, before Lt Surge but most likely afterwards. Voltorb is found much later in Yellow, but you can get a high level Electrode once you get Surf and go to the power plant, compensating for the difference. -Stats: Electrode has the honor of being the fastest Pokemon in the game (140). Enormous speed coupled with a decent Special means Voltorb will be hitting hard and first. -Movepool: Barren offensive movepool is an understatement. Sonicboom is good for early grinding but loses its usefulness quickly. Requires Thunderbolt from Lt Surge to function throughout the game, and while it has a good Normal-type movepool, it's attack is atrocious making those moves basically useless. Aside from Thunderbolt, it doesn't have anything of note except for maybe Reflect and Thunder Wave, which both have niche uses but hardly define Electrode's role. -Power: Does high damage to any Pokemon that isn't Ground, Grass or Electric. Part of this can be attributed to Electrode's incredible critical hit rate (27.34%), which is the highest of all Pokemon in the game bar Pokemon that rely on moves with high critical hit rates. Of course, you can't really rely on them to occur when you need them to but they will happen a lot! -Type: Being weak only to Ground is great, but doesn't have a lot of resistances and offensively Voltorb is dependent on Normal-type moves to get around Ground and Grass types. -Match-ups: Lt Surge: If you insist on using Voltorb against Surge, it's worth noting that it will take 10 Sonicbooms to beat his entire team (3 for Voltorb, 3 for Pikachu, 4 for Raichu). He can win, but it's dependent on move selection and accuracy. Erika: Electrode hates Grass-types. While he cannot KO them, they can status him in return or just KO outright. Don't use Electrode here. Koga: Even at a lower level he sweeps with Thunderbolt. Koga is a joke though, and even though Muk and Weezing will take 2 hits, they won't hurt you too bad. You are more likely to faint post-battle due to poison, rather than lose here. Sabrina: If you let Electrode learn Light Screen then you are a real chance here. Set up on Kadabra and then go for the KO with STAB Thunderbolt. Even though physical moves are an option, only resort to them if Sabrina uses Light Screen. You will out-speed her team, because Electrode is one of the few Pokemon who can, however they pack more of a punch overall, and Alakazam has the potential to wreck you even with Light Screen protection. While not a guaranteed sweep, Electrode is a good choice here. Blaine: Electrode can spam Thunderbolt to pretty much sweep this gym. None of Blaine's pokemon can do too much damage in retaliation, assuming they aren't OHKO'd. Arcanine is the only Pokemon you may have trouble beating as it will take 3 hits to take him out, but only 2 if he uses Take-Down. In Yellow, Ninetails will be able to handle your attacks quite well due to her high Special and will hit you back hard, so make sure to take advantage of your speed. Giovanni: Electrode can only hit his Pokemon with Normal-type attacks. Don't use him here unless he's your last Pokemon, it will not end well. On the plus side, he can KO Rhyhorn with Sonicboom, but it takes 9 uses of it and risks getting KO'd himself. In Yellow, Persian is obliterated by Electrode, but don't keep him in against the ground types. Lorelei: Electrode does great here, especially if you set up. On the first turn use Light Screen to protect yourself from Special attacks. The reason for this is because Dewgong and the like will be bulky enough to take your attacks quite well, and so you want Electrode to have the same level of survivability. With that being said, you should still sweep fairly comfortably as not even Jynx will like taking your attacks. Bruno: This one is a mixed bag. Electrode is one of the very few Pokemon that Onix is actually a threat to, so obviously get someone to take them out. However, Machamp, Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee will not like taking your electric attacks so there is definite opportunity for Electrode to shine here. Agatha: Much harder than the others, Gengar and the like may not resist your attacks but their sky-high Special means you won;t be doing much outside of critical hits. It's worth noting that as long as you have the Pokeflute, the best they can do to you is chip away with Night Shade and confuse you with Confuse Ray. It really just comes down to luck here, you could win or lose either way. Lance: Electrode can do alright here. Gyarados is scared shitless of Electrode, as is Aerodactyl, and Dragonite doesn't resist Thunderbolt so it can be beaten too. Electrode's lack of physical bulk might be an issue though, unless you use Reflect. Blue: Mixed bag here. Exeggutor is your worst nightmare here as he resists your attack with his humongous Special and type advantage and responds with anything. Rhydon is definitely a big deal as well, and you don't to mess with Alakazam, Jolteon, Magneton or Venasaur. But on the plus side, if you picked Venasaur as your starter, he will have 3 Pokemon that are taken out by Electric attacks (Pidgeot, Charizard and Gyarados). In Yellow it's much the same deal, the variety of types is essentially the same so use the chart to your advantage. Additional Comments: Despite being walled to hell and back by every Ground type in the game, Electrode is a great Pokemon and should be considered for every team. It's great utility combined with a great Speed stat, decent special and one of the best offensive types in the game, you have one hell of a Pokemon. It is worth noting that Electrode's poor movepool really lets it down, and it won't be soloing the entire game for you, but there are many Pokemon that just won't be able to take it on in any form. In Yellow, Electrode is completely outclassed by Zapdos, which is essentially found in the same area. Low Tier (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Low Tier (open) Low Tier (close) Aerodactyl - Low Tier Availability: Cinnabar Island, at Lv. 30. You need the Old Amber. Although it is slightly underleveled, it can grind fairly well at Pokemon Mansion thanks to its resistances. Stats: The second highest Speed in the game, with nice Attack to boot. It's very fragile, though. Movepool: To sum its level-up movepool up: Wing Attack (35BP in Gen I), Supersonic, Normal-type Attacks. Aerodactyl's offense will mostly be provide by Fly, which has acceptable power and no opportunity cost. It can learn Fire Blast, but doesn't have the Special to use it as effectively as it could have done. It also doesn't have access to any Rock-type moves. Power: It's one of the few Flying-types that are both walled by Rock-types and weak to the abundant Water-types. Lack of good STAB means that it'll generally be reliant on Fly and Take Down for damage. If the opponent can survive a crit Fly/Take Down, it can generally leave Aero in the yellow/red. Type: Aerodactyl has a great offensive typing. Unfortunately, the best STAB it can use is Fly. Also, while it's the only Pokemon in RBY to resist Normal and Ground, it's also weak to Water, which is all over the place. Match-ups: Blaine: Because of Aero's mediocre defenses, Arcanine's STAB Fire Blast is seriously going to hurt, even though it's resisted. Fire Blast also has a high Burn rate which will cripple Aerodactyl. Basically, spam Fly and hope for Criticals. Giovanni: You resist his entire team's moves, except for his Nidoking/queen in Yellow, because of Thunder. Also keep in mind that Aerodactyl can't exactly do anything to Rhyhorn/don. Lorelei: Her team's STAB is SE on you. No further explanation is necessary. Bruno: His 2 Onix (embarassingly) wall you, but the rest of his team is easily dealt with by Fly. Agatha: Her entire team is physically frail, and Aero's naturally faster then all of them. Lance: While Aerodactyl resists Hyper Beam, Lance's Gyarados knows Hydro Pump. Don't push your luck otherwise. In Yellow, his 2 Dragonair and Dragonite now know moves that are SE against your pterodactyl. Blue: You wall Pidgeot and Arcanine, and you should beat them easily. Rhydon is also walled but you can't do a lot back to it, and Charizard can hit you hard despite your resistances. The grass-types are at the mercy of Fly. In Yellow, Sandslash and Ninetales are your main targets. Anything not mentioned here is probably best left for Aerodactyl's teammates. Additional Comments: Aerodactyl is a great example of how important STAB is, in the inverse manner. As you can see, Fly deals heavy damage to anything that doesn't resist it. Lack of Rock-type moves to use, late joining time, and a weakness to Water hamper its usefulness. At least Fly is good on it, thanks to STAB, base 105 Attack, and a 25% crit rate. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Caterpie - Low Tier -Availability: Caterpie are quite easy to obtain. They're indigenous to Viridian Forest and are quite common there in all games except for Red. Caterpie can be caught at level 3 in Red, level 3 through 5 in Blue, and level 3 through 6 in Yellow. Their first evolution, Metapod, can also be caught in Viridian Forest, but their only move is Harden, making them completely useless until they evolve to Butterfree and learn Confusion. Speaking of evolving, Caterpie evolve at level 7 and then level 10. -Stats: Butterfree's stats, while great for the first portion of the game, are unimpressive in the long term, with its best stats being Special and Speed, neither of which are particularly impressive. Being your garden variety caterpillar and crysalis, Caterpie and Metapod are far from threatening at any point in the game. -Movepool: Something important to remember is that Butterfree learns all of its level up moves ,save for Psybeam, earlier in Yellow than in Red or Blue. For example, Butterfree learns Confusion immediately after evolving in Yellow, while it has to wait until level 12 in Red and Blue. It gets access to Sleep Powder and Stun Spore at a level similar to Bellsprout and Oddish, in other words before level 20. After Confusion and the powders, Butterfree's level up movepool stagnates, learning nothing of note until level 32 (level 34 in Yellow), when it learns Psybeam. A TM move you will definitely want to teach Butterfree is Psychic. It's Butterfree's most powerful attack in most circumstances, and as such it is highly recommended that you teach it to Butterfree. Another move Butterfree would appreciate learning would be Mega Drain, as while it isn't as powerful as Psychic, it helps Butterfree against the late-game Water-types and assists it when fighting certain later bosses. -Power: Caterpie's not exactly the most dangerous tool in the shed until it evolves and learns Confusion. After that, though, it does quite well until S.S. Anne, which is where its power starts to decline, and it becomes reliant on Psychic to deal damage to its opponents, as Confusion won't be OHKOing that isn't a Fighting-type. Psybeam helps, but it doesn't grab any notable KOes Confusion doesn't outside of Koffing, Zubat, and other base form Poison-types. -Type: Bug/Flying is easily one of the worst typings for a Pokemon to have in Generation I from a defensive standpoint, as it's weak to the STABs of the common Poison-types and Flying-types. It isn't much better offensively for Butterfree in particular, as it's primarily a special attacker and as such can't use its STAB to good use, even if it knew any. -Match-ups: --Brock: In Yellow, Butterfree is one of only four Pokemon who can beat Brock reliably and without worry. Due to the fact that it has to wait until level 12 to learn Confusion in Red and Blue means it isn't as likely to do well against him. --Misty: Butterfree can take a Bubblebeam from her Starmie and paralyze it or put it to sleep, but it can't do much else. --Lt. Surge: Due to its typing, Lt. Surge's Raichu hits Butterfree super effectively, frazzling it. --Erika: By this time, Butterfree should know Psychic. With it, Butterfree can defeat Erika handily, thanks to her entire team (save for Tangela who isn't much of a threat) being hit super effectively by it. --Koga: Despite being weak to Psychic, his Pokemon can withstand a blast and respond with Sludge. In Yellow, his Koffing, Muk, and Weezing are replaced with 3 Venonat and a Venomoth. Because Butterfree is weak to Poison-type attacks, Toxic should be the only move Koga's Pokemon would use on it, but keep in mind Psychic's mere 10 PP. --Sabrina: Much like with Misty, Butterfree can status her Pokemon, but not much else. --Blaine: By virtue of typing (and stats), Butterfree loses here. --Giovanni: Butterfree beats Giovanni in Red and Blue, but only if it knows Mega Drain. Psychic definitely helps it, but it isn't necessary in this scenario. In Yellow, Persian gives Butterfree trouble, and Nidoking and Nidoqueen both have a new technique under their belts: Thunder. --Lorelei: Lorelei's Pokemon hit Butterfree super effectively, making this match-up clear. --Bruno: This match-up is the opposite of Lorelei's, provided Butterfree knows Psychic and Mega Drain. The former allows it to beat his Fighting-types and the latter lets it crush his Onix. --Agatha: Even with Psychic, Butterfree has trouble here due to her Pokemon being faster and having superior Special. --Lance: All of his Pokemon have Hyper Beam, and considering Butterfree's paper-thin defenses... --Rival: In Red and Blue, Butterfree can take on Rhydon, Exeggutor, and Venusaur, while Exeggutor is the only Pokemon on his team in Yellow that is seriously threatened by Butterfree. -Additional Comments: Without a doubt, what holds Butterfree back from being a force to be reckoned with long-term is a combination of lack of STAB and the posession of a merely average Special stat. Because of those 2 factors, Butterfree has a disappointing power output in the game's later stages. That said, Butterfree is a very capable early-game Pokemon. Its access to Sleep Powder and Psychic-type moves, which have superb type coverage, make it a valuable asset before your team gets filled out, the former making it great for catching the rest of your team, notably Pokemon like Abra. Butterfree is notably better in Yellow, due to its positive match-up against Brock as well as its earlier access to Confusion, but that doesn't change the fact that it still has power issues as the game progresses. Another thing to keep in mind is that outside of status, Butterfree is largely dependant on TMs to defeat the later bosses, and is TM hungry in general after Rock Tunnel. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Chansey - Low Tier -Availability: Chansey is probably the most unavailable Pokémon in the whole game. It is a rare Pokémon with low catch rate. What’s worse is that it is a Safari Zone Pokémon which means you have little control over whether you will successfully catch it or not. The odds are stacked against you and you will probably be looking for this for a long time. -Stats: Chansey’s stat distribution is quite unique. Chansey has a ridiculous 250 HP. Backed up by 105 Special, Chansey absolutely cannot be defeated by any special attack, ever. The high Special also makes it a powerful attacker. On the other hand, it only has 5 Attack and Defence. Although the massive HP stat helps with physical attacks somewhat, don’t be surprised when random things like Weezing’s Sludge 2HKO you. Chansey is a bit on the slow side with 50 Speed, but as long as you are at a decent level you should go first most of the time. -Movepool: Sadly, Chansey’s level up movepool is quite useless. It only learns physical attacks, which do laughable damage, along with a bunch of insignificant support moves. On the plus side, Chansey’s TM compatibility is insane! Between Ice Beam/Blizzard, Thunderbolt, BubbleBeam, Fire Blast, Psychic and SolarBeam, Chansey can throw together a moveset catering to your teams needs. Another thing that can’t be over-looked is its access to Softboiled. With this move in hand, Chansey can become the ultimate support Pokémon by healing its wounded team mates, saving you a trip to the Pokémon centre. Given its incredible HP score, Chansey is more than capable of performing in this role, and it is the only Pokémon able to do so anyway. Finally, Chansey has Thunder Wave which isn’t a required move but it allows it to make up for its low Speed in important battles. -Power: Chansey is mainly held back by its lack of Special STAB. It can have trouble getting around some Pokémon that aren’t weak to one of its moves. Kadabra, Alakazam and Hypno in particular can cause problems. Still, Chansey has amazing coverage backed by 105 Special, allowing it to kill teams just fine on its own. Chansey’s low Speed can cause problems occasionally, but against most under-levelled you’ll go first anyway. -Type: It has no use for its Normal STAB thanks to its useless Attack score. Chansey sort of wishes it had more resistances, but it doesn’t really need them. Only powerful Fighting attacks (which are not that common) have a chance to OHKO it without a critical hit, and special attacks do laughable damage to it. -Match-ups: Koga – Psychic can be used to sweep here if you have it. In RB, you’ll be attacked from the physical side so you may struggle to sweep unassisted. In Yellow, you are much better placed thanks to your special bulk cushioning Psychic. Sabrina – You start out with an advantage because you shrug off all of their hits. They have high Special stats though so they can survive your hits. You can’t lose unless you suffer several Special drops. Thunder Wave is a useful option here. Blaine – The fire attacks you will face are easily shrugged off. The physical attacks are more of an issue, although watching Arcanine maim itself with Take Down recoil is satisfying! BubbleBeam is your strongest option here. Giovanni – BubbleBeam and Ice Beam/Blizzard will cover everything except Persian. You must be careful though, as this is a physically based team and a full sweep is difficult. Lorelei – On the plus side, you take nothing from their Ice and Water attacks. On the down side, all of her Pokémon have physical attacks except Slowbro, who can set up Amnesia. Lapras is the biggest threat with Body Slam. Thunderbolt covers most of her Pokémon just fine. Bruno – BubbleBeam/Ice Beam/Blizzard wrecks Onix and Psychic covers everything else. Hitmonchan is a joke, especially in Yellow. Hitmonlee and Machamp are more dangerous thanks to their Fighting attacks. Agatha – All of her Pokémon can’t really do much to Chansey directly but your low Speed leave you vulnerable to status moves. If luck is on your side then this won’t be an issue though. Lance – BoltBeam covers everything. This is a bit easier in Yellow because there are more special attacks but everything has at least 1 physical attack. This will make a full solo difficult, but as long as you have the right moves then you can at least contribute. Blue – What to teach Chansey governs what you can kill. Everything except Alakazam has at least 1 physical attack but not all of his Pokémon can do much with them. Basically, just pick off what you can with the moves you have and leave the rest to something else. -Additional Comments: Chansey is definitely a good Pokémon if you can get your hands on it. But that’s the problem. Catching it is difficult and can take ages. Much like all of the rare Safari Zone Pokémon, you can waste precious time catching this, and any time that you save by having this on your team will probably not be enough to make up for this. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cubone - Low Tier -Availability: Lavender Town is the earliest and they come at level 22 which isn't too far off your team at the time. In Yellow they also appear in the Safari Zone, but that's a bit out of your way. -Stats: Cubone is slow. He has a decent Attack and a great Defense stat, but he's always taking hits because he is slow. His Special is also mediocre. -Movepool: Comes with STAB Bone Club, which is a distinct advantage over most of the other Ground types. It also learns Ice Beam, Blizzard, Water Gun, BubbleBeam and Fire Blast, although its Special is a bit low to abuse these very well. Its physical movepool is sadly limited to STAB and Normal moves, although Ground is a very good type to have STAB on. -Power: Cubone/Marowak is very strong coming off it's STAB moves, but it's quite slow so it will always be taking a hit which will wear it down significantly. -Type: Not a lot of trainers use Electric-type moves, meaning Cubone's immunity is mostly useless. Resistance to Poison attacks is very handy though. On the other hand, weaknesses to Grass and Water are not great. -Match-ups: Erika: Erika is a problem for Marowak. It's slow, so it can be hit with a status, locked in a constricting move or taken out swiftly with a Super Effective move. However, if you are lucky and you are appropriately leveled, Marowak should KO one of Erika's Pokemon. Just don't expect a sweep. Koga: Marowak is strong against poison and has a high defense. In addition, Bone Club hits all of his Pokemon hard. Koga will often be too busy giving his Pokemon X-Attack as well, so you can be comfortable 2HKOing some of his Pokemon. Also worthy of note, Marowak's defense can help cushion Weezing's Self-destruct. In Yellow, Marowak will sweep nicely as well as Venonat is frail, but beware Venomoth's Psybeam as it will hurt you on the Special side. Sabrina: Marowak is not great here. His low Speed combined with his low Special means he will be hit first and hard, even at level 50. He will KO Kadabra in 1 shot, but he will be hit first. Venomoth will use Stun Spore to slow you down and hit you with Psybeam. Mr Mime can take a hit, but can't do much to you back with Doubleslap. Alakazam can usually take a hit from you and hit you hard back, and since he outspeeds you even with a large level gap, this means he is very likely to KO you regardless. Blaine: Marowak does well here, as STAB Dig/Earthquake/Bone Club will OHKO all of Blaine's pokemon. Just look out for STAB Fire moves from Arcanine and Yellow Ninetales hitting Marowak's low Special. Giovanni: Marowak is a solid performer here, especially if he has Earthquake. His high defense and STAB Earthquakes mean Marowak will be able to take a hit from every Pokemon on his team and strike back hard. He also gets type advantage against Rhyhorn, Rhydon, Nidoking, and Nidoqueen as a bonus. Lorelei: Unfortunately every Pokemon in Lorelei's team will have a type advantage over Marowak, and many of them will be faster. This is a bad match-up for Marowak. Bruno: The opposite of Lorelei, Bruno will be hitting you exclusively with Physical attacks and his pokemon will more likely be slower. Marowak will be dealing some serious damage here, this is a great match-up. Agatha: This match-up is very much mixed. On one hand, all of her Pokemon are poison types, but on the other, they are all faster than you and will status you to high hell and back. This match basically comes down to luck. Lance: He has 3 Pokemon that are immune to Ground attacks, and many of those Pokemon will be hitting you hard with moves like Hydro Pump and Slam. You don't have it easy here. In Yellow this battle is much harder as his Dragons will now carry the likes of Ice Beam and Bubblebeam. Rival: There are definitely better match-ups for Marowak, but there are some pros and cons. There will always be a Fire type and he will always have Rhydon, so you have an advantage there, but aside from that you do not want to try to sweep with this match-up. The addition of an Electric-type (and the subsequent removal of Pidgeot) gives Marowak better standing in Yellow, but not by much. Additional Comments: Sandslash, Dugtrio, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Rhydon, Golem. Those are all the Ground types that outclass Cubone. Many of them come earlier as well, which means that in many playthroughs Marowak will be overlooked. That being said, there are a number of benefits to Cubone, one such being that he learns high base power Ground moves and works with good TM support to round out his coverage. His middling Speed and weaknesses to Grass and Water let him down. Essentially, while he has his uses, Cubone is situational at best and he is best left to be the best of the Low Tier. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ditto - Low Tier Availability: The earliest you can get it is Route 13, but only in Red and Blue. You can find it in Pokemon Mansion in Yellow. Stats: Untrasnformed, Ditto has a BST of 288, just enough to be absolutely useless. When transformed, Ditto copies the opponents stats aside from HP, which is still pitifully low. This works very much against Ditto. Unlike every other Pokemon in the game, Ditto's stats are forced to be terrible because he can never truly "outlevel" the opponent. He is stuck with the stats he Transforms, which takes away the advantage of being a higher level. Movepool: Transform. Most ingame trainers use terrible movesets as well, so don't think that will save you, either. Power: Depends entirely on what you turn in to. If you turn in to Fearow, who has high Attack but low Defense, you're golden. If you transform in to Onix, who has garbage Attack and insane Defense, well, you're not golden. No matter what you transform into, your strength will be comparible to the team that your target is on, which isn't a good thing. Type: Ditto is a Normal-type with no STAB. If a Pokemon is carrying a move super-effective against itself, pray you don't get hit by it after you Transform. Match Ups: Koga - In RB ou are going to be walling each other, so expect a long fight. You'll probably want to go for Muk, because Koffing probably won't go the distance and Weezing is his last Pokemon. In the Yellow version, you can hit him with his own super-effective moves but that goes both ways. Furthermore, no matter what you tranform into, you can guarantee that the next Pokemon that comes out will be stronger than you. Sabrina - You wall each other and will probably take a huge hit before you Transform. Not exactly the base way to go. You can probably one-shot Venomoth, though. In Yellow, don't transform into Abra because you'll have no attacking moves! Blaine - Again, you pretty much wall each other. You might do ok in Yellow if you can transform into Ninetales since that can hold its own alright against his pther Pokemon. Don't expect a sweep though. In RB, wait until Rapidash or Arcanine comes out before you try anything because Growlithe and Ponyta are weak. Giovanni - In R/B, you could change into Dugtrio and spam super-effective Dig. In Yellow, Transform into Dugtrio and spam Earthquake, which hits everything but Persian and his own Dugtrio super-effective. You need to hope that you survive the first few turns though. Lorelei - There isn't much you can do here in RB. In Yellow, you should probably aim for Slowbro, who can hit Jynx with Surf and Lapras with Psychic, while having resistances and bulk on its side. Bruno -If you can Transform into Hitmonlee, you can spam Hi-Jump Kick. Good luck surviving long enough to do so. Don't transform into Onix! Agatha - In RB, you can transform into the first Gengar and try to sweep with Hypnosis + Dream Eater. This doesn't work as well in Yellow. At best, you can try transform into Haunter to steal its Hypnosis + Dream Eater combo, use that to kill Arbok, and then hope that you don't lose to Gengar (it has Psychic so you probably will). Lance - In RB, you could transform into Gyarados to gain Hyper Beam and Hydro Pump. You could then work through the Dragonair (despite the Water-type resistance they have), destroy Aerodactyl, and then try your hand at Dragonite. This is riskier in Yellow thanks to the Electric moves of some of his Dragons. Instead, you could try to transform into the second Dragonair to gain Ice Beam which is super-effective against the rest of his team. Dragonair's stats aren't all that good though, so that might be too difficult to pull off. Blue: It's difficult to find a good Pokemon to transform into that does well against his team because he's so versatile. If you manage to change into Alakazam you could protentially spam Psychic and Psybeam until you die, but transforming into Alakazam and then defeating it is a huge ask. If he has Venusaur, you could change into Gyarados and then beat Arcanine. Gyarados can hold its own against Venusaur too, although it'll likely be too worn out to win. Not much changes in Yellow. Transforming into Sandslash gives you Earthquake but it would be tough to get around Alakazam and Exeggutor with low special bulk and limited PP. If you manage to do it then Ninetales, Magneton, Flareon and Jolteon are vulnerable. If you're up against his Flareon team, you could change into Magneton, and then beat Cloyster if you survive the transformation. Additional Comments: Ditto relies on a gimmick that almost never works out in its favour. It has horrible stats, no movepool beyond Transform, and has no match-ups that are guaranteed to work in its favor. It's the worst Pokemon in the game. Don't use Ditto. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Dratini - Low Tier -Availability: In RB, you can theoretically get it as soon as you get to Celadon by buying it from the Game Corner. It is cheaper in Red but is at a lower level and therefore requires more grinding (level 18 for 2800 coins in Red and level 24 for 4600 coins in Blue). So either you’ll have to fork over a bit of money but spend time grinding, or you’ll get it at a more manageable level but have to spend up bigger. Neither is particularly desirable in an efficient playthrough. Alternatively, you can catch it in the Safari Zone with a Super Rod at level 15. This is probably a bit more practical and cheaper, but you are at the mercy of the Safari Zone mechanics and the level is a lot worse especially at that point in the game. In Yellow, it can only be obtained from the Safari Zone, and it is a bit rarer. It comes at the same level. Note that it is possible to catch Dragonair as well, but since you’ll likely have to go past level 30 for Dragonair to match your team, this isn’t really much of an advantage. -Stats: Dragonite has the highest Attack in the game (134), great bulk (91/95/100) and decent Speed (80). Unfortunately this is nearly irrelevent because Dragonair evolves so late that Dragonite's stats are unavailable for most of the game. Instead, you are using Dragonair and its 84 Attack, 70 Speed and 61/65/70 bulk. It is fairly weak, and Dratini is even worse. -Movepool: Dratini’s level up movepool is not that good. Hyper Beam comes way too late. Slam has decent power but is inaccurate, though Thunder Wave has some utility until stronger moves come along. Dratini can also use the Agility/Thunder Wave + Wrap combo to get around troublesome opponents, but this is slow and not very reliable. On the plus side, Dratini has great TM/HM compatibility. Pick from Surf, Ice Beam, Blizzard, Fire Blast, Thunderbolt or Body Slam. Obviously these comes with opportunity costs (except Surf) but chances are that you will have at least a few of these free so it isn’t so bad. -Power: You are using Dragonair for most of the game and its low stats make it barely adequate. It does put work in and its wide TM compatibility ensure that it will be at least useful, but it will most likely be the weak link of the team. -Type: It doesn’t learn any STAB moves sadly (not even Fly). From a defensive point of view, pure Dragon is nice. A strong set of resistances is backed up a general lack of Ice moves throughout the game. It is also unique to Dragonair. For types that Dragon doesn't resist, Dragonair will be using its stats and sadly these will sometimes fall short. -Match-ups: Erika: Grass resistance, but you need Ice Beam to really be helpful at all. If you do then it should go ok though it won’t absolutely dominate the gym. Koga: Neutral, in terms of type advantages. Koga sucks in RB so pretty much anything can work here (Dragonair is no exception but a full solo might be a bit much). Venonat is weak so Yellow is the same deal. Sabrina: Alakazam will be too strong to handle. It doesn’t do well in the gym overall, though Thunderbolt can help against the Slowbro and Slowpoke used by the gym trainers. Blaine: This gym is one of your best match-ups. Surf is probably the best move to teach Dragonair simply due to it being a HM rather than a TM, and Surf + Fire resistance gives it a good showing here. Don't underestimate the power of Arcanine's physical moves though. Giovanni: Chances are you’ll have at least one move that hits Ground super-effective (Surf most likely), so you do alright here too. Lorelei: Ice attacks are being thrown out a lot here so don’t bother. Bruno: Onix dies to Surf. Dragonite should be strong enough to kill everything else, but Dragonair might struggle against Hitmonlee and Machamp. Agatha: Golbat is weak to Thunderbolt and Ice Beam/Blizzard, but if it outspeeds and confuses you then you may lose anyway. Arbok shouldn’t be too much of an issue but Gengar can still win if you are unlucky. Lance: Depends on your moves it has. Thunderbolt hits Gyarados, Ice Beam/Blizzard hits the dragons and Aerodactyl is weak to both. In Yellow you need to watch out for an ice attack from Lance’s Dragonair and Dragonite. Blue: In theory, you can hit pretty much everything super-effectively but again it depends on what you gave it. Chances are that you'll be able to take on at least a few things though. Additional comments: Dragonite is awesome, but because it evolves so late it may as well not exist before the Elite 4 (and even then you may not have it yet). Instead, what you are essentially getting is Dragonair, who has below average stats. Combine this with how tedious it can be to obtain in the first place and you have a pokemon that is clearly at home in Low tier. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Ekans (Red only) - Low Tier -Availability: Ekans can be found right after Mt. Moon at levels 6 through 12. Obviously, this means it'll have some catching up to do, which can be troublesome given what moves it knows when it's caught. Ekans evolve at level 22. -Stats: Ekans, and later Arbok, have rather average Attack and Speed, and their defensive stats are lackluster. -Movepool: Ekans's TM movepool is wider than what would be assumed, as it gets access to moves such as Dig, Rock Slide, Mega Drain, and even Earthquake! Its level up movepool, however, leaves much to be desired; its best level up move is Bite at level 17. Until Bite, its only attacking options are Poison Sting and Wrap, neither of which are good for efficient runs. Ekans and Arbok get exclusive access to Glare, which can potentially assist in major fights, but is useless otherwise. Another TM move Arbok can learn is Body Slam, but because it already has a Normal-type attack with passable base power in Bite at the time, odds are that Arbok won't be learning it. -Power: Before it gets Bite, Ekans will be doing very poorly. After it learns Bite and evolves, Arbok can hold its own up until Cycling Road, but keep in mind there's not exactly any point in the game where Arbok stands out. It's also fairly useless in Pokemon Tower unless it's taught Dig or Rock Slide. -Type: Mono-Poison typing isn't good in any Pokemon game, but Arbok definitely isn't going to be using any STAB in the first place once it gets access to Bite as Poison Sting's base power is awful and Acid is just as powerful as Bite after factoring STAB and isn't learned until level 47, by which time you should be taking on the Pokemon League. -Match-ups: -Misty: The best Ekans can hope to do is to defeat her Staryu, and even that's not guaranteed. -Lt. Surge: Arbok can paralyze his Raichu and defeat his Voltorb and Pikachu, but it never sweeps him outright unless it's taught Dig. -Erika: Arbok doesn't have to worry about Erika using Grass-type attacks, giving it a chance against her. The best Erika will do against Arbok is having her Victreebel constantly Wrap it. -Koga: Because of Koga's Pokemon having very respectable Defense as well as Arbok only possessing average Attack, it's not going to be doing much unless it knows Dig. -Sabrina: Even if it wasn't Poison-type, Arbok would lose here. -Blaine: Arbok needs Dig or Rock Slide to beat him, but keep in mind it isn't guaranteed even if it knows those moves. -Giovanni: Arbok can deal damage to all of his Pokemon (saveforDugtrio) with Dig, but it'll still get worn down by his Pokemon's repeated assaults. -Lorelei: Arbok can defeat Jynx and Screech her Dewgong until Rock Slide 2HKOes it, but the rest of Lorelei's Pokemon have the bulk to take whatever Arbok throws at it and retaliate accordingly. -Bruno: His Onix's Earthquakes deal unsettling amounts of damage, but Arbok can use Mega Drain against them to seriously harm them back and simultaneously heal its HP back. On the other hand, while Arbok resists Fighting-type attacks, Normal-type attacks from Bruno's Fighting-types will definitely hurt. -Agatha: As per usual, Arbok won't be doing much without Dig or Earthquake, but that doesn't protect it from the fact that Agatha's Ghosts are faster than it and can confuse it, and keep in mind that Dig is a two-turn attack. Because of this, it is recommended that Arbok should be taught Earthquake if you want it to do well here. -Lance: The best Arbok can do here is to defeat his Aerodactyl, but even that's dependent on Aerodactyl constantly using Supersonic and failing, not to mention Arbok would need to know Rock Slide. -Rival: Without TMs, the only things Arbok can beat are Pidgeot, Exeggutor, and occasionally Venusaur. With Dig and Rock Slide, it gains the ability to defeat Rhydon, Arcanine, and Charizard (the latter two aren't guaranteed, though) in addition to the above. -Additional Comments: As you can see, Ekans is greatly dependent on Dig and occasionally Rock Slide to do well against the majority of the game's bosses as well as the entire game from Rock Tunnel onward. This, combined with its average stats across the board and lack of a good STAB, make it very reliant on TMs to do well. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Farfetch’d (Yellow) - Low Tier -Availability: Farfetch’d isn’t available until after you get passed the sleeping Snorlax in Yellow, on routes 12 and 13. It can be obtained as high as level 31, although a level 31 Farfetch’d is quite rare and you may have to settle for level 26. -Stats: Awful. 65 Attack and 60 Speed are poor, and it is frail with 52/55/58 Defences. -Movepool: Access to Swords Dance and Agility by level up is pretty cool. Slash is a nice move too, although it comes late and Farfetch’d doesn’t even have a 100% crit rate when using it (although >93% is pretty close to perfect). Farfetch’d’s once famous access to both Cut and Fly is now useless because it comes so late that Cut doesn’t even give access to anything anymore, but at least dropping Cut allows it to run both of its boosting moves at the same time (with Fly for boosted hits and Slash when you don’t want to boost). -Power: Farfetch’d needs to boost with Swords Dance to sweep, but a Swords Dance boosted Fly is surprisingly strong. Farfetch’d can sweep whole teams quickly using the tactic. However, having to boost every time it faces a team with more than 1 Pokémon is a pain as Farfetch’d doesn’t have the bulk to keep doing it over and over. This is especially true against faster teams, since it may need to use Agility too. Overall, Farfetch’d sweeps are satisfying but they aren’t the most efficient way to go about things. -Type: Normal/Flying is not a unique combination, but it is a pretty good type to have. You get walled by Rock types, but these are pretty rare when you get Farfetch’d. Rock, Electric and Ice weaknesses aren’t particularly problematic because they are overall rare. -Match-ups: Koga – You can sweep him in Yellow by setting up on the first Venonat and hitting his team with Fly. Setting up is risky though because Venonat can hit you surprisingly hard with Psychic and can inflict Toxic to wear you down as you set up. Sabrina – You can set up on Abra but it will Flash you, and a single miss with Fly will likely lead to Farfetch’d fainting. Blaine – Farfetch’d just doesn’t have the bulk to set up here, especially since its Low speed necessitates the use of Agility. Don’t bother. Giovanni – You can set up on Dugtrio, but it might Sand Attack you. If it doesn’t, you can blast through a lot of his team. Rhydon can end your sweep though, and even Persian can screw you if it sets up Double Team on the first turn of Fly. Lorelei – You are weak to Ice, so you aren’t going to do much. Bruno – In theory, you can hit his Fighting types hard, but the problem is that Onix stops your sweep partway through so you switch out and lose your boosts. Your best bet is to just try hitting without boosting and hope you don’t die. Good luck with that. Agatha – The interesting thing here is that you can actually set up on the first Gengar because it simply refuses to attack you with Mega Drain (due to resistance), which means all it will do is spam Substitute and Confuse Ray. If you can survive Confuse Ray, you can set up enough to ensure a sweep against her frail team! There are better ways of dealing with her, but Farfetch’d can work with a bit of luck. Lance – Not worth it. Aerodactyl walls you, the Dragons hit you with Electric and Ice moves, and Gyarados is just too strong. Blue – The problem here is that it is very difficult to find a safe Pokémon to set up on because all of his Pokémon have something to hit you with. You may be best trying on Exeggutor or Ninetales, but really you should just use something faster and more reliable. -Additional Comments: Farfetch’d is a fun gimmick, and that’s it. In RB it was actually useful but Yellow nerfed it badly. Boosted experience? Gone. Early and convenient availability? Gone. Access to Cut and Fly? Still true, but now useless because of how late it arrives. Farfetch’d just isn’t worth it in Yellow. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Grimer-Low Availability: He's found in Pokemon Mansion, though he's easier to find in Blue and Yellow. Yellow players can also catch it in the Power Plant if they prefer but there isn't any advantage in doing it this way. It should be noted that you can also catch fully evolved Muk there, too. Stats: 105 HP and 105 Attack is very nice, but base 65 Special is terrible. 50 Speed is a bit low but it can outspeed a significant proportion of Pokemon on regular routes, so it's not entirely terrible in that respect. Movepool: If he doesn't have Sludge yet, he'll have it in a couple levels. Aside from that, he gets Thunder, which no one really wants anyway, and does decent damage off his Base 65 SpAtk stat, I guess. Thunderbolt is superior to Thunder but it probably won't be available to Muk. Fire Blast and Mega Drain are further options that it has access to, with Mega Drain being somewhat useful against certain gym leaders/elite 4 members despite its low power. He gets Body Slam as well, and can make good use of it, but you've probably already given that TM to someone else... Power: Grimer's terrible, but Muk's alright thanks to that good Attack stat. Mediocre speed blows though, and a movepool filled with special attacks isn't helping it. It literally has like three physical attacks to choose from; Sludge, Body Slam, and Hyper Beam. If it had a better Special stat, it'd probably be able to use some of those TMs more efficiently...on the plus side, Mega Drain hits Rock/Ground types hard Typing: You've passed the point where there were a bunch of Grass and Fighting types, so Poison's kind of a meh typing. It also kinda sucks that Psychic types are in God tier. Matchups: Blaine- Growlithe, Ponyta and Rapidash can be taken out by Muk because they lack any decent Fire moves (other than Fire Spin, I guess...) Arcanine packs Fire Blast, so don't even try against him. In Yellow, the only thing you can take out is Rapidash. Giovanni- Nidoqueen and Nidoking pack terrible moves in Red and Blue (they don't have a single Ground type move), so you're safe against them in theory. However, you can't really kill them very quickly with the moves you have access to (Fire Blast and Body Slam are your best options). You can at least beat Rhyhorn and Rhydon with Mega Drain, because of their atrocious Special Stat and your high defenses. Rhydon has Fissure, but it is only a threat if you are slower than it. In Yellow, the only thing you can kill is Persian. Lorelei- Can't really hurt her Pokemon at all thanks to Muk's low Special and her Pokemon's high defensive stats. Bruno- Muk beats all three Fighting types and can take out his Onix duo with Mega Drain. Agatha- Everyone on her team resists Sludge and are immune to Normal type moves. They also pack high Special stats, so I'm not seeing a Muk victory here. Not to mention one of the Gengars packs Psychic. Lance- In RB, Muk can beat the Dragonairs and Dragonite because the AI is an idiot and always spams Agility when it's out. In Yellow, they are smarter and use Special attacks, making them more dangerous. Gyarados and Aerodactyl can be killed with Thunderbolt/Thunder but Gyarados can hit you hard with Hydro Pump and Aerodactyl can potentially be annoying with confusion and Fly (Yellow only) if you're unlucky. Blue- His Exeggutor is garbage and only has three moves (none of which are any good), so Muk beats that one. Pidgeot's also garbage and Arcanine has a garbage movepool, though Ember still hurts a bit. Again, Rhydon dies to any Special Attack, so Muk's Mega Drain kills it. In Yellow the only thing you can kill is Exeggutor. Additional Comments: Muk's not bad, he's just disadvantaged. He only has one good moveset; Sludge, Mega Drain, Body Slam, Toxic. He's also disadvantaged in having a low Special in a game where Special is everything. Add to the fact that he has the worst type in the game...yeah, not seeing the appeal here. He's a decent check to Lance, and does better against Giovanni than one would expect. His biggest flaw is that low Special Stat, meaning that Mega Drain really is a move he wants so he can at least butcher the random Onix or Rhydon. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Growlithe (Yellow) - Low Tier -Availability: Growlithe can only be found on the first floor of the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island. It can be found as high as level 38, but this is very rare even with the repel trick, so you may have to settle for something more underleveled. -Stats: Excellent overall. There is little reason not to evolve it straight away, at which point it gets 110 Attack, 80 Special and 95 Speed. With 90/80/80 bulk, Arcanine can take hits well too. -Movepool: Arcanine requires TM support to work. This was tolerable in Red given how early it arrives, but in Yellow it is much hard to justify saving TMs for it. Dig, for example, it a near requirement on Arcanine, and keeping it for Arcanine can hurt the many things that benefit from it earlier on. Without Dig or Body Slam, Arcanine is stuck with Take Down/Double-Edge and Fire Blast for coverage, and both of those have drawbacks that make relying on them difficult. -Power: With the right moves, Arcanine is a powerful attacker. Even with just Take Down it can hit somewhat hard. However, if you aren’t using Dig or Body Slam, then you are using moves with recoil and accuracy issues, and all of this can take its toll on Arcanine as it builds up damage, causing you to heal it frequently. -Type: Fire really isn’t that useful considering how late you get Arcanine. The weaknesses to Water, Ground and Rock are not appreciated, and Fire’s coverage is somewhat poor late-game. -Match-ups: Sabrina – You can do ok here as you have decent bulk and speed, and you hit her Pokémon hard with physical moves. Take Down recoil (or a miss) may lesve you open to a kill from Alakazam though). Blaine – If you have Dig then you pretty much win be default, but it’s a mirror match without it. Giovanni – Ground and Rock weaknesses aren’t fun are they? Persian doesn’t have either though so you can beat that. Dig is useful for Nidoqueen, Nidoking and Rhydon if you have it. Lorelei – You have a weakness to Water so you are a bit limited. Jynx is beatable. Bruno – You can’t touch Onix without Dig. The Hitmons are fried by Fire Blast, and Machamp doesn’t have a specific answer to you either. Agatha – Use Dig if you have it. If you don’t, her Ghosts are going to be tough with Normal immunities and high Specials. Just focus on Golbat and Arbok instead. Lance – Gyarados has Hydro Pump, Aerodactyl walls you and you aren’t exactly OHKOing the Dragons (one even has BubbleBeam). Blue – If you have Dig then you can do pretty well, but without it just focus on Alakazam, Ninetales, Flareon and Exeggutor. -Additional Comments: The transition from Red to Yellow involved a simple availability change for Arcanine, but it proves to have a significant impact on its usefulness. Arcanine’s performance was at its best during the middle of the game, but being locked away on Cinnabar Island causing it to miss out on most of this. Being such a late Pokémon with reliance on such an exclusive TM seals its fate. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Hitmonchan - Low Tier -Availability: You can get this as soon as you get to Celadon by heading to Saffron straight away and fighting through the Dojo. This involves taking on some high-levelled Fighting Pokemon (relative to your current team) but it is actually pretty easy if you have the right Pokemon on your team. The great thing is that Hitmonchan comes at level 30, so you can pretty much slap it on to your team without grinding. -Stats: 105 Attack is pretty good and it has a decent enough speed for in-game purposes (76). Its Special is horrible though (35), which is a shame given its movepool. Compared to Hitmonlee, it has less power and is slower. In exchange, it can take physical hits better, although it is still frail. -Movepool: Hitmonchan is a case of a Pokémon who has a movepool that doesn’t match its stats. It is the only Pokémon with all 3 elemental punches, but 35 Special makes these completely useless. It has no STAB moves by level up and this leaves it completely TM dependent. It does get its STAB move, Submission, from Celadon and while it has good power it is a horrible move thanks to terrible accuracy and recoil. It gets Body Slam, Mega Punch and Double-Edge to pick from as its normal moves, all of which are powerful enough for that point in the game. Body Slam is the best choice for reliability but it may not be available. It gets Strength later though which is a reasonable substitute. -Power: Hitmonchan starts off well, but it doesn't take long for it to start lagging. Submission may seem powerful but it is commonly resisted, misses frequently, and has recoil that chips into Hitmonchan's already low HP. Its only other moves are Normal, and Hitmonchan just doesn't have enough power to rely on these, especially given how frail it is. -Type: Submission is its only real STAB and be obtained by TM as soon as you get Hitmonchan, and although it has great power it is inaccurate and deals recoil (which is bad for Hitmonchan’s poor HP stat). Fighting is a bad defensive type overall. Flying and Psychic attacks are common in this game are fairly common, which hurts Hitmonchan as a viable choice. -Match-ups: Erika – Neutral overall, but it isn’t particularly useful. Her Pokémon can take hits and can strike back with a status move, or just hit hard with a special attack. Koga – In RB, his Pokémon are bulky, resist Fighting and can poison you. In Yellow he gets screwed over by Psychic, though he might take down a Venonat. Sabrina – This is a terrible match-up because Hitmonchan dies in a heartbeat to Psychic. Blaine – Hitmonchan is crippled by its poor Special. Flamethrower and Fire Blast do tons of damage to it, making it a mediocre choice at best for this battle. Giovanni – Dugtrio and Persian can be beaten due to frailty. Nidoqueen and Nidoking are tougher, particularly in Yellow where they have Thunder. Rhyhorn and Rhydon are weak to Submission. This is one of Hitmonchan's better match-ups, even though a complete sweep probably isn't on the cards. Lorelei – Submission is super-effective against Ice, but it still doesn’t do that well. Submission is so risky and those Ice and Water attacks will hurt, as does Psychic. Bruno – Mirror Match, except for his Onix who you can beat with Submission. Agatha – Holy crap you are awful here. Gengar and Haunter are IMMUNE TO ALL OF YOUR PHYSICAL MOVES! None of the elemental punches are going to help you win and unless you are using Seismic Toss you can't actually do anything to them. Arbok and Golbat resist fighting but might be beaten with whatever normal move you have. You will probably get statused though. Lance – In RB you might beat Aerodactyl, Dragonair or Dragonite because their movesets suck, but Gyarados has Hydro Pump. In Yellow things are tougher because everything except Aerodactyl has special attacks, and Aerodactyl has Fly anyway. Blue – You stand a chance against Rhydon, Exeggutor and Sandslash, but everything else is a risky match-up due to special/super-effective moves within their movesets. -Additional Comments: Hitmonchan is worth a brief look in the short-term because it arrives at a good level and can hold its own for a little while, but it became quite poor in the long run. Its horrible movepool, lack of reliable STAB, terrible match-ups during key battles and that awful Special really work against Hitmonchan. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Kangaskhan - Low Tier -Availability: It can only be caught in the Safari Zone. This is a problem because it means you are left in the hands of the Safari Zone capture mechanics. It doesn’t help that Kangaskhan is a rare Pokémon with a low capture rate. Unless you can very lucky, you will be looking for it for a long time. It also comes at a level that will probably be lower than your team’s average, but it is powerful and can grind up quite easily. Kangaskhan is much more available in Yellow (higher encounter rate and level) but there are still issues regarding the Safari Zone mechanics. -Stats: Kangaskhan is built as a physical sweeper with its 95 Attack and 90 Speed. Although they aren’t jaw-droppingly awesome, they are good enough for in-game purposes. With 105 HP and 80 Defence it can take physical hits comfortably. However, 40 Special is poor and powerful special attacks will do a lot of damage to Kangaskhan. -Movepool: Kangaskhan only learns Normal moves by level-up, although they have plenty of neutral coverage so you could almost get away with just running a mono-Normal moveset. However, Kangaskhan has an extensive TM/HM movepool. It has Earthquake and Rock Slide which will complement the Normal coverage well. Kangaskhan also has a large special movepool, capable of getting Surf, Ice Beam/Blizzard, Fire Blast and Thunderbolt. However, Kangaskhan’s low Special limits the use of these and there are better choices for these moves (you have nothing to lose by teaching Surf though, since it's a HM). -Power: Kangaskhan is a strong attacker thanks to its decent attack and great physical movepool. It can comfortably run through the weaker trainers in the game easily. It often can’t OHKO stronger opponents with its STAB but it should have no problem 2HKOing things at the very least. -Type: Normal has no super-effective coverage unfortunately, but it does hit neutral on everything except Rock types and the 3 Ghosts, both of which are covered by Earthquake (Rock Slide for Aerodactyl). Normal has one weakness and one immunity, though both are mostly irrelevant for in-game playthroughs. -Match-ups: Koga – In RB you may struggle a bit unless you have Earthquake already because they have good bulk. However, they can’t do much back to you either. In Yellow, you have Rock Slide for his bugs, but they are hitting you on your weak Special and Venomoth may be a difficult opponent. Sabrina – This is an interesting match-up because you both do heavy damage to each other. They hit you on your Low Special and you hit back at their low Defence. Her Pokemon have the advantage in speed though so don't expect to sweep. Blaine – If you have either Rock Slide or Earthquake and can attempt a sweep. However, Arcanine’s Fire Blast hits you very hard and can burn you. Giovanni – Earthquake is a good choice here since it covers the stronger Pokémon on his team, and Dugtrio and Persian should be beaten with brute force. Even Surf is a viable option! Thunder is really the only thing that you care about here. Lorelei – You have Rock Slide but they are hitting you on your low Special so be careful. Bruno – Hitmonlee and Machamp are brutal with their Fighting moves, but the others should be easily beaten. Agatha – Earthquake and Rock Slide cover everything and you have the power to beat her quickly. As usual you can lose if you are unlucky, but that’s assumed. Lance – Rock Slide covers his stronger Pokémon and Dragonair are easy to beat. Gyarados will hit you for large damage with Hydro Pump. This is harder in Yellow since he has more special attacks. Blue – It depends on what you taught him. Earthquake gets Jolteon, Magneton and the Fire types. Rock Slide hits Charizard, Pidgeot and Gyarados. You can contribute here, but as usual look out for special moves. -Additional Comments: Kangaskhan is Low simply because it is one of the most unavailable Pokémon in the game. It is a decent Pokémon in its own right, but unless you get very lucky in obtaining it you’ll be looking for it for a while. Any time you gain from using Kangaskhan will probably be insufficient for the purposes of making up for lost time looking for it. If you do get lucky and catch it quickly then it can be awesome, but actually PLANNING to have it as part of your team and specifically looking for it is not recommended. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Koffing - Low Tier Availability: Koffing is not available in Pokemon Yellow. In Red/Blue, the moment you can use Surf outside of battle, you have access to Koffing. You can find it in the Pokemon Mansion at L30-L32 at fairly common rates, or if you're really patient you can find Weezing at L37 or L39 (1% or 4% encounter rates though). Probably best to stick with Koffing and level it up to L35. Stats: Weezings Attack (90) and Special (85) are suprisingly solid, and 120 Defense is excellent. Weezing is a bit on the slow side (60), but not unbearably so. Movepool: Koffing can consider himself lucky to actually get a half decent STAB move in Sludge (but that still clocks in at a modest 65 base power). However, the next best moves that it learns naturally happen to be suicide moves. As far as TMs are concerned, Thunder and Fire Blast arrive at around the same time as Koffing does, and given that there aren't particularly valuable, Koffing probably won't face too much competition for them. Thunderbolt is an option that outclasses Thunder, but it is a more valuable TM and is unlikely to be available to it. Power: Koffing has no problems beating a Bird Keeper with Thunderbolt, or a random Paras with Sludge. The problem is when it doesn't have an overwhelming type advantage, or when you don't have the TMs to spare for it. In those cases, you'll find that it will take a quite a while before he wins, and he's at the mercy of annoying status moves or even super effective moves in the meantime. Type: Poison is a horrible type offensively and defensively, offering no real meaningful advantages other than Erika's gym (but there's only a total of two Pokemon Sludge can hit for double damage there). Thunderbolt is actually effective against a lot of things, though. Match-ups: --Erika: If you go through the effort of getting yourself a Weezing before you fight Erika, this is his one chance to shine (sort of). He can outlast all the Pokemon in the gym (Exeggcute doesn't even have any Psychic moves), but because most of them are part Poison you are not going to do a whole lot against them unless you have Fire Blast. --Sabrina: If it can use a Psychic move, Koffing pretty much loses. If it can't, then you should be okay, though you will need Thunderbolt to really do anything to Gastly/Haunter. You can Thunderbolt a couple of Slowpokes/Slowbros, perhaps. --Blaine: An even match-up at best. Koffing can beat joke Pokemon that don't use any "real" moves against him, but he's not going to outlast anything that uses Flamethrower/Fire Blast. --Giovanni: This gym actually only has two Ground moves to worry about: Rhydon's Fissure (which won't affect you if you're faster), and Dugtrio's Dig (which is telegraphed). But on the other hand, Sludge and Thunderbolt will do absolutely nothing, and Weezing's only other remotely viable options have 5 PP each (Hyper Beam and Fire Blast). --Lorelei: Thunder is super-effective againstmost of her team and Weezing can take a hit or two, but Weezing hardly dominates this gym.There are better choices for this battle. Watch out for Psychic in Yellow. --Bruno: You should have no trouble beat his Fighting-types, but Onix (who is admittedly a non-threat) can be left for other Pokemon. --Agatha: Thunder is super-effective on Golbat, and Arbok isn't that dangerous, but her Ghost-types have high Special stats and can be annoying with confusion (thankfully Hypnosis + Dream Eater is easy to avoid, so Night Shade is all they have to directly harm you). The second Gengar has Psychic in Yellow so be careful. --Lance: You can do alright in RB thanks to his mostly physically inclinded team (except Gyarados with Hydro Pump). Thunder is fine for Aerodactyl and Dragonite, and Dragonair is weak. This is a bit more difficult in Yellow now that he uses more special attacks. --Blue: Weezing can do surprisingly well here in RB, thanks to its high Defense. Things like Pidgeot, Rhydon, Arcanine, and Exeggutor can't do all that much to you. Yellow isn't as kind to it; Exeggutor and Ninetales are the only things that seem to be definite wins for Weezing. Additional Comments: Our beloved mascot has average availability, and is generally mediocre in every other catagory. It has a few match-ups where it can do well but overall this is not recommended. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lapras - Low Tier Availability: Given to you by a Silph Employee, at level 15. The earliest that you can obtain it is when you first arrive in Celadon City. You'll need to detour into Saffron City a bit earlier than what most people would call normal, and you'll also need to beat your Rival using Pokemon that are probably a bit underleveled at that point. Stats: All of Lapras's stats are well-balanced, and its HP is particularly impressive. Its Speed is a little on the low side, but it is usually high enough for regular trainers when level and stat exp. is taken into account. Movepool: Lapras has one of the best level-up movepools in the game. It learns Body Slam and STAB Ice Beam by level-up, and has TM/HM access to Surf, Blizzard, Thunderbolt, and Psychic. Power: Because you get it at Lv. 15, when the levels of your opponents' Pokemon are in the high 20's to low 30's, don't expect it to be winning any fights on its own. You'll need to grind this thing up before it becomes a powerhouse, which takes a bit of time. Once it's there, Lapras is an impressive fighter. Type: Well, it's a Water-type with STAB on Ice Beam, and this alone is very useful against some of the later match-ups. Match-ups: Because you get it at the pitiful level 15, you'll definitely need to grind to acheive good results against the remaining Gym Leaders. Erika: Lapras won't have learned Ice Beam by then unless you used up TM13, but if it has it then it can do ok. Lapras is weak to Grass though, and it is as vulnerable to status as most things if it can't OHKO her Pokemon. Koga: In RB, Surf hits his Pokemon's weak Special, and Lapras has the bulk to take a few hits from his Pokemon. Venonat is just weak in Yellow and you shouldn't be too troubled by them. You just have to be careful about being poisoned. Sabrina: Her Pokemon are trampled on by Body Slam, and Lapras has the bulk to take a hit or 2. Blaine: Lapras gets STAB on Surf which makes this battle fairly straightforward. Giovanni: His Ground-types are washed away by Surf. Lorelei: Lapras can go toe-to-toe against her, but don't expect it to take out more than 2 of her Pokemon. Bruno: Lapras can take out his 2 Onix and Hitmonchan any day of the week, but it's weak to Hi Jump Kick and Submission. Agatha: Gengar's high Speed and Lapras's low Speed mean that Lapras will usually put to sleep before it can take out her first Gengar, although Pokeflute can be used to counter this. Lance: Ice Beam hits most of his Pokemon for SE damage, and has just enough bulk to survive 2 Hyper Beams. Thunderbolt covers Gyarados. Blue: In RB, Lapras can kill Pidgeot, Rhydon, Arcanine, Exeggutor, and Charizard safely, and if it has Thunderbolt then Gyarados is dead too. In Yellow, your main targets are Sandslash, Exeggutor, Ninetales, Cloyster, and Flareon. Either way, Lapras is useful against the champion. Additional Comments: Lapras is held back by its poor level when you get it. If it came at a more convenient level it would be great, but alas it isn't. In the end, its level is too unsalvagable to use it over the large number of other Water-types that exist late-game. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lickitung (RB only) - Low Tier Availability: There is a trade Lickitung west of Fuchsia City and you'll nead a Slowbro to get it. This is the only way to get Lickitung in RB, but it gifts it boosted experience. Stats: MARC (that's his name, don't wear it out) has got pretty good HP, but is decidedly below average in every other field, especially speed. Movepool: Terrible level-up learnset full of nothing but Normal attacks (the best of which being Stomp), but has an incredibly wide TM movepool. This walking saliva factory can learn 27 out of 50 TMs and 3 HMs, including such gems as Earthquake, Ice Beam/Blizzard, Fire Blast, Surf, Thunderbolt/Thunder, and Seismic Toss. TM dependency is usually an issue but the fact that it gets so many means that Lickitung won't impact on efficiency as much as other TM-dependent Pokemon. It is also the only pure Normal-type to get Swords Dance (Farfetch'd gets it too but its part Flying-type). Sadly, Lickitung is a bit too slow to use Swords Dance consistently well. Power: Despite potentially gargantuan type coverage depending on how many TMs you want to put into this thing, it's awful offensive stats limit it power significantly. It can try boost with Swords Dance but its slowness hinders this strategy. Type: Offensively and defensively speaking, Normal is anything but mundane in Gen I. However, The Pink One faces stiff competition from the likes of Snorlax (who actually ties it in speed) and Tauros, both of which can be obtained at about the same time, and both require far less setup to be useful. Match-ups: --Koga: Earthquake is super-effective against everything in RB and you can take a hit or two, but his Pokemon are bulky and a sweep might be difficult. In Yellow, you are being hit on the special side so it is harder, but taking down a Venonat or too is doable. --Sabrina: Lickitung is a way too slow for this battle and simply can't stomach repeated hits. It's not even strong enough to kill her Pokemon with physical attacks. --Blaine: Lickitung has Surf and Earthquake as options and should have no trouble with Growlithe and Ponyta. His evolved Pokemon might be too powerful and a ful sweep shouldn't be assumed. Ninetales replaces Growlithe and Ponyta in Yellow, and that makes the battle even harder. --Giovanni: Surf hits his whole team super-effectively in RB, and Lickitung can take a physical hit or two. Enhanced movesets in Yellow mean that Lickitung can't expect a sweep, but with a bit of luck it might take something down. --Lorelei: You aren't that great here even with Thunderbolt/Thunder because her Pokemon are generally too bulky or powerful. --Bruno: Surf should kill Onix easily. Hitmonchan can be beaten thanks to its horrible movepool. Keep clear of Hitmonlee and Machamp. --Agatha: Lickitung can potentially hit everything with super-effective attacks given the right moveset, but being slow is not a good thing during this battle because Agatha loves to annoy with sleep and confusion. Still, RB Agatha is most using Dream Eater and weak physical attacks, and Yellow Agatha isn't much better. --Lance: Boltbeam can cover everthing if you have it, and in RB he mostly relies on physical attacks (bar Gyarados). A full sweep might be a bit much but with the right moves, Lickitung should be about to do something here. --Blue: Pretty much all of his Pokemon are weak to one of Lickitung's potential moves, and some of his Pokemon have terrible enough movepools to allow Lickitung to win (Exeggutor, Rhydon, etc.). Just pick your opponents based on your moveset and hope for the best. -Additional Comments: Lickitung is designed to play in a similar way to Pokemon like Clefairy and Jigglypuff, but its late arrival time and bad stats make it a poor choice. Boosted experience and versatility are all it has going for it, but that isn't enough to justify giving this thing a slot on your team. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Machop: Low Tier -Availability: In RB, Machop is first encountered in Rock Tunnel. With a maximum catch level of 17, it has a fair bit of catching up do to. In Yellow, you have the superior option of the traded Machamp, obtained on route 5 through for a Cubone (available at Pokemon Tower). This is definitely the one to go for in Yellow, because the boosted experience causes it to gain levels quickly. -Stats: Machamp's 130 Attack is among the highest in the game. Its bulk (90/80/65) is solid on the physical side but a bit underwheling on the special side. It's let down by its middling 55 Speed. Its speed and bulk are much worse if you can't evolve it into Machamp, but this is mostly a concern for RB players. -Movepool: Machamp is mostly TM dependent because of its poor level-up movepool. Sadly, Machamp lacks a good STAB move to use as Low Kick is a bit weak for late-up use and Submission is an inaccurate recoil move. It does get Karate Chop which has a 83.94% chance of a critical hit when used by Machamp, and its access to Earthquake and Rock Slide gives it options that many of the other fighting types lack. -Power: Due to his huge Attack stat, Machamp hits hard. However, its low Speed can be an occasional hiderance when trying to sweep. Most of the time its Speed will be sufficient for regular trainers, but against very fast species it may need to take a hit. -Type: Fighting. In a game where Dark and Steel don't exist, and Poison types are omnipresent, Fighting isn't the best STAB to have. Still, Fighting is the only type that can hit the common Normal-types super-effectively, so it has that going for it at least. -Matchups: --Koga: In RB, he is up against a bunch of Poison-types that laugh at his STAB. He can do ok if he has Earthquake though, and he can take a hit when needed. He is worse in Yellow since his whole team packs Psychic moves, but Machamp should be able to beat a Venonat or 3 (especially if it gets Rock Slide). --Sabrina: Her Pokemon outspeed and pack Super Effective Psychic to take Machamp out. --Blaine: Machamp can hit his Pokemon hard with Dig or Earthquake, but keep in mind all of his Pokemon outspeed Machamp and Machamp doesn't enjoy taking Fire moves. A Fire Blast burn will put a huge damper on Machamp's performance too. Growlithe and Ponyta should be beatable in RB at least. --Giovanni: Giovanni is a bit hopeless in RB and Machamp should be able to beat most of his team. In Yellow, Machamp can beat Persian due to fighting STAB, and Earthquake hits majority of his team for Super Effective damage. However, Giovanni's Nidos and Rhydon can take a hit and retaliate with their own offensive moves. --Lorelei: Fighting is Super Effective on Ice, but Submission is a bad STAB move due to accuracy and recoil issues. Meanwhile, Machamp is worn down by Special Attacks. --Bruno: Fighting verse Fighting, Machamp breaks even here if you are at similar levels. Onix will lose to you. --Agatha: Earthquake hits her team for Super Effective, while Rock Slide deals with Golbat. However, keep in mind her Pokemon are fast and like to annoy you with confusion and sleep. In Yellow, her final Gengar knows Psychic. --Lance: While Rock Slide is Super Effective against half his Pokemon, Machamp wont enjoy taking Special Attacks or Hyper Beam. Not to mention Aerodactyl has Super Effective STAB Fly. This battle isn't as bad in RB though. It should be able to abuse Lance's Agility for free kills on his Dragons, and Aerodactyl has bad moves. --Gary: In RB, can beat Rhydon, Exeggutor, and Arcanine, while in Yellow, Machamp can take on Sandslash, and Exeggutor as he doesn't pack Psychic. Additional Comments: Despite his strong power, Machamp is held back by his Speed and frailness. There's never really a point of the game where he dominates, and even the ones that he does fair well on, another Pokemon can easily do the job much better. Not even the boosted experience it gets in Yellow is enough to salvage it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Magmar (Blue only) - Low Tier -Availability: Magmar come late in the game, in the basement and top floor of Pokemon Mansion in Cinnabar Island to be specific. At the third floor, the have a one-in-ten chance of appearing, but are only at level 34. While Magmar are level 38 in the basement, they aren't exactly the most common Pokemon there at a 4% encounter rate. Capturing Magmar can be noticeably difficult thanks to their low catch rate. -Stats: Overall, Magmar's stats are good, but none of them are impressive. Surprisingly, Magmar's Attack is higher than its Special, but it's nothing incredible at a base 95. Another noticeable aspect of Magmar's stats is that its Defense is poor, below that of Primeape and even Goldeen. -Movepool: When caught, Magmar is likely to know merely Ember and Leer. This means it greatly appreciates TM support almost to the point of necessity, as it doesn't learn a good attack (which in this case is Fire Punch) until level 43. 2 TMs you should have access to by the time you get Magmar are Mega Punch, which can be bought in the Celadon Department Store, and Psychic, which is its best weapon against Rock/Ground-types but is a once-in-the-game TM. Magmar can also learn Submission, but it isn't recommended as it causes recoil. -Power: Because Magmar's Special is merely average, it won't be doing too much against the several resists it'll encounter soon after being caught. -Type: Fire is an unfortunate type to have late in the game, as everything at that point in the game either resists Fire-type attacks, hits their users super effectively, or both.-Match-ups: --Blaine: Because Magmar resists Fire-type attacks, Blaine will not use any against it, allowing Magmar to take out everything but his Arcanine, as Magmar's mediocre physical bulk will cause it to be worn down. However, Blaine has a strange tendency to use pointless moves like Roar when there isn't any need to, helping Magmar's chances against him. --Giovanni: Whether Magmar does well against his Rhyhorn and Rhydon or not depends on whether or not it knows Psychic, as the best it can do against him without it is defeating the Nidos. An important thing to remember is that Dugtrio will always beat Magmar regardless of what moves it has. --Lorelei: Despite Slowbro being the only Pokemon on her team that resists Fire-type attacks, Lapras and occasionally Cloyster can also cause trouble for Magmar. The reason why Dewgong doesn't is because even though it is a Water-type, it doesn't actually know any Water-type moves, though Rest can be a pain if you don't want to waste Fire Blast, but then again, there isn't much in the Pokemon League for Magmar to use Fire Blast against in the first place. --Bruno: His 2 Onix are much like Giovanni's Rhyhorn and Rhydon: they can comfortably take whatever Magmar throws at it other than Psychic. Speaking of which, Magmar with Psychic almost entirely sweeps Bruno, but it can settle with Fire Blast if it wants, as the two have the same base power after factoring in STAB and type match-ups. Machamp might be able to take a Psychic or Fire Blast thanks to its impressive level as well as Magmar's average Special. --Agatha: As with several Pokemon, Magmar has trouble against Agatha's Ghost-types without the aid of items due to the fact that its most powerful attack hits them on their very high Special, allowing them to confuse or sleep Magmar before going down. It doesn't help that all of them are faster. Her other 2 Pokemon, Golbat and Arbok, are much easier to deal with thanks to them having mediocre Special as well as (Arbok) being slower than Magmar. --Lance: Everything on Lance's team resists Fire-type moves, they all know Hyper Beam which hits it hard because of its poor Defense, and he leads the fight with his Gyarados, which happens to know Hydro Pump. --Rival: Everything Magmar beats one-on-one here can easily be taken out with several other Pokemon, meaning that while it could take out a few of his Pokemon, it isn't too impressive. -Additional Comments: Magmar is unfortunately a Fire-type who came a bit too late to be useful, as it joins surrounded by Water-types and bosses, almost all of which have favorable outcomes against it. Another thing of note is that it knows only Ember and possibly Leer when its caught, and catching them can be a pain considering the chances of finding them (10% and 4% on the top and bottom floors of Pokemon Mansion, respectively) as well as how resistant they are to being caught. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moltres - Low Tier -Availability: Available through a detour at Victory Road at the end of the game. It comes at the level 50 and is hard to catch, so be sure to have a ton of Ultra Balls and save before you fight the legendary bird. -Stats: Moltres has one of the best BST's in the game, most notable of its stat is it 100 Base Attack and 125 Special. -Movepool: When you get it, the only moves it has are Peck and Fire Spin. Peck can be replaced by Fly, and if you kept TM38 you can give Moltres Fire Blast. However Moltres cannot learn Flamethrower, which is an issue as Fire Blast can quickly run out of PP. At Level 55 Moltres learns Agility, allowing you to use the Agility + Fire Spin combo. However, trapping moves are time consuming and have unreliable accuracy. -Power: Fly off a 100 Base Attack will hurt anything that doesn't resist it, and his Fire Blast is tied with Articuno's Blizzard and Zapdos' Thunder as the most powerful Special move int he game. -Type: Here is where Moltres falls apart. Its Fire/Flying type doesn't do it many favors. It's typing helps it overwhelm the E4's Fighting and Grass types, but those are minor threats. Not to mention it gives Moltres an unwanted weakness to Water, Ice, Rock, and Electric. --Lorelei: Moltres is weak to Water and Ice moves, which are omnipresent in this battle. The only notable fight here is Jynx, who despite knowing an Ice move, is weak to Fire Blast. --Bruno: Fly easily disposes of his Fighting types. While Fire Blast can overwhelm Onix, it is not recommended due to Fire Blast's limited PP, Fire Blast's 15% chance of missing, and the fact that Onix has Rock moves - which Moltres is quadruply weak to. --Agatha: Much like Articuno, Moltres can easily overwhelm her team through sheer force. Just watch out for Confuse Ray hax. --Lance: His entire team resists Fire, and in every version he leads off with a Gyarados with STAB Hydro Pump. In R&B, Moltres can spam Fly against the two Dragonair's and hope for a lucky break, but in Yellow all of his Dragons including Dragonite know Super Effective moves. It should be noted that although Aerodactyl resists Fire, its low defenses means that it will take a ton of damage from Fire Blast. Just make sure you don't run out of Fire Blast PP if you dare to challenge Aerodactyl. --Gary: Moltres walls his Grass types, and it can take on Pidgeot. Moltres can also take a Psychic from Alakazam and hit back with Fly, but Alakazam can use the set up turn of Fly as a chance to set up Reflect or even just Recover. Don't bother fighting his Water Types. In the Yellow version of this fight - Exeggutor, Ninetails/Flareon, and Sandslash are your main targets. -Additional Comments: Moltres has high stats and comes at Level 50 just like Articuno and Zapdos, so where did it go wrong? Simple, its typing. By the time you get to the E4, Fire/Flying is only good against E4 Pokemon who are not really a big threat, such as Exeggutor. Another problem is that it doesn't get Flamethrower, meaning you'll only have Fire Blast limited PP to take on the E4 with. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Onix - Low Tier -Availability: Onix is caught in the Rock Tunnel. Although this isn't exactly late, Onix does come rather underleveled (especially in RB; in Yellow it is a bit better at level 22). It is also somewhat uncommon and has a relatively low catch rate. -Stats: Onix's stats are terribly distributed. Its best stat is Defense by far. At 160, it is the second highest in the game (behind Cloyster). Onix also has 70 Speed which is acceptable in-game and quite high for a Pokemon of its type. Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends. Remarkably, Onix has the second lowest Attack stat (45, ties with Mr. Mime and Butterfree, but beats Chansey) and the lowest Special stat (30) out of all the fully evolved Pokemon in the game! Onix also has a pitiful HP stat (35), and although it can still take physical hits quite well the low HP does go some way to cancelling out Onix's massive Defense. -Movepool: Onix has a poor level up movepool, with Slam as its strongest Attack. It also gets Bind but trapping strategies generally aren’t recommended for efficient playthroughs. Onix will need to use TMs to get its ideal movepool. Onix gets Dig, Earthquake and Rock Slide which are all great moves, but it's important to keep in mind that Onix is in competition with a lot of Pokemon for access to these TMs, and thanks to its horrible stats Onix is almost always an inferior choice for these exclusive moves. -Power: Even if it manages to get all of its best moves, Onix's Attack is too low for sweeping multiple enemies. It should be said that the useful resistances provided by its typing do allow it to beat certain foes one-on-one, but it isn't really able to kill things quickly and of course its low Special and horrible weaknesses cause it flat out lose against other opponents, making its performance inconsistent. -Type: Its typing is a mixed bag. On the plus side, its STABs alone have perfect coverage against everything. Rock/Ground also gives it a useful Normal resistance, and there are some opponents that simply can't touch Onix to save themselves (Electric types especially have this problem). On the other hand, it has horrible 4x weaknesses to Water and Grass (along with Fighting, Ground and Ice weaknesses). Basically, its typing guarantees that it will have great match-ups at particular parts of the game, but its weaknesses ensure that it will need plenty of team support to get around dangerous foes. -Match-ups: Lt. Surge - It is technically possible to have Onix before this battle. If you do, you win. You are immune to Electric and take little from his Normal attacks, and you should have STAB Dig on your side. Erika - Onix is horribly weak to Grass and should sit this one out. If you must use it, Onix can at least beat Tangela in RB because it only has Bind and Constrict. Koga - Onix's high Defense and resistances are well suited to this battle in RB. In Yellow, his bugs are hitting you on your weaker side, although Venonat is rather weak and you should have Rock Slide. This match-up isn’t a complete disaster. Sabrina - Onix is facing STAB Psychic attacks and although it isn't weak to them they can still do a lot to it. Onix is probably one of the few physical attackers that her Pokemon are able to take hits from comfortably. At least Venomoth is weak to Rock Slide, and Mr. Mime only has Confusion so it is less threatening than Kadabra and Alakazam. Blaine - Your typing is perfect for this battle, but don't think you have it easy. Ninetales's Flamethrower is going to hurt, as is Fire Blast from Arcanine. You can contribute in this gym, but it isn't necessarily a clean sweep like in Lt. Surge's gym. Giovanni - Onix can do ok in RB because most of his Pokemon can't do much to it (Dugtrio’s Dig is easy to play around). In Yellow, everything bar Persian has STAB Earthquake. Onix has enough Defense to take a few of these but they will take their toll. Overall, Onix is pretty useful against Giovanni but hardly the number one choice. Lorelei – Don’t use Onix here. Onix’s typing is not suited for this battle and it doesn’t do enough damage (even with it having a super-effective STAB Rock Slide for most of her team). Bruno – Onix is capable of beating itself, especially in RB. Hitmonchan is a bit of a joke, but stay away from Hitmonlee and Machamp. Onix isn’t really a huge help for this battle but it can do something if you must use it. Agatha – Both STABs have perfect super-effective coverage against her entire team, but the Ghosts can easily screw you over with status. One of the Gengar in Yellow has Mega Drain which will destroy Onix, and Psychic also stings. Lance – In RB, only Gyarados has a move that is significantly dangerous to Onix (although the Dragonair also have Dragon Rage, which may sound like a joke but with Onix’s low HP it can be a significant threat if they start spamming it). Aerodactyl and Dragonite can’t really touch you, so you can beat those at least. In Yellow, Gyarados poses the same threat, but you also have BubbleBeam/Ice Beam Dragonair and Blizzard Dragonite to worry about. Aerodactyl is still walled, and the Thunderbolt Dragonair will lose too. Blue – In RB, he has the moves and typing to take on Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor, Arcanine and Charizard. In Yellow, he can beat Exeggutor, Magneton, Ninetales, Jolteon and Flareon. Overall, Onix can contribute. -Additional Comments – Although calling Onix completely useless would be a bit unfair, what it comes down to is that its many flaws outweigh its positive attributes. Despite some decent match-ups, great dual STABs and a few useful resistances, Onix is very weak (it even has a lower Attack stat than some unevolved Pokemon like Oddish, Pikachu and Psyduck). It is completely reliant on some valuable TMs, it has a number of terrible weaknesses and struggles to sweep opponents which leaves it highly dependent upon its team mates to help it out, and to top it off it is somewhat annoying to find and capture. It just isn’t worth it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Paras - Low Tier -Availability: Paras are found in Mt. Moon, and the deeper you go, the more common (and higher leveled) Paras will be. For comparison's sake, they have a 10% encounter rate at level 10 (9-11 in Yellow) in the middle floor and have a 15% chance of appearing in the deepest floor, at levels 10-12 (13 in Yellow). They can be found on the ground (top) floor in Red and Blue, but not in Yellow. They're only a 5% encounter there, so you're better off looking in the lower floors. Paras evolve at level 24. -Stats: As with most early-game Bug-types, Paras have unimpressive stats all around. Their only stat that could be considered better than "average" is Attack, but it quickly falls behind due to a forgettable physical movepool. As for Speed, Parasect is up there with speed demons Snorlax and Slowbro. -Movepool: Paras starts with Scratch as its only move, but gains Stun Spore at level 13, not too far from when you catch it. Stun Spore could potentially be very helpful, but the fact that you have to waste a turn to use it means it's only useful against Gym Leaders (that is, those that Paras and Parasect have a chance at beating). Paras's only STAB moves are Leech Life and Mega Drain; however, Leech Life is weaker that Scratch in any scenario other than ones where Leech Life deals super effective damage, and Mega Drain's power isn't too much better. Paras and Parasect also learn Slash, but not until level 39, and Parasect is one of the few users of Slash to not have a guaranteed critical hit when using it (for reference, Parasect's chance of landing a critical hit with Slash is 48.88%). Because of this, Body Slam is a great alternative, as it has a higher base power and Parasect also appreciates the paralysis chance. Other moves in Parasect's arsenal include Spore, which is very helpful against several bosses, and Swords Dance, whose sole purpose is to make Leech Life usable. Paras and Parasect also have access to Dig, which is possibly their best damaging move. Unfortunately for Paras, having it learn Dig means having none of your other Pokemon learn it, and Dig is a highly-contested TM, which might cause trouble for other Pokemon who might also greatly benefit from it. -Power: With an initially average Attack stat and no STAB moves, it should come as no surprise that Paras starts off doing poorly. Even after it evolves and all of its stats get a much-needed (but not quite as much as it would have liked) increase, its performance never exceeds being average, thanks to its 4x weakness to Flying-type attacks as well as its pathetic speed and unimpressive defenses. -Type: Paras's typing is infamous for having the most 4x weaknesses in the game, at 3. Said weaknesses are to Fire-, Poison-, and Flying-type moves, the latter two being quite common after Pokemon Tower. Also, while Bug and Grass are both helpful STABs at certain points in the game, Parasect just doesn't have the stats or moves to utilize them. -Match-ups: The following match-ups will not take Spore into account, as a majority of them would be made easier, but longer. --Misty: While Paras does have a resistance to Bubblebeam, it still has trouble with Misty if it doesn't know Leech Life due to its Scratch doing less to her Starmie than said Starmie's Tackle does in return. Stun Spore can be used to paralyze Starmie though. --Lt. Surge: Parasect runs into a similar problem here, just replace Leech Life with Dig. Also, the problem is much more noticeable in Yellow due to his Raichu knowing Mega Kick. --Erika: Her Victreebel (Weepinbell in Yellow) will not hesitate to Wrap Parasect into oblivion, but her other Pokemon fall quite easily to Leech Life. --Koga: Koga's Pokemon all either have good defensive stats, allowing them to not faint in 2 Digs (Red/Blue), or are higher in level than Parasect, possess a neutrality to Dig, and can fire back with Psychic (Yellow) --Sabrina: Leech Life does less to Alakazam than Recover heals, meaning you'll have to be reliant on Slash (which might as well be a coinflip) or Body Slam (which is learned via an exclusive TM) to beat it. This is not taking into account her previous Pokemon, which could capably weaken (if not KO) Parasect on their own. --Blaine: Parasect is sluggish and has a 4x weakness to Fire Blast. Nothing more needs to be said. --Giovanni: How well Parasect does against his Rhydon depends on whether or not it knows Mega Drain. While Dig gets the job done, it takes more hits to beat Rhydon with it than Mega Drain. Persian can be an annoyance, but the Nidos are far from intimidating, thanks to them having few attacks effective against Parasect. --Lorelei: Considering all of her Pokemon (barring Slowbro for whatever reason) know Ice-type attacks of some sort, it should be safe to say Parasect should not be fighting her. --Bruno: As with Giovanni's Rhydon, Bruno's Onix can either be taken down by 5, 2, or countless hits, depending on whether you taught Parasect Dig, Mega Drain, or neither. However, his Fighting-types can be beaten without Dig, with the exception of R/B Hitmonchan, as it knows Counter. --Agatha: First of all, Parasect needs Dig to beat her Ghost-types. Secondly, she has a tendency to switch to Golbat when an opponent goes underground. Thirdly, all of her Pokemon are faster than Parasect and know status-inducing moves, which can be quite irritating. --Lance: While Parasect might be able to withstand a Hyper Beam and then proceed to sleep something with Spore, that's all it can do against Lance. --Rival: Most of the things Parasect can beat (and there are only 2-3 of those) are easily taken down by several different Pokemon, with the exception of Jolteon in Yellow if Parasect knows Dig. -Additional Comments: Paras and Parasect were never good. This is mainly due to its lack of usable (outside of super effective hits) STAB, poor typing, and middling stats. While Spore is a great move, it was unfortunately given to a Pokemon that didn't have the Speed, defenses, or typing to utilize it to its greatest effect. As such, Paras (and Parasect) should not be considered for anything in Generation I. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Pidgey - Low Tier -Availability: Immediately available as soon as you can catch Pokemon on the very first route, and is very easy to catch. Likely will be among the very first Pokemon you obtain. -Stats: The Pidgeot line is an example of extreme mediocrity when it comes to stats; all of them are middle of the road with speed being slightly higher than average and Special being slight lower. Compared to most of the other Normal/Flying types, it is a bit slower and weaker but is slightly bulkier. -Movepool: Pidgeot's level-up movepool is sorely lacking in powerful attacks, and requires TM and HM support to become useful, and even then remains quite limited, with only Normal and Flying type moves available. Worse, no Flying type STAB move is available until either HM 02 Fly is obtained (recommended) or Wing Attack is learned at level 31 (not recommended since it really blows in generation I). This is due to Gust being Normal Type in Generation I. However, most of the most beneficial TMs for Pidgeot such as Double-Edge, Reflect, and Fly are easily obtainable once the player reaches Celadon City. -Power: Pidgeot is quite average in both attacking and defensive strengths. The length of time one must wait for a Flying Type STAB greatly reduces Pidgeot's effectiveness early game however. Once the moves are obtained though Pidgeot can hold its own against most foes. -Type: Flying Type is quite useful early game... shame Pidgey doesn't get any flying moves until Celadon City, rendering this advantage moot. Once you do get Fly though, Pidgeot makes a rather effective substitute for a Fire type, since the selection available is quite slim unless you chose Charmander as a starter. -Match-ups: Brock - Very little chance, though if you're in a real bind Pidgey can use Sand Attack to increase your chances of success Misty - Staryu won't provide Pidgeotto with any challenge, but Starmie will prove a very great challenge due to its much higher special and Bubblebeam Lt. Surge - Since his Voltorb has no electric moves Pidgeotto can handle it, but Raichu will probably destroy you. Erika - Status is annoying, but if you can keep Pidgeotto alive and have taught it Fly before the fight, Pidgeotto should do pretty well against Erika. It doesn't dominate as easily as other Pokemon with super-effective attacks, but there's no denying that this is its best match-up. Koga - Due to the high defensive stats of Koga's Pokemon in RB, Pidgeot isn't a very good choice for this battle. However, it does much better in Yellow thanks to super-effective Fly against his Bug-types. Sabrina - Hitting quickly and fairly hard on the physical side, Pidgeot can actually stand a fair chance here. Does not take their attacks particularly well though, but better than some at least. Blaine - Average at best, and must look out for random burns. While not a terrible choice, you probably have better Pokemon for the job at this point. Giovanni - Matches fairly well against his Pokemon without Rock Typing, but very poorly against those that do. Lorelei - They all carry Ice type attacks except for Slowbro and are too bulky for Pidgeot to OHKO, with the possibel exception of Jynx. Best to stay out of this one. Bruno - Matches up very well against his fighting types, but very poorly against his Onix. Don't worry too much about Ice and Thunder punch from Hitmonchan; coming off his special they're laughably weak. Agatha - Fares as well as anything does that doesn't hit them super-effectively. Simply be on top of any status inflicted on Pidgeot and you should be fine, though the battle will be longer than if you used a psychic or ground type. Lance - Matches up pretty poorly against most of his team, though might stand up to his Dragonair should it be required. Rival - Works well against Exeggutor and Venusaur, but distinctly less well against the rest of his team, who all hit too hard and are not OHKO'd by Pidgeot. Additional comments: Its early availability gives Pidgey some merit as a potential team member, but it is poorly served by its movepool. It's best level-up move is Quick Attack, which has no super-effective coverage. This pretty much ensures that Pidgey is incapable of OHKOing many Pokemon before it reaches Celadon City. Once it gets there, it improves a bit by gaining Fly and Double-Edge, but even then it is still a mediocre attacker with limited coverage. It has very few match-ups that are truly in its favour, and it evolves incredibly late for an early route Pokemon. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pinsir - Low tier Availability: (Blue/Yellow Only) Players who want Pinsir can buy him from the Rocket Game Corner if they have the coins. He's only 2500 in Blue, but costs a ridiculous 6500 in Yellow. Alternatively, he's in the Safari Zone, but he's rare and pretty difficult to catch. Stats: Pinsir has great Attack and good Defense and Speed. It is let down somewhat by its terrible HP and Special. Movepool: Pinsir has one of the worst movepools in the game. He learns no STAB moves and he can only learn Normal and Fighting moves through TM. Unless you want to waste your Body Slam TM on him, it'll be stuck with Vice Grip/Strength and Submission to deal damage. You may like to teach it the Swords Dance TM to give it a nice boost in power (it also gets Swords Dance via level-up but it arrives way too late). Pinsir can learn Slash, but it doesn't arrive until level 49 so it won't see much action before the Pokemon league. In Yellow it gets Bind, so it can trap whatever is slower with some luck. Power: All in all, even though Pinsir has decent stats, its lack of STAB hurts it. Even off that great Attack stat, it'll hardly ever get OHKOs unless it has set up Swords Dance beforehand. It can set up Swords Dance against many physical Pokemon successfully, but special attackers are more dangerous to it, and it gets wrecked by any Special, Flying, or Rock move sent his way. You can fish for OHKOs with Guillotine or try Bind-trap things to death (Yellow only), but these aren't reliable strategies. Type: Bug typing really hurts him since it means he has no STAB at all, which is a shame because Bug is a great offensive type in theory. Being weak to for somewhat common types (mainly Flying and Poison) while gaining very few useful resistances doesn't help either. Match Ups: --Erika:It can chip away at Tangela, but shouldn't face anything with a poison-type move. --Koga: Koga destroys you. End of story. --Sabrina: Pinsir's low Special and HP means he can't take many Psychic hits. He should sit this one out too. --Blaine: Lol --Giovanni: Pinsir can actually do okay against Rhyhorn, Rhydon and Dugtrio in Blue and Persian in Yellow, but needs Submission. --Lorelei: Pinsir can dish out some damage with Submission, but is let down by his low Special, so he can't take hits. --Bruno: A Fighting resistance actually comes in handy here. You can set up Swords Dance against Hitmonlee and Machamp (both versions) or Hitmonchan in Blue and sweep with Strength or Submission. --Agatha: Pinsir can't even touch 3/5 pokemon unless it has Seismic Toss, which can't kill them anyway. Pass. --Lance: Not great in Blue, but even worse in Yellow since Lance's Dragons get better moves. --Blue: He can take on Rhydon in Blue and Sandslash in Yellow, but you should really have a better option for both of those. Additional Comments: If the analysis hasn't convinced you, let me make this clear. There is no good reason to use Pinsir. He has horrible typing, an even worse move pool, and embarrassing Special and HP for a fully evolved pokemon. His great Attack is really wasted. He's not even a good HM slave since he comes too late for Cut and you probably have plenty of other things to learn Strength. In a nutshell, there's nothing Pinsir can do that something else can't do much better. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Ponyta - Low Tier -Availability: In RB, it can only be found in the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island, which is quite late. It does come at as high as level 36 though, which isn’t too bad if you head to Cinnabar as soon as possible. It comes earlier in Yellow (Cycling Road) and arrives at up to level 32, which at least means that it doesn’t need to grind much. Ponyta users would be wise to save Erika's gym for after Ponyta is obtained because it provides easy experience for it. -Stats: In terms of raw stats, Ponyta is strong for an unevolved Pokémon thanks to its 90 Speed and 85 Attack. Its Special is a tad low though considering the low power of its STABs before Fire Blast, and it is somewhat frail. It doesn’t evolve until level 40 but is boosted to 100 Attack and 105 Speed when it does. Its high Speed is key because it allows it to abuse Stomp and Fire Spin as effectively as possible, and that's really the best thing it can do a lot of the time. It also has an improved 80 Special and can take hits better. -Movepool: This is Ponyta’s biggest flaw. Ponyta’s movepool is very limited, and is among the worst of the fire types (and that actually says a lot). It cannot learn Flamethrower so it is stuck with Ember and Fire Spin as STAB by level up. Fire Spin can trap things and Ponyta can technically beat anything using this strategy, but it is slow and unreliable. Fire Blast arrives as a late game TM and packs great power, but it has poor PP and shaky accuracy which makes it difficult to spam. Stomp has a helpful flinch rate and works well with its speed but is somewhat lacking in power given its lack of STAB. Ponyta really wants access to Body Slam which is its most reliable physical attack, but it is a valuable TM and without it Ponyta is stuck with Stomp, Take Down and Double-Edge. -Power: Its movepool hurts it in this department, to the extent that it undermines its strong stats. Before Fire Blast it is mostly relying on unSTABed moves and Fire Spin trapping to deal damage but that just doesn’t cut it a lot of the time. When it fails to KO, it takes a hit and this damage can add up quickly. You may be forced to backtrack to the Pokémon centre often. -Type: Fire is considered one of the lesser types in RBY. Ponyta’s fire moves are weak until it gets Fire Blast, which has low PP and mediocre coverage by the time it arrives. Fire has some bad weaknesses to Water, Ground and Rock, and Fire’s resistances are less helpful later on. -Match-ups: Erika – It is unlikely that you’ll be waiting this long to let Ponyta take on Erika (mainly in RB; Yellow maybe), but if you wait (and give Ponyta Fire Blast), it can do well. Without Fire Blast, it will be using its weaker Fire moves, which her Pokémon survive (this leaves you open to status). You should still win one-on-one though, and if you prefer you can try to rely on Stomp flinches and Fire Spin trapping too. Koga – Only Yellow Ponyta has the opportunity to fight Koga. It should be able to take on the weak Venonat, but it may find itself worn down by his level 50 Venomoth. Sabrina – Rapidash can potentially hold its own here because it’s fast and can hit hard with its physical moves. Stomp isn’t really powerful but the flinches are helpful if luck is on your side. Body Slam is preferred for the extra kick. At the very least it should be able to beat everything except Alakazam, and with a bit of good fortune even Alakazam can be taken down (this is easier to do in RB). Blaine – This is a mirror match! The fact that you are fast helps you a lot and if you can get some flinches then you can potentially sweep. This is easier in RB because of his weak Growlithe and Ponyta. Giovanni – Rhyhorn and Rhydon wall you, although Fire Blast will take a chunk out of them. Despite this, RB Giovanni isn’t that threatening because of the terrible movepools his Pokémon carry (only Dugtrio has a supereffective move and it is easy to avoid). In Yellow, everything bar Persian has Earthquake so be careful. Lorelei – Aside from Jynx, you are better off staying away from this battle. Bruno – Onix walls you, although it will take a lot from Fire Blast. Fire Blast roasts his fighting types and their deficient specials. Agatha – Her ghosts are immune to your physical moves and can take a Fire Blast, although it should be said that most of her Pokémon have poor movesets. Use pokeflute to avoid Dream Eater. Lance – Not that great. Gyarados has Hydro Pump and Aerodactyl walls you. His dragons resist Fire Blast although you can at least try your normal moves. They are less threatening in RB than in Yellow (also, one of the Dragonair has BubbleBeam in Yellow). Blue – Rapidash isn’t anything special here but Fire/Normal coverage has a few targets. You should probably leave Rhydon, Gyarados, Blastoise, Sandslash, Vaporeon and maybe Cloyster for something else. You destroy Venusaur and Exeggutor, and it can go head-to-head against everything else. -Additional Comments: Ponyta’s movepool is just too crappy, to the extent that it ends up relying on Fire Spin trapping and Stomp flinches to kill things without taking damage. This isn’t something that should be relied on if you are trying to get through the game efficiently. If it could learn Earthquake or Dig it might have been more useful, but in the end it is a Pokémon with good stats that are wasted on a barren movepool. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Psyduck (Yellow) – Low Tier -Availability: Psyduck is found by surfing on the pond on Route 6. Psyduck is only at level 15 so it's horribly underleveled. Golduck can also be encountered but it's only a 5% chance and the levels range from 15-20. This isn't much better but grinding an evolved Golduck is easier than grinding Psyduck. -Stats: Golduck's stats are well-rounded although it doesn't excel in any particular area. Golduck can deal damage well, it can take a hit or two, and it's fast enough to outspeed most opponents. Beware that an unevolved Psyduck has bad stats overall which is an issue if you're grinding it. -Movepool: Golduck doesn't really have anything in its movepool that separates it from other Water-types. It is pretty much the default one for Water-types (Surf + Ice Beam/Blizzard). It gets Strength to hit opposing Water-types for some damage. Dig and Submission are learnable, but Dig is unlikely to be available to it and Submission is a poor move in general. Confusion is the most "unusual" move in its movepool but it has little use over its other moves. Either way, it shouldn't have too much of an issue putting a move set together. -Power: Given that it is incredibly underleveled when you first catch it, it isn't going to do much. When it gets enough experience to catch up to the rest of your team, it is reasonably powerful, but it takes time to reach that level. -Type: Water is an excellent late-game type because it is advantageous against many of the late-game trainers. Super-effective hits on Rock- and Fire-types are great and Water lacks any significant weaknesses during the later stages of the game. -Match-ups: --Sabrina: Assuming that you actually put in enough effort to get it to a level where it could take on Sabrina, it can contribute somewhat by using Strength to hit her Pokemon's low Defense. However, Golduck will probably be worn down quickly by her STAB Psychic attacks. --Blaine: Golduck shouldn't have too many issues here. Fire resistance and STAB Surf should be enough. --Giovanni: Dugtrio and Rhydon shouldn't be too challenging, but Persian isn't weak to Water and STAB Slash hurts if you give it the chance to use it. Nidoqueen and Nidoking are weak to Surf but they carry Thunder. --Lorelei: Jynx is the only thing you would want to use Golduck for. The other stuff is beatable but other things do it faster. --Bruno: Onix dies to Surf, and his other Pokemon are frail. Machamp is the only remotely threatening thing but the match-up is definitely in Golduck's favour. --Agatha: Her Ghosts are bulky on the Special side. You stand the best chance against Golbat (who is weak to Ice) and Arbok. --Lance: Yellow added some Electric moves to his arsenal so watch out for those. At the very least, Aerodactyl and the Dragonair without Thunderbolt are easily beaten, and the Thunderbolt Dragonair isn't that strong anyway. Leave Gyarados for something else (preferably with something using Thunderbolt). --Blue: In Yellow, Golduck can beat Exeggutor, Sandslash, Ninetails, Vaporeon and Flareon. It loses to Jolteon, Magenton, Alakazam, and Cloyster. -Additional Comments: Psyduck received a horrible nerf in its availability, to the point that any attributes it has don't mean much anymore. Yellow Psyduck is in the same boat as Lapras, another Water-type with good stats and a nice movepool that is spoiled by being underleveled. Don't bother using this; the effort required isn't worth it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rhyhorn - Low Tier Availability: Mid-game at the earliest. It is found at levels 25-26 in the Safari Zone, and it is found in 2 of the 3 areas. There is a 15% chance of encountering one, so it is likely you will find a Rhyhorn somewhere. Their catch rate isn't too bad either, so it should only take a few attempts to get one. Stats: Massive Attack and Defense make Rhyhorn/Rhydon an absolute powerhouse, and with a great HP stat it makes it a very strong pokemon. Unfortunately, it's low speed really hinders it and it's low special means that it should stay away from special moves. Movepool: Rhyhorn has incredible TM capability, the kind most special sweepers would dream of, despite having a terrible special stat. As for level-up, Rhyhorn gets very little moves of any worth, and actually relies on TMs to give it STAB moves. Power: Pure power best describes Rhydon, anything it hits, it KO's. It doesn't score many critical hits, but the raw damage output is always significant. Type: Rock and Ground type are both great offensively, but defensively it's so-so. Immunity to Electric and resistance to Fire and Normal is great, but weakness to Grass (x4), Water (x4), Fighting (x2), Ground (x2), and Ice (x2) is less than desirable. Match-ups: Koga: In RB, Rhyhorn wrecks if you gave it Dig or Earthquake, but if you didn't, it's very likely you will have normal-type moves. Rhyhorn still does ok in that case though, but watch out for poison. In Yellow, it has to deal with Psychic attacks hitting its low Special, but Rock Slide is super-effective against his Pokemon so it should be able to take a few things out. Sabrina: Sabrina wrecks you here. Her pokemon are fast, high-powered and hit you in your pathetic Special stat. Even without weaknesses this is a bad match-up, although if you can survive a hit you can beat Kadabra as it's frail. But that's still a big IF. Blaine: You come in with type advantage so it should be able to contribute. However, you can't assume that you'll sweep because everything is likely faster than Rhyhorn, and even though he resists Fire, his special stat is atrocious. In addition, if Rhyhorn is burned, it will be pretty much useless. That being said, Rhydon should be able to take out Growlithe. The biggest threats come from Ponyta and Rapidash, who will both be faster than you and might trap you with Fire Spin. If you can move successfully however, you should take them out in 1 shot. Arcanine is a much bigger deal as you will be weakened by the time he arrives, and even though you resist Fire Blast, it can still KO you (or burn and cripple your attack stat). Note that this battle is even trickier in Yellow thanks to Blaine using Flamethrower Ninetales as a lead. Giovanni: This match-up very much depends on whether you taught Rhydon Earthquake/Dig, and only fight with Rhydon if he's level 51 to outspeed Giovanni's Rhydon, otherwise you risk Fissure. In this battle, Rhyhorn only knows crappy normal moves, Nidoking/Queen only have normal and poison moves and Rhydon can only hurt you with a lucky Fissure/Horn Drill. All of the above Pokemon are hit supereffectively by Ground moves as well. Watch out for Dugtrio, because you won't like a STAB Dig (but is countered by your own Dig funnily enough). In Yellow, this battle is more dangerous because Earthquake is more widely distributed around his team, but you always beat his Persian. Lorelei: Avoid avoid avoid. Lorlei can hit you with 4x Water moves and 2x Ice moves, and most of her Pokemon will be significantly faster than you. However, if you MUST fight her with Rhydon, make sure he knows Rock Slide to hit them back for 2x damage. Bruno: Odd, but he actually does OK here. Both Onix are no trouble at all, and he can probably take down one Fighting-type Pokemon due to his high defense. However, Rhydon get's worn down very easily here, and won't solo unless he is extremely over-levelled. Agatha: The sheer speed of her Pokemon plus Confusion/Sleep hax that her pokemon carry don't guarantee a quick or efficient sweep. If you can avoid these though (unlikely), then it's a clean sweep for Rhydon, as the best move each of her Ghosts carry is essentially Night Shade. Look out for Mega Drain and Psychic in Yellow too. Lance: If Rhydon ever picked a single moment to shine, it's here. Aside from Gyarados, Rhydon picks apart this team like it's no big deal. The only moves that any of them use are normal-type, and with Rhydon's massive defense and type resistance, it will be able to shake off the damage. It's worth noting though, Aerodactyl is still dangerous with Supersonic and immunity to Ground-type moves. In Yellow, Rhydon has a tougher time as his Dragonair has Ice Beam and Bubblebeam, while Dragonite now has Blizzard, but on the flip side, Aerodactyl no longer has supersonic, and the other Dragonair carries Thunderbolt (which you are immune to). Blue: It doesn't matter what your Rival will be using here, he's going to have a different way of ending Rhydon in almost all circumstances. Charizard is the best starter to come up against due to it's weakness to Rock, but your terrible special means you will be eating Fire Blasts. Your Rhydon should be able to beat Pidgeot though, as it's frail. Exeggutor can be annoying with Hypnosis, but he only knows normal moves so he's no threat. Arcanine is easily beat, as Ember is piss-poor and his other moves just aren't up to scratch. The key Pokemon for Rhydon to completely avoid here is Blastoise, Venasaur, Alakazam and Gyarados who can all outspeed and OHKO. Additional Notes: Rhydon would be awesome if it actually learned a single STAB move by level-up. And while it is able to beat regular trainers, it's useless in almost all of the important battles. It's unlikely that you saved Dig for Rhydon, and it is heavily dependent on the Earthquake and Rock Slide TMs (thankfully, Rock Slide isn't as valuable as some of the other TMs). Rhydon's TM movepool is amazing when it comes to special attacks, but unlike the Nidos, he doesn't have the stats to use them. In fact, Rhydon is a great special attacker in the same way Alakazam is a great physical wall. Rhydon does have a couple of interesting uses outside of battle, as it is able to use both Surf and Strength, so it's not a terrible HM slave. Overall, stick with Golem, Sandslash, Dugtrio, Nidoking or Nidoqueen, Rhyhorn is completely outclassed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 physical bulk to take a few neutral physical hits, but its special bulk is quite mediocre. -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 completely. 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...) and is left with a whopping six weaknesses, including to common Flying and Poison attacks. -Match-ups: --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. However, it could potential use a combination of Agility, Swords Dance and Swift to beat Sabrina in Yellow. --Blaine: 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!). Hitmonlee is easily dealt with though, thanks to its horrible bulk. --Agatha: Nothing doing. --Lance: Hyper Beam does a chunk regardless of who's using it, and Scyther has trouble 2HKOing the stronger Pokemon on his team on his team. In Yellow, things are even more hostile, as all of his Pokemon, with the exception of Gyarados, know super-effective moves. --Blue: 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Tangela - Low Tier -Availability: In RB, it can caught after you get Surf south of Pallet Town. However, there is a trade Tangela (for a Venonat) in Cinnabar Lab. Given that there aren’t any particularly good spots to grind it, the boosted experience can speed up the grinding process. As such, you are probably better off going for this Tangela rather than a wild one. In Yellow, it is purely a Safari Zone Pokémon and is therefore harder to obtain (though it can be obtained sooner). -Stats: Tangela has good stats overall. 115 Defence and 100 Special allows it to take all kinds of hits. It is a bit slow at times (although its Speed will often be good enough for regular trainers), and its Attack is disappointing. -Movepool: Tangela’s offensive movepool is horrible. It is only capable of learning Grass and Normal attacks. Because of its low Attack, its Normal attacks are mostly worthless unboosted. What’s worse is that it can’t learn Razor Leaf or Petal Dance, which leaves it with SolarBeam and Mega Drain as its best STAB options. It does have access to the status powders though, which helps it defeat things. Furthermore, it can learn both Growth and Swords Dance to boost its offenses. This is a huge help for something with weak attacking options like Tangela, although you must keep in mind that boosting to sweep is almost always less efficient than attacking straight away. Also note that Growth is learned a bit late. -Power: Tangela is really held back by its movepool. To get around anything with resistance to Grass, it has to either boost itself with Growth or Swords Dance or resort to Bind-trapping and its status moves to win, neither of which is particularly fast. Even against opponents that lack Grass resistance, it often can’t OHKO anything because Mega Drain is a weak attack and SolarBeam takes 2 turns. It can OHKO things with a Grass weakness, but that’s it. -Type: Grass really is a mixed bag as an attacking type. It does hit some important Pokémon super-effectively, but it’s also resisted by a large number of Pokémon. The same applies from a defensive point of view. Grass has some good resistances but it also has some irritating weaknesses to Flying, Ice, Poison and Fire (and Bug but that isn’t that important). Tangela’s good bulk does help with the weaknesses a bit though, as long as you don’t get overly reckless. -Match-ups: Sabrina – You aren’t that good here. You are outsped, Psychic does quite a bit of damage and you can't really win unless you boost in front of her lead (Sleep Powder helps with this). Blaine – You are pretty useless here. You can’t really do anything useful here unless you have an extreme aount of luck on your side. Giovanni – This is one of your better match-ups. Grass hits Dugtrio, Rhyhorn and Rhydon. Nidoqueen and Nidoking can’t do much to you. Persian is a weakling that you can take out just fine. You can actually solo here, which is rare for Tangela. Lorelei – Grass is super-effective on most of her team, but Ice is super-effective back. Slowbro can be beaten just fine but there are better choices for everything else. At the very least, you can try a Growth sweep. Bruno – This is an ok match-up. You kill Onix and you can take on the fighting types thanks to your high Defence and their low Special. You can set up on Onix if you wish, but even that isn't entirely necessary. Agatha – Don’t bother. You can’t touch anything here and they have their way with you with their annoying movesets. Lance – Gyarados is the thing you stand the greatest chance against. In fact, you can potentially use Gyarados as set-up bait and go for a sweep. This is easier to pull off in RB thanks to the movesets Lance uses (watch for Ice-type moves and Fly in Yellow). Blue – Your best match-ups are Rhydon, Blastoise, Sandslash, Magneton, Vaporeon, Jolteon and Cloyster. Watch for Ice attacks from the Water types. -Additional Comments: Tangela has nice stats but its movepool is just too small to make this a good choice for an efficient run. It is the worst Grass type in the game and it is incapable of doing much of anything that would make it a worthwhile choice. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Tauros - Low Tier -Availability: Tauros can only be found in the Safari Zone. In RB, it is rare (4% encounter rate in area 3), has a low catch rate and tends to flee. It comes at level 26 at a minimum, which is somewhat underleveled (but not completely unsalvageable). This makes it a very inaccessible Pokémon indeed. In Yellow it is slightly more common (10% encounter rate in area 1 and 3), but comes at level 21 and retains its low catch rate. -Stats: Tauros’s stats are impressive overall. 100 Attack and 110 Speed are perfect for sweeping through regular trainers quickly. 70 HP, 95 Defence and 70 Special give it decent bulk. 70 Special also allows it to use special attacks well. -Movepool: Tauros’s level up movepool is very small. Stomp is a good move to start off with, but since Strength comes at around the same time that Tauros does you might as well use that. Although you can get away with just Strength if you want to, Tauros really appreciates TM support to be as effective as possible. It gets several Normal TMs, Thunderbolt/Thunder, Ice Beam/Blizzard, Fire Blast and Earthquake as strong options, but it is a big ask to actually reserve all of these for such an difficult-to-obtain Pokémon. Chances are that you might be able to take some of these, but simply have Nidoking/Nidoqueen and a Water type on your team (which is a fairly “standard” team in in-game first gen) can take most of these away and that leaves Tauros with nothing. As a result, you may have to build your team with these restrictions in mind if you plan to use it with its best possible moveset. -Power: Tauros is an excellent sweeper, especially if you gave it TM support to improve its coverage. Strength should be sufficient to at least 2HKO most things though, and obviously standard trainers are going to fold to it. However, it isn’t the monster it could be if you rely on Strength alone, which you kind of want it to be if you are going that much out of your way to get it. -Type: Normal has wide neutral coverage but no super effective coverage to speak of. This does allow Tauros to run mono-Normal coverage if it wants to, although some super effective coverage would have been nice to get more OHKOs. It’s a similar situation defensively, with only one weakness but only one immunity. -Match-ups: Koga – In RB, if you have Earthquake, you do well. Without it, you are less effective, although to be honest Koga isn’t really that big of a deal in RB. In Yellow, you do ok too because his Pokémon are frail bugs (albeit high level ones). Sabrina – Her Pokémon are frail. You can outspeed and KO her Pokémon with your STAB move. Blaine – Earthquake is a huge help here. Even without it you can contribute, and Strength obviously gets the job done against Growlithe and Ponyta in RB, but it needs Earthquake to reliable pull off a quick sweep. Giovanni – If you have an Ice (or at least Ground) move then you’ll do well. His Rock types wall you otherwise. Still, your Normal move can hit Dugtrio, Persian, Nidoqueen and Nidoking. Lorelei – Tauros can learn Electric moves and if you have one then you cover everything except Jynx, who is KOed by your STAB anyway. But just like most of the other match-ups, it is less effective without the TM support, capable of contributing but not powering through. Bruno – Unless you have an Ice move or Earthquake, Onix walls you. Machamp is a huge threat thanks to its bulk and Submission. If you have a Special move then Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are less threatening, but Hitmonlee’s fighting moves are very powerful against Tauros. Agatha – Earthquake is needed for her Ghosts. Otherwise, you are hopeless against them. At least Golbat and Arbok can be beaten though. Lance – Ice and Electric covers everything. Without them, Aerodactyl walls you, and Gyarados and Dragonite are harder to take down. Blue – How useful you are comes down to what you taught it. It should be noted that Rhydon is the only thing that resists Normal though, so at least you can contribute using just your STAB. -Additional Comments: Tauros can be amazing if you give it the support from TMs, but without them it isn’t as impressive. Mono-Normal can be described as “reliable”, but it needs the TMs to be able to power through most of the important match-ups as quickly as possible. Given how late Tauros comes, and how difficult it can be to obtain (especially in RB) and train (especially in Yellow), it is difficult to assume that Tauros will have access to its favourite TMs. The final nail in the coffin is its availability. In RB, just catching it can be an excruciating time drain. In Yellow it benefits from a higher encounter rate but is even more underleveled and still have the same problems with catching it, what with the Safari Zone mechanics. If you manage to get it quickly and you can provide it with at least some of its TMs, then it isn’t a bad choice, but it just isn’t a good idea to plan your playthrough with the intent of using it on your team. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Venonat - Low Tier -Availability: Venonat is unobtainable until you get past Snorlax in RB, on routes 12-15 and in the Safari Zone. It is underleveled when you get it and grinding it is painful. Yellow improved Venonat by adding it to routes 24-25, although it is still a nuisance to grind and it may get in the way of grinding something more useful (like, say, that Bellsprout you are grinding to beat Misty more easily). -Stats: Before it evolves, Venonat is a bit pathetic. It does have a good HP stat for an unevolved Pokémon (60) but its attacking stats limit its damage output. When it evolves at level 31, it gains 90 Special and Speed which is pretty solid in RBY. It is physically frail however (70 HP and 60 Defence). -Movepool: Most of Venomoth’s best moves come late. Sleep Powder and Psychic don’t arrive until levels 43 and 50 respectively, although if you want you can use the Psychic TM to get it early. In fact, until it gets Psybeam at level 38, its moves (in RB) are Mega Drain, Leech Life and those normal TMs that it probably shouldn’t be using. Yellow at least gave it Confusion at level 19, although it isn’t that strong, especially as a Venonat. -Power: Venonat is weak before evolution. Its attacking stats are too low and with just Tackle, Leech Life and maybe Psychic (assuming you used the TM on it) as attacks there isn’t much Venonat can do. It improves after evolution but unless you teach it Psychic straight away it still has a while to go before its power becomes noteworthy. -Type: Bug/Poison allows Venomoth to perform well against particular types. The Grass resistance is pretty useful in RBY. The Flying and Psychic weaknesses are probably the most concerning weaknesses it carries (it also has Fire, Rock and Bug weaknesses). -Match-ups: Misty (Yellow only): Honestly, what are you going to do here? The best you can do is use Disable and hope it selects BubbleBeam, but if that doesn’t work your out of luck. Lt. Surge: Raichu will tear you apart. It’s unlikely that you would have Venonat for Lt. Surge in RB but if you do then maybe you can beat Pikachu and Voltorb (you have a level advantage at this point so at least that's something). Erika – You should have Leech Life by now which works well against Grass/Poison types, although it won’t OHKO. You’ll probably receive a status along the way. Weepinbell in Yellow can be annoying if you get nailed with paralysis and Wrap. Koga – Hopefully you have at least Psybeam by now (or you used the Psychic TM). Either of those are great for this battle and the immunity to poison status is neat too. This is a mirror match in Yellow, but a level 35-40 Venomoth is not going to beat a level 50 Venomoth without luck. Sabrina – Stay away! Her Pokémon have powerful super-effective STABs and resist your strongest attacks. Leech Life is super-effective but it’s not going to help. You should beat her Venomoth at least. Blaine – Fire weakness is unfortunate. Growlithe and Ponyta should be beatable. Rapidash can potentially trap you with Fire Spin although you should be faster than it in RB (Yellow Rapidash may or may not be faster depending on how close you are to level 50). Giovanni – This shouldn’t be too hard. Your Psychic moves are super-effective against the Nidos and Mega Drain is an option for the Ground types. Most of his Pokémon can’t do much to you in RB. In Yellow you’ll need to be careful around Rock Slide, Earthquake and Slash hitting your low Defense. Lorelei – Venomoth does nothing special here. Mega Drain is super-effective against 80% of her team (note that Psychic does more damage to 3 of the 4 grass weak Pokémon) but they can hit back hard. You can maybe take on one or two Pokémon before you die. Stay away from Slowbro in Yellow as it has Psychic. Bruno – Psybeam/Psychic the Fighting types and Mega Drain Onix. You win. Agatha – Psychic hits her whole team. You just have to watch for Psychic (from her second Gengar) and status moves. Lance – Being physically frail doesn’t help you much for this battle. Venomoth honestly has no business participating in this battle. You could maybe take one or two things down but you might as well leave it to something else. Blue – Mega Drain is nice for Rhydon and Leech Life is great for Exeggutor and Venusaur. Like basically every Pokémon in this game, Venomoth can contribute in this battle. Really, just stay away from obvious bad match-ups (Alakazam, Charizard, etc.) and you’ll be fine. -Additional Comments: It takes far too long to become even remotely good. It literally does almost nothing before Psychic in Yellow, and if you aren’t able to spend the TM on it then it is mediocre for a large portion of the game. It is even worse in RB as it comes much later and doesn’t even get Confusion, so it only has access to terrible moves before Psybeam and Psychic. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vulpix: Low Tier -Availability: Midgame. In Blue, Vulpix can either be found before Celadon City (where you can buy a Fire Stone and evolve him straight away), or in the Pokemon Mansion. In Yellow, Vulpix is obtained through the Game Corner, which is also in Celadon. -Stats: Ninetales has very good Speed and Special. Its Special allows it to take Special Hits (provided they are not Water moves), and it outspeeds a lot of Pokemon. However, the rest of his stats are average at best. -Movepool: If you evolve it into Ninetales straight away, you'll be stuck with Ember unless you feed it TM's such as Fire Blast, Body Slam, and Dig. Keep in mind the latter 2 TM are in very high demand in this game. Fire Blast also comes only later on in the game and has low PP, which may cause issues when fighting the Elite 4. If you keep him as Vulpix or catch him later at Pokemon Mansion, you can train him to learn Confuse Ray and Flamethrower. However, Confuse Ray is not the most efficient strategy as it is a luck based moved. While Flamethrower may seem tempting, by the time you get it, Fire loses much of its value due to not being especially good against the majority of latter gym leaders/E4, and keeping Vulpix unevolved for too long isn't the best idea. -Power: Ninetales' Special is pretty good, but you're either stuck with Ember or a unevolved Pokemon waiting to get Flamethrower. Body Slam/Dig will be an important part of your offense if you choose to evolve it early, but these just aren't powerful enough due to his 76 Base Attack. -Type: Offensively, Fire hits Bug, Grass, and Ice for Super Effective damage. By the time you get Vulpix, you'll barely have any Bug and Ice types to fight. The majority of Bug users are battled before Celadon, where as the only Ice type you battle (that is weak to Fire) is Lorelei's Jynx. Grass is still common at this point, but you also get HM 02 Fly and TM13 Ice Beam to hit Grass types with. Fire is resisted by Rock, Water, Fire, and Dragon. Most Rock types you face in-game have weak Special and wont even like taking resisted hits, and there is only one Dragon user in the game. However, Water is problematic for Ninetales, especially with how common it is late game (all the water trainers in the water surrounding Cinnabar Island). Fire also offers resists to Bug, Grass, and Fire. However, it is also weak to Water, Ground, and Rock moves, which are more common than Bug/Grass/Fire moves. -Mathups: --Erika: Despite the type advantage, Ninetales only has Ember which will not sweep her team. Also, status moves put a serious damper on Ninetales's performance. This match-up is even worse if you are keeping Vulpix unevolved until it gets Flamethrower. --Koga: If Ninetales was given the Dig TM, it can beat his entire team, but just watch out for getting poisoned. In Yellow, Koga uses Venonats/Venomoth who are weak to Fire, and if you are using Flamethrower, this battle is especially easy. However, if you skipped Flamethrower, you'll be stuck with Ember and Ninetales will not like being poisoned. --Sabrina: Ninetales has the special bulk to survive Sabrina's move and can use Body Slam/Dig to hit her physically frail Pokemon, but just isn't powerful enough to sweep her whole team consistently. --Blaine: Dig hits his whole team for Super Effective damage. While Growlithe and Ponyta are not threats, his Rapidash and Arcanine can survive a Dig. Rapidash and Arcanine also both have good Attack and can hurt Ninetales with Stomp/Take Down. --Giovanni: Dig is Super Effective on his whole team except for Dugtrio. Despite that, Giovanni's Pokemon can take a Dig from Ninetales and wear it down with their own moves. His Dugtrio also knows Dig. In Yellow, almost all his Pokemon know Earthquake, easily taking Ninetails out. --Lorelei: The only one who Ninetales can safely take on is Jynx, due to her weakness to Fire. --Bruno: His Pokemon have low Special and don't like taking Flamethower/Fire Blast. Might want to be vary on Fire Blast PP, though. --Agatha: If you have Dig, it can beat most of her team (except Golbat). Golbat isn't too hard to take out either, but watch out for Confuse Ray or Toxic. --Lance: His entire team resists Fire and their powerful Hyper Beams will hurt Ninetales. Even worse, Lance's Gyarados knows Hydro Pump, which will make short work of Ninetales. --Blue: STAB Fire moves can take out his Grass Pokemon, while Dig can hurt his Electric types, Rhydon, and Fire types (excluding Charizard). However, his Water types are a huge threat to Ninetales, and in Yellow his Sandslash can Earthquake you. Additional Comments: Ninetales does well against some Gym Leaders/E4 members, but at the same time, its at the cost of using up two of the most valuable TM in the games - Body Slam and Dig. There will be plenty of other people who will want those two TM's, and can use it better than Ninetails. Hence why Vulpix is Low tier. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Weedle (Red and Blue only) - Low Tier -Availability: Weedle are easy to obtain, just search for them in Viridian Forest. They can also be found at Route 2 in Red, but it's better just to go into the forest and look for them there, as you have a higher chance of finding them there. They also evolve quite early, at level 7 and then level 10. -Stats: This here is the main reason why Weedle's bad. Its stats are unimpressive all across the board, even after it fully evolves, with its highest base stat being 80 Attack. -Movepool: Its only attacking moves are the weak Poison Sting and the unreliable Fury Attack until it learns Twineedle at level 20. Twineedle, and later Pin Missile, are Bug-type moves, which, back in the day, hit Poison-types super-effectively, essentially meaning Beedrill hits a decent chunk of the later mid-game super-effectively. It also learns Agility and Swords Dance (although you'll need TM03 for the latter), which are absolutely essential for its performance against most of the later bosses. Also, it can learn Mega Drain, which allows it to deal with Rock/Ground-types, but has little use otherwise, as most of the Water-types in the game are hit just as hard, if not harder, by Twineedle or Pin Missile. Unfortunately, Pin Missile and Twineedle don't exactly have the best base powers in the game, with Twineedle being 75 after STAB is factored in. -Power: With only Poison Sting and Fury Attack for the first two badges, Beedrill's not doing very well. Then, when it learns Twineedle, it actually does adequately, easily defeating the majority of things weak to it. It also does well in Pokemon Tower, outspeeding and OHKOing the Ghost-types that haunt the tower. Soon after that, however, Beedrill hits the wall known as Koffing, and realizes that the only way for it to KO them in one turn is to hope for the 25% chance of Pin Missile hitting at least 4 times. Soon afterwards, it runs into Weezing, whom it can't OHKO at all without the aid of a critical hit. Another thing: don't use the terms "Bird Keeper" and "Beedrill" in the same sentence, for Beedrill's sake. -Type: Bug is, as mentioned above, one of the best STABs to have in RBY. Beedrill also has a secondary Poison typing, giving it a neutrality to Poison-type attacks, but also giving it a Psychic weakness, meaning Beedrill can't effectively take them on. -Match-ups: --Brock: Considering the fact that his Pokemon resist every move Kakuna (or Beedrill, depending on whether you grinded it or not) has, and that they have high Defense, breaking through them just won't work. And before you say something like "But Poison Sting poisons them!" keep in mind that Brock has Full Heals at his disposal. --Misty: While her Starmie is indeed weak to Twineedle, it is faster than Beedrill and its BubbleBeam is fully capable of OHKOing it. --Lt. Surge: Beedrill can beat his Voltorb and Pikachu with little to no problem, but Raichu can fry it with a Thunderbolt. --Erika: This is the part of the game where Beedrill is at its best. It literally OHKOes everything in this Gym (except for Erika's Tangela, but what would it honestly do in retaliation?) with Twineedle. Ahhh, 4x weaknesses... --Koga: You'll need to set up 3 Swords Dances to stand a chance against him, and keep in mind that his Pokemon can use Smokescreen repeatedly while you're setting up. --Sabrina: Her Kadabra outspeeds and OHKOes you. However, if Beedrill sets up an Agility on her Mr. Mime, it can take out her Alakazam as well as Mr. Mime if it didn't use Barrier. Also, since she has a Venomoth, which can survive a Pin Missile most of the time, you'll probably want to use Swords Dance, at least if it wasn't for the fact that Mr. Mime's Confusion 2HKOes. --Blaine: While you might be able to set up on him, keep in mind that Rapidash can weather a +6 5-hit Pin Missile and proceed to trap Beedrill, beating it in only 3 turns. If you made it past Rapidash, his Arcanine is much bulkier than it looks, having the ability to survive at least 10 +6 Pin Missile impacts. --Giovanni: First of all, you need Mega Drain to beat his Rhyhorn (and Rhydon), which is the only Pokemon he has that Beedrill can properly set up on. Once that is done, feel free to 2HKO Rhyhorn with Mega Drain, and after that, you can Pin Missile his Dugtrio and Nidos. Remember that Dugtrio is faster than an unboosted Beedrill, and Nidoqueen has the bulk to take a +6 5-hit Pin Missile, meaning they both have an opportunity to fire attacks back at Beedrill. --Lorelei: Because Rest is a Psychic-type move, Dewgong will repeatedly use it against Beedrill, allowing it to set up as much as it wants. Unfortunately, Slowbro, Cloyster, and Lapras have enough bulk to easily take a +6 Pin Missile. --Bruno: As with Giovanni, his first Pokemon is a non-threatening Rock/Ground-type that can be set up on and 2HKOed by Mega Drain. While his entire team resists Bug-type attacks, +6 Pin Missile is still strong enough to take out his Hitmonlee in approximately 4 hits. The only things you need to watch out for are Mega Punch, Mega Kick, and Karate Chop. --Agatha: Unlike the previous two, Beedrill can't set up on any of her Pokemon, as they all know status moves of some sort that can (and will) disrupt any setup attempts. --Lance: While it can't beat his Gyarados, it can set up on his Dragonair, both of which know Agility. Keep in mind that unless Beedrill knows Agility as well, it won't defeat Aerodactyl, who is faster and can survive a +6 Pin Missile. Also, Dragonite will do nothing against it, as it knows Barrier and Agility, and will use them against Poison-types (like Beedrill!) --Blue: Just like with Agatha, Beedrill has no setup opportunities, and as such is of no use to you for this battle. -Additional Comments: Weedle comes (and evolves) early and its primary STAB is very useful in-game, but when it comes down to it, it just doesn't hit hard enough against its intended targets to be a great help. The added Psychic weakness, lack of Bug-type attacks until level 20, and the low base power of the STAB moves themselves don't exactly help its cause either. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Zubat - Low Tier -Availability: You can get it before the second badge in Mt. Moon. Zubat’s relative weakness does mean that you’ll need to grind it though, regardless of the level you catch it (it can be as high as level 12 in RB and 13 in Yellow), which is a pain since it can only beat opposing Zubat at this point. It is a tedious task, made worse by Leech Life’s low PP forcing you to run back and forth between Mt. Moon and the Pokémon centre outside. -Stats: Golbat’s stats are not particularly great but they aren’t completely horrible either. It is quite quick, and 75 HP, 80 Attack, 70 Defence and 75 Special are ok given how early you evolve (they aren’t all that good late game though). -Movepool: Its level-up movepool is unbelievably bad. Bite at level 15 is its strongest attack by level up. This is fine early on and the flinches it provides are helpful but the lack of power shows later on. Its TM movepool isn’t much better. Mega Drain, Double-Edge and Take Down are all you’re getting (it doesn’t even get Fly). Don’t be surprised if your moveset ends up being (Bite or Double-Edge)/Mega Drain/Leech Life/Wing Attack or something weird like that. -Power: Bite can 2HKO some of the weaker Pokémon but during important battles, and later on in general, you will take more and more turns to kill things, so it can’t really power through routes. -Type: Wing Attack is its only STAB and it is too weak to be of much use. From a defensive point of view, Poison/Flying (besides being unique) has some useful resistances (Ground/Fighting/Grass/Poison) and provides immunity to Poison but also provides weaknesses to Electric/Ice/Rock/Psychic, all of which are used in some important battles. -Match-ups: Misty – Not that helpful. It can beat Staryu but it isn’t guaranteed to be faster and may take damage, and it will lose to Starmie Lt. Surge – Thunderbolt will kill you. Erika – Tangela is somewhat annoying due to physical bulk but can’t do much back, and Weepinbel and Gloom are at least 3HKOed by Leech Life (watch for Sleep Powder). Koga – Depends on your level. Poison immunity is good and RB Koga shouldn't be that hard, though it doesn't exactly take everything down in one hit either. Psychic is super-effective but Golbat can take 1 or 2 from Venonat before going down. Sabrina – Bite and Leech Life ok damage but Psychic OHKOs. Blaine – Depends on level; Ninetales’s Flamethrower does a lot of damage, as does Arcanine’s Flamethrower and Fire Blast. Rapidash can Fire Spin trap you. Not really that good here, though RB Blaine is significantly easier. Giovanni – Beats Dugtrio. Note that in Yellow, Persian’s Double Team is annoying thanks to its inability to kill it quickly, Nidoqueen and Nidoking have Thunder and Rhydon has Rock Slide (Mega Drain is good here though). Lorelei – So many Ice attacks! Golbat isn’t good here. Bruno – Mega Drain kills Onix. The 4x Fighting resistance is useful and Hitmonchan’s elemental punches are too weak to be that big of a concern (any damage can be recovered back from Mega Draining his second Onix). The Normal attacks are a bit more concerning, but overall Golbat is ok here. Agatha – It won’t enjoy Dream Eater (easily dealt with using the Pokeflute) or Psychic, but Mega Drain and Poison resistance is handy. This battle is often down to luck with Confuse Ray and how much Agatha switches against you. Lance – It does significantly worse in Yellow due to Ice Beam, Blizzard and Thunderbolt. Otherwise it will probably depend on level (you’ll need to be quite over-levelled to win alone though). Blue – In RB you should do ok against Rhydon, Exeggutor, Venusaur, Pidgeot, and Arcanine with a bit of “Take Down missed” luck. In Yellow your best match-ups are Sandslash, Exeggutor, Ninetales and Flareon. -Additional Comments: Zubat isn’t as bad as it first seems. Bite is acceptable for a little while, and Mega Drain and Leech Life have niche uses and recover HP simultaneously, which is handy. However, the fact is that Golbat is simply not an efficient battler, taking multiple turns to KO most opponents, and unlike other weak Flying types like Farfetch’d it doesn’t even provide any utility by learning Fly! There is just little justification for using this in an efficient run, making it low tier. Now, if you submit a new entry, please follow this format. -Pokemon Name - Top/High/Mid/Low Tier (PICK ONE) -Availability: Can you get them early on and are they easy to get? -Stats: Do they have a usable stat distribution? -Movepool: Do they have a good movepool that needs little TM support? (By that I mean hard to replace TMs such as ones you get from gyms.) -Power: Are they strong enough to sweep through enemies without taking too much damage in return? -Type: Do they have useful STABs and resistances? -Match-ups: Do they fare well in gym and/or boss battles? Please write somewhat professionally. Some guidelines we picked up along the way: - No glitches allowed. - No trading in Pokemon from other games. Back and forth to evolve Graveler, Kadabra, Haunter and Machoke can be considered, but is not assumed. - If a Pokemon is vastly different in Yellow compared to Red/Blue, you have the option of writing a different entry for both, even if they end up in the same tier. Examples of this are Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Happy discussing, and if there's something that needs changing just say so in this thread. If I miss it, feel free to PM/VM.