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Pokemon RBY In-Game Tiers - Mark III

Discussion in 'Orange Islands' started by atsync, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. atsync

    atsync Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
    is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon

    Mar 28, 2011
    I support adding Rival battles to match-ups, but I'd rather leave all the elite 4/gym leaders in.

    So far the tiering of these 5 will probably be:

    Abra - Top
    Articuno - Top
    Bulbasaur (RB) - High
    Charmander (RB) - High
    Diglett - Top

    I'll move Bulbasaur and Charmander down.

    EDIT: I'm honestly not convinced that not having to face Rival's Gyarados if you pick Charmander is enough to put it in Top, although I should say that I almost always run an electric move of some sort on my teams (whether it be an Electric type or Nidoking/Queen) so obviously Gyarados is just death fodder and never a threat to me.

    Regarding changes (open)

    Add mentions of Rival battles.

    • Add Thunder Wave to Movepool as a way of crippling threatening Pokemon like Misty's Starmie. Thunder Wave should probably be added to match-ups where it is relevent also. Leave Seismic Toss as is.
    • Remove references to Jolteon's Pin Missile. I'd rather leave in the part saying that it's weak to Bug just to demonstrate how crappy Bug is (which is yet another reason why Psychic is so good in 1st gen).
    • From additional comments, tone down the "useless for 4-8 levels" comment. Instead, maybe just say that it doesn't have any good STAB attacks until it evolves into Kadabra which limits its power when you first catch it, or something like that.
    • From availability, reword the "This is Abra's only flaw" part; as mentioned above, it also lacks power until Kadabra even if it isn't entirely useless.
    • Remove the stalemate stuff.
    • Remove references to Water/Rock types in the type section.
    Bulbasaur (RB)
    • Discuss lack of power before Razor Leaf, especially if Body Slam is unavailable. Bulbasaur can struggle from Route 3 to Nugget Bridge because of low power moves and limited coverage.
    • Can beat Brock without Vine Whip using Leech Seed and Growl. Worth noting because Vine Whip requires grinding to get before Brock.
    Charmander (RB)
    • Charmander sucks against Misty, but it can at least play some sort of supporting role, especially if Starmie acts dumb. Match-up entry for Misty could be less negative.
    • Should consider match-ups where Dig isn't being used, to emphasize just how much Charmander wants Dig. Power section could probably discuss how weak it is without TM moves before Slash, although it has a reasonable chance of getting at least one of Body Slam, Dig and Mega Punch.
    • Mention how Rival battles are easier if you pick Charmander because he won't use Gyarados (this will probably be covered in match-ups anyway).

    • Change style of match-up section to match the style of others.

    I have a feeling I've forgotten something. If I have (or if anyone has other information that hasn't been mentioned yet), speak up.

    I haven't implemented these changes yet. Instead, I'll add a to-do list to the OP. That way, others who are interested in participating can make the changes if they wish. Just post that you've made a change and I'll remove it from the list.


    I guess we can move onto the next Pokemon then!

    Just like before, you should be answering these questions:
    • Is this Pokemon in the right tier? If you disagree, say which tier you think it should be moved to. You'll need to give reasons of course.
    • Does the entry written for the Pokemon cover everything that needs to be covered? The whole point of the entries is to provide a convincing case for the Pokemon being in the tier they are in. Therefore, we need to make sure the entries cover why a Pokemon is good or bad. If you think something important is missing, speak up and we can add this information. Likewise, if you think an entry contains information that isn't particularly relevant, say so and we can remove the fluff.
    If there is a clear consensus about disagreement with where a Pokemon is tiered, I'll move it and a new entry may need to be written (note that in some cases, simple edits of the current analysis to change the overall tone may suffice).

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

    -Additional Comments: Nidoqueen is arguably worse than Nidoking because Horn Attack allows it to perform better early game, especially before all of those TMs start coming in. However, Nidoqueen is not directly outclassed by it because it has Body Slam by level up and its better bulk DOES come into play in some situations. Regardless of the Nidoking comparisons, Nidoqueen is a terrific Pokémon in its own right. It is up to the player to pick which one they want to use.

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

    -Additional Comments: This is a great Pokémon. Good stats, good availability, wide movepool, useful match-ups... this is one of the best Pokémon in the game for in-game runs. Note that Nidoking arguably has the edge over Nidoqueen because Horn Attack is better than Scratch, though Nidoqueen has her own advantages.

    • Seel
    Seel (open)
    -Seel - Top 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 it free then you should use it on Dewgong.
    -Power: When you first get it, it has enough power to beat what it needs to beat: Fire types. Once you 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: With the exception of RB Squirtle, Seel/Dewgong is the best Water type in the game. It just has a perfect combination of convenient availability, 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 Water types aren’t even necessary before then. It is the late game where Water types really shine, and the game has been designed so that Dewgong arrives just when it is needed. This is a Top tier Pokémon for sure, and is highly recommended.

    • Squirtle (RB)
    Squirtle (RB) (open)
    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: Water.
    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.
    --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
    Zapdos (open)
    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
    --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.

    i.e. the other half of Top tier. Discuss whichever ones you want.
  2. Mekkah

    is a Super Moderatoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus
    Super Moderator

    Feb 8, 2005
    I agree with this. Even if you don't have Thunderbolt, the AI is just too dumb to make Gyarados a real threat. I didn't even know it had Hydro Pump in the Pokemon Tower and I definitely didn't have Thunderbolt on every single team by then. Even if it was somehow a threat to your team and you still don't have anything to deal with it yet, you can just catch something that can.

    I think the Nidorans, Squirtle and Zapdos are in the right place, and Seel probably is. If Seel is to be pushed down, it's because of availability and the lesser relevance of X Accuracy + OHKO that we agreed upon.
  3. TM13IceBeam


    Oct 22, 2010
    Both Nidos are fine in Top. Being able to fully evolve by Mt. Moon is amazing, and these two have the coverage and stats to tank most enemies. Water Gun is decent filler (and works for killing Geodudes for free EXP), you can upgrade this to Bubblebeam/Surf later for even more win against Blaine and Giovanni. Normal/Water is also perfect coverage, too. The Nidos don't really have much differences from one another (Body Slam vs. Thrash, their offenses are roughly similar). In short, awesome.

    Seel, I don't really have much comment or opinion on its tiering.

    RB Squirtle is top tier for sure, he cleanly cheeses Brock and is actually one of the few guys decent enough to take on Starmie (resistance to bubblebeam + mega punch abuse). Normal/Water has perfect coverage on everything so you don't really need anything else other than Ice Beam/Blizzard for Lance. The gyms he struggle in, are easily cheesed by random things that can be found conveniently outside town (Dugtrio for Surge, Doduo for Erika) and he has a neutral matchup to most things making him a great choice for any situation.

    Zapdos is available for Erika if you skip her initially, but Erika is again one of the easier gym leaders due to presence of Doduo. An epic boss in E4, walled by only Onix and Rhydon, both of which can be taken out easily with Surf. Belongs right at home in top: he wins most matchups that exist by virtue of typing and stats, and even without TM24 he's still decent.
  4. Hemp Man

    Hemp Man

    Sep 25, 2005
    1.) Charmander: Gyarados is strong but I wouldn't say he is significance enough to move Charmander up a tier.

    2.) Nidoran F: On the Giovanni battle mention Nidoquen is weak to Earthquake (which is common in Yellow).

    3.) Nidoran M / Seel / Squirtle / Zapdos: Fine.
  5. Longfellow


    Mar 30, 2009
    Leer + Horn Attack. It works, though very slowly and you may need a Potion or two. Still, NidoranM is probably the best Pokémon to beat RB Brock besides the starters and Caterpie (but does not need babying so is overall better) (Also Poison Sting doesn't work—Brock has several Full Heals).

    Here's a good moment to talk about traded Pokémon. We do this thing where we list each Pokémon by their lowest evolved form, even though you could, say, catch Haunter already evolved. It works for the most part, but note that you can run NidoranM - traded NidoranF - Nidoqueen or NidoranM - Nidorino - traded Nidorina - Nidoqueen. These "evolutionary lines" actually have their own perks—namely, the use of NidoranM's Horn Attack during the hard Route 3, and then the exp. boosted Nidoqueen for mid- to late-game. Are they better than the main lines? Maybe not, it's hard to give up that final-form power in early-game, but they're probably a top tier threat in their own right and worth mentioning in our entries.

    The question, of course, is whether we put the analysis in NidoranM (because it is NidoranM's "evolutionary line") or in NidoranF. NidoranF makes most sense to me, but then we should rename it Nidoqueen. And then we should rename all the Pokémon after their final form. We already do this for the Eeveelutions, and trades are, for all intents and purposes, the same thing—alternate evolutionary paths.

    Only thing that gives me pause about Seel is I really don't know what's required of a late-game Pokémon to be top tier. Seel is clearly better than Tentacool/Staryu and clearly worse than Zapdos/Articuno, and it can't really be compared to, like, Clefairy or Squirtle. It's just floating there.
  6. atsync

    atsync Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
    is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon

    Mar 28, 2011
    I'm considering moving Seel down to High. I know that there were a few people in the last thread that weren't convinced by Seel in Top. Even in this thread there has been at least one person who isn't convinced, and those who do say Top have been more like "I suppose..." rather than "yeah Seel is totally Top". Based on this response, it seems to be borderline High-Top and my instinct in these situations (as I've said before in the old thread) is to go with the lower Tier because it's safer. And I say this as the guy that wrote Seel's entry! I'll think about it more.

    I'll address the other stuff later.
  7. Dilasc


    Feb 4, 2007
    Maybe it's just me, but NidoF is better than the male. Sure for a small while, Horn Attack is better than Scratch, but that's only for 15 levels and the Nidos level very fast meaning this duration is short lived.

    Nidoqueen doesn't demand as much TM usage so unless you're using MissingNo, I'd rather have Queen's free Body Slam rather than King's less controllable Thrash which you might very well replace with Body Slam.
  8. Hemp Man

    Hemp Man

    Sep 25, 2005
    Should Charmander's RB & Y analysis be merged since they are both in high tier now?
  9. Mekkah

    is a Super Moderatoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus
    Super Moderator

    Feb 8, 2005
    I would argue that by the time we get the free Body Slam, there isn't much improving to be done on the Nido's since by then you have their godlike stats and quite a few good TMs. Their early stage is when they are most lacking, and thus when improvement is most significant.
  10. atsync

    atsync Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
    is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon

    Mar 28, 2011
    It depends on whether we even leave Yellow Charmander in High, and even then many would argue that the difference in availability is significant enough to justify separate entries regardless of tier placement. We'll figure it out later.
  11. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio Over9000
    is an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Aug 16, 2007
    Great move to make Atsync the OP (applause)

    You still have Sandshrew High - Geodude Mid

    I thought we agreed Geodude >= Sandshrew, most likely moving Sandshrew down. (I also think Sandshrew down is the right move)


    Also, Giovanni is pretty inconsequential in general-- while the first battle you don't have access to Surf, which is clearly a hindrance, you do have the TMs for Bubblebeam, Ice Beam, Psychic, and Mega Drain. Not to mention his team's weak to DIG. If you honestly can't find ANYTHING in your team to use 1 or 2 of those moves well, I'm sorry but you must be trying to lose.

    If somehow (I have no idea how) you can't beat Kanghaskan... maybe try the Submission TM sold at Celadon? Or Counter.
  12. Longfellow


    Mar 30, 2009
    I think Nidoking is a bit better because Horn Attack comes at a more critical point in the game than Thrash/Body Slam. And Nidoking has slightly better stats. But whatever, they're close and both top tier.

    After some thought, I agree with Seel in High. Even though it is the best late Water, the differences between any two Waters is small.
  13. TM13IceBeam


    Oct 22, 2010
    My opinion is that if both A and B are capable of significant contributions to an efficient clear of the game, then it does not matter if A has a higher level of competency than B, since both are essentially top tier as far as it goes. If there IS ordering in terms of 'more efficient' in the tiers itself, then Nidoking > Nidoqueen, but otherwise both should just be top and that should be about it.
  14. Alice in Strings

    Alice in Strings

    Oct 12, 2012
    My opinion is the exact opposite, since Nidoking/Queen will be using mostly Special moves for most of the game, having a higher defense makes Queen slightly better than King (they have the same Special). Of course, that's my opinion, but I'd like to see if other people think the same.
  15. Longfellow


    Mar 30, 2009
    The Nidos uses physical in early- (Horn Attack/Scratch/Body Slam/Thrash) and late- (Earthquake) game. As they are the most challenging parts of the game, I think they count a bit more.
  16. atsync

    atsync Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
    is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon

    Mar 28, 2011
    At this point the tiering for these guys will be:

    Nidoran-F - Top
    Nidoran-M - Top
    Seel - High
    Squirtle (RB) - Top
    Zapdos - Top

    So I'll move Seel down.

    Changes (open)
    • Mention weakness to Ground moves for the Giovanni gym battle (mainly for the Yellow battle).
    • Mention the traded Nidoran-F and Nidorina in availability. It is probably better to just use a Nidoran-F caught wild but the traded ones are there and worth noting.
    • Changed tier, may need revamp.

    Not much to change this time apparently, although something will probably be brought up later. I'll add these to the to-do list.

    Don't worry, I didn't forget. It's just that no new entry was done for it, so I thought I might as well just leave things as is until we get up to Sandshrew during this QC thing going on at the moment.

    If we do equalise Sandshrew and Geodude, I too would prefer to drop Sandshrew rather than raise Geodude, but we'll see what happens when we get up to it.


    Let's move onto the next Pokemon. We're breaking into High tier now.

    Just like before, you should be answering these questions:
    • Is this Pokemon in the right tier? If you disagree, say which tier you think it should be moved to. You'll need to give reasons of course.
    • Does the entry written for the Pokemon cover everything that needs to be covered? The whole point of the entries is to provide a convincing case for the Pokemon being in the tier they are in. Therefore, we need to make sure the entries cover why a Pokemon is good or bad. If you think something important is missing, speak up and we can add this information. Likewise, if you think an entry contains information that isn't particularly relevant, say so and we can remove the fluff.
    If there is a clear consensus about disagreement with where a Pokemon is tiered, I'll move it and a new entry may need to be written (note that in some cases, simple edits of the current analysis to change the overall tone may suffice).

    The Pokemon up this time will be:
    • Charmander (Y)
    Charmander (Y) (open)
    -Charmander (Yellow) - High Tier
    -Availability: You get it at around the second gym at level 10. It comes under-levelled, 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: 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.
    -Power: It should be said that Charmander goes through a bit of a lag phase as Charmeleon, but with Dig (and later Slash) it can pull its weight. Once it evolves it becomes excellent. Charizard is a great in-game Pokémon, powering through opponents with ease.
    -Type: It learns Fly 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: 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).
    Lt. Surge – If you have Dig and are at an acceptable level, you will do well here.
    Erika – The sad thing is that Ember is not that powerful despite the type advantage, but the grass resistance should be enough for you to contribute. Dig is neutral against Gloom and Weepinbell which is handy.
    Koga – Venonat is weak so it shouldn’t be an issue. Fly is super-effective against his whole team and Psychic doesn’t exactly take Charizard down instantly.
    Sabrina – Slash deals plenty of damage on her Pokémon’s lower defence stat. As long as you are at a reasonable level you should be fine.
    Blaine – You win with Dig. If Arcanine uses Reflect then use Slash to ignore it!
    Giovanni – You beat Dugtrio, as well as Persian due to strength alone. Dig is super-effective against Nidoqueen, Nidoking and Rhydon but you have to be careful around Thunder and Rock Slide.
    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 Slide. Fighting resistance is helpful for Hitmonlee and Machamp.
    Agatha – Dig is great against everything except Golbat, who isn’t that strong anyway.
    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, Exeggutor, Ninetales and Flareon, and Alakazam is perfectly beatable thanks to Slash.

    -Additional Comments: The main thing that prevents Charmander being Top tier in Yellow is that it arrives underleveled. However, this is actually easy to overcome and you still benefit from Charizard’s great power, making it a solid choice for an efficient run through Yellow.

    • Clefairy
    Clefairy (open)
    Clefairy - High 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 omnivorousness 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.
    -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.
    -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.
    -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.
    -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.
    -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.
    -Rival: 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: 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 your team is missing, whether it be a Water Gun/Bubblebeam user to defeat early-game Rocks or Psychic to defeat the Rocket Poisons or Thunderbolt to ream the Flying and Water Pokémon leading up to Cinnabar, is what makes Clefable a truly good teammate.

    • Doduo
    Doduo (open)
    - 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: If obtained before taking on Team Rocket and Gym Leader Erika, Doduo can make quick work of the Rocket Grunts in Celadon Game Corner and all of the trainers in the Celadon Gym. This is made even easier by teaching Fly and Tri Attack. From there on, Doduo/Dodrio should be similar or higher in level when compared to most opponents and will rely on its speed advantage and strong attack stat and STABs. Koga in RB features a group of poison types which can be hit for decent damage with STABs. Yellow version Koga is destroyed by Flying type attacks. Team Rocket Grunts can be steamrolled again in Saffron City. Sabrina's Psychic types are weak on the defensive side and will take plenty of damage from Drill Peck or Tri Attack. Gain some quick extra levels before the 5th Gym by squashing the Fighting Dojo. Blaine's gym might be weak to Water attacks but again, STAB Drill Peck hits hard. Dodrio will need to sit the Viridian City gym out as many of those trainers carry Rock types. Two of the Elite Four members can be handled by Dodrio: Bruno and Agatha. The former carries Fighting types with their weakness to Drill Peck and the latter's ghosts can be hit hard by Drill Peck, though not for super effective damage. Just watch out for Onix on Bruno's team. 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.

    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)
    Farfetch'd (RB) (open)
    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. Farfetch'd can also make a good HM slave with the unusual combination of Cut and Fly.
    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.
    -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
    Gastly (open)
    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). The weaker unevolved Ghastly is also 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. At the very least, Gengar is great for lol'ing at all the Self Destruct and Explosion users in the tail end of the game.
    Erica: 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 Erica'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.
    Saffron Rockets: Gengar's immunity to Normal-type attacks will mean the vast majority of foes here can't even touch it, and its speed and powerful Psychic attack will lay waste to most enemies.
    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 (who incidentally have high Attack but low Special) will have to rely on their Special Fire-type attacks to damage Gengar, who will defend and attack with its high Special against their low 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.

    • Hitmonlee
    Hitmonlee (open)
    Hitmonlee - High Tier
    -Availability: Right after Lt Surge, if you make a beeline to Celadon to get to Saffron. You get one at level 30, your choice.
    -Stats: Decent speed and large attack make Hitmonlee quite dangerous offensively.
    -Movepool: His main move, Jump Kick/HJP he learns on his own and will carry him against all neutral opponents, as well as the plethora of normals. Normal moves will round out his coverage, but Hitmonlee will forever be unable to hit Ghosts.
    -Power: Decent speed and high power make Hitmonlee a force to be reckoned, he hits everything that doesn't resist him hard.
    -Type: He a fighting type, so not so good in that department, but at least he can take out the Rock and Normal types with ease.
    Erika: Provided you give him a decent Normal-type move, Hitmonlee should do well 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. Watch out for Weezing's Self-Destruct. In Yellow, the fight is comparable as the Venonats are easy set-up bait, but watch out for Venemoth's Psybeam.
    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 probably take out Mr Mime and Venomoth, but that's with difficulty. 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.
    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. Persian is also a joke, being a Normal-type with poor defense doesn't help his case.
    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. The real problem of this fight is Slowbro who will Amnesia until it's capable of wrecking your entire team. Your best bet is to switch into something faster with Razor Leaf to ensure that he doesn't set up.
    Bruno: Despite having a Hitmonlee himself, yours should be better. Use Onix to set up multiple Meditates and proceed to sweep his team with High Jump Kick.
    Agatha: Hitmonlee's Elite 4 run was going so well, what happened? Hitmonlee's only disadvantage from Hitmonchan is his inability to hit Ghosts at all. Agatha has 3 ghosts, and 2 poison types and one flying type. 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.
    Rival: 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 High Jump Kick, so feel free to go nuts here.
    Additional Comments: Hitmonlee is arguably the best Fighting-type in the game. It has great stats, it gets the best Fighting-type move and you get it at level 30, which is around the level your team would be at the time. The biggest problem Hitmonlee faces regularly is the fact that it can't touch Ghosts. Hitmonlee can't hit a Ghost to save his life, and it really lets him down. With that being said, the amount of Normal types and Rock types in the game provide Hitmonlee with many opponents he can take down. Overall he is a great Pokemon and a worthy choice for any team.

    Comment on whatever you wish. Note that if you think Yellow Charmander should stay in High, you could also discuss whether we should just merge it with RB Charmander, or it the difference between the two is enough to justify separate entries.
  17. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio Over9000
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    Aug 16, 2007
    How would you guys feel about general overviews for entries? In Smogon's strategy dexes, I feel that the general overviews are the most interesting and useful part of the anlysis--especially to people unfamiliar with the subject. I think having a general, basic overview (similar to the "additional comments" of some analyses) of two or three sentences describing the role and overall effectiveness of a Pokemon would be fun to write, and also effective information. I think this would also be a good place to mention alternative Pokemon who have a similar role to other important competition.


    Overview: Sandshrew is a decent early game Ground-type (something you'll at least need to beat Lt. Surge), with decent stats and decent movepool with Slash + Ground-STAB giving it power and coverage. It is kind of a fusion between Geodude and Digglet, whom unfortunately, tend to overshadow Sandshrew. Geodude has better end stats, comes earlier, and its Rock type packs very good resistances (stops Explosions) and offensive ability; while Digglet is more efficient, being faster, coming at a higher level, getting Slash more easily and learning Dig naturally. Nevertheless, despite being outclassed in general, Sandslash is a solid mid-tier poke that can do its job effectively.

    Overview: A late game Water-type is extremely valuable to any efficient run, and Staryu/Starmie certain comes with some attractive features-- including blistering Speed, good Special and learning relatively rare and extremely effective offensive moves in Thunderbolt/Thunder and STAB Psychic--that give it a unique edge over the competition. However, Staryu does come very late and underleveled, so overall it tends to be much less efficient than competition like the traded Seel or Vaporeon.

    Overview: Butterfree is an interesting early game support Pokemon, that evolves quickly and gets Confusion to help Charmander users get past Brock. In the long run though, Butterfree's pitiful stats and lack of any form of real offensive ability cripple it for most of the mid to late game. Generally speaking, one should figure out how to get through the early stages of this game without relying on Butterfail.
  18. TM13IceBeam


    Oct 22, 2010
    Yellow Charmander's fine in High, and it should probably be merged with RB Charmander too (aka RB Charmander drops to High)

    Doduo is fine too, raping Erika immediately for free EXP is always a good thing when it comes to catching up as well as reliable STABs.

    SD at L23 pretty much seals the deal for RB Farfy, not to mention boosted EXP. High.

    For the remaining, I think they can probably drop a tier. Clefairy might have the highest chance of staying in High, Gastly has massive TM reliance, Hitmonlee is just meh-ish. Gengar requires 3 unique TMs just to be able to use stuff that is not /lick/ (or fucking dream eater), while Hitmonlee regularly runs into matchups that he has quite the issues with (he's crap against the first three gyms he's available, he's crap against rocket except for raticates, he's crap against agatha). Sure, he does kill Lorelei effectively, but i'm really stuck as to whether he's good enough for High. Mid might sound better.
  19. Mekkah

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    Feb 8, 2005

    Such as? Don't tell me this matters vs Koga.


    Actually, in Yellow, all of his Venonats carry Psychic according to Bulbapedia. So it's a terrible choice.

    Only in Yellow, and only if the AI randomly picks the right moves (it won't). In RB, its only Special move is Water Gun.

    Clefairy is just as TM reliant as Gastly. That said, I have used Clefable (on a Normal Mono run for OIP) and I actually really liked it. I did have a lot of TMs to spare, but Clefable's stats are very solid at the point you evolve it and it doesn't really drop off at any point. Even though it requires some kind of TM usage to become and stay useful, it learns so many that you'll always have something for it.

    Gastly does not need three TMs to do something that isn't Dream Eater. It only needs one, and it becomes a wrecker with either Psychic or Thunderbolt. If you don't have either to spare though, this is actually a really bad Pokemon line. Since it's also significantly less available than the Pokemon it's being compared to, I'd say Gastly can go Mid. There's a lot of Pokemon that completely rely on either of these to become viable (think Magnemite, Voltorb, Exeggcute...).

    RB and Y Charmander are similar enough to be merged, probably, as long as their differences are noted thoroughly in the entry.

    I think the entries are long enough as it is, sometimes even repeating the same thing over and over. As I said before, I think the Power part is redundant. Pokemon aren't being compared in a vacuum: we use the matchup and the movepool parts to describe how they fare in battle with which resources. We don't need a third entry to talk about how good a STAB Earthquake from 100 base attack is.
  20. TM13IceBeam


    Oct 22, 2010
    Ah, got a minor bit misled by the entry. Still, Gastly seems really pointless if you don't have the TMs, and the unfortunate thing is that they all happen to be one-off TMs. It's not like say Sandshrew or Charmander where they still can do something without Dig.

    I'm on the fence over Clefairy and TM reliance. You can just about dump Mega Punch on it immediately for a nice attack move, and although it's special movepool needs some one-off TMs (seriously why are all the special TMs one-off .____________. the only one that isn't is fucking surf) it can at least still rely on Normal STAB, if you don't mind Mega Kick's accuracy.

    Hitmonlee... idk it just has a bunch of matchups that it just completely flop in. I'm honestly on the fence as to whether it deserves High seeing as Jump Kick isn't the most reliable of moves, but it's still better than most other fighting-types (except maybe yellow machamp)
  21. Lucchini


    May 6, 2011
    Hitmonlee could go down to Mid, I feel. Not the best game to be a fighting-type in. Clefable is comparable to the Nidofamily if given the Mega Punch TM; I think early evolution + performance against Misty gives it enough credit for High tier, but it can do so many things with contested TMs that it'll end up doing a lot of other things as well.

    Clefable definitely plays better than Farfetch'd; not sure how I feel about the importance of SD with highly frequent crits in this generation.
  22. Mekkah

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    Feb 8, 2005
    If Mega Kick is a major problem you can just use Body Slam, not a whole lot of things want that (Bulbasaur is the main one, you prolly aren't using any other Normal dudes). The Special TMs being one-offs is annoying, but there's just so many of them...

    If you crit after one SD, it doesn't really change a thing I think. And it only has like 11% crit instead of 6.25%.
  23. TM13IceBeam


    Oct 22, 2010
    It's actually a big thing when it comes to Farfetch'd since the main move of choice is usually slash which is auto-crit
  24. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio Over9000
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    Aug 16, 2007
    Also, it's fine that the Farfetch'd analysis comments on its battling prowess more, but I don't like that the emphasis on its HM slave abilities have all but been taken out of the analysis. Simply put, without the absolutely awesome utility of Cut + Fly, Farfetch'd does NOT make high... as even the current analysis says, even adjusted for boosted EXP it's an average battler at best.

    There is absolutely no way Farfetch'd outranks (or even matches) Pokemon like Geodude, Magikarp, Spearow (lol), and belsprout/bulbasaur(y)/oddish based on its fighting abilities alone.

    There is NO fucking way Farfetch'd belongs in the SAME tier as Charizard, Snorlax, Jynx, Seel, and Vaporeon/Jolteon based on battling alone. Here's a better comparison: If I want an amazing boosted EXP Sweeper that appears in Vermillion/Diglett Cave area, Mr. Mime is 100x more impressive than Farfeth'd battling. But you've put them in the same tier while barely commenting on Farfetch'd's HM utility.

    We all know that 50%+ of why Farfetch'd is sitting there in high is due to the fact that you get it right when CUT appears, and that Cut is still extremely convenient to have on the team all the while you're flying around between Lavender/Fushia/Celadon/Saffron. So why did you change it to have only one sentence about it?

    So the analysis shouldn't say "it can be a good HM slave.", it should have retained that "Farfetch'd is the BEST HM slave. Cut + Fly is so useful that Farfetch'd belongs on almost EVERY RB team, in this role at the very least."

    Read: Farfetch'd belongs in EVERY RB run because of (Cut+Fly). How does that only get 1 sentence in its in-game analysis?
  25. Dilasc


    Feb 4, 2007
    Clefairy does have the advantage of having the earliest evasion boosting move in the game save for Yellow Pikachu. Whether it's a good thing is more debatable, but it's definitely not useless.

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