Pokemon RBY In-game Tiers

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Mekkah

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You can do it with just 1 Potion.
I could've made this more clear but I was talking about Pikachu solo'ing Brock here. I assume the strategy here is to Tail Whip and Growl him into oblivion.

Oh, and I do use a team of 6. Cerulean is usually when I stop solo'ing with Pikachu, and that is still early in the game.
I don't know about you, but being forced to solo with Pikachu to make it as happy as possible seems somewhat inefficient to me. I haven't really experimented with this though.

Well I agree early Oddish is better, I think the instant Ivysaur gets Razor Leaf he pulls through as the better choice.

HOWEVER, I think by that time in the game, having a Grass/Poison type starts to lose its value. Later Gym leaders such as Sabrina and Blaine will give it a hard time. I think Yellow Bulbasaur is probably around Mid Tier, which is decent.
I agree with this. Razor Leaf turns Ivysaur/Venusaur into quite a monster vs things that don't resist Grass, but there's so many things that do, and so many Gym Pokemon that it's stilll not ideal against.

Edit: By the way, what did you think of my Aerodactyl review?
I read it the other day and thought it seemed good. Aerodactyl seems really useless.

@Mekkah: Although I do not care what Wikipedia says and would prefer if you had not bothered including that definition in your argument (I know what a glitch is), I not denying that using unused items to boost Pikachu's happiness is a glitch. It probably is. I mean, when I was a kid I assumed that it was intended because it made sense to me that Pikachu would like you more if you tried to use items on it. I assumed that the programmers thought the same way, I assumed that everyone did it (and hence it would be considered part of a normal playthrough) and it also allows you to gain the (very few) benefits of increasing happiness without being forced to use Pikachu if you didn't want to. I ALWAYS use this trick through my playthroughs. Of course, we don't have any idea what the developers intended, but common sense now tells me that it wasn't intended. It just made it way too easy to get Pikachu happy and it seems dumb that they would develop this system where you have to work hard by grinding to maximise happiness and then make a way to essentially bypass it in seconds. I guess it was just an oversight that no one noticed before release.

Reading the thread, I assumed the main reason why we disallowed things like Missingno. cloning is because it made the whole task of making this list redundant. For example, you could duplicate Rare Candies which would make the tiers simply a case of availability. The Mew glitch would make availabilty less relevent since you could potentially obtain anything early (well, within reason; you still need to set it up so you battle the thing with the right Special stat value so it isn't as game-changing). Basically, these glitches have a HUGE impact on the entire tier list. Things that are high/top tier with glitches banned suddenly become low/bottom tier, etc.

On the other hand, the Happiness glitch (I'm officially calling it a glitch now) has a very minor impact (if any at all). It allows you to get Bulbasaur more easily. That's it. It doesn't impact any other pokemon and if we allowed it it would not cause any other tier shifts for any pokemon at all. At best, you could argue that it would allow you to get away with not having to use Pikachu at all (simply dump it in the PC and pull it out when you are ready to glitch it) and I guess it could be argued that Pikachu would look less useful in that respect (I would disagree though).

That's just how I feel. I personally don't see the harm in allowing it. However, I do view it as a glitch and if we must be absolutely consistent about this, then it shouldn't be allowed. I could go into a huge paragraph about the risk of "slippery slope", but I don't want to and I hate that concept anyway.
Alright, sorry if I came across as overly aggressive or something, I just like to stamp out contradictions before they enter my preciousssss tier list. Actually, it's not really my tier list, it's either property of the community or the OP, probably the former if this is to be an on-site article. To me, the rule of "no glitches" simply meant that the game is assumed to be played with no glitches because...no glitches, that stuff's cheating. Minor or major impact is irrelevant in that case. I think this is a fine and consistent approach, but if there's a desire for an explicit exception ("You can Potion a max HP Pikachu infinitely so Bulbasaur is available as soon as you enter Cerulean City") then that's cool with me too.

Having said all this, I feel that even if this glitch WERE allowed, it wouldn't really change Bulbasaur's position anyway. It isn't really that hard for any decent player to make Pikachu happy until you reach Bulbasaur, and being "forced" to use it isn't that big of a deal anyway. Pikachu is quite solid early on, roasting all of those birds and matching up fairly evenly against most things (and yes it can beat Brock if you really must use it for that purpose). Bulbasaur is not that great anyway. It comes at a low level and takes a while to get it up to an ideal level, where it isn't that amazing.

All of the yellow starters are meh in Yellow compared to Red/Blue. Charmander is good if you give it Dig but without it you are stuck with Ember as your best attack until Charmeleon learns Slash. Much the same can be said for Squirtle and Bubblebeam. Just stick them all in mid.
Agreed with all this, though I do want to note that Bubblebeam carries less of an opportunity cost than Dig in my opinion. Bubblebeam is mostly useful as a Water STAB, and if you're using Squirtle then you're probably not using any other Waters. Its other use is acting as a way for Nido's and Normals to KO Geodudes and such, but there's a Water Gun TM pretty much made for that.
 
Naix: I'm not sure if you can get him at Seafoam, Bulbapedia says Psyduck in Yellow is only available at the Water area before Vermillion. Speaking of which, Ponyta's special isn't as good as his Physical. You are better off using Stomp over Ember for neutral hits.

I could've made this more clear but I was talking about Pikachu solo'ing Brock here. I assume the strategy here is to Tail Whip and Growl him into oblivion.
Pretty much.

Although I think the quickest way to beat him is just too spam Double Team as that video shows. However, I know Double Team is frowned upon, especially on a website designed for competitive play.



I don't know about you, but being forced to solo with Pikachu to make it as happy as possible seems somewhat inefficient to me. I haven't really experimented with this though.
Well, personally, I just solo with Pikachu at that point because I personally not too big on using any other Pokemon available at that point.

Please note that when I say "not too big on using any other Pokemon available at that point", I am just talking out of personal preference, and am not trying to argue their placement in tiers.
 

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Yeah I used to use the Double Team method. It's boring though! Also, I think I may have actually run out of Quick Attack PP when I was trying that method once, if I'm remembering right. Probably my fault because I didn't use Tail Whip, but I didn't like getting rid of Thundershock or Thunder Wave...

Alright, sorry if I came across as overly aggressive or something, I just like to stamp out contradictions before they enter my preciousssss tier list. Actually, it's not really my tier list, it's either property of the community or the OP, probably the former if this is to be an on-site article. To me, the rule of "no glitches" simply meant that the game is assumed to be played with no glitches because...no glitches, that stuff's cheating. Minor or major impact is irrelevant in that case. I think this is a fine and consistent approach, but if there's a desire for an explicit exception ("You can Potion a max HP Pikachu infinitely so Bulbasaur is available as soon as you enter Cerulean City") then that's cool with me too.
I can definitely see the advantages of consistency, and I really don't mind whether it's allowed or not. I just brought it up to give people something to think about.

Just curious, and I'm not trying to be a smart-ass here, but what is your opinion on moves like Hyper Beam and Focus Energy? Obviously no one should be using a move that is literally detrimental like Focus Energy, and Hyper Beam is not worth the effort of obtaining unless you learn it by level up, but they are glitched aren't they? Even Toxic + Leech Seed was discussed as an option on Bulbasaur, and although most of us would agree that it is a glitch (it was referred to as such in this thread I believe), most (if not all) of the arguments made against it had nothing to do with its glitch status and were more aimed at its inefficiency compared to just 2HKOing things with Razor Leaf (or using a team mate to do so).

Now I'm not trying to say that we should assume that no one will use this stuff either due to their glitch status (well they SHOULDN'T be using them but I don't think we can really assume it), but the point I'm trying to make is that although we say "assume no glitches period", we are basically already making exceptions for some glitches anyway, probably because they are considered part of "normal" 1st gen mechanics by most players. Can't the happiness glitch not be included here as well?

Agreed with all this, though I do want to note that Bubblebeam carries less of an opportunity cost than Dig in my opinion. Bubblebeam is mostly useful as a Water STAB, and if you're using Squirtle then you're probably not using any other Waters. Its other use is acting as a way for Nido's and Normals to KO Geodudes and such, but there's a Water Gun TM pretty much made for that.
Yeah you're right. I actually completely forgot about Water Gun, probably because I used to just ignore it lol.
 
Yeah I used to use the Double Team method. It's boring though! Also, I think I may have actually run out of Quick Attack PP when I was trying that method once, if I'm remembering right. Probably my fault because I didn't use Tail Whip, but I didn't like getting rid of Thundershock or Thunder Wave...
You can get the Thunder Wave TM to get Thunder Wave back.

Yeah, Double Team does get annoying. But it saved me the time of grinding guys like Mankey and Caterpie, guys who I would generally ditch after that battle anyway.
 

Mekkah

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Just curious, and I'm not trying to be a smart-ass here, but what is your opinion on moves like Hyper Beam and Focus Energy? Obviously no one should be using a move that is literally detrimental like Focus Energy, and Hyper Beam is not worth the effort of obtaining unless you learn it by level up, but they are glitched aren't they?
Hey man, Focus Energy can totally prevent you from critting a wild mon you want to capture!

In all seriousness, that is a good point. I could argue that this is just the way these moves work in RBY, and it could've been intentional, but that's not too solid of an argument.

As for Pikachu vs Brock, I kind of forgot about Double Team because you pretty much have to only use Pikachu to get there, so for example if you are training some kind of bird or Rattata you can't do this without grinding. But yeah, that seems viable enough. I would not like using the Thunder Wave TM on Pikachu in my playthroughs but that's really just competitive mindset...paralysis is nice in-game, but not precious to hoard it.
 
Wait, what is the Hyper Beam glitch? I know about the Focus Energy, but never heard of any Hyper Beam glitch. Is it the fact that you don't have to recharge if you faint a Pokemon in RBY?
 
Someone a few pages back said Machamp is the best fighting type in the game, which isn't true. Poliwrath is definitely better. Hypnosis/amnesia/surf/filler solos the E4 and is better than anything Machamp can do.

Also, Bulbasaur in R and B is easily the best starter and is probably the best pokemon in-game when you consider availability and versatility. It solos the game the best of the three. Spowder/rleaf/normal move (preferably body slam)/filler wrecks pretty much every trainer and gym when you have a high enough level advantage to outspeed stuff to put them to sleep, which isn't hard when you're soloing.

Spowder/growth/mdrain/body slam wrecks the E4 with a good enough level advantage to outspeed everything, which again isn't hard if you're soloing. Just sleep the first pokemon then max out your special with growth and proceed to mdrain everything.

On top of that, he also has things like spower and lseed to help catch pokemon, so he's pretty versatile too.

Bellsprout is probably also top tier. It's a better pokemon than bulbasaur, with access to stun spore and wrap to catch mons like abra, but loses out to it due to later availability. I'd say it's better than bulbasaur in yellow.
 
Okay guys, I just finished Yellow, and now I'll tell you what I think of the Pokemon I used, as I promised.
My opinion on Pikachu hasn't changed since my previous update in that its power isn't too impressive, it's frail, and it can't evolve, making it seem like the starter deck you get in TCG (GB). However, there is one advantage to using Pikachu over Jolteon or (lol)Magnemite, and that is it can know both Thunder Wave and Seismic Toss to help weaken wild Pokemon.
Overall opinion: Low Tier. It's helpful early-game, but loses its luster after the rest of your team evolves and never really improves, but just worsens.

Mankey was disappointing, to be honest. While it did have (almost)perfect 2-move coverage, it just couldn't hit hard enough to OHKO, and Low Kick missed in some of the most inopportune times, like against a Geodude that knew Selfdestruct. While evolution and Submission did help it, it eventually went back to its old ways, barely missing out on the OHKO, and taking a decent chunk of damage in the meantime. The common Poison-types didn't help either. Nevertheless, it's still one of the best Pokes to use early-game, due to the fact that it learns Low Kick at Lv. 9, earlier than Butterfree's Confusion (10) or Nidoran's Double Kick (12), and Karate Chop should take care of everything that doesn't resist it (or is named Koffing) when you get it.
Overall opinion: Middle Tier, possibly Low. Very helpful early on, starts to run into trouble around S.S. Anne and Rock Tunnel. Can't really do much in Lavender Tower unless you taught it Dig or Seismic Toss. If it evolved earlier, had slightly higher Attack, or could be taught a good Fighting-type attack that didn't cause recoil, it might be good late-game.

Bulbasaur starts out poorly. Very poorly. It's underleveled when you get it, and it doesn't even have a STAB attack for 3 levels. Once it evolves, however, it becomes decent, but still nothing to write home about. Things don't really change much after that until it learns Razor Leaf and evolves again, becoming a beast that destroys anything and everything that doesn't resist it, while having an immunity to Poison(status) and the bulk to take repeated neutral hits. Its typing becomes very useful after Sabrina, thanks to the abundance of Water-types in that part of the game.
Overall opinion: Middle Tier (but still below Oddish). Bulbasaur does (very) poorly early-game, because of it being only Lv. 10 when you get it and not knowing Vine Whip yet. Thankfully, you only need to baby it for one level, as you should have 2 Rare Candies at that point in the game. There are also 3 Hikers in Route 25 to help Bulby get up to speed. It also evolves at the early Lv. 16, and has a slightly favorable matchup against Misty. Unfortunately, after Misty, it fades into mediocrity until it gets to Lv. 30 and learns Razor Leaf. After that, it's smooth sailing for your parasitoid bullfrog.

From the moment I got Vaporeon, it was one of the best members of my team, taking out most of the Celadon Grunts, as well as Route 8 all by itself. It was caught up to the rest of my team by then, and then proceeded to go through the rest of the game with little to no trouble, thanks to its high Special and massive HP. Its level advantage allowed it to outspeed most of what it fought, despite a mediocre base Speed.
Overall opinion: High Tier. All Vappy needed to be useful was Bubblebeam. Once I taught it that, it proceeded to wreak havoc with Team Rocket, Cycling Road's Bikers, and almost everything in between. Its only problem is that it can't really do much to fellow Water-types.

From the moment I started using it, Ponyta showed a clear lack of power, failing to 2HKO a trainer's Gloom in Celadon Gym, despite being Lv. 32. It also didn't impress me in Cycling Road when it also failed to 2HKO a Weezing... 12 levels below it. (and I was using Ember in both battles, honest!) Yeah, it didn't do too well until it learned Fire Spin at Lv. 39, and evolved next level. Even then, it's power was only decent, and I found myself not using it too much in Victory Road or the Elite Four. Something of note is that I did the X Accuracy+Horn Drill(learned via TM07) combination against Silph Giovanni, and I probably could've done the same against someone else, like Bruno, but I didn't, instead fighting him normally. Needless to say, Rapidash didn't do anything in that battle.
Overall opinion: Low Tier. Ponyta was almost completely useless for the first 8 levels I had it, and after that, it still wasn't anything special. Still, it can occasionally pull off the X Accuracy+Horn Drill combination, although I only did it once. It shouldn't need the X Speed thanks to its high base Speed, and it can somehow learn Horn Drill as a Ponyta, allowing you to use that combination against Erika, provided you can avoid Stun Spore. Also, there's something else that I have to say about Rapidash: Rapidash is just a bigger Ponyta with a candle on its head.
Proof:

I hope you like that image, as you can no longer unsee it. (I know I can't...)

First of all, before you can get BUFFY (that's its name, don't wear it out), you have to get a Golduck, which can be done only 2 ways: catch a Psyduck in Route 6 and evolve it (they're all Lv. 15, by the way), or hope to find a wild Golduck in the same Route (5% encounter rate, not to mention it's Lv. 20 at best). I did the first of the two, and spent about half of Silph Co. getting it up to Lv. 29 (I had to constantly switch it in and out) so I could shove 4 Rare Candies down its throat. Once I traded it, BUFFY plowed through Pokemon Mansion and Cinnabar Gym by itself, although I had to use my Earthquake and Rock Slide TMs on it, as well as go to the Pokemon Center in between the Mansion and the Gym, not to mention the fact that I got lucky with the confusion and (lack of) Fire Spin. After that, it essentially acted like a Golem with slightly more Attack and boosted experience. It was a surprisingly good physical tank for the Pokemon League, but avoided Lorelei and (h)Agatha like the plague.
Overall opinion: Bottom tier. While the boosted exp. was nice, having to grind a Psyduck all the way to Lv. 29 (Lv. 33 if I didn't have any Rare Candies) was not. I also feel like I could've just used Geodude or Sandshrew and it would've done as good a job, if not better.
 
However, there is one advantage to using Pikachu over Jolteon or (lol)Magnemite, and that is it can know both Thunder Wave and Seismic Toss to help weaken wild Pokemon.
Another advantage Pikachu is also the only Electric type to learn Thunderbolt via Level-Up, allowing you to use the Thunderbolt TM for non-Electrics such as Starmie.

But other than that, I agree with your hindsights. And yeah, BUFFY reminded me too much off the Vampire. Slayer.
 

breh

強いだね
I can't help but feel that leveling Psyduck up to Golduck was a bad idea. If you can catch it with a 5% chance (hell, Riolu is mid in BW2 by most people's opinions, and that's a 5% chance too), you might as well do so; the earlier you get BUFFY the better due to its better experience gain. You can also grind up even a level 15 Rhydon with enough luck due to its typing. (It also helps that Rhyhorn doesn't suck like psyduck lol)
 
I can't help but feel that leveling Psyduck up to Golduck was a bad idea. If you can catch it with a 5% chance (hell, Riolu is mid in BW2 by most people's opinions, and that's a 5% chance too), you might as well do so; the earlier you get BUFFY the better due to its better experience gain. You can also grind up even a level 15 Rhydon with enough luck due to its typing. (It also helps that Rhyhorn doesn't suck like psyduck lol)
In my run of Yellow, I wanted to get the badges in order, and doing it that way meant that I'd have to go to Cinnabar before going through Silph. In my mind, doing such a thing is more of a detour than going to the Power Plant to get Zapdos. Also, while I probably could've looked for around 5-10 minutes for a Golduck, swam to Cinnabar, traded, and grinded BUFFY in Silph, where Poisons are everywhere, I feel that if something has an encounter rate of 5% or less, you probably shouldn't be relying on finding it during an efficiency run. Don't forget that Rhydon is still very TM dependant, relying on 2 "once-per-file" TMs for STAB. At least all Psyduck needs move-wise are Surf and Strength, one of which is something you need to get it, and Strength can be obtained when you're getting Surf.
 
Jolteon - High Tier

Availability: Rather early (Erika's gym) and you can evolve it right away, but it's at a low level of 20.
Stats: Awesome Special and the highest Speed in the game bar Electrode. It's rather frail, however.
Movepool: Thunderbolt + 25% crit rate is just too good to pass up. Doesn't have much else of note, however.
Match-ups:
Giovanni - Pretty poor match up here, unfortunately.
Lorelei - Almost a full sweep except for Jynx, who you should definitely switch out of. Everything else dies to Thunderbolt.
Bruno - Can't hit his 2 Onix, but beats the rest of his Pokemon with Thunderbolt.
Agatha - Struggles to take down her two Gengar and Haunter (who like to hit it with annoying status), but easily takes care of Golbat and Arbok.
Lance - OHKOes Gyarados, but not a fantastic match-up otherwise.
Rival - KOes Gyarados, Blastoise, Pidgeot, and Charizard with Thunderbolt. It won't get past Venusaur or Exeggutor and can't touch Rhydon.
I strongly disagree in saying Jolteon doesn't get much else of note. Thunderbolt + Pin Missile + Double Kick offers amazing coverage in-game. Pin Missile hits the grass-types that Thunderbolt doesn't do much against (and most grass are part poison, making it even more effective), and Double Kick hits the rock/ground-types he otherwise can't touch. In RB, he gets those moves really late (42 for Kick, 48 for Missile) but in Y he gets Kick at 30, Missile at 36. I think Jolteon deserves a separate analysis for Yellow because I might argue he could reach Top Tier there - and he comes at exactly the right time you're ready to ditch Pikachu for good.
 
You can technically give your yellow pikachu surf at level 5 if you have stadium. If you can give him surf then he's easily top tier.

Tbolt/surf/twave or dteam/ body slam wrecks the entire game.
 
^
And if I have another RBY game, I can give my level 5 Squirtle Surf, Blizzard, and Body Slam.

Trading, beyond just back and forth to allow Alakazam/Gengar/Machamp and in-game, is generally not allowed in making these tiers.
 

Mekkah

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Thanks for playing through and getting data that way, Naix.

I think Pikachu deserves Mid. Even though it's a glass cannon, it is relatively useful against generics without requiring additional investment at all, since the game is full of trainers with Pokemon that get OHKO'd by the moves it learns naturally. While it does really only beat one gym (Misty's), I think its low-resource nature and earlygame contributions can keep it a tier above the likes of Ekans and Magmar.

Mankey is one of those Pokemon completely dependent on the Dig TM, I think. If you give it to him, he can suddenly KO Gastly, Electric things, Poison thing, etc. If you don't, then he's as bad as Machop (who is still listed as High tier in OP...really not sure about that, despite the whole Machamp thing!).

Agreeing on the rest for now.
 
The two good things about Pikachu in Yellow are (1) Tentacruel and Zubat are everywhere, so its not hard to grind him (2) he is the only Pokemon in-game to learn Thunderbolt by level-up.

But other then that? He's decent in the beginning, falls behind later due to his low stats. I remember my Pikachu couldn't even overwhelm Loreli's Water Pokemon. I think the only E4 Pokemon i managed to beat with it were Golbat and Gyarados.
 
@Mekkah
Yellow Pikachu, from my experience, is similar to the Kokiri Sword in terms of usefulness. On Route 3, there's a trainer with 3 Lv. 9 Pidgeys. Pikachu was Lv. 10, and its Thundershock failed to OHKO any of them. I see Yellow Pikachu as an okay early-game Pokemon whose main use mid-game is to weaken wild Pokemon with Thunder Wave+Seismic Toss/Thundershock.
On an unrelated note, I think Ekans might have potential, as it's essenially Bellsprout-lite when it comes to Wrap, and it can learn Earthquake and Dig, which makes is a mini-Nidoking/queen in that regard. Arbok even has similar stats. I'd start a new file on Red to test it out if I didn't have a scramble file on it.
Magmar honestly deserves Bottom, in my opinion, due to the fact that it's a late-game Fire-type that only knows Ember and (possibly) Leer when you get it, making it very TM dependent. Also, for all the trouble of getting it, its stats are merely average, with nothing interesting, and it doesn't exactly excel anywhere.
TL;DR Yellow Pikachu should stay Low, Ekans has potential on paper, Magmar is terrible.

I do agree with you on Mankey, but I don't see Dig as useful on Mankey than on say, Charmander, as it and Karate Chop have the same base power. Because of that, Dig is really only useful for Electric- and Poison-types. Dig doesn't help its problem of failing to OHKO Pokemon that aren't hit super-effectively. I taught Mankey Dig in my file, and I probably should've mentioned I did, but the only reason I taught it that was because none of my other Pokemon could learn it. Overall, I stand on my tiering of Yellow Pikachu and Yellow Mankey at Low and Middle, respectively.
 
wait what the fuck
if RB Pikachu is mid tier how is Yellow Pikachu Low tier, esp. when Yellow Pika gets TBolt naturally and you actually don't have to /search/ for it.
 
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