VGC 2016 Viability Rankings

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Serapis

Losing my way to Victory
#1
approved by lucariojr
Welcome! In this thread, we as a community will rank every usable Pokemon into "tiers" based on how well they perform in the current metagame. This thread is NOT to put Pokemon into strict tiers (i.e., based on usage), but you're encouraged to post your thoughts and opinions on the various Pokemon that are usable in VGC16 and what tier they should fall under. The general idea of the topic is to rank each Pokemon under "rankings" that go in descending order (within each tier the Pokemon are ordered alphabetically). Since this is a general tier list, everything is lumped together. There won't be any segregation between offense & defense threats. Think of this as a guideline as to what's common and/or good in the metagame and what to watch out for when building teams.

Voting will happen when there isn't a general consensus on where a Pokemon should be tiered. Otherwise if there are a good amount of people nominating a tier change and it sounds good, it'll be edited in without having to go through voting (copied from lucariojr's post for 2015 rankings with slight updates).

Note: Restricted Legends will be included in these rankings based on their general viability in comparison to one another. Their presence is meant to provide context when discussing the tiering of other Pokemon (for example, you can't have a discussion about what tier Ferrothron should be in without mentioning Primal Groudon, and probably Primal Kyogre too). For discussion specific to the Restricted Legends, I also run this unofficial thread.

(Version 1.4)
S-Rank
Reserved for the top threats in the VGC16 metagame. The Pokemon in this tier are able to perform multiple roles to tremendous effect, whilst having few to no flaws. Support Pokemon in this tier can easily create free turns for their teammates without creating clear openings for the opponent. Any flaws that these Pokemon have can be taken care of with little to no team support.
S Rank
Mega-Kangaskhan
Primal Groudon
Primal Kyogre
Smeargle
Xerneas

A-Rank
Reserved for Pokemon that function very well within the current VGC16 metagame. The Pokemon in this tier are either able to perform multiple roles to great effect, or execute one extremely well. Support Pokemon in this tier can create free turns, but not as easily as those in the S Rank.The flaws that the Pokemon in this tier may have are usually mitigated by their positive traits, or with minimal team support.
A+ Rank
Mega-Rayquaza /
Rayquaza
Mega-Salamence
Talonflame

A Rank
Cresselia
Crobat
Mega-Mawile
Thundurus

A- Rank
Ferrothorn
Mega-Gengar
Landorus-T
Liepard
Togekiss
Yveltal

B-Rank
Reserved for Pokemon that fit well in the VGC16 metagame, but they have notable flaws that prevent them from filling their role to the fullest extent. The Pokemon in this tier are either predictable, require some team support to work to its full potential, or are at disadvantageous match-ups against some common threats. The flaws that the Pokemon in this tier have are mostly mitigated by their positive traits.
B+ Rank
Amoonguss
Dialga
Gengar
Ho-Oh
Palkia
Raichu

B Rank
Bronzong
Giratina-O
Mienshao
Weavile

B- Rank
Infernape
Klefki
Kyurem-White
Meowstic-M
Scizor
Tornadus
Whimsicott

C-Rank
Reserved for Pokemon that can work okay within the VGC16 metagame. However, they either have crippling flaws that prevent consistent performance or require much team support to work on most teams. Pokemon that have a few niches in the metagame but are mainly outclassed by higher-ranked Pokemon also belong here.
C+ Rank
Blaziken
Gyarados
Latios
Mega-Lopunny
Mega-Mewtwo-Y
Mewtwo
Togetic
Landorus-I
Ludicolo

C Rank
Breloom
Clefairy
Ditto
Gastrodon
Gothitelle
Mega-Swampert

C- Rank
Mega-Charizard-X
Mega-Gyarados
Mega-Tyranitar
Raikou
Shedinja


D-Rank
Many niche Pokemon can be squeezed into VGC16 teams due to a certain move or ability (niche Wide Guard or Intimidate users, for example). Many Pokemon fit here, but none of them have a place in the metagame solid enough to have a special spot on the rankings.
D Rank
Cherim
Golduck
Mega-Scizor

 
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#3
Uh someone must be a real big fan of M-Lopunny to have it jump from C in both 2015 viability rankings threads all the way up to A- in this years thread. Unless I'm missing something there should be no rhyme or reason for it jumping up that much that fast. And for that matter one could make the same argument for Crobat, Smeargle, and Liepard who are in A for some unknown reason.

Edit; Looking back to the 2nd 2015 thread, I'll concede Smeargle as it was in B- after the final update. But Crobat and Liepard don't make any sense, Liepard was in C-, and Crobat wasn't ranked at all and yet some how they're all kicking it in A (Most likely part of the massive amounts of Es)
 
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Pigeons

formerly Yuga42
#4
A couple things I'd like to address. Firstly, why is Mega Lopunny ranked so high? It's got a huge amount of competition for the mega slot and it doesn't really check anything noteworthy. I could be missing something obvious though :/. Secondly, I don't know if S-rank should be divided like it is. I don't think the current Pokemon residing in the rank have a great enough distance in their power levels to warrant separate ranks. Now a nom:

Landorus-I to B+ It does do a lot to Primal Groudon, but other than that it isn't good for much. Grass Knot is fun to hit Primal Kyogre but it doesn't do all that much, it doesn't even beat Groudon well considering how often it's paired with Cresselia, who craps on Landorus.
 
#5
Uh someone must be a real big fan of M-Lopunny to have it jump from C in both 2015 viability rankings threads all the way up to A- in this years thread. Unless I'm missing something there should be no rhyme or reason for it jumping up that much that fast.
A couple things I'd like to address. Firstly, why is Mega Lopunny ranked so high? It's got a huge amount of competition for the mega slot and it doesn't really check anything noteworthy. I could be missing something obvious though :/. Secondly, I don't know if S-rank should be divided like it is. I don't think the current Pokemon residing in the rank have a great enough distance in their power levels to warrant separate ranks. Now a nom:

Landorus-I to B+ It does do a lot to Primal Groudon, but other than that it isn't good for much. Grass Knot is fun to hit Primal Kyogre but it doesn't do all that much, it doesn't even beat Groudon well considering how often it's paired with Cresselia, who craps on Landorus.

Mega Lopunny this year has gained several niches which make it extremely viable in the 2016 format.

The fact of Limber pre-mega helps against Thundurus that are running around, and allows you to get off a solid 60% with a Return

Fake Out is also very viable in this format due to the amount of Pokemon trying to set up. Post-Mega it has the fastest non-boosted Fake Out in the game, which can help for something such as a Xerneas to set up and sweep. Other moves such as Encore help against any Pokemon going for Protect or trying to help support itself or its team mates.

It is also a very reliable Mega Kangaskhan counter due it's Fighting Typing Post-Mega as well as it having a faster Fake Out, which can be useful in a best of 3 situation, where you know if the opposing Kangaskhan's ability.

The Scrappy ability also helps against the common Mega-Gengar/Leipard teams as it allows for solid damage onto Gengar, and if played right you can knock out Leipard without sacrificing too much.
 
#6
Mega Lopunny this year has gained several niches which make it extremely viable in the 2016 format.

The fact of Limber pre-mega helps against Thundurus that are running around, and allows you to get off a solid 60% with a Return.
Lopunny loses Limber when mega-evolving before prankster t-wave, and the only reason you'd have Lopunny is to mega-evolve so the whole argument is moot. And all the issues that plagued it and kept it from being in A- last year are still there this year.

In short while it has picked up a trick or two with some new partners to choose from, it still isn't "extremely viable."
 
#7
Lopunny loses Limber when mega-evolving before prankster t-wave, and the only reason you'd have Lopunny is to mega-evolve so the whole argument is moot. And all the issues that plagued it and kept it from being in A- last year are still there this year.

In short while it has picked up a trick or two with some new partners to choose from, it still isn't "extremely viable."
You don't mega evolve when you see a Thundurus on the field. That sort of comes naturally while you are in the battle, so I would think it goes without saying.
 
#9
Or just not use Lopunny at all. It wasn't great in 2015, and legends being in the game doesn't change this.
Yes it actually does. The meta has changed so much from vgc 2015 due to legends being available in the format. It seems to me like you haven't played any vgc 16 as of yet, so you are making bias assumptions off a metagame that was different and no longer relevant. Look at something like Mega Charizard Y as an example. It was one of the strongest Mega Pokemon in the 2014&15 formats, but now due to legends becoming part of the ruleset, it has lost all of a niche it once had. Adding Pokemon does in fact change the format and metagame, so an argument like that is invalid. I can go through others if you would like of Pokemon that were viable that are not so much now.

Volcarona was viable in 2012, 13, & 15, but has now lost its niche in the metagame.
Tyranitar and Abomasnow have now lost their respective niches.
Gardevoir has no reason to be in the metagame now that we have Xerneas.
Oh hey, lookie there! It's a Hydreigon! I thought they all died out!

A ruleset change does make the difference.
 

DaAwesomeDude1

speed of the moment
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor Alumnus
#10
Yeah I really don't agree with Mega Lopunny up so high. I get that it has a faster Fake Out than Kangashan but honestly I'd rather just use Liepard instead of wasting my mega slot on it. Liepard is also arguably a better support Pokemon for Xerneas to facilitate Geomancy setup. Also tiny nitpick but Liepard actually has the fastest Fake Out in the game, if we're assuming that Lopunny hasn't already megaed. Lopunny doesn't really beat Thundurus 1v1 either in my opinion. It has limber yeah but like regular Lopunny is pitifully weak and if you're not megaing, that turn you're pretty much partnering your Pokemon up with a mediocre mon who's only job is to check Thundurus (and not even a good check too). I guess you can make an argument that Lopunny "beats" Aegislash/Ferro which helps Xerneas but that's not really worth it to put it into A- to be honest; and the only thing that Lopunny has over Kangaskhan is a faster Fake Out, which I also don't think justifies it enough to be in A-. Lopunny -> B-.
 

Take Azelfie

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#11
OK my input.
Golduck shouldn't be on this list as it does one thing (two I guess if you want to count Ice Beaming Mega Ray) and to be honest I was hoping it would be blacklisted -_-

Yveltal
A- ---> A+

With Yveltal being able to punish anything with a high attack as well as run a preculiar item in Black Glasses it is such an excellent choice. Not only that but its presence itself boost team mates Sucker Punches which applies a lot of pressure. Tailwind can be used to help boost the speed of team mates and Taunt can shut down Smeargle which litteraly just clicks Dark Void until it dies.

Primal Kyogre
S- ---> S

The S rank shouldn't really be split up that much to begin but that isn't the only reason why. Like PDon it forces players to have something to check this it would be Wide Guard to stop Origin Pulse or Ferrothorn with enough attack to OHKO some variants. It has little switch ins and can switch into PDon at times.

Talonflame
A+ ---> A

With so many things carrying priority this season to make sure they can stop legends easier this gives Talonflame a lot more competition and this year it isn't hitting an Amoonguss or a Mega Gardevoir. It is trying to attack PDon and Xerneas as well as Cresselia.

Mega Gengar
A+ ---> A-

The only reason I say this is because there is so much Sucker Punch it isn't even funny. But it is still really cool for a little bit of current anti-meta strats like cliche PDon + Skill Swap Cresselia

Landorus-I
A- ---> B+

It does a lot of damage to PDon since it will most likely be attacking from the special side but I don't think that is enough justification to be in the top ranks. I will make note though that it does possess Sludge Wave which does quite a bit (haven't done this match up in a while so I don't remember exacts.) before Xern sets up.

Mega Lopunny
A- ---> B+

It may have amazing speed tier but I just don't see myself ever using this over Mega Kangaskhan unless I have a normal weakness. It definately is better than last year though but once again I wouldn't reccomend it for top ranks.

Kyurem-White
B+ ---> A-

The only reasons is that this thing is going to nuke something on the field.

Rayquaza
B+ ---> A- or slashed next to Mega Ray

This is a really strange argument for it to be slashed with Mega Ray because we all know how powerful Mega Ray is. But basically my argument is that they are the same pokemon and both can be brought onto a team. What do I mean? I mean you can build a team meant to have Rayquaza and not Mega Rayquaza but still end up using it. Since this isn't a 6v6 but a 4v4 we won't always bring our mega and when we don't there would be absolutely no reason to not mega evolve Rayquaza since it isn't item bound. The both can play as sweepers and Rayquaza still has respectable power as well as damaging any Rage Powder pokemon super effectively. If people are to discuss anything on the ranking I would appreciate it if this was the topic.

Clefable
B ---> B+

Unaware + Follow Me is really devasting to set up sweepers in general. It also has some pretty cool. Encore is pretty annying and it has Heal Pulse which is really cool with all of the bulky things running around.

That is all for now since I have a lot more to comment about and I have to study for my final...

Wait a minute why Hitmontop C-... I will on that later.
 
#12
Uh someone must be a real big fan of M-Lopunny to have it jump from C in both 2015 viability rankings threads all the way up to A- in this years thread. Unless I'm missing something there should be no rhyme or reason for it jumping up that much that fast. And for that matter one could make the same argument for Crobat, Smeargle, and Liepard who are in A for some unknown reason.

Edit; Looking back to the 2nd 2015 thread, I'll concede Smeargle as it was in B- after the final update. But Crobat and Liepard don't make any sense, Liepard was in C-, and Crobat wasn't ranked at all and yet some how they're all kicking it in A (Most likely part of the massive amounts of Es)
Crobat has this weird niche of checking Xerneas. It has Inner Focus so it can't be Flinched and can Taunt it before it can set up. If it attacks it, Crobat can actually survive its Moonblast. A fast Super Fang is also amazing in a metagame where most Pokemon can 2HKO each other.
 

Take Azelfie

More flags more fun
#13
Crobat has this weird niche of checking Xerneas. It has Inner Focus so it can't be Flinched and can Taunt it before it can set up. If it attacks it, Crobat can actually survive its Moonblast. A fast Super Fang is also amazing in a metagame where most Pokemon can 2HKO each other.
Yh I agree with Crobat getting a huge buff this year with Super Fang, Taunt, and Inner Focus. I would also like to make a mention of Quick Guard to for Sucker Punch.

Also not trying to mini mod here but when you guys make nominations it would probably be better if we had the thought process of 2 legendaries + 4 norms instead of just thinking how much the legendaries impact the pokemon. A pokemon simply should not go down to do D just because the presence of PDon "scares it" and a pokemon should not rise just because of it either *cough cough Golduck*
 
#14
What does Mega Mewtwo X do that makes it a higher rank than its Y counterpart? Also curious as to what makes Goodra B?

I feel Whimsicott should be moved up. From my personal experience using it so far, with access to the fastest Prankster Taunt (I think?) followed by Encore, it can really mess up set up mons, Fake Out users and Protect users with ease, all 3 of which are extremely common right now. Xerneas absolutely hates this thing. With Whimsi around, it can't set up Geomancy unless it wants to be Encored in to it, which actually leaves it wide open for not one, but two turns.
 

Ace Emerald

The hero pays the price
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
#15
I think we should all agree up front that viability rankings are going to be a pain this year. Teams consist of: restricted legends, megas, regular good mons, and weird tech counters that perform well in certain roles. Its really hard to compare these different types of team members because what they bring to the team and how they preform varies widely. So just keep that in mind when viewing the rankings and arguing your points.
 

Take Azelfie

More flags more fun
#16
What does Mega Mewtwo X do that makes it a higher rank than its Y counterpart? Also curious as to what makes Goodra B?

I feel Whimsicott should be moved up. From my personal experience using it so far, with access to the fastest Prankster Taunt (I think?) followed by Encore, it can really mess up set up mons and Protect users with ease. Xerneas absolutely hates this thing. With Whimsi around, it can't set up Geomancy unless it wants to be Encored in to it, which actually leaves it wide open for not one, but two turns.
What does Mega Mewtwo X do that makes it a higher rank than its Y counterpart?
I would assume that there are a lot more special attackers such as POgre that don't don't up a mega slot, also if I remember MM2Y doesn't kill anything significant that M2 doesn't.

Also curious as to what makes Goodra B?
Also assuming that its dragon typing allows it to take hits from POgre and ummm... i honestly have no idea why it is up so high not that I am thinking about it.

Whim is fine where it is in my opinion but just to clarify Liepard is faster.
 
#17
How viable would Snatch be as a niche Xerneas counter? Notable users are Gardevoir, Gengar, Crobat, Mewtwo, Rotom, Talonflame.

Or would Taunt just be better because it works for so much more?

(also: require some team support to work to it's full potential; that should be "its")
 

Take Azelfie

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#19
How viable would Snatch be as a niche Xerneas counter? Notable users are Gardevoir, Gengar, Crobat, Mewtwo, Rotom, Talonflame.

Or would Taunt just be better because it works for so much more?

(also: require some team support to work to it's full potential; that should be "its")
Taunt is overall just better since it also stops many other things then just primarily Xerneas. It is a decent gimmick but a gimmick none of the less. Plus using Snatch locks you into Geomancy meaning you'll have to wait a turn to get the boost anyway.
 
#21
Taunt is overall just better since it also stops many other things then just primarily Xerneas. It is a decent gimmick but a gimmick none of the less. Plus using Snatch locks you into Geomancy meaning you'll have to wait a turn to get the boost anyway.
Ah, it didn't cross my mind that you'd have to charge, that kinda ruins it (you're not gonna waste a moveslot AND item just for Xerneas)
 
#22
Why the fuck is Aegislash A+? It can't trade for shit anymore.

Also
Taunt is overall just better since it also stops many other things then just primarily Xerneas. It is a decent gimmick but a gimmick none of the less. Plus using Snatch locks you into Geomancy meaning you'll have to wait a turn to get the boost anyway.
Stop bullshitting, you can't snatch Geomancy on its charging turn.
 
#23
Why the fuck is Aegislash A+? It can't trade for shit anymore.
- it beats Xerneas
- it beats Cresselia
- Hidden Power Ice allows it to beat Mega Rayquaza (outside of strong winds), Mega Salamence and Landorus-T
- it walls Kangaskhan to hell and back
- it is the only viable Wide Guard user

EDIT: You're right about Snatch though. It does absolutely nothing against Geomancy.
 
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#24
Nominating Cherrim and Lilligant to C-. They both have niches (groudon partners) but they're pretty weak otherwise.

The only reason you'd use cherrim is for Flower Gift (boosts Atk and SpD of itself and partners by 1.5x) and I've seen it used a few times. This allows your partner groudon to be even stronger and helps patch up its weaker SpD.
It's got a small but decent support movepool with Helping Hand, Heal Pulse, Worry Seed, Leech Seed, and Grass Knot for damage.

Lilligant is basically a sun version of Stoutland last year, with Chlorophyll and After You. It also has a fast Sleep Powder as well as Role Play, Helping Hand, Worry Seed, Charm, with the usual grass moves for damage. Good for patching up groudon's speed and letting it get off fast eruptions or whatever.
 
#25
Ho-Oh: B --> A
Ho-Oh is v good. It has a great mix of offenses and defenses, able to check Primal Don and Xerneas, and threaten physical attackers with a burn from Sacred Fire. What's more, it can provide speed control in the form of Tailwind. It's also a complete nuke under sun.

Kyogre: C+ --> B
w/ Air Lock/Cloud Nine support, ScarfOgre can actually mess up your opponent pretty bad.
 
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