VGC 2016 Viability Rankings

Status
Not open for further replies.

Take Azelfie

More flags more fun
On iPhone so this won't be as fancy and neat as I hope to be.

Latios
B ---> B+ / A-

Latios I feel is one of those hidden treasures. What Latios can do is absolutely phenomenal. First off I will state what Latios can do since it hasn't been tested out by much. The first set is a Choice Scarf set with Psychic, Draco Meteor, Trick and either Tailwind, Grass Knot or Memento. Basically Latios is something you can bring reliably in non Yveltal match ups (if you don't understand why you shouldn't bring it is because the Pokemon brought in Yveltal teams tend to have Sucker Punch which is boosted by Dark Aura) Most of the time you can freely click Psychic which does huge chunks of damage to the opponent and you use the others moves when the situation comes (knowing you'll die so using Draco also targeting Dragons, Trick sabotages non Smeargle support on Xerneas who haven't set up yet. Grass Knot for POgre and the other two for support options after Trick.) This set is just a fast reliable special scarfer that deals chunks of damage. The other set I use is White Herb which pretty much just means you get a two time nuke which is very helpful in a meta full of bulk. Now if you choose Latios on your team it can usually fit in just perfectly. Latios phenomenal speed tier means it usually has the edge on who goes first and high special attack without the need of a power boosting item is great. Not to mention is resist fire and water attacks making it great as a second force then something you lead with. And finally this thing needs absolutely 0 support to function properly and it doesn't take a restricted legend spot.
 
Scarf locking is annoying in VGC, especially when there are many things that resist or are immune to what you're deciding to lock yourself into in A or above. There are like 4 things in A or higher that scarf Latios can really win against and since the top mons are spammed like crazy you're not going to get far with Latios.
Also every uber aside from Palkia and Rayquaza smashes Latios without taking much in return, and XY duo does w/e the fuck they want because they can take as many hits from Latios as they want. As our two best megas rn carry Sucker Punch, Latios faces even more severe complications.
Lastly almost every team that top cut a regional that I've looked at so far eats Latios for breakfast.

Clefairy UR -> B-
This thing is annoying af and Friend Guard makes living pdon Precipice Blades/Eruption possible for whatever partner needs it :)
This thing is so tanky that with a spread of 244 HP / 124+ Def / 140 SpD you are guaranteed to live LO Jolly Rayquaza Dragon Ascent and Primal Groudon Eruption and have a 5/16 chance to live Primal Kyogre Water Spout, and it has access to TWave/Icy Wind/Gravity/whatever else you really want, which is nice.
 
Does anyone else feel like Xerneas doesn't deserve S-rank? It's part of the Big 6 and a top tier Pokemon for sure, but I don't think its the right fit for S rank. Let me quote the definition, as so many do when making these arguments:


  1. Multiple roles: Xerneas has exactly one role. I'm sure someone out there is running a Xerneas without Geomancy, but the vast, vast majority are running almost the exact same set.
  2. Few to no flaws: debatable, but reliance on a consumable item and a setup move are two flaws in my book.
  3. No team support needed: This is the big one for me. Xerneas needs team support to set up correctly. It needs Kangaskhan or Smeargle to help it boost, and then it needs Khangaskhan/Groudon/Fire type to help it sweep through Steel-types. I'm not saying it needs crazy, team defining support. It's not 2015 Mega Camerupt. But it does need something to help it become a relevant threat, unlike the Primals which hit the field and are immediately threatening.

Xerneas fits exactly with the definition of A rank: its very effective in the metagame, performs one role very well, and needs minimal team support to function.


virginia regionals top 8. Xerneas is A rank for sure with these results.


Anyhow real talk. This is a long overdue but

Smeargle A+ => S
>provides unparalleled team support with just it existing on team preview since it pressures and forces your opponent to use random mons that exist solely to beat smeargle and have limited utility outside of that.
>in bo1 format which is where the vast majority of games is played, the coinflip between sash and scarf is fucking brutal since if you mispredict which one it is, then you will almost certainly lose.
>dark void is broke as fuck
>the huge amount of coinflips advantageous for the smeargle user via fake out/spiky shield/transform/follow me shananigans where if your opp mispredicts once then they'll almost certainly lose
>cheeses out potential checks with moody bullshit giving it like evasion/speed boosts xd
>expansive support movepool and unpredictability forces your opp to react to you.
>with stronger partners the opportunity cost for attacking smeargle is far larger than it was in the past and xern is stupid as fuck alongside it

It simply provides unparalleled team support and is unhealthy as fuck for the metagame but it's so undeniably good that anything less than S rank is underselling it.
 


virginia regionals top 8. Xerneas is A rank for sure with these results.


Anyhow real talk. This is a long overdue but

Smeargle A+ => S
>provides unparalleled team support with just it existing on team preview since it pressures and forces your opponent to use random mons that exist solely to beat smeargle and have limited utility outside of that.
>in bo1 format which is where the vast majority of games is played, the coinflip between sash and scarf is fucking brutal since if you mispredict which one it is, then you will almost certainly lose.
>dark void is broke as fuck
>the huge amount of coinflips advantageous for the smeargle user via fake out/spiky shield/transform/follow me shananigans where if your opp mispredicts once then they'll almost certainly lose
>cheeses out potential checks with moody bullshit giving it like evasion/speed boosts xd
>expansive support movepool and unpredictability forces your opp to react to you.
>with stronger partners the opportunity cost for attacking smeargle is far larger than it was in the past and xern is stupid as fuck alongside it

It simply provides unparalleled team support and is unhealthy as fuck for the metagame but it's so undeniably good that anything less than S rank is underselling it.
the main problem of smeargle is smeargle by itself, but smeargle and a legendary. In previous gens, smeargle was mediocre, due to its low speed and lots of frailty. However, all that is overrided when YOU CAN FREAKIN BOOST THREE OF YOUR STATS IN A SINGLE TURN. DO THIS, YOU WIN. THAT IS BROKEN.
Tl:dr: smeargle by itself is mediocre, smeargle with non-restricted is mediocre, smeargle with legendary is 2Op4me
 
Klefki. Prankster Safeguard. Fuck Smeargle, and its entire existence, for 5 turns, regardless of whether or not Klefki is even on the field.
Steel type with Prankster Thunder Wave and Swagger to render Xern a massively buffed punching bag. I guess you could Psych Up on it too, why not.
Lemme tell ya something about Klefki from VGC15 and BSD: Mega Khan and Mega Mence do nothing to it. Nothing. I run Safeguard just for cheese teams and Smeargle. It's utterly fucked by Pdon, sure, but so is 95% of the metagame.
Rayquaza, needs Fire Blast / Overheat to even tickle it; after it gets T-Waved of course.

Does nothing against KhanArtist unless you run Protect though.
 

Psynergy

Fighting defines me, and I will not lose.
is a Live Chat Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
BSS Tour Champion
Just out of curiosity, why is talonflame above crobat?
Thanks :)
Well keep in mind that the rankings are still in huge need of an update and not necessarily accurate at the moment. That being said I think those two are probably fine where they're at. Both are similar in that they're Tailwind/Quick Guard supports that can possibly check Xerneas and can actually do something when there's a Groudon on the field (unlike Steels like Ferrothorn which are too slow). The difference is that Talonflame has notable offensive presence and a useful Fire-typing to deal with Steel-types, which also proves to be very useful on teams lacking Groudon. Meanwhile Crobat is much more focused in support, and although Crobat is really good at what it does, its typical lack of offensive pressure can be a problem sometimes. Talonflame is also less bothered by Trick Room going up since Crobat has to deal with Mental Herbs getting in its way when Taunting stuff. For what it's worth though, Talonflame is 5th in usage on the Battle Spot Special ladder while Crobat is 10th. They could probably go in the same rank though if either of them is better than the other, I'd say Talonflame has just a little more in its favor.
 

Serapis

Losing my way to Victory
Update to Version 1.4

Smeargle to S
Let's face it, at least for the moment Smeargle is the defining threat of this metagame every bit as much as Primal Groudon, Kangaskhan and Xerneas. (on the topic of Xerneas, I'm going to leave it at S Rank for the moment but we'll see how it continues to fare as the metagame grows and it may or may not drop)

Mega-Rayquaza/Rayquaza and Mega-Salamence to A+

Should have happened awhile ago, honestly. The both (all three) are definitely strong enough to warrant the bump up.

Mega-Gengar to A-
The first of the former A+ combo to drop, Mega-Gengar just isn't consistent enough for A+. It's still plenty strong which is why it gets to stay in A, but the drop should better reflect it's abilities.

Mega-Mawile to A
Mawile has been seeing decidedly more usage overall than Gengar and is just a more solid option (not to mention that it fits quite well onto Ray/Ogre Trick Room teams).

Ho-Oh to B+
This is a simple, preliminary drop. Ho-Oh has really suffered from the massive rise in Ray/Ogre, and while it certainly may regain some usage it's just not solid enough in this metagame to be an A class threat.

Palkia to B+
Palkia and Dialga both preform similar roles; they're bulky yet offensive Trick Room setters that have pretty decent matchups against Ray Ogre. They don't have the dominating presence of the A rank threats like Rayquaza but they're things to be wary of. For the moment, I think they should be grouped together.

Bronzong added to B
Let's be real here, Bronzong is cool. It's been doing quite well at events and fits into the meta very well at this point in time. I'm not certain how long Bronzong will remain a thing for, but I'd say it's performance thus far merits at least the B rank.

Gengar to B+
Regular Gengar finds itself comfortable enough in this meta. With decent speed control from Icy Wind, nice Poison and Ghost dual typing and Taunt it can be a nice Pokemon to round out teams.

Whimsicott to B-
Just not seeing much usage. It's extremely passive for the most part (which isn't necessarily an issue) and that doesn't seem to be something players are gravitating towards at the moment.

Tornadus to B-
Tornadus is mostly (entirely) on this list because of it's usage in Scar's Double Primal team. Still, that team was built at the very start of the format and is becoming less and less applicable to the growing meta. If it continues, Tornadus may very well be unranked.

Giratina-O to B
Mostly a usage thing as well. The metagame isn't actually all that unfriendly to it, but it'll remain at B- for the moment. I'll actually be interested to see where it goes as the season progresses; it seems like something that would make a good anti-meta pick.

Kyurem-White added to B-
I don't actually understand how this thing is doing well. I intend to have a discussion with Patrick Smith about it at some point, but for now it's back onto the viability rankings because of it's repeatedly good finishes.

Mewtwo and Mega-Mewtwo-Y added to C+
They've Cut events and weren't bad Pokemon to begin with. Though there's a decent opportunity cost, you can certainly do worse.

Latios and Mega-Lopunny to C+
Both were ranked notably more highly than they should have been. Latios I could see going back up because it has a unique combination of features that give it a nice matchup against the meta; Mega-Lopunny just finds itself getting KOed by everything and anything in this meta.

Clefairy added to C
It Top Cut an event and has Friend Guard + Redirection. Although going bulky in this format with Water Spouts and Eruptions flying everywhere is risky, it can be done and Clefairy is a decent way to let normally frailer Pokemon actually survive attacks.

PLEASE READ:
C- and below do need to be cleaned up, I know, but I would really like it if you could focus your discussions on the B rank for the moment. B (regular) in particular is decidedly shaky and I need to decide how to shift around Pokemon to make it somewhat better. Meinshao should drop, and probably Weavile as well, but I'm not sure where to put them or what to fill out the B tier with. Thanks for your time.
 
Update to Version 1.4

Smeargle to S
Let's face it, at least for the moment Smeargle is the defining threat of this metagame every bit as much as Primal Groudon, Kangaskhan and Xerneas. (on the topic of Xerneas, I'm going to leave it at S Rank for the moment but we'll see how it continues to fare as the metagame grows and it may or may not drop)
Mega-Rayquaza/Rayquaza and Mega-Salamence to A+
Should have happened awhile ago, honestly. The both (all three) are definitely strong enough to warrant the bump up.

Mega-Gengar to A-
The first of the former A+ combo to drop, Mega-Gengar just isn't consistent enough for A+. It's still plenty strong which is why it gets to stay in A, but the drop should better reflect it's abilities.

Mega-Mawile to A
Mawile has been seeing decidedly more usage overall than Gengar and is just a more solid option (not to mention that it fits quite well onto Ray/Ogre Trick Room teams).

Ho-Oh to B+
This is a simple, preliminary drop. Ho-Oh has really suffered from the massive rise in Ray/Ogre, and while it certainly may regain some usage it's just not solid enough in this metagame to be an A class threat.

Palkia to B+
Palkia and Dialga both preform similar roles; they're bulky yet offensive Trick Room setters that have pretty decent matchups against Ray Ogre. They don't have the dominating presence of the A rank threats like Rayquaza but they're things to be wary of. For the moment, I think they should be grouped together.

Bronzong added to B
Let's be real here, Bronzong is cool. It's been doing quite well at events and fits into the meta very well at this point in time. I'm not certain how long Bronzong will remain a thing for, but I'd say it's performance thus far merits at least the B rank.

Gengar to B+
Regular Gengar finds itself comfortable enough in this meta. With decent speed control from Icy Wind, nice Poison and Ghost dual typing and Taunt it can be a nice Pokemon to round out teams.

Whimsicott to B-
Just not seeing much usage. It's extremely passive for the most part (which isn't necessarily an issue) and that doesn't seem to be something players are gravitating towards at the moment.

Tornadus to B-
Tornadus is mostly (entirely) on this list because of it's usage in Scar's Double Primal team. Still, that team was built at the very start of the format and is becoming less and less applicable to the growing meta. If it continues, Tornadus may very well be unranked.

Giratina-O to B
Mostly a usage thing as well. The metagame isn't actually all that unfriendly to it, but it'll remain at B- for the moment. I'll actually be interested to see where it goes as the season progresses; it seems like something that would make a good anti-meta pick.

Kyurem-White added to B-
I don't actually understand how this thing is doing well. I intend to have a discussion with Patrick Smith about it at some point, but for now it's back onto the viability rankings because of it's repeatedly good finishes.

Mewtwo and Mega-Mewtwo-Y added to C+
They've Cut events and weren't bad Pokemon to begin with. Though there's a decent opportunity cost, you can certainly do worse.

Latios and Mega-Lopunny to C+
Both were ranked notably more highly than they should have been. Latios I could see going back up because it has a unique combination of features that give it a nice matchup against the meta; Mega-Lopunny just finds itself getting KOed by everything and anything in this meta.

Clefairy added to C
It Top Cut an event and has Friend Guard + Redirection. Although going bulky in this format with Water Spouts and Eruptions flying everywhere is risky, it can be done and Clefairy is a decent way to let normally frailer Pokemon actually survive attacks.

PLEASE READ:
C- and below do need to be cleaned up, I know, but I would really like it if you could focus your discussions on the B rank for the moment. B (regular) in particular is decidedly shaky and I need to decide how to shift around Pokemon to make it somewhat better. Meinshao should drop, and probably Weavile as well, but I'm not sure where to put them or what to fill out the B tier with. Thanks for your time.
Agree! Thanks for listening to my suggestions!
 
Clefairy to B-: It has notable access to After You, which gives it a niche in that it can handle Trick Room way much more reliably than Togekiss. Also Magic Coat cheese.
 
Clefairy to B-: It has notable access to After You, which gives it a niche in that it can handle Trick Room way much more reliably than Togekiss. Also Magic Coat cheese.
Togekiss (and togetic) get After You (and Magic Coat) as well, and they also both have access to tailwind for helping with non-TR teams.
 

Jibaku

Who let marco in here????
is a Forum Moderatoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Moderator
Weavile could actually use a raise to B+ instead of a drop. Its offensive typing is quite strong in this metagame, and it crucially has more Speed than Mega Salamence and Mega Rayquaza, something no other Ice mon can claim unless you count Greninja as one. It's not particularly powerful, but its utility is very notable. Fastest unboosted turn 1 Fake Out in the game (bypasses Adamant Talonflame Quick Guard), one of the rare users of Feint (which is extremely strong given how difficult switches can be in this metagame, forcing key Pokemon to Protect more often), and can even Snatch Tailwinds and quickly shift momentum (i lost to this at the regional ;_;). A swift Knock Off removes Power Herb from Xerneas, slowing its Geomancy attempt.

Kyurem-W is something I'm curious about and I want to attribute that to how powerful Ice is as an offensive type in this metagame as there are many Ice weaks and not many Ice resists, and Kyu can really abuse that with its 170 base special attack. However, Kyurem-W has a notable number of weaknesses so I am not quite sure how people are fitting it in.
 
Does anyone else feel like Xerneas doesn't deserve S-rank? It's part of the Big 6 and a top tier Pokemon for sure, but I don't think its the right fit for S rank. Let me quote the definition, as so many do when making these arguments:


  1. Multiple roles: Xerneas has exactly one role. I'm sure someone out there is running a Xerneas without Geomancy, but the vast, vast majority are running almost the exact same set.
  2. Few to no flaws: debatable, but reliance on a consumable item and a setup move are two flaws in my book.
  3. No team support needed: This is the big one for me. Xerneas needs team support to set up correctly. It needs Kangaskhan or Smeargle to help it boost, and then it needs Khangaskhan/Groudon/Fire type to help it sweep through Steel-types. I'm not saying it needs crazy, team defining support. It's not 2015 Mega Camerupt. But it does need something to help it become a relevant threat, unlike the Primals which hit the field and are immediately threatening.

Xerneas fits exactly with the definition of A rank: its very effective in the metagame, performs one role very well, and needs minimal team support to function.
I've been saying this since the start of the meta. It never deserved S rank.
 
To address what people have been saying about Xerneas not being S Rank:

There are no reasons for it to not be S Rank. It's so deeply meta game defining that we see lots of Mawile and Ferrothorn that would otherwise get much less usage, and we see little [Mega] Rayquaza and few choices for Mega Evolutions outside of Kangaskhan, which dents Xerneas hard, Salamence, which gets completely fucked up by it, and Mega Gengar, which is designed to trap and kill things like Xerneas. They don't even do their jobs well at all rofl. The only things that do really good at checking Xerneas are Mawile, Ferrothorn, and the two Primals (assuming it's not Grass Knot Xern), as well as some things that are so batshit crazy that they would hardly get usage if Xerneas didn't exist. This meta game is also literally designed to make setup with something like Xerneas hella quick and easy, as Smeargle's Dark Void and Kangaskhan's Fake Out both exist and are readily available for you to abuse next to an Xerneas that'll magically transform into +2/+2/+2 by the next turn and OHKO virtually everything in its path.
There's also like a ton of pressure you put out at +2/+2/+2 that your opponent will often have to ignore Xerneas' partner in order to rid themselves of their biggest problems, which is just ridiculous.
It has a few flaws of course as it struggles with hitting Primals and struggles with speed control, but that's actually very normal for something and the small number of good checks to it can easily be prepared for in something like Primal Groudon as mentioned earlier.

This thing also has a monstrous record at regionals rn
 
To address what people have been saying about Xerneas not being S Rank:

There are no reasons for it to not be S Rank. It's so deeply meta game defining that we see lots of Mawile and Ferrothorn that would otherwise get much less usage, and we see little [Mega] Rayquaza and few choices for Mega Evolutions outside of Kangaskhan, which dents Xerneas hard, Salamence, which gets completely fucked up by it, and Mega Gengar, which is designed to trap and kill things like Xerneas. They don't even do their jobs well at all rofl. The only things that do really good at checking Xerneas are Mawile, Ferrothorn, and the two Primals (assuming it's not Grass Knot Xern), as well as some things that are so batshit crazy that they would hardly get usage if Xerneas didn't exist. This meta game is also literally designed to make setup with something like Xerneas hella quick and easy, as Smeargle's Dark Void and Kangaskhan's Fake Out both exist and are readily available for you to abuse next to an Xerneas that'll magically transform into +2/+2/+2 by the next turn and OHKO virtually everything in its path.
There's also like a ton of pressure you put out at +2/+2/+2 that your opponent will often have to ignore Xerneas' partner in order to rid themselves of their biggest problems, which is just ridiculous.
It has a few flaws of course as it struggles with hitting Primals and struggles with speed control, but that's actually very normal for something and the small number of good checks to it can easily be prepared for in something like Primal Groudon as mentioned earlier.

This thing also has a monstrous record at regionals rn
I think the language you're using massively overhypes Xerneas. Every mon you listed (Mawile, Ferrothorn, both Primals) is ranked nearly the same as it, so it's not as if these checks aren't common in the metagame already; they're not exclusively used to check it.

Also, you say that it's "hella easy" for Xerneas to set up. Taunt Crobat, Fake Out Kangaskhan, opposing Smeargle, Trick Room etc. all say hello make life rather difficult for Xerneas whether it is or isn't set up. A well played team makes it difficult for Xerneas to set up too; I can say this from experience. Even if it sets up, checks like Primal Groudon and Ho-Oh mean it can't do much, barring an unlucky critical hit. When I was at Anaheim regionals this past weekend, Xerneas was one of the least threatening mons that I encountered. My team had 3 resists to it, but I had them not because I was trying really hard to check it, but rather, their synergy was something I was comfortable using.

Don't forget that Xerneas isn't all that strong of an option when it can't set up, which makes it somewhat one-dimensional because it relies on setting up to be the "metagame threat" that everyone hypes it up to be. That, combined with its ability to be checked by numerous mons, easily knocks it out of S. Primal Kyogre is more scary than this damn thing (remember when everyone wanted it ranked lower than the other S mons and higher than everything else in A? THAT is bat shit crazy lmfao)
 
Last edited:
Nomming dialga to A-
After looking at a few regionals and premier challenges, I have noticed that "the big six" is not as common as it used go be. Currently, ray ogre is king. Which dialga straight up counters. It has access to trick room, which screws over mega Ray like nothing else, resists to water, even tanking a water spout easily. While palkia is more versatile due to its 4 times resists to fire and water, it doesn't nuke mega Ray like dialga does.
 
I think that a redirector and Crobat can beat a Kangaskhan and Xerneas lead. The redirector uses Follow Me so Crobat doesn't get the fake out, Crobat can taunt and shut down Geomancy.
After that, I don't know what happens.
 
I think that a redirector and Crobat can beat a Kangaskhan and Xerneas lead. The redirector uses Follow Me so Crobat doesn't get the fake out, Crobat can taunt and shut down Geomancy.
After that, I don't know what happens.
Crobat has inner focus so it already doesn't care about fake out
 
I think that a redirector and Crobat can beat a Kangaskhan and Xerneas lead. The redirector uses Follow Me so Crobat doesn't get the fake out, Crobat can taunt and shut down Geomancy.
After that, I don't know what happens.
Even if Crobat doesn't get Inner Focus and redirection was still +3 that's a fucking terrible gameplan to have. Redirectors usually can't do damage for shit so you're just potentially giving free damage.
 

Jibaku

Who let marco in here????
is a Forum Moderatoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Moderator
Kangaskhan Xern lead is relatively simple to beat. If you have a Xern check that doesnt get melted by Kanga (Scizor, Mawile, Sub Aegislash, having an Intimidate partner can help in the case of Crobat and Ferrothorn. List is a lot longer than this), or 2 xern checks (don't have to be hard checks but stuff that deter its setup, like Talonflame, Groudon, Thundurus, etc), then Xerneas won't like setting up at all.

Xerneas is only truly terrifying in the presence of redirection support.
 
Even if Crobat doesn't get Inner Focus and redirection was still +3 that's a fucking terrible gameplan to have. Redirectors usually can't do damage for shit so you're just potentially giving free damage.
Out of curiosity, do you think redirecting is bad? Or maybe just in this situation? Are there any good options for redirecting? Because if used correctly, redirecting can save you, can't it?
 

Jibaku

Who let marco in here????
is a Forum Moderatoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Moderator
the problem with redirection + crobat is that the duo has virtually no offensive threat, and crobat is not a Pokemon that's worth protecting for the most part. It's a semi-suicidal utility lead, not something you want to keep on the field for a long time.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.