Resource VGC 2017 Viability Rankings (Currently Outdated)

#1
credit to PKGaming and FlareBlitz for the idea; run by Alex Gomez, blarajan, and SamVGC

This thread is now the property of supreme overlord Jibaku.

OP stolen from Little Cup

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Welcome to the VGC viability ranking project. In this project, we will "tier" every Pokemon based on usefulness. An initial tier list has already been made; if you think something should be moved up or down, post in this thread with your reasoning on why, and the change may be enacted, but please make sure you have a proper understanding of the current metagame before doing so. Bad/basic posts will be deleted, and repeated offenses may be punished by infraction. However, asking questions about why certain Pokemon are ranked where they are is acceptable.

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Viability Ranking Council
For more controversial cases, the viability ranking council will vote on the Pokemon's tiering.
probably going to involve substantial cronyism

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UPCOMING POTENTIAL SHAKEUPS:
- Pokebank stuff
- Bounce Gyarados

Tier List

Without further ado, here is the initial tier list with the rough definitions of each tier (note: Pokemon are ordered alphabetically).

(-) indicates potential drop
(+) indicates potential rise

S-Rank

Reserved for the very best Pokemon in the VGC metagame. These Pokemon are usually able to perform a variety of roles effectively, or can just do one extremely well. Their use has low risk involved and high reward exerted. Pokemon in this tier have very few flaws that are patched up by numerous positive traits.
Nothing for the time being. Whether or not this section should exist for VGC 2017 will still remain open for debate, however.

A-Rank

Reserved for Pokemon that are outstanding in the VGC metagame and can handle various field positions effectively or support multiple win conditions. These Pokemon require less support than other Pokemon to be used effectively and have few flaws that can be overlooked when compared to their outstanding traits.
A+

Arcanine
Celesteela
Garchomp
Kartana (-)
Porygon2
Tapu Fini
Tapu Koko
Tapu Lele

A

Araquanid
Muk
Ninetales

A-
Gyarados
Krookodile
Nihilego
Snorlax

B-Rank

Reserved for Pokemon who are great in the VGC metagame. These Pokemon have more notable flaws than of those above it that affects how they function in the tier. Their positive traits still outshine their negatives, but they require a bit more team support to bring out their full potential. Their niches are often slightly smaller than those that are in A and S rank, which leads them to face some competition for a teamslot.
B+

Gastrodon
Gigalith
Golduck
Goodra
Mandibuzz
Marowak
Metagross
Milotic
Mudsdale
Pelipper
Pheromosa
Politoed
Tapu Bulu
Torkoal
Vikavolt

B

Aerodactyl
Braviary
Buzzwole
Gengar
Hariyama
Lilligant
Oranguru
Porygon-Z
Raichu
Salamence
Talonflame
Vanilluxe
B-

Drampa
Incineroar
Magnezone
Mimikyu
Mismagius (+)
Persian (Alola)
Silvally-Normal
Smeargle
Whimsicott
Xurkitree

C-Rank

Reserved for Pokemon that have notable niches in the VGC metagame, but have just as notable flaws that prevent them from being effective. Pokemon in the C tier often require significant support to be effective in VGC. C rank Pokemon tend to find themselves outclassed by Pokemon in the above tiers, and face a lot of competition for a team slot.
C

Kommo-O
Primarina
Sandslash (Alola)
Silvally (other forms as of now) (+)

D-Rank

Reserved for Pokemon that are generally bad in the VGC metagame, but are decent enough to justify their occasional use on some teams. These Pokemon are either usable but have no real niche, or are only capable of doing their specific task and fail at doing anything more than that. Their niche is often so tiny, that they are not worth using the majority of the time.
D-Rank

haven't gotten to garbage yet
Z-Rank

Reserved for specific hard setups that's just tough to classify under any of the above rank. These Pokemon can snowball very quickly out of control if not stopped early on or specifically teched for, but have inherent major flaws stopping them from taking over the metagame by force.
Eevee
Oricorio-Pom Pom
Palossand
 
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#2
I had to CTRL+F to make sure, but I don't see Oranguru on the list.

I would vote to put Oranguru in B-Tier. It's unique access to instruct gives it a fantastic niche on trick room teams, and is a very important aspect of the well-known Oranguru+Torkoal+Liligant core. While not as universally usable as P2 as a trick-room setter, due to less bulk and weakness to Dark-Type and Bug-Type attacks, carried by other prevalent Pokemon like Krookodile and Kartana, as well as Vikavolt and Araquanid who, notably, underspeed Oranguru under Trick Room. Outside of supporting it's partner, Oranguru has two offensive options, Psychic/Psyshock or Foul Play, depending on what you need it to hit on your opponent's side.

Not sure if this is enough to give it a solid rank, but I do hope it's enough to get the discussion started on Oranguru.
 
#3
Here's a few nominations to start:

Decidueye C -> unranked
It's just straight up bad. It doesn't hit very hard, it doesn't take hits well, it's slow, and the only thing it can kinda do is trap things with spirit shackle. It's basically a worse Dhelmise, and that thing isn't even good either.

Tapu Bulu B -> B+
While "is it the worst tapu" is an argument I'm inclined to agree with, I don't think it's anywhere near this bad. It hits hella hard with terrain-boosted wood hammers, it can survive for a long time with horn leech, leech seed, leftovers, terrain, and so on, and it's got pretty good bulk, and the team support it provides with grassy terrain reducing the power of earthquakes is extremely useful for certain team types. It's not fantastic with the current meta trends but it is by no means as "meh" as things like mismagius.

Mismagius B -> B- (or C+ if B- isn't a thing we're doing)
Speaking of which, why is this thing B? The only thing it does better than gengar is float and have a fire move to hit kartana with. It's an extremely niche pick otherwise and will die down as soon as kartana stops being on every team.

Milotic A -> B+
I really don't like how reliant it is on opposing intimidates to be useful. If your opponent doesn't carry it, milotic is basically dead weight. It also has a lot of competition from other bulky waters like tapu fini and gastrodon.

Talonflame unranked -> C-
Yes, it got hit hard with the nerf bat, but its STABs still hurt a lot and it still has tricks up its sleeve like priority tailwind and a load of useful support moves. It also has access to priority supersonic skystrike, which is stupidly powerful. And even without gale wings it's still fast enough to outspeed most of the metagame anyway -- it just has to watch out for trick room now (though talonflame has access to taunt)

Buzzwole B -> B-/C+
What does this thing even do? I have yet to see it on a successful team, and I feel like it would just get KO'd too easily with all the powerful special attacks flying around, especially psychic and fairy ones.
 
#4
I'm likely to be shot down for this, but here goes...

Er sorry, but Gengar at A?! I've seen one total on the ladder (even if I haven't played masses, if it was A I would've seen it all over the place) There were 0 at San Jose, 2 at Dallas and 0 at London (top 16). Asides Z Destiny Bond, I haven't seen anything special out of it at all, what sort of things does it do other than die to stray EQs? I'm sorry if I'm being extremely short sighted, but I don't know why that's anywhere near A rank.
 
#5
I had to CTRL+F to make sure, but I don't see Oranguru on the list.

I would vote to put Oranguru in B-Tier. It's unique access to instruct gives it a fantastic niche on trick room teams, and is a very important aspect of the well-known Oranguru+Torkoal+Liligant core. While not as universally usable as P2 as a trick-room setter, due to less bulk and weakness to Dark-Type and Bug-Type attacks, carried by other prevalent Pokemon like Krookodile and Kartana, as well as Vikavolt and Araquanid who, notably, underspeed Oranguru under Trick Room. Outside of supporting it's partner, Oranguru has two offensive options, Psychic/Psyshock or Foul Play, depending on what you need it to hit on your opponent's side.

Not sure if this is enough to give it a solid rank, but I do hope it's enough to get the discussion started on Oranguru.
I agree with you there. Torkoal is fine in the B+ tier, but it isn't that great by itself. Torkoal needs a either Oranguru or Lilligant to be a threat, so that's why I think that Torkoal should be in the same tier as Lilligant and/or Oranguru.

Also, Gyarados deserves at least a mention in there. Maybe it isn't as popular as it used to be in the beginning of the format, but it's by no means a bad Pokemon. I'd say Gyarados is the second best Intimidate user, tied with Krookodile. Both of them have offensive pressure, and can carry a z-Move. Even then, they get outclassed by the best Intimidate user as of right now, Arcanine, because it completely stops Kartana, which threatens Gyarados and Krookodile

Here's a few nominations to start:
(...)
Milotic A -> B+
I really don't like how reliant it is on opposing intimidates to be useful. If your opponent doesn't carry it, milotic is basically dead weight. It also has a lot of competition from other bulky waters like tapu fini and gastrodon.

Talonflame unranked -> C-
Yes, it got hit hard with the nerf bat, but its STABs still hurt a lot and it still has tricks up its sleeve like priority tailwind and a load of useful support moves. It also has access to priority supersonic skystrike, which is stupidly powerful. And even without gale wings it's still fast enough to outspeed most of the metagame anyway -- it just has to watch out for trick room now (though talonflame has access to taunt)

Buzzwole B -> B-/C+
What does this thing even do? I have yet to see it on a successful team, and I feel like it would just get KO'd too easily with all the powerful special attacks flying around, especially psychic and fairy ones.
I completely agree with your point on both Milotic and Talonflame. Milotic relies so much on opposing Intimidate users, and if people play around it properly, it isn't that great. Maybe it's better paired with threatening physical attackers, like Kartana. That strategy was used by Ben Kyriakou in the London International, but even then I don't think it's that great.

As you said, Talonflame is a really good supporter. Maybe not as great as Mandibuzz, but it can hit hard with Overheat / Flare Blitz / Supersonic Skystrike.

About Buzzwole, I've seen a Choice Scarf variant that worked really well, and even if it isn't Scarf, it counters Kartana, and can deal around 90% damage to Porygon2, if it doesn't pick up the OHKO. Furthermore, I think the surprise factor is a thing with this Pokemon. Not everyone knows what Buzzwole does, so it can catch them off guard, even more if they are Scarf Buzzwole. Something similar happens with Scarf Silvally.

I'm likely to be shot down for this, but here goes...

Er sorry, but Gengar at A?! I've seen one total on the ladder (even if I haven't played masses, if it was A I would've seen it all over the place) There were 0 at San Jose, 2 at Dallas and 0 at London (top 16). Asides Z Destiny Bond, I haven't seen anything special out of it at all, what sort of things does it do other than die to stray EQs? I'm sorry if I'm being extremely short sighted, but I don't know why that's anywhere near A rank.
Gengar had a 6% of usage at the beginning of the format, mainly due to his poor defenses. However, it checks Tapu Fini, Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Kartana, and counters Tapu Bulu.

252 SpA Gengar Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Lele: 138-164 (77.9 - 92.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Gengar Sludge Bomb vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 194-230 (132.8 - 157.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Gengar Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Bulu: 324-384 (183 - 216.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Gengar Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 126-150 (71.1 - 84.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Gengar Shadow Ball vs. 116 HP / 132 SpD Assault Vest Kartana: 81-96 (54.3 - 64.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Thing is, it is basically a worse version of Tapu Koko / Kartana, because they do pretty much the same thing: Hit as hard as you can with your moves, and with Garchomp being such a popular Pokemon, Gengar isn't that used. But it has a lot of potential, maybe Focus Sash is better than the z-Move variant. You're partially right tho, maybe Gengar should be at the B tier instead.
 
#6
I'd like to voice my agreement for putting Oranguru in B or B-. The lack of bulk relative to Porygon2 does make it more difficult to set up Trick Room against strong attackers and especially to set it up multiple times in a game, but it's hard to ignore how powerful Instruct is when it does get Trick Room up.

Tapu Bulu B -> B+
While "is it the worst tapu" is an argument I'm inclined to agree with, I don't think it's anywhere near this bad. It hits hella hard with terrain-boosted wood hammers, it can survive for a long time with horn leech, leech seed, leftovers, terrain, and so on, and it's got pretty good bulk, and the team support it provides with grassy terrain reducing the power of earthquakes is extremely useful for certain team types. It's not fantastic with the current meta trends but it is by no means as "meh" as things like mismagius.
I agree with all this. Winning the terrain war when coming out as a lead is also quite nice.


Milotic A -> B+
I really don't like how reliant it is on opposing intimidates to be useful. If your opponent doesn't carry it, milotic is basically dead weight. It also has a lot of competition from other bulky waters like tapu fini and gastrodon.
Would move Milotic to A- if we're doing that, otherwise I support leaving it in A. Heavily deterring Intimidate (and Snarl etc) is a very valuable niche, but it functions perfectly well against teams that don't rely on those strategies. Access to Recover gives it a different role than Tapu Fini, it really just competes with Gastrodon. Electric immunity and Storm Drain vs Competitive and decent natural speed is pretty even imo, would put it slightly below Gastrodon but still A tier.
 

Vinc2612

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#7
Oranguru: unranked -> B+. Even if it's not the slowest TR user, instruct is the best support move a TR setter could dream of, and the combinaison of the two deserve B. Then B+ because Inner Focus and the ability to run protect without it being a waste gives it some nice perks over other setters.

Gyarados: unranked -> B. Another intimidate user. While many A ranks give it an hard time to shine, it still has a great bulk, an amazing ability, a great movepool that allows it to threaten many non-elec non-gastro. It also threaten elec if they give it a free turn.

Tapu Bulu: B -> B+. Just look at Pyritie's argumentation, I won't do better.

Talking about Milotic, I strongly disagree with removing him from A. It's role is to dissuade intimidate. It is meant to be paired with Pokémon fearing intimidate, but being hard hitters otherwise (read: Kartana, Tapu Bulu...). If the opponent doesn't have any intimidate user, it's more of an occasion to abuse said hard hitter, than a weakness of "having no business bringing Milotic".

Fini and Gengar could go down one rank (so respectively A and B+) due to facing extreme competition respectively with Milotic/Gastrodon and Arcanine/Nihilego. They are still good and some tools to differenciate theyselves, but they are not as slappable and outstanding as the other Pokémon of their current tier.
 
#8
OP really needs images. Serebii should have all the menu sprites for the Pokemon, which would make this thread much more readable.

As for the rankings, A+ currently appears to be occupied by a few Pokemon who should be S. Definitely for sure:

Celesteela A+ -> S

You can pretty much chuck this thing on any team and it'll work wonders. Celesteela requires minimal support to get its job done, is all-around hard to take down outside of Fire-type attacks (or Electric-type attacks if not pairing it with Alolawak or Togedemaru), stalls with SubSeed like a champ, and can even hit reasonably hard with Heavy Slam, keeping it from being Taunt bait. Celesteela is basically only ever a bad pick if the opponent has multiple Fire-type Pokemon.

Also, definitely one or more of the A+ Tapus should be S. You could probably make a semi-decent argument for all of the Tapus except for Bulu (who should never be higher than the B-ranks) to be S, but I've only used Koko and Lele, so I'm not going to do a full comparison of all of them when I can't even include Fini. However, given the role of Terrains this year and how you're basically required to have at least one Tapu on any serious team just to have control over the Terrain, definitely at least one of them should be S.
 
#9
I'm likely to be shot down for this, but here goes...

Er sorry, but Gengar at A?! I've seen one total on the ladder (even if I haven't played masses, if it was A I would've seen it all over the place) There were 0 at San Jose, 2 at Dallas and 0 at London (top 16). Asides Z Destiny Bond, I haven't seen anything special out of it at all, what sort of things does it do other than die to stray EQs? I'm sorry if I'm being extremely short sighted, but I don't know why that's anywhere near A rank.
It has an excellent typing against the Tapu's, a very strong speed stat for the meta, interesting coverage options and techs for the 3rd slot and a strong matchup vs Marowak. Though A is being extremely generous and it being placed higher than Tapu Bulu is absurd in my opinion.

Anyway some nominations of my own.

Tapu Fini A+ -> A
Fini is strong, in fact incredibly strong, but I feel like we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves by lumping it together with the other Pokemon in the same tier. The only reason Fini is being considered for such a high rank of the specs set which is common knowledge by now and that knowledge can be exploited. I would argue its less easy to splash Tapu Fini on to a team than Lele or Koko and the fact that it requires a choice item to be functional is definitely a serious drawback. Still an incredible Pokemon though.

Snorlax B+ -> C
Can someone please explain why this is in the same tier as Marowak? Maybe it's just ignorance but all I have seen Snorlax do in the format is Belly Drum + Speed Swap cheese or Belly Drum + Psych Up cheese. What does it have to make it as viable as something like double duck?

Mandibuzz B+ -> C
Being a Tailwind setter in this format is a big thing in this format and being the only bulky setter in the format is a great niche. But really? I don't think it deserves to be elevated so much higher than the other setters and saying that Pelipper and Mandibuzz are on par in viability is just strange to me.

Porygon-2 A+ -> S
Being the premier Trick Room setter in a format where Trick Room is the most dominating form of speed control is huge. It's not surprising that it's on seemingly every team (over 50% of the teams in London, Dallas and San Jose). In its last 3 slots it has a lot of great options in Tri Attack, Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Recover and Toxic (in no particular order) Porygon-2 really can patch any holes a team might have. It is the bulkiest Pokemon in the format with a respectable damage output, particularly with Download boosts. It single handedly checks many common team cores and archetypes and can be EVd to survive key attacks that a team might need. If there is a Pokemon that deserves to be in the S rank it's P2.

Oh and I agree with Pyritie and Vinc.
 
#10
OP really needs images. Serebii should have all the menu sprites for the Pokemon, which would make this thread much more readable.

As for the rankings, A+ currently appears to be occupied by a few Pokemon who should be S. Definitely for sure:

Celesteela A+ -> S

You can pretty much chuck this thing on any team and it'll work wonders. Celesteela requires minimal support to get its job done, is all-around hard to take down outside of Fire-type attacks (or Electric-type attacks if not pairing it with Alolawak or Togedemaru), stalls with SubSeed like a champ, and can even hit reasonably hard with Heavy Slam, keeping it from being Taunt bait. Celesteela is basically only ever a bad pick if the opponent has multiple Fire-type Pokemon.

Also, definitely one or more of the A+ Tapus should be S. You could probably make a semi-decent argument for all of the Tapus except for Bulu (who should never be higher than the B-ranks) to be S, but I've only used Koko and Lele, so I'm not going to do a full comparison of all of them when I can't even include Fini. However, given the role of Terrains this year and how you're basically required to have at least one Tapu on any serious team just to have control over the Terrain, definitely at least one of them should be S.
I have to disagree here, I don't believe any Pokemon in this format is good enough to be called S tier. I know appealing to usage isn't the strongest argument, but it's still something to consider: shouldn't an S-tier Pokemon be over 50% usage? Top Cut at London had 25% Celesteela usage, at San Jose 37.5%, at Dallas 25%. It might be an extremely effective subseed staller, but it can be played around relatively easily. It exerts little to no pressure on lots of opponents, so they can simply focus on its partner while keeping something in back that can 1v1 Celesteela in the endgame.
Same goes for the Tapus, only Koko and Fini have been >50% usage in any major event top cut, and even those only once each. They are certainly strong threats, but none of them is overwhelmingly powerful to the point of being S tier.
 
#11
I have to disagree here, I don't believe any Pokemon in this format is good enough to be called S tier. I know appealing to usage isn't the strongest argument, but it's still something to consider: shouldn't an S-tier Pokemon be over 50% usage? Top Cut at London had 25% Celesteela usage, at San Jose 37.5%, at Dallas 25%. It might be an extremely effective subseed staller, but it can be played around relatively easily. It exerts little to no pressure on lots of opponents, so they can simply focus on its partner while keeping something in back that can 1v1 Celesteela in the endgame.
Same goes for the Tapus, only Koko and Fini have been >50% usage in any major event top cut, and even those only once each. They are certainly strong threats, but none of them is overwhelmingly powerful to the point of being S tier.
Usage =/= viability, and usage is basically your whole argument. Landorus-I had like 4-5% usage or something in Gen VI OU before it was banned, and it was S-rank for a large chunk of the time when it was allowed.

As for your argument as to "shouldn't an S-tier Pokemon be over 50% usage?", maybe by VGC 2015 standards when 90% of top cut teams were CHALK (probably an exaggeration, but still)
 

Jibaku

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#12
Tapu Fini A+ -> A
Fini is strong, in fact incredibly strong, but I feel like we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves by lumping it together with the other Pokemon in the same tier. The only reason Fini is being considered for such a high rank of the specs set which is common knowledge by now and that knowledge can be exploited. I would argue its less easy to splash Tapu Fini on to a team than Lele or Koko and the fact that it requires a choice item to be functional is definitely a serious drawback. Still an incredible Pokemon though.
Disagree with this. I think Fini is the most splashable Pokemon in the tier simply due to how incredibly well rounded it is. This is a quality that's quite rare in this tier since a lot of Pokemon tend to have 'high' strengths but rather exploitable weaknesses bar a few. Fini is just that mon which I feel can be used in various archetypes and can be picked into a vast majority of matchups and still be a fairly consistent force. Additionally, Fini is not purely a Specs mon (who gave you that idea?). Calm Mind is capable of pressuring stallish teams and is a dangerous wincon. It also has a few supporting moves in its arsenal, although I haven't really explored those.

Also disagree with an S rank in general. Nothing actually stands out to me to be in that kind of tier.

Mandibuzz B+ -> C
Being a Tailwind setter in this format is a big thing in this format and being the only bulky setter in the format is a great niche. But really? I don't think it deserves to be elevated so much higher than the other setters and saying that Pelipper and Mandibuzz are on par in viability is just strange to me.
Mandibuzz covers Marowak/Gyarados/Kartana/Garchomp (somewhat) in one slot and is also a bulky Ground immune, which is quite a rarity in this format (on top of being a Tailwind setter). It's also great for disrupting setup and some tanks with Taunt. I think B+ (or B actually) is pretty appropriate for now and it's not like Pelipper is a great Pokemon either.

Some other thoughts:
Gastrodon: A -> B+
Let's be real. Gastrodon sucks. It wins matchups if you aren't prepared for it and has a fairly heavy team preview pressure. Throw some prep for Gastro and it starts doing 0 and becomes a liability. I'm still generously putting it in B+ because of the factors I mentioned above.
Milotic: A -> B+
Worse Fini that punishes Intimidate hard. Overall doesn't really have enough stats to be an A tier mon.
 
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#13
sincewhenwas bulu bad?the last time i checked it wasconsidered one of the best tapus。sorry theautocorrect onthisphone is stupid。
 
#15
Weavile unranked -> C
Great early game pressure on threats like Garchomp and a fast Fake Out it deserves at least some attention. It won't make the biggest metagame impact with all the fairy types running around not to mention Tapu Lele shutting down priority but it certainly has a niche helping partners setup

Raichu-Alola unranked -> C
It can do lots of work, but only with when paired with Tapu Koko or Tapu Lele for boosts to its STAB attacks. While it really needs one of those two partners, fake out, encore, strong z moves in the terrains and surge surfer giving it beyond amazing speed, it is certainly usable.
 
#16
Porygon2: A+ -> S tier

Extremely high bulk and utility, huge movepool, respectable SpA, often gets free Download +1s right off the bat due to Kartana/Koko popularity, impossible to OHKO and is the best TR user in a TR favoured format.

*Also doesn't take up an item slot.*
 
#17
What's with vikavolt in A? The only niche it has disquake, it's slow, frail, has an awful bug typing and is outclassed by koko or xurkitree for the most part. It's not anywhere near the viability of stuff like gigalith or muk.
 
#18
My reactions:

If anything should be S, it's porygon2. It's easily the most splashable Pokemon in the game. It can set up TR or counter it, has great bulk, a surprisingly decent movepool, and only one weakness. That being said, I do think it should stay at A+ for now.

Kartana A+ -> A. It's still a great Pokemon, but is too frail to be in the same tier as Tapu Koko, Lele, and Garchomp - who hit just as hard.

Tapu Fini A+ -> A. It's had one good tournament and Se Jun Park used it. Before that it was considered the worst Tapu. Teams take a little while to adjust to new threats, so I think this is an overreaction from recent results. Again, it's still good, just not as good as the other Pokemon in this tier.

Gengar A -> B. I don't think I've seen more than two on the ladder. It has a niche as a tapu lele stopper and can spam poison moves, but it is still too frail. Z-Destiny Bond is kinda cool though.

Krookodile A -> B+. It's not as good as Garchomp for most teams. It's a niche pick usually.

Vikavolt A -> C. Why is this ranked so high? It's not that good, even in TR, largely because of Alolawak.

Mandibuzz B+ -> B. Again, I haven't seen much of this Pokemon and I don't think it's nearly as good as any of the other Pokemon in this tier. It's bulky, sure, but it doesn't beat any of the other bulky pokemon and only really threatens physical attackers who are weak to dark, which are rare.

Snorlax B+ -> B. It can be good, but is more gimmicky than the other Pokemon in this tier.

Goodra B -> B+. It hard counters one of the most threatening Pokemon in the game (Celesteela) and has the special bulk to take attacks from most Pokemon.

Nihilego B -> B+. It seems like a better version of Gengar. It's a little faster, has a really good secondary STAB, and can take a hit on the special side. Even if it's very physically frail, it can still wreck a lot of common Pokemon.

Tapu Bulu B -> B+. It still hits like a truck and helps out Pokemon weak to EQ. It also resets terrain. That alone puts it in B+.

Mimikyu C -> B. I haven't used it personally but it has a lot of potential as both a TR setter and an attacker thanks to disguise. It's better than the other pokemon in the C tier.

Oranguru U -> B+. It has a niche with TR and instruct. It should be ranked.

Gyarados U -> B. It has intimidate, a valuable typing, and can hit hard in the rain. It can support teams with T-Wave or hit harder with Dragon Dance. It's a versatile Pokemon.
 
#19
Goodra B -> B+. It hard counters one of the most threatening Pokemon in the game (Celesteela)
No comment on the rest of your post but I'm a big fan of goodra in this meta and it definitely does not counter celesteela. It's 2HKO'd by heavy slam unless you give it a lot of physical defense investment (and then it won't be able to hit celesteela back as hard). It is a check to it though.
 

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#20
So I'm not going to touch most stuff right now but given people seem to be misjudging it or discounting the fact that 3 of them showed up in Dallas Top Cut, I'm going to hard disagree on Vikavolt being bad or outclassed. I'm "cautiously optimistic" about Vikavolt being in A myself but being a Ground-immune Electric-type with solid coverage, power, and just enough bulk to make investment worthwhile is no joke. Also being a viable String Shot user is pretty big, -2 Speed to both foes is incredible Speed control for its team even if Vikavolt itself isn't necessarily outspeeding everything. Buginium Z also gives String Shot a cool option for situations where Z-Bug Buzz isn't needed, but Sitrus/25% berries and AV are what I think Vikavolt should be focusing on most and not necessarily on dedicated TR setups.

The thing about Vikavolt is that it plays very similarly to Rotom in past formats, this thing is essentially Rotom-Bug but trading some bulk for extra power. We're looking at a Pokemon that has a Special Attack equivalent to fully invested Timid Latios just with Modest nature, before any investment, so you really don't even need to invest in its Special Attack much at all. Its two weaknesses are also not particularly problematic since there's not really a huge range of Fire or Rock-types to choose from, and it comes with very convenient resistances to Grass, Electric and Steel. It does get walled by Marowak unless you're cheeky and choose the Z-Mud Shot option to OHKO it, but that's one Pokemon that isn't even too difficult to cover.

I honestly think Vikavolt is one of the better Electrics in the format though. Putting it in A is a pretty bold claim I think, but I'd say A makes more sense than C does. Personally I think a B+/A- deal fits it better, but given Vikavolt had a solid showing at Dallas I think A is justifiable for now unless meta trends hurt it badly.
 
#21
Gengar A -> B+ or even B. Okay, why its exactly this high? It lacks several tools that made it great in past. First off, WoW got notable nerf with Misty Terrain existing aswell as burn damage being basically halved, so its not that useful anymore for chip damage. It no longer has Levitate so its partner cant spam EQ anymore, and in return it now gets smacked by Garchomp, especially if Misty Terrain is active. Icy Wind is tutor move so its not an option either, and lets not forget that its so frail that it gets 2HKOed by anything that isnt Bug or Poison move. It is quite good against few common mons, aswell as being one of the viable Disable and Taunt users. Dont get me wrong, Gengar still has good stats and very neat typing aswell as cool support moves, but being A? No.

Milotic A -> B+. Way too passive without Competitive boost, as there is less mons it can OHKO than in 2015. Without Competitive boost its more or less outclassed by Gastrodon as bulky mon or by Tapu Fini as offensive mon. Not to mention the meta is quite specially focused ATM so having mon with Competitive is less necessary, although Arcanine is more or less everywhere so its still good option.

Vikavolt A -> B+. Its good but has flaws, such as poor defensive typing, average bulk and very poor speed so it cant be just slapped. Doesnt sound like A-tier material. I guess this fits Vikavolt pretty well: "Reserved for Pokemon who are great in the VGC metagame. These Pokemon have more notable flaws than of those above it that affects how they function in the tier. Their positive traits still outshine their negatives, but they require a bit more team support to bring out their full potential. Their niches are often slightly smaller than those that are in A and S rank, which leads them to face some competition for a teamslot."

Politoed B+ -> B. Its solid, but i think it should be bit lower than Pelipper as it fits many rain teams better due to better offensive capabilites. That being said, Toed still has its uses, such as bulk and Perish Song.

Buzzwole B -> C. What it exactly does? It gets eaten alive by Tapus and Arcanine, has poor defensive typing, relies on Superpower as fighting STAB, has laughable SPdef, sits on akward speed tier etc etc. I havent never seen it on either BS or Showdown.

Incineroar B -> C. Will be awesome once it gets Intimidate, but for now its just either bad Marowak or bad Arcanine with Fake out and Dark STAB.

Decidueye: C -> Unranked. I dont see any reason to use it in this meta. Its slow, its frail, its both abilities are trash as move that could be only literal reason to use it isnt even contact move anyways, its not that powerful, is outclassed by already very niche Pokemon aka Dhelmise, and its defensive typing is okay at best. I never have seen it outside of Showdown sub-1200 ladder.


Salazzle is somewhat viable even without Fake Out as its like Gengar with less SpA but access to Encore and ability to hit Celesteela hard. I have used one with okay success, but im okay with it being unranked as it hasnt seen any significant usage and we still dont know how viable it is/is going to be, so im okay with keeping it unranked. For same reasons i would argue unranking Primarina, as its terribly outclassed by Fini but its higher SpA might be enough to make it super niche Pokemon if you want to use Fini but really need that extra power.

As for Porygon2, if it becomes S then Celesteela should be aswell. They both are ridicuously hard to KO, are super easy to slap on almost literally every team, and forces everyone to ways to beat them. Celesteela might not have TR but it can be even more annoying to kill than P2 if it happens to be against stuff that cant touch it.

Also, as for this:
impossible to OHKO*
252+ SpA Kommo-o All-Out Pummeling (190 BP) vs. 244 HP / 140+ SpD Eviolite Porygon2: 164-194 (85.8 - 101.5%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO (and much less specially bulky ones exist too, which it can reliably OHKO)

252+ Atk Guts Hariyama Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Porygon2: 164-194 (85.4 - 101%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO (even 252/252 bold is not completely safe)

:>

EDIT:

Lilligant: Unranked -> C (or B-)

Should be listed, IMO. Its bad without Torkoal but those work together quite well. Bit like regular Venusaur w/ Megazard in 2015.
 
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#22
From my experience, mostly on cart

Raise

Tapu Bulu - B+. It is probably the weakest Tapu option overall but the Tapu remain amazing, it wins terrain weather wars, provides useful electric/water resists, has an effective x4 ground resist, has super strong netural hits and can half damage from EQ to its partner.

Mimikyu - C+. Its ability is invaluable to a support pokemon in a meta like this. It's kind of awkward as a TR setter due to its above average speed but it offers STAB priority moves with usable attack to help work around that, and the FO immunity that being a ghost type grants helps as well. It has some interesting other options that don't really fit on other ghost types in the meta, including curse for a damage over time effect that works around misty terrain and poison immunity. It just seems significantly stronger than the other pokemon you have listed in C-tier, but I'm not prepared to argue for its inclusion in B.

Lower

Incineroar - D tier until it gets intimidate, if it doesn't get intimidate before the season's over it belongs here in perpetuity. While it does have a unique niche in that it both deals with Celesteela and fast Maro-A while also providing a fake out, it faces stiff competition for the bulky fire role from Arcanine and Marowak-A itself, both of which have better utility options.

Milotic - B/B+ tier. Some people have already given my justification. I've used this pokemon quite a bit and find that it really is dependent on your opponent's team lineup. Situationally, it's amazing. But if they're not running intimidate it's highly outclassed by other bulky waters.

Gastrodon - B+. Like Marowak-A (which I agree with the placement of, many people overrate it), it's a pokemon that becomes useful because it wins matchups but is not that good in and of itself.

Politoed - B tier. It's clearly weaker than Pelipper due to lack of tutor moves. Still certainly viable, but any viability ranking should make a clear distinction that it is a weaker option than Pelipper.

Ninetales-A - B/C. I see these on simulator but very rarely on cart, Ninetales is very one dimensional, you don't run it if you don't want Aurora Veil. It has to come in from the back line if the opponent is carrying his own weather user because it loses weather wars due to being the fastest weather setter in the meta and needs its weather to be active to use its key move, but is also frail which makes it difficult to switch in without sacrificing something. I hate to use this as an argument but between the three biggest VGC events held at this point, there was only one Ninetales in top cut. Compare to the successes of other pokemon in A+/A tier, even Gengar, who I think is underutilized and probably deserves A-tier, saw more use.

Snorlax - B/C. Just not that great compared to other entries in B+, faces competition as a normal type from Porygon2 and competition for the Figy Berry from Muk-A. Depends on kind of gimmicky sets like Figydrum or Z-Belly Drum to be relevant. Can be good with support but it's just not deserving of a spot in B+

Delist

Decidueye - What does it actually do? Most of its unique support options aren't that useful in VGC, typing isn't great, trapping is only of limited utility in doubles, and offensively it gets totally walled by several prominent pokemon (Muk-A in particular). I have not seen it on ladder aside from a few people when I first started playing using what were probably IG teams. I'd be open to a compelling argument in its defense but my combination of lack of experience facing it and inabilty to theorymon up some good niche for it leave me at a loss as to why it's mentioned.


Unlisted pokemon that deserve a mention

Oranguru - B tier. TR setter with decent bulk, can choose to opt for flinch immunity or partner damage immunity, both useful traits for a supportive TR setter. Generally outclassed by PG2 due to inferior bulk which makes it easy to burst with Z-moves, but the aforementioned traits combined with his signature move of instruct give him a niche.

Gyarados - B tier. Was much more popular early in the meta but has fallen off a bit as other intimidate users see usage increasing. Still has solid bulk, an intimidate, access to nice support moves like taunt, roar, twave, and the ability to run offensive sets as well.

Liligant - D tier. Highly situational speed control partner for Torkoal. Doesn't have much application outside supporting Torkoal, or being supported by Torkoal. Will be complete dead weight on any non-Torkoal teams but merits a mention.

Togedemaru - C tier. Decent lightningrod pokemon in a meta without many of them that has some anti-Tapu moves and a useful typing. Held back by its x4 ground weakness, but that can be worked around with Bulu support or an air balloon.

Raichu-A - C tier. Was way overhyped at the beginning of the season, but benefits from Tapu Koko being so prominent and offers a super fast fake out. Not garbage, but not great.
 
#23
From my experience, mostly on cart

Raise

Tapu Bulu - B+. It is probably the weakest Tapu option overall but the Tapu remain amazing, it wins terrain weather wars, provides useful electric/water resists, has an effective x4 ground resist, has super strong netural hits and can half damage from EQ to its partner.

Mimikyu - C+. Its ability is invaluable to a support pokemon in a meta like this. It's kind of awkward as a TR setter due to its above average speed but it offers STAB priority moves with usable attack to help work around that, and the FO immunity that being a ghost type grants helps as well. It has some interesting other options that don't really fit on other ghost types in the meta, including curse for a damage over time effect that works around misty terrain and poison immunity. It just seems significantly stronger than the other pokemon you have listed in C-tier, but I'm not prepared to argue for its inclusion in B.

Lower

Incineroar - D tier until it gets intimidate, if it doesn't get intimidate before the season's over it belongs here in perpetuity. While it does have a unique niche in that it both deals with Celesteela and fast Maro-A while also providing a fake out, it faces stiff competition for the bulky fire role from Arcanine and Marowak-A itself, both of which have better utility options.

Milotic - B/B+ tier. Some people have already given my justification. I've used this pokemon quite a bit and find that it really is dependent on your opponent's team lineup. Situationally, it's amazing. But if they're not running intimidate it's highly outclassed by other bulky waters.

Gastrodon - B+. Like Marowak-A (which I agree with the placement of, many people overrate it), it's a pokemon that becomes useful because it wins matchups but is not that good in and of itself.

Politoed - B tier. It's clearly weaker than Pelipper due to lack of tutor moves. Still certainly viable, but any viability ranking should make a clear distinction that it is a weaker option than Pelipper.

Ninetales-A - B/C. I see these on simulator but very rarely on cart, Ninetales is very one dimensional, you don't run it if you don't want Aurora Veil. It has to come in from the back line if the opponent is carrying his own weather user because it loses weather wars due to being the fastest weather setter in the meta and needs its weather to be active to use its key move, but is also frail which makes it difficult to switch in without sacrificing something. I hate to use this as an argument but between the three biggest VGC events held at this point, there was only one Ninetales in top cut. Compare to the successes of other pokemon in A+/A tier, even Gengar, who I think is underutilized and probably deserves A-tier, saw more use.

Snorlax - B/C. Just not that great compared to other entries in B+, faces competition as a normal type from Porygon2 and competition for the Figy Berry from Muk-A. Depends on kind of gimmicky sets like Figydrum or Z-Belly Drum to be relevant. Can be good with support but it's just not deserving of a spot in B+

Delist

Decidueye - What does it actually do? Most of its unique support options aren't that useful in VGC, typing isn't great, trapping is only of limited utility in doubles, and offensively it gets totally walled by several prominent pokemon (Muk-A in particular). I have not seen it on ladder aside from a few people when I first started playing using what were probably IG teams. I'd be open to a compelling argument in its defense but my combination of lack of experience facing it and inabilty to theorymon up some good niche for it leave me at a loss as to why it's mentioned.


Unlisted pokemon that deserve a mention

Oranguru - B tier. TR setter with decent bulk, can choose to opt for flinch immunity or partner damage immunity, both useful traits for a supportive TR setter. Generally outclassed by PG2 due to inferior bulk which makes it easy to burst with Z-moves, but the aforementioned traits combined with his signature move of instruct give him a niche.

Gyarados - B tier. Was much more popular early in the meta but has fallen off a bit as other intimidate users see usage increasing. Still has solid bulk, an intimidate, access to nice support moves like taunt, roar, twave, and the ability to run offensive sets as well.

Liligant - D tier. Highly situational speed control partner for Torkoal. Doesn't have much application outside supporting Torkoal, or being supported by Torkoal. Will be complete dead weight on any non-Torkoal teams but merits a mention.

Togedemaru - C tier. Decent lightningrod pokemon in a meta without many of them that has some anti-Tapu moves and a useful typing. Held back by its x4 ground weakness, but that can be worked around with Bulu support or an air balloon.

Raichu-A - C tier. Was way overhyped at the beginning of the season, but benefits from Tapu Koko being so prominent and offers a super fast fake out. Not garbage, but not great.
I have used both Ninetales and Milotic and I don't think Ninetales should potentially be ranked lower than Milotic. Milotic is so mediocre without a Competitive boost that I had it benched in all but one of my matches when I was using it and eventually ended up dropping it from my team altogether. It doesn't help that Intimidate is not as common as it was in past seasons (see: Landorus-T flying around everywhere in VGC 2015), that Milotic doesn't have access to Icy Wind this season, or that all of the Intimidate users we have aren't overwhelming even without Milotic's support. The one time I really wished I had Milotic after I dropped it from the team was against a team that had two Intimidate users, but this is extremely rare (I don't think we've seen double Intimidate on a top cut team yet this season)

Meanwhile, Ninetales's support is actually a lot more useful than you might think. For example, it improves the bulky water matchup vs. Marowak by protecting them from the Shadow Bone 2HKO (and just in general helping the team cushion hits, but this is a particularly notable example as making your Water-types much safer switch-ins to Marowak is pretty big). It also has other supportive options like Icy Wind and Encore, giving it use beyond just getting Aurora Veil up, so while it is one-dimensional in terms of having just one viable set, it has a couple more tricks up its sleeve.

On the weather matchup, "terrible matchup, bench Ninetales" is accurate vs. Gigalith and Torkoal, but Pelipper can't take Freeze-Dry, and I've actually found the rain matchup to be one of the best for Ninetales because of this. It also matches up well against Gyarados, Gastrodon, Garchomp, Salamence, and in general just a bunch of things that it hits for super effective damage with Freeze-Dry.

To avoid sounding like I'm overhyping Ninetales, I do think A is too high for it. It has a difficult time dealing damage to anything that it doesn't hit super effectively and hates facing common Pokemon like Celesteela, which keeps it from being top-tier. At the same time, though, it is certainly better than Milotic and should not be ranked below it. At the very least, I'd put Ninetales and Milotic in the same rank (either B or B+, but leaning towards B+ as I do think they're both better than the B-ranks, excluding things like Tapu Bulu who should be higher than B).

I also don't want to come across like I'm ragging on you or your post; I agree with everything else you said.
 
#24
I agree that Ninetales is pretty good against rain (especially because a lot of the good rainmons are x4 weak to freeze dry) and C tier is probably underselling it looking at the stuff in C tier verses B tier. Probably just a kneejerk to it being rated very high relative to how effectively I see it being used on cart. Gengar might also be a B+ candidate but again, I feel he's a bit underutilized.

Also I'm kind of looking at what might be viable for listing in D and it's surprising how little i can come up with. I mean it baffles me how we can have a meta where Weavile exists yet is so hard to justify listing. Without Knock Off it just feels neutered as an offensive threat and I can't think of a doubles meta where a fast FO has felt less relevant. Scizor has the same issue, I mean in a vacuum it should be good, but it just feels straight up inferior to Metagross/Kartana/Celesteela in terms of steel type options without tutor moves. Crobat is also neutered without tutor moves.

If we are going dumpster diving though, some things that could be worth listing in D are

Stoutland - Only user of Sand Rush plus a usable support movepool gives him a niche. He has After You so he can be used similarly to Liligant but alongside Gigalith instead of Torkoal. Also has access to helping hand, roar and 110 base attack so it's not a total slouch offensively.
Eggy-A - Basically a Trevenant replacement, usable on torkoal teams due to its ability to abuse sun with harvest and set trick room. Higher BST, kind of similar bulk, can run both attacking stats. Loses some support options but gains others including some good ones like synthesis and some gimmicky ones like skill swap.'
 
#25
I think B+ is where Ninetales belongs. Its great poke, as its 1) fast 2) has blizzard that is very spammable in hail 3) has Aurora Veil. I dont think its A material though, maybe A- but that tier doesnt exist (yet). Then again few other mons in A are not A material either, especially Gengar and Milotic.