Viability Rankings (Pre-Bank)

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#1
Battle Spot Singles Viability Rankings

Welcome to the Battle Spot Sun/Moon Viability Rankings thread. Here, we as a community will rank every single usable Pokemon into ranks. You're encouraged to post your thoughts and opinions on the Pokemon that are usable in the metagame and what rank they should fall under. The general idea of the topic is to rank Pokemon based on their effectiveness in the Battle Spot Singles metagame.

Finally, here are the people that have the final say on what gets moved in the ranking list (as in, the people that gather the community's input to make final decisions, as well as being well informed players themselves):
(In alphabetical order)

PRE-POKEBANK

S Rank
Reserved for Pokemon that are amazing in the Battle Spot Singles 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 rank have very few flaws that are patched up by numerous positive traits.
Porygon2
Tapu Koko
Tapu Lele

A Rank
Reserved for Pokemon that are fantastic in the Battle Spot Singles metagame, and can sweep, support, or wall significant portions of the metagame. These Pokemon require less support than most others to be used effectively and have few flaws that can easily be overlooked when compared to their positive traits.
A+

(Mega) Gyarados
Garchomp
Celesteela
Aegislash
Cloyster
(Mega) Salamence

A

(Mega) Gengar
Buzzwole
Tapu Bulu
Tapu Fini
Alolan Marowak
Mamoswine

A-

(Mega) Metagross
(Mega) Kangaskhan
(Mega) Lucario
Mimikyu
Pheromosa
Mandibuzz
Magnezone


B Rank
Reserved for Pokemon that are great in the Battle Spot Singles metagame. These Pokemon have more notable flaws than those above them that affect 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.
B+

Kartana
Pelipper
Alolan Ninetales
Gyarados
(Mega) Scizor
Glalie
Primarina
Porygon-Z
Alolan Muk
Arcanine

B

Xurkitree
Kingdra
Nihilego
Silvally
Hydreigon

Rules
  • Post intelligently. Posts like "I think Pokemon X should be in this tier" without giving any reasoning will not be tolerated
  • Usage statistics may be used to support an argument or a claim, but avoid basing your entire argument around them.
  • No flaming
  • No one-liners or useless comments
 
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#2
Rankings are now up and open for discussion! This is currently pre-bank and we're only focusing on S - B, there are plenty of niche mons below these ranks but we only want to focus on the more viable mons in this early stage of the metagame.

Keep in mind, once pokebank is released these ranks will be completely revamped. The current ranks are for pre-bank only, once pokebank ranks are up there will be an announcement here and discussion for that will begin. But until then let's talk about this pre-bank meta before it's gone!
 
#3
I guess I'll kick things off. Just like the previous generation, I feel mamoswine deserves to be A. Mamoswine is a very potent offensive threat and can run a variety of items such as focus sash, LO, scarf and my personal favorite AV. Sash mamo is a very threatening lead which usually forces your opponent to hard switch to pokemon such as celesteela and gyarados making your opponent very predictable. AV mamo is dangerous as well since certain spreads have a great chance of avoiding the 2HKO from various threats such as a psychic from tapu lele, grass knot from a tapu koko, and a shadow ball from aegislash. It also has access to fissure which is great for bulky walls like porygon2 and icicle spear which is great for breaking disguise, focus sashes and substitutes. It's overall a solid mon and deserves to be A.
 
#4
OK so first forum post this generation. I think that Porygon-Z deserves some love this generation so I recommend it for either A- or B+. Thanks to its Z-Conversion it can very quickly become a rather large threat with only one turn of setting up to give it a boost up in every stat. In addition it gets to have whatever is first in its set become its new type making the first move against it a guessing game of what type it will become.
 
#5
OK so first forum post this generation. I think that Porygon-Z deserves some love this generation so I recommend it for either A- or B+. Thanks to its Z-Conversion it can very quickly become a rather large threat with only one turn of setting up to give it a boost up in every stat. In addition it gets to have whatever is first in its set become its new type making the first move against it a guessing game of what type it will become.
I agree with you, but P2 has a more important bulk than PZ so i dont really know if Z-Conversion makes PZ on top tier
 

ethan06

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#6
Porygon-Z and Porygon2 do two completely different things - one is a fast and frail setup attacker and the other is a bulky multi-purpose tank - so I wouldn't say they're comparable at all. I agree that Porygon-Z definitely deserves some representation, and I'd place it in A- because it shouldn't go any lower than Mega Lucario, which is imo the closest thing to P-Z role-wise.
 
#7
Okay, I have a few Mons I'd like to add/move:
Incineroar: It deals with a lot of top threats (I wrote about this in the Good sets for new Pokemon topic). Due to this I would put it to A-/B+ Rank.

Porygon Z: I agree with A- Rank. I played a set with Dark Pulse (1st move), tbolt and ice beam and I went really good. You have quite good bulk and great offenses. Furthermore with DPulse you can't get Prankster Encored and you also hit BoltBeam resists for a min. 2hko.

Clefable: I saw some unaware Clefables with minimize, Cm, rest and an attack and Chestoberry as item. The sense behind it is actually just to have a kind of luck-based-wincondition which every team should have imo, just to improve bad matchups. I would put it in B+ Rank and move Glalie to B Rank because Clefable is the more solid choice imo but it isn't valuable enough to be A- Rank.

Magnezone: B+/B because there are lots of steel types, it kinda walls Tapu Koko, p2, PZ (with Boltbeam and triattack), Tapu Lele and some others.

Azumarill: You know what it does xD Unfortunately the AssVest set isn't as viable as it was in Gen6 because of Tapu Koko and there are also more Pokemon that can take a +6 Aquajet and Ko back and there is the Psychicterrain but it still can 3-0 unprepared teams. I'd move it to A-/B+, maybe rather B+ because the usage is very low.

Xurkitree: It has amazing SpAtk, Tailglow, good typing, quite good Spe-Base and a good ability. With a scarf or the Z-Hypnosis Set (best set for it imo) it becomes totally hard to check, but it can also run lots of other sets (specs, Sitrus, Lo, Sash, Balloon...). I would move it to A Rank.

Eevee: If you get the eevee-Boost done, it is often gg. On the other side it is quite easy countered. Thats why I would add it to B Rank.

Primarina: Okay, it has good SpAtk but it isn't so useful. People are prepared for Fairys, it is quite slow and I actually haven't seen any Primarina till now. I would move it to maximal B+ but rather to B but I don't really know what it does so maybe I'm completely wrong^^".

Mamoswine: I agree with Anirav; A Rank

Muk: It has pretty good Bulk, only one weakness, stab Poison and knock off. This means it can deal with the Tapus, p2 and some others but besides from dealing with these Pokemon it isn't useful. That is why I would add it to B+.
 
#8
Of course, there was no way known I wouldn't be expressing my views on this!

Porygon2, S to A+

Don't get me wrong, P2 is still one of Battle Spot's most influential Pokemon and prevalent defensive threats. However, I do feel that this generation so far, Porygon2 has been struggling to be the unbreakable mon which it wants to be. We're seeing higher levels of usage in Pokemon that can break Porygon2 including Choice Specs Tapu Lele, Choice Band Tapu Bulu, Pheromosa, and Mamoswine.

Furthermore, Porygon2 is being forced to chose what it gets walled by. Without Discharge / Thunderbolt Porygon2 can't beat Celesteela or Mega-Gyarados, without Ice Beam it can't beat mega-Salamence, without Shadow Ball it can't beat Substitute Aegislash. Porygon2 obviously still remains as an amazing Pokemon, but it seems to need a lot more support than it once used to, which is why I believe it should sit at A+ rather than S.

Mega-Gengar, A to A+

Can't say I'm entirely sure as to why Mega-Gengar isn't in the A+ bracket. Base 130 speed is already fantastic, putting it on par with Tapu Koko, but the main highlight here for me would have to be the 170 special attack. Ghost / Poison as an offensive typing is fantastic, giving it powerful STAB options (primarily being Sludge Bomb / Shadow Ball) which comfortably deal with opposing Psychic and Ghost threats including Aegislash / Alolan-Marowak / Mega-Metagross / Tapu Lele, and Fairy threats including all of the Tapus / Mimikyu / Azumarill / Alolan-Ninetails.

Sheer offensive pressure isn't all that Mega-Gengar can do either. A Substitute / Will-O-Wisp / Hex / Destiny Bond is a set I've seen a lot more of recently, putting immense pressure on some of the physical powerhouses we've seen so far to avoid getting burnt. I see why A rank would be suitable because of lack of bulk and competition with other Pokemon for the mega slot, but I do believe that it has capacity to be elevated from A to A+.

Mega-Metagross, A- to A

Really don't have all that much to say about this one, personally I think it's been ranked fairly harsh. It's truly a terrifying Pokemon to face, offering both amazing offensive and defensive presence. Sufficient coverage, difficult to break, hits extremely hard. A- to A for me on this one.

Porygon-Z, ranked at B+

Although quite an unorthodox and fairly rare Pokemon in the current metagame, Porygon-Z most definitely deserves some sort of ranking given its niche of Z-Conversion. Seeing a Porygon-Z in your opponent's team preview makes you have to account for the situation of whether it's going to convert to Ghost / Dark / Electric, which can be an extremely tough to do with only 3 Pokemon to bring.

In addition to this, Porygon-Z is a fantastic win condition and is extremely difficult to stop once it has set up. +1 in all stats gives it plenty of bulk to survive priority moves, even if super effective. Most notable however would be the speed and special attack boost, ticking all the boxes which make it a setup sweeper. Adaptability and Z-Conversion work hand in hand with each other, giving Porygon-Z x2 STAB on the move it converts to. Underrated Pokemon for sure, most definitely deserves a B+ at the very least for me!
 
#9
Arcanine should be somewhere between B and A-. Fire-type it's a great offensive type in this meta, and arcanine (also thanks to Intimidate) definitely has the ability to stop some of the top threats in the tier.
I've seen it working very well in high ladder, either the bulky defensive set with WoW and such, and the offensive Choice Banded one. It deserves a spot on the pre-bank rankings imo
 
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#11
Evee and his Z attack is quite strong with baton pass if you do well, what do you think about evee ?
I can't see Eevee being anywhere else on here other than B tbh. It only does one thing well and that one thing can be stopped easily when having an answer to the strat, such as Taunt (watch out for Stored Power though), phazing moves (Roar, Whirlwind), or even Perish Song since it carries on through baton passes. Stopping the usual screen setter that Eevee is paired up with from setting up screens makes the job of killing Eevee before it passes stats to something. If a team isn't prepared for it then it's obviously very effective, but playing around it honestly isn't that hard. It should either be B rank or not on here at all.
 
#12
Alolan Muk has immense potential in my opinion. Especially to deal with Aegislash/Tapus/P2/Primarina/Hydraregion and pretty much most special attackers. As a special wall it has some immense potential, especially with assualt vest. It can run multiple abilites, Poison touch taking the cake for me. I think it's worthy of atleast A- if not B+.

I tried Mandibuzz but just didn't think it made the cut, even with Taunt, it's bulk was underwhelming cause it couldn't take anything special if ran heavy physical investment and if it went mixed then it didn't do it's job.

Arcanine deserves some love on the higher rank just cause it's so unpredictable, be it Choice Band or Toxic stall. With intimidate, it can go either specially or physically bulky and fire is pretty great type in this metagame.

I already gloated about Primarina in the BS discord chat so don't want to re-iterate too much. Priority + Z move and utility in the form of encore makes it incredibly versatile. Can one shot marowak-A, 2 shot gyarados and one lucario without it's Z-move is just some of the things it can do if you choose any other item. It can run a specially defensive set like muk but needs the speed to make encore easier to use. I think it deserves to be where its at.

That's it for now.
 
#13
Honestly i think Weavile should be added somewhere, probably B. Its a fast Ice type which is always nice, gets priority Ice Shard, and a fast Taunt. Dark is also usefull with all the Ghosts running around. Does have a lot of weaknesses though, like Steel types (Celesteela), the Tapus and faces competition from Mamoswine. Plus it's super frail which is not exactly great in the current meta.

Also been using Scarf Xurkitree a lot latley and it's very usefull. TBolt hits REALLY hard especially after Beast Boost or Electric Terrain. Scarf puts you at 202 Speed with Modest which is enough to outspeed base 130s. Also the Scarf set unlike Z-Hypnosis gives you speed right away so you can KO mons like Garchomp on turn 1 if they aren't expecting it. B+ for sure. But again it does have a lot of weaknesses, notably being locked in with Scarf so if a resist comes in you're pretty much forced to switch. Plus it faces a lot of competition with Tapu Koko which is a problem, and ScarfChomp/SashChomp are also huge threats.
 
#14
I agree with anirav in that mamoswine deserves to be A rank. Its dual stab coverage in ice and ground can hit common threats that don't resist for great damage, including a 2HKO on pheromosa with ice shard. Ice shard in general is a good option on sash mamo to clean up kills that earthquake can't quite get, including a KO on tapu lele after eq (outside of psychic terrain of course). Like anirav said, icicle spear is a great option for substitute, sash, and mimikyu. A 3-hit spear breaks mimikyu's disguise on the first hit, and does minimum 40% on the next two hits. Scarf mamo is another great choice,
outspeeding both max speed mega-mence and max speed koko. Overall solid offensive mon and a great addition to most teams.

calcs:
252 Atk Mamoswine Ice Shard vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Pheromosa: 73-87 (50 - 59.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Mamoswine Icicle Spear (3 hits) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mimikyu: 81-99 (61.8 - 75.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
 
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Theorymon

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#15
Alright now that I got some work done, might as well share my opinions! Just note though, I'm not really gonna offer "hard ranking" placement much, but I think I'll have some good ranges.

Porygon-Z: Like some people have mentioned before, I do think Porygon-Z deserves a slot in the viability rankings. Porygon-Z can be a pretty nasty sweeper, and while most people use Conversion + Thunderbolt, I've also seen people have success with Ghost because of its immunities. I've even gotten taken off guard by a few Scarf ones that seem to be trying to fool people because everyone assumes Z-Conversion. However, the fact that PorygonZ relies on Normalium Z (Scarf set nonwithstanding) does limit its versatility, and unlike Mega Evolution, you require a turn to set it up to become a threat (so I disagree ever so slightly with ethan06 here, since Mega Lucario is fast and hits hard even before a Swords Dance), so I think anywhere from the B-B+ range is fine for Porygon-Z. The highest I'd go is A-, though I feel like Normalium Z is a bit of a limitation here.

Magnezone:
I've been seeing more and more of these things on the in cart ladder. I've mostly seen Choice Specs and Assault Vest myself. Sturdy is a real fantastic ability that can get you out of some clutch situations, and while me and Psynergy aren't big fans of this, there have been some Magnet Pull Magnezone going around specifically sniping Celesteela, which can be pretty fun on the right teams. However, Magnezone is pretty damn slow, so I'd personally put it in around the B-B+ range.

Eevee:
I saw some discussion on Eevee here. Eevee teams can totally smash people who are unprepared, but Eevee teams tend to have a very specfic structure around making sure Eevee can actually set up (usually Alolan Ninetales + BP receivers), and the Memento ban really hurts it too. For now, I think its best it goes unranked, and we should probably give it another look some time after the post Pokebank metagame has settled down.

Hydreigon:
This one might be a bit controversial, but I think Hydreigon is still pretty usable. The only Tapu that can really switch in safely is Tapu Fini, because otherwise, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Koko take a ton of damage from Fire Blast, and Tapu Lele takes a lot from that too. I think it will be much better once Cresselia is back into the fold, and admitly, Tapu Koko is a pretty damn good revenge killer of it. Still, I think it might at least be worth a slot into B-rank. I can see why some other people may object to that though, so I wouldn't mind some discussion on Hydreigon!

Arcanine:
Gonna have to agree with Solerme here, Arcanine has been seeing quite a bit of play on the higher parts of the ladder. I think this is because its one of the few viable prebank Fire-types. To be clear: after post bank, I don't see too much of a point in Arcanine when you got better stuff like Heatran, Entei, or Mega Charizard X. Still, for now, I think it deserves a slot into B rank.
 
#16
Eevee is a niche pokemon only. And I dont think galie should be in B tier because moody is all about luck and youdont know if oyu will get the accuracy boost for sheer cold
 
#18
Eevee is a niche pokemon only. And I dont think galie should be in B tier because moody is all about luck and youdont know if oyu will get the accuracy boost for sheer cold
Also, the tier list doesn't care about whether "it's all about luck" or not, just how often it wins. If an opponent doesn't have a clean answer to Glalie, it has a high probability of establishing an unbeatable position. Considering the somewhat small number of such clean answers available pre-bank, B+ is a reasonable place for Glalie.

Agree with unranked Eevee, especially now that most people have figured out how to play around it.

I think A is too high for Mandibuzz. It's a good solution for a number of things but it also has miserable matchups against a lot of common stuff and doesn't really apply much pressure. I'd bump it down a little into A-.

I also think A might be too high for Primarina, at least for pre-bank. I can see it eventually becoming a staple post-bank as Trick Room teams gain more options in general and answering Blaziken becomes important. For now, people are very prepared for fairy-types and there's also a large opportunity cost (or type-stacking risk, if you choose) to having Primarina on your team with other such dominant fairy-type options available. But its stats, moveset, and ability to brick rain cores merit at least B+, so that's where I'd put it.

As others have said, Arcanine should definitely be ranked for pre-bank. I'd say B or B+.
 

DragonWhale

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#19
Yeah we know we missed a few mons. I agree zone, pz, arcanine, and hydrei are good ones that deserve ranks. eevee, muk, azu, and clef maybe not yet.

As for my personal thoughts on some of the ideas raised in this thread: i can see mandi and prima being lower but definitely not as low as some people are suggesting, mamo rise is sorta debatable, and p2 has no reason NOT to be S.
 
#20
While I lack the battling calibre of a lot of the other posters, I feel Golisopod is underrated.

That said I'm hesitant to offer a further recommendation as I don't know how severe the impact of Tapu Lele and Psychic Terrain is on it. Perhaps it falls outside of the ranks that are currently under discussion. It should be noted however that it has been hovering around the "OU Cutoff" of 3.41% for both months of SM 1760 stats, however unstable the meta is currently.

IIRC, First Impression has a higher priority than all other relevant direct damaging moves save for Extreme Speed. I've been taken aback several times at how much damage a neutral hit scores as well. Out of interest, how many other Pokemon get 3 priority moves? And if any, how many of them are ass-tier slow to abuse them?

I know emergency exit is the elephant in the room, and most of the time it will do more harm than good. That said, I certainly wouldn't rank it alongside the likes of truant or slow start. I've even managed to pull off a pseudo baton pass with it.

As I say, I'm hardly battling pedigree, especially amongst the ranks of Smogon - just wanted to add my $0.02.
 
#22
I think Magnezone should be on too cause it can check lele, mimikyu to an extent, and generally is a decent pokemon in the current metagame with electric and steell being such great offensive typing, can run scarf/specs or even assault vest. B-B+ for sure!
 
#23
Steel/Electric is also a good type against Koko if he does not run Hp Ground.

They just forgot about Magnezone. I'm sure he will get a slot soon.
Anyway i think Muk-A deserves a mention too.
 
#24
These rankings are Pretty accurate imo! One thing I want to generate some discussion on is Tapu fini though. I feel like it may deserve A+ due to this set:
Tapu Fini @ Icium Z
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Surf
- Taunt
- Haze
- Nature's Madness

Let me preface this by saying this set is a defensive team's absolute worst nightmare. Taunt+ Nature's madness, and a 100% heal whenever you become remotely threatened is so good. I see so many teams that just cant handle this set at all, and it's actually kind of tragic that this has flown under the radar. I personally use it on a team composed of fini/marowak/muk/buzzwole/celesteela/mence. Wak has rly great synergy for it and so far has been about all the support Ive needed for it to just demolish teams. So yeah, tapu fini is pretty good. While I tentatively nom it to A+, this nom is more or less just to drum up some discussion on what I feel is a super underated mon!
 
#25
Sorry for taking so long on this but here's some changes to the ranks. You'll notice there aren't changes to every mon that has been nominated earlier in the thread, but the council voted on just about everything that's been mentioned. These are all the mons we decided to change/add.

Mamoswine A- > A

PZ -- > B+

Muk -- > B+

Arcanine -- > B+

Magnezone -- > A-

Hydreigon -- > B

Mandibuzz A > A-

Primarina A > B+
 
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