A Look at NU Viability Rankings: S-Rank

By Raseri. Art by Blue Frog.
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People that follow the Neverused subforum have undoubtedly seen the Viability Rankings thread. This thread breaks up the Pokémon in Neverused into different groups based on how effective they are in the tier. The best Pokémon, which will be featured here, are in S rank. There is also A, B, C, D, and E rank, each with decreasing viability in the current Neverused metagame. S-rank threats are the most influential and powerful Pokémon in the tier. They are what every team must absolutely be prepared for, as they can often sweep at a moments notice. Often, S-rank threats are what the tier revolves around and are where the majority of suspects come from. Through the understanding of what they do and why they are so great, it is easier to become a great battler in Neverused.



What makes Jynx Top-S rank?

A big part of what makes Jynx Top-S rank is her sheer versatility. There are a lot of different ways that Jynx can be used, such as a Choice Scarf user, a wallbreaker, or even a sweeper. Jynx is also gifted with Lovely Kiss, a move that puts the opponent to sleep. Everyone knows how amazing sleep is in BW, and giving it to an already amazing Pokémon is really what makes Jynx Top-S material. The Choice Scarf set is likely the best set right now, as it is capable of revenge killing most of the sweepers in Neverused, including fellow S-rank Pokémon Carracosta. It is also easy to clean up with it late game because Jynx has two amazing STAB moves and a powerful base 115 Special Attack. The wallbreaker set takes advantage of Life Orb to rip through nearly every wall in Neverused. Between Ice Beam, Psyshock, and Focus Blast, virtually nothing in the tier can stand up to her, aside from basically just Metang, Grumpig, and Shedinja. Finally, the Nasty Plot sweeper set isn't nearly as common anymore, but it is still quite deadly because a lot of teams don't prepare for it at all. It makes revenge killing Jynx very difficult because of Substitute, and it can easily boost on bulky Water-types. Her Dry Skin is also very important in making Jynx so threatening. Healing when being hit by Scald or Hydro Pump is absolutely amazing, because without Dry Skin, Water-types would be some of the best checks to Jynx, but because of this ability she becomes one of the tier's best checks to offensive Water-types.


What makes Scolipede Top-S rank?

Spikes are the biggest reason Scolipede is Top-S rank; the hazard creates so many KOs for other Pokémon that nearly any Spikes user can succeed in the tier. On top of this, Scolipede gives Neverused the first STAB Megahorn user, something that we've been waiting for since the tier was founded. The ability to hit Psychic-types with a STAB super effective attack is amazing, as is having a Spiker that isn't complete Musharna bait. Scolipede is also very fast for the metagame, able to outspeed Jynx, Primeape, Tauros, and nearly every other major threat barring Serperior and Swellow. This Speed has made formerly fast Pokémon now average, as Neverused has become much faster, especially with the incluson of Jynx. Scolipede can also be a potent sweeper with a SubSalac set, as it is faster than all common Choice Scarf Pokémon at +1, and it uses Swords Dance to boost its middling Attack to great levels. +2 Megahorn, when boosted by its ability, Swarm, can OHKO many Pokémon that resist it. Being such a versatile Pokémon makes Scolipede a huge threat, and it can be useful on any kind of team because of how amazing Spikes are. Scolipede also has great resistances such as a 4x resist to both Fighting and Grass, both of which are common attacking types in Neverused. The only major flaw that Scolipede has is a subpar Attack stat, but even that is mitigated by the high-powered moves it uses.



What makes Kangaskhan Mid-S Rank?

Kangaskhan is the best answer to offensive teams that Neverused has access to. Her ability to completely shut down offensive teams makes her one of the easiest Pokémon to use. Fake Out + Sucker Punch is a great combo to hit Pokémon like Fraxure and Jynx, and it does great chip damage to nearly every Pokémon in the tier. Kangaskhan is also quite fast and can use Double Edge against slower Pokémon that aren't defeated by priority, such as Sawk and Braviary. However, her ability to hit bulky threats isn't nearly as important as her ability to check the frail threats of Neverused. Kangaskhan's ability, Scrappy, also allows her to hit Ghost-types with Double-Edge and Fake Out, making short work of both Misdreavus and Haunter. Without Kangaskhan, heavy offense would be far more viable, so suppressing an entire playstyle is enough to make Kangaskhan S-rank.

Why isn't Kangaskhan Top-S Rank?

The main reason is a lack of versatility. Kangaskhan only excels in one area but is so good at what it does that it's enough to make her S-rank. Outside of the priority abusing set, there really isn't that much Kangaskhan can do. She can run a Choice Band set, but other Normal-types can typically do this better. If Kangaskhan had a higher Attack stat, then she would be Top-S rank for sure, but her Double-Edges are just a bit too weak right now. Other things that could push Kangaskhan over are a few movepool additions. Bulk Up, in particular, would give her the boosting move she needs too become more of a sweeper instead of an offensive utility Pokémon. Bulk Up would also let her set up on Alomomola easily and destroy defensive teams with ease. Another interesting thing that would make Kangaskhan Top-S is Slack Off. Reliable recovery would be a godsend for a Pokémon that loses HP as quickly as Kangaskhan, as she runs Silk Scarf over Leftovers. Slack Off would make Life Orb a viable option and would make her even stronger than she is now, all while giving her free recovery against the bulky Pokémon that can't hurt her. Really, the only thing stopping Kangaskhan from being absolutely ridiculous is a lack of a way to beat defensive Pokémon outside of Toxic. Anything to assist with that would catapult Kangaskhan to Top-S and beyond!


What makes Musharna Mid-S rank?

Musharna is Mid-S rank because of her sheer bulk and versatility. She is a hard counter to many of the top threats in Neverused, including Sawk, Gurdurr, and Kangaskhan. She is also a great check to nearly every attacker in Neverused because of how bulky she is, and access to Moonlight doesn't hurt either. Musharna has versatility in her sets unlike any other Pokémon in Neverused with sweeping, walling, and supporting all being options for her. Having such a reliable answer to just about any Pokémon in the tier really makes Musharna hard to handle, as the few Pokémon that can defeat her are easily lured in and defeated by the Baton Pass set. Another big reason Musharna is Mid-S rank is her ability to support the team. A combination of Heal Bell, Moonlight, Baton Pass, Reflect, and Thunder Wave means that there will always be a way for Musharna to be useful. Cleric? Check. Wall? Check. Have a Fraxure sweeping your team? Thunder Wave it. No supporting Pokémon in Neverused is as versatile as Musharna, and the only thing she's missing is entry hazards!

Why Isn't Musharna Top-S rank?

The state of the metagame stops Musharna from completely dominating. Jynx is better in an offensive role, meaning more offensive Musharna are generally not as effective. The rise of Scolipede means that Calm Mind Musharna isn't nearly as good either, because Life Orb Boosted Megahorn does enough damage for Musharna to be picked off by nearly anything. Mandibuzz is as great of a counter to Musharna as there is. With an immunity to Psychic and Hidden Power Ground and no weakness to Signal Beam, there is no way for Musharna to realistically defeat Mandibuzz. In terms of moves, there really isn't much Musharna needs that she doesn't already have. A more reliable sleep-inducing move, such as Sleep Powder, would definitely send her to Top-S rank. Coverage moves, such as Earth Power for Skuntank or Thunderbolt for Mandibuzz, would also be appreciated, but neither are necessary for Musharna to thrive.


What makes Samurott Mid-S rank?

Samurott is one of the few Pokémon in Neverused that can attack both physically and specially. That alone is enough to make any Pokémon formidable, but Samurott takes it a step further by being able to break nearly any Pokémon there is. The Swords Dance set breaks through nearly everything except for Alomomola and Shelgon, while the special variant breaks through everything except for Lickilicky, Audino, and Jynx (unless it's running Megahorn). The extreme difference in counters is what makes Samurott so difficult to beat. When it first appears, the opponent is essentially forced to guess what set it is running, and if they guess wrong they are put in a severe disadvantage. Samurott is also bulky enough to survive nearly any neutral attack and retaliate, which is enough to make it an absolutely huge threat in Neverused. On top of all of this, Samurott also has access to STAB priority in Aqua Jet, so a fast but frail Choice Scarf Pokémon can not even safely revenge kill it, making bulky Pokémon nearly the only option. A Pokémon with no counters and very few reliable checks is easily S-rank, and Samurott is one of the best Pokémon in Neverused history.

Why isn't Samurott Top-S Rank?

Samurott's major downfall is its Speed. Samurott is just too slow for the metagame. There are a lot of threats that are just faster and can defeat it if given a switch in. If Samurott had base 95 Speed, it would be Top-S rank and easily the best sweeper in the tier. Access to Calm Mind or Nasty Plot would also make the special set far more formidable, as the few counters it had would no longer be effective. Swift Swim would make Samurott the best sweeper in rain that there is; it would likely take over Ludicolo's role as the main Swift Swim Sweeper (try saying that 10 times). There really isn't a lot that can be added to Samurott's movepool that would make it Top-S; it has access to nearly anything it could ever want. A more consistent ability than Torrent is what would really change things up for it. Nearly anything that can be consistently useful across many battles would send Samurott up to the realms of Top-S!



What makes Carracosta S rank?

Carracosta is S-rank because it is one of the most dangerous and consistent set-up sweepers in the tier. It is one of the few that doesn't truly fear Kangaskhan, and that alone is enough to make it very popular among top tier players. It has a deadly STAB combination that only Seismitoad resists in Neverused. This means that the only defensive counters, other than Seismitoad, are extremely physically bulky Pokémon like Tangela, Alomomola, and Gurdurr. Everything else falls to its amazingly powerful attacks. Beyond sweeping, Carracosta has great physical bulk that can let it play a supportive role with a Stealth Rock lead set. It can hit other leads with a super effective Waterfall and still has priority in Aqua Jet to take down fast but frail threats such as Zangoose. Carracosta is probably the closest to A-rank out of everything on this list, mainly because most teams do carry a way to beat it. Scarf Jynx is a great counter to Shell Smash Carracosta, as it is immune to Aqua Jet and can defeat it with Psychic.

Why doesn't Carracosta measure up to the Mid-S and Top-S threats?

Its lack of Speed, even when boosted, is a problem for Carracosta. Scarf Jynx was already mentioned, but without a Jolly nature, Serperior outspeeds Carracosta and can easily OHKO with Giga Drain. Shell Smash decreasing its Defense also makes things difficult for it, as it cannot check Normal- and Flying-types nearly as well at -1 Defense. Weakness to common Fighting- and Grass-type attacks and an overall subpar defensive typing also do not do much for Carracosta. To top it all off, Life Orb recoil really makes it difficult for Carracosta to sweep. Because it will take damage while setting up, the recoil often means that it will run out of gas before it is done sweeping the entire opposing team. Carracosta really is a great Pokémon in Neverused, but it just doesn't make the cut as Mid or Top-S because it has a lot of crippling flaws that make it very hard for it to sweep.


What makes Sawk S-rank?

Sawk is the best wallbreaker in the tier. He can safely spam Close Combat against most teams and rip through any team without a dedicated counter. He also has Mold Breaker, which nullifies Sturdy on common leads such as Golem and Probopass. This allows Sawk to OHKO them and prevent hazards from going up. Sawk also has the sheer power to defeat other common leads, such as Piloswine, Seismitoad, and some versions of Regirock. Outside of defeating leads, Sawk can OHKO nearly anything that doesn't resist Close Combat, and it can 2HKO many things that do.

Why doesn't Sawk measure up to the Mid-S and Top-S threats?

Unlike everything else on the list, Sawk has a lot of hard counters that make it very easy to play against if used intelligently. Musharna and Misdreavus are complete counters, as there is little Sawk can do to beat them outside of an Ice Punch freeze. His only real option to do damage to them is Knock Off, as it removes Misdreavus's Eviolite and Musharna's Leftovers, making them easier to wear down and defeat over the course of the match. Just the presence of Misdreavus or Musharna on another team makes Sawk nearly useless if he doesn't have Skuntank support. They can consistently switch in, and Sawk will always cause a loss of momentum. There are other Pokémon that can take advantage of Close Combat and use it to set up hazards. Garbodor and Scolipede both tank Close Combat with ease and set up Spikes to wear down the opposition. If somehow Sawk could defeat Musharna and Misdreavus, it would be Top-S rank and absolutely dominate the tier but as it stands, it can't measure up to the top threats because it has a lot of amazing counters that will always come out victorious.


There are plenty of viable Pokémon in Neverused, but the ones outlined in this article are the biggest threats you will come by. Through understanding their roles in the metagame, hopefully you can use them more effectively and approach them with little fear when your opponent is using them. What are you waiting for? Try out these S-Rank Pokémon for yourself on the Neverused ladder!

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