History of Rarelyused
RU is the fourth tier for tiering based on usage. It exists as a result of there being so many Pokemon in the 5th generation that without it, NU would have easily more than 2/3 of the fully evolved Pokemon in the game among its ranks. In order to give players more freedom in tier choice and to give all of these Pokemon a chance in their power levels, like is the spirit of Smogon's tiers at all, the fourth tier RU was born.
Past Tiering Decisions
October 4th, 2011
Initial RU caused Yanmega and Venomoth to be removed from Rarelyused
At the conclusion of the first few months of RU, Yanmega and Venomoth were deemed too powerful for the tier and were placed into Borderline 2, the RU banlist. After discussion in the aforementioned threads, the leaders of RU, Oglemi and Nails, made an executive decision to boot the bugs out of the tier for being too powerful. Yanmega was cited as broken due to its ability to simply blast its way through almost the whole of RU with its Choice Specs-boosted Tinted Lens Bug Buzz and Air Slash, or a powerful Life Orb Speed Boost late-game cleaner. Venomoth was deemed broken due to its ability to not only sweep with a deadly Quiver Dance Tinted Lens Life Orb set, but it was also able to pass whatever boosts it accumulated with Baton Pass to a teammate, typically Omastar, Moltres, or Porygon-Z. On top of that, Venomoth even had access to Sleep Powder to put its usual counters out of commission for the remainder of the battle.
October 19th, 2011
Alakazam and Sableye removed from Rarelyused after the first stage of RU
With the usage tier shifts, banning of Yanmega and Venomoth, and the release of a bunch of new Dream World Pokemon, RU Stage 1 was a hectic round. After just a couple of weeks it became apparent that Magic Guard Alakazam and Prankster Sableye were having an adverse effect on the metagame. So, a seven man council was assembled and a vote was taken on whether the two culprits should stay in RU or not. With a 6-0 vote, Alakazam was nearly unanimously deemed broken, due to its immunity to entry hazards, passive damage, and ability to simply rip through the metagame with a powerful Life Orb set or survive any attack once with Focus Sash and continue to sweep. With a 4-3 vote, Sableye too was deemed broken due to its ability to hard counter any stall team with its access to priority Will-O-Wisp, Taunt, Toxic, and Recover. It could also easily beat its usual counters with a simple Calm Mind set.
November 18th, 2011
The second stage of RU ruled that Baton Pass + Shell Smash is no longer allowed on the same moveset in Rarelyused and Honchkrow and Lilligant were deemed not broken in Rarelyused
At the beginning of Stage 2, a new style to determine the seven man Council was conceived, with various aspects of the forum, battle simulator, and IRC coming into play. On the ladder, it was also a very interesting round: offensive teams dominated, with battles usually being pretty fast-paced; it was also a very important Round for RU's future, with some of the main staples nowadays, such as Slowking, Lanturn, and Swellow finally rising from NU and taking their place. At the conclusion of Stage 2, Honchkrow, Lilligant, and the combination of Baton Pass + Shell Smash were slated as suspects and were voted on. Only Baton Pass + Shell Smash received a majority 6-1 vote and was voted BL2. SmashPass, as the strategy is commonly referred to, was cited as being broken due to the abuse of a particularly dangerous fast dual screen user + double SmashPassers combination, which opened the way for one of the sweepers to destroy the opponent's team. While some of the voters felt it was slightly over-hyped and not as dominating as past suspects, it simply made the game uncompetitive.
December 16th, 2011
Porygon-Z deemed not broken in Rarelyused from stage three voting
At the conclusion of Stage 3, Porygon-Z was determined to be a worthy suspect and was slated to be voted on by the next council. However, at the end of the round, a 3-4 deemed Porygon-Z as not broken. Honchkrow, while getting the same vote the previous round, was not slated due to the functioning of the new council which would not allow any suspect to be voted on two rounds in a row. With the round about to end, a new strategy involving hail, Trick Room, and Focus Sash + Endeavor Solosis and Duosion emmerged and immediatly dominated the ladder, turning it into a hail vs anti-hail competition. Many cried out that the strategy was broken, but due to the lack of time to appropriately test it, it was not slated as a suspect to let the strategy simmer on the ladder for a while more. However, with the banning of Snow Warning from UU, the strategy became obsolete, fixing any problems associated with it.
January 5th, 2012
Cresselia deemed not broken from the result of a quick vote
With the new tier shifts, Cresselia dropped into RU along with several other Pokemon, including Spiritomb, Sigilyph, and Golurk. Back in Stage 1, when Cresselia was the most used in the tier despite Yanmega and Venomoth having a huge impact, it was largely considered broken. However, it left the tier to go to UU due to usage before a decision could be made on its tiering placement within RU. With it back in RU without Yanmega and Venomoth to keep it in check, there was a large concern that Cresselia would break the metagame and would be even worse to deal with than it was before. So a quick vote was called, to either get it out of the tier ASAP so that the round could continue without its influence, or to keep it in the tier to determine if it really was broken. The voting council that was gathered decided to keep it in the tier to properly test it for a while longer.
January 16th, 2012
Round Four of Suspect Testing Resulted in the banning of Cresselia and Porygon-Z while Honchkrow remains
At the end of the round, Cresselia was ultimately determined to be broken in a 5-4 vote. It was largely considered too bulky for the tier, as it was able to set up dual screens, Trick Room, and many other field effects for the team multiple times throughout the battle. Another move Cresselia was notable for using well was Thunder Wave; thanks to its tremendous bulk as well as Moonlight and its ability to discourage Ground-types from switching in thanks to Levitate and Ice Beam, Cresselia was arguably the best paralysis spreader. It could also be a huge help late-game bringing one of its teammates from near-death with Lunar Dance. Many voters claimed that Cresselia made balanced teams unviable because of how difficult it was to kill with neutral or even weaker super effective hits. Finally, it was able to go on the offensive with an effective Substitute + Calm Mind set and plow through the opposing team with the right conditions. After a change in rules that now allowed suspects to be voted on in consecutive rounds, Porygon-Z was unanimously considered to be broken, mostly in part to its ability to wallbreak with Choice Specs. Nothing could safely switch into Choice Specs Porygon-Z and even the bulkiest resists got at least 3HKOed by Adaptability-boosted Tri Attack. In addition, Porygon-Z could easily sweep the opposing team from behind dual screens after an Agility or Nasty Plot. Honchkrow was unanimously deemed not broken after months of debate in this vote. While it was largely considered the most powerful Pokemon in the tier, its low Speed, frailness, and high recoil from its main STAB move made it manageable with a well-built team. There were also some very hard counters to the standard SubRoost set in Aggron, Rhydon, and Steelix, among others.
February 27th, 2012
Round Five ended Durant's reign of terror, while keeping Sharpedo around
At the end of Round 4, RU had just lost its sturdiest wall and its most dangerous special attacker. How would the metagame react? Would balanced teams rise now that two of their biggest threats were gone? These were the main questions as we entered Round 5, and, it was a very good period to understand things aren't always what it seems: losing the bulkiest dual screen user and the most potent wallbreaker didn't discourage people from using offensive teams, they just went hyper! Hyper offense was a common playstyle back then, and monsters such as Trick Room + Nasty Plot Cofagrigus, Shell Smash Omastar, and Taunt + Swords Dance Drapion were some of the scariest sights, especially with the always reliable Uxie, who took Cresselia's spot, setting up dual screens and/or using Memento to further help the sweepers. You might have noticed there aren't any mentions of the suspects yet. Why? Because they weren't that common at all: in both months of this round, Sharpedo didn't make it into top 10, and Durant lingered around #30. Despite this, with some support, Sharpedo could definitely sweep late-game, while Choice Band Durant would just rip through non-offensive teams without Steelix and a bit of luck to get some Hustle misses. All in all, Durant was booted and Sharpedo only stayed for one more month before moving up to UU due to usage.