Gen 3 ADV LC Viability Ranking

Corporal Levi

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Preliminary ADV LC Viability Rankings

Welcome to the ADV LC 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. Feel free to ask if there is any placement which you don't understand.


Tier List

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

Reserved for Pokemon that are amazing in the ADV LC metagame. These Pokemon are almost always able to perform a variety of roles effectively, or can just do one extremely well. Their use has very little risk involved and high reward exerted.

Reserved for Pokemon that are outstanding in the ADV LC metagame and can sweep, wall, or support the majority of the tier. These Pokemon do not require much support to be used effectively and have few flaws that can be overlooked when compared to their outstanding traits.
A+ rank


A rank


A- rank


Reserved for Pokemon who are great in the ADV LC metagame, but have notable flaws 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+ rank


B rank


B- rank


Reserved for Pokemon that have notable niches in the ADV LC 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 ADV LC, and face a large amount of competition from the more commonly used Pokemon.
C+ rank


C rank


C- rank


Reserved for Pokemon that are mediocre in the ADV LC metagame, but have a few traits that are enough to justify their use on some teams. These Pokemon are either usable but hard to fit onto a team, or are only capable of doing their specific task and fail at doing anything more than that.


Reserved for Pokemon that are atrocious in the ADV LC metagame, or have not been seriously tested. In the case of the former, these Pokemon should rarely be used on a serious team.
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je suis d'ailleurs

Here to make a couple of noms while making some delicious lasagna:

Meowth -> C

rogue (Meowth) (M) @ Silk Scarf
Ability: Pickup
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Double-Edge
- Hypnosis
- Shadow Ball

Meowth is actually a great counter-lead in the current meta, able to beat the majority of good leads bar elekid and voltorb. It utterly demolishes spikes leads (even endure salac ones like snorunt) with fake out + hypno/d-edge. In fact, with a silk scarf equipped, fake out + double-edge 2hkoes much of the metagame. Coupled with its high speed, Meowth is actually a relevant force in the metagame. Also it has shadow ball so that's cool to hit things like duskull or gas.

Meowth Shadow Ball vs. Gastly: 17-20 (85 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO

Meowth Fake Out vs. Trapinch: 5-7 (22.7 - 31.8%) -- 99.9% chance to 4HKO
Meowth Double-Edge vs. Trapinch: 15-18 (68.1 - 81.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Speaking of which, here's another nom:

Snorunt -> C-

COLORS (Snorunt) @ Salac Berry
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 5
EVs: 116 HP / 116 Def / 36 SpA / 36 SpD / 196 Spe
Timid Nature
- Spikes
- Safeguard / Sing
- Endure
- Ice Beam

This snorunt set is actually one of the more reliable lead spikers that I find myself using and liking to use quite a bit. Gets off at least a spike versus the majority of the meta and can, albeit unreliably, put something to sleep, which is huge. I generally find pineco underwhelming overall, but moreso in the lead spot, which is critical for getting spikes down ASAP and getting some momentum.

Ponyta -> A

Ponyta is such an amazing mon currently. Has a variety of a options ranging from sub to hypnosis. Functions in several roles, as either a fast hypno lead or a hard hitting sweeper. Similarly to Meowth, it beats every spike stack 1v1 and gets you momentum off the get-go. Find myself using this mon constantly.

Guh I hate writing in mons, I can never write more than a couple of lines...


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I can only be assed to make two noms right now.

Diglett -> S

Diglett sits in the fastest speed tier in the game, 20. Not only that, paired with its amazing ability and a choice band, it is able to trap a large majority of the tier. Nothing much outside of a resist/immunity is surviving a choice band earthquake and maybe a layer of spikes. Part of its downfall is the popularity of Trapinch and Porygon, both of which countertrap Diglett. Those two limit Dig's effectiveness to an extent, but with 3 layers of spikes you can muscle past them! Or, conversely, if you're lucky and bad, you can always muscle past them with a crit!

Trapinch -> A

Trapinch is honestly really great in ADV. It has such a high attack stat that it doesn't need to always invest fully in it, giving it the opportunity to instead invest in bulk. This lets it actually switch in to what it wants to trap, thanks to Sitrus Berry. Not to mention, it is able to reliably trap Diglett for teams, which is essential for say an Abra sweep. It also has rare priority in quick attack, which, while weak, is still nice for picking off endure salac sweepers. The reason it's not as good as Diglett is because, while it can support a team better than Diglett, it can only perform once or twice a game at most, and, despite not being choice locked, it can be a huge momentum kill as it lets offensive monsters like Wailmer in for free, something that Diglett does not do.

Also, I agree with everything Slurmz nommed. I would even go so far as to say place Ponyta in A+. Many teams rely on Diglett to revenge kill Ponyta, but with an agility under Ponyta's belt, Diglett can no longer do that. With sunny day, it also survives really strong attacks from water types like a full HP water spout from Wailmer. As a fourth moveslot option over Agility, you could even run Hypnosis to mess with walls like Porygon.
Lotad C+ --> B

This guy probably belongs in B+ but I won't push for too much. Being able to counter wailmer, horsea and staryu while also easily checking elekid, chinchou, most abra variants and trapinch is already a big deal, but the fact that lotad also can stay alive for a long time, counteract weather setters, is one of the most reliable thief users and is fully capable of swift swim sweeping is a huge deal. The fact that it gets in so easily on a lot of pokemon and punishes pokemon REALLY hard for switching out is brutal, and unlike horsea, if you choose to try to knock it out to prevent it from setting rain, it's usually bulky enough to take it. Another huge plus is that it has no special weaknesses, meaning any Special attackers wanting to run an HP to cover it can't.

Mankey C- --> C

EndureSalac Reversal is such a crazy late game cleaner oh my lord. It's held back by the fact that it only really has one shot at it, but the number of priority users in the tier is quite low.

Pineco A- --> B+

Usually I find myself really underwhelmed by Pineco. Even with bulk investment it still often gets killed either in one shot or by a weak hit into strong hit combo. There's also just general metagame trends that I think hurt it. Spikes feel less effective lately as the meta seems lest focused on strong hits and more focused on STRONG HITS. I'm seeing a lot of band and Attack/SpAtk boosting berries, and it seems like everything is a OHKO even without spikes, to the point they don't feel as helpful. There's also the fact that we're figuring out more effective sets and ways to use cacnea and snorunt as effective spikers that Pineco just doesn't seem as much of THE spikes setter in a meta that isn't as appreciative of spikes support
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I just want to pipe in to say I support the Meowth nom. It may not have the best bulk, but it performs its role as a lead well. On top of that, a set using Taunt > Fake Out can be used to stop bulkier spikes leads such as Pineco, whereas Fake Out puts certain Pokémon in OHKO range without triggering their berry. Both moves definitely have merit on the set. Whatever the case, this Pokémon allows for a solid start into any game where you don't face Voltorb rain.

I support every other nomination bar the Pineco one, too. Pineco still takes a fair share of attacks but what makes it so invaluable as a spiker is its access to explosion, making it almost impossible to set up on. For a passive mon in such a fast-paced metagame, this is a blessing and a half. I think it should remain in A- Rank.

I can also see Ponyta go higher, but I will not make that nomination now. What I've learned to appreciate the most about this mon is that it is a fire type that Wailmer cannot just spam Water Spout on, courtesy of Sunny Day. So in a 1v1 situation, Wailmer is forced to self-destruct to stop it from setting up. If sun is already up, you are likely losing your whale to Solar Beam. Its biggest drawback is that it gets revenge-killed by Diglett or Trapinch (assuming no Agility / Sunny Day up, respectively), but even that can be used to your advantage by pairing it with Porygon, who can remove these threats and allow other Pokémon that fear these two to shine.

Now, to close out this post, I would like to make a nomination of my own.

Carvanha D --> C

This Pokémon may not seem like much at first glance, yet its ability and typing are very useful. With Hydro Pump and Crunch, it has two hard-hitting STABs. In addition, Ice Beam is a very good coverage move. What makes or breaks this Pokémon, though, is the combination of Rough Skin and Endure, letting it act as a stop to Endure/Reversal or Endure/Flail users. Give it a Salac Berry and you have a very solid cleaner. Thief can be used over Crunch as it often allows for a complete health repletion as bulky, yet weak mon are often switched in to try and take that 1 last hp off it. Overall, it is a solid mon that I would like to get more attention.


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First of all I want to say that I agree with all the nominations above.

I'd also like to nominate a Pokemon I and many others have used with massive success for a while now, but that's still D rank: Bagon.

They are both great Dragon Dancers, but I usually find Bagon to have a much easier time setting up compared to Larvitar. While Bagon may not have a STAB Earthquake like Larvitar, it does have a Rock Head Double-Edge that hits extremely hard. Even with an Adamant nature, Bagon still hits the crucial 14 Speedtier, compared to Larvitar which needs to run Jolly to hit the same speed, resulting in 16 Attack compared to 18 on Bagon.

Not only is Bagon slightly stronger, it can also set up Dragon Dance on a lot more Pokemon compared to Larvitar, which only really sets up safely on Doduo and Duskull (Doduo running HP Grass for Larvitar isn't too rare, either).

Therefore I'd like to nominate Bagon from D rank to B rank, and Larvitar from B rank to C+ rank. They are both incredible sweepers with the right amount of support, but in my experience Bagon most of the time outclasses Larvitar.


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I disagree with the Bagon nom to B and the Larvitar drop to C+. Bagon can't set up on as many things in the A ranks, and can't set up on anything at all in the S ranks safely. Whereas Bagon in those ranks sets up on Elekid, Chinchou (lacking thunder wave or not offensive ice beam), and Ponyta , Larvitar is able to set up on Doduo (lacking hp grass), physical variants of Porygon, Elekid, and Ponyta out of sun. So, they more or less have the same amount of setup opportunities, since they also set up on similar mons in the B rank. If anything, since they essentially have the same attack potential, both require spikes, they deserve to be ranked together, since having 1 more mon it can easily set up on doesn't really give Larvitar a case to be one subrank higher. I would instead like to counter that nomination with Bagon from D rank to B- rank and Larvitar from B rank to B- rank.


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I disagree.

S and A-ranks Bagon can set up on:

Diglett - only 30% chance to OHKO Bagon with Choice Band Earthquake.
Doduo - Bagon easily survives Return and Drill Peck from non-Choice Band Doduo which is getting more and more popular.
Elekid - Only 30% chance to OHKO Bagon with Ice Punch.
Ponyta - Fire Blast in sun only does 70% damage to Bagon.
Trapinch - Max Attack Adamant Earthquake from Trapinch only does 80%.

S and A-ranks Larvitar can set up on:

Doduo - Without Hidden Power Grass.
Ponyta - Without Hidden Power Grass or sun up.
Elekid - Without Hidden Power Grass (HP Grass should be used a lot more as an alternative to Ice Punch on Elekid than it currently is, since it helps it beat Chinchou and Larvitar, and let's face it, Grass-types are p rare in ADV LC)

The fact that Bagon can set up on two more S and A-rank Pokemon than Larvitar, makes it a Pokemon that's a lot easier to set up. You don't need to be afraid of the opponent using Hidden Power Grass on the few Pokemon Larvitar can set up on, either (HP Grass is far from rare on the mentioned Pokemon).

I'm okay with Larvitar being B- rank, but I'm struggling to see why Bagon doesn't deserve to be atleast 1, maybe even 2 ranks above Larvitar.


Rain without the \
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Here's a cool Pokemon I've been trying lately:
Lileep from Unranked -> C- Rank

Lileep is an amazingly bulky Pokemon which I run a mixed set for. It is able to check big threats like Doduo (Choice Banded Drill peck does a maximum of 78%) and KO it with Rock Slide. It can also beat trappers Diglett (Choice banded does max 78% with Earthquake) and Trapinch (to OHKO Trapinch is a roll but Trapinch only does around 60% with Earthquake to Lileep) which are big threats to many teams. It also gets access to recover and can "toxic stall" even in a Hyper Offensive tier for it's filler moves.

Lileep @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Suction Cups
Level: 5
EVs: 192 Atk / 140 Def / 112 SpA / 60 SpD
Relaxed Nature
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Rock Slide
- Toxic
- Recover
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Okay Diglett yeah, but honestly I've been seeing way more band Doduo than I have non-band. And if Doduo isn't band, then it's likely some endure or sub salac/liechi berry set, which can then beat Bagon with some predictions, so that's not really too safe a set up situation either. And Bagon does not win the matchup versus Trapinch. If it tries setting up versus Trapinch, then its double edge doesn't even kill it back.
+1 252+ Atk Bagon Double-Edge vs. 156 HP / 76 Def Trapinch: 19-23 (82.6 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
Whereas, two earthquakes from Trapinch and then a follow-up quick attack can finish Bagon off. That is not a trade that Bagon wins.

Also, something else that Larvitar has over Bagon is the ability to use STAB coverage, which gives it a free moveslot. If Bagon foregoes one of brick break or hp ghost, it becomes hard walled by rock types or ghosts respectively, but because of Larvitar's good STAB coverage, it can run whatever it would like in its final moveslot, like endure, substitute, hp ghost, taunt, or whatever else you may want.

While Bagon may be able to set up on one more mon (Diglett), and not fear random hidden powers, Larvitar has the edge over Bagon in its movepool by not being limited to a specific set. This definitely makes up for being able to set up on one less mon, thus they should be the same subrank.
Something else to consider is how capable they are of sweeping after they've set up. Bagon can be lacking in power due to not getting any SE hits on his main attack. However, larvitar is walled very hard by baltoy who is already a good spinner and anti-lead so it's hard to say who wins on the sweeping side but I'd say larvitar is better at getting a clean sweep.
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Clamperl to B+

It's really strong, and shouldn't be lower than Cubone. It OHKOs basically everything, and isn't exactly frail.

252+ SpA DeepSeaTooth Clamperl Surf vs. 236 HP / 236 SpD Porygon: 22-27 (84.6 - 103.8%) -- 25% chance to OHKO

even sun can't save Ponyta

252+ SpA DeepSeaTooth Clamperl Surf vs. 196 HP / 236 SpD Ponyta in Sun: 25-30 (104.1 - 125%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Clamperl is good and probably better than Cubone, but at least make them equal.

Corporal Levi

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Snorunt -> C-
Ponyta -> A
Trapinch -> A
Mankey -> C
Carvanha -> C-
Bagon -> C+
Larvitar -> B-
Lileep -> D
Clamperl -> B-

I didn't do some of the bigger jumps all the way.

I'm not convinced that Meowth is especially good - it's frail enough to not really take advantage of Sitrus Berry and not especially powerful. Since most of its utility is Hypnosis, it's limited to the lead slot and doesn't do much after putting something to sleep, if Hypnosis actually hits and Meowth isn't just OHKOed by a gust of wind, of course. What are its advantages over, say, lead Ponyta or Poliwag, which can threaten the opponent even after a Hypnosis? What additional match-ups does it win other than Trapinch, or is it just Taunt and being able to use Ponyta/Poliwag as the wincon instead?

I understand that Diglett is still really good, but often it's just a one for one trade when Trapinch and Porygon are some of the best Pokemon in the metagame and are used as often as Diglett itself. This isn't super special considering how Diglett struggles to come in other than on a revenge-kill, especially in ADV LC when one for one trades are common. In addition, the metagame has adapted to Diglett however it can through bulkier EV spreads and a lot of EndureSalac, so Diglett doesn't feel as effective anymore. Most of the time, I don't feel it's any better than Trapinch.

Cubone is ranked above Clamperl because its defensive typing is arguably more useful and it's a little faster. Since teams usually only have one of these wall-breakers, Clamperl has to directly compete with Cubone.

I'd like some more discussion before I decide what to do with Pineco, or move Larvitar/Bagon further than I already have.
You forgot to show that Lotad got moved from C+ to B-. Also the mention of clamperl reminds me that that's another thing that lotad can beat, though not as cleanly because ice beam breaks sitrus berry. Also i've gotten my ass kicked by Meowth more than once with it contributing to my loss past being a lead, but coming in again and putting that great speed and nice power to work. I'd be for it rising.


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Alright so, I tried building a team with Bagon and Larvitar with Spikes support, and I think all of us have underestimated both these Pokemon a lot. Having both of them on the same team with Spikes support (1 spike is often enough!) almost guarantees a sweep against most teams. I'm definitely starting to agree that Bagon and Larvitar are equally good, but they should both be ranked a lot higher. Looking at the other A-rank Pokemon, I believe they should atleast be A- or B+.

I'd also like to nominate a few other sweepers that are extremely threatening with Spikes support.

Bagon C+ -> A-
Larvitar B- -> A-
Horsea A -> A-
Oddish B- -> B+
Exeggcute B- -> B+


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Eggy should for sure move; Psychic + Solarbeam is a really lethal combo backed nicely by Explosion. Sleep Powder also means that somewhere between 1-3 pokemon will be eliminated with very minimal support. Eggy also has more than enough bulk to live most Ice Beam from Porygon, meaning that very often it can provide its own sun too. I played around with a lead set with protect / sunny day / sleep powder / boom and it worked semi decently too; it gave oddish more than enough support to sweep and can even be used with Psychic over protect as a mid/early game mon.


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I would also like to add that Exeggcute gets Thief, which is really nice combined with its great bulk, and allows Exeggcute to get on the field multiple times in a match, in contrast to Oddish.


Hi we are doing the role compendium and I think that there are some mons that need to be raised.

Shellder is an ok spinner, it has a good physical bulk, with an EV spread of 116 HP / 196 Def / 76 SpA / 76 SpD you can check decently Fire and Water types, and Explosion is nice when the work is done. It's also a good check to DD Larvitar and Agility Doduo :)
Shellder @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Shell Armor
Level: 5
EVs: 116 HP / 196 Def / 76 SpA / 76 SpD
Relaxed Nature
- Explosion
- Rapid Spin
- Surf
- Ice Beam

This one is another good spinner that is missing in the VR. Poison STAB lets it to check water types really well, and is high special defense allows it to survive some other special attacks as well, so it's a good check to weather teams.
Tentacool @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Liquid Ooze
Level: 5
EVs: 196 HP / 156 Def / 36 SpA / 116 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Ice Beam
- Surf
- Rapid Spin
- Giga Drain


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Does anyone have any good arguments for Cacnea being A-? I mean, it's by all means a decent Spike user, but I don't find it nearly as good as Pineco. After asking around for a while it seems like everyone agrees Cacnea is slightly better than Snorunt at best.

Unless someone have a good reasoning for a higher ranking, I'd say Cacnea should go from A- -> C+


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Mag is for sure better than E rank. It has a nifty set in endure / thunderbolt / hp grass / filler with a salac berry which allows for it to somewhat make use of its typing (switches into Abra, kinda beat cm depending on 4th move--ie metal sound or swagger--though loses its berry :(, beats Doduo, switches into cb Gastly unless spikes + boom). With Spike support, it can do a decent amount to most teams; Chinchou Porygon Elekid and Voltorb need to be weakened before hand (Chinchou takes 70%+ while the rest take 50% plus). Really good things like Horsea or Diglett has great synergy since it weakens these mons. Magnemite does almost beg for spike support to secure OHKOes and truthfully it's not great all around. But Magnemite does hit harder than Elekid with basically the same coverage and some meh defensive utility and the ability to abuse Diglett with endure into HP Grass (or ice for cacnea/bellsprout/bagon i guess). I've had more success with it than say Mankey but about as much as Houndour so mid C is feasible though I think C- should be its home. Unfortunately, Timid vs Modest gives very different HP Grass rolls meaning you cannot reliably out speed d dancers at +1 if you opt for more damage to smash trapinch after like 3 layers of spikes or something similar.
Dratini from D -> C-

Dratini isnt my choice for a dragon dance sweeper or a speed control special attacker but just the fact that it can do these things i think warrants a rise from the worst rank with mons like Drowsee. It can run 2 sets pretty well imo.

Dragon Dance
Body Slam/Double Edge (I use Body Slam dont like recoil)
Hp Ghost

Thunder Wave
Ice Beam/Fire Blast
(Coverage moves depends on team)

Ps. sorry if this looks bad (dont know how to put in sets) or isnt correct i wanted to get involved but dont usually do ranking stuff :P


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I think Koffing deserves to rise to mid B; I can almost see it rising to B+ and would not be opposed if anyone wants to raise it that far. And while what I propose is not much of a jump, Koffing is such a good blanket check to a lot of threatening sweepers that it stands out compared to Eggy, Lotad, and Baltoy who only check perhaps 3 pokemon well. Koffing is a great bulky attacker due to incredible natural physical bulk, and the ability to spread status is great for literally every team. Plus Koffing is able to outright dish out damage which makes it stand out from Duskull and worth considering on a number of teams while being something every team should be prepared for dealing with.

Just Sludge Bomb:
non cb

cb locked (not using rock slide)


assuming you attacked it as it set up:

With wisp:


(depends on rolls)
With HP Ground:
assuming you attacked it as it set up:
does not include boom;
Defensive mons:

if hp ground:

Offensive mons:

Koffing is fairly different than some other naturally bulky pokemon such as Lileep, mostly Duskull, Tentacool, and Pineco as Koffing helps offensive pokemon, notably Doduo and Bagon and Larvitar, breakthrough checks and counters since it can be irksome to switch into.

Unfortunately, it can only somewhat unreliably check multiple pokemon in the match, though this is an issue for everything besides perhaps Porygon. Though with Explosion, Sludge Bomb, Shadow Ball, and Hidden Power [Ground], Koffing has enough coverage to be annoying to any team unless it runs both Shuppet/Gastly/Duskull and Magnemite. However, Thief, Memento, and Will-o-Wisp help koffing be even more annoying; Thief and Will-o-wisp help Koffing extend its presence, with supporting a sweeper and both weakening physical attacker and providing chip damage. There is a fair amount of 4mss, though Sludge Bomb, Thief, Explosion, filler is good enough by itself that Koffing is not held back by this too much. Will-o-wisp also acts as a lesser but still effective enough Memento, and Memento can be used in place of Explosion showing that 4mss is only a slight hinderance.

Koffing also benefits from being immune to Spikes, and evading a common weakness with Levitate. Koffing checks Diglett and, with Will-o-wisp, Trapinch, meaning the only resist to its STAB that can sometimes OHKO it is Baltoy, who does not like being poisoned (Larvitar can kill it if Batloy switches in and is poisoned, or given a good roll on HP Ghost). Abra makes an amazing check for Koffing too, as does Smoochum and Natu who are basically never used and almost always outclassed--but none of these are able to really use the fact that Koffing might be KOed due to the threat of Explosion. It's really a nuisance to deal with unless you fodder a Doduo or something to it, which is less than ideal.

Note: loses to CB doduo locked into Return/Double Edge.

236 Atk Choice Band Doduo Return vs. 36 HP / 156 Def Koffing: 17-21 (80.9 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
236 Atk Choice Band Doduo Double-Edge vs. 36 HP / 156 Def Koffing: 20-24 (95.2 - 114.2%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO (max/max koffing can switch in and kill double edge doduo however)

A sample of how good Koffing can be; probably shouldn't have won that match but to no fault of Koffing.

I do not think Dratini should be raised into C, as C ranks should have a reason to be used. Dratini is both frail and relatively weak; any set i've tried to use is completely outclassed by something else. The only thing Dratini has going for it is Water-, Grass-, Fire-, and Electric-type resistances however Bagon better abuses these resistances, and most Water and Electric types pack an Ice move anyway to OHKO Dratini anyway.
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