Gen 3 ADV OU Viability Ranking


The extremely virile Tony Finau
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past SPL Champion
Ttar Rank : Ttar
S : The best mons outside of the Ranitar in the tier. Work on so many teams and all have multiple strong sets.
A+ : Slightly better than the A-tier but not quite S.
A : Strong boys. These are all threats every team has to be ready for and on top of. I didn't do an A- tier because I think these guys are all quite equivalent in power level.
B+ : Good mons. Not quite A-tier in their power level but you'll get mileage out of them.
B : Decent mons. You won't slap them on necessarily every team, but they certainly have their place and they can do very well.
Cacturne + Gligar (Rating this as one singular entity)
B- : OK mons. They will do well if you put them on the right team and/or pick the right game to bring them out in.
C : these guys are all about as good as each other. They do best on counter style builds if you want to target a specific player.
D - everything else

F - Noob trap mons. Don't use these.

I talk about each of these ranks as a whole entity but obviously be aware that each mon in the sub rankings is very different to the others in that ranking in function and also why you'd choose to build with it.


Something You Wouldn't Know
is a Social Media Contributor Alumnus
With people who are better than me posting about the VR now that CC4 is over, felt like writing about ADV for fun since I like the tier a lot and the discussion going on. Do NOT take this with anything more with a grain of salt, I'm no high-ranking ADV'r. I'll be mentioning things like win rate and CC4 usage a lot throughout my post and I'd like to make it clear that these are not the end all be all, I just wanted to include it where applicable to show the mons effectiveness, as win rate does on some level show the mons effectiveness. Also, please feel free to quote my post saying how I'm wrong if anything here is off to you, just posting from what I saw from watching CC4 and helping my friends prepare for it. With that said, let's get on with ranking stuff.

:Tyranitar: No need to explain Ttar, its Ttar. Pursuit and mixed sets feel really good atm with the former handling Gengar (who's been getting better lately compared to SPL) to facilitate mons like Forretress and the latter being able to fend off both Skarmory and Blissey and generally lacking really good switch-ins, the former of which is a fantastic trait atm.

Honestly, Pert has been insanely good for a while and think it's worth being considered top 3 in the tier atm. Both defensive fat sets and especially the offensive ones are absolutely omnipresent forces that bring so much to a team that it sometimes almost too good to not use, to such a point where HP Grass is still being tacked on to a lot of top mons in the metagame. The offensive sets have been seen with Protect quite a bit too in addition to Focus Punch, showing Pert's adaptable even down to the individual moves on its set. Also, Salac is still pretty good although the former 2 sets mentioned are obviously way more meta-defining.
:Metagross: Metagross has been toying with more sets lately. Bulky Protect Leftovers sets to check the many common attackers in the metagame with more efficiency. Agility and CB are still great for good sweeping potential late-game and really powerful wallbreaking respectively, the benefits of the Protect Leftovers set especially are hard to pass up in a metagame where Skarmory is less prone to being Mag-trapped due to the latter being less common and less viable (34% winrate in CC4, which isn't that great). Metagross's win rate was 39%, which is lower than most of the mons I'm ranking above it, but 39% isn't shabby.
:Blissey:Blissey has been looking even better lately with Gengar and Pursuit Tar being more common, checking what it always has, and having toyed around with more movesets that give it more diversity and potential unpredictability (TWave, Sing, etc). It's also just incredibly easy to slap on to teams, which can't be undervalued for just how much it does. Spikes weakness with sand vulnerability can blow but Claydol's been a great spinner for a bit now and Forretress isn't too shabby either.
:Skarmory:Mag's been less good so there's less worry of your Skarm just getting randomly nabbed super early in the game after you get your Spike up (HP Ground still exists if you're THAT worried about it, although personally idt its quite as necessary as previous metagame incarnations). With Bliss, it forms SkarmBliss ofc and can set Spikes on quite a bit of stuff, as is typical.

:Zapdos:Zapdos had 2nd post CC4 usage and a 57% win rate, showing even on paper it's a huge threat to the metagame at large. Skarmory pressuring is also great. However, in-battle, it's even more of a menace. Mons super versatile in what it does, BP + Agility sets, as shown by people like Linear, have been incredibly good and give Zap the ability to support slower teammates and more offensive styles beautifully. The standard offensive special set is still amazing as per usual. SpDef Rest sets are also really awesome at the moment with how well they check some very key metagame threats popping up, like Gengar, MixMence with no Rock Slide, Suicune, and Swampert (if HP Grass). While I don't see them as good as the other sets, mix Drill Peck is also pretty alright with Spikes, letting Zap pressure some SkarmBliss Sand cores that rely on Blissey as the main Electric resist+Pert or something of that nature. Zap is also great at punishing Dug post-trap, which imo, is a big boon since Dug is seeing a lot of usage right now and is a good Dug partner.
:Gengar: Gengar has been on the come-up from what CC4 has shown us, with players like Mana using it a lot and having a 55% win rate and it makes sense why. It's a great check to a lot of mons like Salamence, IB + EQ defensive Pert, and Skarmory. Burn+Sand makes Blissey also not like switching as much as it would on paper and its Speed tier can't be undervalued in the metagame. Explosion softening up stuff like Bliss and Zap is also not shabby either. Also a great Dug abuser and partner. It's gotten to a point where Tar has been running more Pursuit and Crunch just to really stick it to Gengar (it has other uses, but Gengar is surely one of the bigger ones for the increase in use of the moves).
:Dugtrio:Dugtrio took off in CC4, getting high usage and a pretty decent win rate. It works well with a lot of great offensive Pokemon in the tier that are seeing high usage atm, mainly Zapdos and Gengar for rking stuff like Tar, Metagross, Celebi, and Blissey. Recently, with the advent of Beat Up Dugtrio, I feel it's really shown how Dugtrio has improved and adapted to the current metagame, as it now more reliably handles stuff like Blissey. Dug isn't even limited to special offenses or anything either, so it's not like hard to stick on or anything. However, the metagame has been starting to punish Dugtrio a bit more now with Gengar, Zap, and Skarm of course being huge and other abusers starting to uptick in usage.
:Salamence:I'm probably way higher on Mence than I really should be, but I think CB and mixed are fantastic and bring so much to the table, mainly the latter as it doesn't ever really feel useless honestly. With how the metagame has been shaping, mixed can threaten many teams very well, especially since it can threaten common spinners atm (mainly Dol and Forre) really hard, keeping the Spikes it's abusing so hard up well. The defensive utility of checking Moltres (kind of?) can't hurt either. Abusing Dug is also great, although higher Gar, Zap, and Bliss usage isn't the greatest thing in the world, moreso Gengar than anything. 43% winrate isn't awful either for being the 14th most used mon in the tour.

:Claydol:Claydol had a ton of usage (13th most) and an astronomical win rate of 60%. It's a great spinner and brings a lot to a team's defensive integrity without necessarily needing to compromise offensive pressure with the natural bulk letting it run an offensive set with EQ, Psychic, Spin, and Explosion that has good across the board coverage. It keeps the Spikes off really well while being a good check to physical Tar, Zapdos, Aerodactyl, Jolteon, and Metagross kinda. Checking Gengar and beating it decently isn't too bad either. Honestly, just can sometimes feel kinda deadweight in some games, although doesn't take away from its great attributes in the current metagame.
:Suicune: Suicune is Suicune. Rest CM Surf is a fucking irritating force that can win games even when you think you got it locked up. Gets a lot of opportunities to CM up on stuff like special Tar, the ever common Swampert, Blissey, and Claydol. Its defensive utility letting it check Moltres, Tar, Gross, Mence, Aero, and Pert also means it's more than just a matchup fish as it were. Not a huge fan of Zapdos being so good and checking it really well nor Dug coming in as it Rests to EQ it repeatably or being phased (STalk minimizes this casualty, and a great move on it atm if Roar or Beam aren't needed).
:Celebi:Has had some adaptations to its sets, mainly in the form of BP with or without SD (Roro covered it in the metagame discussion thread and his post is fantastic so please go read it here). Being a great Zapdos, Suicune, Claydol, and Gengar check (depending on your moveset) is fantastic role compression and can really just take a hit from anything if needed. Being vulnerable to Dugtrio is pretty annoying as is letting MixMence and Metagross in relatively easily (BP alleviates a little bit but not overly.
:Jirachi:I'm really big on CM Jirachi atm. It gets great setup spots on a ton of the metagame, including Gengar, Skarmory, and CB stuff not locked into the right move and they can run train once the appropriate stuff is chipped. The movesets and sets within the parameter CM are also so customizable, Wish + CM can beat totally diff targets from Sub+CM or SuperRachi for instance. All of them need to be handled differently and you won't really know which it is you're facing until it's too late at some points. However, it's also annoyed hard by TWave Zap and Bliss (latter if no sub), Roar Zap, and especially Dugtrio. Can also face some bad 4MSS that make it deadweight in some matchups without the right set. The potential upside if you got the right one is absolutely absurd though, and imo what makes it worth ranking as high as it is on top of the typical defensive utility. Not very high on WishTect tbh, but it's alright I guess and shows it has versatility when CM is put aside.
:Snorlax:Lax checking all these non-Wisp Gengar special attackers is great atm (Tar, one its main checks, even falls into this on some level as well), with how much use they're seeing and can pose either a titanic offensive threat with the 4 atks set due to the coverage and boom (and even stuff like Metagross taking para from resisted Slam isn't very good for them) while Curse is a deadly wincon atm with it being able to get good setup spots. Offensive is super susceptible to chip though, and Curse can be annoyed pretty hard by stuff like Skarm or Gross if lacking boom. Also, chipped Lax can be Dugged, which is quite irritating and can compromise what it really checks on the special side.

:Aerodactyl:Aero is fantastic at cleaning as always, likes Perts being more offensive so doesn't need as much chip for Double-Edge and same goes for the influx in Zap, Gar, etc. Makes an alright emergency pivot for Lax, MixMence, and Moltres too in addition to rking more or less everything. Doesn't like Protect Metagross being so good and the Pert thing goes 2 ways with super fat ones being hell. Also, locking into wrong move end-game is a death sentence if it lets in a mon to set up and take the game (think Rock Slide into CM Rachi typa thing); although this has always been a problem. It's win rate wasn't amazingly hot either but could be worse and same for its usage of 16th and 14%.
:Moltres:Moltres has been highkey good af, especially in this tour. The usage isn't as high as it could be but it's still a major threat. High Blissey usage and SpDef Zap typa stuff probs why it's not overly high. Being an amazing Wisp spreader is great tho, as is Metagross pressuring (really good vs Tect variants since they gotta Boom to really kill). Although influx of special Tar is kinda annoying due to Wisp not being a huge threat to them coming in. I still think it's better than Milo and Mag atm tho, it's more splashable and more reliable game-to-game performance imo.
:Milotic:Milo feels like a matchup mon in some sense, idk how to explain it. In some games, it just sits there and fucks with almost everything on the field (even teams with MixMence, a rare trait), but other times, it feels pretty useless and easily pressured. Being pressured by Zap, Lax, and being setup fodder for Jirachi and even Rest Suicune is also really annoying. Really wants trap support too so kinda specialized builder wise.
:Magneton:Win % is 37, isn't really great vs most metagame threats despite good offensive coverage (being walled by Pert, Bliss, Dol, is super annoying though), and overall just feels like such a liability after the Skarm trap save sack fodder or taking a TBolt. Can handle Gengar relatively well too I guess since not much Fire Punch being run, but I don't think that's enough.

:Forretress:Forre has seen some sporadic usage by people like undisputed and linear. It's pretty solid honestly. Being a good check to a lot of things and Spiking and spinning really well. Likes decreased Mag usage too. HP Bug lets it annoy the spinners as well. However, it's still annoyed by stuff like Zap, Mixmence, Moltres, and MixTar, and especially Gengar. However, they've also tried HP Ghost to get Gar in range of Tars Pursuit, and Pursuit Tar is a great mon so needing it isn't as consequential as in the past.
:Jolteon:Jolteon can pressure a lot of faster offenses and checks stuff like Gengar pretty well in addition to soft checking MixMence, Zapdos, and Starmie. Being as fast as it is in addition to BP means it'll constantly be able to nab momentum or pressure teams lacking good switch-ins. Although teams have good switch-ins a lot of the time with stuff like Blissey, Celebi, Lax, Claydol, fatter TTars, and even Protect Gross can stomach 2. It can Roar with Spikes but that's a band-aid on a bigger wound and idt that makes Jolt better than things like Forre currently.
:Heracross:Hera feels really tough to make work outside of the Salac set honestly. CB sets are really strong and can make some big dents in slower TSS builds, but kinda hard to pivot in and actually fire off the move. Zap, Gengar, Protect Metagross, Salamence, Moltres, and more can pivot in on it and dumpster it, making its utility against non super slow TSS teams pretty limited. And those TSS teams often have Dugtrio, and with Dugtrio being high usage in general, I think it deserves to drop a lot. The Salac set is really devastating when it gets the opening and weather is cleared, but it's a lot of support to make it work. Its win rate of 38% relative to its 8% isn't awful I guess but not super confidence inspiring.

:Breloom:Being able to Sleep anything it wants is incredible and works really well with Pursuit Tar, which is obviously good af rn. Chunking most switch-ins with Focus Punch is devastating too and rking anything with Mach is great for offenses that need the security vs boosted threats, which are still around with stuff like Salac Hera, something BP'd a Speed boost, and Pert. However, it's pretty slow and still checked by Moltres, MixMence, Protect Gross that gets in on not Focus Punch, and other physical walls. Skarm also runs Drill Peck pretty often, which blows.
:Flygon:I really like Flygon honestly. Is a pretty good blanket check for a lot, including physical Tar, Aero, all Electrics since they run Grass for Pert and can pivot in on the Fires somewhat. Its EQ from the offensive set is really deadly too, as is the set in general vs TSS teams that can chip stuff like Blissey well. Kinda weak though (shows when you try and kill Bliss, Tar, and or Gross with EQ then they live and you die). Being walled by Gar isn't too great (alleviated by Suit Tar tbf). And can't switch in on like a ton of things, but it has so many good qualities as an offensive mon who's defensive typing is really unique that being this high is pretty warranted.
:Charizard:Zard is pretty slept on atm honestly. Isn't as strong or as overall as good as Moltres but Zard doesn't need to strap itself to a need of Spikes and has a surprisingly high amount of power, letting it get the KOs it wants from Tar and such with Focus Punch. Blaze Fire Blast is scary shit too, as is the deceptively wide movepool that includes stuff like DClaw to lure in Mence. I'd recommend experimenting with this thing more, it has some good potential.
:Venusaur:Venu's a p a cool lead that shits on a lot of stuff thanks to typing + sleep move. Also makes for a great Cune answer long-term and isnt't like worthless outside the lead slot. Isn't as amazing as something like Celebi outside lead and can tend to be pressured by stuff like Moltres+Spikes, but it's good at what it does and has a decent matchup spread. Its usage was pretty low too, maybe showing a trend away from wanting to use this mon. (Plz don't own me later Triangles).

:Cloyster:Not a huge Cloy fan, fucking hate it to be real. But don't wanna rate it ungodly low since faster Spiker that booms is nice for offenses, and is a pretty alright lead for what it is.
:Gyarados:This mon feels so mu fishy. Likes less Rock Slide Tar and more MixMence, non Tbolt Blisseys, etc. However, Zapdos is really high usage still, as is Gengar, Celebi, and even Protect Metagross. The Gengar, Celebi, Zapdos thing means it's gonna be in a tough spot regardless of which HP it picks. Jolteon iRest sets can shit on some teams though, especially if the Skarm gets trapped, since they'll probably not have too much else to fend the Gyara off (Pert can't without Roar) as it DD's and eventually Rests and is back at full to win the game, so gonna put it here.
:Porygon2:P2 is probs the best Mence answer in the entire tier and can check some other stuff like Aero, Gyara, Jirachi lacking Sub or Toxic, special Tar, mix Gross, is the ultimate Dugtrio punisher, and owns Flygon so hard. However, it feels so passive and like it lets Skarm, Celebi, Bliss, physical Tar, Gross, and others in due to its offenses kinda being garbage (TWave can punish more offensive switch-ins though). The defensive utility is still good and wouldn't rank it lower since it can work on some teams if it's well supported and what it can handle, it can handle super good.
:Hariyama:The 4 Atk set Asta showed in his game vs Tamahome was really cool and shows this mon has more depth than just fat wall to be relegated to bulkier builds. It can still do that obviously, however. Ultimately not like great but it still has its niche in the metagame. Knock is super handy and makes checks get punished pretty fucking hard. Although Hari has other issues and I couldn't put it higher in good conscious.

:Raikou:Roro showed this mon can be fucking deadly with the right matchup in his games vs people like PDC in r1 on the CM Spam. He also had a really cool lead Kou that shows Kou has more depth than we originally thought. The Speed in tandem with the bulk is great too and lets it nab the CM when it needs to to clean through. Being unable to OHKO fatter mons without tons of boosts sucks, though as does being so Dug weak in this current meta state. Also, Blissey is able to stone wall due to Raikou not having 101 HP Sub ability. It's not super consistent but the potential upside is great and that shouldn't be overlooked imo, thus why it's top of E.
:Vaporeon: Vap is pretty cool with its SubSalac set being able to outspeed Dug and works pretty well on BP teams with CM Celebi. It's naturally really strong too, so it can break through faster teams that don't have stuff like Blissey, Gyara, Milo, and what have you. It also completely fucks CM Cune and stops any progress from being made by it if it lacks Roar. Makes 101 HP Subs to pass to BP teammates too, which is a cool niche. Still not great though. Didn't see too much use in CC4 but I feel that's moreso down to the fact it isn't like super consistent.
:Weezing: Haven't seen much of this, pretty decent mon fwiw. Pressuring some TSS teams is great but feel like better mons for that
:Kingdra: Rain staple, although rain isn't that great anyway. Kinda MU fishy (see what I did there? :afrostar:) and overall not too great imo. Seems like CC4 players agreed with me, with it only being used 5 times total.
Gonna put Blaziken here, a bit further up than it is atm (at time of writing). Fire + Fighting offense is really devestating for SkarmBliss cores and it can run a HP to hit Pert or Mence (the choice is annoying though). Is a pretty cool lead whenever you face Tar, Meta, and gets good damage on Zapdos or even MixMence if HP Ice. Dug fodder out the ass though. Not a big niche but still worth noting and better than shit like Jynx imo.
:jynx: Pretty alright lead. Hates Lum Tar lead but does well against non Lum leads in general. Usually doesn't get too much else done, though. Making it kinda 1 dimensional and is eaten alive by common meta threats like Dugtrio, Tar, Gross, Jirachi, among others that aren't slept.
My Viability Ranking

Tyranitar is the undisputed king of ADV. Sand stream is simply the best ability in the tier and you can tailor its sets to fit any team style. You need a very good reason to not run Tyranitar when building a team in this tier.


Despite its lower than proportionate winrate in the recent CI4, Metagross is still a staple that can be splashed on almost every team. It is the best offense enabler as it guarantees at least one kill every game unless you boom into Protect/Gengar.


For the longest period of time I have not used the bread and butter Protect 3 Attack variants. Not anymore. Offensive Focus Punch variants while still a staple, feel a bit disappointing in the fact that they needs to tiptoe around opposing physical threats. Refresh Mono variants aren’t as good anymore as the popularity of JIrachi means that you don’t want to give it too many free turns to set up or pass wishes freely. Standard Tank Swampert still blanket checks half the metagame and is a defensive threat that every offense needs to keep in mind.


I’m appreciating Zapdos a lot more after I started using Baton Pass sets more on teams where I used to run Roar. DryPassing Zapdos is a fantastic way to bring in breakers early game to pressure special checks such as Blissey which can otherwise hold off Zapdos indefinitely. The advent of Beat Up Dugtrio to be a reliable Blissey trapper also makes early game Baton Pass a lot more dangerous as defensive teams need to tiptoe more carefully around Zapdos instead of going to Blissey blindly.


Resurgence of Forretress makes me inclined to run Gengar more. Although I have been experimenting more with dual status variants or mono variants, the standard Taunt Wow with Spikes is still very deadly. Offensive teams that don’t run pursuit tar will normally have to let a crucial pokemon take burn to get rid of it.


Blissey can run just about any set to fit a team and it will still fulfill the role of being a blanket check to special attackers. My dislike for Blissey relative to the previous ranking I did half a year ago stems from me perceiving SkarmBliss as a weaker style, with Zap + Beat Up Dug offenses more commonplace and more players experimenting with various fighters. Granted, its ability to run a plethora of options from the shiny new Snatch set, to the current "trendy" Wish sets to support teams makes it an invaluable piece on defensive team. Recently I have experimented with mixed results putting Twave Blissey on some Spikeless teams with a spinner. With Twave, Blissey can nab common physical switchins while circumventing the normal Snorlax problems of being WoW weak and not being a long term answer to special attackers such as Zapdos and Moltres


I’m very high on Salamence as it is simply the most splashable fighting check. The ability of Jolly CBMence to at worse speed tie against opposing Jirachi and cut off Celebi attempting to pass stat boosts is simply invaluable for some defensive teams. WishTect sets gaining traction recently are also great support for some slower, fighting vulnerable teams.


Non protect variants get worn down too fast; non peck variants lose to fighters + cant chip stuff and loses to aero 1v1; non toxic variants are a lot worse against tar and pert + get spun on for days against defensive Starmie which has seen a slight resurgence recently. To get around some of these issues I have even dropped roar on Skarm which is definitely not something every team can afford. Builds now are just more capable of handling Skarmory, either through forcing it to take massive damage in exchange for a single layer, or packing spinners.


The recently popularsied again UDCune (SubRD) is probably the most consistent weather changer and provides value for both itself and teammates. Modest CroCune is good as ever in particular against defensive cores that don’t pack Celebi or CM Jirachi. Bold RoarCune, a staple that must be taken into account in the builder in particular, is one of the best checks to all other new funky Suicune sets.


After Linear demolished me with SubCM Jirachi with BoltBeam multiple times, I have a new found appreciation for it as it is a special attacker that pressures common special checks such as Blissey and slower defensive Celebi and AstaRachis. The ability to fish for Ice Punch freezes can be incredibly frustrating and makes it such that teams have to try to answer it immediately to limit the Ice Punch chances it gets. With more Blissey dropping Thunder Wave for other utility moves such as Wish, AstaRachis can pass wishes to its teammates more easily. Wish mixed variants in particular are something I have used a lot good at keeping teammates healthy while denying Tyranitar set up.

Newly discovered Beat Up sets have made it much more consistent at trapping Blissey. Offense must take care to not lose in the builder to Dug + Spikes, or have ways to abuse Dugtrio locks.

I’m lower on Focus Punch variants now as being walled by Jirachi and Magneton sucks. Curse Boom variants are the most consistent to me right now as they guarantee a trade, most commonly against Metagross and Tyranitar which offense in general appreciates getting rid of.


Defensive Starmie is great at spinning against Skarmory without Toxic which was the trend for a while. Bold Mie is deceptively bulky and with thunder wave can be an emergency stop to a number of Pokemon. Offensive Starmie is hugely threatening to many teams on paper but I dislike the fact that it is reliant on hitting an 80% move multiple times to win games.


I’m not high on defensive sets at all. 4x Ice Beams have a > 50% chance of critting or freezing. With the number of times it clicks recover against Pokemon clicking non STAB ice beam, you naturally give your opponents multiple chances to fish for hax. I do appreciate Celebi on the strength of its various baton pass sets which enable different archetypes depending on whether its passing a Subsitute, Calm Mind, or Swords Dance.


Forrey is better right now as it is a Spiker that can threaten defensive Starmie. Forrey teams in 2020 are more proactive and their gameplans don’t always necessitate keeping Spikes off at all cost unlike the older builds. Earthquake to hit magneton on the switch , Spin to have the option to keep Spikes off and Boom to trade a mon combined with its decent resistances gives Forrey great role compression. What holds Forrey back from being higher is the fact that its unable to have all of HPBug, Earthquake and Boom though I lean towards dropping Earthquake more now as Hidden Power Bug is just a necessity to keep up spikes against opposing spinners.


Claydol is good as the 3rd boom on Spikeless offenses due to its key resistances and access to Spin. It needs teammates that are comfortable playing with one layer down as Claydol alone does not hold off Skarmory forever.


Aerodactyl is excellent at cutting off CelebiPass and preying on frailer teams with spikes up. However it has to fish hard and predict right to break bulkier teams, with Jirachi teams in particular being very resilient as it resists 3/4 of Aerodactyl's moves. I’m not particularly convinced that SubLiechi is consistent on anything other than SDPass.


Moltres is great against offensive teams that stack slower Pokemon that are OHKO'ed by STAB Flamethrower such as Fighters, Swampert and Metagross. However, it can struggle against bulkier teams as you need to roar/double on Blissey/Milotic with spikes up multiple times to deny recovery. If a team with Moltres cannot keep Spikes, it will be fairly useless against fatter builds. My other gripe with Moltres is that it’s a fairly unreliable check to Calm Mind Jirachi and Celebi.


Milotic is the best stop to mixed sweepers, shrugging off Mixmence and non Thunder Mixtars. If your team does not have strong ways of pushing pass teams with Milotic + spinner, it is unviable. Milotic is the main reason why I dislike running Spikeless Offenses that don’t have either a 3rd boom/a resilient fighter or a CMPass Celebi


SubSalac Sets remain the biggest slayer of Sandless Stall teams. FPunch over Rslide is the set that rejuvenated SubSalac Hera in my eyes as now it is less reliant on Magneton support to push pass Skarmory. Bulky Heracross is surprisingly good at trading with Zapdos.


Skarmory teams being worse now mean that Magneton is less useful in more matchups. Magneton needs to be wary when trying to trap Forretress to prevent getting EQ'ed on the switch.


Around SPL, I genuinely thought that Breloom was really broken. After I started running real fighting resists like Bulky Claydol, Bulky Mie, Bulky Celebi, this mon became a lot easier to handle.


Gligar is a very annoying mon to play against with a slower team. Sub SD sets can snowball very easily and provides utility by checking fighters.


Gyarados is a really frustrating pokemon to use at times. Its weak when it runs Jolly nature, not even 2HKOing Tyranitar and Metagross on the switch with Earthquake, but its outsped by Jolteon/Aero at +1 if you run an Adamant nature. I rarely find myself using DD 3Atks Gyarados for this reason, but I’m a huge fan of Thunder Wave for paralysing some would be switchins such as Aerodactyl and bulky Gengar.


Players such as Asta and Linear have been exploring more than just Hariyama's Knock off sets, and are using it as a bulky fighter that bullies Snorlax and Blissey more comfortably. While its the weakest fighter, its bulk and ability to run diametrically opposite sets make it a force to be reckoned with.


Charizard is really let down by the fact that Fire Blast has 8 pp as switchins like Moltres, Suicune and Zapdos have Pressure. Missing a Fire Blast on a pressure mon is probably one of the worst feelings for a Charizard player. Beat Up on the filler slot is underexplored but can be devastating against unsuspecting Blissey.


I find Cloyster worse now with the increased usage of Starmie. Its lack of staying power is really annoying as it Booms before a Spinner is revealed more often than not.


Jolteon is prediction heavy and a poor special check as it switches in to common special attacks once at best. Teams now are just more prepared for Spikes, and Jolteon naturally suffers as a result.


I think Impish Flygon is terrible. My favourite Flygon by far is Protect 3 Attacks with Max Attack, Max Speed Jolly to hit like less of a wet noodle, and for the ability to deal damage to Celebi trying to pass boosts, while guarantee outspeeding all Moltres + speedtieing Zapdos. I only like using Flygon with either Magneton to trap Skarmory, or Jirachi due to the the amazing type synergy. Honourable mentions to Hclat for HCLATGON (Endure 3 atk) that can be a deceptively good offensive presence in the late game.


SubSalac sets were the rage last year, but some players have seen success with midgame lefties SubPass sets. Defensive sets are mediocre and should only be used over Milotic if you can provide Heal Bell support and are REALLY weak to Suicune.


I’m not a fan of Venusaur in the lead slot at all. Venusaur players must tread carefully around opposing Twave Zapdos as taking a para means it is a lot less reliable. To me its best role is a midgame mon on spikes teams due to its ability to chip and harass slower teams with Leech and Sleep. Venusaur teams like strong breakers to maximise the utility it gains from sleep.


Outside of checking Salamence and revenging Dugtrio, Porygon2 is one of the best spreaders of paralysis. Players must be weary of letting in Snorlax and Metagross for free when using Porygon2.


SubSeed + 2Attacks or Sub Seed Spikes sets are always annoying to play against if you are running a slower team.


I'm not a fan of Smeargle Offense due to its fraility and the fact that it has to pray for a non Lum lead to get maximum value but it has a niche in being the only spiker with both spore and spikes.


Weezing is a Skarm switchin with WoW and Boom. Decent 3rd boom user on spikeless offense teams. Good at luring special tar to take burn. Marcop and PDC have had success with defensive WoW Pain Split sets but I have personally only liked WoW + 3Attacks.


Medicham is the strongest fighter unboosted. This is probably the best fighter to run with paralysis or sub support because its so damn strong.


Umbreon is good at pursuiting WoW Gengar, and can support the team with wish. It almost necessitates Heal Bell support on defensive sets. If you use Mean Look Pass, I hate you.


Kingdra is the more consistent of the two rain mons due to its better bulk and ability to set up on sweepers late game.


Ludicolo has better power than Kingdra and invaluable STAB HPGrass to do more damage to Milotic but it is let down by the fact that it cannot set up as easily as Kingdra


Pray you hit Lovely Kiss and don’t face a lum lead. I was theorymonning usage of Jynx as a midgame sleeper, but those sets are underexplored and hard to fit in practice


Great special bulk and can do work when you don’t meet Jirachi/Metagross. Excellent at spreading paralysis.


Ninjask is one of more dangerous mons that sets up after a Dugtrio traps as the sweepers it passes to can insta win games once the phazers are dead.


Donphan is best counter to Physical Tars. It needs Mag and Pursuit to work consistently, but it’s a spinner so its worth supporting on some teams.


Houndoom is a Moltres counter that traps Gengar. Beat Up sets are worth exploring to lure Blissey. Generally should only be used if you really want to use a non Pursuit Tyranitar


Jumpluff needs spikes support but is very annoying when you have a weakened team stepping on Spikes. Let down by sleep powder accuracy and the fact that encore has only 8 pp.


I used to be higher on Machamp but then the Drill Peck Skarms attacked. Main niche I see for Machamp is Bulk Up + 3Attacks. Realistically if you need a bulkier fighter and don’t care too much for speed, use Hariyama; if you want a stronger and slightly faster fighter without caring too much for bulk, use Medicham. To me, Machamp is the jack of all trades, master of none among fighters.


Marowak is one of the best recipients of Agility from Zapdos or Ninjask, realistically nothing stops +2/+2 Wak. Everyone who has played on the ADV ladder has been swept by this guy at one point.


If you kill Blissey, Raikou can do work.


HClops (Stoss/Snatch/WoW/Thief) is a surprisingly annoying set to play against.


I like DD + HealBell sets. Pretty decent when used with Rest Sweepers. Meh against fighters compared to Salamence and has the issue of having Gyarados coverage. Choice Band sets are good but I have not yet tried them out myself.


Registeel has a ton of versatility set wise and pretty much impossible to OHKO + it has Boom.


Solrock is a decent 3rd boom on Magneton Offense. With CB, it has favourable lead matchup against the most common 5 leads.


Steelix has a lot of cool type synergies but always has been better in theory to me than in practice. It can't fit all of Protect, Roar, Toxic, Rock Slide and Explosion on the same set.


I have been swept by ReversalSDZor more times than I should have.


Regirock is a decent 3rd Boom on Magneton Offense that trades against waters favourably.


Fire + Grass + Fight STAB annoys the hell out of SkarmBlissPertTar teams.


Yup below Blaziken.


Lanturn has good typing, wish it had more power.


Needing to win the tie in the Dugtrio endgame sucks. Knock Off sets may have use


Run Mimic over Harden on the de facto standard set.


Exeggutor has access to Sleep Powder + Boom, but has severe coverage issues like all grass types. Something worth noting is that it can 2HKO Milotic with HP Grass


Substitute Endeavour sets are surprisingly annoying to play against.


Needs heavy paralysis support to work as its too slow to threaten common defensive stuff.


Try not running Slaking as a lead. You might get more value out of it when your opponent can’t infer 3 members of your team from seeing Slaking lead.


Spikes Immune Heal Bell user with access to Haze.

Skip to turn 62. Cune Counter.


Can work with Mag + Pursuit. Outspeeding Gengar is cute


Drake Seawood always hits his Hypnosis when he uses this mon.


Just use CBMence over this garbage.
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is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
I'm not posting my VRs yet, but I want to let some people know what I think about the process.

I've always advocated that true viability is the total number of wins, ie. winrate * usage rate. In a world where the state of the tier is in equilibrium, every player is of equal standard in piloting, completely informed of the viability of their teams and how to play them, and desire to win every match equally, win rates would be 50% in the large-battle limit, and viability would be determined solely by usage rate. Win rates significantly deviant 50% indicate some imbalance -- that there is community-level misunderstanding of viability in the current metagame, be it in keeping up to date with metagame trends, piloting difficulty, or building difficulty, that some are able to exploit better, some less.

Of course, sometimes these assumptions do break down. Not everyone tries to win every match equally, and that is possible in a bo3. Sometimes, people use stuff they hate just to prevent themselves from getting counter-styled. Sometimes, people want to explore more outlandish stuff if they've won g1. People stick to their preferences not because their repertoire of mons and styles is optimal but because they are more comfortable with their style. And if we are to be honest, the field of the best 32 is not an even playing field.

Regardless of all these, I would like to share some statistics from the CALLOUS Invitational 4 Tournament, which is the major public-replay tournament since the last update. I will focus on 1) Deviation of win rate from 50% as an indicator of something to be questioned, and 2) Total number of wins as an indicator of viability. Furthermore, I will focus not on the raw number but the statistical significance of these deviations through the t-score, so as not to be fooled by pure chance. The t-score is the number of standard deviations away from the mean. The standard deviations are obtained by modelling battle outcomes as a multinomial distribution.

The winrate "t score wrt 50%" of magnitude 1 means there is a 32% chance the deviation is not real, but due to statistical fluctuations. For a t-score of magnitude 2, that becomes 5%. So I would probably only take t-scores around 2 seriously. Read wikipedia for more info. This is a two-sided hypothesis test.

For the total wins t score, the purpose is comparing if one mon is more viable than the next in line, so it is a one-sided hypothesis test. A t score of 1 means there is a 84% chance of being more viable than the next. For a t score of 2, that becomes 98%. I would probably take a t-score of 1 seriously enough.


For win rates, we have this plot,

I'd question the extreme scores of Metagross, Jirachi, Magneton, Hariyama, Jolteon, and Gyarados (Claydol to some extent).

As for the total number of wins, here's the graph where red and blue are error bars around the mean.


Note the significant dominance of Zapdos and Swampert over a slew of mons from Gengar to Dugtrio, followed by another sharp drop to Salamence, and then Magneton. I think these jumps warrant some thought.

Finally, I want to provide a framework for thinking about viability, which is inspired from McMeghan . After all, ranking stuff by numbers is not so meaningful if we cannot describe how or why we believe in these things.

McMeghan considers the following in the evaluation of viability

Consistency - Does it do its job every game? Impact?
Splashability - Can it fit on many team styles? Does it need spikes or trap?
Variety - Number of roles it can fill and sets it can have
Maintenance - Comes on field easily, needs setup, heals easily?

I find that while this suits many purposes, there are some mons that fall through the cracks. Take Jirachi for example. Jirachi is not the best at anything in particular, but happens to do role compression really well.

Consistency - Superrachi? I can't call it super consistent if I kind of have to hope that Blissey doesn't carry TWave (and it's not super easy to divide and conquer TWave or Toxic Blissey matchups). Astarachi? Not the most consistent special wall, especially taking paralysis. Consistency for special walls still goes to Blissey. Spikes sweeper? Starmie's better for that.
Splashability - If you think hard, you can make Jirachi fit on a number of team styles, but there are many synergies to consider and it takes more effort to build a Jirachi team than a Blissey team.
Variety - Jirachi's pretty great at that, I'll admit.
Maintenance - the setup sweepers want to come in at full HP, while the bulky rachis want to try to come in via pivoting, because taking a direct hit is never fun.

Despite all this negativity, I end up building with Jirachi on 50% of my teams. Why? Because it is such a great role compressor, and it seems to me that Jirachi is really good at increasing the rest of the team's offensive presence, even if itself does not shine in any particular aspect. Rock resist, special bulk, trading ttar, Wish support, on top of being a CMer. It is not really the best at any of these (except maybe CM, and that needs support), but all these utilities allow you to run a more offensive water, Wish up your CBers, enable special offenses, all of which a single Pokemon like Blissey cannot do. For example, if I observe the Jirachi teams that I like (such as the swanky Raikou or Vaporeon special spams), they are more known for the rest of the team, but Jirachi is an integral part of it.

Another way to think of Jirachi is that it is a divide-and-conquer Pokemon, which means it necessarily isn't going to be great in some matchups, but you can use it such that if it is useless, its teammates are devastating (think SubRachi which beats Milo/Cel stalls + TSS breakers). This is anti-splashable because you've got to choose your partners wisely, and anti-consistent because it sucks in some matchups by definition, but in a good way. This form of support is more subtle than the "Mag helps Gyara get rid of Skarm" support.

So I would also like to propose taking into account the following:

Team Support - how much value the Pokemon opens up possibilities for the rest of the team even if it itself is of no use.
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is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
For the second VR of the year, I will try to only leave personal remarks on the Pokemon rather than broad statements. Those can still be found in my previous rankings, and for the most part, my opinion hasn't drastically changed for most Pokemon. Much like vapicuno alluded to, I mainly tried to give an individual rating for each Pokemon in 4 categories, Consistency, Splashability, Maintenance and Variety. Consistency is the most important metric in my opinion, and it's what I value the most out of any Pokemon for its overall viability. However, those were mostly a guideline for a first draft and then I tailored the results based on my experience using, building and watching the Pokemon in action.

The McRankings 2020 Pt.2

S Rank
The face of the tier

I've placed Tyranitar first, as usual, for one unique reason: sand. The most important factor of the tier and the key to consistent damage. However, I feel like Tyranitar suffers from the Skarmory syndrome. It is so metagame warping that many team tries to exploit it and as a result I often feel like it doesn't pull its weight in the actual battle beside setting up Sand (the prominence of Fighters is a direct result of this). I will try to be more selective with my Tyranitar sets in the future. I've been quite fond of Pursuit Tyranitar as a result because Stab Pursuit is pretty much always useful, not only against Gengar; it's particulary strong vs CB Mence/Aero especially since some Pokemon really appreciate those getting weakened (Snorlax, Suicune). I've also found max Bulk and Atk sets to be quite consistent. You get the most out of Ttar's bulk (forcing damage for a Dug trap for example, switching into Snorlax, tanking Brick Breaks +1 EQs) while getting OHKOs vs Zapdos/actually scratching Pert (Focus 2KOing Offensive Pert) for example.

A+ Rank
The most consistent performers

The 4 best Pokemon after Tyranitar are Blissey, Metagross, Zapdos and Swampert in my opinion. Out of those, Blissey is the most consistent. It's useful in every game, and it's extremely easy to abuse its qualities. I like how it pretty much threatens or cripples all its checks with status or is an incredible support with Wish/Cleric. We've established by now that Blissey's strenghs is that it creates many free turns for itself throughout the course of a battle. Unlike many Pokemon, it isn't often forced to use a particular move (thinking a recovery move here), keeping your opponent on their tiptoes and giving you multiple options per turn. It can also scout many Pokemon sets freely without being crippled for it either from an unsuspected coverage or a status move. The downpoints are that it's so popular that many teams are built to abuse it and it's something you have to take into account when building with it and using it (much like Tyranitar, Blissey is a big reason why Fighters are rising).

Metagross can walk into any team and pull its weight battle by battle. Sand immunity, incredible typing and bulk mean you're often at least trading something with it. I feel like many teams adjusted to that by avoiding getting ravaged by physical attackers even if you trade with their primary check though, and it's held back by its relative weakness to both trappers, allowing your opponent to sometimes trade a Pokemon of their choice and revenge killing it before you get your prefered boom out. In many cases though, Metagross is a tool that allows progress like nothing else both in the builder and in the game. I just feel like I need to be more precise in my building with it rather than just putting Metagross and Tyranitar together and hoping booming with the former will enable the latter.

Much like Metagross, Zapdos is a Pokemon that can fit any team in my opinion and it will be useful every game. While Metagross has the ever useful Boom, Zapdos has a spikes immunity and such a dangerous offensive typing and bulk that Baton Pass allows it to consistently get whatever you want on the field and wreak havoc with it. I think it's the best offense enabler in the tier and that's why it's so popular and good. It's not as versatile as some other top tiers but much like Blissey, it has just enough as its disposal to do whatever you want with it.

The last A+ Pokemon that I feel can be inserted into any team and you'll get your return value for it. Despite all the advancements made with it, I still believe it's best used as a defensive Pokemon and it will give you an incredible set of resistances/immunities to check a bit of everything. Being a bulky water with a sand immunity will always make Swampert desirable in the builder. If you've got strong Skarmory insurance, try out Protect Cursepert, you'll still have the great defensive value while giving you a surprisingly good tool vs Snorlax and Suicune, two Pokemon that typical Swampert builds can struggle with. I've ranked it after Metagross and Zapdos because I think it's the most abusable top tier (spikes bait, HP Grass teching).

A Rank
Very good Pokemon that shape the tier

Quite possibly the most disruptive Pokemon in the tier, and the most versatile. I have to say that I haven't been the biggest Gengar user myself for a while, but I reckon it pretty much always pull its weight when I use it and when I see it in action. I feel like Boom variants are always strong and give you an insurance check vs everything. It's also a massive threat to pretty much any offense and dare I say, underprepared for, which makes it even better. It's a great secondary check to many Pokemon for defensively oriented builds and allow such builds to switch gears and go on the offensive. It's also quite useful right now to give Fighters something to think about when clicking their move. As usual, it's a bit held back by its weakness to Pursuit and lack of immediate damage output. Destiny Bond is an incredible tool on it, making it a very strong spinblocker vs Claydol builds and a sometimes unexpected trader against some threats that think they're in the clear vs Explosion.

For anyone who frequently watches ADV games, it is no surprise that I'm ranking Celebi this high. Much like last time, I still believe Celebi's values lies in its Baton Pass sets, forcing your opponent's hand like nothing else, and being incredibly punishing for any mistake made around it (in the builder and the actual battle). It also has unique defensive tools that makes it so good in some teams; kinda like Blissey in that regard. The main issue with Celebi is that it's getting prepared for more and more, making it less consistent in my eyes. Afterall, it has so many weakness, a vulnerability to both Sand, Spikes and Dugtrio, meaning that if your opponent properly plays around it or has the right tools, it's at risk of being a liability. Now it has such a gigantic movepool that it can turn the tides around pretty much every counterplay. I've been a big fan of Rock coverage on SD variants for Moltres/Roar Zapdos. Celebi is also one of the best Pokemon to give some lesser used one the offensive boost they need to shine though SD or CM Pass (Raikou, Gyarados, Kingdra come to mind).

Jirachi is pretty much the ADV definition of the jack of all trades, master of none. However, Jirachi is an incredible team partner. Afterall, it has Metagross typing, which gives it a pivoting tool for any playstyle. It's the only Wisher immune to Sand, and most importantly, the only CMer immune to Sand, which is, like UD said once, the dream of every CMer. Jirachi is definitely not the easiest Pokemon to use, because it's not that strong and has to watch out for status and all the EQs of the tier, but the sand immunity coupled to its coverage and ability to set up punishes any misstep like very few Pokemon and abusing that fact gives its user the advantage in many situations (it's like Suicune in that regard, but with a consistent 6% recovery per turn). Look into 3 Atk Wish, SubCM and SubMixed sets if you haven't yet.

Trapping is that good. Making sure a Pokemon is entirely removed from the battle is so good both in the builder and the actual battle. It allows you to stop in their track many offensive Pokemon going out of control, and makes many Pokemon shine by removing key defensive pieces from any build. Beat up and SuperBulkyDugs are two innovations that make it even better and versatile. I also believe it's one of the best and most natural piece of weather reset team with Sunny Day on the Rock Slide slot. Just gotta be prepared for whatever comes next after a trap, but to be honest, you can say that about any Choice Banders.

I still think Skarmory is a severely limited Pokemon, and it's so metagame-warping that its consistency is highly impacted by all the countermeasures taken for it. However, I feel like I can't rank it any lower because it's the driving force behind many sets and building fashions. Most importantly, Spikes is one of the most consistent strategy when done right, much like Sand, and Skarmory is the premier spiker of the tier. While Skarmory is "easy to use", I think it's one of the hardest Pokemon to be consistent with nowadays, as it requires high teambuilding skills to avoid getting washed by all the countermeasures taken for it. Personally, I haven't felt satisfied with any defensive Skarmory build in forever, as I feel like those are always incredibly weak to popular strategies (most often Mag+Spinner, even when I'm pairing it with Gengar). I've been fond of Destiny Bond Gengar as a partner for a long time now, giving you a premier tool to go all-in on Spikes like in the past. I'm still high on Offensive Skarmory too, giving you an actual tool vs Claydol, Fighters, Magneton and Forretress.

A- Rank
Top tier Pokemon that are a bit more flawed than the rest to my tastes

At this point in the ranking, Snorlax is the last Pokemon I would say can fit any team and pull its weight. The main difference with Snorlax is that you often have to act quick with it for it to pay off, unless you're playing the longcon with Rest variants. Most teams don't struggle too much with those nowadays though. A tech that I've seen and loved comes from BKC, Offensive Lax with Focus Punch, EQ, Shadow Ball and Boom. You now have actual tools vs pretty much every typical Snorlax checks while still having Focus Punch + Boom for Skarmory. The main problem of Offensive Lax is that you're pretty much always blocked by Metagross or Tyranitar, forcing you into a trade (which, mind you, is not bad in itself). Still a great Pokemon in my opinion because unless you have to play around Gengar or Protect Metagross, it's always at least trading one for one. Also if you want to use RestLax, just build with Pursuit support so you can use EQ, it's so much better this way.

Suicune is such an unique case in the ADV landscape. I feel like it's a bit lacking in every department. It's not splashable because it's a bulky water that is vulnerable to sand, status and doesn't have a flexible recovery move. It's not that consistent imo because it can auto-win some matchups, but will always struggle against the same Pokemon, making any game against those a difficult task. It's also everything but easy to use, because while any moveset can beat its counter, it can also meet a hardcounter. Despite all that, it's probably one of the best Pokemon to support because the payout is that good. It just has the perfect combo of defensive bulk, set up, good standalone stab, 101 hps sub, typing + CM and Pressure to get out of control if you play your cards well. Shout-out to UDCune (SubCMRDance) for being making Suicune a bit more of a team player and a new variant to counter some of its would-be check/counter strategies.

Much like before, Salamence shines with Intimidate and a good typing for pivoting ability, allthewhile suffering from a lack of direct damage output, being relatively checked by everything and a weakness to status. My least-utilized top tier by a mile. I do think Wish variants, both offensive and defensive are quite great at having early-mid game value, where Salamence can typically struggle. It's also the best offensive fighting check, and that makes it quite worthwile nowadays. I'm still low on DDMence and high on MixedWish and CB variants. I've also been using WishTect with 2 move coverage, which allows you to not take Pursuits for free from Tyranitar, and I've liked it + it pairs well with Pokemon like Steelix or Donphan.

B+ Rank
Quite reliable Pokemon, not as well rounded as the A ranked Pokemon

I don't have much to say compared to last time. Still believe Claydol is a great team player. Great pivot with Spin & Boom to enable a lot of things. Much like linear said in his metagame post, Defensive Claydol is definitely worth it. Not being 2KO'd by Gengar or some Tyranitar variants is definitely worth it in the right team. It also becomes a better check to Salamence or Aerodactyl. However I'd strongly advice building with Boom rather than Refresh variants, as I still think those are way too passive and bad, not to mention potentially useless against DP Skarm/HP Bug Forre. Also another way to use Claydol, remember that you can go ultra turbo on it for clutch booms vs EndPert, some Suicune or Heracross.

Still one of the most dangerous Pokemon to face for Offense, and a beastly defensive spinner at that. Defensive spreads with Twave are surprisingly tanky and good team players, taking on the like of Metagross and Swampert, absorbing status and well, spinning. A Pokemon I should explore more on balanced offensive build, especially given the good results I got out of it already.

After playing more with Milotic the last few months, I'm convinced it's one of the most reliable Pokemon in the tier, all the while being "easy" to use. It pretty much never dies in one hit, strongly counter (not check, counter) various Pokemon. It's easy to keep healthy between Recover and Refresh and it's got both Hypnosis and Toxic to force your opponent's hand. It just needs the appropriate team support. It doesn't fit every team but when done well, it's the hardest defensive wall to play around for many Pokemon. It also requires a good comprehension of the game to make progress with the team it lends itself into, as those can be a bit passive due to the support it needs to be good.

Magneton is inherently linked to Skarmory. If Skarmory's spot suffers in the metagame, so will Magneton's, as it's quite a subpar Pokemon beside the trapping element. Forretress is also back more than ever, making it more mandatory to use HP Fire, which cuts into Magneton's abilities as it's now hard walled by Ground types. However, Magneton stays this high because, much like Skarmory enables entire playstyles and Pokemon, so does Magneton. I've personally been fond of super bulky Mags with ProTox and Leftovers, giving it good defensive utility against Electrics and Waters, so you get the best out of it past the trapping value. Otherwise, I just like max Speed Magnet, so you can get strong Tbolts out vs the like of Tyranitar.

There is something about being the fastest Pokemon in the tier that makes you inherently good and useful on many builds, especially with such power. Despite that, Aerodactyl is actually very prediction reliant when it's not facing a frail offensive team it can just decimate. Without Spikes, it's also really not that good vs more balanced builds. A Pokemon you for sure have to keep in mind when building.

The past few months have seen the great comeback of Forretress. I'm still personnaly averse to it, but I reckon its merits. It can spikes vs more Pokemon than Skarmory and it has better tools against the spinners of the tier, and even gets Boom to find strong value beside spiking. As expected, the best way to use it was to let go of the "ultimate control" teams that try to regulary spikes and spin with it, but to associate it with wallbreakers that can break the team apart for Forre to spin/boom later more easily. It's still very slow (making it harder to use) and the 4x Fire Weakness means it's easier to scare away/beat in some situations, but it's definitely in the landscape of things and can't just be ignored.

B Rank
Solid Pokemon with unique attributes that easily find their spot in many teams

Breloom is possibly the most consistent fighter of the tier nowadays for me. Once you work past the problem of getting it on the field (the problem of many Fighters, fixed by Pokemon like BP Zapdos), it's already pulling its weight with Spore and then you get whatever else you can from it. It suffers from coverage issue for sure, but it has many unique tools that are quite consistant. Focus Punch is gonna do at least 35 to pretty much anything not named Gengar, Mach Punch is always useful for the late-game, HP Bug for Celebi/Claydol/Starmie, Stun Spore for further disruption. Having a positive match-up against Tyranitar, Blissey and Snorlax is enough to repeatidly throw hits in a game even after you get your Spore off. Something worh looking into is Lum Breloom for Special Offense, it can freely switch into Lax early, bully Blissey/Lax/Ttar and increment your offensive abilities with Spore.

Maybe the biggest takeover from Callous IV is that Hariyama can be amazing even when not using Knock Off. It's actually such a good fighter and the biggest reason, as explained already by linear or Altina is that it's the best bully of Snorlax and Blissey. The natural HP stat is just that good. It's got all the elements that make Fighting types so threatening and even some more with Knock Off and Whirlwind for amazing defensive utility. I need to try using it more, both offensively and defensively.

Moltres is a good bully, because it forces very specific answers from your opponents and it can fire off precise stabs that threaten OHKOs or 2KOs vs many Pokemon. It's a bit held back by its popularity ironically enough, as a lot of teams make sure to not just straight up lose to it nowadats. And sadly, when it's meeting the like of Milotic or Blissey, it's hard to find value for it. As mentionned before, Overheat is pretty good on it to blast off faster Jirachi and Celebi who think they'd be safe. Moltres is also an interesting weather resetter in some builds, especially because it can heavily threaten the offensive builds Weather Reset teams typically struggle with.

Unlike Hariyama, Heracross isn't particulary bulky, more susceptile to Dug or doesn't have the same defensive utility and unlike Breloom, it doesnt have Spore. Obviously Heracross makes up for all of this with stab Megahorn and a more interesting speedtier. It can't cripple its checks like Hari or Breloom but it has better finishing abilities and better coverage vs some builds that just cant deal with it beside Dugtrio. Offensive Heracross isn't really too consistent for me, but it just wins some games (granted, even when everything goes right, you have to hit Megahorn(s)). I have yet to try super bulky Hera like linear, so maybe I'm just missing some pieces of the puzzle here.

Moltres with a lot more variety to it, despite not being as bulky and strong off the bat. It's a bit prediction reliant to properly pull its weight, but it remains a dangerous wallbreaker.

Great defensive typing for an offensive Pokemon. It's sadly lacking in raw power, not to mention heavily suffer from coverage issues. I feel like Gyarados is very often close to sweeping, but is just missing some bulk here or some damage there. Sometimes it feels like deadweight when you don't have the right coverage too, making it actually quite hard to use. It's got good defensive utility with Rest and can switch into Fighters at least, which is always a plus nowadays. Twave sets to be further explored.

B- Rank
Those Pokemon don't walk into teams as easily as the former, but work quite consistently in the one they do

Porygon2 is playstyle defining. Trapping Dugtrio is invaluable for some Pokemon/strategies and it's a solid Pokemon on top of that. A great mixed sweeper/physical wall that spread paralysis and has more offensive abilities that meet the eyes with the recent surge in usage of moves like HP Fighting. Definitely not a one-trick CMSpam pony, though it can be hard to make up for its shortcomings.

I feel like Altina gave a very good description of Cloyster when he said that sadly, Cloyster often has to boom before you can remove the opposite Spiker (or before it even shows its face). However, it's still good at Spiking and Booming, which is often all you need for your offense to get consistently going, especially since it easily targets bulky Waters that those teams love to see dead or weakened.

One of the biggest winner of the last few months, Cacturne terrorized the ladder and some tour games with its unique traits. I used to think it was nothing more than a fishing Pokemon, but it grew on me as a spiker with good staying power against very defensive builds. With SpDef and HP Grass, it can actively check and threaten bulky Waters, and it has the offensive stats to do heavy damage if you're not spiking with it. It's susceptible to Dug trap and loves Mag support. Sand Veil can make it reach another level if you're lucky.

My opinion on Flygon hasn't really changed, beside finding that Endure 3Atks is worth it on some builds and an interesting SD recipient. I think it has the same advantages and issues as ever. Worth mentionning is that it doesn't completely fold to Celebi and HP Grass Jirachi which makes it a good bulky ground on some teams where Swampert would take the L vs those two.

Jolteon is heavily suffering from the fact that Spikes teams cant really go all-in on Spikes & Momentum nowadays due to the heavy usage of Spinners all around. Even before, Jolteon was quite a prediction reliant Pokemon suffering coverage issues, but without Spikes it's even worse. Much like Aerodactyl though, being the fastest Pokemon around has some perks. It's a fast status threatener, check to some dangerous Pokemon like Starmie and has Baton Pass to facilitate momentum or the entry of breakers.

Having good match-ups against the top 5 leads is enough to make Vaporeon quite consistent as an offensive Pokemon nowadays. Baton Pass + 101 HPs sub is also really good and a great way to get value out of a special Pokemon that can't directly threaten Blissey. I've found it to be a good member of baton pass chains, giving you a bulky tool with strong offensive presence against the typical threats of those playstyles like Salamence, Moltres or Aerodactyl. Some movesets adjustment like Sub Roar allows it to turn the tables against some checks too. Defensive Vaporeon are as nichy as ever but worth considering when building.

C Rank
Don't fit into many teams but are quite consistent there, or have reasonnably often big payouts when included in a team

Donphan doesnt fit most teams, it pretty much requires Magneton and Pursuit, but for those it does I really believe it's a strong and consistent Pokemon. It's a good check to pretty much any physical Pokemon and a hard counter to some (no better feeling that having Donphan vs DDTtar or Physical Ttar in general). It has a naturally strong EQ to boot, which goes a long way into making progress or sometimes checking something like Jirachi. Ofc, it's also a spinner, which is big in itself. Definitely flawed in some ways but that's why it's so low afterall.

I've come to appreciate Kingdra because thanks to its lack of weakness and naturally good bulk, it's a dangerous endgame sweeper as nothing can really prevent it from getting a RD off. It needs a lot of previous work, much like any Rain Dance sweeper though. Worth a fit on CMPass teams as it becomes a completely different beast with a SpA Boost vs any check but Blissey, and has the typing to check Fire types early.

Raikou suffers the same issues as usual, but like Heracross, it just wins some games. LeadRaikou is strong, though maybe not so much now that it's in the open. A different beast if it can get a headstart setting up from a CMPasser. Also, kinda like Jolteon, being that fast has its perks and it will be dangerous just because of that sometimes. CMRoar is niche but 6-0 some SpecialOffenses. I can't rank it any lower considering how much I got to win with it on both the ladder and in tours.

I still don't understand why Venusaur sees so much play. I've finally tried it some and I hated how reliant it was on Sleep Powder/Leech hits to do anything, allthewhile hating status and all kind of chip (it doesn't really come for free on anything to begin with, beside Suicune, Milotic and monoPert I guess). I can see the appeal in some match-ups and when it gets going but I feel like it's a Pokemon that needs many conditions to work past the lead spot, and even there, there are many scenarios where it doesn't quite cut it. I'm willing to be sold on it though, just don't feel it deserves any higher based on experience.

The Fighter with the worst bulk, most crippled by status and the least amount of good resistances, but also the hardest hitting by far, giving you the most bang for your buck. Leftovers 4 atks seems to be where it's at atm.

Not quite convinced by LS 3 atks after all, even after trying it. It's Kingdra with a grass stab. I feel like being less likely to get the RD off because of your typing worse than the Grass stab hence why I ranked it lower.

I reckon Weezing has a lot of versatility, can fit offensive and defensive teams alike and the typing to come on the field reasonnably often, and yet I have a hard time ever justifying it on a build. I feel like you'd always want Gengar in its spot, unless you need a stronger Explosion? Willing to be sold on it, like Venusaur.

MeanTrap is very dangerous. Hard to make a good team around it but the payout is very big. Otherwise the best Gengar pursuiter and an alright Special wall. Just annoying how many special sweepers can beat it through setting up or toxic immunity so you can't solely rely on it for special walling.

The Rest
Inconsistent but you don't have to quite go out of your way to use those

Setup move + Sand Veil = potential big danger, actually check Fighters too. Always has coverage issues, need heavy support, and sometimes a lot of luck to do anything.

Great defensive typing, good bulk and a lot of interesting and support moves (Explosion, Counter, Twave). Kinda like a Blissey with Rock-resist or a secondary Snorlax for offense. Heavily lacking in raw power though.

Feel like the only reason you'd use this is if you want a Hariyama but faster, with less defensive presence as a result. I've seen it used on a team with AgilityPass Zapdos where it profited from that trait, so it has that going for it.

Sleep + Spikes is good, interesting Spiker for HOs, but those teams are inhently frail and spinners are quite common. Also has to not run into a Lum user. Spore+Sub+Spikes+filler move seems to be the most consistent way to use it.

Great pivot vs physical attackers and Electric check but always missing a move it'd like to have and lacking damage output beside Boom. Feels like a more offensive Donphan (strictly because of access to Boom).

Not much to add since last time. Interesting offensive special check in some teams. Pray you don't run into Metagross/Jirachi or have a good way to abuse those (especially paralyzed?).

It has the Heracross/Raikou trait where it's either very good or very bad, but only really works as a lead and need LK to hit. Gotta appreciate how it pairs well with Dug though and how it fires games on all cylinders. IB/Fire lead @ Lum + Dug is also a good combo to trap Ttar/Meta/Jirachi/Bliss.

Honestly think it's bad but it fits FightSpam because beside Pursuiting it will help vs Psychic Jirachi and Celebi. On some other teams, it can be an offensive fire/Moltres check/Blissey lure with Beat Up (would advice for Lum there).

Actually good and unique defensive typing with a strong Boom to boot. We've seen some good use of CB Solrock from Linear and I've had a great experience using CM Baton Pass Boom, as it either gets the pass off or boom on their special wall/phazer.

Unique wallbreaker, very prediction reliant and needs help to get on the field usually but if you're wilding out, why not.

Slow and bad but best speed recipient and can win games instantly there.

Not much has changed since last time. Still best Dug punisher if they don't have a Phazer. Worth noting that HP Rock is a solid option to kill a weakened Zapdos/Roar Moltres. Metagross is a great recipient between typing, bulk, freedom of use in item and especially Clear Body.

Fast sleep and Encore makes it quite the headache in some situations, especially with Spikes. Has to avoid all status and then very prediction reliant to have a big pay-off. Also is a free Spin.

Unranked Pokemon
I think those Pokemon can work or have a very small niche but I don't have enough experience using or watching them enough to rank them:
Alakazam / Armaldo / Dragonite / Dusclops / Exeggutor / Gardevoir / Golduck / Mantine / Miltank / Mr.Mime / Lanturn / Lunatone / Politoed / Regirock / Rhydon / Sceptile / Scizor / Slaking / Tauros
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viab rankings from somebody whose biggest accomplishment was like r5 in global championship, doing these on the move so they might be a little sparse but I can fill out reasoning and shit if I find the time.

s: tyranitar
s-: metagross, blissey
a+: swampert, zapdos, gengar, jirachi
a: skarmory, salamence, celebi, suicune, dugtrio, aerodactyl, snorlax
a-: starmie, claydol, cloyster, forretress
b+: breloom, moltres, milotic, magneton, hariyama
b: heracross, porygon2, charizard, venusaur, jolteon, vaporeon, flygon
b-: gyarados, weezing, sand veil (cacturne, gligar), rain (kingdra, ludicolo), umbreon, smeargle, donphan
other usable shit: jynx, medicham, houndoom, machamp, dragonite, registeel, honestly I don't care enough to go dumpster diving or sorting mons based on the viability of super small niches (and considering how different said niches are its almost impossible to gauge their consistency or value without coming down to splitting hairs somewhere).

some general thoughts:
there's def a drop-off in consistency and overall value between meta / bliss and swampert / zapdos / gengar despite some people grouping them in the same category - both are not only dominant over particular spectrums of the game but can convert said dominance into momentum and opportunities elsewhere. simply way too good.
jirachi is the kyle lowry of pokemon; not quite standout but it does everything at a high level, can shift sets to accomodate or facilitate teammates, is immensely threatening in its own right and ineffably projects winning in a way that high level tour stats have generally borne out over the last couple of years. it has adapted to meta shift after meta shift and seemingly only become better with time.
mence imo is less of an offensive threat nowadays and more of a hole filler - checks fighting, immune to ground, holds off stalk cune and cele without losing momentum on offense. what annoys me the most about it is how it's not really self-sufficient - cb smacks into a resist and is forced to switch more often than not, mix struggles to break milo zap type shit, dd is the most unreliable sweeper of all time - but at the same time it's amazing as a glue piece and method of sustaining pressure. king of the little things ig.
I feel like way too many people sleep on aero bc 'it loses to fat teams' or something, when that's never been the case for me. imo the secret is just be willing to deploy aero early-midgame against mismatches and forced switches (skarmory, cele, etc) bc that puts everything on the backfoot. even if you can't keep spikes down it's hard for any team to hold off a sustained assault from meta + tar and still have enough to survive the slide flinch barrage and even facing meta + mag + dol isn't an autoloss. aero good.
spinners and fighting types are both in-vogue options but will probably stick around long term bc you gotta stick it to skarmory somehow. loom has become meta-defining and brought sleep to the fore in a surprising way, while yama is simply fat and provides a unique blend of utility and offense that teams really value. spinners meanwhile also double as defensive pieces (starmie being a second bulky water, claydol being a rock resist and eq immune, both ironically resisting fighting as well lol) with additional utility value so teams using them get double bang for buck. by the same token magneton suffers since teams are more willing to play the long game vs skarmory and dislike how magneton becomes a deadweight on offense sometimes.
venusaur is a high ceiling low floor pokemon but sleep + seed is just so vicious that it's hard to put it lower than I have it. it's basically a cele with more offense / disruptive potential at the cost of longevity / versatility, which is worse on the whole but still presents amazing upside in the current metagame (being able to donk all three spinners and eat non-ib suicune in support of skarm is huge, for ex). vaporeon is great and flygon provides intriguing value in a metagame where nobody runs hp ice. jolteon is still good and will probably rebound in the near future. gyarados is a matchup fish pokemon that just can't thrive in a meta with this many random tbolts / thunders.
I have more to say but will save it for another time.
Hi Everyone,

I've never posted VRs before because I don't really believe in viability rankings. Pretty much everyone who makes them is just trying to put together something that makes people say "wow, this person really knows what they're talking about!" But then that same person's play won't reflect what they've posted at all. For this reason, even though Zokuru's VRs are really bad, I respect his approach to it a lot. Hopefully mine reflect the way I play too.

Another thing: I think viability should reflect usage. In an infinite sample, where everyone is trying to win, everything's winrate would converge to 50, and viability and usage would be equivalent. To the 6 people who will say "But Hclat, mons aren't an infinite sample where everyone wants to win": please practice understanding hypotheticals. I know winrates aren't 50%; I'm just explaining why my VRs reflect my usage.

I did these off the dome, so I probably forgot some super-relevant mon. I'm excited for the adv elites to roast me for ranking blissey low.

Tier 1

-Tyranitar is good. Only play non-ttar if you don’t want sand or are running hyper offense. If you do want sand, use it, else you’ll lose to teams that don’t want sand.

Tier 2

-I hate whoever decided skarm’s now adv’s premier spinblocker, but this guy’s back to being super good.
-#1 “splashable” mon in the tier
-Someone decided that we don’t like using twave on bliss anymore and everyone started bringing teams solo’d by this dude.
-I think salamence is kinda garbage at “wall breaking” or “cleaning” or whatever, but its utility is in its ability to outspeed and threaten all the big scarymons (tar meta firetypes fighters) makes it a good pick.
-Underrated aspect: threatens both the good spinners. Pretty good spike partner bc this.

Tier 3

-highest floor mon in the game. It's hard to bring a useless snorlax.
-Try endsalac if you don’t wanna waste a slot on (Trigger Warning @samatitos) garbage p2.
-I’m excited for hOw cAn YoU rAnK bLiSsEy 12th iT iNvALiDaTeS sO mAnY tHingS
-don’t @ me

Tier 4

-Here’s a rare example of a mon I never use that I actually wanna rank pretty high.
-How the mighty have fallen. Now that skarm has learned how to spin block, this guy’s relegated to painfully-obvious bliss-bait duty. I used him once in CI4 and he got 1v1ed by a cradily.
-I’m worthless at using him but I always lose to it
-pro tip: use a berry and it stops being terrible at its job

Tier 5

-Very versatile BL
-I don’t use it but it’s p good I think
-It’s fallen for me, but he still receives too much hate
-lol soooo bad, though my ranking mag at 26th might be why all my losses come to spike teams
[Rando fighter slot (Heracross Machamp Medicham blaziken)]

Tier 6

[Rando Sleepmon slot (exeggutor smeargle venusaur)]
-2nd at spin blocking, only to skarmory. watch out for donphan
[Rando BoomMon slot (Camerupt weezing regi^3 Steelix)]
[randy ragequit inducer slot (Gligar/cacturne/cacnea/sandslash/mime)]
[Kingdra/ludi/omastar/those other rainy dudes I forget the names of]
[Random 6-0er slot(marowak ninjask scizor)]

Tier 17:
Gyarados, geodude, anything else I forgot

Edit: a couple I forgot:
Umbreon->RandyRageQuitInducer tier
Raikou-> Somewhere between pikachu and gyarados
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I don’t have too many specific things to add, and I think those are better left to the superior and more active ADVers, but I’ll throw my two cents in on a couple generalized things.

1. I wholeheartedly believe that the win rate of an individual Pokemon, with our current system, is, in the overwhelming majority of cases, a worthless statistic when attempting to determine viability. There are way too many variables such as luck/RNG, pilots of unequal skill, matchups, good mons on bad teams and many others to get accurate data and the sample size is far, far too small to mitigate those things over time as it theoretically would if we had one million uses per mon to use as a reference point.

2. Our current system is fundamentally flawed in that it generalizes all sets of a Pokemon into a singular data point. In order for this to be remotely accurate we need to separate them. As one of countless examples, OffPert, while undeniably a fine, completely viable mon, is absolutely NOT a top 10 Pokemon in ADV, whereas the classic Protect + 3 attacks defense Pert absolutely is. Yes, there is value in flexibility and unpredictability and yes a Pokemon is probably more viable as a whole if it has multiple viable individual sets, but our current system and mindset are nevertheless fundamentally flawed. Are CroCune, SubCune and CM/Surf/Rest/Roar Cune equally viable? Yes, they’re all viable, but are they exactly EQUALLY viable? In my opinion, as with CB Mence vs DD Mence vs Mixed Mence vs Wish Mence and countless other examples, my answer would be no. If we want proper data we need to treat these Pokemon as separate entities.

3. As far as tiering, which I understand is different from viability ratings, can we move Regice please? It’s long overdue, and several mons currently considered BL are simply better and more viable than it is.



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Following up on my previous post, I would like to point out some nuances in how we think about viability. Total win stats indicate that Zapdos is significantly ahead, whereas several people have indicated Metagross and Blissey at the top of their VRs.

I think it's simply that Zapdos has no viable replacement in the roles that it fills, whereas Blissey can be plausibly replaced by Celebi or Jirachi with some team tweaks, and likewise Metagross shares some redundancy with Jirachi and Swampert.

People seem to be writing VRs based on what they think a mon can offer on absolute terms, but win stats reflect the opportunity cost of selecting one mon over a similar one. To what extent do we favor one interpretation over the other?

Describing a mon on absolute terms gives us guidelines on how to prioritize mons in battle -- sacrifice Magneton before Blissey because Blissey is better period. Don't leave Metagross lying about doing nothing, but if Claydol does nothing, it's okay. Nothing wrong with that, but accounting for replacements tempers expectations in the builder. Just because some people rank Blissey #2 doesn't mean it's used in even half their teams.

Therefore, if I do make a post describing my VRs, I'm going to try to explain more what a mon offers over another.


Btw, I agree with CALLOUS' point #2 in broad strokes, except that with such multivariate statistics, the process will always be fundamentally flawed. Analyzing cores/styles might eventually be the way to do it right. Food for thought.
As the new VR is coming out I have found myself wondering about how I would personally go about ranking these mons. I won't bore you all by listing them, as the revelation of "oh this inexperienced player produces a tier list that looks like it was copied from McMeghan" probably isn't helpful to anybody. However, I think it is interesting to meta-think about the different ways in which one can think about ranking pokemon. McMeghan likes the concept of assigning values to different attributes of each pokemon and then seeing where that gets him, while Hclat's vr is representative of his own usage, and Vapicuno is looking at total wins (at least as a factor). Obviously none of these are a bad way to go about it, and if I thought they were I probably wouldn't say so because the three people mentioned have a much more intricate view of the tier than I do, so their vrs would all come out looking better than mine no matter which way I go about it

When thinking about where to rank Magneton, there is a problem with just thinking about what Magneton brings to the table, because in reality it is a very small thing. However, the single thing that Magneton can (semi-)reliably do is so necessary for some teams that Magneton is ranked rather highly. However, even though most Snorlax teams require Magneton, it is ranked much lower than Snorlax.

My thought is that a pokemon should be ranked by first looking at which type of team(s) it fits on, consider how strong those teams are, and then looking at how dispensable it is on those teams. I chose Magneton as my example because I think it is the easiest: it is only seen on Physspam builds and mag+spinner balance/stall, neither of which I think are very good at this point in the metagame. So while Mag is seen on likely over 85% of Physspam and is a recquisite for Magdol/starm type teams, that does not necessarily make it good. This does make it tough to rank pokemon that are better, though: I would find it very hard to list all of the teamstyles that Metagross fits on to, but aside from physical offense it probably isn't necessary on any of them.

As many others have said, if we had an infinite, well-matched player base then the vrs would just be global usage statistics, but because we don't we have to abstract, and in my mind the question becomes 'how good are the teams that I would put this pokemon on, how much worse (or better) would those teams be if I replaced it with something else, and am I giving something up by including it?' because that seems easier to evaluate to me than directly thinking 'how good is this mon'. In theory, these results would be very similar to one's own usage statistics (we tend to use teams we think are good, and we tend to use the mons we think fit best on those teams). I think it might be helpful to think of the quality of a mon as the quality of team multiplied my its necessity on said team, much like total wins of a mon is expanded to be the usage rate multiplied by the winrate.
S rank

Tyranitar – Same shit. Even without moves it might still be the most important team member in some games. Fundamental in beating stall


Blissey – Nothing new to say really. Still extinguishing the innovative candles of the avant-garde

Metagross – Even when things go wrong, it still has return value. Mainly due to excellent stats across the board, an amazing movepool and good typing. One of the most consistent mons in the tier.

Swampert – I have not been using a lot of it at all lately. Narrowly edging out Zapdos here. It cannot quite get the balance right between defensive and offensive. Still the best pillar of physical defence in the tier

Zapdos – Its movepool is predictable as ever and that does not matter. It pairs so well with offence due to baton passing capabilities and the fact that it threatens all the defensive mons with a 1 hit KO or near it. Twave gives it a lot of the coverage you lose with hp grass.


Gengar – Lower in popularity with all the pursuit threats around, but I don’t think that has made it that much worse. It has everything you want from a mon like this but unfortunately due to its bad 4 moveslot syndrome it doesn’t quite make A+ for me

Jirachi – Incredible impressive. Its sub cm 2 attacks set is one of my favourite threats in advanced OU. Great vs most match ups and so easy to start setting up with. I cannot count how many games it has won for me in recent times. Astarachi is another set I have been messing with. Pairs great with mons like Hariyama and Salamence

Skarmory – So great for me right now. It might be one of my most frequently used pokemon along with metagross. Can really punish you in the long game if you don’t have a magneton. Pairing it with the right pokes means that you can pivot out of direct damage with it. Yolo has been so great for me in recent tournaments. Hit hp ground on the switch and your opponents’ chance of winning immediately plummets.

Dugtrio – I’m a bit higher on the 3 moles than I have been historically. It is completely necessary for the generality of hard stall teams to reach their point of attainment. Conversely, it enables some of the best offensive threats like Jirachi


Celebi – I have been using nice, mid speed, 2 attacks leech seed variants and pairing it with a spinner. Its existence in the threat list is probably to be boiled down mainly to the baton pass sets.

Salamence – MixMence is the set that I have been using predominantly. It is the prime fighter check in the tier and threatens a constant threat to the offensive mons in the tier. Once a couple of spikes go down, it can ko ttar, meta and swampert. That is something to be considered.

Suicune – I am fonder of it now than before. Its bold cm rest roar set is the best set. It just has such an amazing ability to provide a blanket check to mixed attacks whilst simultaneously threatening to sweep ill-equipped teams. However, I don’t think it’s admissible to overlook its offensive sets either. Once blissey is removed I think it can be one of the most adept cleaners in the tier. Crocune is just a nightmare too.

Snorlax – The primary offensive special wall. Has really gotten safer to boom with with less gengars around. That being said, I have not been using it at all recently. Just does not cover zapdos reliably and it can literally be forced to trade with cm cune.


Starmie – Best non-A tier mon for sure. I have been using quite a lot of starmie recently. Offensive sets with psychic are something that I really find endearing right now. You can choose to drop tbolt or spin depending on the team. Offensively it punishes the opponent severely for not having a blissey, and defensively it can really do work removing the hard-fought spikes of the opposition.

Aerodactyl – Been using a LOT of this mon recently. One of those great bullshit incisors that gives you a win-con when you really were not in business with one. It’s strong attack and speed allows you to outspeed and potentially KO gar, zap, mence etc.

Milotic – So great vs mixed offence and TSS. There are a number of teams that legitimately don’t switch into it/break it down. 1v1’s nearly the entire tier. It is a little do nothing however and can be exploited for its predictability a little.

Claydol – I’ve certainly grown more affectionate towards this mon. On paper, it’s obvious why it’s good. Spin, boom, no sand/spikes, stab eq. I find it somewhat susceptible to chip/being forced to stay in on a big attack, which kind of stops it doing exactly what you EV’d it to do. Nonetheless it is the best spinner in the tier and warrants a spot about this high.

Heracross – I only really use set that don’t get trapped by dugtrio, salac, sub etc. Still a really great mon. Sub salac is one of the most oppressive offensive threats in the tier. Choice band is a demon without remorse. I have also dipped my toes in sub lefties. It might be my favourite stall punisher set it has.

Magneton – Obviously, it is really good for catching the best spiker in the tier and ohkoing it. Takes forre out of the game too. However, with the insurgence of yoloskarms, I think it is unsafe to run its most common sets. I have nearly completely migrated to timid sub, lefties, toxic and extremely bulky sets that live a ground attack. I think the sub lefties set has really great utility outside of catching skarm


Porygon2 – So much more than just a fall trap for dugtrio. It beats quite a lot of the tier 1v1. Twave cripples many things and tracing natural cure is great. The hp fighting set helps you overcome the set up-bait issue.

Moltres – Still v good. Dangerous as hell with spikes up. Wisp is what gets it this high in the rankings. Has a decent amount of checks/pivots so it can be played around if your team doesn’t suck. Morning sun sets are good too if your oppo is a passive player

Hariyama – Incredibly high on this mon recently, mainly thanks to Asta. It’s stallbreaking ability is unfathomable. High base hp means stosses do nothing. If you come in on blissey twave you are guts boosted. Focus punch punishes sleeping cune. You help check DDtar. Knock off is constantly threatening mons that need their longevity removed. Can replenish decently with wish support

Forretress – Its forecasted time really has come. I think its better than it has been for a while. I haven’t been using it much but I have struggled against it in a matchup or two. Your skarm team just cannot be unprepared for it


Vaporeon – Been using a lot of sub vapi recently. Offensively it hits like a truck. Passing 404 subs is amazing. Hitting celebi as hard as it does is great. Really punishes teams for not having roar. And it can actually outroar them if you choose to do so.

Breloom – I haven’t been using it all really. Spore and focus punch/mach are great but it’s dead weight after that. Nice check to ddtar I guess

Venusaur – Yeah, it’s unreliable but if it hits a sleep powder and a leech seed, it gives you amazing momentum. It also gives you great teambuilding flexibility

Gyarados – Not using this guy much. Rest is just an offense enabler(for your opponent). Offensive is good but its double edge chips you down when your main niche is being able to take chip before you set up. It also has to run jolly to outspeed important things :/

– Haven’t been using him much recently. Still solid on the right team, but for the most part, he’s flygone

Jolteon – I love jolt teams on the ladder but I rarely find myself using them in important tournament environments.

Charizard – Don’t like it. Too bulky water weak. It’s offensive stats are not good. Walled by too much shit


Cacturne – Definitely more reliable than gligar; who is pure RNG based. Spikes seed 1 attack is nice. I also like it on Vapicunos team

Kingdra – Best rain sweeper fo sho. Lum is kinda necessary, so that sucks. Amazing vs offensive spike teams. I should experiment more with this guy. Very Dangerous

Smeargle – Spore + Spikes + wisp + boom is an awesome set of moves xd. There are many good smeargle sets. It gets its sleep off, then a spike or 2. Then booms. I think it’s solid

Jynx – I like it. Takes a mon outta the game and potentially puts another in dug range. Definitely inconsistent and frail asf though.

Gligar – Can definitely work. I wouldn’t use it in an important environment. Shitty coverage and frail, but if you get a twave off on something and then bring it in, it can be danger.

Medicham – Some people think it is too frail, not I. Dekzeh’s Sub 3 attacks is my favourite set. Hits so goddamn hard. Can completely ruin a tss. Shadow ball ohkoes gar and does 50+ to celebi.

Cloyster – Why not just use smeargle? This mon can’t both hit important speed stats and live important attacks. Gets 2hko by offensive pert in sand. Super frail and does v little damage with its attacks. Gets 1v1’d by the other spikers.

Umbreon – very bulky and has wish but it epitomises set up bait. Still good on the right team. Mean look pass is also v interesting

Marowak – The best agilipass recipient in the tier. Can just win games if you don’t get a successful attack in on the obligatory attack on ninjask/zap.


is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
I request that my VRs not be taken into account in this update, simply because I had not spent as much time this year exploring or observing and I don't think my opinions on some mons that I've kinda neglected are very well informed. Nevertheless, I will state some opinions especially because this time my VRs are going to be quite different from my submission last year; the main difference is that I'm
1. taking reference from CI4 win statistics
2. putting more weight into the uniqueness of the mon in its role and
3. how it can serve as an enabler in the teambuilder even if it doesn't seem to do anything solidly in battle.

Tier 1

Let's be clear that just because it's the most important mon doesn't mean it's the most unsaccable mon.

Tier 2

Zapdos is common, Zapdos wins games, and Zapdos' role is unique. When I look at a lineup with Zapdos in it, I simply cannot find anything to replace it. With tweaks to cover weaknesses, I feel that Blissey can be replaced with Celebi, Swampert ostensibly with Metagross, but Zapdos substitutions are rare; sometimes on Spikes teams it's good to use Moltres > Zapdos, but I feel that it's still a rather small scope.

It is the pivoting ability + offensive threat thereby luring in passive Pokemon + Baton Pass that makes Zapdos good and unique, and they all successively require the former to be good. Being an offensive threat + Baton Pass is severely worse without the pivoting ability (like Jolteon, which gets KOed by all physicals and therefore can't even force out Swampert to exploit BP even though it can damage it just the same). Having pivoting ability + Baton Pass without the same offensive threat also doesn't work as well (like Celebi, which can pass out but ends up drawing in stuff you'd rather not face like CBMence, Moltres, Aero).

Baton Pass allows offenses to get more "switch-reads" right, and more reads = more wins. And of course, there's all that boosting stuff that's more niche and makes Zapdos even more unique but I don't have to get into that. Plus point: Zapdos checks itself.

Tier 3

With the exception of Swampert and Metagross, these are all mons that have multiple functions that they do decently in, and also role-compressing abilities. They are not the best at one particular thing, but the sum is greater than the parts. Here are some examples:

Gengar - Everyone knows what Spikes + Gengar does, but I got influenced by BKC and Fakes to try out Spikeless Gengar again, and have been quite pleased with it. I see it as defensive utility + Will-O-Wisp + momentum reverser all in one. The first two are obvious. As for what I mean by momentum reverser, Gengar's unique fast boom allows it to switch into anything and explode / dbond as a get out of jail card should you make a mistake on an offensive team.

Suicune is one of the worse CM sweepers because of its low speed, and a worse physical wall than Swampert because of its non-immunity to sand. But if your opponent is running a stall team, you can stall their PP or set up an endgame, and if your opponent is running a physical offense, you can still fend off the late-game DD Tar or Aerodactyl with Suicune, albeit imperfectly. Swampert may be the pinnacle of dealing with a physical onslaught, but good luck vs Milo Bliss.

Celebi being higher than Blissey for me sounds like blasphemy, but even in the defensive aspect, I feel that Blissey faces some stiff competition. Don't get me wrong -- Blissey is the best special wall through and through, doesn't get dugged as easily, isn't scared of fires, and isn't scared of Salamence. But the few things going for defensive Celebi in the current meta are:
1. Ability to scare spinners (especially Starmie) out -- in line with the new trend of no Gengar teams, Celebi feels like the better fit.
2. As I've used Yoloskarm and fast Skarmory (max HP max Speed) more, I've begun appreciate Celebi as a partner because it can pivot into Swampert, force it out to a physical mon, and you can (double) switch to Skarmory to ensure that it only takes physical hits to Spike up, so that it lives a lot longer.
3. Yoloskarm isn't great at dealing with Snorlax, but defensive Celebi is!
4. Hitting Tyranitar hard with HP Grass is so useful in maintaining momentum, and helps in revenge killing. Blissey can't do that; Toxic still takes some time to effect.
5. Less abusable by BP Zapdos than Blissey.
6. BKC just reminded me that Celebi can hit Fighters hard or at least resist them (non Bug Hariyama and Breloom), and also deny the Offensive Swampert exploit.
And there's CM sets and all that.

Jirachi being in the same tier as Metagross is the statement I want to make here. Individually Metagross might have a lot of enabling power, but I think teams with Jirachi feel more synergistic. More elaborate comments already made in my previous post.

Defensive Swampert has synergistic replacements for what it does, but despite that it's still difficult to get combinations that achieve the full level of physical protection that it offers, which is the one of the two reasons I have not delegated it to Tier 4. The second reason is that it pivots into Zapdos. You read that right. When using Blissey especially, pivoting to Swampert instead is a very important midground against BP Zapdos. Teams that use Blissey without a Ground type find it a pain in the butt to play the mind game.

Tier 4

These Pokemon offer very dedicated roles that are crucial to the metagame and are easy to build with, but are relatively one-dimensional, and in the case of Skarmory and Blissey, have plausible replacements.

Skarmory - I'm high on Yoloskarm + Celebi these days, as I've mentioned above. However, I have always maintained that Forretress is a very effective Spiker replacement metagame. As much as I am a BP spammer, I do think Spikes is good -- teams have holes and don't have a significant advantage of ambiguity, but they're easy to build with and effective.

Blissey - See Celebi commentary. And linear is going to popularize Hariyama now anyway.

Dugtrio - Beat Up yeah!!!! Made special spam great again.

Tier 5


No particular comments, apart from that Starmie is the best spinner when Skarmory is the spinblocker.

Tier 6


Magneton - Here's my understanding of Magneton:
1. Mag Offense - replace Magneton with Skarmory or CB Metagross and the team will probably become better, except when it has Gyarados
2. Skarm Mag - If using Aero, the Mag slot could have easily been Gengar, Zapdos, or Moltres. If using CBMence, Mag is good there.
3. Bulky Mag Balance - Mag is frequently needed, but I'm not sure I'm a fan of many of those teams because they're hax magnets and unforgiving in win conditions.
4. SD Pass - niche archetype where Magneton is mandatory.
In other words, although Magneton fulfills a dedicated role that is quite prevalent in the metagame, there are softer ways of making the same kind of progress for many of these teams, and for those where Magneton is mandatory, they're either niche or not really my taste.

Forretress - A lot of cool things can be done with this mon, because it is used with Pursuit Tar, and Pursuit enables so many other cool synergistic things you end up still getting remaining slots for whatever you want to clean or break with. I like it.

Moltres - Main advantage over Zapdos is
1. Being a very good Metagross pivot. Protect Moltres + Steel alleviates the need for a bulky water.
2. Having a move that will always do consistent positive damage. Again, Zapdos tbolting into Protect Swampert and pivoting out on HP Grass to something you could have hit harder with Thunderbolt has to be one of the worst feelings ever.
By the way, Will-O-Wisp is overrated. Just click Fire Blast.

Aerodactyl is great when using less robust special checks, because it's hard to be weak to Zapdos when you have Tyranitar + Aerodactyl.

Milodol - ask Zokuru

Hariyama - Two years ago I was really high on Machamp, but after realizing that Hariyama's HP is the best thing it can offer vs Blissey and that it can feign Knock Offs, I think it's time to elevate this back to where I thought Machamp was. This is more a personal note than me trying to communicate anything.

Flygon - Salac is good, but here's a hot take: HP Fight Aerodactyl is frequently a good Flygon substitute.

I will stop here.
Special mentions because I have built with and used these mons:

Vaporeon - Salac is probably not so good now if linear is going to popularize defensive Zapdos. Shameless self anti-plug.
Porygon2 - I still believe in this thing for being one of the few things on offense that can counter DDMence and do well against Aerodactyl.
Cacturne - Works even without Gligar
Gligar - could easily be DDMence or DDGyara (has good comparisons with Rest Gyara too). Can be considered for TWave spams that need a way to revenge Dugtrio or defend against Heracross.
Raikou - Semi-suicide lead is awesome.
Ninjask - Premier Dugtrio abuser if revealed late. Getting rid of all phazers is a monumental but in many cases, possible task.
Umbreon - The key to building with TrapPass is realizing you're not that weak to Skarmory. Unfortunately, people run Jolly Yolo these days.
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is a Pre-Contributor
The UD Viability Rankings - Coronavirus Edition, Mark II

S Tier


Tyranitar is by far the best and most versatile Mon in the tier. Last time around I highlighted how naturally bulky it is, which was a good way to showcase its efficacy. Having the stats to pull off both fully defensive/support sets as well as offensive ones is a major factor into why it's the #1 Mon in the game.

Pursuit sets are great team players, but limited coverage can be rather obnoxious. My favorite version is Pursuit/Crunch/EQ/Rock Slide, but this particular set is an absolute zero against Skarmory unfortunately. MixTar is super deadly. I've fallen into the trap of just flat out having no reliable answer for it from T1 and losing loads of HP right off the bat. Consequence of not using Dugtrio/Milotic/Blissey, I suppose. CB Tar is still great. Probably the best way to force damage on opposing bulky Waters from the lead slot when facing a Zapdos. DD is the only way you'll sweep, but picking the 4th move, picking your spread, and picking your item are all fairly frustrating decisions to make. Unrelated, but Salac Berry with 243 Speed (max+) is always an option on any set as a way to extract value out of dire situations.

To summarize: it's way too strong and way too versatile not to be S Tier. Best Mon in the game and in my opinion I almost rarely even consider not using it when building something new.

A+ Tier


The ubiquity of Pursuit Tar definitely cuts into Gengar's viability a lot. But I think that Gengar of 3-4 years ago was that far ahead of the rest of the metagame (but still behind Tyranitar), that it can afford to withstand a lot of metagame adaptations and still thrive. WoW Gengar with a free turn is still a top-three hardest situation to deal in the tier, and every purported answer to Gengar is still incredibly vulnerable to the wrong set.

Gengar suffers in not being very strong if it isn't hitting super effectively, and weirdly there has been a big rise in Mons that aren't weak to any common move that Gengar would run. For instance, Hariyama/Machamp are not overly threatened by almost any Gengar, short of taking the Explosion, which is a trade most teams would be happy to make. Furthermore, the old Fire/Grass coverage bulky Gengar no longer feels like the metagame breaker it once was. BoltBeam is better all around coverage again in my opinion.

Final point I would like to make: Gengar's versatility is outclassed only by the Mon ranked above it. I value versatility extremely highly, which is one of the main reasons I still think Gengar is #2 with a bullet.

A Tier


Suicune at #3 feels a little odd, but I honestly struggle with deciding what is third best in ADV after Tar and Gengar. So I'm using my personal preference as the tiebreaker for Cune and the next few or so slots.

I absolutely love that Cune combines your bulky Water/secondary physical wall and win condition in one slot. Rest/CM/Surf/Last isn't the best sweeper, and it's not the best bulky Water, but it does role compression as well as almost anything in the tier, and defensive minded teams really crave that when you try to pigeonhole your other walls into dedicated roles.

Offensive is also insanely threatening to midrange Spikes teams that rely on Jolteon or Celebi to sponge offensive Waters, and Sub + Rain Dance can sweep BeerLover type builds from the lead position with the right sequencing of turns.


I don't use Metagross nearly as often as I should. It's probably the best purely offensive Mon in the tier with its strong wall breaking sets and ever-dangerous CB Mash spamming. Honestly CB Mash crit attack raise is so stupidly broken. Drawbacks of purely physical Meta are that it telegraphs Magneton, and you can pretty much always tell their spread, and therefore their moveset, after they fire off their first Meteor Mash. Not that the information game is super valuable against Metagross, who will almost always trade if well played, but it is at least something you can use against it.

I think Metagross is actually pretty overrated defensively though. Annoying stuff like +1 SuperBi and SuperRachi can 2HKO, Zapdos almost always 2HKOs you, offensive Waters come close to 2HKO'ing, most EQs 2HKO you, and on and on. It's one of the best things to have against CB users, but against anything else I find it quite vulnerable. I think the trick is to do what linear does, and tap into your unreached potential and use more than 508 EVs, which he definitely does on all his Mons :heart:


Celebi is just insanely good. By far the best mixed wall (hot take?) in the tier. Simultaneously one of the best Snorlax and Zapdos switch ins, it's a great Mon for both keeping momentum and turning it in your favor by virtue of Leech Seeding into whatever your opponent's response is.

I love Recover/Leech Seed/HP Grass/Calm Mind on the teams that can't afford a mono Psychic set (read: no Dugtrio), but also want a win condition or better answer to offensive Suicune and Starmie. Really though, the last two moves on bulky Celebi can be anything as long as you pair the appropriate trapper with whatever coverage you dropped (no Psychic -> Pursuit Tar; no Grass -> Dugtrio). Without a doubt, the worst thing about bulky Celebi is how it's Free Real Estate for Metagross, Drill Peck Skarmory, and faster Sub setup Mons (Jirachi and Suicune, namely).

Celebi isn't a one trick pony either! SuperBi rules; try Modest though. Timid seriously sucks that you can't get 328 Speed and anything >299 and <328 is sort of cheesy in exchange for the 10% power drop from Modest to Timid. And lastly, SD Baton Pass sets are scary as hell in some matchups, though not my personal cup of tea as they absolutely require Magneton support, and as a general rule of thumb I try to avoid strategies that rely immensely on Magneton trapping Skarmory in order to work.

Free Shiny Celebi.


Best purely special attacking Mon in the tier with really good defensive properties as well. The Metagross of Special Attacking, if you will. But with a slightly worse defensive typing and no access to the best move in the game.

Mixed Zapdos absolutely cleaves through some defensive cores like a knife through butter. (Sidebar, but this is why you will almost never catch me dropping Rock Slide on my Tyranitar, since it's such a good natural check to Zapdos with it.) Raining down 383 SpA STAB Thunderbolts into CurseLax teams is one of the greatest feelings in ADV. Zapdos is not a Snorlax answer, but Snorlax sure as hell ain't a Zapdos answer.

Unfortunately to use Modest means you miss out on a fairly valuable speed tier, since Zapdos likes to paralyze a lot of opposing threats, and you can still outspeed the odd +1 DD Tar. I still prefer Modest with another Mon in the 328 tier or above in my team. I do the same with SuperBi by the way, before you notice the double standard.

I don't use a whole lot of Zapdos personally because I find it semi prediction reliant, and it doesn't actually have THAT many opportunities for switching in outside of double switches and CB locked Earthquakes. Case in point, Zapdos is really threatening until you decide to just stay in and trade blows. Zapdos doesn't OHKO very much of the tier, so plenty of times I find it worth it to just trade Gengar Ice Punch for Zapdos T-Bolt. I also personally find the opportunity cost of not using Roar/Baton Pass with Spikes to be too great when considering other options in those last two slots (such as Thunder Wave).

BeerLover Tier (?)

I had to invent another tier in the A range because I wanted to clearly delineate these three Mons from the ones directly above and below them, and I would never call the tier below this one "B+" because that's just so wrong to me. (I mean really, Salamence in B+ tier? I couldn't bring myself to do that.)


Swampert is still by far the best bulky Water in the tier, but too often I find myself wanting... more from it. I always want to use Quiet with loads of SpA on my midrange Spikes teams, but then I start taking way too much from all the boys. Go too far in the other direction and then Magneton is almost required. It just hasn't been fitting into my building style or playstyle for a long time.

Don't get me wrong, it's still the most splashable Rock resist by virtue of not really requiring much support. I mean honestly the Dex spread with 40 SpA (give me back the old Dex, this new one sucks ass lol) is still strong enough to not REALLY need Magneton support. BeerLover got away with it for years and that team did just fine.

I think I already outlined my grievances with Pert which are namely that it just doesn't really fit into my current style and feels somewhat antiquated. The metagame has changed a lot in the past few years and I haven't quite figured out Swampert's place in it for me.


Another Mon that doesn't currently fit into my building philosophy. I haven't made a SpDef Skarmory team that I felt confident in in a long time. Still the best Spiker technically, just it always feels like you run into the wrong matchup whenever you're using it. Skarm + Dug is probably the best way to mitigate those matchup weaknesses, but then you still get caught with your pants down against an odd Refresh Claydol or well played Recover Star.

YoloSkarm is an annoying ass fad but admittedly preys upon most Forry teams that don't play super tight and get all their turns right. I still see it as insane bait to Spin Starmie and that alone feels not worth it to me. Why build your team around Spikes but then not be prepared for one of the only three legitimate Spinners in the tier? It's not an archetype I have even an ounce of comfort using myself, but hey it's there.


You probably already guessed this was the next Mon in this semi-tier. Blissey is obviously the most broken Mon in ADV, but it's a bit of a momentum sink, can be bait to quite a few setup Mons, and it's extremely passive.

Bliss gets a lot of points for still being a premiere mixed wall, only truly being threatened by Fighters, Metagross, some Tyranitar, and Snorlax. And even still, you have the trump card Counter against Meta/Snorlax/Tyranitar, which is a gamebreaking move when you pull it off.

A- Tier


Best DD user in the tier, don't at me. Unfortunately, while Salamence excels at only needing one DD to outspeed everything and its mother, it doesn't OHKO anything outside of the frail EQ and HP Flying weak Mons. Still, the following will remain true as long as ADV continues to be played: nothing sweeps as effortlessly as a +1 DD Mence when the circumstances are right.

MixMence with a Spike down can be really brutal too. It offers great coverage alongside a generally strong STAB Dragon Claw. And it's still fantastic as a defensive pivot to EQ and Fighting type moves. A lot of people also consider CB Mence to be the best CB user, a sentiment I can definitely respect. Combining that much speed with that much power is seriously dangerous.

My personal favorite is WishMence. Nothing fancy here, just max HP, max Defense, Wish/Protect/Flamethrower/Toxic. It is an excellent check to lots of physical attackers, pairs phenomenally with a grounded Steel type/Hariyama, and spreads Toxic nicely with a reasonably strong Flamethrower coverage move.

Anyway, it feels weird not to have Salamence ranked higher given all the great things I have to say about it. But something just feels a little off with him. Either it's DD not being strong enough to get that kill at +1, CB mispredicting into Pursuit Tar and getting 2HKO'd, or MixMence running into MiloDol, but there's always something. We'll get there, buddy.


Probably the best CM user in ADV, but doesn't use its typing as well as Metagross does. With its excellent set of resistances and immunities, it laughs in the face of Blissey as it sets up and heals off the Seismic Toss damage. Still, on its own it's not actually very strong. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, but Psychic type is the worst STAB in ADV. It means that without fail, even using two coverage moves, you won't hit all of your targets super effectively. Fire Grass? Entry for Aero, Mence, Flygon, Tar isn't really threatened, and you don't OHKO anything at +1 and even sometimes not at +2. Ice Electric? Metagross and Tyranitar laugh at you in exchange for hitting all the other stuff harder and actually being able to OHKO stuff quicker.

Jirachi's typing, stats, and access to Wish plus really good coverage moves means it has a whole bunch of gadget sets at its disposal. The only two requirements of them are using Wish + HP Fight (or Dynamic Punch I guess), and then luring Tyranitar while passing Wishes at the same time. linear showed off a bunch of different variants to the world in the recently completed Callous Invitational. He combined the moveset with bulk, which was a nice touch. I always used these sets with minimal/zero bulk investment in exchange for hitting Snorlax and Blissey much harder with the HP Fight.

Free Shiny Jirachi!


Aero and Starmie feel super close to me in terms of viability. Aero gets the nod because it's so insanely good at keeping frail Mons and frail teams from ever being truly excellent. It also has just enough natural bulk to usually be able to switch in once or twice during a match. It's a reliable MixMence switch in, and if you clench your cheeks then you can usually slip it in on non-STAB Thunderbolts/Ice moves from Gengar and Jirachi.

There is perhaps some merit to using the offbeat SubLiechi set, or the even rarer Pressure staller, but those feel pretty gimmicky to me and in general you are best suited sticking with the tried and true.


The scariest thing physical offense can face. Offensive Starmie gatekeeps pretty well, just like Aerodactyl does. The difference is Aero exchanges slightly better overall bulk, STAB Rock Slide, and more speed, in exchange for Starmie's inimitable coverage and ability to OHKO damn near everything. If Starmie wasn't so assjuice defensively then it might legitimately be Uber.

Bulky Starmie is an excellent anti-Spikes option for your slower paced CurseLax or just generic fat teams. Nothing is more irritating to a non-ProTox Skarmory than Recover Starmie. And even ProTox can get outwitted.


Really excellent at removing major threats to your stall team. Good at targeting Blissey/Celebi on your special offense. It's certainly a good Mon but you sacrifice a whole team slot just to use it. My favorite Dugtrio archetype is Boom offense, where you can Explode to end turns and guarantee you get Dug in against something. Hat tip goes to Tycoon Prozac for one of my favorite teams ever: Regice / Gengar / Metagross / Dugtrio / Celebi / Suicune.

B+ Tier


I used to think CurseBoom Snorlax was the worst of a bunch of bad utility Snorlax sets, now I think it's the only one worth using anymore. CurseBoom is an incredibly safe bet today because so many people have chosen to ditch Gengar on their SkarmBliss teams, and furthermore their Skarmory don't even carry Protect anymore. I guess by extension the old Fire Blast utility Lax probably should be good again, just it's annoying trading 35% Fire Blast for 25% Drill Peck from Skarmory.

There are occasional matchups, such as CM spam, where Snorlax is utterly phenomenal. Usually though, it's a mess.

CurseLax will forever be mediocre at best. It blows switching in against Zapdos and Moltres, meaning you need to dedicate at least one other slot to pivot them or outright counter them. You can't lure Metagross/other Snorlax Explosions reliably, and clearing Spikes and Sand can be a big effort in its own right. However, shoutout to Impish Earthquake CurseLax for being overall pretty good.


Forretress embodies what I try to do as a builder so well. It switches in on Skarmory, it Spins reliably in the absence of Gengar, and it Spikes comfortably in the face of a big portion of the tier. I also love that it has excellent odds of beating Magneton 1v1.

The last two slots are pretty flexible though, and Forry has a weird amount of highly usable options - EQ, HP Bug, HP Ghost, HP Fire for your Gengar-less stall team, Counter, Light Screen, HP Flying for your 6-0'd by Heracross stall team, Zap Cannon, and Toxic. My rule of thumb is: Spikes, Move for Skarmory, Move for Magneton, Filler. Which means according to my philosophy, Spikes / Zap Cannon / Counter / Explosion is a viable set. Just kidding don't use that.


Claydol is the Goldilocks Pokemon. Flygon is OHKOd by Ice moves! Forretress can't Spin without support! Donphan can't touch Gengar! But Claydol is juuust riiiiight.

Claydol doesn't really have any versatility in its movesets. You either have Refresh or Explosion/Ice Beam. The versatility comes with its spreads, which can range from specially defensive and a great Gengar/Zapdos check, physically defensive to own QuakeSliders, fast and bulky, or fast and offensive. It's in many ways the face of modern ADV. The Zapdos pivot that threatens Explosion while also resisting Fighting.


I already called Celebi the best mixed wall in the tier, but truly it should be Milotic. Celebi is just significantly better offensively than Milo, and the two don't really compete for team slots at all. But Milo is hands down the #1 threat to anything mixed attacking that tosses on Grass/Fire/Ice coverage moves to hit most of the tier for super effective damage. Problem is, with Milotic's titanic base SpDef stat, it takes laughable damage from non-STAB Grass moves.

Milotic's issues are well documented at this point. It needs a lot of help against Spikes, it's vulnerable to Rock Slide flinches, has one of the worst offensive outputs in the tier, and is not very splashable in general, unless you subscribe to pasy's theorem that Milotic + Celebi + Claydol + literally any three Mons is a viable team archetype.

B tier


Still the lynchpin of a really potent and dangerous archetype, the infamous Jolteon Spikes / TSS, Jolteon is a tough Mon to get consistent success out of, but it has a sky high ceiling when your predictions with Roar and Baton Pass are crisp. Old school Jolteon TSS almost always looked something like Jolt / Tar / Skarm / Gar / Swampert / Aero, but nowadays I think this particular lineup isn't effective due to Claydol's prominence. For this reason I think an offensive Water is mandatory alongside Jolteon, so that you always have a line against Claydol. Forretress is never really the enemy for this type of team since everything is hitting it super hard.

Spikeless Jolteon is incredibly rare and has not been successfully done too many times. I have used it before on a mixed offense that was especially vulnerable to Starmie - like they all are - and Zapdos. So for me, Jolteon was the only possible Mon that fit in my last slot for that team. But in general it's more advisable to use alongside Spikes.


A unique combination of a lot of different good qualities. It resists Rock, has STAB Earthquake, hits a great Speed tier, good overall natural bulk, levitating, and immune to Thunderbolt. The biggest thing holding it back is that it's OHKO'd by So. Many. Moves. Ice moves are probably 2nd to Earthquake in popularity in ADV, and that just chaps Flygon's ass. It's really unfortunate because in a hypothetical world where Flygon was just a levitating Ground type, it could be so much better.

All that being said, Flygon still cleans up weakened teams pretty well, and it pivots HP Grass Zapdos better than anything else on your typical "Mixed Offense."


I'm trying to be very genuine while also blending objectivity in my rankings. I wouldn't use Steelix so much if I didn't believe it wasn't great, and as such my ranking reflects that.

Steelix has an outstanding defensive typing, natural bulk to sponge Earthquakes, and a movepool that's just interesting enough to give you the tools you need to regain momentum on switch ins. Steelix obviously has problems in that it needs super hardcore anti-Gengar and anti-Skarmory countermeasures, but so do plenty of other Mons.

Nothing switches in on Zapdos/Metagross/Aerodactyl all in one as well as Steelix does. It's just really a great package. By the way if you want inside access to my spread, here you go:

EVs: 252 HP / 96 Atk / 16 Def / 144 SpD
Impish Nature

I don't have anything more to say. Steelix just rocks.


I personally dislike using Heracross but I know it's good. Tons of potential with Salac sets. You can even be cheesy and lead it against known MiloDol spammers and you might luck yourself into a lead 6-0. I'm just always left wanting more with the Beetle.

B- Tier


Pretty threatening when it squares off against Tyranitar, and it can snowball fairly quickly if you're not packing a dedicated Fighting resist. I've always thought that ensuring your team had at least one Fighting resist was just fundamental teambuilding, and nowadays that is more apparent than ever.

Problem with Breloom is that they don't really pack coverage moves. Which means if you don't trap Gengar with your Pursuiter, then you could really struggle against it. Also the way Breloom automatically makes your team considerably worse against Aero and CB Mence.


Weezing warrants more use than it gets. It doesn't have that many natural enemies - Psychic coverage comes from exactly two Mons in the tier and is highly telegraphed, and it has just enough natural bulk to soak one Thunderbolt / Hydro Pump before Exploding. Weezing is one of my favorite offensive Mons in the tier since it offers such good wallbreaking ability. A seriously under appreciated Mon.


The Offensive Spiker. Cloyster is better than people think. It's usually good enough to Spike once and Explode, which can often be enough to swing the momentum heavily in your favor. It's up to the player to capitalize on that momentum, with smart teambuilding and gameplay.

Cloyster also has the niche of being soooo good against Claydol + Magneton, which is an invaluable trait for a Spiker.


I gave Gyarados the shaft a bit this time around since I'm a little annoyed with how physically weak its Rest set is. But it's still a really dangerous Mon and poorly built stall teams (i.e. ones that don't have a stray Rock Slide, Explosion, or Thunderbolt somewhere) are the ultimate fodder for it.

Gyarados also has reasonably good physical bulk, but is severely outclassed by Salamence by virtue of being exactly 1 base Def stat worse than Mence, but more importantly, much slower than it. Which means that the Fighters all have a reasonable shot of outspeeding you.


Blasphemy, I know!

I've never bought into the Moltres hype. Moltres and Zapdos fit into the exact same niche for Spikes teams, the only difference is Moltres is a little better against Metagross (is it really though? When once it's revealed it's easy bait for Rock Slides on switch ins), walls the hell out of WoW / Fire Punch / Grass move Gengar, and it's better against Celebi and Jirachi. But Zapdos is not only faster but also has a much better STAB. I get it that Moltres is absolute death on physical offense, but that's only because they can't switch into your Will o Wisp. But I'd argue again, that Zapdos + WoW Gengar is every bit as threatening to physical offense, if not more so.

If you want a levitating special attacker with Roar, Zapdos is just better in that role 95 times out of 100. Just my two cents.


Outrageously threatening from the lead slot. However, you accept the reality that there is a very reasonable likelihood that you'll die on T1 and do nothing but generate a free switch in to their Metagross/Tyranitar.

I wish Jynx was even remotely bulky enough to consider outside the lead slot, but because it isn't, it loses a lot of versatility points for me. Still I have immense respect for its potential right out of the gate.


Porygon2 is not really that good, but it does have a lot of tricks up its sleeve. It's just kinda crappy overall but an invaluable weapon for those grounded armadas with Magneton that really need Dugtrio out of the picture. I just wish it was more... interesting. It would get my attention if it had access to Calm Mind.

C+ Tier

The C+ tier is the last tier that I think these Mons are even remotely splashable. Everything to this point I think you can make the argument that it's at least semi versatile/splashable that you can sort of fit into most teams if you want. Either that or it's just really potent or strong at what it does. On to the C+ tier.


One of my favorite Mons that I don't use very often. Regice is tremendously strong with its STAB Ice Beam, and it's one of the best Zapdos/Gengar/Starmie switch ins in ADV. Regice could be way better if its Explosion was a little stronger, or if it got Flamethrower. A guy can dream, right?


I'm not sure what to think of the offensive sets. It was explained to me that the reason to use them is that they bully Blissey way worse than other Fighting types because of Hariyama's mammoth base HP, which makes sense. But I know firsthand that Hariyama is kinda un-bulky, and it's not a particularly good speed tier either. Still I've seen it do work on the big stage so I will give it respect.

Defensive sets with Knock Off are forever annoying mofos. Extremely frustrating to play against! One thing I've noticed, however, about Knock Off Hariyama teams is that if they have a Blissey and it goes down, they kind of get swept 6-0 by SuperBi or SuperRachi.


I think Vaporeon is okay. I've always liked how strong it is even uninvested. Surf does like 40% to Zapdos for example. The defensive sets are pretty one dimensional and incredibly starved for moveslots though. Offensive sets are pretty powerful and hit a respectable speed tier. I think Vaporeon has a lot of tools in its chest and might even have more unexplored stuff. For instance, what about three attacks + Roar with Spikes? Like a slower but faster Starmie that can Roar Blissey switch ins. That doesn't sound half bad!


I'm told by others that Charizard isn't as good as people make it out to be. I still don't have any firsthand experience using it to accurately judge it. I should really change that because it seems pretty decent to me. Obviously Milotic/Suicune food, and I feel like landing Focus Punch on Tyranitar happens about 1% as often as you think it would. But still that Blaze Fire Blast burning Gengar to a crisp has gotta feel oh so good.


I think it's being used wrong a lot. The HP Fire set was nice for awhile but when most Skarmory switched to Drill Peck, I think it was no longer worth it to try to duke it out 1v1 with them. It's more advisable in my opinion to just do what Venusaur does best: Sleep Powder and Leech Seed, and check Electric types. For this reason, my preferred set is Sleep Powder / Leech Seed / Sludge Bomb / Giga Drain. Loads of Speed and SpDef to take as little as possible from Thunderbolts.


It's not splashable at all, so I'm breaking my own rule for C+ tier, but Donphan is a freaking stud. It's honestly so similar to Steelix, it's just less... good. I know right, I'm the next Shakespeare in the making.

In my experience using it, I can't get away with using Donphan without Magneton + Pursuit support, unlike Steelix. I also rate Steelix's typing considerably higher. I'll trade the EQ and Fire weakness for Toxic immunity, Grass and Ice neutrality, Normal resistance, and Flying resistance any day of the week and twice on Sundays.


Raikou is actually really good! I used it with Rest and a Porygon2 so that I could use it as my Gengar and Zapdos buffer early game, and therefore never have to switch my Snorlax into Zapdos. Substitute + Toxic leads are interesting enough to guarantee a good trade, and traditional CM Substitute sets can be just what the doctor ordered in some matchups.


Magneton is just not good. Nobody would ever use it if Skarmory didn't exist. It has no real practical purpose outside of that. When I use it, I like to do the 144 HP Timid spread that always outspeeds an Adamant YoloSkarm and always lives a Jolly one. With Leftovers and Protect, at least you can then sort of function as a Zapdos check and CB Rock Slide answer.

C Tier

This is the last tier where you're not really overextending yourself to fit them into your team. All fairly similar in viability here, will try to create distinctions where possible.


Kingdra is OK. Fairly strong and respectable bulk, but it always has to take one shot before setting up Rain Dance, and you only have 5 turns to make your nut. Probably the best weather sweeper in my opinion.


Medicham is hella strong. I absolutely swear by Dan's four attacks Leftovers set that he posted a while back. It's definitely not good defensively but it's not that bad and can usually stomach one neutral hit. Leftovers > Lum/CB. It's so worth it.


I like Umbreon a little more than Houndoom because while it's the worst offensive Mon in ADV, it's extremely scary if you get caught in a Mean Look Pass and have no counterplay. Also, Gengar can't really ever beat Umbreon without considerable luck, whereas it can definitely 1v1 Houndoom.


Houndoom is just alright. Takes a truckload from everything not named Celebi and Jirachi, and just in general isn't very useful. Great at trapping Gengar though, and it has access to WoW if you can fit it in. That's what she said.


Spore and Spikes is obviously a unique combination. I dunno, it seems okay. I have a couple of teams that lead Lum Berry Focus Punch Tyranitar (not for Smeargle, it's just a great set), and it's always hilarious when I run into a lead Smeargle on ladder. Pretty sure I've invoked a few instant forfeits from that sequence before lol.


Awesome defensive typing and natural bulk. If it had Whirlwind/Roar it could be so much better with an actual answer to its walls. By far the best Moltres wall in the tier, nothing even comes close. Also walls the hell out of MixTar, MixMence, Swampert, etc. I like tossing on some SpA EVs and giving it enough bulk to live physical hits so it isn't taking too much from STAB Fighting moves and the like.


Blaziken is an excellent offensive Mon, and a pitiful defensive one. Still, having two STAB moves for Skarmory and Tyranitar, and not being overwhelmingly threatened by Gengar is a hell of a package.


I don't really believe in Gligar, but I do believe in Cacturne as a standalone threat. I mean, standalone as in, stand alone but with Tyranitar. It actually has two good STAB moves, Leech Seed, and Spikes. It's definitely OU viable on that merit alone.

Edge-of-Usable Tier

I'm a Loose Constitutionalist, so my definition of usable is a lot broader than most. This tier consists of Mons that I think are for sure usable in OU, just maybe they're not very consistent or else require the whole rest of the team to support what they're trying to do. Again, there's not huge differences in viability here, so it's mostly personal preference.


Awesome SubSeeder, but sort of hard to get going.


It's a tank physically and it dishes out pretty good damage too. One of the better pure bulky Water lures out there.


Amazingly durable and hard to kill. Zero offensive presence outside of Explosion though, which is honestly probably enough to make it work.


Very strong and has Focus Punch so I guess there's its niche. Also DD + Heal Bell is actually cool. Triangles pulled that off once I believe.


Two excellent STAB moves and a pretty good defensive typing for soaking physical hits. But it's slow as molasses and OHKO'd by some really common moves.


Thunderbolt immune but otherwise it doesn't really have much going for it. Try it with Quick Claw.


STAB Thunderbolt makes it way better than it otherwise would be. Dugtrio weakness, middling speed tier, and so-so bulk hold it back.


Zam isn't very good. It is fast though, and has Encore and Knock Off. So I guess on occasion it might trip you up.


Kinda like Medicham I guess? Maybe it's better than I give it credit for. Too slow though.


I left it out of my last Viability Rankings by mistake. It's the best Dugtrio punish in the game. Would you rather counter-trap Dugtrio with P2 or hope they don't have a phazer and pass +2 Att +2 Speed to Metagross?


Prototypical CurseLax counter I guess. It's definitely usable.


It can be dangerous as a sweeper on its own, or Baton Passing boosts. It's not bad.


Another SubSeeder but with better offensive options than Jumpluff in exchange for a lousy defensive typing and no Sleep Powder and Encore.


Fits on Superman archetypes as a bulky Water Pressure abuser.


Seems very outclassed by all other Fighting types to me. Especially with the advent of offensive Hariyama, who seems like Machamp's closest competitor.


Passes Wishes and immune to WoW! It's pretty decent.


Enemy of Big 5 TSS everywhere, which legitimately struggles to kill this thing lol.


Strong, has access to Sleep Powder, and always drains my timer a bit on ladder because I have to check its stats to remember if I should attack its defense or special defense.


Budget P2 but with more gadgets at its disposal. One of the GOAT in game Mons though.


Hands down the worst Mon I have ever tried to use after having huge expectations for it. I have nothing good to say about Ludicolo.










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Update time.
Thanks to Triangles z0mOG Altina thelinearcurve Gacu Lord Ninjax Hclat Dizno Star UD Zokuru ABR M Dragon Sadlysius undisputed Gilbert arenas for sending their rankings.
Once again, I loved reading the posts here, quality stuff guys.

Without further ado, here are the new Viability Rankings:

:Zapdos: Zapdos
:Gengar: Gengar

:Celebi: Celebi




:Flygon: Flygon

:jynx: Jynx
:Raikou: Raikou
:Gligar: Gligar
:Regice: Regice

F RANK (Note: these Pokemon didn't get nommed enough to be appropriately ranked, consider this a limbo tier until more people rank these Pokemons in the next updates)
:Rhydon: Rhydon
:Scizor: Scizor
:Tauros: Tauros

You can consult all the datas by clicking HERE.

Some explanations, informations, etc:
  • The first post has been updated with the above ranking. Every Pokemon name redirect to its Smogon Analysis.
  • I have decided to remove some Pokemons from the Rankings as they didn't receive enough data (my threshold was at least 3 nominations), showing that truely, not enough players cared for them.
  • Among the higher ranked Pokemons, I have manually inverted Swampert/Gengar and Gyarados/Cloyster/P2/Charizard positions on the spreadsheet because of their final rank once the outliers were taken care of, for visibility's purposes.
  • Lanturn and Mantine didn't get enough nominations to get their rank (would have been E). Vapicuno and I believed that a Pokemon needed to receive at least 50% nomination to be ranked higher than F. As a result, they have been knocked down a rank, where they currently reign.
Some trivia:
  • This time around, there were only two people who had the final Top 10 as theirs: Triangles and Gacu.
  • Among the top 10, Triangles has the most outliers: 6. Interesting because he's one of the only two people who got the top 10 right still.
  • Among the top 20, the biggest outlier is UD's Magneton (18 spots) and overall it is HClat's Gyarados (34 spots).

If you have questions or some remarks to say, go ahead. Please give suggestions regarding where to draw the cutoffs for subranks.
Last edited:


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IMPORTANT: Please use the Smogon classic theme instead of Smogon Dark to view this post. This provides a white background necessary to view the graphs in this post because of the png transparency.

Hi everyone,

This update will be based on an extension of my original methodology described here, taking inspiration from a previous post by Jorgen. Thanks to McMeghan for gathering the rankings from everyone.

Okay, TLDR stuff first:
The average outlier-compensated ranks from everyone are
01 Tyranitar
02 Metagross
03 Blissey
04 Zapdos
05 Gengar
06 Swampert
07 Skarmory
08 Jirachi
09 Celebi
10 Suicune
11 Dugtrio
12 Salamence
13 Snorlax
14 Starmie
15 Aerodactyl
16 Forretress
17 Claydol
18 Milotic
19 Magneton
20 Breloom
21 Heracross
22 Moltres
23 Flygon
24 Jolteon
25 Hariyama
26 Gyarados
27 Cloyster
28 Porygon2
29 Charizard
30 Venusaur
31 Vaporeon
32 Cacturne
33 Weezing
34 Jynx
35 Kingdra
36 Medicham
37 Raikou
38 Gligar
39 Umbreon
40 Regice
41 Smeargle
42 Steelix
43 Donphan
44 Lanturn
45 Ludicolo
46 Machamp
47 Marowak
48 Mantine
49 Blaziken
50 Houndoom
51 Ninjask
52 Sandslash
53 Camerupt
54 Registeel
55 Rhydon
56 Mr Mime
57 Dusclops
58 Regirock
59 Jumpluff
60 Dragonite
61 Scizor
62 Alakazam
63 Omastar
64 Solrock
65 Sceptile
66 Exeggutor
67 Pikachu
68 Armaldo
69 Miltank
70 Slaking
71 Azumarill
72 Articuno
73 Flareon
74 Entei
75 Tauros
76 Lunatone
77 Gardevoir
78 Quagsire
79 Ampharos
80 Swellow
81 Dodrio
82 Qwilfish
83 Kabutops
84 Sableye
and considering only pokemon that were ranked by >50% of players, we get this reduced list,
01 Tyranitar
02 Metagross
03 Blissey
04 Zapdos
05 Gengar
06 Swampert
07 Skarmory
08 Jirachi
09 Celebi
10 Suicune
11 Dugtrio
12 Salamence
13 Snorlax
14 Starmie
15 Aerodactyl
16 Forretress
17 Claydol
18 Milotic
19 Magneton
20 Breloom
21 Heracross
22 Moltres
23 Flygon
24 Jolteon
25 Hariyama
26 Gyarados
27 Cloyster
28 Porygon2
29 Charizard
30 Venusaur
31 Vaporeon
32 Cacturne
33 Weezing
34 Jynx
35 Kingdra
36 Medicham
37 Raikou
38 Gligar
39 Umbreon
40 Regice
41 Smeargle
42 Steelix
43 Donphan
44 Ludicolo
45 Machamp
46 Marowak
47 Blaziken
48 Houndoom
There is essentially no difference in these lists for the purposes of this VR, as we are analyzing just the top few tiers. The final tiers obtained are
S: :Tyranitar:
A: :Metagross::Blissey::Zapdos::Gengar::Swampert:
B1: :Skarmory::Jirachi::Celebi::Suicune:
B2: :Dugtrio::Salamence::Snorlax:
C1: :Starmie::Aerodactyl::Forretress::Claydol::Milotic:
C2: :Magneton::Breloom::Heracross::Moltres:
D: :Flygon::Jolteon::Hariyama::Gyarados::Cloyster::Porygon2::Charizard::Venusaur::Vaporeon:
E: :Cacturne::Weezing::Jynx::Kingdra::Medicham::Raikou::Gligar::Umbreon::Regice::Smeargle::Steelix::Donphan::Ludicolo::Machamp::Marowak::Blaziken::Houndoom:

Let's go through the whole process.

First the data is cleaned by compensating outliers 1 standard deviation away from the edge of the percentiles expected to contain +/- 1 standard deviation of a normal distribution. Effectively, this means entries above 2 standard deviations away from the mean are removed. This is a modification of the conventional interquartile range (IQR), which I have not chosen to use because 50% of the sample doesn't capture the full variation from what I've seen. The compensation is done by bringing these points to the edge of this extended range. This results in mostly zero, but sometimes one or two outlier corrections. We then plot the outlier-removed data as a function of the integer rank to obtain this graph.

VR Tiering Decisions
We can zoom in to the top 26 mons where tiering decisions are expected to make more sense,

Traditionally, I'd just split the tiers by eyeballing, which works, but since then I've automated the entire process into code, so that the computer can recognize tiers on its own now via hierarchical clustering. We form a dissimilarity matrix where the distances between Pokemon X and Y are given by the following: Take the rate at which voters ranked Pokemon X over Pokemon Y, take the logit transform as is done in logistic regression of a Bernoulli-distributed variable, and take the absolute value. Performing what we call a Ward linkage, this yields a dendrogram of the following sort, where the clusters (what we are going to call tiers) formed by setting a reasonable threshold are represented by different colors, and the dissimilarity between each cluster can be thought of as the vertical height of the nearest branch that connects the two clusters. In other words, the Skarmory-Celebi tier is a lot closer to the Snorlax-Salamence tier (connecting height 8, note the log scale) than the Gengar-Swampert tier (connecting height >10). Note that the order is not preserved by the algorithm, so we have to do the work ourselves.

We want to verify the validity of the clusters obtained from the dendrogram, so we next plot the dissimilarity matrix and draw out the tiers specified.

To read the dissimilarity matrix, note that zero (the darkest value) corresponds to equal number of people voting in favor and against the Pokemon on the Y axis > X axis, and the higher the value, the more one-sided the voting becomes. In other words, the darker, the more indistinguishable the Pokemon on the X and Y axis become, and a well-defined tier would be a fully dark square (read my methodology thread for explanations).


This yields the following subdivision which McMeghan and I have decided on

S: :Tyranitar:
A: :Metagross::Blissey::Zapdos::Gengar::Swampert:
B1: :Skarmory::Jirachi::Celebi::Suicune:
B2: :Dugtrio::Salamence::Snorlax:
C1: :Starmie::Aerodactyl::Forretress::Claydol::Milotic:
C2: :Magneton::Breloom::Heracross::Moltres:
D: :Flygon::Jolteon::Hariyama::Gyarados::Cloyster::Porygon2::Charizard::Venusaur::Vaporeon:
E: :Cacturne::Weezing::Jynx::Kingdra::Medicham::Raikou::Gligar::Umbreon::Regice::Smeargle::Steelix::Donphan::Ludicolo::Machamp::Marowak::Blaziken::Houndoom:

Numerical ranks represent partial tiers, whereas letter ranks represent a more complete separation. I choose to adopt numerical subranks because there is no reason a priori to believe that Pokemon are grouped in viability by a tripartite scheme of +/-.

Metagame Shifts

This chart shows the difference between this update and the previous update, together with the uncertainties in the means (not the standard deviation, but the standard deviations divided by sqrt(N-1)).
A better way to understand how significant these changes are so as not to mistake changes occuring as due to pure chance is to plot the z-score,

where the Y axis means number of standard deviations away from zero. To recap, 0.5, 1 and 2 standard deviations are about 69%, 84%, and 98% significant (one-sided), meaning roughly that for a z-score of 1, we expect that this change to have occurred due to chance 100%-84% = 16% of the time. Therefore, trust the data on the left than on the right.

Forretress, Jirachi, Breloom, and Hariyama are perceived to be really good right now, while Jolteon, Cloyster, Magneton, and Skarmory have taken a slight plunge. Anyone care to comment on these trends?

Analysis of Camps

VRs tell us about the community opinion, but hidden within, there may be camps featuring different tier philosophies. Here's my attempt to look out for trends.

The VR tiering results are quite intriguing. Why are tier separations more ambiguous than last year's just looking at the mean and deviation in ranks, yet still quite clear in the dissimilarity matrix? I suspect, especially looking at the large deviations of Steelix and Golem, that there are some very strongly divided opinions that cause distributions to become bimodal. There are hints of this behavior in the heatmap, where we would expect Gaussian-distributed variables to form a smooth hourglass shape around the diagonal line, but we are getting oddities in interactions like Exeggutor-Golem, Steelix-Rhydon, and Umbreon-Starmie/Suicune. Here are some lines of thought I pursued:

S-B Split
In this analysis, I simply clustered voters based on their rankings of the S-B tiers. Then, I extrapolate to find patterns in the rest of the OU Pokemon.
from the Dendrogram, we identify a camp from Ninjax-Sadlysius and from z0mog-MDragon (I'm ignoring Hclat-UD, that group is too small). We then plot their mean rankings of each Pokemon for the two camps,
Note again the error bars are uncertainties in means, not the actual deviations (ie divided by sqrt(N-1)). Sorting the data to see the most significant changes, and using the z-score for that, we obtain


Looking out for commonalities between the two bar graphs, we see that there's a strong preference towards Salamence, Suicune, Snorlax and Forretress in the z0mOG camp, and a strong preference towards Dugtrio, Jirachi, and in the lower tiers Porygon2 in the Ninjax camp. Anyone care to comment on this division?

The following is a dissimilarity matrix for Pokemon now, divided by the two camps. To read it, note that when you see a strongly red square, then the camp being analyzed frequently ranks the corresponding Pokemon on the Y axis more favorably than that on the X axis. Another way to see this is by looking across the diagonal line. A strongly red square should be accompanied by a strongly blue square reflected across the line, and we can say the camp prefers the Pokemon on the Y axis of the red square more than that of the blue square. For example, in the data below, the Ninjax camp prefers Blissey to Metagross.


The dissimilarity matrix is most useful for looking out for odd relationships between Pokemon far away from each other; there doesn't seem to be anything too important of note over here, except whatever is shown confirms the conclusions drawn from the bar charts above.

C-D Split
In the C-D tiers, we find that there are two camps,
The camps can be summarized in the relative ranking chart,
Let us look at these three camps more closely with the z-scores,

Since there are only two camps, the relative rank for Altina's camp is simply the negative of that of Hclat's camp.

Hclat's camp prefers Hariyama, Vaporeon, Breloom, Venusaur, Jirachi, and Charizard among the lower tiers, while also preferring Salamence, Swampert, and Snorlax in the higher tiers. Altina's camp prefers Starmie, Claydol, Moltres, Gyarados, Magneton, Milotic, and Jolteon in the low tiers, while also preferring Suicune and Gengar in the higher tiers. Anyone care to comment?

The corresponding dissimilarity matrices for C-D tiers are

Again, nothing too worthy of note.

Camps across all tiers
Opinions are pretty uniform, so I won't do an analysis on these.

Individual Analyses

For those who are interested to see whose rankings are closest to theirs, you can refer to the charts below (split by S-B, C-D, and all tiers). The numbers inside the box go from -100% (full anticorrelation) to 100% (full correlation). They are sorted by the dendrogram order (and the light squares represent the camps).




And finally, these are the relative ranks of everyone. Blue = disfavor, Red = favor. Cyan lines demarcate tier cutoffs. Vertical black lines are just a guide to the eye.


Closing Remarks

The large number of graphs may seem daunting, and to people who aren't quantitatively trained, this may be really confusing. I recommend just glancing over the spoilers on the first read, only thoroughly analyzing them after you've gone through the more important graphs that have been left unhidden. I'm interested to know what you can infer from these trends and I hope this can generate some discussion.

Finally, I have attached the Jupyter notebook for this in a zip file. Note that I had to fill in missing entries up to Vaporeon for the code to work. You'll need python and the associated packages to open and run it, and the easiest way to do that is to install the anaconda library here.


My favorite thing about these viability rankings was that 48 pokemon were included, which meant that they all fit neatly into 2 boxes or 8 teams on Showdown. However, now that Sand Veil is banned in OU Cacturne is unusable in OU and Gligar isn't really viable (if you want a dedicated fighting-type counter just use Weezing) there are an awkward 46 ranked mons. I appreciate the immense amount of effort that went into the VR but I would still like 2 more mons to be added to fill this pointless quota. Based on what McMeghan said about Lanturn and Mantine I think that they would be the most ideal candidates for this position
A bit too late, but for whatever reason I wanted to write some garbage opinions here in this thread.


Even with one move slot Tyranitar would still be top1 just because of sand stream ability.


zapdos.pngBy far the easiest pokemon to fit on basically every team in the tier. There are some mons that don’t appreciate sand stream. However Zapdos is great both as offensive dry passer to keep momentum and as a pressure staller with rest, especially with wish support. It even fits on gimmicks with agility pass to Marowak or with choice band set to sursprise Tyranitar, Blissey and Celebi.

metagross.pngGreat stats, great offensive moves, strongest banded boom in the tier as well as ability to hax opponents with raised attack after repeated mashes. Meteor mash accuracy and fairly average durability versus strong neutral special attacks are my only concerns with this monster.

suicune.pngBest last mon in ADV. Huge reverse sweep potential, fantastic defences. Suicune has movepool to trash everything along the way, unfortunely it often won’t have right coverage to kill either Celebi, Salamence, Venusaur with ice beam or phaze opposing Suicune with roar. It's biggest flaw however is being stopped by water absorb users, as hidden power or toxic coverage doesn't have much utility in other matchups.

jirachi.pngBest wish passer in tier, strong special and physical wall with rock resist and protect to scout choice banders. Great cleaner with 3 attacks calm mind variant. Dugtrio weakness hurts badly though, as Jirachi fails to OHKO Dugtrio without any calm mind boost. However support variant has good chance to beat Dugtrio via body slam 60% paralyze chance.

skarmory.pngBest spiker in ADV. Skarmory isn't versatile but he's best at what he does.


celebi.pngWith access to calm mind, swords dance and baton pass, Celebi is the most versatile pokemon in tier. Variant with leech seed or/and perish song is best last mon counter. However Celebi is prone to being haxed on recovery turns, especially by repeated ice beams from Blissey and Swampert. Defensive variants also sometimes are too passive.

gengar.pngI used to be a Gengar fanboy, ranking it as top2 few years ago on Pokemon Perfect ADV viability ranking, but these days I see only three applications to use Gengar. First as spin blocker on TSS teams. Second as Blissey and to some extend Snorlax lure with explosion followed by Dugtrio to ensure KO. Third is more niche as calm mind boosts receiver from Celebi. I don't see any reason to use Gengar on other teams, because without spikes or Dugtrio support it easily losses to pursuit trappers, lacks STAB move to do meaningful neutral damage, has mediocre defences and at last isn't very good at handling fighting types. Seriously just use Salamence over Gengar on most spikeless teams.

blissey.pngI feel like Asta (support) Jirachi is just straight up better. Sure, it has less special bulk, but with sand recovery and protect it still can survive many strong special hits and at the same time has much better physical stats. Jirachi has access to two "status moves" via serene grace hax while wish Blissey has none. Without spikes Blissey is easily abusable on obvious soft-boiled turns. It's biggest advantage over Jirachi is access to ice beam to OHKO dragons, as well as ability to switch into Moltres. If my other team members covers those threats I would use Jirachi over Blissey 95% of the time. Those 5% are reserved for heal bell support, but usually wish is much better.

swampert.png Swampert is definitely strong defensively, however losing 1on1 versus hp grass Doduo is never a good thing. I'm definitely Suicune guy and if you are afraid of DD Tyranitar just pair it with Claydol, Flygon, Metagross or Dugtrio for good measure. Endeavor variant is great though, love it.

salamence.png There are countless Discord memes on how +1 DD Salamanence is unable to score KO versus huge part of metagame. However vs less bulky teams it still can easily sweep after some prior chip damage, while mix or choice band variants are great from turn one. Best answer for fighting types for sure.

snorlax.pngSecond best last mon in the tier. While Curselax needs a lot of support to work, it can easily win games vs defensive teams. However due to low speed or during rest cycles he is often haxed. Offensive variant on teams without Magneton have serious 4 move slots syndrome. Without focus punch Snorlax can't do much vs Skarmory, without earthquake damaging Metagross is really difficult. Fire blast is rather thing of the past as it compromizes EV spread and shadow ball coverage vs Gengar.

aerodactyl.png Best choice band user in ADV. Aerodactyl has hard time breaking protect Jirachi + Claydol/Flygon cores, but otherwise is really strong.

dugtrio.pngBest trapper and revenge killer. Especially removing Blissey opens doors to a lot of otherwise mediocre mons like Kingdra or Ludicolo.


Fantastic mixed wall, super easy to use. I wish Milotic could learn haze in ADV, then it would be so much better. Being a setup fodder to for 4 main calm minders as well as Curselax holds back Milotic from higher rank.

claydol.pngBest spinner and semi reliable answer to Tyranitar and Jirachi. Boom is always great versus oppoents that Claydol otherwise can’t beat, while refresh is great vs non drill peck Skarmory and TSS in general.

heracross.pngHeracross can easily 6:0 many teams on paper, however in practice usually misses half of his attacks. Probably most dangerous and at the same time most unreliable mon in ADV.

forretress.pngAs long as you won’t get destroyed by surprise fire move it will serve you well. Don’t skip boom on Forretress as otherwise many setup mons can take advantage of it.

starmie.pngMost overrated mon in ADV. Offensive variant is great vs offense and really underwhelming vs defensive teams, while recovery starmie, especially bulky one is definition of „do nothing mon”.


moltres.png I don't use Moltres much, but I often lose to it. It’s definitely strong, but 4x weakness to rock is holds it back somewhat. Best fire type for sure.

flygon.pngMake sure to not lead Zapdos if you paired Flygon with it as otherwise there is high chance on losing your Flygon in turn 2 versus lead Tyranitar ice beam. It’s stronger Claydol without spin. Definitely underated a bit.

magneton.pngOnly reason to use Magneton is countering Skarmory, but that’s already good enough if your team needs steel bird out of the way. It can sometimes stall Blissey with toxic which is a nice bonus.

gyarados.pngGyarados is really inconsistent, but if you hid it for long enough it can destroy weakened teams.

breloom.pngMore reliable than Heracross but without his sweeping potential. However putting one target to sleep and denting another with Focus punch is often enough to make it worth using.


jolteon.pngI feel like Jolteon was better in the past, but these days thunder wave on Zapdos is such a common move that really hinders Jolteon life.

regice.pngRegice is really underrated. Yes, defensive rest variant is trash, however whenever I use it on mix offense instead of boom Snorlax it is really good. Hit’s Skarmory hard, can chunk with good special attack and hp fire Metagross on the switch as well as Forretress. Also explosion on Blissey (although very predictable) is always great. E -> D

weezing.png Again, defensive variant with pain split is mediocre at best, but boom with decent stat attack as well as toxic immunity plus levitate makes Weezing a solid mon overall. Weezing has great movepool and can surprise many of his usual counters. E -> D

I don't have anything to add about other D rank mons other that they all are fairly equal and decent, depending what specific team needs. I'm really glad that Hariyama got deserved usage & recognition.


registeel.pngWhen you are bored of losing your Swampert to hp grass Ledian, choose Milotic instead. This is main reason to use Registeel, as it gives you solid rock resist and better bulk than Asta (support) Jirachi. Milotic access to recover doesn’t need wish support. Registeel can work to some degree with bulky Starmie, however lesser bulk of Starmie is noticable. Seismic toss provides steady damage, while counter destroys Dugtrio and other earthquake users as long as Registeel is healthy enough to survive those hits. Access to thunder wave and explosion is useful as always. Keep in mind that Registeel is pure stall mon, it needs needs spikes and really likes leech seed support versus rest Suicune. Don't use offensive Registeel as it is just a poor man's Metagross. If you are really that bored then try Regirock, atleast it has decent attack stat plus stab rock slide. F -> E

armaldo.pngCristiano Armaldo is by far the best Curselax counter ever. Cristiano can’t be struck by critical hit, has access to harden and resists normal type. With special defence investment it takes laughable damage from Gengar. Cristiano also handles Celebi with stab hp bug. Knock off can be somewhat negated by wish support, but this doesn't change the fact that Cristiano Armaldo is one of the most underrated BLs. F -> E

Nothing more worth of note in E tier.

Y RANK - terrible mons, don’t use them, puke on them instead:

lanturn.pngUse Jolteon instead.
blaziken.pngWorst „usable” fighting type.
articuno.pngIf you need haze then use Vaporeon. Awful typing and even worse coverage. Perfect example that even good stats can’t help in some cases.
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Weren't people hyping this up a lot? What happened to it?
People were hyping it up due to the fact that it was a new discovery. It had never had any sort of consideration before but it was discovered that it had some unique characteristics that made it usable on some solid teams. Hey nice the dust settled and the memes died a bit the truth is that there is still nearly always going to be something better than it unless you have extremely specific circumstances. Mostly just due to the fact that it is weak as hell and very easy to dug.
it is reasonable to be under the impression that lanturn was the newest innovation in the development of the adv metagame, based on the words of established and successful players. unfortunately, i do not believe any one of these experienced players ever believed such a thing to be true, rather their professions were given with a wink and a smile. if i were a newer player who had been led astray, i might feel rather hard done by.
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please excuse the double post, i wanted to share some thoughts on the advantages of magneton versus alternative dedicated skarmory removal options, curse, boom snorlax and choice band metagross. magneton's unique feature is that in can switch into skarmory and remove it. by contrast, magneton's rivals require skarmory to switch into them, like a moth to a flame, and thus are subject to the condition of entering the field in advance of skarmory, snorlax explicitly (it needs to set up), and cb meta practically. as a result, both cb meta (as it operates in this capacity of 'skarm remover') and curse, boom lax suffer from issues of inflexibility. cb meta in particular often wants to be in the lead slot, for fear of skarmory stealing a march on it, and finds itself booming on pokemon that could feasibly run substitute or protect for the same reason again. a further weakness of curse, boom snorlax is that it struggles to find coverage to hit tyranitar, the most common pokemon in the tier, throwing a wrench into its attempts to effectively isolate skarmory. since snorlax's moves that damage gengar and ttar belong to mutually exclusive groups, given curse and self-destruct, lax has to choose between (1) hitting ttar for unresisted damage or damaging gengar at all (shadow ball), or, if not, (2) miss out on normal stab that does not ko snorlax as a consequence (body slam). // the second major weakness of the alternative means of skarm removal, most pronounced in the case of curse, boom lax, is their dependence on one's capacity to effectively leverage the potential for magneton, and thus the degree to which they can be considered true alternatives. faced with a plus 1 snorlax, skarmory can account for the liability of snorlax to self-destruct by using protect, and it is the ineffectiveness of protect in accounting for a switch to magneton in conjunction with the skarmory user's inability to distinguish between cases where the opposing team does or does not feature magneton that works to dissuade the use of protect. if, when the skarmory user looks to the past they see that magneton is a rarely switched to in such a position, they will reasonably conclude that such a reality is not one they have to contend with: insofar as the threat of a switch to magneton is to be a real one, it must see usage. curse, boom lax, it can then be said, exists in a parasitic relationship with magneton, its host, both needing mag usage to sustain it and existing at its expense.
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