OU ADV OU Viability Ranking


is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Dedicated Tournament Host Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Two-Time Past SPL Champion
Big Chungus Winner
Until I take the time to write my own VRs in details, here is a little summary and some trivia about the latest update.

You can consult all the datas by clicking HERE.
  • The first post has been updated with the above ranking. Every Pokemon name redirect to its Smogon Analysis.
  • Some Pokemons that got nommed were removed from the rankings for not receiving enough nominations.
  • If there is some difference between the spreadsheet and vapicuno's rankings (which we use for the thread), it's because his program takes better care of the outliers and the number of nominations.
  • The spreadsheet now includes the difference in ranking and average for every Pokemon compared to their previous VR result. Those can be seen on right of the document.
  • This time around, 4 people (among 24 voters) had the final Top 10 as theirs: Siglut, CALLOUS, Voyager and Jester.
  • Interestingly enough, only Endill got the Top4 in the right order. And only 7 other people got the Top3 in the right order. This shows we all have quite different opinions even at the top of the rankings.
  • The biggest outliers are as follow:
    • Top10: SEA's Zapdos:zapdos:(20<>4, 16 spot difference), followed by mikmer's Celebi:celebi: (19<>10).
    • Top27: SEA's Forretress:forretress:(45<>20, 25 spot difference) (this represents the OU Pokémons), followed by SEA's Flygon:flygon: & Milotic:milotic: (19<>31 and 26<>38).
    • Top76: Kerts's Alakazam:alakazam:(37<>67, 30 spot difference) (this represents the ranked Pokémons).
  • Something I've done this time was "ranking" everyone's... ranking. I added every difference between every mon's ranking from a given person and the final ranking of the Pokemon. So for example, if you ranked Zapdos 3rd and Metagross 8th, you'd have accumulated 7 points (1 from Zapdos and 6 from Metagross). The person with the least points had a ranking closest to the final one. The results are as follow:
    • Top10: z0mog & Caloom (9) / Worst10: HClat (38)
    • Top27: z0mog (34) / Worst27: SEA (127)
    • A->D Rank: Sadlysius (78) / Worst: SEA (291), somehow SEA has almost a 100pt lead there, as the next worst is Altina at 196.
  • For the first time ever, Tyranitar:tyranitar: wasnt unanimously ranked first. ABR and Jirachee ranked Skarmory:skarmory: in its spot.
  • The most second spot this time around goes to: Metagross (9):metagross:, Skarmory (6):skarmory:, Zapdos (4):zapdos:, Gengar (2):gengar:, Tyranitar (2):tyranitar: and Jirachi (1):jirachi:.
  • Make sure to check the difference in average score from last year to see see more behind some spot difference. For example Celebi:celebi: gained a rank but has a worse average score, showing that it is on an downward trend.


show me what to be
is a Pre-Contributor
NUPL Champion
VR post time, everybody's favorite time to talk about the tiny intricacies in this tier that everybody mostly knows already but makes really long posts about to make themselves look/feel smarter. At the time of making my VR, I had some different opinions from what I do now, so while I will show you the VR I submitted, I have made some changes to the VR that I feel more accurately represent my current opinions of the ADV OU metagame, and that's the VR I will be writing my post over. Something that should be said, I'm really not big on super minute placements between things, I think everything in the same tier has give or take around the same viability (i.e, while Lax is ahead of Zapdos in a tier, I think they are both quite dangerous and good pokemon). Oh, also, while they say your VR should represent your usage stats, I only agree with that to an extent. There's a few mons on here I use a shitload of but ranked lower (Celebi is my 3rd most used mon, for instance), and some I hardly use at all but ranked fairly highly (Starmie, Zapdos, Raikou, Heracross are all Pokemon I basically never use).
2022 ADV VR 1.png

There is the one I submitted, and here is the one I will be doing my post on:
2022 ADV VR 2.png

S Rank
I mean. It's Tyranitar. What do you want from me?

Literally overpowered. Can force its way through (almost) anything.

A1 Rank
Also overpowered. Easily the best spiker.

Getting funky with Swampert sets can make your opponent's life a living nightmare. Does its usual jobs very well, feels too momentum sinky into cune balances sometimes.

Extremely dangerous. DD and Mixed sets are both terrifying.

A2 Rank
Fat fuck who never dies, oddly a very good offensive Pokemon. Contributes to Jirachi and Jirachi-adjacent gameplans very well, but lets opposing Blissey recover which is kind of a bummer.

Fast guy with Explosion and a million amazing utility moves. Cringe-o-Wisp based gameplans are lame because 25% of the time you get set back extremely far behind.

Superbi, Superbi, and more Superbi. CMPass is OK. Also, some secret technology and willingness to experiment can make Celebi much more dangerous.

Sub CM is still super good, and Toxic Jirachi has been on the rise for a while. Phys Def is legit unkillable.

Still ranking Aero high because he's just so good and cool and strong and handsome and consistent and easy to plan around

Once a hater, I have been converted. Why? It's very simple: Claydol half checks the entire tier, has the best move in the game (Explosion), is immune to Electric, and can remove hazards. What a cool guy.

A3 Rank
Excellent Pokemon at doing a lot of shit for you. 25% of the time vs Gengar you just get to go on a rampage vs their team, which is super funny. Curse Boom is nutty.

As ABR would put it, I am a Charizard using ADHD zoomer. What can I say, he's super strong, has a decent pool of cool sets he can use, and gives me a lot of dopamine.

Probably one of my more controversial placements. Think Venu gets heavily slept on in the age of Zapdos that cannot touch it for shit. Toxic immunity is crazy good, Leech Seed makes your opponent want to rip their eyes out, and HP Ice is extremely consistent at finding chip onto flying targets.

I moved it up a little bit because of 2 things: Moltres superman is so fucking fun and I love it, and I rediscovered Band Zapdos. However, Electric as a typing is still omega questionable because it's a shitty clicker of damaging moves over and over again thanks to immunities, and BP just adds random ass mindgames to the game. Spatking Zapdos is just bad and inconsistent.

Moltres is a much MUCH better clicker of attacks than Zapdos because Moltres immunities are meme Pokemon. Modest Overheat cooks the whole game from ungodly ranges, and as long as you aren't using a team that relies on shitty ass will-o, Molt will burn shit to the ground.

A4 Rank
He's really good. But he's also not. Surprisingly weak to god Moltres.

May or may not have forgotten to move it last time lmao
Just a fairly consistent Pokemon with a fairly limited toolkit

Not a pokemon I ever use because defmie teams are unpilotable for me and offmie is kinda cringe, but I respect its consistency as a Pokemon enough.

DDers are OP, and he is a really good baiter of Claydol Explosion. Maybe I should try DD Protect Gyarados, that sounds like fun.

Using Perish Song/Toxic/Leech Seed + Dug strategies made me appreciate this mon quite a bit more, but I still think it's super lame.

B Rank
The second best Spiker, but a good bit worse than Skarmory. Really hard to be bad.

He's really cool and I like him. But I don't like the teams Magneton is used on, so I don't use it that much.

Apparently using Vaporeon means you're mentally unwell or something. Unfortunately, I already knew that, so I'm going to continue to use this godly Pokemon.

Electric type is vomit inducing, as stated earlier, but Jolt is pretty cool regardless.

Very predictable Pokemon, and that's a good thing.

idk he's fine ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Super fun. A bit inconsistent, admittedly, but extremely dopamine inducing.

I respect the Heracross gamer grind. But only somewhat. He's kind of ass.

I moved him up slightly, but he's still really not that good. I think the teams Flygon is on often have Flygon as a key defensive piece, but are also exploited by having Flygon there.

another fine pokemon lol

Extremely dangerous. You get to choose what you're dogshit into (Gyarados, Spdef Dos, Moltres) except you're always dogshit into Dugtrio.

C Rank
Hits hard, forces less random bullshit answers than Hariyama (and punishes said random bullshit very well), and has a cool speed tier.

As I'm writing this, I'm having my own doubts about having the duck this high, especially over the next Pokemon, but fuck it, I'm committed.

Both the most unkillable and most exploitable Pokemon in the tier at the exact same time. Funny how that works.

Boom is hard to be bad. Very solid typing into specially oriented gameplans.

my goat

I moved Ludi up like 97 spots this time because I figured out the key to this thing: drop hp grass and use leech seed lmao

Really hard to fit, really hard to answer properly too

Has some very secret incredible matchups, but simultaneously just a mediocre water type.

Very happy with this guy. He's super awesome and cool and sexy and I love him BUT the one problem with him is METAGROSS. If you can manage to get a good way around him, Lunatone is super fire.

Knock is HELLA overrated, and while it can perform similar roles to Machamp, Machamp does them much better.

Stab beamer and a million spdef + ratio

yknow every time I load Politoed something goes really wrong, which makes me sad because he's awesome and cool

This placement was very much intentional. I am sure you know why.

carried by god linear just use skarm my man

Decent endgamer. Needs a handful of things to either not exist or have a small amount of % on it, which can be difficult to set up properly.

hey did you know the anglerfish back-to-back won advpl? because I think that's pretty fucking awesome

You might think I like Regice because of what I said about Articuno, but no, this thing doesn't have Pressure, a ground immunity, or a decent speed tier + Roar.

i fucking hate hclat

Colteor this guy is epic, I just wish people forgot Counter existed on him

I won't bother talking about the D Ranks. Other than Medicham, who is actually just awful. Thank you for your time :D


is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Dedicated Tournament Host Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Two-Time Past SPL Champion
Big Chungus Winner
He comes yet another VR post, the first one of 2022, because writing about ADV is fun. I will try to avoid pointing the obvious.

Two disclaimers:
  1. reminder: this is very subjective, I'm not trying to be 100% objective with my ranks, as I want them to reflect my preferences when it comes to building and using teams to achieve good ladder ranks (>16##) or to use in tournament games.
  2. I have actually laddered recently more than ever before, and while I havent extensively tried every Pokemons there, I feel like I have more experience with a great part of them.

That being said, let's dive in...

The McRankings 2022 Pt.1

The two biggest tier definers.

  • Sand.
  • Shouldn't be an auto-include because It's Tyranitar. Add it with a specific purpose.
  • Best Pursuiter in the game. Very good set in an era of high Claydol/Starmie/Gengar(/Missy/Dusclops) usage.
  • Crunch/Suit/Fire/Fight (BB being my fav) is a very well-rounded set outside of trapping purposes, only being truely walled by Milotic and Restalk Zap.
  • Pursuit sets actually don't need Max SpA and can invest in Defense alongside Counter to turn the tables against Dugtrio.
  • DD still amazing, excellent breaker early where the third offensive slot can be quite customizable, and same for the EVs. DD Jolly is still a dangerous late gamer.
  • Some people like to build Ttar-less teams that try to find edges when facing Ttar, hence why yours needs to be properly thought out.

  • Spikes enables progress in a similar way to Sand. Spikes can make everything work, but also push some teams/sets/Pokemons from straight trash to usable.
  • Skarmory is the most flexible Spiker, therefore the biggest enabler in the tier (fun fact: Skarmory is the only Pokemon in all of ADV to be immune to Toxic, Sand and Spikes).
  • For these reasons, the only Pokemon worthy of S-Rank with Ttar imo (highly debated putting it first).
  • Lack of direct offensive makes it a point of entry for WallBreakers.
  • Unfortunately, MagSpin teams can go from very rough to impossible match-ups (as explained by Century Express).
  • Thief very good to remove opposite Skarm lefties, which is game changing (also good vs Claydol/Starmie/Forre).
  • Taunt-less Skarm is actually a big spikes bait and free Leftovers for other Skarms, keep that in mind when building.

Those Pokemons are the one I think of first when building, as they're the most flexible to use, easy to include with little flaws and provide a lot of defense and offense to their teams.

  • Extremely customizable to find the targets you want to weaken/boom on.
  • Life of Offense.
  • Excellent Physical check especially alongside Salamence's Intimidate. Boom option unlock some issues for TSS, such as dealing with Starmie, Suicune or Snorlax and packs a punch in general for TSS.
  • Protect sets need Spikes or Knock Off. Protect sets are also great at removing Starmie for Skarmory.
  • CBGross still good.
  • Dugtrio/Magneton weakness annoying as your opp can pick their sack and come out of top of the trade.
  • Most notorious "Free" Spikes bait (not a fan of HP Fire sets).

  • Restalk Zap is a demon. Life of Superman Teams. Excellent on other playstyles too. Great Forretress partner to soak MixSweepers even with Spikes up.
  • BP sets are still excellent, faciliting entries to all the game impacting roles (Breakers, Spikers, Spinners, Trappers).
  • Best & most flexible SubPasser, SubPass is a broken lead. Best Speedpasser too.
  • Claydol pivoting onto you and spinning without risking a big punish is a noticable flaw atm.

  • Much like Metagross, extremely customizable. Even moreso as a defensive Pokemon thanks to Roar access and Surf being a good stand-alone offensive move.
  • Best physical wall in the game (but worse vs CMers). Best roadblock to the very popular DDMence. Excellent alongside other physical checks as a late-game healthy Pert is backbreaking.
  • Slow paced Pert teams require a Spinner or Magneton imo.
  • Offensive Pert is an absolute menace atm, especially into Skarm/Meta/Dol + 1/2 of Ttar/Bliss.
  • HP Grass > EQ on OffPert is great vs Starmie/Pert but being walled by WishRachi is no fun.

  • Very oppressive in optimal field conditions. Sheer bulk allows for rather free status throw/Wishes.
  • CM pretty good if affordable.
  • Toxic BoltBeam excellent for faster paced gameplay as it pressures early Starmie/Pert/Bliss quite well (needs Spikes).
  • Second best wisher and best cleric, latter being quite good on some defensive structures or alongside CMWish Rachi/Cune.
  • Lack of direct offense makes it a prime opening for wallbreaking, but also Spin/Spikes/set-up. Too often the sole special answer in some teams where it becomes too easy to abuse.
  • Dug-Bliss very strong to cut teams apart and prevent further wallbreaking while blanking some Pokemons entirely.

  • DDMence lowkey broken. Kinda replaced Aero in the meta in a lot of Balance as it's more flexible and has a higher output vs Offense.
  • Intimidate + Steel/Pert makes it good in legit every teamstyle from a defensive pov.
  • Mix without Spikes is mid; still very good with Spikes, and 4th move has a lot of possibilities, as always. Better alongside another fastmon imo as otherwise the team becomes too reliant on Mence to switch gears.
  • Rock Slide on MixMence is good right now for SpDef Zapdos.

  • Most flexible Pokemon in the tier, can enter literally every team.
  • Rock/Ground/Electric/Fight pivot without ever risking OHKO back makes it the pivot master. Spin/Boom both too good to pass up.
  • Extremely customizable with EVs depending on team needs.
  • Clear lack of offense outside of Boom regardless and needs a good gemaplan vs Spikers anyway as Forre/Skarm win long-term.
  • Rest + Cleric not bad. Rock Slide not bad either. IB alongside Pursuit to be explored imo.

  • Third biggest enabler in the tier alongside Sand and Spikes. Makes entire Pokemons/sets worth using.
  • Life of Stall imo.
  • Dug+Spikes+Spin gives a niche to a lot of sets/Pokemons.
  • Unexpected Dug double or hard switching into a tanked hit breaks games. Dug shouldn't always come after a death.
  • Spin-less Dug teams are extremely flimsy and often lose to Skarm+fastmon.

  • WishTect sets are excellent. Toxic>>>BodySlam unless your team has a solid reason to abuse Paralysis (Sub mons or very slow stuff like Rhydon). Unfortunately kinda hax magnet, very susceptible to crits.
  • PhysDef Jirachi is lowkey broken. Much better than SpDef on the regular imo.
  • Best Wisher in the tier by far. Monstruous on Spikes builds to make up for lack of offense and keep Spikers alive longer. Also makes SpDef Zapdos much more flexible.
  • Myriad of gamewinning sets, and Sand+Tox immunity makes it one of the most punishing Pokemon to misstep against. With the right support, all the CM variants are worth using (3Atk, Sub, WishCM).
  • Lack of direct power and Dug weakness (being unable to OHKO Dug in a lot of situations) are the main downsides. Always has coverage issues too.

Those Pokemons are very good and consistent, but are much less flexible than the A-ranks in their use or need of support.

  • Pretty flexible as a defensive unit thanks to TW/fast Recover. Still an awkward spinner because of Sand/Spikes damage.
  • Timid Starmie is a lot better than Bold but is really not that bulky and often easily pressured, Bold on the other hand is a worse spinner, which is kinda the point of Starmie.
  • Fast and flexible Fire checks is a very good trait.
  • Allows for interesting structures, especially alongside Knock Off users as they can make up for Starmie passivity.
  • Offensive Starmie has seen some nice applications in Smeargle Offense and Special Offenses where the one time Spin and ability to switch moves is very appreciated.

  • Nowadays often leaving its spot for DDMence, prefered for lack of Lock and better to turn the tides vs Offense.
  • Still the best combo of instant speed & power.
  • Good partner to early/mid-game DDTtar (as is the case with a lot of Physical cleaners).
  • Secret application to be revealed sometimes in the future.

  • Allows for funky team structure since Snorlax can check almost every single Pokemon in a pinch.
  • Best used quickly. Excellent on turbo offenses.
  • Curse Rest is hard to make work consistently, but shouldn't be discounted in an era where people drop Ttar, Aero and flock to SuperMan teams.

  • Swiss-knife of the tier. I tend to prefer the real tools though. I like to use it when it has a specific support purpose besides spinblocking (Boom + Moltres, WoW + CMJirachi for example).
  • WoW is its best progress move, but I hate to click it because of 75% accuracy.
  • Extremely versatile, although I tend to think the money makers are in Dbond, Taunt and Boom.
  • Hypnosis is unreliable but broken.
  • Best ghost & fastest Boomer are invaluable positionning traits in a lot of situations. A Pokemon for good players.

  • Git Gud: the Pokemon.
  • Quite customizable. Love Claydol partnership as Forry is admittedly a really bad spinner.
  • If you wanna Spin with it, I recommend Knock Off/Thief partnership so Skarmory doesn't become a headache as it stays at 100% (and even heal on you) and Peck you down.
  • Speedy Forre worth exploring, you can afford a lot of Speed as long as you keep the SpDef for clutch Spins/Booms. Not for every team though.
  • Obviously held down by the need to check for Fire coverage on everything, and tough to use repeatidedly in a game.

  • CMRoar mandates one of Wish/Bell and I'd argue Spikes too.
  • Modest Crocune good.
  • Has some funky sets that completely dominate Ttar-less fat.
  • Extremely average without dedicated support imo.

  • Defensive Celebi very mid but fine with Spin + Mag (or Thief/Knock).
  • Offensive Celebi alright but I hate the weakness to all of Dug, Spikes, Sand, fast fliers and Skarmory checking you.
  • Pass sets with recovery + Toxic/Leech to wear down Phazers alongside Mag are alrighty consistent.
  • Very low floor and high ceilling, strives off your opponent misstep to snowball like crazy, but otherwise falls very flat (as far as offensive sets are concerned, especially BP).

Those Pokemons are good and consistent, but are either very prediction reliant, needs quite a bit of support to work, don't fit many teams or have big flaws.

  • I have seen the light.
  • Knock Off is bonkers and could see a lot more usage. Best tool vs Skarmory for mid-pacey teams if you dont wanna use Magneton but still load up Pokemons that cant do much to Skarmory.
  • For this reason, Hariyama gives life to a plethora of sets and Pokemons that otherwise gives too much breathing room to Skarmory.
  • On top of that, excellent Tyranitar check and uses both Ttar and Blissey to throw huge hits and can wallbreak effectively. Makeshift Snorlax answer if you drop Ttar.
  • Very customizable Speed to better handle Pokemons between 146 and 186 speed.
  • Always has issue vs one set of Pokemons based on your last move, although Knock is a good catch-all.
  • Pretty bad into every Special attackers and opens up Mence issues.

  • Probably the Pokemon that hard walls the most amount of stuff 1v1.
  • Very abusable otherwise, therefore very reliant on its teammates to work.
  • Doesn't fit many consistent teams, but good Milo teams are among the best imo (even if boring for many people).
  • Milo-Dug very strong to cut teams apart and prevent further wallbreaking while blanking some Pokemons entirely.

  • Removing Skarmory from play is immense, but Magneton is abominable defensively.
  • Balances featuring Mag cannot help but have some cores/Pokemons they're terrible against as a result.
  • Offenses have to deal with Mag being almost worth nothing defensively, Mag Offenses have to be clever in their use/construction to work consistently imo.
  • Actually very good on CMPass to cut Skarmory entirely but also deal with Metagross.
  • Endure Screech is cute on Offense to force switches as you die, and open offensive opportunities.
  • SubToxic pretty good with Leech for effective Meta and even Jira trapping in some occasions.

  • Amazing spikes-less Offense enabler with reliable sleep and Fighting stabs.
  • SubLeech pretty good in Balance too, Leech is good at getting Bulky Gar in Pursuit range too.
  • The less you have to Pursuit Psychics/Gengar, the better, HP Ghost is really good.
  • SD has strong end-game vs Mence-less teams, but quite reliant on Pursuit vs a lot of targets.
  • Mach Punch great for DDTtar cheating in the builder.
  • Very poor against some teams past the initial Sleep due to lack of speed and frailty.

  • Quite possibly the most busted offensive movepool in the tier.
  • Can enter a ton of teams and playstyles and offer something unique between Sunny Day, Beat Up, stab Fire + all the coverage moves, etc.
  • Very good on CMPass teams for its ability to pivot on Gross and make use of boosts while threatening Blissey naturally.
  • Lack of raw power makes it more prediction reliant to get something out of its openings, and can also be 1v1d more easily than Moltres due to low bulk too.

  • Offensive sets are very average, although Sub + Magneton can be quite irritating.
  • Defensive sets only really fit Superman teams but it's extremely good here, and is quite the life of these teams alongside Spdef Zap.
  • Checking Fire types is an underrated trait of Flygon, although you want it healthy for Ttar/Aero most of the time.
  • Great partnership with Wish Jirachi.

  • Spikes Jolt suffers too much from Claydol presence atm imo.
  • Jolt on offense is actually cool. Fastest Wish user, fastest SubPass, and checks every non-CM Special attackers (Gengar, Starmie, Zapdos being the main one), quite handful for Offense.
  • Raw speed allows you to cheat DDTtar countermeasures in your team too.

  • If only Gyarados could have slightly more speed and/or anything that could work as Fly or Rock coverage, how good it could be...
  • Regardless, very good typing for Offense (and even Balance) to deal with Swampert.
  • One of the best Magneton partners, but doesn't Need it.
  • DD TWave has cool applications to make Pokemons like Marowak or Rhydon work.
  • DD Rest is okayish to build around, great typing for Moltres/Swampert in this kind of build.
  • Suffers from the current DDMence popularity as Intimidate and Rock Slide are very annoying to play around on top of all the issues it always had.

Those Pokemons are either one-dimentional or have big flaws such as little defensive value, but still have onsistently good ceiling.

  • Bug type honestly makes it pretty bad defensively.
  • SpDef invest however is pretty good as a makeshift check to special attackers that dont have (strong) Fire/Psychic coverage (Cune, Pert, Zapdos, etc).
  • One of the best Sub recipient since the Bug stab alongside the speed goes a long to tear through some Fight countermeasures such as Metagross, Claydol or Celebi.
  • Megahorn shaky accuracy sucks.

  • Probably the best "spammy" Pokemon in the tier, as nothing likes to switch into its Fire stabs with Spikes up.
  • Extremely reliant on Spikes, and as a result slightly match-uppy. However the good Moltres teams are very good due to Moltres qualities.
  • Morning Sun sets to be explored for its ability to soak Metagross alongside Pokemons that want it gone (Cune/Snorlax).
  • ProTox not bad.

  • Very good at removing Starmie from play.
  • Spin good even if you can only use it once.
  • Not much to say, very bad defensively, I have very rarely tried it in recent months.

  • Extremely prediction reliant, but can legit be a seldom offensive Pokemon on a team thanks to its broken coverage and raw power.
  • Awful defensive value.
  • Recover is actually not bad if it's your only breaker to offset chip damage, as realistically Focus Punch/Shadow Ball can get past everything.

  • Sleep and Leech combo isn't found on anything else with such defensive value, pretty interesting pick for Offenses as a result, Spikes and Spikeless alike.
  • Coverage issues no matter how you spin it.

  • One of the best offensive lead in the game.
  • Mean Look / Perish + Sub Dug is very reliable and potent to start off strong after getting a sleep off.
  • A bit unconsistent because of LK accuracy and could suffer from its popularity if people starts to tech Lums for it.
  • The Funky offenses it likes it finds itself on are either hard to make work consistently and have to deal with the problem of Skarm+fastmon after the Dug trap.

  • Very high ceilling, but very low floor too. Feels very match-uppy.
  • One spikes is rarely worth an entire slot imo, therefore needs to be paired with another Spikers or uses sets that can get more than that.
  • Funky sets can work and win games out of nowhere, namely DD Pass.
  • Lot of exploration to be done with it most likely, until maybe one day Spore+BP gets banned?


  • Hard to switch into and a great fit in Offensive teams.
  • Great partnership with Fire types as the only true walls to Regice are Steel types.
  • Kinda plays like Snorlax as you wanna get something out of it asap but lacks the strong Boom.
  • Speed investment to be explored as the ability to get one more hit off sounds better than the bulk to me.

  • Hard to avoid losing to Spikes Offense and CMers with P2 teams.
  • Best niche in full CMSpam/Chain, barely fits anything else consistent.
  • P2 + Fighters is interesting, and Houndoom is a good pairing there for Jirachi/Celebi and further Dug bait, but haven't seen a good team with that core in a while.

  • Actually very good offensive lead, positive matchups across the board.
  • Ice coverage + Spikes has no counter against TSS.
  • Incredible offensive movepool, rivalizing Charizard.
  • Very little defensive value, very hard to switch into and fearful of status, also risks getting OHKOd back by pretty much anything it doesn't OHKO; best used early. Dug weakness hurts.

  • Pretty good defensive typing and Leech + Water Stab is irritating to deal with in the early game.
  • Leech probably better than Grass stab, even on RD sets, as it truely sets it apart from Kingdra and gives it staying power and utility outside of lategamming.
  • Thrives even more in metas where Blissey drop status, stay on the lookout for people who like to spam Wish/Cleric/CM Bliss.

  • I don't recall seeing new stuff for Kingdra.

  • Vaporeon Offenses aren't the most instinctive builds to make, but are worth it. Vaporeon is one of the most viable SubPasser available afterall.
  • Great chain member, in CM Pass it can use the boosts itself and outphaze other phazers while softchecking Physicals. Package of Bulk+Roar+BP and Surf being a good stand-alone stab is quite unique.
  • Vaporeon doesn't Need to use sailak, nor does it need to use full SpA, some bulk benchmarks and Leftovers give it extra defensive utility definitely worth going for.
  • I've considered defensive Vap a few times but can't imagine it being worth it in comparaison with Suicune or Milotic.
  • Roar Spdef Zap resurgence hurts though.

  • Read Hariyama blurb @ utility of Knock Off.
  • Hariyama is a superior Pokemon outside of Knock, but Armaldo has better survivability thanks to sand immunity.
  • While Hariyama can be a good physical check, Armaldo is actually underratdly good as a Special check, effectively not fearing much from Celebi and Jirachi, which is a great & unique niche for defensive teams. Able to threaten back immediately with Knock and stab HPBug/EQ.
  • Also softchecks Zapdos/Moltres/MixMence/Gengar. You can even 1v1 Starmie (either it's bulky and Surf doesn't 2KO while HPBug does, or it's offensive and you survive from 100% while killing back with little chip).
  • Very slow and water weakness hurts. Especially vs Pert, Metagross and Physical Ttar who don't fear much from Armaldo and can survive longer in Sand without Leftovers. Good OffPert answer is recommended alongside the fossil.

I have either got good results with these mons, or saw people make them work well in recent times. Definite good niches in my opinion but kinda mid outside of those specific applications (and sometimes even within them).

  • I almost always prefer Hariyama but I reckon Machamp is slightly better in full blown Offense as it hits harder and has more bulk if you invest in Atk&Speed.
  • I will also often prefer Blaziken for wallbreaking but Machamp is much better defensively too and doesn't get blanked by Dug or Water as easily.

  • Clear niche but honestly makes negative progress most of the time as EQ is barely spammable as a stab. Basically has all the Flygon issues but takes Spikes so require Magneton or a Spinner.
  • Even as a Physical wall, EQ weakness is a bit awkward.

  • Good stats and movepool.
  • Worse wallbreaker than Charizard and Blaziken. Much better defensive utility than Ken but arguably worse than Charizard because of EQ weakness.
  • Lack of Electric weakness and Ice resistance is good vs Gengar & Zapdos though.
  • Good partner alongside Grass types as a result.
  • Uniqueness found in being a Fire type with access to Thief, ExtremeSpeed, which has applications that I will detail in a future post.

  • Underrated movepool with lot of unique moves, especially for its speed (Leech/Endeavor/Pursuit).
  • Rather weak, unfortunately Leaf Blade could use some more base power.
  • Allows you to cheat DDTtar checks thanks to being faster at +1.
  • Jolteon-like in its ability to check Starmie but doesn't fear Claydol; good on Spikes teams.
  • Pursuit user that doesn't die to EQ. Will make a future post about this to explain in details.

  • Often outclassed by Jynx as an offensive lead.
  • Randomly wins games vs some teams because fastest CMers. SubCM actually dangerous against Tox BoltBeam Bliss users. CM Bliss also unfavored outside of Sand.
  • I haven't explored it in recent times, so nothing else to add, although I've seen Bold Raikou work as a lead and late gammer by ABR and MDragon.

  • See Steelix, but worse vs every special 'Mon in exchange of being better vs MixSweepers and Tyranitar.
  • Extremely constricting in the builder.
  • Only fits "pleast don't crit me"-wincon kind of teams. Good partner of DD Rest Gyarados.
  • Ironically good vs Dusclops, which is more popular than ever (not that it's popular, but it's seeing some Slight Play atm).

  • When you really hate WoWGar.
  • Often outclassed by Pursuittar anyway imo, but technically can free Tyranitar set while being an alright Gengar remover.

  • When you wanna Spike on Zapdos instead of Metagross/Tyranitar. Or really hate Cloyster.

  • Great bulk and defensive movepool, but weak as hell.
  • Often outclassed by Jirachi and/or Metagross. Can't really think of a set that's better than Jirachi that doesn't involve Counter for better Dug countermeasure. And obviously Boom.

  • Good in turbo offense in a Regice/Snorlax role as a Special check with a good boom and offensive STAB, attacking from different angles.
  • CB's fine, strong boom and Fire/EQ stabs discourages Steels from coming in; good at finding Waters.
  • Prot/Tox/Fire is interesting for slower paced teams; although Dug weakness sucks.
  • Awfully slow and frail, even more pressed than Regice and Snorlax to get something out of it.

  • We get it now, SpeedPass recipient.

  • Don't really see the appeal of this mon personally. Worse Gengar.
  • Therefore, can be nice alongside Gengar on Spikes teams? Altina could probably go in better details than me.
  • Defensive sets are technically good into some Physical mons but susceptible to misses, Rock Slide flinches, Mash, special coverage on the like of Pert; not for me.
  • However I reckon it has a strong boom and a myriad of offensive moves to pick its target, so maybe something to discover in the future.

  • Worth trying on Stallish team for its extreme Pert resistance, Pressure and ability to outstall a bunch of defensive moves and Suicune most notably.
  • Ice Stab + Roar + Spikes is good and unique.
  • Severely hurt as a defensive 'mon because of its typing overall regardless.

  • Spikes immune SpinBlocker with good match-up into Claydol/Starmie. Interesting in Superman teams.
  • Good disruptive movepool to boot.
  • Unironically weak to Shadow Ball Claydol if that ever comes back though.
  • PursuitTtar issues. Can be solved by Dug though.

  • Spinblocker with good match-up into Claydol/Starmie, but not Spikes immune.
  • Better physical bulk for other duties and Shadow Ball Dol.
  • PursuitTar AND Dug issues. The former can (and should) be solved by Dug though.

  • Despite the shit stats, has a unique combo of Cleric+Spikes to enable specific mons such as DD Lefties Tyranitar who can now trade status for damage/kills early.
  • Similarily, enhances Crocune by being more liberate with SleepTalk usage, and finds openings on the Electrics that Suicune attracts.
  • Very bad bulk, any physical move is either a death sentence or a 2KO.

  • Unironically the best CMPasser. Solves the Mence issues for those kind of teams, either as a starter of the chain or a member. Sand & Spikes immunity makes it more flexible than offensive Celebi too.
  • Ice Beam is good into every phazer but Skarm/Cune/Pert.
  • Hypnosis can blank any phazer once, alternatively, Magneton is a very good partner for removing Skarm and dealing with Metagross, especially with a special boost.
  • If you don't like Hypnosis shaky accuracy, lot of interesting prospects in the last move, Protect for recovery, Toxic for dealing with Cune/Pert long term, Reflect for Physicals are notable examples.

  • See Lunatone but has access to a strong Boom (can OHKO Phazers/Blissey) and stab Rock Slide which is good into Moltres/Mence/Zapdos.
  • CB has a strong boom and BP, was a thing in the past (linear moment).
  • Doesn't have to Pass, CM + Boom can do some wallbreaking.

  • I actually hate this Pokemon, needs too good clicks to be worth it.
  • Have to respect its ability to soft check every setuppers on some fat teams, mandatory Spikes partnership btw.

  • Fine lead.
  • Good stats and strong Boom. Counter is pretty nice.
  • Hard to find reasons to use it over Meta, Ttar or even Fighters but I'm sure it can work. One problem is that if you're using it alongside Meta/Ttar, you end with very slow teams.

  • This Pokemon is honestly bad as fuck. He's there as my benchmark, everything below is untested by myself or unseen with good results.
  • Lead can have some good matchups but inconsistent and doesn't get edges like Jynx.
Won't elaborate on the last tier, as I haven't seen consistent teams with these Pokemons, even if we know what they do. Rhydon is prob the most viable on ParaSpam. Until next time...
Random ladder main's opinions. As a disclaimer, I am ranking these pokemon not on viability, but by how much they warp the tier around them/how straining and limiting they are in the builder. The list would look much different if I were to rank on the basis of overall viability.

Now to explain my rankings.


: every team's early game revolves around chipping or otherwise taking advantage of skarm.

Dugtrio: shuts down almost every direct method of killing blissey (grounded phys mons & cm). Singlehandedly keeps frail ground-weaks out of the tier - consider that, besides dugtrio itself, no other pokemon in the S through B1 ranks die to it in one hit. Even though zapdug is a dumb mu fish, its existence changes how you pilot early games and disincentivizes traditional TSS spam. Removing dug from OU would unlock a whole new set of teamstyles.

Blissey: forces special offense to run at least 1, usually more like 3, phys mons, even alongside spikes. Besides halting every special attacker's progress, the right blissey set pretty much 1v1's every pokemon in the tier.

: great breaker/sweeper, sand is limiting, suit prevents gengar from doing whatever it wants. It has a huge impact on the tier ofc, but in simple terms the above 3 are better noob-killers. It doesn't shut down as many potential teamstyles as the above 3.


: the spikeless balance killer. Forces dugtrio or other extreme countermeasures onto balance and stall. It's easy to lose to this guy without even thinking about it. Wish/tect is the second best blissey in the tier.

Gengar: punishes the strongest style, skarm spikes, in the builder. Sometimes it spinblocks.

Salamence: dd is the strongest sweeper in the tier. Offense has to tech specifically for it, and defense isn't ever comfortable vs it either. Mixmence spikes destroys bulky offenses relying on meta/tar/pert cores. CB mence is the ultimate fat-killer, and I think it's due for a resurgence with all the sandless stalls we see nowadays.

Metagross: physical walls in adv don't have reliable recovery. Thus, physical and mixed offenses win by overloading swampert/skarmory and friends. Metagross is the foremost example of this. He's the main reason swampert isn't a good answer vs phys off on his own. Metagross's role in the physical barrage generally forces either dugtrio, multiple steel/ground resists, or a faster-paced game plan onto spikes teams.


: skarm teams pretty much either need to play at a frenetic pace or run blissey. Zapdos demands respect in-game; its bulk and power mean it can aggro stay-in vs pretty much all its half-checks (tar, jolt, lax, claydol, even jira/cele/bliss). Rest-talk zapdos, like blissey, forces physical breakers or calm mind mons onto sandless builds, except it's also a huge offensive threat at the same time even without investment.

Suicune: godly in good matchups, awful in bad matchups. It's one of the reasons you don't really see hard stalls in adv; it forces those teams to run more offense. Rest talk zap is admittedly a pretty good solution for those builds though. Special shoutout to offensive suicune lead for making blissey-less tar leads miserable.

Claydol: spikes is the strongest style, so claydol is extremely limiting in-game and in the builder. Even spikeless teams need to tech for it lest rachi/tar/breloom don't break or sweep through the things they're supposed to.

Magneton: magneton's presence means that skarmory cannot be relied upon as a defensive piece.

Celebi: the tier's third best blissey. Calm mind celebi is a good breaker and can kill certain balances a la jirachi. As dice said, leech seed celebi does in fact act similarly to gengar. I however find celebi more annoying than overbearing, and I don't think many teams outright lose to it which is why it's below other mons with similar roles.


: totally nullifies mixed attackers which would otherwise be able to win games without help from stronger cleaners or calm minders. It is a poor physical wall, but it is just good enough to buffer hits from physical attackers until dugtrio can trap them. So many teams lose to this mon.

Aerodactyl: forces you to know the type chart.

Swampert: because it's so easily overwhelmed, I'm putting swampert lower than its viability ranking would suggest. Be careful about ignoring this guy in the builder, though. If beating pert down isn't part of your gameplan, it'll use its typing, bulk and power to check just about everything. Off pert can punch its way through a lot of teams.

Snorlax: we all know why curse rest lax is bad. It still has checkmate potential though, especially with ABR's sandless, metagross-less, celebi-less builds infiltrating ADV. That's why it's up here in B. Offensive lax is genuinely great, but it doesn't really warp the meta. Special offenses overwhelm it eventually and every other build has built-in natural checks.


: I do not like jolt spikes, but jolteon is definitely good at checking offense with faster offense.

Heracross/other fighters: after dugtrio and spikes, they are the third best reason to run a ground immune.

Moltres & charizard: these mons knock celebi, rachi, and metagross down a peg. Lots of historically good teams lose to them.

Gyarados: usually checked naturally, but sometimes you just lose to it.

Flygon: defensive gon is pretty much just here for its matchup against dd tar/aero spikes. All other flygon sets are ignorable in the builder, but they're still fun and viable.

Forretress: the second best reason to run drill peck > toxic on skarm. Other than that he doesn't really limit any team styles better than the other spikers/spinners/explosion mons which is why he's down here.

Notable exclusions

: Bulky starmie is good, but I don't think it warps the meta more significantly than either of claydol or milotic in its spinning/bulky water roles, so I left it off. As for offensive starmie, I think every team is pretty well-prepared for it because it's not fast enough and its frailty means it never switches in.

Smeargle/glalie/cloyster: suicide spikers are cool, but I think they're more or less handled by in-game play and I don't find many teams I make especially weak to them.

Porygon2: shuts down skarmdug and can annoy zapdug, but those teams just accept the loss and move on anyway. No one is prepping for P2.

Venusaur: I have never built a venu team, but he's incredibly annoying and I think he might be the next to rise to OU, maybe alongside regice. Similar to celebi, though, venu is annoying but not overbearing, at least not yet.

Jynx: the meta can't warp around it since surefire jynx counterplay doesn't exist anyway. Just switch to your steel & pray


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Big Chungus Winner
Hello everyone. It has been 6 months since the last update, so let's get the new one rolling. You know the drill by now but I will repeat it just in case...

I will just quote myself from the previous update regarding how this thing works:
I want every established ADV players to PM me their own ranking. By established, I mean good Tour results or very high ladder peaks. I will then make an average of everyone's ranking to reach the final result (similary to the SPL pre-season power rankings). I plan to disclose the full results and show who voted what exactly.

I want you guys to give this post a quick read, and if you care about this thing, to send me YOUR own viability ranking by PM. Also, if you know anyone you'd consider as qualified enough to send their take on the matter, let them know and tell them to PM me with their ranking too.

The only thing I'll do is probably decide myself whose vote gets to be taken into account for the averaged result at the end. Feel free to ask me in PM if you'd make the cut so you dont waste time sending a ranking for no reason.
NEW CHANGE: You cannot post your VRs until the final result is calculated. This is to avoid players influencing each other as we want to try a more organic and individualistic approach. If you post, I will delete the post and then undelete it once the VRs are done.

Please feel free to send me your rankings, especially if you're an active ADVer. Share this with your friends who play the tier. The more the better.
HLing the submitters from the previous update:
johnnyg2 Siglut CALLOUS watermess Jirachee ABR EVIL z0mOG Gacu M Dragon Hclat Triangles SuperEpicAmpharos Caloom Altina Fear Voyager Sadlysius Mead RealJester Century Express Endill mikmer Kerts
My opinion that nobody asked for. I considered fit above all else -- I don't care if a bad mon fits on 100 okay teams, or if a good mon fits on only 1 good team. I care about whether they can consistently get an advantage against the best teams in the meta, and whether teams are optimal with the mon in question or if there is a mon that better fills the team slot.

adv vr.png

I concluded that my favourite set is brick break, crunch, flamethrower, pursuit with just a bit speed to outspeed Blissey. Works great with physical threat to counter Celebi and Jirachi.
Huge fan of tbolt, hp grass, drill peck, rest moveset. Uninvested drill peck with calm nature still 1KO Heracross and Breloom, also does decent damage vs Celebi. For teams with more solid fighter answer I prefer roar over drill peck. Not a fan of sleep talk, roar variant as it can't touch Claydol.
For offensive set toxic/protect is underrated although drypass is widely used for a reason.
Dugtrio is painful if not that Jirachi would be rank 2.
I'm not buying impish Metagross at all - It's just a Skarmory food. Yes, it lives +2 eq but so does every bulky water with actual cheap damage vs spikers. Other sets are great though.
I'm not sure if "roarless" is even a word, but that's how I named Altina set without roar in my builder. Bechildering isn't a word either #ADVcord.
Suicune is amazing, but random water absorb and being prone to hax hurts it quite a bit.
There are less pursuit Tyranitars around so Gengar is rising. It won't be for long though.
Visionary prophet Tissot was right in 2016. Rest Claydol is not just a meme, it's a masterpiece!
Hate this crap but it is effective. Unless you meet superman teams.
Most overrated Mon ever. It's good but not amazing.
High ceiling, low floor. I like this new 3 attacks leech seed set.
MixMence was and still is best Salamence set.
A bit underrated. Good glue mon for mixed offences.
Same as always. Spikeless Aero no bueno, with spikes very bueno.
Best fighter in the tier. Period.
Underrated and much less lame than Dugtrio.
Breloom good. Dying to modest Blissey ice beam no good (it's a roll, however in sand not very favourable).
Forretress doesn't deserve amount of hate it gets. Not as good as is used to be but still solid choice. Not a fan of Claydol & Forretress combo though. I have spent unreasonable amount of time on testing these teams and I concluded that Skarmory is just better when you have reliable spinner.
Good until you switch into ice beam Tyranitar.
I would like to understand how twave Starmie without pursuit support is supposed to pass through Gengar but I can't.
I like rest set because I like putting rest on everything, but seriously it can't switch into Skarmory without hesitation and surprisingly wall many random things with 0 or minimal defensive investment.
Beat up Charizard is one more reason why Blissey isn't "ultimate magical answer" to special attackers.
2 of my 10 best teams I have ever made are based on Jolteon. Unfortunately I can't pilot this thing.
I don't like it and don't use it but you have to prepared for it.
Milotic more like "Badlotic" or being "meteor mashed to death Lotic". It's good vs fire types though.
I think it's really solid pick for tss players in tournament games as Mag & Dol doesn't counterteam Cloyster. It's much better solution than bringing weird offense team just to "not be predictable" even though you can't pilot it.
RNGsaur missed again!
Please rate my team with p2: "I saw p2 and I hated it".
Best thief user. I like this mon a lot. It's not consistent but when it shines then your lightbulbs explode. That was high level Englando skill if you know what I mean. messi.jpg
Regirock is best Regi. You can fit it in various offenses, has strong boom, decent coverage and it is really effective vs teams without bulky water. Without stab water move this thing just refuse to die.
Registeel was great vs salac Heracross and some mixed attackers. However Asta Rachi handles mixed attackers better with access to wish/protect combo. Also rise of other fighting types make Registeel prone to stab fighting moves. Over the years I continued to build with it just for novelty/nostalgia reasons but it simply isn't very good in this metagame.
Hclatono made me believe in this mon. It's almost guaranteed to lay spikes in turn 1.
Regice is not good. I'm used to love it, however that was a long time ago. Snorlax with focus punch was not a thing in 2014-2017 era. Fire blast set just sucked so I used Regice on my old mix offenses. However when you can hit Skarmory with focus punch for good damage and 1KOing Tyranitar on the switch - why bother with Regice? Burned Snorlax boom does still more than healthy Regice boom. Pair it with Dugtrio to eliminate Blissey and Jirachi and then it can be effective with good stab and special attack stat. Or just pray to meet non-ice resist teams.
Ninjask sole purpose is to cheese/hax. Sand attack, mud-slap, swagger - somehow someway it always finds a way to cheese. Why just not to ban baton pass on Ninjask once for all?
I have spent too many hours trying to make Articuno work and it was never good. At best average.
Somehow I made fairly decent Blastoise team. I needed water/fire resist with access to roar and rapid spin to one of my team and it worked out surprisingly well. Why not Starmie and use roar on Swampert instead? Well I needed refresh on my Swampert as I met increasing amount of toxic Tyranitar in last few weeks.
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-.0625, *dds twice*, etc

Has 3 great immunities and breaks opposing defensive cores with ease. Only downside is having to hit wisp but you normally get 2-3 chances. Wispless sets are also viable. Fpunch gar kinda fell by the wayside a little while back I feel, but every time I use it I've been impressed.

Spikes are very good, skarm is very good

Best defensive mon in the tier, much more reliable than metagross in that sense. Offensive sets are extremely threatening to most common structures. Monopert is not bad at all.

Does a good job tying things together. CBgross is fun, but I'm not a huge fan of houdini (maybe that's just me as a ladder player talking). Ultimately, I feel it's unreliable at hitting exactly skarm, so if your team is weak to spikes you'll be at a massive disadvantage vs anyone who preserves their skarm, and if your team is good vs spikes then you're probably missing out on something in other matchups. There are teams that can take advantage of playing 5v5, but I think it's pretty limited. Tect is good and agility is good too. Mixed sets are fine, but both have some issues to overcome.

One of the most valuable mons for offense, really strong and can take a few hits too. Tox is underrated, probably the best 3rd/4th move on zap imo.

Fast, super strong with cm, very bulky, and leech is tough to switch into. What's not to like? Niche moves (toxic, hpice, etc) should see more use.

Incredibly versatile, but most sets feel like they're missing something. The sheer bulk, of course, is really impressive and lets it get away with a lot of things. Playing aggressively with blissey is generally pretty rewarding. I'm not a huge fan of wish bliss, but it does work well on some teams.

Defensive sets are very good, offensive sets are very good. Wish CM is ehhh, subCM is pretty good still. Fearrachi is one of my favorite sets to use, just a bit hard to fit.

Just feels really good to use rn. Only real issue with this mon is defensive rachi, but that's abusable in other ways. CB edge and eq are good at smacking stuff, and rock slide is nice for pushing some endgames in your favor. Kinda deceptively bulky vs some things too.

Ddmence is still good after the hype died down. Mixmence resurgence was overdue as well. Good mon in general, people just overprep for it now.

Defensive starmie seems really bad at spinning now that people kinda know how to play vs it, plus tbolt bliss seems more common than before. Offensive starmie is incredible though with some support, and surf hits harder than you think.

Best spinner, but lackluster defensively. Has a really good boom. Suffers from having to trade status/a bunch of health for spinning, and being pretty much free skarm entry.

Probably the most underrated OU mon, imo. Skarm usage is at an all-time high, and even in skarmless matchups mag can be really useful. ABR drones will say that magnet is the only good item, and I admit the upside is handy, but lefties and salac are really good as well.

Bold crocune is good if you're lucky. Modest crocune is awesome in a lot of endgames, but vs aggressive teams it falls flat a lot of the time and even vs passive structures you have to pick your spots carefully. Offensive sets kind of have 4mss but can put in a lot of work.

Pretty decent boom, stab surf and ice beam are nice, and of course spiking is excellent. The best spiker at dying exactly when you want it to, which can be really important for offensive teams.

Has more upside than cloy, but is really frail and gets owned by lum berry. Set ambiguity can work in its favor really well though. DDpass is ok, but don't build your whole team around it.

Extremely threatening on offense, and does some interesting things defensively too. Beat up is neat, but sometimes it's hard to get your zard in before your team has traded off a bit so the power can get weakened easily. Fpunch is quite good.

Probably the best thing in the tier at trading 1 for 1 with something. Curselax (boom or otherwise) is pretty bad, but you can cheese a kill or two by having unorthodox coverage.

Good for tricking people into thinking they want to try and take this on with their milotic/suicune. Lots of interesting sets to be had too, overheat/tox/rest are all worth exploring further.

Rest is underrated, but it's still not that good anyway. Very threatening after a dd though, and it's good at making zap come in once early in the game on a double edge and now they're going to die at +1.

Like zapdos, toxic is really good here. Of course it's best-known for the classic Kerts structure, but it can also find itself being the only last that fits on some offense teams.

Super threatening, but megahorn accuracy makes it really unpleasant to build with. Jolly hera (sd, specifically) is awesome because most zap/mence are running way less than 295 now.

Good way to throw away all of your momentum. Invaluable on extremely slow, reactive teams (well, some people drop it anyway) but those teams are ass.

Really good combo of traits if you ignore the fact that gengar has almost all of them too. Physical sets are good, but the best weezing set is generally just the one your opponent doesn't expect you to have.

Has a ton of upside, mostly just by not being any kind of entry point for skarm, which is pretty unique among special checks. Not meant to stick around long, but I think the CB set pushes the issue just a bit too much.

Indomitable physically, but pretty limiting in terms of team structure. Iron tail is underrated and toxic is really good, but lix can have some serious 4mss.

The most threatening thing possible to big 5 structures, but really tough to build a consistent team with.

To be honest, I can't remember the last time I lost to forre (hope this does not age poorly). Never really capable of spinning, and so much worse than the other spikers at spiking. I've been trying to build with it, but it's never more than just ok.

Knock is nice, not much more to say. I haven't really given armaldo a serious try that recently, but I think it's probably a little better than yama (strictly as a knock user).

Clicks the funny light-blue button and sometimes it just wins. Most of the time, that doesn't happen.

Just so passive. Has some nice defensive traits but probably the worse way to make your team "good" (you're still committed to losing a mon and you probably don't get to choose which) vs dugtrio.

Worth experimenting with more, and is really really threatening outside of sand especially vs bliss that drops stoss. Can put your opponent into a position where they can play around either sub or roar last and they have to guess which you have, and that's ok.

Very satisfying to use, but limited in terms of team structure. If you remove blissey there's not much scarier.

Out of the mons I've used recently, this is the only one I haven't felt able to work at all. Worth experimenting with, and some people have figured it out already, but I haven't had any luck (a requirement to use venusaur) with it so far.



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Big Chungus Winner
The McRankings 2022 Pt.2

Sand better than ever now that Suicune is used more. Love lead DD and Pursuit as usual.
Best spiker but so many Pokémons get openings out of it. Skarm Offenses are still the best teams overall.
Momentum machine, can kinda answer everything. ProTox on Spikes is super good.
Has a set for every team (imo easiest Pokémon to slot in after Claydol), compresses so much defensive utility into one slot while swinging offensive momentum in your favor.
Best physicall wall (sand immunity gives it so much versatility there), and offensive sets are very good. Great at finding Skarm early for Claydol Offenses.
Agility is one of the best Offense punish nowadays and really elevates Metagross atm imo. The defensive spreads are honestly meh. Often end with flimsy structures into DDers not to mention requires strong(er) Skarm counterplay. Adamant Protect is the bread and butter of Skarm Offenses and never really fail.
Never a deadweight, kind of a building cheatcode honestly. Dug enables a pretty good Psychic/Boom/Refresh/Spin set, and PursuiTtar enables dropping Psychic for utility moves like IB.
Kinda godtier but one of the most abusable Pokémon for all sort of breaker. Blissey lowkey should be seen like Milotic/Suicune if you wanna maximize its output but it has a very high floor without that kind of support which is why it's still that high.
Not much to add, WishTect would be broken if it was immune to hax I guess? Jirachi really appreciates Cleric support by the way, a lot of teams can only deal with it through status.
SpinBlocking is just too good, and the best disruptor in the tier, a Winning Pokémon but quite skill reliant.
Great spiker, mid spinner, best built-in anti-spinner options. Fast Forre has potential, you don't need all those HPs on some teams.
Trapping is broken, but Dugtrio without Spin & Spikes only makes for flimsy teams, and Dugtrio Fat has a myriad of issues + very reactive by nature. Proactively using Dugtrio can lead to crazy advantages/winning swings though.
The Gatekeeper
Offensive Snorlax is never awful, but OffLax teams are often not consistent imo, at least the traditional approach, they feel so slow. Lax however is really good at making shit mons work by covering so much in one slot. I also think good ol Rest CurseLax is good.
CroCune always good to have into balance/spikes, Defensive sets require a lot of support but worth using. SubCunes are kinda bad but are hard punishes for some builds. Low ceiling high floor Pokémon.
One dimentional but honestly hard walls 70% of the Pokémons of the tier so I think good Milotic builds/players are worth af. One of my favorite Pokémon hence the "biased" placement.
Still dont believe in defensive sets, but the offensive sets have a ton of upsides (but still with too many issues imo, lack of raw power, Dug, Aero, Mence). Like the Leech 3 Atks set. One of the last bastion of BP offenses.
BulkyMie is honestly a fraudulent Pokémon, but it Exists and has some good match-ups (aka no Gengar, and ideally no ToxSkarm). Can be a Metagross/Swampert meatshield so they don't get into more important pieces too. OffMie I still haven't tried to use again honestly. Fast TWave is sick though.
Fraudulent Pokémon but removing Skarm entirely is just too good. Also has the merits of picking Metagross after it kills a Pokémon of your choice, which is strong.
One of the best Pokémon for spikeless as the best sleeper + actual offensive presence in the tier.
Imo only really good on Supermans but that's a pretty strong trait to have. Offensive sets are alright but quite mid imo, and ofc requires ton of support and/or precision when using.
See Breloom. Has ton of unique utility for fun teams too thanks to being an actually good weather resetter/breaker in one slot.
Good early momentum like Zap. Pretty good last 'mon on Offenses and fastest Wish is sick. Traditional Jolt Spikes is never Bad.
Too hated as a spiker, it's not bad and has a good one-time Spin in its arsenal. Pretty good at finding chip on Gengar/Skarm.
Best combo of wallbreaking/defensive utility in a fighter. Painfully shit into Mence/Zap/CMers outside of defensive teams though.
Live by the horn, die by the horn as my wife would say. - R.S.
DDMence but better into Waters. Except it's too slow/weak but it has its moments.
Still think this isn't a Pokémon without Spikes. I vastly prefer Charizard on most teams. But tbh it doesn't require a lot of support to work and it has a very good floor in those conditions (aka just one spikes). Rest Moltres is pretty good. Moltres also has the merit to be an actual WoW pivot too.
The Mean Look set really elevates Jynx to a new level of consistency imo. One of the best lead.
Never really clear what it does but it just enables so much stuff and has some cool BP tricks.
It's just always a threat early-game. Kinda hard to justify unless you wanna use Ken honestly, but when you do it rarely Sucks. Fire Blast is a good neutral click.
See Blaziken. Medicham either dies to Tyranitar or does +200% of damage. Lacks a good neutral click.
SpDef check that is awkward for Skarmory to switch in, as someone else said. I'd argue TW is undroppable. Worth investing a ton of speed on btw, like Forre.
It kinda sucks but it has unique traits and good stats to back them up. Makes some unique offensive structures work because countertrapping Dug and hard checking Mence is That good.
Knock Off + good check to Celebi/Jirachi. Nice on Stall but having a shit 1v1 vs Pert/Meta sucks.
Good Fire wallbreaker with consistent utility thanks to Intimidate/Flash Fire. Too bad it always sucks into one of Water/Bliss/Ttar but it's awkward to deal with early-game. Espeed if fit in the moveset is always useful to have on your side.
We all know what it does. Seen some Bold set works well and can be an interesting Dug bait early-game with CM.
Nothing new to see here honestly.
Honestly not bad. Offensively checks DDTtar and OffMie. Has good match-ups against very clear Pursuit targets in Claydol/Starmie/Gengar. Sucks to always have coverage issues vs Steels or Dragons, not to mention dealing with Fire types.
Shit stats but unique package of para/spikes/cleric that makes for cool teams.
Sleep (75%). If you wanna live on the edge, use Heracross.
Almost always a worse Jirachi, so gotta find utility in Counter/Boom
I'd just rather use Hariyama, but if you're not using Knock Off sure? At least it has defensive utility unlike Medicham/Heracross (granted Hera does but quite differently).
Honestly ass and requires very specific support but the niche is there and not awful. I usually prefer to rework the team into using Metagross and an electric check elsewhere.
Imo the Spikes sets fuckin suck especially when they're one Lum away from playing 5v6 but they can sometimes pop off and the fear of Sleep makes for funky BP shenanigans.
Good CMPasser with Magneton. Has a good matchup vs every phazers besides Skarm/Cune.
Good anti-Claydol although SBall Claydol is not even awful.
Sucks as a 'mon but Pursuit + Jirachi/Celebi check + Fire switch is unique enough to fit in some Offenses and do a good job there.
Not bad on some offenses. Threat of OHKO on Ttar via Superpower is cool. Worth using a lot of speed for by the way.
Only Pokémon with BP and Boom featuring a good attack stat. Sounds counterproductive but actually has good use. Stab RS is good vs most phazer too.
Sucks but some teams are weak to Fire/Grass/Ice where its raw speed and power can do some work.
Sucks but can enable some very defensive team to ""work"". You're better off altering them and using Claydol/Starmie imo though.
I think it sucks with its shitty recovery/offensive presence but Linear made it work too often to be entirely dismissed.

The rest of the Pokémons I haven't used/seen enough to form a conclusive opinion.
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(Im doing this on phone sry if it gets to be garbajo)
S Rank
1- :rs/tyranitar:
Hes good, sand is good, its simple as that, he do be threatning w tons of sets, sub is underrated though, think we should explore it more often, mixed sets w thunder r also p okay
A Rank
2- :rs/gengar:
Gengar is the best progress maker in the tier, wisp + taunt beats a ton of stuff up, he also spinblocks claydol and starmie, some ppl think its weird from me as i have never rly used it with much frequency, however i do believe its great, it also ties together perfectly the skarm ttar cele pert aero +1 that i love, its the best filler there, other fillers r still viable ofc but if u wanna win games, ttar skarm cele pert gar aero does that very consistently, not to mention gar+dug which is very obnoxious to face! Gar spikeless is also a thing thats overlooked but also rly good, it being tox immune also rly helps to clutch vs skarm, slow fire grass is also kinda cool w modest! I do enjoy faster gengars more (losing to 328 zap on ladder gave me psychological trauma), also lmfao hypno gar looooooll, not much to comment, hes overhated but i also hate him
3- :rs/skarmory:
He just spikes and resists stuff, thanks to its bulk and typing, he spikes in the whole tier and everything that answers it gets damaged by toxic, its just great, protect is kinda overrated tho, its great for sure but i feel more offensive teams like toxic+drill peck, taunt is cool i just havent liked or rocked it for a while, dpeck skarm is still terrible vs a well played basketball
4- :rs/metagross:
This just ties offense up, way too good bulk + explosion is just good, psy fire mash boom is underrated, agili slide is rly good, its just a great mon that helps offense be the thing it is, lum mixmeta at lead is also smth really good
5- :rs/celebi:
We came to him, this sounds like a very high ranking of celebi but i can explain it, first off, its the 2nd best progress maker in the tier, leech seed + 3 attacks does smth every game, its incredible how consistent it actually is, spikes make it even more of a obnoxious guy, it chips everything and the opp doesnt even realize, when they realize, aero/ddmence/agigross cleans up everything, bkctar + seed 3a cele just does a ton of progress midgame, ddtar + seed 3a cele does too, not to mention how underrated is seed 3a cele + subtar, and thats only seed 3a! The fact cele can run so many sets just makes it even more worse to deal with, the fact superbi is like as good as seed 3a just makes it even worse, that said birds do consistently check celebi but said birds hate how fuckin powerful modest psychic is, cele is just that insane and i just mentioned 2 sets, to be fair a lot of its other sets kinda feel lackluster in comparison however seed/recover/psychic/hpgrass w a modest nature is legit very good as well, not to mention the old fashioned cm seed recover psychic w a bold nature, hes p good as well, subseed is also very threatning but its hard to fit, very high upside tho, one of the other drawbacks of cele however is that u have to be a bit wary of spikes since its no bl*ssey, however once u stop using it like a bl*ssey and start using it offensively/switching it to reverse momentum on the opp u will see how great it is! Pass sets r also risky but they have huge upside its incredible, more of a fisher mon than a consistent one tho (i havent seen a 6s i like w sdpass/cmpass makes a while) but yea its great!
6- :rs/jirachi:
Kinda high jirachi, ngl, however defensive jirachi is a beast aka the tier was more fun when there werent defrachi mirrors, theres also no real switchins to it outside of refresh waters which r hugely exploitable, its cm sets r great as well, superrachi is p good and yes, i enjoy wish cm psy thunder on the claydol metagame, wish cm psy fire + dug is also very good, wish cm gets a lot of underserved hate, sub cm is okay im not a real fan, i havent used it in a while tho, i just dont rly like how its boltbeam feels kinda weak sometimes and eving it, but its okay, i also havent seen it used much and some teams r kinda weak to it (especially superman) i will may use it again? Idk, jirachi is also very obnoxious w the moles, wish tect is also a nice glue for
7- :rs/swampert:
Not much to write about, curse hydro ice eq +spa is my favorite, it consistently checks many dders and its a potent offensive mon, i dont rly rock w +def, sometimes i feel too passive its still good tho! Subpunch lefties as clat has been using is p nice as well, altho i hate getting walled by defstar sometimes, endpert is a forgotten beast but it does feel awnkard to fit, smear builds might be the best place for it but its cool on these modern claydol offenses, thats about it, toxic on endeavor is great as well
8- :rs/zapdos:
Zap is good, he tbolts stuff and is unwallable in general, nothing really takes its hits very well, however stab tbolt can be easily exploited by ground + aero and a ton of stuff can roadblock zap for a bit, so its not really the end all, its however very good, hovers above spikes, threatens skarm and is a another nice mon w the moles, metal sound is a underrated option and so is thunder (alongside tbolt of course), just a nice and cozy mon, also it goes against metagross and can 1 time check offensive stuff so its nice, rest talk is p okay but swamperts going +spa hurt it, +spe is underrated and should be used more! 328 speed is really great and cool!
9- :rs/salamence:
Mixmence is great!!! Jesus mon, it threatens so many stuff, hydro pump is really good on it as well, fuck claydol. Hitting moltres and aero is nice as well, dragon dance is okay, its not the god some ppl claim it to be and its not awful, its just okay, painfully mediocre sometimes (like me!), it does sometime feel hard to get around its obstacles, even tho spikes does a excellent job at that, wishtect is eh but it has its uses? I havent seen a team i went "wow this is really cool" w wishtect a while, +atk mix is also kinda nice, rock slide fucks zapdos very badly and brick can now 2ko bliss depending on ur investment (its a lot tho), its again just a nice and cozy mon that can threatens a lot of stuff up (meta tar dol stuff gets cooked by it) and that can come in on fighters in a pinch, i dont generally like +spe however its nice for cmers, so i see some uses in some teams, after all 328 is just a great speedtier, cbmence is nice and comfy but i havent used it much, hating on it is bad bc its quite excellent on the build it fits and honestly makes those builds look better than they should
10 - :rs/aerodactyl:
I mentioned the ttar skarm cele pert aero +1 a while back and aero is what makes the whole ttar skarm cele pert work, its honestly really great, it checks so many things! Emergency button vs zap and offstar, celebi and cm rachi get cooked by it, its rs packs a ton of power and cleans up chipped stuff, its honestly great! I dont see myself using it outside of the classic cele spikes but its too good there! Its honestly just a great mon that checks a ton of random stuff, beast ladder guy as well! Ada lead aero deserves more exploring, it baits and damages skarm up for a lot of damage, by using it alongside dug, u can get a guareented t1 kill vs ttar, slide might be the more optimal t1 vs ttar however hpfight still catches muppets trying to stay in so its good as well and i have recently topped the ladder w it so its okay to say the least, we should see more of it!
B Tier
11 - :rs/suicune:
Hes jesus or useless depending on mus, it does have some nice roles however, it stops meta/ttar/mence from bsing all over, modest crocune has massive sweep potential but also covers a ton of threats for offensive teams and is good on these modern claydol offenses, offcune is a legit pain for some teams (slowzap cune check, slowcele cune check) but it can feel like a liability vs bl*ssey or faster zap sometimes, tox offcune is likely the most consistent and also very nice bliss lure, forcing rest roar cune to rest is also legit nice, sub cm has huge upside value but its so BAD vs sand that i dont rly like it, rd on sub is cool tho, rest roar is p nice but imo its generally very exploitable once its resting, if u have aroma tho, it can be a beast and lock some teams on simply losing to it, most of the time u want spin w this guy tho, i do like some spinless offcune stuff but i havent used them makes a while and even then offcune appreciates spin
12 - :rs/blissey:
Bliss is bliss, its not that great but its okay, some teams are really good and have it, i personally have a team i rly like myself w cm bliss, i fuck w cmbliss, its good and quite underrated, boltbeam coverage fucks offense and cm fucks this trend of stall with statusless blissey, it does autolose to roar cune tho, but a resting cune is quite of a liability so its okay enough, fire ice grass soft is pretty nice, fucks up skarmpert for stuff like agigross or ddmence, tox boltbeam is excellent as well, stoss wave is el classico and still does stuff well but eh i dont rly use it, wish is okay, i dont like how exploitable clicking wish is sometimes but its okay, in general, bliss is just that, a okay mon, it doesnt feel special or anything, its just there, it does its job good enough but it doesnt do a real amazing job, it just does it well enough, its not as great as ppl like to say but its not as bad as clat says lmfao
13 - :rs/claydol:
Okay im known to hate this mon, however realistically saying, its quite good, its another mon that does smth every game, its p consistent, not really a trend, it needs explosion tho and i think it fits best on offense w attackers such as cbmeta, endpert, that are usually bulky enough to survive some hits but cant be relied defensively, it also fits beautifully w cune lax, helping them up vs spikes while also giving backbone, its quite incredible, magdol is meh but it can be okay sometimes, some magdol teams are very cool, the cbmence cune stuff in particular, i still think claydol is fairly overrated sometimes tho, some ppl treat it as the second coming of jesus and it just isnt, its better than i give credit for but i still hate him, no offense claydol lovers
14 - :rs/dugtrio:
The moles, they are good, they enable good stuff, however being weak to skarm sucks, honestly giving free spikes is a HUGE pain but its fine if u build around that, a lot of dug offs get picked off by skarm+bird (generally aero), dug spin balances r great tho, especially the duck stuff! Skarm dug is timeless but i dislike it, either way the moles r okay again, they dont feel special but it does their job, going spdef is okay sometimes to beat the blob if ur super weak to it + huge upside value if u get bliss only special wall as ur mu
15 - :rs/starmie:
Defstar good, simple. It fucks fires and metagross, kinda passive and cant pass through gar sometimes BUT a paraed gengar is quite of a liability, either way offstar is great, i feel kinda weirded out by its lack of defensive use (even tho it has some great ones, like 1 time check to moltzard and dders) and sometimes its lack of offense power vs neutral stuff like meta and rachi and hydro pump pp, its great tho, another good partner of the moles, i need to use more offstar but defstar is quite great for sure
16 - :rs/moltres:
Molt good! It fucks, does ton of damage and has superb defensive utility, the fact it reverses momentum vs some of the greatest offensive mons in the tier in the form of jirachi/celebi/hera/meta is outstanding, its hard for a lot of teams to wall it, even bliss suffers from spikes + roar/tox, it doesnt need defensive investment to beat up this stuff up too, insane mon, it does feel kinda weak to aero sometimes but aero users cry and cope as they see the moltres simply click protect or wisp on the switch, either way great mon i need to use this shit more
17 - :rs/charizard:
Same as moltres but more speed makes it greater vs cmers and more threatning vs fastzap teams in general, also dclaw for mixmence is p cool, hpice + toxic is also nice, beat up fucks up blissey in a satisfactory way (fuck the blob), fpunch is honestly nice as heck to keep ttars honest, cool mon also another one i need to use more
18 - :rs/snorlax:
Snorlax is OK. He do be booming stuff and hes chill, curse boom or fpunch is nice as hell, he also checks a ton of stuff and can be surprisingly threatning to a lot of stuff, restlax is weird and i havent seen it win a game in a while but im interested on its business and i want to find creative ways to build curse+rest lax, maybe the 1400ers have already revealed the answer to us
19 - :rs/flygon:
Idk hes good, impish is by far the best set but sub is underrated, cb also needs some more exploration, its quite cool, he hits hard w band eqs and hes quite fast, either way hes just okay, another mon that doesnt feel special but its quite good where it fits, that said, we need to use and explore more offgon
20 - :rs/heracross:
Unwallable artillery, the ultimate owner of muppets who try to fool around w stall, hes a fuckin beast, there is no such thing as a hera wall unless its wishmence, it does have its fair share of drawbacks, like being weak to sand+spikes, not being fast enough sometimes vs offense and stuff like dpeck skarm softchecking, outside of that, it can be god in pokemon clothing, there r gonna be some games where hera just does its thing, i quite liked sub punch megahorn slide salac thanks to its flexibility, sd is great as always and can have a huge upside, it really is the best fighter and its quite nice, another perk is that defrachi doesnt easily wall it unlike other physmons, it also is quite bulky lol
21 - :rs/breloom:
Breloom is cool, honestly i rly didnt vibe w it however sleep + fight moves is a nice combo, stun spore is great for gar, sleeping claydol can be a great thing for some mons so i reccomend it
22 - :rs/forretress:
The basketball, hes cool, occasionally has 6-0 mus and sometimes suck but hes cool, i never rly liked a team i made w it but i sux at building
23 - :rs/magneton:
Kinda lowish mag, again, not a mon i have messed much with, damn i rly need to get back at building shit, either way, hes KOOL and AWESOME, fucking skarm is always a upside and he has some quirky shit by trapping it, he lets some stuff go wild, snorlax and celebi love it!! Ddmence / hera and meta too, hes cool i just dont rly vibe w most mag teams and some still feel spike weak after all (yes even magdol dumbfuck get gengared idiot), altho there is a sexy mag build made by sea w some of my edits, u know what im talking about
24 - :rs/jolteon:
Jolteon is ehhhh, ehhh, ehhh, i get it, kerts is good and all but i havent seen him play in a while, its a linear-forre situation, kerts carries jolteon p hard, its okay imo, its not terrible but it certainly isnt my thing, i generally feel cele over jolt in a lot of jolt builds actually, especially jolt+aero, i feel the sample is now very easy to beat, its still viable for sure but i think it has reached its expired date for tours and even high ladder, as i said its viable and ofc u can still use it but i dont feel too pressed by it, jolt spikes is its best place btw and prolly again still good/usable, i feel jolt spikeless is muppetry most of the time, theres probably smth but i have seen only muppetry been done w it, i guess jolt is down bc i have seen only muppets play w it for now
25 - :rs/gyarados:
I will be honest, i dont get him, rest is interesting and cool, still not really really great, hpghost is nice and all but getting walled by aero still doesnt feel well, and tar/zap still tank 1 hit (even tho they are kinda easy to chip down) hprock is nice but then celebi fucking COOKS you, like seriously, celebi is even a dd rock gyara check, its absolutely hilarious, anyways gyara is alright, i dont rly like it and i think only great builders use it w efficiency (asta,linear,etc), i also think however gyaras role at beating pert + helping w fires is legit so cool for mag off and mag balance alike, so i kinda appreciate it
26 - :rs/cloyster:
Cloy good, booms and spikes on waters, thats neat, never really enjoyed cloyjolt or cloy double elecs, i always liked more of a physoff w cloy, w stuff like agigross, lax, etc, its quite nice, cloybliss has been done and its not terrible either, overall underexplored and cool, it doesnt rly have terrible mus and also fucks this muppetry known as magdol
27 - :rs/porygon2:
The Duck. Hes quite nice, gets overhated on for no reason, hes not "too passive", this means u not only have not built w it, but also not played w it, i think i can say a lot abt this mon since im the one who plays w it the most, but the duck is absolute not as passive as most ppl claim, twave fucks metagross hard first of all and a twaved jirachi is cheems, not only but its the best offgon check in the entire tier, also mence is very menacing and p2 hardblocks it, this makes for some interesting chains of events, first, u can stay w mence w random stuff like cele or fighters way more convincingly, in fact the best sequencing for fighter p2 is fighter -> p2 -> fighter again, the fact u can stay in w cele/fighter gives u more chances of sniping p2s threats, also while p2 gives free entry for meta (not entirely true btw, as i said, meta hates taking twave), most good p2 teams take that on account, i think p2s twave is the main reason its not as passive, also the fact that p2 is such a obvious switch-in is smth u should take advantage of in ur gamestates, i have consistently got 1600 w p2 and also got #1 w a p2 team, its not terrible i swear, i do think most p2 teams want hpfight for ddtar insurance however tbolt is still cool for skarmcune! I think it gets overhated and its mainly a building skill issue and not understanding gamestates skill issue, p2 also makes stuff like cm cele and cm rachi harder to deal with, reverse trapping the moles is much more powerful than it looks, yes u dont choose which, but its a gross misconception that p2 is the worst way to deal w dug, it absolutely isnt. Period. People keep underrating how much of a massive pain twave from p2 is on practice, it can literally softcheck anything w it, i think p2 is kinda carried by this stupid move, but hey stupid move is allowed so why not use it, p2 can take on non taunt gar / offzap w twave btw, it can even stall out offstars hydro pumps in some states (even btr softcheck vs it if u have tbolt!) It also helps a lot vs dders which cele/rachi/spin sux against, its honestly great, i think it kinda requires a lot more from the player than the other styles but dont sell it short! Twave is really threatning, also be aware that most things that switch and threaten p2 can be dug trapped, making it even more of a painful duck to deal with, the duck is incredible! Awesome mon, way better than milotic, i hope ppl start using and building w it more and find ways to optimize it, the standard duck build for ones starting out on the duck business is : rachi cele mie p2 dug +1, +1 could literally be anything tbh, but be sure its a optimal filler! Anyway i talked too much abt the duck, lets move on, its great tho, try it again
29 - :rs/milotic:
I did say i was gonna rank it lower than p2, anyway this is where the OU ranking ends, i hate milo more than i should, i dont think its really great but its not omega garbage? Still i dont like the milo teams, neither do i like skarmdug milodol nonsense, but its fine? Eh i dont like it and thats it, hypnosis is fine because sleep is fucking dumb!!!!! Its abusable and honestly not great but eh it does some nice things
C Tier
30 - :rs/raikou:
One of my favorite mons of all time! Its great! +1 tbolt is yummy, i get it doesnt ko things and its grounded and dug weak but its honestly really good as a reverse momentum vs zap/gar, dont bother w its hp, its never sweeping really, its a super good breaker, cm and then spam attacks, it trades w a ton of stuff thats beneficiary for ddmence or supercele, if u see it as a trader, that basically spams attacks not matter its health, it is a great mon, if u try to sweep w it, ofc its gonna be the worst experience of ur mfer life idiot, cm+rest is nice as well, has a ton of good shit and fucks the blob, just a bit passive and need the duck to work otherwise its great, needs to be explored further
31 - :rs/medicham:
Medi good! Cb fucks, another duck godpartnership, cb is literal god mode, sub liechi was a cool innovation, i quite liked it, salac bulk up is a genius lead set too, its overall noice, great mon, not much to talk about, i could spend a million words talking abt fighter p2 but yall wont read anyway so why bother give yall the secrets
32 - :rs/kingdra:
Cool, another nice mole partner, maybe dugless has potential, i dont know for sure, it can be a offstar that needs 1 extra turn but its bulkier? Well kingdra dug is good, kingdra dugless maybe could see some more fuckin around
33 - :rs/hariyama:
Hariyama is nice, it knocks skarm, its not that good as some ppl call but its not ultra awful, its just OKAY, some games it feels lackluster and others it feels "this mon is fuckin god oml" idk, it sometimes feels nice and sometimes not, maybe its a building skill issue again
34 - :rs/regice:
Regice is cool, everyday i keep not believing on it anymore, but ice stab is noice and it can fuck up, also it generally wins so who am i to judge, agipass + regice is quite great, i reccomend
35 - :rs/smeargle:
The fisher, he sleep and he spike, fishing at lead, actually not terrible at back, darth did some cool shit w it sometimes, its okay, has pop off and high upside potential, just hold back by sleeps nature, backgle is still the most consistent one by far tho
36 - :rs/machamp:
Machamp is the coolest shit in town, he owns stuff up, bulk uping and owning, hpfly is cool for semi hera checking, outside of that, always hpbug, most cool fighter ever
37 - :rs/vaporeon:
Hes a cool dude, he subs and passes, stab hydro + ice beam is just threatning as heck, another milo abuser (lol) and 101 subs vs bliss is cool, wish/roar on subpass is neat tech but defensive is GARBAJO
38 - :rs/jynx:
Fishing mon, not my style, very annoying and complicated to deal with, ice stab + sleep is so hard, ml song helps trap stuff up too, jynx dugless or back jynx, actually kinda consistent for a 75%sleep mon, still loses to cbmence tho LOL
39 - :rs/venusaur:
I am tired but this mon is even tiring, sleep miss, seed miss, its actually ultra bad once paralyzed, that said, its quite good! Sleep + seed is super annoying, it can use hpice more easily as well, i dont really rate venu wout zard but i kinda liked jesters yama venu even tho it was 6-0ed by superbi/superachi, either way this mon is good just stressful to play with AND to play against
40 - :rs/ludicolo:
Ludicolos hate is the worst trend, seed is quite good, has some nice defensive uses, being neutral to elec is super big! Seed 3a ludi is quite cool cuz water stab + mash resist, rd + seed is also nice! Not being too weak to dug not too shabby, not being able to check ddmence is cheems for a water but outside of that, quite epic, grass stab fucking cune pert milo mie is hilarious, actually goated offmie check
41 - :rs/armaldo:
Goat mon, fucks celebi and just for that it deserves a goat medal, nice cmer check + knock off helps it a lot, i liked knock rs bug eq for jirachi/cele/birds but i have also tried sd knock rest bug for giving maldo more offense (originally lews idea) and it helps a lot vs water skarm balances, nice mon, being able to recover in sand is also really clutch, being weak to water sux tho and doesnt have much immediate power but it checks a ton of stuff, i reccomend w wish or aroma in case u use rest
42- :rs/regirock:
Nice offense mon, boom + bulk + being able to check ddtar ddmence aero is super nice, darths regirock rain is very creative for example as regi deals w those physmons which can be a pain, allows meta to be more flexible (can viably run tpunch eq hpgrass), still nice on mag offs too as its traits are great there as well, the lum berry regirock is still a el classico! Great lead, it owns literally everything, lum counter spower slide boom etc, eq regi also checks jira so thats another great plus etc, i have tried curse regi but never to great sucess unfort, i liked darths work w regirock and dugs off in general tho but colteors old lum regi build is still a great classic and i wanna revisit the lum counter regi lead again sometime

Will stop at here, since im tired of writing lol, some mons i ranked i need to see/use more of them, everythings on order btw LMAO

Closing Thoughts
Sorry if this wasnt good, i p much writted this whole post on phone (awful experience never doing it again) but i love this community and i try to be the best i can even if im a annoying ass (sorry btw), i know most ppl wont read or bother w this but i just wanted to do this for fun and trying it out, this also made me realize i need to get more building w some mons and kinda inspired me to build more, see you all, have a nice day
This was my first time submitting to a VR, so I figured I'd write a bunch of words. Don't think I really have any hot takes; I don't like to overstate or understate stuff too much. The F tier is not ordered, I just threw the remaining usable stuff in there.



Sand still holds the tier together. DD as always great both early and late game. Advent of DD in the lead slot has added a new wrinkle also. Still view Pursuit sets as more of a necessary evil than anything, even though on paper it thrives in a meta with tons of Claydol. Pursuit with SlideQuake is a good set though. In fact, Mixed sets with Rock Slide in general are really good. BKCTar still really good too. Every set is super customizable as well. Counter/Taunt/Toxic/TWave are all awesome surprise fillers.



Just so consistent and splashable. Agility sets are really good and fit on a lot of teams. Not a massive fan of Rock Slide on Agility sets, but it can be an absolute gamebreaker at times. Think mixed sets are kind of a waste, but it's good they exist to keep people honest. Slapping HP Grass on a regular Metagross can be really nice sometimes though. Oh, and Band still amazing.

Best spiker and seems more splashable than ever. Also probably the best anti-cheese mon in the game. Sometimes it can be frustrating that you really can't drop Drill Peck.



In the past, I had been a Zapdos #2 believer. I'm down somewhat on Zap, but I suspect by placing him 4th, I will still have him higher than most. Offensive sets are admittedly more inconsistent than it feels like they should be. I'm thinking more and more that Modest is the way to go. Still, it enables too many teams for me to place it any lower. SpDef sets can be an absolute nightmare; some teams straight up just cannot deal with it. Agility/Tbolt/Grass/DPeck with spikes is really nasty.

The only truly reliable check to a number of physical threats. People getting creative with offensive sets has been a nice boon for it. Try to make sure your team isn't completely screwed if it runs into Suicune/Milotic though.

Does what it does, but also more versatile than you'd think.

Ultimate utility mon. Destiny Bond is really good, but it's tricky with only 4 moves.

PhysDef with Toxic has seen tremendous popularity, and it's easy to see why. That set truly is a devil that acts as a great glue for many teams. All the CM sets are still very dangerous too. Always and forever one of the most versatile mons. Can't overlook its hax potential also.

I'm a believer. Half check to basically every mon in the tier. Quite customizable. Best hazard remover.

DD and Mixed are both great. Like Rock Slide on Mixed a lot. Defensive Wish stuff is pretty sick too.



Enabler of both offense and defense, loser of momentum.

Wins some matchups near single-handedly. Offensive feels too easy to play around a lot of times. Modest CroCune > Defensive usually.

It's been noted it doesn't like spikes, and is asking to get hax'd a lot of times, but it's still a pretty solid pokemon. Leech/3Attacks has been a really nice innovation for it. Can still do BP stuff; in the right matchups will give tons of momentum. I'm really not a big believer in SuperBi as some are, but it exists.

Keeps a lot of offense teams honest. Rock Slide can just bail you out very often. Good anti-cheese mon too. PhysDef Jirachi is a serious pain though.

There are a lot of popular teams that basically lose on the spot to offensive Starmie. Can never be any worse than pretty good. Defensive Starmie is so much less reliable than Claydol as a hazard remover, but it is pretty cool as a check to the increasingly popular offensive Swamperts that Claydol doesn't want to see. Also one of the few mons that can actually repeatedly switch into Charizard. Not sure if Bold is ever worth it, but it does make you more safe against Metagross which regular defensive does not actually check that reliably (other than being a designated boom catcher).



Skarmory eliminator, sometimes eliminator of other stuff.

Yeah, it wants a lot of support, but it does its job very effectively.

Better when you can be more proactive with your boom, but a lot of teams that use it rely on it to do too much for you to be able to be too aggressive. Still, always at least a decent mon.

Good progress maker that also has more utility than you'd think. Don't really like Focus Punch, but maybe I'm just not crazy enough.

Have to have some pretty specific reasons to use it over Skarmory, but it works on the teams it goes on. Not very good at spinning, but pretty good at spiking. Counter is a really nice move on it.

A lot less versatile than Charizard, but a little more utility and power.

Gatekeeper of mixed attackers. Will pretty much never be any better or worse than around this spot.

Think Jolly is very worth it right now on standard sets with so many mons going around the 280 or 285 benchmark, but the power loss makes it probably just not worth using a lot of the time. Good SubPass recipient though. Salac just wins sometimes. It's also a mon that even in ideal situations can sometimes just have its move go to the left.

Pretty high on this mon at the moment. Good Skarmory partner because it switches into Zapdos without fear of being trapped and doesn't invite Skarmory in freely. Regice/Metagross/Suicune is pretty much a perfect balance core. Also has decent hax potential as it has a very spammable Thunder Wave as well as Ice Beam freezes.

Cool because it baits in or sets up on common physical checks. Has to choose between speed and power, and its power is somewhat underwhelming either way. Also always missing a coverage move. Substitute is a nice option that blocks boom from Claydol, Metagross, Cloyster, Forretress, and Snorlax. Blocks status from Starmie, Flygon, and Milotic as well. Losing Double-Edge is unfortunate though.

I think I suck with this mon, but it will always be at least ok as a cleaner, and has some good utility moves as well. Don't really understand how people use it without Spikes, but some actually do sometimes and make it work.

Pretty down on this mon and still might not have ranked it low enough. Just feels way too inconsistent. Wants a good matchup, generally wants a lot of support. Even in ideal situations, sometimes sleep turns just own you. Stun Spore and HP Ghost are both very nice options that deserve more use, but you will always miss the move you drop.

Can't figure out whether this mon is actually super good or straight garbage, so I guess the answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

Basically single-handedly enables certain teams, but unfortunately those teams are really not very good.

Pretty nice as a progress maker on stall. Hariyama+Claydol is such a sick combo, they compliment each other perfectly. Also has MeadPass applications *still*



Spore/Spikes good moves. Also still has pretty much infinite cheese potential even after all the bans. I like Will-O-Wisp a lot to punish Claydol as well as stuff trying to turn you into setup bait.

Just completely breaks games sometimes. Great enabler of weather abusers/mons that like no sand. Leaves you playing a 5v6 game a little too often.

Good mon with good traits, but will just completely let you down some games too.

Pretty devastating if you make plays. Choice Band feels a bit unnecessary to me. I like Lum a lot, which bluffs Band after sand damage if they go straight to Gengar on a fighting move. It can also make being a one time switch in to Blissey more comfortable.

Cool offense enabler, but usually can only do its job once, maybe twice per game. The various Baton Pass nerfs have hurt it a fair bit too. Defensive sets have merit on paper against Claydol balances, but you're almost definitely better off just using a different bulky water for this purpose.

Worse sweeper than Kingdra, but more utility, so it fits on a few more teams.

Good punisher of offenses that use Celebi and Dugtrio as their special checks.

Kind of like a Gengar that's a bit better against Tyranitar, but worse at most other stuff.

Don't think the teams it goes on are very good; RestKou actually pretty dangerous though.

+1 Bulk Up goes pretty crazy, but I think a lot of the time you're better off using another fighter.



Auto-wins as a SpeedPass receiver sometimes, but obviously inconsistent. Can serve as a one time check to physical threats. Good Paraspam abuser.

Decent hyper offense lead. Doesn't cause the havoc Smeargle does, but is usually better at getting more Spikes down.

Kind of like a worse Regice/Snorlax, but checks Gengar really well. Needs to click the right move to get a lot of value. Good to be proactive with boom, and you have no choice but to be a lot of the time. Quick Claw might unironically be its best item.

Seriously not too bad.

Actually does an alright job of checking Celebi/Jirachi/Moltres. Loses an ungodly amount of momentum against a lot of stuff though. Max Modest with a pretty good amount of SpDef is the best way to actually ensure it removes Gengar. Don't bother with Early Bird in my opinion.

Has some good on paper qualities, but I can't really use it. Gods have had solid success with it though.

Spams Knock Off and checks Celebi and Snorlax nicely. Feel like it's too owned by most top threats to be much better than this ranking, but I guess that might be a building issue.

It kind of doesn't really do anything, but it can be very annoying to take out, and can give some team support.

Not terrible as a cleaner actually, with a little bit of utility as well. Some cheese potential too.

Has some very good qualities, but mono-rock is quite awful typing.

Can cause some havoc in early games if it has the right coverage and there's no Suicune/Milotic.

Annoying guy.

Big fat guy who can pull off some funny sweeps sometimes if it doesn't get hax'd.

Better than Gengar against Claydol, worse against everything else.


(Not ordered, just wanted to throw the remaining usable stuff in here)

Pretty bad as a Pokemon, but Encore/Sleep/Leech is a crazy combo.

Does good against Starmie and Suicune, soft checks some other stuff and threatens back with strong STABs/Ice Beam.

Can do some funny stuff with Trace.

Can Thief waters and check Celebi/Jirachi/Charizard/Moltres decently. Can be a nuisance with Extremespeed too.

Has a lot of good moves on paper, but struggles to fit them all AND actually use them. Really liked Johnny's application of it in CI as basically a Jynx that is better against waters, and has a bit more mid-game utility. Exeggutor+Dugtrio may warrant further exploration.

Interesting as an AgilityPass receiver.

Stall mon that pwns Swampert.

Kind of an ok physical check with Spin and a strong EQ, but needs tons of support to actually do anything so just use Claydol 99% of the time instead.

Does SpeedPass cheese.

Encore/3Attacks pretty decent with Spikes. Have to make plays to get it in.

Good if you make a lot of plays, and your opponent's team does not have the move Protect.

Useful if you have a stall team that can't deal with Suicune.

Has coverage issues and extremely disappointing power, but does shockingly almost auto-win some matchups.

Can switch into Salamence and potentially get a sleep and a boost passed. Does literally nothing a lot of games.

Technically stronger than Kingdra or Ludicolo, but without much utility.

Has potential to be an annoying little guy as a lead.

Can be like a Curse Swampert that also sets up in the face of other waters, but requires a ton of backup, so it's really only usable on stall.

Kind of like a Metagross except it doesn't check Tyranitar at all, but muscles through Skarmory more easily. It does check CM Celebi and Jirachi decently, but it dies to Dugtrio, so it's pretty tough to build a solid team with it in my opinion.

Cool as a Paraspam mon.

Surprisingly kind of scary as a cleaner, particularly if you make the right reads. A bit like a crappy version of Aerodactyl.

Basically outclassed by everything, but has big stats and a diverse movepool so it's at least usable. DD Heal Bell kinda neat.
Hi There,

First time ranker long time lurker here. I want to preface this with the fact I'm predominantly an offense/balance player and can only really pilot slower teams with forre or that I've tweaked myself to suit my idiosyncratic style. Although there are some odd placements here, they are genuine and are a blend between how I feel they fit in the wider meta, and how viably I can play them in the current meta.

my-image (2).png

S Tier
I'll save regurgitating everyone else here. I like CB on teams with another pursuit user, but I don't love suit tar. Preferred with speed.

CB is the tiers premier 'click to win' mon, and nothing wants to switch in and keep taking hits.

Im not as high on some of the mixed sets as fire hits like a wet fish, however i feel hp grass, tpunch and ice pinch are all good filler on physical sets. Pursuit is probably under utilised as the ability to suit t1 and psy t2 when its in are too good to pass up. Impish is indeed skarm food but it can be a neccesary evil on joltspikes teams.

This will seem high to a lot of people, but it's one of the best walls and the best offense enablers in the game. In terms of versatility it not only fills a number of roles, but it fits them so well.

It's a great special wall, it's a great physical wall, it's an agility passer, it's a sub passer, it can phase, it can generate momentum, it can sweep, it can break. Modest zapdos go BRRRRRRRR.

A Tier
Respect it in the builder and respect it on the field. No mon threatens as many OHKOs or huge amounts of damage while switching in on half the tier. I like it most as ice fire grass boom, but will caveat that it needs pairing with Gyara measures. Dbond, status and taunt are all great. Physical sets are interesting.

This is quite high but there's a set for every team which either works as glue, or forces the issue. Viable CMer, passer, seeder. I have used Bold superbi to some success on Blazekin offense as it matches well into unsuspecting dug teams.

Bold mie sacrifices a lot of speed but eats hits like barely anything else in the tier and fits on a variety of team paces. Ive really been enjoying a core of CB tar, Bold mie, suit support (doom on offense and umb on stall) as mie covers tar's threats so well.

I dont play much spikes, forre still matches up well into it unless skarm mag. Very exploitable with a variety of zap sets.

This is the lowest I've rated rachi in a long time. At peak ZapDug Superjira was a busted breaker (and can still 1v1 non twave bliss from full (pair with FP pert to ensure bliss bullying) and SubCM was a solid non dug plan B. Peole are now a lot smarter with their builds and positioning, but rachi is still rachi. There's a set that will ruin almost any team's day, and it speads status at the worst moments like nothing else in the tier.

I'm seeing less grass tar and more dol. Offpert go BRRRRR. Defpert as reliable as ever.

Mixed is no longer the force it once was. DD is fun and brick is a good option on the right teams. Wish is a great set and the tier's premier Heracross wall (important)

B Tier
This thing is like a warm comfy blanket. The less people rate curselx, the more consistency I find with it. Curseboom is best with EQ and gar countermeasures. Rest is viable on may teams even if people ain't ready to admit that yet.

Aero does aero things

CM Suicune has no weak (although if you T wave it then get CB Tar in you can ruin its day)

Punished harder these days so used more conservatively, still elite at what it does.

If wide lens existed in this tier then sub SD would ruin everything. It does not so it's only the best mon in ADV 85% of the time.

Viable Cringe

Lets you explore other roles and mons in the builder a lot more. Pairs well with Umbreon.

C Tier
I agree with Ibidem here. Exploitable as all hell. I play predominantly mixedoff teams which on paper struggle vs bliss and yet it never seems to be an issue. I don't hate fire grass coverage.

Impish subtox eq filler is waaay too slept on.

Will forever be a go to for me in tours.

Goes in hard and can be teched to cover weaknesses in teams in ways molt just cant. Looking at you dclaw, brick break, focus punch and beat up.

This thig pops off well, DD taunt under rated.

It's fast and it picks off kills. I dont rate it as anything more than a dry passer as roar is way too useful.

Dies a lot but good into other spikes teams and has a good boom. If youre leading with it then mess with your EVs to 2hko ttar and run Lum (tm).

Absolute chaos defined in one little dog thing.

The best feeling in ADV is toxicing a bliss with mag and hammering it with tbolts until you win via crits. Kills skarm.

D tier
:Medicham: Lefties is besties. This thing slaps and just about manages to tank a hit from its main enemies. If you can live with a slightly lower speed tier i would advise teching it to survive offmie hydro after spikes.

The people often say about the duck, I have started using the duck 2 months ago and it has been a lifechanging experience, many people say that P2 is trash but I in my exalted wisdom, tried it on a extremely detailed and beautiful composition of 6 pokemon, Nietzsche once said that a man who has a why can bear almost any how, but a man who has his duck can bear any threat bar metagross, those have not used P2 in their hands and mouths will not understand the beauty of it, and this talk of how and why becomes worthless once u understand the duck, its way of extremely complicated nuances and compositions, that makes the pokemon only suited for the best of mind and spirit, Nietzsche also once said that woman were god's second mistake, but god's first mistake was not punishing those who slander his beautiful creation, those who slander the duck are pathetic, idiots who have not gone to the lifechanging experience of using the duck on their bare mouths and hands, in my as always exalted wisdom, used the duck as a freeing mechanism, Michel Foucault once said that schools serve the same social functions as prisons and mental institutions- to define, classify, control, and regulate people, the duck frees u from those who want to control, who want to define ur thoughts on the standard norm, on the ways of running what everybody runs, pathetic! I say, as P2 is our hope to paradise, to freedom, master oogway once said that to impress a chick, u must do the helicopter dick, to impress us, enlightened duck masters, u must do a extremely intellectual duck team, a composition that rivals no other, a way of thinking that is unique, a way that rivals even the greatest of the great, thats how u impress a man who has been enlightened by the duck, Socrates has said that if u want to be wrong, then follow the masses and thats exactly right, the masses will persuade u into thinking P2 is bad, since they do not have the IQ to understand it, whoever created this shit, good job on the duck.

Awkard speed tier and limited coverage.

Seems fully explored at this point and I rarely fear it. Best paired with another fighter.

Rain is OK

Unfun semiviable cringe.

Fire tox ice sky lead is prediction reliant but has good griefing potential. Pair with salac and you can even clean with it.

Needs bulk to function but a great mon. HP options, beat up, wisp. I have cheater on even running suit as most people attack or boom on it.

So many nice traits, if only it wasn't rock weak.

Most likely way to actually suit gar.

It's ok and quite fat

If you lead raikou I will lose.

If you lead vaporeon I will lose

Apparently it's good? Usually just dies?

E Tier
Amazing mixed wall. Better at it than lax in some teams.


Star of my mono normal runs. Twave Encore Stoss Softboiled is a devilish set and really messes with some offensive gameplans.

Decent enough but why are you that zap weak anyway?

Neeeds 1000 EVs to be good. CB heal bell is interesting.

Great user of priority and good hp fight mon.

It seems people run DD IB ttar only when I'm running this mon. How does this information get out there?

It's a me, BluesEnergy00

Worse than Celebi in every way. Sleep powder does not make it worth it.

I have way more success that is reasonable with UDs Mantine teams.

I want to love you but you're so mediocre.

It would be too hypocritical for me to condemn this as purely cheese.

Way better than it's given credit for. Pairs will with unconventional tar checks like CB molt (sorry Jim).

Ban confuse ray.

Requires too much support:

Why are people so high on this thing?

Poor man's gengar. UD is poor (please come back).

Sing 3 attacks is good. Nice bulk.

Viable jank.

Probably more viable that I'm giving it credit for, but its versatility is its downfall not its asset.

Too accuracy reliant

Low ladder fodder. Easy to not bring the tools to kill it accidentally.

Fail requires a lot of support but is very destructive.

Should genuinely be considered into aero spammers. Has fallen off since the soundproof ban as sub petaya is now phasable.
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Hello. This is the very first time I am posting a VR so forgive me if this isn't as polished as everyone else's VR.With that Out of the way let's get into it.

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S Tier: Pokemon here are the top picks for most players at a high level. At the very least one of these Pokemon will be on a team because of how strong they are.

:Tyranitar: The most powerful Attacker in the meta period. Dragon Dance is very threatening as it can very easily destroy things that are supposed to counter it like Swampert or Metagross to make sweeping easier for it's teammates later on or just straight up win itself. Pursuit is a very reliable form of support to remove Gengar as well as threaten the popular spinners Claydol and Starmie, being able to punish the likes of Dugtrio locked into HP Bug Or Aerodactyl is also very powerful. Mixed is also crazy good as the coverage it takes allows it to punish both Anti TSS and TSS teams pretty hard. Choice Band is my personal favorite as the sheer power of it's moves means not even a resist may not be enough although the proliferation of Protect and Substitute makes it a bit more risky pick these days but is still heavily rewarding if played well. Sandstorm heavily shapes the meta around it and makes Tyranitar's offense even better as it mandates at least one or more sand immune checks and those that do not heal in sand may become overwhelmed attempting to check Tyranitar over the course of a game.

:Metagross: Rivals Tyranitar's power but has better bulk and defensive typing. Choice Band is very strong and allows to beat down it's checks with Meteor Mash, not even Skarmory or Swampert are safe as if Mash gets an attack boost they will very quickly be overwhelmed. Explosion is what turns Metagross from good to insane and choice band takes advantage of this very well, anything that gets boomed on by CB gross is a pokemon that will drop. Agility is very strong in the current meta and takes away the few ways to answer it which makes it a very good late game threat. Mixed is good to hit threats such as Skarmory and Swampert with super effective coverage or to throw out strong Stab Psychics. Tank metagross is overrated right now but longevity can be good into some match up's

:Skarmory: Spikes are overpowered and Skarmory is it's best setter. Skarmory alone defines entire play styles by itself and every team in advance has a gameplan to take advantage of it. It can run multiple tools to make this difficult however and can make the life of even the best player hell from time to time weather it's through Toxic or Drill Peck to hit those who would otherwise wouldn't mind taking status like Gengar or Heracross.

:Zapdos: The most powerful special threat in advance Zapdos is better known for it's defensive usage at a high level nowdays, Offensive Zapdos especially Modest is very strong with or without spikes in the current meta and can effortlessly fit on almost every offensive team in Existence. Defensive Zapdos is also very potent as it can sponge various amounts of special hits while also providing very powerful support but with Offensive Swampert appearing more and more in the metagame it does require some backup on the special side but still acts as an amazing pivot when provided that support.
Dug Zap isn't as good as it was but it is still a very viable playstyle and one i use frequently myself. Zapdos is also the centerpiece of Speed pass, If you use speedpass...you are using Zapdos. Not Ninjask.

A Tier: Where the majority of the strong pokemon are, these are priority picks for most teams.

:Swampert: The most reliable check to physical threats in the tier Swampert is able to answer the likes of powerful physical sweepers such as Tyranitar, Metagross and Salamence while being a big threat in return. More offensively leaning pert's are more popular because getting more damage on Skarmory, opposing Swampert and Defensive Zapdos is very valuable. Curse and Endeavor pert are very valuable for breaking through the likes of walls that can be troubling for it's teammates and the standard defensive Swampert's act as potent tank that has great longevity in longer games.

:Gengar: The defining spin blocker in generation 3 Gengar has a laundry list of tools that it has to enable it to mess over the opposition. Will o Wisp is super good at crippling things that would otherwise answer it very well and Hypnosis is a great disruption tool for some teams. Gengar is also very fast and very strong so it is very good at abusing the spikes it is tasked at protecting. It also has a nice host of utility moves which makes it even better, Taunt is underrated for being able to disrupt the likes of wish Jirachi and Blissey while Boom is a great tool for generating offensive momentum for it's teammate's.

:Salamence: A massive offensive threat that is covered in utility. Dragon Dance is a potent sweeper that destroys weakened teams and Mixed is really good at abusing spikes alongside other dangerous attackers. Wish and refresh is a piece of underrated tech that in the right match up is very devastating. Choice Band is good in a meta where most mences and Zapdos are on the slower side so you can afford stuff like adamant, same could be said for + SPA nature for mixed mence.

:Blissey: Very overrated but still the best support pokemon in the tier. It can do really anything you want it to do and it usually does it very well. It's also pretty versatile as a support mon so it can fit coverage for specific targets it wants to hit (Flamethrower for steel types, Thunderbolt for Milotic and Gyarados) but Blissey has issues of being passive so it often is overpowered or stalled out but in the right match ups it can be very good still.

:Celebi: Only as high as it is because leech seed is such a good move. Celebi can play offense and defensive roles relatively well while being a descent check to water types ans electrics while being annoying in it's own way. Set up Celebi's are fairly versatile as it can choose between more utility, coverage or even pass those stats off. Celebi is the best stat passer by far as it is versatile with what it can pass and can still be an offensive threat on it's own. Although SD pass has 4 mss and Calm Mind can be stopped pretty easily by fast pokemon like Aero or powerful fire types. Celebi is flawed but still powerful in its own right.

:Jirachi: Overpowered, stupid, versatile. These are qualities Jirachi has and them some. It's support sets are very stupid and are hard to kill. Wish is very easily able to wear down and stall out certain pokemon while providing nice back up to pokemon like Zapdos and Blissey. It's a versatile special attacker and there for can account for a number of threats in the meta game with it's expansive coverage. This is exemplified even further by Serene Grace so it can very well ruin matches with nonsense. I hate this pokemon. But you should use it because it breaks the game.

:Claydol: The most popular spinner by far. Has good longevity and is a descent check to a handful of pokemon while supporting it's teammates by keeping spikes off. Explosion allows it to not be useless against pokemon such as the flying types. Can be passive and the forced boom is exploitable in some games but it get's the job done.

:Starmie: The other spinner but has the benefit of having a recovery move and natural cure as well as being very fast and strong. Defensive starmie can check certain threats when it needs to but can be easily worn down by the spikes its supposed to spin away and can be passive against certain threats but with good physical and defensive back up it can provide some pretty strong support. Offensive starmie is a match up fish but in its good match ups it can be a very potent special attacker and can be very dangerous under the right conditions, in it's bad match up's..maybe not so much.

:Aerodactyl: The best spikes abuser by far, it's one of the few pokemon that is very threatening regardless of it's HP and despite it's meh bulk it is able to avoid most forms of passive damage so it can come in multiple times a game and threaten to get ko's. Always is paired with spikes because spikeless aero sux. Almost always uses choice band but can use Leechi Berry on some teams that could afford to run an aero that is underpowered but the ability to switch moves is very powerful in some situations. Very dangerous with spikes as one good prediction can result init's switch ins being very quickly worne down. RS flinches make you feel this even more.

:Dugtrio: Arena Trap is obviously very powerful form of removal and Dugtrio is a very valuable form of support for both offense and defense alike. Bulky Dugtrio is still super good for trapping Bulky Celebi's and Blissey, Jolly is probably the best overall because trapping Dragon Dance Tyranitar is very good but Adamant is also very valuable for hitting stuff like Bulky Metagross and Jirachi far harder. It's frail as hell and get's taken advantage of rather easily by Salamence and Zapdos, is also suseptible to being trapped by P2 and itself but still very good.

:Magneton: Trapping steel types is why Mag is viable. Skarmory is it's primary target but it's reach can expand to include itself, Metagross and Forretress as well as Jirachi. Can check non fire punch Gengar and Zapdos in a pinch if it needs to. Skarmory + Mag is a popular alternative style to counter trap opposing SKarmory or Magneton so SKarm can set up spikes unopposed. Mag offense is flawed and a bit of a fish but has it's place in tour games. It can run some cute gimmicks like Sleep talk and Endure as well so there is that. Usually a one and your done pokemon but what it does is very valuable.

:Suicune: Very bulky, very dangerous. No pokemon steals games quite like cune. Cro is probably the best overall as it destroys balance stuff and Starmie Blissey Metagross cores while most TSS crumbles to it late game. Off cune is bit of a fish but is very devastating in the right match up, Speed on cune is good in a meta game where pokemon are more comfortable going slow and Bold while more niche then ever still has it's place in the meta. Sub is also good but the most specific of the sets.

B Tier: Powerful pokemon that require support to be good. Bit more average then the above

:Snorlax: Good special check that has fallen off a small bit. Requires mag support to be good and appreciates spin regardless. Very threatening to both super defensive and Anti TSS teams as well as HO. Curse Rest is flawed but a good match up fish. Utility Lax is the better of the two and you can't ever go wrong with a boom lax.

:Forretress: The only pokemon that can reliably spin and spike, For awhile was only really seen on more defensive line ups as it could support itself and it's more defensive leaning teammates very well but it has been seen very recently on special offense where it was a good fit. Usually needs good pursuit support or even a back up rapid spinner to truly shine. Spikes are op so anything that sets them has at least some place in OU.

:Heracross: Very devastating wallbreaker. Both Stall and anti TSS alike are mauled by it. In an age with Zapdos and Mence hanging out around 270 speed Jolly Heracross is very good into those mons and outspeed Modest molt while still bringing the hammer down on the things it wants to destroy. Sub Salacc has the potential to be the most devastating sweeper in the tier but relying on Megahorn is sometimes shaky at best when you are going all in for a sweep. Bulky Heracross is underrated and can take surprisingly big hits while dishing out the pain itself. Choice Band is ok but get's alot better with Mag Support.

:Flygon: Valued fore it's more defensive set's Flygon is usually seen on anti Tss teams to check Physical Tyranitar and Aerodactyle. It's just kind of average and overrated. Not much I have to say about it here.

:Breloom: Breloom has fallen of somewhat after rising to OU though it's still a solid pokemon. Guaranteed sleep is always super valuable but breloom losses most of it's utility after it uses the turn it gets after it spores something. It's alot better with Hidden power Bug to hit starmie/ Claydol or Hidden power rock for Zard and Zap. Good early mid game mon but tends to struggle in the late game. It's good depending on how much it get's out of it's free turns. Still pretty solid overall.

:Charizard: Very threatening pokemon that is good on spikes and spikeless alike. Beat up Charizard is hard to use in a meta where players like there cunes and there Starmie's to answer it. Sub Focus Punch might be better overall as is dragon claw to hit mence and flygon. Grass is to needed to hit the waters that otherwise answer it very well. Being able to consistently outspeed most mence and Heracross is also very good and being able to at the very least tie with the 100's is also increadibly valuable.

:Moltress: The stronger more bulky counter part to charizard has Willo o Wisp which completly invalidates Salamence and Snorlax as checks while threatening Tyranitar with being crippled by burns. The sheer power of it's moves with spikes down is enough to punish things that would scare Zard out and it can brute force through many of it's checks with good play. It's better bulk comes into play especially against Jirachi and Metagross comon pokemob it likes to come in on.

:Milotic: Suicune but with less utility. It's able to wall a good portion of the tier on it's own it has a solid niche on more defensive teams that don't mind something a bit more on the passive side. It's able to reliably answer mixed attackers while being the best fire resist in the tier but isn't the best into the top physical attackers. Especially Aerodactyle and Tyranitar which can can easily flinch Milotic down. Overall it's pretty solid.

:Gyarados: An...intersting offensive pokemon that has a unique set of resistances which allows it to carve out a niche as a dragon dancer that is far better into certain pokemon. It can be good in certain match up's but being walled by Aerodactlye and Zapdos is a very big downside compared to Salamence which outspeed's and KO's them after a dance. An ok pokemon but to match up fishy for my taste.

:Jolteon: Jolteon's claim to fame is it's ability to switch into the many dangerous electric attacks in OU and retaliate with it's own while being able to Baton Pass out of Dugtrio's reach. Jolteon Spikes is a high risk high reward playstyle that does show up in high level play once and awhile and Jolteon is the centerpiece of those styles. Being able to outspeed the likes of DD Tyranitar, Zapdos, and Starmie are good qualities for an offensive pokemon though it's own vulnerbility to Earthquakes and passive damage holds it back.

C Tier; Pokemon that need a team built around it and or fits on specific styles where it can shine

:Cloyster: One of the more niche spikers in OU, Cloyster in immune to Magneton while matching up favoribly against Claydol, the primary spinner most players favor while it's often forced to explode on Starmie as it is unable to threaten it otherwise. Explosion is the calling card to Cloyster as those that resist boom are hit by surf and those that resist surf often give it free spikes or a free boom. But CLoyster's ice typing abd low spdef severely limits what it can come in on which often limits it's entry exclusively on Snorlax and water types. That being said it has descent qualities and i think it's worth using.

:Smeargle: Basically a very aggresive CLoyster that cannot take a hit. It uses spore and spikes and often any move of it's choice. The most common and probably the best is Will o Wisp and Whirlwind. Will o wisp allows it to status CLaydol and Forretress placing them on a timer and making life easier for the likes of gengar and Tyranitar later on while whirlwind allows it to phase out dragon dance tyranitar and Sub leads. Sub Endeavor is also good as it allows smeargle to get up a spike then completly Cripple something else. Smeargle pass kind of a thing...kind of. Tail glow pass is the only interesting thing it can do now after the nerfs so it's just better to use Cm celebi or use smeargle normally.

:Jynx: A dedicated sleep lead, Jynx is only seen on special offense where it shines best as a sleeper. It's very inconsistent overall as it literally lives and dies by the accuracy of lovely kiss. There are games where it will rob the opponent with ice beam freezes but usually it will sleep then trade with something else. Ok pokemon at best, not very good at it's worst.

:Hariyama: Knock off is a bit of a overrated tool in advance but Hariyama itself is an ok pokemon. Bulky fighting types by nature are a bit match of fishy. They either destroy the opposition or crumble to the opposing offense. Knock + fighting is a good combo as whatever comes into the fighting stab will have there leftovers removed. Not bad but hard to fit outside of defensive oriented teams.

:Venusaur: Another pokemon that lives and dies on the accuracy of it's moves. Venusaur brings to the table grass typing as well as leech seed which no other pokemon in OU can do. It often is very it or miss...literally and figuratively and becomes all but worthless if it is paralyzed. Poision hurts it more then helps in advance. But it isn't the worse.

:Medicham: Very powerful..but such power comes at a price. Has just enough bulk to take a hit and it is weak to all forms of passive damage and unlike other fighting types it does not benefit from being statused. But it's so overwhelmingly powerful that if played well the rewards are very steep. Very powerful but at the sacrifce of all defensive utility.

:Vaporeon: Defensive Vaporeon is fucking terrible...it's passive, bad and is very exploitable. Offensive Vaporeon however is a different story. Being able to wall the likes of Mono waters while also being able to set up fat subs to pass to it's teammates. Salacc Vaporeon is also pretty potent as it can pass both subs and salacc to a dangerous recipient. Overall it's descent and will do it's job whne placed on the right team.

:Kingdra: The best rain sweeper in Advance by far. Has a unique typing that gives it only one weakness and a very useful grass and electric neutrality while it quad resists opposing water moves and tends to completly ruin Moltress and other fires. It is an auto inclusion on rain and is good on other offensive teams such as blue offense.

:Porygon 2: P2 is an anti Dugtrio messure ment to reverse trap and PP stall it giving it's fellow grounded teammates safety. It also has numerous amounts of useful utility outside of this, Being a very reliable answer to salamence, Gyarados and Flygon while crippling powerful special attackers like gengar and non sub Jirachi with Twave. P2 teams tend to be on the weaker side against the very mons it employs such as Heracross and Snorlax..but it gets the job done.

:Regice: A powerful special attacker that in the right match up can be very devastating but getting that good match up can be tough esspecally when it allows free entry to the most dangerous attackers in the metagame and it has a tendency to bet worn down by repeated hits and passive damage and unlike snorlax does not have a powerful boom. Still descent in the right match up.

:Raikou: A special attacker that can be very strong in late game situations especially against opposing offense but often has a hard time dealing with the powerful late game physical sweepers in the metagame. But there is little else devastating then a late game raikou you didn't see coming.

:Ludicolo: The other popular rainsweeper brings a very unique typing to the table. Being resistent to ground means it threatens opposing waters with it's grass stab while resisting earthquakes allowing it to answer pokemon like Swampert and Metagross quite reliably. It also has a role outsid eof rain as an annoying leech seed status spreader. Being weak to bug and flying does hurt it alot esspecially against Physical mence and dd tyranitar.

D Tier: Niche pokemon that have very situational applications and fit on very specific teams, honorable mentions will also go here
Side note I will not cover every D tier here just those I think are worth mentioning.

:Armaldo: A rock type spinner or knock off user. Better as a knock off user as ridding Swampert and other rock resists of there leftovers is very powerful indeed. Armaldo is able to reliably counter snorlax and can be relatively annoying but it's weaknesses to very common attacks really hurts it.

:Camerupt: A pokemon that has very interesting tools. Fire type with the ability to blow up waters while having stab eq to bring the pain to Tyranitar is always a plus while also answering Jirachi, electric types and gengar well but being weak to Dugtrio and being slower then shit are very glaring weaknesses.

:Gorebyss: and :Omastar: Both of these are very similar but there gimick is they are increadibly powerful under rain. Gorebyss is probably better since it isnt quad weak to grass and or weak to earthquake but omastar can punish choice band attacks which can be useful, Both are very flawed but..there not the worst.

:Roselia: An increadibly niche spiker which has the unique trait of being able to set up spikes on eletrics and water types while also spreading status through leech seed and stun spore. Very gimicky but something some players have used in tours surprisingly enough.

:Dusclops: A defensive pokemon that counters the hell out of starmie and sits on claydol all day all he while it can completely wall Snorlax with it's imprison set. Very niche but can do something in some games.

:Regirock: A descent pokemon on Physical offense but was rescently discovered to be very powerful on rain teams as it reliably answers the set up pokemon Tyranitar and Salamence very reliably and takes zero from Aerodactlyes attackes. Pretty niche overall but is strong on a few teams.

and that's it! I could not cover every pokemon here but i did my best to give my opinion on most of them.


phoenix reborn
is a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Tutor Alumnusis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Top Team Rater Alumnusis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Dedicated Tournament Host Alumnus
This is my ADV VR. I tried painting ADV exactly as I saw it, so this is my subjective view. I tried fitting as much information as I could to make it an interesting post. Hope you enjoy!

Another thing to keep in mind is that I only rank each Pokémon as high as its best set. For example, since Starmie could be both offensive and defensive, I only ranked it according to where I saw OffMie was. I don't view Pokémon as the sum of their parts.

S rank
#1 -
- Skarmory
- Tyranitar
  • It is my opinion that Skarmory is the best Pokémon in ADV. The most important thing to have on a team is a game plan; the best game plan in ADV is Spikes; and Skarmory is far and away the best user of Spikes in the game. As a result, Skarmory is the number one concern of any new team I make, and the game plan I personally use most often.
    • Facing Skarmory is a challenge itself. You need to dedicate a lot of resources to it in the builder: you need to make sure you can wear it down if not outright KO it. Even if you do, any free turn you've given to it leaves a long lasting effect because of Spikes. You'll either need to remove them with Rapid Spin or use multiple immunes. Either way, your whole team and game plan has been warped by Skarmory.
    • Using Skarmory is also a delight as nothing can set up Spikes as early and often as it does. It also fits on almost every playstyle at little cost as it is able to protect its Spikes from Claydol and even some Starmie sets quite well.
  • Sand Stream and a million viable sets also help Tyranitar place high up this list. I don't think sand makes it the absolute no-brainer addition to every team it's usually portrayed as. Because Sandstorm is a condition that affects both players, you might end up putting yourself at a disadvantage with your own sand. For this reason, a team should only include Tyranitar if it highly benefits from sand being up.
    • I'll also add that I'm not as huge a fan of Pursuit sets as other people may be. It's not guaranteed to remove Gengar at all, as it requires you to win a few mind games. It comes at great opportunity cost as Tyranitar's other sets are brutal progress makers under the right field conditions.
A+ rank
#3 -
- Zapdos
#4 -
- Metagross
#5 -
- Swampert
#6 -
- Claydol
  • Zapdos dictates the game's tempo as well as anything else. 382 SpA Thunderbolts drill every special wall besides Blissey and Celebi into submission. I'm personally quite fond of Toxic and HP Ice to really turn the heat on those Ground types too. The old BP into Dugtrio trick is still as good as ever, don't let its detractors fool you.
    • Bulky RT sets are also quite good, but not really my thing. Roar fits on every Zapdos set though and is potentially game-changing.
    • I love using Zapdos as a positioning tool: as long as Zapdos is on the field, Spikes aren't going up. You also force the opponent into telegraphed passive moves which is the perfect opportunity to shift your game plan into its next gear.
  • Metagross always makes progress. It has 2 main roles on my offenses: first, Explosion can potentially remove walls such as Milotic and Swampert. Second, its large bulk and typing attenuates weaknesses to typical threats to offense like Starmie. Designated sweeper sets with Agility and Rock Slide also provide potential checkmates after a single boost fairly early in the game and that's always an advantage.
    • I really dislike mixed sets. They don't do enough damage to Skarmory to be justifiable. They also have to drop Protect for additional coverage, which is a terrible trade.
  • Swampert is functionally similar to Metagross, but trading Explosion for that precious Water STAB and Focus Punch. It's another one of those Pokémon that shore up your weaknesses to just about anything, making it extremely valuable for offense. Defensive sets are also highly valuable for defensive teams thanks to their reliability and resilience against status.
  • I'm aware that my ranking of Claydol is higher than most, so I'll elaborate. Rapid Spin is a very precious move in ADV that can make many strategies tick. Those Skarmory beatdown type of teams are able to take more risk and trade more hits thanks to how reliable Claydol is. I however find that Claydol's most useful move is Explosion. Because of Levitate and the Sandstorm immunity, Claydol will usually be at max health; it is also bulky enough to tank most hits every from boosted threats allowing you to safely explode on them. This makes Claydol the perfect fit for offenses as it'll cover a bunch of otherwise dangerous threats. Even outside of that, you can use Claydol's Explosion to remove a problematic wall, enabling more progress. What differentiates Claydol's Explosion from the others is its ability to stay healthy at all times, making it both reliable and unpredictable.
A rank
#7 -
- Blissey
#8 -
- Salamence
#9 -
- Gengar
  • I don't use as much Blissey as its placement might reflect. But it's a dangerous Pokémon that threatens almost every team and requires good maneuvering to get by. It's tough to force it to heal because of its massive Special Defense and obviously can't be statused. You can't predict which status move it has and either can be problematic for different things (Toxic for Swampert, Thunder Wave for Jirachi.)
    • Blissey offers a level of flexibility in game that is almost unrivaled. When I use it, I find that I'm almost never forced into a move and can click whatever I'd like, which opens the door for some interesting and advantageous mind games.
  • Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best, and Salamence is no exception. MixMence is still a terror and while it isn't the shiny new toy anymore, it still offers an unmatched level of offensive threat + late game playmaker, thanks to Intimidate.
    • DD and CB sets are great too, but require a lot of support. I actually find DD to be somewhat overrated, especially now that people are wising up to it and using Blissey sets that are really good against it. Still, it's a terrifying threat late game because Intimidate is just so damn good.
  • Gengar has a bunch of sets that I like: Taunt Wisp, 3 attacks offensive, DBond, etc.. But at the end of the day, it only has modest defenses and has to watch out for all kinds of status, Pursuit, and generally strong attacks. The main reason why I have it so high is spinblocking, and it's always the reason why I put Gengar on my team. I find that Gengar doesn't fit many teams and for that reason I can't have it as high as others would. Also, Will-O-Wisp's accuracy sucks.
A- rank
- Aerodactyl
- Jirachi
- Celebi
  • Aerodactyl is a simple Pokémon that offers a lot with just one set. It's strong and fast while being very resilient to passive damage so you can really use it on your own terms. Having it on your team offers you the possibility to play shootout type games against things that threaten your team (Starmie...) and often come out on top. The sub sets are cute but they just don't offer the same levels of consistency as CB does.
  • The best way to describe Jirachi would be as the king of customization: you can often find quirky optimizations to its set or EV spread to fit your team's needs, and it'll do is job as it always does anyway. I'm also a big fan of Superachi myself as it can plow through just about any wall.
    • Still, as Dugtrio-weak wall and a Rock resist that can't check DDTar it feels a bit flimsy; it'll always require creative teambuilding.
  • Grass typing is both a blessing and a curse, which explains why Celebi sits at the bottom of A-. The pros: it's unique, it deals with some of the game's most potent threats (Swampert...), and Giga Drain is actually quite good. The cons: Ice / Fire weaknesses make it a pretty bad special wall, easily trapped, both grounded and Sandstorm weak.
    • As a result, I find that Celebi is best used as a purely offensive threat. It's got so much coverage and both Leech Seed and CM have their advantages as the last move on that set.
    • DefCele is OK... Sometimes... But it just doesn't feel very reliable at all, unlike Zapdos or Jirachi which are comparable SpDef walls.
    • I find that while Magneton seems enticing to help Celebi deal with Skarmory, simply pairing it with a spinner works best. Even a single layer is annoying for Celebi, but it'll crush Skarmory with its strong HP Fire.
B+ rank
- Suicune
- Magneton
- Flygon
  • I'll admit I was wrong about Suicune. I really like the max SpA sets; an unboosted Suicune still poses a massive threat because Water moves are so damn good. Offense will fold to 3 attack sets played aggressively which I think has underrated value. However, Crocune is the best set and has a chance to clean any team's clock.
  • Knocking out Skarmory, the best Pokémon in ADV, means that Magneton is always going to be good. You should be building Magneton teams to have edges against Skarm-less teams; the information that Skarmory won't be a factor is Magneton's true value.
  • At this point, Flygon's qualities are well-known: it's resilient and shuts down Rock offense. Just watch out for Ice Beam Tyranitar.
    • Offensive sets are pretty good, I like Sub 3 attacks supported by Magneton. It's quick enough and strong enough; the strange set of resistances puts opponents in awkward positions. It's ironically pretty good against TSS itself.
B rank
- Dugtrio
- Starmie
- Milotic
- Moltres
- Charizard
  • Dugtrio is pretty polarizing; love it or hate it you just have to recognize its influence. Being Dug weak isn't a death sentence, but it certainly is a limiting factor for a Pokémon's viability.
    • Personally, I like Dugtrio on offense the most. Making aggressive reads with Dugtrio is one of the best ways to progress your game plan. Adapting to the popular methods of taking advantage of the choice lock is the key to making good Dugtrio teams.
  • Offensive and defensive Starmie are two completely different Pokémon, and I have to say this ranking reflects on the offensive variant. I'm not a big fan of DefMie myself, but I have to recognize that there are some teams it just beats by itself. OffMie is quite potent and forces the opponent into telegraphed switches to walls which makes Rapid Spin so good.
    • I used to be a lot higher on OffMie, but lately I've been put off by the sheer amount of things that can trade with it. Still, it's got a lot of utility and is terrifying if it's the fastest thing on the field.
  • Milotic is the most resilient Pokémon in the game. Just like DefMie, there are some games it'll win by itself; physical offenses usually need to land a timely Explosion to get rid of it. It's also fairly tough to take advantage of it. The only knock on Milotic is that it tends to be a support hog: it offers next to nothing other than defensive synergy and requires fairly heavy anti-Spikes measures.
  • I'll talk about both Moltres and Charizard here as they are extremely similar. Fire STAB is extremely dangerous because of its high BP moves and ability to slice through some of the typical SpDef walls; for this reason I usually prefer Moltres to Charizard. You rarely ever want to click anything other than Overheat or Flamethrower anyway.
    • To me, Moltres is the more self-sufficient of the two. A well supported Charizard has no counters though, and I think the best partner is probably Celebi thanks to Natural Cure and a high Attack stat.
B- rank
- Snorlax
- Medicham
- Jolteon
- Heracross
  • On the topic of support hogs, is there any bigger than Rest Snorlax? While it threatens to sweep most teams clean just like Suicune, it fails to pose a threat unboosted. The reason why I have Snorlax this high on my list is because while Selfdestruct sets have their own issues -- only fitting on fast paced teams and seemingly always lacking the right coverage -- they offer a unique ability to trade with any wall you want.
  • This one might seem like a bit of a hot take, but I really like Medicham. If you can play it well enough it offers some of the highest highs in the tier. CB Medi has interesting midground options (like Rock Slide) that are sure to leave a dent into whatever likes to switch in. Leftovers sets are just no-nonsense and heavily punish passive teams.
  • Jolteon's an awesome little 'mon that rewards aggressive play. Everyone knows about those Spikes teams that Kerts in particular loves to bust out, but personally I most enjoy it on Magneton offense. Just keep in mind that you don't have many turns to make it count -- use Blissey if you want a resilient wall.
    • Jolteon is also one of the few things that help Skarm lead not be immediately be boned by ZapDug.
  • I respect Heracross as a threat but I just don't ever feel like using it. Bug typing is actually really bad.
C+ rank
- Breloom
- Gyarados
- Regice
- Forretress
  • I find it hard to fit Breloom on teams because it wants to run so many moves! On paper, it's an absolute machine: progresses your game plan with Spore and strong hits, all the while solving your every Tyranitar issue. In practice though, it's always missing a move it wanted and ends up giving free turns to big threats like Gengar or Zapdos.
  • Gyarados is actually quite good, but I find it only works in the role of a trading piece. That's pretty useful in itself, but not enough to justify anything higher than low OU status.
    • While every 6 months there's a seemingly new and optimal Gyarados coverage, I always come back to HP Rock Double Edge which fits the trading piece role best.
  • Regice is another Pokémon I was wrong about. It has a pretty useful niche as a Dugtrio resilient Zapdos answer. I think it's important to keep in mind that Regice only fits on high octane offenses as it won't be able to keep up with Zapdos on the long run, especially with Spikes down.
    • Regice is excellent with Suicune and Claydol; it can't handle Fires as a SpDef wall so you appreciate the support of a Water type.
  • I haven't been very subtle about my distaste of Forretress but I'll give it the honor of being The Worst OU 'Mon, in my opinion. Using it is absolutely miserable as it lacks the consistency of Skarmory. Using a Forretress weak team is still a dangerous game -- Gengar should be happy that this guy is around to keep him employed.
C rank
- Jynx
- Hariyama
- Venusaur
- Cloyster
- Glalie
  • Jynx is another niche Pokémon that only fits a specific role -- that role usually implies being sacrificed on the first turn -- but is good enough at it to justify a somewhat high placement.
    • I find it to be more of a prep monster than anything, as it forces you to reconsider your lead choices. It doesn't take much to adjust and if your plan is sound it is easily dealt with.
  • Hariyama bears the all-important Knock Off which really is a testament to how good that move is. Hariyama itself is nothing to write home about; it's a fairly run-off-the-mill Fighting type with modest defense. It's not very resilient but Knock Off solves everything, I guess.
  • If you enjoy DPP Gengar you'll enjoy Venusaur too as this Pokémon is all about hitting inaccurate moves. I haven't hidden my distaste for those either, but Venusaur can be a formidable progress maker when they connect. Make sure to use HP Ice: with max SpA and just 4 SpDef you always KO Rash MixMence and always live Fire Blast!
    • Venusaur doesn't need to hit Skarmory with HP Fire. Sleep Powder is more than enough to deter it. Just be smart about when you pull the trigger.
  • Cloyster can be good against the right team. Unfortunately that sentence omits just how many of those "right teams" exist. But Cloyster can certainly win some games by itself. Some.
    • Those speedy sets actually solve the consistency issue but fail to differenciate themselves enough from other aggressive spikers for my tastes. If you use Cloyster, you gotta embrace the variance.
  • Glalie is another one of those 'mons with an interesting niche. Setting Spikes up on Zapdos is a pretty rare trait and Glalie gets a layer up consistently, akin to modern(er) gens suicide leads. Kind of ends there though and in ADV that role will only fit a limited subset of offensive teams.
C- rank
#34 -
- Porygon2
#35 -
- Smeargle
#36 -
- Kingdra
#37 -
- Blaziken
  • If you like coming up with crafty strategies you'll love Porygon2. Removing Dugtrio and tracing Levitate / Volt Absorb is pretty cool. Checking all Mences pretty well too. Recover is a great move that makes Porygon2 what it is. As long as you remember you're using a a somewhat fragile Pokémon that lets in a bunch of dangerous stuff you should be able to build your team in consequence, but it's fairly limiting.
  • I feel like playing tournaments you have to roll the dice with Smeargle once in a while just because of the sheer potential for demolition Spore + Spikes offers. But then you'll Spore a Lum and die. Such is life with the beagle.
  • Kingdra offers a good and reliable end game plan. Not much to say about it honestly, it's good at what it does but does nothing else at all.
  • The last Pokémon on this list will be Blaziken. It's another fairly straightforward 'mon: just thrash whatever's in front of you. It's got resilience issue though; so make sure to make aggressive reads to get it in and avoid giving any breathing room to your opponent.
And here's the rest of my ranks:
  • Armaldo
  • Jumpluff
  • Weezing
  • Roselia
  • Raikou
  • Dusclops
  • Marowak
  • Articuno
  • Camerupt
  • Ludicolo
  • Arcanine
  • Misdreavus
  • Houndoom
  • Scizor
  • Regirock
  • Lunatone
  • Registeel
  • Dragonite
  • Steelix
  • Typhlosion
  • Solrock
  • Pinsir
  • Gligar
  • Rhydon
  • Nidoking
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to find better ways to say what nobody says
is a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion

To start off, I just want to explain my methods, it will be extremely boring:

First, I did not base my rankings on my personal usage rates. I disagree with people who think that, for example if they use Skarmory more than Ttar, then they are somehow obligated or justified in ranking Skarmory above Ttar. There is no relation, whether TTar is more viable than Skarm does not really have anything to do with any one person's usage and when I made my rankings I did not consider this.

I did however consider overall usage, which speaks to how many different ways of playing with a pokemon there are, and also relates to ease of use. As a wise person once noted: "[Sandstream Tyranitar] limits how much you can be outplayed." This statement gets directly at a significant practical aspect of what makes Tyranitar good in adv OU. Every Pokemon has to prove their viability not in theory but in this practical way. For example, Cloyster may be almost completely 'outclassed' by Skarm and Forretress, but in practice it can do a very strong thing (get one layer of spikes up) pretty reliably and so it can't be that unviable if it can do this very important and powerful thing while also threatening Rapid Spin and Explosion. Now in practice it is obviously a lot more niche than Skarm and Forretress, but it remains perfectly viable in the overall context of the metagame in my view.

I see many people say statements like "X pokemon/item/ability combination requires Y pokemon/move/item/support" and sometimes it's true, but other times trying to combine X+Y fails in practice of games between skilled players. For example suppose your team's plan for many match-ups is to rely on landing Rapid Spin... well you will need to very intentionally support this (i.e having 2 rapid spinners, having pursuit tar, etc) because in practice relying on a rapid spin plan is not easy at all. Conversely there may be pokemon that in my experience require less support than conventional wisdom might say, like various Gengar, Blissy, and Salamence sets.

Ok that was way too long. BTW I had an alt in the top 5 at around 1620 in addition to lucking my way to the semi-finals in classic. So that is my recent experience w the meta, it's not as much as a lot of people's so take my VR with a grain of salt. Also I have not read anyone else's viability rankings as of writing this post. Keep in mind this all just my experience, and my not match up with others' experiences.

S Tier:

1. Tyranitar-
I feel it is pretty obvious why this is the most dominant: Sand negates leftovers and (particularly in combination with Spikes) makes all chip stick on your opponent's pokemon, allowing you to make permanent progress with relative ease. Many common pokemon, such as Suicune, Gengar, Milotic, and Snorlax are all dramatically less powerful when Sand is active. There are many reliable Tyranitar sets that are quite uncomplicated to use. My winningest team in classic was a Mag team that lead with lum berry jolly DDtar, the simplest set perhaps, but difficult to play against.

2. Skarmory- Like Tyranitar, as a practical point, it is very very difficult to outplay Skarmory. This is part of why extremely direct removal like Magneton is so great, because trying to stay ahead of Skarmory with rapid spinners or getting the right explosion and many other such plans are so difficult to execute in practice. Although Skarmory is a pokemon that is 'easy to play well', more skilled players understand how to play with one layer of spikes up in games where magneton traps their Spiker. Every team, including all offensive variants, in my view must consider whether or not to include this pokemon, as Spikes is that much easier to execute than most other plans.

S- Tier:

3. Salamence

DD mence is simple to use. ABR made a comment about it being impossible to lose if you get 1 DD and one flinch and you play well. There are technically counter examples, but anecdotal experience shows that DD mence is very forcing and can be included on many teams to make progress against all the common archetypes and strategies. It is extremely dangerous. Like the other pokemon in S-tier there will almost never be a match-up where DD mence will be shut out. DD mence is the most defining pokemon in offense vs offense match-ups atm, and a big incentive to use ice moves and twave is to avoid being a liability against dd mence.

CB mence is another set that can be used by experienced players with reasonable ease. It does not offer as much counterplay to common offensive strategies as DD mence, but it is still quite reliable at making progress.

Finally, Mix Mence, now this is a pokemon I think a lot of people try to use but they don't use it as well as they could use another pokemon like Zapdos or Gengar. MixMence is for the Triangles, BKCs, ABRs, and MCMs not for plebes like you and me. You may think you're using it well, but I strongly feel 9 times out of 10 people using Mixmence are either: 1. trying to avoid a more complicated and convoluted DD mence game that is nonetheless more correct and more likely to be winning. 2. should instead be using another special attacker. So idk take that how you will, but I feel most ppl I play against misplay mix mence, so I mean js a lot of ppl should probably try a diff set cause it would be easier for them. Try to use DDmence more imaginatively and you will see that mix mence is a expert grandmaster 5-head user's pokemon and that usually you and I would be better off with DDMence or a different special attacker.

4-6. Metagross, Swampert, Blissy

Rounding out S tier we have all these great pokemon that make progress against everything. These don't bring a great field condition, intimidate, or immunity to spikes, but they are all stellar both defensively and offensively. They are reliable at making progress in every matchup and have many different sets and/or ways they can be played. There is not much to say I think so far everyone is probably still with me.

A+ Tier:

7-9. Snorlax, Celebi, Zapdos

In A+ we have pokemon that just aren't quite as versatile or forcing as the pokemon in S-. In practice, these 3 are all quite effective at making progress while adding solid defensive structure to a team, so it is primarily usage that keeps them separate from the trio in S-. Celebi and Zapdos are both fantastic momentum/ BP pokemon; keystone pokemon that establish archetypes. Snorlax isn't a whole play style, but is a great boomer that provides counterplay to special attackers and makes progress in a variety of builds.

A Tier:

10. Gengar-
Gengar is immune to many common elements so in practice I have found it to be one of the most reliable and forcing mons in the tier. Without Sand to negate its leftovers it is extremely difficult to kill. Will-o-wisp is spammable status, Explosion is constantly threatened, and with all the free turns and switches Gengar can force I have found that it is actually reasonable to play with Hypnosis. You will get plenty of chances to click it low-risk if you build the right team for it. Gengar can switch in over and over again on Skarm that drop Drill Peck (i.e the good skarm) and wreck havoc with all the sets it can run. As if all that isn't enough, Gengar + Skarm is extremely difficult to Rapid Spin against in practice. There are many theories of how to do it, but none of the plans are actually that reliable to execute.

11-13. Forretress, Magneton, Dugtrio

These pokemon all do forcing things that are central to the popular strategies in the tier. Forretress threatens Spikes, Spin, and Boom, while Magneton and Dug provide trapping which are central to making plans/archetypes in adv.

A- Tier:

14-18. Jirachi, Suicune, Claydol, Milotic, Aerodactyl

These pokemon are all great in theory but are not as reliable for different reasons as the pokemon in the above tiers. They just aren't as easy to use. Jirachi has problems against Dugtrio, but that is its only significant difficulty imo. Suicune is very mitigated by Sand, but remains very interesting as a lead and in a variety of other team ideas. Claydol is the most reliable Spinner in the tier, but that isn't saying so much imo. It is also quite good for getting key booms and can be a check to a lot of common things. Milotic is not as easy to use or as versatile as other defensive pokemon mentioned above, it is more passive than them as well. It's still very good. Aerodactyl anyone can click Rock slide it it doesn't get any easier, and it is pretty obvious how to support it so the plans around Aero are pretty clear and reliable to follow.

B+ Tier:

19 and 20. Heracross and Cloyster-
Heracross has a pile of niches, from CB focus punch to sub SD salac. It is a great pokemon against many common archetypes and is just all around threatening to build with. Cloyster isn't as good as Forretress and Skarm but it's still a Spikes user that threatens boom and Rapid Spin, so make fun of it if you want but in practice it cannot be so bad. I've used it on the ladder recently as a lead on a team with Heracross and Kingdra (Kingdra to get rid of Sand for Salac Heracross), it was perfectly fine. Yes Skarm will almost always be "better", but it's not that hard to play with Cloyster either.

B Tier:

21-26. Gyarados, Flygon, Starmie, Porygon2, Smeargle, Breloom

To me these pokemon, with the possible exceptions of Gyarados and Breloom, are all 'sidelines', if you will, within the tier. The divide between B+ and B is between pokemon that are quite consistent at making progress and pokemon that are more challenging to build with or play with in practice. Gyarados is a perfectly good DD user, but lacks Rock Slide and often HP Rock, which contributes to it more challenging to play compared to DDtar and Salamence, which can go for Rock Slide Flinches and which are harder to set up on. Flygon is just a bit too weak for me to not be a slight match-up fish, it is a house of cards defensively ime and any move-set becomes set-up fodder or a liability against something imo. Starmie is the ultimate pokemon of the Theoretician (tm). This pokemon has never Rapid Spinned against a good player early enough in a game for it to matter, and it never will. If you want to Rapid Spin use Claydol. Offmie is just a match-up fish, you're hoping they are some really frail HO. If they aren't HO you are, as usual with Starmie, without any good plan. The only good news is that the threat is better than the execution, so you can bluff rapid spin or take advantage of the threat in some way. Porygon2 is another pokemon that the Theoreticians love to discuss. The idea that it is a reliable answer to DD mence or Gyara appears to be left over from when the interaction between Trace+Intimidate was implemented incorrectly in the server or else something DPP players brought over when they looked to play adv, idk, but it doesn't work in practice. Huge myth, DD mence and gyara destroy Porygon2 when sand and spikes are up. The theoreticians claim it will counter trap dugtrio, but this is another thing that doesn't matter much in practice, since Dug still gets a trap before it itself becomes trapped. Ofc aside from the exaggerated way Theoreticians hype this pokemon, it is still a good user of Twave, and can be played in a variety of interesting ways, and thus makes progress reliably. Smeargle is a very interesting pokemon but no one would claim it is easy to use these days I don't think, still it can implement all types of BP sets that are forcing. Breloom is another pokemon that is 'strong' in theory: you're probably playing to sleep something and hit something with focus punch on the switch. The plan is just a bit too obvious and the amount of liability you get from having Breloom isn't worth the plan you get from Breloom, which is sleeping something that is already weakened and hitting something else for 25-45% w focus punch. Maybe if you're a god at pokemon Breloom is good, but otherwise you're hoping for your opponent to misplay and/or then fail to capitalize on all the counterplay there is to Breloom in the tier.

B- Tier:

27-29. Jolteon, Kingdra, Raikou

is a very interesting way to play, it can get momentum early and clean late, but it is trickier to use than pokemon I rated above it. It's speed and baton pass make it a convincing alternative. Kingdra is great for clearing sand once you get rid of Tyranitar, and is all around a perfectly fine late game pokemon on a team carefully designed to clear its checks. Raikou is rather difficult to use but still piles of good matchups and can be part of a lot of 'kill blissy' type plans.

Now we're into the pokemon that have radical downside/match-up fish components. Despite the love these pokemon may have from theoreticians, they have really bad trade offs in practice.

30. Moltres- It, hopefully, is running Wisp, thats the thing it does best and what keeps it from being a match-up fish.

31. Charizard- A pokemon that seems like it should be able to own everything, but is hard to actually use.

C Tier:


There are so many pokemon in this tier I'm not gonna go through them all. These are all pokemon that have real roles and things they can accomplish in practice. For example, Alakazam is like a faster Superachi that can tie with Dugtrio. Armaldo is just a very interesting pokemon that can make progress in a variety of matchups. Scizor is interesting just by virtue of being able to click BP. Every pokemon in C Tier is usable and does something important, but they all have major trade-offs too that make them less reliable than pokemon above them. They are often outclassed in practice.

D Tier:


These pokemon don't work that reliably but might still accomplish progress with a shit ton of support (Ninjask, Solrock, Machamp, Registeel, Regirock). Or they do something forcing but are completely outclassed in their role always without exception no matter what (arcanine, steelix, omastar, dragonite).



Players try to make these pokemon work but it's very hard, some of them are still rated by people due to utility in past metas, but now they probably don't work imo. Houndoom, according to theoreticians this pokemon traps Gengar, but its main niche appears to be countering other Houndoom. Regice maybe belongs higher, but it's suboptimal nowadays and very hard to make any progress with this pokemon in practice. Slaking: buy a lottery ticket, you'll be better off. Tauros- Doesn't work. Espeon- outclassed and difficult to use. Wailord- I promise it doesn't work, stop trying to make it work.


This is where all the pokemon I haven't seen multiple times recently ended up.

Thanks anyone who read my novice ramblings.
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I am doing it again. When I build my foremost thought is how I’m going to beat skarm / skarm teams. Sand is Good but spikes are better. Skarm teams are still the most consistent. I still only use roar tect, taunt and stuff just never feel good. It can run 244+ for modest mag and get a quick 2 layers, and gengar makes spinblocking very possible. Even vs the most anti skarm stuff possible, mag spin, skarm teams often find a way to win.

Still not the automatic add it is often thought to be. Obviously a phenomenal pokemon and sand is Important but you can often be fine not using it. Pursuit is most consistent because it allows progress vs a ton of pokemon (spinners and mence, not just gar). DD is good but feels more slide reliant and is a better breaker than cleaner. Sub, taunt, and different mixed coverages are good at breaking too.

The egg mama gets too much hate. It is the best answer to special attackers and even some mixed or physical ones like mence. Wish and aroma offer great support, while cm and all the status moves offer a more direct threat. Very few pokemon are actually safe from all blissey sets, so if you predict its set wrong you can be punished heavily (pert on toxic, meta on twave etc). It also fits on most team styles from magoff to stallier styles.

Fundamental part of many offense teams, while also fitting on bulkier ones. Pretty much guarantees a trade at worst so it's always doing something. Notably not as sturdy at physical walling compared to pert, but alongside something like mence dol cune or milo it can generally be sufficient. All of its sets (cb, mix, agility) have a place on different types of teams.

This metagame feels like 2-3 years ago when offpert was all the rage. It's probably better now because people are running more bulk than speed while still maintaining power. Curse and focus are both good options on offensive sets. Defpert is still the most reliable physical wall in the tier bar none, and this metagame is pretty DD heavy.

Fits on pretty much any team because it's offensively threatening while checking cm'ers, fighters, and dragon dancers. Intimidate allows you to be slightly flimsy against physical mons otherwise, like using the meta dol mence trio instead of pert. DD is good and mix is good, cb is viable but hard to fit. DD isn't as "broken" as it used to be because people are more prepared but it's still one of the easier sweepers to fit on a team.

Probably the most polarizing mon in this batch of VRs. It's not a perfect spinner but it's still a spike immune + sand immune with explosion. It can soft check pretty much every single pokemon, and fit on any type of team. Spdef, bulky and strong, fast and strong sets all have a place. Its existence forces people to be cautious of sacking skarm or using it too much early on, which is extremely valuable.

It's great with spikes, dugtrio, or just baton passing to other threats. It 1v1s a whole lot and is good at forcing pressure right off the bat. The reason I don't put it higher is I think all the mons above it offer more defined roles to a team, while zap doesn't do anything dedicated but is generally pretty good at a lot of things. Especially on meta offenses, if you're only choosing 1 bird then mence's intimidate is generally more valuable.

I find dugoff to be inconsistent and otherwise this guy mostly just fits with spikes so that limits how often it can be used. It's great with spikes because it offers a real shot at outplaying spinners post skarm death but wisp accuracy sucks. Also feels like most skarms are peck and most tars are suit - neither trend is favorable for gar.

Physdef is one of the most annoying mons to deal with, while super and wishcm are both very threatening. Sub cm is kinda fishy, and mix is also good. Like zap, it doesn't have a real defined role but it's great at a lot of things and set versatility keeps the opponent on their toes at all times.

Like I said, dugoff is viable but not what it once was. People are a lot smarter about not getting their bliss trapped turn 1 now. That said, skarm dug is still a defining style of ADV and has many permutations (that generally involve blissey claydol and cune/milo).

I see everyone praising leech 3atk but I've still never used it. Defensive is abusable but good with mag usually. Super is threatening and statpass can be too. For sandless teams, bulky leech seed (maybe with perish song) is one of the best ways to prevent a lax or cune sweep. CM leech psy recover + dug is extremely threatening, and leech stabs recover modest is also very threatening. If you don't treat it like blissey it generally works well.

Aero still does aero things. Games are not really over until its dead and leaves a lot of room for outplaying. I never liked the spikeless aero teams but it fits on pretty much any spike team. It can fit with blissey but it is also one of the best fits for non-blissey spike teams because it revenges dangerous special attackers like zap, molt, and offmie. Using fight as a ddtar cheat still works.

I acknowledge its presence and try to prepare for it but it always feels very passive and abusable. Some skarm teams are weak to modest cro but you still need to diceroll the sleep talks, and roar really wants cleric support. Offensive sets are still great though. The main thing here is that it can be offensively threatening but relying on rest makes it an unreliable wall of any kind.

I find offmie to be pretty bad at trading because stuff like meta pert tar can still 1v1, but with the support of stuff like dol spin or dug trapping it can still be threatening. Bulky is way better at directly handling skarm than dol is, it just appreciates stuff like wish or suit support to get past gar or suit tar. If it doesn't spin perfectly it is still very, very good at landing twaves on things like gar zap rachi.

Nearly impossible to make a good curse rest team. Eq needs pursuit and sball really wants dug, which is very limiting when you already have magneton and rapid spin alongside it. That said, boom is able to force a trade and check anything once which is very valuable for offense.

The only true spike-immune rock resist. Offensive needs a lot of support but is valid, and defensive is still ol' reliable.

Its power lies in surprise, imo. If your opponent knows whether you have focus vs beatup, ice vs grass, life becomes a lot easier. Before then, though, you have the opportunity to do some real damage. It's not as strong as molt but has more set variety and doesn't rely on spikes to beat bliss.

Modest overheat, you won't regret it.

I still only like modest magnet because skarm is skarm and should be killed as often as possible. Physical heavy magoff has always felt flimsy but mag balance (at least one of spin or blissey for longevity) is still a solid style. It can also trap weakened metagross which is super valuable.

Also gets too much hate for ideological reasons. It mandates claydol but is one of the more reliable answers to fires, pert, meta, mence, and tar. Does not require but appreciates dugtrio to help with ddtar and cm'ers. Hypnosis is cool when you have things that abuse the free turns.

The ball. Another extremely polarizing mon, you can see it either like 11 or anything up to 25. If you pair it with dol, you kinda need to ask why you have it over skarm. If you pair it with suitar, you can try to fit spin but then you can only choose 2 of bug/ghost eq zap boom which does not feel good. It also has a hard time keeping up with the skarm + dol combos. I understand it has a place but it's not for me.

Flawed coverage but spore is an amazing move so it's still threatening. Choosing between mach and ghost is tough.

Good when it hits. Sub salac relies on megahorn way too much so lefties sets are generally better.

Weaker than mence with worse coverage and no real surprise element. You either need to beat down skarm REALLY hard or use mag, but it's a very good mag partner. Being better vs waters and non-bolt bliss is super valuable.

Like forry, acknowledged but not for me. I find it very hard to find spike opportunities and every spread leaves more to be desired too.

Feels like its defensively worse than blissey and offensively worse than celebi (or like regice), so it's hard to justify. It's great at beating zap-dug or mie teams, but neither are very common right now. Claydol creates such awkward games if you use jolteon with spikes, and jolteon without spikes is kind of like zapdos except worse (vs everything besides other zapdos, but that's not a huge issue if you aren't using spikers that give zap free turns).

The most dangerous BL. Super strong, faster than all other fighters except hera, and shadow ball makes for excellent coverage. Kind of has a lot of different sets to toy with as long as brick and sball are included (and generally focus).

Perish is still extremely scary in a good lead matchup and can quickly eliminate stuff with dug. It has good lead matchup vs zap, most mence, skarm, and can still dug the metas and tars. Floor isn't too low and ceiling is extremely high.

Feels like way too much can work against it at lead. Mence, lum tar, sub zap etc. are very annoying to deal with. Even if you face a regular lefties tar at lead they can still burn 1 turn and go to something like their own skarm to trade layers. After smeargle dies it can be very difficult to safely spinblock too. However, statpass (like dd) can actually be pretty annoying if timed correctly so that versatility is dangerous.

The god duck. I find duck mag very underwhelming but duck mie balances (like always rachi, nearly always but not 100% celebi) are Cool. You need to watch for like hera and opposing cm'ers but with dug or general offensive pressure they're doable. Counter-trapping dug and countering mence (or just twaving stuff in general) is really valuable.

Cross chop is cringe but it's still very threatening. Bug slide is just really good coverage and guts offers lots of protection. Technically can use focus brick sets too.

Worse stats than champ if a full offensive set, so needs knock to be justified mostly. It just feels like you don't really have time to benefit from knock long term because yama loses 1v1 to so much (everything besides tar kinda). It has a niche but it feels very easy to abuse and better on paper.

Not amazing not bad, just solid. It's good vs dug and good vs skarm, which are very nice attributes for a special wall. In my opinion it needs spikes or dug to pressure stuff like tar meta well enough, but with those conditions it can usually force some type of progress. Twave, hpfire, and hpgrass are all valid options.


One of the scariest endgame mons, but I'm putting it here because it only fits on dugoff and doesn't even fit on all dugoffs. Also kinda sucks that milo cune beat it, not just bliss.

Wisp + boom can never be too bad. I think it has a place either on spikeless (because it's better than gar vs suitar) or alongside gar on spikes. 3 of like wisp fire fight sludge + boom is just cool.

Lead kinda needs dug + p2 which is a solid team but it's like... one team (that I had a lot of success with). It's more flexible as a subcm mon in the back and doesn't strictly need p2 in that scenario. Obviously has flaws vs dug/aero and coverage but it can be really devastating.

Never a huge fan but leech can be annoying.

Defensive is really frail but offensive subpass is solid. Just solid, not that great.

Good at forcing a boom on things that are not normal resists. CB is cool if you can hide it and grass is a cool option to ease pert prediction. Just a good trademon.

It does NOT count as a 100% guaranteed gar trap. However, it can pursuit some things. It is spectacular vs super rachi / celebi and wisp grass beatup etc make it a decently good breaker.

We are still in a rapid spin centric metagame so missy has a niche. I don't expect that niche to go away any time soon.

Great lead because it guarantees spikes vs literally everything and can sometimes get 2, or a boom. You just need a good followup vs things like tar meta.

Really damn frail. Did you know milotic can ohko it? Nonetheless it's technically a threatening breaker with the right predictions and coverage. Just not my favorite.

Not in his prime but still can be used. Definitely needs spikes + either spin or mag. The best rock resist still and not bad at checking zap, but giving skarm or gar free turns requires support at the end of the day.

Like missy but better vs lax and other physical attackers while being weak to spikes and dug. Has a niche.


I don't have enough to individually say about the rest.

Cheers, gamers
I don't think I've ever posted a VR here, hope you guys enjoy!

Lotta mons so I'll keep it short

Literally Ttar (S+)
Sand is broken, ttar can also do whatever it wants, whether it be wallbreaking, sweeping, or providing support

S tier
Offense enabling machine, also has good defensive utility. Enables a lot of mons and can generally fill a great variety of roles
IT SCATTERED SPIKES! And walls half the tier’s physical attackers. Always gotta have a gameplan for it
DO YOU WANT TO EXPLODE?! Good defensive mon that always has offensive potential, wide variety of sets that just about always get the job done
Premier physical wall, offpert and endpert are also beasts
Awesome wallbreaker and sweeper, defensive mence is also a beast

A+ tier
Best cm user, runs a good mixed and defensive set too. Very customizable mon, could even go physical or cb if it wants
Only real special wall in the tier. Great support movepool and enough coverage and options to make progress in any game
Far and away best spinblocker. Good defensive support options like wow taunt and hypno. Great coverage too, and it explodes
Decent enough defensive check, has good offensive potential and leech is a good general chip move

A tier
The Death Star is approaching! Offmie is a beast, and defensive mie is a great repeated spinner into skarm. Boldmie is also really cool
If there’s an aero there’s a way! Aero moments are real, best cleaner for a reason
Defensive cune is a brutal last mon, offensive cune is a brutal lead mon

A- tier
Underrated mon still. Offensive can pack a punch on the right teams and defensive is a real menace with protox
One of the scariest mons to see till you know its coverage, but even then it’s still scary
Curse boom lax is awesome, enough said. Big fan of yawnlax too. Unfortunate how fast it gets worn down though
The clay doll pokemon! It’s very good right now, I’m curious to see how the meta responds over time
BONK! Broken mon 85% of the time
A worse ddmence, but setting up on waters is pretty big
It traps stuff, a lot of stuff. And it does it well to boot, especially with spikes and baton pass
It also traps stuff, but trapping anything not named skarm feels risky. Great right now though with skarm"s popularity

B+ tier
Dummy strong fire stab, wow is always good too. Obligatory zard comparison, and while zard’s utility gives it more flexibility, molt's power is unrivalled
Spore punch is still broken, but current meta trends have it a bit low for me right now
Underrated spiker, its got some cool tech but it’s not the easiest mon to justify
Still an ou threat to me. Stab ice beam hits like a truck and it’s one of the best paralysis spreaders in the game
BALLIN ON THE COURTS! A weird spiker, thing requires unique support and always feels strapped for moveslots. But when it works it works
Its utility movepool feels underexplored, but jolt still only works on like 2 types of teams
Offmilo with hypno is actually super fun, regular milo just feels too passive. That being said standard milo also stonewalls mixed offense so yeah

B tier
Best rain abuser/sweeper, hits hard and has respectable bulk
Sleep+leech is REALLY annoying, 75% of the time anyway
Kou either wins games for me or dies instantly, no middle ground
Offvap with salac hits like a truck, and then I get a pass out of it too. Been awhile since I’ve used defensive, ought to try it
Spore+spikes+boom= HIGH OCTANE OFFENSE. Mid game beagle seems weird, needs more experimentation
The kiss of death! Psong is popular right now, gives it a little consistency which is nice. I’ve been vibing with a more traditional set with lum and hp fire, I like it
I never know how to feel about the duck. Reverse trapping dug is cool, and it does stonewall dders not named ttar. But I never like how much pace it takes out of a game, and it feels exploitable.
Underrated physical wall. Good bulk and wow let it put in some defensive work, and its offensive movepool is incredible. And it explodes

B- tier
Strongest pursuit user. I think it’s really good, it has good stabs and both wow and beat up. Too bad it’s so frail
UN UN UN. I’ve been saying this mon is good for a long time now, cb rock hits like a truck and lefties rock is a great twave spammer. Oh yeah, counter rock is a real threat
Sweet gracious does it hit hard. Every time I build with it I always end up with the same 6 though
Skarmbliss slayer. Too bad it’s walled by either mence or pert.
Best subseeder in the tier. Gets pursuit and endeavor too for extra surprise
Yama: Best knock off user in the tier
Cool mon, too bad spin and koff can’t be used together
Sleep+encore+subseed is annoying
Hardwalls mons like zap and gar which is cool, and it explodes!
A spiker that outspeeds all ou spikers, and can taunt them. Pretty cool

C tier
Worse zard, but not the worst
A water not weak to electrics is awesome, so is ruining gar mie and hp ice electrics. Try subturn!
Oh yikes does this thing hit hard. SD boosted return+ eq drops every physical wall in the tier bar skarm, which still takes around 40%. I love using this mon, great agilipass recipient too
Better abuser of leech seed than rain, quite tanky too
CB boosted focus punch does at least 90% to skarm, yikes. Bulk up champ is cool too
Very passive mon, but good at spreading status. A little underexplored in my opinion
I can never make this thing work lol, good bulk but needs a lot of support. The ubiquity of skarm gar and dol make it very unfavorable right now
A cber with baton pass, very cool
Great support mon, heal bell is always good
Claydol if dol was bulkier, grounded, and loses to gar more consistently. Still though, donphan’s bulk is really good
Slow, passive, and frail. Wow is cool, and its got decent coverage. Its got some stuff going for it though
Slow wish passers are cool, and this one gets pursuit!
Under the shadow of mence, but its special movepool is great and it gets focus punch and heal bell. Cb with heal bell is a fun tech
Espeed machine (rip dnite). I do wish it was a little better
Bulky fire type with sub, cm, and decent speed. On paper it’s good but in practice it gets stopped by a large portion of the meta
Sleep, wish, BOOM! I like eggy, little unwieldly though
Underrated wall in my opinion. Has instant recovery and heal bell, but struggles fitting all the coverage it needs
Great speed tier, terrible coverage. Poor tauros, so close!
Water absorb mon that has tbolt and heal bell. Gotta try it again

D tier
I’ve seen exactly 2 people make this thing work, and oh boy does it put in work
Stab rock slide and cb boosted boom is never bad
Very appealing on paper, really terrible in practice
I still think it’s a little gimmicky but its results in Callous Invitational speak for themselves, spikes are never bad and stun spore is cool
Great ability, fantastic movepool, mid to bad stats. I like using it and think it has potential, but oh boy it has some hurdles
The premier jask cheese recipient. I think it can function without it though, but it’s really frail
Same thing as Garde, great movepool but let down by mid stats. Thing can shred standard tss though
Dummy strong rain sweeper, but it also gets spikes. Very slow and weak out of rain
Really dangerous sweeper on paraspam teams, but paraspam isn’t too good unfortunately. A bit outclassed by other mons for other roles
Double dance is sick, too bad it’s a pain to set up and still can come up short
Starf pass is a lotto worth playing
Suicune if cune was bad. It gets fire blast which is cool
I’ve made it far with the bat, confirming that it is quite awful
Sd salac flail is hilarious. It gets spin and koff too, but also can’t use them on the same set
It gets sd, and stab return is always good, but it’s always missing a piece of coverage at all times, no eq really sucks
It’s outclassed as a sub passer and as a cm passer, and its bulk/coverage isn’t good enough to standalone sweep

E tier
Missy superman is annoying, good in the spin and dol heavy meta
Good suicide lead, stab water moves and boom are always good
A cmer that isn’t affected by sand. Needs more testing
How to invalidate defensive suicune the pokemon
How to invalidate defensive suicune the pokemon ch. 2
Speedpass jask is omega turbo cringe. Sd 3 attack jask though…
Lol/lmaos in the face of explosion, gets hypno too
It gets spikes it can’t be bad. It also has a strong boom and bond for trades
Bulky fire type with wish. A cool answer to molt and other wispers
More defensive than nidoking, superpower is good for koing tar
PLANT GANG! Another weird mon that smokes certain special attackers, in this case zapdos and jolt using hp grass. It would be a lot better if it didn’t hit like a wet noodle, was faster, and had decent physical bulk
After extensive testing, this thing is pretty bad. Thief is cool, and its offensive movepool is pretty good, but its stats let it down hard

F tier
Weird support mon, great movepool but doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from other bulky normals. I have seen others use it with some success though
It cm passes which is neat
I love this mon, but oh man does it make me sad. Very slow and its bulk isn’t great. Excellent movepool
Koff is a good move. So is wow. Stab shadow ball hits like a truck to boot
Electrode HO (fast screens, weather, and boom make this thing kinda fun)
Blissey but worse
Weird rain sweeper that hits hard but doesn’t have anything to differentiate itself from the other swift swimmers
Phenomenal coverage, terrible stats
Underexplored, good speed and sd could make it good, but it’s frail and the movepool is shallow
A trapper that hits harder than dug but is way too slow and weak, absolutely needs paralysis support
No sand veil makes it a lot worse, a must on mono flying though
It gets spin, but its stats are just mid
Meadpass moment. Not good with new bp clause
Hitmonlee is better, top doesn’t hit hard enough. It gets spin too but doesn't threaten any spikers
Cool alternative spdef wall, but being weak to eq and being slow makes it unwieldy
Belly drum+espeed goes brrrr when it works. Very all or nothing, consistently inconsistent
Bulky spdef mon, but it’s slow and weak to eq
No physical stab hurts, no real reason to use it
Koff, recover, and toxic make it a stall machine, but there are better users of all of those moves with better stats to threaten with
Sand exists. So do spikes

I know this is a long one so apologies for that. Thanks for reading!


is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Past WCoP Champion
If you have some insight into the recent metagame, tell us why these trends and camps exist and how they are related to each other!

Hi everyone,

I have worked with McMeghan on this year's VR update as per last year. Thanks to McMeghan mikmer Fear Ibidemsa Kollin7 Jirachee EVIL z0mOG Hclat Siglut M Dragon johnnyg2 Cowboy Dan Zacpz Jimothy Cool SuperEpicAmpharos Star Mead Gacu RealJester Shitrock enjoyer Triangles ABR Mana watermess for your rankings. And thank you McMeghan for providing this data to work with.

Data HERE (R9).

Okay, TLDR stuff first:
The average outlier-compensated ranks from everyone are
01 Tyranitar
02 Skarmory
03 Metagross
04 Zapdos
05 Gengar
06 Swampert
07 Jirachi
08 Blissey
09 Salamence
10 Celebi
11 Suicune
12 Claydol
13 Aerodactyl
14 Dugtrio
15 Starmie
16 Snorlax
17 Flygon
18 Magneton
19 Moltres
20 Charizard
21 Heracross
22 Milotic
23 Forretress
24 Breloom
25 Gyarados
26 Jolteon
27 Cloyster
28 Smeargle
29 Hariyama
30 Jynx
31 Porygon2
32 Regice
33 Medicham
34 Venusaur
35 Raikou
36 Vaporeon
37 Kingdra
38 Machamp
39 Blaziken
40 Ludicolo
41 Weezing
42 Glalie
43 Clefable
44 Steelix
45 Camerupt
46 Marowak
47 Haunter
48 Houndoom
49 Misdreavus
50 Roselia
51 Regirock
52 Armaldo
53 Donphan
54 Registeel
55 Dusclops
56 Umbreon
57 Dragonite
58 Jumpluff
59 Banette
60 Arcanine
61 Sceptile
62 Slaking
63 Scizor
64 Lunatone
65 Articuno
66 Typhlosion
67 Miltank
68 Lanturn
69 Alakazam
70 Poliwrath
71 Wailord
72 Exeggutor
73 Golduck
74 Rhydon
75 Swellow
76 Ampharos
77 Quagsire
78 Ninjask
79 Solrock
80 Mantine
81 Pinsir
82 Ursaring
83 Omastar
84 Espeon
85 Politoed
86 Blastoise
87 Gligar
88 Nidoking
89 Entei
90 Rapidash
91 Dodrio
92 Tauros
93 Gardevoir
94 Zangoose
95 Flareon
96 Lapras
97 Linoone
98 Electrode
99 Aggron
100 Sableye
101 Tentacruel
102 Slowbro
103 Hypno
104 Kabutops
105 Chansey
106 Qwilfish
107 Hitmontop
108 Trapinch
and considering only pokemon that were ranked by 7 or more players, we get the reduced list that will be updated into the OP,
01 Tyranitar
02 Skarmory
03 Metagross
04 Zapdos
05 Gengar
06 Swampert
07 Jirachi
08 Blissey
09 Salamence
10 Celebi
11 Suicune
12 Claydol
13 Aerodactyl
14 Dugtrio
15 Starmie
16 Snorlax
17 Flygon
18 Magneton
19 Moltres
20 Charizard
21 Heracross
22 Milotic
23 Forretress
24 Breloom
25 Gyarados
26 Jolteon
27 Cloyster
28 Smeargle
29 Hariyama
30 Jynx
31 Porygon2
32 Regice
33 Medicham
34 Venusaur
35 Raikou
36 Vaporeon
37 Kingdra
38 Machamp
39 Blaziken
40 Ludicolo
41 Weezing
42 Glalie
43 Steelix
44 Camerupt
45 Marowak
46 Houndoom
47 Misdreavus
48 Roselia
49 Regirock
50 Armaldo
51 Donphan
52 Registeel
53 Dusclops
54 Umbreon
55 Dragonite
56 Jumpluff
57 Arcanine
58 Sceptile
59 Slaking
60 Scizor
61 Lunatone
62 Articuno
63 Miltank
64 Lanturn
65 Alakazam
66 Wailord
67 Exeggutor
68 Golduck
69 Rhydon
70 Ninjask
71 Solrock
72 Mantine
73 Politoed
74 Tauros
75 Lapras
There is essentially no difference in these lists for the purposes of this VR, as we are analyzing just the top few tiers. The aggregate VR tiers obtained are
S: :Tyranitar:
A1: :Skarmory::Metagross::Zapdos::Gengar::Swampert:
A2: :Jirachi::Blissey::Salamence:
B1: :Celebi::Suicune::Claydol::Aerodactyl::Dugtrio:
B2: :Starmie::Snorlax:
C1: :Flygon::Magneton::Moltres::Charizard:
C2: :Heracross::Milotic::Forretress::Breloom::Gyarados:
C3: :Jolteon::Cloyster:
D1: :Smeargle::Hariyama::Jynx::Porygon2::Regice:
D2: :Medicham::Venusaur::Raikou::Vaporeon::Kingdra:
D3: :Machamp::Blaziken::Ludicolo::Weezing::Glalie::Steelix::Camerupt::Marowak:
E: :Houndoom::Misdreavus::Roselia::Regirock::Armaldo::Donphan::Registeel::Dusclops::Umbreon::Dragonite::Jumpluff::Arcanine::Sceptile::Slaking::Scizor::Lunatone::Articuno::Miltank::Lanturn::Alakazam::Wailord::Exeggutor::Golduck::Rhydon::Ninjask::Solrock::Mantine::Politoed::Tauros::Lapras:
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. 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
and we can zoom in to the top 40 mons where tiering decisions are expected to make more sense,

While the original visual method is possible, there are lots of overlaps between tiers and looking for jumps in the mean ranking is not easy. We turn to hierarchical clustering to help obtain the tiers. 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.
The distance between each cluster can be thought of as the vertical height of the overarching branch that connects the two clusters. In other words, the Celebi-Aerodactyl tier is a lot closer to the Dugtrio-Snorlax tier (connecting height 10, note the log scale) than the Blissey-Salamence tier (connecting height 20). Note that the order is not preserved by the algorithm.
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 (brighter) 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).


Note that Dugtrio has been shifted to B1 because the dissimilarity matrix clearly shows that it fits more in B1 in spite of what the dendrogram suggests.

This yields the following subdivision which McMeghan and I have decided on:
S: :Tyranitar:
A1: :Skarmory::Metagross::Zapdos::Gengar::Swampert:
A2: :Jirachi::Blissey::Salamence:
B1: :Celebi::Suicune::Claydol::Aerodactyl::Dugtrio:
B2: :Starmie::Snorlax:
C1: :Flygon::Magneton::Moltres::Charizard:
C2: :Heracross::Milotic::Forretress::Breloom::Gyarados:
C3: :Jolteon::Cloyster:
D1: :Smeargle::Hariyama::Jynx::Porygon2::Regice:
D2: :Medicham::Venusaur::Raikou::Vaporeon::Kingdra:
D3: :Machamp::Blaziken::Ludicolo::Weezing::Glalie::Steelix::Camerupt::Marowak:
E: :Houndoom::Misdreavus::Roselia::Regirock::Armaldo::Donphan::Registeel::Dusclops::Umbreon::Dragonite::Jumpluff::Arcanine::Sceptile::Slaking::Scizor::Lunatone::Articuno::Miltank::Lanturn::Alakazam::Wailord::Exeggutor::Golduck::Rhydon::Ninjask::Solrock::Mantine::Politoed::Tauros::Lapras:
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 and last year's VRs, together with the uncertainties in the means.
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 of the sorted bar chart.

The significant rank changes are:
(++) :Flygon::Moltres::Milotic:
(+) :Heracross::Suicune::Gengar::Charizard::Zapdos::Celebi:
(+D) :Porygon2::Medicham::Regice:
(+E) :Arcanine::Sceptile::Roselia::Misdreavus:
(--) :Jolteon::Starmie::Gyarados::Breloom:
(-) :Salamence::Metagross:
(-D) :Venusaur::Vaporeon:
(-E) :Articuno::Armaldo::Dusclops::Umbreon::Jumpluff:

Please provide your analyses of the VR trends and analysis of camps. I don't feel qualified to comment this cycle because I haven't followed the meta much recently.

Analysis of Camps
As per last year, I tried to look out for divided opinions. I clustered voters based on their rankings of the following tier ranges. Then, I extrapolate to find patterns in the rest of the Pokemon.

S to A2: Gengar vs Steels vs SkarmBlissMence Split

From the dendrogram, we identify three camps.
We then plot their mean rankings for each camp,
Using the z score to plot the most significant changes, we get





We identify significant preferences from the dissimilarity matrices below.


Gengar camp (Triangles-Star)
(++) :Gengar::Starmie:/:Porygon2::Kingdra:
(--) :Skarmory::Metagross::Blissey:
Details: :Gengar: preferred to :Skarmory::Metagross:

Steels camp (zacpz-Mana)
(++) :Metagross::Jirachi::Snorlax::Forretress::Zapdos::Suicune:
(--) :Moltres::Salamence::Gengar::Aerodactyl::Blissey:
Details: :Jirachi: preferred to :Blissey:, :Forretress: preferred to :Moltres:

SkarmBlissMence camp (McMeghan-M Dragon)
(++) :Blissey::Salamence::Skarmory::Milotic::Charizard::Claydol::Moltres:
(--) :Jirachi::Starmie::Celebi::Gengar::Suicune::Breloom:/:Porygon2:
Details: :Blissey::Salamence: preferred to :Jirachi:

S to B2: Spikes Balance vs Calm Mind Split
Similar trends to earlier this year.

From the dendrogram, we identify two camps.
We then plot their mean rankings for each camp,
Using the z score to plot the most significant changes, we get

We identify significant preferences from the dissimilarity matrix below.
(1) McMeghan-SEA vs zacpz-Gacu (2)
(1) :Blissey::Claydol::Skarmory::Charizard::Salamence::Milotic::Swampert:
(2): :Celebi::Jirachi::Suicune::Heracross::Gengar::Gyarados:
Details: (1) :Dugtrio: preferred to :Suicune: (2)

C: Flygon vs Forretress Split

From the dendrogram, we identify two camps.
We then plot their mean rankings for each camp,
Using the z score to plot the most significant changes, we get

We identify significant preferences from the dissimilarity matrix below.
(1) zacpz-Mead vs Fear-Jester (2)
(1) :Forretress::Vaporeon::Cloyster::Breloom::Heracross:
(2) :Flygon::Moltres:
Details: (1) :Forretress::Breloom: preferred to :Flygon: (2), (1) :Heracross: preferred to :Moltres: (2)

Individual Analyses

For those who are interested to see whose S to B2 rankings are closest to theirs, you can refer to the chart below. The numbers inside the box go from -100% (full anticorrelation) to 100% (full correlation). They are sorted by the S to B2 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.
Glory to those who praise Roselia :roselia:

Closing Remarks

I haven't followed the metagame much recently, so unlike the last update, I don't feel comfortable commenting on trends and camps.
If you have some insight into the recent metagame, tell us why these trends and camps exist and how they are related to each other!

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. 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.


Last edited:
VR 11-2-22.png

Here is my list and the reasoning:

S Rank: These are the most important/centralizing pokemon in the tier. The entire metagame revolves around their presence.



While I can understand the skarm as number 1 thought process, the more I think about it the more I can't picture putting ttar any lower than best of the best. Sand is such a dominant force and I feel almost every team in ADV either has ttar or is low key fishing for the opponent to bring it. Even mag dol lax/cune builds that on paper hate sand are still fishing for opposing TSS most of the time. I don't think the same is true of skarmory. I think people also underrate just how good it is as a mon without sand. It's just so versatile. Pursuit carries entire archetypes on its back, bulky physical sets provide a great backbone against a number of special threats and even subpunch sets are starting to see a rise again. I'm feeling particularly good about dd tar recently, especially with double edge as the 4th. It's such a great spike enforcer putting claydol in between a rock and a hard place really effectively and it's a great wallbreaker because of how it immediately forces a defensive response from the opponent. If you can trade 70% on pert for your life with spikes down and an aero in the back you're probably in an amazing position.



With all that being said I don't think anyone can deny how much of an impact skarmory has on the tier. Spikes are a dominant force in ADV and skarmory is the best spiker by a mile. It's incredibly resilient and walls so many pokemon so if you are not conscientious in the builder about how to deal with skarm, it will get three layers down and you will be in a world of hurt.


Slightly controversial take these days but I really do think blissey belongs in this spot. Every special attacker in the tier (and even some physical attackers) require a plan to get around this blob. While its defensive abilities are what makes it so centralizing I do think its offensive presense is heavily underrated. Toxic bliss in particular is surprisingly hard to switch into because unlike the "offensive" special checks like jolteon and regice, it can consistently put pressure on opposing blissey. With fire blast it also becomes one of the best metagross lures in the game making it a great partner for aero who in return takes a ton of pressure off of blissey's defensive duties allowing you to play a lot more aggressively with it.


What really stands out to me about metagross is just how well he enables offense to not just completely fall apart defensively. His ability to check the likes of aerodactyl (and most choice banders), tyranitar, blissey, snorlax and even itself to an extent is just such a big deal and while there are several pokemon that can perform its defensive traits, none of them can do it without giving up some form of offensive presence which is where metagross really shines. Currently I'm a big fan of + speed sets to get the guaranteed outspeed on opposing tyranitar. It makes it a much more consistent check to it mid game.

A Tier: These pokemon are the main building blocks of ADV. All of them fill important roles, do their jobs well and can fit on a wide variety of teams. They are the standards of the tier.



Gengar is my personal favorite pokemon to use, his speed, his immunities and the threat of all his available coverage and status allow him to flit in and out throughout the match and consistently put pressure on the opponent, and his ability to threaten a spin block is invaluable in a spike v spin match ups. What really stands out to me about him though are the properties of his explosion. Having a fast weak boom is an incredibly powerful late game board control tool and makes him simultaneously one of the best pokemon for guaranteeing you will win games from an advantage state, and also stealing games where you are behind. The only thing that really holds him back from S tier is that he is often one of the more replaceable slots on the teams he appears on. This is more to do with the way these teams are structured though than anything inherent to gengar so I don't think this is as big a deal as some people make it out to be. I also think the gengar versions of these teams are generally the most consistent ones.


Swampert to me is kind of like the blissey of physical walls. While it's not quite as immovable, if your physical attackers don't have a plan to get around it they are probably not making any progress. Classic protect sets will always have a place just due to the variety of threats they cover. Focus punch sets are also a solid option to provide some defensive back bone to offensive teams without giving skarmory and blissey free turns. Unlike metagross though pert teams do need to have a plan for milotic and suicune because pert gives them a lot of opportunities to come in and recover health so if your plan is to wear them down, having pert on your team can be a pretty major hinderance.


Zapdos is just an extremely solid pokemon. It has a number of great defensive qualities that can help it add some resilience to offensive teams or go all out with a rest set, and it's also one of the most centralizing offensive pokemon in the tier thanks to how hard it can hit pretty much everything not named blissey or steelix. For a while I thought zapdos was a bit overutilized particularly on spikeless mixed offense teams just because of how much room it gives blissey to get low percent softboileds in and revive itself from the dead after you put in a bunch of work wearing it down, but with those teams having lost a bit of their popularity I don't really feel the need to complain about that anymore.



Jirachi is kind of a weird pokemon. I think it's the single hardest pokemon to account for all its sets in the builder because outside of I guess dugtrio, nothing is really a surefire answer to every option it can bring. It's very easy to build what seems like a great team until you go on ladder and realize it just gets 6-0'd by some rachi variant. That being said, when you are using it yourself you only have one of those sets and it can often be difficult to make progress offensively with it. All that being said though wish is a great move, and its typing and natural bulk are incredibly valuable defensively so that alone gives it a solid spot in the tier even without its ability to randomly 6-0 teams.


I will always have a softspot for this mon but I really do believe he is this good. If you have an aero there is almost always a way to get the win no matter how far behind you are, and I don't just mean that because of rock slide flinches. Aero's ability to outspeed and immediately threaten so many common threats just means that even if you have no real answers to these threats there is almost always a way to outplay the late game and take it anyway. It also just takes so much pressure off your defensive mons to have an aero on your team. If your blissey takes a beating early game it doesn't mean you're down for the count vs zap/molt/star/cele etc and if your pert goes down early game you still have an option around +1 dd tar. It also checks a lot of the random gimmick mons giving you a way out even if they fished out the perfect match up. I honestly feel like it's really hard to make a solid defensive core that actually covers all your bases without aero, especially if you are using an offensive team. Every team is weak to something but aero teams always have a way around their weaknesses.


Celebi is great, that Leech Seed 3 atks set actually lives up to the hype and solves a lot of the problems that have traditionally been inherent to offensive bi. Unlike some of the other attempts to replace blissey with an "offensive" mon this one actually solves a couple problems blissey is incapable of, mainly its ability to reliably force out milo and defensive cune. Ground resist is also nice too. The classic defensive sets are still solid on mag teams and a great pick on sandless teams to avoid just autolosing to lax/cune and cm/sd bp sets while a bit gimmicky can still pull out some crazy wins. Sub pass + fighters i think is also really underrated and worth exploring more.


I don't think I'm as high on this pokemon as some others are. Mixmence while solid I think has a lot of competition from moltres and charizard these days and as often as DD threatens to 6-0 teams it also just falls flat half the time too especially now that people respect it a lot more in the builder again. I do really like CB, but it does require a bit of support compared to the other sets. The main thing that makes mence stand out is its defensive qualities. Intimidate is a great tool to dance around opposing physical threats and it's one of the few catch all answers to the tier's fighting types.


While I do think a lot of people overrate spin as a whole these days and force this mon on a lot of teams it really doesn't belong, I can't deny it has firmly placed itself as a staple of the tier. It is the best spinner by far and its access to boom as well as its amazing defensive typing give it a lot of utility beyond that.


In terms of metagame impact, dugtrio is on par with a lot of the S rank pokemon. It's completely unique in its niche and is an important member of a number of common archetypes. Without it I think a lot of stall teams would be pretty much unviable. That being said it is held back by how exploitable it is. The free turn it grants to the opponent is so huge and you have to be really careful both in the builder and in your play to not just lose the game on the spot off a bad dugtrio trap. I've been trying out a lot of teams recently that lean in to the dugtrio weakness in order to exploit the free turns and I honestly think it's a pretty viable strategy.



Suicune is one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the entire tier. If you give it an inch it will take a mile and many of its sets require different responses. That being said what it lacks is consistency. It sometimes just finds itself randomly walled depending on what your moveset is and it is quite vulnerable to hax. It usually has to tank multiple hits over the course of setting itself up and sweeping which just makes it a lot more vulnerable to crits, flinches and secondary status effects than speed based offensive threats. It's one of those pokemon that is a lot scarier on the opposing side than it is on your own just because of how often it ends up getting BS'd out. Still cannot deny just how dangerous it can be when the circumstances are right.


I'm fully bought in on the charizard hype, this pokemon is just good. Great metagross check, great skarm/forre punisher, and just general all around powerhouse. I really like the classic subpunch set with either toxic or hp grass last depending on the team. I feel like a lot of people have caught on to beat up at this point but subbing up on a skarm or metagross as it switches out is always gonna be threatening. Even mence really does not like eating your fire moves when sand is up. Also, having a way to get yourself into blaze range reliably is really nice.


I've always felt like a lot of people use this mon incorrectly. Late game loom is ridiculously oppressive but people always throw it out early and get disappointed after it blows its spore and then doesn't do much else. This pokemon thrives on eliminating options from the opponent so when you use it when the game state is at a point where they have only a few options already it becomes an absolute monster regardless of "meta trends". If you're one of the people saying loom has gotten worse but you're still trying to to get it in within the first few turns of the game, the problem you're having is not with breloom.


While i've come around to the idea that charizard is slightly better than molt, I do still think this pokemon is really good and deserving of being called an adv staple. It has a lot of the same great defensive qualities I mentioned with charizard, its extra bulk and power make it a little better at dealing with metagross and a lot better at breaking through cune/milo. That being said, the fact that bliss can switch into it relatively safely and even get low percent softboileds is definitely a big deal, and the little bit of extra speed charizard has available is quite relevant as well especially now that jolly heracross is rearing it's head every now and then.


Snorlax is fine. I feel like we've gotten to the point now where we know how much it sucks as a special wall and have stopped trying to make it fit that mold so we can appreciate it for what it does have. I think the best sets for it are just boom + wacky coverage. I really like counter, and some combo of shadow ball, focus punch, or even hp bug etc can allow it to make those 2 for 1 trades it's known for pretty reliably. Curse rest is also solid as an anti meta pick although it is definitely a bit cheesy and even more prone to all the issues I mentioned with cune.


I think it's pretty well known im not the biggest milotic fan but I do have to respect it. It's one of the most annoying walls to get past and it just completely stuffs out a lot of the anti meta wall breakers. It's one of key pokemon for hard stall and ironically kind of works as the main win condition for those teams. If you can use dug to pick off all the things capable of breaking milo you can often get to a point where it will just slowly 1 man army it's way through the rest of the team. I think the main thing holding it back is the amount of support it requires. A lot of the things it walls are just a few percent more damage away from being able to break it which in addition to making it fairly vulnerable to crits and flinches, means without spin support it is a lot less effective. It also really appreciates dug support which comes with a whole other bag of additional support requirements. There are a few different archetypes that support it but it's not quite as flexible as some of the other A tier mons.


Another pokemon I don't love but have to respect. I almost never think bulky spin star is worth it, it's just so do nothing, but it is pretty annoying to face. The fact that it randomly walls charizard and breloom decently well definitely helps it out in spikeless match ups but usually it doesn't do much more than spin which can be exploited by the spike user. Offensive star is very cool and pretty scary for any team that doesn't have a blissey (or lost it mid game) although the fact that it can be rk'd by dug with just a little chip hurts its overall consistency.


Heracross is great, probably the best overall abuser of the kinds of teams the previous two mons find themselves on. Megahorn accuracy can stink sometimes and it's not as good at abusing skarm as the other fighters but the ability to blast through the psychic types is pretty relevant these days and the speed advantage it has over the other fighting types is really nice.


The main thing forretress provides over the other spikers is its ability to actively threaten the tier's main spinners. Both starmie and claydol get chunked by hp bug, and it at least goes even with itself which is honestly more than can be said for most spikers. Its spin is always memed on but the ability to find a foothold to spike against opposing spikers is definitely relevant. It also isn't immediately threatened by zapdos which is pretty nice and takes away a lot of the early game pressure it can usually put up against spike teams.

B Tier: I believe all of the pokemon in this tier are important and fundamental parts of the ADV metagame. Many of them are the defining mons entire archetypes. What separates them from the A tier is that all of them either due to their one dimensional nature or support requirements are limited in the variety of teams they can fit on. If it were up to me, the bottom of this tier would be the cutoff for OU.


As long as people continue to use skarm, magneton will always be good. It enables a lot of very dangerous pokemon who just so happen to struggle vs skarmory, the ability to trap both it and forretress can act as a pseudo spike deterrent and it's honestly not terrible just as a mon on its own. It hits hard, a lot of teams have a hard time switching in on it, and it's got a really unique defensive typing.


Smeargle is honestly so good. The spike teams you can build with it are honestly some of the best in ADV right now in my opinion. I disagree with it being a match up fish, just don't lead with it and the lum berry issue is pretty much non existant. Zapdos is an incredible partner to get it in reliably as it can outspeed and spore almost all of zap's potential early game switch ins and even if you mispredict and end up either tbolting into a blissey or bping out of a cheeky skarm, lum smeargle can hard switch into both of those pokemon and do its thing no problem (no one is ever drill pecking with skarm into zap that early into the game). It can also do other stuff like dd pass which is really cool. Hell it can even dd pass and spike all on the same set if you want (really good at cheesing wins against people trying to use dug to limit you to a single spike).


Another spike option, cloyster's ability to threaten spikes into boom makes it a great choice for offensive teams that want something a little more resilient than smeargle. It exploits protect pert and milo decently well and is fast enough to pretty much guarantee you can spike up at least once per game.


I've never rated gyarados super highly but it has a really nice combination of defensive traits that slot it in really nicely on a lot of spikeless magneton builds covering their weaknesses to things like suicune, pert, milo and fire types which i think more than makes up for its tendency to be somewhat inconsistent offensively.


Bulky gon + protect rachi is a really solid defensive core and secures it a spot as one of the defining pokemon of the superman archetype. I do find it a bit tough to branch out and fit it on other archetypes though. A lot of the things flygon is meant to check have a set that can get around it so you are either stuck just accepting those weaknesses or trying to fit in a back up which can be a bit awkward.


I've been pretty low on Jolteon lately to be honest. Jolt spikes is really hurt by how common claydol is these days. In addition to walling jolteon pretty well, it also threatens to remove the spikes that jolt relies on so heavily. I honestly think a lot of jolteon teams are just flat out better using blissey instead. Not being walled by claydol and opposing blissey (if you have toxic) is just too big. That being said, jolt's access to it's super fast twave gives it some defensive utility that bliss isn't capable of and allows you to cheat a little more against things like gengar and dd tar than you can using her.


While I generally think there are better ways of exploiting dugtrio, there are still a few teams where the duck has a niche. I think it pairs particularly well with a lot of the tier's fighting types who appreciate not just the dug removal but also the fact that it's a great mence counter.


One of the best offense enablers in the tier, it usually only gets a few turns per game to do its thing but each of those turns is a heavily weighted prediction where if the opponent guesses wrong they probably lose a mon. There are just so few things capable of both taking a stab hydro pump and preventing a sub pass to something dangerous. Biggest thing holding it back is hydro miss.


Probably my hottest take over all, I think this mon is really good. A lot of spike teams suffer from early game pressure put on by zapdos since it can threaten to double in on and ohko skarm and cloyster before they get their first layer down. Glalie completely avoids that problem while also not being as exploitable as forretress allowing you to skimp a bit on the hard zap coverage which is nice because there really aren't that many pokemon that comfortably switch into zap early game. Access to taunt is also really nice. It's similar to cloyster in a lot of ways, and I do think cloy's better boom coverage from stab surf is a big enough deal to make it an over all better mon but the unique traits glalie provides open up a lot of team building avenues that would otherwise not be possible on your average spike offense.

I'm not going to go into the weeds for the rest of my list but will just provide my tier explanations for C through F.

C Tier: These are the pokemon I view as being just on the cusp of OU. Their high upsides and relative lack of usage make them great tournament options as you can use them to exploit common building habits but many of them have match ups where they won't be all that effective.

D Tier: Similar to C tier but a step down either because they don't have quite the potential up sides the C tier mons do or the support they require makes them difficult to build with without introducing inherent holes into the team as a whole.

F Tier: This tier is a mixed bag of two categories. The first category are pokemon I think are confirmed gimmicks but relevant enough that you should know how to play against them if you want to be consistent. The second category are pokemon I think could have potential but I just haven't seen tested enough of to really say for sure where they belong.

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