What the fuck is this thing doing in C+? Cresselia is one of the most dangerous Pokemon out there. Sure it gets trapped by Tyranitar, but Dugtrio can trap that thing and CM sets can win games on their own after Dugtrio does its job. Not to mention that this thing is actually a really solid check to a myriad of Pokemon like Lucario, Breloom, Infernape, Flygon, etc. that are huge threats in the current metagame. Obviously Cresselia has its fair share of flaws, but it's way beyond the dogshit in C+. Putting it in like B rank along with the likes of Milotic/Raikou/Duggy seems a lot more appropriate than where it is right now, hell it could even be considered for B+. Obviously it can be used without Dugtrio support, as showcased by people using it without Dug in SPL, so you can't even use the "dug support is mandatory" argument anyways.
Stuff like Steelix, Donphan, Hitmontop, etc. is fucking horrible and there's an incredible amount of garbage mons down in the C ranks. At least in the SM ranking everything on the VR has some sort of niche as opposed to some of the crap down here.
I solemnly object. Donphan is great defensively and has a bit of variety in his set outside EQ/RS - SR, Shard, Assurance, Head Smash, Protect, Roar, Knock Off; not easy to fit all of these moves but they're all more than usable. It has seen success on quite a few teams. Steelix is niche but definitely usable - one of the best Jirachi switchins, resists Tyranitar's STABs, eats up Dragonite's CB Outrage like nothing, Electric/Toxic immune, Explosion. Hitmontop has its own subset of stall alongside Gyarados for double Intimidate stuff. C- is pretty lame for the most part but everything above is fine, I think, unless you had more specific queries
I've been working on exploiting this mon for the best part of the last 5 months. I hope that I have displayed over the past few months why Dusknoir should not be that low. Offensive sets > the defensive crap people been using for the past centuries. It has without a doubt been fun using it but more importantly, I and other people have won way more games than I thought I would. It isn't an ALL-TIME star mon but it also isn't a Pokemon that you have to really try hard to fit it in your team and I have seen it take several common team archetypes by storm with alot of games almost being identical just because of the shitload of Mons it can check. From spin blocking in a pinch, to forcing opposing teams to reveal their hard hitter (Band Ape / Gyarados / Dragonite / Tyranitar), to picking off Rotom-W and Gengar (this monster fucking nukes them both its unreal). it can take a hit or two as well and forces alot of switches. It also allows you to trade off with annoyances like Zapdos and Heatran if you play it right allowing Scizor and metagross to lategame clean.
my friends who I shared this set and team initially have also had good success with it and I've achieved ridiculous records (something like 53-6 initially with this vs all kinds of players)
Here are some discussion points I thought of from playing the meta within the past year or so:
Scizor: A+ =>A
I don't find Scizor to be on the same level as the other A+ mons anymore to be honest. The bulky SD sets tend to struggle with all the random Fire coverage flying around on Steel resists (Fire Punch Jirachi, Heat Wave Zapdos, Overheat Rotom) and even when you don't face those there's usually something that'll give it trouble, like an Ape or Tran for example. Oh and by the way, when do you ever see Choice Zors anymore?
Hippowdon: A => A-
It's tough for Hippowdon to thrive in this meta that's all about aggression when it gives free entry to some of the most dangerous threats. Breloom, CB Gyarados, etc. are things you never really want to let in for free. Hippowdon doesn't have Pert's luxury of being able to run a super strong offensive set either, so it's kind of relegated to the bulky SR role. A SR setter that's afraid of Starmie isn't really what I'd call reliable, but I'll give it to Hippo that it pretty much always finds time to set up in games without Starm. Hippo is also in this awkward spot where it wants PDef investment to handle stuff like CBTar but also SDef for Zapdos and Dragonite so it's tough to choose the right spread. Still, giving Jirachi a hard time is a pretty nice trait, but not enough to justify it being equals with the other A rank mons.
Metagross: A => A+
Holy Jesus is this thing scary. As a lead you pretty much need to OHKO it otherwise it will be giving you trouble. For an offense, the kind of momentum it generates can often be all you need to cruise to victory. The Agility sets are an absolute terror late game as well, partially due to Explosion being able to take down whatever it is you want. The way I see it, getting Metagross in means you WILL make progress in your game plan, what else in this metagame can do that? Probably Breloom only.
Machamp: A- => A
Machamp's still the amazing lead we all know of, but as it turns out, it's even better when Stealth Rock is up. It's just so ridiculously hard to switch into Dynamic Punch when your Zapdos or Gyarados also has to take 25% (plus Sand, probably) that just getting this mon in can earn you a free sac kill. Facing Champ forces you to take risk, because a switch to Gar or Starmie could get you killed by Payback. Oh yeah, and when you get it low enough, it could surprise you with Custap (which it very reliably gets in range for.) Think you can disable it with a burn or sleep? Meet Lum Champ. There's just so little counterplay that you often need to cut losses and let something die to get rid of this clown
Aerodactyl: A- => B+
I find Aero to be in kind of an existential crisis as a lead. Sure, the fast Taunt is enticing, but how often do you even see SR Azelf lead? You might as well just run your own Azelf. The non-lead sets are basically extinct right now, not that they're bad, but they just force your team into a very particular mold which often struggles with current metagame trends.
Clefable: B+ => A-
I think this has been brought up already so I won't write too much on it, but Clef's biggest strength in my opinion is providing a safe way to get Stealth Rock up against Starmie itself. This makes it ideal to slap Clef onto a bulky offense team as a SR guarantee AND a reliable Zapdos switch in, which are two pretty rare traits.
Mamoswine: B+ => B
There's not much to say about Mamo. It's pretty good at getting SR up, but not much else. There's a lot of faster offensive pokes that give it a lot of trouble, and it lacks the coverage to blow past most bulky Ground resists, too. Ice Shard is very interesting late game, but Abomasnow can provide that and much more as an offensive Ice type.
Dugtrio: B => B+
Dugtrio is some kind of Houdini that can turn something as terrible as Cresselia into a nearly unstoppable force, and to me that's worth a lot. It has its issues (giving up momentum against VERY dangerous pokes), but the upside is there. The CB set can trap all 4 S rank pokes (depending on their set) which can't be understated. It's a very anti-metagame pick
Milotic: B => B+
Milo is not very unique but I find it is the best at what it does. When you're looking for a bulky Water with recovery, this guy is your best choice. Starmie gets rocks off and all, but it's not bulky enough to assume the role. Vaporeon has major issues with its moveset, no Roar / HP Elec means Gyara walls you AND sets up, while no Ice Beam means Breloom and Dragonite just waltz in on you unthreatened. Milo can run both of these moves and actually has a pretty interesting Speed stat to boot.
Togekiss: B- => B
I hate everything this mon represents but it's definitely better than Cradily and Heracross... I find it to be the most dangerous thing to face on those TWave spam teams, mostly because it can actually boost the power of its Air Slashes; you'll often only get one chance to hit this mon hard enough to put it out of commission. It's bulky as fuck too so it's hard to actually kill. Kiss is terrible outside of those teams though so it shouldn't be very high
Snorlax: B- => C+
It's getting harder and harder for me to see the appeal to that mon. It has a strong boom and Pursuit, but it can't really find time ever use those correctly. When Sand and SR are active, it just has no survivability whatsoever and can't keep up with the offensive pokes of the tier. At best you're getting a 1 for 1 trade, so I don't really see it as ever worth using.
Cresselia: C+ => B+
This has been mentioned before as well, but yeah, Cress is really, really good with Dugtrio support. I hesitate to rank it higher because it actually NEEDS that support to be that unbeatable threat, and much like Togekiss it falters outside of those specific teams.
Uxie: C+ => B-
Uxie is one of the game's better leads right now. It can do a bunch of things, from setting up Screens, tricking Scarf or just the good ol SR TWave set. Unlike other aggressive SR leads Uxie has the ability to switch out and come back in the game later to grab some more momentum though. Not being afraid of Metagross and Machamp is a big, big advantage over those as well. It doesn't do much else but it's great at what it does.
I'll bite on a couple.
Machamp: Yes. This thing has insane power and is basically GG if (keyword if, not all Machamps run set-up) it gets a boost or 2. It's that good. Bulk is a problem though, but I feel it deserves it. AGREE.
Clefable: I really feel the problem with this is that it has no stats. When your best stat is 90, then we've got some problems. Magic Guard is really good though, but I really don't feel its on the same level as other Pokemon in the A- tier. DISAGREE.
Snorlax: It might be slow, but 160/65/110 is still pretty damn good defensively. Its 110 attack is also still decent (not what it was in GSC, but it's still good). Furthermore C+ is pokemon either super powerful but full of flaws (Rhyperior) or just outclassed stuff (Steelix). Snorlax is neither full of flaws (it has flaws but not as much as Rhyperior), nor outclassed like Donphan. DISAGREE.
Cresselia: B+ is already an insane raise for a mon. Also Duggy isn't seen much outside of UU (80 attack isn't doing shit here), so it can't get the support it desperately needs. Still, what it can do is pretty good. MOVE IT TO MID B-.
I might as well make a nomination while I'm at it.
Tyranitar: Below Heatran => Above Heatran
Is this thing a monster or what? I cannot emphasize the pure power this thing packs. Once this gets a Dragon Dance or 2 up, this will basically sweep through everything not named Bronzong (without Crunch) or Swampert. With a Life Orb equipped, it becomes even more powerful. With Scizor becoming less prevalent (eliminating one of its key weaknesses), Tyranitar becomes even more powerful. If it's too slow, you can always slap a Choice Scarf on it, which lets it outspeed up to positively natured base 115s and neutrally natured base 130s, notably including Starmie, Gengar (base 110), and Azelf, as well as Jolteon, Aerodactyl, and Weavile if they're neutral natured (they probably won't be, but you never know) It still has a disgusting amount of weaknesses, but its great EdgeQuake + Crunch or Ice Punch can help mitigate some of those weaknesses, notably nailing Infernape and Lucario with Earthquake. In addition, this Pokemon can also run the set that makes every stall team shudder in fear, TyraniBoah. Tyranitar can fufill basically anything you ask it to be, be it a choiced sweeper, a dragon dancer, an insane stallbreaker, a lure, a really good curser, an amazing lead (countering both Azelf and Aerodactyl, as well as making Jirachi think twice) or even a mixed sweeper. I could go on and on, but I think that should sum everything up.
Gross is good but I think it should stay in A. As a lead it often faces the same dilemma as Empleon—you can get rocks up or blast something, but not always both. I'd say it's more consistent than Empoleon at getting rocks up and doing damage, but I find that too often you have to choose between one or the other. 4 attacks is also great and a nasty surprise for mons that think you're just going to SR. Agiligross isn't all that common and I feel like I don't often see boom sets opening holes for other sweepers. Most commonly Shuca with Zen/Tpunch, which is good but not devastating. It can donk a lot of offenses late game but overall I think there are too many bulky mons that give it trouble and cut its sweep short. As an offensive mon I just don't see Metagross at the same level as other A+ mons like Infernape/Dragonite/Breloom.
I think Clef is A rank, easy. Its ability to harass offense and stall alike really can't be understated. It effortlessly walls a large portion of special attackers and of course supports its team with Twave and Knock Off. Sure, it's not impenetrable like Blissey, but if you're not packing mons like LO Starmie, Specs Zap, etc. then Clefable will wall you to hell and back. Setting up SR is cool and CM can be a huge issue for fat teams once Ttar is down (and if you can dodge the potential Trick).