Gen 2 GSC BL Discussion

Hello

The GSC BL list, though not an official tier, seems to have a playable number of mons and an interesting metagame waiting to be discovered. Yet there seems to be no ROA spotlight or dedicated tour related to this tier, so I open this thread to allow people to discuss the metagame possibilities and possibly even host tournaments. There is an ROA UUBL discord server that will host tournaments and allow people to discuss the metagame at large. https://discord.gg/X4BYSB5
 
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Viability Rankings: This is the up to date viability ranking, and is subject to change. It is in alphabetical order, the higher on the list in a particular rank does not correspond to a higher ranking in that rank. Ex. Chansey is not better then tentacruel, they are equally placed.

S+
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Porygon2
S
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Alakazam
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Dragonite
S-
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Donphan

A
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Chansey
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Houndoom
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Jolteon
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Moltres
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Muk
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Qwilfish
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Scizor
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Slowbro
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Tentacruel

B
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Charizard
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Electrode
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Espeon
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Granbull
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Kangaskhan
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Kingdra
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Lapras
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Magneton
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Nidoqueen
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Piloswine
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Slowking
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Smeargle
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Tauros
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Ursaring
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Venusaur

C
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Aerodactyl
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Ampharos
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Articuno
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Clefable
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Crobat
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Electabuzz
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Haunter
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Hitmonlee
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Jumpluff
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Lanturn
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Meganium
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Primeape
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Quagsire
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Sandslash
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Typhlosion
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Victreebel

D
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Ariados
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Blastoise
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Cubone
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Dodrio
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Entei
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Omastar
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Pikachu
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Pinsir
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Politoed
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Poliwrath
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Shuckle

Huge thanks to 275p and IT Waffle Kam with helping me with the viability rankings!
 
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Speed Tiers
Any pokemon that gain enough attention will be added to this list in the future.

378 / Electrode
358 / Jolteon, Aerodactyl, Crobat
338 / Alakazam
318 / Tauros, Espeon, Jumpluff
308 / Electabuzz
298 / Charizard, Tentacruel, Typhlosion, Entei, Dodrio
288 / Houndoom, Haunter, Primeape
278 / Kangaskhan, Moltres, Mr. Mime, Pikachu
272 / Hitmonlee
268 / Articuno, Kingdra, Qwilfish, Gligar, Pinsir
258 / Venusaur, Dragonite, Meganium
254 / Blastoise
250 / Nidoqueen
248 / Smeargle
238 / Magneton, Poliwrath, Victreebel, Politoed
236 / Aerodactyl(-1)
232 / Lanturn
228 / Scizor, Sandslash
218 / Clefable, Lapras, Porygon2
208 / Ursaring, Ampharos, Omastar
198 / Muk, Donphan, Chansey, Piloswine
188 / Granbull
183 / Kangaskhan(-1)
179 / Aerodactyl(-2)
178 / Ariados
168 / Quagsire, Graveler, Cubone
158 / Slowbro, Slowking
143 / Clefable(-1), Porygon2(-1), Aerodactyl(-3)
137 / Ursaring(-1)
130 / Muk(-1), Donphan(-1)
108 / Shuckle
 
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Hey guys, I just played this game a few days ago and I now want to share my thoughts on Donphan. Let's go!

Donphan is one of the physical bulkiest pokemon in uubl! Thanks to its access to roar, it is able to phaze common physical attackers like Charizard and Ursaring and stop them in their tracks. Thanks to its natural physical bulk, Donphan can also be used as a cursed pokemon. I do not know the extent of the curse set yet, so I'll test more with it.


Donphan @ Leftovers
Ability: none
IVs: 22 HP / 26 Atk / 24 Def
- Earthquake
- Rapid Spin
- Roar
- Body Slam


Donphan @ Leftovers
Ability: None
Hidden Power: Rock
- Earthquake
- Hidden Power [Rock]
- Curse
- Rest


Well that's all what I have to say. I'll make another post, when I played a bit more. See ya!
 
After a long time not updating this thread, i have decided to make a pokemon breakdown on certain pokemon that shape the metagame. Starting off with what I see is the strongest pokemon in the tier, porygon2.
It's presence can not be understated by its seemingly mediocre stats and defensively lacking typing, which is instead made up for by its versatility and prowess. The 2 main porygon2 set that i most commenly see are a curse set and a mixed thunder wave set.
Porygon2 @ Leftovers
Ability: None
- Curse
- Recover
- Double-Edge/return
- Ice Beam/thunderbolt/thunder
This set is extremely hard to stop once it gets going, because of its reliable recovery in, recover, it stays alive to offset double edge recoil, adding to its power. Furthermore, this allows it to not run rest + sleep talk and adding to its versatility, it most often run ice beam to prevent phazing and haze from donphan and dragonite, 2 other top tiers, but can run thunder/thunderbolt to beat water phazers such as qwilfish, tentacruel, and lapras. It can even run thunder wave for added support for other mons or for it's self if it can still outspeed after a couple curses. This set highlights its benefit over other curse users, so much that it corners the market on that front, unless the curse user has roar or explosion. But this is only one of porygon2's sets which is already meta defining in it's own right, but it would be a sin to not mention it's almost equally defining mixed thunderwave set.
Porygon2 @ Leftovers/none
Ability: None
- Thunder Wave/Double edge/Theif/Nightmare
- Recover
- Thunderbolt/Thunder
- Ice Beam
This set uses it's special coverage and decent special attack to deal consistanly powerful damage and pack sustain and utility into one powerful package. But the main attaction is thunder wave, which requires a bit of explanation, thunder wave, in my opinion, is the most powerful status in GSC UUBL. Why, well for that answer we need to understand the threats of the metagame and how the function. Due to GSC's maxed out EV system, most glass cannon with great coverage do not work in a strictly competitive environment and languish in BL, thunder wave support give them the 2hko potential that other form of support in the metagame simply cant accomplish, such as spikes or baton pass. This allows terrors such as alakazam(benefited by it access to its own thunder wave, but benefits immensely from added coverage), dragonite, and even certain curse sweepers, that can now outspeed certain opponents, such as ursurang. The decreased speed can also defeat haze which is a prominate form of phazing in GSC, which can allow certain powerful threats to bowl over a team instead of being stopped cold. But if thunder wave is not you cup of tea, the double edge is a completely suitable replacement, or another one of porygon2' unique coverage, such a theif to have a long lasting effect if played on a stall team, or nightmare, to break opposing stall.
 
Baton pass is another very prominent force in GSC BL, because of it's potential power and sweep potential. It requires great threat handling to wield effectively, but when it is, it is relentlessly dominating.

Baton pass in GSC differs from other generations in the fact that it is not restricted in any form, meaning it can be used on every single pokemon, which may seem appealing at first, but then you realize that phazing is almost impossible to stop. There is no taunt, suction cups, soundproof, ect. The only reliable way to prevent phazing would be spore from smeargle, which can only be done once. Therefore, the boost that is passed must be immediately useful, which in GSC UUBL is agility, which can facilitate the low speeds of powerful attackers such as ursurang, cubone, muk, or charizard. The pass recipient also must have a set up move to be able to pose a sweep instead of being a slightly powerful threat. This can swords dance, belly drum, or even curse (the speed decrease can be irrelevant if the mon using curse is already faster then the whole team it's facing).

Common baton pass enemies are of course phazers, such as donphan, khangaskhan, and piloswine with roar, or tentacruel, qwilfish, dragonite, kingdra, muk, and drobat with haze. These mons need to be dealt with in one way or another, the most common way to beat them is to either kill them in one hit, or wear them down over the course of the battle, but these mons usually have longevity because of GSC being generally bulkier of a generation thanks to maxed out EVs, meaning it is most optimal to keep the boost passers and recipients alive to get more value out them.
 
After going over porygon2, I thought I might as well cover all the revalent normal types in the tier. But first I'll talk about the type offensively and defensively. Normal offensively has no weaknesses, but 3 resistances in rock, steel, and ghost. Luckily there are very few of those around, with the only defensive check that comes to mind being scizor, and even that can be dispatched with a Hp fire or fire blast. This makes normal a very potent offensive typing and the mons that get stab on normal move benefitting greatly from it. On the defensive spectrum, normal is weak to fighting and resists nothing. This may seem like a point against normal types, but in reality, most normal types in the tier are offensive or use curse, which raises defense on the side where fighting type attack would hit it. The exception is chansey but we will get to that soon enough. Now with that out of the way, lets look at some normal type pokemon.

Chansey: Chansey is a special defensive behemoth, and will almost never die to a special attack. This makes it great on many types of stall teams, but can also function on more balance teams with its access to heal bell, something only the rare granbull has in this tier. Aside from its ability to stop sunny day based teams from accomplishing much of anything, Chansey's effect on the metagame requires a physical attacker that can switch into chansey to be on the team, such as scizor, rest talk users, or even lure sets on special attackers, such as dynamic punch typholsion. Though chansey is not unbeatable, 8pp heal bell can run out quickly if pressure is exerted over an elongated battle, which can then allow it to run out and have a poisoned chansey be incredibly easier to break down. But its presence can not be understated.
Chansey (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: None
- Heal Bell
- Soft-Boiled
- Present (Present prevents growth users from setting up on it because present is bugged in gen 2, look it up)
- Toxic

Ursurang: Ursurang is one of many curse set up sweepers, and its access to roar put it in competition with Kangaskhan. What makes Ursurang different is it's lower speed which after a curse, makes it phaze out opposing roars from donphan, thereby allowing a sweep. This makes it seem better in theory, but in practice, it has many issues. One being that roar is a far less common form of phazing compared to haze, because of its ease of use, and lack of spikes for roar to chip. This is an issue that plagues all curse sweepers though, and ursurang at least can beat the roar physical check that kangaskhan might not. Well from there we get into another discrepancy, and that is ursurang's bulk, which is only slightly less compared to kangaskhan. But in a game of inches, the ability to survive a hit and fire back can be game-changing, and with ursurang's niche already being in contention with hit taking ability, damage isn't the only game being played here. And from the looks of it, ursurang looks like a thoroughly bad pokemon, but this isnt exactly true. It still excels and cleaning up weakened teams, and a curse boosted return does tear trough common walls such as lapras, slowbro, and even donphan. And it is absolutely a viable pokemon mon for a team that can circumvent its weaknesses.
Ursaring @ Leftovers
- Curse
- Return
- Rest / Earthquake
- Roar

Kangaskhan: After going through Ursurang, Kangaskhan still struggles with the same issue if it went the route of a curse user. But fortunately, it has the stats to go the route of a fast attacker, but unfortunately, its outclassed pretty hard by tauros because of its higher base speed. Another option would be a defensive set, but it hasn't been experimented with yet, and probably won't be because of a lack of a concrete role or objective, normal doesn't wall much on the physical side, or any side without chansey level bulk. So Kangaskhan is in a hard place of being stripped of good options because of it's thorough outclassing in all roles it can be used in with the exception of the curse sweeper. But I'm sure there can still be use for it, because its stats are far from bad, in my eyes, it just needs experimentation.
Kangaskhan @ Leftovers
- Curse
- Rest
- Double-Edge / Return
- Roar

Tauros: At the beginning of this tier's creation, Tauros was not considered a threat, but after more experimentation, it has a defined niche. Its speed, power, and typing lends itself to a powerful late-game cleaner. Against physical walls, it does struggle to 2hko, but after significant chip, being a low as half, donphan is soundly 2hkoed. And if that is possible, imagine less prominent physical walls such as lapras, or even porygon2. Now, this is not something that can go in a start sweeping, because there are many roadblocks to its success. So a good player should chip or kill its checks before it can go it to do the honor of finishing the game. It's niche is respected and feared, and a good player should account for its presence on the battle field.
Tauros (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: None
- Earthquake
- Double-Edge
- Sleep talk / Fire blast
- Rest

Smeargle: It's honestly ironic how constraint smeargle's options are. Which makes sense when every attacking move is just a tool against smeargle, and with support options being its only gateway to success, what does that mean for Smeargle? Well, it has 1 niche to its name, aside from a gimmicky spike set which is outclassed pretty hard by qwilfish. Baton pass is its calling card which is a passable niche at best, threatened at every corner by proper phazing. It is used as a lead, where it uses agility, then uses spore (if it lives the initial hit), then baton passes agility to something threatening like charizard, cubone, or pikachu. This is absolutely destroyed by miracle berry leads, and if roar or haze is successful, then all of smeargle work would have been for nothing. Don't get me wrong baton pass can be a fun, rewarding, and downright badass playstyle, it's just there is an inherent risk in the playstyle that makes it not a consistent way to win games. But the niche is there for an enterprising player.
Smeargle @ Leftovers
- Spore
- Agility
- Recover / Encore / Super fang
- Baton Pass

Clefable: Another pokemon which is just outclassed, and by the best pokemon in the tier, Porygon2. It's hard to compete with higher attack, defense, and special attack, along with 32 pp recover vs 16 pp moonlight. One could argue fire blast over bolt-beam coverage, but thunder slams scizor hard enough, and if that isn't enough, then hp fire does upwards of 70%. The only niche I could see a viable use for is a belly drum set with moonlight for repeatable boosting, but even this is on the niche side with it lackluster speed. This pokemon is on the fringer side of all the ones listed before, but at least it has a niche.
Clefable @ Leftovers
- Belly Drum
- Moonlight
- Return
- Fire Blast / Charm / Encore / Shadow ball

Granbull: This is a really niche mon that only functions on offensive teams that need heal bell support, but doesn't want to sacrifice momentum with chansey. In that niche, granbull excels with its respectable attack stat and normal stab. But other than that it doesn't really exist anywhere else in the metagame.
Granbull @ Leftovers
Ability: None
- Heal Bell
- Rest
- Sleep Talk / Roar
- Return

Ok that's all of them, I hope you guys enjoyed this overview, you can join the discord server which is the home for the metagame and the way I was able to gather the information I just showed you. Joining contributes to the metagame so that it can keep evolving. Also VRs will be out REALLY SOON so look out for those. Anyway that all I got folks, have a great day!
 
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Spike smeargle is real, and underrated, given how prominent (and a bit underwhelming) Qwilfish is. Should be a very relevant set, alongside it's others.
 
Spike smeargle is real, and underrated, given how prominent (and a bit underwhelming) Qwilfish is. Should be a very relevant set, alongside it's others.
I will use this as an excuse to write about spikes in GSC UUBL, and the effect it has on the metagame. But first I will note how the spikes metagame works in the tier above. It is a complicated dance of spikers, spike removers, ghost type pokemon that prevent the removal of spikes, and pursuit users that trap the fleeing ghosts. It complicated and a necessary aspect to get ahead in the spikes game, because Raikou becomes a terror with them down. But how does this knowledge translate to UUBL?

Well, the only viable spikes user is Qwilfish(I'll explain soon enough), this is a thoroughly mediocre pokemon with middling stats, compared to the spinners, which are Donphan and Tentacruel. Now with the information, on paper, it looks like a spikes metagame shouldn't exist at all because Qwilfish is awful and Donphan and Tentacruel are up there with the big guns like Alakazam and Porygon2. The spikes user takes this misconception in its favor because a Donphan/Tentacruel user would not want to run a potentially wasted slot in rapid spin if it were not to be used at all in certain games. This allows Qwilfish to set spikes and have them stay there for the entirety of the battle, which greatly benefits the offensive guns of the tier, like Porygon2 and Dragonite. The idea of Qwilfish vs Smeargle is that you only need to get spikes up first, and Qwilfish is faster, having there ba a higher likely hood that spikes will go up at all. And even outside of that, Qwilfish's typing affords it many places to switch in if there is a spinner, such as water, fire, ice, and poison type attacks. This is a stark contrast to Smeargle's inability to switch in too much of anything, and its lower speed making it harder to get spikes up. Though I say its gimmicky and not unviable because it does get support moves, such as pivot baton pass, and spore. But these pros do not outweigh its crippling cons and are not used by most players because of this reason.
 
I'm basically a non-entity in GSC BL so I appreciate your experience in the tier, but why can't Spore/Spikes Smeargle get up spikes 1 time?

Also, as a general point, spikes is an overwhelmingly powerful entity in GSC. Shittiness of spikers I think isn't going to prevent that from being the case. As an observation Surf/Explosion is cool for Cloyster in OU, but a good pokemon it does not make. The general idea is get up spikes, and make spinning prohibitively difficult. If you've got a legitimate offensive plan around it, (in OU something like Nido/Gar/Lax making switching into you a nightmare) then the importance of the spikes support cannot be understated. In principle I think such an approach could be used in BL as well, even if the offensive options aren't quite as potent.
 
I also have pretty limited experience of this tier but it would seem that one advantage spikes Smeargle has over Qwilfish is unpredictability. Spikes from Qwilfish is always obvious whereas Smeargle keeps opponents on their toes with all the different tricks it can pull (spore, agipass, counter/mirror coat, destiny bond etc).
 

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