Gold / Silver / Crystal In-Game Tier ListOld Tier List: N/A
Old Discussions: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/gsc-in-game-tier-list-mk-iv.3665763/ (Passerby), https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/gsc-in-game-tier-list.3525167/ (Colonel M), https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...-again-after-i-figure-some-stuff-out.3486619/ (Ender), https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/gsc-in-game-tiers.3472745/ (Redew)
Approval Status: Approved by DHR-107
Hello all! Welcome to the GSC In Game Tier List. With HGSS finished, I decided to round out Johto for my last tier list as I have done two and they take a good effort to see completion. From the old lists, GSC needs a drastic update. Colonel M gave it a shot and recently, Random Passerby attempted as well. I plan to make sure that GSC gets its update on way or another. With all that said, let’s get this underway.
What is an In-Game Tier List?
In-game tier lists rank Pokemon based on their viability and usefulness throughout an entire playthrough of either game. Regarding GSC, this means from New Bark Town to the moment you beat Lance at the League. The tester can continue into Kanto and fight Red, however this will not affect the placement as the test officially ends once the League has been beaten. I apologize for those that wished to fight Red for their testing. However, much like its sequel, Kanto is a very hard place to accurately test and the level spike is atrocious.
What are Tiers?
Since there is no pre-existing Tier List to derive from, we will have 7 Tiers in this list. These are:
The tier list is alphabetized for convenience. The higher tier a Pokemon is in the more it contributes within an efficient playthrough. We are tiering Pokemon based on their performance in teams of 3 to 5 Pokemon because those teams are most common among casual players. However, for GSC, 4 is optimal, due to the lack of reliable methods of obtaining enough XP to warrant a 5th Member. This is entirely up to the tester though. A discussion slate will be ongoing for the Pokemon being tested which will be listed at the end of my posts. This is to keep us on track. However, it is not mandatory for the tester to post his progress unless said tester wants to.
Pokemon are ranked under the following 5 factors:
Availability: This is how early a Pokemon arrives in the game and how hard it is to find (read: encounter rate). Does it require backtracking, HM moves, or otherwise have a low encounter rate?
Typing - A Pokemon's typing can be of great importance for an efficiency playthrough. How does the typing match-up work against the entire game? If a Pokemon has better typing it is often considered a higher rank..
Stats - A Pokemon's stat distribution is crucial for a Pokemon's success. Does the Pokemon have a stat distribution that supplements the Pokemon's movepool and typing? If a Pokemon has a stat distribution that favors its both typing and movepool it will often be higher on the tier list. In general, a Pokemon that is often slower than it is faster will often be ranked lower on a tier list.
Movepool - A Pokemon's movepool (both level-up and TM/HM) are crucial for a Pokemon. What moves does the Pokemon naturally get and can possibly obtain? Unfortunately this is the Gen before infinite TMs, thus opportunity cost comes into effect. With that being said, if a Pokemon requires a TM found in a detour off the main path this will knock it down in viability potentially.
Major Battles - Major battles consist of Gym Leaders, Rival encounters, the Elite 4 and Lance. How does the Pokemon contribute to major battles? A Pokemon that contributes to many major battles will often be seen higher than those that do not.
Path Divergence – Like its Sequel, around Morty you can move over to Pryce or go towards Olivine. The tester may go whichever way they would prefer. Going East nets you a Sludge Bomb TM after the Rocket Hideout is dealt with. Going West nets you Fly eventually.
Which Pokemon are available for the player to use in Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal?
The available Pokemon for the Player are the entire Johto Dex within reason. Pokemon that are Post Game are still available but come in too late to test efficiently.
What tools are allowed for the player to use?
The player is allowed to use any legitimate means within the cartridge for completing the game efficiently. The player is only allowed to trade to evolve Pokemon and not to receive outside help otherwise. Keep in mind that items have opportunity costs associated with them and can still contribute to a Pokemon negatively if it requires a multitude of items.
X-Items are banned during testing. These cause an unnatural advantage in your favor and defeat the purpose of using a Pokemon as naturally as you can. (Ex. Using X Speed on Granbull is like saying it used a speed buffing move it would know naturally or TM when it cannot.) If this isn’t enough, it is also Item Reliance which you would need to use multiple X Items anyway to have a lasting effect.
Tier List Key
This signifies what game a Pokemon can be caught in, and whether they need a trade to evolve.
GSC: All Version
G: Gold Version only
S: Silver Version only
C: Crystal only
(Trade) - Pokemon is ranked based off of trading for its evolution.
(No Trade) - Pokemon is ranked based off of no trade accessible to the player (this does not include in-game trades)
- Mankey: Routes 9 and 42
- Primeape: Route 9
- Growlithe: Route 36, Route 37, Route 7, Route 8
- Spinarak: Route 30, Route 31, Route 37, Route 2
- Ariados: Route 2
- Gligar: Route 45
- Mantine: Route 41
- Teddiursa: Route 45
- Vulpix: Route 36, Route 37, Route 7, Route 8
- Meowth: Route 5, Route 6, Route 7, Route 8, Route 38, Route 39
- Persian: Route 7
- Ledyba: Route 30, Route 31, Route 37, Route 2
- Phanpy: Route 45
- Delibird: Ice Path
- Skarmory: Route 45
- Growlithe: Route 8, Route 35, Route 36, Route 37
- Spinarak: Route 30, Route 31, Route 33, Route 36, Route 37, Route 42, Azalea Town, National Park, Route 2
- Ariados: Route 37, Route 2
- Gligar: Route 45
- Mantine: Route 41
- Teddiursa: Dark Cave
- Meowth: Route 38, Route 39, Route 5, Route 6, Route 7, Route 8, Route 11
- Persian: Route 7
- Ledyba: Route 30, Route 31, Route 33, Route 36, Route 37, Route 42, Azalea Town, National Park, Route 2
- Phanpy: Route 45, Route 46
- Delibird: Ice Path
- Skarmory: Route 45
GSC has some glitches that can affect the tiering of some Pokemon if the tester desires them. Below is a list of glitches.
The status conditions of paralysis, burn, and poison increase the catch rate by 0 as opposed to by 5.
The Love Ball only gains a catch rate of 8× on Pokémon of the same gender and species as the player's Pokémon, rather than on Pokémon of the opposite gender.
The Moon Ball is supposed to multiply the catch rate by 4 on Pokémon that evolve with Moon Stone but instead does this on Pokémon that evolve with Burn Heal, as the game uses the index number that Moon Stone has in Generation I, rather than Generation II. Consequently, Moon Ball does not have any additional effect and always acts like a Poké Ball.
The Fast Ball is supposed to quadruple the catch rate against all wild Pokémon that can flee (a mechanic unique to Generation II), but only does this for three of them: Magnemite, Grimer, and Tangela.
The Dragon Scale boosts the power of Dragon-type moves rather than the Dragon Fang.
The DST Trick is a method only in Crystal that is used to force calls from Trainers that are in your PokeGear by returning to New Bark Town and having your mom switch it on and off. For the purpose of this list, the trick is allowed only for the Evolution Stones, not a method for grinding unless a late arrival needs some levels (Please be transparent about what you plan to do with the late arrival in this case). For reference on who gives what:
Picknicker Gina (Route 34): Leaf Stone
Schoolboy Alan (Route 36): Fire Stone
Fisherman Tully (Route 42): Water Stone
Lass Dana (Route 38): Thunder Stone
Level Cap: You may be allowed up to a +2 in levels comparative to a Gym Leader's, E4's Ace. For example, you may be Level 32 for Chuck (which really shouldn't be happening anyways).
Falkner is an exception to this rule due to his inherently low level.
Other things taken from Passerby's List:
Rare Candies are allowed in moderation. This means that a Pokemon at most should have 1 to 2 candies on it for the following reasons: To see if a level or 2 would allow some ranges to decrease, meaning 3HKOs turn to 2HKOs, a level up move that could change the MU immensely, an evolution, etc. Candies are NOT to be used excessively.
We are starting from scratch. It will take some time for me to go over Passerby's list and make sure that all those tests are accounted for. I am not invalidating the runs from that list or past ones. The ones below are done by preliminary and are subject to move at this point in time (this bit will edited out once we get more tests overall).
S tier: Reserved for Pokémon who possess the highest levels of efficiency of the available options in the Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver versions. Pokémon in this tier are able to OHKO or 2HKO an overwhelming majority of opponents, limiting the amount of attacks used against them, and possess minimal reliance on items to help assist them defeat opponents at like levels. These Pokémon typically show up before the late-game and any flaws they have are absolutely made up by their advantages.
A-Tier: Reserved for Pokémon whose efficiency in terms of completing the game is considered to be very high. Pokémon in this tier are able to OHKO or 2HKO a lot of opponents and are not very reliant on items to succeed, but either have some visible flaws that hurt their efficiency or have their usefulness counterbalanced by a late arrival.
B-Tier: Reserved for Pokémon whose efficiency in terms of completing the game is considered to be high. Pokémon in this tier are able to OHKO or 2HKO a fair chunk of opponents and may have a bit of item reliance to assist in sweeping opponents. These Pokémon are still very useful but either have several visible flaws holding them back or come fairly late.
C-Tier: Reserved for Pokémon whose efficiency in terms of completing the game is considered to be moderately high. Pokémon in this tier are able to OHKO or 2HKO a reasonable portion of opponents but are matchup-based enough to need some item reliance to assist in sweeping some opponents. These Pokémon are useful but either have several visible flaws holding them back or barely make up for their late arrivals.
D-Tier: Reserved for Pokémon whose efficiency in terms of completing the game is considered to be average. Pokémon in this tier are able to OHKO or 2HKO a small amount of opponents and tend to be matchup-based enough to need item reliance to assist in sweeping a few opponents. The usefulness of these Pokémon are typically counterbalanced by many visible flaws or are useful Pokémon that come very late.
E-Tier: Reserved for Pokémon whose efficiency in terms of completing the game is considered to be low. Pokémon in this tier are generally only able to OHKO or 2HKO specific opponents and suffer from being matchup-based, generally relying on items to assist in sweeping several opponents. These Pokémon either have flaws that outshine its strengths or are otherwise decent Pokémon that come too late to be of any major use.
Untiered: The following Pokemon are in the Kanto/Johto Pokedex but are not obtainable prior to beating the Pokemon League