GSC In-Game Tier List Mk. IV

Yes I meant from the Game Corner. You should have enough money for one such TM when you arrive, and if you're committed to using Cyndaquil and fam it should be Fire blast.

Also a small point in it's favour regarding Cyndaquil vs Totodile; Charcoal is available for a <1m back track just after the second gym, whilst Mystic Water requires a slightly longer backtrack after the 4th (or a very quick ck trip with Fly).

Charcoal boosted Fire Blast from Quilava is quite a bit stronger than anything Croconaw will be putting out vs Whitney.
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Fire Blast's main problem is it is very expensive and comes at the time where you will be buying Elemental Punches and Headbutt for other members of your team. It also has a miserable 5 PP which means it is not ideal for clearing routes and doesn't improve Quilava's coverage. Meanwhile, Feraligatr has Surf, Ice Punch and Return to help it sweep routes.
Oh yeah I'm not arguing that Quilava is the superior option, but if you're going to use him you should invest in Fire Blast. All it really has over Ferligatr is that early Fire Blast.
I'll copy the write-ups about the D ranks and below from the previous thread here.


Caterpie is basically identical in function to its RBY performance: it provides early Confusion and status moves but is underpowered in the long run. Butterfree is at its best from the moment it evolves to roughly the end of the Azalea Town arc. There are plenty of Poison-types during this segment of the game and Butterfree deals with them easily. In fact, out of all the the early-route Bugs, I consider Butterfree to be the best of the lot during this very specific part of the game. Like all the bugs, Butterfree is also a solid early-game partner for Totodile during due to its good match-up against Grass-types. Of particular note is the fact that it happens to match up extremely well against Rival2 in Azalea - it beats Bayleef and has Confusion to deal with Gastly and Zubat.

The gloss starts to wear off by the time you reach Goldenrod, so much so that it's honestly more productive to box Butterfree at this point. It's stuck with Confusion as its best move for quite a while and it doesn't do much to things that aren't weak to it (although admittedly Poison-types are common). Other than that and some occasional use for Sleep Powder in some match-ups, which isn't entirely reliable to begin with anyway, Butterfree isn't really all that good in the long run. This is on top of the irritating initial grind to evolve Caterpie as well - I recommend catching a Caterpie on Route 31 and grinding it against wild Bellsprout and maybe some other Caterpie and Metapod for best results.


Dratini requires 42000 Pokedollars to purchase without gambling and I can tell you that having this much money upon arriving in Goldenrod is pretty much impossible, although you can come close (as stated previously I had around 35000 at this point when actively saving money). You may opt to battle some more trainers post-Goldenrod for more money, or you can try play Card Flip for the rest – it took me about 30 minutes to gain 600 coins with Card Flip to give a general idea of the kind of time investment required. Dratini comes at level 10 and you'll need to grind for something either way.

As far as its performance is concerned, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, although I started with low expectations anyway. Dratini doesn't have the greatest stats and Dragonair is just a modest improvement (Dragonite is pretty much out of reach until the very end of the game) so it'll need some support. It kind of plays like a Water-type without the STAB. You can teach it Headbutt right away and it'll get Surf and Icy Wind later too. Fire Blast, etc., are options too but that's more money invested on top of buying Dratini in the first place. I thought it was kind of neat that it's one of the few non-Water-types to get Waterfall too – this allows players to avoid stacking their actual Water-type with all the Water HMs without having a dedicated slave, if they so desire.

I found its access to Thunder Wave at least useful as a support option for Whitney's Miltank, which is way easier to deal with when it's slowed down. Otherwise you can expect its match-ups to be slightly inferior versions of those a Water-type could manage.


Dunsparce is a swarmer which complicates its acquisition. But in Dunsparce's case its status as a swarm Pokemon is especially important.

Normally we can just say: "well, we can use the DST trick to get around that so that shouldn't be a huge problem." But in this instance, it's not that simple. Part of the problem is that to do the DST trick, you first need to get the appropriate phone number. In Dunsparce's case, said phone number is found on Route 33, after Union Cave and well after Dunsparce is first acquired, so you would first need to skip past Dark Cave and progress through the game until you reached Hiker Anthony, get the phone number, and then walk all the way back to New Bark Town to do the trick. From there, you then need to go to Dark Cave to catch Dunsparce, and then you'll need to grind a level 4 Dunsparce for 10 or so levels to get it going. That's some investment!

Alternatively, you could try your luck and hope to encounter a Dunsparce without a swarm, which might pay off but is a huge gamble. Out of interest, I decided to test methods. When using the non-Swarm method, I was very fortunate and managed to find one in about 10 minutes. I was less fortunate when I failed to catch it due to a badly-timed crit, and then I spend over an hour to find the next one which I did catch. If anything, this experience demonstrated well just how risky attempting to catch Dunsparce in this way is to you time. By comparison, the more grindy swarm method took about 40 minutes from getting Anthony's phone number to having Dunsparce at a good level for battling. I consider the DST trick route to be superior just because it's more reliable and so should be taken into account when considering its availability in tiering, but that is a lot of time at that point in the game (I could very well be on the way to Ecruteak and beyond by then had I not bothered).

As far as battling performance is concerned, Dunsparce is actually decent. Early-game, it happens to benefit from its combination of high bulk and STAB Rage – it was able to beat Faulkner and Bugsy with this method and it even managed to sweep Whitney by itself (note that this isn't reliable because it depends on Dunsparce accumulating lots of Rage boosts from Clefairy's Double-Slap, but it was still amusing to observe). Later on, it can use Headbutt and Return for a more reliable option, with Dig to cover almost everything that resists it, and it happens to work ok as a route sweeper with some match-up utility, although it is a bit slow.

Ultimately though, I consider Dunsparce to be one of the worst Normal-types, possibly on par with Togepi, simply because of its availability issues: too much time and effort involved to get it, and with insufficient pay-off.


In order to get a Fire Stone, you need to abuse the DST Trick with Alan Schoolboy (Route 36) and only in Crystal. This means you need to backtrack from Eureteak to Goldenrod for Eevee and go back to New Bark Town which is time-consuming. Flareon doesn't have STAB moves until Lv 52 unless you shell out for the expensive Fire Blast in Goldenrod. However, it does have 130 Atk to throw a Normal move / Shadow Ball combo so it is not a complete liability.

Note: You can make it less annoying if you only register this NPC in your Pokegear.


In order to get a Water Stone, you need to abuse the DST Trick with Fisher Tucker (Route 42) and only in Crystal. This means you need to backtrack from Mahogany to Goldenrod for Eevee and go back to New Bark Town which is time-consuming. However, Vaporeon does get Surf immediately and learns Bite and Aurora Beam by level up so I can see a case if it were to rise.

Note: You can make it less annoying if you only register this NPC in your Pokegear.


My experiences with Silver are based on those in Silver – in Gold, it is obtained under different circumstances.

It's just a fairly mediocre Poison-type that is burdened by the ridiculous among of time required to grind it. Ekans only has Wrap initially and it doesn't get anything remotely "decent" until Bite at level 15 so grinding it is a drag even with wild Hoppip providing what is essentially free experience. Ekans does learn a couple of usable moves for the first half of Johto, but even with Bite, Dig and Headbutt, its performance really isn't that great. Arbok doesn't really take off until Sludge Bomb arrives and at that point its performance is ok. STAB Sludge Bomb is a fairly reliable attack against stuff that doesn't resist it at least, so Arbok can be a handy choice for routes.

As for match-ups, it must be said that Ekans is quite poor for Bugsy's Scyther despite the Bug resistance. Ekans can't do much damage and I found that Scyther was able to use Ekans as an opportunity to start generating powerful Fury Cutters (although Bugsy's AI is a bit unpredictable in my experience). It can use Dig in some match-ups; paired with its Poison resistance, it's decent for Team Rocket grunts too. Overall though, I think the time investment that you must put into it is too much for Ekans to be a good choice for a decent run.


This thing is killed by the horrid initial grind it's forced to go through. A wild Exeggcute literally only has Barrage for attacking options at the start and the amount of time it took to get this to level 19 for Confusion is absurd. While there is a way to breed it with Sunkern so that it can learn Giga Drain, the process is extremely inefficient.. It's ok on routes once it gets Confusion but its power definitely starts to lag later on in Johto and will stay that way until it evolves.

To give credit where it's due, Exeggcute can do some cool stuff in selected match-ups. Its various supporting moves (mainly Leech Seed and Reflect) definitely softened up Whitney's Miltank and it even managed to stall Clair's Kingdra to death with Leech Seed (resists Water and can tank Hyper Beam to take advantage of the recharge turns – for some reason it refused to use Dragonbreath). It also has a good match-up against Chuck's Poliwrath.


Much like in RBY, the main thing it has to distinguish itself as a Pokemon is its unique move pool. It gets Swords Dance at just level 25 and will learn Agility later as well, giving it an opportunity to boost on some stuff and sweep larger teams. In practice I found this to be fairly unhelpful though – Farfetch’d is generally too slow and weak to boost against stuff that it would need to boost against in the first place unless you shove healing items down its throat constantly. As per RBY, Farfetch’d also learn Cut and Fly, and is the only Pokemon available in-game to learn both moves aside from the Dragonite that you’ll never have until the very end of the game, if at all (Charizard also learns both but is obviously unavailable).

On its own merits it works fine for route things, but it’s an unremarkable Normal-type otherwise.


Gligar is killed by its move pool unfortunately. Seriously, this thing gets almost nothing, but most importantly it has no STAB by TM or level-up whatsoever. Earthquake is apparently a Stadium 2 exclusive in this gen and Wing Attack is an egg move, and it doesn't learn Fly, Dig or even Mud-Slap either. That just leaves it with Iron Tail, Strength and Sludge Bomb, making it seem like a late-game Poison type without the STAB on Sludge Bomb or any actual reliable coverage moves.

The move pool problems are especially bad when considering what it could have been used for with that unique typing. It resists Poison, but against Team Rocket all it can do is hit them with Strength. Similarly, it can only do so much damage against Bruno, although I guess that is a winning match-up for it. Meanwhile a lot of its other late Johto match-ups aren't good for it - Clair especially just destroys it.

So ultimately this is just a late-Johto Pokemon with no moves and limited utility.


Only good matchup in the entire game is Chuck and its offensive capability is limited to unSTAB Headbutt until after Clair when you finally get Solarbeam. It has very minor utility in being able to fling status and Leech Seed at things but its not at all worth leveling it up so it can do those thing


No idea. Never used it. If anyone can provide some details, it would be nice.


Jigglypuff arrives very early but requires an absurd amount of babying because it has no way of inflicting damage until it gets Pound at level 9. Even when that happens, it still isn't that impressive because of its low Speed and generally unimpressive damage output - upgrades like Headbutt are very helpful though.

Still, once you evolve it (which occurs after Surf is usable outside of battle at the absolute earliest) it does much better. Wigglytuff deals decent damage overall and it can take hits back too, although it is a bit slow. Wigglytuff's main niche among other Normal-types, though, is its versatility. Wigglytuff, in addition to its numerous STAB options, also has an expansive special move pool, and unlike other Normal-types with similarly large move pools, Wigglytuff actually has a respectable Special Attack. Meanwhile, other Normal-types with comparable or higher Special Attacks (Noctowl, Stantler, Togetic) don't have as impressive a move pool as Wigglytuff.

Still, it's hard to get around the grinding. Wigglytuff is good but I still consider Jigglypuff to be poor overall because of the time investment.


Koffing wasn't very good. I found it painful to grind it until it reached a usable state. Having only Tackle and Smog until level 21 contributes greatly to this problem. Trying to find a good grinding spot for this thing is difficult because it's so weak and most of the places where it can grind "effectively" offer poor experience yields, and so it takes a long time. I chose to catch Koffing as soon as I reached Ecruteak City, but I think if I were to use it again, I would probably wait until I could use Surf outside of battle. That would give Koffing access to wild Tentacool/Tentacruel which offer better experience gains and are pretty easy to Koffing to beat considering they only have Poison Sting/Acid/Constrict for damage (and Supersonic I guess). Koffing does nothing against Morty anyway so it's no real loss for Koffing to miss out on that gym.

Even after it gets Sludge, it's still not great. It's power is underwhelming and its really slow, and Poison/Normal coverage is not the greatest. Every single Pokemon used by the Trainers east of Ecruteak (which is the way you'll probably be heading after beating Morty if you're using Koffing and want that Sludge Bomb TM) resist Poison, for example. Koffing relies heavily on TMs, all of which are expensive (Fire Blast and Thunder) or one-off (Sludge Bomb). It doesn't start doing anything impressive until it evolves, which is relatively late. Match-ups are hit-and-miss, and not good enough to justify the time investment in getting it going.

One of the things I've gotten out of my testing is that most Poison-types will struggle in GSC IF they don't have some other typing to fall back on. I find it interesting that Sludge Bomb has been "hyped" at various points throughout the various GSC tiering threads (including by myself perhaps hehe), because in practice I've found it to be an underwhelming move on its own. It's fine on stuff like Tentacool and Qwilfish because at least they have Surf as another STAB to use, but as a mono-STAB option, Sludge Bomb kinda sucks, and think this is one of the main reasons why I think the mono-Poisons, and even the Bug/Poisons, just aren't great options for in-game runs.


Lickitung has a great move pool and I could see it being decent if it were obtainable earlier, but instead it's locked away behind the 7-badges requirement with stuff with Tangela and Swinub. It gets very little time to contribute, and it ultimately very slow and not all that powerful, although it has moderate bulk.


The trainer needed to activate Marill swarms isn't encountered until Route 45, after playing through most of Johto and obtaining 7 badges, and by the time you get it, it's extremely under-leveled (although at least Fly is available). For this reason, I consider Marill to be the only case where I would not use the DST trick and would simply just try to encounter one the regular way, outside of a swarm.

1% encounter rate is rough, but you can increase the odds slightly with the Repel trick. Marill is always at level 15 and the encounters in its area range from 14-16, so I just caught a level 15 Pidgey and used Repels to keep the level 14 encounters away. I was able to find my first Marill in about 3 minutes which was lucky, but then I didn't see another one for over 20 minutes. I don't know the exact odds of finding a non-swarming Marill with the Repel trick but I imagine it's probably still less than 5% which is not great.

Sadly Marill isn't all that good anyway, or at least it's not all that good of a Water-type, but it has have the default positive traits that most Waters carry (i.e. STAB Surf before gym 4 with some useful coverage to compliment it). It's in the Fast experience group and evolves quickly at least, but its stats are distributed poorly with a focus on bulk over Speed and power. Under different circumstances I could see Marill being an ok choice on its own merits, but I think the lousy stats combined with the inconvenience of obtaining it make it one of the worst Water-types.


Another Mid-game Normal. This one is less powerful than the others, but that's more of a reflection of how good those are rather than of Meowth being bad. Meowth is still decent on its own terms. It's a little weak before evolving, roughly in the same tier as Jigglypuff in term of raw power, albeit with way better Speed. I just threw Headbutt on it and it did OK on routes. It wishes it could evolve earlier given the middling attacking stats, but once it does it is basically like Aipom/Raticate/Furret but with amazing Speed.

Meowth's move pool falls somewhere between Tauros and Furret in terms of size and quality. Meowth somehow lacks Dig, but it at least gets Shadow Ball and Bite/Faint Attack for the occasional Ghost. The fact that it is a Normal-type with Bite is kind of nice because it allows it to do well against Morty's gym (and unlike Snubbull it has an actual Speed stat). Thunder and Icy Wind can be added to make it some bizarre mixed attacker. Pay Day can also be used to get some extra cash but the gains are minimal and not worth the use of such a weak move outside of finishing stuff that survived Headbutt/Return off.


This isn't too good. The main thing bringing it down is its move pool, which contains no Psychic moves prior to the Elite 4, and very limited options to utilise its good Special Attack. It's stuck with Peck and Night Shade initially which is simply inadequate (the fact that Night Shade is legitimately its strongest attack at times is depressing). It also requires a back-track to obtain, although this is arguably offset by its high catch level.

The only thing that stops Xatu from being complete trash is that its physical attack is usable. Xatu will eventually get Fly and it might have access to the Swift TM too. This allows it to work like an inferior Spearow/Pidgey without the STAB boost on Normal (and it actually has more Attack than Pidgeotto and Noctowl, and is only slightly behind Pidgeot in this regard). Of course, it will get access to Psychic eventually and that gives it an interesting role compression niche, although by then it only has Kanto ahead of it and it's hard to appreciate this niche at that point in the game.


No idea. Never used it. If anyone can provide some details, it would be nice.


Not good. It has a few assets but most of these are undermined by its significant flaws. For example, its Attack stat is actually pretty decent (evolving at level 24 helps it a lot), but its Speed is among the game's worst and it has a terrible move pool to utilize it. It defenses are also decent, but it has one of the worst defensive typings ever.

Mostly it plays like a slower and weaker Heracross/Scyther/Pinsir, except it doesn't even get Headbutt or Strength and pretty much needs Return. It does get Dig to hit Magnemites and Poisons though which is a niche among the bugs (Ariados and Ledian also get it). There's also Spore (I chose to delay evolution by a level to get Spore slightly earlier) which is probably the best thing about it. Spore alone is why I'm willing to accept its current placement in D tier - it allows Parasect to beat things it would otherwise lose to and provides it with some utility in catching annoying Pokemon that you might be planning to use alongside it (e.g. Delibird and other potential fleeing Pokemon).

Note: I personally had Cut / Dig / Fury Cutter / Spore by Blackthorn to give an idea of how bad its movepool is.


For this run I chose to catch wild Phanpy on Route 45. This approach is fraught with problems. For one thing, catching it can be annoying because while it isn't exceptionally rare, it has a 50% flee chance at the end of each turn. It also comes at level 20 and takes time to grind up before it can do much for you. Thankfully, the wild Tentacool/Tentacruel found along the various ocean routes are easy pickings for it since they only have Poison Sting/Acid/Supersonic to hurt you, and Phanpy can just kill them with Strength spam. Evolving at level 25 also helps.

Phanpy has a pretty limited move pool intially too: lots of Normal moves and no good STAB options. Donphan does have high attack, but without STAB, its Normal moves are just comparable to Aipom.


This is awful. This was painful to grind, and as a Pineco it was consistently bad on routes while also have minimal good match-ups. It has a poor stat distribution for in-game runs alongside a baron move pool. It improved a bit once it evolved, as a consequence of its newly-gained Steel typing. Steel-types are generally great for Team Rocket, and Forretress additionally walls Pryce while also having some targets against the Elite 4. But I don't think the effort I went through getting it to that point was really worth it in the end.

Strangely enough though, as bad as Pineco is, it actually has a slight niche against Whitney. While it is far too weak to reliably beat Miltank on its own, it can use Protect to bring Rollout out to a screeching halt. This is handy if it starts to get out of hand. In addition, it also has the option to try and take it out with Selfdestruct. Pineco's Selfdestruct is unlikely to OHKO Miltank (Geodude's version is more reliable in this regard) but it comes close, so all you need is to land some residual damage from a team mate and then let Pineco finish the job. Alternatively, you can try to take Miltank out with something else after Selfdestruct, assuming its fast enough to KO Miltank before it recovers with Milk Drink. Either way, it's an interest niche for an otherwise bad Pokemon!


This is one of the last Pokemon available to you in Johto. Ponyta itself isn't an awful Pokemon since Fire is a decent typing and its stats are ok, but like of lot of Fire-types it got saddled with a poor move pool. Ponyta pretty much needs Fire Blast to really do anything since it only has Ember to fall back on, and its "coverage" options amount to Iron Tail and Normal moves which isn't too great. Still, Ponyta is actually surprisingly easy to grind – the Pokemon on its route give good amounts of experience and there's a highly convenient healing spot on the route too. For a late game Pokemon the amount of time you lose grinding it is not that much.

Ponyta is not a high ranking Pokemon, but is it worth using? Maybe. Fire is a decent typing for the Elite 4, and if, hypothetically speaking, you reached the Pokemon League without a Fire-type and decided you really wanted one right there and then, Ponyta is probably the one to go for since it's the closest to your team in level. I'd could see Ponyta being useful in that situation only. But keep in mind that level 40 Ho-oh exists in Gold and so it's really only worth it in Silver.


Rhydon isn't that great. It's just a late-game Geodude. I think there has been plenty of discussion about how Geodude tends to be less useful during the second half of Johto, so you can imagine how Rhydon performs, boosted experience or not. Rhydon does have a large move pool but that doesn't necessarily translate to a good one. It's lacking in good STAB options until the Earthquake TM comes along, and if I have to be honest…Earthquake is actually not that amazing of a move for the Elite 4. It has a few targets, but Lance, for example, doesn't care about it at all.

If you obtain Rhydon at the earliest moment you'll find it will be useful for the Goldenrod Rocket grunts and maybe some of Route 45, and this is why I think the in-game trade Rhydon is the best way to use it despite the hassle requires to obtain it in the first place. But it sucks against Clair's gym and there are plenty of Water- and Grass-types along the routes leading up to the Pokemon League that will make it think twice.

Note: This should be the best way to obtain a Rhydon since Rhyhorn is only found in the Victory Road in GSC.


Shellder is among the shittiest of the mid-game Waters in GS. It is slow and weak, and it is extremely vulnerable to special attacks – even non-STABed Bites from Golbat can 2HKO it easily. Its main move pool is basically the default Water/Ice move pool, with which it has 45 Special Attack to use these moves, and it doesn't have much of anything to distinguish itself with, aside from perhaps its very good physical defence.

As a mid-game Water-type, Shellder is in a privileged position despite its flaws. It comes at level 20 with the Good Rod and so requires little grinding and costs little of your time to add to your team, and it has access to STAB Surf right away. It also comes with Aurora Beam which makes up for the lack of Ice Punch somewhat, and it has the usual good match-ups against Steelix and Piloswine.

Its attributes as a mid-game Water-type probably make it "better" than many of the other "bad" Pokemon by default. It's just so weak though – far worse than any of the other Water-types I've tested thus far. An easy low tier.

Note: I have not tested this in Crystal but I can't imagine it changes things too much.


No idea. Never used it. If anyone can provide some details, it would be nice.


When using this, I noted pretty quickly that this shares a ton of similarities with Weedle, and yet I think Weedle is superior to it in many ways. Beedrill has much better Speed and evolves earlier, but most importantly it has better move options than Spinarak during the early game, with Fury Attack, Twineedle and Swift giving it decent attacks to use until Sludge Bomb comes along. Spinarak gets...Constrict and Night Shade. Spinarak is therefore atrocious during the early parts of the game. It can do well in Sprout Tower like all bugs and birds but beyond that it is terribly weak and slow, and is stuck like that for quite a while. Later on it hits much harder with STAB Sludge Bomb and is much more useful as a result, but Ariados is still slow as molasses which will slow battles down a bit.

One advantage Spinarak has over Weedle is access to Dig. It's not the most common move among the bugs and it offers nice coverage alongside its Poison STAB, although good luck killing Koffings and Weezings in one hit before they explode in your face! Options like Night Shade and Scary Face (at level 6) also provide it with some utility, with the latter being useful for slowing down stuff like Morty's Gengar if you're willing to risk Hypnosis hitting multiple times.


Its stats aren't amazing but there are distributed appropriately for in-game runs. It also comes at a high level and can be taught Surf immediately which saves time compared to other Pokemon you could be using.

It gets both Thunder and Blizzard, neither of them are exactly priorities, so you can get them at your leisure, but I'd definitely go for Thunder first.
Icy Wind is a thing and Electric is just great in-game. It can also tear the game apart with Rain Dance if you choose to do a slight detour to Azalea after getting Fly.

What really sets Staryu apart is how easily it gets to evolve and how powerful Starmie is. Surf off Starmie hits like a freight train and you can get a Water Stone with some manipulation right after Morty.

Note: You can make the process less annoying by only registering the NPC in your Pokegear.


This useful post on GlitchCity Forums that helped make the hunt shorter. Once you catch it, you can give it Surf and Icy Wind since it does not get Aurora Beam in GS. Suicune has great bulk and passable attack stats which means it will likely beat an opposing mon one-on-one but might not be the best sweeper.


Using Sunkern is a very painful experience and it's a significant timesink just to get one in a usable state. First, you need to grind out National Park Bug Catching Contest for a Sun Stone, which can take awhile depending on RNG. Second, if you want a Sunflora with its best STAB move (Razor Leaf), you have to breed one - Sunkern can't be caught below Level 10 in the wild, but Sunflora only learns Razor Leaf at Level 10. Otherwise, Mega Drain is all you got until Petal Dance at Level 31. Once you finally go through all that effort, Sunflora's contributions are exceptionally mediocre - it has good SpA but horrendous Speed, struggles to take physical hits, and no special attacking options other than Grass STAB (though it at least has Growth I guess), and unlike other Grass-types it has no utility options such as Powders or fallback STAB such as Sludge Bomb. Chuck's Poliwrath is its only decent matchup vs gyms - its horrible Speed means it has a tendency to get screwed over by Pryce and it's worthless against the Elite Four barring Will's Slowbro.


Another late-game Ice-type, but this one isn’t too good. Move pool is a problem for it, since it initially has only Normal moves available for powerful physical options (it can’t even learn Dig), and with no Ice Punch either, it only has the shaky Blizzard as a general-purpose KO move. Its damage output is otherwise mediocre. It also grinds slower when compared to something like Jynx because it can’t KO Tangela/Weepinbel as reliably.

Swinub’s initial role is similar to Jynx’s: Spam Ice moves against the many Ice-weak oponnents that appear late-Johto. It isn’t very good at performing this role though – even Delibird has more Special Attack and Speed than Piloswine and especially Swinub. Piloswine has to risk Blizzard to OHKO Clair’s Dragonair for instance (and those will like have the Speed advantage too).

It improves once it gets Earthquake, but that’s very late.


Its base stats aren't completely awful (although its Speed is bad) but it has late availability in Johto, first arriving just before the Goldenrod Rocket arc, and it has a bad typing and a fairly bad offensive move pool.


Picture Hoothoot, but with even less Attack, crummy Speed, and a long initial grind from an unhatched egg. That is Togepi in a nutshell.

Seriously, this thing sucks. It takes 10+ minutes of walking around Violet City just to hatch it, and then you have a slow grind with Mud-Slap and Metronome just to get it to match your starter/team, from which it proceeds to do nothing until the Swift TM is obtained at the very least. If you aren't doing that, you're continuing on your journey to hatch the egg, and it's probably hatching in Goldenrod at best, and then you have an even longer grind (albeit with Headbutt access in this case). This is on top of its other deficiencies: terrible Speed and weak power for a Pokemon of its type, offering very few worthwhile match-ups, and a slim pool of moves it can use effectively.

Its positives would be its Fast experience growth rate, its easy access to Normal STAB (as bad as its Attack is) and Fire Blast to work off of its decent Special Attack (an advantage over Noctowl who gets no good special moves in Johto). But mostly Togepi is too much of a time drain, with little pay-off.


The cool thing about Voltorb is how easy it is to add to a team. You get it as an in-game trade for Krabby, which is readily available in Olivine City with the Good Rod, and if obtained as soon as possible it shouldn't be far behind the team and has its boosted experience to assist it in getting there anyway.

The problem? Voltorb's level-up move pool is atrocious. It has no STAB moves, and it can't effectively use the moves it does get. Therefore, you will need to invest in the Thunder TM, and you'll want to go back to the Slowpoke Well to get Rain Dance as well to cope with the accuracy. While this is doable by the time Voltorb is available, it's a matter a debate whether a Pokemon should be penalised harshly or not for relying on a Game Corner TM. But if you do these things, Voltorb is actually a very good Pokemon that can sweep opponents well. The fact that it arrives right before the sea routes to Cianwood, followed by the battle with Chuck's Poliwrath, is very convenient. Its other match-ups are hit-and-miss though – it can't do much to anything that blocks electricity and will need team support.


Vulpix is basically Silver’s equivalent to Growlithe in terms of function: it’s an early/mid-Johto Fire-type with some physical moves for coverage. Unfortunately, Vulpix really got the short end of the stick when it comes to stat distribution. Vulpix’s offensive stats are pretty bad and being a stone evolution Pokemon in GS with stats like those can never be good.

Vulpix does have one neat tool in its arsenal that distinguishes it from other Fire-types: STAB Flamethrower at level 31! Vulpix’s Flamethrower is actually stronger than a Flame Wheel from Quilava, and that would give Vulpix temporary status has the holder of the second strongest STAB Fire-type move in GS, at least until Quilava evolves and gets Fire Punch (there’s no getting past Magmar either way). Suddenly, Vulpix becomes a better counter to Jasmine than Quilava and Growlithe. Early access to Flamethrower also makes things much simpler when it comes time to evolve it in Kanto. Whereas Growlithe might need to wait even longer to evolve (assuming it hasn’t reached level 50 for Flamethrower by the time the Fire Stone is obtained), there is absolutely no reason to not evolve Vulpix in the same scenario.

As neat as early Flamethrower sounds, it’s important to keep in mind that even level 31 is quite far away from Vulpix’s starting level. Until then, Vulpix is extremely underwhelming, doing only modest damage with Ember, Headbutt and Dig. So no, Vulpix is not a good Pokemon in GS by any means. In terms of ranking, I think placing it alongside Growlithe, wherever that ends up, is reasonable. Growlithe clearly has the edge initially, but early Flamethrower arguably gives Vulpix the advantage later on.


Its stats aren’t high but they are at least well distributed, and it gets some useful moves, like early Swift and STAB Sludge Bomb. It also has one of the better Bug-type moves in Twineedle at level 20. At the very least, it is a half-decent partner for Totodile because it easily dispatches of Grass-type (although this can also be said for a lot of early-route Bug- and Flying-types).

But in the end, it isn’t really that powerful overall, especially later in Johto. It has overall poor match-ups and it is especially bad at dealing with opposing Poison-types which is never a great thing in GS. As usual, getting a Weedle up to Beedrill is a nuisance, although there is always the option of catching one in the Bug-catching contest.

1) Should Staryu be ranked higher?
2) Can someone tell me of their experiences with Vileplume, Sneasel and Seadra?
3) Anything else you wish to add?
The early Water stone is only available in Crystal. In Gold/Silver, you have to wait until well into the postgame, making Staryu considerably less effective.

Crystal also has Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, for the postgame, if the early Water stone wasn't enough to set C Staryu apart from G/S Staryu.
I feel like this should be mentioned as it ONLY works in Crystal. The DST Trick. How it works if if you need a Stone that generally requires a Call, let’s say for example Gina, you ensure she is your only number outside of Mom, Elm, and Oak. When you switch DST, it forces a call. The only one who would really call you is Gina. Your mother only calls if you win money and she bought something. Elm only calls for major events and Oak just never does.
The early Water stone is only available in Crystal. In Gold/Silver, you have to wait until well into the postgame, making Staryu considerably less effective.

Crystal also has Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, for the postgame, if the early Water stone wasn't enough to set C Staryu apart from G/S Staryu.
Hence, I feel Staryu (C) and Staryu (GS) should be tiered separately.

I feel like this should be mentioned as it ONLY works in Crystal. The DST Trick. How it works if if you need a Stone that generally requires a Call, let’s say for example Gina, you ensure she is your only number outside of Mom, Elm, and Oak. When you switch DST, it forces a call. The only one who would really call you is Gina. Your mother only calls if you win money and she bought something. Elm only calls for major events and Oak just never does.
I mentioned this in the Flareon and Vaporeon section, I think.
Are the Red Gyarados DVs always the same (even the one that doesn't influence shininess: Attack)?
If you can soft reset until you get a 15 Attack Gyara, that's just wonderful. Call me crazy, but I say this thing is underrated in A-tier.
Edit: RG has a 25% chance out the gate of having a 70 power Hidden Power Dragon, which is useful for Claire. It's HP can only be Grass or Dragon, if I am understanding correctly.
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So it's always HP Grass 70. That really blows. A-tier sounds perfect for it.
And I tried googling like 45 minutes last night. So screw you asshole :P Link it.
Haha, here's the code for Pokemon Crystal, specifically the line used by the game at that point;

The code that calls the battle for the Red Gyarados calls constants (ATKDEFDV_SHINY and SPDSPCDV_SHINY) in place of the random numbers usually generated by a wild encounter's DVs. These are defined elsewhere to be Attack: 14, Defense: 10, Speed: 10, Special: 10, HP: 0, which makes it a male.
I must be the only one confused at Cyndaquil being in A while Chikorita resides down in C.

Cyndaquil is a bad pokemon that needs a lot of support, relying on Ember until level 31, when it finally gets an STAB on par with Chikorita's level 8 razor leaf. Cyndaquil needs a lot of support to handle major battles. Even giving it your single Dig TM does little for it's coverage prowess. Fire is a fairly bad type in Johto and you're much better off using Alakazam/Hypno/Gengar to Fire Punch. Chikorita can be paired with the ubiquitous Geodude and the pair essentially doesn't struggle with a single match up.
You're forgetting Flame Wheel and Fire Blast lol.

But yeah Cyndaquil without Fire Blast is a tiny bit sad, invest in the TM if you want to use Cyndy.
You're forgetting Flame Wheel and Fire Blast lol.

But yeah Cyndaquil without Fire Blast is a tiny bit sad, invest in the TM if you want to use Cyndy.
I think you’re thinking of Cyndaquil’s HGSS movepool? Wcstyles is correct that Cyndaquil doesn’t get Flame Wheel until Level 31, so its midgame is pretty bad unless you invest heavily to get Fire Blast. However, its early gym performances are much better than Chikorita’s, and while Level 8 Razor Leaf is great, it’s also basically the best STAB Chikorita ever gets.

I must be the only one confused at Cyndaquil being in A while Chikorita resides down in C.

Cyndaquil is a bad pokemon that needs a lot of support, relying on Ember until level 31, when it finally gets an STAB on par with Chikorita's level 8 razor leaf. Cyndaquil needs a lot of support to handle major battles. Even giving it your single Dig TM does little for it's coverage prowess. Fire is a fairly bad type in Johto and you're much better off using Alakazam/Hypno/Gengar to Fire Punch. Chikorita can be paired with the ubiquitous Geodude and the pair essentially doesn't struggle with a single match up.
Johto isn’t kind to Fire-types, but it’s way more unforgiving for Grass-types, between Falkner, Bugsy, Morty, and almost the entire E4+Champion. Chikorita also hates taking on the rival’s Pokémon and Team Rocket’s Poison-types, while still being kinda iffy even in fights it handles better, like Whitney, Jasmine, and Pryce. In several major battles its best chance is to spam Mud Slap and hope for misses, which is very unfortunate. It takes on Kingdra and Poliwrath better than Cyndaquil, but that’s honestly about it.

We don’t assume anything about the rest of a player’s team when creating these lists, so Chikorita’s synergy with Geodude doesn’t help its ranking. We also don’t count it against a Pokémon if it’s ‘outclassed’ by something else, as you argue with Alakazam/Hypno/Gengar also having access to Fire Punch.

Cyndaquil’s stuck with Ember for a million years, but it’s enough to help it bust through the early game. Almost all of the Quilava stage sucks, but it does pretty well against Jasmine, while being able to deal with the rival decently. Typhlosion can Thunder/Fire Punch its way past a good number of threats, especially in the Elite Four. I’m not entirely sure I agree with A, personally, but it’s definitely significantly better than Chikorita.
Cyndaquil simply has better match-ups than Chikorita. Cyndaquil is much faster than Chikorita in Bellsprout Tower and against Bug-types. Cyndaquil also has a positive match-up against Bugsy, whereas Chikorita needs X Attack support. Cyndaquil gets Rollout and Dig in Goldenrod, which is better against Whitney and Morty than Chikorita's Fury Cutter and Mud-Slap. Dig OHKOs Magnemites to avoid Thunder Wave in Jasmine's gym, and Fire is better than Grass against Steelix. It has Rollout for Pryce while resisting Ice. Even if stuck with Ember, it has access to options that Chikorita doesn't to defeat enemies.

With that said I also echo the sentiment that Cyndaquil probably belongs more in B, because I think it requires more investment than other A candidates (Magmar in particular) to keep up. Rollout is a single-use TM, as well as Dig or Earthquake, and the Fire Blast TM is a very heavy monetary investment to mitigate its mediocre Quilava phase, which can last until Blackthorne. I don't mind it being one tier apart from Chikorita because while Cyndaquil has significantly better combat potential even at its worst, I think that Chikorita's support with screens (as early as lv12) can be pretty important in boss fights, especially against the final bosses (Light Screen is the only way alongside Amnesia to boost Special Defense in this game), and for whatever is worth, Chikorita is pretty tough to defeat by itself because of defenses and screen access.
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I must be the only one confused at Cyndaquil being in A while Chikorita resides down in C.

Cyndaquil is a bad pokemon that needs a lot of support, relying on Ember until level 31, when it finally gets an STAB on par with Chikorita's level 8 razor leaf. Cyndaquil needs a lot of support to handle major battles. Even giving it your single Dig TM does little for it's coverage prowess. Fire is a fairly bad type in Johto and you're much better off using Alakazam/Hypno/Gengar to Fire Punch. Chikorita can be paired with the ubiquitous Geodude and the pair essentially doesn't struggle with a single match up.
Ember (boosted by Charcoal) gives Cyndaquil/Quilava a pretty great early-game, Dig comes just in time for it to pummel specially defensive Poison-types (Morty's gym). The following phase of waiting for Flame Wheel is somewhat cushioned by having access to Dig/Headbutt (maybe even Rollout) and most opponents during that phase being severely underleveled due to the 'route split' after Ecruteak. While Quilava may still struggle a bit throughout the tail end of Johto due to having a bad Clair matchup and suboptimal stats because it evolves late (Fire Blast doesn't help enough to justify the $110.000 price tag in my experience), it still has its moments due to having good match-ups against the Rival (sans Feraligatr) as well as the Rocket Executives (e.g. Archer's Houndoom).
Finally, Typhlosion's E4 performance is pretty excellent overall. With STAB Fire Punch, Thunder Punch and a Ground attack (preferably Earthquake, but Dig is serviceable if EQ is taken) it is able to largely dent (if not sweep) Wil, sweep Koga, contribute vs. Bruno (takes on the Hitmon's), largely dent Karen (you could even teach Dynamicpunch for Umbreon) and contribute vs. Lance (Thunderpunch for Gyarados as well as maybe Charizard/Aerodactyl).
In my mind, the amazing earlygame as well as overall good matchups in major battles should keep it in A; even with the mediocricy of the late Quilava.

Chikorita faces lots of terrible matchups throughout the run; from Falkner/Bugsy over the rival fights/Morty up until virtually any Rocket Executive. Agaisnt these many opponents, Razor Leaf is resisted most of the time, and many of these opponents have super effective moves against Chikorita/Bayleef/Meganium which finds itself relying on Mud-Slap alongside its (admittedly mostly good) Normal attacks.
I think people vastly overhype Grass-type starters in-game. They have almost never been good, with some exceptions.

Bulbasaur is by far the weakest Kanto starter in RBY, though it has a shout at being much better in FRLG thanks to early Sleep Powder + Leech Seed (while the other starters lost 100 BP Dig and Charizard's Slash). Treecko is also exceptionally weaksauce in Hoenn, taking until Leaf Blade to get any semblance of power, and even then its matchups are nothing to write home about imo. Turtwig is a bit better in terms of the Grass pedigree, having Curse and Earthquake but it never really stands out either. Losing to Wake sucks, and the lategame things it wants to hit typically have an Ice move for it. Snivy is memetically terrible in Unova, not even Coil saves its mediocre offenses. Rowlet suffers in SM without Leaf Blade until level 44 and even then the lategame has coverage for the archer, though it's a little better with early Giga Drain in USUM. I don't have much experience with Chespin lately, or Grookey at all, so I can't speak for them, but I hear Chespin is okay.

Why does this relate to GSC you may ask?

Well, it's for the simple fact that Grass has seven resistors: Bug, Fire, Steel, Grass, Poison, Flying, and Dragon. ALL of these save Fire (outside Rival) and Grass show up prominently in Johto, and all of those 5 kinda hate Chikorita's guts. Bug has the early Bug Catchers and Bugsy stopping Razor Leaf. Jasmine's Steel / Electric Magnemite resist it. Poison shows up in the form of BOTH Morty and Team Rocket (not difficult but still a large chunk of the mook base). Flying has Faulkner which laughs at Chikorita. Dragon is a mixed bag; it's one of the better options for Kingdra but does crap all against the Dragonair and Lance's team as it finds itself resisted bar Aerodactyl.

"But it can wall stuff!"
Yes, Chikorita has Reflect and Light Screen. Those are nice, but ultimately shouldn't be a mon's only role on a team. When the teammates take more advantage of the screens to kill stuff than Chikorita, that's kind of a problem. At that point, it's not Chikorita putting in the work, it's the teammates. Snivy also had this issue. Sure, you can setup screens, but efficiency in these kinds of lists just never aligns with the slower approach screens employ. In-game is always about fast offense unless you can sleep and heal up like FRLG Bulbasaur can.

What I'm saying is Chikorita is resisted everywhere, has very sporadic targets to hit, and just is generally never an efficient pick for any run of Johto at all. It pairs well with Geodude? That's probably because Geodude laughs at the four gyms Chikorita has trouble accomplishing anything significant in aside from maybe Whitney. That speaks to the viability of Geodude more than Chikorita.

Cyndaquil maybe have Ember troubles but at least you hit stuff super-effectively with it and it can actually kill stuff lategame with Fire Punch and Thunderpunch. What's Meganium doing to Will, Koga, Lance or heck, even Karen?
Having finished a meganium run recently,i'd like to chime on the discussion as a casual runner.
(1) meganium is extremely weak. You are basically stuck with razor leaf and return until red, making its damage input the weakest among the current s to c rank, with the sole exception of bellosoom and umbreon (fun fact: umbreons return is stronger than meganium's razor leaf :0)

Notable weak moves that r stronger than meganiums return are azumarill's surf, skarmory's steel wing and noctowls return.

This also detriments a lot of matchups it can potentially win, while you can tank extremely strong attacks like blizzard from misty's starmie for example, you still lose anyway due to razor leafs only 2hkoing back.

(2) It isn't good even in kanto. Now it isn't particularly bad cuz nth should be bad in kanto but with such a pathetic damage output and a weak typing, meganium finds itself in generally the same situation as johto. Although the brock sweep felt good i admit.

(3) this shouldn't be considered for a tier list but as a team player, it also has no real role other than tanking hits. Yr water type beats literally every ground and rock in the game so the only use for meganium is against waters...until you struggle against gyarados the one water type you want meganium to beat.

I'm not ranking it down or anything, reflect+lscreen is cool and meganiums bulk allows it to outtank everything so c rank should be fine (although its borderline d to me :0)

Also, i'm here anyway so i'll give my opinions over the rest of my team.

Swarming bs ranks it down but sludge bomb from 95 attack hits really hard and its speed is more than enough throughout the game. Being able to outspeed and contribute a hard hitting poisoning attack against bosses can't be understated. The main issue with qwilfish is that its incredibly frail so extremely strong resisted attacks like zards flamethrower and blastoises surf will easily 2hko it, making it very unreliable in performing its water type role. Qwill also has piss poor special attack so its one of the worst waters against lances, being too frail and weak to utilize its ice attack.

Btw list doesn't currently include this little guy.

This mon requires fire blast and DST tricks but if you can invest enough, i feel like it has borderline b tier performance. 130 attack shadow ball+quick attack+return is ridiculous for that point in the game and it continues to pull its weight all the way up to red. i didn't even feel the need to use fire blast most of the time so pp or accuracy was never a concern. Flareon's special defense will also have to be noted for letting it go toe to toe againt almost every non water special attacker (and dish out big damage unlike the blob meganium)

In the end of the day, the investment is stupid enough that it should probably be d but i won't say C tier is out of the question.

Every normal type is good and pidgeot is bulky to boot. Pidgey period is solved by the bugs and bellsprouts, pidgeotto has return and pidgeot is practically yr sober tauros. If only it had a little better boss matchups and not evolve at freaking lvl 36...(i only got pidgeot after clair lol)

Used the route 45 version but donphan sucks ass before earthquake. Its low level and has to face off instantly against the rockets' physically defensive behemoths. However, the eq tm immediately patches its performance and donphan was incredible in kanto with ridiculous soft sand earthquakes. This was also my reds snorlax killer with curse. I prefer D tier for this variant of phanpy but once again, tiering it in the same rank against flareon seems slightly iffy due to its shitty johto experience.

Not too sure about this being B. It was the best member of the team but ice punches alone cannot destroy late game. Heck its not even quite a dragon slayer, clairs kingdra nukes it with hyper beam for instance. Combined with solid but not impressive matchups against the e4, i prefer c rank for this late mon. It should be among the upper echelons of c rank though due to acquiring psychic in saffron city, letting it destroy kanto.

Hopefully my experience can contribute something considering the general lack of activity in this thread.
Even with losing STAB normal, Flareon's Headbutt is much stronger than Eevee's, and you can evolve it straight away, unlike Jolteon or Espeon (well, happiness. duh), because they only learn Bite as a level 30 Eevee. Flareon coincidentally learns Bite itself at level 30. So you'll have a level 20 route cleaner on both the physical and (eventual) special side that you have to put no effort into training up. It's certainly held back with the fire movepool though. Relying on a pricey TM means it really cannot touch the B-tier. Flareon is kind of like a Sentret that takes more time investment. C-tier is it's ceiling. I agree that there's a case it can move up from D.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what’s considered the best method for getting the evolutionary stones? To my recollection they were an extreme potluck to get from phone calls and that would severely impact Flareon’s viability.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what’s considered the best method for getting the evolutionary stones? To my recollection they were an extreme potluck to get from phone calls and that would severely impact Flareon’s viability.
It is luck, yes. Though you can expedite the process by changing daylight savings at New Bark Town to trigger phone calls. Register only Schoolboy Alan in your directory, and hope that he will cough it up in a few tries. lol

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