GSC In-Game Tier List Mk. IV

I used vitamins to help pump up the friendship points for my mantis, allowing me to get a stronger Return slightly earlier. Bought like 3 I think.

I also have roughly enough to buy a GC TM even though I have skipped Union Cave and many Olivine ocean trainers. I also just very recently defeated the impostor in the Radio Tower, skipping many trainers on the way - I may even have enough now. If I did those, I'd be raking in the galleons.

People seem to be confusing this game with a speedrun or one of their precious challenges. It's not either. It's fair to not accept things like breeding or relying too much on RNG, but y'all are going over-the-top with some of these ideas (lol at not being able to purchase vitamins). You can buy vitamins and a GC TM both decently early, it's not remotely difficult. Just play the game, pay attention to new areas that open up once you have the right HM, and you're good. Vitamins aren't even like candies in that they're limited, you can buy more of them when money flows in faster.

Edit: If you use a ton of Vitamins (let's say 6-7) - and they ALL come from a Poke Mart, and this is well before you beat the eighth gym - I can see that being a concern. If you don't, though? There should be no problem and no one should be taken seriously for telling you there is one.
 
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Apologies for the delay but I finally finished my run. I tested everything I could think of in the E4 so that it'd be as thorough as possible.

Pidgey (level 11 - 12): 3HKOs opposing Pidgey with Gust while taking 5/32 damage from Tackle. After leveling up it sits at 19 Speed, meaning it ties with Pidgeotto. Both Gusts are 5HKOs so whoever moves first wins (a held Berry undos the damage from Pidgey). Doable especially with Sand-Attack, but hard.
Cyndaquil (level 13): Pidgey lives an Ember and Mud-Slaps, which can be annoying. However, it's only 5HKOed by Pidgeotto's Gust while Ember 3HKOs meaning you should win most of the time, especially with a Berry.

Best course of action is probably leading with Pidgey and then beating Pidgeotto with Cynda.


Quilava (level 17 - 18): OHKOs Metapod and Kakuna with Ember and levels up. Ember seems to be a positive roll to 2HKO Scyther even without Charcoal, while it does very little damage back with Quick Attack.
Pidgey (level 15 - 16): Gust 2HKOs Metapod and Kakuna and 3HKOs Scyther. Be careful of poison, you might want to hold a berry. Note that after String Shot you're slower than Kakuna even after leveling up. Scyther's Quick Attack doesn't do enough so you should be fine.
Poliwag (level 15): Water Gun 3HKOs Metapod and Kakuna, you'll want to put the second one to sleep. It seems to be a 10HKO on Scyther so it's very unlikely you'll be able to win here.
Bellsprout (level 15): With Sleep Powder plus Growth it's actually doable but it'll take a long time. +6 Vine Whip leaves Metapod in red and 3HKOs Kakuna, both can be brought down with Wrap to preserve PP. Scyther takes very little damage still so it needs to be put to sleep and wrapped. I ended up beating it after 5, which is impressive.


Quilava (level 17): Ember 2HKOs Gastly which can put you to sleep or para you with Lick (might wanna give it a berry). Croconaw comes in and 3HKOs with Water Gun, while Ember doesn't even 4HKO with a burn and Tackle does less. Zubat might live two Embers but it's a favorable roll, only thing it can do is confuse you.
Bellsprout (level 15): Vine Whip 3HKOs Croconaw, better put it to sleep or it'll hurt you with its physical moves. You need +3 to 2HKO Gastly, and it's faster so it can Lick or Hypnosis you before you put it to sleep. Zubat might actually be more annoying than Scyther because of Bite and Supersonic, but the strategy is the same. You need to be at +4 to OHKO Croconaw.
Pidgey (level 15 - 16): Gust 3HKOs Gastly while it outspeeds and puts you to sleep. It can't actually touch you so it'll keep spamming Spite. Zubat is 2HKOed by Pink Bow Swift apparently, although it's also faster and can confuse you. Croconaw takes very little damage from your moves and it'll end up beating you.
Poliwag (level 15): Outspeeds and 3HKOs Gastly with Water Gun, you can put it to sleep so it doesn't para you. Zubat is only 4HKOed so you definitely want to sleep it. Croconaw takes no damage so it's pointless.


Weepinbell (level 21): Vine Whip is a bad roll to 3HKO Clefairy and appears to be a 6HKO on Miltank (didn't have enough PP but it lived one at +0 and two +2). Sleep Powder and Growth twice, you 2HKO Clefairy and comfortably 3HKO Miltank so you only have to hit the two powders and you can win in green. Needs 5 boosts to OHKO Clefairy and Miltank lives a +6 hit so no point in boosting more than twice. Note that Weepinbell is female.
Victreebel (level 21): Now MS Vine Whip 3HKOs no problem Clefairy but Miltank lives four hits. +1 2HKOs Clefairy and barely 3HKOs Miltank, which means you need one less turn to set up.
Quilava (level 20 - 21): Headbutt and Ember 3HKO Clefairy. Miltank's first Rollout does 1/4 health and Stomp does around 40% while Ember falls short of a 4HKO, meaning you need a lot of Smokescreen luck to win.
With Fury Cutter, you need four hits to KO Clefairy so Smokescreen helps to not get too weakened by Doubleslap (also you might want to get the Gold Berry from the Machop trade, I didn't). Miltank lives the fifth Fury Cutter, so if you were weakened you can die of two Rollouts. I could barely live both with a Berry. It might be advisable to Headbutt Clefairy first so that Fury Cutter needs only three hits and also you can flinch. When you take Metronome into account you realize there's too much luck involved, I only managed to sweep twice (and Clefairy missed a Toxic and Miltank missed Rollout).
With Rollout Clefairy is 3HKOed and Miltank dies to hits four and five, so it's obviously much cleaner. Unfortunately, you still rely on hitting every hit and Clefairy not weakening you enough so that Miltank 2HKOs you, also a Stomp flinch can be lethal. Note that Quilava was male but Miltank never used Attract.
It was Saturday so I decided to go get a Gold Berry at the Bug-Catching Contest. The first mon that appeared was a lv. 13 Pinsir which won me the second price #fail. I finally got it with a lv. 13 Butterfree. With it you can definitely survive three Stomps but you still rely on it not flinching/missing to win. The other strategies are pretty much the same except obviously better, but it consumes all my willpower.
Pidgeotto (level 20 - 21): Pidgeotto swiftly (heh) 2HKOs Clefairy and levels up, unfortunately Miltank is too fat and does too much with Rollout and Stomp (3HKO). You'd need too much luck with Sand-Attack since Pink Bow Swift is apparently a roll to 5HKO, not very reliable. I eventually won in red with three consecutive Stomp misses. Pidgeotto was female.
With a Gold Berry Pidgeotto can live an extra hit from Tank, unfortunately without Pink Bow you no longer 2HKO Clefairy and the cow is still too strong and bulky.
Poliwag (level 20): Pink Bow Headbutt 3HKOs Clefairy, you wanna put it to sleep to win unscathed. Miltank comes in and 2HKOs with Stomp, which wins (30% flinch chance + 40% miss chance = 58%) over half of the time. If you can put it to sleep, you're still only 7HKOing it so it has enough time to wake up and Milk Drink to negate your damage. Doubt this is winnable.

So ultimately, the only one that can reliably beat Whitney is Weepinbell. Good to know I guess.


Pidgeotto (level 21 - 22): Haunter outspeeds and Curses, meanwhile Gust doesn't do enough to kill it. Switch out of Magnemite. If you put it to sleep you can 2HKO it with Mud-Slap. You outspeed and two-shot Zubat, watch out for Supersonic. Croconaw doesn't get 3HKOed by Swift but also doesn't do much with Water Gun so you win if healthy enough. You also outspeed. Return does get the 3HKO although Zubat still lives.
Poliwag (level 21 - 22): Poliwag outspeeds and can put Haunter to sleep or 3HKO with Surf, since Curse allows you to kill it and switch out (do watch out for Lick para). You 2HKO Magnemite while living one Thundershock. Zubat is also 2HKOed but can Supersonic. Croconaw is too bulky unfortunately, although putting it to sleep can help weaken it. You basically have to hit a bunch of Hypnosis to have a good matchup.
Weepinbell (level 22 - 23): Haunter outspeeds and can Curse. If you manage to put it to sleep you need three Growths to 3HKO, and even then if it wakes up and Spites it's GG. Better avoid this. If it sets up on Croconaw it OHKOs at +3 (2HKOs at +1) and 2HKOs Magnemite. You also outspeed which is cool. Avoid Zubat, you need +5 to 3HKO and it's too annoying.
Quilava (level 22 - 23): Outspeeds and 3HKOs Haunter, if it Curses you can then KO and switch out unscathed. Dig does like 3/4 but watch out for Lick para. If you put Croconaw to sleep, Headbutt 3HKOs it after a Defense drop (I gave it Rock Smash because Furret doesn't learn it fsr). Water Gun 3HKOs back so be careful. Zubat lives two Charcoal Embers amazingly but Magnemite is obviously OHKOed.


Poliwhirl (level 25 - 26): Outspeeds everything bar Gengar. Gastly is OHKOed most of the time, both Haunter are 2HKOed and Gengar is 3HKOed. With rain you OHKO the first Haunter and 2HKO Gengar, which spams Hypnosis. The second Haunter can live in red so it's not a full sweep, but good enough. If you get put to sleep Dream Eater 2HKOs so you might wanna have a Mint Berry.
Poliwhrath (level 25 - 26): Now the first Haunter is a speed tie and the second is faster, however Surf leaves the first one in red and guaranteed KOs the second in the rain. Again, a Mint Berry can make the difference in the Gengar fight.
Quilava (level 26): Ember 2HKOs Gastly and the first Haunter while 4HKOing Gengar, who puts you to sleep and 2HKOs with Dream Eater. With Dig you OHKO Gastly and the first Haunter and 2HKO Gengar, which means that when holding a Mint Berry you win 64% of the time (not counting that Gengar might Mean Look fsr). The second Haunter lives in red. Only Gengar outspeeds.
Pidgeotto (level 26): Gust 2HKOs Gastly and the first Haunter so you might have to switch out because of Curse. Even with a Mint Berry it's hard to beat Gengar because it's not 3HKOed by Gust and Dream Eater does a ton. Mud-Slap is too weak to do anything but the accuracy drop might help. Hypnosis kept hitting me though so not sure it's worth it. The second Haunter lives two Gusts but can't do anything back. Only Gengar outspeeds.
Weepinbell (level 25 - 26): The Gastly actually speed ties which is pretty sad. You 2HKO at +2 and OHKO at +4. Don't really wanna test this further.
Victreebel (level 25 - 26): At +3 you still don't OHKO Gastly but do 2HKO Haunter. You need +4 to 3HKO Gengar, however. With a Mint Berry it's technically doable since lack of MiracleSeed doesn't affect the benchmarks. The second Haunter is 2HKOed but it's a speed tie (and it can Spite). Overall a painful matchup but at least it's better than Bugsy.

Note that Gengar never used Shadow Ball, even tho it might've 2HKOed my frailer mons. That's prolly by design.


Holy shit I didn't remember the first gym battles were two consecutive guys with level 27 Hitmons, it was a bad idea to lead with Quilava. I ended up getting to 31 but had to switch train.

Quilava (level 31): Apparently Primeape is a roll to 2HKO with Charcoal Flame Wheel, so you might take a lot of damage. It likes to Leer tho so you can also beat it unscathed. Then comes Poliwrath, which can put you in red at -1 with Dynamicpunch if it hits or put you to sleep. Return appears to be a 4HKO back—3HKO if Rock Smash drops Def. I wish I'd kept Smokescreen to see if it can take advantage of the innacurate moves because once I actually swept without taking damage since it kept missing Hypnosis. Why it didn't use Surf is beyond me, Crystal AI I guess (the one time it used it it put me in red). Not gonna count it as a positive matchup but lol.
Poliwrath (level 30): Primeape outspeeds but doesn't do much, you 2HKO with Surf. You're faster than the opposing Poliwrath but only 4HKO with Pink Bow Return, meaning to have a shot at winning the mirror you need to hit two Hypnosis. Dynamicpunch 3HKOs (2HKOs after a Leer) so the other guy needs luck too. Winnable matchup but you should prolly switch out if you get Leer'd/confused.
Victreebel (level 31): Outspeed and OHKO Primeape and outspeed and 2HKO Poliwrath with Poison Barb Sludge Bomb. You might not even need to use Sleep Powder. Easily the best matchup I've seen in this test, counting Quilava against Bugsy.
If for some reason you didn't pick up Sludge Bomb, +1 MiracleSeed Vine Whip almost 2HKOs Primeape (left in red) and 2HKOs Wrath, so you win even then. Amazing tbh.
Pidgeotto (level 30 - 31): Primeape is faster and can Leer or hit you hard, if it does I suggest switching out. Return cleanly 2HKOs. After leveling up, Return 3HKOs Poliwrath on a roll and you outspeed, while Dynamicpunch does around 50 damage. Sand-Attack can help. Overall it's winnable but the Primeape matchup is not too good, also Return missing the 3HKO on Wrath can be annoying when he spams Hypnosis and D-punch. Like I said before, not getting Wing Attack is sad.


I realized when I went back to the Lighthouse that I'd left a couple trainers so I leveled up a bit. Also I went to get the Mystic Water.

Poliwrath (level 31): Magnemite lives the MW Surf in red and can paralize or hit you hard, same with the second one. Steelix is brought to a quarter HP. If you put the first Magnemite to sleep and set up rain you OHKO everything. Solid matchup provided they don't wake up early.
Quilava (level 31): Magnemite drops to Flame Wheel, then comes Steelix which is 2HKOed and does around half with Rock Throw. The second Magnemite goes the same way. Good matchup as expected.
Victreebel (level 32): Back to Sleep + Growth shenanigans. You need to be at +3 to 2HKO everything so better hope for a long sleep or a T-Wave miss. Steelix does around half with Iron Tail so prolly use Hypnosis again. Sweep is possible but like Morty it takes a while. Eh matchup, Vine Whip's lack of power is showing.
Pidgeotto (level 31): What am I gonna do about this bird? Horrid matchup, worse than expected. Mud-Slap only 3HKOs (!!) the Magnemite, thankfully they can't hit a Thunderbolt. Steelix takes nothing from anything and Iron Tail does over three quarters, so don't even bother.


Poliwrath (level 32): Return 2HKOs Seel and by a little doesn't 3HKO Dewgong (it does with Pink Bow), who you wanna put to sleep. Piloswine can actually live a Mystic Water Surf but it doesn't do anything back. If you use DynamicPunch it OHKOs Dewgong. Good matchup either way.
Quilava (level 32): Return 2HKOs Seel and 3HKOs Dewgong (2HKOs after a Defense drop). Piloswine lives a Flame Wheel in yellow but doesn't do much damage. Fury Cutter isn't very good because it can get wasted by Rest and Dewgong lives the fifth hit (also speed ties after an Icy Wind). Rollout is obviously better minus the accuracy, the fourth hit OHKOs Dewgong and the fifth KOs Swine so the only issue is if Gong wins the speed tie and flinches you. It's still good without it, anyway.
Victreebel (level 32): Sludge Bomb OHKOs Seel and 2HKOs Dewgong, who does less than half with Aurora Beam. Piloswine can live two Vine Whips (more like Vine Weeps amirite) and does a fuckton with Blizzard if it hits, so you want to put it to sleep. With Sleep + Growth you need four to OHKO Dewgong and three for Piloswine so prolly not worth it.
Pidgeotto (level 31 - 32): Return 2HKOs Seel and it comfortably lives the Icy Wind, however you prolly wanna switch out to erase the speed drop. Dewgong is only 3HKOed and 2HKOs back, so you need Sand-Attack to have a shot. Return appears to be a roll to 3HKO Pilo, which OHKOs with Blizzard. It actually has a shot because of accuracy, but overall not a very good matchup.


Pidgeotto (level 33 - 34): Golbat outspeeds and 4HKOs while you barely don't 2HKO (it's a very low chance), Quick Attack could help here but I don't have it. If he confuses you might lose. Avoid Magnemite, Mud-Slap only 2HKOs and you don't really have room for it. Feraligatr is 4HKOed and 5HKOs back with Water Gun, so you can beat it if you're at full. You also outspeed. Haunter is faster and can Curse, otherwise you 2HKO with Wing Attack. Sneasel is 2HKOed and does little with Faint Attack, also if you're healthy it spams Leer. You can beat up to four mons but it's unreliable, at least you outspeed Gatr.
I tried giving it a Rare Candy to see how it goes. Now it outspeeds Golbat and has a higher chance to 2HKO, although the first hit can leave it in green still. Big improvement as long as you avoid hitting yourself. Gatr can still live three Returns but only 5HKOs with Bite. Haunter still outspeeds and Curses and Sneasel outspeeds and is 2HKOed.
Quilava (level 34 - 35): Golbat is outsped and 3HKOed by Flame Wheel while it 3HKOs with Wing Attack. Watch out for Confuse Ray. Gatr comes in and is 4HKOed by Return (3HKOed after a Defense drop) while it 3HKOs with Water Gun so you'll need to heal. The second time it actually started with Rage, but unfortunately I hit myself. Haunter used Shadow Ball for 20 damage and was 2HKOed, similarly with Sneasel and Faint Attack. Magnemite dies. I outsped everything but Sneasel. A sweep is possible with healing but both Golbat and Gatr are annoying.
Victreebel (level 33 - 34): Let's see. Golbat is a speed tie and can confuse or 3HKO with Wing Attack, however if you win the tie you can put it to sleep and 3HKO with Sludge Bomb. A lot can go wrong but it's significantly better than its previous fights. If you can find room for Return (it needs all its moves imo) it doesn't secure the 2HKO on Golbat, so doesn't change much. Magnemite is 3HKOed at +1, watch out for T-Wave if it wakes up. Haunter is faster and Curses, Sludge Bomb seems to 3HKO otherwise. Sneasel outspeeds and Leers but is OHKOed. Gatr surprisingly can be 2HKOed by Sludge Bomb on rolls (poison clinches it) and doesn't pose a threat even at -1 since it just Bites. Definitely better than expected.
Poliwrath (level 34): It's one point slower than Bel and ties with Pidgeotto which means Golbat is faster, sad. Wing Attack is a 4HKO so Confuse Ray is scarier, meanwhile MysticWater Surf (Ice Punch does very similar damage) 2HKOs back. It lives the hit in rain in red. Magnemite is disposed of even without the rain, Haunter does pitiful damage with Shadow Ball and gets brought to red by Surf (so if you used Hypnosis + RD against Golbat you OHKO it before rain runs out). Gatr can only attempt to lower your speed and flinch you for 7 damage, meanwhile Return is a roll to 4HKO. Sneasel also does little with Quick Attack and is 2HKOed by Surf/Return, or OHKOed by Submission after you level up. You might need to switch out of confusion/Curse but you prolly won't need to heal unless you tank two Wing Attacks + a Shadow Ball, Wrath's bulk is really helpful.
I also tried giving this a Candy and teaching it Submission. Unfortunately it only ties with Golbat, meanwhile RD Surf still only 2HKOs. Haunter might be OHKOed by Surf outside of rain but it generally lives in red. Submission 3HKOs Gatr and the recoil does more damage to you than anything it can do, lmao. With a Black Belt you still 2HKO Golbat and Gatr is apparently a roll but I always left it in red. Sneasel goes the same way. Unlike Pidgeotto I don't think the level difference improves the performance much.

Overall the only annoyance is Golbat since it can outspeed 3/4 of my team, the best options are either put it to sleep with Bel and 3HKO with Sludge Bomb or give a Rare Candy to Pidgeotto so that it's faster and 2HKOs. Gatr is such a pushover here, what the hell did Silver do to the Croconaw from Azalea.


Pidgeot (level 38 - 39): The three Dragonair are brought to low yellow/red with Pink Bow Return and threaten with T-Wave. Ice Beam and Tbolt do around 50/124 HP, so 40%. At 39 Kingdra is 3HKOed by Return (or Return + two Swifts if it Smokescreens) and Pidgeot lives two Surfs. With a para Berry you can beat the first Dragonair unharmed and still 3HKO Kingdra. Note that at level 38 Surf becomes a roll to 2HKO, it never used Hyper Beam. Obviously can't sweep but it can either beat two Dragonair or one and the ace without healing, so good matchup overall.
Victreebel (level 38 - 39): Poison Barb Sludge Bomb takes the three Dragonair to red, poison can KO them but since they threaten with para it's better to put them to sleep (watch out for PP) and hope that they don't get an early wake. At level 39 Kingdra outspeeds and does 50/121 (so 40%) with Hyper Beam, meanwhile Sludge Bomb has a good chance to 2HKO—guaranteed with poison. I'd say this is a great matchup, Smokescreen can be annoying but if it HBs you win basically. At level 38 you still 2HKO on rolls and live a Hyper Beam or DragonBreath just fine. Very nice for a mon without much bulk.
Typhlosion (level 38): Return 2HKOs the Dragonair even without Pink Bow. With it Kingdra is 3HKOed (!) (2HKOed at -1) and Typhlosion lives a Surf from full, so you can actually win if Kingdra leads with Smokescreen. Obviously not a good matchup but that shit's hilarious.
Poliwrath (level 38): Black Belt Submission takes Dragonair to low yellow and they all threaten you with para so you want to put them to sleep. You're taking around 18/126 recoil from the big hits, so 1/7th. Kingdra outspeeds and does around a third with Hyper Beam and less with DragonBreath, but have fun hitting if it uses Smokescreen. Two Submissions leave it in red and proc Hyper Potion, maybe at 39 they OHKO. NeverMeltIce Ice Punch does around the same damage to the Dragonair but doesn't have recoil, obviously. It does pitiful damage to Kingdra, only 5HKOing (meaning Hyper Beam 3HKOs back) and procing Hyper Potion. Pink Bow Return barely 2HKOs despite having similar attack to Typh, it seems Poli doesn't like me as much. Kingdra lives three and procs Hyper Potion. With DynamicPunch you don't quite OHKO the Dragonair (they die to confusion) but do guarantee the 2HKO on Kingdra. Well, guarantee is a saying considering it's a 25% chance before accounting for Smokescreen. Possible but easily Poli's worst matchup since it evolved.
Gave it a Rare Candy, Submission still doesn't 2HKO Kingdra so no point in trying.
Went ahead and bought Blizzard since Ice Punch clearly doesn't cut it. The Dragonair are swiftly OHKOed. Kingdra is only 3HKOed tho, so to get a full sweep you'd need a PP Up, an X Accuracy AND a paralysis-curing Berry. Clearly not worth it.
Raikou (level 40): For the lolz. Quick Attack 3HKOs Dragonair after a Leer, bad matchup. Magnet Thundershock 5HKOs Kingdra and it 3HKOs back with Surf, although it likes to spam Smokescreen a lot. Clearly doesn't work without Thunder and I'm not getting the TM since I need the money for Fire Blast and Blizzard.
Used an old save file to get ThunderDance (I had to sell some TMs to get the money since I'd bought Blizzard). The Dragonair are 2HKOed, obviously they can para you so you're gonna need some items. However, Kingdra is brought to low yellow which is impressive. I'd argue that it's better to not set up rain since it powers up Surf, but you should beat it anyway if you're healthy.


Typhlosion (level 40 - 41): Outspeeds and OHKOs Sneasel with Fire Punch, then Feraligatr comes in and is taken to low yellow with T-Punch while doing less than 30% with Water Gun. Golbat lives the T-Punch in red and can confuse. Haunter and Magneton are also OHKOed with Fire Punch, and Kadabra can live in red but dies to Return. Excellent matchup.
Pidgeot (level 40): Outspeeds and OHKOs Sneasel, switch out from Magneton. 3HKOs Gatr with Return and can live two crit Slashes, if it Scary Faces you should switch out. 2HKOs Golbat, Wing Attack does 18%. Its own Wing Attack puts Haunter in low red but it kills itself with Curse and Wing Attack OHKOs Kadabra. Solid matchup overall, Gatr is physically bulky but doesn't hit it hard.
Poliwrath (level 40): Sneasel can't touch you (might debuff you with Screech) and is 2HKOed with Surf/OHKOed in rain so you doesn't need to take recoil from Submission. Golbat outspeeds and Wing Attack 4HKOs, you 2HKO back with Surf or Ice Punch. Kadabra comes in and uses Future Sight and dies to rain Surf (lives outside of it) or Return. Magneton lives outside of rain so you want to put it to sleep or KO it with Submission/DynamicPunch. Haunter outspeeds and Curses then dies, if it uses something else it can live with 1 HP. Gatr is 3HKOed with Submission (4HKOed by Return and 2HKOed by DynamicPunch) but doesn't do much back. The biggest problem is really Golbat, you can put it to sleep so it doesn't weaken you so much. If you avoid it you can probably beat the rest in green but you're forced out by Curse. Average matchup, I'd say, since you're slower than four of his mons and there are too many annoyances.
Victreebel (level 40): Sneasel is OHKOed by Sludge Bomb and can debuff with Screech. Golbat is outsped and 3HKOed by Sludge Bomb/Return, prolly best to put it to sleep. Kadabra Future Sight and dies just as Sneasel. Magneton can para so put it to sleep. At +3 MS Vine Whip can 2HKO, better than I expected. It then 2HKOs Haunter (which kills itself with Curse) and OHKOs Gatr. With SunnyBeam you 2HKO Magneton (obviously put it to sleep first), Haunter is almost OHKOed but lives and if it Curses you have one last turn of sun to OHKO Gatr—which is also 2HKOed by Sludge Bomb. Good matchup, needs some long sleeps so it's not quite solid.


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HP stats are similar, with Victreebel being the lowest at 128 and Wrath the highest at 137.


Without further ado:

Typhlosion (level 41): Thunderpunch leaves the first Xatu in red and it can confuse you or do a bit over a third with Psychic. Then comes Slowbro which lives in yellow and uses Amnesia. With Magnet you still don't OHKO Xatu but you can 2HKO Slowbro through Amnesia (it actually lived with 1 HP once but got full para'd). The second Xatu also lives in red an can Confuse Ray, however since it calls a Max Potion it's only a 3HKO. Without Charcoal Exeggutor and Jynx might live the Fire Punch and hit hard or put you to sleep. With Sunny Day, Charcoal Fire Punch still doesn't OHKO Xatu so there's not much of a point in trying (I wanted to do Sunny Day -> Fire Punch -> KO Slowbro with Bel's SloarBeam -> 2HKO the second Xatu but couldn't do it). Charcoal Fire Blast does OHKO both Xatu, however. Exeggutor and Jynx then drop to Fire Punch. Overall Fire Blast clearly improves this matchup and missing the 2HKO on Slowbro doesn't really matter. You can still sweep without it but I'd recommend switching out from Confuse Ray instead of using a Bitter Berry since Charcoal is needed to beat the Fire-weak mons. Do note that you only live two Psychics, so if you got hit by the first Xatu the second can KO you. Good matchup, great with Fire Blast.
Pidgeot (level 41): Pink Bow Return 2HKOs Xatu, interestingly enough it takes more from Psychic than Typh (it did 56/135 while against Typh it was 45/130, both 3HKOs). OHKOs Jynx very nicely. Slowbro is 3HKOed but can Curse twice to live the third hit which is annoying. Xatu nº 2 is 2HKOed (needs three with a Max Potion) and finishes you off if you took two Psychics. Exeggutor is only 2HKOed by Wing Attack/Fly even after leveling up, from full Pidgeot can live two Psychics although barely. Can beat three mons minimum without healing so I'd say it's a positive matchup.
Poliwrath (level 41): About as bad as you'd expect. Can live a Psychic from anything but dies to two and only outspeeds Exeggutor and Slowbro. NeverMeltIce Ice Punch 2HKO Xatu and Exeggutor, Blizzard OHKOs the first one but nº 2 and Egg live in red so better to put them to sleep. Submission OHKOs Jynx on rolls but the recoil can kill you, lol. Sometimes it derps and Doubleslaps so you can beat it. Thanks to Hypnosis you can beat anything but Slowbro one-on-one, however you'll generally beat Exeggutor and at most one more mon. Bad matchup.
Since you live Xatu's Psychic you can use an X Speed to outpace everything and 2HKO Xatu, OHKO Jynx with Submission and 2HKO Eggy with Ice Punch. You'll obviously need to hit Hypnosis but this way you can get three kills before Slowbro comes in and ruins your fun.
Victreebel (level 41): Like Poliwrath it only outspeeds Egg and Slowbro, however it's worse defensively since Xatu's Psychic almost always OHKOs and the others' are stronger. Sludge Bomb OHKOs Egg and Jynx and 2HKOs the Xatu, whereas it and Vine Whip 3HKO Slowbro (SolarBeam OHKOs so it needs to avoid the minimum sleep). Jynx might screw up and Doubleslap (I actually don't know if it ever does since in multiple tries it always Psychic'd, maybe when it OHKOs it doesn't change the move) but you'll generally beat the two slower things and that's it.
At level 42 you're much more likely to live Xatu's Psychic (it can KO or leave you with 17/132 HP) so you can set up an X Speed and be faster than everything. Since you OHKO Jynx and Eggy you only need to put the other three to sleep and 2HKO with Sludge Bomb/OHKO Slowbro with SolarBeam so it's actually doable, color me impressed. You still stand to lose a portion of the time since you need to not miss Sleep Powder AND not get first-turn wake thrice (and Xatu likes to Quick Attack if you're at 10 or lower) but damn, Bel not pulling any punches here.
Raikou (level 41): Since ThunderShock was really weak I gave it a Rare Candy to get Spark. Xatu nº 1 is OHKOed, Jynx is 3HKOed and Slowbro is guaranteed 2HKOed after Amnesia. Xatu nº 2 is a roll to OHKO. Impressive how one level made that much of a difference, makes me sorry for not having tried it against Clair (Thunder did 70-75% to Kingdra so Spark might not have 2HKOed but still). With ThunderDance you OHKO both Xatu and Slowbro and 2HKO Jynx, Exeggutor is 3HKOed. Since you're 3HKOed back a miss can be deadly, meaning Rain Dance is important here. Honestly Spark might be better than Thunder here, reliably KOing the Xatu before it confuses.

The cleanest way to win would prolly be giving Raikou a Candy and have it beat the Xatu while Bel defeats Slowbro and Egg and Pidgeot KOs Jynx, but that would require giving experience to Raikou so I'll settle for Typh and Pidgeot handling the Xatu in its place.


Typhlosion (level 41 - 42): Fire Punch OHKOs Ariados and Forretress and 3HKOs Muk, who can Toxic or Minimize. Sludge Bomb is a 3HKO but might become a 2HKO with poison. Earthquake two-shots Muk if you have it. Crobat outspeeds and 4HKOs with Wing Attack but generally goes for Double-Team, you 2HKO back with ThunderPunch (3HKO after Full Restore). If you Fire Punch first you don't proc Full Restore, although it becomes a roll to KO. Venomoth is OHKOed by Fire Punch.
Pidgeot (level 41 - 42): Even Sharp Beak Fly fails to OHKO Ariados, however since it spams Double-Team you can beat it with Wing Attack + Swift (kept it just for this battle). Wing Attack is a 5HKO on Forre so you can win if it doesn't go boom. Pink Bow Return can surprisingly 2HKO Muk if it doesn't Acid Armor, if it Minimizes you can still 3HKO with Swift. Crobat can also be 3HKOed by Return + two Swifts, except it procs Full Restore so it's a 4/5HKO. Watch out because it might 3HKO with Wing Attack if you were Toxic'd. Wing Attack doesn't guarantee KO Venomoth but Fly does.
Poliwrath (level 41): MysticWater Surf 2HKOs Ariados outside of rain, doesn't quite OHKO with it. Venomoth is a roll to 2HKO and nearly 2HKOs with Psychic so watch out. Same deal with Forretress, better put it to sleep because Explosion OHKOs back. Crobat 3HKOs with Wing Attack and is only 3HKOed back (2HKOed in rain), Hypnosis procs Full Restore and the next one Full Heal. You can win if you time the rain correctly, since the first rain-boosted Surf doesn't proc healing. Muk is only 4HKOed by Surf, in rain it's barely not a 2HKO after leveling up. If you give it the Earthquake TM it 2HKOs even through Acid Armor, cool stuff. Summarizing, it can beat the three slower mons relatively reliably (Hypnosis helps against Toxic/evasion shenanigans) but the two faster ones are scarier so average matchup.
X Special works similarly to Rain Dance except it also boosts Ice Punch to 2HKO Crobat, you're still only 2HKOing Ariados, Venomoth and Forretress and 3HKOing Muk.
Victreebel (level 41): Ohhh boy. Return 2HKOs Ariados and Venomoth, which can 2HKO back with Psychic but likes to Supersonic. Crobat outspeeds and 2HKOs with Wing Attack while Return 3HKOs, Sleep Powder procs healing. I'd recommend avoiding that and Forre. Muk is 3HKOed by Return. Awful matchup, obviously.
Raikou (level 41): Spark 2HKOs Ariados and Forretress while they Double-Team and Spikes, respectively. Venomoth lives two and can Supersonic or Toxic. Muk is 4HKOed and 3HKOs back with Sludge Bomb. Crobat is 2HKOed but can be outsped if Spark paras and doesn't proc healing. With ThunderDance, you OHKO Ariados and Forrestress (not always) and leave Venomoth in red. Muk seems to be a guaranteed 2HKO in rain. Obviously Crobat is fried. Good matchup without ThunderDance, excellent with it since it screws with evasion.

So yea, beat the Bug-types with Typh and 2HKO Muk with Pidgeot. Any of the two is viable against Crobat, Pidgeot is more reliable but takes longer.


Typhlosion (level 42): Charcoal Fire Punch appears to be a roll to 2HKO Hitmontop so it needs sun to ensure it. Dig is a 3HKO. With Earthquake you can KO Top while it's underground and then 2HKO Onix.Sun-boosted Fire Punch leaves Onix in low yellow and Typh lives an Earthquake. Hitmonchan lives a hit and can Mach Punch you twice, annoying. Machamp is 2HKOed in sun but procs Max Potion, meanwhile Rock Slide does 70% if you healed. Hitmonlee also lives a sun-boosted Fire Punch but dies to two outside of sun. Everything can live one Fire Blast but is left in low yellow/red, in the sun they all roast except Machamp who can consitently live in red and KO back with Rock Slide if you took a Dig (unless you burn it). Meh matchup since not even with Sunny Day + Fire Blast can it sweep.
Pidgeot (level 42): Wing Attack 2HKOs Hitmontop which can only Quick Attack twice for 30/138 damage. Switch out of Onix. Hitmonchan can be OHKOed by Sharp Beak Fly, if it lives Ice Punch can put you in Machamp range by doing 28 damage. Machamp is 2HKOed by Wing Attack (3HKOed if it procs Max Potion) and Rock Slide does around 55%—I lived with 25 HP. Lee is promptly OHKOed. Excellent matchup, prolly the best one since Bugsy.
Poliwrath (level 41): Surf fails to 2HKO the Hitmons so it needs rain to guarantee it. Both Chan and Lee are faster and can weaken Wrath. Rain-boosted Surf falls short of 2HKOing Machamp whose Cross Chop 2HKO back. Onix is washed away. Basically can either 1v1 the ace with Hypnosis or beat the other four, a full sweep is very difficult.
Since the Fighting-types are specially bulky I decided to not use Wrath as a budget Gatr but as my own Fighting-type. Black Belt Submission guarantees the 2HKO on Top and Chan and leaves Lee in red, however you end up dying from all the recoil. With DynamicPunch you leave Top and Chan in low yellow to be picked off by Surf and OHKO Lee. Machamp can actually live two if it doesn't get hit with confusion (so if you put it to sleep) and it might proc healing. It also lives D-Punch + rain-boosted Surf, sadly. Needless to say an X Accuracy is necessary here.
Impressively, the Hitmons live a rain-boosted Surf even after an X Special so you're gonna struggle to stay healthy once for Machamp.
Victreebel (level 41 - 42): Top and Chan are 2HKOed by Sludge Bomb + Vine Whip, you can put them to sleep so they don't weaken you. Lee outspeeds but it can only threaten you with Swagger and is OHKOed back without boosts, Bitter Berry is an option to guarantee the hit. Machamp isn't quite 2HKOed by Sludge Bomb but poison can change that, meanwhile Rock Slide does around a third back. If you sleep it Sludge Bomb + Vine Whip + Sludge Bomb KOs without procing healing. Vine Whip obviously KOs Onix. Nice to have another Bel sweep, I missed those.
Raikou (level 41): Magnet Spark only 3HKOs Hitmontop. With ThunderDance it achieves the 2HKO, however due to low physical bulk Dig stings more than against Typh (para can come in handy). Avoid Onix. Chan is 2HKOed and weakens you with Mach Punch, two do about the same as Dig. Then Lee can live a hit and finish you off. With offscreen healing, Raikou can barely live two Hi Jump Kicks so it can reset rain and 2HKO. However that all ends at Machamp, who's 2HKOed by Thunder (3HKOed if it procs Max Potion) and deals around 100/136 with Cross Chop.


Typhlosion (level 42 - 43): You come close to 3HKOing Umbreon with Fire Punch but it lives to annoy you, swicth out of debuffs. Fire Punch does just about enough to Gengar that it dies to Curse, it can go either way. Murkrow drops to one ThunderPunch but can seldom live it. Houndoom is almost 2HKOed by Return, it seems this is the battle of the rolls. Fire Punch has a good chance of OHKOing Vileplume after leveling up. Fire Blast doesn't 2HKO Umbreon but it does guarantee the OHKO on Vileplume. DynamicPunch is a 2HKO on Umbreon but you need to actually hit them. If it hits itself Fire Punch still doesn't kill. Both DynamicPunch and Earthquake leave Houndoom in red, which means it's a 3HKO after a Max Potion. Good matchup overall, can reliably get three kills and overcome at least one of the other two.
Pidgeot (level 42 - 43): Return 3HKOs Umbreon without Pink Bow, you can 4HKO with Swift if need be. Gengar is faster and Curses while Wing Attack fails to KO after leveling up so it can D-Bond the following turn. Sharp Beak Fly KOs, however. Needs Pink Bow to OHKO Murkrow who otherwise further weakens you with Faint Attack and Quick Attack. Houndoom outspeeds and Flamethrowers for 80 damage, a bit less than 60%. Return leaves it in low yellow so better to avoid it. Vileplume is 2HKOed by Wing Attack or Fly. The ability to 3HKO Umbreon makes it a good matchup all things considered.
Poliwrath (level 41 - 42): Finally a matchup where it can show its worth. Black Belt Submission 2HKOs Umbreon, you take 35 HP of recoil. Put it to sleep first so it doesn't debuff you. Vileplume is left in red by two Ice Punches, NeverMeltIce doesn't guarantee the 2HKO tho. Might wanna avoid Gengar since it can Curse you and Surf only 3HKOs, meaning it may Destiny Bond the following turn. It can also just spam Lick. If you can somehow fit Earthquake it'll KO after Curse. Murkrow actually doesn't have a Flying-type move so it just spams Faint Attack, meanwhile Ice Punch or Surf 2HKOs (Blizzard OHKOs). Then comes Doom and Flamethrowers for around 40 HP and is OHKOed back by Submission, which does another 35 of recoil. I actually lived with 2 HP after all that. Note that since Flamethrower does similar damage to the recoil it might be better to just Surf to avoid missing/getting burned. MysticWater Surf in rain is a roll to OHKO Murkrow and a guaranteed OHKO on Houndoom at level 42, and Crunch is obviously less scary than Flamethrower. If you have Rain Dance you can't run Ice coverage for Vileplume, however. DynamicPunch leaves Umbreon in low yellow or red so Surf can pick it off and Murkrow actually lives with 1 HP so the biggest difference is in lack of recoil. Excellent performance with an X Accuracy bar Gengar, solid without it although losing half your health from recoil is disgusting.
The best chance for a sweep is with all of DynamicPunch, Blizzard, and Earthquake, since you can 2HKO Umbreon, Vileplume, and Gengar (OHKO after Curse) and OHKO Murkrow and Houndoom thanks to X Accuracy—and without using boosted Hypnosis which is frowned upon. Watch out for Vileplume's Petal Dance since it 2HKOs, also a para from Stun Spore can be deadly if you're Cursed.
Victreebel (level 42): Poison Barb Sludge Bomb 3HKOs and if it poisons the first turn it can become a 2HKO (you will get Sand-Attacked, tho). Avoid Houndoom and Gengar since they both outspeed and either OHKO or are untouchable. Vileplume is swiftly 2HKOed. Murkrow outspeeds and 3HKOs with Faint Attack, Sludge Bomb barely doesn't OHKO back. Positive matchup.
Raikou (level 41): Magnet Spark is like a 5HKO on Umbreon so not worth it. ThunderDance 3HKOs and doesn't mind Sand-Attack. Vileplume seems to live three hits and can para so best to avoid. Gengar outspeeds and Curses before falling to Thunder, you'll have to switch out. You are faster than Houndoom so you can reset the rain and 2HKO while taking around 100/136 from Flamethrower + Crunch. Note that if you took a Faint Attack from Umbreon you'll be in red and Murkrow can kill with Quick Attack which is a bit sad, otherwise it's DOA. Good matchup outside of that, using rain to avoid being 2HKOed by Flamethrower is a cool tech.


Typhlosion (level 42 - 43): Gyarados can actually live a ThunderPunch (Magnet turns it into a positive roll, guaranteed at 43) but it only sets up rain. Aerodactyl outspeeds and 2HKOs with Rock Slide while living the TP, it can also flinch. Return appears to be a 4HKO on Dragonite and you can live one Hyper Beam which does around 100/135. You outspeed and 2HKO Charizard. Bad matchup since you can only beat two one on one, I guess X Special can be used to defeat Aerodactyl? Rollout isn't worth it since Aerodactyl comes in after you kill Gyara and beats you.
Pidgeot (level 42 - 43): Pink Bow Return is a roll to 2HKO (guaranteed at 43), rain-boosted Surf does around half back and Hyper beam 55%. You 3HKO the level 47 Dragonite, however Thunder and Blizzard come dangerously close to OHKOing (and you can't even use Fly to stall rain). Charizard outspeeds and generally 2HKOs with Flamethrower (does 68-80/141) unless rain is up, you 2HKO back. Avoid Aerodactyl, you tank a hit but don't do anything back. The level 50 Dragonite is 3HKOed by Return and it 2HKOs back with Outrage so you win if it derps and Safeguards.
Poliwrath (level 42 - 43): Gyarados is a no. Aerodactyl 2HKOs with Wing Attack and you 2HKO back with Surf so you need to sleep it, however if Gyara set up rain you OHKO which is funny. The Thunder DNite brings you to low yellow if you healed offscreen, Ice Punch is a 2HKO so you'll have to Hypnosis. Apparently you need NeverMeltIce so that Blizzard OHKOs, dats weak. The Blizzard Nite generally T-Waves if you're healthy which is not an issue since you're already slower than everything. Twister does 30 HP and Hyper Beam half. Charizard 3HKOs with Wing Attack while Surf 2HKOs—OHKOs in rain if it's somehow still up. The last Dragonite's Outrage is a roll to 2HKO (does between 67 and 74/144) and a roll to be OHKOed back after Wrath levels up, it can also derp and Safeguard. Hyper Beam does 85 in case you're weakened, so around 60%. Needs a couple of healing items offscreen but can KO anywhere from three to five members so it's a good matchup overall.
With an X Speed you're faster than everything except for Aerodactyl. You might need to heal, just remember that if you're at full the Blizzard Nite will T-Wave you and ruin your sweep. Once at +1 you can either try to OHKO with Blizzard or Hypnosis and 2HKO with Ice Punch.
Victreebel (level 42): Gyara outspeeds and its Hyper Beam does around 55%, Sludge Bomb 2HKOs back. The Dragonite are 3HKOed, the Blizzard one OHKOs if it hits. Sludge Bomb 2HKOs Charizard, you can only live his attacks if rain is up.
With an X Speed you're faster than everything but Aerodactyl, however since Sludge Bomb 2HKOs Gyara and Charizard and 3HKOs the Dragonite you're gonna need 13 PP or a crit. Also everything but Gyara threatens you so you'll need to put them all to sleep. Aero is 2HKOed by SolarBeam so a sweep is unlikely to happen. Note that Lance will use Full Restore first and then Full Heal if you put to sleep the level 50 Nite.
Raikou (level 41): You fry Gyarados with Spark but since it so graciously sets up rain for you you might as well let it. The level 47 Dragonite are almost 2HKOed by Thunder but not quite, they retaliate with T-Wave. Note that the most minor damage taken procs Hyber Beam which can KO, dealing over 100 damage. The level 50 one is 3HKOed and likes to lead with Safeguard for some reason, doing a bit over half with Outrage. Charizard lives a Spark but since you're faster you can reset the rain and destroy with Thunder. Similar with Aero but it outspeeds so you need to be healthy to tank the Hyper Beam (you can also Spark and hope for para I guess). Solid performance with Thunder since you can beat up to four Pokés but being so physically frail really hurts against the level 47 Nites.

The best way to sweep here it to have Typhlosion 2HKO Gyarados so that it sets up rain, then Aero comes in, does around half to Poliwrath and falls to one Surf. Switch out of the Thunder Nite, Victreebel is probably the safest one since Lance will generally go for T-Wave first and you can live a Hyper Beam and 3HKO (if you're scared of full para you can switch out on the recharge and finish it with Pidgeot). Bait the Hyper Beam of the Blizz Nite to your fodder so you can set up an X Speed and then either Blizzard or Hypnosis + Ice Punch. You can live Charizard's Wing Attack and 2HKO just fine but the level 50 Nite can KO from around half with Hyper Beam/Outrage on a roll so you should prolly Hypnosis. Note that all Dnite can live a +1 NMI Ice Punch so you're better off hitting them twice.


And now, the noms:

Cyndaquil to A (rise): Honestly my whole team is pretty borderline, however this is the one I'm most sure of. My previous runs with it on full teams had made me think poorly of it because Quilava felt really underwhelming and Typh wasn't really breaking the game after you got it, but on a four-mon run it can really shine. The only particularly bad matchups are Azalea rival's Croconaw (which is the one rival fight that matters imo), Whitney's Miltank, Chuck's Poliwrath, Clair, Bruno, and Lance and even then it has ways to get around some of those. The road between Morty and Flame Wheel is very short so you should have no issues getting it for Jasmine and once it evolves it leaves no doubt. I mean look at those stats, they're higher than Raikou's in all but HP. Its Speed is also pretty important since the only times I remember being outsped were Bugsy's Scyther which spams Quick Attack, Whitney's Miltank, Morty's Gengar, Underground rival's Sneasel, Koga's Crobat and Lance's Aerodactyl. Sometimes Fire Punch doesn't feel strong enough (needing rolls to OHKO Jynx or Vileplume) but out of the three that got Game Corner TMs it's the one that needed it the least for sure. I'm still a bit uncomfortable with it being in the same tier as Magmar but I'm almost certain it's A.

Pidgey to B (stay): This was a looong walk to get good, and Pidgeotto's failure in the midgame is exactly what Quilava's wasn't in this run. Being unable to perform against Chuck since its strongest move is a weak Return (and unlike Crobat and Fearow it's outsped by Primeape) was a pretty big stain so I had a hard time believing it could be B, however that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked it evolved. Suddenly it was able to go toe-to-toe with Clair's Kingdra, Koga's Muk (2HKOing, no less!) and Crobat, and Bruno's Machamp, winning a matchup that Fearow loses 90% of the time. It sadly doesn't do as well against Karen's Houndoom (it does beat Umbreon reliably) and Lance's Dragonite, but my mind was set when I saw it beat the first three E4 members.

Bellsprout (C) to B (rise): This one I hesitate because I'm not sure it should be a tier above Chikorita, however most of the time it's not even using Grass STAB so I think Sludge Bomb puts it above it. It's really the gift that keeps on giving, beating Chuck's Poliwrath and Clair's Kingdra but also almost 2HKOing Bruno's Machamp and Karen's Umbreon. Its other big thing over Chikorita is Sleep Powder, which helps a lot even if you're not setting up at all lategame. Really its biggest fault is in the E4 where many things outspeed it and KO it (such as Will's Xatu or Lance's Charizard) or just take little damage, like basically Koga's entire team. Its saving grace is a solid performance against Bruno and the ability to beat 3/5ths of Karen's team.

Poliwrath (C) to A (rise): The problem with lategame Poli is that discount Gatr can only get you so far when there's many mons with Flying- and Psychic-type moves. It struggles a lot in the first few E4 fights, failing to pull its weight outside of beating the weaker stuff like Ariados or Hitmontop. Hypnosis does allow it to win some fights it shouldn't like against Exeggutor or even Muk. When Karen comes around you can actually use your Fighting STAB, 2HKOing Umbreon and OHKOing Houndoom. No small feature at all, too bad it comes at the cost of either half your HP in recoil or missing 50% of the time. Submission really sucks, I even figured you were better off Surfing Doom twice between recoil, miss chance and Flamethrower burning. Against Lance it can perform decently with Blizzard, possibly KOing four mons with only one healing item used. Ice Punch is most of the time not worth it since before getting Blizzard MysticWater Surf is stronger and afterwards it's better basically in the fights where Blizzard doesn't OHKO, such as Exeggutor or the level 50 Dragonite. Clearly its biggest issue here is its speed (only being faster than 10-11 mons from the E4 and none of Lance's), so X Speed can definitely help turn the tide.
While its lategame performance leans it more toward B, it has redeeming factors such as being really good in the midgame or sweeping Morty impressively as a Poliwhirl. Another factor (and I know I sound repetitive) is its Medium Slow experience group—outside of the starters, it's the only Water-type alongside Tympole in that group*. That allows it to level up significantly faster than other middling Water-types such as Lanturn or Quagsire. Lastly, getting all the Water HMs plus Strength gives it a niche that's only shared by Gyarados, Golduck and Azumarill in this gen iirc (for some unknown reason Dewgong learns Strength in RBY but not in GSC). All that makes me think it would be fine in A.

Raikou to C (stay): Getting Spark and becoming competitive with just one Rare Candy means Raikou can perform in battles without needing training, being able to 3HKO Clair Kingdra or reliably beating Will's Xatus and Slowbro. However, after those fights I soon found out it absolutely needed ThunderDance to actually sweep, since otherwise it's just 3HKOing Koga's Venomoth or Bruno's Hitmons. 65 BP is too weak neutrally. Between the three users of GC TMs, this one clearly needed it the most. That isn't to say it's bad with it, it might be the second best Electric-type in Johto (tied with Lanturn; I never used Magneton so I can't say how good it is). It does very well against Karen and Lance, even trolling the Fire-types by setting up rain to weaken their Flamethrowers. What makes me think C is its home is that need for an expensive TM plus how annoying it can be to catch (I got very lucky but you're almost never gonna catch it the first time, what with fleeing plus its low catch rate).

* EDIT: I lied, Lotad and Spheal are also Medium Slow but you get the gist.

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I'm thinking of starting another run but I dunno when I'll be able to. I wanna try Magmar to see if it could be S, also Chikorita, Chinchou and Mankey (I'd love to have a Fighting-type whose moves don't suck and it's better than Machoke, sad that Cross Chop is too far away). Since most of those are around the fourth gym I figured I'd grab a Geodude since it's the best partner to Chikorita available—outside of lolMagcargo. I'll round out the team with Kenya for Fly duty. I'll obviously be playing in Gold. I wonder how the experience will hold me back what with having two Medium Fast and one Slow mon.

PS: regarding Kenya, I calced it and apparently to evolve it before Whitney you need the same amount of experience as a level 15 Spearow (or Wooper or Rattata), which makes me think it's very unlikely you'll be able to get Fearow. That and being around for Falkner and Bugsy (plus earlier Return I guess) are the things normal Spearow has in its favor, but generally Kenya should be the go-to option since it isn't an experience hog.
 

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Ernesto Cyndaquil squad represent! I agree with all your evaluations, which is honestly amazing given I can say that for few here (maybe Texas).

Rival - Goldenrod City

Scyther (L35): Return 2HKOes Golbat while Wing Attack only 3HKOes you back at best - 2HKOes without. Leveled up to L36 immediately after. Return reliably 2HKOes Magnemite who does very little back to you with Thundershock (only bringing me to the yellow after Golbat's Wing Attack). Wing Attack reliably OHKOes Haunter. Return x2 + Quick Attack 3HKOes Feraligatr who does very little back to you with Bite. Return + Quick Attack KOes Sneasel whose Faint Attacks you laugh off. You might want a Parlyz Heal or some paralysis healing item for Magnemite, but otherwise, you can solo this match. A tier, and only because Magnemite can be annoying or stray critical hits might still be annoying.

Quagsire (L35): Rain-boosted Surf 2HKOes Golbat (3HKO without rain), though Golbat outpaces and can really be annoying with Confuse Ray, so you might need some confusion healing items here (and very likely one Hyper Potion). Earthquake 2HKOes (with a fair chance of OHKOing) Sneasel, after which I leveled up to L36. Earthquake reliably 2HKOes Feraligatr, though Bite spam can be annoying it does very little damage in general - he does outspeed you though. Magnemite is outsped and OHKOed by Earthquake. Haunter is OHKOed by Earthquake who does very little to you with Shadow Ball and never tried to put me to sleep. Very winnable matchup, just needs some item support to pull through and not a whole lot usually.
A tier.

Raticate (L35): Return + Quick Attack reliably KOes Golbat. Mud-Slap reliably 2HKOes Magnemite. Shadow Ball OHKOes Haunter reliably. Return + Quick Attack reliably KOes Sneasel. Return x2 + Quick Attack reliably KOes Feraligatr. You outspeed everyone. Apart from Golbat possibly confusing you with Confuse Ray or Magnemite paralyzing you with Thunder Wave (and Golbat doesn't always use Confuse Ray, neither does Magnemite always use Thunder Wave) and maybe a single Hyper Potion - which you need items for - you should be able to solo this matchup. Needed no items on my third try, though I needed a Full Heal on my first two tries and I think a Hyper Potion on my first try, not the second. A tier.

Typhlosion (L36): Fire Blast virtually always OHKOes Golbat and Thunderpunch reliably 2HKOes Golbat and Feraligatr, the latter of who does pathetic damage back with Water Gun. Fire Blast OHKOes Haunter and Flame Wheel OHKOes Magnemite. Flame Wheel reliably OHKOed Sneasel. Hilariously easy, no items should be required unless Golbat manages to confuse you (very unlikely) - never did on any of my tries though. S tier. Attempted this matchup without Fire Punch but Fire Punch secures the KO Flame Wheel misses on Haunter.

Clair

Scyther (L40): Return + Quick Attack reliably KOed any Dragonair, though paralysis and damage (though even Ice Beam/Thunderbolt is generally a 3HKO at best) might require you to heal. Return x2 + Quick Attack x1 reliably 3HKOed Kingdra (minus Clair healing Kingdra using a Hyper Potion), though Surf 3HKOed Scyther back and Smokescreen can be annoying. You can win, though you likely need a couple or so Hyper Potions and some paralysis cures. I'd say B-Tier. You can lose to a stray critical hit or so from Kingdra at the wrong time, but otherwise you should win.

Quagsire (L40): Soft Sand Earthquake reliably 2HKOes (with a chance at OHKOing!) any Dragonair. I set up Amnesia x3 on Dragonair 1 in preparation for Kingdra and although she managed to get off a Surf (or was it Ice Beam? I forgot) on me before I used my first Amnesia - Quagsire's slow, after all - it did little damage even though I didn't use Amnesia boosts yet. They have a propensity for spamming Slam once you start setting up, although it thankfully does very little damage and is accurate, it combined with your speed disadvantage can wear you down, pushing you to heal once likely. Earthquake 3HKOes Kingdra - with a good chance at 2HKOing! - while Sire can tank anything back, including a Hyper Beam, and hit back hard. I'd honestly say A-Tier - Quagsire can ace this matchup with no more than one Hyper Potion backing and their natural moves.

Raticate (L40): Pink Bow Return 2HKOes (with a very good chance at OHKOing!) any Dragonair. Reliably 2HKOes with Return while tanking a Hyper Beam (and even a Hyper Beam + Dragonbreath combo, although ending up in the red). Only healing needed was a Parlyz Heal, and only on one out of three attempts. S-Tier, shockingly. This is a VERY good generation to be a Normal-type with a) above average speed and b) average Attack.

Typhlosion (L40): Fire Blast reliably 2HKOes any Dragonair while Thunderpunch is a 4HKO on Kingdra - Surf only 3HKOes you, but ONLY if you set up Sun once she comes in (and Kingdra doesn't hit a critical hit!). Kingdra can be pretty dumb, spamming Smokescreen and even firing off Hyper Beam instead of spamming Surfs, giving Typhlosion a genuine shot at getting through Dra with perhaps some healing support. It's actually quite possible to win this matchup with Typhlo, though you will almost definitely need some paralysis support and definitely need a 2-3, recommend 4 Hyper Potions. I'd honestly argue B-Tier - he can beat nearly any Pokemon here 1-on-1*, can crush the Dragonairs, and can beat all four with healing support. Make sure to equip a Przcureberry as the Dragonairs love being able to paralyze you and Kingdra's Dragonbreath can do the same.

*And definitely get some Hyper Potions (if you have some Full Restores on hand, even better, though you won't need any). Won on 2 out of 3 attempts, which is honestly scary given the massive elemental disadvantage on my part.

Rival - Victory Road

Scyther (L42): Set up on Sneasel with Swords Dance - all he can do back to you is (very) little damage with Fury Cutter. After one SD, Pink Bow Return can OHKO everyone but Magneton (who is 2HKOed by the combo of Return + Quick Attack) and Haunter (Wing Attack OHKOes). After two, everyone falls to one Return - including Magneton. S-tier matchup.

Raticate (L42): Pink Bow Return reliably OHKOes Sneasel and narrowly misses the OHKO on Golbat, who gets picked off by Quick Attack. Return x2 + Quick Attack takes care of Magneton who can be annoying with paralysis but does little damage with Thundershock (lol). Shadow Ball OHKOes Haunter and Kadabra. Return reliably 2HKOes Feraligatr who can't even 2HKO with Slash unless both hits crit. Magneton and maybe Golbat are the only annoyances with parafusion strategies and the damage they can do while you're reeling from either (or both) conditions, though at this point having Full Heals and Full Restores is a piece of cake and you likely won't need many...so A-tier matchup.

Quagsire (L42): Earthquake reliably OHKOes Sneasel. Golbat consistently falls in two Ice Punches though their superior speed and Confuse Ray can be annoying - meanwhile he fails to even 3HKO you back with Wing Attack in the event Sneasel hits you with Screech.

Earthquake reliably OHKOes Kadabra. I set up Amnesia x2 against Feraligatr to avoid being hit too hard by Future Sight and/or Feraligatr's special moves, though he kept hitting me with the pathetic Water Gun. Earthquake 3HKOs (with a small chance at 2HKOing) Feraligatr, though watch out for Slash critical hits - especially if you took prior damage, you might be best served healing around this time. On the other hand, non-crit Slashes fail to 2HKO you even after a Screech from Sneasel, so you're pretty good to go here. Quagsire levels up to L43 after beating Haunter, Haunter is OHKOed by Earthquake. Magneton outpaces but falls to EQ and can do little back with Sonicboom. You might need some healing and anti-status items (a Full Restore and a Max Potion would be great) but otherwise you're golden here. A-tier matchup.

Typhlosion (L42): Set up Sunny Day against Sneasel, whom you comfortably outspeed. Fire Punch with or without Sun OHKOes Sneasel, Thunderpunch reliably 2HKOes Feraligatr who can't do much to you with Water Gun or Slash. Fire Blast OHKOes Golbat, Haunter, Magneton, and Kadabra even without the Sun. Extremely simple matchup - S-tier matchup.

On an unrelated note...I had dropped off Muscle the Machop and Togepi at the Daycare soon after arriving in Goldenrod. I checked on them. My Machop made it to....L31 - and so did my Togepi. Pretty disappointing, given I had gone pretty much all over Johto on my journey and both are supposed to be fast growing Pokemon. I guess I could potentially make use of a Machamp with a bit of grinding this way if I wanted a last-minute mon against the E4, but other than that I don't see much potential in the Daycare. I'll try this test again, this time checking at different badges.

Will

Scyther (L43): Scyther is only 3HKOed at best by Xatu's Psychic and OHKOes cleanly with a SD-boosted Return. Jynx and Xatu 2 face the same predicament - Wing Attack OHKOes Exeggutor cleanly too. Only Slowbro survives a single Return after one SD and just narrowly, ending in SD Quick Attack range. A-tier matchup, though you might wanna use a Full Heal if Xatu decides to hit you with Confuse Ray mid-setup. I needed none on 2/3 tries (and never needed any further healing), which makes it clear just how easy this matchup is. It would take something like a critical hit Psychic from Slowbro to ruin your day, and given that he generally prefers to use Amnesia/Bulk Up, this is basically a S-tier matchup.

Only one Dance is needed and/or advisable (one more can help you OHKO everyone here but more risky), prep against Xatu 1.

Raticate (L42): Return/Shadow Ball + Quick Attack reliably 2HKOes both Xatu, whereas Xatu 1 3HKOs back with Psychic. Shadow Ball reliably OHKOes Jynx. Shadow Ball also reliably 2HKOes Exeggutor, though he 2HKOes you back with Psychic and cleanly OHKOes you if you've taken damage from Xatu 1. It 3HKOes Slowbro who 2HKOes back with Psychic. Overall, Raticate can't really solo Will (he can 1-vs-1 nearly everyone and take out Xatu 1 and Jynx in quick succession...which isn't bad) even with healing support and can't beat Slowbro reliably if at all, but can still help out against individual mons. I'd say C-tier.

Quagsire (L42): Can set up a single Amnesia against Xatu 1, though being Confuse Ray bait is annoying as Xatu is faster. Ice Punch reliably 2HKOes Xatu (who in return 3HKOes with Psychic, so set up Amnesia ASAP!) and reliably 3HKOes Exeggutor. Earthquake can reliably OHKO Jynx even 2HKOing cleanly through Reflect. You outspeed and 3HKO Slowbro with Earthquake even if he uses a single Bulk Up. Leveled up to L43 right afterward, then can 2HKO Xatu 2 cleanly with Ice Punch. Beware of critical hits, Quagsire's extensive vulnerability to those and Confuse Ray bait make this a B-tier matchup.

Typhlosion (L43): Fire Blast OHKOes Xatu 1 cleanly and Thunderpunch reliably 2HKOes Slowbro even through Amnesia. Grew to L44. Xatu 2 gets OHKOed by Fire Blast. Fire Punch OHKOes Jynx and Exeggutor. Not much to discuss, you can honestly win this fight without taking any damage and very likely will too. S-tier matchup.

Koga

Raticate (L42): Return + Quick Attack reliably KOes Ariados even through Giga Drain x1. Return + Quick Attack reliably KOes Venomoth who generally misses Toxic/Supersonic and doesn't even 3HKO you with Psychic seemingly. Forretress is interesting - Super Fang x2 + Return x2 can take him out if he keeps Swifting (which surprisingly does a lot of damage back), but if he uses Explosion...you're done. Muk gets 2HKOed reliably by Return but can 2HKO you back with Sludge Bomb - if you're still wounded by Forretress, Muk would finish you off. Raticate 2HKOes Crobat pretty reliably with Return but is outpaced, 3HKOed in return by Wing Attack (a single crit turns this into a 2HKO), and Double Team shenanigans stink. B-tier it is - Raticate can generally beat anyone one-on-one barring crits or a lot of misses, but he isn't soloing everyone consistently.

Typhlosion (L43): Fire Punch OHKOes everyone but Muk (2HKOed by Fire Blast) and Crobat (2HKOed by Thunderpunch or OHKOed by Sunnyblast). The only real annoyance is Crobat who outpaces you even at L44 (I leveled up just before Crobat came in) and can whittle you down with Double Team + Toxic + Wing Attack shenanigans. Luckily all you need at most is a Full Restore to secure this matchup. A-tier it is.

Quagsire (L42): You consistently outpace Ariados and can set up Amnesia x2, which is a good idea given that Ariados has Giga Drain - which doesn't even 3HKO you after Amnesia x2. Earthquake reliably 2HKOs Ariados. Venomoth can be annoying with Supersonic if it lands and gets 2HKOed by Earthquake as well but does little with Psychic even if you don't use Amnesia. Forretress surprisingly outspeeds you and gets only 3HKOed by Surf (Earthquake only 4HKOes unfortunately) while being able to KO you outright with Explosion even if you only have a bit of prior damage. Muk also outspeeds you and can be annoying with Minimize shenanigans while barely avoiding the OHKO from EQ (it's a 2HKO).

Ice Punch reliably 3HKOes Crobat who can still be annoying with Toic and Double Team. You can beat Koga almost solo if not for Forretress and one or two Full Restores, so B-tier. Quagsire's lack of speed is contrasted with his prodigious bulk and decent attacking power, ultimately.

Scyther (L44): Set up Swords Dance x3 on Ariados who can do little back to you other than set up Double Teams, throw Spider Web, and do pathetic damage with Giga Drain. Wing Attack destroys after that. Although Crobat sadly outspeeds, you can live a non-crit Wing Attack and they often use Toxic on you instead - either way, Return OHKOes. Wing Attack OHKOes Venomoth after which I go up to L45. Wing Attack cleanly OHKOes Forretress, as crazy as it sounds while Return folds Muk. Easy A-tier matchup, not S only because Crobat can still be a jerk.

Bruno

Raticate (L42): Return 2HKOes Hitmontop who does pathetic damage back with Dig, cleanly OHKOes Hitmonlee, Return + Quick Attack cleanly KOes Hitmonchan (Mach Punch does a load of damage back to you though and can KO you if a critical hit - I recommend using QA as the finisher to avoid being Mach Punched), Return cleanly 2HKOes Machamp though Cross Chop crushes you if it ever lands regardless of how much HP you have, Raticate can honestly solo - I actually did better with him here than against Will or Koga, ironically - as long as Cross Chop misses, you don't get any crit from Chan, and heal up before fighting Onix. Onix can only 3HKO you with Earthquake at best so you can actually beat him, though it will take a bit of time given his high bulk and the fact you'll still need to heal between his hits and Sandstorm still building up. B-tier matchup.

Quagsire (L42): Earthquake OHKOs Hitmontop through Dig, though disappointingly it only 2HKOes Hitmonlee, allowing him to bring you to the yellow with Double Kick + HJK (to say nothing of two HJKs). Hitmonchan does little damage to you even with two Mach Punches and falls to Earthquake x2. Machamp's Cross Chop 2HKOs with a chance of 3HKOing Quagsire (to say nothing of if it misses), and you 3HKO him back with Earthquake as well - unfortunately he outspeeds you. You can absolutely solo this matchup if you're lucky but be prepared to use a couple or so Full Restores. B-tier matchup as you can all but solo Bruno and potentially even solo if you're relatively lucky with damage rolls and misses.

Typhlosion (L43): Sunnyblast consistently, reliably OHKOes the Hitmons, Machamp, and Onix. Only way you lose is if you miss against Machamp and he doesn't miss Cross Chop, which also crits and/or hits with a high damage roll. Overall, an A-tier matchup.

Scyther (L45): Set up Swords Dance x3 against Hitmontop who can do nothing but tickle you with Quick Attack. Unfortunately, Onix ruins your day with Rock Slide even after that and can take whatever you dish out minus a crit. Thankfully you can still comfortably prepare against Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan, both of who do pathetic damage to you with Fighting-type attacks or elemental punches. Wing Attack GG, OHKO on everybody apart from Onix from there. B-tier matchup only because of Onix. I leveled up to L46 after beating the Hitmon duo and managed to OHKO Machamp using ing Attack even through a Hitmonchan burn, incidentally.

Karen

Raticate (L42): 3HKO Umbreon reliably Return - Guard Spec early to prevent Sand-Attack, Return 2HKOes Vileplume reliably. Shadow Ball and Gengar KOes himself. L43 upon beating Gengar. I would recommend switching after beating Gengar to get rid of passive damage. Murkrow falls to one Return. Houndoom falls to Return + Quick Attack and you can live one Flamethrower barely. Raticate can nearly solo if not for Gengar damage. B-tier matchup.

Quagsire (L42): Earthquake 4HKOes (may 3HKO) Umbreon, Guard Spec early to prevent Sand-Attack - Confuse Ray can be annoying and Faint Attack can 4HKO you if you do not prepare Amnesia. Strongly recommend setting up Amnesia x3 to avoid Vileplume KOing you with Petal Dance. Umbreon also outpaced me. Earthquake reliably 2HKOes Vileplume and you can avoid being 2HKOed by Petal Dance in return after Amnesia provided or you don't get a crit on you. Ice Punch reliably 2HKOes Murkrow. Earthquake OHKOes Gengar cleanly but be careful of parting shots and/or Lick. Houndoom gets OHKOed by EQ. You likely need some healing items but other than that you're good. A-tier matchup.

though disappointingly it only 2HKOes Hitmonlee, allowing him to bring you to the yellow with Double Kick + HJK (to say nothing of two HJKs). Hitmonchan does little damage to you even with two Mach Punches and falls to Earthquake x2. Machamp's Cross Chop 2HKOs with a chance of 3HKOing Quagsire (to say nothing of if it misses), and you 3HKO him back with Earthquake as well - unfortunately he outspeeds you. You can absolutely solo this matchup if you're lucky but be prepared to use a couple or so Full Restores. B-tier matchup as you can all but solo Bruno and potentially even solo if you're relatively lucky with damage rolls and misses.

Typhlosion (L43): Fire Blast for reliable 2HKO with (might also 2HKO without) sun on Umbreon. Guard Spec early to prevent Sand-Attack. Prep against Umbreon as Gengar can prevent you from doing it or penalize you. OHKO on Gengar through Sunnyblast. Level up to L44. OHKO on Murkrow with Thunderpunch or Sunnypunch. Sunnyblast for reliable 2HKO on Houndoom (you outpace), Crunch 3HKOes in return. OHKO on Vileplume with Sunnypunch. Only danger could come from Sunnyblast not hitting and/or Umbreon confusing - especially against Houndoom, but the former is unlikely and the latter can be remedied by healing. A-tier matchup.

Scyther (L46): Set up Swords Dance x3 against Umbreon, but not before Guard Spec early to prevent Sand-Attack. After that, Return OHKOes everyone apart from Gengar, even Umbreon - Wing Attack for the OHKO on Gengar. You might need a Full Restore/Heal to get rid of confusion. S-tier matchup. You outpace everyone, including Houndoom and Gengar. Got to L47 after beating them. Lol Vileplume and the crow.

Lance

Raticate (L42): Return reliably 2HKOes Gyarados and they generally set up Rain Dance, giving you a safe path to victory. Dragonite 1 and Dragonite 2 only get 3HKOed, though, and Hyper Beam from either can OHKO you - Dragonite L50...nope. Aerodactyl? Nope, they outpace you, tank you, and beat you mono-a-mono. Charizard gets 2HKOed and you can live a Fire-type attack. Overall, if you can only beat 1/3 of the team and get slaughtered by everyone else, you can't be a great mon here. I'd argue D, actually, Raticate is all but not good at all here.

Quagsire (L42): It takes a long time to take Gyara down with Ice Punch (not even a 3HKO), but you in return are 3HKOed by Hyper Beam and can utilize the cool down or inaccuracy to do more damage and/or heal if needed. You might even freeze Gyara like I did given the time taken, and that cannot be a bad thing. Prepared Amnesia 3. Quaggy can tank a Hyper Beam even in the near yellow zone and reliably 2HKO D-Nite I and D-Nite II (might be a 2HKO or a 3HKO on D-Nite III) back with Ice Punch. Don't push your luck though and try to keep your HP in the green against them to avoid a critical hit ruining your career. Got to L43 after beating D-Nite 1. Be prepared to utilize a lot of Full Restores, but you have the fight in the bag if you play intelligently and you don't get critted by Outrage or Hyper Beam at a bad time or HP zone. Non-crit Outrage is laughably lacking.

Aerodactyl gets 2HKOed by Surf and cannot do much back to you, even Hyper Beam can't put you in the red barring a crit if you're even near full HP. Got to L44 after beating Aero. Zard gets 2HKOed by Surf and cannot do much back to you, even Hyper Beam cannot 2HKO you in return and Wing Attack is a joke. Overall, be careful of Hyper Beam, attack/heal accordingly, prepare Amnesia before you fight the D-Nite trio, and you can take handily. A-tier matchup.

Typhlosion (L43): You outpace Gyara, giving you the opportunity to prepare the heat and counter the rain. Under the Sun, Surf only 3HKOes at best. Thunderpunch in return for the reliable OHKO. You can very narrowly take one Rock Slide (you get OHKOed by a crit) and 2HKO back with Thunderpunch, though Aero outpaced you and you very likely need to change Pokemon unless Aero fails to hit you at all or derp with Hyper Beam. If you manage to bypass Aero and Gyara both, you level up to L44. Against D-Nite 1, you can prepare Sun again, reducing Thunder accuracy in near half and allowing you to near 2HKO (even maybe actually 2HKO) D-Nite utilizing Sunnyblast, pushing into Thunderpunch KO range if not.

D-Nite 2? No different. You can live a Hyper Beam from either D-Nite even if you're not at full HP, provided you're in the green. Zard is a total joke, his Hyper Beam can't even 2HKO you lol and Thunderpunch reliably 2HKO him. I'd recommend exploiting Zard to set the Sun back up between Hyper Beam recharges, you need it to beat D-Nite 3. Level up to L45 upon beating Charizard. D-Nite 3 is reliably 3HKOed by Sunnyblast and only 3HKOes you in return utiizing Outrage. A crit at the wrong time - particularly from Hyper Beam - can be costly for any of the non-Zard fights but if you can get someone to handle Aero, you can pull through and nigh beat Lance - just get ready to spam (5-6) Full Restores and likely an Ether.

After all, you can't be the Pokemon Champion without spamming full restores!

Ultimately Typhlo can win or at least do a lot of damage, you def aren't guaranteed one though. C-tier, not bad at all given the type match.

Fire Blast for reliable 2HKO with (might also 2HKO without) sun on Umbreon. Guard Spec early to prevent Sand-Attack. Prep against Umbreon as Gengar can prevent you from doing it or penalize you. OHKO on Gengar through Sunnyblast. Level up to L44. OHKO on Murkrow with Thunderpunch or Sunnypunch. Sunnyblast for reliable 2HKO on Houndoom (you outpace), Crunch 3HKOes in return. OHKO on Vileplume with Sunnypunch. Only danger could come from Sunnyblast not hitting and/or Umbreon confusing - especially against Houndoom, but the former is unlikely and the latter can be remedied by healing. A-tier matchup.

Scyther (L47): Set up Swords Dance x3 against Gyara and OHKO with Return - they try to prepare Rain and keep hitting with Flail even at full HP for little damage. Surf can only 3HKO under rain and Hyper Beam 3HKO too. D-Nite 1 OHKOed by Return, getting me to L48, enough to learn Double Team...but I don't learn it. D-Nite II got OHKOed. You OUTPACE Aero and reliably OHKO him (even QUICK ATTACK reliably 2HKOes), OHKO Zard too, and D-Nite III. Overall, terrifying performance. S-tier matchup. Kioskate, you better look at that. No item help needed apart from a held Pink Bough.
 
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DHR-107

Robot from the Future
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On an unrelated note...I had dropped off Muscle the Machop and Togepi at the Daycare soon after arriving in Goldenrod. I checked on them. My Machop made it to....L31 - and so did my Togepi. Pretty disappointing, given I had gone pretty much all over Johto on my journey and both are supposed to be fast growing Pokemon. I guess I could potentially make use of a Machamp with a bit of grinding this way if I wanted a last-minute mon against the E4, but other than that I don't see much potential in the Daycare. I'll try this test again, this time checking at different badges.
The basic maths was never going to support it being an actively good way of training anything. For Level 31, to get to level 35, you'd need another ~12 thousand steps on a Medium Fast mon. That's a lot of steps in a game without many steps. I don't think its worth checking this again honestly.

Also on Vitamins and other "bonuses"... I would err on the side of not using them, but ones you pick up the field are fair game. They won't make a huge difference in the long run I don't think (Unless you literally 252/252 your dudes, but ain't nobody got time for that).
 
Grade Tally

Cyndaquil

Falkner (B), Bugsy (S), Rival (A), Whitney (C), Rival (A), Morty (B), Chuck (D), Pryce (A), Jamine (A), Rival (S), Clair (B), Rival (S), Ill (S), Koga (A), Bruno (A), Karen (A), Lance (C), Fodder (B)

Average: 2 C, 4 B, 7 A, 4 S, 1 D.

Total Battles: 18.

(2.2 + 4.3 + 7.4 + 4.5 + 1.1) / 18

= (4 + 12 + 28 + 20 + 1) / 18

= 3.61 (B+/A-, more A than B)

Rattata: Falkner (B), Bugsy (C), Rival (A), Whitney (A), Rival (A), Morty (B), Chuck (C), Pryce (A), Jamine (D), Rival (A), Clair (S), Rival (A), Ill (C), Koga (B), Bruno (B), Karen (B), Lance (D), Fodder (B)

Average: 3 C, 6 B, 6 A, 1 S, 2 D.

Total Battles: 18.

(3.2 + 6.3 + 6.4 + 1.5 + 2.1) / 18

= 55 / 18

= 3.05 (B)

Quagsire: Chuck (B), Pryce (B), Jamine (A), Rival (A), Clair (A), Rival (A), Ill (B), Koga (B), Bruno (B), Karen (A), Lance (A), Fodder (B)

Average: 6 B, 6 A.

Total Battles: 12.

Average:

(3.6 + 4.6) / 12

= 3.5 (B+/A-)

Scyther: Whitney (A), Rival (B), Morty (D), Chuck (A), Pryce (C), Jamine (E), Rival (A), Clair (B), Rival (S), Ill (A), Koga (A), Bruno (B), Karen (S), Lance (S), Fodder (A)

Average: 1 C, 3 B, 6 A, 3 S, 1 D, 1 E.

Total Battles: 15.

Average:

(1.2 + 3.3 + 6.4 + 3.5 + 1.1 + 1.0.5) / 15

= 3.43 (B/B+, more B than A)

Grade:

S = 5 grade points
A = 4 grade points
B = 3 grade points
C = 2 grade points
D = 1 grade point
E = 0.5 grade points
F = 0 grade points

Random Passerby and Kioskate, I'm done.

Are there any other Pokemon you'd like me to try out? I am personally hoping to try Growlithe and Seel, but feel free to recommend.
 
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Seconding the notion that Raikou is very annoying to catch. Even a Gengar at Lv33 fails to Hypnosis it before it flees so unless you are gambling with Quick Claw, finding Raikou and then sleeping it or weaken it is a difficult task. I used Quick Claw and even then it took a long time. With Spark, it easily clears Goldenrod Rockets by itself though. On my way to Clair right now.


Gengar owns the Chuck, Jasmine, and Pryce match-ups. Shadow Ball + Mint Berry easily takes care of Chuck, Fire Punch OHKOes Magnemites and 2HKOes Steelix who only 2HKOes you back while Pryce can be defeated with X-Accuracy + Hypnosis + Shadow Ball.


Victrebeelis is faster than Chuck's mons and can Sleep Powder + Growth. A +1 Vine Whip 2HKOes Poliwrath while Sludge Bomb OHKOes Primeape. Jasmine is a bad match-up. Pryce is doable by setting up on Seel.


It has a rough time in the Chuck-Jasmine-Pryce section. Persian can beat Primeape but loses to Poliwrath. Jasmine is a bad match-up while Pryce can shrug off its hits. Lack of Strength as an upgrade really hurts although now it can use Return it should fare better.


Feraligatr can OHKO Primeape with Surf and 3HKO Poliwrath with Strength which is actually better than it sounds if you have a Mint Berry. It OHKOes all of Jasmine's mons with Surf. Against Pryce, it can try to Rage sweep but that requires luck. Nevertheless, it easily beats Poliswine.


Can actually beat Chuck's Primeape but loses to Poliwrath. Jasmine is beatable with an X-Attack as +1 Magnitude 7 will 2HKO Steelix. Dig fails to achieve this damage. However, this requires luck to win. Pryce is winnable with a Rollout sweep although you need luck to not get hit by Icy Wind.
 
I believe Raikou being in B might be better. You don't really need Raikou for Clair, it's not even like he matched up against her particularly well, and after that you get the Master Ball to chuck at him and thus can avoid a lot of time. Ditto for Entei. They are much better against the E4 too.

I'd actually argue A, even if they come very late they come in time to handle the endgame and do very good efficiently. Think Emerald Rayquaza.
 
Counterpoint, the E4 is the most important part of the game to succeed at, the trade off of a favorable matchup for an easier acquisition is fair given the high efficacy at the most crucial point of the game.
 
Counterpoint, the E4 is the most important part of the game to succeed at, the trade off of a favorable matchup for an easier acquisition is fair given the high efficacy at the most crucial point of the game.
Yep. Raikou can beat Kingdra but Dragonair can paralyze you, tank you, and beat you down, and beat you down, and never let up. 1 v 1 ing Kingdra is something any full form starter can do. You can bop Clair without Kingdra too, the team Random had could've done it.

I'd agree that the E4 should be considered the most important part of the game, but then you get people calling random E4 members if not all of them scrubs (literally an argument made by a couple of people on the thread about Typhlo not being A-Tier, I kid you not).

I'm thinking of Victreebel (late evolution to get Razor Leaf), Arcanine, Vaporeon, and Crobat (Mt Mortar Friend Ball) for my final team.
 
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Ho-oh(G) , Lugia(S) and Suicune are only at B despite not needing a Master Ball to be caught without annoyance. I'm not sold on Raikou being even equal to these three mons. The most I can see is C.

Some of the elite 4 are kinda scrubs though. Will is alright but Koga and Bruno are bad. Karen's only threat to you is Houndoom.

Lance is difficult with his Hyper Beam spam and 3 Dragonites though.
 
Ho-oh(G) , Lugia(S) and Suicune are only at B despite not needing a Master Ball to be caught without annoyance. I'm not sold on Raikou being even equal to these three mons. The most I can see is C.

Some of the elite 4 are kinda scrubs though. Will is alright but Koga and Bruno are bad. Karen's only threat to you is Houndoom.

Lance is difficult with his Hyper Beam spam and 3 Dragonites though.
Bruno is bad? Lol. Machamp, go brr. Koga can be annoying though I agree he's not a major problem.

I'm curious as to whom you don't consider a fodder. And time for Log 1!

Falkner

Bellsprout (L11): At +6, Vine can reliably OHKO Pidgey and far more often (than not) 2HKO Pidgeotto. Bellsprout, in return, gets 6HKOed by Pidgey Tackle and far more often (than not) 2HKOed by Gust. You outpace Pidgey but not Pidgeotto. 2 Potions and a held Berry give you an opportunity at clinching this matchup if Pidgeotto ends up doing less damage on at least one hit with Gust. It's not reliable due to Pidgeotto at this point in the game, though an X-Speed can give you the fight pretty much. I'd argue C-tier. Not bad for the type matchup.

Growlithe (L10): Bite/Ember reliably 2HKOes Pidgey though Bite is much better - a flinch chance can avoid your accuracy being reduced entirely. You match Pidgeotto in speed and Bite/Ember reliably 3HKOed Pidgeotto, Pidgeotto in return can only (at best) 4HKO you. If you never get hit by Mud-Slap, utilize X-Accuracy (found in Violet City*), or just switch the puppy out and back in again (to return accuracy to normal) - and hold a Berry - you have the fight in the bag. If you don't, you might end up failing to hit 'Otto at a bad time and get Gusted. I'd argue A-tier, B maybe.

*For free. If you've got no Berry, a Potion can do.
 
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Not a scrub: Bugsy, Whitney, Morty, Chuck, Clair, Will, Lance.

But then that's just my own opinion. You are free to think whatever you like. Sure, I have my bias but I look at what others said as well.
Fair, though I'd replace Chuck with Jasmine and add Hiker Anthony (ok jk lol). Karen and Bruno too, but really.

I agree, but I think coming to an agreement on it could help give a better portrayal of Pokemon.
 
Fair, though I'd replace Chuck with Jasmine and add Hiker Anthony (ok jk lol). Karen and Bruno too, but really.

I agree, but I think coming to an agreement on it could help give a better portrayal of Pokemon.
Not really. By the point you get to Chuck, there is very little Pokemon with SE moves against Poliwrath and even if they do, chances are those moves have low BP like Peck and Thundershock. Jasmine can be swept if you have Surf which you would have to go to Cianwood for the Secret Potion.
 
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Not really. By the point you get to Chuck, there is very little Pokemon with CE moves against Poliwrath and even if they do, chances are those moves have low BP like Peck and Thundershock. Jasmine can be swept if you have Surf which you would have to go to Cianwood for the Secret Potion.
Poliwrath can barely even hit you, I literally beat him three times on a Normal-type (Granbull) because he couldn't even touch me lol. Primeape is literal fodder. Jasmine can hit like a truck, punish Fire-types through Rock Throw and electrocute aquatic Pokemon at least.

Bugsy

Bellsprout (L16): At +6, narrowly avoid OHKOing Metapod with Vine Whip - putting him to sleep off the bat can be a great method to avoid building up Tackle damage as you build up. If he awakens, put him back to sleep and keep building up. Once you're at +6, you can begin hitting him. Kakuna got 3HKOed (reliably). Got to L17 upon beating Kakuna - DON'T learn Poisonpowder, it can't help you much. IMMEDIATELY try to put Scyther to sleep. Then utilize Wrap to do passive damage to him over time, and keep Vine Whipping. If he breaks out of Wrap, put him back under it. If he awakens, put him back to sleep unless his HP is REALLY low. A Berry all but clinches the matchup.

Be careful of your HP falling into the gold zone - if that happens, heal with a Potion or Super Potion (you can get one from Mom and you can find multiple for free along the path to Azalea) to avoid being revenged. I only needed a Berry on try 1, a Berry and Potion x2 on try 2, and no healing at all on try 3. I even tried a FOURTH time and needed no healing then. Call me crazy, but....A tier?! You can lose if you get really unlucky but that never happened to me on FOUR tries. Crazy. Game Freak actually did a great job here, Victreebel after all can literally be called a bug eating plant.

Growlithe (L16): Ember can reliably 3HKO Scyther - in return, he can only 4HKO (Quick Attack or Fury Cutter) you barring a crit. You OHKO the cocoon duo. No item needed. S-tier matchup.

Rival

Bellsprout (L18): Attempted to put Gastly to sleep...only for the rival to bring Quilava instead (thankfully he DID fall asleep). I managed to hurt him a little with Wrap and et up a Growth...only to get OHKOed by a crit Ember. Lol. Thankfully my second try didn't go as poorly, Gastly stayed in but outsped me and got into a bit of a sleep war with me. I managed to set up to +6 after being put to sleep multiple times and doing the same to Gastly (even getting paralyzed briefly by Lick) and had a Berry and Potion bail me out and bring me to the green again. After OHKOing him through a vine attack as he failed to attack, Quilava came in. Unfortunately, I literally could NOT beat him at all - Ember reliably 2HKOed me and Vine Whip only 3HKOed in return, even at +6. Overall a terrible matchup*, Bellsprout struggles against Gastly again outside item support, Quilava a sure loss, and Zubat likely no better than Gastly. I'd argue F, a total failure and you can BARELY beat even one of them.

*If you faced Croconaw or Bayleef, you'd likely do a lot better though. Quilava, though? Not happening.

Growlithe (L16): Outpace Gastly and reliably OHKO through Bite. Outpace Zubat and Bite for me reliably 3HKOed him, though you might need help if he confused you (a Bitter Berry can be good to have in your bag here - you can and arguably might be better off holding one too, though I didn't). Bite reliably can 5HKO Quilava, but Quilava 5KOes you back too. Quilava outpaces you too and can annoy you through a little bit (but only a little) of accuracy cutting, though I managed to beat him with only a Potion on try 1, no healing item on try 2 apart from a Bitter Berry due to Zubat, and a Potion and the Bitter Berry on try 3. I'd argue A tier*. You don't need much healing to clear the rival here.

*Bayleef could make the fight even easier (Ember very, very likely 3HKOes and Razor Leaf in return 6HKOes, not counting crits that only happen 25% of the time) and Croconaw harder, though you'd outpace Croconaw (and can flinch) and have a very good chance of surviving Water Gun.

EDIT: I realized that I could've utilized Swift to hit Quilava through the accuracy dropping, but I didn't need it (ironically my puppy DID have the attack, I used Bite the entire time though lol). A Potion and a held Bitter Berry proved sufficient for me to beat the rival on a fourth try, all in all.

EDIT 2: Tried a 5th time. Swift worked! I beat the rival only utilizing a held Bitter Berry to cure confusion, not even a Potion. It and Bite do equal damage roughly.

Whitney

Weepinbell (L22): At +5, narrowly avoid OHKOing Clefairy with Vine Whip - therefore, go up to +6. Put Clefairy to sleep off the bat before pumping up to prevent her from damaging you too much, and if she awakens, put her back to sleep and keep building up. Once you're at +6, you can KO her outright. Miltank reliably gets 2HKOed at +6 - put her to sleep before doing anything though. A Gold Berry can clinch this matchup decisively in your favor, allowing me to defeat them on all three attempts. In fact, I only needed healing on attempts 2 and 3 - the former because of Clefairy hitting me through Aurora Beam and a crit-included Doubleslap and the latter due to Miltank Stomping me into the yellow (or red)?

Easy A-tier matchup. You do need the Gold Berry for a reliable victory though. You can get one by getting Abra from the Game Corner and trading him for Machop holding one for the price of 100 coin - not particularly hefty a price either.

Arcanine (L21): Trekked back to New Bark on my Bicycle, buying 8 Repel beforehand, collected any hidden item I could get that I couldn't get before due to not having the right TM, got Mom to change the time, and I immediately got a call from the boy holding the fiery rock. I picked it up.

Headbutt reliably 2HKOes on Clefairy (I ended up flinching her on try 1 and 3, critical hitting for a OHKO on 2 lol). I cleanly outpace Miltank, admittedly can only 5KO...but not a problem. I LITERALLY defeated Miltank on attempt 1 by firing Headbutt after Headbutt, flinching twice and tanking both a Stomp and a Rollout hit one along the path. I never even got under green HP. Attempt 2 had Miltank successfully bring me to the yellow with Rollout, only for me to heal with a Gold Berry and take her out anyway. I had Dig and planned to utilize it for resetting Rollout, but I didn't even need it. Try 3 had both Miltank and my Arcie land a critical hit on each other through Stomp and Headbutt respectively but I had a Gold Berry heal me and enable me to deal a finishing blow with Headbutt. Terrifyingly good matchup - I'd argue no lower than S. If you plan on being pedantic, I can take an A.
 
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Jasmine can be swept if you have Surf which you would have to go to Cianwood for the Secret Potion.
Both Mags got TBolt. Do not recommend unless you got a Quagsire.

Jasmine is in a weird spot because she does have nice tools at a first glance.

Steelix just have ridiculous Defense and Iron Tail does hit fairly hard, both Magnemite got Thunderbolt and parafusion so they're not glorified speedbumps like Silver's, but when you actually go out and face her, odds are you have the tools to just beat her without much hassle because a lotta things learn Fire Punch.

She does hard wall a lot of normals tho. I can see the likes of Tauros straight up folding against Steelix. Can't really call her a scrub.

By the point you get to Chuck, there is very little Pokemon with SE moves against Poliwrath and even if they do, chances are those moves have low BP like Peck and Thundershock.
I agree with that though. Unless you can deal with Poliwrath quickly, it will land a hit and that's gonna get you in trouble because of Dynamicpunch hitting really hard and confusing or Hypnosis giving it even more chances to nuke you with DP.

If you can't at least outspeed and 3HKO Poliwrath, odds are you're in for a bad matchup.
 
Rival - Ecruteak City

Vaporeon (L23): Surf GG. Everyone - that's right, everyone - gets one-shotted by Surf (or at least 81.3% of the time for a full HP Haunter). The only issue is if you get paralyzed by Lick, but a held Przcureberry allows you to cleanly sweep their team. I didn't even need the Przcureberry on 2/3 tries. Quilava's Smokescreen spam can also be annoying, though not a major threat (it wasn't to me). Easy A.

Arcanine (L23): Reliably outpace and OHKO Haunter through Dig, reliably 2HKO through Bite. Headbutt 2HKOs (can OHKO) Zubat, confusion can be annoying though I didn't get confused 2/3 of my tries and holding a Bitter Berry solves that issue just nicely.

Dig + Headbutt reliably KO Quilava (Headbutt 3HKOs with a small chance of 2HKOing), Smokescreen might be annoying. Ember reliably OHKOes Magnemite. Smokescreen might lower your accuracy, a thing Magnemite can capitalize on through Sonicboom shenanigans. Thankfully I never lost to the rival or needed any healing support (outside of a Bitter Berry on Try 1 only). A-tier.

Weepinbell (L23): Can 1-vs-1 Haunter, build up a Growth, come out on top through Sleep Powder + Vine Whip shenanigans, and then faint to Quilava after putting it to sleep. Zubat and Magnemite are not good for you either. E-tier, marginally better than F like last time.

Morty

Arcanine (L25): Bite reliably OHKOed and outpaced Gastly. Outpace Haunter and reliably OHKO him through Bite. Bite 2HKOed Gengar reliably and you reliably outpace. Level up to L26. Haunter 2 goes same way as Haunter 1 apart from actually having a chance at living a Dig (though not a particularly high one from the appearance of it and three tries). Didn't need Dig (does only a little more damage anyway according to the calculator), the Mint Berry, or any healing on three consecutive attempts. Easy A-Tier, likely even S.

Vaporeon (L25): Reliably outpace Gastly and OHKO through Surf. Haunter reliably outpaces you but also gets OHKOed by Surf. Gengar outpaces you but can't even 3HKO you through Dream Eater or Shadow Ball (barring a crit). In return, Gengar reliably gets 2HKOed through Surf. That being said, being put to sleep multiple times is a possibility. A held Mint Berry and a Super Potion sufficed for me on try 1 and 3 (Vaporeon tanked Dream Eater long enough to break out of sleep and fire back against Gengar who put me to sleep after Haunter 1 did the same to me; I needed the Super Potion because my HP had been dangerously low by the time I did break out of sleep) and on try 2 only got put to sleep once. A held Mint Berry and a couple of Awakenings should suffice you, all in all. I had an Awakening in my bag but didn't need (or use it). Solid A-Tier match.

Weepinbell (L25): Outpace Gastly but no one else - you can't OHKO Gastly 100% of the time even at +6, however, and Haunter and Gengar...just don't bother. You can muscle through Gastly but no further without being super inefficient. E-tier.
 
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Wait, you backtrack from Goldenrod City to New Bark Town just to get Arcanine for Whitney? I'd rather clear Sudowoodo and go for the shortcut since you can get the stone for Vaporeon as well. That saves a lot of time.

On another note, I believe Victrebeel warrants a rise. It's better than I remember it to be.
 
Wait, you backtrack from Goldenrod City to New Bark Town just to get Arcanine for Whitney? I'd rather clear Sudowoodo and go for the shortcut since you can get the stone for Vaporeon as well. That saves a lot of time.

On another note, I believe Victrebeel warrants a rise. It's better than I remember it to be.
Lol, it didn't take long at all. A Bicycle and 8 Repels did the trick. It was also super worth it - Arcanine annihilated Whitney lol.

I didn't have any trouble getting the Water Stone either.

Yeah, Victreebel's pretty all right.

UPDATE: Looks like manually changing the time's good enough to get Kurt to complete a Friend Ball in no time! I now have a Crobat (named Brobat lol). I caught him in Mt Mortar at L13, Friend Balled and then given - in no particular order - a haircut, an HP Up I found in the Burned Tower, pitted against two trainers in Mt. Mortar, and trained a single level in the wild. Even underleveled and a Golbat, he made mincemeat of the fully evolved Nido guy using Screech to cut their defenses in half and then crush them with Return, tanking Double Kick and Scratch for pitiful damage.

I technically failed to capture my first Golbat even after bringing him to red and putting him to sleep but I made certain to save before then and soft reset to help me try again. It's scary how quick these Pokemon are to exploit Return. It makes me wonder about the capabilities of other Friend Ball captures - imagine Red Gyara or Ho-Oh in one, for instance lol.
 
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I technically failed to capture my first Golbat even after bringing him to red and putting him to sleep but I made certain to save before then and soft reset to help me try again. It's scary how quick these Pokemon are to exploit Return. It makes me wonder about the capabilities of other Friend Ball captures - imagine Red Gyara or Ho-Oh in one, for instance lol.
I actually tried this before with both Pokémon, though I wished I had done it with tiering in mind. It's very frustrating due to the low catch rate (especially Ho-Oh) but it's great to have Return as the go-to move against generic enemies. I don't think it really helps Ho-Oh that much against bosses since Sacred Fire is stronger, but it can serve as coverage against, for example, Slowbro, Houndoom or Lance's Pokémon, in case appropriate TMs are not available.

It definitely would benefit Gyarados because its stats favor physical moves, and it's the best one available it has. Even with STAB taken into account, Return will hit harder than Hydro Pump.

Friend Ball usage can probably be assumed for any post-Surf Pokémon.
 
Fwiw I doubt Return helps much for Ho-oh and Red Gyara. Reason is Fly with STAB has higher BP while Gyarados already comes with Thrash. True, you can probably save a turn with Fly for Ho-oh but Return is just 12 BP stronger than Thrash without STAB so it's not much of an upgrade.

Crobat was something I advocate for in the previous thread. Eventually, it was moved to C because people argued that giving up a lot of time for Friend Ball + Return for Crobat wasn't worth it compared to any other Normal. I didn't pursue the matter further.
 
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Fwiw I doubt Return helps much for Ho-oh and Red Gyara. Reason is Fly with STAB has higher BP while Gyarados already comes with Thrash. True, you can probably save a turn with Fly for Ho-oh but Return is just 12 BP stronger than Thrash without STAB so it's not much of an upgrade.

Crobat was something I advocate for in the previous thread. Eventually, it was moved to C because people argued that giving up a lot of time for Friend Ball + Return for Crobat wasn't worth it compared to any other Normal. I didn't pursue the matter further.
don't you think that thrash isn't very convenient for longer battles? it'd mostly serve to ko one mon reliably
 
I can't help thinking if Starmie (Crystal) shouldn't be in A, if not S.

Starmie in particular can decimate nearly every major and minor opponent in the game and you can pick her up before fighting Morty, not even all that late.

Fwiw I doubt Return helps much for Ho-oh and Red Gyara. Reason is Fly with STAB has higher BP while Gyarados already comes with Thrash. True, you can probably save a turn with Fly for Ho-oh but Return is just 12 BP stronger than Thrash without STAB so it's not much of an upgrade.

Crobat was something I advocate for in the previous thread. Eventually, it was moved to C because people argued that giving up a lot of time for Friend Ball + Return for Crobat wasn't worth it compared to any other Normal. I didn't pursue the matter further.
Disagree. It took literally no time to get the Friend Ball and little to get Return. Catching Golbat might ironically be the tricky part and even that I managed - you might like to softreset for this part though. From there Golbat/Crobat annihilated fodder mons and caught up to my team in little time.

don't you think that thrash isn't very convenient for longer battles? it'd mostly serve to ko one mon reliably
It could honestly do if you have a Bitter Berry equipped for longer battles.

The shorter ones can be dealt through quickly and you can use Surf + Rain Dance a a backup of sort.
 
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Regarding the Friend Ball discussion...

There is a significant backtrack (Azalea has no natural shortcuts, you need to go through Union Cave or Ilex Forest) and time manipulation (if you want more than one ball). Also, same catch rate as a regular ball.
It's definitely worth the hassle in a lot of cases though, because unless something has a bad catch rate like say, Entei, it works fairly well.

The reward is also fairly good because the mon instantly comes with an 80BP Return...

However, I wouldn't go as far as to say that certain mons need it besides Mt. Mortar Golbat. And honestly, I count that as a negative point for Bat.

It's ultimately something nice to have, but I don't think it truly moves the needle when it comes to tiering in a broad sense. Pretty much anything late-game that wants Return gets Strength anyway, so it's kind of a commodity, not a need.

Even Gyarados gets by with Thrash and it's actually a pretty good move for route clearing because of how PP efficient it is. You can easily plow through a lot of Grunts teams with just one click.
 

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