GSC In-Game Tier List

Hi, I have read a good amount of the posts in this thread and would like to share some thoughs on a few A/S tier pokemon that I used in some runs very recently. They were all runs using 3-4 pokemon with pretty much zero/minimal grinding outside of forced battles so I think they fit the purpose of this discussion.

Cyndaquil - A Tier
If there's one thing I'm sure it's that cyndaquil is A tier. It is amazing in the start of the game and does quite well later on, having some great matchups in major battles. It's not top tier since it underperforms from the end of Goldenrod until around Mahogany due to his movepool limitation ( it can only learn Flame Wheel at level 31 and Fire Punch is incompatible with Quilava). I know some people have talked about the Fire Blast tm minimizing this issue, but considering how expensive it is and how it only has 5pp, I really don't think it should affect his placing on the list and be a reason to move it to S tier.

Teddiursa(c) - A Tier
Took me about 35-40 minutes to catch this thing. I know I could have waited to obtain the 2 great balls after the first gym or caught a Ursaring after obtaining surf, but I wanted to see if it could perform well early on with no grinding... It can! Even though it comes at level 2, Teddiursa's high base stats (80 attack) allow it to be immediately useful in combat with no team support whatsoever against the first trainers you run across. It also performs admirably well against Falkner if you decide to do the sprout tower, being able to beat it with zero item support and efficiently at regular levels, something that only Totodile can really claim to do as well (lol rage).
It pretty much never underperforms, since from that point onwards it can get access to Headbut, all 3 elemental punches, Return and Earthquake. Its also worth noting that its evolution has a massive attack stat of 130.
I would say A tier is the right place for it. Technically the strongest thing you can get access to (by a small margin) for in game purposes, but it is a significant time investment/headache to catch due to a combination of catch rate and fleeing potential. While you can catch it later, it will require babying if you catch it post great ball, or require backtracking and miss out on key battles if you decide to go for the Ursaring.

Wooper - A Tier
Pretty much a budget Swampert, but that's a big compliment considering how good swampert is in RSE. While Wooper's special attack stat may be pathetic, which can lead to slow Water Gun kills early on, it more than makes up for it with its fantastic typing which proves useful throughout the entire run. It also evolves into Quagsire rather early (level 20), which fixes the above issue while giving you a powerhouse pretty early on. It also gains Earthquake at level 35, which is great. It is very slow throughout the entire game however, which can be annoying.

Spearow - from S to A Tier
I have to disagree with spearow's current placement. While it it has several qualities regardless of which version of it you pick (wild spearow or Kenya), I don't think it fits the S tier. Firstly, while it is a normal type, which gives it several advantages, it can't learn headbutt. This means a few things regarding the return tm(which is only available once per week if the information I have checked is correct):
1)If you give return to someone else, it will be stuck with Peck as its best attack until it gets Fly
2)If you decide to go with Kenya, it won't have enough happiness to really use Return properly anyway (I don't think regular spearow is that much better here, since this gets compensated by the lack of fast exp)
This isn't as bad as Quilava's problem, but it is still a weakness nonetheless.
My other point is that it has no options to get past rock and steel types. The S tiers (Alakazam and Totodile) may have a few annoying matchups, but nothing compared to this, which makes them seem significantly superior in my eyes. Its true that team support solves this, but when you're just fighting a regular battle it can be annoying to switch in and out just because a rock type decided to show up.

Totodile - S Tier
The best pokemon in the game in my opinion, but by a tiny margin. While Alakazam might be stronger and get more quick kills, Totodile's better availability and better bulk make him a bit better. Not much else to say.

Abra (Alakazam) - S Tier /// Abra(Kadabra) - A Tier
There isn't too much to add here, but I would like to say that Abra's babying phase is sometimes overstated. At level 12 with either the Fire Punch or the Thunder Punch (preferably both) it can start fighting on its own just fine, and simply battling the underground trainers will make him a Kadabra. This does require tm support, but even if you are unwilling to buy him the tms at that point, 6 levels (Abra is caught at level 10) at that point of the game is really not much.

Magmar - A Tier
It may have worse availability than Cyndquil, but having free acces to Fire Punch and being immediately compatible with Thunder Punch more than make up for that. I will say this though, I found him to be a bit too fragile when considering what it provides offensively (which is very good but not Alakazam's level of good)

Ho-Oh(g) - A Tier
Bad availability, but fantastic moveset (natural Sacred Fire, Fire Blast at 44, Fly is obviously free, and Shadow Ball and Earthquake are always options) and stats tailored to destroy the game (130 attack, 110 special attack, 154 special defense and just enough speed to outspeed most things).

Some thoughts on pokemons I haven't used recently but whose placing bothered me/that I wanted to say something about:

Magikarp-If this is specifically the Red Gyarados than that should be mentioned in the additional comments in the final version(this is probably what is going to be done anyway but I just wanted to reinforce the idea), because regular magikarp is absolutely not A tier worthy

Lugia and Suicune-Do they really deserve A tier? I remember finding them somewhat inneficient offensively due to their "underwhelming" (considering the lack of evs gained compared to earlier mons) attack and special attack stats. I think there is a clear difference between Ho-Oh and them.

Ghastly-I haven't used it but it sounds like a pain to train from the posts I read. I understand Gengar is really good, but wouldn't B tier make more sense?

Both Nidorans-I know some people think they aren't that much worse than in RBY, but while they may be S tier in those games, I think there is a big gap between those nidorans and these ones. The Rby Nidorans:
+Come before the first gym and start contributing right after it
+Nidoran-M gets horn attack at level 8 which lets it 2 shot things that nothing else can at that point in the game
+They fully evolve super soon (before the second gym)
+They get access to Earthquake usually after the 5th gym(Koga), which is much better than waiting for Victory Road to get a STAB
I'm not saying they're bad or anything, I just think B Tier might fit them better

Geodude and Mareep-Just wanted to say I completely agree with their current placings
 
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I don't think Wooper is... that great. I mean Quagsire's great for sure, but Wooper was a drag for most of the game except maybe like Morty's gym. I never found it efficient to catch Wooper, most of the time I would wait until Surf, and then catch a Quagsire close to my level. It would almost always be better than training up a Wooper IMO.
 

Punchshroom

Paralysis is slightly less of a devil
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Spearow - from S to A Tier
I have to disagree with spearow's current placement. While it it has several qualities regardless of which version of it you pick (wild spearow or Kenya), I don't think it fits the S tier. Firstly, while it is a normal type, which gives it several advantages, it can't learn headbutt. This means a few things regarding the return tm(which is only available once per week if the information I have checked is correct):
1)If you give return to someone else, it will be stuck with Peck as its best attack until it gets Fly
2)If you decide to go with Kenya, it won't have enough happiness to really use Return properly anyway (I don't think regular spearow is that much better here, since this gets compensated by the lack of fast exp)
This isn't as bad as Quilava's problem, but it is still a weakness nonetheless.
My other point is that it has no options to get past rock and steel types. The S tiers (Alakazam and Totodile) may have a few annoying matchups, but nothing compared to this, which makes them seem significantly superior in my eyes. Its true that team support solves this, but when you're just fighting a regular battle it can be annoying to switch in and out just because a rock type decided to show up.
While Spearow doesn'tlearn Headbutt, it does get access to the Swift TM in Union Cave, which should serve as perfectly serviceable STAB until Return catches up in power. Spearow (and Kenya's) biggest advantage over the other Return users is how quickly it can amass levels and thus Return power: Spearow cleans up Sprout Tower and gets mad EXP from Bellsprouts, while Kenya not only has boosted EXP, but it can even attempt to train at the Bug-catching Contest which is right around the corner. Sure, Fearow may not have favorable matchups against Rock- and Steel-types, but as my post here points out, there aren't much mandatory fights of those types one has to participate in, and even then, Fearow can potentially make things happen with Mud-Slap.

I don't think Wooper is... that great. I mean Quagsire's great for sure, but Wooper was a drag for most of the game except maybe like Morty's gym. I never found it efficient to catch Wooper, most of the time I would wait until Surf, and then catch a Quagsire close to my level. It would almost always be better than training up a Wooper IMO.
Wooper isn't even that terrible prior to access to wild Quagsire; it is one of the handful of Ground-types available before Whitney (meaning you can Mud-Slap and/or Dig to stop Rollouts) and performs even better as a Quagsire if you have it by then, while Dig and even Amnesia help to combat Morty. It also has good matchups in Union Cave as well as the Kimono Girls, for what it's worth.
 
Oh, I didn't realise it could learn Swift. I think I have always taught it to some other pokemon during my playthroughs without even thinking about it (Quilava and Teddiursa come to mind). Feel free to ignore that part of my post, I should have payed more attention while reading its tm learnset.
 

atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
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More write-ups/analyses/whatever you want to call them! I'm planning to try out Sentret, Paras, Pinsir, Staryu and Delibird for my next run...whenever that is.

As usual, I'm only referring to Gold/Silver, not Crystal.



Eevee (Umbreon)

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I already posted a tiny bit about Umbreon here.

But yeah, with consideration for how we tier things and what attributes are favoured in higher-tiered Pokemon, Umbreon isn't too good. Its stat distribution is all wrong for what we are tiering and it lacks a good move pool and strong STAB options so it ends up being too weak.

To its credit, Umbreon is exceptionally bulky, so much so that it can be difficult to lose fights with it on the team. Often Umbreon will beat things just by wailing away with weak Bites just because the opponent can't damage it enough to break it, and at the very least Umbreon makes an excellent punching bag while you heal the rest of your team. It also comes as an Eevee at a high-ish level and doesn't require an exceptional amount of grinding, and that makes it easier to add to a team. There are plenty of important Psychic-types that can't touch it either, so it'll definitely see some use in particular match-ups.

But otherwise it isn't too great and I think Umbreon should be moved from C-tier down to D-tier.

Gastly (no trade)

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It's been said before, but an untraded Haunter is significantly inferior to Gengar because it can't learn the elemental punches, so in addition to having to deal with its bad move pool during the first half of Johto, it also has limited options for damage later on, on top of slightly lower stats.

Haunter's Shadow Ball doesn't do much damage, so I used it as a Rain Dance/Thunder attacker and it worked OK, although the Electric-types do it better. I've shown in the past that Thunder is reasonably obtainable just before traveling to Cianwood City so it becomes available at a convenient time, and on top of that it can do OK against Chuck as well. Other match-ups are not as good (Jasmine, Clair). It's an adequate route sweeper but is let down by Shadow Ball being weak and Thunder being risky without setting up Rain Dance first (and that also exposes Haunter's poor defenses). Psychic provides some relief in Kanto.

Untraded Gastly is in E-tier and I wonder if that's a bit harsh. Gastly isn't a good attacker early-game, but it has an exceptional defensive typing and a great win condition in Curse for some match-ups. Haunter itself is an adequate attacker but it requires you to spend money for Thunder to get the most out of it. It's a very hit-and-miss Pokemon but might fit better in D-tier at a minimum.

Geodude (with trade)

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Last time I used and wrote about Geodude, I chose to keep it as a Graveler, but I was also interested in trying Golem just to see whether the stat increases improve it enough to justify a tier difference.

Unfortunately it is a bit difficult to compare my runs because I did the Mahogany arc first in this run and second in the previous run, which changes some match-ups. This was necessary because I was using Kingdra on the same team and that meant having to get Whirlpool early. I'll probably try Golem again on a different team.

For now though, is the difference really noticeable? I'm not so sure. The match-up against Morty was completely identical and the Jasmine match-up didn't seem different either. I guess the extra Speed made it slightly safer on routes, but mostly it functioned the same, and any stat improvements felt very minor. I think this demonstrates that Geodude is a Pokemon that functions less on the numbers in the stats and more on the way they are distributed: in the end, Graveler and Golem are both Rock/Ground Pokemon with a huge focus on its physical stats, at the expense of special stats and Speed.

I'm inclined to agree with the current list and say that Geodude should be A-tier regardless of whether you can trade or not. It obviously has a number of problems late-game but its performance early on is outstanding and its status as one of the safest options to use against Miltank should not be overlooked.

Horsea (with trade)

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Another mid/late Water-type, but unfortunately Horsea has the problem of not being available until Whirlpool is usable outside of battle, and that means it can't be used for any of the Mahogany Town arc. That itself automatically make Horsea inferior to the other late-game Water-types in my opinion, but on its own merits it's a decent Water-type.

Wild Seadra can be found in Lugia's Room. Horsea/Seadra is a bit like Slowpoke and Magnemite in that there is a "dilemma" in deciding to grind for an evolutionary item right away or just save the time and wait until you get it in the overworld. Grinding for a Dragon Scale is a slightly more reasonable proposition than grinding for King's Rock/Metal Coat though. Horsea is far more commonly encountered than Magnemite, and Thief will definitely be available by the tie you get into the Whirl Islands (which isn't the case for Slowpoke). It's still quite time-risky though so it's not a good idea in my opinion.

The thing to keep in mind about Seadra is that it's stats aren't really THAT inferior to Kingdra's. Seadra's Sp. Atk., Speed and Defense are completely identical to Kingdra's, so the gains from evolving as soon as possible aren't as great as you might think. Basically all you get is more special bulk, a change in defensive typing and STAB on Twister and DragonBreath, but Dragon moves aren't really that useful in the short term given how weak Twister is. STAB on DragonBreath is a bit better but by the time it becomes available, you're about to gain access to the depths of Mt. Mortar where Dragon Scale is found anyway. Personally, what I would do is, if you have something with Thief, just Surf around and use it on any Horsea just in case, and keep doing this until Seadra is found and caught, or you get a Dragon Scale. If you're lucky and get the Dragon Scale first, great. Otherwise, don't stress and just keep going on with the game.

Seadra is a bit underleveled and requires some grinding, which is another fault. Wobbuffet's section of Dark Cave is an OK grinding spot for it but Golbat and Wobbuffet can be annoying encounters. Once it gets going it makes it's decent enough and share many of the perks of other Water-types. Seadra/Kingdra has one of the highest Sp. Atk. stats among Water-types and it's also one of the fastest Water-types, so its stats are clearly fine.

I guess the main thing Kingdra has as a "niche" is its STAB Dragon moves, which at the very least has perfect neutral coverage with its Water STAB. In fact, Kingdra can run all 3 Water HMs for utility and can then run the secondary Dragon STAB (as inferior as Dragon is as an attacking type in-game) without worrying about being "walled" by anything. Unfortunately, DragonBreath doesn't actually OHKO many things since its power is modest and pretty much nothing is weak to it (Lance's Dragonite takes more from Icy Wind). In any case, you don't reallly need to run Whirlpool at all by the time DragonBreath is obtained, so who cares? From a defensive point-of-view, I would say that the Dragon-typing removing the Electric and Grass weaknesses simultaneously is kind of interesting?

I think that its availability does bring its tier position down compared to the better mid-game Waters. I think C-tier for Kingdra, as it's currently placed, is reasonable. I'm not so sure that untraded Horsea should be lower though (it's currently in D-tier). Again, the important stats match and the Dragon-typing doesn't really add as much as some might think.

Koffing

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

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

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

Koffing is currently ranked D-tier and that's probably fine. Weezing is decent once it evolves and gets its best moves but getting it there is a hassle.

Mareep

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Definitely one of the better choices for in-game. It's great STAB, solid offensive stats and bulk, good move pool (getting elemental punches as a Flaaffy is a HUGE advantage over Quilava), early availability, relatively quick grind due to being in the Medium-Slow group, low evolutionary levels, and good match-ups with STAB + Fire Punch are all huge assets. It becomes good more quickly than many other early-route Pokemon and stays good for pretty much the entire playthrough.

Mareep is probably among the top 10 Pokemon in GSC for in-game runs, and it could even be argued as top 5 depending on how you spin things. Unfortunately, I think it has a significant flaw that prevents it from standing alongside the S-tier Pokemon: poor Speed. Mareep gets outsped quite often, especially during the Flaaffy stage but also in general. Having solid defenses and Thunder Wave allow it to get around this pretty well, but in the end, paralyzing and then killing will always be inferior to just killing without the need to slow down the opponent first.

But mostly I think it's one of the best options available in GS and its A-tier placement is justified.

Pidgey

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This is not too bad despite being mostly an inferior Spearow. It's yet another good early-route choice with strong options for STAB and a number of good match-ups. Its base stats are admittedly kinda bad but I still found that it was hitting hard with those Returns - I think the various badge buffs it receives early game really help it a lot.

Spearow does outclass it...in most respects. Pidgey has some small advantages over it. The main one is its experience group. Pidgey is Medium-Slow while Spearow is Medium-Fast, and that means that Pidgey is able to level up with smaller amounts of experience through the lower levels (and that also means more experience is available for team mates). Pidgey's access to Wing Attack (at level 33 as Pidgeotto) is also somewhat notable because Pidgeotto and Pidgeot do more damage with Wing Attack than Fearow can do with Peck, and given that Fearow doesn't learn Drill Peck until level 40, there will be a brief stretch of the game where Pidgey will have the superior one-turn Flying option (I specify "one-turn" because Fly is a thing).

That doesn't mean that Pidgey is somehow "equal" to Spearow in tiering. The point about Wing Attack, for example, is not really a big deal because, in addition to Fly existing, both Pokemon will be using Return most of the time, and obviously Spearow wins there. There were several times where Pidgeotto would fall just short of a OHKO/2HKO with Return, which Fearow definitely would have gotten, so the power difference between the two is noticeable.

I think that B-tier is fine for this. Not an amazing Pokemon but it ticks many of the boxes that are used for deciding tiers for this list.

Stantler

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I really liked this. Stantler is another good Normal-type with luxurious STAB options and well-distributed stats, and it works well as a route sweeper while also being able to punch holes in some gym leader/elite 4/etc Pokemon. There's not really much to say how it works since it's just going to spam Return against everything.

Stantler is often unfavourably compared to Tauros, who has slightly better stats and Surf to hit the occasional Geodude/Graveler. The difference in Attack between the two is negligible (and Stantler's Attack is still higher than Miltank's by the way) and the drop in Speed only matters occasionally, but the lower bulk is somewhat important in match-ups and of course Stantler has basically no coverage in Johto outside of Mud-Slap to 2HKO Magnemites. Stantler does get Earthquake and Psychic later on though, and Stantler's Sp. Atk is actually decent unlike Tauros and Miltank, so that's a thing.

Stantler's main advantage over Tauros/Miltank, in GS only mind you, is availability. Much like Growlithe and Vulpix, Stantler can be caught before Whitney by heading north to Sudowoodo early. Stantler can be found in the patch of grass to the left of Sudowoodo at level 13, and it only took about 20 minutes of grinding to get it to match my team which is quite quick for a mid-game Pokemon in the Slow experience group. There isn't much in between the time when Stantler is caught and when Tauros/Miltank is caught (although it can use Hypnosis on Miltank and it easily overpowers any non-Normal resistant Pokemon on routes leading to Ecruteak), but arriving slightly earlier ensures that it'll have to grind for less time to match the current team. I remember it took twice as long to grind Miltank when I tested that ages ago, and I'll be interested to see how the stronger Tauros compares when I finally get around to using it!

This advantage doesn't exist in Crystal because they changed Route 36 to account for the new patch of Grass that grants access to Growlithe before the first gym. It is available on Route 37 though, and has the advantage of a higher max catch level AND a much higher encounter rate (40% vs. 10% for Tauros and Miltank COMBINED). I'm not concerning myself with Crystal too much at the moment but it's worth mentioning here.

Anyway, Stantler is currently B-tier with Rattata and Sentret and I'm fine with that based on my experiences with it. Stantler is a pretty straightforward Pokemon in terms of the role it plays but it does what it does very well. I am a little concerned about putting Miltank (currently A) above Stantler though. That seems like another "pick your poison" situation where each has advantages over the other but neither is necessarily "better" in my opinion. As for Tauros, wait and see.

Tangela

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

To give some very light praise to Tangela, there are a few Water-types leading up to the Pokemon League and I WAS using Golem in the same run, so Tangela made for good support for it in that regard. It also has an easy grind against the Rocks on Route 45, although it'll be so far behind in level that it'll still take a good amount of time away from a playthrough.

Honestly I wouldn't be against Tangela dropping to E-tier. Its Kanto performance is a bit better though (Grass covers a few gyms there) so if it stays in D-tier, that will be the reason for it.
 
More write-ups/analyses/whatever you want to call them! I'm planning to try out Sentret, Paras, Pinsir, Staryu and Delibird for my next run...whenever that is.

As usual, I'm only referring to Gold/Silver, not Crystal.



Eevee (Umbreon)

View attachment 114725

I already posted a tiny bit about Umbreon here.

But yeah, with consideration for how we tier things and what attributes are favoured in higher-tiered Pokemon, Umbreon isn't too good. Its stat distribution is all wrong for what we are tiering and it lacks a good move pool and strong STAB options so it ends up being too weak.

To its credit, Umbreon is exceptionally bulky, so much so that it can be difficult to lose fights with it on the team. Often Umbreon will beat things just by wailing away with weak Bites just because the opponent can't damage it enough to break it, and at the very least Umbreon makes an excellent punching bag while you heal the rest of your team. It also comes as an Eevee at a high-ish level and doesn't require an exceptional amount of grinding, and that makes it easier to add to a team. There are plenty of important Psychic-types that can't touch it either, so it'll definitely see some use in particular match-ups.

But otherwise it isn't too great and I think Umbreon should be moved from C-tier down to D-tier.

Gastly (no trade)

View attachment 114727

It's been said before, but an untraded Haunter is significantly inferior to Gengar because it can't learn the elemental punches, so in addition to having to deal with its bad move pool during the first half of Johto, it also has limited options for damage later on, on top of slightly lower stats.

Haunter's Shadow Ball doesn't do much damage, so I used it as a Rain Dance/Thunder attacker and it worked OK, although the Electric-types do it better. I've shown in the past that Thunder is reasonably obtainable just before traveling to Cianwood City so it becomes available at a convenient time, and on top of that it can do OK against Chuck as well. Other match-ups are not as good (Jasmine, Clair). It's an adequate route sweeper but is let down by Shadow Ball being weak and Thunder being risky without setting up Rain Dance first (and that also exposes Haunter's poor defenses). Psychic provides some relief in Kanto.

Untraded Gastly is in E-tier and I wonder if that's a bit harsh. Gastly isn't a good attacker early-game, but it has an exceptional defensive typing and a great win condition in Curse for some match-ups. Haunter itself is an adequate attacker but it requires you to spend money for Thunder to get the most out of it. It's a very hit-and-miss Pokemon but might fit better in D-tier at a minimum.

Geodude (with trade)

View attachment 114728

Last time I used and wrote about Geodude, I chose to keep it as a Graveler, but I was also interested in trying Golem just to see whether the stat increases improve it enough to justify a tier difference.

Unfortunately it is a bit difficult to compare my runs because I did the Mahogany arc first in this run and second in the previous run, which changes some match-ups. This was necessary because I was using Kingdra on the same team and that meant having to get Whirlpool early. I'll probably try Golem again on a different team.

For now though, is the difference really noticeable? I'm not so sure. The match-up against Morty was completely identical and the Jasmine match-up didn't seem different either. I guess the extra Speed made it slightly safer on routes, but mostly it functioned the same, and any stat improvements felt very minor. I think this demonstrates that Geodude is a Pokemon that functions less on the numbers in the stats and more on the way they are distributed: in the end, Graveler and Golem are both Rock/Ground Pokemon with a huge focus on its physical stats, at the expense of special stats and Speed.

I'm inclined to agree with the current list and say that Geodude should be A-tier regardless of whether you can trade or not. It obviously has a number of problems late-game but its performance early on is outstanding and its status as one of the safest options to use against Miltank should not be overlooked.

Horsea (with trade)

View attachment 114729

Another mid/late Water-type, but unfortunately Horsea has the problem of not being available until Whirlpool is usable outside of battle, and that means it can't be used for any of the Mahogany Town arc. That itself automatically make Horsea inferior to the other late-game Water-types in my opinion, but on its own merits it's a decent Water-type.

Wild Seadra can be found in Lugia's Room. Horsea/Seadra is a bit like Slowpoke and Magnemite in that there is a "dilemma" in deciding to grind for an evolutionary item right away or just save the time and wait until you get it in the overworld. Grinding for a Dragon Scale is a slightly more reasonable proposition than grinding for King's Rock/Metal Coat though. Horsea is far more commonly encountered than Magnemite, and Thief will definitely be available by the tie you get into the Whirl Islands (which isn't the case for Slowpoke). It's still quite time-risky though so it's not a good idea in my opinion.

The thing to keep in mind about Seadra is that it's stats aren't really THAT inferior to Kingdra's. Seadra's Sp. Atk., Speed and Defense are completely identical to Kingdra's, so the gains from evolving as soon as possible aren't as great as you might think. Basically all you get is more special bulk, a change in defensive typing and STAB on Twister and DragonBreath, but Dragon moves aren't really that useful in the short term given how weak Twister is. STAB on DragonBreath is a bit better but by the time it becomes available, you're about to gain access to the depths of Mt. Mortar where Dragon Scale is found anyway. Personally, what I would do is, if you have something with Thief, just Surf around and use it on any Horsea just in case, and keep doing this until Seadra is found and caught, or you get a Dragon Scale. If you're lucky and get the Dragon Scale first, great. Otherwise, don't stress and just keep going on with the game.

Seadra is a bit underleveled and requires some grinding, which is another fault. Wobbuffet's section of Dark Cave is an OK grinding spot for it but Golbat and Wobbuffet can be annoying encounters. Once it gets going it makes it's decent enough and share many of the perks of other Water-types. Seadra/Kingdra has one of the highest Sp. Atk. stats among Water-types and it's also one of the fastest Water-types, so its stats are clearly fine.

I guess the main thing Kingdra has as a "niche" is its STAB Dragon moves, which at the very least has perfect neutral coverage with its Water STAB. In fact, Kingdra can run all 3 Water HMs for utility and can then run the secondary Dragon STAB (as inferior as Dragon is as an attacking type in-game) without worrying about being "walled" by anything. Unfortunately, DragonBreath doesn't actually OHKO many things since its power is modest and pretty much nothing is weak to it (Lance's Dragonite takes more from Icy Wind). In any case, you don't reallly need to run Whirlpool at all by the time DragonBreath is obtained, so who cares? From a defensive point-of-view, I would say that the Dragon-typing removing the Electric and Grass weaknesses simultaneously is kind of interesting?

I think that its availability does bring its tier position down compared to the better mid-game Waters. I think C-tier for Kingdra, as it's currently placed, is reasonable. I'm not so sure that untraded Horsea should be lower though (it's currently in D-tier). Again, the important stats match and the Dragon-typing doesn't really add as much as some might think.

Koffing

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

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

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

Koffing is currently ranked D-tier and that's probably fine. Weezing is decent once it evolves and gets its best moves but getting it there is a hassle.

Mareep

View attachment 114732

Definitely one of the better choices for in-game. It's great STAB, solid offensive stats and bulk, good move pool (getting elemental punches as a Flaaffy is a HUGE advantage over Quilava), early availability, relatively quick grind due to being in the Medium-Slow group, low evolutionary levels, and good match-ups with STAB + Fire Punch are all huge assets. It becomes good more quickly than many other early-route Pokemon and stays good for pretty much the entire playthrough.

Mareep is probably among the top 10 Pokemon in GSC for in-game runs, and it could even be argued as top 5 depending on how you spin things. Unfortunately, I think it has a significant flaw that prevents it from standing alongside the S-tier Pokemon: poor Speed. Mareep gets outsped quite often, especially during the Flaaffy stage but also in general. Having solid defenses and Thunder Wave allow it to get around this pretty well, but in the end, paralyzing and then killing will always be inferior to just killing without the need to slow down the opponent first.

But mostly I think it's one of the best options available in GS and its A-tier placement is justified.

Pidgey

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This is not too bad despite being mostly an inferior Spearow. It's yet another good early-route choice with strong options for STAB and a number of good match-ups. Its base stats are admittedly kinda bad but I still found that it was hitting hard with those Returns - I think the various badge buffs it receives early game really help it a lot.

Spearow does outclass it...in most respects. Pidgey has some small advantages over it. The main one is its experience group. Pidgey is Medium-Slow while Spearow is Medium-Fast, and that means that Pidgey is able to level up with smaller amounts of experience through the lower levels (and that also means more experience is available for team mates). Pidgey's access to Wing Attack (at level 33 as Pidgeotto) is also somewhat notable because Pidgeotto and Pidgeot do more damage with Wing Attack than Fearow can do with Peck, and given that Fearow doesn't learn Drill Peck until level 40, there will be a brief stretch of the game where Pidgey will have the superior one-turn Flying option (I specify "one-turn" because Fly is a thing).

That doesn't mean that Pidgey is somehow "equal" to Spearow in tiering. The point about Wing Attack, for example, is not really a big deal because, in addition to Fly existing, both Pokemon will be using Return most of the time, and obviously Spearow wins there. There were several times where Pidgeotto would fall just short of a OHKO/2HKO with Return, which Fearow definitely would have gotten, so the power difference between the two is noticeable.

I think that B-tier is fine for this. Not an amazing Pokemon but it ticks many of the boxes that are used for deciding tiers for this list.

Stantler

View attachment 114733

I really liked this. Stantler is another good Normal-type with luxurious STAB options and well-distributed stats, and it works well as a route sweeper while also being able to punch holes in some gym leader/elite 4/etc Pokemon. There's not really much to say how it works since it's just going to spam Return against everything.

Stantler is often unfavourably compared to Tauros, who has slightly better stats and Surf to hit the occasional Geodude/Graveler. The difference in Attack between the two is negligible (and Stantler's Attack is still higher than Miltank's by the way) and the drop in Speed only matters occasionally, but the lower bulk is somewhat important in match-ups and of course Stantler has basically no coverage in Johto outside of Mud-Slap to 2HKO Magnemites. Stantler does get Earthquake and Psychic later on though, and Stantler's Sp. Atk is actually decent unlike Tauros and Miltank, so that's a thing.

Stantler's main advantage over Tauros/Miltank, in GS only mind you, is availability. Much like Growlithe and Vulpix, Stantler can be caught before Whitney by heading north to Sudowoodo early. Stantler can be found in the patch of grass to the left of Sudowoodo at level 13, and it only took about 20 minutes of grinding to get it to match my team which is quite quick for a mid-game Pokemon in the Slow experience group. There isn't much in between the time when Stantler is caught and when Tauros/Miltank is caught (although it can use Hypnosis on Miltank and it easily overpowers any non-Normal resistant Pokemon on routes leading to Ecruteak), but arriving slightly earlier ensures that it'll have to grind for less time to match the current team. I remember it took twice as long to grind Miltank when I tested that ages ago, and I'll be interested to see how the stronger Tauros compares when I finally get around to using it!

This advantage doesn't exist in Crystal because they changed Route 36 to account for the new patch of Grass that grants access to Growlithe before the first gym. It is available on Route 37 though, and has the advantage of a higher max catch level AND a much higher encounter rate (40% vs. 10% for Tauros and Miltank COMBINED). I'm not concerning myself with Crystal too much at the moment but it's worth mentioning here.

Anyway, Stantler is currently B-tier with Rattata and Sentret and I'm fine with that based on my experiences with it. Stantler is a pretty straightforward Pokemon in terms of the role it plays but it does what it does very well. I am a little concerned about putting Miltank (currently A) above Stantler though. That seems like another "pick your poison" situation where each has advantages over the other but neither is necessarily "better" in my opinion. As for Tauros, wait and see.

Tangela

View attachment 114730

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

To give some very light praise to Tangela, there are a few Water-types leading up to the Pokemon League and I WAS using Golem in the same run, so Tangela made for good support for it in that regard. It also has an easy grind against the Rocks on Route 45, although it'll be so far behind in level that it'll still take a good amount of time away from a playthrough.

Honestly I wouldn't be against Tangela dropping to E-tier. Its Kanto performance is a bit better though (Grass covers a few gyms there) so if it stays in D-tier, that will be the reason for it.
I really love the work you're putting into this thread and it's honestly inspiring me to do a run of my own with lower ranked mons. Great work.
 

Karxrida

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Kingdra's biggest crime is that it could have been a good Clair answer (at least if you like playing chicken), but Twister is shit Dragon STAB and you don't get DragonBreath until you beat Clair. Seadra with an Ice move is arguably better here since it's not weak to Dragon and can thus take on the Dragonair safely, and that's kind of pathetic.

Imo Horsea and Horsea (Trade) should be in the same rank--whether that rank is C or D doesn't really matter. Kingdra isn't a huge improvement over Seadra on top of requiring a bit more effort to obtain.
 

Fireburn

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I can vouch for Stantler, it's a solid pick and its stats are in the important places for ingame.

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

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

atsync

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I did another run of Silver a while ago and wasn't going to post until I had some more Pokemon to write about but I don't know when I'll get around to doing that so here you go. My next run, if and when it happens, will incorporate Togepi, Remoraid and one of the roamers.

Delibird

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People are probably going to think I'm crazy for saying this but...this wasn't as bad as I was expecting?

Delibird isn't "good" of course, but at the same time I think it isn't as bad as the Dittos and Smeargles of the Pokemon world. For one thing, Ice/Flying is a fantastic offensive typing in the context of late-Johto. Ice covers Clair's dragons and the two types hit a ton of Elite 4 Pokemon for super-effective damage. Delibird isn't strong enough to sweep these important trainers but it will be able to take stuff down in pretty much any of these battles, and it even works against the standard trainers on the late-Johto routes. Another asset is that Delibird is one of the only Pokemon in GSC in the Fast experience group, which is just awesome for something obtained as late as it is. With Blizzard, Delibird was able to grind at least as quickly as the much stronger Jynx was able to, if not faster.

Of the other hand, obviously Delibird's stats aren't too good, and neither is its move pool (no Ice Punch, forced to use Fly/Blizzard/Icy Wind, practically no useful coverage outside of that). It's also slightly annoying to catch due to its flee chance, although it isn't a rare encounter. While it grinds pretty quickly due to the wild Tangela/Weepinbell nearby, it does still require about 20 minutes or so that could be spent advancing further in the game, which is typical of most late-Johto Pokemon of course.

Pokemon like Delibird are what makes me agree with what Colonel M suggested about adding a tier below E. I'm hesitant to suggest Delibird be moved up a tier, but at the same time I don't think it's as bad as the Kanto routemons or Ditto/Smeargle/Unown/etc.

Hell, I think Delibird is at least as good as Swinub, and definitely better than it before the Earthquake TM is obtained, and I found Delibird more useful than Tangela, but I'd rather see Swinub and Tangela drop rather than Delibird go up.

Paras

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

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

Pinsir

1529114275376.png


Basically identical in function to Heracross, with identical Attack, Speed and BSTs, and similar move pool troubles (arguably slightly worse because it doesn't even get Earthquake). Heracross will get strong STAB eventually but this comes very late and may not even be obtained before Red, so Pinsir is pretty much on par with it.

As far as move pool "advantages" for Pinsir go, I definitely have to mention Guillotine, which comes at a relatively low level and can be paired with X Accuracy in the same way that it can be in RBY to sweep teams. Unfortunately it doesn't really work very well here - Guillotine won't work on Pokemon that are higher-leveled than Pinsir even after X Accuracy, and that prevents it from being used in the match-ups where you might actually want to use it (Lance, Red, etc.). It can still be used in other contexts but in most cases Pinsir's raw power will already be sufficent to kill things with just Strength/Return, so it mostly ends up being redundant. In any case I believe it was decided in another thread that this combo wasn't going to be considered for this tier list so this is mostly irrelevant.

Swords Dance is another move it has which is kind of cool, although it probably won't be available until Kanto so it won't see a lot of use. Submission is a shaky option that provides it a decently powerful option to hit Rock- and Steel-types, but it has shaky accuracy and recoil, and again it's a bit late.

Pinsir can just be ranked wherever Heracross and Scyther end up since it gets all the important stuff that they do - I could make a case for all of these to be raised to B tier.

Sentret

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Just another early-game Normal-type that is on par with Rattata. However, I do think it has a significant issue early-game when it comes to grinding. Sentret's base Speed is actually as bad as Geodude's is and that makes it a bit annoying to grind because it racks up damage more easily than Pidgey/Rattata/Spearow and requires more frequent healing. It's middling at the very beginning, but once it gets going it's pretty great.

Evolving at level 15 is really good for it and for a while it became my most powerful Pokemon, firing off fast STAB Headbutts to slaughter route stuff. Its ability to learn Surf is its main advantage over Rattata because it allows it to make short work of occasional Rock/Grounds in a way that Dig isn't able to. It also learns Shadow Ball, Dig and the elemental punches - STAB/Dig/Surf provides it with pretty much everything it needs, and even if Dig is reserved for something else, Shadow Ball and Fire Punch can be used to cover Rival's Haunter and the many Magnemites/Magnetons that appear if necessary.

B tier is good for it IMO - it has a worse grind period than other early-route Normals, but still really good on its own merits and it's more versatile than Rattata and many of the other "good" Normals.

Staryu

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I normally dread using stone-evolving Pokemon in Silver, but Staryu is probably the best of the lot. Its stats aren't amazing but there are distributed appropriately for in-game runs. It also comes at a high level and can be taught Surf immediately which saves time compared to other Pokemon you could be using.

I think its usefulness is initially hurt by the fact that you're probably going to be heading to Cianwood not long after you get it and that consists of all Water-types, but if you have been saving money actively you might be able to purchase Thunder for it. Electric coverage on a Water-type isn't unique to Staryu (Chinchou and Lapras can do the same thing) but it's still an unusual asset that allows Staryu to counter other Waters more effectively than, say, Mantine, Shellder or Goldeen. I ultimately used a Rain Dance set on it and it worked really well.

Staryu definitely needs to be higher on the tier list than its current D tier placement - its still an effective mid-Johto Water attacker with good Speed and coverage options even if it can't evolve. I'm sort of torn as to how much it should increase though. I genuinely think this is better than Goldeen and Mantine (currently C-tier) but at the same time placing it in B-tier puts it alongside Lapras and Tentacool which seems like a bit of a stretch. I normally default to the lower tier in borderline cases though so maybe C-tier.
 
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I know it's consensus that Totodile is good, but is it that good?

I mean, I made a few runs with it and it was good, but not as good as it was said to be in the thread. I found its damage to be quite lacking in the late game. Having only 79 base special attack to deal with is not nice, though it has some nice physical moves in Earthquake and Return.

I believe we should think about either moving Cyndaquil up or moving Totodile down. Cyndaquil is kinda good in the beginning; it clears Sprout Tower with one move in each Bellsprout and has an advantage against the second gym. As mentioned before by some in the thread, its movepool in the mid game is kinda bad. In the late game though, I believe his damage is equal or even superior to Feraligatr's. Typhlosion doesn't lose in coverage regarding its TM moves: it has access to Thunder Punch and Earthquake, though the Earthquake will most definitely be weaker than Feraligatr's, it still deals some nice damage with its 84 base attack.

So with that in mind, my opinion is that we move Cyndaquil to S tier.
 
I completely disagree with the notion that Cyndaquil is about as good as Totodile. Their current placements at A and S respectively are perfect and should not change. I think everyone agrees they are both amazing in the early game (the first 2 gyms), so I am solely going to compare their mid and late games.

While 79 special attack is not the best, it is still serviceable, and before the late game this is really a complete non-issue. During the mid-game, Totodile getting access to Feraligatr earlier than Cyndaquil (level 30 vs level 36) AND getting the mid-game nuke known as Surf (which after STAB hits for 142.5, making Quilava's best STAB Ember look like a complete joke) creates a massive power gap between the 2. While Croconow/Feraligatr is one shotting weak and average neutral targets with Surf, Quilava can't even get a straight Ko on a super effective hit most of the time, which is quite underwhelming.
Totodile having higher attack is also a huge deal, since it means it can abuse moves like Headbutt, Return and Earthquake much better. The first 2 are especially important, since they create an even bigger gap during the mid game.

It is true that Surf and Ice Punch's damage output will be a bit underwhelming in the late game, but this only comes into play by the time of the Elite 4, and I am sure most people can agree that Kanto is a joke outside of Red. Basically, Totodile's damage output problems matter way less than Cyndaquil's do (who is doing underwheling damage from the 3rd gym until the 8ish gym).

Also, 79 is barely lower than 84. If we can agree that Totodile's special damage is a bit underwhelming in the late game, we should agree that Cyndaquil's physical damage output is as well.
 
You made some fair points.

79 points in special attack is completely usable for sure, but only against favorable/neutral matchups with a level difference. In Clair's gym, for instance, my Feraligatr almost always is only 1 or 2 levels ahead of them and it has some problems trying to Ice Punch her Dragonairs since I had to two HKO them, and they have access to Thunder Wave and Thunder Bolt (or at least one of them have).

I agree with you that 84 is not that different from 79, but Ice Punch has only 75 base power, while Return (in its best) and Earthquake have 102 and 100 respectively, without mentioning that it can only have Special stabs. This makes a huge difference. I believe surf has a bp of 95 in this gen though, so it's a nice STAB for Feraligatr.

I believe it was mentioned before in the thread as well, but it's possible to give Quilava the TM Fire Blast since Golden Rod. It'll make Quilava's mid game a tad better, though it has only 5 pp and it'll take some time to get a PP Up. Also, Ember is a fine move until the other mons are level ~25> and the level advatage is not high enough.

Other than that, we forgot to mention Typhlosion's superior speed and Feraligatr's superior bulk. In the main story, I personally prefer having a high speed than a nice bulk, since most of the time I'll try to OHKO the small pokemon, but I believe that's personal preference.

Another point you made is that Quilava evolves later than Croconaw. Evolving Croconaw faster means you can use it in the Mahogany Gym better, which is great, but evolving Quilava earlier honestly wouldn't matter a lot, because it's probably not going to be used at the Mahogany Gym and the nest thing to it is the Radio Tower event, which is pathetically easy. Most of the time, my Quilava evolves right after my battle with the rival, btw. After it evolves, I believe it's hard to argue that Typhlosion is weaker than Feraligatr. The E4 is the biggest challenge in the game after Red, so I believe it's a big deal Typhlosion performing better there and with Red.

I'm not trying to lower Totodile's tier here, it's perfectly fine the way it is, but Totodile has its issues and can be said that its usefulness is comparable to Cyndaquil throughout the game; they both have a great early game, but they differ in their mid game and their late game.
 
Yeah, Ice Punch definitely has some power issues from around that point of the game (though it does get the job done against Lance), and it is true that Earthquake and Return have much better base power. I do ultimetely think that Typhlosion has a really good late game movepool with Fire Punch/Thunder Punch/Earthquake/Return (or something along those lines) that can be considered better than Feraligatr's. I also agree that Typhlosion is better against the E4 and Red.

I personally believe Fire Blast is quite unreliable, due to a combination of pp, cost and accuracy (the third one barely matters and is more of a cherry on top of the cake). It is not so much that you won't be able to afford it, but moreso that depending on how you play (how many trainers you fight, how many elemental punches/headbuts you buy, how many team members you are using, if you are under/overleveled), it might end up coming too late.

I don't think the bulk vs speed thing matters too much. Maybe I am underestimating how much difference it makes, but from what I recall, Feraligatr can still outspeed almost everything if you are not too underleveled (outside of really speedy foes) and I never had much issue with Typhlosion's physical bulk (which is rather average, like Feraligatr's speed, but still good enough to never really be a problem).

I think the Surf vs Ember thing is the main power gap between the two, moreso than the later evolution, as it creates a big disparity from level 23ish until levels 31 (Flame Wheel) and 36 (Fire Punch). That being said, Feraligatr arriving earlier does mean that it gets to sweep regular trainers more consistently, which is still a nice plus.

I think what it comes down to is that while they trade mid game for late game performances, the difference between Croconaw/Feraligatr and Quilava is significantly bigger than the one between Typhlosion and Feraligatr (this is the part that we seem to disagree on). That being said, you do bring up some great points about Typhlosion's performance at the Elite 4 and Red, as well as how important those fights are.

On a slightly related topic, do you think Magmar should be raised as well? I have found it to be about equal to Cyndaquil, with it gaining Fire Punch immediately, but not coming as early and being worse late game. I'm just asking since they are somewhat similar, both being fire types with Thunder Punch and whatnot.
 
Last time I used Magmar was on a Silver run some years ago, so forgive me if I get some things wrong.

I believe it comes at level 14-16 at Burned Tower, so it'll come kinda underleveled. Its special power is essentially the same as Typhlosion, but he has a bigger physical attack, comes with Fire Punch and learns Flamethrower early. Unfortunately though, it doesn't have Earthquake. I'd say even though it comes a bit underleveled, it is a S-tier worthy mon. It can also use Psychic when it gets to Kanto, but Kanto is a joke and it isn't of much use against Red, so... yeah.
 

Colonel M

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The biggest issue that is being misunderstood isn't Typhlosion's lack of Attack (Feraligatr's SpA isn't great, but it works), but the problem lies in that Typhlosion's coverage options, outside of Thunder Punch, have significant opportunity costs behind them. Not to mention Earthquake is a TM that comes fairly late in the game and Typhlosion isn't the only Pokemon that wants the move (STAB users like Nidoking, coverage with Pokemon such as Gyarados). Return is also fairly valuable because it works better on Pokemon like Fearow, and even then there are other Normal-type Pokemon that would utilize the move much more effectively.

For the most part Quilava is probably running around with something like Ember / Headbutt / two filler moves for a long time until it finally learns Flame Wheel or if you spend a lot of coins (and potentially time) into getting Fire Blast.

Like being extremely serious here, I would rather use Magmar if you're desperate for a Fire-type. As mentioned before it does take a little catch-up, but it has a much more usable movepool that doesn't steal from other Pokemon that need TMs. It has Fire Punch and Thunder Punch readily available when caught, and by the time Quilava learns Flame Wheel Magmar can learn Sunny Day via level up. While small, it does make Magmar a bit stronger and gives a psuedo-setup for souped up Fire Punches and, when it finally learns it, Flamethrower. Magmar just has a much stronger transition into a team and stays fairly consistent for a long time while Typhlosion, while having potential, takes a lot of effort with extremely dull phases. Typhlosion is just not a Pokemon that is fit for S tier. Even if you argue that Abra has a major cost to it, Kadabra and Alakazam have a significant reward in spades with a good level up movepool and access to free elemental punches (which can also make training Abra a bit less cumbersome).

As far as the rise for Magmar, I've brought it up before, and IIRC many people did not feel Magmar was S Tier. While I do think that Magmar is borderline there, I can confess that Magmar is beyond perfect and lacks some of the advantages that the other 3 S Rank Pokemon have. Magmar is certainly strong, but it doesn't have a ton of clear-cut moments. Magmar is fairly neutral at best against Morty whereas Fearow has an immunity to Shadow Ball, Alakazam can outspeed and KO Gengar (or severely weaken) with STAB Psybeam, and Croconaw is fairly durable and has access to STAB Surf to at least damage out (Croconaw is technically a bit more neutral but has a small perk of no real grinding). Afterwards you have Chuck, where Magmar is horrible against Poliwrath and isn't really that great against Primeape. The first advantage is against Pryce since, thankfully, Seel, Dewgong, nor Piloswine have any other moves other than Normal- and Ice-type attacks. Clair is exceptionally bad, so that brings up to the Elite 4.

Versus Will, Magmar does decently. One thing to note is Slowbro lacks a Water-type move, though everything here is firing off STAB Psychic so it's kind of painful. Magmar at least has advantages against Exeggutor and Jynx while 2HKOing Xatu with Thunder Punch the majority of the time. Versus Koga Magmar at least has advantages over Ariados, Venomoth, and Forretress. Bruno is kind of awful for Magmar. Karen is so-so - Magmar can probably scorch through with Sunny Day and Fire Blast / Flamethrower, but Umbreon has some bulky and can be rather annoying with Sand Attack and Confuse Ray. Even if you roast through, Houndoom is kind of an awkward Pokemon for Magmar to bypass since STAB Crunch versus Magmar's... non... STAB Thunder Punch. Not even going to talk about Lance.

This leaves Kanto. For Kanto we have obvious advantages against Eirika and maybe Jasmine if you give the Psychic TM. Otherwise, that's it. Though Sunny Day + Flamethrower / Fire Blast can pummel through some of the gym leaders, some like Brock and Misty are a huge no-no and some like Lt Surge carry huge risks (mainly crippled by paralysis and Electrodes being faster and Double Teaming or, worse, Explosion).

Honestly, Magmar is fine in A. It's competent, but has a lot of awkward struggles versus key opponents and also can have some major headaches on the field (Thunder Punch helps, but some Pokemon like Tentacruel can be aggravating since they have a fairly good SpD stat).
 
Yeah, I was thinking about Earthquake being better for someone else in your party and all, but this argument can be used for Feraligatr as well. I believe you can get Return as many times you want in gen 2, you only need to go in another Sunday.

I get that Quilava has really huge flaws, but to me, Typhlosion is a really better than Feraligatr as a mon and is kinda unfair to put it in a tier below when its only real advantage is being better in midgame. Magmar is indeed better in the midgame and is more or less the same in the late, but I think Quil, as a starter mon, should have some advantage there, since it wouldn't need any babying and is with you since the start, which means it has a lot more EVs. I don't think we'll get much further by discussing this Cyndaquil matter, A tier is fine, just looks unfair to me in comparison with Totodile.
 
It's an unpopular opinion here but I've always preferred Typhlosion to Feraligatr. For me the deciding factor is that Typh is simply stronger with a better STAB and gets more OHKOs. OHKOs are the primary currency for efficient runs and I've always taken that advantage in spite of the weak mid game and poorer matchups.
 

atsync

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Just out of interest:

Typhlosion Fire Punch vs. Snorlax: 82-97 (15.6 - 18.5%) -- possible 8HKO after Leftovers recovery
Feraligatr Surf vs. Snorlax: 84-99 (16 - 18.9%) -- possible 8HKO after Leftovers recovery

Feraligatr's Surf is actually slightly stronger than a Typhlosion's Fire Punch in terms of raw damage due to Surf being the stronger move. Feraligatr does noticeably more damage with physical moves as well. For much of the game Feraligatr is going to be the stronger mon, although the difference in terms of STAB is minor, Typhlosion (and even Quilava) win in Speed, and match-ups will of course swing things one way or the other.

Typhlosion will have the clear advantage when it gets Flamethrower at level 60, when most of the game is done - hell, you'll probably reach Red before level 60 unless you're soloing. Crystal at least gives us the move tutor, but even then you've only got Kanto to go and most of the stuff there is under-leveled and will be KOed by Feraligatr. I guess Typhlosion's ThunderPunch is stronger than Feraligatr's Ice Punch.......you know, when it finally gets access to the damn move at level 36.

So I think the power difference between Typhlosion and Feraligatr is being exaggerated, and I also think the "weak mid game" is being understated by some users. That weak period can actually last for longer than you might think on some larger teams - I've actually had some playthroughs when I've arrived at Blackthorn City with an unevolved Quilava!
 

Fireburn

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As much as I like Cyndaquil, it's indisputable that Totodile is a cut above it in terms of efficiency. Gatr gets Surf way before Typh gets Fire Punch and Gatr is still stronger thanks to Surf's BP vs Fire Punch's BP annd Gatr's substantially higher Attack for throwing Returns around. Flamethrower is basically irrelevant as most runs of the game will not reach L60 (Guard Spec + X Items on a Ground-type or Snorlax lead make beating Red pretty easy). The main relevant power gap closure Typhlosion has is Fire Blast access through Game Corner, which while possible to get is expensive and has some issues with route clearing due to low PP. Typh also has some trouble dealing with Rocks and Dragons regardless of coverage while Feraligatr has 109 Atk Returns and Ice Punch to deal with its natural type disadvantages.

tl;dr Gatr is a one man army and Typh, though a great mon, doesn't come nearly that close to matching its effectiveness.
 
Delibird

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People are probably going to think I'm crazy for saying this but...this wasn't as bad as I was expecting?

Delibird isn't "good" of course, but at the same time I think it isn't as bad as the Dittos and Smeargles of the Pokemon world. For one thing, Ice/Flying is a fantastic offensive typing in the context of late-Johto. Ice covers Clair's dragons and the two types hit a ton of Elite 4 Pokemon for super-effective damage. Delibird isn't strong enough to sweep these important trainers but it will be able to take stuff down in pretty much any of these battles, and it even works against the standard trainers on the late-Johto routes. Another asset is that Delibird is one of the only Pokemon in GSC in the Fast experience group, which is just awesome for something obtained as late as it is. With Blizzard, Delibird was able to grind at least as quickly as the much stronger Jynx was able to, if not faster.

Of the other hand, obviously Delibird's stats aren't too good, and neither is its move pool (no Ice Punch, forced to use Fly/Blizzard/Icy Wind, practically no useful coverage outside of that). It's also slightly annoying to catch due to its flee chance, although it isn't a rare encounter. While it grinds pretty quickly due to the wild Tangela/Weepinbell nearby, it does still require about 20 minutes or so that could be spent advancing further in the game, which is typical of most late-Johto Pokemon of course.
Silver Delibird also has Present (glitch) going for it which can be a viable option to get a lot of damage in against some opponents.
 

Colonel M

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Silver Delibird also has Present (glitch) going for it which can be a viable option to get a lot of damage in against some opponents.
Present is extremely reliant on what Delibird faces for typing. The glitch probably helps Delibird a bit more, but I dont think its going to raise it much.

Suffice to say, I think I might give in and split the bottom tier a bit.
 
As valid as those points are atsync fire is a million times better than water as an offensive stab and that's where the efficiency makes its margins. Water is great for consistent 2hkos, Fire is great for killing shit outright
 

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