Gen 2 GSC OU Viability Ranking Thread V2

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~GSC Viability Rankings~

Past thread made by Jorgen
Welcome to the GSC Viability Rankings topic! In this thread, we as a community will rank every single usable Pokemon into "tiers", which are named according to standard letter grades because after participating this thread you should be able to take your opponents to school! In this thread, you're encouraged to post your thoughts and opinions on the various Pokemon that are usable in GSC and what tier they should fall under.

The general idea of the topic is to rank each GSC pokemon under "rankings" that go in descending order. As this is a general tier list, everything is lumped together. There won't be any segregation between offensive and defensive threats, and the ordering within tiers will be alphabetical.

GSC OU Viability Rankings:

(In Alphabetical Order)

Snorlax Rank: This Pokemon is Snorlax. It is the best. Period.
  • Snorlax
S Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are the pinnacle of the OU metagame. These Pokemon are able to perform a variety of roles very effectively, or can just do one extremely well. Their use has low risk involved and high reward exerted. Pokemon in this rank have very few flaws that are patched up by numerous positive traits. These Pokemon define the metagame.
  • Raikou
  • Zapdos

A Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are fantastic in the OU metagame, and can sweep, support, or wall significant portions of the metagame. These Pokemon require less support than most others to be used effectively and have few flaws that can easily be compensated for when compared to their positive traits. These Pokemon exert a strong presence in the metagame.

A+ Rank:
  • Cloyster
  • Exeggutor
  • Gengar
  • Skarmory

A- Rank:
  • Nidoking
  • Steelix
  • Suicune
  • Tyranitar
  • Vaporeon

B Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are great in the OU metagame. These Pokemon have more notable flaws than those above them that affect how they function in the tier. Their positive traits still outshine their negatives, but they require a bit more team support to bring out their full potential. These Pokemon exert an above average presence in the metagame.

B+ Rank:
  • Forretress
  • Machamp
  • Marowak
  • Miltank
  • IMisdreavus
  • Starmie
  • Umbreon

B- Rank:
  • Blissey
  • Dragonite
  • Heracross
  • Jolteon
  • Porygon2
  • Rhydon

C Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are mediocre in the OU metagame, but have just as many notable flaws that prevent them from being effective. Pokemon in the C tier often require significant support to be effective. Pokemon from this rank tend to face a lot of competition with the more commonly used Pokemon. These Pokemon exert a below average presence in the metagame.

C+ Rank:
  • Charizard
  • Clefable
  • Espeon
  • Golem
  • Kangaskhan
  • Muk
  • Quagsire
  • Smeargle
  • Tentacruel
C- Rank:
  • Houndoom
  • Jynx
  • Meganium
  • Scizor

D Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are highly mediocre in the OU metagame, but are viable enough to justify their use on select teams. These Pokemon are only capable of doing their specific task and fail at doing anything more than that. Pokemon from this rank have multiple crippling flaws that prevent them from being successful a majority of the time, and are often severely outclassed because of it. These Pokemon exert a poor presence in the metagame.
  • Alakazam
  • Entei
  • Sandslash
  • Venusaur

Of course, I expect disagreements about the spot of some of these Pokemon, but that's what the thread is for.

Rules :
-Post intelligently. Posts like "I think pokemon X should be in this tier" will not be tolerated
-No flaming.
-Stay objective. The fact that you love X or Y Pokemon doesn't mean it's objectively a beast.
-for the love of Arceus, don't nominate a Pokemon from a later gen. I HAVE seen this done.
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As you can see, I managed to make M Dragon's viability rankings work by adding a singular D rank. There are still some things that could be ironed out (for example, M Dragon left out Meganium in his list), but that can actually be a benefit by making sure this thread actually gets some activity.


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good stuff

miltank to a- and/or starmie to b+
suicune and vap to change place prolly
dragonite to b-?

rest looks good i think. didn't look at C and beneath though because you shouldn't use those mons either way h3h3
well, I didn't SAY they were mandatory, just that they were on practically every single serious competitive team. I guess I could change "practically" into "almost". I actually agree in that they aren't mandatory - the only mandatory or even somewhat needed Pokemon is Snorlax.

The point I was trying to make is that while it's perfectly possible to create a serious team without electrics, you seem to have to TRY to leave them out. If you are impartial about whether you have an electric or not, one of them WILL find a way onto your team, they're just that good.

So I could very well change the definition of S rank if that bothers you. Changing the definition to fit the viability is a much more practical choice here than being stubborn about ranking definition and shunting the entire rest of the viability rankings down, opening a whole new can of worms.

edit: fixed the Jynx ditto.
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Jynx is in C- and D at the same time, might want to fix. I'd put her in C-

I agree with Conflict
More comments later
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M Dragon

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A and B ranks should have 3 subranks

Electrics A+ is probably the best solution

Your C+ tiered mons should be B- at worst (there is no way they are C)

C is probably best with no subranks (your current C-)

Add some niche mons like Jumpluff
Electabuzz can be a D rank mon, imo. Outspeeds Zapdos, has good coverage with Cross Chop and Ice Punch and decent offenses.


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I don't really like the idea of Electrics under S, and I find the "Snorlax Rank" to be a bit confusing to new players. Here is what I propose:

S Rank: Pokemon in this rank are the keystone of competitive GSC teams. Practically every single serious team runs at least one of these Pokemon, and some run both. Failing to prepare for Pokemon in this rank is akin to PokeSuicide. These Pokemon ARE the Metagame.



There has been precedent of an S+ rank in ORAS Ubers currently, as P-Don quite comparably to Snorlax (to a lesser degree) is mandatory on every team in order to be successful and they both shape there respective meta's astronomically. I find this makes more sense imo, as it clearly shows that Snorlax is still way better than Electrics, but that Electrics are also very meta influencing in their own way.


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Whether you name it s rank, s+ or snorlax rank doesn't really make a difference for the actual rankings. I agree that the current wording on the s rank is just not correct, either rephrase that or put electrics in a+ and move everything down. It should be clear that lax is mandatory and that the electrics are individually just better than the rest.
Okay, I redefined S rank with a definition that should be softer while still portraying that the electrics are still above all of A+ rank.

Something that should be cleared up: These viability rankings are not filling the standard viability rankings of other rankings. In other words, A rank here is not equivalent to A rank in, say, the DPP OU or ORAS OU viability rankings. They are only to show the difference in viability between the different Pokemon. The main comment that I'm thinking about is M Dragon's post saying a lot of the C+ mons should be B- - strictly speaking, this rank's C+ is not equivalent in viability to the C+ rank of other rankings.

Anyway, some discussion points, to at least give this thread something to talk about other than semantics and nomenclature:

Jumpluff Unranked --> C+/C-
Electrabuzz Unranked --> D
Golem C+ -> B-

M Dragon

The north wind
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Something that should be cleared up: These viability rankings are not filling the standard viability rankings of other rankings. In other words, A rank here is not equivalent to A rank in, say, the DPP OU or ORAS OU viability rankings. They are only to show the difference in viability between the different Pokemon. The main comment that I'm thinking about is M Dragon's post saying a lot of the C+ mons should be B- - strictly speaking, this rank's C+ is not equivalent in viability to the C+ rank of other rankings.
I was using your own descriptions.

"B Rank: Pokemon in this rank are potent threats, but are held back from A rank by a few flaws. They are either slightly outclassed, get worn down easily, or necessitate greater team support than the Pokemon in A rank. However, it would be a mistake to fail to prepare for these Pokemon. These Pokemon affect the Metagame."

This seems a closer description of mons like Charizard, Clefable, etc than this one:

"C Rank:Pokemon in this rank are generally inferior to the above ranks, but have strong, solid niches that allow them to remain threats in the current Metagame. Pokemon in this rank either do one job specifically well but are subpar outside of that job, have bad matchups against a lot of higher-tiered threats, or are inconsistent in doing their job These Pokemon have a presence in the Metagame."
Miltank seems more useful than anything else in B+, sheer support and utility should put it in A- imo as it seems to fit that criteria better.


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Elecs definitely belong in a tier above the rest. Sure you can make a team without them, but the majority of good teams have one.

More than two subranks is too much imo.

Ranking descriptions should probably be more objective. A decent criterion might be the expected strength of offensive and defensive matchups against common pokes. Of course, unless somebody wants to math, you'll still only be talking about things in vague, approximate terms, but at least you get around silly arguments along the lines of "X is a threat, B rank has the word 'threat' in its description, therefore X should be B rank".


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Subranks are dumb, those are just new ranks although it's just semantics. In a sense, it might be preferable to use +/- just to be consistent with what people know from grade school -- F means failure (shit that is virtually unusable), and D on up means varying degrees of success -- rather than getting too nuanced going down to, say, H Tier. Or you could just tack more S's to the top ranks as is sometimes done, which is basically what "Snorlax Tier" is (SS Tier).

And I don't know why some people are intent on having the rankings change on a frequent basis. The game is still the same it was many years ago. As a metagame shifts, new information can lead us toward tweaking things here and there but the game is pretty old and activity is low. There's only so much tweaking we can do until we're doing it just to do it, as Jorgen said in his old topic: Older gens are much more stable than newer gens, and thus you simply do not have the same reason to maintain a conversation about the viability rankings. That is most likely why the topic died."

List the pokemon horizontally so I don't have to scroll four pages in my browser to view the list. Commas are your friend.

As for actual shit people are talking about here:

Electrics aren't "mandatory" but they're really close. Well, Zapdos is. Raikou is only near-mandatory by proxy. The gap between Snorlax at #1 and Zapdos at #2 is hardly smaller than the gap between Zapdos and whatever #3 might be. Nothing consistently beats Snorlax except Sleep Talk Machamp. Nothing beats Zapdos except Snorlax and its fellow grounded Electrics, of which Raikou is the best. (Well, Blissey sorta but theoretically Zapdos can use Drill Peck and beat that too.)
I find myself having almost as hard a time not using Snorlax as I do Zapdos, because it has such a perfect combination of offensive and defensive power. Offensively, it has unrivaled power for a special attacking threat in a metagame that is physically dominant: there are no good SpA boosters on the level of Curse or Swords Dance, and Snorlax walks all over Special attackers with its 160/110 bulk combined with hammering their lower Defenses off 110 base STAB Normal. It's the only Special attacker besides Vaporeon that can consistently threaten Snorlax switching into it, and while it rarely wins that fight 1v1 it's strong enough to force an early Rest to make it incredibly manageable for teammates, but Vaporeon has other clear weaknesses.

Defensively, Zapdos simply has the perfect marriage of stats and typing. Stat-wise, it's just bulky enough to avoid the 3HKO, or 2HKO from its type weaknesses that usually come without STAB, from all but a handful of attacks. Combined with "perfect" type coverage in just two attacks and the SpA to back 'em up unboosted, it's the quintessential Sleep Talker. Alongside Skarmory as the only OU Flying-types, they're the only true Heracross counters and Zapdos is a top Machamp counter (Skarm doesn't resist Fighting). The best general physical attack in the game is Earthquake, giving Zapdos more room to flip momentum with timely switches, and Spikes immunity gives it excellent staying power even without Rapid Spin support or a non-Rest moveset.

Now, being the careful teambuilding and battler that I am, GSC is small enough that you can afford to pack redundant answers to the game's biggest threats and I generally like to make sure I have at least two reliable ways to handle everything. Snorlax usually means packing two "answers" to cover different movesets, since nothing can handle all Snorlax movesets except Sleep Talk Machamp. Now being a special attacker, Zapdos already has one ubiquitous answer in Snorlax but who can the second be? Like Snorlax, you can do it with a concentrated team effort (i.e. make sure everything is at least decent against them and not exploitably weak) but the only singular answer is a grounded Electric or niche mons like Quagsire.

Raikou is merely the best of that bunch, having a stat total equal to Zapdos. Raikou isn't as good as Zapdos because it's a smidge weaker offensively and the lack of Flying typing gives it a more clear weakness to Ground-types, but it still checks off a lot of the same boxes while differentiating enough to stand on its own. Other Electrics lack the bulk, forcing them into niche roles of which only Jolteon has a particularly notable one, but the typing overall is strong due to lack of type weaknesses and powerful, neutral offense. (Thanks, Hidden Power!)

Likewise, Zapdos is also one of a handful of defensive answers to certain other threats. Particularly, only Zapdos and Skarm truly counter Heracross. It's also one of a handful of soft Machamp counters (Starmie being the only hard one), one of a handful of Ground-resistant mons that can pivot around Marowak, and the best status absorber by virtue of being the best Sleep Talker. Not using Zapdos means using 2+ slots on other mons to individually cover some of those things, or ignoring it and simply skimping on defense. And it's a premier offensive threat? Why the hell wouldn't I use Zapdos?
Dragonite should barely be C-, Quagsire should probably move down too since it's super niche compared to Steelix in the role of "Ground-type who isn't weak to Ice." Tentacruel can maybe sneak up to B- in Quagsire's spot, then if you're hell-bent on keeping an unnecessary level of symmetry between the tiers I guess you can move Golem up or whatever. (I would leave Golem there and move up any of Zam / Jynx / Meganium / Venusaur / Houndoom instead. Or, you know, not try that hard in the first place to keep two subranks and exactly six mons in every tier. But it's your post.)

Electabuzz is garbdix outside of mono-Electric where you don't have much choice. Yeah it's versatile, but like Electivire in Gen 4 it just doesn't have the stats to back up its movepool and it's also frail as balls. Jumpluff's legit but niche, as are Slowbro and Blastoise in my book. I'd also add Nidoqueen for the sake of completeness. Nobody should actually use Nidoqueen, but it is so similar to Nidoking that if Nidoking didn't exist I think it would be relatively popular. Its "true" placement would be one half or one full tier beneath Nidoking... It's still better than shit like Dragonite on paper, just lacks a role in the metagame because 'king is virtually identical but a smidge better.
Agreeing with Jorgen on the ranking definitions; the entire reason they are controversial in the first place is that I wrote the original ones myself, instead of going with tried-and-true definitions. To fix this, I think I'm just going to replace all the definitions with the ones used in the old XY Viability Rankings Thread, some of which I am already using.
I honestly think you're better off without any sort of rank definitions. Back when we had definitions in the ORAS OU VR thread, you had people who were constantly arguing about nominations based on some vague descriptions rather than a Pokemon's comparative viability, and it would lead to these really awkward situations where Pokemon A would be in the same rank as Pokemon B because of definition semantics despite the fact that Pokemon A was obviously not on the same level of viability as Pokemon B. Needless to say, it was a mess. We eventually just decided to screw the definitions altogether and just rank the Pokemon based on how they compared to the other occupants of a specific rank, which ended up making things smoother.

So if you take M Dragon's example of moving C+ things to B-, it'd be less a question of, "Do these things fit the definition of B Rank?" and more a question of, "Are Charizard, Clefable, etc. on the same level as Blissey, Espeon, etc.?"
is ttar really better than steelix? and why is quagsire next to blissey?

why does it seem like this list is favoring "aesthetics" over factual evidence? i find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that there are literally exactly 6 pokemon in each tier.
My thoughts, for what they're worth:

Suicune looks really out of place in A+ imo, it is nowhere near as good or easy to fit on teams as the other A+ mons.

I'm of the opinion that pokemon that are considered niche but potent do not belong in B tier (for instance the entirety of C+, random stuff like Quag). They are so incredibly difficult to use and support-dependent that they just do not fit the criteria for B rank. Not to mention that half of them are so seldom seen that they are scarcely relevant- you don't prepare for them so much as you make sure you're not weak to them and know how to play around them if you do encounter one. And if we compare to the pokemon currently in B- it's just silly; there's no way shit like Zard is anywhere near as good as something like Jolt.

The exception to this is Golem imo as it actually has a significant defensive niche that it does a average job of filling and a variety of tools it can utilise. I mean it's not really good at most of the things it does but it can work?

Also I'm strongly in favour of descriptions, otherwise rankings just kinda don't really mean much imo
Wow, I only just noticed each tier has 6 mons in it, I'm pretty sure that was not intentional in the slightest. Even if it was when M Dragon made the list, there's nothing keeping the rankings that way.

Anyway, let's try to halt conversation of the descriptions, as it's not really getting the thread anywhere. I'll chip in my own opinions later on when I'm not on my phone.
you should start moving shit down. there's just no way the higher end of any list is as saturated as the plebs. if there's a mon everyone's on the fence about between two tiers, then it belongs in the lower one. it should be very clear cut. when one undeserving mon makes it up, then another one has a stronger argument for a bump as well, then suddenly it won't look so bad since they're no longer alone as shit mons in a tier. but clearly this is a horrible way of doing things. nevertheless, to demonstrate this reverse power creep suggestion:

ttar and suicune should both go down to a-. maybe gengar too.

starmie, machamp, and marowak should all go to b+.

dragonite, heracross to b-.

quagsire, espeon to c+.

don't care about c for now.

M Dragon

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Lol I didnt notice about the 6 mons as well xD
Suicune could go to A- in your rankings I guess. I heavily disagree with TTar tho.
Machamp and Marowak could go to B+. They are huge offensive threats and should probably stay in A- tho. Idk about Starm.
Idk about moving Hera and Dnite down, they are clearly better than the B- mons.

Problem is C mons

C Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are mediocre in the OU metagame, but have just as many notable flaws that prevent them from being effective. Pokemon in the C tier often require significant support to be effective. Pokemon from this rank tend to face a lot of competition with the more commonly used Pokemon. These Pokemon exert a below average presence in the metagame.

I dont think this description fits threats like Charizard or Tentacruel or Clefable, they seem more like B mons to me.

Using 3 subranks in A and B, and no subranks in C and D could be a good solution.
Something like:







Your C-

Your D

Basically: your C+ is B- now (I dropped Quag since Borat is right when he says that mons like Bliss are better)
And I splitted your A- in 2 subranks and I dropped Suicune.
after the electrics, the big 3 to me are cloyster, exeggutor, and the ubiquitous skarmory. gengar/ttar are behind these in my eyes.

IF we move gengar/ttar down, then it makes sense that further a- refinements are necessary. starmie only exists because of cloyster/forretress. marowak/machamp aren't in the same sentence as the new offensive trio of gengar/nidoking/ttar.

in the b+ tier, we have to make similar changes. since marowak/machamp are now in this tier, it only makes sense to move dragonite since he clearly is a step down from those two. heracross now becomes out of place as b+ now is filled with staple ou mons, whereas heracross is still largely situational and a second-rate ground resist.

now b- is starting to shape up to be the "reject ou mons". espeon and quagsire stick out like a sore thumb given this criteria.

i feel like d is a completely useless tier. this is "ou viability" is it not? if the description for a pokemon can be summed up by "don't use this if you care at all about winning" then why should it be even mentioned? these aren't even situationally good, let's not kid ourselves.


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what's so good about dragonite anyway

Borat, I don't think Gengar and company serve the same purpose as M&M. You can argue they're better, if you want, but they don't do the same things other than in a very vague "kill stuff" sense. Gengar is a precision tool and Nidoking and Ttar are middling offensive threats that make a name for themselves with versatility. M&M just hit things really hard. And... while I can't speak for a lot of the current D rank (Entei lol, Ursaring lol), there is something to be said of those ultra-niche mons still. Venusaur is honestly every bit as good as Meganium. Ampharos has stats comparable to Raikou minus the Speed... which is big, don't get me wrong, but it still does the main job of cockblocking Zapdos and learns support moves that Raikou doesn't get (notably screens and T-Wave).

And, well, I guess if everyone else is doing it I should tier up too... Descriptions more importantly, nobody ever actually agrees with me about the actual mons anyway.

Snorlax Rank (or Tier): This Pokemon is Snorlax. It is the best. Period. (iz gud)
S rank: These Pokémon represent the pinnacle of things that aren't Snorlax. With the perfect blend of offensive and defensive prowess, they can apply strong offensive pressure while also defending against a wide range of opposing threats due to lack of exploitable weaknesses.
A rank: Some of these Pokémon have an irreplaceable niche, some are just well-rounded with a few chinks in the armor. All of them are strong enough to make their presence known in the metagame, but they have clearly defined weaknesses that are not seen in the top tiers.
B rank: Here resides Pokémon with more numerous or more exploitable weaknesses. They're the offensive threats that have harder counters, the more focused defensive walls that fare less well generally, the utility mons with a replaceable niche. They may be well-rounded but lack the stat total or movepool to be as universally threatening. They're good at doing useful but non-essential things, or may be less good at playing outside of their defined role.
C rank: These Pokémon usually have a strong niche, but are otherwise sub-par as the bad starts to outweigh the good, or well-rounded but disappointingly average. They may see occasional use to fill an extremely specific role or just to throw your opponent a look they don't normally see. It's worth keeping them in mind when teambuilding just in case.
D rank: These Pokémon technically have some value. They're the kind of thing you either build around from the start or dig out from the bottom of the barrel when you have five mons on paper and need some weird, exact combination of traits from the sixth to glue it all together. You can find uses for them, but they're extremely narrow.
Snorlax: Snorlax.
S+: Zapdos
S: Raikou (clearly worse than Zapdos, clearly still better than the rest)
A+: Cloyster, Exeggutor, Gengar (Explosion es numero uno)
A: Forretress, Nidoking, Skarmory
A-: Steelix, Machamp, Marowak, Suicune, Tyranitar
B+: Starmie, Misdreavus, Miltank, Porygon2
B: Vaporeon, Umbreon, Blissey, Heracross
B-: Jolteon, Espeon, Rhydon, Meganium, Venusaur
C+: Quagsire, Dragonite, Golem, Tentacruel, Houndoom, Alakazam
C: Smeargle, Clefable, Charizard, Muk, Jynx
C-: Scizor, Jumpluff, Kangaskhan, Slowbro, Ampharos, Nidoqueen (gotta throw her a bone... she's way better than this even, she just happens to be Nidoking-1)
D: Whatever the fuck you wanna put here. Only one I care about unmentioned above is Blastoise, but I imagine it's reasonable to put a good 10-15 other mons here too: Donphan, Moltres, Qwilfish, etc.

I'm pretty happy with A+ and B- on down, it's just kinda murky in the A-B range. It feels good enough but I'm not thinking super hard about it. I do think the Explosion trio is above the rest though, Skarmory included. As important as walling Snorlax is, and Skarm's also the closest thing to a Marowak counter in this game, it rarely applies any offensive pressure and Zapdos/Raikou abuse it. TTar and Nidoking can't threaten Explosion, while Forretress and Steelix can't really threaten beyond it.

On that note, I do think Nido is better than TTar which is why I ranked them accordingly. Pursuit gives TTar an edge offensively, plus a niche that can only be somewhat replicated by Umbreon, but TTar is just so weak defensively. TTar gets chipped by everything and it's pretty slow, one of the easiest non-Marowak mons to wear down. Nidoking outspeeds TTar and friends, plus has Electric immunity. Perhaps more damning, it's a red carpet invitation for Machamp and Marowak to switch in and murder your team (especially if you Pursuit the switch-out rather than chip them coming in). Nidoking just gets countered by the offensively-impotent Suicune. It can also serve as your sleeper which is cool.

C+ are legit nichemons, while C is mostly a collection of "rare things that will wreck your shit if you completely forget they exist" and C- is borderline D-rank stuff that is worthy of highlighting over the true fodder.

I only put Dragonite in C+ because the rest of you guys seem to fucking love it for some reason (even though it barely sees play) and I still think that's kind of a stretch. Then again, I did put Meganium and Venusaur in B-. Maybe I should put Dragonite up there too, it does have 600 BST and a hell of a movepool, despite its 4x Ice weakness and lack of STAB or boosting moves to threaten damage... Not like Mega/Venu threaten damage either though. But I still don't know what Dragonite does that's actually useful.
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