The 2022 VR update is here. Thank you to the following players who took part. Nael222 Kenix ABR soulgazer TDK Fear McMeghan Earthworm TonyFlygon Blui Jirachee gorgie Mr.378 choolio D4 Repertoire vani Conflict Groudon
Special thanks to Earthworm
whos' work over the past years has made this project much easier.
Collection of data
- Players who placed in the top 24 of the 2021 circuit standings or played at least 5 games in the past 3 editions of SPL were invited to submit their rankings.
- Submitters could rank any Pokemon on their list.
- None of the Pokemon were mandatory to rank.
- It was possible for players to make edits to their rankings after submitting the survey.
- The survey was left open for about two weeks.
Formation of rankings
- Cutoffs for the ranks and subranks were determined using vapicuno
- The order was determined by an outlier-compensated mean ranking.
- Pokemon had to be ranked by at least five players to be included. The end result of this was that the same set of Pokemon remained on the VR.
- Some submitters opted to use tierlist programs to submit their VR. These could have limited new additions to the VR and promoted Pokemon that were ranked last year.
Link to raw data in spreadsheet form
Visualization of results and individual rankings
As with last year, all the rankings are assembled into a single image. In the New VR column, I have formatted it so that green indicates a rise and red indicates a fall when compared to the old VR. Blue indicates no movement. The pale green and red in everyone's rankings indicate what they ranked higher (green) and lower (red) than the new VR.
Differences when compared to the old VR that I found particularly notable include:
- Gengar (+1)
Like Cloyster in 2021, Gengar has also surpassed Raikou on the VR. This is no surprise with how dominant offensive teams are in the metagame and how perfectly Gengar functions on offense. With Explosion and Dynamic Punch/Hypnosis/Destiny Bond tech options, there is virtually no 100% reliable check to Gengar. Only three submitters ranked Gengar outside of 4th or 5th place; Nael222
at 9th, choolio
at 8th, and gorgie
- Exeggutor (+3)
Exeggutor has rebounded from its 2021 performance, landing back at 7th place. This ranking may reflect that boom offense teams are succeeding in the offense heavy meta. Exeggutor is the poster child of this archetype, spreading status, threatening normal resists, and exploding. Popular opinion on Exeggutor is divided, with Earthworm
ranking it 11th, Conflict
13th, and Groudon
13th, but Eggy still has enough overall support to land ahead of Nidoking, Skarmory, and Golem.
- Skarmory (-2)
Skarmory has seen a steady decline in its VR ranking over the past years, but now finds itself at the cusp of falling outside the top 10. The signature Earthquake Snorlax check and defensive staple reaches its all time low in the VR after being passed by Nidoking and Exeggutor. While Skarmory is almost mandatory on every stall team, the general consensus on stall appears bearish. Other popular stall mons: Raikou, Misdreavus, Suicune, and Blissey have also fallen in the rankings this year. Some players still see great value in Skarmory with vani
ranking it 6th, Nael222
ranking it 5th and gorgie
ranking it 3rd!
- Steelix (+5)
Steelix regains some of its form after sliding 6 places in 2021. Steelix has had consistent tournament results and most players seem ready to accept Steelix again after a 3 year downward trend from #7 in 2018. By providing support to Curse + Earthquake Snorlax and countering Toxic + Mean Look Umbreon, Steelix has carved out a niche for itself once again. General sentiment is now certainly on an upward trend, not a single player ranked Steelix below #16 - its previous ranking in 2021.
- Smeargle (+12)
Smeargle completes the largest ever movement on the VR, rising an astonishing 12 places to 19th! Smeargle utilizes a multitude of sets which are impossible to decipher from the lead. Spider Web, Spore + BP, Spore + no BP sets all require different counter play and can provide the user with great momentum as the opponent dances around Smeargle. Smeargle is also subtlety influencing the lead metagame. Fear
cited Smeargle as a deterrent to leading Snorlax or Cloyster. Experimentation with non-Miracle Berry sets has also meant the Sleep + Thief leads, Jynx and Nidoking do not have safe 100% safe matchups either. Smeargle has the tied highest range in ratings and greatest standard deviation out of all the mons ranked by every player. While it is still up for debate among players where Smeargle belongs, it appears to be a threat on everyone's radar.
- Suicune (-7)
Suicune has the unfortunate title of the biggest loser in this year's VR. Like many other defensive mons Suicune has not been rated highly by players, but also suffers the misfortune of not fitting very well on popular stall structures. With Raikou and Snorlax tending to use Sleep Talk, Suicune has been edged out of its role as a mixed wall and status absorber. choolio
rank Suicune the highest and 15th and 16th respectively. soulgazer
are Suicune's biggest detractors, ranking it 36th and 34th.
- Venusaur (+9)
Venusaur has long played second fiddle to Meganium. But after an impressive 9 place jump, public opinion between the two seems to be equal. Meganium ranks 37th with 0 movement from 2021's VR, while Venusaur ranks 38th. Meganium's higher defense stat has been the main reason cited for its superiority, but Venusaur's Toxic immunity and ability to check Machamp have encouraged players to explore its niche on defensive teams. Venusaur's access to Sleep Powder and Growth also provides it with an offensive niche. The competition is fierce for the title of GSC's second best grass type.
- Kingdra (+9)
Kingdra has many similarities with Suicune, but conversely has risen in the rankings this year. This could be an example of the mere exposure effect after increased tour usage and forum discussion about Kingdra. This is not a coincidence however, as Kingdra is being explored for its improved matchups against Zapdos, Gegnar, and Vaporeon when compared to Suicune. While Kingdra's viability is only the results of a small niche on unusual team structures, it has proven itself worthy of consideration. Perhaps in future years we will see Kingdra's and Suicune's ranks continue to converge.