Resource National Dex Viability Rankings v2

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Jordy

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Viability Rankings

Welcome to the second edition of the National Dex Viability Rankings! In this thread, we as a community, overlooked by a unique council, will attempt to rank every viable Pokemon in various ranks. Please be encouraged to post your thoughts on the viability of Pokemon in this thread!

Ranks

Pokemon will be ranked in descending order; there is no divide in viability inbetween ranks. There is no differentiation in offensive and defensive Pokemon. Toxapex may be A+ for its defensive utility, while Hydreigon may be A+ for its capabilities as a wallbreaker.

VR Council

The VR Council is made up of respected and active users in National Dex. They will have the final say on where Pokemon get ranked. Here is the current VR Council:

S Rank:

S

:greninja-ash: Greninja-Ash
:metagross-mega: Metagross-Mega
:tornadus-therian: Tornadus-Therian

S-

:darmanitan-galar: Darmanitan-Galar
:lopunny-mega: Lopunny Mega
Urshifu

A Rank:

A+

:clefable: Clefable
:garchomp: Garchomp
:gliscor: Gliscor
:hydreigon: Hydreigon
:kyurem: Kyurem
:scizor-mega: Scizor-Mega
:toxapex: Toxapex

A


:alomomola: Alomomola
:chansey: Chansey
:cinderace: Cinderace
:dragapult: Dragapult
:ferrothorn: Ferrothorn
:heatran: Heatran
:hippowdon: Hippowdon
:magearna: Magearna
:tangrowth: Tangrowth
:tapu-fini: Tapu Fini
:zapdos: Zapdos

A-

:aegislash: Aegislash
:excadrill: Excadrill
:greninja: Greninja
:kartana: Kartana
:landorus-therian: Landorus-Therian
:magnezone: Magnezone
:mawile-mega: Mawile-Mega
:manaphy: Manaphy
:pelipper: Pelipper
:reuniclus: Reuniclus
:rotom-heat: Rotom-Heat
:slowbro: Slowbro
:slowbro-mega: Slowbro-Mega
:swampert-mega: Swampert-Mega
:tyranitar-mega: Tyranitar-Mega
:volcarona: Volcarona

B Rank:

B+

:bisharp: Bisharp
:corviknight: Corviknight
:ditto: Ditto
:gastrodon: Gastrodon
:gengar: Gengar
:latias-mega: Latias-Mega
:latios-mega: Latios-Mega
:medicham-mega: Medicham-Mega
:mew: Mew
:rillaboom: Rillaboom
:rotom-wash: Rotom-Wash
:sableye-mega: Sableye-Mega
:victini: Victini

B

:alakazam: Alakazam
:altaria-mega: Altaria-Mega
:charizard-mega-x: Charizard-Mega-X
:dracovish: Dracovish
:hoopa-unbound: Hoopa-Unbound
:kommo-o: Kommo-o
:mandibuzz: Mandibuzz
:melmetal: Melmetal
:serperior: Serperior
:tapu-lele: Tapu Lele
:tyranitar: Tyranitar
:venusaur-mega: Venusaur-Mega
:weavile: Weavile

B-

:amoonguss: Amoonguss
:blacephalon: Blacephalon
:charizard-mega-y: Charizard-Mega-Y
:gallade-mega: Gallade-Mega
:grimmsnarl: Grimmsnarl
:gyarados-mega: Gyarados-Mega
:jirachi: Jirachi
:skarmory: Skarmory

C Rank:

C

:crawdaunt: Crawdaunt
:gyarados: Gyarados
:hawlucha: Hawlucha
:nidoking: Nidoking
:mantine: Mantine
:mimikyu: Mimikyu
:muk-alola: Muk-Alola
:quagsire: Quagsire
:seismitoad: Seismitoad
:suicune: Suicune
:terrakion: Terrakion
:thundurus-therian: Thundurus-Therian
:torkoal: Torkoal
:venusaur: Venusaur

Guidelines

There are some guidelines to keep in mind before posting here. We want to foster intelligent discussion, not unfounded arguments. Please keep these things in mind:
  • Posts like "I think X Pokemon should be in Y Rank" will be deleted; make sure to back your opinion with facts and an actual analysis of the metagame.
  • Adding onto the above, I would simply like to point out that, while usage stats may be used to support your argument, they should not be the basis of your argument. Saying something along the lines of "X Pokemon is not used often, so it should drop" or "X Pokemon is used very often, but it isn't ranked very high, it should rise" are not valid arguments.
  • You shouldn't merely state the obvious things either. We know that Galarian Darmanitan has access to a very strong STAB Icicle Crash combined with good coverage options. We are far more interested in knowing what meta trends may favor Galarian Darmanitan.
  • This is not the place for personal attacks. Not everyone agrees on the viability of Pokemon, and that is no reason to attack them. Any posts that do attack users will be swiftly deleted and met with an infraction.
  • This is not the thread to talk about suspect tests. One liners also have no place here. Both will be deleted and may be met with an infraction on repeated offense.
 
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Jordy

is a Top Tutoris a member of the Site Staffis an official Team Rateris a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributor
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What's up everyone, we have decided to revamp the entire National Dex VR. Although the timing may seem odd considering changes that may happen within the tier soon, the previous iteration of the thread was rather outdated and we simply don't want that. Here is the entire slate:

Code:
Rises:
Tornadus-T → S
Mega Lopunny → S-
Urshifu → S-
Clefable → A+
Gliscor → A+
Kyurem → A+
Mega Scizor → A+
Alomomola → A
Chansey → A
Magearna → A
Zapdos → A
Mega Mawile → A-
Mega Slowbro → A-
Ditto → B+
Gastrodon → B+
Mega Medicham → B+
Rillaboom → B+
Mega Sableye → B+
Alakazam → B
Mega Altaria → B
Dracovish → B
Hoopa-U → B
Mandibuzz → B
Skarmory → B-
Quagsire → C

Drops:

Galarian Darmanitan → S-
Toxapex → A+
Ferrothorn → A
Heatran → A
Tangrowth → A
Tapu Fini → A
Aegislash → A-
Magnezone → A-
Rotom-H → A-
Slowbro → A-
Mega Tyranitar → A-
Mega Latios → B+
Mega Charizard X → B
Serperior → B
Tapu Lele → B
Tyranitar → B
Mega Venusaur → B
Gyarados → C
Hawlucha → C
Seismitoad → C
Mega Aggron → UR
Mega Diancie → UR
Ribombee → UR
Tapu Koko → UR
Volcanion → UR
Here are reasonings for some of the more notable changes:


Urshifu ranked at S-

Urshifu's presence certainly hasn't gone unnoticed since it got released. Urshifu is one of the most potent wallbreakers right now, with only very few defensive checks. The impact it has on teambuilding is huge; almost every bulkier team is forced into running Clefable, which isn't a great check either considering it only takes one right Poison Jab to overwhelm it. Its access to U-turn also makes it much harder to keep Urshifu in check, as it can oftentimes force switches and simply pivot out against the vast majority of checks, which can be really useful in positioning Pokemon such as Mega Metagross. However, Urshifu still has a host of offensive checks and can struggle a little to switch into play, but its sheer dominance in the builder and potential as a wallbreaker easily land it a spot in S-.

:clefable:
Clefable rise to A+

Due to Urshifu's introduction in the metagame, many teams have been forced to find defensive answers to it. Clefable is one of a very small selection of Pokemon which can fulfill this role and provides an excellent amount of utility and versatility to boot. Many bulkier teams currently love Clefable's ability to compress an Urshifu and Mega Lopunny answer with important utility such as Stealth Rock, Paralysis with Thunder Wave, or its ability to act as a cleric with Wish and Heal Bell support. These sorts of teams can also make great use of Calm Mind Clefable's ability to act as a late game win condition whilst maintaining its defensive roles. The rise of Stall following the DLC meta's introduction also has bolstered Clefable, as Unaware sets, specifically those using Calm Mind, provide such teams with answers to various stall-breakers such as Reuniclus and Gliscor. It is also extremely useful for dealing with other potent threats in the current metagame, such as Nasty Plot Hydreigon and Dragon Dance Dragapult

:gliscor:
Gliscor rise to A+

Gliscor is one of the most potent winconditions in National Dex. It's really good at punishing the passive balance teams that are running around right now. Gliscor fits onto those kinds of teams very well too, as it is capable of checking Heatran as well as taking advantage of Toxapex. Considering how well Gliscor fits into the current metagame, we believe that a rise to A+ is deserved.

:scizor-mega:
Mega Scizor rise to A+

Mega Scizor has enjoyed a pretty steady rise in usage since the start of the Ladder Tournament. It is an excellent option in the current metagame, capable of handling many threatening, prominent Pokemon like Mega Metagross, Kyurem, and Mega Mawile. The increasing value of this utility will be met with a rise to A+.

:toxapex:
Toxapex drop to A+

Although it rose to S- in only the previous VR update, Toxapex is now being dropped back down to A+. It is obviously still an excellent Pokemon, but between the rise of Taunt Tornadus-T and other Pokemon such as Gliscor and Kyurem, Toxapex is easier to exploit than before.

:zapdos:
Zapdos rise to A

Zapdos has become a staple of bulkier teams in the post DLC metagame due to its ability to check many top tier threats such as Kartana, Mega Scizor, and most importantly, Tornadus-T, which has become one of the most splashable and threatening Pokemon in the tier due its incredible utility and lack of reliable Flying resists with recovery. Zapdos happens to have all of these things, as well as a fantastic ability in Pressure, which allows it to fit very nicely into the more stall-orientated metagame as Pressure allows teams to PP stall moves such as Defog and Stealth Rock much more quickly. All of these factors combined mean that Zapdos has become a fairly prominent option in National Dex, especially on stall, hence this rise.

:mawile-mega:
Mega Mawile rise to A-

With stall's rise to prominence in the post DLC metagame, it is only natural that strong stallbreakers also rise to match it. Mawile is notoriously one of the best stallbreakers available and greatly appreciates current metagame trends, such as Clefable's rise and overall increased passivity of teams allowing it to get in freely much more often to break open holes in defensive cores.

:slowbro:
Slowbro drop to A-

Slowbro has really fallen off in the post DLC metagame due to it being easily abused by two of the most prominent breakers in the metagame - Ash Greninja and Urshifu. On top of this its role as one of the best checks available to Galarian Darmanitan has been superseded on a lot of teams by Alomomola, which provides more utility to the bulkier teams in the form of Wish, as well as a better check to Mega Metagross. The bulkier teams in the metagame often do not benefit too much from Slowbro's Teleport support and so it struggles to find a place on such teams, however, it does still have a place on teams which appreciate its ability to maintain momentum, something which its competitors in the bulky Water-type role cannot provide.

:rillaboom:
Rillaboom ranked at B+

Since the release of Grassy Surge on Rillaboom, it has been making great waves in National Dex. Unlike other Grass-types, Rillaboom is not really bothered by Tornadus-T; Tornadus-T is not bulky enough to take a boosted Grassy Slide after Stealth Rock. Combine that with the fact that Rillaboom can use many prominent Pokemon such as Clefable, Alomomola, and Hippowdon, while overwhelming many of the currently popular cores, and you can see why it earns itself a spot in B+.

:altaria-mega:
Mega Altaria ranked at B

Much like Clefable, Mega Altaria has found success in the wake of Urshifu's introduction into the metagame. This rather drastic rise stems from Mega Altaria's ability to check two of the most prominent Pokemon in the post DLC metagame - those being Urshifu and Ash Greninja. Mega Altaria is a niche but very viable option on bulkier builds, where it can offer utility options such as Defog and Heal Bell as well as its aforementioned defensive utility. Dragon Dance variants have also seen some experimentation as they can easily punish a choice locked Urshifu, however, due to the prominence of Mega Metagross and Mega Scizor it remains a niche pick.
 
I agree with the list except say 2 mons' rankings in this iteration of the VR, the two mons being Urshifu being ranked S-, and Kyurem being ranked A+.

Urshifu (Single Strike) - S
Starting with Single Strike Urshifu, or Blackbear. I feel that the mon needs no introduction, as it has taken the post DLC metagame by storm. Its most powerful and most popular set, being Banded Blackbear, to me simply provides an immense amount of breaking power. With a massive 130 base Attack stat accompanied by a very powerful signature move in Wicked Blow, a stab Dark type move with 80BP that always crits packaged with an excellent secondary stab move in CC, Urshifu alone is capable of breaking through the majority of the meta's fat mons.
For example;
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 248+ Def Hippowdon on a critical hit: 190-225 (45.2 - 53.5%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tangrowth on a critical hit: 183-216 (45.2 - 53.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro on a critical hit: 398-470 (101.2 - 119.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
You might be thinking, why not just use a bulky fairy? Fairies resist both Dark and Fighting? Well, this bear gets an excellent coverage option in Poison Jab, which executes said Fairies with ease.
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Poison Jab vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Clefable: 230-272 (58.3 - 69%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Poison Jab vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Altaria-Mega: 178-210 (50.2 - 59.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Poison Jab vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Tapu Fini: 172-204 (50.1 - 59.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
One good prediction and you've just lost to Urshifu.
And while 97 base speed is not the highest, it's no excuse to call the mon not broken. The point is, it's EXTREMELY hard to switch into, and hence deserves the S tier ranking.

Kyurem - S-
I'm well aware that this might be kind of wild, but I personally lean towards Kyurem deserving S-. With the DLC, Mega Lopunny received U-Turn. Now why is this relevant to Kyurem? Kyurem is currently an excellent partner to Mega Lopunny, and for some of the reasons I say Kyurem should be S-.

Mega Lopunny is commonly checked by physically defensive Waters, Flyings, and other physdef invested mons. With Mega Lopunny receiving U-Turn, it can now freely U-Turn out on the switch-in of its checks, and go to Kyurem. With a Choice Specs, Kyurem's Freeze-Dry tears through bulky Waters, Ice Beams stray birds, and does excellent neutral damage otherwise.
Some relevant calcs are;
252 SpA Choice Specs Kyurem Freeze-Dry vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Slowbro: 408-482 (103.8 - 122.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Kyurem Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Zapdos: 482-570 (125.8 - 148.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Kyurem Freeze-Dry vs. 252 HP / 156+ SpD Toxapex: 206-246 (67.7 - 80.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Black Sludge recovery
And Steel types aren't particularly safe either, with Earth Power hitting most of them, with few exceptions like Ferrothorn, which are dealt with by Mega Lopunny.

Overall, I'm somewhat on the fence with Kyurem, but I believe it's a very powerful mon nonetheless.

Edit: Adding onto why I believe Urshifu deserves S;
Urshifu has been very overbearing on teambuilding since release, and coupled with other major threats such as M-Meta, has over-centralised teams around them. The Balance archetype particularly struggles with Urshifu being a major player in the format, as trying to pack a counter for the big offensive threats in the meta is nigh-impossible, and quite often results in a team having to lose to a certain mon on match-up. This is directly reflected upon by how the metagame and its playstyles transformed very rapidly after the release of Urshifu, with the only realistically viable playstyles looking to be Hyper Offense, or Stall. The fact that a single mon can influence the metagame to this extent and warp teams around it should serve as enough reason for Urshifu to go to S.
 
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So with the rise of Urshifu, I'd like to discuss a partner that I feel like complements its banded set quite well in crushing the few checks it does have.

Hoopa-Unbound @ Choice Specs
Ability: Magician
EVs: 20 HP / 252 SpA / 236 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Dark Pulse
- Focus Blast
- Thunderbolt/Trick/Whatever you'd like

This set takes advantage of the fact all of Urshifu's checks are physically defensive. Many of the mons that can easily chip the bear down to priority range from passive damage like Rocky Helmet absolutely hate taking a Specs Psychic. Psychic is the move you'll be clicking most of the time, as since Hoopa has such great mixed attacking stats, there is a very real threat of it running the Choice Banded set. Surprising a physically defensive Toxapex/Tangrowth with an OHKO can absolutely ruin a teams defensive backbone. Unaware Clefable(a common switchin to Physical Hoopa) is also put on the backfoot, having an over 50% chance to get OHKOd outright after Stealth Rock. Dark Pulse OHKOs Slowbro(obviously Wicked Blow does too), and other psychics, shutting down trick room attempts from Cresselia. Focus Blast OHKOes Ferrothorn, who otherwise could take two Wicked Blows and chip Urshifu for a massive 66% HP just from Iron Barbs and Helmet. The last move is really up to you. Thunderbolt is a very nifty tech that OHKOs Alo even without rocks, and also clips Mandibuzz, OHKOing it after rocks if its lost its Boots to a Knock. This also stops Greninja from coming in for free after one of its teammates goes down.

The listed EVs maximize Hoopas massive Special Attack. A Modest nature is preferred because even with maximum speed investment, Hoopa is quite slow in today's metagame of Ash-Greninja and Dragapult. The speed allows you to outspeed both SD Gliscor and Defog Tapu Fini, blasting them with a Psychic. Due to Hoopa's naturally high special bulk and lack of a 4x Fairy Weakness, it can actually go toe to toe with mons like Clefable and Fini, a feat that the bear would never dream of. Urshifu complements this by having great natural physical bulk, allowing it to actually survive the various U-Turns in the metagame. This core takes advantage of the fact that in the current metagame, there are far too many threats for a team to prepare for. A team thats has strong walls that can chip Urshifu down will more than likely lose at least 2 mons to Hoopa.
 
:Alakazam:
B -> B+ (and I’m being extremely modest here. A if I was honest)
B ranking for Alakazam is WAY too low for this thing.
With many teams currently being Semi-Stall, as to combat Pokemon like Urshifu, Mega Matagross, Ash Greninja, and Darmanitan-Galar, Alakazam can take a huge advantage by praying on these teams after it got Nasty Plot.
Among everything in the metagame, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can 100% wall it. If there exists something that can wall 1 set, it won’t wall a slight variation in that same set.
Psyshock (or Expanding Force) for Chansey, SpD Unaware Clefable, and SpD Unaware Pyukumuku, Psychic for everything neutrally hit, Focus Blast/Dazzling Gleam/HP Fire for Dark types and Steel types, and Shadow Ball for bulky Psychic types.
The only consistent counter to this monster is Alolan-Muk, which can be chipped and isn’t very good to begin with, and revenge killing, something that isn’t so easy when it has 120 Speed.
There exists common Pokemon like Greninja, Mega Lopunny, and Dragapult who can outspeed Alakazam, but none of them have any safe ways of switching in.
There exists priority, including Sucker Punch.
But what if the Alakazam has a Tapu Lele teammate for general priority and Alakazam can always use Substitute, which not only screws over wrongly predicted Sucker Punches, but also can stop most of those revenge killers (baring Ash Greninja and Dragapult) if played well enough.
It’s frail, but with moves like Teleport and U-turn letting such frail Pokemon in for free, you will only every really care about Alakazam’s frailty against faster Pokemon and priority.
The only other thing is that Alakazam is prone to Pursuit trapping, which only Weavile, Muk-A, and Scarfers will ever get to use.
It’s Amazing against Stall.
It’s Amazing against Semi-Stall.
It cleaves through Balance.
It’s has ways around its weaknesses.
It only needs a little bit of support for something that has a massive reward.
It wins you games.
The only reason why I say it’s B+ is to be modest, something Alakazam isn’t (ironically), and even for A, Alakazam still has faults. Faults that only need a little band-aid, but faults none of the less.

:Urshifu: (Single-Strike)
S- -> A+ (Also pretty modest and I wish there was a rank between A and A+)
Honestly a bit overrated.
Everyone seems to be rating Urshifu based on its Wallbreaking capabilities, and sure it is one of the best Wallbreakers in National Dex OU, but there is more to being top tier than just breaking balance, and relying on Choice Band to become a no safe switch-in Pokemon.
My biggest problem with Urshifu is it’s sub-100 Speed.
Urshifu isn’t too far behind in the 100 Base mark, but tons on relevant Pokemon will be outspeeding this thing and revenge killing it. Even worse when you have adamant and use Band over Scarf.

The next biggest problem is it’s poor defensive typing and poor bulk (even on the physical side when uninvested).
Urshifu isn’t as frail as paper, but it can find a hard time switching in.
Every other S/S- rank Pokemon can 2HKO Urshifu minimum with standard coverage moves, which is fine since tons of Pokemon are also 2HKO’d by them as well. What’s a shame is that many walls can 2HKO Urshifu, burn it, both in many cases, Knock Off the 1 thing that makes Urshifu the No-Safe-Switchins(tm) threat it is.
I know just a few moments ago I said that you can just use Teleport and U-turn for Alakazam, but Urshifu is more on-demand for catching walls thanks to its poor speed, but also that Choice Band can lock it into a move that’s resisted by an oncoming wall. Not to even mention the stat drops from Close Combat.
Lastly, it‘s low PP in Close Combat and Wicked Blow don’t do it any favors against Semi-Stall.
Sure, being such a hard to switch-in Pokemon is a pretty good attribute, but it can only do this so many times. You have 16 PP between Close Combat and Wicked Blow, Urshifu’s main means of dealing damage. Against Balance teams, this is good as balance teams will typically have 1 core of 2-3 defensive Pokemon.
On Semi-Stall, nearly every Pokemon is defensive with the occasional Weavile, and those Defensive Pokemon can switch between each other for days, healing non-regenerators in between Urshifu being on the field and healing the regenerators between switching.
But to not have this be just trashing Boldest Bear, I will say Urshifu is what Pangoro and Terrakion wish they could be.
Unseen Fist is an amazing ability to bypass scouting attempts.
It can more Unga Bunga past cores than Terrakion and Darmanitan-G can thanks to Wicked Blow being neutral to walls like Toxapex and Hippowdon.
It’s hit neutrally by Meteor Mash, something Terrakion isn’t happy about either (and why Urshifu is so ahead of Terrakion too).
U-turn is better than Parting Shot for an offensive Pokemon like Urshifu.
And it plays a part in making Semi-stall a popular pick in the tier.
But still, very overrated and I think people will agree once the new toy syndrome wears off and puts it respectfully in the ‘A’s.

:Reuniclus:
A- -> B
Despite my trashing of Urshifu just now, you can’t deny it’s popularity and influence now.
And Honestly, Reuniclus gets wrecked a lot by top tiers, namely Urshifu and Ash-Greninja.
 
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