Gen 6 ORAS UU Viability Ranking Thread

Pak

hydeout
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Art by MandyRoh
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Co-hosted with Pearl

Welcome to the Ruins of Alph Version of the ORAS UU Viability Ranking thread! In this thread, we as a community will be creating a valuable resource with the intent of helping people who are interested in learning how to play this metagame. With that in mind, the main goal is to organize all of the usable Pokemon in this tier into "tiers", from best to worst, with no differentiation between offensive and defensive threats. Everyone with experience is encouraged to comment, and every post will be taken into account when deciding possible rank changes.

The S tier contains a select few metagame-defining Pokemon, the best of the best, and the A tiers reflect on the Pokemon which are extremely effective but flawed in some aspects. The B tier is slightly more expansive, with the B+ tier representing Pokemon that are fairly common and threatening but don't quite make the cut for A-, while the B- tier represents Pokemon which fill minor, but relevant, niches. Below the B tier, the generic C tier displays the rest of the Pokemon that are usable in UU, but don't have a niche that is appreciated by most UU teams. Finally, the D rank will only include Pokemon that are tiered in UU by usage, but have no usability in the metagame.

All Pokemon are individually sorted within their rank by viability. This is quite subjective, and it's fine for users to make suggestions regarding each Pokemon's placement within those ranks in their posts, but it's usually better if they don't become the sole focus of the discussion.

S Rank

Hydreigon
Aerodactyl (Mega)

A Rank

A+ Rank


Conkeldurr
Krookodile
Celebi
Suicune
Swampert (Mega)
Florges

A Rank

Empoleon
Cobalion
Swampert
Nidoqueen
Entei
Crobat
Gyarados
Tentacruel

A- Rank

Mandibuzz
Roserade
Infernape
Beedrill (Mega)
Sceptile (Mega)
Mamoswine
Reuniclus
Kyurem
Cresselia
Sharpedo (Mega)

B Rank

B+ Rank


Gligar
Slowking
Alomomola
Blastoise (Mega)
Heracross
Aggron (Mega)
Steelix (Mega)
Sylveon
Whimsicott
Klefki
Doublade

B Rank

Snorlax
Metagross
Crawdaunt
Blissey
Milotic
Toxicroak
Tornadus
Forretress
Jellicent
Escavalier
Bronzong
Nidoking
Lucario
Rotom-C

B- Rank

Mienshao
Seismitoad
Abomasnow (Mega)
Feraligatr
Tyrantrum
Heliolisk
Diancie
Chesnaught
Chandelure
Froslass
Porygon2
Slurpuff
Haxorus
Arcanine
Rhyperior
Houndoom (Mega)
Dragalge
Hoopa
Virizion

C Rank

C+ Rank:


Absol (Mega)
Espeon
Venomoth
Shaymin
Galvantula
Durant
Aerodactyl
Rotom-H
Umbreon
Porygon-Z
Gardevoir
Magneton
Darmanitan
Quagsire

C Rank

Moltres
Sableye
Cloyster
Ampharos (Mega)
Fletchinder
Zoroark
Shuckle
Machamp
Honchkrow
Noivern
Registeel
Uxie

C- Rank

Togetic
Qwilfish
Omastar
Glalie (Mega)
Donphan
Meloetta
Yanmega
Pangoro
Goodra

D Rank

Vaporeon
 
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Major points

Aerodactyl: Remained in A1. Despite a decent amount of support for Mega Aerodactyl to move from A1 to S, we decided to leave it in A1 for now. While Aerodactyl is undoubtedly one of the best Pokemon in the metagame, its lack of raw power leaves it unable to reliably check several key threats like Celebi and Conkeldurr. Overall Aerodactyl has several flaws, and while it's clearly better than anything in A1, isn't at quite the same threat level as the other S ranks are.

Klefki: A very late addition to ORAS UU, Klefki was placed near the top of A3 to begin with. It's a great Pokemon for offense to blanket check a significant portion of the tier with its typing + Prankster TWave, and is easily the best Spikes user in the tier. What holds it back from higher ranks is its mediocre raw bulk and the fact that several hazard removers (Empoleon, Tentacruel, Forretress) don't care about it and can remove its Spikes with ease.

Small changes

Empoleon moved down within A2
Infernape moved up within A3
Kyurem moved up within A4
Metagross moved up within A4
Doublade moved down to B+
Whimsicott moved down within B+
Mega Aggron moved up to B+
Froslass moved down to B
Mega Steelix moved up to B
Diancie moved up to B
Umbreon moved down to C+
Donphan moved down to C-
Pangoro added to C-
 

Sam

i say it's all just wind in sails
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Aerodactyl: Remained in A1. Despite a decent amount of support for Mega Aerodactyl to move from A1 to S, we decided to leave it in A1 for now. While Aerodactyl is undoubtedly one of the best Pokemon in the metagame, its lack of raw power leaves it unable to reliably check several key threats like Celebi and Conkeldurr. Overall Aerodactyl has several flaws, and while it's clearly better than anything in A1, isn't at quite the same threat level as the other S ranks are.
So with UUPL, I've been playing a lot more ORAS again and I have to say: I still think Mega Aero not being S rank is an absurdity. "Lack of raw power" is very rarely an issue in practice. While it is true that it's not able to OHKO Mons like Conkeldurr and Celebi, those are pretty much the bulkiest offensive mons you're ever gonna have to deal with. Take a look at just about any offensive mon in the tier. Besides Hydrei, Krook, and one or two others, Mega Aero is a complete stop to them. And even those that isn't a complete stop to, it does enough against them to be able to threaten them late game or just get good damage on them when necessary. It does enough force most fat balance mons to recover, and is capable of wearing down those that don't have any recovery. It can even run Taunt to mess with fat teams even more. It's one major flaw is it's weakness to rocks, but against offensive teams I find it still gets enough switchins even with the weakness, and against fat teams it has ample opportunity to get a Roost off. Mega Aerodactyl is absolutely up there with the other 3 mons in S.
 

Pak

hydeout
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past Smogon Snake Draft Champion
Yo, I'm hosting this thread now and I have some pretty big changes.

Rises:
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Aerodactyl-Mega A1 -> S
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Roserade B+ -> A3
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Florges B+ -> A4
1526871851734.png
Mandibuzz B -> A5
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Slowking B -> A5
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Hoopa C+ -> B-
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Virizion C -> B-
  • Mega Aerodactyl has seen a huge resurgence in UUPL. It can fit on any playstyle and offers teams a plethora of roles including a reliable revenge killer, Pursuit user, birds/Beedrill check, and even a setup sweeper via Hone Claws. These roles along with a wide variety of other viable moves allow Mega Aerodactyl's versatility to push it up to S.
  • I was honestly shocked to see Roserade this low initially. This may seem like a huge jump, but there are very few mons that threaten balance teams, more specifically their common Fairy/Water/Steel cores, to the extent that dual STAB, HP Fire, Sleep Powder Roserade does. Pursuit is ultimately what holds it back but this thing is just ridiculous if played well and is 100% on the level of some other Pokemon within this rank.
  • While mostly overshadowed by Sylveon, Florges is also a fine option that boasts a potent Calm Mind set while also providing a less-passive Wish passing set featuring Synthesis. Due to being forced to run WishTect, defensive Sylveon it often has to take a turn to Protect to heal up safely. This gives Pokemon like Nidoqueen and Mega Aggron opportunities to set up hazards on this turn and leaves it vulnerable to phazers that can prevent it from healing back to the point where it can fulfill its role. While Sylveon is still a better option than Florges in most cases due to its superior bulk and bigger Wishes, Florges can run Synthesis over Protect on its Wish set, meaning it avoids these aforementioned issues.
  • Another mon I was pretty surprised to see that low is Mandibuzz. It fares well against many of the mons near the top of the rankings in Celebi, Krookodile, Mega Sceptile, Mega Swampert, and Gyarados. Mandibuzz is also a solid Defog user and can get teammates into favorable positions through the use of U-turn, meaning it supports the rest of the team nicely. Weaknesses to stuff like Sylveon, Cobalion, and Conkeldurr ultimately prevent it from rising much higher, but when properly supported, Mandibuzz is a great asset to ORAS UU teams.
  • Slowking is really similar to Mandibuzz in that it does well against a lot of top stuff, offering a solid check to Sylveon when running Calm Mind, Entei (broken), Gyarados, Cobalion, Infernape, Nidos, and Conk (if running a whack set like Colbur Psychic). Slowking offers a unique mix of versatility with Regen, Calm Mind, Dragon Tail, TWave, and Toxic that can be tailored to the needs of just about any balance team. Again, not perfect since Celebi and Hydreigon exist but the utlity it offers teams is undeniable.
  • Hoopa offers teams a really unique and effective skill set that threatens the vast majority of balance teams with its Sub Nasty Plot set. Most teams lack a Ghost resist, and when Dark-types are present they aren't too keen on taking Focus Blasts from a Hoopa behind a sub. Aside from its high Special Defense, Hoopa doesn't offer much else defensively and suffers from a huge weakness to Pursuit, preventing it from rising any further from this but its definitely good enough to warrant a B- rank.
  • Virizion is a pretty decent mon that fits well next to Mega Aerodactyl, offering a sturdy answer to bulky Water-types and non-CB Krook, while appreciating Aero's ability to check Flying-types and Pursuit trap some of its more prominent answers like Celebi. It just seemed a bit out of place that low in the rankings as it really is a solid pick for bulky offensish teams in ORAS UU given its good speed tier and capability of dealing with the ever-present Waters.

Drops:
1526872305813.png
Beedrill-Mega A2 -> A3
1526872365527.png
Cresselia A2 -> lower in its rank
1526872398439.png
Reuniclus A3 -> lower in its rank (edited)
1526872440836.png
Bronzong A5 -> lower in its rank
1526872708818.png
Haxorus A5 -> B+
1526872480863.png
Sableye B -> B-
1526872518044.png
Porygon2 B -> B-
  • Mega Beedrill dropping is based purely on the support it needs to function effectively, and it obviously doesn't offer much of of anything defensively to the balance/bulky offense teams on which it fits best. That's honestly pretty big since ORAS UU teams are really strapped for Pokemon slots as is. I just don't see it on the same level as Pokemon like Mega Sceptile, Mega Swampert, and Cobalion that simply offer much more to teams.
  • Cresselia is really really passive and often deadweight against well-prepared teams especially given its vulnerability to Toxic and status as a whole. It's still a good mon because of its stupid bulk and defensive capablities, but it too is not on the same level of Mega Swampert, Mega Sceptile, Cobalion, etc.
  • Reuniclus can be really hard to justify using over stuff like Cresselia and Slowking since it offers pretty much 0 defensively, despite how threatening it can be in certain matchups. Picking a coverage move is really frustrating since you're either walled by Celebi/other Psychics if running Focus Blast (shaky accuracy can make dealing with darks/cobalion a bitch too) or by steels if running Signal Beam. This change is less so about its potency than its ability to actually fit on functional teams.
  • Bronzong is really weird since in theory it beats a bunch of the most common mons (Aero, Sylveon, non Shadow Ball Celebi), but it really suffers from the prevalence of CB Krook and Pursuit Escavalier, with Krook being one of the most common partners for the mons mentioned above. Zong can be pretty awkward to fit on teams as it's a steel that loses to Mega Bee and can potentially give wallbreakers like Entei and Crawdaunt free turns. Also, deciding on moveslots is a pain since you want Gyro Ball for the faster shit, a non Gyro Ball Steel move to actively pressure Sylveon, Protect so you can at least trade with CB Krook, and Psywave so you're not the one rocker Forretress actually beats (LOL).
  • Haxorus suffers a lot from the presence of Sylveon and the fact that it's hard to justify over Hydreigon, which offers wayy more defensive utility often in a similar breaker role. Haxorus is nearly always reluctant to lock into its most powerful move in Outrage, as it's pretty easily taken advantage of afterward, sometimes preventing it from dealing any meaningful damage in a given match. It's still a solid mon overall, but its negatives warrant a drop to B+.
  • Sableye has fallen off a huge amount following the drops of Sylveon, Conkeldurr, and Celebi. It simply has a much harder time fitting onto teams, given its constantly decreasing opportunities to fulfill its role.
  • Porygon2 had a similar drop off to Sableye as Celebi and Conk reduce its viability as a catch-all wall, coupling with its vulnerability to status, hazards, Knock Off, and whatever else. This thing is way past its prime and deserves to drop.
 
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All of those look fine except the Reuniclus drop; saying it offers nothing defensively is pretty unfair when it punishes the shit out of anything fat (Sylveon, Bronzong, Mola, Swampert, Blissey, Tenta) and can even switch into some offensive stuff (most notably non-Crunch Aero, also Cobalion Croak and some other Fighting types and even Adamant Mega Pert under Rain needs a flinch to 2HKO it). It also beats every other slow booster besides Sub Protect or Roar Cune (Lax, Slowking, Cress, other Suicune). The fact that it punishes fat things so effectively means you can build your team to offensively check the stronger things like Gyara, Conk, Celebi etc while being able to easy fall back on Reuni the second that any support mon comes in. It definitely shouldn't be two whole sub ranks below Cresselia, which I'd argue is actually harder to fit on a team due to how passive and hampered by status, and how much Moonlight sucks.
 

Pak

hydeout
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past Smogon Snake Draft Champion
Hi, hello. The ORAS UU metagame has seen numerous shifts since this thread was originally posted, so much so that revamping the viability rankings entirely was necessary in order to reflect its state today. With the help of Tony and Hogg, a team featuring Killintime, Pearl, and I ranked every Pokemon remotely usable in the tier from top to bottom. Then, the averages were taken, creating the new individual rankings. The five of us divided the list into the traditional sub ranks of S, A+, A, etc., as opposed to the previous A# shit which is simply a worse format imho. I compiled our personal rankings along with each mon's previous rank and the change that resulted in the spreadsheet below. For reference, here are the previous rankings and divisions themselves. (Note: the bottom of the old VR is in alphabetical order, but the difference column still gives a general idea of the changes they saw)

>>SPREADSHEET<<

Significant Changes and General Trends

  • Mega Aerodactyl and Hydreigon are simply a cut above the rest in the tier, making them the sole S rank Pokemon. While others may rival them in raw effectiveness in their respective roles, what separates these two titans is both their versatility and splashability. Both can perform a variety of roles outstandingly, while also fitting well on nearly any team style.
  • Even though Conkeldurr didn't see much of a change in its individual ranking, you'll notice throughout these changes how much this (broken) Pokemon warps the tier around itself and its common support options accompanying it. Its most centralizing set is undoubtedly its Specially Defensive Bulk Up variant, which possesses very few reliable answers, while its ever-threatening Choice Band set also leaves unsuspecting opponents on the back foot.
  • The Pokemon seeing perhaps the most notable rise is Florges. While it was previously seen as the outright inferior bulky Fairy-type to its counterpart, Sylveon, it has separated itself in this regard by presenting a stronger check to the previously mentioned Bulk Up Conkeldurr. This is mainly due to its access to one-turn recovery in Synthesis. On the other hand, Sylveon relies heavily on WishTect as its form of recovery, a method capitalized on by the common combination of Bulk Up Conkeldurr + Fairy-resistant Roar user. Synthesis eliminates that dilemma entirely, giving Florges a much easier time staying healthy throughout a match. Additionally, Calm Mind Florges remains a potent sweeper in its own right, offering a strong win condition along with its natural defensive utility.
  • Big threats in Entei and Gyarados were both victims of decent knock downs in the rankings. While the two are unquestionably powerful offensively and should taken into account when teambuilding, their most effective sets have a similarly hard time fitting onto functional teams in the notoriously restrained tier that is ORAS UU. They simply do not offer much defensively, while other traits like their Stealth Rock weakness and mediocre Speed also play a part in holding them back. Obviously, they still hold relatively high positions because of their offensive capabilities, but it is their overall splashability that led to these drops.
  • I've talked about this 90 other times, but yeah Mandibuzz is hot heat. It checks top threats in Celebi, Choice Band Krookodile, Mega Swampert, and Gyarados among others, while doing a stellar job of getting teammates into favorable positions via its slow U-turns. The presence of Conkeldurr/Cobalion/Fairies and its vulnerability to status hold it back from rising higher, but it is a great Pokemon in the tier.
  • Mega Sceptile was another notable drop from the higher ranks. While it is still effective as an answer to Water-types and a strong revenge killer, some recent trends have put a damper on its overall consistency. Mandibuzz and the more-Specially-Defensive-bulky-Fairy Florges have risen more and more, offering two strong counters to any viable set it can muster. The presence of Hydreigon has largely led to Mega Scep's indirect downfall due to the heavy defensive counterplay like this often aimed in its direction, which just so happens to also deal with the weaker dragon gecko thing.
  • Oh, Cresselia. This is a mon that checks a solid number of top tier Pokemon, most notably Conk, and has potential as a long term win condition with Calm Mind. However, the main gripes with it have always its vulnerability to status and its general passiveness, tickling pretty much anything without 3 Calm Minds under its belt. Cress is simply too often dead weight or too easily abused, and has seen a drop as a result.
  • Gligar rose some. Gligar offers a unique blend of utility by checking VoltTurn/Fightings (not named Conk without Toxic), hazard removal/setting depending on your set up, and slow U-turn which lets it effectively pivot on a lot of goons, most notably Celebi. Its nothing spectacular but it has its uses for sure and that is reflected in the change.
  • Sylveon saw the biggest drop off of any relevant Pokemon, largely because of the issues touched on earlier. However, it still finds itself in a decent position because while it is less splashable than Florges, it is in fact bulkier and passes bigger wishes to teammates. Additionally, Specs is a pretty spooky set if you can fit it since Hyper Voice is strong as hell and its coverage is p hot. Still checks Hydreigon, etc.
  • While it is usually seen as a direct downgrade to Mega Aggron during much of ORAS, Mega Steelix saw a big resurgence this UUPL. To be fair, its ability is obviously outright worse than that of Mega Aggron, but Steelix makes up for that in splashability. It checks off the Ground-type that is essential on pretty much every team, opening up for a slot to do something else. Subtle, but it definitely makes a sizable difference in such a bogged down and restrained metagame.
  • I'm getting lazy, but Tyrantrum and Rhyperior are both really cool in a tier seeing a shit load of Crobat spam. The dino puts dents in the whole tier and is a dank wallbreaker, while the rhino is comparable to defensive Swampert in its uses. The key difference lies in its increased offensive presence and like I alluded to, checking Flying-types, although it does struggle with the obscene amount of bulky Water-types, making it a generally worse option than its competition.
 
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