ORAS UU Viability Rankings V4

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Welcome to the UnderUsed Viability Thread! The preliminary rankings for each metagame (every three months, or any other important release) will be decided on by a handpicked group of people who have shown a deep and relevant understanding of the metagame and contributed to the last UU Viability thread. This group, though, is obviously subject to change.

So where do you come in? Well, after the preliminary rankings have been worked out by us, it's the entire community's job to refine those rankings to more accurately reflect the true viability of all relevant Pokemon in the UU metagame. Because our guesses will come before much meaningful experience using Pokemon will have occured, we can't be accurate enough without your help. Post about the Pokemon that you're experienced using, but try not to let your personal bias oversell any Pokemon.

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 who 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.

The S through B+ ranks Pokemon are individually sorted within their rank by viability. This is quite subjective and thus, the order of the Pokemon in these five ranks will be determined ONLY by the viability ranking team. Do not make nominations for Pokemon to move up and down within their own ranks.

Viability Team Members:


S Rank:

Hydreigon
Mega Aerodactyl
Salamence
Suicune​

A Rank:

A+ Rank


Entei
Mega Swampert
Cobalion
Celebi
Mamoswine
Krookodile
Gyarados​

A Rank

Mega Sceptile
Mega Beedrill
Sylveon
Florges
Sableye
Whimsicott
Reuniclus
Mega Sharpedo

A- Rank

Cresselia
Mega Blastoise
Nidoqueen
Feraligatr
Empoleon
Tentacruel
Swampert
Infernape
Snorlax
Toxicroak
Heracross​

B Rank:

B+ Rank

Crobat
Lucario
Mienshao
Alomomola
Kyurem
Tornadus
Escavalier
Crawdaunt
Mega Houndoom
Slowking
Gardevoir
Roserade
Chandelure
Metagross
Azelf
Rotom-C
Conkeldurr
Nidoking
Milotic
Froslass​

B Rank

Mega Abomasnow
Mega Absol
Mega Aggron
Arcanine
Blissey
Bronzong
Chesnaught
Diancie
Doublade
Dragalge
Forretress
Gligar
Heliolisk
Jellicent
Machamp
Mandibuzz
Porygon2
Porygon-Z
Rotom-H
Shaymin
Slurpuff
Tyrantrum
Umbreon
Venomoth​

B- Rank

Aerodactyl
Mega Ampharos
Aromatisse
Cloyster
Darmanitan
Espeon
Galvantula
Hoopa
Qwilfish
Shuckle
Mega Steelix
Tangrowth
Virizion​

C Rank:

C+ Rank:

Donphan
Dugtrio
Fletchinder
Haxorus
Honchkrow
Kingdra
Magneton
Meloetta
Seismitoad
Weezing
Uxie
Yanmega
Zoroark​

C Rank

Gastrodon
Goodra
Moltres
Noivern
Omastar
Pangoro
Rhyperior
Sharpedo
Togetic​

C- Rank

Accelgor
Druddigon
Mega Glalie
Granbull
Hitmonlee
Jolteon
Shedinja
Venusaur​

D rank:

Vaporeon
New Pokemon:
 
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Decisions from earlier:

Porygon2 has moved from A to A-
Fletchinder will remain at B-
Moltres will remain at B+
Zoroark has moved from B- to B
Blastoise has moved from B- to C
Gourgeist will remain at C
Mega Banette will remain unranked

New nominations:

Zapdos to A: this has already been done, but the thread is now open to discussion on Zapdos
Mandibuzz: A to A-
Snorlax: A to A-
Nidoking from B+ to A-: the large gap between Nidoqueen in A and Nidoking seems misleading since Nidoking's speed tier makes it a more viable choice in many situations (against Heracross, Mamoswine, Feraligatr, and Tyrantrum, to name a few)
Umbreon: B+ to A-
 
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Cheryl.

Celesteela is Life
Reposting my nom from the last thread (R.I.P.)

Mega Abomasnow to A+
  1. It may be leaving office next year (Don't vote for that damn Donald Duck), but Mega Abomasnow is still really good right now, and it's gotten even better with the Zapdos drop. Zapdos + Water type or Mamoswine cores are everywhere right now, and Mega Abomasnow just happens to beat both of these cores. Thanks to Ice Shard, it can defeat weakened Zapdos or OHKO offensive Zappy with a Swords Dance.

    +2 252+ Atk Mega Abomasnow Ice Shard vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Zapdos: 332-392 (103.4 - 122.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
    252+ Atk Mega Abomasnow Ice Shard vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Zapdos: 168-198 (52.3 - 61.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after hail damage and Leftovers recovery
    84 Atk Mega Abomasnow Ice Shard vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Zapdos: 134-162 (41.7 - 50.4%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO after hail damage and Leftovers recovery

    And of course, it uses Giga Drain or Seed Bomb to defeat the Water type or Mamoswine. The only thing that Mega Abomasnow really has to worry about with that core is if Zapdos has Heat Wave, so you sort of have to scout or just Ice Shard the zapdos if it's weakened. Also, if you're SD, you have a chance to live defensive Zapdos' Heat Wave.

    68 SpA Zapdos Heat Wave vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Mega Abomasnow: 336-396 (87.7 - 103.3%) -- 25% chance to OHKO

    Mega Abomasnow is also really good without the Zapdos cores, as it's a great anti-meta mon, and it's always been. And since every UU team has a Water type or a Grass type or soemthing like that, Mega Abomasnow can thrive. Mega Abomasnow still has to worry about it's many weaknesses, as UU still uses Fire types, Fighting types, and other stuff. But with the advent of Zapdos, stuff like Steel types and Fighting types have dropped in usage, which helps Mega Abomasnow a lot, as bulky Steels like Mega Aggron or stuff like Cobalion used to be some of it's greatest counters. Overall, the new meta is sort of a mixed bag for Mega Abomansow, but it's more helpful to it than hurtful, as it's checks and counters have gone down and it's become even more anti-meta. While A+ could be a bit of stretch, I think Mega Abomasnow has what it takes!

    (Also, the usage of Dragon types to check non HP Ice Zapdos have gone up, which also helps President Snow.).
 
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Mega-Sceptile for A: I've been using this mon a lot lately and it's really awesome. Beats so much stuff: water-, ground-, steel-types, rotom-c, no hp-ice zapdos, etc. If you don't have something like florges it's so hard to switch into MScept, and even then bold Florges takes like 55% from modest MScept leaf storm. Pair it with Doublade to beat Bee, Aero, Florges, Blissey for freelo.
Underrated mega.
 
I'll make a quick 2 cents post about the current noms:

Zapdos to A: Sounds like a fair enough spot for it. Provides great offensive presence in a spot where we initially only really had Helio, an excellent Defogger with its defensive sets; as well as being a decent check/counter to mons like Coba, Suicune, and a few others I can't think of off the top of my head, depending on its set. Movepool is a -bit- shallow, at least offensively, but doesn't really hurt it in any way(aside from being the only one of bird trio without Hurricane...). Could probably end up A+, but it still needs more time in the tier to really see.

Mandibuzz A -> A-: Agree. Mandibird was pretty much my go-to defogger when I wanted something fat for the role, but trends are really starting to hurt it. Slurpuff has been a threat for ages, and that hasn't changed; Coba's can set up on it without a great deal of fear(even against the Foul Play sets -
+2 0- Atk Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Cobalion: 97-114 (29.9 - 35.1%) -- 22% chance to 3HKO), even getting a free +1 if it soaks a Knock/Foul Play; and now Zapdos is in the tier with those scary LO STAB Thunderbolts behind 125 SpA.

Snorlax A -> A-: Agree. Again, Cobalion shows up as a huge issue for Lax, setting up SDs quicker than Lax can Curse, and even having access to Sacred Sword if it really wants to counter. Even the EQ set is threatned with the massive rise in Shuca usage. Doublade as well has always been a huge issue for it.

Nidoking B+ -> A-: Agree. I mean, Queen's bulk does obviously make it a better Rocks setter, but by no means is Nidoking that far under it. A slight power/speed boost over its female counterpart as well as running a Scarf to beat a lot of mons that may normally threaten it is a nice boost to its potential.

Umbreon B+ -> A-: Haven't used it in ages, but the thing's always been a great pivot, specially or physically. Probably could fit well there, but I won't really go either way.

As for Abomasnow, I think I used it once or twice back in XY, and seen it put in a lot of good use on skilled players teams, but I think the Speed and typing(at least defensively) really hurt it. I think it's fine in A, as it (imo) requires a bit too much support to really be an A+ mon.

Also, I hope you don't fall prey to the VR Leaders curse dodmen.. I don't want a "ORAS UU Viability Ranking v5"...
 

Ununhexium

i am groot
is a Contributor Alumnus
Snorlax definitely warrants a drop to A-. Really all of its sets (even its best set, which is Curse in my opinion) aren't as effective as they used to be. As everyone has said, there is the omnipresent Cobalion, which resists Snorlax's STAB moves and can hit back hard with a STAB Close Combat (or if you're cheeky use Sacred Sword to ignore Defense boosts). It also doesn't do well against Doublade, which has been rising in popularity. Also, there are a whole bunch of other Fighting-types such as Mienshao, Heracross, Toxicroak, Infernape, and Lucario, all of which Snorlax doesn't want to come in on.

Also I support Umbreon to A-. It's been really under appreciated for a while. It has awesome special bulk, allowing it to check stuff like special Salamence, non-Focus Blast Reuniclus, Nidoqueen, Zapdos, and more. There really isn't too much to say here other than it blanket checks a lot of special attackers. Also, there's the physically defensive spread, but I generally prefer the specially defensive set for most intents and purposes.

EDIT: if dodmen dies I got dibs on the new thread :P
 
Did omfuga beat Limitless's record or is he still the reigning champ?

Anyway definitely supporting Umbreon's move up - this thing has been a really great alternative to florges for a while now, and its languishing in B+ seems absurd.
 
oh man zapdos gets swagger and twave LOL S rank this thing IMMEDIATELY



in all seriousness i feel like if only this thing could get 2 hidden powers it'd be so good D:
Also potentially Cobalion from A+ to A?
Zapdos is basically another addition to the list of hard counters/checks to cobalion (doublade, chandelure kinda, etc) It might be too early to be moving mons that zapdos affects but food for thought?
 

eaglehawk

once known as smogon gay baby #4
I give it a week before people realize zapdos is an A+ mon and I bet within a month or two it'll be in contention for S.

people just haven't realized how ridiculously good it can be. or maybe it's just the dp player in us who can't get over the hype right IronBullet ? :)
Can't tell if kokoloko's trying to start a band-wagon, but Zapdos is very good. Zapdos is not only very flexible, but it is also one of the few Pokemon that can threaten conventional Volt-Turn blocks like Swampert and Krookodile. LO + 3 Attacks is a massive bitch for teams to deal with and the Bulky Defog set functions as an all-around good Offensive and Defensive pivot. Furthermore, it forms very good cores with a lot of top UU Pokemon such as Cobalion and Swampert. Finally, it's a strong answer to offensive (i.e. Double Dance) Cobalion. I tend to be a bit conservative and say it's A for now, but it's definitely a Pokemon I can see becoming A+ in the future.

I think Umbreon is perfectly fine in B+. I haven't used it in a very long time, and I've only recently come off of hiatus. By initial inspection, I personally feel that Umbreon would be set-up bait for a lot of the A+ Pokemon, such as Cobalion and Florges. However, I need to play a bit more of the meta to get a better sense of it, so take what I say for Umbreon with a grain of salt.
 
Zapdos to A: Zapdos def deserves it's place in the A section, I could see it being S easily looking at how it can stop almost all S rank mons. And the versatility that Zapdos brings is just too great. The variations of bulky defog, life orb defog, life orb 3 attacks roost even choice scarf or whatever def makes it a very valuable mon for the metagame and deserves it's place in A

Mandibuzz A to A-: Tbh both ranks are fine, with Zapdos drop there's rly no reason to use Mandibuzz as the defogger of your team, anyways Mandibuzz still is very viable due to it's amazing bulk and his great typing making it able to check Thunderboltless Hoopa easily and Reuniclus even with Thunder, which Mandibuzz can outstall with Taunt/Roost. Not to forget the taunt toxic set which is a decent set too which makes it help break stall. All in one i think its placed fine in both ranks.

Snorlax A to A-: Idk what to think of this, i completely disagree with that nomination tbh. There are exactly 2 mons which can stop Curselax: Cobalion and Doublade. Yes. Cobalion is often pressured because it has to setup rocks, tank hits from other mons, close combat here, iron head there, so cobalion often gets whittle downs easily. Same with Doublade it's pressured to switchinto things like Beedrill, stay healthy for Slurpuff, switch into opposing Cobalion, Reuniclus. It has no access to Lefties, takes rocks dmg often etc etc. Most teams only have these 2 mons to prepare for Snorlax and with the gain of Zapdos these mons lost a bit of viability, so Snorlax takes huge advantage of that. As the Curselax-Set being one of the most solid wincons in UU and the lack of checks etc I disagree with it being A- as it deserves its place in A completely

Nidoking from B+ to A-: Cool nomination which im p fine with as u mentioned the gap from A to B is way to big for a great mon such as Nidoking. The thing about Nidoking is ok it's frail and isn't such a great Stealth Rocker, still it has it ways to setup his rocks better than Nidoqueen by being faster and outspeed and speedtie with some very important mons like dodmen mentioned before. While being fast and have to run Timid its special Attack still is decent combined with LO and Sheer force as it slightly misses Nidoqueen with Modest (4 Points) which isn't such a difference. The thing with Nidoking is it can stallbreak, how? It can run a great set with Sludge Wave, Earth Power, Ice Beam, Superpower. It is amazingly good for punching holes in opposing stall teams as Blissey gets 2hkod by sludge wave+superpower after rocks which opens a hole for Nidoking alone to spam it's special stabs. It can also go mixed with Poison Jab or whatever as it's physical attack is still decent and deal some critical damage to whatever decides to switchin, the option of Sucker Punch is also a mention worth, it can hit things like Mega Beedrill off Guard or Hoopas or god knows what. So yes Nidoking for A-!

Umbreon B+ to A-: Umbreon is cool but i wouldn't see me using it in one of my teams as a cleric or wish passer, i guess it's a good team support with wish and baton pass but meh it's fine where it is, remain B+.

Am done!
 
I give it a week before people realize zapdos is an A+ mon and I bet within a month or two it'll be in contention for S.

people just haven't realized how ridiculously good it can be. or maybe it's just the dp player in us who can't get over the hype right IronBullet ? :)
Hell I'd nom it for S right now if I thought anone in this thread would listen.

Lax is fine in A if you realize it has sets other than classic curselax.

King for A- for all the same reasons I voiced last time. 86 speed is a really good tier rn, mixed sets are fantastic, shares a typing and utility movepool with queen.

Bumbreon probably doesn't deserve an A- rank, it's taunt set is the only thing that really justifys this rank up and mandibuzz, (who is much MUCH better at it) is being discussed for A-

That said Mandi is fine in A imo, there's no real reason NOT to use mandi unless you're running sacfodder HO.
 
I suggest dropping Rotom-Mow to A-: STAB Leaf Storm, Will-o-wisp, tricking Scarf/Specs, water resist and HP Ice along Grass coverage. Those are the main reasons to use Rotom-Mow over Zapdos, which are quite enough to not drop anymore. Zapdos has better bulk, is faster, hits harder and gets reliable recovery on Roost. It'll still be a good mon to use, but Zapdos will outshines it as an electric type inmunne to ground.
 

Serene Grace

Live for the applause
is a Tiering Contributor
Umbreons best set is not taunt imo. In fact, that seems like a silly set whose only really utility is to beat Reuniculus. What makes Umbreon good is that its a cleric which is versatile enough to run either a physically defensive or a specially defensive set while also having a very potent move in foul play. What separates it from Mandibuzz is its access to heal bell and more importantly its access to wish. Umbreon can't be directly compared to Mandibuzz because of these features. Now, when comparing Umbreon to other clerics, Umbreon is probably the 2nd least passive behind Florges. What it does have is far more physical bulk and an awesome move in Foul Play like I said earlier. Umbreon fits extremely well on a lot of balance teams and even some stall teams.It just simply does so much. The one thing that would hinder its ranking is the prevalence of Coballion which eats Umbreon for breakfast. But Coballion is just one pokemon, and what Umbreon can do for a team in the form of checking a lot of things depending on EV investement can not be undervalued; it deserves to move a rank up.

TLDR: Umbreon for A-
 

Adaam

I’m a computer-y guy
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Umbreons best set is not taunt imo. In fact, that seems like a silly set whose only really utility is to beat Reuniculus. What makes Umbreon good is that its a cleric which is versatile enough to run either a physically defensive or a specially defensive set while also having a very potent move in foul play. What separates it from Mandibuzz is its access to heal bell and more importantly its access to wish. Umbreon can't be directly compared to Mandibuzz because of these features. Now, when comparing Umbreon to other clerics, Umbreon is probably the 2nd least passive behind Florges. What it does have is far more physical bulk and an awesome move in Foul Play like I said earlier. Umbreon fits extremely well on a lot of balance teams and even some stall teams.It just simply does so much. The one thing that would hinder its ranking is the prevalence of Coballion which eats Umbreon for breakfast. But Coballion is just one pokemon, and what Umbreon can do for a team in the form of checking a lot of things depending on EV investement can not be undervalued; it deserves to move a rank up.

TLDR: Umbreon for A-
Taunt prevents you from being set up fodder for Florges, Snorlax, and Reuniclus, denies hazards from Emp, Forretress, Zong, and Swampert, denies Defog from Emp, denies recovery for Snorlax, P2, AlomoBlissey, Florges, Slowking, and more. So I would say it has more utility than just taunting Reuniclus
 

Okay I am going to nominate TOGETIC TO B- RANK
This guy is such a monster, and check much of the current meta (Except Coballion lol)
Togetic was actually recently on my first RMT, Bees and Magnets <---- and is such an important part to the team.

Okay, togetic may look outclasses by Florges and possibly Aromatisse, but what this guy brings is a ground immunity, and honestly many more supportive moves in its arsenal. Its stats coupled with eviolite make it so hard to break through, and it provides many switch in opportunities, with 2 immunities and a great defensive typing. Togetic also has SO MUCH supportive capabilities, and is a fairy type that learns defog... which is very beneficial. Some of these awesome supportive moves INCLUDE: Wish, Trick, Thunder Wave, Tailwind, Reflect, Light screen, Magic Coat, Heal Bell, Encore, Defog, Baton Pass, Yawn, Sweet Kiss, Safeguard, heck even Charm!
Though Togetic doesnt hit hard, it is not supposed to be offensive, and learns the coveted Seismic toss as well. Togetic is also the best nasty plot passer in UU, and learns many moves that can support itself including Roost, Softboiled, and morning sun (I know all do the same thing, but worth mentioning) Togetic also has the ability to run either defensive or specially defensive, which many supportive mons cant really do!

Overall I feel like this little guy deserves to be B- rank for all of these reasons. I hope you agree and try togetic for yourself!
 

eaglehawk

once known as smogon gay baby #4

Okay I am going to nominate TOGETIC TO B- RANK
This guy is such a monster, and check much of the current meta (Except Coballion lol)
Togetic was actually recently on my first RMT, Bees and Magnets <---- and is such an important part to the team.

Okay, togetic may look outclasses by Florges and possibly Aromatisse, but what this guy brings is a ground immunity, and honestly many more supportive moves in its arsenal. Its stats coupled with eviolite make it so hard to break through, and it provides many switch in opportunities, with 2 immunities and a great defensive typing. Togetic also has SO MUCH supportive capabilities, and is a fairy type that learns defog... which is very beneficial. Some of these awesome supportive moves INCLUDE: Wish, Trick, Thunder Wave, Tailwind, Reflect, Light screen, Magic Coat, Heal Bell, Encore, Defog, Baton Pass, Yawn, Sweet Kiss, Safeguard, heck even Charm!
Though Togetic doesnt hit hard, it is not supposed to be offensive, and learns the coveted Seismic toss as well. Togetic is also the best nasty plot passer in UU, and learns many moves that can support itself including Roost, Softboiled, and morning sun (I know all do the same thing, but worth mentioning) Togetic also has the ability to run either defensive or specially defensive, which many supportive mons cant really do!

Overall I feel like this little guy deserves to be B- rank for all of these reasons. I hope you agree and try togetic for yourself!
Ftankly speaking, you've made no argument for its rise other than tell us about what it has, which we can easily find by pulling up the Pokemon's entry on the StrategyDex. I would not move Togetic at all because its ability to check Dark-types is a bit misleading. Much of Togetic's bulk comes from Eviolite, which it would lose if it switched in on a Knock Off. Theoretically, Togetic would be a great switch-in to Pokemon such as Krookodile and Mienshao, but the loss of Eviolite significantly reduces its ability to safely deal with those Pokemon. In my opinion, Togetic is good only because of its role as a Bulky Nasty Plot passer.
 

Megazard

The turtle moves
is a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderatoris a Top Team Rater Alumnus
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Okay I am going to nominate TOGETIC TO B- RANK
This guy is such a monster, and check much of the current meta (Except Coballion lol)
Togetic was actually recently on my first RMT, Bees and Magnets <---- and is such an important part to the team.

Okay, togetic may look outclasses by Florges and possibly Aromatisse, but what this guy brings is a ground immunity, and honestly many more supportive moves in its arsenal. Its stats coupled with eviolite make it so hard to break through, and it provides many switch in opportunities, with 2 immunities and a great defensive typing. Togetic also has SO MUCH supportive capabilities, and is a fairy type that learns defog... which is very beneficial. Some of these awesome supportive moves INCLUDE: Wish, Trick, Thunder Wave, Tailwind, Reflect, Light screen, Magic Coat, Heal Bell, Encore, Defog, Baton Pass, Yawn, Sweet Kiss, Safeguard, heck even Charm!
Though Togetic doesnt hit hard, it is not supposed to be offensive, and learns the coveted Seismic toss as well. Togetic is also the best nasty plot passer in UU, and learns many moves that can support itself including Roost, Softboiled, and morning sun (I know all do the same thing, but worth mentioning) Togetic also has the ability to run either defensive or specially defensive, which many supportive mons cant really do!

Overall I feel like this little guy deserves to be B- rank for all of these reasons. I hope you agree and try togetic for yourself!
Yes I often run trick on bulky pivots reliant on eviolite. Toge already has enough 4mss without talking about niche to bad options like safeguard, lovely kiss, screens, etc. I've used it a fair amount and the issue is you want to fit so much stuff but you're going to be lacking two of NP, attacking move, status move (twave/yawn/encore) and defog, and it really wants all of them to be effective, so it's always going to be held back by something
 

Hikari

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I give it a week before people realize zapdos is an A+ mon and I bet within a month or two it'll be in contention for S.

people just haven't realized how ridiculously good it can be. or maybe it's just the dp player in us who can't get over the hype right IronBullet ? :)
Nah, as a DPP and BW player I love Zapdos and know how good it used to be, but it will never get anywhere near S in the current metagame. I doubt it gets better than A.

The power creep caught up with Zapdos. Offensively it isn't as intimidating as it used to be, especially if you compare it with Pokemon like Hydreigon, Salamence or Feraligatr. Relies so much on Hidden Power coverage and it will always be checked by a significant amount of Pokemon. You cannot cover Swampert, Hydreigon, Gligar, Mamoswine, etc with only one set. The standard right now seems to be run Tbolt / Hidden Power Ice or Grass / Heat Wave or Air Cutter / Roost. If you want to use something different like Volt Switch (if you drop Tbolt on offensive Zapdos for this you are a fool), Agility or Defog you'll have to deal with a massive amount of checks that will be harder to wear down than Zapdos.

There are also Pokemon Zapdos can't really beat regardless of the coverage move it runs, like Blissey, Florges, Porygon2, Umbreon, Cresselia (which is way more common now), Mega Ampharos and Goodra(!). It used to be able to deal with some of those Pokemon before with Spikes and smart plays, but now Spikes-stacking offense is hardly reliable.

Defog is a mixed blessing for Zapdos. It's a SR weak Pokemon, so it obviously appreciates Defog support. But it also is an attacker that really needs hazards to punish walls and right now is really easy to remove them thanks to Defog and a decent amount of good spinners.

I have been using Zapdos a ton and I really don't think it is A+ material at this moment.

PS: I'm speaking mostly about offensive Zapdos, because in my experience fully defensive Zapdos is incredibly underwhelming right now. One of the few walls that shit on Honckrow tho!
 

Many

DRACULA DRACULA DRACULA
is a Tiering Contributor
I'm not necessarily opposed to ranking Togetic, as it is a solid pokemon, but I think you (LRXC) are definitely overselling its ability in the current meta.

Togetic's main use is to serve as a fighting check and a Defogger, but we have a ton of those in the metagame- Zapdos, Fatmence, Crobat, Gligar etc. You also have Mandibuzz who can serve as a Specially Defensive Defogger.

Togetic does have the niche of either heal bell or thunder wave over those, but if you forgo thunder wave, you are disgustingly passive and can only really fit on stall. But stall can easily run a different hazard remover and use Aromatisse/Florges instead most of the time. If you Forgo heal bell, then you yourself are status weak, as well as even more outclassed by stuff like SpD Zapdos and SpD Mandibuzz, even if you can check a good amount of offensive pokemon with it.

Meanwhile, Togetic's weakness to Knock Off and stealth rock weakness don't really let it shine as an individual pokemon in most matches. It is an easy momentum sap unless you are running Baton Pass, which standard sets don't have room for (and Nastypass sets are very niche).

EDIT: and I didn't even mention that Togetic loses to a majority of Stealth Rock users, which can keep coming in and pressuring it, making its standout supportive capability useless in many matches
 

Hogg

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Zapdos to A: This feels like the right place for now. Zapdos is a very solid 'mon, able to fit on most team archetypes, but it's not as game-defining as most of the options populating A+. It's an incredibly welcome addition to the tier, but it has flaws both offensively and defensively that keep it from moving up. It doesn't help that a lot of the things it should really be checking, such as Cobalion, have fairly straightforward ways of breaking through it (Stone Edge on Cobalion is already a decent option for Mence/Chandy, and OHKOs even most bulky versions after a boost if rocks are down). The popularity of more powerful wallbreakers like Adamant Bee (always 2HKOs 252/252+ Zapdos if rocks are down, while offensive Zapdos is OHKO'd after rocks) and balance breakers like CM Florges really don't help.

So yeah. The bulky set lacks the potential to really make a splash on most teams, and still loses to some fairly common threats that it should be a reliable answer to. The offensive version is pretty cool but is easy to check.

Nidoking to A-: So happy about this one. 295 Speed is really pretty great in this meta, especially considering that it keeps more or less the same offensive potential as Nidoqueen. Queen still matches up better against offensive teams for the most part, but the tier is big on slower bulky offense and balance teams right now, and Nidoking does a number to them.
 
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Hi I'd like to nominate Bronzong for A-. This Pokemon is such a blessing for teams right now. With the amount of threats there are Pokemon that can check a multitude of these are incredibly valuable and Bronzong is exactly that. Its ability and typing allow it to check a decent chunck of threats including but not limited to Kyurem, Abomasnow, Shaymin, Salamence, Slurpuff and Mega Aerodactyl. The capability of setting up stuff like Stealth Rock only increases its utility. Balance definitely loves a pokemon like this right now but its usefulness isnt restricted to only one playstyle, it would definitely function well for playstyles like bulky offence as well. Not to mention it doesnt occupy a mega slot unlike mega aggron or steelix
 
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IronBullet

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Agreeing with the others that A seems like the best place for Zapdos right now. It's definitely a very welcome addition to the tier as it offers teams a lot of utility, both offensively and defensively. But I think what prevents it from being a really top threat is that even with Defense EVs it is still unable to take hits from strong wallbreakers, especially considering its SR weakness, while the offensive set loses out to common walls that it has no way of getting past. Thunderbolt / Heat Wave / HP Grass / Roost with max / max EVs is the set I've been using. Personally I think that Volt Switch (Thunderbolt is mandatory and if you run both you lose coverage) and Defog (Zapdos itself is SR weak and appreciates hazards on the opponent's field) are rather inferior options. I also feel that it's solid enough defensively to not require any investment; it can still check a number of common attackers like Crobat, Cobalion, Doublade, Heracross, etc. just on the basis of its typing and natural bulk alone. Overall, great Pokemon for the tier and fits very well in A.

I also want to propose moving Swampert to A, which is something that I've considered for a while. It was mentioned in the previous thread too but I don't think it was addressed properly. The main argument against it is that it's easy to wear down. It definitely is in theory, but it actually isn't something I've come across as much of a problem in practice. With Leftovers, its great bulk, and ability to force switches, Pert can easily maintain decent health early game while it does its usual job of setting up SR and wearing down the opponent with Scald and Roar. By the time the opponent manages to defeat it it's accomplished all this and likely taken down a threatening sweeper in the process e.g. Cobalion, Doublade, Toxicroak, Mamoswine. It offers a lot of defensive support to teams (VS immunity, great resistances to Steel / Fire / Poison / Rock) and the important thing is that it isn't kill momentum, which makes it a decent option on more offensive teams too. Plus, the addition of Zapdos makes it an even more solid option for teams now with its nice Electric immunity. HP Grass is there of course but you can always scout for that or run Protect (which isn't a terrible option as additional Leftovers recovery is always nice). Ice Beam is another move that I've come to like on it to really nail Mence and Hydrei, which usually think they can come in for free. Its just a wonderful pivot and something that will almost never fail you early on in a match, and I definitely think it's on par with Empoleon and Slowking, which are both A, in terms of the utility it offers teams.
 
I think zapdos in A makes sense. The thing that always annoyed me about zapdos is its defensive typing let's it be good rather than its bulk. It's bulk is good when invested, but it is not anything amazing. This means that strong neutral hits will do a good amount even with investment. That is not to say it's defensive typing isn't good, frankly being able to check cobalion, Crobat and heracross and many more is amazing, but when it comes to checking stuff just on its bulk, it does not really excel. It's offensive sets as well are great, but again it has some issues. While 4MSS is a term I don't like th throw around, but zapdos does suffer from it. If the opponent is running a certain combination of mons, like gligar+swampert, zapdos will struggle to put work in that game. Once again it still has amazing coverage to dent teams with t-bolt/heat wave/hp grass|ice, but the choice of hidden power is what I think keeps it out of A+.
 
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