Pokémon Diamond, Pearl & Platinum In-game Tier List Discussion

The fact that you have to evolve Kricketot to make it a marginally passable HM Slave is a huge turnoff when it's such a garbage Pokémon. I don't care if it's only 4 levels, have you see that thing's stats and movepool? (lol Bide is your only attacking option before evolution unless you're playing Platinum.)

There's no way it's worthy of B. The notion that it's better than Machop (no trade) and Geodude (no trade) is also baffling when they have some battle prowess and learn the same number of HMs.
Kricketune can learn cut, which is useful for a longer time than stuff like strength and rock climb are. 4 levels of switch training isn't painful either. Bidoof takes 8 levels of mostly switch training to evolve, and Bidoof is somehow good enough for S tier.
Edit: Never mind. You were right. I'm changing the nomination to C.
I'm going to try to explain why I think stuff like Azelf and Giratina should drop. I'm very aware that I'm oversimplifying everything, but I think this is enough to get my point across.
An evolution family is tiered based on how much it helps during the run. Imagine that, due to availability, Azelf is only usable for the last 1/4 of the run, but is somehow versatile enough to one-shot everything. Also, a typical C tier evolution family is usable for the last 1/2 of the run, but can only one-shot 1/2 of its opponents. In this hypothetical case, Azelf and that C tier family get the same amount of opportunity to help with the run, so by this logic, they should be the same tier.
One of this idea's flaws is the concept that a Pokemon eats up more experience when obtained earlier, but that flaw alone isn't enough to raise Azelf and Giratina all the way to A tier.
Is there or is there not something wrong with this argument?

By the way, when Eevee (Espeon) is used on an efficient run, around when should it evolve?
 
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Weavile is a strong battler, but the razor claw simply comes too late for Weavile to contribute a lot to the run. Sneasel should be C tier in Platinum.
 
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The Razor Claw comes much earlier in Platinum; a hidden item in Cyrus' Galactic HQ room right after you beat him. You've still got to tow around Sneasel for a bit, but it's not horrifically weak and it's only got the ice route, the ice gym and the Galactic HQ grunts to go through. Nowhere near as bad as it is in DP and certainly not enough to push it down to C IMO. It done me fine.
 
The Razor Claw comes much earlier in Platinum; a hidden item in Cyrus' Galactic HQ room right after you beat him. You've still got to tow around Sneasel for a bit, but it's not horrifically weak and it's only got the ice route, the ice gym and the Galactic HQ grunts to go through. Nowhere near as bad as it is in DP and certainly not enough to push it down to C IMO. It done me fine.
Yes, I know that the razor claw is obtainable right after Cyrus is defeated in the Galactic HQ, and yes, I know that Sneasel is worth using. Even then, Weavile is only usable for around the last 1/4 of the game, which means it helps less than the other B tier evolution families can.

By the way, if Eevee (Espeon) was used in an efficient run, when should it evolve?
 
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Ah, but you make the mistake of assuming Sneasel is unusable. This isn't a Magikarp or even a Kirlia situation we're talking about here; Sneasel can easily hold its own until the Razor Claw -- especially when a large part of Galactic HQ is made up of grunts with the likes of Zubat and Glameow. All it -really- has a problem with until evolution are the bosses and some of the tougher Ace Trainers prior to Snowpoint. Give it a couple decently-powered TMs and it does just fine.

And even then, the last quarter of the game is still a pretty heavy quarter. Saturn, Mt. Coronet, the final fight with Cyrus, Giratina, Volkner and all the routes surrounding him, Victory Road, the Elite 4 and Cynthia -- all of which Weavile does decently to excellently against. C-tier is ranking it far too low for its performance; it's really not as bad as Ponyta, Meditite or Leafeon.

...

wait, why is Leafeon as high as C-tier? It evolves early but it doesn't get any decent physical grass-moves aside from Razor Leaf; and while a couple TMs might serve it fine it's not on the level of Golem or Magnezone at all. It's not even like its stats, typing or ability are outstanding.
 
Ah, but you make the mistake of assuming Sneasel is unusable. This isn't a Magikarp or even a Kirlia situation we're talking about here; Sneasel can easily hold its own until the Razor Claw -- especially when a large part of Galactic HQ is made up of grunts with the likes of Zubat and Glameow. All it -really- has a problem with until evolution are the bosses and some of the tougher Ace Trainers prior to Snowpoint. Give it a couple decently-powered TMs and it does just fine.

And even then, the last quarter of the game is still a pretty heavy quarter. Saturn, Mt. Coronet, the final fight with Cyrus, Giratina, Volkner and all the routes surrounding him, Victory Road, the Elite 4 and Cynthia -- all of which Weavile does decently to excellently against. C-tier is ranking it far too low for its performance; it's really not as bad as Ponyta, Meditite or Leafeon.
Stuff like Ponyta, Meditite, and Leafeon can all help a lot against earlier opponents and a bit against later opponents, which seems about as good as coming late and helping a lot against later opponents.
wait, why is Leafeon as high as C-tier? It evolves early but it doesn't get any decent physical grass-moves aside from Razor Leaf; and while a couple TMs might serve it fine it's not on the level of Golem or Magnezone at all. It's not even like its stats, typing or ability are outstanding.
If base 110 physical attack and base 95 speed aren't outstanding, then I don't know what is. Leafeon can also learn synthesis.

By the way, if I wanted to tier Eevee (Espeon), when in the game should I expect it to evolve?
 
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Availability is a factor, but I feel you're massively overstating it. If it was that important, Palkia and Azelf wouldn't be as ranked as high as they were. If anything, Weavile's availability is the reason it's B and not A.
 
Availability is a factor, but I feel you're massively overstating it. If it was that important, Palkia and Azelf wouldn't be as ranked as high as they were. If anything, Weavile's availability is the reason it's B and not A.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I think about availability.
I'm going to try to explain why I think stuff like Azelf and Giratina should drop. I'm very aware that I'm oversimplifying everything, but I think this is enough to get my point across.
An evolution family is tiered based on how much it helps during the run. Imagine that, due to availability, Azelf is only usable for the last 1/4 of the run, but is somehow versatile enough to one-shot everything. Also, a typical C tier evolution family is usable for the last 1/2 of the run, but can only one-shot 1/2 of its opponents. In this hypothetical case, Azelf and that C tier family get the same amount of opportunity to help with the run, so by this logic, they should be the same tier.
One of this idea's flaws is the concept that a Pokemon eats up more experience when obtained earlier, but that flaw alone isn't enough to raise Azelf and Giratina all the way to A tier.
 
Availability in DPPt isn't as mega important if the mon is viable enough to make up for it, because Gen 4 in particular is VERY backloaded on a lot of important battles. Aside from the usual Gym Battles, you have 5 Galactics fights (Celestic Cyrus in Pt), plus maybe 3 rival battles before Snowpoint (I'll consider this since it's where Sneasel comes in), and then you have 2 Cyrus Battles, Saturn, Jupiter/Mars all at once for HQ/Spear Pillar, one more Rival Battle, Volkner, and the Elite Four. Sneasel still in the context of the game comes before half of the Galactic battles, the strongest Rival fight, and the Elite Four, where he puts in significant work against Bertha, Lucian, even some of Aaron, and half of Cynthia (Pt swapping Gastrodon for Togekiss), and it's Weavile after just 2 of those (or even just after Cyrus if you have a Rare Candy to use with the Claw) in. Only real investment beyond that would be Move Tutor for Ice Punch, maybe a Heart Scale for Night Slash if you don't want to use TM's. Sneasel comes late in terms of the progression when we think in terms of the Gyms, but in terms of important battles it's closer to the halfway point, with 12 battles after only two of which (the Gym battles) it's likely to lag on.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I think about availability.
I feel like you are oversimplifying availability and its impact by trying to average usability/availability and damage output (or whatever it is you are trying to say about 1/4 usability + OHKO everything = 1/2 usability + 1/2 OHKOs). This is another example of actual experience with a poke helping tremendously, rather than trying to force them into arbitrary formulas
 
I feel like you are oversimplifying availability and its impact by trying to average usability/availability and damage output (or whatever it is you are trying to say about 1/4 usability + OHKO everything = 1/2 usability + 1/2 OHKOs). This is another example of actual experience with a poke helping tremendously, rather than trying to force them into arbitrary formulas
I'm very aware that I'm oversimplifying everything, but I think this is enough to get my point across.
So, yes, I did exactly what you just said I was doing. Was that too oversimplified to get my point across?
 
The only time where this kind of mathamatical formulation is valuable is when you're going for (TA) Speedrun where everything is as perfect as possible for IN-GAME time. The point of this ranking is to work out the most efficient way for a player to clear the game, a combination of lowest effort and lowest real time. This is why experience with the runs are important to ranking the mons, because this thread is about how efficient a playthrough is in real time, which is easier assessed by usage of the mon than just seeing what its performance looks like on paper considering there are a lot more factors at work. You can't reduce it to static rules you'd plug into a formula because then what constitutes a base case for that? I cited the Sneasel case as seemingly late appearance actually leaving it with a lot of time to pull its weight.

Your Azelf simplification is another example of this fallacy, because a mon that wins 1/2 the battles for 1/2 the game sounds like it pulls more weight on paper than Azelf's 1/4 all contributing performance if you assume all battles are equal, but it leaves out other factors: Azelf does most of this with minimal effort invested by the player, and the later game battles are logically harder on the whole, so clearing those battles is more valuable than clearing half of those and half of the mid game battles. Earlier you list Ponyta, Meditite, and Leafeon as helpful for early game and lagging lategame. These are ranked low because that lategame performance means they start to lag when the game gets harder, and thus have to either be replaced or leave you dealing with a less effective run. At that point, I would be better off taking the slightly harder early game of something like Pt Gible, where it's weaker but compensated by the lower curve, then the time and EXP I invested in it pays off when Garchomp picks up.

One trait of an efficient mon is that for the most part it should either maintain or increase in viability as the game goes on, so that the resources you put into it pay off by making the later game easier. Even if they come late, mons like Palkia and Azelf start good and stay good for the rest of the game once you get them, so you lose nothing besides the time to catch them and then just invest in them for what's left, whereas something that falls off will clear, say, the first 6 Gyms easily, and then those 6 Gyms worth of EXP don't change the fact that it's struggling on the remaining part of the game despite all the EXP you invested. It's the same reason FE players prefer to not use the Jaegan (crutch pre-promote, high start and little to no growth): they make the early game faster and easier, but once they lag behind the rest of your units have to pick up the slack and the resources sunk into the Jaegan are effectively wasted.
 
Your Azelf simplification is another example of this fallacy, because a mon that wins 1/2 the battles for 1/2 the game sounds like it pulls more weight on paper than Azelf's 1/4 all contributing performance if you assume all battles are equal, but it leaves out other factors: Azelf does most of this with minimal effort invested by the player, and the later game battles are logically harder on the whole, so clearing those battles is more valuable than clearing half of those and half of the mid game battles. Earlier you list Ponyta, Meditite, and Leafeon as helpful for early game and lagging lategame. These are ranked low because that lategame performance means they start to lag when the game gets harder, and thus have to either be replaced or leave you dealing with a less effective run. At that point, I would be better off taking the slightly harder early game of something like Pt Gible, where it's weaker but compensated by the lower curve, then the time and EXP I invested in it pays off when Garchomp picks up.

One trait of an efficient mon is that for the most part it should either maintain or increase in viability as the game goes on, so that the resources you put into it pay off by making the later game easier. Even if they come late, mons like Palkia and Azelf start good and stay good for the rest of the game once you get them, so you lose nothing besides the time to catch them and then just invest in them for what's left, whereas something that falls off will clear, say, the first 6 Gyms easily, and then those 6 Gyms worth of EXP don't change the fact that it's struggling on the remaining part of the game despite all the EXP you invested. It's the same reason FE players prefer to not use the Jaegan (crutch pre-promote, high start and little to no growth): they make the early game faster and easier, but once they lag behind the rest of your units have to pick up the slack and the resources sunk into the Jaegan are effectively wasted.
I thought about this for a while, and I came up with a question that may be very stupid and have an extremely obvious answer. If cost is such a big deal, then why are evolution families like Chimchar, Starly, and Abra S tier? Each of them probably takes up 1/3 of the experience from the whole game and don't end up outperforming later-available Pokemon like Weavile, Azelf, Mamoswine or the box art legendary.
 
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I thought about this for a while, and I came up with a question that may be very stupid and have an extremely obvious answer. If cost is such a big deal, then why are evolution families like Chimchar, Starly, and Abra S tier? Each of them probably takes up 1/3 of the experience from the whole game and don't end up outperforming later-available Pokemon like Weavile, Azelf, Porygon-Z, or the box art legendary.
Dude you aren't thinking things through. The reason is that they start performing just as well as those mons super early and can thus sweep the entire game.
 
Dude you aren't thinking things through. The reason is that they start performing just as well as those mons super early and can thus sweep the entire game.
Stuff like Ponyta and Machop (yes trade) can also "sweep the entire game" to some extent, but are tiered much, much lower presumably because of the experience cost, while stuff like Azelf and the box art legendaries are tiered only a bit lower despite the fact that they obviously don't sweep the entire game. Why is that?
 
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Stuff like Ponyta and Machop (yes trade) can also "sweep the entire game" to some extent, but are tiered much, much lower presumably because of the experience cost, while stuff like Azelf and the box art legendaries are tiered only a bit lower despite the fact that they obviously don't sweep the entire game. Why is that?
Every Pokemon is going to take EXP, by nature of having to battle something, so it's only a cost in the sense of taking some from another that could theoretically fight the same opponent. It's not a resource you consciously invest outside of having to grind (which usually is a sign of lower efficiency mons if anything), it's just "Chimchar gets a lot of EXP because he wins a lot of battles very easily". It's just a logical train of thought that a Pokemon that performs well early and never lets up will continue to see usage. Weavile and such come later than Chimchar or Abra, so even if they are as good or even better, Chimchar and co. have had more time to clear out battles that are required to get to that point. "Cost" involves giving up something, implying it is something you would have otherwise.

Here's the thing. There's no point where Chimchar and Starly lag, besides Roark maybe. They start good and stay really good the entire time. They are a much better investment for that EXP because they start good and only go up, whereas the examples you list take some work and babying/investment before they start to perform effectively. You're missing the point of this being about RETURN on investment. I think most people who have played the game through recently will agree that Infernape is equal to or better than Rapidash once both hit the same level, but Infernape is putting in work as Chimchar and Monferno in the process of reaching that point, while Ponyta is underwhelming at best in the time it takes you to train it after being obtained. Starly is like the epitome of an efficient Pokemon. It's available from the first route, gets good moves and coverage quickly to put in work, has a consistently helpful ability, and takes no effort or opportunity cost to add to your team.

The legendaries, as I noted, are tiered lower because they aren't around for as much of the game, but they perform comparably well to the earlier A-Rank mons at NO cost to the team's effectiveness. S-Rank Pokemon (in comparing investment and timespan) are "take little, give tons for their time", A-Ranks are "take some, give lots", B-Ranks are "take some, give some" to me. As a guy who used Ponyta, I spent most of my playthrough of Platinum wishing I had just picked Infernape, because multiple times I had to stop and grind for it to keep up in places where I distinctly remember Chimchar was pulling his weight and probably someone else's.

I feel more and more like you should do another playthrough. A lot of the discussion derives from experience, and several of the things you bring up tend to be second nature when a playthrough you've done is on the mind.
 
As a guy who used Ponyta, I spent most of my playthrough of Platinum wishing I had just picked Infernape, because multiple times I had to stop and grind for it to keep up in places where I distinctly remember Chimchar was pulling his weight and probably someone else's.
Just wondering...did you teach it fire blast as soon as you got to Veilstone City?
 
I did. I also spent a lot of the game missing Infernape's Fighting STAB (Mach Punch happens at 14 on Evolution, which with some admittedly heavy leveling means you could even use it for Roark if you wanted), and generally easier access to moves that weren't Fire (like Thunderpunch for Crasher Wake so that even there Monferno does work). Rapidash's movepool is kind of pathetic in terms of coverage , and the fact that it's a one stage Level 40 evolution means you have a much longer time with the underwhelming Ponyta, compared to 3 stages incrementally increasing to keep a steady pace. There's also a noticeable power drop, as Monferno/Infernape's movepool is generally high power, and its stats are higher at those stages than Ponyta/Rapidash on every relevant front (both offenses and speed), which nets it OHKO's much easier to keep the pace going. Top that off with Chimchar coming before Eternia Forest and Gym, which are basically free EXP to anything with a SE STAB (point to Starly there too), which nets it not just a level advantage on the early Ponyta (17 in Pt at the highest), but EV's and a chance to plow through some very relevant fights (Gardenia's mons are decently bulky, or fast and powerful in Roserade's case as a final stage).

I'm not gonna dwell on it too long, because it was more an example towards my greater point: Playing the game through a couple times makes it VERY apparent what the differences in performance tend to feel like. You just start to immediately notice "trading off X for Y is definitely making this run easier/harder".
 
So a Pokemon is worth investment if it never stops pulling its own weight?
By the way, Ponyta (in Platinum) also comes before Eterna Forest. It's on Route 207.
 
I'm sorry, but this really can't be said enough -- play the game. By trying to assign arbitrary formulas and rules like "a Pokémon is worth investment if it never stops pulling its own weight" or that formula you came up with for availability vs. usefulness, you miss the importance of experience so much. Like Pika Pal has said, these are all very simple principles that can only be learned and understood by using these Pokémon and playing the game. That's all there is to it.
 
Small nitpick: for some reason in DP's A-tier, you've got Cranidos listed as 'Cranidos (Diamond only)', even though you don't have version exclusivity mentioned for others like Shieldon, Dialga, Misdreavus etc.
 
I say Cranidos should not be A. Its speed and defense means it is constantly taking high damage, possibly getting KOed. You will be spending quite a bit more potion on it.
 
I say Cranidos should not be A. Its speed and defense means it is constantly taking high damage, possibly getting KOed. You will be spending quite a bit more potion on it.
In adition to good offensive typing, Rampardos has the highest physical attack of all Pokemon in Sinnoh. If that's not good enough for A tier, then I don't know what is.
 

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