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

I haven't used Rampardos myself so I won't comment directly on its placement, but 'best physical attack in the game' in and of itself is not a good argument, even when coupled with 'solid offensive typing'. If the Pokémon is frail and slow, that will work against it, no matter how many opponents it might be able to OHKO.
 
Cranidos can more easily sweep NPCs if the player uses X speeds. X speeds are only P350 each, so using one per major battle isn't very expensive.
 

Colonel M

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Cranidos can more easily sweep NPCs if the player uses X speeds. X speeds are only P350 each, so using one per major battle isn't very expensive.
Except X Speed doesn't fix its matchups in some major battles. You're useless versus Maylene since Meditite takes neutral from any of Cranidos's usual moves, Machoke is rather bulky, etc. Crasher Wake has Gyarados and Quagsire which are kind of a huge headache outside of a rare instance where Gyarados Swaggers Turn 1 and you don't hurt yourself in your confusion, and even then there's still Quagsire to bypass. I guess you could rely on Lum Berry to nullify the confusion, pray you flinch through Quagsire? Fantina is one you definitely will go places since Drifblim has shit for anything, Steelix is an annoying throttle vs Byron because you're likely taking at least some damage from Bronzor even after using Dig and Steelix is definitely bulky enough to live one. Meanwhile, Gyro Ball is going to do a decent chunk (also X Speed won't help you in this fight regardless). I can at least toss Candace and Volker as possibilities, but they're kind of rough.

Nevermind that Crandios is also plagued with Erratic for an experience gain. For those wondering how it works, Erratic means that a Pokemon requires much more experience earlier on, and then it will occasionally mix it up a bit. There are definitely specific points where Erratic Experience is faster than even Fast Experience, but in some cases it also can be compared to Slow experience gain.

Example, to hit Rampardos you would need 37,800 experience from Level 1 to 30. Obviously, this isn't accounting for that Cranidos doesn't come at Level 1, but we'll get to that at a moment. For comparison:

Fast - 21,600
Medium Fast - 27,000
Medium Slow - 21,760
Slow - 33,750

For another reference on the experience difference in 10 levels between Pokemon of these:

Erratic - 37,800 - 12,800 = 25,000
Fast - 21,600 - 6,400 = 15,200
Medium Fast - 27,000 - 8,000 = 19,000
Medium Slow = 21,760 - 5,460 = 16,300
Slow - 33,750 - 10,000 = 23,750

(Also thank you GMars for helping me double check the calcs) because somehow I fucked up subtraction on Medium Fast and nearly had a heart attack.

He also had me double check Medium Slow. Believe it or not, due to how the formula works the results are actually accurate.

For reference of work on both sides:

GMars - https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=6/5*30^3-15*30^2+100*30-140

Myself -


(Yes, I legit hand wrote it)

That's kind of awful when we rag on Pokemon in the Slow experience category and then... look at Cranidos. <_<;
 
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Nevermind that Crandios is also plagued with Erratic for an experience gain. For those wondering how it works, Erratic means that a Pokemon requires much more experience earlier on, and then it will occasionally mix it up a bit. There are definitely specific points where Erratic Experience is faster than even Fast Experience, but in some cases it also can be compared to Slow experience gain.

Example, to hit Rampardos you would need 37,800 experience from Level 1 to 30. Obviously, this isn't accounting for that Cranidos doesn't come at Level 1, but we'll get to that at a moment. For comparison:

Fast - 21,600
Medium Fast - 27,000
Medium Slow - 21,760
Slow - 33,750

For another reference on the experience difference in 10 levels between Pokemon of these:

Erratic - 37,800 - 12,800 = 25,000
Fast - 21,600 - 6,400 = 15,200
Medium Fast - 27,000 - 8,000 = 19,000
Medium Slow = 21,760 - 5,460 = 16,300
Slow - 33,750 - 10,000 = 23,750

(Also thank you GMars for helping me double check the calcs) because somehow I fucked up subtraction on Medium Fast and nearly had a heart attack.

He also had me double check Medium Slow. Believe it or not, due to how the formula works the results are actually accurate.

For reference of work on both sides:

GMars - https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=6/5*30^3-15*30^2+100*30-140

Myself -


(Yes, I legit hand wrote it)

That's kind of awful when we rag on Pokemon in the Slow experience category and then... look at Cranidos. <_<;
Yes, I agree that it's very hard to get Cranidos to reach level 30. The game doesn't end there, though. The thing about the erratic growth rate is that leveling up gradually gets easier. To get to level 60 (which is a better estimate for when the game really ends), Cranidos needs 181600 points, while a medium fast Pokemon obtained at level 20 would need 208000. Because of this, I see Cranidos as an evolution family that starts slow but has its high point during the Elite Four battles, kind of like Gible in Pt. If Cranidos isn't good enough for A because of the required experience investment, then maybe Gible should move down as well.
 
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Cranidos and Rampardos have middling speed stats, which means it'll be getting hit most of the time (both in regular and major battles). This means that you'll likely be healing them frequently throughout your adventure. Rampardos is more likely to put in work with Rock Polish. I gave it Rock Slide & Dig and it's been doing well. In addition, the HP stat has been useful against fast, frail sweepers (Cyrus' Weavile for example). I will concede that raising Cranidos can be a pain. He does pretty well versus Team Galactic, which is nice. I'd say his major battles he does well in are versus Byron (with Dig), Candice if you set up on Sneasel with Rock Polish, and Volkner (again with Dig). In theory he can sweep Cyrus if you Rock Polish sweep him, but Houndoom and Gyarados can cause issues with potential Burn/Paralysis in the former case and Intimidate in the latter. Due to TM reliance (especially Dig), the likelihood of needing to heal frequently after most battles, needing to set up in battle to do well, and an overall average battle prowess, I would put Cranidos in C tier for Platinum.

Edit: I haven't taken on the E4 yet, but I can see him doing okay versus Aaron (Scizor, Double Team Yanmega, Heracross and Drapion can pose problems) and Flint (just watch out for Burn setting up a sweep and Infernape's Mach Punch & speed).
 
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Colonel M

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Yes, I agree that it's very hard to get Cranidos to reach level 30. The game doesn't end there, though. The thing about the erratic growth rate is that leveling up gradually gets easier. To get to level 60 (which is a better estimate for when the game really ends), Cranidos needs 181600 points, while a medium fast Pokemon obtained at level 20 would need 208000. Because of this, I see Cranidos as an evolution family that starts slow but has its high point during the Elite Four battles, kind of like Gible in Pt. If Cranidos isn't good enough for A because of the required experience investment, then maybe Gible should move down as well.
Before I go on the Gible entry, I'd like to talk about the experience situation. It's true at higher levels it becomes a little easier to raise Crandios / Rampardos in terms purely of experience; however, there is a major problem in that Cranidos wants to reach its evolution as soon as possible to obtain the maximum value out of its Attack and an improvement on its bulk (lesser extent Zen Headbutt for opposing Fighting-types). The thing is many of these Pokemon, even in Medium Slow, have advantages over Erratic for quite a while.

Let's take an example speaking strictly in terms of raw experience gaining from one level to another. We did the Level 20-30 example, but how about from Level 20-40? If we calculate the total amount of experience needed:

Erratic - 68,526
Fast - 48,736
Medium Fast - 60,921
Medium Slow - 55,990
Slow - 76,151
Fluctuating - 66,237

And then going from 20-50:

Erratic - 118,524
Fast - 99,720
Medium Fast - 124,651
Medium Slow - 119,666
Slow - 155,813
Fluctuating - 145,782

Finally 20-60:

Erratic - 189,213
Fast - 175,184
Medium Fast - 218,981
Medium Slow - 217,062
Slow - 273,726
Fluctuating - 276,016

There's actually a lot to say about this, believe it or not. Even though Erratic does, at times, require more experience lower levels, it obviously has its perks the higher we go (as noted before and also noted by sumwun). The real thing to draw from this, though, is just how slow Medium Fast is in comparison to Medium Slow at times - Medium Slow actually remains the second or third highest throughout a significant portion of the game, and thus speaking purely in terms of experience growth is probably one of the best pools to be in. That's probably a no surprise when you consider that your starters are almost always Medium Slow and many Pokemon usually fall into this branch of experience gain. Erratic definitely is better than Slow - I won't deny that claim whatsoever, and I feel that Slow Pokemon probably should be punished a bit differently, but to be fair some of them like Gyarados do have obnoxious advantages that can be taken advantage of as well.

I get that 1-60 definitely changes some things instead of 20-60, but the comparison at the time was Cranidos's experience gain in comparison to Pokemon of roughly the same level.

In lieu of nominating simply for a Cranidos drop, I do agree with sumwun here and believe that it's rather odd to put Gible in the A Rank after looking a lot closer at the experience table. Furthermore, Gabite is a rather underwhelming evolution in the later stages of the game before Garchomp. I guess for me another playthrough would be worthwhile to really sit down and evaluate this further, but basically contrary to popular belief of some people Medium Slow is actually a really good experience table to be in.
 
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Martin

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Sorry for not following some kind of format or anything like that as this isn’t really a formal nomination, but something I think is incredibly important to note for Budew is that it is a pain in the arse to actually get it to evolve at any reasonable level. It is very useful versus the first gym and carries the fight vs. the first Galactic admin’s extremely dangerous Purugly if run alongside an Intimidate user like Shinx or Staravia thanks to Stun Spore, Growth and Mega Drain all beong learned fairly early on, but after that fight you will be scarily close to level 19 (the level you need to evolve it by if you don’t want to be stuck woth Mega Drain as your strongest attack until level 25—assuming you can evolve it by then) and probably not even close to having enough happiness to evolve it. As you don’t have access to poffins or friendship-increasing berries at that point, your best bet is to get the Soothe Bell at the end of Eterna Forest and then severely struggle to not get it to level 19 before the end of galactic HQ when you can get the bike to kind of speed up the process of running up and down in Eterna Coty to bolster happiness, at which point it will be below the level curve of the rest of your party and you will need to waste a lot of time cycling up and down. Given that all three starters have a great matchup versus the first gym and that there are plenty of ways to deal with Purugly, I feel it is generally better to wait until you are able to catch Roselia to catch it, given that it is available very soon afterwards, or alternatively use it until after cycling road (useful for elecs on there) and then box it until you can catch Roselia if it hasn’t evolved before the level where Roselia learns Magical Leaf (19 iirc).
 
Sorry for not following some kind of format or anything like that as this isn’t really a formal nomination, but something I think is incredibly important to note for Budew is that it is a pain in the arse to actually get it to evolve at any reasonable level. It is very useful versus the first gym and carries the fight vs. the first Galactic admin’s extremely dangerous Purugly if run alongside an Intimidate user like Shinx or Staravia thanks to Stun Spore, Growth and Mega Drain all beong learned fairly early on, but after that fight you will be scarily close to level 19 (the level you need to evolve it by if you don’t want to be stuck woth Mega Drain as your strongest attack until level 25—assuming you can evolve it by then) and probably not even close to having enough happiness to evolve it. As you don’t have access to poffins or friendship-increasing berries at that point, your best bet is to get the Soothe Bell at the end of Eterna Forest and then severely struggle to not get it to level 19 before the end of galactic HQ when you can get the bike to kind of speed up the process of running up and down in Eterna Coty to bolster happiness, at which point it will be below the level curve of the rest of your party and you will need to waste a lot of time cycling up and down. Given that all three starters have a great matchup versus the first gym and that there are plenty of ways to deal with Purugly, I feel it is generally better to wait until you are able to catch Roselia to catch it, given that it is available very soon afterwards, or alternatively use it until after cycling road (useful for elecs on there) and then box it until you can catch Roselia if it hasn’t evolved before the level where Roselia learns Magical Leaf (19 iirc).
So...are you trying to move Budew down? This post has lots of good points in there, but I don't see a conclusion.
 

Martin

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So...are you trying to move Budew down? This post has lots of good points in there, but I don't see a conclusion.
O sry forgot to actually say what I was aiming for with that post lol.

I think that Roselia should be listed as A and that Budew should be listed as B. While the level up movesets are similar up until level 19 where Roselia learns Magical Leaf and Budew learns no more moves (worry seed/leech seed is only difference before that point iirc, with Leech obviously being better), happiness evolution means that starting from one or the other brings a different dynamic to a playthrough to the point that it is worth splitting them imo, and generally speaking you're better off starting with Roselia due to how early it is available (granted that Budew is still perfectly passable in a playthrough and is useful vs Oreburgh gym if you start with Chimchar+are underlevelled going into it)
 
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I think that Roselia should be listed as A and that Budew should be listed as B.
I'm pretty sure that each evolution family is named after the first member that's obtainable. In a case like this, Budew would be listed as A tier, but its writeup will say that it's better to wait for Roselia.
 

Gible, Gabite, Garchomp (Platinum)
Gible can be found in Wayward Cave, which is fairly early, though not early enough for Roark and Jupiter. Unfortunately, this early availability means it requires a lot of experience to avoid being underleveled. This is especially true for Gible because of its slow growth rate. Even worse, it's stuck as Gabite until level 48, so it stagnates mid-game even if it's not underleveled.
Gabite's stats aren't particularly good, as most A tier Pokemon can get a stat above 100 before the 5th gym. Because of this, Gabite's performance is underwhelming when it doesn't have a type advantage. Luckily for Gabite, its ground typing and relatively easy access to the earthquake TM means it does sometimes have a type advantage, though it's obviously much more useless when earthquake is taught to a teammate. As expected, its stats jump by a lot when it evolves into Garchomp, so it is among the strongest Pokemon to use against the Elite Four. Still, using Garchomp underlevels the entire team, so the extra power may not be worth it.
Because of the slow growth rate and even slower evolution, I nominate Gible for B, or maybe even C, tier in Platinum.
 
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In Platinum, Ponyta can be found on Route 207, so it comes in time (and learns flame wheel in time) to be a huge help in Eterna Forest and Eterna Gym. It also learns flare blitz at level 46 instead of level 48. I nominate Ponyta for B tier in Platinum.
 
As a guy who used Ponyta for his run of Platinum: don't.

Yeah, it works against a couple of Gym Leaders, but its stats and natural movepool are absolutely pathetic until late game 40's and evolution. It can't clear trainers very well and is frail to boot, so it's going to at best eat healing items way too frequently for how much work it puts in in return. It's not really that fast, Flame Wheel is way too weak as a STAB, and Fire Blast/Flamethrower are coming off a pitiful offensive stat by the time you'd need the BP upgrade. TMs don't give it any other good coverage either. This thing is only particularly helpful for around 6 major battles, needs babying to evolve and become decent, and doesn't even do well at clearing out fodder trainers to minimize time spent grinding it.
 
This thing is only particularly helpful for around 6 major battles, needs babying to evolve and become decent,
I'm pretty sure Gardenia, Maylene, Bryon, Candice, Volkner, Aaron, Flint, Lucian, and Cynthia is more than 6 major battles, though I guess it does have trouble against regular trainers.
 

Merritt

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Volkner, Flint, and Cynthia
what

With Volkner it's a neutral Pokemon who's not weak to the coverage moves but doesn't resist the STAB and also doesn't have SE attacks, so it's not really particularly helpful or particularly bad. It's just kinda there.

Flint - uh I need you to explain this to me. When your best option is non-STAB poison jab/strength or return (return being wanted by a half dozen other things) while literally every single one of his Pokemon except his own Rapidash have a higher BP move to hit you back with I don't understand how Rapidash is even remotely useful here.

For Cynthia I suppose you could take on Lucario and Roserade but Lucario in particular is kinda tricky because there's a not all that bad chance it's faster and has the SE stone edge to do massive damage and just generally ruin your day. I still wouldn't call it "particularly helpful" here although it can maybe take out one of Cynthia's mons.

Hell even Maylene is a little iffy on whether you can say it's particularly helpful - sure Ponyta's good for Lucario but since Bone Rush can do a ton you need a fairly high level so you can actually outspeed, but the other two are neutral at best.

Hilariously if we take out these two heavily debatable ones (seriously, saying that Rapidash is particularly helpful vs Flint is like trying to say that Prinplup is particularly helpful vs Maylene) and give half credit for Cynthia and Maylene then we end up with exactly 6 major battles.

e: also worth noting is that you said it learns Flare Blitz at 46 - while this is true it also means you're stuck with Ponyta for 6 levels after it could have evolved, making it just that much more painful considering how far in the game you probably are by then
 
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Volkner's Pokemon are relying on moves like thunder fang and thunder punch while Rapidash has flare blitz, so Rapidash wins despite lacking a type advantage.
Just because Flint has stronger moves doesn't mean Rapidash is useless against him. His Flareon uses giga impact, which requires recharge, and Rapidash had megahorn for Houndoom.
As well as Roserade, Rapidash can pretty easily beat Cynthia's Spiritomb. Then, the player can choose one of Roserade or Togekiss to take on, so I'd say Rapidash is useful against Cynthia.
 

Merritt

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Volkner's Pokemon are relying on moves like thunder fang and thunder punch while Rapidash has flare blitz, so Rapidash wins despite lacking a type advantage.
As well as Roserade, Rapidash can pretty easily beat Cynthia's Spiritomb. Then, the player can choose one of Roserade or Togekiss to take on, so I'd say Rapidash is useful against Cynthia.
Level 47 Rapidash, 15 IVs for all of this.

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Jolteon: 96-114 (73.8 - 87.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

We can moderately safely say that's about 33 recoil damage.

0 SpA Jolteon Charge Beam vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 33-40 (24.6 - 29.8%) -- 100% chance to 4HKO

And considering how high the chance is for a special attack boost, here's the second one.

+1 0 SpA Jolteon Charge Beam vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 49-58 (36.5 - 43.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Let's do the low mid rolls, aka 36 and 52. All together that's coming out to 121 damage, which leaves you with 13 HP left. So in other words, Rapidash can take on Volkner's lead and barely come out on top before needing to heal.

You do fortunately outspeed Raichu, although again you miss the OHKO with Flare Blitz, but at least this time you only take one Charge Beam or Focus Blast potentially followed up by Quick Attack.

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Raichu: 103-123 (82.4 - 98.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Luxray's our next boy and he's pretty bulky, although not quite enough to take two Flare Blitzes, although certainly bulky enough to force you to use it twice unless you get a fairly high roll. Unfortunately the amount of recoil (49 damage total) and the damage from Thunder Fang restricts you from taking on Raichu and Luxray both.

Electivire is moderately similar to Luxray in that it requires two Flare Blitzes to KO, resulting in approximately 50 recoil damage - minimum of 27 first hit.

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Electivire: 82-97 (54.6 - 64.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This of course is followed up by two possible situations, both of which Rapidash doesn't exactly do great in. First, a Thunder Punch is the returning blow. Rapidash is at a maximum of 107 HP. (Minimum HP is 101)

0 Atk Electivire Thunder Punch vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 70-84 (52.2 - 62.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This puts Rapidash at a maximum of 37 HP, enough to survive the second Flare Blitz recoil. (Minimum of 17, 23 if first Flare Blitz min rolled)

0 Atk Electivire Quick Attack vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 25-30 (18.6 - 22.3%) -- possible 5HKO

In a worst case scenario this flat out KOs Rapidash, in a good scenario this means Rapidash just kills itself with recoil as it takes out Electivire.

The other path is that instead of using Thunder Punch, Electivire instead just goes for Giga Impact turn 1. Remember that Rapidash takes a minimum of 27 damage from the first Flare Blitz, and a maximum of 32.

0 Atk Electivire Giga Impact vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 93-110 (69.4 - 82%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Well ow. Considering Rapidash's 107 HP maximum after the first Flare Blitz, that means there's 3 rolls that result in a dead Rapidash (18.8% chance). If you max rolled Flare Blitz that brings it up to 9 rolls that just instantly kill Rapidash (56.3% chance). Oh and even if you do live, you're probably going to have to KO yourself with Flare Blitz since even in the best scenario you're again in range of Quick Attack.

In short, Rapidash can 1v1 any of Volkner's pokemon except Electivire who's very shaky without items, but cannot take on any two of them without luck.


TL;DR Rapidash can take on any one of Volkner's pokemon with the exception of Electivire who stands a very good chance of mutual destruction but cannot take on two without using items to heal.

Incidentally, some interesting calcs for Flint and Cynthia to extrapolate from. Brought Rapidash up to level 53 - on par with Flint's own and 54 for Cynthia because it's not unlikely you'd have gotten a level between the two.

80 Atk Rapidash Poison Jab vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Flareon: 46-55 (30 - 35.9%) -- 38.6% chance to 3HKO
0 Atk Flareon Giga Impact vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 105-124 (70 - 82.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Infernape: 46-54 (27.8 - 32.7%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
0 Atk Infernape Earthquake vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 116-138 (77.3 - 92%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Magmortar: 46-54 (27 - 31.7%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
0 SpA Magmortar Thunderbolt vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 60-71 (40 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Magmortar Hyper Beam vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 95-112 (63.3 - 74.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Spiritomb: 63-75 (44 - 52.4%) -- 16% chance to 2HKO
0 SpA Spiritomb Dark Pulse vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 60-72 (39.2 - 47%) -- guaranteed 3HKO (Remember the recoil damage)

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Togekiss: 67-81 (35.2 - 42.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Togekiss Water Pulse vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 82-98 (53.5 - 64%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
 
Level 47 Rapidash, 15 IVs for all of this.

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Jolteon: 96-114 (73.8 - 87.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

We can moderately safely say that's about 33 recoil damage.

0 SpA Jolteon Charge Beam vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 33-40 (24.6 - 29.8%) -- 100% chance to 4HKO

And considering how high the chance is for a special attack boost, here's the second one.

+1 0 SpA Jolteon Charge Beam vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 49-58 (36.5 - 43.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Let's do the low mid rolls, aka 36 and 52. All together that's coming out to 121 damage, which leaves you with 13 HP left. So in other words, Rapidash can take on Volkner's lead and barely come out on top before needing to heal.

You do fortunately outspeed Raichu, although again you miss the OHKO with Flare Blitz, but at least this time you only take one Charge Beam or Focus Blast potentially followed up by Quick Attack.

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Raichu: 103-123 (82.4 - 98.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Luxray's our next boy and he's pretty bulky, although not quite enough to take two Flare Blitzes, although certainly bulky enough to force you to use it twice unless you get a fairly high roll. Unfortunately the amount of recoil (49 damage total) and the damage from Thunder Fang restricts you from taking on Raichu and Luxray both.

Electivire is moderately similar to Luxray in that it requires two Flare Blitzes to KO, resulting in approximately 50 recoil damage - minimum of 27 first hit.

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Electivire: 82-97 (54.6 - 64.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This of course is followed up by two possible situations, both of which Rapidash doesn't exactly do great in. First, a Thunder Punch is the returning blow. Rapidash is at a maximum of 107 HP. (Minimum HP is 101)

0 Atk Electivire Thunder Punch vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 70-84 (52.2 - 62.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This puts Rapidash at a maximum of 37 HP, enough to survive the second Flare Blitz recoil. (Minimum of 17, 23 if first Flare Blitz min rolled)

0 Atk Electivire Quick Attack vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 25-30 (18.6 - 22.3%) -- possible 5HKO

In a worst case scenario this flat out KOs Rapidash, in a good scenario this means Rapidash just kills itself with recoil as it takes out Electivire.

The other path is that instead of using Thunder Punch, Electivire instead just goes for Giga Impact turn 1. Remember that Rapidash takes a minimum of 27 damage from the first Flare Blitz, and a maximum of 32.

0 Atk Electivire Giga Impact vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 93-110 (69.4 - 82%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Well ow. Considering Rapidash's 107 HP maximum after the first Flare Blitz, that means there's 3 rolls that result in a dead Rapidash (18.8% chance). If you max rolled Flare Blitz that brings it up to 9 rolls that just instantly kill Rapidash (56.3% chance). Oh and even if you do live, you're probably going to have to KO yourself with Flare Blitz since even in the best scenario you're again in range of Quick Attack.

In short, Rapidash can 1v1 any of Volkner's pokemon except Electivire who's very shaky without items, but cannot take on any two of them without luck.


TL;DR Rapidash can take on any one of Volkner's pokemon with the exception of Electivire who stands a very good chance of mutual destruction but cannot take on two without using items to heal.

Incidentally, some interesting calcs for Flint and Cynthia to extrapolate from. Brought Rapidash up to level 53 - on par with Flint's own and 54 for Cynthia because it's not unlikely you'd have gotten a level between the two.

80 Atk Rapidash Poison Jab vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Flareon: 46-55 (30 - 35.9%) -- 38.6% chance to 3HKO
0 Atk Flareon Giga Impact vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 105-124 (70 - 82.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Infernape: 46-54 (27.8 - 32.7%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
0 Atk Infernape Earthquake vs. 80 HP / 80 Def Rapidash: 116-138 (77.3 - 92%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Magmortar: 46-54 (27 - 31.7%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
0 SpA Magmortar Thunderbolt vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 60-71 (40 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Magmortar Hyper Beam vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 95-112 (63.3 - 74.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Spiritomb: 63-75 (44 - 52.4%) -- 16% chance to 2HKO
0 SpA Spiritomb Dark Pulse vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 60-72 (39.2 - 47%) -- guaranteed 3HKO (Remember the recoil damage)

80 Atk Rapidash Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Togekiss: 67-81 (35.2 - 42.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Togekiss Water Pulse vs. 80 HP / 80 SpD Rapidash: 82-98 (53.5 - 64%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Why are you using such low levels? When I play with teams of 4-5 Pokemon, they're usually at least level 49 when I get to Volkner and at least level 57 when I defeat Cynthia.
Also, the matchup against Flint's Flareon is still good because giga impact requires recharge.
 
Remember how some time ago you guys told me to try using Giratina? I just did, and it wasn't that great. Sure, it has good defensive stats, but the rest of my team was already one-shotting everything, so I didn't find those defenses very helpful. Because its attack stats weren't particularly good, it didn't make my run much "more efficient". I still think Giratina should be B tier.

Also, why is Azelf a whole tier above Platinum Sneasel when Azelf is available later, has weaker attack stats, and is more reliant on non-STAB attacks?
 
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Wider movepool. Ice Punch/GrassKnot/Thunderbolt/Flamethrower/Extrasenssory destroy everything except Spiritomb.
level 54 Azelf vs. Aaron
0 SpA Azelf Extrasensory vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 128-152 (81 - 96.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 Atk Heracross Megahorn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Azelf: 206-246 (127.9 - 152.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO

0 SpA Azelf Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Drapion: 59-70 (38.5 - 45.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 Atk Drapion X-Scissor vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Azelf: 78-92 (48.4 - 57.1%) -- 87.1% chance to 2HKO

Level 56 Azelf vs. Flint
0 SpA Azelf Thunderbolt vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Houndoom: 62-73 (39.7 - 46.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Houndoom Dark Pulse vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Azelf: 122-146 (73 - 87.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

0 SpA Azelf Extrasensory vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Flareon: 57-67 (37.2 - 43.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Flareon Overheat vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Azelf: 109-129 (65.2 - 77.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 Atk Flareon Giga Impact vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Azelf: 102-120 (61 - 71.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

0 SpA Azelf Extrasensory vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Magmortar: 61-73 (35.8 - 42.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Magmortar Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Azelf: 97-115 (58 - 68.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Level 57 Azelf vs. Lucian
0 SpA Azelf Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Espeon: 51-61 (33.3 - 39.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Espeon Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Azelf: 108-128 (63.5 - 75.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Level 59 Azelf vs. Cynthia
0 SpA Azelf Grass Knot (100 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Milotic: 88-104 (44.8 - 53%) -- 25% chance to 2HKO
The Milotic knows mirror coat, which can OHKO Azelf after Milotic is hit by grass knot.

Besides, the TMs for flamethrower, thunderbolt, and grass knot will always be valuable and wanted by teammates.
 

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