Copyediting Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen In-Game Tier List (GP 0/2)

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
Credits: Ryota Mitarai (led the last instance of the list), Kurona (led previous instance of the list, took tons of data from their thread to make decisions), DrumstickGaming (major contributor), Zebes (major contributor) and various other contributors

Introduction
Welcome to the Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen in-game tier list! The goal of this list is to rank every Pokémon in Kanto into six tiers, from S to E, according to its viability. The major factor under which each is ranked is efficiency; a Pokemon that is efficient provides faster and easier solutions to major battles, which include Gym Leaders, Elite Four members, and rival fights. Pokémon in higher ranks, such as S and A, are considered very efficient, while those in lower tiers, such as D and E, are considered not very efficient.

For ranks pertaining to the original games, please check the Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow in-game tier list.

What are the tiers?
There are 6 tiers in this list:
  • S-tier
  • A-tier
  • B-tier
  • C-tier
  • D-tier
  • E-tier
Why is a Pokemon in a certain tier?
Pokemon are ranked under the following five factors:
  • Availability: This is how early a Pokemon becomes available in the game and how hard it is to find (read: encounter rate). Pokemon will also be scored lower if they require significant backtracking, HM moves, or have a low encounter rate.
  • Typing: A Pokemon's typing can be of great importance for an efficient playthrough. How does the Pokemon's typing fare throughout the entire game? If a Pokemon has a better typing, it is often ranked higher.
  • Stats: A Pokemon's stat distribution is crucial for its success. Does the Pokemon have a stat distribution that complements its movepool and typing? If a Pokemon has a stat distribution that favors both its typing and movepool, it will often be higher on the tier list. In general, a Pokemon with low Speed will often be ranked lower.
  • Movepool: A Pokemon's movepool (level-up, TM/HM, and tutor) is crucial. What moves does the Pokemon naturally learn, and which ones can it be taught? If a Pokemon requires a relatively contested TM (like Psychic) or immediate access to a Game Corner TM, it may be knocked down in ranking.
  • Major Battles: Major battles consist of Gym Leaders, the Elite Four, and rival fights. How does the Pokemon contribute to these battles? A Pokemon that contributes to many major battles will often be ranked higher than those that do not.
What tools is the player allowed to use?
The player is allowed to use almost any legitimate means within the cartridge for completing the game efficiently. The player is only allowed to trade to evolve Pokemon and not to receive outside help otherwise. The player is allowed to use items such as Potions, TMs, and Berries. Keep in mind that items have opportunity costs associated with them and can negatively contribute to a Pokémon's rank if it requires a multitude of items. The Vs. Seeker may be used to earn money to buy particularly expensive Pokemon from the Game Corner as soon as possible, but this will be counted as a negative for the Pokemon in question.

The player is allowed to buy TMs from the Game Corner. However, an average run will most likely have the funds for only one TM upon the player's first arrival, so a Pokemon may be penalized if it needs a TM immediately to function. At later points of the game, however, the player is able to afford more TMs, so requiring TMs at those points is not generally considered a negative.

The player is allowed to visit the Sevii Islands for the purposes of obtaining Pokemon there and to use the move relearner. However, because the quest is not mandatory and also forces you to complete it in its entirety, going there is considered a time sink and Pokemon that require you to visit them may be penalized in ranking.

The player is not assumed to be using evolutions that did not exist in Generation 1 (such as Crobat and Blissey), as the game physically prevents you from evolving them into non-Kanto Pokemon before earning the National Pokedex.

Under what conditions were Pokemon tested?
Every Pokemon was tested and ranked under these additional conditions:
  • Every Pokemon's level was generally the same as most major opponents' ace Pokemon, at most outleveling them by two levels. Typical levels for the Elite Four ranged from 50 to 54, depending on how many Rare Candies were used.
  • The list assumes a run with four or five Pokemon. However, a Pokemon performs the best when used as the only member of the team, as it can outlevel foes significantly by earning all of the available experience and will also have easy access to contested TMs.
  • Viability was determined up until the Champion fight; anything that is exclusive to post-game (such as the Sludge Bomb TM) was not taken into account for the Pokémon's viability.
All Pokemon are ordered alphabetically within a tier. The availability listed in each Pokemon's entry is considered its most optimal one.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
S-Тier
The following Pokemon are considered the most efficient options for completing the games. They can OHKO or 2HKO an overwhelming amount of opponents with minimal effort and any flaw they may possibly have is overshadowed by their ability to breeze through the games effortlessly.

Abra
:rs/abra:
Availability: Early-game (Route 24, level 8, 10, or 12).
Typing: Psychic typing means that Abra has no outright bad matchups, as it hits numerous major opponents super effectively, including Erika, Koga, Bruno, and Agatha, while also hitting many of the other opponents neutrally and resisting Sabrina.
Stats: Abra is a quick and powerful special attacker that is rather frail physically. However, it can typically KO most foes before they can threaten it.
Movepool: Abra needs to be taught Thief through TMs immediately, which gives it a damaging move out of the box and a super effective move against opposing Psychic-types. Abra learns Confusion, Psybeam, and Psychic all by level. Alakazam also learns Calm Mind naturally, while Kadabra will require the TM. Outside of this, Abra can be taught the Shock Wave TM to deal with the endgame Gyarados and Reflect at level 23 to patch up its low Defense.
Major Battles: The line overwhelms most of the major opponents just by using Psychic STAB moves. Some opponents, like Blaine and Lorelei, will require Calm Mind to be swept reliably. Alakazam (but not Kadabra) can also defeat Misty's Starmie with Thief and sweep Sabrina with Calm Mind + Thief. Lance is the line's only difficult matchup, but this can be circumvented with Reflect and healing.
Additional Comments: In spite of the slight difficulty of catching Abra, the line is by far one of the best options for completing the games efficiently, as it performs well against all major opponents it faces, while also requiring very few (if any) contested TMs to do so. Even if you cannot trade to evolve it, Kadabra is still one of the strongest Pokemon you can use, despite being slightly worse than Alakazam due to lower stats and inability to learn Calm Mind naturally.

Jynx
:rs/jynx:
Availability: Mid-game (trade a Poliwhirl in Cerulean City).
Typing: Jynx's typing consists of the two best offensive types in the game: Ice and Psychic. Psychic blasts through most opponents, while Ice handles other Psychic-types and bigger threats like Lance's Dragonite line. Defensively, Ice comes with many weaknesses although Jynx is frail anyway, so it's not as relevant.
Stats: High in Special Attack and Speed where it matters, with base stats of 115 and 95, respectively. Great Special Defense of 95, although the low 65 HP makes this less effective. Attack and Defense are low.
Movepool: Once it learns Ice Punch, Jynx can rely on it for the rest of the game; however, Psychic through TMs is required. There is the option to upgrade with TMs Ice Beam and Blizzard, although this isn't necessary. Calm Mind through TMs is great to ensure OHKOs. Lovely Kiss can be used to ease setup against some more difficult opponents like rival's Pidgeot.
Major Battles: Jynx can sweep all remaining Gym Leaders and rival battles, including Blaine with Calm Mind + Psychic. It also performs spectacularly in the Elite Four and Champion battle, though it will require Calm Mind against Lorelei and Lovely Kiss to set up on rival's Pidgeot.
Additional Comments: Despite being a later addition to a team, Jynx trivializes the rest of the game. In addition, the boosted experience gain from the in-game trade allows it to quickly match and exceed team levels. The traded Jynx, ZYNX, comes with a Mild nature and an IV spread of 18/17/18/22/25/21.

Mr. Mime
:rs/mr-mime:
Availability: Early-game (trade an Abra in a house on Route 2).
Typing: Psychic is a great typing, being super effective against several major opponents like Erika, Koga, Bruno, and Agatha, neutral most of the time, and only resisted by Sabrina.
Stats: Mr. Mime is pretty powerful, decently fast, and has above-average special bulk. It's weak on the physical side, but it is strong and fast enough to KO most Pokemon before getting hit.
Movepool: Mr. Mime learns several useful moves like Confusion, Reflect, and Magical Leaf by level. Psychic at level 43 and Calm Mind through TMs are mandatory. Thunderbolt via TMs can also be helpful against Lorelei and the endgame Gyarados. Mr. Mime can also utilize Substitute and Encore at levels 8 and 26 to ease set up and sweeping, the former being particularly useful at the Pokemon League.
Major Battles: Mr. Mime will defeat most Gym Leaders with Psychic STAB moves and Magical Leaf. Against some opponents, like Blaine and Lorelei, Calm Mind will be required to sweep. Mr. Mime can attempt to sweep the Pokemon League with Substitute and setup. Overall, Mr. Mime easily wins in most major battles, just having a bit more problems sweeping Agatha, as her second Gengar may outspeed it, Lance, and the Champion fight, though those are still good matchups.
Additional Comments: Even though it requires a backtrack to get to the house on Route 2, Mr. Mime is one of the best options available, as it performs well in every single major battle and is easy to train due to traded experience. The traded Mr. Mime, MIMIEN, comes with Soundproof as an ability, a Timid nature, and an IV spread of 20/15/17/24/23/22.


A-Тier
The following Pokemon provide a high amount of efficiency for completing the games, but have a few flaws that prevent them from being outright dominant. These Pokemon are still great, for most parts, but either will need some assistance against a select amount of opponents or require some effort to become great.

Clefairy
:rs/clefairy:
Availability: Early-game (Mt. Moon (B2F), level 10 or 12).
Typing: Pure Normal type gives Clefairy a neutral matchup against every important Trainer save for Agatha's Ghost-types and Bruno's Fighting-types.
Stats: Clefable has balanced stats all around, with particularly good HP, Special Attack, and Special Defense.
Movepool: Clefable gets by with Pound for Mt. Moon until the Mega Kick tutor from Route 4 and the Secret Power TM from Route 25 for a more reliable STAB. Later on, this STAB can be upgraded to Strength via HM. Clefable has a lot of coverage options through TMs, namely Water Pulse, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic, and Calm Mind, among others. Clefairy also comes with Sing, which can be a useful support move.
Major Battles: Secret Power + Mega Kick 2HKO Misty's Starmie, but potential confusion from Water Pulse can be annoying. Secret Power handles Lt. Surge fine, and, if you give Clefable Psychic, it handles both Erika and Koga well. Clefable can sweep Sabrina, Blaine with Calm Mind and potentially healing, and Giovanni with only one healing item, assuming you have Water Pulse and Psychic. Despite having Calm Mind, Clefable noticeably takes a hit in effectiveness at the Pokemon League thanks to both its comparatively lower stats and the level gap, though this can be remedied somewhat with healing.
Additional Comments: Clefable is a great versatile Pokemon that is only held back by Clefairy's rarity and requiring healing in the endgame to perform well. Clefairy can evolve almost immediately with the Moon Stone available at Mt. Moon. Clefairy is also in the Fast experience group, making it very easy to train.

Eevee (Vaporeon)
:rs/vaporeon:
Availability: Mid-game (Celadon Mansion, level 25 Eevee).
Typing: Pure Water gives Vaporeon an advantage against Blaine and Giovanni and is only resisted by Erika, Lorelei, and Lance, being neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Vaporeon is a powerful special attacker with great special bulk. However, it has a middling speed and average physical bulk.
Movepool: Vaporeon learns Bite, Aurora Beam, Acid Armor, and Hydro Pump by level. Water Pulse through TMs can be taught for a short time before teaching it Surf. Ice Beam is a strong option against Grass- and Dragon-types. Rain Dance is another TM Vaporeon can learn to boost Surf's power.
Major Battles: Vaporeon sweeps Koga, Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni. It performs well against Erika and Lance if it knows Ice Beam. Vaporeon doesn't sweep the other fights, but typically performs decently, especially with Acid Armor, with Lorelei being its only truly bad matchup.
Additional Comments: Vaporeon is a great Pokemon to use, as it has a good level-up movepool (thus it doesn't require many TMs) and performs well in major battles. Eevee can evolve immediatly with the Water Stone available from the Celadon Department Store.

Gastly (Trade)
:rs/gengar:
Availability: Mid-game (Pokemon Tower (3F), levels 13-19).
Typing: Gengar's typing is very useful defensively, granting it with resistances against Erika, Koga, and Bruno. It is a double-edged sword against Agatha's Ghost-types and Sabrina, though.
Stats: Gengar is a typical glass cannon, being a fast Special Attacker that is rather frail. Its Attack stat is quite low, though, meaning that Gengar hardly utilizes its Ghost STAB moves when not facing physically frail Psychic-types.
Movepool: Gengar should be taught Psychic immediately, which will be its main damaging move. Thunderbolt and Giga Drain through TMs provide coverage, with the former being mostly necessary for great matchups against Lorelei and Lance. Shadow Punch and Shadow Ball at levels 25 and 45 provide Gengar with Ghost STAB moves.
Major Battles: Gengar sweeps Erika, Koga, and Giovanni and takes out 3/4 of Blaine's team simply by spamming Psychic. Gengar also sweeps Sabrina with either Shadow Punch or Shadow Ball. Gengar performs well against the entire Elite Four with Psychic and Thunderbolt, though it will likely require healing to sweep most members.
Additional Comments: Although Gengar needs some TMs to reach its best performance, its ease of training due to the Medium Slow experience group + incredibly good performance make this investment worth it. Furthermore, Gengar does not require the Thunderbolt TM immediately, as it's necessary only to perform well against the Elite Four, thus it can always be bought at a later point when you can afford more Game Corner TMs.

Mankey
:rs/mankey:
Availability: Early-game (Route 22, levels 2-5).
Typing: The Fighting type is not great in Kanto, causing issues against Poison, Bug, Psychic, and Ghost-type Pokemon. Still, it is an effective, especially when paired with coverage moves. In addition, Fighting makes Mankey the only non-starter Pokemon that can sweep Brock.
Stats: Mankey starts strong with an 80 base Attack in the early game. While its frailty becomes apparent around Lt. Surge, it soon gets a buff upon evolving to Primeape. An Attack and Speed of 105 and 95 allows it to sweep most foes with a Fighting move or a super effective coverage move. Primeape's HP, Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense become mediocre by the late-game.
Movepool: Karate Chop and Low Kick are Mankey's best Fighting moves until the Brick Break TM, which remains so for the rest of the game. Rock-type coverage in Rock Tomb through TMs and Rock Slide through tutors is essential when dealing with Bug and Flying. A strong Normal move with Mega Kick through tutors is recommended until the Strength HM. Finally, Bulk Up via TMs is required to help mitigate a waning damage output by the late-game and the Aerial Ace TM can be taught to improve the Agatha matchup.
Major Battles: Mankey cleanly sweeps Brock, Lt. Surge, Sabrina (with Bulk Up), Blaine, and Giovanni while contributing to Erika and rival fights. Misty's Starmie and Koga will present a problem. It also performs decently well in the Elite Four if given the opportunity to set up, with Agatha being swept with the help of Aerial Ace.
Additional Comments: Despite Fighting being a mediocre type in Kanto, Mankey's early availability and consistency on the team makes it the best choice for an efficient run compared to its counterparts.

Nidoran-M
:rs/nidoran-m:
Availability: Early-game (Route 3, levels 6-7 (FR); trade a Nidoran-F at the Underground Path between Route 5 and 6 or a Nidorina on Route 11 (LG)).
Typing: Besides exacerbating the matchup against Misty, Sabrina, and Lorelei, Poison / Ground is great because it gives Nidoking a type advantage against Lt. Surge, Koga, and Blaine, while also providing it with a useful immunity to poisoning.
Stats: Nidoking has good stats all around, with 92 Attack and 85 Special Attack, making it an effective mixed attacker.
Movepool: Nidoran-M picks up Double Kick at level 12, which will be its main move until the Secret Power TM or the risky but powerful Thrash at level 23. Nidoking can augment its moveset mid-game with several TMs, most notably Ice Beam and Thunderbolt, with Surf via HM also being helpful. Megahorn at level 43 can be helpful for Psychic types if needed. The Dig TM is generally unnecessary outside Lt. Surge, but the Earthquake TM is a staple move for Nidoking endgame.
Major Battles: Nidoking knocks Misty's Starmie to half HP before fainting, but sweeps Lt. Surge effortlessly. Erika and Koga are handled by Ice Beam, Sabrina is handled by Surf or Megahorn, and Blaine and Giovanni are beaten by Surf. Nidoking is good for Bruno, but struggles against Lorelei and Agatha. Finally, Lance is dealt with through Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, though it generally doesn't sweep him.
Additional Comments: Nidoran-M is one of the most efficient choices for a playthrough due to its wide TM learnset, though the Elite Four significantly hampers it because the opponents can tank its STAB-less attacks. Both in-game trades come with traded experience. The traded Nidoran-M, MR. NIDO, comes with a Lonely Nature and an IV spread of 19/25/18/22/22/15, while the traded Nidorino, NINO, comes with a Bold nature and an IV spread of 19/18/25/22/15/22 Nidoran-M can still be obtained on Route 3 in LG, but has a 1% encounter rate.

Snorlax
:rs/snorlax:
Availability: Mid-game (Route 12/16, after obtaining Poke Flute, level 30).
Typing: Normal makes Snorlax neutral in most matchups, save for Bruno, who can hit it super effectively.
Stats: Snorlax possesses a great Attack and bulk, with its high HP compensating for the below-average Defense. However, it has poor Speed and below-average Special Attack.
Movepool: Snorlax learns Body Slam at level 33 and can be taught Hyper Beam for an incredibly powerful STAB move. Surf via HM provides coverage against Rock-types. Yawn is useful for consistently putting foes to sleep. Shadow Ball through TMs can be taught to improve the Agatha matchup.
Major Battles: Snorlax easily sweeps Erika, Koga, Sabrina, and Blaine, as well as Giovanni with healing. It is decent against rival fights, Lorelei, and Bruno, though it is unlikely to sweep any of them.
Additional Comments: Snorlax is an excellent Pokemon due to taking on many major opponents without requiring contested TMs. In addition, it comes at a high level, which compensates slightly for its Slow growth rate. Thick Fat is vastly preferred as an ability, as it improves the Blaine and Lorelei matchups.

Squirtle
:rs/squirtle:
Availability: Early-game (Pallet Town, level 5).
Typing: Water is great for Brock, Misty, Blaine, and Giovanni, bad against Lt. Surge, Erika, Lorelei, and Lance, and neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Blastoise has all-around balanced stats, giving it good bulk and decent offensive stats and Speed.
Movepool: Squirtle starts out with Bubble, which upgrades to Water Gun, Water Pulse, and then to Surf. Bite is needed to perform well against Misty. Blastoise can be taught Strength and Ice Beam for coverage and Rain Dance through TMs is useful for boosting Surf's power.
Major Battles: Squirtle sweeps Brock and Misty easily, though Lt. Surge and Erika (even with Ice Beam) will prove problematic. Once it evolves into Blastoise, however, it can sweep the remaining Gym Leaders easily. Against the Elite Four, Blastoise performs well against all members bar Lorelei, though it will need Ice Beam to hit Lance's Dragon-types.
Additional Comments: Squirtle is by far the best starter in FRLG due to its consistently good performance that is only held back by a couple of bad matchups. In addition, Squirtle learns two of the mandatory HMs and makes active use of them, thus it also offers great utility.

Staryu
:rs/staryu:
Availability: Mid-game (Pallet Town or Vermilion City (Super Rod), levels 15-25) (LG).
Typing: Water / Psychic typing is a great combination, as Water covers Blaine and Giovanni and Psychic covers Erika, Koga, Bruno, and Agatha, while being neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Starmie's high base Speed of 115 lets it outspeed almost everything and it's rather powerful thanks to its 100 base Special Attack. It also boasts decent bulk on both sides.
Movepool: Staryu will only use moves learned through TMs. Its moveset includes Surf, Psychic, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam. Thunder and Rain Dance through TMs are an alternative to Thunderbolt, though this comes at the cost of an extra moveslot.
Major Battles: Thanks to its speed, power, and amazing coverage, Starmie with the right moveset will defeat every major opponent. Starmie will only need healing support to win against the Champion and sometimes Lorelei and Lance.
Additional Comments: Starmie is a big investment because it requires two Game Corner TMs and the Psychic TM, while also leveling up slowly. However, it makes up for that by having a strong performance in every single major battle. The Thunderbolt and Ice Beam TMs can be bought later on as they're not needed before the Elite Four, a period where it's easier to afford for them. Evolve with Water Stone immediately, as Staryu doesn't learn anything useful by level.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
B-Тier
The following Pokemon provide a good amount of efficiency, but have some striking flaws that can affect their performance, such as overreliance on healing items or a notable amount of bad matchups, or are good Pokemon that come somewhate late.

Articuno
:rs/articuno:
Availability: Late-game (Seafoam Islands, level 50).
Typing: Ice / Flying is good against Giovanni and Lance and is mostly neutral elsewhere, aside from Blaine and Lorelei.
Stats: Articuno has great all around, having above-average Speed, decent special bulk, and great defensive stats.
Movepool: Articuno knows Ice Beam upon capture. The Fly HM can also be used for utilities outside of battles but Articuno will rarely use it. The Water Pulse TM can be used to improve the Blaine matchup.
Major Battles: Articuno sweeps Sabrina and Giovanni and does extremely well against Lance. It's mostly good in other major battles, being able to take down a few foes, with Lorelei being the only exception, where it is hardwalled by everything.
Additional Comments: Articuno is a great Pokemon, as it comes at a very high level and performs really well without needing contested TM. It is held back mainly by its late arrival. Catch it with a Master Ball, as catching it with other types of Poke Balls is too time-consuming.

Bulbasaur
:rs/bulbasaur:
Availability: Early-game (Pallet Town, level 5).
Typing: Grass / Poison is either very good or very bad against a particular major opponent most of the time; it's great for the first three Gym Leaders, Giovanni, Lorelei, and Bruno, and bad nearly everywhere else.
Stats: Venusaur has decent special stats and its other stats are all-around balanced.
Movepool: Bulbasaur relies on Vine Whip until Razor Leaf at level 22, which upgrades to Solar Beam + Sunny Day. Secret Power through TMs is a great coverage move early on. Sleep Powder and Growth at levels 15 and 41 are also useful moves for the line.
Major Battles: Bulbasaur handles the first three Gym Leaders well, but falls off afterwards for a good amount of time, relying on Sleep Powder and Leech Seed to perform acceptably against some of the opponents. Venusaur picks up again against Giovanni, Lorelei, and Bruno, though the latter two will require Sleep Powder + setup. Venusaur is useless for the remainder of the Pokemon League, though.
Additional Comments: Bulbasaur is decent thanks to covering the early-game and some other fights effortlessly. However, it relies almost entirely on type matchups to win efficiently due to its poor movepool, which is worsened by Grass being resisted commonly in Kanto.

Charmander
:rs/charmander:
Availability: Early-game (Pallet Town, level 5).
Typing: Fire is challenging in the early-game through Misty, after which it allows quick sweeping when dealing super effective or neutral damage. Charizard's secondary Flying-type offers no useful coverage offensively although it provides a helpful immunity to Ground.
Stats: Charizard is the hardest and fastest-hitting of the three starters with a 109 Special Attack and 100 Speed. Its 84 Attack is workable, but the difference in power is felt when employing physical coverage moves.
Movepool: Charmelon's Ember carries the early-game when not resisted until it loses steam past Lt. Surge. Flamethrower at level 34 or through TMs is a massive bump in power and remains so for the rest of the game. The Mega Kick tutor is essential in the early-game when Ember and Metal Claw are resisted and can be replaced with Slash for more accuracy. Dig, Brick Break, Earthquake, Rock Slide, and Dragon Claw round out the moveset with additional coverage. Finally, Fly is useful outside of battle but offers no useful coverage.
Major Battles: Charmeleon and Charizard can individually take on Lt. Surge, Erika, Koga, Sabrina, and even Giovanni (by spamming Flamethrower/Fire Blast to exploit low Special Defenses). Brock and Misty are too difficult for Charmander, even with Mega Kick for the latter. Charizard has a mixed performance against the Elite Four with particular vulnerabilities against Lorelei and Lance.
Additional Comments: With Charmander, one trades a rough early-game for strong mid-game and acceptable endgame. By the Elite Four and Champion, however, Charizard becomes more situational on the matchup, struggling against Lorelei, Lance, and the Champion's Blastoise.

Doduo
:rs/doduo:
Availability: Mid-game (Route 16, levels 18, 20, or 22).
Typing: Flying / Normal is pretty good, as it is super effective against Erika, only weak to Lorelei's Ice-types, and neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Dodrio is a glass canon, boasting great power and Speed, but being fairly frail. Most of the time, when it can't OHKO, it won't last long.
Movepool: Dodrio should be taught Fly immediatly when caught. Doduo gets Tri-Attack by level, which is a good STAB option until Return through TMs becomes more powerful. It also learns Drill Peck at level 47, a strong Flying STAB move that helps against Bruno and Agatha.
Major Battles: Dodrio wins easily against Erika and Sabrina and performs greatly versus Agatha. While it won't sweep, it still performs quite well in other major fights, being able to take down a few Pokemon, like Bruno's Fighting-types, before fainting. Lorelei and Lance are the only matchup where Dodrio doesn't perform well (outside of KOing Jynx and Dragonair), because their Pokemon are bulky and will take down Dodrio easily with super effective or powerful moves.
Additional Comments: Doduo is a solid Pokemon to use and performs well most of the time. It's very self-sufficient in terms of TMs, as only the Return TM can prove to be useful and, even then, Doduo can afford not learning it.

Exeggcute
:rs/exeggcute:
Availability: Mid-game (Safari Zone (Center Area), levels 24-25)).
Typing: Grass / Psychic gives Exeggutor strong matchups against Erika, Koga, Giovanni, and Bruno, but Lorelei and Agatha are a bit more risky. Blaine is the only matchup Exeggutor truly struggles with.
Stats: Exeggutor has good stats all around save for lacking Special Defense and Speed. However, Exeggutor's 125 Special Attack is notable, as it is one of the highest in Kanto.
Movepool: The only notable move by level is Sleep Powder at level 37. Exeggutor's entire viable moveset is TM-based, but it makes great use of Psychic, Solar Beam, Sunny Day, and Giga Drain. Strength via HM is vastly preferred over Exeggutor's natural Egg Bomb for coverage due to higher accuracy.
Major Battles: Exeggutor has a standout performance in most of the major battles left save for Blaine and Lance. Exeggutor beats both Koga and Giovanni with STAB, and Sabrina is taken care of by Strength (plus Psychic for Venomoth). If you can setup Sunny Day on Lorelei and Agatha, you can take out a few Pokemon with Solar Beam and Psychic respectively. Exeggutor sweeps Bruno, though it cannot take on Lance's Dragon-types; however Solar Beam + Sunny Day strategies can 2HKO Gyarados and at least dent Aerodactyl.
Additional Comments: Exeggutor is useful from the moment it is obtained until the very end of the game due to high firepower and good matchups. Its biggest flaws are needing a few TMs to perform well and a Slow growth rate. Evolve Exeggute with a Leaf Stone from the Safari Zone or Celadon Department Store.

Gastly (No Trade)
:rs/haunter:
Availability: Mid-game (Pokemon Tower (3F), levels 13-19).
Typing: Haunter's typing is very useful defensively, granting it with resistances against Erika, Koga, and Bruno. It is a double-edged sword against Agatha's Ghost-types and Sabrina, though.
Stats: Haunter is fast and has a great Special Attacker, though it is incredibly frail and its very low Attack means that even super effective Ghost STAB moves are at risk of not OHKOing physically frail Psychic-types.
Movepool: Haunter should be taught Psychic immediately, which will be its main damaging move. Thunderbolt and Giga Drain through TMs provide coverage, with the former being mostly necessary for great matchups against Lorelei and Lance. Shadow Punch and Shadow Ball at levels 25 and 45 provide Haunter with Ghost STAB moves.
Major Battles: Haunter sweeps Erika, Koga, and Giovanni simply by spamming Psychic. Haunter also contributes against Sabrina with Shadow Punch or Shadow Ball, though it may struggle sweeping there. It is mostly decent against the Elite Four with Psychic and Thunderbolt, though it will struggle to OHKO most of the foes there and finds itself 2HKOed most of the time, so it is generally limited to KOing 2-3 Pokemon per member.
Additional Comments: Haunter is a mostly decent Pokemon in spite of needing some TMs to reach its best performance, as it is easy to train thanks to the Medium Slow growth rate and defeats a plethora of opponents. However, its extreme frailty + missing on OHKOs relatively often cause Haunter to have little use when not hitting super effectively.

Growlithe
:rs/growlithe:
Availability: Mid-game (Route 8, levels 15-18) (FR).
Typing: Arcanine's Fire typing gives it an advantage against Erika, but a disadvantage against Lorelei and Lance while remaining neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Arcanine has great stats all around, with notable mixed attacking stats and a great 95 Speed.
Movepool: The Flamethrower TM for STAB is all Arcanine needs to be effective, as most coverage options hitting super effectively are inferior to a neutral Flamethrower. Extreme Speed at level 49 as Arcanine is unnecessary, but Strength via HM can help for opponents that resist Flamethrower.
Major Battles: Arcanine roasts Erika, Koga, and Sabrina with Flamethrower, with none of them doing much back, though Erika can also be swept wth just Ember. Arcanine can utilize the normally niche Dig against Blaine if needed, and Giovanni's Pokemon and Lorelei's Jynx and Cloyster are 2HKOed by Flamethrower. Bruno's Fighting types are 3HKOed by Flamethrower, while Agatha's Pokemon are 2HKOed. Lance is the only major battle Arcanine is useless for.
Additional Comments: Arcanine is a great choice as a team member due to its simple yet effective nature, though its mid-game availability, reliance on a Game Corner TM immediately, and lack of type advantages prevents it from being ranked higher. Intimidate is generally the more useful ability, though Flash Fire can nullify Blaine's STAB moves if desired. Evolve with a Fire Stone from the Celadon Department Store immediately.

Lapras
:rs/lapras:
Availability: Mid-game (Silph. Co, from a man after defeating rival, level 25).
Typing: Water and Ice is an effective offensive type combination, the latter helping against the former's weakness to Grass. It's great against Blaine, Giovanni, and Lance.
Stats: Attack and Special Attack of 85 are good enough but will make super effective STAB 2HKO some tougher opponents. 60 Speed is slow but is compensated by a hefty 130 HP and good Defense and Special Defense of 80 and 95, respectively.
Movepool: HM Surf and Ice Beam by level will be Lapras's STAB moves. Against opposing Water-types, either Rain Dance + Thunder or Thunderbolt through TMs are helpful. Other options include Body Slam, Confuse Ray, or the situational Perish Song to set a timer on final foes.
Major Battles: Lapras can sweep every fight up until the Elite Four, though it will need an Electric move to handle rival's Gyarados or Blastoise. At the Pokemon League, Lapras shines against Lance and can contribute to Lorelei and Agatha, though it should avoid Bruno.
Additional Comments: A key flaw with Lapras is that it comes later than other Water-types one might want for their team. In addition, it has to catch up in levels, which is worsened by its Slow growth rate. Still, if one is willing to wait and put in some work to train it, Lapras is a solid contributor throughout the game.

Magikarp
:rs/magikarp:
Availability: Early-game (Route 4 Pokemon Center for 500 Poke Dollars, level 5).
Typing: Water / Flying is great for Gyarados, providing it with a resistance to Misty, being super effective against Blaine and Giovanni, and being weak only against Lt. Surge.
Stats: Gyarados has mostly great stats, boasting a really high Attack, great bulk, and above-average Speed. However, its Special Attack is a bit lackluster.
Movepool: Gyarados learns Bite and Dragon Dance at levels 20 and 50. Surf acts as primary STAB move. Gyarados appreciates the Secret Power TM for a strong physical attack early on, which upgrades to Return. Hyper Beam through TMs is recommended to improve the Erika matchup.
Major Battles: Gyarados can sweep every Gym Leader, though Lt. Surge is slightly situational. It performs pretty well against the Elite Four, defeating all of them but Agatha with Dragon Dance setup and healing when needed.
Additional Comments: In spite of how annoying it is to get and raise Magikarp, which is further worsened by its Slow growth rate, Gyarados is a great Pokemon to consider, as it performs extremely well in most major battles. Rare Candies or fighting the trainers on Route 6 (and beyond if needed) will be required to evolve Magikarp before Misty. Gyarados can also be caught at various locations with Super Rod to avoid the grind, but this skips some of the earlier matchups and it will have less happiness, which will impact Return's usefulness.

Nidoran-F
:rs/nidoran-f:
Availability: Early-game (Route 3, levels 6-7 (LG); trade a Nidoran-M at the Underground Path between Route 5 and 6 or a Nidorino on Route 11 (FR)).
Typing: Besides exacerbating the matchup against Misty, Sabrina, and Lorelei, Poison / Ground is great because it gives Nidoqueen a type advantage against Lt. Surge, and Blaine, while also providing it with a useful immunity to poisoning.
Stats: Nidoqueen has good defenses and Speed, with 82 Attack and 75 Special Attack making it a decent mixed attacker, though it will sometimes struggle against bulkier opponents.
Movepool: Nidoran-F picks up Double Kick at level 12, which will be its main move until the Secret Power TM or Body Slam at level 23. Nidoqueen can supplement its moveset midgame with several TMs, most notably Ice Beam and Thunderbolt, with Surf via HM also being helpful. The Dig TM is generally unnecessary outside Lt. Surge, but the Earthquake TM is a staple move for Nidoqueen during the endgame.
Major Battles: Nidoqueen isn't good for Misty, but sweeps Lt. Surge effortlessly. Erika and Koga are handled by Ice Beam. Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni are handled by Surf. Nidoqueen is good for Bruno, but struggles against Lorelei and Agatha. Finally, Lance is dealt with through Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, though Nidoqueen generally doesn't sweep him.
Additional Comments: While Nidoqueen possesses an excellent movepool, its offensive stats mean that it is heavily dependent on TMs to achieve 2HKOes by hitting super effectively. Evolve Nidorina with a Moon Stone from Mt. Moon immediately. Both in-game trades come with traded experience. The traded Nidoran-F, MS. NIDO, comes with a Bold nature and an IV spread of 22/18/25/19/15/22, while the traded Nidorina, NINA, comes with a Lonely nature and an IV spread of 22/25/18/19/22/15. Nidoran-F can still be obtained on Route 3 in FR, but has a 1% encounter rate.

Psyduck
:rs/psyduck:
Availability: Late-game (Fucshia City (surfing), levels 20-40) (FR).
Typing: Water helps against Blaine and Giovanni, is neutral most of the time, and is only resisted by Lorelei's Water-types.
Stats: Golduck has balanced and mostly decent stats all around, with a good Special Attack and Speed.
Movepool: Golduck should be taught the Surf HM immediatly, which provides a strong STAB. The Calm Mind and Ice Beam TMs have great uses on Golduck as they improve a lot of its matchup. The Brick Break TM can also be used against Lorelei's Lapras but will get few uses.
Major Battles: Golduck wins against Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni. It performs really well against the Elite Four thanks to Calm Mind, defeating Agatha and taking down several foes in other battles, though it will require healing to achieve a full sweep.
Additional Comments: Golduck is one of the best Water-type thanks to access to Calm Mind and decent stats. Cloud Nine is the prefered ability because it improves Lorelei's matchup a lot, because it doesn't get whittled down by Hail. Psyduck can be obtained before Koga with a Super Rod and has a highly favorable matchup against him, but its encounter rate ranges from 1% to 5% (depending on location) and can come underleveled, thus it's generally not worth it.

Spearow
:rs/spearow:
Availability: Early-game (Route 22, level 3 or 5).
Typing: Normal / Flying is great for Erika, bad for Brock, Lt. Surge, and Lorelei, and mostly neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Fearow is a glass canon, having great Attack and Speed but little bulk; thus, if it can't OHKO the foe, it will typically be KOed itself.
Movepool: Spearow comes with Peck and learns Fury Attack at level 13, with Drill Peck coming at level 40. It will mostly use moves learned through TMs and HMs, namely Secret Power, Fly, and Return.
Major Battles: Fearow performs well against Misty, Lt. Surge, Erika, Sabrina, and Agatha. Fearow typically struggles to take on foes that either resist its STAB moves (such as Brock's Pokemon) or that are bulky and/or can hit it back with a super effective or powerful move (like Lorelei and Lance's Pokemon).
Additional Comments: Spearow is a decent Pokemon due to taking on many major opponents, but its inability to get past Pokemon that resist its move or are bulky hold it back greatly.

Tentacool
:rs/tentacool:
Availability: Mid-game (Route 19, levels 5-40).
Typing: Water is good for Blaine and Giovanni and Poison offers a useful resistance against Bruno. However, it won't be able to do much against Lorelei.
Stats: Tentacruel has great special bulk, good Speed, and decent Special Attack. Its physical bulk is lackluster, though.
Movepool: Tentacool should be taught Surf when caught. It learns Barrier by level, which helps it against Bruno, Agatha, and Lance. The Ice Beam TM from Game Corner can be purchashed to improve the Lance matchup. Tentacruel can also make use of the Rain Dance TM to boost Surf or the Giga Drain to improve the Lorelei matchup slightly.
Major Battles: Tentacruel sweeps Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni with Surf spam alone. Tentacruel performs well against Bruno, Agatha, and Lance with Barrier and healing when needed. Lorelei is Tentacruel's only truly bad matchup.
Additional Comments: With the use of Repels, Tentacool can be obtained at a very high level. This, combined with great defensive typing, Barrier, and Clear Body to stop the various stat-reducing strategies (and by extension is the preferred ability), makes Tentacool a decent Pokemon in spite of the late arrival.

Zapdos
:rs/zapdos:
Availability: Late-game (Power Plant, level 50).
Typing: Electric / Flying is good for Lorelei and neutral most of the time. However, it is resisted by the various Rock / Ground Pokemon in the endgame.
Stats: Zapdos has great stats all around; it's a fast Pokemon with great offensive stats and decent bulk.
Movepool: Zapdos has a good Flying STAB move in Drill Peck when caught. It's strongly recommended to teach it the Thunderbolt TM because it provides it with a reliable and strong Electric STAB move. Rain Dance and Thunder through TMs can also be taught as a stronger alternative to Thunderbolt.
Major Battles: Zapdos wins against Sabrina and Blaine. Zapdos performs really well in others major battles, only struggling against Rock / Ground Pokemon, such as Rhyhorn and Onix.
Additional Comments: Zapdos is a very strong Pokemon that is held back by its late arrival. Catch it with a Master Ball, as catching it with other types of Poke Balls is too time-consuming.
 
Last edited:

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
C-Tier
The following Pokemon have many flaws, but also have some positive traits that prevent them from being outright bad. These Pokemon typically have many bad matchups, although they are able to make up for that with a good amount of great matchups.

Bellsprout
:rs/bellsprout:
Availability: Early-game (Route 24, level 12-14) (LG).
Typing: Grass / Poison is great for Misty, Lt. Surge, Giovanni, Lorelei, and Bruno, but is typically bad elsewhere.
Stats: Victreebel is powerful both physically and specially, but it's rather frail and has middling speed.
Movepool: The Bellsprout line learns Growth, Vine Whip, and Sleep Powder fairly early, while Razor Leaf comes at level 42 if left unevolved. Once available, the Sunny Day and Solar Beam TMs offer a really powerful STAB move. It's also possible to teach it the Giga Drain TM. Secret Power through TMs also provides a strong coverage move early on.
Major Battles: The Bellsprout line wins against Misty, Lt. Surge, and Giovanni, while performing well against Lorelei with Sleep Powder and Growth. However, in other major battles, it will mostly be useless, not taking down more than one foe with the exception of Bruno.
Additional Comments: Victreebel is a really situational Pokemon that either performs very well or can't do much. Chlorophyll is a great ability that lets Victreebel outspeed most threats under sun. Evolve Weepinbell with a Leaf Stone from Celadon Department Store immediately, unless planning on learning Razor Leaf.

Caterpie
:rs/caterpie:
Availability: Early-game (Viridian Forest, level 3-5).
Typing: Bug / Flying is good for Erika, but leaves Butterfree weak to Lt. Surge, Blaine, and Lorelei.
Stats: Butterfree has mostly bad stats, outside of its decent Special Attack and Special Defense, though its stats decent for the early-game.
Movepool: Butterfree learns Sleep Powder and later on Silver Wind by level. By TMs, it learns Psychic, Giga Drain, and Aerial Ace via TMs, which provide good coverage. Psybeam at level 34 provides an alternative to Psychic if the TM is not available to Butterfree.
Major Battles: Butterfree beats Brock's Geodude, but is shaky against Misty, Surge, and Blaine. It wins against Erika, Koga, and Giovanni, while performing well against Sabrina. In general, Butterfree simply outspeeds and puts the foe to sleep with a nearly-accurate Sleep Powder and proceeds to take it down while it's asleep. This strategy is useful throughout the entire game, including at the Elite Four.
Additional Comments: Butterfree is a decent Pokemon to use in spite of its below-average stats thanks to its early availability, Sleep Powder + Compound Eyes (which results in an almost-accurate move), and great coverage, though it is held back by the rate at which it defeats opponents.

Drowzee
:rs/drowzee:
Availability: Early-game (Route 11, levels 11, 13, or 15).
Typing: Pure Psychic type gives the line advantages against Erika, Koga, and Bruno while being neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Hypno's stats are all average aside from good base 115 Special Defense.
Movepool: Drowzee starts with Confusion and gets Headbutt for coverage at level 17, with Meditate being learned at level 29 to boost Headbutt's power. Aside from Psychic at level 35 and Calm Mind via TM, nothing else is relevant, though the Brick Break TM can be taught if desired.
Major Battles: Hypno is pretty good for Lt. Surge, Erika, and Koga. Sabrina is Hypno's high point, as Hypno can easily sweep her with Headbutt, particularly with Meditate boosts. Blaine, Giovanni, and Bruno can be overpowered with the use of Calm Mind. Every other fight is average for Hypno, including Agatha, as most of her Pokemon are faster and therefore Hypno is vulnerable to her Pokemon's status-inducing moves.
Additional Comments: Hypno isn't a bad Pokemon, but it is sorely outclassed by other Psychic types due to lacking power, as it takes a longer time to sweep in major battles. Hypno's base 67 Speed, while serviceable, can occasionally be a hinderance as well.

Eevee (Flareon)
:rs/flareon:
Availability: Mid-game (Celadon Mansion, level 25).
Typing: Fire helps against Erika and is mostly neutral elsewhere with the exception of Blaine and Giovanni.
Stats: Flareon has an outstanding Attack, solid special bulk, and good Special Attack. However, it's frail on the physical side and rather slow.
Movepool: Flareon doesn't learn many moves by level-up, so it should be taught a few TMs, the most important one being Flamethrower. The Sunny Day, Fire Blast, Return, Secret Power, Dig and Shadow Ball are other TMs that Flareon can make good use of.
Major Battles: Flareon wins against Erika, Koga, and Sabrina while doing alright against other Gym Leaders. Against the Elite Four, Flareon does really well against Agatha with Shadow Ball, has an above-average performance against Lorelei, and is fairly good against the Champion while being bad for Bruno and Lance.
Additional Comments: Flareon performs decently well thanks to its mostly solid stats and movepool options. However, it's heavily reliant on immediate TMs because it doesn't learn any useful move by level, so it should be taught Flamethrower early to make up for that. It is also let down by its poor Speed, which can make significant contributions difficult to achieve. Evolve with Fire Stone from the Celadon Department Store immediately.

Eevee (Jolteon)
:rs/jolteon:
Availability: Mid-game (Celadon Mansion, level 25).
Typing: Pure Electric-type is good offensively, being super effective against Lorelei, only resisted by Erika and Giovanni, and neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Jolteon boasts an excellent Speed, outspeeding everything, and has great special stats. However, its other stats are below-average.
Movepool: The Thunderbolt TM is required on Jolteon because it's its only strong and reliable move. Rain Dance and Thunder via TMs can also be taught to provide a stronger STAB option. Shock Wave through TMs is a temporary remedy if Thunderbolt isn't available to Jolteon immediately. It also learns moves of various types, but all of them are physical and have low base power, thus Jolteon won't hit hard with them.
Major Battles: Jolteon performs well against Koga, Sabrina, and Blaine, although it doesn't outright win against the latter and can't do anything against Giovanni. Against the Elite Four, Jolteon has a good performance against Lorelei and Agatha and can take down a few Electric-weak Pokemon.
Additional Comments: Jolteon is a decent Electric-type that does alright in major battles and easily defeats Water- and Flying-types. However, it struggles heavily against bulkier opponent like Bruno and won't do anything against Electric-resistant Pokemon. It's also really reliant on learning the costly Thunderbolt TM immediately because it's the only powerful STAB it can get at that point.

Electabuzz
:rs/electabuzz:
Availability: Late-game (Power Plant, level 32 or 35).
Typing: Electric is mostly useful for Lorelei, but is terrible against Giovanni, being neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Electabuzz has great Speed and decent offensive stats, though it's rather frail physically.
Movepool: Although Electabuzz comes with Thunder Punch, it is recommended to teach it Thunderbolt to pick up some OHKOs. Electabuzz also learns various coverage moves, such as Psychic, Brick Break, and Strength. Thunder + Rain Dance is a stronger alternative to Thunderbolt.
Major Battles: Electabuzz is decent against Sabrina and Blaine and can take on most of Lorelei's Pokemon. It can also take out some of the Electric-weak Pokemon in the endgame. It can also take out some of Giovanni's Pokemon with its coverage moves.
Additional Comments: Electabuzz's late arrival and rarity offset its good qualities, which include a good offensive typing and good coverage moves to get around its usual checks.

Farfetch'd
:rs/farfetchd:
Availability: Early-game (trade a Spearow in a house in Vermilion City).
Typing: Normal / Flying is strong against Erika, only weak to Lorelei's Ice-types and Lt. Surge, and neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Farfetch'd has mediocre stats all around; it's frail and doesn't have great Speed and Attack to make up for that.
Movepool: Farfetch'd learns Fury Attack at level 16, Swords Dance at level 31, and Agility at level 36. The Fly and Cut HMs can be taught, with the former providing a good STAB move. Aerial Ace TM can also be learned and is a good STAB option that lets it win handily against Agatha. Steel Wing via TMs can be used, but Farfetch'd will barely use it.
Major Battles: Farfetch'd does alright against Lt. Surge and wins against Erika, Koga, and Sabrina thanks to Swords Dance and its STAB moves. Afterwards, Farfetch'd won't be helpful, outside of sweeping Agatha with Swords Dance, Agility, and Aerial Ace.
Additional Comments: In spite of its low stats, Farfetch'd is a good Pokemon to consider that performs really well in the mid-game thanks to access to Swords Dance. It offers great utility by performing decently while having two HMs in its moveset. In addition, Farfetch'd will level up quickly thanks to boosted experience gain from the in-game trade. The traded Farfetch'd, CH'DING, comes with an Adamant Nature, an IV spread of 20/25/21/24/15/20, and Stick as a held item.

Geodude (Trade)
:rs/golem:
Availability: Early-game (Mt. Moon (1F), levels 7-9).
Typing: Rock / Ground gives Golem an edge against Lt. Surge, Koga, and Blaine, while making it weak to Misty, Erika, Giovanni, Lorelei, and Bruno.
Stats: Golem has a good Attack and great Defense. However, its stats are bad outside of them, being frail on the special side and really slow.
Movepool: By level, the Geodude line learns Defense Curl, Rock Throw, Magnitude, Self-destruct, Rollout, and Earthquake, most of which provide strong STAB moves. It doesn't need any TMs to function well.
Major Battles: Golem easily defeats Lt. Surge and does well against Koga, Blaine and Sabrina. However, in other battles, Golem tends to lose easily to super effective moves and will only take down a few foes at most, though Self-destruct can net a KO if needed.
Additional Comments: Golem is a Pokemon with some extremely good matchups and extremely bad matchups elsewhere. However, it's really self-sufficient and won't require any TMs to be used to its best.

Goldeen
:rs/goldeen:
Availability: Mid-game (Fuschia City (Super Rod), level 20-30 as Seaking).
Typing: Pure Water-type gives Seaking an edge against Blaine and Giovanni and is only resisted by Erika, Lorelei, and Lance
Stats: Seaking has mostly average stats, outside of its good Attack.
Movepool: Seaking must be taught the Surf HM when caught as it provides a good STAB. The Ice Beam TM is a good move to have against Lance. Rain Dance TM can be learned to power STAB moves but will get few uses. Return, Secret Power, and Hyper Beam through TMs are usable options against Sabrina.
Major Battles: Seaking sweeps Blaine and Giovanni and performs decently against Koga and Sabrina. It doesn't perform well elsewhere, though Ice Beam will help against Erika and Lance.
Additional Comments: Seaking is a potent Water-type to use, as it's easily available and is decent against most Gym Leaders without requiring contested TMs, with the exception of Ice Beam for select matchups. Unfortunately, it has very limited use outside of Gym Leaders due to its average stats.

Hitmonchan
:rs/hitmonchan:
Availability: Mid-game (Fighting Dojo, level 25).
Typing: Hitmonchan's Fighting typing doesn't provide it with many notable advantages other than Lorelei: many opponents are resistant or immune to Fighting STAB. Koga, Agatha and Lance are bad for Hitmonchan in particular.
Stats: Hitmonchan has good 105 Attack and 110 Special Defense with a decent 76 Speed, though its other stats are poor.
Movepool: Hitmonchan starts out with Brick Break through TMs. The Bulk Up TM is essential for setup, while the Strength HM and the Rock Slide tutor round out Hitmonlee's coverage. The elemental punches are irrelevant due to Hitmonchan's awful Special Attack.
Major Battles: Hitmonchan usually boosts with Bulk Up to +1 or +2 in major battles, though it is unlikely you will ever sweep with it due to its fragility. At best, you will likely get a couple KOs with before fainting. More setup and healing can help achieve sweeps in the later portions of the game, though this is rather inefficient.
Additional Comments: While attractive on paper, Hitmonchan plays like a STAB-less Normal type 70% of the time in practice due to Fighting STAB being resisted so often, and as such, is mostly outclassed by other Pokemon with STAB type advantages over opponents.

Hitmonlee
:rs/hitmonlee:
Availability: Mid-game (Fighting Dojo, level 25).
Typing: Hitmonlee's Fighting typing doesn't provide it with many notable advantages other than Lorelei: many opponents are resistant or immune to Fighting STAB. Koga, Agatha, and Lance are particularly bad for Hitmonlee in particularr.
Stats: Hitmonlee has excellent 120 Attack and 110 Special Defense with a great 87 Speed, though its other stats are abysmal.
Movepool: Hitmonlee's most reliable starting move is Brick Break. The Bulk Up TM is essential for setup, while the Strength HM and the Rock Slide tutor round out Hitmonlee's coverage.
Major Battles: Hitmonlee generally boosts with Bulk Up to +1 or +2 in major battles, though it is unlikely you will ever sweep with it due to its fragility. At best, you will likely get one or two KOs with before fainting. More setup and healing can help achieve sweeps in the later portions of the game, though this is rather inefficient.
Additional Comments: While attractive on paper, Hitmonlee plays like a STAB-less Normal type 70% of the time in practice due to Fighting STAB being resisted so often, and as such, is heavily outclassed by other Pokemon with STAB type advantages over opponents.

Horsea
:rs/horsea:
Availability: Mid-game (Vermillion City (Super/Good Rod), level 15-35 (FR, Super Rod) or levels 5-20 (LG, Good Rod)).
Typing: Pure Water helps Seadra against Blaine and Giovanni, is only resisted by Erika, Lorelei, and Lance, and is neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Seadra has great Special Attack and Defense and good Speed. However, it's really vulnerable to special moves due to its really low special bulk.
Movepool: When caught, Horsea should be taught Surf HM immediately. The Ice Beam TM is a good move to use against Lance. Rain Dance can be taught to boost its Water-type moves.
Major Battles: Seadra wins against Blaine and Giovanni and does quite well against Erika and Lance assuming it has Ice Beam. In other important battles, Seadra won't do much outside of netting a few KOs.
Additional Comments: Seadra is a decent Water-type to use as it's easily available, does really well in several important battles while only requiring the Ice Beam TM. However, outside of a few matchups, Seadra won't be able to do much due to its poor special bulk and lack of coverage. LG players can catch Horsea with a Good Rod, albeit at a low level, as the Super Rod ones are at a 4% encounter rates. FR players can also catch it directly as a Seadra in Pallet Town with a Super Rod, though it also has a 4% encounter rate.

Krabby
:rs/krabby:
Availability: Mid-game (Vermillion City (Super Rod), levels 15-25).
Typing: Pure Water helps Kingler against Blaine and Giovanni and is only resisted by Erika and Lorelei.
Stats: Kingler has a really high Attack and Defense as well as above-average Speed. However, its really frail on the Special side and has a poor Special Attack.
Movepool: Kingler mostly uses Surf and Strength via HMs, which also have uses outside of battles. Kingler can also learn the Rock Tomb and Ice Beam TMs.
Major Battles: Kingler wins against Blaine and Giovanni and is mostly below-average elsewhere. It can get a few KOs in major battles but will never be able to contribute much.
Additional Comments: Krabby does well against Blaine and Giovanni but tends to not do much elsewhere due to its poor Special attack and bulk. However, it has some utilities by being able to fit the HM Strength and Surf in its moveset while still performing alright in battles.

Machop (Trade)
:rs/machamp:
Availability: Mid-game (Rock Tunnel (1F), level 16 or 17).
Typing: Fighting is resisted throughout the entire region, most notably Erika, Koga, Agatha, and Sabrina. On the other hand, though, it provides Machamp with a great matchup against Lorelei.
Stats: Machamp has a very high Attack, coupled with decent bulk, though it is rather slow. However, Machop's stats are fairly bad, making it slightly hard to train at the beginning.
Movepool: Machop should be taught the Brick Break TM and Rock Slide tutor immediately. It can also be taught Bulk Up for setup and Strength as coverage. Hyper Beam can be taught to Machamp before Strength to improve the Erika matchup.
Major Battles: Machamp sweeps Erika with either Bulk Up or Hyper Beam and Koga thanks to Guts. It can take on most of Sabrina and Blaine's Pokemon in spite of the type disadvantage against the former. Machamp sweeps Giovanni and can take on Lorelei, Bruno, and Lance with Bulk Up setup, though it will often require healing to perform well.
Additional Comments: Outside of Machop being slightly difficult to train at the beginning due to its low stats, Machamp requires significant setup in virtually every matchup after Sabrina in order to consistently OHKO foes, which proves inefficient at times. This is further worsened by the need for healing in the endgame fights in order to not be overwhelmed by foes while setting up.

Magnemite
:rs/magnemite:
Availability: Late-game (Power Plant, level 31 or 34 as Magneton).
Typing: Electric / Steel provides Magneton with great matchups against Sabrina, Lorelei, Bruno, and Lance. However, it leaves Magneton very vulnerable to Blaine, Giovanni, and Bruno.
Stats: Magneton has one of the highest Special Attacks in the entire game. Outside of a good Defense, its other stats are average at best, however.
Movepool: Magneton almost exclusively uses Thunderbolt through TMs, with Thunder + Rain Dance also being an option. Its other attacking options include physical moves, which Magneton doesn't use well due to its low Attack.
Major Battles: Magneton performs well against Sabrina, Lorelei, and Agatha and can also shrug off most of Lance's attacks. However, Magneton cannot take on anything that resists its STAB moves whatsoever.
Additional Comments: Magneton's fantastic typing and Special Attack are greatly counterbalanced by a lacking movepool and a late arrival. It is recommended that you catch it directly as a Magneton, as Magnemite comes rather underleveled. Note that Magneton is slightly less common in FireRed.

Meowth
:rs/Meowth:
Availability: Early-game (Route 5, level 10, 12, 14, or 16).
Typing: Pure Normal is neutral in most matchups, except for Bruno, where it's bad, and Agatha, where it's helpful.
Stats: Persian has a great Speed, but below-average stats outside of that.
Movepool: By level up, Meowth gets Pay Day and Screech. The Return and Secret Power TMs provide great STAB moves and Shadow Ball may be useful against Agatha. Hyper Beam is also a valuable move to get some KOs.
Major Battles: Persian wins against Sabrina and does well against Agatha, assuming it has Shadow Ball. It's mostly average in other major battles and will only get a few KOs with Screech + a STAB move.
Additional Comments: Despite its early arrival, Persian is a mediocre Pokemon performance-wise because of its low stats. However, its usefulness comes from Pay Day, allowing it to generate money to afford Game Corner TMs with less effort and in higher amounts. It is also strong enough against route trainers that it can reliably spam Pay Day.

Oddish
:rs/oddish:
Availability: Early-game (Route 24, level 12-14) (FR).
Typing: Grass / Poison is great for Misty, Lt. Surge, Giovanni, Lorelei, and Bruno, but is mostly bad elsewhere.
Stats: Vileplume is a powerful special attacker that is fairly bulky as a whole. However, it's slow and will be outsped most of the time.
Movepool: The Oddish line learns Absorb, Acid, and Sleep Powder by level. The Giga Drain TM, once available, is a stronger STAB move. The Sunny Day and Solar Beam TMs offer a really powerful STAB move. Secret Power through TMs is greatly appreciated for a strong coverage move early on.
Major Battles: The Oddish line wins against Misty, Lt. Surge, and Giovanni, and performs well against Lorelei. However, in other major battles, it will mostly be useless, taking down at best one foe, except against Bruno, where it performs slightly better.
Additional Comments: Vileplume is a really situational Pokemon that either performs very well or can't do much. Chlorophyll is a great ability that lets Vileplume outspeed most threats after under sun. Evolve Gloom with a Leaf Stone from Celadon Department Store immediately.

Pikachu
:rs/pikachu:
Availability: Early-game (Viridian Forest, level 3 or 5).
Typing: Electric makes Pikachu somewhat useful against Misty and is great against Lorelei. However, it has little use against Brock, Erika, and Giovanni.
Stats: Raichu is a fast Pokemon with decent Special Attack, but with rather low bulk.
Movepool: Pikachu starts out with mostly an unspectacular moveset, consisting of Thundershock and Thunder Wave at level 8. Notably, Pikachu learns Thunderbolt at level 26, thus not requiring the TM for it. It can also be taught Dig and Brick Break for coverage and Thunder + Rain Dance for a stronger STAB move.
Major Battles: Pikachu is incapable of defeating Misty's Starmie, though it can paralyze and weaken it. It can contribute to Lt. Surge with Dig and performs decently against Sabrina, Koga, and Blaine, though it will struggle to sweep the latter two. It can take out some of Lorelei's Pokemon and Electric-weak Pokemon from the other members and the rival fights.
Additional Comments: Despite learning Thunderbolt naturally, Pikachu has numerous flaws, ranging from an unspectacular movepool until it learns Thunderbolt, difficulties with OHKOing foes without hitting super effectively, and a 5% encounter rate, which makes it fairly annoying to find. Evolve with Thunder Stone after learning Thunderbolt.

Pinsir
:rs/pinsir:
Availability: Mid-game (buy at Game Corner for 2500 coins, level 18) (LG).
Typing: Bug is only good for providing Pinsir with resistances to Erika and Giovanni. It is mostly irrelevant elsewhere, as Pinsir doesn't learn STAB moves and doesn't grant it with any notable weaknesses outside of Blaine.
Stats: Pinsir has a great Attack and Defense and is fairly fast, though its other stats are poor.
Movepool: Pinsir can learn most of its moves almost immediately; it will mainly use the Brick Break TM, Strength HM, and Rock Slide tutor to deal damage. Bulk Up through TMs gives it an opportunity to set up. Swords Dance at level 49 allows Pinsir to set up more quickly against the endgame opponents, though Bulk Up makes it easier to set up against physical foes, so either option is fine.
Major Battles: Pinsir can sweep every Gym Leader and rival fight before the Pokemon League with setup. Notably, it is a rather consistent sweeper, as Hyper Cutter makes it more effective against the various Intmidate users. It is fairly good against the Elite Four, though it either will have to heal if using Bulk Up or will not sweep some fights due to lacking Defense boosts.
Additional Comments: Pinsir is all-around a great sweeper thanks to a high Attack, great movepool, and Hyper Cutter. However, it is fairly expensive to buy and is a chore to keep up in terms of levels due to a Slow growth rate. Pinsir can also be caught in the Safari Zone (Center Area), but it is rare and hard to capture, so it's generally not worth it.

Poliwag
:rs/poliwag:
Availability: Mid-game (Viridian City (Super Rod), levels 20-30 as Poliwhirl).
Typing: Water / Fighting-types gives Poliwrath an edge against Blaine, Giovanni ,and Lorelei while being weak to Erika, Sabrina, and Lance.
Stats: Poliwrath has well-rounded stats, with a solid bulk, good Attack, and average Special Attack and Speed.
Movepool: The Surf HM and Brick Break TM provide strong STAB moves. Bulk Up can also be used to boost both its attack and Defense. Ice Beam is another coverage move Poliwath can learn.
Major Battles: Poliwrath wins against Blaine and Giovanni while doing well against Lorelei and Bruno. In other battles, it has a below-average performance but still can get a few KOs.
Additional Comments: Poliwrath is a decent Water-type, however, it requires several TMs and only dominates a few matchups.

Rattata
:rs/rattata:
Availability: Early-game (Route 1, levels 2-4).
Typing: Pure Normal is neutral most of the time, with the exception of Brock, Bruno, and Agatha, where it's generally bad.
Stats: Raticate has a great Speed and good Attack for the earlier portions of the game. However, aside from them, its other stats are mostly average an even its good stats fall off later on.
Movepool: By level up, Rattata learns Hyper Fang at level 13. Secret Power and Return TMs provide great STAB options, with the Hyper Beam TM providing a powerful nuke. Shadow Ball TM can also be learned to improve the Agatha matchup.
Major Battles: Raticate wins against Misty, Lt. Surge and Sabrina and does well against Erika with Hyper Beam. In other matchup, it's mostly average and will only net a few KOs.
Additional Comments: Raticate is an alright Pokemon thanks to its very early availability and great performance in early to mid-game. However, starting from the late-game, it starts becoming worse due to its average stats and won't contribute too much in battles.

Scyther
:rs/scyther:
Availability: Mid-game (Buy at Game Corner for 5500 coins, level 25) (FR).
Typing: Bug / Flying-type is good against Erika, weak to Blaine and Lorelei, and neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Scyther boasts good Attack and Speed and has average bulk.
Movepool: Scyther learns Swords Dance and Agility by level up. It should be taught the Aerial Ace TM immediatly when caught. It can be taught Hyper Beam through TMs as a strong finishing move and Steel Wing through TMs can find uses against Rock-types.
Major Battles: Scyther wins against Erika and Sabrina with Aerial Ace and Koga and Agatha thanks to the combination of Swords Dance and Aerial Ace. What sets Scyther apart is that Aerial Ace makes it capable of sweeping even with accuracy drops or evasion boosts from the opponent. In other major battles, it performs decently outside of Lorelei and Lance, being able to take down a few foes.
Additional Comments: Scyther is a strong Pokemon that is held back by the fact that it's very expensive to buy. It can also be caught at the Safari Zone (Central Area) at level 23, though Scyther is rare and hard to catch, thus this route is also ineffcient. Sometimes, in the middle of the battle there will be a Pokemon that allows Scyther to set up Swords Dance and it might be able to win from there.

Seel
:rs/seel:
Availability: Late-game (Seafoam Island (B4F), level 30, 32, or 34).
Typing: Water / Ice is a good offensive typing, being super effective against Blaine, Giovanni, and Lance.
Stats: Dewgong has middling stats overall except for an above average HP and Special Defense.
Movepool: Once caught, Surf HM is mandatory and is a powerful STAB option. Ice Beam is another important move that Dewgong learns either with the TM or at level 51 and is an improvement from Aurora Beam, a move it has when caught. Strength can also be taught for additional coverage.
Major Battles: Dewgong wins against Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni and does well versus Lance's Dragon-types. However, it won't do much outside of these battles, save for KOing some of the rival's Pokemon.
Additional Comments: Even though it comes late, Dewgong guarantees a win against Blaine and Giovanni and is also a great Pokemon to use against Lance without requiring the Ice Beam TM. Thick Fat is a great ability that provides a Fire resistance, which is really helpful for Blaine. You can also obtain Seel from an in-game trade in Cinnabar Lab for a Ponyta, but this Seel skips Blaine and requires you to go out of your way to Sevii Islands. The traded Seel, SEELOR, comes with a Bold nature, Thick Fat as an ability, and an IV spread of 24/15/22/16/23/22.

Shellder
:rs/shellder:
Availability: Mid-game (Vermillion City (Super Rod), levels 15-25) (FR).
Typing: Water / Ice type helps Shellder against Erika, Blaine, Giovanni, and Lance, is resisted by Lorelei, and is weak to Bruno.
Stats: Cloyster has enormous physical bulk, good offensive stats and above-average Speed. However, it is extremely frail on the special side.
Movepool: Shellder learns Aurora Beam at level 22. The Surf HM and Ice Beam TM provide strong STAB options. Rain Dance via TMs can be learned to boost Surf's power.
Major Battles: Cloyster wins against Erika (assuming it has Ice Beam), Koga, and Giovanni while performing well versus Blaine and Lance, though Cloyster risks getting KOed by strong special moves in those matchups, such as Fire Blast and Dragonite's Outrage. In other matchup, it won't perform well outside of KOing a few foes.
Additional Comments: Cloyster is an alright Water-type to use that mostly perform well and only require the Ice Beam and Rain Dance TMs. However, it's part of the Slow level up group and will take time to train. In addition, its low special bulk means it performs slightly worse than other Water-types against opponents like Lance.

Slowpoke
:rs/slowpoke:
Availability: Mid-game (Fuchsia City (surfing), levels 20-40).
Typing: Water / Psychic typing gives Slowpoke advantages against Blaine, Giovanni, and Bruno, as well as a mostly favorable Agatha matchup. It is typically neutral elsewhere
Stats: Slowbro has solid bulk all around with great Defense and Special Attack, though its Speed is a dismal 30.
Movepool: Level 40 Slowpoke comes with Psychic already learned. Surf via HM gives Slowbro Water STAB, and Ice Beam and Calm Mind via TMs round out its moveset.
Major Battles: Slowbro does great against Sabrina with Surf, 2HKOing or OHKOing her Pokemon (Venomoth is OHKOed by Psychic). Blaine's entire team is OHKOed by Surf, but chip damage and Bite flinches make the matchup unreliable. Giovanni is cleanly swept by Surf with no problems, but Slowbro once again struggles with Lorelei due to chip damage and status effects. Bruno and Lance require setup and healing in order to be swept and about half of Agatha's team is defeated with +1 Psychic.
Additional Comments: Slowbro isn't ranked higher entirely due to its low Speed that forces it to take heavy chip damage in major battles, leaving it more vulnerable to secondary effects than most other Pokemon. Repels allow you to catch Slowpoke at very high levels. Slowpoke can be obtained before Koga with a Super Rod if desired, though Slowpoke's encounter rates range from 1% to 5% (depending on location) and can come underleveled (because fishing levels cannot be controlled with Repels), which is worsened by Slowpoke's Slow growth rate and terrible stats until evolution. In addition, Koga's accuracy and evasion-changing moves can make the matchup awkward.

Venonat
:rs/venonat:
Availability: Mid-game (Route 15, level 24 or 26).
Typing: Bug/Poison provides resistances to Erika and Koga but is weak to Blaine. It has no use offensively, as Venomoth doesn't use STAB moves.
Stats: Venomoth has below-average stats outside of its good Speed and Special Attack.
Movepool: Venomoth learns Sleep Powder by level up. Through TMs, it learns Psychic, Giga Drain, and Aerial Ace. Secret Power and Return are fringe options to hit Sabrina harder.
Major Battles: Venomoth wins against Erika (if evolved), Koga, and Giovanni and is average against Sabrina and Blaine. It performs decently against the Elite Four thanks to Sleep Powder and its coverage.
Additional Comments: Venomoth is a decent Pokemon to use thanks to the combination of Sleep Powder and great coverage, though it greatly depends on the Psychic TM to function and its damage output feels low at times due to not gaining STAB on its best moves. Shield Dust can prove helpful to dodge a secondary effect.

Voltorb
:rs/voltorb:
Availability: Mid-game (Route 10, level 14, 16, or 17).
Typing: Electric is mostly useful for Lorelei, but is terrible against Erika and Giovanni, being neutral elsewhere.
Stats: Electrode is the fastest Pokemon in the entire game. On the other hand, though, its other stats are average at best.
Movepool: Voltorb should be taught Shock Wave through TMs immediately, which upgrades to Thunderbolt or Thunder + Rain Dance through TMs. It can learn Reflect and Light Screen through TMs as it can set them up quickly. Self-destruct at level 27 and Explosion at level 54 are moves it can use to deal damage for the last time before fainting. Flash can also be taught to make navigating Rock Tunnel easier if not planning on using the fourth moveslot.
Major Battles: Electrode performs decently against Sabrina, Koga, and Blaine with Thunderbolt, though it will struggle to sweep the latter two. It can take on Electric-weak Pokemon in the endgame, some of which can be found on Lorelei's team. It can also KO a dangerous foe with a well-timed Self-destruct or Explosion.
Additional Comments: Voltorb is a mostly-decent Pokemon as it can swiftly take out foes with STAB moves. However, it struggles against bulky Pokemon and is generally hardwalled by anything that resists Electric.

Vulpix
:rs/vulpix:
Availability: Mid-game (Route 8, levels 15-18) (LG).
Typing: Fire is only useful against Erika, not providing Vulpix with any other advantageous matchups. In fact, it is quite bad against Blaine and Lorelei.
Stats: Ninetales has mostly decent stats with particularly great Special Defense and Speed.
Movepool: Vulpix learns Flamethrower either via TMs or at level 35 if left unevolved. Outside of this, it can also be taught Sunny Day and Fire Blast to hit as hard as possible. Dig is also a possible coverage move to hit Fire-resistant Pokemon.
Major Battles: Ninetales sweeps Erika with either Ember or Flamethrower. It is decent against Koga, Sabrina, and Giovanni, though the latter two will require sun and (in the case of Giovanni) Fire Blast. It can take on some of the rival's Pokemon and performs decently against Agatha.
Additional Comments: It is recommended that you evolve Vulpix with a Fire Stone immediately and teach it Flamethrower via TMs instead of waiting to learn it by level, as Vulpix is very weak until then. Ninetales can afford to wait some time for Flamethrower, if needed, as Ember serves it well before Koga. As a whole, Ninetales is mostly a decent Pokemon that can spam Flamethrower, but the lack of Fire-weak major opponents after Erika and Ninetales's poor movepool impact its usefulness.
 
Last edited:

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
D-tier
The following Pokemon generally have more negative traits than positive, but are still able to perform well in a handful of matchups. These Pokemon, while bad, have enough power to be somewhat usable in matchups outside their positive ones.

Aerodactyl
:rs/aerodactyl:
Availability: Late-game (revive from Old Amber at Cinnabar Lab, level 5)
Typing: Rock / Flying is mostly helpful against Blaine, but typically doesn't grant it many advantages elsewhere.
Stats: Aerodactyl boasts an amazing 130 Speed, making it one of the fastest Pokemon in the game. On top of this, it has a very sizeable 105 Attack. However the rest of it stats are mediocre at best.
Movepool: Aerodactyl has a severe lack of diverse moves to utilize its 105 Attack and will primarily use Ancient Power, Rock Slide, Wing Attack, Fly, Steel Wing, Iron Tail, and Earthquake. This, however, is just enough for it to squeak by from when it comes in.
Major Battles: Aerodactyl sweeps reliably only Sabrina. It is unlikely to sweep other fights due to the possibility of being underleveled there, though it can take out a few Pokemon from most of the remaining opponents.
Additional Comments: Despite the great offensive stats, Aerodactyl is a rather inefficient choice for completing the games due to coming late and requiring a lot of investment to catch up in levels, which is only worsened by the Slow experience group. The Old Amber can be obtained in the backroom of the Pewter Museum of Science, though Cut will be required to reach it.

Cubone
:rs/cubone:
Availability: Mid-game (Pokemon Tower (3F), level 17 or 19).
Typing: Pure Ground-type gives Marowak an advantage against Blaine and Giovanni but make it weak to Erika and Lorelei.
Stats: Marowak has an above-average Attack, great physical bulk, and alright special bulk. However, it's really slow.
Movepool: Marowak learns Bone Club, Headbutt and Bonemerang by level up. Once available, the Earthquake TM should be taught because it's more accurate than Bonemerang. Rock Slide and Strength can also be taught for coverage.
Major Battles: Marowak will never be able to achieve a succesful sweep due to its low Speed. It can take down a few foes against Koga, Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni, but will never win by itself.
Additional Comments: Marowak is a mediocre Pokemon due to its really low Speed and Ground typing not being very useful at this point of the game. It's possible to find a Thick Club to double its Attack, but it's very time-consuming, as the item is found on wild Cubone only 5% of the time (which is worsened by its 9% encounter rate) and even then, Cubone will still struggle in many matchups due to the aforementioned Speed issues.

Diglett
:rs/diglett:
Availability: Early-game (Diglett's Cave, levels 15-22).
Typing: Ground typing gives Dugtrio advantages against Lt. Surge, Giovanni, Blaine, and Agatha, though it is weak to Misty, Erika, and Lorelei.
Stats: Diglett and Dugtrio are the classic "fragile speedster" archetype: Dugtrio has a blistering 120 base Speed and a decent 80 base Attack, though it is also one of the frailest Pokemon in the game with 35/50/70 defenses.
Movepool: Level 17 or higher Diglett start with Dig and Magnitude for STAB, with either upgrading to Earthquake at either level 51 or via TM around the same time. Dugtrio can learn Secret Power / Return and Aerial Ace via TMs to round out its moveset.
Major Battles: The line's biggest downfall. After a spectacular Lt. Surge matchup, Dugtrio fails to do anything significant to Erika and Koga—even the latter's Muk is shaky due to Minimize. Sabrina is okay for Dugtrio if you can roll Magnitude 8 or higher on most of her Pokemon. Dugtrio is decent for Blaine, but it must deal with double Intimidate and Fire Blast will do major damage back. From this point onward, Dugtrio falls off; any strong attack 2HKOes or even OHKOes it in the late-game, and it isn't useful against the Elite Four at all.
Additional Comments: A level 29 or 31 Dugtrio can be found at a 5% rate (easier with Repel and a level 23+ Pokémon), which can take on Misty's Starmie due to the level difference, although it is hard to catch. Despite having serviceable stats as Dugtrio, it is a terrible pick for the games because of Dugtrio's fragility and middling power unless hitting a weakness, which the prevalence of both Levitate and Intimidate on several boss rosters discourages, if not outright prevents entirely.

Dratini
:rs/dratini:
Availability: Mid-game (buy at Game Corner for 2800 (FR) or 4600 coins (LG), level 18 (FR) or 24 (LG)).
Typing: Offensively poor, offering no STAB for its main Water and Electric-type coverage moves. Defensively good with Electric, Water, Grass, and Fire-type resistances, which are particularly useful against Erika and Blaine, but with a sheer weakness to Lorelei.
Stats: Pitiful as a 300 BST Dratini. Throughout its useful life, Dragonair's low bulk and defenses often result in it being 2HKOed when dealt neutral damage in major battles. Its 84 Attack is its best offense, though it relies on the lower 70 Special Attack. Dragonite's stats are all-around great, on the other hand, assuming you manage to evolve Dragonair in time for the Elite Four.
Movepool: Terrible level-up moveset with only Dragon Rage having relevance. TMs like Water Pulse, Shock Wave, and Secret Power (which can upgrade to Return) are the best moves for immediate use and training. Surf along with the Thunderbolt and/or Ice Beam TMs are necessary for Dragonair to continue to be viable, though if Dratini was bought from the Game Corner, it won't have immediate access to the Game Corner TMs. Dragon Claw through TMs can help Dragonite OHKO Lance's Dragonair.
Major Battles: Struggles against most rival fights and Koga. It is capable of performing well against Sabrina (with Secret Power), Blaine (with Surf), and Bruno (if it knows Wing Attack as a Dragonite). The Elite Four overpowers Dragonair if it hasn't evolved. Other Gym Leader matchups can be improved with the Game Corner TMs.
Additional Comments: Dratini requires significant investment in order to be usable, such as numerous Rare Candies to evolve into Dragonite in time for the Elite Four to compensate for its Slow growth rate. In addition, the line is completely reliant on TMs like Shock Wave, Secret Power, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt to be viable, some of which won't be available to it immediately due to its cost at the Game Corner. Dratini can be caught at the Safari Zone with a Super Rod, but it is difficult to catch and thus not efficient either.

Ekans
:rs/ekans:
Availability: Early-game (Route 4 (post-Mt. Moon area), levels 6, 8, 10, or 12) (FR).
Typing: Poison is all-around unhelpful for Ekans, save for giving it resistances to a few opponents, such as Erika and Bruno.
Stats: Arbok has mostly average stats, which quickly fall off during the mid-game.
Movepool: Ekans's movepool before Bite at level 13 or the Dig and Secret Power TMs is more-or-less unusable. Glare at level 20 can provide help against Misty alongside Bite and Screech at level 28 allows Arbok to OHKO some bulkier foes. Hyper Beam through TMs is also a good option for a powerful nuke and Giga Drain lets it OHKO the various Rock / Ground Pokemon.
Major Battles: Arbok can beat Misty's Starmie with Bite and Glare and contribute to Lt. Surge with Dig. After this, Arbok pretty much relies on using Screech and then a physical move to KO anything, though Giga Drain lets it net a few OHKOs against Rock / Ground Pokemon.
Additional Comments: Ekans is terrible until evolution, which is further worsened by it potentially coming underleveled. In addition, Arbok is good only for a short amount of time, as its average stats cause it to be slow at KOing things later on.

Geodude (No Trade)
:rs/graveler:
Availability: Early-game (Mt. Moon (1F), levels 7-9).
Typing: Rock / Ground gives Golem an edge against Lt. Surge, Koga, and Blaine, while making it weak to Misty, Erika, Giovanni, Lorelei, and Bruno.
Stats: Graveler has an above-average Attack and good Defense. However, its stats are bad outside of them, being frail on the special side and really slow.
Movepool: By level, the Geodude line learns Defense Curl, Rock Throw, Magnitude, Self-destruct, Rollout, and Earthquake, most of which provide strong STAB moves. It doesn't need any TMs to function.
Major Battles: Graveler easily defeats Lt. Surge and does well against Koga. However, in other battles, Graveler tends to lose easily to super effective moves and will only take down a few foe at most, though Self-destruct can net a KO if needed.
Additional Comments: Graveler is a mostly mediocre that packs a few matchups under its belt without relying on TMs. However, its terrible stats tend to prevent it from dominating other matchups.

Grimer
:rs/grimer:
Availability: Late-game (Pokemon Mansion (1F-3F), level 28 (both games) or 30 (LG)).
Typing: Poison is all-around unhelpful for the remainder of the game, save for giving it a resistance to Bruno and Agatha.
Stats: Muk is all-around bulky with a great Attack, though it is rather slow.
Movepool: Muk starts out with Sludge, which upgrades to Sludge Bomb at level 47. Acid Armor at level 34 allows Muk to perform well against physical attackers. Giga Drain lets it OHKO the various Rock / Ground Pokemon in the endgame and Brick Break can be helpful against Lorelei. Other TMs like Thunderbolt and Flamethrower can also be used, but Muk generally doesn't make good use of them due to its poor Special Attack.
Major Battles: Muk can KO some of Sabrina and Giovanni's Pokemon, though it won't be sweeping any of them. It can set up Acid Armor on Bruno and easily sweep from there on. It can also contribute to Lorelei, though it will take out only a few Pokemon at best.
Additional Comments: Grimer comes late and its typing isn't particularly useful to make it strong enough to compensate the late arrival. LG players can also catch it directly as a Muk.

Jigglypuff
:rs/jigglypuff:
Availability: Early-game (Route 3, level 3, 5, or 7).
Typing: Normal gives Wigglytuff mostly neutral matchups, except against Bruno, who hits it super effectively.
Stats: Wigglytuff has great HP, but its other stats aren't particularly great, which means it cannot take full advantage of its wide movepool.
Movepool: Jigglypuff has no attacking moves until Pound at level 9. It can learn Rollout at level 19 if unevolved, which can combine with Defense Curl. The Mega Kick tutor and Secret Power TM provide it with strong STABs early on, which can upgrade to Return. Wigglytuff learns various special TMs, such as Psychic, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt, though they are typically only useful in the mid-game.
Major Battles: Wigglytuff can beat Misty with either Defense Curl + Rollout or Mega Kick, both of which suffer from accuracy issues. Wigglytuff easily sweeps Lt. Surge and can take on most of Sabrina's Pokemon. Its performance elsewhere is subpar, though the special TMs can improve some Gym Leader matchups.
Additional Comments: Outside of requiring a slight amount of switch grinding until it learns an attacking move, Jigglypuff is highly dependent on TMs to remain relevant throughout the game, only to fall off at the Pokemon League anyways. You can evolve Jigglypuff with a Moon Stone either after learning Pound or after learning Rollout. It is worth mentioning that Jigglypuff can level up fairly quickly later on thanks to the Fast experience group.

Kabuto
:rs/kabuto:
Availability: Late-game (revive from Dome Fossil at Cinnabar Lab, level 5).
Typing: Water / Rock helps Kabuto against Blaine, Giovanni and Lorelei, but makes it weak to Bruno.
Stats: Kabutops has great Attack, good Defense, and above-average Speed. Its Special Attack and Defense are average, though.
Movepool: Kabuto should be taught Rock Slide and Surf when obtained as they are its strongest STAB moves. Rain Dance is another good move that boosts Surf's power and activates Swift Swim.
Major Battles: Kabutops wins against Blaine and Giovanni and does really well against Sabrina. Against the Elite Four, it performs well against Lorelei and Agatha but won't do much outside of these battles.
Additional Comments: Despite its mostly good performance, Kabuto is barely worth using, because it comes late and at a really low level, thus catching up in levels will be difficult. This is further worsened by the Slow experience group, which makes catching up even longer.

Kangaskhan
:rs/kangaskhan:
Availability: Mid-game (Safari Zone (Area 1), level 25).
Typing: Normal is neutral almost everywhere, save for Bruno, where it's bad.
Stats: Kangaskhan has all-around decent stats, save for a poor Special Attack.
Movepool: Kangaskhan can be taught Strength, Hyper Beam, and Surf immediately, with Return also being an option later on. Shadow Ball can also be used if desiring a good Agatha matchup.
Major Battles: Kangaskhan performs well against all Gym Leaders, sweeping Erika with Hyper Beam and Sabrina. It is decent against most of the Elite Four, though it won't sweep any of them.
Additional Comments: Kangaskhan is a great Pokemon, but the sheer annoyance of finding it (4% encounter rate) and catching it hold it back significantly.

Koffing
:rs/koffing:
Availability: Late-game (Pokemon Mansion (1F-3F), level 28 (both games) or 30 (FR)).
Typing: Poison is all-around unhelpful for the remainder of the game, save for giving it a resistance to Bruno and Agatha.
Stats: Weezing is physically bulky and has decent offensive, though its other stats are poor.
Movepool: Koffing starts out with Sludge and can be taught various TMs for coverage, such as Thunderbolt, Thunder + Rain Dance, Flamethrower, and Fire Blast. Explosion and Destiny Bond at levels 44 and 51 are very fringe options that can allow Weezing to take something down before it faints itself.
Major Battles: Koffing is generally limited to taking out only some of each major opponent's teams and will never sweep consistently. Furthermore, it is fairly useless against Agatha and Lance, both of who can withstand its attacks with little difficulty.
Additional Comments: Koffing comes late and its typing isn't particularly useful to make it strong enough to compensate the late arrival. FR players can also catch it directly as a Weezing.

Machop (No Trade)
:rs/machoke:
Availability: Mid-game (Rock Tunnel (1F), level 16 or 17).
Typing: Fighting is resisted throughout the entire region, most notably Erika, Koga, Agatha, and Sabrina. On the other hand, though, it provides Machoke with a great matchup against Lorelei.
Stats: Outside of a good Attack, Machoke has all-around poor stats, which impact its usefulness in all of its matchups.
Movepool: Machop should be taught the Brick Break TM and Rock Slide tutor immediately. It can also be taught Bulk Up for setup and Strength as coverage.
Major Battles: Machoke will struggle to sweep any fight consistently, as it requires setup to achieve OHKOs. However, its poor bulk and Speed mean that setting up will be very hard without taking too much damage. Guts can be helpful to hit harder against Erika and Koga, though.
Additional Comments: Due to all-around poor stats and the need to setup, Machoke is mostly inefficient and thus fails to sweep consistently.

Magmar
:rs/magmar:
Availability: Late-game (Mt. Ember, level 38 or 40) (LG).
Typing: Fire is all-around unhelpful due to hitting almost nothing super effectively and leaving Magmar weak to Giovanni and Lorelei.
Stats: Magmar has decent Speed and offensive stats, but is rather frail.
Movepool: Magmar comes with Fire Punch, which upgrades to Flamethrower shortly after, and Sunny Day upon capture. It can also learn various coverage moves through TMs, such as Brick Break, Strength, and Psychic.
Major Battles: Magmar is good for Sabrina, Giovanni, and the Route 22 rival fight. It is typically unhelpful at the Elite Four, though its coverage moves can help it achieve some KOs against Lorelei and Agatha.
Additional Comments: Magmar comes late and requires going out of your way to get it at the Sevii Islands. On top of this, its performance is shaky with only a few good matchups.

Moltres
:rs/moltres:
Availability: Late-game (Mt. Ember, level 50).
Typing: Fire / Flying is all-around unhelpful, as it hits very few Pokemon super effectively and gives it a 4x weakness to the various Rock moves in the endgame, as well as a weakness to Lorelei.
Stats: Moltres has all-around high stats that are further improved by a high join level.
Movepool: Moltres comes with Flamethrower and can be taught Sunny Day to increase its damage output and Fire Blast for a stronger STAB move. Fly through HM provides Flying STAB.
Major Battles: Moltres sweeps Sabrina and can take on the Route 22 rival fight, Giovanni, and Agatha. It is rather unhelpful against the rest of the Elite Four, only taking out a member or two before fainting.
Additional Comments: Despite the great stats and high join level, Moltres has an unhelpful typing and requires going out of your way to Sevii Islands in order to obtain it. Combined with the fact that it also comes very late into the game, Moltres's great qualities are outshined significantly by its numerous flaws.

Omanyte
:rs/omanyte:
Availability: Late-game (revive from Dome Fossil at Cinnabar Lab, level 5).
Typing: Water / Rock typing helps Kabuto against Blaine and Giovanni but makes it weak to Bruno.
Stats: Omastar has a really high Special Attack and great Defense. However, it's slow and has average Special bulk.
Movepool: Omastar should be taught the Surf HM and Rain Dance TM when caught. The Ice Beam TM is also useful and improves its matchup against Lance. Rock Slide through tutors is also an option to give it a Rock STAB move.
Major Battles: Omastar wins against Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni. Against the Elite Four, it performs well against Agatha and Champion, has an alright performance against Lance, but won't do much in other battles.
Additional Comments: In spite of its above-average performance, Omanyte is barely worth using, because it comes late and at a really low level, thus catching up in levels will be difficult. This is further worsened by its Slow growth rate, making catching up even more difficult. Swift Swim is an helpful ability to outspeed Pokemon and Omanyte can use Rain Dance to activate it and boost its Water moves.

Paras
:rs/Paras:
Availability: Early-game (Mt. Moon (B2F), level 10 or 12).
Typing: Paras's Grass / Bug typing helps against Misty, Surge, and Giovanni but is terrible almost everywhere else.
Stats: Parasect has a good Attack. However, it's extremly slow and has a low Special Attack.
Movepool: By level up, Parasect learns Spore at level 27. The Bullet Seed, Return, Aerial Ace, Giga Drain, and Dig are other TMs that can be taught to Paras.
Major Battles: Parasect wins against Misty and Surge and performs well against Giovanni. However, in most other important battles, Parasect won't be able to do much and will barely net more than two KOs.
Additional Comments: In spite of its early arrival, access to Spore, and great performance against Misty and Surge, Parasect is a mostly terrible Pokemon outside of few select matchups due to its typing and bad stats. It's also a hassle to train due to its low Speed and many weaknesses.

Pidgey
:rs/pidgey:
Availability: Early-game (Route 1, levels 2-5).
Typing: Normal / Flying is only useful for Erika and some of Bruno's Pokemon, being particularly bad for Brock, Lt. Surge, and Lorelei.
Stats: The line's stats before fully evolving are mediocre, which makes even type advantageous matchups difficult. Furthermore, by the time it evolves fully, its stats will have fallen off and thus won't be that useful either.
Movepool: Pidgey starts out with Gust, which upgrades to Wing Attack and Fly. Pidgeotto uses Tackle, then Secret Power, then Return. Other useful moves include Hyper Beam, Steel Wing, and Featherdance.
Major Battles: Pidgey won't be useful in any fight till it fully evolves, only being somewhat helpful against Erika. Pidgeot sweeps Sabrina and can KO some of the weaker Pokemon from the other opponents' teams, but will rarely achieve significant victories.
Additional Comments: Despite the very early arrival, Pidgey's average stats throughout the game and poor movepool make it a rather mediocre Pokemon as a whole.

Ponyta
:rs/ponyta:
Availability: Late-game (Kindle Road, level 31 or 34).
Typing: Fire typing is all-around unhelpful, as it hits almost nothing super effectively and leaves Ponyta weak to Giovanni and Lorelei.
Stats: Rapidash is fast and has decent offensive stats, though it is rather frail.
Movepool: Rapidash can be taught Flamethrower or Fire Blast through TMs alongside the Sunny Day TM to boost their power. It can also be taught addtional coverage, such as Strength and Solar Beam through TMs.
Major Battles: Rapidash is good for Sabrina and Giovanni and can take out a few Pokemon in the Route 22 rival fight. Rapidash is typically unhelpful against the Elite Four, as it will be quickly overwhelmed before it can make an impact there.
Additional Comments: Ponyta comes late and requires going out of your way to get it at the Sevii Islands. In addition, its Fire typing is unhelpful and provides it with no notorious advantages to make up for that. Ponyta can also be caught directly as a Rapidash.

Rhyhorn
:rs/rhyhorn:
Availability: Mid-game (Safari Zone (Area 2), level 26).
Typing: Rock / Ground makes Rhyhorn useful for Koga, Blaine, and Agatha, though it tends to be subpar elsewhere.
Stats: Rhydon has excellent HP, Attack, and Defense, though its other stats are very bad.
Movepool: Rhyhorn can be taught Dig, Rock Slide, and Strength immediately, the former upgrading to Earthquake via TMs. Rhydon rarely uses its fourth moveslot, so it can be taught Surf for HM utility.
Major Battles: Rhydon can sweep Koga and performs decently against Sabrina and Blaine. It struggles against Giovanni, as Earthquake discourages the use of Dig. Rhydon can take on some of Bruno and Agatha's Pokemon, but will likely take out only a few Pokemon.
Additional Comments: Rhyhorn is fairly weak until it evolves into Rhydon, which is worsened by its late evolution and Slow growth rate. Even as a Rhydon, it only has a few good matchups and is subpar in others.

Sandshrew
:rs/sandshrew:
Availability: Early-game (Route 4 (post-Mt. Moon area), levels 6, 8, 10, or 12) (LG).
Typing: Ground is helpful against Lt. Surge and Blaine, though it makes Sandslash weak to Erika and Lorelei.
Stats: Sandslash has good Attack and Defense, though its other stats are rather poor.
Movepool: Sandshrew's movepool before the Dig and Secret Power TMs is more-or-less unusable. Sandslash doesn't learn a lot of other useful moves, outside of Brick Break, Strength, and Earthquake via TMs.
Major Battles: Sandslash sweeps Lt. Surge easily and contributes to Sabrina, Lorelei, and Bruno. It is typicaly unhelpful elsewhere, as it is hit hard by special attacks or it simply doesn't KO the foes fast enough.
Additional Comments: Sandshrew is terrible until evolution, which is further worsened by it potentially coming underleveled. In addition, Sandslash is good only for a short amount of time, as its movepool is poor and Sandslash isn't powerful enough to take full advantage of coverage moves.

Tangela
:rs/tangela:
Availability: Late-game (Route 21, levels 18-27).
Typing: Grass is only helpful against Giovanni and Lorelei and mostly bad elsewhere.
Stats: Tangela has great Defense and Special Attack, but its other stats are all-around poor.
Movepool: Tangela can be taught Solar Beam and Sunny Day immediately, which are aided by Growth. Sleep Powder is a starting move for all Tangela that are lower than level 22.
Major Battles: Tangela generally puts a foe to sleep and sets up Growth until it is ready to sweep with Sunny Day and Solar Beam. This strategy, however, is effective only against Sabrina, Lorelei, and Bruno, for most parts, being bad elsewhere. In addition, Tangela can also sweep Giovanni without Sleep Powder.
Additional Comments: Tangela is mostly a hassle to use due to requiring extensive setup to sweep most its only few good matchups. You can also obtain a Tangela by trading a Venonat at the Cinnabar Lab, but it won't have Sleep Powder, as Venonat doesn't come underleveled enough anywhere, forcing you to go to the Sevii Islands to relearn it. The traded Tangela, TANGENY, comes with an IV spread of 22/17/25/16/23/20 and a Sassy nature.

Tauros
:rs/tauros:
Availability: Mid-game (Safari Zone (Area 3), level 25).
Typing: Normal is neutral almost everywhere, save for Bruno, where it's bad.
Stats: Tauros has all-around decent stats, save for a poor Special Attack.
Movepool: Tauros can be taught Strength, Hyper Beam, and Surf immediately, with Return also being an option later on. It also learns various coverage moves, such as Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Ice Beam, but it will rarely use them.
Major Battles: Tauros performs well against all Gym Leaders, sweeping Erika with Hyper Beam and Sabrina. It is decent against Lorelei and Bruno, though it won't sweep any of them.
Additional Comments: Tauros is a great Pokemon, but the sheer annoyance of finding it (4% encounter rate) and catching it hold it back significantly. It also levels up slowly, so it will be annoying to keep up in levels.

Weedle
:rs/weedle:
Availability: Early-game (Viridian Forest, level 3-5).
Typing: Bug / Poison typing helps Beedrill against Misty and Erika, but is otherwise terrible almost everywhere else.
Stats: Beedril has an above-average Attack, Special Defense, and Speed for the early portions of the game. However, its other stats are really low and its stats fall off quickly into the mid-game
Movepool: Beedrill learns Twineedle at level 20. Giga Drain, Secret Power, and Brick Break TM can also be taught for additional coverage.
Major Battles: Beedrill wins against Misty, Lt. Surge, and Erika. However, its performance is mostly bad afterwards and won't be able to contribute much.
Additional Comments: In spite of its early arrival and alright early to mid-game performance, Beedrill is a mostly mediocre Pokemon due to its bad stats and typing, which stop being useful after Erika.

Zubat
:rs/zubat:
Availability: Early-game (Mt. Moon (1F), levels 6-10).
Typing: Flying / Poison gives Golbat an edge against Erika, Giovanni, and Bruno but makes it weak to Lt. Surge, Sabrina, and Lorelei.
Stats: Golbat has mostly average stats, outside of its good Speed and alright Attack.
Movepool: Zubat learns Bite at level 16 and Wing Attack at level 21. Giga Drain can be taught to help against the Rock / Ground Pokemon. Shadow Ball can also be used to improve the Agatha matchup a bit. Before learning Bite, Zubat has only Leech Life, making it particularly difficult to use effectively.
Major Battles: Golbat wins against Misty, Erika, and Giovanni, while doing alright against Sabrina. In other matchups, it tends to struggle and won't be able to achieve much.
Additional Comments: Despite Golbat being good for a few key fights, it's generally an inefficient Pokemon to use due to its average stats, which fall off fairly quickly, and because it's difficult to train with only Leech Life until it learns Bite.
 
Last edited:

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
E-tier
The following Pokemon are considered the least efficient options for completing the games. They have little-to-no good matchups or they do not perform well enough to justify their inconvenient availability.

Chansey
:rs/chansey:
Availability: Mid-game (Safari Zone (Area 2), level 26).
Typing: Normal makes all matchups all-around neutral, save for Bruno, whose Pokemon hit Chansey super effectively.
Stats: Chansey can wall pretty much every special attacker through its titanic HP and Special Defense. Unfortunately, its other stats are very poor, especially its Attack and Defense, which happen to be the lowest in the game.
Movepool: Chansey's viable movepool comes exclusively from TMs. It learns a variety of special moves such as Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Blizzard, Fire Blast, Flamethrower, and Psychic. Calm Mind is also greaty appreciated in order to boost Chansey's damage output. Soft-boiled and Sing are the only notable level-up moves, with the former allowing Chansey to heal its teammates in the overworld.
Major Battles: Chansey will generally require many Calm Mind boosts to OHKO and 2HKO its opponents. It will also need healing when facing major opponents with mostly physical attackers, as those will wear Chansey down quickly, if not outright overwhelm it. Chansey can potentially fish for freezes with Ice Beam and Blizzard if its ability is Serene Grace, as the ability gives them a 20% chance of freezing the foe.
Additional Comments: Outside of being very difficult to encounter (4% encounter rate) and catch, Chansey requires numerous resources, such as TMs and healing items, to function properly and either takes a lot of time to sweep even with Calm Mind or outright loses regardless of the investment provided to it. This makes Chansey all-around a wildly inefficient Pokemon to use.

Ditto
:rs/ditto:
Availability: Mid-game (Route 13, level 25).
Typing: Normal typing makes Ditto take neutral damage from most attacks it will face before transforming.
Stats: Ditto's stats before transformation are poor; it will likely be outsped and hit hard before it transforms, which severely limits its usefulness afterwards. After transforming, Ditto also retains its poor HP, making it rather easy to wear down.
Movepool: Transform then the moveset of whatever it transformed into.
Major Battles: Ditto is generally best off transforming into the ace Pokemon of the opponent it is facing to hopefully be able to clear out the remaining Pokemon. Even if it does transform successfully, Ditto is still generally terrible in all major fights and is unlikely to accomplish any significant achievements.
Additional Comments: Ditto is by far the single worst Pokemon you can possibly use in FRLG, as it is simply too inconsistent to use. Wild Ditto hold Metal Powder 5% of the time, which can help Ditto take less damage before transforming.

Lickitung
:rs/lickitung:
Availability: Mid-game (trade Golduck (FR) or Slowbro (LG) at the Route 18 gate).
Typing: Normal is all-around neutral against all matchups, except Bruno, where the typing is bad.
Stats: Lickitung is decently bulky, but its offensive stats and Speed are mediocre.
Movepool: Lickitung can be taught Strength immediately to provide it with a good STAB move. It learns a variety of special moves, such as Surf, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam, but it makes poor use of them due to its low Special Attack. Return can be optionally taught, but if Lickitung is obtained at a high level, it is unlikely to become more powerful than Strength.
Major Battles: Lickitung is generally limited to KOing the weaker members of the major opponent it's facing, thus it is not capable of sweeping any fight consistently. Against the Elite Four, Lickitung will end up being mostly a deadweight, as it will struggle to KO even their weakest Pokemon.
Additional Comments: Despite the trade experience boost, Lickitung is all-around a terrible choice for an efficient run, as it not only performs terribly, but also because getting Slowbro or Golduck requires a lot of investment if you want to use Lickitung as soon as possible. This can be circumvented by first beating Koga and then catching high-leveled Slowpoke or Psyduck with Surf, though it means Lickitung comes later. The traded Lickitung, MARC, has Own Tempo as an ability and an IV spread of 24/19/21/15/23/21.

Onix
:rs/onix:
Availability: Mid-game (Rock Tunnel (B1F), levels 13, 15, or 17).
Typing: Rock / Ground makes Onix incredibly useful against Lt. Surge and can help it against Koga and Blaine. However, it is typically mediocre at best in other matchups.
Stats: Onix has a great Speed, but it has incredibly low offensive stats, which quickly fall off in the mid-game. In addition, its high Defense is counterbalanced by poor HP and Special Defense.
Movepool: Onix can be taught Dig through TMs, which upgrades to Earthquake, and Rock Slide through tutors. Onix also comes with Screech, which can help it KO some bulkier Pokemon. Strength through HM is also an option for additional coverage.
Major Battles: Onix's only good matchup whatsoever is Lt. Surge, assuming you go out of your way to obtain it before facing him. Onix is typically mediocre in other fights, including ones where it has a type advantage, as its poor Attack means it will take forever to KO the foe and its poor special bulk means that it can be overwhelmed fairly quickly.
Additional Comments: Due to its poor offensive stats and special bulk, Onix is all-around an inefficient Pokemon to use that also requires a sidetrack in order to participate in its only good matchup.

Porygon
:rs/porygon:
Availability: Mid-game (buy at Game Corner for 9999 (FR) or 6666 (LG) coins, level 26 (FR) or 18 (LG)).
Typing: Normal gives Porygon all-around neutral matchups, save for Bruno, against whom it is bad.
Stats: Porygon's only somewhat decent stat is its 85 Special Attack, with its other stats being rather poor.
Movepool: Porygon requires TMs in order to perform well, such as Psychic, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt. However, the latter two are unlikely to be available to it immediately due to Porygon costing too many coins in both games. Porygon's strongest STAB moves are Tri Attack at level 36 and Return through TMs.
Major Battles: Porygon can perform well against Erika, Koga, and Giovanni if it can hit them super effectively. It can also take on most of Sabrina's Pokemon with STAB moves. Porygon tends to be bad against the Elite Four, as the Pokemon there are simply too bulky for it and thus can withstand even super effective hits.
Additional Comments: Although Porygon is not entirely useless, it simply requires too much investment between buying it and requiring TMs (some of which also have to be bought from the Game Corner) in order to perform acceptably.


Untiered
The following Pokemon are in the Kanto Pokedex, but cannot be tiered, as they can be obtained only after becoming a Champion or are available only through events.

Mew
:rs/mew:

Mewtwo
:rs/mewtwo:
 
Last edited:

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
small update: I added a hyperlink to the RBY tier list. When we get to publishing, I (or someone else if I am not available) will also submit an edit for the RBY list to include a link to this article.

I am posting mostly to make sure it's not a problem to have them link to each other (since I personally think it makes a lot of sense to have both articles link to each other).
 

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