Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen In-Game Tier List

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
(approved by DHR-107. This thread is a continuation of this project)

Welcome to the Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen in-game tier list! The goal of this list is to tier every Pokemon available in FRLG under one of the six tiers, ranging from S-tier, the highest one, and E-tier, the lowest one. The main factor under each Pokemon is tiered is called efficiency. A Pokemon that is efficient provides faster and easier solutions to major fights, which include Gym Leaders, Elite Four members, and rival fights, than ones that are considered inefficient. Thus, Pokemon in higher tiers, such as S and A, are considered very efficient, while ones in lower tiers, such as D and E, are not considered very efficient.

What are the tiers?
This list is using 6 tiers:
  • S-tier
  • A-tier
  • B-tier
  • C-tier
  • D-tier
  • E-tier
Why is a Pokemon a certain tier?
There are 6 factors that determine a Pokemon's tier in this list:
  • Availability - This is how early a Pokemon becomes available and how hard it is to encounter and catch (read: encounter and catch rate). Pokemon that come early and are easy to find and catch tend to rank higher.

  • Typing - A Pokemon's typing can be a crucial factor that determines its performance for the game. Pokemon with better typing (as in, that gives it better matchups) tend to rank 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? Pokemon whose stats favor its typing and movepool tend to rank higher.

  • Movepool - Movepool primarily consists of a Pokemon's level-up, TM, and tutor learnset. Pokemon that learn good moves that complement their stats and typing early tend to rank higher. Reliance on Game Corner TMs, especially if a Pokemon needs more than one, may be penalized, depending on the nature of the dependance.

  • Major Battles- Refers to the Pokemon's performance. If a Pokemon has good stats, movepool, and typing, it will likely perform well in more matchups and thus rank higher. This is the absolute unit for tiering, so even if a Pokemon has good movepool and typing, it won't be ranked high unless it actually performs well with those attributes.
    • You are free to not bother with the first two Giovanni fights, as they are, in my opinion, very inconsequential. In addition, you can skip most of the rival fights, as the first ones are relatively easy and the Pokemon that perform well against him in the later fights tend to perform well elsewhere, so you can draw conclusions from there.
  • Other factors - Anything else not covered above, like abilities and experience groups, can affect a Pokemon's rank, both positively and negatively.
Other things to keep in mind:

Trading
Trading for this list is considered only for the purposes of evolving Pokemon (like Kadabra and Graveler) and not to receive outside help. In order to accomodate to players that do not have access to trading, Pokemon that evolve by trade will get a Trade and a No Trade ranking.
  • If a trade and a no trade evolution end up in the same tier and perform similarly enough, they will be merged in one rank to reduce clutter. If there are any notable differences, those can be mentioned in the write-up.
We tier each Pokemon individually
The list treats each Pokemon as if the reader has already decided to use it and thus wants to see how it's going to perform. This means that we won't penalize a Pokemon for being worse than another one. For example, Pidgey is not going to be E-tier because Spearow is better. If two Pokemon deserve to be the same tier, they will be the same tier. Similarly, there is no "opportunity cost" when faced with a choice between some Pokemon; for example, Charmander is not going to be ranked lower because it prevents you from using the better Bulbasaur or Squirtle.
  • Comparing Pokemon to make a point clear is fine. Basing a Pokemon's tier off another Pokemon's performance is what you really should be avoiding.
Level Cap
When testing, it is preferred that you stick to the ace's level (where reasonable) or as close as possible to it when that's not possible. A level or two above the ace's level is acceptable, especially if there's a good reason behind this (e.g. evolution/new important move, etc.), but more than that is to be avoided. You are free to use the Vs. Seeker if you want to level match, though I encourage you to be transparent when using it.

For the Elite Four, 50-54 is generally acceptable by the time you reach it, assuming you use Rare Candies (of which around 10 can be found across the region).

Team size
List assumes that a run is done with 4-5 Pokemon. However, you are free to run with as many Pokemon as you want, as long as you both follow the level cap and aren't horribly underleveled when you shouldn't be.

Non-Kanto evolutions
Because the game physically prevents you from evolving beyond Generation 1 (e.g. Chansey -> Blissey), those won't be considered for the purposes of the list.

X-Items
X-Items are banned and will not be considered. I'd like to get a "purer" view of the Pokemon, rather than assume it's being given some support.

Sequence breaking
In FRLG, you have some freedom in regards to how you complete it. In particular, you can do Lt. Surge, Erika, Koga, and Sabrina in any order you want. In addition, Blaine can be fought as soon as Koga is defeated. Finally, you can get some Pokemon around Vermillion before fighting Misty.

For the purposes of this list, sequence breaking is allowed, but there are a few things to note:

- Lt. Surge and Erika are tested under comparable levels and we won't consider significant overleveling here. Thus, Onix is not going to be B-tier cause it can sweep Erika at level 40. Furthermore, if a Pokemon comes way too out of the way for Lt. Surge/Erika, it may not be taken into account (so we won't consider Aerodactyl against Lt. Surge, for example)

- We will penalize a Pokemon if it's difficult to obtain as early as possible, e.g. because you have to face Koga or Blaine very underleveled. Alternatively, you can catch them later, thus skipping some fights, but making Koga/Blaine more manageable for the teammates.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
what the asterisks mean:

** - Pokemon needs more discussion before a consensus can be reached
* - Pokemon mostly has a consensus, but I am leaving it open for possible contesting or I want to give myself some time to use it. In the latter's case, I may also just remove the asterisk if I decide I am not gonna run with the Pokemon

if a Pokemon doesn't have an asterisk, I consider this a well-established consensus that I agree with and thus am not looking to change its rank. It won't be impossible, but you need some good arguments to change those.

S-tier
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: Abra
- :jynx: Jynx
- :mr. mime: Mr. Mime


A-tier
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: Clefairy
- :vaporeon: Eevee (Vaporeon)
- :gengar: Gastly (Trade)
- :mankey: Mankey
- :nidoran-m: Nidoran-M
- :snorlax: Snorlax
- :squirtle: Squirtle
- :staryu: Staryu


B-tier
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: Articuno
- :bulbasaur: Bulbasaur
- :charmander: Charmander
- :doduo: Doduo
- :exeggcute: Exeggcute
- :haunter: Gastly (No Trade)
- :growlithe: Growlithe*
- :hitmonlee: Hitmonlee**
- :psyduck: Psyduck*
- :lapras: Lapras
- :machamp: Machop (Trade)*
- :magikarp: Magikarp
- :nidoran-f: Nidoran-F
- :slowpoke: Slowpoke*
- :spearow: Spearow
- :tentacool: Tentacool**
- :zapdos: Zapdos
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a 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: Bellsprout
- :caterpie: Caterpie
- :dratini: Dratini**
- :drowzee: Drowzee*
- :flareon: Eevee (Flareon)
- :golem: Geodude (Trade)*
- :jolteon: Eevee (Jolteon)
- :electabuzz: Electabuzz
- :farfetchd: Farfetch'd
- :goldeen: Goldeen
- :hitmonchan: Hitmonchan
- :horsea: Horsea
- :krabby: Krabby
- :magnemite: Magnemite
- :meowth: Meowth
- :oddish: Oddish
- :pikachu: Pikachu*
- :pinsir: Pinsir
- :poliwag: Poliwag
- :rattata: Rattata
- :scyther: Scyther
- :seel: Seel
- :shellder: Shellder
- :venonat: Venonat
- :voltorb: Voltorb
- :vulpix: Vulpix


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: Aerodactyl
- :cubone: Cubone
- :diglett: Diglett
- :ekans: Ekans
- :graveler: Geodude (No Trade)
- :grimer: Grimer
- :jigglypuff: Jigglypuff
- :kabuto: Kabuto
- :kangaskhan: Kangaskhan
- :koffing: Koffing
- :machoke: Machop (No Trade)
- :magmar: Magmar
- :moltres: Moltres
- :omanyte: Omanyte
- :paras: Paras
- :pidgey: Pidgey
- :ponyta: Ponyta
- :rhyhorn: Rhyhorn
- :sandshrew: Sandshrew
- :tangela: Tangela
- :tauros: Tauros
- :weedle: Weedle
- :zubat: Zubat


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: Chansey
- :ditto: Ditto
- :lickitung: Lickitung
- :onix: Onix
- :porygon: Porygon


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

- :mew: Mew
- :mewtwo: Mewtwo


Keep in mind that the tier descriptions are only a rough outline of what the reader can expect to see in the tier and are there for their assistance. You are not supposed to strictly tier per those definitions, as they are simplified for the purposes of user experience.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
here are the tiering changes I applied from when I went over the thread

Abra (No Trade) A -> S (merged with Trade)
Farfetch'd D -> C
Geodude (No Trade) C -> D
Machop (No Trade) C -> D
Electabuzz B -> C
Magnemite B -> C
Seel D -> C
Sandshrew C -> D

Abra
Kadabra is more-or-less similar to Alakazam. Comes early, is a busted Psychic-type, and can sweep most fights with a few Calm Minds. It's a bit worse against opponents like Lance, but Kadabra is good enough for S-tier and most people on the old thread supported this

Farfetch'd
This had a lot of support for C-tier, including from me. While it sucks later on, it contributes well in the earlier portions of the game and being an HM slave at the same time as a battler is really nice, so I decided to push it to C-tier.

Graveler
I can attest to Graveler being terrible. It's got a nice Lt. Surge matchup, but it becomes pretty bad afterwards. It's slow and lacks in special bulk, which means that the later opponents can easily overwhelm it. D-tier seems right and has been suggested in the old thread

Machoke
Machoke is also terrible and this has been suggested in the previous thread. Its severely lacking in power, compared to Machamp, and has a hard time setting up due to overall lackluster stats, so D-tier sounds fine.

Electabuzz
I dropped this to C because it comes too late and isn't the most powerful thing. It gets natural Thunder Punch, meaning you don't need to TM it Thunderbolt, but you want to do that at some point. It also gets access to actual coverage, more specifically Brick Break and Psychic, so it can get past the usual Electric checks. Nevertheless, though, it comes late and doesn't have the power to justify B-tier

Magnemite
Like Electabuzz, this comes late. While its Thunderbolts are powerful, this thing basically has no coverage and thus struggles against anything that resists Electric. I don't think it's useful enough to justify B-tier, so it's C-tier for now

Seel
Seel's only disadvantage compared to the other Water-types is coming after Koga. However, it performs similarly enough where it can be tiered alongside them. However, it also gets Ice STAB, making its matchup against Lance much better. There isn't much of a difference between it and other Water-types, so I pushed this to C-tier

Sandshrew
Sandshrew is, bluntly put, garbage till it gets Dig. You cannot use it on the Nugget Bridge efficiently and Sandslash isn't the best thing either, with how weak Dig is this generation. It has some good matchups, but they aren't by far a lot and the bad Sandshrew period is just too much for it, which is why Sandshrew was put in D-tier.


For the Pokemon with two stars, here's the reason why they need more discussion:

Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Mankey - Mankey cannot be lower than Hitmonlee, imo, because it performs comparably, if not, better due to earlier contributions. Hitmonchan being two tiers below Hitmonlee is way too harsh given their similarities. I will make a separate post about Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee later

Gengar and Haunter - B and C are too low for them given how easy they are to train and how much they trivialize the game with Psychic / Thunderbolt. Gengar's performance is comparable to Staryu's. I will make a separate post about Gengar later on.

Golem - possible drop to C-tier, I am a bit conflicted here, so more input is needed.

Pikachu - beyond natural Thunderbolt, I don't see what this has over other Electric-types, which are performing comparably, because Pikachu's earlier contributions aren't really... great (the most notable one I can think of is paralyzing Starmie)

Tentacool - don't see what this has over other Water-types, given Giga Drain is weak and has only 5 PP. I want to use this myself for sure before I leave it in B-tier

Cubone - it's powerful if you can find a Thick Club (inefficient but busted), but I am a bit conflicted here, so more input is needed

Diglett - most likely D-tier, want to see more input on it

Dratini - getting it to lvel 55 with a Slow growth rate isn't really fun, much less getting one on first place. I think D-tier is plausible, but I want to see if I can be convinced of C-tier

Tangela - reading Texas's logs, this seems more like a D-tier. It gets stonewalled in half of its remaining matchups and needs quite the amount of set up or sleep in the ones where it doesn't outright suck, so I want some more input here

Rattata - I think D-tier is too low, recent run indicates C-tier as possible, so would like more discussion here

Scyther - someone argued for C-tier, though I am not fully convinced yet, as I remember Scyther being really bad, may have to use it again

Vulpix - I feel like D-tier might be too low, I'd like to use it myself before leaving it there.

Kabuto - never used it, so more input is needed here


I will go over the other Pokemon at a later point (like explain what I think of the Pokemon and why I am fine with their tiers), for now, you can focus on those above
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
I'd like to use Aero first before I do anything with it, that's why I haven't put it up for discussion, since I know there's support for it.

The run with it is mostly to see what makes it C-tier, since (unpopular opinion) I don't see C-tier *just yet*, since I personally don't like huge investments in late mons (level 5 + Slow growth rate isn't fun). Once I am done with an Aero run, I will look into moving it to C-tier (though Omanyte may have a case for C-tier too in this case).
 
Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Mankey - Mankey cannot be lower than Hitmonlee, imo, because it performs comparably, if not, better due to earlier contributions. Hitmonchan being two tiers below Hitmonlee is way too harsh given their similarities. I will make a separate post about Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee later
I wrote here about Mankey. I think with a solid test it will prove to be A tier alongside Hitmonlee. An endgame move set of Cross Chop, Brick Break, Bulk Up and Rock Slide has good coverage, moderate cost, and is well paced. Mankey has excellent pacing (early Brick Break is huge) and the abundance of Rock and Normal types in Kanto give it good matchups. The plethora of Poison types is the only big negative I would count against it.

Hope to see it move up one of these days.
 
My last playthrough was already like half a year ago so I'll not go too deep into the specifics, just mentioning my picks that are still up to debate in the current tier list:

Charmander: I consider the fan favorite fire lizard to be A-tier material, if only just very barely. It’s really hard to argue about it being that good with the current definitions as to what makes an A-tier pick. It’s just fast, powerful and spams Flamethrower. While it is only good and not great early, once you get Flamethrower you literally burn through your enemies with great efficiency, even more so if you invest into the Charcoal after beating Erika. This game may be the best one to activate Blaze and just spam Flamethrower. It sounds stupid, but it works. The flying coverage isn’t anything to write home about, but having something to use Fly on is nice and it certainly helps to have some super effective hits on fighting types. It gets some good moves by TM like Brick Break and especially the noteworthy Earthquake later which are yet again very spammable attacks against lots of enemies in these games. I even used Blast Burn very late into the game, just to have a method to one-hit enemies which I don’t have any super effective coverage against and that still worked fine in Blaze.


Mankey: I strongly agree on the frequent mentions of Mankey being a solid A-tier choice. It was almost always a staple member of multiple playthrough of mine and the early availability, ability to boost itself, good movepool and 2nd best STAB to use in Kanto certainly makes it a very solid and also a very safe pick in what is essentially normal type, the game. The evolution happens a bit before it would likely start to slightly feel weaker, so that is also timed very nicely. Its progression feels very smooth, no up and downs at all. Even its ability to not be put to sleep came in handy in both of my playthrough a few times. The only thing Mankey wants is slightly higher stats, but that’s really the only bad thing I can say about it. It will lose some power very late into the game, but it is not too noteworthy to overshadow its early and mid-game usefulness at all. Make sure to use Thief in the double battle against Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan on Route 15 to get yourself a Black Belt as it helps keeping its power sufficient very late into the game.

Snorlax: I only used Snorlax twice and going back to playing without it sounds pretty gruesome. Even despite the slow experience group, it comes at the good level of 30 and early. In a game where your only effective hard counter against psychic types is having a lot of special defense and HP, Snorlax always comes in handy as a glorious meat shield. I honestly mostly used it against psychics and anything else that likes to only spam special attacks and while that alone doesn’t sound like too good of an asset to have, in Kanto before the physical special split it definitely is. It’s also handy to switch into enemies and heal your team while it tanks hits for you undisturbed. The ability to easily reset for one with good IVs, a good nature and/or your preferred ability is a very nice plus and you even get two tries in a row. While Immunity can be nice, Thick Fat will be more useful in the long run as it gives you more targets to switch-in and stall out. Ice you see rarely, but fire resistance helps rather frequently. You can even use it as an HM slave with Strength and Surf and it will still be able to also serve as a fully fledged team member with just two serious move slots. Buying Shadow Ball is pricy but nice as it will improve its ability to counter psychics and especially ghosts even better. Too bad Snorlax is slow, or it may even be S-tier material. Fortunately, the speed problem is really its only big flaw, so A-tier feels like its home.


Tentacool: I'd also like to reply to one of the questions regarding Tentacool. I actually thought about using one multiple times already and I think I believe the reasoning as to what it has to offer what other arguably good water types (namely Blastoise, Vaporeon und Lapras) don't is the ability to be caught overleveled. You can buy a Mystic Water in the Game Corner, pick up Surf later and then immediately use the Repel Trick to catch Tentacool in most bodies of water up to level 40. This is way above the enemies you'd encounter around that time, especially if you rush into Fuchsia City early. I cannot speak from experience, but a 10% boosted STAB Surf hurts, even if it’s used by a Tentacruel. It’s also fast and outspeeds targets which Blastoise, Vaporeon and Lapras simply cannot. I assume that its effectiveness will slowly drop later though, especially if your goal is E4 round two. Since I haven’t actually used one yet, I’ll not suggest any spot.
 
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I'd like to use Aero first before I do anything with it, that's why I haven't put it up for discussion, since I know there's support for it.

The run with it is mostly to see what makes it C-tier, since (unpopular opinion) I don't see C-tier *just yet*, since I personally don't like huge investments in late mons (level 5 + Slow growth rate isn't fun). Once I am done with an Aero run, I will look into moving it to C-tier (though Omanyte may have a case for C-tier too in this case).
I haven't run this game recently but it seems odd to me that Articuno/Zapdos would get only a one tier advantage over Aerodactyl, given their circumstances.

The availability is essentially the same, with Articuno taking a penalty for having a more annoying dungeon and Zapdos wanting $80k for Tbolt. But if we're willing to give Aerodactyl grinding in Silph to get it up to par, it seems silly to me that the birds only get to B when they require less investment to achieve much better results, especially if we accept the framing that endgame performances should carry more weighting. Cuno/Dos's level advantage alone obviates a good chunk of grinding for the rest of their squad, since you can run fewer Pokémon to concentrate Exp earlier and then stick a bird or two in your last slot/s.

I recognize that this isn't an exact comparison and it's a matter of what factors someone wants to weight more heavily, and keeping both where they are also makes sense. But if we're giving second looks to later Pokémon that can make up for it, the birds deserve it.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
time to address some things *cracks fingers*

so, first, regarding Mankey, I am going to push it to A-tier this weekend if no one objects to that. I used it myself in a recent run and agree with A-tier as well. I saw logs in the last thread supporting A-tier as well, so I think we have a strong consensus on Mankey.

The question is, though, what do we do with Hitmonlee? As I said, Hitmonlee has a comparable performance, but skips the earlier fights, so it is possible to make arguments for B-tier. However, I can see the arguments for A-tier too, as it can sweep some fights even if the matchup doesn't look that advantageous.

In terms of matchups, it generally spams Bulk Up and then Brick Break / Strength / Rock Slide. Koga is an issue due to Smokescreen and Agatha / last rival more-or-less block it from doing much, so this is why I am torn between A and B. Furthermore, if Hitmonlee remains A-tier, we need to discuss the possibility of raising Hitmonchan to B, as they are rather similar in terms of performance (Hitmonchan also has to spam Bulk Up and then appropriate move). I will talk about this more once we can reach some consensus here.

re: Charmander, the reason why I've left it in B-tier for now is cause of its bad early- and end-game. Brock's Onix does stop spamming Rock Tomb at one point, but the matchup is still fairly slow, given you spend tons of turns there. Misty is lol and Lt. Surge's Raichu can potentially beat it with the combination of paralysis + Double Team. It improves afterwards, especially if you can afford the Flamethrower TM to make the last stages more pleasant (Ember works fine for Erika, though you may struggle sweeping), then Lorelei sort of walls it with Slowbro, Lapras, and potentially Dewgong, then Bruno throws Rock Tombs at you, and Lance overwhelms you with Hyper Beams (the last rival fight isn't that great for Zard either). Agatha is a great matchup. All in all, Zard is mostly great in the mid- and late-game, per experience, and tends to be bad elsewhere, which is why I have never been a huge fan of putting it in A-tier. I can change my mind, though, provided logs that support A-tier come out.

re: Snorlax, glad other people agree with A-tier. If no one feels like testing it, I may treat it as a consensus.

re: Tentacool, I thought the level 40 Tentacool were an RBY thing only, guess I was wrong. That certainly makes a better case for it, though I am wondering if it still outperforms other Waters to such an extent to warrant a tier above (by the way, you can repel trick Slowpoke and Psyduck this way too). The only issue I can think of with the level 40 one is that it skips lots of the game (Erika you will likely have beaten and you need to beat Koga), which certainly puts it at odds with the earlier Waters that contribute to those fights.

(by the way, I have never really considered boosting items. I'd personally just save those money and use them for GC TMs, in most cases. Regardless, MysticWater would probably benefit every Water and not only Tentacool).

re: Aero and Legendary Brids, I think this point makes sense. Zapdos and Articuno come at a significantly high level and thus don't require babying. I personally weight late acquisition and huge investments into it heavily against Pokemon (there's a reason why BW1 Pawniard is E-tier - comes late and you basically have to put in lots of effort to get it to Bisharp). The way they currently are is fine by me, but if people really want Aerodactyl to C-tier, then we can always discuss Articuno and Zapdos further and see if we can push 'em to A-tier.

===

so I'd like to make a nomination of my own, more specifically Gastly (Trade) B -> A. Haunter probs can move up one tier too if this goes through. Anyways, reasoning for this nomination, in few lines:

- is great for most fights. Psychic makes it good for Erika, Koga, Bruno, and Agatha, while TBolt helps against Lorelei and anything weak to it in general. It sweeps Sabrina easily thanks to Ghost STAB and has no problems against Giovanni either

- It comes with a Med Slow growth rate, so it's fairly easy to raise for most of the game

- While it requires TMs to function properly, Psychic is the only one that you need to teach right away. TBolt is nice to have earlier, but is crucially needed only for the E4

now, I won't die if people really want Gengar to stay in B-tier (and Haunter in C-tier), but I do feel that it being a tier below Staryu isn't right. Staryu requires even more TMs for its best performance (Psychic, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt or ThunderDance) and comes with a Slow growth rate, making it a chore to keep up with levels. Now imagine you also get it at level 15, it requires some effort to catch up too. Gastly comes as low as level 13, but it's around the Pokemon Tower, where it can be grinded a bit more easily and catch up quickly thanks to the aforementioned Med Slow growth rate. Starmie does get a few more KOs (most notably Blaine's Arcanine), but their performances were comparable. To elaborate:

Erika - both spam Psychic and kill stuff

Koga - read the above

Sabrina - Gengar kills the Psychics with Shadow Punch and Moth with Psychic. Starmie kills Moth with Psychic and spams Surf on the rest

Blaine - Starmie kills everything, Gengar kills everything but Arcanine with Psychic spam

Giovanni - Psychic from Gengar OHKOes everything and even if you fail to OHKO, they cannot really harm you in return. Starmie goes Surf here

Lorelei - both can get a bunch of KOs with Thunderbolt, though Gengar gets to OHKO Jynx with Shadow Ball

Bruno - both 2HKO the Fighting-types with Psychic. Gengar needs Giga Drain to OHKO Onix, otherwise, just spam Psychic, Giga Drain isn't that needed unless you hate Rock Tomb.

Agatha - both kill things with Psychic, though they may be worried about the second Gengar living a hit and killing back wth Shadow Ball

Lance - Gengar kills Aero and Gyarados with Thunderbolt and 2HKOes Dragonair with Psychic. Starmie 2HKOes everything with super effective moves. Both require healing to sweep/take out most of his Pokemon

Champion - Gengar beats Venusaur and can kill stuff with Thunderbolt. Zam dies to Shadow Ball if it clicks Future Sight. Starmie kills Rhydon and 2HKOes with super effective moves, though Sand-Attack is an issue for it.


so yeah, Gengar and Starmie perfomed similarly in my experience and I don't see why they have to be different tiers. You could maybe argue for Staryu in B-tier, but the consensus seems to be that it's A-tier, so I am going with that right now. Note that my runs with Gengar and Starmie were done with the same IV spreads (just like everything), so I didn't inherently favor any of them. I don't want my entire argument to be based on Staryu's performance, so let's just say that Gengar is easy to train and performs well in most fights, only requiring two TMs tobe functional, though you could teach one at the E4, if needed, as a small tl;dr
 
The question is, though, what do we do with Hitmonlee? As I said, Hitmonlee has a comparable performance, but skips the earlier fights, so it is possible to make arguments for B-tier. However, I can see the arguments for A-tier too, as it can sweep some fights even if the matchup doesn't look that advantageous.

In terms of matchups, it generally spams Bulk Up and then Brick Break / Strength / Rock Slide. Koga is an issue due to Smokescreen and Agatha / last rival more-or-less block it from doing much, so this is why I am torn between A and B. Furthermore, if Hitmonlee remains A-tier, we need to discuss the possibility of raising Hitmonchan to B, as they are rather similar in terms of performance (Hitmonchan also has to spam Bulk Up and then appropriate move). I will talk about this more once we can reach some consensus here.

re: Charmander, the reason why I've left it in B-tier for now is cause of its bad early- and end-game. Brock's Onix does stop spamming Rock Tomb at one point, but the matchup is still fairly slow, given you spend tons of turns there. Misty is lol and Lt. Surge's Raichu can potentially beat it with the combination of paralysis + Double Team. It improves afterwards, especially if you can afford the Flamethrower TM to make the last stages more pleasant (Ember works fine for Erika, though you may struggle sweeping), then Lorelei sort of walls it with Slowbro, Lapras, and potentially Dewgong, then Bruno throws Rock Tombs at you, and Lance overwhelms you with Hyper Beams (the last rival fight isn't that great for Zard either). Agatha is a great matchup. All in all, Zard is mostly great in the mid- and late-game, per experience, and tends to be bad elsewhere, which is why I have never been a huge fan of putting it in A-tier. I can change my mind, though, provided logs that support A-tier come out.
Regarding Hitmonlee and Charmander I think it's important to frame the discussion around the region in question. Having played these games a fair amount I would say the early game in FRLG is relatively challenging. When I say early game I'm referring to everything up until Celadon City which I would characterize as the start of the "mid game". Once you hit Celadon, Eevee becomes an option as do the evolutionary stones to upgrade other team members. The best Flier in the game, Dodrio, becomes an option as well. Several TMs become available via department store or Game Corner depending on your budget. The challenge is getting to Celadon after which point things start to open up.

To get there you have to traverse Mt. Moon and Rock Tunnel which are not particularly easy. In the spirit of "efficiency" you'll want to power through these dungeons without having to turn back to heal and waste more Repels. This is why Mankey is valuable in that it matches up well against the multiple Rattata in Mt. Moon (a harder matchup than it seems) and the multitude of Rock types in Rock Tunnel. This is where Lee loses value in that it is unavailable for these stretches. You get Lee around when Psychic and especially Poison types become more prevalent which doesn't allow it to shine like Mankey does at the points of the game you obtain each. Things like early Brick Break and Mega Kick are not tools that Lee can showcase as well as Mankey because by that point of the game these tools go from being amazing to just above average. Essentially, Mankey thrives during a critical stretch of this game where Lee is unavailable and they both basically even out towards the end. As I said in my linked post earlier, Primeape has a power argument with its Cross Chop actually hitting harder than Lee's Hi Jump Kick, which is to say nothing of Primeape's higher speed and physical bulk as well. I could see Hitmonlee dropping to B tier but it probably deserves a firm test or overwhelming consensus before doing so.

As for Charmander, I strongly agree with keeping it B tier. For the reasons stated earlier Charmander struggles mightily in FRLG's relatively tough early game. Brock and Misty are obviously awful but so are S.S. Anne and especially Rock Tunnel. Even once in the mid to late game after becoming Charizard and learning Flamethrower, you have to worry about all those water routes to the north and east of Cinnabar Island. In the end game it matches up well against Agatha, but that's about it. Venusaur has a better Lorelei matchup with its special bulk and Giga Drain, and Blastoise has a better Lance matchup with its overall bulk and Ice Beam. Blastoise probably has the best rival champion matchup spread winning two (Arcanine, Rhydon) while Charizard and Venusaur are about even winning one each, Exeggutor and Rhydon respectively. In my opinion, that isn't enough to make up for Charmander's poor early game in comparison to Squirtle's average and Bulbasaur's excellent early games, to warrant Charmander sitting in the same tier as the other two. For those reasons, I would nominate Charmander remaining B tier.
 
Some quick thoughts:

-I definitely oppose Aerodactyl in C and think it's more comfortable in D (where it is at the moment). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for finding potential in something that looks unusable, and Aerodactyl does have a decent time for Lorelei, Bruno and Lance. My problem is that it comes at level 5 and has a Slow growth rate. Meaning that even if Aerodactyl does good against the last handful of fights in the game, I don't really consider it enough to be in C. If it was like...level 30 I could kinda see it, but like...level 5. The level you start the game at. Even using this optimally with the Rock Slide tutor, I can't think of any reason to use this.

Yes, Kanto gives you plenty of EXP with perhaps the biggest amount of mooks in the series, but I don't even remotely see why stopping to raise a Slow growth rate mon is worth it at that point. I think calling this C / average is honestly an insult to stuff like Drowzee and Goldeen, because they are around for more of the game and don't have to play catch-up, nor do they require you to save mooks for them later. I also highly doubt Aerodactyl's lacking bulk lets it take more than two non-Hyper Beam hits lategame.

Hitmonlee - I think I can see it in B for the reasons Wukong stated above. I would add that Agatha shouldn't be considered for a Pokemon's placement too much. The first Gengar is Double Team garbage, the second one is sleep RNG, and it's not like Golbat, Arbok, or Haunter are really all that threatening. Not to mention very little hits Gengar's weaknesses.

Charmander is B tier yes. From what I remember of it, it's generally pretty terrible until Charizard where it finally gets going but even then isn't all that great lategame. The others pretty much summed it up.

I might start testing for FRLG when I'm done with my current USUM run.
 

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-I definitely oppose Aerodactyl in C and think it's more comfortable in D (where it is at the moment). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for finding potential in something that looks unusable, and Aerodactyl does have a decent time for Lorelei, Bruno and Lance. My problem is that it comes at level 5 and has a Slow growth rate. Meaning that even if Aerodactyl does good against the last handful of fights in the game, I don't really consider it enough to be in C. If it was like...level 30 I could kinda see it, but like...level 5. The level you start the game at. Even using this optimally with the Rock Slide tutor, I can't think of any reason to use this.

Yes, Kanto gives you plenty of EXP with perhaps the biggest amount of mooks in the series, but I don't even remotely see why stopping to raise a Slow growth rate mon is worth it at that point. I think calling this C / average is honestly an insult to stuff like Drowzee and Goldeen, because they are around for more of the game and don't have to play catch-up, nor do they require you to save mooks for them later. I also highly doubt Aerodactyl's lacking bulk lets it take more than two non-Hyper Beam hits lategame.
All due respect, this is lip-service theorymon. There are two testers who think it justifies C. I'd recommend testing it yourself, maybe you still think its D and that's fine, but these factors as you've said do not rate it as D in and of themselves or else this wouldn't be a conversation to begin with.
 
As FRLG is another game I'm relatively seasoned with, I'll share my thoughts on what tiers each Pokemon should go in. As with Platinum, if any placements are different from what's been said here, don't take this as me going against the current list.

FRLG.png
 

Ryota Mitarai

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I am dealing with a personal crisis and I am not taking it well. I may be inactive for a bit (say, a week or two, can't guarantee), though may be still "around". If you want to make a nomination or post logs, feel free to, just don't expect immediate response till I get better

I have moved Mankey prematurely due to this
 

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BAN DRUDDIGON. FIREWALL DRAGON DID NOTHING WRONG
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Rattata should 100% be at least c. Hyper fang makes the early game decent (outside of the obvious Brock and rock tunner hikers) and even allows it to do things like beating Surge (equip cheri berry for this) with minimal issues, starting with Erika it starts to fall of hard though but thankfully this is the point where it can start to transition to a field utility mon while still being able to bully generic trainers whenever that is needed. It really looks out of place in D when almost everything else in there is just bad, takes too long getting to usable status, annoying as fuck to get, or comes way too late to truly matter.
 
I'm currently planning to start a new playthrough to test some of the marked Pokémon and a pretty major question came up.

When tiering these Pokémon, are we tiering them based on their efficiency regarding using them all the way until E4 or E4-Round 2 after catching them or is it fine to rank a Pokémon high if it is super useful in specific sections of the game but worth replacing or even dropping entirely later?

For example, as many people mentioned before the early game until around getting the Pokéflute is quite tough compared to when the game starts to open up. Getting the traded Mr. Mime early is a great benefit all up until getting a Super Rod where you can catch yourself a Poliwhirl and trade it for Jynx. Starting from that point, Jynx is better than Mr. Mime in almost any regard and the Cycling Road is like a godlike area to train up Jynx, so she is ready to battle in a flash. Not to mention you get the main weapons of Mr. Mime and Jynx (Psychic and Calm Mind) only after that point anyways and Lovely Kiss makes Jynx a much more effective Calm Mind sweeper. Using both is redundant and missing out on Mr. Mime early is a painful handicap.

Another good example would be Bulbasaur. It is amazing early on but with no good offensive options and its main strategy being Sleep Powder and Leech Seed, it becomes almost exclusively defensive later on. It can still win all match ups that don't involve super effective STAB attacks, but going for slow defensive tactics is very inefficient in my opinion. It's effective, but not efficient. I'd only really consider defensive Pokémon efficient if they can boost themselves to make following enemies easier or if they at least pack an impressive offense as well. Venusaur can stall out almost anything, but it starts from step 1 after every single enemy, making it very slow and tedious to use later on. For this reason, it would be justified to drop it from the team or only use it as an decent HM slave [ Cut | Flash | Rock Smash | Strength ] when it is starting to drop in overall usefulness.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I also consider the VS Seeker to be too handy of a device to disregard in the tiering process. The VS Seekers main advantage is not getting more experience, but to get experience in good matchups more frequently, allowing one to skip over disadvantageous optional battles. Kanto has tons of trainers with lots of underleveled Pokémon with various types after the region opens up. I find it a lot more efficient to skip Trainers in areas where they yield low experience or you know you're not getting a type advantage. For example, I see no reason to battle anyone in Route 12, 14, 15, 19 and 20 for experience as these areas are fully optional and the enemy levels are low as the areas are open to explore after getting the Flute and Surf respectively. It's much more efficient to use the VS Seeker after battles with good type matchups to gain easy experience twice. This keeps your levels high enough and is much easier and faster to do, hence more efficient. Our goal is to tier based on efficiency, right?
 
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BAN DRUDDIGON. FIREWALL DRAGON DID NOTHING WRONG
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:drowzee: ---> up to B
Even if it is weaker than the top ones and gengar using psychic, this still pretty much follow the playstyle of click psychic to win with elite 4 cm sweeps. Decent attack to actually kill other psychics before they kill hypno with normal moves or shadow ball while not being mega frail on the physical side are also really solid perks. Only truly awful matchup is Surge and that is mostly because the tools to be good are not there yet, but as soon it picks up psychic it can start catching up really fast even if it is still at basically the caught level by nuking tower gastly and npc trainers not named rival inside.

:haunter: ---> same as drowzee and by extension :gengar: in A

C is too low for something that has an incredibly easy time with most of the game because of how perfect his entire kit is for bullying pretty much everyone until Lance with pretty much no effort. Gengar should still be higher though, all thanks to the extra speed making it easier to guarantee it can one shot Alakazam with shadow ball before dying in the process. The gastly phase is not something I would even consider as a thing when it comes out of pokemon Tower as Haunter after getting the psychic tm used on it.

:scyther: ---> up to C

How annoying/expensive it is to get aside, it is not that bad. Easily catches up with the route left of Fuchsia and dojo having perfect fodder for it and has its awful movepool and not so strong moves somewhat patched up with natural swords dance. For the relevant match ups it is present for it goes like this:

Koga, Sabrina, and Agatha free wins when you just use the first mon as fodder to set up and then one shot the rest with Aerial Ace, Koga needs pecha berry and/or sub for safety though. Lorelei and Blaine are just bad outside of insane luck gets. Lance is easily winnable by keeping Agility to guarantee outspeeding Aerodactyl as you set up on Gyarados to one shot the rest of his team. Bruno and Gym Giovanni can be easily winnable, but rely on them missing their rock move or using something else as you swords dance and then hitting steel wing to one shot their rocks. Champion is doable with some really good luck, but realistically you won't get that because aerial ace will stop you unless you have excess of healing items to stall it out while sand attack makes taking rhydon out really annoying to do.

:aerodactyl: ---> C

Coming at lv 5 so fucking late really sucks, but not as much as it does for Omanyte and Kabuto thanks to at least having good stats before its forties. Just tried it a few hours ago and as soon it hits around lv 18 (almost 19 actually and maybe doable a bit earlier, but had to deal with a timid Aerodactyl for this) just from the first 2 trainers in the mansion and wilds in there, it can start to catch up and easily get to the mid 30s just by clearing route 12 to 15 (also helps this is not a mandatory route, so easy to save them just for this when it is perfectly set up for it and other things using psychic or flying moves) + the bird keepers in the exit to cycling zone before even needing to think about using exp share or rare candies by itself at a time where my highest was a lv 40 hypno.

Matchups are actually pretty good too where the only real annoying things are 1)switching out to remove intimidate debuff 2) Lorelei's Slowbro 3)Earthquake being obtainable after the fight where you would really want it unless you really want to iron tail gamble. Anything else is easily winnable with minimal to no effort. If it didn't need such a specific routing and/or came a bit earlier or a higher level, this could honestly be B instead because the payoff is actually pretty good.
 
I thought I'd probably give my two cents on what I feel the quality of each Pokemon is in these games. Having 100 less Pokemon to judge made this far easier than my attempt at this with GS. If you have queries, then please feel free to respond to me.
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I thought I'd probably give my two cents on what I feel the quality of each Pokemon is in these games. Having 100 less Pokemon to judge made this far easier than my attempt at this with GS. If you have queries, then please feel free to respond to me.
This is the second post on this thread to place Blastoise alone in S tier. Having used it several times, I'm just not seeing it. To me Vaporeon is the best Water type in this game. The Vaporeon vs. Blastoise argument is similar to Hitmonlee vs. Primeape in terms of availability. That's a point in Blastoise's favor. But where it differs is that Lee and Primeape are pretty close to even on paper for the reasons already stated by myself and others. Vaporeon and Blastoise might be equally good bulky waters, but Vaporeon has a far more threatening offensive presence. It hits almost 30% harder which is far from insignificant. This to me, gives it a much better end game than Blastoise as its winning matchups are that much more pronounced due to its higher firepower and equal staying power. To balance out its non existent early game and Blastoise's average to good early game, that would be my reasoning for both Vaporeon and Blastoise being A tier. They're great but not exactly game breaking mons which is what S tier is meant to represent. To be honest, I think Jynx is the only S tier game breaking mon in FRLG but maybe that's just me.
 
I started a run on some mons that needed consensus. I just finished Sabrina and hope to be one tomorrow or a bit later in the week if time allows. The team I am using is Rattata/Gastly (Trade)/Aero/Vulpix/Hitmonlee

Rattata (10): Don't even try lol.

Raticate (22): Press the shiny button that says Hyper Fang. OHKOs Staryu and 2HKOs Starmie. Be careful of Water Pulse confusion though.

Raticate (27): Hyper Fang OHKOs everything. Had Guts active for Raichu which gave me the kill most likely. Static will proc fairly often anyways.

Gengar (29 - 30): With its grin, it OHKOs Victre and Tangela with Psychic while Vileplume is a 2HKO. Easy Sweep.

Ninetales (29 - 30): Has a better performance than Gengar here. Flamethrower is an OHKO on everything. Easy Sweep.

Raticate (29 - 30): Here it's issues show. Hyper Fang is no longer the nuclear option it once was. You can sweep Erika however it does require Guts to be active and a bit of luck if it is Stun Spore. Hyper Fang is a 3-4HKO on Victre, 2-3HKO on Tangela, and assumed 4HKO on Plume without Guts. With Guts active, Victre is a 2HKO, Tangela a OHKO, and Plume a 2HKO. Decent MU

Hitmonlee (27 - 28): Just take the L here. It is possible to sweep but not having Erika use Poison Powder is a pain the neck. Bulk Up to +2 and HJK is a 2HKO on Victre, OHKO on Tangela and a 2HKO on Plume. Meh MU

Raticate, Ninetales, and Lee all have the same performance. They all KO 3 mons before they succumb to Poison or just overall damage. Muk is the most annoying thing in this fight and really depends if you can hit it in a reasonable timeframe. Decent MU. Ranges vary of course.

Raticate (37): Strength is a 2HKO on Koffings, 4HKO on Muk, 4HKO on Weezing. If you are regular poisoned by Sludge, all ranges drop by 1. Meh MU.

Ninetales (37): Sunny Day is a well deserved upgrade. It turns Flamethrower into OHKOs on Koffing. 2HKO on Muk (This is a Range), and a 2HKO on Weezing. Problem lies in accuracy checks of course. If you nail all of em, easy sweep but healing might be required. Good MU.

Lee (37): Bulk Up to 2 or 3 and pray you hit with Strength. Koffing is OHKOd by +2 Strength, Muk 3-4HKO, Weezing 3HKO. +3 drops the ranges on Muk and Weezing by 1. Overall, not a great MU but doable if you get lucky. Meh MU.

Gengar (37): Psychic is an OHKO on the Koffings, 2HKO on the others. Amazing MU

Lee (39): Use Strength on Kadabra for the OHKO immediately. Bulk Up to 1 on Mr. Mime who will return in kind with Barrier. Going to a +2 lures out Zam who OHKOs you with Psychic. +1 is a 2HKO on Mime, OHKO on Zam and 2HKO on Moth (This is Strength). Zam tends to go for Future Sight when he comes out. Good MU.

Ninetales (38) : Sunny Day and Flamethrower work wonders here. OHKOs Kadabra, 2HKOs Mime and OHKOs Moth. Zam requires something else though. 1 Flamethrower and a Quick Attack to get the kill and sweep. Good MU.

Raticate (39): Strength OHKOs Kadabra only. 2HKO on Mime, Moth, and Zam. Use QA after a Strength to KO Zam. Good MU.

Gengar (40): Honestly this is pretty shaky unless you got the TM for Shadow Ball (Not needed though). TBolt does fine here. OHKOs Kadabra at least. 2HKO on Mime and Zam. Psychic is an OHKO on Moth. With Zam you can take a Psychic but it tends to use Future Sight first allowing some easy damage in (Pray you don't get the Paralysis though).

Aero (35): You outspeed everything. I did 2 tests. One with Omni and one without. Results are the same. You sweep. Wing Attack/Fly will OHKO Moth and Kadabra. Rock Slide will 2HKO Mime and Zam. Same with Wing Attack/Fly.

Overall my thoughts rn

Raticate: C. Other than the obvious power creep it gets around Erika, it does still do relatively fine in most of its MU. Though I do expect it to start struggling again fairly soon.

Ninetales: Has a C performance honestly. I do expect it to falter though in the coming fights. If it has Solarbeam it could handle Giovanni, Lorelei, and Bruno at least but didn't get this until Gen 4.

Hitmonlee: B. Since getting it, it has struggled to accomplish much without the aid of Bulk Up. Now I realize that I could have gotten Strength for Erika or used Secret Power at least and that's my boo.

Gengar: A. Easily. This has absolutely decimated all the Gyms up to this point. I have no idea why it was suggested B. If it is based on TM usage, then Starmie needs to follow suit and be dropped to B as well. That thing requires more than Gengar in all honesty.

Aero: Flame me. D Tier. One fight so far doesn't detract the fact that I needed to backtrack twice for this thing. One to get the Old Amber and again to get Rock Slide. Coming in at Level 5 and in the Slow XP group is also kinda bleh. I had to use a lot of Route Mooks and the entirety of the Silph Tower to get it at level 32. This inherently has affected the overall levels of my team which should be around the low 40's point. They are just entering that range. We will see if it rises to C tier in the upcoming fights or not.

I was told to no test the Rival Fights barring the League one. Hence they are missing.

Edit: I forgot to save after Sabrina so I tried to sweep with Aero again. It failed. You are forced to use a Rock move on Moth to get your sweep. Kinda dumb honestly seeing as Aero should be able to kill it with a Flying move.
 
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This is the second post on this thread to place Blastoise alone in S tier. Having used it several times, I'm just not seeing it. To me Vaporeon is the best Water type in this game. The Vaporeon vs. Blastoise argument is similar to Hitmonlee vs. Primeape in terms of availability. That's a point in Blastoise's favor. But where it differs is that Lee and Primeape are pretty close to even on paper for the reasons already stated by myself and others. Vaporeon and Blastoise might be equally good bulky waters, but Vaporeon has a far more threatening offensive presence. It hits almost 30% harder which is far from insignificant. This to me, gives it a much better end game than Blastoise as its winning matchups are that much more pronounced due to its higher firepower and equal staying power. To balance out its non existent early game and Blastoise's average to good early game, that would be my reasoning for both Vaporeon and Blastoise being A tier. They're great but not exactly game breaking mons which is what S tier is meant to represent. To be honest, I think Jynx is the only S tier game breaking mon in FRLG but maybe that's just me.
Oh, I didn't try and make the post to convince people that Blastoise should be in S. I just fancied giving my two-cents on the discussion. My standards as to what's S probably aren't compatible with this thread's own rules. I do you think raise good points about Vaporeon having more offensive presence than Blastoise later on the game. While I could say that Blastoise has the earlier stages of the game to get more Special Attack EVs, hence giving it the head start by Celadon, but there aren't actually that many Pokemon who give out these kinds of benefits. I think most of them are Grass-types anyway.

FRLG, like BW1, seems very balanced compared to the other games. I'd hesitate to say that Jynx is S in the game, but she's definitely one of the game's best players. I just think that the levels of the Poliwhirl you need to catch are a little unpredictable. At least you use Cycling Road, or Celadon Gym to get her going for the rest of the game though.
 
Okay, just finished a new playthrough. Mostly to test Bulbasaur and get some more fresh experiences with Primeape and Snorlax.

Bulbasaur:
Oh boy, where do I start? I think after using Bulbasaur for a run, I truly grasp a very big issue with the ingame tiering process. That being the strong focus on major battles, namely Gym Leaders and the Elite Four. Usually, this isn’t much of an issue but I strongly feel like this gives you unreasonable expectations about Bulbasaurs performance. My personal experience using Bulbasaur are the following: Brock and Misty become a joke and it puts in good work in Rock Tunnel. Unfortunately, that’s it. Its ability to Sleep Powder and Leech Seed is nice, but you really cannot do that against every enemy over and over again, especially since you will end up missing quite a lot. Bulbasaur has tons of horrible matchups against regular trainers making it painful and boring to train. At the start of the game, you mostly face Bug, Normal and Poison types. Your typing is a huge disadvantage compared to Squirtle which gets decent neutral STAB coverage and Charmander which even gets a lot of easy super effective STAB kills against Bugs and some Grass types early on. I did keep Bulbasaur until the end, but the lack of good matchups meant that it ended up 13 levels below my team average. I eventually ended up only really using it against those enemies with a Grass double weakness like Rhyhorn. All in all, Brock and Misty really aren’t that hard to beat to justify using Bulbasaur as you’ll only get a low amount of good type matchups against the regular trainers of Kanto. If you want to keep your level high enough to stay relevant, you got to set up sleep a ton over and over again or actively seek out optional Water trainers, slowing down the gameplay to an unreasonable pace. I strongly argue for it being C-tier at best. Bulbasaur works, but it has tons of issues and it’s only saving grace is these two major matchups which aren’t nearly as hard as some people claim them to be. Just don’t be under leveled and you’re fine without Bulbasaur, the other two starters are way more useful overall.

Mankey:
I really didn’t think about me coming to this conclusion, but I think I actually want to change my mind about Mankey and suggest it for being an S-tier. The last times I used it, I used a full team of 5 plus Zapdos and now just 4 plus Zapdos. The 3-4 extra levels it got entirely got rid of the minor power issues I had during the final fights last time I used it. Mankey gets a very sexy coverage which constant upgrades on your journey. Karate Chop becomes Brick Break, Rock Tomb becomes Rock Slide and Scratch becomes Mega Punch. You also get Aerial Ace after Cut which works nicely to enhance its range of super effective attacks. In Silph Co., you can pick up Bulk Up which yet again eliminates any kind of power issue you might have. If you have doubts, set up one against a physical attacker and then one-shot them. Primeape is damn fast compared to most enemies, so a minor attack and defense boost already does a lot. I replaced Aerial Ace with Earthquake right after Giovanni and got some good hits with it in Victory Road as well. It always did great, it was a reliable choice against a lot of enemies. I have nothing to complain about. I think the reason it did so well is because the one I caught had a Naughty nature, too. This minor factor may be what Mankey really needs to dominate. If anybody wants to also test Mankey, maybe invest the time to get an attack-raising nature, too.

Mr. Mime:
I picked it up and only used it until I got Jynx and then dropped it as double Psychic felt very redundant and Mr. Mime doesn’t really have any advantage over Jynx. In the end, due to the very good experience I could have easily kept it together with Jynx and it would still have been A-tier without the Psychic TM. Kind of lazy on my part, but we are way beyond the stage were you need to prove its S-tier status when it is used properly. I just want to point out that picking it up early and dropping it for Jynx actually works out especially well since you get the best of both worlds, having a broken Psychic type early and an even better one later.

Snorlax:
I already talked about Snorlax in my last post so I’m just adding a few minor things I didn’t say about it already. Catching Snorlax can actually be a bit annoying. Having a Primeape or Hitmonlee helps for sure as they can get it down to red with one attack. Since it puts itself to sleep, this makes it a lot easier to catch. But make sure not to overlevel your fighting type too hard, or you kill it. This happened to me as Primeape at Level 33 one-shot it frequently. I not only got it Shadow Ball but I bought an extra Brick Break TM this time. Helped a lot more than I thought (like against Lorelei). Normal, Ghost and Fighting are a nice type combination. The final slot didn’t matter, so I just added Surf. Having a big special attack sponge feels nice as it fits into any team and you don’t really need any resistance against common special types at all with Snorlax. Anything I said before still applies, so I still think it’s an A-tier. Some minor issues exist, but you can play around them, like fixing the speed issue with the free Quick Claw you get in the Safari Zone.

Jynx:
Jynx is perfect and clearly the queen of the S-tier. The boosted experience and large amount of enemies weak to its type combo means that Jynx overlevels constantly and could very well be not running Lovely Kiss and Calm Mind at all. But those two tools are too good to miss out on, especially if you do intent to skip a lot of optional trainers and you have another team member whose favorite enemy types overlap with hers (which is a good idea because overusing Jynx becomes somewhat dull at some point). You cannot really do much wrong with Jynx, unless if you waste your Psychic TM, so don’t. Ice Beam is not required but nice if you got some extra money for it, although this should be one of your lowest TM priorities when spending that much money for such a minor upgrade. Not much to say here.

Zapdos:
It’s a bummer Zapdos is so hard to catch, otherwise it might be nice to catch it right after getting Surf, but you really want to get the Master Ball first. When you get it, all it needs is TM24 for Thunderbolt and it’s ready to kick ass. Already coming with Agility is awesome because you can set up on Lance and Blue to outspeed Pidgeot, Aerodactyl and Charizard. Drill Peck was also nice to have against Grass and Fighting types to stop using Jynx all the time, because she really leveled way too fast. I agree with it residing in the B-tier for now, although Zapdos is almost always a perfect late addition to pick up. I’m still not sure what to do with the final move slot in hindsight. Any suggestions that actually helped it? I would have wanted to use it a bit more.
 
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Bulbasaur:
Oh boy, where do I start? I think after using Bulbasaur for a run, I truly grasp a very big issue with the ingame tiering process. That being the strong focus on major battles, namely Gym Leaders and the Elite Four. Usually, this isn’t much of an issue but I strongly feel like this gives you unreasonable expectations about Bulbasaurs performance.
Okay, so I think these nominations are fine and I like how you went into detail on them, but I wanna talk about why major battles get so much emphasis.

Route clearing really isn’t all that notable and is only a minor plus in a Mon’s performance. Even if Bulbasaur in particular were not a Grass type and we’d talking about say, Drowzee or anything Route clearing would still not be strongly valued. It is generally a given any halfway decent Pokémon can Route clear: if they can’t do so effectively it’s likely they are in D or lower already.

Secondly, I don’t see why we shouldn’t heavily focus on major battles. It’s not like the various Hikers in caves are worth talking about or any other rank-and-file trainer for that matter. Major battles are required to progress in the game whereas you can always skip Route trainers. If you falter in major battles heavily that is a problem, unrealistic expectations or no.

I also don’t know what you were trying to say is the actual problem here considering you nominated Bulbasaur to C, implying it’s average against the game as a whole and thus emphasizes major battles, despite your points above.

Nothing wrong with expressing your opinion on how we do things, just some elaboration or clarification could be helpful, and such points on tiering policy could be brought up in the policy thread if you want to talk about them further.

Regardless, good post and your opinions are perfectly valid! I’m just confused on how you might prefer the rules to be.
 

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