Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen In-Game Tier List

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Clefairy and Bulbasaur will be marked with two stars. Bulbasaur will be marked with two stars due to the debates earlier. If you want to make a new point for Bulbasaur (if you have already talked about it), feel free to post again. Ideally, I get one or two more tests, as I've used it myself and cannot really conclude a final tier for it; it's great for the first three Gyms, is meh against Gyms 4-7 (it can do something to Sabrina but you are unlikely to sweep. Ditto for Erika), then it's good for Giovanni, then can sweep Lorelei and Bruno with sleep + a few Growths, then it sucks again.

Hitmonchan will have one star removed. I have always felt that the difference between the Hitmons isn't enough for a tier difference, but a rip-off of Jackie Chan in a Pokemon game isn't a hill I want to die on and if people want the difference, I will grant it (with that said, Hitmonchan is better for Koga due to Keen Eye, that's probs worth mentioning). Regardless, I will still leave it up for discussion for some time just to be safe, but it's no longer a "more discussion needed" topic

Anyways, this will be a huge slate, so the following things are happening in the next few days:

Tangela C -> D
Gastly (No Trade) lock to B
Poliwag lock to C
Voltorb lock to C
Lapras lock to B
Eevee (Flareon) lock to C
Eevee (Jolteon) lock to C
Krabby lock to C
Venonat lock to C
Shellder lock to C

as always, those will happen in a few days, so speak up if you disagree with any of them

Hitmons and Machamp will get locked once we lock Hitmonlee to a tier. Spearow, Growlithe, and Nidoran-F will be locked once they get a bit more agreement for B-tier. Exeggcute, personally, I would rather lock to B-tier, but I will give it some time anyways. Slowpoke and Psyduck, I do not have objections to B-tier, but I'd like to see where Tentacool ends up before touching them. Regardless, we aren't in a hurry with those, so it should be safe to give them some time anyways

In addition, Staryu, Zubat, and Pikachu will be dealt with on the next slate. Staryu and Zubat will be locked to their tiers and Pikachu will drop to C-tier, so if you have any objections to those, you should speak up before that slate comes in and is put into action.

I agree on the tier for Golduck and Slowbro, however, while Psyduck/Slowpoke are version exclusives for FRLG, Route 6 in Kanto allows you to surf for Psyduck/Slowpoke 100% chance in each game ranging level from 20-40 which we could get a high level one using the repel trick.
yep, I think this is the best way to use them, Repel trick a level 40 one and level them up once. This is sort of the reason why I want to see what happens with Tentacool first before locking them to B-tier, as they are all similar and Psyduck/Slowpoke should outperform it.

One level (or one rare candy) would evolve the 2 right away and not so sure if having a level 41 water type pokemon at that point in game has any impact on level restrictions or performances.
The level cap is there moreso to prevent *blatant* overleveling (like "hey guys, I trained my Porygon to level 40 and it swept Erika, this is clearly A-tier"). It doesn't take place when the Pokemon comes overleveled by itself and those are fair game, otherwise, Zapdos and Articuno are pretty much unusable till Giovanni for testing purpose, for example.

With that said, I'm done with FRLG runs. I want to say thanks to the posters like Colteor, Turdterra and Texas Cloverleaf (really liked reading your posts and we share the same views on various mons like Aerodactyl, Exeggutor and Golduck). Lastly, I want to say that Ryota does a really nice work leading the thread, every possibly contested mon are well highlighted and you're active to the point things are progressing really quickly.
Thank you for your contributions. I don't think we are far from write-ups, all we need is to come to a consensus on whatever has two stars. Speaking of which, I will post a list of those to track progress:

Bulbasaur
Clefairy
Geodude (Trade)
Pikachu
Tentacool
Diglett
Dratini

so yeah, once people start talking more about those and we reach some consensus on them, it will be pretty safe to move to write-ups
 
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Well, I'm going to argue a bit about some mons here.

Bulbasaur I found was pretty good for gyms 4-6 and was only meh against Blaine. Erika I felt was good, especially if givent a Cherri Berry. Victreebel and Tangela are 3HKOed by Secret Power while Vileplume is a 4HKO. Acid isn't powerful enough and it takes like 8-10 to kill Venusaur. You can use Sleep Powder for safety against Victreebel and Vileplume but regardless unless you get really unlucky with para, it's a win for Venusaur because you 3HKO while the opponent has to attack way more. Tangela barely hurts you so it's not relevant. Vileplume is the trickest member but assuming Erika heals on Tangela (you just need to use 2 Razor Leaf and it does nothing against you anyway), she won't have the Hyper Potion for it and you always can use Sleep Powder for it. Really, I didn't find Erika to be hard to get past assuming you get to level 32 and have Venusaur (it's way harder as an Ivysaur I admit). Koga is fine even though it's not as good as Erika. Venusaur has no problems beating both Muk and Weezing as they don't use Sludge every turn and 2 turns of Leech Seed outdamages this move. Then, again if you don't feel confident, you can always use Sleep Powder on them but they shouldn't be a problem due to bad AI. It might take some times but Venusaur is able to beat them. Koffing are surprisingly a bit more troublesome due to Self-Destruct but you can put them to sleep and Strength is a 3HKO. Even then, being able to defeat Muk and Weezing is more than enough as it's really easy to beat Koffing. Sabrina is AI reliant but at least Venusaur beats both Kadabra and Mr.Mime and actually takes a Psychic from Alakazam. It all depends what it's going to do and if you manage to land Sleep Powder twice (due to Full Heal), Alakazam should get defeated. I still used SleepSeed at the E4 and Agatha was decent. Gengar 1 is easy to defeat with Leech Seed and Gengar 2 is largely defeatable. Arbok requires Sleep but you outspeed anyway and you take hits well to the point you can afford missing. Haunter is also feasible with Sleep Powder and it has to rely on the unaccurate Hypnosis to beat you. Lance is rather bad outside of Gyarados and Dragonair (Leech Seed nearly outheals Outrage). Champion is cool because you can beat Rhydon, Gyarados and Exeggutor (Egg Bomb doesn't do too much). Really, Bulbasaur is a solid pick. Yes, it takes some times for some battles like Koga but thanks to its bulk and Leech Seed, it can easily defeat a high amount of Pokemon. Also, unlike Tangela, it doesn't matter too much to miss Sleep Powder, you can miss it 1 or 2 times and still potentially win becuse Venusaur isn't too frail,even if you miss it against Agatha's Arbok, it can still result in a win. Really, Bulbasaur is the best starter, it beats gym 1-4, Giovanni, Bruno, is alright for Koga and Sabrina, good for Lorelei and decent for Agatha and Champion. Its only bad matchup are Blaine (where it still can beat 2/3 mons according to luck and you can afford to miss a Sleep Powder because Venu takes Fire Blast), Agatha's Golbat and Lance (and you still should beat Gyarados and Dragonair). Really, Bulbasaur is the best starter and incredibly consistent.

As for Hitmonchan, the problem I had is that most of the time, it requires one more Bulk Up. Keen Eye is cool but I tried Koga several times and Koffing barely used it and it needs 3 Bulk Up as opposed to 2 to OHKO Koffing, hence I didn't find it was better for Koga.

Tentacool while admitedly not as good as Psyduck and Slowbro is still clearly above the water-types in C-tier. It has the same matchup against Giovanni and Blaine (btw its Blaine matchup is a bit better compared to Slowbro as it's not prone to get flinched by Bite or Stomp). Sabrina is a bit worse but Tentacruel easily defeats Kadabra and Mr.Mime and can actually take a Psychic from Alakazam while outspeeding and 2HKOing (and it gets 2HKOed by Surf through CM iirc). It may not be able to beat the whole team but beating the three psychic and falling to Venomoth is more than fine. While not as good as Psyduck and Slowbro, Tentacruel is way better than water-types like Seaking at defeating Sabrina honestly. It doesn't outright beat Lorelei like Slowbro or 3 members but still beats 3 members (Dewgong, Cloyster and Jynx) which is more than correct. Buno is where Tentacruel shines as thanks to Clear Body and Barrier, it wins. The same can't be said for Slowbro which will most likely require healing and Golduck which only beats Onix. Agatha isn't as good but Tentacruel is less prone to get haxxed thanks to its speed and should beat Gengar 1, Arbok, Golbat and Haunter if you don't get put asleep. Golduck should sweep here with 3 CM but has to get lucky with the Agatha lottery and while Slowbro requires only 1 CM (or trying to get fishy with ranges), it doesn't outspeed Arbok and is weak to Shadow Ball. Lance is worse for Tentacruel but it should still beat Dragonite while the 2 others beat all but Gyarados. Tentacruel is able to beat Rhydon, Charizard and Exeggutor against Champion. I had Squirtle as a starter so it's not the same team but regardless Slowbro should fare better thanks to Calm Mind while Golduck should only beat Rhydon and Pidgeot. If it manages to set up Golduck is better but that's not something easy to do. Anyway, while better I feel Psyduck, Slowbro and Tentacool should be in the same tier and Tentacool seems closer performant wise to them than to Poliwag or Goldeen.

Anyway, as Ryota said, write up should be done soon. This slate and the next one shouldn't be contested. Nidoran-F, Spearow and Growlithe shouldn't be contested in B. Exeggutor, Psyduck and Slowpoke should probably remain in B-tier due to late availability (especially if caught post-Koga for the last 2).

e: Regarding contested mon, Texas actually had a great experience using Bulbasaur (and Psyduck in the same run). He also used Exeggcute (sadly he didn't use Calm Mind Clefable so it wasn't used to its full potential).

Colteor used in the same run Fearow, Nidoqueen and Hitmonlee. He also used Dratini.

These runs are well-detailed and provide great informations about these Pokemon. It's especially good for Dratini because it's not smething frequently used and it's important to know it has some uses before being Dragonite (i.e beating Erika and Blaine).
 
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Going to hopefully be starting my run today, will be using

Bulbasaur
Clefairy
Geodude (Trade)
Tentacool
Diglett
Dratini

Not sure on Pikachu from my experiences with it. It falls off really fast until you evolve and doesn't really have the best matchups, but I could also retry it down the line if need be, doubt Thunderbolt will OHKO neutral targets. Offense as Raichu says B, weakness and rarity as Pikachu say C.

Thanks for the contributions everyone!

UPDATE: Briefly wanna talk about earlygame experiences since they are on my mind, as I just left Mt. Moon.

Bulbasaur showed problems very fast. Bulbasaur may beat the first three gyms, sure, but it takes a very noticeable hit in the field. You are constantly seeing Poison and Flying types, and being forced to use Ivysaur's 62 base Attack over 80 Special Attack is not something I find fun at all, leads to 3HKOs a good chunk of the time. I nearly ran out of Tackle PP in Viridian Forest. Yes, you can Leech Seed, yes, you never die. But I knew from the very beginning I would not like this approach. Things don't exactly get better in Mt. Moon with Zubat, Oddish, Grimer and friends. Maybe it'll improve once I get Secret Power but I'm never a fan of a Grass type masquerading as a Normal type, just ask Snivy.

I think A tier by definition invokes fast offense, and Bulbasaur isn't fast in any sense of the word, at least right now.

Pound Clefable is good and 3HKOs, also Cute Charm is hilarious.

Geodude is great in the field, Normal resistence is lovely, though it is slow. Rock Throw crushes everything because virtually everything is weak to it.
 
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Quick thoughts at Lavender Town:

Geodude is really good. Golem can live Misty's Starmie on rolls, boom and kill it. Obviously bad there still, but otherwise...it's really great earlygame when you get Dig. I tossed Magnitude because it sucks and I hate RNG moves when testing. 75% of mooks are weak to STABs, Secret Power / Dig arrive when you need reliable moves, nothing save Water / Grass kills it ever. Heck, it can even pick off Picknickers by outspeeding Oddish / Bellsprout and OHKOing with Dig. Not perfect and I totally see the issues people have with it later but it's VERY optimal for mooks even if those aren't valued highly.

DIGLETT. OH MY GOSH IT IS BAD, even though I've had it for only a few levels. Have you ever wanted a fast Pokemon that can't do damage and especially can't take a hit to save its life? Then DIglett is the Pokemon for you! Highlights include being 2HKOed by Misty's Starmie's Swift and almost losing to a mook's Geodude as Dugtrio thanks to Magnitude hitting underground. What does this mean for you? It means that if you can't hit SE with Dig, you're probably better off using something else. Rock Slide and Secret Power exist, but they don't really fix Dugtrio's core issues. It might be just me (I know it's Medium Fast) but it also feels like Diglett levels up slowly because of how risky it is. Geodude is an infinitely safer pick and shows me that sweeper oriented stats don't always work when you are such a one-trick pony. By FAR the member of my team I like using the least.

Bulbasaur is weirdly fluctuating. Early game Poisons are everywhere but once it hits level 22 with Razor Leaf / Secret Power / Sleep Powder / Leech Seed it can fend for itself fine. Midgame is coming up, but am cautiously optimistic. Also, while I didn't learn it, Sweet Scent could help accuracy issues, but that also spells out more inefficiency.

Not much to say on Clefable other than you might wanna not tutor Mega Punch and just give it Mega Kick and Secret Power. Tanks fine, deals damage fine, avoids Hikers and Sandshrew fine (though that could be fixed with Water Pulse). About what you'd expect.
 
Really interesting! I never suspected Geodude has such advantages against grass/poison types.

Quick thoughts on poliwhirl:
  1. poliwrath is able to be caught immediately after a obtaining super rod. It has a high chance of being found and can be evolved with a water stone from Celadon.
  2. It does pretty well against Blaine and Lorelei's Pokemon types. It also deals with the common normal/rocks types
  3. Its evolutionary form has access to powerful, useful tms/hms (brick break/ surf). It also gets hypnosis by default.
  4. poliwrath is one of the few original "three stage evolution" type Pokemon -- which usually tend to have high stats
 
Thoughts post-Blaine:

Venusaur

Venusaur is really hard to judge because a good chunk of the time it gets by on poor Ai movesets and level advantage in the field half the time. I have not being using Sleep Powder + Leech Seed. I'm sorry, but that strategy alone across 3/4s of the game, much less a few fights, will never mean A tier to me. A tiers are supposed to 2HKO most things. It doesn't do that, it likely 3 or even 4HKOs most boss things with SleepSeedStrength. Erika is more or less 4HKOed, Koga's Koffing are 3HKOed, Sabrina is a good deal better, OHKOing and 2HKOing but Mime's Barrier screw it over, it only deals with Blaine's fodder...It's not dead weight anywhere necessarily, but the fact is that from Lt. Surge on, you are consistently mediocre in boss fights.

Venusaur's viability is so skewed toward Sleep Powder because the moment you stop using it, it shows how slow at killing it is. As a snapshot, I failed to OHKO a Raticate 10+ levels lower with Razor Leaf. I think B tier is perfect for it. This game is pitifully easy to the point you could say A in an ensemble team (most of Venusaur's weaknesses are covered by any decent Psychic, which dominate Kanto) but as it stands, it's merely good alone, though there are a lot of Water type mooks from midgame onwards that make it not as noticeable as say, Chikorita or Snivy in their respective midgames. The earlygame is great but it just slowly loses relevance after that, and any attempt to justify Venusaur using Sleep brings its somewhat lacking damage potential to the forefront. I only think it's going to get worse in the Elite 4.

We don't do comparisons most of the time, but I personally think Bulbasaur more or less ties with Charmander as a B in terms of usefulness, while both are cleanly inferior to Squirtle whose few weaknesses / Surf spam gives it the edge as an A. Venusaur has 55 BP STAB which is resisted pretty often, and if it isn't, stuff like Sabrina has high Special bulk anyway. Meanwhile the other two starters get 95 BP nukes fully evolved and have ways around their resists sometimes, whereas Venusaur's best option is consistently sitting there hoping you hit Sleep Powder and don't roll one turn wake-ups.

"But Venusaur can take hits," you say. And yes, it can. Just because things aren't OHKOing it doesn't make Venusaur good by proxy, it enables its shaky killing potential. Heck, even the matchups you are encouraged to SleepSeed, like Koga, have stuff like SmokeScreen, so I still have issues seeing why you could use it effectively there (does 3HKOing Koffing sound good otherwise?) Bottom line is, without Sleep Powder, Venusaur is functionally a STABless Normal type 70% of the time.

Golem

Yeah, C seems just right for this. It CAN put it some work on Erika (Rock Slide flinch on Bell + Sefldestruct on Vileplume nets you 2 KOs as you outspeed both), but from there on, it has struggled to be relevant in bosses in a quick manner, and Rollout is something I'm not huge on because rolling a 10% means your current attempt is basically dead. Koga is okay, but Sabrina and Blaine are super meh for it. It shouldn't be D though, the nice performance in the field (seriously, even the Grasses don't stop it as they die to Rock Slide and you should outspeed, not every Water has Water moves) I think keeps it out of the garbage in D.

Dragonair

Yeah, pretty bad. Evolving Dratini is a pain because its fragility means you are heading back to the Pokemon Center after 1-2 fights. As a yardstick, Dragonair failed to OHKO a Seaking ten levels lower with Thunderbolt and Surf is rolls to OHKO Blaine's Ponyta. Yes, you drown in money so you can argue C, but I'm probably not reaching Nite before the end of the game. Feels like a D mostly due to the fact of all things you want to sweep with Special moves, why would you choose something with 70 Special Attack with no means of boosting?

Tentacruel

Haven't formed much of an opinion on it yet, though 80 Special Attack worries me. I'll have a more detailed opinion later, I'm sure.


Dugtrio

It sucks, D tier, no reason to use it over the other Ground types. Speed means nothing when you lack the Attack or meaningful coverage to back it up (Intimidate + high Defense mons like Koffing really screw it, as does its fragility).

Clefable

I almost forgot this thing existed. Feels like an B / A borderline, really appreciates Psychic more than anything. Strength / Return is nice but you don't use it much in bosses, so it's...very odd. Honestly, not much to say; solid, but as others indicate its stats don't exactly overpower much after a certain point because it lacks the STAB bonus or firepower other Special sweepers have. Pretty good though and never deadweight.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
okay so I forgot to apply the last slate, but I did it and the OP should be updated.

Next slate will determine Pikachu, Staryu, and Zubat's final rankings, so please speak up now if you are not alright with any of their current tiers (Pikachu is slated to drop to C). I am especially looking for Staryu thoughts if yours are different from A-tier. If needed, I can give you an extension if you have doubts about A-tier and want to test it.

From the looks of it, Golem and Diglett will reach a consensus soon, so this is great. For Clefairy, perhaps CM will help out at the E4, I think CM + special moveset is the best for the end-game (before that, you don't need CM beyond Blaine, per experience). With that said, it does ravage through your TM/tutor arsenal, wanting Secret Power, Mega Kick, Return, CM, Ice Beam, Psychic, and TBolt if you wanna sweep everything.
 
Done.

Alright, rankings.

Bulbasaur - B tier

Yeah A tier for this is too much, sorry guys. It has a great start but is never really relevant past Surge save for Giovanni. It loses too many matchups to be called an A, even with FRLG's lower power level. Razor Leaf is also hilariously weak lategame. The only few foes I found Sleep Powder or Leech Seed somewhat useful for were Giovanni's Nidoqueen and Blue's Gyarados. Anything else is just reaching in my opinion. If you want logs, I can provide them.

Clefairy - A tier, borderline B (though moreso A).
I thought it was just kinda there initially, but then I looked back at my logs and realized you have sweeping potential for a good half the gyms and are decent elsewhere. I can honestly see B a little thanks to the slow Speed lategame and tons of TM use (though you really only need Psychic), but it was definitely the best mon in my party overall. Ryota reminded me Clefable is in the Fast Exp group which barely pushes it to A for me.

Geodude (trade) - C tier
Doesn't sweep much of anything, but the STAB combo keeps it relevant in the field and outside the League you'll rarely find it's outright useless. More of a 1v1 mon than a sweeper. Don't Sleep on Explosion, you can OHKO Blue's Venusaur 11 levels higher with it (it only has SolarBeam lol). This doesn't deserve to be down there with the other Rocks / Grounds, has too much power and early availability.

Dratini - D tier
This mon is garbage until Dragonite. It missed OHKOs ALL THE TIME.
1634155889159.png


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(last one was with Surf).

Dratini has way too many problems for C:
-A well-below average start as Dratini before evolving into Dragonair, Rocket Grunts make you heal after 1-2 battles
-Game Corner costs, for both Dratini itself and Thunderbolt or Ice Beam (I recommend the latter more), you'd be surprised how many things resist Surf in the field
-Objectively mediocre stats as Dragonair - things like Hypno or Marowak look good by comparison, as they actually get STAB.
-Mediocre matchups across the board, it does not sweep Blaine (at least not consistently) or Giovanni
-Consistently misses kills you expect it to get - my gosh, this so much. Failing to OHKO a Seaking 10 levels LOWER than Dragonair with Thunderbolt told me all I need to know.
-You'll probably need 5 Rare Candies by the end for it.

Dragonite pulls up the punch at the end (most notably throttling the Champion battle, Bruno, and some of Agatha) but not enough to be C.

Tentacool - C tier (mostly due to everyone else weighing in)

I kinda think this is D personally, never felt mega standout endgame, but upon learning early Tentacool can apparently do work on Erika and Koga, I can see C, but only barely. Slow Exp I'm not a fan of. I used a level 40 one.

1634156554482.png

Holy crap, Diglett.


This was awful. I'm talking one of the worst things I've ever used in-game.

Misty:
Diglett (23): Believe it or not, can actually outspeed and take Staryu depending on luck: You 2HKO each other even if Staryu uses Harden. As long as the Ai doesn’t get too Recover happy you should be okay, and I think you even come close to OHKOing if Staryu derps. Starmie outspeeds, so lol (Swift 2HKOs lul).

Lt. Surge:
Dugtrio (26): Dig, Magnitude, Dig. The only sweep in the game.

Erika:
Dugtrio (30): 3HKO on Victrebell with Dig, you get paralyzed then 2HKOed by Giga Drain.

Koga:
Dugtrio (38): In theory you 2HKO Muk with Dig. In practice it uses Minimize and Acid Armor and if Koga heals you lose. Though you can also beat it with Magnitude 6 and 7 I guess. You should likely 3HKO Koffing with Slash assuming you roll one crit.

Sabrina:
Dugtrio (42): Magnitude 7 OHKOs Kadabra but not Mr. Mime (tends to CM turn 1). Venomoth is left in red by Rock Slide. Magnitude 7 leaves Zam in red and Psychic doesn’t kill you meaning you should 1v1 it easily (Magnitude 8 kills it and Mime outright it seems). Potential confusion hax can be annoying though.

Blaine:
Dugtrio (44): Actually decent if you avoid Growlithe’s Intimidate with a sack. Dig OHKOs Growlithe and Ponyta, but leaves Rapidash in red who 2HKOs with Fire Blast I believe. I rolled Magnitude 10 on Rapidash but I assume 7 beats it as Dig left it in red. Magnitude 6 and 8 got Arcanine to red (I think with Take Down recoil?) but Fire Blast can actually OHKO you on rolls, so lol. Basically, you sweep 3 with minimal luck and a sack, and outspeeding everything is admittedly nice.

Giovanni:
Dugtrio (47): Kills Rhyhorn and Dugtrio, then dies to Queen (Magnitude 6 / Dig seems to 2HKO). Earthquake from pretty much anything 2HKOs you.

Lorelei (was level 49s pre-League, used Candies 3 apiece save for Dragonair which got six):
Dugtrio (52): 3HKO Dewgong with Rock Slide, OHKOed by Ice Beam.

Bruno:
Dugtrio (52): Dugtrio. loses. to. the. Bruno. Onix. duo. You 2HKO each other with Earthquake. The day when ONIX threatens you is a sad one indeed. Even more hilariously, Hitmonchan Counters your Earthquake 2HKO. Utterly pathetic.

Agatha:
Dugtrio (52): Rock Slide 4HKOs first Gengar but it can stall you out with Toxic, you and Golbat 3HKO each other, you 2HKO Arbok with EQ despite Intimidate, Haunter seems 3HKOed by Rock Slide, second Gengar looks like a rough 5HKO with Rock Slide thanks to Berry.

Lance:
Dugtrio (52): Aerodactyl outspeeds and OHKOs with Hyper Beam, lol. 2HKOs Dragonair with Earthquake.

Final Rival:
Dugtrio (52): Dugtrio loses to Pidgeot (3HKO as it 2HKOs you) loses to Venusaur (OHKOed by SolarBeam, seems to be a 4HKO or 5HKO on your end), loses to Rhydon (your EQ 2HKOs, his OHKOs), loses to Alakazam after you outspeed and fail to OHKO (Psychic OHKOs), gets OHKOed by Gyarados’s Hydro Pump, loses to Arcanine EVEN WITHOUT INTIMIDATE (you do 2/3s, he OHKOs). It CAN beat Alakazam actually, but Psychic has to low roll, I lived on 10 HP and even then this doesn’t make Dugtrio good here. Dreadful.

So you only sweep Surge and do okay for Gyms 6 and 7, and that's...pretty much it. You have NO meaningful contributions anywhere else. This thing was frail as sin, didn't have the power until it was already way too late with Earthquake, and was generally terrible in every way. I can accept this thing in D if we really want to keep things out of E, but I implore you to use it for yourself. I'm baffled that an early mon is truly this hot garbage, but it is definitely one of the worst things I've used in a long as heck time. I set my expectations underground and Diglett disappointed me every single time. The logs speak for themselves - apologize for the Lance one but it was clear Dugtrio wasn't going to stand up to repeated Hyper Beams much less do anything besides maybe kill a Dragonair. Diglett can go straight to hell.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
to address nominations:

Diglett - for now, I will drop it to D-tier with the next slate, I want to use it myself before going as far as dropping it to E-tier, as I think this is way too harsh for it and my idea of E-tier is for stuff that are (borderline) unusable and I'd need to confirm this myself.

Clefairy - raising this to A-tier, seems like no one that's ever used a CM set opposes A-tier and I think it deserves it too

Dratini - I'd like more tests on this. Texas and Drums oppose C-tier, while Zebes and Colteor support C-tier.

Tentacool - I had some worries about Tentacool myself and those may be justified. I'd like a final test on Tentacool

Bulbasaur - a final test on this is required. The opinions are simply too divided and my run with it didn't lead to conclusive results and I'd rather not arbitrate here, unless necessary

Golem - dropping this to C-tier, no oppositions, it seems (unless I missed one?)

Next tests on Dratini, Bulbasaur, and Tentacool decide their final rankings. Preference is if you haven't tested any of those

Once those receive a final agreement, I will start packing the list for write-ups.

I will hold a slate in a few days if no one has anything to add.
 
May as well weigh in on the Dratini thing since I've already tested it, it's 100% C tier imo. If I was judging just by in battle performance I would put it in B tier since it has very few bad matchups and either sweeps or nearly sweeps so many fights especially in late game, all but a couple mons in the Champion and Lorelei fights are sweeps. It's also not really hard to raise at all, I was doing my first run in like 10 years with 3 unmons and a fossil alongside it and only needed a bit of grinding in victory road. Everything else about Dratini does drag it's placement down, but not all the way to D really. If the cost is really an issue you can also just fish for it after Giovanni 1 in the safari zone, and it's far from the only mon that relies on a game corner TM. I also didn't really ever see the coverage issues on routes or in the gyms. Missing Ohkos as Dragonair can be annoying yeah but it's typing and speed are good enough that it can stomach quite a few hits without being deadweight. Mine also swept Blaine and nearly swept Giovanni in it's logs so :blobshrug:
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
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I am posting to notify you all that my laptop's hard disk died and I am currently with no laptop, so next slate will come slightly later than I wanted to, till I find a solution to the issue.

Regarding Dratini, it is important to note that the Safari Zone one is difficult to catch due to an 8% catch rate with Safari Balls (there's also the potential of it coming underleveled). It's the best option if you desperately need a GC TM, but otherwise, the GC one might be better if only because you know you are getting it at some point (where's the SF one is a matter of lots of patience till you get lucky)

As I said, though, next test on it decides everything since there isn't a strong consensus yet and I neither won't nor can't arbitrate the final ranking unless it's really needed.
 
Erika:
Dragonair (30): Cheri Berry. Victrebell can be annoying as it lives a Dragon Rage 2HKO (try to Secret Power paralyze it to put it in range) but hopefully you should beat it without getting paralyzed. Tangela is easily 2HKOed. Vileplume ALSO avoids the Dragon Rage 2HKO. They don’t hit hard with Acid, but the fact Stun Spore is constantly a threat makes it hard this matchup annoying. I won with 1/3 of my HP left once and near full another time.

Koga:
Dragonair (38): 2HKOs Koffing with Surf, Muk is 4HKOed by Dragon Rage and Weezing is 3HKOed.

Sabrina:
Dragonair (42): Outspeeds and OHKOs Kadabra with Secret Power, outspeeds and OHKOs Mr. Mime with Secret Power. Venomoth is a pain as you 3HKO with Secret Power and potential confusion can wear you down. You seem to roughly 2HKO Alakazam with Secret Power, but are probably gonna be finished off by it, though much to my surprise, Dragonair can barely live a +1 Psychic from full HP. Mediocre.

Blaine:
Dragonair (44): Okay. Outspeed and OHKO Growthe and Ponyta (the latter on rolls, lol), 2HKO Rapidash who crit me with Fire Blast but missed another, 2HKO Arcanine seems to 3HKO with Fire Blast whom I barely lost to but got to red. You’re gonna need some luck with rolls to sweep here, as even on the attempt I actually swept I was just above red. Take Down recoil can help on Arcanine though.

Giovanni:
Dragonair (47): You’d think you’d sweep with Surf. You’d be wrong. EQ from most things is a 3HKO, with the exception being Nidoking who barely 2HKOs. You outspeed everything but Dugtrio letting you drop Nidoking to half HP before dying, thus taking out 3 members. You OHKO both Rhyhorn and Dugtrio, 2HKO the Nidos with Surf and die before reaching the last Rhyhorn. Not even healing helps because again, King 2HKOs.

Lorelei:
Dragonite (55): You and Dewgong 2HKO each other (you using Thunderbolt) and then you die to Slowbro after chunking it to half HP.

Bruno:
Dragonite (55): Easy sweep unless you get unlucky with crits. Surf OHKOs both Onix, Wing Attack OHKOs Hitmons and 2HKOs Machamp, who can be annoying with Scary Face and Rock Tomb (lets I think Lee and Onix outspeed). First attempt I swept, second attempt I did because Hitmonlee crit Mega Kick. Still favorable and you can avoid all this crap by simply using Agility on the first Onix.

Agatha:
Dragonite (55): Pecha Berry. You outspeed and 2HKO Gengar with Wing Attack. Golbat outspeeds but you 2HKO with Thunderbolt, Arbok 4HKOs with Sludge Bomb while you 3HKO with Thunderbolt (watch out for Screech), then after switching to reset stat debuffs, Haunter seems like rolls to OHKO with Wing Attack but isn’t problematic because you can just drop an item if Hypnosis hits. Second Gengar outspeeds and can barely avoid the Wing Attack 2HKO thanks to Berry. You’re not going to sweep as they chip you down, but solid.

Lance
Dragonite (55): Thunderbolt OHKOs Gyarados, but Dragonair is left alive by Ice Beam and a pain with Thunder Wave. You 1v1 Lance’s Dragonite with Ice Beam as you outspeed and 2HKO while it 2HKOs with Outrage. You 2HKO Aerodactyl with Surf as it outspeeds and barely misses the 2HKO with Ancient Power. You’re lot sweeping most likely, but an adequate performance nonetheless.

Final Rival:
Dragonite (55): Thunderbolt 2HKOs Pidgeot and Gyarados while Surf OHKOs Rhydon. Zam outspeeds and 3HKOs with Psychic while you 2HKO with Wing Attack (he can switch into Rhydon but you have Surf so this is a non-issue). Arcanine is 2HKOed by Surf, and without Intimidate debuffs Venusaur looks like rolls to 2HKO with Wing Attack. It’s hard to sweep due to Sand-Attack but this is really solid.

Mine didn't sweep Giovanni and struggled to sweep Blaine, because 70 Special Attack really does not hit hard (mine had 20 IVs everywhere, neutral nature). You have to pour so much into Dratini that I feel it negates any minor advantages it could have. Slow growth rate is annoying, needing a TM on top of sketchy availability on top of Dratini's absolutely painful six level grind (you heal after almost every trainer battle) and even with all that, you pretty much have to Rare Candy it at the end. I don't play FRLG much, but being level 55 at the Pokemon League requires massive investment to the detriment of your other team members. I was level 49 all around with six members at the League. I did the islands stuff. I fought pretty much every single mook in Kanto. Even with four members getting Dragonite by the League is a little unreasonable without Rare Candies.

The matchups say C, but with all the investment C tier is honestly stretching it. The Dratini line had less than a handful of clean sweeps.
 
I am posting to notify you all that my laptop's hard disk died and I am currently with no laptop, so next slate will come slightly later than I wanted to, till I find a solution to the issue.

Regarding Dratini, it is important to note that the Safari Zone one is difficult to catch due to an 8% catch rate with Safari Balls (there's also the potential of it coming underleveled). It's the best option if you desperately need a GC TM, but otherwise, the GC one might be better if only because you know you are getting it at some point (where's the SF one is a matter of lots of patience till you get lucky)

As I said, though, next test on it decides everything since there isn't a strong consensus yet and I neither won't nor can't arbitrate the final ranking unless it's really needed.
actually, VS Seeker makes Grinding for both Game Corner TMS And the Game Corner Dratini at the same time Less Expensive
 
Erika:
Dragonair (30): Cheri Berry. Victrebell can be annoying as it lives a Dragon Rage 2HKO (try to Secret Power paralyze it to put it in range) but hopefully you should beat it without getting paralyzed. Tangela is easily 2HKOed. Vileplume ALSO avoids the Dragon Rage 2HKO. They don’t hit hard with Acid, but the fact Stun Spore is constantly a threat makes it hard this matchup annoying. I won with 1/3 of my HP left once and near full another time.

Koga:
Dragonair (38): 2HKOs Koffing with Surf, Muk is 4HKOed by Dragon Rage and Weezing is 3HKOed.

Sabrina:
Dragonair (42): Outspeeds and OHKOs Kadabra with Secret Power, outspeeds and OHKOs Mr. Mime with Secret Power. Venomoth is a pain as you 3HKO with Secret Power and potential confusion can wear you down. You seem to roughly 2HKO Alakazam with Secret Power, but are probably gonna be finished off by it, though much to my surprise, Dragonair can barely live a +1 Psychic from full HP. Mediocre.

Blaine:
Dragonair (44): Okay. Outspeed and OHKO Growthe and Ponyta (the latter on rolls, lol), 2HKO Rapidash who crit me with Fire Blast but missed another, 2HKO Arcanine seems to 3HKO with Fire Blast whom I barely lost to but got to red. You’re gonna need some luck with rolls to sweep here, as even on the attempt I actually swept I was just above red. Take Down recoil can help on Arcanine though.

Giovanni:
Dragonair (47): You’d think you’d sweep with Surf. You’d be wrong. EQ from most things is a 3HKO, with the exception being Nidoking who barely 2HKOs. You outspeed everything but Dugtrio letting you drop Nidoking to half HP before dying, thus taking out 3 members. You OHKO both Rhyhorn and Dugtrio, 2HKO the Nidos with Surf and die before reaching the last Rhyhorn. Not even healing helps because again, King 2HKOs.

Lorelei:
Dragonite (55): You and Dewgong 2HKO each other (you using Thunderbolt) and then you die to Slowbro after chunking it to half HP.

Bruno:
Dragonite (55): Easy sweep unless you get unlucky with crits. Surf OHKOs both Onix, Wing Attack OHKOs Hitmons and 2HKOs Machamp, who can be annoying with Scary Face and Rock Tomb (lets I think Lee and Onix outspeed). First attempt I swept, second attempt I did because Hitmonlee crit Mega Kick. Still favorable and you can avoid all this crap by simply using Agility on the first Onix.

Agatha:
Dragonite (55): Pecha Berry. You outspeed and 2HKO Gengar with Wing Attack. Golbat outspeeds but you 2HKO with Thunderbolt, Arbok 4HKOs with Sludge Bomb while you 3HKO with Thunderbolt (watch out for Screech), then after switching to reset stat debuffs, Haunter seems like rolls to OHKO with Wing Attack but isn’t problematic because you can just drop an item if Hypnosis hits. Second Gengar outspeeds and can barely avoid the Wing Attack 2HKO thanks to Berry. You’re not going to sweep as they chip you down, but solid.

Lance
Dragonite (55): Thunderbolt OHKOs Gyarados, but Dragonair is left alive by Ice Beam and a pain with Thunder Wave. You 1v1 Lance’s Dragonite with Ice Beam as you outspeed and 2HKO while it 2HKOs with Outrage. You 2HKO Aerodactyl with Surf as it outspeeds and barely misses the 2HKO with Ancient Power. You’re lot sweeping most likely, but an adequate performance nonetheless.

Final Rival:
Dragonite (55): Thunderbolt 2HKOs Pidgeot and Gyarados while Surf OHKOs Rhydon. Zam outspeeds and 3HKOs with Psychic while you 2HKO with Wing Attack (he can switch into Rhydon but you have Surf so this is a non-issue). Arcanine is 2HKOed by Surf, and without Intimidate debuffs Venusaur looks like rolls to 2HKO with Wing Attack. It’s hard to sweep due to Sand-Attack but this is really solid.

Mine didn't sweep Giovanni and struggled to sweep Blaine, because 70 Special Attack really does not hit hard (mine had 20 IVs everywhere, neutral nature). You have to pour so much into Dratini that I feel it negates any minor advantages it could have. Slow growth rate is annoying, needing a TM on top of sketchy availability on top of Dratini's absolutely painful six level grind (you heal after almost every trainer battle) and even with all that, you pretty much have to Rare Candy it at the end. I don't play FRLG much, but being level 55 at the Pokemon League requires massive investment to the detriment of your other team members. I was level 49 all around with six members at the League. I did the islands stuff. I fought pretty much every single mook in Kanto. Even with four members getting Dragonite by the League is a little unreasonable without Rare Candies.

The matchups say C, but with all the investment C tier is honestly stretching it. The Dratini line had less than a handful of clean sweeps.
VS Seeker Makes getting Dragonite by League Easier
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
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using VS Seeker for any reason is inefficient; you are putting progress on hold just to grind (be it levels or money) and it would take a lot of time to do anything impactful with it, as not only are you not guaranteed to get a trainer to rematch you, but you also have to charge it every time you want to use it. In the case of Dratini, that would be a clear time sink given the amount of experience / money needed for it to reach its full potential, so that doesn't exactly help it.

And, as I've stated in a previous post, VS Seeker is only to be used if you *really* need extra levels (and money, ig), but isn't to be used as an argument for a rise (if anything, it'd be an argument for a drop if I wanted to actively tier it)
 
Dratini, much like with Bulbasaur, is another case for me of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Sure, you can get it from the Game Corner. You can give it several TMs if you want. You can VS Seeker. But those last two points are Band-Aids that ignore Dragonair’s core issues: you never get STAB with this thing and it levels slowly alongside mediocre stats. It’s like what I said about Dratini in HGSS: it’s the mon depending on the moves, especially until Dragonite rolls around.

Dragonair isn’t very good on its own merits at all, even with those moves and Surf. As for the VS Seeker / levels: someone could feasibly get impatient and walk into the Pokémon League with just a Dragonair. What if they want to use their Rare Candies on something else and don’t get Dragonite? What would it do then?

Dratini is a Pokémon that never stops asking for you to put up with its core issues for a good 30 levels. Dratini can’t clear trainers well, Dragonair is only a slight improvement in that respect (again, no STAB base 70 Special Attack).

And when you finally get Dragonite, it’s no Haxorus / endgame nuke. It beats Bruno and the Champion sure, but is only decent for Agatha and definitely gets overwhelmed by Lorelei and Lance (you know, the two actually difficult endgame trainers).

Outside of Wing Attack, you’re using Dragonite’s good-but-not-great 100 Special Attack. But the game’s pretty much over at that point.

“But plenty of Pokémon like Gengar, Starmie, Electrics, and other Waters need TMs to be good!”

Yeah but you get your return on investment way faster with pretty much all of them, given most will be fully evolved by around level 30 (barring stuff like Slowbro and Dewgong). With Dragonair, you have to wait roughly 20 levels after some of the latest stuff in Kanto evolves barring lolPonyta/fossils. Most have 80+ in their offenses for the midgame and beyond. Dragonair is stuck with 70 Special Attack offense for more or less half the game, and when it finally can hit on par with the other stuff, I’m kinda like “whatever” at that point because of so much you have to accept when raising the Dratini line. It only stops being something you have to baby at Dragonite.
 

DHR-107

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Orange Islands
I'm grinding before the Elite 4 atm (Cause I am around level 45 with 8 badges), but current team is below and some thoughts.

Bulbasaur - Currently A I think B

Honestly, I agree with DSG's sentiments here. I didn't use the Secret Power TM on Venusaur, and I definitely feel like having to use non stab for the vast majority of the game is not great. With FRLG having a large proportion of Poison enemies, Venu gets walled by a lot of enemies. Sleep Powder just patches up those awful matchups which still take years to actually win. If you can spare the moveslot for Strength/Secret Power, you might get more mileage out of it. It sweeps where it should (good gym matchups like Misty/Giovanni etc) but otherwise struggles in general with mooks. I can't agree with A rank because it has movepool issues unless you feed it Secret Power/Strength and even then it gets walled hard by Steels which pop up now and again (even if you teach it Rock Smash).

Beedrill - D Agree with a slight chance at C

I don't think Beedrill is quite as bad as it first looks, however amongst this team, it did shine brighter than others. It struggles in the same way Venusaur does, with low BP moves which have to be boosted by learning Secret Power/Brick Break. Can't really solo anywhere, but can be useful to block status, mine did work in Koga's gym with just Secret Power and just bashing its way through. It still has Twineedle for Psychics, but your mileage may vary for actual damage.

Seaking - C Agree

Not a lot to add to which others have already said. Its a solid water mon, but gets stuck with Horn Attack/Surf for the vast majority of the game. Solos where it should, was a useful switch in fairly often. In general my whole team was kinda flimsy, so this was no different. Donks on Giovanni and Blaine as expected and is useful elsewhere just cause STAB Surf. Clears most mooks pretty easily including a lot of the Poison mons which the rest of the team struggles with.

Parasect - D Agree

This thing is hilariously bad, but has just enough perks to be useful. Almost zero reason to use either STAB, and mine has been running Aerial Ace almost the entire game as its sole attacking move alongside Cut. Spore lets you put stuff to sleep, which is useful cause you're super slow, however Parasect does at least have some reasonable bulk. I had Effect Spore which worked out, but often messed up Spore strats. It's my best answer to Fighting types overall, but those are fairly rare anyway. Bullet Seed is extremely mixed (read, 90% terrible) on damage output, and super weak from its pitiful special attack (and base power), but it is useful to poke rocks/waters if you like seeing "Its Super Effective".

Flareon - C Agree

Taught mine Dig and never looked back. Who needs STAB in Kanto? Just water types apparently. Quick Attack/Dig/Bite did the vast majority of work for me (mine actually has more special attack than Venusaur), and it swept where it needed too (Erika/Blaine/Rocket HQ). Helped me out against Sabrina as well with Bite (even though Sabrina galaxy brained on me). Its a run of the mill solid mon.

Wigglytuff - D Agree with a slight chance at C

Ran with Defence Curl/Rollout strats most of the early game, has decent HP but is otherwise kinda squish. Kept it until it learnt Body Slam and then evolved asap. Last few levels are not all that fun. With STAB Normal moves, its honestly one of the best attackers on the squad and I've fallen back onto it in a number of occasions. This team in general sucks on the offence and defence, but it means that this mon gets to shine a little more. I'll have to look into some of the coverage options for it (ie do I give this Blizzard or Seaking?)

The Sabrina Galaxy brain play by the way, was a +4 Defence Mr Mime (From Barrier) being Baton Passed into Alakazam which proceeded to Calm Mind. I assume the AI took mercy on me and still allowed me to win, cause that match should have been a slam dunk loss. Utterly bizarre turn of events. So far, this team has not been all that fun to use and every match feels like a slog, even with using the VS Seeker in places, I am so down on levels its not even amusing anymore. I've got everyone to 45 so I'm going to press onwards.

I'll probably post more indepth thoughts on the E4 matchups, but this game as been running for like a year, so I don't remember a lot.
 
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seaking imo is pretty bad, base 65 SPATK Is just weaksauce, Unevolved Staryu hits harder using surf, considering his EXTREMELY Barren physical coverage and It misses so many OHKO's, especially it cannot one shot dragonite with ice beam or aerodactyl with surf iirc is bad, the only coverage he gets is normal and megahorn, the fact that he may solo blaine and giovanni is not special at all, but it could stay at C Due to........... his useful water type i guess
Golduck at B Is Pretty fine, Calm mind is a big advantage over many waters, and His Coverage is pretty decent with Ice Beam/Brick Break/Surf
Magnemite at C.....Steel typing is really useful and magneton having 120 SPATK Is really nice. but His Movepool Sucks, maybe C fine But some argument can be made about this
Poliwag at C Is Fine, but he has a Wide Movepool with stuff like Brick Break(gets STAB), Rock Slide, And EQ Which gives him some advantage, Psychic as coverage exists but base 70 SPATK Is meh, Bulk Up is Nice too and That gives him some notable extra advantage
 

Ryota Mitarai

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so I've been on a different laptop and I am getting my own one back today, so here's the delayed slate:

Pikachu B -> C
Diglett C -> D
Geodude (Trade) B -> C
Clefairy B -> A
Staryu lock to A
Zubat lock to D

for Bulbasaur, if too much time passes without it receiving a final test, I will push it to B-tier, as that's definitely been getting more support as of late. Dratini and Tentacool are still up for debate and the list won't proceed to write-ups without them getting a final test.

I had a run going before my laptop broke down and I reached Agatha before the incident. The team in question was Spearow / Pikachu / Nidoran-F / Diglett / Psyduck. I will talk shortly about each, logs until Agatha are available

Pikachu - yeah, this is pretty bad early on, from what I experienced. It cannot beat Starmie reliably (you can paralyze it, though) due to how frail Pikachu is and Lt. Surge's Raichu proved problematic with Double Team. Raichu becomes somewhat better, being good for Gyms 5-7 (it doesn't sweep any but Gym 6, but is still decent) and it handles Lorelei well. As a whole, while it does get natural Thunderbolt, I think the bad early period and the mediocre performance in other places (Erika and Giovanni say high) prevent it from being B-tier in my eyes, so I am definitely dropping this to C-tier.

Spearow - it's definitely B-tier at worst, I could *mayyyybe* see A-tier, although I'd have be convinced of that, as I am definitely content enough with B-tier. Fearow managed to beat Starmie for me with Secret Power and can even sweep Lt. Surge, depending on AI behavior and luck. It easily sweeps Erika and Sabrina and is good for other Gym Leaders, albeit it doesn't sweep them. At the E4, it kills all of Bruno's Fighting-types and I suspect it won't be too bad against Agatha's Ghost-types. All in all, B-tier seems good, A doesn't seem out of reach, but I'd rather it stay in B-tier purely because its earlier matchups are either bad or not guaranteed victories (Starmie is faster and 3HKOes just like you do, so you need a lucky paralysis, while Raichu has to paralyze you turn one and you should hope that you don't get full para on any turn) and its E4 performance could be better (it's just outright bad against Lorelei and Lance will surely crush it).

Nidoran-F - this run was done with a Nidoran-F that had no GC TMs, just to see how much it needs them. And yeah, it's... ehhh without GC TMs and it's probably not the best thing with them either. Nidoqueen handles Lt. Surge easily, but needs a GC TM to sweep Erika (who is otherwise a mediocre matchup). Surf helped it against Blaine and Giovanni and is perhaps your best option for Koga's Koffing and Weezing (which don't do anything to you other than exploding). At the E4, its only decent matchup is Bruno, but I suspect Lance wouldn't be too great even with Ice Beam due to its mediocre Special Attack. All in all, B-tier is definitely good for it, since it does level up quickly and can do some work even without GC TMs, but you definitely need one immediately to unveil its full potential.

Diglett - I personally think it's fine in D-tier and am not convinced of E-tier. Other than sweeping Lt. Surge, Diglett isn't a *total* deadweight against other bosses; it can KO most of Sabrina's Pokemon and can contribute KOs to Blaine. Earthquake at level 51 can also help it sweep Giovanni. Finally, it is important to note that you can catch a level 29 or 31 Dugtrio with repel tricking; while this one won't have Magnitude, this Dugtrio can notably sweep Misty (Dig OHKOes Staryu and 2HKOes Starmie, which fails to OHKO with Water Pulse), so I'd say D-tier is fair to it, even if on the lower end of the tier, purely because I don't think it's so bad to warrant E-tier.

Psyduck - this one I cannot comment, as Agatha, Lance, and Blue are all matchups that would have decided what I think of it. My impressions of it are positive, though; you can catch it at level 40 after beating Koga and it becomes usable immediately with Surf, Ice Beam, and Calm Mind later on (Ice Beam isn't needed immediately, so feel free to delay the purchase of the TM). It sweeps Sabrina by KOing most things with Surf and OHKOing Alakazam with Hyper Beam and Surf spam kills Blaine and Giovanni. At the E4, Golduck can notably sweep Lorelei; CM a few times against Dewgong (just to note, S-tiers like Kadabra need around the same amount of Calm Minds) and handle most things with Surf spam, with Brick Break helping against Lapras. Bruno is a bit of a hard matchup due to Rock Tomb, but you can still beat Onix and Hitmonchan easily. I assume that Golduck could maybe sweep Agatha and even Lance with healing, so I cannot say whenever this is C-tier or B-tier, though my impressions of it so far are definitely positive.

e: for Psyduck, it's important to note that it also sweeps the pre-League rival fight easily, which you could count in its favor if you don't outright disregard the rival fights for tiering.


e2: got my laptop back and can resume normal stuff as usual

e3: so Golduck essentially swept Agatha and Lance. It also has tons of success against the last rival fight if you can get two CMs without getting accuracy drops (not a sweep). To explain the matchups, you CM twice on Agatha and then spam Surf/Ice Beam to OHKO everything and only throw in a Full Restore to remove confusion or poison, if necessary. Against Lance, you CM twice on Gyara and heal to avoid Hyper Beam KO then 2HKO with Ice Beam. Then you outspeed all the Dragons and OHKO them with Ice Beam. Aero is faster and finishes you off, but still, this is pretty good for me given this is Lance. B-tier seems fine to me.
 
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Started a run at Celadon thanks to Ryota's magic with Nidoran Female, Spearow, Growlithe, Hitmonlee AND Hitmonchan. Just marathoned the midgame in one sitting.

Hitmonchan / Lee: Basically the same Pokemon for all intents and purposes. Chan has more bulk and Keen Eye (you would not believe how nice the utility is preventing accuracy moves, they are everywhere in FRLG) while Lee has more firepower, Limber to prevent the notably rarer Paralysis status, and dies to almost any strong hit (literally a critical hit Headbutt from the wild Snorlax OHKOed it ROFL). Both Bulk Up to +1 on Erika, Koga, and Sabrina to 2HKO the former two (Tangela is OHKOed) and OHKO most of Sabrina save Zam unless it decides to not Psychic you.

As for impressions in the field, they are bad...at first glance. Poisons on Cycling Road and trainers near Lavender suck if you go there immediately (you would not believe how often you get poisoned), but assuming you are fighting everyone they soon get the huge 10 level advantage and for most part Poisons aren't too troublesome anymore. You can actually OHKO Gastly in Lavender Tower with Rock Slide so you can surprisingly still train there. HOWEVER, in any trainer that spams Koffing, you might be Bulking Up a little bit until you get the levels and that's kinda undesirable, but once both get going they are more or less fine, though Sludge's 30% Poison chance will infuriate you (fun fact: it was 40% back in Gen 1!) I'm leaning B for both right now because no boss has shut them out completely per se and Koga is awkward for most things in general. However, the endgame probably will push both down, as will Blaine most likely.

Nidoqueen: I didn't use this earlygame because we all know what it does then by this point more or less (testing takes time people). So let's talk midgame. Body Slam / Surf 2HKOs things, but the thing I wanna highlight is the fact you are immune to the Poison status: this is AMAZING in the field. Also has good bulk unlike Frailtrio. Performs as you'd expect in all three midgame gyms (decent to good). Probably will be a B because hard hitting potential in a couple fights is influenced by TMs. Dig is pretty pointless for the most part on it, just too slow to use.

Fearow: Very, very good. I have never used this thing earlygame but I assume it's reasonably solid there. Nicely answers both Erika and Sabrina in one slot and turns in a decent Koga performance. However, in the 10 or so levels in the field with Secret Power / Fly you don't often OHKO evolved stuff and that's a little annoying. Still though, very fast (outspeeds Alakazam!) and reliable. B is guaranteed atm with potential for A, like Ryota said. I will check friendship and equip Return soon.

Arcanine: If you TM Flamethrower on immediately, this is honestly one of the most solid midgame Pokemon! Sweeps Erika and Koga very easily and turns in a very solid Sabrina performance where sweeping seems rather feasible. I love Flamethrower, Bite, and the arguably superfluous Dig + Intimidate in one slot. OHKOs what it needs to and the few things it doesn't don't really hurt it back. Honestly, I think this is a really solid B right now, but a lot of bad matchups are coming up so I will wait to see if it keeps the momentum.
 

Ryota Mitarai

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I forgot to post about it, but the slate has been applied to the list. Golem and Pikachu aren't locked to their tiers, as I was asked privately for an extension so another run could be submitted, so they are left up for discussion until we move to write-ups or the person that asked me for an extension agrees with the tiers.

Also, can someone who has used Slowpoke provide me with more insight as to how their experience with it was? I know that some people love it for sweeping the entire game with it or something, but I decided to give it a try and it was certainly worse than I expected (with that said, it wasn't *bad* either). I had to heal it in a lot of fights to sweep (in fact, I am psure there was an instance (I think Lance?) where I had to heal twice to sweep) and being slower than everything meant that I got haxed quite often (flinches and confusion say hi). I am not calling for a drop on it (at least for now), but I'd like to see if I did something wrong, because I certainly felt like this was vastly inferior to Psyduck, which doesn't struggle that much, from experience, purely due to the fact that it doesn't get outsped that often. With that said, the level 40 Slowpoke coming with Psychic is very nice, saves you an important TM, so the only ones you have to teach are CM and Ice Beam.
 
Got to Final Rival, don't think the results will really affect my final thoughts so let's do this.

Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee: WOW these guys crap the bed after an Ai-dependent Lorelei matchup. You Bulk Up to +1 in almost every single matchup in the game, and the last three Elite Four stop you hard unless you seriously go out of your way to boost. Losing to the Onix twins unboosted with a type advantage is basically the point of no return which makes me stop really caring about a mon. They are super meh on Bruno with boosts, Agatha's Golbat outspeeding both means you lose there (to say nothing of STAB immunity / Intimidate), Lance is Lance...

In short, they can chunk teams in most matchups, but the only ones I felt they had standout performances in were like...Sabrina (lol), Blaine, and Lorelei, though Erika was okay. Their dependency on boosts everywhere combined with a League that utterly shuts them out aside from Lorelei (and even THEN it's really close with damage from Surf + Hail) make them overall unreliable, which, when combined with their midgame acquisition, makes C perfect for both: they are basically the same Pokemon. They have niches occasionally, but their reliance on Bulk Up means they are inherently slow-killing Pokemon, and when you don't sweep that much with a buffing move it's not all that impressive.

Erika:
Hitmonlee (31): My Hitmonlee missed the OHKO with +2 Strength on Victrebell, who poisons and Giga Drains you to the point I died as Tangela came out. The real strategy is to Bulk Up to +1, 2HKO Bell with Strength, OHKO Tangela with Brick Break, then 2HKO Vileplume with Strength. You need Bell to derp two turns (it usually poisons you so this is feasible). You might kill Vileplume if you get a lucky crit or nice damage rolls (for yourself). Even if Victrebell uses Giga Drain twice in a row and crits with one, you still chunk Vileplume. Good.

Hitmonchan (31): Basically same as Lee, though strangely Victrebell tends to Stun Spore Chan instead and I’m not sure why (this lets Tangela outspeed). Again, Bulk Up to +1, 2HKO Bell with Strength, OHKO Tangela with Brick Break, 2HKO Vileplume with Strength.

Koga:
Hitmonlee (41): +1 Strength puts Koffing in red and 2HKOs Muk, and Toxic is obnoxious. Bulk Up to +2, OHKO Koffing but leave Muk and Weezing 2HKOed by Strength. It’s just Ai RNG.

Hitmonchan (41): Bulk Up to +1 means you Strength 2HKO everything save Weezing which you 3HKO. Koffing’s Selfdestruct does like 50-75% of your HP I think. Again, RNG, but Hitmonchan does have Keen Eye to negate Smokescreen.

Sabrina:
Hitmonlee (41): Bulk Up to +1. Interestingly, +1 Brick Break OHKOs Kadabra and breaks Reflect should that occur. +1 Strength OHKOs Mime. Zam will likely kill you with Psychic, but if it doesn’t +1 Strength OHKOs it. +1 Rock Slide takes care of Venomoth (even unboosted Rock Slide seems to OHKO). Pretty great.
Hitmonchan (41): See above (assuming on Zam as I’m not waiting on Ai again).

Blaine:
Hitmonlee (45): Pretty good even if you switch in to avoid Intimidate. Growlithe’s Fire Blast is a 3HKO, so you Bulk Up to +1 at 1/3 HP at the end of the turn. Then you OHKO Growlithe and Ponyta with Brick Break, surprisingly outspeed both Rapidash and Arcanine, OHKOing Rapidash with Rock Slide and 2HKOing Arcanine. Sweep seems possible but shaky.
Hitmonchan (44): See above: taking the Intimidate with Hitmonchan and Bulking Up to +2 works basically the same way, though the Arcanine 2HKO looks a LITTLE closer.

Giovanni:
Hitmonchan (47): See below, though OHKOing Rhyhorn unboosted is out of the question (maybe Sky Uppercut could do it). One time Dugtrio derped and I killed Queen. If you come in on Nidoqueen, you can Bulk Up once and 2HKO it, King, then OHKO Rhyhorn, though Poison Point is annoying.
Hitmonwaslee (48): Rhyhorn can actually live a Brick Break sometimes if you don’t Bulk Up, but Dugtrio seems to be OHKOed after doing a third with Earthquake. You and Nidoqueen 3HKO each other with Earthquake and Strength respectively unless you Bulk Up, where you 2HKO with Strength. After Rhyhorn’s Scary Face, both Nidos seem to outspeed. Mediocre.

Lorelei:
Hitmonchan (52): See below. Still mega shaky, you’ll still be in low red. It all depends on when Hail is used, mine stopped when Cloyster came out.
Hitmonlee (52): Bulk Up to +2, OHKO Dewgong with Brick Break…then promptly do 2/3s to Slowbro with Return (+3 leaves it in red…yeah), with two Surfs (one from Dewgong, one from Bro) + Hail chip taking me to 3 HP by the time Cloyster dies. Jynx and Lapras are OHKOed by +2 Brick Break, and I end at 5 HP post-level up.

Bruno:
Hitmonchan (52): Both Onix beat both Hitmons if you don’t boost. If you do boost to +2, things like EQ crits can still screw you over, and Machamp will win NO MATTER WHAT. You might beat 2-4 mons depending on luck. Super meh, it’s a cold day in Kanto when you fold to Onix.
Hitmonlee (53): See above. Got to Machamp once.

Agatha:
Hitmonchan (52): First Gengar outspeeds, so yeah.
Hitmonlee (53): Hitmonlee surprisingly outspeeds and 3HKOs the first Gengar with Rock Slide, only for Golbat to outspeed and I think 2HKO with Air Cutter.

Lance:
Hitmonchan (52): Boosted to effectively +2 (3 with Intimidate) then healed up for the other foes (Gyarados doesn’t 3HKO you or Lee with Dragon Rage, thankfully). Sadly +2 Rock Slide does not OHKO and 90% accuracy can actually give you the accuracy of an Imperial Stormtrooper sometimes (I think I missed three times in a row here lul). Now I’m at low HP and have to heal a third time and…Aerodactyl Wing Attack roughly 3HKOs and I’m on death’s doorstep and you kinda get the point. I outsped Nite but kinda just hit the reset button. You and Aerodactyl 2HKO each other.
Hitmonlee (53): Bulked Up to +3, died to him Hyper Beaming. Yeah Gyarados can be either stupidly threatening or stupidly derpy.

Next three kinda speak for themselves in summaries so that's how I'll do things.

Nidoran Female wasn't all that great, but I think calling it a C tier is a bit much. Decent damage dealer in all the gyms, League is super meh but I don't think that's enough to make me say C given how they still KO a few targets with coverage there and the bulk is nice (takes 3 Cross Chops from Machamp even if you can't kill it!). B it is, if only for early availability.

Spearow
is a remarkably solid Pokemon that runs into bulk issues lategame where pretty much everything 2HKOs it: despite this it still picks up KOs endgame (couple of Bruno, Gengar / Golbat in Agatha, both of Lance's Dragonair). Super easy B tier, has hints of A but falls short.

Growlithe really surprised me. Once again, Flamethrower, Bite, and the arguably superfluous Dig + Intimidate in one slot is amazing, and even in the final battles it puts in work, basically 3HKOing Bruno and even outpacing and 2HKOing a few of Agatha's Pokemon which was great! The midgame availability and minor TM dependence alongside a good but not dominating performance means it is perfect in B tier, C is way too harsh for it. Honestly, my favorite mon of the team, it was a lot of fun to use!
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
I have removed the stars on Nidoran-F, Spearow, and Hitmonchan, as those seem to be strong consensuses. I also removed Exeggcute's since I used it secretly some time ago and I am fine with B-tier. Wth that said, I can see why one would say A-tier, but I think Slow growth rate + being walled by Lance and Blaine while being shaky against Agatha due to the low Speed (you can OHKO most things against her, but you really don't wanna gamble here) make B-tier a safer tier, but could *mayybe* push it to A-tier with strong support, which seems to be lacking right now.

I have marked Hitmonlee with two stars, since the C-tier sentiment has been growing heavily. This means that I'd like to sort this out too before we move to write-ups, for which I apologize. If too much time passes, I will check every person's logs for Hitmonlee and decide off that. I'd also be happy to receive more insight on Slowpoke to see if I used it wrong or simply put too high expectations on it (feel free to discuss Psyduck as well if you want to, though this one I am more satisfied with)

e: the user that asked me for extension is also using Growlithe, so I've left it open for them. With that said, consider Growlithe B-tier for now, I have no issues with that.
 
Bulbasaur - I love this mon, but there's no way this thing is A tier. From my last playthrough, I can say it has an absolute dearth of moveset flexibility. I mean forget about choices, early/mid game if you can't hit something with Razor Leaf or Leech Seed, what do you do exactly? You just have to switch into something else, which isn't the case for other A ranks who have that moveset flexibility Bulbasaur lacks. For this reason, especially if you're counting on it to carry a big part of a 1-3 mon team, you'll be left dissapointed. Not to mention that having to Leech seed stall opposing pokes in certain circumstances, is far from an appealing / time efficient playstyle.

I'd recommend moving it down to at least B, possibly lower.
 

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