Pokemon Heartgold and Soulsilver In-Game Tier List (MkII)

Testing completed for Whitney. Had caught a Goldeen and trained it up on the Goldenrod/National Park trainers. Everyone was at 20 to accommodate a Fearow evolution and because of, well, Miltank. Also, I was riding the edge of 17 with my 3 mon team getting to Goldenrod so it's not out of the question in terms of levels. In terms of favoritism: Quilava has Fire Blast and Charcoal, Flaaffy has Charge Beam.

Goldeen: Mediocre at best. 3KO Clefairy and then do nothing against Miltank as it Stomps you into oblivion. Supersonic missed twice but I'm guessing Horn Attack would've done minimal damage. I feel confident already saying Goldeen should probably go into D; it can function against route trash and will function against Rocket because everything with a pulse functions against Team Rocket, but 35 base Special Attack is awful because you're waiting until after the eighth gym/cusp of the Elite 4 for a physical Water move (Waterfall).

Quilava: As Ryota said, Charcoal Fire Blast hits like a truck. 2KO Clefairy cleanly with Flame Wheel, and it is possible to take out Miltank, but you need a lot of luck with Stomp and Attract and 85 percent accuracy. Fire Blast does dent it though, so I'll say you do alright.

Flaaffy: Gets into a bit of a war with Clefairy because Charge Beam isn't all that strong, then lose to Miltank. I did manage to paralyze after Static and Thunder Wave proc on the same turn and do some damage with +1 Charge Beam, so I'll say she did probably third best.

Fearow: This one surprised me. 2KO Clefairy with Aerial Ace, then got into a protracted war with Miltank because you outspeed and can debuff with Growl. Aerial Ace is a 4KO at best but you can neuter Miltank's attack into the ground and do surprisingly good damage. Far better than I'd expected, and its best performance so far.
 
I want to nominate girafarig for B

Girafarig has a great typing that gives it an amazing matchup spread. After catching it, Girafarig can immediately catch up to the rest of your team by destroying Morty and Chuck. It struggles against Jasmine, but it does quite allright against Pryce and Claire thanks to charge beam. Girafarig also does great at the e4 despite its middling stats. It does high damage to Will with shadow ball, it blows holes into Koga and Bruno with STAB phychics, and even against Karen it can contribute versus Vileplume and Gengar.

Another cool thing about Girafarig is that it has some vaguely useful niche as a baton passer that actually has offensive presence. Because psybeam is all you really need for the majority of the game, you can run baton pass and agility without causing severe 4-MSS. You can run charge beam in the fourth slot to pass special attack boosts as well. Alternatively, you can run strength/rock smash/headbut or flash for exploration. Strength is especially notable for being actually pretty powerful thanks to STAB.

The best thing about Girafarig though, is that it is an incredible route sweeper. It melts through the hordes of weak mid game generic enemies, especially team rocket grunts. Girafarig stands out to me as the most low-effort, reliable phychic type in the game. It might even make a case for A, considering how relatively weak everything else in HGSS seems to be.
 
Sorry, but I forgot to mention that you are allowed to use Time Manipulation to get Return and various other things at a faster rate. I will update this post with my Tests here.

Edit: Falkner is done and I am stopping here due to how late it is. My team I am using is Chikorita, Sentret, Lapras, and Growlithe.
All mons are 11.

Mareep: 2HKOs Pidgey and 3HKOs Otto. Sand Attack can cause Thundershock to miss. Otto can 3HKO back with Tackle. (Static SHOULD proc to allow you to outspeed)

Sentret: Can 2HKO Pidgey with Quick Attack. Use Quick Attack over Scratch as my Sentret was outsped by Pidgey. Sand Attack still sucks. Otto is not winnable. I tried to max out defense with Curl. Falkner will disregard his Tackle in favor of Gust. You will also be under the effects of a -6 Accuracy most likely. Foresight will not negate accuracy drops as I thought, but is worth noting that it negates Evasion increases as it allows you to bypass accuracy checks.

Chikorita: Requires Poison Powder + Razor Leaf to take down Pidgey. Range is aroun 3HKO. 2HKO if Crit. Otto once again is not winnable. You can get lucky and get Powder off to help a teammate.
 
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Sorry, but I forgot to mention that you are allowed to use Time Manipulation to get Return and various other things at a faster rate. I will update this post with my Tests here.
Considering this, I think Lapras should end up in a high tier somewhere. It can only be caught on friday (and in the safari zone, I guess), but this is no problem with time manipulation. Lapras gets ice beam naturally, and at a reasonable level. It's one of the few pokemon that can stand up to Lance and Claire.
 
Hi all, really happy to see this discussion revitalised. I’d like to begin with a question, how do we differentiate between S and A tier? Both Totodile and Cyndaquil are great, but personally I believe Totodile has an edge on Cyndaquil as it doesn’t require a low accuracy TM (Fire Blast) for mid game sweeping, instead receiving Surf. In my opinion Cyndaquil should drop to A tier.

I’d be interested in also hearing others opinions on the following Pokémon:

Geodude (trade) to A tier. Super early availability, tears through the first 3 gyms.
Spearow (Kenya) to A tier. Given to the player at a great level once available. Gains exp at an increased rate as it’s classed as a traded Pokémon.
Red Gyarados should absolutely remain A tier, but standard Magikarp Should drop to B. There is a clear difference in ease of use between the two.

Going back to my earlier question, could either of these 3 be argued for S tier?

In my experience, Growlithe is not worth the grind required to acquire its best moves via level up before evolving with a painful to acquire stone. It was consistently my LVP until evolution and even then I never felt as though it stood out. D/C tier.

Finally, I can understand not wanting to open Pandora’s box with Kanto only Pokémon, but I think Snorlax at least deserves an honourable mention?
 
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Hi all, really happy to see this discussion revitalised. I’d like to begin with a question, how do we differentiate between S and A tier? Both Totodile and Cyndaquil are great, but personally I believe Totodile has an edge on Cyndaquil as it doesn’t require a low accuracy TM (Fire Blast) for mid game sweeping, instead receiving Surf. In my opinion Cyndaquil should drop to A tier.

I’d be interested in also hearing others opinions on the following Pokémon:

Geodude (trade) to A tier. Super early availability, tears through the first 3 gyms.
Spearow (Kenya) to A tier. Given to the player at a great level once available. Gains exp at an increased rate as it’s classed as a traded Pokémon.
Red Gyarados should absolutely remain A tier, but standard Magikarp Should drop to B. There is a clear difference in ease of use between the two.

Going back to my earlier question, could either of these 3 be argued for S tier?

Finally, I can understand not wanting to open Pandora’s box with Kanto only Pokémon, but I think Snorlax at least deserves an honourable mention?
Welcome!

The OP has an outline of S to F. But in simpler terms: S is usually Mons who, once obtained, require very limited investment and are capable of clearing the Major fights solo. A Tier are usually mons who can accomplish the same as S Tiers but tend to struggle at certain points whether it be bad matchups, a bad levelup movepool, requiring TMs, or just generally doesn't have that oomph that S tiers have. Good example is actually Totodile. Looks great on paper, but it does struggle against some Gyms like Morty and Chuck.

As we have a few noms now, I'm going to address them.

I didn't notice Mareep in the initial tier listing and I'm going to think A or B sounds good.
I've seen this argument a lot actually and feel that this is gonna be a Pokemon in constant debate on where it should go. B for right now sounds good just from experiences I have had in the past, but I am willing to move it up to A if we have enough reason to.

I want to nominate girafarig for B
This is an interesting nom. What you've listed for reasoning is pretty sound too. I would need some tests though to fully land on B if anyone is willing. Not to doubt it's prowess but I can also see it land in C, but that may be inaccurate.

Considering this, I think Lapras should end up in a high tier somewhere
Lapras, AT BEST, would be in B. I cannot place it in A as it misses out on 4 gyms, comes in at 20 (which is no way a bad level, but will require it to absorb a lot of XP to catch up), need a Surfer to get it, and get it on Friday (But Time Manip is allowed, so this is moot.) However, even with those negatives, it's got a lot of positives going for it too. Surf immediately and Ice Beam later on is amazing. Not to mention, you have Body Slam on you and a usable Attack Stat.

I believe Totodile has an edge on Cyndaquil as it doesn’t require a low accuracy TM (Fire Blast) for mid game sweeping, instead receiving Surf. In my opinion Cyndaquil should drop to A tier.
Couple things here. We are juggling the idea of dropping both to A. We agree that FB is inaccurate and it enables Quil to do a lot, but more because it is forced to use it as 35 is your next usable Fire STAB that matches with the usable Stat. Totodile to this extent also shares this. Surf is good STAB sure, but you have Ice Fang which while inaccurate, uses the Attack stat and hits the Rock/Ground types anyway. Most will use Surf though still.

Geodude (trade) to A tier. Super early availability, tears through the first 3 gyms.
Interesting case as you can also make a case for S. Golem here is at its best. It can sweep at least half the Gyms and sweep Lance (which is major points in of itself). Though A can work as well. Depends on the testers and what they think on this matter.

Spearow (Kenya) to A tier. Given to the player at a great level once available. Gains exp at an increased rate as it’s classed as a traded Pokémon.
Unfortunately, I cannot see this. Kenya, at best, would be a B. Fearow has clear issues. Return is required. Aerial Ace/Fly will be your STAB for the entirety of the game as Drill Peck is 47 which you should not really be at Lance. It's overall stats are middling outside of Attack and Speed. I don't doubt Kenya at all. But from the times I've used it, I've never thought of it as an A mon.

Red Gyarados should absolutely remain A tier, but standard Magikarp Should drop to B. There is a clear difference in ease of use between the two.
Red Gyara has a case for S. Once you get it by going East, preferably before Chuck as that's the best time to do so for Red Gyara, anytime after it starts to lose the placement and drop a tier. Outside of that, it absolutely requires no investment, can trash most everything thrown at you. It does require it to be 44 to sweep Lance which is major points towards S. As for Magikarp Route, I can agree on B.

In my experience, Growlithe is not worth the grind required to acquire its best moves via level up before evolving with a painful to acquire stone. It was consistently my LVP until evolution and even then I never felt as though it stood out. D/C tier.
At best you would want to get Reversal. Intimidate helps prolong your HP to effectively use it. Though this is situational at best. You should not need to worry too much about missing anything Physically Fire Related. Fire Fang can be relearned as can Thunder Fang. Generally speaking, most Fire Mons will use the Fire Blast + Charcoal combo as it's proven to be effective. If you wanna really patch out the Physical side of Growlithe, Strength, Return, Dig all exist for it too. Granted, Fire Stone is gonna be a timesink. I could see it in C. D I feel may be too low for it.

Finally, I can understand not wanting to open Pandora’s box with Kanto only Pokémon, but I think Snorlax at least deserves an honourable mention?
While I would like to, I cannot place it in a Tier without it undergoing tests. At best, it would be a B, potentially an A rating due to it being Post game. That may be underselling it massively too. But it is an absolute pain to catch, requires that you skip every Gym to that point so that it can participate in all 8 (unless you are forced to fight in one, which I am fairly sure you are not), requires a side quest to unlock and even then, backtrack to it, and it's outleveled in every fight.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
just want to chime in and say Gyarados was the one Pokemon that I hinted to being another candidate for S-tier (the red one specifically). Gyarados can pretty much beat most of the Gym Leaders the moment you catch it and it's also level 30, meaning you not only have to grind it, but it's likely going to be above your team's levels if you go east first (and you should, for Gyara's case, in order to obtain it as early). The only thing about Gyara is that you have to find a way to get it to level 44 to get Dragon Dance, but once you get that, Gyarados can sweep the entire E4 on its own thanks to DD, most notably Lance, who pretty much cannot be beaten by anyone else, other than Golem if you set up a Rock Polish and Defense Curl against Zard / Aero and use Rollout.

I can start testing soon. I can try out Girafarig, because I've always wanted to try it anyways. Is there anything else that would need a test? I am aiming to use 4 Pokemon.
 
How do we feel about Poliwag being in C?

I'm currently at Goldenrod City with a team of Pidgeotto, Bayleaf, Flaaffy and Poliwag and it's been my LVP so far. I do like it, but it has a lot going against it. You have to somewhat backtrack to get it and whilst it comes at Level 10 it has poor offences. I'm planning on evolving mine into Politoed as it has a Bold nature, I'm not sure how easily the Water Stone comes in HGSS. It has a very fast Hypnosis which I love for catching Pokémon with and it gains Headbutt in Ilex Forest which helps it loads to be fair, I'll see how it gets on in the next part of the game. It needs to evolve and Level 25 is high for HGSS.

I'd agree with Chikorita being in C. He's solid, but he doesn't have the moves to really grind until you get to Union Cave and even then the wild Pokémon aren't at a massively high level. Miracle Seed Razor Leaf is cool, but the routes are full of resistant Pokemon and Tackle is meh. I actually didn't bother training him really until then and focused on using Pidgey; Sprout Tower was perfect to grind at. I used Chikorita mainly in Union Cave to catch up.

On that note, Pidgey for C as well. He's brilliant early doors; Sprout Tower, Bugsy, Bug Catching competition and I think from memory he does well against Morty, but other than Chuck then loses effectiveness quickly and evolves very late at 36 for HGSS. By that point you've carried him, although I think his route-clearing ability may compensate.

Flaaffy I'd put in B. Very accessible and actually comes before Faulkner at Level 6. I thought he'd take forever to baby up to Level 10 to gain Thundershock but actually leveled up very quickly as Medium Slow requires a lot less than others initially and to be fair he's not going to be leveled too highly in this game. I managed to get a Mild one so I don't fear Thunderpunch coming off of his stats.

I've got Whitney next, then I'm looking at getting Girafarig and potentially either Vulpix or Eevee to give me a fire type (Flareon).
 
I am gonna make the case for Heracross in S tier. I am gonna borrow the format used in other viability ranking threads like Colosseum and BW2.


Availability:
Heracross is available early enough, with a short detour back to Azalea Town, since it has a 30% chance of being found when encountering a pokemon from headbutting trees. Do note though it will be quite underleveled for a little bit (It's max level doing this is five!).
Stats: Amazing attack right off of the bat. Solid Bulk and speed to boot, the only real glaring flaw is its bad Special Attack you will never use.
Typing: Bug Fighting does have its drawbacks, as flying types show up enough, but a fighting type in Johto has a lot of strong match ups.
Movepool: You start with Horn Attack that does decent neutral damage. At level 13 you get Aerial Ace which helps for coverage. At level 19 you get Brick Break which will basically 2hko at worst most pokemon you encounter. Close Combat comes at level 37. Unfortunately you do not get Megahorn until 55 which you likely wont be by the time you fight Lance.
Major battles: If you get Heracross to level 19 to get Brick Break, Whitney is an easy fight. Heracross can feasibly muscle its way through Chuck due ti its fighting resistance and Aerial Ace. Jasmine and Pryce should also be easy pickings for Heracross. Archer should be easy enough so long as your Heracross is speedier than his Houndoom. You also curbstomp Karen. To be honest, Heracross can put in work in almost any battle so long as it does not face a flying type.


I'm also gonna make the case for Kangaskhan for A Tier.

Availability: Normally this is not available until after you beat the game. But through Pokemon Go the Pokewalker, you have access to Kangaskhan at 3000 watts on the Refreshing Field, which is one of the first available Pokewalker locals available.
Stats: Respectable stats in bulk, attack, and speed. It will keep up with the rest of the team all the way until the end of the game.
Typing: Pure Normal is ok, nothing special but nothing terrible.
Movepool: Comet Punch will help you deal your damage early on. Bite at 13 will help you with the few ghost types in your way. Mega Punch at 19, although since by then you are at Goldenrod getting Return would be ideal. Crunch comes at 31 and Outrage at 37
Major battles: Can brute force its way through Bugsy, Whitney, and your rival no problem. Morty is a great matchup since you are immune to Shadow Ball and Bite crushes him. Claire also can be a surprisingly easy matchup if you have Outrage by that point. Outrage also can help vs Lance. Avoid Chuck, Jasmine, and Bruno at all costs. To be honest, it can just muscle its way through most trainers though by clicking Return.
Additional Notes: Since you get Bite and Crunch leveling up, Early Bird is the preferred ability.


Finally, I am gonna push for Lapras to B tier.

Availability: Lapras can be found on Fridays in Union Cave's Basement, which means 1: you need to backtrack to Union Cave, and 2: you need to have something that already has Surf to get there. It will be level 20.
Stats: Amazing bulk and decent offensive stats. On the slower side though but not unbearably slow.
Typing: Water and Ice are pretty nice. Decent defensively, strong offensively.
Movepool: Comes with Water Pulse (which will immediately become Surf), Ice Shard, Body Slam, and Confuse Ray. Ice Beam at Level 33 is the real standout though. Perish Song can be used for some cheeky lethals but its difficult to set up and rarely worth it.
Major battles: Stone walls Pryce and Surfs him to death, does well against your rival and Team Rocket. Claire is a strong matchup as well. Can do well against Will and Karen, though Slowbro for Will is an issue. Lance's three illegal dragonites die to Ice Beam, you do well against Charizard and Aerodactyl but need to watch out for Aero's Rock Slide.
Additional Notes: Water Absorb is the preferred ability in game, unless you really hate random crits.

I could do more from a few recent runs I did from HGSS, but I feel these are the team members I went through on this run I wanted to pump the most. My team this run was Typhlosion, Electabuzz, Kangaskhan, Heracross, Lapras, and Murkrow. I could do more write ups when I do my next run. Likely gonna edit in the Murkrow and Electabuzz ones later. TDLR Murkrow B Electabuzz C.

Agree with Red Gyara specifically to S.

I would honestly push Girafarig to A. I found its route sweeping abilities really strong. It is my personal favorite Psychic to use in game due to Alakazam being in a weird spot vs Morty and Espeon being such a hassle to evolve.
 
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I am gonna make the case for Heracross in S tier. I am gonna borrow the format used in other viability ranking threads like Colosseum and BW2.


Availability:
Heracross is available early enough, with a short detour back to Azalea Town, since it has a 30% chance of being found when encountering a pokemon from headbutting trees. Do note though it will be quite underleveled for a little bit (It's max level doing this is five!).
Stats: Amazing attack right off of the bat. Solid Bulk and speed to boot, the only real glaring flaw is its bad Special Attack you will never use.
Typing: Bug Fighting does have its drawbacks, as flying types show up enough, but a fighting type in Johto has a lot of strong match ups.
Movepool: You start with Horn Attack that does decent neutral damage. At level 13 you get Aerial Ace which helps for coverage. At level 19 you get Brick Break which will basically 2hko at worst most pokemon you encounter. Close Combat comes at level 37. Unfortunately you do not get Megahorn until 55 which you likely wont be by the time you fight Lance.
Major battles: If you get Heracross to level 19 to get Brick Break, Whitney is an easy fight. Heracross can feasibly muscle its way through Chuck due ti its fighting resistance and Aerial Ace. Jasmine and Pryce should also be easy pickings for Heracross. Archer should be easy enough so long as your Heracross is speedier than his Houndoom. You also curbstomp Karen. To be honest, Heracross can put in work in almost any battle so long as it does not face a flying type.


I'm also gonna make the case for Kangaskhan for A Tier.

Availability: Normally this is not available until after you beat the game. But through Pokemon Go the Pokewalker, you have access to Kangaskhan at 3000 watts on the Refreshing Field, which is one of the first available Pokewalker locals available.
Stats: Respectable stats in bulk, attack, and speed. It will keep up with the rest of the team all the way until the end of the game.
Typing: Pure Normal is ok, nothing special but nothing terrible.
Movepool: Comet Punch will help you deal your damage early on. Bite at 13 will help you with the few ghost types in your way. Mega Punch at 19, although since by then you are at Goldenrod getting Return would be ideal. Crunch comes at 31 and Outrage at 37
Major battles: Can brute force its way through Bugsy, Whitney, and your rival no problem. Morty is a great matchup since you are immune to Shadow Ball and Bite crushes him. Claire also can be a surprisingly easy matchup if you have Outrage by that point. Outrage also can help vs Lance. Avoid Chuck, Jasmine, and Bruno at all costs. To be honest, it can just muscle its way through most trainers though by clicking Return.
Additional Notes: Since you get Bite and Crunch leveling up, Early Bird is the preferred ability.


Finally, I am gonna push for Lapras to B tier.

Availability: Lapras can be found on Fridays in Union Cave's Basement, which means 1: you need to backtrack to Union Cave, and 2: you need to have something that already has Surf to get there. It will be level 20.
Stats: Amazing bulk and decent offensive stats. On the slower side though but not unbearably slow.
Typing: Pure Normal is ok, nothing special but nothing terrible.
Movepool: Comes with Water Pulse (which will immediately become Surf), Ice Shard, Body Slam, and Confuse Ray. Ice Beam at Level 33 is the real standout though. Perish Song can be used for some cheeky lethals but its difficult to set up and rarely worth it.
Major battles: Stone walls Pryce and Surfs him to death, does well against your rival and Team Rocket. Claire is a strong matchup as well. Can do well against Will and Karen, though Slowbro for Will is an issue. Lance's three illegal dragonites die to Ice Beam, you do well against Charizard and Aerodactyl but need to watch out for Aero's Rock Slide.
Additional Notes: Water Absorb is the preferred ability in game, unless you really hate random crits.

I could do more from a few recent runs I did from HGSS, but I feel these are the team members I went through on this run I wanted to pump the most. My team this run was Typhlosion, Electabuzz, Kangaskhan, Heracross, Lapras, and Murkrow. I could do more write ups when I do my next run. Likely gonna edit in the Murkrow and Electabuzz ones later. TDLR Murkrow B Electabuzz C.

Agree with Red Gyara specifically to S.

I would honestly push Girafarig to A. I found its route sweeping abilities really strong. It is my personal favorite Psychic to use in game due to Alakazam being in a weird spot vs Morty and Espeon being such a hassle to evolve.
Now that you raised Pokewalker Kangaskhan, I just remembered we don't have a verdict on it in terms of tiering. So, should Pokewalker be considered for this list?

For me personally, No. The In Game List article here has stated this:

"Note about the Pokéwalker: some of the Pokémon listed below require 10,000+ Watts to unlock with the Pokéwalker. As the Pokéwalker is a pedometer (which counts your real-life steps), for your health, please do not overexert yourself to obtain every single Pokémon in one go. Obtaining all of the Pokémon takes real time, and obtaining Pokémon is not worth enough to risk your own health."

I do not want people to overexert themselves in any manner for testing.

Next up, Girafarig. I think B sounds more realistic, based on the fact Girafaring isn't super powerful. Regardless, Ryota said he wanted to test it, so I want to wait for his results as well

Murkrow in B? Murkrow is in the Safari Zone and you can't get Honchkrow unless you beat Lance. I'd say Murkrow would be a D as it's Evo is locked behind Post Lance and can't really see any reason it be that high without it's matchups.

As for Ryota, go ahead and test Butterfree, Slowbro, Zubat, and Girafarig.
 
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Now that you raised Pokewalker Kangaskhan, I just remembered we don't have a verdict on it in terms of tiering. So, should Pokewalker be considered for this list?

For me personally, No. The In Game List article here has stated this:

"Note about the Pokéwalker: some of the Pokémon listed below require 10,000+ Watts to unlock with the Pokéwalker. As the Pokéwalker is a pedometer (which counts your real-life steps), for your health, please do not overexert yourself to obtain every single Pokémon in one go. Obtaining all of the Pokémon takes real time, and obtaining Pokémon is not worth enough to risk your own health."

I do not want people to overexert themselves in any manner for testing.

Next up, Girafarig. I think B sounds more realistic, based on the fact Girafaring isn't super powerful. Regardless, Ryota said he wanted to test it, so I want to wait for his results as well

Murkrow in B? Murkrow is in the Safari Zone and you can't get Honchkrow unless you beat Lance. I'd say Murkrow would be a D as it's Evo is locked behind Post Lance and can't really see any reason it be that high without it's matchups.
Murkrow I got early via pokewalker.

In terms of the Pokewalker, I would say 100% yes to its use. Taking many steps tbh is healthy, I got my Kangaskhan for instance in one walk. The warning there is so no one tries to get their whole team at once and walk 20000 steps or so. As such, I think it’s fine.

Murkrow when gotten early on is a solid glass cannon. The dark type helps out a ton since you get another out vs Morty. From my experience not getting it to be honchkrow was fine. Matchup wise it did great vs Morty, Bugsy, Chuck, Will, Karen, and Bruno. Solid route cleaner too.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
As for Ryota, go ahead and test Butterfree, Slowbro, Zubat, and Girafarig.
sure, as for Zubat, I had the wild idea of catching it post-Team Rocket with Friend Balls, I want to try that.

As for Slowbro, I am planning on backtracking and catching one directly at Slowpoke Well once I get Surf .Through repel tricks, I can get one fairly easily at high levels.

So, should Pokewalker be considered for this list?
Ehhhh. I can't say I am a huge fan of it, but I have never used it, so. The problem is that Pokewalker is highly unavailable, especially in areas like my country, without it being ridiculously expensive or adding high value to the games if you try purchasing online. Regardless, it's likely to benefit 2-3 mons at most? So I am not sure how worth it would be to feature Pokewalker just for 3 mons.

Regardless, Pokewalker can be seen as an outside tool, akin to transferring Pokemon, so if it's considered that, then it definitely should not be considered for tiering.

Taking many steps tbh is healthy
the typical amount of "healthy" steps per day is 5k-7k (per some sources I've read, they may not get the EXACT number correctly), so if something requires more than that, then it's definitely not "healthy" (10k steps, for example, is known to cause knee arthritis in some people).
 
Now that you raised Pokewalker Kangaskhan, I just remembered we don't have a verdict on it in terms of tiering. So, should Pokewalker be considered for this list?
I think it makes sense to include the PokéWalker for completion's sake, as it's legitimately useful for players who have access to one. However, if PokéWalker is included then the Pokémon who are in a different rank because of it would need separate entries on the tier list for PokéWalker and non-PokéWalker, for players who don't have access to one. And it should be clear which Pokémon are available only through PokéWalker.

Echoing Girafarig for A. It's an extremely valid choice in HGSS thanks to good availability and typing. Psychic-Type is really good against Team Rocket and a number of other bosses, and it's the best option besides Alakazam.

I'd also like to nominate Dratini (Goldenrod) for A/B
Availability:
Early-game, acquired before the third gym badge. Requires a fair bit of grinding at Voltorb Flip, but comes at level 15 meaning it catches up to the rest of the team quite quickly.
Stats: Good balance of bulk and power, and its power buff at level 30 by evolving into Dragonair is pretty well-timed. Not outstanding, but made up for by its movepool.
Typing: The only available Dragon-Type Pokémon, it comes with a bevy of useful resistances. Most notably, it gives it an unrivalled (hehe) matchup against Silver's team if his ace is one of the Cyndaquil or Chikorita lines. It's rare that a generic trainer will be strong against it, as Ice- and Dragon-Type Pokémon are rare.
Movepool: Outstanding. Comes with Dragon Rage, which is a OHKO-2HKO against just about everything for a while after getting it, and Thunder Wave which is great utility for catching Pokémon or contributing to major battles without dealing damage. Its TM/HM movepool is vast, and allows it to theoretically contribute to every major battle (even Pryce!). However, securing these matchups costs money or time through Voltorb Flip, as most of the key TMs have to be bought from either the Game Corner or the Department Store in Goldenrod. Nevertheless, Dragon Rage is a great move for generic trainers until surprisingly late in the game.
Major battles: Consistently great.
  • Whitney: Dragon Rage 2HKOs Clefairy and 3HKOs Miltank. Miltank holds a Lum Berry, but using Thunder Wave twice can still be a useful contribution.
  • Morty: Dragon Rage 2HKOs his entire team besides Gengar who heals out of 2HKO range with Sitrus Berry. However, it's still a Dratini so its bulk can be a problem if it Morty chooses good moves. Unreliable solo potential, but can contribute very well either way.
  • Chuck: Dragon Rage 2HKOs Primeape and Thunder(bolt) 2HKOs or OHKOs Poliwrath depending on if Dratini has evolved or not yet. Bulk is an issue again if still a Dratini, but Dragonair can solo this just fine.
  • Jasmine: Bodies her with Fire Blast / Flamethrower.
  • Pryce: Its weakest matchup, it can still contribute with Thunder(bolt) on Seel and Dewgong or Fire Blast / Flamethrower / Iron Tail for Piloswine. Has enough bulk to take two or three moves from Seel and Dewgong, but Piloswine's Blizzard bodies it.
  • Clair: Another shaky matchup, but it can still contribute well. Thunder(bolt) takes out Gyarados and Dragonair easily survives a move from it, and can then use either Dragon Rush (learned by level-up soon before the battle), Ice Beam or Blizzard to work on her Dragonair, which your own Dragonair should outspeed thanks to picking up random speed EVs along the way. With luck -- accurate Dragon Rushes -- and a Sitrus Berry Dragonair can even take out Kingdra and solo this battle, but reliance on Dragon Rush is unfortunate.
  • Will: Just Ice Beam / Blizzard ploughs through the 2 Xatu and Exeggutor, while Slowbro presents the option of OHKOing with Thunder, or 2HKOing with Thunderbolt or Dragon Pulse. Jynx is a bad matchup, though.
  • Karen: Overall a good matchup. Umbreon is annoying if you're entirely a special set, but not unbeatable since it deals minimal damage. Ice Beam / Blizzard mow down Vileplume and Murkrow, while Surf / Aqua Tail beats Houndoom and just about any move 2HKOs Gengar.
  • Koga: Flamethrower / Fire Blast OHKOs Ariados, Forretress and Venomoth, while Thunder(bolt) or Ice-Type move OHKOs or 2HKOs Crobat depending on if its the strong but inaccurate move or the weak but accurate one. Muk is a 2HKO with Dragon Rush, otherwise if an entirely special set it can be useful to Thunder Wave it before chipping down.
  • Bruno: Largely a neutral matchup. Destroys Onix, but Hitmonchan is shaky due to its good special bulk and strong Ice Punch. Hitmonlee similarly hits real hard and is 3HKO'd back (2HKO'd by Dragon Rush), but Hitmontop is no issue and can be taken out. Machamp is a win 1v1, but not by the time it's sent out as Dragonair will have taken too much damage beforehand. One of its weaker matchups, but Thunder Wave has utility to support teammates and it's a great option for Onix (but many things are).
  • Lance: If somehow keeping up with levels and evolving into Dragonite at level 50, this is a solo. In the likelier circumstance -- that it's still a Dragonair -- it can win 1v1 against Gyarados and Aerodactyl with Thunder(bolt) or, for Aerodactyl, Ice Beam / Blizzard / Surf / Aqua Tail too. The other 4 take it out with their strong super-effective hits, however.
tl;dr Dratini can modify its moveset to have dominant matchups against most bosses.
Additional Notes: Dratini's placement in A or B depends on how we weigh the investment required for acquiring its best moves and the Pokémon itself against its great battle prowess. Notably, Dragon Rush | Dragon Pulse / Iron Tail / Aqua Tail | Surf / Thunder Wave | Dragon Pulse is a perfectly serviceable final moveset on this thing that doesn't require buying TMs, but reduces its utility in major boss battles. Finally, Dratini (Dragon's Den) should be ranked separately, likely much lower.
 
For Heracross, don't forget you can teach it Shadow Claw so you can watch it rip through Morty's gym. Honestly it should be A tier at worst. I'll be testing later on tonight with probably the same team; any ideas on a fifth or sixth mon? So far I've got Quilava (A so far), Flaaffy (B though I'm biased towards A, we'll see how it goes), early Fearow (B) and Goldeen (D or E).
 
I think it makes sense to include the PokéWalker for completion's sake, as it's legitimately useful for players who have access to one. However, if PokéWalker is included then the Pokémon who are in a different rank because of it would need separate entries on the tier list for PokéWalker and non-PokéWalker, for players who don't have access to one. And it should be clear which Pokémon are available only through PokéWalker.

Echoing Girafarig for A. It's an extremely valid choice in HGSS thanks to good availability and typing. Psychic-Type is really good against Team Rocket and a number of other bosses, and it's the best option besides Alakazam.

I'd also like to nominate Dratini (Goldenrod) for A/B
Availability:
Early-game, acquired before the third gym badge. Requires a fair bit of grinding at Voltorb Flip, but comes at level 15 meaning it catches up to the rest of the team quite quickly.
Stats: Good balance of bulk and power, and its power buff at level 30 by evolving into Dragonair is pretty well-timed. Not outstanding, but made up for by its movepool.
Typing: The only available Dragon-Type Pokémon, it comes with a bevy of useful resistances. Most notably, it gives it an unrivalled (hehe) matchup against Silver's team if his ace is one of the Cyndaquil or Chikorita lines. It's rare that a generic trainer will be strong against it, as Ice- and Dragon-Type Pokémon are rare.
Movepool: Outstanding. Comes with Dragon Rage, which is a OHKO-2HKO against just about everything for a while after getting it, and Thunder Wave which is great utility for catching Pokémon or contributing to major battles without dealing damage. Its TM/HM movepool is vast, and allows it to theoretically contribute to every major battle (even Pryce!). However, securing these matchups costs money or time through Voltorb Flip, as most of the key TMs have to be bought from either the Game Corner or the Department Store in Goldenrod. Nevertheless, Dragon Rage is a great move for generic trainers until surprisingly late in the game.
Major battles: Consistently great.
  • Whitney: Dragon Rage 2HKOs Clefairy and 3HKOs Miltank. Miltank holds a Lum Berry, but using Thunder Wave twice can still be a useful contribution.
  • Morty: Dragon Rage 2HKOs his entire team besides Gengar who heals out of 2HKO range with Sitrus Berry. However, it's still a Dratini so its bulk can be a problem if it Morty chooses good moves. Unreliable solo potential, but can contribute very well either way.
  • Chuck: Dragon Rage 2HKOs Primeape and Thunder(bolt) 2HKOs or OHKOs Poliwrath depending on if Dratini has evolved or not yet. Bulk is an issue again if still a Dratini, but Dragonair can solo this just fine.
  • Jasmine: Bodies her with Fire Blast / Flamethrower.
  • Pryce: Its weakest matchup, it can still contribute with Thunder(bolt) on Seel and Dewgong or Fire Blast / Flamethrower / Iron Tail for Piloswine. Has enough bulk to take two or three moves from Seel and Dewgong, but Piloswine's Blizzard bodies it.
  • Clair: Another shaky matchup, but it can still contribute well. Thunder(bolt) takes out Gyarados and Dragonair easily survives a move from it, and can then use either Dragon Rush (learned by level-up soon before the battle), Ice Beam or Blizzard to work on her Dragonair, which your own Dragonair should outspeed thanks to picking up random speed EVs along the way. With luck -- accurate Dragon Rushes -- and a Sitrus Berry Dragonair can even take out Kingdra and solo this battle, but reliance on Dragon Rush is unfortunate.
  • Will: Just Ice Beam / Blizzard ploughs through the 2 Xatu and Exeggutor, while Slowbro presents the option of OHKOing with Thunder, or 2HKOing with Thunderbolt or Dragon Pulse. Jynx is a bad matchup, though.
  • Karen: Overall a good matchup. Umbreon is annoying if you're entirely a special set, but not unbeatable since it deals minimal damage. Ice Beam / Blizzard mow down Vileplume and Murkrow, while Surf / Aqua Tail beats Houndoom and just about any move 2HKOs Gengar.
  • Koga: Flamethrower / Fire Blast OHKOs Ariados, Forretress and Venomoth, while Thunder(bolt) or Ice-Type move OHKOs or 2HKOs Crobat depending on if its the strong but inaccurate move or the weak but accurate one. Muk is a 2HKO with Dragon Rush, otherwise if an entirely special set it can be useful to Thunder Wave it before chipping down.
  • Bruno: Largely a neutral matchup. Destroys Onix, but Hitmonchan is shaky due to its good special bulk and strong Ice Punch. Hitmonlee similarly hits real hard and is 3HKO'd back (2HKO'd by Dragon Rush), but Hitmontop is no issue and can be taken out. Machamp is a win 1v1, but not by the time it's sent out as Dragonair will have taken too much damage beforehand. One of its weaker matchups, but Thunder Wave has utility to support teammates and it's a great option for Onix (but many things are).
  • Lance: If somehow keeping up with levels and evolving into Dragonite at level 50, this is a solo. In the likelier circumstance -- that it's still a Dragonair -- it can win 1v1 against Gyarados and Aerodactyl with Thunder(bolt) or, for Aerodactyl, Ice Beam / Blizzard / Surf / Aqua Tail too. The other 4 take it out with their strong super-effective hits, however.
tl;dr Dratini can modify its moveset to have dominant matchups against most bosses.
Additional Notes: Dratini's placement in A or B depends on how we weigh the investment required for acquiring its best moves and the Pokémon itself against its great battle prowess. Notably, Dragon Rush | Dragon Pulse / Iron Tail / Aqua Tail | Surf / Thunder Wave | Dragon Pulse is a perfectly serviceable final moveset on this thing that doesn't require buying TMs, but reduces its utility in major boss battles. Finally, Dratini (Dragon's Den) should be ranked separately, likely much lower.
Team Rocket isn't even that hard to beat for most mons? Only real threats are Petrel 2, Ariana 2, and Archer. Also, Slowbro exists. While you get it about a Gym later, it's got more going for it in the end, so Rig really faces some competition on best Psychic.

Dratini is more of a C/D even with GC. From what I am reading here, you are wanting to use Thunderbolt or Ice Beam in most matchups. When both are 10k Coins at the GC. Counting that with Dratini who is already 2,100 and a time sink. You are looking at 22,100 coins for what you are nomming ii for. As in my OP, anything that requires you to get things from the GC (as I explicitly mentioned Thunderbolt) drops its tier. Blizzard and Thunder are fine, but Nair will miss with those just like Rush.

To tack onto this, Dratini is in the Slow XP meaning it's gonna take forever really to get it to Nair, and it's stats, even as Nair, are not all that great. It is also worth noting that Miltank is a 2HKO with Dragon Rage. You don't actually drop it into a Potion healing range with that.

Modifying it's movepool is also an issue here. You'll be pumping it full of TMs to match those fights, and with that comes Cost.

We weigh the GC TMs high here. I am not barring them, but it will hurt the Pokemon's placement as no one should have to spend hours getting both of those to make a Mon look good.

For Khlaylav, really up to what you want here. Just remember that 5 may start to interfere with your XP.
 
Team Rocket isn't even that hard to beat for most mons? Only real threats are Petrel 2, Ariana 2, and Archer. Also, Slowbro exists. While you get it about a Gym later, it's got more going for it in the end, so Rig really faces some competition on best Psychic.

Dratini is more of a C/D even with GC. From what I am reading here, you are wanting to use Thunderbolt or Ice Beam in most matchups. When both are 10k Coins at the GC. Counting that with Dratini who is already 2,100 and a time sink. You are looking at 22,100 coins for what you are nomming ii for. As in my OP, anything that requires you to get things from the GC (as I explicitly mentioned Thunderbolt) drops its tier. Blizzard and Thunder are fine, but Nair will miss with those just like Rush.

To tack onto this, Dratini is in the Slow XP meaning it's gonna take forever really to get it to Nair, and it's stats, even as Nair, are not all that great. It is also worth noting that Miltank is a 2HKO with Dragon Rage. You don't actually drop it into a Potion healing range with that.

Modifying it's movepool is also an issue here. You'll be pumping it full of TMs to match those fights, and with that comes Cost.

We weigh the GC TMs high here. I am not barring them, but it will hurt the Pokemon's placement as no one should have to spend hours getting both of those to make a Mon look good.

For Khlaylav, really up to what you want here. Just remember that 5 may start to interfere with your XP.
FWIW Dratini kept up well when I ran through the game with it because it was the best Pokémon to use against most of the random trainers. Dragon Rage is broken with HGSS' level curve since trainers don't level up enough to increase their HP enough to obsolete it. I also think it's optimal to run with the less accurate moves rather than grinding Voltorb Flip and it's what I did; Dragonair is bulky enough to afford the misses, but some players would rather the more accurate moves so I included them in the write-up alongside the less accurate ones.

C/D is far too low though. Disregarding Game Corner and Voltorb Flip entirely, it still has access to: Dragon Rage, Thunder Wave, Dragon Rush, Aqua Tail (level-up), Surf (HM) and Iron Tail and Dragon Pulse (gym TMs). Using these moves exclusively is still a B-rank worthy mon without a doubt.

Slowpoke evolves at level 37, so it's a Slowpoke for the vast majority of Team Rocket if not all of it. Even if you grind and make it a Slowbro, Girafarig still has an advantage because it outspeeds many more Pokémon meaning it takes less damage over the course of several battles. Both can beat Team Rocket just fine, but Girafarig is much more efficient at it. And most Pokémon can beat Team Rocket, so efficiency is what really matters.
 
FWIW Dratini kept up well when I ran through the game with it because it was the best Pokémon to use against most of the random trainers. Dragon Rage is broken with HGSS' level curve since trainers don't level up enough to increase their HP enough to obsolete it. I also think it's optimal to run with the less accurate moves rather than grinding Voltorb Flip and it's what I did; Dragonair is bulky enough to afford the misses.

C/D is far too low though. Disregarding Game Corner and Voltorb Flip entirely, it still has access to: Dragon Rage, Thunder Wave, Dragon Rush, Aqua Tail (level-up), Surf (HM) and Iron Tail and Dragon Pulse (gym TMs). Using these moves exclusively is still a B-rank worthy mon without a doubt.

Slowpoke evolves at level 37, so it's a Slowpoke for the vast majority of Team Rocket if not all of it. Even if you grind and make it a Slowbro, Girafarig still has an advantage because it outspeeds many more Pokémon meaning it takes less damage over the course of several battles. Both can beat Team Rocket just fine, but Girafarig is much more efficient at it. And most Pokémon can beat Team Rocket, so efficiency is what really matters.
Backtrack for Slowbro. No one should have to suffer through Slowpoke
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
ok so I started my test run up until Morty. Here are logs:

I start my game and catch a level 4 Caterpie as soon as I can. Caterpie has it a bit rough initially, as I need to sack in Cyndaquil so Caterpie can finish off an opponent and grab all the Exp. However, it evolves into Metapod before Sprout Tower and Metapod has no problems muscling through the Sages with Tackle, as it resists Vine Whip. Metapod evolves into Butterfree and trashes Elder Lee. I reach Falkner with a level 12 Butterfree.

Team: Butterfree(12)

Butterfree: Confusion is a 2HKO on Pidgey and a 5HKO on Pidgeotto. For both birds, the most optimal strategy is to put them to sleep with Sleep Powder. I did dozens of test runs for this fight and Butterfree managed to win all of them. Pidgeotto's Gust is a 4HKO on my Butterfree. Not 100% reliable, as you need them to sleep for a long time, but I'd say around 90% based on my dozens of tests.


I go through Union Cave and reach Proton with a level 17 Butterfree that just runs through him with Confusion. I take Friend Balls and catch a level 7 Zubat. I reach Bugsy with the following team:

Team: Butterfree(18), Zubat(11)

Butterfree: Gust is a 3HKO on Scyther. Putting it to sleep is the most optimal strategy in this fight as well, as it takes one turn to either Leer or Focus Energy, thus the chances of you winning are very high. Metapod and Kakuna are easily taken care of
Zubat: well, it takes some time to beat the cacoons as well, if you decide to catch a later one and thus be super underleveled.


I go to Ilex Forest, but before that, I need to face rival.

Team: Butterfree(19), Zubat(12)

Butterfree: Confusion gets Gastly and Zubat. Sleep Powder + Gust should be able to handle any starter (in my case, it was Croconaw).
Zubat: interestingly, it has no problems beating Gastly, but this one Zubat struggles with the rest.

I clean Ilex Forest and the route aftewards. I beat the Underground trainers and Gym Trainers and reach Whitney with both mons at level 20 (I could have gone to the next route for more Exp., but I wanted to keep levels a bit more realistic):

Team: Butterfree(20), Zubat(20)

Butterfree: Gust 3HKOs Clefairy. Miltank 2HKOs with Rollout and Lum Berry makes Sleep Powder strategy unviable. So, no sweep this fight *sad face*
Zubat: 3HKOs Clefairy with Wing Attack and loses to Miltank.


I skip many of the trainers ahead so I can save them for Girafarig. I catch one after Bicycling and repelling through the areas and skipping the trainers in east too. I evolve Zubat into Golbat and one level later it evolves into Crobat. I then grind up Girafarig and beat the trainers on west in order to not to be underleveled against Morty. Before doing that, though, I face my rival once again:

Team: Butterfree(21), Crobat(23), Girafarig(21)

Butterfree: Confusion OHKOs Gastly and Zubat. As always, can muscle through starter with Gust + Sleep Powder, though Quilava will likely be more difficult. Magnemite can be muscled through with Confusion, but it's a risky move.
Crobat: Only struggles with Magnemite, though you can muscle through with Bite if you are lucky, but it has no problems against the rest.
Girafarig: struggles only with Magnemite, but Psybeam runs through the rest of his team without much difficulty.

I then do west trainers and Gym trainers and reach Morty with the following team:

Team: Butterfree(25), Crobat(25), Girafarig(23)

Butterfree: Psybeam blasts through Gastly and 3HKOs Gengar due to Sitrus Berry, though Gengar is only winnable if you put it to sleep and it sleeps for long enough, as Shadow Ball is a 2HKO. Both Haunter are faster and one of them Curses, the other can be annoying with Hypnosis + Dream Eater. Overall, you either abuse the luck you get a lot or you get somewhat unlucky.
Crobat: Bite 2HKOs Gengar (3HKO with Sitrus Berry) and OHKOs the rest. Gengar can be annoying with Hypnosis + Dream Eater, but you can also flinch with Bite and if Hypnosis misses, you are very likely winning.
Girafarig: as mentioned in previous noms, Girafarig stomps this gym. Psybeam will OHKO everything bar Gengar, which is 2HKOed. I didn't have Early Bird, but I still managed to get by with a Hypnosis miss, though Early Bird will help a lot here.


current thoughts on members so far:

Butterfree
This has a very monstrous (in the good sense) early-game, as it runs through everything with Confusion. Its high chance of beating the first two Gym Leaders make me think this is, at worst, C-tier. I don't see B as impossible, but you still rely a lot on sleep counter being in your favor, but at least, for the first two Gym Leaders, it's high likely you win, based on my dozens of tests for both.

Crobat (Zubat caught with Friend Ball)
It certainly wasn't easy to grind up Zubat, but I am glad I could get Crobat immediately after leveling up Golbat. Its matchups are eh before Morty, so C-tier at best, at least for this version of Zubat. (Also, I know I can take Return, I did most of my tests yesterday and it wasn't Sunday).

Girafarig
Well, it just beat Morty and did well against Silver. Considering it caught up in a timely fashion with my team, due to me skipping some trainers, I agree that a preliminary high-tier would be appropriate, though whenever B or A will be decided by next matchups.

By the way, here are the IVs of each Pokemon on my team, if you need them for whatever reason.

caterpie.jpg

zubat.jpg

girafarig.jpg


also, re: Dratini, I haven't really used in a while, but based on what Celever has posted in his major battles sections, it's definitely not an A ranker, for the following reasons (along my own arguments):

  • You need first to grind 2100 coins on the Voltorb Flip game (and trust me, it's PAINFUL to grind for anything other than Abra there)
  • It's still a Pokemon in the Slow Exp. group and thus will suck out a lot more exp. from your teammates. And exp. is super valuable resource this game, maybe more than other games.
  • From your major battles, Dratini has to rely a lot on the 70/85% accuracy moves (gl grinding for BoltBeam and Flamethrower). I do want to mention that, with a team of 4, your team's levels will be around 42-44 for the Elite Four, so you definitely are facing Lance with a Dragonair. I can comment more on your major battles if you wish me to, though I am gonna keep quiet for now.
I am not explicitly supporting or denying a B-tier, because, again, I have not used it in a while. I just disagree with putting Dratini in A.

(I could also test Dratini in a next run and confirm those matchups).
 
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Okay, I'm going to throw my hat into the ring about Dratini. I'm going to be using it in my current run later.

Dratini, simply put, is nothing I see close to A or even B. I've used it before a long time ago, but I'm going to be refreshing my memory soon and using it again. And here's my problems before I do so.

1. As others have stated, Dratini being in the Slow EXP group really, really hurts it. First off, I'm expected to grind 2,100 Coins to even GET this thing reasonably, which, when combined with its already Slow growth rate, easily knocks it down a tier from where it would be otherwise.

2. Reading from Celever's major fights, Dratini relies a lot on those Game Corner TMs. Though, because they are hard to obtain, the player is likely relying on the inaccurate ones. The TMs overshadow Dragonair; the TMs themselves are doing the work rather than the line itself. Some of them are one-use and niche at best. Why would I use Iron Tail for a grand total of one fight? I can maybe see Dragon Pulse as STAB, but it's still one use. A lot of the time it's mostly Thunderbolt/Ice Beam. Fire Blast has some use, which is okay (a lot of Fire types use it) but really, it's only BoltBeam doing the work. And if we allow this...it would screw up the actual viability of Pokemon otherwise.

Flaaffy gets Thunderbolt pre-Whitney. But what about the time investment? Even with Thundershock, mine took some time to 3HKO Faulkner's Pidgeotto at Level 11, meaning Roost spam can be annoying. And it sure as heck isn't taking on Bugsy-U-Turn Quick Attack destroys you. Yes, I can beat Whitney with Thunderbolt, but it will still take time to invest.

Jynx is a B tier with Ice Beam. Sure, it comes late, but it can make up for it by beating Lance with Ice Beam. No. No it can't. This mon comes under leveled, has literally no Psychic unless you breed for Smoochum (not happening in this list) and relying on Blizzard. If we were to allow GC TMs without consequences, a lot of Pokemon would be way higher than they actually are.

The list then isn't determining the viability of how each Pokemon performs. It becomes "how fast can I grind 10,000 coins to steamroll the game?"

The fact that the Game Corner can solve the issues of a Pokemon in my opinion isn't a great argument at all. You waste so much time into something that, in the end, isn't the move depending on the mon. It's the mon depending on the move.

Dragonair is ultimately relying on the TMs more than the TMs are relying on Dragonair's stats. Sure, they help Dragonair significantly, like hitting Lance's Gyarados, but you sink so much time in them that they lose any value they would bring to the table otherwise.
 
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Currently starting up a new play through. Will post run throughs of my thoughts on each of my other team members, and elaborate on their usefulness.

Ryota Mitarai that surprises me, I usually walk at least 8000 steps a day according to my health app. Regardless, I feel that since it is a valid source of Pokémon and does not sequence break, it should be counted but the Pokewalker must be stressed as a part of why it is rated where it is. For example, Kangaskhan and Murkrow would not be A and B in my opinion respectively if I couldn’t get them so early.

Currently my run has Totodile, Mareep, and Slugma from the Primo egg. Planning on testing Machamp, Yanma, and Swinub. God help me.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Ryota Mitarai that surprises me, I usually walk at least 8000 steps a day according to my health app. Regardless, I feel that since it is a valid source of Pokémon and does not sequence break, it should be counted but the Pokewalker must be stressed as a part of why it is rated where it is. For example, Kangaskhan and Murkrow would not be A and B in my opinion respectively if I couldn’t get them so early.
well, it's just what I've read. Again, they may not get the exact number and it probably varies.

Currently my run has Totodile, Mareep, and Slugma from the Primo egg. Planning on testing Machamp, Yanma, and Swinub. God help me.
Are you testing them at once? I highly suggest just sticking to 4 mons per run, as you otherwise will fall off in levels (unless you abuse things like Pokegear rematches). I think Yanma will just end up in F anyways, it's a 1% encounter with a terrible movepool. I have used Machamp (more specifically, Muscle the Machop from Goldenrod) and I found it as an A-ranker. I can post logs if Turdterra or anyone else wants to check them. So I suggest just not testing Yanma and test either Machamp or Swinub as 4th member, whichever you want, unless Turdterra requests something specific

I'd also suggest posting logs of your playthrough, like how each Pokemon fared against each Gym Leader, this would help others check your progress and comment if there's anything to mention. You can check my tests above to see what a log could look like. Gl with your run!
 
well, it's just what I've read. Again, they may not get the exact number and it probably varies.


Are you testing them at once? I highly suggest just sticking to 4 mons per run, as you otherwise will fall off in levels (unless you abuse things like Pokegear rematches). I think Yanma will just end up in F anyways, it's a 1% encounter with a terrible movepool. I have used Machamp (more specifically, Muscle the Machop from Goldenrod) and I found it as an A-ranker. I can post logs if Turdterra or anyone else wants to check them. So I suggest just not testing Yanma and test either Machamp or Swinub as 4th member, whichever you want, unless Turdterra requests something specific

I'd also suggest posting logs of your playthrough, like how each Pokemon fared against each Gym Leader, this would help others check your progress and comment if there's anything to mention. You can check my tests above to see what a log could look like. Gl with your run!
I am, I usually do teams of 6 due to my personal OCD of wanting a full team. I might to a team of 5 instead, although I have personally never had too big of an issue with levels in HGSS. Also helps Machop will have the EXP bonus on it.

Yeah looking at Yanma it kind of is hot doo doo, so yeah. Gonna drop it.

Also here are the Murkrow and Elekid write ups.

Murkrow for B Tier

Availability: Normally not available until the Safari Zone, but with the pokewalker Murkrow is available much earlier. To get Murkrow, you first must unlock the Suburban Area by obtaining 500 Watts. Then, you must walk 1000 steps to be able to find Murkrow.
Stats: Bulk is decent for early on but falls off around mid game. The power though is great, Murkrow is only slightly weaker and slower than Fearow.
Typing: Murkrow's greatest advantage over Fearow is it's dark type. Being one of the only strong Dark types available before Kanto is a great boon for Murkrow.
Movepool: Peck and Pursuit early on help Murkrow's damage dealing when it is obtained at level 11. Wing Attack at 15 will be one of your main damage sources for the remainder of the game. Assurance at level 25 will replace Pursuit, and Faint Attack at 35 will replace Assurance. Night Shade at 21 also is great for helping catch Pokemon. TM wise, Dark Pulse helps as another late game dark move and Steel Wing helps late game to fill out the movepool, but your Dark STAB helps you not get walled by Rock types.
Major battles:
Falkner: Can attempt to muscle through but not as strong here due to Roost.
Bugsy: Murkrow flat out breaks this gym apart. While Scyther's U Turn being Neutral stings, you are fast enough and strong enough to potentially contend it.
Whitney: Really ehh here. While you will hit Miltank ok it will beat you eventually.
Morty: One of Murkrow's strongest Matchups. You are actually able to beat everything down with Pursuit. Only hurdle is Gengar but even then Murkrow did well.
Chuck: Another good matchup, Wing attack spam ftw.
Jasmine: No.
Pryce: You could in theory get a few hits in but why?
Team Rocket Detour: You do well against Ariana and the grunts. The only real roadblock is Petrol.
Rival: You bully Chikorita, Gastly, and Kadabra, but Magneton and Sneasel are bad news.
Clair: This is about where Murkrow's bulk starts to truly fail it. You can beat one or two of the Dragonairs with good rolls, but you will never beat Gyara and Kingdra.
Will: An easy stomp for Murkrow, the only real hurdles you will get is maybe Jynx, but it is not living a Faint Attack.
Koga: Venomoth, Ariados, and Mulk are all decent matchups when you go physical. Crobat will beat you since it is faster and Forretress is too bulky for us.
Bruno. You can beat everything but Steelix. Machamp is tough due to potentially not OHKOing but I managed to OHKO with fly.
Karen: You beat Vileplume and Gengar, but the rest of the team is kinda tough.
Lance: Yeah you aint doing much here.
Additional Notes: Ability wise either one works. Super Luck comes in clutch with random crits, while Insomnia prevents sleep which is nice. Murkrow also is in the slow EXP group, which can make leveling it a bit harder.

Overall, the main pokemon I compared Murkrow to was Kenya. Murkrow is better at first, especially at route clearing, has access to the rare Dark type for HGSS, and even late game is still in the same ball park as Fearow in strength and power. You also have a usable special attack stat which doesnt matter until you get Dark Pulse. That being said, towards the very end of the game around Clair, the faults of Murkrow's mediocre bulk show. Overall, Murkrow's key advantages over Kenya the Spearow are its Dark type. You hit slightly less hard and are slightly less fast and slightly less bulky. But access to the rare dark type that has helped a lot at doing a good job in its own right in route clearing is a huge boon. Ironically you will still hit harder and faster than Pidgeot at least.


I was originally thinking C tier, but I am gonna push for Elekid for B Tier.

Availability: Normally not available until Kanto, but with the pokewalker Elekid is available much earlier. To get Elekid, you first must unlock the Suburban Area by obtaining 500 Watts. Then, you must walk 5000 steps to be able to find Elekid.
Stats: Speed is the name of the game with Elekid. You hit fast, you hit...decently hard, and you are not that bulky.
Typing: Pure electric.
Movepool: Elekid starts off with Thunderpunch and Low Kick and comes at level 11. To be brutally honest, this is most likely what you are going to spam for a good while. Shock Wave at 19 is nice. Once you become Electabuzz you got Discharge at 37 and Thunderbolt at 43. TM wise Thunder helps out a lot early on if you want to nuke things. Charge Beam can be obtained from the lottery I guess on Wednsdays. Focus Blast is a good coverage move once you are Electabuzz.
Major battles:
Falkner: A brutal stomp, Thunderpunch literally breaks worlds here.
Bugsy: You can beat Scyther if you outspeed it but U Turn hurts, the cocoons are easy but anything could beat them.
Whitney: I got lucky and had a female Elekid and it did quite well. Low Kick made it a race against Miltank though, but this is Miltank and most mons have a mediocre at best matchup, having a solid one is something to write home about.
Morty: You get wrecked hard by Gengar since it is faster and stronger.
Chuck: Poliwrath can be easy pickings so long as you don't get slept or ohko. If you have Electabuzz it is much easier;
Jasmine: Low Kick does work and Focus Blast does chunk things, but you need to be wary of Steelix.
Pryce: Not as bad as you think it would be. Low Kick and Focus Blast help a ton, but be wary of Pilowsine.
Team Rocket Detour: Thunder munches Petrol, you destroy grunts. Your fighting moves help beat Archer, only real roadblock is Vileplume on Ariana.
Rival: You stomp him. Hard, except for his starter 2/3 of the time. Everything else you can match in speed or outspeed and does not like T Punch or Low Kick.
Clair: You beat Gyarados and can do decent against Kingdra if you paralyze it with Discharge. Otherwise this is not a fun battle.
Will: Thunderbolt spam rocks here, but you will not beat Exeggutor.
Koga: The only real roadblock here is Muk, otherwise Thunderbolt spam can win this easy.
Bruno: Focus Blast can chunk steelix, but otherwise its on the backburner
Karen: Murkrow is ok, but you do not have the strongest matchup here.
Lance: You can take on the non Dragonites pretty well. The Dragonites are too much for you.
Additional Notes: The electrizer is not available until Kanto.

I do not know what I was thinking when I said that this thing was C Tier. It did great against Gyms and was a solid route cleaner. There are a few things that hold Electabuzz back though. For one, it does have an awkward period where it is still Elekid, in which it is kinda frail as hell. Secondly, as far as pokewalker pokemon go, this one actually has a bigger roadblock in time than Kangaskhan or Murkrow did due to it requiring a new course and a lot more steps than Murkrow. Finally, I think it has to be compared to Mareep, which is far bulkier, hits harder specially, and is easier to use and obtain. Elekid's advantages are that you are way faster, you are better initially, and you hit harder physically. If you play Elekid to its strengths I would argue it is the best non Mareep electric in this game.

Couple of misc noms I support, will elaborate on if needed but these do not seem to radical.

Kenya (Spearow) to S Tier
Red Gyarados to S Tier
Alakazam to S Tier
Kadabra to A Tier


Dratini I feel fits better in C tier, but that is because Voltorb Flip is hard for me. I have the Japanese version of SS so I can buy coins but even then i find Money in HGSS to be not as easy to come by as other games. Dragon Rage spam works to an extent but even then, the detour to get it outweighs its usefulness. And if you are investing that highly in the game corner you are gonna get a strong return investment.

I actually have used Poliwag before and I teeter between C and B. Having used it before I can say that early on it is meh, but I found it is a solid mon once it evolves into Poliwhirl, though I held off on evolving it to get Mud Shot. I immediately evolved it into Politoed once I could and it was a solid water type that had decent match ups for the rest of the game, but it was tough. I would push for Poliwag to Politoed to be at least a tier higher than Poliwag to Poliwrath though since getting a water stone is annoying.


Speaking of Water types, I wanna hear y'alls thoughts on Slowbro and Slowking. In my opinion, Slowking evolving so much earlier is such a game changer. If Slowbro did not evolve so late it would be better but dang does Slowpoke lag behind hard. I could do a writeup on both, but Slowking would be B and Slowbro would be D or E tier.

This is one thing I want to push that these two above share. We should tier branching evolutions separate. I do not think it is wise to tier Slowbro and Slowking together as Slowpoke for example, nor do I think it is good to tier Politoed and Wrath together. I personally think these split evolutions should be tiered apart. Thoughts?
 
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I'm also doing a run through at the moment with Quilava, Girafarig (Furret up to lv 22), Quagsire, Jumpluff, and Heracross, and may still add a sixth or replace Quagsire


The main things I want to point out at the moment is that Heracross is ridiculously beastly, I caught mine at level 5 and it was self sufficient on training immediately. Even keeping it intentionally underlevelled it dominates trainers and has put in hefty work in every gym I've faced (Whitney through Jasmine). Quilava has been better than my past experiences because Charcoal Fire Blast is a tactical nuke I didn't realize existed. Hoppip is slow but legitimately decent. Getting Skiploom all the way to Jumpluff is tough unless you dumping some Rare Candies though, but SleepSeed with Solarbeam is a decent setup. Wooper is a dogass Pokemon and Quagsire is mediocre, they both get by far more by what they are (Water/Ground) than what they do. Sentret sucks ass but Furret is pretty good for the early game, Girafarig so far has been reasonably impressive in terms of general power level.

At goldenrod radio tower sequence atm
 

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