Pokemon RBY In-Game Tiers - Mark III

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Bye RNGmon
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I'm sorry if this has already been said, but Nidoran M fully deserves to be on top of the S-Rank, as it is the most efficient way to make a glitchless speedrun with Horn Drill + X Accuracy once it is fully evolved, and it is available nearly from the start.
I'm sorry if this has already been said, but Nidoran M fully deserves to be on top of the S-Rank, as it is the most efficient way to make a glitchless speedrun with Horn Drill + X Accuracy once it is fully evolved, and it is available nearly from the start.
the list is ordered alphabetically


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lol I feel like a complete noob right now =P

But including Horn Drill + X Accuracy in its description is needed I think
We've also established the rule that we're not soloing the game, which, I would argue, hurts Nidoking a bit.

Assume the tier list was ordered by potential not alphabet, how'd it look like? Squirtle on top probably.


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If not Squirtle, then Abra or Diglett probably.

I have no plans to order this by performance/potential though.


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For the benefit of those who don't pay attention to C+C, the article for this is completed and on-site. You can check it out here.
Would you consider updating the list to include the Japanese Blue version? It probably isn't much, but the fact that Jynx could be caught in the wild (way later, at the Seafoam Islands) at least leaves me curious as to how differently you'd rate it.


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I guess if we were to include Japanese Blue, the tiering of some Pokemon might change. Jynx sticks out as one of these, and there are a few interesting Pokemon obtained from trades:

Jigglypuff for Mr. Mime (Route 2)
Rattata for Poliwag (Route 5)
Rhydon for Kangaskhan (Route 11)
Persian for Tauros (Route 18)
Machoke for Haunter/Gengar (Cerulean City)
Pidgey for Farfetch'd (Vermilion City)
Kadabra for Graveler/Golem (Cinnabar Island)
Seel for Slowpoke (Cinnabar Island)
Growlithe for Krabby (Cinnabar Island)

Of those, I guess Tauros, Slowpoke, and Poliwag might be the most affected, but I don't know. Mr. Mime was nerfed slightly due to Jigglypuff's lower catch level when compared to Abra and Clefairy, so maybe that would be an issue. I'm not sure if levelling up a Rhyhorn to Rhydon to obtain a Kangaskhan would be much better than the English alternative. The fact that Gengar and Golem are guaranteed in Japanese Blue is notable but I doubt it would change the tiers they are in now (i.e. Gengar wouldn't become Top and Golem wouldn't become High). Farfetch'd didn't really change at all. Krabby is already High and Japanese Blue probably wouldn't change much (I suppose it would be High with the Blue and Yellow versions).

That's about it really. I doubt the fact the Ditto is found earlier would help it much. Lickitung was nerfed but it is already Low so it can't go any lower. There's not much of note from the Game Corner either as far as I can tell, aside from maybe Horsea.

I'm not really interested in including these for this list though. This was a game that was never legally released outside of Japan that most people won't bother playing when the English alternatives are available. At best, it might make for a decent Letter on-site, where you explain how certain Pokemon are changed and assess whether they are more useful or not as a result. That's assuming it gets accepted, of course.
Hey! It's been awhile.

I really like the write-up for the main site! I think you do a great job summarizing each Pokémon.

I actually visited this thread intending to ask about the Japanese Blue trades, so it's a neat coincidence that y'all were already talking about them. Now I haven't run Pokémon in some time and I've never played Japanese Blue, but my gut tells me Poliwag would be really really good. Early availability is so cool for Water Pokémon and that parabolic+outsider exp. is ridiculous. It's like Vaporeon plus. Unless I'm missing something—hits just as hard with Bubblebeam/Surf/Ice Beam thanks to the extra levels, and then gets all these extra toys to play with like Hypnosis, Body Slam, Amnesia, Psychic (!!), Earthquake... I dunno, maybe not top tier, but on the better end of high tier for sure. Though Poliwag probably hits its head on the level 30 ceiling unless you beat Erika super quickly.

The other Pokémon that catches my attention is Golem. Now I know that we're probably not gonna include these Pokémon, but just for discussion's sake I think it makes more sense to treat Abra -> Kadabra -> Golem as one top tier package rather than categorize Golem with Graveler. I dunno, trades are functionally the same as evolutions and I always felt we should treat them as such.


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I actually visited this thread intending to ask about the Japanese Blue trades, so it's a neat coincidence that y'all were already talking about them. Now I haven't run Pokémon in some time and I've never played Japanese Blue, but my gut tells me Poliwag would be really really good. Early availability is so cool for Water Pokémon and that parabolic+outsider exp. is ridiculous. It's like Vaporeon plus. Unless I'm missing something—hits just as hard with Bubblebeam/Surf/Ice Beam thanks to the extra levels, and then gets all these extra toys to play with like Hypnosis, Body Slam, Amnesia, Psychic (!!), Earthquake... I dunno, maybe not top tier, but on the better end of high tier for sure. Though Poliwag probably hits its head on the level 30 ceiling unless you beat Erika super quickly.
Pretty much agree with that. Poliwag probably has the most to gain from Japanese Blue.

The other Pokémon that catches my attention is Golem. Now I know that we're probably not gonna include these Pokémon, but just for discussion's sake I think it makes more sense to treat Abra -> Kadabra -> Golem as one top tier package rather than categorize Golem with Graveler. I dunno, trades are functionally the same as evolutions and I always felt we should treat them as such.
To be honest, I never really had a strong opinion on whether you interpret in-game trades as "evolutions". I mean, the idea of pushing Golem up the tiers because it's obtained after blasting through the early parts of the game with an entirely different Pokemon seems so weird to me. I'm sure I'm not the only person that feels that way either. However, I can't really explain why though because I guess you are "evolving" Kadabra into Golem for all intents and purposes. Meh...

Were we to include this stuff, I guess a good way of approaching the trade Golem would be to mention it in Abra's analysis or something. That would probably be sufficient. I'm not sure how much there is to gain from getting this particular Golem though. I'm not saying that Golem is useless late-game, but I think I'd rather hold on to my Kadabra!
I do get how it's weird to look at trades that way and since it doesn't actually matter for most of the traded Pokémon and since we were always talking about more important things I never brought it up. I mean, do we really have to think of SAILOR the Seel as part of the Ponyta -> Seel -> Dewgong "evolutionary" line when 99% of the time you're not gonna use the Ponyta at all before trading it away? But when I was running Farfetch'd I realized that Spearow's early-game contributions do matter. And while it makes no difference in the tiers, let's suppose some in-game trainer wanted to trade Gyarados for Farfetch'd. I'm gonna remember how that Magikarp crimped my team for fifteen levels and it's an important part of the Farfetch'd "story" for me, so personally it would make sense to think of them as one connected whole.

I don't mean this as a super-serious discussion, I just think it's interesting.

Kadabra's great but I can see how Golem could be better for some teams. The trade is on Cinnabar which is around where Kadabra starts needing a couple Psychics to kill the bulky endgame enemies. I dunno, I think Golem could be faster/sturdier in some matchups.

cant say

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bump (I think this is the most recent version ie: no mark IV. if there is then can we bump the newer one?)

too bad Mew is classed as 'Unavailable' coz that thing is a beast. Paras has also been really good with Stun Spore spam lol. I'm expecting him to drop off after Lt Surge though...


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This is the most recent version. I considered this list "complete" when I put it on site, but with the release of the VC versions I see no harm in having this revived if people want to talk about Pokemon/move things around again. However, I don't have enough free time to maintain this list myself, so it might be better to create a new thread with someone else in charge.

EDIT: may also be a good opportunity to reformat the onsite entries to the format that's being used in recents lists (XY, ORAS, etc).

I've used Paras a total of 1 time and I did not enjoy it because it's so slow, its movepool is poor (its relies a lot on valuable TMs - Body Slam and Dig mainly), and its typing is bad defensively. But its other stats outside Speed are passable for in-game and it has some useful status moves, and if anything its match-up against Misty is relatively good compared to many of the other Pokemon available at that point.
I think Pidgey line should be mid, my arguments:

1) It's one of the first pokémon you can find, so it ranks high here.
2) Although it's not stronger defensively or offensively that other pokes it is very reliable which can be as important. It can hit somewhat strong with the almost neutral coverage of Double-Edge and Fly and it has the bulk to survive a move or two. So you know you can always expect him to do his job. I think Pidgeot is the Stoutland of gen I - is not worth of elite teams but through most ingame stuff it simply works.
3) It has some utility, specially early game or against 1 super dangerous poke, with Sand Attack. It helps a lot against the rock types (that don't have rock moves) if you struggle there (well you shouldn't but) and against Starmie by making your team have extra turns to survive and attack. Late game you have Mirror Move which is gimmicky and I don't remember if it's useful or not in gen I.
4) It fills the HM Fly need in your team

5) Not stronger, faster or bulkier than other pokes, although its stats are balanced
6) Not really coverage options
7) Needs TMs/HMs in early-mid game to keep up
Ah, it feels good to revisit my old stomping grounds :)

I think this list is good. I'm happy to quibble about minor things because I'm a pedant but there's no urgent need.

Pidgey's OK, but it strikes me as closer to other decent low-tier physicals like Ekans or Beedrill than to mid-tier physicals like Rattata and Mankey. I dunno, it's been a long time since I've run Pidgey. STAB Double-Edge and Fly are good... I'd be willing to think about it.
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Just completed Blue on the Virtual Console, so let me give my opinion on the Pokemon I used. One note, I skipped all optional fights and haven't grinded since Viridian Forest. I eventually defeated the E4 with high 30s and low 40s Pokemon.

Squirtle: Top tier suits it. Good match-up against nearly all the Gym Leaders and E4 members, good availability. If you make the very minor detour to get the Dig TM Wartortle has little trouble with Misty. It does appreciate one of the Ice and one of the Ground TMs, but considering you get two of each this isn't a major dealbreaker.

Clefairy: Top tier is fine, though I wouldn't be opposed to it being moved down to High. If you teach it Mega Punch Clefable will probably be your strongest attacker for the first half of the game and after that Clefable remains a good attacked with the special TMs. The problem is, by endgame the unSTABed attacks don't quite cut it and these TMs are all in high demand. Still, with Sing Clefable should be able to win its fair share of fights.

Farfetch'd: High tier is good, though mostly for utility. Early Swords Dance makes it very powerful, but later in the game even with the bonus EXP it simply doesn't have the bulk to set up and even with those Swords Dances under its belt it won't be OHKO'ing everything. Still, Fly+Cut in a single Pokemon is too good to give up and Farfetch'd doesn't really need those moveslots anyway.

Flareon: I would move him down to Low Tier. Flareon absolutely needs Body Slam or Double-Edge to do any sort of damage and unSTABed Normal moves suck no matter how high your attack is. Flareon doesn't even get a good STAB move until the Fire Blast TM. I got absolutely no use out of Flareon whatsoever. When there are actually useful Pokemon such as Beedrill or Pidgeot in Low, Flareon simply has no right being in Mid.

Jynx: I think Jynx should move to top. Between Ice and Psychic Jynx has type advantage against 3 of the four E4 members and 2 of the four remaining Gym Leaders. Jynx doesn't need any Ice TM either, as it gets Ice Punch, though if you have Ice Beam or Blizzard to spare it really improves Jynx. Jynx does require the Psychic TM, but there honestly aren't really any better recipients for it. And finally she gets Lovely Kiss for the rare case where Jynx can't OHKO her opponent. She even gets bonus experience from being an in-game trade. Jynx's one drawback is how late you get her, but she's such a powerhouse that I still think she should be in Top.

Chansey: This is probably my most controversial one, but I think Chansey should be moved up to Mid. I never intended to use Chansey, I was actually using Butterfree instead, but as I was getting the Surf HM I randomly encountered a Chansey on the way and got lucky enough to catch her. And that is why I think she should move up. Chansey is not worth hunting for, but if you do get lucky enough to find and catch one on the way to the Surf HM or when using up your remaining steps afterwards, Chansey is good enough that she should be used. And with a 4% chance in area 2, it isn't that far of a stretch that this could happen.
I wouldn't move Tauros up, though. The only area where Tauros has a good chance of being found is area 3, which you won't ever enter a patch of grass for. Kangaskhan I don't know, I haven't enough experience with her to give a good opinion.
Anyway, once you get Chansey she'll probably be the best Pokemon in your team. Teach her the Softboiled TM, which nobody else can learn anyway, and the Toxic TM, which isn't in high demand, and Chansey can defeat any non-Poison Special Pokemon even at ridiculously low levels. Give her any of your spare special TMs and she's set for life.
I agree with your judgments and would like to elaborate in a few cases.

I was the one who campaigned for Farfetch'd to be moved up to high for its combat ability. I think I overstated Farfetch'd's case then, but its power really is remarkable if you run a higher-leveled team, such as I did. STAB Slash on a bonus-exp. Pokémon is nuts, as is the ability to set up and sweep with Swords Dance, though even my higher-leveled Dux would get outsped and die annoyingly often. I do think that it's better than Spearow and pretty close to Doduo, but I wouldn't object to it moving down to mid if we rated it on combat ability alone.

I love Jynx! I group her with the lategame waters, in that she has similar availability and can cover their role, except you get Jynx earlier and she has stronger and better toys. Lovely Kiss is a brilliant get-out-of-jail-free card.

Chansey is undoubtedly a terrific Pokémon as far as combat goes; I guess the question is how we balance availability vs. power. I wonder how much Repel would help in catching Chansey, or maybe like what bait/rock strategies work best. I admit I almost never try to catch Safari Pokémon so I have no idea how viable it is to go hunting for Chansey (or any other rare Pokémon) in a run.

I would assume Kangaskhan plays very similarly to Tauros—worse at using Special TMs, but levels up quicker and winds up a bit stronger/tougher.
Honestly, out of the Pokemon I used, the only case I feel strongly about is moving Flareon down to Low. No STAB until Gym 8, only Normal for coverage and its abysmal Physical bulk really prevent it from being a good Pokemon. Against each Gym and E4 member:

Erika: Useless. You need to level up Flareon 6 times before this Gym if you want a Fire type move, and that is only the weak Ember. This is at a point where everything else in your team is throwing around Ice Beams, Thunderbolts, Psychics and Razor Leafs. Grass resistance is also pointless when almost everything in this Gym has Wrap/Bind and/or Sleep Powder.

Koga: Useless. His Pokemon have too much physical bulk for Flareon's attacks to do much damage and Flareon himself can't take anything in return.

Sabrina: Useless. While Flareon's good Special and high Attack might make him seem like a good option here, his mediocre HP and Speed simply don't cut it against Sabrina. He won't OHKO Alakazam but will get 2HKO'd in return.

Blaine: Useless. All his Pokemon have Normal type moves and with Flareon's terrible Physical bulk he won't be able to take any of their hits.

Giovanni: Useless. Rhyhorn and Rhydon resist all of Flareon's attacks, Dugtrio has Dig and the Nidos have strong physical attacks and good physical bulk.

Lorelei: Useless. Two of her Pokemon have strong Water type attacks, Slowbro also has high Defence and has both Withdraw and Amnesia to become even more indestructible, Dewgong has Rest to heal through your pathetic damage attempts and for para-hax. You might be able to beat Jynx if Flareon is at a decent level, but Thrash and Body Slam are strong enough that I wouldn't count on it.

Bruno: Mostly useless. Hitmonchan is so pathetic that almost anything can beat it, but I don't see Flareon doing much against his other Pokemon.

Agatha: Useless. Gengar/Haunter is immune to your Normal moves and have enough Special to shrug off your Fire Blasts. Flareon could stand a chance against Arbok and Golbat, if they don't hax you to death first.

Lance: Useless. Gyarados kills with Hydro Pump, the Dragons kill with Hyper Beam and Aerodactyl is an all-around nightmare.

Compare it to some other Low tier Pokemon. Pidgeot has Fly utility and does well in the Erika Gym. Beedrill has the only useable Bug STAB in the game, sweeps Erika's Gym while helping in Koga's and Sabrina's Gym and has an auto-win against Lance's Dragons due to him spamming Agility against Poison types.
I simply don't see how Flareon could be Mid.

Jynx, I would like to see move to Top, but I understand if her relatively late availability and reliance on the Psychic keep her in High. You mentioned the late Water types, but right now none of them are in Top either.
Clefable is fine where she is, though I wouldn't oppose a drop. She's a bit of a borderline case.
And Chansey is a very complex case and I understand either way. Though I suppose I could try some science to see if there is a more reliable way of getting the Safari Pokemon. If I do find a better way of catching them, I would argue for them to be moved to Mid or even High.

Edit: Some initial Safari Zone results. I didn't actually test anything in-game, but there is a capture chance calculator on Dragonflycave. As it turns out, you should never throw rocks or bait. Even if you have only one Safari Ball left, throwing rocks or bait will always decrease your chances of catching the Pokemon.
The escape chances of a Pokemon are based on their Speed stat. So Tauros is likely to escape, Chansey not very likely.
Assuming you have still have all 30 Safari Balls, these are the capture chances of each Safari exclusive Pokemon, assuming you try to catch them where they are most likely to be found:<br />
<br />
Tauros: 18.49%
Chansey: 21.28%
Kangaskhan: 22.03%
Dratini: 41.99%
Exeggcute: 52.36%
Rhyhorn: 69.25%

As for Repel tricks, they should help for each of these Pokemon except Dratini. Unfortunately, for the Normals you will never get an appearance rate over 10%.
For Chansey use a level 26 Pokemon in the third (north) area.
For Kangaskhan use a level 25 Pokemon in the second (east) area.
For Tauros use a level 26 Pokemon in the fourth (west) area.
Exeggcute's appearance rate can be upped from 20% to 33% if you use a level 25 Pokemon in the third (north) area and Rhyhorn can be increased from 15% to 30% if you use a level 26 Pokemon in the same area.

So even with all this, you will still need to encounter about 50 Pokemon before you can catch one of the Safari Normals. Not worth hunting for in my opinion, but still likely enough that it could happen in about one every 10 playthroughs.

This is only for Red/Blue though. In Yellow Tauros and Kangaskhan appear to be easier to catch:
Tauros had his encounter rate increased to 10% and his level lowered to 21. No Repel tricks, though.
Kangaskhan had her encounter rate increased to 15%, which can be further boosted to 37.5% with Repel. Unfortunately her level is increased to 28 or 33, increasing her Speed and making her a bit more difficult to catch. This one actually seems feasible now.
Chansey is more difficult to catch, though. Her rates remained the same, but her levels are lowered so you can't use any Repel tricks anymore.

I also did some reading on how the capture mechanics work in RBY and it has some surprising results. Apparently you won't ever have to lower the wild Pokemon's HP to less than a third of its maximum. Less than this doesn't increase your odds anymore. If you use Great Balls, you won't even need to lower it less than half.
For legendaries, don't bother damaging them. Just put them to sleep and throw Ultra Balls. Capture due to status is a separate check that doesn't depend on the Pokemon's capture rate. Any Pokemon has over 1/6 chance of being captured by an Ultra Ball if they are asleep or frozen, or 1/12 if they have other status. Damaging the legendaries increases this chance by less than 2%, so I wouldn't bother with it. Anything else, even Snorlax, is still worth damaging though.
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bump (I think this is the most recent version ie: no mark IV. if there is then can we bump the newer one?)

too bad Mew is classed as 'Unavailable' coz that thing is a beast. Paras has also been really good with Stun Spore spam lol. I'm expecting him to drop off after Lt Surge though...
It's really easy (okay, not that easy) to get it. Heck, I glitched it in at Level 100 before beating Gym 2. And there's a way to just skip Gym 1. Oh well, I guess for the same reason you can get it at level 100 so early it shouldn't be counted.
My final update on the Safari Zone.

I tested out the Tauros zone. I had 208 encounters spread out over 3 Safari Zone visits. I had a level 26 Pokemon in the lead and used a total of 18 Super Repels.

Out of the 208 encounters I encountered 19 Tauros and 5 Kangaskhan, working out to 9.1% and 2.4% respectively. The math says the encounter rates are 8.9% and 1.8%.
Out of the 19 Tauros I caught 4, working out to a capture percentage of 21.1%. The theoretical capture percentage is 18.49%.
Out of the 5 Kangaskhan I caught 1, working out to a capture percentage of 20.0%. The theoretical capture percentage is 22.03%.

The found percentages are a bit off because the sample size was low, but they are close enough that I can conclude the theoretical values are at least close enough to be used.

To encounter Pokemon I spun around in place. Each time you change direction you have another chance of encountering a new Pokemon, but it won't count for your Safari Zone step counter, so you can encounter many Pokemon during each visit. Turning into a wall also counts as changing directions, so if you stand in a corner you can quickly encounter Pokemon. However there are no corners in the Tauros zone, only in the Chansey and Kangaskhan zones. Unfortunately this does count for your Repel step counter, so you need to bring many of them. I averaged out to about 1 Super Repel per Tauros encounter.
You will need to take three steps after every encounter, because you can't encounter any more Pokemon until then. Some mechanic to ensure you don't get swamped by Zubat every step you take in caves probably.

This whole thing took me about 1 hour and 40 minutes, averaging 25 minutes per caught Tauros. However, I was distracted during this test and I could probably have done this quicker.
I also wasn't very good at the turning in place thing, taking many unnecessary steps and wasting some time. Chansey and Kangaskhan also take less time because they have corners available to quickly spin in. I estimate that with proper attention it would take an average of 20 minutes to catch Tauros and 15 minutes to catch Chansey and Kangaskhan.

Following these results, I recommend leaving Tauros in Low and moving Chansey and Kangaskhan up to Middle. This because while the Tauros zone is far out of your way, for Chansey and Kangaskhan you only need a small detour. It takes about 200 steps to get the Gold Teeth and Surf HM, leaving you 300 steps to get to the corners where you can best catch Chansey/Kangaskhan and to encounter and catch them. This should allow you a minimum of 75 Safari Pokemon encounters, giving you a chance of at least 72.4% of catching a Chansey and a 77.3% chance of catching a Kangaskhan during your initial trip through the Safari Zone. This should take you an additional 15-20 minutes.
The Tauros zone can't feasibly be reached without Surf. However, if you beat Koga before getting the TM you can Surf over the pond outside his house and still have about 250 steps left to encounter and catch Tauros. This zone doesn't have any corners available, so you need to be pretty good at the spot turning. If you decide to do this, you have about 65% chance of catching one on your first Safari Zone trip, depending on how many extra steps you take during the spot turning.

I didn't check how feasible it is to catch Scyther or Pinsir. I figured it would be easier to get them from the Game Corner and they're both bad enough that they won't rise out of the Low tier anyway.

One final note, some grass tiles have a five pronged grass patch at the bottom-right. These star-shaped grass patches don't have any Pokemon encounters in them, so don't bother spinning in these tiles. You should also be careful about this in the Kangaskhan zone. The only possible corner here without a star shape patch is next to the Egg Bomb TM. Underneath this item is a star shape patch and all the other corners in this zone also have star shape patches. So if you want to catch Kangaskhan, you should not pick up this TM and instead use it as a wall to spin.

An unrelated tidbit, these star shape patches also appear in Viridian Forest. If you stick to these tiles, you can make it through the forest with very few wild encounters.

To summarize, using Repels and by turning in place it is feasible to capture Kangaskhan or Chansey in your first Safari Zone trip to obtain the Gold Teeth and Surf HM. Tauros however requires a significant detour. Because of this I recommend moving Kangaskhan and Chansey up to Mid and leaving Tauros in Low.
Whoa, I never read these last posts. That's some very cool Safari Zone research! I'll have to try it out next time I play.

I was thinking randomly about this project the other day. I do have to say that reading through the thread again is a little bittersweet; the discussion surrounding Hitmonlee got pretty heated and I dropped out once it stopped being fun, and it seems like Garud did too. I would have liked to have participated in the rest of the rankings, and I do think about it fondly from time to time.

Inspired by this thread, I completed a run of Japanese Blue with a lot of the in-game trades we were talking about. I don't really have a tiering opinion, but I can share my general impressions.

Poliwag is very cool! As a bulky mid-game Water it can do what Vaporeon does, but can play with all sorts of other toys too. Hypnosis is great for boss battles, Bslam/Mega Punch/Strength/EQ hit enemy Water-types and other Special-based threats (including Psychic-types, which is a bit risky), and Psychic goes without saying as a great move. Amnesia is possible, but I think it's better to evolve Poliwhirl asap. My other Pokémon were pretty demanding of TMs, so I wound up running a more basic set of Bubblebeam, Ice Beam, Hypnosis, and Mega Punch, teaching it Surf and Strength when the time came. I'd like to run it with Psychic sometime.

I didn't think Jigglypuff for Mr. Mime was all that worse than Abra. I taught Jigglypuff Water Gun to deal with rocks, which lets it contribute without evolving or using the Mega Punch TM (in retrospect, I could have given it the Mega Punch TM anyway since I wound up saving it for Poliwag, which needed to wait till around Celadon to evolve and learn it).

I misplanned things and had Mr. Mime take both Psychic and Thunderbolt, leaving Gengar pretty sad. I fetched the Thunder TM for Gengar, which was better than nothing, but the accuracy was frustrating. Besides that, it was Mega Drain and Night Shade... sort of the same offense problem Haunter has in the other versions. I gave Machop the Dig TM, which helped it level itself to 28, but I can imagine that it's annoying to train without Dig. Even with Dig, Machop moves second more often than I'd like.

Another Pokémon that suffers pre-trade is Tauros; I really didn't like having to raise Meowth! Meowth comes at 20 at highest (I chose to catch it instead at 14 before Vermilion) and is very weak even with Bite. Maybe I wasn't strategic enough with what I trained Meowth against (it can probably grind well enough against Rock- and Fire-types if you give it Bubblebeam), but I still feel 28 is a late evolution for a second stage when Meowth is as weak as it is. Tauros itself is very good. I had already used Body Slam on Farfetch'd so I gave it Strength and Earthquake instead and splurged on Hyper Beam, which I had never done before. Hyper Beam is great! It makes me want to go back to some other Pokémon (particularly certain Normal-types such as Pidgeot and Clefable/Wigglytuff) and try running it on them.

I thought Golem was a credible end-game threat. It gets Earthquake on its own, and with the low-demand Rock Slide TM, it has perfect coverage that's also frequently super effective. I don't know if its better than just keeping Kadabra, but it's not really worse (I find that Kadabra tapers off a little by late-game anyway).

I kind of wish you could trade something besides Rhydon for Kangaskhan, since early Kanga would be super fun. But maybe I'll just catch her in the Safari Zone :) Happy holidays, everyone!

Jerry the great

Banned deucer.
I'd like to nominate Dratini for middle tier.
Stats: 2nd BST in the whole game once fully evolved, but before that it's BST is meh.
Movepool: Marvelous
Availability: Game corner, which can be accessed before Erika, or safari zone if you don't want to gamble and spend a heck of a lot of poke dollars, so mid game
How it performs vs the gym leaders and elite four that can be fought with it:
Lt.Surge: Well, yes you can go through rock tunnel and come back after winning one at the game corner. Amazing, all of Lt.Surge's that are stab are not very effective, and sonic boom only does 20 damage. With only one super potion (to heal from sonic boom) you tear him up.
Erika: Pretty good, since you resist grass stab. Unlike surge however, it's not a flawless victory. She has more than just grass stab, so her mons can do some reasonable damage. With about 2-4 super potions, dratini can sweep her alone. Also, if you want an itemless victory, you can use agility and then spam wrap.
Koga: It does OK, it can can beat up a Mon with agility + wrap, but only one though, because toxic. Also, I only really recommend using on his Koffing. With some hyper potions however, you can beat 2 of his mons.
Sabrina: Set up on Kadabra with agility, and watch it blow away Kadabra and Hypno. If you want to beat all her mons however, you need a hyper potion or two. Also, Hyper beam really helps if you took the time to get that.
Blaine: Agility + Wrap won't be needed anymore. Just use surf on everything! And fire blast won't be doing much, while take down is just making him a fool.
Giovanni: If you grind it up into Dragonite, you sweep, no items needed.. If you don't like to grind like me, it doesn't come out easy to outright sweep him. However, it demolishes Rhyhorn with surf, and Rhydorn can't do much back. Rhydon however, can chip 75% of Dragonair's HP away, but Dragonair still OHKOs with surf. With 3 Hyper potions, you do slay him whole if he doesn't crit you.
Elite four: Now this is the point where you should have Dragonite. Has the second highest BST, only behind Mewtwo. It also gets stab now, so yay!
Loreli: Unless you're trying to use it to fight Slowbro, don't even think about using it against her. With Slowbro however, a thunderbolt or two should teach it a lesson.
Bruno: Demolishes him. Surf just snipes his two Onix, while fly can stomp his fighting types. Not a good moment for Bruno.
Agatha: It can beat all of her Pokemon but her Gengars. Her Gengars have too good of a special stat, and you won't lay a hyper beam on them thanks to their ghost type. And fly won't do it either. Haunter and the other two can be managed thanks to not having the stats to stand up to this beast.
Lance: Great. Destroys Gyrados with thunderbolt, and everything else with ice beam.
Rival: Great. Destroys Venusaur and Egg with Fly, Rhydon goes down to surf, Hyper Beam just nukes Alakazam, Arcanine and Charizard can't do much to it, and the only way Blue can be a threat is if you chose Charmander. That is because Blastoise knows Blizzard. Otherwise, Blue just can't do much to Dragonite.
The same can be said in Yellow. Sandslash, the eveeelutions, and Fearow can't do much damage to it, neither can magneton, and the same goes for egg and Alakazam as in red.
Summary: It's resistances really do help in some major fights, slaughters anyone in the Pokemon league that isn't Loreli or Agatha's Gengars, great movepool really helps out in some other fights, but the things that hold it back is that it has a meh BST until the Pokemon League, and no stab until the Pokemon League. And since you have to put quite the effort into getting it, while it can be obtained mid game, it's tough to get it.
Hot take of the day: Vulpix is the best RBY Fire-type.

The reason is simple, it's the one Fire-type that gets Flamethrower before Lv. 40. You get a lot of places where even Ember helps, like Erika's Gym, which is right next to where you catch it. Granted, you probably want to give it the Dig TM to help with the Vulpix phase until then, but I understand it's a high-cost TM. You can also give it Reflect to buff up its defense, and that's a very cheap TM.

With no favoritism, but proper training, it can get Flamethrower around/slightly before the 5th Gym depending on the route you're taking. In my case, it got it in Silph Co. the last dungeon I did before Koga.

I guess this is an unpopular opinion because the in-game tier list puts it right next to Weedle. RBY Weedle. That's just silly imo, it should be at least a mid-tier.

Comparing it to the overrated Charmander, which is dead weight for a huge chunk of the mid-game and is just as reliant on TMs, Vulpix gets Flamethrower much earlier and therefore, is much better at route clearing and can contribute a lot more against the late mid-game bosses. By the time Charmeleon will get Slash, Vulpix is about to get Flamethrower. Even in RBY, that's a huge difference. Charizard will need to use Slash and Dig for both bosses and route clearing until Blaine is beaten and gives it Fire Blast (which means you get a 5pp nuke, not good for routes) and Flamethrower only comes at Level 46.

After the Cerulean Cape, Charmander pretty much falls off a cliff, and no, Brock is not a good matchup, it's a doable matchup and Bulbasaur is better at a war-of-attrition because Leech Seed is better at both chipping away at Onix but also for the passive healing, so Charmander is pound for pound the worst starter in RBY despite the strong first impression in Viridian Forest.

Both Vulpix and Charmander should be Mid Tier imo.

Thread is old and all, but between posting this in here (which is an unlocked thread, so I assume it's fine.) or in the Unpopular Opinions thread, I might as well post it in the proper one.
I've actually used Vulpix a lot during my playthroughs of Blue due to personal preference; so I believe I can chime in a little on that topic.

I agree that once Vulpix reaches level 35, learns Flamethrower and (presumably) evolves, it is better than Charizard, having Flamethrower a lot earlier while having a slightly favourable stat distribution IMO (+15 Special base is more notable than the slight deficits in the physical stats).
However, their lategame is more similar than you may think given the very few favourable match-ups they have along the next few routes;
and to get there, Vulpix starts underleveled at lv. 16-18 and needs babysitting and hand-picking its battles for almost 20 levels, whereas Charmeleon is probably overleveled a little (should be lv. 25-ish by the time you catch Vulpix) , has been contributing and continues to contribute.

Vulpix' main problem is its low attack stat. You already mentioned that Fire-types have a long and grueling mid-game period where they have no special moves bar Ember; but while Charmeleon and Growlithe have a workable Atk stat (64 and 70, respectively) to use Dig as well as Normal-moves off, Vulpix's base of 41 is too low to use Normal moves with (even Take Down from the Dept. Store or Double-Edge from the Rocket Hideout does not salvage it). Dig allows it to grind against en-route Poison types and the Gastlys in Lavender, but it is a high-in-demand TM and many other 'mons can make better use of it for a longer period of time.
As a result, Vulpix is literally stuck with Ember for damage output until level 35 while Charmeleon and Growlithe at least have the option to resort to Normal-type attacks for damage against regular Route trainers. It needs to be Switch-trained more often than not even against seemingly good match-ups (For the record: A level 25 Vulpix's Ember only 3HKOs the Bellsprouts in Erika's gym, which retaliate with status moves and Wrap)

All that being said, I do agree that a 2-tier difference between Charmander and Vulpix is too harsh; especially seeing how there are quite some 'mons in Mid-tier who I think are worse than Vulpix; most notably:
-Growlithe (whose much slower EXP gain, bad Special and worse level-up movepool make him way too reliant on both the Dig and the Fire Blast TM, even though the earlier evolution to Arcanine gives him a better mid-game),
-Kabuto (who comes in a lot later while having similar issues),
-Magikarp (who comes earlier but is even more of a dead weight prior to its evolution and wants TMs to reach its full potential afterwards)
-Oddish (who is reliant on Absorb for even longer than Vulpix is reliant on Ember and is really slow)

As a result, I do think Vulpix should rise to Mid tier with Charmander staying in High.
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