Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow In-Game Tiers - Reboot

Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow In-Game Tiers - Reboot

Original lists done by Redew, Mekkah and atsync respectively:
Pokemon RBY In-game tiers - Mark I
Pokemon RBY In-game tiers - Mark II
Pokemon RBY In-Game Tiers - Mark III

Approved by DHR-107.

1592744337938.png


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

What are the tiers?
There are 6 tiers in this list:

  • S-tier
  • A-tier
  • B-tier
  • C-tier
  • D-tier
  • E-tier
Why is a Pokémon in a certain tier?
Pokémon are ranked under the following five factors:

  • Availability: This is how early a Pokémon becomes available in the game and how hard it is to find (read: encounter rate). Does it require significant backtracking, require HM moves, or just have a low encounter rate? This includes backtracking to catch the legendary birds, as aside from Moltres they are located in very out-of-the-way locations.
  • Typing: A Pokémon's typing can be of great importance for an efficient playthrough. How do the typing's matchups work against the entire game? If a Pokémon has better typing, it is often considered for a higher rank.
  • Stats: A Pokémon's stat distribution is crucial for its success. Does the Pokémon have a stat distribution that complements its movepool and typing? If a Pokémon has a stat distribution that favors both its typing and movepool, it will often be higher on the tier list. Pokemon with greater Speed will often be ranked higher, as they will also land critical hits more often.
  • Movepool: A Pokémon's movepool (both level-up and TM/HM) is crucial. What moves does the Pokémon naturally get and can possibly obtain? Unlike with past games, In RBY, TMs have significant opportunity cost because they are one-use, and Pokemon will be penalized harshly if they are reliant on multiple TMs to function.
  • Major Battles: Major battles consist of Gym Leaders, the Elite 4, and rival battles. How does the Pokémon contribute to these battles? A Pokémon that contributes to many major battles will often be seen higher than those that do not.
Important Tiering Guidelines:

-This list is generally very different from the older three lists above. I, with the help of a few others, tiered the mons almost completely from scratch instead of being based off of the old lists. As such, please try to follow the newer rules.

-Generally, this list will be assuming you run with four Pokemon. This is because teams with more than four members will likely be significantly underleveled for the Elite Four. This also means HMs shouldn't be an issue, as you will have two slots to use HMs with, and the most notable ones (Cut and Fly) can be covered by DUX the traded Farfetch'd.

-All X Items, including X Accuracy, are banned. This is because a player can use X Accuracy to give the One-Hit KO/OHKO moves like Fissure, Horn Drill and Guillotine perfect accuracy and thus destroy the Major Battles with ease. The other X Items aren't problematic, but are banned for consistency's sake. If we kept X Accuracy unbanned, the list would centralize around all Pokemon that learn an OHKO move.

-You are free to sequence break, but if a Pokemon requires you to beat a Gym Leader with underleveled Pokemon in order to be used as efficiently as possible, it may be knocked down a bit. In addition, you are still expected to test Erika and Lt. Surge at like-levels (say, 2 levels above their ace at max), as pretty much everything will beat those when you fight them as the last Gym Leaders.

Mechanic glitches are being considered for this list, though overworld glitches (such as MissingNo.) are not. The main mechanic glitches worth noting are the following:
  • All 100% accuracy moves have a 1/256 chance of missing in RBY without additional modifiers. Swift in Japanese versions also can miss.
  • Hyper Beam won't recharge if it KOs an opponent.
  • Leech Seed and Toxic both use the same damage algorithm. If the target of Leech Seed is also under the effect of Toxic (or was under that effect and healed itself with Rest), Leech Seed damage and healing increase each turn.
  • Pokemon with high base Speed land critical hits more often. If a Pokemon uses a high-critical hit move, it is almost guaranteed to critical hit since the critical hit ratio is multiplied by eight.
  • Related to the above, critical hits ignore your stat boosts. For example, a +2 Attack critical hit Slash deals the same as Slash landing a critical hit without Attack boosts.
  • Counter works only when hit by Normal and Fighting-type moves (and is triggered by healing items).
  • Body Slam cannot paralyze Normal types.
  • Seismic Toss hits Ghost-types. Similarly, Night Shade hits Normal and Psychic types.
  • Freeze is permanent and is only removed with Haze or being hit by a Fire-type move that can cause a burn (or use a healing item)
  • The game will misinform you about type matchups. For example, Fighting moves hit Pidgey neutrally, but the game will tell you it was not very effective. This is cause the game doesn't see the second type that makes it neutral
  • Psychic-types are immune to Ghost-type moves.
  • Wrap, Fire Spin, and co. will prevent a Pokemon from using moves till it frees itself from the effects.
  • Waking up from sleep is counted as full turn, thus a Pokemon does not use a move when it wakes up.
  • Sleep lasts 1-7 turns in RBY and this counter is not reset upon switching out, However, once you get the Poke Flute, Sleep mostly becomes a non-issue as it can be reused infinitely in battle.
  • Focus Energy actually decreases the chance of landing critical hits.
For more information, see: https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/List_of_glitches_in_Generation_I. The above list is simply the ones most people should know.

Yellow Differences
In Yellow, you are forced into having Pikachu as a starter. The other starters can be obtained as follows:
  • Bulbasaur is found in the house to the west of the Cerulean City Pokemon Center. Here, a lady offers you a Bulbasaur that she has nursed back to health if your Pikachu is in a happy mood. This can be done easily by using Potions on Pikachu at full health; while the game says it has no effect, it actually raises Pikachu's happiness via a glitch and thus can be used to easily get Bulbasaur.
  • Charmander is found north of Nugget Bridge - speak to the trainer on the raised platform in the north-west corner of Route 25 (past the Team Rocket Grunt to the left, near some ledges). Claiming that he is a bad trainer, he'll offer you Charmander.
  • Squirtle can be obtained once you beat Lt Surge at the Vermilion Gym. To do so, talk to Officer Jenny in the middle of town (to the left of the Poke Mart) to get Squirtle. Most notably, Charizard can learn HM02 Fly in Yellow, unlike in Red and Blue.
  • Your rival starts off with an Eevee that will evolve differently depending on your battles with him. If you win the battle at the lab and the battle on Route 22, he will get Jolteon. If you win the battle at the lab but not the battle at Route 22, he will get a Flareon. If you lose both battles, he will get a Vaporeon.
  • Gym Leaders have different teams to reflect the Pokemon they had in the anime and their levels are significantly buffed, most notably from Koga onward.
  • Jessie and James appear with Ekans, Koffing, and Meowth as recurring bosses throughout Yellow. They appear at Mt. Moon, Rocket Hideout, Pokémon Tower, and Silph Co., with their Pokemon save for Meowth evolving at Pokemon Tower.

Encounter Differences
  • Raichu is only available in Red and Blue. In Yellow, your starter Pikachu cannot evolve into Raichu, but Pikachu has a slightly buffed moveset from Red and Blue to compensate for this.
  • Electabuzz and the Ekans line are only available in Red.
  • Magmar and the Meowth line are only available in Blue.
  • Jynx, the Weedle line and the Koffing line are only available in Red and Blue.
  • Scyther, the Oddish line, the Mankey line and the Growlithe line are only in Red and Yellow.
  • Pinsir, the Sandshrew line, the Bellsprout line and the Vulpix line are only in Blue and Yellow.
Game Corner Differences
  • Porygon costs 9,999 coins in Red and Yellow, but only 6,500 Coins in Blue. Notably, Porygon is the only Pokemon who is Game Corner exclusive.
  • Abra costs 180 Coins in Red, 120 Coins in Blue, and 230 Coins in Yellow.
  • Scyther costs 5,500 Coins in Red and 6,500 Coins in Yellow.
  • Pinsir costs 2,500 Coins in Blue and 6,500 Coins in Yellow.
  • Clefairy costs 500 Coins in Red and 750 Coins in Blue.
  • Dratini costs 2,800 Coins in Red and 2,500 Coins in Blue.
  • Vulpix costs 1,000 Coins, but is only in Yellow.
  • Wigglytuff costs 2,680 Coins, but is only in Yellow.
  • Nidorina costs 1,200 Coins, but is only in Red. Similarly, Nidorino costs 1,200 Coins but is only in Blue.

Info is borrowed from the "[RBY] Critical Hits in RBY" thread here.
Please note that results are rounded to the nearest two decimal places, and only fully evolved Pokémon are included.

Pokémon - Base Speed - Crit Rate
Electrode - 140 - 27.34%
Aerodactyl - 130 - 25.39%
Jolteon - 130 - 25.39%
Mewtwo - 130 - 25.39%
Alakazam - 120 - 23.44%
Dugtrio - 120 - 23.44%
Persian - 115 - 22.46%
Starmie - 115 - 22.46%
Gengar - 110 - 21.48%
Tauros - 110 - 21.48%
Electabuzz - 105 - 20.50%
Rapidash - 105 - 20.50%
Scyther - 105 - 20.50%
Charizard - 100 - 19.53%
Dodrio - 100 - 19.53%
Fearow - 100 - 19.53%
Mew - 100 - 19.53%
Ninetales - 100 - 19.53%
Raichu - 100 - 19.53%
Tentacruel - 100 - 19.53%
Zapdos - 100 - 19.53%
Raticate - 97 - 18.95%
Jynx - 95 - 18.55%
Primeape - 95 - 18.55%
Magmar - 93 - 18.16%
Pidgeot - 91 - 17.77%
Golbat - 90 - 17.59%
Kangaskhan - 90 - 17.59%
Moltres - 90 - 17.59%
Mr. Mime - 90 - 17.59%
Venomoth - 90 - 17.59%
Hitmonlee - 87 - 16.99%
Articuno - 85 - 16.60%
Golduck - 85 - 16.60%
Nidoking - 85 - 16.60%
Pinsir - 85 - 16.60%
Seadra - 85 - 16.60%
Gyarados - 81 - 15.82%
Arbok - 80 - 15.63%
Dragonite - 80 - 15.63%
Kabutops - 80 - 15.63%
Venusaur - 80 - 15.63%
Blastoise - 78 - 15.23%
Hitmonchan - 76 - 14.84%
Nidoqueen - 76 - 14.84%
Beedrill - 75 - 14.65%
Kingler - 75 - 14.65%
Butterfree - 70 - 13.67%
Cloyster - 70 - 13.67%
Dewgong - 70 - 13.67%
Magneton - 70 - 13.67%
Onix - 70 - 13.67%
Poliwrath - 70 - 13.67%
Victreebel - 70 - 13.67%
Seaking - 68 - 13.28%
Hypno - 67 - 13.09%
Flareon - 65 - 12.70%
Sandslash - 65 - 12.70%
Vaporeon - 65 - 12.70%
Clefable - 60 - 11.71%
Farfetch'd - 60 - 11.71%
Lapras - 60 - 11.71%
Tangela - 60 - 11.71%
Weezing - 60 - 11.71%
Exeggutor - 55 - 10.74%
Machamp - 55 - 10.74%
Omastar - 55 - 10.74%
Chansey - 50 - 9.77%
Muk - 50 - 9.77%
Vileplume - 50 - 9.77%
Ditto - 48 - 9.38%
Golem - 45 - 8.79%
Marowak - 45 - 8.79%
Wigglytuff - 45 - 8.79%
Porygon - 45 - 7.81%
Rhydon - 45 - 7.81%
Lickitung - 30 - 5.86%
Parasect - 30 - 5.86%
Slowbro - 30 - 5.86%
Snorlax - 30 - 5.86%

This map is borrowed from the Pokémon Speedruns Wiki here.

Note that HM05 Flash is given to you near the Viridian City gate for catching 10 different species of Pokemon. Travel through Diglett's Cave near Vermilion City to reach Oak's Aide to get HM05 Flash, though you will need a Pokemon that has learned HM01 Cut to access the gate. HM05 Flash will let you see in Rock Tunnel easier.

Key:
Red Square = Bike Path

Yellow Square = Use Repel

Blue Square = Trainer Battle

So, in other words, you only need three Repels for Rock Tunnel and there are only five required trainer battles if you want to get through Rock Tunnel as painlessly as possible.

1F:
1592748180291.png

2F:
1592748202515.png

Other Notes
  • Most of the Pokemon from the old lists were merged into one ranking here. That is why you don't see separate rankings for Pikachu or the Kanto starters in Yellow. The only two tiering differences that are below are Farfetch'd (available on Routes 12 and 13 in Yellow as opposed to a trade in Red and Blue) and Psyduck (available post-Surf on Route 6 in Yellow as opposed to Seafoam Islands and various places with the Super Rod).
  • Psychic types in general are broken in RBY, and thus most of them will be placed in the higher tiers. Psychic types essentially have no weaknesses, as Bug is mostly nonexistent and Psychic types are immune to Ghost-moves save for Night Shade.
  • Normal types are similar to Psychic types in that most of them can abuse the no-recharge-if-it-KOs Hyper Beam. Slash is in a similar boat (moreso for any type really) because critical hit rate is based off Speed, but only Persian and DUX the traded Farfetch'd can abuse STAB Slash.
  • TMs in RBY are very odd, but their location list can be found here: https://www.smogon.com/ingame/guides/rby_tms. Note both the Swords Dance and Earthquake TMs are found in Silph Co in particular, so it's recommended to try and get them as soon as possible (while avoiding as many Team Rocket Grunts if it's necessary).
 
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S-Tier: The following Pokemon have the highest levels of efficiency. These Pokemon do not come very late, are very good as soon as you obtain them and OHKO or 2HKO most opponents effortlessly.
Abra (trade)
:rb/abra:

Clefairy
:rb/clefairy:

Jynx
:rb/jynx:

Nidoran-F
:rb/nidoran-f:

Nidoran-M
:rb/nidoran-m:

A-Tier: The following Pokemon are also very efficient, but fail to reach the level of S-tier, typically because they come slightly later, do not claim enough OHKOs or 2HKOs or need a relative amount of time in order to become good.
Abra (no trade)
:rb/kadabra:

Articuno
:rb/articuno:

Charmander
:rb/charmander:

Diglett
:rb/diglett:

Eevee (Vaporeon)
:rb/vaporeon:

Hitmonlee
:rb/hitmonlee:

Gastly (trade)
:rb/gengar:

Magikarp
:rb/magikarp:

Mr. Mime
:rb/mr-mime:

Sandshrew
:rb/sandshrew:

Squirtle
:rb/squirtle:

Staryu
:rb/staryu:

Zapdos
:rb/zapdos:
 
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B-Tier:
The following Pokemon claim a lot of OHKOs or 2HKOs, but may experience difficulties contributing efficiently to major fights, mainly due to requiring item assistance or coming fairly late.
Bulbasaur
:rb/bulbasaur:
Doduo
:rb/doduo:

Drowzee
:rb/drowzee:

Eevee (Jolteon)
:rb/jolteon:

Exeggcute
:rb/exeggcute:

Farfetch'd (RB)
:rb/farfetch

Gastly (No Trade)
:rb/haunter:

Geodude (Trade)
:rb/golem:

Kabuto
:rb/kabuto:

Machop (Trade)
:rb/machamp:

Omanyte
:rb/omanyte:

Rattata
:rb/rattata:

Slowpoke
:rb/slowpoke:

Snorlax
:rb/snorlax:

Spearow
:rb/spearow:

C-Tier:
The following Pokemon are not great, but have a couple of positive traits that prevents them from being outright bad. These Pokemon will take some time to beat opponents due to failing to OHKO or 2HKO them.
Bellsprout
:rb/bellsprout:

Caterpie
:rb/caterpie:

Dratini
:rb/dratini:

Electabuzz (R)
:rb/electabuzz:

Geodude (No Trade)
:rb/graveler:

Growlithe
:rb/growlithe:

Horsea
:rb/horsea:

Kangaskhan
:rb/kangaskhan:

Lapras
:rb/lapras:

Lickitung (RB)
:rb/lickitung:

Oddish
:rb/oddish:

Pikachu
:rb/pikachu:

Poliwag
:rb/poliwag:

Psyduck (RB)
:rb/psyduck:

Rhyhorn
:rb/rhyhorn:

Scyther
:rb/scyther:

Shellder
:rb/shellder:

Tauros
:rb/tauros:

Tentacool
:rb/tentacool:

Voltorb
:rb/voltorb:
 
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D-Tier
The following Pokemon have more negative traits than positive ones, although their positive traits allow them to be somewhat usable. These Pokemon are good only in specific matchups and are generally useless otherwise.
Aerodactyl
:rb/aerodactyl:

Chansey
:rb/chansey:

Cubone
:rb/cubone:

Eevee (Flareon)
:rb/flareon:

Ekans
:rb/ekans:

Farfetch'd (Y)
1592747368253.png


Goldeen
:rb/goldeen:

Hitmonchan
:rb/hitmonchan:

Jigglypuff
:rb/jigglypuff:

Krabby (R)
:rb/krabby:

Magnemite
:rb/magnemite:

Mankey
:rb/mankey:

Meowth
:rb/meowth:

Onix
:rb/onix:

Pidgey
:rb/pidgey:

Pinsir
:rb/pinsir:

Psyduck (Y)
1592747137409.png


Seel
:rb/seel:

Venonat
:rb/venonat:

Vulpix
:rb/vulpix:

Weedle (RB)
:rb/weedle:

Zubat
:rb/zubat:

E-Tier:
The following Pokemon have the lowest level of efficiency. They have little-to-no good matchups or their performance does not compensate for the difficulty of obtaining them.
Ditto
:rb/ditto:

Grimer
:rb/grimer:

Koffing
:rb/koffing:

Magmar
:rb/magmar:

Moltres
:rb/moltres:

Paras
:rb/paras:

Ponyta
:rb/ponyta:

Porygon
:rb/porygon:

Tangela
:rb/tangela:

Untiered
The following Pokemon are not obtainable in any of the three games before beating the Pokemon League without using glitches or are obtainable only through events.
Mew
:rb/mew:

Mewtwo
:rb/mewtwo:
 
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You may now post. Happy tiering! I am doing a playthrough currently and will post my progress after I beat Erika (running with Ivysaur, Gyarados, and Sandslash at the moment, and I will be getting Snorlax shortly).
 
Hooray! Thanks for organizing this, I'm always happy to do some tiering!

I'm itching to run something, though haven't yet thought about what Pokémon I'd like to try.

Looking through the list, I have a couple thoughts/proposals:

- some specific Pokémon placements that catch my eye: Snorlax (I hate moving second, because you start eating everyone's Stun Spores and Confuse Rays, though I'm not sure if that's just me), Dratini (I'm curious what pushes it up to C-tier; I would've guessed D- or E-tier myself), Jigglypuff (it's usually pretty good for me—early evo + Normal STAB + fast exp. growth + access to good elemental moves even if they run off the bad Special stat) (actually, the more I think about it, the more I think Jigglypuff is strictly better than Snorlax—very similar as slow bulky Normal STABbers, except Jigglypuff has a great early game when Snorlax is unavailable)
- Any Water-type you get post-Surf at level 30 or above is basically similar, right? I feel they can all go into B- and C-tier—they all get Surf and access to Ice moves, which is enough to have a concrete role against the Elite Four, but they're too limited by their availability to be truly great. I like Staryu but to me it never felt like it was a whole tier better than, for instance, Tentacool or Seel, who have less coverage but more oomph behind their STAB moves
- I wonder if S-tier could just collapse into A-tier. I'm not convinced, for instance, that Nidoran and Snorlax are better than Clefairy at all, or that Zam is enough of a qualitative difference over Kadabra to justify a full tier difference

I'm curious what everyone thinks!
 
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I agree with Longfellow about Nidoran and Clefairy, especially with X items banned. Both of them evolve at the same place, and Clefable's STAB Mega Punch even from 70 base Attack is stronger than the Nidorans' Mega Punch. Moreover, Clefairy doesn't need to be trained to evolve immediately, which isn't something that can be claimed for the Nidorans', and they have a negative match-up against Brock outside of Yellow. Clefable also has a stronger Special, and has a better match-up against Misty, Sabrina and Lance. The Nidorans have Earthquake, which is really strong, albeit a one-time use item, but Clefable has Psychic, which has a similar effect against the Poison-types and has less competition than Earthquake.

I have run recently Bulbasaur, Bellsprout and Exeggcute. I will try Paras, Tangela and Oddish soon.

The issue with Bulbasaur is that it depends on the Body Slam TM for its performance until Celadon, and this is a problem because it defeats enemies very slowly otherwise. Its claim to fame is the match-up against Brock thanks to Leech Seed. Route 3 is on the negative side for him due to the presence of Bug and Poison-type Pokémon that slow down its performance, and the match-up against Misty can be replicated by other Pokémon like Bellsprout (arguably a better choice due to Growth). From there on, Bellsprout, even unevolved, has comparable power to Ivysaur, and if Ivysaur doesn't have Body Slam, Bellsprout inflicts more damage with Wrap (and can even aim for Stun Spore + Wrap).

I'm also getting the impression that Victreebel is better than Venusaur when both are fully evolved. Victreebel has early Sleep Powder, while Venusaur doesn't until very late (Lv55), and due to the Sleep mechanics, Victreebel should be able to lock enemies down. Moreover, if given the Swords Dance TM, Victreebel can sleep and sweep the enemy teams with the help of Take Down or Double Edge, although this shouldn't be assumed.

Right now I'm not sure to say Bellsprout > Bulbasaur because the Brock match-up and availability are pretty important, but I don't think they should be two tiers apart from each other.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
or you guys could just nom Clefairy to S? Since Clefairy is supposedly better (I have a run with Nidoking that's unfinished so not gonna claim lots of experience) then you can just nom Clefairy to S. From experience, it destroys pmuch every fight, esp once you equip it with Body Slam. The only issues I can think of are 4% encounter rate, Mega Punch period being slightly annoying due to accuracy issues and reliance on elemental TMs (granted, it abuses them very well, so I think you could simply not bat an eye on this, depending on how this would be handled policy-wise), but if you think those are not huge issues, then I don't see what's stopping you from nomming it to S-tier.

As for the Nidos, I don't think EQ being contested is relevant for them. They are Ground-types and thus, for most players, they would be one of the first candidates for getting EQ. From my unfinished run, Nidoking has been doing pretty well. It does have a bit of shaky matchups due to Brock and Misty, but after that, it pmuch becomes fine. Given I have not finished my run, I am not gonna say if it's S or A, as I'd have to finish it first.

It'd be interesting to hear what would be your reasons for not seeing Clefairy in S. I think that's not the most ridiculous thing, based on my experience.
 
For what it is worth, in the old lists, Clefairy was Top Tier, which translates to S here, Now, I know I said in the OP this list is different, but I can see S being a definite possibility for Clefairy and Nidoking. I haven't used either so I can't quite comment on them yet. But I will certainly keep them in mind.

I'd like to give an update on my current run at the moment. I'm around Fuchsia with a team of Venusaur, Gyarados, Sandslash, and the recently acquired Snorlax.

Bulbasuar (14): Outspeeds and OHKOs Geodude with Vine Whip. Onix outspeeds and goes for Screech, but is OHKOed by Vine Whip.

Magikarp (15): 5HKOs Abra with Tackle. Didn’t test the others.
Sandshrew (17): Gust from Pidgeotto is a 6HKO while you roughly 2HKO with Slash crits. OHKOs Rattata and Abra with crit Slash. You need one crit Slash to 2HKO Charmander, kinda slow otherwise and Ember does a bit.
Ivysaur (22): Meh for Pidgeotto: you 4HKO it with Tackle while it can Sand-Attack. 2HKOs Rattata while Hyper Fang seems to do a third or so. Ember looks like a 4HKO from Charmander.

Gyarados (20): Crit Bite OHKOs Staryu (you 2HKO without a critical hit). Crit Tackle from Starmie does 12 damage (a 6HKO) while you 4HKO Starmie with Bite unless Misty goes for X Defend. Easy matchup.
Ivysaur (22): Staryo outspeeds but does nothing with Tackle while you 2HKO with Vine Whip. Vine Whip is a 3HKO on Starmie while it also does nothing with Tackle. Super easy.
Sandslash (22): Staryu 4HKOs with Water Gun while Starmie seems to 3HKO with Water Gun. Dig 2HKOs even if she uses X Defend. Crit Slash roughly 2HKOs and she seems to go for X Defend turn 1. Sandslash can take a BubbleBeam from full, but only barely (I was in red HP). Maybe not a sweep, but a darn good performance for a supposedly bad matchup.

Gyarados (23): BubbleBeam 2HKOs Pidgeotto (you outspeed). You also outspeed and OHKO Raticate with BubbleBeam (!) You outspeed while Bite OHKOs Kadabra and BubbleBeam OHKOs Charmelon respectively.
Ivysaur (23): I beat Pidgeotto with 4 Tackles, one of them being a crit (I crit again but it was near fainting). You should have about 2/3 of your HP left from Pidgeotto. Raticate is faster and you 3HKO each other with Hyper Fang and Vine Whip respectively. Don’t fight Kadabra-you and it seem to 2HKO each other with Tackle and Confusion respectively. Tackle looks like a 4 or 5HKO on Charmeleon while it easily 3HKOs with Ember.
Body Slam is a 2HKO on Pidgeotto and Raticate and a range to OHKO Kadabra. You 3HKO Charmeleon with Body Slam.
Sandslash (23): CritSlash seems to be a range to OHKO Pidgeotto, while Sandslash outspeeds and OHKOs Raticate with Dig. Kadabra outspeeds but can derp with Disable while you OHKO with CritSlash Blue’s Charmeleon is outsped and OHKOed by Dig.

Gyarados (25): Voltorb is outsped and 2HKOed by BubbleBeam while Pikachu is out sped and OHKOed. If you can somehow get a hit off on Raichu (I rolled 1/256 lol) Dragon Rage 2HKOs. Obviously Gyrados is fried by Raichu’s Thunderbolt. Also note, Voltorb has no Electric moves, and Pikachu only has a 25% chance to use an Electric attack (discounting Thunder Wave) so this should be fairly safe.
Ivysaur (26): Doesn’t outspeed but 2HKOs Voltorb with Body Slam (who does nothing, but you may need to watch out for SonicBoom I guess, though I think it never used it in my tests). Pikachu is OHKOed by Body Slam. Raichu looks to be 3HKOed by Body Slam, but Lt. Surge can derp and use X Speed or Growl. Even if Raichu does use Thunderbolt or Thundershock, really, it can’t do a whole lot to you. Even in the worst case scenario I finished the fight at half HP.
Sandslash (25): Dig, Dig Dig. Simple as that. Also, CritSlash OHKOs Voltorb and Pikachu and knocks Raichu to about red or so.
]

Erika:
Gyarados (30): Dragon Rage and Bite 3HKOs Victrebel. Razor Leaf can roughly 3HKO you and Sleep Powder and Wrap can be annoying. Dragon Rage 2HKOs Tangela, who isn’t really a threat (it only has Constrict and Bind, though the latter can trap you). Dragon Rage is a 3HKO on Vileplume. Really, your victory here seems to depend on if Victrebel spams Razor Leaf. If you give Gyrados Ice Beam, the sweep is easier: you 2HKO everything.

Ivysaur (30): Victrebel spams PoisonPowder on you to no avail while you 3HKO (or sometimes 4HKO depending on ranges) with Body Slam. Tangela seems to spam Constrict while you 3HKO with Body Slam (note Tangela is faster if it gets the Speed drop). Vileplume spams PoisonPowder on you while you 4HKO it with Body Slam. It may take a couple more if Erika uses a Super Potion though. Easy sweep.

Sandslash (30): You outspeed Victrebel and Dig does 3/4 of Victrebel’s HP while it tries to Sleep Powder you. CritSlash 2HKOs Tangela who seems to go for Bind. Vileplume does 2/3 with Mega Drain while you 2HKO with Dig.

On another attempt, I found CritSlash 2HKOs Victrebel while it OHKOs you with crit Razor Leaf. In another attempt, I found out CritSlash 2HKOs Vileplume while Sandslash can take a Petal Dance from full and live in red, similar to Misty’s Starmie.

So, in other words, decent.

Giovanni 1:
Gyarados (32): You outspeed and OHKO both Rock/Grounds with BubbleBeam. Kangaskhan comes in, gets promptly outsped and 2HKOed by BubbleBeam.
Venusaur (32): Even Vine Whip deals with both Rock/Grounds (you have a lesser chance to miss than with Razor Leaf). Venusaur outspeeds and even OHKOs Kangaskhan with Razor Leaf, though it’s a range.
Sandslash (32): You outspeed and OHKO both Rock/Grounds with Dig. Slash seems to be a range to 2HKO Khan but A) it does nothing and B) you have bulk anyway. Kangaskhan outspeeds but Dig ensures the 2HKO with Slash.

Blue 5:
Venusaur (33): Body Slam 2HKOs Pidgeotto and Exeggcute. Razor Leaf almost OHKOs Gyrados. Kadabra Confusion does nothing while you OHKO with Body Slam. You might not sweep, but you will definitely cripple his team. It depends on if Pidgeotto goes for Sand-Attack (Charmeleon Ember is a 4HKO) and Gyarados goes for Dragon Rage, really. I did sweep with these up, though Pidgeotto failed to use Sand-Attack successfully. You outspeed everything.
Gyarados (32): You OHKO Pidgeotto, 2HKO Exeggcute with Bite, 2HKO Gyarados via Dragon Rage, OHKO Kadabra with Bite, and OHKO Charmeleon with BubbleBeam. IIRC you outspeed everything.
Sandslash (32): CritSlash OHKOs Pidgeotto and Exeggcute. It leaves Gyarados in red, but thankfully Sandslash can take a Hydro Pump, surprisingly. Charmeleon is OHKOed by Dig. You outspeed everything.

As for how I feel on my team members at the moment at Fuschia City...

Bulbasaur has been decent and definitely in the running for A. Like Xator_Nova said though, it is heavily reliant on Body Slam to do much of anything on Grass-resistant foes, which are quite common in RBY. Vine Whip falls off pretty fast, and while Razor Leaf does help, you aren't getting that until around Erika. It's been consistently good in bosses, but still a little slow damaging for my liking. Maybe it'll get better with Toxic Leech (which is allowed) but I don't know man, outside of bosses this thing has just been just sorta...there.

Gyarados seems like an A. Magikarp sucks, but getting Gyarados is quite strong with BubbleBeam. It also virtually never dies to anything. Usually, if it doesn't kill something with BubbleBeam, it will practically always 2HKO, and Dragon Rage covers the rare Waters that may stop its assault (as does Bite). I'm noticing BubbleBeam's power starting to wane, but I think Surf soon will fix that. Also haven't tried Ice Beam or Thunderbolt much yet, but it's been a solid pick for bosses so far.

Sandslash is insanely underrated and a clear A. With just a few levels off wilds, at Level 17 Sandshrew transforms into a monster with Slash, Dig, and early evolution at only Level 22. As a Sandslash, Slash always crits, which is great, and honestly? I haven't even needed Dig too much because usually Slash does the job on 99% of things not named the Geodude line or Onix. It can tank Special hits better than you'd think too, with it notably living Starmie's Bubblebeam and Vileplume's Petal Dance (though 70 BP in Gen 1) at like levels from full HP.

Judging by initial impressions on Routes, I'm not a big Snorlax fan. While it can certainly outlast things with that huge HP, the PP of Headbutt (if you aren't running Hyper Beam, as I chose not to yet) drains incredibly fast. While Headbutt and soon Body Slam can do things pretty well, until you gain 5 levels, you have to run back to a Pokemon Center after like every 3-4 fights or so, and that isn't fun. What doesn't help is that unlike virtually every top tier RBY mon, Snorlax is in a four way tie for the lowest critical hit chance in the game at 5.86%, which is what some mons rely on, even if Snorlax is fine power wise (OHKOing unevolved stuff with Headbutt and 2HKOing evolved stuff). While Rest can save it from the chip damage, it doesn't change the fact it is still gonna get chipped here and there. I don't hate it by any stretch, and there's still the boss fights. I just kinda expect a Pokemon available halfway through the game to really destroy everything to be an S.

And in response to Longfellow on S tiers: I think they are a necessity in any modern tier list. There are some Pokemon that are just going to be better than most of the (very good others) in A. Though I would say the power threshold for RBY is lower than in most generations.

Yeah, Dratini could drop lower perhaps. And Jigglypuff can rise maybe. I don't think I'd say Jigglypuff is better than Snorlax though, even with early evolution and sleep access via Sing.

Yes, most of the Waters could maybe be in B and C. Starmie is kinda dependent on TMs. But I'll need to test it.

Also, in terms of sequence breaking, I think Erika, Giovanni 1, Lavender Blue, Koga, Giovanni 2, Sabrina then Blaine is the best order for us to do the midgame in. If anyone thinks differently, I'd definitely be open to hearing it, though my mons are level 37 or so with this order right now at Fuchsia.

I will freely admit I'm not insanely knowledgable on RBY, so if I get something wrong or miss a detail crucial to make a mon good, feel free to point it out! If you have any other questions, just ask them, and I will do my best to answer them! Great posts so far.
 
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atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
If S-tier exists and the Nidos are placed there, I'd argue that Clefairy should be there too. Clefairy and the Nidos are basically equivalent in function and at the very least I view Clefable and Nidoking to be equal in tiering for the purposes of "efficient" runs. I would sooner drop Nidoran-F below those two if I had to drop something (because I mean if Kadabra/Haunter/Graveler/Machoke and Alakazam/Gengar/Golem/Machamp are different enough to warrant a tier difference then I'd argue that Nido-F should be a tier below Nido-M).

To give a run-down of some differences between the two:

Clefairy's advantages:
  • STAB access. Clefable potentially gains STAB Mega Punch immediately. If it doesn't get that, it has Body Slam as a fallback. If it doesn't get that either, Tri Attack awaits in Celadon. If it somehow misses out on all of those (extremely unlikely because at the very least the Tri Attack TM has virtually no relevant competition for it), you can just buy Mega Punch from the Celadon Department Store, or you can just teach it Strength when that comes around. Clefable is guaranteed access to good STAB options. Nidos don't learn Dig in this game and rely on the Earthquake TM to get anything resembling a good STAB. Ryota Metarai mentioned that they will be among the first candidates for this move and so should have access to it, which is a reasonable view I think, but it doesn't change the fact that there are numerous other Pokemon that would like access to this move but will potentially miss out because they had the misfortune of being stuck on a team with Nidoking/Queen - the main reason TM dependency is an issue for Pokemon is that it can potentially hinder the performance of teammates.
  • Clefable is in the Fast experience group while the Nidos are Medium Slow. It makes little difference initially but is beneficial in the long run not just for Clefable but its teammates since there will be more opportunities for them to battle for experience if Clefable needs fewer battles to reach an equivalent level to the Nidos.
  • Clefable has higher Special, and special moves tend to form the majority of Clefable and the Nido's offense for certain parts of the game.
  • Clefable has access to Psychic. I don't think this is a huge advantage since Earthquake and Psychic are available at basically the same time and both cover Poison-types but I suppose Clefable learning Psychic is less likely to impact a teammate than Nidos learning Earthquake.
  • Clefable is actually something of a good check to Misty - it has enough Special to tank BubbleBeam relatively well and it can paralyze Starmie with Thunder Wave (another move that Nidos don't have) while hitting reasonably hard with Mega Punch. The Nidos have no business fighting Starmie. I also don't consider this to be a huge deal because I think Misty is slightly over-rated in difficulty (I mean you don't even have to fight her immediately) but this match-up is still one of the most important ones.
Nido's advantages:
  • Availability. Nidos are obtained sooner and are easier to obtain due to superior encounter rate. The usefulness of this depends on the game and the specific Nido:
    • If playing Yellow and using Nidoran-M, this is fairly important since Horn Attack is great for routes and Double Kick covers Brock if you are willing to grind long enough for it. Immunity to Poison from Weedles and such is somewhat convenient also, although not a huge deal since Antidotes do well enough.
    • If playing RB, Nidoran-M can't do much against Brock aside from lower stats, but it still does great on Routes with Horn Attack so this is still a nice advantage in its favour.
    • If playing Yellow and using Nidoran-F, the availability advantage isn't as important as with the male version because Nidoran-F happens to be one of the weakest Pokemon prior to Mt. Moon. Its Attack stat is rather lowly and it lacks STAB on Scratch so it doesn't do a lot of damage. Still offers immunity to Poison and can Double Kick Brock if allowed to grind enough for it.
    • If playing RB, Nidoran-F has so little to offer prior to Mt. Moon that being obtained sooner than Clefairy isn't much of an advantage.
  • Nidos have higher Attack. This is irrelevant early in the game since Clefable's STAB Mega Punches will do more damage than Nidos' unSTABed variants, but later it when it gets Earthquake it matters more.
  • Nidos have a few moves that Clefable lacks, namely Rock Slide and Surf. I don't think these are any more important than Clefable being able to get Psychic though.
    • Technically, access to OHKO moves could also be seen as an advantage but for the purposes of this tier list this isn't relevant since X-Items are being disallowed (as an aside I'm not sure if banning all X-Items is necessary but I can understand banning X-Accuracy).
  • Likewise, there are some match-ups where Nidos will have the potential to do better, like Blaine, but none that I think should be heavily weighted in tiering due to their general lack of difficulty.
Some other quick thoughts:
  • Toxic/Leech Seed isn't that great since most things will die sooner from Razor Leaf.
  • Snorlax is too slow for S tier imo.
  • Dratini isn't all that great. It learns lots of moves but isn't all that strong (evolving late doesn't help matters, it is very unlikely to reach the Dragonite stage at all) and is inconvenient to obtain.
  • Jigglypuff is completely outclassed by Clefairy but is OK on its own merits, Wigglytuff's Attack is equal to Clefable's and it can tank hits somewhat although its Special and Speed are poor, main issue is that it takes time to grind it from the Sing phase (especially notable in Yellow since it isn't obtained until after you get the SS Ticket but can only be caught at like level 3). I don't know if I would call it better than Snorlax, that grind period sucks.
 
or you guys could just nom Clefairy to S?
Clefairy belongs in the highest tier imo, I've run it a lot. My comment about the S-tier was more that I'm not sure any Pokémon quite fits the description of an S-tier. I feel that every Pokémon in the game either has an important cost (for instance, catching and raising Abra before level 16), a big availability constraint (Zapdos and Articuno of course, and even Pokémon like Vaporeon who miss out on key early fights), or becomes good but not great for a long part of the game (Nidoran and Clefairy for most of the endgame). But I probably also just have too strict a view on what "S-tier" means.

As for Clefairy specifically, it compares favorably with just about anything, so if there is an S-tier I would definitely promote it there (edit: lol same time post as atsync, who explains it all better than I do here). I talked about it at length in the previous threads. Clefairy learns so many TMs that it's bound to get something good by at least Celadon City (I mean, what kind of team are you running that wouldn't let Clefairy have any of Mega Punch, Bubblebeam, Body Slam, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Tri Attack, and Psychic), and its fast exp. growth and Normal STAB give it a lot more oomph than you'd expect just looking at that base attack stat. For instance, a lot of people consider Gyarados's huge attack a big reason to invest in Magikarp, but Clefable can hit harder than Gyarados from both sides until Gyarados gets STAB Surf.

I'm a stickler about exp. rates, btw, because I think a lot of people don't notice how much slow-growing pokes sap exp. from their fast-growing teammates. For instance, you might run Snorlax (slow exp. growth) and Jigglypuff (fast exp. growth) on the same team, bring them both to level 50, and think you were being fair. But actually, you will have been very biased without realizing it, because that Snorlax will have gotten over 50% more experience than Jigglypuff. A Jigglypuff that gets the same number of exp. points as Snorlax will perform very similarly, as strange as it sounds (I might do a run with both of them to demonstrate this point in greater detail).

Edit: the grind period does suck though, I probably wasn't taking that into account enough. There are ways to make it less bad though, at least in RB. My gut feeling is still that RB Jigglypuff's early game counts for more than the marginal benefits Snorlax brings to the table afterwards.
 
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atsync

Where the "intelligence" of TRAINERS is put to the test!
is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogon
The Jigglypuff grind is potentially tolerable in RB since it can be given Water Gun, Mega Punch and Moon Stone almost immediately. Once it catches up it is basically the same as Clefable for a good while until its lower stats catch up to it late game. Same also applies to Yellow, it's just that it has about 20 levels it needs to grind to catch up instead of like 10-12.

I was actually tempted to give Puff split entries by version because of it in the previous list (RB in Mid vs. Y in Low), but chose not to since no one seemed all that fussed about it at the time. Might be worth considering this time.
 
OK let's look at endgame Wigglytuff vs. Snorlax

Pokemon Blue_01.png
Pokemon Blue_02.png

The same number of experience points, so you know I'm not favoring either one!

Pokemon Blue_05.png
Pokemon Blue_06.png

Here are their stats. Almost identical bulk; Wigglytuff is faster. It looks like Snorlax's attack is much better, but let's test it to make sure. I'm going to use two Body Slams each against Lorelei's Dewgong:

Pokemon Blue_03.png
Pokemon Blue_04.png

Since level itself is part of the damage formula, it goes most of the way in counteracting Snorlax's advantage in base attack. That is why exp. rate is so important.

(Also, this Snorlax has a perfect Attack DV and Jigglypuff's is about 10; I gave Snorlax a Protein but not Jigglypuff. I don't know how much that would count for but it's possible Snorlax doesn't even hit harder at all in the general case)

And this is why Jigglypuff is better than Snorlax. Not only is (RB) Jigglypuff available for much longer, but even when you can get Snorlax, Jigglypuff is not clearly worse (one can quibble about movepool/learnset differences—Snorlax generally comes out ahead here, but not by an enormous amount imo, and Jigglypuff's speed advantage isn't insignificant. I think they're basically alike).

Edit: more about exp. rates and how to fully account for them in our tests and analyses
Quick overview

There are four exp. groups in RBY.

The "medium fast" group (which I personally like to just call the "medium" group) is the default, with the simplest exp. formula (level^3 = experience).
The "fast" group gains levels about 25% faster. Only Clefairy, Jigglypuff, and Chansey are in this group.
The "slow" group gains levels about 25% slower. Legendaries and certain other beefy Pokémon (Dratini, Staryu, Magikarp, Growlithe, to name a few) are in this group.
The "medium slow" group (which I like to call the "parabolic" group) has an uneven curve that lets them gain levels quickly at a low level. I think every three-stage Pokémon besides Caterpie, Weedle, and Dratini belongs to this group.

There are also traded Pokémon, who level 50% faster than their respective groups due to the outsider bonus (some examples including Farfetch'd, Mr. Mime, Jynx, and Dewgong)

---

Exp. in our tiering tests—how not to accidentally be super biased

As I said in the post above, it's easy to unwittingly let "slow" Pokémon hog experience at the expense of faster ones. We'll want to avoid this when testing Pokémon. How do we do this?

Every Pokémon should get equal experience but not equal level. The simplest way is to rotate your party after each trainer battle. Let's say you're running Clefairy, Pikachu, Growlithe, and Poliwag. You can let Clefairy take on one trainer, Pikachu take on the next, Growlithe the third, Poliwag the fourth, and then back to Clefairy. You'll make adjustments along the way (for instance, Pikachu won't want to fight Hikers, so you'll change the order for that) but in the long run this will let you give out experience equally.

These Pokémon will drift apart in level (in this example, Clefairy and Poliwag will generally be a few levels higher than Pikachu and Growlithe). It can also prolong level differences caused by over- or under-leveled Pokémon joining your team. All of this is exactly what you want. The point of giving Pokémon equal experience, but not equal levels, is to make the effects of exp. rate and join level as obvious as possible. There will be no way to miss the benefit of Clefairy's fast exp. when Clefairy is visibly several levels higher than its teammates.

You'll have to abandon this method when training up severely underleveled or weak Pokémon (such as Caterpie, Magikarp, Lapras), but in general it's a natural way to play and one that should be adopted when raising Pokémon in multiple exp. groups.

---

How to estimate how big of a deal exp. rate is

But how can we, at a glance, compare Pokémon across different exp. groups? Most of us are used to thinking about Pokémon in terms of base stats, but not exp. rate. Fortunately, I have come up with a back-of-the-envelope calculation to "convert" the level differences of different exp. groups into base stats.

The "medium"/"medium fast" group will be the default.
Being a "fast" Pokémon is like having 15 extra base stats in Attack, Defense, and Special, and about 8 extra points in Speed.
Being a "slow" Pokémon is like having 15 fewer base stats in Attack, Defense, and Special, and about 8 fewer points in Speed.
Being a "parabolic" or "medium slow" Pokémon is more complicated; below level 20, it's like being 20 points ahead; once you reach level 50, it's like being 5 points ahead.

Compared to a Pokémon's exp. group, the outsider bonus is like having 30 extra base stats in Attack, Defense, and Special, and about 16 extra points in Speed (this is why Pokémon like Farfetch'd and Dewgong were regarded so highly in the previous tier list).

This calculation won't apply immediately or in all cases—for instance, if you catch a Kangaskhan (medium) and a Tauros (slow) both at level 25, obviously they're the same level, so there's no difference at all. But by the time you reach the Elite Four, if you've been good about giving them equal experience, Tauros will be a couple levels lower, and that's where you can use this heuristic.

By the way, this is how I was able to recognize that Wigglytuff and Snorlax would be so similar before running them (you know, I don't say things like "Wigglytuff is better than Snorlax" just to be controversial—there's a method to my madness!). These are their base stats:

:Wigglytuff: 140, 70, 45, 50, 45
:Snorlax: 160, 110, 65, 65, 30

Snorlax's base stats look much better, but I knew that Wigglytuff was in the "fast" exp. group and Snorlax was in the "slow" group. If I do my trick:

:Wigglytuff: (adjusted up) 140, 85, 60, 65, 53
:Snorlax: (adjusted down) 160, 95, 50, 50, 22

It becomes clear that their bulk is about the same and Snorlax's power advantage is not very big.

Another example—in a previous thread, I compared Clefable to Gyarados. They're both Pokémon who can hit hard from both sides with Normal attacks and a selection of elemental TMs, so it's not that wild to try to look at them side by side:

:Clefable: 95, 70, 73, 85, 60
:Gyarados: 95, 125, 79, 100, 81

Gyarados's attacking stats are truly terrifying! But Gyarados is in the "slow" group, and Clefable is in the "fast" group, so you know how this will go:

:Clefable: (adjusted up) 95, 85, 88, 100, 68
:Gyarados: (adjusted down) 95, 110, 63, 85, 73

Since Clefable gets Normal STAB and Gyarados doesn't, you can see that Clefable hits harder with both Normal moves and elemental coverage (with Gyarados hitting harder with Water STAB). In fact, a very good case could be made that a hypothetical unusual Magikarp that evolved into Clefable would be even better than a regular Magikarp that evolved into Gyarados, due to their different exp. rates!

One last example. Farfetch'd looks like a godawful Pokémon ordinarily:

:Farfetch 52, 65, 55, 58, 60

Farfetch'd is in the medium group, so there's no adjustment there. In Yellow, you can look at those stats at face value and put Farfetch'd in the bottom tier. But in Red and Blue, there's only one Farfetch'd, and it's the traded DUX. And traded pokes get that juicy outsider bonus:

:Farfetch (adjusted way up) 52, 95, 85, 88, 76

OK, these stats don't razzle and dazzle, but you can see how a Pokémon like that could be pretty good, especially once it gets STAB Slash!

---

Conclusion

I hope this post hasn't come across as too esoteric or me making a big deal out of nothing. People do far underestimate how important exp. rates are in-game, including with a lot of notable Pokémon (part of why the Nidorans and Clefairy are so good are their good exp. groups, whereas popular mons like Magikarp and Lapras are held back more than one might think by their slow level-ups). If these ideas are new for you, you might enjoy rethinking some of your old faves, bearing in mind their exp. rates. I hope this little essay can inform this tier list thread and others!
 
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Quick post to say that as a result of the recent discussion, I have moved Clefairy to S for the time being, thanks to the posts by atsync and Longfellow above (as well as some conversation with Ryota). Snorlax I am willing to drop to A, but I'm going to get my opinion on it with my current playthrough first.

As for the EXP balancing fellow posted above by Longfellow, I am aware of some EXP rates but I almost always level my party evenly and make sure they match in level, but that's just me. Thanks for the insightful research though!

Keep up the great work everyone!
 
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I think most people play like you do—it's natural! It'll also lead to inaccurate and biased tests.

Of course, you could do your test with equal levels, but then I expect your write-ups to include things like "Bulbasaur: the experience points it donated really helped Snorlax sweep a lot of bosses" or "Snorlax: it was good once it got tens of thousands more points of experience than its teammates" ;)

I'd love for people to adopt my rotatey testing practice at least once, to know how it feels. Even beyond testing things accurately (where I think it's basically mandatory, though I haven't seemed to manage to convince anybody of it), it's just really fun to unleash the full potential of fast or traded pokes. It feels like I'm letting Farfetch'd free.
 
Hi, cool that this list gets revisited. I've played RB a lot so maybe I can chime in on some things; complete runs might be a tad too time-consuming for me rn though.

Absolutely agree with Clefairy in S; early evolution plus Normal STAB wrecks the earlygame and the large movepool coupled with decent Special keeps it useful throughout the run without relying on specific TMs too much - it can just work with what it gets.

Ad Bulbasaur vs. Bellsprout: Bellsprout's biggest problem is the lack of a good damaging move prior to Celadon, and having to wait until level 38 for Razor Leaf (and its evolution). During this period from Misty almost to Cinnabar, Ivysaur/Venusaur eclipses Weepinbell's performance. I agree that without Body Slam, Bulbasaur drops by at least one tier, but with Body Slam I can definitely see a low A for Bulbasaur.


That said, I do think some positions on the tier list seem off (which is fine, the reboot is still in a very early stadium). A few points that I think could be adressed/checked for in later runs:

-The Fighting-type positions seem off. While Hitmonlee is the only one that gets good STAB in a reasonable timeframe by leveling up, TM Submission being buyable in Celadon mitigates a lot of that advantage (not all of it since Hitmonlee's STABs are more accurate and Submission deals recoil). In return, both Primeape and Machamp can learn Dig to deal with the ubiquitous Poison-types efficiently (Machamp can also learn Earthquake and Rock Slide, for the record).
Primeape is actually a fairly drastic comparison: It has fairly similar stats (loses only a little ATK in exchange for a little bulk and speed), far superior availability (especially in Yellow where Mankey deals with Brock, but also in R where Karate Chop is an auto-crit move for it and it starts with good stats right away) and learns Dig; yet Mankey is in D while Hitmonlee is in A.
Without having made test runs, I'd default to Mankey and Machop (Trade) in B, Hitmonlee in C (possibly B if the better ATK proves good enough), and Hitmonchan and Machop (No Trade) in either C or D (Machoke is slower and notably less bulky than Machamp, Hitmonchan is a slower and weaker version of Hitmonlee).

-Krabby(BY) is missing entirely. I don't have any experience with it; according to the 'old' tier list it would probably fall into B, but I could see it in C alongside Poliwag.

-Pikachu(RB) should be B-tier alongside Jolteon; Raichu's performance is similar to Jolteon's from Celadon onward, but Pikachu has a much higher availability and a good Misty match-up. Not sure about Pikachu(Y); the inability to evolve dents its late-game proficiency but it's the one 'mon to learn Thunderbolt without a TM in Yellow.

-Moltres should be D-tier; given Fire Blast and Fly it can contribute against some Victory Road trainers as well as the E4 (most notably Agatha) at base level thanks to its amazing stats (base 125 Special, base 100 Atk). Terrible availability stops it from going any higher, but it's definitely better than the rest of the E chaff.
 
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Ad Bulbasaur vs. Bellsprout: Bellsprout's biggest problem is the lack of a good damaging move prior to Celadon, and having to wait until level 38 for Razor Leaf (and its evolution). During this period from Misty almost to Cinnabar, Ivysaur/Venusaur eclipses Weepinbell's performance. I agree that without Body Slam, Bulbasaur drops by at least one tier, but with Body Slam I can definitely see a low A for Bulbasaur.
I'm not sure, I think you could get around waiting until Lv33 with Bellsprout, without evolving it to Weepinbell, and you should have Razor Leaf somewhere around your arrival in Celadon. Its stats as a Bellsprout aren't that different from Ivysaur other than a substantial difference in defense, and Victreebel with Razor Leaf in Celadon is better than Venusaur.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Of course, you could do your test with equal levels, but then I expect your write-ups to include things like "Bulbasaur: the experience points it donated really helped Snorlax sweep a lot of bosses" or "Snorlax: it was good once it got tens of thousands more points of experience than its teammates" ;)
I mean, in a write-up it'd be more like "Bulbasaur's stats, typing, and good exp. group allow it to shine" or something like this, if you want a more professional wording.

Anyways,

Hitmonlee in high tier (B or A) is fine imo. Hitmonlee's Double Kick is actually not that bad and it has Meditate to boost its Attack. Not to mention you can TM it Body Slam (or Swift if you have used it up, I have used both). It's worth mentioning that Jump Kick, upon missing, only deals a recoil of 1 damage, so you can fearlessly spam that move. I am willing to say it's high tier, as it's a mon that requires a lot less investment when you compare it to most of the high tier Pokemon (*cough elemental TMs cough*) and I think that's worth giving a slight push up. I remember mine did very well, overall, I can provide logs if someone wants to see them, some use Swift, others Body Slam.

As for Mankey, I'd assume it was tiered low mostly because the RB one (and the one in Green) has no STAB move till you teach it Submission. Yellow one has Low Kick (which in gen 1 was just a 50 BP Fighting move with 90%) but I don't think the RB one deserves to be on the same tier as Hitmonlee, which, despite coming later, is at least usable right out of the box and already has a STAB move (in addition to coming at a high level, which may also be above your current levels), not to mention Jump Kick and Double Kick are much better STAB moves than Submission, in spite of lower power, because of better accuracy and no recoil to them.
 
I'm not sure, I think you could get around waiting until Lv33 with Bellsprout, without evolving it to Weepinbell, and you should have Razor Leaf somewhere around your arrival in Celadon. Its stats as a Bellsprout aren't that different from Ivysaur other than a substantial difference in defense, and Victreebel with Razor Leaf in Celadon is better than Venusaur.
I'd call base 60 vs. base 40 Speed and base 80 vs. base 65 Special very substantial differences in stats between Ivysaur and Bellsprout.
Not evolving Bellsprout will result in a Vulpix-esque grind where you only use your weak STAB move in favourable match-ups (admittedly easier to find for Bellsprout than Vulpix) until you're in the mid-30s. Bellsprout's Special is the same as Vulpix's, and it hardly has the moves to utilize its base 70 ATK. All the while Bellsprout still has no equivalent to Ivysaur's Body Slam, allowing it to win many match-ups Bellsprout simply cannot (opposing Grass-, Poison- or Bug-types; even Pidgey/Pidgeotto are no problem)

Hitmonlee in high tier (B or A) is fine imo. Hitmonlee's Double Kick is actually not that bad and it has Meditate to boost its Attack. [...]

As for Mankey, [...] I don't think the RB one deserves to be on the same tier as Hitmonlee, which, despite coming later, is at least usable right out of the box and already has a STAB move (in addition to coming at a high level, which may also be above your current levels), not to mention Jump Kick and Double Kick are much better STAB moves than Submission, in spite of lower power, because of better accuracy and no recoil to them.
Meditate absolutely slipped my mind. That is probably enough to not let Hitmonlee fall anywhere below B-tier, especially when not using X-items at all. (I did assume you'd use a Normal TM for Hitmonlee though; Celadon sells enough of them)

I don't think you're giving RB Mankey enough credit in that it is usable right out of the box as well; while it has to wait for its STAB move for a long time, Dig (TM found conveniently right before you first encounter it) and Karate Chop (level 15) provide neutral coverage on everything (bar Aerodactyl) off 80 Atk. With Dig being 100 Base Power and Karate Chop auto-critting, Mankey delivers damage on par with Nidoqueen right from the get-go.
And while I agree Submission is a worse STAB than Jump Kick, I don't think the recoil is too big of a deal since you're not using Fighting STAB willy-nilly on the plethora of Poison-types in the game (which is where Primeape's Dig really shines)
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I don't think you're giving RB Mankey enough credit in that it is usable right out of the box as well; while it has to wait for its STAB move for a long time,
except you are relying on Scratch till Karate Chop (or Low Kick in Yellow), so I'd definitely say Hitmonlee is more usable out of the box than Mankey.

And while I agree Submission is a worse STAB than Jump Kick, I don't think the recoil is too big of a deal
I have more issues with the accuracy than recoil, though the latter can be awful as well if you get into a situation where you have to spam it.

Also, I want to ask, how much worth are we gonna give Hyper Beam TM? Hyper Beam is very useful on mons like Snorlax or anything with SD like Venusaur due to the glitch mentioned in the OP. The problem with it is that it's painfully slow to get (it costs 5500 coins and you get 50 coins per paying) and that's rather contested (Snorlax wants it, anything with SD would love abusing its glitch, etc., I think Gyarados also wants it). From experience, if you don't buy a lot of things, you will have around 180k dollars before Sabrina and you need to throw in around 110k if my maths (and memory) do not lie to me.
 
Hi, cool that this list gets revisited. I've played RB a lot so maybe I can chime in on some things; complete runs might be a tad too time-consuming for me rn though.

Absolutely agree with Clefairy in S; early evolution plus Normal STAB wrecks the earlygame and the large movepool coupled with decent Special keeps it useful throughout the run without relying on specific TMs too much - it can just work with what it gets.

Ad Bulbasaur vs. Bellsprout: Bellsprout's biggest problem is the lack of a good damaging move prior to Celadon, and having to wait until level 38 for Razor Leaf (and its evolution). During this period from Misty almost to Cinnabar, Ivysaur/Venusaur eclipses Weepinbell's performance. I agree that without Body Slam, Bulbasaur drops by at least one tier, but with Body Slam I can definitely see a low A for Bulbasaur.


That said, I do think some positions on the tier list seem off (which is fine, the reboot is still in a very early stadium). A few points that I think could be adressed/checked for in later runs:

-The Fighting-type positions seem off. While Hitmonlee is the only one that gets good STAB in a reasonable timeframe by leveling up, TM Submission being buyable in Celadon mitigates a lot of that advantage (not all of it since Hitmonlee's STABs are more accurate and Submission deals recoil). In return, both Primeape and Machamp can learn Dig to deal with the ubiquitous Poison-types efficiently (Machamp can also learn Earthquake and Rock Slide, for the record).
Primeape is actually a fairly drastic comparison: It has fairly similar stats (loses only a little ATK in exchange for a little bulk and speed), far superior availability (especially in Yellow where Mankey deals with Brock, but also in R where Karate Chop is an auto-crit move for it and it starts with good stats right away) and learns Dig; yet Mankey is in D while Hitmonlee is in A.
Without having made test runs, I'd default to Mankey and Machop (Trade) in B, Hitmonlee in C (possibly B if the better ATK proves good enough), and Hitmonchan and Machop (No Trade) in either C or D (Machoke is slower and notably less bulky than Machamp, Hitmonchan is a slower and weaker version of Hitmonlee).

-Krabby(BY) is missing entirely. I don't have any experience with it; according to the 'old' tier list it would probably fall into B, but I could see it in C alongside Poliwag.

-Pikachu(RB) should be B-tier alongside Jolteon; Raichu's performance is similar to Jolteon's from Celadon onward, but Pikachu has a much higher availability and a good Misty match-up. Not sure about Pikachu(Y); the inability to evolve dents its late-game proficiency but it's the one 'mon to learn Thunderbolt without a TM in Yellow.

-Moltres should be D-tier; given Fire Blast and Fly it can contribute against some Victory Road trainers as well as the E4 (most notably Agatha) at base level thanks to its amazing stats (base 125 Special, base 100 Atk). Terrible availability stops it from going any higher, but it's definitely better than the rest of the E chaff.
Read through this post and wanted to give my thoughts on some of it.

I first wanna concede to everyone the current rankings are definitely shaky and subject to change a little. As I have alluded to, I'm not super knowledgable on RBY (I grew up and mostly replayed the games from Emerald and onward). I had a couple people who are fairly knowledgable on RBY go through the Dex with me and tier things rapid-fire.

It's worth noting that we weren't basing it on the on the other three incarnations of this list. Those three incarnations have started around 2012 or so, with Mark III starting in 2013-ish. The reasons I rebooted it without many cues from the previous lists were because those three threads were from several years ago, some rankings were based off X Accuracy OHKOs and the modern tiers for the more recent threads and lists (which mostly use S-E or sometimes F). I was just worried about maybe hashing through that old info because some of those people might not be around on Smogon anymore, though I do recognize atsync and Longfellow from the old lists.

Have you guys ever had to use TM16 Pay Day to grind money for the Game Corner TMs in RBY? It's available on Route 12 southeast of the Lavender gate, though it requires Surf and thus is post-Koga.
 
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Have you guys ever had to use TM16 Pay Day to grind money for the Game Corner TMs in RBY? It's available on Route 12 southeast of the Lavender gate, though it requires Surf and thus is post-Koga.
Given a single use of Pay Day gives your level*2 in cash, at level 50 that's 2.000 $ per Center trip to restore your 20 Pay Day AP.
Considering how you need 110.000$ for one TM15 Hyper Beam (the one TM worth getting IMO; Dragon Rage sucks and Substitute is a lot worse than its later incarnations), I cannot help but think 55 Center trips to be really slow. It's doable, but requires a lot of dedication and is not efficient.

Also, you can only get TM16 with Surf; so no early Hyper Beam either.


except you are relying on Scratch till Karate Chop (or Low Kick in Yellow)
I agree that Mankey is somewhat reliant on Dig (which also essentially lets you skip the Scratch phase), but please note that Mankey can be caught on level 16 on routes 5 and 6, meaning your Scratch period is potentially nonexistent (and if not, it's over super quickly from lv. 14).
 
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Re: Hitmonlee, I always considered its high join level (you can get it at level 30 at around the same time other available Pokémon like Vulpix, Doduo, and Eevee are level 20-25) to be a big reason it's good, as well as everything else Ryota mentioned. That said, being in the Kadabra/Diglett tier feels like a stretch, though maybe I'm selling Hitmonlee's attacking power short here.

I've always liked Mankey too. In addition to Karate Chop and Dig, Rock Slide is a little-contested coverage move and even Thunderbolt isn't bad as an extra coverage move if nobody else wants it.

Almost anything that hits on the physical side wants Hyper Beam, it's really good. I have generally been able to get enough cash throughout the course of a run to buy at least one Hyper Beam, probably a second by endgame if I really wanted to. If you fight most trainers and pick up and sell most items it shouldn't be too hard. I was actually thinking about this question recently as well as whether one might get more ROI by splurging on vitamins instead.

It does take about ten minutes of spamming the A button to actually get those coins, which sucks lol
 
I'm fairly knowledgeable on RBY's mechanics. Maybe I'll do a run on the game to get the ball rolling here. Are there any Pokemon in particular that you want me to test in particular? I have a feeling that one of Clefairy, Jigglypuff or Snorlax will need to be tested.
 
I'm fairly knowledgeable on RBY's mechanics. Maybe I'll do a run on the game to get the ball rolling here. Are there any Pokemon in particular that you want me to test in particular? I have a feeling that one of Clefairy, Jigglypuff or Snorlax will need to be tested.
Try Snorlax at the least. If you don’t have any other reservations about what mons you want to run, try Mankey, Geodude, and Farfetch’d. (you can use a starter temporarily to get you by until Snorlax or so). HM Slaves are fine obviously. Do those choices work for you?

I can do Jigglypuff next run myself.
 

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