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

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I would invite you to reconsider the birds though—at worst it's one Silph Co. and one Koga later, and then you take five minutes to grab them with the Master Ball, and you have a level 50 legendary bird with opponents like Sabrina still left to fight)
Well, the problem is that their availability is notoriously late. While they do destroy, it's generally accepted to put late legends into A-tier and that's how it is in most tier lists (e.g. Rayquaza in Emerald would be a clear S if it wasn't for the fact it comes after 7 badges). I can see the point, given they are more self-sufficient than the rest, but S-tiers, in addition to being consistent, also do not come very late (Jynx still comes before 4 badges and has traded Exp. as a compensation somewhat)

Also, I am interested in the idea of a "no TMs" list vs "TMs list". I also noticed that things like Paras need SD and Dig and because both of those are very contested TMs, Paras becomes utter trash as soon as you teach them to something else. If we put Paras at C, for example, or whatever tier you want, it doesn't matter, due to those TMs but the player has already picked a teammate that uses SD + Dig (say, Charmander), the list loses its usefulness (tiers are very good way of quickly telling the reader how good a Pokemon is compared to the rest of the Pokedex), as the list does not "rank" the Pokemon on its own worth.

I'd say, if we were to do something like this, we should only allow the Department TMs, as those are rebuyable and thus anything can use them. We probs should limit all one-time use TMs (more specifically: Ice Beam, TBolt, Blizzard, Body Slam, Psychic, Dig, SD, Earthquake, and some others that I cannot think of). GC TMs are reusable but you are reasonably getting only one, so it enters the category of one-time use TMs. It does raise the question of why we are limiting some of the less contested TMs like Mega Drain, but limiting them all would be more consistent and less arbitrary. It does mean that stuff like Clefairy become a lot less viable (in fact, auto E-tier), but at least players that have already used up their TMs or want to use them on something else will know that Clefairy is utter trash without them

Another con with the idea is that it is highly likely to kill off any chances of this being released, as this'd be a lot of work to do for QC and GP (given they are doing 2 lists, not one). Though they can be made so that both lists are on one page and toggleable with a button (I am part of the HTML team so I can easily do it, if I were to HTML it). There are also a lot of questions to answer (should we have another thread for this? Should Drumstick lead both of them? Should self-sufficiency be ignored in the TMs list, now that the TM list doesn't care about competition? etc.). All in all, I think the idea could work, but it's probably something we gotta discuss first and answer all questions before we proceed with such a major decision.

Another idea is just to not weight competition against a Pokemon and be very clear in the Pokemon's write-up what trash it is without some of those TMs. (e.g. "Clefairy is one of the best Pokemon to use for RBY if you teach it the aforementioned TMs. Clefairy is very bad if it doesn't have access to any of them") or something like this. Less work to do for everyone, no need for a second list, but less useful to the reader, as they don't get a ranking, but that's probably what the majority would prefer as a whole.
 
Arguing semantics really isn't the way to go with these lists. There's always a subjective quality and arguing what it means for something to be "dominant" (or any other term) really isn't relevant to how a mon actually performs throughout the course of a game. Multiple testing runs give a clear picture of how something performs and its this data set that allows for one to describe a performance as subjectively dominant, or adequate, or mediocre, or awesome but not quite as good as it should be to be one of the best.
 
Well, the problem is that their availability is notoriously late. While they do destroy, it's generally accepted to put late legends into A-tier and that's how it is in most tier lists (e.g. Rayquaza in Emerald would be a clear S if it wasn't for the fact it comes after 7 badges). I can see the point, given they are more self-sufficient than the rest, but S-tiers, in addition to being consistent, also do not come very late (Jynx still comes before 4 badges and has traded Exp. as a compensation somewhat)
Super Rod (to catch Poliwhirl to trade for Jynx) still comes after Pokémon Tower, so we're probably post-Erika (and post-Surge), especially if we're doing as the OP suggests and fighting the gyms in a timely manner. So Jynx comes at about 4 badges, and Articuno/Zapdos come at about 5 badges. I don't mean to be difficult here but I'm still not convinced this is that big a difference. (catching a level 50 legendary without a Master Ball is a hassle, so you can reasonably add Silph Co. to the availability difference, which *is* starting to become significant... but I also think 27 levels is pretty significant)

I'd say, if we were to do something like this, we should only allow the Department TMs, as those are rebuyable and thus anything can use them. We probs should limit all one-time use TMs (more specifically: Ice Beam, TBolt, Blizzard, Body Slam, Psychic, Dig, SD, Earthquake, and some others that I cannot think of). GC TMs are reusable but you are reasonably getting only one, so it enters the category of one-time use TMs. It does raise the question of why we are limiting some of the less contested TMs like Mega Drain, but limiting them all would be more consistent and less arbitrary. It does mean that stuff like Clefairy become a lot less viable (in fact, auto E-tier), but at least players that have already used up their TMs or want to use them on something else will know that Clefairy is utter trash without them
I'm nitpicking the smaller point rather than responding to the larger one, but Clefairy without one-use TMs (without any one-use TMs, which is a big stretch—I challenge anyone to come up with a four-poke party that can even theoretically take away all of Clefairy's TMs) is quite good, probably B-tier tbh (maybe even A-tier once we move down all the *other* pokes who largely rely on TMs). Normal STAB + bulk + fast exp. go a long way in RBY. I'd rather bring Clefairy with only Strength to the Sabrina fight than most of what's listed in S and A tier (and many of them even if they *did* have TMs).

I think a no-TM tier list would be fun though, especially for people who might want to save literally all their TMs for missingno./link battle/whatever, though I also don't think there's anything wrong with doing things as we are here, running pokes with and without their favorite TMs and making a call based on the demand of the TM.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I'm nitpicking the smaller point rather than responding to the larger one, but Clefairy without one-use TMs (without any one-use TMs, which is a big stretch—I challenge anyone to come up with a four-poke party that can even theoretically take away all of Clefairy's TMs) is quite good, probably B-tier tbh (maybe even A-tier once we move down all the *other* pokes who largely rely on TMs). Normal STAB + bulk + fast exp. go a long way in RBY. I'd rather bring Clefairy with only Strength to the Sabrina fight than most of what's listed in S and A tier (and many of them even if they *did* have TMs).
I certainly wouldn't want to rely on Pound as best STAB move until then... but that's another topic to discuss

I think a no-TM tier list would be fun though, especially for people who might want to save literally all their TMs for missingno./link battle/whatever, though I also don't think there's anything wrong with doing things as we are here, running pokes with and without their favorite TMs and making a call based on the demand of the TM.
While reading this, I think I might have come up with an alternative solution to the TMs issues. Basically, we would have to modify the write-up format like this:

[Pokemon sprite]

Availability:
Typing:
Stats:
Movepool:
Major Battles:
Additional Comments:
Tier with no one-time TMs:


the idea is to still serve the player with a ranking if they do not teach it any one-time TM (the ones described in my previous post) but not go out of our ways to make an entirely new list. I think this would satisfy the positives of both solutions I proposed. Though this format may be best used if we do not hold a Pokemon's TM addiction against them (thus we wouldn't put Clefairy in A for being TM reliant but we will still put it some tier for it, assuming you don't teach it any TMs. Write-up could potentially cover what TMs are needed for which opponent (e.g. Clefairy beats Erika, Koga, Bruno, and Agatha with Psychic, Erika, Giovanni, and Lance with Ice Beam and Lorelei with Thunderbolt).

tl;dr add a new category to the write-up format and remove the negativity of TM dependency, as the new category covers the real worth of the Pokemon
 
I like that solution a lot, and then we can use the write-up to describe the finer points (Paras is roadblocked if it doesn't get one or two specific TMs, but Clefairy doesn't mourn the loss of any one TM very much)

(you can buy Mega Punch for Clefairy in Celadon City, and that's at least as early as quite a lot of Pokémon getting anything better than 40 power STAB without TMs, including all the starters, Spearow, Pikachu, Magikarp, and other Pokémon who don't tend to get criticized for TM reliance as much as Clefairy does for some reason)
 
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Is there a particular reason why the Missingno. glitch isn't being considered to duplicate TMs? I'd assume it's just to be accurate to how the game is intended to be played (not to mention its relatively late area), but one-time use TMs are one of my biggest issues with playing through older gens, and even as a kid playing Blue I made use of the glitch once I knew about it.

It's kinda just part of my experience playing the game.
 
Is there a particular reason why the Missingno. glitch isn't being considered to duplicate TMs? I'd assume it's just to be accurate to how the game is intended to be played (not to mention its relatively late area), but one-time use TMs are one of my biggest issues with playing through older gens, and even as a kid playing Blue I made use of the glitch once I knew about it.

It's kinda just part of my experience playing the game.
The in-game lists are generally aimed at glitchless play, which seems to be how most casual players approach the games. Also, allowing the item duplication glitch for TMs opens up a big can of worms. Like, should the list account for people being able to duplicate Rare Candies too?

I understand how you feel though. I always play on Set and tend to avoid using items in battle, which means that my experience doesn’t always match up with the experiences of others.

Overall, the tier lists assume that the reader will make use of everything the developers intended to include in the game, but nothing more.

EDIT: well, plus things like the Badge Boost glitch that you can’t avoid triggering by playing the game normally
 
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In light of Longfellow's posts about EXP. I would like to do a run using several of the in-game traded Pokemon, to see how well their fast leveling works. Specifically, I want to run:

Nidorino -> traded Nidorina
Abra -> traded Mr. Mime
Ponyta -> traded Seel
Spearow -> DUX

My guess is the extra leveling will be really good, but I am a little worried about over leveling before Erika using only traded Pokes. One other interesting thing might be whether using the Nidoran-M for Horn Attack early and then a traded Nidoqueen in the middle/late game is better than using one Nido the entire game.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
My guess is the extra leveling will be really good, but I am a little worried about over leveling before Erika using only traded Pokes.
I generally have issues staying on levels for Erika too, even with no traded Pokemon. I'd say, if I were Drumstick, I'd be fine with being a bit overleveled for Erika, because, let's be honest, you literally have to try not to be overleveled for her (I generally try to stick to 2 levels above Gym's ace when it comes to overleveling)
 
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.
I definitely think it’s an interesting way to play that provides some really useful data. The problem is that the ‘logical’ way to play and assess Pokémon kinda has to give way to how people usually play, and people usually raise their team members one-by-one, one level at a time. For them, the benefit of fast-growing Pokémon will be that their team reaches a higher level overall.

I think it’s best to note this in the analysis (“this Pokémon is in the Fast experience group, so it will grow quickly, freeing up experience for its teammates”) rather than assessing Pokémon viability based on an equal-experience playthrough. Level plays such a huge role in the damage calc that it would give readers a much more positive idea of Pokémon performance than they’re likely to see if they play as most people do.
 
Writeups of my run so far:
Wartortle: Without the right TMs, this will be more or less the same as the Nugget Bridge fight. In other words, it can beat everything other than the Ivysaur.
Wigglytuff: It will be able to sweep everything if given a strong Normal-type TM like Body Slam or Mega Punch.
Golem: Despite Blue's Ivysaur has Vine Whip, it will be able to survive and fight back. Although it may need Dig to secure a victory.
Wartortle: Without Dig, it won't be able to get past the Raichu. Strangely, the Raichu will be using Thundershock rather than Thunderbolt; meaning those who taught Wartortle Dig have more of a chance.
Wigglytuff: As with SS Anne Blue, it can get a sweep in if it has a strong STAB move.
Golem: Even without Dig, it can easily wall every party member. Voltorb's Sonicboom is the main worry here.
Wartortle: Even without Ice Beam it can sweep Blue's team. By this point, Ivysaur's Vine Whip really isn't a big deal.
Wigglytuff: The Celadon Department store is a plethora of STAB moves which it can learn to retain a comfortable sweep here.
Golem: It will never be able to get past Blue's Water-type of choice; whether it be Wartortle or Gyarados.
Machamp: Despite Blue has a Kadabra, it will survive a Confusion and fight back with Karate Chop. Everything else can be dealt with easily.
Wartortle: Terrible matchup without Ice Beam, can get as far as the Vileplume if it did get the TM.
Wigglytuff: The Victreebel can be a problem if it decides to spam Wrap, but it can otherwise handle things with either Ice Beam or Psychic.
Golem: Victreebel will get a Razor Leaf in and OHKO it before anything else can happen. This is more or less a repeat of the Misty fight.
Machamp: Like Wartortle, it won't be able to survive against the Vileplume. Because it's slower than most of the team, Victreebel and Tangela can soften it with their trapping moves for Vileplume to finish off.
 
Wartortle: Without Dig, it won't be able to get past the Raichu. Strangely, the Raichu will be using Thundershock rather than Thunderbolt; meaning those who taught Wartortle Dig have more of a chance.
RB Surge has ‘good’ Gen I AI, so he’ll prefer to use the most type-effective move, regardless of power (or whether it’s a damaging move at all). In practice this means he’s got an equal chance of using Thunderbolt or Thundershock against a Pokémon that’s weak to Electric. Weirdly, his Yellow AI is ‘bad’, so he uses moves randomly in that game.

This got me thinking about AI in general. I’m not sure how we approach the question of AI, because bad AI makes many important matchups very unpredictable and ‘good’ AI can be easily exploited, even unintentionally. For example, Erika’s Vileplume will never damage a Grass/Poison Pokemon unless it’s already locked into Petal Dance, because her AI tells her to keep ineffectively spamming Poisonpowder because of its ‘neutral’ type matchup rather than use a not-very-effective Grass-type move. The infamous example is of course Lance’s RB Dragonite, which can be defeated by a low-level Weedle because he’ll just keep using Agility endlessly. It’s likely that we’ve all benefited from this oversight in runs without realising it.

Is this too in-depth to address in an in-game tier list, or should it be noted in each writeup where relevant? I didn’t see any mention of it in the OP but I feel like it was probably discussed in the old threads, which I haven’t looked at in a while.

For those interested, here’s an article breaking down the quirks of Gen I Trainer AI (yes I know it’s for speedrunners but the principles apply to casual runs too):

http://wiki.pokemonspeedruns.com/index.php/Pokémon_Red/Blue/Yellow_Trainer_AI
 
After a couple of days:
Team: Charmeleon Lv34/Primeape Lv30/Farfetch'd Lv32

While Ember's damage is disappointing on this fight, Charmeleon's Slash will more or less 2-3HKO everything. Nothing can really fight back except with inaccurate status moves and maybe Victreebel's Wrap. The latter of which shouldn't be too bothersome considering how Charmeleon will outspeed it, preventing an annoying loop.

Insta-crit Karate Chop is as good as ever, allowing Primeape to have the same luck as Charmeleon for most of the fight. Unlike Charmeleon though, Vileplume will get off a Petal Dance against it, meaning that the player might have to heal up at some point during the fight.

Unfortunately for me, Farfetch'd was at a level where it started to disobey my commands. This didn't much in the long run as Erika's attacks barely did anything and whatever Farfetch'd used was still strong enough against all her team members.


Team: Charmeleon Lv35/Primeape Lv33/Farfetch'd Lv33

Another easy rival fight for Charmeleon. Everything is a 1-2HKO with Slash. Wartortle will still be using the weak Bubble and Water Gun at this point, allowing Charmeleon to get in an easy victory.

Just like Charmeleon, everything with is a 1-2HKO with a mix of Karate Chop and coverage moves. The main real concern is Exeggcute's constant Hypnosis spam, which can drag the fight out a little.

Farfetch'd makes a total joke out of this fight. As it will have Swords Dance by then, it can use Blue's weak Pidgeotto to set-up, then proceed to 1HKO everything. To make things even easier, you can teach it the Swift TM which is just a couple of paces away from Lavender Town, which will allow Farfetch'd to bypass Pidgeotto's Sand Attack during the set-up period.


Team: Charizard Lv40/Primeape Lv38/Farfetch'd Lv40/Snorlax Lv35

As usual, Slash allows Charizard to get an easy sweep on this fight. Pidgeotto and Blastoise are the main team members that might require a bit more effort. If Charizard manages to get hit by Sand Attack, then Blastoise will probably have more room to wear it down with Water moves. Use it with some caution.

With Primeape, most of his team is a 1-2HKO, with the exception of his starter. Venusaur players will probably have more luck if you taught Primeape Rock Slide, which will allow it to get an easy kill against Charizard. It has no chance against Alakazam, who will probably manage to outspeed it and get a KO with Psybeam.

Much like Primeape, Farfetch'd can get past most of Blue's team, but Alakazam will likely KO it with Psybeam. Even with the boosted experience, it is unlikely that it will manage to outspeed Alakazam.

Snorlax will be able to 1-2HKO his team thanks to Body Slam and his coverage moves, but he will never be able to outspeed any of them. This will leave ripples as the damage he will inevitably take will make him susceptible to a kill from Alakazam's Psychic. Not a reliable choice.


Team: Charizard Lv40/Primeape Lv39/Farfetch'd Lv40/Snorlax Lv37

In a stunning turn of events, everyone managed to have an easy time here. Even Primeape managed to get an easy 2HKO against Alakazam as Sabrina's AI is stupid enough to keep spamming Psywave, a move that more or less does set damage. Snorlax may have to rely on Amnesia to reliably survive her attacks, but there are plenty of opportunities to set-up against her Kadabra, which shouldn't be too much to worry about by now.


Thoughts so far:

Charizard
Everything is more or less a Dig or Slash fest right now. No major flaws right now except for a lack of Fire moves as of right now. This isn't as big a deal as one would think as Fire isn't a very useful type in this game. Barely any of the Pokemon I've fought right now are weak to it. Overall, it is a very well rounded Pokemon right now and one I can count on for tougher matchups.

Primeape
The strength difference is considerable now Mankey has evolved. For one thing, I'm actually getting OHKOs now. Something nice about Primeape is its wide array of coverage moves. While it isn't begging for TMs such as Thunderbolt like Gengar does, they're nice to have on it if you aren't teaching them to anything else. A major drawback with Primeape though it that Submission is the best its got for STAB. It has crummy accuracy, and the recoil will end up increasing your Potion usage. Thankfully, a lot of the Fighting weak Pokemon are frail enough to get KO'd by Karate Chop. I'd still say it is in a B-C borderline. It's definitely not a D like the current tier list says.

Farfetch'd
If things were good earlier, they've gotten even better with STAB insta-crit Slash. All of sudden, you won't notice that meagre Attack stat. Anything that doesn't resist it will almost always be OHKO'd, and level 39 really isn't that long away due to the outsider bonus. Bosses tend to be a mixed bag for it though. Some fights, like Pokemon Tower Blue, allow for ample opportunities for Farfetch'd to set-up. With others, however, fast Pokemon can get the better of its Speed and use powerful attacks that it won't survive. For this reason, I'd still say Farfetch'd is B right now. Though I can understand arguments for an A placement.

Snorlax
This thing really isn't S. Credit where credit is due, Snorlax has a great movepool which can allow for plenty of 1-2HKOs as soon as you get it. On top of that, it arrives at a level that will still allow it to sweep most of the opponents. However, the low Speed and slow experience are problems. Its Speed will often leave it susceptible to status and the dreaded Confusion status, causing it to both drag-out fights and deplete your Full Heal supply. The slow experience gain isn't too big of a deal as Snorlax's stats are good enough for it to manage against most opponents, though the level difference between it and the other party members will become noticeable depending on your playstyle. Especially if you want to keep levels balanced as it will take experience away from the other party members during most matchups. Despite this though, he is still workable against major matchups even at this point. Right now, I'd settle on an A, but I wouldn't rule out B either.
 
I think it’s best to note this in the analysis (“this Pokémon is in the Fast experience group, so it will grow quickly, freeing up experience for its teammates”) rather than assessing Pokémon viability based on an equal-experience playthrough. Level plays such a huge role in the damage calc that it would give readers a much more positive idea of Pokémon performance than they’re likely to see if they play as most people do.
Hmm, I think it's reasonable in our write-ups to explain why we might weight exp. rate so heavily when its impact is largely invisible or hard to notice. There are ways to describe it that might feel concrete to the reader. For instance, Snorlax needs 50% more investment to reach the same level as Jigglypuff. If Jigglypuff fights, I dunno, 200 battles throughout the course of the run, Snorlax will need 100 extra battles to keep up in level, which is a LOT and which can be used to justify otherwise extreme-seeming tier placements to the masses.

I can also get behind running them in equal levels so we can write good descriptions of how a Pokémon will "feel" to the average player.

But running equal levels isn't good tiering practice because it fails to tier Pokémon accurately.

Pokemon Blue_03.png
Pokemon Blue_02.png

As a tester, you're going to look at this and not know how to compare the (obvious) damage against the (less visible) investment/experience difference. Who goes in what tier based on this picture? Who knows?

Just like in science, things gotta be in the same terms—damage versus damage, nHKO vs. nHKO. You can't measure meters against liters and you can't measure damage against experience points.

Pokemon Blue_04.png
Pokemon Blue_05.png

Ahh, now that's clear! Much better for tiering.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
The thing with giving "equal" amount of exp. to each member is that you are gonna produce results that won't match most casual players' way of playing. Sure, it may be "accurate" (since that's technically subjective, anything can be accurate), but it's not gonna really useful to the reader, who is very likely just giving them enough fights to match levels. As I (and Cobalt Empoleon) have stated in the past, it's better to just use write-ups to talk about Exp. growth and to rank higher fast leveling ones and lower slow leveling ones.
 
In terms of write-ups, how about "Jigglypuff gives tens of thousands of experience points to the party in the course of the run, and that's why it's A tier despite not seeming to be very strong." Or "Snorlax's stats and attacks are as strong as some A- and S-tier Pokémon, but it requires many more battles to level up due to its slow exp. rate, an investment Snorlax takes away from the rest of the team. That's one reason why it is only B tier." I'm not a great writer but something like that should get the point across?

As for accuracy, look, I know that I'm being annoying, and I know this isn't exactly what you expected the tiering thread to become, but I came here to tier Pokémon and I'm trying to do it right. And, for example, y'all wouldn't have figured out Snorlax isn't better than Jigglypuff without me. I can't make you run things with equal experience but I'd love people to at least acknowledge that it's an important perspective to have on the tier list.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
As for accuracy, look, I know that I'm being annoying, and I know this isn't exactly what you expected the tiering thread to become, but I came here to tier Pokémon and I'm trying to do it right. And, for example, y'all wouldn't have figured out Snorlax isn't better than Jigglypuff without me. I can't make you run things with equal experience but I'd love people to at least acknowledge that it's a valuable perspective to have on the tier list.
"right" is very subjective word, again. The way most of us test is not necessarily "wrong", neither is yours (and nobody has said it either, if you think someone has). However, what is being produced here is not a scientific document where you want to test everything under strictly the same conditions for the sake of everything being strictly equal, but instead an article that's supposed to be actualy useful to casual players that may want to know more about how their Pokemon in question performs. And those players play the way I and some other have stated we test, because it's a lot more natural to play this way. Pokemon should be tiered based on how they are best used. If fighting 300 trainers to keep Snorlax appropriately leveled up is the best way to use Snorlax, then so be it. Does this way of using Snorlax causes problems for an efficient run? Maybe. But that's why you just tier it down if it really is a problem instead of using a level 50 Snorlax or whatever level you reach (doesn't matter which level, just an example) against the Elite Four, where results are very likely not gonna matchup the way a casual player would (or for another Pokemon. I am using this only as an example and is not meant to be taken as an objective fact).

So, no method is "right" or "wrong" from the two that are being proposed, it's just that one caters to a larger userbase than the other one, because that method feels much more natural to most casual players and even testers like me.

Snorlax's stats and attacks are as strong as some A- and S-tier Pokémon, but it requires many more battles to level up due to its slow exp. rate, an investment Snorlax takes away from the rest of the team. That's one reason why it is only B tier.
This probably would have to be reworded a bit, because it's rather convoluted. A simple "Snorlax has good stats and access to strong moves, but is hindered by its slow exp. rate" would get your point clearer and keep the entry shorter, but to the point. Likewise, for your Jigglypuff example could be a simple "Jigglypuff is a very viable Pokemon, even if it doesn't look so, because [insert some things about stats and moves and because it levels up fast". Regardless, I am not against tiering positively or negatively for exp. rates, so as long as they are actually improving a performance (in the case of fast. A Pokemon that doesn't win anything but levels up fast is still bad) or causing problems (for example, Birds level up slowly, but they come at level 50, so that's why you don't account for that as a whole). I just think we should go with the method that produces the results closest to the way our estimated userbase would also play, in order to boost the article's overall usefulness.
 
I don't really want to get into more paragraphs of talking about this but I guess my thoughts put as simply as possible are:

- most people do play with equal levels
- the value of a poke's contribution will be about the same between equal-level and equal-exp runs even if the form of contribution is different (i.e. Jigglypuff is either giving its extra levels or using them itself, but it's still equally good in both playthroughs)
- equal-exp runs make that value of contribution especially clear, and therefore tell us something the value (i.e. tier) of Pokémon in equal-level playthroughs that we might not have noticed, and will be interesting and applicable to the equal-level-playing reader
- therefore, it is great to use the unique insights from equal-exp playthroughs to inform write-ups that are written from the perspective of equal-level playthroughs, especially in regards to which tiers to put them in

I personally think that the most interesting part of a tiering process is finding surprising results—great pokes that are underappreciated, trends you didn't expect to see, strange equivalencies that become clear when you look at things in just the right way. I do think the equal-exp tests can help us make more of those discoveries, but if you think you can see everything you want to see running things the usual way, well, you're better than I am.

That's all, don't let me keep talking about this, I don't like feeling like I'm dominating the conversation :p I had been planning to take a back seat in this project anyway; I might do another run or two but I'll let other people play a bigger part
 
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I personally think that the most interesting part of a tiering process is finding surprising results—great pokes that are underappreciated, trends you didn't expect to see, strange equivalencies that become clear when you look at things in just the right way. I do think the equal-exp tests can help us make more of those discoveries, but if you think you can see everything you want to see running things the usual way, well, you're better than I am.

That's all, don't let me keep talking about this, I don't like feeling like I'm dominating the conversation :p I had been planning to take a back seat in this project anyway; I might do another run or two but I'll let other people play a bigger part
I do want to say finding under-appreciated stuff is one of my goals. That happened several times throughout Black and White, notably: Audino was found to be a surprising C (it even got a few comments from myself and one other guy about seeing B at one point, though I think that's kinda stretching it). Work Up and Regenerator bulk with a movepool so vast - it was great! It's similar to Clefairy and Jigglypuff kinda, albeit less offensively oriented. Other victories of the list included Golett, Adaptability Basculin, and Elgyem - while none were in the higher ranks, most players wouldn't look twice at them unless they look closely.

I'm happy you want to move on from the EXP stuff a bit. Again, your way of playing is fine and could hold some nice insight about how mons perform in relation to another. In RBY this aspect is emphasized a little more due to the TM dependency, but ultimately, I think mons should be judged on their own merits unless the quality discrepancy is something fairly obvious (example: Patrat compared to the more or less objectively superior Lillipup in BW1).

I'm slowly progressing on my testing atm. About to fight Giovanni at Silph Co and the updates should speed up a bit from there, though I'm trying to only test when I feel like it and not force things. I'm wondering if I should give Venusaur Double-Edge, Body Slam is kinda falling off it seems.

As a bit of a discussion prompt, what are people's opinions on Meowth or Voltorb? The former seems to be widely outclassed (Slash at 51 lol) and the latter seems kinda okay with Electric STAB and going boom.
 
As a bit of a discussion prompt, what are people's opinions on Meowth or Voltorb? The former seems to be widely outclassed (Slash at 51 lol) and the latter seems kinda okay with Electric STAB and going boom.
From personal experience, Meowth has been disappointing. What it has to offer sounds amazing at first - Normal STAB, comes decently early, fast, Special movepool for coverage - but its offensive stats and moves are lacking. I'd estimate it being in C-D tier.

Voltorb's biggest problem is its terrible movepool. It needs TM Thunderbolt to function, and even then has some trouble even filling out moves 3 and 4 with somewhat useful options (non-STAB Normal moves off 50 base Atk as Electrode are no bueno). That said, there is a definite floor as to how bad a reasonably timed 'mon with STAB Thunderbolt can be. I'd think C works fine for RB Voltorb; in Yellow it cannot be caught pre-Power Plant and should be a tier lower.

On topic of Electric-types, I think Pikachu can rise to B. It performs well on the earlier routes and contributes vs. Misty. Thunderbolt shows up right when Thundershock starts to fall off, and starting from Celadon Raichu's performance is mostly identical to Jolteon's (possible exception is that Jolteon's Pin Missile is useful vs. Psychics; on the other hand Pikachu/Raichu's Thunder Wave may prove useful sometimes)
 
I'm slowly progressing on my testing atm. About to fight Giovanni at Silph Co and the updates should speed up a bit from there, though I'm trying to only test when I feel like it and not force things. I'm wondering if I should give Venusaur Double-Edge, Body Slam is kinda falling off it seems.
Double Edge is actually a little weaker here than it is in the later games. It is 100 in this game, compared to 120 in the later games. With this in mind, the paralysis chance for recoil trade-off is even less appealing.
 
Writeups in the midst of the experience gain drama:
Blastoise: Won't be able to beat the Venusaur even with Ice Beam. While it usually spams Vine Whip which Blastoise can survive, Gyarados can wall it and soften it to health range where Venusaur can easily KO it without Razor Leaf.
Wigglytuff: Venusaur's Razor Leaf will be able to outdamage what it can do with Psychic and Ice Beam. Everything else shouldn't be too difficult.
Golem: Gyarados will outspeed it can OHKO it with Hydro Pump. If you picked Charmander, Blastoise will do this instead.
Machamp: Gyarados' Hydro Pump will outdamge it, even with insta-crit Karate Chop. Charmander users can get as far as the Alakazam.
Blastoise: If you did Silph Co first, then it has two Ground-type moves to choose from. Even then though, Surf and Strength can allow it to get through regardless of whether or not it gets poisoned in the match.
Wigglytuff: If Psychic was taught to it, then this should be an incredibly simple fight. Otherwise, the matchup against Weezing is less reliable; potentially resulting in a tie if it chooses to use Self-Destruct.
Golem: Even if you didn't give it Dig, it should be at a level where it has Earthquake by now. Meaning that the fight should go rather smoothly for it.
Machamp: Like with Wigglytuff, the fight is simple if it has moves that can do 2x damage to Koga's team. However, this also means that the fight is far less consistent if it can only do netural damage, especially on the Weezing.
Blastoise: It will have a much easier matchup if Koga was done first. The team is mostly too physically frail to take 2-3 Strengths or Earthquakes. Venomoth is the main troublesome member as it will always try to use Stun Spore first. Depending on the amount of par-hax you get, this can cause problems against the Alakazam.
Wigglytuff: Alakazam's Psychic will do more damage to it than any Normal STAB can. Generally, her team can soften Wigglytuff down for Alakazam to finish off.
Golem: Very similar matchup to Blastoise. It can manage against her for the most part, but too many bad rolls with Venomoth's Stun Spore could cost it a victory against the Alakazam.
Machamp: The Kadabra can outspeed and 2HKO it with Psybeam. Not even insta-crit Karate Chop will be able to land a OHKO.
 
I have been testing Magikarp, and without any random encounters, every trainer faced, and only two Pokémon (the other one being the one helping it to get experience through switching) I have been able to evolve it after some battles after arriving in Vermillion. I suspect it has mostly to do with Magikarp belonging to the Slow experience group. So, Gyarados misses out on Misty and Rival 3. This is still quite early, but it could happen quite a bit later with a larger team, and the Magikarp phase isn't something you can simply ignore since it affects your battle performance negatively for a significant period of time (because you can't simply sweep, other Pokémon will be taking damage and thus they will need to be healed).

Magikarp is ranked A right now, but do you think that this could affect its tiering? The other picks don't seem to take such a significant amount of time to be useful.
 
I have been testing Magikarp, and without any random encounters, every trainer faced, and only two Pokémon (the other one being the one helping it to get experience through switching) I have been able to evolve it after some battles after arriving in Vermillion. I suspect it has mostly to do with Magikarp belonging to the Slow experience group. So, Gyarados misses out on Misty and Rival 3. This is still quite early, but it could happen quite a bit later with a larger team, and the Magikarp phase isn't something you can simply ignore since it affects your battle performance negatively for a significant period of time (because you can't simply sweep, other Pokémon will be taking damage and thus they will need to be healed).

Magikarp is ranked A right now, but do you think that this could affect its tiering? The other picks don't seem to take such a significant amount of time to be useful.
I think Gyarados can maybe be B perhaps, with a shot at A. Not sure. I'm noticing it does fail to nab OHKOs on some Rocket Grunts and really wants Ice Beam or Thunderbolt. That being said, almost nothing 1v1s it ever and it is almost unwallable with Surf and Strength. The only time Gyarados struggles somewhat is against foes with high Special it doesn't hit SE, like the Gastly line and debatably the Abra line, though the latter is dealt with pretty easily aside from Sabrina.

Edit: Like Turdterra said below, yes it is easy to get Gyarados before Misty. I had levels of 20, 22, and 22 there with Bill stuff and Trainers on the way to Vermilion to reach those levels.

My matchups will likely be edited into this post soon. I'm about to face Giovanni 3 and the rival, and then I will post them.

Also, Venusaur sucks and I'm pretty sure it's gonna easily drop to B in my opinion, unless I'm missing something in using it. It falls off HARD after Lt. Surge and never really recovers. It feels like it 3HKOs every Grass resist with Body Slam, and even in matchups you hit neutrally like Sabrina, they have high Special or SE moves. Just...not very good, though I haven't tried Swords Dance, Double-Edge or Hyper Beam, admittedly. And even then, I feel like they are simply a Band-Aid over Bulbasaur's problems rather than Bulbasaur being a good mon in itself. I want to be nice and say A, but I don't think I can in full confidence, at least right now. Sorry Bulbasaur.

If any of you guys have different Bulbasaur experiences, let me know. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
 
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I have been testing Magikarp, and without any random encounters, every trainer faced, and only two Pokémon (the other one being the one helping it to get experience through switching) I have been able to evolve it after some battles after arriving in Vermillion. I suspect it has mostly to do with Magikarp belonging to the Slow experience group. So, Gyarados misses out on Misty and Rival 3. This is still quite early, but it could happen quite a bit later with a larger team, and the Magikarp phase isn't something you can simply ignore since it affects your battle performance negatively for a significant period of time (because you can't simply sweep, other Pokémon will be taking damage and thus they will need to be healed).

Magikarp is ranked A right now, but do you think that this could affect its tiering? The other picks don't seem to take such a significant amount of time to be useful.
You can skip Misty by doing Bill first and come back to her, so with that, Gyarados can be obtained Pre Misty and be tiered there. There are also times I’ve had Gyarados as the end of Bill, but those may have included wild encounters.
 

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