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

An off-topic post about the nature of in game tiers, skip if you want

The in game tier lists were never meant to be truly efficient in every single way, otherwise squirtle will be xx tier due to his soloing potential. Instead from what i can see, the in game tier list assumes a set method of playstyle many ppl play(fight trainers, skip wilds) to generalize things and form a structure in which it becomes possible to form a ranking list.

Also, in game tiers in its nature can be fairly inaccurate due to many reasons
(1) Randomized ivs and nature: The trade onix in hgss having a -def nature will not find it that punishing becauae it walls the fk out of everyone anyway. But a a heracross with a bad attack nature will find it impossible to 2hko miltank with brick break, making the solo matchup completely against its favor because miltank can heal all the damage anyway.
(2)Assuming pokemom will be at a certain level: A kadaba being one level lower doesn't matter end game because it performs the same. But when things get a certain move or evolution around a boss, it becomes much harder to rank things. For instance, in this very tier list, i find ppl discussing whether gyarados is possible to get before misty or not. While the answer seems to be yes, depending on team composition and just general playstyle of skipping certain trainers, this entire point becomes iffy.
(3)Teams with slow leveling experience groups, grabbing six mons at the very early game, skipping trainers: All of these affect yr entire teams performance.
(4) It checks solo performance: Particularly becomes notable when it comes to setting up pokemon requiring additional effort like berries/ rare candies and unreliable strategies.
(5)Banning x items: Completely overpowered and screws the entire concept of in game tiers but you can't deny their efficiency.
(6) Every player has their way of playing the game.

I do understand Lonely's perspective about how the in game tier lists can be unhelpful at times due to all these inaccuracies. But i don't see it possible to take account of all these limitations and still make tiering lists possible because it will require an absurd amount of sample size, which we unfortunately don't have. Considering that these tier lists do a good job of generally representing whats good and whats not good anyway, i don't see an issue about letting things go this way.
 
And now I am done with my first RBY series of tests for Bulbasaur, Magikarp, Sandshrew and Snorlax!

Matchups Through Lavender Tower.

Matchups Through Giovanni 3 (Pre-Endgame).

Venusaur (46): Okay so I finally got Swords Dance after thinking about it, finally replacing Vine Whip. Pidgeot does like 35 damage with Wing Attack and you outspeed so you can set it up. Guess what? Even though you outspeed, you still 2HKO Pidgeot with +2 Body Slam. Exeggecute ALSO lives a +2 Body Slam. Rhyhorn dies to Razor Leaf as always.

Gyarados is 3HKOed by crit Razor Leaf, but one Leaf and a +2 Body Slam seem to KO it. Zam went for Reflect, so it lived a +2 Body Slam, and then Zam finished it off after all the chip damage from the others. Even at +4 it fails to OHKO Pidgeot with Body Slam, though it does nab the OHKO on Exeggecute at least (Gyarados lives in red). If you crit his Zam and ignore your own buffs, it still lives in red. Even then, Charizard outspeeds and nukes you with Flamethrower, so you just aren’t sweeping here.

Snorlax (46): Body Slam 2HKOs Pidgeot and Exeggcute. Be careful of Gyarados, if it crits Hydro Pump it does like 2/3 of your HP. Though if it goes for its other moves, you should 2HKO it easily with Body Slam. Zam is OHKOed by Body Slam (also it does like a third with Psybeam I think) and you barely seem to pick up the 2HKO on Charizard with Body Slam.

Sandslash (46): Pidgeot does nothing with Wing Attack or Agility while you barely 3HKO with Slash. Dig OHKOs Rhyhorn. Slash 2HKOs Exeggcute who goes for SolarBeam and dies. Gyarados is 3HKOed by Slash and destroys you with Hydro Pump. Crit Slash takes Zam to red, who 2HKOs with Psybeam (I did this cause of confusion chance; in another attempt it setup Reflect and I did slightly over half with Dig, you MAY OHKO). Don’t bother with Charizard unless you have Rock Slide, Slash 3HKOs and Flamethrower does 2/3 of your HP. Interestingly though, Sandslash can live a Flametrower and a critSlash from Charizard in low red, notably. It then went for Leer (at 9 HP) and allowed me to kill it.

Gyarados (46): Ice Beam fails to OHKO Pidgeot, knocking it to red (Surf 2HKOs btw). Rhyhorn is OHKOed by Surf. You OHKO Exeggcute with Ice Beam (note you do NOT 2HKO with Strength, but SolarBeam does nothing anyways). A crit Psybeam from Alakazam does 2/3 of Gyarados’s HP while you 2HKO with Strength. Surf knocks Charizard to red (likely level discrepancy) while it spams…Rage (Slash does a third).
Venusaur (50): You outspeed Dewgong and Razor Leaf knocks it to red (2HKO) while it does almost half with Aurora Beam, a rough 2HKO (it can sometimes go for Rest). Cloyster is outsped and OHKOed by Razor Leaf. You outspeed Slowbro and Razor Leaf knocks it to red (Loreleit tends to Super Potion letting you easily kill it).

Jynx will definitely cause issues: even a crit Body Slam only knocks it to red while it outspeeds you and Ice Punch does about 2/3, presumably finishing you off after Dewgong if the latter picks Aurora Beam (when it did, I got crit out later). I only beat Jynx because I got a Body Slam crit and a Body Slam paralysis on the same turn. Razor Leaf does 2/3 to Lapras who kills you with Blizzard (though you should live one Blizzard easily if you are at full HP).

Snorlax (50): Ugh Dewgong outspeeds and has Growl, and one use reduces Body Slam to a 3HKO. Cloyster’s Aurora Beam does about 45 damage before an Amnesia and it outspeeds you, and Supersonic also sucks. If you have no debuffs, Body Slam is a 3HKO on Cloyster, and Double Edge seems to be a 2HKO. Spamming Body Slam should lock Lorelei into Super Potions.

Double Edge seems to fall just shy of a 2HKO on Slowbro, so just use Body Slam to 3HKO (watch out for Growl). With one Amnesia up, Jynx’s Ice Punch does like 35 damage and you OHKO it with Body Slam. Lapras seems to be BARELY 2HKOed by Body Slam while doing IIRC 60 with Blizzard with one Amnesia up. Regardless of how you go about it, this is gonna be a slow fight. Might wanna avoid Dewgong. In an attempt without Amnesia, I noticed you 3HKO Lapras with Body Slam and Hydro Pump and Blizzard do about 100 of your HP (a 3HKO)

Gyarados (50): Thunderbolt 2HKOs Dewgong who spams Rest, leaves Cloyster in red (2HKO), and 2HKOs Slowbro by doing 2/3. Strength 2HKOs Jynx, Thunderbolt 3HKOs Lapras who can be annoying with Body Slam. Don’t bother with Special moves on Jynx, Surf is a 3HKO. Though you could use Fire Blast, it’s likely simply not necessary over Strength. You can sweep but it’s gonna take awhile (one attempt took 9 out of 15 of my Thunderbolt PP). Also, if Slowbro goes for Amnesia turn 1, it may barely live a second Thunderbolt.

Sandslash (50): Hopefully you can force Dewgong to Rest then spam Slash which 3HKOs). Dewgong does 2/3 with Aurora Beam. Do note you can just BARELY 2HKO Dewgong with Rock Slide, so you should be able to 1v1. Sadly Rock Slide looks like a rough 3HKO on Cloyster, so you should probably just avoid it (Aurora Beam does 2/3). Water Gun from Slowbro threats you by barely being a 3HKO (lol) while you should spam Slash (because of Withdraw potential) which I think 4HKOs. Ice Punch from Jynx comes close to an OHKO (I lived at 10 HP and later 2 HP) while Slash leaves it in red (Dig seems to OHKO). Don’t even bother with Lapras: Blizzard OHKOs (Rock Slide is a 3HKO).
Venusaur (51): You outspeed and OHKO both Onix, Hitmonchan, and Hitmonlee with Razor Leaf. Machamp can maybe take some punishment though, it looks to be damage ranges whether you 2HKO it with Razor Leaf, though it seems to spam Fissure. Pretty easy sweep.

Snorlax (50): Onix spams Harden which causes you to barely 3HKO it with EQ, though it does like no damage. Without Defense boosts you cleanly 2HKO. Double-Edge knocks Hitmonchan to red, who you can surprisingly live a critical hit (?) Counter from. Body Slam 2HKOs Chan even with an X Defend on the second turn, so as long as you don’t roll the 1/4 chance of Counter you should beat Chan.

You knock Lee to red on an X Defend with Body Slam (which seems like a range to OHKO otherwise; Double Edge secures the OHKO) and Lee does 2/3 of your HP with Jump Kick and I think 1/3 with Mega Kick. The second Onix is similarly 3HKOed by EQ with one X Defend. Machamp is 4HKOed by Body Slam with an X Defend up, and it derped against me so I won. Decent.

Gyarados (50): You outspeed and OHKO everything with Surf aside from Machamp who you seem to 3HKO. Easy sweep.

Sandslash (50): Even with two Defense boosts from Harden and X Defend, you still 2HKO Onix with Dig. You 2HKO Hitmonchan with Dig, but watch out for Counter. Bruno used X Defend on Lee, but I still 2HKOed it with Dig (HJK is a 3HKO). The second Onix lives a Dig in red HP. Bruno spammed X Defends on Machamp, where Slash seems to be a 3HKO. Slow, but doable.
Venusaur (51): No.

Snorlax (50): Gengar is annoying with status and Night Shade, but if you can get off an Earthquake, it dies. Golbat does IIRC about 30 damage with Wing Attack and is 2HKOed by Body Slam. Weirdly, after Haunter confused me, Agatha switched to Arbok as I used a Full Restore. Acid from Arbok does roughly 40 damage while Earthquake BARELY fails to OHKO.

Oddly Agatha sent out Haunter again and switched into her level 60 Gengar, which also BARELY lived an Earthquake. It used Night Shade then died. Haunter came out, used Confuse Ray which I broke through, and I OHKOed it (with a crit, but I’d imagine that didn’t matter based off the other foes). So you might need a healing item and it is annoying, but possible.

Gyarados (50): Gengar weirdly went for Dream Eater turn 1. Sadly I knew right away this wasn’t a quick bout for Gyarados as Surf only 3HKOs thanks to Gengar’s monsterous Special. Sleep derping later I am confused. and I eventually fall. Anyway, it should be noted even with a crit Surf and a regular Surf Gengar can live. Night Shade being a 3HKO depends on your level, I just barely avoided it with my 173 HP.

Gyarados outspeeds and sadly only 2HKOs Golbat with Ice Beam, coming close to knocking it to red while it went for Haze as I killed it. Weirdly after Haze it outsped me, so maybe we Speed tied (?) Either way Gyrados 3HKOs Haunter; insert status annoyance here. Gyrados does 2HKO Arbok with Surf though. The level 60 Gengar is 3HKOed by Surf.

Sandslash (50): Gengar 3HKOs with Night Shade while you OHKO back with Dig. Golbat is 3HKOed by Slash, but 2HKOed by Rock Slide, and Haunter is OHKOed by Dig. Oddly, she switched from Arbok to Gengar and Gengar was even OHKOed by Dig. Arbok is also OHKOed by Dig. You can definitely solo this without healing if the Ai doesn’t hax you out.
Venusaur (51): You outspeed Gyarados, but Gyrados’s Hyper Beam does like 2/3 to Venusaur. Razor Leaf is a rough 3HKO. wHile Gyrados can go for Dragon Rage sometimes, Hyper Beam being a clean 2HKO means you can’t exactly take chances here. +2 Body Slam seems to do about half of Gyarados’s HP. Next comes Dragonair, who spams Agility, and thus, you can freely boost up on it with Sword Dance. +6 Body Slam cleans Dragonair’s clock easily, Lance sends out another Dragonair which is outsped and destroyed by +6 Body Slam.

Lance sends out Aerodactyl next. As a reminder, I’m at 125 / 165 HP due to Gyarados’s Dragon Rage. Aerodactyl's Hyper Beam does about 60 damage while I take him to half with +6 Body Slam. Given I was able to finish Aerodactyl off with Razor Leaf, that should 2HKO it.

Surprisingly while Venusaur outspeeds Dragonite, Dragonite is bulky enough to take a +6 Body Slam and hang on near low yellow HP (!) I got full paralysis, though I’d imagine it goes for Agility. TLDR: Gyrados is kinda ew because Hyper Beam 2HKOs. Once you get past that, you boost up to +6 and destroy Dragonair. You will NOT be OHKOing Aerodactyl or Dragonite with Body Slam though, not even at +6.

Snorlax (50): Snorlax can actually just avoid the 2HKO from Gyrados's Hyper Beam, though it’s close; the same goes for Hydro Pump. Unfortunately, Double Edge and Body Slam can’t quite kill Gyarados, though two Double Edges can pick up the 2HKO if you roll favorable damage ranges. Unless Lance derps, you should be at about 80 HP after an attack and Double Edge recoil.

Dragonair are left in red by Double Edge (2HKOed by Body Slam), and they have Hyper Beam which can really suck if they go for it (does roughly 80 HP too, so it’s likely you might die from it unless you heal). That being said, both Dragonair should only get one chance to use Hyper Beam between Ai derping and going for Slam or potential Body Slam paralysis.

While Aerodactyl cannot readily threaten Snorlax (Hyper Beam does roughly 110 damage, a 3HKO), it will take several Body Slams easily (I think it dies to 4). Hyper Beam from Dragonite is a clean 2HKO on you, but the good news is Body Slam should 3HKO here (mine didn’t, but Double-Edge could probably do close the gap). As for Amnesia, you come in on Dragonair, set up one Amnesia, then OHKO everything after with Blizzard. You just wanna watch out for Hyper Beam though. I permanently removed Double-Edge here, which is why it doesn’t show up in the final battle. Decent.

Gyarados (50): While you outspeed, Lance’s Gyrados actually manages to live Thunderbolt in red due to the level disparity while he either uses a Hyper Potion or uses Leer (lol).

Annoyingly, Dragonair also lives Ice Beam in red and goes for Dragon Rage. On the second Dragonair, I tried Strength, and two uses seemed to just barely land the 2HKO while it used Agility and Dragon Rage (I’m now at 96 HP). Aerodactyl goes for Bite which does about 30, but you OHKO with Surf. Dragonite lives Ice Beam in red and fires back with Hyper Beam. Surprisingly average despite the coverage, though I didn’t heal.

It’s worth noting Blizzard substantially improves the matchup, OHKOing both Dragonair, though Dragonite has a chance to live with a sliver of health. Also, Gyrados can barely live a critical hit Hyper Beam from Aerodactyl from full health!

Sandslash (51): Don’t bother versus Gyarados, it outspeeds and OHKOs with Hydro Pump. Dig does 2/3 to Dragonair, who you outspeed pre-Agility. Notably, you don’t even need Dig; Slash 2HKOs Dragonair (Hyper Beam barely doesn’t 3HKO you!) Aerodactyl is a no-go unless you have Rock Slide, which cleanly 2HKOs it.

Sandslash is only 2HKOed by Dragonite's Hyper Beam (it does about half or slightly more) but this matchup is somewhat unfavorable unless you come in at full HP (Slash is a 4HKO). Rock Slide is rough due to Barrier, but a critical hit Rock Slide does take Dragonite to half HP. Pretty good.
Venusaur (51): Don’t bother with Pidgeot (who outspeeds you). You can’t even 4HKO with unboosted Body Slam. If Pidgeot’s Wing Attack crits you it easily does over half your HP, and Sky Attack just OHKOs regardless of critical hit. Venusaur’s +2 Body Slam seems to miss the 2HKO unfortunately. Beware of Mirror Move - he can Mirror Body Slam and paralyze you (should do about 50 HP or so, roughly the same as Wing Attack).

Interestingly, Venusaur can barely live Psychic from Alakazam in red (Psybeam is a clean 2HKO), and Body Slam does ALMOST half, so matchup depends on if he derps long enough with Reflect or you get the paralysis (also Razor Leaf is a 3HKO). Rhydon is outsped and OHKOed by Razor Leaf.

Exeggutor will wall you out if you don’t have Swords Dance - Body Slam looks like a 5HKO unboosted. That being said, it only has Normal moves and Hypnosis so you can setup on it, though paralyzing it first makes it less annoying. Anyway, even at +6 Venusaur missed what looked like to kill Exeggutor with one Body Slam as chip damage prior. Gyarados ALSO survives +6 from full in red, as does Charizard (it derped and missed Fire Spin, though note Blue can Full Restore while Fire Spin wears you down).

Unboosted…this matchup would likely be a total wash outside Rhydon.

Snorlax (51): Sky Attack from Pidgeot hurts, barely 2HKOing Snorlax. Unfortunately, Body Slam from Snorlax misses the 2HKO on Pidgeot. Blizzard + Body Slam seems to JUST pick up the 2HKO on Pidgeot however.

On the plus side, depending on your level, you MIGHT be able to 2HKO Alakazam with Body Slam even through Reflect (I missed the range). Normally, you’re gonna knock Zam to red with Body Slam. The good news is Psychic from Zam only seems to do roughly 100 HP, thus 3HKOing you.

Earthquake 3HKOs Rhydon who I actually beat at low HP (I only had one Blizzard left for this matchup). Body Slam 3HKOs Gyarados and Exeggutor (the latter does nothing, but the former can be annoying with Hyper Beam). Be careful of Charizard; a crit Fire Blast seems to pretty much OHKO you; Body Slam is a 3HKO on Zard.

Once I tried Amnesia to max on Rhydon - I crit Exeggutor with Blizzard and did roughly half, showing you’re gonna need some boosts to muscle through his team with special moves (Blizzard knocks Rhydon to about red unboosted, which EQ can likely finish off.)

Now for the ratings!
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Bulbasaur is fraught with issues that I think keep it from A rank. While I didn't use Swords Dance midgame at all, my lategadme logs proved that even if Venusaur uses Swords Dance to get to +6, it's likely still going to have trouble killing things. While it can get through Brock, Misty and Lt. Surge fine and is pretty good for the Elite Four (good for Lorelei and Lance, outright sweeps Bruno, though it folds to Agatha) its route effectiveness generally suffers until it gets Body Slam on the S.S. Anne, and even then, 15 PP only lasts so long (you can legit run out of PP pretty easily unless you buff with Swords Dance, as shown in my matchup against Blaine).

Bulbasaur needs to buff to kill things resistant to Grass STAB, but even when doing so, it still can't sweep even at +6 Attack sometimes, never mind the fact that +4 and +6 generally are inefficient unless you are using Amnesia. So, in summary, you have to really go way out of your way to use Bulbasaur, even in comparison to how most mons in RBY are TM-hungry. Body Slam, Swords Dance, and (though I didn't use it) Hyper Beam are all very helpful for it, but a reliance on these TMs and the shaky midgame means that despite Bulbasaur's good early game and endgame, I see Bulbasaur as a B tier.

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Magikarp is a little...odd. I'm not quite sure what to feel about it. On the one hand, it has respectable boss performances in general, good bulk and notable diversity with its TMs which it can use effectively with 100 Special as Gyarados. On the other hand, despite having access to Surf, Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, Gyarados often leaves opponents in red and thus 2HKOs them. While this is far from bad, the rarity of OHKOs except on most routes (and even then, it misses some occasionally IIRC), the Magikarp period, and the fact it definitely would like a few TMs (Ice Beam/Blizzard/Thunderbolt) makes me question it's placement in A. I think B is more appropriate, but A could be argued for. I think we'll need some more opinions on this.

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Sandshrew is a fantastic Pokemon and easily worthy of A rank, maybe even S
if you're generous! While not on the level of the infamous Abra line's incredible speed-to-offense ratio, Sandshrew puts in work practically everywhere and is almost never completely deadweight. The bulk is a key factor: whether in tanking Dragonite's Hyper Beam or even some Special moves (Sandslash can actually live Starmie's BubbleBeam and Vileplume's Petal Dance from full health!) this is a mon that will never let you down.

Once you get to Slash at level 17 (I did a few wild levels for this, as I couldn't exactly grind it on Blue or Cerulean Gym right away) this mon gets moving, and once you have Sandslash with Slash, not much beats it except the strongest Special Attackers in the game like Alakazam. While Dig helps, you might not even need it all that much, as the only things that really require Dig are the Rock/Grounds (Dig has 150 BP neutrally and two critical hit Slash uses total to 280 BP neutrally). It wouldn't mind Earthquake or Rock Slide lategame for the League; Rock Slide is pretty uncontested outside Geodude and I highly doubt someone would need both Dig and Earthquake on their other party members and not give one to Sandslash instead.

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Yeah, Snorlax isn't S tier, and in my opinion, falls short of A unfortunately. I apologize and concede I may have overestimated it a bit. While still very good in bosses, Snorlax is just much slower than some of its S and A tier contemporaries, meaning that whether you are Body Slamming and Resting and using Poke Flute or boosting up with Amnesia, Snorlax will just inherently take longer to kill things and need heals often to sweep stuff, though Body Slam's 30% paralysis chance does help pretty often. While it mostly is fine from Body Slam onwards, comes at a good level and is almost never deadweight, the slowness, the not so early arrival and the rocky start grinding it (Headbutt PP runs out FAST, and a few of the nearby route trainers can debuff your accuracy or murder with Low Kick Machop) knock it down. Overall, I think Snorlax is a B tier despite its usefulness, though maybe arguments for A could be made.
 
LonelyGaruga do you perhaps want to define what "efficiency" means in your books? I think one of your posts tried to explain it, but it didn't become clear to me what ultimately is efficient and what is inefficient in your books. We are all bound to have different definitions of "efficient", which is probably why there's this discussion on first place.
Certainly, by no means will I say that my definition, in its entirety, should be applicable to others. But I will try to explain the process that I used to arrive at this definition, and the advantages it has.

The underlying premise of an "efficient" playthrough, I believe, should be something that can be objectively measured or estimated for the purpose of being removed from subjectivity. Generally speaking, efficiency in this context should be something along the lines of being able to do something quickly and easily. In terms of speed, in-game time is not something I consider to be very feasible to measure, as it relies on player consistency in the overworld and heavily punishes exploration, which I do not believe is an efficient way for players to experience the game. If they should desire to explore optional areas, then they should be able to do that. But they should be able to do so efficiently. With that in mind, I determined that the best objective measure I could come up with is the number of combat turns necessary throughout the game. This is not perfect by any means, it's faster to go through two combat rounds in a single battle than to win against two different encounters in a single hit, but it is a close enough estimate that I believe it to be satisfactory. It is distinctly more efficient to go through a battle in 5 turns than it is to take 10 turns, and similarly, if a Pokemon needs to grind all the optional trainers in an area (or multiple areas) to have similar performance to a freshly caught Pokemon, it is distinctly less efficient, at least during that time frame.

Aside from speed and ease, reliability is a key factor. Elements of luck are unavoidable, but overt reliance on it is not. How much is "too reliant" is subjective, however. For my personal routing, I assume the least favorable damage rolls and AI choices, that anything below 90% accuracy will miss before it connects (specifically, it will miss until the odds of consecutive misses becomes less than 10%, but that's only relevant for moves with ~50% accuracy), and that any enemy attack with 30% or higher accuracy will always hit. For tiering, it makes sense to assume reasonably average probability for RNG, but I still perceive a strategy with a success rate of less than 70% to be unacceptable. But that's just my opinion. In order to determine these things, I use both a damage calculator and in-game testing thoroughly, though without knowing enemy DVs the damage calculator's accuracy is undermined. For the purpose of determining a route to use, I've been exclusively using a damage calculator to try to determine what the best Grass type to center around the route before doing in-game testing (I'm doing this with Red/Blue because I'm familiar with it, but later games I'll have to test in-game alongside running calculations), but it seems that it's more efficient to just not use one, so I may not follow through on testing the route in-game. Incidentally, Clefairy and Dugtrio are the most efficient Pokemon I've been looking at. Of course, everyone already knows that Clefairy is one of the best Pokemon in the game and Dugtrio clearly deserves an A rank, so this is nothing that is unexpected.

I've banned the use of items as a personal guideline, but for tiering purposes, it doesn't make any sense to do that. I think that a Pokemon that is able to perform without the use of items is more efficient than one that requires items, but that is strictly personal opinion and there is no reason from an efficiency standpoint to ban any item use whatsoever, including X Accuracy. This has more to do with me running a self-imposed challenge to make party building more interesting than it does with efficiency, and I won't deny that in this area, I am clearly not playing efficiently. In a sense, this is my equivalent to enforced party sizes, as between this and turn count, it encourages creating a party of multiple Pokemon. But it does not require it, so I feel that it is the better method between the two. But that is just my opinion. Using items is clearly more efficient than not using items.

That about covers everything that I can think of to explain. When I started out on this, the original plan was to fight every trainer while generally avoiding wild encounters unless necessary for XP, but after doing exactly that as an experiment, I found it unbearably tedious. It was not fun at all. I think that games should be played for fun, and spending a while fighting weak early game trainers that are totally unnecessary to fight is just not very fun, and neither is fighting every Rocket member in Silph Co. And every trainer between Lavender and Fuchsia...while there is a clear difference between "not skipping optional trainers" and "fighting every single trainer in the game", additional, unnecessary tedium should still be avoided where possible.
 
Certainly, by no means will I say that my definition, in its entirety, should be applicable to others. But I will try to explain the process that I used to arrive at this definition, and the advantages it has.

The underlying premise of an "efficient" playthrough, I believe, should be something that can be objectively measured or estimated for the purpose of being removed from subjectivity. Generally speaking, efficiency in this context should be something along the lines of being able to do something quickly and easily. In terms of speed, in-game time is not something I consider to be very feasible to measure, as it relies on player consistency in the overworld and heavily punishes exploration, which I do not believe is an efficient way for players to experience the game. If they should desire to explore optional areas, then they should be able to do that. But they should be able to do so efficiently. With that in mind, I determined that the best objective measure I could come up with is the number of combat turns necessary throughout the game. This is not perfect by any means, it's faster to go through two combat rounds in a single battle than to win against two different encounters in a single hit, but it is a close enough estimate that I believe it to be satisfactory. It is distinctly more efficient to go through a battle in 5 turns than it is to take 10 turns, and similarly, if a Pokemon needs to grind all the optional trainers in an area (or multiple areas) to have similar performance to a freshly caught Pokemon, it is distinctly less efficient, at least during that time frame.

Aside from speed and ease, reliability is a key factor. Elements of luck are unavoidable, but overt reliance on it is not. How much is "too reliant" is subjective, however. For my personal routing, I assume the least favorable damage rolls and AI choices, that anything below 90% accuracy will miss before it connects (specifically, it will miss until the odds of consecutive misses becomes less than 10%, but that's only relevant for moves with ~50% accuracy), and that any enemy attack with 30% or higher accuracy will always hit. For tiering, it makes sense to assume reasonably average probability for RNG, but I still perceive a strategy with a success rate of less than 70% to be unacceptable. But that's just my opinion. In order to determine these things, I use both a damage calculator and in-game testing thoroughly, though without knowing enemy DVs the damage calculator's accuracy is undermined. For the purpose of determining a route to use, I've been exclusively using a damage calculator to try to determine what the best Grass type to center around the route before doing in-game testing (I'm doing this with Red/Blue because I'm familiar with it, but later games I'll have to test in-game alongside running calculations), but it seems that it's more efficient to just not use one, so I may not follow through on testing the route in-game. Incidentally, Clefairy and Dugtrio are the most efficient Pokemon I've been looking at. Of course, everyone already knows that Clefairy is one of the best Pokemon in the game and Dugtrio clearly deserves an A rank, so this is nothing that is unexpected.

I've banned the use of items as a personal guideline, but for tiering purposes, it doesn't make any sense to do that. I think that a Pokemon that is able to perform without the use of items is more efficient than one that requires items, but that is strictly personal opinion and there is no reason from an efficiency standpoint to ban any item use whatsoever, including X Accuracy. This has more to do with me running a self-imposed challenge to make party building more interesting than it does with efficiency, and I won't deny that in this area, I am clearly not playing efficiently. In a sense, this is my equivalent to enforced party sizes, as between this and turn count, it encourages creating a party of multiple Pokemon. But it does not require it, so I feel that it is the better method between the two. But that is just my opinion. Using items is clearly more efficient than not using items.

That about covers everything that I can think of to explain. When I started out on this, the original plan was to fight every trainer while generally avoiding wild encounters unless necessary for XP, but after doing exactly that as an experiment, I found it unbearably tedious. It was not fun at all. I think that games should be played for fun, and spending a while fighting weak early game trainers that are totally unnecessary to fight is just not very fun, and neither is fighting every Rocket member in Silph Co. And every trainer between Lavender and Fuchsia...while there is a clear difference between "not skipping optional trainers" and "fighting every single trainer in the game", additional, unnecessary tedium should still be avoided where possible.
You need to elaborate on what you define as efficient. Bible posts like this are a slog to read.

Additionally, if you want a self imposed challenge, a tier list is not for that.

X Accuracy was banned for the reason of allowing OHKO moves to always hit. That’s outside help and not on a mon’s

You also dodged the question originally. Are you planning to test or continue on with the your displeasure on a testing method that works fine as is?
 
I don't want to be told I dodged a question from someone who hasn't answered a single question from me. But since you said that...

If by "test", you mean under the rules presented in this topic, certainly not, the tests are totally inaccurate at actually determining efficiency.
I did in fact answer your question about testing. And the logic in banning X Accuracy because of it being outside help applies to every single item. As for the definition of efficient, I believe I've already made it quite clear that it's something that helps to complete the game in fewer combat rounds and with less reliance on luck or items.
 
It started out as just saying that you don't have to subject yourself to fighting tedious and pointless optionals with Bulbasaur that it never needed to fight for XP to begin with, after that I've just been pointing out contradiction after contradiction in the rules as I've been told. Never skip XP even if it's more efficient to do so, except you should only fight wilds when necessary. X Accuracy is banned because it's outside help, but no other item is banned when it's also outside help. I get that no one likes a critic, but the rules are obviously flawed if I'm being presented contradictions one after another.
 
Drums encouraged me so here i am giving my thoughts on certain mons. Do keep in mind that this run is two months ago, i used six mons and never rly bothered invidiually testing anything so take it as a grain of salt. I will try my best to not give any repetitive opinions.

My team is as follows Blastoise, jolteon, hitmonlee, dodrio (i thought i used snorlax at first lol), jynx and sandslash.

Blastoise: An easy s for me. Stomps brock one of the most tedious fights in the game easily, while also failing to not majorly contribute in any fight other than lt surge (erika maybe? Idk i ice beamed the fkers). I cannot see how bubblebeam is contested considering theres a water gun tm and the only reason you'll be using a water move are rocks anyway. I can't remember the sabrina fight but i fail to see how it will fail to beat anything other than zam.

Also, lorelei isn't an iffy fight cuz you wall most of the mons so while inefficient, blastoise can contribute due to its bulk and sth like earthquake or one of the thousand normal moves.

I also want to mention that i hardly find ice tms are contested in a run, considering that only nidos, waters n normals can learn ice move in the first place. Unlike the ground moves, nth rly gravely requires dig so you can generally safely slap ice beam on anything and slap blizzard on another mon later. Regardless,

Jolteon: Jolteon's thunderbolt was op af and its speed+special was rly high but it relies way too much on thunderbolt. Failing to beat resists is one thing but i actually run out pp often so jolteon becomes a sitting duck without tbolt. But i feel it usually can 1v1 any non resist so it can be a tier higher but currently a B for me.

Jynx: Stomps everything but too late personally compared to monsters like alakazam,nido and squirtle. A+ tier. I get some ppl want it for s and its probably the best one here, but rby has a weird issue in that the broke stuff r broke too early that they r basically like two tiers above every a tier.

Dodrio: Seems like a borderline a tier to me tbh, its like a tauros that can't beat rocks but don't require dumb safari stuff. Fly hm utility is also appreciated but four mon runs won't need this ig. Its gym matchups weren't sweeps tho but it was one of the most reliable breakers for me.

Sandlash: Another borderline s tier. Dig+slash broke the game early. However, it didn't have the best boss fights for me and could just not ohko, tank or outspeed things enough to be as dumb as the other s tiers late game.

Hitmonlee: Feels like a c tier to me. Special is rly bad, making a lot of boss fights iffy even those it have a type advantage like lorelei. I don't know the rby ai well enough but it just gets stomped by bosses again and again for me. (Think koga, blaine, sabrina, lance, agatha, blue, many rockets) I don't even remember finding it good against route trainers since its hjk is a mere 85 power and can't ko anything while having a miss chance???

I didn't use meditate in any point of the game tho.

Edit: its 4am here and i'm half dead so hopefully i got my points across
 

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Considering that these tier lists do a good job of generally representing whats good and whats not good anyway, i don't see an issue about letting things go this way.
At the end of the day, the above is what matters. Usually, better "feeling" mons are faster/more efficient/more powerful overall. If we are pretty accurate on what we as a group believe to be good or bad for the majority of players, then we are having success.

Thats the important thing to me.

LonelyGaruga said:
Trying to create my own guidelines for personal use, I've set myself on trying to route out a playthrough of the game that involves the minimum number of turns necessary.
This... Isn't really why we are here talking about this stuff. That sounds like a cool idea for your own solo thread though in trying to work out the minimum Amount of Turns for the game to be completed.

I don't really mind how you guys come to each of your views, as long as A) they follow the rules as set out in the OP and B) You guys are civil towards each other. If you don't have anything to add apart from bitchiness, don't post. People will always play differently, and we try and keep the overarching rules to these lists as nebulous as possible so they apply to the most number of people.

No one will advocate for something like Chansey being S tier. Just be sensible about things, we don't have to mathematically dissect every single interaction in the games to get an idea of whats good and whats bad. We as players generally know the difference.

Honestly, I'm surprised Clefairy's rareness doesn't drop it out of S for instance, but I do understand it gets huge movepool upgrades and a large power boost thanks to immediate evolution.
 
People will always play differently, and we try and keep the overarching rules to these lists as nebulous as possible so they apply to the most number of people.
Eh.

You should never skip out on XP regardless if it is efficient or not.
We don't fight Wilds unless the said Mon needs the XP (example again being something like a Magikarp). A starter does not fall under this.
The bitching that I've been doing is because I'm being told otherwise. I'll take the preliminary route I have so far up to Rival #3, using Bulbasaur + Clefairy. Let's suppose I'm doing a test for tiering, and this is what I've done so far.

-Grind Bulbasaur to 11 on wilds + optional trainers in Viridian Forest
-Do Rival #2 and the mandatory Bug Catcher. Bulbasaur is level 13.
-Skip the optional trainer in Pewter Gym, fight Brock. Bulbasaur is level 14.
-Only do the mandatory trainers in Route 3. Bulbasaur reaches level 17 and evolves into Ivysaur.
-Skip all of the optional trainers in Mt. Moon except the Hiker. Ivysaur is level 18. Get Mega Punch and a Moon Stone, capture Clefairy, evolve Clefairy. For the purpose of simplicity in routing I've assumed Clefairy is level 12, but at the bottom floor it also shows up at level 10, so this won't always be the case. Ivysaur beats the Rocket's Rattata, switch to Clefable for the Zubat. For the Super Nerd, lead with Clefable against Grimer, switch to Ivysaur on the Voltorb. Clefable is level 13, Ivysaur is level 19.
-Skip the optional trainer in Cerulean Gym. Do the mandatory trainer and Misty with Ivysaur. Ivysaur reaches level 20 after Misty's Staryu.
-Teach Clefable Bubble Beam and grind to 14 on wilds in Route 4 (this is on average about 6 encounters). I'm playing Blue so Sandshrew shows up, but Clefable's Bubble Beam is very strong on everything here regardless and has 100% accuracy (well, 99.6%). Do Rival #3 with a level 20 Ivysaur and a level 14 Clefable.

I skipped unnecessary XP and grinded on wilds when it was more efficient to do so than fighting trainers, something that I've been told is something that you guys don't do for testing. So it is my understanding that my test is invalid on that basis. But did I actually do anything wrong here?
 
Eh.





The bitching that I've been doing is because I'm being told otherwise. I'll take the preliminary route I have so far up to Rival #3, using Bulbasaur + Clefairy. Let's suppose I'm doing a test for tiering, and this is what I've done so far.

-Grind Bulbasaur to 11 on wilds + optional trainers in Viridian Forest
-Do Rival #2 and the mandatory Bug Catcher. Bulbasaur is level 13.
-Skip the optional trainer in Pewter Gym, fight Brock. Bulbasaur is level 14.
-Only do the mandatory trainers in Route 3. Bulbasaur reaches level 17 and evolves into Ivysaur.
-Skip all of the optional trainers in Mt. Moon except the Hiker. Ivysaur is level 18. Get Mega Punch and a Moon Stone, capture Clefairy, evolve Clefairy. For the purpose of simplicity in routing I've assumed Clefairy is level 12, but at the bottom floor it also shows up at level 10, so this won't always be the case. Ivysaur beats the Rocket's Rattata, switch to Clefable for the Zubat. For the Super Nerd, lead with Clefable against Grimer, switch to Ivysaur on the Voltorb. Clefable is level 13, Ivysaur is level 19.
-Skip the optional trainer in Cerulean Gym. Do the mandatory trainer and Misty with Ivysaur. Ivysaur reaches level 20 after Misty's Staryu.
-Teach Clefable Bubble Beam and grind to 14 on wilds in Route 4 (this is on average about 6 encounters). I'm playing Blue so Sandshrew shows up, but Clefable's Bubble Beam is very strong on everything here regardless and has 100% accuracy (well, 99.6%). Do Rival #3 with a level 20 Ivysaur and a level 14 Clefable.

I skipped unnecessary XP and grinded on wilds when it was more efficient to do so than fighting trainers, something that I've been told is something that you guys don't do for testing. So it is my understanding that my test is invalid on that basis. But did I actually do anything wrong here?
After this post, I am abstaining from responding to your posts. You have brushed everything aside that is being told to you and we have both been told to stop. So I believe it is best that we get this out now and we stop sending this thread down a blazing fire.

You have a clear level difference in your team which is avoided by the following: Clefairy is given Water Gun for the Hiker. At the point you had Ivysaur and got Clefairy, Clefairy should have soaked in XP to catch up. This is also what I was alluding to in regards with Wilds. We can use Wilds to have a Pokemon catch up to the rest of the team or you use all available trainers here. We don't have a concise ruling on training on Wilds, as such its a grey area. In this scenario, no one would have batted an eye. Some of us even admit in our tests we trained on wilds to get more accurate tests in Major Fights whether here or in other lists, but at the same time, you also did Misty prior to Bill which would have been valuable XP for Clefable As a result of skipping trainers, you did not use Clefairy/Clefable for Misty. If you did, you need to state you did. As far as I can see, you only used Ivysaur, skipped on an optional Trainer (which again, you really should not do but you've made it a point to say that all optional XP is unnecessary), and thus hurt Clefable in what is considered a good match up for it.

Most testers leave Misty till post Bill. That way their team can be more closely level matched with Misty. So the most optimal route is to do Bill first and then Misty.

If this was truly a test, you need to elaborate on what the Pokemon accomplished in its fights. Just saying "Level 20 Ivysaur beat Misty" tells us nothing though we can grasp how you did it. Same with the Rival #3. "Do it with Level 14 Clefable and Level 20 Ivysaur". What did those two do in that fight? Did they sweep, struggle with anything, etc? (Please note this only applies to what the OP states is a Major Fight, we don't care how you take down random trainers.)

In all: all of this is learned from testing repeatedly. It doesn't come to you in the first test nor the second.
 
You have brushed everything aside that is being told to you and we have both been told to stop.
If that's how you wanna portray being told something like "X Accuracy is banned because it's outside help and has nothing to do with the Pokemon" and thinking "wait, doesn't that apply to all items? Then shouldn't all items be banned?", then sure. Complaining about me replying to other people about what they've asked and told me is pretty weird too, but I guess I'm just a problem child for questioning obvious contradictions so it's fine to make me out to be some kind of troublemaker that disregards what others ask of me. "What's your goal?", well I just wanted to say you don't have to fight every single optional if it's unpleasant, tedious, and inefficient to do so, but I've been told that you shouldn't skip any, and well I don't think that quite sounds right. "The rules are nebulous", if that's the case then why am I being told to never skip XP? Surely there are instances where it's fine to skip XP, like maybe when I suggested to do so? Guess it must have been really problematic for me to have said "hey you know, if you're using Bulbasaur, you don't have to do all these awful fights".

Thought it might be interesting to talk about efficient play here. That was my mistake. Thanks for educating me. It was stupid of me to think that.
 
Any idea on how often the tiers themselves are updated?
That's been in the back of my mind, don't worry.
  1. Longfellow: Jigglypuff in A, Spearow in B, Snorlax in C/borderline B, Paras in C. Longfellow's post is here.
  2. MasterLemon: Based on this post, Blastoise in A, Wigglytuff in B, Golem in B, Machamp in C.
  3. LordDirtyO: Charizard in A, Primeape in C, Farfetch'd in B, Snorlax in B. Team evaluation is here.
  4. DrumstickGaming (me): Did three posts on my run, last one is here. Bulbasaur in B, Magikarp borderline B/A, Snorlax mostly B.
  5. whatever123: Posted here some general thoughts. Those being Tentacool higher than C, Bulbasaur in A, Duduo, Farfetch'd and Spearow being in A, B and C tier respectively and Duduo and Farfetch'd possibly being in the same tier of B, if this happens Spearow would be a C. Other nominations include Squirtle in A, Magikarp in B, and Kadabra and Diglett being in S, with the last one being Snorlax in B.
  6. haba yaba: Blastoise in S, Jolteon in B, Jynx and Sandslash are high A/borderline S, Dodrio borderline A, Hitmonlee in C. His post is here.
As you can see, we have a lot of general thoughts. So far the consensus seems to drift toward Bulbasaur and Snorlax going in B Tier. Unless somebody can provide a good counterargument as to why they shouldn't be placed there fairly soon (say, in maybe a week) I'm going to move both down to B.

So the non-consensus vote tallies currently are:
Jigglypuff: 2 (1 A, 1 B)
Paras: (1 C)
Golem: (1 B)
Charizard: (1 A)
Primeape: (1 C)
Farfetch'd: (1 B)
Magikarp: (2 B, though I THINK Ryota suggested A earlier? Not sure)
Doduo: (2 votes arguable for A)
Sandshrew: 2 (high A/borderline S)
Squirtle: 2 A, 1 S

If I missed anything, let me know! I think we need to get more people testing if possible so we can get the above mons squared away, update the tiers, and move on to another batch of Pokemon (though I know it's hard to do that unless people don't mind ask for suggestions on what they should run next before they do so).
 
I hope I didn't come off as too naggy, I mainly wanted to get the conversation back on track. As for what Pokemon to run next, I might try testing another game next, but I'll give out some I'd like to see covered either by myself or others later down the line. These include Jynx (to see if it should stay in S), Hitmonlee (to look further into Hada Yaba's doubts) and Exeggcute (to see if it's a good Grass option for Red players).
 
Are there any rules regarding the Japanese Blue at all? I was half-tempted to see how the in-game trades fared on that version.
I don't know much about Japanese Blue, but the trades there could provide some interesting data. Feel free to try it out! We don't exactly have any rules for it yet, but those are the in-game trades in Japanese Blue, for reference.
Screen Shot 2020-07-11 at 12.46.42 PM.png
 
From what I have been able to test recently:
Bulbasaur B: I think everyone has said their piece, I don't need to add much about it. Early immunity to Poison, great match-up against Brock with little investment, great match-up against Misty before Nugget Bridge. However, it has a negative match-up against Sabrina, the Rival, Blaine and Agatha, and it's slow against Erika and Koga. The Rockets and everyone in the Cycling Road resist its STAB, too, and only remains competitive with the help of Swords Dance.
Snorlax B: I think it has great stats and a great movepool. Amnesia in particular allows Snorlax to gather boosts and use Special attacks. It also has Surf. However it's too slow. From my experience it's not particularly high-leveled at this point either.
Paras D: I initially thought this would be E, but it has been able to perform perfectly fine early on with Stun Spore, and its damage output is pretty good thanks to 70 Attack before evolution. I haven't tested Swords Dance Parasect, but it has been able to perform fine with Reflect + Spore. What brings it down though is its quadruple weakness against Poison-types alongside its low speed. I felt that it had a hard-time taking on Poison-types even if they only had Poison Sting, because it did a substantial amount of damage, and even if I used Dig, I'd still receive substantial damage in the process.

I hope I didn't come off as too naggy, I mainly wanted to get the conversation back on track. As for what Pokemon to run next, I might try testing another game next, but I'll give out some I'd like to see covered either by myself or others later down the line. These include Jynx (to see if it should stay in S), Hitmonlee (to look further into Hada Yaba's doubts) and Exeggcute (to see if it's a good Grass option for Red players).
I tried Exeggcute recently with Strength, Psychic, Hypnosis and Reflect.

If you give it Psychic and the Leaf Stone as soon as you catch it, it can take on Koga's Gym by itself at base and get on par with others in the process though Hypno, and the weakness against Poison itself can be a problem. It can take on the Cycling Road by itself, too. It's also a solid mixed attacker since it has a higher attack than Venusaur and immediate access to Strength. It can take on Sabrina, too, thanks to this. Its match-up against Giovanni is trivial if given Mega Drain, but still easy if it only has Psychic (and Giovanni's Nidos fall against it). Exeggutor can take on Agatha.

My impression at the end is that it was easier to use than Victreebel or Venusaur because it became good immediately, but I'm not sure if I really consider it a Grass option. Its only Grass-type attacks are Mega Drain and Solar Beam. In fact, I used Exeggutor alongside Victreebel because it covered Victreebel's weakness against Psychic-type attacks and the match-up with Koga/Agatha, while Victreebel could deal with everything.
 
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Some thoughts on a few points made here:

I cannot see how bubblebeam is contested considering theres a water gun tm and the only reason you'll be using a water move are rocks anyway.
Bubblebeam is less contested than other TMs for sure, but being a decently powered Special move that can be learned by a lot of good 'mons has a lot of value. Wartortle probably has priority over them (aside from Gyarados) because it's its best STAB move for a while, but a Nidoking/Clefable missing out on Bubblebeam is notable.

Ice Beam is very much a contested TM and its availability has a major impact on Wartortle's viability (Blizzard much less so). Wartortle's performance tapers off somewhat in the late mid-game due to its offensive stats being mediocre for that portion of the game. Ice Beam gives it not only a powerful Special move, but also the ability to hit the common Grass- and Flying-types for super effective damage.

There's a few other TMs that I believe to be fairly impactful to Wartortle's performance (most notably Mega Punch and Dig), but Bubblebeam and Ice Beam are the big ones.

What is everyone's thoughts on Squirtle and Sandshrew?
In the above TM section I hinted at Wartortle's offensive stats being a bit below par, especially in the mid-game where it may struggle with damage output off of neutral hits. It still is a fantastic Pokémon, but in my mind this period keeps it from being S.

I do agree Sandshrew is a very good 'mon; mainly because Normal/Ground has such an amazing coverage in gen 1 (hits everything bar Aerodactyl for at least neutral damage). The comparison with Dugtrio is interesting IMO: Dugtrio comes in overleveled shortly after Sandshrew and doesn't require Dig, but Sandslash has Slash earlier and ends up dealing more damage late. Sandslash's ability to take a physical hit or two gets balanced by Dugtrio being able to outspeed basically everything. Ultimately, I think both are perfectly fine in A-tier.


Dodrio: Seems like a borderline a tier to me tbh, its like a tauros that can't beat rocks but don't require dumb safari stuff. Fly hm utility is also appreciated but four mon runs won't need this ig. Its gym matchups weren't sweeps tho but it was one of the most reliable breakers for me.
You can make an argument for Dodrio in A; personally I think the somewhat late availability together with the inability to damage Rock-types leave it on the top of B-tier.
 
I don't know much about Japanese Blue, but the trades there could provide some interesting data. Feel free to try it out! We don't exactly have any rules for it yet, but those are the in-game trades in Japanese Blue, for reference.
View attachment 261128
If there are no rules yet, then I'll give a few of these a try when I have time. I might even use Bulbasaur and Sandshrew to give my two cents on each of their discussions.
 
Some thoughts on a few points made here:

Bubblebeam is less contested than other TMs for sure, but being a decently powered Special move that can be learned by a lot of good 'mons has a lot of value. Wartortle probably has priority over them (aside from Gyarados) because it's its best STAB move for a while, but a Nidoking/Clefable missing out on Bubblebeam is notable.
I believe the nidos and clef don't mind passing bubblebeam at all for four reasons
(1) It provides zero value in gym matchups
(2) Water gun hits rocks hard enough
(3) Ice beam and psychic makes this tm obsolete for the nidos / clef so its only useful before celadon
(4) Its very hard for the nidos and clef to miss out on both STAB and thunderbolt before celadon. Since their STAB will generally hit harder than an unstab 65 power move, the only place it will come in handy is
1. JR trainer with cubone in route 6 (For both)
2. The 2 marowaks of pokemaniac in rock tunnel

Note that nidoking's thrash hits every flying or bug type harder than bubblebeam. I also assumed clefable's using water gun because its rare for someone to use 2 water or 2 normal types in a 4 mon playthrough.

If clefable and nidoking does miss out on normal stab / dig, you can add a bunch of fire types to the list i guess. But its just amplifying the good matchup, after all all the fire types you fight before celadon are unevolved. Basically, the advantages clef and nido gets from running bubblebeam are quite minor so i don't think wartortle using bubblebeam is an issue.

Ice Beam is very much a contested TM and its availability has a major impact on Wartortle's viability (Blizzard much less so). Wartortle's performance tapers off somewhat in the late mid-game due to its offensive stats being mediocre for that portion of the game. Ice Beam gives it not only a powerful Special move, but also the ability to hit the common Grass- and Flying-types for super effective damage.

There's a few other TMs that I believe to be fairly impactful to Wartortle's performance (most notably Mega Punch and Dig), but Bubblebeam and Ice Beam are the big ones.
I did use ice beam so perhaps having an ice move mid game might've improved some matchups. I can't see it easily missing out on blizzard too though which was my original point. Ice tms aren't as contested as say thunderbolt and psychic because there's two of them, one will get the move sooner or later and the only gym ice beam helps out is against erika. But yeah ice beam at that particular point of the game might've mattered for wartortle.

I didn't use dig during my squirtle run because dig is such an invaluable move. But i never found it necessary either, lt surge is unreliable even with dig anyway and its only better than bubblebeam on water types, electric types, silph co ghosts and grimer. Only electric types felt like a threat to wartortle. My wartortle did have mega punch though which could've mattered. While a 100 bp move is unnecessary, missing out on the 80 bp move could've reduced wartortle's mid game performance.

Tldr: I disagree on wartortle requiring dig and bubblebeam being contested. Ice beam and mega punch on the other hand might have impacted its performance.

Edit: Additional E4 logs, beating the league with six mons means my blastoise is still only lvl 50. So i thought why not rerun the league?

Blastoise (50) vs lorelei: Dewgong is actually the second toughest in this matchup because it can waste yr time with growl and rest. Strength 5hkoes and surf is slightly weaker in case of growls but between crits, AI and take down recoil, I never failed to beat it with less than 100 HP during my four fights with lorelei. Body slam or earthquake could've improved the matchup.

Cloyster is 3hkoed with surf and spike cannon cannot do much back, slowbro is harder but rarely attacks and has water gun, jynx is 2hkoed and thrash hits a pittance. 3 out of 4 attempts, i managed to get as far as lapras without any healing or switching. The one time blastoise faints early is against cloyster when it started spamming crit 5 hit spike cannons two times.

Lapras is impossible to beat after all the beatings from the previous 4 boys but if blastoise comes in at full and doesn't hit itself too much from confuse rays, it can solo lapras with strengths. But overall, its not exactly an efficient matchup and requires an elixir if blastoise wants to continue fighting bruno and friends.

Blastoise (51) vs bruno: Ohkoes everything except machamp. Between x defend, leer and misses, machamp can't even touch blastoise in my three attempts but surf 2hkoes anyway so it doesn't matter.

Blastoise (52) vs agatha: Gengars r very shaky matchups due to night shade 3hkoing it but everything else is beatable with two surfs. Golbat is not a threat, arbok is weak and haunter is 2hloed by surf (hypnosis shenanigans might hax blastoise). If blastoise has earthquake, it can solo the matchup since the gengars are now ohkoed and 2hkoed respectively with earthquake. Agatha also super potions a lot after gengar tanks earthquake so usually, you don't have to take more than 1 hit from gengar. Between confuse ray and hypnosis however, this matchup has a chance to be lost to hax.

Blastoise(52) vs lance: Gyarados is beatable with strength but not advised since hyper beams+leer puts blastoise too low. Ice beam and surf 2hkoes everything else while blizzard variants koes the dragonairs. Using blizzard guarantees the win since two hyper beams won't take down blastoise. Even if you're using ice beam, unless you are hit by too many hyper beams, the matchup cannot be lost.

Blastoise (53) vs blue: pidgeot 2hkoed by ice beam. Rhydon and arcanine are surfed. Alakazam 2hkoes blastoise with psychic so you need a good strength roll+alakazam AI derping with psybeam to win. Blastoise only won 2 in 4 attempts with red HP though. Gyarados cannot be beat in my experience. Venusaur didn't use razor leaf at all during my 3 attempts but ice beam variants lose regardless since it only 3hkoes. Mega drain takes too much hp and solarbeam ohkoes back. Blizzard variants can 2hko on the other hand and win consistenly (maybe, i couldn't get venusaur to use razor leaf)

Its a pretty good elite four matchup in my eyes, capable of taking out at least 3 mons every game consistently even with the least optimal set up surf, strength and ice beam.
 
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Wartortle does not require Dig, but having a 100 base power physical move that hits Poison- and Electric-types for super effective damage affects the performance of basically anything (besides Nidoking/Nidoqueen, who cannot learn Dig for some reason). Most of the time it's better on something else on your team, though.

IMO TM Blizzard is somewhat wasted on Water-types simply because STAB Surf is better in most late-game match-ups besides Lance and the rival's Venusaur. If nothing else wants it it'll take it, but the TM is much better on something that cannot hit Ground-types for super effective damage otherwise (like Nidoking).
Ice Beam on the other hand helps Wartortle through Grass- and Flying-types when it needs it the most.

Bubblebeam on Nidoking/-queen in particular makes it less reliant on Ice Beam. Ice Beam on Nidoking is mostly used for Ground-types and Water Gun, while obliterating Rock/Ground, doesn't do enough vs. pure Ground-types. Again, Wartortle makes better use of it, but not having Bubblebeam is notable for the Nidos.
Clefable can work with basically anything anyway.

As a last thought: Seeing how ormal and Water are very powerful types and especially the Normal mons are somewhat diverse, running 2 Normals or 2 Water types is more likely/effective than you might think. Clefable and Raticate have very different purposes on a team, for instance; as would, say, Starmie and Kingler or Tentacruel and Gyarados.
 
Bruh Nidoking learns surf :3. Though i also had no idea nido lacks dig so perhaps bubblebeam has more merit than i give credit for, to hit random things like gastly if you lack thunderbolt as well.

I also disagree blizzard is pointless on water types when it lets water types obliterate an entire elite four member and the highest level enemy in the game (venusaur since we're talking about squirtle in this case) they otherwise struggle against. Considering the only use blizzard has from cinnabar onwards in boss fights are in lance and giovanni, i'd hardly say blizzard is a filler option. Its not like ground types r so much of a threat that you can't bulldoze through your way with strong stab moves. Esp with giovanni's dumb movesets
 
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Yep, gen 1 movepools (as well as gen 1 as a whole) are a weird beast and take a bit of experience to get used to.

"Somewhat wasted" was me being too harsh on TM Blizzard on Waters; let me rephrase it a little.
Giovanni, Lance and Rival are the three big fights where Blizzard is useful (Rival's Venusaur/Eggy and Rhydon); STAB Surf obliterates half of that merit anyway while a Normal move helps contribute against everything else aside from Venusaur. Blizzard makes these match-ups a lot better so you will take it if it's not very contested, but the TM potentially improves other mon's match-ups more drastically.
 
I really like these recent posts guys, keep it up!

I think my next run (whenever it happens) will likely run Squirtle. I’m also curious on Nidoking and Clefable.

Do you guys I should only test one to two S tiers in a run, or all of them (save maybe Alakazam, I think we all know that thing is broken) to see how they compare to each other? What are the moves each one NEEDS to run to be effective? I know testing them alongside each other might be a bad idea due to TMs being valuable in RBY.

And I think Jynx is S due to its sheer dominance, though A can be a thing since it is kinda late-ish.
 

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