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

For what it's worth, I'd definitely concur that Squirtle is A tier as opposed to S. Whilst its usefulness never really waivers, it doesn't have that explosiveness that other S-tier Pokémon have (although its close). It's biggest issue is sharing TMs really; whilst Surf and Strength are solid moves they're just that. If you give it Dig or Earthquake its effectiveness improves drastically, but not to the sheer power the likes of Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Alakazam, Kadabra and Clefable get. I'd actually go as far as saying S tier should be Nidoran-M, Clefairy and Abra only. Its been a long time since I did a run-through with Clefairy, but Abra and Nidoran-M are both just scary.

I'd personally not have any of the starters lower than A for that matter, but I know that there's been excessive debate on Bulbasaur and completely understand the decision to place him in B.

Hitmonchan I agree needs to be in D. Its only STAB move is Submission which means it suffers from a continuous need to be fed Potions. It may come at a high level but it requires your own Pokémon to be either Kadabra/Alakazam or high leveled themselves to get him. Yeah, it's got good attack and speed but it gives you absolutely no reason to waste good TMs (that it needs) on it and not other Pokémon you'd be training at the time.

I question whether Farfetch'd should be in B; I'd have felt C at most? I've tried it before and ditched it quickly as I didn't particularly enjoy using it. Sure, it gets boosted EXP and perma-crit Slash, but I often just end up carrying it along for Cut and Fly. I may give this another try as I'm on leave and plan on playing through Blue again but I severely doubt its in-battle effectiveness with such low stats.
 
I feel that Submission sucks even for most Fighting-type pokes, but Hitmonchan might not have anything better. Doesn't learn Hyper Beam iirc, Body Slam is probably less frustrating than Submission but a lot weaker without STAB, Mega Kick is equally strong as STAB Submission but even less accurate...

The bonus experience and good STABs (at least up until the E4) go a long way for Farfetch'd. I consider it a little better than Spearow (and, being traded from Spearow, it also can benefit from Spearow's good early game) and a little worse than Doduo. You're not the first to mention Cut/Fly but I actually think that's a moot point since you basically don't need Cut after you get Fly, and you can catch a flier effortlessly as soon as you get HM02 (it's not like some games where you need like six HMs within Victory Road). I do think Farfetch'd is B tier (or at least whatever tier Spearow will end up in) by its merits as a traded poke.
 
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I feel that Submission sucks even for most Fighting-type pokes, but Hitmonchan might not have anything better. Doesn't learn Hyper Beam iirc, Body Slam is probably less furstrating than Submission but a lot weaker without STAB, Mega Kick is equally strong as STAB Submission but even less accurate...

The bonus experience and good STABs (at least up until the E4) go a long way for Farfetch'd. I consider it a little better than Spearow (and, being traded from Spearow, it also can benefit from Spearow's good early game) and a little worse than Doduo. You're not the first to mention Cut/Fly but I actually think that's a moot point since you basically don't need Cut after you get Fly, and you can catch a flier effortlessly as soon as you get HM02 (it's not like some games where you need like six HMs even)
Has nothing better. It's only Fighting move, bar Counter, is Submission. Normal is common too so it sorely misses that usable fighting STAB.

That's the thing with Farfetch'd. It makes an awesome HM slave and isn't missing a moveslot for Cut as doesn't have anything else really. You don't want to use Swords Dance if you're relying on Slash, so it literally has Fly, Cut, Slash and filler perhaps.. Peck?
 
Well I am probably biased because I just irrationally hate Submission but there are Fighting pokes like Machamp who could run EQ/Dig instead of a Fighting move and be just fine. But Hitmonchan is just very sad.

There's a couple ways to fill up Farfetch'd's moveslots. Bslam/SD/Slash/Fly is not synergistic but if you can spare the Bslam TM it does let Farfetch'd clear routes quickly with Slash but also set up against bosses. For further setting up you could swap Slash for Agility and do Bslam/SD/Agility/Fly which iirc is good against the champion (whereas non-agility Farfetch'd risks dying to Zam). Cut/Fly/Slash/SD isn't bad if you want to give it the HMs. It is kind of weird that Farfetch'd of all things suffers from 4-move syndrome in-game but it does have a lot of moves that give it a small but concrete advantage in certain situations.
 
Well I am probably biased because I just irrationally hate Submission but there are Fighting pokes like Machamp who could run EQ/Dig instead of a Fighting move and be just fine. But Hitmonchan is just very sad.
Uh, Submission isn't exactly an irrational hate. Move sucks and you seem forced to use it outside of Hitmonlee (I don't have much experience with Gen 1 Fighting types).

Moves with 80 accuracy and recoil have never been appealing in-game. For the former, see pre-Gen VI Rock Tomb (also 80 accuracy) and for the latter - see Double-Edge - save for Rock Head users, nobody is using it over Return.
 
Well I am probably biased because I just irrationally hate Submission but there are Fighting pokes like Machamp who could run EQ/Dig instead of a Fighting move and be just fine. But Hitmonchan is just very sad.

There's a couple ways to fill up Farfetch'd's moveslots. Bslam/SD/Slash/Fly is not synergistic but if you can spare the Bslam TM it does let Farfetch'd clear routes quickly with Slash but also set up against bosses. For further setting up you could swap Slash for Agility and do Bslam/SD/Agility/Fly which iirc is good against the champion (whereas non-agility Farfetch'd risks dying to Zam). Cut/Fly/Slash/SD isn't bad if you want to give it the HMs. It is kind of weird that Farfetch'd of all things suffers from 4-move syndrome in-game but it does have a lot of moves that give it a small but concrete advantage in certain situations.
You wouldn't want Swords Dance and Slash as Gen I mechanics ignore the attack boost from Slash when calculating the damage. It'd only be useful for Body Slam and Fly, but there's so many better things that want Body Slam than Farfetch'd.

Agility is probably better for that reason but is Farfetch'd surviving that much to utilise it? Probably not. Crit-Slash, HM slave and fast EXP are probably the things it has going for it.

For that matter, Zubat in D too I concur with, if anything I'm being too generous. I cannot explain the hatred I have for him until he gets Bite and even then it doesn't do anything. Wing Attack only having 35 base power in Gen I hurts especially hard as that's its strongest STAB move. Even as a Golbat it's just.. there. Only benefit is that it can't be poisoned.
 
Yeah the Slash/SD incompatibility sucks, my point wasn't so much that a moveset like Bslam/Slash/Fly/SD is elegant (it isn't ), but that there are ways for Farfetch'd to put its fourth moveslot to some use without it being Cut.

I actually think Farfetch'd is an alright candidate for Bslam--it gets STAB, which makes its Bslam stronger than just about anything that doesn't get STAB (for instance, Bulbasaur is pretty sad without Bslam but its Bslam is a lot weaker than Farfetch'd's). There's also the question, which I've avoided getting too into, of whether Farfetch'd gets all of its extra exp itself (in which case it is several levels higher and its Bslams are not only alright, but actively really good) or whether the exp. is given to its teammates (in which case Farfetch'd has boosted its teammates power by quite a bit and deserves credit for it, but wouldn't be quite as interesting a recipient of Bslam).

though ofc the point stands that Body Slam is a high-demand TM that Farfetch'd won't always get
 
OK finally getting to my run! Running Pikachu, Bellsprout, and Vulpix (and will catch Omanyte soon).

I picked Squirtle as my starter, so my rival will have Gyarados, Growlithe, and Bulbasaur as his elemental mons.

I mostly followed the practice suggested earlier in the thread about clearing out all the trainers on routes and fighting Gym Leaders more or less asap, though that left Pikachu and Bellsprout fairly overleveled, so I left some trainers/routes for Vulpix to train on.

CERULEAN RIVAL
Pikachu: I forgot to take notes but I don't remember this being too hard. Pikachu is a little overleveled from being the only Pokémon on my team at this point. It's nice to have type advantage against Pidgeotto. Bulbasaur can be beaten with Mega Punch but might be tricky if you didn't give it to Pikachu.

MISTY
Pikachu: depends a little on Misty not picking Bubblebeam and/or critting but generally Pika 4HKOs Starmie and can often survive long enough to win.

Bellsprout has a couple different plans of attack with Vine Whip/Growth and with Poison Powder/Wrap. Neither really solos Misty at Bellsprout's catch level, but it should contribute even then, and presumably at higher levels the fight becomes trivially easy (though I didn't test it).

SS ANNE RIVAL
Pikachu (28) has been taught Seismic Toss and can sweep pretty easily with it and Thundershock.

Bellsprout (25) has evolved and can set up against Pidgeotto or Raticate with Growth.

Pidgeotto's Sand Attack can complicate either Pokémon's sweep but generally they both succeed.

LT. SURGE
Pikachu (29) sweeps with Seismic Toss/Mega Punch

Bellsprout (26) sweeps with Vine Whip (you can also make it smoother/easier with Growth or even Sleep Powder)

ROUTES SO FAR
Pikachu is great, though it is also true that I've given it all it wants and it is overleveled due to not sharing much exp. early on. Thunderbolt and Seismic Toss have a lot of PP and beat everything quickly (most Ground Pokémon are not very threatening at this point). Thunderbolt OHKOs enemy Slowpokes, which is a very nice benchmark to hit.

Weepinbell, on the other hand, is constrained by that awful 10 PP Vine Whip. There are some Grass, Bug, and Poison-types that make it use Wrap, also, which is inaccurate, slow, and annoying. Overall it is more or less acquitting itself, though, and I'm satisfied that it 2HKOs (almost 1HKOs) enemy Slowpoke and doesn't take too much damage from their Confusions.
EARLY POKEMON TOWER RIVAL
I decided to fight Pokemon Tower rival early just to see how it goes.

Pikachu (33) can sweep trivially. OHKOs everything but Ivysaur with Thunderbolt/Mega Punch. Ivysaur was a 2HKO with Mega Punch or a 3HKO with Seismic Toss.

Weepinbell (31) can sweep too, but requires some luck. Sleep Powdering the Pidgeotto and Growthing up works, but sometimes Pidgeotto will still get Sand Attacks on you and that can mess everything up.

This match is kind of a demonstration of how overleveled your team will be at this point in the game, especially if you don't have a full team.

I reset and will be doing this fight later, too.

VULPIX
I caught Vulpix at its highest level (18), gave it Dig, and then tried to feed it some early trainers I had saved for it (the route east of Vermilion).

Vulpix has a basic problem that is probably shared by most of the other pokes you can catch post-Rock Tunnel: it is below level 20, the enemies are about level 25, and its teammates are over level 30. I even kept a couple routes of Trainers unbattled so Vulpix could level up against them but even with Dig, it is very weak and struggles to beat the regular trainers.

ERIKA
Pikachu (35) 2-3HKOs everything with Mega Punch or Seismic Toss. Thunderbolt is a 4HKO IIRC. Whether Raichu sweeps depends a little on luck but generally it is in a good position to make a straightforward win.

Weepinbell (35) can also win easily with Wrap. There's probably a chance the enemy Victreebel paralyzes you and Wraps you back, but I didn't have that problem in my couple of tries.

Vulpix couldn't do it at level 24. After I beat Rocket Hideout, it was level 28, which was better. I gave it a couple tries and couldn't sweep, but Confuse Ray + Ember (or Dig) was alright as long as Victreebel didn't try to Wrap me.
ASSESSMENTS SO FAR
Pikachu with Thunderbolt feels like an A-tier Pokémon—a bit slow to start, but Thunderbolt is an amazing move. It'll probably have to be B-tier overall though due to its reliance on the TM.

Bellsprout isn't quite as good but I feel like it can generally pull its weight. B-tier feels right. The 10 PP of Vine Whip is annoying but I look forward to getting Razor Leaf and then, later, Swords Dance + Bslam/Hyper Beam.

Vulpix hasn't done anything yet; my hopes aren't high for it but we'll see how it picks up post Flamethrower.
 
And I finished the run!

KOGA
Fighting Koga a bit early; I skipped the trainers on Cycling Road / Silent Bridge so that I could save them for Omanyte, so I could probably have been a couple levels higher (especially with Vulpix)

Pikachu (40): The Hypno that Koga's trainer own are more difficult than Koga himself. Pikachu OHKOs the Koffing and 2HKOs Muk and Weezing.

Bellsprout (39): Bellsprout can make the sweep happen too but it's a little trickier. There are a few ways for Bellsprout to play this, but some combination of Sleep Powder and either Razor Leaf (2HKOs the Koffing, 4HKOs Muk and Weezing) or Mega Drain/Growth (you can set up against the first Koffing) should work with some luck.

Vulpix: at level 32, Vulpix can make some progress but will usually lose to Muk. The problem is all of its ways of setting up (Confuse Ray, Tail Whip) take a lot of turns to set up, during which Koffing can Smokescreen and Muk can Minimize. You could use X Accuracy if you really wanted to, but Koffing and Muk's attacks do non-trivial damage as well.

I Rare Candied Vulpix up to 35 to get Flamethrower and evolve, and Ninetales has a much easier time. Flamethrower 2HKOs Koffing and 3HKOs Muk and Weezing. With a few more levels it could have hit Pikachu's OHKO/2HKO benchmark, but I am running Vulpix a few levels low to represent the difference in catch level (Pikachu/Bellsprout were over level 30 when I caught Vulpix at level 18 so it does have a big deficit to overcome). It is nice to see a glimpse of a Fire Pokémon doing something semi-decent; we'll see how long that continues.

SILPH RIVAL

Pikachu (44): OHKOs Pidgeot, Gyarados, and Growlithe with Thunderbolt. OHKOs Zam with Mega Punch (or whichever other Normal-type coverage you use), 2HKOs Zam with Tbolt. 3HKOs Venusaur with Mega Punch or with Seismic Toss. Easy sweep.

Bellsprout (44): A couple ways to do this but should always be able to sweep. Sleep + Growth + Mega Drain against Pidgeot does the job slowly; Swords Dance + Hyper Beam is faster.

Vulpix (39): Gyarados just fails to OHKO with Hydro Pump so Ninetales actually has some chance of cheesing it (Confuse Ray, etc.). The other Pokémon go down pretty easily. Flamethrower just missed a 2HKO on Zam and a OHKO on Venusaur; another couple fights against Silph Co. trainers and I probably could have reached those benchmarks (also Ninetales can beat Zam with Tail Whip + Dig)

Omanyte (37): Not ready for a real test at this point. Beats Growlithe and, with some luck, Pidgeot, but loses to the rest.

If you give it a couple Rare Candies to reach level 40 and evolve, Omastar does better (in particular it's nice to be so bulky that even Zam doesn't scare you), though it has limitations that I suspect will continue to hold it back against the Elite Four. Namely, it doesn't resist Gyarados's Hydro Pump and it is slow and gets outsped by Venusaur. It probably could've done better against another Rival configuration (specifically if Rival picks Squirtle and doesn't have either the evolved Gyarados or the dangerous Grass moves of Venusaur) but, somewhat to my surprise, it's the worst on the team at this point even if I give it a few extra levels and let it evolve.


SABRINA

Pikachu (48): I'm still a little surprised at how overleveled I am. I haven't done anything unusual in this run, I swear! Just fought all the trainers. Anyway, Pikachu sweeps Sabrina without too much difficulty. Thunderbolt 2HKOs each of her Pokémon and Mega Punch will OHKO the Kadabra (Hyper Beam would probably OHKO the Mr. Mime and Zam as well, and maybe the Venomoth too). You can get unlucky in this fight (in one try, Zam proc'd confusion and I almost fainted) but usually Pikachu should be able to solo this at this level.

Bellsprout (47): Sleep Powder + Swords Dance + Hyper Beam is, as usual, a boss killer. You can go far just spamming Razor Leaf, too; 2HKO on Kadabra and Zam, and OHKO on Mr. Mime. Victreebel doesn't survive too many super-effective moves, though (even though Zam opts for Psywave and Reflect a lot).

Vulpix (43): Vulpix can go the distance here too, though it requires some luck against Zam. Dig OHKOs Kadabra. Flamethrower OHKOs Venomoth and 2HKOs Mr. Mime (and 2HKOs Kadabra). Zam is the main problem and can go down to two Digs (or one Tail Whip + one Dig), but he can cause problems with Reflect, Psybeam confusing you, etc.

Omanyte (40): And Omanyte yet again has the worst showing! A combination of moving second and not being able to OHKO Venomoth is the problem. Vulpix will get hit only twice before reaching Zam, whereas Omanyte will get hit six times. I wasn't able to complete a sweep with it.

I'm surprised since I expected Omanyte to be very good, but the speed is a real problem.


BLAINE

Not going to do a whole write-up, but yeah every poke including Victreebel can sweep him (Victreebel needs to status or set up though) because Blaine sucks. Raichu is best because it's faster and reaches almost the same KO benchmarks as Omastar, but they're all good enough.

Blaine's ability to Super Potion during Fire Spin is a unique frustration when trying to beat him with a Grass poke lol


GIOVANNI

Another easy Gym Leader; my Raichu (and its Mega Punch + Seismic Toss) couldn't beat him but probably would've been able to with Double Edge or Hyper Beam to OHKO Dugtrio (or even just another couple levels—its Mega Punch just barely misses the OHKO), whose Dig was its only problem. And Ninetales can just spam Flamethrower.
PRE-E4 RIVAL

Pikachu (52): I went ahead and taught it Hyper Beam as well, and along with Thunderbolt and Seismic Toss, it can sweep. You need Hbeam for Zam and Seismic Toss for Rhyhorn. Stoss 3HKOs Venusaur (I think 1 Stoss and 1 Hbeam barely misses the KO).

Bellsprout (51): Swords Dance + Hyper Beam (Razor Leaf against Rhyhorn) can sweep unless Zam (who moves first) gets a crit Psychic. Alternatively you can Razor Leaf everything (using Sleep Powder if you want to make things smoother) and if you reach Zam with more than half health, you can OHKO it with an unboosted Hyper Beam. Without Hyper Beam or some other boosted Normal move, I don't think Bellsprout can sweep consistently. Venusaur will always try to Poisonpowder you so you are guaranteed to beat it.

Vulpix (47): it can't get past Gyarados consistently (though you can get lucky with Confuse Ray and Hydro Pump hax). Otherwise it's pretty good against the rest.

Omanyte (46): its old problems of moving second and not resisting Water continue. Gyarados can sometimes beat it, and if it doesn't, Zam will finish it off, and if you're lucky enough to get past Zam, Venusaur will move first and OHKO you.

LORELEI

I applied Rare Candies before the Elite Four.

Pikachu (56): Easy sweep. Thunderbolt OHKOs the first three Pokémon and 2HKOs Jynx and Lapras. Jynx can be OHKOd by Hyper Beam.

Bellsprout (56): Bellsprout hits the same KO benchmarks as Raichu. It has a little less room for error due to its weakness to Ice, but can still survive one Lapras Blizzard.

Vulpix (53): Vulpix can actually sweep with some luck (requires Confuse Ray hax or Hydro Pump misses from Lapras, not getting Clamped too hard by Cloyster, etc.). A very pleasant surprise.

Omanyte (51): It's actually still the worst here! It can't get past Dewgong at all (it spams Rest), and Lapras kills it faster with Hydro Pump than it can kill Lapras in return.

AGATHA

Agatha is the most hax-y of trainers. Will your Pokémon all kill themselves in confusion? Or will Agatha's put you to sleep with Gengar, then switch to Golbat and use Haze to wake you up? Surprises at every turn.

Not gonna do write-ups here but generally Raichu > Ninetales >> Omastar > Victreebel.

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A propos of nothing, here are some screencaps with Water-types I hacked into my team for comparison's sake (incidentally, I also used codes to make sure all my pokes' IVs were the same). Omastar's the strongest Water-type poke in its exp. group (Tentacruel has 5 points more Special but is a slow exp. mon), which I was embarrased to not notice before this run, but Omanyte has been pretty underwhelming so I dunno man

LANCE

Pikachu: it can still sweep, though it can get unlucky (basically if anything uses Hyper Beam). It's slower than Aerodactyl. Thunderbolt 3HKOs Dragonite; Seismic Toss + Hyper Beam will 2HKO the Dragonair.

Bellsprout: the usual boss killer stuff works (Sleep Powder and/or set up). if you're lucky, you can win by just spamming Razor Leaf. Lance's Dragonair and Dragonite will never touch you because they think Agility and Barrier are super effective.

Vulpix: bad matchups all around. Everything resists Fire, Gyarados threatens Hydro Pump, Vulpix is too frail to deal with Aerodactyl or Dragonite Hyper Beam.

Omanyte: Gyarados continues to cockblock it. But Omastar's ability to resist Normal and hit back with Surf and Ice Beam is great against the rest of the team. Even Dragonite's Hyper Beam does, like, no damage.

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Here is Omanyte's extra power making a difference (I didn't get a shot of Tentacruel but it barely misses the OHKO with Ice Beam, when its level is adjusted for its exp group). Notice also that both of them have taken one Hyper Beam; it only did 39 damage to Omastar.

CHAMPION RIVAL

Pikachu: can sweep with some luck against Venusaur (that it doesn't click Razor Leaf). Everything else goes down easy (including Rhydon to Seismic Toss). Zam gets OHKOd by Hyper Beam (3HKOd by Thunderbolt).

Bellsprout: another case where status and setup make the boss battle easy. Biggest challenge is hoping Zam doesn't crit you to death.

Vulpix: can't really beat Zam. Can't beat Gyarados without Cray hax.

Omanyte: as usual, pretty bad against Rival. Usually loses to Zam, Gyarados, and Venusaur, and only beats the easy pokes. C'mon Omanyte, I thought you were going to be good!


Ratings!

Pikachu: B. It does need Thunderbolt, but with Tbolt it was the best Pokémon on my team in almost every matchup (and it could overcome enemy Electric resists with Seismic Toss and other Normal-type moves). Would be A-tier if it could learn Thunderbolt by level-up (without being the unevolvable Pokémon Yellow Pikachu lol)

Bellsprout: B, Swords Dance and Sleep Powder is kinda broken. I'd like to run it again sometime without SD or Hyper Beam (maybe a Razor Leaf / Mega Drain / Growth / Sleep Powder set, or Razor Leaf / Body Slam / double powders or something).

Vulpix: .... C!? D?? Would want to do a run where it doesn't get Dig, which carried it a lot especially before it got Flamethrower. Once it got Flamethrower, its matchups were honestly not that bad. Always worse than Pikachu and usually worse than Bellsprout, but surprisingly better than Omanyte in a lot of fights. Maybe Fire (or at least Vulpix) isn't so bad after all.

I was looking at the current C and D-tier pokes to see where Vulpix should go and it's a little tricky since a lot of them will have to be resorted anyway, but for instance, there's pokes like Lapras and Krabby R whose low join level is, like, disqualifyingly bad; Vulpix has to be better than that! Or, for instance, Dratini, which has a sexier movepool than Vulpix, but never gets STAB and is basically a baby all the way until the Elite Four.

Omanyte: C. I was surprised at how bad it is, considering its stats. I thought its Normal resistance and high defenses would make it really sturdy; instead, its low speed meant it got hit by everything and its lack of Water resistance made it a bad answer to Gyarados, one of the key enemies in gen 1 Pokémon. Would it have been better if I had chosen Charmander as my starter and given it easier Rival fights? Probably. But it didn't really achieve much against the Elite Four, either. It has impressive stats but lacks the movepool options that differentiate other Water-types (like Starmie, Tentacruel, Poliwrath, Gyarados...) and doesn't have the Attack stat to hit too well physically (unlike Kingler, Kabutops, Gyarados), which could have helped against Lorelei and the various Alakazam fights.

That isn't to say Omanyte is horribad (getting a cost-free 95 power STAB on 115 Special has to be worth something just on its own!), but I think a late-game Pokémon needs to achieve more to be B-tier.

Aside: the revelation that Hyper Beam is possible to get (at least twice!) in a run is super interesting and I was thinking about the fairness of our investments in Pokémon. For instance, in this run, I gave an equal number of vitamins to everybody (well, Omanyte got some extra Carbos because it's slow). But if Hyper Beam is worth 110,000 pokebucks, isn't that about the price of eleven vitamins? So, like, if two pokes on your team get Hyper Beam, but two don't, maybe those other two "deserve" all the vitamins? (also, what concrete difference do vitamins make?) Anyway, food for thought.
 
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These logs are really insightful, great job Longfellow!
It's nice to see someone's efficiency takes on some of my casual playthrough mainstays (I've used all of Pikachu, Bellsprout and Vulpix multiple times)

You mentioned Krabby(R)'s low join level, by which I assume you mean level 15.
According to multiple sources (e.g. Bulbapedia), it is in fact possible to catch most evolved Seafoam mons (including Kingler) at level 23 on route 23 with the Super Rod regardless of being on Red or Blue version. The water here gives you a 25% chance each to hook Slowbro, Kingler, Seadra or Seaking and is accessible after you beat Erika (which should be close to given).
The Seafoam ´mons that cannot be caught via Super Rod are Golduck (which makes Psyduck(R) a victim of the lv. 15 syndrome) as well as the Water stone evolutions Cloyster and Starmie (which are not version exclusive though). Still, lv. 23 evolved should be able to contribute okay against the lv. 25-29 route/Silph mooks (especially if given TM Bubblebeam and/or other appropriate moves (Normal move, Ice Beam, Psychic) depending on the specific mon).
Once I am able to devote some time to my run again I will probably play Seadra this way to gauge how well the ´mon grinds up, how helpful it is in the pre-Surf phase and how this might affect some of the Water-types' overall rating.

As to how to gauge the Hyper Beam investment: I'd consider the first TM basically equivalent to other one-use TMs you get around Celadon (Ice Beam, Double-Edge, Psychic, maybe Rock Slide or Tri Attack). The second one does not make as much of a difference due to coming in late, but in general should still be more useful than pumping 11 vitamins into a ´mon.
 
This time I did a run in Pokemon Blue using Squirtle, Sandshrew, Abra, Dugtrio and Zapdos. Like the Articuno run, I almost only used Zapdos for testing with saving and resetting, so it got nearly no exp. I used the "trade evolutions at level 37 instead of trading", mentioned earlier in the thread (but to be honest, I can't remember more than like 2 times before evolving where just being Kadabra mattered).

One important sidenote: this playthrough made me realize just how much boosted trade experience matters. I fought significantly more trainers than in my last playthrough, but was still slightly under leveled by comparison at certain points. This is despite the fact I caught a level 31 Dugtrio. This experience makes me think that Jynx might really deserves S. The fact that it is so good by itself and eases up the grinding at the same time makes it seem like too much for an A tier.

Down there I give my analysis on their performance and talk about their respective boss fights.
The colors down there indicate how good or bad the pokemon is at something. From best to worst: Blue, Dark Green, Light Green, Yellow, Red.

Yeah, I think I'm sold on A. It is 100% the best mon there, with so many good to amazing match-ups throughout the whole game (pretty much everything besides Surge, Erika and Lorelei)... but it just lacks the sheer 1/2 hko prowess of Abra, Clefairy and Nidoran-Male. The Pokemon Tower is the most notable example of this, since without Dig the Gastly and Haunters can be a bit annoying.

tms used: Mega Punch, (Seismic Toss was tested for Misty), Bubblebeam, Body Slam (only since no one else needed it), Ice Beam, Surf, Earthquake, Blizzard

vs Brock (lvl 8): Best matchup in the game. Both mons are 2hkoed and can't do significant damage to you, even with critical hits. The fact you can win at such a low level means you can use other trainers to train another early game pokemon (Nidoran, Rattata, Pikachu...) much more efficiently.

Early Route Sweeping: Extremely good. It doesn't do quite as well as Charmander, who can roast all the bugs in the route after Brock's gym, but it is able to ohko the Geodudes and Sandshrews that some trainers have in Mt Moon, which can't be said for Charmander, while still beating down the bugs very easily.

vs Misty (lvl 21, no Seismic Toss used): 2hko and then a 6hko (because of the X Defend), with 1 potion used for safety. Now this is the expected, but the next attempt I think is more interesting.
vs Misty (lvl 21, with Seismic Toss): Seismic Toss 2hkos and then 3hkos. This performance is even better than Bulbasaur's, who 4hkod Starmie at the exact same level. With Seismic Toss not being a very contested tm (and one of the few Pokemon that wants it, Abra, being able to use it itself to beat Misty, as shown below), I think it's safe to say that Squirtle dominates this fight. Besides, its performance without it is still quite good.

vs Surge(lvl 22): Even without Dig it can very easily reach Raichu... but then it just dies.

vs Erika(lvl 31): Ohkod by Razor Leaf turn 1.

vs Koga (lvl 36, not using Earthquake tested against using it): Seems like having Earthquake for this fight doesn't actually make much of a difference, as it doesn't out damage Surf much. With no Earthquake it went: 2hko, 2hko (one crit), 2hko, gen 1 miss->Surf->Died to Selfdestruct (but a win is a win lol). With Earthquake it went: 2hko, 2hko (2 crits, but the second didn't matter), 2hko, gen 1 miss(yes, again...)->Died to Selfdestruct. Obviously not an amazing matchup, but it does 2hko its way through the matchup, even if it dies at the end to Selfdestruct.

vs Sabrina (lvl 37): 3hkod the Kadabra even with Sabrina healing. 2hkod (1 crit) Mr Mime. 3hko+1turn to cure paralysis against Venomoth. 3hko vs Alakazam (but I got lucky with Sabrina going for Psywave, otherwise Recover stalling or Reflect could have been annoying). I tested it twice and on the 2nd try it took a couple more turns to get past Reflect+Recover (Body Slam 100% mattered)- It does pretty decent overall, with Alakazam being the only real issue.

vs Blaine (lvl 38): 1hko, 1hko, 2hko, 2hko.

vs Giovanni (lvl 40): 1hko, 1hko, 1hko (crit mattered), 2hko (seems like a roll to 1hko), 1hko

vs Lorelei (lvl 46): Forget about fighting Lorelei, all your attacks just tickle her mons.

vs Bruno (lvl 46): it actually died to a High Jump Kick critical hit on the first try, but the second one was super smooth and everything got 1-2hkod besides the Machamp (3hko). It does seems like it can be a little risky.

vs Agatha (lvl 46, using Earthquake): 2hkod the Gengar, 2hkod the Golbat with Ice Beam (one crit, but one Blizzard or being slightly higher leveled would have allowed the 2hko anyway), 1hko on the Haunter, 2hko + 2 turns to cure paralysis vs Arbok, 2hko + 1 safety healing against the final Gengar. Not bad, but it clearly needs Earthquake to put up this performance.

vs Lance (lvl 46): If you beat Gyarados with another mon (like Zapdos), the rest of the fight is free. Hyper Beams from the Dragonairs don't come close to a 2hko, while you 2hko everything (Blizzard sadly just barely missed the 1hko on Dragonite, leaving it at red health). Surf is probably a 1hko on the Aerodactly, but I was so focused on using Ice moves I forgot I was using a water type lol.

vs the Champion (lvl 47): I didn't really test this fight individually, since he uses pokemons of very different types and you're always better off just switching, but it took out half health Alakazam (with a crit), Rhydon (1hko) and Arcanine (2hko).

Yeah, I don't think it's S tier at all. The fact that it's slow is actually quite annoying at times (the Pokemon Tower was especially obnoxious with all the status spam from faster Pokemon and in some fights like Sabrina it also makes a huge difference) and its coverage just isn't as dominant as what the S tiers have. However, Dig+Slash is really, really good with its attack, ground STAB and bulk combined, so A tier seems well deserved.

tms used: Dig, Swords Dance

vs Surge(lvl 22): 1hko, 1hko, 2hko (barely missed the 1hko because of Growl. One level higher and that would have killed I think).

vs Erika(lvl 31): Ohkod by Razor Leaf instantly.

vs Koga (lvl 36): 1hko, 1hko, 1hko. Dig only 2hkos the Weezing, so it died to 2 X Attacks+Selfdestruct, since it was slower. In retrospect, I should have just used Swords Dance turn 1, which would have enabled the 1hko at the end.

vs Sabrina (lvl 37): Swords Dance was used turn 1. 1hko, 1hko+1turn healing, against the Venomoth it took 8 turns of healing Hp and status+Full Para->gen 1 miss->heal->full para->heal->2hko (ouch...)- against the Alakazam it went full para->heal->2hko. Yeah, Venomoth just sucks for it. Being slow clearly hurt it a lot there. It also took over half from Kadabra's Psybeam, which means that it's not a very safe fight at all.

vs Blaine (lvl 38): 1hko, 1hko, 1hko (crit), 2hko. Worth noting that it lived a Fire Blast from Arcanine, which put it in pretty low yellow health. Worse than what the water types can do, since the lack of fire resistance can potentially be an issue.

vs Giovanni (lvl 40): Swords Dance turn 1. 1hko, 1hko, 1hko, 1hko (took barely any damage from Nidoking's Thrash), 1hko.

vs Lorelei (lvl 46): Aurora Beam almost killed it turn 1 as it setup Swords Dance. Then I got really, really lucky with random super potion usage and misses, but Slowbro stopped the fun. Even with all that luck it only got 2 kills.

vs Bruno (lvl 46): Swords Dance turn 1. 1hko, 1hko, 1hko (Jump Kick did very little damage), 1hko, 3hko (because of 2 X Defend).

vs Agatha (lvl 46): 1hkod the Gengar, 4hkod the Golbat with Slash (got really lucky with confusion, but Agatha decided to spam super potions for some reason), 1hko on Arbok, 1 turn sleep->1hko on the final Gengar, 1hko against Haunter. Being slow and getting unlucky with status can be annoying, but it does one shot 4/5 mons.

vs Lance (lvl 46): I started by beating Gyarados with Zapdos and then let it fight. Swords Dance turn 1. 1hko, 1hko, no Rockslide so I switched it out against Aerodactyl. Against Dragonite it lived a Hyper beam, which put it in red health. It needed to heal and then 5hkod. Yeah, it only does well against the 2 weakest enemies.

Yeah, this thing is nuts. It tears the game apart, doesn't need any demanded tms (though it appreciates early Psychic if no one else wants it) and a quick scroll through the colors below tells you all you need to know about its performance in key fights. The babying period is also almost nonexistent, since you can catch a level 12 one in route 25 (10% chance and you also have a 5% chance for level 10), who only needed 3 fights and 2 Rare Candies to become Kadabra and start ruining everyone's day. S tier for sure.

tms used: Thunder Wave, Seismic Toss, Psychic (to get early access to it)

vs Misty (lvl 20): 2hko with confusion. Then Thunder Wave->3hko with Seismic Toss + 1 potion used against Starmie. I did get lucky with no Bubblebeam being used and I definitely think that would have made things harder, so a light green seems more reasonable.

vs Surge(lvl 22): 2hko, 2hko with a paralyze heal used (would be a 1hko at a slightly higher level), 3hko.

vs Erika(lvl 31, already taught it Psychic): 1hko, 2hko, 1hko. Yeah, what you would expect.

vs Koga (lvl 37, Alakazam): It 1hkod everything besides the Weezing, but even that looked like a roll to 1hko.

vs Sabrina (lvl 38): Yeah, this is nowhere near an Articuno level performance (it 1hkod everything with Blizzard that playthrough). It just kind of 3hkos its way through the matchup (besides Venomoth). If it was slightly higher leveled Seismic Toss would've 2hkod Kadabra and Mr Mime though. Even with Thunder Wave, the Alakazam takes a while to kill because of Recover.

vs Blaine (lvl 39): Psychic seems like a roll to 1hko the growlithe and it just barely missed the 1hko on Ponyta. 1hko on Rapidash (crit), Psychic seems to be a roll to 2hko the Arcanine. I actually died to an unexpected crit Take Down at the end (Arcanine died of recoil), but between that and being under leveled for the fight, I think it's safe to say Alakazam should normally get all these kills.

vs Giovanni (lvl 40): Outspeeds and 1hkos everything besides Rhydon (2hko).

vs Lorelei (lvl 46): 2hko. 2hko. Thunder Waved and 4hkoed the Slowbro with Seismic Toss. Jynx took a while because of Thrash doing a decent chunk and potion spam from Lorelei. The Lapras was 3hkoed, but it's worth mentioning that it does a lot of damage to Alakazam.

vs Bruno (lvl 46): Out sped and 1hkod everything.

vs Agatha (lvl 47): Out sped and 1 or 2hkod everything.

vs Lance (lvl 48): Beat the Gyarados with some luck but then immediately died to Hyper Beam from the first Dragonair... Yeah, easily its worst performance in the entire game.

vs the Champion (lvl 48): It easily dispatched the Venusaur.

Wow, this is way worse than I remembered it being. Its performance against the Elite 4 is very underwhelming. On top of that, late game it wasn't getting the consistent route kills I expected it to, while taking too much damage from stray hits. If you catch a high leveled one like me that's nice, but nowhere near as good as just using a in-game trade mon with boosted experience, as I mentioned above. A tier at absolute best, but it honestly feels like a B tier to me, it's a lot worse than Charmander, Squirtle or Sandshrew (all A tiers).

The process of catching a Dugtrio with repel abuse (is it worth it?): First try I ran into a level 31 Dugtrio but realized I only had 3 pokeballs, so I reset and went to the mart to buy more (7 pokeballs and 1 great ball from the S.S. Anne). After that I spent 2:48 minutes finding and accidentally killing one with a crit Bubblebeam. 3:10 minutes to find and not get a catch with any of the balls. 4:14 minutes without finding anything so I reset the game. Then I found and caught one in 1:23min (luckily a level 31). So, excluding the dumb first try where I forgot to buy more pokeballs, it took 11:35 minutes. I think that might be worth it considering even the level 29 Dugtrio will be at least 7 levels higher than the best Digglet possible (and it's already evolved as well). Obviously this was just one test though, and it's more than possible that other people get different results or have different views on this.

tms used: Rock Slide

vs Surge(lvl 31): Out sped and 1hkod everything

vs Erika(lvl 31): Ohkod by Razor Leaf.

vs Koga (lvl 36): Everything was out sped and 1hkod... except the Weezing, who decided to Selfdestruct while Dugtrio was underground lol.

vs Sabrina (lvl 37): Well, it 1hkod everything besides Alakazam, who was still 2hkod. However, it crit both Mr Mime and Venomoth, which I'm pretty sure mattered. It is a pokemon with an extremely high crit rate, so you can't just discount it as luck, but it is a pretty unsafe fight, due to how squishy Dugtrio is.

vs Blaine (lvl 39): It 1hkod everything, but got a lucky crit against Arcanine. Since Sandslash nearly died to a Fire Blast, Dugtrio would 100% have died to one if it got unlucky, so it's not an entirely free fight.

vs Giovanni (lvl 39): Well, it 2hkod Rhyhorn and Dugtrio, while 1hkoing both the Nidos. However, both of those 1hkos were crits, and since its bulk is so poor it took way too much damage from Slash and had to heal. It also just died to Rhydon's Stomp (Dig would be a 3hko).

vs Lorelei (lvl 46): It died to a crit Aurora Beam instantly.

vs Bruno (lvl 46): It 2-3hko everything besides Machamp (4hko), but I think I got pretty lucky in terms of the attacks that got used against me. Jump Kick or High Jump Kick would've ruined Dugtrio for sure.

vs Agatha (lvl 46): Gengar got outsped and seems like a roll to 1hko. Golbat was super annoying with confusion and thanks to Dugtrio's bulk even Wing Attack was doing nearly half. It also just took its hits well. Haunter was 1hkod. Arbok and Gengar were 2hkod, but that second Gengar was faster. It can clearly win, but between confusion and its bulk there's a lot of risk involved.

vs Lance (lvl 46): Zapdos beat the Gyarados and then I sent it out... to die to an Hyper Beam from a Dragonair (Dig looked like a 3hko).

vs the Champion (lvl 48): It hit Alakazam once and got 1hkod in return.

To be completely honest, I'm not sure if it deserves A tier. It needs Thunderbolt to do its thing, arguably the most valuable tm in the game, and even then its performance is far from what Articuno does. For comparison, Articuno one shot every pokemon a gym leader threw at it (literally) and in terms of Elite 4 performance, it would get blue in everything besides Lorelei (red) and Agatha (same as Zapdos). I just feel that as a late-game boss killer, Zapdos is both demanding (Thunderbolt) and isn't quite as consistent as you want it to be (I blame the Rhyhorns, Rhydons and Onixes). I think B might be a better fit, but other people should test this too. It's really good at killing Gyarados though, I'll give it that.

tms used: Thunderbolt, Fly

vs Sabrina (lvl 50): It 1hkod everything.

vs Blaine (lvl 50): Rapidash lived a Thunderbolt at pretty low health. Arcanine was a 2hko. The others were ko'd and the fight went smoothly.

vs Giovanni (lvl 50): 4hkod the Rhydon. 1hkod Dugtrio. Nidos were 2hkod (got 1 crit on both, which may have mattered since it was doing about half normally). Drill Peck would be a 7hko on the Rhydon (I died before ditching the last hit, but that's my fault for letting its health get so low and not healing).

vs Lorelei (lvl 50): Dewgong lived Thunderbolt in red health. Cloyster and Slowbro both died to Thunderbolt in 1 hit. Jynx died to Drill Peck and Lapras was 2hkod. Probably one of the best matchups against Lorelei in the game.

vs Bruno (lvl 51): It 1hkos Chan and Lee, while 2hkoing Machamp. But it obviously has no business fighting the Onixes.

vs Agatha (lvl 51): Speed tied with the first Gengar and 2hkod, but had to cure sleep in 1 turn. Healed at Golbat and then one shot it. Arbok and Haunter were 2hkod. The last Gengar out sped and wasted a turn with confusion. Drill Peck 2hkod, but the crit mattered.

vs Lance (lvl 51): Gyarados is obviously a 1 shot. Dragonairs get 2hkod and Zapdos can live 2 Hyper Beams. It lived a crit Take Down at full health from Aerodactyl. Thunderbolt 1hkos. Dragonite got 2hkod, but the crit 100% mattered.

vs the Champion (lvl 51): It killed Pidgeot and Gyarados in 1 hit.
 
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Don't worry all, I'm still thinking about this list and reading posts. I'm waiting to compare my Charmeleon's Erika results with Turdterra (yeah, he's testing too) before moving onward, as I usually give updates after Pokemon Tower. Also, a week of burnout from the past two runs played a role.

Been using Charmander, Weedle, and Drowzee so far. Charmander I haven't been the biggest fan of but I expect it to pick up post-Slash, Weedle was awful until Twineedle at 20 then it finally got going, and once Drowzee gets Confusion at 17 it simply has steamrolled everything. Will elaborate in my upcoming post. Might get Hitmonlee and then maybe Tentacool as a rare fifth member.

Clefairy is still in the back of my mind; it will be tested next run. Definitely not a fan of the 6% rarity at best though - it's very possible to go through Mt. Moon and not see a single one. Also, Mega Punch is contested with 2/3 starters, though BubbleBeam/Dig could technically alleviate this. We'll see. Keep up the great work!

Also, it seems like we have reached a consensus on Squirtle in A - I'm happy to see this. Great mon but definitely not a game breaker. And I apologize for overhyping Sandshrew a bit - A also seems perfect for it.
 
I'm curious what you'll think of Drowzee. Somehow I've run it maybe only once ever and I don't remember being impressed, but it does seem like it should be very good just based on its typing/stats/learnset.

Clefairy keeps going back and forth in my mind between, like, "maybe S-tier is a small stretch" and "wow it's clearly the best poke in the game". The rarity sucks (though I don't think 6% Clefairy is that much worse than 15% Abra that teleports away) and it would really like Mega Punch (though Seismic Toss and Bubblebeam aren't bad second choices and it makes a great Body Slam user too). On the other hand, it has a very decent second half of the game compared to other S-tier candidates. Against Sabrina and the E4, I'd definitely take Clefairy over Nidoran and arguably over Abra (though maybe I'm underestimating late-game Abra--haven't run it in awhile, but I remember feeling like endgame Kadabra at least is good but not great like it is in midgame).

I'm inclined to defend Zapdos even if it doesn't get Thunderbolt on the basis of (1) its join level (which is ridiculously good, worth at least as much as the outsider bonus) and (2) its bad matchups tend to be the ones that almost anyone else can beat (Giovanni, Bruno, Rhydon) whereas it matches up well against more challenging enemies (Lapras, Gyarados, Alakazam, all three starters), making it a more useful addition to a team. I feel that Thunder is not *that* bad either, considering Zapdos is bulky and can usually deal with the misses (and if you really wanted you could use X Accuracy, though I hate using items in battle)

I'll try to get to another run. I might try to run something really bad like Zubat to try to lock in those bottom tiers
 
Just ran a charizard / victreebell / kingler / alakazam / clefable / nidoqueen team. Keep in mind that its six mons so all mons are lvl 47 before e4. Wom't comment much on kingler because i rare candied it to lvl 30 but i can't see it higher than c. Crabhammer is very late, its best normal stab is a tm and its bad special+bland movepool makes it bad against every boss not named bruno, blaine and giovanni.

I firmly stand by the fact that charizard should stay B no matter what. The main issue with zard is that its movepool is terrible. Up to lvl 33, its best moveis ember which can't even ko lower leveled bellsprouts and oddishes, leading to embarrassing moments when i have to run back to heal the status. Up to misty was fine but from that point on, charmeleon just doesn't cut it until about 10 lvls later when it gets slash. Thank god i taught it dig (i did test its stabs whenever i get the chance to know its digless potential)

Slash at lvl 33 is cool but without stab and with 84 attack, its nth special, you won't ko or even 2ko route evolved mons. Its about as strong as kingler's strength and it cannot hit rock+ghost types. Perhaps the worst is that flamethrower comes at lvl 46...i personally got it after giovanni. I didn't fight blaine first but now that i think about it, i should've got fire blast early to get through the late game easier.

Victory road charizard was really good until it fall hard in the e4. Now that blastoise is A, this thing has no place in the same tier as the behemoth.

Dig charmeleon is actually rather good and has a case to be put into A rank because anything with a 100 BP ground move is broken. But considering how contested dig is and how charmeleon is only borderline A with dig(dig cannot ko poisons after erika making slash the better choice 99% of the game from that point on) i feel it should be B rank.

Matchups-Mediocre as a whole
Brock: can beat geodude if AI derps.

Misty: lol

Surge: didn't test but no way its getting past raichu w/o dig. Heck with how weak ember is, i can see voltorbs sonic booms giving it trouble

Erika: Most disappointing part of the run when charmeleon can only beat tangela despite being two levels higher than victreebell and vileplume.

Koga: didn't test but slash zard seems iffy here to beat more than two mons due to the bulk. Dig zard should fare better tho.

Sabrina: finally a genuinely good matchup. Slash 2koes everything. Zam didn't use psybeam against me but i don't think it will 2hko.

Blaine: Growlithe, ponyta and rapidash didn't attack me in my three runs...even with slash, zard can solo arcanine. So excellent matchup if these fire types can't attack zard, good if they can.

Giovanni: fire blast is strong enough that zard can put in work here. Will usually ko only three due to everything not named dug surviving.

Lorelei: Everything not named jynx beats it.

Bruno: don't know if flamethrower koes onix cuz i critted them. The fighters r ez tho, they can't even fissure you.

Agatha: can beat arbok and golbat. Flamethrower is too weak that zard usually loses 1v1 against the ghosts. Even with dig, it was a gamble cuz dig only 2koes.

Lance: can live slam+hyper beam so it beats one dragonair. Everything else destroys it.

Blue: can beat pidgeot, arcanine, rhydon or exeggutor but usually not more than one of them becauee everything is 3hkoed (yes including exeggutor)


This was hard to write cuz victreebell was amazing throughout the run. Poisons were abundant, vine whip sucks, level 38 evolution sucks, it was reliant on hyper beam+sd+sleep but my god was it reliable.
Early game, you can eat everything slower with wrap+growth+sleep powder. Late game is the same with swords dance except you now have a 110 base power grass attack that destroys even poisons. The abundance of fishermans and hikers mean bellsprout never failed to get experience throughout the rub either. It was its weakest in rockets but even this can be taken care of with sleep+normal move/growth.

I'd say its performance was a level but all these drawbacks are unfortunate so i will settle bell for b rank.

Gym matchups:Great
Misty: sleep powder+vine whip, bell cannot lose even two levels lower than starmie

Lt surge: sonic boom is troublesome but pikachu and raichu can be beaten with growth+sp.

Erika:didn't bother

Koga:i peronally fought these three gyms rather late so it was already a victreebell when i sp+sd+hbeamed everything. I cannot see weepinbell unable to perform the same act against koga.

Sabrina:zam is impossible. Everything else can be beaten due to bell's high special.

Blaine: arcanine is impossible but everything else goes down the same.

Giovanni: no set up, just razor leaf

Lorelei: lvl 47 bell soloed the matchup with the combo, aurora beam+ 1 slowbro's water gun can be tanked so it can afford missing sp once and using razor leaf on the three waters. You need the boost glitch to outspeed jynx and lapras must be +4 hbeamed.

Bruno: ez

Agatha: nope

Lance: i don't remember if i set up on gyara or dragonair. you need 3 hyper beams tho so make sure to use an elixir. Aerodactyl's hyper beam+take down is tanked.

Blue: rhydon and eggy can be beaten, didn't test against arcanine. You need full hp and sleep powder to beat blastoise but razor leaf does 2hko.



This thing was absurd, easily outclasses queen, blastoise and clefable and its not even close. Physical mons r koed, special mons r tanked n 2koed. And to think you can get a zam at lvl 16....other than raichu, star(which zam beats), dragonite, blue's zam, eggy and blastoise, it 1v1ed everyone. Only lance stands a chance who can also be cheesed with reflect. Psychic mons are annoying tho but zam can easily 1v1 2 of them at a time.


Clefable to a rank, has issues in the mega punch phase when it only 2koed stuff. 2koing is fine and all until you remember mega punch's accuracy...it only become truly reliable after gaining body slam. I taught it submission, ibeam and psychic and it was good up till late game. But e4 was terrible. Even bruno wasn't a clean sweep due to machamp and hitmonlee. Lance was also iffy, having to choose which dragon it wants to beat due to its terrible speed and bulk.

E: i didn't know there were two moon stones before misty, smh


Tldr: zard b, bell b, zam s++, clef a
 
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Plague von Karma

Diolch am eich amser!
is a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcher
On the OP, when you go over game mechanics, this is a bit misrepresented.
Body Slam cannot paralyze Normal types.
This is part of a universal mechanic where Pokemon are unaffected by secondary effects of moves that are the same type. For example, Blizzard cannot freeze Ice-types, and Psychic cannot inflict Special drops on Psychic-types. This was intended, and is even talked about in Stad2.
 
On the OP, when you go over game mechanics, this is a bit misrepresented.

This is part of a universal mechanic where Pokemon are unaffected by secondary effects of moves that are the same type. For example, Blizzard cannot freeze Ice-types, and Psychic cannot inflict Special drops on Psychic-types. This was intended, and is even talked about in Stad2.
Correct on Body Slam. However, the move Psychic CAN inflict Special drops on Psychic types. I saw this on multiple occasions when I used Kadabra on opposing Alakazam last run.

Thanks for the info though!
 
Hada Yaba's run contradicts what I generally remember about Clefairy and Abra's endgames, so just to reassure myself that my memory isn't entirely addled, I used codes to build a team including Clefable, Kadabra, and Alakazam right at the Elite Four (with what I felt were reasonable DVs, EVs, and moves) and compared their damage output as directly as I could.

00 team.png

(I fucked up when putting in my codes when I made this screenshot and forgot to update Zam's stats from Kadabra's, hence why they have the same HP in this picture. I caught this mistake for the actual comparisons)

I did do the exp. rate thing I talked about earlier, which I don't want to get too into again, but I think it's right for this kind of as-direct-as-possible comparison between Pokémon. I chose Arbok as a reasonable lower point of comparison (a Pokémon that should definitely be worse than any of the others we're looking at), Articuno as a reasonable upper point of comparison (really it "should" be above level 50 by the way I do these runs exp-wise but that's not important here), and decided to look at Kadabra, Alakazam, Clefable, Starmie, and Wigglytuff (not shown above).

I assumed Staryu was caught when Arbok was level 35, explaining some of that extra level difference.

I chose low levels as per Hada Yaba's run but the comparisons should scale at higher levels (though obviously being able to reach certain KO benchmarks becomes valuable at different levels for different pokes).

Of course there's a LOT more that goes into a Pokémon's performance, such as TM usage, speed, crit rate, etc. (factors that tend to play in Kadabra/Alakazam's favor), so I'm not trying to say this is any kind of definitive comparison, but it can be a good first look at these Pokémon's power levels. And I think it shows that Clefable can hold up against the E4.

Arbok: EQ, Bslam, Fire Blast, Hbeam
Wigglytuff with only Bslam i.e. the worst possible Clefable (I could have given it Ice Beam or whatever, but I'm mostly looking at Bslam here, since Bslam Wigglytuff is roughly equivalent to a Clefable that gets no TMs and has to run Strength and is a useful point of comparison—this is about the worst a Clefable could be)
Clefable: Hbeam, Psychic, Ice Beam, Tbolt
Kadabra/Zam: Psychic (I could've run Seismic Toss/Dig/Bslam to do more damage against enemy Psychic pokes, didn't think of it here but that's another thing Abra can potentially improve upon from these screenshots)
Starmie: Surf, Psychic, Tbolt, Ice Beam
Articuno: Ice Beam, Fly, Hyper Beam

Attacking Dewgong

dewgong arbok.png
dewgong wigglytuff.png
dewgong articuno.png
dewgong kadabra.png
dewgong starmie.png
dewgong alakazam.png
dewgong clefable.png


The damage should scale for Lapras, which has the same typing and defense/special stats.

Attacking Jynx

jynx kadabra.png
jynx alakazam.png
jynx starmie.png
jynx arbok.png
jynx wigglytuff.png
jynx articuno fly.png
jynx articuno hyper beam.png
jynx clefable.png


First Articuno is using Fly, the second using Hyper Beam. Wigglytuff using Bslam, Clefable using Hyper Beam. This isn't really an important matchup but I figured I'd show it because it's actually a pain in the ass with low-level Kadabra/Alakazam (the Thrash/Body Slam are dangerous).

Surviving Lapras

01 lapras attack arbok.png
01 lapras attack kadabra.png
01 lapras attack clefable.png
01 lapras hydro alakazam.png
01 lapras bslam alakazam.png
01 lapras bslam starmie.png
01 lapras attack articuno.png


Some survival screenshots. These are all from Lapras's Hydro Pump/Blizzard except for the second Alakazam picture and Starmie (Lapras's Body Slam)

Attacking Gengar

gengar clefable.png
gengar articuno fly.png
gengar articuno ice beam.png
gengar starmie.png
gengar kadabra.png
gengar arbok.png
gengar alakazam.png


Gengar isn't a threat threat so much as a very big pain in the ass, and either way it's nice to be able to finish it off quickly. Alakazam is better than basically anybody at this matchup (being strong and also faster than Gengar)—in a higher-level run it probably gets the OHKO. I'm pretty sure the first Articuno is Fly and the second is Ice Beam but I might have gotten them mixed up. Also let's go EQ Arbok!

Attacking Gyarados

gyarados arbok.png
gyarados kadabra.png
gyarados wigglytuff.png
gyarados alakazam.png
gyarados articuno.png
gyarados starmie.png
gyarados clefable.png


Surviving Gyarados

01 gyarados hydro pump starmie.png
01 gyarados attack arbok.png
01 gyarados hydro pump kadabra.png
Pokemon Blue_04.png
gyarados alakazam.png
Pokemon Blue_03.png
Pokemon Blue_02.png
Pokemon Blue_01.png


From left to right: Starmie hit by Hbeam, Arbok hit by something (I forget, the damage should be similar either way), Kadabra hit by Hpump (Hbeam is an easy OHKO on both it and Zam), Clefable 1 hit by Hbeam, Alakazam hit by Hpump, Clefable 2 hit by Hpump, Articuno 1 hit by Hbeam, Articuno 2 hit by Hpump

Attacking Dragonite

dragonite arbok.png
dragonite wigglytuff.png
dragonite kadabra.png
dragonite alakazam.png
dragonite starmie.png
dragonite clefable.png
dragonite articuno.png


Having an Ice move makes a huge difference here. Note Kadabra fainting to Slam, of all moves :/

Attacking Alakazam

alakazam kadabra.png
alakazam alakazam.png
alakazam starmie.png
alakazam arbok.png
alakazam wigglytuff.png
alakazam articuno.png
Pokemon Blue_01.png


Having a good physical move is the key here. Wigglytuff's STAB Bslam should 2HKO; Clefable just misses the OHKO with Hyper Beam.

Surviving Alakazam

Pokemon Blue_03.png
Pokemon Blue_01.png
Pokemon Blue_05.png
Pokemon Blue_06.png
Pokemon Blue_01.png
Pokemon Blue_01.png


Arbok dies even to Psybeam.

Worth noting Articuno's superior survivability to Starmie despite Starmie's resistance. Another example of how good the legendaries' level + stats are.

Attacking Venusaur

venusaur wigglytuff.png
venusaur arbok.png
Pokemon Blue_02.png
Pokemon Blue_01.png
venusaur kadabra.png
venusaur alakazam.png
venusaur articuno.png


It's super effective!


It seems to me that a reasonable conclusion to draw from the above exmaples is that Clefairy has a better Elite Four than either Kadabra or Alakazam if it gets its favorite TMs, but is definitely worse without TMs (I think a reasonable "some but not all the best TMs" Clefable might be a smidge worse than Kadabra and Alakazam, but in the same ballpark, but of course that's trickier to assess).

I brought Starmie into the comparison because it's another highly regarded boltbeamer—it's A-tier in the OP. I kinda think that Clefable must be in a higher tier than Staryu (whether their tiers be S and A, A and B, S and B, etc.) considering it, with a nearly identical moveset, is almost strictly better than Staryu against the Elite Four (due to much better exp. rate and an arguably better typing for STAB), and then also has a whole early- and mid-game contribution.
 
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Hey, just wanted to chip in here -- should Pikachu in Yellow specifically not have its own separate entry? It's an incredibly dire Pokémon without evolution which at least in my mind makes it a very different Pokémon, and one that I think would end up on a lower ranking than RB Pikachu.
 
Hey, just wanted to chip in here -- should Pikachu in Yellow specifically not have its own separate entry? It's an incredibly dire Pokémon without evolution which at least in my mind makes it a very different Pokémon, and one that I think would end up on a lower ranking than RB Pikachu.
While I haven't used Pikachu in Yellow (yet) there are a few distinct advantages even if you can't get Raichu.
Compare learnsets:
Screen Shot 2020-08-11 at 7.48.52 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-08-11 at 7.49.12 AM.png

As you can see, Pikachu's moveset was vastly buffed from Red/Blue, most notably learning Thunderbolt naturally. That, when combined with the fact you don't have to look for a 5% encounter anymore, definitely makes it a good deal more capable than it looks on paper.

While I doubt it holds up later in the game, I think the free Thunderbolt and the Pikachu being just handed to you, even if it doesn't have the best matchups, might balance it out a little, as TMs are definitely valuable in Generation 1. I think the biggest problem is Yellow's increased level curve (remember, Koga throws a level 50 Venomoth at you, compared to his level 43 Weezing) which is less accommodating for less capable Pokemon.

I dunno though. I'll likely have to use it in both games at some point. Yellow Pikachu could maybe see a lower ranking, as pretty much every Electric outclasses Pikachu (remember, base 50 Special Attack) but at least you don't have to hunt for one and you can save a Thunderbolt TM.

Has anyone else used Yellow Pikachu the whole way through? If anyone has experience with it, that would be very helpful in judging it compared to Red and Blue.
 
I know about Free T-bolt, yes. It is nice on paper, but RB Pikachu normally gets it around the same time from Surge's TM (I know TMs are valuable, but if you're using a Pikachu in the first place, you're probably designating that your electric move user). Otherwise as you say, its stats are a major hindrance and cause it to be of little use in battle.

Still, besides the point of how much worse unevolved Pikachu is; the main point was that they're very different Pokémon regardless and should really have separate entries, like how we give trade evolutions two separate entries.
 
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Hada Yaba's run contradicts what I generally remember about Clefairy and Abra's endgames, so just to reassure myself that my memory isn't entirely addled, I used codes to build a team including Clefable, Kadabra, and Alakazam right at the Elite Four (with what I felt were reasonable DVs, EVs, and moves) and compared their damage output as directly as I could.

View attachment 267939
(I fucked up when putting in my codes when I made this screenshot and forgot to update Zam's stats from Kadabra's, hence why they have the same HP in this picture. I caught this mistake for the actual comparisons)

I did do the exp. rate thing I talked about earlier, which I don't want to get too into again, but I think it's right for this kind of as-direct-as-possible comparison between Pokémon. I chose Arbok as a reasonable lower point of comparison (a Pokémon that should definitely be worse than any of the others we're looking at), Articuno as a reasonable upper point of comparison (really it "should" be above level 50 by the way I do these runs exp-wise but that's not important here), and decided to look at Kadabra, Alakazam, Clefable, Starmie, and Wigglytuff (not shown above).

I assumed Staryu was caught when Arbok was level 35, explaining some of that extra level difference.

I chose low levels as per Hada Yaba's run but the comparisons should scale at higher levels (though obviously being able to reach certain KO benchmarks becomes valuable at different levels for different pokes).

Of course there's a LOT more that goes into a Pokémon's performance, such as TM usage, speed, crit rate, etc. (factors that tend to play in Kadabra/Alakazam's favor), so I'm not trying to say this is any kind of definitive comparison, but it can be a good first look at these Pokémon's power levels. And I think it shows that Clefable can hold up against the E4.

Arbok: EQ, Bslam, Fire Blast, Hbeam
Wigglytuff with only Bslam i.e. the worst possible Clefable (I could have given it Ice Beam or whatever, but I'm mostly looking at Bslam here, since Bslam Wigglytuff is roughly equivalent to a Clefable that gets no TMs and has to run Strength and is a useful point of comparison—this is about the worst a Clefable could be)
Clefable: Hbeam, Psychic, Ice Beam, Tbolt
Kadabra/Zam: Psychic (I could've run Seismic Toss/Dig/Bslam to do more damage against enemy Psychic pokes, didn't think of it here but that's another thing Abra can potentially improve upon from these screenshots)
Starmie: Surf, Psychic, Tbolt, Ice Beam
Articuno: Ice Beam, Fly, Hyper Beam

Attacking Dewgong

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The damage should scale for Lapras, which has the same typing and defense/special stats.

Attacking Jynx

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First Articuno is using Fly, the second using Hyper Beam. Wigglytuff using Bslam, Clefable using Hyper Beam. This isn't really an important matchup but I figured I'd show it because it's actually a pain in the ass with low-level Kadabra/Alakazam (the Thrash/Body Slam are dangerous).

Surviving Lapras

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Some survival screenshots. These are all from Lapras's Hydro Pump/Blizzard except for the second Alakazam picture and Starmie (Lapras's Body Slam)

Attacking Gengar

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Gengar isn't a threat threat so much as a very big pain in the ass, and either way it's nice to be able to finish it off quickly. Alakazam is better than basically anybody at this matchup (being strong and also faster than Gengar)—in a higher-level run it probably gets the OHKO. I'm pretty sure the first Articuno is Fly and the second is Ice Beam but I might have gotten them mixed up. Also let's go EQ Arbok!

Attacking Gyarados

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Surviving Gyarados

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From left to right: Starmie hit by Hbeam, Arbok hit by something (I forget, the damage should be similar either way), Kadabra hit by Hpump (Hbeam is an easy OHKO on both it and Zam), Clefable 1 hit by Hbeam, Alakazam hit by Hpump, Clefable 2 hit by Hpump, Articuno 1 hit by Hbeam, Articuno 2 hit by Hpump

Attacking Dragonite

View attachment 267996View attachment 268001View attachment 267999View attachment 267995View attachment 268000View attachment 267998View attachment 267997

Having an Ice move makes a huge difference here. Note Kadabra fainting to Slam, of all moves :/

Attacking Alakazam

View attachment 268008View attachment 268004View attachment 268009View attachment 268005View attachment 268010View attachment 268006View attachment 268032

Having a good physical move is the key here. Wigglytuff's STAB Bslam should 2HKO; Clefable just misses the OHKO with Hyper Beam.

Surviving Alakazam

View attachment 268012View attachment 268034View attachment 268014View attachment 268015View attachment 268017View attachment 268021

Arbok dies even to Psybeam.

Worth noting Articuno's superior survivability to Starmie despite Starmie's resistance. Another example of how good the legendaries' level + stats are.

Attacking Venusaur

View attachment 268029View attachment 268023View attachment 268033View attachment 268031View attachment 268027View attachment 268022View attachment 268024

It's super effective!


It seems to me that a reasonable conclusion to draw from the above exmaples is that Clefairy has a better Elite Four than either Kadabra or Alakazam if it gets its favorite TMs, but is definitely worse without TMs (I think a reasonable "some but not all the best TMs" Clefable might be a smidge worse than Kadabra and Alakazam, but in the same ballpark, but of course that's trickier to assess).

I brought Starmie into the comparison because it's another highly regarded boltbeamer—it's A-tier in the OP. I kinda think that Clefable must be in a higher tier than Staryu (whether their tiers be S and A, A and B, S and B, etc.) considering it, with a nearly identical moveset, is almost strictly better than Staryu against the Elite Four (due to much better exp. rate and an arguably better typing for STAB), and then also has a whole early- and mid-game contribution.
Very late because i didn't check the thread but from yr logs,i still can't see how clef is comparable to zam at end game, let alone being considered good there. For starters, clef uses 4 tms here and psychic+tbolt is some of the most contested tms in the game.

Lorelei:As i mentioned i used submission not tbolt, but using up one of the most valuable tms in the game already put clef on a back foot when comparing to zam. Zam's reflect+recover allows it to possibly get a sweep here but without tbolt, clef will be lucky to take on more than slowbro+jynx. Even with tbolt,i still can't see clef taking on more than 3 mons cuz of the damage stack

Bruno:as i mentioned machamp and hitmonlee can ko clef. Zam clean sweeps

Agatha:you yourself mentioned zam is leagues better here cuz for starters,it outspeeds everyone meaning you have very limited chances to get confuse rayed/hypnoed. Clef on the other hand only 3koes the ghosts with psychic meaning even the first gengar has a chance to 1v1 clef with night shade (56×3=168hp). And thats with psychic and discounting the bullshit in this matchup

Lance: speed is key here. As i mentioned again, clef has a hard time beating the dragons cuz it gets outsped n only 2hkoes meaning it can practically not ko more than one mon(maybe 2 with bad ai) without potion usage. Also it needs tbolt to takeon gyarados. Zam on the other hand can recover+reflect meaning it can at least reliably ko the dragons n depending on lvl take on nite/ gyarados as well.

Blue: i didn't test here but i assume clef can take on rhydon and one of gyar(with tbolt)/ arc / pidgeot. Zams speed mean you can revenge kill everyone plus take on rhydon, arcanine, pidgeot, venusaur.

As far as i can see, even with every tm it wants fed, clef seems objectively worse than zam in the end game. With my moveset (bslam, psychic, ice beam, submission so an invested clefable), you can take on the two lorelei fillers, half of bruno, two agatha fillers, one lance mon n two blue's mons. I personally can't call this a good matchup against e4. Tbolt will improve it but in this case, this clef is just way too fed to be true.

Unless you count recover as potion usage, personally i don't see it this way, just like how setting up is different from x item usage.
 
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Hmm, I'm probably underestimating the speed difference. Also I have also been following the suggestion earlier in the thread that we should run four pokes and fight every trainer, which gives you a party that's in the 50s (especially after giving away your 12 rare candies), with Clefairy around level 60. With your lower leveled mons, you get outsped more, and having an excellent speed stat like Zam's is more valuable.

(I know I did those damage comparisons at the lower levels but I didn't actually test test the mons there, so my understanding still generally comes from my other level 50-60 runs and tests)

I quickly tested my level 60 boltbeam Clefairy with slightly-above-average DVs against Lance, and it outspeeds and OHKOs everything but Aerodactyl (where it is slower and barely misses the OHKO), and can survive two Dragonite Hyper Beams. An Alakazam with the same exp points and DVs 2HKOs the Gyarados, sometimes fails to OHKO the Dragonair, and sometimes fails to 2HKO the Dragonite. That's the kind of performance I have in my head when I'm talking about how good (TM-pumped) Clefairy is. And that's probably due to my higher-leveled perspective.

Of course, if we wanted to restandardize our tests to be at lower levels (closer to 45-50 than to 50-60), I'd be happy to, and that would certainly bring my tests/observations closer to yours.
 
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On Clefable vs Alakazam at the Elite 4: In my recent 2 runs I used both and this is how they did (both level ~46, Clefable has Strength, Thunderbolt, Bubblebeam, Thunder Wave; Alakazam has Psychic, Psybeam, Seismic Toss, Thunder Wave). Also retested some stuff with Clefable now, since I hadn't fully tested it against every Elite 4 member. Some copying from what I wrote before, but it's better to visualize them side by side anyway.

Lorelei
Alakazam (lvl 46)
: 2hko. 2hko. Thunder Waved and 4hkoed the Slowbro with Seismic Toss. Jynx took a while because of Thrash doing a decent chunk and potion spam from Lorelei. The Lapras was 3hkoed, but it's worth mentioning that it does a lot of damage to Alakazam.
Clefable (lvl 46): 3hkos Dewgong, Slowbro and Jynx. 2hkos Cloyster. Takes almost no damage from Jynx, but it can die to a crit from Lapras' special attacks (Alakazam lived one with 1HP, so it's not exactly much safer).
Clefable = Alakazam: Well, they both have issues with Lapras. Alakazam is tiny bit faster in terms of kills, but ends up wasting that time healing Thrash damage from Jynx anyway, so I'd say they're even

Bruno
Alakazam (lvl 46):
Out sped and 1hkod everything.
Clefable (lvl 47): Yeah, Clefable just loses to stuff like High Jump Kick. The Onixes get 1hkod though.
(Alakazam >>> Clefable)

Agatha
Alakazam (lvl 47):
Out sped and 1 or 2hkod everything.
Clefable (lvl 47): With no Psychic, nothing you have does enough damage to get clean kills.
(Alakazam >>>> Clefable, but Clefable didn't have Psychic, otherwise Clefable would do reasonably well in the fight)

Lance
Alakazam (lvl 48):
Beat the Gyarados with some luck but then immediately died to Hyper Beam from the first Dragonair... Yeah, easily its worst performance in the entire game.
Clefable (lvl 47): Tanks Hyper Beam from everything. Even with no ice move the Dragonairs are 3hkod by Strength. Gyarados and Aerodactyl are 2hkod, while Dragonite is a 5hko.
(Clefable >> Alakazam)

So yeah, at that level I would say Alakazam is better. Even if Clefable had an Ice move and Psychic, it would still very likely perform worse. Alakazam's match-up against Lorelei is just as good, while the Agatha one is just incredible (these being the most annoying fights of the 4). But Clefable does quite well against the Elite 4 and I think the reason Hada Yaba thinks otherwise is the refusal to use any potions, which I would consider completely normal gameplay.
 

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