Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald In-Game Tier List Discussion

As someone who's used both, I would echo the sentiment that Breloom is overall a better Pokémon than Hariyama. Both are very good, but Hariyama noticely has an extremely strong start but falls off somewhere after Normal; while Breloom I just find a consistently good Pokémon throughout the game. A lot of this is really down to speed; Hariyama is simply a small Pokémon just exacerbated by Vital Throw's negative priority meaning it needs a lot more help to stay healthy than Breloom who sort of just speeds through enemy after enemy with its only weaknesses being a low special attack and Sky Uppercut having a chance to miss. It's not S-tier but it was certainly very helpful.
I'm an hour into my run and I've just reached rock gym town. Slowly being converted on S-rank Ralts because its early game is a lot better than I remember; there's a few random trainers it's struggled with (Lonely nature means its low defence has a bit more anxiety tied to it than usual) but mostly he's managed to handle it all pretty well. He's already Level 9 while my Torchic is 12 and I imagine if I go ahead and take down the Route 116 trainers early, we'll be good enough to take down Roxanne.

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I am Ryota Mitarai and this is my test run. I test here with my- yeah, nvm, not gonna work

Anyways, I have started a run with Treecko / Kadabra / Golem / Carvanha / Voltorb per discussions and suggestions.

After grabbing Treecko, I checked the IVs. It's hard to tell what they are exactly, but the ranges are high, so I'd assume they look fine

I used Treecko in some wild fights (those are great and easy way to gain Exp. very quickly) and reached level 8 before fighting the first trainer (Note that I did not specifically grind; I just fought whatever popped up while doing the story pre-Poke Balls).

since I am using only Treecko atm, mine reaches level 13 by the time I am out of Petalburg Woods. I avoid the trainers afterwards so I can dedicate them to Abra, whose IVs are the following:


Anyways, after obtaining Abra, I used it through switch-grinding against the trainers I had skipped and it reached level 9 by the time I was done. After doing Route 116 (bar the Cut area, which I cannot access yet), my Treecko ends at level 15 and Abra ends at level 12. I enter the Gym and switch-grind Abra there too so I can make sure I have a Kadabra before Brawly. My Treecko ends up evolving at the Gym, but I did a test run against Roxanne with both a Treecko and a Grovyle:

Treecko(15): If you do not evolve Treecko, you can take out easily only the Geodudes. Nosepass can be defeated through Bullet Seed, but is very RNG-y. Rock Tomb is a 3HKO on Treecko and after 2, Nosepass starts outspeeding. You need to get the exact amount of Bullet Seeds on two right moments. So I think we can say the matchup is still not bad, but I cannot say "Treecko is a reliable answer to Nosepass".
Grovyle(16): Mostly the same situation, but Grovyle is much more reliable. Nosepass is outsped even at -3, so you can spam Bullet Seed. 5 seeds put Nosepass in red from full, if you need some sort of calculations. Though if you spam Bullet Seed, you have a higher chance of beating Nosepass than as a Treecko, but you need it to hit more than 2 Bullet Seeds quite often.

as a whole, the Treecko line is good here and can at the very least dent Nosepass majorly.

After the Gym, I do the Cut area of Route 116 to give Abra some Exp. After being done with the Peeko quest, I face May. I don't know if I sohuld test her, but I did it anyways, please let me know if I wasted my time:

Grovyle(17): Absorb 3HKOs Lotad and Pursuit 3HKOs Torchic, neither prove a real threat, unless Torchic lands a crit Ember while in Blaze range (due to Focus Energy). Not a bad matchup.

I reach Dewford and manage to evolve Abra. I enter Granite Cave so I can find Geodude. Here are the IVs:


I enter the Dewford Gym after doing the Steven quest and decide to switch grind my level 7 Geodude there too, given that my levels are fine and I can give some Exp. to Geodude for later. I also used this as an opportunity to use Kadabra a bit.

I reach Brawly and here is my team:

Geodude - level 12, Grovyle - level 18, Kadabra - level 17. Geodude is obviously not gonna win so I didn't bother with it against Brawly.

Grovyle - I was thinking that the line may not be that bad... until it colossially disappointed me here. Grovyle needed RNG here for Bullet Seed to KO Machop on first place. Meditite is pretty much the only thing you are beating reliably. Machop 2HKOed me on rolls with +1 Karate Chop, which could also land a critical hit.

Kadabra - easy win here. It spams Confusion and even OHKOs Makuhita. Meditite is 2HKOed, but doesn't prove a threat.

on way for Slateport, I use Geodude here to grind it a bit. It did well against most Trainers, 2HKOing them at least. It gets to level 17 at the end, on par with my other team members (though Grovyle is still 18, but still).

I encounter May and decide to test her, cause better safe than sorry. Team is Grovyle (21), Kadabra(20), and Geodude(19), all levels obtained by Trick House and the trainers that were before May:

Grovyle - muscles through Lombre and Wingull with Bullet Seed (or Absorb if you need healing, but Bullet Seed can deal more damage).
Geodude - fails to beat anything, as it 2HKOs Combusken with Magnitude only. Lombre and Wingull are not good
Kadabra - easy win here. Spam Confusion (and later Psybeam) to obtain the win.

I do some of the nearby routes and everything is level 24, matching Wattson's Manectric. I have more routes to do, but I wanted first to theoritically see if my team will do well at like-levels:

Grovyle - beats Voltorb and Electrike, although it takes some time to do so. Manectric takes little damage from its attacks and damages it more instead. Magneton is super obvious. I wouldn't call this a spectacular matchup, seeing as it takes some time beat just Voltorb and Electrike.
Kadabra - not a bad matchup. Runs through Voltorb and Electrike easily with Psybeam. Manectric is 3HKOed by Psybeam (because of berry). Having Synchronize here is recommended, as it allows you to paralyze Manectric when Kadabra gets paralyzed. It tries to set up Howl. Kadabra manages to survive one +1 Quick Attack, so Kadabra wins this matchup as long as it doesn't get paralyzed and gives free turns to Manectric. Magneton is to be avoided.
Geodude - Easy win, spam Magnitude. The most dangerous move here is Supersonic, but once you get past Magneton, you've essentially won. So this is a really good matchup even if you don't evolve.

for most parts, the team did acceptable at like-levels. I decided to first finish off all Route trainers before "officially" fighting Wattson. Team members reached level 26, though that didn't change the matchups at all, so in the end, it doesn't matter what are your levels for these members.

Current thoughts on team members:

Grovyle - This one is really weird. I initially had a positive view on it, given how fast it leveled up and that it was able to deal well with Roxanne. Then everything fell apart. Brawly wasn't a good matchup and its movepool is atrocious for the period which I tested. The fact it takes some time to beat JUST Voltorb and Electrike shows that the movepool is really... problematic. While it does get Leaf Blade later on, that doesn't mean I see the situation as improving, because Flannery and Winona, in particular, do not look like good matchups at all. Norman is something I see as problematic, but I can also be surprised by its performance. I can see C tier being possible, but more major trainers must be tested first to say for sure.

Kadabra - So far, no major complaints here; the babying period isn't bad, because it's not for long. You def get Kadabra before even entering the Gym if you are using only one Pokemon. Kadabra runs through a notoriously difficult Gym Leader (as far as I have heard, correct me if I am wrong) and even does well again Wattson, as long as luck doesn't screw you over against Manectric. Its sheer power + fast leveling are very impressive to me currently, but I can see bulk being an issue later on. A rank for now, but this ranking may change with future tests.

EDIT: Clicked enter by accident, here's Geodude:

Geodude - this thing surprised me with how fast it catched up with the rest of the team. I don't know how difficult Wattson is, but I was impressed by how easy it steamrolled him. I cannot put a preliminary rank here, as I have only tested it one fight (the other one was an automatic lose).

so far, the only thing I am struggling with is controlling my levels (I should have taught better before using 3 early-game mons that level up fast). If levels are an issue, please let me know and I will try harder to control them.
Geodude - this thing surprised me with how fast it catched up with the rest of the team. I don't know how difficult Wattson is, but I was impressed by how easy it steamrolled him. I cannot put a preliminary rank here, as I have only tested it one fight (the other one was an automatic lose).

so far, the only thing I am struggling with is controlling my levels (I should have taught better before using 3 early-game mons that level up fast). If levels are an issue, please let me know and I will try harder to control them.
Mostly chipping in here to say that I'm at about the same point; just beat Wattson and going to collect Strength before stopping for a break. Everything said here I agree with -- slight baby period at the start, but it gets past that super fast and once it gets Magnitude it's all over. Mine basically massacred Wattson and evolved immediately; I've got a Golem on my hands now and in the few battles I've used it in, yeah, it sort of steamrolled everything.

My Ralts has evolved into a Kirlia by this point too, and I remembered a little something about when I tested it in ORAS that I think is going to come true here: Ralts is surprisingly fine, and is able to get through a large chunk of the early game with a lot of confusions and a couple held oran berries. But Kirlia is barely an improvement, and hence this is where it really starts struggling to keep up and do much; especially as all its good major matchups are past it now.

Finally, Combusken's kind of an all-star. Mine's Quiet so it's ended up weirdly being a better special attacker than physical, but turns out that the reason they didn't put any fire-types in this game is because they're really, really good. Combusken's had very little trouble with anything in the game so far.

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
alright, let's continue with this

Similarly to what I posted, I had problems controlling my levels so I left some trainers for later so I can get some more realistic answers). I reach Maxie and Kadabra is level 28, rest being 29

Kadabra - Psybeam runs through Camerupt (though if uses Magnitude and lands some high power, it's not gonna be OK) and Zubat. However, Mightyena is a problem, unless it spams Sand-Attack and you spam Shock Wave. Overall, good matchup, but avoid Mightyena
Golem - Highest chance of win is through Rollout sweep + DCurl, which is not easy to perform due to the Sand-Attacks it takes. Magnitude should be 2-3HKOing Mightyena, depending on the power. Camerupt is outsped and should be 2HKOed at -1 by Magnitude on consistent basis, while Zubat is outsped and OHKOed by Rock Throw. Best to avoid Mightyena again, to increase Golem's chances of beating the other members more easily.
Grovyle - It's got Leaf Blade here, which 2HKOS Mightyena (I tried one test where it was in Overgrow range and it managed to OHKO). Camerupt is 3HKOed and is only beatable if it derps with Focus Energy + Magnitude. Zubat can be OHKOed with Rock Tomb (which I didn't teach, but didn't matter anyways).

I reach Flannery and avoid as many trainers as I can in order to keep my levels on par with her Torkoal (level 29). I reach her and my team is level 29 for all members:

Grovyle - Only takes out Numel with Leaf Blade, otherwise not a good matchup, as everything else kills it with Overheat and lives a Leaf Blade (keep in mind Camerupt even sets up Sunny Day and is 3HKOed by Leaf Blade).
Kadabra - not a bad matchup, but not the best. Psybeam runs through Numel and Slugma, but Overheat from Torkoal and Camerupt pretty much kills Kadabra.
Golem - Magnitude 7 is needed to OHKO Camerupt and 2HKO Torkoal. Best way to sweep here is through Defense Curl + Rollout, which will easily OHKO her Pokemon, while outspeeding them. I would say Rollout is more reliable because you aren't reliant on high Magnitudes in this case. But yeah, a very good matchup.

I skip as many trainers as I can while still getting some levels. For Norman, Kadabra gets to level 32, learns Psychic through TM, and the rest is 31.

Grovyle - Leaf Blade 2HKOs Spinda and Vigoroth. Linoone is 3HKOed unless you are in Overgrow range. Slaking is 3HKOed and you need to play around Truant to beat it (through healing, for example). They were close 2HKOs, so if it was lower level, it'd likely 3HKO and not 2HKO most of them.
Kadabra - beats Spinda and Vigoroth by spamming Psychic. Slaking is pretty much impossible to beat and Linoone deals heavy damage with Headbutt, so if you are damaged, you won't be able to KO it (Psychic is a 2HKO)
Golem - Does really well here. Slaking is the only thing here that threatens it. The rest of his team doesn't hit it hard and you can just overwhelm them with Magnitude. Slaking's Counter and Yawn make it hard for Golem to beat it, but it's not impossible if you are patient enough. Overall, good matchup.

After being done with Norman, I catch my level 25 Voltorb and level 19 Carvanha.. IVs:



I grind them up with some trainers I had left, along with water Route trainers and both of them evolve eventually. I also teach Carvanha Ice Beam, as extra coverage never hurts.

I do the next routes, Weather Institute and reach May. I decide to test her yet again simply so I don't end up in a problem if it happens that I have to test her. I give Mystic Water to Sharpedo.

Team: Grovyle (35), Kadabra (34), Golem(34), Sharpedo(32), Electrode(32)

Grovyle: Leaf Blade takes out easily Pelipper and Lombre. Combusken is a bad matchup.
Golem: Only problem here is Supersonic from Pelipper. Should you make it through it, Rollout can take care of the rest. Good matchup
Kadabra: easy win, just spam Psychic and you win.
Sharpedo: wins. Crunch 2HKOs Lombre and Pelipper and Surf OHKOs Combusken.
Electrode: easy win, just spam TBolt

Being done with May, I fight some trainers until I get Devon Goggles or whatever that item was to enter the Gym. I leave myself slightly "on par" with Winona's team, as it is possible to fight a lot of trainers before her and you have to try not to outlevel her.

Team: Grovyle(35), Kadabra(35), Golem(34), Electrode(34), Sharpedo(34)
Grovyle: not really good. Only reliable matchup is Swablu, which is 2HKOed by Rock Tomb. Pelipper is 3HKOed by Leaf Blade, but has Supersonic to annoy you with.
Golem: good matchup. DCurl against Swablu and start steamrolling with Rollout. Only problematic one is Pelipper if it Protects, though my Golem was faster if it went for something else and allowed me to build up Rollout even more. I still find this a good matchup, nonetheless. If you go the Rock Throw route, you will have a hard time against Skarmory and Altaria.
Kadabra: good matchup. Psychic is an OHKO on Swablu, 2HKO on Tropius, and Shock Wave OHKOs Pelipper and 2HKOs Skarmory. Altaria is not winnable matchup.
Electrode: good matchup. TBolt OHKOs Swablu, Pelipper, and Skarmory, while it 3HKOs Tropius, which does not threaten Electrode at all. Altaria is the only Pokemon that beats it due to DD + EQ
Sharpedo: sweeps. Ice Beam is an OHKO on Tropius and Altaria, 2HKO on Swablu, while Crunch 2HKOs Pelipper and Surf 2HKOs Skarmory

thoughts on members so far:

Grovyle - my worries about its later game have proven to be (mostly) correct so far. Not a good matchup against Flannery and Winona def hurts its viability and I have suspicions it only did somewhat well against Norman because it was sort of high leveled. Leaf Blade is its only strong move (haven't tried out Return) and Grass is resisted very often here. Preliiminary, I am getting more and more convinced this could end up in C.
Golem - So far hasn't really disappointed me. Golem has done at least well in every Gym fight. The only negative I can think of about it atm is that it's sort of reliant on Rollout sweeps, but in general, it is not threatened easily if it misses, only Winona is dangerous if you don't build them up (Skarmory has Steel Wing and Altaria has EQ and you want to be as healthy as you can be against Altaria). Also, still levels up very fast. I would say, preliminary, B rank.
Kadabra - Opinion hasn't really changed so far. Psychic just steamrolls everything in its path and, in general, seems to do well in Gym fights. Sitll A rank, preliminary.
Electrode - It's hard to judge this exactly, as it participated in only one major fight, which it did well in. So far, C rank, preliminary.
Sharpedo - same as above, hard to say what I think about it. Carvanha period wasn't terrible for me and I managed to get it to Sharpedo. The only real problem is getting a Carvanha with a decent level. I also found the fishing quite annoying, given the fact you have sequences here as well, bu I don't know how much it affects its ranking. Considering I have only one fight with it tested, preliminary C is the best I can give it, but the rank is likely to change with future tests.

(sorry if levels are an issue, I am trying my best to control them. I did state that in my previous run I managed to outlevel Winona, so I think outleveling against her shouldn't be a problem)

e: fixed some formatting issues I caused
Last edited:

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
double posting but no one has posted and I think it's more appropriate to just make a new post instead of editing

Nothing much to tell about, I clear the next routes and reach Lilycove City. In the meantime, Grovyle evolves and I do see some notable increase in power. I reach May in Lilycove and decide to test her yet again just to be safe, although she's apparently optional:

Team: Golem, Sharpedo, Sceptile (all level 37), Kadabra (36), Electrode(35)

Sceptile: not a bad matchup. Leaf Blade 2HKOs Pelipper and 3HKOs Ludicolo, while Return 2HKOs Combusken (seriously, its movepool is *atrocious* in this fight) and a 3HKO on Tropius (as is Rock Tomb)
Golem: it can take out Tropius but almost gets OHKOed, though 3 Rock Blasts are an OHKO. Pelipper and Combusken's movepools are terrible so it can take those out very easily.
Kadabra: easy win, Shock Wave OHKOs Pelipper and Psychic OHKOs Combusken and 2HKOs the rest.
Electrode: if you try Rollout here, you will KO Tropius and then Combusken. Pelipper is OHKOed by Spark and Ludicolo can be KOed with TBolt then Self-Destruct, or just spam TBolt and hope for the best (though keep in mind you will have taken some damage from Tropius)
Sharpedo: good matchup. Ice Beam OHKOs Tropius, Surf gets Combusken, and Crunch 2HKOs Pelipper. Ludicolo is 4HKOed due to Absorb and, while you beat it, puts you in range for Combusken's Quick Attack.

I clean Mt. Pyre and then Team Aqua and head towards Team Magma HQ at Jagged Pass. I clear out the Grunts and reach Maxie.

Team: Golem (39), Sharpedo(39), Kadabra(38), Sceptile(37), Electrode(37)
Sceptile: can beat Mightyena if Swagger doesn't damage it heavily. In a 1v1 fight, Sceptile beats Camerupt, especially if it goes for Amnesias, as both Leaf Blade and Return are 3HKOs and Maxie's healing doesn't change the outcome.
Golem: good matchup. Swagger here only helps Golem (in most cases). Mightyena can't touch it so you can use it as an opportunity to shrug it off. Then +1 Magnitude gets Mightyena and Camerupt, while Rock Blast gets Crobat.
Kadabra: not a good matchup. Crobat is the only beatable thing and that is if you make it through its Confuse Ray (Crobat is faster). Camerupt survives a Psychic and OHKOs with Earthquake. Mightyena is no no.
Electrode: TBolt 2HKOs Mightyena and Crobat, outspeeding them. Just be careful with confusions.
Sharpedo: not a bad matchup. Surf 2HKOs Mightyena and it generally goes for Scary Face turn one (on the second turn, he heals and Sharpedo then OHKOs). Crobat is problematic due to Confuse Ray but Ice Beam is a 2HKO. Camerupt is an easy kill

Being done, I do the Team Aqua quest and later fight some Water trainers, while trying to not pass level 42. I reach Tate and Liza with the following team:

Team: Sceptile (42), Electrode(42), rest being level 41

Sceptile: Leaf Blade 2HKOs every Grass-weak Pokemon. So it can be a valuable teammate in this fight
Golem: Not so good. The only Pokemon it can take out is Xatu with 3 Rock Blasts. Rollout sweep here is next-to-impossible.
Kadabra: not good here. Claydol's EQ OHKOs it and Shock Wave is only 2HKO on Xatu, which sets up Calm Mind and makes it harder to take down.
Electrode: TBolt puts Xatu in red, so another teammate can easily take it out, then dies to Claydol's Earthquake.
Sharpedo: Crunch 2HKOs everything, so if it's paired with another good teammate, it will help a lot.

I later beat the Team Magma Grunts. I do not test against Maxie here, as you have Steven to help you anyways. At most, you need something to cover the Camerupt.

After that, I go to Route 128, fighting the trainers that I find there conveniently. I storm the Seafloor Cavern, beat the Aqua grunts and reach Archie.

Team: Electrode(42), rest is 43

Sceptile: 3HKOs Mightyena with Leaf Blade (2HKO if you discount the Super Potion). Crobat is not a good matchup and Sharpedo is an easy kill.
Golem: Golem is faster and generally 2HKOs Mightyena with Magnitude 6 or higher, even after Intimidate. You can use a Full Heal here if you get Swaggered, since he will be healing anyways, and you can now abuse the +1 boost. Crobat is an easy target. Sharpedo is only a threat due to Swagger, however, it possesses no Water moves (or even Dark moves) to threaten Golem. If you teach it EQ through TMs (though it learns it like 2 levels later), the matchup is a lot more reliable.
Kadabra: Psychic OHKOs Crobat, but it has to make it through confusion, as Wing Attack deals heavy damage to it. Sharpedo is outsped and OHKOed by Shock Wave. Mightyena is a no no
Electrode: TBolt is a 2HKO (or 3HKO if you count the Super Potion) against Mightyena. Even after a Scary Face, Electrode is faster. Crobat is 2HKOed and doesn't threaten in return. Sharpedo is OHKOed by it's faster due to Scary Face and Swaggers, but that's the only issue for Electrode. Good matchup.
Sharpedo: Surf 2HKOs Mightyena even after a potion (if it gets Swaggered, just Full Heal). Crobat is 2HKOed by Ice Beam even after potion, be careful of Confuse Ray. Sharpedo 2HKOs his own Sharpedo with Surf and is 3HKOed by Archie's Slash.

Being done with that, I do stuff and summon Rayquaza (by the way, the cutscene where it appears is lit). I do the Sootopolis Gym trainers and reach Juan.

Team: Kadabra(44), Electrode(44), Sceptile(44), Sharpedo(43), Golem(43)

Sceptile: very good matchup. Leaf Blade OHKOs everything bar Sealeo and Kingdra, with the former being put in red. Kingdra is the only thing that it is not beating
Golem: Earthquake OHKOs Luvdisc (after eating a Water Pulse) and 3 Rock Blasts OHKO Sealeo. If you get extraordinarily lucky, you could try Rollout sweep, which crushes Luvdisc, Sealeo, and Crawdaunt.
Kadabra: sweeps. After 2 Calm Minds, Psychic OHKOs everything bar Crawdaunt, which is OHKOed by Shock Wave. Only problem is confusion hax by Luvdisc (and Attract), but once you get past that, the game has pretty much been won.
Electrode: TBolt OHKOs Luvdisc and Crawdaunt and comes close to OHKOing Sealeo. Against Kingdra, you can Self-Destruct to almost put it in red.
Sharpedo: Crunch 2HKOs Luvdisc, while Surf 2HKOs Whiscash and 3HKOs Crawdaunt. Sealeo is 2HKOed by Crunch due to Rough Skin but 3HKOs with Body Slam itself.

current thoughts on team members:
Sceptile - this one's very weird. It improved in current logs, but I am not sure if it's good enough for B. I will leave the E4 to decide for me.
Kadabra - Still great, imo. It didn't do well against Tate and Liza, but sweeping Juan and being able to dent Archie majorly do impress me a lot.
Golem - sort of fell off here, but not by a lot, I would say. Golem can still crush every route trainer (including the Water ones) and it did well against Archie. It's funny that it's able to take down 2/5 of Juan's team, though. I still think that, by current logs, B rank would be an appropriate (preliminary) rank.
Electrode - not a bad matchup against Archie and Juan make me think that preliminary C is still good for it. Helps that it can clean water routes easily and that its Self-Destruct allows it to dent majorly a more difficult opponent (since it also cancels out their turn) for a teammate to take care of.
Sharpedo - not bad against Archie and Tate & Liza certainly help, along with it being able to take out some of Juan's mons. Still preliminary C, but I think it can raise to B if it does somewhat well at the E4, same deal for Electrode.
I'm going to be testing Shroomish, Ralts, Chinchou and Geodude on Emerald I think. I'm mostly testing the former two because I need early-game filler. Might go Nosepass if I'm feeling adventurous but I honestly have no idea what it's gonna do.

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
thank god someone posted, I didn't wanna triple post

let's finish this

Team: Golem(44), Electrode(44), Kadabra(45), Sceptile(44), Sharpedo(43)

Sceptile: Return 2HKOs Roselia, but is crippled by Toxic, and 3HKOs Gardevoir. Leaf Blade is a 2HKO on Delcatty.
Golem: good matchup. 4 Rock Blasts OHKO Altaria. Magneton is OHKOed by EQ, while the rest is 2HKOed. Avoid Roselia.
Kadabra: +1 Psychic OHKOs Roselia and Delcatty and 2HKOs Magneton. Altaria survives one and 2HKOs with Aerial Ace. Gardevoir is not a good matchup, esp if you are sweeping, as Roselia will have used Toxic on you (you have to set up on Kadabra)
Electrode: 3HKOs Altaria with TBolt while it spams DD, 2HKOs Delcatty and can boom on Gardevoir.
Sharpedo: Ice Beam OHKOs Altaria and 2HKOs Roselia, but it either takes heavy damage from Giga Drain or gets crippled by Toxic. Surf 2HKOs Magneton and Delcatty, though the former has TBolt. Gardevoir is 2HKOed by Crunch and the 2nd one KOs it even after a Calm Mind

I clean the Victory Road and use Rare Candies to make Golem level 47 and the rest level 48. I enter the League

Golem is level 47, rest is 48

Sceptile: Leaf Blade is an OHKO on Crawdaunt and a 2HKO on Mightyena. Absol's Sitrus Berry makes Leaf Blade a 3HKO, but +2 Aerial Ace OHKOs it back. Shiftry and Cacturne are 3HKOed by Return, but with potion spam and Cotton Spore, it may take some effort to beat those.
Golem: EQ 2HKOs Absol and -1 EQ 3HKOs Mightyena. The rest are not a good matchup (Shiftry has Double Team, the others have Grass / Water STABs)
Kadabra: terrible matchup. Shock Wave doesn't OHKO Crawdaunt and Kadabra gets OHKOed by Strength.
Electrode: Thunderbolt OHKOs Crawdaunt and 2HKOs Mightyena and Absol. Mightyena can be problematic due to Sand-Attack
Sharpedo: Surf 2HKOs Mightyena and Absol, though the former has Sand-Attack, the latter 2HKOs with Slash. Ice Beam is a 2HKO on the Grass-types, but fears Needle Arm from Cacturne. Crawdaunt is 3HKOed by Surf and Sharpedo barely survives a +2 Facade.

same levels as previous run

Sceptile: Leaf Blade 2HKOs the Banette and Sableye, but all of them 2HKO it with Shadow Ball, so you are realistically taking out only one of them, unless you switch and heal. Don't bother with Dusclops, first one is 3HKOed and loves to curse you, while the 2nd one is bulkier and loves to cover you with Ice Beams
Golem: Earthquake 2HKOs the first Dusclops and Banette without WoW before fainting. If you heal (esp offscreen), you can get a bit more kills.
Kadabra: STAB moves OHKO Kadabra, so it's bad here.
Electrode: TBolt is a 3HKO on first Dusclops and a 2HKO on the Banette. However, both Banette 2HKO with Shadow Ball, so without healing, you only take out one of them. Sableye also deals heavy damage with Shadow Ball, being a 3HKO, with TBolt also 3HKOing, but you need to be at full to beat Sableye.
Sharpedo: Crunch is a 2HKO on most things, only being a 3HKO on Sableye. If possible, set up a Focus Energy, as you will throw quite a lot of Crunches and a crit Crunch OHKOs everything bar Sableye.

levels are the same, other than Sharpedo being level 49

Sceptile: only beats the first Sealeo, 2HKOing it with Leaf Blade. The second one OHKOs with Blizzard and Walrein also OHKOs with Ice Beam. Not a good matchup overall, esp when Glalies are bad for it too.
Kadabra: not bad. If you set up 2 CMs on first Sealeo (which goes for Hail, then Body Slam, which it eats, and without getting paralyzed), you can dent her team majorly. +2 Psychic OHKOs the Sealeo and Glalie, though the level 52 was rolls for me. Walrein is put in red but is not defeated.
Golem: 4 Rock Blasts OHKO each Sealeo. The rest are not a good matchup.
Electrode: 2HKOs the Walrein line. Walrein generally spams Sheer Cold.
Sharpedo: not amazing here. Crunch 3HKOs first Sealeo, but has to deal with Body Slam paras, potentially. Glalie is 3HKOed by Surf, but you have to be at full to beat one. Not a good matchup overall

levels are the same as above

...well, my team gets trashed completely here. The only thing really doing here anything is Sharpedo, which 2HKOs Shelgon with Ice Beam, OHKO Flygon with Ice Beam, or 2HKO Altaria with Ice Beam. Hell, Salamence's Dragon Claw OHKOs Sharpedo. Golem also takes out Altaria if it lands 5 Rock Blasts before dying, but that's it. Kadabra, Electrode, and Sceptile DO NOT KO absolutely anything here.

I had to rely on my Rayquaza to sweep him so I can, like, test Wallace lol

levels are the same as above

Sceptile: Leaf Blade OHKOs Whiscash and 2HKOs Wailord, though Wailord OHKOs on rolls with Blizzard.
Golem: lol
Kadabra: doesn't beat anything, everything hits it insanely hard.
Electrode: beats Wailord by 2HKOing it with TBolt. Gyarados is put in red and finishes it off with EQ
Sharpedo: doesn't really beat anything. Crunch takes a lot of time to take down just one threat and Wallace's mons hit quite hard.

I want first to allude to the fact the E4 seems insanely difficult under testing conditions. Both this team and my previous struggled against its members (even my Alakazam, which is an S ranker, did) and so it looks to me beating the E4 is more of a bonus than something that you can expect anything to pull off.


(NOTE: The following noms refer to Emerald and in no means assume that anything written in them applies to RS)

Treecko to C
In all honesty, I have a hard time seeing this in B. First of all, it's got very few good matchups before the E4, them being only Roxanne, Norman if you are level 31 (I suspect level 29 wouldn't be able to 2HKO), Juan, and Tate & Liza. Even if this is an "ok" amount, you have to take into account that its movepool makes it hard to clean Route trainers. Leaf Blade and Return are the only reasonable moves you are using and both of them come at the end of the mid-game (I probs should have taught Return as soon as possible). But early-game is infested with Grass resists. Before Leaf Blade, you are stuck with... Absorb and Bullet Seed as your STAB moves and those don't even OHKO Water-types (you need like 3 Bullet Seeds to OHKO those Water-types) that are levels below you. I was willing to give it B if it did enough in the E4, but it's borderline useless there too, only taking out like 1 mon per team, discounting Drake, where it's pretty much useless unless you backtrack all the way to Meteor Falls to get the Dragon Claw TM. All in all, Treecko has a terrible movepool, which prevents it from being super useful and affects its overall performance. The only good thing I can say about Treecko is that it levels up fast.

Golem to B
Geodude, on the other hand, was really useful in my run. First of all, Golem steamrolled majority of the Route trainers and caught up super quickly with my team when it was underleveled. Even the Water trainers struggled against my Golem, which obliterated them with its sheer power. Golem also has very good matchups in few fights, such as Wattson and Flannery just by spamming Magnitude, Norman without too many problems, and Winona has 3/5 of her team consistently taken out. It falls a bit after that, but it proves very useful for evil leaders and at the E4, it sniped a little bit more targets than most of my team members (takes out Sidney's Mightyena and Absol, Phoebe's first Dusclops and non-WoW Banette, Glacia's Sealeo if you get lucky, and Drake's Altaria). Considering what I said about the E4, Golem proves to be a not-so-unreliable mon for the E4.

tl;dr some good matchups, being able to obliterate Route trainers, leveling up fast, and being somewhat actually useful against the E4 are reasons as to why Golem deserves to be B rank

Kadabra to A
Kadabra struggled super hard at the E4, but again, this looks to be the case with 90% of the mons here. Nonetheless, I am willing to give it A rank, because Kadabra obliterates 95% of the Route trainers and generally destroys at least 50% of a Gym's team (bar Tate and Liza). To put as reference, Kadabra sweeps Brawly, Winona and Juan, beats 3/4 of Wattson's team, 2/4 of Flannery's team if you are matching levels, at least 2/4 of Norman's team. It also can brag with being capable of denting Glacia majorly. All in all, Kadabra contributes heavily and deserves A rank, although the uselessness it has in the E4 does prevent it from claiming S rank.

Voltorb to C
Electrode is all around useful, but it's crippled by late arrival (I don't think it being sidetrack is a bad thing, since you also obtain TBolt TM with the same sidetrack). Has good matchup against Winona and Juan and Self-Destruct is really handy to weaken a difficult opponent. Also worth mentioning it's very good for Archie and can claim some kills at the E4. So I think C is ideal for Voltorb, certainly useful, but crippled by late arrival.

Carvanha to B
Sharpedo has at least fine matchup against the rest of the Gyms, sweeping Winona, being good for Tate & Liza and claiming some kills against Juan, while also being useful against evil leaders. What impresses me the most about Sharpedo is that it was, by far, the strongest mon on my team for the E4. It can potentially sweep Phoebe, claim kills against Sidney, and even take out one of Drake's mons. So I think Sharpedo's usefulness mitigates to some extent its late arrival and thus putting it in B is more appropriate.

I hope that my tests were done well. If there's anything I could improve on, please let me know. As for next run, I can test Chinchou / Natu / Kecleon / Machoke / Nosepass. Let me know what you think, I may grab some filler to control my levels.
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Bored as hell, so I decided to try out a quick run with some Emerald mons that haven't been tested that much. I decided to use Slugma, Aron, Tentacool and Machop(Trade). Pretty interesting team, hoping to see something useful from Machamp and Aggron
I hope that my tests were done well. If there's anything I could improve on, please let me know. As for next run, I can test Chinchou / Natu / Kecleon / Machoke / Nosepass. Let me know what you think, I may grab some filler to control my levels.
I think they were great, progress and conclusions were well-reasoned and results generally spoke to things that I have also experienced. Personally I found Sceptile's early and late games to be a bit more useful than you did but your results leading to a C conclusion show as perfectly reasonable.

With respects to Kadabra the absolute toilet of an E4+Tate and Liza performance is what pushed me to want to drop it to B, but given its performance across the rest of the game I'd be accepting of A.

I might suggest running Mightyena as well, your early game is entirely free and it would be valuable to have someone who can validate my earlier test which raised it to D. Strength, Shadow Ball, Dig, Howl was the ending moveset, link to my run with it is here.

edit: re: Natu, here's how I approached it: "Rare Candy to evolve immediately and Psychic/Fly/SunnyBeam as pre-CM immediately available TM options"


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E to F

I believed I ran Lileep more or less the best way I could think of; I made use of its access to Confuse Ray, the nearby Toxic TM in Fiery Path, and its Normal resistance to get the upper hand against Norman, taught it SunnyBeam afterward to give it a primary form of offense, and finally learned Amnesia to be able to solo certain bosses like Wallace and Glacia with enough item abuse. The biggest problem I had with Lileep is how cumbersome it is to train because my god is its route clearing ability abysmal. Its moveset is tailored towards trying to take down tough bulky bosses, but it has absolutely nothing efficient in the way of sweeping through basic trainers, especially considering how molasses it is. Lileep doesn't even learn Rock Tomb, so before it reaches Sunny Day + Solarbeam, it's basically stuck trying to beat random trainers with Toxic, Bullet Seed, or even shit like Secret Power and Strength just to give you an idea of how bottom of the barrel its movepool is, and unlike Vileplume/Bellossom, Lileep/Cradily doesn't gain a speed boost to be able to cleanly sweep trainers with Solarbeam either.

And through all that hassle of training it, what do you gain from it? Like sure, it actually has a pretty decent matchup in its first important fight vs Norman, but it never takes off from there. Like I don't have a problem with having to set up Toxic/Sunny Day to take down bosses, but needing to do so just to be able to kill some random mook every time? That's about the most inefficient way to clear battles, and it makes the journey of getting Lileep to the boss fights to do its thing that much more of a slog and not worth dragging it along the whole game. Did I mention this thing evolves at level 40?

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
With respects to Kadabra the absolute toilet of an E4+Tate and Liza performance is what pushed me to want to drop it to B, but given its performance across the rest of the game I'd be accepting of A.
I was also thinking B may be a rank for Kadabra but I went with the mindset that the loss against the E4 shouldn't be taken too much into account given both this and my previous team struggled immensely against the E4 (is there anything not called Rayquaza that actually does well against Wallace? Though even Ray sort of struggles here unless you use it to get some levels and EVs Drake also seems like one of those opponents that is rare to see defeated) and even then, it did well against Glacia, at least, so it wasn't the biggest loss one could expect. So I guess B or A depends more on how much emphasize do you give to the E4 loss, given both of us seemingly had similar experieneces.

Also, it performed in a very similar fashion as my Alakazam, only difference was that my Zam also did well against Phoebe and did a little bit better against Flannery, but other than that, they were mostly the same.

as for Mightyena, that's fine for me, but I will def grab a filler. I will also use it instead of Kecleon to keep my party at 5 members (hopefully now that I don't have 3 fast leveling mons from early-game, I will have an easier time with controlling my levels). I will test Kecleon in a future run.

I want to ask only, is any of my mons in need of a write-up? If all of them have one, I can QC them, if there's a need for that.

Bored as hell, so I decided to try out a quick run with some Emerald mons that haven't been tested that much. I decided to use Slugma, Aron, Tentacool and Machop(Trade). Pretty interesting team, hoping to see something useful from Machamp and Aggron
Haven't used it myself so take it with caution, but, *from what I know*, the Aron period is rather terrible (tbh with such typing and stats, along with evolving late, I can see why). So you probably should expect that when using it.

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Double posting, but started a new run with Poochyena / Machoke / Nosepass (*prays*) / Chinchou / Natu

I start the game and grab Poochyena as early as possible. I think I've got some good IVs:

I try to clean the early routes with it, which already proved a challenge... some opponents just took too long or needed them to derp to do so.

But anyways, it learns Bite at level 13 and I reach level 15 just before Roxanne.

Team: Poochyena(15)

Poochyena: Bite 2HKOs the Geodude. Poochyena outspeeds only if it's at -1 or higher. However, the second Geodude can also use DCurl and give you a free turn, or free win in this case. If you flinch any Geodude, you can consider both of them defeated. Nosepass is not beatable.

I do the Team Aqua Quest and then go to May. I found out that the fight is only optional so I don't test against her (I have one mon only anyways so consider it a "test")

I make it to Dewford and the Fishermen fights make my Poochyena evolve (didn't know it evolved *that* early). Anyways, I deliver the letter and Mightyena beats the Gym trainers.

Team: Mightyena (19)

Mightyena: reasonably, only Meditite gets defeated, as it's 2HKOed by Bite and tries to Focus Punch. Machop can only be beaten if you get Bite flinches. Makuhita is no.

I clean some routes and manage to get Mightyena to level 24 before May, whom it sweeps with Bite spam. I clean Gym trainers with Marshtomp and reach Wattson.

Team: Mightyena(24)

Mightyena: Howl allows it to 2HKO Voltorb and Electrike with Tackle, but it doesn't beat anything else.

I grab Strength HM and teach it to Mightyena. I backtrack to Granite Cave and catch a Nosepass after taking some time.


I teach it Rollout, which proves highly effective, as I am able to grind it up to my Mightyena's level through the trainers I had left. I catch Machop with following IVs:


I teach it Bulk Up immediately and start grinding it against some trainers on my way to Meteor Falls and whatnot. I clear whatever I can with Machop and reach Maxie.

Team: Mightyena(28), Nosepass(28), Machop(25)
Mightyena: After 2 Howls, Strength 2HKOs Camerupt and Mightyena, while OHKOing Zubat. Just be careful of Sand-Attacks. Not a bad matchup
Nosepass: paralyze Mightyena with TWave turn one and try to go for a Rollout sweep. If Rollout doesn't miss, it will be able to outspeed and OHKO Camerupt, though Mightyena has to spam Bite and not Sand-Attack. Zubat is an easy target.
Machop: Mightyena is a hard matchup because of the Sand-Attack spam, but boosted Revenge is an OHKO. Rock Tomb 2HKOs Zubat and after one, Machop outspeeds. You need to go out of your way to beat Camerupt in these circumstances.

I fight the rest of the trainers available and do the Flannery Gym. While in it, Machop evolves. I reach Flannery.

Team: Mightyena(29), Nosepass(28), Machoke(28)

Mightyena: +1 Strength is an OHKO on Numel and Slugma, while +1 Dig puts Camerupt in red. If you manage to set up 2 Howls, Dig will OHKO Camerupt. Torkoal is not beatable, unless Overheat misses, as +2 Dig is a 2HKO. Good matchup, overall
Nosepass: Rock Slide 2HKOs Numel and OHKOs Slugma. Against Camerupt, use Rollout, as when it KOs Camerupt, it will OHKO Torkoal next turn. Nosepass outspeeds everything here. Note that her mons don't spam Fire moves at all, for some reason. Good matchup
Machoke: +2 Karate Chop is an OHKO on Numel and Slugma. Camerupt lives one and KOs back with Overheat.

Current thoughts on members:

Mightyena - it's been "fine" for now. As a Poochyena, it was a bit difficult to use, as even the early Route trainers proved a danger to it. It did get a lot better with Bite, though. So far, Mightyena has been contributing partially to every Gym fight but with no sweeps. Preliminary D rank seems reasonable.
Nosepass - The main criticism I have so far for Nosepass is backtracking + finding it (it took me some time to find it). Due to its good matchup against Flannery, preliminary E rank sounds fair
Machop - it's not been so good in the 2 major fights it participated in. Maxie is just RNG-fest for it and for Flannery it only took out 2 of her easiest members, though at least it does that. I am not giving a preliminary rank, as I know that my disappointment currently may be mitigated by future tests.
Been a hot second since I posted my progress, sorry -- afraid I'm still working so my playthroughs'll be a little bit stunted. Oh, and I've been downloading Ultraman subs, which is more important.

Either way, just beat Aqua Hideout and am about to move onto Lilycove. From there...

Blaziken... has not been performing as well as I remember and has ultimately been very disappointing. It's still reliable as a starter should be and I'm still confident in ranking it at A, but it's not the borderline S-rank I thought due to its very dismal mid-game. The problem is it starts off very strong as Torchic and the first few bits of Combusken, but eventually in the late 20s and early 30s it falls off super hard due to having no good moves and then the good stuff it does get eventually (Overheat, Blaze Kick) missing so much. I ended up getting Flamethrower from the Game Corner after Mt. Pyre due to awful Blaze Kick luck, and I imagine if I'd gotten that earlier things might actually have gone better.

Gardevoir is an S-rank I am now fully converted on. It really, really doesn't have any troubles as either Ralts or Kirlia beyond a few very very specific parts and meh matchups, and is surprisingly self-sufficient with little support needed. Eventually what you've got on your hands is something that can Psychic, Thunderbolt and Calm Mind through most anything in its way; and it has little trouble carving its own path towards that endgoal.

Golem is doing alright and had some awesome matchups, but its poor moves have been holding it back. It pulls through a lot on its stats and STABs alone, but unfortunately there's a few targets it has issues doing much against; compounded by its late EQ in this game. It also just wasn't able to contribute against Winona due to everything but Swablu having some sort of advantage against it. Regardless, it's still been extremely solid backup throughout the game and I think B is fully reflective so far.

Sharpedo I've been having similar experiences with. I was extremely lucky to fish one up at level 30 on my first try and I really think my experience should hence be taken with a grain of salt, but it's also been very reliable and a solid enough Water-type. I went out of my way to get the Ice Beam TM on the Abandoned Ship for it and between that, Surf and Crunch it had an incredible starting moveset. So far it's proven very, VERY useful against Winona and a lot of Team Magma grunts, but if it isn't hitting super effectively its middling Special Attack stat really holds it back. Thankfully, the extremely high speed means it's not taking too many hits back! That in mind, I think B suits this Pokémon so far as well.

Kecleon, finally, is not as bad as you'd expect. It's managed to get in a few strong Strengths, Aerial Aces and Shadow Balls where it counts and has proven nice enough as a fifth team member to fall back on. What really gets in the way though is the low speed meaning I need to heal up a lot between fights, colour change taking away its STAB half the time, and the fact that... while it's fine, I rarely find a situation where I'd rather use it over literally anything else. I get the feeling that it'll prove its worth against Tate & Liza, but for now, D or low C seems adequately descriptive.
Started my run

Chose Mudkip as my starter and went to town sweeping everything to get to Roxanne fast. Chose him since May will now have a Grovyle instead of a Combusken/Marshtomp which kill me at May 2.

Not much to say other than maniping Torrent to kill Roxanne and getting Marshtomp before Dewford

Got a Level 9 Tentacool in Dewford and a Level 10 Aron in Granite Cave. IVs: View attachment 249013View attachment 249014

Pretty good IV's on Aron but those Attack and SpA IV's are ASS on Tentacool, but it's workable. Tentacool has a Docile Nature, Aron is Lax. Both of them were trained up with the trainers in the Gym and Slateport, and I gave Tentacool the Swagger tutor and Cut as a HM, clearing out all the trainers in there and getting the Miracle Seed

Aron(15): outsped and OHKO'd by Machop, beats Meditite 1v1 and loses to Makuhita unless Headbutt flinches enough, which won't happen due to all the Bulk Up's and Super Potions. Abosultely terrible matchup.
Tentacool(16): Swagger spam is the wave here. +2 confusion damage does 1/3 to Machop, so if it hits itself twice Cut put it in red. With some good RnG, this is a possible matchup, but Low Kick does 1/2 so be warned. Poison Sting spam takes care of Meditite, with poison speeding up the fight. If Swagger gets good Rng, you could beat Makuhita, but starting at +4 Vital Throw OHKO'd so this is a sketchy matchup. Does alright, but it needs luck in order to defeat Makuhita, but it can handle Machop and Meditite easy.
Had to use all three members to defeat Brawly,

Took care of everything up to May 2, getting Thief for Tentacool and clearing the Trick House. Aron was 19, everyone else is 18 for May 2

Aron(19): Water Gun does well over 1/2, but it likes to go for Supersonic T1 usually, if it misses Rock Tomb OHKO's. You outspeed Slugma as long as you have more than 12 Speed, and Rock Tomb always OHKO's. Absorb does 25% usually, and does 38-40% in Overgrow, which proves to bea problem due to it's incredible Speed advantage meaning Rock Tomb takes multiple hits to slow down, and Absorb healing it. Rock Tomb is a 3HKO, which means the last hit will always be in Overgrow range, but if you're at full health and land you hould be fine: my Lax Aron lived on 11 when it took out Grovyle. Overall, solid matchup, needs to be wary of confusion and Grovyle crits but can pretty much solo this fight.

Tentacool(18): Risky matchup against Wingull if you use Swagger, Confusion damage does 1/3 but WA at +2 does over 1/2. Grovyle is much easier, Absorb does hardly any damage, about 15-20% and even Quick Attack only does 25%, making this an easy matchup with maybe 1 heal. Slugma is a joke, Rock Throw does nothing so it can only use Yawn, which makes it easy, The problem however, is that Tentacool finds itself dealing pitiful damage, causing it to lose the 1v1's slowly, making it require healing. Overall, meh matchup.

Cleared everything and took care of all trainers up until Wattson. No new moves learned during this time


Tentacool(24): Since Shock Wave 3HKO's from Voltorb and it outspeeds, you'll need Voltorb to hit itself in confusion multiple times+Acid chip, simply due to it's low Attack. It should be noted that SelfDestructs always OHKO's tho. You outspeed Electrike tho, and Swagger confusion damage does 30%, so 2 hits+Acid bring it to red, it's possible to defeat Electrike with this strategy. Shock Wave from Magneton 2HKO's tho, and it's High Def/Low Atk combo makes Swagger ineffective, and Manectric outspeeds and 2HKO's as well. Horrible matchup.
Aron(24): Spark/Shock Wave does nearly 1/2 from Voltorb, and Rock Tomb 2HKO's in return, making this a matchup that can go either way depending on if Rock Tomb misses or not. Electrike usually Howls/TWave's T1, so Rock Tomb also 2HKO's, and you actually outspeed at -1. Magneton is near impossible, it tanks any hit from it barring the weak Mud Slap or super weak Rock Smash, and SonicBoom 3HKO's or Shock Wave 2HKO's, you can't even swap due to Magnet Pull locking you in. Manectric 2HKO's with Shock Wave and you only 3HKO with Rock Tomb, if it Howl's T1 and you land all the Rock Tombs it's possible but unlikely. Meh matchup

I needed Marshtomp's help to win this gym, suprisingly at Level 18 it can still fight well!

Premilary Rankings

Tentacool- Pretty mediocore ngl, has a niche with Swagger hax and does decently well against May and Brawly but it's clear the lack of strong moves is making it weaker than it seems. It's a clear D Tier for the early game, but it probably won't be like that for long with BubbleBeam coming up.
Aron- almost the same as Tentacool minus the Brawly matchup: decent route cleaning but awful gym matchups overall. It should find it's niche with the upcoming gyms in Norman and Winnona, but for now it's also a D Tier for the early game

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
continuing with run #2:

I grind up Mightyena at the desert and it reaches level 30. I face Norman's Gym trainers with my Machoke and it also ends up at level 30. I reach Norman.

Team: Mightyena(30), Nosepass(30), Machoke(30)

Mightyena: Strength 2HKOs Spinda unboosted, you need 2 Howls to OHKO so might as well just Strength twice. Slaking is not beatable even with Dig, as Facade is 2HKO and +1 Dig hits like a wet noodle (in fact, my Dig ran out of PP before it could finish with Slaking). Vigoroth and Linoone can seriously screw up Mightyena thanks to Slash and its high critical hit ratio. Strength is a 3HKO on both, with Vigoroth potentially encoring you into Howl if you try to set up on it. Not a good matchup overall.
Nosepass: this matchup was surpisingly not bad. Rollout can overwhelm Spinda if confusion doesn't get you. Once you are done with Spinda, switch out, as Slaking will always beat you (survives a Rollout and OHKOs with Counter). Against Vigoroth, if you are above half HP, you can try Rollout spam again, which will end in success, as Vigoroth will faint. Linoone then comes in and dies to the next Rollout. Overall, good matchup if Rollout doesn't screw you.
Machoke: good matchup overall, only problem is Spinda's Teeter Dance. Set up a Bulk Up and spam Revenge. For Spinda, it's really good if you have Persim Berry, as confusions can screw you over. Anyways, Revenge OHKOs pmuch everything bar Slaking (Vigoroth damages you and Linoone sets up a BDrum). Slaking is sort of a guessing game, as unboosted Revenge is a 2HKO and it may go for Counter. Best to just set up another Bulk Up and try to muscle through. Good matchup, especially if you've got a Persim Berry.


I obtain Surf and head towards Weather Institute while taking down trainers I meet. I take down Team Aqua and meet May. Everything is level 33.

Mightyena: +1 Strength deals with everything.
Nosepass: Rock Slide OHKOs Slugma and Rollout can overwhelm Lombre and even Grovyle (Nosepass survives a Leaf Blade if it's healthy enough, around 2/3 of its total HP)
Machoke: set up a Bulk Up and OHKOs Slugma with Rock Tomb. Then Revenge OHKOs the rest.

I make it to Fortree and go all the way to the Safari Zone and catch a level 25 Natu with the following IVs:


I teach it Psychic immediately. I fight some trainers I had left for Natu and evolve it (I didn't use Candies). I reach Winona by using Xatu against Gym trainers.

Team: Mightyena(35), Machoke(34), Nosepass(34), Xatu(32)

Mightyena: +1 Strength is an OHKO on Swablu and 2HKOs Tropius on rolls, also 3HKOs Pelipper. Altaria is beatable only if you are at full and send it against it to trigger Intimidate, as unboosted EQ is 3HKO while you also 3HKO with +1 Strength.
Nosepass: Not a good matchup, unfortunately. Swablu can set up Perish Song, which limits Nosepass's presence on the field greatly. Tropius is 2HKOe by Hard Stone Rollout if you used it against Swablu, but its Solar Beam almost OHKOs it. Pelipper finishes it off, while Altaria deals heavy damage with Earthquake. Skarmory's Steel Wing an Sand-Attack do not help either. Overall, not a reliable matchup.
Machoke: +1 Rock Tomb OHKOs Swablu and 2HKOs the rest, except Skarmory. For Skarmory, you can spam Revenge. The fight is not a sweep unless you throw in a healing potion or two. How many you will need mostly depends on luck and how much Winona derps (e.g. spamming Solar Beam or Sunny Day on Machoke so it doesn't take damage from Aerial Ace turn one, whenever Rock Tomb hits or misses, etc.).
Xatu: not a bad matchup, but not an amazing one either. Psychic 2HKOs Swablu and Pelipper (be careful of confusion, though). Tropius has Synthesis and is 3HKOed by Psychic and Altaria is not winnable. Against Skarmory, level 32 Night Shade is a 3HKO, so it can be beaten if you can eat 2 Steel Wings.

After I beat Winona, I do some movepool changes. I teach Xatu Sunny Day and Solar Beam per Texas's suggestion in place of Peck and Leer. For Nosepass, I decided not to go for Rest (later, at level 37) and Return, instead, I taught Toxic and Protect, since I kind of need both Rollout and Rock Slide. Regardless, I think Rest is very redunant when you have healing items anyways (the only recovery move that should really matter is Roost and only when you need the Flying typing removed, e.g. Unfezant vs Clay's Excadrill). Anyways, Nosepass now has Rock Slide / Rollout / Toxic / Protect, while Xatu has Sunny Day / Solar Beam / Psychic / Night Shade.

Anyways, I clear out Mt. Pyre and teach Shadow Ball to Mightyena. I later go to Magma Hideout, clean out the Grunts and face Maxie.

Team: Mightyena(39), Nosepass(39), Machoke(37), Xatu(37)

Mightyena: tough matchup. It has problems taking out his Mightyena due to Swagger and Crobat generally finishes it off if it's weakened. Camerupt has Magnitude so using Dig here is... yeah. Anyways, you aren't taking out more than one of his mons without throwing in potions.
Nosepass: luck-based. It does well if Swagger confusions don't damage you, but it's pmuch useless if it gets hit. You could try beating Crobat 1v1 if you don't get unlucky with Bite flinches. Against Camerupt, you could try Toxic stalling ad Protect. But yeah, luck based.
Machoke: easily handles Mightyena if Swagger isn't a bitch. Against Camerupt 1v1, +1 boosted Revenge is an OHKO, while Magnitude isn't threatening it.
Xatu: Mightyena is a huge nope. Crobat is 2HKOed by Psychic and Xatu is 3HKOed by its attacks, but Confuse Ray can be a real pain. Camerupt is not beatable due to Rock Slide + Amnesia

I beat some trainers, beat Team Aqua, then some more trainers and then enter the Gym. I reach the twins with everything at level 42.

Mightyena: Very good. +1 Shadow Ball OHKOs Xatu and 2HKOs the rest. Only Claydol poses problems as -1 EQ is a 3HKO, so either target it first or have something to just kill it.
Nosepass: Well, not a good matchup, but it can do stuff. Basically, with Toxic, it can assist a teammate and Protect allows it to stall out turns, as Tate and Liza always aim for that thing if the teammate is Mightyena or something like this. Not a good matchup, but it's a good fodder heh.
Machoke: bad, Claydol and Xatu just go for it and outspeed it lol.
Xatu: really good for the fight. SunnyBeam is a 2HKO on everything bar Xatu. Since they won't target Xatu a lot, Xatu can safely take out their mons one by one. Good matchup, especially if paired with another good teammate.

Current thoughts on members:

Mightyena - Mon has been all around useful. It can't really sweep, but, other than Norman (and Brawly), it always takes out few threats, generally non-Ace Pokemon. Honestly, with the good Tate and Liza matchup, you could make a case for a preliminary C, given how early it comes and how useful it generally is.
Nosepass - I still think E is suitable for Nosepass. Other than Flannery, most of its matchups are very reliant on Rollout going as planned. Fights like Winona are hard to win even with Rollout. So I think E is suitable atm, I don't think Nosepass is that bad to be sent to F. I think F should really be reserved for absolutely terrible mons with no value.
Machoke - This hasn't been super amazing, in all honesty. The only thing going for it so far is a good matchup against Norman if you have a Persim Berry. Beating 3/5 of Winona's team is also something notable, I guess. Anyways, I cannot see higher than C for Machoke at the current stage, but I think it has a chance to even drop to D if it doesn't nail some valuable victories. If it got some better Fighting STABs, then at least C would be guaranteed for sure.
Xatu - Xatu has been more useful than I expected. Psychic can easily clean most things, especially Winona's mons bar Skarmory and Altaria. It also had a very good matchup against Winona. Honestly, it's not F tier under any circumstances and I think it can potentially aim for D, if it gets some more good matchups.
So, gonna be honest, I straight up forgot F rank existed? I was thinking of other tier lists and forgot we were doing 7 tiers instead of 6. With that, I want to make the small adjustment of Kecleon being D or E (it is NOT as good as Zubat or Pikachu), and Golem being much more suited for C.

I guess while I'm here I might as well say I just beat Tate & Liza... where Kecleon was comically bad, barely getting in a Shadow Ball against Xatu before going down to EQ + Psychic. Sharpedo, on the other hand, despite being a glass cannon muscled through the fight with only a little healing needed, and Gardevoir proved once again to be the MVP by just T-bolting everything else to help. And now Sharpedo's doing very well against Maxie/Tabitha. Definitely think this is a good B rank right here!
Kecleon, finally, is not as bad as you'd expect. It's managed to get in a few strong Strengths, Aerial Aces and Shadow Balls where it counts and has proven nice enough as a fifth team member to fall back on. What really gets in the way though is the low speed meaning I need to heal up a lot between fights, colour change taking away its STAB half the time, and the fact that... while it's fine, I rarely find a situation where I'd rather use it over literally anything else. I get the feeling that it'll prove its worth against Tate & Liza, but for now, D or low C seems adequately descriptive.
Kurona... you are so stupid.

I've finished, and what I just posted about sums up my feelings on the run; but let's get right into it, yeah?

Blaziken is A, but honestly borderline B from the struggles I had with her. Not enough to put here there, but like... I definitely found Magneton in my previous run a lot more useful. While Fire proves to be a better type than you'd expect in Too Much Water land, Combusken has so many movepool and middling power troubles to overcome while other team members are pulling their weight so much more. This is one of the few Pokémon runs I've had where my starter was not the main Pokémon I was relying on, and I'm sadly surprised by how many times this 'mon just couldn't put in the work. Thankfully, where it struggles it will soon pick up the pace tenfold with a great matchup (Sydney and Glacia are more or less ruined by it) or a power boost right around the corner (Overheat is fun); but it's just not as consistent as others I've used.

Gardevoir is 100% S and I was foolish to doubt it. Needs babied for like 2-3 levels after you get it and then it proceeds to tear everything to pieces with Confusion, Calm Mind or Psychic + Thunderbolt depending on where you are in the game. A complete monster that well deserves its rank.

Golem is C in my eyes. When it's good, it's really good, and it really doesn't care about anything the middle game can throw at it -- but then once you get Surf, problems begin to show. It gets its good moves very late in this game so it's left to work with Magnitude/Dig, Rock Throw/Tomb or non-STAB Strength well into the game's run, and right when it's running into its worst matchups too. It can still put in work and is a wonderful defensive tank, but it just doesn't have a lot to do later on. One important thing to note is that while it doesn't have any endgame matchups of note, Self-Destruct is a VERY fun button to click if you're struggling to muscle past some of the stronger dragons. Despite that, there's just not a lot going for it and the rank it's at now fits quite well.

Sharpedo just about manages its way into B. What I said about it before still applies -- it's just a damn good water-type with a great secondary STAB and it's not hard to fill out its moveset early on with Ice Beam. But late-game is where its troubles really start to double down; it just fails to net a lot of KOs, it actually ends up outsped by some significant opponents and its frailty is on a whole other level. If you fail to knock out the opponent - which is worryingly often - you're not going to take it well. This can be mitigated by some extra levels and item support, but that's certainly what's keeping it from being much better than it is. Scares off Tate & Liza, Phoebe and some of Drake, but it's something that's got teething problems. I could see arguments for borderline C, but I'm still confident in how I'm ranking it.

Kecleon is the worst garbage I have ever used this thing is E at best and the only reason I'm not putting it at F is because I refuse to believe anything's as bad as Luvdisc, but goddamn if I couldn't see an argument for it! I just about failed to beat the game because of this stupid thing dragging my team's levels back and doing nothing to contribute -- everything else at least done something in a major battle! Even if it was just a few pokemon or needed set-up or just blew up, they all had something to offer in the late-game even if it wasn't the greatest. This guy comes in, gets outsped, loses its STAB, takes half health and does, like, kind of okay damage back. You're lucky if it's half health. I wish there was much more to say about how bad it is, but that's really what it comes down to -- slow, frail, weak, late-game, basically no STAB. Avoid at all costs, not even worthy of being team filler.

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Sorry for being inactive, didn't really feel like playing Emerald.

Golem is C
OK so before I go on in my logs, I want to ask, how did F-tier's existence downgrade Golem by one rank? Especially when Torchic and Ralts didn't seem affected at all by its existence. I am asking because I remember you initially nommed it to B until you said you didn't know F-tier existed and thus decided to adjust its ranking.

I also noticed you didn't mention using Rollout. I think Rollout played some role in my nomination to B, as it allowed it to thrive against 3 Gyms in a row. I also found Golem slightly more useful in the end-game, being good for Phoebe and claiming some kills against Sidney.

(Note that I am not aiming to disregard your experience, I just want a clarification on the F-tier thing so I can understand it a little bit better).

Anyways, here are logs:

I do the Team Magma quest and obtain a Chinchou with the following IVs:


I train it against some Water trainers, Abandoned Ship, and the Water route before it (I had them left so decided to use them anyways) and it reaches level 36 before entering Seafloor Cavern. I reach Archie with the following team:

Team: Lanturn(37), everything else(43)

Mightyena: Very luck based. His Mightyena goes down if Swagger is merciful on you. Crobat, not minding potions, is 3HKOed by +1 Shadow Ball, but also has Confuse Ray. Sharpedo is OHKOed by +3 Strength, since it swaggered it. But yeah, very luck based.
Nosepass: HStone Rock Slide is a 2HKO on Crobat. This is the most reliable win for this fight, even though it can get screwed up by Confuse Rayas well. HStone RSlide is a 3HKO on Sharpedo, but Swagger.
Machoke: boosted -1 Revenge OHKOs Mightyena if it doesn't go for Swagger. Normal Revenge OHKOs Sharpedo. Crobat is no. Keep in mind Sharpedo also tries to Swagger you.
Xatu: Psychic OHKOs Crobat and Solar Beam OHKOs Sharpedo. Don't go against Mightyena unless you like playing on luck.
Lanturn: Mightyena is pretty much RNG fest with the Swagger, but, not considering potions, Surf is a 3HKO. Crobat and Sharpedo are 2HKOed and OHKOed by TBolt, respectively, though Crobat can ruin your day with Confuse Ray. Sharpedo here went for Slash directly instead of Swaggering, but I can see the danger of Swaggering.

I make it to Juan, with levels being virtually the same, bar Lanturn, as I had to pour in all the Gym Trainers into Lanturn.

Team: Lanturn(41), rest(43)

Mightyena: bad matchup. +1 Shadow Ball 2HKOs only Whiscash and Luvdisc, with the latter being annoying with Sweet Kiss and Attract. The rest are 3HKOed and in most cases beat you, as Juan likes to heal them.
Nosepass: lol
Machoke: Sets up a Bulk Up and can spam Revenge. If triggered, Revenge will be at least a 2HKO on everything. Discounting confusions, Machoke will be able to sweep if you heal it at some point (in my case, I could have won by healing after taking down Kingdra).
Xatu: Does very well. +1 Solar Beam 2HKOs Kingdra and OHKOs the rest. Kingdra is the only thing that's really threatening Xatu, as its Ice Beam is a 2HKO. Luvdisc is annoying due to Attract + Sweet Kiss. You will have to reset up Sunny Day, but if it's not against Kingdra, it's not a problem. Good matchup overall.
Lanturn: Like most Electric-types, Lanturn doesn't deal well with Whiscash and Kingdra, but the rest are 2HKOed or OHKOed by Thunderbolt. Beware the Luvdisc, though, as it's faster.

I reach Wally with a team of level 42 Lanturn, level 44 Machoke and the rest still being level 43.

Mightyena: sweeps. After 2 Howls, every attack is either a 2HKO or OHKO. Only be careful with Altaria, though +2 Shadow Ball 2HKOs it anyways.
Nosepass: Can muscle through Altaria, but that's it, really.
Machoke: beats Magneton and Delcatty, but nothing else.
Xatu: beats only Roselia and Delcatty through Psychic spam.
Lanturn: Ice Beam 2HKOs Altaria and Roselia, but takes lots of damage in the meantime. Surf 2HKOs Magneton and Delcatty as well. You aren't beating those 4 at once without healing, though.

current thoughts on members so far:
Mightyena - I think it might end up in D. After Tate and Liza, it fell down significally, but at least it swept Wally. It generally requires few Howls to do much, that's why I think D might be more appropriate. If it does somewhat well in the E4, I think C can be considered
Nosepass - E rank. Flannery and Norman are long gone and this is barely contributing anything
Machoke - In all honesty, this has been disappointing me more than Nosepass is. I think Machoke could even up in D if it doesn't get its performance together.
Xatu - has been impressing a lot. If it can dent majorly an E4 member, I am gonna call it D rank, otherwise, E rank.
Chinchou - I doubt this has any chance of being A, considering you have to grind it with whatever you have left, so I am testing to see C vs B-tier. I don't know if its close-to-my-team levels were a result of using skipped trainers and whenever it should hold a positive or negative weight. It did somewhat well against Archie if you are lucky and has what I call the "not the perfect against Juan Electric-type" syndrome (since it only beats 3/5 of his team). Overall, if this doesn't do very well at the E4, I can see it falling to C with the late arrival + sucking out the Exp. from the rest of its teammates due to the grinding it requires that hinder it, mainly.

I will provide soon the E4 logs after I test them.
Sorry for being inactive, didn't really feel like playing Emerald.

OK so before I go on in my logs, I want to ask, how did F-tier's existence downgrade Golem by one rank? Especially when Torchic and Ralts didn't seem affected at all by its existence. I am asking because I remember you initially nommed it to B until you said you didn't know F-tier existed and thus decided to adjust its ranking.

I also noticed you didn't mention using Rollout. I think Rollout played some role in my nomination to B, as it allowed it to thrive against 3 Gyms in a row. I also found Golem slightly more useful in the end-game, being good for Phoebe and claiming some kills against Sidney.

(Note that I am not aiming to disregard your experience, I just want a clarification on the F-tier thing so I can understand it a little bit better).
I guess it's more accurate to say that I wanted to rank it at the fourth-worst rank, and I didn't realise that that was C instead of B. In a tier list from S to E (or rather, S to D; with E being literally unusable), I felt that C would be ranking it too low even if B didn't describe its performance completely accurately to me. So C fit a lot more once I realised there were more ranks and hence I could rank things more specifically.
As for why it doesn't change Ralts or Torchic's placement; the number of ranks tends to only effect the Pokémon around the middle unless your number of ranks is extremely low. A and S are reserved for the best and the best of the best respectively, so for me that doesn't change the placement of a Pokémon in those ranks whether the lowest rank is D or G. Ralts is still one of the top 3 Pokémon in the game period, and Torchic would be among the top 5 if it didn't have issues with its mid-game.

TL;DR -- it isn't so much a downgrade as a more accurate descriptor. I thought Golem was a C-rank Pokémon to begin with, I just forget the context of the tier list's structure so I settled with B.

I admit I didn't use Rollout; my luck in this run was really bad with missing so many hits I shouldn't have (I swear Overheat missed like 4 times out of 5), so I really didn't want to rely on a move where having even decent power relied on hitting multiple 90s in a row. That's of course not objective and not true of everyone's experiences, it's just that it felt like the RNG wanted to make my life as awful as possible so I just didn't elect to test out options that relied on it. So... yeah, for all I know Rollout is extremely good and I'm going to rely on your experiences here; if it does seriously make a lot of matchups including late-game ones much better, then I'm willing to concede that Golem is closer to B.

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
if it does seriously make a lot of matchups including late-game ones much better, then I'm willing to concede that Golem is closer to B.
to make it clear, Rollout does well Flannery, Norman, and Winona for faster killing. Flannery is easy to beat with anything else, though, but Rollout really speeds up things against Norman and Winona, which otherwise you have to hit with Magnitude and Rock Throw, respectively. It does see low usage in the late-game major bosses, but for Route trainers, it should still allow you to get past whatever, no matter if it's a resist.

I got confused as to the change in tiering because F and E look very similar (iirc, wasn't F tier created just so E isn't bloated with mons?) and thus I would find it hard to drop something outside of E merely because it exists, though I understand better your point now that I know that you were seeing it as a C from the beginning.

I guess whenever it's B or no depends on how much emphasize you give to its 4 good matchups in a row and amount of kills it gets in the E4.

e: I revisited my logs and, to make it clear, it claims around 3 kills against Phoebe and 2 against Sidney.
to make it clear, Rollout does well Flannery, Norman, and Winona for faster killing. Flannery is easy to beat with anything else, though, but Rollout really speeds up things against Norman and Winona, which otherwise you have to hit with Magnitude and Rock Throw, respectively. It does see low usage in the late-game major bosses, but for Route trainers, it should still allow you to get past whatever, no matter if it's a resist.

I got confused as to the change in tiering because F and E look very similar (iirc, wasn't F tier created just so E isn't bloated with mons?) and thus I would find it hard to drop something outside of E merely because it exists, though I understand better your point now that I know that you were seeing it as a C from the beginning.

I guess whenever it's B or no depends on how much emphasize you give to its 4 good matchups in a row and amount of kills it gets in the E4.
That makes sense -- I found Golem solid at worst against both Flannery and Norman (well, like, it kind of singlehandedly destroys Flannery), but I couldn't find an opening in Winona between Skarmory, Tropius, Pelipper and Altaria all having some kind of advantage. I could definitely see Rollout making a big difference against them though, depending on how fast you are!

And yeah, F and E are very similar... but as you can probably tell I wasn't looking at F rank when I made my decision lol

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