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

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I'd say, based on Texas's ranking system, Golem is definitely "Solid" (not only because it's a rock ;))

but anyways, bad puns aside, here are the promised E4 logs. I did the E4 and used my 10 Rare Candies to make all my mons level 47, which should be ideal.

Mightyena: Not a good matchup, overall. Shiftry and hs Mightyena are luck fests. You can 2HKO Cacturne with +1 Strength, but only if you love getting Cotton Spored. Crawdaunt and Absol are 3HKOed by +1 Strength and deal heavy damage with SD-boosted attacks. Not worth trying here, in all honesty.
Nosepass: bad. Toxic + Protect is your only way of doing something, realistically and some even pack super effective moves (or special moves, those also hit hard).
Machoke: Cross Chop is an OHKO on everything unboosted, but a 2HKO if you take the Intimidate debuff. Also keep in mind that Cross Chop has only 5 PP, unless you buff it up, so if it misses, you aren't sweeping. Misses here can be fatal, as stuff like Crawdaunt deal heavy damage with +2 Strength.
Xatu: +1 Solar Beam OHKOs Mightyena (after a Double Edge) and unboosted Solar Beam is an OHKO on Crawdaunt. Keep in mind, Mightyena also spams Sand-Attack.
Lanturn: Surf is a 2HKO on Mightyena, which loves to Sand-Attack you. Cacturne and Shiftry are 2HKOed by Ice Beam, however, the former 2HKOs with Needle Arm and if it Cotton Spores, it can flinch you, while the latter has Double Team and Torment. Absol is 3HKOed by Surf, but by the time you reach it, you are very likely weakened and it will deal heavy damage with +2 Slash anyways. Crawdaunt is OHKOed by TBolt, though. Not the most reliable matchup, overall.


levels are 47 for all, still

Mightyena: +2 Shadow Ball 2HKOs Sableye and Dusclops and OHKOs the Banette. Setting it up against the first Dusclops is very difficult because of Curse, though.
Nosepass: Toxic + Protect won't get you far, especially when the first Dusclops decides to use Curse. You are unlikely to claim more than one kill against her team without extensive healing support.
Machoke: gets heavily bodied here. +1 EQ here is like a 3HKO at best for the Dusclops and one of the Banette has Psychic. The other one can be beaten but spams Grudge like crazy. Her Sableye has, guess what, Double Team! *insert frantical yay*. So yeah, not a very reliable matchup, overall.
Xatu: +1 Psychic 2HKOs everything bar Sableye and higher-leveled Dusclops, but they all hit you hard, so you are not claiming more than one kill.
Lanturn: Surf 3HKOs everything bar the higher leveled Dusclops. However, the first one can Curse you, the Banette hit hard with Shadow Ball (a 3HKO and they are faster) and Sableye has Double Team. You underspeed Sableye as well.


levels are still 47

Mightyena: +1 Strength 3HKOs everything. Not a good matchup, seeing as they all hit you pretty hard (at least a 3HKO on every instance).
Nosepass: Toxic + Protect is the only thing that really works here, as well. Again, nothing more than one kill without healing support.
Machoke: can claim 3 kills at most, depending on how merciful Cross Chop is. +1 Cross Chop OHKOs the Sealeo and a boosted Revenge should killl one Glalie. So the not so bad performane mostly depends on whenever Cross Chop hits the Sealeo or no.
Xatu: not good. You need 2 CMs just to OHKO Sealeo with Solar Beam. Glalies always beat it, as they live a Psychic and finish you off with a super effective move.
Lanturn: Not super amazing, in all honesty. TBolt is a 2HKO on Sealeo and one Glalie has Light Screen, so if it sets it up, yeah have fun muscling through Glacia's team with Lanturn.


Machoke is level 48, rest is 47

Mightyena:</p><p>Nosepass: Toxic + Protect. Not gonna repeat myself
Machoke: gets bodied completely, I don't think I have to explain why. But, just in case, everything hits it hard as well and the stuff is just too powerful for Machoke to handle.
Xatu: 2HKOs Shelgon with Psychic. Rock Tomb screws Xatu over seriously hard, though, as whatever comes in next will generally finish it off because its Speed is dropped
Lanturn: Ice Beam 2HKOs Shelgon or Altaria, but you die to the one you don't KO. Mence's Sitrus Berry makes Ice Beam a 3HKO.


Same levels

Mightyena: gets bodied completely
Nosepass: I don't even know why I tried using that, it cannot even poison Wailord
Machoke: gets bodied completely as well
Xatu: gets bodied completely. It needs to set up a CM and Sunny Day to do anything, but at that point, it will already have been KOed by whatever t is facing. Whiscash is not OHKOed, only 2HKOed and hits back with Hyper Beam
Lanturn: beats Wailord, then dies to Gyarados. You need healing support to take down anything else


Nominations:

Poochyena -> at least D, possibly C-tier

I am bit doubled here. Poochyena contributed partially to almost every major fight prior to the E4 and, outside of T&L, never really achieved a sweep. E4 performance wasn't super impressive, but at least can claim some kills on Phoebe. That's why I have a hard time deciding between D or C, as Intimidate support is also very handy sometimes. Texas has used it, so I think he can weight in his opinion based on my logs, if it's not a problem.

Nosepass -> E
I think Nosepass shouldn't be F-tier, given it's useful for Flannery and Norman, but after that, it falls off heavily. E-tier looks more appropriate for the niche it has

Machop (No Trade) -> D
This thing has been super mediocre in my whole run. Its STAB moves, Karate Chop and Revenge, are simply not good enough to make this efficient to use. It has pretty much no reliable matchups outside of Norman and I have a hard time seeing this in C-tier, where stuff tends to be somewhat decent.

Natu -> E
Unfortunately, despite me liking Natu a lot, it has nothing good against the E4. Therefore, since it wins like 2 matchups only with such late arrival, an E-tier looks more appropraite.

Chinchou -> C
Chinchou wasn't super amazing despite the late arrival. First off, it sucks off the Exp. your team may want in order to catch up. Second off, it reached higher levels because I used skipped trainers on it, I don't know what level it would be if I just grinded it with nearby trainers. Third off, even after that, Lanturn is only reliably good for Juan. Given that Lanturn was not very good for most major fights, I think it should drop to C-tier.

I can continue testing mons that need another opinion. Please let me know if there's anything you want me to test.

I can also help with QCing and/or writing up Pokemon that are lacking write-ups (provided I have used them). I also want to let you guys know that, since our (DrumstickGaming and mine)'s article managed to get published, I can guide you through the process and share some tips and etc. in terms of the write-ups thanks to my experience with the process itself.
 
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Poochyena -> at least D, possibly C-tier
I am bit doubled here. Poochyena contributed partially to almost every major fight prior to the E4 and, outside of T&L, never really achieved a sweep. E4 performance wasn't super impressive, but at least can claim some kills on Phoebe. That's why I have a hard time deciding between D or C, as Intimidate support is also very handy sometimes. Texas has used it, so I think he can weight in his opinion based on my logs, if it's not a problem.
Doesn't contribute enough to justify C in my opinion but I'm pleased that you also experienced D level contributions.

Nosepass -> E
I think Nosepass shouldn't be F-tier, given its useful for Flannery and Norman, but after that, it falls off heavily. E-tier looks more appropriate for the niche it has
I support this move, Nosepass was tracking for E in my still-technically-active run and it appears to have fulfilled the niche I thought it might have.

Machop (No Trade) -> D
This thing has been super mediocre in my whole run. Its STAB moves, Karate Chop and Revenge, are simply not good enough to make this efficient to use. It has pretty much no reliable matchups outside of Norman and I have a hard time seeing this in C-tier, where stuff tends to be somewhat decent.
I support this move. Fuck Machop.

Natu -> E
Unfortunately, despite me liking Natu a lot, it has nothing good against the E4. Therefore, since it wins like 2 matchups only with such late arrival, an E-tier looks more appropraite.
I begrudgingly accept this conclusion. I had a more favorable experience myself, but it's reasonable to assume that was due to fantastic IVs and setting up favorable sweeping conditions.

Chinchou -> C
Chinchou wasn't super amazing despite the late arrival. First off, it sucks off the Exp. your team may want in order to catch up. Second off, it reached higher levels because I used skipped trainers on it, I don't know what level it would be if I just grinded it with nearby trainers. Third off, even after that, Lanturn is only reliably good for Juan. Given that Lanturn was not very good for most major fights, I think it should drop to C-tier.
I do not support this nomination, it doesn't track with my experience and I don't think you approached things in a way that best utilized Lanturn's capabilities. I noticed that you tended to use Lanturn from the beginning of a fight until it fainted - against certain opponents (Wallace for example) Lanturn is better suited to kill something, switch out (i.e. vs Earthquake Gyarados) and switch back in against something else (i.e. Milotic). Similarly vs Sidney you noted that Shiftry has Double Team but did not note that its only attacking option is Extrasensory which Lanturn doesn't particularly care about. Similarly vs Glacia you noted the enemy having Light Screen without noting that none of her Pokemon can deal meaningful damage to it bar Walrein's Body Slam.

This was perhaps why I had such a strongly positive experience with it - in the run I ran it with the rest of the team had the defenses of a wet paper bag and so Lanturn was consistently taking a multitude of hits without cause for concern while beating through several Pokemon on the opposing team at the same time. Given your comment on experience I also wonder if perhaps you underleveled your team? I tend to fight every trainer including optional ones and even then by the time of Tate and Liza I'm fortunate to have the whole team be on par with them. Lanturn shouldn't be taking away experience that other Pokemon desperately need on the water routes if they've been sufficiently trained before. I also noticed that your Chinchou had somewhat subpar IVs, I wonder if this contributed to your experience with it as your Chinchou was significantly lacking in both bulk and power (HP and SpA less than 5, SDef less than 10 iirc).

There's also the HM component similar to Sharpedo, Lanturn is one of the only Pokemon that can fit Dive into their main moveset without sacrificing anywhere else (Surf, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Dive).
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Similarly vs Sidney you noted that Shiftry has Double Team but did not note that its only attacking option is Extrasensory which Lanturn doesn't particularly care about. Similarly vs Glacia you noted the enemy having Light Screen without noting that none of her Pokemon can deal meaningful damage to it bar Walrein's Body Slam.
What I meant more is that those just make it a hassle to really beat. It probs can muscle past through them, but it's taking so much time and I (personally) get super irritated when something takes too long, but that's maybe a thing with me more.

against certain opponents (Wallace for example) Lanturn is better suited to kill something, switch out (i.e. vs Earthquake Gyarados) and switch back in against something else (i.e. Milotic)
Because I sort of have difficulties remembering, I just reran the Wallace fight with Lanturn. Turns out defeat over Wailord was a fluke; its Double Edge 2HKOed it consistently. Cruel, Whiscash, and Ludicolo all at least 2HKO it and Lanturn cannot even 2HKO them. Milotic is 3-4HKOed by TBolt and Milotic muscles through with Surf. (I can rerun the fight as many times as you want me to, if you wish).

e: to make it clear, I tried your strat and it didn't work for me.

I also noticed that your Chinchou had somewhat subpar IVs, I wonder if this contributed to your experience with it as your Chinchou was significantly lacking in both bulk and power (HP and SpA less than 5, SDef less than 10 iirc).
that's probably the most probable clause. What were your IVs exactly? Maybe knowing this can help determining better the cause behind this.
 
that's probably the most probable clause. What were your IVs exactly? Maybe knowing this can help determining better the cause behind this.
no idea, only ever checked the Natu in that run on a whim
Milotic is 3-4HKOed by TBolt and Milotic muscles through with Surf. (I can rerun the fight as many times as you want me to, if you wish).
I think the paltry hp/sdef ivs are coming into play if Milotic is winning with Surf


B does seem reasonable then if my run and this run are considered the outlying ends of the performance curve for Lanturn
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
in that case, I will let somebody else argue for C if they wish to do so. If my tests were faulty, I don't think I should be in position to defend my nom. I'd retest it, but I think a fresher opinion would be better.

Regardless, I could probs test anything else that is in need of testing. I remember I bailed out on Kecleon, so is there anything else that could see another test?
 
electrike, heracross, taillow, psyduck, pinsir, seviper, phanpy, chimecho, goldeen, mawile, relicanth, castform


the above strike out to me as either underrepresented or potentially having a point of contention
 
Relicanth specifically strikes me as a Pokémon that would have little to no use; being as late-game and STABless (45 spa; best rock move is ancientpower and no rollout) as it is. It seems its only real niche would be rock head double-edge, but coming off of 90 atk with no STAB and few EVs... it's a bit dubious.


Talking of physically-based water-types though, weren't we also considering Corphish for testing?
 

Merritt

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I'm vaguely surprised you seemingly didn't teach Machoke Brick Break, since it's a reliable STAB unlike Cross Chop and the rest of your team wasn't exactly trying to claim it.

Relicanth specifically strikes me as a Pokémon that would have little to no use; being as late-game and STABless (45 spa; best rock move is ancientpower and no rollout) as it is. It seems its only real niche would be rock head double-edge, but coming off of 90 atk with no STAB and few EVs... it's a bit dubious.


Talking of physically-based water-types though, weren't we also considering Corphish for testing?
Crawdaunt is pretty much as physically based as Sharpedo, they've got near identical special attack. It's ultimately the difference between kind of paper defenses on Sharpedo in exchange for a hell of a lot more speed and a strong second STAB while Crawdaunt is able to kinda sorta leverage Sludge Bomb and Brick Break.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I'm vaguely surprised you seemingly didn't teach Machoke Brick Break, since it's a reliable STAB unlike Cross Chop and the rest of your team wasn't exactly trying to claim it.
I doubt it'd have helped, you sort of need Cross Chop at the E4 to OHKO Sidney's stuff and Glacia's Sealeo. -1 CChop didn't even manage to kill them, imagine Brick Break.

electrike, heracross, taillow, psyduck, pinsir, seviper, phanpy, chimecho, goldeen, mawile, relicanth, castform
I have actually used Heracross and Electrike so I will give my two cents right now:

Heracross - Heracross is either B or A, depending on if you consider the Poke Block glitch. Hera probably has one of the best end-games, being good against Sidney, Phoebe, AND Glacia. It's just that it's an enormous pain to find and catch (if my math is correct, isn't the chance like 16%?). I can see why someone would say A even then, though, given, from experience, Emerald Rayquaza is the only thing that sweeps more than one Elite Four member.

It's also funny how Heracross can actually sweep Winona, just Bulk Up twice hehe.

Electrike - This is a B at best, maybe even C. The pre-Spark period is, simply put, horrendous. I had to constantly go back-and-forth to heal it after pretty much every fight. In terms of major fights, Manectric was good for Winona and Juan (Juan being the same performance as Lanturn), though it also did somewhat well against Norman, 2HKOing Spinda and Vigoroth with Spark and Linoone with TBolt (TBolt will also 2HKO the former two, but you can just use Spark). It can also do well against T&L if you OHKO Claydol with an ally, otherwise rip Manectric. It also has a surprisingly not bad E4 matchup; it can muscle through Sidney's non-Grass-types, Phoebe's non-Dusclops, and 2HKOs each of Glacia's Water-types (but Icy Wind makes it hard to beat all three at once). So it's a B-tier at best.

I will grab, from this list, Taillow, Seviper, Goldeen, Pinsir, and Castform. I cannot test Mawile, as I am playing Emerald and Mawile in Emerald is only at Victory Road. I will be grabbing fillers, though, because I will be using solo Taillow for a long time.
 

Punchshroom

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electrike, heracross, taillow, psyduck, pinsir, seviper, phanpy, chimecho, goldeen, mawile, relicanth, castform
You know it's interesting that Electrike and Taillow are brought up, because they have one thing in common: they come far earlier than their significant competition (Electrike vs Magnemite/Voltorb/Pikachu, Taillow vs Doduo), but don't exactly have a significant enough track record against the midgame bosses to help solidify their earlier accessibility advantage.

Let's start with Taillow, who is renowned in the early game thanks to its speed and decent powered STABs, but then doesn't have any truly favorable matchups against bosses that come after Brawly; outright bad matchups in the case of Wattson & Flannery. Like sure, Swellow can actually handle the Team Leader's Golbat or Camerupt/Sharpedo and could stave off Norman's Slakings with Double Team + Endeavor, but even in those cases it usually only handles one Pokemon before getting overpowered by the others. Swellow does remains one of the better route cleaners the game has to offer, and in boss battles it can at least be relied upon to land a quick strong blow (usually Silk Scarf-boosted Return or Hyper Beam) on the opponent if need be to finish it off.

When I compare Taillow to Doduo, probably the most significant advantage Taillow has is that it has more time to build up Return's power to powerful levels. However, Doduo comes equipped with Tri Attack out of the box which somewhat mitigates that advantage; if anything this means Doduo ends up being more resource-friendly as it does not need the Return TM (which I doubt it'll even reach the happiness levels for anyway by the end of the game), which can be given to something that makes better use of it. In fact, since Lilycove is right around the corner, you can buy the Hyper Beam TM, head back to beat Winona, then have Dodrio Fly back to Lilycove to save yourself some backtracking, so Dodrio ends up not being any real sort of hassle to pick up and use at all, which is a trait it shares with Taillow tbh.

I'm not gonna lie; the more I look between Taillow and Doduo, the more I think that Taillow doesn't exactly have that much of an advantage in the midgame overall to warrant a whole rank apart just for being available earlier than Doduo. They both just end up being 'fast neutral beaters' that excel at route cleaning but are relegated to just throwing out fast Normal-type assaults against bosses (usually a Return + Hyper Beam KO, or a revenge kill Hyper Beam), and even the difference between their speed and power is mostly situational: Dodrio's stronger Hyper Beam may be more impactful against bulkier targets like Milotic and Walrein, but Swellow's faster Hyper Beam may also matter against targets like Flygon, Salamence, and Tentacruel. Personally, I would not be opposed to ranking Taillow down to C alongside Doduo.

---------------------------------------------------------------

On the subject of "earlier access doesn't necessarily mean better", Electrike is one of the biggest offenders. Early-game Electrike is stuck with Tackle for a while, and this isn't some short affair like getting lv 4 Ralts to lv 6 to learn Confusion; you have to get a level 13 (at most) Electrike to level 20 with nothing but your shitty unSTAB attack off your weaker Attack stat no less. Even then, Spark doesn't give you that immediate satisfactory reward for the work you put into it; you're still not beating Wattson, Flannery outmatches you, and Spark is a potential suicide attempt against Norman. Sure Manectric is good vs Archie, but obviously not so much against Maxie. Once again, this is another scenario where Manectric's mid-game prospects aren't exactly that bragworthy when talking about its accessibility advantage vs the mid-game Electrics.

The mid-game Electrics happen to include itself btw, since you can catch wild Spark Electrikes and Manectrics after obtaining Surf, conveniently before Winona, and this is also the period where u can catch all the mid-game Electrics (only Pikachu requires mild backtracking, but is usable right away and doesn't consume the Thunderbolt TM). Because of this, I'm actually all for the idea of ranking all the mid-game Electrics (Electrike, Magnemite, Voltorb, and Pikachu) into the same tier of B; they all perform pretty similarly during the post-Surf section of the game with their TBolt spam which is pretty effective for the lategame, and I don't think early-game Manectric's contributions are much to write home about to justify a rank apart.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Started my new run:

I caught a Taillow with the following IVs:

taillow.jpg


I use it and fight every Trainer available, bar the Hikers, and Taillow reaches level 15. Vs Roxie:

Team: Taillow(15)
Taillow: Can't even get past Geodude, as Rock Tomb 2HKOs it.


I reach Dewford and beat the Fishermen and the Gym Trainers. Taillow reaches level 19. Vs Brawly:

Team: Taillow(19)
Taillow: wins by spamming Wing Attack, though Makuhita has to use 2 Bulk Ups in order to win, as +1 Vital Throw will OHKO Taillow.


I grind Taillow against some trainers and it evolves into Swellow and muscles through May with Wing Attack spam. I reach level 24 way before Wattson so I avoid other trainers with it, so I don't get called out for overleveling if Swellow manages to do well against Wattson:

Team: Swellow(24)

Swellow: Quick Attack 2HKOs Electrike and 2HKOs Voltorb on rolls, though Electric moves 2HKO Swellow


I go to the Route before Meteor Falls (think it was 114? I have an incredibly hard time remembering those routes) and skip some trainers so I can catch a Seviper. I catch one with the following IVs:

seviper.jpg

Seviper starts off really strong by clearing off some of the skipped trainers with absolutely no issues at all. I have to skip some more trainers in order to not overlevel (my Swellow gets to level 29 before even facing Magma). I reach Maxie with the following team:

Team: Swellow(29), Seviper(28)

Swellow: Wing Attack is a 4HKO on Mightyena. You really want to use Focus Energy here so you can 2HKO Mightyena with a crit. Be careful of Sand-Attack too. Muscles through Zubat fairly easy. Camerupt, not minding Super Potions, is 3HKOed by Wing Attack and takes one turn to heal. So just spam Wing Attack post-Mightyena and you are likely to finish him off.
Seviper: Poison Tail, not minding potions, is a 4HKO on Mightyena, though the move has a higher chance of landing a critical hit. Beats Zubat with Bite/Crunch spam, both are 2HKOs. Camerupt is 2HKOed by Dig, but Magnitude causes a lot of problems.

I skip more trainers and enter Flannery's Gym and reach her with the following team:

Team: Swellow(29), Seviper(29)

Swellow: muscles through Numel and Slugma with Return. Camerupt and Torkoal OHKO it with sun-boosted Overheat, with Return not even 2HKOing Camerupt unless you get statused to trigger Guts. Not the most impressive matchup.
Seviper: Dig OHKOs Numel and Slugma with Dig and 2HKOs Camerupt. For Numel, it only fears it clicking Magnitude, which will pretty much kill Seviper. Seviper manages, from full, to barely survive a sun-boosted Overheat by Camerupt, thus, a fully healthy Seviper is also beating it. Good matchup, I'd say.


I use both Swellow and Seviper against Gym Trainers and they reach level 30. I decided to not outlevel like crazy, to get some results for if you were to be using more members than I am.

Team: Swellow(30), Seviper(30)

Swellow: Return 2HKOs Spinda and Linoone and 3HKOs Vigoroth. Spinda only causes problems with Teeter Dance. Slaking is not beatable, and Vigoroth can be dangerous if it lands a crit with Slash.
Seviper: Not a good matchup. Dig is a 3HKO on all things bar Slaking and only Spinda doesn't threaten it that much, unless it clicks Teeter Dance. Linoone outspeeds it and thus BDrum Facade will kill it. Vigoroth's Slash deals heavy damage to it, and thus if you fought Spinda, you are unlikely to win.


I go and catch a Goldeen through surfing (I know I can fish for a non-1% one, but I sort of wanted one that is at least level 20):

goldeen.jpg


I grind it up against skipped trainers and go towards Weather Institute (where Goldeen evolves) and get a Castform with the following IVs:

castform.jpg


I also train it up against skipped trainers. I teach it Shock Wave for water routes till it learns Weather Ball, then it handles the rest of Water routes pretty well. I reach May with everything at level 33.

Team: Swellow(33), Seviper(33), Seaking(33), Castform(33)

Swellow: Return OHKOs Slugma and Wing Attack OHKOs the rest
Seviper: Dig OHKOs Slugma and Poison Tail OHKOs the rest
Seaking: Surf OHKOs Slugma and Ice Beam 2HKOs Grovyle, while living a Leaf Blade and outspeeding it. Loses to Lombre due to being too weakened
Castform: Weather Ball 2HKOs Slugma and then you set up Sunny Day, which OHKOs the rest, if starter is Grovyle.

I then go to Safari Zone and catch a Pinsir:

pinsir.jpg


I teach it Bulk Up and Rock Tomb immediately (and later BB by level). I reach Winona with the following team:

Team: Swellow(34), Seviper(34), Seaking(33), Castform(33), Pinsir(33)

Swellow: Return OHKOs Swablu and 2HKOs Pelipper. Wing Attack 2HKOs Tropius. Altaria is 3HKOed by Return, but generally beats Swellow.
Seviper: Sludge Bomb (TM is obtained at Dewford after beating Norma) OHKOs Swablu and Tropius and 2HKOs Pelipper. Altaria is 3HKOed and, although it loses to Altaria, can dent it majorly, as it can also poison it. Overall, good matchup. If you teach Flamethrower, it can also beat Skamory.
Seaking: Not the best. It does not OHKO anything, 2HKO at best. Skarmory is even just 3HKOed by MW Surf. Tropius is not OHKOed by Ice Beam, in fact. Altaria is hard to defeat, because +1 EQ will likely finish you off. Pelipper is 3HKOed by Horn Attack. Not a good matchup, overall
Castform: can sweep. Weather Ball in Hail is, at worst, 2HKO on everything, thanks to Hail damage as well. Altaria, Swablu, and Tropius are OHKOed by Weather Ball, the rest are 2HKOed + Hail damage, but you have to reset up
Pinsir: does well; 2 Bulk Ups and start spamming moves. +2 BB OHKOs Swablu and 2HKOs Skarmory on rolls, be careful of Perish Song, while Rock Tomb 2HKOs the rest (though Pelipper is OHKOed on rolls). If you never miss Rock Tombs, you are likely sweeping this fight.


current thoughts on members so far:

Swellow
Ehhhh. This has not been the strongest thing. Other than Brawly and partially Winona, it's not been very consistent overall. I am gonna say C-tier, preliminary.

Seviper
Honestly, I have enjoyed using this. It caught up pretty fast with Swellow and has been all around useful. It did suck somewhat against Norman, but it did well against Winona and Flannery. C / B, preliminary

Seaking
I've got some hot garbage here. It's super questionable how its Ice Beam failed to OHKO a Tropius. I'd say, E-tier, preliminary, given it's also in varying levels and thus you may get it super underleveled.

Castform
This has been fun to use. I hardly have data to judge it on, so E-tier preliminary, but if I manage to sweep some more fights, I am not gonna hesitate to nom it higher (but we will see)

Pinsir
Pinsir surprised me with a good matchup against Winona. It's been a bit like Heracross, in all honesty. Not giving a preliminary ranking, because I have a feeling it may perform in a very similar fashion to Hera and thus both could get potentially the same tier.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
double posting, but more tests incoming, woohoo

I clean off the routes towards Lilycove, complete Mt. Pyre and then head for Magma Hideout. I reach Maxie with a team of level 37:

Team: Swellow(37), Seviper(37), Seaking(37), Castform(37), Pinsir(37)

Swellow: Confusion hax makes this matchup unreliable, though +1 Return 2HKOs everything if you get past that.
Seviper: not good, Mightyena is beaten only if hax is merciful on you, Camerupt clicks Earthquake and Crobat outpowers Seviper
Seaking: MW Surf 2HKOs Mightyena and OHKOs Camerupt. Crobat is generally hard to beat. Mightyena, like always, depends on how merciful RNGesus is on you.
Castform: Weather Ball in any weather 2HKOs Mightyena, wheres rainy one will OHKO Camerupt and one in hail will 2HKO Crobat (the rest being 3HKOs). So pick whatever weather gets the biggest threat to your team. If you skip Mightyena, Castform can beat both Camerupt and Crobat one after another.
Pinsir: 2HKOs Mightyena with BB. Hyper Cutter blocks Intimidate. If you have a Bulk Up and no Speed drops, Brick Break will 2HKO Camerupt, while Rock Tomb will 2HKO Crobat, surviving one attack from both.

After being done, I clear out Team Aqua, then some more trainers and I face Tate & Liza with the following team:

Team: Swellow(43), Seviper(43), Seaking(41), Castform(42), Pinsir(42)

Swellow: Return 2HKOs Xatu and 3HKOs Claydol, though the latter is not an issue if it doesn't target you with Ancient Power. You could try muscling through the rocks with Steel Wing, but it's gonna be lots of hassle, unless you have something else to also deal heavy damage to them.
Seviper: Not a good matchup, they will generally target Seviper with super effective moves, though SBomb will put Xatu in red.
Seaking: MW Waterfall 2HKOs everything that is weak to Water, though Solrock sets up Sunny Day and Lunatone likes to set up CMs, so even the 2HKO is not happening exactly.
Castform: really good matchup. Weather Ball in rain OHKOs Claydol and Solrock and almost OHKOs Lunatone. Not to mention Rain Dance offers support to other Water-type Pokemon and also decreases the power of Solrock's Solar Beam.
Pinsir: not really bad. +1 Rock Tomb 2HKOs Xatu (puts it in red) and +1 BB 3HKOs the Rocks. If you pair it up with something that also has good matchup, Pinsir will be able to help out handily.


I clear out Team Aqua (I've got no trainers left to grind on) and reach Archie with everything at level 43.

Team: Swellow(43), Seviper(43), Seaking(43), Castform(43), Pinsir(43)

Swellow: -1 Return 3HKOs Mightyena and +1 Return 2HKOs Crobat. Unboosted Return is almost an OHKO on Sharpedo.
Seviper: muscles through Mightyena if Swagger is merciful. Unboosted SBomb OHKOs Sharpedo as well.
Seaking: MW Surf 2HKOs Mightyena and 3HKOs the rest. Mightyena can use Swagger, Crobat can use Confuse Ray, while Sharpedo 3HKOs with Slash.
Castform: Weather Ball in hail 2HKOs Mightyena and OHKOs Crobat after hail damage, be careful of confusion hax. Mightyena delays its fainting with potion spam and potentially Swagger.
Pinsir: Good matchup. BB puts Mightyena in red and you win if it doesn't go for Swagger. BB also OHKOs Sharpedo.

I beat the Sootopolis Gym Trainers, the Trick House trainers post-T&L and reach Juan with the following team:

Team: Swellow(45), Seviper(45), Seaking(43), Castform(43), Pinsir(44)

Swellow: Return 2HKOs everything bar Kingdra. You won't be sweeping everything, unless you heal.
Seviper: Good matchup. Sludge Bomb OHKOs Luvdisc (though Attract / Sweet Kiss may be annoying), 3HKOs Kingdra (which is 50/50 if you win or no) and 2HKOs Crawdaunt and Sealeo. Giga Drain also 2HKOs Whiscash, Crawdaunt, and Sealeo, while keeping you healthy. Seviper can eat one EQ and recover quickly through Crawdaunt and Sealeo.
Seaking: not the best matchup you could expect. Horn Attack is a 3HKO on Luvdisc (if you have Return, likely a 2HKO) and Surf in rain is generally a 3HKO on most things, bar Kingdra, though they all hit it hard with neutral moves.
Castform: Not a bad matchup. I taught Solar Beam over Rain Dance, as I won't need rain from now on. Solar Beam in sun OHKOs Luvdisc, Whiscash, and Crawdaunt on rolls, though Luvdisc can cause problems with Sweet Kiss. Sealeo is also 2HKOed by Solar Beam. You may have to reset up Sun, but it shouldn't be a problem if you aren't too unlucky
Pinsir: Good matchup. +1 BB 2HKOs Luvdisc and Whiscash and OHKOs Sealeo and Crawdaunt. +1 BB 3HKOs Kingdra, though not enough for boosted Revenge to finish it off and Kingdra is the only Pokemon that poses serious threat to Pinsir. Luvdisc can be annoying with Attract and Sweet Kiss, though


current thoughts on members so far:

Swellow
no major change of opinion. I still think it's not consistent enough for preliminary B, so I am preliminarily giving it C-tier

Seviper
Still has been really useful. It did fall off a bit against Maxie and T&L, but a good matchup against Juan makes me think that a C-tier at best is possible, which I am gonna give to Seviper if it manages to do well in the E4.

Seaking
Still garbage. Even T&L isn't very ideal, considering it needs 3 hits to KO each of their ace. E-tier preliminarily at best atm.

Castform
This is defintely an E-tier at worst. Castform so far has been useful in every single Gym Leader; being good against Winona, having no problems against T&L's Water-weak Pokemon and even being able to sweep at best 4/5 of Juan's team is incredible. In all honesty, I can still see D-tier being possible.

Pinsir
It's performing in a very similar fashion to Heracross; both Bulk Up to dent majorly the major boss. Pinsir is a bit different in that it can block Mightyena's Intimidate and that it's a bit better against T&L, as it doesn't have a Fighting typing that would trigger them to target it so early. Preliminary, same tier as Heracross, which is currently B, as I am expecting also a good matchup in the E4.
 
Last edited:

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
whooping triple post but after that I am gonna stop till someone else posts.

Apparently, there were 4 trainers I had missed so.... whoops
Team: Swellow(45), Seviper(45), Seaking(43), Castform(45), Pinsir(45)

Swellow: Return 2HKOs Delcatty and Gardevoir, while Fly also OHKOs Roselia. Return is also 3HKO on Altaria, but if it goes for DD, you have a problem.
Seviper: solid matchup. Sludge Bomb OHKOs Roselia and 2HKOs everything bar Magneton, which you OHKO with Dig. Gardevoir beats you, but the other ones should be fairly easy to take down.
Seaking: Ice Beam 2HKOs Roselia and Altaria, former is dangerous due to Giga Drain, though. Delcatty is 2HKOed by MW Surf
Castform: Actually good. Hail Weather Ball is an OHKO on Altaria. Against Delcatty, you could try changing the weather to sun and outspeed and OHKO it and Magneton and Roselia with Weather Ball. Gardevoir is also 2HKOed, but will generally finish you off
Pinsir: Good matchup. Bulk Up on Altaria and 2HKO with Rock Tomb. Then Brick Break OHKOs Magneton and Delcatty, while EQ OHKOs Roselia and 2HKOs Gardevoir.


Team: Swellow(49), Seviper(48), Seaking(48), Castform(48), Pinsir(49) - I had some candies left to make those a bit higher

Swellow: Return 2HKOs Absol, though it *may* trigger Sitrus Berry, making you lose this matchup. Shiftry and Cacturne are 2HKOed by Aerial Ace (Cacturne is also OHKOed by Fly) and Crawdaunt is 3HKOed by 2 Returns + Aerial Ace without triggering a Full Restore, but you have to be at full in order to survive a +2 Strength
Seviper: very useful here. Sludge Bomb OHKOs Shiftry and Cacturne and Giga Drain 2HKOs Crawdaunt. Absol is 2HKOed, but it's faster and 2HKOs with Rock Slide. Mightyena is annoying due to Intimidate + Sand-Attack
Seaking: Surf 2HKOs Mightyena and Ice Beam 2HKOs the Grass-types, though Mightyena can Sand-Attack you and Shiftry can be annoying with DTeam + Swagger. Cacturne deals heavy damage with Needle Arm.
Castform: Weather Ball in sun almost OHKOs Mightyena, but it Sand-Attacks you. Avoid Absol, since it 2HKOs with Rock Slide. Sun Weather Ball OHKOs Shiftry and Cacturne (former can be annoying with Double Team though) while Solar Beam OHKOs Crawdaunt on rolls.
Pinsir: +1 BB OHKOs everything. It's best to skip Mightyena due to Sand-Attack making this matchup a bit more unreliable.


Levels are the same as above

Swellow: struggles with Dusclops. Fly 3HKOs the rest, though if you are burned by WoW, they become 2HKOs. One of the Banette Grudge, the other has TBolt, so you may not be able to beat both at once.
Seviper: 2HKOs first Dusclops with Crunch, along with Banette. You are taking out one threat, though, because both Banette hit hard.
Seaking: Can only beat Banette by 2HKOing them with MW Surf. Seaking manages to survive one attack from each.
Castform: Weather Ball in sun is a 2HKO on first Dusclops and 3HKO on second, but loses to second one because of EQ being 2HKO, so avoid that one. Weather Ball in sun will also 2HKO the rest, though it may not sweep them all, as they hit hard with STAB moves.
Pinsir: +2 EQ 2HKOs Dusclops and OHKOs the rest. You can try setting up SD if you are level 49 or just Bulk Up twice if you are not.


Levels are the same as above

Swellow: takes out first Sealeo by Returning, then Aerial Acing, then Returning again
Seviper: takes out first Sealeo by Giga Draining, Crunching, then Giga Draining again
Seaking: really meh, overall. Cannot beat Sealeo line and 3HKOs Glalie with MW Surf, but one of them can set up a Light Screen and thus make this fight a real hassle.
Castform: it has to get into weather wars just to beat first Sealeo, though sun Weather Ball nukes Glalie.
Pinsir: +2 BB OHKOs everything bar Walrein, which is 2HKOed. It can survive an Ice Beam from Walrein if you used a SD, but otherwise, it dies to Ice Beam, as it'd have taken some damage while setting up 2 Bulk Ups. +2 boost is essential to do well in this matchup.


Pinsir is level 50, otherwise same levels

Swellow: can muscle through Shelgon, but nothing else, really
Seviper: can't beat anything
Seaking: beats only Shelgon by spamming Ice Beam. The rest 2HKO it and it cannot OHKO them.
Castform: Weather Ball in hail OHKOs Shelgon, which spams Protect. Flygon is OHKOed, but barely takes Flamethrower.
Pinsir: can take out Shelgon with +3 EQ (since it spams Protect)


levels are the same

Swellow: Fly 2HKOs Ludicolo, but Double Team can be annoying
Seviper: doesn't beat anything and everything OHKOs or 2HKOs it.
Seaking: lol, with that power.
Castform: Doesn't beat anything
Pinsir: doesn't beat anything, but EQ puts Tenta in red


noms:

Taillow -> C
In all honesty, Taillow is not good enough to be B. Gym matchups are not very good, with only Brawly, Juan, and Winona coming close to a good one. E4 matchup doesn't improve it a lot, either. So C-tier is more appropriate

Seviper -> D at worst, possibly C
E is criminally underrating it. Seviper is good for few matchups: Flannery, Winona, Juan, and Sidney are all good matchups. It also crushed Wally, unlike most mons I have used, where they take out like 2 mons only. I'd say C-tier if you place a huge emphasis on its ability to take out 3 of Sidney's Pokemon. But it definitely deserves D at least.

Goldeen -> F-tier (performance-wise)
Goldeen really needs a "DON'T USE ME" tag. If you catch an early Goldeen, you are stuck with no Water STAB till Surf, not to mention it comes at like level 5-10 and thus requires babying. Even if you decide to be clever like me and catch one at higher level through Good Rod and not deal with its terrible period, it still will suck. I don't think there's any major fight where it OHKOs anything at all and even T&L is not an ideal matchup due to failing to practically 2HKO Solrock and Lunatone. The only way to put this above F is to put it in E or some other tier for being able to learn the 3 water HMs, depending on how much HM slaving is valued here, but really, if you are not using Goldeen for HMs, just don't use it at all.

Castform -> E at worst, possibly D
Castform surprised me with having a good matchup against the remaining Gym Leaders. It also manages to have a good matchup against Sidney, so, similarly to Seviper, it should go to to the higher tier if you place a huge emphasis on the Sidney matchup.

Pinsir -> B (or same tier as Heracross)
Basically, Pinsir and Heracross have the same performance and thus both should be in the same tier. Since Heracross is currently B, Pinsir should also go in there. If Heracross theoritically rises, so should Pinsir, because they barely have differences in performance.

Please let me know if you want me to run with anything else. I am willing to help get this to In-Game Articles and get it published on site, so I can help with whatever you task me with.
 
Isn't Pinsir worse than Heracross ? No Stab on Fighting move (Sidney will be difficult and same for Glacia), No Stab for Sidney also or for neutral damage and not really useful for Tate and Liza ...
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Isn't Pinsir worse than Heracross ? No Stab on Fighting move (Sidney will be difficult and same for Glacia), No Stab for Sidney also or for neutral damage and not really useful for Tate and Liza ...
well, if you read my logs, you'd see that Pinsir actually performs well against all the opponents you mentioned.

Also, whenever one mon outclasses another is irrelevant for these lists; even if Pinsir was worse than Heracross (which technically is debatable, it has a better matchup against T&L than Heracross, for example), they should still be the same tier. And both perform in pretty much the same way and any difference they have is marginal at best.
 
Hello everyone! I love re-running my old games with different teams and I have been a lurker in In-game tiers threads for quite a while. I am planning to do an RSE run so is there something that needs to be checked for the tiering system? Something that hasn't been tested that much or there could be some room of improvement? I am more than willing to help!
I also have a couple of questions considering the run (should I use Exp.Share/can I use my starter and how often and some others).
Thank you!
 
Hello. I am a fellow lurker who wants to use some of their free time to contribute to the discussion here.

Team: Treecko Lv14/Ralts Lv12

Treecko: With Bullet Seed, it is able to have a fairly solid run against her. Nosepass might be a 3HKO though due to Roxanne's use of Potions and the Oran Berry attached to it.

Ralts: Rock Tomb from any Pokemon in her team will kill it. Not a good option.


Team: Grovyle Lv17/Ralts Lv16

Grovyle: Can't reliably take down any of her Pokemon quickly. Meditite at least doesn't try to fight back. Makuhita is 3HKO, which gives ample time to set up with Bulk Up or 2HKO Grovyle with Vital Throw.

Ralts: Will 2HKO Machop, and Meditite will be too busy setting up Focus Punch to do any damage. Makuhita is another 2-3HKO, which gives it time to set up against Ralts.


Team: Grovyle Lv19/Kirlia Lv20/Geodude Lv 15

Grovyle: Capable of a 3HKO against Wingull, though Wing Attack and Supersonic can ruin things. Lombre is a similar case, but it thankfully has less that it can use against Grovyle.

Kirlia: There is no way Ralts can manage this fight. It is capable of a 2HKO against both Wingull and Combusken, but Lombre will likely kill it with two Astonishes. Wing Attack and Supersonic on Wingull will wear down Kirlia to a point where Combusken will be difficult.

Geodude: Every Pokemon in her team has a way of scoring an OHKO against it. A terrible pick against them.


Team: Grovyle Lv21/Krilia Lv22/Geodude Lv22

Grovyle: Bad choice. It can't do anything against Magneton and Voltorb can potentially self-destruct against it for a KO.

Kirlia: See above.

Geodude: Magnitude 1-2HKOs everything. Even if it can't one-shot a Pokemon in his team, they have no effective ways of fighting back. Excellent matchup.


Thoughts so far:

Treecko
I'd say B is a fair assessment right now. While its major battle matchups haven't been so great so far outside of Roxanne, it is still capable of a 2HKO against a majority of the opponents right now as long as it is taught Bullet Seed at Route 104. A factor that helps it out is that a fair few opponents use Water-types even at this point in the game. Even so, the odd Steel type tends to show up after Slateport which can ruin things.

Ralts
I'm fully aware that Ralts picks up as the game goes along, but boy can the first two phases sting a little. The major battles have been rocky so far, but most of the opponents tend to go down in 2 Confusions even as a Ralts. I'm going to refrain from giving my judgement on Ralts' placement right now, but I may need to determine if the quality of the Gardevoir phase fully makes up for the lacking first two stages to see if I feel it deserves to stay in S.

Geodude
Surprisingly bad in its first route, which is full of Water types. I wouldn't say things look up for Geodude until after your second rival battle, where most of the opponents will be using Electrikes and Voltorbs that Geodude can beat in a couple of hits whilst taking little damage. Magnitude is when Geodude really becomes worthwhile, which makes it capable of trivialising Wattson. I don't intend to evolve Graveler, so I'm going by its placement in D. So far, I'd say the current amount of Ground weak Pokemon causes me to disagree with its current placement. For now, I'd argue that it deserves a C, but I'm aware that the influx of Water-types, later on, complicates things.
 
Hey, I'm sorry about this but I've honestly gotten really burnt out on Pokémon and basically will be focusing on the Burmy run. So I'm not going to continue my testing. Again, I wanna apologize
 
Hey, I'm sorry about this but I've honestly gotten really burnt out on Pokémon and basically will be focusing on the Burmy run. So I'm not going to continue my testing. Again, I wanna apologize
You're all good; this is more or less a hobby at the end of the day = )
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
You're all good; this is more or less a hobby at the end of the day = )
I think the dude wanted to post in the HGSS thread? He was doing a run there and search tells me he has not posted here, unless he created a second account.

In order to not make this a one liner, I can grab Psyduck and Chimecho for a next run. I could grab Phanpy, but I do not like stacking up Pokemon from the same location due to Exp. issues. Is there anything else that would need to see a test?
 
I had a run threw the Pokemons discussed here and picked some of the least playtested to make a run.
I will use for my Emerald team: Beautifly/Aron/Electrike/Seviper/Kecleon/Chimeco. Seems a rather interesting team to say the least. I will keep updating but wont rush anything.

I did start the game and grabbed my first Lvl 4 Wurmple on Route 102. I could have technically got one on Route 101 but it would be Lvl 3 and with the rival fight probably Lvl4 so it didn't make much of a difference. I did faught every trainer on the Routes up to Rustboro city,the early Gym trainers (12) and the trainers in Route 116 and I also grabbed one more Level for my Beautifly from wild battles and hit the Gym Leader at Lvl16. I was able to 1-hit KO (not always since I had a pretty bad nature but a neutral one should guarantee it) her Geodudes and did about 1/5 to Nosepass with absorb but I was pretty much being 1-shooted from Rock Tomb. I could use X-defend and withstand 2 Rock Tombs but the Speed drop left me outsped. I could technically solo her if I was able to successfully set up X-Defend and S-Special (both found in the overworld) while she used Defence Curl 2 times with her Geodude, then Harden twice with Nosepass and land a crit on my third attack. Since this felt quite a lot of luck I finished her with my Mudkip (9).

The performance on the first routes is quite what is expected from an early route bug Pokemon. It can comfortably kill anything in sight with Gust/Absorb but struggles to take hits from rocks.

1591799477925.png
 
I think the dude wanted to post in the HGSS thread? He was doing a run there and search tells me he has not posted here, unless he created a second account.

In order to not make this a one liner, I can grab Psyduck and Chimecho for a next run. I could grab Phanpy, but I do not like stacking up Pokemon from the same location due to Exp. issues. Is there anything else that would need to see a test?
Ninjask or Shedinja are both relatively underrepresented, Skarmory too. Slugma I don't think gas any tests, Barboach is fairly set but wouldn't hurt. Volbeat/Illumise underrepresented, any of Bellossom/Plusle/Minun could use one more. A modern view on Flygon might be beneficial. Wailmer very underrepresented too.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
that's gonna be really fun

Ninjask or Shedinja are both relatively underrepresented, Skarmory too. Slugma I don't think gas any tests, Barboach is fairly set but wouldn't hurt. Volbeat/Illumise underrepresented, any of Bellossom/Plusle/Minun could use one more. A modern view on Flygon might be beneficial. Wailmer very underrepresented too.
Given the diversity here, I will tackle them test by test. I am gonna grab Slugma / Skarmory / Wailmer / Shedinja / Ninjask this run.

I want to ask for Nincada, is it optimal to hold off evolving it till level 25 so both Ninjask and Shedinja have SD? Or is it better to just evolve straight-away?
 

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