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

Juan is sketchy, though Vital Throw can take down Kingdra's Double Team, Pheobe without Earthquake, Drake without Facade/Rock Tomb and Wallace are the one's it struggles against(considering you have Bulk Up and STAB).
Is Breloom better against any of these 4 opponents? Or is Breloom in a higher tier only because Breloom's route-sweeping ability is that much more important than the fact that Hariyama is better against Winona, Juan, Phoebe, and Glacia?
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
final logs for this run

Ninjask is level 44, Magcargo is level 43, rest is 42

Ninjask: similarly to Maxie, if you use SD then heal off the Swagger with a full heal, you can just spam Return and win this fight.
Shedinja: Everything has a way to hit it and thus it does not do well here
Magcargo: Terrible. Even with a +1 Attack boost, it fails to OHKO anything, even Crobat with Rock Throw (in fact, unboosted is 3HKO). You could try muscling through it, but that's it.
Skarmory: Can try muscling through Mightyena, but you need luck for that. However, Aerial Ace is an OHKO on Sharpedo if you set up one layer of Spikes. You also muscle through Crobat without many problems.
Wailord: MW Surf is a 3HKO on Crobat and 2HKO on Sharpedo, keep in mind Confuse Ray and Swagger. Mightyena is just luck fest


Magcargo and Shedinja are level 43, Ninjask is 45, rest is 44

Ninjask: If you manage to set up 3 SDs, Return becomes an OHKO on everything, otherwise you lose to Kingdra and thus your sweep ends.
Shedinja: Probs the best matchup, as Luvdisc is the only thing that can threaten it, with Sweet Kiss. You can Toxic stall and attack to take out everything bar Luvdisc.
Magcargo: *cries in Spanish*
Skarmory: Can set up 3 layers of Spikes, which is highly valuable. Water moves do deal a good chunk of damage against it, so it wil llikely take out 1-2 threats without healing at most.
Wailord: Not that bad. Nothing really hits it hard so it can try muscling through them with Surf, though it's gonna take a lot of time. Toxic stalling can work, if you are desperate enough.


Ninjask is level 45, rest is 44 (I did Trick House cause I needed to take a Rare Candy in a nearby isle)

Ninjask: If you manage to set up 2 SDs, Dig will kill Magneton (if you have it) and the rest are OHKOed by Return
Shedinja: The only Pokemon it takes out is Gardevoir, the rest have a way to hit it (Magneton has Supersonic and Roselia has Leech Seed and Toxic)
Magcargo: deals well with Roselia and Magneton. Can also beat Delcatty but Sing RNG makes it slow.
Skarmory: Can set up 3 Spikes against Altaria and muscle through it. Magneton beats it (and even traps it), but the rest are 2HKOed by its attacks after taking damage from the Spikes layers.
Wailord: Ice Beam OHKOs Altaria, Water Spout after Faint Attack OHKOs Delcatty, MW Surf 3HKOs Gardevoir and Ice Beam 2HKOs Roselia. You are likely beating only Altaria and Delcatty.


Note that Shedinja falls incredibly hard at the E4; Sidney's Crawdaunt, Drake's Kingdra and Wallace's Wailord, Whiscash, and Gyarados are the only Pokemon that cannot hit it. Glacia has Hail on some of her mons, so she's not a safe matchup either. Thus I am not gonna bother reporting its matchups, as for Wallace, you can just spread Toxic (though he can use a Full Restore to remove it).

Magcargo is level 48, rest is 49

Ninjask: +3 Return OHKOs everything, but Sand-Attack makes this fight really luck based
Magcargo: Flamethrower OHKOs Shiftry and Cacturne, beware confusion for the former. Mightyena is 2HKOed, but **Sand-Attack**
Skarmory: Can set up 3 Spikes easily against Mightyena. Shiftry and Cacturne are taken care of by Aerial Ace and Absol is 2HKOed by Steel Wing after Spikes.
Wailord: MW Water Spout from full OHKOs Absol and Mightyena. In addition, Ice Beam 2HKOs the Grass-types and Crawdaunt is 3HKOed by MW Surf. Can blow a major hole in Sidney overall


same levels

Ninjask: If you manage to set up 2 SDs without a Curse, you win, as Shadow Ball will OHKO everything
Magcargo: Flamethrower 2HKOs Banette, rest are just not worth it, as they are 3HKOed and either PP stall with Pressure or can get away with her heal spam.
Skarmory: beats only the non-TBolt Banette by 2HKOing it after 3 Spikes of damage.
Wailord: MW Surf 2HKOs everything bar Dusclops 2. You may need to heal, as one of the Banette knows Thunderbolt


Levels are the same

Ninjask: bad, no opportunity to set up more than one SD, which is not enough to do anything against Glacia.
Magcargo: takes out the Glalie with Flamethrower and Sealeo with Rock Slide (they don't have Water moves), though you will have to heal at least once to beat all of them at once.
Skarmory: Steel Wing 2HKOs Glalie after Spikes damage (3 layers). Nothing else
Wailord: meh overall, you can try damaging the non-Light Screen Glalie with Water Spout, but nothing else


same levels

Wailord is the only Pokemon that takes out anything without taking too much time, as it 2HKOs Shelgon and OHKOs Flygon with Ice Beam (can actually beat both at once). Skarmory could try muscling through Altaria and Shelgon, but takes too much time for each. Ninjask and Magcargo do nothing here.


levels are the same... again

Magcargo and Skarmory cannot take hits from his mons, Wailord has no ways of damaging them at all. Ninjask has no opportunities to set up SDs and sweep. So consider this another matchup where nothing on my team contributes anything worthwile.


nominations:

Nincada (Ninjask) -> E-tier
Ninjask definitely has a niche. I'd' say Ninjask is a solid D-tier if it wasn't for the fact that you have to train a Nincada. The reason why I'd put it in D without that period is because it requires tons of SDs in every major fight and there's always a risk of something going wrong (some of my logs mention what conditions must happen). Ninjask has one very useful niche though: SD + Speed Boost boosts can all be passed through with Baton Pass, learned at level 42, which allowed me to beat stuff even with Shedinja. Speaking of Shedinja....

Nincada (Shedinja) -> E-tier at best, possibly F
Shedinja has one terrible problem, which is that, outside of water routes, it's practically untrainable, which can be noticed in its lower levels in comparison to my other teammates in my logs. Other than Juan, where it snaps 4/5 of his team, Shedinja barely contributes anything to major fights or outright loses in them. It's also incredibly useless for evil teams. Funnily enough, if you decide to use it as Toxic staller, you won't have to bother training a Shedinja, as it autowins or autoloses anyways and thus it can just be there if you need it for something. But yeah, if you give it a huge emphasis on its ability to spread Toxics (and the Juan performance), it can be E, though I want to make it clear that I have absolutely no qualms with just throwing it in F, as its usefulness is very limited, for most parts. Also, remember that your still have to train a Nincada (and if you want it to have SD, you have to use Nincada even more, up to level 25).

Slugma -> F-tier
In all honesty, even if it has an ok matchup against Glacia, it's not enough to compensate for the fact Slugma is mostly a mere presence in your team in major fights, picking out at most 2 mons only. I could see E if you are generous and give a huge emphasis on the Glacia matchup and the threats it kills, but honestly, I don't think they are enough to outweight Slugma's badness. It also has a late evolution and I sure as hell wouldn't think someone would use a Slugma for that long.

Skarmory -> C-tier
Very handy Pokemon. Has a typing with which it can clutch through Norman, Winona, and T&L. Also offers Spikes utility end-game and Fly utility overall. It is sort of meh at the E4, so I think C-tier is more appropriate.

Wailmer -> D-tier
A really pleasant surprise, in all honesty. Other than having a massive bulk and hitting relatively hard, Wailmer also offers amazing HM utility in Surf / Dive / Waterfall, if you don't wanna use Water Spout (though it's insane, it OHKOs Mightyena and Absol in Sidney's team). But yeah, I have no reason to want to drop this to E.

also, in regards to the Treecko nom, I disagree with it. Reading from your summary, it looks like a C-tier to me. Treecko's movepool pre-Leaf Blade is atrociously terrible (Bullet Seed is your best STAB...) and even after obtaining Leaf Blade, you have a period of mediocrity, which is paused by T&L and Juan. It's still mostly a mere presence at the E4 (btw I have used it, feel free to read through my logs if you want to). I also want to mention that if you don't teach it Return, you are gonna struggle route cleaning too, as plenty of things resist Leaf Blade, and, because Return is relatively contested TM, you may not always have it on Sceptile, which I think is worth mentioning.

Texas Cloverleaf I can run through anything labeled as questionable in your list. Any preferences for what I should run? (even if it's not labeled as questionable). Just don't forget I am playing Emerald, so I cannot use stuff like Ruby Mawile and etc.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Ryota Mitarai how about this: machamp, swellow, corphish or relicanth, kecleon or tropius, phanpy or solrock (take one of the rocks)
Since I've already used Swellow, I am gonna take Machamp (hopefully, it's not as terrible as Machoke :((), Corphish, Kecleon, Phanpy, Solrock, if it's not an issue.

Anything I didn't pick, I can just run in next run, I am not planning on stopping till this gets finalized
 
I don't know RSE very well, but in the past few days, this thread inspired me to play Emerald again. I decided to make my run a study of exp. rates since Emerald has so many interesting early-game mons in the Slow exp. group (as well as some other wet 'n wild groups I might try out in future runs); I ran them alongside similar mons in the Fast group to see how they stacked up.

smaragd_7.png


(I don't really speak German, I just like playing Pokémon in other languages than English)

Here they all are, having fought roughly the same number of battles each (since capture), but over- and under-leveled based on their exp. groups. I chose Spoink and Ralts as fast- and slow-growing Psychics, Marill and Magikarp as fast- and slow-growing physical Waters, and Lotad and Skarmory just because they had been in the "high tier" in the article and I was curious about them. I don't really have concrete tiering proposals but I'll talk about how each of these mons felt to play!

Grumpig: Psychic, Calm Mind, Shock Wave, Rest
Gardevoir: Psychic, Calm Mind, Thunderbolt, Reflect

These guys are fun. There are a couple obvious differences in availability and learnset. You don't get Spoink until about Flannery whereas Ralts is on your side from the beginning.

That said, I was surprised at how slowly Ralts takes to get going for a mon that's considered S-tier. Ralts gets good STAB early and is never entirely useless, but the slow level-ups and the bad stat lines cause problems even in matchups that ought to be good (such as Brawly). I couldn't really make it help out against Wattson, Flannery, or Norman either (I wish I took better notes so I could tell you about it in more detail; maybe there's an approach to those fights that I'm missing). It felt to me like Ralts's several gyms of extra availability didn't count for as much as I had expected.

As for learnset, Ralts gets Psychic earlier, can learn Thunderbolt instead of the inferior Shock Wave for coverage, and learns Calm Mind by level-up (letting its teammates get the TM). Ralts's level-up learnset is basically perfect and reminds me a lot of what makes Abra so good in RBY.

Those differences nonwithstanding, Spoink and Ralts play super similarly once they evolve. Here are a couple stat screens:

smaragd_6.png
smaragd_5.png


Notice that despite Gardevoir's huge lead in experience points (because Ralts had a lot of exp. when Spoink was captured), Grumpig is already two levels higher.

Multiple of their stats are almost the same, with Grumpig ahead on Defense and Gardevoir hitting with a superior Sp. Attack. However, by the end of the game, Grumpig's level lead starts to tell:

smaragd_2.png
smaragd_1.png


(yes, I got Pokérus! My Skarmory caught it somewhere early in Victory Road, so I don't think it affected my EVs much, but I am curious if any of my run has been affected by strange EVs or IVs that I wasn't aware of. Incidentally, this Gardevoir and this Grumpig are Lonely and Timid respectively)

This is right before the Elite Four. Gardevoir is still ahead 13 points of Sp. Attack, but remember that since a Pokémon's level is also directly inserted into the damage formula, the level advantage cancels out the stat advantage. Actually, their damage outputs were so close at this point that I couldn't tell who was stronger. Grumpig is now noticeably bulkier on both sides, which was key in some Elite Four matchups (IIRC, it barely survived a Dusclops Shadow Ball that killed Gardevoir) (Thick Fat is good against Glacia too).

Overall, I was underwhelmed by Ralts and very satisfied with Spoink based on what I expected from their tier placements.


Azumarill: Return, Brick Break, Rollout, Double-Edge
Gyarados: Return, Earthquake, Surf, Hyper Beam

These Water-types were less similar; maybe cousins instead of the twins of Spoink and Ralts. Marill was definitely better, but I'll talk about each on their own merits.

I'm used to RBY where training Magikarp is the worst thing ever, so I was really happy with the Exp. Share making the process that much quicker. I think I forgot to fish for Magikarp as soon as I got the Old Rod; I was somewhere in Slateport when I remembered (that's also my RBY instincts—there you can just buy it, no rod needed!). I caught a few until I got one with a good nature (Naughty).

Its level-up learnset is bad. Bite runs off Gyarados's bad stat, Dragon Rage is fine but not as good as it sounds (level 25 is too late), and it doesn't learn any physical moves or Water STAB until a high level, and likewise I didn't even get to Dragon Dance in my run. That said, Gyarados is a bulky mon and can put some TMs to use. I gave it the Fallarbor Return, Surf, and Earthquake. It's fine, and Water/Normal is good coverage, but Gyarados doesn't really hold up to Pokémon who actually get good STAB or have some other advantage up their sleeve.

Marill has such an advantage. I admit to favoring it during the run—got drunk on its Pure Power. I mean, each Protein bulks it up double—you'd feed it as many as possible too! Maybe partly due to the favoritism, I was very pleased with Marill in all parts of the run, especially early-game. Its bulk and typing is perfect for Roxanne, it evolves SO early, it gets Rollout just in time to blow up some boss battles (it can beat Brawly and Wattson with this strat despite type disadvantages), it also has just the right attributes for the Flannery fight, it gets an immensely powerful Double-Edge on level-up, which I didn't really even use much because I used it as my HM04 user and Strength was enough to one-shot most of the mid-game, a late-game Brick Break (or Focus Punch) gives it some great end-game coverage...... Marill was the best poke in my party all game long.


Steel Wing, Fly, Spikes, Toxic

I was curious about its high tier placing in the article, but I see we're talking about it in C-tier in this thread, which makes more sense to me. Skarmory just didn't get going for me. It occasionally walled an enemy Pokémon but I couldn't get it to do damage and actually wound up converting it into an HM user for part of the game (I needed to Cut some trees and Smash some Rocks and most of Skarmory's moves weren't doing anything else useful!). Skarmory had a slight redemption when I realized I could lead my Elite Four fights with Spikes to set up an easier sweep.


Surf, Ice Beam, Giga Drain, Rain Dance

Pretty fun, I caught it more or less to replace my starter, then I realized I had three Water-types, then I said "fuck it" and decided I did want to run three Water-types. Did make me wish I had more resistances. It's pretty good at the beginning and the end, but its Lombre phase lasts much too long. It was probably the MVP of the Elite Four along with Azumarill just for its coverage, though, and it always seemed to be just strong enough, just bulky enough, and just fast enough.


Anyway! Thanks everyone for a fun thread. I might stick around to do some more runs.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
started new run, gonna post some logs as a reminder to myself to finish this at some point

Team is Machamp / Solrock / Corphish / Kecleon / Phanpy

First matchup where I can report with logs is Maxie at Mt. Chimney

Machop and Solrock are level 27

Machop: I am just gonna c/p the result from when I tested it last time (as Machoke, though), as they are the same: "
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."
Solrock: Struggles with Mightyeana but beats the rest with no problems, by spamming Rock Throw.

I also tried out Machamp just cause I could afford it. It's much better than the matchup as Machop, as Karate Chop after one Bulk Up OHKOs Mightyena, outspeed and OHKOs Zubat with Rock Tomb and boosted Revenge OHKOs Camerupt. So if you evolve by then, it's actually not bad here.


Everything is level 29

Machamp: very good, one Bulk Up and Karate Chop OHKOs Slugma and Numel, while boosted Revenge kills Camerupt. Torkoal always wins, though +1 Rock Tomb deals half its HP
Solrock: great matchup, Rock Throw 2HKOs Numel, OHKOs Slugma and 3HKOs Torkoal and Camerupt on rolls. They don't hit it hard back either, and Torkoal spams Body Slam. As I said, great matchup.


everything is level 31

Machamp: really good matchup. Karate Chop insta kills Spinda, then you set up Bulk Up on Vigoroth and OHKO it and Linoone with Karate Chop. Against Slaking, set up one more Bulk Up and click Karate Chop twice, this is to prevent Counter from killing you.
Solrock: very good, if you set up Cosmic Powers, Spinda and Vigoroth can't touch you at all while you slowly take them out with Rock Throws. Slaking will take a lot of time due to its gigantic bulk and Faint Attacks (meaning you have to heal) but you also beat Linoone, as even max Facade is only a 2HKO with no Cosmic Power boosts.


everything is level 33

Machamp: +1 Karate Chop kills everything
Solrock: Rock Throw spam beats Slugma and Lombre. Grovyle beats you, as both of you 2HKO each other, but it's faster than Solrock.
Crawdaunt: Surf kills Slugma and Strength kills Lombre, loses to Grovyle.


Crawdaunt is level 34, rest is 33

Machamp: hell yeah, this matchup is actually very good. +1 and +2 Karate Chop OHKOs Swablu, +1 boosted Revenge puts Skarm in red (if you set up a 2nd Bulk Up somehowly, you will OHKO) and +1 Rock Tomb 2HKOs everything else (with +2 Rock Tomb OHKOing Pelipper and 2HKOing Altaria regardless of Sitrus Berry). Overall, can perform excellently here.
Solrock: Rock Throw OHKOs Swablu, 2HKOs Pelipper and Tropius and 3HKOs Altaria due to berry. Against Altaria, you can spam Cosmic Power to render Dragonbreath useless. Good matchup, overall.
Crawdaunt: Ice Beam OHKOs Altaria and Swablu on rolls, OHKOs Tropius, while MW Surf 2HKOs Skarmory. Not a bad matchup
Kecleon: TBolt 2HKOs Swablu and Skarm and OHKOs Pelipper. Whatever it doesn't beat, it can Screech it for a teammate.
Donphan: DCurl + Rollout beats Swablu and Tropius, then is put to an end due to Pelipper's Protect. Altaria is 2HKOed by 2 Rollouts after Dcurl. Avoid Skarmory due to Sand-Attack.


Machamp and Solrock are level 40, rest is 39

Machamp: Swagger makes Mightyena RNG-fest. Bulk Up allows you to overpower Camerupt. Crobat is 2HKOed by +1 Rock Tomb, if you have a boost somehowly.
Solrock: 2HKOs Crobat and Camerupt with Hard Stone Rock Slide. Mightyena is a bad matchup
Crawdaunt: Surf kills Camerupt. +2 Strength 2HKOs the rest, so luck based.
Kecleon: doesn't take out anything as it 3HKOs at best anything
Donphan: muscles through Crobat with Rollout, not minding confusion


current thoughts on members so far:

Machamp
Yeah, this is on a different level compared to the garbage Machoke was. It has the bulk and offensive prowess to abuse Bulk Up to its best, making it good against every single Gym Leader so far and even being somewhat consistently useful against Maxie. I can definitely see B-tier for now.

Solrock
My goodness, this one turned to be super useful. No bad matchups so far and it notably sweeps Flannery. I can also see B-tier for it. It's worth mentioning I never taught it Flamethrower or Psychic and it still has to experience issues.

Corphish
Looks like a C-tier at best to me. It's not bad, but hasn't been too spectacular, but that's likely because I haven't used it in many major fights. We will see how next matchups will affect its performance

Kecleon
This at least cleans routes rather well. At least Winona turned out to be a good matchup. I can see E-tier at best.

Phanpy
I was like "bruh, why do they hate Phanpy so much", then I saw Phanpy doesn't learn Dig. I was like "ok, let's evolve it" and after being like "ok, now time to teach it Dig", I noticed it still couldn't learn Dig and was like "listen here, you little sh-". Anyways, it's not been too good. E-tier at best, depends on if it's gonna impress me later on, which I have high doubts of, knowing the major matchups.

here are the IVs of each mon. Note that Psypoke uses Solrock's gen 7 HP stat (90) and not the old gens one (70), but had 51 HP when I caught it, if you need that information.

machop.jpg

solrock.jpg

corphish.jpg

kecleon.jpg

phanpy.jpg
 
also, in regards to the Treecko nom, I disagree with it. Reading from your summary, it looks like a C-tier to me. Treecko's movepool pre-Leaf Blade is atrociously terrible (Bullet Seed is your best STAB...) and even after obtaining Leaf Blade, you have a period of mediocrity, which is paused by T&L and Juan. It's still mostly a mere presence at the E4 (btw I have used it, feel free to read through my logs if you want to). I also want to mention that if you don't teach it Return, you are gonna struggle route cleaning too, as plenty of things resist Leaf Blade, and, because Return is relatively contested TM, you may not always have it on Sceptile, which I think is worth mentioning.
I'm not going to try to argue against this. Looking back, Leaf Blade wasn't even that special on the sea routes considering how a lot of your opponents are Tentacruel and Pelipper, two Pokemon that bulky enough to withstand it. I'll admit that I forgot about Return for both Sceptile and Graveler. Though it doesn't exactly help either of their cases for the reasons you stated.

All in all, there's a reason why I've decided to myself that I'll never use Sceptile in-game again. C it is.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Crawdaunt is level 42, rest is 43

Machamp: 2HKOs Xatu with Rock Tomb, though it's hard not to get targetted
Solrock: Solar Beam 3HKOs Claydol and 2HKOs the rocks. However, berries make them 3HKOs, so make sure to pack another teammate that can finish them off or secure the 2HKO. You also 2HKO Xatu with Rock Slide
Crawdaunt: MW Surf 3HKOs all Water-weak mons. Claydol 3HKOs with EQ, while Solrock sets up Sunny Day if it doesn't get eliminated instantly.
Kecleon: Shadow Ball 2HKOs Xatu and 3HKOs the rest. Claydol's EQ is a 3HKO, so make sure to eliminate it fast for Kecleon.
Donphan: Rollout can run through anything not named Claydol, but it's in a problem if special attacks target it, as they deal a lot of damage.


Donphan and Kecleon are level 43, rest is 44

Machamp: 2HKOs Mightyena with Fighting STABs. Crobat is 2HKOed by unboosted Rock Tomb and puts it in healing spam. Sharpedo is easily OHKOed.
Solrock: Rock Slide 2HKOs Crobat. If Swaggered, Rock Slide will also OHKO Sharpedo (which is 2HKOed otherwise)
Crawdaunt: SD and Swagger make Strength OHKO everything. If you have a Full Restore and Mightyena hasn't used Scary Face, definitely heal it after the Swagger, as Crawdaunt outspeeds.
Kecleon: TBolt 3HKOs Crobat and 2HKOs Sharpedo, but you need to be lucky with confusions to do anything.
Donphan: -1 EQ 2HKOs Mightyena and unboosted EQ OHKOs Sharpedo. Watch out for confusion. Rollout can run through Crobat if you are lucky.


Machamp and Crawdaunt are level 45, rest is 44

Machamp: +1 BB OHKOs Luvdisc, Crawdaunt, and Sealeo. Whiscash is OHKOed if it's +2, wheres Kingdra is 2HKOed anyways. Luvdisc is annoying, but get past that and it's a good matchup.
Solrock: +2 Solar Beam (from Calm Mind) will OHKO everything bar Kingdra; do not bother with Kingdra, as Double Team + being 3HKOed makes this 1v1 matchup terrible. Whiscash is 2HKOed if it has +4 in SpD due to Amnesia.
Crawdaunt: +2 Strength 2HKOs everything, wheres +4 OHKOs everything bar Kingdra. Luvdisc is annoying though, so you have to get past it somehowly.
Kecleon: TBolt 2HKOs Luvdisc, Sealeo, and Crawdaunt. Other than confusion, they don't really hit it hard, as they mostly use special moves.
Donphan: Rollout spam can allow it to beat Luvdisc and Whiscash, though you have to be very lucky. The things also hit you hard, with most Water Pulses being 3HKOs. (Luvdisc's is 4HKO). All in all, not a great matchup


Solrock and Donphan are level 44, rest is 45

Machamp: not bad. +2 Rock Tomb 2HKOs Roselia and Gardevoir, OHKOs Altaria (on rolls) and OHKOs the rest with Brick Break. Gardevoir generally goes for Future Sight turn one. Set up the 2 Bulk Ups against Altaria, it won't really threaten you.
Solrock: 2HKOs Altaria, Roselia, and Delcatty with Rock Slide. Magneton can only be beaten if you have something like Flamethrower and for Gardevoir you can spam CMs, as Rock Slide is a 3HKO and Gardevoir cannot hit you, even with Future Sight, if you stack up some CMs.
Crawdaunt: Ice Beam OHKOs Altaria, while +2 Strength kills Delcatty and Gardevoir. Magneton and Roselia always win.
Kecleon: beats Roselia easily with Slash spam and 2HKOs Gardevoir with Shadow Ball. I assume it'd 2HKO Altaria with Ice Beam, if it had it.
Donphan: DCurl Rollout will be able to run through everything until Gardevoir, where it ends. EQ will put it in red. Overall, this is Donphan's only good matchup so far, and even then, it relies on Rollout not missing it at all.


everything is level 48

Machamp: unboosted BB OHKOs everything. Unlike Machoke, where you would need Cross Chop to OHKO, you have enough power to just spam BB, not to mention it has some extra bulk to guarantee the setting up of a Bulk Up.
Solrock: bad, hit hard by most things and the whole fight is RNG fest. You could theoritically beat Absol by 3HKOing with Rock Slide, but its own Rock Slide at +2 is also a 3HKO and you lose as soon as you flinch.
Crawdaunt: 2HKOs Cacturne with Ice Beam and 2HKOs his Crawdaunt with +2 Strength. Mightyena can also be beaten if you do not mind Sand-Attack RNG.
Kecleon: only reliable matchup is Crawdaunt, which is 2HKOed by TBolt and fails to OHKO it even with +2 Strength. The rest are 3HKOed at best by Return and they become even worse if you lose Normal typing
Donphan: 2HKOs Absol with EQ, but nothing else


Machamp is level 49, rest is 48

Machamp: +2 EQ 2HKOs Dusclops and OHKOs the rest. The first Dusclops is likely to Curse and one of the Banette deals heavy damage with Psychic, so prepare some healing potions.
Solrock: not really good, 2HKOed or 3HKOed by every Ghost move.
Crawdaunt: Surf 2HKOs Banette, first Dusclops, and Sableye, though one Banette has TBolt, wheres another has Grudge, which means you have to throw in an Ether or Leppa Berry.
Kecleon: Shadow Ball 2HKOs Banette and 3HKOs the Dusclops, with Sableye being 4HKOed. You can hide behind Substitute and they won't be able to touch you. Still gonna take a lot of time and Pressure may drain out your PP.
Donphan: EQ 2HKOs Banette and first Dusclops, though you can be burned with WoW.


Levels are the same

Machamp: +1 BB OHKOs everything, but you need to heal to beat Walrein, otherwise it will finish you off.
Solrock: Rock Slide 2HKOs everything. You want to set up few CMs so Glalie's Crunch doesn't deal a lot of damage. The Shadow Ball one is rough, though. All in all, you likely take out Sealeo and the non-Shadow Ball Solrock
Crawdaunt: +4 Strength OHKOs Sealeo on rolls, OHKOs Glalie, and 2HKOs Walrein. You may need to heal, given Glalie outspeed you and you take soem damage while setting up.
Kecleon: takes out Sealeo with TBolt spam (3HKO), needs to heal constantly to do anything else
Donphan: beats first Sealeo with Rollout spam. Can do it to second ig too. But Glalie outspeed and KO with their Ice Beam.


same levels

Machamp: by far, the only thing that has ever done "ok" against Drake (bar Rayquaza). If you set up 3 Bulk Ups, Cross Chop OHKOs Kingdra, Shelgon, and Flygon, while Rock Tomb 2HKOs Altaria. Not the most efficient thing, but I am gonna take anything if it means I am beating Drake.
Solrock: beats Altaria by 2HKOing it with Rock Slide.
Crawdaunt: Beats Flygon, Altaria, OR Shelgon with Ice Beam.
Kecleon: :(</p><p>Donphan: Dragon moves 3HKO it at worst, so Rollout spam doesn't get it very far (in fact, it can only beat Altaria if AI derps)


nothing on my team managed to even take down one Pokemon. Even Solrock with Sunny Day. Unless you try to PP stall Wailord, I guess?


nominations:

Machop (Trade) -> B, case for A? (I couldn't find any tests for it, so I am not sure whenever it's questionably high or questionably low)
Machamp is simply so much better than the garbage Machoke is. For one, it's got greater Attack (130 vs 100) and a slight bulk boost, meaning it can take full of advantage of Bulk Up and generally set up less of it, along with the fact its high Attack means I don't have to rely off Cross Chop for damage and can just use Brick Break end-game. Pinsir and Heracross generally have a better end-game (though rather marginally, since Machamp, for most parts, still dents E4 majorly and can even have a great matchup against Drake if you go for it(, but Machamp compensates with a much earlier (and easier to obtain) availability and having two good matchups due to that (Flannery and Norman) and potentially even the first Maxie fight, if you wanna count it. So I think it's a B-tier at worst and can be made a case for A (note that I don't know how Hariyama performs so I am not gonna compare both, but if Makuhita > Machop (Trade), then I guess B is settled) simply because of how many fights it trashes without many problems (and having a somewhat better matchup against the evil leaders helps too).

Solrock -> C
I am going to be honest, I was shocked to see the "argument for E" because my experience with Solrock was simply... great. Solrock is somewhat on the level on Golem, though with later appearance and slower leveling up (and having some better matchups as well, Juan being the most notable one). Its best period is definitely the mid-game (or well, the part of mid-game where you get it) and most of the late-game. Good matchups include: Flannery (a sweep, in fact), Norman, Winona, T&L (their mons don't really target it a lot, from experience), evil leaders (Camerupt cannot hit it, Crobat is lol, and Archie's Sharpedo is so frail and has Slash as its only move) and Juan, to an extent (Luvdisc can be annoying but you could probably skip it). E4 matchup is kinda eh (though it does pick up some kills against Glacia), which is why I am nomming it to C-tier. I checked Texas's logs and I didn't see anywhere the Flannery-Winona logs, which are pmuch the driving force behind Solrock not being E, which I definitely think is not the correct tier for Solrock, even if (for whatever reason that I cannot think of) it ends up in D. It's also worth mentioning that Solrock is a mon that requires almost 0 investment (I mean, SunnyBeam isn't that contested, only CM is really a bit contested) to do that well; I never taught it Psychic or Flamethrower and I never felt the need to have them either; it does just fine with Rock STAB for most parts and if you ever need Psychic coverage, Confusion did pretty well for me.

Corphish -> D
yeah, I think C might be overselling it. I think D-tier is appropriate. It requires few SDs and even then it fails to sweep. My Crawdaunt also had troubles taking on special hits for most part, making special coverage a 2HKO at worst (and if super effective... it becomes dangerous). Given it's not a bright presence at the E4, I think it should stay in D-tier.

Kecleon -> E
Yeah, not sure why this is D, in all honesty. Kecleon is definitely not F-tier, but I cannot see Kecleon taking out more than 3 mons per fight and, even then, it generally takes a lot of time (Phoebe and T&L come to mind). I think the contributions it provides make it somewhat "usable" but D-tier level? I don't think it's as useful as, say, Seviper (which I still fail to see why it was put in E and not left in D) or Wailmer if you want some comparing. So I support drop to E-tier

Phanpy -> F
Yeah, I didn't find the Phanpy experience very good. While it has my favorite Rollout + DCurl combination, it is its only option of attacking until EQ unless you love the recoil of Take Down. Even then, the only matchups I'd say are good are situational (either you are heavily reliant on Rollout not missing or there's some other RNG involved, like confusion against evil leaders. At least Golem had other options of attacking to not rely that much on Rollout missing). So yeah, I think Phanpy is better suited in F than E, simply because of how its good qualities are rather situational, per experience.

next run (I am gonna multitask with my upcoming HGSS run as well, so expect some delay) I am gonna run with Tropius for sure. I was asked previously to also test Relicanth, but I'd like a very good reason as to why this has any chance in a tier other than F (unless you just want a test so everything has at least one test) - I don't think it has HM utility, given it requires 2 of them to be obtained (at that point, just use whatever you used to catch it tbh).

any other preferences Texas Cloverleaf ? If you have some opinion on the Machop and Solrock things, feel free to chime in
 
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I ran Sapphire with some fun pokes, including several Sapphire exclusives and two traded mons who gain levels more furiously than probably any other Pokémon in the series. How much can they leverage their level advantage? Let's find out.

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Long live RS Zigzagoon! ;)

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Here we are at the Elite Four before applying my 14 Rare Candies. This was initially going to be a comparison of three pairs of Pokémon (Whismur and Skitty, Meditite and Makuhita, and Ralts and Lunatone), but I wound up using Delcatty in a way more comparable to Gardevoir and Lunatone.

I don't feel like I've done enough runs yet to argue tier rankings, but I think you'll find my comparisons interesting at least!

whismur stats.png

Endgame moveset: Return, Overheat, Howl, Earthquake

I had intended Whismur as a point of comparison to Skitty as mixed attackers, but wound up mostly using Exploud's physical STAB and Delcatty's special coverage. I had seen Whismur in E tier and hadn't quite believed it was that bad, but Whismur didn't really do anything in the run. I guess I'm used to RBY where Normal-type STAB is a great advantage. Here, Whismur is stuck in its second form for most of the game and when it finally does become Exploud, it still neither really kills things nor has the bulk or speed to set up. I'm pretty sure it didn't meaningfully contribute to any boss battle. Even Overheat running off an unusually good Special Attack stats didn't wind up helping much, and against the Elite Four it often failed to OHKO enemies weak to it.
ralts stats.png

Endgame moveset: Psychic, Calm Mind, Thunderbolt, Reflect

I paced this run weirdly on purpose—since I wanted to see how much I could squeeze out of Meditite and traded Skitty, which come late in the game, I skipped a lot of trainers and played most of the game up until Winona underleveled, catching up on those trainers afterwards (also, since I ran six Pokémon and didn't grind, they are a little lower leveled than a smaller team might be). All of the following Pokémon's performances are affected by this, including Ralts, who, again, was quite mediocre for me before it became Gardevoir.

To be fair, I got a pretty bad Ralts, so I tried to give it as many early Calciums as I could. But there was no getting around the stats before level 30; Raltss just doesn't have the power to beat early-game bosses. I do have trouble believing an S-tier Pokémon should be this limited for so much of the game, even though this was a run basically designed to work against Ralts's strengths.

Ralts's rarity is another knock against it. It's a 4% catch, which is fine, but makes it harder to find a good one. My first catch was Jolly, for instance, and it took me a long time to find another one, whereas shopping for good Meditite or Whismur was a lot quicker.

That those negative points aside, Gardevoir did its thing more or less for the latter part of the game. But how did it compare to its special-sided teammates?

lunatone stats.png

Endgame moveset: Psychic, Ice Beam, Hypnosis, Cosmic Power

This Lunatone was a fast boi! Seeing Ryota run Solrock inspired me to try its counterpart. Like Spoinks, it benefits from the fast exp. group. It is also Rock type, which givs it some interesting type advantages and weaknesses.

When I compared Spoink and Ralts in my previous run, Spoink had equally Ralts's damage output by the very end of the game due to its faster level gains. In this run, probably because Ralts was so much more underleveled when I caught Lunatone (and because of Ralts's low Sp. Atk IV), Lunatone caught up a lot more quickly and was dealing slightly higher damage for most of the watery end of the game. Its stats in all areas were remarkably similar to Gardevoir's by the time of the Elite Four.

Lunatone differentiated more in its moveset, though. I did not give it the Calm Mind TM, and Cosmic Power is really not a great substitute. Maybe I could've made a gimmicky Psychic/Cosmic Power/Rest/Hypnosis work, but I basically felt like Lunatone was too frail for defense. On the other hand, Hypnosis, even at 60% accuracy, is great for bosses. Compared to Gardevoir, for instance, Lunatone was able to do more against Tate & Liza and against Sidney because of the free turns Hypnosis gave it. If it had had Calm Mind, it might have been amazing in the endgame.

But instead, I gave Calm Mind to...

skitty stats.png


Endgame moveset: Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Calm Mind, Sing

The provocatively named Ski Tit is the first traded fast exp. Pokémon in the series. This is why I wondered if, despite its godawful stats, it could hold up solely due to its extra levels. I obtained it as early as I could with as few fights as I could to give it the most time to gain levels, so this is definitely a best-case scenario for Skitty.

Sadly, it never does make up the power differential. Despite an eventual 12-level advantage over Ralts, Skitty's damage output with Thunderbolt was never as high, and it doesn't have a move even close to Ralts's STAB Psychic. And that's why, when I fought the Hoenn Elite Four, the MVP of my team was.... Skitty.

For real!

Skitty was the only Pokémon on my team that had some chance of soloing or nearly soloing every member of the Elite Four. Sometimes that relied on inaccurate Sings, but Skitty had a couple other advantages over the Psychics on my team. It could take more hits on the physical side, giving it more chances to Sing, and boltbeam coverage was very good against the Elite Four. The Normal typing was better than the Psychic typing too, making Phoebe much easier and denying Glacia her Glalie Crunches.

It was quite decent outside of the Elite Four, too. A little worse at clearing routes than Gardevoir or Lunatone, but it didn't risk dying and so much of the game is weak to Thunderbolt that one can't really complain.

Skitty was great!
meditite stats.png

Endgame moveset: Hi Jump Kick, Meditate, Return, Shadow Ball

If Pure Power is so good on Marill, what about on a Pokémon with a higher attack stat, physical STAB, and set-up moves?

It's great! Even as a Meditite, its early access to Hi Jump Kick and Meditate and usable speed make it fine at clearing routes. Once it evolves, there's no question who's the boss for most of the rest of the game. Few enemies until the Elite Four are faster than it and can handle its Meditate-boosted attacks. Meditite does get slightly worse at the Elite Four, with certain enemies just too fast, strong, or tough for Medicham to deal with. Still, it was able to solo Phoebe and Glacia with some luck and put a large dent in Sidney.

I'm kind of interested in testing it versus Heracross, another Fighting-type with a monster attack stat that becomes available past Fortree. I'm also curious if it gets anything from getting Bulk Up instead of Meditate. The Bulk Up TM went to our last Pokémon:

makuhita stats.png

Endgame moveset: Brick Break, Bulk Up, Facade, Fake Out

This bad boy. I'll start at the end; its loses much of its level advantage by the Elite Four and is a little too slow and weak to solo anyone. I didn't really figure out ways of taking advantage of Facade, either. Despite a couple levels over Medicham, it's clearly the worse Fighting type for most of the latter part of the game.

The first part of the game, though! Makit the Makuhita levels up furiously fast due to its "fluctuating" exp. group and ousider bonus, and this actually has the drawback of making him hit the obedience ceiling really fast if you're not careful. You need to hustle to get Brawly and Flannery's badges to keep Makuhita under your control, another reason I chose to do so much of the game underleveled.

That said, besides a phase between Roxanne and Brawly where he won't obey you, Makit effortlessly clears the whole first half of the game. It honestly felt like getting a legendary in a randomizer or something.
 
Part 3/4 of my run. I had some busy weeks hence hadn't been able to make much of a progress but here is what I have so far. I start skipping most trainers to be at same levels with my opponents. I do fight those I missed with my new party members in order to catch up in levels with the rest of the team.


I do get a Corphish teach it Surf and fight some trainers in order to catch up with the rest if the team. I head to the weather institute and fight Brendan



VS Brendan

Team: Beautifly(29),Minun(31),Nosepass(32), Corphish(28)
-Beautifly: 3HKO Slugma, 2 HKO Grovyle, loss vs Pelipper (2HKoed).
-Minun: 1HKO Slugma, 1HKO Pelipper, Loss vs Grovyle (3HKoed by LeafBlade but can win if he dont attack once).
-Nosepass: 1HKO Slugma, 2HKO Grovyle but is 2HKOed back, and 2HKO Pelipper.
-Corphish: 1HKO Slugma, 5HKO Pelipper with Strength is 4HKOed back but rarely attacks, Grovyle outspeed and 1HKOes me.


VS Winona
Team: Beautifly(30),Minun(32),Nosepass(32), Corphish(30),Kecleon(31)
-Beautifly: 3HKO Swablu (it does 3HKO me back but I outspeed), loss vs Tropius (3HKO Tropius but is 2HKOes back),loss vs everything else.
-Minun: 1HKO Swablu, 2HKO Skarmory,3HKO Tropius, 1HKO Pelipper, 4HKO (probable 5HKO after Oran Berry) but is 1HKO by EQ. -2 Altaria EQ 2HKO/ -3 3HKO but you cant win her since she outspeeds after first DD.
-Nosepass: 2HKO Swablu, 3HKO Altaria (can survive +2 EQ!), losses to Skarmory (he 3HKOs me while i do around 1/6 with Rock Slide/Shock Wave), 3HKO Tropius (Can tank survive a solar beam!), 2HKO Pelipper.
-Crawdaunt: 2HKO Swablu (Strenght), loss vs Tropius (4HKO Tropius but is 1HKOed back with SB), Gets walled by Altaria (need around 7 Strenghts to KO), 4HKO Pelipper, 2HKO Skarmory with Surf.
-Kecleon: 2HKO Swablu, 5HKO Tropius, 5 HKO Altaria but can't win because EQ 2HKO me and she can set up, 4HKO Pelipper, can't touch Skarmory

if this feels quite TL:DR...here is a synopsis:
-Beautifly: Trashes Rival, is useless for Winona.
-Minun: Wins most of battles,losses vs Grovyle/Altaria.
-Nosepass: Wins most battle, losses vs Grovyle/Skarmory. The only Team Member that wins Altaria 1vs1!
-Corphish/Crawdaunt: Wins some battles, losses vs Grovyle/Altaria/Tropius.
_____________________
VS Brendan (Lylcove)
Team: Minun,Nosepass, Kecelon (33), Chineco,Beautifly (31), Crawdaunt (32)

-Beautifly: 3HKO Tropius/Slugma, 2 HKO Grovyle, destroyed by Pelipper.
-Minun: 3HKO Tropius, 2HKO Slugma, 1HKO Pelipper,loss vs Grovyle.
-Nosepass: Losses to Grovyle (1HKO), 2HKO and is 2HKoed by Tropius, 1HKO Slugma, 3HKO Pelipper.
-Crawdaunt: Loses to Grovyle/Tropius (1HKO/2HKO), Wins Pelipper, 1HKO Slugma.
-Kecleon: 2HKO Grovyle/Slugma, 3HKO Tropius, Wins Pelipper.
-Chimeco: Loss vs Grovyle (3HKoed), 3HKO Slugma (+0,+2,+4), losses to Tropius,wins Pelipper.
The main reason I fought the rival was that once done I have access to the Thunder/Blizzard/FireBlast TM's so I thought this is quite a big thing as I move onwards. Still this is optimal.


Techically I could have gotten Chimecho earlier and use it against Winona but in order to do so I should have done quite a lot of 'farward-tracking'. Even so I doubt it would have contributed much against her,maybe beat Swablu and possibly Tropius but still nothing if much importance.
Also for some strange reason the Calc couldn't give me results for Chimecho's IV's
:(

So far I have been reluctant to give one-of TM's to my Pokemon and I can report that the early-mid game is managable without using them but I start to feel that this is about to change soon.

And last but not least play testing a full squad of six Pokemon can be exhausting to read so I will try to make small synopisis for every fight so everyone can follow along and have the analytic battle in Spoilers for verification reason mostly.
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Also for some strange reason the Calc couldn't give me results for Chimecho's IV's
that's cause Psypoke uses Chimecho's gen 7 stats, which are a bit different from the gen 3 ones. I experienced similar issue when I tried to calculate my Solrock's HP (90 in gen 7, 70 in gen 3)

anyways, I am posting to report what I am gonna use. I am planning on my team being Tropius / Relicanth / Pikachu / Lileep / Psyduck. This team is awful, but I am gonna manage in some way (though if there's something that you want to see tested urgently, please let me know which one it is and which member to ditch for the new member)
 
that's cause Psypoke uses Chimecho's gen 7 stats, which are a bit different from the gen 3 ones. I experienced similar issue when I tried to calculate my Solrock's HP (90 in gen 7, 70 in gen 3)

anyways, I am posting to report what I am gonna use. I am planning on my team being Tropius / Relicanth / Pikachu / Lileep / Psyduck. This team is awful, but I am gonna manage in some way (though if there's something that you want to see tested urgently, please let me know which one it is and which member to ditch for the new member)
I'm going to be interested in seeing what Pikachu is like without a Special Attack hindering nature. I'm still unsure if it's C or D.
 
Hi guys! I've been following this thread for a long time and always wanted to contribute but since I had a lot of IRL stuff I couldn't play with as much consistency as I wanted. Now that I'm freer I can try to do a couple of runs. I have a couple of things to say so I'm gonna use hide tags to not get too overwhelming.

One of the things that interests me the most is what's the philosophy when tiering, more precisely how much weight we put on the early game, mid-game, endgame. I totally agree with Texas's post in the HGSS thread regarding the importance of the lategame, which is why I'm not so sure about how the A-tier is handled.
From my experience (and from the runs posted here, even when they had it at A), Kadabra drops majorly in the last part, meaning there are fights where Zam's and Garde's extra bulk and power allow them to set up and sweep easily whereas Kadabra just takes too much damage/requires too many boosts so it looks more like B-tier to me. It's still great in the majority of the game but it flops at the last yard (or whichever sports metaphor you want).
Another case is Breloom—or rather, all the 'best' Fighting-types. Now, before anyone jumps at my throat, I think it's unquestionably A-tier. In fact, if it weren't for its fall in the late game I'd agree with those that wanted it for S originally. However that fall does exist, and for all the amazing things it did midgame in my Ruby run its endgame was quite lacking.
When you look at all the great Fighting-types available, all of them are strong (and Breloom stands out for being strong for the longest time, while freeing the Brick Break TM which is only shared by Heracross), with Hera and Blaziken also being really fast and Hariyama and Machamp being slow but fat. Loom is stuck in the middle, being outsped by many things and not being bulky enough to take hits. I dunno if mine just had terrible IVs and I should prolly try it out again, but it was outsped and killed by Wallace's Milotic, Sidney's Shiftry (Fake Out + Extrasensory did a surprising number) and Glacia's Glalies and Walrein, while being totally unable to harm Phoebe's Ghosts. At least the others can learn Earthquake, even though I'd still not advise to use them there. On the other hand, Chicken and Hera outright sweep those fights and Hariyama can tank hits for days—and if you kept Vital Throw, even getting around Mightyena's Sand-Attack/Shiftry's Double Team bs. I haven't tried Champ yet but it should be similar, just with a significantly worse matchup against Glacia because no Thick Fat.
For this reasons I think at the very least Yama and Hera (potentially Champ) should join Chicken and Loom. I know some people said Blaziken was closer to B but in my experience it was almost S, beating all of Wallace, Sidney, Glacia, and Steven (which it totally destroyed by getting into Blaze range against Skarm and outspeed and beating everything, just needing a Full Heal) and just failing against T+L and Drake, whose Dragons just hit too hard with D-Claw/Breath.

My run prolly doesn't count because I had 7 mons which meant they were at level 45-6 for the E4, but it allowed me to see how they performed both with and without Blaziken and the without was a bit painful.Still, from there I got that Absol is fantastic for two very important matchups and struggles to get more than one kill in the rest (kinda like a later Loom, so B); Tenta has the worst bringing up until Bubblebeam but once it evolves and picks up Surf, Ice Beam, and Sludge Bomb it's pretty solid (B is fine, I agree it should be caught with a Good Rod but the early one has the advantage of not forcing you to run something else for Surf), helping against most E4 battles due to its combination of speed, bulk, and resists; Electrike's babying period makes me wanna cry but after Spark it picks up and from Winona on it becomes excellent (I'd lean towards B but can understand C, I caught a shiny Naive one so I had to keep it, I'd agree that the post-Surf one is better but it should relearn T-Wave because it can be clutch in battles such as against Metagross); that despite having a negative nature which force me to run Quick Claw, Gardevoir is simply phenomenal from the moment it gets Psychic and is one of the few mons that can curbstomp both Wallace and Drake thanks to CM + Reflect, outright S; and that Flygon is hardly worth the effort leveling it up with an ugly Vibrava phase and not enough good matchups to be worth stealing the Earthquake TM, D-rank.


Another question of tiering philosophy is regarding the Water HMs. When I play I tend to privilege mons that learn all of them because I like to use only one HM slaveuser and have my main Water-type take those, which is why for example I struggle to use Pelipper on the final part of the game. Getting both Fly and Surf is excellent, but you're forced to run something else for the others so at a point it seems more of a Flying-type with Water coverage. There's also the fact that the only ones it doesn't stack with are Pert, Whiscash, and Lanturn (for which you need Dive, so...). I still like it, but I value all the big guys that don't have those issues (think Tenta, Gyara, Whiscash, Sharpedo) more highly. Not quite sure if it should drop to C because it's useful in 4 of the first 5 gyms—even if it's not beating Nosepass, Makuhita, or Torkoal on its own. Guess I'll have to do another full run.
While we're on the topic of Water-types: has anyone tried using Lombre as an HM user? It learns the five more important ones like Azu, and can also perform decently in the first gym if you have the willpower to pull through its disgusting Astonish stage. It basically sucks afterwards but it's not like you're using HM users for anything else. I hate that it's so low because I like Ludicolo but I get that the period until Water stone is dreadful so this might be the next best thing.
Oh, and re: the Wailmer run: I noticed once it evolved it started pulling its weight more, and I checked that if you catch it with a Super Rod it can come in the mid-high 30s instead of the mid 20s, meaning you don't need to invest so much time. It also evolves right for T+L. It WILL miss out on one/two Rival fights, Winona, and the evil team though, so I can see how that could be held against it and not be enough for C. Still worth a shot, imo.


TL;DR:
Kadabra for B.
Makuhita and Heracross (maybe Machamp) for A.
Ruby Torchic is close to S, will see how it performs in Emerald.
Electrike could drop because of its bad early period but otherwise it's fine in B.
I wouldn't be against dropping Trapinch to D, Flygon is very cool-looking but it's generally not worth the investment/ugly Vibrava phase.
What do we privilege when looking at Water-types?

================================================================================================

Finally I wanna post updates on my Sapphire run. It was already advanced so I'm just gonna do Wallace + E4 (which I'll edit in) with comments of the previous matchups. My team is Sceptile/Electrode/Sharpedo/Alakazam/Crobat/Hariyama btw.

Everything is at level 42.

Sceptile: Gotta say I was worried going in but it exceeded my expectations. OHKOs all of Luvdisc, Whiscash and Sealeo, Seaking lives but doesn't do anything and Milo is a roll to get 2HKOed by Leaf Blade and Sceptile lives an IB fine. I should mention that I did level up after beating Whiscash, so that might've mattered a lot since if Sealeo lives its Aurora Beam plus Milo's Ice Beam should kill. Oh, and also if Seaking is at the same level it can potentially kill with Rain Dance + Horn Drill.

Electrode: Disposes of Luvdisc, Whiscash is a no, Sealeo lives a Thunderbolt so it's a 3HKO after Hyper Potion, same with Seaking but Electrode outspeeds after Rain Dance. Then Electrode levels up and comfortably 2HKOs Milotic while living a Rain-boosted Water Pulse as long as it doesn't confuse.

Sharpedo: This was cool. Mine is female so it didn't have to worry about Attract, 2HKOed Whiscash with MW Surf even after an Amnesia, 2HKOed Sealeo with Crunch (watch out for Body Slam para) and same with Seaking which RD's and dies. Milo is 3HKOed (Sitrus might turn it into a 4HKO if no drop) and kills back with Water Pulse.

Alakazam: I used a Persim Berry so I could CM without problems, then against Whiscash I attacked because I feared Amnesia but it unfortunately lived the +1 Psychic and got to full with a Hyper Potion. I had to CM a couple of times more until I could beat it tanking an EQ, but the other three were cleanly beat. I guess you can try to set up more on Luvdisc (I did with Garde on my Ruby run to the same results) to not waste PP but we know how annoying this is. Not so clean sweep but it's still Zam.

Crobat: Surprisingly decent. Also being female eased the Luvdisc matchup, Whiscash is 4HKOed by Fly so you might want to hit it with Return/Sludge Bomb to not activate the Hyper Potion; Fly takes forever and Whiscash can decide to RD and hit you with Water Pulse, though. Sealeo is 2HKOed by Sludge Bomb and Crobat lives Aurora Beam just fine, then Seaking is 2HKOed as well and Milo lives two Sludge Bombs and finishes it off with IB. If you have Aerial Ace you can make the matchup against Whiscash less annoying but you might not guarantee the 4HKO so I think it's best to skip it.

Hariyama: Oooooh boy. First off, mine was Timid which meant that it was still moving slower than most stuff but also my Attack stat was worse. I didn't OHKO Luvdisc but Bulk Up was risky so I decided to Rock Blast + Brick Break. Then I could use Whiscash as setup bait while it Amnesia'd. Unfortunately it lived a +3 BB so it got to full health. On my next try, I went again with Rock Blast first to avoid the Hyper Potion. Luckily, at that point all of Sealeo, Seaking and Milo were OHKOed and Yama lived two Water Pulses or a Rain boosted one so I could win. Still took many tries.


The biggest question mark in the team is Sceptile. I agree that if it were for Grovyle it'd be closer to D, that shit has the dubious honor of being the worst middle-stage starter I've ever used (and it has GSC Quilava to compete with!). However, once it evolves and goes east everything starts to go more smoothly. It and Pedo completely obliterated T+L, focus firing without even being touched. It also didn't have issues on the water routes without Return because Dig (now Earthquake) disposed of the Tentas and Pelippers just dropping to Leaf Blade. I have the E4 matchup to see if it's more B or C, and I'm gonna go get Dragon Claw to see if it makes the difference. Sure, it's a ridiculous backtrack for just one fight (and I guess Wally's Altaria), but if it turns a horrible matchup into a good one it might be worth it.
As for the rest, like I said Yama might deserve A, Crobat is fine with C (I caught it at level 7 and it evolved at 23 to be used against the evil team, I think it's better than catching it later), Electrode might be B depending on how it performs in the E4 because it's never disappointed, Zam is Zam, and Pedo is at home in B—it's one of the best ones there, too.
I had originally planned to run Camerupt too but the disgusting training up to Fortree (it was raining, of course) I just couldn't bring myself to run it on the water routes and the prospective gym battles. I might try it again in the future.

I know my runs were highly inefficient because of the number of Pokemon so I understand if you don't wanna use them but I still wanted to share. I'm currently doing an Emerald run with Blaziken to see if there's a case for S (which I doubt, but its Ruby performance was that good) and I'm gonna do another later with Sceptile plus a Ruby one where I intend to test Zangoose (I was gonna use it originally but since my team had so many Psychic weaks I had to drop it for Absol) and Mawile, am gonna go through the list to see what else needs testing.

Apologies for the long post, hope to contribute more in the future.
 
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Another question of tiering philosophy is regarding the Water HMs. When I play I tend to privilege mons that learn all of them because I like to use only one HM slaveuser and have my main Water-type take those, which is why for example I struggle to use Pelipper on the final part of the game. Getting both Fly and Surf is excellent, but you're forced to run something else for the others so at a point it seems more of a Flying-type with Water coverage. There's also the fact that the only ones it doesn't stack with are Pert, Whiscash, and Lanturn (for which you need Dive, so...). I still like it, but I value all the big guys that don't have those issues (think Tenta, Gyara, Whiscash, Sharpedo) more highly. Not quite sure if it should drop to C because it's useful in 4 of the first 5 gyms—even if it's not beating Nosepass, Makuhita, or Torkoal on its own. Guess I'll have to do another full run.
Are you using a full team of battlers on every run? If you use only 4 or 5 battlers, then your battlers will reach higher levels, and you can dump whatever HMs you want onto a level 4 Marill. Why don't you try that sometime?
 

Merritt

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One of the things that interests me the most is what's the philosophy when tiering, more precisely how much weight we put on the early game, mid-game, endgame. I totally agree with Texas's post in the HGSS thread regarding the importance of the lategame, which is why I'm not so sure about how the A-tier is handled.
I personally have a somewhat different interpretation of what Texas said there (Texas Cloverleaf please correct me if I'm wrong) than what I think you got out of it. What Texas seemed to be saying is that if something beats 3 major battles in the midgame or earlygame and that's literally all it does (for example if it's dropped after that point) then that doesn't make it equivalent to something that beats 3 major battles in endgame because those do weigh more heavily. However, something that dominates early and is just not amazing in endgame is, to me, mostly on par with something that dominates endgame alone as long as we're not talking something that becomes literally useless in endgame.

Kadabra falls into that category, for most of midgame it's nearly equivalent to zam and it's certainly not bad at endgame it's just not fantastic the way Alakazam manages to stay. To me that reads as an S tier (or high A) performance for at least half the game and then maybe a B tier performance if you're feeling critical which lands it solidly A.

For Pelipper: having both Fly and one of the water HMs (or Fly and Rock Smash or Fly and Strength aka Skarmory Mc5%encounter/25catch and Tropius McHMGod) is actually really handy imo because you need 6 HMs - Waterfall/Dive/Rock Smash/Strength aren't hard to fit on one Pokemon. Fly itself is actually kind of big because surprisingly there's not that many easily accessible Fly mons - Zubat requires investment to get to Crobat, Xatu is the same deal to a lesser extent at least, leaving only 6 readily available options (Doduo, Skarmory, Swellow, Wingull, Swablu, and Tropius). Even further than that, Pelipper alone will carry you across most of the game once you're done with Flannery until you need Dive/Rock Smash/Strength only after beating Tate&Liza. This is pretty big for freeing up so many party slots without requiring that you be using a Pokemon with Surf access as part of your main battling group.
 
Oh yea I understood the same thing Merritt (I know he was applying that to the Onix discussion), I agree Kadabra might seem A but from my experience it isn't that excellent on the first part to totally make up for the bad endgame—since without CM it's not beating Torkoal and Slaking like Kirlia/Garde can. It should still defeat Winona if you take it to level 36, though (Ryota's run, which is what prompted me to consider B, had it a bit underleveled so it couldn't win vs. Altaria). On the other hand, Zam never seems to drop in its performance which is why it's the best in every game it's in.
I guess the comparison with these two is not the best because they're S for a reason, but I see it as struggling more than, say, Loom who's more consistently good in the first part even though it's not sweeping in the endgame (I know I'm biased here because in RSE setup is the name of the game so the earlier the better). I'm fine with it staying in A either way, I just thought I'd mention it because if you read the last run with it it seems closer to B—even if Ryota settled for A and Texas concurred.

As for Pelipper, you do make a good point regarding the pool of Flying-types, I didn't wanna diminish that role because Pelipper is among the best. My way of thinking was that you use your Water-type for both Surf and Dive/Waterfall and if you're running a Flying-type your HM user can be something like Linoone, otherwise Tropius. My issue with Pelipper was that it stacked weaknesses outside of those I mentioned, but it is true that you can fit all the other HMs into something like Marill or Lombre. I'll try it out the whole run to see if it's at the level of other B's.

Are you using a full team of battlers on every run? If you use only 4 or 5 battlers, then your battlers will reach higher levels, and you can dump whatever HMs you want onto a level 4 Marill. Why don't you try that sometime?
Nah, not every run, I ended up with a big team because I wanted to try different things, I'll usually go with 5 + something for HMs (6 just if I want a full team for the E4 but that's not really necessary). I am using Marill on my Emerald run btw, otherwise I'll go with something like Tropius because, like I said, if I'm running a Water-type it generally has a free slot for Dive/Waterfall.

Anyway, I'm gonna use this post to update on the last part of my run:

Everything is at 45.

Electrode: Tbolt 4HKOes Altaria after the Super Potion but you outspeed after it DD's so it can win without taking damage. Roselia is a no. Delcatty survives the hit but doesn't do much back (although I had it call Leech Seed with Assist, lmao). Surprisingly, it 3HKOes Magneton with Tbolt and takes its own Tbolts with ease unless it gets para'd. Then Gardevoir comes in and kills with Psychic, I guess you could try going for the full para but eh.

Hariyama: Now this is more like it. Aerial Ace does less than half but Altaria doesn't use it generally, after one BU Rock Tomb is a 2HKO with the Super Potion. Then Gardevoir comes in and OHKOes. Roselia is outsped and 2HKOed by Strength, Delcatty and Magneton are outsped and OHKOed by Brick Break.

Alakazam: After one CM Psychic 2HKOes and it outspeeds Alt even at +1. If you use Reflect it screws up with the AI which keeps spamming Dragon Dance so you can get away unscathed. Roselia is OHKOed, Mag and Delcatty are 2HKOed but can't do anything back, Gardevoir just uses Double Team so you can keep CMing and then beat it with Shock Wave. Zam being Zam.

Sharpedo: Probably the easiest sweep of its life. Ice Beam cleans Alt and Rose, MW Surf disposes of Mag and Delcatty (which is apparently a roll), Garde is 2HKOed by Crunch but can only DT.

Honestly at this point I'm seriously considering nomming Carvanha for A. It hasn't had one bad matchup and absolutely destroyed Winona, T+L, and Wally. I know it's prolly gonna drop in the E4 when its frailty becomes more apparent, but damn this thing is good. I should note that I have a Quiet nature so that might've skewed its fights.

Crobat: Not bad. 3HKOes Alt with Sludge Bomb which can't do anything back (seeing a pattern here), Garde comes in, is 3HKOed by Sludge Bomb/Shadow Ball after Super Potion but OHKOes back (kinda curious what'd happen if I had Confuse Ray, lol). Rose and Delcatty are wins, Mag is a no.

Sceptile: Without D-Claw Return is a 5HKO on Alt after Super Potion, not a winnable matchup. With it, it's a 3HKO, Scept takes less than half from AA but can get outsped at +1 (it surprised me because Zam was faster but I have a Relaxed nature so I think you should generally outspeed), Rose it 2HKOed by AA/Return/EQ and at most threatens with Toxic (it only used it once in several tries), Delcatty is 2HKOed by Leaf Blade and can put you to sleep but the most damage it can do is by calling Future Sight with Assist—which didn't even do much—and Mag is OHKOed by EQ. Against Gardevoir it depends on what it does, really. Leaf Blade 4HKOes w/o a crit but Garde can CM which forces you to use Return/EQ. It can also spam Double Team which is annoying. If Altaria didn't AA or you didn't face it, you can survive a +1 Psychic and finish it off. I should mention that if you do get poisoned, you can switch out and come back against Garde to try and take advantage of it to activate Overgrow. DT is still awful, obviously.
Passable matchup but relies on the coverage and the opponent choosing the wrong moves. Also the 3HKO with D-Claw makes me think it won't be very good against Drake, so C is a very real possibility.


I entered with everything at 45 but I was scared to be underleveled so I gave each mon 2 Rare Candies (I had 14 which I'd saved for other ingame stuff)

Sharpedo: Apparently MW Surf is a roll in his favor to beat Mightyena, it usually kills itself with Take Down (which hurts; if it lives with 1 HP and uses Sand-Attack it's really annoying to keep going). Ice Beam is a roll in your favor to OHKO Cacturne, courtesy of the Quiet nature. Shiftry is 2HKOed by Surf + IB but doesn't do anything besides spam Double Team and the occasional Swagger. You can attempt to heal here but I wouldn't recommend it because after two DTs the stakes are against you. If you're at full against Sharpedo, you can 2HKO with Surf and live two non-crit Slashes (it can also Swagger which is annoying). In my case it was a speed tie, courtesy of the Quiet nature. Then Absol comes in, takes a Surf and finishes you off.
Alternatively, you can attempt to set up a Rain Dance against Sharpedo, still 2HKO it but then you OHKO Absol. This scenario requires you to have everything going for you though so it's unlikely to happen. Still, a sweep is a sweep is a sweep.

Alakazam: It 2HKOes Mightyena at +1 and takes the Take Down/Crunch fine. It should never face Cacturne because it needs a lot of setup to even touch it and it also lowers your speed. Shiftry doesn't have a STAB to hit you with but it does have Swagger, so it's also best avoided. Sharpedo is outsped and OHKOed, Absol is 4HKOed with Shock Wave after Sitrus (and calls Full Restore) and 2HKOes back with Slash so I don't realistically see Zam winning. EDIT: Scratch that because it's all kinds of wrong. Pedo actually lives, however if you set up a CM and kill and you don't get crit by Slash as you set up Reflect and heal, you can get another CM as Absol SDs and you can 2HKO—on rolls—with Shock Wave. I really thought this was a loss but dang Zam keeps proving why it's the cross-generational S rank. I wouldn't say it's efficient (since it needs to be at full against Pedo) but it's a Psychic-type beating 3/5 of a Dark-type team.

Electrode: Tbolt 2HKOes Mightyena and OHKOes Sharpedo, you're not getting past Cacturne and Shiftry. Impressively, Absol can be 2HKOed without activating Sitrus Berry and you live a non-crit Slash even after Take Down. It's a roll though, and since you get OHKOed at +2 you might wanna gamble with Thunder.

Sceptile: Not bad. It 2HKOes Mightyena with Leaf Blade, then Absol comes in and lives two Leaf Blades with Sitrus (which might not activate, like with Electrode) and finishes it with +2 AA. You can beat it however, if it AAs instead of attacking you can get put into Overgrow range after taking a Crunch. Additionally, my Sceptile could actually live a +2 hit from full because Relaxed so I could Leaf Blade as it set up, heal, tank the hit and kill. Either way you're not gonna be defeating the rest at that point. Cacturne is a roll to 2HKO with Aerial Ace w/o Intimidate and can Cotton Spore you (and then it's a speed tie because Relaxed), Shiftry is a 3HKO either way. Pedo is one-shot, obviously. I actually had it get Swaggered twice and managed to come out victorious with 9 HP after using only one Full Restore but lol.

Hariyama: This depends on if you run Vital Throw or not. If you do, it's the easiest sweep of your lifetime, you just set up once (twice if you got Intimidated) and beat everything. The AI messes up and doesn't even attack you, although you might get Swaggered so a Persim Berry helps. If you don't, then it really depends on how much Sand-Attack messes you up while setting up. You should still be able to come out on top but Shiftry can be annoying with DT so not a very clean sweep.

Crobat: Sludge Bomb 3HKOes Mightyena at -1 and 2HKOs with Intimidate fodder, Sand-Attack is annoying. If at +0, Sludge Bomb OHKOes Cacturne and is a roll in your favor on Shiftry (and obviously you can poison). It 2HKOes Sharpedo and lives a Surf, Absol is 3HKOed and finishes you. If you run a Persim Berry you might get lucky and receive a Swagger boost, which allows you to beat Absol. Also it might be the Proteins I put into this boy, but if you get the poison there's a chance you 2HKO even after Sitrus, which is very impressive. You have to be healthy and not get hit by Sand-Attack, but otherwise I'd say excellent matchup tbh. EDIT: And it lives two +2/crit Slashes from full, meaning you can win if you heal. Man, Crobat really impressed me here.


Same levels.

Crobat: It's a roll to 2HKO with Shadow Ball in Dusclops' favor, it can Confuse Ray or Curse. If you're lucky and run a Persim Berry you can come out unharmed. Then Sableye switches in, which is 3HKOed by Fly-SB-Fly (two Fly's call Full Restore) and 3HKOes with Psychic. Banette comes in, lives an SB and finishes you off. If you have something else to take care of Sableye, Crobat 2HKOes both Banette and Survives two Psychics. The second Dusclops is much harder because it runs IB and it can avoid the 3HKO from Shadow Ball with Sitrus, so I'd count it as a loss even if it's technically doable (if you heal as it Confuse Rays and you don't hit yourself).

Sceptile: Leaf Blade 3HKOes the first Dusclops and Curse can activate Full Restore, which is annoying. Sableye is a roll on your favor to 2HKO and 3HKOes back with Shadow Ball, good matchup but it'll go for Attract and you know what that does. The second Dusclops comes in and is like 5/6HKOed after Sitrus. If you're at full health you could live two Ice Beams and get to Overgrow range, but apparently the AI chooses Confuse Ray more often when you're healthy. Even with the boost you're still not OHKOing the Banette without a crit, anyway.

Hariyama: I didn't run EQ so I didn't try to set up on the first Dusclops but between Confuse Ray, Pressure and Curse I'd say it's better to avoid it. Setting up on Sableye isn't much cleaner because of Attract and Psychic 3HKOing but I ended up winning with three Bulk Ups and one heal. Then Banette came in, outsped and Toxic'd me (the other has WoW so it could've been worse) as I 2HKOed, then the second Banette used Spite and took 5 PP. The second Dusclops was like 5HKOed after Sitrus, awful. EQ should be better because the 2HKOs become OHKOes since Rock Tomb is half its power, but between Spite and Pressure it's very ugly. Also in Emerald Banette runs Grudge which should be even worse than Spite.
Another thing I wanted to try out was Belly Drum (not in place of BU but as an alternative). With a Persim Berry I can set up on Dusclops and 2HKO with Rock Tomb, EQ would obviously kill. However, Rock Tomb doesn't OHKO Sableye even at +6 which is just sad. I'd imagine that this is a viable strategy to get a full sweep if running Earthquake, but Spite/Grudge + Pressure can still screw you over.

Alakazam: It can get OHKOed by Shadow Punch/Shadow Ball from everything so no point in even trying to set up a Reflect. Kinda sad after its performance against Sidney, though I guess if it were a couple levels higher it'd perform better.

Electrode: It 3HKOes the first Dusclops with Tbolt, however two hits/a hit + Curse activates Full Restore. If you're running Thunder you can attempt to use that to two-shot (but it's not even guaranteed, eww), otherwise Spark can work to help win—watch out for Confuse Ray obviously. Then the second Dusclops comes in, takes little damage (4HKO before Sitrus!) and kills back with Earthquake. Sableye is 3HKOed but at least it can't Attract you! Shadow Ball does hit it pretty hard, tho.

Sharpedo: 2HKOs both Dusclops (the first one is put in Full Restore Range so you should Surf first) and Sableye and OHKOs both Banette with Crunch (EDIT: this appears to be a roll so I'm guessing non-Quiet Sharpedo will have more issues, but I wasn't running BlackGlasses). Might need to heal to live EQ from the second mummy, mine managed to survive with 1HP after taking a Shadow Punch and a Shadow Ball which is pretty cool. Amazing as long as you don't hit yourself, even with the paper bulk.
pedo.png
Update: tried it again with BlackGlasses, it can even OHKO the first Dusclops lol. The only thing preventing a clean sweep is Confuse Ray from the second one.


Sharpedo is 48, rest is 47.

Alakazam: Ahhh, this is more like it. Because Glalie wastes time setting up Light Screen and Hail, you can just keep gathering CM boosts while you wait for the screen to fade. At +3 you OHKO eveything but Walrein (which can Sheer Cold you; I had that happen in a previous try), so if you can get a fourth boost it's a clean sweep. You might need to heal if Glalie spams Crunch, though.

Electrode: Both Thunder and Thunderbolt are a 3HKO on Glalie without Light Screen so if it sets it up it's gonna be a tough matchup. Also, Ice Beam does a ton back. Both Sealeo survive Tbolt (Thunder is a bad roll on the first one) and will finish you off with Surf/Blizzard if you're not healthy. If you have it, Light Screen can help soften the blows but you will have to heal. Walrein is 2HKOed by Thunder if you wanna risk that.
I wanna mention that this is a point in Manectric's favor, its Thunder actually beat the Sealeo. Electrode had been very good so far but at this point it's both frail and doesn't KO what it needs to.

Hariyama: Excellent as expected. Sets up like it's nobody's business on Glalie and outspeeds the two Sealeo, two Bulk Ups are enough to OHKO everything. If you run Sitrus to stay out of Surf range (which did over 80/211, so about 40%), the only thing that can prevent a sweep is Sheer Cold hitting.
Also from the damage the Ice Beams were doing, I'd imagine Machamp is gonna have a significantly worse time setting up. I guess in Emerald it's easier because Glacia leads with Sealeo, but still.

Sharpedo: Can 2HKO Glalie on rolls with Surf as long as it doesn't use LS, it's guaranteed with MysticWater. Sealeo survives three BlackGlasses Crunches so I'm guessing it's better to just use MW. After taking repeated hits the second Sealeo can finish you off so you'll need to heal. Walrein should be avoided as it's like a 5HKO without drops after Sitrus. The second Glalie might live the MW Surfs—especially without Quiet. You'll need to heal but you can get three KOs, so decent matchup.
(Btw, I actually didn't know Blizzard could miss in Hail in this gen so I was surprised when Sealeo missed right before the message "The hail stopped" appeared)

Sceptile: Leaf Blade 3HKOes Glalie without Light Screen, but it appears to privilege attacking. You can live an IB from full and get to Overgrow range but I'm not sure if it's enough to 2HKO, it either fails to or crits so I'd say no. Anyway, the Sealeo live a Leaf Blade if you're not in low health and I'm pretty sure Walrein lives two after Sitrus. It OHKOs with Blizzard so it might not matter. With Overgrow you two-shot the Sealeo and then Walrein lives one (at red) and finishes you off. Mediocre matchup in general, but the fact that it can sometimes get three kills is a point in its favor.

Crobat: Needs poison to 2HKO Glalie and Sealeo, gets rekt by Ice Beam/Blizzard but lives two Surfs so can at least beat the first Sealeo. Bad matchup.


Hariyama is 48, rest is the same.

Hariyama: Due to Shelgon's tendency to spam Protect, it can accumulate boosts pretty easily. Unfortunately, after six boosts Rock Tomb without Hard Stone doesn't guarantee the kill, I later tried Return which did in fact win. Hariyama amazingly lives two Dragon Claws from full (they do around 90)!! At that point it's obviously too weak to beat the rest so it's gonna have to heal again, but it's still impressive. It ended up at level 50 after the sweep.

Alakazam: I wouldn't recommend trying to set up on Shelgon because Rock Tomb takes away Zam's biggest perk.; you still might sneak in a CM on Protect. Flygon can also be annoying because of Sand-Attack, but if it uses Crunch you can keep gathering boosts. You need 4 to OHKO both Mence and Altaria (I mention Alt because it DD'd once and outsped and KO'd with Take Down, it really took me off guard). As long as you don't miss Psychic you can sweep rather easily.

Sceptile: What we've all been waiting for. Without D-Claw why even bother, EQ/Return are like a 5HKO on Shelgon. With D-Claw it 2HKOs it and barely misses the 2HKO Flygon—it can get it if it's at level 48. The others are 3HKOed, but don't bother against Mence because it one-shots you with Fly. Also the second Flygon can 2HKO with Flamethrower so it's not reliable (you can still beat it if Flamethrower puts you in Overgrow range). Like with Zam, it's very important to not get hit by Rock Tomb. The matchup is rather mediocre because at most you're gonna get three kills with Dragon Claw, but it's better than nothing!

Electrode: Speaking of nothing, lol. It's actually not terrible because Shelgon has shit SpDef (Tbolt is a 4HKO but might call Full Restore, Thunder is a roll to 3HKO and you need Rain Dance to stand a chance) and because a para from Thunder/Spark/Static can be super clutch against Salamence to allow Sharpedo to clean after it, but it's mostly relegated to that role in this fight (which is not even guaranteed).

Sharpedo: NeverMeltIce Ice Beam OHKOs everything (!!), Shelgon and Altaria being the only mons slower. The first Flygon for some reason always goes for Sandstorm so it can potentially beat both. Then Mence comes in and OHKOes with Fly. If you use Electrode (or another Electric-type) to para it, you can defeat the winged dragon. Great matchup again.
I understand that in Emerald it isn't as good because of Kingdra + Flygon having Earthquake, but it's undeniable that it's one of the strongest Water-type performances. Quiet nature be damned, Tentacruel, Lanturn, or Whiscash could never hope to do so well (Golduck might because of its high SpAtk and Calm Mind).

Crobat: Sludge Bomb 3HKOes Shelgon but poison might screw you over by putting it in Full Restore Range. It can also annoy with Rock Tomb. The Flygon are only 4HKOed by Silk Scarf Return/Fly so it's probably best to avoid them. Altaria is 3HKOed but between poison and Take Down Recoil (and possibly sand) it can be turned into a 2HKO. It does outspeed at +1, though. Unintimidated Sludge Bomb is a 5HKO on Mence after Sitrus and it hits hard with Dragon Claw, very tough matchup. You might be able to heal the damage but I doubt you'll have enough PP on Sludge Bomb.


Nothing yet!


Something to mention about my Sapphire run is that I'd started it a long time ago and Ryota Mitarai actually used a team very similar to mine just a month ago, lol. My experiences from the previous fights are very similar but I didn't quite agree with his conclusions so I guess we'll see after the E4. One thing that worries me is how the hell I'm gonna beat that Metagross
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I want to mention that Kadabra (potentially) does quite well against Glacia. I had to rely on rolls to OHKO one of her Sealeo after 2 CMs, but I don't think it's a huge deal ultimately, which is why I leaned towards A rather than B, because it's not that huge of a deadweight at the E4 and coming so early with great matchups and leveling up fast is not to be ignored, either.

Did my run completely, given my first logs are from Norman, as Mirage Tower (and the desert in general) are only available after beating Flannery. Team is Lileep / Pikachu / Psyduck / Tropius / Relicanth. IVs are at the bottom of the post.

As for Lileep, I am gonna inform you that I managed to grind it with a lot of skipped trainers, thus explaining the high level at Norman. If you are using a more competent team and not like me where I just destroyed most things with Mudkip, it's very unlikely Lileep will even be at such a level, given how slowly it levels up.

Lileep is level 32

Lileep: You'd think Toxic stalling works here, but it doesn't. As soon as you poison Spinda, it Encores you into Toxic and if you stay on the field, it will drain its PP pretty fast. Not to mention stuff like Slaking 3HKO with boosted Facade. All in all, even Toxic stalling doesn't work as your best solution and it's more of a team detriment than team support in this case.


Tropius is level 27 (I wanted to save trainers for Pikachu and Psyduck), Lileep is level 32

Lileep: Toxic + Secret Power can beat Slugma and Grovyle, though you have to heal while facing Grovyle. Lombre can be beaten just with Secret Power spam.
Tropius: Stomp 3HKOs Lombre and Slugma and 4HKOs Grovyle. Didn't need to heal at all, only if I got a random crit.


everything is level 33

Lileep: Toxic on Swablu is not a good idea, as it has Mirror Move, not to mention it has Perish Song. Skarm, obviously is immune. Altaria can be poisoned, but uses it as a setup fodder, though you can confuse it with Confuse Ray. All in all, Toxic stalling works 50% of the time.
Tropius: bad. Even +3 Solar Beam in sun cannot OHKO Swablu. Not worth the hassle.
Golduck: good matchup. Ice Beam 2HKOs Swablu and Altaria and OHKOs Tropius, not to mention it outspeeds all of them. Skarmory is 2HKOed by MW Surf. Pelipper is 3HKOed by Ice Beam, so you may want to avoid it to not waste Ice Beam's PPs.
Raichu: not bad. TBolt OHKOs Swablu, Pelipper, and Skarmory. Altaria beats you due to EQ, while Tropius stalemates you with Synthesis and being 3HKOed by TBolt


Tropius is level 38, rest is 39

Lileep: Toxic stalling works quite well on Mightyena, as your attack is so terrible that confusion hits are not a big deal. Secret Power + confusion are the only way to muscle through Crobat. Camerupt deals quite a lot of damage with EQ and requires constant healing to take down
Tropius: +2 Solar Beam OHKOs Mightyena and Camerupt, if you manage to get through confusion. Crobat beats it.
Golduck: blasts away Camerupt. Crobat is 3HKOed by Ice Beam and Mightyena is 2HKOed by MW Surf. Mightyena tends to go for Scary Face as well.
Raichu: 2HKOs Mightyena and Crobat with Thunderbolt. Mightyena generally goes for Scary Face first then healing, though TBolt finishes it off anyways.


Cradily is level 42, rest is 41

Cradily: it can spread Toxic damage to everything and 3HKO from full the Grass-weak mons with Giga Drain. They do not consider Cradily a big threat to target it, in general, though Claydol hits somewhat hard with EQ.
Tropius: Solar Beam OHKOs Solrock and 2HKOs the other Grass-weak Pokemon. Good matchup overall, as it can live few Psychics.
Golduck: MW Surf 3HKOs the Water weak Pokemon. If you have something to either lure Psychics or something that can take advantage of the damage, it is handy here.
Raichu: OHKOs Xatu with Thunderbolt. Rocks are 3HKOed. Needs Claydol removed immediately, otherwise, it dies. However, it doesn't take Psychics too either, so as a whole, Raichu should be used only to snipe Xatu.


Cradily is level 44, rest is 43

Cradily: Toxic + Giga Drain helps wear out Mightyena, whose Swagger isn't problematic, as you don't deal yourself that much damage. Sharpedo is OHKOed by Giga Drain and Crobat is 3HKOed by +1 Secret Power.
Tropius: Solar Beam OHKOs Sharpedo while +1 2HKOs Mightyena, though Swagger can be annoying
Golduck: +1 MW Surf (from CM) OHKOs Mightyena and 2HKOs Sharpedo, while +1 Ice Beam OHKOs Crobat. Get past Mightyena and you are likely to win, if you haven't taken too much damage.
Raichu: TBolt OHKOs Sharpedo and Crobat and 2HKOs Mightyena.
Relicanth: +1 Ancient Power OHKOs Crobat and 2HKOs Mightyena. Sharpedo is OHKOed after another Swagger, but it and Mightyena are luck-based.


Golduck and Relicanth are level 43, rest is 44

Cradily: The only Pokemon it cannot beat is Kingdra, which has Rest to heal off the Toxic. The rest are 2HKOed by Giga Drain (minus Whiscash, which is OHKOed). Honestly, only matchup where I don't have to rely on Toxic damage.
Tropius: Solar Beam OHKOs everything bar Kingdra, which OHKOs with Ice Beam. Good matchup.
Golduck: not bad. +2 MW Surf 2HKOs at best everything, with Kingdra being 3HKOed by Ice Beam (2HKOed at +3). Kingdra also never went for DTeam against it, for some reason. Good overall.
Raichu: beats Luvdisc, Crawdaunt, and Sealeo. Kingdra is luck-based due to DTeam and Whiscash is obvious
Relicanth: 2HKOs Luvdisc and Sealeo with Ancient Power, but nothing else.


same levels as above, but Cradily is level 46

Cradily: Magneton and Roselia are not beatable, the latter has Toxic and you cannot poison it. The rest can be poisoned, but Altaria likes to set up Safeguard and Gardevoir has Synchronize. All in all, not an ideal matchup.
Tropius: +2 Solar Beam OHKOs Delcatty and +3 OHKOs Gardevoir. Body Slam 2HKOs Roselia, but poisons you (if you teach it Fly, it OHKOs, ig? Though it still outspeeds). Magneton is beatable if you teach it EQ (though what are you hitting with it at the E4 anyways?)
Golduck: +1 Golduck OHKOs everything bar Garde with appropriate move. Garde is 2HKOed instead.
Raichu: TBolt 3HKOs Altaria and Garde and 2HKOs Delcatty. Gardevoir is only beatable if you are at full.
Relicanth: 2HKOs Altaria with Ancient Power and 3HKOs Delcatty with the same move. It's not beating anything else (Magneton is faster and OHKOs with TBolt so even EQ won't save it).


Everything is level 48

Cradily: has to rely on Toxic to beat most of his mons in a timely fashion. Even then, Mightyena and Absol are annoying, the former due to Sand-Attack, the latter due to Rock Slide flinches, though Crawdaunt is an easy target and Cacturne doesn't do much. Shiftry can also be Toxiced, and again, Cradily doesn't fear hitting itself in confusion because of its not good Attack. It will def need to heal at least once, though.
Tropius: not good. Mightyena is annoying with Sand-Attack, Absol has Rock Slide and SD, Shiftry is 4HKOed by Body Slam (and therefore 2HKOed by Fly if you use that) but has Double Team. You blast away Crawdaunt, though, and Cacturne isn't very threatening either, especially if you teach it Fly.
Golduck: +2 MW Surf OHKOs Mightyena and Absol and 2HKOs Crawdaunt, while +2 Ice Beam kills the Grass-types. Good matchup if you discount the possible accuracy drops from Mightyena's Sand-Attack
Raichu: TBolt OHKOs Crawdaunt and 2HKOs Mightyena. If you have no Attack drops, Cacturne and Shiftry are 2HKOed by Bricb Break. Absol is 3HKOed due to Sitrus and pmuch kills Raichu with +2 Slash.
Relicanth: bad. At best 3HKOs everything. Absol avoids a 3HKO due to Sitrus Berry and 3HKOs with +2 Rock Slide.


same levels, but Golduck is level 49

Cradily: You can try Toxicing the Dusclops, but the first one is bound to Curse you. Banettes and Sableye are easier targets, but Sableye has Double Team, but you outspeed it, so you can land one before it becomes a luckfest. I had to heal twice to win, though.
Tropius: +2 Solar Beam OHKOs Banette and Sableye but struggles with Dusclops.
Golduck: good. If you manage to set up 2 CMs without getting Cursed, MW Surf will 2HKO the Dusclops (first one is put in red) and OHKO the rest.
Raichu: Due to horrendous bulk, it beats only one Banette or Sableye by 2HKOing with Thunderbolt. You need to heal offscreen to beat any more.
Relicanth: you beat only the Grudge Banette because it spams Grudge. But nothing else.


Same levels

Cradily: struggles, as everything has Ice moves and you cannot live for long enough to take down anything, other than first Sealeo.
Tropius: Growth on the turn they Hail, then set up Sunny Day. This way, Solar Beam will OHKO Sealeo and put Walrein in red before fainting.
Golduck: +3 MW Surf 2HKOs Sealeo, OHKOs Glalie and 3HKOs Walrein. Other than the fact you have to set up 3 CMs, you also need to heal at least once and hope Walrein doesn't land Sheer Cold.
Raichu: only 2HKOs Sealeo, but nothing else.
Relicanth: Ancient Power 2HKOs everything bar Walrein and you are not very threatened, though APower has limited PP if you don't use PP Max or something, so keep this in mind.


Golduck is level 50, same levels

Cradily: can try Toxic stalling and Confuse Raying, but they hit it quite hard and has to heal constantly.
Tropius: R.I.P. Ryota's Tropius (22/06/2020 - 24/06/2020)
Golduck: +1 Ice Beam OHKOs Shelgon and Altaria. It also can come back on the field, take an EQ, and OHKO Flygon with Ice Beam. Incredible, in all honesty
Raichu: Drake is the reason why Raichu fled to Alola and developed an Alolan form (for real, it does nothing here)
Relicanth: I see why someone would think this went extinct.... (though, for real, Altaria and Relicanth 3HKO each other).


Golduck is level 51, same levels

Cradily: everything with Ice coverage 2HKOs it. It can only beat Whiscash. Gyarados and Ludicolo can also be poisoned, but you need to heal against them.
Tropius: If you manage to set up a Sunny Day and a Growth, Solar Beam OHKOs Wailord, then puts Milotic in yellow, only to die to Ice Beam. Also beats Whiscash). Ludicolo has Double Team, so don't bother with Fly.
Golduck: nope. I tried to set up +6 on Wailord with healing and after killing it, I died to Ludicolo instantly (Ice Beam fails to OHKO...). There's nothing else to set up on, so...
Raichu: Beats Wailord and Gyarados (outspeeds and 2HKOs and OHKOs respecitvely).
Relicanth: Imma leave this entry blank for very obvious reasons


nominations:

Lileep -> F
So, Lileep has E-tier performance, but I am nomming it to F due to the Lileep period. Simply put, if you are not soloing with it, chances are it's gonna take a while to catch up with your team and will suck out all the Exp. your team may want. Toxic stalling isn't perfect either, as shown in logs above, and the E4 have Full Restores, meaning you need to time in order to not have to reset them up. It also became a potion addict at later stages of the game. So yeah, I'd say F-tier is appropraite, given how hard this is to get in order. At least Nosepass comes earlier, doesn't need Toxic initially to clean Route trainers and has 2 matchups where you don't need Toxic at all, if you want a comparison.

Tropius (performance-wise) -> D
Tropius has good matchups against T&L and Juan and can contribute with few kills against the E4. Obviously, there's the question of if HM utiltiy should give it one tier up (one could make the argument that Strength and Rock Smash are not needed on it, as you already likely have something that uses them if you made it to its route, though it does free up team slots), but that is more of a policy question and has nothing to do with its performance itself.

Psyduck -> C
This has been one of the strongest Water-types I've used in RSE. CM gave it an incredible matchups against Juan and most of the E4 and is by far the only thing other than Rayquaza that, from experience, has ever killed 3 things on Drake's team. Therefore, C-tier is appropriate, though it does require like 2-3 CMs per fight. It's interesting to note that Safari Zone Psyduck is max level 30, not level 35 as Bulbapedia claims, because I Repel tricked and never found one higher than level 30, despite dozens of encounters (unless there's a weird mechanic here?)

Pikachu -> C
Pretty much the same as Voltorb, honestly. While Voltorb is found more conveniently, Pikachu doesn't eat up the TBolt TM and is all around more powerful than it. Its contributions at the E4 are enough for me to say C over D (especially because it takes down two of Wallace's Pokemon).

Relicanth - F
This one, I think everyone saw coming. Barely contributes to matchups (only good one would be Glacia), but that's negated by 5% encounter rate and how terrible it is to grind with water trainers, because of its inaccurate moves. If you don't have Rock Head, Take Down won't be pleasant to use either. So, F-tier.

looks like I've run through all the questionable mons for Emerald. I am gonna start clearing up the consensus ones. For my next run, I am gonna run Roselia / Horsea / Girafarig / Trapinch / Zubat. For Horsea, I am gonna test both Seadra and Kingdra, unless Seadra manages to win a matchup and Kingdra's Dragon typing wouldn't put it at a sheer disadvantage. Though it comes so late, I have doubts if both are gonna land higher than F. I assume I should just reel in one than skip T&L and Juan and get a Bagon.

If you want me to swap out anything in favor of something that needs testing more urgently, feel free to hit me up.

e: ugh, at this point, it's a recurring thing for me to forget IVs:

lileep.jpg
psyduck.jpg
pikachu.jpg
tropius.jpg
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Last edited:

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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I want to mention that Kadabra (potentially) does quite well against Glacia. I had to rely on rolls to OHKO one of her Sealeo after 2 CMs, but I don't think it's a huge deal ultimately, which is why I leaned towards A rather than B, because it's not that huge of a deadweight at the E4 and coming so early with great matchups and leveling up fast is not to be ignored, either.

Did my run completely, given my first logs are from Norman, as Mirage Tower (and the desert in general) are only available after beating Flannery. Team is Lileep / Pikachu / Psyduck / Tropius / Relicanth. IVs are at the bottom of the post.

As for Lileep, I am gonna inform you that I managed to grind it with a lot of skipped trainers, thus explaining the high level at Norman. If you are using a more competent team and not like me where I just destroyed most things with Mudkip, it's very unlikely Lileep will even be at such a level, given how slowly it levels up.

Lileep is level 32

Lileep: You'd think Toxic stalling works here, but it doesn't. As soon as you poison Spinda, it Encores you into Toxic and if you stay on the field, it will drain its PP pretty fast. Not to mention stuff like Slaking 3HKO with boosted Facade. All in all, even Toxic stalling doesn't work as your best solution and it's more of a team detriment than team support in this case.


Tropius is level 27 (I wanted to save trainers for Pikachu and Psyduck), Lileep is level 32

Lileep: Toxic + Secret Power can beat Slugma and Grovyle, though you have to heal while facing Grovyle. Lombre can be beaten just with Secret Power spam.
Tropius: Stomp 3HKOs Lombre and Slugma and 4HKOs Grovyle. Didn't need to heal at all, only if I got a random crit.


everything is level 33

Lileep: Toxic on Swablu is not a good idea, as it has Mirror Move, not to mention it has Perish Song. Skarm, obviously is immune. Altaria can be poisoned, but uses it as a setup fodder, though you can confuse it with Confuse Ray. All in all, Toxic stalling works 50% of the time.
Tropius: bad. Even +3 Solar Beam in sun cannot OHKO Swablu. Not worth the hassle.
Golduck: good matchup. Ice Beam 2HKOs Swablu and Altaria and OHKOs Tropius, not to mention it outspeeds all of them. Skarmory is 2HKOed by MW Surf. Pelipper is 3HKOed by Ice Beam, so you may want to avoid it to not waste Ice Beam's PPs.
Raichu: not bad. TBolt OHKOs Swablu, Pelipper, and Skarmory. Altaria beats you due to EQ, while Tropius stalemates you with Synthesis and being 3HKOed by TBolt


Tropius is level 38, rest is 39

Lileep: Toxic stalling works quite well on Mightyena, as your attack is so terrible that confusion hits are not a big deal. Secret Power + confusion are the only way to muscle through Crobat. Camerupt deals quite a lot of damage with EQ and requires constant healing to take down
Tropius: +2 Solar Beam OHKOs Mightyena and Camerupt, if you manage to get through confusion. Crobat beats it.
Golduck: blasts away Camerupt. Crobat is 3HKOed by Ice Beam and Mightyena is 2HKOed by MW Surf. Mightyena tends to go for Scary Face as well.
Raichu: 2HKOs Mightyena and Crobat with Thunderbolt. Mightyena generally goes for Scary Face first then healing, though TBolt finishes it off anyways.


Cradily is level 42, rest is 41

Cradily: it can spread Toxic damage to everything and 3HKO from full the Grass-weak mons with Giga Drain. They do not consider Cradily a big threat to target it, in general, though Claydol hits somewhat hard with EQ.
Tropius: Solar Beam OHKOs Solrock and 2HKOs the other Grass-weak Pokemon. Good matchup overall, as it can live few Psychics.
Golduck: MW Surf 3HKOs the Water weak Pokemon. If you have something to either lure Psychics or something that can take advantage of the damage, it is handy here.
Raichu: OHKOs Xatu with Thunderbolt. Rocks are 3HKOed. Needs Claydol removed immediately, otherwise, it dies. However, it doesn't take Psychics too either, so as a whole, Raichu should be used only to snipe Xatu.


Cradily is level 44, rest is 43

Cradily: Toxic + Giga Drain helps wear out Mightyena, whose Swagger isn't problematic, as you don't deal yourself that much damage. Sharpedo is OHKOed by Giga Drain and Crobat is 3HKOed by +1 Secret Power.
Tropius: Solar Beam OHKOs Sharpedo while +1 2HKOs Mightyena, though Swagger can be annoying
Golduck: +1 MW Surf (from CM) OHKOs Mightyena and 2HKOs Sharpedo, while +1 Ice Beam OHKOs Crobat. Get past Mightyena and you are likely to win, if you haven't taken too much damage.
Raichu: TBolt OHKOs Sharpedo and Crobat and 2HKOs Mightyena.
Relicanth: +1 Ancient Power OHKOs Crobat and 2HKOs Mightyena. Sharpedo is OHKOed after another Swagger, but it and Mightyena are luck-based.


Golduck and Relicanth are level 43, rest is 44

Cradily: The only Pokemon it cannot beat is Kingdra, which has Rest to heal off the Toxic. The rest are 2HKOed by Giga Drain (minus Whiscash, which is OHKOed). Honestly, only matchup where I don't have to rely on Toxic damage.
Tropius: Solar Beam OHKOs everything bar Kingdra, which OHKOs with Ice Beam. Good matchup.
Golduck: not bad. +2 MW Surf 2HKOs at best everything, with Kingdra being 3HKOed by Ice Beam (2HKOed at +3). Kingdra also never went for DTeam against it, for some reason. Good overall.
Raichu: beats Luvdisc, Crawdaunt, and Sealeo. Kingdra is luck-based due to DTeam and Whiscash is obvious
Relicanth: 2HKOs Luvdisc and Sealeo with Ancient Power, but nothing else.


same levels as above, but Cradily is level 46

Cradily: Magneton and Roselia are not beatable, the latter has Toxic and you cannot poison it. The rest can be poisoned, but Altaria likes to set up Safeguard and Gardevoir has Synchronize. All in all, not an ideal matchup.
Tropius: +2 Solar Beam OHKOs Delcatty and +3 OHKOs Gardevoir. Body Slam 2HKOs Roselia, but poisons you (if you teach it Fly, it OHKOs, ig? Though it still outspeeds). Magneton is beatable if you teach it EQ (though what are you hitting with it at the E4 anyways?)
Golduck: +1 Golduck OHKOs everything bar Garde with appropriate move. Garde is 2HKOed instead.
Raichu: TBolt 3HKOs Altaria and Garde and 2HKOs Delcatty. Gardevoir is only beatable if you are at full.
Relicanth: 2HKOs Altaria with Ancient Power and 3HKOs Delcatty with the same move. It's not beating anything else (Magneton is faster and OHKOs with TBolt so even EQ won't save it).


Everything is level 48

Cradily: has to rely on Toxic to beat most of his mons in a timely fashion. Even then, Mightyena and Absol are annoying, the former due to Sand-Attack, the latter due to Rock Slide flinches, though Crawdaunt is an easy target and Cacturne doesn't do much. Shiftry can also be Toxiced, and again, Cradily doesn't fear hitting itself in confusion because of its not good Attack. It will def need to heal at least once, though.
Tropius: not good. Mightyena is annoying with Sand-Attack, Absol has Rock Slide and SD, Shiftry is 4HKOed by Body Slam (and therefore 2HKOed by Fly if you use that) but has Double Team. You blast away Crawdaunt, though, and Cacturne isn't very threatening either, especially if you teach it Fly.
Golduck: +2 MW Surf OHKOs Mightyena and Absol and 2HKOs Crawdaunt, while +2 Ice Beam kills the Grass-types. Good matchup if you discount the possible accuracy drops from Mightyena's Sand-Attack
Raichu: TBolt OHKOs Crawdaunt and 2HKOs Mightyena. If you have no Attack drops, Cacturne and Shiftry are 2HKOed by Bricb Break. Absol is 3HKOed due to Sitrus and pmuch kills Raichu with +2 Slash.
Relicanth: bad. At best 3HKOs everything. Absol avoids a 3HKO due to Sitrus Berry and 3HKOs with +2 Rock Slide.


same levels, but Golduck is level 49

Cradily: You can try Toxicing the Dusclops, but the first one is bound to Curse you. Banettes and Sableye are easier targets, but Sableye has Double Team, but you outspeed it, so you can land one before it becomes a luckfest. I had to heal twice to win, though.
Tropius: +2 Solar Beam OHKOs Banette and Sableye but struggles with Dusclops.
Golduck: good. If you manage to set up 2 CMs without getting Cursed, MW Surf will 2HKO the Dusclops (first one is put in red) and OHKO the rest.
Raichu: Due to horrendous bulk, it beats only one Banette or Sableye by 2HKOing with Thunderbolt. You need to heal offscreen to beat any more.
Relicanth: you beat only the Grudge Banette because it spams Grudge. But nothing else.


Same levels

Cradily: struggles, as everything has Ice moves and you cannot live for long enough to take down anything, other than first Sealeo.
Tropius: Growth on the turn they Hail, then set up Sunny Day. This way, Solar Beam will OHKO Sealeo and put Walrein in red before fainting.
Golduck: +3 MW Surf 2HKOs Sealeo, OHKOs Glalie and 3HKOs Walrein. Other than the fact you have to set up 3 CMs, you also need to heal at least once and hope Walrein doesn't land Sheer Cold.
Raichu: only 2HKOs Sealeo, but nothing else.
Relicanth: Ancient Power 2HKOs everything bar Walrein and you are not very threatened, though APower has limited PP if you don't use PP Max or something, so keep this in mind.


Golduck is level 50, same levels

Cradily: can try Toxic stalling and Confuse Raying, but they hit it quite hard and has to heal constantly.
Tropius: R.I.P. Ryota's Tropius (22/06/2020 - 24/06/2020)
Golduck: +1 Ice Beam OHKOs Shelgon and Altaria. It also can come back on the field, take an EQ, and OHKO Flygon with Ice Beam. Incredible, in all honesty
Raichu: Drake is the reason why Raichu fled to Alola and developed an Alolan form (for real, it does nothing here)
Relicanth: I see why someone would think this went extinct.... (though, for real, Altaria and Relicanth 3HKO each other).


Golduck is level 51, same levels

Cradily: everything with Ice coverage 2HKOs it. It can only beat Whiscash. Gyarados and Ludicolo can also be poisoned, but you need to heal against them.
Tropius: If you manage to set up a Sunny Day and a Growth, Solar Beam OHKOs Wailord, then puts Milotic in yellow, only to die to Ice Beam. Also beats Whiscash). Ludicolo has Double Team, so don't bother with Fly.
Golduck: nope. I tried to set up +6 on Wailord with healing and after killing it, I died to Ludicolo instantly (Ice Beam fails to OHKO...). There's nothing else to set up on, so...
Raichu: Beats Wailord and Gyarados (outspeeds and 2HKOs and OHKOs respecitvely).
Relicanth: Imma leave this entry blank for very obvious reasons


nominations:

Lileep -> F
So, Lileep has E-tier performance, but I am nomming it to F due to the Lileep period. Simply put, if you are not soloing with it, chances are it's gonna take a while to catch up with your team and will suck out all the Exp. your team may want. Toxic stalling isn't perfect either, as shown in logs above, and the E4 have Full Restores, meaning you need to time in order to not have to reset them up. It also became a potion addict at later stages of the game. So yeah, I'd say F-tier is appropraite, given how hard this is to get in order. At least Nosepass comes earlier, doesn't need Toxic initially to clean Route trainers and has 2 matchups where you don't need Toxic at all, if you want a comparison.

Tropius (performance-wise) -> D
Tropius has good matchups against T&L and Juan and can contribute with few kills against the E4. Obviously, there's the question of if HM utiltiy should give it one tier up (one could make the argument that Strength and Rock Smash are not needed on it, as you already likely have something that uses them if you made it to its route, though it does free up team slots), but that is more of a policy question and has nothing to do with its performance itself.

Psyduck -> C
This has been one of the strongest Water-types I've used in RSE. CM gave it an incredible matchups against Juan and most of the E4 and is by far the only thing other than Rayquaza that, from experience, has ever killed 3 things on Drake's team. Therefore, C-tier is appropriate, though it does require like 2-3 CMs per fight. It's interesting to note that Safari Zone Psyduck is max level 30, not level 35 as Bulbapedia claims, because I Repel tricked and never found one higher than level 30, despite dozens of encounters (unless there's a weird mechanic here?)

Pikachu -> C
Pretty much the same as Voltorb, honestly. While Voltorb is found more conveniently, Pikachu doesn't eat up the TBolt TM and is all around more powerful than it. Its contributions at the E4 are enough for me to say C over D (especially because it takes down two of Wallace's Pokemon).

Relicanth - F
This one, I think everyone saw coming. Barely contributes to matchups (only good one would be Glacia), but that's negated by 5% encounter rate and how terrible it is to grind with water trainers, because of its inaccurate moves. If you don't have Rock Head, Take Down won't be pleasant to use either. So, F-tier.

looks like I've run through all the questionable mons for Emerald. I am gonna start clearing up the consensus ones. For my next run, I am gonna run Roselia / Horsea / Girafarig / Trapinch / Zubat. For Horsea, I am gonna test both Seadra and Kingdra, unless Seadra manages to win a matchup and Kingdra's Dragon typing wouldn't put it at a sheer disadvantage. Though it comes so late, I have doubts if both are gonna land higher than F. I assume I should just reel in one than skip T&L and Juan and get a Bagon.

If you want me to swap out anything in favor of something that needs testing more urgently, feel free to hit me up.

e: ugh, at this point, it's a recurring thing for me to forget IVs:

Always appreciated, though I do have to mention that Lileep in particular is a hell of a lot more bearable to use when given Sludge Bomb. Even though it's not STAB it's carried by the high base power and means Lileep (and Cradily) have a decently good neutral offensive option to go with that isn't Strength (which only Cradily gets unfortunately so Lileep wants Sludge Bomb even more). It also makes training it a lot easier because the routes around Fortree have a lot of grass-type trainers.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Always appreciated, though I do have to mention that Lileep in particular is a hell of a lot more bearable to use when given Sludge Bomb. Even though it's not STAB it's carried by the high base power and means Lileep (and Cradily) have a decently good neutral offensive option to go with that isn't Strength (which only Cradily gets unfortunately so Lileep wants Sludge Bomb even more). It also makes training it a lot easier because the routes around Fortree have a lot of grass-type trainers.
didn't think of Sludge Bomb. I mostly used Secret Power, though Bomb would probably have sped up the process a bit and possibly reduce my Toxic reliance. Regardless, there's still the fact Lileep is best grinded if you use skipped trainers, as if you fight all trainers, you will only really have the desert, Mt. Chimney's rooftop, and Trick House as training spots. I could perhaps do a quick rerun (yay to save states) and see how would a non-level 30 Lileep manage to catch up
 
I feel like jumping back in, going to go with Treecko, Dustox, Aron, Minun, Trapinch, Relicanth, goals being to determine B vs C for Treecko and get some modern exposure to Dustox and Flygon, as well as to test Minun and Relicanth for myself. Aron just for fun.


Roxanne

Treecko (15): Bullet Seed OHKOs both Geodude, Nosepass is usually a win, Rock Tomb is a 3HKO and Bullet Seed requires either 5 or 10 hits depending on where you stop / if it gives Potion or Oran Berry opportunities. As long as you don't get unfavorable RNG you're fine.

Dustox (15): Always beats the first Geodude with Confusion (still outspeeds after two Rock Tombs), but falls shortly after.



Brawly

Grovyle (17/18): RNG reliant to beat Machop, 8 Bullet Seeds nets the kill, high rolls and you always win in two, medium rolls and it depends on the numbers and Karate Chop crits, low rolls and you're screwed. Beats Meditite (duh). At lv 18 Bullet Seed is a 8HKO vs Makuhita so with favorable rolls you can beat it through healing (survives two +0 Vital Throws). At lv 17 Bullet Seed is only a 10HKO however, so you aren't winning through Sitrus. Eats a hit though, so can contribute good chip.

Dustox (18): Slaps Machop, slaps Meditite, slaps Makuhita (eats max power Reversals like they're nothing). As good a matchup as it gets (or will ever get in Dustox's case).

Aron (17): Outsped and OHKOed by Machop. Only good for Meditite and a bit of chip on Makuhita.


Wattson

Grovyle (24): Has issues with Voltorb as Bullet Seed is a 9HKO and Selfdestruct will kill, low rolls are lethal. Electrike goes down in 7 Bulet Seeds without issue. You can actually beat Magneton with the help of a Super Potion/Soda Pop, its Shock Wave is a 6-7HKO and 3 Screeches makes Quick Attack a 4HKO. Manectric shits on you, Bullet Seed is too weak here.

Dustox (24): Always 1v1s Voltorb even after two Sparks+Selfdestruct, 3-4HKOs with Psybeam. Easily beats Electrike, it does nothing threatening. Magneton is a no go, Psybeam doesn't do enough to make Moonlight healing enough through paralysis. Capable of defeating Manectric, Shock Wave is a 3HKO but weak enough that Moonlight meaningfully outheals allowing you to chip it down with Psybeam (6-8HKO range, couldn't track accurately through Super Potion). If you eat a full para and it isn't confused at the time you lose, however. Still, a surprisingly decent matchup at this level.

Aron (24): Beats Voltorb cleanly, Spark cannot 2HKO and Selfdestruct does zero. Beats Electrike cleanly as well. Magneton and Manectric take a steaming dump on Aron, however.

Minun (24): Voltorb's Shock Wave is an 11KO while Spark is a 4-5HKO allowing you to easily win with Encore support. Beats Electrike comfortably, Spark is a clean 3HKO, no Encore shenanigans necessary though Howl is free fodder, biggest issue is eating a para from Static or Twave before Magneton. Trade Thunder Waves with Magneton and outspeeds to Encore it, Spark is a 6HKO without healing, Shock Wave a 6HKO back meaning that you win more than you lose as you can Encore any Supersonic attempt and as long as Magneton doesn't use Sonicboom it falls behind your damage output. Contributes paralysis vs Manectric but nothing more.
 
Minun (24): Voltorb's Shock Wave is an 11KO while Spark is a 4-5HKO allowing you to easily win with Encore support. Beats Electrike comfortably, Spark is a clean 3HKO, no Encore shenanigans necessary though Howl is free fodder, biggest issue is eating a para from Static or Twave before Magneton. Trade Thunder Waves with Magneton and outspeeds to Encore it, Spark is a 6HKO without healing, Shock Wave a 6HKO back meaning that you win more than you lose as you can Encore any Supersonic attempt and as long as Magneton doesn't use Sonicboom it falls behind your damage output. Contributes paralysis vs Manectric but nothing more.
I did used Minun in my run and you can actually win Manectric once you level your Minun up untill it learns Charm. Then you can actually win with potion support!
 
That's fair, though I felt like 24 was the maximum reasonable level (matching Manectric) and that I was a little overleveled than is typical for that point in the game, likely due to faster than average exp groups on the team. Charm would be nice but level 28 is much too high for this kind of run.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
I had the wild idea of keeping Trapinch unevolved, given the Vibrava period is supposedly terrible, should I try it out?

Also, I apparently read the RS row and didn't see Roselia is actually not available in Emerald... my bad for this.

I am gonna substitute Roselia with Volbeat. Tail Glow + TBolt sounds really fun, even if Tail Glow is just a Nasty Plot this gen.

Anyways, I started my run. I used skipped trainers on Zubat before Brawly.

Zubat is level 17

Zubat: Astonish beats Meditite, but literally anything with a damaging move beats Meditite. The rest are not worth the hassle.


Golbat is level 22

Golbat: spam Wing Attack and win (her starter is Grovyle)


everything is level 24

Golbat: Struggles to beat anything. It 3HKOs at best with Bite and is 3HKOed at worst by everything. You can only beat Electrike as it's not bulky and is slower, though if you get paralyzed, then you are out of luck.
Volbeat: +4 Thief 2HKOs Voltorb and Electrike, though the former can just boom on you. Even at +6, Thief is only a 3HKO on Manectric. Not a good matchup, overall


Volbeat is level 27, Golbat is 28

Golbat: Wing Attack muscles through Camerupt and beats Zubat. Avoid Mightyena due to RNG
Volbeat: -1 Signal Beam 2HKOs Mightyena and Shock Wave 2HKOs Zubat. Don't bother with Camerupt, even +6 Thief doesn't 2HKO and it can hit hard with crit Magnitudes (as it sets up Focus Energy).


Everything is level 29

Golbat: Wing Attack 2HKOs Numel and Slugma. Camerupt is 3HKOed and 2HKOs with Overheat outside of sun. Torkoal is not beatable, as your moves deal nothing to it.
Volbeat: Dies to any Overheat. You aren't able to deal a lot of damage without setting up some Tail Glows. Overall, bad matchup


current thoughts on members so far:

Golbat
This has not been really good. I don't know when it's supposed to evolve, but it better evolve soon :(. .Anyways, its performance hasn't been great and, based on current logs, could be anywhere between F and C.

Volbeat
Hasn't been great either. 1% encounter (in Emerald and Ruby) and grinding period knock it down significally. Even after getting Tail Glow, Thief rarely 2HKOs without a second boost. I hope that it destroys some things, otherwise, it's gonna be an F-tier.

zubat.jpg

volbeat.jpg

(Volbeat's stats are different in gen 7)
 

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