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

I had the wild idea of keeping Trapinch unevolved, given the Vibrava period is supposedly terrible, should I try it out?
I actually tried this out on my Ruby run, kept it unevolved until the Earthquake TM. It was painful because even with its high Attack stat it still lacked many good matchups outside of Magma—and even then it wasn't anything special—but I hope you have a better experience. My biggest issue with Flygon was that when I got it (which was after the eighth gym, maybe you can find some use there) I kinda expected it to perform better. Heck I gave it Dragon Claw but it still didn't do well against Drake. Its best niche was honestly outspeeding and weakening Metagross, but even with Soft Sand EQ it didn't 2HKO :\

Also I'm surprised you couldn't evolve Golbat, in my experience if you always keep it in your party and don't let it faint that should be enough to get Crobat before Maxie. You can give it Soothe Bell if you're worried but I'm not even sure it's needed. Anyway I don't think your experience would've changed much because Torkoal is still unbeatable, hope you get it by Norman!

I'm gonna quote my E4 battles because they might end up lost between these posts:
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.
View attachment 257445
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.
And finally:

Zam, Yama, and Sharp are 48, rest is 47.

Alakazam: With a Pecha Berry, it can attempt to set up more efficiently. From what I could gather, four boosts give you a strong chance of OHKOing Cradily and 2HKOing Claydol, but Aggron lives so you'll need five. Everything can hit you on the physical side so you'll want to keep Reflect up at all times, that way you can live three hits from Skarm and two EQs from Claydol—Cradily can poison you with Sludge Bomb or Confuse Ray so you'll want to spend the least amount of time possible facing it. If you manage to set up 5 CMs and are healthy enough to tank EQ with Reflect up (easier said than done), you can get 5 kills before Metagross comes to ruin your fun. Apparently Steel Wing is a roll to 3HKO even with Reflect AND Claydol can set up a Light Screen so you might not even get that far, I only managed to do that once because of a timely Toxic miss. Shock Wave did only a bit over half to Meta so that's simply an unwinnable matchup. Far from bad but also very inefficient is my conclusion.
Outside of that, Zam can generally provide help to the team with Reflect support and an extra 10% damage on Metagross which could be useful.

Crobat: Avoid Skarm, Aggron and Metagross because you can't do anything to them. Sludge Bomb is a 4HKO on Cradily and it's 2HKOed back by Ancientpower. Its matchup against Armaldo is even worse because Fly is barely a 4HKO and AP does like 70%. Shadow Ball 3HKOs Claydol but it can set up Reflect. Hey, at least its AP does nothing so you can actually win here!

Hariyama: Struggles to set up on Skarm between Toxic and Aerial Ace, unlike Blaziken it's slower and doesn't have the Fire-type STAB so it'll at most 2HKO. If it sets up on Aggron it can get two kills (with healing) but then Metagross will force it out. Still, positive matchup against half of Steven's team is nice.

Sceptile: Can't touch Skarm but can 2HKO Aggron pretty reliably if it has EQ because its strongest move is Dragon Claw. Cradily beats it with Sludge Bomb tho, since it needs to be at Overgrow range to 2HKO with Leaf Blade. Armaldo also lives two hits and can do a ton with Aerial Ace, although you might be able to come out on top with some prior damage if he puts you in range. Then Overgrow Leaf Blade does like 3/4 to Claydol so you can beat it even if it tries to set up (you'd 2HKO normally). Metagross takes little even from EQ and KOes back (although funnily enough, Relaxed Sceptile can live a Hyper Beam/Meteor Mash from full so it can help weaken it).

Electrode: Unlike Manectric, Thunder can't OHKO Skarm so you're better off using Tbolt twice. Need Thunder to 2HKO Aggron, which OHKOs back with EQ. Can't do much at all to Cradily and Claydol and Armaldo lives two hits and 2HKOes back, so you might as well use it to get extra damage on Metagross for a Sharpedo sweep.

Sharpedo: MW Surf 2HKOs Skarm which does a bit over half with AA. Aggron is OHKOed, Cradily is 2HKOed by Ice Beam but Giga Drain kills back (and even if it didn't it'd still put it out of range of the second IB), Armaldo is a roll but you can live even an Ancientpower from full. Claydol can live one Surf and KO a weakened Pedo or set up Light Screen if you're at full health, tough matchup. Even without LS Metagross takes around half from MW Surf and KOs back so it needs all the team support it can get to win here. Alternatively, you can set up Rain Dance against Armaldo (provided there are no Spikes on the field) and you can KO both it and Claydol. It still won't KO Meta but it'll make it less risky for Electrode to use Thunder to weaken it. Very strong performance.

For the record what I judge to be the most efficient route is: Lead Electrode and 2HKO Skarm with Tbolt, Sharp OHKOes Aggron with Surf, Hariyama 2HKOs Cradily with Brick Break (watch out for Confuse Ray), and against Armaldo it depends:
· if Skarm Toxic'd, then Sharp can set up Rain Dance, live an AncientPower and OHKO it and Claydol. Then Metagross is hit with Electrode's Thunder, Sceptile's Earthquake and Sharpedo finishes it with Surf outside of Rain (Thunder + Rain-boosted Surf doesn't 2HKO).
· if Skarm set up Spikes, I go to Zam and sac it to set up Reflect. Then Sharp RD's living the AP, and the rest goes the same way. Just gotta hope Armaldo doesn't get the AP boost and that Metagross doesn't survive with 2 HP. Alternatively, Zam can help weaken Armaldo and you can set up RD on Claydol so that Rain's still up in the last turn, but it's not as reliable because of Light Screen.

Final levels: Sharpedo and Hariyama are 49, Alakazam is 48, Sceptile, Electrode, and Crobat are 47.


Alakazam is unquestionably S, even if it didn't perform as well against Phoebe and Steven the rest of the endgame was excellent. We already knew this but it's always good to refresh it.

Hariyama should be A-rank. Even if its speed leaves a lot to be desired, it's still great against Wattson (if evolved), Flannery, Norman, Wallace, Sidney, and Glacia, and can do decently against Phoebe, Drake (even sweeping with healing), and Steven. At the same time, I think Machamp should prolly be B. While it could work better against Phoebe thanks to Guts, I can't see it reliably beating Glacia which is one of Hariyama's best qualities.

Sceptile I'm honestly not sure. It's established that the Grovyle period is horrible and that the endgame is pretty good but not that good so I can see it at C-rank. However, there's also the fact that its Speed is a great asset and Overgrow-boosted hits can be a nice Hail Mary so I'll leave it to Texas to decide if it's worth the B. Dragon Claw is helpful even if it's nothing extraordinary, and with a couple Repels the detour shouldn't be that big imo.

Electrode is fine in C. At one point I thought it had a case for B because it was doing very well, but against Glacia and Steven I realized its moves just didn't have the oomph Manectric or Magneton have. I still think it's cool because it's just so fast while hitting decently hard, just not at the level of the others.

Crobat I'm cool with C, but if Ryota's playthrough leans it more toward D I wouldn't oppose it. It was never particularly amazing but it was never really bad either, except against Glacia and Steven. STAB Sludge Bomb is still a good niche and it's frankly really bulky for something so fast, meaning that it can win in the long run even if its power is lacking.

Last but not least, Sharpedo. If I'm using its performance for tiering, it's definitely A. Sweeps Winona, wrecks Tate & Liza, does well against Wallace, destroys Wally, overpowers Sidney and Drake and eats Phoebe up. Heck, even against Steven it did pretty well, beating four of his mons (two OHKOs) and delivering the final blow against Metagross. I know it had a ridiculous Special Attack (it ended up on equal footing to its Attack stat) due to IVs and nature, but I still know that none of its fellow B-tier Water-types could've done that in the same scenario. Its paper defenses weren't even that big of a deal because most of the times it was just OHKOing and 2HKOing stuff, and the only times it was outsped were against Drake's Flygons and Mence and Sidney's own Sharp. If you guys decide it's more B I won't argue it because I know it prolly does worse on Emerald, but to me there's no doubt it's superior to all of Tenta, Whiscash, and Lanturn.

Tl;dr
Abra (trade) is S obvs
Makuhita is A; Machop (trade) prolly B
Treecko
can be C or B, let Texas give the final call
Voltorb is C
Zubat
is C but I don't oppose D
Carvanha
is A imo, but I'm fine with B

Cheers!
 
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I'm really surprised by you ranking about Sharpedo :
Something with 95 Sp Att and 95 Speed is A ? It also comes too late for Rock and Fire Gym ... and has a pathetic bulk. What moveset did you used ? Surf / Ice Beam / Crunch / Filler ?
Could you develop more ?
Thanks ;)
 
I'm really surprised by you ranking about Sharpedo :
Something with 95 Sp Att and 95 Speed is A ? It also comes too late for Rock and Fire Gym ... and has a pathetic bulk. What moveset did you used ? Surf / Ice Beam / Crunch / Filler ?
Could you develop more ?
Thanks ;)
While A might be too much, It’s pretty good once you get what it needs which is pretty much right when you get it. It’s a very good mixed mon and it’s STAB isn’t shafted like some Pokémon, example being Absol who runs a Physical non STAB half the time. At most I’d see it a B nom. But who knows, could in fact be an A.
 
As someone who just recently ran Sharpedo, yeah, it was good but I had nowhere near the same amount of success. There were many times it just failed to nab a KO and died for its troubles, and it particularly struggled to break through Tate & Liza's Calm Minds and Sunny Days. Very helpful in a lot of matchups but hardly A material imo.
 
I mean I don't wanna repeat myself since I've mentioned it multiple times, but for the record: I'm judging its performance to be A, because it just destroyed most things (you can read them, the only ones missing are Winona, which we know it wins, and Tate & Liza, in which what I did was focus fire with Crunch instead of using Surf because the spread penalty prevented the 2HKO with Sceptile's Leaf Blade and Sunny Day could screw with it; I guess if I was pairing it up with something that did absolutely nothing it'd be worse). I reckon it's because of its ridiculously high Special Attack, as I mentioned it was basically on par with its Attack (EDIT: 132 Atk 130 SpAtk) so it's likely it had really good IVs as well as nature. Without that, I can see it being more B-tier since it'd fail to get some KOs like Claydol with Rain-boosted Surf or Dusclops with BlackGlasses Crunch.
However, my point is, and I hope I can make myself clear, no other midgame B-tier Water-type could perform as well in the same conditions, ie. with the same really good IVs and nature. By which I mean it's the combination of those things with Sharpedo's innate characteristics that made it do so well. So that gives me the idea that it's a cut above the others.
Is that enough to bring it to A? Possibly not, which is why I'm not gonna disagree with B. But I can only judge what I see so the rest is just presumptions.

So as to not derail the thread any further, I was planning my Ruby run. I already have Mudkip (which I'll use for HMs), Mawile, and Zangoose, and I was thinking Wingull because of what I mentioned in a previous post. Is there something else that needs testing? I wanted an Electric-type but it seems those are pretty much covered, maybe Hera to see if it's A? I'll let you guys decide.
 
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Punchshroom

FISHIOUS REND MEGA SHARPEDO
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Electrode is fine in C. At one point I thought it had a case for B because it was doing very well, but against Glacia and Steven I realized its moves just didn't have the oomph Manectric or Magneton have. I still think it's cool because it's just so fast while hitting decently hard, just not at the level of the others.
This is weird to me because from my testing experiences, Electrode actually performs significantly better than Magneton and Manectric vs Glacia due to one crucial factor: a reliably speedy Light Screen, which Magneton might not be fast enough for while Manectric doesn't even get. This gives Electrode ample time to boost up on X. Sp Atks to sweep her team, or even just attempt to 1v1 her Walrein if it comes down to that. On a related note, Light Screen Raichu fares the best out of all the midgame Electrics against Glacia since it has Thunder Wave to help with the X. Sp Atk boosting phase (and even Brick Break to get Glalie's Light Screen out of the way come time to sweep, if you have room for that), though a bad IVed Raichu may not always retain the speed advantage vs RS Glacia's lead Glalie.

Ryota Mitarai apparently had good experiences with Solrock, so I decided to test with Lunatone, and it's actually not half bad either. What Lunatone lacks in STAB Rock Slide (admittedly a rare commodity) and SunnyBeam, it easily makes up for with Hypnosis, level-up Psychic, and Ice Beam, while sharing similarly favorable matchups and then some (manhandles Flannery, Normal resist + Hypnosis helps vs Norman, Ice Beam wipes Winona, Calm Minds + 2 X Speeds + Ice Beam can sweep Drake) as well as unfavorable matchups (little use vs Sidney, jobbers vs Phoebe & Steven) with Solrock for the rest of the game. [Note: Lunatone is only available in Sapphire]

Honestly, Lunatone is a pretty serviceable pick from when you obtain it. It has workable STABs in Confusion and Rock Throw and isn't really wanting for an upgrade until it gets the Ice Beam TM while also learning Psychic by level, making it pretty TM-efficient outside of also needing the Calm Mind TM. Before then, Confusion and Rock Throw have workable power, and Hypnosis is nice for allowing Lunatone to poke the opponent to death or, later in the game, help it set up Cosmic Powers/Calm Minds/X Speeds, especially since Lunatone has the bulk and resistances to be able to make use of Hypnosis decently well. I'm hesitating on Solrock a bit since I don't believe it makes particularly effective use of Calm Mind, but I think both Solrock and Lunatone are worth consideration to be ranked up to C.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Also I'm surprised you couldn't evolve Golbat, in my experience if you always keep it in your party and don't let it faint that should be enough to get Crobat before Maxie. You can give it Soothe Bell if you're worried but I'm not even sure it's needed. Anyway I don't think your experience would've changed much because Torkoal is still unbeatable, hope you get it by Norman!
ye I didn't know Soothe Bell even existed in Gen 3.... I am still getting the hang of the games completely, but I doubt it'd have changed matchups significally (at most being able to take down one of Wattson's Pokemon (Voltorb or Electrike)? Though those ones are not exactly kills that I'd really give it shoutouts for), I am just gonna run back and forth to evolve it.

I can't see it reliably beating Glacia which is one of Hariyama's best qualities.
I remember mine actually did well against Glacia, though her Emerald lead is a Sealeo whose only STAB is Ice Ball. Though +1 BB still should KO everything bar Walrein, which you need to heal against. As a whole, Machamp crushed a lot of fights without many problems, that's why I mentioned the possibility of A when I used it

also, not keeping Trapinch unevolved.

anyways, moving on:

Crobat is level 31, rest is 30

Crobat: Return 2HKOs Spinda and 3HKOs Linoone and Vigoroth. Spinda generally goes for Psybeam. For Vigoroth and Linoone, use Return, then Bite, then Return again. You may need, at best, one healing to beat all three. Good matchup, I'd say
Volbeat: If you manage to set up 2 Tail Glows, Shock Wave will 2HKO Spinda and Vigoroth and 3HKO Linoone. With TBolt, they become OHKO and 2HKO, respectively. Slaking is easily beaten due to Protect (+6 TBolt being a 3HKO due to berry). Overall, not bad matchup if you have TBolt.
Trapinch: the only Pokemon it can beat is Spinda, which is 2HKOed by Dig. The rest are 3HKOed at best and they 3HKO at worst.



Everything is level 33

Crobat: spam Wing Attack and you win
Volbeat: Signal Beam OHKOs Grovyle and Lombre. Slugma is an easy kill too, with TBolt spam.
Trapinch: Dig kills Slugma. Lombre is only beatable if AI derps and doesn't use Absorb a lot (4HKOed by Dig)


Everything is level 33

Crobat: Sludge Bomb OHKOs Swablu and Tropius, 2HKOs Pelipper and 3HKOs Altaria (even with berry). Good matchup, overall.
Volbeat: +4 Thunderbolt OHKOs Swablu and Pelipper and 2HKOs Tropius. Altaria generally finishes you off, but can be put in yellow with +4 TBolt too. Skarmory, if you have boosts, is also an easy kill. Keep in mind Swablu 3HKOs with Aerial Ace, so you need the AI to spam Mirror Move or Safeguard to set up as many Tail Glows as possible.
Trapinch: Rock Tomb 2HKOs Swablu and 3HKOs Pelipper and Tropius, though the latter just nukes you with Solar Beam, while the former needs to derp with AI and not click Water Gun. You can try damaging Altaria, but it will eventually set enough DDs to just OHKO you with EQ. Not a great matchup, overall
Girafarig: TBolt OHKOs Swablu and Pelipper and 2HKOs Skarmory, though Skarm will finish you off when you reach it, unless you heal. Tropius is 3HKOed and almost 2HKOs you and Altaria beats you all days.


Crobat is level 40, rest is 39

Crobat: -1 Sludge Bomb 3HKOs Mightyena. Normal Return 3HKOs both Camerupt and Crobat, not minding healing, though Camerupt 3HKOs with Rock Slide.
Volbeat: -1 Signal Beam 2HKOs Mightyena. Tail Glow here doesn't work, as Mightyena is still luckfest, Crobat is faster and kills you with Air Cutter, and Camerupt has Amnesia and is 2HKOed by Giga Drain at +6
Vibrava: Mightyena is a luckfest. Camerupt is 2HKOed by Dig, while Crobat 3HKOs with Wing Attack and Rock Tomb 4HKOs Crobat. Not the greatest matchup, but at least it takes down Camerupt
Girafarig: Avoid Mightyena. Camerupt 2HKOs with EQ, while Psychic only 3HKOs. Crobat also 3HKOs with Bite, but Psychic puts it in red. Not the best matchup


Seadra is level 41, rest is 43

Crobat: Sludge Bomb 2HKOs Xatu, but after that, you are barely doing anything else. It is also generally targetted
Volbeat: +4 Giga Drain 2HKOs all the Grass-weak Pokemon. Solrock is OHKOed if you are at +6. Lunatone can easily turn +4 Giga Drain in a 3HKO with CM. Alternatively, Signal Beam 2HKOs everything bar Xatu.
Girafarig: TBolt is a 3HKO on +1 Xatu. The other mons are not affected greatly by it. It is also 2HKOed by Claydol's EQ, so its presence on the field is very short.
Vibrava: terrible. Crunch doesn't deal a lot of damage and is 2HKOed by virtually every special attack.
Seadra: MW Surf 3HKOs the Water-weak Pokemon, but is 2HKOed by special attacks
Kingdra: same as Seadra, but takes more time to die to special attacks. Also, Sunny Day screws this over, just like Seadra.


Vibrava is level 44, rest is 43

Crobat: -1 Sludge Bomb 3HKOs Mightyena. Normal Return 3HKOs Crobat, while Sludge Bomb OHKOs Sharpedo.
Volbeat: +4 TBolt puts Mightyena in red, assuming you even get that far. Crobat deals heavy damage with Flying moves, but if you are at full, you survive and OHKO back with +4 TBolt, if you have it. Sharpedo is killed easily, but you need to heal if you are sweeping
Vibrava: -1 EQ 3HKOs Mightyena (2HKO after Swagger) and Sharpedo dies to EQ after Vibrava gets Swaggered.
Girafarig: Psychic puts Crobat in red and TBolt outspeeds and OHKOs Sharpedo.
Seadra: MW Surf 2HKOs and 3HKOs Mightyena and Sharpedo, respectively, while Ice Beam 2HKOs Crobat. Needs some luck to be good. Kingdra is same situation.


Seadra is level 43, Flygon is level 45, rest is 44

Crobat: Sludge Bomb 2HKOs Luvdisc, Sealeo, and Crawdaunt. Return 3HKOs Whiscash, but potentially requires healing. Kingdra is a no-no
Volbeat: +2 TBolt OHKOs Luvdisc, Sealeo, and Crawdaunt and 3HKOs Kingdra. +2 Giga Drain kills Whiscash. TBolt -> Giga Drain -> TBolt on Kingdra to win without making it heal. Honestly, the only matchup so far where Volbeat is actually efficient.
Flygon: EQ OHKOs Luvdisc and 2HKOs Sealeo, Crawdaunt, and Whiscash. Kingdra is 2HKOed by Dragonbreath but it and Sealeo OHKO it with Ice STAB.
Girafarig: +1 TBolt OHKOs Luvdisc, Crawdaunt, and Sealeo. Whiscash and Kingdra are 2HKOed by +1 Psychic instead. Great matchup
Seadra: MW Surf 3HKOs Luvdisc and Crawdaunt. Whiscash has Amnesia (so nope) and Sealeo is 4HKOed, so it's gonna take too much time. Kingdra has similar performance, except it takes special moves better, but it's not really different.


current thoughts on members so far:

Crobat
This looks like it can see C. It got its game a lot more seriously when it got to Norman and got Sludge Bomb. Also offers Fly utility, if you need that.

Volbeat
Still F-tier. It needs to spam up Tail Glows to really deal damage and it has problems doing that. There are no efficiently good matchups for it, beyonf Juan (and May, I guess? Also T&L is not that bad either). Overall, unless it surprises me at the E4, I'd say it doesn't have enough matchups to outweight the 1% (in Ruby and Emerald) and the grinding period.

Flygon
I'd say, based on current logs, it's an E-tier (or even F if you wanna go that far). Trapinch and Vibrava are nearly useless in most major fights and even when it evolved into Flygon, it took out only 3/5 of Juan's team. Based on current logs, it doesn't have enough of a good performance to be considered D. It's sad that it's not even good for May after Weather Institute, which I really only test to see if something's really bad.

Girafarig
Looks like it's gonna be a C-tier. Levels up really fast and has great matchup against Archie, Winona, and Juan. Hindered by difficulty of obtaining, though. The E4 doesn't look that bad for it too, but we will see.

Horsea
Both look like F-tier. Struggle against T&L and take a lot of time to break through Juan. Kingdra is hindered by the fact Dragon Scales are like 5% and Horsea itself is around 15% iirc (can't remember exaxt number). It's also very problematic if you don't have skipped trainers to train it on (I, lukcily, had). But yeah, if they don't manage to impress me at the E4, I think F-tier is gonna be the tier that will be their residence.

trapinch.jpg

girafarig.jpg
horsea.jpg


e:
I'm hesitating on Solrock a bit since I don't believe it makes particularly effective use of Calm Mind
Just a small nitpick, CM is really only for if you need a good Juan matchup and want to wall Wally's Gardevoir and Glacia's Crunch Glalie. Other than that, Solrock generally does not rely on it (I know you said C like me, just wanted to point it out)
 
A few notes on Taillow and Magnemite, notably how convenient they are at their points in the game:
Taillow: easy to catch, easy to find, and gets Wing Attack at level 13. oh, and evolves at level 22 with a great exp rate. You then can give it Aerial Ace and Facade to further boost its usefulness. Probably at the higher end of the B tier
Magnemite: easy to find, easy to catch, and most importantly, learns TM thunderbolt immediately after you're done with the quest. You can then proceed to evolve it relatively quickly. Definitely the higher end of the B tier
Both of these imo wouldn't be out of place in A tier
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Taillow: easy to catch, easy to find, and gets Wing Attack at level 13. oh, and evolves at level 22 with a great exp rate. You then can give it Aerial Ace and Facade to further boost its usefulness. Probably at the higher end of the B tier
the thing with Taillow is that it's not very impressive in most major fights matchups. I recall none of the good matchups even ended up in a sweep. You can read my logs if you are interested in seeing Taillow's (rather inconsistent) performance in major fights.


Anyways, here are the final logs of my run (yay to last days of school where teachers don't care if you attend or no):

Seadra is level 43, Girafarig and Flygon are level 45, rest is 44

Crobat: Sludge Bomb 3HKOs Altaria, but the AI will likely switch it out for Magneton. Delcatty and Gardevoir are 2HKOed by Sludge Bomb, latter trying to set up a Future Sight. Roselia is OHKOed by Fly.
Volbeat: Cannot set up on Altaria or Magneton, thus those are not winnable matchups. Signal Beam 2HKOs Roselia and Gardevoir, while Delcatty can be set up on and OHKOed by +6 TBolt.
Flygon: Dragonbreath 2HKOs Altaria (Altaria 3HKOs with same move), while EQ OHKOs Magneton and 2HKOs the rest. Avoid Delcatty due to Charm.
Girafarig: If you manage to set up 2 CMs (Altaria generally goes for DD and Safeguard), you will put it in red with Psychic. Roselia and Delcatty are OHKOed by +2 Psychic, while Magneton is put in red and does not KO you with TBolt due to +2 in SpD. Gardevoir is 3HKOed by Stomp and relies on Future Sight to hit you.
Seadra: Against Altaria, set up a Rain Dance, while it DDs and Safeguards and OHKO it with Ice Beam. Magneton is then OHKOed by MW Surf in rain, then you 2HKO Roselia with Ice Beam, which sets up Leech Seed. Against Delcatty, resetup Rain Dance and OHKO it too. Gardevoir is outsped and 2HKOed by rain MW Surf, while it's slower and goes for Future Sight turn one. Kingdra can abuse Swift Swim and make the matchup a bit easier, but the end result is mostly the same.


Volbeat is level 49, rest is 48

Crobat: Sludge Bomb OHKOs the Grass-types and 2HKOs Crawdaunt on rolls. Absol is 2HKOed if first hit lands a poison.
Volbeat: Bar Mightyena, Signal Beam OHKOs the Grass-types and 2HKOs the rest. It also outspeeds all.
Flygon: EQ 2HKOs Mightyena, Absol, and Crawdaunt, with the latter two being with no Attack debuffs. Dragon Claw (if you have it) 2HKOs Cacturne, but it Cotton Spores you.
Girafarig: +1 TBolt 2HKOs Mightyena, which also 2HKOs back with Crunch. Crawdaunt is put in red with normal TBolt (though it deals heavy damage with Surf). You can damage Absol as Girafarig outspeeds and 3HKOs with Stomp (not minding berry).
Seadra: MW Surf in rain OHKOs Mightyena and Absol and 2HKOs Crawdaunt. Cacturne and Shiftry survive an Ice Beam and the former OHKOs with Needle Arm. Kingdra can handle Cacturne and special attacks a bit better, but it's very likely you are doing just fine with Seadra.


Crobat is level 49, otherwise same levels

Crobat: meh. Dusclops are no-no and one Banette even has WoW to make your life sad and another one 3HKOs with TBolt. Fly only 3HKOs Banette. Thus, not a great matchup
Volbeat: at most takes out Dusclops #1 by 2HKOing it with +6 Giga Drain (so it doesn't KO you). The rest hit it hard and thus do not allow setting up enough to kill them.
Flygon: Crunch 2HKOs the first Dusclops and EQ 2HKOs Banette and Sableye. Dusclops #1 Curses and you need healing to beat the two Banette and Sableye all at once.
Girafarig: +3 Psychic OHKOs Dusclops #1 and Banette. +3 TBolt 2HKOs Sableye, while +3 Psychic also 2HKOs Dusclops #2. If you have Crunch (level 49), you probs won't need that many CMs to kill Dusclops and Banette.
Seadra: MW Surf in rain 2HKOs Dusclops and Sableye and OHKOs Banette. Dusclops #2 is 3HKOed due to berry.


Girafarig is level 49, otherwise same leels

Crobat: doesn't do a lot here. At most beats Sealeo #1 by 3HKOing it with Sludge Bomb.
Volbeat: +6 Giga Drain OHKOs Sealeo and puts the second one in red. Against Glalie #1, Giga Drain and then TBolt and Icy Wind won't slow down Volbeat enough to be outsped by Sealeo #2. Glalie #2 finishes you off. If you are at full health, you can also beat Walrein by Giga Draining and then TBolting, even if you have only +2.
Flygon: gets bodied by Ice moves lol. Though it does beat Sealeo #1 by 2HKOing with EQ.
Girafarig: +2 TBolt OHKOs Sealeo, while +2 Psychic 2HKOs Glalie. First Glalie, however, will Icy Wind you and then Crunch you, which you barely survive with the Hail damage, thus if you survive, you gotta heal up. Walrein is 2HKOed and is faster due to Icy Wind debuffs, so unless you heal again, you have to heal up. Not the most impressive matchup, but it works (to an extent).
Seadra: MW Surf in rain 2HKOs Glalie. Sealeo will constantly change your weather and are 4HKOed even in rain (unless they poison themselves with Poison Point, in Seadra's case) so don't bother with those. Kingdra will handle Glalie better, as Crunch is a 3HKO on Seadra, but that's it.


Volbeat is level 50, rest is the same levels

Crobat: 3HKOs Shelgon with Sludge Bomb, but that's it.
Volbeat: everything manages to hit it hard (mostly 2HKOing it), so it's doing nothing here
Flygon: puts Shelgon in red with Dragonbreath (so if you take the DCLaw, I guess it will OHKO?), though then his Flygon comes in and outspeeds you. Dragon Claw will also 2HKO Altaria and beat it if AI derps and spams DD.
Girafarig: at most beats Shelgon by OHKOing it with +2 Psychic. Flygon deals heavy damage, is faster, and eats a +2 Psychic.
Seadra: Ice Beam 2HKOs Shelgon and Altaria, outspeeding both (if Shelgon doesn't go for Rock Tomb). Flygon outspeeds and finishes off Seadra. If you are using Kingdra, then set up Rain Dance, hope it doesn't go for Rock Tomb, then he will send out Flygon, which you will outspeed this time and kill it, though Altaria then finishes you off.


same levels

Crobat: Sludge Bomb 2HKOs Ludicolo, but doesn't do much against the rest.
Volbeat: At most beats Wailord, as its Water Spout can be an OHKO. However, you also 2HKO Ludicolo with Signal Beam, just watch out for Double Team.
Flygon: Does nothing here, Tentacruel outspeeds and kills it with Ice Beam
Girafarig: Everything finds a way to 2HKO it and it cannot OHKO anything at all. Wailord 2HKOs with Double Edge and eats a +1 Thunderbolt, while Gyarados is faster and OHKOs with Hyper Beam.
Seadra / Kingdra: Both take so much time to even take down one target that it's not worth the hassle. Even then, some things also have Toxic, so have fun.


nominations:

Zubat -> low C (yes, I know that's not a thing, just count it as C)

So I already mentioned that the Zubat period is gonna put it at best at C-tier. Crobat, as a whole, is useful with Sludge Bomb hitting quite hard and Fly utility. I say "low C" because I didn't really hear it screaming "C-tier" to me, but at the same time, it's arguably on a different level than most D-tier Pokemon, in terms of viability, so I'd say I see it more in C than in D.

Volbeat (Emerald (and Ruby I guess?)) -> F
Volbeat in Emerald has 1% chance of encounter and even after catching it, you have a really bad period where you have to grind it till it learns Tail Glow, so you can use Thief to at least 3HKO stuff. Even after getting Tail Glow, Volbeat is not always capable of doing much in major fights and, bar Sidney, you need to spam up Tail Glows to really have a chance of doing anything (though, against Juan you need only one), which makes it very inefficient to use, and that inefficiency, in my opinion, does not compensate the pain to obtain it or train it. Sapphire Volbeat may have a shot at E (cause idk matchups there), but I think Volbeat is best left at F for Emerald (and possibly Ruby).

by the way, will there be any need to test Illumise? I am under the impression Illumise is a worse Volbeat and I highly doubt it's gonna be doing much in major fights (other than Charming)?

Trapinch -> E

Let me make it clear, I fully realize that I may go a bit too hard on Trapinch, so I am willing to acknowledge that. But basically, Trapinch and Vibrava are, by themselves, F-tiers that are saved by the fact Flygon has some usefulness when you get it. While it is somewhat useful against Juan and can claim some kills at the E4, I don't think those are enough to push Flygon all the way to D and I think D-tier for Trapinch is only possible if you are generous. Even if I am going too hard on it, I will definitely disagree on C-tier, because I think C-tier is overselling the line when Flygon isn't that notable end-game and the terrible periods before that.

Girafarig -> low C (again, I know it doesn't exist, treat it as C)
Similarly to Zubat, Girafarig didn't scream "C-tier" to me, but I am willing to acknowledge the fact it's on a different level than the D-tiers, mostly because of leveling up fast. I mostly got disappointed a bit because Glacia and Phoebe weren't as clean matchups as I expected them to be, so that's why I am fine with compromising to C, but I don't think D-tier is impossible, as a whole.


Horsea (No Trade) -> possible E, but fine with F

Considering it's late and around 15%, it's really hard to justify using this over... anything else. It does manage to do things like OHKO Absol and Mightyena against Sidney and, as a whole, it seems to actually pack some power in it. However, it is really disappointing that it struggles against T&L. As a whole, E is not impossible, but I'd say I am fine with F, especially when I just knocked Trapinch down to E

As for Horsea (Trade), based on experience, there's almost zero reason to evolve Seadra, as you get pretty much the same results as Seadra anyways. Given that Dragon Scale is 5% only on a fishing Pokemon with low encounter rate, Horsea (Trade) is an easy F-tier (I know that it's weird to tier an evolution lower than its evolution) because you are spending time looking for something that, ultimately, won't make a huge difference.

Now, as to what to run next....

Unless there are demands for something else to get testing ASAP, I am gonna test Baltoy / Bellossom / Spheal / Barboach / Lotad. Dw about TM contesting here, I know how to handle this.

Also, I didn't see it initially, but I also saw Numel was labeled as "consensus" and let me say that I agree with C-tier. If you want more explanation and/or logs, feel free to hit me up.

e: now that I think about it, if Horsea (No Trade) rises to E, it probs should just be merged with Kingdra and emphasize in a write-up/short summary/whatever why you don't need Dragon Scale
 
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Shit I refreshed the page and lost my Flannery draft

re: Taillow, Swellow drops off extremely hard around level 40, the good early game isn't enough to outweight an atrocious late game


Flannery from memory while I'm here


Flannery

Grovyle (29): Can 2HKO both Numel and Slugma with Leaf Blade, can't deal with Camerupt of Torkoal, needs the first two not to click Overheat

Dustox (29): Can 3HKO Numel and Slugma and can live one Overheat, pretty much a dead matchup though.

Aron (29): 2HKOs Numel if it avoids a big Magnitude (usually goes for Sunny Day), OHKOs Slugma, dead to either of the other two

Minun (28): Can actually beat every opponent in the right circumstance thanks to Encore. Quick Attack is weak but enough to kill Numel if it goes for Sunny Day. Slugma goes down to Spark. Camerupt isn't realistic due to Potions but it's also beatable. Torkoal is beatable specifically if you burn the White Herb on something else, it lives one Overheat and Body Slam doesn't 2HKO and so with Potion support can kill Torkoal between Thunder Wave / Encore / Spark.
 
Oh hey my flannery log popped back up for some reason

Flannery

Grovyle (29): 2HKOs Numel if it goes for Sunny Day, same for Slugma, loses to Camerupt and Torkoal

Dustox (29): Numel seems to refuse to use Overheat for some reason so you beat this with full health, Psybeam is a 4HKO. Anything else will kill with Sun+Overheat.

Aron (29): Lives a Magnitude 7 or less from Numel and 2HKOs with Strength. Outspeeds and OHKOs Slugma with Rock Tomb, rest of the matchup is dead.

Minun (28): Beats Slugma without trouble, somewhat hilariously can solo Numel and Camerupt with a little luck due to Encore on Sunny Day, though Quick Attack is fairly meager damage. Can beat Torkoal IF you use something to bait the first Overheat and burn her White Herb. Minun lives one Overheat from full HP and is not 2HKOed by Body Slam so by Thunder Waving turn 1 and using Encore if it goes for Sunny Day you can (with Potion support) solo Torkoal with Spark (4HKO but Flannery has multiple Hyper Potions)
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
ok so I was on hiatus and lost my logs until Wattson so I am just gonna tl;dr what I remember. I am sorry for that

Lombre: spam Absorb beat Roxanne, also Lombre managed to beat Brawly's Machop and Meditite. Meh against Wattson, only Pokemon that it can take out is Electrike. Taught it Secret Power, which is a better alternative to Nature Power.

Oddish/Gloom: Acid spam can beat Electrike and Voltorb (unless it explodes) and can try muscling through Manectric with Poisonpowder, Acid, and healing. Nothing else, in terms of matchups.

Everything is level 27

Lombre: Mightyena is a hassle due to the Sand-Attacks and Intimidates. Secret Power at neutral stage 2HKOs Zubat. Can muscle through Camerupt if Magnitudes are low power.
Gloom: Secret Power 2HKOs Zubat. Camerupt beats it and Mightyena is a hassle. Not a great matchup


Both are level 29

Lombre: Secret Power 3HKOs Numel and Slugma, the former is an easy defeat with Fake Out. Slugma may set up a Light Screen turn one, giving you enough turns to defeat it. Camerupt generally beats you, but you can handle it a bit more if you heal up after Overheat (if there's no sun, otherwise, you are OHKOed)
Gloom: Secret Power 3HKOs Numel and 2HKOs Slugma. Numel goes for Overheat instantly and puts you in red. Camerupt is 4HKOed, if you get that far, and can be put to sleep with Sleep Powder (and so can be the others).


everything is level 30

Lombre: Fake Out + 2 Absorbs + Secret Power take down Spinda without forcing it to heal. Vigoroth can be damaged, but it will likely beat you if you do not go for extensive item support.
Gloom: Struggles to 4HKO even Spinda with Secret Power and is 3HKOed by its Psybeam. The other Pokemon are not really good matchups either. As a whole, terrible matchup
Baltoy: beats Spinda by 3HKOing it with Psychic. Vigoroth and Linoone are also 3HKOed but you need extensive item support for Vigoroth to be taken down (and Linoone just... Belly Drums)



curernt thoughts on members because I want to post this and not lose my logs anymore lol:

Lombre
So far, I don't think it's the worst period I've ever seen (looking at Nincada...). It was pleasant to see it actually beat Nosepass. I think any potential issues with power are patched up by the Secret Power TM, at least for cleaning routes. Thus, I am leaning towards D-tier atm, but I will let next matchups decide the ranking

Gloom
This has not been very amazing. It sucks rather majorly before Sludge Bomb TM and really only does things with the help of powder moves. Based on current, one could say it's even E, mainly due to powder utilities preventing it from F-tier. But, similarly to Lombre, I am gonna let the next matchups dictate my opinion.

Baltoy
Not really gonna give much of an opinion here, given it has had only one matchup (which wasn't good). With this not so early availability, one can only hope Baltoy performs well enough to not end in the lowest tiers.

baltoy.jpg

barboach.jpg

lotad.jpg

oddish.jpg
 
Sorry it took me so long, I thought I was gonna be free but I ended up having to do a lot of work these past weeks (Once I thought I was out...). I hesitated a bit to use Meditite because I already have a Shadow Ball user in Zangoose but since it's only mandatory in two fights I might get away with it—it's what I should've done with Earthquake but I hadn't realized Hariyama could Belly Drum against Phoebe. My team is therefore Wingull, Zangoose, Mawile, Meditite, and I'm also gonna try out Seedot since I'm in Ruby.

Also I don't wanna forget to reply to Punchshroom even though it's been a long time, I did try Light Screen Electrode vs. Glacia and it helped against the Sealeo but Walrein was still doing too much with Body Slam (and obviously Sheer Cold was still a thing), but admittedly I didn't attempt to just go one-on-one. I also didn't use X-items at all but I imagine they might've helped make the Drake matchup easier for stuff like Crobat or Sharpedo—since one is weak but can take a few hits and the other is strong but not fast enough.

Anyway, onto the test:

First, I know I said I'd only use Mudkip for HMs but I got a Naughty one with very good IVs so I think I'm gonna use it (and it'll definitely help against stuff like Wattson and Steven), but it's obviously S so it's not really a test, I'm just mentioning it because it might take some EXP.

It took me a few tries to get a good Wingull because the first one was Sassy with 0-4 Speed and bad offenses, it would've really hampered the run. Luckily the third was Rash with excellent Speed and Special Attack, although terrible Attack.
(Also I screwed the pooch and didn't realize Seedot was Early Bird meaning no Chlorophyll shenanigans. It's still rather fast naturally so I imagine it'll still work as a Sunnybeamer. I named it Nispelled which is kind of a one-person inside joke, since that's what Nuzleaf was called in Argentina in a sticker album)

Nuzleaf is 14, Wingull gets to 14 against the first Geodude and Mudkip is 13.

Wingull: I got lucky twice and beat the Nosepass with the help of confusion, living a Rock Tomb. Then I tried to use X-Defend to see if it eased the fight but I was still taking too much damage so I'd need a miss. I tried a third time and again got lucky with confusion, but this time I 2HKOed meaning Potion didn't proc.

Nuzleaf: Between Harden and Growth it can set up against Geodude very easily, although even at +2 it needs a lot of Seeds to win in two turns (I'd say 8 min but it depends on how many you hit the first time since it might activate Potion). You can just come out on top because it spams Harden since it thinks it can't hurt you, though. The most reliable way.

Funnily enough, underleved Mudkip is actually not that great in this fight, similar to Treecko. You can win thanks to Mud-Slap and Growl but Water Gun doesn't do enough and you can be overpowered with repeated Rock Throws, and for some reason it was a speed tie.


Everything is level 17. Marshtomp and Wingull level up after beating Machop.

Nuzleaf: It needs way too many Bullet Seeds to beat Machop, which does way too much with Karate Chop. Against Makuhita you can set up alongside it since it'll generally Bulk Up, but at +2 you need like 9 hits and to not proc Super Potion. +2 Arm Thurst needs to hit thrice to kill, so in theory it might be doable but it's ridiculously hard to pull off.

Mawile: I didn't realize this didn't get anything to hit them neutrally until Vicegrip at level 21, so I had to spam Fake Tears + Bite. Like with Nuzleaf, Machop takes too little and does way too much. On the other hand, Makuhita can be beat by 3HKOing with Bite after two Fake Tears if you get a timely flinch or it Sand Attacks you—since it can live two hits from +2 Arm Thrust. I managed to accomplish that so I guess it's worth mentioning.

Wingull: Wing Attack/Water Gun 3HKO Machop while it 3HKOs back with Seismic Toss, but it'll generally waste time Leering or Bulking Up. Wing Attack 3HKOes Makuhita after one BU so it might be annoying if it procs Super Potion, also if it doesn't BU apparently Makuhita can survive two if you have a terrible Attack IV like I do. Anyway, positive matchup with the potential of getting annoying.

Marshtomp just Marshtomps the Machop with three Mud Shots (might proc Super Potion so you can Tackle/Water Gun on the second one) and 2-shots Makuhita after leveling up, it's hilariously easy. Also if for some reason Machop manages to connect a hit at +1 and puts you in Torrent range, you also 2HKO Makuhita with Water Gun—and fsr it doesn't attack you.


Everything bar Mawile is level 18.

Nuzleaf: It can set up a lot on Wailmer since it spams Splash instead of Rollout, but at +5 it needs four hits to beat Numel. If you manage to get to Grovyle, it'll finish you off with Fury Cutter. Not the best matchup.

Mawile: After a Fake Tears Bite 3HKOs Wailmer, although if you have Rock Tomb you can use it first to go for the flinch since Water Gun stings. Bite 2HKOs -2 Numel and if you're healthy you can survive an Ember, although again you'll have to flinch. You resist everything Grovyle throws at you but since you'll be weakened you prolly won't sweep.
If you have something else take care of Numel, Bite 3HKOes at -2 and Grovyle does 6-7 HP with Pursuit, so EZ.

Wingull: Wing Attack is like a 4-5HKO on Wailmer (the bad IVs hurt) while two consecutive Rollouts KO. Numel is lol, and Grovyle is 3HKOed but outspeeds and 3HKOes with Pursuit—and 2HKOes if you try to switch the second time, obviously. At level 19 Wing Attack comes extremely close to a 2HKO so if it didn't have low IVs it could pull it off. As it stands though, in order to win I had to connect the Supersonic. Shaky matchup.

Marshtomp two-shots Wailmer, then Grovyle comes in and 2HKOes while taking little from Mud Shot. Numel is Numel.


Everything is level 22.

Mawile: Even if taught Rock Smash it can't reliably beat Magnemite due to Thunder Wave and Supersonic (and being 3HKOed by Thundershock). Voltorb 3HKOes with Spark while you 3HKO back with Vicegrip, you might win one-on-one with Quick Claw if you're lucky. Magneton is a no.

Nuzleaf: It also needs Rock Smash to beat Magnemite but at least it resists Thundershock, which means it's only 4HKOed by Sonicboom. Then Voltorb finishes you off. If at full, again you resist Spark and live three Sonicbooms and 3HKO back with Fake Out + Nature Power, but Voltorb has a tendency to blow up.

Wingull: Everything OHKOes with Electric-type moves, and worst of all they actually use them.

Marshtomp OHKOes everything, but it needs to be at full health to live three Sonicbooms (and also not miss/get confuse haxed/boomed on). Clearly the bad Speed IV conspires against it. It's still the most reliable way but many things can go wrong, surprisingly.


Pelipper, Mawile and Nuzleaf are level 26, Marshtomp is 25, Zangoose is 19.

Mawile: Even with Hyper Cutter it struggles to beat Mightyena due to Sand-Attack and Super Potions. The most reliable way might be to Fake Tears thrice and 2HKO with Faint Attack, actually. Then Camerupt comes in and finishes you off. Golbat is only 3HKOed by Rock Tomb/Strength but it can't do anything back (for some reason it didn't Supersonic) so you win.

Pelipper: Water Gun 3HKOs and Keen Eye prevents Accuracy drops, gotta love Pelipper. If you have Shock Wave, it 2HKOes Golbat but Wing Attack hurts, especially if you took some Bites. Water Gun is a 4HKO. You'll likely need to heal. Camerupt drops to one Water Gun.

Nuzleaf: You can try setting up Growth but Sand-Attack is annoying and you need to avoid activating Super Potion. If you have an Intimidate fodder, you can hit it on the physical side. Nature Power becomes Rock Slide which is fun but unfortunately doesn't 3HKO so it heals (neither does Strength). It might if it were at a higher level, I guess. Golbat is 2HKOed by Nature Power/Rock Slide and it 2HKOs back with Wing Attack, so you can actually win if it doesn't use it twice. Very funny. Camerupt is 4HKOed but doesn't OHKO back with Ember from full, also can get flinched. Hilarious matchup considering I expected it to at most take out Mightyena.

Zangoose: Even with the level disadvantage, it can set up an SD and 2HKO everything (after Intimidate!). Sand-Attack is obviously annoying, and Golbat outspeeds and Supersonics, but if it pulls through it can actually win. Mine ended up at 4 HP after taking a Wing Attack and an Ember and got to level 21.

Marshtomp struggles against Mightyena at -1, Mud Shot 3HKOs at +0 but might proc Super Potion. Also Bite hurts. Golbat finishes you off with Wing Attack while Strength 3HKOs. Camerupt lives a Water Gun but can't do anything back.


Will continue during the week. Up until now, Wingull and Seedot have surprised me for the good (Nature Power is a great troll) and Zangoose is just amazing, being able to take on Maxie 5 levels below. I did get pretty lucky with its IVs, though. Mawile is a weird mon because it has high Attack but up until now it's done better attacking from the Special side thanks to Fake Tears. It fell completely in both Gym fights tho, and I don't expect that to change against Flannery.

EDIT: I grinded a bit to get Zangoose closer to the others. It breaks everything apart but it should be mentioned that its awkward Exp. group (Erratic) hurts it so it'll generally be underleveled. Still, even then it seems to beat stuff easily once set up. On the other end you have Mawile which levels up really Fast but is very weak if not overleveled.

Continuing:

Zangoose and Marshtomp are level 26, the rest is 27.

Mawile: Can't OHKO the Slugma with Rock Tomb and gets OHKOed by Overheat, apparently they almost always use it because good AI. I gave it a Protein and a Rare Candy but it still won't OHKO and Overheat kills, it seems to be a lost cause. The second one also lives and wins with Flamethrower.

Nuzleaf: Like Mawile, it can't 2HKO with Fake Out + Strength and gets blown back. Also like Mawile, Protein + Strength aren't enough and it still dies. Same deal with the second one.

Pelipper: Apparently the first Slugma has higher SpDef because it always lived the Water Gun (and I have high SpAtk), so it can get annoying with Sunny Day and Light Screen. Fortunately, you have Protect to stall it out. The second Slugma always died to Water Gun. Torkoal is 3HKOed but is 3HKOs with two Body Slams + Overheat, so if it gets the para you can actually lose.
Tried it again at level 28, the first Slugma becomes a roll and Torkoal is still 3HKOed but you can use Wing Attack once to not proc Hyper Potion. Also, you have a shot at living two BS + Overheat which is cool.

Zangoose: If at full, Slugma will privilege setting up Sunny Day so you can SD yourself. If you have Dig you can waste a couple of turns so sun will run out by the time you get to Torkoal. Unfortunately, it still OHKOs with Overheat which is a bitch.
If the Slugma wastes a turn to Smog (which can't poison you!) you can set up a second SD and then sweep everything with Strength; the Torkoal might be a roll but Silk Scarf should clinch it since I didn't have it.
EDIT: Tried again with Silk Scarf and it does guarantee the kill. However, you do need to set up two SDs to beat Torkoal so winning or losing really depends on if Slugma Smogs or not (since two Overheats or Sunny Day + Overheat beat Goose).

Marshtomp OHKOs both Slugma with Mud Shot and 3HKOs Torkoal while living two Body Slams, so you win if you don't get para'd/miss (easier said than done). With Soft Sand you guarantee the kill with two Mud Shots + Water Gun so less chances of missing.


Mawile, Nuzleaf, and Pelipper are 31, Zangoose is 29 and Swampert is 30.

Nuzleaf: It's very hard to do much of anything but after a few tries I finally got what I could do. First off, the lead Slaking has Encore and Yawn so you can't set up while it's loafing around, plus Facade 2HKOs. You can win however, if he Yawns instead of just attacking and you wake up quickly (Early Bird actually helps here!). You Faint Attack as it loafs around and Growth as it moves and you can 3HKO it and get to +2 while tanking a Facade. Then the second Slaking comes in and finishes you off... OR it continues to spam Focus Punch, allowing you to hit and set up. I got to +5 and KOed it and then lived a hit from Vigoroth (it's a roll) and OHKOed it! If it gets to level 32 after the second Slaking (at first I missed leveling up by 13 points so I tried again) then Vigoroth is safer. Frankly surprised it accomplished this, even though it's obviously extremely unreliable.
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Zangoose: With Silk Scarf, +2 Strength 2HKOs both Slaking and OHKOs Vigoroth and the only one who outspeeds is the level 31 King which likes to spam Focus Punch. You get 2HKOed back so it really depends on if it focuses or attacks. Also if you have Dig you can use it to screw around a bit but you're really better off just setting one SD and attacking. It should be noted that at level 29 two SDs don't guarantee the OHKO on the level 28 King, too. Anyway, solid matchup but it ultimately depends on what the AI does.

Pelipper: Tried it first without Toxic. Water Gun/Shock Wave seem to be a 6HKO but Hyper Potion procs after 4 so you're likely running out of Protect PP before getting to the second Slaking. Luckily it's gonna get Surf because damn dats weak. With Toxic, you have to be careful to not proc Hyper Potion, I managed to win by hitting Toxic after attacking. Funnily enough, I beat it while protecting which meant Vigoroth came and tried to Encore me (and Protect appears to move second when it's encored in this gen). Vigoroth is tougher than it looks like because it's 4HKOed and can 4HKO back, and there's always the risk of it getting Hyper Potion. And no point Toxicing it because of Facade. I'd suggest just avoiding it is best. The second Slaking is just beat by using Toxic the first time and then slowly whittling it. Not the most efficient matchup but it beats the biggest threats.

Mawile: It's about 4HKOd by Facade but 2HKOs at -6 with BlackGlasses Faint Attack (and fsr Slaking never used Encore on it) so you might end up at around half if it Yawns and you don't sleep for too long. The second Slaking always goes for Focus Punch so you can attack it then and Fake Tears as it loafs around. Vigoroth appears to avoid the 2HKO at -2 so it might win if you're weakened, Rock Tomb ensured the kill tho. Easily its best matchup.
Tried it again at level 32, it now lives four Facades from Slaking but it still doesn't 2HKO Vigoroth so the end result is pretty much the same. Solid fight.

Marshtomp 3HKOs Vigoroth but gets 2HKOed by Slaking and it only 5/6HKOs so it likely won't get much mileage. Not even Mud Shot's Speed drops will save it in that matchup. Prolly Mudkip's worst fight in the game.


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I fudged the Mawile IVs because at first I was unsure if I'd keep the Quiet one with Hyper Cutter since I wanted Intimidate, but after getting one with it with worse Speed IVs I opted to choose Hyper Cutter to not get super annoyed by Mightyenas. Intimidate is prolly the better option tho.
I do however have this pic of a misspelled Mawile.
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Hey, folks. I'm a Smogon newbie, but I love me some In-game Pokemanning, so here are my thoughts on RSE story runs.

Route sweeping should be worth less: Generally, if your mon can kick ass in a Gym battle, it can kick ass against chump trainers. The converse, however, isn't always the case. Taillow is a great example of this. Eats most trainers alive, but can't hold a candle in most gym battles. Mons that struggle at route sweeping, however, should get points docked off. Lombre and Nuzleaf are looking very suspect for me right now for this reason.

Beating Wattson deserves more praise: Good lord, this man. This. Man. I've gone in with Lv 26 Fighting mons and still got manhandled by him about 75% of the time. His Magneton not only shrugs off all non-Fire/Ground/Fighting attacks, it also outspeeds a lot of mons at that point of the game. It'll 2-3HKO just about everything you throw at it before you can do the same, unless it's not Para-Confuse harrassing you, that is. And then when you think the worst is over, his Manectric comes in and cleans the rest of your team. Even his Voltorb is unnerving. One unlucky para Spark, or one unfortunate crit SelfDestruct, and your star fighter's gone or crippled. Therefore, Geodude and Mudkip are more valuable since they are the only clean counters to Wattson's oppressive early game.

We can't be too strict about Level appropriateness: I'm mainly talking about Flannery here, but it applies to Winona as well. I'd often get to her with a trio of Lv 30-31 mons with little to no backtracking or excess trainer fights. Against Winona, my team is 3-4 Levels above her strongest easily. If the game is set up in such a way that our mons easily get XP flooded in certain segments, more power to us. Bending over to match our team's level with Gym Leaders is thus arbitrary.

Endgame 6th Team members matter: I only say this by intuition, but 5 active team members seems like the optimal number for a playthrough. With 6 mons, it's harder to spread around XP and TMs without falling behind. However, for late game mons, this isn't as much of an issue. Sky Pillar Altaria, Super Rod Gyarados/Tentacruel/Wailmer, and Victory Road Lairon all come at a high level already, and they have one niche that no other late game mons can do for you: Consistantly buy you two to three turns against the Elite Four and/or Wallace. It's nothing radical, but it's much more impactful than having an empty 6th slot. These late game mons also have deep move pools and can contribute to battle on a pinch. My Aggron Thunder Bolted down Wallace's Gyarados after it tanked its Hyper Beam, which was pivotal to winning that game.

Elite Four Counterplay is key: You cannot, CANNOT play a fair 1-for-1, turn-by-turn game against them and expect a win. Their mons are too high level and their movepools too diverse. Therefore, Sweeper set-up is very important for the late game. With that said, any mons that can do the following set-ups are more valuable: Bulk Up + Fighting move for Sydney/Glacia; Bulk Up + Earthquake or Howl + Shadow Ball for Phoebe; X-Special and/or X-Speed + Ice Beam for Drake*. I know that using battle items is usually frowned upon, but I honestly believe that there are no reasonable counters to Drake that don't involve battle items. His team is so stacked, you can have a team on equal level with his mons and still lose.

Wallace Walling cannot be ignored: Wallace's mons are insanely overleveled and give you very little breathing room to even hit them once, let alone set up on them. There is however one glaring weakness, and that's on his Milotic. All she has are Ice Beam and Surf for offense, so any mons that can juice her moves out turns her into a sweeper magnet and makes this match so, so much more winnable. Rest Walrein and Tentacruel are some excellent candidates for Milotic walls.

---

Anyway, onto a more (not so) serious topic. I'm seeing around here that Whismur is locked into E-tier. This seems off at so many levels, so I wanted to test myself. Here are my results.

Whismur (Emerald): Caught in Rt 116, Lv 6, Brave Nature.

Final Team: Blaziken/Exploud/Grumpig/Gyarados/Bellossum/Aggron

Gym 1

Nothing. It was merely nabbing XP while Combusken kicked the rocks to death.

On route to Gym 2 (Lv 8-15)

Very easy to level up. It 1-2HKO'd everything with STAB Uproar. Can 2-shot your rival's Slugma and 3-shot Mudkip. Things became even easier when it got Silk Scarf.

Gym 2 (Lv 15) Pound, Uproar, Astonish, Howl

Can 3HKO a non-Bulk'd Machop and Makuhita. It won't do much in practice though since everything barring Meditite can 1-shot it. It did come in clutch vs Makuhita one time though when it KO'd my Combusken. Astonish flinched it as Maku attempted a Vital Throw. Then Uproar finished it off.

On route to 110 Rival (Lv 15-21)

Uproar 1-shots any unsavory Wingulls my Combusken may not appreciate, and most unevolved things for that matter. Makes quick work of Team Aqua Grunts. Reaches Lv 21 and evolves to Loudred before getting to Rival

Route 110 Rival (Loudred, Lv 21) Pound, Uproar, Astonish, Howl

Easily 2HKOs Slugma. Can 3-4 HKO Lombre, but that can easily turn into a 5-HKO if it Absorbs a couple of times. Can 4-shot Marshtomp, But Marshtomp can Mudshot 3HKO. Oddly it seems to prefer using Bide in 5/7 matches.

Gym 3 (Lv 23) Pound, Uproar, Astonish, Howl

Can 2-shot Voltorb with Pound and gets 4-shot by Voltorb's Spark, but it'll usually Selfdestruct before taking the second hit. 3-shots Electryke and gets in Quick Attack range after three of Electryke's Sparks. It likes to waste its first turn with Howl, and it's lucky enough to avoid healing HP range, so Loudred usually wins. Loudred is meaningless against Magneton save for an immunity to Supersonic. 5HKOs Manectric while Manectric 2-shots with Shockwave. Not a great match, though that speaks for 90% of the mons catchable at that point of the game. Notable uses were cleaning up Manectric after Combusken fainted. Cleaning up after other mons seems to be a common thing Loudred does throughout the game.

On Route to Gym 4 (Lv 24-30)

Swapped Pound for Rollout and Uproar for Secret Power. STAB Secret Power is a strong upgrade, and I can't recall ever using Rollout because how good it was. It 1-shot and outsped all of Team Magma's unevolved mons. By Maxie it was at Lv 28. It can 3-shot Maxie's Mightyena at +0 while Mightyena needs about six Bites to take it down. Zubat goes down in 2 hits. Camerupt takes 4 hits, while Camerupt can 2HKO Loudred with any Magnitudes past 7. I was worried that with a negative speed Nature, Loudred would get outsped by everything, but generally things seem pretty slow at this point of the game. Only Voltorbs and Wingulls can race it.

Gym 4 (Lv 30) Rollout, Secret Power, Astonish, Howl

Gets OHKO'd by any mon's Overheat behind a Sunny Day. Puts Slugma in Potoin Range in one hit. Numel gets 3HKO'd, but can get 2HKO'd in return by a couple of lucky Magnitude highrolls. Bizarrely Camerupt doesn't do much except for Tackle if Sun isn't already set up. It seems being female is very important in this match. Torkoal is too tanky. You can get lucky with a 4-HKO Rollout, but chances are it'll 4HKO with Body Slam more consistantly. Unfavorable overall.

Gym 5 (Lv 31) Rollout, Return, Astonish, Howl

Went back to Fallarbor Town for Return TM (and to level up Spoink) prior to going to this gym. Can 2HKO Spinda and dodge potion range. Spinda can get a 3HKO with Facade, though it usually goes for Teeter Dance first. Vigoroth can 1-shot with a crit Slash or 2-shot normally. Vigoroth takes 3 hits to take down and dodges Potion range. Linoon outspeeds and 2-shots Loudred with Facade. I think it would have taken 3 hits to take down. I'm not sure. Slaking 1-shots Loudred easily. It would take about seven Returns to knock it out. A poor match up overall.

On Route to Gym 6 (Lv 31-36)

Surfed to Abandoned Ship for Ice Beam TM (and to level up Magikarp and Oddish). Loudred easily 2-shot every non-evolved mons at most. Frail physical mons like Sharpedo and Tentacruel went down in 2-3 hits as well. 1-shots all of Team Aqua Grunt's unevolved mons and 2-shots Sharpedo and Mightyena at +0. I can't recall the Weather Station Rival Battle. It was so easy it was a blip in my radar.

Gym 6 (Lv 36) Ice Beam, Return, Astonish, Howl

Ice Beam 1-shots Swablu no contest, and gets Altaria and Tropius into healing range. Pelipper gets into healing range with three Returns, as does Skarmory with two Ice Beams. Gets 3-shot by Skarmory and Tropius's Aerial Ace, and Altaria can take off 3/4 Health with a boosted Aerial Ace or Earthquake. It can KO two or three mons before kicking the bucket, and only a boosted Altaria outspeeds it, so solid matchup.

On Route to Gym 7 (Lv 36-40)

I'll be honest. I didn't get to test it out against the major Team Magma/Team Aqua battles. I don't think it would have done any better or worse otherwise, save for killing Zubats faster with Ice Beam. I picked up Shadow Ball for it in Mt. Mortar, though. It was route clearing easily even at this point against Swimmers and Cool Trainers. Normal type is rarely resisted in this game, making STAB Normal universally good. The final rival battle is a joke. It's practically a route trainer battle at this point.

Gym 7 (Exploud, Lv 40) Ice Beam, Return, Shadow Ball, Howl

Xatu takes Red damage with one Shadow Ball, which allows another team member (I was using Gyarados) to finish it off and preventing Xatu's Calm Mind sweep set-up. Lunatone takes a healthy chunk from Shadow Ball as well. Solrock takes 3 hits. Don't remember Claydol well, but I think it could tank about 4-5 Shadow Balls. At full health, it lives by the pinch of its nose against Lunatone's Psychic, and about 1/2 from Solrock. It takes just short of 2/3 damage from one of Claydol's Earthquakes, so Exploud doesn't live very long at all. Overall, great as an early nuke against Xatu and for crippling Solrock and Lunatone. Very impressed.

On Route to Gym 8 and Gym 8(Lv 40-42)

Sorry, I didn't do much testing on these battles either. Route trainers and Aqua Grunts were pushovers, but that's all I remember. I can't imagine it doing too well against Juan, though. They're too tanky and Exploud isn't the pinnacle of soaking damgage either.

On Route to Elite Four (Lv 42-45)

All the Psychic mons either got OHKO'd or into Hyper Potion range from Shadow Balls. Got most things into healing range with 2-3 STAB Returns. Bulkier things went down in 5 hits. Overall generally useful.

Elite Four Match 1 (Lv 45) Ice Beam, Return, Shadow Ball, Howl

I only used it as a cleaner whenever my Blaziken Sweeps got interrupted. Ice Beam deals just short of 1/2 Health on Shiftry and a tad more than that on Cacturn.

Elite Four Match 2

After two Howls, Shadow Ball OHKOs the Bannettes and deals about 7/8 damage to the final Dusclops. Three Howls Guarantess OKOS on all the mono ghost mons. Sableye goes down with two Shadow Balls or a Shadow Ball + Ice Beam. Getting Two Howls on the first Dusclops is easy. If you hold a Persiam Berry and it goes for Confuse Ray, your third Howl is guaranteed and you get your sweep on. Very favorable if a tad luck dependant.

Elite Four Match 3 (Lv 46) Ice Beam, Return, Hyper Beam, Howl

No testing. I can't imagine Exploud doing much here except cleaning any leftovers from a failed sweep. I taught Exploud Hyper Beam since Shadow Ball has no further use.

Elite Four Match 4

One X-Special is enough to OHKO Shelgon and Dragon Dance setting Altaria. If you get a bit lucky you can also tack on an X-Attack to 2HKO Kingdra with Return. If you get luckier still, your Exploud goes untouched from the first three mons and takes down the Flygon as well after surviving a Dragon Claw, then falling to Salamence. All in all, Exploud isn't the best, but it can be a serviceable Dragon Sweeper. As a rule of thumb, this match takes some luck to win, but Exploud is very much doable.

Champion Match (Lv 47)

Exploud was once again relegated to cleaner. The best it did was knock out a 1/3 Gyarados on cool down with Hyper Beam. This is yet again not a match where it has much impact.

Final Level 47

Base Stats: 160 HP (+11-13), 113 ATK (+28-29), 75 DEF (+23-25), 94 SpA (+7-9), 67 SpD (+0), 74 SPE (+31)

Its Attack, Defense, and Speed IVs were exceptionally high, which I'm sure has skewed my ratings. Notably, its Special Attack was low, yet it was still hitting things hard with Ice Beam. I want to do another run again, preferrably without prodigal stats and with a Neutral nature, but my experience as is has been good. Whismur was a solid Route Sweeper early, mid, and late game, and it has notable performances in late Gym Battles and in the Elite Four. Normal is a rarely resisted type, and the early damage boost from Silk Scarf and Secret Power or Strength makes it a good early to mid game force. Gyms 1-5 were mostly duds, and its bulk was always an issue, but otherwise it was a solid mon that constantly dealt great neutral damage and covered key matchups in the late game. I was close to nomming it for B-Tier, but with the help it got from IVs I could see it settling to C-Tier. However, an E tier ranking is criminal. It's outperformed even a good chunk of D-Tier mons like Lotad for me by a healthy dose.

On a sidenote, I'm gonna vouch for Gyarados in A-tier, and that's just off using Special attacks the whole game. That's a discussion for another day, though.
 
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The thing with whismur is that it fucking sucks

Pithy quotes aside, excellent post. Your statements are generally accurate to the prevailing mindset of the decision making of the thread. That said, do be careful of overvaluing its performance based on the special attention given to it. I overvalued Beautifly and Lanturn in the same way in past runs. THAT said, I think you did do an excellent job of optimizing its performance in battles and movepool. I see some clear parallels to Mightyena in its performance which I successfully argued to D. I will try this out myself at some point and I could see it settling in D if it performs comparably to Mightyena or to how you've experienced it. It definitely cannot go higher though, cannot hold a candle to anything in C.

As regards Lotad, imo it should be E tier so there's that. Lombre is fucking horrible.

Gyarados is great but the Magikarp penalty is severe. Waiting for Super Rod isn't a particularly reasonable justification. It performs at close to or around an A level, but it has significant enough acquisition penalties that it gets pushed down into B. Definitely near the top of its tier though, alongside Absol/Chinchou/Staryu.

Also Merritt move Heracross up to A tier already smfh
 
I've used Poochyena before. They do have similarities (namely learning Shadow Ball + Howl and having anti-ghost types) but there are two advantages Whismur has over Poochy. First is that Whismur has no baby phase. Thanks to STAB Normal, it gets rolling once you catch it. Second is that it can learn ice moves, giving it more important matchups in the mid and late game.

Fair point about Magikarp. I got lucky and caught one at Lv 29 with a Good Rod on my first try. I didn't realize it had such a radical level range of 5-30. It once took me thirty minutes to catch a Lv 33+ Psyduck in the Safari Zone, and that was only a 20-35 lv range.

Speaking of Pokemon Acquisition, are we ranking for optimal catch moments as well? For instance in an earlier run I ran with a Route 110 Oddish and it played like a wet noodle until after Gym 5. In my last run I caught Oddish in Route 118 and it played well most of that run save for Gym 6. That early game is rough on Grass mons, so any (non Shroomish) Grass types that can gloss over it are at an advantage over those that can't IMO.
 

Merritt

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Speaking of Pokemon Acquisition, are we ranking for optimal catch moments as well? For instance in an earlier run I ran with a Route 110 Oddish and it played like a wet noodle until after Gym 5. In my last run I caught Oddish in Route 118 and it played well most of that run save for Gym 6. That early game is rough on Grass mons, so any (non Shroomish) Grass types that can gloss over it are at an advantage over those that can't IMO.
Pokemon are ranked to their average optimal performance with the single exception of trade evolutions. This means that the ranking isn't based on a Pokemon with perfect IVs for example but if a Pokemon has a drastically better performance via being caught later then that's the one used for ranking.

Note that cases where a later catch are actually optimal enough to be worth a higher ranking are few and far between. For example, I pretty firmly stand by Old Rod Magikarp being better or at the very worst equal to Good Rod Magikarp despite the latter's lack of babying period since the later acquisition ends up with no contributions against major battles like Norman, Flannery, or Mt Chimney.
 
I gotta say, after I hit the Water routes everything started to level up really fast so I had to skip trainers to not overlevel (and to give something to Meditite). I didn't experience something like that before Flannery because Zangoose was an experience hog, but now it's not as much. I checked and Erratic starts to level up faster than Medium Fast from level 37 upwards and Medium Slow from level 39, so it'll soon catch up with the rest except for Mawile—which'll keep leveling up faster until level 45. Good to know.

ICYMI., here's Flannery and Norman:

Me said:
Zangoose and Marshtomp are level 26, the rest is 27.

Mawile: Can't OHKO the Slugma with Rock Tomb and gets OHKOed by Overheat, apparently they almost always use it because good AI. I gave it a Protein and a Rare Candy but it still won't OHKO and Overheat kills, it seems to be a lost cause. The second one also lives and wins with Flamethrower.

Nuzleaf: Like Mawile, it can't 2HKO with Fake Out + Strength and gets blown back. Also like Mawile, Protein + Strength aren't enough and it still dies. Same deal with the second one.

Pelipper: Apparently the first Slugma has higher SpDef because it always lived the Water Gun (and I have high SpAtk), so it can get annoying with Sunny Day and Light Screen. Fortunately, you have Protect to stall it out. The second Slugma always died to Water Gun. Torkoal is 3HKOed but is 3HKOs with two Body Slams + Overheat, so if it gets the para you can actually lose.
Tried it again at level 28, the first Slugma becomes a roll and Torkoal is still 3HKOed but you can use Wing Attack once to not proc Hyper Potion. Also, you have a shot at living two BS + Overheat which is cool.

Zangoose: If at full, Slugma will privilege setting up Sunny Day so you can SD yourself. If you have Dig you can waste a couple of turns so sun will run out by the time you get to Torkoal. Unfortunately, it still OHKOs with Overheat which is a bitch.
If the Slugma wastes a turn to Smog (which can't poison you!) you can set up a second SD and then sweep everything with Strength; the Torkoal might be a roll but Silk Scarf should clinch it since I didn't have it.
EDIT: Tried again with Silk Scarf and it does guarantee the kill. However, you do need to set up two SDs to beat Torkoal so winning or losing really depends on if Slugma Smogs or not (since two Overheats or Sunny Day + Overheat beat Goose).

Marshtomp OHKOs both Slugma with Mud Shot and 3HKOs Torkoal while living two Body Slams, so you win if you don't get para'd/miss (easier said than done). With Soft Sand you guarantee the kill with two Mud Shots + Water Gun so less chances of missing.


Mawile, Nuzleaf, and Pelipper are 31, Zangoose is 29 and Swampert is 30.

Nuzleaf: It's very hard to do much of anything but after a few tries I finally got what I could do. First off, the lead Slaking has Encore and Yawn so you can't set up while it's loafing around, plus Facade 2HKOs. You can win however, if he Yawns instead of just attacking and you wake up quickly (Early Bird actually helps here!). You Faint Attack as it loafs around and Growth as it moves and you can 3HKO it and get to +2 while tanking a Facade. Then the second Slaking comes in and finishes you off... OR it continues to spam Focus Punch, allowing you to hit and set up. I got to +5 and KOed it and then lived a hit from Vigoroth (it's a roll) and OHKOed it! If it gets to level 32 after the second Slaking (at first I missed leveling up by 13 points so I tried again) then Vigoroth is safer. Frankly surprised it accomplished this, even though it's obviously extremely unreliable.


Zangoose: With Silk Scarf, +2 Strength 2HKOs both Slaking and OHKOs Vigoroth and the only one who outspeeds is the level 31 King which likes to spam Focus Punch. You get 2HKOed back so it really depends on if it focuses or attacks. Also if you have Dig you can use it to screw around a bit but you're really better off just setting one SD and attacking. It should be noted that at level 29 two SDs don't guarantee the OHKO on the level 28 King, too. Anyway, solid matchup but it ultimately depends on what the AI does.

Pelipper: Tried it first without Toxic. Water Gun/Shock Wave seem to be a 6HKO but Hyper Potion procs after 4 so you're likely running out of Protect PP before getting to the second Slaking. Luckily it's gonna get Surf because damn dats weak. With Toxic, you have to be careful to not proc Hyper Potion, I managed to win by hitting Toxic after attacking. Funnily enough, I beat it while protecting which meant Vigoroth came and tried to Encore me (and Protect appears to move second when it's encored in this gen). Vigoroth is tougher than it looks like because it's 4HKOed and can 4HKO back, and there's always the risk of it getting Hyper Potion. And no point Toxicing it because of Facade. I'd suggest just avoiding it is best. The second Slaking is just beat by using Toxic the first time and then slowly whittling it. Not the most efficient matchup but it beats the biggest threats.

Mawile: It's about 4HKOd by Facade but 2HKOs at -6 with BlackGlasses Faint Attack (and fsr Slaking never used Encore on it) so you might end up at around half if it Yawns and you don't sleep for too long. The second Slaking always goes for Focus Punch so you can attack it then and Fake Tears as it loafs around. Vigoroth appears to avoid the 2HKO at -2 so it might win if you're weakened, Rock Tomb ensured the kill tho. Easily its best matchup.
Tried it again at level 32, it now lives four Facades from Slaking but it still doesn't 2HKO Vigoroth so the end result is pretty much the same. Solid fight.

Marshtomp 3HKOs Vigoroth but gets 2HKOed by Slaking and it only 5/6HKOs so it likely won't get much mileage. Not even Mud Shot's Speed drops will save it in that matchup. Prolly Mudkip's worst fight in the game.
Nispelled/Nuzleaf started to feel like Grovyle when I was trying to get it to level 31 for Faint Attack but I realized it did much better simply because of Fake Out + higher Attack stat getting me kills when Bullet Seed failed in both cases (such as against wi, so if I were to compare their performances so far I'd say Nuzleaf is a step above. It performed better against Roxanne due to evolving earlier AND it actually stands a chance of beating Norman, however low that might be, thanks to Fake Out and Growth. Not completely sure what I want its lategame moveset to be, since at first I was thinking SunnyBeam + Faint Attack + Fake Out but now I lowkey think Growth might be better than Sunny Day since no Chlorophyll.

Also I haven't decided what's the best set for Mawile, since it seems to have good Special Attack IVs and nature I'm thinking about giving it Ice Beam to use it as a Dragon Killer. Then other moves would be Fake Tears, Sludge Bomb, and Crunch for Phoebe. Maaybe Return > Sludge Bomb since I doubt it'll have many super effective matchups, but poison chance is always cool.

Mawile and Pelipper are level 35, Nuzleaf/Shiftry is level 34 and Zangoose and Marshtomp are level 33.

Nuzleaf: At first I forgot to give it the Leaf Stone but I went ahead and tested it. Fake Out followed by +1 Faint Attack beats Numel and FA 2HKOs Grovyle and Wailmer, and fsr Numel tries to Focus Energy. It takes like 40% from Ember and 24% from Leaf Blade so it might get overwhelmed, but I managed to survive the Water Pulse after leveling up.
Shiftry: Fake Out + Faint Attack KOs Numel, Faint Attack apparently fails to 2HKO Grovyle but you outspeed and it does nothing back. You beat Wailmer easily.

Zangoose: SD + Strength + Strength + Strength = win. It didn't even need Silk Scarf.

Pelipper: Numel is lol. Shock Wave is a roll to OHKO Wailmer, if you don't have it MW Surf 2HKOs and Wing Attack 3HKOs. Wing Attack puts Grovyle in red but the second Leaf Blade comes dangerously close to KOing you from Overgrow range so you should Surf first. Also Wing Attack might OHKO if I didn't have terrible IVs (0-6 as per Psypoke). If you have it, Ice Beam OHKOs Grovyle.

Mawile: Since I wasn't sure what's the best set yet a tried different things. Numel is 2HKOed by Strength (even with Silk Scarf) but Ember hurts because of Mawile's low SpDef. Wailmer is 2HKOed by Faint Attack at -2 but two Water Pulses put you in Leaf Blade range so it's better to hit it on the physical side, both Strength and Sludge Bomb 2-shot. If you had to tank Ember + Water Pulse then two Leaf Blades finish you off and Strength only 2HKOs, Gunk ShotSludge Bomb gets the kill tho (also Rock Tomb + Strength!). If you have Ice Beam, it does just enough to put it in Overgrow range but it'll beat you anyway if you took too many hits.

Marshtomp should avoid Grovyle. Wailmer is 2HKOed by Mud Shot and Numel is Numel.


Mawile, Shiftry, and Pelipper are level 37, Zangoose is 36. I tried Marshtomp and Meditite before and after evolving.

Mawile: Without Ice Beam, Sludge Bomb 2HKOs Swellow while it at most annoys with Double Team. Rock Tomb puts it in a range where Endeavor hurts so it's better to avoid it. Then Altaria comes and is 3HKOed but can 2HKO with Earthquake after some damage. You're never getting past Skarmory even if it does little back.
With Ice Beam, you KO both Swellow and Altaria at -2 and for some reason they preferred to set up? Anyway you can Fake Tears thrice against Skarmory no problem and OHKO it but Sand-Attack might get annoying. Pelipper is then 3HKOed by Sludge Bomb, although it can become a 2HKO with poison. Solid matchup in this case.
Tried it again without setting up, Swellow is a roll to OHKO but Altaria lives and after taking an Aerial Ace Earthquake can 2HKO (Intimidate would've helped here). Even if you live you'll need to heal against Skarm. Ice Beam 3HKOs, which means you don't need so many drops, it's a 2HKO at -2. Sand-Attack made me miss so much I ended up being KOed by Pelipper. Not super reliable but doable.

Zangoose: At +2, Quick Attack OHKOs Swellow and Return OHKOs Pelipper. Then I CRIT OHKOED SKARMORY!, which suggests it's a 2HKO. Altaria is then dropped. Zangoose is a monster OMG.
Tried it again, Swellow kept spamming Double Team and I kept missing Quick Attack. Not the best of experiences. As suggested, Silk Scarf Return is a 2HKO against Skarm after an SD but it can Sand-Attack. Luckily I didn't miss against Altaria so I ended up winning without taking any damage.

Meditite: Swellow lives a HJK and Double Teams which can cause you to crash, also Aerial Ace 2HKOs. I'd suggest using Mind Reader here. Tried it a second time and Winona switched on the HJK to Altaria as I missed. Kind of an asshole move. Secret Power can 2HKO Swellow and can para (which is a double-edged sword as it activates Guts). I don't see Tite winning here, Pelipper is only 3HKOed and can finish you off after you took an AA.
Medicham: HJK OHKOs Swellow while AA does less than half, watch out for Double Team. Pelipper comes close to being 2HKOed by Secret Power, Silk Scarf clinches it. Skarm is 2HKOed by HJK but can screw you over with Sand-Attack. Altaria is very tough (3HKOed) without a couple of Bulk Ups, luckily Pelipper likes to spam Protect (Supersonic can get annoying). At +2 you OHKO both Pelipper and Skarm and Altaria is brought to red which procs Hyper Potion, so you can BU again. I got crit by AA but otherwise Bulk Up makes it a solid matchup.

Pelipper: Mystic Water Surf OHKOs Swellow, Shock Wave is an option if it Double Teams but unfortunately it doesn't KO so Endeavor hurts. Shock Wave OHKOs Pelipper if you have it, otherwise Ice Beam 2HKOs. All special moves 2HKO Skarm, with Surf bringing it to Hyper Potion range. Without Ice Beam Altaria doesn't seem winnable, as DragonBreath can para and Fly is like a 4HKO (prolly due to poor Attack IVs). With Ice Beam, it's apparently an OHKO although that might be due to the great IVs and nature since I remember Tentacruel, a mon with similar Special Attack, failing to KOnever mind, Swampert has worse Special Attack and it still OHKOs so it's likely Tenta just had bad IVs.

Shiftry: Fake Out + Faint Attack doesn't quite KO Swellow so you need a boost. Aerial Ace is a 3HKO back. Pelipper lives the +1 hit in red, but since it likes to Protect you can get another boost. Altaria is 2HKOed at +2 and finishes you off with Aerial Ace or DragonBreath. Even if you Hyper Potion and manage to beat it, Skarm is only 3HKOed so it'll likely take you out.
If you avoid Swellow, Pelipper is KOed at +3 (Fake Out ensures this; mind the confusion) and you live a +1 Aerial Ace from Altaria—it does around half—to 2HKO it. Then you can 2HKO Skarm, although you'll likely need to heal. I'd say it's a decent matchup since you can defeat between two and three mons.

Marshtomp's Ice Beam seems to be a roll to OHKO Swellow, if it doesn't have it Mystic Water Surf brings it to Endeavor range and Strength 2HKOs (more reliable). Pelipper is 3HKOed by Ice Beam, Strength, and MW Surf. Skarm is 2HKOed by Surf but Sand-Attack is annoying so you might need to heal once. Ice Beam puts Altaria in Hyper Potion range so I'd advise you to use Strength once. Obviously if you lack IB you'll likely end up losing.
Swampert can't quite OHKO Swellow with Surf and Strength also puts it in Endeavor range because it's too strong. Fortunately, Surf now 2HKOs Pelipper and OHKOs Skarmory (and you outspeed it) due to Torrent which means you'll take out three mons even without Ice Beam. You still only 3HKO Pelipper and 2HKO Skarm normally but at least IB OHKOs Altaria, cool.


Everything is level 38 but Swampert, who's at 37.

Shiftry: Fake Out + Faint Attack KOs Swellow while Wing Attack does around a third. Faint Attack 2HKOs Grovyle but it does little back so you can set up twice and beat it, then OHKO both Wailmer and Numel. EZ PZ.

Medicham: HJK OHKOs everything, Swellow does around 35% with Wing Attack but you should be careful of Double Team. In case you're afraid of missing, after one Bulk Up they're all destroyed by Secret Power, too.

Pelipper: Shock Wave appears to be a roll to OHKO Swellow, obviously Surf and Ice Beam do more. Numel is lol, Wailmer is 2HKOed by Shock Wave and Surf and doesn't do anything back. Grovyle is a roll with Fly (again, bad IVs) and guaranteed with Ice Beam, if it lives the second Leaf Blade will hurt.

Mawile: Like with Winona, Swellow lives a Rock Tomb and can do a lot of damage with Endeavor (and also like with Winona, Ice Beam OHKOs). Crunch doesn't quite KO Numel at -2 and it likes to Amnesia, Ice Beam is a roll. Even a high Magnitud will do around half at most. Sludge Bomb 2HKOs Wailmer and OHKOs Grovyle but you need to be healthy to beat both.

Zangoose: Outspeeds and OHKOs everything with Return, or with Quick Attack at +2 if you so prefer. You don't even need Silk Scarf, the rival is a pushover after the second fight.

Swampert OHKOs Swellow and Numel with Surf, 2HKOs Wailmer with Strength/Mud Shot. Avoid Grovyle.


A couple points before I hit the last part of the game: Zangoose is a bit ridiculous, at first it lagged behind because of its experience group but still destroyed everything and now that it's caught up it's even clearer. A at the minimum unless it falls REALLY hard against the E4. Wingull has also been doing pretty well in boss fights, only really falling a bit against Norman because Water Gun was just not strong enough but once it got Surf that was part of the past. B is fine for it since I don't think it'll be great at the E4. Seedot is a weird case because my experience with it so far put it in similar grounds to Treecko but with slightly better performances against Roxanne and Norman due to Growth, and now's supposedly the time where Grass-types excel (even though currently I'm not running Grass STAB; now I'll have both Growth + Giga Drain and SunnyBeam as options). Also the Seedot period is not that bad since it levels up fast pre-Bullet Seed. I know it's E tier so I don't think I'll suggest C, but D tier sounds more reasonable. Mawile is a similar case, even though it lacks STAB it's been pulling its weight by virtue of its typing and had positive matchups against Rival 2, Norman and Winona. It might be good enough for D depending on its next fights. Meditite hasn't been around for that long so I can't tier it but I gotta say the babying period goes really fast if you catch it at level 29, and once it gets HJK at 32 it just wrecks. Prolly not on the level of Heracross which is A, but B's not out of the question. I'm not tiering Mudkip but I'll say at times it felt a bit weak on the Special side (and Mud Shot being its strongest physical move until the Cave of Origin is annoying), although in boss performances it wins easily outside of Norman and Rival's Grovyle. I'll admit in these games I value setting up much more so I can't directly compare it to the big boosting sweepers.




I fudged the Mawile IVs because at first I was unsure if I'd keep the Quiet one with Hyper Cutter since I wanted Intimidate, but after getting one with it with worse Speed IVs I opted to choose Hyper Cutter to not get super annoyed by Mightyenas. Intimidate is prolly the better option tho.
I do however have this pic of a misspelled Mawile.


meditite.png
 
surely Wingull could have trivialized Norman with Protect?
They talked about it in the writeup
Pelipper: Tried it first without Toxic. Water Gun/Shock Wave seem to be a 6HKO but Hyper Potion procs after 4 so you're likely running out of Protect PP before getting to the second Slaking. Luckily it's gonna get Surf because damn dats weak. With Toxic, you have to be careful to not proc Hyper Potion, I managed to win by hitting Toxic after attacking. Funnily enough, I beat it while protecting which meant Vigoroth came and tried to Encore me (and Protect appears to move second when it's encored in this gen). Vigoroth is tougher than it looks like because it's 4HKOed and can 4HKO back, and there's always the risk of it getting Hyper Potion. And no point Toxicing it because of Facade. I'd suggest just avoiding it is best. The second Slaking is just beat by using Toxic the first time and then slowly whittling it. Not the most efficient matchup but it beats the biggest threats.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
ok so following some stuff regarding my life situation and not being really in the mood for it, I had to put in-game tier lists on a hiatus for the time being. I will try to bring in some results and hopefully finish this run soon.

everything is level 31

Lombre: beats Slugma with Surf and Grovyle with Ice Beam, but is finished off by her Lombre, unless you heal.
Baltoy: beats Slugma and muscles through Lombre (with Psychic), but doesn't stand a chance against Grovyle
Gloom: Sludge Bomb OHKOs everything.
Whiscash: loses to Grovyle, but beats the rest. Lombre is 3HKOed by Ice Beam.


everything is level 33

Lombre: Ice Beam 2HKOs Swablu, Tropius, and Altaria, but Altaria always beats it.
Gloom: Sludge Bomb 2HKOs Swablu and Tropius and 3HKOs Pelipper. Pelipper is a wildcard due to Supersonic.
Baltoy: Ice Beam 2HKOs Tropius and 3HKOs Swablu and Altaria. Not a good matchup, overall
Whiscash: good, overall. Ice Beam 2HKOs Swablu and Altaria and OHKOs Tropius (while outspeeding it). Surf will also 4HKO Pelipper, but may require healing due to confusion hax. Skarm uses Sand-Attack so don't bother (3HKO with Surf).


Lombre is level 40, rest is 39

Lombre: takes down easily Camerupt. Like pretty much everything else, whenever it does well against Mightyena is generally a matter of whenever Swagger is merciful on you. Crobat is a clear loss
Gloom: as always, Mightyena is a 50/50 due to Swagger, though +1 Sludge Bomb is a 2HKO. Crobat is a clear loss. Camerupt is only beatable with lots of luck, as you need to stall it with Sleep Powder enough so that even after healing Camerupt, Gloom wouldn't need to take more than one Earthquake, as it's a 2HKO. Needless to say, very unreliable matchup
Whiscash: +1 EQ is a 2HKO on Mightyena, but you have to pray for Swagger to be merciful. Camerupt is an easy kill. Ice Beam 2HKOs Crobat and it doesn't deal a lot of damage, but can prove annoying with Confuse Ray hax.
Claydol: It can potentially beat Mightyena if Swagger isn't a bitch and you land Hyper Beams. Crobat is covered by Psychic and can only do anything back with Confusion Ray hax. Camerupt is 2HKOed by Dig and does not possess anything to threaten Claydol at all.


thoughts so far:

Lombre
Lombre, in terms of cleaning routes, did pretty ok. If I were to compare, I've had more success route cleaning with it than, say, Treecko/Grovyle. Of course, it's rather terrible in all Gym Leader matchups post-Roxanne (or post-Brawly if you consider the fact it can beat his Machop and Meditite). I think, per my experiences, whenever it's E or D at the end may depend more on how much emphasize do we give for route cleaning as a way to become good (unless Ludicolo ends up being terrible, in which case, I'd just nom it to E with no questions)

Gloom
Honestly, this is even worse than most Grass-types here. Gloom has not had anything that I'd call a positive matchup. Unless Bellossom manages to impress me enough, I'd call any tier higher than F or E heavily questionable on this version of Oddish. And to make it clear, E is a bit generous of me, as the main argument behind it is "it has Sleep Powder and Sludge Bomb", but it's a strong F-tier with current matchups (hell, it fails to 3HKO Norman's Spinda and my IVs are decent as far as I remember)

Whiscash
Honestly, this is giving me Carvanha vibes. Comes somewhat late, a Rod Pokemon, but packs a powerful punch. I'd say, if matchups continue on a similar level, Barboach in the same tier as Carvanha wouldn't be out of question

Claydol
Claydol, in terms of sheer power, has become much much better. However, Baltoy is incredibly bad in terms of matchups and I haven't had enough matchups with Claydol phase to say where I am leaning, but, with the Baltoy period, it probably wouldn't be high

I will advance more with this run when I feel motivated enough to do so, which I don't know when it will be.
 
surely Wingull could have trivialized Norman with Protect?
My test with Wingull also had a similar fate. Protect is useless on Norman really. He will out PP Stall you and any damage you do it Hyper Potion'd away. Protect is really not viable here. I think Norman is actually one of the few bad matchups for Pelipper and it's not even Pelipper's fault. It's the age of its moves and it gets the much needed upgrade right after sadly.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
just want to note, in Emerald and my experence, Pelipper can take down Slaking if it has Ice Beam, as it outdamages everything else.

anyways:

everything is level 43 (I forgot their aces were level 42 and not level 43 so... whoops. Doubt it matters too much, though)

for the purpose of determining viability, I have tested Sealeo both as Sealeo and as Walrein

Lombre: Giga Drain on its own is only a 3HKO on the Grass-weak Pokemon. Lunatone even sets up CM, making beating it pretty much impossible. Fake Out does help out a teammate to stall a turn, if necessary, but I wouldn't call this a good matchup
Bellossom: surprisingly OK. Xatu can set up Sunny Day for you. Solar Beam OHKOs Solrock and OHKOs Lunatone on rolls. Claydol is also put in red. With Chlorophyll, you are outspeeding everything. Have a partner finish off Lunatone and Claydol in the same turn and you've got a good core for T&L
Whiscash: can set up two Amnesias, meaning Xatu and other special attackers are unlikely to target it with another neutral target. Ice Beam 2HKOs Claydol. Surf won't be dealing much to the rocks due to Sunny Day. Solrock also poses some threat due to Solar Beam.
Claydol: Ice Beam 2HKOs Xatu and Claydol and, in return, they don't do much. Solrock and Lunatone are a pain, though, as you won't really be hitting them hard. Still, it's nice Claydol can easily take care of two of their members, especially the one that's spamming EQ constantly....
Sealeo: Ice Beam 2HKOs Xatu and Claydol. However, it takes heavy damage from their attacks (roughly 3HKOs each) and, with Claydol as partner, they love to target it.
Walrein: puts Claydol in red with Ice Beam. Can try to Ice Ball to kill Claydol and Solrock, but you need to heal off its confusions through your partner constantly. Surf is not a good move here, as Solrock always sets up a Sunny Day. Solrock also 2HKOs with Solar Beam if you don't go the Ice Ball route.


Ludicolo and Walrein are level 44, rest is 43

Ludicolo: set up a Rain Dance in order to "nullify" Scary Face and OHKO Mightyena with MW Surf, as you will outspeed anyways. Crobat is faster and confuses you, but is put in red by MW Surf. Sharpedo is easily killed by Giga Drain and its Slash fails to kill you if you are in the yellow HP zone
Bellossom: you are faster than Mightyena, so put it to sleep with Sleep Powder. SunnyBeam then 2HKOs it by puttiing it in red. Crobat should be avoided, but can be put to sleep, as it's outsped by Bellossom in sun. Sharpedo is OHKOed by Solar Beam, but watch out for Swagger and Taunt, the latter forcing you to deal with a charge turn and Swagger taking advantage of charge turn.
Whiscash: MW Surf 2HKOs Mightyena, while Ice Beam 2HKOs Crobat and -1 EQ 2HKOs Sharpedo. Watch out for confusion. You may need to heal to beat Sharpedo, as it can finish you off with Slash if you are too weakened.
Claydol: +1 Earthquake 2HKOs Mightyena if you are lucky. Psychic puts Crobat in red. +1 Earthquake is an OHKO on Sharpedo. You are only outsped by Crobat, but you rely a lot on confusion being merciful on you.
Walrein: MW Surf 2HKOs Mightyena and Sharpedo, with the former being taken out while Archie heals it. Crobat is OHKOed by Ice Beam, but confuses you


Claydol and Walrein are level 45, rest is 44

Ludicolo: Giga Drain OHKOs Luvdisc and Whiscash and seems to be an OHKO on rolls on Crawdaunt. Sealeo is 2HKOed and Kingdra is a 3-4HKO. Avoid Kingdra and it's a good matchup
Bellossom: Solar Beam OHKOs everything bar Kingdra, which is 2HKOed. Kingdra is largely 50/50 due to Double Team, but you are faster than it in sun, so the chances are in your favor.
Whiscash: if you spam EQ, you will beat Luvdisc, Whiscash, and Sealeo. Crawdaunt is only beatable if you heal. Surf 3HKOs it.
Claydol: the only thing it 2HKOs is Luvdisc with either EQ or Psychic. The rest are 3HKOed and can simply kill it thanks to Whiscash's rain. You can use Cosmic Power to make Water Pulse deal laughable damage, but you need a lot of those and the fight will still take a long time if you aim for a sweep.
Walrein: Body Slam 2HKOs Luvdisc and 4HKOs the rest bar Kingdra, which is 3HKOed by Ice Beam. If you heal up once, you should be able to take down few threats. In my run, with just one Full Restore, I was able to take down everything up until Kingdra


current thoughts:

Ludicolo
A significant upgrade from Lombre. Ludicolo showed its mighty strategy of Swift Swim + Water STAB in rain against Archie and it proved very good against Juan. Honestly, if it manages to bulldoze stuff at the E4, D is definitely not out of question

Bellossom
SunnyBeam largely fixed some of the issues it had, mostly related to power. This showed itself against T&L, Archie, and Juan, where it was able to do well against them. Honestly, Bellossom doesn't seem so different than Ludicolo and I think, with current logs, either both should be D or both should fall to E. I am undecided at the moment. C-tier, however, is something I have a hard time seeing, as Gloom is.... really bad. I'd say even the Lombre period was better than it.

Whiscash
I still see this as just "another Carvanha". Therefore, I am leaning towards B-tier. Natural Earthquake is just really good, in all honesty.

Claydol
Proved quite useful against T&L and Archie seemed like a not-so-bad matchup. I'd say Baltoy is likely E or D-tier. I don't think anythig higher would be appropriate, for the mere reason Baltoy is simply terrible in all relevant major fights it participates in.

Walrein
I am leaning towards somewhere F or E-tier. It comes so late and it requiring grinding (even if feasible) is a major turn off, at least in my personal opinion. It's also not something that I'd call great in matchups, either. Overall, I think the way it is means that Spheal does not deserve D-tier, but that may change with E4 matchups, particularly Drake

spheal.jpg
 

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