Gen 1 Pokemon Synergy

Obviously inspired by the ADV Best Friends thread. This thread is for discussion of Pokemon combinations in RBY that work particularly well together.

I'll start with one I've promoted elsewhere, though I haven't used it much myself.

Gengar + Articuno

Defensively, the direct benefit of this pairing is that Gengar draws Earthquakes that let Articuno in for free. The really nasty bit here is that Gengar's nigh-immune to most attacks that aren't Earthquake, so there's no easy way around this - an opponent must constantly try to predict your moves to avoid getting screwed over (common scenarios: Gengar in vs. Tauros/Snorlax - Body Slam does nothing if you stay in, Earthquake does nothing if you switch; Articuno in vs. Tauros/Snorlax with Sleep Clause not activated - if they Earthquake and you stay in, they eat an Articuno Blizzard, but if they Body Slam and you switch they get slept potentially for free; Mega Drain Gengar in vs. Golem/Rhydon - if they Rock Slide and you stay in, they die, but if they Earthquake and you switch, they also die).

Offensively, the pairing is absolutely stunning. Two of Gengar's main counters are Exeggutor and Rhydon, both of which are perfect fodder for an Articuno double-switch as it totally obliterates both with its STAB Blizzard. Articuno's two best counters are Starmie and Lapras, which are again perfect fodder for a Gengar double-switch thanks to its enormous Special and Thunderbolt (though the relatively rare Psychic Starmie can turn this around). And for the hat-trick, Gengar can Explode, which can take out any Alakazam or Chansey which tries to wall both and open up Articuno for a sweep.

The biggest caveat to this pairing is that one must not be complacent in using it. If you're too careless and predictable, things can go south very quickly. I've seen people try to pull the Gar-Coon switch against Rhydon repeatedly in the same battle; this usually ends with Articuno OHKOed by Rock Slide. Know thy limits, know the risks, and know thy enemy.

Lapras and Cloyster have similar offensive synergy with Gengar, but they don't work as well because they aren't immune to Earthquake.
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Snorlax + Exeggutor

Nothing groundbreaking here since both are on half of all RBY teams anyways. Snorlax is an incredible hard-hitter and a tank. It takes surprisingly many hits and easily spams it's stab normal attacks. The only normal resists Golem and Rhydon are easily walled and actually countered by Exeggutor. Gengar is immune to normal attacks and can usually take down non-EQ Snorlax without any problem. The standard fishlax set usually runs only either Earthquake or Surf or has to drop Hyper Beam or Selfdestruct for the option of running both coverage moves. Assuming sleep clause is in effect Gengar and the rocks can't touch Exeggutor and it's able to spam status or Psychic.
Another Lax set that works perfectly with eggy is Reflect, Amnesia, Rest, Bslam lax. Great for tanking hits and spreading status for a sweeper to clean up later.
To sum up: eggy usually counters things that prevent normal spam.


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Cloyster/Lapras + Golem/Rhydon

Very good supplemental combination versus Tauros with Body Slam, Blizzard and Hyper Beam. The idea being you want to take the Body Slams and Hyper Beams with your Golem/Rhydon, and the Blizzards with your Cloyster/Lapras. Then you'd probably resolve the threat to you by threatening back with Cloyster/Lapras, or even getting an almost free attack with Golem/Rhydon if the opponent overthinks and uses Body Slam versus them.

Counter-user + Exeggutor

Good combination versus a Snorlax set with Earthquake.

Snorlax Earthquakes to aim for the Counter-user, but instead hits for low damage on the Exeggutor you switch-in and you got a pokemon in versus Snorlax which can now check it. This is the kind of move you'd more likely use versus cautious players who don't mind potentially sub-optimal moves if it means they don't lose their Snorlax to Counter (if they Body Slam instead). It's only really synergy then.
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My synergies kinda boil down to one mon helping another, rather than there being a mutually beneficial relationship. Oh well.

Surf Lax + Zapdos

Simple here, Lax baits Rocks, Zapdos hates them. You probably won't catch them the first time against a good player, but somewhere in the middle of the match you might nail that Golem with Surf and leave Zapdos home free. Ideally you want solid Snorlax defenses (like the combo Lutra listed above me) so you don't have to switch your own Lax in on it.

Alakazam + Rhydon

Zam paralyzes Egg really easily because it will willingly stay/switch in on Alakazam for the easy sleep opportunity. Rhydon then proceeds to outspeed and 4HKO with Rock Slide.

Slowbro + Rhydon

Similar principle as above, just that Slowbro is paralyzing Starmie rather than Egg while also posing more of an offensive threat and filling in a decent defensive core against Lax/Tauros akin to the type Lutra mentioned.

Psychic Starmie + Persian

Psychic is more common nowadays on Starmie, but you can still sorta catch Gengars off guard with it sometimes. Obviously with Gengar gone, Persian has a lot less to worry about.

Cloyster + Zapdos

Everybody knows that Cloyster's hardwalled by Starmie. Most people who use Cloyster Clamp it and switch to Chansey; this wastes Cloyster's potential, because Chansey can switch in anyway - it doesn't need the free switch from Clamp. If you really want to turn the tables on Starmie, you want a more aggressive answer, one which appreciates the free switch and is itself harder to switch into.

Enter Zapdos.

Zapdos isn't a counter to Starmie in its own right, because it's 3HKOed by Blizzard. But it does OHKO Starmie after a single Clamp with STAB Thunder. And it's a very deadly Pokemon in general with its huge bulk and mixed STAB. Of course, it's not very useful if your opponent has Golem or Rhydon... which is where Cloyster comes in again. Cloyster is a hard check and serviceable counter to Golem and Rhydon thanks to its immense physical bulk and STAB Clamp and Blizzard, allowing it to come in and start the Clamp-fest all over again. Zapdos also helps Cloyster by drawing Blizzards from Tauros and Ice Beams from Chansey, which Cloyster can switch into for free thanks to its 4x resistance and freeze immunity.

You could use Jolteon or Gengar instead of Zapdos, but they aren't quite as deadly and don't draw Blizzards for Cloyster.
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