All Gens Pokemon Through the Ages: Flygon


World's Strongest Fairy
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Engage wall of text

Egg in RBY
: Borat's pretty much right. After Tauros, Snorlax, and Chansey comes Eggy, the fourth and final "mandatory mon". It's a good combination of offense and defense - on offense, it puts things to sleep and Explodes on a Specialist such as Chansey. On Defense, it's the safest thing to bring in on Rhydon, resists Psychic, and at full health it can even take a couple hits from Snorlax and Tauros to hit them back with its strong Psychics. Its Speed is pretty notable too, as it puts it right above Chansey so it can Explode before it has to take an Ice Beam. Exeggutor's blend of defensiveness against a wide variety of foes and non-conventional offense via Explosion and Sleep allows it to offer so much that usually it can't help but make its team better. Of course, Egg isn't without its faults - just like Swampert in ADV, Eggy gets worn down pretty easily from repeated switch-ins to Rock-Types' Body Slams and Rock Slides, and its only recovery option in Rest is hardly stellar. Furthermore, Pokemon such as Lapras and Jynx exist, and both are fairly strong offensive threats that exploit Egg by outpacing it and threatening to murder it with STAB Blizzards. The pros almost always outweigh the cons, though, especially since Eggy is very likely to score the two-for-one sleep-and-explode deal.

Egg in GSC: I don't know if I'd put it right after the Electrics here. I've never been as high on it as Borat is. Still, there's no denying it's a top threat, and if it has yet to throw Sleep, Eggy is an absolute nightmare to see. It's pretty similar to its RBY counterpart in that it's a peculiar mix of both offense and defense, although it's skewed a lot more offensively in GSC. Its typing gives so much synergy to teams, allowing it to check all sorts of stuff like Machamp, Marowak, and Vaporeon. Of course, on offense, it's still got Sleep to throw in addition to strong Psychics and Explosion to make Sleep Talkers leery. My biggest issue, though, is that Eggy also has some pretty nasty weaknesses. On defense, Marowak and Machamp can easily abuse its Bug weakness to kill it (albeit not without first taking a big hit), Vap can always run Ice Beam if so inclined, and of course its Pursuit weakness is just terrible and forces it to run Giga Drain over the otherwise-superior HP Fire just so it can keep Tyranitar from owning it too badly. On offense, with Psychic and Giga Drain typically being its only attacks, it's kind of unique in a bad way as a "mixed" (via Explosion) attacker that can't beat SkarmBliss. It needs to run HP Fire to consistently get past Skarm, but of course if you do that, there's nothing stopping PursuitTar from just spamming Pursuit to kill you unless you have yet to use Sleep Powder - and having to save Sleep just to get away from Ttar absolutely kills its offensive potential. Aside from what's listed above, Eggy also has a SubSeed set that I'm not too big on, but I guess it works well, especially with Spikes support, to spread paralysis. To recap, Eggy offers teams a lot of defensive synergy while also being threatening with Sleep + Boom, something it also did in RBY, though it's by no means mandatory in GSC, and it has even more nasty weaknesses than before. Still, it has this tremendous ability to scare everything and to potentially win games on its own that still makes it great in spite of its flaws, and as long as you don't expect too much and are flexible with how you see Egg's role between matches (e.g., sometimes it's your Zapdos-killer and sometimes it's your Machamp wall), Egg will shine.

RSE and DPP Egg I can't even pretend to know anything about.


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ADV Exeggutor suffers in the transition from loss of utility. The resistances to Psychic and Ground that were once valuable in previous gens aren't as strong due to the introduction to EVs and the shift in metagame trends -- Steelix/Rhydon aren't common physical walls, Celebi as a high-profile threat (there are often measures in place to handle it, which in turn handles Eggy in a similar fashion), and the prevalence of Tyranitar's Sand Stream diminishes its popular and quite possibly best role as a powerful Chlorophyll sweeper. Speaking of Eggy as a sweeper, it's flaw there is that it has to boost its speed before it can become threatening, which is a problem that Celebi doesn't necessarily have, thus outclassing it. It's similar to how Marowak dropped in viability, except add a few more weaknesses. Eggy's a strong sweeper on its own, but its low speed cuts into its viability, having to trade defensive EVs for Speed EVs to outrun things even with Chlorophyll factored in.
exeggutor also has blissey, skarmory, zapdos, celebi, salamence, etc to worry about in adv ou, and unfortunately it can't cover all of them. the moveslot that sunny day eats up on the chlorophyll sweeper ends up being pretty significant. any support set is rather inferior to celebi (although it can pass wishes i guess...). it is interesting but still not very good in adv ubers.

One of those rare Pokemon that can boast 4 generations in OU, Zapdos was consistently threat throughout the ages. What factors helped keep this Pokemon in the top tier for so long, and what were it's best sets and niches through the different generations?
IMO what makes Zapdos good is its typing. It has nearly the best defensive typing in the game, with a litany of resistances, Electric neutrality, and strong special attack that it can fall back on to avoid being setup fodder.

In Gen II, it was a defensive behemoth. Enough said.

In Gen III, it could fit on Baton Pass and Stall teams alike.

In Gen IV, it actually suffered badly for a while in the Latias metagame. However, Zapdos found its primary niche on Stall teams as a physically defensive check on Lucario and Breloom, as well as a good phazer. Offensive Zapdos had more limited usage, but was still great.
Tbh, Zapdos in RBY is barely OU imho, and very much BL if anything. But this is all relative of course, but Zapdos is nowhere NEAR the real OUs in terms of usage.

Zapdos is great in GSC. It has never fallen below top 5 or so, even with HP legend ban, and has since solidified it's #2 ranking ahead of Raikou for the better half of this decade.


World's Strongest Fairy
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Gonna be quick this time

RBY: Zapdos is an okay, but not great, attacker. This is mostly because Golem and Rhydon exist. Even without these two dudes though Zapdos probably wouldn't crack top-mon status because while it's a good mixed sweeper it isn't quite as impactful on offense as a Tauros or a Snorlax.

GSC: Shit's great, not much to say about it, it's great on both offense and defense. No need to overthink it, Zapdos is one of those things that just works. It's got some niche sets in Thunder Wave and stuff, but really Sleep Talk is its best set that allows it to stick around and go head-to-head with pretty much anything in GSC.

RSE: Not as good as in GSC but still a top mon. It walls Metagross and most Gyarados, plus it can tank hits pretty well, or it could go with an attacking set thanks to that massive Sp. Attack, or even play a role as a prominent Agi-Passer on a BP team. It's versatile, with great all-around stats and a typing that lets it take on myriad threats.

DPP: On one hand: Stealth Rocks are poo. On the other, the addition of Roost is great and pretty much negates Stealth Rocks for this Pokemon that can stay in on pretty much anything with its typing and stats. Its best set is probably SubRoost with Toxic to abuse its good all-around stats and typing to force even Ground-type opponents to die to Toxic as they struggle to force Zapdos out. As always, an attacking set could work too thanks to that massive 348 Sp. Attack, though also as always, its limited attacking movepool inevitably leaves it hopelessly walled by certain things.

Dragonite here has a rather unique fall and rise: it was an RBY OU that dropped down to BL in later gens, only to reemerge as a top threat in DPP. What shifts in the metagame caused such an odd history, and what were Dragonite's best sets, roles, and niches throughout the generations?
RBY Dragonite:
Depends on whether or not Wrap was legalized...if it was, Dragonite basically made the game a luckfest (unless the other side had a Gengar I guess). Outside of Wrap, it had very little power.

GSC Dragonite:
Outclassed as both a sweeper and a wall...

RS Dragonite:
Crappy version of Mence. Being forced to use HP Flying for STAB also kinda sucked.

DPP Dragonite:
Sat in the shadow of Salamence for a very long time, who had Intimidate, superior offenses and speed in a speed-based metagame.

After Salamence was banned, it became one of the top threats in the metagame.
RS Dragonite:
Crappy version of Mence. Being forced to use HP Flying for STAB also kinda sucked.
Can people please stop drawing this comparison? Just because Salamence is a better DDer does not mean it makes Nite redundant. Nite has movepool options that Mence doesn't, such as Focus Punch, Thunder(bolt), Ice Beam, Thunder Wave, Heal Bell, and Light Screen. With those options you can craft sets that do things in a completely different manner to Mence- for example, a CB set with HP Flying/EQ/Focus Punch/filler (probably Ice Beam or Double Edge, and I guess an electric move could ease prediction) becomes ridiculously threatening and breaks Waters MUCH better than CBMence (honestly I think CBMence is bad at its role in comparison to other pokes you can use, such as Bandgon, BandTar, and this), a SubPunch set with BoltBeam opens up, Support Nite is an option (Light Screen and Heal Bell are probably best, Thunder Wave is probably for the most part redundant as Bulky Waters like to switch in all day on him), and you could even engineer a set like DD/Light Screen/HP Flying/EQ, which would have EVs to allow you to survive 2 Ice beams from most Waters from behind LS. While Nite isn't as straight up effective as Mence and lacks a good ability, he is in no way a "bad Mence", hes just different, and more niche.


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Also Dnite isn't outclassed as an attacker in GSC, and should never be used as a straight-up wall anyway so I'm not sure what outclasses it as a wall. Dnite is even more dangerous than Nidoking, the premier mixed sweeper, if it hits its punches, and unlike Nido can afford to actually stay in against... something. 3HKOing non-Curse Heracross and walling non-Ice Beam Vaporeon are also huge, as is its immunity to Spikes and EQ.

A solid OU in RBY, Tauros here fell to BL for the next two gens before slipping all the way to NU in DPP. From top tier to bottom of the barrel, this thing's had a depressing fall from grace. What factors in the metagame lead to Tauros's demise, and what were it's best sets and niches throughout history?
RBY tauros is the closest thing to rivaling GSC snorlax in terms of pure usage, falls short in dominance though. When there's a tauros there's a way.

GSC fishtauros was good for a while. I like to use berserk gene and hyper beam random stuff with it.


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Berserk Gene Tauros sounds fun.

That being said, in RBY Tauros was a crit machine. It single-handedly wins games at times, and other times it's a very reliable revenge killer and attacker in general.

After RBY, Tauros was no longer a crit machine. Hence, its fall from grace.

In GSC, aside from the Berserk Gene gimmick, it can be half-decent in modern GSC as a mixed sweeper with something like DE + EQ + FB + I dunno... Leer? Tauros outspeeds Zapdos, that's worth something in a mixed attacker. Surf + Thunder in the last two slots probably works better, though, to make life easier against Rhydon while giving it a chance to paralyze Suicune or Miltank. In the end though, it's kind of mediocre without something like Berserk Gene to give it that extra kick, as it otherwise fails to get past Cune and, in spite of its surprising bulk, still fails to switch in on anything or take any kind of hit. Not to mention that its damage output is kinda low since it relies on the strength of boring neutral hits rather than the super-effective super-hits with nice secondary effects that the other successful mixed attackers use.

CB Tauros in ADV is an off-beat but still very good Pokemon. Not exactly standard, but it's basically your textbook example of a good thing to pair with Magneton so it can get past Skarm and wreak havoc elsewhere.

Tauros in DPP just got nothing new and now had to compete with a metagame where its Speed was no longer special and its STAB was revealed to be sub-par.
I love ADV Tauros. Probably up there as one of the best BLs, with Steelix, Jynx and Zam. 110 speed and Intimidate are its best assets- 110 speed in particular is very nice. Its main issue is its iffy movepool and its reliance on Choice Band to be useful- it has only the shaky Iron Tail to beat Aero, HP Ghost is a "you might as well" option for beating Gengar, and I guess HP Bug works as well, but it has absolutely nothing for Skarm or Forry. Fire Blast isn't really an option because his Sp.Atk is just so bad, and any other moves are pretty much useless on him. He's also very prone to residual damage, to the extent that (I feel) bringing Wish support is almost mandatory. That said, not every team has Skarm/Forry, and obviously it pairs well with Mag regardless.

Aerodactyl here had an interesting rise to fame. Although just UU in RBY and BL in GSC, it shot up to the OU position for the following 2 gens. What changes in the metagame allowed this rise to stardom, and what were its best sets along the way?


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In RBY Aero is a gimmick. Give it Rest and it walls most Snorlax, and of course its Sky Attack, while requiring a turn of charge-up, can OHKO pretty much any non-Rock type with a Critical Hit (which, considering its Speed, is very likely). Outside of that it doesn't really have much going for it.

In GSC Aero is barely usable. Again it's more a specialized Snorlax wall with a Curse + ST set, or I guess it could make an okay attacker since it outspeeds the Electrics and hits them super-effectively, though as an attacker it fails to hit Snorlax, Suicune, or pretty much anything else hard enough. It's mediocre at best no matter what it's doing.

In RSE Choice Band exists so Aero can actually do something with its Attack and Speed despite having a low-powered STAB. Plus it also gets Rock Slide for hilarious flinching action and Rock Head to avoid killing itself with its strongest move, Double-Edge. Hooray! Speedy, Spikes-immune, and the best STAB in the game (Rock Slide) are Aero's biggest selling points.

In DPP it was the most reliable Stealth Rock suicide lead in an even more prominent lead metagame than even that found in RBY. I mean it's kind of a waste of a Pokemon to just throw it away solely for rocks unless you are playing hyper offense in which case consistent Rocks are super-important to get the kills you need, but there you go, a whole genre of team loves Aero suicide leads. Other than that it still has decent enough attacking sets I guess, but really it's famous for its lead role.

In a nutshell, Aero struggled for relevance in RBY and GSC because its STABs were too weak to match the offensive role its stats were meant for, but its defenses weren't good enough to let it be the defensive Pokemon its typing wanted it to be. Then ADV came along and gave it CB so it could overcome its low-powered STABs. Then comes DPP and its lead-centered metagame, and with access to Taunt, Stealth Rocks, and a Speed stat that eclipses all Stealth Rock users, Aero found a niche there. Overall, Aero was at its best in ADV, where it was actually a relevant offensive threat capable of bulldozing teams rather than the niche Pokemon it was in DPP or the absolute gimmick it was in RBY/GSC.
Aerodactyl is incredible. One of the best sweepers ever. I single Critical Hit sky attack KO's Chansey, and (probably) 2HKO's Tauros if both crit though I didn't check. Aero also has incredible defensive typing, taking 0% from any earthquake, and is able to survive not one, but TWO body slams from any normal type. Lets not forget his uncanny ability to switch into sleeping exeggutor and mimic sleep powder, effectively becoming the fastest sleeper in the game. And of course it gets supersonic, which with a little luck can take out even the might reflect/rest snorlax.

Aerodactly gets even BETTER, if that were possible. He gets curse which not only boosts his defense and attack to high levels and allows him to go toe to toe with the biggest physically offensive threats, but the speed drop is almost negligible given he already has so much speed he doesn't care if he loses it. Of course his curse set is only second to his whirlwind tanking set which is next to impossible to take down if you only use normal, ground, and non-stab fire moves. Combined with sandstorm and spikes, aerodactyl alone can destroy a team with the mighty whirlwind as long as your opponent's suicune/raikou/zapdos/gengar/exeggutor/vaporeon/nidoking/rhydon are taken out first and your opponent doesn't use leftovers.

The way the metagame shifted around him made him lose a lot of his usefulness. Really the big hit for him was Choice Band and split EV's, meaning the other physical attackers he used to be able to wall now have enough power to muscle past him and any tanking set becomes impossible to use. Not only that, but his previous niche of "sweeping fossil pokemon" was replaced by the new and improved swift swim Kabutops. Still, his sleeptalk/whirlwind set remained a prominent threat and was enough to keep him from being completely forgotten.

The power creep really hurt Aerodactyl. His once intimidating Attack and Speed simply couldn't keep up with all the new pokemon and new moves introduced. Aerodactyl lovers from previous gens desperately tried to keep him afloat in OU, eventually coming up with the famous "suicide lead" set. The "suicide lead" was simply a publicity stunt used to keep Aerodactyl OU. Essentially it worked like this: when people thought Aerodactyl's usage was getting too low and he would be forced to drop to a lower tier, users would start to lead with aerodactyl and use the move "taunt" to force their opponent to kill their aerodactyl early on in the game. Thus he would count as being "used" for usage statistics but would not get in the way of the rest of their team. Sadly it somehow caught on with newer players unfamiliar with its purpose who starting using the "suicide lead" seriously, using the broken move "stealth rock" in a misguided attempt to get some use out of it.

I always found something aesthetically pleasing about Cloyster as a child...

Anyway, Cloyster here was OU for 3 gens straight before drifting off into UU in DPP. What roles and niches did Cloyster have throughout the ages, what were its best sets, and what changes in the metagame caused its lapse in DPP?


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Runs in on neutral, physical attacks and causes havoc via Clamp or Spikes. Good spinner in ADV. Explodes when its job is done. SR cripples its usefulness in 4th gen.
Cloyster's not a bad anti-lead in DPP, though. It has good physical bulk, sets up Spikes, and can take down most suicide leads with Surf, using Ice Shard to finish off Sash mons. It can also go suicide itself with Explosion, or Rapid Spin to get rid of SR after the suicide lead is dead. It's certainly not the best lead around, but it's not a bad choice if you wanna set up Spikes while screwing over certain other leads.

Down in UU, it's got some good versatility as both an offensive Spiker/spinner and a bulky utility mon. Skill Link Rock Blast is also pretty cool for breaking through Subs and Sashes, and it's more powerful than Stone Edge :3
Cloyster is a natural choice for a spiking fast paced team in both adv and especially in gsc. While it has problems keeping spikes vs Starmie, its dangerous explosion and to a lesser extent, its ability to check a few pokemon such as steelix and marowak early on makes up for that.
In RBY, being the best snorlax (and tauros) check in the game arguably and learning the always useful and dangerous clamp as well as explosion, backed up by stab blizzard, make Closyer a top threat in rby as well, sitting close or even inside the top ten in both rby and gsc


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RBY: Clamp. Also walls Snorlax and tanks Tauros like no other.

GSC: Spikes. Also an offensively useful boom.

RSE: Spikes without getting Magne-trapped. Also spins and booms.

DPP: I don't know for sure what caused its lapse. My best guess is that Stealth Rock becomes the new best hazard, so a dedicated Spiker isn't really all that great anymore. Also being weak to SR makes it an iffy spinner.

Wow, Dugtrio sprites get uglier as they go on...

Anyway, Dugtrio has quite a unique history. UU for most of it's existence, it got a shot at OU in ADV (and early DP). What changes to the metagame and Dugtrio caused this sudden spotlight, and what were its best sets and niches throughout the generations?

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