Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon In-Game Tier list (v2)

ok so this has been dead for almost a month, for which I apologize. As I've stated, there was hardly anything I could run at that point and wanted to let other people provide some nominations to work with.

Anyways, I am making this post to see if I can revive the project and push it a bit towards its end. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I am not expecting for everything to be evaluated thoroughly, since this game is pretty hard to run. So what I am going to do is look for opinion on some high priority stuff. Once those are covered, I will give some time for any last nominations that someone may want to make before moving this to write-ups, unless there's an increase in interest for evaluating other things, in which case I can extend the project's lifespan. Obviously, this can seem a bit as prematurely ending the project and chances are that there will be "errors" (granted, almost every rank is subjective, so what is an error can be different for everyone), but the fact is that we don't really have the manpower to thoroughly evaluate everything (which is also why I dealt extensively with D-tier and below, so that other people can have less work and concentrate on the higher tiers instead).

Anyways, here are the Pokemon that I really want more opinions on:

Grubbin A -> B?
Abra (Trade) A -> B?
Alolan Vulpix C -> D? OR Alolan Sandshrew D -> C?
(personally, I think both would be better off in D, but I don't mind a tier difference if it's justified)
Alolan Graveler (Trade) C -> D?
Oricorio A -> S?
Wishiwashi A -> S?
Beldum or Honedge B -> C
(preference for Beldum to be tested, since I still think the catch rate + not having any good matchups before Metagross are worrysome. Honedge is there cause if it drops to C, then so does Beldum)
Magikarp S -> A? (this has never received discussion. From what I recall, it's all-around great and can beat almost every opponent as Gyarados)
Litten A -> B?
Rowlet B -> C

as I said, if those all receive some opinions and we can reach a consensus on them, I will start preparing the list to go to write-ups (helps that I have experience with most of the list, so almost everything has been used at least once).

I don't mind if you use less than 5-6 Pokemon. If you have to, use 2-4 instead if it helps you stay productive. The above are only 10 Pokemon, so this hopefully shouldn't burn anyone out. Of course, if you want to provide an opinion on something else not on the list, feel more than free to

I will probably try out Bulbasaur, Makuhita, Rattata, Murkrow, and Cubone at some point, but I'd like to see first what happens from here on. I may also make some rank changes from past runs, but this won't happen right now.

e: added Litten and Rowlet too, I may run with Litten myself
I'll try to contribute a little more regarding the few Pokémon you listed here that I have used. Note that my playthroughs were done 3-4 years ago so I'm purely basing this on memory, hope that's okay.

Abra (Trade) A -> B?

From what I remember when I used it, it was good but not that amazing. Alakazam is frail and it felt like it had many common weaknesses. I think it should be B.

Oricorio A -> S?

This was also great but not perfect. Definitely not S in my eyes, I think it belongs in A.

Litten A -> B?

Another really good one, it was one of the better members of my UM team for sure. Should definitely be A.

Those are my opinions on those three at least. On a different subject, I strongly disagree with D for Leafeon. I remember it being way better than that when I used it. But if other players feel that B is too high for it, then maybe we can find a middle ground and place it in C instead? I would be okay with that.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
I used Leafeon a while ago and said I am fine with C-tier, the reason I never moved it out of D-tier is because I wanted to see if anyone else wants to make a case for C-tier. I will consider moving it, but will leave it up for discussion for a bit if anyone wants to pitch in more thoughts. With that said, B-tier is out of question, it has way too many bad matchups for B-tier

I will drop Alakazam to B in the next few days if it doesn't get some defense. I believe it's a good Pokemon, but yeah, it does have tons of cons here, compared to other games

I will let Drumstick provide logs for Litten and I may use it myself after this, though the somewhat weak beginning doesn't look too attractive

To add a bit more to my post, I may proceed with rank changes to the following of my own:

Feebas (Trade) C -> D
Slowpoke (Slowking) C -> D
Pancham D -> C
Ralts B -> C

reasonings:

Feebas - Feebas is quite rare (1% on normal fishing spots, 10% on bubbling spots) and you need to backtrack for the Prism Scale to evolve it before Marowak. Erratic growth rate makes it pretty hard to train early on too. On the other hand, though, it has quite a few good matchups, such as Olivia, Marowak, and most of the E4. This is the least likely to happen, but I will consider it

Slowpoke - Slowking requires an item hunt to get King's Rock, is fairly slow, and Psychic typing doesn't really help it. On the other hand, it does hit hard many opponents, I even managed to 1v1 Togedemaru with it (albeit unreliably). This is also somewhat consistent with Politoed, which is in D-tier for a very similar reason. Slow growth rate doesn't help either

Pancham - used this in one of the ten runs I did a while ago and felt it was on par with most C-tiers. It is actually a bit better than Scraggy, imo, and Scraggy is C-tier, so either I push Pancham to C or I push Scraggy to D and I'd rather have both in C-tier, honestly, since they are great, just come somewhat late (Scraggy comes after Mimikyu, so this one is "rather late")

Ralts - with Zam dropping, Ralts might as well drop too. It's terrible until it evolves into Gardevoir and has tons of bad matchups, but it can overwhelm some of them too, like Nanu, Kommo-o, and Ribombee

these ones aren't from the "mandatory" I listed; I am just sharing the Pokemon whose rank I may change. If you want to make a case for any of those, feel free to, otherwise, I may proceed with those

(also, I removed all "timers", since at this point I am not going to "regulate" the list and rank changes too much)
 
I think the thing with Leafeon hype is that is unfortunately borderline unusable in so many other games. In its debut it got Leaf Blade and Swords Dance in the 70s, BW2 it wasn’t available until the postgame, XY is well XY difficulty and now we get to this game.

When I used it, I really tried to like the thing but at the end of the day it’s still a Grass type and unless your name is Lilligant in Unova that’s basically doomed to C or worse unless you stand out from the pack.

It had a good start for Olivia 1 and some crazy Protect strats on Guzma, but outside of that Leafeon wasn’t that useful. C but no higher in my opinion and I don’t think D would be absolutely unreasonable either.

I started my run with Litten, Magikarp, Wishiwashi, and Oricorio today, but something tells me the A ranks will be a foregone conclusion.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
for reference on Leafeon, here are the matchups that made me feel like C is possible:

Lurantis - you SD here and then OHKO with Z-Last Resort. The only way to lose here, per experience, is if Kecleon Screeches you, but it seems to always go for Sunny Day turn one, so you should be safe

Olivia - possible sweep, albeit not guaranteed. You SD then spam Razor Leaf. Anorith 3HKOes with Bug Bite, but is slower. Lycanroc is faster and it comes down to whenever Bite flinches you or not

Mimikyu - +2 Z-Iron Tail OHKOes Mimikyu, but you need something else to break Disguise and kill Banette first

Nanu - can beat Sableye and Krokorok, but Krokorok is faster and Swaggers it, so it becomes a bit of a luck matchup

Olivia #2 - SD then OHKO Armaldo, Gigalith, and Lycanroc with Leaf Blade. 2HKO Probopass and heal to avoid a KO. Then OHKO Cradily with Z-Leaf Blade

the biggest complaint I have here is that all of them either require some support to actually happen or something can go wrong and ruin your victory. Every other matchup not mentioned is mostly mediocre and shouldn't count in favor of Leafeon, which is why I am a bit torn between C and D. At least Leafeon is better than most Grass-types, I can give it credit for that.

edit: one important thing to note is Baby-Doll Eyes, which can help against stuff like Togedemaru when you cannot do much else. Can't say this is an automatic tier raiser, though.

also, I forgot to include it in my previous post, but I may also drop Combusken to B-tier. It doesn't come super early and while it wins quite a lof of matchups, it often has to employ some weird strats like "Flame Charge, Work Up, use move1, then Work Up again, then move2", so B might be better, especially if Makuhita drops to B. Also, not gonna count this against them, but I find it funny that they are way slower than they look like, I have been outsped a few times by stuff that I'd think both should outspeed.
 
Quickly ran through island 1, some quick thoughts:

-Litten is honestly way better than I remembered it being! Fire Fang at only level 15 is insane and hits very hard, and Double Kick and Z-Work Up are early options that turn it into an utter bulldozer that is very fast and can even sweep Hala at +3 in Blaze, impressively.

-Not much to say on Oricorio because it's still a new member, but it's been kinda like you'd expect. Air Cutter at level 13 is very nice, Work Up and Roost via TMs give a capable early moveset and I'm going to give it Icy Wind in a bit for its last move. Seems pretty linear though I hesitate to say it will be as good as Mudbray and Hawlucha. Also you will hate Air Cutter's 5% miss rate, it happens startlingly common.

Also this game is pretty underrated, still very fun to play and it feels good to be running it again.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Abra (Trade) A -> B
Feebas (Trade) C -> D
Slowpoke (Slowking) C -> D
Pancham D -> C
Ralts B -> C
Combusken A -> B

I am applying all of those tomorrow, if you have any objections, post now. I will post justifications again, this time probably more fleshed out

Many people have raised issues with Alakazam, mainly that it's a frail Psychic-type in a region infested with super effective coverage. Alakazam is certainly the best Psychic-type, though, and probs the only one that doesn't have significnat amount of issues. It has a plethora of bad matchups, like all the Akala and Ula'Ula Totems. It generally excels in human fights, being good for all Kahunas. It can also sweep Hau, albeit with healing. All in all, Alakazam is going to B-tier due to a huge amount of bad matchups


Feebas is quite rare, being 1% with normal fishing and 10% wth fishing on bubbling spots. On top of this, you need to backtrack to Kala'e Bay to get the Prism Scale in order to have a Milotic for Totem Marowak, one of its most important matchups. To make things worse, it's in the Erratic growth rate, making it a pain to train early on. Milotic is fairly powerful, though, as its E4 performance was quite acceptable and its earlier matchups where alright. I just think this requires tons of investment to get and to raise it as a whole and a lot of Water-types are going to provide similar contributions without having to look and later backtrack for it.


Like Milotic, this requires some investment in order to fully evolve, as you need to hunt for King's Rock off wild Hawlucha. On top of this, it's fairly slow (duhhhh) and Psychic typing doesn't really help it beyond Hala (and even then, you don't have Thief at that point, so might as well skip the matchup). Early Slowking is fun, though, it crushes Marowak with no issues whatsoever. Like Milotic, it's hard to train due to Slow growth rate and most of its contributions aren't too far off the other Water-types' performance that don't require the investment to hunt it. It's also consistent with Politoed being D-tier for a very similar reason.


Pancham's performance is mostly on-par with other C-tiers. It's good for Togedemaru, Nanu (with healing), Molayne, Olivia, Acerola, and Hapu. It's pretty much a slightly better Scraggy and that is C-tier, so unless I decide to drop Scraggy instead, I would rather push Pancham to C, as I think both are all-around good Pokemon that just come rather late.


Ralts starts out terribly and has nothing good going for it until level 30. However, you are also stuck with a Slow growth rate, so expect to invest quite a bit to evolve it. Gardevoir lso doesn't do much in most fights, though it is great for Nanu, Kommo-o, Ribombee, Hapu, Kahili, and Hau. All in all, requires some investment early on due to how terrible it is and doesn't do much until much later into the game.


Combusken's issues stem from the fact that it needs to resort to somewhat complex strategies to win. This includes things like "Work Up turn one, use move1, Work Up again, Flame Charge, use move2, then spam move3". In terms of matchups won, it has Lurantis, Olivia (both fights), Togedemaru, Nanu, Ribombee (potentially, if it goes for QD turn one), and Molayne. It also has the benefit of relatively early Medium Slow growth rate, so it's not too hard to train in the long run. The more I look at those logs, the more I am convinced it should be B-tier.


haven't decided on what to do with Leafeon yet. My plan is to do the run I am planning on doing (Rattata / Makuhita / Bulbasaur / Murkrow / Cubone / Bruxish) then compare it to whatever is in C-tier currently. I know that I said not to base tiers off other stuff's performance, but in this case, it's to see if it meets the standards that have been established for C-tier. If Leafeon rises to C, I may push Sylveon to B, though I may wanna retest this first. Some other things from C-tier, most notably Diglett, could maybe rise to B-tier too. Leafeon will most likely be compared to Flareon, but the comparisons won't necessarily lead to any decision.

I will post more about my run in the future once I am done with it.

e: applied changes, not making a new post
 
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Just beat Hau on Ula'ula, team update time.

1629858365586.png


Gyarados: I don't know guys, I just don't know. Between cleanly losing to Olivia unless you seriously baby this thing to 30 (Aqua Tail, which I forgot was 30 as like 70% of the other games have you get it at level 35) and kinda losing to Marowak (you beat it but die to Salazzle), in conjunction with Intimidate activating for every single mook encounter, I'm not a big fan of this thing. I can definitely see A but it feels like I'm always having to constantly focus on it thanks to the Slow growth rate. On top of that it needs Bounce to get off the ground and Z-Bounce eats up more time. It apparently sweeps Kommo-o later so that's cool but it just doesn't scream S to me. DD also seems kinda overrated with all the Sturdy stuff lategame. Also babying Magikarp is never fun, even if it is manageable. By all accounts, I think you're better off with:

1629858388799.png


Wishiwashi: In spite of having many of the same annoyances (Schooling animation + Z-moves), Schooling Wishiwashi has a few things going for it I think Gyarados does not. While both it and Gyarados generally 2HKO if not Z-moving, I feel Wishiwashi is...surprisingly more flexible! Fast growth rate, can be caught from levels 10-21 if you fish at a bubbling spot for a 25% chance (I got a level 18 one) meaning virtually no babying thanks to stupidly powerful Brine off 140 Special Attack, very self-sufficient movepool (with the only things it might want being the Bulldoze TM and later Endeavor via tutor).

It also hits harder than Gyarados at the cost of Speed (which really isn't that big a deal, as even Torracat gets outspeed by Olivia thanks to EVs), and can even pull off some niche tech if you know the game well. I snagged Leftovers from a Munchlax (literally 100% chance for Leftovers if you find one, albeit a 5% encounter rate) and combined it with Aqua Ring for Olivia, which enabled it to sweep her very consistently. Sure it still loses to Lurantis, but I consider that roughly equivalent to beating Olivia. Plus Leftovers or Waterium Z are both fine field items.

While the duo may have comparable major battle performances, I think Wishiwashi's bulky offense and Fast growth rate outshines Gyarados's contributions. Also I don't think I've gone into Solo Form even once, so Schooling doesn't really have a downside. If anything, the low HP makes healing via items much easier.

1629858408920.png


Torracat

Not much to say. While it definitely takes a hit on Akala in terms of viability, I feel it remains relevant enough to be A, especially with evolution coming up.

1629858464737.png

Oricorio
Pretty good, but I think it might be a little bit too frail for S. Olivia has been its only truly bad matchup though, so we'll wait and see how lategame goes. Feather Dance is nice tech.

If you couldn't tell, the fish have been the ones I've been scrutinizing for S more, though Oricorio does have some shades of it. None stack up to Hawlucha or Mudbray though.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Magikarp was in my first test run of the games ever, so yeah, not surprised that I overrated it. I will most likely end up dropping it.

(also, you can also get Magikarp up to level 21 in bubbling spots. In fact, I think the chance is around 40%, so you're actually more likely to find a level 18 Magikarp than level 18 Wishiwashi)

Also, going to use this post to pose a question for everyone here: Should we tier the QR mons? It never came to my mind to actually ask people about this, for whatever reason, but anyways.

Why am I bringing this up? I was scrolling through the list and noticed that most QR mons never really ranked high. The only ones that are C-tier or above from memory are: Charmander, Marshtomp, Honedge, Bulbasaur, Monferno, Prinplup, and Kingdra. Everything else is just D-tier, below, or is Untiered. And this list is already long enough without them (I think I have 150-200 on this list if we discount them, I need to recount them) and you have to consider that they are obtainable only on specific days of the week. While we assume that the player is playing at the correct time, they are pretty unaccessible most of the time (though you can find QR codes on the Internet at least) and most of them don't really rank high. This is why I am asking if people want to actually tier those or they think it's more hassle than worth it.

My personal stance is indifferent but leaning towards removing them. I know that some people may have used them to contribute here and I don't want to disregard their contributions due to my lack of communication. However, if people don't mind them being removed, I may remove them and make the list shorter.

(note: Partner Cap Pikachu wouldn't be affected by this, as I am referring to the Island Scan ones. Pikachu is technically still part of the dex and you just need the QR code from Bulba's page to obtain it and that is not day-dependent. However, it is also D-tier, so I doubt someone will bat an eye if it were removed)

===

As for my run, I made it past Akala last time. Rattata has definitely been underperforming and is most likely dropping to C-tier. Murkrow has been okay, can't say what's gonna happen with it. Makuhita, I am torn between B and A atm, it has still been pretty good, though I couldn't evolve it for Araquanid this time and thus I lost against it. Cubone has been good, couldn't evolve it for Lurantis, but handily swept Olivia and caught up quickly to my team because STAB Bone Club / Bonemerang with Thick Club is just broken. Bulbasaur relied on sleep for the first fights, but it handily beat Araquanid for me and I managed to sweep Olivia with it. Bruxish not yet obtained. Will post more once I am done with my run.
 
I personally enjoy the inclusion of the QR mons very much as they are very easy to obtain with the 20 point codes that are easily searchable on the internet (would be a neat thing to include those in the 1st post by the way) as well as the fact than you can scan 5 codes, save and then change your clock to find the ones you want. So the whole restriction of the current day really isn't all that much of a restriction. That's less of a hassle than any Pokémon that requires trading to fully evolve and those have been included in all in-game tier lists up to date, even if only 1 or 2 trade evolutions are high tier. I could only personally see a reason to remove them if there was some sort of online interaction required, but since the feature is purely offline and going along nicely with the concept of a solo adventure I see no reason to separate them from the tier list.
 
Wanna make an update now that I'm done with Nanu / Ula'ula. This is going to be a long post, so buckle up. I wanna go into how huge an impact Slow growth rate actually is and how it’s a big burden for a Pokémon considered for S, namely, Gyarados. I'm putting this in a spoiler tag for people who just want to get to the viability summaries.

Now, while anything else besides Erratic / Fluctuating / Slow usually doesn’t actively hinder my enjoyment of the game, a Slow mon like Gyarados feels like it’s pulling the rest of my team down by making me use it more. Like, most of my party members have a good level or so over it at pretty much all times even when Gyarados is probably my most used party member, and this is less on account of it carrying my team and more on the fact you have to use a Slow mon ALL THE TIME to keep pace with an average team.

This only changed when it FINALLY got Dragon Dance at level 45, a level I had to Rare Candy to reach for Guzma 2 (I fought pretty much everyone save the Kantonian Gym mooks / Nugget Bridge remake) while probably actively using Gyarados for mooks, like...70% of the time, if not more? And even then, to restate, I was roughly one level under at pretty much all times.

Gyarados is only a bit ahead on my team in levels now thanks to having DD to sweep boss fights, and I'm imagining the rest of my team will catch back up during the Aether raid. I Rare Candied Gyarados once because it would highly impact both Guzma 2 / Nanu (both of which WERE sweeps, though). Playing normally though, I can't see the average player getting Dragon Dance before the Aether raid or maybe even Poni Island.

Either way, whatever way I think about it, I can't see Slow / Erratic / Fluctuating in this game as anything but a detriment when you're encouraged to use EXP Share and thus, the rest of your team levels up in the background. Assuming the rest of your team has good EXP growth rates (mine have Medium Slow for Litten, Medium Fast for Oricorio, and Fast for Wishiwashi) this means a Slow growth rate has to be used EVERYWHERE. It's preventing me from getting a proper perspective on my other team members in the field because for pretty much all of Akala and Ula'ula, I was using Gyarados most of the time, and that is a problem that is just hard to ignore, because using Gyarados more means more scrutinizing from me on its ranking due to using it so much.

Gyarados: Dragon Dance has changed my opinion on this thing thanks to sweeping Guzma 2 and Nanu (the latter with natural rain). HOWEVER, if you do NOT have DD...this thing probably flops for pretty much all of Ula'ula, save for helping with Guzma some. While it has swept a good few fights overall to have some hints of S...I'm sorry, I just can't put it in S in good conscience thanks to that Slow growth rate. It requires near-constant babying level-wise, and an S-tier should generally not drag the team down with their presence. I see it as comparable to Magnemite as an A tier - a shaky first half of the game with an occasional victory, then once it gets Aqua Tail and later DD it gets reliable, similar to acquiring Magnezone on Island 3.

Wishiwashi: It impressively sweeps Totem Togedemaru by setting up Rain Dance on Spiky Shield then OHKOing it with rain-boosted Z-Brine...but after that the game starts catching up with it. Its low HP stat shows cracks as things begin to evolve, whereas previously Wishiwashi was only receiving chip damage most of the time. Mediocre Guzma matchups don't really help either as it can't take repeated hits from his mons.

I think both Wishiwashi and Gyarados will be A tier for the reasons above, even if Gyarados completely dominates endgame. Wishiwashi exchanges Fast growth rate for less coverage and Speed, while Gyarados has Slow growth rate, a slightly worse defensive type (Rock weakness sucks) and outside of Bounce takes a bit to reach its full potential, where Wishiwashi comes barreling out of the gates with Z-Brine and doesn't need much aside from its amazingly paced natural movepool, where it gets upgrades at important benchmarks (whereas Gyarados can miss Aqua Tail for Olivia and Dragon Dance until Ula'ula ends).

Okay, you probably get my points on the fishes. Let's talk about the other two team members!

Incineroar: While it kinda lacks the watertight matchups an A-tier needs (never really being amazing post-Lurantis) I think having a strong first island compared to most other things makes up for it. I love the movepool variety on this thing at pretty much all times. Fire Fang / Double Kick / Bite upgrades to Fire Punch / Darkest Lariat as Incineroar, with a lot of great options for your other two moves like Flame Charge, Work Up, Leech Life, Low Sweep, Brick Break, Acrobatics, U-Turn, Bulldoze, Taunt, and even Bulk Up via TM / relearner sounds really interesting for the Elite Four. Honestly, you can argue B-tier for this thing, but given how hard the bosses in this game are, I can take some sympathy and say A-tier. It's definitely better than Rowlett for sure.

Oricorio: Not a fan of the crap Speed IV mine has, but otherwise this thing is...honestly amazing and I can kinda see S for it more than my other members! Ula'ula made me realize how deceptively diverse it is. Want a healing booster? Work Up + Roost has you covered. Want a solid debuffer? Feather Dance / Captivate cover it on both fronts, which is particularly notable for Totems. Amazing defensive type in Electric / Flying and Fire / Flying might have a Guzma 3 niche for Vikavolt. Air Cutter upgrades to Air Slash at 36 and Revelation Dance at 40 and you get both exactly when you need the extra firepower. Stuff like Agility / Baton Pass feels like the icing on the cake, though I probably won't be Baton Passing any.

Oricorio gets almost everything you could ever want at opportune times in its movepool, similar to how I already praised Wishiwashi. Flynium Z carries it to get the midgame moves just fine, and while it isn't amazing on the Ula'ula Totems, it debuffs both wonderfully with Feather Dance so other members can handle them easier. It's Cottonee done right as it has offensive capabilities while also being a capable supporter. Despite the matchups not being Hawlucha / Mudbray level, the sheer adaptability / versatility Oricorio brings to the table makes me lean toward S, though I can easily see arguments for A as well.

Thanks for reading! We'll see how endgame goes!
 
I mostly replayed the game to test Venusaur and Marowak and I gotta say, one I liked very much and the other one not so much.


Hawlucha (ingame-trade): Arguably the highest tiered Pokémon up until Generation 7. Comes early, has a good nature and IVS, does not need support, learns good attacks, has favorable type matchups right away and until the end and gains tons of bonus experience to keep overleved at all times. If anything, we may need a tier beyond S-tier because its performance is way beyond Mudsdale. It naturally learns Endeavor which if coupled with the free Focus Sash later on means you can Endeavor Ultra-Necrozma, get your Unburden speed boost and then KO it hilariously easy.


Mudsdale: Stamina allows it to stall pretty much every physical attacker which doesn’t hit for super effective damage and the ground type is generally very useful in Alola. The early 95 BP move certainly helps as well. The only downside is the speed, but since lots of your enemies are either frail or also very slow, the issue isn’t as relevant as it would be in previous titles. The Quick Claw I got early on helped it more than any other item did. Random priority was appreciated and happened a lot more than I anticipated. It learns all the moves it wants by itself with the only exception being Rock Slide which you get soon enough to keep up with the increasing power of enemies. If you ever need to heal, you likely got so many Stamina boosts that you don't need to heal ever again during the same battle. Its S-tier status is unquestionable.


Primarina: The lack of early Scald compared to the original Sun and Moon was a very big minus since its water type is the only relevant one until very late into the game after you get Moonblast and your secondary typing. Overall, its first two stages perform average with the only major event being able to beat Kiawe with Z-Water Pledge easily. Although I required the Soothe Bell from Route 3 to reach the happiness and a detour to be able to get the move. I’m not quite sure if it ended up being worth it instead of just using Bubble Beam. Until fully evolved, its only benefit to me was it being a somewhat bulky water type, nothing more. The good experience group at least meant that it kept along with the average level of my team, even though I rarely used. It suddenly turned really good once it fully evolved. It attains a quite wide special moveset, one that is good enough to make it a suitable user for Expert Belt outside of boss battles. When fully evolved, it did two-hit pretty much anything and took hits pretty well so healing was very manageable and not excessive at all. The extra-strong Z-move is a nice plus. It feels more like a B-tier to me as the first two stages were too much of a letdown.


Venusaur:
The scan feature makes is very easy to find fast and it’s as early as Route 2. It felt like a better version of Primarina early because Grassy Terrain enabled it to heal and boost itself right away. While I eventually dropped Grassy Terrain I kept Sleep Powder all until the end because it remained a useful asset for pretty much all neutral matchups. It paired especially well with Giga Drain which can be picked up right after your first Mantine Surf and is an absolute must for it to remain relevant. It’s surprisingly good speed for being a bulky Pokémon coupled with Giga Drain and Sleep really made it a fun and very consistent pick in the end. While it takes a while to get access to Venoshock and later Sludge Bomb, the coverage wasn’t actually as important as I initially assumed. A very fun gimmick was the ability to pick up Nature Power on Route 5 and equip the Normalium-Z in order to patch up its type coverage with moves depending on the environment which can also be turned into a variety of Z-Moves. This means you can use a 175 BP Bloom Doom using Grassy Terrain or in any grassy environments (pretty much all routes) before you even attain the grass crystal. I didn’t always take advantage of this, only for a couple super effective grass, normal, rock, water and ground Z-Moves but it may be good enough of a gimmick to be further investigated. The early final evolution was appreciated as well and I definitely think it should be considered an average entry in the A-tier as I didn’t have any problems or unexpected KO’s with it at all.


Alolan Marowak: I played Ultra Moon so I was only able to catch a Cubone, steal Kiawe’s Thick Club and use one that way. The Cubone phase was kind of average, it required lots of healing but STAB Bonemerang helped it a lot. The lack of a ghost STAB until the Pokémon League using the Move Relearner was a pretty huge letdown because its fully evolved typing is kind of good offensively but very poor defensively. You barely get any benefit from your ghost typing as the AI isn't as stupid as to try to spam normal moves on you. You absolutely need to learn Fire Punch via Tutor to get a strong fire STAB because Flare Blitz comes late and is unviable as Marowak cannot afford to sacrifice its own HP with its bad bulk and speed. In the end, Marowak was the least used member of my team by far because it may have had the power to one-shot a lot of enemies, but it had trouble switching in when it counts and was fainted a lot due to its poor HP and very low speed, even for Alolan standards. I rarely required fire coverage as well. Mine had Cursed Body, but I would strongly advice everyone to consider hunting for one that gets Lightning Rod later if you can as an electric immunity would have been very useful for quite a few matchups and free switch-ins. Cursed Body never helped me at all. I’d rather put it in low B-tier. A-tier feels very unjustified because it may be good with some speed setup (X-Speed or one or two Flame Charges), but you really don’t want to set up on every other fight, especially on games as slow as USUM. I cannot speak for the totem variant, but I highly doubt it is S-tier material although I agree with later posts below that Rock Head, no babying and Shadow Bone early is a nice plus.


Magnezone: Its only downsides are that it remains Magnemite for too long and has to wait for its high BP attacks. It’s typing comes in handy offensively and especially defensively literally everywhere. It takes a while to learn high BP attacks, so upgrading Thunder Shock to Shockwave and adding Signal Beam to not only resist but also counter psychic types using the Beach Tutor felt very necessary. Mine evolved right before the Power Plant, so I skipped straight to Magnezone when I arrived there. It ended up making great use of the free Choice Specs I got at the Tapu Village later and kept that item until the very end as resisting attacks and spamming its STAB moves worked against most opponents, strategies beyond that seemed very unnecessary. The sheer amount of enemies that lack any good coverage moves to be able to damage Magnezone was very surprising. Its current spot in the A-tier feels very justified in the end.
 
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I mostly replayed the game to test Venusaur and Marowak and I gotta say, one I liked very much and the other one not so much.


Hawlucha (ingame-trade): Arguably the highest tiered Pokémon up until Generation 7. Comes early, has a good nature and IVS, does not need support, learns good attacks, has favorable type matchups right away and until the end and gains tons of bonus experience to keep overleved at all times. If anything, we may need a tier beyond S-tier because its performance is way beyond Mudsdale. It naturally learns Endeavor which if coupled with the free Focus Sash later on means you can Endeavor Ultra-Necrozma, get your Unburden speed boost and then KO it hilariously easy.


Mudsdale: Stamina allows it to stall pretty much every physical attacker which doesn’t hit for super effective damage and the ground type is generally very useful in Alola. The early 95 BP move certainly helps as well. The only downside is the speed, but since lots of your enemies are either frail or also very slow, the issue isn’t as relevant as it would be in previous titles. The Quick Claw I got early on helped it more than any other item did. Random priority was appreciated and happened a lot more than I anticipated. It learns all the moves it wants by itself with the only exception being Rock Slide which you get pretty soon after catching it anyways. If you every need to heal, you likely got so many Stamina boosts that you don't need to heal every again during the same battle. Its S-tier status is unquestionable.


Primarina: The lack of early Scald compared to the original Sun and Moon was a very big minus since its water type is the only relevant one until very late into the game after you get Moonblast and your secondary typing. Overall, its first two stages perform average with the only major event being able to beat Kiawe with Z-Water Pledge easily. Although I required the Soothe Bell from Route 3 to reach the happiness and a detour to be able to get the move. I’m not quite sure if it ended up being worth it instead of just using Bubble Beam. Until fully evolved, its only benefit to me was it being a somewhat bulky water type, nothing more. The good experience group at least meant that it kept along with the average level of my team, even though I rarely used. It suddenly turned really good once it fully evolved. It attains a quite wide special moveset, one that is good enough to make it a suitable user for Expert Belt outside of boss battles. When fully evolved, it did two-hit pretty much anything and took hits pretty well so healing was very manageable and not excessive at all. The extra-strong Z-move is a nice plus. It feels more like a B-tier to me as the first two stages were too much of a letdown.


Venusaur:
The scan feature makes is very easy to find fast and it’s as early as Route 2. It felt like a better version of Primarina early because Grassy Terrain enabled it to heal and boost itself right away. While I eventually dropped Grassy Terrain I kept Sleep Powder all until the end because it remained a useful asset for pretty much all neutral matchups. It paired especially well with Giga Drain which can be picked up right after your first Mantine Surf and is an absolute must for it to remain relevant. It’s surprisingly good speed for being a bulky Pokémon coupled with Giga Drain and Sleep really made it a fun and very consistent pick in the end. While it takes a while to get access to Venoshock and later Sludge Bomb, the coverage wasn’t actually as important as I initially assumed. A very fun gimmick was the ability to pick up Nature Power on Route 5 and equip the Normalium-Z in order to patch up its type coverage with moves depending on the environment which can also be turned into a variety of Z-Moves. This means you can use a 175 BP Bloom Doom using Grassy Terrain or in any grassy environments (pretty much all routes) before you even attain the grass crystal. I didn’t always take advantage of this, only for a couple super effective grass, normal, rock, water and ground Z-Moves but it may be good enough of a gimmick to be further investigated. The early final evolution was appreciated as well and I definitely think it should be considered an average entry in the A-tier as I didn’t have any problems or unexpected KO’s with it at all.


Alolan Marowak: I played Ultra Moon so I was only able to catch a Cubone, steal Kiawe’s Thick Club and use one that way. The Cubone phase was kind of average, it required lots of healing but STAB Bonemerang helped it a lot. The lack of a ghost STAB until the Pokémon League using the Move Relearner was a pretty huge letdown because its fully evolved typing is kind of good offensively but very poor defensively. You barely get any benefit from your ghost typing as the AI isn't as stupid as to try to spam normal moves on you. You absolutely need to learn Fire Punch via Tutor to get a strong fire STAB because Flare Blitz comes late and is unviable as Marowak cannot afford to sacrifice its own HP with its bad bulk and speed. In the end, Marowak was the least used member of my team by far because it may have had the power to one-shot a lot of enemies, but it had trouble switching in when it counts and was fainted a lot due to its poor HP and very low speed, even for Alolan standards. I rarely required fire coverage as well. Mine had Cursed Body, but I would strongly advice everyone to consider hunting for one that gets Lighting Rod later if you can as an electric immunity would have been very useful for quite a few matchups and free switch-ins. Cursed Body never helped me at all. I’d rather put it in low B-tier. A-tier feels very unjustified because it may be good with some speed setup (X-Speed or one or two Flame Charges), but you really don’t want to set up on every other fight, especially on games as slow as USUM. I cannot speak for the totem variant, but I highly doubt it is S-tier material and have my doubts about that one even being A-tier as well.


Magnezone: Its only downsides are that it remains Magnemite for too long and has to wait for its high BP attacks. It’s typing comes in handy offensively and especially defensively literally everywhere. It takes a while to learn high BP attacks, so upgrading Thunder Shock to Shockwave and adding Signal Beam to not only resist but also counter psychic types using the Beach Tutor felt very necessary. Mine evolved right before the Power Plant, so I skipped straight to Magnezone when I arrived there. It ended up making great use of the free Choice Specs I got at the Tapu Village later and kept that item until the very end as resisting attacks and spamming its STAB moves worked against most opponents, strategies beyond that seemed very unnecessary. The sheer amount of enemies that lack any good coverage moves to be able to damage Magnezone was very surprising. Its current spot in the A-tier feels very justified in the end.
I have to say this is an excellent post, thanks very much for contributing!

I love how substantial your opinions are: I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by reading them fully. Seriously, fantastic post!

I do want to say Totem Alolan Marowak in Ultra Sun is DEFINITELY an A tier and probably still an S tier. While 40 stickers are a bit of a pain to get by Route 8, it more than makes up for it.

Thick Club, Flame Charge, Shadow Bone (actually has it unlike the normal variant) Brick Break, and Fire Punch with a very good level of 25 right before Lurantis is killer. The high moveset and relative ease of use make it ready to go freshly caught if you have the spare BP for Fire Punch.

When I used Totem Alolan Marowak, despite its relatively late acquisition, it smashed pretty much every fight save Kommo-o and Mimikyu (though it will hurt if you break Disguise first) and even then it got the Kommo-o to red. Thunder Punch later is the icing on the broken cake if you want it. I would view it similarly to Jynx in the Kanto games in that sure it’s late and requires work but absolutely trivialized 90% of the remaining bosses. I know you can’t test the Totem variant out but I assure you, it’s S ranking is very much justified, Shadow Bone and the level are just so good.

Also in regard to Popplio: I would say it has an argument for B, but I would need a fresh opinion on it myself perhaps.

but yeah great post seriously!
 
Now, while anything else besides Erratic / Fluctuating / Slow usually doesn’t actively hinder my enjoyment of the game, a Slow mon like Gyarados feels like it’s pulling the rest of my team down by making me use it more. Like, most of my party members have a good level or so over it at pretty much all times even when Gyarados is probably my most used party member, and this is less on account of it carrying my team and more on the fact you have to use a Slow mon ALL THE TIME to keep pace with an average team.

This only changed when it FINALLY got Dragon Dance at level 45, a level I had to Rare Candy to reach for Guzma 2 (I fought pretty much everyone save the Kantonian Gym mooks / Nugget Bridge remake) while probably actively using Gyarados for mooks, like...70% of the time, if not more? And even then, to restate, I was roughly one level under at pretty much all times.

Gyarados is only a bit ahead on my team in levels now thanks to having DD to sweep boss fights, and I'm imagining the rest of my team will catch back up during the Aether raid. I Rare Candied Gyarados once because it would highly impact both Guzma 2 / Nanu (both of which WERE sweeps, though). Playing normally though, I can't see the average player getting Dragon Dance before the Aether raid or maybe even Poni Island.

Either way, whatever way I think about it, I can't see Slow / Erratic / Fluctuating in this game as anything but a detriment when you're encouraged to use EXP Share and thus, the rest of your team levels up in the background. Assuming the rest of your team has good EXP growth rates (mine have Medium Slow for Litten, Medium Fast for Oricorio, and Fast for Wishiwashi) this means a Slow growth rate has to be used EVERYWHERE. It's preventing me from getting a proper perspective on my other team members in the field because for pretty much all of Akala and Ula'ula, I was using Gyarados most of the time, and that is a problem that is just hard to ignore, because using Gyarados more means more scrutinizing from me on its ranking due to using it so much.
In my opinion, this problem lies mainly in Exp. Share and the game being build around it. In seventh generation, I used Pokemon in slow experience group a few times. I also dislike the fact that they tend to easily fall behind whenever other team members are having their time to shine. Drumstick, Your current team is even more problematic due to Wishiwashi. Comparing its experience requirements to Gyarados' reveals how broken this system is.

To get to level 60, Gyarados needs 270 000 experience. Half of that (135 000) puts Wishiwashi on level 55.
On the other hand, Wishiwashi needs 172 800 experience to reach level 60. Half of that (86 400) puts Gyarados on level 41.
Gyarados (slow) level 60 (270 000 exp.) = Gumshoos (MF) level 51 (135 000 exp.)
Gumshoos (MF) level 60 (216 000 exp.) = Gyarados (slow) level 44 (108 000 exp.)
Gyarados (slow) level 60 (270 000 exp.) = Incineroar (MS) level 52 (135 000 exp.)
Incineroar (MS) level 60 (211 060 exp.) = Gyarados (slow) level 43 (105 530 exp.)
Of course, these don't take into the account that lower level Pokemon get more experience so differences in levels wouldn't be that big.

Despite the Exp. Share working like this, I wouldn't be too harsh on Pokemon in slow experience group. They tend to outlevel bosses anyway and the player can still use other Pokemon (even if less frequently). In other words - it makes the process of playing and testing more annoying but doesn't influence efficiency that much.

By the way, I think I did reach level 45 on a full team before Aether Raid and I had Passimian (another slow boy). I also glanced at full walkthrough of Ultra Sun on Youtube (the 14 hours long one) - the player had full team in 43-45 against Guzma in Po Town. Some other people had full teams above level 40 in their videos. Dragon Dance shouldn't be a big problem since average players may grind a bit or use rotom powers more.
 
In my opinion, this problem lies mainly in Exp. Share and the game being build around it. In seventh generation, I used Pokemon in slow experience group a few times. I also dislike the fact that they tend to easily fall behind whenever other team members are having their time to shine. Drumstick, Your current team is even more problematic due to Wishiwashi. Comparing its experience requirements to Gyarados' reveals how broken this system is.

To get to level 60, Gyarados needs 270 000 experience. Half of that (135 000) puts Wishiwashi on level 55.
On the other hand, Wishiwashi needs 172 800 experience to reach level 60. Half of that (86 400) puts Gyarados on level 41.
Gyarados (slow) level 60 (270 000 exp.) = Gumshoos (MF) level 51 (135 000 exp.)
Gumshoos (MF) level 60 (216 000 exp.) = Gyarados (slow) level 44 (108 000 exp.)
Gyarados (slow) level 60 (270 000 exp.) = Incineroar (MS) level 52 (135 000 exp.)
Incineroar (MS) level 60 (211 060 exp.) = Gyarados (slow) level 43 (105 530 exp.)
Of course, these don't take into the account that lower level Pokemon get more experience so differences in levels wouldn't be that big.

Despite the Exp. Share working like this, I wouldn't be too harsh on Pokemon in slow experience group. They tend to outlevel bosses anyway and the player can still use other Pokemon (even if less frequently). In other words - it makes the process of playing and testing more annoying but doesn't influence efficiency that much.

By the way, I think I did reach level 45 on a full team before Aether Raid and I had Passimian (another slow boy). I also glanced at full walkthrough of Ultra Sun on Youtube (the 14 hours long one) - the player had full team in 43-45 against Guzma in Po Town. Some other people had full teams above level 40 in their videos. Dragon Dance shouldn't be a big problem since average players may grind a bit or use rotom powers more.
Either way I still don't quite think Gyarados should be S. It's close sure but I think S should be best of the best. Mudbray and Hawlucha and Oricorio just feel easier to use to me.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
I mostly replayed the game to test Venusaur and Marowak and I gotta say, one I liked very much and the other one not so much.


Hawlucha (ingame-trade): Arguably the highest tiered Pokémon up until Generation 7. Comes early, has a good nature and IVS, does not need support, learns good attacks, has favorable type matchups right away and until the end and gains tons of bonus experience to keep overleved at all times. If anything, we may need a tier beyond S-tier because its performance is way beyond Mudsdale. It naturally learns Endeavor which if coupled with the free Focus Sash later on means you can Endeavor Ultra-Necrozma, get your Unburden speed boost and then KO it hilariously easy.


Mudsdale: Stamina allows it to stall pretty much every physical attacker which doesn’t hit for super effective damage and the ground type is generally very useful in Alola. The early 95 BP move certainly helps as well. The only downside is the speed, but since lots of your enemies are either frail or also very slow, the issue isn’t as relevant as it would be in previous titles. The Quick Claw I got early on helped it more than any other item did. Random priority was appreciated and happened a lot more than I anticipated. It learns all the moves it wants by itself with the only exception being Rock Slide which you get pretty soon after catching it anyways. If you every need to heal, you likely got so many Stamina boosts that you don't need to heal every again during the same battle. Its S-tier status is unquestionable.


Primarina: The lack of early Scald compared to the original Sun and Moon was a very big minus since its water type is the only relevant one until very late into the game after you get Moonblast and your secondary typing. Overall, its first two stages perform average with the only major event being able to beat Kiawe with Z-Water Pledge easily. Although I required the Soothe Bell from Route 3 to reach the happiness and a detour to be able to get the move. I’m not quite sure if it ended up being worth it instead of just using Bubble Beam. Until fully evolved, its only benefit to me was it being a somewhat bulky water type, nothing more. The good experience group at least meant that it kept along with the average level of my team, even though I rarely used. It suddenly turned really good once it fully evolved. It attains a quite wide special moveset, one that is good enough to make it a suitable user for Expert Belt outside of boss battles. When fully evolved, it did two-hit pretty much anything and took hits pretty well so healing was very manageable and not excessive at all. The extra-strong Z-move is a nice plus. It feels more like a B-tier to me as the first two stages were too much of a letdown.


Venusaur:
The scan feature makes is very easy to find fast and it’s as early as Route 2. It felt like a better version of Primarina early because Grassy Terrain enabled it to heal and boost itself right away. While I eventually dropped Grassy Terrain I kept Sleep Powder all until the end because it remained a useful asset for pretty much all neutral matchups. It paired especially well with Giga Drain which can be picked up right after your first Mantine Surf and is an absolute must for it to remain relevant. It’s surprisingly good speed for being a bulky Pokémon coupled with Giga Drain and Sleep really made it a fun and very consistent pick in the end. While it takes a while to get access to Venoshock and later Sludge Bomb, the coverage wasn’t actually as important as I initially assumed. A very fun gimmick was the ability to pick up Nature Power on Route 5 and equip the Normalium-Z in order to patch up its type coverage with moves depending on the environment which can also be turned into a variety of Z-Moves. This means you can use a 175 BP Bloom Doom using Grassy Terrain or in any grassy environments (pretty much all routes) before you even attain the grass crystal. I didn’t always take advantage of this, only for a couple super effective grass, normal, rock, water and ground Z-Moves but it may be good enough of a gimmick to be further investigated. The early final evolution was appreciated as well and I definitely think it should be considered an average entry in the A-tier as I didn’t have any problems or unexpected KO’s with it at all.


Alolan Marowak: I played Ultra Moon so I was only able to catch a Cubone, steal Kiawe’s Thick Club and use one that way. The Cubone phase was kind of average, it required lots of healing but STAB Bonemerang helped it a lot. The lack of a ghost STAB until the Pokémon League using the Move Relearner was a pretty huge letdown because its fully evolved typing is kind of good offensively but very poor defensively. You barely get any benefit from your ghost typing as the AI isn't as stupid as to try to spam normal moves on you. You absolutely need to learn Fire Punch via Tutor to get a strong fire STAB because Flare Blitz comes late and is unviable as Marowak cannot afford to sacrifice its own HP with its bad bulk and speed. In the end, Marowak was the least used member of my team by far because it may have had the power to one-shot a lot of enemies, but it had trouble switching in when it counts and was fainted a lot due to its poor HP and very low speed, even for Alolan standards. I rarely required fire coverage as well. Mine had Cursed Body, but I would strongly advice everyone to consider hunting for one that gets Lighting Rod later if you can as an electric immunity would have been very useful for quite a few matchups and free switch-ins. Cursed Body never helped me at all. I’d rather put it in low B-tier. A-tier feels very unjustified because it may be good with some speed setup (X-Speed or one or two Flame Charges), but you really don’t want to set up on every other fight, especially on games as slow as USUM. I cannot speak for the totem variant, but I highly doubt it is S-tier material and have my doubts about that one even being A-tier as well.


Magnezone: Its only downsides are that it remains Magnemite for too long and has to wait for its high BP attacks. It’s typing comes in handy offensively and especially defensively literally everywhere. It takes a while to learn high BP attacks, so upgrading Thunder Shock to Shockwave and adding Signal Beam to not only resist but also counter psychic types using the Beach Tutor felt very necessary. Mine evolved right before the Power Plant, so I skipped straight to Magnezone when I arrived there. It ended up making great use of the free Choice Specs I got at the Tapu Village later and kept that item until the very end as resisting attacks and spamming its STAB moves worked against most opponents, strategies beyond that seemed very unnecessary. The sheer amount of enemies that lack any good coverage moves to be able to damage Magnezone was very surprising. Its current spot in the A-tier feels very justified in the end.
First off, great post

I will skip Hawlucha, Mudbray, and Magnemite, since those just agree with the consensus and I think I've heard more than enough about them

re: Popplio, the first two stages aren't the best, I agree, though I can't really say they are 100% bad. Brionne can beat Totem Marowak with Hydro Vortex in rain. And yeah, it needs rain, but that's true for pretty much every Water-type not called Araquanid, Wishiwashi, or Pelipper (ok, Pelipper needs rain, but it has Drizzle for that, so...). And even then, some of them aren't winning here anyways (e.g. Barboach, Finneon, Goldeen, etc.). Olivia #1 isn't a too bad matchup either; you aren't sweeping, but you can take out Anorith and Lycanroc. Mine also managed to put in some work against Hala with Work Up and Echoed Voice, though it can't sweep there.

The best thing about the line is perhaps the Primarina stage which hits like a truck. In terms of matchups, I managed to beat Togedemaru, Mimikyu, Guzma, Nanu, Ribombee, Hapu, and potentially Kommo-o, while having great matchups against Olivia #2 and Molayne. Not every of them is a simple "click X to win", but Primarina can get past many matchups, even if they aren't necessarily in its favor, which is why I settled with A-tier. I can see the arguments for B-tier and I am ready to drop it to B if more people come in support of that, but for now, I'd rather keep it in A-tier, honestly.

re: Bulbasaur, I guess A is fine, though from what I've experienced, it tends to rely quite a bit on sleep. Its first matchups aren't great and Araquanid is a win if you get lucky enough with a sleep. It does sweep Olivia #1 and I managed to beat Mimikyu with it (albeit I needed to heal it once and I basically couldn't afford a Shadow Claw crit). I still have the end of Ula'Ula and Poni Island to complete before coming up with a final rank for Bulbasaur, but for now, it could go in either B or A.

re: Cubone and the Totem Marowak, I can see both dropping by one tier, as the availability is a boon to the Totem variant when it comes to justifying S-tier. However, what I personally disagree with is for the Totem to be in the same rank as the normal one. The Totem Marowak has a bunch of advantages that are enough for a tier above the normal one. Those are:

1) three perfect IVs. Totem Pokemon all have three perfect IVs at worst in three random stats. You can do quite a lot with HP / Atk / Spe being the recipients, though only Attack and Speed are crucially important.

2) join level and similar. Cubone comes as low as level 16, so it has to be babied for a bit to get it on par with your team (which will typically be near 25 by the time you reach Marowak). The Totem variant comes at level 25, so it's already on par with your team or even outlevels it, depending on how you play / your team. Finally, level 25 allows it to get Shadow Bone before the relearner, thus it has a much better movepool. Also, coming already evolved means you have a guaranteed counter to Lurantis, wheres Cubone may not be able to evolve for Lurantis, as level 28 is a bit far from what you will typically get (though not impossible, may wanna pop a Rare Candy if you fail to evolve it, though)

3) Rock Head. The Totem variant always has Rock Head, allowing you to spam Flare Blitz to your heart's content. Couple it with a perfect Attack IV and you will notice a significant boost in damage output from the normal Alolan Marowak, assuming that you are using Fire Punch over Flare Blitz due to recoil.

The normal Alolan Marowak, on the other hand, has only the following as advantages:

1) Lightning Rod. This improves the Togedemaru matchup, as it blocks Zing Zap. Realistically, though, you aren't killing it with one Bonemerang anyways, so the Totem one can put in work anyways. LRod also means that Molayne's Klefki becomes a set up fodder and can't paralyze you with TWav, though the Totem one can just spam Flame Charge on Metagross and then Bonemerang / Flare Blitz the rest.

2) not requiring 40 stickers. Personally, I'd argue the stickers aren't even a flaw on the first place, because getting 40 isn't that difficult to me, though for others, it may be.

(it also comes for the Marowak matchup, but the only reasonable contribution it provides here is to steal the Thick Club for itself with Thief)

I don't think it needing Flame Charge and Fire Punch is necessarily a bad thing. Flame Charge at the very least deals damage while setting up, so it amounts to some form of progress. Beach tutors are fairly afforadble, as BP is easy to grind and by the time you will be using Marowak with Fire Punch, you can just fly to the beach with Charizard.

tl;dr I am fine with dropping both one tier below, but I am not going to merge them into one. However, I'd like first to finish my run with my own Cubone before I do that

===

update to my run: got past Mimikyu last time I played. Venusaur beat Mimikyu with one healing, Hariyama and Marowak beat Togedemaru. Murkrow and Raticate have started to fall off and I have yet to gather data on Bruxish

===

independent from any of the above, I am thinking of dropping Fletchling to C. It requires tons of set up to win some fights and it doesn't look as great as I remember it to be from reading the logs I have on it. I may also raise Diglett to B. It sucks a bit early on, but it becomes great once you get past the Akala Totems, being good for the Olivia fights, Molayne, Togedemaru, Mimikyu, Ribombee, and having a good amount of use against Kahili, though I may not act on it.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Double post, but I am dealing with a personal crisis and I am not taking it well. I may be inactive for a bit (say, a week or two, can't guarantee), though may be still "around". If you want to make a nomination or post logs, feel free to, just don't expect immediate response till I get better
 
Okay so I'm done for my run save for Hau (who I deem inconsequential since 90% of things are forced to 1v1 in that fight and I don't think any of my members can sweep). TIme for my thoughts on the bird.
1631189977616.png

Oricorio, goodness gracious. This mon is undeniably S tier. I will admit I had plenty of doubts about it before using it. 98 Special Attack and 93 Speed and 75 / 70 / 70 bulk may not seem like much, but despite what its only modest stats will have you think, it's actually devastatingly capable, and when you remember that the ultimate broken Hawlucha only has base 92 Attack, it doesn't seem that far-fetched. This is the result of a few notable qualities:

1) Pom-Pom's amazing Electric / Flying defensive and offensive typing: Pom-Pom Oricorio packs resistances to Grass, Flying, Fighting, Bug, and Steel, alongside a Ground immunity and an immunity to paralysis as a nice bonus. All of these are key at certain points in the game. Ice is uncommon but a Rock weakness is really only relevant against Olivia (who is a no-go both rounds).

2) Early power spike and moveset: You get the best form of this bird on the first island, and the heightened stats compared to everything else let it dominate early. The 45 catch rate that early is a huge pain but this game showers you with Poke Balls and you can get 10 Ultra Balls for it by getting 10 species in Hau'oli City so it's not insurmountable. From a measly one to three levels from capture (you get it from level 10-12 at a 20% encounter rate) you get Air Cutter, which decimates everything on Melemele including Hala.

What Oricorio is ALSO relevant for is the Z-Trainer on Route 3: Oricorio easily roundhouses the Butterfree if you have Air Cutter, letting you access Roost early. That means that before you leave the first island you have an amazingly competent moveset of Air Cutter / Work Up / Roost / filler that you can mix and match whenever. And you get Supersonic Skystrike like two minutes later. This means you have a 120 BP Flying STAB Z-Move at your beck and call. Before you leave the first island if you take a small detour. Yeah.

Now let's check out this amazing moveset I've been hyping up, shall we?

Screen Shot 2021-09-09 at 8.34.37 AM.png


Almost every single one of those moves has incredible utility. Baton Pass lets you pass Work Up, Calm Mind, or Agility to your teammates if you want. Feather Dance is incredible for physically-based Totems. Even Z-Teeter Dance can raise Special Attack by one stage and confuse in the samr turn. Captivate, while mega niche, could see some use if you get an Oricorio of the appropriate gender. Z-Mirror Move can give you +2 Attack AND an attack in one turn. Hurricane is good for a strong Z-Move hit on the bulky foes not weak to STAB.

3) Good TM moves and no tutor reliance, Red and Yellow Nectar utility: Work Up, Roost (Route 3), Calm Mind (Seafolk Village, $10,000), Taunt (Route 13 from a Skull Grunt), U-Turn (Malie City, $10,000, breaks Mimikyu's Disguise easily and guarantees a safe switch-in) are all pretty nice to have and easy to obtain. Unlike a lot of other top tiers you don't really need to Mantine Surf to fully equip Oricorio. Icy Wind and Tailwind from the Ula'ula Beach tutor (12 BP and 8 BP respectively) are decent but pretty superfluous: I didn't bother with either.

-Yellow Nectar is gotten from Melemele Meadow but only at night, while Pink Nectar for Pa'u Style is gotten during the day at Royal Avenue, but that's okay because Pa'u style can go straight to the garbage can.
-Red Nectar for Baile Style is gotten in Ula'ula Meadow regardless of time, thankfully, and that's the one you want, though even without changing form Oricorio is still an easy S (one example for Molayne: Pom-Pom gets immunity to Klefki's Thunder Wave while Baile gets super-effective STAB.
-Purple Nectar for Sensu Style is postgame in Poni Meadow and thus irrelevant.

4) Flying Z-Move craps on the first two islands, Air Slash, Revelation Dance, and support options keep it relevant to credits: Air Slash at 36 and Revelation Dance at 40 come at the perfect times for Oricorio to get a nice boost in power, though it sucks you can't Z-move with your Nectar type off Revelation Dance. Both Togedemaru and Mimikyu dislike Feather Dance, Guzma dies, Kommo-o gets rocked by Z-Hurricane, Ribombee hilariously gives you Quiver Dance via Dancer letting you OHKO, and against everyone at the League save Olivia and Hau Oricorio can sweep with minimal preparation.

As for logs, I didn't do all that many early on since Oricorio destroys both Totem Araquanid and Lurantis (I think Wak is a little iffy but you still can Feather Dance / Z-Move there so eh).

Hala (17): Sharp Beak. Work Up to +1, Air Cutter and OHKO everything. Extremely easy.

Olivia 1 (29): Flynium Z. Anorith (who is faster) fails to 2HKO you with Smack Down if you go Feather Dance turn 1, letting you debuff it completely as you Roost. Work Up to +3 then OHKO Anorith with Air Cutter, Roost on Lileep then 2HKO with Air Cutter. Lycanroc outspeeds and finishes you off.

Togedemaru I don't have a log for but I'm 90% sure you get outspeed but can Feather Dance it at least once. Guzma's first two fights are cake, you Agility in the last fight to rip through everybody but Vikavolt (who is taken to 1/3 by a Z-Move).

Mimikyu (40): Flynium Z. You can Featherdance Mimikyu twice before dying (it outspeeds). SSSS + 2 Air Slashes seem like a range to 3HKO Mimikyu. Decent support.

Nanu (45): Flynium Z. Boost up to +3 while Roosting off Power Gem (2HKO after Fake Out), OHKO Sabelye with Air Slash after getting to about 3/4s HP from Roost. This lets you survive Alolan Persian’s Fake Out + Power Gem in red and OHKO back with +3 SSSS. Krokorok sadly outspeeds and finishes you off, but this is still a good performance, albeit one where you have to give up FeatherDance to do so.

Totem Kommo-o (55): Flynium Z. Dragon Claw is a 3HKO on you while Z-Hurricane knocks Kommo-o to red, where Revelation Dance finishes it off. Scizor revenges you as you are in red but this is basically a win.

Totem Ribombee: (57): Flynium Z.
Totem Ribombee used Quiver Dance!
Oricorio's Dancer activates - Oricorio used Quiver Dance!
Oricorio OHKOs back with +1 SSSS!

Hapu (57): Flynium Z. Feather Dance Golurk, then Calm Mind to +4 to OHKO it with Air Slash. Gastrodon is a range to OHKO with Air Slash but Flygon is OHKOed (their special attacks bounce off). Mudsdale is +4 SSSS fodder and is OHKOed. You’ll need to heal once but you should be okay.

Kahili (61): Flynium Z. Agility, then Revelation Dance everything. Mandibuzz (2HKO with Revelation Dance) comes out fourth and kills you after Braviary’s Crush Claw but Brave Bird leaves you alive in red. Everything else is OHKOed. Even if Mandibuzz kills you, this is still pretty good (only Toucannon is left aside from Mandibuzz).

Olivia (61): Flynium Z. No.

Acerola (62): Flynium Z. Baile form. Calm Mind once, then blast through everything with Revelation Dance. Froslass’s Confuse Ray sucks though. Palossand is handled with a Z-Hurricane. Driftblim is hilariously a pain in the butt thanks to Amnesia - it can’t kill you fast but Acerola’s Full Restores will outstall you. So you either go with Pom-Pom dodging Blizzard or Driftblim being annoying with fire bird.

Molayne (62): Lum Berry, Baile form. Disgustingly effective. Taunt Klefki so you get two turns of Calm Mind, then OHKO it (you need one boost to OHKO it FYI). Then eat a Magnezone Thunderbolt near red and kill it. Kill Metagross and Bisharp. You should be about 30-40 HP and be able to be picked off by Dugtrio’s Sucker Punch, so freely heal up and you win.

So in summary, amazing defensive typing (I assume you use Pom Pom 95% of the time), incredible support options, several buffing moves and Baton Pass, very self-sufficient, probably the best movepool you could ask for, comes early, no hunt for Ability as all have Dancer - just all around an incredibly adaptable Pokemon. Oricorio deserves S tier.

Other team members will come in the following post. Spoiler: none of them are S tier.
 
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Oh gosh, Gyarados. Poor thing. Okay look. I know now you can get Magikarp at around level 20 in the Totem's Den similar to Wishiwashi. I know Dragon Dance is an incredible move with Flynium Z. But...I don't think this is S, I just don't. You need to get a high level one and you need to tutor Bounce on, so it's not exactly super easy starting off. It comes very close to S but I think there are a few big problems.

1) Slow growth rate. Pretty relevant, seeing as you can not have Dragon Dance at level 44 for both Guzma 2 and Nanu. It's generally a pain but I've beaten the topic to death in previous posts so let's move on.

2) Accuracy issues. Aqua Tail is 90% accuracy. Bounce is 85% accuracy. This means outside of Z-moves Gyarados is just unreliable enough that Dragon Dance sweeps aren't 100% guaranteed. This isn't an issue for Wishiwashi because it has Brine to fall back on. Now, we've justified Scraggy in BW as S with HJK but it only needs to land one kill to get power on the rest of its moves. It isn't forced to spam the 90% accurate move, unlike Gyarados.

3) The League repeatedly screws it over: From Dragon Dance on Gyarados is pretty good. But at the League it's very difficult to get a clean sweep with it aside from Acerola:

Kahili (61): Waterium Z. Got to +3 Attack and +1 Speed while Braviary used Brave Bird (3HKO) and Scary Face. OHKOed Braviary with +3 Aqua Tail and Mandibuzz with Hydro Vortex. Toucannon was OHKOed but burned me with Beak Blast: amusingly this didn’t stop me from OHKOing Oricorio. Hawlucha outspeeds you at +1 and you die with it as the last mon. If you use a Lum Berry to circumvent Burn you leave Mandibuzz alive with +3 Aqua Tail and it kills you. Good.

Olivia (61): Waterium Z. With average luck you’re sweeping 2 here. DD twice (Armaldo uses Crush Claw over Rock Blast for some reason, and you MUST DD twice or Gigalith is left in red by +1 Aqua Tail) then OHKO 3 of em with Aqua Tail. Probopass will Thunder Wave you (strangely you still outspeed thanks to boosts) and then Power Gem kills you in two hits assuming the chip damage earlier. Maybe you can sweep but I didn’t (got paralyzed twice). I tried giving Cheri Berry but then got a few attempts where Armaldo got the Defense drop with Crush Claw then damaged Gyarados too much with Rock Blast (you can BARELY live 3 hits, so I’m assuming you die to Pass anyway with average luck). Good.

Acerola (61): Waterium Z. Dragon Dance twice, Crunch to victory (Dhelmise is a roll). I even beat Palossand without the Z-Move by spamming Crunch (+2 Crunch takes it to red, +1 2HKOs it as I learned from Iron Defense). +2 Aqua Tail OHKOs Palossand anyway, no Z-Move necessary.

Molayne (63): Waterium Z. This team is pretty much tailor made to block Gyarados. Klefki would be bad enough, but other things like Metagross’s Clear Body (lives a +2 Crunch, 3HKOs you), Bisharp’s Defiant, and Magnezone being such a block solidify the fact you aren’t sweeping here. I was able to get to +1 on Dugtrio, OHKO it, then OHKO Bisharp with Hydro Vortex if that means anything to you.

Even when it takes off, it's more comparable to Magnezone in that yeah it's good, but not quite S tier good, not to mention the fact that it comes later than most S-tiers, albeit not by much (though this does little to hold back Totem Alolan Marowak, admittedly). Z-Bounce does sweep early Totems sure, but it just has too many cracks in the seams for me to confidently say S. A tier.

Wishiwashi
: A tier with more of a case for S tier than Gyarados. Fast growth rate means you'll be 10 levels higher than opponents by the end, minimal TM reliance, no accuracy issues as you always have Brine / Scald, Z-Move nuke, incredible 1v1 capacity. The Speed sucks but it can do unexpected things like Scald then Hydro Vortex Ribombee in rain summoned by Pelipper to win, and setup rain then OHKO Togedemaru with Hydro Vortex. Incredibly reliable, just not much to say, though I'm perfectly fine if it stays A. The movement of Scald to Poni Island does little to actually hurt it in practice.

Litten: I'm sorry guys but this ain't it. Peaks at Lurantis but then is just relegated to mostly hitting neutrally from then on (Togedemaru's Defense boost means you Darkest Lariat there over Fire STAB) aside from Guzma 3 and Ribombee (sweeps). I never felt like it was dead weight per se, but it just didn't get the sweeps an A-tier consistently needs and felt very average. I think more people need to run with this again, it never really felt like it was a consistent offensive presence in the lategame, losing a matchup for every single one it was victorious in. It has a great movepool, but fails to take advantage of it effectively because it's sorta a jack-of-all-trades build. 115 Attack just lacks the oomph you need and Fire / Dark isn't a good offensive STAB combo. League is just 1v1 central or obscene setup on Molayne aside from Acerola. Overall, Litten just feels like more of a B than an A tier to me.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
ok so I should be back now, so I can address things

I will do a run with Drums's whole squad for confirmation and use some two other members. Oricorio, Litten, and Magikarp are most likely to change tiers, reading from the logs, but I'd like to gather some data myself. Regarding Wishiwashi, my test on it will act as the final decision for its rank, unless other people want to talk about it.

once I am done with my current run, I will also do something about Leafeon. Note that I am still recooperating, so tests will be going at a slightly slower speed than usual.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
double post:

I finally finished my run from a while ago. The reason I haven't updated too much is because my focus has been on FRLG, but I am planning on focusing for a bit here and get this done too.

Run consisted of Rattata / Makuhita / Bulbasaur / Murkrow / Cubone / Bruxish.

This is definitely dropping from B-tier, but I think this could go all the way to D-tier. This is, simply put, a worse Delibird. Raticate cannot even OHKO Araquanid and Lurantis without using Leer or something similar, which makes Lurantis a bit unreliable. You are stuck with Hustle for the entire game and even Acerola is a shaky matchup due to that and it's not like it has good matchups elsewhere. So planning on dropping this to D-tier


For now, I won't be touching it and leave it at A-tier, though I am willing to drop it if someone calls for it. While Fluctuating sucks, Makuhita managed to perform well in numerous matchups, most notably: Normal Totem, Marowak, Lurantis, Olivia #1 and #2, Togedemaru, Kommo-o*, Molayne, and Olivia #2. If you can evolve it before fighting Araquanid (which Fluctuating makes feasible), you can win this fight as well. Nanu turned out to be better than I remember, but still requires healing if you get flinched. For now, I will play it safe and not touch it.

* - Z-CC into CC OHKOes while burned, though I think you may need Scizor to not go for Bullet Punch? I remember you could live as well anyways.


Honestly, I am a bit torn here. Venusaur is certainly effective in some matchups, but its performance is all over the place. It relies on sleep against the Melemele bosses, beats Araquanid and Olivia (if it doesn't get flinched against the latter), sweeps the second Guzma fight and Nanu, and can sweep Olivia. I personally feel like this might be better off in B-tier, as RonJenzy's unfinished run similrarly indicates an inconsistent performance, which I don't find acceptable for an A-tier.


Murkrow's performance is a bit shaky. It easily wins against Lurantis and Araquanid and I managed to win against Kommo-o with it. Haze support is useful against Togedemaru and (with Sash) Ultra Necrozma. Its E4 performance is a bit ehh, as it even fails to OHKO some of Acerola's Pokemon. Given that you are stuck as a Murkrow for the entire game, I am going to drop this to C-tier.


Dropping this and the Totem variant by one tier each. Cubone performed worse than I remember; you are unlikely to evolve it for Lurantis. It can barely win against Guzma, so this is really IV dependent (you need Rock Slide to trigger Emergency Exit, which it does barely with 20 IVs in Attack) and needs Stone Edge for Ribombee to 2HKO it if you didn't teach Flare Blitz (which you don't want to because of recoil). You sweep Acerola and Molayne easily, the rest not so much, and has some use against Nanu. The Totem, as I've said, is much better than it, but I don't think it's better by two tiers; the Molayne matchup is worse due to no Lightning Rod and the Togedemaru matchup isn't free anymore, as you still fear Zing Zap flinches, though Rock Head Flare Blitz + guaranteed Fire for Lurantis helps it much more. So yeah, both are dropping.


Dropping this all the way to E-tier. Bruxish is late, rare, and can come very underleveled. On top of this, it barely does anything in major fights. Nanu, Ribombee, and Guzma laugh at it, Kommo-o 1v1s it, and the E4 isn't particularly great for it, even with a type advantage. This is borderline F-tier, in all honesty, I just fail to imagine what you are doing with this. This is perhaps the biggest blunder ever done with preliminary tiering in IGTL history, given that a B-tier fell to E-tier


tl;dr

Bulbasaur is dropping to B-tier, but I may move it back to A if that receives more support
Cubone and Totem Marowak will drop by one tier
Makuhita is remaining in A-tier unless it gets support for a drop
Rattata is dropping to D-tier due to being a worse Delibird. If you want either of those back to C, post in support of that
Murkrow is dropping to C-tier.


I will do a run with Drums's squad, along with Zubat and Litwick to refresh my experience with them. Next post will *finally* address Leafeon and what to do with that thing, so stay tuned.
Bruxish is dropping to E-tier, though I felt like dropping it to F-tier at one point
 
Hi! Newbie here. Saw this thread, thought it was interesting, then started a run with Grubbin / Zorua / Gastly (No Trade) / Wishiwashi / Stufful / Steenee. I just finished Akala Island, and here are my thoughts on the mons, feedback would be appreciated.
One thing to note is that I tried to keep my levels on par with the Totems/highest level mon of Kahuna rather than overleveling them, not sure if I should keep doing this, though.

Grubbin
Grubbin was really underwhelming. It was extremely frail, though that my have been due to me getting a -Sp. Def one, and it's damage output wasn't that impressive either. It's outsped and OHKOed by Gumshoos, and it can't tank resisted hits from Hala. Machop and Crabrawler both 2HKO with Revenge and Pursuit (without switching) respectively. Its only matchup against Hala where it can KO with being KOed first is Makuhita, and there it's a 4HKO at best with Silk Scart-boosted Vice Grip. And this is coming off of a +Attack nature. Its bulk becomes way better as a Charjabug, but it doesn't do that good against the Akala Totems/Kahuna either. Marowak and Olivia's team have a natural advantage against it, and for Araquanid it 3HKOs with itemless Acrobatics (would Flyium-Z have helped?). Araquanid 2HKOs us with Bubble. The only totem where it actually put in some work was Lurantis, and there it required excessive healing and support from Gastly and Stufful to KO. It's movepool is interesting though, with two STABs + Acrobatics and Crunch for coverage at Akala.

Zorua
Its fraility and no advantages against any Totems/Kahunas really hurt it. Even against Marowak-A it's 2HKOed by Flame Wheel while we 3HKO with Feint Attack. I found myself just putting it in the back of the party gaining levels from the Exp. Share most of the time. This game isn't kind to Dark types at all.

Gastly (No Trade)
Gastly was actually really fun to use. A nice support movepool with Hypnosis, Curse and Confuse Ray early in the game was really helpful and I got past a lot of the Totems/Kahunas with Curse + Sleep stall (Gumshoos, Hala's Crabrawler, Araquanid, Lurantis to an extent). However, it's frailer then Zorua, and if you want to get past the game quickly, it isn't the best option, as its only attacking moves it has until it's a Haunter are Lick, Night Shade, and Sucker Punch off its worse attack stat and no Poison STAB until Konikoni. I can't really comment on it as a Haunter though since it just evolved.

Steenee
I haven't had Steenee for long, but it's really disappointing for the Olivia battle (OHKOed by Anorith, 2HKOed by Lycanroc). It has a lower BST than Zorua, and is a pain to train up since it comes quite late.

Wishiwashi
Great stats in School forme, and if you don't want to train one until level 20 fish at Wela Volcano Park. It nearly sweeped the Fire trial, putting Totem Marowak in the red with Hydro Vortex and tanking a boosted Hex until Venoshock finished it off. It was good against Olivia, OHKOing Anorith and Lycanroc (w/ Hydro Vortex) but loses the 1v1 against Lileep. However, it's dead if it ever reverts to Solo Form and it's movepool doesn't have any quickly available non-STAB interesting options other than maybe Beat Up.

Stufful
Stufful comes kind of late (just before the Grass trial), so you might need to train it for it to catch up to the rest of your team, and it's mostly useless for Totem Lurantis (though it got my team past Lurantis by tanking a Solar Blade and getting off two Baby-Doll Eyes). While its movepool might not seem good at first, you can get Brick Break TM from Verdant Cavern and give it Rock Tomb (TM is at Wela Volcano Park) for coverage, letting it sweep Olivia. It's slow though and could be easily KOed by faster opponents.
 
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Hi! Newbie here. Saw this thread, thought it was interesting, then started a run with Grubbin / Zorua / Gastly (No Trade) / Wishiwashi / Stufful / Steenee. I just finished Akala Island, and here are my thoughts on the mons, feedback would be appreciated.
One thing to note is that I tried to keep my levels on par with the Totems/highest level mon of Kahuna rather than overleveling them, not sure if I should keep doing this, though.

Grubbin
Grubbin was really underwhelming. It was extremely frail, though that my have been due to me getting a -Sp. Def one, and it's damage output wasn't that impressive either. It's outsped and OHKOed by Gumshoos, and it can't tank resisted hits from Hala. Machop and Crabrawler both 2HKO with Revenge and Pursuit (without switching) respectively. Its only matchup against Hala where it can KO with being KOed first is Makuhita, and there it's a 4HKO at best with Silk Scart-boosted Vice Grip. And this is coming off of a +Attack nature. Its bulk becomes way better as a Charjabug, but it doesn't do that good against the Akala Totems/Kahuna either. Marowak and Olivia's team have a natural advantage against it, and for Araquanid it 3HKOs with itemless Acrobatics (would Flyium-Z have helped?). Araquanid 2HKOs us with Bubble. The only totem where it actually put in some work was Lurantis, and there it required excessive healing and support from Gastly and Stufful to KO. It's movepool is interesting though, with two STABs + Acrobatics and Crunch for coverage at Akala.

Zorua
Its fraility and no advantages against any Totems/Kahunas really hurt it. Even against Marowak-A it's 2HKOed by Flame Wheel while we 3HKO with Feint Attack. I found myself just putting it in the back of the party gaining levels from the Exp. Share most of the time. This game isn't kind to Dark types at all.

Gastly (No Trade)
Gastly was actually really fun to use. A nice support movepool with Hypnosis, Curse and Confuse Ray early in the game was really helpful and I got past a lot of the Totems/Kahunas with Curse + Sleep stall (Gumshoos, Hala's Crabrawler, Araquanid, Lurantis to an extent). However, it's frailer then Zorua, and if you want to get past the game quickly, it isn't the best option, as its only attacking moves it has until it's a Haunter are Lick, Night Shade, and Sucker Punch off its worse attack stat and no Poison STAB until Konikoni. I can't really comment on it as a Haunter though since it just evolved.

Steenee
I haven't had Steenee for long, but it's really disappointing for the Olivia battle (OHKOed by Anorith, 2HKOed by Lycanroc). It has a lower BST than Zorua, and is a pain to train up since it comes quite late.

Wishiwashi
Great stats in School forme, and if you don't want to train one until level 20 fish at Wela Volcano Park. It nearly sweeped the Fire trial, putting Totem Marowak in the red with Hydro Vortex and tanking a boosted Hex until Venoshock finished it off. It was good against Olivia, OHKOing Anorith and Lycanroc (w/ Hydro Vortex) but loses the 1v1 against Lileep. However, it's dead if it ever reverts to Solo Form and it's movepool doesn't have any quickly available non-STAB interesting options other than maybe Beat Up.

Stufful
Stufful comes kind of late (just before the Grass trial), so you might need to train it for it to catch up to the rest of your team, and it's mostly useless for Totem Lurantis (though it got my team past Lurantis by tanking a Solar Blade and getting off two Baby-Doll Eyes). While its movepool might not seem good at first, you can get Brick Break TM from Verdant Cavern and give it Rock Tomb (TM is at Wela Volcano Park) for coverage, letting it sweep Olivia. It's slow though and could be easily KOed by faster opponents.
Great post!

It’s been ages since I’ve thought about Zorua (I’m not sure if I used it) but I definitely remember it being unviable on paper. The movepool is awful, everything hits it SE while it hits almost nothing SE, and by the time it gets good the game is pretty much over.

I think it’s a misconception this game makes Psychic and Dark types COMPLETELY unviable though. Sure they are resisted and hit SE a lot, but stuff like Alakazam still works pretty well in spite of this. I don’t think Zorua should be anywhere above C at absolute best, and could maybe even be a D mon? Forget where it is currently.

Hold out some hope for Steenee! The matchups aren’t the best but once evolved via Stomp, Tsareena is pretty capable. It won’t sweep much but it will at the very least pull its weight as it has great stats at least. I think it’s in D currently? If it can’t sweep a matchup, Trop Kick is a handy debuffing tool.

Yeah early Grubbin is pretty bad. Charjabug is meh but I definitely remember Vikavolt being consistently good.

Curious if you will think A or S on Wishiwashi.

Bewear last I checked is actually pretty great! Don’t forget to give it Ice and Thunder Punch on Ula’ula Beach.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
so I finished my run a few days ago, but didn't post about this because I was too lazy. I will also address some things per request as well

===
re: my run

I used Litten / Oricorio / Zubat (retest) / Litwick (retest) / Magikarp / Wishiwashi. I will hide them due to Wishiwashi and in case HydrogenHydreigon doesn't want to be influenced by my Wishiwashi (not the actual word) thoughts.

Litten isn't easy to tier due to its somewhat fluctuating performance (this should hint as to where I am going to place it). It doesn't have the best beginning, as it's not reliably good against any matchup until Lurantis. After this, though, it picks up quite a few good other matchups. Here's a breakdown of all the good matchups LItten has:

Lurantis - Z-Fire Fang + Work Up results in an easy victory

Togedemaru - Work Up + Z-Fire Punch OHKOes Togedemaru. You could try Fire Pledge here as well, but I managed just fine with Fire Punch

Guzma - has some difficulties with the first fight, but afterwards, Specs Flamethrower always sweeps. Fire Pledge might help against the first fight, but again, never tried it.

Nanu - this one can be a sweep. Basically, you Flame Charge on Sableye, Z-Sunny Day, then Flame Charge to KO Sableye since you will be in Blaze range. Then you outspeed and OHKO the rest with Flamethrower

Ribombee - Z-Flare Blitz into Flare Blitz KO Ribombee

Molayne - spam Specs Flamethrower. You are unlikely to sweep, but you take out 4/5 of his team.

Gumshoos and Hala are potential victories, but are unreliable and/or require healing items, thus they don't count positively towards Litten's performance

Ultimately, I think this warrants B-tier, as there is a significant amount of matchups that are bad for Litten. Also, I would suggest using Flamethrower Incineroar in most cases, while it may not seem appealing at first, the game's weakness to special attacks + Choice Specs make it a very effective way of dealing damage.


Keeping this in B-tier, though admittedly it's pretty close to A-tier. The only reasons I am not putting it in A-tier are because its E4 performance is non-existant and because its damage output is pathethically low sometimes (see Lurantis). In terms of matchups:

Hala - you can get a KO or two, but you aren't sweeping

Araquanid - you have Flyinium Z at this point, you win with Golbat

Lurantis - you need two Bites and then Z-Wing Attack to KO Lurantis

Guzma - generally takes out everything but Vikavolt

Nanu - Leech Life 3HKOes Sableye, which goes for Fake Out, only for you to have Inner Focus. Persian, likewise, does the same, so it gets 3HKOed, but then gets KOed on the next turn with Z-Leech Life as it fails to threaten you whatsoever. Then you 2HKO Krokorok

Kommo-o - Haze away the boosts then OHKO with Z-Fly

Ribombee - read the above

In addition to the above, Crobat has Haze, which can be useful against other Totems that it sucks against. Again, I feel like this could feasibly be A-tier again, but I won't fight over this, unless someone else wants to suggest A-tier, in which case I may push it back there


Definitely B-tier. Litwick doesn't seem too concerned about late evolution, as it manages to win some matchups just as a Litwick. In particular:

Hala - Crabrawler is your only issue here due to Pursuit and you can burn it. The rest cannot hit Litwick at all

Lurantis - Sunny Day + Z-Flame Burst

Togedemaru - the above, only worry about Zing Zap flinches (2HKO)

Guzma - bad unless you have a Chandelure for the third fight

Kommo-o - Psych Up then OHKO Kommo-o with Z-Psychic

Ultra Necrozma - Sash + Curse puts it on a timer

Ribombee - Specs Flamethrower is enough to win here

Hapu - kills most things with Energy Ball

Molayne - kills most things here, no sweep though

Acerola - kills most things

Kahili - gets a few kills

All in all, it's definitely useful despite the late evolution, so I will keep it in B-tier.


I will concur with S-tier. Matchups speak for themselves, honestly, but there's little reason not to use this beyond "Hawlucha exists to outclass it". It either wins fights or throws in a Feather Dance. Matchups:

Hala - Work Up then Air Cutter OHKOes everything

Araquanid - Work Up + Z-Air Cutter to OHKO

Marowak - can throw in a Feather Dance and make Marowak a lot easier for a teammate

Lurantis - read Araquanid

Togedemaru - read Marowak

Guzma - consistently sweeps here with no issues

Mimikyu - read Togedemaru

Kommo-o - Z-Hurricane into Air Slash KO Kommo-o, which 3HKOes with Dragon Claw if in Electric form. Scizor doesn't go for Bullet Punch

Ribombee - Dancer + Z-Hurricane is lol

Molayne - if Fire forme, you can kill most of the things here with Revelation Dance

Acerola - Fire forme kills most things here with Specs Revelation Dance

Kahili - Electric form crushes this fight

as you can see, quite a lot of fights. I think S-tier is fair and I will move it there


I will push this to A-tier, but I'd argue that Magikarp is very close to S-tier and I'd classify it as S-. The problems with Magikarp come if you get it underleveled, Slow growth and reliance on inaccurate moves (Bounce / Aqua Tail). There's also the E4 performance which could be better. With that said, it's definitely A-tier at worst, due to those matchups:

Marowak - Z-Splash then Bite 2HKOes Marowak, you seem to win in most cases

Lurantis - Z-Bounce

Olivia - beats 2/3 of her team

Guzma - consistently sweeps, especially once it gets DD, but you don't need it for the first two fights.

Mimikyu - Z-Splash, OHKO Banette, then put Mimikyu in red with Aqua Tail and KO it. You will need to heal at least once, though you can afford an Attack drop from Play Rough

Nanu - DD once on Sab and OHKO it with Aqua Tail. OHKO Persian with Hydro Vortex (it's still faster, but fails to kill with Power Gem) then kill Krokorok

Kommo-o - DD once then Z-Bounce to OHKO, you live one Thunder Punch

Ribombee - Z-Bounce puts it in red, so DD once and kill it

Olivia - Z-Splash then spam Aqua Tail, though use Bounce on Probopass first to avoid healing spam. It can barely make it through Probopass, though Cradily may KO it due to living one hit.


I think this should remain in A-tier and I am not sure if I am convinced of S-tier. Let's analyze pros and cons:

pros:

- Fast growth, combind with a somewhat early arrival (it comes after Araquanid, so you haven't missed on too much)

- incredible offensive and defensive stats, save for the poor HP and Speed.

- doesn't really rely on tutor moves, unless you are going for niche strats like Z-Iron Tail

cons:

- has quite the amount of bad matchups

- poor movepool, so it can be walled quite easily

I don't think it's not S-tier due to something specifically bad as much as it is that there isn't much that screams S-tier to me. Matchups:

Marowak - easy win here, just use Hydro Vortex then spam Water moves

Olivia - Rain Dance against Anorith and OHKO it with Water Pulse. Then OHKO Lileep with Z-Dive. At this point, you are in yellow. Lycanroc goes for Bite and if it doesn't flinch, you OHKO with Water Pulse

Togedemaru - Z-Water Pulse in rain OHKOes, while Zing Zap 3HKOes, so flinches are your only worry

Mimikyu - Z-Iron Tail OHKOes, but Banette burns you and Mimikyu 3HKOes.

Nanu - beats Sableye and Krokorok

Ribombee - Scald into Z-Aqua Tail in rain KOes

Hapu - didn't try it out, but it obviously dominates here

Elite Four - Specs Scald / Hydro Pump always gets a few KOs, but it never sweeps

as a whole, it doesn't dominate the entire game, so I would rather this stay in A-tier. WIth that said, it's still a great Pokemon, as lack of good matchups is about the only flaw I can pinpoint to it and it's generally really low-cost Pokemon due to not needing tutor moves and Fast growth rate.


===

One thing to note is that I tried to keep my levels on par with the Totems/highest level mon of Kahuna rather than overleveling them, not sure if I should keep doing this, though.
I won't chase people or persuade them to run in a specific way, but feel free to overlevel. I am assuming you are playing with Exp. Share on, it's normal to be a few levels above the boss in USUM. With that said, your results so far shouldn't be impacted by the way you played, as the "standard" I use would have resulted in around two levels higher, though that may affect your later matchups if you decide to keep this up. But as a whole, feel free to overlevel, I am assuming the player isn't putting restrictions like this on themselves due to the game's general difficulty.

re: Grubbin, no problems with it dropping if such conclusion is reached, I just need people to nominate it so I know that there is some agreement to that

re: Zorua, the reason why it's B-tier is that it can actually put in some work against boss fights if you get creative enough. For example, Zorua can beat Araquanid with Z-Bounce if it's disguised as a Bug-resistant Pokemon. It also can also do other things, so I will quote my post about it:

Zorua -> potentially B-tier (but not higher)
My estimates on Zorua didn't match what I actually experienced. Zorua managed to perform better in matchups that I thought were bad. In addition the UN matchup, Zorua can beat Araquanid by using Bounce then Z-Bounce while disguised as Bug-resistant Pokemon. It can fool Guzma's Golisopod and spam Fake Tears so Snarl can OHKO and always outspeeds and OHKOs Masquerain with Z-Bounce (even at -1). It can even copy Ribombee's stats with Psych Up and OHKO it with Z-Bounce (however, you need to disguise as a Poison-type or Steel-type and hope you aren't attacked in the first two turns). At the E4, it can sweep Molayne (you need to disguise as a Ghost-type or something that triggers Dugtrio's Sucker Punch and hope Klefki doesn't break Disguise) and Acerola and can contribute against Olivia #2. Against Hau, you can disguise as a Fighting-type, set up two NPs and then a Z-Sunny Day (for a Speed boost) and then spam Flamethrower (with other moves being used as needed).

All in all, Zorua definitely exceeded my expectations. I do not mind putting it in B-tier for now. However, I strongly object to anything higher; even if it's effective when disguised as the correct teammate, efficiency isn't only about speed; it's also about something being natural and I think expecting the player to constantly bring around Pokemon that are good Illusion partners is a bit too specific and complicated to warrant a higher tier. Not to mention that, even with that, Zorua is still bad in a lot of matchups, like Normal Totem, Hala, Lurantis, Marowak, Togedemaru, Mimikyu, and Kommo-o (can Psych Up there and Z-Bounce, but doesn't win). I think B is a fair compromise for now, but I'd appreciate if more people that have used it more thoroughly can share their experience with it.
personally, not only do I object to anything higher than B, but I also wouldn't be super opposed to C-tier. I think it can be either tier, so it depends a lot on what the majority wants. The reason why I am open to C-tier is that, while it can win a lot of matchups, you certainly need to get creative with it to achieve those, since, as it's been stated, Dark typing + fraility certainly don't help it. Do note that Zorua is probably one of the few Pokemon that can beat Ultra Necrozma without Roto Boosts.

re: Gastly, you pretty much pinpoint what it does for the period of the game you mention; Ghost / Poison is only useful for trolling Hala and it can pretty much contribute only by throwing Curses around. Per experience, this is how you are gonna keep on using it too. Also, to make it clear, Haunter and Gengar seem to have a similar performance, which is why I have them in the same tier right now.

re: Steenee, I personally fail to get the hype around it and I am glad other people doubt it right now. Trop Kick is about the only thing that makes me say that it's better than garbage like Paras and Fomantis, but you aren't really winning most fights with it (even type advantageous ones like Olivia aren't ideal for it).

re: Stufful, that would be interesting to see. Per experience, if it's got an advantage in a matchup, it capitalizes on that heavily. Hell, Fluffy makes it somewhat usable against Kahili iirc, even if it's not the best to use there.

===

re: Leafeon, I am going to push it to C-tier, as there are many things in C-tier that have somewhat similar problems to it (mainly them not being super consistent, but not really bad either), but it's not going anywhere higher and I may push it down to D-tier again if more people decide to disagree with C-tier. I have also identified a few Pokemon that were placed in their tiers inconsistently and will push them to a better tier at a later point.

Once I get more thoughts on Rowlet, Grubbin, Beldum/Honedge, Vulpix, Sandshrew, and Golem, I will start packing the list for write-ups.
 
I'm not done w/ my current run of Ultra Moon just yet, but Shellos in E seems WAY too harsh. You get an unevolved Shellos via trade in Seafolk Village, which not only gets boosted EXP, but also has a perfect nature (Quiet). You can also keep it unevolved for two levels to get Recover a bit early. It is useless as a Shellos, but it gains EXP fast so that phase doesn't last too long. I'll provide logs it vs major boss fights as I finish the game.

Ultra Recon Squad (Fight 4)
-
In my match, the fight was kinda a stalemate (Moveset is Toxic, Sludge Bomb, Muddy Water, Recover)
- They use a X Special Defense in my initial battle and normal poisoned me so Muddy Water wasn't doing too much damage, but the didn't really do any damage in return
- In the end, it did take a while but Gastrodon was able to win
- Wish I could retry this fight using Bulldoze, but I f'd up and saved, so can't really do that
 
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I'm not done w/ my current run of Ultra Moon just yet, but Shellos in E seems WAY too harsh. You get an unevolved Shellos via trade in Seafolk Village, which not only gets boosted EXP, but also has a perfect nature (Quiet). You can also keep it unevolved for two levels to get Recover a bit early. It is useless as a Shellos, but it gains EXP fast so that phase doesn't last too long. I'll provide logs it vs major boss fights as I finish the game.
Maybe E is indeed a little harsh because Trade EXP and Quiet are pretty nice, but at the same time Shellos has some really, really big issues I don’t think even those fix.

-Seafolk Village availability
You know how anything in HGSS post-Radio Tower is basically bottom tier? Yeah it’s very similar here. Aether Paradise has a lot of trainers, and a lot of things want to be around for Guzma 2 and Nanu as well. You miss 3 major battles if you come after them in such a short amount of game time, in addition to the first three islands. Even some of the better Pokémon statwise like Granbull near to Play Rough aren’t worth using because you only have a few fights left.

-All of the last few fights are exceptionally difficult to sweep barring Hapu
Hapu is weakness food for most Waters because you have Scald and she’s pretty slow, but everything else is overtuned like crazy. Ribombee basically invalidates any Special Attacker with ho-hum power like Gastrodon. Ultra Necrozma speaks for itself (though I could maybe see Gastrodon surviving and getting a Toxic off, it’s debatable and most things do this with Focus Sash anyway) Kommo-o generally wins neutral matchups (Blizzard isn’t gonna do much when non-STAB) and the League is obnoxious in general for slow mons.

-Gastrodon is slow. REALLY slow.
It’s not gonna be killing more than one or two mons against stuff it doesn’t hit super-effectively. I can see you maybe taking a couple mons in the E4, but Olivia will definitely be worse than it looks, because Gigalith’s Sand Stream gives every member a 50% Special Defense buff and she has good IVs on top of that AND there is also no way in heck Gastrodon would ever beat Cradily.

So you’ve got a slow Water / Ground type who hits way softer than most Waters like Gyarados / Primarina (83/92 offenses) its best Ground STAB is 65 BP Mud Bomb, doesn’t have much that gives it a proper niche (it’s too slow for Recover), and comes on the final island with only one matchup it’s semi-decent in. I’d love to see your logs with it as I love being surprised by a mon being great in-game when it looks like it’s not very good (I do like Audino and Basculin after all), but as it stands right now, yeah Shellos is pretty bottom tier.
 

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