Research Pokemon XD In-Game Tier List

Larvitar is ranked in both D and E

Spheal was one I used in my most recent playthrough and I reckon it should be B instead of C. Comes at a good level relative to the team and has efficient training options available in the hexagon brothers through pyrite arena. Hits a power dead spot between 27-32 but once it evolves faces no further problems, Body Slam and Aurora Beam are quite adequate as heavy hitters and Sealeo and Walrein are very tanky defensively with solid attack output, and enough speed to move first against roughly half of the enemies.

All in all a very solid, above average choice, nothing exceptional but worth the effort

Edit: Checkedthe other stuff I used, Espeon and Houndoom are obviously appropriate as is Meditote and I used Shiftry for some reason, it was surprisingly decent and its rank is accurate

Salamemce feels like it should be D purely for its role as the best tank bar none for the otherwise very difficult final fight

ive also actually used shuckle before and it was pretty decent, not having to rely on it to kill things for experience meant that it could do a very solid job of toxic killing threats while getting poked for 4-12 damage. A much better option than appears on the surface and could see it in D. Would recommend someone try it out to see if D or E is more appropriate.
 
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Larvitar is ranked in both D and E

Spheal was one I used in my most recent playthrough and I reckon it should be B instead of C. Comes at a good level relative to the team and has efficient training options available in the hexagon brothers through pyrite arena. Hits a power dead spot between 27-32 but once it evolves faces no further problems, Body Slam and Aurora Beam are quite adequate as heavy hitters and Sealeo and Walrein are very tanky defensively with solid attack output, and enough speed to move first against roughly half of the enemies.

All in all a very solid, above average choice, nothing exceptional but worth the effort

Edit: Checkedthe other stuff I used, Espeon and Houndoom are obviously appropriate as is Meditote and I used Shiftry for some reason, it was surprisingly decent and its rank is accurate

Salamemce feels like it should be D purely for its role as the best tank bar none for the otherwise very difficult final fight

ive also actually used shuckle before and it was pretty decent, not having to rely on it to kill things for experience meant that it could do a very solid job of toxic killing threats while getting poked for 4-12 damage. A much better option than appears on the surface and could see it in D. Would recommend someone try it out to see if D or E is more appropriate.
Spheal is a pretty solid Pokemon. It can be given the TM Ice Beam when you reach Phenac City, which gives it a powerful STAB move pretty early into the game. It's also fairly bulky and only has one batch major match up in Miror B. Spheal's biggest problem is that it evolves late, and misses out on powerful Water STAB, but in XD it acts more like an Ice Pokemon, and is easily the best one for a standard playthrough.

Salamence does great in the final two battles, but that's all it can participate in. It also has a rather large Heart Gauge so it would take some time for it to be able to use regular moves. I think E is fine where it is because it only has two battles to its name. I see the E tier more as a tier where either late game Pokemon can fulfill a niche in the final battles or Pokemon that start off good, but fall off hard in the late game.

Shuckle's biggest issue is that you need to capture a Surskit to obtain one, and Surskit has only a 15 percent chance to appear. Technically it's less as Munchlax has a 10% chance to show up after a certain point in the game. Also until I believe a point during Phenac City, you can only obtain a limited amount of Pokesnacks and personally, I'd rather try my luck to obtain a Wooper, or a Trapinch to trade for the Meditite than a Surskit.
But outside of Gulpin and Roselia (who learns Toxic rather late), it does have Toxic in it's moveset, which the TM is a postgame TM and something like that can come in handy during certain battles. I dunno, it's rather hard to say.

I would like to nominate Ralts for the A tier. Ralts is rather weak but you only have to deal with it for one level which, and Kirlia is pretty good, while Gardevoir is great. Even though Espeon overall is the better Psychic-type, Kirlia and Gardevoir do have some niches over Espeon. Unlike Espeon, they have sleep utility, naturally learns Calm Mind, naturally learns Psychic far earlier than Espeon does, and has potential Ice/Electric/Psychic coverage compared to Espeon's Dark/Psychic. Of course at the point Kirlia learns Psychic, you could teach Espeon Psychic from TM obtained at the Snagem Hideout, but naturally learning Psychic means the Psychic TM can be used for someone else. Gardevoir makes a fine substitute for a Psychic-type if one decides to choose another Eeveelution and provides great power and utility for the investment given.


I tried using Dodrio immediately after catching it, and I was left rather unimpressed. Dodrio has a rather high Heart Gauge for some unknown reason, so it takes a while to purify if one decides to purify it through battles. Because of this, it also gets outleveled fairly quick as the levels increase in a rather fast fashion in Citadark Isle. Shadow Blitz at that point also doesn't hit very hard either. I can see it in D because Dodrio is fast and strong and in some ways reminds me of Espeon, but does take time to get to that point.
 

Darkmalice

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Spheal was one I used in my most recent playthrough and I reckon it should be B instead of C. Comes at a good level relative to the team and has efficient training options available in the hexagon brothers through pyrite arena. Hits a power dead spot between 27-32 but once it evolves faces no further problems, Body Slam and Aurora Beam are quite adequate as heavy hitters and Sealeo and Walrein are very tanky defensively with solid attack output, and enough speed to move first against roughly half of the enemies.
Having used Spheal, I found its biggest problem was, as a Sealeo, in the second half of Citadark Isle. Its low Speed hurts it when many high-attack Pokemon pack Shadow Break and Shadow Storm, and its bulk wasn't enough. Sadly mine didn't evolve before Eldes, and by then I resorted to swapping it out for Starmie since it just struggled to stay alive in many of its battles whilst not doing enough in return, whilst Starmie's speed (and Ice Beam) was better. I didn't use Rare Candies or the Ice Beam TM though, which may have changed things.

I think it's better than the current C rank Pokemon and worse than the other B rank Pokemon.

Salamemce feels like it should be D purely for its role as the best tank bar none for the otherwise very difficult final fight
Salamence does great in the final two battles, but that's all it can participate in. It also has a rather large Heart Gauge so it would take some time for it to be able to use regular moves. I think E is fine where it is because it only has two battles to its name. I see the E tier more as a tier where either late game Pokemon can fulfill a niche in the final battles or Pokemon that start off good, but fall off hard in the late game.
To add to this, the other E rank Pokemon obtained during the Eldes fight, Marowak and Lapras, will generally deal more damage to Greevil's Pokemon than Salamence. Thick Club Marowak's Rock Slide hits Lugia and the three birds for good damage, especially Moltres and Articuno, and SD which should be easy to set up. Lapras is also a good tank and has Blizzard (alas inaccurate) for good damage to Lugia, Rhydon, Exeggutor, and Zapdos. None of them will take much damage given that you should be keeping them as Shadow Pokemon for Greevil to reduce Shadow move damage.

Generally speaking, any decent levelled Shadow Pokemon with decent fire power on a non-Shadow move will do well against Greevil.

Salamence is probably the best if you intend to catch all of Greevil's Pokemon in one run, but I wouldn't recommend that in an efficient run (I did this, and it took many attempts).
 
I'm unfamiliar with the Orre games in these types of threads, so just to check, is this assuming the only mons you make an effort to obtain are those that you plan to use, and thus Shadow Pokemon will be fainted otherwise? Obviously the latter stipulation further favors sweepers in particular as much as other in-game tierings likely do.
 
I'm unfamiliar with the Orre games in these types of threads, so just to check, is this assuming the only mons you make an effort to obtain are those that you plan to use, and thus Shadow Pokemon will be fainted otherwise? Obviously the latter stipulation further favors sweepers in particular as much as other in-game tierings likely do.
I personally like to assume that most players will at least make an attempt to capture all the Pokemon available, since both Colosseum and XD have a counter for how many Shadow Pokemon captured and purified. This also adds to the fact that in every single playthrough of an Orre-based game, you will encounter these specific Pokemon as opposed to the handheld games (with few exceptions like the starter and some forced encounters) you may never encounter something like an Abra for example.

The Orre games also have a very limited selection compared to the handhelds, as well as a huge focus on double battles, in that a doubles format tends to favor a bulky attacker instead of a glass cannon that singles do. Strong sweepers are of course valued greatly but because of how double battles are, it's also useful to have forms of utility as well as most sweepers can't hit both opposing Pokemon.
 

Darkmalice

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I'm unfamiliar with the Orre games in these types of threads, so just to check, is this assuming the only mons you make an effort to obtain are those that you plan to use, and thus Shadow Pokemon will be fainted otherwise? Obviously the latter stipulation further favors sweepers in particular as much as other in-game tierings likely do.
From the OP
In-game tier lists rank the obtainable Pokemon in terms of their efficiency in usefulness in clearing the main story campaign of the game. In the case of this game, clearing the story is defined as defeating Greevil for the first time in Citadark Isle. The efficiency of a playthrough is defined by the length of real time needed to complete the game.
So technically this would be just KOing those you don't plan to use which is generally faster. Catching them if they're easy to catch shouldn't make a difference if any (and may actually be faster sometimes). This of course doesn't apply to some tough to catch Pokemon like the 3 legendary birds, and it's faster to use the Master Ball on Lugia.
 
Personally, I don't think XD's tier list should use the exact same criteria to rank a Pokemon as the main series games. When you consider the Shadow Pokemon mechanic being in these games, I think it's a good idea to consider how well a Pokemon can perform while it's still a Shadowmon, since you'll need to use it as a Shadowmon to get it purified, and how well it can take abuse from other Shadowmons once it's been purified (if it was ever a Shadowmon at all), since you'll often be spending a fair amount of time trying to weaken and throw Pokeballs at them. I personally think the higher presence of Shadow mechanics means it should be utilized during the adventure. And despite the vastly larger presence of this mechanic in this game compared to Colosseum, I still see people playing through XD as if they're supposed to put a full team of six purified mons on their team and utilize the mechanic as little as possible.

Anyway, if I can suggest a couple of changes based on that:

Umbreon: C->B/A
Umbreon is a prime example of what I was talking about earlier. You can actually use its weak offenses and huge bulk to your advantage when trying to snag Shadow Pokemon. It can chip away at them while you try to get them into catchable range while still being able to take hit after hit in the meantime. Even in the early parts of the game, when you won't have to snag all the Shadowmons in the world, having STAB on Bite can help make up for its lack of real offenses (plus, you'll have at least a Teddiursa to pair it with, who can lay an extra smack or two on things if the going gets tough).

Arbok: D->C; Hitmonlee, Electabuzz, and Swellow: E->C
Two words: Shadow Half. This move cuts everything's HP in half, which is a godlike effect to have when you're trying to snag all the Shadowmons on your way through Citadark Isle. I'd nominate all of these for B, but once you snag Hitmonlee, you don't need Arbok anymore, and in turn you won't need Hitmonlee anymore once you get to snag Ardos's Swellow and/or Electabuzz.
 
Personally, I don't think XD's tier list should use the exact same criteria to rank a Pokemon as the main series games. When you consider the Shadow Pokemon mechanic being in these games, I think it's a good idea to consider how well a Pokemon can perform while it's still a Shadowmon, since you'll need to use it as a Shadowmon to get it purified, and how well it can take abuse from other Shadowmons once it's been purified (if it was ever a Shadowmon at all), since you'll often be spending a fair amount of time trying to weaken and throw Pokeballs at them. I personally think the higher presence of Shadow mechanics means it should be utilized during the adventure. And despite the vastly larger presence of this mechanic in this game compared to Colosseum, I still see people playing through XD as if they're supposed to put a full team of six purified mons on their team and utilize the mechanic as little as possible.

Anyway, if I can suggest a couple of changes based on that:

Umbreon: C->B/A
Umbreon is a prime example of what I was talking about earlier. You can actually use its weak offenses and huge bulk to your advantage when trying to snag Shadow Pokemon. It can chip away at them while you try to get them into catchable range while still being able to take hit after hit in the meantime. Even in the early parts of the game, when you won't have to snag all the Shadowmons in the world, having STAB on Bite can help make up for its lack of real offenses (plus, you'll have at least a Teddiursa to pair it with, who can lay an extra smack or two on things if the going gets tough).

Arbok: D->C; Hitmonlee, Electabuzz, and Swellow: E->C
Two words: Shadow Half. This move cuts everything's HP in half, which is a godlike effect to have when you're trying to snag all the Shadowmons on your way through Citadark Isle. I'd nominate all of these for B, but once you snag Hitmonlee, you don't need Arbok anymore, and in turn you won't need Hitmonlee anymore once you get to snag Ardos's Swellow and/or Electabuzz.

Umbreon definitely isn't a bad Pokemon, but its biggest issue is that Eevee gains the least amount from becoming an Umbreon. You're sacrificing Espeon, Jolteon, and Vaporeon to use an Umbreon. They all apperciate Bite more than Umbreon does and even though it gets STAB off of it, it's stuck with Bite for the entire run where as Espeon, Jolteon, and Vaporeon get Psychic, Thunder(bolt), and Water Pulse/Hydro Pump respectively It does have great bulk, and bulk has an increased importance in XD due to the buffed Shadow Pokemon mechanics. Sacrificing Espeon and Jolteon for the "worst" Eeveeolution is very apparent.

Electabuzz and Swellow come far too late into the game to be C tier. They are useful in the final battles, but there are only a few of them, and even with such a useful move, Electabuzz and Swellow aren't exactly bulky Pokemon, even when they resist Shadow moves. They also only have access to Shadow moves, where as something like Snorlax, if given a bit of time to decrease its Heart Gauge, can completely wall the rest of the battles and spread paralysis with Body Slam with little to no (in battle) item support.
 

Karxrida

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Capture utility is not enough to justify an Umbreon rise. It's not that important in the long run, plus Umbreon's not even that efficient at it. I'd much rather use Shroomish, which has False Swipe, Spore, and actual battle prowess.

I wanted to do a run to test some stuff like Arbok (which seems perfectly fine for C on paper because its stats are decent and it can have Intimidate), but my sister took our GameCube with her to college. :V
 
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I'm testing out Carvanha and I believe it struggles too much in the major battles to be a B-tier mon. I was using it the moment I obtained it and in terms of major battles, it did okay against Lovrina, but the level difference was very apparent that even Shadow Blitz wasn't doing as much as I hoped and Lovrina's Pokemon were doing more damage than anticipated.
It did jack squat against Miror B.
Even though Exol's battle is optional (in terms of winning), his Pokemon are too beefy and they all hit Carvanha back pretty hard.
It doesn't like Snattle at all.
Chobin and Robo Groudon is too beefy
Miror B.-Two is a no go.
and then when it finally gets around to a Sharpedo around Cipher Key Lair, it's pretty good but still not amazing. You finally get access to the Double-Edge tutor so it can abuse its high 120 base attack, but Double-Edge has no STAB, and it still missed out on plenty of OHKO's I thought it would get. Not to mention that Double-Edge abuse can potentially use up a lot of items or trips to healing stations which can be time consuming.

After experiencing Carvanha, I thin the C-tier is a better reflection of it, and it's biggest flaws is that it's very frail, and it has to rely on its weaker offensive stat for a lot of the game.


I happened to capture a Sandshrew at a high level (23), and with an Adamant nature. It's a solid mon that's held back by it's bad level up movepool so D-tier is fine as is.


Meditite is good where it is at the B-tier. I got very lucky and managed to get a Trapinch very quickly, but you can't trade with Duking until the ONBS plot is completed. it still manages to be very good. It comes with Shadow Ball which is great, and the Dynamicpunch's accuracy problem can be circumvented with the Call feature, and it levels up quick. Of course it's biggest flaw is that it has to rely on Trapinch being caught which is entirely luck dependent and a rather late evolution where you may not see Medicham before Citadark, but it's been holding on better than Carvanha did.


I feel a 97.5% accurate Sleep Powder is just enough that Butterfree can be pushed into the E-tiers. It also gains that Sleep Powder after one bar of the Heart Gauge is gone, and it's matchup against Gorigan is pretty good in its favor, baring the Shadows (cause they have Vital Spirit/Insomina, and Primeape is faster anyway). Anything that you can't OHKO with your other Pokemon and is also a massive threat can simply be put to sleep. If Paras can manage to not be F-tier because of Spore, I know Butterfree can as well with it's pseudo-Spore. I ain't saying Butterfree is a good mon, but it can form a niche through my testing.
 
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Karxrida

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is a Community Contributor
MellowBusiness what Eeveelution are you using? I was going to test Flareon on my next run since B seems way too high for it, but I can't exactly do that now unless I resort to Perfectly Legal Means.
 
MellowBusiness what Eeveelution are you using? I was going to test Flareon on my next run since B seems way too high for it, but I can't exactly do that now unless I resort to Perfectly Legal Means.
I picked Jolteon because I really wanted to see myself if it really was an S-tier mon (it is).

I used Flareon when I first played the game during its release and it did fairly well if my memory serves to be correct . 130 base attack is still big, even if you can't use it with STAB. You can get access to the Body Slam tutor and the Fire Blast TM before the Phenac City plotline, it's the only Eeveelution that can use Quick Attack well, and the Shadow Ball TM is in Snagem Hideout so it's offensive presence is good enough. It doesn't even do that bad against Miror B due to its high special defense. I think Flareon could do with a testing since I'm going off a decade+ old memory and a bit of theory crafting.
 
Magneton may have an awful matchup against Gorigan, but Citadark Isle isn't bad for it at all. It hits really hard with Thunder and there is pretty much a Pokemon weak to Electric in nearly every battle, even against the bosses. The Steel-typing also comes in handy as it lets it reliably set up Rain Dance too (and is one of the few Pokemon who can use it without taking a large detour) It still doesn't like Gorigan 2 and can potentially struggle against Eldes if not given Protect, but I don't think it's F tier, I'd say more along the lines of E-tier. It's probably the worst Electric-type in an efficient playthrough, but that's mostly due to how late it comes in


Shroomish might be an S-tier mon after using it again in XD. Shroomish has some good bulk and the Flucuating experience curve lets it level up very quickly during the early stages. 130 base attack at level 23 when it evolves is massive and combined with the Brick Break TM, can lead to a ton of OHKOs and 2HKOs (even against Pokemon that resist Brick Break). I feel Brick Break is well worth the small detour to obtain. It's experience curve starts to slow down a lot after 36 (when it learns Sky Uppercut) but it's been a great contributor to all the major battles with it's power, paralysis in Stun Spore/Body Slam, and one of the few Pokemon that can use priority (well) in the game.
As a Shroomish it did pretty good against Lovrina once the Beautifly was gone, it did alright against Miror B and in ONBS, and then once it evolved into a Breloom, it started to do amazing. Snattle was fairly easy, Miror B 2 was a non issue, Chobin couldn't do much to it as long as Gyarados is gone, and Gonzap was simple as long as it didn't go against Skarmory. It can OHKO most of Gorigan's Pokemon, but doesn't particulary like to go against his Slowking. I haven't gone through all of Citadark with it, but it's been doing very good in it.


Shellder sucks, but once it's purified, it can immediately evolve and be taught the Ice Beam TM (as long as you picked both of them up in Phenac). It may as well immediately evolve too considering Shellder is the only Pokemon (besides Eevee) that uses the Water Stone, so it has no one to compete with it, unlike Growlithe/Vulpix and Weepinbell/Nuzleaf as Poliwrath and Starmie are already evolved once captured. If fought against Gorigan as a Cloyster, it has a so-so matchup. It can tank Gorigan's physical hits easily, but both his Shadow Pokemon have Shadow Storm, which hurts it a lot. As long as Cloyster stays away from special attacks, it can put in work. D-tier is fine for it, but it could be C-tier too.


Pinsir's Shadow Break hurts, a lot. I've been using it through Citadark and it's doing pretty well. It won't be purified going through Citadark, but Pinsir is a better Shadow Pokemon than a standard one anyway. The level differences in the major battles during the latter half of Citadark do become apparent, but with an effect 140 base power move off of 125 base attack, it can do damage and tank shadow moves reliably. I think Pinsir could be E-tier, but just barely
 
Making a small list of the Battle CDs that might be worth doing in a playthrough.

CD 21 - ONBS Building - 2nd Floor in Secc's office (bookshelf) after completing the Cipher Key Lair. Reward: TM01 Focus Punch

CD 22 - Pyrite Town - Duking's office (bookshelf) after completing the Cipher Key Lair. Reward: Rare Candy

CD 24 - ONBS Building - 1st floor, bookshelf in the left room after completing Cipher Key Lair. Reward: 5 Lum Berries

CD 36 - ONBS Building - Nett's office (bookshelf) after the Snag Machine is stolen. Reward: PP up

CD 37 - Obtained after CD 36 is completed. Reward: PP up

CD 40 - Pyrite Town - Between the bookshelves of the house to the right of the Pokemart after the Snag Machine is stolen. Reward: Rare Candy

CD 41 - Obtained after CD 40 is completed. Reward: Rare Candy

CD 47 - Cipher Key Lair - The Basement Floor on the conveyor belt after Gorigan is defeated. Reward: Max Revive

CD 48 - Obtained after CD 47 is completed. Reward: Max Revive

CD 49 - Kaminko's House - Bookshelf in the right room after Cipher Key Lair. Reward: TM11 Sunny Day

CD 50 - Kaminko's House - Bookshelf in the left room after Cipher Key Lair. Reward: TM18 Rain Dance
 

Fireburn

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Apologies for the lack of updates: I had been doing another run of the game to try and get a better picture of some of the borderline mons on the tiering list. The team I used to clear the game was Vaporeon/Houndour/Shroomish/Elekid/Natu/Zangoose, with Salamence Master Balled for the Greevil fight. In terms of optional battles I cleared the first two areas of Mt. Battle (Water Pulse TM + purify Natu), one run of Pyrite Colosseum (purify Shroomish + Brick Break TM), and two runs of Realgam Colosseum (lategame EXP + Giga Drain TM). My run of the game was not particularly difficult save for Ardos, to whom I would have wiped had it not been for a timely Focus Band proc on Houndoom and some confusion hax against his Snorlax (lol). I don't have much to say about Houndour or Salamence - I think S-tier and E-tier are fine for them both and these aren't really contested, so let's focus on the other four.

Vaporeon - I went into this run believing Vaporeon was a borderline A/B mon, and I still think that having finished the game. However, I think Vaporeon is now closer to A-tier than B-tier. Vaporeon tanks hits like a champion and fights back with a good mix of offensive and supporting capabilities. While Water Pulse as the best STAB option is meh, even Water Pulse hurts when its coming off 110 SpA (which is way better than what the other Water-types in this game have to work with), and backed with Ice Beam and Bite I found Vaporeon was still able to at least 2HKO a lot of its opponents well into Citadark Isle. I didn't go for relearner Helping Hand due to not feeling like grinding for the coupons, so instead I gave it the Icy Wind tutor from Agate Village and it served me very well, being an incredibly good early coverage move as well as a strong late-game speed control option that partially made up for Vaporeon's low Speed (and also saved me against an otherwise horrendous Ardos fight). Vaporeon has a pretty commanding performance through Snagem Hideout and only starts to lose a bit of steam near the end of Cipher Key Lair, but it still does well enough and Eldes/Greevil don't exactly appreciate a fat Water-type hurling 110 SpA Ice Beams at their very Ice weak teams. I was pleased with Vaporeon's performance and would thus be willing to raise it to A-rank, the Speed and weakish STAB options were still kind of annoying but Icy Wind and its raw SpA helps compensate for its flaws.

Shroomish - I think Shroomish is a solid Pokemon worthy of A-rank, but I do not think it is worthy of S-rank. Breloom dominates midgame extremely hard, but a combination of a poor early period and a lot of rough matchups in Citadark Isle keep it from being S. Shroomish is really bad when you first get it - it unfortunately comes at the tail end of a Water-heavy Shadow Lab when the level curve is starting to increasing, and though it takes hits okay it is sorely lacking in power and thus needs some grinding to catch up. Once it becomes Breloom and gets the Brick Break TM it becomes a monster and will basically wreck everything through ONBS and Phenac City with a mostly strong performance in Snagem Hideout and Cipher Key Lair. Citadark Isle is where things start turning against Breloom. There is a rather annoyingly high number of Pokemon that can prey on its weaknesses, its mediocre Speed starts becoming a problem, and its matchup against the toughest endgame bosses is pretty bad, with Ardos, Eldes, and Greevil packing multiple ways to body Breloom before it can do much. It's still a good Pokemon and it's not like its endgame contributions were bad, but it was probably the Pokemon on my team that also died the most and that's not really what you would expect out of an S-rank Pokemon. I think keeping it at A-rank is fine. It's performance is overall great but its early period is kinda awful and lategame can be rather tough on it.

Natu - Natu is currently B-rank and I stand by that ranking after using it. Psychic-types are very good in this game and Natu is no exception, boasting a nice STAB Psychic off acceptable offenses. It's also defensively surprisingly decent, with access to TMable Screens it makes solid use of from its good Speed, and it's Ground-immunity makes it a very nice mon to pair with Earthquake users (shame I didn't get any in this run, oops). Its offense is kind of weak until you get the Psychic TM, but there are a nice number of Grass-types to use Aerial Ace on until then and Screens are always useful. I consider it to be about on par with Lunatone - Lunatone has less of a dead period and better coverage with Ice Beam access, but Xatu has the same strength behind its Psychic, much better Speed, and a small availability lead. Screens and a decent Psychic allowed it to contribute to basically every boss fight.

I actually think Natu's performance is a good argument to raise Ralts to A. Ralts arguably has a longer dead period than Natu but also has an availability lead and Gardevoir is far, far more offensively potent while keeping Screens and even a sleep move (though its inaccurate). I think as far as the Psychic mons go in this game its Espeon > Ralts > Natu=Lunatone so I think raising Ralts to A would better reflect how they all stand.

Elekid - Going to go ahead and say Elekid should rise to A-rank. The main arguments against it are that it comes late and underleveled and also purifying Togepi is a bit of a hassle. The latter is not too hard to do by spamming scents (which you should have plenty of money for by that point) and the former is easily worked around by giving it the EXP Share through Snagem Hideout. You can argue this is favortism, but Elekid benefits from Trade boosted EXP so you don't have to give it that much attention and it should reach Electabuzz by the end of Snagem Hideout. At that point Zaprong becomes outstanding, with unparalleled coverage that allow it to destroy the rest of the game as it continues to snowball with that sweet sweet trade boosted EXP. Like Vaporeon its a borderline A/B mon to me, but its performance was strong enough to where I'd say it should be A rank.

Zangoose - I was kind of disappointed by Zangoose. Admittedly I had a bad nature (Relaxed) and didn't get Swords Dance (too expensive, I gave it Double Edge instead), and it's not bad, but it's not outstanding either. It has pretty good damage output and coverage between Body Slam, Brick Break and Shadow Ball, but it doesn't have Ursaring's overwhelming strength either unboosted and it doesn't really contribute anything defensively due to no useful resists and pretty bad defenses. It doesn't have a particularly great performance in any major fight in Citadark either, usually only being able to trade itself to kill or heavily damage something before going down. It's not a bad Pokemon but it's definitely not A-rank material I think.

tl;dr Vaporeon, Elekid, and Ralts could probably go up to A

I'll do some updates in a few days.
 
Apologies for the lack of updates: I had been doing another run of the game to try and get a better picture of some of the borderline mons on the tiering list. The team I used to clear the game was Vaporeon/Houndour/Shroomish/Elekid/Natu/Zangoose, with Salamence Master Balled for the Greevil fight. In terms of optional battles I cleared the first two areas of Mt. Battle (Water Pulse TM + purify Natu), one run of Pyrite Colosseum (purify Shroomish + Brick Break TM), and two runs of Realgam Colosseum (lategame EXP + Giga Drain TM). My run of the game was not particularly difficult save for Ardos, to whom I would have wiped had it not been for a timely Focus Band proc on Houndoom and some confusion hax against his Snorlax (lol). I don't have much to say about Houndour or Salamence - I think S-tier and E-tier are fine for them both and these aren't really contested, so let's focus on the other four.

Vaporeon - I went into this run believing Vaporeon was a borderline A/B mon, and I still think that having finished the game. However, I think Vaporeon is now closer to A-tier than B-tier. Vaporeon tanks hits like a champion and fights back with a good mix of offensive and supporting capabilities. While Water Pulse as the best STAB option is meh, even Water Pulse hurts when its coming off 110 SpA (which is way better than what the other Water-types in this game have to work with), and backed with Ice Beam and Bite I found Vaporeon was still able to at least 2HKO a lot of its opponents well into Citadark Isle. I didn't go for relearner Helping Hand due to not feeling like grinding for the coupons, so instead I gave it the Icy Wind tutor from Agate Village and it served me very well, being an incredibly good early coverage move as well as a strong late-game speed control option that partially made up for Vaporeon's low Speed (and also saved me against an otherwise horrendous Ardos fight). Vaporeon has a pretty commanding performance through Snagem Hideout and only starts to lose a bit of steam near the end of Cipher Key Lair, but it still does well enough and Eldes/Greevil don't exactly appreciate a fat Water-type hurling 110 SpA Ice Beams at their very Ice weak teams. I was pleased with Vaporeon's performance and would thus be willing to raise it to A-rank, the Speed and weakish STAB options were still kind of annoying but Icy Wind and its raw SpA helps compensate for its flaws.

Shroomish - I think Shroomish is a solid Pokemon worthy of A-rank, but I do not think it is worthy of S-rank. Breloom dominates midgame extremely hard, but a combination of a poor early period and a lot of rough matchups in Citadark Isle keep it from being S. Shroomish is really bad when you first get it - it unfortunately comes at the tail end of a Water-heavy Shadow Lab when the level curve is starting to increasing, and though it takes hits okay it is sorely lacking in power and thus needs some grinding to catch up. Once it becomes Breloom and gets the Brick Break TM it becomes a monster and will basically wreck everything through ONBS and Phenac City with a mostly strong performance in Snagem Hideout and Cipher Key Lair. Citadark Isle is where things start turning against Breloom. There is a rather annoyingly high number of Pokemon that can prey on its weaknesses, its mediocre Speed starts becoming a problem, and its matchup against the toughest endgame bosses is pretty bad, with Ardos, Eldes, and Greevil packing multiple ways to body Breloom before it can do much. It's still a good Pokemon and it's not like its endgame contributions were bad, but it was probably the Pokemon on my team that also died the most and that's not really what you would expect out of an S-rank Pokemon. I think keeping it at A-rank is fine. It's performance is overall great but its early period is kinda awful and lategame can be rather tough on it.

Natu - Natu is currently B-rank and I stand by that ranking after using it. Psychic-types are very good in this game and Natu is no exception, boasting a nice STAB Psychic off acceptable offenses. It's also defensively surprisingly decent, with access to TMable Screens it makes solid use of from its good Speed, and it's Ground-immunity makes it a very nice mon to pair with Earthquake users (shame I didn't get any in this run, oops). Its offense is kind of weak until you get the Psychic TM, but there are a nice number of Grass-types to use Aerial Ace on until then and Screens are always useful. I consider it to be about on par with Lunatone - Lunatone has less of a dead period and better coverage with Ice Beam access, but Xatu has the same strength behind its Psychic, much better Speed, and a small availability lead. Screens and a decent Psychic allowed it to contribute to basically every boss fight.

I actually think Natu's performance is a good argument to raise Ralts to A. Ralts arguably has a longer dead period than Natu but also has an availability lead and Gardevoir is far, far more offensively potent while keeping Screens and even a sleep move (though its inaccurate). I think as far as the Psychic mons go in this game its Espeon > Ralts > Natu=Lunatone so I think raising Ralts to A would better reflect how they all stand.

Elekid - Going to go ahead and say Elekid should rise to A-rank. The main arguments against it are that it comes late and underleveled and also purifying Togepi is a bit of a hassle. The latter is not too hard to do by spamming scents (which you should have plenty of money for by that point) and the former is easily worked around by giving it the EXP Share through Snagem Hideout. You can argue this is favortism, but Elekid benefits from Trade boosted EXP so you don't have to give it that much attention and it should reach Electabuzz by the end of Snagem Hideout. At that point Zaprong becomes outstanding, with unparalleled coverage that allow it to destroy the rest of the game as it continues to snowball with that sweet sweet trade boosted EXP. Like Vaporeon its a borderline A/B mon to me, but its performance was strong enough to where I'd say it should be A rank.

Zangoose - I was kind of disappointed by Zangoose. Admittedly I had a bad nature (Relaxed) and didn't get Swords Dance (too expensive, I gave it Double Edge instead), and it's not bad, but it's not outstanding either. It has pretty good damage output and coverage between Body Slam, Brick Break and Shadow Ball, but it doesn't have Ursaring's overwhelming strength either unboosted and it doesn't really contribute anything defensively due to no useful resists and pretty bad defenses. It doesn't have a particularly great performance in any major fight in Citadark either, usually only being able to trade itself to kill or heavily damage something before going down. It's not a bad Pokemon but it's definitely not A-rank material I think.

tl;dr Vaporeon, Elekid, and Ralts could probably go up to A

I'll do some updates in a few days.
I've spoken previously about Elekid and Ralts rising to A, but I also wanted to give other people something to think about as well when it comes to these Pokemon (and the tier list in general).

Investing into a Pokemon isn't necessarily a bad thing, and what really matters in the end if the investment is worth it. I've looked though other tier lists on the website, and if Pokemon like Abra and Magikarp can consistently get S/A tier in their games, even when they require investment and are literally useless in most of the games they can be obtained before they evolve, I feel they can be A tier as if you invest in Elekid/Ralts, they have a strong late game presence as Electabuzz/Gardevoir. After all, the lategame is arguably the most important aspect of a Pokemon's viability as that's where the hardest battles take place.

In terms of Shroomish/Breloom, I did say it had the potential to be S, but after using it through Citadark, I'll agree with you that it can stay in A tier. It has some particually stressful battles such as Lovrina 2, where all of her Pokemon (except for Roselia) can potentially OHKO Breloom while Breloom can only really OHKO Gardevoir and Farfetch'd with Hyper Beam and Sky Uppercut respectively, and those tend to be ranges if Breloom is at the same level and has at least 40-50 evs in attack , 15 ivs and a neutral nature. (OHKOing Farfetch'd isn't an impressive feat either as most Pokemon can do it anyway.) Eldes was also particularly bad for Breloom too, and Greevil is inconsistent having 3 of his Pokemon resist fighting and most of them can severely hurt or OHKO Breloom.. Other than those three battles, it does great in all the othersand may have to watch out for specific moves from a Pokemon like Snattle's Scizor using Aerial Ace, depending on Breloom's partner.

Texas Cloverleaf, we've talked about Shuckle's placement previously, and I decided to use it. Sadly, I will have to disagree with you on Shuckle for a D tier placement, and even an E tier placement. Besides the trouble of trying to obtain one, Shuckle's biggest issue is it's inconsistency in battle. Shuckle relies on the opponent hitting it, and the AI can be uncooperative in that regard. I was able to get one before starting Phenac City, and even though during its first major battle against Snattle, even when hitting it for super effective damage, he was unable to break its substitutes, but Shuckle also couldn't do much back to it. Poison/Toxic status isn't as valuable of a status effect in doubles than Paralysis, Sleep or Burn. The battle could go well if Snattle decides to go gang up on Shuckle, but can also go horribly if Snattle decides to gang up on the other Pokemon, which happened more often than not in the five test battles I ran against him. Shuckle's bulk also becomes less impressive as the game goes on when Pokemon start evolving and receive stronger moves as well as better stats, while Shuckle still failed to do anything besides use Toxic twice, maybe get a lucky Encore in, and hope the AI targets it. The ROI on Shuckle is just too inconsistent to place it outside of F tier.
 
Let me breathe some life into this thread.

I feel I tested every Pokemon I've wanted to. I've tested out a lot of the E and F tiers to see if any could move up and down the list, and I'll make a comment on the ones I feel can move up or down.

Gligar: Gligar is trash. I was lucky enough to get HP Flying with one of the caught Gligar's, and even so, it still didn't do all that much once Pokemon started evolving. Its level up movepool is awful, the TMs you'd want to teach it are either late game, post game, or better suited for other Pokemon, and it's major battle match ups are all pretty bad. It was a pain in the butt to use, so I'd have to send it down to F.

Snorunt: Snorunt's stats aren't all that good, even from the moment you catch it, and if you use a team of six, there's no way you'd get it to evolve by Citadark Isle or even through it unless you try out Mt Battle and the Colosseums. I did a playthrough where I used a team of six, and went straight through the game (no Mt. Battle or Colosseum usage) and my team was around level 38-40 by the time I reached Eldes (you might be a level or two higher if you KO every single Shadow in Citadark, however). You can obviously guess how useful Snorunt was though the venture. I guess it really depends on what people see the optimal team composition is. If we're judging it as a person using a team of four, with two rotating shadow pokemon as a backline, I can see Snorunt being E as it can definitely evolve before Snattle 2 if you focus on training 4 Pokemon. If a team of six is the optimal team comp, then Snorunt is F.

Banette: If you use around 5-10 vivid scents for Banette to get access to Shadow Ball, it does decently enough at that point as it hits plenty hard with Shadow Ball. Vivid scents shouldn't be much of an issue to obtain because you should have had the amulet coin for a good while at this point to afford plenty of vivid scents to obtain. When I used it, it did alright so it can move up to E. I don't think it's as terrible as the other F tiers and it comes at a decent enough of a point within Citadark (the exact same point as Kangaskhan and Kangaskhan is C).

Snorlax: Now here me out on this one. I feel Snorlax can move up to D as if you use enough vivid scents on it, the last battles it can partake in are completely free. Depending on its nature, it takes about 16-22 vivid scents for it to get access to curse and body slam. Doing all of this takes about 5-10 minutes from the moment Snorlax is captured, grabbing it from the PC, to exiting Citadark and buying the vivid scents in Agate if you don't already have them. If you bought them in advance, it takes even less time. If you find yourself underleveled for the final battles, just use Snorlax. It even comes with leftovers so unless you get extremely unlucky, you won't even need to use an item on it in battle (barring an ether during Greevil).

Scyther: Scyther can go to F. Unless you get lucky with Silver Wind boosts, it doesn't contribute much to the final battles that other Shadow Pokemon at that point can do better. Simply too unreliable and luck based for a Pokemon with such a high heart gauge.
 
I'm gonna breathe a little bit of life into this thread with some nominations.

I like Shellder for C tier. I have done some playthroughs of XD with it and I do like the utility Cloyster gives in some of the matchups. The base 85 SpA isn't too shabby and it has access to Surf for the spread damage. A notable run that I did with it had me running Surf, Ice Beam, Protect, and Icy Wind. While Icy Wind isn't the strongest attack in the game, the ability to slow down faster threats can help pretty nicely. It did help me in the matchup vs Eldes if memory serves. It's by no means the best water type in the game and it does come a little late, but I think Shellder could be C tier.

I am also iffy with Growlithe in B tier. I like it better in A tier. It's not as good as Houndoom since it comes pretty late in the game, but Intimidate + Flamethrower does help it get around very nicely. If you want to do a little extra grinding for Growlithe, having it hit Level 37 before evolving it would give it Helping Hand which can be useful but questionable if it's worth it. I am a fan of Growlithe's overall utility and think it should belong in A.

Ralts has a better movepool than Espeon, but it's slower and slightly weaker than its psychic counterpart. It does get Psychic earlier than Espeon and it has access to Thunder Wave, an important tool for catching those Shadow Pokemon. I think Ralts should be A tier without a doubt.

Makuhita is fine in A tier, but it possibly could be higher. There's one tool in XD that Makuhita has that makes it better than its Colosseum counterpart: Fake Out. Incapacitating one of your opponents for a turn is very helpful in doubles. Fake Out helped me in some battles in one of my runs in XD and I can say that Makuhita is a mon that I would use again in a future run.

Numel: Move this up to B. While outclassed by Houndour big time due to the lack of speed, Numel is blessed with getting Earthquake by level up which saves a TM. Numel also gets Rock Slide as soon as it evolves into Camerupt at Level 33 which helps with the flying types. It does have a bit of a stale period in the middle as its STABs are confined to Ember and the inconsistent Magnitude, but Numel can pull its weight in game.
 
Reviving this thread to say I just finished a run with Flareon/Shiftry/Donphan/Dewgong/Lunatone/Kangaskhan. I didn’t touch Mt. Battle and I ended in the 44-46 range.

Flareon could legitimately move to A from my experience. It may not have its highest stat to use for STAB, but getting Fire Blast from a 95 SpAtk is hardly anything to sneeze at. It gets Body Slam or Double-Edge as strong moves to use, Flamethrower at the SS Libra, Helping Hand through relearner, and Shadow Ball at Snagem Hideout, all potential moves that supplement Flareon well. I definitely think it isn’t on Houndoom’s level, but Houndoom is in S for a reason.

Shiftry did about expected of it. C is where it’s currently at and that makes sense. Mine carried Brick Break and Faint Attack for most of the game, and that’s really its’ biggest trapping. Outside of Solar Beam, it really gets no powerful moves to work with. However, it did fine and never had a particularly troublesome stretch thanks to its early evolution and good coverage with Grass/Fighting/Dark.

Donphan could be argued for moving up to C.
As it is, it definitely wishes it got access to any Ground STAB earlier. However, its decent evolution level with Take Down and Rollout can last it for a good while, and it wrecks with Earthquake once it gets the TM. The early period really holds it down, but it shone with the TM.

Dewgong is good at C. What it has in Ice Beam and Surf it lacks in its paltry 70 SpAtk. Mine definitely struggled to get 1HKOs unless Ice Beam had quad effectiveness, and I think Water isn’t a great type for this game. However, Ice Beam’s use was enough to keep it from being actually bad.

Lunatone really shines, enough to keep it in B. Psychic and Ice Beam are a great combination, and its stats are perfect for the role it plays. It never has a bad spot, and honestly the only think keeping me from suggesting a move-up is that Snattle can feel pretty late for the purposes of progression.

Kangaskhan was a late-game pick-up I went for to have another strong physical attacker. C is a good place for it. A strong boon for it is that it comes with Earthquake upon Purification, and I gave it Double-Edge as a stronger option to accompany Dizzy Punch. Kangaskhan has great power, perfect for wrecking upon capture, but it comes so late that anything higher would be overly generous. Still, it’s a great late option if someone needs the extra filler.

In the end, my only movement suggestions were Flareon and Donphan. I have a team planned for next time I go through, being Vaporeon, Claydol, Dusclops, Elekid, Medicham, and Arcanine, but I’ll take a break before doing that one.
 
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