OU RBY OU Viability Ranking (2016 to 2020)

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I'd say D is truly the cutoff for viable Pokemon. Example is Sandslash is a good Ground-type Sword Dance Pokemon, which is a unique niche that can be useful. Obviously, it has its issues but its still capable of doing something genuinely admirable with that niche whereas you'd be stretching to use a Pokemon like Poliwrath
I'm sorry, but I have to advocate for my boy, Poliwrath, especially since it wasn't put into D rank. After 2 Amnesia boosts, Blizzard, Hydro Pump and Submission can 2HKO or OHKO literally every single Pokemon, except Tentacruel. If grass-types and Dragonite aren't a concern for you, then you can run Hypnosis over Blizzard. The only thing keeping Poli back is it's shaky accuracy. The thing is completely under the radar and people talking about it like we're doing it a favor by putting it into E rank. But Poliwrath is definitely more deserving of D rank than Kingler.
 

Ortheore

Tournament Banned
Honestly the more I see these discussions the more I think arguing that there's a distinct "cutoff" for viability is misguided. People have different standards for how good something has to be to be worth using, and on top of that, their opinions on how effective a given pokemon actually is will vary wildly. This is further compounded by the fact these fringe pokemon are rarely seen, so there's little data for players to base opinions on and learn how to make the best use of these fringe threats- usually the only way is to use them yourself, but who's really got time for that, especially when you'd rather be mostly using teams with better options, not fringe threats for the sake of experimenting

Basically, differing standards make for a massive grey area, no-one can agree where things fall within that area, and most people don't have a good understanding of what they're talking about most of the time (myself included)

I can agree with Kingler being overrated though
 
Honestly the more I see these discussions the more I think arguing that there's a distinct "cutoff" for viability is misguided. People have different standards for how good something has to be to be worth using, and on top of that, their opinions on how effective a given pokemon actually is will vary wildly. This is further compounded by the fact these fringe pokemon are rarely seen, so there's little data for players to base opinions on and learn how to make the best use of these fringe threats- usually the only way is to use them yourself, but who's really got time for that, especially when you'd rather be mostly using teams with better options, not fringe threats for the sake of experimenting

Basically, differing standards make for a massive grey area, no-one can agree where things fall within that area, and most people don't have a good understanding of what they're talking about most of the time (myself included)

I can agree with Kingler being overrated though
A tier list doesn't serve much purpose for an experienced player, because they all have their own tier lists formed in their heads. The main purpose of a tier list is to give new players a guide of how good different pokemon are. I think a viability cut-off is important is to distinguish between the pokemon which should be used when learning the game and which ones to stay clear of.

New players should not be using stuff like sandslash or kingler to learn the game. They should stick to consistent OU pokemon.
 
I'm a super lurker of competitive RBY and I always like reading tiers even beyond the point of "viability".

I don't think a tier list is only a utility for new players; it's a reflection and discussion and synthesis of players' experiences. It's writing the history books of Pokémon. That's why you care so much.
 
This isn't too important to note but I do find it interesting that Flareon for once is more viable than Vaporeon (Even though I think Haze Vaporeon is a fun thing to try out) when in each gen after, Flareon is really bad compared to its Eeveelution counterparts. Gen 1 is the only time you'll ever catch Flareon, Kingler, or Persian lurking anywhere near OU
 
Even in the context of RBY Flareon being viable is an anomaly exclusive to OU, it's also pretty much unusable in any other RBY tier (and Vaporeon's better than it in the other 2 tiers where they're both available), including on Pokemon Perfect which went down to 6 tiers iirc, RBY OU is just the perfect storm for it to reach the edges of viability
 

Hipmonlee

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Tauros, Lax and Chansey are no brainer picks.

So that leaves two more slots. I think a Jynx and a Starmie work well with it. Getting rid of Starmie is great for Persian and Jynx is often a good way to do that. It also works well against the most common form of Counter Chansey, which is the Sing/IB/Counter/Softboiled.

Starmie patches holes nicely and lures Chansey, which Persian can take advantage of. Chansey cant have a status move and counter and thunderbolt (well, obviously it technically could, but...) So at least one out of Starmie, Persian and Tauros is going to be a huge pain for it.
I think Psy + Blizz makes some sense here. Luring Starmie and paralysing it is great for Persian, Psychic means it beats ice beam Chansey, and Blizzard could just as easily be surf, but this gives you generally better coverage.. Surf would be fine too.

Chan could go with an icebeaming set or a reflect set. Just depends how you want to play it. My inclination is to go with a reflect set, and just paralyse Chansey.

With Lax, you probably want quake on it, to help you deal with Counter Chansey. Try out a damage calculator and see how counter Lax or Selfdestruct lax goes against a reflect lax when you have a Persian as backup. If you can find a scenario where you safely do enough damage to enemy Lax with your own and then chase it out with Persian, so its at low health and forced to switch then that is probably a workable strategy. Cause if this team has a weakness at the moment it is enemy Snorlax.

Jolteon and Zapdos are also gonna suck to deal with. Maybe you can find a way to take pressure off your Snorlax by using Persian. So that Lax can be saved for the enemy Electrics.
 

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If Counter can cause a desync on cartridge under any, and especially common conditions, then it doesn't need to be mentioned since it needs to be banned like Psywave.
  • If the opponent uses Counter and the last move you had highlighted was different to the last move used, a desync will occur if one can be Countered and the other cannot. This can occur if you fully paralyse, or if you enter the move selection menu, then change your mind and switch instead
there's precedent for refusing to implement clearly game-breaking bugs - see acid rain in gen 4.
 
Tauros, Lax and Chansey are no brainer picks.

So that leaves two more slots. I think a Jynx and a Starmie work well with it. Getting rid of Starmie is great for Persian and Jynx is often a good way to do that. It also works well against the most common form of Counter Chansey, which is the Sing/IB/Counter/Softboiled.

Starmie patches holes nicely and lures Chansey, which Persian can take advantage of. Chansey cant have a status move and counter and thunderbolt (well, obviously it technically could, but...) So at least one out of Starmie, Persian and Tauros is going to be a huge pain for it.
I think Psy + Blizz makes some sense here. Luring Starmie and paralysing it is great for Persian, Psychic means it beats ice beam Chansey, and Blizzard could just as easily be surf, but this gives you generally better coverage.. Surf would be fine too.

Chan could go with an icebeaming set or a reflect set. Just depends how you want to play it. My inclination is to go with a reflect set, and just paralyse Chansey.

With Lax, you probably want quake on it, to help you deal with Counter Chansey. Try out a damage calculator and see how counter Lax or Selfdestruct lax goes against a reflect lax when you have a Persian as backup. If you can find a scenario where you safely do enough damage to enemy Lax with your own and then chase it out with Persian, so its at low health and forced to switch then that is probably a workable strategy. Cause if this team has a weakness at the moment it is enemy Snorlax.

Jolteon and Zapdos are also gonna suck to deal with. Maybe you can find a way to take pressure off your Snorlax by using Persian. So that Lax can be saved for the enemy Electrics.
Thanks!
 

Ortheore

Tournament Banned
there's precedent for refusing to implement clearly game-breaking bugs - see acid rain in gen 4.
I honestly think Acid Rain ought to be implemented, since while it's hugely game-altering, afaik it doesn't make the game literally unplayable the way desyncs do, with the exception of Cherrim/Castform softlocks I guess. And well, I don't think Cherrim and Castform are worth modifying game mechanics for, just ban them and be done with it, it's not like anyone will miss them
 

Hipmonlee

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Philosophically I dont mind ranking completely outclassed mons. Cause like, Tangela has a niche over Vic, with EQ resistance. But on an arbitrary team Venusaur is gonna do better than Tangela. So to rank Tangela and not Victreebel would be weird.

People might just really like Venusaur, or really dislike Victreebel, they might be setting themselves some arbitrary teambuilding challenge that excludes Victreebel for whatever reason. So for them it is useful to know that Venusaur is not actually terrible, in spite of being almost totally outclassed.

That's my take on these things anyway.
 

Ortheore

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Hey so I used to think Venu shouldn't be ranked until I both looked more into it and encountered scenarios where I honestly thought Venu was the ideal choice. Outspeeding Cloy is notable, but the thing that sticks out to me is Venu's bulk, which allows it to soft-check physical attackers a lot better than Bel. The most notable difference is that Venu is only 3HKO'd by Don's EQ, whereas Bel is usually 2HKO'd. It also usually avoids the 3HKO from Lax BSlam (around 35% to 3HKO), whereas this is guaranteed for Bel. It also gets one switch in to Tauros BSlam without dying to a subsequent HBeam (assuming neither move crits), which is obviously not ideal, but is nice to have in an emergency

By contrast, Bel has guaranteed OHKOs on Zam and Jolt at +2, which aren't guaranteed for Venu (or even possible in the case of Jolt), and also a small chance of OHKOing Chansey at +2. In the latter case, the OHKO chance is low enough that the more important thing is that Bel needs far less chip damage for it to become guaranteed. The OHKO on Zam isn't terribly relevant though, since Venu usually gets this anyway (74.4% chance, not counting accuracy), and it takes a negligible amount of chip damage for this to become guaranteed.

Overall, I think if you were to compare their SD sets, Venu's is probably slightly better, but ofc Bel is capable of way more than just SD, which is why it's much better overall
 

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Whats Clefable's niche? Status spreader? Seems like a discount Chansey
I haven't really tried Clefable myself so my opinion is based on facing it and theorizing. To me Clefable kinda is like a mix of Snorlax and Chansey. It has access to Sing and Thunder Wave like Chansey and can pressure the opponent with Mega Kick (Mega Kick + Hyper Beam has a chance to KO Chansey although the accuracy makes it even less likely; however the damage compared to Body Slam is much higher), Hyper Beam, Blizzard for covering Rhydon, and Thunderbolt for Cloyster and Starmie. I don't really know how good Body Slam is on it. It doesn't seem as appealing to me but it can probably still be somewhat okay. I don't know which set I would use, but maybe something like this. Counter is also an option that I haven't mentioned yet but I think it would be pretty difficult to find a slot for it.

Mega Kick
Hyper Beam / Thunderbolt
Sing / Thunder Wave
Blizzard / Thunder Wave
 
From playing clefable a lot recently (using a team from gorgie), the main prospect it got over something like snorlax is outspeeding eggy and chansey. On the said team it was over Snorlax, and while it was making things a lot harder because yeah lax is so reliable, it won me end games single handedly thanks to my opponent keeping his low life eggy to sleep/boom my unrevealed lax which wasn't one.

The set was Mega Kick Hyper-Beam TWave Blizzard
On the physical side, while the damage are lowkey interesting imo, relying on 75% or Hyper-Beam is annoying.
On the special side, the damage output of blizzard is kinda disapointing, making it somewhat snorlax walled, which is sad for a mixed attacker ig.

Edit: mb the team was Lusch's
 
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Alright, here to post my takes on the RBY OU Viability Ranking. Note that these are ordered within tiers. I have some takes hotter than a bag of steamed broccoli straight from the microwave, so get ready. I'll try to explain them as thoroughly as possible. I won't be going too in-depth on the standard opinions however. Sorry there aren't any nice visuals, doing that on phone is annoying. There may also be occasional grammar issues, for the same reason. Feel free to ask me about anything, I love discussions about RBY!

Alright so right off the bat, Chansey at the #1 slot is a pretty big one. While yes, there is that one quirky VicNite team that drops it, I don't think that's enough to argue it as that more droppable than any of the other Big 3 Normals, the primary reason people put it as #3. Nearly every team WILL feature it, so I put them around the same level.
Now, as for why the order is the way it is.
Tauros relies on Snorlax and Chansey to reach scenarios where it is able to perform effectively, as they are responsible for manipulating the midgame to create an endgame scenario that allows Tauros to thrive. For this reason, I put it at #3.
Snorlax vs Chansey is a hard one. However, due to Pokemon like Cloyster, as well as the funny duck Porygon, it can find itself struggling in certain matchups. Another issue is that Gengar's increased usage can force it to run Earthquake, which restricts its flexibility that causes it to be so good.
Chansey on the otherhand is just so damn flexible. It compresses so many roles nicely, has a movepool to accomplish nearly any supportive role, and is just one dense motherfucker. It also has the advantage of causing its checks in Physical Attackers trouble at times due to Counter and Thunder Wave. Personally, any order of the Big 3 is fine, but I stand by this opinion.

Moving on to the next tier, it comprises itself of the 3 Big Dick Psychics. Not that much to say here since the takes are common. Alakazam over Exeggutor has some discussion, but personally I'm not a fan. Exeggutor is the best sleeper in the tier, while Alakazam is not the best fast Psychic that spreads Paralysis. Exeggutor just also does more shit than Alakazam as a role compression machine and a Boomer. You'll find a general trend in my VRs that I value pokemon with good Role Compression more highly than a good pokemon that's narrow.

B+ is a bit interesting. The two mons selected in Rhydon and Zapdos are pretty typical, but the ordering between the two flip based on who you ask. While Zapdos is really good, it has a few poor matchups (especially Rhydon teams) that cause it to be a bit more matchup fishy than Rhydon. It also has to compete as an Electric-type with Jolteon, while Rhydon's only competition is the fucking ball of Rock in Golem.

B has one of my hotter takes in Jynx #10 below a Cloyster #9. While Jynx is a great sleeper, it doesn't really do anything else that other Pokemon can't also do. You click Lovely Kiss, maybe fire off a Blizzard or 2, and then just kinda roam around the rest of the game like an ADHD Kid in an Arcade.
Cloyster on the other hand is able to do more. Its also a freeze fisher, but it also acts as a Snorlax check and an Explosion user, and it has pivoting abilities in Clamp. It just has more use overall, leading to me placing it #9. Jolteon is very close behind the 2 at #11, and everyone knows why it works. Fast af, STAB Electric, Thunder Wave, Double Kick + Pin Missile, Zapdos check, the works.
Gengar is here as well. While I value that its a sleeper with some defensive capabilities due to its Ghost-typing, it's partial Poison-typing really holds it back. Tauros Earthquakes and Mie/Dam can be a pain in the arse. It definitely works, but its weaknesses put it a step below Jynx Jolteon and Cloyster imo.

B- is kind of the borderline here. These should be OU in my opinion, but they are definitely less of a mainstay than everything before them.
Slowbro is an absolute mammoth when it works, but much of time it kinda falls flat due to its inherent inconsistency as a slow setup sweeper which requires multiple consecutive opportunities to setup. The excellent typing and access to Thudner Wave definitely keep it viable though, and in my opinion acts as a kind of borderline between the common OU threats and the niche ones.
Lapras has seen better days, but it is able to pack in enough important roles to stay afloat as an OU Pokemon. Articuno would be UU by this nomination, and my reasoning for it is on par with Plague von Karma's earlier post.

Time for the C rank! Immediately we have one of the juciest takes in Porygon > Victreebel. If this was a Youtube thumbnail there'd be at least 7 red circles and 4 red arrows surrounding these two.
Victreebel has seen better days, and everyone knows it. It's primary use is moot when most players don't use slow teams anymore, and it is just rather inconsistent. Most people would agree that its no longer truly an OU threat, like it still works but its not on the same level as other shit.
Porygon on the other hand does nothing but counters Snorlax sets besides AmneLax. However, it accomplishes this extremely well and does it very consistently, which puts it above Victreebel in my books.
After this everything is quite standard. I left out some common E rank choices because I just truly don't like them at all, notably Machamp, Flareon, and Clefable. I just never really find much reason to use them, but in general the E Ranks come from maybe a couple uses each. Only other thing that's unique is that I rank Golem low, mainly because in most situations where you'd use it, just use BoomLax and/or Rhydon tbh.

That's my Viability Rankings! I know some of these may be contested by different people, but I hope they at least made sense.
 
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