Gen 1 RBY OU Viability Ranking - Mark II

Initial list is taken from the original, here. We'll likely be using this to define the OU / UU cutoff point, the latter of which would be playable for the upcoming RoA Rotational Ladder. With that said, feel free to propose changes to the following:



S Rank: Reserved for Pokemon which pose a very significant offensive or defensive threat, consistently harming or walling the opposing team. The roles these Pokemon can fulfill are crucial, if not mandatory, for RBY teams and these Pokemon are the best at their certain roles.
  • :tauros:
  • :snorlax:
  • :chansey:
S- Rank:
  • :exeggutor:
A+ Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are outstanding in the RBY metagame. These Pokemon pose a signifigant offensive or defensive threat to most teams. If these Pokemon have flaws, they are often outshown by their strengths.
  • :starmie:
A Rank:
  • :alakazam:
A- Rank:
  • :zapdos:
  • :rhydon:
B+ Rank: Reserved for Pokemon who are very good in the RBY metagame, yet are somewhat inconsistent. These Pokemon may have flaws, but they have positive aspects which makes them stand out, making them valuable members of a team.
  • :victreebel:
  • :cloyster:
  • :jynx:
  • :lapras:
B- Rank:
  • :jolteon:
  • :slowbro:
  • :gengar:
C Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that have solid niches in the RBY metagame, but nonetheless are generally inconsistent. These Pokemon have definite flaws, but may have positive aspects which can make them worth using.
  • :golem:
  • :articuno:
  • :moltres:
  • :dragonite:
  • :persian:
D+ Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are mediocre in the RBY metagame, but are decent enough to pose a threat at times, usually out of surprise. These Pokemon have a small niche in the metagame and are often not worth using.
  • :porygon:
D Rank:
  • :hypno:
  • :kingler:
  • :sandslash:
D- Rank:
  • :pinsir:
E Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are very mediocre, they are very dependent on surprising the opponent to pose any threat. These Pokemon are almost entirely outclassed, with little to no niche, they are rarely worth using. Merger from the previous D and E ranked Pokemon that got unranked in the last update!
  • :kangaskhan:
  • :dodrio:
  • :dugtrio:
  • :clefable:
  • :gyarados:
  • :venusaur:
  • :aerodactyl:
  • :charizard:
  • :golduck:
  • :electrode:
  • :nidoking:
  • :nidoqueen:
  • :ninetales:
  • :machamp:
  • :poliwrath:
  • :raichu:
  • :rapidash:
  • :tangela:
  • :tentacruel:
 
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I dont get the point of an E rank. Jolteon also seems pretty low in the same ranks as the other C rank mons.

Edit: Never mind the first sentence just read the point in another thread.
 
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I'd like to propose Zap and Jynx -> A, and Jolt and Cloy -> B to start with.

Jynx is arguably the best default lead choice if you want to start off with sleep. It's more consistent than Gengar, but also tends to pose a larger immediate threat after sleeping something (as both Blizzard and Psychic have nasty secondary effects).

Zapdos (and to a lesser extent Jolt) is the main reason peeps run the Rocks, which are otherwise notably flawed. The threat of Zapdos is what makes them so viable. It's also the second most consistent cleaner imo, after Tauros, which would still be reflected with the proposed change.

Cloyster, unlike the other partial-trappers, has a fantastic defensive utility, Explosion, and STAB Blizzard that are all quite cool. Its biggest drawback is just competition from the likes of Starmie or Lapras, which fill similar slots on a team (albeit ultimately quite different roles). It's less versatile than they are, so ultimately less viable, but still a solid pick worthy of B rank.

Jolteon can comfortably take the lead slot for the team, which is pretty nifty. It's also great late-game, since it naturally outspeeds the metagame. Plus, it counters Zapdos, making it a cool alternative to the Rocks for offensive teams that would prefer the added Speed and paralysis support. It's definitely a cut above the likes of Vic / Arti / Hypno.
 
Jolteon to B seems cool, such a good lead in general and the best electric besides Zapdos, also is a such a thread when you dont have anything faster or a safe way to paralyze that. In lead aspects, can paralyze Jynx, Gengar, Alakazam and beats Starmie, also wins against the odd Exe Lead.

Jynx should be A no doubt. Is the best lead no matter what, having a sleep move with 75% and looking for freezes in turns 2-3 on the switchins make Jynx a decent ice resist to have and can beat any other lead slower.

Also I'd consider Kingler to C(Or C- if you implement subranks), I found that mon a beast that if the team isn't very prepared for can destroy in late game and just wins.

Everything else seems cool where it is.
 
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Moltres is 10000% not E rank. It's not a consistent Pokemon but it's very capable of sweeping if you make sure to paralyze/weaken starmie and chansey and can hit more of your moves than not. Definitely worth D, miles better than fuckin' Dugtrio!
 
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Seconding Moltres. On that note, Dugtrio could probably drop tbh. Kang / Slash / Clef and company are all better imo.

Kingler is pretty solid, but I'd argue the best SD user (and an underappreciated mon in general) is Sandslash. I've built a few teams with it recently, and it's actually really cool. Not only does it counter both the Electrics and the Rocks in one slot, but it sets up on them freely. It's really killer with para support, which all of the SD mons want anyway. Unlike Kang / Vic / Venu / etc., it can easily get a chance to sweep if your opponent has Zap / Jolt / Goldon.

Honestly, I'd be willing to bump Slash up to C-rank. It has the safest setup of a physical sweeper, and while it's still flawed, the fact that it's useful for checking common threats makes it actually pretty noteworthy. It pairs nicely both with mons like Starm (who appreciates the Electric counter and can act as a secondary physical check, giving more defensive backbone to offensive teams) and Zap (who can paralyze things + scare out Slash's biggest threats, while Slash sets up on Goldon and Jolt).
 
Agree with most all recommended changes made so far (not sure about Sandslash though, never used it).

If E rank is here to stay, Nidoqueen to E. A while back I went over calcs for both it and Nidoking to work out exactly what their differences were and found they were roughly equal (edit: in OU, outside that King > Queen). Their Special is identical, the speed difference only matters vs. Dragonite, and despite a weaker Earthquake Nidoqueen pretty much always KOs those not weak to Boltbeam in the same amount of turns as Nidoking. It's greater bulk however can change the number of turns for Tauros (2x or Crit Blizzard/Earthquake doesn't KO, Earthquake + Hyper Beam has a low chance to KO), Snorlax (similar to Tauros, but EQ has a tiny chance to 2HKO/crit OHKO and EQ + HB has a much higher chance to KO), and Chansey (Ice Beam has a 1/4 chance to 2HKO instead of 3/4) to KO, and Zapdos and Jolteon have a harder time with it. The choice between Nidos is better bulk for usually surviving a turn longer against 3 of the 4 S Ranks + walling Electrics better (+ absorbing a few extra Wraps) vs. stronger Earthquake + outspeeding Dragonite.

Also, can someone explain to me the appeal of Venusaur and Arcanine? I could kinda see Venusaur in a Wrap-less meta, but with Wrap there is very little reason to not just run Vic. And Arcanine... you've got Moltres' capacity to hax through its counters with Agility/Burn + Fire Spin + Hyper Beam, Ninetales for outspeeding Jynx and parafusion hax, and Charizard with SD + EQ to get past Rocks. Arcanine has high stats, but without a good movepool, typing or high speed, what exactly does it do?
 
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froggy25

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I was afraid of posting to put Moltres in D when this thread was started, because I felt it would need to make a detailed post about why it should be D. But yup, seconding this.
 
My thoughts:
Bro and Zap are both considerably better than Lap and I think they ought to be swapped. Zap's package of sweeping and/or wallbreaking is truly formidable, it's a monstrous threat unless Jolt/Gol are around. Bro is a bit less consistent in terms of dominating games, but it is most definitely capable of dominating any given game, while providing massive defensive and support utility. Lap just doesn't impress me, as I find it's not that hard to handle, but particularly the Chansey matchup is a nightmare for Lap, as it just has nothing going for it without para support, and even with para support it's unreliable in applying pressure. Idk, I just don't think it's that great, tho maybe I've been running too many electrics lately.

Jolt and Rhydon stick out like sore thumbs in their respective rankings. Jolt really isn't much worse than Zap, it still possesses a good combination of sweeping/wallbreaking power. Statistically, the superior speed at the cost of inferior bulk I think is an interesting trade-off and I'm not sure I have much of a preference, as it's very situational as to which one is preferable, but the typing's a big deal imo, particularly the lack of Ice weakness which allows it to soft-check waters a lot better and generally gives it more opportunities to enter play. Rhydon is just awful, it's way too support dependent, struggles to find opportunities, and that combined with the lack of explosion means that it has a really tough time making an impact worthy of what it takes to enter play.

Kingler and Moltres are both better than the pokemon they are ranked alongside imo, and to an extreme degree in Molt's case (I'd rather use it than Hypno fwiw). Jelli's comments on Slash are pretty interesting and I'm inclined to agree here, but I think it'd be really strange in C. Imo these type of pokemon can probably go in D rank (Hypno can join them I think), drop some of the D rank mons to E and cut a whole load of pokemon from E rank.

Lastly Jynx and Cloy I think are fine where they are, Cloy just has a really tough time getting anything going offensively, especially since waters are a big deal, while Jynx can easily become a liability especially if you lean on it heavily to impact a game- in my experience it's common to play against it fairly aggressively these days with stuff like Lax. That's risky play both ways (especially if you use a physical attacker that isn't Lax) and unless you're able to significantly outplay your opponent there's a good risk of getting burnt by playing Jynx a lot.

On the other hand, Jynx is still a lot better than Gengar... which is why I think Gengar ought to be C rank. Anti-leading Jynx is a big deal, but Star and Zam are extremely common in the lead position and both immediately put you on the back foot, which is pretty lame when you've got a pokemon strongly suited to leading that sees a LOT of bad lead matchups
 

Earthworm

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For S through B the only change I'd make personally would be Zapdos to A. If I could further separate the rankings I would put Golem, Jynx, and Slowbro above Gengar and Rhydon, but with the current structure of rankings I feel there is no need to change that.

For B-D I'd move Jolt to B. I have no idea how good Victreebel is. I have very scarcely seen it do anything useful. I would consider dropping it to the rank below because I have seen every other Pokemon in C perform very effectively in various niches.

D rank is where I have almost never seen the Pokemon perform well in OU. Occasionally I see Kangaskhan do well, as well as Kingler. However, I don't think they deserve to be alongside C ranked Pokemon.

I would definitely move Moltres, Raichu, Nidoking, and possibly Charizard above the other Pokemon in E rank. D rank seems appropriate.
 
I'm definitely a proponent of Zapdos to A. If you choose not to run Golem/Rhydon (like I do most of the time) it's super annoying to deal with because stuff with Ice type attacks are usually weak to Thunderbolt (Starmie, Lapras) or have trouble with Drill Peck due to low Defense (Chanse, Jynx).

I also think Lapras should drop to B. I just haven't seen it have the same kind of success as any of the other current A or S 'mons, or Zapdos.

One person mentioned moving Gengar down to C and I just can't see it. Yes, it's not as reliable at getting Sleep as Jynx or Exeggutor, but it's still the fastest in the meta with a Sleep move (unless I'm having a brain fart and not remembering someone) and I think that's invaluable to having it stay at B.

On Golem vs. Rhydon: I think Golem is better but not significantly. Like I think Golem would be a B+ and Rhydon would be a B- if we split it up into subgroups. But Rhydon is more valuable IMO than any of the C Pokemon because of its ability to stop Zapdos. (Ability to stop Jolteon is less important because it's not as common, but still nice).

I feel pretty strongly about moving Hypno down to D. The definition of C rank is "has a solid niche in the metagame." I just can't see it with Hypno. If you want to use a Psychic type there are much better options, if you want to use a Special wall there are much better options. Like there are five Psychics type that either do Hypno's job better or bring something else to the table, like Sleep. Or if you just want a Special wall, you can get Snorlax or Chansey. I really think Hypno doesn't have much of a niche, and is better suited for D rank, Pokemon who are "mediocre in the RBY metagame."

Agreeing with Moltres to D just like pretty much everyone else.

Finally, this is probably an unpopular opinion but I think Alakazam is overall better than Snorlax. I'd move Alakzam up to S, because like Tauros it's on pretty much every team and you have to play with it in mind at all times. Even Chansey, a great Special wall loses to it one on one unless it gets an Ice Beam freeze due to Psychic's Special drops.
 
Lot of stuff I agree on, a lot of stuff I do not! At the moment I don't feel like commenting on everything I agree/disagree on but one thing is important to me:

Keep Gengar in B rank! It might not be as reliable as a lead due to having only one good matchup vs Jynx (or better relevant matchup, there is still Hypno and Eggy...). And Hypnosis accuracy makes even this matchup feel shaky. Still Such a unique Pokemon as Gengar needs to stay in B rank because it just prevents so much randon stuff from causing you troubles (for example Victreeel/Venusaur, Dragonite, Pinsir, Persian, and probably a lot more I cannot think of right now). This mon walls so many things thanks to its typing, it is definitely deserving to be In B!
 

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I feel pretty strongly about moving Hypno down to D. The definition of C rank is "has a solid niche in the metagame." I just can't see it with Hypno. If you want to use a Psychic type there are much better options, if you want to use a Special wall there are much better options. Like there are five Psychics type that either do Hypno's job better or bring something else to the table, like Sleep. Or if you just want a Special wall, you can get Snorlax or Chansey. I really think Hypno doesn't have much of a niche, and is better suited for D rank, Pokemon who are "mediocre in the RBY metagame."
You have obviously not seen my replays with Hypno in team tournaments. I've used it I think about 8 times and at least a couple of times it's been worthy of an S Rank mon. Think what happens if Gengar (or Bel) miss sleep versus it, and you paralyse them, but you still have your own sleep (Hypnosis) on top of that and potential psychic special downs at your disposal. It also outspeeds Eggy (which can be Seismic Tossed) and Lapras. It doesn't necessarily need rest. I've used it both as a lead and as a sixth mon, and I'd say it actually feels OU, feels like it's worthy of a team spot, more so than Persian in my opinion. If we're saying rank B is OU, I actually think it's worth some good analysis as to why it doesn't make it into the bottom of that rank. Great RBY players like spies have used Hypno to success. I mean I'm just passionate because I won so many important team tournament games with it, I haven't really assessed it in too much depth, especially as you rarely get Hypno dittos, but I believe players put it in C rank for a reason and quite a few have considered it OU.

Also it's a bulky Psychic with dual status and decent speed. I think that's unique enough. It's fair to say you could merge qualities of two staple Pokémon and say it gets outclassed, and that lack of instant recovery means its bulk isn't too significant, but there is the fact it can't be so easily taken out by BS crits and can perhaps get that extra attack in with no risk, unlike with Zam.

Agreeing that Zapdos should definitely be A rank.
 
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Isa

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fine with zapdos to a, would also be ok with slowbro to a
lapras stays a. lapras has some unexplored options still in the pool, and sing is hella pressure vs chansey
gengar and rhydon stays b
jolteon to b
cloyster to b as well, incredible physbulk, boom, clamp
dragonite to b. thunder wave sets are underexplored, but hell if i'm gonna be the one to explore them
hypno to stay c
kingler to c
 
Changes made:
Zapdos B -> A
Jolteon C -> B
Moltres E -> D
Pinsir -> D

Giving more time / discussion:
Lapras A -> B
Jynx B -> A
Slowbro B -> A

Rhydon B -> C
Gengar B -> C
Cloyster C -> B
Dragonite C -> B

Victreebel C -> D
Kingler D -> C
Sandslash D -> C

Nidoqueen -> E


I support Slowbro to A. It's both offensively threatening on its own and a great bulky TWave supporter, which it coolly does in one set. Obviously still support moving Jynx up to A as well. Counter can be more fun these days than Mimicking Tbolt off of Starm. I can see why peeps would want Lap to B. It ends up competing for the same slot as Starm or Bro usually, with Cloy being a direct competitor that it tends to beat out unless Explosion and the extra physical bulk are appealing for your team. Lap does have Sing to distinguish itself, though, and having a second sleeper is always a plus.

I guess I see it as usually a slightly better pick than Cloy, but worse than Starm (depends on team needs specifically, but overall). It's kind of hard for me to really compare it to Bro, even though they kinda compete for the same team slot (it's almost like lead Zam vs Jynx: does your team value paralysis and recovery over sleep and possible freezes early-game? the difference being they only pop up mid-game, where status has already been thrown around a bit.) That said, I'd like to propose A+: Zam and Starm / A: Zap, Bro, Lap, and Jynx. I honestly see Zam and Starm as a cut above everything else after the Big 4. Not only are they solid lead choices like Jynx, but they tend to continue making a bigger impact throughout mid-game and can really shine if they're still para-free late-game. Being able to lead also puts them ahead of Zap, Bro, and Lap in my eyes as well, since team space is so limited and you don't want them in the lead slot.

I don't think Gar should drop all the way to C. Rhydon is more debatable. While Golem can more easily fit onto a team because Explosion still gives it value in poorer team matchups, Rhydon is more impressive when you do need to rely harder on your Rock. It hands over momentum more freely because it doesn't have the emergency button to get it back, but that's less of an issue on more defensive teams that are well-equipped to handle the smaller ups and downs of a long game. The reason the Water mons above are competing for a slot is because running 2 pretty much locks you into Rhydon (you need the better stats more than Explosion then, because you're once again relying harder on your Rock.)

Offense (compared to defense) and Electrics (compared to Rocks) have shot up in popularity since the mechanics changed. Tauros not being paralyzed by BS was bad for Lapras and the Rocks not just because they can't paralyze Tauros easily themselves, but because your own Tauros and Lax can't either. Starmie or Bro can still paralyze Tauros for you (and got cooler para perks with Psychic and Amnesia in the mechanics changes), which is harder to do in general and now much more valuable. Tauros itself can more easily handle the Rocks (though Golem's Explosion is still a threat), while Chansey and Snorlax got snazzier both defensively from the BS para immunity and offensively with improved Counter. Improved Tauros, Bro, and Starm mixed with worsened Rocks led to a rise in Electrics and a metagame favoring offense more than defense in general. Being able to stop an Electric is still handy, which is why Golem is still used, but if you just hand that momentum over to Tauros of all things (which Rhydon does), you're in no better of a situation against the offensive player.

As I said, for defensive teams, that's less of an issue because you ideally have a few ways to maneuver out of the situation. Offensive teams struggle with this a bit more, which is why having the option to boom is more appealing. It comes down to playstyle preference, but one is definitely more favored these days. Rhydon is better if you're relying on your Rock, but doing that means you're on the back foot against offense. You wind up opening yourself up to more instances of crits and secondary effects (two things Rhydon also happens to be bad at) that are bound to pop up the longer you test your luck.

All that said, don't entirely discount Rhydon. As more people rely on things like the Electrics, TWave spam, Counter, PsyBolt Starm, SToss Chan, etc., it's easier to forget that it is still a bigger threat than Golem against less-prepared teams. The current mechanics are definitely unfavorable to it, but it still has a solid role on certain kinds of teams and people growing comfortable without it around only makes it better. That's probably also why I'm liking Sandslash at the moment. It holds momentum better with Swords Dance and is solid against teams that are less prepared for Grounds in general (while also covering the Rocks to boot), making it a cool option for offense. It's not phenomenal (which is why I'd say C, along with stuff like Persian and Articuno), but it still has value in the current metagame. I see Rhydon in a similar boat, just for a very different playstyle.

I'm cool with Kingler going up along with Slash to the Arti / Vic / Persian rank. Vic itself I think should stay there. While it's not amazing, it does have two niches (sleep + Wrap, in addition to being arguably the best sleep SDer) that can actually give it a little unpredictability. I don't think I've ever seen DNite do anything outside of AgiliWrap, which is its best hope at offense that I've been able to figure out. Support roles can probably be done better by something that isn't immediately forced out by anything with an Ice move. The reason it needs Wrap offensively is because so much just bullies it out otherwise, which is why I'd rather see good defensive ones in action before moving it up based on potential.

And I'm fine with Queen -> E if we're keeping it set up the same way. If we just drop it like some peeps have suggested, then I'd just want to save a few cool niche mons like Golduck.
 
I am not a tournament player, just a ladder ghost, and as such I'm used to a blind format. That said:

I agree with all the changes already made by the above post, though I have lingering doubts about Jolteon C -> B. He does have an argument for the tail end of B though I think he might even belong in C rank. But I'm not sure, no strong opinion yet. It's not a very annoying mon on offense nor defense against a standard team, and he's only consistent during ideal counterplay and with nice crit luck. He's an interesting borderline B/C case and I'd like to discuss it further.

I don't consider Lapras to be as safe or flexible a pick as anything else (even Zapdos) in A tier. I think there is a major gulf in safety in-between the more dominant Alakazam, Starmie, and Zap, but the biggest is between Zap and Lap, the latter of which is in my opinion right at home in B. I'm not in favor at all of outright splitting the A rank into subranks, because I feel that the largest gulf in viability after the big 4 can be cleanly addressed with Lapras A -> B, and giving it top slot there.
Jynx is not an A-rank and should remain B,
despite being in season recently in all formats. She is the best mon in the game at the one important thing she does and is one of a diverse set of oppressive leads, which would justify rank A if Jynx weren't so inconsistent by design. Whatever happens to Gengar, which I find to be MORE inconsistent but slightly less limited in versatility, these two mons should never be more than a full rank apart.
I believe that by the current definitions, Gengar remains in (lower) B. Far from being a meta-definer he is competitive with every mon in that tier, never a rare sight, and like Jynx he opens up options for teambuilding with his unique synergies and playmaking qualities. He is TERRIBLY inconsistent but not enough to override the number of teams he fits on and games he wins.
-Cloyster is easily the best mon in Rank C and dwarfs the rest of the tier in synergy and counterplay regarding the tiers above him. Much like my argument for Gengar, I can see the divide in consistency between him and most of the tier above him, but it's weird to see him so close to the weirdmons in Rank C that fit onto a fraction of the teams that Cloyster can, which is why I'd send Cloyster C -> (lower) B. Cloyster is a flawed midmon and as mentioned is a hard sell next to Lapras, but I don't think that's a full tier's worth of difference given his unique qualities.
-Golem and Rhydon are certainly less than a tier apart from what I've seen, and as for the explanations I can give as to why, the people above me in this thread and my tangentially related thread have already presented the case for both Rhydon and Golem. I'd like to pre-emptively reinforce GolDon's current position as solid but flawed role-players against any dissent, for what my opinion is worth. Golem + Rhydon remain B.
-Slowbro remains B.
I think it DEFINES B, being a mon that can scare the crap out of any team and is by far the best at what it does, but still barely displaces the mons above it due to minor inconsistencies, dependence on surprise, and to the components of blind counterplay littered about in the ranks above it. Solid pick with great pressure, but when I think of meta bullies Slowbro doesn't come to mind - or Vic would be spiking in popularity season to season.

-Dragonite, with its one rather applicable role is a very scary and compressible mon and isn't dreadfully hard to carve an opening for, but I think it's at home where it is among the rest of the inconsistent-yet-viables, as it is above all dependent on surprise in such a hazardous meta to its particular design flaws. Dragonite remains C.
-Victreebel has fallen from grace and is a dreadfully inconsistent mon, but it's still scary, flexible, preys readily on meta habits, and can really duke it out with the whole rank above it at least. Victreebel remains C.

-Sandslash remains D.
Hell yes it's a threat to many OU teams and damn right it beats the rocks 1v1 but it's not going to find an opening against the standard team without serious luck. Slash is home where it is.
-I see the potential in Kingler as a threat to ride momentum and snipe specific OU teams in bad situations, but not as a question-asker, not as a mon that can stand up to the rest of C rank and brave the boltbeamers in the ranks above. Therefore Kingler remains D, unless there's something critical I don't know about it from reading analyses and never losing a ladder game to it.
-Ninetales is easily the best mon currently in Rank E and I want to see him go up one. I have respect for Machamp, Electrode, Raichu in particular rare scenarios, but I'd use a Ninetales team over most of Rank ->D<-, especially during Jynx season. Assuming Jynx stays put in B: Ninetales E -> D.
-
I agree with Enigami that Nidoqueen belongs in E.

-I Would like to initiate discussion regarding Articuno C -> D. I've never seen an Articuno do serious work without absurd luck and want to know what sort of tournament counterpick it takes to get quasi-consistent results with it that might justify C rank, where I believe it is the weakest current resident.

Every other ranked mon I either agree with or haven't built an opinion yet.
 
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-I Would like to initiate discussion regarding Articuno C -> D. I've never seen an Articuno do serious work without absurd luck and want to know what sort of tournament counterpick it takes to get quasi-consistent results with it that might justify C rank, where I believe it is the weakest current resident.

Every other ranked mon I either agree with or haven't built an opinion yet.
Articuno is definitely a poor man's Lapras, but I do think it should retain its spot in C rank. It is a guaranteed OHKO Rhydon and Golem, something that Lapras and Starmie can't say. It's also a big threat to any already weakened Exeggutor. In addition, something pretty neat is that it can beat Tauros 1 vs. 1. You can just switch it in normally after a Tauros KO, or you can predict an Earthquake and switch in for no damage. Then Body Slam -> Hyper Beam doesn't KO Articuno, but Blizzard does 2HKO Tauros. Admittedly it's probably a rare scenario where your perfectly healthy Articuno is gets a 1 vs. 1 scenario against the opponent's perfectly healthy Tauros but I do think that it's worth noting. The more important things are guaranteed OHKOs on GolDon and putting good pressure on Exeggutor. I think it fits in C.
 

Isa

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if you remove chansey from the equation (egg boom, freeze, what have you), a team without a water/ice type gets absolutely ripped to SHREDS by articuno. yeah lapras and cloyster also have stab blizzard but check the damage:
Articuno Blizzard vs. Alakazam: 123-145 (39.2 - 46.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Articuno Blizzard vs. Tauros: 191-225 (54.1 - 63.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Articuno Blizzard vs. Snorlax: 197-232 (37.6 - 44.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Lapras Blizzard vs. Alakazam: 102-120 (32.5 - 38.3%) -- 98.5% chance to 3HKO
Lapras Blizzard vs. Tauros: 159-187 (45 - 52.9%) -- 27.7% chance to 2HKO
Lapras Blizzard vs. Snorlax: 164-193 (31.3 - 36.9%) -- 78% chance to 3HKO

a common team back in the day used to be alakazam/golem/exeggutor/chansey/tauros/snorlax. if you sleep/paralyze the alakazam and get rid of the chansey, articuno obliterates this. cloyster and lapras on average fail to 2hko tauros (cloyster can't 2hko without crits) so this team would have more counterplay vs that, but articuno always 2hkos tauros, is fairly likely to avoid the 3hko from bslam bslam hbeam, and with a reflect+rest set just doesn't die. it also has amazing bulk on the special side as long as it's not hit by tbolt:
Alakazam Psychic vs. Articuno: 102-121 (26.6 - 31.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
Jynx Blizzard vs. Articuno: 108-127 (28.1 - 33.1%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
Starmie Thunderbolt vs. Articuno: 117-138 (30.5 - 36%) -- 47.1% chance to 3HKO lol even starmie tbolt is more likely a 4hko (crits dont exist)

EQ immunity is also very nice, allows for good switches from gengar vs tauros and snorlax sometimes.

articuno should stay c.
 
Hi! I know that I barely have some knowledge of the meta, and that I should lurk more to learn, but heck... I really want to make my comments x3

Regarding the Viability Rankings Per Se, I would reccommend to use two subranks per rank (A+ and A-, B+ and B-, C+ and C- at least) because a few things kinda deserve the same rank but aren't on the exact same level of usefulness (like Jynx in B+ and Gengar in B- IMO)... While that might be leaving a few ranks with just two or three pokés, at least it will be more accurate and will also be easier to take everyone comments and opinions into account.

With that being said, I would put Star and Zam in A+ cuz they are clearly above the other two A pokes! Another nom that I would like to support is Sandslash maybe to C- because it does have that nice matchup against a few threats and isn't as slow as Rhydon and Golem, making it a little bit better against some things in the 40/45-65 bracket like Chansey and Lapras.

Oh! And I would also like to reccomend a cleanup on the D and E ranks... There are a few things that no one would use outside of badly conceptualized teams for OU (Like Raichu/Arcanine/Electrode)

See ya!
 
I am not a tournament player, just a ladder ghost, and as such I'm used to a blind format. That said:

I agree with all the changes already made by the above post, though I have lingering doubts about Jolteon C -> B. He does have an argument for the tail end of B though I think he might even belong in C rank. But I'm not sure, no strong opinion yet. It's not a very annoying mon on offense nor defense against a standard team, and he's only consistent during ideal counterplay and with nice crit luck. He's an interesting borderline B/C case and I'd like to discuss it further.
I strongly disagree when you say it's not a very annoying mon on offense. Barring the obvious ground types there is literally nothing that wants to be taking Jolteon on. Chansey might be an obvious answer here but it's not even remotely comfortable as it takes multiple hits to take down Jolt while Jolt only requires a little bit of luck to break through. Of course, it does become something to be played around, but that bears its own issues as it usually means multiple risks are taken in an attempt to minimalise Jolt's impact
-Slowbro remains B. I think it DEFINES B, being a mon that can scare the crap out of any team and is by far the best at what it does, but still barely displaces the mons above it due to minor inconsistencies, dependence on surprise, and to the components of blind counterplay littered about in the ranks above it. Solid pick with great pressure, but when I think of meta bullies Slowbro doesn't come to mind - or Vic would be spiking in popularity season to season.
I feel like the Vic point is a bit of a fallacy, I can't remember the name. Either way, that's a really simplistic and assumption-riddled view of it imo that kinda works backwards. Either way, I strongly dispute the notion that it's dependent on surprise- like this is a pokemon with gargantuan physical bulk, the most effective Twave in the game and the setup potential to dominate games to an extent on par with Tauros, it doesn't need surprise. All forms of counterplay against Bro are extremely risky due to its significant offensive threat and status potential, with the only counterplay option that isn't impacted by those risks being boom, which is boom.
-Ninetales is easily the best mon currently in Rank E and I want to see him go up one. I have respect for Machamp, Electrode, Raichu in particular rare scenarios, but I'd use a Ninetales team over most of Rank ->D<-, especially during Jynx season. Assuming Jynx stays put in B: Ninetales E -> D.
-
I agree with Enigami that Nidoqueen belongs in E.

-I Would like to initiate discussion regarding Articuno C -> D. I've never seen an Articuno do serious work without absurd luck and want to know what sort of tournament counterpick it takes to get quasi-consistent results with it that might justify C rank, where I believe it is the weakest current resident.
What does Ninetales actually do that's of use to a team? I get that it anti-leads Jynx, but how does it tie into a team's strategic goals? As far as I can see it's nothing more than a gimmick- it maybe gets a good lead matchup, only to Fire Spin out into something else... so what? It can't even make use of FB because you don't yet know if there's a Starmie just waiting to get burnt. I don't consider Ninetales a remotely serious pick for any team.

As for Articuno, I strongly agree with Isa, and as an extension of his reference to the old standard, unless you're using an unorthodox team, Cuno has good matchups against at least half of any team's pokemon (Tauros, Lax/Gol/Don, Egg), and against the normals its raw power distinguishes it from other Ice types. Tauros is especially notable since it's the one thing that's consistently a factor in lategame situations, which also happens to be where Cuno does its best work. I DEFINITELY don't consider Cuno a counterpick mon and I have a couple teams with it that I am comfortable using without any prior knowledge of what my opponent is likely to run (which describes the vast majority of my battles)
 

Mr.E

im the best
is a Pre-Contributoris a Past SPL Champion
hey this is a topic, there sure is a lot of shit to read here fuck

Venusaur: Aside Victreebel having Wrap, there's appeal to both with Razor Leaf as a bona-fide Slowbro counter. Venusaur is slightly bulkier, and doesn't speed tie Cloyster if anyone cares. (It also outspeeds Victreebel and speed ties Dragonite, woohoo.)

Articuno should hang out in D rank with all the rest of the barely usable semi-junk. I mean shit, Isa, if you get rid of [half your opponent's team] lots of shit can clean up depending on what you got rid of. Sure, it hits harder than Cloyster and Lapras but I don't think that's so important compared to the lack of utility. They're role-players, not nigh-unresisted sweepers like Normals and can't out-duel Psychics or Chansey. Ground immunity is pretty marginal utility in RBY, especially since a predictive Rock Slide from Goldon mauls Articuno making that a risky switch, while much more relevant is Arty's own lack of Ice resistance. Statistically, it's strictly less bulky than Lapras, and much less physically than Cloyster if you're just hung up on the anti-Tauros thing. Lapras can inflict status and gets TBolt, Cloyster has Explosion and Clamp which are both highly unique attacks.

Zam I maintain with the incredibly intelligent and suave djanxo that it is better than Snorlax (because Snorlax sucks) and honestly probably the third or even second best mon in OU (I usually say Eggy is #2 though). It's the second best duelist in the game, and while the ubiquity of fellow Psychics means it doesn't outright sweep like Tauros it also has quite the defensive utility against its own kind that Tauros lacks. Though Zam is ultimately held back by Psychic's PP count, I still think it's important in that it gives the Zam player initiative to make plays and forces the opponent to react, because ultimately you can't beat Zam 1v1. You can't switch anything that isn't Psychic-type or Chansey into it, but none of those will outduel it either, so it's free to just Special drop you and scurry off (to conserve Psychic PP if nothing else) for a solid advantage.

HEEP NO is to Zam as Persian is to Tauros. Lack of Recover is kind of a bummer. I like making fun of HEEP NO but it's okay, solid but completely and utterly unspectacular.
Giving more time / discussion:
Lapras A -> B
Jynx B -> A
Slowbro B -> A

Rhydon B -> C
Gengar B -> C
Cloyster C -> B
Dragonite C -> B

Victreebel C -> D
Kingler D -> C
Sandslash D -> C

Nidoqueen -> E
Slowbro definitely has a case for A. It's less well rounded but it can be pretty difficult to counter, in no small part to the fact that it's a Special attacker that can push past Zam and Chansey. It loses to a relatively small number of particular pokémon and beats everything else, not dissimilar to Zapdos except its counters aren't so impenetrable.

Lapras dunno why it was A to begin with. All I figure is that I underestimate the importance of packing an Ice-type in today's metagame filled with dumb shit like Reflect Chansey, but even then I think Jynx is much easier to utilize since it's also a top lead and much better sleeper. While Lapras has its advantages, Starmie is quite plainly superior overall and even Cloyster underneath it has some very unique perks.

Rhydon has no business being in a different tier than Golem, and I think Gengar's superior defensive utility as a Normal immunity plus being part of the lead metagame gives it a leg up over the more niche roles of those in C-rank. Cloyster is for hipsters who refuse to use Starmie/Lapras, like Hipmonlee. Dragonite is a bad mon with one really good gimmick, but it's still just a gimmick that fails itself half the time even when it gets going (which is no guarantee).

Sandslash is a bro, I agree you can move it up along with mai boi Dodrio. Seriously though, it does the same basic defensive duty that Goldon do (being Electric-immune), but it one-ups Golem in the Speed department enough not just to beat the Rocks but even Eggy / Chansey / Lapras, which is kind of a big deal. Swords Dance is neat too, especially if Starmie is already paralyzed since at that point you're likely either looking at sticking it up Zam's bum (unless it crit OHKOs lel) or crippling the opponent's Tauros; doesn't get reamed by Snorlax randomly carrying Surf. Sandslash has been criminally underused for forever.

Dodrio I wasn't totally serious about but I do think it's better than the rest of the shit in D, it just doesn't see any real use because it's worse than Tauros and Persian. Most people don't even make room for Persian on their teams anymore, let alone a third generic fast Normal-type. I'd rather use it than Kangaskhan though. Dodrio hits significantly harder and it's one of the few mons Exeggutor actively fears, plus it outspeeds and threatens to OHKO Jynx.

Kingler is basically a Water-type Sandslash, except it isn't nearly so easy to get in and boost up. Pure Water typing doesn't afford any real defensive utility and it's less bulky than Lapras physically (to a similar degree as Cloyster out-bulks Lapras), let alone on the Special side. The Speed advantage over either Lapras or Cloyster is also fairly meaningless. Kingler doesn't have much going for it except being cool as hell.

Nidoqueen is the prime example of "it's the exact same damn thing as something else on the tier list, it should just be ranked in the same spot." I've even said it for GSC where Nidoking is actually relevant, granted the Speed difference there actually means something (not autolosing the Speed "tie" in the Nido ditto, because King is common, and to Suicune). I've said it about Machamp and Hariyama in Gen 3, add Conkeldurr in Gen 5 even as abilities help to somewhat differentiate them. You'll never actually see it, but theoretically somebody could use them and they'd behave pretty much the same as their higher-tiered doppelgangers.
 
There's still a lot to discuss, but we're also coming close to the end of the month. Sorry for kinda vanishing suddenly; I didn't have internet for a little over a week. Back in action now, and I think the most important thing for us to hammer out is where we're drawing the OU / UU cutoff line.

As things currently sit, 5/6 mons in C have traditionally been listed as OU on Smogon, making that feel like the more obvious place to draw the line (with just Hypno moving up to OU). All of those mons always felt awkward as OU to me, though (sans Cloyster, which I still think should bump up to B, but even that's not super common or anything). Does anyone really think of Arti / Persian / Hypno / Vic as OU mons? Dnite's a bit tougher, since it's kinda the face Wrap, but it's such a rare sight in actual competitive play due to its inconsistency.

Where we set the cutoff point is where we need to focus discussion this weekend, as that'll be the basis for RBY UU's initial list. I personally think B is the best place for us to draw the line right now, which would mean the Rhydon debate really heats up. Cloyster and Dragonite would also need more serious discussion in that case.
 

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