OU RBY OU Viability Rankings


Double Threat
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Chansey is the most important mon in every game, it's the best mon in the tier at gaining an advantage without giving something up yourself. Whatever your team's favorite status is, it can spread it. It generates free turns and forces switches like no other, and accumulates odds with that tempo. Teams fold to it if their booms miss the mark. It's the main reason Snorlax can't recklessly spam Body Slam. Absolute Behemoth.

Tauros is the endgame, it's the looming threat that you always have to keep in mind. The thing about that is that it's never supposed to hit the field until then (lest it take damage and lose to the opposing Tauros), and so it's more of a threat on paper that you have to retain checks to than something which actively wins games. If you need to use Tauros to break their team, you have lost your wincon. Its reliance on Hyper Beam means it is never consistent; it can just crit the Body Slam anyways, but Hyper Beaming the Starmie switch is game losing unless you miss or crit. It's always capable of dumb shit, and you're not allowed to forget to use it, but its game to game impact is lower than the mons above.

Snorlax is the top 3 mon I have the least to say about, despite the fact that it's easily the most interesting mon in the tier. It picks which pressure point it wants to press during team building and uses its fourth move to make the team sad in one specific manner. If you're not using Reflect and Rest on the mon you're inting to enemy Snorlax, and to a lesser extent Tauros.


Starmie beats everything except Chansey and electrics, but it can't pressure Chansey so it's ranked below the mons that can. It's so fat and abuses TWave and 32 PP Recover so well. Shrugging off booms from Eggy and Cloy is bonkers. Insane mon.


Zam's Psychics Hurt Stuff. It's the most offensively potent mon that has a 50% recovery move, and it's one of a few special attackers that can push damage through Chansey to other mons behind it. Would be broken with more defense (can you believe that people used to use Reflect on it Lmao imagine dropping Seismic Toss).

People are probably too low on Eggy at this point, it's still pretty consistently a 2 for 1 and sometimes a 3 for 1 if your normal move hits. The teams which have it are less stable than the teams without it and rely on being ahead to close out the game, so if it booms into the slept mon they're fucked. But more often than not it's just trading up. Good mon.


Cloyster is the best switch into Tauros and Snorlax which is always a valuable addition to a team. It can usually get its boom off without too much trouble, it can freeze stuff, it can reliably heal, it can push progress through anything with Clamp. A complete pokemon. Its interactions with Starmie aren't even that bad.

Jynx gets to roll for game in the first few turns and if it whiffs it traded sleep for sleep. The fact that it does rude things to the best Chansey set is just gravy. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.


The elephant in the room in my rankings is Zapdos. It's objectively threatening enough to be ranked way higher, but the presence of these other two shut it down effectively enough that it's a massive liability in those games. The 30% of games where you're forced into aggressive double switching to get around the losing matchup are enough to tank its average which is otherwise sky high. It's completely useless defensively, since much like Tauros it's a sweeper and has to preserve its hp at all costs to remain threatening. Boom or bust matchup fish.

The two Zapdos counters can both apply pressure to cores, lose to some other stuff but are generally consistent. Jolteon switches into Chansey, Rhydon switches into mono normal Lax. You're not allowed to use either of Jolteon or Rhydon too much but you have to bring them often enough to deter Zapdos. Important pieces of the meta, but they lack power that higher ranked mons possess.


Gengar's the only real deterrent to two otherwise broken mons, Jynx and mono-normal Snorlax. It's not good, it doesn't actually accomplish anything even when it hits its matchups, but its existence is an important countermeasure.

Slowbro is a god that breaks everything above it on the list but if other people figure out how to get a mega stone into RBY I'll lose my primary edge on the field so I've hidden it down here.

Everything else below this kinda really sucks tbh, my 2020 rankings had:

14 :Articuno:
15 :Moltres:
16 :Porygon:
17 :Lapras:
18 :Dragonite:
19 :Victreebel:
20 :Persian:
21 :Golem:

I don't really disagree with any of this a year later, they're basically ranked according to their ability to fight vs the normals collectively which is lowkey the entirety of RBY viability anyways. All of them are pretty flawed though, and are genuinely a full letter grade below Slowbro, and honestly they're all pretty close in viability, so I'm fine with calling that the C rank and stopping my ranking at the same place I did last year. None of the mons here can consistently hang with the top guys, but they can on occasion get some tempo and make some stuff happen.
My general position on Raticate is that it is very, very hard to justify it over Persian. Super Fang is better on the first hit vs Lax, but on the second hit youre a bit screwed. And otherwise I think youre better off slashing things. I guess it's a bit less fishy if your opponent has a Gengar.

Kangaskhan on the other hand has it's own niche.
Well, Raticate over Persian is ok.
Against Snorlax (Reflect, Rest obviously) Raticate can go Super Fang (accuracy permitting) x2 into CH Body Slam; Persian has a 6.5% chance to 3HKO with Slash, fishing for a CH Hyper Beam can go wrong and it needs to to use Screech otherwise.
Also, Slash x2 into CH Body Slam depends on rolls (which look doable) but I'm not sure whether Body Slam is a standard move for Persian or not.
They both apply good pressure, but Raticate looks slightly better.

Obviously Persian has great upsides, mostly speed, and is clearly superior overall.
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Have a nice day
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I know EB0LA uses BS Persian for that scenario.

But the way I look at it Lax is rest-looped regardless. So whatever you are doing with Persian it should work. Even Slash, Slash, Thunderbolt has enough PP to drain all of Lax's rests. 16 tries at the 2.5% chance of the par bolt FP too, so overall about 1/3...

I typically run screech, so that works for me. I guess I just recommend not running tbolt Persian anyway.


Tournament Banned
Zam's Psychics Hurt Stuff. It's the most offensively potent mon that has a 50% recovery move, and it's one of a few special attackers that can push damage through Chansey to other mons behind it. Would be broken with more defense (can you believe that people used to use Reflect on it Lmao imagine dropping Seismic Toss
Tbh depending on how far back you go, saying people used RefZam is underselling it, since it used to be pretty much standard. It'd be mildly interesting going back through old analyses and seeing what people put in them back in the day. I guess it's on wayback machine, but I'm not that interested in it
After a 2020 where I played a lot RBY this is my ranking:

1. Tauros

2. Snorlax
















18. Moltres

19. Persian

20. Golem


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I'm gonna skip over the less controversial explanations in my VR.

I think Exeggutor is being a tad underrated, though I have Starmie before Exeggutor I believe the gap between them is razor thin and both are amazing, with Zam "clearly" slightly below.

Rhydon and Zapdos took a bit of thinking. My experience with Zapdos is probably colored a bit by my opponents always somehow using a Rhydon team just as I bring Zapdos, but I just don't see it quite as high as others do because of its struggles with Jolteon/Rhydon. Rhydon meanwhile can overcome bad matchups with enough yellow magic spread around, and I never find myself regretting bringing Rhydon like I do with Zapdos.

Articuno in B- and Lapras in C+ is a bit of a reversal from my previous thoughts that Lapras > Articuno. I value Agility a lot more than I used to, which raises Articuno's value as a bulky sweeper quite a bit in my eyes. It seems to finally be finding its place in teams nowadays.

Lapras meanwhile I think is suffering from lackluster team synergy, leading to its unpopularity and possibly its low SPL winrate as well. When you compare it to its Water- and/or Ice-type competitors all of them offer more to a team. For example, its most direct competitor Cloyster, is a stronger and longer lasting check to Snorlax, mono-Ice/SToss Chansey and Articuno with Rest, has Clamp to support offensive teammates by helping them get in safely, and can always use Explosion to eliminate a key Pokemon for its teammates. Lapras meanwhile doesn't usually run any of those moves, offering just the 4x Ice resistance alongside Sing which doesn't quite cut it if a team already has sleepers and decent answers to Ice attacks. I usually teambuild for synergies, and I can't think of a time I ever thought to myself that I need Lapras. Even Gyarados has more consideration from me due to the Earthquake immunity it provides for mons like Jolteon and Gengar. Unfortunately, Lapras just feels like 6th filler you throw in when you can't think of anything better to put there.

Moltres might be a bit underrated here but it does seem somewhat outclassed by Articuno as the monstrous sweeper bird, largely due to Articuno's more accurate Blizzards and access to Ice Beam to provide yet more reliability and STAB PP. Moltres does have the advantage of nuking its way past any Rest user that isn't Slowbro, though, which is quite nice when Rest Cloyster and Rest Jynx are things. Plus it can always play Spin to Win.

I might be underrating Porygon considering other posters' placements and the fact I use Porygon more often than all the other mons in the C ranks, but being around mid-low C seems like the appropriate spot for it considering its flaws.

I'm possibly "too high" on Gyarados but I do find myself using it occasionally in teams where I want a Rhydon-killing Flying-type that isn't walled like Articuno can be. Gyara can struggle a bit to break through unparalyzed Starmie and Chansey, but it does have potential to paraslam Starmie/go for the Hail Mary Hyper Beam crit OHKO on Chansey.

I am disappoint that people keep ranking Nidoking but don't even rank Nidoqueen. Come on peeps, Nidoqueen can go 2 turns against Tauros. Nidoking can't do that, and it doesn't really have anything but outspeeding Dragonite to make up not being able to do that. Nidoqueen's less powerful Earthquake barely affects # hits to KO OU Pokemon. I mean, both Nidos are fringe at best, but if you're going to include Nidoking atleast include Nidoqueen in your rankings somewhere, yeah?

E- is a somewhat unorganized rapid falloff from "has a niche that might get a win in very specific scenarios" to "technically has a very tiny niche". Someday Arbok. Someday, I will find the right way to make Paralysis-Wrap Spam work (and possibly get Wrap banned:psynervous:)

F is the no niche I can think of whatsoever tier. Shoutouts to Seaking in F, if only it didn't need Tradebacks to get Swords Dance. From experience with Tradebacks, Double Dance Seaking is a niche but real threat.

Hitmonchan has its own tier below everything else because it is Hitmonchan. Beedrill has Swords Dance. Golbat has good stats and decent typing in low tiers, and is mostly held back by its mediocre damage output due to lack of STAB. Farfetch'd has the 2nd strongest Slash. Ditto can atleast cling to having a niche in Ubers. Hitmonchan meanwhile has nothing. It is outclassed by every other evolved Fighting-type, and Fighting-type in RBY is so bad in RBY that the "good" mono Fighting-types struggle to be viable even past NeverUsed. Its Special bulk is so low NFEs stand toe to toe with it. Seriously, it can lose to Nidoran-F in a 1v1. It isn't even guaranteed a place on Monotype Fighting Teams in spite of being one of five fully evolved Fighting-types, because Machop's access to Earthquake, Rock Slide and Fire Blast and superior Special bulk seriously makes it a competitor for Hitmonchan's spot. Game Freak truly rescued this Pokemon with the Special stat split, it is an absolute joke in RBY.
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I have not played too many good games of RBY OU in a bit, but I still have opinions (for some reason). Here's a VR. I ranked every fully-evolved Pokemon, besides Mewtwo and Mew (also for some reason). I don't really know how spoilers work, so have fun dealing with that.


EDIT: Farfetch'd should be above Golbat.

I'm just going to lend explanations to some of my "hotter" takes.

Pokemon That Are Actually Decent: (The Relevant Takes)

I believe Tauros, Chansey, and Snorlax are interchangeable, though the order shown is my current opinion. I don't really get why some players are putting Chansey in its own subrank. Even if Chansey is slightly more droppable than the other two (a point I actually disagree with; I think Snorlax is the "easiest" to forgo), it is by such a miniscule margin that I think it is hardly word delineating. If a drop in usage of like .2% is enough to justify another subrank, we'll be in F by the time we get to Jynx.

I think Exeggutor, Starmie, and Alakazam are also interchangeable. Starmie is amazing as always, but I think Exeggutor and Alakazam are just a tad underrated. Exeggutor is still meta-defining in that is basically describes an entire playstyle and I think Alakazam will be seeing a renaissance soon, as it matches up against every major meta trend very well, especially the abundance of Starmie and Paralyzed Chansey.

Zapdos vs. Cloyster was an extremely close call. I chose Cloyster ultimately because I think it is generally easier to load a team with Cloyster than a team with Zapdos in key games. I also just have personal preference as a person who spams Rhydon and Jolteon.

Lapras is fine. It still saw reasonable usage and matches up well against a few key Pokemon. It isn't too hard to fit on a team. I still like it.

Moltres is a pretty awful Pokemon and I am shocked to have seen it ranked so consistently highly. Moltres has absolutely dismal usage and is just generally a pain to work with. On paper, you can make the argument that it is better than stuff like Articuno and Dragonite, but in practice, it is plagued by so many issues. It has accuracy problems with all of its moves and handles Paralysis very poorly. Being weak to both halves of BoltBeam is also a pretty bad look. I really don't see the point to this Pokemon, especially when you have two other birds with better consistency. I suppose Moltres has fewer checks, but its typing leaves a lot to be desired, both offensively and defensively.

If for some reason you don't want to use Victreebel as your Swords Dance user, here are five okay options. Also, Kangaskhan is good actually.

Pokemon That Are Not Great: (The Irrelevant Takes)

E Rank is basically an amalgamation of a bunch of niche picks: Normal-type Attackers, Fighters, Amnesia Users, and Wrap Abusers. The crazy people over on Discord convinced me that Gyarados and Primeape aren't horrible, so they found themselves here. Omastar still exists as one of the biggest question marks in this tier for me. Maybe one day it will work.

Hitmonchan bad.

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S :tauros: :snorlax: :chansey:

If you dont bring those 3 to a game your team is losing a lot of value. Staples of the tier

Tauros needs no explanation. Can turn around games on his own with either a Hyper Beam crit, a freeze or can even burn a opposing Tauros.

Snorlax can be played in different variants. Reflect seems the strongest to me, Amnesia can work too but its a bit difficult to play around Chansey/Starmie with it.

Chansey is the strongest special wall

A+ :starmie: :alakazam: :exeggutor:

Starmie is a bit more solid although Alakazam hits harder.

Exeguttor isnt really a 2 for 1 since the opponents team will have a sleeper too. With a strong Psychic move and Explosion it can still be very useful nowadays.

A :zapdos: :rhydon: :lapras:

The filler Pokemon of OU. Lapras is way too underrated currently and is in no way comparable to Articuno. Thunderbolt can pressure a Cloyster/Starmie plus having access to Sing is a huge plus.

A- :jolteon: :cloyster:

Jolteon beats Zapdos but is worse on the offensive side when compared to Zapdos.

B+ :jynx: :slowbro:

Jynx is not doing a lot after sleeping a Pokemon unless you are literally a master of the endgame and can somehow save it until then.

Slowbro might actually be ranked higher also has the potential to turn games on his own.

B :gengar:

Everything else I didnt test enough


Do. Or do not. There is no try.
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Now SPL has ended and RBY classic is months away, I think this is a good time to update the VRs before RBY Cup starts. Some of you already started posting your rankings yourself, so that is good sign! When using the tiermaker tool, please sort the mons within the same rank from best to worse from left to right!

Like last time, I want to make it publically known that we are working on a VR update so that people who might want to contribute, can also join in. Because the idea and method were taken from McMeghan and vapicuno, I'll use this quote from Roro to explain the method:

I encourage everyone to get a discussion going or post their rankings, but I'm unsure if I should post mine because I'm not considered a top ranked RBYer. Also I would love for people to chime in on the D and E ranked mons, even if they fall outside of your rankings, so that we can clean them up once and for all.

Please feel free to send me your rankings, especially if you're an active RBYer. Share this with your friends who play the tier. The more the better.
HLing a bunch of people (Didnt tag the people who had already posted): Nails, Heroic Troller, Aliss, Kiichikos, FriendOfMrGolem120, MetalGro$$, Genesis7, Prinz, SoulWind, SMB, Leru, shiloh, Hayburner, Tiba, spies, SaDiSTiCNarwhal, Serpi, Louna, McMeghan, The Quasar, ABR, BIHI, Ortheore, Pohjis, Ranshiin, ziloXX, TC, Vileman, ErPeris, Lusch, Mister Tim
First of all, thank you for tagging me and I apologize for the delay in replying.

These are my VRs:


Thanks emma for the reminder, I appreciate it.
I am not really a Tournament RBY player. I've been mostly a high ladder and friendlies player and play in the odd Pokemon Perfect Tour. Here's my opinion regardless and some reasoning in Spoilers below.


:Snorlax: - In my opinion there is a bit of a debate whether Tauros, Snorlax or Chansey is the best. I've had times where I've thought Tauros is the best and I could probably change this back to Tauros quite easily, but alas I have not played enough good players of these modern teams to change my mind completely. In the rare games I have played vs. good players recently even up to SPL calibre players and watching SPL replays, there has never been a time where where I've thought that maybe Snorlax isn't the monster that it continues to be in every game. In every game, regardless what the opponents composition is Snorlax comes in and does its thing. It is a pokemon that forces responses from your opponent and allows you to dictate the pacing of the game which differentiates it from Chansey. I'd say its truly the only pokemon in RBY OU where you can completely customise it to do what you need it to do in your team composition.

:Tauros: - Good old Tauros. A Body Slamming, critting machine that is pretty much your ace or your queen in every game. What I think makes Snorlax better than Tauros is how you are able to treat Snorlax in the game vs. how players treat Tauros. If you get into situations where Tauros has a free hit, it is the scariest pokemon in the game. That being said, Tauros is a special snowflake, you can't leave it in to take a hit or status like a Snorlax or a Chansey, therefore it suffers from a similar issue to what the Queen has in Chess where you have to switch it out vs Pawns, Bishops and Knights. If the spots are picked intelligently it is the most dangerous pokemon.


:chansey: - Chansey I think is a staple and you are deliberately griefing if you do not include it or Snorlax/Tauros on your RBY OU team. My first reaction if I saw that in a big tour or finals would be that there was some money transferred or it was a Gen 1 miss. I think something people underestimate about Chansey is how important it is vs. Starmie. If you didn't have Chansey, Starmie would probably be S tier at minimum. It continues to sit there, take status if need be, deal out status such as freezes, paralysis and sleep, whatever you want really, comes out in 99.6% of games. I think it has less offensive presence than the two above, but there's no doubt it is the defensive backbone of every team.


:starmie: - I think Starmie and Egg are actually still very close, but Starmie is slightly better. Its helped by people starting to more commonly use Chansey sets that Starmie can really sit on such as mono-ice beam. Faster than Tauros and able to give it the yellow colour, fat enough to take multiple hits from Snorlax, best lead in the game. Also works very well in conjunction with Snorlax in particular and a lot of checks that people are forced to run (asides from opposing Lax) to deal with Snorlax just fall over to Starmie or Starmie can sit on them forever. Starmie can actually take sleep and feasibly wake up later in the battle which is harder to say for any other pokemon.

:exeggutor: - I think Egg is still a don. At the very minimum, if you are playing well, you are always getting a boom off and likely KOing one pokemon. Sleep is still very strong and Egg has the best Sleep in the game. I think a well played Egg can even go a lot further than this f you are getting it in on Lax rest turns etc. It is still a menace to switch into, especially if the Egg player has not gotten a Sleep off yet though the rise of Starmie does alleviate this. As well as this, I think quite a lot of these newer Jynx teams disrespect Egg in the teambuilder and kind of struggle with Egg in practice.


:alakazam: - I still think Alakazam is very solid both in the lead slot and in the endgame. It still does the things that it always has done, does well vs. Egg/Chansey/Starmie, great status absorber and traditionally guaranteesd a paralysis at the least which is enough to put it here. The problem is there are situations where you don't want to instantly Twave anymore so that guarantee is not there anymore which I think explains some of its drop off. What differentiates it as a Psychic from Starmie or Exeggutor as well is that it is easier to get in Snorlax/Tauros in against it which can spell trouble. I think as a lead, its in the worst place it has been at least since I have started playing, but as a late game sweeper I think it is underlooked and threatening.


:zapdos: - I think the case of Zapdos is a polarising one. I don't think it is automatically 5 vs. 6 if the opponent brings Jolteon or Rhydon but it definitely gets significantly harder. Without these two pokemon I mentioned above, Zapdos is possibily as good a carry as Tauros and that is 70% of games. Even if you find yourself against a Rhydon or a Jolteon, Zapdos forces predictable lines like no other pokemon giving the Zapdos player opportunities just through the pressure Zapdos puts on the opponent, including scary Snorlax/Tauros doubles in the midgame. There are situations where I think I'd rather have a different 6th, so that's why it's a notch below Starmie/Egg/Alakazam.


:rhydon: - I think Rhydon has gone through an interesting transition in the meta. The negatives is that there aren't 3-4 paralysed pokemon on the opponents team, the positive is that you don't have to deal with Egg every game. Not having to deal with Exeggutor is often enough for Rhydon though which still is great against Jolteon/Zapdos and can break through teams given the right conditions. What I think sets Zapdos apart from Rhydon is the threat level of Zapdos is higher and Rhydon will always at least have to contend with Tauros/Snorlax.


:jynx: - Lovely Kiss into Blizzard Freeze gives it this spot. It is a coinflip Pokemon though (Zapdos btw is not), if you aren't getting off your sleep Jynx goes down to like D tier or something, it isn't even a pokemon. People have also realised that Starmie can burn sleep turns on mono-ice Chansey and Jynx for free, lowering its value even if it manages to hit a sleep through paralysis.

:cloyster: - I was honestly unsure how to order this tier. I could see a world where any of these three Pokemon are 9th. Cloyster is my personal pick for the second best of the bunch, I think its utility vs. Tauros/Snorlax and the fact it has boom makes it a tad better than Jolteon. Its hard to mention Cloyster without Jolteon, I think without that composition then I'd take Exeggutor any day. That said, the amount of leeway it gives to particularly Starmie and that it pretty easy to overwhelm holds it back.

:jolteon: - I am not a fan of Jolteon. Again it is like Cloyster in that it does things defensively but lets other Pokemon in for free. Rhydon murders teams with Jolteon even harder than Zapdos teams, because you have to respect Zapdos in a way you just don't have to respect Jolteon so you don't even feel obliged to switch into Rhydon vs. Jolteon when you can switch into Snorlax or Exeggutor for example instead. Good into Zapdos though and threatens Starmie so it has a niche somewhere.


:slowbro: - Its at this point where pokemon have niches but clear issues. Slowbro likes the current meta, less Egg usage, Jynx leads, stuff like Sing Ice Beam Chansey where Bro doesn't have to deal with Egg switching in and Sleeping it. Still struggles against Electrics and Electric-type moves. I'd say its about the same overall despite the meta being somewhat favourable to it than its always been.

:gengar: - Gengar is just weird. As soon as people run Earthquake on Snorlax it is instantly a liability and moves far down this list. Fortunately for Gengar often this is not the case and it does also have boom so it can put in work. I find it is meta dependent and is also hard to fit well onto team compositions which makes it difficult to rank it.

:lapras: - Lapras is kinda just there. I think it is solid but offers nothing special like other 6ths. Lapras does Ok into a lot of things, so it allows better players to better player people. When Lapras is up against people of similar skill/knowledge, then in the vast majority of cases I'd want another sixth that can add a different dimension to my gameplan.


:articuno: - Its like a Lapras that hits harder but it doesn't have Sing or Tbolt. Starmies ubiquitous usage really starts hampering pokemon further down.

:moltres: - A fire type version of articuno with a slightly different matchup spread. Its lower because I can never get Moltres to hit a single move.

:victreebel: - less pokemon being paralysed, unparalysed starmie, alakazam everywhere. Cheese. It has its moments.


The rest all have miniscule niches where I'd scratch my head a bit but not immediately think you were memeing/trolling by bringing them. Id add Sandslash and Hypno into F but the tier list maker did not have them.


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I was not asked to submit my VR for the update, which is fair since I do not play the tier in RBY tournaments anymore (with very few exceptions, mostly for Greece whenever roudolf13 skips a tour:mad:), but I still spectate / ladder from time to time so I'd like to share mine anyway.

S Rank:
The three normals here are the rulers of the RBY realm and no explanation is needed if you have ever played the tier. The sole reason I ranked Chansey below Snorlax and Tauros is because a few (hyper offensive) teams can afford to drop it, which is not the case for Snorlax or Tauros.

A Rank:
The next rank consists of the psychics: Starmie, Exeggutor and Alakazam. Starmie is the most versatile of the three and fits in every common team structure, which is why I ranked it above the other two. That said, no matter the recent hate, Exe is still an incredible pokemon that offers a deal no other mon can offer in RBY OU: Ground resist + Sleep + Explosion + Psychic STAB. This makes it the best (defensive) Rhydon check, frees up a moveslot on Chansey in teams without a sleep lead and can force out Amnesia users; insane role compression. Alakazam is an excellent mon, but its lack of bulk and super-effective coverage make it a bit more inconsistent than the aforementioned psychics.

B Rank
B+ : Zapdos has a couple bad matchups (which are not unwinnable), but the trade-off is worth it as the mon is busted in terms of power and a late-game terror for most teams. Rhydon is an insane breaker as well, as its ability to muscle its way past Chansey + Snorlax is unmatched outside of Snorlax / Tauros, but I think the meta does not favor it at the moment: yes, exe is less common but ice moves are everywhere and it's harder to paralyze faster pokemon nowadays. So, instead, I have ranked Cloyster above Rhydon: it doesn't offer as much offensively (or at least not directly - a Cloyster is better played proactively), but it enables an entire (viable) archetype and thus deserves the credit for it.
B- : Jolteon is the fastest OU and the fastest Thunder Wave as well, with decent but not incredible Special (crits can make up for it). What you cannot make up for is the mediocre coverage and the lack of bulk, which makes it a very bad Rest user as it finds it hard to wake-up, but I suppose the existence of the option to heal itself is nice. Jynx is a mon I love to hate because it epitomizes inconsistency: there are matches where it nearly auto-wins with a T1 Sleep and an early freeze and matches where you can't even land the sleep and end up 5v6. Also terrible defensively. That said, the mono-ice Chansey and Cloyster meta favors it so I could not rank it lower.

C Rank
In my opinion, the pokemon I put in this rank are matchup picks. Gengar lead loves the matchup vs. Jynx and non-lead the matchup with mono-normal Snorlax (also IceLax). Slowbro loves the fall of Exe, the rise of the early sleep strats, the use of mono-ice Chansey and the fall of Victreebel. I feel it's a threat lots of players sleep on at the moment, but at the same time some issues will always persist: RNG ruins your sweep more often than you'd like to. Lapras is still a solid mon, but kinda lacks a niche at the moment. Victreebel is unreliable and unfavored by the meta's current environment. Articuno is incredibly powerful, but the lack of coverage is very very bad.

D Rank
The pokemon in this rank are very inconsistent and hard to rely on for serious tournament matches. Golem is obviously still in Rhydon's shadow, but it's a bit underrated at the same time, as Explosion is an incredible move that allows it to take on Tauros / (unstatused) Starmie + Alakazam better than Rhydon does. Persian is the best Slash user in the tier and very fast, which makes it a pain to face sometimes. Dragonite + Moltres are inconsistent (Moltres more than Dragonite since Wrap is more accurate than Fire Spin), but also a pain to face if the RNGods fancy your opponent...

E Rank
Exclusively ladder material, unless you're fine with a self-inflicted handicap in your tournament matches. That said, they are not completely unviable. Porygon is decent in the few full-stall teams as a Snorlax check, but offers little to nothing offensively. Venusaur is a relatively fast SD user with access to Sleep, but still worse than Victreebel more often than not. I found a very small niche for Sandslash as a Zapdos and Victreebel partner and topped the ladder with a hyper offense last November, but it's still a mediocre pokemon overall, as are the other SD users in this Rank. Last but not least, I may be a bit too harsh here, but I think Kangaskhan and Hypno simply lost whatever niche they had with the rise of Cloyster and Sing Chansey. Below that, I find most pokemon to be unviable even for a fun ladder run, but I won't pretend I have tested them all so I may have missed some.

That's all from me. Thank you if you took the time to read the entire post. :blobthumbsup:
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- Jolteon sucks
- A decent amount of Zap and Rhydon usage is a must to punish certain "greedy" structures and maximize winning odds
- same with Gengar to a lesser extent, his ability to punish the Jynx comfort zone as well as greedy Lax and Tauros sets is very useful​
- Zam is a blast to play atm but Starmie and Exeggutor are easier to fit and do the dirty work for their team
- Tauros is the best mon. It is practically undroppable and if you find a way to bring it in with your plays, the enemy team will crumble very fast

S+: you will lose most matches in which something bad happens to this (early explosions, freeze, ch, etc.). At the same time, has the tools to fight any threats
S: you will win if you use these mons correctly
A+: versatility
A: egg is the best sleeper and zam is a threat to a lot of builds both as lead and as sixth, starmie beats both bc of fitting in more teams.
B+: rhydon and zapdos will win games depending on matchup (don more than dos), jynx will win a small amount of games by herself
B: gar is very valuable depending on matchup, you need to use it sometimes if you're not known as a "gengar player"; bro can take over the game fast if played aggressively, but most of the time you'll get lucked and mald - it can be hard to assess risk when using it early; cloyster is lovely midgame control but has some very bad matchups
C: will be v strong in some situations with the right support
D: Persian/Lapras/Bel/Dragon/Moltres will win a lot of lategame scenarios. some people manage to make Lapras a threat in Zam+Lapras builds. you guys are too good at this game


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- Eggy and Zam are super close and it was difficult for me to pick which was ranked above
- Lax has the most set flexibility & ingame flexibility and can 1v1 literally everything in the tier, is not as dependent on its speed as bull is. Bull is more potent tho so this was also close af. Lax is not droppable but bull actually can be (even if I wouldn't do it personally)
- Rhydon is overrated. Zapdos has way more better mus
- Jolt doesn't suck, gar is awesome
- Don't use Victreebel it's a horrendous mon
I'll just quickly give my VR since I've been meaning to do it for a while now.

:Tauros: Tauros
:Snorlax: Snorlax
:Chansey: Chansey
I'm not going to split these up. I think they're all very important in their own ways and all contribute to the success of a team in different ways. Since offense can (and sometimes wants) to drop Chansey, I'll put it at the bottom, but don't look into that too much.

:Starmie: Starmie
:Exeggutor: Exeggutor
I'm putting Mie over Egg, because I feel like Mie complements more play styles while being able to be better through the entirety of the game. It also works as a better glue mon. Egg is still very strong and those who don't think it's at least top 6 are crazy imo. It has Sleep, Boom, Tankiness, Stun Spore and can hit fairly hard.

:Alakazam: Alakazam
Zam is still a really great mon that can just pop off and do stupid things. That being said, It's no as consistent or as durable as Mie and Egg, and it has much less utility. This is enough to put in a sub rank below this.

:Rhydon: Rhydon
I know this is where I'm getting controversial. For me, Rhydon is still an A mon, but Zap is no longer. Zap has serious competition from Jolt nowadays and struggles against Jolt itself. Meanwhile, Rhydon is still going along and benefits from there being less Egg. It just cancelling Electric mons is also too big to overlook imo. It still deserves its A Ranking, and although I understand where everyone is coming from by putting it in B. I'm going to politely disagree and say it's better than that.

:Zapdos: Zapdos
:Jynx: Jynx
Zapdos and Jynx are two very solid Pokemon, but just quite aren't up to the A rank. Zapdos has unfortunately lost some of its former glory. Rest Jolt has made it harder as it has another Pokemon to worry about having a less than ideal match against. Less Egg and more Mie also gives Jolteon more of an advantage nowadays. That being said, it's still one of the best Pokemon in the tier and is still the best Electric-type imo. It's probably the best late game mon, after Tauros, and I don't want to undersell it.
Jynx has also proven itself to be the best sleep lead. Jynx + Mie teams have definitely completely reshaped the meta compared to 3 years ago. Jynx has also had an impact on Big 4 teams, because it's just is a good lead.

:Cloyster: Cloyster
I'm putting Cloyster into its own subrank. I think it's really good and one of the best mons in the tier, and it needs to be a step above the other B ranks. However, I don't think it's quite as good as Zap and Jynx. Maybe I'm underselling Cloy or overselling Zap/Jynx, but this is how I feel at the time of writing.

:Jolteon: Jolteon
:Slowbro: Slowbro
These are like the solid B rank mons. (I guess B on the non-numerical list) Looking at Jolt, things have changed a lot with it.
Rest Jolteon made a huge impact on the meta, and it's no longer a somewhat niche Poke. It even has a legitimate place alongside Zapdos now. Some people do rate Jolt higher, and honestly I understand why. However, Zapdos hits so much harder, is a bit more consistent.
Slowbro is a Pokemon that goes up and down with usage. It's crazy how we keep doing the same thing over and over. People like Slowbro and it gets used a lot; people oversell it in their minds; people feel it was overrated and wonder why its OU; Slowbro creeps back up into the meta. This is like 2nd or 3rd time I've seen this happen. It's not always going to be some sweeping god (although it can be from time to time), but it is a solid Pokemon with good utility and can make an impact in a game thanks to its bulk and T Wave.

:Gengar: Gengar
This is where the more niche, but still good, Pokemon end up imo. Gengar is the peak of that concept. It's got some use as the fastest sleep lead with T Bolt and Boom. However, it doesn't really have a solid place in the meta. There's absolutely strats that can only work with Gar though and it is a solid Pokemon when it's needed. But that's not very often.

:Lapras: Lapras
Yes, I'm keeping Lapras in B. It's still a solid mon with some really solid traits. Use it as a Cloyster that gets Thunderbolt, Body Slam and Sing. That niche almost never comes in, but it's there. I also think some Double Ice teams (underrated team btw) appreciate Lap. Lapras and Cloy really step on each other's toes and unfortunately and the meta isn't really big enough for the two of them. But regardless of who is in charge now, I think that the other still viable enough to stay OU.

:Articuno: Articuno
:Persian: Persian
These Pokemon are really good, but aren't quite OU.
I don't think Articuno is an OU mon personally. It's realy good when it works, but until it can find a better footing in the meta (maybe double or triple ice teams) I just can't see it as more than the best non-OU mon.
As for Persian, I'm a player who knows a game can be won or lost in the late game, regardless if you screwed up the mid or early game. In that crunch time, Persian makes a solid offensive mon that can really swing the game in your favor. Tauros + Persian can be better than Tauros + Zap in some games, and it really can't be underestimated. Persian's techs are also criminally underrated and I think people are sleeping on Persian a bit.

:Dragonite: Dragonite
:Moltres: Moltres
Dragonite is kind of a stupid mon, because AgiliWrap is a stupid combination. OU handles it well enough which is why it only has a solid niche, instead of being a full blown threat.
Moltres also gets APT, which can also make it stupid. But it's limited to Fire Spin (which sucks way more than Wrap). Moltres is really here because it's a good anti-physical mon. When Chansey and Starmie are dead, Moltres can come in and win the game. Generally, I'd rather use Zapdos. But Moltres does get APT and a burnt Tauros or Don is pretty much as good as KO, barring crits.

:Victreebel: Victreebel
:Golem: Golem
To be honest, these mons can be solid in a game when you need their strats. However, their strats are really too niche to make use of in normal gameplay.
I don't think Victreebel is still an OU mon personally. It has a great MU against slow teams, but those fled the meta along with Vic's hopes and aspirations. I think it should be dropped back down to UU, personally, as it's no longer able to serve its role outside of some Wrap teams and as specific counter teaming. Which makes it not a true OU mon in my eyes.
I'm still a fan of Golem. honestly. It's not as good as Rhydon, so it has to find its own niche as boom support with Electric immunity. However, it does the role well. It's need rarely comes up and that's why its low in the C Ranks. However, it's good when needed and can do well.

:Hypno: Hypno
:Sandslash: Sandslah
:Kabutops: Kabutops
:Porygon: Porygon
:Kingler: Kingler
Except for Hypno, these are Pokemon that can work in even the highest level of play, but are really niche and need a specific team built around them.
I feel Hypno has becomes a lost and forgotten Pokemon. It has legitimate use as paralyzer and sleeper that isn't weak to Blizz, but it never gets considered anymore. I think people need to start remembering that it can fit on teams. Hypno honestly might be a C Ranked mon, we just don't give it enough love/don't consider it to be the legit threat that it is.
Sandslash, Kabutops and Kingler are all SD users. However, Slash works outside that role and work with Sub as well, and Kabutops works as a IceLax wall. Slash and Tops.
Porygon is something that is really hard to use well. It takes on Lax well and pretty much nothing else. It needs some very specific strategies that can work, but I really haven't seen Porygon do amazing unless the opponent didn't really know what to do against it. I may even be overratting it honestly.

:Pinsir: Pinsir
:Kangaskhan: Kangaskhan
:Flareon: Flareon
These are good. They just doesn't have the niche or strats established, like the D1 mons.

:Poliwrath: Poliwrath
+4 Poliwrath 2HKOes everything with Blizzard, Hydro Pump and Submission. If you're not worried about Egg, you can also run Hypnosis instead of Blizzard. Wrath is inconsistent, which is why it's down here, but it can pop off and sweep, and is not something to underestimate for sure.

:Venusaur: Venusaur
:Machamp: Machamp
:Raichu: Raichu
These are probably the last three notable mons, which can work from time to time. They're hard to pull off and have some really bad matchups, but the can be used in high level play.

:Hitmonlee: Hitmonlee
:Raticate: Raticate
:Tentacruel: Tentacruel
:Omastar: Omastar
:Gyarados: Gyarados
:Clefable: Clefable
:Nidoqueen: Nidoqueen
Even harder to pull off than the D4 Ranked mons, they can still win games and you're not going 5v6 by using them. If a really good player is using one, I'd take it as a serious threat.

:Dodrio: Dodrio
Dodrio can work in high level games, but it needs the right match-up and the wrong one is playing 5v6.

Written in a rush and on my phone. Sorry for any mistakes.
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Welcome to the 2021 RBY OU Viability Rankings update! First off, huge thank you to kjdaas and vapicuno (the latter of whom will be posting shortly), who both did an insane amount of work behind the scenes with this project. kjdaas basically guided me through this entire thing and answered all my dumb questions, while vapicuno worked his statistical magic to actually create the new VR. We are using his Quantitative Tiering in Viability Rankings system, which is the same process that was used in the 2020 and 2019 VR update.

Another thank you to everyone who sent in their personal VR. Ultimately, 22 players' rankings were considered. Generally, if you voted last year or played in this edition of SPL and sent in rankings, you were included. The players chosen (in no particular order) were: Hipmonlee, Amaranth, Heroic Troller, Nails, McMeghan, SMB, Aliss, shiloh, Hayburner, Silksong, Genesis7, TC, Louna, Ortheore, Vileman, marcoasd, Enigami, EB0LA, ErPeris, Serpi, spies, and Excal.

Without further ado, here is the new RBY OU Viability Rankings. Important note: everything is ranked in order. vapicuno will go into specific detail on how the subranks were formed in his post. You can consult all the data here.

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: Tauros
:snorlax: Snorlax
:chansey: Chansey

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: Starmie
:exeggutor: Exeggutor
:alakazam: Alakazam

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.

:zapdos: Zapdos
:rhydon: Rhydon
:cloyster: Cloyster
:jynx: Jynx
:jolteon: Jolteon

B Rank:

:gengar: Gengar
:slowbro: Slowbro

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.

:articuno: Articuno
:Lapras: Lapras
:Victreebel: Victreebel

C Rank:

:persian: Persian
:Moltres: Moltres
:dragonite: Dragonite
:golem: Golem
:porygon: Porygon

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.

:Sandslash: Sandslash
:Hypno: Hypno
:Kabutops: Kabutops
:Kingler: Kingler
:Kangaskhan: Kangaskhan

D Rank:

:poliwrath: Poliwrath
:venusaur: Venusaur
:pinsir: Pinsir
:Clefable: Clefable
:dodrio: Dodrio
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.

:Raticate: Raticate
:Flareon: Flareon
:Omastar: Omastar
:Gyarados: Gyarados
:Golduck: Golduck
:Machamp: Machamp
:Nidoking: Nidoking
:Tentacruel: Tentacruel
:Raichu: Raichu
:Charizard: Charizard
:Nidoqueen: Nidoqueen
:Ninetales: Ninetales
:Dugtrio: Dugtrio
:Hitmonlee: Hitmonlee
:Primeape: Primeape
:Rapidash: Rapidash
:Tangela: Tangela
:Arbok: Arbok
:Electrode: Electrode
:Aerodactyl: Aerodactyl
:Dragonair: Dragonair
:vaporeon: Vaporeon
:Kadabra: Kadabra
:Arcanine: Arcanine
:Mr-Mime: Mr. Mime
:Parasect: Parasect
:Muk: Muk
:Weezing: Weezing
:Electabuzz: Electabuzz
:Dewgong: Dewgong
:Wigglytuff: Wigglytuff
:Onix: Onix
:Butterfree: Butterfree
:Blastoise: Blastoise
:Fearow: Fearow
:Venomoth: Venomoth
:Vileplume: Vileplume
:Seadra: Seadra
:Magmar: Magmar
:Scyther: Scyther
:Seaking: Seaking
:Marowak: Marowak
:Lickitung: Lickitung
:Pidgeot: Pidgeot
:Magneton: Mangeton
:Beedrill: Beedrill
:farfetch Farfetch'd
:Golbat: Golbat
:Ditto: Ditto
:Hitmonchan: Hitmonchan

S: :Tauros::Snorlax::Chansey:
A: :Starmie::Exeggutor::Alakazam:
B+: :Zapdos::Rhydon::Cloyster::Jynx::Jolteon:
B: :Gengar::Slowbro:
C+: :Articuno::Lapras::Victreebel:
C: :Persian::Moltres::Dragonite::Golem::Porygon:
D+: :Sandslash::Hypno::Kabutops::Kingler::Kangaskhan:
D: :Poliwrath::Venusaur::Pinsir::Clefable::Dodrio:
E: :Raticate::Flareon::Omastar::Gyarados::Golduck::Machamp::Nidoking::Tentacruel::Raichu::Charizard::Nidoqueen::Ninetales::Dugtrio::Hitmonlee::Primeape::Rapidash::Tangela::Arbok::Electrode::Aerodactyl::Dragonair::vaporeon::Kadabra::Arcanine::Mr. Mime::Parasect::Muk::Weezing::Electabuzz::Dewgong::Wigglytuff::Onix::Butterfree::Blastoise::Fearow::Venomoth::Vileplume::Seadra::Magmar::Scyther::Seaking::Marowak::Lickitung::Pidgeot::Magneton::Beedrill::farfetch:Golbat::Ditto::Hitmonchan:

Before vapicuno dazzles us with his statistical brilliance, I'm going to touch on some of the major changes. Unfortunately, I am not an RBY OU genius, so I asked some of my friends who are for help. Big thanks to Nails who checked everything over and Amaranth who I asked for a lot guidance throughout the entire process.

:rb/starmie: Starmie: #5 --> #4 & Exeggutor: #4 --> #5 :rb/exeggutor:

Folks, it has finally happened: Starmie has officially cemented itself as the 4th best Pokemon in RBY OU and the "Big 4" term can finally be laid to rest. One of my favorite exercises is comparing Exeggutor's (and Starmie's!) throughout all the trophy team tours hosted on Smogon since usage stats were preserved.

:starmie: 52% --> 42% --> 45% --> 29% --> 37% --> 52% --> 60% --> 67% --> 71% --> 77% --> 77%
:exeggutor: 92% --> 89% --> 92% --> 90% --> 91% --> 94% --> 91% --> 76% --> 80% --> 71% --> 52%

As you can see, Starmie closed the gap on Exeggutor in WCoP XIV (2019), finally overtook it during SPL XI (2020), and widened the gap further during this year's edition of SPL. This change has been a year in the making (even more if you're notated RBY visionary Amaranth) and myself and many others are very happy that its finally official.

Starmie has basically everything going for it. 3rd fastest (viable) Pokemon in the tier, broken Psychic typing, BoltBeam coverage along with powerful STABs, and is super fat (this thing shrugs off explosions like its nothing) and uses Recover and Thunder Wave so well. It matches up well into every standard lead, and frankly every Pokemon besides Chansey and the Electrics.

On the other hand, Exeggutor is still a good Pokemon! Psuedo-KOing something with Sleep Powder and then actually KOing something else with Explosion is really good, as well as doing well into Jynx archetypes. However, Starmie is clearly the better of the two, and has been known for quite a bit now.

:rb/rhydon: Rhydon: #7 --> #8 & Zapdos: #8 --> #7 :rb/zapdos:

Despite a lot of love for Cloyster and Jolteon, Zapdos and Rhydon remain in the #7 and #8 slots, but with their positions swapped. Zapdos is the best endgame Pokemon, bar maybe Tauros, and is ridiculously good when there's no opposing Rhydon or Jolteon (~38% of the time during SPL Xll) and still usable against them, particularly Jolteon.

Rhydon struggles with players not letting everything get Thunder Waved, but it still matches up into Electrics unfairly well and can win games with some support. While Zapdos and Rhydon only swapped spots and didn't actually move up or down, it is still important to note on how recent metagame shifts have been more kind to the Legendary Electric Bird.

:rb/jynx: Jynx: #11 --> #10 :rb/jynx:

Jynx's ability to win games in the first two turns is unrivaled. Everyone has been on the giving or receiving end of sleeping Starmie with Lovely Kiss Turn 1 and freezing Chansey with Blizzard Turn 2. Even if you can't land the game ending freeze, Jynx has still successfully put something to Sleep and acted as your Sleep sack against Sing Chansey teams. These situations are also becoming more and more common as Exeggutor continues to fall in usage.

:rb/lapras: Lapras: #13 --> #15 & Articuno: #16 --> #14 :rb/articuno:

It seems people have finally realized that Lapras is not actually that good. Its two "benefits" over Articuno, access to Thunderbolt and Sing, usually don't come into play since you can't 2HKO Starmie and it invites in Jolteon on Cloyster structures, and I have never seen Lapras sleep anything in my life. Getting Thunderbolt to beat Starmie and then not actually beating Starmie is extremely disappointing. Meanwhile, Articuno is faster (and has Agility to get around paralysis) and a lot stronger (notably always 2HKOing Tauros with Blizzard). Of course, you still have to get rid of any Cloysters, Starmies, and Chanseys, but when you can, its notably better than Lapras. Amaranth went into great detail about how you can draw a lot of comparisons between Rhydon:Golem and Articuno:Lapras, which you can find here.

:rb/victreebel: Victreebel: #14 --> #16 & Dragonite: #18 --> #19 :rb/dragonite:

The 2018-2019 Wrap era is over. With players no longer trading Thunder Waves Turn 1, there is very often an untouched Starmie or Alakazam waiting in the back, which severely hinders Victreebel's chances at winning lategame. Of course, even if everything falls your way, you still need to consistently hit your Sleep Powders and Wraps, which is a gamble in itself. Dragonite is included here as I have personally only seen it on Wrap Spam teams with Victreebell, and if the plant drops, naturally so does Dragonite.

:rb/slowbro: Slowbro: #15 --> #13 :rb/slowbro:

With the metagame having shifted to (almost always) trying to get your Sleep off ASAP and Exeggutor at an all time low in usage, Slowbro is at its peak. It also feasts on common trends such as sleeping Starmie and mono Ice Beam Chansey. Even Jolteon, which on the outside looks like a massive problem since Electric beats Water, gets 2HKOd by +2 Surf and can't 2HKO it back, as well as getting OHKOd by Thunder Wave. All in all, everything has fallen right for Slowbro to win games on its own. In a lot of situations, your only counterplay is hoping to land a critical hit with a stray Thunderbolt, which of course isn't exactly reliable.


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Hi everyone,

I have worked with emma (who took over from kjdaas) on this year's VR update as per last year. Again, this update will be based on an extension of my original methodology described here, taking inspiration from a previous post by Jorgen. Thanks to Hipmonlee Amaranth Heroic Troller Nails McMeghan SMB Aliss shiloh Hayburner Silksong Genesis7 TC Louna Ortheore Vileman marcoasd Enigami EB0LA ErPeris Serpi spies Excal for your rankings.

Okay, TLDR stuff first:
The average outlier-compensated ranks from everyone are
01 Tauros
02 Snorlax
03 Chansey
04 Starmie
05 Exeggutor
06 Alakazam
07 Zapdos
08 Rhydon
09 Cloyster
10 Jynx
11 Jolteon
12 Gengar
13 Slowbro
14 Articuno
15 Lapras
16 Victreebel
17 Persian
18 Moltres
19 Dragonite
20 Golem
21 Porygon
22 Sandslash
23 Hypno
24 Kabutops
25 Kingler
26 Kangaskhan
27 Poliwrath
28 Venusaur
29 Pinsir
30 Clefable
31 Dodrio
32 Raticate
33 Flareon
34 Omastar
35 Gyarados
36 Golduck
37 Machamp
38 Nidoking
39 Tentacruel
40 Raichu
41 Charizard
42 Nidoqueen
43 Ninetales
44 Dugtrio
45 Hitmonlee
46 Primeape
47 Rapidash
48 Tangela
49 Arbok
50 Electrode
51 Aerodactyl
52 Dragonair
53 Vaporeon
54 Kadabra
55 Arcanine
56 Mr. Mime
57 Parasect
58 Muk
59 Weezing
60 Electabuzz
61 Dewgong
62 Wigglytuff
63 Onix
64 Butterfree
65 Blastoise
66 Fearow
67 Venomoth
68 Vileplume
69 Seadra
70 Magmar
71 Scyther
72 Seaking
73 Marowak
74 Lickitung
75 Pidgeot
76 Magneton
77 Beedrill
78 Farfetch'd
79 Golbat
80 Ditto
81 Hitmonchan
We did not exclude any Pokemon from the VRs this year as long as they are ranked by at least one person. Instead, since those Pokemon that only a few people ranked tend to be really low on the rankings anyway, they have all been assigned the F tier.
The aggregate VR tiers obtained are
S: :Tauros::Snorlax::Chansey:
A: :Starmie::Exeggutor::Alakazam:
B1: :Zapdos::Rhydon::Cloyster::Jynx::Jolteon:
B2: :Gengar::Slowbro:
C1: :Articuno::Lapras::Victreebel:
C2: :Persian::Moltres::Dragonite::Golem::Porygon:
D1: :Sandslash::Hypno::Kabutops::Kingler::Kangaskhan:
D2: :Poliwrath::Venusaur::Pinsir::Clefable::Dodrio:
E: :Raticate::Flareon::Omastar::Gyarados::Golduck::Machamp::Nidoking::Tentacruel::Raichu::Charizard::Nidoqueen::Ninetales::Dugtrio::Hitmonlee::Primeape::Rapidash::Tangela::Arbok::Electrode::Aerodactyl::Dragonair::Vaporeon::Kadabra::Arcanine::Mr. Mime::Parasect::Muk::Weezing::Electabuzz::Dewgong::Wigglytuff::Onix::Butterfree::Blastoise::Fearow::Venomoth::Vileplume::Seadra::Magmar::Scyther::Seaking::Marowak::Lickitung::Pidgeot::Magneton::Beedrill::Farfetch:Golbat::Ditto::Hitmonchan:

Let's go through the whole process.

First the data is cleaned by compensating outliers 1 standard deviation away from the edge of the percentiles expected to contain +/- 1 standard deviation of a normal distribution. This is a modification of the conventional interquartile range (IQR), which I have not chosen to use because 50% of the sample doesn't capture the full variation from what I've seen. The compensation is done by bringing these points to the edge of this extended range. This results in mostly zero, but sometimes one or two outlier corrections. We then plot the outlier-removed data as a function of the integer rank to obtain this graph.

VR Tiering Decisions
and we can zoom in to the top 50 mons where tiering decisions are expected to make more sense,

Up to Slowbro the tiers are pretty well defined, but tiering seems really difficult after that; there are lots of overlaps between tiers and looking for jumps in the mean ranking is possible but not easy, We turn to hierarchical clustering to help obtain the tiers. We form a dissimilarity matrix where the distances between Pokemon X and Y are given by the following: Take the rate at which voters ranked Pokemon X over Pokemon Y, take the logit transform as is done in logistic regression of a Bernoulli-distributed variable, and take the absolute value. Performing what we call a Ward linkage, this yields a dendrogram of the following sort, where the clusters (what we are going to call tiers) formed by setting a reasonable threshold are represented by different colors, and the dissimilarity between each cluster can be thought of as the vertical height of the nearest branch that connects the two clusters.

In other words, the Articuno-Victreebel tier is a lot closer to the Golem-Dragonite tier (connecting height 9, note the log scale) than the Gengar-Slowbro tier (connecting height 22). Note that the order is not preserved by the algorithm, and hierarchical clustering throws away information, so this is just a rough guide to defining the tiers.


We want to verify the validity of the clusters obtained from the dendrogram, so we next plot the dissimilarity matrix and draw out the tiers specified.

To read the dissimilarity matrix, note that zero (the darkest value) corresponds to equal number of people voting in favor and against the Pokemon on the Y axis > X axis, and the higher the value, the more one-sided the voting becomes. In other words, the darker, the more indistinguishable the Pokemon on the X and Y axis become, and a well-defined tier would be a fully dark square (read my methodology thread for explanations).

This yields the following subdivision which emma and I have decided on

S: :Tauros::Snorlax::Chansey:
A: :Starmie::Exeggutor::Alakazam:
B1: :Zapdos::Rhydon::Cloyster::Jynx::Jolteon:
B2: :Gengar::Slowbro:
C1: :Articuno::Lapras::Victreebel:
C2: :Persian::Moltres::Dragonite::Golem::Porygon:
D1: :Sandslash::Hypno::Kabutops::Kingler::Kangaskhan:
D2: :Poliwrath::Venusaur::Pinsir::Clefable::Dodrio:
E: :Raticate::Flareon::Omastar::Gyarados::Golduck::Machamp::Nidoking::Tentacruel::Raichu::Charizard::Nidoqueen::Ninetales::Dugtrio::Hitmonlee::Primeape::Rapidash::Tangela::Arbok::Electrode::Aerodactyl::Dragonair::Vaporeon::Kadabra::Arcanine::Mr. Mime::Parasect::Muk::Weezing::Electabuzz::Dewgong::Wigglytuff::Onix::Butterfree::Blastoise::Fearow::Venomoth::Vileplume::Seadra::Magmar::Scyther::Seaking::Marowak::Lickitung::Pidgeot::Magneton::Beedrill::Farfetch:Golbat::Ditto::Hitmonchan:

Numerical ranks represent partial tiers, whereas letter ranks represent a more complete separation. I choose to adopt numerical subranks because there is no reason a priori to believe that Pokemon are grouped in viability by a tripartite scheme of +/-.

Metagame Shifts

This chart shows the difference between this and last year's VRs, together with the uncertainties in the means (not the standard deviation, but the standard deviations divided by sqrt(N-1)).
A better way to understand how significant these changes are so as not to mistake changes occurring as due to pure chance is to plot the z-score,

where the Y axis means number of standard deviations away from zero. To recap, 0.5, 1 and 2 standard deviations are about 69%, 84%, and 98% significant (one-sided), meaning roughly that for a z-score of 1, we expect that this change to have occurred due to chance 100%-84% = 16% of the time. Therefore, trust the data on the left than on the right.

Feel free to comment on the significant changes in this year's rankings compared to last year. I don't play RBY, so I'm relying on you to make the inferences.

Analysis of Camps

As per last year, I tried to look out for divided opinions. The most significant split I found was in opinions of Zapdos/Jolteon in the S-to-B2 tiers and Moltres in the C1-C2 tiers. Across all tiers, the trio of Troller/Nails/Aliss have their opinions generally inverted within the subtiers. You'll see what I mean.

S to B2: Zapdos-Jolteon Split, among others
In this analysis, I simply clustered voters based on their rankings of the first 13 Pokemon. Then, I extrapolate to find patterns in the rest of the OU Pokemon.
from the Dendrogram, we identify a camp from Nails-TC, Enigami-ErPeris, and from Genesis7-spies. We then plot their mean rankings of each Pokemon for the three camps,
Note again the error bars are uncertainties in means, not the actual deviations (ie divided by sqrt(N-1)). Using the z-score to see the most significant changes, we obtain





Apart from what's obvious in the relative ranks above, the dissimilarity matrix for the Nails camp reveals that they unanimously thinks that Jolteon > Zapdos, and that generally their rankings of (Cloyster, Jynx, and Jolteon) and (Zapdos, Rhydon) are inverted from the norm. I didn't notice anything striking in the Enigami or Genesis7 camps.
To read it, note that when you see a strongly red square, then the camp being analyzed frequently ranks the corresponding Pokemon on the Y axis more favorably than that on the X axis. Another way to see this is by looking across the diagonal line. A strongly red square should be accompanied by a strongly blue square reflected across the line, and we can say the camp prefers the Pokemon on the Y axis of the red square more than that of the blue square. For example, in the data below, the Nails camp prefers Jolteon to Zapdos.
To read it, note that when you see a strongly red square, then the camp being analyzed frequently ranks the corresponding Pokemon on the Y axis more favorably than that on the X axis. Another way to see this is by looking across the diagonal line. A strongly red square should be accompanied by a strongly blue square reflected across the line, and we can say the camp prefers the Pokemon on the Y axis of the red square more than that of the blue square. For example, in the data below, the Enigami camp prefers Tauros to Snorlax.
To read it, note that when you see a strongly red square, then the camp being analyzed frequently ranks the corresponding Pokemon on the Y axis more favorably than that on the X axis. Another way to see this is by looking across the diagonal line. A strongly red square should be accompanied by a strongly blue square reflected across the line, and we can say the camp prefers the Pokemon on the Y axis of the red square more than that of the blue square. For example, in the data below, the Nails camp prefers Chansey to Snorlax.

C1-C2: Moltres divide
The following graphs are obtained from statistical analyses of the C1-C2 tiers.
The main camps are Hipmonlee-Enigami and Ortheore-Nails.

Note the huge difference in z scores, which means it's very likely differences in opinion are real and not just a result of natural variation.
To read it, note that when you see a strongly red square, then the camp being analyzed frequently ranks the corresponding Pokemon on the Y axis more favorably than that on the X axis. Another way to see this is by looking across the diagonal line. A strongly red square should be accompanied by a strongly blue square reflected across the line, and we can say the camp prefers the Pokemon on the Y axis of the red square more than that of the blue square. For example, in the data below, the Ortheore camp prefers Moltres to Victreebel.
Apart from the obvious Moltres polarization, the dissimilarity matrix also shows a slight preference for Zapdos>Rhydon and Alakazam>Exeggutor among some in the Ortheore camp.

S-C2: General inversion of Troller/Nails/Aliss
The following graphs are obtained from analyzing voting trends across S-C2.
I want to focus on the trio of Troller/Nails/Aliss because the trends of the other camps can mostly be explained by the S-B2 and C1-C2 analyses that was already performed above.

Note the huge difference in z scores, which means it's very likely differences in opinion are real and not just a result of natural variation.
To read it, note that when you see a strongly red square, then the camp being analyzed frequently ranks the corresponding Pokemon on the Y axis more favorably than that on the X axis. Another way to see this is by looking across the diagonal line. A strongly red square should be accompanied by a strongly blue square reflected across the line, and we can say the camp prefers the Pokemon on the Y axis of the red square more than that of the blue square. For example, in the data below, the Troller camp prefers Alakazam to Exeggutor.
This time, the dissimilarity matrix is useful for visualization; while the trio mostly agrees with the rest about the Pokemon within the same tier (indicated by the matrix forming blocks of squares and not crossing into other tiers), their opinions are inverted within the tiers. For example, among the A tier, they have Alakazam > Exeggutor; among B, they have some Pokemon among Cloyster-Jolteon > Zapdos-Rhydon, and among C, they have some Pokemon among Moltres-Porygon > Lapras-Persian.

Again, as I don't play this tier, please comment based on your metagame knowledge what you think these different camps of opinions mean.

Individual Analyses

For those who are interested to see whose S to C rankings are closest to theirs, you can refer to the chart below. The numbers inside the box go from -100% (full anticorrelation) to 100% (full correlation). They are sorted by the S to C dendrogram order (and the light squares represent the camps).

And finally, these are the relative ranks of everyone. Blue = disfavor, Red = favor. Cyan lines demarcate tier cutoffs.

Closing Remarks

The large number of graphs may seem daunting, and to people who aren't quantitatively trained, this may be really confusing. I recommend just glancing over the spoilers on the first read, only thoroughly analyzing them after you've gone through the more important graphs that have been left unhidden. I'm interested to know what you can infer from these trends even though I don't play the metagame, and I hope this can generate some discussion.

Finally, I have attached the Jupyter notebook for this in a zip file. You'll need python and the associated packages to open and run it, and the easiest way to do that is to install the anaconda library here.


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Tournament Banned
It seems that there isn't much in the way of overall trends, no new zeitgeist has emerged the way it did the past two years with Wrap in 2019 and Sing Chans and the death of T1 para in 2020. From what I can tell based on discussions and also back when I was playing, things atm are something of a continuation of last year's meta.

That said, Lap really isn't doing too well lol. I used to consider Sing standard, but would you perhaps get more value out of Rest?


is a Tournament Directoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past SPL Champion
It seems that there isn't much in the way of overall trends, no new zeitgeist has emerged the way it did the past two years with Wrap in 2019 and Sing Chans and the death of T1 para in 2020. From what I can tell based on discussions and also back when I was playing, things atm are something of a continuation of last year's meta.

That said, Lap really isn't doing too well lol. I used to consider Sing standard, but would you perhaps get more value out of Rest?
Given that the only reasonable success I've seen in 2021 with Lapras has been from Lapras+Rhydon structures, yeah, maybe. Horrendous matchup into teams with Mie+Zam, not that bad into other meta trends though. Lapras as a sleeper is the sort of thing what works in theory but then you miss a Sing and you lose on the spot, contrary to Chansey where you miss a Sing and literally nothing happens


shine brightest under the lights || she / her
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I took all the 2021 VR posts and moved them into their own thread. You can still find the 2016-2020 VR here. Hopefully this will help with organization, since it wasn't fun to have to go to the 14th page of the old thread just to see relevant discussion.

We also have incredible new art by lei!! Check out their art thread here, and give them lots of loves on their post here!
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