Lower Tiers RBY PU Hub

Just wanted to post my VR since I've been playing quite a bit on the ladder, I haven't included any mons below B because I haven't used enough of them to really get an idea of where I think they stand.

Fearow is really broken, its one good switchin in Graveler is slow and has exploitable weaknesses. Crits from this thing singlehandedly win games.
Nidoqueen's ability to trade with basically every mon is massive, it really loves facing slower teams with Omanyte/Graveler + Drowzee and/or Porygon. Use Thunderbolt to stop Fearow pivoting to Staryu on Blizzard.
Rapidash and Arcanine are similar, Arcanine being the better lead due to its better Staryu matchup. Dash is better in the back, a phenomenal revenge killer able to outspeed and threaten Fearow.
Seaking is a massive massive threat to any team without Staryu, but even Star is forced to recover on Double-Edge, giving you initiative.
Drowzee trades comfortably into most of the tier thanks to Thunder Wave, and its pivots/doubles on Porygon not using Thunder Wave and Omanyte let it fire off Hypnosis for massive progress. Great for landing Thunder Wave on Staryu which Queen loves. Its low speed means it gets revenged by Fearow very early and Dash/Queen later on which limits this mon quite a bit.
Porygon's Thunder Wave and Recover are great tools, this mon can really take over some endgames if it doesnt get bad crit luck - switching it into mons earlygame feels really bad, it just gets forced to Recover which is easily taken advantage of. Ice move/Thunder Wave/Recover/Double-Edge is imo the best set for its ability to damage basically everything in the tier bar Omanyte.
Staryu stops Seaking from taking over games, revenges Nidoqueen and lands Thunder Wave on key threats. Flexible mon in how you want to use it, but pretty susceptible to getting revenged by Fires and Fearow.
Omanyte is one of the few things able to switch into Fearow and not get clobbered but it still takes a lot and can't do it repeatedly. It completely stonewalls Fires which is a phenomenal trait but it has issues in its Speed and Nidoqueen matchup. Also has semi consistent switchins in Porygon and Staryu so it requires heads up play to maintain initiative
Gastly is fairly fast, Hypnosis is massive progress and it's hard to switch into with Night Shade and Psychic. I think NS/Boom/Psychic/Hypnosis is its best set but Thunderbolt has some merit. Hypnosis misses really suck for him though.
Magmar is super cool, a Fire that can break through Omanyte is a great trait and Counter means its harder for Fearow and other Fires to revenge it.
Graveler walls Fearow but hates Fires, it's slow and has exploitable weaknesses. Decently hard to switch into this mon and the Fearow matchup is such a good tool for any team to have. Explosion helps Graveler not be complete dead weight into other matchups too.
Sandslash's Ground type blocking Thunder Wave makes it a great Drowzee and Porygon switchin. Slower + 2hko'd by Nidoqueen is always tough but if it doesn't get crit it at least puts it in range of your own Nidoqueen and Staryu.
Dragonair is kind of ass but Thunder Wave is a good tool. Nidoqueen matchup is the worst thing about this mon + it hates facing faster paced teams. Agiliwrap is potentially disgusting too.

As for other Mons, Machamp has some merit for the Nidoqueen matchup + generally being hard to switch into but I find the lack of speed pretty tough and I'd rather just use better mons like Rapidash and Seaking. Vileplume at least has some merit for its SurfBolt Staryu matchup (Run Swords Dance + Hyper Beam!!). Pidgeot is pretty cool, but using it alongside Fearow makes Graveler (and to a lesser extent Omanyte) a huge pain.
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the saint
is a Pre-Contributor
Niche / Unexpected Moveset Options in RBY PU
Generally, RBY has a pretty small amount of moveset variety for each mon. Most mons have around three mandatory moves, with some even having four. Movesets are so barren that there's generally very little reason to deviate from what's optimal. That being said, there are still some more... unique options that can suprise your opponent or help win crucial match-ups.

This list isn't exhaustive, so if you have some other interesting ideas please share with the world!


  • Earthquake
  • Blizzard
  • Thunderbolt / Fire Blast
  • Tail Whip
If you've played PU for more than 5 minutes, you're likely very aware that Nidoqueen just falls short of 2HKOing Porygon, which effectively lets it spam Recover at very little risk. Tail Whip lets you turn the tide of battle, giving Queen a guaranteed 2HKO with Earthquake. You'll start out-damaging Recover, forcing Porygon to switch out lest it let itself faint. Of course, this strategy isn't perfect. If Porygon decides to click Blizzard while Nidoqueen uses Tail Whip, Nidoqueen will take massive damage if it decides to stay in and finish off Porygon, potentially getting 2HKOed. This move is also only relevant for the Porygon match-up.


  • Earthquake
  • Rock Slide
  • Explosion
  • Counter
Some people might be thinking "Counter?! On a Rock-type?! It resists Normal-type moves, which is Counter's most common target!" to which I say "Yes! Counter!" If you ask some people in the RBY Discord, this might even be Graveler's best set. The reason you would want to use Counter is to make it much riskier for Fearow to switch out after it KOes a target with a Normal-type move. Let's say that, for example, a Fearow just KOed your 60% HP Drowzee with Hyper Beam. If you send out Graveler and it decides to switch out, Counter will OHKO literally the entire tier thanks to Counter not failing if the opponent switches out in RBY. This forces Fearow to either; stay in and risk getting hit for massive damage with Rock Slide, or switch out and risk whatever is coming in getting deleted. This strategy also works against Pinsir and Scyther to even greater effectiveness.

EDIT: Apparently, thanks to some bizarre RBY coding, Counter will deal damage based on the last move used by either side. The move will still fail if the previous move the Counter user was hit with isn't Normal- or Fighting-type. For example, if Graveler switches in on a Fearow Hyper Beam, uses Rock Slide on the recharge turn, then Counter on the following turn will actually deal twice the amount of damage as the Rock Slide if Fearow switches out. The reason I didn't mention this in the first edition is because I literally did not know this mechanic existed. Needless to say, this strategy is a lot better than sacking your teammates to actually deal damage.


  • Psychic
  • Thunder Wave
  • Hypnosis
  • Substitute
Drowzee is really, really hard to switch into, especially after it puts something to sleep with Hypnosis. One common strategy is to have your sleep-sack put Drowzee into KO range of something faster like Nidoqueen or Fearow, then let itself die after it gets put to sleep to let a revenge-killer have free entry. Substitute exploits that strategy by giving Drowzee one extra free turn to do whatever it wants to the opponent's revenge-killer, whether that's paralyzing it, putting it to sleep, or just hitting it with Psychic. This set struggles to deal with opposing Drowzee, but Psychic drops can help deal with that somewhat.
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I see a lot of talk about porygod but i just want to remind you that it can just go first.


ft. tail whip nidoqueen, probably tay's fault.

no one else has posted, so i'll ninja edit this magneton game in.

Someone inspired me to use them so i tried employing it as a check to fearow (come in on hyper beams or drill pecks, double edge/hyer beam crits uhhhhhhh)

would love to see simulation stats on reflect/rest arcanine vs rapidash head to head.

(another edit) mirror move swords dance fearow, definitely one for the ages: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen1pu-1952597096

(and another) ft. DOUBLE ROCK + WEEPINBELL. main goal of shutting down fearow and playing around switches accordingly (there is a point this game where, if they doubled off fearow i would just lose, almost got swept by seaking also...). Bell was like a wildcard pick I hadn't tried yet. 75% sleep kinda big tho ngl, in this case was a nice threat to star (surf/bolt presumed) w/support from rocks against fearow. https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen1pu-1954175998

hope some of you are sweeping my ladder teams, gg.

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the saint
is a Pre-Contributor
Sadly the PU spotlight ladder has ended. I think I was at around #2 or #3 at the end? TBH I don't really remember. Anyways, usage stats!

(removed everything with less than 10 uses for readability's sake)

Total battles: 1298
Avg. weight/team: 1.0
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- + ------ + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon | Usage % | Raw | % | Real | % |
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- + ------ + ------- +
| 1 | Nidoqueen | 75.61633% | 1963 | 75.616% | 1687 | 75.571% |
| 2 | Fearow | 66.21726% | 1719 | 66.217% | 1413 | 63.297% |
| 3 | Drowzee | 38.02003% | 987 | 38.020% | 896 | 40.137% |
| 4 | Porygon | 34.97689% | 908 | 34.977% | 804 | 36.016% |
| 5 | Staryu | 34.63020% | 899 | 34.630% | 816 | 36.554% |
| 6 | Rapidash | 34.09091% | 885 | 34.091% | 766 | 34.314% |
| 7 | Arcanine | 29.42989% | 764 | 29.430% | 664 | 29.745% |
| 8 | Graveler | 24.84592% | 645 | 24.846% | 582 | 26.071% |
| 9 | Seaking | 23.07396% | 599 | 23.074% | 502 | 22.488% |
| 10 | Pinsir | 21.34052% | 554 | 21.341% | 444 | 19.890% |
| 11 | Abra | 21.07088% | 547 | 21.071% | 488 | 21.861% |
| 12 | Gastly | 18.64407% | 484 | 18.644% | 440 | 19.710% |
| 13 | Omanyte | 18.06626% | 469 | 18.066% | 415 | 18.590% |
| 14 | Machamp | 17.60401% | 457 | 17.604% | 383 | 17.157% |
| 15 | Dragonair | 16.52542% | 429 | 16.525% | 354 | 15.858% |
| 16 | Scyther | 16.52542% | 429 | 16.525% | 313 | 14.021% |
| 17 | Vileplume | 12.09553% | 314 | 12.096% | 268 | 12.005% |
| 18 | Magmar | 11.97997% | 311 | 11.980% | 293 | 13.125% |
| 19 | Magneton | 10.90139% | 283 | 10.901% | 247 | 11.065% |
| 20 | Sandslash | 8.32049% | 216 | 8.320% | 174 | 7.795% |
| 21 | Muk | 6.74114% | 175 | 6.741% | 142 | 6.361% |
| 22 | Butterfree | 5.93220% | 154 | 5.932% | 145 | 6.495% |
| 23 | Flareon | 5.27735% | 137 | 5.277% | 109 | 4.883% |
| 24 | Weezing | 5.08475% | 132 | 5.085% | 114 | 5.107% |
| 25 | Arbok | 3.81356% | 99 | 3.814% | 83 | 3.718% |
| 26 | Hitmonlee | 3.15871% | 82 | 3.159% | 66 | 2.957% |
| 27 | Lickitung | 3.08166% | 80 | 3.082% | 67 | 3.001% |
| 28 | Parasect | 2.77350% | 72 | 2.773% | 62 | 2.777% |
| 29 | Slowpoke | 2.46533% | 64 | 2.465% | 63 | 2.822% |
| 30 | Poliwag | 2.31125% | 60 | 2.311% | 57 | 2.553% |
| 31 | Pidgeot | 2.19569% | 57 | 2.196% | 46 | 2.061% |
| 32 | Primeape | 2.15716% | 56 | 2.157% | 37 | 1.657% |
| 33 | Beedrill | 2.11864% | 55 | 2.119% | 46 | 2.061% |
| 34 | Golbat | 2.08012% | 54 | 2.080% | 52 | 2.329% |
| 35 | Onix | 1.84900% | 48 | 1.849% | 38 | 1.702% |
| 36 | Voltorb | 1.46379% | 38 | 1.464% | 37 | 1.657% |
| 37 | Hitmonchan | 1.15562% | 30 | 1.156% | 23 | 1.030% |
| 38 | Wartortle | 1.11710% | 29 | 1.117% | 25 | 1.120% |
| 39 | Marowak | 1.07858% | 28 | 1.079% | 25 | 1.120% |
| 40 | Seel | 1.00154% | 26 | 1.002% | 26 | 1.165% |
| 41 | Ditto | 0.96302% | 25 | 0.963% | 21 | 0.941% |
| 42 | Weepinbell | 0.92450% | 24 | 0.924% | 21 | 0.941% |
| 43 | Farfetch'd | 0.88598% | 23 | 0.886% | 19 | 0.851% |
| 44 | Pikachu | 0.73190% | 19 | 0.732% | 18 | 0.806% |
| 45 | Tentacool | 0.57781% | 15 | 0.578% | 13 | 0.582% |
| 46 | Ivysaur | 0.50077% | 13 | 0.501% | 13 | 0.582% |
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- + ------ + ------- +
Total battles: 1298
Avg. weight/team: 0.029
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- + ------ + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon | Usage % | Raw | % | Real | % |
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- + ------ + ------- +
| 1 | Nidoqueen | 93.42475% | 1963 | 75.616% | 1687 | 75.571% |
| 2 | Fearow | 88.35335% | 1719 | 66.217% | 1413 | 63.297% |
| 3 | Drowzee | 77.73907% | 987 | 38.020% | 896 | 40.137% |
| 4 | Arcanine | 52.22354% | 764 | 29.430% | 664 | 29.745% |
| 5 | Staryu | 52.16596% | 899 | 34.630% | 816 | 36.554% |
| 6 | Seaking | 48.10230% | 599 | 23.074% | 502 | 22.488% |
| 7 | Omanyte | 41.77412% | 469 | 18.066% | 415 | 18.590% |
| 8 | Porygon | 38.81392% | 908 | 34.977% | 804 | 36.016% |
| 9 | Scyther | 24.81109% | 429 | 16.525% | 313 | 14.021% |
| 10 | Rapidash | 16.22770% | 885 | 34.091% | 766 | 34.314% |
| 11 | Gastly | 14.63926% | 484 | 18.644% | 440 | 19.710% |
| 12 | Graveler | 13.21135% | 645 | 24.846% | 582 | 26.071% |
| 13 | Pinsir | 8.57457% | 554 | 21.341% | 444 | 19.890% |
| 14 | Magmar | 7.21339% | 311 | 11.980% | 293 | 13.125% |
| 15 | Vileplume | 6.28108% | 314 | 12.096% | 268 | 12.005% |
| 16 | Machamp | 5.01961% | 457 | 17.604% | 383 | 17.157% |
| 17 | Dragonair | 4.50280% | 429 | 16.525% | 354 | 15.858% |
| 18 | Abra | 1.93889% | 547 | 21.071% | 488 | 21.861% |
| 19 | Sandslash | 1.70891% | 216 | 8.320% | 174 | 7.795% |
| 20 | Lickitung | 0.98577% | 80 | 3.082% | 67 | 3.001% |
| 21 | Magneton | 0.64249% | 283 | 10.901% | 247 | 11.065% |
| 22 | Muk | 0.36055% | 175 | 6.741% | 142 | 6.361% |
| 23 | Flareon | 0.28819% | 137 | 5.277% | 109 | 4.883% |
| 24 | Arbok | 0.19434% | 99 | 3.814% | 83 | 3.718% |
| 25 | Weezing | 0.14673% | 132 | 5.085% | 114 | 5.107% |
| 26 | Poliwag | 0.13865% | 60 | 2.311% | 57 | 2.553% |
| 27 | Golbat | 0.13021% | 54 | 2.080% | 52 | 2.329% |
| 28 | Slowpoke | 0.09309% | 64 | 2.465% | 63 | 2.822% |
| 29 | Pikachu | 0.07734% | 19 | 0.732% | 18 | 0.806% |
| 30 | Onix | 0.05324% | 48 | 1.849% | 38 | 1.702% |
| 31 | Butterfree | 0.03222% | 154 | 5.932% | 145 | 6.495% |
| 32 | Pidgeot | 0.03109% | 57 | 2.196% | 46 | 2.061% |
| 33 | Farfetch'd | 0.03083% | 23 | 0.886% | 19 | 0.851% |
| 34 | Parasect | 0.02275% | 72 | 2.773% | 62 | 2.777% |
| 36 | Hitmonlee | 0.01038% | 82 | 3.159% | 66 | 2.957% |
| 37 | Seel | 0.00817% | 26 | 1.002% | 26 | 1.165% |
| 38 | Primeape | 0.00377% | 56 | 2.157% | 37 | 1.657% |
| 39 | Beedrill | 0.00129% | 55 | 2.119% | 46 | 2.061% |
| 40 | Wartortle | 0.00080% | 29 | 1.117% | 25 | 1.120% |
| 41 | Tentacool | 0.00063% | 15 | 0.578% | 13 | 0.582% |
| 43 | Marowak | 0.00042% | 28 | 1.079% | 25 | 1.120% |
| 44 | Voltorb | 0.00031% | 38 | 1.464% | 37 | 1.657% |
| 45 | Hitmonchan | 0.00004% | 30 | 1.156% | 23 | 1.030% |
| 46 | Ditto | 0.00001% | 25 | 0.963% | 21 | 0.941% |
| 47 | Weepinbell | 0.00001% | 24 | 0.924% | 21 | 0.941% |
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- + ------ + ------- +
Total leads: 2596
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon | Usage % | Raw | % |
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- +
| 1 | Arcanine | 11.47920% | 298 | 11.479% |
| 2 | Rapidash | 10.40062% | 270 | 10.401% |
| 3 | Staryu | 8.59014% | 223 | 8.590% |
| 4 | Nidoqueen | 8.47458% | 220 | 8.475% |
| 5 | Abra | 7.93529% | 206 | 7.935% |
| 6 | Drowzee | 6.77966% | 176 | 6.780% |
| 7 | Magmar | 6.66410% | 173 | 6.664% |
| 8 | Gastly | 5.04622% | 131 | 5.046% |
| 9 | Dragonair | 3.42835% | 89 | 3.428% |
| 10 | Butterfree | 3.42835% | 89 | 3.428% |
| 11 | Porygon | 3.35131% | 87 | 3.351% |
| 12 | Weezing | 2.38829% | 62 | 2.388% |
| 13 | Machamp | 2.08012% | 54 | 2.080% |
| 14 | Vileplume | 1.96456% | 51 | 1.965% |
| 15 | Fearow | 1.77196% | 46 | 1.772% |
| 16 | Scyther | 1.38675% | 36 | 1.387% |
| 17 | Poliwag | 1.34823% | 35 | 1.348% |
| 18 | Parasect | 1.27119% | 33 | 1.271% |
| 19 | Voltorb | 1.15562% | 30 | 1.156% |
| 20 | Magneton | 1.15562% | 30 | 1.156% |
| 21 | Slowpoke | 1.11710% | 29 | 1.117% |
| 22 | Flareon | 1.00154% | 26 | 1.002% |
| 23 | Seel | 0.88598% | 23 | 0.886% |
| 24 | Golbat | 0.80894% | 21 | 0.809% |
| 25 | Muk | 0.73190% | 19 | 0.732% |
| 26 | Beedrill | 0.69337% | 18 | 0.693% |
| 27 | Graveler | 0.65485% | 17 | 0.655% |
| 28 | Sandslash | 0.53929% | 14 | 0.539% |
| 29 | Arbok | 0.42373% | 11 | 0.424% |
| 30 | Pinsir | 0.38521% | 10 | 0.385% |
| 31 | Ditto | 0.38521% | 10 | 0.385% |
| 32 | Seaking | 0.38521% | 10 | 0.385% |
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- +
Total leads: 2596
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon | Usage % | Raw | % |
+ ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- +
| 1 | Arcanine | 40.32592% | 298 | 11.479% |
| 2 | Nidoqueen | 21.84059% | 220 | 8.475% |
| 3 | Drowzee | 11.18101% | 176 | 6.780% |
| 4 | Gastly | 8.40305% | 131 | 5.046% |
| 5 | Magmar | 7.13197% | 173 | 6.664% |
| 6 | Staryu | 4.13640% | 223 | 8.590% |
| 7 | Rapidash | 1.67092% | 270 | 10.401% |
| 8 | Fearow | 1.26419% | 46 | 1.772% |
| 9 | Machamp | 1.06215% | 54 | 2.080% |
| 10 | Porygon | 0.76399% | 87 | 3.351% |
| 11 | Abra | 0.67818% | 206 | 7.935% |
| 12 | Seaking | 0.63305% | 10 | 0.385% |
| 13 | Vileplume | 0.27686% | 51 | 1.965% |
| 14 | Dragonair | 0.19255% | 89 | 3.428% |
| 15 | Golbat | 0.12866% | 21 | 0.809% |
| 16 | Slowpoke | 0.06488% | 29 | 1.117% |
| 17 | Graveler | 0.05299% | 17 | 0.655% |
| 18 | Magneton | 0.04214% | 30 | 1.156% |
| 19 | Scyther | 0.03441% | 36 | 1.387% |
| 20 | Butterfree | 0.02965% | 89 | 3.428% |
| 21 | Poliwag | 0.02182% | 35 | 1.348% |
| 22 | Pinsir | 0.01891% | 10 | 0.385% |
| 23 | Parasect | 0.01803% | 33 | 1.271% |
| 24 | Arbok | 0.00964% | 11 | 0.424% |
| 25 | Seel | 0.00817% | 23 | 0.886% |
| 26 | Flareon | 0.00526% | 26 | 1.002% |
| 27 | Weezing | 0.00417% | 62 | 2.388% |
| 28 | Voltorb | 0.00029% | 30 | 1.156% |
| 30 | Muk | 0.00005% | 19 | 0.732% |
| 34 | Sandslash | 0.00000% | 14 | 0.539% |
| 35 | Beedrill | 0.00000% | 18 | 0.693% |
| 36 | Ditto | 0.00000% | 10 | 0.385% |
This would go over the text limit. Unweighted movesets can be found here.

Some notes:
  • Scyther was used significantly more by people higher on the ladder. It's 9th place on the weighted ladder and all the way down at 16th on the unweighted ladder. I figure this is because a lot of people were hyping it up on Discord (myself included.) Still, it's got a really solid usage rate.
  • Graveler was used less by people higher on the ladder. Don't really have a solid answer as to why.
  • Abra was used WAY less by people high on the ladder. For good reason. This mon sux.
  • Arcanine is well and truly back, with a usage rate even higher than Rapidash on high-ladder.
  • Magneton was used on 10% of all teams on the ladder. Why? This mon sucks.
  • Rapidash, Staryu, and Abra leads fell off a cliff in usage on high-ladder. Generally Arcanine was preferred as a lead, with Nidoqueen trailing close behind.
  • There's a very sharp decline in usage between Dragonair and Abra on the weighted usage stats, so I would be inclined to put the PU/ZU line there. Yes, that means Vilegod is finally back in PU (ignore that tiering is based on viability rankings.)
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I'd say that Seaking is the most threatening mon in the builder right now, which is why it's number one for me. Most Seaking checks are NFEs which get obliterated by Fearow, so you can't bring them out too early. But if you keep a Seaking counter in the back until the end-game just for Seaking you might as well run Seaking then. Seaking also has a decent enough crit rate to break through would be checks like Porygon or Staryu if its running psychic. The most solid check is probably your own Seaking so there is little reason not to use it, as most of its checks are managable. Right now I'm vert high on Blizzard Seaking, it does worse against the main Seaking check (Staryu) but Blizzard gives you more flexibility against Fearow and can blow through fake checks like Vileplume and Dragonair. Blizz and Dedge are not completely mutually exclusive though, I think dropping Hbeam is a valid choice now that Drowzee is gone. You obviously miss out on some rolls, though.

Fearow is the other huge threat in the teambuilder. It's rather difficult to be impervious to the bird since every check bar the rocks keel over if they get crit. Omanyte is p terribad right now and Graveler is much more risky, ironically because Fearow isn't regarded as highly anymore so people drop it, and Graveler doesn't get many opportunities to switch in or even revenge without Fearow. Nidoqueen is the sturdiest check since its offensive presence incentivizes the opponent to sac Fearow for damage. Arcanine has like a 60% chance to beat a full health Fearow but once it takes dedge recoil chip its greatly favored, though relying on Fire Blast accuracy is terrible. But they get murderized by Seaking so your opponent will get punished if they hoard Fearow checks. Using more offense to beat Fearow sounds tempting but I think Rapidash is terrible and Scyther requires Fearow to be chipped in unusual ways (if Fearow takes so much damage that it can be KO'd by Slash your opponent usually just sacs it into a mon) Rocks stopped existing so most teams these days don't really have a solid Fearow game plan, its more like "Nidoqueen will revenge Fearow, and if it gets crit, then Arcanine will, and if it gets crit, then Fearow will, etc." Fearow crits are probably the most game-changing hax in the entire game, its never over until you lost your Fearow. Even though Fearowless has seen some experimentation on double fire and other wacky builds the consistency that Fearow brings means that I am definitely back to being a Fearow truther. When I put it like this Fearow definitely looks broken but idk, I think its fine.

Arcanine is the best lead right now but also its decent glue in the back. Being not too weak to Fearow + stuffing Gastly is never bad, and also being able to revenge a full health Staryu is also nice, though it shouldn't be the main game plan. You honestly need either an Arcanine or Nidoqueen in the back, and I stand by this even on rock teams, in which case, Arcanine is 100% mandatory to stop Gastly. Maybe either is droppable with a Rapidash, though. I honestly don't have much to say, Arcanine usually just 1v1s itself in the lead slot but the winner usually comes out paralyzed so winning is not a huge advantage unless one side gets completely haxed.

I'm a bit down on Nidoqueen right now. The team to beat right now is Gastly/Staryu/Fearow/Seaking/Arcanine/Nidoqueen, and being in the back but weak to Staryu, Gastly, and Seaking is terrible. In the lead slot Nidoqueen its favored vs Arcanine but the matchup is extremely swingy, unlike the Arcanine mirror, so you have to plan accordingly. And the fact that it kind of competes with Arcanine as the Seaking-weak Fearow check doesn't help it either. Arcanine is better into Gastly and stops Fires much better. Nidoqueen is definitely suffering right now because it did such a good job at removing slower mons like Drowzee and Porygon from the metagame that teams have become too fast for it. There have been some builds without Nidoqueen, usually I'd just say to stick queen in the front but the fact that you can get burned turn 1 is too high variance for comfort so maybe the way forward is "Nidoqueen is droppable". I have some takes, like how Thunderbolt is now completely mandatory and Blizzard being droppable, though you should run both. But if you ever need Substitute and a way to hit Pinsir, I stand by EQ/Tbolt/Fblast/Sub as a viable set, especially since Dragonair is much more uncommon.

Staryu is very consistent and I like that, it checks Seaking, it revenges Nidoqueen, and it puts paralysis on annoying mons. Close to any chip, even a Seaking Surf puts it in Fearow range so once its out its either forced to recover or you just accept that its a sac. Right now Psychic Star is gaining traction and I think its rather good, Drowzee is almost completely gone and being able to hit Gastly or the grasses for better damage is nice, and sometimes haxing Porygon is cool, though you are obviously more susceptible to Seaking fishing for Hbeam crits on you. I love this mon, having 4 100% accurate moves is amazing.

On a game to game basis Gastly is much more threatening than Staryu and does more but the fact that Hypnosis is such a slot machine makes me not as high on Gastly as others, which is a reversal since I have been huffing the gas since summer. Gastly is very much more reliant on getting Psychic drops and avoiding crits than Staryu so its much less reliable, and also Psychic KO ranges are terrible, but just being an NFE that hits hard enough, is not weak to Seaking, and is fast is good enough for the tier. Real decent glue type mon, you don't need to rely too much on Hypnosis to get value out of Gastly, and its the best electric type in the tier. There is some debate over Night Shade or Explosion but the main target that those moves hit, Drowzee, has mostly disappeared so its mostly just preference I think, though the thought of getting burned and not being able to explode really does suck. Everyone has been singing the praises of Gastly right now so I don't have much new things to say about it.

The first controversial take that I have is Porygon at 7, but this is not because I think its good but rather that there are only 6 good mons in PU. Agility sets are the best set, not agility sets are terrible and are too passive + get revenged easily. I'm a bit high on the Psychic sets right now since you immediately die to Drowzee anyways and this is definitely a matchup fish mon so you might as well lean in on it. But sometimes the opponent is forced to let go of Staryu too early and sleep something else with Gastly, and in which case, Porygon is extremely hard to take down. Porygon takes advantage of greedy teambuilding plays to have few NFEs and go hard on offense and speed tiers, and also punishes poor play like no other, though close to any amount of hax spells the end for it. I actually expect this mon to pick up a bit of steam since a lot of teams are slacking on their Porygon checks.

Drowzee is kind of OK, having a bad speed tier isn't swell but its main targets vanishing from competitive play is the real nail in the coffin. It has 3 great buttons to click so you are always getting something out of it, but there are usually better options on the team unless your opponent brings slow NFEs. In which case, Drowzee is probably the best mon in the game. I think switching Drowzee in on Staryu is usually a play but sometimes that is the most value you can get out of this mon. I expect this mon to continue to descend lower on VRs, at least until people start busting out the Pory. (the drowzee cycle is real)

I hate Fire Blast accuracy and Rapidash is completely reliant on it. Its goal in life is to revenge Fearow with its superior speed and it can kind of switch in to Fearow on a Drill Peck or a Gastly Psychic but other than that it has no defensive utility since Arcanine is so much less afraid than Rapidash than the other way around. Paralysis may as well be an OHKO and being weak to Seaking is dismal. Even if it does get the god switch in on Fearow Drill Peck the opponent can switch into Arcanine and there isn't much you can do about that, switching out is a bad play vs Fearow since your opponent could also just bank on Fire Blast missing or Fearow critting through your Rapidash. It has terrible KO ranges, Fire Blast doesn't KO a 45% queen, Body Slam kills basically nothing, Fire Blast into Hyper Beam is roll you can't take to KO Fearow so you need to hit two Fire Blasts, also Body Slam into Hyper Beam is a much worse roll to KO Staryu when compared to Arcanine. Very reliant on RNG, it needs to hit those Fire Blasts get those Body Slam paralyses on opposing fires + not get paralyzed. Also when building Rapidash teams means you are likely skimping out on one of the big 4, or you are somewhat weak to Seaking or Porygon. Not a real big fan of this mon.

Vileplume is cool but only the swords dance set

Great into Fearow, terribad into anything else since it can't revenge anything and has bad switch-ins. Agree with Gastlies take on this mon rn, just read that.

Scyther is a cool mon to build around and it robs games like no other. Spamming Slash gets you a ton of mileage and Swords Dance closes endgames. Can't touch Gastly but Gastly doesn't stick around too long and if it does its often chipped enough that a +2 Wing Attack can finish the job. Having a mon that is good into Fearow and is fine into Dedge Seaking is nice. The main thing that I don't like is that you can't reveal it too early else your opponent will preserve Gastly and is rather RNG dependent as a Swords Dance sweeper, since you have to avoid a crit on the setup turn + hit 2-3 Hyper Beams to win. Ideally you don't rely on that and just click Slash but since you can't reveal it early you are essentially playing 5v6 and banking on endgame Scyther to make up the lost ground. Quick Attack is funny but is greedy, you need to hit that 65% paralyzed Gastly.

I really want to put the premier bullshitter of the tier higher, I really do, but I don't really think its that good. Swagmar leads are pretty much dead since Hypnosis leads are gone and you need to win like 3 mindgames just so you can lose to Seaking sweeping your back Arcanine and Nidoqueen anyways. In the back its pretty rad to have a Fire not beholden to Fire Blast accuracy and it has a decent movepool. It also threatens Seaking quite well with Confuse Ray but you are just praying for good rng tbh. Being weak to both Fearow and Seaking really constrains your team and you end up with a poor man's big 6 most of the time. Although its the best fire into Seaking, it doesn't really stop Seaking once its already going. The most uncharitable reading of this mon is that it loses to Fearow, Arcanine, and usually Seaking so why bother. The other gripe I have is that is despite not relying on Fire Blast accuracy, the mag is extremely reliant on RNG, especially in the Seaking matchup where you need to get enough self hits or crits or a body slam para. If Rapidash is a slot machine, Magmar is the whole casino.

Dragonair is a lot like Porygon but with Porygon you can kind of play around the gamestate to remove status spreaders and get a favorable endgame for it. But Dragonair trades that for the ability to completely rob games, if it gets lucky. Non-agilwrap sets aren't good and early game Dragonair is terribad since Gastly stops it. The thing is that you are essentially playing a 5 v 6 if you keep it in the back so it needs to make up a lot of lost ground, and it is vulnerable while setting up + is so weak that if your opponent has enough advantage they could stall out wrap or just play the numbers game with Nidoqueen. Dragonair is p bad since there isn't much you can do to support it other than just winning without it, but I have to respect its ability to rob games + "can't do much to support it" translates to you can just let it rip and it could win you the game while you don't need much effort to do so.

I used to love the champ but right now I'm rather down on it. If your opponent doesn't bring Fearow this mon is honestly top 5 material but we live in a reality that isn't that. Building Machamp is very fun but playing it is constraining, people have been saying that you want to spam Submission but Submission is a terrible move. I've had more success with spamming EQ and switching to Graveler if they go to Fearow since gravel is good at making progress, but GravelChamp teams are often like 4 mon cores so you need to preserve a ton of stuff, which risks being crit/burned and switching = not good. You need to make risky doubles/switches to stay in the game with GravelChamp and as a mon spamming Submission I don't think its good.

Omanyte is way too passive and it does a terrible job at stopping Fearow. Lets in Gastly and there isn't much you can do about it, "just double" doesn't work since like 8 mons can come in on Omanyte or the opponent can trade their mon for damage.

I think Pinsir on its own is pretty cool but I have yet to be impressed with a Pinsir team. I think Magmar somewhat eats Pinsir's lunch as a fast mon that isn't terrible into Seaking.

Slowpoke is a bit overhated right now, Water/Psychic is probably the best typing of the tier and it has decent physical bulk. It spreads paralysis so you are always getting something out of it, its mainly just good because Water is a phenomenal type in PU and it isn't too weak to Fearow. Rest is OK at best, often times when it wins you could have just had a different Water win instead, but its a decent enough set that I think its viable.

Horsea is one of the more theorymon picks here but Water is a great type, and it trades the defensive utility/moves of poke for Agility and its rather good as a discount Seaking that you can run two of. I've only seen a bit of it but I'm rather impressed by it.

Abra is better than it previously was since Gastly is everywhere + isn't always carrying Explosion 100% of the time these days + no more Drowzee. Can 2HKO queen but misses the OHKO on Gastly which sucks, though Gastly can't do much back. Instantly KO'd by paralysis too, and Arcanine has decent special bulk so it can afford to come in on a Psychic. But building an Abra team is difficult, as a lone 6th mon it loses to Seaking and you feel silly but sometimes it puts in absurd work.

Sandslash is in the most hostile meta towards it ever, more emphasis on speed means that it is slower than every mon on the big 6 team and if it ever gets a Swords Dance off it gets revenged. The team styles it used to feast on with rocks, Drowzee, and Porygon have mostly disappeared. Most PU players sac a mon for damage once it gets paralyzed so doing the classic spread para and sweep deal doesn't work. More centralization around waters is terrible for it, as its easily revenged by them and Nidoqueen. Ig you can use it as a backup Fearow check but Nidoqueen exists and I don't really think you want two of them. It honestly might be lower.

I've been rather impressed by Weepinbell. Early game Vileplume is much better since it can better pressure paralyzed mons with Swords Dance + get a huge hit off as it dies or paralyze Gastly but late game I think Weepinbell would be better. Status is more threatening in tight end-games and the two main grass resists, Arcanine and Gastly, don't stick around long while Seaking and Staryu usually live till the end, which means Razor Leaf actually becomes threatening late game. Kaz has been showing off a double powder/sub/stab set that I'm a fan of but the biggest thing holding Weepinbell back is that powder moves are atrocious once paralyzed and it being much more frail means that it can't afford to get haxed, especially when considering the 5% miss on Razor Leaf + not critting sometimes.

Arbok is the other theorymon pick here but having Wrap + an OK speed tier + EQ + Stun Spore is decent enough. It chokes out endgames quite well but its too RNG reliant for me to put it higher.

I don't think Magneton is that good, even with that bb team where Magneton put in a ton of work. Once you get rid of queen it is one of the few mons that beats both Seaking and Fearow, but other than that its terrible speed tier and Scyther-tier movepool means that even if everyone vowed to never bring Nidoqueen it would be a B tier mon at best. Sometimes it goes sicko mode but most of the time where Magneton is winning, it doesn't matter since you are so far ahead anyways and the fact that you need to cook a 5 course meal to get any juice out of this mon is telling of its viability.

In a world where Gastly is everywhere and Scyther exists, there is no reason to use Pidgeot.

Poliwag as a lead is basically dead since Arcanine centralized the lead metagame and also its a slot machine where you aren't favored since Arcanine/Fearow easily revenge this mon. You need to hit a Hypnosis and also avoid para'd hit that turn + you need to run Hydro Pump because the calcs with Surf are dreadful. You also want Blizzard to threaten the OHKO on Fearow at +2 but then you see a Water type and instantly lose. And if you ever see the calc of +2 Psychic into Staryu you will immediately die. Easily the worst of the pre-alpha PU ranked mons.

Primeape has the 2HKO on Staryu with Thunderbolt but Rock Slide misses every KO range you need so this mon is terribad. 5 points off from having a good speed tier + no bulk to speak of makes this mon the bad traits of Machamp and Pinsir combined. Body Slam is the worst click of all time but if you don't run it you get walled by Nidoqueen.

unranked mons that I have experimented with:

Weezing has good phybulk, tbolt, and explosion so ideally it checks Fearow and then booms but it doesn't get this combo off unless your opponent is in a real tough spot. Its a win harder mon but its hard to be ahead when you are using Weezing. Muk is probably no better, the extra attack doesn't matter too much since you are spamming special moves anyways + Mega Drain isn't as necesary.

I've been a covert believer in Lickitung during the spotlight ladder since its rather decent into Porygon. It doesn't care about paralysis since its slower than everything and its stubbornly bulky that it can get a Swords Dance off or two and become actually threatening. But its main setup target has mostly dissappeared so this mon isn't worth running, and even then it wasn't that good during the ladder.

Butterfree is better than you'd expect but mostly outclassed. It has decent special bulk so it can still sleep Staryu and can even switch in on Nidoqueen EQs. If Vileplume and Weepinbell disappeared I think it would be a PU tier mon, but just barely.

I've put more thought into Pikachu than I'd like to admit. Don't use it.

Voltorb is that last mon here and the only one that I haven't used but I have played against it around 4 times and everytime it did nothing.


Demonstrably alive.
is a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Howdy y'all, it's time for RBY PU to get a VR Update! To my memory, this should be the most robust VR for RBY PU thus far, given the number of tournaments it will reflect and the fact that the collected data will be interpreted using the method popularized by vapicuno, as opposed to a simple analysis of means and medians.

Requisites to vote were awarded for meeting at least one of the following criteria. Voters are listed beneath the criteria they have met. In total, fourteen unique players have qualified. These criteria were developed by the RBY PU Council.

Please submit your VRs to me or any member of the RBY PU Council (Sabelette, Gangsta Spongebob, Gastlies, TehTayTeh, or Wanted in 49 States) over Smogon or Discord or simply post a VR in this thread and we will pull it from there. For the sake of the method used to create VRs, your choices for individual ranks (S, A+, B3, etc.) are irrelevant, but you may include them if you wish. A simple ordered list of Pokemon or a TierMaker VR is acceptable.

Please submit your VRs by December 11th at 11:59pm UTC-6 if you are eligible and wish to participate.


I made reqs and you missed me!
Just message me or an RBY PU Councilmember and we'll check and add you if appropriate.

Is there a VR template I can use?

How will the PU/ZU Borderline be declared?
By convention, the line between B and C is used as the cutoff, though certain anomalies can make other positions make more sense.

Will this affect tiering in ZU?
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Its that time of year, TIERLIST TIME.
:nidoqueen: Nidoqueen in my opinion is still the best Pokèmon in the tier, thanks to its ability to still facilitate positive trades. Its also incredibly hard to justify dropping, as even on more offensive teams that cant fit it in the back, its still an amazing lead.
:arcanine: Arcanine, similar to Nidoqueen, is just as hard to drop, if not harder to drop than Nidoqueen, thanks to its various positive qualities (I'm too lazy to elaborate on things everyone who's reading this knows already), I was very split on whether to give Nidoqueen or Arcanine the top spot, as it's very close.
:fearow: Fearow has a positive matchup versus many of the best Pokèmon in the tier such as the NFE's and Seaking lacking Blizzard, it also crits, alot, and when it does decide to crit it can end games on the spot. It is however justifiable dropping it on a few teams though, as it is quite frail and can exasperate weaknesses to things such as Nidoqueen and Fire-types.
:Seaking: Seaking, who is highly infamous for its dangerous late game sweeps. Can end the game with a single Agility boost, has a good matchup versus Nidoqueen, Fire-types, and Fearow if carrying Blizzard. It's also one of the very few Pokèmon who can switch into Graveller (just once, though). However it isn't even close to flawless, having a mediocre matchup vs Gastly and an awful matchup vs Staryu, with both being a common staple in many teams. Seaking lacking Double-Edge also have to be weary of opposing Seaking, who can switch in and trade with it. I however, personally do not like Double-Edge as the recoil vs Staryu and in the Seaking ditto is too much to bear for me.
:staryu: Staryu is the good Seaking switchin, it's good at trading early on and in the midgame aswell, but if it does trade itself too early, it's team can find itself losing too Seaking later on. Staryu is also frail as fuck and doesnt work well on teams with other Fearow weak Pokèmon.
:gastly: Gastly is a ghost, it does stuff, stuff I'm not going to elaborate on as I'm tired. It's unreliable due to Hypnosis and being crit prone. It's also even physically frailer than Staryu.
I'm not going to be very descriptive on these Pokèmon as if I was I would be typing this all day. Just know there is a considerable drop in viability between Gastly and Rapidash.
:rapidash: Tied fastest Pokèmon in tier, can switch into Fearow once, is a crit machine. Is however blind, and weak to Seaking and Arcanine.
:Graveler: is the best Rock-type in the tier, and the only true switchin to Fearow. Strong Earthquake with very little switchins, and can go off with a bang with Explosion.
:porygon: Has the most set variety in the entire tier, access to Recover, and Agility lets it wall many common foes that can't paralyze it.
:Vileplume: I dont even know what to say just trust me when I say he can hang with the cool kids.
:scyther: Big Slash big Slash big Slash big Slash big Slash big Slash big Slash big Slash.


the freeze queen
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:arcanine: IS THE BEST POKEMON IN RBY PU because it can do whatever you want it to do. If you want to lead with it, it'll be an amazing lead, if you want to use it midgame to break holes for your lategame mons, it can do that too. If you want it to clean lategame, it can do that too. Mon really does it all, has great stats and movepool, only bad thing is that fire blast acc sucks but every mon is flawed

:Fearow: follows the rby tradition of being a good fast Normal-type that clicks the Normal move. Not a lot to say here since there's not a lot of strategy to using Fearow aside from "click normal move lmao" but Fearow is really good at doing that job. Crits also exist too, and rocks are bad.

:Seaking: is also fantastic, but I do think Arc and Fearow are slightly better than it. A +2 Seaking is the single most dangerous mon in the tier, but the fact that you have to spend that one turn using Agility makes Seaking a bit worse imo. Obviously this turn is really easy to find thanks to Seaking's fantastic bulk and lack of an exploitable weakness but it does restrict Seaking to more of a sweeping role esp since u have to deal with staryu before hand unless u wanna fish for the hbeam crit. It is of course, excellent in that sweeping role but i value arc/fearow's immediate speed a bit more.

:Nidoqueen: still has the trait of beating almost the entire tier 1-on-1 but it gets worn down quicker than ever thanks to the speed of the tier. Less usage of slower mons like Drowzee and Porygon, along with less twave in general, mean there are less opportunites for Nidoqueen to pick off a low HP mon with EQ then 1v1 the revenge killer. Because of this, seldom outright sweeps unlike the 3 mons above it.

:Gastly:has goated coverage in PU context which hits 5 of the top 6 mons super effectively. It's also a decent Seaking switch-in which are hard to come by in PU. You also have a 60% ohko move that you can click. 60% of the time this move will just kill something something and bail you. It's also hard to switch out your sleeping mon once gastly sleeps it since nothing really likes switching into Gastly except like Drowzee but even that has to fear explosion. This means Gastly has the potential to go 2-for 1 in a lot of scenarios.

:Staryu: is fantastic against Seaking and is amazing even outside of the seaking MU. Hard to switch into, has twave and great coverage. Recover is kinda ass on it but also a nessecary move so u also wall seaking. Main issue is that it gets revenged very easily

:Rapidash: is one of the two mons that outspeeds Fearow naturally, outclassed by arc but arc is so good that you can run dash alongside it and still be fine. Fire blast accuracy still sucks tho

:scyther: is the other of the two mons that outspeeds fearow naturally. SD Hbeam is really powerful, and gastly isn't as big of an issue as it seems (+2 wing attack 2HKOes is meaning if gast switches into SD it has to land hypnosis or it dies), scyther is really good at winning games where your opponent sacks staryu for no reason instead of just attacking it

:magmar: this motherfucker is a Rapidash alternative that trades a good Fearow mu for cray, which notably makes it harder for seaking to set up, and reduces gastly's hypnosis accuracy to 30% making it easier for magmar to break. Cray is also just a general bullshit move that lets magmar win exchanges it should not be winning. Psychic is a nice alternative for Fire Blast which hits a lot of the top mons (arc queen gastly seaking) as hard as Fire Blast and can't miss.

:Drowzee:still has twave and the ohko move but its way too slow esp with pory and rocks being less common, psychic is still really strong tho, and dz is similar to gastly in that its hard to switch into after sleep

:dragonair: has one good set (Agiliwrap) but it is good. Nair's biggest issues are the gastly problem, blizz weakness, low immediate speed, 4mss, and generally poor attacking stats, but all of these flaws are made up for by agiliwrap

:porygon: also has one good set (Agility) but its harder to pull off compared to Nair. For both of these mons twave 2 attacks is throwing but agility is good. Drowzee is a lot less common now and that was pory's biggest counter so I could see pory going up tbh. Only bad thing about pory is the secret mechanic that any mon that attacks it has an 80% crit rate.

:pinsir: people are disrespecting this mon so much it's honestly not that bad. Slash is really strong, Stoss hits Gastly, and it has SD hyper beam. If you use slash/stoss/sd/hyper beam pinsir is honestly not bad but if you try using garbage like bind then yeah expect to be punished for it.

:vileplume: is honestly not that good tbh. First of all there are two better sleepers and on top of that Seaking uses Blizz very often now, so plume loses that niche too. It still walls surfbolt staryu which is nice but I'm honestly not a fan of the mon

:graveler: is not that good. It beats two mons, one of which (Scyther) is rare, and although the other (Fearow) is common if u load graveler into no Fearow you're playing 5v6. Even against Fearow they just see you have a grav and never switch fearow in, and then grav becomes useless. You basically get one free earthquake by subbing on fearow and EQing whatever comes in but after that it just becomes seaking food.

:machamp: dies to fearow and arc, and is slow, i dont like
:omanyte: is a late-game mon meant to counter a mon commonly seen in the lead slot, also seaking/staryu/gastly food
:abra: is good against gastly which is something but sucks against fearow and arc
:sandslash: can only be run alongside nidoqueen then ur running 2 slow grounds in a Seaking meta
:magneton: in theory it works, in practice it dies
:slowpoke: weird-ass arc anti-lead i guess? garbage tho
:arbok: outspeeds nidoqueen/seaking and ties gastly, has wrap/eq so it is a thing that exists

Mons I intentionally unranked but could justify using:
:pidgeot: a second fearow, but it's worse than the other second fearows (scyther pinsir)
:weepinbell: also seems fine on paper but I haven't seen it used in a game so cant really speak on it
:horsea: second seaking but i would rather use nair or pory as another agility user

Mons I can't justify using:
:marowak: lmao
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Viridian Victreebels
PU Retrospective
I had the honor of playing for the Viridian Victreebels for PL, which I'm grateful for the opportunity to participate in, let alone start. This is just going to be all the teams I've built and subsequently used for each week, including unplayed Game 3s (although I've unfortunately misplaced the Game 3 teams for W1 and W2 because that's around the same time smogtours builder reset). There's a lot more teams created that didn't find their ways into the tour, but these were either minor changes, risky or fun builds, or shower thought teams. This will also act as a post to share some of my thoughts on the metagame since I'm pretty fond of using just about anything as long as there's a reason with weight behind it.

Week 1 vs Cake (Washed Wartortles)

I had very little to work off for Cake, so I decided to load up a Mon I hardly ever used in Drowzee. Also tried to make use of "double flier" team with Scyther in Game 2, but unfortunately wasn't able to make it work.
Game 1: :nidoqueen: :rapidash: :Fearow: :graveler: :Staryu: :drowzee:
Game 2: :arcanine: :fearow: :nidoqueen: :drowzee: :scyther: :porygon:

Week 2 vs TehTayTeh (Glacial Articunos)

I noticed immediately how the lead metagame was already super centralized around Arcanine or Nidoqueen, so I wanted to experiment with lead Seaking to beat both of these. This is the same line of reasoning for the Machamp lead in Game 2; the goal of Machamp in the lead slot is to preserve the health of my own Nidoqueen and Arcanine while removing or heavily weakening either of the opponent's.
Game 1: :seaking: :gastly: :staryu: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :graveler:
Game 2: :machamp: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :arcanine: :dragonair: :staryu:

Week 3 vs gastlies (Pampu Primeapes)

There was one thing I had in my mind when prepping for gastlies and that was lead Magmar (or Magmar in general lol), as gastlies was the most vocal about it. Assuming I would see one, I was intent on using Substitute Arcanine to stuff it. This ended up working out as the Arc mirror G1 was Reflect, non-Hyper Beam. This meant that gastlies's Arc was unable to break my own Arc's sub, which provided me with leeway in the opening turns.
Game 1: :arcanine: :nidoqueen: :vileplume: :staryu: :fearow: :rapidash:
Game 2: :nidoqueen: :sandslash: :staryu: :seaking: :fearow: :Rapidash:
Game 3 (not played): :arcanine: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :seaking: :graveler: :drowzee:

Week 4 vs stunner047 (Ding Dang Dewgongs)

When I first checked the teams Stunner had used up to this point, I noticed a couple things: Zero Graveler (or non-Queen grounds) and a sole Vileplume usage. In contrast, there was a very high number of Staryu, Fearow, and Omanyte builds. I also noted that Arcanine and Rapidash were not nearly as used compared to most people; Pokémon like Pinsir or Machamp were also fairly common. This led me to also load up specific Mons to abuse this: Magneton's pure power and Abra's speed against the slew of Water-type builds (the latter came with an intent to force Fearow to RK, and then following up with Agility users). In other news, I was unable to make Scyther or Drowzee work.
Game 1: :magmar: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :arcanine: :Seaking: :magneton:
Game 2: :seaking: :graveler: :nidoqueen: :Drowzee: :scyther: :arcanine:
Game 3: :gastly: :abra: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :porygon: :seaking:

Week 5 vs Hayburner (Hipster Hypnos)
RBYPL_Hypnos (1).png

The first and last time I'll be using a Porygon set like this. The intention was to Twave incoming sleepers, worsening their chances. This Porygon came equipped with the quickest way to remove Drowzee (Double-Edge -> Hyper Beam KO) and Psychic to beat down Gastly or Vileplume. G2 was kinda one-sided horseshit from what I remember so I don't think I can add anything about it.
Game 1: :porygon: :vileplume: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :seaking: :arcanine:
Game 2: :magmar: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :sandslash: :staryu: :gastly:
Game 3 (not played): Planned on using the same Game 3 from last week since the team's strategy and roster wasn't fully revealed. Never came to this though.

Week 6 vs TehTayTeh (GA - rematch)

Tried out lead Slowpoke because Teh uses lead Arc 90% of the time and I didn't want to engage in that with my own Arc. Poke still spreads Twave and can throw out some nice Psychics and Surfs. Scyther is pretty cool in the right conditions; while initially lacking in KO power due to no STAB on Hyper Beam, Swords Dance gives Scyther the ability to achieve OHKOs against some of the frailer Pokemon and requires way opposing Pokemon to be at way less HP thresholds to secure KOs. Pokemon like Fearow, Porygon, and Dragonair are all at the mercy of rolls in the best condition, not something you can really guarantee given how they operate. The bulkier mons like Arcanine and Nidoqueen are usually taking damage at lead or midgame respectively, hopefully providing you with the necessary chip for +2 Beam. In my opinion, Abra is pretty neat with Omanyte support as the latter shores up some of the shortcomings of the former; All of Arcanine, Rapidash, Fearow, and Scyther are checked relatively well by Omanyte which at least prevents Abra from just risking immediate death. Abra, on the other hand, has nice benefits like outspeeding and threatening Staryu, Gastly, and Nidoqueen.
Game 1: :slowpoke: :arcanine: :vileplume: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :rapidash:
Game 2: :arcanine: :seaking: :nidoqueen: :scyther: :gastly: :staryu:
Game 3: :dragonair: :machamp: :nidoqueen: :abra: :omanyte: :rapidash:

Week 7 vs Volkner (DDD)
(The series was already decided by this point, so these games had no impact)

Brought mons I wanted to use for fun, can't hide the Marowak 100% WR no matter how hard you try. Horsea is unironically a fun mon after seeing how strong Seaking can be. Would need to secure Staryu KO to make this doable though. Arbok is just niche Wrap mon, but with less people valuing Queen, then Arbok loses some of the little value it has too. It's still a Wrap user that can threaten Gastly way more feasibly than Dragonair and has a few better kill-confirms against the fires.
Game 1: :gastly: :nidoqueen: :Staryu: :rapidash: :seaking: :marowak:
Game 2: :gastly: :vileplume: :Nidoqueen: :staryu: :seaking: :Horsea:
Game 3: :machamp: :nidoqueen: :rapidash: :fearow: :arbok: :staryu:

Week 8 vs Hayburner (HH - rematch)
RBYPL_Hypnos (1).png

magmar is cool, hope more people use it. magneton can def work with partners supporting it, especially since it's naturally faster than seaking. i can't pilot drowzee.
Game 1: :magmar: :nidoqueen: :seaking: :rapidash: :gastly: :fearow:
Game 2: :dragonair: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :magneton: :pinsir: :arcanine:
Game 3: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :staryu: :graveler: :abra: :Drowzee:

Week 9 vs TehTayTeh (GA - Finals rematch)

The only thing different from the standard quo was the Dragonair set in G2, going with Surf/Twave/Agil/Wrap. The only intent here was to spread Para and damage as much as possible. Without Twave, Dragonair has no real way to really punish Gastly so I slotted that over Tbolt, which I've noticed hardly, if ever, gets clicked when leading Dnair.
Game 1: :arcanine: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :rapidash: :vileplume: :staryu:
Game 2: :dragonair: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :staryu: :arcanine: :scyther:
Game 3: :arcanine: :nidoqueen: :fearow: :staryu: :porygon: :gastly:

Little tour retrospective over! Tier list time!

My tier list may differ heavily from others, but at the end of the day I can only speak from my opinion foremost and what I see from others second. A lot of the top Mons have more than enough said about them from general discussion, so I'll be brief on them.

:nidoqueen: - Simply put, I cannot see myself going without Nidoqueen. It hits hard, takes hits well, and is in general one of the most reliable Pokemon in the tier. While its Speed can be a shortcoming, having the jump on Seaking (and less notably Dragonair) is enough for me to consider it fast enough.

:arcanine: - This thing has like 95% lead usage, it is insane. Outside of Omanyte, nothing wants to switch into Arcanine. With a really good crit rate, its very respectable bulk, and two moves that inflict 30% status, it's a dicey proposition to play around.

:fearow: - De facto cleaner, 2 rocks are the only thing that can really punish you from loading this, since Gastly can get bopped by Dpeck crit. The main issue I find with Fearow compared to its fellow S rankers is its lacking bulk. In addition, some of the Mons it farms most are becoming far less common in the tier, like Machamp, Pinsir, or Abra.

:seaking: - Def the most dangerous Agil sweeper imo. I really don't see the reasoning for Dedge compared to the versatility of Blizzard. Combined with STAB Surf, only Water-types exist as a secure defensive answer. Dropping Blizzard only leaves you open to stuff like Vileplume, Dragonair, and even the Fliers which I'm not fond of.

:rapidash: - This will be an outlier for most. I'm still really fond of Rapidash because I highly value its speed; Fearow becomes less of a scare in the endgame and many things can be chipped into range of Hyper Beam like Star. Arcanine's presence as a lead also means it'd likely be out of action by the time Rapidash is hitting the field, which is one less Mon which can be a nuisance. If you're intent on using all of Queen, Arc, and Fearow, then Rapidash can leave you very weak to Seaking; you will have to play around/patch up said weakness elsewhere or forgo one of the aforementioned Pokemon.

:gastly: - annoying fuck (they always hit hypnosis)

:staryu: - main reason seaking isn't completely unhinged. Having the jump on both Nidoqueen and Gastly is extremely nice, letting you 2HKO the former and secure paralysis against the latter.

:drowzee: - don't take my word for it because I really could not make this thing work in my favor, it at best did the bare minimum that you'd expect. I don't like Gastly that much because of Hypnosis accuracy, but that's at least fast enough to mitigate a miss to try for a second.

:porygon: - Similar to Drowzee, it doesn't fit the pace I like to play at, so I usually didn't load it as much. Very flexible as either an offensive or defensive tool. I'm more inclined to use Agility sets since those mitigate crits better.

:vileplume: - A fairly high rank for it, but Waters being very common you can find Sleep pretty often. I usually fill out its remaining moves based on team needs, but sometimes I wish I had that extra fifth moveslot. SD + HBeam chunks most things into range for something to pick off, but you run the risk of Gastly existing. Gastly still fears either Powder, but it's prob coming in after your sleep and most Plume's cannot fit Stun Spore unless they give up on something else of import.

:graveler: - google the phrase "Fleet in being"

:machamp: - Honestly this could become more negative as time goes on, but I think Machamp has a few positives that keep it above C, albeit not exactly solid. Very strong and wide movepool, just faster than stuff like Plume, Drowzee, or Porygon, and good bulk in specific MUs. Can somewhat simulate Nidoqueen, therefore not expending Queen's HP too early if not necessary.

:omanyte: - Think it's overall better than Graveler as a defensive Pokemon since you eat the Fire-types alive while Fearow/Scyther are still kept at bay long enough for the average PU game length. Graveler is harder to switch into and has higher peaks imo, which puts it above Oma.

:dragonair: - Agil and Wrap feel mandatory. Choose from whatever moves you want it to fulfill afterwards. Blizzard, Thunderbolt, Surf are all well off attacking options and Twave provides you a way to cripple, and potentially pivot off, Gastly.

:abra: I value Queen highly; therefore, I value Abra respectably. A pretty unique Speed tier for the tier and has a pretty spammable Psychic since Psychics aren't exactly common. Pokemon like Staryu and Gastly are also kinda scared by -- they can trade into it as well, but this can be nice for a teammate like Seaking by having one of its better checks removed. Obviously requires some degree of partnership to take advantage of the Mons that threaten it most.

:scyther: - Like I've mentioned last time I made a post here, Scyther fulfills the role as a secondary Fearow, although I've sometimes forgone the latter due team compression. That said, Scyther's weaknesses are pretty detrimental in the tier's current state: lots of Gastly and Fires. Similar to Rapidash, it's quite troublesome to run Scyther with all of Nidoqueen, Arcanine, Fearow. While Seaking is still a threat, something like Graveler becomes a terror when it walls 1/3rd of your team and puts a charge into 2/3rd. Despite this, Swords Dance still gives Scyther a respectable role.

:magmar: - I prefer it in lead because I can preserve my own Arc for later. I did end up using teams with lead Magmar and no Arc, but I viewed Magmar as a fairly nice Arcanine anti-lead while still matching up well into everything else. I usually run fblast, stoss, counter, and bslam just so I have multiple options for whatever the scenario calls for.

:pinsir: - I honestly think it's pretty poor and the good MUs it has aren't anything crazy. I only brought it once and that was on a gamble to catch a non-Fire Blast Nidoqueen (which it didn't). That said, being faster than Queen AND having and EQ resist/Blizzard neutrality is cool and unique.

:sandslash: - Was somewhat fond of Sandslash going into the tour when Porygon, Drowzee, and Rocks were still on people's mind. Hardly worth considering outside of very well positioning and Para support.

:magneton: - I'd honestly sooner use this than Pinsir or Sandslash now. Queen stonewalls, but outside of that you can just click vs Fearow and Waters. Twave is nice to have against the Fires. You should hope you don't have to click anything else, barring maybe Substitute or Thunder.

:slowpoke: - it was cool as an anti-lead, but something I can't see myself using too often.

:arbok: - Niche fish. That said, it can potentially spread para or take advantage of its para-spreading teammates to Wrap stuff down. As mentioned, Earthquake lets Arbok threaten stuff Dragonair can't as effectively, like Gastly.

:horsea: - a seahorse (Second Agility Water-type that seeks to work off of Seaking)

(anything in E realistically should never be brought in the current meta)
:marowak: - マロワクわねつのもんばんです。

:pidgeot: - Much worse now that Gastly and Arc are incredibly common. Scyther struggles into them as well, but you have actual ways to work past them. Arc outspeeds Pidgeot and Gastly eats you alive.

Bonus lead tier list

:arcanine: - I really don't like how this Mon just clicks vs anything and can just bullshit its way past, barring Omanyte (not a lead). One look at its usage is enough to see how ubiquitous it is. I believe anything that wants to be a lead must be able to threaten Arcanine in some meaningful way.

:nidoqueen: - Apparently the math says this Mon beats Arc 60-40 but it sure doesn't feel like it. I personally don't like giving up Queen's HP so early, but you'd imagine seeing more lead Nidoqueen if it was favored in the MU.

:magmar: - It has the ability to threaten Arc via Counter and Body Slam para of its own, but it's not sure-fire. I don't use Confuse Ray, but it has merit ig. Magmar has the same calcs vs Nidoqueen as Arc and both are 2HKO'd by Earthquake. The difference is Magmar's bulk: Pending any crits, Magmar needs to burn with its first Fire Blast to beat Queen 1v1 while Arc can take non-burned Earthquake into burned Earthquake. Magmar has the positive of preserving your own Arcanine in the back for later use.

:seaking: - Beats Arc and Queen 1v1 (pending crits ofcourse) and will draw out immediate info from your opponent pertaining to their defensive answers to Seaking (or Waters in general).

:gastly: - Inherently risky, but earliest possible Sleep.

:dragonair: - AgilWrap to whittle away HP at the start of a game. Gastly can get Twaved and then pivoted on thru Wrap if available. Selection of coverage for whatever you want. Never Twave t1. Can also just get fucked over by a 30%

:machamp: - To keep Arc and Queen healthy. Outside of crit rates I'm p sure it functions almost identical into Arc as Queen does.

:slowpoke: - Fairly bulky, Fire-resist, and Twave. Throws out Surf or Psychics afterwards.

:fearow: :staryu: - I personally wouldn't use these, but there's history of these Mons with lead usage. Star was prob better when Arc wasn't being used basically all the time.
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the saint
is a Pre-Contributor

If I only loaded the top 6 until the end of time, nobody would be able to cteam me since they're just so much better than the rest of the tier. Everything in A+ to B is functional and can put in work but are more specific/less good at their job that it requires a lot more effort than just spamming the brokenmons.
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the freeze queen
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderator
Woohoo the VR update is here!
First I would like to thank all the submitters (Sabelette phoopes BeatsBlack Ice Yazu MrSoup royzin Volk TehTayTeh Gastlies Mirbro NotVeryCake Hayburner) for helping make this update possible! I would also like to thank Wanted in 49 States for compiling all the data!

You can consult the raw data HERE

  • Every player who gained reqs submitted their own viability rankings. Each ranking has equal weight
  • Any Pokemon with under 3 votes was omitted from the final rankings
Anyway here's what you all want to see!
S: :Nidoqueen::Fearow::Arcanine::Seaking:
A: :Rapidash::Staryu::Gastly::Drowzee::Porygon:
B1: :Vileplume::Graveler::Dragonair::Scyther::Magmar:
B2: :Pinsir::Omanyte::Machamp:
~PU/ZU Cutoff~
C2: :Slowpoke::Magneton::Arbok::Weepinbell:
D1: :Poliwag::Primeape::Marowak::Pidgeot:
D2: :Muk::Weezing:


This means that Arcanine, Vileplume, Scyther, and Magmar are now PU! In addition, Abra is now ZU!





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the freeze queen
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderator
RBY PU's Spiciest new Superstar


Before starting with this post, I wanna show how new of a phenomenon Scyther is. Let's start this with two screenshots from yours truly, keep note of the dates where it's posted


In addition, let's take a look at the VRs. The current VR has Scyther sitting at #13, while the old VR had Scyther at #27. Keep in mind Scyther was ranked lower than Butterfree and Onix. This is obviously a huge improvement for Scyther, and is easily the single-biggest glowup in PU (even bigger than Gastly imo). In fact, I think #13 is way too low for Scyther. In fact, I believe that Scyther is the #6 mon in RBY PU and I'm here to tell you why! But first, I'll talk about what caused Scyther to become so good in the first place.

The first thing I have to talk about is the rise of Arcanine. This may seem silly at first. How does the rise of Arcanine result in Scyther of all pokemon improving? How does a Fire-type becoming better make a Bug-type better in return? Well there are two reasons. First of all, it's not like PU didn't have Fire-types before Arcanine rose to dominance. Before Arcanine, Rapidash was the dominant PU Fire-type. Rapidash being the dominant Fire-type is very bad for Scyther for two reasons. First of all, Rapidash and Scyther compete for a similar role: revenge killing Fearow. They are the only two pokemon in the tier that outspeed Fearow. This means that it was often difficult to justify Scyther when you already have Rapidash on your team. The second reason is that Rapidash speed ties Scyther, and Fire Blast is a roll to OHKO. Arcanine on the other hand, is slower than Scyther, meaning it must take a hit first before attacking it. This means that Arcanine eclipsing Rapidash means it's generally more difficult for Scyther to be revenge killed. This ties directly into the second reason why the rise of Arcanine is so good for Scyther. Where is Arcanine most common? The lead slot! This means that Arcanine is generally KOed or severely chipped very early at the game, and Scyther loves it when the opposing team's only Fire-type is so weak. Another metagame trend that Scyther likes is less usage of Thunder Wave in the tier. The days of Drowzee and Porygon are behind us. The most common twaver is Staryu now, and a lot of teams pack 0-1 Thunder Wave users nowadays. Since Scyther hates para, it welcomes this change with open... claws?

So what makes Scyther so good to the point where I think it's a top 6 PU mon? Well at first people played this mon like it was a Slash machine. You come in at the 40% Fearow, kill it with Slash, then Slash stuff until you go down. However, I honestly think if you focus on Swords Dance + Hyper Beam, and treat Slash like a secondary option, Scyther is much more dangerous. A +2 Scyther can easily with a game outright, especially if the opponent doesn't have Scyther or Rapidash. Setting up with Scyther isn't as difficult as it seems. The criteria I use to set up Scyther's Swords Dance is that you should set up on a mon that:
  • Cannot Paralyze or OHKO Scyther
  • Is at low enough HP to be KOed by +2 Hyper Beam or Wing Attack
If both of these criteria are met, Scyther is free to set up. This list is generally the following Pokemon: Nidoqueen, Fearow (watch out for crit), Unboosted Seaking, Gastly (once sleep clause is active), Pinsir, and Machamp. . This list may seem small, but it's not as bad as it seems. Nidoqueen, Fearow, and Seaking are on the majority of teams, and Gastly is also on a good amount. In addition, Scyther is a revenge killer; it doesn't have to switch in directly to these mons, and since it's revenging it should be able to set up safely since the mon it's coming in to revenge is likely chipped (at least enough to die to +2 Hyper Beam). Scyther can also set up freely on sleeping Pokemon, which is a bonus.

I'll end this little essay talking about Scyther's remaining issues. First of all, Graveler is a huge problem for it. Scyther can't really touch Graveler at all while Grav OHKOes in return with Rock Slide. However, Graveler is quite uncommon, and it is possible to be overloaded when it has to check Scyther + Fearow. There's also a Gastly issue, but the Gastly issue isn't as bad as it seems. If Gastly comes in on Slash, then yeah big problem, but if it comes in on Swords Dance, it MUST hit Hypnosis or Crit with Thunderbolt since +2 Wing Attack 2HKOes it. This means there's at worst a 40% chance you win the Gastly MU, and is much higher once Sleep clause is active. In addition, Gastly is an early-game mon a lot of the time and Scyther is a late-game mon so they don't run into each other a whole lot. Scyther's last issue is that it's just weak enough to miss out on some damage rolls, such as against Fearow. This means that Scyther really wants to wait for the opposing team to be chipped before sweeping.

So that's the story of the biggest glow-up in all of PU, and why the Mantis Pokemon is among the best Pokemon in the tier.

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the freeze queen
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderator
LTC tour just ended and i have new takes

Screenshot 2024-02-08 at 5.21.16 PM.png

:fearow: This thing is broken, hits like a truck, super high critrate that can flip a matchup, and is threatening the moment it hits the field
:arcanine: Best lead, great in the back back, one of the only mons that's good in all stages of a game. I consider it to be the least droppable mon in the tier. It's the only mon I didn't drop once during LTC.
:nidoqueen: Can basically trade with the whole tier, gets Staryu into fearow range, decent soft-check to Fearow and Arcanine, and basically impossible to switch into. Issues are speed and bad defensive typing.

:gastly: 60% of the time this is the #1 mon in the tier. If it hits hypnosis is can go 2-for-1 pretty often since psychic and tbolt give perfect coverage and hit every top mon except arc super-effectively. This coverage makes it a phenomenal special attacker even without Hypnosis
:staryu: Basically single-handedly invalidates early-game seaking, and is very hard to switch into. The best twaver in the tier and none of the twave immunes switch into it. The main issue is of course getting revenge killed super easily.
:seaking: I'm gonna be honest this mon is super overrated. People are spamming the daylights out of Gastly/Staryu rn and that kinda invalidates earlygame seaking due to how Staryu basically gets a free switch and can fuck up your team. Ofc seaking has the crit hbeam ohko on Staryu but base 68 speed doesn't give the best critrate. Still a fantastic mon of course, but it was a lot better before, I just don't see it robbing games to the extent that Fearow does. Also magneton is on the rise which is also bad for Seaking. I didn't bring it once to finals, and I don't regret a thing.
:scyther: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/rby-pu-hub.3700527/post-9906978 (ignore the part where I have it at 6 lol)

:graveler: Grav has grown on me a lot recently, probably because I think Fearow and Scyther are amazing, as well as having a relatively low Seaking, but the ability to just shut down Fearow and Scyther is huge considering how dangerous they are.
:magneton: I've been experimenting a lot with Magneton recently, and it's very good. The only mon that beats both fearow and seaking and despite having a shitty Nidoqueen matchup, it has 5 teammates that can try to remove it.
:rapidash: Quite low on rapidash right now. I just feel like Scyther is just a more consistent "faster than fearow" mon. Obviously it still has that godly speed tier and a strong fire blast, but idk I'm not to hot on dash rn.

:porygon: Wall porygon is ass but Agility pory defnitely has some merits. I'm a pretty big fan of Agility + Twave + Recover porygon with one attacking move. It also basically won the LTC tour which is sick.
:magmar: Trade the fearow matchup for cheese moves cray and smokescreen. Kinda funny to use, and beats Seaking more often than you think, but hard to fit since it's a fire-type that doesn't really check Fearow (especially since I'm a fan of dropping fblast for psychic)

:drowzee: Drowzee's fall from grace is honestly tragic, this fast meta is just so hostile to it, but it does share the trait with Gastly in that once it hits Hypnosis, it's very hard to switch into. However, Gastly has a much easier time landing that Hypnosis due to speed.
:dragonair: Agiliwrap can work but it also can fail. Has a big gastly issue tho, and Nidoqueen kinda destroys it as well.
:abra: I brought this mon to the semifinals of the LTC tour and it honestly did well (even though it fucking died because it missed an ohko due to 1/256 lmao). Still has the same issues as before regarding it's allergy to Hyper Beam, but Gastly eclipsing Drowzee as the go-to sleeper is defnitely a trend in Abra's favor.

:pinsir: Very similar to abra (strong wallbreaker with awful matchups vs fearow and fire-types) but I do think Abra is a bit more threatening than Pinsir once it hits the field
:omanyte: This is a matchup fish for back fires. The lines vs lead Arcanine are honestly terrible, and if you want a fearow/scyther answer use Graveler instead. Also Seaking beats Back fires while also threatening other things like Nidoqueen.
:vileplume: Hardest counter to SurfBolt Staryu but kinda sucks against anything else, it's a decent MU fish for blizzless Seaking though. Just not a fan of this mon
:machamp: If fearow didn't exist Machamp would probably be like 5 spots higher but Fearow does exist, and Machamp sucks as a result

:sandslash: This meta is so hostile to Sandslash with all the water-type spam going on. There's also barely any twave in the tier rn so Slash can't really sweep a weakned team.
:pidgeot: A second Fearow, but Scyther is a better second Fearow.
:arbok: Glare + Wrap is good at making your opponent smash the computer but unreliable, and it's outsped by 2 mons that are on the majority of teams.
:marowak: lmao

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