Lower Tiers RBY UU Discussion Thread (2016-2017)

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It's June 1st, which means the RoA Rotational Ladder is underway. Shoutout to The Immortal for hooking us up with that. The first featured metagame will be RBY UU, which is currently being revamped. Using the RBY OU Viability Rankings as the basis for the tier, everything from B and up will be considered OU, with C and below being (at least initially) legal in UU.

Ubers: Mew, Mewtwo
OU: Alakazam, Chansey, Cloyster, Exeggutor, Gengar, Golem, Jolteon, Jynx, Lapras, Rhydon, Slowbro, Snorlax, Starmie, Tauros, Zapdos

A few Pokemon have notably dropped from Smogon's traditional OU list, namely Articuno, Dragonite, Persian, and Victreebel. The traditional BL list has also been unleashed, freeing all of Clefable, Dodrio, Dugtrio, Gyarados, Haunter, Hypno, Kadabra, Kangaskhan, Moltres, Mr. Mime, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Raichu, Tentacruel, and Venusaur.

This ladder is only temporary (likely just a month, though possibly more if balancing takes longer or it's extremely popular), so I recommend diving in right away. Use this thread to discuss good sets, strategies, and underrated threats in the new metagame. You can also discuss potential suspects, but there won't be any complicated suspect tests or tiering councils or anything. I expect the playerpool to be small enough here that we can shape the format together through community discussions.

If there's a ridiculous amount of support to ban something broken, quickbanning is a great option available to us. Otherwise, we'll probably focus discussion for a few days around the suspect(s) and remove them if there's overwhelming support.

Posting replays and teams is highly encouraged to help others break into the tier. Theorymonning sets and cores is fine for the first day or two while everything's new, but try to start backing up your arguments with experience after that.

With that said, how insane does this format look? I mean, the Flyers look top (Dragonite, Articuno, and Moltres in particular, but Dodrio and Gyarados are both snazzy, too), while Normals and Psychics take a bit of a fall from grace. Still, both types have some cool threats (notably Kangaskhan, Dodrio, Persian, and Clefable for Normals, and Hypno and Kadabra for Psychics). Wrap looks awful to face with all of Dragonite, Moltres, Victreebel, and Tentacruel hanging around. Articuno, Gyarados, Haunter, Raichu, and Kadabra spring to mind as some potentially useful countermeasures, though.

The tier looks wickedly offensive at first glance. I'm gonna start building some teams for now, looking forward to really trying it out after work tonight. What threats are you guys most eager to test? If you've played a few games already, what are your initial impressions?
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Banned deucer.
Teambuilder still needs to fix that if possible, they are still on BL and if you set the format to "Gen 1 UU" you cannot select them unless you search them

EDIT: There is team preview, is this intended or not?
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Teambuilder still needs to fix that if possible, they are still on BL and if you set the format to "Gen 1 UU" you cannot select them unless you search them

EDIT: There is team preview, is this intended or not?
Team preview's not intended. I personally don't know how to edit PS's teambuilder tier list, but I've updated Smogon's on-site lists at least :3
Team preview's not intended. I personally don't know how to edit PS's teambuilder tier list, but I've updated Smogon's on-site lists at least :3
To make sure, these are permanent changes to the RBY tier list? I didn't change it on PS because I assumed this ladder was a test or something, with permanent changes to follow.

Edit: My bad on the team preview / other clauses.
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Question: When RBY UU's run is over, who decides what the next thing to rotate in is? Is there any rhyme or reason to what gets picked? If not, I'd like to suggest that we follow what the Other Meta of the Month people do: Basically, the thread is locked and a mod posts the names of however many choices we have, one per post, and the winner is the meta that gets the most likes. That'd mean we could see what people are interested in, which (hopefully) means they'd play it when it comes out.
(That's just my suggestion though. Sorry if it's not something you'd like to do.)
Looks fine to me. As in... it's just the usual BL tier that has been renamed to UU. I assume that if a NU tier eventually comes out from this it will look pretty much the same as the UU tier we're all used to.

I think we used to have BL tournaments in RBY2k10 and I remember it was a quite fast-paced and dynamic metagame. The balance of the different types was good to see too. Fun meta for a change of pace from time to time.

P.S.: I don't think much suspect testing is needed. Granted there are some Pokemon that look more centralizing than others, but can you argue that they are more than Tauros in OU or Mewtwo in Ubers? Doubt it.
To make sure, these are permanent changes to the RBY tier list? I didn't change it on PS because I assumed this ladder was a test or something, with permanent changes to follow.

Edit: My bad on the team preview / other clauses.
It looks like PS is using the old Smogon list from when Hip deleted BL years ago, in which case, you might as well just switch to what can accurately be played on PS. Outside of this test, old-school players often go by RBY2k10's list (which was what I think was on-site, with 15 BL mons) and new-school players usually prefer PP's (which looked similar to this prior to bans, but Rhydon and no Dragonite are major differences).


Banned deucer.
When this will be up? because I can't still go with Persian, Victreebel, Articuno, etc...
You can, just search for the Pokemon and use it

Thoughts from what i played for now:

  • #BanMoltres
  • Hypno, Kadabra, Haunter are like the best leads right now
  • You will almost need a Grass type type to deal with Raichu, or T-wave that as soon as possible
  • Bulky water(Vaporeon, Golduck, Poliwrath or Tentacruel) are pretty crucial to check Articuno which hits like a truck
  • Really fast-paced metagame
  • Dragonite doesn't seem as broken as I thought it would. I mean, It's like in OU, a bit dificult to setup(Although it's easier here), Haunter checks its Wrap and misses are a thing.
  • Pretty sure this meta would be healthier being wrap-less, but still, it's a fun metagame and cooler than the RBY UU that we had before.
  • Still I have to try some Pokemon, Persian in particular.


Banned deucer.
So after playing quite a few ladder matches, I concluded that I really like RBY UU as the big 4 in OU (Tauros, Chansey, Snorlax, and Exeggutor) do not exist to centralize the meta. There is quite a bit of variety and a lot more interesting mons that are quite unexpectedly good in this meta. However, there is one (maybe 2) mons that are a bit too strong for the current meta that I will like to address:

Ban Dragonite
AgiliWrap is already quite a nuisance in OU as it basically leaves the Dnite player with total control of the game (only factoring the 15% miss rate that the move has), and can lead to certain death to some mons once they start getting trapped. Although there are answers to the strat in OU like Rhydon, Golem, Gengar, etc... that make it less rewarding in a way. However in UU, the only solid answer there is to it is Haunter and it does not appreciate switching in on Blizzards either way. Dragonite also is not even required to setup an Agility due to the speed tiers in UU being less volatile compared to OU, which means it can weaken things with Wrap and pick enemies off with Hyper Beam. Here is an example of the "strategy" in action:


Moltres is another culprit to "partial" trapping moves with Fire Spin, however the added resistances to Fire-type moves in Water and other Fire-types marginalizes this a bit, so I don't have an opinion on it yet.

Also, here is my idea on a Viability Rankings of the meta so far:

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 UU teams and these Pokemon are the best at their certain roles.

A Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are outstanding in the RBY UU 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.

B Rank: Reserved for Pokemon who are very good in the RBY UU 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.
C Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that have solid niches in the RBY UU metagame, but nonetheless are generally inconsistent. These Pokemon have definite flaws, but may have positive aspects which can make them worth using.
D Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are mediocre in the RBY UU 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.
Thoughts on both ideas?
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porco dio

Banned deucer.
Moltres is another culprit to "partial" trapping moves with Fire Spin, however the added resistances to Fire-type moves in Water and other Fire-types marginalizes this a bit, so I don't have an opinion on it yet.
What you might find is that with its ability to burn all of its checks other than other fire types and the fact that fire is a good attacking type that fire blast + fire spin with those stats is kinda borked too. The fact that even OMASTAR is a kind of a poor check to Moltres shows how powerful the strat is tbh. Molts main issue is poor synergy with articuno.

Also as in OU dnite is only a problem if u let it set up. Persian, Duggy, Dodrio, and Kanga are I guess its best set up baits that you should be seeing in the meta. Also Articuno is obv a good check - outspeeds initially, great bulk, can OHKO.
The fact that even OMASTAR is a kind of a poor check to Moltres shows how powerful the strat is tbh. Molts main issue is poor synergy with articuno.
Please! Porco dIo EXplain to me how Omastar is a poor check to Moltres other than that it might get burned and then fire spinned to death which is still super unlikely due to a) Fire Blast does not need to burn it in the first place b)even if it gets burned Fire Spin has such a poor accuracy that it probably will not hit enough times to actually kill Omastar, which in return just uses Rest on a miss and gets rid of the burn
Omastar is a hard counter for Moltres and if u really manage to beat an Omastar 1v1 with a Moltres u just got really lucky.
Still Omastar is not all that viable in this tier due to Razor Leafers and Raichu and Amnesia users being around, so I'll give u that....

Regarding Dnite and Moltres I have not formed a final opinion yet.

Funbot28, your initial viability rankings look solid, but some small modifications I would make at first glance:
First you got Kingler in both B and C rank, remove it from B imo and just keep it in C. Also Vaporeon is fat af and very important to check the legendary birds so i would bump that to A together with Tentacruel which does the same job but more offensively with SD and the beloved Wrap that is so omnipresent in this tier.
At the same time Staryu has a niche being able to switch into both of the legendary birds and paralyze them with acces to Recover, it dies to a normal hit plus crit though, I'd say B or C for it.
Lastly Kadabra could go up to A if Haunter and Golduck are there because I feel a fast mon that can use T-Wave is not less useful than those two...

porco dio

Banned deucer.
bear in mind with a burn it turns a fire spin that does like 2% into one that does like 8% per fire spin hit. In fact doing the actual calcs, it takes given lowest roll non crit fire blast and lower roll fire spin and at worst you need to hit 14 fire spins total. Expected number of hits is 3 per spin, so on average you need to hit 4 fire spins which has about 30% odds, and that's without omastar laying a finger on you. FURTHERMORE Omastar can't OHKO you without a critical hit (Omastar Hydro Pump vs. Moltres: 246-290 (64.2 - 75.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO) so depending on gamestate you can afford to miss once even. Also nothing can OHKO Moltres with Rock Slide after a burn (even Rhydon which is illegal barely 2HKOs) so ANY check which is slower and not a fire type risks about a 9% (~0.3 * ~0.9 * ~0.31 = 0.0851..) to fail to even get off a single attack before going down assuming it switches in on Fire Blast and Moltres stays in, so slightly lower odds than that of a freeze from blizzard factoring accuracy. In fact the real number would be slightly higher due to critical hits (and Moltres has a ~17% crit rate). For any other water type the odds will be at least as bad as this if they are outsped, and the only water type that does outspeed is Tentacruel which is useless outside of beating Moltres if it gets burnt.
also with vaporeon the bulkiest water you're likely to see, assuming min roll fire blast and average roll fire spin with no crits, it only needs 8 hits total, so you only need to hit ~2.7 [8/3] fire spins in order to break it. Going through the mathematics again and not factoring critical hits you have ~12.5%, or about 1 in 8, chance of breaking vaporeon with Moltres assuming Vaporeon switches in on moltres and moltres doesn't switch out. Or since you're not likely to stay in if you don't burn, that's about 40% chance to break vaporeon without it getting a hit off on you. [That number is about 28% for omastar]

So Moltres is able to beat its bulkiest most common check roughly 40% of the time if it burns with its fire blast without getting hit whatsoever.

I also failed to factor in hyper beam so the number is possibly even higher though my means of estimating it means that I might be erroneous by a few %. I don't really care too much though, so this is just back-of-the-envelope calculations.

Also note vaporeon barely 2HKOs moltres (Vaporeon Surf vs. Moltres: 188-222 (49 - 57.9%) -- 98.2% chance to 2HKO)

Also staryu is barely a check to either bird
Moltres Fire Blast + Hyper Beam vs. Staryu: 77.1% chance to OHKO [not factoring accuracy / critical hits / status]
with lower odds for Articuno due to its lower attack stat (19.9% not factoring accuracy / critical hits / status) and the fact that staryu/cuno speed tie.
these calcs are easier to check with sulcata's calculator btw which does have this niche over PS's calc @_@
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I have to disagree with Omastar not being ranked at all. It counters Moltres, Articuno and Dragonite (unless it packs Thunderbolt, which would still only deal 36.4-43.1%) - your entire S-Rank - as well as some strong physical attackers like Dodrio and Persian. Its good physical defenses and high special atk allow it to beat even EQ-Kangaskhan and Dugtrio in one-on-one combat. Although Raichu is a strong check, it won't appreciate switching in on Hydro Pump (47.6 - 56%) or even Blizzard (31.5 - 37.4%). It has enough special bulk to not get 2HKOed by any non-stab Thunderbolt. Razor-Leaf users beat it in one shot, but also won't like to switch into its Blizzard. Amnesia is a potent threat, however, and it will often give users of this at least one turn of setup while switching out, as well as allow Raichu to paralyze or damage your switch-in. Still, I believe it is a good choice, and if only to have a last-resort against a strong sweeper of which I mentioned.

I agree with Lusch in Kadabra being A-tier as well. Fast, Thunder Wave, a strong Psychic, as well as Recover and either Reflect or Seismic Toss - overall similar to why Alakazam is so good in OU.

I can't say much about Dragonite so far, as I haven't seen it yet. I might try it myself soon to give some feedback on this.

Apart from this, your rankings look solid. However, I might have missed some Pokémon that you haven't listed.


is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcher
Okay, dominated the ladder, here's some of my thoughts:

Maybe it's because I'd played a very similar meta over on Pokemon Perfect and had come into this well prepared for how to deal with Legendary Birds, but so far none of Articuno, Moltres or even Dragonite have been problems for me. There are a lot of viable Water-types, and generally packing any 2 of them works quite well for checking them. And no, Razor Leaf users aren't a huge issue for Waters when they take a very heavy hit from Blizzard and can't do much about Haunter/Fire-types.

Hypno should be S ranked. Hypno has literally no down-sides. It has good bulk, an excellent typing, a very strong Psychic only resisted by itself and Kadabra, Hypnosis and Thunder Wave, and doesn't add any weaknesses to a team. I'd dare say it's better than all of S rank outside of hax/partial trapping abuse.

In a Moltres/Articuno/Dragonite meta, Omastar I'd say is B worthy for the reasons GeneralGinyu mentioned. I've used it a lot and it's ability to check Persian and wall all birds + standard Dragonite is extremely valuable, and with para support it can make good use of that 115 Special.

Staryu needs to be ranked. I used Staryu quite a bit on Pokemon Perfect's UU before Articuno/Moltres were banned there, and saw decent success with it. I've used Staryu in every battle I've played on the ladder on Showdown and reached #1 with a good win/loss ratio. The simple fact is, while Moltres and Articuno *can* break Staryu, very often the result of trying to break Staryu is a dead bird and Staryu near full HP. Thunder Wave + Recover is not to be underestimated. The fact that Articuno/Moltres require Hyper Beam to have a shot at 2HKOing is also quite abusable. Thunder Wave is also a big help in making Electrics wary of switching in, since their speed is a major factor in their power. Honestly, if it had just a little more bulk or was faster than Moltres, I'd say it'd even be B worthy. As it is though, it is pretty frail and can be inconsistent, so C rank should be appropriate for it. Legendary Birds are a major factor in its viability though, as Staryu is only really effective with them and the Waters they attract, so if the birds get banned Staryu should be unranked.

Rapidash is C worthy. It lacks Moltres' bulk and doesn't have nearly as strong of a Fire Blast, but where its strength lies is speed. 105 Speed makes it faster than Dodrio, Raichu, Tentacruel, Moltres, Kangaskhan, Haunter and Raticate, and allows it to speed-tie Kadabra and Electabuzz without requiring Agility. It also has Fire Spin, giving it the same Burn + Spin to Win combo Moltres can abuse (again, without requiring Agility to hit the base 100s). I'd almost say unrank Arcanine too (Arcanine has more bulk and 10 more Attack, but loses 10 speed and lacks Fire Spin), but I haven't gone through calcs yet to see if Arcanine's bulk is important.

Raticate needs to get ranked somewhere too, somewhere around B/C rank. Super Fang is not fun to switch into, and Super Fang + Hyper Beam is a very strong combo that can 2HKO a large number of Pokemon.

For a couple niche mons that could go to D:
Poliwhirl - it has +5 Speed, Hypnosis and Psychic over Golduck and +20 speed and no Fighting-typing over Poliwrath. It's stats are very mediocre though, and before Amnesia it's not much of a threat.
Primeape - If you want a Fighting-type that also takes on legendary birds one on one, look no further than Primeape. Rock Slide + Thunderbolt is a great combo for a Fighting-type to have in a Articuno/Moltres meta, especially with base 95 speed. Outspeeding Kangaskhan is also a nice bonus. But like Staryu, it should be unranked if Legendary Birds get banned.
Dragonair - if there's one thing I learned from tiering over on Pokemon Perfect, it's that doubling up on very similar Pokemon can actually be very viable in RBY. Dragonair can work as a backup Dragonite, picking up after Dragonite if it fumbles Wrap. It may also be effective using Dragonite or the loss of it to eliminate Wrap counters, then surprising your opponent with a second AgiliWrapper.

Edit: A couple more possible D ranks:
Butterfree - Like Venomoth, except slower, weaker. Upside though is that it isn't destroyed by Psychics, and provides Earthquake immunity for chain switching or picking off weakened Sandslash or Graveler. Best use is as a lead that sleeps Hypno and Kadabra, then either spread as much para before foddering it or save it for pestering Victreebel/Venusaur.
Dewgong - Hard counter to Articuno and Waters that aren't Gyarados or Staryu, and is bulky enough to beat Moltres 1v1 (assuming no crits/no misses) despite its Ice-typing. Might be C worthy?
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Banned deucer.
Ok changed this VR list with all your suggestions. Tagging Jellicent to see his opinion on Dragonite (and maybe partial trapping as a whole in RBY UU).
(Sorry I posted this in the wrong thread at first but) ban Wrap, imo. Or at the very least, Dragonite.
While this is mostly more varied and enjoyable than RBY OU, I'm sometimes running into teams with 2-3 Wrap users, and that's half or nearly half of a team operating almost purely off of luck. The problem of Wrap abusing pokemon is worse in UU and it may be just because there are Wrap users besides Dragonite who are normally unable to function in OU because of lower stats/worse typing but can manage in UU with less powerful threats running around
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Ok changed this VR list with all your suggestions. Tagging Jellicent to see his opinion on Dragonite (and maybe partial trapping as a whole in RBY UU).
I mean, I'm not yet sold on the necessity to ban anything (we've only had the format for a few days), but I'd probably rather take on partial trapping as whole than ban Molt + Dnite. I'll weigh in more heavily on the meta in general when I have off on Tuesday~
I do not think that banning Dragonite and Moltres would be the right move (if you consider to remove it). Just the move combination of Agility and Wrap/Fire Spin should be prohibited (if implementing that would be possible) IF anything. That way both keep themself a use yet no possible Win-Condition on their own (at the very least more unlikely).
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I personally feel that the Viability Ranks are pretty balanced in general with a few exceptions...

* Dewgong: While this doesn't have Psychic and TBolt like Lapras, it's perfectly fine as an UU replacement. Water + Ice + Body Slam, and being pretty bulky, make this one a little bit more worth of a C Rank... or even bottom B rank on a stretch...

* Gyarados: This while pretty good on paper, it will be pretty disappointing in practice since it's pretty weak to Rai and TBolt Haunter (Heck even Persian can give this trouble Persian Thunderbolt vs. Gyarados: 214-252 (54.4 - 64.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO) and being also neutral to Cuno's Blizzard and being outsped is really a bad thing...

Articuno Blizzard vs. Gyarados: 153-180 (38.9 - 45.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Gyarados Thunderbolt vs. Articuno: 117-138 (30.5 - 36%) -- 47.1% chance to 3HKO

I would prefer to go with another bulky water like Golduck and/or Tenta, instead of going this way... And while it does have TBolt for bulky waters, Tenta can Wrap it to death and then duck:

Gyarados Thunderbolt vs. +2 Golduck: 79-94 (21.7 - 25.8%) -- 2.3% chance to 4HKO

So... why are we having Gyara there?

* Vaporeon: For me this is an even worst case... this is REALLY slow and without any gimmicks like Duck or Tenta or even the capability of handling fire attacks like Omastar (That should go to "C" Rank too)... so, why this one is still in "B"?

See ya guys!
I think a lot of people are underestimating the power of Victreebell. Double powder + wrap and body slam/razor leaf has been a big time help for me on the ladder. With how necessary it is to pack Articuno and Moltres checks, Victreebell has plenty of opportunity to get a powder off and proceed to give the opponent issues. I'd love to see it move at least above Venusaur who lacks the extra physical attacking muscle to get consistent damage from body slam and wrap.

Another Pokemon that I've found to be a little underused is Omastar. Omastar is a little pressured by the number of things it often is called upon to check and counter, but when the list of things it cockblocks includes Dragonite, Moltres, Persian, and Dodrio, it's hard to ignore. Not to even mention the vast number of 1v1s it wins through sheer bulk and power. As long as both Dragonite and Moltres are a part of the tier, it should really be considered to be a staple in the tier. In practice, it works just as many wonders as it does on paper. I can't count the number of games where Omastar pulled games right from out under my opponent's nose.

Has anyone used Clefable on ladder btw? It seems like a slightly worse kanga, but it's ability to run mixed sets effectively is really intriguing and it's access to sing (while not reliable by any stretch of the imagination) is interesting as well.
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