Gen 1 RBY UU General Discussion


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Are trade backs from GSC allowed in RBY UU? If so, it might be neat to have a Petal Dance Golduck, especially since it gets amnesia and it is essentially would like HP Grass for a Gen 1 game.
RBY tradebacks would have a different tier set with its own UU based on RBY Tradebacks OU.

OU is the same ban-wise for both non-tradebacks and tradebacks because Mew and Mewtwo being broken for both is so clear cut.
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The ladder's back in action, so let's talk balance issues. There have been complaints in the past about Articuno, Dragonite, and Moltres. I'd like to hear the community's thoughts on those mons in particular, as next month we'll be doing an RBY UU Test ladder (for the staff's pick) without whichever ones are still considered busted. Hopefully, that'll give us better insight on how the format fares both with and without those mons, and we can opt to just ban them for real if there's a significant improvement. This won't be a formal suspect test or anything; we'll just be going by community response.

Also, if anyone has cool replays or sample teams they'd like to share, those would also be fly. Always cool to have extra resources so more peeps can hop into the format quickly. On that note, the RoA PS Room has 3 sample teams already :3
I don't really find them OP at all. Actually I don't see them used that much. Never encountered Nite or Moltres (in battles I played or watched), personally I started out using Articuno but soon I found out that it's simply 1-dimensional and gets walled easily by the likes of Tentacurel (now this is an OP mon in UU!) or Omastar. Seen Articuno used a few times by other players but not nearly as much as I initially thought he would be.

I think that even though they have amazing base stats they're too limited in their play. Cuno and Moltres can only use their stab and hyper beam (Omastar ;) ), while Nite seems to outclassed by Tentacruel as a wrapper simply because tentacruel outspeed 90% of mons without the need of agility. Also it hits harder from the special side. A non-wrapper DNite set might be interesting though. However Dragonite will have to face the issues of no-stab moves and horrible 4xweakness to ice which means that previously mentioned cruel and omastar ohkoes him with blizzard.
After playing over 150 games on the Gen1 UU ladder, here is how I would rank the Gen1 UU tier. I don't see any Pokemon as broken, and if we start banning things, it will just snowball into more getting banned, and other things being deemed broken/over powered. It isn't a very centralized tier, like Gen1 OU, meaning you can never fully cover every threat with just 6 Pokemon.

Current # of viable Pokémon in the tier: 19

S Rank


A+ Rank
A Rank
Articuno, Dragonite, Kangaskan
A- Rank
Dugtrio, Kadabra

B+ Rank
Electabuzz, Moltres
B Rank
Dodrio, Haunter, Omastar, Persian
B- Rank
Raichu, Vaporeon, Victreebel

C+ Rank
C Rank
Golduck, Poliwrath

Anything that is not on this list above, may have some niche uses, but should be the main choices. The one's listed below, can be some what viable, but are out classed by the ones listed above.

Notable mentions:
Blastoise, Charizard, Clefable, Dewgong, Fearow, Mr. Mime, Sandslash, Tangela, Venasaur


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I'm honestly in a similar boat as far as Arti / Molt / Dnite go. Their Speed is kinda middling, leaving all three reliant on Agility. Arti and Molt are relatively easy to check, while Dnite's a bit more versatile but not as immediately threatening. I think they fit into the tier nicely, and none of them are outright dominating it. Tenta's also pretty solid, but not what I'd call OP; it's a threat for sure, but it's still susceptible to paralysis and several common weaknesses.

Right now, I'd say the tier's actually pretty diverse, which is refreshing for RBY. It's also fast-paced and fun imo. No one seems to be clamoring for bans this time around, so it looks like things have settled well after the initial hype. If someone has a case to make for something being broken, I'm all ears, but I don't think we need to be running a suspect format next month. We'll probably be using Staff Pick for a more wild RBY ladder instead~
So... Time to drop my thoughts on the tier (again).

This tier revolves around Tentacruel, which is easily the best Pokemon in it, due to having 100 Base speed Wrap and 120 Base special, enabling it to check the Legendary Birds plus Dragonite and basically any Water type in the tier. It makes it so that the best answers to Tentacruel are the few Pokemon that naturally outspeed it and can hit it super effectively -Electabuzz/Raichu [Raichu only speed ties], Kadabra and Dugtrio- all of which are frail, and in Kadabra's case hard to keep away from paralysis thanks to the second most dominant Pokemon in the tier, Hypno. So if anything in this tier in its current form needs to be in discussion for a ban, it is Tentacruel.

As hinted in the above paragraph, you also have your RBY-typical Psychic types in this tier. Here they are Hypno, which is generally hard to take down and can threaten basically anything with T-Wave, leading to itself being its best answer; and Kadabra, being a fast and strong revenge killer and Psychic switch-in, having access to Thunderwave as well.

Where there are Psychic types in RBY, Normal types won't be far away. The Normal Types of this tier are Kangaskhan, Persian and Dodrio (Raticate thoeretically has a niche with Super Fang, but it's not worth using imo). Hard hitters that are not easy to switch into, but also relatively frail on the special side, which makes them manageble.

Then you have the Legendary Birds -Articuno and Moltres- both of which are incredibly powerful but relatively one-dimensional which leaves them both checked by Water types like Vaporeon and the omnipresent Tentacruel. Both even have their respective hard-counters in Omastar [4x resists Fire for Moltres] and Dewgong [4x resists Ice + freeze immune for Articuno], which both come with their advantages and disadvantages: Dewgong does not resist Fire anymore and is generally not as bulky as Vaporeon, but has a stronger Blizzard than other Water Types. Omastar's Rock typing is both a blessing and curse, as it enables it to check the Normal Types of the tier -especially Dodrio and Persian, not so much Kangaskhan- better than Vaporeon and turns it into a counter for Dragonite which cannot even hope to wrap it in range of Thunderbolt. The downside is that it does not take on other Water types as well due to losing the Water resistence and not being able to switch into Dugtrio. Generally, I see Omastar and Vaporeon roughly on the same level and Dewgong below the two, but it does have its merit, I think.

Next you have the Electric types, Electabuzz and Raichu who I see on roughly the same level. Electabuzz' advatage is that it outspeeds Tentacruel as opposed to speed tie like Raichu, but it trades Surf for Psychic, which is worse vs ground types but better vs Haunter. Raichu has access to Agility however which Electabuzz does not; not a huge deal, but it is something.

The Nr.1 Electric check in this tier is Dugtrio because it can switch in on Thunderbolt and outspeed them and most importantly, it outspeeds Tentacruel and is thus a way to threaten it. The speed also helps vs the Legenadary Birds, Dugtrio is able to 2HKO them with Rock Slide. These are the reasons why it is used in place of another Ground type like Sandslash for example. Due to its speed, Dugtrio is one of the most dangerous sweepers in the tier. It is worth noting however, that Dugtrio is weak and does not even OHKO Electabuzz or Raichu.

Since Dugtrio is the fastest used Pokemon in this tier [which comes with that high critical hit chance] one has to have switch-ins that can take 2 hits from it, if need be. The best switch-ins are Gyarados and Dragonite since even Rock Slide does not do that much damage to them and they in return threaten a lot of damage on the opposing Team, once brought in on Dugtrio thanks to their great Attack and good Speacial paired with excellent coverage. You also have the buky Water types, mainly Vaporeon and grass types, mostly Tangela but also Victreebel and Venusaur [which is mostly outclassed by Victreebel, but for switching into Dugtrio specifically is acually better thanks to surperior bulk]. But those Grass types all suffer from the presence of the Legendary Birds and Dragonite and have a hard time achieving much, but still can inflict status like sleep and paralysis.

Which brings me to the sleepers in this tier. Most good Pokemon in the tier that can inflict sleep have to rely on Hypnosis to do so, like Haunter, which is also the only Wrap-immune Pokemon in the tier, and Hypno. Sleep Powder is used by Victreebel and Tangela, which like mentioned have a hard time dealing with prominent threats of the tier. Other options with an "accurate" Sleep Powder are available, like Venusaur, Butterfree, Venomoth, Exeggcute and even Parasect with Spore, but they are generally even worse.

In terms of Viability Rankings, to me it looks something like this (not ordered within the subranks):

S Rank
A Rank
Kangaskhan, Dragonite, Kadabra
-Dugtrio, Articuno, Electabuzz
B Rank
Vaporeon, Raichu, Persian, Haunter, Gyarados,
-Dodrio, Omastar, Victreebel, Moltres,
(C Rank
Tangela, Poliwrath, Charizard, Venusaur, Blastiose, Clefable, Dewgong ?)
(D Rank
whatever else you can think of haveing theoretcally a niche, but being shit because Tentacruel exists...)

About Tentacruel,
it is a very centralizing Pokemon in the tier and restricts teambuilding immensely (I think it is the sole reason that the Legendary Birds are not even as great as one would think). And this is the point, it keeps theoretically great Pokemon from being as good in UU as they "should" be. Some things feel not natural in this tier and I believe it is due to Tentacruel.
Some examples are the Legendary Birds, which have great stats but are not even used much on teams (they would not be broken without Cruel anyway, because Vaporeon is a fantastic check), and Vaporeon (which is the go-to bulky water of this tier, but it is much less effective as that role "should" let it be).
Other "unnatural" things in my opinion are that the go-to ground type is undisputedly Dugtrio and I think it should at least share that spot with Sandslash because that is just a "better" Pokemon overall. Yes speed is important so Dugtrio has its right to be used as the Ground type of a team, but Sandslash "should" make an appearacne here as well,I think. It does not, and the biggest reason is, I believe, that Dugtrio outspeeds Tentacruel and can rvenge kill it.
The list goes on in the choice of the Electric type. Electabuzz is probably the favoured Electric type of the tier thanks to outspeeding Tentacruel as opposed to sharing Tentacruel's speed. This is something that should just not be the case in my opinion, becasue Raichu's Surf should always be prefered over Electabuzz' Psychic, simply because it hits Ground types super effectively, otherwise Raichu and Buzz are practically identical, so there should not be toomuch reason to run Buzz over Raichu imo, the only reason being Tentacruel.
With all that being said, the tier is definitely playable with Tentacruel, and it's probably not exactly broken. Additionally we (or at least I) have not understood this tier enough to be able to judge it correctly, I think. The greatest questionmark of the tier for me remains Moltres, as I don't find its place on teams really (Articuno at least wins vs Dugtrio and Dragonite).

Are there plans to go further and explore a potential RU on smogon? If so we could do the same as for OU and draw the line based on Viability. In my personal rankings, C-rank would entirely go down to RU, the only debatables are Charizard and Poliwrath imo. Wrath I'd probably stick into UU because of Hypnosis, access to EQ to surprise Tentacruel switching in expecting to come in on Amnesia or something. Charizard is only debatable because Tentacruel exists and it shares the same speed with access to EQ, otherwise it does not belong in a tier where Moltres already struggles.
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