Resource SS CAP Viability Rankings

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Welcome to the official SS CAP Viability Rankings for the post Crown Tundra metagame. In this thread, we as a community will rank every single usable Pokemon into ranks. In this thread, you're encouraged to post your thoughts and opinions on the various Pokemon that are usable in CAP and what rank they should fall under. The general idea of the topic is to rank each Pokemon under "rankings" that go in descending order. Please keep in mind that the viability rankings are only for reference, they should not be treated as a fact or anything more. Keep in mind that this thread will be heavily moderated, so please stay on topic and keep the discussion on relevant Pokemon.

Given that the Post Crown Tundra is still on its early stages, the VR will be used a simplified system until the next update, which puts Pokemon into the usual S/A/B/C, but doesn't include the +/- subranks.

These users make up the viability council and have the final say on what gets moved in the ranking list. It is also their responsibility to gather community input and to make sure discussion remains on topic.


:ditto:D2TheW
:miasmaw:Darek
:tomohawk:Lasen
:shiftry: quziel
:mew:Rabia
:excadrill:SHSP
:centiskorch: snake_rattler
:komala: spoo
:pineco: Steam Buns
:swablu: dex
:arcanine: Dj Breloominati♬

Some general rules we expect everyone to follow are:
  • Posts are to follow CAP and Smogon rules; you should all know what is and is not acceptable.
  • Be respectful to other users. That means no ad hominem arguments or anything else attacking character.
  • Back up all your arguments with evidence where possible, calculations and relevant replays do wonders for supporting nominations.
  • Speaking of nominations, we'll be holding all posts that make nominations for unranked Pokemon to a higher standard than other posts. This means high level and relevant replays with solid reasoning. Anything less will be ignored by the ranking team and may be deleted.
  • Similarly, any post advocating a change of two ranks or more for an already ranked Pokemon will also be held to a higher standard. We expect high level and relevant replays along with solid reasoning, and anything less may be subject to deletion.
  • Lastly, keep your reasoning to the CAP Metagame. A Pokemon's performance in OU or any other official tier is irrelevant and posts using that as reasoning will be moderated.
Below you will find an explanation of each ranking:
S Rank: Reserved for Pokemon who shape and define the CAP metagame and are a clear-cut above the rest. These Pokemon are typically very powerful offensive threats that are difficult to prepare for or are phenomenal support and defensive threats that provide significant utility or defensive potential, respectively. Also the home of Pokemon who can easily perform multiple roles effectively, increasing their versatility and unpredictability. If the Pokemon in this rank have any flaws, those flaws are thoroughly mitigated by their substantial strengths.

A Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are fantastic in the CAP metagame, and can sweep, support, or wall significant portions of the metagame. These Pokemon require less support than most others to be used effectively and have few flaws that can easily be overlooked when compared to their positive traits.

B Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are good in the CAP metagame. These Pokemon have more notable flaws than those above them that affect how they function in the metagame. Their positive traits still outshine their negatives, but they require a bit more team support to bring out their full potential. Their niches are often smaller than those that are in A and S rank, which leads them to face some competition for a teamslot.

C Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that have notable niches in the CAP metagame, but have just as many notable flaws that prevent them from being effective. Pokemon in the C tier often require significant support to be effective. Pokemon from this rank tend to face a lot of competition with the more commonly used Pokemon.

SS CAP Viability Rankings

(In alphabetical order)

S Rank:

S Rank

(Empty)

S- Rank

:arghonaut: Arghonaut
:dragapult: Dragapult
:melmetal: Melmetal
:zapdos: Zapdos

A Rank:

A+ Rank


:clefable: Clefable
:ferrothorn: Ferrothorn
:heatran: Heatran
:landorus-therian: Landorus-Therian
:tornadus-therian: Tornadus-Therian
:weavile: Weavile

A Rank

:garchomp: Garchomp
:equilibra: Equilibra
:kartana: Kartana
:tapu lele: Tapu Lele
:toxapex: Toxapex

A- Rank

:corviknight: Corviknight
:dragonite: Dragonite
:ninetales-alola: Ninetales-Alola
:rotom-wash: Rotom-Wash
:saharaja: Saharaja
:slowbro: Slowbro
:slowking-galar: Slowking-Galar
:stratagem: Stratagem
:tapu fini: Tapu Fini
:tapu koko: Tapu Koko
:tyranitar: Tyranitar
:urshifu-rapid-strike: Urshifu-Rapid-Strike
:venomicon-epilogue: Venomicon-E

B Rank:

B+ Rank


:astrolotl: Astrolotl
:blacephalon: Blacephalon
:blaziken: Blaziken
:cawmodore: Cawmodore
:magnezone: Magnezone
:mew: Mew
:pajantom: Pajantom
:pyroak: Pyroak
:syclant: Syclant
:venomicon: Venomicon
:victini: Victini
:volcanion: Volcanion
:zapdos-galar: Zapdos-Galar
:zeraora: Zeraora

B Rank

:arctozolt: Arctozolt
:barraskewda: Barraskewda
:buzzwole: Buzzwole
:gastrodon: Gastrodon
:moltres-galar: Moltres-Galar
:pelipper: Pelipper
:rillaboom: Rillaboom
:slowking: Slowking
:skarmory: Skarmory
:volcarona: Volcarona

B- Rank

:aegislash: Aegislash
:blissey: Blissey
:colossoil: Colossoil
:excadrill: Excadrill
:fidgit: Fidgit
:jumbao: Jumbao
:necrozma: Necrozma
:nidoking: Nidoking
:Nihilego: Nihilego
:reuniclus: Reuniclus
:Revenankh: Revenankh
:tangrowth: Tangrowth
:torkoal: Torkoal
:venusaur: Venusaur

C Rank:

:Aurumoth: Aurumoth
:caribolt: Caribolt
:celesteela: Celesteela
:Chromera: Chromera
:crucibelle: Crucibelle
:cyclohm: Cyclohm
:hawlucha: Hawlucha
:Mandibuzz: Mandibuzz
:Marowak-Alola: Marowak-Alola
:miasmaw: Miasmaw
:naviathan: Naviathan
:regieleki: Regieleki
:scizor: Scizor
:seismitoad: Seismitoad
:tapu bulu: Tapu Bulu
:thundurus-therian: Thundurus-Therian
:Tomohawk: Tomohawk
 
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Zephyri

put on your headphones and burn my city
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ooo new vr! I agree with almost everything over here, but there are some placements here that irk me a bit.

:ss/buzzwole: :ss/tapu-koko: from B to A, :slowking-galar: from C to B: I'll go over these one by one

:buzzwole: Although the fact that Zygarde left the tier really does hurt this mon, it's still one of the best physical walls rn. It's fairly splashable and can switch into Phero, Rilla, Melm (with the right EVs) and Shifu, all of which are top threats. I really do feel that the definition of the A tier mons fits buzzwole much more than the B tier definition.

:tapu-koko: Screens HO with Cawm is just very easy to pilot good rn, as seen with the sheer amount of screens Koko usage in the recently concluded Cyclohm Cup. The departure of Zyg is also great for this mon, alongside the fact that it speed-ties with Spectrier. The rise of Fini and just bulky water-types in general means that there's a pretty good reason to use this mon rn, even outside of cawm HO

:slowking-galar: This thing is bulky as shit and is a very valuable asset for TR teams. It completely stops fairies and mons like phero and buzzwole. AV sets with this mon are pretty fun to use as well. With mons like Clef and Fini being so good rn, I feel like this mon deserves a B rank

Welp, there are my probably uninformed noms.
 

Rabia

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GP & NU Leader
I'd probably move Barraskewda up to B right now because rain is super dominant in the current metagame, and Barraskewda is probably the most constant of the teammates outside of Pelipper (as in, it's almost always on rain teams, whereas every other slot can somewhat be justified to drop? outside of probably Urshifu-R).

Arctozolt is definitely C rank; STAB BoltBeam coverage is pretty unfair, and Arctozolt is fine enough at forcing out common defensive options like Moltres, Toxapex, and Tornadus-T to set up Substitute or just attack whatever is coming in. The pool of physical walls that can handle Bolt Beam / Icicle Crash / Freeze-Dry is very limited, and I think hail teams are passable enough to warrant ranking Arctozolt. I think my week 2 CAP Snake game does a far job of showing Arctozolt's ability, although the game wasn't super clean.

I definitely can get behind raising Galarian Slowking, and I think maybe A rank could be reasonable. Yeah, you do have to predict a fair bit when using it because its STAB attacks are pretty easy to come in on, but Future Sight does the same shit it always does, and it's a pretty good answer to Quiver Dance Pheromosa, so that's nice.

Swampert probably could drop to B; it's fine on rain as an Electric-immune option, but with Thundurus-T getting better and Seismitoad being pretty good too, it's not a super defined niche. As a defensive Pokemon, it's not very hard to wear down through status and repetitive hits because of the reliance on Leftovers for recovery. Like, there aren't a lot of Pokemon that can compress into one slot all the roles Swampert offers (Volt Switch blocker, Stealth Rock, pivot, Heatran check), but I feel that durability is a legitimate issue for it and makes reliably performing all of these roles rather difficult at times.
 

dex

En Aften Ved Svanefossen
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I agree with a lot of what Rabia said, so I'll give some suggestions for other mons.
I'd move Tyranitar up to A. Tyranitar is up and away the best sand setter between itself and Hippowdon, and with Dracozolt in the tier, sand is a very real threat in the metagame. Additionally, Tyranitar has the added benefit of checking certain Spectrier sets, while being one of the best answers to the slows. In particular, its SR/Toxic set is quite good right now. Unlike Pelipper, Tyranitar is good on its own without weather sweepers, so I think it deserves a rank up.
I'd move Slowking down to B while moving Galarian Slowking up to A. As some have experienced, AV G-King is ridiculously bulky, and STAB Sludge Bomb allows it to deal quite a lot of pressure. It is perhaps the best answer to Tapu Fini, which is a mon a lot of teams struggle against. As a result of G-King being so good, Slowking has somewhat lost its dominance over the meta. Though it's not bad by any means as checking Libra is something G-King struggles in somewhat, G-King is usually better, and the ranking should reflect that.
Lastly, Zapdos-Galar should be C. Not only does it prevent you from running normal Zapdos because of species-clause, but it is a middling breaker in and of itself. It gets chipped way too easily, and doesn't have the luxury of running Protective Pads like Mosa or Shifu because then it seriously lacks both power and speed. There are just too many easy answers for it in the meta, like Zapdos, Clefable, and Toxapex, that completely shut it down. Additionally, the prevalence of Rocky Helmet makes the meta even more inhospitable for G-Dos, so a drop in the rankings should happen.
 
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Alright, time for a very small VR update! We've decided to keep using the simplified ranks for this update, we'll do the full +/- subranks next time.

Code:
Rises:
Hydreigon B → A
Nidoking B → A
Tyranitar B → A
Hawlucha C → B
Slowking-Galar C → B
Suicune UR → B
Arctozolt UR → C

Drops:
Heatran S → A
Swampert A → B
Crucibelle B → C
Zapdos-Galar B → C
Blacephalon C → UR
Celesteela C → UR
Moltres-Galar C → UR
Here's a brief explanations for some of these changes:
  • :Nidoking:B → A: Nidoking has established itself as one of the premier wallbreakers in the meta thanks to its ability to punish threats like Clefable and Toxapex, so we all felt its due for a raise.
  • :hydreigon::tyranitar:B → A: Thanks to Spectrier, having a good Ghost resist is more important than ever and these two are some of the best options for that thanks to their great utility and power.
  • :Suicune:UR → B: I had honestly completely forgotten about this Pokemon on our first update but Suicune has proven to be one of the most powerful win conditions in the metagame and very few mons can actually stop it once it manages to set up.
  • :Heatran:S → A: While in theory Heatran offers more than anything else in A Rank thanks to its breaking prowess and solid defensive utility, it can still find itself overwhelmed with relative ease by mons like Slowking, Tapu Fini, and Moltres.
  • :Swampert:A → B: Another Pokemon that definitely felt better in paper than in practice, Swampert is still a solid pick but it can be worn down too easily to be considered an A Rank.
  • :Blacephalon::Celesteela::Moltres-Galar:C → UR: We felt that none of these mons have any real niche in the current metagame and are pretty much always outclassed by better options.
 
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I've not done this in waaaaaay too much time, and since I'm not in the team anymore (miss you guys :pikuh: ) here are a few submissions given the current state of the metagame. The ongoing tournaments give us a ton of data to work with, which is great.

Big change :

Toxapex:toxapex:, Astrolotl:astrolotl: and Clefable:clefable: to S. I believe these 3 mons are a cut above everything else in A tier, plus the meta has adapted to Pheromosa so it's not as overwhelming as it was two weeks ago ; so enlarging S tier looks to me like the way to go.

:toxapex: Toxapex is a driving force in the metagame right now, putting it in your team is always the most tempting thing to do in the builder, and for good reasons. Its insane bulk, ability to come in and out for free thanks to Regenerator and capacity to make progress very easily thanks to Scald, Knock Off, Toxic, Poison Jab, Toxic Spikes and Rocky Helmet definetly put it a cut ahead of other bulky Waters right now. If it's not in half your teams, you should frankly reconsider the way you look at the current meta.

:astrolotl: Astrolotl is the best CAP mon currently in my opinion. Same as Toxapex, it just switches in and out and makes progress extremely quickly thanks to Spikes and Knock Off as well as whatever filler move you want to give it (I think Encore is the best one currently, makes you safe against a ton of stuff, while also being useful in many situations). Its decent bulk allows it to come in for free on most walls and toy with them, and has some defensive utility for stuff like Krilowatt, Spectrier and Nidoking (yes), because as long as it lives with 1hp it's still 100% in the game.

:clefable: Clefable is quite clearly the best rocker in the tier right now, even if there's some rough competition. This mon keeps being at the top of every meta, and this one is no exception. You can't stop it from getting up rocks, and it walls the most potent threats right now in Pheromosa and Urshifu. A third Knock Off user for S tier, just putting that fact here, do whatever you want with it.

Other changes :

Maybe :spectrier: to S
Spectrier is a HUGE threat right now, and a pain to deal with in the builder. If you don't have Blissey, it immediately makes you weak to it no matter what. I'd say it deserves S, but I'm less sure than for the previous nominations.

:slowking-galar: to A
Slowking Galar does approximately as good as the other slow mons currently. It's very hard to deal with, and consistent at getting Future Sight + Teleport when you get momentum. Its ability to spread poison is obnoxious, and it makes up for its weaker defensive typing. It has seen a lot of usage, not only in CAP but also in OU.

Maybe :suicune: to A
Vincune has seen a lot of successful uses recently, its ability to wear down the opponent's team slowly is truly painful to watch. A lot of teams are unprepared and just end up getting 6-0d.

Maybe :excadrill: to A
Excadrill would definetly be one of the weakest mons in A, but it looks better than the other B mons. The rise in Clef's and Ttar's usage favor it a bit. It's very consistent at getting a Toxic on a Tomohawk, a Zapdos, a Moltres or a Mandibuzz ; which can do big damage when paired with the right mons. Also take a look at a lot of teams used in Snake Draft, and you'll see Mold Breaker sd has some big potential.

e : I know my timing is ridiculously bad, just wanted to give some thoughts
 
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:slowking-galar: to A
Slowking Galar does approximately as good as the other slow mons currently. It's very hard to deal with, and consistent at getting Future Sight + Teleport when you get momentum. Its ability to spread poison is obnoxious, and it makes up for its weaker defensive typing. It has seen a lot of usage, not only in CAP but also in OU.
Galar King doesnt get TP my dude - it serves a pretty different role to regular King, making use of Assault Vest to become a pretty respectable answer to threats like Special Pheromosa, Krilowatt, and most Importantly, Clefable. On top of this its Dual Stab is really good at threatening common mons right now like Toxapex, Clefable, Tomohawk etc. Of course Future Sight is still very good on it but not having teleport, being a better balance breaker, and having a much different range of Pokemon which it checks are the differences between it and Slowking.

While everything Gking offers is very useful I would be hesitant to see it rise because of how much it suffers from its 4MSS which lets it be conditionally checked by a lot of Pokemon. Sludgebomb and Future Sight are pretty much mandatory but having to pick 2 of Scald, Flamethrower, Psyshock, and Focus Blast is pretty detreminetal to what Gking can do. On top of this, Pokemon like Mandibuzz, Urshifu-S, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, and Colossoil are becoming increasingly common as people are starting to realize how crucial they are as Spectrier counterplay, all of which can give Gking a hard time and put a halt to it since it doesn't have Teleport.

Overall I think its a really good Pokemon in the current meta but definitely think it fits in more alongside the Pokemon in B right now as its not great but definitely useable and something to consider.
 
Galar King doesnt get TP my dude - it serves a pretty different role to regular King, making use of Assault Vest to become a pretty respectable answer to threats like Special Pheromosa, Krilowatt, and most Importantly, Clefable. On top of this its Dual Stab is really good at threatening common mons right now like Toxapex, Clefable, Tomohawk etc. Of course Future Sight is still very good on it but not having teleport, being a better balance breaker, and having a much different range of Pokemon which it checks are the differences between it and Slowking.

While everything Gking offers is very useful I would be hesitant to see it rise because of how much it suffers from its 4MSS which lets it be conditionally checked by a lot of Pokemon. Sludgebomb and Future Sight are pretty much mandatory but having to pick 2 of Scald, Flamethrower, Psyshock, and Focus Blast is pretty detreminetal to what Gking can do. On top of this, Pokemon like Mandibuzz, Urshifu-S, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, and Colossoil are becoming increasingly common as people are starting to realize how crucial they are as Spectrier counterplay, all of which can give Gking a hard time and put a halt to it since it doesn't have Teleport.

Overall I think its a really good Pokemon in the current meta but definitely think it fits in more alongside the Pokemon in B right now as its not great but definitely useable and something to consider.
Oh it doesn't get teleport D: crazy. I've not used it, most of the time it was used against me (and did great), which explains my lack of knowledge. What I meant was more as an overall comparison, putting it in perspective with some A mons, Slowbrothers just felt natural as they're kinda the same mon. It surely doesn't fit the same role as them (especially considering that it doesn't learn Teleport).
 

Rabia

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GP & NU Leader
I wouldn't move Clefable to S in the current metagame. Clefable is definitely one of the most obnoxious Pokemon to punish and play around because 1) Magic Guard is a cool and fun ability and 2) Clefable has lots of utility moves, including Trick, Thunder Wave, and Knock Off, that enable it to dampen the effectiveness of otherwise effective answers like Heatran, Melmetal, and Magearna. Nevertheless, the commonness of Pokemon that give Clefable a headache---Galarian Slowking, Toxapex, Nidoking, and the aforementioned options for instance---makes Clefable less risk-free than it has been in previous metagames. It's harder for Clefable to find all the free turns it wants to because it's simply more likely to be pressured into switching out as a result of aggressive doubles or pivots from Pokemon like U-turn Urshifu-S, and outside of the utility Clefable sets, which are super damn good, the other variants aren't as effective at this moment. I'd still put Clefable in the top 5 most likely, but I don't think I'd move it up to S.

Astrolotl, on the other hand, I agree with. Like Clefable, it's just a stupidly hard to punish utility Pokemon, but somehow Astrolotl takes it even further because Heavy-Duty Boots + Regenerator is a very fun and interactive combination. It's super easy to force progress in a favorable direction through a war of attrition with Astrolotl, and its ability to effectively harass most of the common hazard removers helps it keep up Spikes so that the opposition has a difficult time properly functioning.

It's really hard for me to ever get on much of a hype train for Excadrill because CAP titans like Intimidate Tomohawk, Equilibra, and Zapdos refuse to permanently go away, which makes Sand Rush Excadrill---probably the most common and effective variant right now---a lot less capable at sweeping. Sure, in my CAP series with velvet Excadrill looked like one of the best late-game cleaners in the metagame; it is, especially when paired with something like Dracozolt that is really good at forcing damage onto and removing its checks. But I think Excadrill's reliance on team support to fully flourish is a huge drawback to using it and should keep it in B.

Now, it's time for that special time of day where I criticize a useless C rank Pokemon :)
:zeraora: This is one of the most depressing Pokemon to see ranked. It doesn't do much of anything because it's dreadfully weak and really relies a lot on the long-game going well for it with consistent chipping via Knock Off and Volt Switch. Landorus-T + Garchomp + Zapdos all being extremely common and viable means Zeraora's effectiveness is almost always going to be severely capped, and I don't see any situation in which I'd willingly use this Pokemon.
 
Alright, we're back with another update, but first of all, congratulations to Lasen and SHSP, who have been added to the VR team! As promised, this update also finally adds back -/+ subranks.

Code:
Rises:
Astrolotl A → S
Magearna B → S
Blissey A → A+
Clefable A → A+
Cinderace A → A+
Equilibra A → A+
Heatran A → A+
Melmetal A → A+
Slowking A → A+
Spectrier A → A+
Tomohawk A → A+
Tornadus-Therian A → A+
Toxapex A → A+
Urshifu A → A+
Slowking-Galar B → A-
Barraskewda B→ B+
Colossoil B→ B+
Excadrill B→ B+
Kerfluffle B→ B+
Kyurem B→ B+
Pelipper B→ B+
Suicune B→ B+
Arghonaut C → B-
Gastrodon C → B-
Mollux C → B-
Zeraora C → B-
Torkoal UR → B-
Ninetales-Alola UR → C
Roto-Wash UR → C
Volkraken UR → C

Drops:

Dragapult A → A-
Ferrothorn A → A-
Garchomp A → A-
Latios A → A-
Mandibuzz A → A-
Moltres A → A-
Nidoking A → A-
Rillaboom A → A-
Slowbro A → A-
Jumbao A → B+
Pajantom A → B+
Amoonguss B → B-
Blaziken B → B-
Dracozolt B → B-
Hippowdon B → B-
Tapu Koko B → B-
Urshifu-R B → B-
Venusaur B → B-
Volcarona B → B-
Aurumoth C → UR
Bisharp C → UR
Chansey C → UR
Jirachi C → UR
Kommo-o C → UR
Latias C → UR
Mew C → UR
Rotom-Heat C → UR
Snaelstrom C → UR
Tangrowth C → UR
Thundurus-Therian C → UR
  • :Astrolotl: to S: As the metagame develops, it has become increasingly clear that Astrolotl is still one of the most dominant threats in CAP thanks to its insane support movepool and how hard it can be to punish between Regenerator, Fire Lash, Spikes, and Knock Off, so we all believed it was more than deserving of rising to S Rank.
  • :Magearna: to S: This one was a bit more divisive but in the end the majority of us came to the conclusion that Magearna is clearly above anything else in A+, having many different and dangerous sets which one needs to account for when building, as its Choice Specs set is extremely difficult to check and can cripple even its hardest counters with Trick while Shift Gear sets can easily win games by itself with the right coverage.
  • :Slowking-Galar: to A- This Pokemon has seen a lot of usage lately thanks to being an amazing Regenerator Pivot with AV capable of checking many common threats like Tomohawk and Magearna while also providing broken valuable Future Sight support.
  • :torkoal: to B- Given that without it Sun Teams struggle a lot against Cinderace, Torkoal has risen as the best sun setter and enters the VR again.
  • :ninetales-alola: to C Not including this before was an oversight on our part, as this Pokemon is necessary for the C-Ranked Arctozolt to function and this can pull its weight by providing valuable Aurora Veil support, making it an decent niche option.
  • :Aurumoth::Bisharp::Chansey::Jirachi::Kommo-o::Latias::Mew::Rotom-Heat::Snaelstrom::Tangrowth::Thundurus-Therian: to UR All these Pokemon struggle in the current metagame and are virtually always outclassed by better options like Urshifu, Blissey, Magearna, or Latios, so we decided to remove them from the VR.
 

Rabia

is a Site Content Manageris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
GP & NU Leader
The update post definitely makes light of the ranking being hotly debated, and I'm going to go out and say Magearna being in S is simply very inaccurate in representing its relative viability. Comparing its presence in the tier to A+ Pokemon, I simply cannot understand how it's ranked above the insanely restrictive Urshifu-S and Spectrier or even Equilibra, which is just about as much a staple on non-weather balance teams as Astrolotl. Choice Specs Magearna can certainly bother its checks with Trick and Fighting-type coverage but is quite pressured to make such reads because of Equilibra's prevalence, and it's generally not too tall a task to play around Magearna as a result; in many games it simply cannot afford to spam Fleur Cannon as it would like to. I also think Shift Gear Magearna is being a good bit overrated; without significant chip damage, you're never getting past Magearna's counters, and because Astrolotl, Equilibra, and Galarian Slowking (to name a few) are so common, such sets struggle to find the opportunity to win.

I would much rather see Urshifu-S in S rank; it's one of the two most restrictive presences in the tier, and anyone that tells you it's much worse in CAP because of Tomohawk does not play the tier. Future Sight support, something very easy to come by, removes much of the defensive counterplay available to it, and playing the guessing game between Wicked Blow and Poison Jab on non-Future Sight turns is a pain for any non-Tomohawk team. The ongoing suspect test is likely to conclude before the next voting slate, and given how discourse is faring I don't see Urshifu-S staying in OU, but to call Magearna better than Urshifu-S---and many of the other A+-ranked Pokemon---is a major head scratcher to me.

I'd probably move Blissey down to A; it gets spammed a lot in this metagame, but I don't think that should be confused with it being an elite option on the level of the other A+ Pokemon. It's an incredibly easy Pokemon to take advantage of through aggressive play and isn't even a particularly good Doom Desire or Future Sight switch-in because the common beneficiaries of the two moves beat it.
 

dex

En Aften Ved Svanefossen
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Now that the VR update has been out for a while, I thought I'd give my thoughts on some of the placements I disagree with.

Drops I would like to see:
  • :Magearna: to A+: Magearna is a powerful breaker and a dangerous sweeper, there's no doubt on my part there. However, I think CAP has more tools to deal with Magearna than OU does, like the omnipresent Astrolotl and Equilibra. A+ is a more accurate ranking for it.
  • :Blissey: to A: Full stall is, in general, not viable at the moment, and the rankings should reflect that. And while Blissey's ability to beat choiced horse is commendable, the amount of momentum you give up when you use Blissey over mons like Mandibuzz is not great. I don't think there is a way Blissey is better than both Hydreigon and Tyranitar.
  • :Heatran: to A: Heatran is not used a whole lot in CAP, and while I think it is good, there is reason for its relatively little usage. Cinderace and Equilibra make it hard for Heatran to do its job, and the amount of Knock Off seen in the tier reduces Heatran's longevity noticeably.
  • :Jumbao: to B: As a sun setter, Jumbao is flat out outclassed by Torkoal. As a special attacker, it is mostly outclassed by Kerfluffle and Magearna. The only reason to use it is Wish/Healing Wish, which honestly is not enough for me to keep it in B+.
  • :Pajantom: to B: The situations where Pajantom is better than Dragapult are very, very niche. Considering Pajantom lost Heal Block, it is no longer the amazing trapper it once was and has become a very predictable mon, losing to most physical walls without substantial prior chip.
  • :Mollux: to C: Sadly, Mollux is not great right now. A 4x weakness to ground is crippling considering nearly every team runs a ground type or at the very least ground coverage. There are better rain mons and there are better SpD walls for every situation. Access to Corrosive Gas does nothing to remedy Mollux's awful matchup into the tier's ground types.
Rises I would like to see:
  • :Cinderace: to S: Cinderace is easily the premier physical attacker of the tier. It's extremely splashable and can be an absolute pain to deal with, given its access to Gunk Shot and Sucker Punch. There is very little to keep Cinderace from firing off powerful Pyro Balls, and some have even started running Electroball to beat its one true counter, Toxapex.
  • :Garchomp: to A: Garchomp can single-handedly win a game on matchup. SD-Scale Shot has been a terrifying set to run into so far, and traditional answers to Garchomp like Landorus-T and Intimidate Tomohawk can lose outright to it given enough chip. Additionally, defensive variants of Garchomp remain an excellent answer to Cinderace, punishing it for clicking U-Turn while not losing to Pyro Ball. Given its ability to be both an excellent rocker and sweeper, Garchomp deserves to be A.
  • :Swampert: to B+: The banning of Pheromosa and Urshifu opens the door for Swampert to become a premier wall in the tier. As one of the few Volt-Blockers that isn't afraid of Krilowatt, Swampert is an extremely good special wall in the tier. It's status as one of the best defensive pivots cannot be overlooked.
 
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quziel

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Update:

Rises:
:Cinderace: => S: Cinderace mixes incredible coverage, good power, good speed, and very low risk (thanks U-turn) to become arguably CAP's strongest wallbreaker/cleaner/FS abuser.

:slowking-galar: => A+: Slowking-Galar is a pokemon that really rose to prominence during the initial stages of this gen as the best answer possible to Pheromosa, and has only grown in prominence since. This recent rise is honestly more of an adjustment to where it should be, but the recent popularization of setup sets (CM, NP) has given this mon a ton of flexibility, and the rise in Cinderace means that its FS is even easier to abuse. The fact that it sorta answers Equilibra is also something that it shouldn't be able to do, but is just another point in its favor.

:dragapult: => A: Dragapult's high speed, coverage, and access to Infiltrator means that it isn't necessarily outclassed by Spectrier - it actually checks it quite decently if brought in safely. Forcing out Cinderace is also a massive boon, and it can bypass Ghost-type checks, as Hydreigon doesn't like taking its Dragon-type STAB at all and Tyranitar taking a solid chunk of HP even with 0- U-turn.

:garchomp: => A: Garchomp's Life Orb SD + Scale Shot set is a very capable wallbreaker and sweeper now, especially in conjunction with Fire Fang or Aqua Tail to hit Equilibra. It's a Swords Dance sweeper that's able to muscle past Tomohawk with enough Scale Shot hits, which is an impressive feat on its own. It's also a partial offensive countermeasure to Cinderace, which just rose to S.

:rillaboom: => A: Rillaboom is able to annoy Astrolotl, Tomohawk, and Zapdos with Knock Off, and Acrobatics sets allow it to turn the tables on Tomohawk. Grassy Glide is great for warding off faster Pokemon like Scale Shot Garchomp, Krilowatt, and Kerfluffle and also taking down Slowking and Slowbro, two very influential pivots in the current metagame.

:kerfluffle: => A-: Kerfluffle is one of the best Future Sight abusers in the tier, as it has very, very few reliable switchins barring our Regen Poison types, most of which (barring glowking) really dislike taking Future Sight, and Miasmaw, a normally mediocre pokemon takes even those off the table. Its combination of good speed, good power, and a very low risk option in Parting Shot were all good reasons to rise to A-.

:regieleki: => B-: This rise is really just reflecting its very solid place on hyper offense perhaps our most reliable screener (stopping this from getting at least one is almost impossible), while also compressing Spin support and the option to instantly gain momentum with Explosion.

:Stratagem: => B-: The 4 attacks Meteor Beam set is honestly a great cleaner currently, being able to speed tie with Spectrier, outrunning Cinderace, has functional KO power with both the initial hit and boosted moves afterward, and good defensive merits, being a rare flying+fire+groiund answer for offensive teams. That said, it will always struggle to break a lot of specially defensive pokemon, needing significant damage onto Slowking-Galar and Equilibra to really break them in a reasonable pace, and it struggles to really work its Fire resist due to its weakness to Astrolotl's Knock Off, hence it only rising to B-.

:syclant: => B-: This is another rise related to the recent IoA tutors, with Triple Axel, or the threat thereof giving it the ability to force a lot more switches, and thus get a lot more free U-turns. Outrunning Cinderace, an increasingly important pokemon is another feather in its CAP, and a fair bit as to why it rose. That said, it is forced to make a tough choice between the power of Triple Axel and Icicle Crash not being Rocky Helmet bait, and its lacking bulk means that it struggles to switch in on much of anything.

Drops:

:magearna: => A+: Between Astrolotl, Cinderace, and Equilibra, Magearna just doesn't run the metagame as it wants to. As such, it's dropped to A+.

:blissey: => A-: While Blissey is still an effective user of Teleport, the fact that most common Spectrier sets can still take advantage of it is an issue. Hydreigon and Tyranitar are much better at checking Spectrier while also compressing hazard control in the same slot. Slowking and Galarian Slowking generally outclass it as a special tank due to their access to Future Sight and greater offensive pressure.

:heatran: => A: Although Heatran is still a solid threat, Astrolotl takes its place on teams due to its higher speed, Regenerator, and access to Spikes. It also struggles to deal with the uptick in Slowking and Galarian Slowking usage and doesn't appreciate defensive Hydreigon and Tyranitar being present on many teams.

:melmetal: => A: Cinderace, Astrolotl, and Equilibra, much like Magearna, make the metagame a little more inhospitable for Melmetal. The amount of contact-punishing measures in the metagame gives Melmetal a headache since it wants to run Protective Pads over Leftovers, Choice Band, or even Assault Vest.

:toxapex: => A: The omnipresence of Future Sight from Slowking and Galarian Slowking means that Toxapex can't wall Pokemon as effectively should for fear of taking a Future Sight.

:mandibuzz: => B+: Unless Mandibuzz wants to lose Substitute + Disable Spectrier, it must run Knock Off and Foul Play, which is really unfavorable because it wants to run U-turn, Roost, and Defog. It's still a niche Spectrier answer, but it doesn't fit into A- anymore.

:moltres: => B+: Although it's a solid Equilibra check, it's terrified of Knock Off and Future Sight. Oftentimes, Moltres cannot wall what it needs to if it loses its Heavy-Duty Boots or if it takes Future Sight damage. Thus, it's fits only on teams that really require a staunch Equilibra check, like Sand teams.

:jumbao: => B: Jumbao continues to struggle, as its no longer the best sun setter in the metagame due to its poor matchup against Cinderace and Astrolotl. Moreover, it struggles to beat sturdy Regenerator pivots in the metagame like Galarian Slowking and Astrolotl. As a Wish passer, Astrolotl generally cedes less momentum than Jumbao also.

:kyurem: => B: Kyurem doesn't like a metagame where Slowking and Galarian Slowking are top-tier Pokemon. While its Dragon Dance + Icicle Spear set can work, it very reliant on team support, so it fits much better in B.

:Pajantom: => B: With the metagame so prepared for Ghost-types, Pajantom needs more team support than ever, so it fits better in B.

:Suicune: => B: While it can still pull off its PP stalling tactics, there are too many cores that thwart these strategies for it to warrant B+.

:victini: => B-: Victini struggles to differentiate itself as an offensive Fire-type compared to Cinderace, so it drops to B-.

:blaziken: :Volcarona: :mollux: => C: These Fire-types are struggling to find good niches with how prepared the metagame is for other, more effective Fire-types.

:alakazam::arctozolt::buzzwole::crawdaunt::plasmanta: => UR: These Pokemon have not been showing effectiveness lately, so they are now unranked.
 
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Rabia

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:slowking: -> S
Jordy has talked about this a bit, but Slowking is easily up with Astrolotl and Cinderace in terms of defining the metagame and having an insane impact in general. It's easily the best Future Sight setter because of 1) Teleport and 2) what it offers defensively. It's a solid answer to Equilibra, which every team needs, and because of its insane special bulk, it can scout strong special wallbreakers like Magearna and Kerfluffle in addition to absorbing Volt Switches from the likes of Krilowatt and Zapdos. Yes, the rise of Galarian Slowking certainly gives it some competition, but Teleport, checking Equilibra more consistently in addition to some other foes like Cinderace and Nidoking, and instant recovery via Slack Off are all huge benefits that give it a sizable leg up on its Galarian forme.

I don't feel too heavily on any other changes at this moment---that will change if Spectrier gets banned for certain---but this is a nomination I think is long overdue :heart:
 

spoo

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few noms that have been sitting in my head recently
:slowking: -> S
took me a while but I have seen the light. I don't know if the mon is quite on par with astro and cinderace right now, but looking at everything else in A+, it's clearly on a different level. If you want a proper explanation of why slowking is so damn good then read Rabia's post above, I agree with everything he had to say on the matter (best future sight setter, answers the tier's strongest special attackers, insane longevity, and is never a momentum sink) - it's a meta defining pokemon and its rank should be updated to reflect that
:zeraora: -> B+
This is admittedly a little ambitious but I think it's warranted. People are starting to come around to how good the mon is and it's been seeing a crazy amount of success in spl and ost right now, and while ou is obviously a different format, ou trends and strategies historically tend to migrate to cap after two or three weeks so I think its performance in that arena is at least worth acknowledging. I've used the mon myself and I've seen it used to great success by other people, and I genuinely feel that B+ is super justified- zera's strengths haven't changed at all since ioa, it's just a bit less effective than it used to be
:tapu-koko: -> B
Koko is another offensive electric that's starting to be explored some more. Libra sucks for sure, but if you load into a team using a mon like lando, colo, chomp, or zera as their volt blocker then you're going to be putting in a ton of work. Specs is great and all but I think its best set is actually hdb with tbolt/gleam or toxic/roost/uturn; it's super versatile and you can even take advantage of a telegraphed libra switch by u-turning into something like ace who gets a free opportunity to click buttons. Koko is also prob the best torn check in the tier right now which is genuinely great because that mon is a nightmare to answer if it hits its moves.
:tangrowth: -> B or B-
Tang just got unranked during the last slate but I feel like this nom makes a lot of sense with the other rises. Tangrowth loves the fact that slowking runs the meta right now and the tier has a lot of scary offensive ground types that it's a fantastic answer for as well. The mon just feels a little underrated and underexplored, and while it's not the most consistent pokemon in the tier by any means, it has a pretty strong niche and I see it on par with other defensive mons in B like swampert and cyclohm

as for drops-
:moltres: -> B or B-
this mon feels soo bad to me right now. It wants to check grass types but all of them run knock off, and you can't check fire types like ace and astro because they either poison you or knock you and then you can't ever switch in again. It's outclassed as a defogger + libra check by things like corv and zapdos, and it's great as a heatran answer but there are still far better options for that. The best thing going for moltres is the threat of flame body making physical attackers think harder before they click u-turn, but this alone isn't big enough of a reason for it to be used, especially when zapdos does the same thing and is better in every other way
:tapu-fini: -> A- or B+
:latios: -> B+
Grouping em together because it's basically the same reasoning. Both still feel decent as cm sweepers but no one is using them and the meta just isn't as favorable for them as it was during SD. Other sets like scarf fini/specs latios are cool, but they're still very inconsistent and have a rough matchup against a lot of the best mons in the meta right now. They just don't feel nearly as impressive to me anymore and I'd be happy for them to drop one or two ranks.
 
Alright, the VR team was working on this update during the weekend. As this was already mostly finished, we decided to publish this anyways but please understand that because this was made before the Cinderace and Magearna bans, this might not be fully accurate to the current state of the metagame.

Code:
Rises:

Slowking A → S
Dragapult A → A+
Garchomp A → A+
Zapdos A → A+
Corviknight B → B+
Kartana B → B+
Pajantom B → B+
Zeraora B- → B+
Arghonaut B- → B
Syclant B- → B
Tapu Koko B- → B
Skarmory C → B-

Drops:

Astrolotl S → A+
Hydreigon A → A-
Tyranitar A → A-
Tapu Fini A → B+
Latios A- → B+
Barraskewda B+ → B
Colossoil B+ → B
Moltres B+ → B
Pelipper B+ → B
Dracozolt B- → C
Cresselia C → UR
Ditto C → UR
Fidgit C → UR
Glastrier C → UR
Kingdra C → UR
Naviathan C → UR
Seismitoad C → UR
Smokomodo C → UR
Zarude C → UR
 
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Rabia

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I am once again here with nominations; I'm unsure if they'll stick given the bans are still fairly recent, but I d o n o t c a r e :)

-> S
This is most definitely a controversial take, but I believe Garchomp has demonstrated an ability to consistently take over games with its setup sets to such an extent it warrants S-rank placement. The big reason for this is how effective Garchomp is at forcing foes out; common Pokemon like Galarian Slowking, Heatran, and Slowking reeeeally don't want to stay in against you, and as a result Garchomp doesn't really struggle with finding turns to boost with Swords Dance. At +2, there really isn't anything in the tier that stops you; Tomohawk and Slowbro are the only two somewhat consistent answers, but they have issues of their own: Tomohawk only really stops you if it's Prankster Haze---otherwise it actually has a chance of losing one-on-one---whereas Slowbro is just... not as good anymore in lieu of the Cinderace ban. There exists offensive counterplay---Rillaboom and fast Fairy-types come to mind---but much of it is contingent on Garchomp not getting a Scale Shot boost. If you need evidence of this Pokemon in practice winning matchups that it isn't necessarily favored in, I'm sure my CAP Seasonal run has plenty.

-> A+
Yeah, Rillaboom is never bypassing a Tomohawk without Future Sight support, and it also has some fine answers like Zapdos, Tornadus-T, and Corviknight. However, the banning of Cinderace and Magearna has removed a very significant amount of Rillaboom's offensive counterplay; its Grassy Glide is so much easier to spam without fear of being revenge killed afterwards now, and Rillaboom's defensive answers are all fairly exploitable. Tomohawk falls to Future Sight, whereas most of the other Flying-types really don't want to lose their Heavy-Duty Boots to Knock Off because it makes them much more likely to get overwhelmed.

->A-, maybe B+
It's just so hard to ever want to put a Melmetal on a team when Equilibra exists. The latter is one of the most easy-to-justify options in the tier and shuts down any Melmetal without Superpower very easily. Melmetal also doesn't appreciate Zapdos's continued stay at the top or Corviknight's boost in viability. It's still a fine Pokemon that even benefits a bit from current trends---mostly Slowbro's fall---but meh, I feel like it's not worth running much unless I explicitly build around it.

-> B+
We're slowly returning to the CAPPL metagame where Slowbro was just not that great because of Slowking outclassing it in every way. With Cinderace banned, it's so much harder to justify using because... what does it offer over Slowking? It's a better physical wall sure, but most of the prevalent physical wallbreakers beat it anyway lol. Just use Slowking---it checks Equilibra and offers the same utility as Slowbro.
 
VR Noms

:slowking: - S -> A+: Slowking being ranked above all other Pokemon in S implies that it's the best in the tier, which just doesn't sit right with me. Future Sight has become slightly less prominent thanks to Cinderace and Magearna recently being banned, and letting in new threats like Hydreigon and Kyurem for free isn't ideal. NP Tornadus-T no longer has to sacrifice a move slot for Heat Wave after Magearna's ban, allowing it to run U-turn or Knock off, preventing Slowking from being an effective pivot vs. it. Of course, Slowking is still and amazing Pokemon, but S tier is a huge over-exaggeration of its power in the current metagame.

:kyurem: - B -> A: Probably the most ridiculous placement on this VR. Kyurem's dragon typing and amazing natural bulk allow it to come in pretty easily. No single Pokemon can stand up to both the substitute set and the specs set long term. Substitute allows it to use its ice + ground coverage nearly risk free, requiring the opponent to let their Kyurem check take a hit before breaking its sub. This combined with its massive HP, Roost, and Pressure lets it pressure both offense and defense. Offense struggles to check Kyurem's coverage, while defense has its PP drained quickly, as it can rarely break sub in one hit. Specs Kyurem acts as an exceptional nuke, denting every Pokemon in the metagame barring Blissey. Kyurem has a great match up vs. most of the metagame right now, no idea how it ended up down in B.

:landorus-therian: - A -> S: Landorus-Therian is the best Pokemon in the tier in my opinion. Equilibra, Corviknight, and Skarmory are the only Pokemon that can truly switch into it risk-free, and even they don't like Knock Off. All other Pokemon take heavy damage from Earthquake and/or U-turn, or are vulnerable to Toxic. Stealth Rocks, Defog, U-turn, and its Electric immunity allow it to be near-perfect glue, as it can take on a number of different roles that a team may not otherwise have the space for. The only thing that could possibly keep it out of S is Equilibra, who it often lets in for free.

:tornadus-therian:- A+ -> S: Tornadus-Therian is the new best wincon in the metagame. The removal of Magearna and Cinderace now allow it to forgo Heat Wave and not have to worry about being revenge killed by Sucker Punch respectively. Knock Off + Nasty Plot is an amazing combination, allowing it to remove the items of Galarian Slowking and Blissey to make them less likely to halt a sweep later in the game. Equilibra can't switch in, as it fears U-turn, Focus Blast, and Knock Off. Tornadus's access to Regenerator + U-turn means it has multiple chances to attempt a sweep. While it doesn't appreciate the rise in Rillaboom and Dragapult, who are both able to revenge-kill it, the recent metagame shift is enough to push it up to S tier.
 
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spoo

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Going to capitalize on the small amount of traction this thread has right now and give my thoughts on some of the proposed noms

:Garchomp: -> S (disagree): Garchomp is easily one of the most devastating and consistent setup sweepers in the tier right now but I'm still reluctant to throw it in S rank. My main issue is that despite chomp's insane strength, it's just not nearly as meta-defining as slowking or even other A+ mons like equilibra and (more debatably) tornadus/astrolotl, and I think a lot of people just aren't preparing super well for the mon so its efficacy might seem larger than it is in reality. There's very little stopping a chomp at +2/+1, but getting to that point can be somewhat difficult as you'll often have to play guessing games with which setup move to use, and the fact that chomp gets worn down rather quickly with helmet/life orb/spikes isn't really helping its case either. Frankly these are very small problems compared to how good the mon is right now (you will get at least one kill in pretty much every game), but again, I just have a hard time believing chomp is quite defining enough to warrant crossing into S.

:rillaboom: -> A+ (unsure): I'm honestly very ambivalent about this; on one hand I look at the mons in A+ and it's very difficult for me to see rillaboom on the same level as the vast majority of them, but on the other hand, the ace+gear bans should theoretically free rilla up a lot, and the mon was already in a great spot to begin with. I think I'd need more time to see how rilla shapes up post-bans before taking a definitive stance, but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see it rise to A+ in the next vr slate.

:slowbro: -> B+ (agree): Yeah, there is no way that slowbro is A rank after cinderace got banned. I guess the mon is more free to run boots now, and there are still a few key mons that slowbro does a great job at handling, but I agree that it's mostly just outclassed by slowking at this point.

:kyurem: -> A (mixed): Kyurem feels slightly undervalued at B but I think A is definitely too high for it, I could see it rising to B+ at most. My main thing with kyurem is just that nobody ever uses it so it's very unproven and difficult to gauge its strength. It's a nuclear weapon on paper but in practice it's a pretty binary rocks-weak wallbreaker with 3 mediocre resists and a middling speed tier, and if you run boots+sub then you just really miss the power and coverage. Still though, it feels somewhat undervalued like I said so I don't have an issue with it rising, but it's not like B is an outrageous place for kyurem either.

:slowking: -> A+ (disagree): Slowking was supposed to be next to cinderace in S rank for this vr update but it got quickbanned lol so now it just looks very strange up in S rank all by itself. I agree that something should be done about it, but I don't think having slowking drop is the right answer––I'd much rather see something else rise to S rank to accompany it. Slowking is still a cut above the rest, but being the sole mon in S rank is admittedly a bit misleading, which is why I'm proposing this-

:Equilibra: -> S: We should all be familiar with equilibra at this point, I don't feel like I have to explain a ton here. It's the premier ground-type, ground immunity, and hazard remover in the tier, and there's very few mons that can even come close to affecting the metagame in the same way that libra does. Libra is sorta annoyed by the fact that its main source of longevity (leftovers) is somewhat easy to remove atm with clef, lando, tornadus, zera etc all running around, and two of its best checks in zapdos/slowking are also stupidly good right now, but any problems with the mon are still massively overshadowed by its strengths. Libra just has this insane collection of invaluable traits that can't be replicated by any other mon in the tier and if any pokemon is going to rise to S then this should be the one.

Getting close to finished here, but I'll end out the post with a couple more personal nominations-
:zeraora: -> A: Okay hear me out, I know I just nominated this thing to raise two subranks for the most recent slate, but B+ still seems to undersell the mon a bit. Being the fastest unboosted pokemon in the tier, having a ton of utility, and having ways to punish ground-types that block your volt switch is a seriously incredible combination of qualities, and I just don't see zeraora getting worse any time soon. Zera definitely doesn't feel weaker than other offensive pivots like kerfluffle and krilowatt in the A/A- range, so this seems like a very comfortable spot for it to sit at. The ace ban should help a lot too, bc despite the fact that ace was one of zera's best partners they tended to compete for the same slot on a lot of teams.

:tomohawk: -> A: I was very close to voting this mon down on the vr slate but ultimately decided against it, though the ace ban definitely pushes me further in that direction. I think tomo is at its most exploitable atm and there are just fewer and fewer mons that it checks better than something else (especially because the tier skews more heavily towards special attackers), and there isn't really a shortage of rockers/removers in cap so tomo is valued for those traits less than it used to be. I could be convinced against lowering it because of its insanely high usage in the ssnl but after the cinderace ban I just have a harder time justifying tomo over other similarly useful options in A+.

I think you could also argue for gastrodon, skarm, aegislash, koko, and mandibuzz to rise a subrank, though I have not thought super hard on most of these and they're more suggestions/discussion points than formal noms. Not sure about drops, maybe glowking since it feels a bit harder to justify on teams now that magearna is gone. That's about all for now though
 

Rabia

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:Garchomp: -> S (disagree): Garchomp is easily one of the most devastating and consistent setup sweepers in the tier right now but I'm still reluctant to throw it in S rank. My main issue is that despite chomp's insane strength, it's just not nearly as meta-defining as slowking or even other A+ mons like equilibra and (more debatably) tornadus/astrolotl, and I think a lot of people just aren't preparing super well for the mon so its efficacy might seem larger than it is in reality. There's very little stopping a chomp at +2/+1, but getting to that point can be somewhat difficult as you'll often have to play guessing games with which setup move to use, and the fact that chomp gets worn down rather quickly with helmet/life orb/spikes isn't really helping its case either. Frankly these are very small problems compared to how good the mon is right now (you will get at least one kill in pretty much every game), but again, I just have a hard time believing chomp is quite defining enough to warrant crossing into S.
People not preparing for a Pokemon isn't really a valid counterpoint because you gauge how good a Pokemon is based on what the metagame looks like at a specific point. If current building trends favor Garchomp, that is absolutely a point in its favor for how good it is. Garchomp's longevity issues you cite are also very overblown; the presence of Spikes is overall lower because Astrolotl is just not as good as people are trying to make it out to be post nerfs, and Ferrothorn has always been sort of uncommon in CAP. In addition to this, Rocky Helmet... just doesn't matter for Garchomp? It doesn't run contact moves other than Fire Fang? O_>O It's indisputably the single best setup sweeper CAP has and offers a myriad of other beneficial traits that easily push it into S-rank levels of defining.

:Equilibra: -> S: We should all be familiar with equilibra at this point, I don't feel like I have to explain a ton here. It's the premier ground-type, ground immunity, and hazard remover in the tier, and there's very few mons that can even come close to affecting the metagame in the same way that libra does. Libra is sorta annoyed by the fact that its main source of longevity (leftovers) is somewhat easy to remove atm with clef, lando, tornadus, zera etc all running around, and two of its best checks in zapdos/slowking are also stupidly good right now, but any problems with the mon are still massively overshadowed by its strengths. Libra just has this insane collection of invaluable traits that can't be replicated by any other mon in the tier and if any pokemon is going to rise to S then this should be the one.
I feel like Equilibra as a Pokemon gets consistently overrated by the players. That's not to say it isn't a fantastic option---its typing + ability combination is nutty, and its raw stats in addition to the overall utility it offers make it very easy to have success with---but it may just be the most exploitable Pokemon the tier has. Everything I'd like to switch my Equilibra into has a way to very trivially punish it and make it significantly harder to gain leverage with long-term: Pokemon like Tornadus-T, Landorus-T, Clefable run Knock Off all the time; Pokemon like Zapdos, Galarian Slowking, Tyranitar, and Garchomp run super effective coverage; and simple strong attackers like Rillaboom and Heatran that can play hyper aggressive against it are problematic. Could it be my experience is biased because everyone I play that runs Equilibra is far too willing to risk its health? Perhaps, and I'd probably be fine with an S- rank for it were that to exist. But I can't imagine placing it on the level of something like Slowking or Garchomp.

:landorus-therian: - A -> S: Landorus-Therian is the best Pokemon in the tier in my opinion. Equilibra, Corviknight, and Skarmory are the only Pokemon that can truly switch into it risk-free, and even they don't like Knock Off. All other Pokemon take heavy damage from Earthquake and/or U-turn, or are vulnerable to Toxic. Stealth Rocks, Defog, U-turn, and its Electric immunity allow it to be near-perfect glue, as it can take on a number of different roles that a team may not otherwise have the space for. The only thing that could possibly keep it out of S is Equilibra, who it often lets in for free.
:tomohawk:
 
People not preparing for a Pokemon isn't really a valid counterpoint because you gauge how good a Pokemon is based on what the metagame looks like at a specific point. If current building trends favor Garchomp, that is absolutely a point in its favor for how good it is. Garchomp's longevity issues you cite are also very overblown; the presence of Spikes is overall lower because Astrolotl is just not as good as people are trying to make it out to be post nerfs, and Ferrothorn has always been sort of uncommon in CAP. In addition to this, Rocky Helmet... just doesn't matter for Garchomp? It doesn't run contact moves other than Fire Fang? O_>O It's indisputably the single best setup sweeper CAP has and offers a myriad of other beneficial traits that easily push it into S-rank levels of defining.
Garchomp is still consistently stopped by Tomohawk and Equilibra, which are two contenders for S tier. I really don't like building with it when I know I'm very likely to face one of these two or both, because it will get countered unless I run techs that alter my sweeping potential by a lot (running Fire Fang over Stone Edge for Libra make stuff like Tomohawk, Zapdos and Mandibuzz solid checks). You can definitely build your team so you're able to cripple Equilibra, Tomohawk, Landorus-T, Arghonaut or Slowbro, and Garchomp is a good sweeper for sure, but most teams naturally have ways of dealing with it.
 

Rabia

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Garchomp is still consistently stopped by Tomohawk and Equilibra, which are two contenders for S tier. I really don't like building with it when I know I'm very likely to face one of these two or both, because it will get countered unless I run techs that alter my sweeping potential by a lot (running Fire Fang over Stone Edge for Libra make stuff like Tomohawk, Zapdos and Mandibuzz solid checks). You can definitely build your team so you're able to cripple Equilibra, Tomohawk, Landorus-T, Arghonaut or Slowbro, and Garchomp is a good sweeper for sure, but most teams naturally have ways of dealing with it.
Most of the checks you mentioned here get blasted by +2 Scale Shot after Stealth Rock (and the ones you say that run Heavy-Duty Boots are very common Knock Off fodder to Rillaboom). Saying Fire Fang is a "tech" is really inaccurate because it's the best last coverage option by FAR so that you beat Equilibra; you just don't need Stone Edge's coverage. Saying its "consistent stopped by Equilibra" is demonstrably false, and most of the other defensive counterplay you note is either uncommon or unreliable.
 
:clefable: to A: The overall power level has risen since the release of CT, rendering Clefable’s defensive utility much less useful than in prior gen 8 metagames. Most of the current metagame can cripple it via paralysis, knock, and/or hit it for >40%. One full paralysis, crit, or high roll is enough to cripple it for the rest of the game. Clefable tends to only make headway against Pokemon who can’t do this and don’t otherwise take advantage of it, which are few and far between (limited to non-specs Kyurem variants, Corviknight, and Tomohawk). While Unaware variants have a somewhat unique niche, they are unable to avoid status and hazard damage, making them even more vulnerable to offensive threats. Arghonaut is generally preferred as an Unaware user on non-stall builds, as it can maintain offensive offensive momentum using Spikes, Knock Off, and Circle Throw. Clefable’s most impressive niche is acting as stall’s best wincon, as it can now take advantage of more passive Pokémon that would’ve otherwise sat on it, like Ferrothorn, non-twave Blissey variants, and Corviknight. Clefable’s utility movepool, is just too commonly shared among other Pokémon in CT, and its defensive utility isn’t no longer impressive. A+ is over-exaggerating its prominence in the current metagame.
 
Time for another update but before that, a quick announcements: reachzero has stepped down from the VR Council and Rabia is our newest member!

Code:
Rises:

Equilibra A+ → S
Garchomp A+ → S
Heatran A → A+
Corviknight B+ → A-
Zeraora B+ → A-
Kyurem B → A-
Arghonaut B → B+
Cawmodore B → B+
Syclant B → B+
Tapu Koko B → B+
Gastrodon B- → B
Crucibelle C → B-
Weavile C → B-

Scizor UR → B
Tangrowth UR → B
Azumarill UR → C

Drops:

Melmetal A → A-
Slowbro A → B+
Nidoking A- → B+
Tyranitar A- → B+
Kartana B+ → B
Colossoil B → B-
Swampert B → B-
Zapdos-Galar C → UR
A few quick reasonings for these changes:
  • :Garchomp: to S: Just as previous posts suggested, Garchomp has established itself as the single most dangerous sweeper in the metagame, as it can be very challenging to stop its Sword Dance set and even many supposed checks like Equilibra and Corviknight can still be overwhelmed after a bit of chip damage with coverage like Fire Fang.
  • :Equilibra: to S: As the metagame settles, once again it has become increasingly evident that Equilibra is a clear cut above anything on the A+ Rank thanks to its great defensive utility and access to key moves like Rapid Spin and Doom Desire, so it rises to S Rank.
  • :Arghonaut: to B+: While it faces stiff competition from Slowking and Toxapex as a bulky Water-type, Unaware allows Arghonaut to wall Sword Dance Garchomp, one of the most threatening sweepers at the moment and Spikes support is always incredibly useful. This gives it a very solid niche in the current meta.
  • :Cawmodore: to B+: Now that Cinderace has been banned, fitting an answer to Cawmodore has become much harder, so our ""favorite"" bird has now become a lot more consistent and requires much more active preparation to prevent it from sweeping.
  • :Tangrowth: to B: With physical attackers like Garchomp and Zeraora becoming increasingly common, Tangrowth can serve as an effective way to wall them without losing too much momentum thanks to Regenerator while also spreading status to cripple switch ins, so we believe this mon clearly deserves to be ranked again.
  • :Melmetal: to A-: While Melmetal is still dangerous, most teams in the current meta have ways to deal with it pretty effectively and it can be really hard to justify running it over Steel-types like Equilibra and Heatran which can provide much more utility to a team.
  • :Nidoking: to B+: While Nidoking can still easily dismantle many bulky cores, it struggles against Slowking, one of the best mons in the meta and has trouble picking its coverage moves, as it needs both its STABs, wants Fire Blast to cover Equilibra, Thunderbolt to pressure Slowking and Ice Beam for Ground types like Landorus-T and Garchomp.
 

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