Resource SS OU DLC2 Viability Ranking Thread [See Post #1517 on Page 61]

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Finchinator

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OU & NU Leader

art by tiki | VR OP credit goes to PK Gaming | thread run by Finchinator

Welcome to the third official (first post-DLC 2) SS OU Viability Rankings thread. In this thread, we as a community will be ranking every single usable Pokemon into "tiers." You're encouraged to post your thoughts and opinions on the various Pokemon that are usable in OU and what tier they should fall under. Posts in this thread will be taken into account when deciding rank changes.

The general idea of the topic is to rank each OU Pokemon under "rankings" that go in descending order. Since this is a tier list for the entire metagame, everything is lumped together. There won't be any segregation between offense, defense, and supportive presences in the metagame within this thread. For example, Slowbro can be ranked in the A+ tier as a supportive presence, Spectrier can be ranked in the A+ as an offensive presence, and Toxapex can be ranked in the A+ tier as a defensive presence. While these three examples can also be found in the initial rankings, the viability of Pokemon and their roles within the metagame can and will change over time, so we will be sure to keep an open mind to this as well and adjust the thread accordingly during each update.

Finally, there will be a council of experienced players who will discuss and vote on the ranking of Pokemon. Depending on how the metagame is developing, we could update the thread every couple of weeks or every month+. Please note that your posts still very much matter and will be factored in to what we discuss and the discussions themselves. This thread is nothing without the posters and every informed opinion that is shared is considered a valuable contribution in my eyes, so do not hesitate to post if you know the metagame well and understand the forum rules. The council will consist of the following users:
SS OU Ranking Tier List

S Rank:

S Rank


Landorus-Therian

S- Rank

Dragapult
Heatran

A Rank:

A+ Rank


Corviknight
Ferrothorn
Kyurem
Slowking-Galar
Tapu Fini
Tapu Koko
Tornadus-Therian
Toxapex
Weavile

A Rank

Clefable
Garchomp
Kartana
Magnezone
Melmetal
Scizor
Tapu Lele
Urshifu-R
Zeraora

A- Rank

Arctozolt
Blissey
Buzzwole
Hydreigon
Ninetales-Alola
Slowbro
Victini
Volcarona

B Rank:

B+ Rank


Bisharp
Blacephalon
Dragonite
Gastrodon
Hippowdon
Moltres-Galar
Nidoking
Rillaboom
Rotom-Wash
Skarmory
Slowking
Tyranitar
Volcanion
Zapdos
Zapdos-Galar

B Rank

Aegislash
Barraskewda
Excadrill
Hawlucha
Mew
Pelipper
Tangrowth
Tapu Bulu

B- Rank

Blaziken
Dracozolt
Jirachi
Kommo-o
Mandibuzz
Reuniclus
Swampert


C Rank:

C+ Rank


Crawdaunt
Cresselia
Gengar
Grimmsnarl
Kingdra
Mamoswine
Nihilego
Primarina
Rotom-Heat
Seismitoad
Suicune
Terrakion
Thundurus-Therian
Toxtricity
Zarude

C Rank

Amoonguss
Avalugg
Azumarill
Conkeldurr
Glastrier
Keldeo
Marowak-Alola
Moltres
Latias
Latios
Porygon2
Regieleki
Shedinja
Togekiss
Torkoal
Venusaur

C- Rank

Celesteela
Charizard
Darmanitan
Ditto
Hatterene
Haxorus
Necrozma
Quagsire
Ribombee
Shuckle
Slowbro-Galar
Xatu

Rules - Updated as of 11/30/2020
  • Post intelligently. Posts like "I think pokemon X should be in this tier" will be deleted and infracted if it is a repeat issue. Expand on your opinion with actual analysis showing understanding of the metagame and perhaps bringing a unique perspective to the conversation.
  • Absolutely no flaming, personal attacks, or general idiocy will be tolerated. Part of this is under moderator discretion and please know that posting in this thread is a privilege, not a right. You'll get warned initially if it is not something overly malicious, but harsher punishments can and will come with repeated behavior or severe offenses.
  • Usage statistics may be used to support an argument or a claim, but don't base your ENTIRE argument around them. There needs to be more substance than just this. For example, you can't just say "Pokemon X shouldn't be this tier because they aren't used that often!"
  • When nominating a Pokemon to move from one rank to another, do not merely list its obvious qualities such as stats, typing, movepool, etc. If you think a Pokemon deserves to rise or drop, explain what has changed in the meta to cause such Pokemon to get better or worse. I can assure you that the VR Council already knows the obvious qualities and we are far more interested in understanding why you believe it has increased or decreased in viability.
  • Unrelated discussion such as talk of (potential) suspects and unproductive one liners that do not greatly contribute to discussion will be deleted. If this becomes a recurring issue for any particular user, then it could lead to an infraction. If you are unsure where to post something, feel free to start a conversation with me on here or discord. Moreover, if you have a general question, then odds are it belongs in the SQSA, not here.
  • Being OU by usage alone does not guarantee a ranking. We touched on usage not being the sole reason behind viability of anything before, but this is very true here as a lot of things accumulate ladder usage despite not being the best option. Do not mistake the correlation between usage and viability as stronger than it actually is. If you have any further questions about this, please start a conversation with me on here or discord instead of posting it in this thread.
  • When new Pokemon, items, abilities, and/or anything else relevant to the OU metagame are released, please hold off on discussing the ranking of the new Pokemon or the rankings of Pokemon that are impacted by these developments until there is approval to discuss the matter by an OU Moderator in this thread.
  • Failure to follow these rules after warning(s) will result in an infraction or possibly a ban depending on the severity of the offenses.
  • If you are nominating a Pokemon to be ranked (meaning it was previously unranked), then you need to provide replays of it being used in the metagame and you also should go out of your way to be as thorough as possible in explaining why it has a niche in the metagame (Example of GOOD UR Nomination) -- a vast majority of nominations have been of poor quality historically and we reserve the right to revoke nomination privileges from thread posters at any point in time. If you are in doubt, then feel free to start a conversation with me on here or discord prior to nominating a Pokemon and I will give you honest feedback on the post.
Blacklisted Pokemon: All posts regarding these Pokemon will be deleted (or nominations of these Pokemon will be removed)
  • nada
I am hoping for a productive discussion to take place in this thread throughout the generation. I am looking forward to seeing the metagame develop in front of our eyes; I find this to be a very cool prospect and it is one of the main reasons why I elect to run this thread. With this said, I am still only one person and our moderation team only consists of so many people, so try not to make our lives too hard here...post intelligently, lurk before commenting if you are new, and do not expect everything to be moderated super closely 24/7. We are all volunteering our time and effort to maintain threads like these, so we expect a certain degree of respect and understanding of this.
 
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Finchinator

You’re so golden
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderatoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending BW Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader
I am trying something new for this thread. Over the next 24 hours, you may ask questions about the initial rankings and I will answer as many as possible (some tomorrow when I am back from work and some the following day).

We are not able to generate individual justifications like we do for normal slates as there were no true rises/drops going from viability list to rankings, but I wanted to provide some transparency and context. This thread is open to questions and I will go through them in a response one-by-one over the next day or two. Once a day passes, this thread will be used like normal for nominations of changing ranks of Pokemon.
 

Kyotoshi

Going Against God
is a Tiering Contributor
First.

Great to finally have viability rankings up. Personally I feel cinderace should be A+ rather than A given how amazing it is in literally every matchup where a pex isn't present but I'm sure the council has a reason for ranking things the way that they did. Interested to see what everyone else thinks about these rankings.
 
Nice to see the viability rankings thread back. Don’t have time to make a long post or anything, but the one thing that initially jumps out as a bit misplaced to me is Rain being ranked only B-. I could see Kingdra staying there, but I think Pelipper and Barraskewda fit in a lot better with the B ranked pokemon. What exactly was the reasoning behind ranking rain so low?
 
Great to see the viability rankings up again!!
A few things I would like to ask about is the rankings of Garchomp, Kartana and Tapu Koko.

What roles does Chomp in particular play? I have seen defensive RH and SD with Scale Shot mostly. What makes it A+?

Kart also I haven't seen too much of. Scarf and SD are obvious ones but again why is it good enough to be A? Scarf is easy to check and SD simply doesn't have the speed tier.

Lastly Koko also. It is completely walled by mons like Nidoking, Excadrill which are very strong mons or Ferro which can lay down hazards. Also it is not particularly strong either even with choice items. Why has it been given A-?

I am not making a point to change their rankings. I am simply asking why they have been put so and I wrote these points to illustrate, why I didn't think they would be in that respective ranking. It would be easier to understand if I get the answer directly concerning these points.
 
I'm surprised Seismitoad isnt in the VR even as a niche mon. Especially under the rain playstyle. Specs Seismitoad hits surprisingly hard under rain. Its niche over Kingdra as a special attacking swift swimmer is it provides rain with an electric immunity and if you put on water absorb over Swift Swim, it blocks Swamperts attempt at slow pivoting.
 
My opinion is the following:

Shedinja: C- -> C+

As usual, Shedinja is relegated to stall teams that use it for particular threats that no other defensive wall can reliably handle together, and of course this playstyle is much more viable in this generation due to the existance of boots that don't force you into running a magic bouncer, while in general Shedinja feels much more reliable to play with a 110 BP ghost stab in the form of Poltergeist (despite the low PP, that in a long battle, usually the case with the teams it's played in, isn't optimal) that can threaten all but a few switchins in the form of defensive Hydreigon, Mandibuzz and other mons already used to check Spectrier. But, despite being of course inferior offensively to Spectrier, the reason why Shedinja's niche is so strong in this meta is because it's the only reliable Pheromosa wall in the game (unless it runs throat choap for it, which I have not seen any mosa do so far); physical walls such as Moltres and Pex falter to the Shock Wave set, while Ice Beam breaks through Lando and friends and fighting stab hits every other mon in the mix reliably (be it blast or cc), AND magearna counter (unless running shadow ball, which again proves to be a point in favour of Shedinja, since Shadow Ball drastically takes from the immense coverage pool in Mag's moveset, making sure there's always a Pokemon in Shedinja's team that can reliably take it on); even stored power/draining kiss sets falter to the ghost bug, with no way to answer (running shadow ball in those reduces their effectiveness by an ENORMOUS amount). But it simply does not stop there. It's also the most reliable answer to CB Melmetal, a Pokemon known for literally breaking through stall like it's butter (definitely a better answer than Buzzwole, at that, which folds after hazards and cant pp stall reliably a move that can crit twice). Finally, it's one of the best Pokemon to beat Latios, a wallbreaker that, with a specs equipped, can 2HKO an incredibly big part of the metagame, forcing mons such as defensive Magearna and rolling the dice vs mons such as Clef (who cant take Psyshock if spdef, and cant take Psychic if physdef; if u break through it or not depends on what your interaction vs the invested defense is). Yes, it fears losing Hdb through Trick, but it can also trick them back from most of the defensive counterplay (in the form of Mandi, for example). In general, the biggest form of counterplay in regards to Shedinja is tricking away its boots, but its access to trick and the reliability of many defoggers in the meta game surely helps with that.

Of course, Nidoking running fire move and Barraskewda running crunch (along with many other offensive staples running coverage that effectively beats it, such as cm clef's flamethrower) isn't too great for it, while sand's prominence also hurts it, but beating some of the most prominent, strongest pokemon in the metagame is already a great accomplishment for the ghost bug who gives stall teams unparalleled help.

there's some mons that i forgot to mention that are really good in the meta right now and that Shed can win vs unless they have a coverage move just for it: CM Fini (lacking knock), specs kyurem, subkyurem (not very reliable, u have 4 poltergeist pp vs kyurem lmfao), bulk up buzzwole (lacking toxic), magnezone, tapu lele, scale shot chomp, block pex (lacking knock), tapu koko
 
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I'm surprised Seismitoad isnt in the VR even as a niche mon. Especially under the rain playstyle. Specs Seismitoad hits surprisingly hard under rain. Its niche over Kingdra as a special attacking swift swimmer is it provides rain with an electric immunity and if you put on water absorb over Swift Swim, it blocks Swamperts attempt at slow pivoting.
It is there
I'm surprised Seismitoad isnt in the VR even as a niche mon. Especially under the rain playstyle. Specs Seismitoad hits surprisingly hard under rain. Its niche over Kingdra as a special attacking swift swimmer is it provides rain with an electric immunity and if you put on water absorb over Swift Swim, it blocks Swamperts attempt at slow pivoting.
It is there in C-.
 
Very good work on the ranking! I am pretty confused about Kyurem placement, what does it have to have said stance in OU meta, and what makes it comparable to the likes of Hydreigon?
Also, considering Tyranitar being ranked pretty high in the list, what in your opinion is its best set?

Thanks in advance!
 
I feel like Aegi should have been put into B+ rank as its a great answer to mosa while still hitting hard. It can run mixed coverage which I haven't seen many mons do as of recent.

I would also like to know the reasoning for not putting Cinderace in A+. I feel like it covers a lot of the metagame while providing excellent coverage as a pivot. While stuff like chomp is in the tier, I don't think it minds that too much as the pressure and momentum it provides against opposing teams is enough to force its checks out, who over the game may get chipped from rocks.

Lastly I think that Clefable and Pheromosa should be S+. MOST defensive cores in the tier include a clefable from what ive seen, and a tier without clef calls for chaos and disorder*in chat*. Clefable is consistent, bulky, flexible, its basically everything a defensive mon could want. Pheromosa has shifted the meta in a very unhealthy way imo. I think its too central and effective at its job to not be considered an S+.

Have a nice day dude :D
 

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Estronic

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I appreciate the hard work put into this as usual! One thing I’m interested in, though, is some of the Pokemon ranked as C-. Specifically, I’m curious as to why Arctozolt, Shedinja, and Cobalion are placed in such rank, since not only have I seen practically no one use them, but I’ve also never really seen them being talked about at all anywhere. I can somewhat assume their basic niches, but I’d like to have to context to why they have niches in OU based on how they fare against specific and important parts of the metagame. I know that the lowest ranks aren’t really much interest to the majority of players, but I’ve always been intrigued by this section of the rankings due to the interesting Pokemon that are seemingly deemed “viable,” even if it’s to the lowest degree (which makes it even more interesting, at least for me).
 
I feel like Suicune should be at least B+. If it switches in on the right mon, or is allowed to set up for even a single turn, it can easily snowball out of control if you lack a hard check like Toxapex.
 
I appreciate the hard work put into this as usual! One thing I’m interested in, though, is some of the Pokemon ranked as C-. Specifically, I’m curious as to why Arctozolt, Shedinja, and Cobalion are placed in such rank, since not only have I seen practically no one use them, but I’ve also never really seen them being talked about at all anywhere. I can somewhat assume their basic niches, but I’d like to have to context to why they have niches in OU based on how they fare against specific and important parts of the metagame. I know that the lowest ranks aren’t really much interest to the majority of players, but I’ve always been intrigued by this section of the rankings due to the interesting Pokemon that are seemingly deemed “viable,” even if it’s to the lowest degree (which makes it even more interesting, at least for me).
On the ladder I have seen some Hail teams running arctozolt and I can confirm it works on those specific teams and there is also a guy on RMT who got top 10 using vanilluxe+arctozolt so maybe it merits its rating. As for shedinja and especially cobalion I have not seen a team in this meta running them
 
I appreciate the hard work put into this as usual! One thing I’m interested in, though, is some of the Pokemon ranked as C-. Specifically, I’m curious as to why Arctozolt, Shedinja, and Cobalion are placed in such rank, since not only have I seen practically no one use them, but I’ve also never really seen them being talked about at all anywhere. I can somewhat assume their basic niches, but I’d like to have to context to why they have niches in OU based on how they fare against specific and important parts of the metagame. I know that the lowest ranks aren’t really much interest to the majority of players, but I’ve always been intrigued by this section of the rankings due to the interesting Pokemon that are seemingly deemed “viable,” even if it’s to the lowest degree (which makes it even more interesting, at least for me).
arctozolt has bolt beam coverage and slush rush making it great on hail teams. ofc hail isn't the most viable playstyle, hence the C- rank, but it can work. This guy got #10 on the ladder with Arctozolt hail
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...9-ft-vanilluxe-swampert.3673996/#post-8672039
 
Glad to see the VR back once more. Just something I do wanna point out, I'm kinda surprised to see Dragapult in A rank alongside Landorus, Blissey and Cinderace. Idk I feel like everytime I've tried Dragapult I just wish I had horse. All the mons in A rank feel more consistent than Pult to me and while Pult has dragon stab and fire coverage it still feels weak to me unable to really sweep or accomplish much other than being annoying with status + Hex. But Ttar and Buzz being so common because of horse really doesn't do it any favors. At least Lando always gives you value via Knock off or rocks while providing Electric immunity and checking a lot ot shit and Ace gives you that offensive momentum and priority. I struggle to see any sets that might guarrant Pult being A rank material, maybe one rank below? It's not strong enough not consistent enough (Can't even ohko Spec without specs) Perhaps Specs Pult is the wave and I'm missing out on that but I dunno I'd love to be proven wrong.
 
I am personally interested in the lower ranks as well - the top ranks look like they make a lot of sense (I especially appreciate Magearna at S Rank, I hope this motivates another suspect test for this...thing in the future)

Swampert at B Rank: I would argue atleast B+ because it is one of "those" Pokemon which contributes in each game and battle. If that doesn't sound like an argument for you, think of how Magearna always does something in each battle, just not as overpowered - that's Swampert for me. I use it to check Pheromosa, Spectrier. I even had success with AV Counter/Mirror Coat (+STABs) - Counter is wondeful against U-Turn.

Glastrier at C Rank: I tried Adamant Full Speed(outspeed Base 60) and Brave TR sets. I am underwhelmed by it. Am I missing something?

I have more but since a lot of people are asking I am refraining from other questions.
 
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I appreciate the hard work put into this as usual! One thing I’m interested in, though, is some of the Pokemon ranked as C-. Specifically, I’m curious as to why Arctozolt, Shedinja, and Cobalion are placed in such rank, since not only have I seen practically no one use them, but I’ve also never really seen them being talked about at all anywhere. I can somewhat assume their basic niches, but I’d like to have to context to why they have niches in OU based on how they fare against specific and important parts of the metagame. I know that the lowest ranks aren’t really much interest to the majority of players, but I’ve always been intrigued by this section of the rankings due to the interesting Pokemon that are seemingly deemed “viable,” even if it’s to the lowest degree (which makes it even more interesting, at least for me).
There's an insane stall team with shedinja running around, I've made a few points about it in my post. I honestly think shed stall is one of the most underlooked strats in the tier with Mag, Mosa and such being top threats (although it admittedly has truly hard mu's with sand and the less common but still somewhat present hail, and shedinja can be deadweight in any given game depending on the sets of course)
 
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I'm surprised Seismitoad isnt in the VR even as a niche mon. Especially under the rain playstyle. Specs Seismitoad hits surprisingly hard under rain. Its niche over Kingdra as a special attacking swift swimmer is it provides rain with an electric immunity and if you put on water absorb over Swift Swim, it blocks Swamperts attempt at slow pivoting.
Seismitoad
it's there in C- rank
 
Just wondering the reasoning for zapdos-g being B- rather than higher up given its fantastic typing, ability, statsand offensive movepool that pressures slot of the meta?
Because at its core, its just a slightly stronger staraptor. For an offensive mon it's quite slow and and the presence of regular zapdos hurts it a lot as kanto zapdos walls it and because you can't run both zapdos forms, there is a lot of opportunity costs to running zapdos-g instead of regular zapdos. And zapdos is pretty good right now so most people would rather run that. Also it doesn't even have roost.
 
so why ferro is A+, the only S tier and A+ tier mons it can checked are ferro, pex and slowbro. Like urshifu destroys it, +2 chomp eq destroys it, phero CCs and specs spectrier 2 shots it. what kind of defensive utility can it provide of?
 
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