Resource SS OU Viability Ranking Thread [See post #321]

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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 first official 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, Mandibuzz can be ranked in the A+ tier as a supportive presence, Dragapult 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

(In alphabetical order)

S Rank:

S+ Rank
Clefable

S- Rank
Corviknight
Rotom-Heat

A Rank:

A+ Rank

Aegislash
Conkeldurr
Dragapult
Excadrill
Ferrothorn
Hippowdon
Hydreigon
Kommo-o
Seismitoad
Toxapex
Zeraora

A Rank
Dracovish
Kyurem
Mandibuzz
Terrakion

A- Rank
Bisharp
Cloyster
Gengar
Jirachi
Obstagoon
Primarina
Togekiss

B Rank:

B+ Rank

Chandelure
Incineroar
Keldeo
Mamoswine
Snorlax

B Rank
Cinderace
Crawdaunt
Gastrodon
Grimmsnarl
Hatterene
Hawlucha
Necrozma
Reuniclus
Rotom-Mow
Salazzle
Tyranitar

B- Rank
Gyarados
Rhyperior
Rotom-Wash
Torkoal
Venusaur
Xatu

C Rank:

C+ Rank

Darmanitan
Diggersby
Ditto
Jellicent
Mew
Milotic
Mimikyu
Pelipper
Sylveon
Toxtricity

C Rank
Avalugg
Celebi
Centiskorch
Dracozolt
Haxorus
Ninetales-Alola
Ludicolo
Mantine
Pyukumuku
Quagsire
Ribombee
Sigilyph
Sirfetch'd
Vaporeon
Weavile

C- Rank
Araquanid
Arcanine
Barraskewda
Drednaw
Durant
Shedinja
Umbreon
Weezing-Galar

Rules - Updated as of 12/28/2019
  • Post intelligently. Posts like "I think pokemon X should be in this tier" will be deleted. 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)

  • N/A -- let's try to not have this list grow too much this generation!
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

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OU & NU Leader
Darmanitan-Galar is now banned from SS OU. It will be removed from the OP now.

For all of those who were wondering why I kept it locked and why I did not want there to be too much discussion yet, thank you for your patience! This thread will be unlocked once the initial 48 hour period comes to a close and you guys can all discuss your thoughts then. In the meantime, enjoy the new metagame!
 
Is Flareon anything other than a response to Clefable? 'Cause damn, I'm surprised to see that shit sitting with Barraskewda
 
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Finchinator

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OU & NU Leader
Is Flareon anything other than a response to Clefable? 'Cause damn, I'm surprised to see that shit sitting with Barraskewda
It is probably the best LO Clefable answer, but it also blanket checks Rotom-Mow, which is increasing in popularity ever since the G-Darmanitan ban, and deters usage of BU Corviknight and Hatterene. Flare Blitz stings pretty hard for something that is primarily used as a Wish passer, which gives it the leg up on a few other viable options at times. Does this mean Flareon is a consistent option in the metagame? Absolutely not, but it is viable right now.

As for Barraskewda, it is a mediocre option, especially in the aftermath of the Dynamax ban. I think a lot of people overestimate how much it can truly do on the ladder. It is very frail, only functions on a limited amount of teams, and very prediction reliant. It, too, is a viable option, but, much like Flareon, it is not particularly good in the current metagame.

Finally, in the future please direct questions to the SQSA thread. This thread should be used strictly for nominations (move up, move down, be ranked, or be unranked) and discussion surrounding nominations.
 
First nomination

6518C12D-EC0D-46E6-A851-D7B9ED0AE8BA.jpeg
A > A+
Aegislash is too versatile to not make it to A+ due to its fantastic defensive and offensive typing. It has very few safe switch ins besides Mirror Armor Corv, Mandi, and Hippowdon especially with Band and Specs sets. It fills the role of a breaker, Clefable check, and spinblocker in one nice little package. It also helps that it isn’t trapped by Dugtrio.
 

Ruft

La vie en rose
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Won OST Predictions
Jellicent B > C+
Milotic B- > C-

It might be a bit early to tell, but these drops should make sense. A big factor in the viability of these Pokemon was their ability to come in on Galarian Darmanitan, but with the latter getting the boot I see a lot less appeal in running them. What remains of Jellicent is a very shaky Dracovish switch-in since it gets 2HKO'd by Crunch, though it does still have the niche of spinblocking and scaring out Excadrill. Milotic's pure Water typing means it wasn't weak to any of Darmanitan's attacks, but now it is mostly outclassed by Toxapex which has access to Toxic/Toxic Spikes and a significantly better ability in Regenerator.

Ribombee C > C+

This one is a bit more arguable, but I believe Sticky Web teams have been in quite a good position since the Dynamax ban. The presence of webs on the field enables wallbreakers with competitive speed tiers to thrive, such as Dracovish/zolt (which rely on speed to function), Hydreigon, and Bisharp, the latter of which also dissuades the use of Defog and has been gaining some traction lately. Not only that, there are plenty of Ghosts to spinblock for Ribombee, such as Dragapult and Gengar, the latter of which becomes quite hard to stop with a Nasty Plot boost under webs. While you might think Hatterene and Xatu can pose a huge problem, you can run Skill Swap on Ribombee to circumvent Magic Bounce or U-turn to use on the anticipated switch-in to pivot out and bring in a breaker for free. All in all, I personally believe Ribombee, as the best Sticky Web setter, deserves a rise to C+ for these qualities.
 
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Jordy

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to A+ or S
Hydreigon's easily one of the most defining Pokemon in the current metagame and I think that putting it in A criminally underrates it. I shouldn't really have to repeat everything this Pokemon does extensively, as I'm sure most of you already know, so I'll just list it in short: Hydreigon's a powerful wallbreaker that is able to take advantage of common bulky Water-type Pokemon like Seismitoad and Toxapex. To add onto that, the very recent rise of Nasty Plot + 3 Attacks Hydreigon, which is almost completely devoid of defensive counterplay, makes an argument to raise Hydreigon to A+ or S even more compelling in my eyes.

to B- or B
I don't think a Pokemon like Snorlax belongs in the same rank as all the other Pokemon in C+. Its ability to blanket check a lot of good Pokemon like Rotom-H, Clefable, and Dragapult is incredibly valuable right now. I'd also like to point out a little trend that benefits Snorlax massively right now; a lot of Toxapex have started to drop Haze in favor of other moves, making it much easier for Snorlax to overwhelm teams.

to UR
Polteageist shouldn't be ranked. It's walled by the two best Dark-types in the metagame, and struggles to create setup opportunities for itself.
 
I mostly agree with these rankings (or don't have enough experience with stuff to disagree), I do wanna suggest a couple thing though

Hydreigon is, in my opinion, an A+ rank mon. It's easily one of the most defining Pokemon in the tier, fits easily on a ton of teams and is difficult for pretty much any playstyle to deal with. The few things that can answer its Sub NP set get shredded by Draco Meteor or Fire Blast, which can easily be run over Substitute. It's fairly versatile, with Scarf and Specs messing with usual counterplay to the NP set. It's also splashable as hell, providing key resistances to Ground, Water, Fire, Ghost and Electric to its team. When you're building a team, it's one of the first Pokemon that should be considered as both a threat and a potential team member. I really think it fits better alongside Dragapult and Clefable than Excadrill and Aegislash, it's absolutely top-tier and a step above A rank imo

Rotom-H seems a little overrated here. It's good as hell, don't get me wrong, but from experience, being prey for Dragapult and Hydreigon, 2 of the biggest threats in the tier, it a really big issue for it. Depending on its item, it's going to get worn down really easily by either SR or lack of Leftovers, which really limits its survivability. I would honestly drop it to A.

This probably won't be a popular suggestion, but I think Clefable fits more in A rank than A+ too. Two weeks ago, I absolutely would have argued for it to be A+ rank, but at this point, the metagame has adapted to it enough where I feel like it's no longer A+ level. It can really struggle against offensive teams since its natural bulk really isn't that good, and bulkier teams no longer autolose to it since they generally carry checks to it.

Bisharp should be at least B+ imo, it's a super dangerous offensive threat with no really good answers, and it can absolutely run through teams. Its defensive typing really helps it find setup opportunities, and strong priority is really valuable in this metagame. Body press Corviknight is an issue I guess, but you don't need that much chip damage to beat it, and non-Body press variants get absolutely ruined by it.

Other things I wanna mention but not really elaborate on because I don't really have any good arguments: I feel like Mandibuzz is probably ranked a bit too high as well, but I don't feel strongly about it at all. I think there can also be an argument for Dragapult in S rank, SubDisable is just ridiculously good. And Mew seems kinda low given how ridiculously versatile it is, but I guess nobody really knows what its role is supposed to be in this meta.
 
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I agree with the jellicent demotion, it’s a terrible dracovish check (only with culbur berry and it works only once) and it’s not really particularly good at anything else, i’d rather have vaporeon or seismitoad since they both work as dracovish checks while providing utility in the form of wishpassing or stealth rocking/toxicing. I really don’t find a reason to run jellicent when other pokemon outclass her at her own niche role.
 
Nominating Clefable for S rank.

It’s easily a candidate for best Pokémon in the tier. Life Orb is surprisingly strong, as even Flamethrower can OHKO SpD Ferrothorn after Rocks (though Phys Def is more common which OHKOs without Rocks). As a bonus Flamethrower can also stop Corviknight from Pressure stalling to win, which it does via Fire Blast. Finally, you still 2HKO Seismitoed with Moonblast. I also need to mention Magic Guard, which makes Clefable a pain to take down as you can’t throw a Toxic on it or weaken it via LO recoil or hazards (and it gets recovery). Annoying as hell and easily start tearing down walls.

But Clef also has solid utility options. Stealth Rock is always valuable, and TWave support is also nice for mons like Hydreigon or Dragapult. I’ve even seen Wish variants which is stupidly annoying with Disable Dragapult or even Seismitoed. Clef plays amazingly well as a utility mon because everything at the top of the VR values what it offers.

It’s by far one of the most valuable support Pokémon that can also be one of the strongest wall breakers in the tier. It’s stupid versatile and should be S-Rank because of that versatility.
 

Gary

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I just wanted to defend Rotom-H for A+. I had a feeling that people were going to start nomming it down, but saying that it should drop just because Darm got banned completely ignores why it's so good in the first place. I think people heavily underrate just how much utility this Pokemon can give to teams and I really feel like it's one of those Pokemon that needs to be played a certain way to get the most out of it. I hate to quote one of my older posts but I feel like I explain my reasoning pretty well.

I'd argue it's one of the best Pokemon in the tier and I got dudes who would back me up on that, with or without Darm. Being one of the few decent checks to Darm is obviously a huge plus but Rotom-H has some of the best all around utility I've seen this gen so far. It's something that feels so easy to slap on teams because its typing offensively and defensively does so much for a team.

The NP set is a complete shit show to deal with overall. It's one of the best all around checks to BU Corvi in the tier as well as Clef, and you can fit Wisp or T-wave in the last slot to burn cripple shit that may try to pivot into Heat like Hydrei, Pult, Seis, or like a clutch suicide Wisp on something like Dracovish. After a boost, its counterplay defensively is basically limited reliably to Gastro and Toad; the latter taking like 48% from a +2 Overheat and its limited recovery makes it extremely easy to overwhelm. Even if Rotom-H can't outright break through it on its own, it can cripple it via Wisp/chip, and paired with something like CB Dracovish Rotom pressures it very heavily. The SpD tanks that exist in this tier like Slyveon/Flareon have to eat +2 Volt Switches as you go into your check, which forces them into Wishing and preserving you tons of momentum.

With smart play Rotom-H is legit one of the most infuriating Pokemon to deal with in the tier. It has the correct tools to pressure defensive teams as well status moves to dissuade offensive pivots from attempting to switch into it freely. It can click Volt Switch almost for free because the few Pokemon that can switch into it are prone to chip or status. I find it very hard to not just slap it on a team, Darm aside, for a Pokemon that is able to do so many things in one slot. Its flaws are greatly outweighed by its pros. When the VR finally goes up this mon is gonna be A+ minimum dont @ me.
 

Taptricity

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1577750735708.png
Mamoswine to B
Mamoswine definitely still isn’t a consistent choice but it’s gotten significantly better with Darmanitan being banned. It’s an unorthodox pick in the metagame that notably beats Mandibuzz and rolls through most teams lacking Washtom or Heattom (which are getting considerably larger due to Mowtom’s increased usage). It’s also a great pick on offensive teams to check Dragapult and Hydreigon as you have a priority Ice move in your pocket to shut them down.

I’d also say to drop
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to B. It’s just a mediocre Pokemon to try to use Court Change thanks to Seismitoad’s dominance that desperately requires a safe switch in to do anything noteworthy. There’s so much in this metagame that can easily stomach a Pyro Ball and Band sets just currently don’t have the luxury of Libero yet to be consistent. It definitely won’t be shocking when this mon rises rank after rank once its HA is released but currently it’s kinda hit or miss.
 
Hello, here comes my first nominations attempts in gen8. Dont kill me please, im not that confident:



to B or B- :
No reason to run it anymore without dynamax around and there is only so much Ditto can do in the current metagame. eg: its not guaranteed to beat Kommo-o if its played physical without a dragon move,it cannot reliably beat Gyarados either .Im sure A- is way too high at the moment.



to A+
versatile pokemon with both offensive and defensive utility. Choice specs sets are getting more and more plays since it has few switch ins(Head Smash is a solid option to catch Mandibuzz off guard). Corviknight cant switch into Choice specs and has a hard time against Swords dance variants.
Also, Shadow sneak, a super effective priority against Dragapult is very valuable.

to B+ or A-: Its stab combo is very hard to wall. It can reliably punish defog against Corviknight(watch out for body press but the +2 atk buff can finish it if its weakened) and Mandibuzz. once it places a Swords dance, which isnt hard,its almost guaranteed to do severe damage. The most important part is Sucker Punch which is such a good move in this metagame,because of Dragapult.it can also finish a weakened excadrill,to deny spin attemps.



to B+ or A-:Like Bisharp, it has access to Sucker Punch,which is so valuable. Insane typing,correct bulk, its a solid Dragapult answer,which enjoys G-Darmanitan ban. It has various options+Prankster to be useful in the almost every matchup(Thunder Wave,Taunt,Bulk Up,Reflect,Light Screen and even Trick) and an almost unresisted Stab combo.


to B-:
The best offensive spikes setter(can also run Stealth Rock or Toxic Spikes) with the ability to beat spinners and defoggers,in function of the coverage move you choose. It can in theory beat any rocker/spinner/defogger. Con:generaly struggle vs Hatterene and Cinderace. Very reliable





to C- or UR:
Without Darmanitan around,Milotic loses its niche. Its outclassed by other water types such as Vaporeon,Gastrodon,or Toxapex for either their Water absorb ability to handle Dracovish or their support movepool(Wish,Toxic Spikes,Toxic)


to B-: yea with no more Dynamax, Togekiss lost its main niche in this metagame.With neither Roost nor Defog it also lost in gen8 its support abilities. as for Nasty Plot sets, overall Hydreigon is better,due to its speed tier.
 
I would have to disagree with the nomination to move Cinderace down. I agree that Court Change may seem like a useless gimmick, but you have to keep in mind the pressure Cinderace applies just by showing up in Team Preview. If your primary strategy relies on screens or hazard stacking, you're either going to need to play very carefully or find a plan B. I acknowledge it's often underwhelming when it hits the field, but the pressure it applies from team Preview is rather consistent.
 
I disagree with the idea that Rotom-Heat's primary purpose was to check Darm or that it's overrated. Here are the following defensive pokemon that Rotom-H either destroys or seriously pressures with its Nasty Plot set:

Toxapex
Ferrothorn
Corviknight
Mandibuzz
Vaporeon
Jellicent
Milotic
Corsola
Clefable
Sylveon

Seismitoad and Gastrodon are the most reliable answers, but neither appreciate being burned, especially Seismitoad who loses his recovery and is much more susceptible to being worn down. Plus, a +2 Overheat from 252 Sp. Attack Rotom-H does 55.5 - 65.4% to Seismitoad, meaning once Seismitoad is under half health it's not an answer anymore. It also takes advantage of Wish/Protect or Recover shenanigans through Nasty Plot.

On top of being a reliable wall breaker, it maintains momentum through Volt Switch (pairing very well with fast and slow U-Turners) and has great resistances in Fairy, Fire, Ice and Electric. Heavy Duty boots has been a huge boon for it this gen as Stealth Rock is arguably its biggest weakness, which now gets completely mitigated.

This thing smashes almost every wall in the tier, can't be trapped, fits great on both offensive and defensive teams, and helps maintain momentum throughout the match. I think it definitely deserves to stay at A+ for the time being.
 
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to B+
Crawdaunt being below stuff like centiskorch is a insult tbh. It's speed tier is way better now as a lot of the main offensive threats like aegis, clefable and conkeldurr barely hit the 60 speed mark.The usual answers to dracovish (seismitoad, baneful bunker toxapex, Vaporeon) get absolutely rammed in by crawdaunt. Not only that, it's not trapped by dugtrio(granted no hazards, but even then eq only does 60).while I agree it's cb set is outclassed by dracovish, it's sd set can threaten stall better than dracovish can, but also be a bit useful against offense.(aqua jet rkilling rotom heat,excadrill, blade form aegis)
Overall I believe crawdaunt looks very out of place in the C tier, even if the big jump in ranking looks a bit ambitious.
 
A+ ---> S
I think Dragapult deserves consideration for S tier. With at least 3 viable sets, being Choice Specs, Sub Disable Hex, and Physical Dragon Dance, it can easily fit on teams of varying playstyles. Its faster than the entire unboosted metagame (even with a neutral Speed nature, only Barraskewda and opposing Dragapult outspeed it) and its Specs set provides great coverage to either break teams, or apply pressure and U-Turn out. Given that the Specs set has been the most common, the Sub Disable one can take opponents off guard, spread around Will-o-Wisps/Thunder Waves, and Hex for big damage. And anecdotally, I have seen more Physical Dragapult sets on the ladder recently, running some combination of Dragon Darts, Phantom Force, Sucker Punch, Dragon Dance, Sub, Disable and U-Turn. Yes, its physical movepool isn't the greatest, but +1 or +2 Dragon Darts can still put a dent in a fair number of teams.

As previously mentioned in this thread, Hydreigon is a serious threat this generation, with defensive counterplay to its Sub NP set being tough to find. Offensively, Dragapult has to be the best way to deal with it, since it can come in and KO Hydreigon, even if it is behind a Sub due to Infiltrator. Timid Dragapult is also the only non-Scarf Pokemon in the tier able to outspeed and revenge kill Scarf Dracovish. Given its versatility, I think it warrants a slot above A+.
 
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Disagree with Milotic drop. Even though Darm is gone, a SpDef Milotic set is able to switchin against Specs Aegislash (which is rare) as well as LO Clef and NP Hydreigon (though it is shakey with SR involved). It's also bulky enough to deal with Dracovish, and a Dragonbreath paralyze (30% - same as Scald) shuts Dracovish down. Furthermore, it's still able to ward off Specs Dragapult. It also gets Haze to prevent it from being setup bait against something like Hydreigon.

252+ SpA Choice Specs Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 108+ SpD Milotic: 156-184 (39.5 - 46.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Life Orb Clefable Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 108+ SpD Milotic: 156-185 (39.5 - 46.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 252 SpA Hydreigon Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 108+ SpD Milotic: 175-207 (44.4 - 52.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Draco Meteor over 2 turns vs. 252 HP / 108+ SpD Milotic: 276-325 (70 - 82.4%) -- not a KO
252 Atk Strong Jaw Dracovish Fishious Rend (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 148 Def Milotic: 165-195 (41.8 - 49.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

It's a solid niche as a general fat mon that covers a lot of the top threats.
 
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