All Gens The Top 10 Players of All Time

the last dozen posts itt are going to give me a stroke
care to elaborate? kinda wild to see you giving shit to the players that made this game to what it is today. People like MDragon, McMeghan, Malekith or whoever should clearly tell you that those "old farts" can still perform better than most of the currentgen bigbrains. Most of those players on the lists that are about to give you a stroke certainly had a deeper understanding of the tiers they were playing than most of the people playing nowadays, they even built their own teams :psysly:.
You probably just wanna make your buddies look better, buts its incredibly disrespectful and doesnt make any sense at all. You probably just arent aware of all the knowledge that got spoonfed to you and the others. Just like you couldnt use your phone to shitpost if some dogshit greek didnt come up with the most obvious and easy formula by drawing some Triangles in the sand with a stupid stick 2000 years ago. Have some decency and appreciate the work that has been done so the game can be at the state it is, especially you should be better than that.
 
this is incredibly difficult for me to do (I'll always feel like whatever I choose could've quite feasibly been different) so this list is very tentative and not in numerical order (abc instead). I'm consciously trying to be as fair to the present as the past has definitely gotten unfairly shafted in this thread, but blindly worshiping it is equally disingenuous to the fact that some of the best players ever play today - think of the michael jordan vs. lebron debate (lebron could definitely be the best but people who discredit mj are idiots). I just want each side to have their fair shakes. hopefully this + the fact I've been around for a while + my hobby of reading about the years of pokemon that came before me will make this a decently credible list. the metrics I use are a blend of achieving good amounts of high level success over multiple years, ability to make good teams and from that the influence they have left on their respective metagames as well as potentially the game as a whole.

ABR
bro fist
Ciele
Earthworm
Heist
imperfectluck
M Dragon
McMeghan
Ojama
SoulWind

if I had to pick a #1, ojama/mcm.

honorable t10:
FLCL, Gouki, husk, Lavos, Loki, panamaxis, reyscarface, Tamahome, Tesung, Veteran In Love. was unsure what to do re bloo but figured at least a mention of some sort was warranted.

this kind of discussion is also interesting if done by gen, since you'll get guys like dpp philip7086/adv astamatitos/gsc conflict (not to discredit them as one-note, they've all had notable success in other gens) that you usually wouldn't
 
2009-2018 peak / gut feeling, biased towards current gen OU, only counting somewhat regular smogon players, no order because it's impossible to compare :

husk
imperfectluck
panamaxis
Earthworm
Zak91
McMeghan
BIHI
Ojama
BKC
Heist
Jayde
Soulwind
cosine
ABR
Cdumas
FlamingVictini
Nintendi
ben gay
Tesung
bro fist
Eternal Spirit
Blunder
Lavos

I would probably put McM first.

Top 10 goat (mix of peak, achievements, longevity, consistency, versatility, teambuilding and ability to win bad gamestates)

1. Ojama
2. BKC
3. McMeghan
4. ABR
5. Earthworm
6. Tesung
7. Soulwind
8. ben gay
9. Lavos
10. M Dragon / bro fist
 
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M Dragon

The north wind
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Tutor Alumnusis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 17 Championis a Past SPL Champion
Ranking players is very hard, especially if we start comparing players from different eras.
What I value the most when rating a player is consistency: I think that the best players are those that can get great results in different metagames over the years.
I think my top 10 would be something like (sorted in alphabetical order): ABR, BKC, Bro Fist, Earthworm, Malekith, McMeghan, Ojama, Soulwind, Tamahome and VIL.

I think many people really underrate VIL. I think he is a top 10 player not only because his 2 Smogon Tour wins and how dominant he was back then, but also because how he shaped the most current metagames at that time (GSC and ADV), creating a lot of the "modern" archetypes and concepts we know in those gens. In fact, a lot of the archetypes he created, such as Superman in ADV, are still used.
You could argue that the overall level at his peak was much lower than today's, and that he has only played RBY - ADV with great results, but his impact in the game has been huge. He was the first Smogon "superstar".
And he has also had some more recent good results, such as in the first Callous invitational, where he ended in a solid place and was the only player to beat the eventual winner Linearcurve.

I also included Earthworm in the list because he used to be the most complete player in Smogon, being able to play nearly every meta at a very high level, especially RBY, GSC and DPP, where he was very strong. He was probably the best player in Smogon at many times. He still plays GSC tiers at a very high level.

The other 8 players are all players that have had great results over the years and have proofed to be able to beat anyone in any tier.

ABR needs no introduction, he has been dominating new gens for some years now, and not even that, he started to play old gens with great results in all of them, with a good performance in tournaments like Classic. It is not easy to be consistent at all those metagames at the same time, and ABR is one of the few players that has managed to do it.

BKC has shaped a lot of the old gens metas, and has had great results over the years in every old gen. One of the most influential old gen player, and one of the few players I would probably rank in the top 3 in at least 4 different OUs. He has been very consistent in a lot of tiers for a very long time, and he has won tour twice.

Bro fist has a crazy winning record in tournaments, and has been very consistent in current OUs for a lot of years, as well as a nearly perfect tiebreak record, showing how reliable he is as a player. Being so consistent for so much time is really hard.

Malekith is one of the most complete players in Smogon, and one of the few players that has been able to qualify in every tournament with POs (that is lower tiers, old gens and ou), and one of the most creative top players in Smogon as well. That allows him to quickly learn and dominate new metas, something he has done several times in the past, for example in SPL.

McMeghan has always been one of the players that has impressed me the most. Not only he has been very consistent over the years, he can also quickly learn a new meta quickly and dominate it, as he proofed when he won nearly every Slam. Winning Classic + Tour is also impressive. McM is one of the players with most "pure" skill to ever play this game.

Ojama is also one of the most consistent players in Smogon, and he has been one of the most consistent players over the last decade. What I like the most about him is how he has created his own unique style in the tiers he plays, and has managed to be very succesful with it. Classic + Tour proofs how strong he is at old gens. Also, unlike a lot of "old players", he has managed to be very succesful in current gen, nearly winning OLT and doing very well in OU tournaments in general, which is even more impressive.

Soulwind is another player that can play a lot of different tiers at a very high level, and has been one of the most consistent players for some years now, qualifying for nearly every PO of the tournaments he has played. It is still amazing that he still hasn't been able to win any individual tournament. If he had a couple of individual trophies, he would easily be a top 3 player in smogon history for sure.

Tamahome is a unique case of a player that has been able to reinvent himself in order to keep himself at the top over these years. He is a top player in every OU he tries.


Honorable mentions: Ciele, Lavos, lax, Tesung, Heist, IPL, Loki, Husk, make, Gouki, blunder
 
some very interesting posts to read in this thread. ill add my personal touch given some goats have gone out on a limb either here or on discord sharing their top 10s. ill post mine with myself included and one with myself excluded. in the one top 10 ill be in, ill put myself in 4th in the very clear and obvious top 4 that consists of bkc-mcm-abr-me we all seem to agree on and that has been outlined in the various posts and discussions on the matter so that the haters dont waste their time raging over nothing. the more objective we are the better, and i truly hate false modesty.

top 10 [kingpin included]:

10. M Dragon
9. SoulWind
8. Lavos
7. Tesung
6. craing
5. Earthworm
4. Ojama
3. ABR
2. BKC
1. McMeghan

top 10 [kingpin excluded]:

10. blunder - bro fist - heist
9. M Dragon
8. SoulWind
7. Lavos
6. Tesung
5. craing
4. Earthworm
3. ABR
2. BKC
1. McMeghan

honorable mentions: imperfectluck / aeroblacktyl / panamaxis / atticus / gr8astard / tamahome / goofball / veteran in love / husk / gouki / loki / ciele / philip7086 / malekith

im lowkey being a pussy here but i think all 3 deserve a spot for various reasons. tho, gunshot to my head, i'd probably pick heist for longevity and overall capacity to build and play at a high level in any possible generation AND tier. it's sad that heist kinda imploded and has disappeared because i think he'd still be doing great things hadn't he gone crazy a few years ago. he's one of the most fearsome builders and playwise he used to be very similar to brofist until he decided to turn into some kind of ipl2.0 and to focus on the odds rather than on his own strength. a shame he left with no individual trophy, but like a few others, he's definitely seen and respected as an individual trophy holder. john is another non-individual trophy holder, but he has left a certain mark in everyone's head with his personality, both as a player and a person. john is one of those players who rarely make any mistakes, ever, which suits his teambuilding perfectly given there is nothing to exploit from either his plays or builds. if u leave the smallest space, a single door ajar, he'll definitely dive into it and punish you, hence his name "the punisher of plays". i really like this aspect of john's game and i think that makes him one of the funniest and most entertaining players to play. you have to remain focused until the very last hp. he is also capable of playing any gen or tier at a very high level which is an advantage he has over blunder. on the other hand, blunder has an individual trophy. does that make him truly better than the 2 others and give him the ultimate argument to earn that spot. i dont reason that way. an individual trophy is an accomplishment and given the difficulty of the task, no individual victory should be minimized. tho, i think circumstances such as the era, the overall level of the tournament, the opponents faced on the way, the style used, and luck should be taken into account. ill just drop it quickly so there is no misunderstanding. anyone needs luck to win a trophy, no one is denying that. my point is, i don't think a trophy should erase everything and blind ppl. and unfortunately a lot of ppl lose any kind of logical reasoning just by the sight of a trophy. regarding blunder, i didnt put him here just because of his trophy. he doesn't even build nor play any gen past bw (and unless im mistaken i dont even think blunder is THAT good at bw). so why is he here? simply because i think play-wise he is one of the very best and this only gives him a spot. he has been one of the flashiest players over the past few years in oras-sm and was one of the major actors of the classiest-tyrants spl campaigns. im no oras expert but he's to me easily one of the 5 best oras mainers.


in a completely different style than the 3 above, mdragon cracks the top 10 and gets the 9th spot for his longevity and overall success across multiple generations. mdragon, self-claimed as THE teambuilder of every team imagined from gen 1 to 5, is one of the most annoying players to play. this is a compliment. he used to be the player that i hated playing the most alongside malekith. he's lately been overtaken by tricking and eternal spirit but he still deserves his spot over them for his much longer career crowned with success. i think what separates mdragon from the other players of the list is his lack of sexyness. i obviously mean no disrespect and this isn't even a criticism, mdragon probably takes a lot of pleasure in playing what he's been playing and how he's been playing all these years. but given this is my personal top 10, one of my metrics is the excitement provided when i watch them play. and mdragon has never really excited me. if i had to compare him with a current active player, i'd probably compare him with finchinator (and not abr because i think adam is an upgraded version of mdragon. finch is just like mdragon). they're both non-charismatic players who use what works, even if it's stall (mainly if it's stall for mdragon, finch being much more of an offensive player tho he's been using stall quite a few times in live tours), but they win fairly often and are always in playoffs of any tour. mdragon struggled for years before winning his trophy, so i guess finch will eventually win his. i think mdragon played the vilain as in the guy we want to watch lose very fine for all these years, but he has serious contenders among the new players. had mdragon been more entertaining to watch both as a player or as a builder, he'd certainly be higher on the list.


ah... where would soulwind be ranked had he won just half of the tournaments he went in finals of. one's ability to psychologically make that one step that makes you win a tournament finals should be used as one of the metrics but can soulwind really be blamed? when i mentioned luck as one of the factors that make u win a tournament, it's also a factor that can prevent you from winning one. don't get me wrong, soulwind is also responsible and luck cannot be blamed for every finals he lost, but i dont think im going too far by claiming he woulda had one with a little bit of luck. he is without a doubt an individual trophy holder to everyone's eyes. he even won spl twice and i can blindly make the assumption that he was a major actor in both wins given he always ends up positive in every team tour he plays. he is great at literally any tier he touches, he has improved regarding his team choices, despite usually going back to his safe playstyle when he feels unconfident which is a thing we can reproach him but overall he has diversified his team choices and playwise he is really really good, never afraid of pulling the trigger and catching your double switches or playing very agressively. so yeah soulwind is that good.


well who would have thought we would be putting lavos in our top 10s just a couple years ago. but here he is and he hasnt stolen his spot to anyone. his "peak", tho i dont know what this truly means, has been one of the most impressive ones, maybe even tying with tesung's. one of the best old gen players, amazing player and builder, very entertaining character as well. controversial personality but i liked him, we need ppl like him, fake nice ppl are boring, and he was strong enough to back up his words and not make a fool of himself. he completely shaped the gsc metagame, alongside others, and managed to turn it into one of the most entertaining tiers to watch. his domination was relatively short yet very impressive and no one doubts he woulda stayed on top for a few years hadnt he gotten banned. really hope he'll return someday.


similar to lavos but in new gens, tesung's peak is arguably the most impressive period of domination of a player, tho like i said i think lavos' is worth this one. what a player man, and by player i mean player you know. because this is what tesung was, a player. he was definitely not a builder and even if he was one, he wasnt a good one. how many times did i see him go into a game with a team dismantled by big threats and turn the situation around with phenomenal plays. he is a quick learner as shown by his performances in classic and wcop. his time was too short to move him higher and i guess one can always fantasize about the amount of trophies he would have by now had he kept playing.


i guess this one is a bit controversial regarding the spot because i dont think anyone disputes ben's place in this top 10. he used to be seen as a very fragile player that would never win a finals but he eventually won his trophy with class and this style that caracterizes him so much. he never strayed from his convictions and kept trusting his own style and it paid off, even tho to me reaching 3 indiv finals and winning spl was already more than a proof that he is among the greatest and that his style works. he has an understanding of the game that goes beyond imagination and this translates into his teambuilding. he is maybe the best builder ever and this alone is impressive enough. he is no flashy player play-wise but his teambuilding is so impeccable that he doesnt need to outplay to win.


i long hesitated whether i should put him in this top at all and i end up giving him the 5th rank. on second thoughts, earthworm embodies the most the new wave of talented players post adv, which is basically the moment smogon entered a new era, the very beginning of what smogon is today, and earthworm represents the first prototype of what top players look like now: great mindgame, top builder, very rational, versatile... I know there were top players before earthworm who dominated their respective time on smogon, but i think when earthworm was dominating smogon started growing bigger and bigger compared with goofball's or loki's dominating periods. worms even played bw1 at a very high level and won wcop. he won tour and almost won ost in dpp, making him arguably the best dpper during that time and i believe he woulda had a lot of success in bw had he tried more in smogon tour (his timezone sucked tho...). he used to be the best gscer for quite some time too and is very good at old gens in general, winning spl by starting in adv where he was phenomenal. mcm and i learned a lot from him, mainly the fact to never give up and always think of a way to reverse a bad situation. clearly a precursor


from now on there are basically only positive things to say. i wouldnt have put abr in my top 3-4 a few months ago, given how much he struggled in old gens, but he has proven everyone wrong and has shown yet again his ability to learn from his mistakes, to learn quickly and adapt and that is something to admire. i think he has room for improvement in oldgens, especially in his team choices where he is a lot more predictable than he is in newer gens, but nonetheless, his classic run was impressive and he tried to win with his own weapons and what he had at his disposal. im not always a fan of his methods but unlike standard stall players, i think when abr stalls he does it for a real reason and not just to "hide and kill noobs". he does it in a very smart way and i respect that. in classic, he was humble enough to know his best shot at beating someone like kev or me in our best tiers was to "cheese" a little bit and that's a lot different from ppl who just stall or rob standard teams and spam them just because they're trash. abr is a fantastic builder and he can build in any tiers, so when abr uses a specific playstyle, i know there is some deep thought process behind. as for newer gens, well it's been said already but he's been for sure the most consistent and most dominating player over the last 3 years i'd say, and his impact on the metagame at various times is just incredible. his recent performances in olt and classic are the reasons why i can put him in my top 4 without a doubt because up until both tournaments, abr used to struggle a bit in playoffs and be counter-nature just because he was afraid of being predictable i suppose and this led to him losing very early in playoffs in very disappointing ways. in classic and olt he trusted his strengths and defeated great opponents and thus went far in both. one of the players i enjoy watching the most. looking forward to his exploits in gen 8.


let's just start by saying kev could easily be #1. i just went for recent performances and because i had to pick, but yeah it would be no scandal if kev was #1. well bkc ticks every square on my textbook, he is a great builder, a great player, he has a perfect comprehension of every tier he plays (1 bad tour happens to anyone guys). his playstyle usually depends on his mood and his vision of the game at this specific moment, but it's very rare to see bkc put himself at a disadvantage on the teambuilding aspect. his teams may seem standard but after working a little bit with him for classic, i realized that he adds his personal touch on all his teams and unlike abr who is able to revolutionize a tier, kev will just catch ppl on the hop with a few techs but will rarely ever launch himself into something too risky given he can just outplay and tackles the metagame with just a few adaptations on what would seem like standard balance teams, thanks to his great understanding of the tiers. his mindgame is a mix of soulwind's and john's i'd say, very judicious but very agressive at the same time. you know i can definitely see kev outplay himself by overestimating his opponent and assuming his opponent thought everything through. this probably has happened to him quite a few times. it used to be that aspect of his game that impressed me the most, but i really liked working with him in classic as i was able to see his teambuilding skills in dpp mostly. he also finally made it to classic playoffs after missing out on playoffs every season for various reasons. im very interested to see what kind of performances he's gonna pull off next year given he has much less pressure on his shoulders now that he reached playoffs once. a stellar player for sure.


you know before you win classic, i don't think i would have ever put you #1 but i think you have truly earned it. you know i like to shit on you to either troll you or because you really get on my nerves, but seeing you win with your own stuff and sticking to your beliefs was really pleasant. prime mcm will always remain to me the "most unbeatable player" even tho i thought i'd never get to see you on top ever again, but these past few months reminded me how much i love watching you play seriously. your lack of versatility in your team choices is what triggered me the most before but i think now you have reached your peak and that's why you get the spot. dont go too far though, you aint no ben gay fdp.
 
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McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
Reading this thread and seeing some of the great posts from players I respect a lot made me want to give this idea a go. After spending a lot of time debating with myself, here is what I have to say about my Top10 Of All Time.

Methodology

In order to make my ranking, I went through this thread and the master sheet to assemble played I deemed worthy. I took various criteria into consideration, but to sum it up, there are:
  • Achievements: pretty straight-forward, the results.
  • Mental game: ability to stay composed no matter what happens or the context of the game.
  • Gamesense: overall feel of the game, decision-making, skills so to speak
  • Range: ability to play multiple generations/tiers and the skills that come with them (planning/scouting with or or without preview is very much different for example)
  • Teambuilding: this takes a lot of importance for me. A great player is someone who understands the fundementales of the game and can translate it into good/unique teams.
  • Versatility: ability to play various playstyles to a high level.
This top is highly subjective. It is based on the feel I get from every players in those categories and then are mixed up to get the final result. It is also based on what I've seen/read first-hand, so this is pretty much encompasses a period going from 2011 'till now, although there were big periods of time within that timeframe where I wasn't as involved as I could be, thus missing a lot of things live or player development.

The Original 30

Before going into the Top30, I want to share the original 30 players I retained before cutting it down to the final result. These are:
ABR
Alexander.
Astamatitos
ben gay
BKC
Bloo
blunder
bro fist
Ciele
Conflict
CrashinBoomBang
Earthworm
Gouki
gr8astard
Heist
husk
imperfectluck

Lavos
Loki
M Dragon
Malekith
Marshall.Law
Ojama
reyscarface
SoulWind
Sweepage
Tamahome
Tesung
Tricking
VIL
Italized are the players I immediately removed because I didn't watch any of their games or not enough of them. However, I still included them for their legacy and achievements.
Underlined are the players that have left a very strong impression on me but were just too lacking in some category to figure in the final 10.

THE TOP

ben gay / craing

To start off the list, I'm going with ben gay. ben gay is to me the single best builder of this website. This man has a very deep understanding on the metas he was playing and knew how to craft teams with unrivaled variety. He was able to make anything work, be it Pokemon or playstyle wise. To me, this is a clear sign of someone who gets how to win on a very complex level. Not only that, he was able to join results with his creations, knowing exactly how to wield all the crazy stuff he made. Reaching the final of OST twice, which is to me one of the most incertain tournament, speaks for itself. Even though he's inferior to other players from the top (and even outside) in the other fields, he's just on a another level teambuilding wise. I also want to mention that a lot of his builds/success directly led to the suspect tests of some Pokemons, such as Dugtrio, showing how much he would influence the generations he played.

When you read games can be won in the builder, ben gay is a prime example of this saying, as a lot of his opponents just couldn't figure out what was coming at them. However, ben suffered several flaws (mainly mental game) and this is why he's "only" #10. Afterall, he's only a preview-gen player too, which played a part in my decision.

Achievements: A | Gamesense: B | Mental: C | Range: C | Versatility: S | Teambuilding: S+

Earthworm

Earthworm is my dad. I've said it in a lot of occasion, but EW is probably the player who shaped me the most when I begun on this website. He was the first player I've met and since who truely humbled me and made me realized there was still a lot to learn at this game. Similary to ben gay, he was a unique builder and player who had a knack at thinking outside the box, and thus taking his opponents by surprise or crawling back from terrible gamestates.

Much like Ojama said, EW feels like the first superstar of this website, at a time where a shitton of players arrived due to the implementation of Wi-Fi in IRL games. Back in his day, EW was simply the most achieved player on the website in my eyes. He would do great in everything he joined and was a force to be dealt with in every single and team tournaments, coming clutch in multiple WCop back when Oceania was at the helm. His mental game is one of the most resilient I've seen.

However, time hasn't be the kindest to EW, as he's kinda lost his drive to compete a while ago. Since then, a lot of players rose up to the occasion to reach similar level of success. He also doesn't play every gen and mainly sticks to GSC nowadays, although his achievements in ADV, DPP (especially) and BW1 are there.

Achievements: A | Gamesense: S | Mental: S+ | Range: C | Versatility: A | Teambuilding: A

Lavos

Few players have impressed me as much as Lavos during their "peak". Up until his recent ban, Lavos was looking untouchable in pretty much every oldgens. During a time period of approximately two years, he killed tournaments after tournaments, taking strong players along the way. His achievements in GSC particulary were impressive.

What also left a mark on me was his ability to wield very unique and varied kind of teams in every single gens. Stall, baton pass, screens, balance, you name it, he could roll up with it and execute it well. On the few occasions he played in future gens, he was solid, although not as dominating.

Could have been higher but his mental game left him to put his nose where he shouldn't have and got banned. Going to give it a X ranking for Gamesense because his results didn't last in time enough to my taste, especially considering the amount of time he's played, but his "peak" was crazy high.

Achievements: A | Gamesense: X | Mental: B | Range: A | Versatility: A | Teambuilding: A

Tesung

Tesung is like Lavos, but with even more achievements during his peak. Two Stours, Classic final, OLT appearances, WCop/SPL runs, GSlam Playoffs, all the while steamrolling a lot of good players, wielding any and all kind of teams/sets.

I remember when I was preparing for our Smogon Tour Final, I was watching his replays and he was just winning every single game, Tournaments & Friendlies. He would make anything work.

Kind of short lived overall, and showed a worse version of himself when he wasn't putting his all, making question his consistency/stamina. Also, I shouldn't brought water you doing... No note for his teambuilding by the way, because I don't know if he did much building, and going from his posts, he seemed to be more of a team-receiver than builder. Also, since I'm going by "Peak Tesung" for this 7th place overall, I'm giving him the X ranking in Gamesense as well.

Achievements: S | Gamesense: X | Mental: S | Range: S | Versatility: A | Teambuilding: ?

SoulWind

Mr.Consistency himself. SoulWind might have one of the longest resume on this list in term of overall success. Not only has he been going at it for a long time, but he's been getting better and better, just always be there in every Playoffs of everything, often going far (and yet, missing his Graal).

You definitely need luck to win a Trophy here, because of the nature of the game, and SW just keeps missing that final step, sometimes due to luck itself, sometimes due to some errors (maybe a mental blockage at this point) or team choices (I think Ojama is right when he says he often goes back to his comfort zone when against the wall). Who knows. But Trophies don't mean everything and what's sure is that SW is the player who's reached the most amount of finals, with 3 Tours, 1 OST and 1 Classic, which goes to show his ability to excel in every single gen and even tiers with his Grand Slam appearances. While not perfect yet, he's an example to follow for anyone wanting to get good. I just wished he had more personality in his builds to round it up.

Achievements: S | Gamesense: S | Mental: A | Range: A | Versatility: B | Teambuilding: B

ABR

ABR is the user with the most recent join date on my list, and he's already top 5 in my eyes. And the thing is, he can only rise from here, as he's probably one of the most involved player I've seen in my "career". With an irreprochable work-ethic, ABR is here to stay and keep sharing the tournament scene with his results.

Another Mr.Consistency, ABR is also one of the best builder I've seen. He shapes OU since ORAS like no other and is now even giving the old gens his own take, with success! You can tell he understands the game on a deep level as he very often comes up with new techs/sets of choice that often come clutch. His mental game is no slouch and he isnt afraid to play any kind of team, making it a headache to be pitted against him in a tournament, never knowing what you will run into.

His main flaw in my opinion is his desire to have everything under control with his builds (you can tell from his high usage of healing moves, Regenator or emphasis on the hazard games. It can even be seen in his plays (greed rocks cough cough) and sometimes it leads to his downfall. But as time has already told, he keeps learning and researching, so he will always be a player to count on when big events are around the corner.

Achievements: S | Gamesense: A | Mental: S | Range: A | Versatility: A | Teambuilding: S+

Bloo

Debated a lot whether or not should I put Bloo in there, but since this is a subjective top, I had to. While I know a lot of ghosting allegations have been said about the player, there was just too much games disputed for me to believe every single one of them wasnt legit. Not to mention I've spent countless time talking with Bloo about the game in general as we were both very active during our most involved time on this website. I've also played her in a ton of friendlies so I know the skill was there.

Now that's out of the way, I have to say that Bloo was probably the most calculated and methodical player I've seen in this game. It felt like everything was taken into account, and it showed in the results. Always bringing solid teams, it just always looked like Bloo was ahead, never giving her opponent any inch to take the lead and run with it.

Bloo's biggest flaw was probably the reliance on other in the teambuilding department. I felt like, if on top of her skills, she could make teams and thus knowing every ins and outs of them before going into the battle, we would have seen her lift her long-awaited Tour trophy. Even though Bloo didn't play a lot of generations, and often resorted to the same kind of playstyle, she was a model of game control and ability to play every game right, which left a very strong impression on me, and affected my growth a lot.

Achievements: ? | Gamesense: S+ | Mental: S | Range: C | Versatility: C | Teambuilding: C

BKC

The most passionated player on the website. BKC needs no introduction and has been one of the most influential and successful player of Smogon since his rise to prominence. We go back and there is a lot to say about him.

On the positives, BKC is a master of every gen he touches. He has results in literally every single one of them. He's one of the most knowledgable player of the site, especially in old gens. He keeps ironing his craft and a lot of his teams shaped the metagames. He knows what works, and perfects it. He's also one of the most accomplished player on the website, with amazing success in WCop, often being a leader of his team, but also in Smogon Tour and a ton of other tournaments, finally now breaking his Classic curse. When you talk with him about the game, you can tell he really understands what works and how to use it effectively, which leads to a very solid understanding of the game; and it shows in his tutorial videos.

On the other hand now, and even though I think he made a TON of progress in that regard, I still think his mental is the weakest part of the game; easily tilted and thus leading to some inconsistency. He's also sometimes stuck in his way, and runs teams that are meta-defining but thus falls prey to anti-metagamers. While this could be a whole debate in itself, it plays against him sometimes in our current tournament structure. Finally, he isn't the most varied player. He will know "what's good" as he'd say, but like I just said, it can play against him.

Definitely a legend of our game.
Achievements: S+ | Gamesense: A | Mental: B | Range: S | Versatility: C | Teambuilding: S

bro fist

bro fist, or John, is to me, the most sensed player on this website. He just sees everything, calculates everything, and pretty much always takes at least a good decision, if not a great one. He never beats himself, and is never out of a game. His teams are always solid, and while not the most varied, he showed he could go out of his comfort zone to take his opponent by surprise.

He's definitely a no-bullshit kind of guy. Don't expect crazy teams from him, he will always use something solid (but not always classic, he can analyzes the tiers he plays and comes up with great techs). Play-wise, he's everything but a clicker, and if you analyse his games, you can tell every move he makes has been thought thoroughly. Sometimes I watch his replays and I'm like "damn this play really covered everything". He can be a bit too conventional and will struggle vs erratic players, but he never really gets blasted and still finds a way out.

John is also probably the most composed guy on Smogon, and it shows in his ABSURD tie-breaker record. No matter the context or the situation, he thinks everything through and plays accordingly.

His biggest downside by far is his lack of single accomplishment. He did have a period of time where he joined more individuals, and clearly showed he could do well there too, easily qualifying for STour and Classic playoffs, showing there his deep understanding of the game in every gens, mastering the skills needed to play in all of them, beside GSC maybe.

One of my most influencial player skill-wise.
Achievements: B | Gamesense: S+ | Mental: S+ | Range: B | Versatility: B | Teambuilding: B

Ojama

Although I often butt heads with the Kingpin, he's the best player of the website to me for a number of reasons.

Achievements? Check, 4 indivudal finals disputed, going from current gens to old gens, amazing records time and time again in team tours.
Gamesense? Just watch him play, his results dont come from nowhere. I wouldn't say he's as calculated as John, but he always knows what he's doing and is very proactive in his playing
Range: literally great at every gen, beside maybe ORAS. Top 5 ADV/BW/SM for sure at least.

While his mental game used to be his weak point, he made so much progress over the year. He always stays in his game. Although I will mention he can still be tilted and start missing the whole picture sometimes.

Much like an ABR, Ojama builds every single team he uses. It's actually crazy how he gives every generation his spin with his own stuff, and pretty much always make it work. I have mad respect for that. How many times have I seen his team and thought "why is he using this spread, this moveset or those mons" and then I watch his games or start teambuilding myself and it all makes sense.

His biggest downfall for me is his lack of variety in playstyles. There are some things you can completely disregard when preparing for him and it plays against him.

Another legend of the game, and the person who influenced me the most.
Achievements: S+ | Gamesense: S | Mental: A | Range: S | Versatility: C | Teambuilding: S
 
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for me the list is:

10.- Tamahome
9.- ABR
8.- M Dragon
7.- Earthworm
6.- Lycans
5.- Soulwind
4.- Ojama
3.- McM
2.- BKC
1.- Tesung

Honorable mentions to this list of players I think they incredible strong:
- Joga (Incredible good builder in old gens)
- EG Blue (BW God, sadly he's underrated and Posho played instead him in wcop2019, here a replay of Blue vs Finchinator https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen5ou-887414209)
- Vagoneta (ADV LA GOD)
- El Poeta (He was considered a menace in PO, very good builder and good player overall in early BW)
- CyberOdin (Solid enough, plays every tier and saved the team in WCOP many times, he maintains his record of one of the oldest LA Player)
- EG Sora (He didnt got a good record in 2 WCOPs he played, but he do rly good in tournaments, he has a good read of the game and his building skill are bit unique)
- DennisEG (Goat.)
- Will of Fire (Good builder, I met him in ORAS, and his teambuilding was something rly good, he won Blunder tour and been doing good tour carreer in smogon lately)

and the list goes...
 
What would you guys consider the peak of online battling? I think we pretty much all agree that pre-DP had a more shallow pool since DP introduced online battling to most but where did it peak after that? Is it the current gen? I remember BKC (I think) saying that the Shoddy days was the peak of online battling, although I’m not sure if that means most competitive or most fun or that it was the best battle simulator

Of course such a thing is difficult to quantify but I figure anybody reading this thread is reasonably educated on competitive Pokémon.
 

Scimjara

Bert Stare
is a Tutor Alumnus
sweepage
xtrashine
reyscarface
hectorTU
earthworm
lady bug
phill#
BKC
Mdragon - dudes a beast
this one guy who played for latin america i forgot his name
Ojama
panamaxis
ipl
Aeroblacktyl MOP - bold cause shame on me for forgetting him first post
Zak91
Taylor
ABR
DElta2777

honorable mention-
Marriland - the fattest slob of all time
eo ut mortus
Jabbahthegriffin
Kevin Garret
 
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glad i saw heist getting some love in page 2. brilliant weirdo.
if u dont build teams ur not top ten, even if u are one of the best pilots + have insane consistency in evaluating risk/reward. a treat to watch bloo play for sure, but bye.

i've always had a lot of respect for tiba, hugo, sogeking, malekith, so i'd like to see em talked about more

i respect the other lists from the established vets. i fuck w/ ben gay
 

ABR

is a Tournament Directoris a Community Leaderis a Tiering Contributoris a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 28 Championwon the 13th Official Smogon Tournamentis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
Community Leader
With 2019 at a close and the new gen out I feel I've been able to form a fairly accurate opinion of who I believe belongs on a top 10 player list. I will not be including myself here because I objectively cannot remove bias from the equation. I also want to note that all criticisms I make are relative and only relevant when compared to other greats. Everyone listed here is spectacular and has contributed a great deal to tournaments over the years. It's just that, some people are more great than others and divisions need to be made somewhere. Before starting the list I'm going to make some special mentions, then we can get into the heart of it. Enjoy.

Statistics: 54-41, 1 individual, 1 team

M Dragon's official wins are not high in number, but he still is known for having a firm metagame grasp / influence across many generations (mostly 2-5) over a very long period of time. So, his accomplishments as an individual player may not be as great as those listed above him, but I have a lot of respect for him as a builder and a thinker nonetheless.


Statistics: 50-36, 1 individual, 4 team

Philip has the decoration, the time span, and building prowess of a top 10 player. He won his frontier and played a huge role in his numerous team tour victories, even as recently as this last WCoP. The main reason he's not higher is because of his relatively narrow tier presence. He is known almost exclusively as a DPP player and a bit less so of a BW player.


Statistics: 57-34, 1* individual, 3* team

I don't want to spend much time arguing what he deserves or not but this ranking is assuming he kept everything he won. His biggest flaw is a short timespan of success. He played for some time, took a break, and only really had success after his return. That said, he was on a true streak of dominance during that time. He won his classic (only dropping 2 games the whole playoffs), went 12-1 and carried his SPL team to victory in stunning fashion, and proceeded to set a points record in Classic qualification, while making semifinals in consecutive years.

~

Tamahome
Statistics: 87-59, 0 individuals, 2 team

Tama is the all time leader in team tour games won and his +/- is up there as well. He doesn't just grind a ton of games with moderate results - he has phenomenal performances like his 9-2 SPL 8 and several 7+ win tournaments on top of that. He has been a consistently potent presence for a damn long time, and has shown he can adapt to different tiers well too. He is mostly known for his gen 4 (and 3), but over the last few years he has made quite the name for himself in gen 7 as well. He lacks the individual presence or accomplishments of many names above him, but his history, consistency, and versatility earn him a spot on this list.


SoulWind
Statistics: 75-60, 0 individuals, 2 team

The statistics I put above don't tell the whole story of SoulWind. What I have not covered yet is his record for both finals appearances and individual playoffs. On one hand I can't ignore the difference between winning a tournament and coming close to winning one. Even if it all comes down to 1 game of pokemon sometimes, the difference can usually be attributed to the very heart and soul of a player, their motivation and mental fortitude tested to the highest degree. On the other hand, I also can't ignore the very fact that he made it so far so many times. In addition to the aforementioned records he currently holds, it is also important to note that this is all over a ~7 year time span, and includes literally every generation of OU.

Getting into more specifics though, he has those 2 SPLs and played an absolutely massive role in the SPL 9 win, including both general w/l as well as the 2-0 playoff tiebreak record. Besides the lack of the final individual stride being made, another reason I'm not placing him any higher is that I've never really considered him a strong builder. He has good results in all gens, but that can be attributed to general play skill and versatility. I've always thought of him as the "use stuff you feel like and roll with it, let the in game settle it" type. It works to a certain degree but it isn't quite as masterful or pure. All in all SoulWind has been a consistent force in so many different ways over such a long period of time, but he lacks the accolades and teambuilding to be any higher here.


craing ;_;
Statistics: 36-25, 1 individual, 2 team

Ben gay is a unique case because his accomplishments as an individual player aren't necessarily exceptional. He won his 1 OST and made finals of 2 other tours but besides that there isn't much more. What makes him truly notable, however, is his superb creativity and teambuilding presence. For the entire duration of both gen 6 and 7 he has left his stamp with remarkable ideas and metagame takes throughout. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest building minds this game has seen, and I've always had tons of respect for that.


Tesung
Statistics: 25-21, 2 individuals, 1 team

When I was starting out as a player, Tesung was the main guy I looked up to. I always admired his creativity, self sufficiency, and genius execution. He has a similar summary to someone like Lavos, consisting of a sky-high peak but overall during a shorter span of time than most. He won 2 Smogon Tours in a year, and almost grabbed his overall 3rd in Classic as well. He also showed great adaptation and versatility by making Grand Slam and taking up ADV in WCoP. He's up there in raw skill / ability but is held back by his overall team tour record in addition to his duration as a player.


bro fist
Statistics: 57-27, 0 individuals, 4 team

What John lacks in individual tournaments, he has more than compensated for in team tournaments. Both his ratio and trophy count are astounding. For all intents and purposes, those team wins are his version of individuals. He has filled the prime leadership position for all 4 of those and does so with the utmost grace and flare. He has that special knack for making miracles happen and perfectly combining calculation and patience with properly timed aggression. He also had a ridiculous 8-0 tiebreak record until very recently. What holds him back from being higher, aside from the individual tours, is the fact that he isn't a top builder. He is great at analyzing metagames and thinking through what will give him the best odds to win, but doesn't necessarily have the refined skill of manifesting that in a fully realized team.


Ciele
Statistics: 28-25, 3 individuals, 0 team

Ciele is basically the opposite of bro fist. He has a nonexistent team tour presence, but holds the standalone record for most individual tournament wins. That is something he and only he owns right now. His wins are also very spread apart, going back to the very first Grand Slam, then to Smogon Tour 21, and then to OLT IV. Additionally, winning 3 separate tournaments during 3 different time periods shows his ability to thrive at any metagame. Now, while Ciele has the record 3, his historical presence isn't perfectly consistent. He wasn't qualifying for everything and didn't have more deep runs aside from his wins. He has his 3, and the 3 are special, but his list of accolades ends there and is relatively shallow compared to the ones remaining.


Earthworm
Statistics: 62-39, 1 individual, 4 team

I never actually got to watch Earthworm play during his peak, but I've seen his GSC exploits in recent years and fortunately have the assistance of statistics and older friends to fill in the gaps. Earthworm has one of the best overall team tour records on the site. He also has 4 team trophies, and played a key leadership role in establishing the OCN dynasty of World Cup. To add onto his achievements, he also has the Smogon Tour trophy as that necessary insignia of a top 5 player. Lastly, and this is more subjective and from what I've heard, but he had a reputation of being the goat for a damn long time, both in terms of play and metagame impact.


Ojama
Statistics: 76-57, 2 individuals, 1 team

The top 3 on this list are a tier above the rest. They are the big 3 of competitive pokemon, with a long history, a wide tier span, and an aura of greatness. They also won their Smogon Tours consecutively!

Ojama’s first tournament win dates back to Smogon Tour 15, and he hasn’t slowed down since. Since then he won Classic, made finals of another one, and picked up SM out of nowhere to make OLT finals. He won SSD as the team leader and has a couple of staggering performances in SPL 7 + 8 as well. He has found success in pretty much every generation of OU besides ORAS at this point. His teams all have the signature Ojama touch, whether that means as many SR weaks as possible or having max hp on who knows what. He is creatively unique and knows what works him. He has countless games that leave you speechless and truly knows how to find a narrow win with his back against the wall.


BKC
Statistics: 61-45, 2 individuals, 5 team

BKC is the most decorated player on Smogon. He won 2 Smogon Tours and made finals of a 3rd. He won 5(!) World Cups, and made finals of 7(!) in a row. He was instrumental in every single one of those. He's had magical runs in several, very recent SPLs. He has always been one of the most important forces in shaping many metagames. He's been going at this for a long time, very rarely missing a beat. He has those games that leave you in disbelief because no one else would have won them. Watching him play simply invokes a special feeling of awe and wonder.


McMeghan
Statistics: 55-45, 2 individuals, 1 team

Roro is the goat in my eyes. His span of dominance has lasted for nearly a full decade. He is extremely creative, and true to his own style. He's had a presence in every single generation. He started out with his gen 3-5, was dominant in XY, took up GSC, and very recently made a run in Smogon Tour with ORAS and SM. He first won Tour 7 years ago, and just this year he won Classic and made finals of another Tour. He has those miracle games that surprise yet amaze at the same time. There are a lot of great players on this list but he is the most special of them all.
 
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p2

TheCockAndBallTortureDeviceIsNearingCompletion
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
ctc #1

on a serious note i think mencemeat should absolutely be considered one of the greats, not quite top 10, but when he played during oras i feel there were very few players that could keep up with him, no matter the situation he always managed to lock down a near perfect game plan vs any opponent. but then i'll admit im very biased towards him, and that his lack of flexibility in older gens and not having any trophies doesnt build a solid case, but i think we can all agree that when he played, he played a damn good game of mons
 
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badabing

pocket monsta
the lack of bloo in this thread is ridic. maybe people have nothing to gain from sucking her dick anymore or weren't even around. kind of like a cross between ABR and CBB. nobody slayed noobs as efficiently as bloo while simultaneously understanding how the top players tick. she has yet to be totally outclassed imo and hope she's still playing (ggs from oras olt). her downfall was in the builder which you just can't do if you wanna make that Ojama/Mcm/BKC cut. shoutouts hugo tho

edit: lol in hindsight i think this paints an incomplete picture of some skills but i'll leave it here as a salute to bloo's achievements
 
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Taylor

i am alien
is a Top Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
yeah bloo was up there back when i played dp and the likes of gouki/ipl/ew would mention his name and being a team rater myself, i did get to see him in action. bloo is definitely up there with the likes of gouki/krack but not better either. ill also give a mention zak91 who i thought was the best uk player before ciele. i felt safe playing in team uk with those guys around.

modern greats like ben gay and tesung have been impressive like old gen gods such as ipl/goofball/ew/mcm/ojama. its really hard to say but a top 100 would be more fitting for a site as big as smogon and a game as big as pokemon. maybe id get a mention then lol

also my personal favorite who i think is the best is goofball. played countless games and there was a time on smogon where he was winning his own trophies and purposely playing bad and making misplays that actually benefited him because the opponent would overpredict. i see players do it now but literally trying to throw a match and still win effortlessly is something i admired.
 

PDC

lowlife
is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
ok so i promised to do writeups awhile ago and but i forgot so here we go

Lavos - lavos came out of nowhere and leveled up into a monster in multiple old gens. he just seemed to be playing at a different level than everybody else for a little while, especially in gsc. sadly he seems to been de-trophied and ragequit (although i still think he won that classic fairly lol), but as with most players, he will probably return. very volatile player who you can see exponentially grow since his advent in 2011-2013 timelines.
SoulWind - soulwind is a player that makes absolutely hairbrained crazy offensive plays all the time and somehow they end up working out. he's the type of guy to double hydro pump on keld vs latios even when his opponent has 0 point in not dracoing, and still catch the tyranitar on the switch. just a playoff making machine who has been sort of at the top for a long time now, but just has not been able to win that trophy yet. perpetual playoff contender in essentially every qualifying tour.
Ciele - ciele won like 3 individuals so he probably deserves to be in that top 10 slot. i think the only reason he isn't higher on my list is because ciele never really bragged or made a point of his wins, he just kinda grabbed the trophy and went. very precise builder and player, who did things all on his own. however, i always felt like something was missing, and i can't explain what.
Sweepage - yeah yeah i know you all hate sweepage nowadays but sometimes i seriously felt he was just on another level in the game. as a builder he was pretty solid too honestly, although a lot of his playoff teams were handed to him by other players on this list. taught me a very interesting lesson in pokemon for sure about regretting plays.
bad ass - bad ass had a pretty meh return, but i remember him being a visionary in the builder and in the game. he taught me a lot about how to play when i was starting to get good post spl5 -> spl6. he was just another example of an ultra-solid player whose accomplishments are now forgotten because he wasn't a massive loudmouth. big contrast to certain players whose skill derives more from their own proclamation than from the actual manifestation of it.
panamaxis - when i was just starting to play (09-10) panamaxis was THE player i heard about. super creative, super offensive, super good. not much to say here b/c unlike the others on the list, his peak is now a distant memory. it's happened long enough ago in my childhood that i can barely remember it.
gr8astard - hugo was the best teambuilder smogon had seen up until ppl like abr came along. he just knew what the next best thing would be. his bw squads were legendary and i'd say he was personally responsible for propelling the metagame forward in gen5-gen6. as a player hugo was kinda like bloo-lite; he had good game sense and was a perpetual noobslayer. if he was as good a player as he was a builder, he would have been won more than ost.

10. ABR - yeah, abr should probably be higher at this point. i just hate putting newer guys above everybody else who i grew up looking up to. probably the spiritual successor to bloo, only this time instead of just being an amazing player, abr is an amazing builder as well. probably the most innovative one in recent years. as a player abr is pretty boring, but the guy just doesn't make mistakes. on top of all that, abr is lucky as hell. to be a top player you need to have luck on your side in pokemon, but this guy has it all. building, playing, and luck. will probably win another trophy as soon as this next tour cycle.
9. tamahome - i think when i started learning adv back in like 2011-2013 dracomalfoy was regarded as the best living adver. i remember challing him on pokemon online and asking him for advice on my teams. tama's remained consistent nearly 10 yrs later not just in adv, but in tiers as new as SM. i think most players know him more as a dpper than adver nowadays, but the classic MalfoyStall that i remember facing repeatedly during my early years playing remains fresh in my mind. guy has had multiple prolific spls, and is overdue for a big tournament win. hope to see him in classic poffs this yr.

8. M Dragon - i personally hate the way mdragon builds and plays, but can't deny that he's one of the best old gens players on this site. up through bw mdrag was at one point top 5 in every tier, which by itself is pretty impressive. i can't really name another player who i'd want to help me more in tiers like gsc than mdrag. guy has decades of knowledge and remains one of the best today.
7. Philip7086 - phil is another player who i didn't get the clearest look at during his prime. which is kinda a shame, b/c i always saw him as one of the best during the dpp-bw era. just a really impressive player, although i can't remember his prime all that well, which leaves me with little to say.
6. Earthworm - when i started playing in 08-09 and asked who the best players were, the answers i typically got were VIL / Earthworm / Gouki. pretty much sums up my early years in smogon/ comp mons in general. ew however didn't really play that far into my tenure, as i remember him dipping for a long time starting in like 2012. i also remember playing him on that old PO server ran by funk and being destroyed by moltres in adv. when i played him, i felt like there was just something i was completely missing. like he really just had one over me. now that ew has returned, he hasn't shown that same level of skill i and many others remember him for. during his day tho, ew was probably ahead of pretty much everybody else. even during early bw i remember him being "the" guy to beat.

5. Bloo - super consistent. enigmatic. kinda a jerk. i think during the 2013-2016 years bloo was considered the best player in competitive pokemon and was fangirled by basically everybody. i don't remember there being a player that ever disputed how good bloo was. looking back, bada was right that bloo was the ultimate noobslayer. she brought the absolute best new teams, and managed to curbstomp everybody she faced. that tar/zam/glisc/skarm/loom/jelli stall that she used to spam still gives me nightmares. (REPLAY) <--- possibly the worst game of pokemon ever. god 2014 was so long ago. looking at this replay reminds me of the absolute circlejerk that surrounded bloo. real cult of personality stuff. anyway, bloo was never a teambuilder, but as a player, she just knew the move to make. the inability to build puts her a rung below everybody else on this list though.

4. McMeghan - i'm still sour i lost to mcm in my best stour run like 4 years ago. i def woulda won that year. anyway, mcm had probably the craziest winning streak in tournament history. he piled up unofficials on his record when those still meant something, and currently holds stour + classic, probably the most celebrated trophy combination possible. guy is a serious monster when it comes to innovation, and as a player you can just never be too sure what move he will make. a cut above the rest for sure, mcm is imo the ideal offensive player. he's never passive, always using innovations, and despite taking numerous breaks has never turned rusty. looking forward to another classic run this year.
3. BKC - bkc has probably been the best player in gens 2-5 at a point in time during the past 6-8 years. starting probably w/ adv, moving onto dpp, then bw, then finally gsc. guys a great builder, one of the players i hate to face the most, and has a list of accomplishments in every tournament imaginable bar like grand slam. when it comes to old gens, bkc knows exactly what works. he's the player ppl like abr/tdk look up to in terms of teambuilding and enthusiasm for the game.
2. Ojama - name kingpin speaks for itself. another holder of the classic/stour trophy combination. defender of the faith.

1. Tesung - tesung is an old friend of mine. haven't seen him in awhile, but that's ok. probably the best natural pokemon player to ever exist if u want the truth. something about tessy just made him the complete package; as a builder he was probably only above average, but in the luck + playing categories, this guy was something else. people forget that tesung used to be THE luckiest player on this site, but he also used to be the best player too. this guy won 2 stours in quick succession + made classic finals and qualified for gslam. he was good at every tier at an incredibly fast speed, and as soon as he came, he left. tesung probably is just about the epitome of raw skill / instinct that you can get in this game. mcm / ojama / bkc all think hard to make their plays. tesung, by some miracle, just knew what the right move was. guy was a fucking brick but guy knew exactly what to do and when to do it.


i think this about rounds out my list. i've been in the comp scene for about 11 ish years now and i can say that the median level of competition has certainly grew. i think that most players considered top now were probably around what we considered top back then, but there is definitely more fierce competition now just by the nature of smogon's expansion. lots of names could have made this list. husk, zak91, mop, gouki, loki, malekith, lady bug are a few i can think of off the top of my head. bab is up there too.
 
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Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader

I personally prioritize someone who has been consistently near the top end for a number of years as opposed to someone who had an unmatched peak over a shorter period of time, but fizzled out afterwards. For example, I rank Tesung in tier 3 due to his success being largely limited to a shorter span of time. I know others like Shake and PDC rank him closer to the top tier and I understand why. To me, being consistent in this game goes a long way and others are always entitled to prioritize different factors of importance if they wish.

I personally am a bit swayed towards individuals who have been more dominant in recent years. I feel that the Smogon Tours (and tournaments like Smogon Classic) over the last 6-7 years hold more value than ones that may have happened 8-10+ years ago. I was not around back then and I am not one to speculate on the strength of competition, but I do know that the community has grown in size and level of competition significantly since then. People like Earthworm I put in tier 3 and he has been poor recently, but you can make an argument for him to be moved up slightly if you disregard the recency bias and focus in on his truly dominant years.

I like to place value on specific results that can be backed by statistics and accolades. For example, in my video and in this post you will notice I refer to specific individual and team tournament achievements far more often than specific analysis on how these players handle the games themselves (I will touch on the latter, but it is not the same). I believe that everyone who is in this discussion is already ridiculously talented and while you can dissect their approaches and find countless unique facets of how they function within the confines of high leverage games, these are harder to gain universal recognition of. What cannot be denied is numbers and tournament placings, which is why I like to ground my opinions in statistics. With this said, I do also give a slight preference to those with better historical teambuilding footprints.

When you reach the upper echelons of the all time rankings, the amount of accomplishments each player has is pretty staggering. I find that it is hard to make a list based off of a consistent set of values that truly feels right and because of this I find tiering/grouping to be a far more efficient fashion than ranking players numerically. I know most of this thread is based on numerical ranking and you can derive a rough numerical ranking off of these tier lists, but I prefer this format personally.


TIER 1


ABR BKC MCM OJAMA

This is not in any particular order, but in my eyes these are the four best players of all time and there is a sizable gap between #4 and #5/6. This tier is comprised of four individuals who have the best rates of success in both team and individual tournaments. Each of these players have two individual trophies and find themselves with great levels of success in team tournaments. This combination goes a long way in my eyes and I think you can make a case for any of them as the GOAT.

ABR has been around for less than any of the other three, but over this span he has done more than anyone else by a significant margin. Not only is he the single biggest influences of metagame progression in both generation 6 and 7, but he is also positioned to continue this span of teambuilding dominance moving forward and who knows when this will stop. Of course, there are more important things to hone-in on here. ABR's record on the sheet is a baffling 58-25, making him one of the best team tour players of all time as he is approaching top 10 in wins and has the second best differential of all time at +33. He also has led WCOP and SPL teams to the winner's circle. He is far more than a team tournament standout though. ABR has won both Smogon Tour and OST, showing modern generation dominance more than anyone else in recent years. This comes alongside two of the top four point totals in regular season Smogon Tour history and a couple strong OLT runs including a finals appearance back during ORAS. What may be most impressive is that ABR is far from a one-trick-pony, showing quick competency in old generations with a respectable semifinals run in last Smogon Classic, defeating players like BKC and Ojama. He is also going to qualify for Classic again this year and is currently in Smogon Tour playoffs. ABR has trajectory to transcend the current tier 1 and create a new tier 1 on his own if he continues to win individuals and dominate team tournaments, but for now he is squarely within this tier of players.

BKC's dominance is unlike any other; he is not the most flashy or surprising player, but his fundamentals are second-to-none across a majority of the generations. While he may not have the results to give him much credit in SS or SM, BKC has made impressive strides in just about every other generation. His passion and the depth of his knowledge is unmatched and the statistics do attest to that classification. He is in the very small 2x Smogon Tour champion club and his victories are 3 years apart, showing that he never fell off over a prolonged peak that you can argue is still going in the generations Smogon Tour used to include back then. While his Smogon Classic runs have not been where you would expect, perhaps due to misfortune, BKC's prowess across multiple generations in OU show with his team tournament success. BKC dominates WCOP unlike anyone else aside from bro fist, winning many high leverage games if you go back over the years. His overall record is 68-47, too, which gives him a respectable +21 on the sheet.

McMeghan is a bit of a unique case; I would argue that he is the best unconventional/gimmicky player of all time and that is a pretty impressive title. With this said, being unconventional does not always have a direct correlation with success. I think that his floor is arguably the lowest of these four, too, because sometimes he is not entirely motivated or uses teams that have a potential to miss the mark completely. On the contrary, his ceiling is also probably the highest of this group, finding himself capable of dominating in any format if he puts his mind to it and is playing near his peak. In terms of sheer results, McMeghan's team tournament resume is not up to par with others in this tier, but it is still somewhat impressive. He has 59 total wins, placing him within the top 10, but he is only +9 with an SPL win under his belt from long ago. What really makes McMeghan is his individual tournament success. He has won both Classic and Smogon Tour now with many other deep runs into Classic, Smogon Tour, OST, and even the most dominant Grand Slam qualification performance of all time by a long shot back during the first edition. McMeghan's versatility is oftentimes put aside when people focus more on his flashier qualities, but he is quite versatile and able to build his own teams in most metagames, which holds some weight in my eyes as well. While his record on the sheet is not great, if you take out some outlier performances then he is at least in the conversation with the other tier 1 guys and his individual tournament performances are phenomenal, so McMeghan clearly belongs here.

Ojama was probably my GOAT this time a year ago, but now I am less sure. Regardless of that, he certainly belongs in tier 1. He is top 3 in all-time wins on the sheet with a 76-57 record that puts him at a good +- as well. He has been around for a long time now, even if you factor in the recent ban and absence, without having any prolonged droughts. Ojama has had a few "off" team tournaments such as a negative SPL or a neutral SSD, but overall he always follows these up with strong individual showings or doing well in the next team tournament. Speaking of individual success, Ojama won the first Smogon Classic, which is especially impressive given the hype surrounding this tournament and how many traditionally strong old generation players were gunning to bring home that trophy. He also won a Smogon Tour, which is always impressive to add to the resume. What really sets Ojama apart from others is the fact that on top of these wins, he also made it to Classic finals again and OLT finals on top of this, both times losing to sketchy competition to say the least. Ojama's versatility across OUs is impressive and his unique style that pretty much only works for him shows how strong of a pilot he truly is. I think that what really solidifies his GOAT case is the fact that he dominated in SM despite being known mostly for 3-5 success. While I think others in tier 1 have an argument to be placed over Ojama, specifically ABR, I think that Ojama is one of the easiest people to argue for to be #1 rn despite his recent absence.


TIER 2


BRO FIST CIELE

This is where things start to get a bit more fragmented. Tier 2 consists of the user who I believe is the best team tournament player of all time and the user who I believe is the best individual tournament player of all time. You can argue that they are not the clear-cut best in these categories, but they are at very least within the top three of each no matter how you look at it. The thing is that neither has found even close to the same amount of success in the other's realm, making it hard for me to put them in the same picture as the tier 1 players who are ridiculously well-rounded in this regard.

John is probably the best team tournament player of all time. His record alone is amazing, standing out in the company of many others on this list with a 63-29 record that gives him a +34 (best of all time currently). In addition to this, he has a ton of high leverage victories within those 63 wins, being the best modern tiebreak player despite a recent loss to Lax. I consider John to be one of the best pilots and he can teambuild, but it is true that he only really has played CG OU at the highest of levels and his individual tournament success is limited to a single qualification in both STour and Classic. John's team tournament success is still amazing, especially when you consider the countless high pressure situations he has won in without misplaying, but I think this is not enough to put him in the tier 1 conversation due to his limited scope.

Much on the contrary to John, Ciele has put up very average numbers in team tournaments; he is 28-25 on the sheet, which gives him only a +3. This is not horribly, but it is nothing compared to his peers in this conversation. What makes the case for Ciele to be up here is winning three unique individual trophies. For those who watched the video above, I misspoke in it -- Ciele won Grand Slam, OLT, and Smogon Tour. While he never won Classic, he has qualified and made a run. He also has made runs in other Smogon Tours as well. Overall, Ciele's efficiency in individuals is unmatched, his ceiling currently stands higher than anyone else given that he has three individuals, and his unique style has inspired countless other players over the years. Outside of his 3 individual trophies and some other individual runs, there really is not a ton to go off of, but this is enough to put him in a category of his own in terms of recognition as a star player and land him in tier 2 here.


TIER 3


TESUNG SOULWIND TAMAHOME EARTHWORM

These guys have different sets of accolades, but fall just short of being the best overall player in team or individual tournaments in my eyes. They are still in those conversations though. Some of them have had a lot of consistency over the years, but never had that signature win to clinch their name in the GOAT conversation and others had ridiculous peaks, but then fizzled out a bit too quickly to be up there themselves. Regardless, all four of these players still have great lists of accomplishments and deserve recognition as generational talents. Also, a reminder that this is not in any particular order as it is.

Tesung had an amazing peak, but it was quite limited in terms of time span. His sheet score is similar to Ciele with a 25-21 that only gives him a +4 overall. However, he did have a very strong SPL in this mix at least, but the rest was mediocre. What makes the case for Tesung interesting is that he has two individuals, falling one short of Ciele and why I rank him here, but others view him doing all of this in a much shorter period of time to be impressive. For me, I think it is cool, but I do not value it a ton higher as he did not show the same consistency as anyone else in this top 10. What I can say I value is the fact that he was a new gen player predominantly, but managed to win Classic without much high level exposure to some of the generations in it, leading me to believe that Tesung had an absurdly high skill ceiling that may even rival those like McMeghan in tier 1. That is not enough for me to put him in tier 1 or even tier 2 though as his success was relatively short-lived.

Interesting case here as SoulWind lacks the signature win that a lot of others on this list may have, but what he lacks there he makes up for in quite literally everything else. SoulWind may be the single best player when it comes to qualifying for team tournaments consistently and he does it in more than just Smogon Tour, too, as he seems like a fixture in tournaments like Classic at this point as well, where he recently made it all the way to the finals in a tough playoff pool. Obviously, SoulWind has been so close to individual glory on countless occasions and I give him a lot of credit for this, too, as he is clearly deserving and he will get there sooner or later I feel. Until he does, we still have to hold him back a little bit, but he clearly belongs in the top 10 given how many deep runs he has had and his +24 mark on the sheet. He has a whopping 84 overall team tournament wins and an SPL trophy alongside it all. This is very impressive and, coupled with the fact that he is probably the BW GOAT, puts him right where he belongs in tier 3.

While Tamahome has had some individual qualifications, he never stood out a ton in individuals, arguably resembling bro fist in a lot of ways as he has the most team tournament wins of all time despite his mediocre individual tournament performance relative to his peers. I would say he is within the top 3 team tournament players of all time. He has the most wins ever at 94 (will be cool when he hits 100 in the near future) and a +30 to back them up, but he lacks the same amount of signature, high leverage victories that someone like bro fist or even BKC might have under their belts. What is appealing about Tamahome is the sheer number of wins and the various settings he put them up in. He is arguably the DPP GOAT, which is impressive in its own right, but also he has done well in other tiers like ADV over the years. Another layer to Tamahome's legacy is his recent SM success, which has shown over recent editions of SSD. It is now really hard to claim Tamahome is not in this conversation as he is superb across most generations of OU, if not all, and he has been near dominant for as long as anyone else on this list. The lack of flashy individual results hurts, but he is still within the top 10 for me for sure.

I was on the fence here as Earthworm almost made it into tier 2 for me, but he was not quiet there as his recent results hold him back in my eyes. At one point, he was widely regarded as the GOAT during the peak of his main prime years. He won Smogon Tour, multiple WCOPs, and SPL and he is +20 on the sheet with over 60 wins. These things alone are enough for him to be top 10 probably. I think there is a case for him to move up or at least that he was once in the conversation for tier 1/2, but recently he has put up negative records and is kind of limited to a specific pool of old generations. I guess Earthworm just does not appeal to the specific things I find myself prioritizing, but I would not hold it against anyone who ranks him higher. Overall, Earthworm's 63-43 record over a long span of time is still impressive and he has been an instrumental part of numerous championship teams, so you cannot claim he is not deserving of at least this placement.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

TIER 4


LAVOS, M DRAGON, TRICKING, BLOO, Veteran In Love

These guys all have a case for the top 10, but are more fringe inclusions than outright ones. Lavos would be in there if not for his Classic trophy being removed as I take a pretty hard-line stance against cheating, even if he did not get ghosted himself, but rather ghosted someone else in the tournament. His ridiculous run in GSC over a few years was great and he seems to be one of the best 1-5 players of all time, but this was only shown off over a few years and it does not look like he is coming back. M Dragon is a bit of an opposite of Lavos as he has been doing it at a high level for many years while retaining his individual (Smogon Tour), but like Lavos he also is one of the better 1-5 players of all time. Tricking is more of a recent development, but he is the best gen7ou team tour player of all time and he now has an individual under his belt with plenty of respectable runs to account for as well. Finally, Bloo and VIL I am less familiar with than the others here, but Bloo would be in the top 10 given what I have seen if not for the huge cheating incident which puts into question all of her achievements and VIL is another casualty of some personal recency bias despite his amazing success in early editions of Smogon Tour and older Smogon in general.

TIER 5

EMPO, BEN GAY, PHILIP7086, THE GRAND BABIDO, ALEXANDER., CONFLICT

These guys are not in the top 10 conversation currently, but either have been during their best days or prior to a few above them skyrocketing ahead or are on their way to being in that conversation. Empo is probably the best player of 2020 so far and his dominance reaches unprecedented levels, taking SPL CG OU by storm and then having the best Smogon Tour regular season of all time. If he wins an individual here or soon, then he will likely have a strong case for tier 3. Ben Gay has an OST and numerous other strong runs, but he also has a tendency to choke high leverage games, especially in team tournaments. His dedication to the craft of unique teambuilding puts him in unique territory, but overall I view him as a poor man's McMeghan. This is not an insult either as being compared to McMeghan alone puts you in amazing territory, but he simply lacks the consistency or depth of results to be much higher given some of his shortcomings in high leverage situations. Philip7086 is in the conversation for DPP GOAT and he has respectable numbers in team tournaments coupled with an individual, but I do not view him as the most versatile player and I think that his peak is not quite in top 10 territory despite amazing consistency over the years. Bab is a bit of a weird case as he has an amazing resume, but much like SoulWind it is lacking the individual trophy to top it all off. He still has an amazing series of qualifications and runs coupled with strong team tournament showings on numerous occasions, even proving that he still has a great knack for the game as recently as earlier this year. Alexander. is perhaps a surprising name on this list, but he has an OLT under his belt in ORAS, is recognized as one of the best RBY players, has quickly become a strong ADV option, and in general has a great standing in the 1-5 formats and is a consistent dark horse pick in tournaments like Classic. Couple this with recent strong showings in team tournaments like SPL, where he just won with the Ruiners, and I think he has a good case to be within the top 20 at least. Finally, Conflict may be a bit of a wild card pick as he has kind of been all over the place in terms of results, but his consistency in GSC and competency across other old generations like BW coupled with his 63 wins on the sheet and SPL win is enough to at least put him in the conversation for top 20 as well.
 

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