Resource USM CAP Metagame Viability Rankings


Pajantom's Daddy
is a Forum Moderatoris a CAP Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Let's end the year with a VR update! First though, I have a couple of announcements.

cbrevan is retiring from the VR team. We thank him for his long service on the team!

Drapionswing and Rat With Wings were very busy for the holidays, and to have an odd number for the voting, the VR team invited xavgb (stresh on Discord and PS!) to fill in the gaps. Thanks!

Tapu Koko: A+ to A-
Tomohawk: A+ to A-
Clefable: A to A-
Krilowatt: A to A-
Chansey: A- to B+
Cyclohm: A- to B+
Gastrodon: A- to B-
Mega Scizor: A- to B
Pyroak: B+ to B-
Revenankh: B+ to B
Mega Venusaur: B to B-
Mew: B to B-
Mollux: B to C
Stratagem: B to B-
Tapu Fini: B to B-
Azumarill: B- to UR
Mega Gallade: B- to UR
Keldeo: B- to C
Malaconda: B- to C
Mimikyu: B- to UR
Alolan Ninetales: B- to UR
Mega Aerodactyl: C to UR
Alomomola: C to UR
Crucibelle: Blacklisted
Gengar: C to UR
Mantine: C to UR
Plasmanta; C to Blacklisted
Skarmory: C to UR
Thundurus-T: C to UR
Tornadus-T: A+ to S
Aurumoth: A to A+
Magearna: A to A+
Kitsunoh: A- to A
Mega Mawile: A- to A
Mega Diancie: B+ to A-
Tangrowth: B+ to A-
Weavile: B+ to A
Mega Tyranitar: B to A-
Excadrill: B- to B
Garchomp: B- to B
Rotom-W: B- to B
Serperior: B- to B
Victini: B- to B
Mega Aggron: C to B-
Moltres: UR to C
Slowbro: UR to C

Caribolt: UR to A-
Smokoodo: UR to B+
Snaelstrom: UR to B+

As for reasoning for these changes in rank, we've included most of them, as well as our votes, on this Google Sheet. Please read the comments to understand why we voted the way we did. Comments appear mostly on votes for change.

Heatran: A+ to S

First up, the VR team is heavily split on Heatran's rise to S-rank. It's grip on the metagame is heavy, often necessitating two checks to it on a well-built team, akin to Mega Crucibelle or Zygarde. Its splashability due to its access to Stealth Rock and its access to Magma Storm make it a unique pick in the metagame. However, Heatran suffers partly due to Mega Crucibelle's prominence by sharing similar weaknesses to it. For example, Heatran suffers from Mega Crucibelle lures like Hidden Power Ground Tornadus-T and the abundance of Ground-type coverage in general. It simply might not reach the same level of metagame-definition that the other S-rank Pokemon fit. With such an important nomination, we wanted to open it up to discussion.

Hawlucha: A to A-

Currently, Hawlucha is almost exclusively run with Tapu Koko, which just dropped to A-. While Hawlucha can be run with Tapu Lele, Tapu Fini, and Tapu Bulu, these are often far less effective than Tapu Koko + Hawlucha. We would like to know what the community thinks about dropping Hawlucha to A-. Is the fact that it's almost exclusively run with Tapu Koko enough to warrant a drop? Or is the fact that it can be run with other Tapu's too enough to warrant being ranked seperately from Tapu Koko?

Mega Pinsir: A to A-

The VR team is split on whether or not to lower Mega Pinsir. On one hand, it’s still a powerhouse with its Flying-type attacks, forcing out Arghonaut, Snaelstrom, and Jumbao and threatening Necturna with priority. On the other though, many metagame trends go against it. For one, many top metagame threats like Mega Crucibelle and Tornadus-T force it out, and the high usage of Celesteela makes it harder to run Earthquake. The rise of Glare Zygarde means Mega Pinsir is less of a reliable switch-in to it as it was in the past. Most importantly though, by choosing Mega Pinsir, you give up the opportunity to run Mega Crucibelle, Mega Alakazam, Mega Latios, or Mega Mawile, which are much more consistent mega evolutions. Is Mega Pinsir’s power enough to stay in A, or are these drawbacks enough to push it down into A-?

Syclant: A to A-

While Syclant is a good offensive Ice-type, the value of Knock Off and Pursuit that Weavile offers leaves the VR team wondering if Syclant should be ranked alongside Weavile, which is a much more popular choice as an offensive Ice-type thanks to the aforementioned Knock Off and Pursuit. However, Syclant sets itself apart from Weavile with its access to U-turn, Ground-type coverage, and Spikes, which allow it to take advantage of Pokemon like Arghonaut and deal with common Ice-type resists, namely Toxapex, whereas Weavile can't. What does the community think? Does Syclant have enough to stay ranked alongside Weavile? Or should it drop because of the competition it faces from Weavile?

Weavile: A to A+

It should be no surprise that Weavile was voted to rise. However, the VR team wasn't sure if it should rise to A or A+. Weavile is arguable the best Pursuit trapper in the metagame, keeping Pajantom at bay for otherwise unprepared teams, while also fending off Necturna in one teamslot. Does this utility warrant another rise to A+? Or does its general lack of defensive potential hold it back at A?

Kartana: A- to B+

Although Kartana is one of the best Mega Crucibelle checks, it faces quite a few issues in the current metagame. The ubiquity of Tornadus-T pressures it out, and the viability of faster attackers like Mega Latios, Mega Diancie, Syclant, Weavile, and Greninja further increase the pressure. Although Choice Scarf variants would be able to counteract this problem, Kitsunoh has eclipsed Kartana's role as a Choice Scarf weilding Steel-type due to its access to U-turn, Ice Punch, and Earthquake. The VR team is thus asking this: is Kartana's Choice Band set worth keeping it in A-? If not, it should fall to B+, where it's not a bad pick at all but finds itself inconsistent.

Tangrowth: A- to A

The VR team understands the value Tangrowth has on teams, hence its rise to A-, but we would like to discuss if it should rise further. With the combination of Assault Vest and Regenerator, it checks potent threats such as Zygarde, Mega Alakazam, Ash Greninja and Tapu Koko consistently. As bulky Grass-types become increasingly important on most builds, Tangrowth and Jumbao often compete for the same spot on a team, making it hard to get an understanding of Tangrowth's strength in the metagame. How often is the additional bulk, pivoting, coverage, and Knock Off utility better than Jumbao's Wish support, Fairy typing, and offensive sets? Does the strength of this niche over defensive Jumbao warrant a further rise for Tangrowth?

Tomohawk: A- to B+

Even though Tomohawk just dropped to A-, the VR team feels that it could potentially drop further. Defensive Tomohawk has had an undeniably prominent grip on the metagame, but this has also turned against it. Notably, just about every setup sweeper is designed to beat it. If you take a quick look at the top ranked sweeper, you can see that Tomohawk does not really check any of these Pokemon, making its Prankster Haze not as useful as it used to be. It also lets in Psychic- and Fairy-types like Mega Alakazam, Mega Latios, and Magearna in for pretty much free, often making it a momentum sack. All in all, defensive Tomohawk tends to bring more issues to a team than that it patches up and we feel that this could be enough reason to drop it. While defensive sets have been falling, offensive sets have been getting explored more, and have proven to be effective. But generally speaking, offensive sets tend to be hard to justify using over Tornadus-T. We would like to hear what the community thinks about Tomohawk's ranking. Are the flaws of Tomohawk's defensive set and the fact that offensive sets are hard to justify using over Tornadus-T enough to drop? Or is the fact that offensive sets are being explored more enough to keep Tomohawk in A-?

Tapu Bulu: B+ to B

Though Tapu Bulu finds itself on almost all consistent Trick Room builds, it struggles to keep up with the metagame on other teams. Specially Defensive Tapu Bulu has no place in the metagame anymore due to competition with Jumbao and Tangrowth and to letting Necturna set up for free. Choice Band is where it shines, and while it's a great set, it's not the most consistent set with how many Pokemon pressure it out. As long as Mega Camerupt is ranked at B though, Tapu Bulu shouldn't fall beneath B, as Tapu Bulu's importance on Trick Room teams cannot be understated. The VR team would like to open up this to community discussion.

Amoonguss: B to B-

Amoonguss is a bit of an anomaly among the Grass-types of the metagame. On one hand, with less Tapu Koko around, there's more room to Spore and be successful with it. On the other hand, it's generally overshadowed by Tangrowth and Jumbao. The VR team wants to know where it stacks on the VR. Should it stay in B? Or drop to B-?

Serperior: B to B+

As one of the users of the coveted Glare, Serperior rose to B to reflect its usefulness. The VR team wants to open it up to discussion on whether consistent enough to rise again to B+. While its offensive presence is quite terrifying after a Leaf Storm, it has to pull one off, and its measly 8 PP can sometimes run out too quickly. Additionally, it faces a slight case of 4MSS.

Cresselia / Uxie: C to UR

The VR team is questioning the viability of these Pokemon at all. With Fidgit Trick Room teams finding more consistency, do these Pokemon even have a sizable niche in the metagame?

Hydreigon: C to B-

Hydreigon is an interesting Pokemon in the current CAP Metagame as its typing, coupled with its ability Levitate, allow it to check a good portion of the tiers threats such as Caribolt, Volkraken, Smokomodo, Ash Greninja, and non-Steelium Z Heatran. With that Hydreigon's respectable power and coverage options, it can be a potent wallbreaker. Despite this, it’s middling speed tier and reliance on Z moves to break through common walls such as Jumbao can often make it hard to fit into teams, and for this reason the VR team is unsure if it should rise.

Additionally, feel free to comment on the initial rankings for Caribolt, Smokomodo, and Snaelstrom. However, please first read the comments from the VR team on the Google Sheet before doing so to understand why we placed it where it is.
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No man can walk out on his own story
is a Pre-Contributor
I would like to do a very ambicious nominating

Mega Pinsir: A --> A+


I played a lot of matches using Mega Pinsir, and if the enemy team doesn't have any answer to him, he can just break past opposing defensive walls and win the game with the help of the rights teammates. With a great Attack and Speed tier, Mega Pinsir has the BEST offensive stats and the perfect coverage combination. Return with Aerilate + Earthquake doesn't have a lot of checks, being walled just by Celesteela, Skarmory and Cawmodore. (Maybe Air Balloon Heatran).
Mega Pinsir can act as a lead against Snaelstorm teams, getting a free setup opportunity or just killing it with Return STAB. Rock- and Steel-types can't switch safely into it, as Mega-Pinsir has Earthquake, punishing them if predicted correctly, namely Crucibelle, Magearna, Kitsunoh and Magnezone.

Difference between Mega-Pinsir and other wallbreakers

A Flying-type STAB move with a good Attack is the most important thing that makes Mega Pinsir unique. Return resistances being coveraged by Earthquake means that a few mons will be able to switch in safely. Mega Pinsir can't be revenge killed easily thanks to its 105 Base Speed, which means that the enemy will have to use a faster mon or a scarfer, luring them to its teammates.


Mega Pinsir has STAB priority. Quick Attack is a threatening move after +1 with Aerilate boost, allowing him to safely kill weakened foes, cleaning the enemy team easier than other wallbreakers, such as Mega Medicham and Mega Mawile


Pajantom's Daddy
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Hi everyone! The VR team has a special announcement. Check out the amazing new artwork by BlueberryBlanket for the VR thread OP!! Thank you BlueberryBlanket for the quick and amazing work!

We also wanted everyone to share their thoughts on the VR now that Zygarde has been banned. The discussion points in the last update post are still good starting points for discussion. Keep in mind, though, how nominations work. A post that wants to highlight what a Pokemon can do is a great post for the metagame discussion thread. However, for the VR, nominations need to say what's changed in the metagame around that Pokemon. Replays, especially for those towards A, A+, and S, are highly appreciated for more concrete evidence of the nomination. Replays for nominating a Pokemon from Unranked to C rank are also required.

Finally, we've linked the analysis pages to the Pokemon on the VR. Check them out!


is a member of the Site Staffis a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Hello everyone, you can expect the next VR update some time soon. Furthermore, we have decided to add xavgb and Mx to the VR team, please welcome them!

On another note, I just wanted to make a quick response to your post. Your post completely failed to explain what has changed for Mega Pinsir at all, and it just tells us what it does, which is common knowledge. Furthermore, I just want to point out that nothing has actually changed in Mega Pinsir's favor, matter of fact, things have gotten worse for it. A good example of this is Mega Crucibelle rising to dominance post-Zygarde's ban. Not only does Mega Crucibelle give Mega Pinsir competition for the mega slot, it's also the best offensive check to it. If anything, I'd drop Mega Pinsir right now.


is a member of the Site Staffis a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Just before Mega Crucibelle gets nerfed, we're here with another slate!

Heatran to S
Tangrowth to A
Moltres to B-

Jumbao to A
Pajantom to A
Hawlucha to A-
Mega Pinsir to A-
Syclant to A-
Clefable to B+
Snaelstrom to C
Revenankh to C
Pyroak to C
Mega Venusaur to C
Cresselia to UR
Uxie to UR

Just like last time, you can look at the votes on this Google Sheet.

Tapu Lele to A+

Tapu Lele has seen an uptick in usage to combat the passive teams that have been appearing more and more lately. The VR team wants to know whether this is enough to make Tapu Lele rise. What are your thoughts?

Weavile to A+

Weavile provides a lot of utility and finds its way onto many teams right now. Pursuit provides a lot of utility in the current metagame, as it allows it to guarantee KOes on Pokemon like Tornadus-T, Mega Latios, and Pajantom. Furthermore, Ice Shard provides a lot of utility for many teams to check Shell Smash Necturna. We would like to know whether you think this is enough for Weavile to rise or not?

Clefable to B

Although Clefable just dropped, the VR team feels like it might warrant another drop. As was pointed out, Clefable provides free switches for Mega Crucibelle. Furthermore, it does not provide a lot of utility to teams, currently. Is this enough to warrant another drop? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Stratagem to C

Although Stratagem seems like the perfect Pokemon thanks to its great coverage, its mediocre Special Attack stat makes it very prediction reliant, meaning that it's extremely inconsistent. Furthermore, it's a mediocre Tornadus-T check due to its mediocre bulk. Additionally, it faces competition from Mega Crucibelle, Mega Diancie, and Mega Tyranitar.

Snaelstrom to BL

Ever since Zygarde got banned, Snaelstrom lost a majority of its niche as an answer to Zygarde. Its weakness to Stealth Rock and lack of reliable recovery often let it down as a wall that is supposed to check multiple Pokemon. However, Snaelstrom might have some use on Trick Room teams. Would Snaelstrom losing most of its niche warrant a drop to BL, or can it stay in C as an incredibly niche Trick Room setter? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

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