Resource USM LC Viability Rankings (VR Update @ #249)

I apologize for the double post but I thought there would be some discussion and after actually reading some of the earlier nominations I came across one that I'm honestly a bit confused by.

Chespin ---> B+: Disagree
I think that a case could have been made for chespin being B+ maybe when foongus/onix teams were really good, but since alternatives have become more popular and the meta has shifted I think that chespin is matchup dependent at best, and just bad at worst. It is far and away the worst defensive grass type and really should not be a consideration for most high level teams.

Even when the opponent has a foongus/gastly chespin is not guaranteed to completely shut down the opposing foongus and gastly, especially not in the long term. The existence of Vullaby on so many high level teams especially those that run foongus is really what is holding it back here. Generally, and especially against Vullaby, it simply doesn't have the offensive presence to warrant its use and doesn't have the necessary tools to make this lack of presence worth it (like what regenerator and spore are on foongus). Even when you're using it in a matchup where it should be fine if your opponent plays well it can end up being a huge momentum sap, and this loss of momentum is even worse than it used to be considering that vull counters are worse than ever. Letting in Vullaby so easily is simply too great a defensive risk to make this mon good.

And this is assuming that foongus/gastly/onix are being used; when they aren't being used chespin gets even worse, defensively and offensively weaker than foongus and just doing very little in the match. It can shine in some matchups, sure, but it is far, far, far too inconsistent to be B+ (I would even go so far as to drop it to B- but I think that would be a bit controversial). In a meta where vullaby is the best Pokemon, chespin really struggles.


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Update time!

The VR council as a whole voted on and redid the entire rankings from top to bottom to better reflect the current meta. Accordingly, there's a massive number of changes. A summary of all the new rankings is below.

Mienfoo: Remains S
Vullaby: Remains S

Abra: Remains A+
Diglett: Drops from S to A+
Foongus: Drops from S to A+
Pawniard: Remains A+

Gastly: Remains A
Onix: Drops from A+ to A
Ponyta: Remains A
Spritzee: Remains A
Timburr: Drops from A+ to A
Trapinch: Rises from A- to A

Ferroseed: Drops from A to A-
Magnemite: Drops from A to A-
Mareanie: Drops from A to A-
Mudbray: Remains A-
Snivy: Drops from A+ to A-
Tirtouga: Remains A-

Bunnelby: Rises from B to B+
Carvanha: Drops from A- to B+
Doduo: Remains B+
Frillish: Rises from B to B+
Grimer-A: Drops from A- to B+
Staryu: Drops from A- to B+
Surskit: Rises from B to B+

Chespin: Remains B
Clamperl: Remains B
Corphish: Remains B
Croagunk: Drops from A- to B
Dwebble: Remains B
Meowth: Remains B
Omanyte: Remains B
Shellder: Drops from A- to B
Slowpoke: Drops from B+ to B
Vulpix-A: Drops from B+ to B

Elekid: Drops from B+ to B-
Kabuto: Drops from B to B-
Munchlax: Remains B-
Pumpkaboo-Super: Drops from B to B-
Rufflet: Drops from B to B-
Salandit: Remains B-
Scraggy: Drops from B+ to B-
Snubbull: Drops from B+ to B-
Taillow: Remains B-
Wynaut: Drops from B to B-

Archen: Drops from B- to C+
Amaura: Drops from B- to C+
Chinchou: Drops from B+ to C+
Cottonee: Drops from B- to C+
Honedge: Rises from Unranked to C+
Larvesta: Drops from B+ to C+
Pikipek: Remains C+
Spinarak: Rises from C to C+
Stunky: Rises from C- to C+
Zigzagoon: Drops from B to C+

Budew: Remains C
Dewpider: Drops from B- to C
Drilbur: Drops from B- to C
Koffing: Drops from C+ to C
Lileep: Remains C
Pancham: Drops from B- to C
Pumpkaboo-Small: Drops from C+ to C
Sandshrew-A: Remains C
Venipede: Rises from C- to C

Anorith: Drops from C to C-
Axew: Drops from C to C-
Cranidos: Remains C-
Deerling: Remains C-
Hippopotas: Remains C-
Natu: Drops from C to C-
Sandile: Remains C-
Snover: Drops from C+ to C-
Trubbish: Drops from C to C-

Lickitung: Drops from C- to Unranked
Magby: Drops from C- to Unranked
Sandshrew: Drops from C- to Unranked
Tyrunt: Drops from C to Unranked

Points of note:
  • S rank has been cleared up to only contain Mienfoo and Vullaby, with Diglett and Foongus moving down to A+. A+ has been adjusted accordingly, with many of its prior residents moving down as well.
  • The B ranks have undergone a heavy (and long overdue) cleaning, with less viable Pokemon moved down to an appropriate rank.
  • Despite the general lowering of rankings, Trapinch still moves up to A rank to reflect its hugely increased viability over the past few months.
  • Chinchou and Larvesta have been nuked from B+ to C+.
Please feel free to discuss the changes and make nominations.


sage of six tabs
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tcr thoughts:

So the presumed assumption is that we're ranking the Pokemon based on each other. With that said, I feel that there are some certain Pokemon after these shifts that just don't really mesh all too well with the others.

Staryu and Magnemite IMO need to swap tiers. Staryu right now is far better. Magnemite has issues facing a Ground-type on practically every single team and Trapinch on tons of teams (not to mention the weird revival in Webs). Just in looking at the A ranks, it loses to pretty much every single A rank bar Spritzee, and happens to trap Ferroseed, both of which have not been amazing lately. I think Magnemite could drop further as long as Trapinch is getting incredible usage. Staryu, on the other hand, is far better than things like Frillish, Carvanha, or Grimer-A. Staryu has 19 Speed, which lets it tie or outspeed AbraGas, beats Trapinch Ponyta cores, helps to stop things like Webs, and has seen many cool different sets to allow it to fit on many teams, like Reflect Type Staryu or things like Whirpool Staryu as demonstrated by Shrug. I think it should be on equally viability as things like Mudbray or Tirtouga, while Magnemite imo fits more on the same level as things like Bunnelby.

I think Surskit should rise up to A-. Webs is not a wacky, gimmicky strategy, but a real one that needs to be prepared for and seems to see increasing usage to deal with Abra teams. The discovery of Icy Wind on Surksit, things like Scarf Surskit, or rare Icium Surskit gives it some ability to have more utility than in the past, helping to drop things like Vullaby's Speed or opposing Surskit, get Webs up immediately in a psuedo suicide lead, help ease matchups for things like Mienfoo leads, etc. I think that Surskit's defining style is worth a look at A rank teams, and I think that if you were to see recent usage of the past 2-3 weeks that a lot of top players seem to be using webs (for example Heysup has used webs, Serene has used webs against me recently, there have been several instances in LCWC where there were webs mirrors). The meta currently fits Webs imo, because there are instances where you can just have things like Z Steel Pawniard rampage through teams as it beats everything including Gastly and Vullaby (unless you lose the tie like i did against Luthier ;;).

Not sure how I feel about Bunnelby being in the same rank as Grimer but I'm not entirely certain if one should move up or Grimer move down. I'd like to see more discussion on both from other players.

Staryu --> A-
Magnemite --> B+
Surskit --> A-


Ok you dicknips Riolu is a quality Pokemon with excellent niches that I believe it should be at the very LEAST ranked. I think with things like Abra Gastly, Webs, that Riolu has a niche in its own unique way, as Prankster Copycat lets it set up against things like Surskit and help to beat down opposing Webs teams, or Uturn around / revenge kill things like Sashed Abra or slightly chipped Gastly. The downfall in usage of Pokemon like Foongus and Spritzee definitely help it out because it's not as forced to run things like Meteor Mash or Blaze Kick and can forgo it for Protect. It has many sets it can run, from the Eviolite bulkyish set that I used on that one RMT to a SD Protect mono fight set, to Z Fightium Riolu, to Z Copycat Riolu. Jox has put me on the wave to this cool af Vaccuum Wave set that I plan on trying out as well. I ALWAYS find a use for it on ladder games, feel comfortable enough bringing it to tournament games, and feel that it should be ranked. I laddered to 91.4 GXE with a Riolu team and had tremendous success using it. I believe that it should be at the least B rank in usage, and would consider it on the same level as things like Meowth and certainly better than things like Croagunk (which im surprised is ranked so high...). Please consider it, if you've used Riolu before or know, please post or give your thoughts. riolugang out
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Altariel von Sweep

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This new VR is sooo fresh, but I will give my cents on possible changes:

B+ -> A-
Webs is back at the track again, and more strong than ever, with a big usage of it during Semifinals of LCWC, putting as battles examples what tcr showed above. Icy Wind is one of its greatest things, being able to slow down not grounded Pokémon such as Vullaby to outspeed it; Choice Scarf to ensure 100% setting Webs in the lead, and my favourite of all, Eviolite Protect, which can scout for stuff and act as a very reliable lead to set Webs up. With the rise of GastBra, not only trapper teams got better, but this hyper offensive archetype has the potential to cheese through these common teams to the point where HP Fighting Defog Vullaby is one of its best answers. All in all, Webs is an archetype that should start getting some preparation against, so Surskit should rise.

Moving on to Bunnelby, this little guy breaks through any Pokémon with relative ease thanks to an insanely high Attack stat + Life Orb to break through many things with ease, meaning that even resists can get severely weaneked by STAB Return, or picked off by Quick Attack (e.g. weakened Pawniard). It is true that priority poses a threat, but it only needs Timburr out of the game, as Pawniard is almost always likely to not OHKO it. It can even also act as a decent offensive pivot with U-turns that will at least get a chunk of the opponent's life out. Coverage may change depending on what you need to hit, either Stone Edge as an option to quickly KO Vullaby without triggering Weak Armor variants, or Iron Head to hurt Spritzee, but almost always you will want to spam STABs, which makes it really good. Outside of its positive traits, I want to consider its spot in Webs. The utility Surskit provides is very great for Bunnelby, as it can help deter Vullaby fairly well with Icy Wind, for instance, so spamming STABs is easier than recurring to a very obscure coverage option. Echoing tcr's Alolan Grimer dilemma, seeing both Bunnelby and this mon in the same rank is quite annoying given the metagame state we're in, and thus should rise to reflect this.

And finally, going with Staryu, tcr is absolutely right. Staryu's drop was very unjustified given the wonders it can actually do, being able to fight back GastBra and PonyPinch teams with sets such as Analytic Recover + 3 attacks, or act as a pseudo trapper with Whirlpool that can use Z-Moves to trap Pokémon such as Foongus or Mienfoo, like Shrug did. I would not underestimate it and put it back where it was.

Now, in regards to the less viable Webs setters:

Swap ranks
As we can see, both of them are the only viable-ish bulky Webs setters in the metagame, but there is something that bugs me here, and it's Spinarak. Why is it ranked higher than Dewpider? The constant fall of Foongus is making it's niche as a Web setter that uses it as fodder lesser with the continuous growth of GastBra and other viable Foongus checks such as Overcoat variants of Vullaby, as well as the drop of usage on threats that it used to check such as Spritzee. Its typical drawbacks are a lack of real bulk, easy to get pivoted on and weak attacking options, whereas Dewpider excels, offering actual offensive pressure as a Webs setter with strong Liquidations or Scalds, and even offering more utility in Magic Coat to yeet on Webs mirror matchups and other hazard setters. There should be a change to clarify this, but I will let this open to discussion for everyone.
e: Snivy was also an important part of Spinarak's success, but since the rise of threats such as Ponyta and Gastly, it started to get reduced usage to the point where the niche is not valuable.

A- -> B+
Absolutely agree with this nomination. Magnemite is totally out of the wave with the dominance of Trapinch in the metagame, which makes its existance pain, as well as other Ground-types such as Mudbray. Drop it asap.

B+ -> B
Alolan Grimer just hates this metagame state where it's forced to fight one Ground-type trapper per team, meaning it is not as godd as it used to be. However, I feel kind of uneasy on this nomination, as while Alolan Grimer still offers the possibility to better manage special attackers such as Staryu and the aforementioned GastBra, Arena Trap means bad things for it. I think it should drop in that case, but I need some more feedback from the others.

B -> B+
I think Corphish should rise, and reasons are very justified for it to do so. Firstly, the drop in usage of both Ferroseed + Spritzee and Foongus means a lot of good things to it, as it can now break teams with much more ease making use of the SD set. Given how common Trapinch builds are, with GastBra being frail offensive Pokemon, Corphish just cheeses through them like they were butter, as almost nothing cannot take boosted Crabhammer and +2 Aqua Jet KOes most of the offensive threats that are seen. Rise it.

UR -> B
I don't know what happened to Riolu, but this ain't it chief. Copycat sets are more popular than ever in a metagame where Webs are considered another threat aside from Trapinch teams, as tcr points above. Being able to setup with SD while your foe's Surskit sets Webs means that this Pokémon can ravage a whole team if the conditions given are favorable. The drop on stuff such as Spritzee and Foongus means it can forgo some coverage options to make use of others such as Zen Headbutt or Crunch. I also agree on tcr's point of view, which by the way...

B -> B-
The ultimate disliker of this metagame. Fighting-types like Mienfoo pivoting on it to get eventually trapped by Diglett or Trapinch, failing to beat Trapinch, the commonality of GastBra and Vullaby. If that wasn't enough, not even investing Speed EVs will save it from being easily trapped, bulk even invested keeps being underperforming, gets severely weakened by Knock Off and even strong resisted attacks, and lack of actual firepower to act as a wincon doesn't help either. In the hypothetic scenario that Riolu gets ranked again, let's not see them together in the same rank.

This should be all from me for now.
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Serene Grace

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You cannot talk about Riolu without mentioning the opportunity cost of it not being a Mienfoo or Timburr. It's only redeemable set is the SD Hjk chaining set but that takes 2 turns to set up and doesn't actually get past any fighting resists. Riolu should never and will never be B rank.(not to mention its literal 0% usage rate in any relevant tour game)


sage of six tabs
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The opportunity cost isn't there because Riolu has wildly different uses than just being a Fighting spam Pokemon, and honestly if the only use you can find for Riolu is SD HJK chaining then you're using very little of what it can actually do.

To give you some common scenarios I find myself running into: Being able to hard switch into Surskit / Vulpix-A and counter set up either Webs or Aurora Veil, being able to switch into Dwebble and set up your own Entry Hazards, being able to get a priority U-turn on voltturn teams, being able to lure in and OHKO Vullaby with two different common sets, being able to beat Spritzee with minor chip, being able to revenge kill tons of random things from Psychic Gastly to Sashbra or other fast threats.

I don't think an opportunity cost is there and have found success using Riolu on teams as a solo Fighting type or as a backup Fighting type alongside things like Mienfoo. Riolu's biggest niche is mind games abusing Prankster Copycat and fiddling around with the correct revenge kills, has received enormous ladder success (one alt with 91.4 gxe, and three alts in the top 1,2,3 spots concurrently). Tour success would be nice but every time I've convinced myself to bring it Levi told me not to. Regardless the VR rankings are not designed to rank Pokemon according to use with the experienced player who already knows the metagame, but rather the newcomer player. I think that putting it in B rank accurately reflects its rank, as I would be open to using it alongside Pokemon such as Corphish or Frillish. Certainly I would use it above Croagunk, and even if it's not B rank and people find it lower then it should at the very least be ranked considering that Croagunk is ranked and Riolu is infinitely better than Croagunk. Have you used Riolu before? It seems odd for someone to say its only niche is to SD HJK chain. Here is a replay where Riolu counter sets up a layer of Spikes and SR to help me wear down problem Pokemon such as Pawniard and Mienfoo. I'd post other replays but during my most recent ladder run I didn't save any of them :shrug: I think you should try out Riolu for yourself rather than just dismissing it as some other HJK spam Pokemon, because it provides a middling speed answer to things like Sashbra or Webs, and Prankster Copycat is a great niche to beat a Speed filled metagame. It has decent enough bulk to allow it to pivot around and gain momentum through other U-turn / Voltturn users, and has more power than the common defensive Foo. I don't think there is a tradeoff to using Riolu in that "you could be using Timburr" because Riolu's niche isn't just 'Fighting type' like something like Pancham's is, it's hugely versatile, provides decent matchups against cheese teams like Aurora Veils and Webs teams, and is the absolute ultimate revenge killer.

196+ Atk Riolu High Jump Kick vs. 0 HP / 76 Def Vullaby: 24-28 (104.3 - 121.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO - All Out Fighting Riolu vs Vullaby, a more common scenario then you would think would happen, especially when many teams rely on offensive pressure with Gastly / Vullaby to deal with Fighting types like Mienfoo

196+ Atk Riolu Meteor Mash vs. 212 HP / 196+ Def Eviolite Spritzee: 10-14 (37 - 51.8%) -- 88.7% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock - Minor chip or one HJK and you start to KO Spritzee, which is something that neither Mienfoo nor Timburr can boast (i mean if they ran Pjab i guess? but lol who is out there running pjab Foo?)

196+ Atk Riolu Blaze Kick vs. 124 HP / 160+ Def Eviolite Foongus: 10-14 (40 - 56%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock - Riolu has options to even deal with Foongus, OHKOing with very minor chip (3 HP)

edit: ftr, not once have I used a Riolu team and thought "man this slot would be so much better with a Mienfoo instead" because they fill different roles, have different playstyles, and are able to do vastly different things
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the hound.
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I want to just add another bit of vocal support for Riolu:

Deceased -> B-
I've been messing around with Riolu some; he's interesting. I think metagame trends are generally unfavorable to him due to Prankster mechanics, which forces Riolu to be a supporting attacker instead of a sweeper. Simply looking at B-, Riolu is about as good as anything there, maybe a bit better. The bigger issues with Riolu are how difficult it can be to pilot Riolu into position to do all the things you want it to do (especially since this can be dependent on the opponent not being spastic...). Riolu also has an innate issue of being a lackluster switch in to anything and everything, hence making it a completely incomparable Pokemon to every other viable fighter. I think I prefer Eviolite with Protect over anything else, due to greater consistency and your ability to make mistakes. Though Z moves on Riolu are cool, pulling the trigger aptly makes or breaks the game half the time, which is unfortunate and really leads me to wanting Riolu ranked around mid B, though I'm inclined towards B- due to the quirks of using Riolu. This thing really should be ranked though.
now that abra stays I'll make some noms, but first I'll address some previous nominations

TCR and AvS beat me to the punch with a lot of these nominations, so I won't really go into them as they explained them pretty well, but I agree 100% with all of the above nominations with one exception. Before I get into the exception I want to particularly support the most obvious nomination for me, which is magnemite. While it has niches on certain archetypes, its use is far too narrow because of the rise of pinch to warrant use on most teams, and does not belong in A-.

The exception to my agreement with the above is the nomination for Riolu to B. I could understand maybe mid C, but to nominate a Pokemon with virtually no tournament use to B is a bit ridiculous, if it gets usage in LCPL I could see this nom in a few months, but for now it doesn't belong anywhere near B.

Most of these noms have been regarding Pokemon in B and A ranks, but I think the top of the meta has changed enough to make what might be some more controversial nominations, the first one being diglett to A. I think that Trapinch matchups sufficiently limit diglett currently and put it solidly below the other Pokemon in A+, and that it makes more sense for it to be in the same rank as Trapinch.

Diglett's departure from A+ rank leads me to my second controversial nomination: Mienfoo to A+. It might be difficult to imagine mienfoo in any rank but S because its been there for so long, but a couple factors have really pushed it farther and farther away from S in my eyes. For a long time the rise of fighter less teams have shown that fighters are not as necessary as they once were, but recently its been serious competition from timburr that has been threatening mienfoo's place as the premier fighting type. I think this phenomenon is somewhat revealed in the usage stats for exhibition, where mienfoo's normally clearly high usage was virtually even with timburr, largely due to the massive utility of mach punch over priority that can be nullified by protect. In addition to its high competition from timburr, its S rank counterpart Vullaby has only gotten better, rising to what is very clearly the best Pokemon in the meta, enough so to warrant its own rank in my opinion. It is far more in line with the likes of abra pawniard and foongus than it is with Vullaby.

Now for the mid A ranks, where I think that mareanie and onix should be switching places. The former has benefitted massively from the fall of diglett and the rise of timburr, as it gives significant trouble to Pinch meta teams as the usage rates in exhibition very clearly show boasting an unbelievable ~80% win rate last time I checked. The latter is the opposite, being more and more hindered by the existence of pinch and no longer above tirtouga as the premier bird check.

Altariel von Sweep

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Let's see if I don't mess up this time. After the suspect, the metagame shifted in a way some Pokémon that couldn't shine before Trapinch's influence in the metagame are getting better and better. I'm going to nominate some Pokémon that should be talked about. Here goes nothing:

B+ -> A-
So here is the deal. The constant falling in usage of Onix due to Trapinch's influence has led to the use of HP Fighting on Vullaby to deal with Pawniard, as Trapinch is a way more reliable way to deal with Onix and thus HP Grass isn't needed at all, right? Not only Vullaby has gotten better in the metagame, but Doduo has improved, too. That's where I should start to consider a Doduo rise. This Pokémon appreciates the constant falling of Onix and Tirtouga, as well as the rise of Panwiard as the best soft check to Flying-types to wreck havoc against opposing teams by spamming its STABs and coverage options, while being paired very well with Trapinch, which is its best partner as of right now. Berry Juice sets do a fine job dealing with Pawniard and ensure you can beat one or two members of the opposing team, and Scarf has a lot going for it right now being able to freely spam Brave Bird. Hell, even SD sets pose a big threat to many unprepared teams that use Pawniard as the main Flying-type check. For these reasons I think it should rise, but I'd like people to discuss it.

B -> B+
Dwebble enjoys this metagame state, even if Staryu and Snivy's usage keep hindering it. Its job as a hazard setter has improved due to the factor that both SturdyJuice and Weak Armor Eviolite do a great job at ensuring hazards and putting pressure by removing items. Mainly, the reason it enjoys the metagame is because of the Trapinch teams that are running as of right now in the metagame. My personal take on Dwebble was trying 18 Defense Dwebble as a hazard lead, and it did an insane job at setting hazards up and knocking off Trapinch's Eviolite, and what turns out to be is that Trapinch teams are reliant to keep the momentum up through changes, hence why Dwebble can simply set hazards up without any fear or Knock Off the threat it has in front of it. That way, many offensive Pokémon that have been rising such as Steelium Z Pawniard, Staryu or Timburr can take advantage of the big damage it causes to put the opposing team against the strings. Interesting fact, Dwebble can easily Knock Off Trapinch, set Stealth Rock and a layer or two of Spikes while resisting EQ + Giga Drain + Feint combination. Rise it.

A -> A+
The rise of Timburr's presence on more offensive archetypes, ranging from hazard spam to Webs has been notable, and is a better last resource if choosing a Fighting-type than Mienfoo used to be. It enjoys the prominence of Trapinch teams by cheesing through a lot of common threats with its coverage options and hits strong enough to put frail threats into Mach Punch range. It can also choose which defensive spread to use, being 10 Speed variants the best with the metagame shift into benefitting slower threats. In that way, Timburr can hit hard, can handle some of the rising and the biggest threats right now such as Ponyta, Foongus, non Psychic Gastly... Rise up.

C+ -> B-
Seeing Honedge ranked lower than Munchlax is not okay, considering how well it actually fares in a metagame where Abra + Gastly is common and it's the only Pursuit trapper that can not be trapped by Trapinch and Diglett, a trait that Munchlax does not possess and that gives Honedge the upper hand. While its use is very erratic, the niche it possesses shouldn't go overlooked as its the best Abra check out there. It can nae nae Counter sets, handles every single attack bar Shadow Ball (uncommon) and can either Pursuit trap or knock out Pawniard with Sacred Sword in a predicted switch-in. While it does a decent job, Abra + Gastly usually run HP Fire and Honedge lacks of a decent recovery option, it often has to rely on Spritzee's Wish to keep itself healthy and be able to check the core throughout the match. This fact alone makes me think if it really deserves to rise, so I'd discuss it first.

C+ -> B-
The drop in usage of Onix and Diglett, and the rise of fighterless teams and Pawniard has actually benefitted Larvesta to act as a bulky pivot that doesn't fear getting trapped, and can pose a threat to Trapinch, as nothing is willing to take a Will-O-Wisp and can force some threats out in order to regain momentum. Stealth Rock problems are still present, but Vullaby standing as probably the best Pokémon in the meta means it will get circumvented thanks to its hazard removal.

B- -> C+
I don't think this deserves to keep at B- at all. The continuous influence of Trapinch in the metagame, the rise of threats such as Staryu and Mareanie and the slow but steady drop of Ferroseed + Spritzee as a defensive core, along with the strength of Gastly + Abra in many offensive archetypes has made Salandit fall in viability a lot more than it should. Really weak, coverage options fail to reach OHKO (for example, HP Grass on Onix and Tirtouga), Stealth Rock frail... I'd drop it.

Add in B/B+
Torchic is back! But, not in the best of the ways, as the Baton Pass ban has provoked it to be far worse than before. It cannot pass boosts to any Pokémon now and faces strong competition from Ponyta as the Fire-type in the tier thanks to a better coverage for Fire-types, bulk and utility. It maintains the same problems as before, being severely weakened by priority, which means that the rise of both Pawniard and Timburr does not benefit it; the It also has to deal now with the continuous rise of Staryu and, particularly, Mareanie, which competely shuts down Torchic and is doing well in the metagame with the constant falling of Diglett. Still, it can pack quite a punch and can be considered as the best offensive threat in the B rank, even having a slight hint to reach the B+ ranks. I'd consider adding it in B as its offensive potential keeps remanent and can be considered as a niche pick on archetypes such as Webs.
This is all ladder- rather than tour-based, but I feel Staryu's drop to B+ is unwarranted - its speed tier makes it very good against AbraGast and the return of Doduo, all but the most defensive sets can get a free move on Pinch, and it has very relevant coverage options. Foongus, Ferroseed, Snivy and Magnemite falling off all favour it as well. The biggest issue I see with Staryu atm is its inability to reliably 1v1 Pawniard, which limits its utility as a Rapid Spinner. The rise of Timburr also doesn't particularly help Staryu, but I don't see that as a strike against it since it's not meant to be a primary Fighting check anyway.
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remoraid unranked ---> c-
I vaguely remember nomming remoraid a while back. feel free to delete this if that's not cool.
Remoraid deserves a spot among deerling and anorith. Remoraid's scarf waterspout set provided by its analysis is garbage and does not warrant discussion. Remoraid works best as an anti lead. Hustle coupled with z-bounce one shots mienfoo, foongus, and timburr.
236 Atk Hustle Remoraid Supersonic Skystrike (160 BP) vs. 124 HP / 160+ Def Eviolite Foongus: 26-32 (104 - 128%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 Atk Hustle Remoraid Supersonic Skystrike (160 BP) vs. 232 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 26-32 (113 - 139.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
236 Atk Hustle Remoraid Supersonic Skystrike (160 BP) vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Timburr: 26-32 (108.3 - 133.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

This same remoraid set beats weak armor onix with an uninvested scald. Run bullet seed if you're looking to more reliably beat sturdyjuice, or your team struggles with tirtouga for some reason. Be mindful of bullet seed's 80% accuracy.
0 SpA Remoraid Scald vs. 76 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Onix: 28-40 (133.3 - 190.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO. A water type beating onix is not particularly noteworthy. I'll leave it here regardless.

Less reliably, remoraid has access to rock blast. It's less than a coin flip, but should remoraid speed tie surskit and win the 64% accuracy check, surskit fails to secure webs. More importantly, rock blast kills vullaby if it hits three times.
236 Atk Hustle Remoraid Rock Blast (3 hits) vs. 0 HP / 76 Def Vullaby: 24-30 (104.3 - 130.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Should you want a guaranteed shot at vull, uninvested z rock blast outspeeds and kills vull 100% of the time.
0 Atk Hustle Remoraid Continental Crush (140 BP) vs. 0 HP / 76 Def Vullaby: 26-32 (113 - 139.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

This set allows remoraid to invest specially, where it can do things like
236 SpA Remoraid Fire Blast vs. 84 HP / 228 SpD Eviolite Ferroseed: 20-28 (90.9 - 127.2%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO

Remoraid gets a lot of weird moves. Run T Wave if your're not keen on phishing for scald burns. Z- gunk shot can break through spritzee or snubbul, which is incredibly valuable on fighting spam. If you flip through the VR, you'll struggle to find a mon that remoraid can't be specialized to take a shot at. Hustle boosted z moves give remoraid the power to break staple lc threats, while retaining offensive pressure in its fine offensive stats and wide movepool after the z move is exhausted. If not a rank, remoraid merits some discussion.


the hound.
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With trapinch banned, I think one movement is fairly agreeable;

Magnemite from A- back to A
Without Trapinch being around, clicking Volt Switch is far less punishable. The steel trapping sets are a tad better though as niche as ever, BJ is more or less the same thought with one less common hard counter, and Scarf is back to being a large threat. Nothing has really changed about Magnemite or what it does, instead no Trapinch just means you can worry far less about Magnemite being shut out with one misplay.

Diglett can probably stay where it is in A+ due to being the same as ever, while Ponyta might be better dropping a subrank. However I think a bit more metagame developments is needed to shake out other reactionary metagame movements.

Quick comments on other potential movements:
Riolu still should be in mid B!
Torchic is mid B or B- until further notice; he's unpromising.
Dwebble is fine where it is in B, despite Staryu being a little worse right now than even 3 weeks ago. Not much is really improving for him.
Corphish can rise to B+ if only for being better than the rest of B.
Alolan Grimer should fall to B still due to a smaller shift away from Abra&Gastly spam and being generally on par with that subrank.
Larvesta is really bad and should never leave C+ again.
Croagunk is probably fine to drop but I don't have much experience with or against him in the last week or so.
Since this thread has not been active for like a month and a half, I thought I would share some noms given the current meta. The current vull meta has really allowed some mons to shine and other mons to rise from the shadow. Here are some of the potential rises:

Staryu ( B+ to A-)
Staryu was a mon that I thought could benefit from the Trapinch ban. Sadly, it wasn’t that good for a brief period after the ban. However, it has really come into fruition as a corebreaker and lure. Evio Analytic 3 Atks + Recover is great but the set it has been piloting the most seems to be the Psychium Z set. The set keeps the versatile movepool coverage of Staryu while sacrificing a bit of bulk for the power to lure and kill the defensive poisons (Foongus & Mareanie) and fighters (Foo and Timburr) after a bit of residual chip.

Corphish (B to B+)
The other offensive water in the meta and mon better than its peers in the B tier. The lobster boi is probably one of the best wallbreaker and late game cleaner in the tier. Nothing in the tier likes taking Adaptability boosted Crabhammers. Combined that with Knock Off to cripple its checks and Aqua Jet to provide priority, it has a stable spot in the meta . Most common set is the Evio SD + 3 Atks but sets like Waterium Z and LO does have a limited niche in the meta. B+ is a good spot for the lobster, considering that its usual 14/15 speed is not the greatest speed tier.

Doduo (B+ to A-)
The birb is the last of my noms. Not much to say about this mon other than that it is really good in meta. All of its sets work well in the current meta: BJ SD + 3 Atks, Scarf, and even All-out attacker.. It is a staple of the popular flying spam team. Doduo’s movepool and coverage is great with tech HP Grass to weaken its checks like Onix and jump kick to hit the annoying pawniard, allowing Doduo to spam brave bird across the tier.

Some future rises to consider:
Timburr (A to A+): Fighters are amazing and Timburr’s bulk plus guaranteed priority separates it from Foo.
Mudbray (A- to A): A rocker that isn’t weak to fighting and can take hits from vull is always good.
Magnemite (A- to A): Fiend pretty much covered it’s utility in his post. It has become way better with Pinch gone and fares well against the popular spritzee.
Vullaby (S to S+ if it ever happens): Pretty much the defining poke of this meta. With Pinch gone, it has become even more versatile, running sets like Flyinium and Scarf instead of just being the usual Sp. Def set (which is still really good).

Thanks for reading and sorry if this post sounds like a repetition of the earlier posts in this thread.
Possibly controversial, but

Gast A to A-
Still definitely no slouch, and the general tendency towards bulk doesn't bother it much, but the specific trends of the post-Trapinch meta don't do Gast any favours. Vully is more prominent than ever (and that's saying a lot), and every set can at least revenge kill Gast. Pawniard is (as always) kept in check by the popularity of fighters, but everything else about the current meta favours it, and Gast straight up dies to it (unless it carries sub + coverage, which makes it a prediction game). Gast also can't revenge kill most Diglett sets, unlike it used to do to Pinch. Finally, Corphish and Staryu are both doing comparatively well, which is bad news as well - Psychic-carrying Eviolite Staryu straight up beats Gast, Psychium Staryu revenge kills it, and uninvested Eviolite Corphish can revenge kill Gast while sneaking in a boost. As another minor point, Timburr is almost as popular as Mienfoo right now (87 LCPL appearances vs 110 from Mienfoo), and while neither can switch into Gast at least Timb can click its stab move without having to fear for its life.

Speaking of Staryu,
Staryu B+ to A-
Too many options and too much utility to ever be bad. This thing has been discussed in detail already, and I'm still in favour of raising it to A- again.
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S -> S+

it may seem useless to create an S+ tier just for Vullaby but it's clear that it's the most influential mon in LC as of rn.
Vullaby isn't necessarily broken in every game but its good typing, boosting two immunities to two of the most threatening types in Psychic and Ground, solid stats and great movepool let it be an extremely versatile mon, to the point where it is arguable to say that a team
Sure, it has its checks, but it can work around them so easily, and it's almost impossible to be prepared for every variation of Vullaby, like having Onix or Tirtouga getting wrecked by the Mixed set or by the NP set. It can hit everything in the tier, it just can't hit everything all at once, which makes it fit on virtually any team.

Unranked -> C+, possibly even B-

this dood is extremely underrated imo.
It's an incredibly powerful rain sweeper that can hit everything in the tier for at least neutral damage, except Chinchou, which limits your teambuilding and gets trapped, and Helioptile, which is straight up unviable.
Now, it might be hard to justify using a rain sweeper, since there is no Drizzle user in the tier, but I think of Mantyke as a set-up sweeper. Once it gets in to soft-check Fighting types it can set up rain and clean everything. Plus it can tank special hits with its massive 120 base SpDef, which is huge. Also, under rain only base 80+ speed scarfers can outspeed.
To give you an idea about its potential, here are some calcs:

200+ SpA Mantyke Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 116 HP / 156+ SpD Vullaby in Rain: 30-36 (120 - 144%) -- guaranteed OHKO
200+ SpA Mantyke Air Slash vs. 124 HP / 156 SpD Eviolite Foongus: 14-18 (56 - 72%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
200+ SpA Mantyke Air Slash vs. 124 HP / 156 SpD Foongus: 18-24 (72 - 96%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
200+ SpA Mantyke Hydro Pump vs. 212 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Spritzee in Rain: 15-18 (55.5 - 66.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
200+ SpA Mantyke Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 212 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Spritzee in Rain: 24-28 (88.8 - 103.7%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO
200+ SpA Mantyke Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 212 HP / 76 SpD Spritzee in Rain: 33-40 (122.2 - 148.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
200+ SpA Mantyke Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 236 SpD Munchlax in Rain: 27-33 (90 - 110%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO

C -> B+/A-

I don't get why this is ranked so low, like literally.
It has better stats than Timburr, access to the same ability and Drain Punch, and the ability to run a 24/15/12 bulk, or 24/22/18 with Eviolite, something Timburr can only dream about. On top of that, Pancham's higher base speed lets it outspeed Timburr with just 12 EVS in Speed.
The only advantage Timburr has over Pancham is having a priority in Mach Punch, which is definately than Pancham's Parting Shot, however Parting Shot isn't a move to laugh at. Let's say you and your opponent both run a Foongus, a pretty common scenario. If Pancham Parting Shots the other Foongus, then your Foong will win the war, since the other one is at -1 SpAtk.

-1 0 SpA Foongus Sludge Bomb vs. 124 HP / 160 SpD Eviolite Foongus: 4-6 (16 - 24%) -- possible 5HKO

Other than that, Pancham can run an SD set to great success, since it's able to hit both Foongus and Mareanie with Zen Headbutt, as well as Spritzee with Gunk Shot:

+2 180+ Atk Mold Breaker Pancham Zen Headbutt vs. 124 HP / 160+ Def Eviolite Foongus: 20-24 (80 - 96%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 180+ Atk Mold Breaker Pancham Zen Headbutt vs. 196 HP / 100 Def Eviolite Mareanie: 20-24 (83.3 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
+2 180+ Atk Mold Breaker Pancham Gunk Shot vs. 212 HP / 196+ Def Eviolite Spritzee: 26-32 (96.2 - 118.5%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO

Overall I think Pancham has a fine niche in this metagame. It has an easier time running 15 def, which I find very important, plus the sheer power of the SD set. I of course don't think it's any better than Timburr, since the latter can nap a K.O on a weakened Abra/WA boosted Vullaby, but I do think the panda deserves some love.
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aka eterno
ive been using rain a lot and i can assure both lotad and mantyke are incredible rain sweeper, but they should be ranked only C-.
they need too much support between rain setter, koff support, and the fact that you have to build a team around them. you can of course slap it on a standard team, but it wont be effective as it is in a rain team
also LO>z move, it gives you more power through the battle, it gets kinda easy to stall the rain without the LO
ive been using rain a lot and i can assure both lotad and mantyke are incredible rain sweeper, but they should be ranked only C-.
they need too much support between rain setter, koff support, and the fact that you have to build a team around them. you can of course slap it on a standard team, but it wont be effective as it is in a rain team
also LO>z move, it gives you more power through the battle, it gets kinda easy to stall the rain without the LO
Koff support is fairly easy to get since every team has at least 2 knockers. I agree that they aren't that versatile and not easy to slap on a team tho.
Also the choice between LO and Z depends on the team, LO Air Slash lets you OHKO a knocked Foongus which is pretty important but Z gives you the ability to remove one mon that doesn't resist Water and it doesn't put you on a timer. I tend to dislike LO because rocks + recoil put it in range of strong priorities but I think both items are even.
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Don’t get mad, get even.
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Hey guys. tazz, Ninjadog13, and Corporal Levi did me a huge favor and decided to be a part of my video yesterday. It's a really long video but I think it does a pretty good job covering what exactly should be moved up or down and it has discussion on both sides. Below is that video, but for those of you who really don't have the time to watch it, I have included a list of all the conclusions we came to in the video. Enjoy!

PS: This might be a nice video to watch for anyone that isn't completely confident in the LC tier. People trying to learn for LC open might find this video helpful in learning a bit about the tier .

Mienfoo S -> A+
Tirtouga A- -> B+
Bunnelby B+ -> B
Pseudo Drops:
Ferroseed A- -> Bottom of A-
Snivy A- -> Bottom of A-
Slowpoke B -> Bottom of B

Timburr A -> A+
Magnemite A- -> Bottom of A
Mudbray A- -> A
Doduo B+ -> A-
Staryu B+ -> A
Corphish B -> top of B+/Bottom of A-
Shellder B -> B+
Clamperl B -> B+
Rufflet B- -> B
Dewpider C -> B
Let's say you and your opponent both run a Foongus, a pretty common scenario. If Pancham Parting Shots the other Foongus, then your Foong will win the war, since the other one is at -1 SpAtk.
I'm actually a big Pancham fan but I dont actually see this as a good example because knock into Iron fist Ice punch kills Foongus so yeah there's not much need to parting shot in most scenarios.
But as I said I think Pancham can be good to even move to B or B+ because of the fact it can run two or three sets effectively:
1 - Bulky pivot w/parting shot, not much to say about this one it has the bulk to tank hits and gain momentum with parting shot and keep itslef healthy with drain punch
2- SD w/ fight coverage + gunk shot, this one is my favourite cause it allows you to break cores like Ferroseed + Spritzee and in combination with ice punch can also hit foongus. Under webs, and considering that it hits 14 speed (so it outspeeds any non-flying non-scarved mons) it can be pretty decent, but it doesnt need webs.
3 - 4 attacks bulky There's really not much need to run this set over Timburr but it can be used if you want to have a strong gunk shot over mach punch.
Considering all this I would say Pancham deserves B rank, but definetly not more than B+ because of the fact that Timburr does basically the same than the panda (with small but not so relevant differences) but better except for the 2nd set I mentioned.
I’m gonna try to limit this to what current trends or newfound niches makes these mons so good in the current meta compared to earlier, or why they are worse at this point compared to earlier metas. No reason to repeat everything people actually know about the mons, they’re already ranked for those reasons lol


Timburr to S rank

I’ll just pull a quick disclaimer: I do not believe Timburr to be as good as Vullaby is. However, I think it’s a notch above everything else in A+, and should hence be in S. Divide S into S+ and S- again or just stick to 2/3 S mons.

The reason for Timburr dropping as far down as A was quite simple. It was not anywhere near as splashable in the meta at the time as Mienfoo was, which was quite true. However, their roles have changed now. Timburr is now more splashable than Mienfoo due to quite a few different changes, but mostly because of the inflation of special attackers since then. Gastly and Abra have both obviously been good for ages, but they didn’t see the usage like they’ve done this LCPL, which has almost doubled for Abra compared to last year and we’re not even done with Semifinals as I’m writing this. Gastly usage hasn’t gone up as much, but it’s still at the point where it’s visible how splashable it is and them together are compared to 1 year ago when the Timburr drop happened. Another huge change is Magnemite. While 1 year ago Magnemite actually did see more usage than it has so far this LCPL, we had other big and easy ways to deal with it, the most obvious and notable one was the rise of Trapinch, which had already started (See Fender vs OP for a fun set with PonyPinch on 1 side). The ban of Trapinch obviously leaves Magnemite as an easier mon to slap on a team as your abra/gastly check again, so having a pokemon like Timburr that close to nullifies Magnemite when in (1 round of Stealth rocks and Mach Punch OHKOs from the most common Iron Fist set) benefits Abra/Gastly cores even more than Mienfoo’s U-turn ever did in the sense that 1. Abra/Gastly are both fairly easy to get in despite their frailty nonetheless, especially with Vullaby as a better turner and 2 the offensive pressure from Timburr just benefits them so much against mons like Magnemite. Additionally Staryu is also rising to higher ranks, the evio set having noteworthy troubles 1v1ing Timburr unless scald burn vs non-guts. Small shoutout to GroundZ Onix, Carvanha and Bunnelby and their presence actually threatening Mienfoo but not Timburr as much.

Timburr also has access to coverage moves to kill all the 3 major fighting counters in LC, and loses little to nothing by switching from Ice Punch to Tpunch to even Poison Jab, all 3 being viable options in the current metagame (Granted Ice Punch being the easiest to run due to its ability to somewhat threaten Mudbray and general freeze chance vs mons like Spritzee leaving it an actual viable last resort in otherwise unfavourable situations). Mienfoo will always struggle with Mareanie and Spritzee, and while it has z moves to get around them, that requires it to sacrifice all bulk and use otherwise unviable z moves just to kill 1 mon. Foongus is easier, with Z Bounce being more viable in the sense that it can take on other fighting types better as well, and SubAcro rising in usage somewhat, but is still not as simple as knock into ice punch to kill as it is for Timburr. Guts is also worth mentioning as well as Mach Punch as two reasons why Timburr is better than Mienfoo, but little has changed in how they’re useful so I’m not touching those.

However, what I think differentiates Timburr the most from Mienfoo compared to past metagames is the fact that Wingull is not a thing anymore. No longer is staying in and clicking Drain Punch or Knock Off on whatever the fuck comes in a bad idea, as you will either get rid of something’s eviolite, do little damage with little healing to something without any real offensive pressure, or do a significant damage to something with immense pressure. Wingull just meant you got a little chip on something with immense pressure and that’s it. No wingull means U-turn chip into potential offensive pressure just isn’t gonna be as vital. By all means it’s still good, and one of the reasons Mienfoo should still be A+, but just exerting that offensive pressure immediately instead of having to rely on a different pokemon to do so.

Abra to S(-) rank

If we’re not dividing ranks then maybe not, but I still think this is a very good and very influential mon at this point. It’s come to the point where Eviolite / Spdef Scarf Diglett is used more than Z, and Beat Up is more mandatory on Diglett than Rock Slide ever was, and Abra still has ways around that. As far as I can see there are 5 viable good sets for Abra, and while Sash is the obvious best broken set with all the tools it needs to deal with more or less every counter, Eviolite, Life Orb and even Choice Scarf and Modest Z (Fairy mainly) are all great options that still doesn’t limit Abra too much. Earlier metas there has really only been 2 common sets, being sash and Life Orb, and they didn’t really have many optional moves as compared to now, where Energy Ball, even Shadow Ball and Magic Room are viable options again. Hell even Charge beam has a good niche in not breaking vullaby bjuice, getting spatk boost, and killing afterwards. It’s just so much more splashable in the current meta than it has been in ages (Compare current LCPL usage to LCPL 7 and you’ll see i’m not the only one thinking so). Speedcreep makes it so most people at least attempt to have at least one 19 speeder on their team, and Abra goes so well with many of the top mons like Staryu, Ponyta and especially Gastly, breaking down eachothers counters, and while that was true for earlier metas, the lack of Grimers in the current meta as well as the other 19/18 Speeders (note Gastly and Staryu especially here) being more relevant than they were a year ago in gull meta, that makes Abra easy to slap on as the second man of a powerful offensive core that can easily fit on standard BO builds be it Foon/Timmy(foo)/Onix/Vullaby or Spritzee/Ferro/Timmy(foo)/Vullaby. Abra is also easy to slap on such teams that has the last slot filled for other purposes and have it act as both a failsafe for scarfers (Pawniard and Magnemite being more notable again, as well as Snivy and Mienfoo getting some use), as well as a late game cleaner or Wallbreaker all in one depending on what’s needed to beat the opposing team. While this has always been true, with the current meta just benefitting Gastly, Z Onix and people still running less specially bulky Mienfoos and Timburrs than before with the 25/15 and 24/15 spreads seeing good usage, Abra does good at pressuring these better for BO builds.

Furthermore, the rise of more versatile HO builds makes it a good mon to fall back on when needed in case of a faster sweeper arriving. Previous metas hasn’t been very kind to these kind of builds, either having been dismantled by broken Wingull or just Trapinch builds just flat out breaking them to pieces (Granted that meta too benefitted Abra immensely but the VR has never been updated to reflect these 2 metas bar very early versions from late lcpl 7). Abra can also run more versatile sets again on these freely, with either Evio to bait out Digletts for other mons that it easily traps, Z Dgleam to get rid of a Fighting Type or Vullaby early on, Scarf for speed control or just plain Life Orb to rack up kills.

tl;dr Higher versatility in sets, BO builds being relatively stacked with the same mons limited to only 2 “offensive” slots and Abra filling plenty of important roles in 1, HO slots appreciating the failsafe or bait depending on what’s needed, frailer & slower sets seeing more usage allowing Abra to OHKO more easily and hence exerting a higher pressure than before and lack of usage for big old counters like GrimerA and Munchlax allowing the Counter slot to be swapped around a bit more.

Onix to A+ rank

A fairly obvious one, Onix is now just simply the most splashable rocker in the game, checking birds, outspeeding the biggest one of them and having elec immunity to force 5050s with Magnemite which is big again. Main reason it dropped down was Trapinch as far as I’m aware (No reason were given but we all lowkey just agreed on Pinch), which is now gone so. A big bonus for it this meta is that shit like Ground Z and Curse are actual legit, viable options for Onix. Also Stone Edge Adamant Onix is better than Jolly Rock Blast. Come the fuck at me

Spritzee to A+ rank

It’s the premier Fighting counter now actually being able to take on every single Fighting type in the tier, and its rank should reflect as much. Vullaby being the best mon in the tier now also helps its repertoire as well as Abra usage skyrocketing, + NP 3 attacks and NP TR is lowkey better than ever since everything is just slightly less bulky than in past BO metas leaving more room for it to sweep. It just really doesn’t have any rivals in what it does, and it does its job well. Can also blanket check lowkey anything but like Mudbray and Gastly.

Gastly to A+ rank

Gastly was moved down on the note of not being as splashable as the rest of the A+, but still being significantly good in that meta. While SubHex was the standard at the time it dropped, LO is back to being the standard at this point, and we are more aware than ever of all the techs it can run. It’s actually the most versatile breaker we can run in the current meta despite only ever running 1 item (Granted SubHex and Z are all viable options as well, just not as good as all the LO techs), with 9 strong coverage options that are all valuable in the current metagame, and that’s without pushing it with moves like Dazzling Gleam, Thunder, Icy Wind, Giga Drain and Knock Off, all moves which are perfectly viable for more niche teams. The lack of Grimers this meta just pushes it slightly up imo, a mon which still saw some tour usage in LCPL 7 despite both Pinch and Diglett being present (17 cases of Grimer being used in LCPL 7 contra LCPL 8 where it was used an astonishing 3 times, a number unlikely to go up by much during finals). Vull exists, Vull is good, and Vull more often than not loses to Tbolt (or just straight up Thunder the fucker if you don’t have rocks up). With the amount of tailoring one can pull on Gastly, I’d hence argue that it’s the most splashable wallbreaker in the current meta aside from Abra (Or preferably along with Abra), and still being slightly better because fewer counters are present (And they’re easier to get around for Gastly than Grimer / Munchlax was).

Snivy to A rank

I’ll make this one brief. Ground types are big, Water types are back and big, and Foongus is easier to deal with than ever since Vullaby is on every team either way and Timburr should be so fitting on a Snivy to handle Ground/Water makes as much sense as slapping on a Spritzee to handle Fighting types. A small bonus is that techs like Mirror coat also exists making Foongus an unreliable counter, and Scarf Snivy / Z Snivy are slightly worse than Evio but still good. Oh yeah and it doesnt die to Mudbray or Z EQ Onix so actually works as a solid ground check in tourgames.

Magnemite to A rank

Possibly further up at a later point but for now: No more Trapinch, is an ok AbraGast check, very splashable and even SturdyJuice is kinda good again. I don’t feel like this is one I’ll need to put too much effort into.

Mudbray to A rank

Mudbray is the only rocker that can fuck Magnemite up big time, which is very nice in this current Mag-is-good meta. Outside of that it’s just a nice, more offensive alternative to Onix for people who wants a bit more pressure, as STAB EQ, Heavy Slam and Fighting / Rock coverage depending on what the team needs coming off of a base 100 attack stat is difficult to properly switch in on. Furthermore, Counter seeing more usage on Mudbrays to have a better out vs Fighting types and the like late-game and its bulk allowing it to softcheck many of the prominent pokemon this current metagame and not being immediately fucked by any coverage that Vullaby can have and 2hkoing all the prominent grass/water types on switch-in after rocks means it’ll never really be dead weight after getting up rocks.

Staryu to A rank

Honestly feel like I don’t need to argue for this one, since we all basically know now how incredibly stupid it was to drop this to B+ when it did lol. I’ll speak about this as if it was A+, which it most definitely was during Trapinch meta (Welcome the fuck after), so yeah. Basically Eviolite 3 attacks is still good and Eviolite 2 attack (Aka generally Hydro or Scald + Psychic, in rare cases Tbolt if very water weak) is slightly better now, especially on teams where Vullaby would want to run 4 attacks instead of defog and just the general ok tankiness + speed and ok power of Staryu is great for the current meta (Even 1 attack scald Twave bulky staryu is pretty decent), but Life Orb is kinda worse atm though since Diglett is more prominent now with Trapinch gone and that traps LO Staryu after 1 sac or if you’re good enough to get it in on a Tbolt. So ye drop it from A+ to A.

Doduo to A- rank

Very simple. it was dropped for 2 reasons: Onix cucked its best sets, and Wingull did its job better. Wingull is gone, and Hp Grass is on the 2 best Doduo sets atm. Magnemite is back and big but basically any scarfer would get a free kill on it nonetheless, so if anything Magnemite being back is just better for it since it means people are more likely to run Onix rather than Tirtouga, which can actually live 2 hp grass and kill with stone edge.
Corphish to B+ or A- rank

Corphish niche is the same as always, but its priority especially along with Crabhammer is slightly metagame in a BO meta with a slightly higher emphasis on frailer faster mons (See Abra/Gastly, Onix often running Z and Ponyta being big again). It can also to an extent pressure Mareanie and Spritzee a bit, both of which are better Fighting checks than Foongus (Which hasn’t seen a too notable decrease in usage compared to last year LCPL, but Spritzee and Mareanie have both seen a more notable increase in usage which again benefits Corp some. Blahblah usage doesn’t mean viability and I am fully aware of that, but usage of mons it does well or bad against does in fact increase (or decrease) viability. Mareanie/Spritzee/Abra/Gastly/ponyta up means more mons to pressure, Foongus down means less mons to threaten it in return. Magnemite is also just a soft check in the sense that while it pressures it, after 1 SD Ajet kills so there’s that.

Rufflet to B+ rank

While it’s not easy to fit onto builds with Vullaby and Doduo being as good as they are, the fact remains that Rufflet is incredibly threatening in the sense that its 2 most common sets are both very powerful and dealt with in a slightly different manner. Superpower coming off of Hustle is enough to deal with any would-be switch-ins to Brave Bird (If Ada, Onix drops to a Brave Bird after being hit by Superpower or vice versa, leaving Rufflet free to spam Brae Bird after Onix tanks 1 Super), and access to U-turn and above-mediocre bulk means it is an actual good scarfer (2nd best bird scarfer after Vullaby imo, 4th best scarfer overall after Mag and Pawn). Second set, Bulk Up, kinda has to be knocked to be dealt with due to its immense bulk and just how easy it is to set up on would-be checks like Onix. In fact, Rblast Onix is such a set up fodder that you can forego Superpower for Facade and not have to care about scald burns from shit like Mareanie. Also a small sidenote but the scarf set doesn’t even have to run Hustle, I personally prefer Keen Eye as you still have the Brave Bird power to oneshot Timburr Mienfoo Foongus and that like, while Superpower still packing a heavy punch due to coming off of an intense 83 base attack (18 or 19 atk depending on nature). Its bulk and (This time accurate) U-turn leaves it in a better spot than say Scarf Doduo still, a mon I feel is not viable with scarf.

Torchic to B rank

Ponyta is usually gonna be the better choice for most teams, but with Speed Boost offering it solid anti-trapping measures in contrast to being forced to Flame Charge to not be countertrapped, and still be an ok powerful mon with Fire Blast from LO or Z dealing a hefty amount to even vullaby and Fighting types, and the general meta being more Physically bulky bar Vullaby since most of the top mons at the moment are (or at least were) Physical attackers. I guess B- would be adequate as well since Ponyta is still better at most things, I’m not really set on it myself but it’s definitely mid B tiers for sure, be it high B-, B or low B+.

Archen to B- rank

Only birdcheck that doesn’t get fucked by Vullaby coverage, No Item Archen is an ok anti-meta poke with shit like Acro, EQ, Rocks, Aqua Tail, Knock and Heat Wave and even defog. Not a fantastic points by any means but it’s got a shoutout by BurntZebra and Jox used it in semis and it at least did something, which the rest of the team failed to do.

Chinchou to B- rank

Still not great, but Water types are big again and Magnemite is back and Chinchou still stands as the best Staryu and Magnemite Counter, as will as being a good Corphish check and depending on if you go Spdef or Physdef: Carvanha or Abra/Gast check. Still a meh birdcheck tho so don’t even consider that bar tanking the occational brave/Uturn on a prediction lol. It counts for some that Foongus is kinda worse tho

C somewhere

Just chiming in that I agree with what's been said bar the LO being better than Z statement.


Mienfoo to A+ rank

Mostly what’s been said with Timburr, it’s just not as splashable as it used to be. While it’s still splashable and people still use it, it’s not the same as it was a year ago when in LCPL it had the definitive highest usage with Timburr leagues below it, while now, while Timburr still fsr has less usage than it, they’re still in the early 100s both of them and there’s a good reason for Timburr catching up (as mentioned above). While 17 speed Evio, Scarf, Band and SubAcro (And various Z variants) are all still good sets, they’re just more team specific and less splashable than Timburr in the current meta and lacks the bulk and priority of Timburr. Slowturn sets on the other hand are just too easy to bait and deal with in numberous ways, and abused by shit that they’re even supposed to counter as seen through the rising usage of things like Ada Ground Z Onix and SD Pawniard. After a Knock Off especially, Slowfoos ability to force things out are simply non-existent, which is horrible for what is supposed to be one of the best knock absorbers in the tier. I’m sorry to all the foo fanboys out there, but the meta is, despite being mainly Bulky Offense, too fast paced for the acrocat.

Foongus to A rank

Here comes the one I expect most people will disagree with, but I think Foongus is trash in the current meta as a Fighting check. The main reason it became S in the first place was because during LCPL 7 everyone and their mom ran Foongus and hence Foongus Synthesis wars became the defining phenomenon of LC. I agree with it being S back then, but there are 3 main changes since then that makes me pretty certain it’s not A+ worthy anymore. While it as a Water check in a meta where Water types are finally good again is certainly top tier (Granted Staryu can still be annoying for it) and Spore is still a good move, it just doesn’t cut it as a Fighting Counter anymore. The main big change I’d argue is Vullaby being the most used pokemon now, something we all saw coming. However, Overcoat Bjuice / Scarf is seeing close to as much usage as just general Weak Armor, and it’s not just for Foongus that this is the case. Overcoat has that nifty ability to not lose Defense when hit by physical moves, which is especially good for facing off pokemon like Onix, a mon people still run Rock Blast on for whatever reason. While it would take a whole 4 hits from Onix to break Bjuice and kill WA Vullaby, it in fact has no chance of killing Overcoat Bjuice Vullaby, leaving Vullaby able to Knock into Hp Grass with no risk of dying, and at worst survive with just about 50% health if taking 5 hits which is unlikely. Small interractions like this makes Overcoat a very good option, and hence Foongus slightly worse. The second one is that the premier Fighting type now is as I mentioned before; Timburr. Even if one disagrees with that statement, one can’t ignore the fact that it has seen a tremendous raise in usage, and considering that Foongus actually can’t reliably check or counter Timburr unlike it could with Evio Foo, it just doesn’t cut it. Furthermore,SubAcro Foo getting more usage and other niche Foo sets on Fight spam and pokemon like Doduo seeing more usage again, Foongus is just in a worse place than ever. Hell even shit like Onix can threaten it now with Z EQ being so common, and Mudbray being used so often that can 2hko after rocks just makes its life tough as a Fight/Ground check, leaving it little to no room to come in freely anymore contrary to past metas. Still, once given a free switch it’s usually still somewhat potent, and having a 100% Accuracy sleep move with regen is probably still worthy of A Rank.

Pawniard to A rank

As a rocker it’s not really that great anymore, as it can’t really properly act as a birdcheck with Vull often opting for Hp Fight coverage which after a knock kills while Pawniard has a 3hko at best unless running z move, and Doduo coming back to the meta to outspeed and Jump Kick. Also the only Foos worth running atm are 16+ speed and Timburr oneshots with priority so yk. Still a solid mon especially with Scarf as an Abra/Gast/grass check and just lopening up teams with a strong knock and its other strong traits but in the current meta those only add up to an A rank viability imo since it lost that birdcheck status.

Tirtouga to B+ rank

I mean, it’s not bad and the Shell Smash set is still great imo but like… There’s rarely any reason to ever use it over Onix anymore, especially since Vull often carries techs for its counters now so while it takes 2 hp grass, it’s still a 1 time switch-in and then it dies to double Hp grass whereas Onix naturally outspeeds to ohko with Stone Edge (Which should be used over Rock Blast current meta imo but ig that just me) and Tirt just invites Magnemite so much where as Onix makes it a shakier option so you won’t be decimated by Volt Switch. Onix’s ground Typing and Speed just makes it so much more reliable for dealing with other switch-ins as well though, many being threatened to be KOd by EQ into Z which is not an uncommon set at the moment and definitely a good one for tour settings. Ajet is nice and all for not being trapped and revenging Onix and general Knock Off support is good but it’s not really where it was in the Trapinch meta.

Croagunk to B- rank

reply in a jerk discord

Take it with a grain of salt tho I just never really liked the mon and feel it’s not as good as the other current B mons (And the ones I want dropped down there). Psychic coverage mons in reference were Staryu and Carv from the top of my head, but Tirt too runs ZHB and it was mainly referencing Offensive waters since Croagunk can actually 1v1 the second most used if Nasty Plot, being Mareanie.

Grimer-Alola to B rank

This feels weird to say, but while I really like Grimer in the current meta despite it never being used, it’s also just a niche for specific teams and a niche that Vullaby has an easier time filling while also doing more than just that (Ie checking Abra/Gastly/Snivy and to an extent ig Staryu). More susceptible to trap and struggles a lot with other metatrends like Mudbray/Onix/Pawniard/Timburr, many of which are on most teams so yk.
Alright, now that I got experience with LC again, I have one nomination.

Zigzagoon for B-/possibly B but that could be overating it, not sure though

This in C+?! Heh. Funny. Zigzagoon can easily sweep in a manner anyone can perform: Make sure the opposing Pokemon won't OHKO it, use e speed, and watch stuff go away. It may not be able to set up on fighting types, but if set up before a fighting type is capable of nuking you with a high jump kick/drain punch, then fighting types are scared of this. And don't think Priority will save you, because most priority users are slower than it. Think of it though, a maximum attack set up, 80 base power, off of stab, and have priority. Deadly. It even can steal evilotes and berry juices with thief! Don't get me wrong though, it's not an absolute monster. Like I said, you can't set up on fighting types. Gastly and Ferroseed kind of ruin it. Sash, max HP abra ruins it. If Meinfoo can switch into enough stuff and spam fake out, that kind of ruins it. All in all, it really should be ranked higher.

Heck, I have a replay of my own showing how deadly this thing can be. This was during a LC tour, and I was losing, but then bam, major comeback all because of this raccoon!
This is the replay
Edit: Yet another replay of me making a comeback with Zig. "It struggles with steel types!"
This just debunks that. All I had to do was steal the evilote and continue spamming extreme speed! Another scenario where Zigzagoon saved me from becoming brutally slaughtered! And against a steel type, too!
This, unlike my replay before the edit, is not during a tour, but in a ladder battle against one of the most solid LC cores.
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Alright, now that I got experience with LC again, I have one nomination.

Zigzagoon for B-/possibly B but that could be overating it, not sure though

This in C+?! Heh. Funny. Zigzagoon can easily sweep in a manner anyone can perform: Make sure the opposing Pokemon won't OHKO it, use e speed, and watch stuff go away. It may not be able to set up on fighting types, but if set up before a fighting type is capable of nuking you with a high jump kick/drain punch, then fighting types are scared of this. And don't think Priority will save you, because most priority users are slower than it. Think of it though, a maximum attack set up, 80 base power, off of stab, and have priority. Deadly. It even can steal evilotes and berry juices with thief! Don't get me wrong though, it's not an absolute monster. Like I said, you can't set up on fighting types. Gastly and Ferroseed kind of ruin it. Sash, max HP abra ruins it. If Meinfoo can switch into enough stuff and spam fake out, that kind of ruins it. All in all, it really should be ranked higher.

Heck, I have a replay of my own showing how deadly this thing can be. This was during a LC tour, and I was losing, but then bam, major comeback all because of this raccoon!
This is the replay
I do think C+ is the perfect rank for Zig, although a case for B- can be made. The statements made in the last part of your post sums up the negative aspects of Zig. Firstly, it has a difficulty setting up. With an HP stat of 38 and Def/Sp.Def of 41/41, its quite frail and can be knocked out during its setup. Next, it requires extensive support which makes it difficult to fit on many teams. As stated in your post, it has a hard time setting up which requires support options like aurora veil (seen from the replay) and/or memento. This separates it from higher ranked set-up sweepers like shellder, tirtuoga, and even dwebble that have decent defenses or abilities that allow them to set up without extensive support. Lastly, it is generally outclassed as a sweeper by the other set up sweepers which is why I believe it should stay C+. Priority normal stab is a poor choice especially when it is coming from a mon with a poor Atk stat of 30. Even when it is +6, it struggles to net KOs on the fighters (timburr, foo), steels (pawn, ferro, mag), and spritzee. It doesn't have the breaking power and the ability to net KOs of clamperl or the ability to break sashes like shellder. I think a combination of these factors really prevent Zig from leaving the C+ ranking.
I do think C+ is the perfect rank for Zig, although a case for B- can be made. The statements made in the last part of your post sums up the negative aspects of Zig. Firstly, it has a difficulty setting up. With an HP stat of 38 and Def/Sp.Def of 41/41, its quite frail and can be knocked out during its setup. Next, it requires extensive support which makes it difficult to fit on many teams. As stated in your post, it has a hard time setting up which requires support options like aurora veil (seen from the replay) and/or memento. This separates it from higher ranked set-up sweepers like shellder, tirtuoga, and even dwebble that have decent defenses or abilities that allow them to set up without extensive support. Lastly, it is generally outclassed as a sweeper by the other set up sweepers which is why I believe it should stay C+. Priority normal stab is a poor choice especially when it is coming from a mon with a poor Atk stat of 30. Even when it is +6, it struggles to net KOs on the fighters (timburr, foo), steels (pawn, ferro, mag), and spritzee. It doesn't have the breaking power and the ability to net KOs of clamperl or the ability to break sashes like shellder. I think a combination of these factors really prevent Zig from leaving the C+ ranking.
Well, suppose not all my nominations can make it. Now, if someone else in the future decides to agree with my nomination, then that's fate, but you are right though. Normally I really only use belly drum with Zig if diglett used memento on the opponent's Pokemon or as seen in the replay, got the support from Alolan vulpix. So yes, decent team support is kind of needed. I of course, good or bad, might've missed something though. I'd love to hear if I missed anything good or bad about it.

Corporal Levi

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Our long overdue update!

Mienfoo S -> A+
Onix: A -> A+
Timburr A -> A+
Magnemite A- -> A
Mudbray A- -> A
Staryu B+ -> A
Doduo B+ -> A-
Tirtouga A- -> B+
Corphish B -> B+
Shellder B -> B+
Clamperl B -> B+
Bunnelby B+ -> B
Grimer: B+ -> B
Rufflet B- -> B
Torchic: UR -> B-
Dewpider C -> B
Croagunk: B -> B-
Archen: C+ -> B-
Riolu: UR -> B-


We have decided not to go through with the following nominations. I've provided my own explanations on why, but other vr council members may have their own thoughts to add if you aren't satisfied:

Timburr: A -> S (note that it's A+ now)

Something to keep in mind for both this nom and the Abra one is that A+ is for mons we already consider to be top tier. Our relatively small pool of mons means that pretty much all of these will be sitting at around 30% usage in tours, if not more. My argument for A+ being high enough for Timburr basically boils down to the following:

a) Timburr can be seen as mostly in line with Mienfoo in viability.
I strongly believe that most arguments that Timburr is outright better than Mienfoo stem from underestimating how powerful a Regenerator, Stealth Rock-resistant U-turn is, given how it's quite supportive in nature. Between Mienfoo's switchin opportunities and its resilience, it'll usually be able to throw out numerous U-turns throughout the game. This is huge for getting frail mons like abragast in or keeping teammates healthy; we'll often see Mienfoo as much as doubling the switch-in opportunities of its frailer teammates. Something like Abra can easily match or exceed Timburr in threat level, especially after factoring in U-turn chip, so in a roundabout way, a well-utilized Mienfoo can be seen as even more threatening than Timburr.

I strongly disagree with Vullaby being the stronger U-turner than Mienfoo. Vullaby is of course the better Pokemon in this metagame, but it will never be the better U-turner when almost all of Mienfoo's advantages boil down to the effectiveness of its U-turn. There's a reason why Vullaby will frequently ditch U-turn in sets like mixvull, zmm, and nasty plot, where only rare and somewhat gimmicky lure Mienfoo sets will even begin to consider doing so (and they'll sometimes keep it anyways). Mienfoo doesn't really have competition as the tier's single most reliable U-turner; then again, "U-turner" isn't really a niche to be filled, so Mienfoo and Vullaby aren't competing anyways. There's nothing wrong with having more than one U-turner, seeing how Vullaby and Mienfoo can form a fantastic VoltTurn core.

I'm not sure I'd say that Timburr is a substantially better Magnemite check than slowfoo, at least 14 spD slowfoo, as Regenerator and being able to U-turn into Diglett help a lot. Other than that, though, Mienfoo is definitely a lot worse than its Wingull meta days, when it was mostly agreed upon to be the single best mon in LC, whereas Timburr has gotten quite a lot better. Between its superior bulk, more reliable priority, and less costly coverage, Timburr is almost surely the better standalone mon. So it comes down to the proportion of teams that value Mienfoo's support over Timburr's immediate threat level. As a general rule of thumb (with exceptions, of course), let's say that Mienfoo is better on teams that
- have Diglett, because foodig is too good to give up, and/or
- have 2 or more frail mons that especially appreciate Mienfoo's U-turn,
and most other teams wouldn't have the means to appreciate Regenerator U-turn more than Timburr's bulk, coverage, and Mach Punch. Seeing how Diglett hovers around 40% usage and Abra/Gastly/z-Staryu/Doduo are all superb right now, this should put them almost completely on par with each other.

b) Mienfoo and Timburr are, individually, more in line with A+ mons in splashability than with Vullaby.
The big thing here is that, on the vast majority of teams, they will be competing with each other. Put together, they're surely S rank (actually, Mienfoo + Timburr were used marginally less than Vullaby alone in LCPL :x), but most teams only need a single Fighting-type; fightspam does still exist, but it's not nearly as common as it used to be. If we say 80-90% of teams want one of Mienfoo or Timburr as their Fighting-type (as opposed to a more niche Fighting-type or none at all), then we're "only" looking at around 45% usage for each, which is definitively top tier, but not much higher than the upper end of A+ in Diglett/Onix/Abra. Mienfoo and Timburr aren't really better than A+ mons by other metrics, either - I certainly wouldn't say Timburr/Mienfoo is more consistent than Foongus, or more immediately threatening than Abra. It makes sense to keep them A+, albeit at the top of it.

Abra: A+ -> S

It looks like this nomination was mostly made with a possible S- in mind, and as I explained for Timburr, I don't think any of A+ is better than the rest of it to warrant a separate tier. Abra is extremely threatening and splashable in such an offensive metagame, and it has more versatility/sweeping potential than most other A+ mons. On the other hand, the popularity of Eviolite Diglett and the rise of other 19 Speeders + Scarf Magnemite gives it serious downsides that either require support or make it a little less consistent than the more self-sufficient members of A+.

Spritzee: A -> A+

Defensive Spritzee is surely the best defensive set in the tier right now, but that has been the case for a while. The metagame hasn't really gotten any friendlier, with Gastly and Foongus being as popular as ever, and fighter usage remaining roughly static (just shifting towards Timburr); it may have actually gotten worse with the rise in Mudbray / Magnemite. Defensive Spritzee is still a nice mon to include as a Timburr check and general safety net, but there are enough teams that forgo it due to its passiveness that it doesn't feel quite as splashable as the supportive A+ mons in Mienfoo / Onix / Foongus. Vullaby being Z more often hinders Nasty Plot Spritzee's utility as a bulky mon because it struggles against Knock Off into Z-Brave Bird. It's not a bad set or anything, but it's a lot rougher to sweep with now that Magnemite is back in earnest.

Gastly: A -> A+

This one is a bit harder to argue because Gastly IS really good and versatile, I just don't think it's A+ level. It surely feels a full tier below Abra, which I've explained above is a mon that I feel belongs in A+. Keep in mind that Ponyta and Staryu, our other fast and offensive mid A mons right now, are also super good; it might just be that our current mid A looks stronger than earlier renditions of mid A in general.

Foongus: A+ -> A

Several of us have discussed this with Fille pretty extensively on discord already. I think everyone there agreed that it's not a particularly reliable utility check anymore; because of its prevalence, breaking Foongus is the first priority of pretty much every mon it checks. The point of contention is in how threatening Foongus is; in this respect, I would argue that Foongus is overall absolutely in line with Timburr / Pawniard in A+ and above Mudbray / Ponyta in mid A, despite its weaker immediate damage output, and so should be treated as a bulky offensive mon accordingly instead of a strictly defensive one.

Spore is an enormously powerful move, and not only is Foongus is the sole top level sleep abuser in LC (Ponyta and Gastly struggle to fit Hypnosis into their sets in addition to being much less reliable), it's also the best choice for a Spore answer for a lot of teams. Overcoat Vullaby isn't quite as common as Weak Armor Vullaby (even if it was, that would in itself be a testament to Foongus's threat level) thanks to the enormous opportunity cost of not being able to use busted Weak Armor Vullaby instead. It's also debatably a worse answer to Spore than Foongus is, anyways, since it's so much easier to wear down; a combination of Sludge Bomb's healthy damage output and Stealth Rock means that Foongus, already arguably the most resilient mon in the tier, can generally outlast it with ease. Ferroseed and Chespin have a better time keeping up with Foongus due to their immunity to its most powerful move, but they're also drastically worse mons than Foongus overall, and struggle to fit into teams to begin with unless you desperately need a top notch Foongus answer. Then there's the occasional team that has enough ways to threaten Foongus to get away without a dedicated Spore answer, but outside of that, it's not a good idea to build a Foongus-weak team given Foongus's ubiquity. Having to sack a mon to sleep is already costly, and if your sack isn't able to handle Foongus's other moves, it creates an added level of risk when Foongus simply attacks.

Foongus is much more than a Spore bot; it has two reasonably useful STAB moves, as well as the resilience to soft check things (or switch into opposing Foongus) for pretty much the entire game. If you don't kill Foongus outright, there's a good chance that it can still make a mess later on. This, in conjunction with Spore, puts Foongus in a position where, while it's not as immediately powerful as Timburr or Pawniard, it feels just as threatening, which can be seen in the degree to which it has to be accommodated for, both in the teambuilder and in-game. It's certainly at an A+ level of splashability as well; even if it's not that reliable at checking anything, it still soft checks a ton of threats while being quite threatening itself. Certain metagame shifts have worked against Foongus - mainly Vullaby running BJ Overcoat more often and Timburr rising to match Mienfoo in usage - but it comfortably sits in A+ by most metrics, and I think this is just a case of a mon that was originally bordering S being brought down to Earth.

Pawniard: A+ -> A

This nomination is one that we'll likely be revisiting, as Pawniard does feel a bit less splashable than the other A+ mons bar Abra, which it doesn't have as much immediate offensive pressure as. At the same time, it's still noticeably more splashable than everything in A except maybe Spritzee, which it's a lot more versatile + immediately threatening than. As a rocker, the metagame has cycled back to a state where it's not as splashable as Onix, but it does still have the advantage of Scarf and other offensive sets, where Onix only really has minor variations on its rocker sets, which I would argue is enough to justify them being in the same tier for the time being.

Snivy: A- -> A

It looks like this nomination mainly sits on Foongus dropping and Onix / Mudbray rising, but I'd say the recent metagame trends have been a net neutral, or only marginally benefit Snivy. I think you're overestimating how far Foongus has fallen; it's still comfortably A+ in splashability, more than enough to keep Scarf Snivy in check. The rise of Ground-types definitely helps, but I don't think it helps more than the rise in faster revenge-killers hurts - Ponyta and Doduo are the more impactful ones, but Staryu and Scarf Magnemite can also pick off a weakened non-Scarf Snivy.

Chinchou: C+ -> B-

This is another nom we're probably going to revisit in the future, since the voting was pretty split and the nomination itself didn't see much discussion, but getting my council to list their thoughts takes like 3 days per nom and I really don't want to delay the more important upper rankings any further. There's no doubt that the increase in Staryu, Magnemite, and mono-fire Ponyta all benefit Chinchou enormously as a utility pivot, it's just hard to take a mon that has 2 uses and 0 wins in LCPL seriously. This does roughly apply to several other B- mons as well, which isn't a very high bar to set to begin with, so I guess we'll see eventually?

Mantyke: UR -> C

The bar of entry we're looking for in the LC viability rankings is that a mon's inclusion can reasonably be justified as the best option on at least a single competitive team. This is not case for Mantyke, which is usable only as an exercise in creative thinking for those who lack a sense of compassion and are looking to undermine their opponent's credibility to an extreme degree, but is otherwise outclassed, ineffective, and unattractive in every respect. It does not have the means to viably role compress thanks to its minuscule offensive and defensive movepool and weakness to rocks, leaving it in the role of a sweeper comparable in reliability to the tried and true LO Rock Polish Lileep. There is no competitive reason to ever build around a sweeping Mantyke, which has less sweeping potential than every ranked and viable sweeper, and less setup opportunities than most of them as well. Thanks to its combination of limited sweeping time, poor coverage, and inability to hold a defensive item without cutting off its offensive power completely, it can't even claim to be the second best rain sweeper. On top of this, it requires a Z move to grab a single KO most of the time, after setting up, and if the opponent has a single Water resist, then it won't be getting that either, because it's not about to break anything with an Air Slash that fails to OHKO Eviolite Snivy after rocks. Mantyke was the sole reason why we stopped listing D ranks, as the LC Viability Ranking would be better without its presence
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even with our new Love button i cannot convey the exact thought without making a post, so please excuse the slightly off-topic post

i genuinely appreciate the effort that went into the above post. i haven't been up-to-date with the LC meta in a little while (and i probably won't be after slam), but this is one of the best and most thorough reintroductions to the metagame i could've asked for. noting the subtle metagame changes like vulla running Z more often and foongus falling out of favor (sorta) is really valuable from the perspective of someone who knows how lc works but doesn't really know what's meta, you feel?

anyway just an appreciation post, keep on keeping on

edit: several of the above posts, too. thanks for putting such thorough effort into all your posts, LC is the best
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