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

I haven't posted here in a while, mostly because I've been super happy with where Meowth is and I've also been super inactive. I've been playing more lately though and do have a few quick nominations to make.

Rise
Meowth to S+++

Vullaby to S+
Vullaby is absolutely bonkers right now. We all know it. It has far, far too many options, and has a wide enough movepool to help a team out any way it wants. I don't think I need to talk about the variety of sets and options it has. If you don't have Vullaby on your team, you're lowkey throwing. It's that good. It's reached Lando-T levels of usage in LC at just shy of 85% in LCPL. It is the unquestioned king of LC.
Onix to S-
Onix has never been more prevelant, and while it just rose to A+, I believe it should rise all the way to S. While it's usage is nowhere near what Vullaby's was in LCPL, it was the 2nd highest, and it had a solid winrate. With the state of the current meta, there is 0 reason not to have Onix on a team. The combined utilty of Weak Armor, Rocks, and Explosion make it better than every other rocker in the tier. Additionally, Onix is the only mon in the tier that can semi-reliably switch into Vullaby and force it out. Of course, HP Grass has become more common on Vullaby, but the brokenness of Vullaby shouldn't stop Onix from rising to S-. It simply offers too many benefits to a team right now. If you don't have an onix on a team, you need a bird check, a rocker, and an electric immunity. You can't find another mon in the tier that will fill all 3 roles, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better rocker or bird check. Diglett might have the edge over onix as an electric immunity with magnemite in mind, but being the best mon at the previously mentioned 2 roles is still impressive.
Larvesta to B-
I think Larvesta, despite it's weakness to rocks and vullaby, is in a slightly better spot in the current meta with the rise of Staryu and the prevelance of Vullaby. With both of these 2 rock removers being easily splashable on a team it helps Larvesta come in and out easier Of course we all know it's flaws, but it's a great fighting check that has a little bit more power than mareanie, and spreads burns almost as easily. Unlike Mareanie however, Diglett can't trap it (easily). It also lives a max attack Vullaby Brave Bird which is pretty impressive, and unlike Mare, it can do a ton of damage back. Giga Drain allows it to hit onix on the switchin just like Mare and also hit Tirt. Overall it's always been a good mon, just weak to rocks. With the resurgence of rapid spin staryu, I think that Larvesta is actually pretty good again as a slow pivot since hazards seem more managable now than they have been in a long time.

236+ Atk Vullaby Brave Bird vs. 236 HP / 236+ Def Eviolite Larvesta: 18-24 (72 - 96%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (18, 18, 18, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 24)
236 Atk Diglett Rock Slide vs. 236 HP / 236+ Def Eviolite Larvesta: 16-20 (64 - 80%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 20)

The set that I've been seeing success with : https://pokepast.es/f7b77182e7402178

Corphish to A-
Corphish is one of the best wallbreakers in the tier, and it belong in a different tier than the rest of the water types that make up B+. As an offensive water type it's second only to staryu, and I think it offers a lot more to a team than Carvanha and Clamperl which struggle with frailty, and Tirtouga which struggles with fighters.



Drops
Elekid to C+

The only advantage Elekid offers over Magnemite right now is not being locked into one move, and the option of using z-psychic. However, these slight advantages are 50% chances at best. Not being locked in is nice, it still gets trapped by diglett and has a 50/50 shot to hit it with hp grass, which in the case of evio dig won't even kill it, and if you're z psychic you won't even kill regular dig with hp grass unless you use z-psychic. Speaking of z-psychic it only has a 50% chance to one shot 25/12 fighters.

Considering how small the advantages Elekid offers are, and the fact that meta changes like 12 spd fighters are popular again and evio dig is back, It just seems to situational and unreliable to stay in B-.

Omanyte to C+
Omanyte is outclassed as a shell smasher by pretty much every smasher in front of it, and is a lot more fearful of priority than the others. While it has raw power when it comes to spa, it's just not enough to net many kills without the help of a zmove or a life orb, both of which make it a defensive liability. I tried to play around with it as a third WA Abuser to pair with Vullaby and Onix, but while it's moveset is good on paper, it just doesnt work in practice. If we look at another rock/water based shell smasher in Tirtouga, its completely outclassed despite having more coverage on paper. Omanyte struggles too much to setup as a smasher, and isn't powerful enough to be a weak armor abuser in the current meta. It's still situationally good vs specific compositions, but vs any team made up of let's say the top 20 mons by usage in LCPL, you would be better of with almost anything else as a flying check or a setup sweeper. I think it's very comparable to zigzagoon as a sweeper right now, simply not powerful enough to be good.
 

chimp

Link Together With All
I haven't posted here in a while, mostly because I've been super happy with where Meowth is and I've also been super inactive. I've been playing more lately though and do have a few quick nominations to make.

Rise
Meowth to S+++

Vullaby to S+
Vullaby is absolutely bonkers right now. We all know it. It has far, far too many options, and has a wide enough movepool to help a team out any way it wants. I don't think I need to talk about the variety of sets and options it has. If you don't have Vullaby on your team, you're lowkey throwing. It's that good. It's reached Lando-T levels of usage in LC at just shy of 85% in LCPL. It is the unquestioned king of LC.
Onix to S-
Onix has never been more prevelant, and while it just rose to A+, I believe it should rise all the way to S. While it's usage is nowhere near what Vullaby's was in LCPL, it was the 2nd highest, and it had a solid winrate. With the state of the current meta, there is 0 reason not to have Onix on a team. The combined utilty of Weak Armor, Rocks, and Explosion make it better than every other rocker in the tier. Additionally, Onix is the only mon in the tier that can semi-reliably switch into Vullaby and force it out. Of course, HP Grass has become more common on Vullaby, but the brokenness of Vullaby shouldn't stop Onix from rising to S-. It simply offers too many benefits to a team right now. If you don't have an onix on a team, you need a bird check, a rocker, and an electric immunity. You can't find another mon in the tier that will fill all 3 roles, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better rocker or bird check. Diglett might have the edge over onix as an electric immunity with magnemite in mind, but being the best mon at the previously mentioned 2 roles is still impressive.
Larvesta to B-
I think Larvesta, despite it's weakness to rocks and vullaby, is in a slightly better spot in the current meta with the rise of Staryu and the prevelance of Vullaby. With both of these 2 rock removers being easily splashable on a team it helps Larvesta come in and out easier Of course we all know it's flaws, but it's a great fighting check that has a little bit more power than mareanie, and spreads burns almost as easily. Unlike Mareanie however, Diglett can't trap it (easily). It also lives a max attack Vullaby Brave Bird which is pretty impressive, and unlike Mare, it can do a ton of damage back. Giga Drain allows it to hit onix on the switchin just like Mare and also hit Tirt. Overall it's always been a good mon, just weak to rocks. With the resurgence of rapid spin staryu, I think that Larvesta is actually pretty good again as a slow pivot since hazards seem more managable now than they have been in a long time.

236+ Atk Vullaby Brave Bird vs. 236 HP / 236+ Def Eviolite Larvesta: 18-24 (72 - 96%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (18, 18, 18, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 24)
236 Atk Diglett Rock Slide vs. 236 HP / 236+ Def Eviolite Larvesta: 16-20 (64 - 80%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 20)

The set that I've been seeing success with : https://pokepast.es/f7b77182e7402178

Corphish to A-
Corphish is one of the best wallbreakers in the tier, and it belong in a different tier than the rest of the water types that make up B+. As an offensive water type it's second only to staryu, and I think it offers a lot more to a team than Carvanha and Clamperl which struggle with frailty, and Tirtouga which struggles with fighters.



Drops
Elekid to C+

The only advantage Elekid offers over Magnemite right now is not being locked into one move, and the option of using z-psychic. However, these slight advantages are 50% chances at best. Not being locked in is nice, it still gets trapped by diglett and has a 50/50 shot to hit it with hp grass, which in the case of evio dig won't even kill it, and if you're z psychic you won't even kill regular dig with hp grass unless you use z-psychic. Speaking of z-psychic it only has a 50% chance to one shot 25/12 fighters.

Considering how small the advantages Elekid offers are, and the fact that meta changes like 12 spd fighters are popular again and evio dig is back, It just seems to situational and unreliable to stay in B-.

Omanyte to C+
Omanyte is outclassed as a shell smasher by pretty much every smasher in front of it, and is a lot more fearful of priority than the others. While it has raw power when it comes to spa, it's just not enough to net many kills without the help of a zmove or a life orb, both of which make it a defensive liability. I tried to play around with it as a third WA Abuser to pair with Vullaby and Onix, but while it's moveset is good on paper, it just doesnt work in practice. If we look at another rock/water based shell smasher in Tirtouga, its completely outclassed despite having more coverage on paper. Omanyte struggles too much to setup as a smasher, and isn't powerful enough to be a weak armor abuser in the current meta. It's still situationally good vs specific compositions, but vs any team made up of let's say the top 20 mons by usage in LCPL, you would be better of with almost anything else as a flying check or a setup sweeper. I think it's very comparable to zigzagoon as a sweeper right now, simply not powerful enough to be good.
I really wanna just focus on your Onix nomination because I think between everything you said it stands out the most, since its by far the biggest nomination of the bunch. I've done some thinks and some thoughts about Onix, because I've always considered it a a Top 5 Most Influential Pokemon in the Little Cup Metagame. It earns my nickelodeon orange blimp for that. The biggest reason for this honestly is Weak Armor + an already good speed. It just makes Onix hell for a lot of wallbreakers and sweepers that generally don't want to have big rock snake standing in their way, like Ponyta. I often value sweepers for how easy they can overcome Onix.

But, Onix is not 'S' rank material. It's just not. Let's not look at what Onix itself brings to the table and look and how other A+ rankers (some of which are former residents of the S-rank club themselves) bring in comparison to our long, rocky friend. Then, lets look at what exactly it means for something to be quantifiable 'S' rank, using our sole standard: Vullaby.

So. First of, Mienfoo. Corporal levi pretty much captured all the reasons I love mienfoo in his above post. Regenerator + U-turn is such a killer combo. Getting in fast, powerful and threatening sweepers (while simultaneously checking their biggest threats) is an amazing utility. Timburr has immediate power and strong priority and coverage. Abra blanket checks nearly the whole metagame. A Pokemon's viability has a seemingly direct correlation between how easy they can break passed Foongus. Diglett can trap and remove a great deal of Pokemon from Spritzee to, well, Onix. Boiled down to their base niche each Pokemon provides a critical teambuilding key that is essential for crafting an effective team. Yes, Onix can be a part of that, too. It is (probably) the best Stealth Rocker and check to Bird-spam. But what about these niches put it above the others? What is it about its ability to set rocks that makes it more potent than what Timburr and co. provide? Those questions are rhetorical, obviously, because the answer is: None.

Now look at Vullaby, the last Pokemon standing among the fallen. Why is Vullaby so good? What sets it apart from everything else in the metagame? Is it because its the best Defogger? One of the best checks to top threats like Foongus, Abra, Timburr, Mienfoo, Snivy, Diglett and Gastly? Is it because it can run very threatening sweeper sets, opting to go either physical, special or mixed? Is it because its typing and support movepool allow it to fit extremely well into typical LC team archetypes? NO! Well, actually... Yes. No other Pokemon has this versatility and unpredictability. Except maybe Mienfoo. But certainly not Onix.

I guess you could argue that's the reason there would be an S+ and a S-, but at that point, why even differentiate them? Let us not let the pursuit of individual rankings cloud our judgement on the fundamentals of the game. Viability rankings are more than just a tier list, they are a measurement of team-workability. Cooperation. How each key fits together. Pokemon at the bottom of the rankings take more than they provide, often restricting your teambuilding. To this measure, Onix has no place being above Pokemon who I feel provide more for a team, especially in the offensive context of LC. Onix is perhaps the best at what it does. But what it does is just one crucial role of a game that requires many, many crucial roles.

Apologize for harping on this so long, I am drunk and alone, and in the bitter agony of solitude I find solace in the discussion of Pokemon. Cheers.
 

Altariel von Sweep

Yoooo Mista!
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Feels good to be back for at least a few weeks. I think it is time to take a look at the lower ranks and properly rearrange them. But first, I will do some nominations:

B- -> B?
I prefer to take a kick in the nuts, but Elekid can potentially be a threat on more hyper offensive teams, specifically hazard spam, where its moveset can be tailored appropiately to take out common threats like Staryu, Foongus and Vullaby, as well as keep the momentum while dealing tons of damage thanks to the hazards' action. Elekid, however, still has noticeable issues like threatening anything out but struggling to get in comfortably against powerful threats, and a lack of firepower without Life Orb. Nevertheless, these flaws seem to be almost fixed when Elekid finds itself on these kind of compositions. I would like people to discuss this one, because I have mixed feelings.

B -> B-?
On a same fashion, I still do not see what would Chespin provide me on a team, apart from Spikes, that Foongus wouldn't. Gastly and Croagunk aren't as much as threatening like back then, meaning its niche of a obscure and situational counter would be gone. To add on top of it, the pasivity it showcases when trying to actually manage Gastly forces it to either heal itself or switch out, not being able to set enough Spikes layers and thus acting as a momentum sink. It still has very valuable traits like being a decent Ground check and shutting Foongus down, but I want to see what your opinion on this would be.

C -> C+
In a metagame where Scarf Pokemon are used as revenge killers to faster threats such as Abra and Gastly, Drilbur has a very valuable niche in hazard spam teams which consists on OHKOing Onix with two Spikes layers damage, as well as 2HKOing bulkier threats such as Foongus, Spritzee and Timburr after only a single Spikes layer. These teams usually require a fast and powerful Pokemon that can take advantage of the hazards to apply pressure, meaning that even if a resist switches in, it will take more damage than the necessary. To top it off, it can also serve as hazard removal for these, as Stealth Rock is not a threat to it.

Now, time for two big cleanses.

RANK B- CLEANSE:

ALL OF THESE DOWN TO C+/C
This is going to be the most extense part of the post, as many of these Pokémon can potentially going down due to the noticeable trends. Let's take a closer look.

Kabuto's role compression at first hand looks useful with a resistance to Flying-type, both Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin, and Knock Off to top off the utility it can offer to a team. It can also forgo one of the roles to add priority and allow it to beat some threats it normally wouldn't, like Diglett. However, all of us should know already that role compressing in a single Pokemon adds too much pressure on it to keep itself consistent both in hazard setting and hazard removal, making it act as a momentum sink. Moreover, with the recent rise of corebreaker Vullaby and Doduo, it can no longer act as a check of such Pokemon, as those can run any kind of Hidden Power just to yeet Kabuto into oblivion. In addition to those, the dominance of Timburr and other bulkier threats like Foongus, Mudbray and Onix does not help either, as Kabuto hits like paper and they can take advantage of its pasivity just to either knock it off or set their own hazards up, respectively. Kabuto also has to struggle with special attackers overall, being Magnemite, Staryu, Gastly and Abra the main ones. Hell, even Ponyta can easily beat it with Bloom Doom or Sunnybeam sets. Just drop this thing already, thank you.

Moving on to Munchlax, really fine bulk but not useful at all if you keep being pivoted on, you are slow, your only mean to keep healthy is throughout Berry Juice in a metagame where Knock Off is everywhere, those special threats you are supposed to check can overpower you, and physical threats can handle you. It should be said already that Fighting-types just mock at its futile existance.

Pumpkaboo-Super has an upper hand at beating Ferroseed, thing that Foongus can not do. However, the constant rise of Timburr does not only mean for its Iron Fist variants but for his Guts variants too, meaning it can just stay and nonchalantly take a Will-O-Wisp and beat it effortlessly. On top of that, special threats like Gastly can easily overpower it, Ponyta shrugs off anything Pump throws at it and Vullaby is everywhere.

While Salandit has a valuable niche on Webs beating Ferroseed + Spritzee cores and firing off strong Fire Blasts, it has a terrible weakness to Stealth Rock, it can not use its typing to check Fighting-types in a pinch unlike its rank B- Poison-type opponent Croagunk, it can't even switch into attacks that can resist like Timburr's STABs, and gets walled by stuff like Mudbray or Mareanie, to name a few, due to its lack of coverage options and mediocre offensive presence.

What does Scraggy offer in this metagame? A setup sweeper that can ignore Ponyta and Foongus? That is nice! But first, you have to skip through AbraGast, Vullaby, Fighting-types, offensive variants of Ponyta... Scraggy is affected by many Pokemon in this metagame, it is extremely hard to get it in the field without getting pivoted on, and while its bulk is really fine for a setup sweeper, it gets abused a lot with pivoting moves and strong Pokemon firing their moves, taking a chunk of its health. Unless you have really heavy support for it, nothing can be done for Scraggy.

And finally, I think I am going to get screwed on this nomination. In a LC game, Snubbull has very exploitable disadvantages seen in a common game: getting easily pivoted on, bulkier threats like Mudbray shrug off Thunder Wave and can outmatch it, Foongus puts it to sleep, Diglett can trap it with momentum or as a revenge killing tool, it is food for Gastly and Abra, Ponyta likes burning it, Pawniard can predict it switching in and force it out... There are really few scenarios where Snubbull actually provides something useful to its team, and the number of disadvantageous scenarios given does not help at all.

C RANK CLEANSE:

ALL OF THESE TO UNRANKED

What is even Venipede doing there. I know it can serve as a good Spikes setter lead thanks to its Speed and typing, but what is doing to other leads? Bloom Doom to kill Onix and what more? It's just trash, if I wanted to use an actual hazard spam Pokemon, I would use Omanyte (which I will defend against an unjustified drop) or Dwebble, which both of them offer better tools, are bulkier and serve as pseudo chcks to more important Pokemon. Just get this thing out.

Anorith is just a worst Kabuto, with less bulk but faster and boasts Rock Blast to take out Vullaby. Bug typing just ruins the point of being a Flying check as it is taking a LOT from Vullaby attacks. It isn't that bulky either, so that sums it up.

Cranidos almost has no paper in this metagame. Mudbray and Onix outmatch it easily, faster Pokemon can revenge kill it, it is easily trapped by Diglett if not Scarf, priority deals a ton... This can be considered as the only exception to a Rock-type wallbreaker, being able to beat common Pokemon with its coverage, but its frailty is a important factor when trying to check Flying-types, which by the way, it does not check.

Lastly, Trubbish. Nah, man, it is just not useful right now. Abra, Gastly are everywhere, Mudbray and Onix overpower it, and Diglett... Is there something else I have to explain about it?

B -> C+ Disagree
Finally, I want to say that I disagree with Omanyte dropping to C+. Omanyte has a bigger niche as a hazard spam lead that can deal great damage and act partly as a Flying check, which makes it compete with Dwebble for the place in this archetype. I think it's fine where it is.
 
To this measure, Onix has no place being above Pokemon who I feel provide more for a team, especially in the offensive context of LC. Onix is perhaps the best at what it does. But what it does is just one crucial role of a game that requires many, many crucial roles.
Here is where we disagree. If we look at the rest of the mons ranked in A+ right now, they all do well in 1 or 2 roles. Timburr is a classic fighter, with strong overall stats, good recovery through drain punch and priority in mach punch. As far as being a pure fighter, and not being a pivot, Timburr is the best at it. Foo is a slightly worse fighter, but a better pivot, with wallbreaking capabilities that Timburr doesn't have. Foo is going to be my on exception to the A+ mon not filling more than 2 roles. Diglett does two things, and it does those things extremely well. It is the best trapper and an electric immunity (possibly the best electric immunity due to it's trapping ability). That's it. We can say 2 and a half if we want to split hairs over it also throwing out rocks, but it needs a good oppurtunity to be able to do that unless it's a rocks/memento lead which is pretty niche and NOT what got it to A+ so I'm not going to go into more detail on that. Foongus functions as a spore spreader and a bulky blanket 25/14 switchin/fighting switchin. I'd argue that without spore, Foongus wouldn't be nearly as viable, so it's pretty one dimensional. It has one specific set of EV's, and one specific item (eviolite), and everyone knows exactly what it is and how to deal with it. Pawn functions as a Trapper and a Flying check. Abra functions as a strong special attacker, with some added utility in sash+counter. With the exception of Mienfoo all of these pokemon fill 1 role extremely well, and possibly one more role moderately well.

However... Onix fills three of the most important roles in the game.

As previously mentioned Onix is the best setter of rocks in the entire tier. This is especially important in a metagame where Vullaby sees 85% usage.

It is also the best flying check in the entire tier, and forces Vullaby to run HP Grass specifically for it, when Vullaby would much rather be running another move if it could. Kid yourself not, if Onix didn't exist Vullaby wouldn't run HP Grass to hit Tirtouga.

Additionally, it can fill the role as an electric Immunity for a team.

So I very much disagree with the statement that Onix provides less for a team than Foongus, Abra, Pawnaird, or Timburr. Those mons are all much closer to being one dimensional than Onix. Mienfoo and Diglett are the only ones that comparably fill as many roles as Onix, but the difference is that neither fill 3 simaltaneously (again 2 and a half for dig if you really want to split hairs over rocks).

I would also argue that none of the roles they fill are as important as the roles onix fills.

In a tier where a flying type sees 85% usage, it is not a stretch to say that a mon that is the best rock setter AND the best flying check simaltaneously should be ranked in S.

Additionally, Onix has nearly perfect coverage with it's STAB moves, and has seen more experimentation lately with sets like Groundium Z, Curse, and Adamant all taking advantage of the offensive side of Onix which isn't talked about enough. It also gets explosion as we all know. It has so many little things going for it's criminally underrated offense.

Feels good to be back for at least a few weeks. I think it is time to take a look at the lower ranks and properly rearrange them. But first, I will do some nominations:

B- -> B?
I prefer to take a kick in the nuts, but Elekid can potentially be a threat on more hyper offensive teams, specifically hazard spam, where its moveset can be tailored appropiately to take out common threats like Staryu, Foongus and Vullaby, as well as keep the momentum while dealing tons of damage thanks to the hazards' action. Elekid, however, still has noticeable issues like threatening anything out but struggling to get in comfortably against powerful threats, and a lack of firepower without Life Orb. Nevertheless, these flaws seem to be almost fixed when Elekid finds itself on these kind of compositions. I would like people to discuss this one, because I have mixed feelings.

B -> B-?
On a same fashion, I still do not see what would Chespin provide me on a team, apart from Spikes, that Foongus wouldn't. Gastly and Croagunk aren't as much as threatening like back then, meaning its niche of a obscure and situational counter would be gone. To add on top of it, the pasivity it showcases when trying to actually manage Gastly forces it to either heal itself or switch out, not being able to set enough Spikes layers and thus acting as a momentum sink. It still has very valuable traits like being a decent Ground check and shutting Foongus down, but I want to see what your opinion on this would be.

C -> C+
In a metagame where Scarf Pokemon are used as revenge killers to faster threats such as Abra and Gastly, Drilbur has a very valuable niche in hazard spam teams which consists on OHKOing Onix with two Spikes layers damage, as well as 2HKOing bulkier threats such as Foongus, Spritzee and Timburr after only a single Spikes layer. These teams usually require a fast and powerful Pokemon that can take advantage of the hazards to apply pressure, meaning that even if a resist switches in, it will take more damage than the necessary. To top it off, it can also serve as hazard removal for these, as Stealth Rock is not a threat to it.

Now, time for two big cleanses.

RANK B- CLEANSE:

ALL OF THESE DOWN TO C+/C
This is going to be the most extense part of the post, as many of these Pokémon can potentially going down due to the noticeable trends. Let's take a closer look.

Kabuto's role compression at first hand looks useful with a resistance to Flying-type, both Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin, and Knock Off to top off the utility it can offer to a team. It can also forgo one of the roles to add priority and allow it to beat some threats it normally wouldn't, like Diglett. However, all of us should know already that role compressing in a single Pokemon adds too much pressure on it to keep itself consistent both in hazard setting and hazard removal, making it act as a momentum sink. Moreover, with the recent rise of corebreaker Vullaby and Doduo, it can no longer act as a check of such Pokemon, as those can run any kind of Hidden Power just to yeet Kabuto into oblivion. In addition to those, the dominance of Timburr and other bulkier threats like Foongus, Mudbray and Onix does not help either, as Kabuto hits like paper and they can take advantage of its pasivity just to either knock it off or set their own hazards up, respectively. Kabuto also has to struggle with special attackers overall, being Magnemite, Staryu, Gastly and Abra the main ones. Hell, even Ponyta can easily beat it with Bloom Doom or Sunnybeam sets. Just drop this thing already, thank you.

Moving on to Munchlax, really fine bulk but not useful at all if you keep being pivoted on, you are slow, your only mean to keep healthy is throughout Berry Juice in a metagame where Knock Off is everywhere, those special threats you are supposed to check can overpower you, and physical threats can handle you. It should be said already that Fighting-types just mock at its futile existance.

Pumpkaboo-Super has an upper hand at beating Ferroseed, thing that Foongus can not do. However, the constant rise of Timburr does not only mean for its Iron Fist variants but for his Guts variants too, meaning it can just stay and nonchalantly take a Will-O-Wisp and beat it effortlessly. On top of that, special threats like Gastly can easily overpower it, Ponyta shrugs off anything Pump throws at it and Vullaby is everywhere.

While Salandit has a valuable niche on Webs beating Ferroseed + Spritzee cores and firing off strong Fire Blasts, it has a terrible weakness to Stealth Rock, it can not use its typing to check Fighting-types in a pinch unlike its rank B- Poison-type opponent Croagunk, it can't even switch into attacks that can resist like Timburr's STABs, and gets walled by stuff like Mudbray or Mareanie, to name a few, due to its lack of coverage options and mediocre offensive presence.

What does Scraggy offer in this metagame? A setup sweeper that can ignore Ponyta and Foongus? That is nice! But first, you have to skip through AbraGast, Vullaby, Fighting-types, offensive variants of Ponyta... Scraggy is affected by many Pokemon in this metagame, it is extremely hard to get it in the field without getting pivoted on, and while its bulk is really fine for a setup sweeper, it gets abused a lot with pivoting moves and strong Pokemon firing their moves, taking a chunk of its health. Unless you have really heavy support for it, nothing can be done for Scraggy.

And finally, I think I am going to get screwed on this nomination. In a LC game, Snubbull has very exploitable disadvantages seen in a common game: getting easily pivoted on, bulkier threats like Mudbray shrug off Thunder Wave and can outmatch it, Foongus puts it to sleep, Diglett can trap it with momentum or as a revenge killing tool, it is food for Gastly and Abra, Ponyta likes burning it, Pawniard can predict it switching in and force it out... There are really few scenarios where Snubbull actually provides something useful to its team, and the number of disadvantageous scenarios given does not help at all.

C RANK CLEANSE:

ALL OF THESE TO UNRANKED

What is even Venipede doing there. I know it can serve as a good Spikes setter lead thanks to its Speed and typing, but what is doing to other leads? Bloom Doom to kill Onix and what more? It's just trash, if I wanted to use an actual hazard spam Pokemon, I would use Omanyte (which I will defend against an unjustified drop) or Dwebble, which both of them offer better tools, are bulkier and serve as pseudo chcks to more important Pokemon. Just get this thing out.

Anorith is just a worst Kabuto, with less bulk but faster and boasts Rock Blast to take out Vullaby. Bug typing just ruins the point of being a Flying check as it is taking a LOT from Vullaby attacks. It isn't that bulky either, so that sums it up.

Cranidos almost has no paper in this metagame. Mudbray and Onix outmatch it easily, faster Pokemon can revenge kill it, it is easily trapped by Diglett if not Scarf, priority deals a ton... This can be considered as the only exception to a Rock-type wallbreaker, being able to beat common Pokemon with its coverage, but its frailty is a important factor when trying to check Flying-types, which by the way, it does not check.

Lastly, Trubbish. Nah, man, it is just not useful right now. Abra, Gastly are everywhere, Mudbray and Onix overpower it, and Diglett... Is there something else I have to explain about it?

B -> C+ Disagree
Finally, I want to say that I disagree with Omanyte dropping to C+. Omanyte has a bigger niche as a hazard spam lead that can deal great damage and act partly as a Flying check, which makes it compete with Dwebble for the place in this archetype. I think it's fine where it is.
Just want to say I agree with all the noms for B- cleansing and C cleansing bar snubbull. I remember telling someone on discord I wanted a lot more to move down but ran out of steam to write so big props to AVS here.

I think Snubbull can stay in B- because it still offers some pretty good utility as a fight check with intimidate, and is actually not terrible into vullaby. It's usually not as good as spritzee offensively or defensively, but its kind of inbetween the two sets with Snubbull in general being more defensive than offensive spritz and more offensive than defensive spritz. It's definitely suffering right now with the prevalance of mare, foongus, and gastly but I don't see it moving down quite yet.

I would also like to adjust my nomination of Omanyte from B to C+ to B to B-. I wasn't actually aware of the hazard/z-hydro set, and while I suppose that's not as bad as the other Omanyte sets I had in mind I'm just not a huge fan of it (though im a biased dwebble user who loves z-rock wrecker or z-aerial ace hazard dwebble so I really should like this set more but the fighting weakness is just such a huge turn off) and don't think that the current meta is great for it. With a cleaned up B- I think Omanyte will fit in just fine there.
 
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Luthier

Don’t get mad, get even.
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Shellos: Unranked -> B-

I think that there has been quite a bit of discussion on this topic in the LC discord already. However, I think this nomination is completely warranted and should not be overlooked. Seeing that the OP states that we shouldn't nom unranked mons without replays and that we REALLY shouldn't nom something to move up more than 2 ranks, this might strike most as ridiculous. Nevertheless, I am incredibly firm on this stance and do think that the following reasoning is coherent enough to show that Shellos does belong in the rank.

Starting off the discussion, I think it is important to describe its role since the Smogon analysis cannot really capture what set has become "popularized". https://pokepast.es/60ddf2c707f3cd6e. The purpose of this set to me seems very straight straight forward, but be careful to not confuse it with the set that has been published on the Smogon analysis website. The goal of this set is to set up on most mons in the tier while being able to abuse its ability of sticky hold to keep its Eviolite in tact, which is able to constantly guarantee its 1.5 def and Spdef boost without ever having the fear of losing it to opposing knock offs or theifs/covets. In addition, running facade is incredibly helpful with pushing towards an "end game" in being able to still pump out damage while burned. The EV spread is also somewhat straight forward: Running max HP while running enough EVs in both spdef and def with careful nature to hit a defensive stat total of 27/14/14 makes it incredibly bulky as it able to soft check a multitude of non-set up mons including Pawniard (sticky hold preventing knock off), most fighters in the tier, ponyta, and the defensive pivot mons including, but not limited to, Spritz, Mareanie, and Tirtouga. Now that being said, simply being able to check a couple of mons doesn't do anything in proving its worth in the B- rank.

"Sweeping" Ability
Now, as I had already mentioned before, Shellos's bulk in conjunction with its ability and defensive boosting moves allow for a surprise set-up and sweep (replays will be provided later). Hater reasoning: "This mon is incredibly crit prone. You can spend your entire game setting up but then just lose to a crit which you are just asking for". Even though this reasoning may seem sound at first, it is also flawed in that people think that a critical hit will just drop shellos from full. Although, you would be playing around with crits in certain situations, you have to play around crits in nearly all aspects of the set-up game. For instance, let's look at the concept of LC veils. The entire team is revolved around getting up veils and then messing around with crits as you set up behind screens. Hater reasoning: "Well, Luthier you're wrong! In veils, you usually only need 1 or maybe 2 turns to set up. So you would only be playing with crits 1 or 2 times and everything from there is history". This is also a sound argument, except for that fact that people will continue to forget about the sheer bulk of shellos. I think one of the most apparent answers to Foongus would be Shellos. So to prove my point here, I want to show some calcs that will help convey my message. It is important to note that with the 4 speed EVs, shellos is able to hit 10 speed while a standard Foongus runs 8 speed and a more rare version to creep opposing Foongi (??) do occasionally run 9 speed. This means that shellos will be able to get off an amnesia prior to the Foongus giga on turn 1.

Calculations vs. a Foongus - do keep in mind that this is just an example of one the hardest mons to set up on

0 SpA Foongus Giga Drain vs. 228 HP / 20+ SpD Eviolite Shellos on a critical hit: 14-20 (51.8 - 74%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (14, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 20) = almost always doing 66 percent

0 SpA Foongus Giga Drain vs. +2 228 HP / 20+ SpD Eviolite Shellos: 6-8 (22.2 - 29.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8) = almost always doing 22 percent

0 SpA Foongus Giga Drain vs. +4 228 HP / 20+ SpD Eviolite Shellos: 6-8 (22.2 - 29.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8) = almost always doing 22 percent

0 SpA Foongus Giga Drain vs. +6 228 HP / 20+ SpD Eviolite Shellos: 2-6 (7.4 - 22.2%) -- possible 5HKO
Possible damage amounts: (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 6) = almost always doing 7 percent

Most plausible scenario: Shellos vs Foongus
Turn 1: Shellos is able to get up the amnesia, which leaves shellos open to a couple of things:
a) taking 6 HP
b) taking 18 HP from a first turn crit.
c) Sleep clause won't activate yet

What happens in situation a)
Given the chance of a crit being 1/24, we can look at the math for this situation. If we take 6 HP the first time we are left at 21 HP. From there we can set up again with amnesia to get to +4. This way, we will be sitting at 15 HP if there isn't a crit on the second giga and we would be sitting at 3 HP if there was a crit on the second giga. However, regardless of the situation we would be able to recover it all off. After we recover it off, we are able to hit amnesia for a third time to make the giga rolls do 2 HP each time. Essentially assuming we don't get crit on the first 2 turns, we are able to recover and set up with shellos ... on a Foongus. Which goes back to the logic what was previously said of needing 1 or 2 turns to set up. However, it is important to fully calculate all of the odds here. The only situation in which we lose is when we get consecutively crit against a Foongus. Assuming that the first two turns pass without a crit issue (which is the condition we started this case off with), there are a total of 1 (for the last amnesia) and 6 (for the 6 curses) turns that need to pass without crits. So essentially, we need to calc the odds of not getting consecutively crit in those 7 seven turns + 3 which will be a generous approximation to last the recovery turns in this period. This comes out to 9C1 * (1/24)^2 which is 1.56% chance that we lose in those seven turns. Outside of that situation, we are able to set up on a Foongus assuming that the shellos user has competency and will minimize the chance of losing to this by retaining his health always above 74 percent.

What happens in situation b) It is very simple here. This is just a case that is installed into case 1 where we do get crit in the first two turns here. Even if we are crit on the very first turn, we will still be able to recover it off since we are already sitting at +2. Hence, the only way that this case happens is that we are crit twice in the first 2 turns + the probability from case 1, which yields us to 1.74%.

What happens in situation c) lol just take a designated mon as a sac and toss it out the window to spore. You can always set up later with shellos.

So @Hater Reasoning, I am completely fine with taking a 1.74% odd if it would allow me to do what shellos can do.

Comparison to Similar Niche Mons
The next point of my discussion would be comparing to other mons that tend to fill the same roles as shellos. One that comes immediately to mind and one that came up in discussion in the LC discord was zigzagoon. Although it doesn't look so similar at first, when taking more time to actually teambuild, it becomes more apparent. When trying to team build with both of these mons, the team needs to be almost centrally geared around making this mon win. Meaning that if there is an obstacle that is problematic, it requires not only ingenuity, but also very controlled play to make sure that the wincon is used properly. Now, does this mean that the mon is worse? No, absolutely not. It just means that the individual lacks the inspiration or creativity that is required to maneuver around these issues. Are either of these mons splashable? No, I don't believe so. However, does that make it a bad mon? Again, no, absolutely not. Reading through the OP made me realize that what exactly are we trying to rank in this VR. We didn't mention the concept of splashability in the OP. And on that note, we can make very similar statements about other high ranked mons. The ones that stand out to me are Corphish and Carvanha. They are not splash able at all and do require the team to be geared around them marginally. However, they are sitting in B+. With this being said, we can look back to zigzagoon. Ziggy is not splashable whatsoever. It is only really viable on stuff like cheese. Yet it is being ranked in C+ where the entire wincon lies in setting up with zig. In addition, it doesn't even serve a dual purpose like shellos. With comparison by using the vague standard of overall "usefulness", I see shellos sitting miles and miles above zigzagoon. Being able to set up with bulk while also serving as a soft check to certain mons makes shellos more "useful" than Ziggy.

Properly Ranking.... in general
The issue at hand is that we don't really know what the these lower ranks mean. It's an absolute mess at the bottom or really anything below B. I think it would be in best interest to scrap all the C ranks from the VR and reorganize. I don't want to call Shellos B- since we really haven't defined what that even means. I am ranking it that way since it just seems better in terms of "usefulness" than those C+ mons, but not as good as the B mons. That's all I really wanted to say, but ill leave y'all with a team and some replays to watch to see how useful shellos can be.
https://pokepast.es/c1641ef806abf8b3
replays:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-932118522
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-930933291
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7lc-449100
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-931254805
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-932115914
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-931646447
 
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I want to address Luthier's Shellos post which is fairly well thought out but has a few flaws. I do like the spotlight being put on Shellos, but considering the amount of support it requires during teambuilding to effectively function as a wincon I think it's far more niche than thing's like shell smashers. With it being so niche I think C+ is the proper place for it.

However a lot of B and C are really a mess right now and while I was too lazy to address a lot of it I think it needs to be done so here's a spam of nominations.

(I don't think we need a C- anymore, or even a differentiation between C and C+... we have too many mons, and some niches don't exist anymore.

Lets start with B+. We don't need 7 waters in B+ we can differentiate between them because some are clearly better than others.
Rises in red, drops in blue.

Corphish to A-
Tirtouga to A-

Carvanha to B
Clamperl to B



With B+ looked at im just going to state the rest of the noms.

Vulpix-A to B+
Archen to B
Rufflet to B-
Larvesta to B-
Dwebble to B-
Omanyte to B-
Slowpoke to B-

Shellos to C+
Dewpider to C+
Elekid to C+
Kabuto to C+
Munchlax to C+
Pumpkaboo-Super to C+
Salandit to C+
Scraggy to C+
Taillow to C+

Budew to C+
Amaura to C
Spinarak to C

Axew to C
Trubbish to C
Hippopotas to C
Natu to C

Venipede, Anorith, Crandios, Deerling, Sandile, Snover to Unranked

With these nominations here is how the new lower ranks would look.
(New additions in italic)
B+
Frillish
Shellder
Surskit
Vulpix-A

B
Bunnelby
Chespin
Grimer-Alola
Meowth
Archen
Clamperl
Carvanha


B-
Croagunk
Riolu
Snubbull
Torchic
Wynaut
Rufflet
Larvesta
Dwebble
Omanyte
Slowpoke

C+
Cottonee
Chinchou
Honedge
Pikipek
Stunky
Zigzagoon
Dewpider
Elekid
Kabuto
Munchlax
Pumkaboo-Super
Salandit
Scraggy
Taillow
Budew
Shellos


C
Drilbur
Koffing
Pumkaboo-Small
Pancham
Sandshrew-A
Lileep
Axew
Trubbish
Hippopotas
Natu
Spinarak
Amaura




Also a side note on the state of VR discussion if anyone cares to read.
I feel like we have a problem with VR of only liking opinions we agree with and not actually discussing the content, instead we just shout into the void at each other.

A drunk post, that had bad reasoning, and was clearly made without reading any of my Onix nom shouldn't be this successful.
Maybe Onix deserves to stay in A+, but we can at least explore and talk about the meta shift towards a vullaby centric meta makes Onix better than the other mons in A+.

It's incredibly frustrating when I clearly state that Onix fills 3 important and different roles (and that it's the best in the tier at 2 of them) that the rebuttal is a post that says "what it does is just one crucial role", and de-values the importance of rocks in a meta that sees 85% usage of vullaby at high level play, and gives onix 0 credit for being the best vullaby check in the meta (unless you want to give up a teamslot for itemless archen which I don't think is better at checking vull but thats a seperate arguement). The post also goes on to talk about how Onix doesn't have the "typing or support movepool to allow it to fit extremely well into typical LC team archetypes" when onix's typing and support movepool are what got it as high as A+ in the first place and it clearly fits well in LC considering it was the second most used mon in LCPL and had one of the highest winrates among mons with similar usage.

tl;dr

Stop liking and supporting posts because you agree with the opinion. Like and support posts that make good arguements and promote healthy discussion.
 
I agree with MK on B and C being a mess right now and needing a major overhaul. I think the approach should be a bit different though: I think these rankings were made when the meta was a bit less centralized than it is right now, and you can really see the result of this with the presence of pokemon like trubbish and axew on this list. The metric for being ranked in the past was at least one situation where the pokemon would be the best option on some team or archetype, but I think if we're being realistic by that metric vast swaths of C should be unranked. Doing this would give a more clear idea to newer users what pokemon are and are not viable while also freeing up more sub ranks at the bottom of C, allowing us more sub ranks to make distinctions between pokemon.

This is going to be a pretty large change, so I'm going to make this post in reverse order: first I will post a theoretical viability rankings with these changes applied and after I will justify the changes that some might feel are more radical.
B+

Clamperl
Corphish
Frillish
Shellder
Surskit
Tirtouga

B
Bunnelby
Carvanha
Dewpider
Grimer-Alola
Rufflet
Vulpix-Alola

B-

Meowth
Omanyte
Dwebble
Wynaut
Torchic
Chespin
C RANK
C+
Archen
Croagunk
Elekid
Kabuto
Munchlax
Pumpkaboo-Super
Scraggy
C
Amaura
Taillow
Honedge
Spinarak
Zigzagoon
Salandit
Snubbull
C-
Chinchou
Drilbur
Koffing
Pumpkaboo-Small
Sandshrew-Alola
Pikipek
Stunky
Cottonee
Riolu
Larvesta
Slowpoke

This is the list I came up with, first I'll go through the pokemon I unranked
Anorith
Axew
Cranidos
Deerling
Hippopotas
Natu
Sandile
Snover
Trubbish
Pancham
Lileep
Venipede
Budew
So, all of C- and a couple pokemon out of C. I think that all of these pokemon somehow meet the metric of not justifying a spot on any team. There are a couple that I think should be pretty uncontroversial: Hippopotas, sandile, trubbish, lileep, Venipede, deerling and Anorith either have offensive STABs that are invalidated by fighting types or vullaby or lack the offensive presence to prevent even offensive pokemon from coming in for free. Snover is simply never going to be used as an offensive ice type over amaura and fails as a defensive pokemon completely with one of the worst defensive typings possible. I could go on mon by mon, but for the sake of time I'll get to the ones I think should be controversial: Pancham, Cranidos and Budew. These have theoretical niches, but I'm going to argue that those niches have either faded or are far to narrow to warrant a rank.

Cranidos - If this thing does have a niche, its on webs. If you see the scarf or raw set as viable you can argue with me later but I don't anticipate that point to be contended by many people; these sets are far too reliant on perfect prediction and just about any physically offensive scarfer should be used over them. In ORAS and the beginning of SM you would see Cranidos taking up the physical attacker role on webs, earning a spot for its ability to bust holes in the opposing team with its incredibly strong attacks. I do think it was good in ORAS, but this was largely because it had the added bonus of not being revenged by Fletchling. Web teams now often forego the strong physical attacker role that Cranidos used to fill altogether, instead opting to focus most of their offensive presence on special attackers like snivy and abra. Even if they do decide to include the physical attacker role, Cranidos is in my opinion completely outclassed by life orb bunnelby, a mon that is more powerful, has a better STAB, requires less prediction and has priority. If you have great prediction it can shine, but its rock STAB is not ideal and its attacks outside of it are too lacking to justify its use of bunnelby on webs.

Pancham - Pancham is good in theory, but I think its tournament use statistics are a good demonstration of how its real potential pans out. It is completely outclassed in every role it can fill by some other fighting type. This is a bit more difficult to demonstrate than the case of Cranidos thanks to Pancham's versatility, so I will have to go set by set. The parting shot pivot set, to start with, is fairly easy to see as outclassed on standard by mienfoo. Mienfoo boasts longevity that Pancham can only dream of, and mons like Vullaby ultimately will care about the u-turn damage that brings them in abra range more than the attack drop. I have seen this set used in tandem with threatening setup sweepers in the past, but I would say even in that situation u-turning into memento diglett or veils support is much more consistent. This is especially true when the most common switchin to pancham will be Vullaby, who is less than ideal for most setup sweepers to set up on due to knock off + priority from another pokemon killing most of the time. The swords dance wallbreaker set is probably a bit better than the pivot set, but still finds itself outclassed due to difficulty of setting up thanks to vullaby. Swords dance Mienfoo is ultimately the better choice in almost every situation, as vullaby can't come in for free and threaten brave bird, nor can it revenge. It can also run more niche sets like Z parting shot and 4 attack sets, but these either are too slow to execute their supporting function or lack the offensive presence to compete with timburr and mienfoo.

Budew - Budew is essentially a faster and less bulky foongus that has spikes and lacks regenerator and spore. Shrug championed this set back in ORAS and early SM, but I really don't think that the tradeoff now is anywhere near worth acquiring spikes. Budew immediately invites in Vullaby without the ability to threaten it with sleep as consistently, has a harder time checking fighting type in the same way, and its only redeeming quality are now easier than ever to get rid of, as defog is no longer the hazard control on almost every team over rapid spin.

From this point I basically separated up some of the ranks and on average moved every pokemon down one rank, but there were some exceptions that dropped more than one rank or stayed put unexpectedly. I'll justify these below.

Chinchou C+--> C-
This may seem excessive considering how many times Chinchou has been nuked, but I really think it is necessary considering just how awful this thing is. It isn't good enough offensively to warrant its use as a scarfer, as almost every defensive core can scout out a hit from it with a bulkier pokemon (especially mienfoo) and exploit its weak volt switches. Its defensive typing is no longer good, as the flying types it wants to check absolutely devastate it with knock off, as does the rest of the meta. It doesn't compete directly with many pokemon for its niche, but it is bad at fulfilling its niche to an extent that in my opinion warrants another nuke.
Larvesta C+-->C-
Larvesta is a monster with rocks off the field in theory, but in practice is simply not worth the support it warrants to even think about using. Vullaby is not consistent enough as a hazard remover to support Larvesta, as it is loses to rock setters and once forced out will subsequently be forced to check the fighting types that Larvesta falters to once rocks are up. Staryu is the only means of hazard control consistent enough to keep rocks of the field for Larvesta, but even it has troubles against pawniard and diglett users. Even if you don't mind going through all the difficulty of supporting the pokemon, it still loses to foodig and hates the presence of water types like staryu on the opposing team.
Slowpoke B-->C-
How this thing is anywhere near B is astounding to me. Its terrible defensive typing prevents it from effectively switching in on offensive pokemon that run knock off, and it can only check specially offensive pokemon that lack coverage for it (This is basically only Staryu and Abra, both of which run tbolt and eball respectively enough to make slowpoke risky). Once in against the very few pokemon that it can effectively switch in on it lacks the offensive presence to prevent threatening pokemon like vullaby from coming in and can't scald comfortably thanks to the presence of grass types on almost every team (it can run fire blast to cover ferroseed, but this can be scouted for easily and means it isn't running twave for vullaby).
Riolu B- --> C-
I understand that this was nominated a couple times but I find its inclusion on the list from unranked to B- off of what was essentially theorymonning with no tournament replays (it was used a single time in all of LCPL and lost) ridiculous. I'll repeat what I said before about it not being worth using over other fighters and prankster not being worth it due to the presence of vullaby, but its difficult to debate off theorymonning when its proponents can distinguish its role over other fighters without actually using it. In the last post I made about riolu before LCPL I said that I could see this nomination happening in a couple months with actual use, but this has simply not happened and its recent rise is wrong.
Pikipek C+-->C-
Another unfortunate mon who can't threaten vullaby enough to be viable. Popular as it is in low ladder, the scarf set is too reliant on prediction (if you land the wrong coverage move on a switchin you aren't doing anything lol) and the flame charge set is too difficult to setup and too weak to warrant use over the many flying types competing for its slot 99% of the time.
Stunky C+-->C-
Just use Grimer. The only thing it really has over Grimer is speed, defog and dark STAB, but its STAB combo really isn't that great and it has too difficult a time being threatening to teams that lack abra and gastly to warrant its use over Grimer, who can actually be difficult to take down even if you aren't using abragast.
Cottonee C+-->C-
Cottonee struggles too much against foongus to really be used outside of a hyper offense team that only Heysup would bring. It can use Z-Dreameater to alleviate this a little bit, but that particular set loses a lot of its punch against people who already know about it and only worsens cottonee's 4MSS, leaving it unable to answer pawniard or unable to provide the memento support that is half the reason to run it. It also runs the great risk of having its supporting moves like memento predicted and rendered useless by the dark types on every team.
Tailow B- --> C
Tailow's niche is too narrow in my opinion to warrant B-. It is really only going to be run in tandem with vullaby (there is really never any reason to run another flying type over vullaby except maybe bulk up rufflet), requiring you to be extra careful with hazard removal. In this role it suffers too much competition from doduo to be ranked any higher, as Doduo can run the same STABs with the added bonus of jump kick while being able to run berry juice to avoid being revenge killed early by timburr mach punch after brave bird recoil.
Salandit B- --> C
Salandit has a single very narrow niche of being a snivy check on webs, and while this niche is solid it encounters serious competition from other offensive pokemon that have more solid offensive presence (needing to rely on the Z move to KO defog vullaby is unfortunate) and has 4MSS desiring sub, HP grass and flame charge in addition to its offensive STABs. I don't really think any of the most solid web builds right now includes salandit, and I think this move would reflect that.
Snubbull B- --> C
Snubbull's competition from Spritzee as a defensive fairy type is a bit too stiff for it to really see any use.
Wynaut remain B-
Wynaut carves out a solid niche for itself by being able to restrict slow offensive Pokemon and nail some matchups really hard. It sees use at high level play for this reason, and belongs in B-.


I also kept all of B+ where it is with the exception of carvahna, who really can't function as well in this meta with the prevalence of Timburr. If anyone wants to debate individual noms I can elaborate more on these below but if you're going to make a post defending riolu please post some tournament replays.
 
Shellos: Unranked -> B-

I think that there has been quite a bit of discussion on this topic in the LC discord already. However, I think this nomination is completely warranted and should not be overlooked. Seeing that the OP states that we shouldn't nom unranked mons without replays and that we REALLY shouldn't nom something to move up more than 2 ranks, this might strike most as ridiculous. Nevertheless, I am incredibly firm on this stance and do think that the following reasoning is coherent enough to show that Shellos does belong in the rank.

Starting off the discussion, I think it is important to describe its role since the Smogon analysis cannot really capture what set has become "popularized". https://pokepast.es/60ddf2c707f3cd6e. The purpose of this set to me seems very straight straight forward, but be careful to not confuse it with the set that has been published on the Smogon analysis website. The goal of this set is to set up on most mons in the tier while being able to abuse its ability of sticky hold to keep its Eviolite in tact, which is able to constantly guarantee its 1.5 def and Spdef boost without ever having the fear of losing it to opposing knock offs or theifs/covets. In addition, running facade is incredibly helpful with pushing towards an "end game" in being able to still pump out damage while burned. The EV spread is also somewhat straight forward: Running max HP while running enough EVs in both spdef and def with careful nature to hit a defensive stat total of 27/14/14 makes it incredibly bulky as it able to soft check a multitude of non-set up mons including Pawniard (sticky hold preventing knock off), most fighters in the tier, ponyta, and the defensive pivot mons including, but not limited to, Spritz, Mareanie, and Tirtouga. Now that being said, simply being able to check a couple of mons doesn't do anything in proving its worth in the B- rank.

"Sweeping" Ability
Now, as I had already mentioned before, Shellos's bulk in conjunction with its ability and defensive boosting moves allow for a surprise set-up and sweep (replays will be provided later). Hater reasoning: "This mon is incredibly crit prone. You can spend your entire game setting up but then just lose to a crit which you are just asking for". Even though this reasoning may seem sound at first, it is also flawed in that people think that a critical hit will just drop shellos from full. Although, you would be playing around with crits in certain situations, you have to play around crits in nearly all aspects of the set-up game. For instance, let's look at the concept of LC veils. The entire team is revolved around getting up veils and then messing around with crits as you set up behind screens. Hater reasoning: "Well, Luthier you're wrong! In veils, you usually only need 1 or maybe 2 turns to set up. So you would only be playing with crits 1 or 2 times and everything from there is history". This is also a sound argument, except for that fact that people will continue to forget about the sheer bulk of shellos. I think one of the most apparent answers to Foongus would be Shellos. So to prove my point here, I want to show some calcs that will help convey my message. It is important to note that with the 4 speed EVs, shellos is able to hit 10 speed while a standard Foongus runs 8 speed and a more rare version to creep opposing Foongi (??) do occasionally run 9 speed. This means that shellos will be able to get off an amnesia prior to the Foongus giga on turn 1.

Calculations vs. a Foongus - do keep in mind that this is just an example of one the hardest mons to set up on

0 SpA Foongus Giga Drain vs. 228 HP / 20+ SpD Eviolite Shellos on a critical hit: 14-20 (51.8 - 74%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (14, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 20) = almost always doing 66 percent

0 SpA Foongus Giga Drain vs. +2 228 HP / 20+ SpD Eviolite Shellos: 6-8 (22.2 - 29.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8) = almost always doing 22 percent

0 SpA Foongus Giga Drain vs. +4 228 HP / 20+ SpD Eviolite Shellos: 6-8 (22.2 - 29.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8) = almost always doing 22 percent

0 SpA Foongus Giga Drain vs. +6 228 HP / 20+ SpD Eviolite Shellos: 2-6 (7.4 - 22.2%) -- possible 5HKO
Possible damage amounts: (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 6) = almost always doing 7 percent

Most plausible scenario: Shellos vs Foongus
Turn 1: Shellos is able to get up the amnesia, which leaves shellos open to a couple of things:
a) taking 6 HP
b) taking 18 HP from a first turn crit.
c) Sleep clause won't activate yet

What happens in situation a)
Given the chance of a crit being 1/24, we can look at the math for this situation. If we take 6 HP the first time we are left at 21 HP. From there we can set up again with amnesia to get to +4. This way, we will be sitting at 15 HP if there isn't a crit on the second giga and we would be sitting at 3 HP if there was a crit on the second giga. However, regardless of the situation we would be able to recover it all off. After we recover it off, we are able to hit amnesia for a third time to make the giga rolls do 2 HP each time. Essentially assuming we don't get crit on the first 2 turns, we are able to recover and set up with shellos ... on a Foongus. Which goes back to the logic what was previously said of needing 1 or 2 turns to set up. However, it is important to fully calculate all of the odds here. The only situation in which we lose is when we get consecutively crit against a Foongus. Assuming that the first two turns pass without a crit issue (which is the condition we started this case off with), there are a total of 1 (for the last amnesia) and 6 (for the 6 curses) turns that need to pass without crits. So essentially, we need to calc the odds of not getting consecutively crit in those 7 seven turns + 3 which will be a generous approximation to last the recovery turns in this period. This comes out to 9C1 * (1/24)^2 which is 1.56% chance that we lose in those seven turns. Outside of that situation, we are able to set up on a Foongus assuming that the shellos user has competency and will minimize the chance of losing to this by retaining his health always above 74 percent.

What happens in situation b) It is very simple here. This is just a case that is installed into case 1 where we do get crit in the first two turns here. Even if we are crit on the very first turn, we will still be able to recover it off since we are already sitting at +2. Hence, the only way that this case happens is that we are crit twice in the first 2 turns + the probability from case 1, which yields us to 1.74%.

What happens in situation c) lol just take a designated mon as a sac and toss it out the window to spore. You can always set up later with shellos.

So @Hater Reasoning, I am completely fine with taking a 1.74% odd if it would allow me to do what shellos can do.

Comparison to Similar Niche Mons
The next point of my discussion would be comparing to other mons that tend to fill the same roles as shellos. One that comes immediately to mind and one that came up in discussion in the LC discord was zigzagoon. Although it doesn't look so similar at first, when taking more time to actually teambuild, it becomes more apparent. When trying to team build with both of these mons, the team needs to be almost centrally geared around making this mon win. Meaning that if there is an obstacle that is problematic, it requires not only ingenuity, but also very controlled play to make sure that the wincon is used properly. Now, does this mean that the mon is worse? No, absolutely not. It just means that the individual lacks the inspiration or creativity that is required to maneuver around these issues. Are either of these mons splashable? No, I don't believe so. However, does that make it a bad mon? Again, no, absolutely not. Reading through the OP made me realize that what exactly are we trying to rank in this VR. We didn't mention the concept of splashability in the OP. And on that note, we can make very similar statements about other high ranked mons. The ones that stand out to me are Corphish and Carvanha. They are not splash able at all and do require the team to be geared around them marginally. However, they are sitting in B+. With this being said, we can look back to zigzagoon. Ziggy is not splashable whatsoever. It is only really viable on stuff like cheese. Yet it is being ranked in C+ where the entire wincon lies in setting up with zig. In addition, it doesn't even serve a dual purpose like shellos. With comparison by using the vague standard of overall "usefulness", I see shellos sitting miles and miles above zigzagoon. Being able to set up with bulk while also serving as a soft check to certain mons makes shellos more "useful" than Ziggy.

Properly Ranking.... in general
The issue at hand is that we don't really know what the these lower ranks mean. It's an absolute mess at the bottom or really anything below B. I think it would be in best interest to scrap all the C ranks from the VR and reorganize. I don't want to call Shellos B- since we really haven't defined what that even means. I am ranking it that way since it just seems better in terms of "usefulness" than those C+ mons, but not as good as the B mons. That's all I really wanted to say, but ill leave y'all with a team and some replays to watch to see how useful shellos can be.
https://pokepast.es/c1641ef806abf8b3
replays:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-932118522
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-930933291
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7lc-449100
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-931254805
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-932115914
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-931646447
Not an LC expert or anything, but isn't this set total deadweight against Ghost/Steel types? Why would you nom something from UR to B- if your team literally needs to include 3 trappers to support it.
 
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Not an LC expert or anything, but isn't this set total deadweight against Ghost/Steel types? Why would you nom something from UR to B- if your team literally needs to include 3 trappers to support it.
1. Ghost Types aren't really that common apart from Gastly. Others like Frillish, Honedge and Pumpkaboo-XL are quite rare to find anyway. ( Grimer-A can still provide Knock Off support and a Spore Absorber if there's no Ghost Types on the opponent's team )

2.The only common Steel-Types used were mainly Ferroseed, Pawniard, Magnemite. These were common mon that Spritzee lures ( I think not much for Pawniard. ) Ferroseed is easily trapped by Magnemite. Spritzee will just click Protect for opposing Magnemite because they commonly run Choice Scarf, and it will get trapped depending on what move it gets locked into like Diglett can hard switch and trapped it if locked into Volt Switch/Tbolt or its own Magnemite will trapped it if locked into Flash Cannon.

Yes, that Shellos set does need a bit of support to be effective, but it can be great if it manages to sweep late game.
 

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