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#26

Mega Salamence Tier 1 -> Tier 2

Mence is just not as good as it was before, I look at tier 1 mons and i don't think it deserves a place there with the other meta defining mons. Although it may be the most splashable mega this should not be enough to remain on tier 1, mence is at the same level than koko, kyurem or zapdos, for example. Also, about the "most splashable mega" thing, this is arguable, 4 uses on 4 weeks of spl, if I didn't miscount, is pretty bad for a mon with this title and also, for a tier 1 pokemon. DD set is still threatening, yes, but with metagross, kyurem or full trick room dominating the tier there are much more ways to check it than ever before.


Blacephalon Tier 5 -> UR

It just fires off an attack then die, i've never seen it doing anything other than that and it even fails to ko bulky mons. I have never found any good reason to use it. You're probably better using deoxys tbh :I



Incineroar UR -> Tier 5

Ok so I've been liking this mon a lot lately, its match up vs gothlax teams is :sogood: and a fire type pokemon with access to knock off is so valuable on the tier right now (it checks both snorlax and ferrothorn) since there's not a good fighting type anymore. Fake out and uturn are probably its other best two moves but snarl and wow are also cool tools it can use #FreeIntimidate tho :(
 
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#27

Mega Salamence Tier 1 -> Tier 2

Mence is just not as good as it was before, I look at tier 1 mons and i don't think it deserves a place there with the other meta defining mons. Although it may be the most splashable mega this should not be enough to remain on tier 1, mence is at the same level than koko, kyurem or zapdos, for example. Also, about the "most splashable mega" thing, this is arguable, 4 uses on 4 weeks of spl, if I didn't miscount, is pretty bad for a mon with this title and also, for a tier 1 pokemon. DD set is still threatening, yes, but with metagross, kyurem or full trick room dominating the tier there are much more ways to check it than ever before.


Blacephalon Tier 5 -> UR

It just fires off an attack then die, i've never seen it doing anything other than that and it even fails to ko bulky mons. I have never found any good reason to use it. You're probably better using deoxys tbh :I



Incineroar UR -> Tier 5

Ok so I've been liking this mon a lot lately, its match up vs gothlax teams is :sogood: and a fire type pokemon with access to knock off is so valuable on the tier right now (it checks both snorlax and ferrothorn) since there's not a good fighting type anymore. Fake out and uturn are probably its other best two moves but snarl and wow are also cool tools it can use #FreeIntimidate tho :(
Ok so first of all, the thought of mega mence to tier 2 is rediculous. It has insane offensive ability, respectable bulk, many sets it can run, mixed sets so that it doesn't even get hurt by intimidate. I've also seen pure special sets run a few times (and tried it myself) and it works reasonably well, and screws over people who switch in for the intimidate. Second of all, tailwind... it's one of the most reliable users of tailwind.
 

KyleCole

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#28
Ok so first of all, the thought of mega mence to tier 2 is rediculous. It has insane offensive ability, respectable bulk, many sets it can run, mixed sets so that it doesn't even get hurt by intimidate. I've also seen pure special sets run a few times (and tried it myself) and it works reasonably well, and screws over people who switch in for the intimidate. Second of all, tailwind... it's one of the most reliable users of tailwind.
Hey Mr.jrenner.

I’ve read a few of your posts, and whether you’re aware of it or not (I’m almost positive you are) you get a lot of criticism from the dou community in general and I’m here to let you know why that is, even though you seem to have a genuine interest in dou and a fair concept of what is “good” and what isn’t.

Even though you’re coming from a place of good intentions, your perspective on the VR is different from the one the vr council takes when evaluating the actual place a Pokemon has/receives. When you take a Pokemon, in this case Salamence, And look at viability in terms of general attributes like “bulk” and “intimidate” you get a good idea of why Salamence should be used instead of Pokemon like galvantula, wartortle, and aagron, but not why it should be used against what is currently “meta”.

You’re right that mega Salamence has a lot of great qualities, but the vr council looks more closely at how Salamence does against what is currently used in tournaments like Snorlax, metagross, fini, and manectric.

If you - jrenner, want to change or keep a Pokémon’s position on the VR, you need to look more closely at what specific trends are present in the metagame, and how each mon stacks up
 
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#29
Hey Mr.jrenner.

I’ve read a few of your posts, and whether you’re aware of it or not (I’m almost positive you are) you get a lot of criticism from the dou community in general and I’m here to let you know why that is, even though you seem to have a genuine interest in dou and a fair concept in what is “good” and what isn’t good.

Even though you’re coming from a place of good intentions, your perspective on the VR is Different from the one the vr council takes when evaluating the actual place a Pokemon has/receives. When you take a Pokemon, in this case Salamence, And look at viability in terms of general attributes like “bulk” and “intimidate” you get a good idea of why Salamence should be used instead of Pokemon like galvantula, wartortle, and aagron , but not why it should be used against what is currently “meta”.

You’re right that mega Salamence has a lot of great qualities, but the Vr council Looks more closely at how Salamence does against what is currently more commonly used in tournaments. Specifically (right now) Pokemon like Snorlax, metagross, fini, and manectric.

If you - jrenner, want to change or keep a Pokémon’s position on the VR, you need to look more closely at what specific trends are present in the metagame, and how each mon stacks up
I have also looked into, and am aware of the current meta. I (usually) only mention things that are in the current meta when mentioning things it can do, such as OHKOs, things it can check, exc. and I assume the VR council is aware of the current meta and doesn't need any info on it. That's why I only mention atributes of the mon. So if you'd like me to go through and talk about the current meta I will. I understand that the current meta has a lot of trick room, or semi room teams which makes things like lax a problem. Even outside of TR lax can hit mence pretty hard. Other major threats, such as fini (and the other omnipresent tapus) could cause it big problems. But due to the fact that only koko will outspeed it, and the use of scarf on lele will make that way less of a problem. Kyurem black is one of the other problems, but a lot of kyuBs are leads, and can be taken care of quickly. On the chance it's not, mence can get TW off fast and switch out. The other large TW user is zapdos, which is threatened by almost all of the same things as mence (such as kyuB), although zapdos sets are much more bulky, and can avoid almost all of the things that will normally OHKO mence. Even with that in mind, mence still has a very high offensive presence and is an incredible user of TW.
 

miltankmilk

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#30
I have also looked into, and am aware of the current meta. I (usually) only mention things that are in the current meta when mentioning things it can do, such as OHKOs, things it can check, exc. and I assume the VR council is aware of the current meta and doesn't need any info on it. That's why I only mention atributes of the mon. So if you'd like me to go through and talk about the current meta I will. I understand that the current meta has a lot of trick room, or semi room teams which makes things like lax a problem. Even outside of TR lax can hit mence pretty hard. Other major threats, such as fini (and the other omnipresent tapus) could cause it big problems. But due to the fact that only koko will outspeed it, and the use of scarf on lele will make that way less of a problem. Kyurem black is one of the other problems, but a lot of kyuBs are leads, and can be taken care of quickly. On the chance it's not, mence can get TW off fast and switch out. The other large TW user is zapdos, which is threatened by almost all of the same things as mence (such as kyuB), although zapdos sets are much more bulky, and can avoid almost all of the things that will normally OHKO mence. Even with that in mind, mence still has a very high offensive presence and is an incredible user of TW.
Based on the last time mence was nommed to tier 2 I can't speak for all of the VR Council but I can certainly speak for some of them. You are very much looking at Salamence vs the meta in a vacuum and that is a dangerous line of reasoning to use on viability rankings. I support mence going to tier 2 and hopefully my reasoning sheds some light on what Kyle was trying to tell you Jrenner.

Mence is still absolutely a dangerous pokemon, with DD being the scarier of the 2 sets, but its "utility set" has seen a steep dropoff in viability. By utility I mean the tailwind mixed set, this set was what I believe made Salamence tier 1 to begin with but its just not as good anymore. A few reasons for this: a) the rise of Mega Metagross as the dominant (mega) pokemon in this format, immediately pressuring with Ice Punch and being a very sturdy Flying-resist. b) the dominance of Snorlax and Co. make mence a liability vs both BD and Curse Snorlax as setting tailwind can often hurt your matchup vs these kinds of teams and its flying-type moves generally bounce off of Lax. c) Electric types are very good right now, specifically Koko, Zapdos, and Manectric (zap's taken a bit of a hit in viability cuz lax is broken but thats another conversation). You correctly identified that these pokemon give Mence trouble but it didn't seem to affect your calculations. Last thing is that FullRoom is very good right now and that is not good for Salamence as you identified. I won't really touch on the DD set right now because I don't think thats really a deciding factor in Mence being 1 or 2.

Last thing I'll say is that Mence is only as good as the pokemon in tier 2, at least the top half of them. To me Mence is on the same tier, (if not lower), than Mega Gengar, Aegislash, Koko, Volcanion, Kyurem-B. Mence is just simply not better than the pokemon in tier 2 so I'll be voting to move it down to tier 2.
 

Psynergy

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#31

Blacephalon Tier 5 -> UR

It just fires off an attack then die, i've never seen it doing anything other than that and it even fails to ko bulky mons. I have never found any good reason to use it. You're probably better using deoxys tbh :I
This is kinda minor but I want to go back to this because I've used this a lot thanks to nvakna and actually think Blacephalon is worth the rank. I've hesitated to bring it up because I don't have the replays to back up something that's ultimately no better than Tier 5, but people sorely undervalue Fire-types right now and I don't think that's entirely justified. Yeah Victini is a generally better Scarf Fire-type, but Scarf Blacephalon is a really nice cleaner that has absurd snowballing potential with Beast Boost Heat Waves while Overheat gives it good burst damage if it needs to snipe something early on. It also maintains the edge over every relevant Scarfer between Fire STAB, Shadow Ball and HP Ice.

Specs Blacephalon is also underrated, between Tailwind support and its huge Heat Waves this thing can easily break down teams provided you have something to threaten Fini (Zapdos can do all this!). Z-Moves are also cool but I find it needs the Choice item to maintain offensive pressure, which is a significant limiting factor. It has a lot of trouble with the bulky meta too and isn't a fan of Fini and Snorlax being so common (this thing gets Knock Off though!) but I think this thing is still very usable with proper support. It also got better with Marsh ban and would get better without lax
 
#32
Nominating stakataka for 2. It has high attack, beast boost, trick room, nice offensive typing, an unpredictable number of item options (z moves, berries, exc). Gyro hits extreamly hard, and can OHKO every tapu except fini (which can't switch into it) and will move first in TR. if TR is active it can also deal with a lot of its threats, such as lando-t (after a beast boost). It works quite well on semi room or TR teams, in conjunction with the notorious snorlax, and has the ability to destroy a lot of big threats in the meta. M-gengar gets OHKOed, m-metagross will get OHKOed by tech rage many other slightly less prevelant mons get completely destroyed by it. These include: tyranitar, kyuB, hoopa-U, tran, and volcanion (carrying T-rage). It's much better then the other the other mons in tier 3. It's an incredible mon on TR and semiroom teams, and once it gets snowballing it's incredibly hard to stop.
 
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#33
If you’re going to post damage calcs for your six move Genesect, please post the entire damage calc, and not some abbreviated nonsense

Oh and make sure both Pokémon are level 100 too, some of these calcs are really sketchy

EDIT: this was a response to a post by jrenner where he fudged a bunch of calcs; I'd delete it but my like count is too important
 
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#34
+2 4 SpA Genesect Ice Beam vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Zygarde: 632-748 (166.3 - 196.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
:psyduck:

As to why gene is not tier 2 level, it checks a lot but cant check everything with only 4 slots. Tbolt and energy ball are both very niche options which end up leaving gene weak to other bigger threats like opposing steels. Its got speed issues so kinda needs a scarf, so it cant even switch up moves and can be easier to play around (av is ok but for a bit of fatness you lose out on genesects best trait, outspeeding and koing lots). Defensively, it doesnt have the stats a steel wants or needs and still takes a bit too much damage from attacks to be a sole steel on a team. It falls into the same bracket as excadrill, sure its a steel but youre crazy if its your only steel.
 
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#35
If you’re going to post damage calcs for your six move Genesect, please post the entire damage calc, and not some abbreviated nonsense

Oh and make sure both Pokémon are level 100 too, some of these calcs are really sketchy
1) I'm using 6 moves to show how it can use different sets, 2) what calcs are "sketchy"? I'll check them over but I'm pretty sure it's accurate.
 

miltankmilk

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#36
1) I'm using 6 moves to show how it can use different sets, 2) what calcs are "sketchy"? I'll check them over but I'm pretty sure it's accurate.
Literally half of your calcs are doctored in some way. You blatantly omitted parts of calcs and de-capitalized parts of some calcs to somehow try to get your point across. Here are some real calcs to show you what really happens.
+1 252 Atk Genesect Iron Head vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Gengar-Mega: 223-264 (85.1 - 100.7%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
Very much not +0
+1 4 SpA Genesect Energy Ball vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Swampert-Mega: 420-496 (123.1 - 145.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
You somehow came up with a +2 genesect here, not sure what 7th move your gene is running to boost further but I am intrigued.
+1 4 SpA Genesect Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-Therian: 364-432 (95.5 - 113.3%) -- 75% chance to OHKO
you omitted the +1 and Landorus' HP stat here so I included them now

Here are the most notable examples, post full calcs and ideally more relevant calcs or replays because we are all aware a STAB U-turn will KO Hoopa-U
 

marilli

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#41
Supporting the jrenner Politoed to 5 -> 4 nom. I suppose the best noms are the ones that don't need 20 lines of obvious damage calcs.

Politoed's higher initial bulk, access to helping hand, and encore felt very useful for a hyper offensive team in my experience. EQ immunity feels like much a non-factor given you should be using Water-type moves most of the time anyways, and you always have ways to directly threaten the tailwind setters for big damage and deny the tailwind as opposed to just matching them. given that the most common tailwinder is zapdos, i felt that matching tailwind is very little reward for a lot of risk.
 

miltankmilk

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#42
Final VR Shifts of Lax meta

Ferrothorn 3 -> 2
Demantoid: No, ferro isn’t really very good right now. Most teams can’t afford how much momentum it loses.

kamikaze: No

MajorBowman: No, 3 is the perfect place for ferrothorn imo

Marilli: yeah dont do this

Memoric: No. I don’t think this is at the level of what the others in T2 are.

Miltankmilk: No, I don’t think ferro is fantastic right now which is what tier 2 is really composed of. Its a good mon but its always going to be matchup dependent and a momentum suck unless the opposing team lacks fire types.

Talkingtree: No, I think Ferro’s one of the better tier 3s but that doesn’t mean it should move up.

Mega Salamence 1->2
Demantoid: Yes. If this fails again everyone is getting mished >:I

kamikaze: Yes unfortunately

MajorBowman: As one of the last holdouts it pains me to agree. Still a great pick but not as dangerous as it once was

Marilli: yes drop this fine

Memoric: Yes, it’s not great anymore. It’s splashable but its days as mostly effective pick are over.

Miltankmilk: “Yes. Mence has some really tough matchups these days, Zap is super common, stakataka and ttar are both fairly common, kyu-b is a menace these days. The early SM days where mence was undisputed top mega are over and i think its time to move this to 2.” I stand by my vote I made on mence about a month ago but I’ll add that Metagross, Lax, Manectric all hurt Mence’s viability as well.

Talkingmish: Never thought I’d be saying this, but yes. Mence’s days as *the* #1 mega are pretty clearly over at this point. It’s the 5th most-used mega in SPL so far and has a pretty poor winrate (42%). Still a great mon, just no longer deserving of the Tier 1 title.

Blacephalon 5-> UR
Demantoid: abstain, I still don’t know what to think of this mon

kamikaze: Abstain

MajorBowman: yes, never should have been ranked lol

Marilli: no

Memoric: No, clown has its uses and deserves the 5 spot imo

Miltankmilk: abstain

Talkingtree: yes. Blacephalon is sort of on the border where you have to respect it in practice but it rarely is able to find its way onto a team, then onto the field. I won’t judge anyone for using this mon, but it probably doesn’t deserve a place on the VR at the moment.

Incineroar UR->5 (note, this was mostly voted on before it got intim and we aren't going to project its future VR placement here)
Demantoid: Yes, sees about the same or more use as a lot of tier 5. Has some cool moves to work with. Free intimidate tho :I

kamikaze: 5 without intimidate and definitely can he higher once intimidate shows its worth but not gonna bump up more just on speculation

MajorBowman: Remain UR, don’t really see much use over something like scrafty or a different fire type

Marilli: 5 yes with 4 tentatively with intimidate. Mons good but ive heard some good arguments why this might not actually be that much better than scrafty in a vacuum even with indimidate. It now surely stands as a viable pick thanks to intimidate release but I would rather take the tentative approach, let the meta play out than raise up to 4 (or potentially higher, w/e it comes down to) instead of bumping up on mere speculation

Memoric: Yes, i’d say it has enough of a niche to be a t5 mon

Miltankmilk: Yes I have seen enough out of this mon to say it’s at tier 5. Bulky, fake out, knock off, fire moves. It has a lot of good tools

Talkingtree: Yes, and when this gets Intimidate I will use it on every team for a month.

Politoed 5->4
Demantoid: No. I think it’s slightly worse than the stuff that’s in 4 right now.

kamishkaze: I think 5 is fine for this. I do think Encore in particular is one cool move it has over pelipper but in general Pelipper offers way more in Tailwind, ground immunity, and a flying stab for rain’s already heavily water stacked composition that has enabled it to be put in way more teams. Marilli made good use of toed in one of his spl games against a Trick Room Lax team where I think it does better than Pelipper, but in general I find Pelipper to be stronger in more matchups.

MajorBowman: It can stay 5, pelipper still seems to be the more common rain setter so toed hasn’t done a whole lot lately. Definitely think it has 4 potential but would like to see more of it first

Marilli: Yes. I support this nom because it seemed actually the most reasonable of all jrenner noms i have seen to this date. I’m fine with either 4 or 5 but wanted some more discussion and i think it can work well on certain rain builds.

Memoric: stay 5, pelli’s just better in most cases IMO

Miltankmilk: Stay 5, toed’s ok but overall Peli is just a better setter with tailwind/ pretty good typing and a secondary stab thats really useful to rain. Toed doesnt have those and I don’t think encore/helping hand makes up a full tier in the VR.

Talkingtree: 5. My fellow rankers already said most of my thoughts, gotta love Encore + Helping Hand but it’s usually tough to justify over Pelipper.


Shifts
Mega Salamence 1-> 2
Blacephalon 5-> UR
Incineroar UR ->5
 

miltankmilk

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#43
I have some noms of my own to try and get some discussion started.
Celesteela 2->3
In all honesty I don't think this is a very good pokemon now. It's very passive and struggles vs a lot of top pokemon such as Koko, Volcanion, Zapdos, Aegis, Zygarde, etc. It has some p bad moveslot syndrome where it wants sub to really capitalize off leech seed recovery and shield itself but if it doesn't have flamethrower its a really bad do-nothing mon. If you use some kinda offensive or semi-offensive seed acro set you miss out on leftovers recovery which really does add up. I think as the meta has progressed celes really hasn't stayed quite as good as the other tier 2 mons and we should move it down.
Tapu Lele 2->3
I don't know how publicly I've voiced this opinion but I really think lele is bad right now. None of its sets are really that threatening, scarf is super weak especially if you can deny terrain, taunt is really underwhelming because of how much metagross, aegislash and gengar there are right now and any other set hasn't really seen enough usage for me to think much on it. Lele is really only good for powering up deoxys and that makes it more similar to a rain setter than a pokemon like tapu koko. Its winrate in SPL was abysmal (38% in 18 uses) and I think thats actually reflective of the value it provides.
Tyranitar 2->3
In my efforts to thin out tier 2 I've identified tyranitar as being a bit over-ranked imo. I think its peak viability is behind it as mence is no longer the dominant mega (and the dominant mega is not really a great matchup for tar at all), the meta appears to be only getting faster with the departure of lax, and more offensive Kyurem sets have been gaining steam (the bad one for tar being Icium). I think the main argument for moving ttar down one is that I don't think regular tar is better than mega tar, which is currently in 3. Ttar is still quite good (as is the entirety of tier 3 with mons like goth, bulu, Sciz) but I think the viability of tar is closely related to that of Salamence/zapdos/av kyurem and inversely related to that of meta/zyg/lando. With the former losing viability and the latter gaining it I think its time to move tar down a notch.
 
#44
heatran 3 -> 4

Between volcanion, victini, and now incineroar, there's really no reason to use this mon. The rest of tier 3 all have solid niches, but tran is just outclassed in so many ways.

also, can you change this desc to tier 1 and 2?

"Pokemon that are generally strong, but can be dead weight in some matchups, don't have great matchups vs a lot of Tier 1 and 1.5, or are only particularly useful for checking a certain team style."
 
#45
Excadrill 5-> 4.

I’m looking at tier 5 and wondering why excadrill is there. Excadrill feels like it sees far more use compared to the other tier 5 mons. With the swords dance set, z move set, it acts as a very scary check against megagross by outspending and nuking. With sand being a fairly common weather, I feel like it deserves a spot in tier 4 at the very least
 

GenOne

Moving forward...
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#46
Scrafty 4 -> 3
Incineroar 5 -> 3


Now that Intimidate Incineroar is free, Scrafty and Incineroar are basically the same mon with different typing, so I'm gonna bulk-nom both of these simultaneously if that's cool.

Almost every team needs an Intimidate supporter before it can claim to be optimal, and in the past Landorus-T was the premier choice by a landslide. I'd argue that the viability gap between Landorus-T and Scrafty/Incineroar is a lot closer than it used to be, and that Scrafty/Incineroar offer a similar degree of role compression to Landorus-T:
  • Intimidate support to keep physical attackers at bay
  • Fake Out disruption utility
  • Good bulk to pivot into strong attacks
  • (Assuming not AV) access to Taunt as another layer of defense against setup / Trick Room / status move tactics
  • STAB-boosted Steel killing capabilities
  • Slow-ish speed tiers that work well under Trick Room
The above attributes are all really desirable in this metagame, and Scrafty/Incineroar are perfectly acceptable alternatives to Landorus-T on a lot of teambuilds.

Landorus-T still has a better speed tier and offensive presence going for it, and therefore still warrants being a few tiers higher, but it definitely doesn't monopolize the "Intimidate user" slot like it did earlier on in this meta.

Terrakion 5 -> UR

This is an unmon unless you're using Terracott gimmicks. There's really just nothing going for it :I

Tell me I'm wrong?

Mega Salamence 2 -> 3

This was just voted down from 1 -> 2, but I really think this is the next Mega Charizard Y in that it is a dragon destined for extinction. It's outclassed as an Intimidate user, outclassed as a Tailwind setter, can't beat most of the other relevant Megas in the meta, and relies on mono-Flying coverage to hit hard. It's not even splashable at this point. Like, its still a good mon but you have to have an actual plan on how you're going to use it, otherwise the Mega Metagrosses, Mega Manectrics and fullroom teams of this world are gonna eat it alive.
 
#48

Incineroar 5 -> 2

I know GenOne has already nommed this to 3 but that's really underselling how damn powerful of a 'mon this is. Excellent support characteristics (sharing the same utility as Scrafty - Fake Out, Intimidate as well as niche options such as Taunt and Snarl) backed by a STAB that's quite strong and very fitting for the Fairy-type and Metagross infested scene gives it a great matchup spread, only losing out hard to Landorus-T, Tapu Fini, and Zygarde in the top tiers. U-turn is a huge boon that functions well with strong breakers such as Metagross, Kyurem-B and offensive Tapu Bulu that have already been on the rise to decimate the bulkier metagame.

Honestly this feels like it's in the top 10 Pokemon in the metagame already due to its splashability and impact on every game. Incineroar is superior to many of the weaker Tier 2 picks and will most likely be a critical part in shaping USUM DOU until the new games come out.
 
#49
Naganadel: Rank 5 -> Unranked

Honestly, there's barely any reason why Naganadel should stay in the DOU viability ranking. Nasty Plot sounds nasty, but Naganadel usually can't do anything spectacular with it in Doubles environment. As a tailwind setter, Zapdos and Mew have more staying power while Mega Salamence and Kartana provide more firepower. Even as a standard all-out attacker, there are others that can do it better. Another factor has to do with me barely seen anyone actually uses Naganadel. Even then, it's not something to write home about. Probably not the best nomination out here, but I rest my case.


Edit: While my opinion of Naganadel still hasn't changed all that much, I think this nomination shouldn't be a priority, regardless of your opinion on it.
 
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miltankmilk

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#50
Votes
_______________
Celesteela 2->3

Demantoid: No, I still think celes is one of the most splashable steels with it’s only real downside being its weakness to koko.

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: Abstain. Celesteela is still solid but it’s definitely seen a big drop in usage. A lot of the common pokemon give it a bit of trouble, but it also stomps on a lot of stuff. I’d like to wait and see if the usage drop is just a shift in opinion/team composition/what have you or if it’s actually Celesteela getting worse.

Marilli: abstain

Memoric: no, it’s still a generally really good steel, the meta may have changed a bit but it doesn’t seem as if it had rocked celes’ place in the rankings

Miltankmilk: yes, made nom

Talkingtree: Yes, I agree that we need to start thinning down Tier 2 which has turned into a dumping ground for all the “pretty good” mons. Celesteela struggles to decide between Heavy Slam, Leech Seed, Wide Guard, Flamethrower, Protect, and a variety of other options of varying viability (Sub, Acrobatics, offensive) partially because none of its sets really shine, they’re all just fine. Celesteela’s place in the meta as a wincon wall is far less stable nowadays, as the banning of Snorlax removed one of its largest niches while the rise of Incineroar has bettered one of its checks.

Tapu Lele 2->3
Demantoid: No, I think it is the worst Tapu right now but both the scarf and bulky sets are still threatening and psy terrain is more important now with Incineroar being good.

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: Agree with Demantoid, I think Lele is a bit underwhelming compared to other Tapus but it still has a pretty important niche and can do a ton of damage.

Marilli: no agreed

Memoric: a pretty irresolute yes, tbh. Tapu Lele as a Pokemon is pretty hard to use rn in this metagame, and its best role really is to just make Deo-A an insufferable threat. Psychic Terrain is p good, but i dont think that’s enough to make it two tbh. It’s like pretty good, but meta-wise it’s not the wave

Miltankmilk: yes made nom

Talkingtree: Yes, Bowman and I tried to make Lele work for SPL a couple times and just… couldn’t. It’s too weak and physically frail for the meta right now imo. The support it provides with Taunt and Psychic Terrain is decent, and with Z-Moves and guaranteed Psychic Terrain-boosted STAB it hits pretty hard, but as soon as those boosts go away it’s just so disappointing most of the time. Steel-types are essential on every team and most are flawless Lele switchins (Aegis, Meta, Ferro, Sciz). I could go on, but I definitely agree with this drop.

Tyranitar 2->3
Demantoid: Yes, regular ttar is kind of mediocre right now

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: milk’s post was very well written and I agree, drop to 3

Marilli: fine drop to 3

Memoric: 3, i read milk’s reasoning and i vibe with that so yeah. I think Tar’s still a good mon, but in a metagame sense it’s just not the spice rn

Miltankmilk: yes made nom

Talkingtree: 3 for this sandyboi

Heatran 3->4
Demantoid: Yes. only really sees use on tr without camel now

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: can we just UR it heatran is literal garbage

Marilli: trans :sobad:

Memoric: i’d say 4 is a place for more niche, good-for-specific-characteristics kind of stuff, which heatran is as it pretty much sucks in a more general sense. yea

Miltankmilk: yes nobody really uses tran. its not un-usable but its just really not good in the meta so /shrug

Talkingtree: I keep waiting for something to happen where Heatran has its dramatic resurgence but… oof. 4, but I’m not willing to let it fall any farther rn.

Excadrill 5->4
Demantoid: Yes, sand teams are kind of anti-meta right now. Can mitigate intimidate spam with Swords Dance.

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: I used to be a hater but I can see the merits of excadrill. SD Z sets are pretty threatening and a lot of team comps (like the ones I tend to gravitate towards lol oops) can be pretty weak to it.

Marilli: ok sure

Memoric: definitely, yeah. It’s capable of being an actual decent, threatening pokemon at a frequent enough rate unlike the other meme-y stuff in 5; an offensive speed demon with power, good enough coverage, and respectable enough bulk (its beefy base hp helps a lot) is enough to push for 4 despite its other flaws.

Miltankmilk: drill is fire, agree. SD z move is hard to stop with its speed with both ground/steel being usable. good mon for sure.

Talkingtree: 4, but I’m using this platform to say please don’t use Rock Slide Excadrill because that set’s bad and you’re just telegraphing that you think the only way to win is to fish for flinches.

Scrafty 4->3
Demantoid: No, Incineroar getting intimidate has made this lose its niche on most teams

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: I am scrafty fan numero uno but I don’t know if anything happened that might boost scrafty up to 3. Incineroar kinda takes over scrafty’s niche pretty often, but conversely scrafty is one of the better checks to incineroar. I’d say remain 4 for now and see what happens

Marilli: yeah sure, its typing being not weak to common offensive typing like ground or water or rock is a pretty big reason to use this over incineroar

Memoric: y, this thing’s a bastard and i think it still has some stuff going for it over incin

Miltankmilk: the cat is the new wave. I think scrafty’s fine in 4 as its problems really havent gone away and have probably been even further highlighted by incineroars new ability. Sucks momentum so hard and can be abused with an initmidate or two way more than the cat. stay 4

Talkingtree: Remain 4, Scrafty still has some niche as a Fake Out user with better matchups against Zygarde/Lando-T/Incineroar/Rain but otherwise it’s clearly worse than Incineroar and doesn’t deserve to be moved up alongside it. Might have voted this up pre- Intimidate release though.

Incineroar 5->3 or 2
Demantoid: 2, Its support is very useful and has made double/triple intimidate teams very common.

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: I’m nervous to jump it straight to 2 so I’ll vote 3, but it absolutely has potential to reach 2 imo

Marilli: 2 :sogood:

Memoric: i think this could be a bit of a two, i dont really like big leaps like this for new stuff but w/e this thing is baller lol

Miltankmilk: 2 this mon’s so good. everything good about scrafty but it can pivot more effectively with u turn. rocks are watch out for rocks tho.

Talkingtree: Yes to 3, abstain to 2. I feel like it’s much better to move it up most of the way and then a bit more later than to overshoot and course correct later, but my fellow voters seem pretty sure of the wrestler cat.

Terrakion 5->UR
Demantoid: yes, terrakion got mished

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: yeah bye

Marilli: ??????? unmon

Memoric: make him disappear i guess? I dont care either way but lol

Miltankmilk: theres no real reason to have this on the VR even if its usable. Its not something you really have to prepare for in any capacity. UR

Talkingtree: yes, this falls under the scope of “I probably won’t judge you for using it but it’s not widely viable”.

Mega Salamence 2->3
Demantoid: Yes mence just loses to so much :sobad:

kamikaze:


MajorBowman: This is tough. I still think mence is one of the best megas, but metagross being so popular puts it in a rough spot. I guess I’ll go with 3 because it hasn’t seen a whole lot of play recently but I think it could definitely jump back up to 2 at some point

Marilli: eh sure

Memoric: Definitely, yeah. It’s still kinda good but it’s in an awkward spot as it just isn’t fit to handle what’s meta rn.

Miltankmilk: Sure this mon’s bad now :/

Talkingtree: Yep, Mence just isn’t great anymore :/

Changes
________
Tyranitar 2->3
Heatran 3->4
Excadrill 5->4
Team Player Cat 5->2
Terrakion 5->UR
Mega Salamence 2->3
kamikaze VR Council -> UR

Want to give a huge thank you to kamikaze , you kept this project running for a long ass time, you were a mentor to me with how to contribute professionally on this site and are one of the most stand up people on smogon. Stick around, don't be a stranger and we're all incredibly appreciative of the amount of work you put into this tier. Happy Retirement Dark Magician.


edit: as Kamikaze leaves we are happy to welcome back Kaori to the VR council. We know he'll be a great re-addition to the team!
 
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