Resource VGC 2019 Ultra Series Viability Rankings

Netherious

formerly Shivershaft
is a Pre-Contributor
VGC 2019 ULTRA SERIES VIABILITY RANKINGS

Welcome all to a new and exciting year of Pokemon VGC! The 2019 season is underway and to go with it we will be creating once again a valuable resource for competitors alike to come to, partake in, and utilize for their competitive needs! This is an open discussion at all times and I will act as a bookkeeper to the VGC metagame and will compile any and all information I can track. I will be combining community suggestion, CP earnings, and online usage to determine ranking throughout the seasons.

To start this out we will not be using the +/- system and ranks will be purely in the letter and we will discuss all together those smaller changes and adjustments. If you'd like to make a suggestion or claim for a Pokemon moving rank, be sure to be thorough and show some calculations, if applicable. Sell to us why you believe it is deserving of rank.

For Ultra Series, we will be introducing a new team for Viability Rankings to ensure we stay as current and as accurate as possible. These are players who are well versed in the VGC metagame and have a strong understanding of what viability truly means.

Introducing your new Viability Ranking Council!

AtmosphereVGC
Flyingfalcons7
Gotheru
JoeUX9
Netherious (VR Co-Leader)
Rileysox
TPO3 (VR Co-Leader)


This team of players will work to ensure we have an up-to-date VR thread and make sure there is no bias. I want us to be certain that our Viability Ranking is the most accurate across all platforms and is a dependable resource for all to utilize.

Below is the different rankings we will work within. We plan to have this entire list more spread across the entirety of the VR as to accurately display the differences between pokemon, as well as to not represent nearly as many niche pokemon as we have with previous VR.

S-Rank

Reserved for the very best Pokemon in the VGC metagame. These Pokemon are usually able to perform a variety of roles effectively, or can just do one extremely well. Their use has low risk involved and high reward exerted. Pokemon in this tier have very few flaws that are patched up by numerous positive traits.
S
Groudon-Primal
Incineroar

A-Rank

Reserved for Pokemon that are outstanding in the VGC metagame and can handle various field positions effectively or support multiple win conditions. These Pokemon require less support than other Pokemon to be used effectively and have few flaws that can be overlooked when compared to their outstanding traits.
A+

Kyogre-Primal
Rayquaza-Mega
Tapu Fini
Xerneas

A

Gengar-Mega
Lunala
Salamence-Mega
Tapu Lele
Yveltal

A-

Amoonguss
Bronzong
Necrozma-Ultra(DWN)
Necrozma-Ultra(DMN)
Stakataka
Tapu Koko


B-Rank

Reserved for Pokemon who are great in the VGC metagame. These Pokemon have more notable flaws than of those above it that affects how they function in the tier. Their positive traits still outshine their negatives, but they require a bit more team support to bring out their full potential. Their niches are often slightly smaller than those that are in A and S rank, which leads them to face some competition for a teamslot.
B+

Kangaskhan-Mega
Manectric-Mega
Smeargle
Landorus-T
Lucario-Mega
Togedemaru

B

Cresselia
Crobat
Kartana
Raichu

B-

Celesteela
Dialga
Gothitelle
Hitmontop
Mawile-Mega
Metagross-Mega


C-Rank

Reserved for Pokemon that have notable niches in the VGC metagame, but have just as notable flaws that prevent them from being effective. Pokemon in the C tier often require additional support to be effective in VGC.
C

Ferrothorn
Kyogre
Persian-Alola
Solgaleo
Suicune
Togekiss
Tsareena
Whimsicott
Zygarde

C2-Rank

Reserved for Pokemon that are generally below average in the VGC metagame, but are decent enough to justify their occasional use on some teams. These Pokemon are either usable but have no real niche, or are only capable of doing their specific task and struggle to do anything more than that. Their niche is often so tiny, that they are not worth using the majority of the time.
C2

Excadrill
Kyurem-White
Lopunny-Mega
Lugia
Mewtwo
Palkia
Talonflame
Tornadus
 
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I feel like Groudon belongs in S. As if Ground and Fire having insane offensive synergy wasn't enough, effectively only having 1 weakness, which doesn't resist any of its STABs, makes it extremely tough to properly check it. Not only is it the perfect partner for Xerneas, as it excels at checking Steels, Poisons and Fires, it also checks opposing Xerneas. Its best defensive checks are usually Flying Dragons, which Xerneas annihilates. Even in the Primals mirror, it has a huge edge. If Groudon's slower, it wins the weather war; if it's faster, it'll be able to still use its primary STAB in Precipice Blades to finish Kyogre off later in the game; and, unlike Kyogre, it doesn't mind being on the opposing weather too much. This beast is nearly unbreakable and can single-handedly sweep entire teams, while also providing the rest of its team a Water immunity and taking hits, mainly on the physical side, like nothing else does. That's why I think it deserves to be separated from every other mon.

Tapus Koko and Lele should be A-, imo. They struggle to compete with the power levels of Ultra and the terrain support isn't enough to rank them above Ultra-Necrozma.

I believe Salamence and possibly Ray should go down to A. Mence is very one dimensional and loses hard to Xerneas and the Tapus. It's amazing, especially with intimidate and the ability to wall Groudon, but it's not as good as Xerneas. Ray is far more powerful, but lacks the intimidate and loses to basically the same stuff. I just don't feel like it's on the same level as Xerneas.

Kartana should probably drop to at least B. Gets checked by Groudon, Mence, Ray, Yveltal and Inci, just to name a few. Doesn't really check much besides Xerneas, Kyogre and Stakataka.

Speaking of which, I think Stakataka and Bronzong should switch places. Zong's damage output is really underwhelming, especially with so much Intimidate around, making it a much weaker Xerneas check than Stakataka. They have very similar support options, but Stakataka has access to Wide Guard. The fact that Z-Inci is fairly popular makes Bronzong's job even harder.

As inconsistent as it sounds, I feel like Regular Kyogre deserves a spot in the C tier. It can punch holes on team very quickly, which Rayquaza can finish off in the late game and can work beautifully on more Hyper offensive teams.

That's all, I hope my opinions are helpful.
 
Speaking of which, I think Stakataka and Bronzong should switch places. Zong's damage output is really underwhelming, especially with so much Intimidate around, making it a much weaker Xerneas check than Stakataka. They have very similar support options, but Stakataka has access to Wide Guard. The fact that Z-Inci is fairly popular makes Bronzong's job even harder.
One key difference I'd like to bring up that separates Bronzong, is its solid defensive typing bolstered by that of either Levitate or the less frequent Heatproof, and can receive a larger buff depending on which primal you run in tandem with zong- which Stakataka can't really abuse as much thanks to its already subpar defensive typing for this meta being hit by both primals, (Wide Guard while helping this issue doesn't really fix it as you're still liable to get Scalded, Earth Powered, or the much more rare Stomping Tantrum)- in general I just don't feel like Stakataka has the same level of consistency in its role that Bronzong brings to the table.

Overall though agree with the rest of those keep them coming :)

Edit: GravNosis is dope.
 
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I agree with what’s been said above so far. A few more things:<br />
<br />
Tsareena: I don’t think this should be rated at all. Never seen it used. It no longer checks Groudon. It might check Kyogre if Power Whip actually hits. Priority prevention is not as important as in Moon series. It just has no redeemable qualities for this format apart from support moves that better Pokémon have. Dies to Mega Mence, Rayquaza, Mega Gengar, Groudon and Yveltal.

Toxicroak: not sure what this does anymore. Should be unrated as well?

Tornadus: anything relying on weather is bad because the weather effects don’t last after the Primals leave the field and you can’t use Rain Dance against Groudon. So Hurricane is useless. You’re left with a Prankster tailwind setter that also has access to Taunt and a handy ground immunity as well. But there are better tailwind setters and better taunt users and you also have Whimsicott which has better support moves. So I think it should be unrated as well.

Uxie: I wouldn’t mind seeing this get a C2 rating. It’s Cresselia in ability, bulk and role as a Trick Room setter, but has a niche over it due to Z-Memento.
 

Eisenherz

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Tsareena: I don’t think this should be rated at all. Never seen it used. It no longer checks Groudon. It might check Kyogre if Power Whip actually hits. Priority prevention is not as important as in Moon series. It just has no redeemable qualities for this format apart from support moves that better Pokémon have. Dies to Mega Mence, Rayquaza, Mega Gengar, Groudon and Yveltal
Tsareena is undoubtedly worse, especially with Ray and Salamence, but it hasn't become entirely unviable either. Firstly, I don't think its role was ever to check Groudon, which already carried Fire Punch in Sun and Moon series. Checking Kyogre was more important, and that's something it still does ("if Power Whip actually hits" is an unchanged thing from Moon where Tsareena was really good). I don't understand why you say priority prevention isn't as important, Fake Out is still just as present (if not more with a few M-Kang around), and Rayquaza's E-Speed of course. Helping Hand and Feint support is still useful, and most importantly, U-turn pivoting as well.

It's definitely among the better Grass types available at the moment (I think it's still better than Bulu), and does fit the description of C rank imo.
 
Tsareena is undoubtedly worse, especially with Ray and Salamence, but it hasn't become entirely unviable either. Firstly, I don't think its role was ever to check Groudon, which already carried Fire Punch in Sun and Moon series. Checking Kyogre was more important, and that's something it still does ("if Power Whip actually hits" is an unchanged thing from Moon where Tsareena was really good). I don't understand why you say priority prevention isn't as important, Fake Out is still just as present (if not more with a few M-Kang around), and Rayquaza's E-Speed of course. Helping Hand and Feint support is still useful, and most importantly, U-turn pivoting as well.

It's definitely among the better Grass types available at the moment (I think it's still better than Bulu), and does fit the description of C rank imo.
Fair counter points. I guess we’ll wait and see. I’m predicting its usage will drop with time even further.
 

Ace Emerald

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Tornadus: anything relying on weather is bad because the weather effects don’t last after the Primals leave the field and you can’t use Rain Dance against Groudon. So Hurricane is useless. You’re left with a Prankster tailwind setter that also has access to Taunt and a handy ground immunity as well. But there are better tailwind setters and better taunt users and you also have Whimsicott which has better support moves. So I think it should be unrated as well.
It still has Prankster Role Play for winning the weather war. It might deserve a drop, but unranked is a little far this early in the meta.
 
Just to get some discussion going - based on super early results there are surprising pokemon scoring CP:

Gastrodon - Does well against both Primals, has access to Clear Smog. It does some things and should probably be somewhere on the viability rankings

Persian-A - Works nicely on perish trap teams, good speed tier and support. Not great but similar to Gothitelle insofar as it does well to support certain teams.

Murkrow - Very reliable TW setter (prankster+immune to prankster taunt), Foul Play for reasonable damage output, Quash is a neat gimmick, also gets snarl, haze, perish song, feather dance as support options. Deserves a rank as it excels in a very specific role.

Beyond this, there are a couple pokemon that I just have been underwhelmed by so far:

Kartana - Tons of intimidate in the meta going on as well as fake out breaking potential sashes. AV is an okay set but you just get knocked down by intimidate. Its not bad, but it feels more B/B+ to me rather than A-

Tapu Bulu - It just doesn't do anything. It's niche would be a check to Kyogre but you die to ice beam unless you are AV/Scarf which is limiting and leaves you vulnerable to intimidate again (can't run Band or Z). It also dies to basically all of Kyogre's common teammates. Doesn't synergize well with Groudon teams thanks to Grassy terrain reducing Pblades/Earth Power damage which is where killing Kyogre reliably would be nice. C2 would be an okay ranking for it - I would have it below any of the 3 mons described above that have gotten some CP thusfar.
 
How is Incineroar not in the S rank? It has incredible utility in this metagame and its usage stats prove it. I would talk about everything it does but I believe everyone who has played the format knows: Intimidate, Fake out, good typing, and a great moveset.

Also, how is fini not as good or better than lele or koko? It provides incredible support and misty terrain is great to counter amoonguss or hypnosis strategies. Edit: Rank A

Finally, consider putting kyogre (non primal) in the mix. I have used it with scarf paired with Mega Ray and it can be a great mon even in this meta, although obviously more niche and requiring more support than primal. It is faster than almost every non-scarf pokemon and its water spout in rain deals heavy damage. Expect a pdon switch? Switch in ray. Fake out pressure? Use your own, set psychic terrain, switch in tsareena... It can have a couple amazing turns at the start of a match that can be decisive. Edit: Rank C/B-
 
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Finally, consider putting kyogre (non primal) in the mix. I have used it with scarf paired with Mega Ray and it can be a great mon even in this meta, although obviously more niche and requiring more support than primal. It is faster than almost every non-scarf pokemon and its water spout in rain deals heavy damage. Expect a pdon switch? Switch in ray. Fake out pressure? Use your own, set psychic terrain, switch in tsareena... It can have a couple amazing turns at the start of a match that can be decisive. Edit: Rank C/B-
Will be putting some replays here to prove my point:

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2019ultraseries-891548831
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2019ultraseries-891554045
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2019ultraseries-891693156
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2019ultraseries-891725627 (almost autowin against this team)
 
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Tapu Fini: A- to A/A+

I feel like Tapu Fini is one of the most consistent support mons, if not the most, that we have in this metagame. Even though it suffers from 4MSS, you can choose the moves that work better for your team within a wide range of options. Icy Wind support is really good in this metagame, as it helps with speed control and hits "hard" Salamence and Rayquaza. Natures's Madness is a really good move, chipping 50% of Xerneas's, Groudon's or Kyogre's health with no attack investment at all is really huge, considering that it might be able to tank two hits, thanks to pincha berry or misty seed, and use Nature's Madness on multiple mons. Haze functions really well on Rayquaza teams, as they need to cover the Xerneas weakness and can reset both defense/spdef drops from Mega Ray and intimidate drops.

Tapu Fini can also function as an offensive mon. There are some sets that run Tapunium Z (which is a pain for Xerneas) or Waterium Z (that usually works well in Rayquaza teams as it is a really good offensive answer against Groudon and Incineroar). There are so many options that I can't explain them all, but to name a few: Light Screen, Swagger+Gravity, Taunt, Soak, Mist...

Another thing that we should consider is that this is a viability rankings, and even though Fini isn't the best mon of all, it fits well and does a lot of work in any kind of team, and that's what I consider the definition of being viable.

Stakataka: B+ to A-
At the beginning of Ultra series everyone thought that Bronzong would be much better than Stakataka, as it isn't weak to water and has Levitate instead of a 4x weakness to ground. Bronzong is also capable of using Z-Trick Room/Gravity + Hypnosis, as well as Skill Swapping Levitate onto Kyogre so that you're immune to Groudon and also change the weather.

Well, I guess Stakataka has proved everybody to be wrong. Having access to Wide Guard, not being weak to Incineroar/Lunala and being an actual offensive threat has made Stakataka one of the best TR users in the metagame. Having a Stakataka is almost a guaranteed Trick Room setup, as there is very little counterplay for it: fighting moves aren't popular in the actual metagame state, and Shuca Berry almost guarantees that you will take a hit from Groudon/Necrozma-U.

If you consider Fini's popularity, Bronzong is pretty much useless after a Misty Terrain setup and one intimidate. Bronzong's damage output is terrible, and is hard walled by Incineroar, Groudon or Kyogre, which are nearly in every team (although it is true that Gravity+Groudon is really powerful against these mons). On the other side, Stak's is an offensive threat, as it can hit with a 150 BP move to almost the entire metagame. Its rock typing is great offensively, as it can hit Incineroar with an effective move, and can also become a big threat with an offensive Rockium Z set.

But what about the supporting part of Bronzong? It's true that Stakataka can't abuse gravnosis at all, but it has a small niche as a Skill Swapper for rain. You can Skill Swap Kyogre in TR in front of a Groudon and use a water move, and then boost Kyogre's SpA thanks to Beast Boost (it was used during a Spanish grassroot tournament and won €100).

4 Atk Bronzong Gyro Ball (150 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 164-194 (81.1 - 96%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 Atk Stakataka Gyro Ball (150 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 224-266 (110.8 - 131.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252+ Atk Primal Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Shuca Berry Stakataka: 114-134 (67.8 - 79.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Primal Groudon Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Shuca Berry Stakataka: 134-162 (79.7 - 96.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Neuroforce Ultra Necrozma Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Shuca Berry Stakataka: 122-145 (72.6 - 86.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

I'll drop some suggestions and maybe I'll write more about them later.
Kartana drop
Lucario-Mega drop (yeah, it's used but is it as good as Landorus-T, Manectric and other mons from B+?)
Cresselia drop (sobad)
Ferrothorn rise (I hate this mon, and I don't think is good because you just lose all momentum you had before by switching it in, but I think that C is too low for it)
Toxicroak drop to UR (unmon in ultra imo)
Persian-A from UR to C? (I've seen this mon a couple of times in NPA with Big B and I think it's really good, as it can heavily damage Lunala while also being able to provide support in the form of Fake Out and Parting Shot, and also Z-Parting Shot is cool)
 
Mega Metagross for B-:
Don't get me wrong, I like Mega Metagross and it's one of my favorite mega evolutions. Unfortunately, the meta just hates it right now, with Primal Groudon being on every single team, especially those with Xerneas (although it does a decent job at checking it), and the opportunity cost of not being Mega Rayquaza, Mega Salamence, or Mega Gengar just cuts into Mega Metagross's viability like a knife slicing through a piece of meat. Not to mention how common dual Intimidate is, which only weakens Mega Metagross's viability even further. I understand, it's used, but it just feels like the worst out of all the B ranks - at least they have some traits to differentiate themselves from their competition, which Mega Metagross does not. Admittedly, it does possess a good Xerneas and Mega Salamence matchup, so it shouldn't go any lower than that, but to be honest, it's not all that good right now.

I agree with everything else that's been said, so I won't touch upon them.
 
I think Fini should be put in A rank as Xermeas is the most common pokemon and light screen, Heal pulse , Icy wind are great support for geomancy
 

Netherious

formerly Shivershaft
is a Pre-Contributor
Hello all! Apologies for the delay in update but we are finally complete on our voting! Please see the results below and the changes that follow:

Primal Groudon A+ to S

3-1 APPROVED

Incineroar A to S

3-2 APPROVED

Tapu Koko A to A-

3-2 APPROVED

Tapu Lele A to A-

2-3 DECLINED

Tapu Fini A- to A+

5-0 UNANIMOUS APPROVED

Mega Salamence A+ to A

4-1 APPROVED

Mega Rayquaza A+ to A

0-5 UNANIMOUS DECLINED

Stakataka B+ to A-

5-0 UNANIMOUS APPROVED

Kartana A- to B

5-0 UNANIMOUS APPROVED

Bronzong A- to B

0-5 UNANIMOUS DECLINED

Mega Metagross B to B-

3-2 APPROVED

Regular Kyogre UR to C

5-0 UNANIUMOUS APPROVED

Alolan Persian UR to C

5-0 UNANIMOUS APPROVED

Gastrodon, Toxicroak, Murkrow, Tapu Bulu UR to ???

0-5 DECLINED, All to remain UR.

Again apologies for the delay; The first vote is always the hardest to arrange! Please feel free to make new nominations from this point forward, we will poll again after the next large regional results have settled.

Thank you!
 
Is regular Kyogre really used? What is it's common set - scarf?

What about its teammates - since it can't override PDon's weather?
 
Is regular Kyogre really used? What is it's common set - scarf?

What about its teammates - since it can't override PDon's weather?
Scarf Ogre - I've seen it with Ray, Lele, Lickilicky. Usually Lele/Ogre lead with one of the other two in the back

M-Manectric is much too high IMO. OK against Xern/Gengar but not much else.
 
Ok
Change one- Togekiss C ——>. Unranked
Togekiss is outclassed in basically every aspect. It is a worse redirector than Smeargle, Amoonguss, or Clefable, it has less bulk than celesteela, Incineroar, and basically everything else, it has a mediocre speed, and bad offensive tools. According to VGCstats, it has made absolutely no CP in Ultra Series, less than Malamar and Illumise. In battle spot usage, it has less usage than a Giratina-O, Arcanine, and Abomasnow, all not on this viability ranking. It has absolutely no real niche and it is easily beaten and overlooked.

Lopunny-Mega C2 ——> B-
Lopunny, in contrast to Togekiss’ 0 CP has over ONE THOUSAND CP. On Pikalytics, it is more used than Dialga or Lucario Mega. It has a bid nice as a powerful Pokémon with fake out, powerful moves, scrappy, fake tears, and good overall niches. It has won regionals like Bristol and participated in lots of top cuts including Chile, Santa Clara, And day 2 of the EUIC. It is a really good Pokémon that has good results.

Palkia C2 ——> C
It is a good Pokémon with a x4 water resist, a new regional appearance in China, and over 200 CP. it isn’t amazing but it is worth a C.

Please comment on what Pokémon you think should go up/down
 
Gothitelle: B- to C2. It has mediocre stats that allow it to get steamrolled by opposing restricted mons and has too little bulk to be a trick room setter. Gengar is a much better trapper.

Ferrothorn: C to B+. It has an excellent matchup against Ogre and Xern and has earned nearly 4,000 CP at the time of this posting.

Primal Groupon: S to A. Although it continues to be a prominent force in the meta, the increasingly popular RayOgre has taken its toll on it.

Some others:<br />
<br />
Shedinja:UR to B-
Ditto: UR to C
 

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