A Look at RU Viability Rankings: S Rank

By ScraftyIsTheBest. Art by Blue Frog.
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If you have lurked the main Smogon Metagames forums, you may have come by something known as a Viability Ranking thread in each tier's subforum. These kinds of threads divide the tier's viable Pokémon into multiple ranks, with S being the highest and E being the lowest. The most defining Pokémon in the tier are what reside in the S Rank. These Pokémon are threats that all teams must be prepared for if one plans to have a successful team, and also find themselves on many good teams. This article will go in-depth for each S Rank Pokémon in the Rarelyused tier and why they are so great. If you're looking for what threats to prepare for in Rarelyused, well you've found the right article.

Top S



What makes Slowking Top S Rank?


There are quite a few key factors to Slowking's place as the best Pokémon in RU. What is most notable about Slowking is that it is by far the most versatile Pokémon in RU; it can go defensive, Choice Specs, Calm Mind, Nasty Plot, Trick Room, and this doesn't even include the variations within the sets themselves. Because of this, Slowking can easily slot itself onto practically any kind of team and fulfill almost any role you want it to. It is the universal glue Pokémon of the tier; it can check many threats such as Fire-types, Fighting-types, Psychic-types, and opposing Slowking like no other, and having endless recovery in Slack Off and Regenerator is just icing on the cake. Offensive variants of Slowking are also very good and have quite a bit of surprise value, and it additionally has great coverage with its STABs and Fire Blast.



What makes Druddigon Top S Rank?

Druddigon's typing, stats, and movepool are key to its placement in Top S. Its typing is fantastic both defensively and offensively; it can take on the common Fire / Water / Grass cores very well along with Electric-types, while it also has an Outrage only resisted by Steel-types. Outrage is also very powerful coming off a whopping base 120 Attack, and Druddigon has good moves such as Earthquake, Superpower, and Sucker Punch to back it up. It can run a mixed set thanks to Sheer Force; Flamethrower is really neat to surprise Tangrowth and Steelix. Druddigon is pretty versatile in what it can do: it can run a Stealth Rock set, a Choice Band or mixed wallbreaker set, or an annoying parashuffler set that can rack up entry hazard damage and continue to wall threats such as Sceptile and Manectric. Despite Druddigon's poor Speed and lack of recovery, its many strengths almost completely mitigate these problems and make it a top tier threat in RU.

Mid S



What makes Entei Mid S Rank?

A staple of RU since the tier's inception, Entei is one of the best offensive Pokémon in the tier. Its Choice Band-boosted Flare Blitz, coming off of a base 115 Attack, is incredibly lethal. Thanks to its power, almost every good RU team is required to have a Fire resistance to succeed, although there are a number of them available. In addition to wallbreaking, Entei also has a great move in ExtremeSpeed, hitting even before Absol's Sucker Punch, which means Entei is a great revenge killer that poses a major threat to more offensive teams. It can run Hidden Power Grass as well to surprise Kabutops, Omastar, and Rhydon. Entei also comes with useful moves such as Sleep Talk, Toxic, and Will-O-Wisp, and with all of these, Entei makes for a very flexible offensive Pokémon. It can even run Flame Plate to bluff a Choice Band set and switch moves, or it can run a SubCM set thanks to its decent base 90 Special Attack.

Why isn't Entei Top S Rank?

Although Entei is superlative at what it does, it comes with a couple of flaws that prevent it from being on par with Druddigon and Slowking. Its biggest downfall is that it can easily get worn down over time; although its Flare Blitz is incredibly strong, the recoil will take its toll on Entei, not to mention it dislikes Stealth Rock and Spikes, both of which are rather common in RU. Entei's coverage is also somewhat lackluster. There are plenty of Pokémon that can take advantage of it—Qwilfish, Kabutops, Omastar, Druddigon, and Slowking, to name a few—all of which prevent Entei from being Top S Rank. If Entei had a coverage move such as Power Whip or Wild Charge, then it would be a Top S threat without a doubt, but unfortunately, this is not the case.



What makes Sceptile Mid S Rank?

Sceptile is a Pokémon that has a whole lot going for it; it has extremely high Speed that even Scolipede and Cinccino cannot beat, hits both physically and specially, and has great coverage. All of these traits combine to make Sceptile one formidable threat in RU. In addition, both the physical and special sets have wildly different counters. Aside from Druddigon and Escavalier, both of which lack any recovery, the two sets can destroy each other's answers. Roselia and Amoonguss counter the special set but get destroyed by the Swords Dance set, while Steelix will not like the special sets. Sceptile in general is also quite dangerous, using its great coverage to heavily damage opposing teams, and can run Substitute to dodge Sucker Punch. Overall, Sceptile is, bar none, the best Grass-type in RU, and can cause a lot of damage whenever it comes in.

Why isn't Sceptile Top S Rank?

One big downfall with Sceptile is that it's quite frail, so any strong hit will ensure Sceptile's demise. Despite its versatility, Sceptile can be countered somewhat easily once its set is figured out, so it only can play the guessing game once. Sceptile's special moves are either inaccurate or weak—Leaf Storm also has a major drawback in dropping Special Attack. While it's certainly a viable physical or mixed attacker, base 85 Attack is still somewhat underwhelming without any Swords Dance boosts, and Sceptile's frailty prevents it from setting up easily. If Sceptile had a bit more bulk or power, then it would surely be Top S.

Low S



What makes Uxie S Rank?

Uxie is known for being the ultimate support Pokémon in RU. It comes with great bulk and Levitate, meaning Uxie can endure hits from many Pokémon in the tier. In addition, Uxie has a support movepool that extends beyond the horizon; this includes Stealth Rock, Thunder Wave, Heal Bell, dual screens, Memento, Trick Room, Rain Dance, and Sunny Day. This means Uxie can provide almost any form of support you need it to, and does so very well. It also has U-turn, so despite its lack of offensive presence it can still gain momentum for your team. Lastly, Uxie can run a Substitute and Calm Mind set, which use its remarkable bulk to set up on all kinds of teams and be a real threat.

Why doesn't Uxie measure up to the Mid S and Top S threats?

Although Uxie is exceptional as a supporter, it unfortunately suffers from some flaws that prevent it from being up in the league of other S Rank threats. Despite its excellent bulk, Uxie lacks offensive presence unless it's running Substitute and Calm Mind; this means that Uxie often does not hit hard, and can be setup fodder for quite a few Pokémon. In addition, Uxie lacks reliable recovery, and with some pretty exploitable weaknesses, Uxie can get worn down quite easily. Pursuit has also become very popular, and with Uxie's inability to do much to Absol, Spiritomb, and Escavalier, it can be a liability at times without teammates. Moreover, it has to compete with Mesprit and to an extent Musharna in its roles, as the two possess qualities that Uxie does not have, with Mesprit being a better offensive threat and Musharna having reliable recovery. Still, Uxie does stand out as generally better than its competition, and is great at what it does, making it a top-tier Pokémon in RU.



What makes Escavalier S Rank?

Escavalier is the literal definition of a tank. It has a superb base 135 Attack, a powerful STAB move in Megahorn, a great defensive typing that gives it a slew of resistances, and good 70 / 105 / 105 bulk. Escavalier can find many switch-in opportunities into a horde of threats in RU, and can destroy everything with a Choice Band-boosted Megahorn; even bulky Pokémon that resist it, such as Entei, take heavy damage due to its raw power. Escavalier also has access to Pursuit, and thanks to its typing and power immediately giving it some danger factor, Escavalier functions as one of the best Pursuit trappers in the RU metagame, removing threats such as Uxie and Sceptile with ease. It also combats Lilligant and Jynx well thanks to being able to fit Sleep Talk in its movesets and has especially good synergy with Slowking.

Why doesn't Escavalier measure up to the Mid S and Top S threats?

Escavalier's ultimate downfall lies in its Speed. It is unfortunately incredibly slow, even more-so than Druddigon and Slowking. This means Escavalier will always have to take damage before it can deal any damage; having no recovery doesn't help its case either. Its typing, while granting it many great resistances, curses it with a bad weakness to Fire. Fire-types, especially Entei and Emboar, are rather prevalent, and Hidden Power Fire is a common move in the current metagame. Escavalier's coverage is also quite lackluster, leaving it walled by a number of threats such as Emboar, Steelix, and especially Magneton, the latter of which can trap and eliminate it from the match. Escavalier would definitely be higher up in S Rank if it had better coverage or Speed, but as of now, it's only into the lower end of S Rank.



What makes Kabutops S Rank?

When it comes to the removal of entry hazards, Kabutops is the man. With the popularity of Spikes and Stealth Rock, Kabutops shines in RU as the best spinner in the tier by far. With a Swords Dance set, Kabutops defeats every spinblocker in RU with the exception of Dusknoir, a Pokémon that does not perform well in RU as it is. From there, Kabutops can very reliably pull off a spin, and has a decent set of resistances to aid it as well. This makes Kabutops a great teammate for threats such as Moltres and Scolipede. Kabutops can tank hits from Pokémon such as Bouffalant, Entei, and Swellow, which is a neat trait in its favor. Kabutops isn't just a spinner either; it can wallbreak with Swords Dance or Choice Band, with both sets having hard-hitting Stone Edges and Waterfalls. It has access to priority in Aqua Jet as well, so it can revenge kill decently. Weak Armor is a nice ability that makes Kabutops hard to outspeed with boosts, although the Defense drop is somewhat detrimental. Kabutops is also a great rain sweeper with Swift Swim, and with its access to Rapid Spin and high physical Attack, it fits very well onto rain teams.

Why doesn't Kabutops measure up to the Mid S and Top S threats?

Kabutops comes with quite a poor defensive typing, cursing it with many fatal weaknesses. This means Kabutops can have some difficulty setting up, and is relatively easy to take down. Kabutops has a pretty decent Speed, but it's still outsped by threats such as Galvantula, Scolipede, and Sceptile, which hinders its success. Kabutops is also walled by Tangrowth and Poliwrath, and lacks the coverage to break past such walls. Furthermore, Kabutops has to rely on the inaccurate Stone Edge for power. If it had better Speed or fewer weaknesses, then it would be a Top S threat, though.



What makes Emboar S Rank?

Emboar was in NU for all of BW1 and most of BW2, but despite this, it has become a top Pokémon in RU. Although it might look like a watered-down Entei at first glance, Emboar has a number of traits that make it almost on par with other physical Fire-types. First is the fact that Emboar sports the coveted Fighting typing; this means it gets great coverage in its STABs, hitting Rock-types and friends quite hard, unlike Entei. Emboar also has access to Wild Charge to hit Slowking and other Water-types hard. Emboar is one of the best revenge killers in RU, as its Choice Scarf set outspeeds almost everything relevant in the tier. While other Fire-types make mediocre Choice Scarf users due to their Stealth Rock weakness, Emboar is blessed with a neutrality to the entry hazard. Emboar also absorbs sleep well with Sleep Talk thanks to its typing. Choice Scarf isn't all Emboar's got going for it either; it can run a nifty Choice Band set that packs a lot of power, or it can serve as a mixed wallbreaker due to its fine base 100 Special Attack.

Why doesn't Emboar measure up to the Mid S and Top S threats?

Emboar isn't exactly a perfect Pokémon. While it is one of the best Fire-types around, it also has to compete with Entei, which has better initial Speed and power with a Choice Band, as well as access to ExtremeSpeed. Emboar's Speed is also rather disappointing without a Choice Scarf, and Emboar's bulk isn't exactly remarkable either. In addition, Emboar comes with a couple of exploitable weaknesses to Water, Ground, Flying, and Psychic, so anything with those moves can hit Emboar quite hard. Emboar is definitely a top Pokémon, but its flaws and competition prevent it from measuring up to the other Pokémon in S Rank.


Although RU is a very balanced tier, with a vast number of viable Pokémon that can be used, the Pokémon I mentioned in this article are the ones that have an especially strong impact on the tier. Once you understand why these Pokémon are so threatening and why you would consider these Pokémon for a spot on your team, making a successful team in RU will be easier. Anyhow, I have nothing else to say; get out there and try out some of these Pokémon!

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