Easily the best of the RBY starters, and a long-time favorite of mine. It was a beast in RBY's in-game, thanks to the 100% critical chance on Razor Leaf and Sleep Powder and Leech Seed just kicking ass. Too bad the Psychic weak meant instant DQ from competitive play, though. In GSC it traded off the perma-crit for the Psychic weak relevancy, which was great because it could actually be used. Since then it's been a consistently solid Grass-type that didn't get screwed over too hard by the special/physical split (I'm looking at you, Vileplume and Victreebel). It was my starter in Mystery Dungeon too, thanks to Bullet Seed being the most overpowered attack move in the game and Sleep Powder being broken as all hell. Yes, I passed over Charizard (who still was my partner, mind you), Marowak and Sceptile for the kickass sleep move. Sue me.
My score: 8.2
#006 - CHARIZARD
A perennial favorite of the kiddies, and it's also the most commonly mentioned name when it comes to bad movesets. Indeed, who hasn't heard of the clichÚd Fire Blast + Flamethrower + Ember + Fire Spin Zard? But beyond that, Charizard has a rather interesting movepool. Too bad it's sabotaged by that defensive typing. In RSE Charizard still wasn't too bad, as Moltres still had no movepool to speak of, Stealth Rock didn't exist, and the best Rock move was Rock friggin' Slide. So you could make Charizard work decently, and the Belly Drum set was, and still is, its trademark. But now that Moltres picked up its game, there's no reason to run a special Charizard anymore, and Bellyzard is increasingly difficult to pull off with Stealth Rock and Stone Edge being everywhere. If it were a Levitating Fire/Dragon, things might have been different, but that just wasn't meant to be.
My score: 6.4
#009 - BLASTOISE
Yes, it's a decent utility Pokemon, thanks to Rapid Spin and Haze. But I'm sorry, but it just doesn't have the oomph I'm expecting from a starter. Starters shouldn't be average, period. But Blastoise still manages to stack the aforementioned two moves on top of an otherwise very generic Water-type moveset, and a rather uninteresting stat spread (though decently suited to a utility Pokemon). Worse still, it's a Water-type, and said type happens to be stacked with Pokemon with all kinds of roles, since 20% of the Dex (no joke there) is Water. So Blastoise, to sum things up, is a boring Pokemon that's lost in the shuffle. (How dare I call an RBYer boring! Older automatically means better! I am such scum!) Now to give credit where credit is due: if it ends up UU, which it probably will, it will be a very interesting option in UU matches, though.
My score: 5.9
#012 - BUTTERFREE
It's obvious from the way it was designed, this thing is meant for in-game, and only early at that. Unfortunately, my preference goes for Pokemon that, while they're going to be weaker at level 10, will be much stronger in the long run. This is why I picked NidoranM to beat Brock in Yellow. So basically level 10 bugs aren't even quite good enough for the job they're meant to do, as the early game is very easy in all Pokemon games, so of course I'm going to raise a NidoranM instead of a Butterfree. The addition of Compoundeyes in FRLG helped extend its lifespan a little, but unfortunately I didn't consider it worth using even there. On the flip side, Butterfree is an interesting choice for NU matches thanks to the nice double powdering. But it's somewhat weak even in UU, which goes to show how hardcore it's outclassed in higher levels of play.
My score: 4.0
#015 - BEEDRILL
While Butterfree has some interesting things going for it, I can't say the same about Beedrill. Useless ability (why no Levitate for it and Dustox is a mystery), less interesting movepool... bleh. It could be worse - a Psychic weak could still mean the end of the world. The funniest thing about Beedrill is some quirks about Twineedle. Namely, that it was one of the select few Pokemon that could hit pure Psychics with super-effective attacks in RBY, and that it's the only one that can poison Steels. But seriously, does that mean anything? Jolteon did more damage to pure Psychics in RBY with Thunderbolt than with Pin Missile, so weak Bug attacks were essentially useless (not to mention, Psychic rocked and still rocks Beedrill something awful). And why would you want to inflict regular poison on any Pokemon, let alone a Steel? Well, if you use Beedrill, you probably don't care about all these all-important things anyway.
My score: 1.7
#018 - PIDGEOT
Most people know that Butterfree and Beedrill are worthless (although Butterfree has a few perks). But what some people don't know is that Pidgeot sucks quite badly too. In fact, Pidgeot was rather common on in-game teams in RBY, GSC, and even FRLG. Now, I won't spend too much time on Pidgeot's phailure in competitive play, and focus instead on where people think (wrongly) Pidgeot shines: in-game. Now, if you don't know that yet, I'm about to blow your mind: Fearow owns Pidgeot all over. Better stat spread, Drill Peck, and reaching its final form 16 levels before Pidgeot. Hell, it evolves two levels after Pidgey evolves into PIDGEOTTO! Now, it wouldn't be so bad if there was a moment where Pidgey's line was worth using. But here's the real kick in the balls: Spearow is available very early as well! I'd rather wait one or two routes, pass over Pidgey (or catch it for PC purposes, your choice) and nab the much better Spearow. Not that Fearow is all that and a bag of chips, but I'm keeping that for its own rant. Fun fact: in RSE, Pidgeot had a BST higher than Dusclops' by 14 points, and the latter was standard while Pidgeot was the only third form NU in the game that wasn't a level 10 bug. Pidgeot only exists for the sake of shitting on that statue in Eterna, and that's that.
My score: 3.5
#019 - RATTATA
"So bad it's good" is a concept that should never be applied to a competitive game, but FEAR managed to completely reinvent the concept. I won't go into detail as to how it works, and I'll admit it's pretty cool, but FEAR (and all its variants, such as Phanpy) faces some serious problems. Namely, it's only worthwhile against players who haven't got a clue. Players that will go down against many teams, players whose ubers will lose to BLs/UUs in good hands. I won't object against FEAR being much cooler to use since nothing says "you suck" like "you lost to Rattata", but in terms of concrete results there's no difference. And while the aforementioned BLs/UUs can go a ways against good players, FEAR will fail miserably there. Moral? The only reason to use FEAR is to make your opponent feel really, really bad. It does that extremely well, though, so I won't dock more points than I need to.
My score: 3.2
#020 - RATICATE
Whereas Rattata is at least good for something, Raticate... isn't. It just fails miserably. The only thing it used to have going for it is Super Fang, and now Bibarel and Pachirisu do it a lot better. Yes, Raticate has the speed Bibarel doesn't have, but the whole point of Bibarel is to receive boosted stat boosts from Ninjask, so that's a moot point. What has it got that Bibarel doesn't? To be fair, Sucker Punch is interesting since the first reflex one will have upon seeing Raticate is hitting it for the kill ASAP, but other than that? Reversal? Me First? FLAME WHEEL? Oh yeah, Skarmory will cower in fear at the sight of the FLAMING RAT OF DOOM. Pikachu and Scyther being better than these evos is up for debate, but here there's no doubt: Rattata is so bad it's better than Raticate in every possible way. Oh, the irony.
My score: 2.2
#022 - FEAROW
Now I sang the praises of Fearow back in the Pidgeot rant, but don't be fooled: Fearow isn't all that much better. At least you can use it in-game to tide you over 'til Dodrio becomes available, and if you're any smart you'll jolt straight to route 16/38 once you get out of Rock Tunnel / reach Ecruteak to get one. Aside from Drill Peck, which is hella nice, it suffers from the same movepool woes as Pidgeot. Heck, Pidgeot at least gets Brave Bird if you want to go down that route. Fearow has Drill Peck and that's all. But Fearow's superior stat spread can't be turned down easily. Well, it wouldn't, if Dodrio weren't even better, with better stats, a decent Flail to throw around (watch out for weather though!), and BOTH Drill Peck and Brave Bird as options! DENIED. But back to Fearow. It's stuck in limbo between the dismal Pidgeot and the passable Dodrio, with Swellow and Staraptor ruling over all of them.
My score: 4.5
#024 - ARBOK
When do I get to the good PokÚs? This is getting tiring. Arbok is yet another PokÚ that's not worth the rope to hang it (at least once we figure out how to hang a snake). Where do I start? The stats are all between 60 and 85. That's right, its highest stat is barely higher than Butterfree's and Beedrill's. And such a stat spread means that while all the stats are around average, Arbok is anything but. Look at all the well-rounded PokÚs, from Spinda all the way up to Arceus. They're just not quite as good as their stats would leave you to think. Well, at least it can actually try to hurt stuff with super-effectives with that movepool... except for the fact that against Grounds, there's practically zero difference between Ice Fang and Poison Jab / Gunk Shot (quiz question: which one of the two would you use?), which just goes to show how Gamefreak missed the target with the elemental fangs. I'll admit, though, Intimidate IS nice, although you'd have to be a fool to send it against an EQ user, where Intimidate would be at its most useful. Still, it's better than a lot of other abilities out there, so kudos in that department. Too bad it doesn't make as much of a difference as it should. Snake? SNAAAAAAAAAKE!!!
My score: 3.8
#025 - PIKACHU
If you've seen the Angry Video Game Nerd's review of Silver Surfer for the NES, using Pikachu in high-level competitive play is no different. You die from the silliest things, things a normal human being could withstand with ease. Now, you have the same attack power and speed as Kyogre with that thing. But it can't take any hit to save its life. Ambipom's Fake Out kills it most of the time! And the aforementioned speed isn't doing it any favors either. 90 base is simply not enough to survive in standard. While it's acceptable for a sweep in UU, the reality is much different in the most popular metagame. Worse, 398 special attack may not be enough for the kill in a lot of cases, and if you let your opponent take one single turn, it WILL die. It's hard as hell to switch in, to. There's simply no bringing it in on a special attack of any kind, so you have to switch in on a stat-up move or the like. And as I said, you HAVE to be faster than the opponent (so no switching in on many, many standards) and be able to kill it in one turn, else you're fucked. Something else worth comparing to the Silver Surfer review is that both Pikachu and the Silver Surfer are made out to be super-strong in other media, but in their respective games they die from getting slapped with a wet kleenex. Add in the fact that I'm tired of the overmarketed rat's face being plastered everywhere, and you've got the perfect hate-hate relationship. BTW, anyone wonder how so many people misspell Pikachu? IT'S THE FREAKING MASCOT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
Personal score: 0.5
Competitive score: 5.2
#026 - RAICHU
I'll go right out and say it: I'm one of the select few freaks who'd sooner use Raichu than Pikachu in competitive play. Why? Well, for one, it can take a weak hit and live. But most importantly is that 100 base speed. The difference between 90 and 100 is crucial at many times. Is it worth the loss of 30% attack power? For you, it may not be, but for me it is. Still, I wouldn't run a physical set on either. While Volt Tackle's recoil is of minimal interest (especially for Raichu, with its lower attack and higher HP), I just can't pass over Grass Knot. And here's where Raichu (and by extension Pikachu) truly shine: other than Plusle and Minun, these two are the only Electrics that get Grass Knot to fuck with Grounds. K, so Lanturn has Surf, but that's about it. Pikachu and Raichu also get it, but at the cost of using a crappy neutral nature. Gimme Timid + Grass Knot any day.
My score: 5.4
#028 - SANDSLASH
Like Charizard before it, Sandslash meets the problem of being decent on its own, but completely overshadowed by other Pokemon who can do the same job better (I'm looking at you, Marowak). Stat spread's not too bad... it can take physical hits quite well, attack is interesting (although not stellar) at base 100, it's got quite a decent movepool with edgequaking as the main source of damage, and perhaps the strangest thing, 65 speed is quite fast for a Ground-type. Too bad that special defense means you die to just about any Ice Beam, and as we'll see very soon, a blatant Ice weak may be all it takes to stop you from doing your job properly. But the worst part, as I already said, is that it's just... there. Great decoration for your PC, and you can get it out of the mothballs anytime for a UU match. Plus it looks really cool. If you used to play Blue over Red, Sandslash over Arbok was definitely one of the big points. Because before Marowak picked up Thick Club, Sandslash was actually interesting in RBY (by physical attacker standards, that is). The problem? It didn't, and still doesn't today, learn EQ naturally! Can someone explain me what those game designers are smoking?
My score: 5.9
#031 - NIDOQUEEN
The tank-ish Nido, although their defensive movepool is dwarved by massive offensive opportunities, with an attacking movepool that's generally reserved for Normals. As such, Nidoqueen has always been considered as an inferior Nidoking. And Gamefreak had every chance of changing things around with Rivalry this gen. Unfortunately, they fucked this up too, with a paltry 25% boost against Pokemon of the same gender, and a 25% penalty (!) against the opposite gender. Now, imagine the possibilities if Rivalry gave a decent boost and no penalty. Blissey and Cresselia always being female means that Nidoqueen could've been interesting as an anti-tank - although to be fair, both of them commonly packing Ice Beam means trouble. Nidoscrimination isn't new, though. Last gen they were handing out new moves to the final forms, and while Nidoking got Megahorn, Nidoqueen was stuck with Superpower. 'scuse me, can it at least have Close Combat now? No? Then screw you.
My score: 6.1
#034 - NIDOKING
As I told you before, I used NidoranM to beat Brock in Yellow. As it turned out, I fell in love with the little guy (...wait, let me try that again) and used it to tear through the whole game, with a little help from Zapdos on the way. It's been a favorite of mine ever since, although it's sad that with interesting stats and a kickass movepool it's still UU. Being weak to Water, Ice and Ground doesn't do anyone any favors, unfortunately (with Psychic on top of that in RBY). It's yet another Pokemon that could've seen its fortune turn around in D/P with Rivalry (and failed), and that for the simple reason that in simulators, most Pokemon used are males. Want to use Attract? Use a female and you'll get lots of success. (Too bad Attract isn't so good...) If Rivalry was worthwhile, people would actually be thinking twice about their PokÚ's gender, because having your standard team SWEPT BY A NIDOKING doesn't make you look good. Then again, for actual Pokemon in the cartridges we already have enough with IVs, abilities and natures... having to watch your gender on top of that might be the extra irritant that makes you say "fuck this". Still, I really like Nidoking despite its shortcomings, and I'd use one in UU anytime, so I'll treat it nice.
My score: 7.2
#036 - CLEFABLE
Clefable is living proof that you should never say never. It looked like it was going to make a successful career out of being a UU-for-life Pokemon, with interesting stats and a gigantic movepool. In RBY it was fearsome enough, except for the fact that Chansey was just plain better (remember, Chansey could be a nice sweeper back then). After that Porygon2 just stole the show when it came to special Normals. But with the advent of the fourth gen came something that was going to revolutionize the lunar Pokemon: Magic Guard. Immunity to all indirect damage meant it could run a Life Orb for a free 30% boost in attack power, or use a Toxic Orb to use Facade on a physical set with the added bonus of immunity to paralysis and sleep, or other clever sets. It's quite easy to get creative with Clefable because it can do so much, and Magic Guard really can bring out unorthodox things. Gravity Clefable is a favorite of mine; Thunder and Blizzard get perfect accuracy, and Sing goes up in the 90s. Not to mention all the perks in doubles - one of the toughest opponents in PBR abuses Gravity to great effect. Are you drooling yet? Yes? Good. Give Clefable a try, and never say never again.
My score: 8.0
#038 - NINETALES
Ninetales vs. Arcanine has always been a strange comparison between two Pokemon that tried to look like they were good, but were met with varying degrees of failure: the one with rather good stats and few moves, and the one with even better stats and even fewer moves. Last gen, Ninetales tried to make a name for itself as a status inflictor. Hypnosis, WoW, Confuse Ray, you name it. Unfortunately, the Fire type isn't the best at that kind of game, so Ninetales was somewhat left in the dust. Not so now, as HypnoPlot is one of the cooler things you can do with a Fire Pokemon, and perhaps THE best without going into overly OU territory. But Ninetales is another favorite of mine for another reason. You know how scarce Fires are in in-game D/P? It was almost as bad in RSE, so if you didn't choose Blaziken (I chose Sceptile), you had Ninetales, Camerupt and Torkoal. Wow. Well, I picked Ninetales, and naturally learning WoW and Confuse Ray gave me a big hand in some parts. Now if only it were available for the fight against Norman, it would've been even better, but whatever. I could use a Fire-type without feeling guilty of it (unlike Rapidash in D/P, whom I passed over), and that... is cool.
My score: 7.6
#040 - WIGGLYTUFF
I don't care one bit about this thing. It's useless. To quote one GSC FAQ, quote which still works today to a degree, "It's basically the beggar off the streets, stealing qualities of Clefable, Snorlax, and Blissey. However, it somehow ended up with all the BAD qualities of those Pokemon." That... pretty much sums it up. I guess you could use it as a pseudo-Clefable in NU, but no Magic Guard drives the coolness factor in the negatives. I guess it still has the giant movepool and Gravity, so all is not lost. Heck, it even has a STABbed move for special sets in Hyper Voice. MY VOICE GIVES ME SUPER STRENGTH!!!11!!1! Actually, I'd sooner use Hyper Voice on Wigglytuff than Meteor Mash on Clefable... I just don't like Steel moves, especially if there's no STAB. So that's one point for Wigglytuff. Unfortunately, Clefable hit six homeruns already, three grand slams among them. (Go home, Barry Bonds.)
My score: 4.3
#045 - VILEPLUME
Only a few Pokemon in and other Pokemon's existence is already a recurring theme. In this case, it's Venusaur and Roserade. Vileplume's time to shine was in Red/Yellow/FR's in-game, where if you picked Charmander or Squirtle you needed something to cope with Misty. Oddish and Bellsprout were the popular picks, depending on the version. They're not worth a good ol' Venusaur, and never were, but I digress. Vileplume has a few things going for it, namely an ability that's vastly superior to Venusaur's - sunnybeaming is the logical option by excellence here, and it helps with the low speed as well. Running a physical set used to be possible with Swords Dance and Sludge Bomb, but with the latter turning special it's no longer a possibility. Unless the mere mention of Razor Leaf and Drain Punch makes your pants wet, that is.
My score: 5.8
#047 - PARASECT
The original Spore user. And of the three currently existing, it's the worst one, just like Raticate and Super Fang. I really, really want to find something good to say about this thing, but I can't. It's so bad, it's the only Pokemon in the entire game that has a weakness that's not just 4x, it's 5x! And it just so happens to be the ubiquitous Fire type. There are five other weaknesses on top of that, and just like with the Nidos, any boltbeamer or edgequaker will have its way with it. Unlike the Nidos, though, the counter doesn't need to be fast, since Parasect's base speed is a pathetic 30. I know they intended for Spore to be a move that required a huge toll to pay, but said toll was simply too high. fuck that, I'm using Sleep Powder instead. After a time they realized it and gave it to the much more kickass Breloom. And that's not all! Parasect is supposed to attack with physicals, given the higher Attack stat and Swords Dance (the latter of which is just for decoration), but there is NO PHYSICAL GRASS MOVE outside of Bullet Seed. If it were Mystery Dungeon it wouldn't be so bad, but it's not. Yep, looks like they just gave up on Parasect at Breloom's expense just like they gave up on Pidgeot at Staraptor's expense. But it's still no excuse not to give it Razor Leaf or something for Arceus' sake.
My score: 2.5
#049 - VENOMOTH
Seems like some sort of cross between Butterfree and Beedrill at first sight. You got the standard status stuff like Sleep Powder and Stun Spore, but you've also got some attacking stuff in there. The latter has been vastly improved this gen with Sludge Bomb turning special and the advent of Bug Buzz - no more relying on just Psychic and Giga Drain. There's also the criminally underrated Tinted Lens. Why is it so overlooked? I blame Serebii and its wording, which makes it sound like you have to use the NVE attack before it becomes better - when in fact it means 2x NVE becomes normal damage and 4x NVE becomes 2x NVE. Thanks to it, dual STAB hits everything for at least neutral except Heatran, Lucario, Gengar and Skarmory. These four are hit for neutral (super-effective in Gengar's case) by Psychic as a third move, and then there's Sleep Powder in case there's trouble. Unfortunately, Venomoth's stats are sorely lacking - shame, as it could have a lot of potential otherwise. Still worth looking at in UU, though. Remember when I made up evolutions for old PokÚs? A Venomoth evo with Tinted Lens that also gets back Venonat's Compoundeyes was among these. Such a thing may see use in OU play depending on how it would turn out.
My score: 6.3
#051 - DUGTRIO
Take whatever hand you use most, and do a finger to the computer screen, while making sure your thumb doesn't get in the way. You should see a Dugtrio appear. Indeed, Dugtrio is a finger to all common sense. Pokemon with a BST of 405 shouldn't be that good, period. And yet it was OU last gen and still a common sight now. How in the world did that happen? Two words: Arena Trap. Just how good is Arena Trap? Back in 200 play, Trapinch, yes, TRAPINCH, could single-handedly turn the tide of a battle. Arena Trap has serious strategic implications I won't get into, but it's the one reason it keeps getting used. Unlike Trapinch, it has an amazing base speed of 120 (55 above Sandslash, who's second among pure Grounds!), which definitely helps pull off said strategies. The base attack of 80 isn't so good, though, so it'll almost always be seen with a Choice Band, or at least a Life Orb. But it doesn't mind the drawbacks - revenge killing is its game, and it does so with surprising efficiency. I had a Dugtrio on my in-game team in RBY, back when there was no Arena Trap, though, and I regret it now. Slash always criticaled, but if I wanted that I should've used Persian. Which segues quite nicely into the next Pokemon, oddly enough.
My score: 7.9
#053 - PERSIAN
Ah, the original critihax terror of RBY. Actually, I shouldn't call it critihax, since there was no luck involved: that STABbed Slash always criticaled. Bubblebeam to take care of Rocks, and you were in business. Gengar wasn't as much of a concern back then as it's been since then, so it wasn't too bad. Unfortunately, Persian was one of the Pokemon that was hit the hardest by all the changes in GSC, as Slash landed criticals much more rarely, Gengar stopped sucking, etc. So today the big thing about Persian has nothing to do with damage, but with an ultra-quick Hypnosis. (Note to all: one-move wonder in RBY > one-move wonder in D/P.) Indeed, Persian is very fast, but all the other stats are below average. Guess what's just as fast, but also better just about everywhere? Tauros. Tauros can't put to sleep, but it can sure kill. And it's not just Tauros, there are so many Normals better than Persian now it's not funny. (Luckily, Delcatty isn't among them.) To be fair, it still makes decent use of Technician, thanks to Bite and Fake Out among others. Sorry, if it were still RBY, this thing would get a lot of points for being one of the rare usable physical PokÚs, but things have changed so much since then.
My score: 5.5
#055 - GOLDUCK
Golduck is hailed by some as a great deterrent for sandstorm teams thanks to Cloud Nine. Sorry, but I gotta disagree there. Whoo, it can hit through the sandstorm boost. So can any physical guy. Gimme Gyarados over this thing, Feraligatr or Swampert if the Stone Edge weak becomes a nuisance. These guys can hurt Tyranitar, Rhyperior and Regirock big time AND take down other teams. Because that's something else. If you've got Golduck on your team just for the sandstorm and the opponent doesn't use it, you just wasted an opportunity to use a stronger Water-type that can also defend itself against sandstorm teams. So while Golduck has no discernable strength, it has no real weakness to speak of either. All the stats are between 78 and 85, except for a special attack of 95. Reminds me of Nidoking, except with less moves but better typing and a stat-boosting move in CM. Unfortunately, in spite of Cloud Nine, Golduck is still playing the role it always played: Slowbro's bitch.
My score: 6.4
#057 - PRIMEAPE
First, I gotta tip my hat off to Primeape for working so well on Shoddy. Close Combat doing twice the damage it's supposed to do (have they fixed that one yet?) does wonders for something with 95 base speed, and 105 attack is the icing on the cake. But what happens when the environment isn't, well, Shoddy? There Primeape suffers a bit more. It reminds me of Floatzel, being based on attack and speed. Well, its speed falls 20 points short of Floatzel, which is huge, but it has a much better movepool, with Cross Chop, Close Combat, U-turn, the ability to edgequake and so on. Unfortunately, the ace when it comes to super-strong and blindingly fast Fighters is Infernape, and Heracross is also much better suited to standard fights. Anger Point isn't of much help with those defenses, unfortunately. However, it is best suited to the UU environment and can do really well there, and if it DOES survive a critical, you better hope you have something that outspeeds it, else you're getting swept by the guy who can't decide if he's a monkey or a pig. Shame on you.
My score: 6.3
#059 - ARCANINE
A decade. That's what it took for Arcanine to get good. And it's starting to get really good. Flare Blitz, Extremespeed, Crunch, Thunder Fang... mmm-mmm good. Intimidate is a consistently good ability in the right hands (it might even cause the opponent's physical sweeper to run away if you're lucky), and Flash Fire is always great, especially with the old Agilipass Scizor trick. This one comes up most often with Heatran, but it works well with Arcanine too, and you can pass Swords Dance instead if you feel you can work with 95 base speed (Extremespeed needs a little luvin' too, ya know?). Unfortunately, it's not quite good for OU, but a BST of 555, higher than anything except legendaries and the 600ers, combined with a movepool that's starting to boom, makes it quite a threat in the shadows of Infernape and Heatran, and one that should be used more often IMO.
My score: 8.0
#062 - POLIWRATH
Just looking at the typing, one can assume that Poliwrath improved a lot with the new split. And it is indeed so, as physical Waterfall opens a world of possibilities. Subpunch? Check. Bulk Up? Check. Choice item user? Check. You want to Belly Drum? Can do that too. Heck, it may use Hypnosis if it feels like it. Interesting stat distribution too, as the only worthwhile stat below 85 is speed at 70. Not unlike Golduck, except with original typing, which earns it extra brownie points since it's not overshadowed as hard as some others, such as Blastoise and Golduck. Unfortunately, there's no Close Combat, so you're stuck with Brick Break on non-FP sets, and you have to settle for Rock Slide instead of Stone Edge. BUT! It's easy to bring in on something it has the potential to kill like Tyranitar, Hypnosis whatever switches in, and own from there. An interesting defensive typing helps those 90/95/90 defenses, and it can do some serious damage as well. Not an elite Water-type by any means, but definitely one worth checking out.
My score: 7.0
#065 - ALAKAZAM
One of the biggest fiends in Pokemon history, Alakazam has always found itself OU or very close to it. In RBY, next to Mewtwo, it was the game's major force, even without Amnesia. Psychic was at least neutral against everything except other Psychics, had a 30% chance of lowering special, Alakazam was able to wall special hits to a degree, and it was just the godliest sweeper. The special split hurt it somewhat, with the ability to take special hits severely hampered, and the change in the EV system made it die from basically anything short of weak special attacks. Nevertheless, it STILL remained a dangerous force, which just goes to show how it was overpowered to begin with. The physical/special split threatened it with the loss of the elemental punches, but Shadow Ball went the reverse way, and it also picked up the awesome Focus Blast (great for coping with Darks, minus the accuracy) and Energy Ball among others. In the Nintendo world, anything with a mustache is worth worshipping, so get to kneeling and give two dollars to the church.
My score: 8.7
#068 - MACHAMP
Machamp is one of those Pokemon who, like Clefable, were there, but never drew any attention because there were better Pokemon to use. And just like Clefable, this gen it picked up a new ability, No Guard, that made into a bonafide powerhouse. The major implication of that is that Dynamicpunch now always hits in its hands, even when the opponent is flying or digging (not that any good player would fly or dig to begin with). That's great to give headaches to the opponent, as if you switch to anything other than a ghost to shake off confusion, you'll take huge damage and be confused before you can do anything. Perfect accuracy on Stone Edge is a big plus - if you look through the window, you may see Tyranitar salivating on it. Too bad it doesn't work for partners in 2v2. Can you say Zap Cannon? Well, that'd be broken, so Gamefreak did something right for once. If it weren't for Heracross, I would've taken Machamp in-game... imagine the jams Dynamicpunch could get you out of. Not that there are many jams out there in-game, but oh well.
My score: 8.3
#071 - VICTREEBEL
Last gen it was the superior choice over Vileplume, thanks to Sludge Bomb, Swords Dance, and superior speed to make better use of Chlorophyll sunnybeaming. Unfortunately, there's nothing left to take advantage of Swords Dance and that 105 attack, so now it's as suited to physical sweeping as I'm suited to date a supermodel. Suddenly Vileplume's stat spread becomes a whole lot more appropriate. Now it's condemned to sunnybeaming and double-powdering, something other PokÚs are much better at - once again, Vileplume. Go back to putting the hurtin' on James... whaddya mean you can't? You good for nothing flycatcher you.
My score: 5.1
#073 - TENTACRUEL
This thing is what Blastoise wished it was. Whereas the overgrown turtle calls itself a support Pokemon yet has little in the way of actual support, Tentacruel can use its amazing special defense, high speed and solid defensive typing to actually do the job. It can spin, lay down Toxic Spikes, or annoy the opponent with Knock Off and Confuse Ray. It can also work well with Choice Specs. But the Tentacruel line's true claim to fame is in-game. If you start surfing, Tentacool is all you'll ever see most of the time, especially in RBY and GSC. Wingull and Pelipper aren't very good, but they're a godsend to downplay the boredom of wild Tentacool after wild Tentacool. With that being said, it's rather rare that overly common Pokemon like it turn out to be not so bad after all (Staraptor is the prime example of this). Unique typing and good ability to do its job give Tentacool a rating Blastoise could only wish for...
My score: 7.0
#076 - GOLEM
Poor, poor Golem. It could be good enough on its own, but then Gamefreak goes and makes another Pokemon with the same typing, except so much better. It's a good choice for in-game, considering Rhyhorn is generally much harder to access (heck, I used Geodude to beat Whitney's Miltank), but for competitive play it's just... not there. And then, as the final nail on the coffin, Rhydon gets an evolution and a new kickass ability. Now, I know I've said before Rhydon would've gotten its ass kicked in OU this gen if it didn't get Solid Rock. Now consider that Golem doesn't have it, and will never ever have a chance to. The prime reason to use Golem over Rhydon/Rhyperior has always been blowing shit up, but even that isn't enough to convince most of the time, even when it was pitted against just Rhydon. Oh well, at least it's not as shitty as the Golem from the first Diablo. Now THAT was major suckage.
My score: 6.4
#078 - RAPIDASH
Fire-types typically have to try and find things of interest to try and hide their type's inherent ineptness. Rapidash is one PokÚ that didn't get the memo, though. Prior to D/P it had this great attack stat and nothing to use it with. So it's only natural that the physical/special split helps it, right? RIGHT? Well, it's got Flare Blitz now, as well as Megahorn (note: Poison Jab is worthless, since the other two can take care of Grasses just fine), umm... Hypnosis? Nah, gimme Ninetales over this. Double Kick? BOUNCE? Yeah, Rapidash still sucks. The worst part is that, while you had a few alternatives in RSE if you didn't pick the Fire starter (Ninetales was among them, so it wasn't all bad), Rapidash is your ONLY choice in D/P. So those Torterra (raises hand) and Empoleon people were pretty much screwed, and the better choice instead of wasting a slot on Rapidash is to simply say fuck you to the Fire type.
My score: 5.0
#080 - SLOWBRO
It may be way past its prime, but it's still something worth watching out for - another indication that they weren't going for balance in RBY. Amnesia isn't as good as it once was, but CM still does the job very, very well. Slowbro is the 18-wheeler of Pokemon: slow, but can run over a lot of things without taking too much damage. And with Trick Room around, you've got something that excels at everything, and Slack Off is great for recovery (something eternal rival Starmie doesn't have quite the defenses to sustain). But the really fun thing about Slowbro is the PokÚdex entries. The Stadium 2 entry alludes to de-evolution, something that if it really existed, should be implemented somehow. WTF? On LG they essentially say the Shellder eats the Slowbro's shit. Screw Slowpoketails, what's just below is where it's at. But nothing on Slowbro's breeding... I can only imagine a Slowbro having an orgasm 24 hours after. In the middle of a battle. What was I saying? Yeah, Slowbro's cool.
My score: 8.1
#083 - FARFETCH'D
Well, one can't really say Gamefreak is lazy when it comes to Farfetch'd. Every gen they come up with ways to try and not make it quite as bad. First there was the Stick, then the addition of BP in XD to try and have it pass Agilities and Swords Dances, then they boosted the Stick to a two-domain boost to balance it vs. the Scope Lens, along with the addition of other high-crit moves. Well, that's more effort than they put into Pidgeot, and yet it's still crappier. Why doesn't Gamefreak just give in and give it the one thing it really needs - AN EVOLUTION? Come on, don't tell me no one there had the idea of a samurai duck when so many fans did... Flying's been paired with every type but Fighting, and since they missed the boat with Staraptor this would've been a great opportunity. But nope, still nothing. And as long as Farfetch'd remains the way it is, nothing will save it. Not even giving the Stick a four-domain boost, because then Gallade and Absol would still be giving it the proverbial finger.
My score: 2.1
#085 - DODRIO
Despite being merely passable (at least by today's standards), Dodrio enjoyed a lot of use in the first three generations, to such a point that it made BL on a lot of lists. Swellow had more potential, but with no Burn Orb you needed to be a really good player to get the most out of it. So Dodrio was the popular choice for the common man (as opposed to Pidgeot for the blissfully ignorant man). But when you ask the question, what can Dodrio do for me today? ...eh, not too much. You can choose between Brave Bird and Drill Peck, there's always Return, it's a decent endflailer, you can use it to BP (though with 60/70/60 in defenses I wouldn't)... but in the end, while a subpar movepool still can get you places if you rule over your typing, it means the end of you when better alternatives start showing up.
My score: 5.8
#087 - DEWGONG
Now I know I've talked a lot about giving up on Pokemon, and it certainly looked like it was the case for Dewgong with the inception of Walrein, but somehow the former managed to pull an ace of its... ass? Whatever. In case you didn't know, Hydration kicks ass. And with Manaphy gone to ubers, it leaves us with Dewgong and Phione (whom I won't be reviewing) to use it. And believe it or not, out of the two I actually prefer Dewgong, thanks to a more appropriate stat spread. None of them have much in the way of moves to speak of, anyway. Unfortunately, this means Dewgong can't do anything else than a Hydrorest set - which is still a major step up from the first three generations where "anything" was the last word of the sentence. It might have some problems surviving in OU (though it might not be THAT bad, since Manaphy's apparently too good for it), but in UU it can be met with some success. Definitely try it out there.
My score: 6.5
#089 - MUK
The giant pile of goop is very aptly designed. After all, when it comes to playing with it, it turns out to be... a giant pile of goop. It's got this huge-ass attack stat, and what to back it? Poison moves as its only source of STAB (if you listen close enough you can see Gengar laughing its ass off), and an otherwise anemic movepool. Shadow Punch? Rock Slide? Brick Break? Payback can work, since it's so slow and it likes Curse, but Curse just can't make low-power moves worth using. It can detonate, but so can Weezing, and Weezing is actually successful at what it tries to do (though it's walling, as opposed to Muk's pitiful attempts at sweeping). Muk also got robbed in another place where Weezing thrives, namely abilities. Stench is mildly useful in-game, but completely useless competitively, and Sticky Hold... well, you can screw Trick/Switcheroo users over, but I'd much rather screw EQ users over instead. Go back to the garbage where you belong.
My score: 5.3
#091 - CLOYSTER
Like Tentacruel, it's got all the makings of a utility Pokemon, except this one can take physical hits. Spiking and spinning at the same time is something everyone should be familiar with from RSE, it has decent offensive stats off which it can use its STABbed moves, and it can blow up. Very interesting. Don't bring it anywhere close to a special attacker, though, or you'll be dying to a gust of wind. That's what really breaks Cloyster for me. I mean, sure, many physical tanks have relatively low SD, but this one's just way over the top. I was mentioning crappy abilities for Muk earlier, and Cloyster's not better off. Skill Link shouldn't EVER be considered unless it's Rock Blast we're talking about, and to my knowledge nothing has the two, so screw Skill Link. Shell Armor helps against the hax, and while it's obviously cool in the Battle Tower, it only really matters 6.25% of the time most of the time. Too bad, but even though this isn't going to be popular I have to rank Cloyster lower than Dewgong (never thought I'd say THAT one day). Still higher than Blastoise, for the record.
My score: 6.1
#094 - GENGAR
Another old favorite of mine, and man does it ever pack a punch. It's not unlike Alakazam in terms of stat spread, but still unlike Alakazam, it's much easier to bring into play with three immunities, one of them to the all-important Ground. The movepool's also an improvement over Alakazam, both offensive and statuses - the real problem is that those 15 speed points in less might stop it from outspeeding stuff Alakazam beats. Oh, and it can pull off a weak detonation if you want it to. I wonder why the heck it's poison, though. Look at it. Does it have anything at all to do with poison? That's not too much of a problem now, but back in RBY the Ghost type sucked not only because the only Ghost moves were Lick and Night Shade, but because the only Ghost in the game was also Poison, which was a no-no. Misdreavus came one gen too late if you ask me. But it doesn't matter today, since Gengar has perenially been one of the game's big forces since then, and it'll keep on being so unless something drastic happens.
My score: 9.0
#097 - HYPNO
Gotta admit, I've never been a fan of Hypno. Being soundly outclassed by Alakazan from the start didn't help either. However, Hypno has one good use, and that's being UU's answer to Blissey of sorts. I prefer Gardevoir, who's not totally unlike it, but then again that's why Gardevoir isn't UU. But I digress. Hypno gets a wide array of support moves such as Wish (from NYPC), Hypnosis, T-Wave, and it can make great use of Reflect and Light Screen as well. This gen it gained a new toy in Nasty Plot, which can help with the sweeping opportunities - after all, 73 base SA is hardly fantastic. It can even BP that for more fun. Stat distribution is a mixed bag: while it's very appropriate for UU, it just sucks in standard. Still, don't say no to that support movepool too quickly.
My score: 6.7
#099 - KINGLER
Quite possibly one of the Pokemon that improved the most with the physical/special split. It had this mammoth attack, but too little moves to use it on, and no STAB either. Now that Crabhammer turned physical, it can finally start kicking some butt. 75 speed doesn't do it any favors, though, so it can benefit a lot from a Salac boost and the Flail + Crabhammer combo. It doesn't do it quite like Lucario because of the threat of weather, but Crabhammer hurts like hell, especially when you get a critical. Like Cloyster, it's got low HP and low SD paired with great defense (although not anywhere near Cloyster's), so while it can take some physical hits and live, any special move attacks its weak point for massive damage, which makes the Endure strategy all the more appealing for a sweep. One note: it's just about the only Water-type that doesn't get Waterfall. Not that it needs it, since it already has Crabhammer, but WTF?
My score: 6.6
#101 - ELECTRODE
Woo-hoo. It's fast. Guess what? I don't care. If you've got speed but nothing to do with it, get the hell out of my face. Look at Ninjask. It's even faster, AND it's got a world of possibilities. Electrode? Not so much. All it boils down to is use T-Wave and T-bolt in any manner you see fit, then blow up. Even the detonation's awful, off 50 base attack, and if you want to beef it some, you'll have to sacrifice power on Thunderbolt. Here's to hoping you have a good Hidden Power type (not a problem in simulators), because if any Ground comes to ruin your fun (I like Rhyperior, since it laughs at Explosion), you're fucked. Then again, you're fucked just by using Electrode. Go get a Minun or something, and keep Electrode for kinball games. Hilarity ensues.
My score: 2.9
#103 - EXEGGUTOR
Acceptable in standard, but ubers is where this thing really shines. The presence of Groudon means it doesn't have to spend any time setting up to activate Chlorophyll and remove the charge on Solarbeam. And since it's good about everywhere except in speed, you suddenly get a big-time nuisance that can eat through enemy Groudons. Sleep Powder is always great, and HP Ice makes for great filler if you can get it, for taking care of Rayquaza. Detonate when you're done. See, Electrode? THAT's how you do a super-fast Explosion. Things get sour in standard, though, because Grass/Psychic is a horrible defensive typing, and having to set up Sunny Day yourself can only mean trouble. So it fails as a tank, which isn't helped by 95/85/65 defenses - not TOO bad, but once again the typing is dismal. You can try using Choice Specs and Leaf Storm for doing as much damage as possible before going out, which is about as good as you're going to get. Thoroughly outclassed by Celebi in standard, but in ubers be sure to have one if you plan on using Groudon.
My score: 6.9
#105 - MAROWAK
It's as subtle as a sledgehammer, but it still fucking hurts. Thick Club is the ONLY reason to use this thing, but it's a good enough one. Defenses are decent so it can take hits, but it's going to be taking a lot of them with that terrible speed. To be paired with Ninjask for best results. Anyway, it's got a mean edgequake, and it can even use Swords Dance if it finds an opportunity. Bonemerang is a good enough substitute for Earthquake - you basically sacrifice 10 accuracy for the ability to break subs. Is it worth it? You be the judge. Going off on a tangent, speaking of Bonemerang, this is what makes Marowak the best Ground-type in Mystery Dungeon. Earthquake being, well, shaky, and multi-hit moves being blatantly overpowered in that game makes the bonehead into one of the best starter choices. (Still went with Venusaur, though.) Basically the Ground equivalent of Rampardos, whom I don't like as much. Consider it every time you make a Trick Room team, too.
My score: 7.7
#106 - HITMONLEE
There's no joke to be made about it kicking ass, because it doesn't. It's sort of a Primeape that trades speed for attack power... 'cept Primeape kinda loved the speed. Well, at least it makes for a good Reversal user, except for the simple fact that Lucario still owns it through and through. It doesn't have much in the way of survivability, although it can at least take a special hit. The addition of Blaze Kick is at least interesting, since those using Fire Punch lack some oomph. It can edgequake, though it's not always recommended. The worst part is the abilities, though. While the other Hitmons really like their new toys, Lee was left with the reckless Worthless. Er, the worthless Reckless. Tell me, why would you use the likes of Double-Edge and Hi Jump Kick on Hitmonlee? Oh well, I suppose you can switch it in expected T-Waves. But still, I just... don't like this one much.
My score: 6.2
#107 - HITMONCHAN
If Hitmonlee's bad, Hitmonchan's even worse. Lower attack and speed screws it over big time. All that for extra survivability against physical hits, which is a lost cause to begin with? Chan has a slightly better movepool than Lee, mostly thanks to the elemental punches, which took a decade before becoming viable on the Punching Pokemon (moar like Punching Bag). What were they thinking? I'm willing to bet it's none other than seeing Hitmonchan's miserable failure that gave the folks at Gamefreak the whole idea of the split. It got Iron Fist too, which makes the punching boltbeam a good alternative to edgequaking. But overall, if you're not going to use the elemental punches, you'd be better off using Hitmonlee or Primeape, because the stat spread makes Chan no favors. Coming out next summer, Jackie Chan decimates the Gamefreak staff in a blockbuster movie for making it into a shitty Pokemon!
My score: 5.5
#110 - WEEZING
Living proof that mono-Poisons can be viable if they're good enough. Like Gengar, Weezing got a very useful ability that rids it of its most blatant weakness, so now it only fears Psychic. It gets some good resists too, such as Bug and Fighting (Heracross' worst enemy). It's got a great special movepool, but what really helps it is all the support opportunities. WoW, Haze, Pain Split... there's a reason it's used on a common basis, and that is annoying the shit out of the opponent, something Umbreon just can't do well (and it's starting to cost it). Going boom is also a very good choice once its job is done (works especially well on a special sweeper set, since Blissey's drawn so easily to these). Team Rocket at least knew a good Pokemon... too bad they used it back when it was completely worthless. Well, with Heracross everywhere Weezing deserves some screen time, and even when it's not around it's a good thing to have. Give it a try sometime... it stinks, but only literally.
My score: 8.4
#115 - KANGASKHAN
I really, really want to give it a high score, because I really, really like it. And on its own it's quite good. Awesome movepool (only really lacking Stone Edge, but it does get Rock Slide if you want to go down that route), solid stats all around... However, like so many Pokemon before it and so many to come, its problem is being outdone by so much stuff within its own type. The oldest and most blatant one is Tauros, although Snorlax asserts itself as a superior defensive AND offensive force (although Kangaskhan can at least go first at times), and Miltank has the oh-so-sexy Milk Drink. So... tough luck. People often want a pre-evo of it... however, you'd need an incense to have one, and you'd still be able to make Kangaskhan eggs, so the problem isn't really solved. See? There's no way out of babies being totally worthless and a waste of game code. In the meantime, be sure to check out "PokÚ Trek 2: The Wrath of Kangaskhan". Best movie I've ever seen.
My score: 6.7
#119 - SEAKING
This, on the other hand, I don't want to give a high score to to begin with. It's so bad. Like how bad? It's like an all-you-can-eat buffet of shit sandwich and roadkill skunk. It's got THREE physical moves to run off its one good stat, Waterfall, Flail and Megahorn. Just fantastic. It's got Haze, but Arceus knows it hasn't got the stats to do it. Poison Jab is redundant with Megahorn, so that's out of the question too. I mentioned Flail, but with an attack in the two digits and no STAB it's going to hurt like a wet kleenex. There are so many Water-types in the game, you just NEED to have something to stand out. Seaking didn't get the memo, and the one way it stands out is failing at everything. It would help if it had Avalanche, but nope, no such luck. We don't want the KING of the sea actually ruling over something, now can we?
My score: 2.8
#121 - STARMIE
This thing is the embodiment of why Pokemon should only get four moves: some of them would be beyond overpowered otherwise. Look at all these offensive options. Look at all these support options. Look at that stat spread! Look at Natural Cure! Holy shit, no wonder it's one of the best Waters in the game. It's one of the rare Water-types who can boltbeam, and it does it successfully (even without any STAB on it like Lapras and Lanturn have). And the best thing is, it's ALWAYS been that way. Starmie has had a kickass movepool from day one, back in the day where you could survive with a weaker movepool, and even without significant changes since then it's STILL a beast. Believe it or not, it's slated to become the only Pokemon to have been OU in all four generations. Even the likes of Alakazam failed (no thanks to RSE). Simply amazing.
My score: 8.9
#122 - MR. MIME
Three Pokemon in the game have no weakness, and it's one of them. (Unless you're stupid and want to go with Soundproof.) It's not as good as Alakazam (not much is), but still an interesting alternative. And not just because of the no-weak thing... it can take a special hit, which opens many possibilities Alakazam couldn't use even if it could learn them, such as BPing CMs and subs, parafusing, Hypnosis-ing... Believe it or not, its special defense is worth exploiting so much HP is typically maxed out regardless of the set, going against any and all common sense. You know, just like females being called Mr. Mime anyway. So next time you think of Ambush being translated into Sucker Punch despite the fact it's anything but a punch, keep in mind Gamefreak's inconsistency goes way back, as Mr. Mimes breed with... Mr. Mimes. Did I just kill a gay clown?
My score: 6.8
#123 - SCYTHER
Scyther was always looked up to as one Pokemon that does evolve but can still be used over its evolution. Unfortunately, D/P did it no favor. Just like other Bug/Flying, Stealth Rock and Stone Edge just murder it, and Sandstorm being so much more of a threat makes Reversal hard to handle. Still, Scyther did gain something out of this: being the only Pokemon that can hit really hard with a Flying attack without suffering recoil. Aerial Ace, its best Flying move, works with Technician, effectively making it into a 90-power move with STAB - although the Flying type needs a move that would allow to do this without having to use Technician, but that's another story for another day. It also gained X-Scissor... big improvement over Silver Wind. Still, the defensive shortcomings mentioned above guarantee it won't be really usable in standard. Definitely try it out in UU, though. And let's not even mention the baby battles in PBR...
My score: 6.8
#124 - JYNX
Many people wonder why it didn't evolve along with Electabuzz and Magmar, and with good reason, as it needed to evolve the most out of the three. Then again, Jynx isn't really related to them... but that didn't stop them from evolving Dusclops and not Banette, huh? As things stand now, Jynx is a bad Alakazam (very similar stat spreads agree) who trades off stats for Lovely Kiss and STABbed Ice Beam. Too bad Ice is a bad defensive type, and that 95 base speed means it WILL have to take hits sooner or later. It's a cool perishtrapper if your opponent sends Blissey after it, but even there it's not easy to pull off. Sadly, while Mr. Mime got a very cool trait with Filter, Jynx got stuck with Forewarn. Just fantastic. Sure, it helps with scouting, but Forewarn itself doesn't even work like it's intended to because of flaws in the programming. Stay away from this one, but keep it ready to evolve next gen just in case.
My score: 5.9
#127 - PINSIR
Why Scyther evolved when Pinsir didn't is one of Pokemon's greatest mysteries. Thankfully enough, this gen made Pinsir into something good enough that it doesn't need to evolve. That's not the problem, though: the problem is the way it keeps getting its ass handed to it by Heracross. Heck, one might think Pinsir would evolve into Heracross, and it'd make some sense. I mean, there's not much difference between the two, but where there is Heracross always wins. Pinsir has X-Scissor? Heracross has Megahorn. Pinsir has Flail? Heracross has Reversal. Pinsir has a good stat distribution? Heracross has a better one. Still, Pinsir's a good enough Pokemon... I mean, if I had to pick one Pokemon I'd be a weaker version of, Heracross would be high up there. I mean, X-Scissor is nice (and for what it's worth it never misses, unlike Megahorn), so is edgequaking, so is Close Combat (no STAB hurts, though), and it gets some toys like Quick Attack and Swords Dance if you feel like it. Sadly, I don't think it's bad enough to be UU, which is a shame as there's no real niche it can occupy. Still a good choice if you're sick to death of Heracross.
My score: 7.5
#128 - TAUROS
The original physical powerhouse. Just how good was it back then? In RBY, Hyper Beam was a great choice on it. Hyper Fucking Beam. Why is that? Back then, you didn't need to recharge if you killed the target. And with that attack, 150 power and STAB, you pretty much killed most stuff you needed to kill. Tauros has fell quite a bit since then, but it should still be your first pick if you're looking for a fast, hard-hitting Normal. Its stat distribution is amazing, its movepool's not so bad (and it can edgequake, so even "not so bad" is pretty damn good)... the big problem is no stat-boosting moves. This thing is BEGGING for Swords Dance. Fortunately, there's an alternative in the form of the Choice items. It has lower defenses than Kangaskhan, but Intimidate helps make up for it somewhat. There's just one thing I don't like about Intimidate Tauros. Imagine if you got hit by a critical hit and lived. You'd never get over not picking Anger Point and thus passing over a free Belly Drum. I know I'd hate that, anyway. But that's practically insignificant, since Intimidate's damn good anyway. Red Bull may give you wings, but Brown Bull ain't too shabby either.
My score: 8.4
#130 - GYARADOS
Gyarados' life has been a real roller coaster. It was great in RBY, thanks to great stats, among which a special of 100 that could help you run Surf, Blizzard and Fire Blast, and you could try your luck with Hyper Beam as filler. It took a huge dive in GSC though, with the special attack going all the way down to 60 and practically its entire movepool being special, making that massive attack worthless. Mark my words, GSC had quite a few disappointments, but Gyarados was right there with the worst of them. It improved a lot with RSE, with Earthquake and Taunt making it into something a lot more dangerous. However, that 4x weakness to Electric still followed it everywhere, and it could use some extra moves. D/P solved all of that, with the threat of a simple switch to Electivire making hitting it with an Electric attack much less tempting. As for the moves, it could FINALLY use a STABbed attack again thanks to Waterfall, and Stone Edge and Avalanche helped complement what it already had very well. These days it's a leviathan of a Pokemon, and from data collected on Smogon the most used next to Blissey. And with very good reason.
My score: 9.2
#131 - LAPRAS
Yet another one I like very, very much. Like Starmie, it's a Water type that can boltbeam, and it gets STAB on Ice Beam for that extra kick in the balls. It's got good support options as well, such as Sing, Toxic, Confuse Ray, etc. Low speed doesn't help much, but thankfully it's its only real flaw. It also possesses quantity of unorthodox options, as Curse and Dragon Dance allow it to go physical if you want it to. Such a shame there aren't many physical moves to go along with it. There's the ubiquitous Waterfall, yes, but other than that? It doesn't make much sense to use Avalanche on a DD set, and Ice Shard's just too weak. These two can work wonders with Curse, though. So I'd sooner keep it special, since it's where it always shone. Something that's often passed over is the fact that it can work wonders on a Gravity team (mostly in 2v2, where you don't need to waste two turns using Gravity and switching), thanks to all its low accuracy moves. Hydro Pump? Blizzard? Thunder? Sing? Sign me up. Awesomesauce. If you haven't used one yet, be sure to give it a chance someday.
My score: 8.3
#132 - DITTO
This one's very difficult to rate. It's fantastic for breeding purposes, especially since it's the only way you'll ever breed genderless Pokemon, but competitively it's among the worst. And not just because no matter what you'll be taking massive damage on the Transforming turn. Not just because you'll never have more than 300 HP no matter what. No, that's because you're just begging to be played like a Stradivarius. For example, your opponent can switch to something, Skarmory for example, then you transform into Skarmory, and then your opponent switches to Magnezone. That's just one of a million possibilities, and most people will have such a combo on their teams. That's right, two specific held items and it still sucks bad. I'll be generous since it's such good utility in-game, but otherwise it's worthless.
My score: 1.6
#134 - VAPOREON
At this point in time, it's probably the best of the Eeveelutions. They didn't get much in the way of new toys this gen, so they have to fend with what they had last time for the most part. Indeed, their movepool is getting to be quite anemic, with the notable exceptions of Vaporeon and Umbreon. Vappy has quite the stat spread, with HP and SA being top-notch. Its offensive movepool isn't too impressive, with only Surf and Ice Beam, but that's enough considering it's mainly used as a support unit. It uses Wish with great proficiency, and it can also pass Acid Armor... but what really makes Vaporeon so good is subpassing. 130 base HP means the sub can survive Seismic Toss with room to spare, and it's just overall difficult to take down otherwise. Otherwise, the only subpassers you should consider are Umbreon (whose subs break to SToss) and Drifblim. It can also use Haze or Roar decently if you want it to. Now are you starting to get why I didn't give Blastoise so much as a 6? As an added bonus, Grass Knot hits it for 60 power, which is less than every other major target of the move.
My score: 8.1
#135 - JOLTEON
This one's really hard to rate, because Jolteon in Wi-Fi battles and Jolteon on simulators might as well be two different things. It just relies too much on Hidden Power to be able to sweep well... otherwise all it has is Thunderbolt. Hey, want to try Hyper Beam? Just kidding. Yeah, it can subpass really quick, but I'd sooner pass a bulkier one. A Yawn on the switch makes the prospect of subpassing slightly easier, though. As I said, most of the Eeveelutions' options are starting to wear thin, and it's especially starting to show here. Flareon's different because it always sucked, but Jolteon actually was very appealing at one point in time. And I'm not talking about its Pin Missile being one of the rare super-effectives on Psychics, because Thunderbolt hit them harder anyway. Jolteon really needs to pick up new tricks next gen, else it's really going to cause big problems.
My score: 7.0
#136 - FLAREON
Everybody knows how hard they fucked up Flareon... with that big attack and the physical/special split this was supposed to be Flareon's big breakout, but instead it's worse than it's ever been. Well, instead of rambling on on that tangent since everybody knows about it, I'll go into more obscure territory, namely the fact that it's a great Wondertomb deterrent. It's just about the only Pokemon where you'll see Fire Fang used on a common basis, and Fire Fang just so happens to have the unique attribute of hitting through Wonder Guard no matter what the bearer's typing is. No other attack has this property. Not Fire Punch, not Ice Fang, nothing. Imagine the reaction when the n00b's Wondertomb gets owned by a mere Flareon. Can you say, instant DC? Unfortunately, when the big thing about you is your handling of hacked PokÚs, you know you're not worth much.
My score: 2.9
#139 - OMASTAR
This baby here's one of the rare Pokemon that can perform under two different types of weather. A Sandstorm provides a boost to the weaker defense (something that does wonders for Regirock in particular), while Rain Dance activates the much-needed Swift Swim and powers up Surf. The latter combined with its excellent special attack would make for a solid defensive sweeper, except for the fact that the offensive movepool is anemic, with Surf, Ancientpower and Ice Beam being all it has. It can also work well as a support unit. It can use Spikes/Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin at the same time, and with a Sandstorm around I'd much prefer it to Cloyster who's meant to do the same thing. It also has Knock Off as an option. If you're looking for a good UU support unit, consider it - although the lack of Sandstream users in UU to back it up can be problematic at times.
My score: 6.9
#141 - KABUTOPS
Another weather abuser Pokemon. Whereas Omastar was made for support options, Kabutops is more about all-out offense. And it's been seriously improved since last gen, too. It went from Rock Slide being its only acceptable source of STAB to having Waterfall and Stone Edge in that department. Unfortunately, no Earthquake hurts a bit. Regardless, it's quite versatile: it can pull off a Flail set well, thanks to immunity to Sandstorm - not only that, but said sandstorm boosts its lesser defense, which helps hide the "hit me here" sign it's got on its head (though to be fair it has crucial weaks at the physical end). Rain is also quite beneficial for it, thanks to Swift Swim and powering up Waterfall (same as for Omastar... this is getting redundant). It can also Knock Off and Rapid Spin, though I'd sooner use Omastar for that purpose. One thing I don't get is that Kabutops is supposed to be this ultra-fast Pokemon according to game lore, yet its speed is a glorious 80. Miltank, MILTANK has 100. Great speed my ass.
My score: 7.1
#142 - AERODACTYL
While this generation introduced a great deal of new physical powerhouses, Aerodactyl still remains a very solid choice. 130 speed places it among the fastest usable Pokemon in the game, and 105 attack ain't too bad either (though it practically requires a CB for you not to get killed after the attack). It's got some bad weaknesses, but it's got a bucketload of resistances and immunity to Ground as well, so it's not too hard to get in. It's only got two really high-powered moves, though they are exactly the right ones (EQ and Stone Edge if you couldn't tell). STABbed Aerial Ace is interesting as well, and the elemental fangs make for some nice support - unfortunately, their power's rather low, yet they're essential to prevent you from getting walled by the likes of Bronzong and Skarmory. Choice Scarf users can also spell the doom of Aerodactyl if they're fast enough, unless you use a Scarf of your own, which isn't exactly a good idea. It may not be the best fossil Pokemon anymore (that honor goes to Cradily), but if you're good at predicting Aerodactyl can be a force. If you aren't... you might want to use something else.
My score: 7.9
#143 - SNORLAX
If you remember my list of Gamefreak's fuck-ups, you'll remember I mentioned the lack of Choice Specs and Nasty Plot to go along with their physical counterparts. And now that they're finally here, special attackers can thrive at whole new levels (at least as much as Blissey will allow them). However, Snorlax paid a high price for these additions, as it's starting to struggle against special attacks. That's right, 160 HP and 110 SD and it has problems. If you're wondering how come Blissey's so damn common now, the answer's obvious: all the Snorlaxes were replaced by Blisseys. Not just that, but even though the metagame's highly offensive now, some of the new defensive powerhouses, such as Rhyperior, give it headaches. In addition, both the Curse and Sleep Talk sets allow for only two offensive moves, and it's damn near impossible to cover every threat with just two moves, especially when one of these is Return/Body Slam. Don't get me wrong, Snorlax is still a very strong Pokemon, and it still means bad news for the opponent... it's just taken quite a hit down from the GSC near-uber and RSE superpower days.
My score: 8.6
#144 - ARTICUNO
90/100/125 in defenses. That should be a tank, right? Fuck no, not with that typing. Stealth Rock and Stone Edge obliterate it, and with them being damn near everywhere, it's very difficult for Articuno to survive long enough to do its thing. Sure, it's got some support options like Heal Bell (from XD) and Roar, but it's so frail (relatively speaking) it will have trouble pulling them off. Don't even get me started on Tailwind. Why three turns? It doesn't do the attacking act too well either. 95 SA and 85 speed already isn't good, but the movepool... ugh. Ice Beam, Water Pulse, Ancientpower, and that's it. Sure, it's a legendary, and because of that alone it's better than a lot of Pokemon... too bad practically none of these are OU or BL. In fact, if there can still be such a thing as a UU legendary in this day and age where Moltres has more than one move, Articuno will be it.
My score: 6.4
#145 - ZAPDOS
In a nutshell, it's like Jolteon, but better. Its primary function involves Agilipassing, and attacking with Thunderbolt and filler (Hidden Power or Extrasensory, depending on the circumstances). It can also use Roost very well - if Zapdos is faster than the opponent, it will effectively be weak to the lone Ground type on the turn it Roosts. And I don't know about you, but I -wouldn't- take my chances by trying to EQ Zapdos in hopes it Roosts. Unfortunately, as I implied earlier, Zapdos' special movepool isn't much better off than Jolteon's. At least it can use Extrasensory to not get walled completely by Grounds... and even if you play on a simulator and have access to a good Hidden Power, you can't beat Salamence and Swampert at the same time, since you have to decide on one type. This thing could've used Air Slash... it needed it as much, if not more, than Moltres. Regardless, Zapdos at least has some possibilities, interesting enough to make it into one of the game's better Electrics.
My score: 8.6
#146 - MOLTRES
Oh, how the bird has come a long way. Back in RBY and Gold/Silver, it had access to ONE good move: Fire Blast. All it could do was spam Fire Blast over and over until it died. In Crystal it picked up Flamethrower to at least have a decent ammo clip. But it wasn't until XD that it could use something else than an attacking Fire move, as it picked up Morning Sun, WoW and Extrasensory. D/P was very kind to it for a change, giving it Solarbeam, Roost and Air Slash. The end result? It has the movepool to pull off a Specs/Scarf set, it can sweep with the help of Roost, and it makes for a great Sunnybeamer with all that special attack. Morning Sun is especially useful with the latter. The downside, once again, is that big 4x weak to Rock, so you NEED a spinner to use it. However, unlike Articuno, it doesn't pretend to be something it's not and can actually cause some serious damage.
My score: 7.7
#149 - DRAGONITE
As we speak, there's one reason to use Dragonite: Dragon Dance + Outrage. Oh well, at least that's one more than in RSE, right? Everything else it can do Salamence and Garchomp can do better (aside from Heal Bell, and if I wanted to do that I'd use something else there too), but Outrage hurts like absolute hell now, with the power being increased to 120. (Why in the world did Thrash and Petal Dance NOT get the same treatment is beyond me.) Otherwise, Dragonite is still pretty niche. Which is a shame, really... I mean, it's been around for a long time, so after all these years you'd think it would've picked up several new tricks to at least match its more modern, yet better designed, counterparts. Still a great option if you're sick to death of the other two.
My score: 8.7
#150 - MEWTWO
First off, a wake-up call for the fanboys: Mewtwo isn't the best Pokemon in the game, and it hasn't been since Gold/Silver came out. Okay, now that that's out of the way... it's not that it's bad. Hell no. You don't argue with 154 SA and 130 speed. It's just that it requires a LOT of care to use, as one bad move and you're looking at a dead Mewtwo. That being said, nothing will ever be more powerful than RBY Mewtwo (thankfully enough). Best typing possible, Amnesia boosting special attack and defense two levels, special defense being much higher then than it is now... nope, nothing will ever beat that. Unfortunately, GSC hit it harder than anything else, and Lugia became the powerhouse of choice (although there was no uber metagame at the time, with only four ubers around). RSE wasn't too kind to it either, as Mewtwo became practically useless (through no fault of its own, though: I'll cover it when I get there). However, D/P introduced two new ubers, Darkrai and Arceus, and an item, the Choice Scarf, that actually made Mewtwo's high speed mean something. It also picked up Aura Sphere to deal with the aforementioned two, on top of an already massive movepool that dates all the way back to RBY and needs no introduction. It's not quite what it was back in the day, but it's still an excellent addition to any uber team. Just handle it with care.
My score: 9.7
#151 - MEW
Mew's always been in a weird position, a limbo of sorts between OU and uber. While it has a massive movepool, there will almost always be another uber to do what it does better (this especially holds true with Arceus around), although that way it's very hard to counter (which also holds true for Arceus) but it's still much too gamebreaking for OU, so we rarely ever see it at all. At least in D/P it picked Baton Pass to at least be able to do something Arceus can't, and fortunately it has a LOT of stat-up moves to do the job (Agility and DD aren't on there, though), including Nasty Plot. Indeed, if there's one thing that keeps Mew off of OU these days, it's its ability to pass anything at anyone. Still, in ubers it's always been outclassed, and now the spectre of Arceus just demolished whatever chance it had of being a good attacker, among others.
My score: 9.1