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Understanding the Latest Attackers Tier List Update

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Introduction

The assignment of Crabhammer to Kingler and Crawdaunt, thus rendering them viable attackers, forced us to do a re-evaluation of tiering principles for the Attackers Tier List. Strange, isn’t it? The previous version’s structure was set back when Gen 4 was first starting to appear in Pokemon GO. It adapted to the addition of many new Pokemon, whether they be legendaries, Sinnoh Stone evolutions, or old Pokemon that were given a breath of life with new moves.

It then seems appropriate that, with Gen 5 just around the corner, this is the right time to look over the tier list from top to bottom.

Tiering Philosophy

Tier 1.5 Eliminated

There are still 5 total tiers of Pokemon; it’s just that all of them are labeled by whole numbers now. We didn’t believe that the special designation of Tier 1.5 added any value. With 16 total species occupying the top 2 tiers, we didn’t like the implication that they were around the same level of overall power or meta relevance. In the current ranking, Tier 1 options are both very powerful and meta relevant, while Tier 2 options are slightly deficient in one of those areas.

Glass Cannon vs. Legendary

At the beginning of Gen 4, it was pretty clear who were the top dogs in Ghost, Fire, Water, and Electric. Now, each of those types has one representative that’s clearly in the “glass cannon” archetype, with higher DPS but much lower TDO, and one representative that’s well-rounded but excellent (the legendary).

Tiering these ‘mons is hard, because some players see theoretical DPS and nothing else, while others experience better outcomes using the well-rounded legendary option. Should each pair be within the same tier, or are some pairs clearly unequal? We used the DPS^3 * TDO metric, which tries to account for time lost due to relobbying, to tease out this distinction:

DPS TDO DPS^3 * TDO
Gengar 28.62 553.7 12980
Giratina-O 25.013 1048.4 16408
Kingler 26.953 590.3 11558
Kyogre 25.237 936.3 15050
Electivire 26.456 640.5 11862
Raikou 25.492 824.7 13663
Blaziken 27.407 608.3 12522
Moltres 25.819 779.6 13418

While in all cases, the legendary had the higher DPS3 * TDO, it’s clear that there’s a bigger difference in the Gengar / Giratina-O and Kingler / Kyogre pairs than in the Electivire / Raikou and Blaziken / Moltres pairs. Therefore the former are separated by a tier, while the latter are not.

Promotions

Tier 1

Kyogre is a top counter to only 3 Tier 5 Raid Bosses to date, which is just pretty okay. It also destroys tons of Raid Bosses in lower tiers without breaking a sweat. Because of this, it's one of the best options for new and established accounts like, despite the new Crabhammer competitors.

Tier 1

A shoo-in for Tier 1, not only does it dominate Rock DPS by a big margin, but it also makes a joke of the numerous Raid Bosses weak (or doubly weak) to it. At 1 candy per 5 kms walked, this is probably the best current Buddy Pokemon.

Tier 1

There always seems to be a Psychic-type T5 Raid Boss in rotation. Giratina-O is not as strong as the rest, but it was promoted on the basis of meta relevance. Giratina-O is a top recommendation for Lucky Friend trades on accounts trying to beef up their teams.

The fate of the Mythical Darkrai is TBD, but any Giratina that you power up will likely still get used (and Giratina leads in DPS^3*TDO still).

Tier 2

As the top Electric attackers, and therefore the top general Water counters, the old Tier 2 was probably too low of a position. Electivire and Raikou join this tier together.

Tier 2

Blaziken joins Moltres on the basis of being the joint top Fire attackers. Moltres’s Flying role is (currently for T5) only minimally useful and Blaziken has decent Fighting utility for good measure.

Tier 2

The old Tier 2 was too low for the top Grass attacker. Although it’s the weakest Pokemon in the tier, Grass has good utility, and clear weather boost helps. Who knows, you may also use it as a Poison-type someday too.

Demotions

Tier 3

Not a new change per se, as it happened in a recent update, but this was long overdue. Giratina-O and Rampardos do the Tyranitar thing way better. Further hurting its rank, an exclusive Smack Down Tyranitar cannot be TMed back and forth to also function as a Dark-type.

Tier 4

Dropping into the old Tier 3, Rhyperior fell due to being a worse Rock attacker than Tyranitar and a worse Ground attacker than Groudon or the new Garchomp.

Tier 5

Glaceon joins its fellow Eeveelutions in Tier 5. It’s basically Weavile without the option of Dark utility, so its original placement was possibly too high.

Notables

Tier 1

We're not ready to demote Mewtwo just yet, especially with an exclusive move on the way. Consider that us promoting 3 other Pokemon to Tier 1 IS a demotion of sorts to Mewtwo.

For accounts with 6 Mamoswine, Raikou, and Giratina-O, Mewtwo isn't worth a passing thought. At earlier stages of team building, however, Mewtwo covers so many bases.

Tier 2

There was some debate over this. Metagross has huge power that it doesn’t get to flex very often. Consider also that Ice and Rock, 2 of the worst defensive types, are weak to types boosted in most common weathers. Even when Metagross gets to shine, practically, there are still better options.

Tier 2

Moltres is now the best Machamp counter in addition to the best Fire-type. Compared to Mewtwo though, a powered up Moltres just won't see as much use right now.

While we called Roserade the worst Pokemon in Tier 2, you're much more likely to use Grass Pokemon than you are Fire and Flying-types combined.

Tier 5

If you just consider its DPS, Crawdaunt looks great. It blows Feraligatr and Gyarados out of the water (heh). It’s also really frail, and there gets to a point where severe frailty can hamper an attacker’s effectiveness. Sure, you can dodge, but not every player does that, and doing so will also lower the DPS that we're regarding Crawdaunt for in the first place.

About the Author(s)

NoLucksGiven is a Digital Card Game Streamer and YouTuber with a specialty in "limited" formats. With a lifetime of powering up his skills in resource management, quick analysis, and on-the-fly ranking, Pokemon Go has become a perfect fit for NLG. NoLucks makes it a goal (and succeeds) to reach the top echelon of players in any game he plays including being the #1 Ranked Drafter in Solforge. Through his articles and stream and YouTube content, his goal is to help other players that are looking for tips to level up their own game.