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Tier changes in Smogon and PO's metagames

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For some reason, PO decided to update their recent tier three months after their last one, meaning that both Smogon and PO received tier shifts on the same month. What else do these changes have in common, you ask? It's the B2W2 additions. Yes, the additions are very much a major force in affecting the changes, with powerful Dream World abilities and new forms for current Pokémon. So, what changed between those two? Here are the changes:

New to OU - (None)
New to UU - Mew (OU), Virizion (OU), Tornadus-I (OU), Meloetta (OU), Cofagrigus (RU)
New to RU - Stoutland (UU)
New to NU - (None)

Pokémon Online
New to OU - Hippowdon (RU), Kyurem-B (Uber)
New to UU - Hydreigon (OU), Metagross (OU), Jolteon (OU), Meloetta (OU), Tornadus-I (OU), Toxicroak (OU), Cofagrigus (RU), Amoonguss (NU)
New to RU* - Krookodile (UU), Venomoth (UU), Bouffalant (NU), Escavalier (NU), Cinccino (NU), Abomasnow (UU I think)
New to NU - Magneton (RU), Dusknoir (RU), Hariyama (RU), Archeops (RU)

*PO calls this tier LU, but here it's RU because most here are more familiar with Smogon than Pokémon Online.

Placement difference for mentioned Pokémon:
Kyurem-B - OU (PO)
Mew - BL (PO)
Virizion - UU (PO)
Stoutland - NU (PO)
Krookodile - UU (Smogon)
Venomoth - BL2 (Smogon)
Magneton - RU (Smogon)
Dusknoir - RU (Smogon)
Hariyama - RU (Smogon)
Archeops - RU (Smogon)

I should add that usage cutoffs are higher in PO's case, and this means they have a smaller tier bracket than Smogon. PO has 47 Pokémon in OU currently, whereas Smogon's contain 54.

If you're a Smogon player, you won't be very excited with RU and NU's changes. It's OU that had the biggest changes, simply because of the new threats in OU. As you can see, Virizion finally dropped, mainly due to the terror of Tornadus-T and other reasons. If that's not all, Mew made its comeback, to the chagrin of a few players who got stressed by its versatility. Both tiers share something in common: Tornadus-I and Meloetta's drop. Tornadus-I is of course due to the better versatility of Tornadus-T, while Meloetta struggled to find its place since it first emerged. Another thing both tiers share is Cofagrigus leaving the RU tier, and this confounded RU players since Cofagrigus is another great Pokémon. Stoutland's basically fell from glory due to a lack of Sandstorm, as with Abomasnow (though it makes a great Galvantula counter).

Smogon players would probably be shocked at PO's tier shifts. They are overall more erratic, and I would even say that some might wish some changes occurred in Smogon too. First and foremost is the drop of two pseudo-legendaries, which is bound to break the pride of those who loved both of them. A couple of Rain stars also dropped, which is odd due to Rain's popularity (though it could be that they may not fare quite well in the Sun). Perhaps the biggest surprise is Amoonguss going into UU (it was used just enough to make it promoted). Amoonguss is a nice Pokémon to use in all tiers, due to its overall utility, despite its lack of versatility. It was predicted at one time to be OU in Smogon, but it stayed in NU. However, this is considered a consolation prize for the mushroom that annoys. Some NU players in Smogon wished Amoonguss isn't around in NU, because it felt like it never dies.

RU in PO is generally a different environment if you played Smogon and PO, due to the different choices. They have Krookodile back, something certain Smogon players wished would happen. Venomoth would be interesting to see since Smogon is still deciding on whether to bring it back or not. Meanwhile, Abomasnow joined the ranks of RU, and it looks to have a hard time there without its signature ability. Cinccino's upgrade from NU should also relieve some players who have Substitute users. Meanwhile, in NU, there's another round of shakeups, as we have a Steel trapper, though only Klinklang is notably threatened. More fallen stars follow, like Dusknoir (while its pre-evolution still enjoys its time in UU), Hariyama and... Archeops?

It's long, I know, but honestly, it's fun to compare both tiers. Here's the link to another blog about tier comparison for July 2012 to September 2012. If you want to see the three-month usages, here are some links (Smogon's cutoff is 3.41%, while PO is 4%):
- Smogon
- PO (OU)
- PO (UU)
- PO (LU)
- PO (NU)

Thanks for reading.

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  1. Takaki's Avatar
    PO generally move stuff a lot faster than Smogon do. This has both positive and negative ramifications. PO tend to make some rash decisions on mostly uninformed theorymonning that could really one day stab them in the back whilst Smogon is thoughtful but have a system covered in red tape (One of the reasons Mew stayed in ubers during 4th gen when it really was OU material). An example of this is the Kyurem-B ordeal where PO are willing to quickly shove it in the OU tier. I think part of this is because it is less competitive so ruining somebody's ladder run by introducing a potentially unbalenced threat (not saying in any way that Kyurem-B is unbalanced) .
  2. Articwolf10's Avatar
    Kinda surprised to see Serperior on the Top 5 in the DW OU... can't wait to see the impact he'll make when Contrary is finally released... he'll probably jump to OU UU at the least... because those StAB Leaf-Storm's are going to HURT and he gets to spam them...
  3. winstein's Avatar
    @Takaki; I wouldn't say that Smogon is completely perfect with their tier placements. Yes, the system in deciding who gets banned in a particular tier is a lot better (due to getting the best players to make careful decision-making), but Pokemon Showdown has some problems when it comes to usages compared to Pokemon Online, because recommendations are usually done in whoever's in the current tier, making new players think that who's popular in the tier can only be used, creating a gap between popular ones and less popular ones. This is the reason UU has a notable gap in usage, with Cofagrigus barely reaching the mark.

    As such, their tier shifts are generally rigid, compared to PO's fresh changes in the lower tiers. I would say that Smogon's tiers are more for accurate representation, while PO is more like an alternative playstyle.

    I am not sure about Kyurem-B, but I am under the impression that they are putting it there to find out if this Pokemon is balanced, because you know, they try to see if this Pokemon is going to work well in OU. Smogon's also got this in their plans too, but it's just that they want to experiment with Garchomp first.

    Thanks for reading.


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