The competitive scene in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is quite fascinating, especially when it comes to ranked battles. Some players who play Showdown should know that there are many differences in the viability of certain Pokemon within Ranked Battles. For example, some species are banned from ranked battles, but not from Smogon’s OU tier.
This list of levels starts with what’s off limits before moving on to what’s good for competitive trainers.
Remark: This Tier List is based on usage percentages rather than theory.
Pocket Monsters Banned From Pokemon Scarlet And Violet Ranked Battles
Here are all the creatures banned from Ranked Battles in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet (as of December 2022):
- Galarian Meowth
- John Wooper
- Great tusk
- Scream tail
- Brutal Bonnett
- Fluttering mane
- Gliding wing
- Sandy shocks
- Iron steps
- Iron bundle
- Iron hands
- Iron Jugulis
- Iron moth
- Ting Lu
- Roaring moon
- Iron Brave
The rest of this article focuses on what to use for Series 1, which runs until January 31, 2023.
Remark: The usage rate discussed in this article is derived from Pikalytics, a valuable competitive source that tracks data for Series 1.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Ranked Battles Tier List (December 2022)
S-tier (over 20% usage rate)
The following Pokemon have 20% or more usage in Scarlet and Violet’s Series 1 Ranked Battles:
- Gholdengo (30.38%)
- Garchomp (27.92%)
- Murkrow (27.56%)
- Amoonguss (24.12%)
- Destroy (20.40%)
Gholdengo’s most common moves are Make It Rain, Shadow Ball, Protect, Nasty Plot, Dazzling Gleam, Thunderbolt, and Trick. Some of the most common teammates are Garchomp and Murkrow.
Garchomp’s moves typically involve a combination of Earthquake, Protect, Dragon Claw, Rock Slide and Swords Dance depending on what the user needs. The most common teammates are Gholdengo, Murkrow, and Amoonguss.
Murkrow made a threat using Eviolite as an item and the following moves:
- Unfair game
- To challenge
The most common teammates are Gholdengo, Garchomp, Hydreigon, Annihilape, and Arcanine.
Amoonguss usually runs Spore, Rage Powder, Clear Smog, Protect, Pollen Puff, or Giga Drain. Rage Powder is one of the few redirect moves in the game, making Amoonguss a common occurrence in doubles combat (and trainers wouldn’t use it in the singles format).
Finally, Annihilape is an all-round solid Fighting/Ghost-type Pokemon with a devastating Rage Fist, among other solid moves like Final Gambit, Drain Punch, and Bulk Up. Trainers usually see it alongside Murkrow, Maushold, Grimmsnarl, and Hydreigon in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
A-Tier (15%~20% usage rate)
Here are some other Pokemon regularly played in Scarlet and Violet’s Series 1 Ranked Battles:
- Armarouge (19.42%)
- Hydreigon (18.94%)
- Grimmsnarl (18.42%)
- Arcanine (17.27%)
- Indeedee-F (15.32%)
- Meow Scarada (15.11%)
Armarouge is often seen alongside Indeedee-F, who has Psychic Surge as an Ability, which works great with the Pokemon’s Expanding Force move. Incidentally, Indeedee-F bizarrely got Trick Room this generation, even though it used to only be available to its male counterpart.
Hydreigon is a solid all-around attacker, while Grimmsnarl and Arcanine are very handy thanks to Prankster and Intimidate respectively.
Meow scaradaThe Pokémon’s Protean ability is excellent, as the Pokémon can almost always use STAB on its attacks.
B-low (10%~14.99% utilization rate)
Some of the Pokemon below are pretty good, but are a bit more team dependent, making them less ubiquitous compared to the higher tier options:
- Maushold (12.98%)
- Spin wash (12.28%)
- Torcoal (11.94%)
- Sylveon (10.54%)
Most Maushold perform Population Bomb alongside Wide Lens, which allows it to deal massive damage. Meanwhile, Rotom-Wash has several strong moves like Hydro Pump, Volt Switch, and Will-o-Wisp to keep it relevant.
Torkoal automatically sets bright sunlight thanks to its dryness ability, something no other legal creature can do in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. The eruption is also devastating under Trick Room.
Sylveon’s Hyper Voice becomes one Move fairy thanks to the Pixilate Ability.
C level (5%~9.99% utilization rate)
For reference, here are some other notable creatures used in the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Series 1 Ranked Battles:
- Kingambit (9.43%)
- Dondozo (9.36%)
- Tyranitar (8.74%)
- farigiraffe (8.23%)
- kilowatts (7.94%)
- Tatsugiri (7.92%)
- Dragonite (7.80%)
- Dragapult (7.45%)
- Ceruledge (7.43%)
- Gyarados (7.24%)
- Baxcalibur (6.74%)
- Flamego (6.52%)
- Skeleton (5.85%)
- Hariyama (5.61%)
- Claw flame (5.61%)
- gastrodon (5.39%)
- Abomas now (5.37%)
- volcano (5.00%)
Usage percentages can always fluctuate, especially as the Series 1 Ranked Battles will be over December 2022 and end on January 31, 2023.
Poll : Do you think you’ll make it to the Master Ball Tier for Series 1?