Johto representation in PvP

Of course, Johto representation in PvE is pathetic. Not a single Johto species can claim to be the best non-shadow attacker of its type, so its relevance is limited to Blissey on gym defence.

Azumarill, Skarmory and Umbreon were among the top threats in Great League, but with the former two hit by the latest nerf, Politoed gaining Weather Ball and an upcoming Johto event, it is time to revisit this issue.

In open Ultra League, I often saw Scizor, but is it that good (it loses to Giratina-A)? Not sure about Ultra Premier, which I never played. As for Master League (including Premier Cup), Johto may as well not exist.

Which Johto species could become meta-relevant with better moves? I can think of quite a few:

  • Tyranitar, which is currently too slow, but can learn Snarl, Rock Slide and Earthquake to become a force in Master League.
  • Give Steelix Ice Fang so it can beat both Giratina and Togekiss in open Ultra League, while covering Grass-types and still having a good choice of charged moves.
  • Lanturn has great Electric moves to handle Azumarill and Skarmory, but its Water moves are mediocre. Even in GSC, it could learn Surf (to spam against Bastiodon and A-Marowak), Bubble and Waterfall (making opponents think twice about sending Gunfisk against it).
  • To do well in Ultra League, Typhlosion needs a better coverage move than Solar Beam. For example, I remember teaching mine Earthquake back in GSC.
  • If Rollout was introduced as a charge move and as strong as it is in the main series, Miltank could become powerful…but it needs a good fast move that generates energy quickly for Rollout and its other charge move.
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I’m seeing a trend in your posts…
You really like Gen 2 don’t you? :wink:

Its been said so many times before: T-tar has plenty potential but it’s fastmoves put it in an awkward place. If you can catch 'tina, Metagross, or Mewtwo, it wins hands-down. For most other stuff, it lacks the flexibility. Snarl is probably the only move that would fix it.

My experience with the console games and anime is limited to the first two generations. I only know Gen 3 and later through PoGo (but I do like a few of them, such as Metagross and Mamoswine). The reason that I keep bringing this up is that while Gen 1 gets lots of attention and is decently represented, Gen 2 does not seem to get the love it deserves. Also, I am wondering how the recent PvP move changes (and debut of Frillish) will impact Gen 2 representation.

I agree.

What about Ho-oh in master (with EQ, granted)?
Also XL time: skarmory, umbreon, politoed in UL. Steelix XL is a major threat already now, faced it twice and it is hard to beat for many! We also should not forget wobbuffet XL for GL.
Scizor, btw, usually wins vs GirA DB in UL. Dependent on IV and shields of course it also wins vs SC GirA. But it is not good either, true.

I’d argue that Scizor is pretty great in open UL. Being able to wall and counter the big tanks is no small matter. Its also a low investment and easy to use.

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The unique thing about scizor is that it has a good matchup versus giratina as well as it’s counters(Togekiss, assorted fairies and obstagoon) while being very spammy and having only one weakness. So it is a very good lead and definitely has a significant niche.

In answer to the original post here are a few pvp picks in gen 2 other than those mentioned already

Few other unmentioned ones which could be good with a moveset update

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Yeah scizor is fine open UL. It functions as an Escavilier that that has a better GirA matchup. Good vs fairy as well.

With ULPC becoming a thing since the last time we talked about this I don’t think you could possibly say Johto isn’t represented in PvP.

Suddenly Ampharos is good, Typhlosion got a new toy, Kingdra is borderline meta. Outside of the bugs and grass types from gen 2 just about everything has a home in PvP. And those Pokémon were all awful in the MSGs anyway

I don’t really think Typhlosion is that in need of a quick charge move. Could actually make it pretty broken. Feraligatr could really use a new fast move, but the ceiling on a pure water type is pretty low. Steelix needs something, but a fang isn’t the answer unless it gained access to a 35 or 40 energy charge move as well.

You can’t complain too much about the legendary dogs, but Entei could use some cheap efficient moves

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Scizor and Escavalier are sooo different though in their matchups! Scizor deletes fairies and psychics, Escavalier really struggles against them but does great vs Steel (where Scizor doesn’t do well). I don’t see them as having remotely similar uses in PvP.

Feraligator and Steelix are pretty decent as they are. Feraligator is tanky enough and has decent coverage options to allow him decent room to roam. Same for Steelix. Giving it Mud Shot, for instance, would be just a little OP. Slight tangent, but I think Steel-type should have some better moves. Maybe a Metal Claw buff or decrease the cost for Heavy Slam. Wouldn’t make any great 'mon OP but it would allow some new stuff to gain relevance (like Aggron, Cobalion, etc.).


Giving Steelix Mud Shot just makes Gfisk again. It would just have crunch available to it instead of rock slide. I think I’d rather it just have dragon tail. It’s a weird move, but at least it’s unique that way.

Steel has to be up there to get some buffs on its moves. Bullet punch being the only decent move sucks being that a lot of steels have no hands lol. With metal claw being tied to Regi they’d have to be careful with that one. Iron Tail could be a good be a good buff. Crank up the damage on it and do a hard hitting fast move to rival the Charmers.


Rereading my post I think I completely exaggerated, of course scizor is at least ok-good. Maybe not great, cause it fails vs neutral matchups. Also its second move is hit or miss and you can’t have it all

How can you ignore Bellossom, the most spammy and not squishy grass type!

Feel free to add to that list I never said it was exhaustive :)

Bellossom imo has coverage problems with dazzling gleam. It is interesting to note that a singly resisted STAB leaf blade and neutral dazzling gleam are almost equal in performance

I suppose the question is why would it be used over meganium when
earthquake’s coverage is so much more relevant
frenzy plant has higher dpe than leaf blade
meganium’s stat product is slightly higher

I’m not a fan of grass types in general due to many weaknesses so I’m probably biased against them.

I agree that Steelix is pretty usable already with Dragon Tail in UL.

I think if Metal Claw was an Ember clone (which is right in-line with its PvE stats), Regi would still run Lock-on. Without cheap charge moves, Regi really needs the energy generation. Metal Claw doesn’t give Regi any added flexibility, you’re just dealing steel-type damage with fastmove instead of charged (which restricts flexibility).

Iron Tail could be interesting. Would give Dewgong, Steelix, Lairon, Aggron, Bastiodon, and T-tar something. But that really depends on what kind of move it is. A move like Charm or Fire Fang would only be useful on Bastiodon, Steelix and Lairon since they have cheap enough moves and solid bulk. Bastiodon, Aggron, Dewgong, and T-tar have STAB fastmoves so they wouldn’t really benefit from another damage-slanted fastmove.

Or alternately drop Heavy Slam’s energy cost to make it a Crunch clone. Would help Aggron, Steelix, Bronzong, Forretress (who reeeeally needs a hard-hitting move), and Hariyama. But fastmoves are really what “makes the 'mon” in PvP so without Iron Tail or Metal Claw getting buffed (or a new fastmove being added), there isn’t much hope for some steel-type 'mon. :man_shrugging:

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Totally forgot Basti had iron tail. No thanks, that could be horrifying. Metal claw as an ember clone would be much better. Regi would have no interest in that

If metal claw gets a buff(ember clone) I wonder if empoleon would consider running it in place of waterfall. Genesect would probably appreciate it as well

Probably won’t matter to dialga, excadrill and registeel

Ferrothorn is interesting. bullet seed is fast but the damage from it as well as power whip is negligible if grass is resisted. Would potentially make ferrothorn better against fliers not named skarmory as well as against other grasses especially abomasnow and whimsicott

actually the problem with steel is that dialga learns iron head and registeel learns flash cannon so they cannot be buffed.
whereas heavy slam is present on things like fighters and snorlax so buffing that may or may not be a problem

I think in Open UL, Empoleon runs buffed Metal Claw. I already was running it for a while because the 'tina matchup is sooo slow otherwise. :sleeping: In ML, not sure that it matters which fastmove. Rest of the time, Waterfall. I think Ferrothorn still needs the spamminess from Bullet Seed but maybe running a 3-type 'mon gives it some good coverage as a safe-switch.

I don’t think Heavy Slam being buffed would really change-up the already-meta 'mon. Snorlax isn’t going to give up Superpower or Body Slam. Machamp is still going to run Rock Slide. It would be neat to have Hariyama pop-up now and then (which it did before Machamp was bless with the rocks). Wouldn’t really change too much other than take some borderline 'mon and make them playable.

Also: just noticed you change your pic. Neat.

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I never played Ultra League Premier Cup. Glad to know that Johto species are well represented there! That would be incentive for me to build a team for it.

Oh yes. One of the few good things that came out of the XL system. Umbreon XL looks optimised for the open UL meta, wrecking Giratina and the bulky Psychic legendaries, only losing to Togekiss (fighters are rarely used in open UL).

I played a lot of open Ultra League this season and did not face a single Steelix. I wanted to run Steelix myself but just could not figure out how to fit it into a team.

What is its role, other than beating Giratina-A? As a Steel-type, it should do well against Togekiss, but Dragon Tail is doubly resisted. Earthquake should give it a strong matchup against other Steel-types, but again, almost every Steel-type resists Dragon Tail.

Johto surely sucks for PvE, but they are fine in PvP. The strongest pokemons are from Johto in both GL and UL - and now Ho-Oh and Lugia with their new moves compete as well.

We have:
Meganium (GL/UL), Typhlosion (UL), Noctowl (GL), Lanturn (GL), Ampharos (UL), Bellossom (GL), Azumarill (GL), Sudowoodo (GL), Politoed (GL/UL), Jumpluff (GL), Quagsire (GL), Umbreon (GL/UL), Slowking (UL), Wobbuffet (GL), Forretress (GL), Gligar (GL), Steelix (GL/UL), Granbull (GL/UL), Qwilfish (GL), Scizor (GL/UL), Heracross (GL), Ursaring (UL), Piloswine (GL), Octillery (GL), Mantine (GL), Skarmory (GL/UL), Kingdra (GL/UL), Porygon2 (GL), Hitmontop (GL), Suicune (GL/UL), Raikou (ML), Tyranitar (ML), Lugia (ML), Ho-Oh (ML)

Obviously they’re not all meta in open GBL - but as we’ve seen with Silph cups and other restricted formats such as Halloween they could be in that particular meta - they have very viable movesets. Sudowoodo was THE meta in Catacomb Cup, and (Shadow) Scizor could destroy anything but fire types in Halloween cup. Even in open GBL, Johto has many top competitors. Despite the nerfs, the pokemon still do very well in their roles they’re supposed to fulfill.

So I strongly disagree with Johto’s representation in PvP being pathetic. 1/3rd of the gen is viable for PvP for one or more open GBL leagues, and I even left a few out (such as Tyranitar for GL, as it was decent in Halloween Cup, or Houndoom).

I do have to say that when it comes to (big) events, the focus is usually on generation 1. I guess that’s because it’s the most well known and popular generation

I think a case could be made for thunder fang steelix if you want it as more of a generalist. Dragon tail steelix is mostly a giratina specialist which almost demands super effective damage to be taken down by other pokemon.

However super effective damage is very common in the form of swampert, waterfall gyrados, water lapras and chaizard not to mention obstagoon and the influx of fighters today’s community day will cause.

Thunder fang steelix can still reach crunch to take handle dragon breath giratina while hitting togekiss for supereffective and other steels for neutral.

This relys more on the fact that most people will insta switch a gira -a on seeing a steelix anyways. Much like most people insta switch out scizor versus a lead charizard only to discover that it’s running dragon breath and not fire spin
It also helps versus threats like
XL skarmory

It gives a worse swampert and grass matchup but then the swampert matchup is basically suicide anyway which goes for the gunfisk XL matchup as well

Steelix: don’t forget cress, also completely helpless! There are some GirA/cress teams which might instaquit vs steelix. Plus armored mewtwo, despite running a fighting charged move, is bad vs steelix as well. Some people run mew, where flame charge is not super great vs steelix…

Umbreon: obstagoon is of course a really bad matchup as well. I love it when I can switch it into them :) we also have poliwrath and escavalier is not really good as well…