I knew that Rock Wrecker would be implemented eventually and was excited for Rhyperior community day because I like Rhyperior, but when I saw it come out in this fashion, my mind changed. I’m hands-down Team Vulpix. Hear me out.
Rock Wrecker Rhyperior is really great, but it won’t have higher DPS than Rampardos (I already simmed out some stuff and no matter how good Rock Wrecker is, even if it’s like Aura Sphere, it still doesn’t pass Rampardos). He may have higher bulk, but his worstened Grass/Water weakness, added Ice weakness, and loss of Bug/Dark resistance makes him end up not really feeling necessarily better than Terrakion, and really not all that much better than Tyranitar, who has useful resistances to Ghost, Psychic, AND Dark. He’s just another face in the crowd, unfortunately. It’s not an improvement for PVP either. Currently Rhyperior runs Smack Down, Surf, and Superpower. He can’t afford to give up Surf, which Rhyperior needs for shield baiting, and can’t give up Superpower, which is mandatory for things like Dialga and Snorlax in Master League. No space in the kit.
Meanwhile, Vulpix has the new shiny, and man is Shiny Ninetales nice. Even beyond that, while Ninetales has no PvE value, there’s double the shiny value (Alolan form AND Kanto form) and actually fairly significant PVP impact. Alolan Ninetales has drastic improvements thanks to Weather Ball (Ice), both to the Charm set that can now actually use some charged attacks ever, and to the Powder Snow set that becomes far more spammy. It’s clear improvement. Kanto Ninetales currently would be running Fire Spin / Overheat / Psyshock. Psyshock is pretty much a guaranteed “stay” move as coverage, so Weather Ball (Fire) competes here with Overheat. Honestly, in PvPoke and the sims it looks similar, but that’s only to the casual eye. It’s important to remember that Overheat always will drastically lower your Pokemon’s attack when used, and costs higher energy. It’s far less reliable, and essentially requires gambling with Psyshock to get its value. Weather Ball performs similarly in terms of damage because of its far lower cooldown and solid DPS, while also being far more consistent and pressuring shields more. It’s a definite improvement. Both Kanto and Alolan Ninetales are potentially great picks for the upcoming GO Battle League too - Kanto form is a strong check to Venusaur, Registeel, and more, while Alolan form is a strong check to the likes of Altaria and Deino. They’re accessible, and good anti-meta. It’s essentially a solid win.
Dratini actually stands the most to gain from the community day. With Superpower as legit coverage, Dragonite probably would improve its gym cleanup, but also has a wildly improved situation in PvP. Superpower lets it threaten the Steel and Rock types that previously threatened it, such as Registeel and Melmetal, along with bulky Pokemon like Snorlax. However, nobody really wants to see another Dratini community day (we’re kind of sick of it), so he’s not going to win, and votes going to Dratini are honestly wasted effort.
Machamp could be very good, but just… it’s not all that necessary, nor all that interesting. Payback is good, but Rock Slide is likely better for clearing out gyms, and Machamp already has enough moves its deciding on for just normal PVP stuff. It’d improve Machamp potentially, but just is probably underwhelming. Also likely not getting enough votes to have any relevant chance.
In short, it comes down to the PvP community’s choice (Vulpix), who’s evolutions see a solid improvement all-around in PvP formats, versus the Raiding/Casuals community’s choice (Rhyhorn), who while I like and want a community day for eventually, doesn’t actually gain much from Rock Wrecerk. I would say go for Vulpix this time, and then take a bite at Rhyperior down the road since it’s very likely to come again eventually.