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All Gens Tiering System

Discussion in 'Tiers' started by Ortheore, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Ortheore

    Ortheore Host Emeritus

    May 16, 2013
    Likes Received:
    The goal of the tiering system is to create multiple environments, with ban heritability, such that pokemon that would not normally see use in standard play are made viable in new environments, sharing the same standards. For a player, these differing environments will each offer unique playing experiences.

    The system

    The first tier level (level 1) contains every pokemon available in a given tier set (such as standard singles format for a given generation). Within that level is the balanced tier (1U) and one or more ban tiers (usually 1P). 1U is the tier with the fewest restrictions that is still adequately balanced and diverse. Level 1 tier environments have the fewest restrictions of the whole tier set, as the subset of Pokémon allowed is not dependent on any higher balanced tier's sufficiently viable or banned elements (such as Pokémon). A Pokémon may be banned from 1U if it has a detrimental effect on the tier's environment, usually by impacting balance and/or diversity. If it is banned from 1U, it is then placed in the ban list for that level, and only permitted for use in tiers with previously or simultaneously banned elements, such as the 1P ban tier.

    In order to form the lower tier level (level 2), it is then decided what Pokémon are worthy of a berth in level 1. This is determined solely based on viability in 1U - if a Pokémon is reasonably useful in 1U, it gains a berth, while a Pokémon that is not will fall to level 2. Factors such as a Pokémon’s potential impact in the lower tier are not considered generally.

    Level 2 allows every Pokémon that doesn't have a berth in the higher tier level (ie. all but level 1 Pokémon are allowed). Initially all level 2 Pokémon will be playable, however if playtesting reveals one or more Pokémon to negatively impact the tier environment, they are placed on the ban list for that level and only playable in select ban tiers such as 2P. Eventually Pokémon that are worthy of a berth in 2U will be decided based on viability in the 2U environment, with all Pokémon that are not worthy falling once more: this time to 3U, where the process repeats itself. This can continue until we run out of Pokémon or we decide there is little reason to continue. Furthermore, the tiers are open to review after a period of time, which varies between different tier sets based on the overall stability of the tiers (for instance RBY is very stable and would not be reviewed for a long time).

    A few points to be clear - Pokémon from a lower level are permitted to be used in a tier in a higher tier level (such as a 2U Pokémon in 1U) but Pokémon with a berth in a higher level may not be used within a tier of a lower level (a 1U Pokémon may not be used in 2U). Main tiers are formed starting with the very highest tier (1U) and then are formed in a sequential fashion (so 1U, then 2U, then 3U, etc.). Each level may have at least one ban list and corresponding 1P stage separating some Pokémon from the main tier, and viability in a given tier is the only criterion for determining whether a Pokémon is placed in a lower tier or not.


    If you’ve looked at the nomenclature for the tiering system you’ll notice that there’s potentially more than one ban tier and that there may be variations on a level's main tier. The reason for this is that although the main tier's ruleset with the necessary bans is usually the end stage, players may desire on occasion to play with variations upon that ruleset. This may mean only part of the total ban list is used, or the ban list is expanded upon. This does not displace the agreed ban list of the tier level and is just an accommodation for players who wish to use a different variant of the ruleset on occasion.

    In addition, if you look at our tiering nomenclature, you’ll notice there are options for xA, xB etc. These are simply used for a tier that is still in an early testing phase (alpha, beta), and hence may not be balanced yet.

    Tier stages are the result of ruleset changes and bans within a tier level. Not all tier stages necessarily remain tiers - a ban tier stage needs to be played afterwards (have a player base) to be considered a tier.


    As a general rule of thumb, decisions are made by holding open discussion, where any user can contribute their views, which raise a number of issues that are then voted on by a council of users that are both proficient at the given tier and committed to the tiering process.

    Determining whether a Pokémon belongs in a given tier is usually based on viability rankings. These rankings are open for everyone with experience in the tier to comment on, with non-council members being encouraged to post in such threads. When the time comes to create the tier below, the council will vote on a specific sub-rank within the viability rankings, or rank if there is no sub-ranking, with all Pokémon above that (sub-)rank automatically being made part of the tier and all of the Pokémon below falling to the tier below. (e.g. if the council votes on C rank Pokémon, all Pokémon in B and above are part of the tier, while all pokemon in D and below fall to the lower tier). The council will decide on these borderline cases by voting on whether or not they belong in the tier, with a simple majority determining the outcome.

    Banning a Pokémon in a given tier can be called for by any user at any given time by posting in the tiers subforum. This will then lead to an open discussion where all users with experience in the metagame are welcome to post their views. If there is a consensus that some action should be taken, or a consensus cannot be reached, the council will vote on whether the nominated Pokémon should be placed in the ban list (OP Rank) for the tier level. These methods are open to variation depending on the stability of the metagame and how quickly trends emerge.

    Council Selection

    The ideal council member is highly skilled at a given tier, understands and is committed to our tiering system, and is active in exploring the tier and participating in discussion. We require a degree of proficiency to ensure that you understand the game well enough to give an informed opinion on it (i.e. you are expected to be competent). Assuming adequate skill, council candidates are selected based on their activity on the forums, their contributions to discussion and interest in our tiering project. The council will always have an odd number of members to ensure that no tied votes occur.


    A ban is merited where a Pokémon/move/item/etc. has a significant negative impact upon the tier's metagames and the subsequent play experience. This is the sole criterion for a ban being implemented, and encompasses various issues such as those relating to balance and undermining the importance of skill, while also focusing on its role in the tier as a whole, which includes any effects on diversity.

    Although most bans will target Pokémon, there is the option of banning other things, such as moves and abilities. This is not ideal, but may sometimes be the best option, as although we should always endeavor to adapt to such things before considering bans, this may not be possible. In such cases, it should be demonstrated that such a ban will either have no impact or a positive one in all environments in which the ban would occur (ie. in. lower tiers - some of which may well not have yet been formed).
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2016
  2. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

    May 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I think in the section on Banning some nod should be to the role of diversity in the tier, i.e. that something which significantly reducing diversity is perceived as a negative impact.
  3. Lutra

    Lutra Site Founder Owner

    Nov 2, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I edited this to make certain lines easier to read and have consistent jargon.

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