Community Tier Lists
Tier List Change Log / Latest Changes
4/14/2020: Completely overhauled the Tier List, adding new Sync Pairs, updating explanations, and accounting for Sync Grids and changes to the meta in the placements themselves.
4/30/2020: I update this thing far too often to keep a running changelog at this point, as explanations constantly need updating and pairs are constantly being added. If you have any questions, comments, or criticisms about the Tier List you can email me at [email protected] and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
12/30/2020: Another massive overhaul: by formalizing rules on how sync pair are classified and overhauling outdated placings left over from the Emma era, we're shooting for a more cohesive, up-to-date, and accurate list.
Introduction: Tier List Overall Rules
This tier list is primarily for Single Player content. Our Pokémon Masters tier list is ever evolving post-release as we continue to evaluate information from the game. Check back for updates!
Further details on the rules and formatting of the list can be found just below!
Support Tier List
One of the precious few Sync pairs to sport fabulous versatility and overwhelming power without sacrificing one for the other, Blastoise is such an incredible Support/Tank that it can duo most stages with virtually any Striker. Far and away the best in its role as a dedicated main tank, the single most well rounded stat buffing Support in the game, and the only viable healer that operates independently of Mp, a player who owns both this pair and a powerful Potion user is set to breeze through anything Pokemon Masters can throw at them.
With the addition of its Sync Grid, Swanna has gone from a powerful tank with good healing and versatile buffs to one of the most powerful defensive pairs in the game. Potion Mp Refresh and Master Healer allow teams that include it to last almost indefinitely in Battle Villa, and "Take Flight!" combined with Swanna's good promoted bulk and aforementioned great healing make it one of the game's finest Single Player backup tanks.
Alakazam is one of the few Supports who can take a Striker with absolutely no Self Buffing capability and bring it to a great position to deal damage without another offensive Support. In fact, not only can it bring a Specially Offensive Striker to +6 Sp.Atk and +2 Critical Hit Chance (4/5 moves will Crit), it can also Heal, boost Accuracy, and provide Damage Reduction through Reflect. These things make Alakazam not only one of the game's most powerful offensive Supports, it also makes it incredibly versatile and allows it to be effective on quite literally ANY Specially offensive team, and a fair few Physically offensive ones on top of that.
Lyra's Sync Grid has given it everything people have been saying it needed since its release, and now that it's finally here the pair has snatched several niches away from its fellow Supports to become a highly versatile pair; you can't go wrong with a fully built Lyra on any team looking for supportive buffs. Beyond the myriad of team-wide stat bonuses the Grid gave it (among them the massively powerful Critical Squad), it also completely changed the way Sun teams function by putting Solarize on a pair that's both unlimited and quite good on its own. In today's Pokemon Masters, if you use Sun, you use Meganium without exception; even if you don't, the pair's excellent buff toolbox and respectable bulk make it a welcome addition to any team looking to round out its offensive stat boosts.
Although still a deliciously versatile pair that can cover a lot of ground and see use in many different situations, the introduction of pairs like Alakazam and Blastoise has led to a general shift away from purely stat-boosting tanks, since that kind of option provides the same buffs without sacrificing a slot that could otherwise be used for an additional healer. Still largely unique to Rotom, however, is the incredibly powerful ability to accelerate you Striker's sync move countdown, which in combination with the pair's solid bulk and passives continues to maintain its position on this list.
Starmie's Grid is finally here, and with the increased healing and array of buffs it brought, Starmie has emerged alongside Glalie as one of the game's best backup tanks. A versatile kit, powerful buffs for its team and itself, and even the potential to deal decent damage make Starmie a solid Support and then some.
One of the first pairs to properly pull off an Evasion-based kit, Ribombee is far more than just another seasonal proof of concept 'mon. By compounding teamwide defensive buffs, Gauge support, the absolutely incredible Dire Hit +, and solid tanking abilities into a single role, the pair enables a massive number of comps that were previously either impossible to pull off or entirely reliant on Blastoise (Zekrom-Luxray being one of the most relevant examples of the latter). Even outside of the overloaded teams that depend on powerful Dire Hit tanks like it as the fulcrum of their defenses, Ribombee remains an excellent sideman on any composition with the Gauge to sustain it through the sheer utility it brings to the table.
Steelix's sheer physical bulk and useful moveset make it a great pair in a lot of different situations, and although low Sp.Def does hurt its versatility, when it comes down to it the pair is just one of the game's biggest meat shields, and with the rising popularity of the combination tanks they synergize so well with, this is a niche that's only going to increase in value and more over time.
Solid bulk and an interesting Passive in Power Siphon make Torterra a great Main Tank in both BV and Single Player Event formats, although Good As New's low Mp can stop it from outlasting 3v9s without a backup tank. Overall, worth investing in for Events but rarely the best Battle Villa choice over pairs like Swanna and Mew who don't require additional Support (unless, of course, your team has space for a backup in which case it can perform in BV just as well).
Glalie is a heavily underrated Support who's defensive self buffing and powerful healing make it an excellent complement to a team consisting of a self-sufficient, non Mega reliant Striker and another defensive Support like Swanna or Salamence. Its ability to keep both Supports alive for extended periods of time while constantly raising its own defensive stats make cores like Swanna-Glalie nearly impenetrable, allowing the Striker more than enough time to finish off all 9 opposing Sync Pairs in Battle Villa. With the addition of its sync grid, Glalie also assumed the role of perhaps the game's strongest hail tank. The incredible power of healing hail and ice shell on top of X Regen All makes the pair practically immortal in combination with a hail setter like Alolan Sandslash, who it also sets up wonderfully for damage through its one bar aoe Defense Crusher.
Instant hail on the start of each match that synergizes very well with Alolan Sandslash's mid-late game abilities, the fair amount of bulk and healing the hail passives allow it, and the universally useful ability to raise the team's stats at random make it exactly what hail teams needed in their last slot. Although it doesn't quite match Glalie's versatility as a backup tank, Delibird's myriad of powerful support abilities and the sheer power of Ice Shell combine with its immediate Hail to make it an essential component in one of the game's most powerful playstyles.
By far the best immediate aoe offensive stat buffer, consider Clefairy a somewhat more versatile but less powerful version of Sabrina & Alakazam. While it lacks the Crit boosts and Reflect that make the latter so powerful paired with a single Special Striker, Clefairy's aoe buffs and compatibility with physical attackers opens up a huge number of team building options that no other Support could come close to enabling. Unfortunately, most of the comps Clefairy enables suffer from the lack of bulk inherent on a team with a slot dedicated to stat boosts as opposed to tanking, but the versatility the pair brings to the table still makes it a great pull for those looking to try out a variety of comps in battle Villa or Champion Stadium.
Small a niche as returning lowered stats to normal is with the lack of pairs seriously impacted by that type of debuff anyways, Comfey's solid bulk on top of its rather useful healing and defensive buffs make it undoubtedly the role's primary occupant. In fact, the pair's abilities as a tank are so potent that it can even be used outside that niche as a generic tank with the excellent survivability to defend its Striker for a whole 3v9.
While it's undoubtedly fallen far from its former position as the game's most important Support, Dusknoir is still a solid, versatile main tank that can be used effectively with a wide spectrum of Healers and Strikers. Solid bulk, its trademark access to +3 Critical Chance which remains highly useful despite no longer being unique, and "Unbreakable Bonds!" provides an excellent set of tools that still allow it to function as a powerful, flexible meat shield with a good amount of outside utility as well. Additionally, the introduction of its Sync Grid made it much more Gauge efficient and a good deal bulkier, somewhat mitigating the effects of powercreep on its viability as a main tank.
A great Co-op Support with its powerful Self Buffs and ability to transfer them to its teammates, but this set of skills is not nearly as useful in Single Player. However, it is still a highly useful healer in Battle Villa with its spammable One Bar Tackle, multiple Potions, and occasionally match-stealing Sync Move. Beyond this, it also carries a good deal of utility in other drawn-out modes like Legendary Arena, where it has the time stack ludicrous amounts of Extreme Evoboost buffs and make its Striker even more powerful than the legend it's up against.
The most accessible six star ex form in the game unfortunately comes on a pair that has been ravaged by the passage of time, falling from one of the single most powerful supports in the game to a versatile but not particularly useful tank with decent enough utility to be used anywhere but nowhere near the power to compete.
A highly versatile F2P buffbot who's aoe stat boosts easily fill the gaps in a great many different team comp's offensive stats.
While the universal usefulness of a pair who buffs both Defenses and while regenerating Gauge is undeniable, Salamence's versatility is no longer enough to keep it anywhere near the top in the second decade of the 21st century. Although any team CAN use it, few compositions should as new generations of more powerful pairs and grids have made mence's competition far bulkier, higher in stat boosts, and more efficient as healers while introducing new kinds of utility moves the pair could never hope to match.
Strike (Physical) Tier List
The ability to max out every single one of its stats (barring Speed which it makes up for with Bullet Punch) through its Sync Grid, plenty of Mp Refresh, powerful healing and Endurance, and the single best Attack stat in the game. These things come together to create a complete monster which can be used on any team against any stage and absolutely dominate. If anything is worth calling a top-tier physical Striker, it's Mega Metagross.
Palossand and Garchomp's Sync Grids are both here, and with their addition the Chompossand has shot up from being a gimmick at best to one of the most powerful team cores in the game. Palossand and Garchomp's grids work together so well it's clear that Dena designed them to be used together on purpose, and it pays off in a big way every time they make use of the latter's frankly ridiculous damage in sand to tear apart a BV 3v9 in one attempt.
As far and away the best Hail Setter and Invigorating Hail user in the game, Alolan Sandslash's viability would already be assured as the pair that defines one of the major weather archetypes even without its myriad of other strengths. As it is, with the duo being mostly self sufficient, possessing what is effectively a 75-120 two bar move depending on Grid investment on top of a solid Attack stat, and applying Freeze more consistently than any other pair in the game, Steven can't be called anything but a top tier Striker. Its one and only real weakness, the fair bit of time it takes to reach max Crit as it waits for its Sync Move, is near completely mitigated by the sheer amount of damage the pair is capable of after the Sync Counter is quickly depleted by Icicle Spear's incredible spammability.
Zekrom, in many ways, is the single target equivalent to Garchomp. Although both are nothing more than above average but not totally self-sufficient damage pumps, each gains access to some of the highest dps numbers in the game when combined with the Tech they were built to work with (in this case, Luxray). The only thing keeping the monster that is a Zekrom on Electric Terrain out of the very top of this list is the one glaring weakness of the Zekray core: a complete lack of buffs to Critical Hit Chance. Without access to this essential offensive tool, and shackled at all times to a specific pair in order to reach its maximum potential for damage, Zekrom simply has very few options outside of Blastoise for tanking, healing, and crit boosting all in one slot. Nonetheless, in situations where all the right pairs are available, Zekrom's sheer potential for damage is undeniably one of the game's best.
Perhaps the game's most unique late game Striker, Zacian's versatile typing and sheer damage potential combine to make the Support it requires well worth providing. Its near complete lack of buffs to Crit. Chance as well as its reliance on opposing sync moves can make it a bit of a burden to most team compositions, but the growing number of tanky Critical Supports (Blastoise being the most prominent example) make its damage dealing requirements much easier to fulfill. What makes this worth it over simply using a mores self-sufficient pair is the truly outstanding damage it deals between its blinding speed, devastating Sync Move, and the awesome power of Behemoth Blade. Even relative to top strikers like Charizard and Pheromosa, the numbers Zacian can put out with proper investment seriously push the limits of what this type of pair is capable of.
The scarcity of early game Dark strikes combined with the pair's sheer damage potential make it an excellent addition to most player's barracks, although an unimpressive setup time and a lack of utility outside of sheer damage keep it from the upper reaches of the list.
While the old standby Striker Lycanroc has been circumstantially affected by the encroachment of powercreep since release day, it still holds up surprisingly well in a vacuum and remains a truly excellent general use Striker. While the addition of monsters like Golisopod and Pherosma has deprived it of its former place as the game's best early game assassin, there still is and always will be a place for a pair who can, with little to no investment, be slotted onto any team carry players through most of the game's content. Although it's no longer the best at any one thing, above average bulk and Attack, a delightfully quick setup phase, and a still more than satisfactory dps output make Lycanroc one of the game's most versatile pairs to this day.
Blazingly fast and offensively self-sufficent, Sharpedo is a more than solid Striker who suffers from a few key issues keeping it out of the top tier. Firstly, almost all of its precious offense buffs come after its Sync Move, making it nearly dead weight till that point (3 is a lot of Gauge to spend on a Defense debuff from Liquidation). Additionally, its heavy recoil means it requires serious healing Support to come anywhere near its full potential (although Master Healer Potion users like Pikachu and Swanna can do this rather painlessly). Other than those issues, however, Sharpedo's debuffs, Grid, and Passives help offset its lackluster Attack Stat and make it a good choice for a wide variety of teams.
The Lucky Skill Lessen Confusion 9 has finally given Haxorus what it's always wanted: mitigation of the effects of Confusion without losing all the bonuses. Now that it finally has that, it's started to see a great amount of use as a totally self-sufficient Striker who makes up for its lackluster Stats through a monstrously powerful Moveset and Sync Grid. Carry On in particular has made it such a consistent Battle Villa force through Mp independent Attack buffs that it's become on of the first 3 star promotions for most new players.
One of many formerly obsolete Strikers revitalized into perfectly viable Sync Nukers by the introduction of their grids, Zebstrika's Electric typing and generally excellent grid damage buffs makes it a more than serviceable alternative to Zekrom on E Terrain teams and a solidly powerful offensive pair all around.
The addition of Emboar's Sync Grid to the game has transformed it from an inconsistent, one-dimensional Striker into a highly versatile pair that can effectively fulfill a variety of roles. Firstly, this new version of Emboar can reprise its old role as a straightforward Striker with renewed vigor thanks to skills like Standfast, Desperate Measures, and Inertia patching up its former weaknesses. Past that, its new roles also include a surprisingly bulky, incredibly fast healing tank as a well as several variations on the theme of Sync nuking.
Golisopod is an extremely high investment pair who, while still a decent occupant of the early game hyper offensive bug niche, now faces such stiff competition from pairs like Pheromosa and Volcarona that the fully merged sync grid it requires to function can be difficult to justify. The still-considerable power of No Quarter and the additional defensive utility it has over its competition still make it a great choice for an extremely wide spectrum of teams, but the pair simply no longer measures up to the defining metagame forces it once competed with.
Mp Refresh on its Dire Hit+ combined with the rest of Jigglypuff's offensive buffs coming from Passive Skills make it a delightfully reliable Striker in the Battle Villa, although the time it takes to build these up can make it difficult to use in Events. Additionally, the pair's access to Good Night-Mare makes it an excellent option on Sleep team, and this of course gives it an excellent niche in LA where that archetype is most common. Overall, not a meta-definer, even in any of its two good formats, but certainly a great option and well worth using, especially against stages weak to Fairy.
As much as the passage of time has hurt Feraligatr's flexibility, the uniqueness of its typing, and even its stats relative to its competition, that 170 base power Mega Kick still hits like an absolute truck. Slap the pair on any team with an accuracy support (Rotom and Alakazam spring to mind) and start clicking the Kick and anything weak to water should dissolve in seconds.
Versatile, above average fighting type damage in a speedy vessel with a lack of defensive utility as its only real downside. What more could you want? Sure, it doesn't do much to distinguish itself from its contemporaries, but if you're in need of straight-up, reliable, fighting type damage Lucario is a really solid choice who doesn't even need to be scouted.
A solid mixed attacking sync nuker, plain and simply. Nothing outstanding, but what it does it does well and it even comes with a few neat tricks like Phantom Force's temporary guaranteed evasion and Shadow Ball's chance to lower enemy Special Defense.
As underwhelming a pair as Nate often seems to be, Nate's self sufficiency, genuinely passable damage, and interesting Fly+Evasive Rush gimmicks actually allow it to see genuine use on a few genuinely powerful team comps.
That's right, our little champion beats the odds as always and comes out on top again. #westannate
Strike (Special) Tier List
With the game's fastest route to Mega Evolution, access to both Damage Types as well as Aoe and a Four Bar Move, incredible all-around Stats, and the ability to quickly max out its Critical Chance and Sp.Atk, Charizard is quite simply the Ultimate Striker. It can be easily slotted onto any Team due to its self sufficiency, and its sheer power and efficiency mean it more often than not SHOULD be slotted onto any team.
While Volcarona can't claim to do nearly as many things at once as Charizard, it's still one of the most devastating damage dealers in the game. No matter how you spin it, maxed offensive stats in one buff and a type shifted Hyper Beam make for a pair that can easily be slotted on any team you can think of and still quickly blow the other side of the field away. Although the Volcarona is extremely weak to physical aoe, isn't always the most gauge efficient, and needs to remake its whole Grid in order to switch between Struggle Bug and Hyper Beam, the sheer damage, near instantaneous setup, and ease of use it brings to the table makes it a top pick for any format not called Battle Villa (where its lone single use buff can be underwhelming).
Sceptile's awesome speed and power have kept it relevant ever since the game's release as one of the most versatile offensive pairs available. Incredibly efficient self buffs on top of the excellent dps it maintains throughout an entire match (even ramping that number up through Ramming Speed) are really all anyone could want from a non-mega striker, and Sceptile delivers these in spades. The pair's only real downside is its reliance on the Dauntless Lucky Skill to prevent Leaf Storm's Sp.Atk drop, without which it remains a powerhouse damage dealer but loses the self sufficiency that makes it such a flexible pair.
With Metagross level stats straight from the outset of each match, Pheromosa is second to only Volcarona and perhaps Sceptile in its role as one of the most effective early game strikers in the meta. While it lacks the level of universal utility that makes Charizard the best choice for maybe 60% of stages, its sheer immediate power allows it to do something the latter often finds difficult: remove priority pairs from the opposing side of the field before they have time to become threatening. This affords it a massive advantage against stages with team-buffing or screen-setting opponents, while its dual typing and the debuffs inherent to its moves provide it another two niches safe from Charizard's near omnipresent shadow. Unfortunately, the pair's extreme frailty can often make it difficult to maintain, and it's often outclassed on the general dps front by contemporaries like Sceptile and Alder who's damage stems more from buffs than stats. To conclude, Pheromosa excels in its niches but can easily fall flat anywhere outside of them, so while everyone should definitely scout one it's far from most important thing in the game.
Despite its clunky setup phase and fierce Dragon type competition, Kommo-O's sheer lategame power and the game's current drought of top tier Special attackers are such that the pair is still an excellent option for Events and Legendary Arenas. In the Battle Villa, while Haxorus generally outclasses it in terms of reliability and longevity, if Support is set aside for it Kommo-O is very often the battering ram needed to break down a particularly difficult Stage and clear the way for a sweep. Overall, while its janky moveset and comparatively low stats keep it from the upper echelon of the game's offensive meta, once it gets going it can swing with the best of 'em, and that kind of dps can never be ignored.
Tied with Charizard X for highest Sp.Atk in the game with decent self buffs and great Speed to boot, in a vacuum the pair seems like far and away one of the game's best. Unfortunately for it, Charizard X's downright insane Passives and buffing potential completely outclass it in its main niche, and it simply can't compare to something like Pheromosa or Sceptile in the early game with its 2 bar moves before Mega. Still, it's the best flying type Striker we've got by a wide margin and is versatile enough to leverage its amazing lategame dps on a huge variety of teams.
Far above average lategame dps combined with total self-sufficiency would already make Houndoom more than viable in its role as a Mega Striker, but what keeps the pair so relevant to the meta are the synergies between its sync grid and the various Techs it's generally partnered with. While it can proc skills like Overpower and the "Fighting" skills on its own, it's only when Houndoom is paired with a disruption or status user like Pallosand or Crobat that its full power is unveiled, gaining massive damage boosts against the enemies its partners will keep permanently debuffed.
The incredibly powerful Hyper Beam combined with Dragonite's excellent stats give it the potential to deal excellent damage, but it's complete lack of self buffing means it requires a huge amount of Support from its team to accomplish this. Not the most versatile Striker in the world, but make it work for you and the damage you'll deal will rival most top tier strikers.
As the game's (for now) strongest Fighting type dps option, Wally's place on this list would likely already be assured did it not also come with the extremely powerful Low Sweep, mixed attacking capability, and the rare ability to critically hit its Sync Move with 100% reliability. As it stands, the pair is simply an exceedingly powerful, well rounded striker in its own right who will likely remain viable even after the addition of further Fighting type competition.
Despite the serious team slot commitment required to make Typhlosion work (offensive buffs and consistent healing are necessities for use, while the pair's full damage potential will only come out in the sun), the frankly ridiculous damage numbers it can pump out under the right conditions makes the effort more than worth it. It turns out that Hp Advantage 5, Superdupereffective 1, Bob and Weave, and the sun's boost to fire type moves compounding an already hugely powerful Eruption just isn't something many enemies can take.
Although the pair is undoubtedly possessed of both excellent dps potential and a considerable amount of versatility, its unfortunate shared typing with the excellent Blue & Pidgeot stops it from dominating its niche as contemporaries like Volcarona or Gallade are able to. The pair would certainly be excellent did it exist in a vacuum, but there's simply very little incentive to use it over its generally more powerful and accessible rival.
One of the strongest Legendary Sync pairs we've seen yet, Palkia is one of the few Strikers able to circumvent poor attacking stats through the sheer power of its moveset and Passive. While it does require a significant amount of Support to take advantage of Hydro Pump and Critical Strike 9's sheer power, pairs like Torchic and especially Alakazam that it synergizes with can transform the pair into a massively powerful early game force, while its dual typing and devastating Sync Move somewhat mitigate its issues with flexibility.
As the most powerful Ghost type striker in the game from a purely dps focused perspective (and not much else), there really isn't all that much to explain with this placing. Got a good defensive core and need to slot in a ghost type? Mismagius is generally the go-to.
Interestingly enough, Reuniclus' grid has given it a highly sought-after niche as one of the game's strongest weather tanks. Sand and Snow Shelter in its grid combined with Vigilance in the Lucky Slot and its powerful healing and Move Gauge Regen make Reuniclus an absolutely incredible meat shield for any Sand or Hail based team, a far cry from its former role as a mediocre special attacker.
As undoubtedly the best of the game's Dauntless Draco Meteor archetype, Clair fills a solid, though small niche as the go-to for early game Dragon Type Special damage. Although it loses out to chief rival and fellow f2p unit Haxorus in terms of sheer flexibility (the latter's constantly repeatable self buffs make it an omnipresent force in the Villa), it makes up for this in the sheer damage Paralysis Synergy Draco Meteor dishes out. On top of passable stats, awesome Rain synergy, and the power of Paralysis, this is enough to make Kingdra the one time use nuke yin to Haxorus' consistently increasing damage yang, and both are excellent candidates for your hard-earned tickets and candies (which to go for first depends on your roster's needs, but Haxorus is generally considered the more overall useful pair, especially for new players).
Empoleon's Sync Grid has come a decent way towards fixing its cripplingly weak moveset, but still not quite enough to make it any significant part of the meta. Still, there aren't many other (especially F2P) options for those seeking Water type sync nukers, and the pair is certainly viable when properly supported with the offensive buffs it needs, so if you're in a hurry to take down a Water-weak stage you'll find Barry a more than serviceable option.
Leavanny is a unique, fairly powerful striker who's great debuffs and ability to boost its own stats without spending Mp make an excellent choice for Battle Villa. In Event battles and Legendary Arena, however, Leavanny suffers from a lack of buffs to Critical Hit Chance and mediocre offensive stats, and is really only usable in these formats on Sun Teams where it's outclassed by pairs like Charizard and Ho-oh.
Mewtwo has, perhaps more than any other sync pair in the game, been objectively annihilated by the passage of time, losing nearly all of its old niches with only the introduction of Psychic Terrain on a pair that totally outclasses it as consolation. Although its stats are excellent and a dual typing can, in some highly niche situations, be more practical than just properly planning out your team, these two things are literally all the pair has going for it. Inefficent self buffs relative to other Strikers, moves with relatively low base power, and worst of all, a complete lack of useful Passives or a Sync Grid to provide it the percentage damage boosts it so desperately needs in order to keep up have left its actual damage potential mediocre at best, and it provides no utility outside of pure dps whatsoever. Need Ghost type damage? Use Morty or Fantina. Need Psychic type damage? Ironically enough, the pair who's Psychic terrain could have made Mewtwo viable again (Musharna) totally outclasses it in terms of damage, so just use it instead. Need literally anything else? Mewtwo is useless to you as those two niches were all it had going for it. All that's left for it to do now is occasionally play second fiddle to Musharna on dual strike comps, or, hilariously, be a worse Drifblim.
Tech Tier List
As arguably the single most important tank in the Pokemon Masters meta, Venusaur (along with powerhouses like Charizard and Delphox) is one of the few five star pairs that can be called truly essential parts of every player's roster. Venusaur provides more healing and damage than any other tank in today's version of the game, as well as the excellent bulk and utility to put those traits to use better than any other tank could hope to. On top of this, its grid turns what was already a ridiculously useful pair into a highly specialized tool, perfectly able to round out the weaknesses of virtually any team it's considered for. In short, the best way to describe a pair like Venusaur is this: the complete package.
Delphox continued the tradition of powerful Fire Type Tech pairs by instantly becoming one of the game's most centralizing damage dealers as well as by far its most powerful status spreader immediately upon release. Even without considering its excellent potential DPS, the sheer power of Go Viral allows Delphox the incredibly supportive utility to see use on almost any team. This isn't to discount that DPS though; a quick look at the pair's Sync Grid reveals one of the most potent Strikers we've ever seen with all sorts of multipliers turning its Dauntless Overheats into what is likely the most powerful unbuffed Move in the game. In conclusion, this may be the first pair since the days of Garchomp and Charizard that can truly be called meta-defining and it absolutely deserves its place on top of this list.
With decent Bulk, massive Evasion boosts, and the incredible First Aid 4 on top of the debuffs it provides, Mew is an incredibly effective tank on teams that have space for it. It even has the added utility of doing all this without requiring buffs, making it excellent at sweeping through Battle Villa halls when in combination with Potion Refreshers like Swanna or Venusaur.
One of the game's best damage Mp-independent damage dealers, Crobat can be considered the Poison counterpart to Torkoal and its Burn Synergy Embers. As a Poison user and less bulky pair all-around, Crobat fulfills a much more offensive role than its parallel. It achieves this by making up for the loss of Burn's defensive utility through the sheer power of Toxic Poison's scaling damage and Venoshock's base power. It's because of these things that Crobat is such an excellent choice for powerful Battle Villa defensive cores like Mew-Swanna as well as an extremely important part of the Legendary Arena meta where it's by far the most practical Poison user.
For a long, long time Palossand was nothing more than an enabler for Garchomp. However, with the addition of its Sync Grid, it has become on the of the game's best Support substitute Tech Pairs with the ability to raise its team's Attack and Critical Hit Rate through Sandstorm Banner and Focus Group. On top of this, it can be extremely hard to knock out since Soothing Sand, Sand Shelter, and "Over Here!" give it access to so much Healing and damage resistance. Finally, it can still fulfill its role as a Garchomp enabler better than ever, and since that team has emerged as one of the game's strongest with advent of Garchomp's Sync Grid, Palossand's place on this tier list well deserved.
With the introduction of Zekrom to the game, Luxray has become an integral piece of one of the game's highest dps team cores. Beyond that, investment in the pair will become more and more valuable, as every Electric Striker added to the game makes it more and more versatile. Further still, the flexibility inherent to the pair's grid gives it a strong basis in its niche as an offensive tank before considering the power of Electric Terrain.
The game's best Rain setter by a huge margin and an excellent damage dealer in its own right, Swampert is an awesomely powerful tech that defines the Rain spam playstyle. Additionally, its excellent standalone dps and tech abilities make it a great sideman even outside of that context, granting it a versatility few of its fellow terrain techs can manage. It's kept for now from becoming a meta-dominating force by the lack of a powerhouse rain Striker capable of abusing Swampert the way pairs like Garchomp and Zekrom abuse their respective field conditions, but this is bound to change eventually and send the pair even further up the tier list (Mirror B. and Ludicolo, anyone?).
We've come a long way since Xatu, haven't we? An excellent movepool, unique terrain, and highly flexible sync grid make Musharna an extremely versatile offensive tank that can put out massive dps while supporting its team and constantly healing off any damage that gets through excellent boosted bulk stats. Although Eevee-based comps looking to push Stored Power to its absolute limit are certainly viable, Musharna truly shines as a sideman paired with a Psychic Striker like Mewtwo to take full advantage of terrain and a healer like Alakazam to keep it topped off on health throughout the match.
Although its lack of a sync grid and the advance of powercreep over time have pretty much completely eroded its utility as a team's primary Striker, Gengar's immense speed and access to Sleep has kept it a mainstay of cheesy status chaining teams since the game's release. Not even Serena's usurpation of this niche has stopped the pair from dominating neatly any stage in the game, and as long as Sleep stays as broken as it is this isn't likely to change.
On paper, Ramos appears to be another casualty of the centralizing force that is Delphox's niche theft, but in practice it turns out that this game's sleep mechanics are so nuts busted that the identity of the pair administering them scarcely matters.
Although it requires careful team planning and high grid commitment in order to reach its full potential, a properly played Tsareena can be one of the most effective sidemen in the game. Its excellent damage and useful debuffs are, however, often outweighed by the difficulty of balancing those debuffs with constant application of Teeter Dance and sunny weather in order to maintain the conditional damage boosts it relies on in order to maintain the dps that makes it worthwhile.
Although the pair borderline requires a fully invested Sync Grid for use (and its 6 star ex form in order to reach its real potential), that investment is often well worth it as a properly set up Milotic is one of the most versatile and powerful offensive tanks in the game. Unearthly levels of healing, the immensely powerful sterner stuff, the ability to block opposing status while applying its own trapped condition, and a massive number of damage boosts combine to allow the pair to achieve such ridiculous feats as soling certain Legendary Arenas and 2v9ing most full force battles with ease. Although the setup and commitment it requires is immense, the rewards Wallace & Milotic are capable of providing more often than not make it all worth it.
Decent damage, excellent self healing, and low gauge requirements make Heliolisk one of the game's best sidemen for teams with space for it (of which there aren't many, but that are often some of the most durable in the game, particularly in the Battle Villa). On top of this, they also allow for fun gimmicks like soloing the first 15 halls of the villa or taking on easier Full Force battles with a single pair.
A powerful and easy to use way to inflict Paralysis without using too much Gauge, along with a great Sync grid that gives it plenty of Bulk and a great amount of Synergy with sun teams makes Vileplume one of Single Player's best Status spreaders.
Although indisputably an excellent Sync Nuker at 3/5, the frankly unreasonable amount of investment using it for this purpose requires makes it extremely difficult to justify the effort (especially as the pair is nothing more than the game's least reliable status spreader without full grid access). If a late game Flying Striker is necessary, Mega Pidgeot's offer of comparable performance for a relatively miniscule cost makes it far the more practical option. On top of this, generic Sync Nukers outside of the Flying type niche are abundantly available through the game's main story, some of which are even more effective in that role than Togekiss itself. Overall, a more than solid pair for the die-hard Skyla fans out there, but one with too steep an entry barrier to become a prevalent part of the meta.
While its reliance on slow debuffs and lack of upfront bulk can make it difficult to use, its versatile toolkit and and ability to function without Mp make it a solid option in Legendary Arena and especially Battle Villa. Trapping, aoe debuffs, and above all Hp Regen are immensely valuable in the Villa, and it even makes up for a lack of Mp Refresh on its primary defensive buff through the incredible Intimidate. In the Arena, although aoe isn't quite as big a deal, debuffs being permanent make Masquerain excellent at neutering a boss for the duration of a run and a great option alongside Crobat or Torkoal on stall.
With debuffs, Evasion, self healing, Flinch, and most of all damage in spades Lycanroc brings a lot to the table, but its reliance on Sand puts it in the tough position of vying for the same spot as what would normally be a main tank on Pallosand-Garchomp. This sacrifice heavily reduces the team's survivability, but the sheer amount of Tech utility Lycanroc provides does allow it to compete on a somewhat even footing for the spot. By losing pairs like Renuiclus or Swanna in favour of Lycanroc, you exchange the ability to shrug off a certain number of powerful hits for Leer's increased damage, Staggering Accelrock's Flinch chance, and Shifting Sand's small but useful Evasion chance. This choice mostly depends on the opposing pairs the team aims to beat and general player preference, but Lycanroc's Grid has made it a fine option with which to round out standard sand.