Tier List Overview
As arguably the most universal Sync Pair in the game, Sygna Suit Blue & Mega Blastoise does almost everything as a support: he buffs both attacks, he buffs both defenses, he buffs critical hit rate, he makes the gauge, he can tank, and even do damage with Hydro Cannon on rain. Although Sygna Suit Blue doesn't specialize in anything in particular, with most of its buffs being fairly slow and not very reliable as a unit to fully buff your striker by itself, the sheer amount of thing he does makes him at least a decent choice for almost every team and never a deadweight, earning him a spot as one of the top utility units in the game.
Although the RNG mechanic of its primary gimmick may turn players off this excellent pair at first glance, its real power lies in the rest of its toolkit and the singularly broad range of utility it brings to the table. Firstly, potentially unlimited buffs to both offenses (as well as accuracy), and the always-precious Dire Hit All+ enable nearly any Striker in the game, while the area-of-effect nature of Burgh's abilities even allows it to set up two damage dealers at once (an increasingly popular method of team composition). Beyond the core utility of those vital offensive boosts, Togepi's grid allows it to carry Swanna-level Potions and refreshes, while its Trainer Move provides an additional layer of defensive power in the form of an aoe buff to both relevant stats. Metronome itself can still be a decently powerful move, and combined with the relevant Passives is always worth using, but as previously stated it is the massive breadth of its utility moves and passives that make it such an incredible offensive Support and clear Tier 1 write-in.
Although the rise of hyper offensive team comps in which a single Support is expected to bear the weight of two offensive pair's needs, both offensively and defensively, has reduced the previously all-encompassing field of this pair's superfluousness, the fact that this style of play is the first ever for which Alakazam is less than certain to be an optimal choice is telling of the pair's astounding utility. Anywhere else a Special Striker is found, Alakazam's breakneck buffing speed, surprisingly substantial healing, and universally useful Reflect are sure to be found with it, and although its single target boosts aren't quite as ubiquitous on dual-strike teams, they're still more than enough to keep it a competitive option there.
Another beneficiary (similarly to Togepi) of the recent dual-striker renaissance and subsequent increase in the value of aoe Supports and Gauge Acceleration, Xerneas is a prime example of just how powerful F2P units can be. It's also a pair than requires very little explanation; a variety of healing options, incredibly efficient stat boots for the whole team, easy access to Gauge Acceleration, solid inherent bulk. and even a passably useful offensive presence. What more could you want? Its only real limitations are the complications that can arise from requiring a Sync Move to access its stat boosts, but on any team that can afford that allowance it is simply one of the strongest combination tanks in the game.
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.
With the addition of its Sync Grid, Swanna has gone from a powerful tank with good healing and versatile buffs to one of the strongest 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 healing prowess make it one of the game's finest Single Player backup tanks. Additionally, though it lacks the offensive buffs common to its fellow Tier 1's, the value of "Take Flight!"'s aoe Speed boost has only increased over time as a growing number of Strikers rely on it in order to maintain control of the Gauge.
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.
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.
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.
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, and with the rise of debuff-focused compositions has even given it a small niche outside of the weather it was made for.
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.
Packing excellent healing, solid defensive buffs, the rare ability to boost its teammates evasion, and a substantial amount of damage to boot, Starmie is one of the game's strongest backup tanks. There's little more to say, really; any team with space for it that could use a major boost to its survivability will be glad to slot it in.
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.
One of the more tragic victims of recent powercreep, the advent of crazier and crazier support-techs combined with Garchomp's loss of relevance to higher-ceiling Strikers scarcely gave Palossand time to appreciate its time in the meta spotlight. These days, the pair is exclusively fielded by those looking to keep the Sand archetype alive against Ground-weak stages.
Decent damage, excellent self healing, and low gauge requirements make Heliolisk one of the game's best sidemen for teams with space for it. There's really little else to say with this one; self-sustaining strikers have never been more in style, and Heliolisk is the classic exemplar of that archetype.