Pokémon Legends: Arceus raises many questions about the future of Pokémon’s official competitive format. VGK. Will Frostbite replace Frozen status? Will Drowsy Sleep replace? How will powerful new moves like Stone Ax and Victory Dance turn into a “typical” Pokémon game? Will there be a typical Pokémon game again? Until Game Freak tells us otherwise, we can only guess.
However, there are questions we have answers to – or at least very educated guesses – such as whether a fully developed seven new Pokémon and ten new Hisui forms will be viable in the VGC.
We’ve been through the tall grass of websites like Bulbapedia and Serebiusstudying estimated movement pools, base stats, and data mining abilities to figure out if you should train Hisuan Electrode before Generation IX.
For simplicity, we have broken the mons into levels. Because who doesn’t love a good list of levels?
Level D: Hot Garbodor
Only one Pokémon is in the pathetic D-tier, and that’s Hisuan Awalugg. The original Avalugg, a pure ice type, has found several niche roles in the online ranked Sword and Shield fights. However, his Hisuan form, now a type of ice and stone, loses all of its redeeming qualities, doubling down on its weaknesses to combat and steel – both of which are common attack types. A single melee or flashbang can send Awalugg back to the Ice Age.
C-Tier: Simply Outclassed
These Pokemon are not hopeless, but there are much better options out there. Take Hisuian Arcanine for example: In non-Incineroar formats, the original Arcanine dominates as a supporting user of Intimidate, Snarl and Will-O-Wisp. Like Hisuian Avalugg, Hisuian Arcanine becomes 4x weaker to ground and water with the addition of a set of rocks, making it more of a hindrance than an asset, unlike its predecessor.
Hisuian Braviary also fails. The original Braviary featured some play with the Defiant ability and the use of Tailwind. In Hisui, the Braviari loses his speed, weakening his ability to set up Tailwind before opponents can launch an attack, and changes his attack stat to his special attack, negating any benefits gained from the Defiant.
In the competition for the best Hisuan variant, the new Decidueye form comes in last place, although it still ranks first as the most difficult to pronounce. The average speed stat hinders this Pokemon both in and out of the Trick Room, leaving it vulnerable to its many, many weaknesses without being able to use its decent move pool and attack stats.
Hisuian Electrode is not doing well either. While it boasts tremendous base speed, its terrible offensive stats preclude its use as a sweeper. Electrode has access to decent support moves, but many other Pokémon with broken abilities, such as Prankster and better typing, perform better in the support role.
Level B: if the stars align
These Pokémon can become a mainstay in certain formats and under the right conditions, depending on whether there are general counters or more powerful alternatives. Most of Hisui’s new monsters fall into this row.
Basculegion, an evolution of Basculin, is difficult to establish. Jellicent has proven that the Water/Ghost type works well defensively, and with the Basculegion male’s excellent health and above average attack, he can treat the game as a defensive center, hitting the opponent hard before switching with Flip Turn or sniper knockouts with Aqua Jet . Two of his abilities, Rattled and Adaptability, also show great potential.
There isn’t much to say about Skeeter’s new evolution, Clivora. With huge attack stats and the Sheer Force ability, few Hisuan Pokémon hit harder than him. With the proper support from Tailwind or redirecting moves like Follow Me or Rage Powder, Kleavor could take down opposing teams.
Overqwil is tier B for two reasons: his Poison/Dark type has only one weakness, and he has one of the best abilities in the game, Intimidate. If he gets better in attack or support in the future, Overqwil could get to Tier A.
Landing a Hisuian Samurott at B-level can be something of a reach – its average speed and unimpressive offensive stats scream C-level. However, his Water/Dark type boasts six resistances and one immunity without any obvious weakness. With a held object, for example Assault vest and investment in his defensive stats, Samurott could stay in the game for a long time, strafing the opposing team.
The Sneasler isn’t as cool as its Weavile counterpart, though it could be more viable. Poison/Brawl is neither the best nor the worst combo, and the great speed – one of the highest in Hisui – means we can’t discount Sneezler. If his mediocre abilities and fragility don’t hold him back, Sneezler will find his place on some super-offensive teams.
Arguably Hisuian’s best starter, Tyflozion earns his place in the B-tier with a good special attack stat, decent speed, and a wide range of useful moves – especially Eruption, which, judging by meta-standard Pokémon like Torkoal, can quickly ruin an opponent’s day in the right situations. We wouldn’t be surprised if Hisuan Typhlosion appeared from time to time in Scarf choice.
Stantler got a much-needed evolution with Wyrdeer, a Pokémon that shows potential as a Trick Room setter by switching the scenario to fast, strong teams. And just like Overqwil, we can’t count Pokémon with Intimidate. Combined with decent heft and just two shortcomings, we could see a lot of Vairdir in the future.
Zoroark is equipped with one of the most interesting abilities of all Pokémon – illusion. This ability allows Zoroark to appear as a Pokémon behind the player’s group, confusing opponents and causing ineffective attacks. Hisuan Zoroark is no different, although now, as the first Normal/Ghost Pokemon type, it has even more ways to confuse opponents. Any normal, combat, or ghost move thrown at a Zoroark disguised as another Pokémon will do absolutely nothing. With Hisuyan Zoroark’s impressive speed and special attack stats, the mind games that Illusion creates can be powerful – or useless, as was the case with the original Zoroark before it.
A-Tier: get used to them
There’s little reason to believe that Pokémon of this tier won’t see enough play, short of a strong counterattack. Take Hisuian Goodra for example. Compared to the original Goodra, he loses some speed and gains some defensive stats with the addition of one of the best types in the game to make him a dragon/steel. This definition of a wall is a Pokémon that can withstand multiple hits while dealing significant damage in return. He also rolls three good abilities that are hard to choose between. Expect to see Goodra both in Trick Room and other teams.
Yes, Hisuian Lilligant does suffer from a grass/combat type. One hit of Air Slash will turn Lilligant into mulch. On a solar team that uses the weather effect to increase speed among other benefits, Lilligant will outperform almost all Pokémon thanks to his Chlorophyll ability. With combat-type lighting and status moves like Sleep Powder, Hisuan Lilligant threatens to be just as oppressive as Pokémon like Venusaur. Not to mention his signature move Dance of Victory — which seems incredibly powerful — and how that could translate into next-gen gaming.
Finally, Ursaluna may look like a bear, but is actually a truck. Slow, invulnerable and furry truck. With an insane HP stat that negates his weaknesses to normal attack types like Ice and Fight, Ursaluna’s stunning attack stat combined with powerful STAB Moves like Earthquake, Double Edge, or his signature move Swift Dash ensure Ursaluna finds her place on many teams, especially as a Trick Room cleaner. Be afraid of the moon bear.
Tier S: Tremble Before Our New Queen
Forces of nature — or Genie Pokémon — have terrorized VGC for a decade. An argument could be made that Landorus, when legal, is the most oppressive Pokémon outside of Incineroar, and more recently, Zacian.
Now there’s another one: Enamorus, which comes with an awesome Fairy/Flying font and two shapes. His incarnated form boasts above-average speed and attack, while his Therian form has surprising bulk and slow enough speed to abuse Trick Room. Combined with the insane Contrary ability that causes stat changes to have the opposite effect, there’s no reason not to think any future VGC meta will shift to appease Enamorus’ pink reign of terror if/when it becomes legal.
It’s all! With the exception of the Origin forms for Dialga and Palkia, which change little in how they function in competitive play, these are all fully evolved Hisuian Pokémon in the rankings. Keep in mind that depending on certain rules and which Pokémon are legal, even weaker Pokémon like Pachirisu may leading teams to world championship victories. That’s the beauty of Pokémon – even if the mon isn’t seem viable, they can still find a powerful niche.
Let us know in the comments which Hisui Pokémon you’re sure to see play in future VGC formats, and don’t forget to scold us if you think we misplaced a Pokémon in the wrong level.