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Eswandar

HeartGold/SoulSilver Nuzlocke Tier List

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This is a tier list for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, however, this list is unique in that it is specifically designed for a Nuzlocke playthrough. I did a few searches and I don’t think anyone has made one of these so I figured I’d give it a shot. The specific rules I had in mind for this list are as follows:

-You may only catch the first Pokemon you see in each area. If you accidentally knock it out, move on. Towns count as their own areas; many towns have water and Headbutt-able trees containing Pokemon.

-Exception to rule one: You do not have to catch duplicates. Keep searching until you find a non-dupe. I will keep this rule in mind while placing some rarer Pokemon.

-Event Pokemon, Gift Pokemon, and Shiny Pokemon are freebies.

-If a Pokemon faints, it goes into the PC permanently.

-Trading is not allowed with an exception for evolution-by-trade and in-game trades.

Placement on this list differs from a normal tier list in a few ways. Obviously the number one thing is the one Pokemon per route thing. Rarer Pokemon are going to get somewhat shafted because the chances of finding them are much lower. However using rule 2 to your advantage can mitigate this. Durability is also slightly more important in a Nuzlocke playthrough. If a Pokemon faints every once in a while in a normal playthrough that’s fine and dandy, but in a Nuzlocke you could lose a valuable teammate. Other things to keep in mind are raw stats, typing, ability, moveset, TM learnset, and HM utility (Not as important). A “Perfect” Pokemon would be as follows:

-Given as a gift at the beginning of the game

-Found on every route

-Has high stats

-Learns powerful moves from level one

-Levels up fast

-Can learn every TM and HM

-Resistant to every type

-Has a good ability

Stuff like that.

Before we begin, here’s a quick list of the freebies you can find throughout the game.

Gift Pokemon:

Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile

Togepi

Spearow

Eevee

Shuckle

Tyrogue

Dratini

InGame Trades:

Onix (For Bellsprout)

Machop (For Drowzee)

Voltorb (For Krabby)

Dodrio (For Dragonair)

Event Pokemon:

Sudowoodo

Red Gyarados

Lapras

Electrode

Without further ado…

TOP

Cyndaquil

Totodile

Red Gyarados

VERY HIGH

Nidoran (m)

Nidoran (f)

Sudowoodo

Geodude

Wooper

Rattata

HIGH

Mareep

Drowzee

Spearow

Machop

Chinchou

Tentacool

Sandshrew (HeartGold)

Lapras

UPPER-MID

Jolteon

Vaporeon

Bellsprout

Chikorita

Girafarig

Magmar

Staryu

Krabby

Togepi

Sentret

Zubat

Caterpie

MID

Meowth (SoulSilver)

Ekans (SoulSilver)

Heracross

Poliwag

Magnemite

Aipom

Koffing

Flareon

Electrode

Scyther

Pinsir

Dratini

Skarmory (SoulSilver)

Pidgey

Hoothoot

Onix

Growlithe

Oddish

Vulpix

Espeon

Mankey (HeartGold)

LOWER-MID

Slowpoke

Doduo

Tangela

Gligar (HeartGold)

Jynx

Mantine (HeartGold)

Phanpy (HeartGold)

Swinub

Teddiursa (SoulSilver)

Psyduck

LOW

Abra

Shuckle

Weedle

Exeggcute

Shellder

Goldeen

Tauros

Miltank

Farfetch’d

Lickitung

Seel

Horsea

Dunsparce

VERY LOW

Pineco

Umbreon

Hoppip

Paras

Tyrogue

Corsola

Rhyhorn

Venonat

Diglett

Yanma

Smeargle

Gastly

BOTTOM

Spinarak (HeartGold)

Ledyba (SoulSilver)

Snubbull

Marill

Remoraid

Magikarp

Natu

Unown

Sunkern

NOPE

Ditto

Wobbuffet

SAFARI ZONE- (I wasn’t sure where to place these guys, because Nuzlocke rules concerning the Safari Zone can get fuzzy. I’ll leave them here for now.)

Jigglypuff

Clefairy

Slowbro

Mr. Mime

Misdreavus

Murkrow

Houndour

Grimer

Kangaskhan

Larvitar

Cubone

I realize this isn't perfect so feel free to offer comments/criticism or argue Pokes up or down. Cheers :newyears:

Edited by Eswandar

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Why is chico so damn high? Its deadweight in 3 out of 4 fist gyms, costs you super starter, Brings nothing to the table that bellsprout etc does not...

All me to take a shot at explaining why--I don't know if this is his logic, but let's see here...

It's not top tier because of a couple of things you mentioned, such as taking the place of totodile and cyndaquil. However, let's compare the one example that you brought out: bellsprout.

First of all, Chikorita has a huge leg up on bellsprout in that it can be gotten with 100% success. You can't count on obtaining a bellsprout, while chikorita is a pretty solid grass type that you can get with no chance involved. Moreover, Chikorita's movepool, especially at the start, is considerably superior to bellsprout's: bellsprout's only grass type move that it would learn until level 39 (long after you likely would have let it evolve) is vine whip--35 base power (52.5 with STAB) and 15 base PP. Most of bellsprout's attacks are more like impeding attacks such as sleep powder. The only thing I'd give it points for is the move growth. By the way, the move that bellsprout learns at level 39 is razor leaf. Guess what Chikorita learns at level 6? Yep, razor leaf. She gets a base power 55 (82.5 with STAB) base PP 25 at level six! And then she learns good supporting moves such as synthesis, reflect, and light screen, the latter of which helps everyone out.

Bellsprout and Chikorita both have "medium slow" experience growths. So, they level up at the same rate, but chikorita evolves at 16, while bellsprout evolves at level 21. Then, after that, weepinbell evolves with the help of a leaf stone... except, the leaf stone can only be received by getting 1st in the bug-catching contest, a pokegear call at route 34, and then showing bill an oddish or finding one in viridian forest. I'm not familiar with the bug-catching contest rules of nuzlocke, but pretending you can only catch the first pokemon you see there, you're going to be there for a while. A long while. The rest can only be achieved by waiting or by getting to Kanto! So, it's pretty likely you'll be stuck with Weepinbell for a while. And Weepinbell is only slightly superior to Meganium (gotten at the mere level 32) in terms of attack and special attack, while Meganium is superior in /every other stat/. And pretending you somehow got lucky and got Victreebell, he still only gets a slight boost over Meganium in attack and special attack while /still/ being weaker than Meganium in every other stat /and/ having a weaker movepool. Come to think, Victreebelll only learns two moves, and those are at level 47, which will only become useful later in the game.

That's kind of why I think they are where they are. Bellsprout is still in high tier, you see, just that it's inferior to Chikorita.

I also never debate with this kind of stuff, so if it's really bad, then you know why. :D

Edited by Lux Aeterna

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Oh yeah bellsprout is at high

...

Why on earth Bellsprout is at high!?

...

Anyway Chico has no good reason to be used. Its a dead weight on Falkner meaning you either A) Catch Geodude/Flaaffy/Bellsprout or B) GG

Against Bugsy... good luck taking U-turn to the face.

Against Miltank... Nothing to hold your breath for

Against Morty... Shadow ball goes gg while your stab is resisted

Against Chuck... Rapes Poliwrath

So Chico did nothing of value for first 4 gyms. That is half the game. That is not very high performance

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All me to take a shot at explaining why--I don't know if this is his logic, but let's see here...

It's not top tier because of a couple of things you mentioned, such as taking the place of totodile and cyndaquil. However, let's compare the one example that you brought out: bellsprout.

First of all, Chikorita has a huge leg up on bellsprout in that it can be gotten with 100% success. You can't count on obtaining a bellsprout, while chikorita is a pretty solid grass type that you can get with no chance involved. Moreover, Chikorita's movepool, especially at the start, is considerably superior to bellsprout's: bellsprout's only grass type move that it would learn until level 39 (long after you likely would have let it evolve) is vine whip--35 base power (52.5 with STAB) and 15 base PP. Most of bellsprout's attacks are more like impeding attacks such as sleep powder. The only thing I'd give it points for is the move growth. By the way, the move that bellsprout learns at level 39 is razor leaf. Guess what Chikorita learns at level 6? Yep, razor leaf. She gets a base power 55 (82.5 with STAB) base PP 25 at level six! And then she learns good supporting moves such as synthesis, reflect, and light screen, the latter of which helps everyone out.

Bellsprout and Chikorita both have "medium slow" experience growths. So, they level up at the same rate, but chikorita evolves at 16, while bellsprout evolves at level 21. Then, after that, weepinbell evolves with the help of a leaf stone... except, the leaf stone can only be received by getting 1st in the bug-catching contest, a pokegear call at route 34, and then showing bill an oddish or finding one in viridian forest. I'm not familiar with the bug-catching contest rules of nuzlocke, but pretending you can only catch the first pokemon you see there, you're going to be there for a while. A long while. The rest can only be achieved by waiting or by getting to Kanto! So, it's pretty likely you'll be stuck with Weepinbell for a while. And Weepinbell is only slightly superior to Meganium (gotten at the mere level 32) in terms of attack and special attack, while Meganium is superior in /every other stat/. And pretending you somehow got lucky and got Victreebell, he still only gets a slight boost over Meganium in attack and special attack while /still/ being weaker than Meganium in every other stat /and/ having a weaker movepool. Come to think, Victreebelll only learns two moves, and those are at level 47, which will only become useful later in the game.

That's kind of why I think they are where they are. Bellsprout is still in high tier, you see, just that it's inferior to Chikorita.

I also never debate with this kind of stuff, so if it's really bad, then you know why. :D

Pretty much this. Chiko is pretty much the only good grass type, not much will kill him and he has great support moves as well. Though the opportunity cost is giving up the other two godly starters so I could justify moving him down a bit. The main reason I put Bellsprout so high is earlygame Cut utility. IIRC the only other Pokemon that can learn Cut by the time you need it are Sentret, Paras, Oddish, and the starters, though giving the starters Cut is questionable. Bellsprout is an easy get because he is common in multiple areas giving you a few chances to catch him. I think Upper-Mid is appropriate for both of them.

Edited by Eswandar

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The gym leaders are not the only parts. What about the fights with all those trainers? Chikorita/Bayleef/Meganium is a solid grass type that can cover for you if your other pokemon are starting to get weak... And let's not forget all that surfing you have to do! Meganium (I assume it'd be meganium by the time you got surf) would dominate that area!

Granted, grass types are at a disadvantage generally due to so many weaknesses, but that's why you don't do Nuzlocke with just one grass type. That'd be suicide. But this starter setup is still good as far as grass types go.

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A) Knock Knock

Who's there?

Sup I'm Rattata! I come from sprout tower at 100% surely, I learn Cut, Raticate is pretty damn boss for first half of the game, I only cost Ghastly who kinda blows anyway and I can reliably take down Mort's Gengar as long as you have plenty of awekenings! Also I'm faster that Miltank and I am not 2HKO by it and I have good stab in hyper fang! Reming me why anyone would use any other Cut slave?

B) Gyms leaders all have this one big bastard who can take out unprepared teams like crazy. If you don't have answers for them you are in for hard times. Cynda and Todo take reliably first 4. I can't possibly understand why would we bring something that blows 3 of those battles instead. Then again Im biassed as out of my 4 HG nuzlocke tries, I have been wiped out by Bugsy, Whitney and Morty and 4th is still on (thou I might ragequit because I kinda lost 4 pkmn in 1 battle)

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A) Knock Knock

Who's there?

Sup I'm Rattata! I come from sprout tower at 100% surely, I learn Cut, Raticate is pretty damn boss for first half of the game, I only cost Ghastly who kinda blows anyway and I can reliably take down Mort's Gengar as long as you have plenty of awekenings! Also I'm faster that Miltank and I am not 2HKO by it and I have good stab in hyper fang! Reming me why anyone would use any other Cut slave?

B) Gyms leaders all have this one big bastard who can take out unprepared teams like crazy. If you don't have answers for them you are in for hard times. Cynda and Todo take reliably first 4. I can't possibly understand why would we bring something that blows 3 of those battles instead. Then again Im biassed as out of my 4 HG nuzlocke tries, I have been wiped out by Bugsy, Whitney and Morty and 4th is still on (thou I might ragequit because I kinda lost 4 pkmn in 1 battle)

Rattata is a complete boss, Hyper Fang, Bite, and Crunch all come early. Didn't realize he could learn cut though! He completely steamrolls Morty's Gym but after that his usefulness kinda dwindles. He gets murdered in Chuck's gym and can't really do much against Jasmine, and around that point the rest of your team will probably start to pass him but his earlygame performance is A+

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Rattata is a complete boss, Hyper Fang, Bite, and Crunch all come early. Didn't realize he could learn cut though! He completely steamrolls Morty's Gym but after that his usefulness kinda dwindles. He gets murdered in Chuck's gym and can't really do much against Jasmine, and around that point the rest of your team will probably start to pass him but his earlygame performance is A+

All the more reason why he is perfect Cut and Rock Smash slave

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Why is Dratini so low? You can pick one up for 2,100 coins at Lv15 before the third gym is even taken on. I know he's not top tier material because he takes a year to evolve, but he comes with Thunder Wave, Twister, Leer and Dragon Rage, which can be quite useful considering that he could 2HKO Miltank.

And if Game Corner Pokemon aren't included, why not?

Edited by Raven

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Tyrogue, that high, really?

For some reason I was thinking you could get him before surf, but I was mistaken. Still, he's a freebie and it doesn't take him too long to catch up. Couple that with an early evo to one of 3 great Pokemon I still think he deserves High tier at least.

Why is Dratini so low? You can pick one up for 2,100 coins at Lv15 before the third gym is even taken on. I know he's not top tier material because he takes a year to evolve, but he comes with Thunder Wave, Twister, Leer and Dragon Rage, which can be quite useful considering that he could 2HKO Miltank.

And if Game Corner Pokemon aren't included, why not?

Totally forgot about the game corner. Early Dratini is good but grinding Voltorb Flip for 2,000 coins could get time consuming and a lot of people can't be bothered to do that (myself included haha). It is something to be considered though. I suppose I could also make separate entries for Sandshrew in SS and Ekans in HG however they would probably be pretty low considering the effort that has to go into getting them.

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I played Voltorb Flip for the first time the other day, and I learnt hot to play it, and got good at it, and got 2,100 coins and my Dratini in no more than 90 minutes. It's quite fun to play and the rewards are great if you're good at it. I noticed you moved him up to top of lower-mid, but I reckon that he's capable of outdoing the likes of most of mid-tier with his early/midgame Dragon Rage and Thunder Wave.

In a Nuzlocke run I didn't think the length of time it took to acquire a Pokemon would be a factor in its usefulness once acquired. Dratini is essentially a free Pokemon if you're willing to put some time into playing an interesting, thought-provoking game. Reminds me of Sudoku a bit.

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A) I think Cynda over Todo by the factor of having Red Gyarados anyway

B) Togepi could go down for having Hustle 50% of time

C) Tyrogue down. Come after you get Waterfall!

D) Krabby could go up quite a bit. Its like Red Gyarados lite. My freshly evolved tears trough the game with 4 hm moveset

E) Slowpoke has good availability, has Yawn shehanigans, Has good typing and passable stats. Could go up a bit.

F) Yanma, if obtained has hax post evolution performance

G) School now, arguing in the web laterz

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A) I think Cynda over Todo by the factor of having Red Gyarados anyway

B) Togepi could go down for having Hustle 50% of time

C) Tyrogue down. Come after you get Waterfall!

D) Krabby could go up quite a bit. Its like Red Gyarados lite. My freshly evolved tears trough the game with 4 hm moveset

E) Slowpoke has good availability, has Yawn shehanigans, Has good typing and passable stats. Could go up a bit.

F) Yanma, if obtained has hax post evolution performance

G) School now, arguing in the web laterz

A) True, there are a ton of Water types to get but not many fire types.

B) Hustle doesn't affect his special type moves, but Serene Grace is still better. He grows ridiculously fast, has good moves, and Togekiss is broken but having to do the Pokethlon to get the Shiny Stone could hurt him.

C) You know, you're right. Down he goes!

D) But why use Krabby when you have a free red Gyara? Plus he doesn't get any physical STAB until level 56, which he likely won't ever hit. And he can't learn waterfall! What's up with that? I think his spot is warranted, though he does have great stats and availability so maybe I could bump him up a few spots.

E) Slowpoke's main drawback is that he's not evolving until level 37 which is probably around the time when most people have 7 badges, depending on how many Pokes they use. Also his obvious speed issues. Pretty much every battle he's in, he's getting hit. Plus there are tons of other water types to get, for example, the Red Gyarados and Vaporeon. His stats are passable and he does well early game though.

F) Yanma's got a 1% encounter rate. Even if you try to exploit it by capturing a Drowzee on rt. 34 and a Nido on route 36 (which make up 50% of the encounters) you're still left with a 1 in 50 chance to find a Yanma. Not so great. There IS swarming, however, that requires a lot of exploitation, which for a lot of people is questionable.

Moved Cynda to top of top, Nidos above Togepi, Tyrogue down into the abyss, Krabby and Slowpoke up a bit, and Dratini to Mid.

Edited by Eswandar

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B) Hustle doesn't affect his special type moves, but Serene Grace is still better. He grows ridiculously fast, has good moves, and Togekiss is broken but having to do the Pokethlon to get the Shiny Stone could hurt him.

D) But why use Krabby when you have a free red Gyara? Plus he doesn't get any physical STAB until level 56, which he likely won't ever hit. And he can't learn waterfall! What's up with that? I think his spot is warranted, though he does have great stats and availability so maybe I could bump him up a few spots.

E) Slowpoke's main drawback is that he's not evolving until level 37 which is probably around the time when most people have 7 badges, depending on how many Pokes they use. Also his obvious speed issues. Pretty much every battle he's in, he's getting hit. Plus there are tons of other water types to get, for example, the Red Gyarados and Vaporeon. His stats are passable and he does well early game though.

F) Yanma's got a 1% encounter rate. Even if you try to exploit it by capturing a Drowzee on rt. 34 and a Nido on route 36 (which make up 50% of the encounters) you're still left with a 1 in 50 chance to find a Yanma. Not so great. There IS swarming, however, that requires a lot of exploitation, which for a lot of people is questionable.

Moved Cynda to top of top, Nidos above Togepi, Tyrogue down into the abyss, Krabby and Slowpoke up a bit, and Dratini to Mid.

B) Shiny Stones are post National Dex so gg

D) Lolstabs, Kingler ohkos with Strenght and Silk Scarf. Can be used because the dead rule makes you happy to have second gyara just in case. Besides having Kingler and Gyara in the same team is not absolutely a bad thing. Im pretty sure nobody minds having 2 Mewtwos for example. Also Kingler can be back up pkmn. Kinda like HM slave who can come in and tear asses in a thingh spot. Mine served perfectly fine with the moveset of Strenght, Cut, Rock Smash and Surf

E) Water Stones are pain to get and Gyara serves very different purpose than bro of the slow

F) Oh yeah I forgot the whole hardness of getting factor. Besides isn't it unavailable considering you can not reach the grass spot without facing at least one trainer?

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D) But why use Krabby when you have a free red Gyara? Plus he doesn't get any physical STAB until level 56, which he likely won't ever hit. And he can't learn waterfall! What's up with that? I think his spot is warranted, though he does have great stats and availability so maybe I could bump him up a few spots.

Krabby also has perhaps one of the best Nuzlocke abilities in Shell Armor, since it prevents those unlucky critical hits. It's easy to check whether a Krabby has Hyper Cutter since you can just attempt a Growl, so it shouldn't be hard to arrange a Shell Armor Crabby.

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Krabby also has perhaps one of the best Nuzlocke abilities in Shell Armor, since it prevents those unlucky critical hits. It's easy to check whether a Krabby has Hyper Cutter since you can just attempt a Growl, so it shouldn't be hard to arrange a Shell Armor Crabby.

Wouldn't you still have to catch it regardless of ability?

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B) Shiny Stones are post National Dex so gg

D) Lolstabs, Kingler ohkos with Strenght and Silk Scarf. Can be used because the dead rule makes you happy to have second gyara just in case. Besides having Kingler and Gyara in the same team is not absolutely a bad thing. Im pretty sure nobody minds having 2 Mewtwos for example. Also Kingler can be back up pkmn. Kinda like HM slave who can come in and tear asses in a thingh spot. Mine served perfectly fine with the moveset of Strenght, Cut, Rock Smash and Surf

E) Water Stones are pain to get and Gyara serves very different purpose than bro of the slow

F) Oh yeah I forgot the whole hardness of getting factor. Besides isn't it unavailable considering you can not reach the grass spot without facing at least one trainer?

B) Any confirmation on this? I looked at Serebii's Pokeathlon page but it doesn't specify. If so that diminishes Toge's usefulness quite a bit.

D) Point taken, he gets points for availability, reliability, and utility. I think you have probably 4 or 5 different chances to catch him too.

E) True, I guess not everyone enjoys the Pokeathlon as much as I do... haha. And I would say Gyara and Slowpoke are pretty similar, considering Slowpoke is more physically leaned before he evolves. Although Slowpoke shines earlygame and starts to slow down midgame, whereas Gyara is non existant earlygame but destroys everything after you get him. Though you can get a King's Rock fairly early... I think after you get Surf? Though it requires backtracking to Azalea so some might wait until after Fly for efficiency's sake.

F) I didn't think trainer battles counted towards the "catch the first Pokemon you see" clause.

Forgot about Shell Armor. I've lost many a teammate to a stray critical... :(: Moving Krabby up for general usefulness all around.

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No.

You demand Togepi in Mid.

Tops

Now that I think of it

Everything it does Raticate/Freebie Spearow can do better Having existing special atk and moves to use is cool and all but unlike Kingler's manly 130 atk, I don't think Togetic's 80 spe. atk makes non stabs too viable. It doesn't even have much in terms of coverage.

Yeah Togepi can go scupadiving

......

Onix is wee bit akward. It gets points from being trade pkmn but its just worse geodude and if you have no geodude you are doing something horribly wrong. Geodude itself isn't that good after Whitney and when I think of early utility beater I will just go wonder why Raticate isn't enough? Falkner is asshole but your starter should be able to deal with him.

.....

Doduo could go up just a wee bit. Assuming we get Dratini from game corner and use it.... ...Its useability is pretty bad by the time we reach Elite 4. because its unlikely to evolve to draconite. Might just as well trade it to the Dodrio and have stellar pkmn with good stabs, great offensive stats and good exp. gain instead of Draconair

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Onix is definitely an interesting one, Geodude beats him pretty much in every category and he's an easy get. Though you can get Metal Coats by thief-farming Magnemites and you can also catch Steelix in that cave on the way to the Safari Zone, but that's a long shot.

Doduo up.

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