With every new generation, introducing new moves, new mechanics and an ever growing resvoir of pokemon. For some Pokemon this can can mean a chance to shine or falling into obscurity. From 4th gen to 5th the boom of dream world abilities, even more powerful Pokemon attacks and stat boosting moves in particular shell smash and quiver dance this lead to a massive boom in other wise forgettable Pokemon escaping obscurity. Lets take a look into 5th Gens rising and falling stars:
From Zero to Hero
In the past cloyster has been a rather forgettable pokemon,poor hp, bad special defense and awful typing have held back cloyster back from being a defensive behemoth to be reconded with, with over 180 base defense and respectable offensive stats and move pool. In 2nd and 3rd gen he had a niche as one of the rare spikers in 3rd gen not trapped by raped by magaton as well as rappid spin and good offensive move pool that set it apart from skarmory and fortress. 4th gen was very unkind to cloyster, stealth rock seal cloysters fate as well as new move powerful moves taking advantage of it's many weaknesses and pathetic special defence and cloyster fell into the lower depths of uu.
Shell smash! Closyter got the best boosting move in the game, suddenly cloysters speed attack and special attack get a large boost rocketing them to new unseen heights for the oyster pokemon at the lowly cost of reducing it's already high defense and pitiful special defense like there is no cost at all. Combine this with cloysters movepool and ability and you've got powerful base 150 moves with great type coverage in rock ice and water and you have got a real beast on your hands. Sadly it's not all sunshine and rainbows for cloyster, it's still weak to stealth rock and this new 5th gen metagame has brought an array of fighting types and other pokemon happy to take advantage of the clam's weakness in particular conklerdurr with super effective priority in stab match punch, any scarfed pokemon will easily take advantage of his weakened defenses and finally is even setting up in the first place, with so many pokemon more than happy to take advantage to his weaknesses. Still cloyster has managed to clamp a hold of a place in ou as a real threat not to be underestimated.
Poor, poor espeon. Completely outclassed by alakazam, who's higher special attack and speed make him the superior sweeper. Even support options blessed to espeon in wish and baton pass are done better by his other eeveelutions or other pokemon. Pretty much outclassed every generation espeon has been a pretty forgettable until now.
Dream world brought the eeveelution magic bounce, one of the best abilities in the game! Any status inflicting move such as toxic or Sr is bounced right back at the opponent. Simply switching espeon in could mean a free rapid spin and set of Sr in the one go! Instead of ferrothorn setting up SR, Sr is instead set up against his own team! You can't be taunted you can't be poisoned, paralyzed or put to sleep by a direct move such as sleep powered or thunderwave, instead your opponent takes the status, insane! Sadly the ability means your put in the firing line, espeons defenses are pitiful 65/65/95, combine that with the weakness of the psychic type and espeon finds it's self in an awkward situation, potentially switching into attack instead SR. Still once espeons in, it's free to set up or sweep with out fear of status, it's move pool may be shall but it's enough, it even gained psyshock to hurt blissey and chaseey who in return fail to do any real damage to the eon-pokemon.
politoed and ninetales
Ninetales first: Ninetales has been for the most part been pretty forgetable. Average stats and a shallow move pool have not helped the fox pokemon push past the competition from fellow fire types such as arcainine, charizard and moltress scince generation 1. 4th gen was cruel and kind to ninetales giving her new toys in the form of nasty plot and solarbeam but sadly it also introduced stealth rock, taking a quarter of nintales health everytime it switches in, while moltress and aracaine with better stats, arguably better move pool and with a reliable recovery move, avoided being nerfed by there Sr weakness and nintales meanwhile fell into the mirky depths of NU.
Politoed sadly was nearly always outclassed, what it could do another water type could do better. With it's low stats and generic water type nature politoed failed to stand out in any tier, in over used politoed was out matched by the likes of sucince, starmie and milotic, in UU politoed again faced stiff competition from poliwrath, milotic and slowbro and even in NU politoed was hard pushed for a spot by the likes of slowking and quagsire. It seem for poor politoed that it lacked anything unique to make it stand out from the vast crowd of water type pokemon.....that is...... until now!
What happened to ninetales?
Drought and hence infinite sunlight! A Large number of pokemon just love the sun, especially fire types like heatran which nerfs there weakness to water and grass type chlorphyll users in particular venasaur (DW) and Tangrowth. Ninetales and Sun may not be as popular as politoed and rain, nether the less sun light can prove invaluable to teams that want to put a stop to infinite sand, rain and hail or purely on sun biased teams, chlorophyll abusers ect. Sadly, Sunlight is all ninetales is really good for, unlike politoed who can perform a generic bulky water or offensive water spec/scarf user, ninetales fire typing means a multitude of exploitable weaknesses including a weakness to stealth rock, stripping 1/4 of it's health ever time it switches in, ruling out a defensive stance and nintales lack luster special attack, only decent speed at base 100 and sub par offensive move pool means nintales is largely outclassed by her fellow fire types. Unfortunately all nintales is useful for is eternal sun and unless it your team needs it , ninetales would be dead weight otherwise. But still being the only drought user in ou gives nintales an important unique niche in the meta-game no other pokemon can fill and as such it will always have a place in the sun.
Dragonite has always been a pokemon that's been largely outclassed in the metgame, in the the 1st and 2nd metagames it was unique as the only fully evolved drgonite, but even then it's low speed lack of boosting moves and weakness to ice made other pokemon a more desirable choice for a team slot. Come 3rd gen and salamence comes to the scene and although dragonite got a fair boost with dragon dance and a new dragon type move in dragon claw, it was largely outclassed by salamence a faster dragon which could hit harder from both ends of the spectrum and even was bulky physically thanks to intimidate. 4th gen then came and mence was still the better dragon, in addition garchomp became top dog of ou, with fantastic ground/dragon typing acess to swords dance in addition to being a fast bulky dragon capible of sweepign teams with relative ease, to make matters worse dragonites unique move "outrage" was given to mence in platinum and nite largely became redundant. Come the end of 4th gen nite was given a chance to shine with mence banned as well, compatition with flygon for top dog dragon.
Nite now faced a enw metagame, a metagame fully of hard hitting bulky pokemon that would seem to give nite a lot more grief than nite got in 5th gen. EVen with garchomp and latios running rampant with the former now banned nite stood out in definance and even a perfect example of a "ideal" bulky sweeper. Why? Simple nite got the ability multiscale from dream world, multiscale effectively at full health allows nite at full health to cut nites weaknesses in half. Suddenly nite has effectively only got 2x ice weakness and with it's bulkiness most attacks including ice beam will struggle to phase let alone ko the bulky dragon, giving nite an effective free turn to set up or cripple the opponet with ice beam or even go in for the kill! top it all off with the fact nite still retains roost as a level 1 move and things are looking great for the bulky dragon, a fantastic movepool, insane bulkiness and great typing nite is truly a force to be reckoned with, easily coming in on Pokemon, wearing down opponents with roost, while attempting to set or simply setting up after somthings been koed and the opponent can do nothing but watch nite set up. Sadly nites not perfect, his biggest weakness is stealth rock which effectively nerfs his ability when he switches in requiring him to roost to full health and in addition his reliance on roost introduces the 4 move slot syndrome meaning dragonite is more susceptible to being walled by the likes of heatran if he forfeits earthquake or fire punch. But despite some flaws, dragonite is the prime example of a bulky sweeper or just a bulky pokemon that can pack a punch in the 5th gen metagame.
Porygon 2 in 4th gen was a niche pokemon, it was very much a jack of all-trades master of none at taking down big threats such as gyarados, salamence and heatran with it's unique ability trade using their own ability against him, but sadly being a jack of all trades he was naturally master of none and while he could take on one threat hed have trouble with another, with other pokemon better suited to his role as a bulky wall he failed to make the cut in ou or even nu.
Evolite gives NFE pokemon a 1.5x boost in both defenses, suddenly p2 respectible defenses get bloated to rather large defences, now equipped as a reasonibly power very bulky mixed wall porygon2 suddenly became much better at his copy and counter job and on top of that porygon2 was no longer tha dead weight he would have been if there was no mence or gyara ect. to counter in the first place! With a fantastic offensive move pool including boltbeam and flamethrower as well as a good support move pool with recover and thunder wave porygon2 is ready to piss off as many trainers as possible as they struggle to 2 ko porygon2 while he poisons or paralyses them in return. Finaly earning him a solid place in ou albeit not high owing to the vast array of new and old fighting types ready to exploit his only wekness in addtion to his only flaws being susceptible to both spikes and stealth rock, meaning he can be effectively worn down especially by the likes of blissey.
toxicroak in 4th gen was rather forgettable, with sub par defenses and speed. Despite his good offensive move pool with acess to sucker punch and both swords dance and nasty plot, his low stats and weakness to the ever common earthquake meant he fell into uu in favor of other fighting types such as machamp and lucario.
Infinite rain, with infinite rain toxicroak can heal with both it's ability dry skin and leaftovers in the rain enabling toxicroak to have a similar frail but but bulk status like breeloom. Toxicroak may not be a stample in ou but he makes for a great bulky fighting type in the rain capable of dealing with threats as tyranitar with relative ease, while supporting and taking advantage of the rain.
Nidoking was never a bad pokemon, his offensive move pool is insane including the classic boltbeam, as well as flame thrower and stab earth power and earthquake and his unique typing although gives him a weakness to water and ground, it also gives him complete immunity to poison and thunder wave. Sadly the king has mediocre stats, sub par offenses speed and defenses and as a result he failed to use his move pool to it's fullest as a result of his lack luster power and fell into the lower ends of uu.
Nidoking as with many pokemon got a dream world ability to die for, sheer force. suddenly nidokings sub par stats don't matter as much with his moves getting a 30% boost in power from sheer force, nidokings perfect special biased move pool suddenly becomes apparent, with such insane type coverage combined with stab earthquake or earth power and nidoking is a combat beast that can fit into an offensive uu team nicely or ven pop up in ou taking opponents off gaurd with it's perfect coverage! Saddly the real reason nidoking isn't ou is his sub par speed 85 is far from perfect and nidoking really wanted more to compete with faster pokemon like starmie with similar great coverage. In the end risk underestimating the power of this beast at your own pearl, because you know hes got something super effective coming your way.
There and back again a hobbits tale by Bilbo Baggins
Fighting/Fire type is a great offensive typing and in 3rd gen blaziken was the pokemon mon with it in ou. Slowish but powerful, blazikens low speed wasn't a big issue back then in return for the brute force ken had to offer. Along came 4th gen and unfortunately for blaziken, a new faster fire/fighting monkey ape with a better move pool knocked blaziken off the face of the map and even in uu blaziken was largely outclassed by the bulky arcane.
Blaziken got speed boost and became a monster, with speed boost and protect Blaziken was capable of out speeding threats and then pumling them into the ground with his large base 120 attack. Good luck revenge killing the chicken by the time the new pokemon come in blaziken has gotten it's self a 2+ speed boost or 2+ attack if it forces a switch even 2+ attack. The KFC pokemon really cooked up a storm and unfortunately it was enough for a ban and sadly blaziken now has to face the fierce environment of ubers, walled by lugia, and girantina, blaziken can still be a threat but nothing like it was in ou.
kingdra has always had a move pool that could only be described as pitiful, on top of that poor kingdra's stats are rather average at best. 4th gen brought kingdra a few new toys in outrage, draco meteor and a physical water type move in water fall giving him reason to use dragon dance. his fantastic typing was easily exploitable by his fellow dragon types and he remained in the lower end of ou for most of 4th gen and even after mence and chomp had gone competition from nite and flygon still prevented kingdra from being a stample dragon of ou.
Kingdra has always been best in the rain. Not only dose the rain increase kingdras stab water moves a 1.5x boost but his speed double with swift swim in the rain. his only weakness is dragon and as it stands he is also reasonably bulky on top of that. With double speed kingdra is easily capable of outspeeding choice dragons the only pokemon capible of taking signifcant chunks or koing kingdra, stopping the rain is impractical, tyranitar and nintales fear waterfall and with a dragon dance boost it's certain to ko and so long as politoed hasn't kicked the bucket kingdra is free to come back in and cause havoc! Sadly drizzle was banned with swift swim and kingdra became horribly outclassed and fell into the depths of uu, even then it faces competition from flygon, but now kyruem has been banned he can rise up to the task and lead the way to a watery uu even more so if snow storm gets the ban hammer.
Somethings in life don't Change, for other things there is master balls
Fortress is a jack of all trades and master of none, however he is the master of using them all! Forretress has always been useful for the simple fact he can do more than one role at once, in 3rd gen he could rappid spin and spike while skarmory could not while having a better typing than colyster gave him a niche role no other pokemon could fill and again this was the same in 4th gen with a boosted move pool with stealth rock and toxic spikes he comfortably fit into ou.
What didn't happen?
Ferrothron came into the picture a pokemon more offensively capable than fortress, with better typing than fortress and a much better defesive typing than fortress, with the only snag being a weakness to fighting fortresses bug typing negates with Sr thunder wave leech seed. so why has fortress stayed firm in ou?For that matter why has fortress crept up in usage slightly with this new gen? Well jack of all trades and master of using them all togher applies, forretress simply can do what other pokemon cannot. he can set up spikes, Stealth rock, toxic spikes and rapid spin potentially all at once. Th Swiss Army brings to the table a sheer number of hazard tools that many teams crave, he can simply be slotted into teams with out the need to sue more than one pokemon, mean while instead of using ferothorn and a rappid spinner or toxic spike user in which your best bet would be forretress or tentacruel and naturally fortress would be an obvious choice for multi tasking. Forretress also got sturdy boost, no longer will he get a supprive ko at full health by a random hp fire instead he at least gets in a layer of t/pikes or stealth rock, not big but pretty handy. Unfortunately fortress is not the number one pokemon for good reason, his offensive proneness is pittifuly with lack luster stab and move pool he risks becoming set up bait by a large nuber of pokemon, but hey it's worth his versatile nature and ability to set up toxic spikes for your bulk offensive team on the go, or stall.
Tentacruel has always been an oddity, every gen his usique typing seems either to hinder or help him in the end sealing his fate. In 4th gen tenacruel was a part of the classic obi stall his ability to rapid spin along with his unique typing providing resistances such as fighting along with toxic spikes absorption and set up, gain him a firm place on most stall teams, but other wise he was forgetible with his lack luster offenses and weakness to ground.
What didn't happen?
Well he pretty much didn't change role, he gained a nice ability in rain dish and unfortunately gained a rival jellyfish with a unique ghost/water typing, access to recover wil-o-wisp and ability to block rapid spin, with better offenses and better stab in the ghost typing. Well tentacruel hasn't changed much and that's exactly why his usage hasn't dipped with his rivals aperance but in fact increased slightly. Tenacruel belongs on stall teams and this generation he has fitted in nicely to rain stall, with rain dish healing his health that little bit more along with leftovers in addition to the invaluable ability to rapid spin and unique ability to layer toxic spikes and absorb them too, he's pretty much the same mon as last gen with slight improvements and as result he's pretty much unchanged in popularity, he simply fills a different niche his rival jellificent cannot and will continue to do so as that niche still exists.