More Changes to Cliffhanger!

Written by NHoff


    The past couple of months have seen large changes to Pokémon GO PVP and we’ve revamped Cliffhanger accordingly. Since 5.0 the dev team has had quite a few buffs and new additions to consider in addition to evaluating existing tiering. Let’s look at the changes.


  • Bastiodon - Tier A -> Tier S

    • The GO Beyond update released a new power ceiling for quite a few Pokémon and we did not properly assess Bastiodon in the 5.0 update. The increase in power potential has been enough to make us realize that Bastiodon deserves a spot at 9 points.

  • Chansey - Tier C -> Tier S

    • Another major beneficiary of the GO Beyond update, Chansey was another that really crept up on us and that we missed in initial assessments of the Pokémon that benefit from level 50. Due to its extreme power in 0 shield scenarios as well as the risks of cores with other Tier S Pokémon, our team has decided to place it at 9 points.

  • Pidgeot - Tier C -> Tier S

    • Feather Dance was not in the game long before Pidgeot’s removal from GO Battle League (GBL), but it was enough time to make it clear that Pidgeot is a force to be reckoned with. The extreme power of this pick has earned it a spot in the S Tier. *We recommend banning Pidgeot until Niantic resolves the associated bug and reinstates it in GBL.

  • Talonflame - Tier C -> Tier A

    • A new Community Day addition of Incinerate has made Talonflame a considerable pick in the Great League. With both its ability to sweep a team and the flexibility of cores for it, Talonflame is definitely situated well as a 5 point pick.

  • Serperior - Tier C -> Tier A

    • Much like Venusaur and Meganium, the Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant combination just makes for a solid pick. Serperior’s Community Day move gave it strength on par with Meganium with its similar bulk, and it’s been tiered similarly accordingly.

  • Alolan Ninetales - Tier B -> Tier A

    • Another Pokémon that was underrated in 5.0, Alolan Ninetales is definitely a tier above most of the other Charm users. At 5 points it should lead to more Fairy diversity while keeping Alolan Ninetales from being too overly prevalent in the format.

  • Granbull - Tier C -> Tier A

    • Granbull was one of the few Charm-users in Tier C of Cliffhanger for good reason - its relative bulk made it a risky pick. With Snubbull’s addition to the pool of Shadow Pokémon in the game, its newfound strength is enough to make it worth 5 points in the Cliffhanger metagame.

  • Nidoqueen - Tier C -> Tier A

    • A recipient of TWO buffs from the most recent move changes in both Poison Jab and Poison Fang, Nidoqueen can now go toe to toe with many a foe. The true toxic queen is solidly in power and has been tiered alongside other powerhouses in Tier A.

  • Roserade - Tier C -> Tier B

    • Roserade has had quite a few months - getting a Community Day in February with TWO powerful moves, quickly receiving another moveset addition in Leaf Storm afterwards, and then additionally receiving a buff to Poison Jab! It is not quite on par with a lot of the Tier A Grass-types, largely due to its low relative bulk, but it is definitely worth a point in Tier B.

  • Beedrill - Tier C -> Tier B

    • With the buff to Poison Jab, Beedrill has become even more considerable a force in Great League. With its Community Day move Drill Run supplementing its coverage, the meta team thinks this bug is bound to buzz in Tier Bee.

  • Drapion - Tier C -> Tier B

    • The buff to Poison Sting has been one much less noticed overall but has helped a lot of less prevalent picks - Drapion being one of them.  With its newfound energy gain Drapion seems on-par with other Tier B Dark/Poison type Alolan Muk and we have moved it up to mirror that strength.

  • Whimsicott - Tier C -> Tier B

    • A reevaluation of Charm’s strength was one of many discussions among the team around the new Fairy-types introduced in the Luminous Legends event. While Togekiss remains as a Tier C Charm-user, the power and flexibility that Whimsicott provides with its fast move options made us reconsider and position it in Tier B.


New Additions:

  • Sylveon, Slurpuff, Spritzee, and Aromatisse - premiering at Tier B

    • These all perform closely enough to Tier B Fairy-type Clefable for us to tier them alongside it in B. While staying unique in their coverage options, the strength of Charm alongside their bulk made each of these picks considerable at 1 point.


  • Registeel - Tier S -> Tier A

    • It isn’t often that a Tier S gets demoted but the time has come for the Iron Pokémon. Registeel’s slow decline in relative power has finally brought the team to the consideration that it will still be manageable at 5 points. With hard counter options like Jellicent and Talonflame recently added to the game as well as new strong Steel-types, we’d like to see if Registeel can see some more play at a cheaper cost.

  • Raikou and Kantonian Raichu - Tier B -> Tier C

    • Similarly to Charm, the team has had a reevaluation of the Volt Switch + Wild Charge combination. While Alolan Raichu’s versatility and strength will allow it to stay in Tier B, we feel that a 0-point Kantonian Raichu and a 0-point Raikou might make the format more interesting and bring play to these Pokémon that were not seeing it otherwise.


— The Cliffhanger Team