More Changes to Cliffhanger!

Cliffhanger 6.1


Written by NHoff

The past month has seen move revamps and a new round of usage data for Cliffhanger and we’ve revamped the format accordingly. Since 6.0 the dev team has had quite a bit to look at with additions and with evaluating existing tiering. Let’s look at the changes.


  • Lickitung - Tier A -> Tier S

    • The strength that Lickitung offered while paired with Medicham or Deoxys Defense, its individual safety in a limited meta like Cliffhanger, and its strength from both its bulk and STAB Body Slam - all made our team reconsider its position at 5 points in Tier A. With a short list of counter-picks and two very powerful pair options available for a 5-point Lickitung, we’ve made the decision to shift Lickitung up to the highest tier at 9 points.

  • Skuntank/Alolan Grimer - Tier C -> Tier B

    • The addition of a defense drop chance to Crunch alongside the buff to Poison Jab that happened last season posits these two at a level of power and safety more fitting of a B tier Pokémon. Being almost identical, it was only right to move them as a pair. We’re interested to see how the Dark-Poisons are used in Cliff now that all 4 (save for Stunky) are at a power level deserving of 1 point.

  • Steelix - Tier C -> Tier B

    • Again, a tale of two season’s patches. With both the change to Dragon Tail from Season 8 of GBL and the change to Crunch in Season 9, Steelix is out of the trash can and back into consideration as a lower tier Steel-type. While it’s still nowhere near the power of its Galarian type-twin, Steelix’s recent polish on its metal hide has pushed it to a power level we consider on par with other Steel-types in Tier B.  

New Additions:

  • Greedent - premiering at Tier B

    • Greedent has a relative speed and safety that we think fits in Tier B. With its speed to moves as a swap due to Bullet Seed, the recent change to Crunch that increased its power, and the coverage offered by Body Slam + Crunch, we feel it’s able to offer more advantage in a limited format like Cliffhanger than some of the Body Slam users in Tier C.

  • Cofagrigus - effectively premiering at Tier A

    • While technically not a new Pokémon, Cofagrigus is only really entering the collective consciousness of battlers due to its recent addition of Shadow Claw. Due to both its standalone power and the strength of it in core duos, we are going to start Cofagrigus out in Tier A at 5 points.


  • Chansey - Tier S -> Tier A

    • While Chansey’s relative strength in duo cores and its record in no-shield scenarios are both formidable, it was the only S-tier pick that saw no use in the recent round of Cliffhanger. That, alongside a re-evaluation of its strength saw our team voting to demote it to Tier A. 

  • Pidgeot - Tier S -> Tier A

    • While Pidgeot did see quite a bit of play in Cliffhanger’s last rotation, it did take quite a hit with the increase in Feather Dance’s energy cost. The drop in its strength as a swap from such a change as well as its previous weaknesses now being exacerbated have led us to re-tier the bird at 5 points.

  • Tropius - Tier S -> Tier A

    • Tropius has been in Tier S for a very long time and it’s been a topic for quite some time within the team. While the banana neck dinosaur has been a formidable Pokémon in metas past we feel its stagnation in power while other Grass-types - and Grass counters - increased in power to threaten it have led to it not fitting alongside the other Tier S picks. While a lot of its position in Tier S has been to cost-out the Galarian Stunfisk + Tropius core we feel that some of the other available cores, as well as that core’s weaknesses, have made it such that a 5 point Tropius isn’t a threat to the format’s balance.

  • Granbull - Tier A -> Tier B

    • Initially tiered at A alongside its Shadow’s appearance, Granbull has not seen the usage nor the performance to justify a 5 point pick. We think it doesn’t quite hit the bar that Alolan Ninetales has set as a 5-point Fairy and even with the new debuff potential on Crunch will likely see performance more befitting Tier B.

  • Ivysaur - Tier A -> Tier C

    • The eyesore is dead, long live the 0-point Ivysaur! A long-time discussion across the balance team, Ivysaur has long been disputed about its position in Tier A as “effectively a Venusaur clone.” While it is still strong, that classic phrase has been questioned more and more as stronger grass options have been presented and the valley between Ivysaur and Venusaur has been exacerbated. In a rare fit of changing 2 tiers without any changes to the Pokémon, we think this just makes sense after taking a longer look at a long-time discrepancy and other options like Roserade that have emerged as better Grass-type options.

  • Sunny Cherrim - Tier B -> Tier C

    • Another Grass demotion! While Cherrim has always had some interesting power to it - offering some more bulk than Roserade but with a much more awkward playstyle - the Weather Ball downgrade has really hurt the little sunny flower. We think at Tier B with its current power would put it at 0 usage and we’d like to see its usage at 0 points instead.


Other Considerations Made:

  • Promotions to Vigoroth, Sableye, Heracross, Poliwrath, Froslass, Samurott, and a few of the Tier C Dragon-types were considered during this round of revoting, as were the additions of Falinks and the potential demotion of Alolan Raichu, Roserade, and the tiered Castforms. All Pokémon that saw changes from the Season 9 GBL move update were mentioned at least briefly. Ultimately these were decided to stay in their respective tiers for the time being, but are on the radar for future changes and future rounds of data!


— The Cliffhanger Team