So much has changed since the first generation of Pokémon games, and yet many fans still enjoy playing and Nuzlocking these classic adventures. The original Red and Blue versions are different from the newer games in many ways, with more recent versions having updated mechanics, movepools, Pokémon evolutions, and more. Which is why, even though we’ve already put together a Nuzlocke tier list for FireRed and LeafGreen, we decided to make a separate tier list for the generation one games. With only the original 151 Pokémon (minus legendaries) available to you, which Pokémon are deserving of a spot on your team? To help you decide, we’ve ranked each Pokémon evolutionary line according to its viability in a Red or Blue Nuzlocke. This tier list does not take into account availability or rarity, only ranking Pokémon based on how useful they are once you’re able to obtain them (a couple of exceptions were made for Pokémon that can reach their final stages extremely early, such as Nidoking/Queen). We hope you find it useful! Continue reading below the tier list for explanations of what each tier represents and how Pokémon tiers are chosen.
Here’s a brief overview of what each tier represents, and which factors go into our decision-making process.
- S-tier: These Pokémon have excellent typing, stats, and movepools, and have good matchups against important opponents in both the early and the late-game. They are capable of single-handedly clearing portions of the game, regardless of team composition. They have few significant flaws, and should be used without question if the player can obtain them. These Pokémon are the star of an effective team, and the rest of the team members should be chosen to support and compliment them.
- A-tier: These are strong Pokémon with great typing, stats, and movepools, who can provide good offensive and defensive presence to a team. They have generally good matchups against important opponents in either the early or the late-game. They may not be as individually dominant as an S-tier Pokémon, but they are powerful core members of a balanced and effective team.
- B-tier: These are useful Pokémon with generally good typing and stats, but they may have a shallow movepool, be lacking in a key stat, or simply be outclassed by a similar Pokémon in a higher tier. Many B-tier Pokémon provide either good offensive or defensive presence, but not necessarily both. They may have good matchups against important opponents, but may also have severe weaknesses to common or dangerous foes. They are useful for fulfilling a specific role, and can find a place on an effective team, despite one or two significant flaws.
- C-tier: These are Pokémon that may have reasonably good stats, typing, and movepools, but may also be lacking in two of these categories. These Pokémon typically have somewhat limited usefulness, but can be valuable in the right situation. Many of these Pokémon have stats that do not compliment their typing well, lack important moves in their type, or are only useful for a limited section of the game, but a thoughtful player can build around their significant flaws and include one or two of these Pokémon on an effective team, provided the player does not ask too much of them.
- D-tier: These Pokémon have generally poor stats or typing or are crippled by a bad ability or other severe weakness. These Pokémon offer little to a team, and should be avoided unless no other options are available, or a player desperately needs a Pokémon of a particular type for a difficult battle. Effective teams will generally not use these Pokémon, except in very specific, limited roles.
- E-tier: These Pokémon are prohibitively bad, having poor stats, typing, and movepools. They should be replaced as soon as possible, and players should avoid using them, even in situations where they have a type advantage. These Pokémon will not be found on effective Nuzlocke teams.
That concludes the Red and Blue Nuzlocke tier list! Do you agree with our rankings? Tier lists aren’t an exact science, so share your thoughts with us and others in the comments! If you enjoy tier lists, head over to our Nuzlocke tier lists index and check out the others we’ve done, including Platinum, Emerald, and FireRed/LeafGreen.
Head over to our Guides and Articles section for more tier lists, guides, rankings, and more!