Alright, Alright, Pokemon Trainer amiibo is B+ Tier

by Doc – Owner, Founder, Stubborn

For a good, long while now the broader amiibo training community has been convinced that Pokemon Trainer (PT) is at least a mid-tier amiibo. I, being the perpetually grumpy old man that I am, dismissed these arguments for a few reasons:

  • The loudest proponents of ideas like this have a tendency to form opinions based solely on salt
  • There were no recent major advancements to PT nor any patches when the idea was first proposed, so no reason to suspect a major change
  • Ivysaur sucks, man
  • Several amiibo were being championed as underplaced, and many of those amiibo were in fact not underplaced (and in some cases ended up lower on the tier list in the next iteration or two)
  • I’ve seen many fads where a few trainers wrongly champion an amiibo as having a different placement than what was currently placed on the tier list, and then drop the amiibo altogether a few months later in favor of a new amiibo
  • The law of averages would require that, given enough time and tournaments, low-tiers would eventually win tournaments too, so pointing to tournament wins alone isn’t a highly effective argument in the short-term

I was initially completely opposed to the notion that Pokemon Trainer would be criminally underplaced on the tier list, and the reasons that I was hearing simply weren’t up to par.

The Pokemon Trainer amiibo celebrates its accomplishment.

What Changed?

The rumors are true – I do sometimes make mistakes. It’s a shocker, I know.

After posting my amiibo tier list video this last weekend, Psythe, a long-term and respectable trainer repeated his belief that PT is B+ tier. This made me do a double-take: people were still championing this notion over a year later? Why?

I know Psythe is a lot less prone to salt than the typical trainer, so I asked his opinion. Surely if someone like Psythe still held an opinion for this long, it had some merit to it and wasn’t just an amiibo fad.

He gave me three good reasons for PT’s higher placement:

  1. Ivysaur, the weak link, doesn’t get used nearly as often as the other two Pokemon: when Ivysaur is out and needs to recover, the AI switches to Charizard. The AI also tends to stay on Charizard for longer than the other Pokemon, and Charizard is an S-tier character on his own.
  2. PT places phenomenally well in tournaments, despite his inherent inconsistency. I’ve typically discounted this reasoning because there’s always outlier tournaments to support an amiibo placement argument. However, outliers that last for over a year aren’t outliers – they’re the average.
  3. PT has solid matchups against S-tiers. Psythe specifically mentioned Terry and Byleth, two of the most crushingly dominant amiibo in the meta.

These are exponentially better reasons than what I heard originally. I was particularly swayed by reasons #1 and #3 – Ivysaur’s always dragged down the amiibo like a sack of wet potatoes, and matchups are one of the most important parts of a proper 20XX analysis of the amiibo meta. Having less Ivysaur and better matchups did the trick for me.

So I’m going to say it: I was wrong, and Pokemon Trainer is a B+ tier amiibo.

But I’m not budging on K. Rool not being better than Bowser.

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