Guide to Creating a CAP Movepool
Movepools are largely considered the single most important competitive aspect of a Pokémon. The reasoning for this is that a movepool defines a Pokémon's diversity, what he can and cannot beat, and what functionality he can provide for his team. Many Pokémon, such as Breloom with Spore, are defined by their specific, yet incredible movepools. Some movepools, such as those of Tyranitar and Blissey, are enormous and provide nearly limitless options, while others, like that of Hippowdon, are just big enough to make the Pokémon worth using. Both of these types of movepools have their respective places with different CAPs, but there's a lot to movepools that might not be apparent at first glance. This article's focus is to bring those tricks and traps to the forefront and address them so that you might not make the same mistakes that many others have in the past when creating your CAP movepool.
In the past, many CAP movepools have tended to creep in power toward being obscene. In order to address these issues, as well as bring CAP Pokémon movepools back in line with the movepools of common OU Pokémon, some limitations and restrictions were placed upon the movepool stage of the CAP process. As listed in this process guide article, the Stat and Movepool Limits stage imposes restrictions on the number of Very Good Moves that a CAP Pokémon may have in its movepool. To learn more about what a Very Good Move is and to find the list of them, refer to this process guide article. Once these restrictions are set by the Topic Leader, you as a movepool creator must adhere to them strictly.
In addition to having a raw limit placed on the number of Very Good Moves that may be in your CAP Pokémon's movepool, there exist some requirements that must be in all movepools. The first of these requirements is the Type-Move Requirement list. The Type-Move Requirements are moves that must be on your CAP movepool somewhere based upon the typing of the CAP Pokémon. A list of these Type-Move Requirements can be found here. So, for instance, if the given CAP that you are creating a movepool for is a Fire/Ghost Pokémon, he would be required to have Fire Blast, Flamethrower, Dream Eater, Sucker Punch, and Trick, among other moves. This limits the diversity and overall power of movepools by forcing there to exist many potentially competitively similar moves on a Pokémon.
The other requirement placed upon CAP movepools is the Move-Move Requirement list. The list of Move-Move Requirements is given here. In essence, the Move-Move Requirements make it so that in order to put one Very Good Move on a movepool, you must also put in all other required moves as listed in the above linked table. For instance, if you wanted your Rock-type Pokémon to get Flamethrower, you would also have to give him Fire Blast. Similarly, if you wanted a Pokémon to have Ice Beam, he would also have to learn Blizzard. This further limits movepools by forcing like moves to be present in a group on movepools, preventing too many stray Very Good Moves from being added into that movepool, given the Very Good Move limit imposed by the Stat and Movepool Limits stage of the CAP process.
There are 100 TM moves available to all Pokémon. Some of these moves have to be chosen depending on certain aspects of the CAP Pokémon, but many of them can fit into basically any movepool, with the following exceptions: Fire- and Grass-type Pokémon do not learn any Ice-type moves, while Ice- and Grass-type Pokémon do not learn any Fire-type moves.
A level-up move list contains anywhere between 13 and 16 moves. Up to three of these moves may be Heart Scale moves, meaning that they are relearned and aren't known at Level 1 and aren't learned at any higher level. A Pokémon may only have a Heart Scale move if it has at least 4 Level 1 moves already. As a Pokémon levels up, the moves tend to get more powerful. This means that a move such as Crunch or Earthquake would always be learned later than Bite or Mud-Slap. Furthermore, if the Pokémon has a pre-evolution, such as Arcanine or Ampharos, one of the following two things will happen.
Egg moves are those moves learned through breeding. In order to have egg moves, a CAP must have its egg groups defined. The movepool designer will have to decide on egg groups that achieve the moves that are desired, and it is preferred that they make sense on the Pokémon. A Pokémon may have as few as 4 egg moves and at most 12 egg moves. Pokémon that are genderless or do not breed cannot have any egg moves.
Move Tutors are people in the Pokémon world that teach Pokémon moves for a price. For purposes of the CAP project, all past generation move tutors have been allowed for all of the CAP Pokemon. (Including Pokemon XD moves) In competitive terms, this is where a movepool can be filled out in order to obtain all of the necessary options, given that they're available. Be mindful of the Very Good Move limit for a CAP when adding moves to it from the Move Tutors, but otherwise this is the move list where many competitive moves in a Pokémon's final movepool will come from.
Below is an example movepool for Gengar. It shows how each of his moves fit into his movepool.
It is clearly noted from the above lists that the reason Gengar is said to have an enormous movepool is because of his TM move list. Very few of Gengar's moves from his level-up list or egg moves list are viable. Only Pain Split and Trick of the move tutor list are really useful, and Explosion is about the only remotely useful move from the egg move list. As you can see, Gengar's movepool is not overwhelmingly powerful. He actually had very limited options, but just enough diversity to be useful and varied in the standard metagame. This is a good example of what CAP Pokémon movepools should look like.