CAP 4 - Part 1 - Concept Submissions
This is where we discuss the general goal of the next Create-A-Pokemon project -- CAP 4. The Concept will be a guiding force throughout the ensuing project, to ensure the the final result is a cohesive competitive pokemon. Any discussions, suggestions, or submissions in later topics, that do not support the spirit of the Concept, will be moderated by the Topic Leader.
Concepts must be presented as high-level descriptions of a general idea. They cannot be detailed pokemon designs. Since we have polls to determine each aspect of the pokemon, we cannot allow any specific features of the pokemon to be determined by the details of the Concept.
We intentionally have many rules regarding Concept submissions. If you are not prepared to read and understand all the rules, then don't bother making a submission. These rules are made to help narrow the field of concepts down to those that have been carefully designed. This is not meant to be easy for everyone -- a good, legal Concept requires a lot of thought and careful wording.
The following rules must be followed when submitting a Concept:
Use this format for all concept submissions:
Good Concepts from Past ProjectsHere's a sample of a legal Concept post. This is not an actual submission. I'm just using it to illustrate the format and legal content:
Please try to remember that we are simply pointing the project in a general direction. We are not trying to decide anything right now. We have several weeks of polls ahead of us where EVERYTHING about this Pokemon will be dissected, discussed, voted, and decided. The Concept is a very basic guide for the creation process. It is hard to provide solid concept descriptions without basically designing the entire Pokemon right off the bat. Submissions should be written and chosen very carefully, to avoid these problems.
Right, well, there's not much to say here, but I'd just like to reiterate what I said in my nomination post about what kind of concepts I intend to be slating. Without going on about it for too long, what I want from these concepts are questions of "how do we go about doing this?" rather than "what happens if we do this?" thus placing our interests in the process rather than the playtest, if you will. For example, to take examples from previous CAPs, I would be seriously considering those such as "Stop the Secondary", "Utility Counter" and "Decentraliser", but I would be less willing to accept those closer to the ilk of "Sketch Artist" and "Momentum" – I admit that there is an extremely fine line between the two of them, and as such I am not going to be particularly picky with them, so long as there is something to be said for the challenge of making something for a specific purpose – this, I should say, is the key point. I am not going to take this too far – for example, to quote a borderline case, I would consider concepts such as "Winter Wonderland" as it is not entirely obvious how one should go about constructing such a thing, and would merit some good sort of discussion. I would not, on the other hand, consider concepts such as "Break the Mould" as there is no real end product that we are shooting for throughout. I would like to say at the end of this Project that, yes, we fulfilled the concept!
On another note, as to my attitude on how vague a concept should be, I should say that I would be far better disposed to investigate a concept that involves all manner of avenues to explore, or where there are any number of routes that could be taken to reach our eventual goal, than one where the concept rigidly permits us only a few viable options, or else does not offer us any imaginative insight beyond what has already been covered. Although, please do not take this as an entreaty to be as vague as possible – I certainly don't want that. Just know that it is absolutely the strength and the scope of the idea that counts, and I shall not be discounting any submissions because I personally do not know what the end product will look like. After all, that is half the fun of the discussion.
So, have at ye, and all that. As this is my only go at being a Topic Leader, I feel it's only appropriate that we should start with a bang, don't you know (eh what? what?). I'm looking forward to some excellent entries, so kindly don't disappoint!
BMB's obligatory Topic Leader footnote gimmick - My Top 15 Arthropods
#15 The Antlion
Been thinking about this for a while now.
Concept: Three Ways To Play
Description: A pokemon with three different roles that can only be achieved by utilizing one of its three abilities.
Justification: A large majority of the pokemon in the Over Used metagame either use one ability that completely overshadows their other ones (Dragonite’s Multiscale and Reuniclus’ Magic Guard), have only one ability (Genesect, Ferrothorn, most Levitators), or have two equally good abilities that only slightly change the pokemon’s role (Gyarados’ bulky Intimidate sets v. Gyarados’ offensive Moxie sets) with very few exceptions. This concept aims to create a pokemon that uses its three different abilities to achieve three different roles, whether sweeper, wall, utility, weather abuser, cleric, or any variation in between.
Questions To Be Answered:
I would like to make a few things clear here, the goal of this concept is to tailor make strategies to one specific ability so that it would be impossible to run that strategy without it. Also, roles that may seem very similar at first, such as physical sweeper / special sweeper / set up sweeper, which could be made with just some changes in EVs, Natures, and Items (i.e. Lucario), can work for this concept if the role actually relies on the ability. However, I encourage the possibilities of radically different roles such as sweeper / wall / utility or weather abuser / weather killer / weather starter so long as each role can only be used by having a specific ability.
Here are some examples of abilities and what roles they could designated to.
Offense: Pure Power, Flare Boost, Quick Feet, Download, Sand Force
Defense: Multiscale, Filter, Ice Body, Harvest
Support: Simple, Prankster, Snow Warning
The list goes on.
Edited the explanation.
Edit: Added list to explanation
Concept: "Unpredictable Wall"
Description: A pokemon that could greatly wall off Physical or Special, but not both at once.
Justification: While many offensive pokemon are unpredictable due to their ability to run Physical or Special sets, when a wall hits the field you know what move you need to get rid of it. It's even easy for a wall to have a "mixed defense", but making a wall that can do one or the other but never both will be hard work in every category. Thus, we'll learn invaluable things about how to create Pokemon, and more about defensive pokemon with this concept.
Questions To Be Answered:
Explanation: Any pokemon with good speed, good attack, and good special attack, and a diverse movepool can run their choice of Physical or Special sets. They tend to choose one or the other due to the nature of EVs, you can only fully boost Speed and one of your attacking stats. However it is the movepool that really defines a Pokemon as Physical or Special and herein lies the probably. A Wall's movepool doesn't care whether they used Defense or Special Defense EVs.
EVs alone don't offer the unpredictability I am looking for here. Abilities like Intimidate wouldn't work because once the opponent switches out then you are no longer a capable wall. Defensive stat boost moves are flawed in general, but wouldn't make the Pokemon unpredictable, wouldn't allow them to take a hit on the switch, and wouldn't necessarily prevent them from walling both. I didn't come here with a specific end result in mind, but a challenge, and it excites me to imagine what we could come up with.
EDIT: Perhaps I'm being too narrow in the wish that even switching in the opponent might not know what you are walling (an interesting goal still). In this generation of knowing what your opponent has on their team before hand, even then the unpredictable wall could pose a mind game element.
Concept: "Ugly Duckling"
Description: A Pokemon that at first glance, due to merely "passable" stats, typing, abilities, and/or movepool seems unlikely to be a resident of OU but, because of the combination of stats, typing, abilities, and/or movepool, is well-targeted to check or counter several main threats in OU.
Justification: OU is largely divided in two groups. There are Pokemon that simply have fantastic stats (the 600s, 580s etc) and there are Pokemon that exist in OU for one sole reason (weather starters except for Tyranitar, Dugtrio, Gastrodon, etc.) What OU has very few of, however, is Pokemon that, despite lower BSTs, less impressive typings/abilities, and/or more limited movepools, actually have enough good match-ups in OU to remain relevant as Pokemon in and of themselves, rather than being used to "fill roles" - for example, using Scizor as a Revenge Killer.
Questions To Be Answered:
Can a Pokemon with lower BST, mediocre typing/ability, and/or limited movepool exist in OU without being a "role player?"
What current Pokemon in OU already fit this mold and what can we learn from them?
What pitfalls do we need to avoid in stats/typing/ability/movepool in order to keep CAP4 from simply becoming another role player?
How many and which individual Pokemon/team playstyles does a Pokemon have to have good matchups against for it to be viable in OU?
Explanation: To be clear, this is a vague concept. Maybe too vague, but I've wondered a bit about this since B/W came out and Jellicent seemed to fit this idea for me. Despite low BST for OU, Jellicent has a good typing, ability, and movepool. Good enough to be comfortably OU, in fact. I'd love to take this a bit further. Would Jellicent still be OU if it were mono-water, for example, and lost the role of spinblocker and the normal/fighting immunities? What if it didn't have either Scald or Will-o-Wisp and couldn't burn foes? I'd like to edge a bit closer to the slippery slope of making something that truly on the face of things looks to not be OU-worthy but in fact is.
I've had enough of teams that contain Politoed (who is there just for Rain), Breloom (who is just there for Spore/Poison Heal or Technician shenanigans), Tornadus-T (who is a 580 and is just there for Hurricane anyway), etc etc.
Who doesn't like a good underdog?
Name: All Weather Abuser
General Description: A pokemon who can not only function but perhaps even sweep in any and all weather conditions, due to more than one ability, a vast movepool, being very strong, or any combination of the three.
Justification: There are many pokemon that can sweep in the sun, rain, etc, but there are none that can sweep in any of the four weather conditions. This would be a breakthrough in the metagame due to the weather teams wreaking havoc on all those poor little beginners (AKA me).
Questions To Be Answered:
- Is there a way for a single pokemon to be useful in any weather condition?
- What movepools/stats/typing would be needed to make it work?
- How would this affect the current metagame?
Explanation: I am sick and tired of seeing Politoeds and Tyranitars and Ninetales (oh my!) being used way too often. There is a spot in OU for these types of teams to work, but they are used way to often, and there needs to be a simple yet effective way of stopping them. Some abilities that could work would be the obvious weather inducing abilities, but I'm kind of trying to steer clear of weather. We could use something like Chlorophyll, Dry Skin, Ice Body, even Overcoat or Magic Guard, etc. Some good moves to give would be Fire Blast, Blizzard, Solarbeam, and maybe even Weather Ball.
I would love to see this concept be made into a pokemon.
Now, the rules say to not state a concept already posted in the thread, but I do want to post a concept submission from a past CAP Concept Submission thread. How does that work? Could I simply copypasta it and fully credit that user instead of me should the concept win? Do I have to start completely from scratch, even if his concept submission had everything about it written perfectly? This is one of the first times I've actually gotten involved in time for the concept submissions, so I'm not fully educated on additional rules like those.
Name: Jack of All Trades
General Description: A Pokémon which is competent, but not exceptional in a wide variety of roles - but which becomes a dangerous OU threat by its sheer versatility, playing mind games with the opponent as to the exact set it's running. A balanced stat spread and an absolutely tremendous movepool should enable the Pokémon to succeed in any role a team needs.
Justification: It's generally held that, for a Pokémon to be effective, there needs to be something it does really well. Even particularly versatile OU Pokémon, like Jirachi and Mew, have a few "optimal" sets which players gravitate toward; the wide variety of other options adds to the threat they pose, but generally they'll perform one of a few roles they're particularly good at. Still, there's no denying that those mindgames are a real part of why these Pokémon are so good. But there's not really any such thing as a Pokémon based purely around its unpredictability. Jirachi would still be effective even if the Specially Defensive set was the only one it could run; the idea behind this concept is one of a Pokémon which is threatening purely due to all the sets it might be running, allowing you to bait an opponent into a mistake which hands you the game. No one set should be more than above average in effectiveness compared to other OU threats, but the CAP should do them all equally well - meaning that, until you've made your first move, the list of viable checks and counters is nebulous at best. If the opponent doesn't predict correctly based on team composition and playstyle, they can kiss a Pokémon goodbye, and possibly lose the game.
Questions To Be Answered:
Explanation: Game Freak has made official Pokémon which attempted to do something like this in the past - for instance, Clefable. But they've always been too underpowered to use any of their sets all that effectively; it doesn't matter how unpredictable a Pokémon is if none of its sets are threatening. The thought here is that any given set should be a viable threat in OU, but essentially outclassed by other Pokémon; so, you want a balanced stat distribution which is good, but not great, all around. Rotom-A's Attack stat is lacking, but otherwise it'd make a decent example of how you might pull that off; serviceable bulk, offense, and Speed that, taken on their own, would be mediocre at best, but which in tandem make for an effective and versatile Pokémon. A wide movepool would of course be a necessity; stats are only as good as the moves they're backing. A good set of Abilities could help the Pokémon to do well in whatever role it took - for instance, Flame Body on a physically bulky defensive pivot would let it effectively spread Burns, further reducing the opponent's ability to do damage. As for typing, you'd want to go for something that provided a good set of resistance alongside at least one good STAB. Dragon/Steel is an example; you don't have any glaring weaknesses, but you get a large number of resistances to switch in on and can use Dragon's great neutral coverage to go on the offensive. A bad typing can kill this concept early on; Victini's defenses are on par with Jirachi's, but the Fire/Psychic typing completely kills any possibility it has of using a defensive set successfully. The key distinction this concept has from Jirachi and friends is that there is no "best" set; everything it can do, it does equally well. That fact means you can't make safe assumptions about the set it's running; until it makes a move, it could be anything. By contrast, fully one third of Jirachi are the common Specially Defensive set; based on team composition, you can often predict what set Jirachi is running before it hits battle. With this concept, predicting the CAP's moveset should not be possible; it should be good at whatever it tries to do. The breadth of the movepool should be without par, allowing the CAP to fill any possible role on a team within the confines of its typing. By intelligent play, it should be possible to completely control the game with this Pokémon; for instance, switch it in on something the Choice Specs variant is known to be a hard counter to and set up Swords Dance as the opponent makes the switch to Blissey. Versatility above and beyond Jirachi, or any Pokémon that currently exists, but without the ability to fill any one role as well as those Pokémon can.
Name: Alternate Forms
General Description: A pokemon that has multiple forms, and is able to switch between them during battle. Switching forms should be strategically viable and effective.
Justification: With the release of Black 2 and White 2, there are now 21 different pokemon that can take on multiple forms, 4 of which can do so during battle. Alternate forms are by now a standard part of pokemon, and should thus be represented in the CAP project. Creating a pokemon with multiple forms would also lend itself to a potentially limitless number of interesting possibilities, especially if the pokemon in question is able to change forms during battle.
Switching forms is a strategy that turns a battle upside-down, which can be seen in cases like with Darmanitan and Meloetta, but these have not been used to their full extent in OU, and 1-form strategies remain more common. Imagine how interesting a battle could be, though, if you could switch between forms of Deoxys by using a move, for instance (CAP4 will obviously not be quite this powerful). The ability to completely change aspects of a pokemon during battle could completely change the way matches unfold, as long as the power of both forms and the method of switching forms are usable enough.
Questions To Be Answered:
Concept: Time Capsule
Description: A Pokemon that employs a role or fills a niche that was common in a past generation.
Justification: This concept would allow us to learn more about how the metagame shifts with time, and particularly with generations. This is rather fitting given the recent transition to B2W2. By the concept's nature, a 'new' niche would be brought back into the OU metagame as well.
Questions to be answered:
A good example is RBY Normal Offence. Powerful normal moves were a very major force in RBY that dissapeared afterwards with the introduction of steel typing, viable fighting moves, the Hyper Beam nerf, and the generally more defensive nature of GSC. Of course, Normal still hits 14 types for SE damage, and these types can all be disposed of by Magnezone, Pursuiters, or a Revenge Kill from Dugtrio. Just look at NU- normal offence is certainly possible within the context of OU; there just isn't an abuser quite capable of making the strategy viable in OU. As a more recent example of a fallen strategy, the introduction of BW 'killed' the lead metagame. Recently, Deoxys-D has come to prominence as a Suicide Lead designed to set up a few layers of hazards and block the opponents- a niche that DPP Aerodactyl used to have before its fall from grace with the generation shift.
RBY Wrap is an example that relies more on mechanics changes. While Wrap no longer operates like it once did, a clever means could be made to make a similar strategy work. For example, a bulky trapper capable of depriving the opponent of turns and scoring damage by indirect means could fill the same role. It would just look a bit different than it did in RBY.
There's an almost endless number of possibilities here that could force us to look at the evolution of the Pokemon metagame across the generations, as well as the question of what makes a strategy or role good in one generation but bad in another.
Name: Breaking Point
General Description: Smogon ban Pokemon in search of a "perfectly balanced metagame". The criteria we use to do is very subjective and blurred, however. Let's define that line.
Justification: CAP's results have only tended to show what happens when we try to introduce either a missing presence to a metagame (Fidgit), or trying to stabilize the metagame (Arghonaut/Syclant). Rarely do we make a CAP whose sole purpose is to be "very good". We've never made a CAP equivalent of Salamence, for example. Not on purpose, anyway. People often shout claims that Pokemon X is broken or that Pokemon Y needs a ban, and arguments for and against both sides are oftentimes good. But there is no definite right or wrong answer. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it wouldn't hurt to try and make that choice a bit more easily defined than just saying they cross subjective thresholds of being "defensively overpowered" or "offensively overpowered".
Questions To Be Answered:
Explanation: Throughout CAP history, we've consistently made Pokemon perform in a top-tier class. Nearly every CAP we've made has sat easily in the upper class of whatever metagame tier is was made for. However, we've always been careful to not make them too strong. Most of them have drawbacks. After all, that's balance. However, what if we tried pushing the boundaries? I am not suggesting we make an Uber CAP. That would be too easy. I am suggesting we try our best to tiptoe around the line between "format-defining" and "broken." The difference between having to actively prepare for it when laddering and having to focus your team into countering it.
Allow me to give an example using Magic: the Gathering. There is a deck in the standard season about to rotate known as "UW Delver." It is extremely powerful, and almost oppressive. It has options against every deck style by utilizing permission spells combined with tempo cards and a strong, effective attacker. About 40% of metagame decks were some variant of this deck. People claimed that this deck ruined the format. Others said that it was just "incredibly strong, but still beatable". And indeed. Some needed to carry answers to Delver in the main deck (Delver isn't unbeatable), whereas others got away with sideboarding. Nothing in Delver has been banned, only pieces rotating. Another format a few years ago is Mirrodin-block. A deck known as "Ravager Affinity" had many of its pieces banned in this format, almost immediately. 80% of the metagame decks were Affinity decks, and the other 20% were decks built specifically to defeat Affinity. They even printed a card in the next set just to shut down Affinity. It didn't work. There are two decks here with two vastly different styles of power. I am propsing we attempt to build a Delver deck for OU, not Affinity. We want people to not like this Pokemon, yet still either want to play it, or beat it. It needs to be a pillar of OU, but not a tower.
Another relevant point is that bmb has just said how he wants to look more at the process of the CAP than the end result itself. Even though I think the end result of this will be extremely amusing, the process will also be different to what we normally do for CAPs. We will literally be pushing the boundaries on everything here, to ensure that this CAP is the best at everything, but not broken. It will be extremely challenging. I recall a while back during Krilowatt, there was a lot of discussion to prevent Krilowatt from being defensively overpowered. It's phrases like this I want to either eliminate, or clarify. While tiering in itself is very subjective, we should do all we can to objectify as much as we can, so that we can provide a fair judgement on the metagame for all those who visit Smogon.
If someone says that Forretress is "defensively overpowered", sure, many will say they are wrong, and argue points about that. But then there can be many arguments returned. There is no right or wrong answer. It's only after weeks of playtesting do the most skilled players come to a conclusion based on judgement and experience. If we can see more clearly the line between being strong in the metagame and broken, we can be able to define with greater precision the status of many Pokemon that are under dispute.
Also another point about this is "overcentralizing". This word gets thrown around a lot when people want to ban things, but what's the difference between being "overcentralizing" and just being a huge threat? Is it causing people to build whole teams differently based on this single Pokemon's existence? Surely then Terrakion fits this bill? After all, its analysis even says "Terrakion is one of the best offensive threats in the game that every team should be prepared for, and everyone should consider using." If I remember rightly, wasn't Garchomp banned in Gen IV OU for this very reason? Sure, context is a factor, but what's the difference between changing HP Fire to HP Ice to kill Garchomp versus switching one of your sweepers for something that can sweep up Terrakion instead?
I really think this concept not only explores the capabilities of the OU metagame, but it also allows us to take a look at Smogon in terms of tiering and how we decide what gets banned and what doesn't. It attempts to objectify something that is very subjective, and surely that's always a good thing? As well as this, it helps us look back at our CAP Process - we can push forward our boundaries in that we would explore combinations and options that we wouldn't have entertained before due to being "too strong", because after all, "almost broken" is what we're aiming for with this. Things that would complicate the process such as Multitype would be perfect. Things that make stat spread makers stop and say "wait, I can afford to give it that ridiculous Speed". Things that make moveset builders say "screw it I'll make it a tutor move."
We will break all the rules while still obeying the law. And it will be glorious.
oh shit that's a giant wall of text. sorry, didn't mean for it to be that large.
Concept: Flexible Support
Description: A support pokemon with interesting typing that can take other roles to surprise opponents.
Justification: Support pokemon usually are useless after they set up hazards, so a new pokemon that can support its team while dishing out damage would be a great addition to the metagame. The pokemon's typing would have useable for both offense and defense.
Questions to be Answered:
- How does a support pokemon fit best into a team?
- Will a pokemon be able to set up hazards and do significant damage at the same time?
- How can a pokemon best surprise opponents by filling in a different role than it usually does?
- How will CAP 4s typing effect its ability to support or attack?
Explanation: Most support pokemon have limited moves, and they can easily be predicted to have hazards, status, and a one damaging move. Pokemon such as ferrothorn or skarmory can run offensive sets, but there choices are very limited and have difficulty pulling of a sweep. Jirachi is the pokemon that is most similar to this concept, with wish and paralysis support, but it lacks high base power moves and it has poor STAB. This pokemon will be mainly support, but the ability for it to do heavy damage is only a secondary part of its design.
Concept: "Transforming Threat"
General Description: A Pokemon that has different formes with different stats, but all of them look alike.
Justification: Adding an element of strategy and chance to the metagame; you can run a move on a forme that is typically only used in other formes to fake out your opponent.
Questions To Be Answered:
Explanation: This is an idea I've had for a long time (ever since I was introduced to CAP), and I think having it could introduce a significant Pokemon to the meta. It would also be fun to play mindgames with it, and even against it!
Some great concepts submitted. I can feel an amazing CAP on the horizon. anyways, I got a submission so here goes...
CAP 4 concept submission
Concept: Dare To Be Different
Description: A Pokémon which has a handful of viable sets, but as one of these sets is used by more and more players, it becomes less and less effective while its other sets become more and more effective.
Justification: When deciding on what Pokémon (set) to use on your team, there are a few things you take into consideration. 1.) what does this Pokémon help me check and counter, 2.) what weaknesses does this Pokémon bring, and 3.) how does this Pokémon advance my team’s goals. However, one thing that isn’t often considered when adding a Pokémon to a team is 4.) what are this Pokémon’s most popular sets. Sure you might consider this a little when deciding whether or not you want to use expert belt Landorus or other such lures, but it’s not like the prominence of Choice Band Scizor is going to discourage you from using one of your own in any meaningful way. In contrast, this CAP concept intends to make players seriously consider which of CAP 4’s sets are the most popular at the time by making these “popular” sets less effective compared to other lesser used sets. By doing so, we would gain a better understanding of why certain Pokémon that have only one effective set (cough. Cloyster. cough) are still useful while also teaching us the true value of “daring to be different”.
Questions to be Answered
• How will the metagame react to a Pokémon whose most effective sets are the ones that are seldom seen? Which sets would teams prepare for the most? The ones that are everywhere, or the ones that are more effective?
• What types of strategies/sets are most effective when they are uncommon?
• What makes CAP 4’s sets less useful as they become more common? Do teams stock up on counters to CAP 4’s common sets? Do players make in battle adjustments that make the common sets less effective? Do CAP 4’s common sets simply lose their surprise factor, making them less useful?
• What steps need to be taken to make sure that none of CAP 4’s sets become “Standard”?
• Are there any previously unknown strategies that work best when they are uncommon? If so, what are they?
• How important is unpredictability and the element of surprise for CAP 4 and Pokémon in general?
Generally, a Pokémon’s most common sets are the most useful sets the Pokémon has at its disposal. However, there are sets, entire strategies even, that would be less effective if they were everywhere! Lures are prime examples of this principle. A lure is only effective if the opponent doesn’t see it coming. If expert belt Latios was everywhere, do you think it would be able to bait Ferrothorn like it does? Of course it wouldn’t. Magma Storm Heatran operates in much the same way. It’s not like people would be eager to send Blissey into Heatran if the magma storm set was common fare. There are other similar strategies as well. What about Perish Trapping? I remember the first time I faced a perish trapping Murkrow. I was so sure the thing was gonna use tailwind or toxic or something, that I switched in my Jirachi, only to be promptly trapped and killed. Let me tell you that if this Murkrow set was more common, I would have never fallen for the strategy. This concept would see how a Pokémon whose sets become less useful as they become more common could be built and how it would work. If we combined the essence of Magma Storm Heatran and Perish Trapper Murkrow, how would they interact? Both of these sets WANT to be uncommon, but if all a Pokémon has are sets that want to be uncommon, what then? Over the course of this CAP process, we could even discover new strategies that follow this principle, which may very well have a lasting impact on the metagame as a whole.
Also, it’s not just movesets that want to be uncommon. Some abilities work better when opponents don’t see them coming. For example, imagine a Pokémon with the abilities Adaptability and Illusion. Illusion works best when people don’t expect it, so when a ton of people use Adaptability (which they may, because Adaptability is a very potent ability), Illusion would become more effective. But as Illusion becomes more common, it becomes less effective for obvious reasons, so Adaptability would become the preferred ability again and so on and so forth. I can also see abilities like Multitype and Harvest operating in similar ways.
The most difficult part about accomplishing the goals of this CAP would without a doubt be actually figuring out how to create a Pokémon with no “standard" sets. I mean, if you create a Pokémon with decent offensive stats, wouldn’t slapping on at least one of choice band, choice scarf, or choice specs be a valid strategy? Same deal if you give a Pokémon a good amount of bulk, it could easily turn into a wall with a very standardized function. Both of these can easily serve as “standard” sets, so could we truly inhibit the emergence of a “standard” set? Simply put, these should be serious concerns. However, I feel like even if a Pokémon has sets with wall-like properties or sweeping potential, they still may not become standard sets. I mean, defensive Salamence and specs Vaporeon both exist and are effective, but Salamence isn’t considered a premier wall nor is Vaporeon feared as a sweeper. If either one of these sets became more popular, I daresay they would be less effective because of how much they rely on catching the opponent off guard. If we can zero in on why such sets work and exist, we could replicate the necessary characteristics in CAP 4, thereby sidestepping these pitfalls and create the Pokémon we want to create.
Finally, I would just like to stress that creating a mon with a ton of versatility is not necessarily the best way to go about this CAP concept. This concept would require us to produce a very specific set of dynamics, and a Jirachi-esque Pokémon simply wouldn’t cut it. I mean, this CAP requires a strong interdependence between a Pokémon’s various sets, and I really don’t see that interdependence between Jirachi’s specially defensive set and its choice scarf set. I’m not saying a large movepool would be bad for this CAP, but I do feel we would need to be careful about what we put into CAP 4’s movepool to make sure we do not accidentally give CAP 4 a standard set, which would basically destroy this concept.
Concept Name: Quickstaller
General Description: A pokemon which in some way makes quickstall viable in the OU metagame.
Stall generally is on the down, and down, and down in this metagame. It is, just barely, possible to cover the full range of purely offensive threats, but almost impossible to also beat Deoxys-D offense, other stalls, Baton Pass, Magic Bounce users, and the wide range of popular stallbreakers. In addition, stall is incredibly vulnerable to hax, because of its reliance on all its members to be healthy.
Quickstall is a different approach to stall which was somewhat popularised in DPP Ubers. The basic idea of the playstyle is to abuse entry hazards, like normal stall, but to find ways of keeping the momentum on your side to reduce the number of attacks you need to take. Generally, quickstall is based around a number of "annoyers", or pokemon which are capable of stalling out an opponent's pokemon. For examples of the play style you could look at Fireburn and bojangles Uber RMT (http://www.smogon.com/smog/issue5/featured_rmt_uber) or my (kinda terrible) DPP OU team (http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85460).
Unfortunately, quickstall has a number of problems which stop it being particularly effective. The greatest problem is that there just aren't a lot of effective stallers which don't rely on weather (and a lot of those which don't, struggle to find safe switch-in opportunities - SubSeed Whimsicott, for instance, lives in eternal fear of Scald burns), but it can also be tricky to maintain a sufficient level of entry hazards in this metagame. I think a CAP based on this concept could aim to fill either one of these two holes, although if we did go with the latter option (to help provide / maintain entry hazard support quickly), we should choose a viable quickstaller as an ideal partner for it.
Questions To Be Answered:
The first and most obvious question would be whether quickstall is a viable alternative to other, more popular playstyles; in addition, since we're dealing with basically an entirely new playstyle to what many contributors would be comfortable with, the question of how we could make the playstyle work would also be extremely interesting.
I'd really love to see the CAP community focus on a whole playstyle, which presents a much larger challenge but also potentially a lot more valuable discussion and new information arising from that; as opposed to our usual focus on a single niche role in the metagame.
Also, bugmaniacbob asked for some ideas on how we could go about doing this, sooo...basically, quickstall is just like offense in that it's all about keeping momentum on your side. Compared to pure stall, you sacrifice overall bulk in order to give the opponent less opportunities to pursue their own goals. From my own experience, there are three main components to every effective quickstall team; entry hazard setters / spinblockers, transition pokemon, and stallers (most people call them annoyers). Now, if we built a great Spikes user or defensive Ghost, I doubt it would make the CAP specific to the quickstall playstyle, so I'd like us to focus on either a transition pokemon or an effective "annoyer'.
A transition pokemon, by the way, is something that lets you move between your defensive strategy and your offensive strategy - Wobbuffet is a really good example, as Fireburn and bojangles showed in the above RMT. You could think of it as something which sacrifices its own health to cancel the opponents offensive momentum and give it to you instead. An annoyer is much more self explanatory. Essentially, its something which can damage the opponents team through utilising passive damage strategies, usually (but not necessarily) sitting behind a Substitute. There are a few existing examples, such as SubToxic Gliscor, SubSeeders, SubDisable Gengar / Froslass, and so on. For quickstall, what these pokemon have to be able to do is to keep momentum on your side, or at least neutral, when they're forced out. Whimsicott does this really nicely with Encore, for instance.
Both of these would in my opinion be good focuses for a CAP project, although I'd lean more towards the idea of a transition pokemon as it's something we've never come close to looking at before.
Long time lurker here. I just thought I would post my idea. Sorry if I ramble I tend to do that.
CAP 4 Submission
Name: The Weather Killer
General Description: A Pokemon that can effectively beat the main weather starters in OU, due to a combination of either typing, ability or stats.
Justification: Weather teams are everywhere nowadays in OU. Pokemon like Tyranitar and Politoed are going crazy on the usage statistics. Is there a way to beat these weather starters for your team? Is Anti-Weather even possible in the current OU metagame?
Questions to be answered:
-How will the metagame react if we introduce a true "weather counter"?
-How will this affect the usage of common weather abusers (e.g. Tornadus-T, Toxicroak, Venusaur, etc)?
-Will this kind of pokemon affect the general playstyle of OU players?
-Will pokemon who are negatively affected by weather see a spike in usage?
-How will this kind of pokemon fit onto a team? Will it be seen as a lead to kill opponent's weather to get up your own, or will it be used to get rid of weather?
Explanation: What kind of ability will this Pokemon have? Will it have an ability such as Cloud Nine/Air Lock which will inhibit the weather, or will it have an ability such as Arena Trap to trap the weather inducer? Will the stats of the pokemon be more offensive in order to kill the inducer, or will it be more like a tank to absorb the inducer's attack and then strike back?
Concept: Jekyll and Hyde
Description: Create a Pokemon that can run two completely opposite sets, each of which struggle against what the other has an easy time beating.
Frequently Pokemon surface in OU that are praised as being "multidimensional" and "unpredictable" because of the variety that they bring to the table, allowing them to threaten walls expecting a traditional set with a surprise coverage move. However, they suffer from the fact that there will always be Pokemonthat completely and utterly shut them down, either by way of priority, outspeeding, ability, or just the ability to wall them and everything they have to offer. Creating a Pokemon that can beat one but not both of its sets of counters without the opponent knowing which set would allow us to discover potentially valuable ways to handle threats that you can't revenge kill or wall.
Questions to be Answered:
How would it be possible to completely separate two groups of counters such that the Pokemon would be able to choose one to beat, and one to get beaten by?
Would accomplishing such a feat force us to rely so heavily on the necessarily high quality of the ability that the stats and movepool would have to be lowered in quality to compensate?
Would such a lowering cause the Pokemon to become unviable in OU?
On the opposite end, would the high quality of the ability cause the Pokemon to overcentralize OU?
Explanation: Unfortunately, this concept would be difficult to execute due to its complexity. Creating two (presumably ~equally viable) sets which both beat each others' counters would be hard enough; adding in the problem of shared stats, typing and movepool would make fulfilling the challenge nigh impossible without a major innovation of some sort. For instance, Scizor+Rotom-W is a potent Volt-Turning core which aims to pivot between the two to eliminate each other's counters. Skarmory is threatened by Rotom-W; likewise, Scizor threatens Blissey/Chansey. However, Tornadus-T is one member of the group of pokemon that can threaten both of them enormously; if it comes in on Scizor, Specs Focus Blast threatens them both. What this shows is, even without the restrictions mentioned earlier, that even the cores with great defensive synergy fail to address certain threats that can do damage to them both.
The idea with the "Jekyll and Hyde" concept is that, probably via a choice between two abilities, a Pokemon could demand two separate counters, because a counter could either be effective or set-up bait; the opponent would have to carry counters for both versions of the same pokemon.
I might add more later, but this is all I have time for today.
Input is appreciated. Thanks!
credits to user Rising_Dusk for the original idea (shame he is no longer with us)
General Description: A Pokemon that uses the element of surprise to great effect via hiding information from the opponent until it can be revealed to turn the tide in a match.
Justification: BW much less than other generations relies on the element of surprise, half because power creep has made hammering a much more effective strategy, and half because Team Preview basically rapes all teambuilding uncertainty that was a major aspect of generations I-IV. The game nowadays is much more reliant on playing around your opponent, forcing switches, and predicting switches, and also a lot of wearing down. While this is all well and good, i miss the days where games where uncertain, where you didn't ever quite know who was going to win until the last couple of turns, and where winning was less based on whittling down your opponent's walls and more on a surprise attack~. Some may say that this meta is impossible to recreate now that we have Team Preview, but i disagree. The tools are all there, Nintendo has provided the arsenal for an effective abuser of surprise. CAP just has to assemble it.
Concept: Taking an Uber down a notch
General Description: A Pokemon that would be considered OU due to it's typing, stats, abilities, and movepool, but by merely existing in the metagame it makes a certain Uber-tier Pokemon no longer considered Uber in the playtest.
Justification: In the past CAP and Smogon as a whole has always been looking for ways to make certain Pokemon better, but rarely has had the goal of making one worse.
Questions To Be Answered:
Explanation: Though the tiers play differently, OU and Ubers are closely related tiers. OU is the hand-crafted flagship game of the brightest and fairest minds in competitive Pokemon, while Ubers is it's darker underbelly comprising of that which was deemed too powerful. To better understand what truly makes a Pokemon too good for OU we should examine what it takes to re-balance it. This gives us a better understanding of this game we all love to play and a stronger ground to stand on when Smogon does future bans and suspect tests for new Dream world releases and future generations.
Well, since Ditto has pretty much taken up the role of my old idea, here's a new one.
Name: Core Maker
General Description: A Pokemon that is merely 'okay' by itself, but is a vital part of one or more powerful cores.
We've seen them. We've fought them. We use them. Cores are a vital part of most teams, offensive or defensive. SkarmBliss, Ferrocent, Bromoongus, or, if you like offense more, DragMag or any other Steel+Dragon combo.
So, my question is this: What if there was a Pokemon that syncs really, really well with enough Pokemon to make one or more effective cores? The Pokemon may not have to be that good by itself, it just needs to be able to work well with others.
Questions To Be Answered:
-What typing would this Pokemon be?
-Does the Pokemon need support to be effective?
-Will this Pokemon make other Pokemon too powerful/broken, like Ludicolo and Kabutops did to Kingdra?
-Will this Pokemon be way too hard to build around this concept?
-Could this Pokemon be too centralizing?
-This Pokemon could use different sets in different cores.
-The typing will probably need to be able to work with several different other type matchups.
Regarding Porygon 2, all of it's sets are variations of bulky offense with slight variations that are not entirely dependent on it's choice of ability. Even the Defensive Duck set, which is it's only set that asks for a specific ability, is just bulky offense that abuses Trace.
As for Celebi, yes Celebi has a large variety of sets, however this is a testament to Celebi's balanced stats and diverse move pool, so just switching up the EVs, Natures, and move pool can bring about a lot of diversity. But the main thing is that Celebi only has one ability.
These three pokemon could all, hypothetically, run any one of their sets with any one of their abilities, all it takes is is changing their EVs and natures, where as the goal of this concept is to tailor make strategies to one specific ability so that it would be impossible to run that strategy without it.
Now to be fair, you did bring up, in my opinion, the best candidate for your argument, Breloom. Breloom's Posion Heal sets and Technician sets are both different and equally viable, but both are just different means to the same end, a powerful wall breaker with spore. To be honest Breloom was sort of an inspiration for this concept, in that it's two competitive abilities allow it to function very differently. The difference here is to utilize all three abilities to this affect.
Here I go :)
Name: Risky Business (formerly "Living On the Edge")
General Description: This Pokémon is very risky to play, but very rewarding if played correctly.
Justification: Many of the Pokémon that are successful in OU are relatively easy to play or have great "safe" options (e.g. U-turn). Yet, many other Pokémon look very powerful, but are less successful than they could be because of some large risks involved (e.g. Hydreigon), and some aren't successful at all (e.g. Honchkrow). This self-balancing concept intends to explore what it takes for a risky Pokémon to be successful, and how much inherent risk a Pokémon can get away with. It should be emphasized that this concept is NOT about luck management, but rather, it is about what the user can afford to do given his/her opponent's options, and vice versa.
Questions To Be Answered:
Now, some may have noticed that there was no mention whatsoever of the term "prediction" throughout this submission. This was intentional. I feel that "prediction" has very much become a sort of buzzword even among seasoned battlers, and people get the heavily simplified idea that Pokémon is just about predicting your opponent's move. Yet, as anyone who's played poker or even competitive rock-paper-scissors will tell you, there is an inherent risk in every read, and these risks have to be considered to be successful. The aforementioned Technical Machine has no inherent concept of "prediction" at all. Hopefully, by making a Pokémon that embodies risk and reward, we will have a better understanding of the long-term implications of risk in a Pokémon match.
I know bugmaniacbob said he wants a concept focused on how to build a Pokémon more than what the metagame does when presented with a certain Pokémon. I know that this concept is pretty heavy on the latter, but I definitely chose this concept with the former in mind as well. There are a lot of good possibilities for making risk happen, and I am eager to see what people come up with.
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