Originally Posted by Fat Birkal
Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm pleased with the current slate. I see the value of all five abilities, so good work team. I'm posting because I wanted to address one bit of an argument:
Illusion is one of my favorite abilities on the slate because it does have risk. Can you use an Illusion-mon and tell me 100% that your opponent will or will not predict your bluff? Honestly, you cannot. If you give CAP4 a good enough movepool, it could potentially garner a huge reward in one turn by acting as a lure or setting up. The risk you take is whether or not your opponent will discover your bluff or not, and for that, I think it fits CAP4 excellently. It also would teach us about entry hazard management and how well an Illusion-mon can serve early game in relation to late game.
In relation to your argument, jas, I don't buy it. You can't argue that one aspect of a Pokemon is completely reliant on its other aspects. They are all important and will go in shaping this Pokemon. Moxie has no value if CAP4 doesn't have a viable special movepool and SpA. Weak Armor is irrelevant if CAP4 isn't fast enough to abuse the power. All of these abilities rely on other factors; Illusion is no different. It adds the layer of opponent prediction to the concept, which I think is really digging into our concept. How we interact with our opponent in terms of making predictions is a lot more interesting to me than playing accuracy games.
And for anyone out there saying that Zoroark and CAP4 would be abused on the same team, I have no idea where you are coming from. Zoroark gets very little use in OU and is generally regarded as a poor selection of a teammate. It has a niche but it's nowhere near broken. I doubt it would get much use during the CAP4 playtest at all.
While disagreeing with Birkal is not going to get me into the Smogon good books, I do have to agree with jas here.
I don't want Illusion
on CAP4 because Illusion has many advantages with almost no drawbacks.
Firstly, let's answer this question: What's the disadvantage if your opponent sees through Illusion? Simply put, nothing. If your opponent realises that you are hiding with Illusion, they'll attack you like normal, as if you had no ability. So they'll act as if nothing had ever happened, because Illusion had no effect. The opponent's not been messed with, but you haven't lost anything either. The only thing that you lose is your ability, and many OU Pokemon have shown time and time again that not having a great Ability doesn't matter (see: Lucario, Terrakion).
But, what about the stuff you win with Illusion, when it works? You get a free turn, essentially. Your opponent either has to switch out to an appropriate counter (which may or may not counter CAP4, they're just countering the pokemon CAP4 is disguised as), or they attack and end up seeing the "It's not very effective" text pop up. Either way, CAP4 gets a turn to do whatever it wants. It can set up, it can get free damage or it could switch to another teammate to keep up momentum like a VoltTurn team would.
"But Treadshot, what about Zoroark? Why does it get no usage?"
Simple, Zoroark's stats and movepool let it down. Dark Typing also doesn't help it in Gen V where everything carries either U-Turn or a Fighting move.
Going back to the two questions, what does Zoroark lose when the opponent sees it's a Zoroark? All of its health, because it's defense are shoddy. Zoroark is frail, it can't afford to take a hit from anything with even half-decent offenses. It's weak to common moves which doesn't help it at all, and it's not fast enough to pull off the Glass Cannon role that made Gengar famous.
What does Zoroark gain when Illusion works? Well, Illusion should give it a free turn, to set up, to attack with or to switch (and thus cause a double switch to keep up momentum). That's what Illusion gives to pokemon, unfortunately our pal Zoroark can't do anything with it. Set up? There are far better pokemon for that role (Terrakion, anyone?) who all have better defenses to help them attempt a sweep. Attack for extra damage? MixApe could pull off better damage with a better STAB in Close Combat, while you might as well have used Draco Meteor off Latios for real damage (Zoroark also doesn't have the high base power moves to do much in one hit without boosts). And if you wanted to switch, why not use Rotom-W? Bulkier, better switching move in Volt Switch and with better coverage in its STABs just in case.
Just because Zoroark isn't able to take advantage of it, doesn't mean Illusion is bad. It's just that Zoroark is not the pokemon to take advantage of it. For everything Illusion should give a pokemon, Zoroark has a downside to stop Illusion from working its magic. We need to evaluate Illusion on its own, without Zoroark holding it back. When Illusion is given to a pokemon which actually has defenses, then Illusion has no drawbacks aside from removing any other abilities from your pokemon. And that's minor, when you essentially get a free turn when it works.
While I know we can always tailor the pokemon to be somewhat less powerful to compensate for Illusion's benefits, why bother? We'd just be making Zoroark v2, and we'd learn very little that way. Illusion is an ability that only results in benefits, and Zoroark is the embodiment of how bad we would need to make a pokemon, to keep Illusion in check. It is not Illusion that's bad; Zoroark needed to be nerfed to balance out Illusion.