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CAP 12 CAP 1 - Concept Assessment

Discussion in 'CAP Process Archive' started by reachzero, Mar 3, 2011.

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  1. Acidarmor


    Jul 2, 2009
    I've been using a dual-screen/memento Uxie for a while, and I think it actually illustrates momentum quite well, against offensive teams at least.

    What will happen is that I'll usually manage to get dual-screens up by good prediction, then memento my way out of there. Offensive pokemon are reduced to 1/4 of regular damage, allowing me to send out one of my slightly bulky set-up sweepers (Haxorus, Chandelure, Sciz), and get at least one CM or DD or SD up whether they switch out or (foolishly) decide to attack.

    I think that this is a good illustration of momentum because in one turn, Uxie
    -Allowed my Pokemon to come in safely
    -Forced the opponent to waste a turn by almost negating its offensive stats.

    It basically accomplished two objectives in a single turn, which, in conjunction, allowed me to become a threat. The opponent is now behind in terms of momentum, and is trying to end my sweep and playing defensively, rather than concentrating on trying to sweep.

    If you'll bear with me for a second (this will sound a bit far-fetched), I believe that the concept of momentum shift in a battle can be summed up sort of like so. Let's say each of the players starts out with a momentum value of, say, 0. If a player accomplishes one thing (thing here meaning objective, whether it be to KO an opponent, or to get another pokemon in, or to get Spikes up, or whatever), and one thing only during a turn, then that player's momentum value remains the same. If the player manages to accomplish two things during a turn, the player's momentum value gains one point. If the player does not accomplish anything during a turn (wastes it), their momentum value goes down. Whichever player has the highest momentum value is currently threatening, and the player with the lower momentum value is responding.

    Here, the threatening player is attempting to keep their momentum by accomplishing an objective every turn. The responding player is attempting to either gain momentum to try to catch up to the momentum of the threatener, or to cause the threatener to lose momentum. An example of catching up could be a Scarf Flygon outspeeding and U-Turning onto a weakened sweeper, thus KOing the sweeper AND getting another pokemon in. This gave the responder +1 Momentum Point (MP) because the responder KO'd a pokemon AND switched in another one. This Did not lose the threatener any MP, however. He did not KO any pokemon, but he did manage to switch in a new one for free, meaning he accomplished exactly one goal. Still, at the end of the turn, the responder gained +1 MP

    An example of making the other player lose momentum could be sending in a Blissey on a purely special Starmie. The Starmie cannot KO the Blissey, which means that it is not accomplishing its objectives (Losing 1 MP) If it switches out, that wastes a turn, also costing it one MP.

    Whichever player has more MP will win. Pokemon battles, I think are all about shifting MP from player to player. Here's an example of a a battle in which MP are used.

    Battle Begins. For Brevity's sake, let's say each side only has 3 points.
    A sends out Gyarados. B Sends out Infernape. (A's MP:0 B's MP:0)

    Gyarados Uses DD, Ape switches out, Ampharos (I dunno) comes in (A's MP:0 B's MP:-1) <-- B wasted a turn

    Gyara uses EQ, Ampharos is OHKO'd, B sends out Dragonite (A's MP:0 B's MP:-1) <--B's MP did not go down, because he did manage to get Dragonite in safely, but that's it.

    Gyara Uses SE. It misses. Drag uses T-Punch. Gyara's Shuca Berry Kicks in, and it fails to KO. (A's MP:-1 B's MP:-2) <-- Both players wasted a turn. SE missed, T-Punch did not kill.

    Gyara Uses SE. Drag Faints, B sends out Ape. Gyara OHKOs, and A wins.


    I made this one really straightforwards, because I am lazy, but it's not a bad illustration of how momentum works. A had more MP throughout the battle, and so he won.

    Note how momentum is not gained unless a KO occurs. Drag's T-punch did not give B momentum, but if it was an LO Gyara, and the residual damage eventually killed, then B would have gained momentum when Gyara was KO'd, not when damage was dealt.

    Anyway, I think now would be a good time to list what constitutes an objective and what does not.
    -KOing a pokemon
    -Switching in safely
    That's it.

    But wait, isn't setting up an objective? Or dealing damage?

    Nope. See, setting up actually is technically (by my system) not an objective, so you lose an MP. However, if you set up successfully, that means the opponent did not kill you (you did not get KOed, or he switched pokemon), meaning he wasted a turn as well. So it balances out, and no momentum is gained or lost. However, setting up does help your momentum by either ensuring that you do not lose MP (momentum) (after an SD w/ Lucario, you rarely fail to KO, meaning that you do not waste turns), or making your opponent lose momentum (after an Acid Armor, Vaporeon just will not die to physical attacks, making her harder to KO, thus wasting your opponent's turn.)

    Same with dealing damage. If you deal damage, great, it makes you less likely to lose MP, because you'll kill next time.

    Same with Status, Residual damage, Entry hazards, etc. They either reduce your opponent's momentum (Burn cuts attack, thus making them more likely not to KO, thus wasting turns), and Entry Hazards help you Kill, making it less likely that you lose momentum.

    Basically, whoever has more Momentum (MP) by the end of the match wins. That's how I see it.

    I'm not a very seasoned battler, so I'm not sure if this makes total sense. Please ask any questions you may have, or point out flaws.

    So that's my two cents. I hope it wasn't incomprehensible or totally wrong.
  2. Zebstrika


    Oct 3, 2010
    Like Dragonite? After a few Dragon Dances, it is extremely powerful, too fast to be revenged by most scarfers, and scarfed pokemon and Ice Shard pokemon are both eliminated by Extremespeed. It can Roost to make Multiscale ready and provide it with a safety net, to top off its nice bulk.

    However, I think Joey has the best definition by "forcing the opponent to play by your strategy."

    However, it looks like instantly gaining momentum when you're in a bad situation is a little broken. You consistently overcome the fact that you were losing. How many OU pokemon can do that pretty reliably?
  3. MLX


    Aug 21, 2010
    This is mainly a summary of what people have discussed so far.


    Momentum, in my opinion, is one of the broadest concepts for the CAP community. So far, according to numerous well-thought-out posts, Momentum in one’s favor can be defined as the condition in which one player has control of the battle. This status can be achieved through many ways, and it often shifts between players due to blunders or superior prediction. The idea of gaining momentum is to make your moves accordingly so that your opponent will have a limited list of options to retaliate. Since your opponent’s moves would become fairly predictable, it would be simple to out-predict your opponent in order to gain a greater momentous advantage than you had before. If the momentum is in your favor throughout the majority of the game, it is highly likely that you will emerge victorious. There are an extremely large amount of variables to consider when designing a Pokemon which can regain or shift momentum into your favor.

    The following are some traits of Pokemon who gains or disrupts momentum that others have pointed out.

    Offensive Pressure (Idea from Paradox): Currently, the metagame is extremely offensive, concentrating on whom could defeat the opposing team before opposing side defeats him. Coveted characteristics of an offensive Pokemon include good type coverage, ability to set up quickly or none at all, and capability of KOing or massively damage other Pokemon before fainting itself. If a Pokemon has the ability to threaten to KO slower targets, the opposing side is pressured to risk losing a Pokemon and must do predictable moves, thus shifting the momentum to the offensive side. Pokemon like Excadrill, Latios, and Blaziken have such ability to gain momentum.

    Defensive Impenetrableness (Idea from Deck Knight): This is the characteristic that a Pokemon has that allows it to sponge many attacks, and reliably recover off the damage. Most of these types of Pokemon have a defensively pivoted type, allowing it to resist many type combinations. Stall teams are filled with Pokemon of this type. Since an offensive Pokemon would have extreme difficulties penetrating a wall’s defenses, it is often forced to switch out, racking up passive damage, thus shifting the momentum to the player with the wall. Pokemon like Blissey, Skarmory, and Jellicent are Pokemon of such characteristics, and are often used on a stall team to wall a sweeper, and gaining the momentum.

    Status (Idea from Deck Knight): Many Pokemon in the current metagame utilizes status moves to cripple or neutralize otherwise dangerous threats. Status effects are incredibly useful, capable of making threatening sweepers a fodder and crippling defensive behemoths through toxic. Since an opposing crippled Pokemon would have an extremely hard time performing its duties, momentum would shift into the favor of the status user. Pokemon like Breloom, Blissey, Jellicent use status moves to cripple and wear down other threats.

    Field Condition (Idea from Paradox): It is an often used strategy to build a team that revolves around a field condition, such as rain or trick room. Field effects affect the metagame a great deal from wearing down Pokemon with entry hazards to sweeping a team with boosted attacks in rain. Removing field conditions is equally important; your team would function a lot better without residual damage from entry hazards or the constant terror from weather. Since the opposing team would be worn down much quicker through field conditions, pressure is put onto the player, making his moves predictable, resulting in a shift of momentum to the side controlling the field condition. Pokemon like Politoad, Ferrothorn, and Bronzong aim to set up field conditions for their teammates.

    There are multiple ways of gaining momentum in the current metagame and it is our job to find out which method or methods are most successful in creating CAP1.

    Please inform me if I broke any rules.
  4. Jeslimak


    Aug 19, 2010
    My primary OU team is based entirely around the concept of forcing the opponent to play by my rules. The easiest way I have found to do that is to either double resist, be immune to, or best yet, boost off of common offensive types. I have a combination of Heatran and Sableye to force Blazikens to HJK themselves to death. As Heatran carries some nice weaknesses to go along with his nice immunities, I have Gastrodon to soak up any Waterfalls or Surfs. I also carry one of the only Herbivore Miltanks on the Pokemon Online server simply to take the Energy Balls, Leaf Storms, Spores, and Leech Seeds that Gastrodon lures out. Nearly every strategy that comes up is easily stopped, and reversed against my opponent. In addition to the trinity that Heatran, Miltank, and Gastrodon make up I also carry a Drapion and Zapdos simply to take hits that the others cannot. While my switch-happy strategy may become predictable, I still hold control because at any moment I can switch over to a pokemon that easily makes use of whatever is being thrown my way. I feel the best way to make use of the momentum concept is likely to create a pokemon that carries an immunity and an ability to "absorb" some attacks. A pokemon that can stop the more common threats, like Blaziken or Chandelure would be a very useful pokemon in today's metagame.
  5. ChippyYYZ


    Feb 27, 2011
    I like Acidarmor's battle analysis idea. It might be interesting to try that on various war stories and see how well it describes the battle. If it tends to give an accurate description, we stand to learn quite a bit from it. If not, we can alter the methods used to analyze battles and try again. I would make a slight change, though. Rather than keep track of each player's momentum, we should focus on the Absolute Momentum of the battle (if player A has 2 and player B has -1, the current momentum is 3 in favor of player A).

    On a more scientific note, Momentum=Mass X Velocity.
    This ties in to what Vader said about Offensive and Defensive Momentum. Mass is the defensive component of momentum, while velocity is the offensive component. Excadrill increases the velocity of the game and cuts through your opponent's mass, while StallRein halts your opponent's velocity and increases your team's mass. Arceus has mass and velocity and thus generates a whole bunch of momentum.

    Solve it with science.
  6. yoshinator879


    Oct 1, 2010
    How do you define momentum?
    I think that momentum is not only having control and being in a good position, but being able to stay in a good position after that.
    How do you obtain momentum?
    By making good predictions, by using U-turn, or Substitute. Or other moves that force switches, such as Yawn. (very general I know -_-)
    And Most importantly: What kind of POKEMON gives momentum?
    This is a very interesting question, but I thin ka pokemon who has momentum must be able to force switches very easily, but must also be easy to counter. So that it can abuse moves such as Whirlwind, Substitute, or U-turn.

    This is just my opinion.
  7. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck actual cannibal
    is a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

    May 25, 2010
    Acidarmor's idea is interesting, but creating a system like that could be a project in itself. However, I disagree with some of the things in his post.
    This may or may not actually gain momentum. On the one hand, you KOed a pokemon, which is obviously getting you closer to your ultimate goal of defeating the other team. On the other hand, your opponent gets to select a pokemon to freely switch into whatever pokemon you brought in. It isn't really an advantage to bring in something after a U-turn that KOed something, because if that said pokemon was death fodder, you have just lost momentum.
    Actually, I was thinking about looking at warstories and the momentum in them as well. The biggest part of a good warstory is the thought process behind a good battle, specifically prediction. CAP 1 should make predicting the opponent easier. This can include Tricking choice items on to the opponent, statusing them, Encoring them, U-turning...

    Actually, an interesting aspect of the CAP could be an easily exploitable weakness. For example, Lucario gets setup opportunities often from the opponent using a Choice-locked Pursuit to kill a ghost. Lucario then sets up on the weak attack, forcing the opponent to switch, gaining you momentum. (If we are going to have a Momentum-counting system for battles, I still think "tempo" should be our unit of measurement :P)
    Therefore, a single glaring typing weakness could actually help this CAP gain momentum for its team. This pokemon could, instead of only being able to gain momentum for itself, be able to support the entire team by gaining momentum.
    Momentum, after all, brings in the concepts of offensive and defensive synergy under what can be considered the "imperviousness" part of making the opponent switch through defensive pressure.

    tl;dr Please don't count this as poll jumping; I'm merely stating that pokemon with weaknesses can exploit those weaknesses to its team's advantage in order to gain momentum.
  8. Ice-eyes

    Ice-eyes Simper Fi

    Feb 15, 2010
    Momentum should be measured in pressure (theoretical progress potential) and actual progress. If I KO your Rotom-W that's stopping my Gyarados, that's progress. If I put myself in a position to force your Rotom-W to switch in and get weakened, such as bringing in a threatening Excadrill, that's pressure.

    What we don't want to do is make another Flygon or Screens / Momento mon.
  9. Yllnath


    Dec 18, 2008
    I actually agree with just about anything Woodchuck said through the course of this thread. Just going to summarize the top ideas of him because he basically said whatever I wanted to say about momentum.

    Not only does his chess analogy (perhaps because I play chess too) just hit the mark perfectly for me as a definition for momentum. I also like his idea of how this CAP shouldn't only be focusing on short-term momentum but works towards setting up your team for winning over the long run. I really like to emphasis on this, I feel that momentum is just as much as a team effort as a single pokemon effort. Some pokemon only gain their momentum when their team played their part. For instance, Dragon Tail shufflers work much better if there are hazards on the field. Putting the hazards down is just the first part of getting the overall match momentum or "Tempo", then getting in the Phazer is phase 2, and this has probably taken you a bunch of pokemon to complete before you could even get to phase 2.
    So just getting momentum and scaring stuff off is imo just the beginning. Team synergy and the abilty to work in favor of overall team strategy is also something we need to consider when building momentumon.

    Then I want to repeat his question that didn't get any attention yet. How does one lose momentum. Learning about winning momentum is one thing, but there is the entire other side to explore. Because if we really want to build a momentumon, another fun part of the challenge would be thinking of ways how this pokemon also can be build to not lose momentum easily. I believe this alone is far more complicated than just making a pokemon that can snatch momentum temporarily. A pokemon that can take momentum, does not lose it easily, but still does not overpower and set up the winning condition for team all on his own is what this CAP should be all about, imo.

    And then he brings up prediction (others have mildly brought up it too), which I feel is a major part of momentum.
    I think the key to keeping momentum is having your prediction be eased or even failsaved (for instance, substitute or protect are moves that can give you another turn of leeway to help you decide what your next move will be), by forcing the opponent into a corner where only a few options remain. On the other hand, the prediction for the opponent should actually be harder, not only should he feel cornered, but he should also worry about what he needs to do to not give CAPmon even more free turns to corner him.

    I'd also like to mention a set of moves that I didn't see much before, aside from Momento, but stat-dropping moves can actually be really useful. From someone who plays challenge cup, I've actually lost or won the match due to stat dropping moves on pokemon (Depending who got the pokemon). It may be a niche use at best, but they can really help you set up your team for a win condition and gain even more momentum, for instance, by using featherdance to cripple a would-be counter to Momentum mon, just to U-turn out the next turn after the would-be counter likely had to switch first, giving your team another favourable matchup.
  10. Brammi


    Jan 12, 2010
    I was bored on the train home so I wrote a few things down in a sort of what they hay kind of thing.

    Anyway, the way I see it desirable momentum differs between every team. For example how stall is notorious for resulting in long slow battles with steady wearing down and heavy offense results in battles that can be as short as 15-20 moves.

    The best way to approach this CAP is to work out how to make a Pokemon both fast AND calm, if you know what I mean. I think the best way I can describe what I mean is Zapdos in gen 4. Can play defensive wall and outstall stall but not both at the same time.

    Now why does it need to have Memento? To me that draws away from what you want. If we go along that line with this CAP all we will have is Uxie with a better typing. U-turn is a MUST but memento is really one shot all or nothing. If that is what we want then fine but in my opinion it would be better to take an approach that CAP1 can come in a change the momentum in your favour. To do that it will need to be able to take attacks and shut them down by being able to recovery hit recovery hit. With something like Encore to stop setup. Effectively making the opponent switch to something you can capitalize on. On the flip side it needs to be semi impervious to toxic and other common stalling techniques.

    If we choose to make CAP1 gain momentum through substitute and other such methods we are just making an ultimate early game sweeper.

    *Prepares to be shot down.*
  11. Rising_Dusk

    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Dec 27, 2009
    Please focus on responding to reachzero's post and not just posting your two cents on momentum in general.
    I think this is definitely a good place to start. Balanced offensive prowess and defensive prowess seems to be a recurring themes for our CAPs, but in reality I think it's fairly applicable here. I think the concept lends itself to a Pokemon with a slight bias towards defense, whereas offense is a necessary component to avoid being setup fodder, but doesn't need to be sweeper-like to the extent of overwhelming all opposition. This should carry over to all aspects of the CAP, I'd like to think. I think that Heatran and Breloom are good targets to shoot for insofar as the type of Pokemon we'd like to create; they each possess strong utility, but have exceptional attacking prowess to keep them a very real threat in the eyes of the opponent.

    Another thing those examples share is a list of checks. These Pokemon have responses that are exceptionally adept at beating them. Heatran will constantly lure out Water-types, while Breloom will almost always lure out sleep absorbers and things that can take its attacks like Salamence once sleep clause is active. This is key to the success of the concept I think; like I mentioned before and will say again here, CAP1 needs predictable responses that it can capitalize on. That may sound weird, since if it can capitalize on these ideal checks, then they wouldn't be ideal checks! I mean, specifically, that the player can use the knowledge to his or her advantage reliably for either double switching to gain momentum or using strange sets that give you a chance to beat counters. I think that's also important; CAP1 needs a way to beat its checks if it's using a bit of an off-the-wall set that you might not expect and either cripple them or take advantage of them. A good example of this is DPP Jirachi running HPGround to capitalize on Heatran switch-ins, or Breloom packing Stone Edge for incoming Flying-types, or Heatran bringing along Toxic to break bulky Water-type Pokemon. The ability and versatility to do this goes a long way to enabling the Pokemon to regain and build momentum for one's team.
  12. bubbly


    Dec 4, 2009
    E.g., you want pokemon which exert some kind of pressure which requires the opponent to bring in a certain kind of pokemon.

    I agree completely with that, since its basically the essence of momentum. On the other hand, it doesn't have to be done in an offensive way as the Breloom and Heatran examples suggest.

    I actually think exploring momentum on a defensive styled pokemon would be more interesting than on one which creates momentum through offensive pressure. SkarmBliss worked in DPP, for instance, because of their ability to set up Spikes, and inflict status and steady damage, virtually unhindered except by certain threats (which then allowed the other to come in etc etc). Momentum again.
  13. Yllnath


    Dec 18, 2008
    I'll try to state this as rant-less as possible, but that won't be easy..

    I totally object to this. Seriously, discussion hasn't even been going on for 1 day, and you already want to limit it?! Just wow! Wasn't the entire idea of picking this concept so that we in length could discuss about what momentum is, learn more about it, how to apply it, gain it, etc.
    The definition in Reachzero's post is very narrow, imo, and yet you are already forcing us to shoot for how we go ahead and build the pokemon.

    If you are disallowing us to discuss about momentum in general, then I feel the concept has failed from this point already! Because looking at Admiral_Korski's concept, it seems he wants to explore all different aspects of what defines momentum, what affects and how we can control it, etc. This only has been barely been touched up on, and yet we now we can't even discuss beyond a very limited view on Momentum that has been posted by Reachzero.

    If you really want me to comment on what Reach said, here it is.:

    "So, to recap what we know so far, momentum involves attempting to control the flow of the game by limiting the opponent's options and establishing a favorable position.
    Practically, we want CAP 1 to have opportunities to switch in and establish a favorable matchup. At that point, we want to have a way to capitalize on the favorable matchup in a way that further improves the team's favorable position."

    This is just a starting summary, at best. Of course you want to aim for a favorable matchup to get in a good position.
    However, for something as complicated an aspect as momentum, I feel this is a just a basic definition for it, that should be greatly expanded upon.
    To me, the answers to questions like:
    - "How can we gain momentum?";
    - "How can we lose momentum?";
    - "How can we control momentum through the course of the battle?";
    - "What effect does momentum have on both players when it's working in their favor/against them?";
    - "What influence should our knowledge of momentum have on team-building and team synergy?",
    are all examples of what we could be exploring and then using to make a very specific yet detailed definition of what momentum is in the competitive game of pokemon.

    "Two problems enter the situation here: we do not want this Pokemon to simply punish all responses with overwhelming offense, as doing so would force us to limit our opportunities to switch in in order to preserve balance; on the other hand, Pokemon that are very weak offensively have a tendency to become set-up bait for enemy sweepers. In other words, in order to maximize the momentum boost given by this Pokemon without creating something that is blatantly overpowered, it is important that we build CAP 1 to achieve its level of control through a balance of strength and finesse as opposed to through sheer brute force.

    Several approaches have already been suggested as to how CAP 1 could strengthen its teams position without simply bludgeoning the team into submission: phazing, status, screens, etc. This is definitely the route we want to take. I envision CAP 1 as being a lot more like Breloom or Heatran than like Excadrill or Hydreigon!"

    First off, I'd like to say I'd agree to the statement that I'd prefer a CAP1 as well that is able to "achieve its level of control through a balance of strength and finesse as opposed to through sheer brute force."
    However, in the second paragraph, the continuation into naming specific pokemon as examples is just too early. A pokemon like Weezing or Slowbro or Uxie have also been called in this thread, and their justification for that pokemon as a great momentum pokemon isn't any worse than what we heard about Breloom. In certain situations, hell, on some teams and strategies, the first definition about momentum does not apply at all when mirrored to the second team. A breloom that is being praised as a good momentum mon could end up being a liability when placed on a second team.
    If we don't have a solid definition of momentum and we don't have a solid understanding about everything there is to it, I feel we should NOT be "pressing on" like it seems Rising_Dusk is doing now, but we should actually take a step back and continue to look at what momentum is, until we come to a good agreement about it. From there, we can then finally start to carefully explore what roles, options, etc we think are good for momentummon to have and think about what it does for him in terms of gameplay, etc.

    Just saying, let's build a pokemon like Breloom or Heatran, I feel, is far too raffled up for what is supposed to be concept that .. Let me quote Doug in the concept submission thread on this, because he states it far better than me.
    I think we're no where near started on great inspired discussions and yet you want to wrap it up already. That just seems very wrong.

    And before you even bring up IRC, because I know 95% of CAP discussion is being held there and people that can only rely on the forum miss out on a lot of decision making and good discussion, I believe CAP is foremost a forum project on Smogon. If a lot of good discussion has already taken place on #CAP and that is the reason you believe no one should "post their two cents on momentum in general.", than perhaps we should change the CAP rules and mission statement and everything related to it and state that first and foremost, CAP is a project that is discussed on the IRC channel #CAP, and the people on the forum have a small say in the polls. Would save a lot of time!
  14. Rising_Dusk

    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Dec 27, 2009
    No, I'm not trying to limit the discussion, I'm trying to direct it. One of the biggest issues with the concept assessment stage, and every CAP mod has expressed some form of agreement on it, is that despite the TL/ATL trying to guide discussion and get users to talk over certain things and see what they think about certain (yet decidedly vague) aspects of the concept, the users tend to repeat the same thing in a mildly different way with unsuccessful results and no cohesion. This ultimately results in the community not really having a clue what to do or aim for in later stages of the CAP.

    The goal of this thread is to come out of it with a direction for the CAP, and you shouldn't ignore the TL when he or she poses thoughts for you consider and build off of. Read this; it specifically states that the discussion should not be scattered and that the TL should provide insight/questions that are intentionally vague, yet guide discussion. That's what we're doing, and that's what I'm trying to enforce.
  15. Xiom


    Feb 27, 2010
    I see momentum as putting yourself in a favorable position over your opponent. Forcing them to respond on what you do instead of the other way around. I see it as deaply conected with prediction, and will mention how i look on it in general and a few moves usaly conected to momentum.

    I consider a favorable position as when you can do alot of damage to your opponent while they can't do much back in return. When you find yourself in that position through the match, you have the momentum on your side. The damage you do, don't have to be direct damage but anything that hurts your opponent in a way. There are two main ways of achiving that.

    Offensive Approach: Use your offense and speed to threat your enemy doing lots of damage before they can.
    Defensive Approach: Use your defence to make your opponents atempts of hurting you minimal while slowly finishing off or setting up a favorable condition for you.

    Ofcourse this isn't black and white, most things are somewhere in between. offensive threats need a form of defence to be able to survive. Otherwise they can't switch in and their usability is hindered. Same with defensive pokemons, many primarly defensive pokemons also have a form of offense or even set up to make a sweep once its stongest counters are gone. Even a defensive pokemon have to threat somehow be it through residual damage, direct attacks, crippeling enemy pokemons through status and similar, or setting up something.

    When it comes to keeping momentum prediction plays a huge role. When you are in a favorable position, your opponent have to act somehow toget back on even ground or even retake the advantage. By outpredicting his moves you can limit those atempts. A counter won't change much if you can predict it and either choose a move that can help deal with it either on its own, or making it weakened enough to lose its use later in the game. Or switching to something to deal with the expected counter.

    Momentum moves often mentioned such as U-Turn and Baton Pass work in a way as they remove a part of the prediction needed. Instead of having to predict what they will switch too, you only have to predict wether they will switch or not and then bring out an apropriate pokemon. Baton Pass comes with the risk of wasting a turn you could have been attacking with while the more powerfull U-Turn makes it all less risky as it isn't just a switch but deals damage aswell. To note is that neither of theese moves give momentum on its own (arguably U-Turn can by posing a threat on Bug weak pokemons).

    Moves that does give momentum however are crippeling moves. Spore threaten to incapacitate any pokemon thats not a sleep absorber. Memento also comes to mind. Forcing your opponent into an unfavorable position where they gott respond a certain way.

    I'm not saying this cap need spore and memento, there's plenty of other moves it could choose from, or it could focus on gaining its momentum through offense rather then suportive moves.

    Also want to point out U-Turn is by no mean nessesary to gain momentum, it would help with transfering momentum to your team easier but isn't cut in stone. I partly against U-Turn myself as I feel rather explore how we can transfer momentum to our team by other means.

    By any means want to make it not take a sweeper role, or a choiced U-Turner.
  16. noobiess

    is a Pre-Contributor

    Nov 28, 2009
    Here is my theory in how to obtain momentum:

    As reachzero already said, the main idea is to create a pokemon that is a favorable mashup to a pokemon to obtain momentum.
    For this i would focus more on speed. One of the worst senario's is that the opponent has a fast sweeper that you wan't counter with any pokemon you have left.
    I think we should prevent this to make CAP1 able to make that fast sweeper loose his speed priority and be forced to phase or be killed.
    To do this, I suggest making a little-better-then average pokemon who has some good attacking stats that has an ability that creates a trickroom by itself.
    Kind of like sand stream,drizzle,... . But actually I prefer to make it only for the pokemon itself. So when the pokemon dies, the trick room also is gone.
    Maybe soem people ask why not just make a speedy sweeper... Well I think this pokemon is able the outspeed even pokemon that gained alot of speed because of their ability,moves,... (for example exadrill, agility, blaziken,...). Wich makes him a stong counter-pokemon who really could change momentum :)
  17. Fusxfaranto

    Fusxfaranto gonna smoke five blunts and watch anime
    is a Pre-Contributor

    Oct 16, 2010
    I think that reachzero has this pretty much spot-on here. Some people have brought up the idea of CAP 1 being able to sweep after its initial "gaining of momentum" (i.e. a switch), but that is poor for the concept. Breloom and Heatran are probably good examples, because they don't just brute-force through everything, but they can force switches with status (Breloom) or SE attacks (Heatran) and gain momentum on the switch (often getting up a substitute). The main difference I see between Breloom/Heatran and what we want CAP 1 to be is that they generally gain momentum for themselves and stay in, while we want CAP 1 to be able to gain momentum for the whole team.
  18. reachzero

    reachzero the pastor of disaster
    is a Forum Moderatoris a CAP Contributoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Oct 18, 2008
    Where the chess analogy totally breaks down for me is when you start talking about "long-term momentum" as opposed to "short-term momentum". Can you give me an example of a Pokemon-based game situation in which "long-term momentum" comes into play? Are we talking about anything there not related to status and entry hazards?

    In terms of "tempo", I feel that the idea of the pace of the battle is a little overrated in terms of Pokemon; this isn't basketball or boxing where conditioning plays a factor. A match between two stall OR two "bulky offense" teams will involve constant jockeying for advantageous positions. Each player will switch and double-switch to try to get hazards down, keep them from being Spun away, try to Spin away enemy hazards, etc. Neither team expects the tempo to change at all--both have buckled down for a 70-100 turn battle. However, momentum is still very clearly a factor.

    Yes, one of the major points of this concept is to explore the idea of momentum. However, one of the major themes of this discussion thread is that there are an incredibly wide range of ways in which a player can grab momentum and take control of a match:

    1. A purely offensive sweeper that stats up and sweeps (ex: Volcarona)
    2. A purely offensive cannon that switches in easily and tears holes in enemy teams by spamming well-typed high base power moves (ex: Hydreigon)
    3. A hybrid offensive and support-based Pokemon (ex: Heatran)
    4. A purely defensive Pokemon that excels at spreading hazards and status

    We only get to build one CAP 1. We can't attempt to build all of these at once, and several of them would require us to build on entirely different foundations. You are correct, I am narrowing down a very broad range of options. That is intentional. The current BW metagame already has plenty of Pokemon like Volcarona and Hydreigon, and we already know very well how those Pokemon work. The reason I am saying "let's not go there" is not because I do not believe those Pokemon add something to the concept of momentum. They do. However, I am saying that it would be unwise to build CAP 1 to be a Pokemon that is founded on sheer offense.

    What Rising_Dusk is attempting to say (which I agree with) is that it is important for the thread to actually progress. A basic working definition of momentum in general isn't terribly difficult to put together, we are already starting to get there. My basic objection is that some users have been posting as if they were the second post in this thread, without reading the posts that have come before them. At this stage, I would be much more interested in building on our initial understanding. "Momentum is control, imposing your will on that of the opponent". We get it, let's build on that now. How do we avoid CAP 1 actually losing momentum, for instance?
    The last two questions here are most likely best left answered at the end of this CAP process, during or after playtesting. The first three are definitely what this thread is for, yes.

    I named two Pokemon simply for conciseness. I could have also named Latias, and Gyarados, and Mesprit, and who knows how many others. I wouldn't have named Weezing because Weezing is definitely a Pokemon that concedes momentum more than it gains it (far too many Pokemon set up indiscriminately on Weezing).

    I think you and I disagree about the extent to which we have agreed on a basic understanding of momentum. If we already had a solid understanding about EVERYTHING there was to it, we could simply end CAP 1 with this discussion thread and declare victory.

    Remember that momentum exists in CAP projects as well as in Pokemon battles. We have to agree to put in a time limit somewhere. We can't answer ALL of the questions now.

    I strongly agree with you on this point. I think discussion in this thread is of paramount importance. What Rising_Dusk and I have taken exception to in this thread is exactly that--the lack of discussion in this thread so far. Isolated posting of "this is what I think momentum is" without reference to what has already been said by previous posters won't help us get anywhere with the concept.

    I am really curious as to how you perceive the difference between gaining momentum for itself and gaining momentum for the whole team. Can you give examples of each?
  19. Niched


    Mar 3, 2009
    Speed is one of the most critical factors with regards to momentum. Look at all the things that primarily exist to change a pokemon's speed - Tailwind, Choice Scarfs, Trick Room, Paralasis, etc. Dragon Dance and shell break are so threatening because it makes the sweeper so fast. Outspeeding an opponents is a great way to threaten it with something and so force it out, and allows you to respond easier. I think that we are going to need something that can somehow outspeed threats.

    A good example of this is scarf Latios or Doryuzuu. They're so much more threatening because they are faster than just about anything out there and they hit hard. They wouldn't be nearly as threatening if they weren't so fast. Latios can come in (on revenge, or a resisted attack) and force out just about anything because it is going to outspeed it and do a good chunk of damage. It's an immediate threat that easily responds to threats by either forcing them out or killing them. It also forces your opponent to play predictably (go to steel or blissey or lose a pokemon).
  20. Fusxfaranto

    Fusxfaranto gonna smoke five blunts and watch anime
    is a Pre-Contributor

    Oct 16, 2010
    Well, momentum for the team implies getting something set up that benefits the whole team (e.g. screens or entry hazards from something like Deo-S) or getting in a different pokemon that may normally be hard to switch in (like a U-turn on a switch to get an appropriate sweeper in). Momentum for the self generally would be setting up a stat-upper, a subseeder (where Breloom would fall), or pretty much anything with Substitute (such as TormentTran); of course, these would fall under team momentum if it is a baton passer.
  21. Sambobz


    Feb 25, 2011
    trying to answer a couple of questions at once, how to gain how to lose momentum.
    If you think about the different directions a pokemon can go when you are putting it together you see: set-up pokemon(defensive or offensive), offensive cannons (choicer's and the like), and walls. if you notice that it's kinda like "rock, paper, scissors" (I am not saying there are no exceptions to this, so take it as sort of a generality) set-up mon gain momentum vs. walls, cannons gain momentum vs. setup-mon and walls gain momentum vs. cannons. almost all pokemon are a mixture of one of these three. you lose momentum when a pokemons archetypes don't mach-up wall against the opposing pokemon, and you gain momentum in the reverse position.

    also, another way to answer "how do you lose momentum" is: whenever your opponent is allowed to gain more momentum than you.

    I think our goal in discussing this is to come up with a progressively more specific question in order to know exactly what we need in a momentum-mon. something along the lines of "how do we accomplish making a pokemon that doesn't lose momentum to any of the archetypes and has enough *whatever* to gain momentum in most situations" to be answered in a later stage of the CAP process.
  22. Joeyboy

    Joeyboy Has got the gift of gab
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Nov 30, 2010
    Vader you took the words right out of my mouth. I see CaP1 having:

    A Great Defensive Typing coupled with adequate defenses allowing it to repeatedly come in and cause defensive momentum.

    An array of stat-up moves along with average offenses to promote offensive momentum, causing the opponent to have to rethink their strategy.

    Abysmal speed to elevate the use of U-Turn/Volt Change(Hello Scizor) and access to MH to allow the disruption of enemy momentum.

    I can see the player sending out CaP1 to threaten the opponent out(Momentum gained). The opponent then assumes CaP1 is going to for example try Swords Dancing so they send in Skarm but then CaP1 uses Nasty Plot cause the opponent to again rethink(more momentum gained). If they respond with a sweeper CaP1 can utilize MH Thunderwave or another useful move. Granted all of that in one package seems rather OP but these were merely examples.
  23. reachzero

    reachzero the pastor of disaster
    is a Forum Moderatoris a CAP Contributoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Oct 18, 2008
    Axaj and Ice-eyes asked me to post the log of our conversation in #cap while they summarized their thoughts. Warning: this may be tl;dr.

    Show Hide
    <%reachzero> I think we all know that Pokemon that are "setup bait" lose momentum
    <%reachzero> but what makes a Pokemon setup bait?
    <%reachzero> Nope, darkie
    * Ice-eyes (Mibbit@4B6C0F54.5096878F.62CEF3EE.IP) has joined #cap
    <Axaj> well, something like skarm would be very setup bait
    <+darkie> oh i see this thread
    <Axaj> but it can phaze and set up spikes
    <+darkie> set up bait
    <+darkie> hmm
    <+darkie> minimal type coverage
    <+darkie> weak offensive stats
    <+darkie> slow
    <Ice-eyes> we don't want it to be setup bait really
    <Ice-eyes> getting set up on
    <Ice-eyes> fucking kills your momentum
    <Axaj> yeah
    <%reachzero> exactly
    <Axaj> a strong u-turn/volt change is important for this reason
    <+darkie> yup
    <%reachzero> which is why spelling out what setup bait is is quit important
    <%reachzero> well
    <%reachzero> that is less certain
    <%reachzero> see, here is the other isseu
    <%reachzero> *issue
    <Axaj> so if it's in a disadvantageous position, it can keep the momentum strong
    * FateZZZers is now known as Fatecrashers
    <+darkie> i agree with that
    <%reachzero> remember how people are bringing up "short-term momentum" vs "long-term momentum"?
    <+darkie> baton pass too
    <Axaj> yes
    <%reachzero> when you ask "why would a person even USE a setup bait Pokemon?"
    <%reachzero> which Pokemon are we talking about, anyway?
    <Axaj> blissey comes to mind
    <%reachzero> Generally things that aren't being used for their offenses
    <+darkie> shinbora
    <Axaj> if it's not carrying twave
    <Axaj> siglyph can set up itself, though
    <Ice-eyes> Forretress is the main example
    <Axaj> yes, forretress is huge setup bait
    <Ice-eyes> problem is u-turn doesn't necessarily stop you being setup bait
    <%reachzero> Forretress is an excellent example.
    <+darkie> tyranitar can set up on it
    <Ice-eyes> basically we need to build it so that its counters don't set up on it
    <%reachzero> so why do people use Forretress?
    <Ice-eyes> because it's the only good toxic spiker and the only good multi-hazard user and the only good stall rapid spinner
    <%reachzero> ah see now there we go
    <%reachzero> so to look at it from that perspective you might say
    <Ice-eyes> it does more things
    <Ice-eyes> and it has a USP
    <%reachzero> "Forretress trades short-term momentum for long-term momentum"
    <Ice-eyes> and for that you get the risk of
    <Ice-eyes> getting set up on
    <%reachzero> It gives you a major disadvantage during the turns you are setting up
    <Ice-eyes> I guess sort of reach
    <%reachzero> in exchange for a significant advantage in the subsequent turns
    <Ice-eyes> I suppose short term is putting yourself on the back / front foot
    <%reachzero> and you are banking on the idea that you can overcome the short-term disadvantage
    <Ice-eyes> long term is having made progress towards your goals or not
    <Ice-eyes> overall
    <Ice-eyes> for example
    <Ice-eyes> killing your rotom with my latios might put me in a horrible immediate position
    <Ice-eyes> what if your lucario swords dances on me?
    <Ice-eyes> what if your scizor comes in and u-turns?
    <Ice-eyes> but that might open things up for my gyarados later on
    <Ice-eyes> that's an example that applies to bulky offense rather than stall with the hazards but it's similarly true
    <Axaj> also, think of something like a belly drum team
    <Axaj> with, say linoone
    <Axaj> you'll be sacrificing a lot of pokemon before you get your sweep
    <%reachzero> indeed
    <Axaj> so you'll lose momentum at first
    <%reachzero> (this is stuff that should be talked about in the thread, btw)
    <Axaj> but you'll get more over the long term
    <Axaj> yeah
    <Axaj> :P
    <Ice-eyes> I don't think we should go too far away from the core of the metagame
    <Ice-eyes> talk about belly drum or screens + momento is kind of pointless
    <Ice-eyes> we want to know about the metagame
    <Ice-eyes> we want a CAP that is relevant to the metagame
    <Ice-eyes> and so we are creating a CAP which will work in the
    context of bulky offense or stall, really.
    <Axaj> yeah
    <Axaj> so we probably should focus more on short term momentum
    <%reachzero> Screens + Momento are underutilized, actually
    <Ice-eyes> not necessarily
    <Ice-eyes> long term momentum
    <%reachzero> in the current metagame, they wreck
    <%reachzero> especially in the context of like
    <%reachzero> Gorepass
    <Ice-eyes> is real progress towards your goals
    <Axaj> yeah
    <Ice-eyes> short term momentum is a facilitator to long term momentum
    <%reachzero> I think we could focus of both short-term and long-term
    <%reachzero> *on
    <%reachzero> even have the two compete in the polls
    <Axaj> yeah
    <Ice-eyes> it's the short term momentum (temporary matchup advantage and opposition predictability) that allows you to get
    long-term momentum (progress towards the goals of entry hazard laying or killing a counter)
    <Ice-eyes> the two are hardly separate
    <%reachzero> generally true
    <Ice-eyes> you can't get long-term momentum without having it momentarily in the short term
    <Ice-eyes> generally
    <%reachzero> it's easier to sacrifice the setup turns if you already have advantage
    <Axaj> also
    <Axaj> how much does momentum relate to the amount of pokemon you have left vs your opponent?
    <Ice-eyes> well it might seem like forretress is solely about long-term momentum for example
    <Ice-eyes> but it does need to get in and lay those hazards
    <Ice-eyes> and it needs to get short term momentum for the opportunity
    <Ice-eyes> (which it's a lot worse at doing than skarmory or nattorei, because it has worse typing and is less threatening)
    <Axaj> yeah
    <Ice-eyes> momentum does relate to the number of remaining pokemon in a sense that
    <Ice-eyes> once you've achieved your 'goals'
    <Ice-eyes> ie
    <Ice-eyes> setting up hazards, killing X countermon
    <Ice-eyes> you still have to win
    <Ice-eyes> and you might need the wiggle room of not being down to your last mon
    <Ice-eyes> but in general framing it in terms of goals works better
    <Ice-eyes> because it doesn't matter if you're 6-1 down as long as your opponent's 2 excadrill counters are weakened and you have an opportunity to set up.
    <Axaj> yeah
  24. Rising_Dusk

    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Dec 27, 2009
    Wouldn't a Pokemon that sets itself up to sweep be helping team momentum by virtue of sweeping? Eliminating Pokemon is perhaps the ultimate in building momentum for the team, and every good wallbreaker or sweeper does so exceptionally. I think it's important not to try to over analyze momentum and instead to think of it functionally; I think that singular Pokemon momentum and team momentum are really one in the same for Pokemon battles. If I manage to get my Salamence up to +6/+6, I have an overwhelming amount of team momentum and am pretty much guaranteed to win unless the opponent is sporting a powerful priority attacker with which he can KO Salamence. Losing Salamence to that priority attacker would be a huge blow to my team momentum, as that big and scary sweeper is no longer big and scary, it's dead. Despite that these momentum shifts were fairly exclusive to Salamence, my team momentum has ebbed and flowed to echo Salamence's survival and success. That indicates to me that focusing on momentum is definitely a team-wide concept.
    I think we will definitely see aspects of both once we hit the actual polls. Bulkier and slower versions of CAP1 will face off with faster and more aggressive versions of CAP1. This will carry over to typing, to abilities, and finally to movepools. Once we get fixed in one style over the other and the community has made the decision, though, we'll know for sure where to go from there.

    I personally think that an offensively-minded Pokemon that isn't intending to sweep per se, such as Heatran or Breloom or Latias in the current metagame, is a great way to go. We have some examples of it, sure, but if we can successfully create a Pokemon like that we will have gained a lot of insight into the inner machinations of momentum, how to control it, and how to build it. We already know fairly well what a very powerful sweeper or an incredibly bulky defensive 'mon can do, yet the middle ground is something that this thread has indicated we're a bit sketchy on grasping.
  25. Fusxfaranto

    Fusxfaranto gonna smoke five blunts and watch anime
    is a Pre-Contributor

    Oct 16, 2010
    Yes, individual momentum does greatly affect the momentum of the team as a whole. However, pretty much any set-up sweeper gains momentum in that fashion. For CAP 1, I think that we should explore other types of gaining momentum, especially being able to keep the momentum strong and not lose momentum (via U-turn/Volt Change, Memento, etc.) while being able to lower the opponent's momentum (with PHazing, status, etc.).
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