CAP 13 CAP 2 - Part 1 - Concept Poll 2

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Moving onto the second poll of the concept stage, we must now narrow the slate down 1 entry at a time until only the winner remains. The lowest scoring concept in this poll will be removed and the top 3 will move on. I have left in my reasons for slating these concepts so that you can see what I see in them before casting your vote.

This poll will be a bold vote, which means that you vote for only one of the submissions. The details of bold voting can be found here. A typical vote might look like the following:
My Preferred Entry

If the voter wishes, he may post comments on his vote below the actual vote. As with IRV, only the vote itself should be bold and none of the supplementary text should be bold.
Please post only your votes in this thread. Do not respond to other posts, or your posts will be moderated and you warned. If you feel compelled to say something in your own vote, you may still do so, but don't try to incite a discussion. Keep discussion to #cap.

This poll will be open for 24 hours.

When voting, use only the name of the author! The list of possible votes include:
Fire Blast
Below are the concepts to be voted on, in the order they ranked in the last poll. Beneath the concept is a brief blurb where I explain my reasoning for picking it for the slate.
Concept: Sketch Artist

Description: A Pokemon that learns Sketch, once, and everything that goes along with that.


In terms of uniqueness, I think that few existing Pokemon can match DPP Smeargle, an otherwise laughably worthless Pokemon trolling OU with access to every trick in the book (or at least 4 of them) but also affecting the metagame greatly by becoming a top threat in the lead metagame. This Pokemon will borrow some of that uniqueness by learning the move Sketch and thus having access to ONE surprise/strategic/gutshot bonus move to supplement its pre-existing movepool. Being otherwise competently built (read: usable stats), this Poke could be a top threat or specialist for reasons we can't even predict yet.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • How will a Poke that has access to any one move out of all the moves in the game affect common battling tactics, namely prediction, scouting, and switching?
  • Which Sketch moves will become most common on this Poke's best sets? Does Sketchmon's success rely on hiding that secret Sketch move until just the right moment or can it succeed with predictably powerful moves like Spore, Spikes, Hurricane, Shell Smash, etc.?
  • Does this unique and powerful access to moves need to be counterbalanced elsewhere in the Pokemon's design? If so, then to what degree?
  • What kind of impact can Sketchmon have on teambuilding in terms of being able to patch holes with common utility moves like Rapid Spin or Toxic Spikes?
Explanation: The key here is that we have a lot of freedom to construct a unique Pokemon while staying within the confines of the concept. Typing, stats, abilities, and even most of the movepool are completely fair game so long as the Poke learns Sketch only once along the way and that we keep that in mind during previous steps. Now, this doesn't mean the CAP process will be directionless; Rising Dusk is pretty well organized and good at keeping discussions focused, and the concept itself has firm grounding in Smeargle's precedent. What's really being studied with this concept is movepool diversity and effectiveness, so it should have the most effect on the movepool process, where movepool creators will have to carefully balance their Sketchmon's actual movepool with the possibility of adding any one other move to the list. In terms of the metagame, there is no doubt in my mind that throwing a wildcard like this into the mix will strongly affect the metagame.
Sketch Artist is a very bold concept, and through that has been a very heated focus of debate in IRC. It allows us to discuss so many unique things, such as what we consider the best move for what styles and how best to keep something with singular access to any move in the game in check. However, my favorite part of this concept is how it forces the CAP process to react to it, and creates a unique experience unlike that which we've ever seen in any past CAP. Lastly, before anyone has any concerns about this, I want to emphasize that Sketch Artist can be implemented in both PO and Pokemon Showdown. Do not let your vote be concerned with its implementation, as it is possible and doable.
Concept: Theoretical Threat

General Description: A pokemon whose presence itself severly limits the opponent's options

Justification: Team Preview has severly impacted the way in which we play. By knowing what the opponent has, players can identify what threats are significant. For example, if someone sees an Electivire on the other person's team, they will be careful when using Electric-type moves. Electvire affects their choices without even being on the field. This is what can be called a "theoretical threat." Unfortuneately, Electivire cannot abuse the boost it gains very well. If we were to create a pokemon that could limit the opponent's option in a similar way, it would show us the value of theoretical threat. However, we could also give the pokemon tangible threat, the opposite of theretical threat. This would allow us to compare the two types of threat with eachother.

Questions to be Answered:
-How much significance can theoretical threat hold?
-Can the presence of one pokemon wipe out an entire aspect of the metagame?
(If Electivire was stronger, would Electric-type moves be obsolete?)
-How does theoretical threat compare to tangible threat? Which playstlyes prefer theoretical threat? Which playstyles prefer tangible threat? How does theoretical threat affect different playstyles? How does tangible threat affect different playstyles?
-How can players use theoretical threat to their advantage?
-How can players cope with theoretical threat?

Explanation: The way I see it, this pokemon would have two abilities, one that supports theoretical threat and another that supports tangible threat. The ability that is used for theoretical threat would give the pokemon a boost (+2 Atk or SpA, +2 Spe) when hit by <attack>. Some things that could give this boost are: status, priority, <type>, or Taunt. This would allow us to see the significance that some of these moves have on the metagame. Without the boost this ability gives, this pokemon should be fairly weak but still usable. The other ability would give the pokemon more direct sweeping potential, without becoming so powerful that it completely outclasses the other ability. A good way of doing this could be to make it a fairly average sweeping ability (Clear Body/Natural Cure) that comes with the bonus of a few extra moves.
Theoretical Threat is an interesting concept that snuck into the last page of concept submissions. I think the discussion of a theoretical threat like Electivire has a lot of merit to it, and that it could change a lot about the metagame with just its mere presence. It's also very relevant to BW, as team preview shows it off to the enemy and immediately makes them think twice about using the moves that the theoretical threat takes advantage of. The discussions stemming from this would be exquisite, and I particularly look forward to the possibility of discussing which abilities and styles of play best suit such a theoretical threat.
Name: Psychological Warfare

General Description: A Pokemon which can turn the tide of battle in one's favour simply by breaking the opponent's willpower or train of thought, rather than breaking the opponent's team directly.

Justification: The nerve and good judgement of a battler, as well as their capacity to handle stressful situations, is a well-documented factor in the outcome of a competitive Pokemon battle, but is relatively unexplored in terms of the assessment of Pokemon that currently exist and, in this case, for those that are created. Mostly, these explorations are limited to "Whimsicott annoys the [insert word for faecal matter here] out of your opponent", which, while devilishly insightful as comments go, does not stem from any particular kind of strategy in mind. Lord knows that a battle can be a stressful time, and a particular Pokemon can exacerbate this situation by itself. So, then, CAP offers us an excellent opportunity to investigate this ill-explored area of competitive Pokemon, by designing a CAP specifically for the purpose of forcing your opponent to make mistakes, bad judgements, or simply peculiar plays to alleviate the stress. This is, to my knowledge, something that has not been attempted before, and would no doubt be of great value both as a learning experience and a test for the CAP community.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • To what extent will a Pokemon that relies primarily on the strength of the enemy controller be effective and viable in the BW metagame?
  • Is the ability to confuse the opponent to such an extent indeed a large factor in the outcome of a competitive Pokemon battle, as is currently thought?
  • To what extent will this Pokemon's viability differ from battle to battle? Will it be more effective against different opponents? If so, which ones will it be more effective against?
  • How strong and/or viable is "psychological warfare" as a strategy against more traditional, well-developed team strategies?
Explanation: You could have any number of different interpretations of this concept. To clarify, however, I am not here looking for something "unpredictable", such as DPP Salamence. While you had to play mind games against it for a while, it lost its confounding ability as soon as you figured out its set. On the other hand, this shouldn't be a pure "annoyer" like Whimsicott, which is easy enough to deal with, because it only really has one set. What I'd be envisioning this concept turning out to be is some kind of amalgamation of the two - something that forces the opponent to be extremely cautious when dealing with it, but which is also very frustrating to actually deal with. Such a combination will, under the stress of high-end competitive battlers, generally throw the opponent "off his game", as it were, and this is the effect we should be seeking to emulate.

In this way, the Pokemon should have some sort of capacity to play multiple roles; however, all of them should be in some way threatening, and also played in such a way as to make the opponent make careless mistakes in the hope of defeating it. This is NOT because of evasion/critical hits/anything else that makes the opponent scream "hax". That's not what the goal is. Part of the charm of this CAP concept is that because it is so very much unexplored, there is a lot of room for innovation and outside-the-box thinking - this is something that cannot really be compared to anything else at present.
I have discussed Psychological Warfare with a lot of people, and I am convinced that there is a lot here to be explored. Not just messing with people, but making the player using the CAP feel more comfortable and less stressed. The idea of stress itself is a very interesting battle phenomenon, one that deserves to be researched in greater detail. I think there are a good number of intriguing discussions to be had through this concept on the nature of breaching the third wall between player and Pokemon, and that to me makes this a good choice.
Name - Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Description - A Pokémon that can take advantage of Hail or benefit Hail as a weather in some form.

Justification - The point of this concept is to explore if a single Pokemon could bring Hail to the level of Sun, Rain, and Sand--through the use of a Pokémon built to properly use Hail and/or help cover the weather's weaknesses. The concept isn't looking to re-centralize the metagame but instead decentralize it a bit by making Hail another viable strategy.

Questions To Be Answered -

  • Can Hail become a legitimate strategy in an OU environment where weathers are common?
  • Would a greater threat/use of Hail move the OU metagame away from Rain and Sandstorm?
  • Is it even possible to make Hail viable in the OU metagame?
Explanation - Gen V saw the introduction of two new auto-weather starters that weren't banned from OU--Ninetales and Politoed. Rain became very popular because of a combination of Politoed getting drizzle and the new threats Gen V brought. Sandstorm got a huge boost in Gen V with the introduction of Excadrill--a boost so large that Excadrill went the way of Garchomp. Even Sun got some great new Pokémon to abuse it. Yet Hail is still the red-headed step child of the weathers: regulated to UU and lower to be a popular strategy.

The Pokémon itself could go a few different ways. The first one that comes to mind is making a new Auto-Hail starter to replace Abomasnow and its glaring weaknesses. The Pokémon could be designed as a sweeper, defensive mon, or anywhere in between. The Pokémon doesn’t necessarily need to be Ice-type and could instead be used to help negate the few glaring weaknesses of Hail-using Pokémon—Stealth Rock and Fighting-types come to mind. This idea has a lot of leeway in how we can go and could have a great effect on our understanding of weather, in particular Hail. And with Excadrill and Thundurus gone—two Pokémon I think of as synonymous with Sand and Rain respectively—this might be the perfect metagame to do this.

And the process itself would be a fun learning experience. CaP always seemed to have the fear of making "too powerful of a Pokemon", and while that may have toned down after the last few projects, I still think some of the participators in the projects and the outsiders looking in still think that deep down. A lot like Tomohawk last project and those before it, there is a possibility that the process could end up with a bigger, unintentional effect. But like testing "momentum", building a Pokemon designed to improve Hail enough to make it viable, without making a Pokemon that rampages through the metagame that is also okay in Hail, would be a great test of the ability of community. To use the example Dusk provided in his "What I'm looking for" section, this pokemon could be the "Perfect Mate" to Hail.
This concept has always interested me. Hail is something that needs to be explored to some extent at some point, and there are so many discussions just itching to be had about what could be done to make it a legitimate and non-gimmick strategy. Also, with the recent banning of Excadrill and Thundurus, the other weathers have been ever so slightly weakened and perhaps now is the right time to check out hail. Keeping this in mind throughout the project would be very interesting, and makes this a solid choice for the concept.

Now that I've presented the slate for this poll, hop to voting!

tl;dr: Quack! (Vote!)

*I mean--any top threat is a theoretical and practical threat and can limit your options until you rid yourself of that threat. We'll probably just make another Excadrill or something of the sort.

Let it be known that concern of broken-ness shouldn't impact the concept's validity. It's our job to stop that, so if it becomes broken it won't be because of the concept; it will be because of us.

EDIT:aw I wasn't first lol, then again, I don't really care


Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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Fire Blast

Reasons already explained in first posting of mine, and I talk about it on IRC a bit.

it's more of a now or never thing. Since Thundurus and Excadrill were both banned, this is the best time to work with hail and experiment with it. If not now, then things are going to change in the game that might completely change the ways we look at it.

As before, Sketch is probably the most exciting idea I've ever read for a concept. I'm not scared of it; as a matter of fact, I'm enthralled by the idea of a real challenge. I don't want a safe CAP, I want the one I lead to be ballsy and really push the envelope. I also think that the process it would give us would be unique beyond any other, and I really am excited for it and hope it pulls through.


used substitute
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Fire Blast

Actually, on second thought, I am sticking with Blast. Hail would be awesome too though.

Oh, and because I promised:



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CAP Head Mod

It is time. The weather metagame is incredibly centralized, and boosting Hail could potentially decrease that factor. It would teach us plenty about today's metagame while providing a better overall understanding of the role weather plays in BW OU.

Best of luck to all the contestants!
Fire Blast

I honestly don't think that it's possible for a group design thing to not come out completely overpowered, especially when given access to any single move in the game.
Fire Blast

I really don't know what we are learning from hail. We can make an Excadrill of the hail and learn that good hail sweepers are good. Maybe I'm missing something about the concept, but hail just seems like a Sandstorm
counterpart. We know enough about Sandstorm.


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I already figured the sketch thing was possible even if you couldn't program new abilities in. All Sketch moves would be listed as 'Breeding' and you couldn't chose more than one per set without them being illegal. That said...


Boosting Hail just for the sake of it won't help much imo. Abomasnow still has to be the one to set it up and the other weather starters have a lot of advantages over him in OU. Even Kyurem couldn't change Hail's obscurity this gen. On the other hand, I'm about as excited as Rising Dusk to see what we can do with Sketch Artist, to the point of having jot down some ideas already.
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