CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 1 - Concept Poll 1

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OK, here's the deal: we start our project by picking one of the concepts that is submitted to use, and we use that concept as a way of giving us direction throughout the project. Basically, this decision gives us our base to work off of, and shapes the rest of the project. So I mean, no pressure, but pick a good one. Preferably the best one. Even more preferably, the one that I like the most.

But really, no pressure. Our TL has handpicked the concepts that he feels are solid and will produce not only a good final product, but that will also provide something we can learn from. Even if there was a "best" concept and we failed to pick it, we'd still end up with something good.

This poll operates on instant-runoff voting. This means that order matters in your votes, but you may vote for any number of choices that you like. A typical vote might look like this:

Most Preferred
Second Most Preferred
Third Most Preferred


If the voter wishes, he may post comments on his vote below the actual vote. Only the vote itself should be bold and none of the supplementary text should be bold.
Note that any posts that do not contain a vote will be moderated and the poster warned. If you feel compelled to say something in your own vote, you may do so, but please don't try to incite a discussion here. Keep discussion to the IRC channel, #cap, or to the voices in your head.

IMPORTANT: When voting, use only the name of the author! The list of possible votes include:
This poll will be open for 24 hours. The concept submissions are quoted below in order of submission.

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:
  • Are strategies that defined past metagames still viable after their peak?
  • Do roles fall out of favor because of changes in the metagame makes them unviable, or because the abusers fail to keep up with the increase in power?
  • How can roles that are no longer allowed by the game's mechanics changing be replicated? Or, how can a role no longer common in OU be adapted to the new generation?
  • How much does the metagame truly change with the generations? How much stays the same?
  • Given that the counters for some of these niches and roles have also fallen out of favor, would the reintroduction of a niche cause the metagame to shift closer to the original generation of the niche?
  • What makes a role good in one generation, but bad in another?
Explanation: OU has changed a lot, even within this generation alone. With the introduction of B2W2, the changes have gotten even bigger. This is to say absolutely nothing of the shift between generations, that have seen the introductions of new typings, EV's, the Physical-Special Split, Stealth Rock, and permaweather. Some Pokemon were replaced by others that did their job better- for instance, RSE Blaziken was replaced in OU by DPP Infernape. However, others have dissapeared without a clear successor as the metagame had no need for the niche, game mechanics made it impossible, or the Pokemon who filled it were simply replaced. The goal of this concept is to explore one of these niches or roles that dissapeared, and see if a Pokemon better designed for the current metagame could fill that role.

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.
Concept: Deceiver
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.


  • What methods are most effective for allowing a Pokemon to effectively use the element of surprise?
  • How do we make sure that a Pokemon has enough power for its surprise to be effective, but not so much that it becomes either overpowered or not reliant on surprise?
  • Is there a certain team archetype that most benefits from the element of surprise? Least benefits?
  • Is there a certain team archetype which the element of surprise is most effective in combatting? Least effective?
  • How is the element of surprise best utilized? As an early game reveal to gain an immediate 6-5 advantage? Reserved until it can clear out the one mon that really steamrolls your team? Kept to the end, to pull out a late-game sweep?
Explanation: First of all, let me start by saying this concept is in no way pigeonholed, as long as we are willing to be creative. There are tons of ways to go about making a surprising CAP. One I've been toying with is a mon that has multitype (no forme change, not a pure Normal as its base type) along with another ability - maybe illusion, maybe something that just makes the mon more effective. The key, though, is being able to make not just a surprising mon, but an EFFECTIVE mon, which i feel will be a challenge, but one that CAP can live up to.
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:

  • What is the relationship between risk and potential consequences, both positive and negative?
  • What kinds of inherently risky tactics are successful in the OU metagame?
  • Do risky Pokémon need some form of safe options (e.g. switch-ins) to be successful in OU, or can it get away with having few really safe options?
  • How does Substitute, a well-known "safe" move with nearly universal distribution, impact how this Pokémon is built and played?
  • How do existing Pokémon use and deal with risky situations?
  • Can risky Pokémon be played well in the early game, or are they better off put into action later on?
  • How do different playstyles interact with risky situations?
Explanation: This concept has been a rather long time coming. My main inspiration actually comes from obi / david stone and his battling AI, Technical Machine. Part of me imagined Technical Machine playing in a metagame containing this kind of Pokémon to see how it would play it, and by submitting this now I risk never having that come to fruition, but it doesn't seem like it will be finished for this generation any time soon. My other inspirations mainly comes from examples of risky Pokémon in other metagames. Honchkrow in UU, for example, has a deadly combination in Sucker Punch + Brave Bird + Pursuit, and with enough balls (or a good opportunity), it can use Roost to keep on trucking past Life Orb recoil. Another arguable example is Ursaring in Glitchmons. It is successful for having an extremely powerful priority STAB move, but at the same time, its other priority moves aren't quite as powerful, and sometimes it has to resort to a move like V-create, which punishes its low Speed.

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.
Name: Weather Equalizer
General Description: This Pokemon's existence would give a large buff to one of the lesser-used weathers, such that weather teams with CAP4 could compete with established Rain and Sand teams.

Justification: It is no secret that Rain and Sand dominate OU in terms of usage, but they also exhibit a very wide variety of team types and playstyles. Hail and Sun, on the other hand, are limited in viability to certain niches, and tend to have to devote lots of resources to anti-metagame considerations (i.e. Dugtrio) in order to be successful. This concept would aim to expand Hail or Sun beyond its current niche to a point where it can influence the metagame as much as it responds to it.

Questions To Be Answered:
- What are the challenges faced by Sun or Hail teams in the current meta?
- Which of these will need to be overcome, and to what extent, in order to make the weather in question more viable?
- Is Sun/Hail inherently worse than Rain or Sand, (taking combo bans into account) or is it simply a matter of what pokemon exist to be supported by them?
- Is one pokemon enough to affect the desired change to a weather? How strong does such a pokemon need to be in order to accomplish this goal?


The purpose of this concept would be to strengthen an underused weather condition to the point where it is competitive with the ubiquitous Rain and Sand. This isn't meant to hone in on a particular playstyle from the outset; it is meant to expand the weather enough that more than one playstyle is doable. Inevitably, a CAP4 that succeeds in this will also succeed in simply improving the niche that currently dominates that particular weather. It would also be foolish not to consider specific teammates and synergy that would be helpful. Still, I think it is important not to turn this concept into a something that fits in a slot on a certain team.

The goal of the concept as stated is very ambitious, and an absolute equalizing of weathers based on a single pokemon may not even be possible. However, just moving in the direction of the stated goal would give us insight into the questions raised by the concept. This concept would give us a very interesting playtest, as we see what ramifications the new pokemon has not only on the matchups involving our chosen weather but also on the Sand-Rain matchup, as old teams are forced to change to deal with the new weather threat.
Name: Utility Counter: Take Two
General Description: This Pokemon can be customized to fit the role of a counter to a specific Pokemon or a major hindrance to a specific strategy, but cannot be used to counter a wide variety of Pokemon/strategies.

Justification: This Pokemon would allow us to study the impact that a utility counter would have on the Generation V metagame. Threats in Generation V are now not only individual Pokemon (Thundurus-T, Scizor, and Salamence for example) but also strategies such as weather. This concept would allow us to build a Pokemon that has the ability to take on these various threats as best as it can, but not all at once.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • How useful is defensive versatility in a metagame where there are many individual and strategic threats to take into account?
  • Given the existence of a Pokemon that can hard counter only specific major threats, which threats will be prepared for the most?
  • How would team building change if certain difficult-to-prepare-for threats became easier to prepare for?
  • Which is more useful, a Pokemon that can somewhat handle a wide range of threats, or a Pokemon that can handle a few threats extremely well?
  • How can a utility counter take on team strategies, such as Sun or Rain, without being able to counter multiple Pokemon all at once? Can this be accomplished?
Explanation: This concept was explored in Generation IV, but I feel that the idea of a Utility Counter being introduced into Generation V is an excellent idea, and would give us a better understanding of how one Pokemon could potentially impact one of a wide array of strategies. This concept is sound as is: how can a Pokemon be customized to fulfill any one distinct role for a team, but is prevented from carrying out a wide array of roles as a counter. If you’re looking for a concept where the creation of a Pokemon is the primary focus rather than the metagame around it, look no further than this concept. This concept focuses exclusively on the Pokemon’s limits and abilities, enabling us to learn about the metagame through this Pokemon rather than the opposite.

I do not envision this Pokemon being able to counter an entire team with one strategy, but rather be able to take on a threat on that team that would cripple the opponent’s chances of pulling off a successful strategy. Making it so that an entire strategy were null and void goes against the concept, since it would counter a wide variety of threats on one team. This concept, especially for this generation, is wide open. The closest Pokemon we have right now to a “Utility Counter” in the metagame is Imposter Ditto, and not only does it fail to actually be a true “Utility Counter”, it’s also not as effective in that kind of role. The ability, typing, and moveset potential of this Pokemon is really up to the community to decide: nothing is really pre-determined here, and the project can go a number of different ways.

Generation IV’s CAP10, Krilowatt, had an amazing process that was hindered by a lack of appropriate counter discussion (which has now been addressed) and the carelessness of the secondary ability process (also has been addressed). Those two mistakes pigeon-holed us into specific counters and unwanted potential rather than natural counters based off of the player’s decision and envisioned potential. A combination of variety in the Generation V metagame and a well defined CAP process will make this concept work to its fullest potential, and will answer a lot of questions we’ve asked ourselves for years.
Name: Higher Ground
General Description: A Pokemon which prevents or punishes the creation of field effects which disadvantage its user, while facilitating or preserving beneficial field effects.

Justification: Gen V's OU metagame heavily revolves around field modifications, primarily entry hazards and weather. By creating a Pokemon that specializes in control over the field at any given time, we can learn about what kind of threats are more / less viable if you / the opponent could "guarantee" that the field be clear of hazards. Similarly, we can learn about what kind of pokemon would be more / less viable if they had a teammate that could ensure that their weather of choice would always be present, or if they had an opponent that ensured it wouldn't be. Essentially, field effects affect the tiering and usage status of enough Pokemon that a Pokemon which could play with the entire concept in any direction could be a very valuable tool for learning.

Questions To Be Answered:

  • How will the metagame be shaped by the potentially greater control over the field this Pokemon would afford to players?
  • Will previously forgotten threats find a place in OU if their environment could be free of hazards or detrimental weather?
  • If teams are unable to use field effects to gain an advantage, what other tactics will they resort to? Will the metagame begin revolving around synergy-driven balance?
  • Would it be possible to for one Pokemon to simultaneously fill so many potential roles while not causing excessive centralization in the metagame?
Explanation: A few notes:

I consider Trick Room, Gravity, Tailwind, Reflect, Light Screen, and (maybe) Intimidate to also be "field effects".

This is different from an "anti-hazards" concept because that's not its entire job - it should also be able to preserve your own hazards through a variety of means.

And, this is different from weather support pokemon / anti-weather pokemon because, if we build it right, it should be able to preserve, or fight against, any form of weather. Additionally, it should be able to preserve Clear Skies for your team if you need it to.

There could be a variety of ways we could approach this Pokemon. Rapid Spin, Taunt, Magic Bounce, Air Lock, Trace, and Magic Guard are just a few of the obvious ways in which we could begin to fulfill this concept, but there are cleverer ways that I encourage the community to explore (for example, consider a tankish physical ghost type which severely threatens every weather starter and has regenerator as an ability).

The capacity to be either for or against contentious pillars of the metagame, like hazards and weather, is what will make this Pokemon so intriguing...while also being very challenging to create. But I am confident that we can do it!
Name: Perfect Nemesis
General Description: Pick a good-but-not-great OU Pokemon, and then concoct a Pokemon that threats the majority of Overused tier, but is hard countered by the base Pokemon we previously selected. This is similar to the way Gastrodon's usage rose dramatically due to its ability to counter to its Perfect Nemesis: Politoed.


This concept would give us the chance to discuss a plethora of aspects that define competitive Pokemon as we know it. First, we'd discover how exactly counters work, from deciding what makes a good counter to discussing the tools Pokemon use to counter and check threats. There is confusion between what exactly is the difference between a check and a counter; this concept also aims to clear up that confusion with in-depth discussion on specific defensive and offensive strategies that are used in the Overused tier to both stop and dethrone threats. In fact, it aims to dive even further into our current understanding of these terms to give us more knowledge.

Through this concept, we'd also perform an in-depth analysis on the current composition of the Overused metagame, similar to the "decentralizer" concepts. Which strategies dominate it, and how can we threaten those strategies? The Perfect Nemesis would need to make a statement in the tier, so we'd need to discuss how to create a Pokemon that can make a splash in OU.

Finally, we would get the chance to discuss outclassed Pokemon. When selecting our currently existing base Pokemon, we'd consider which advantages that Pokemon has that sets it apart from the others. Getting to dissect the positives of an often overlooked group of Pokemon could be fascinating. Furthermore, it would be certainly exciting to breathe some life into that Pokemon by giving it a brand new role and purpose in the Overused tier!

Questions To Be Answered:
  • In order to create the Perfect Nemesis, we need to make a Pokemon that threatens the Overused tier. What strategies, moves, and abilities can be introduced to threaten OU as a whole? What are the tiers "weak points", so to speak?
  • What exactly is a counter? What is a check? How does the good-but-not-great Pokemon use these definitions to take on the Perfect Nemesis?
  • What are the current positives to the base Pokemon we select? What unique niches does it hold over other Pokemon that currently outclass it?
  • What strategies are more effective for the base pokemon we choose, as a result of having a Perfect Nemesis? Can it run more than one effective set to defeat our creation? Does it also do well as a check or counter against the Perfect Nemesis' regular teammates?
  • How does the base Pokemon fare in Overused with the introduction of its Perfect Nemesis? Does it counter or check other Pokemon besides the Perfect Nemesis? How?


This concept might have given you a bit of déjà vu. The fact is, this concept submission is based heavily off of the winning concept of CAP11 (Voodoom), which was Perfect Mate (much of the credit for this concept belongs to DougJustDoug). However, it is the inverse of that concept; instead of making a partner to raise a base Pokemon's usage, we'll be making a nemesis to raise a base Pokemon's usage. I feel that Perfect Nemeses are something that occurs often in our tiers. Gastrodon is a prime example of this, thanks to its fantastic ability to counter Politoed, and by extension, rain. Dugtrio is another great example of this since it could take out many of the newly introduced BW threats with ease. Many of these Perfect Nemeses are created when a new Pokemon is introduced. In the case of Dugtrio and Gastrodon, Generation 5 occurred. So in our case, the base Pokemon we select will rise in usage and viability when its Perfect Nemesis that we create is introduced. Simply put, our goal would be to create a threat that opens a gap for a currently outclassed Pokemon to shine brightly in Overused.

The Pokemon that we choose as our base Pokemon could represent a host of traits. Perhaps it is a fantastic bulky, defensive Pokemon that has an unfortunate Achilles' heel, like a x4 weakness or a lackluster movepool. On the other hand, maybe we choose a fast and frail Pokemon that could come to defeat the Perfect Nemesis that we create. That Pokemon might not shine at the moment because of being outclassed by others that currently do its job better. There are a lot of directions in which we could take this; the concept is flexible.

Also, know that I am completely aware of the Counters page on the CAP site. While I think it is a fantastic source of information, I am not overly convinced that every kind of Pokemon can be defined by its rules. Remember, that page gives guidelines for what makes a hard counter, not a simple counter or check. Furthermore, it doesn't dig down to discuss the variability of being a counter or a check; I'd argue that is a bit of an unexplored area of competitive Pokemon in general. With this concept, however, we'd get to talk openly about all of the blurry generalizations about checks and counters, which would certainly be beneficial for all of us. I hope we can refer to that page when discussing this CAP's counters, absolutely. I am simply stating that I am skeptical if we have truly learned everything there is to know about counters and checks just yet, so why not push for even more understanding?

As you can probably tell, this concept is a bit of a complete package. We get to have some in-depth discussion on which strategies are the best against the Overused tier, and then create a Pokemon that takes full advantage of those weaknesses. Also, we'd get to have some fun with picking a base Pokemon to the ranks of OU, which would teach us about how outclassing works. Along with that, we'd talk about why the base Pokemon we select doesn't currently thrive in OU; what holds it back? We'd even get the chance to discuss what makes a counter and what makes a check when deciding our base Pokemon. Finally, this concept would allow us to explore how to take out threats in Overused. There's a lot for us to learn with this concept; if you vote for this, then I hope that you are hungry for knowledge!
So.... yeah. Go vote.


Was fun while it lasted
is an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
So, I'll start off with my vote then.


All of these concepts fit all of my selection criteria, in that they are all challenging, they all have a definite end goal, and the focus is on the build. Having said that, I really love the sheer number of possibilities that Risky Business gives us to choose from, as well as the fact that it draws on the psychological aspect of such a Pokemon to an extent. I haven't made any secret of the fact that I love both Utility Counter and Deceiver for the challenge and difficulty behind them as well as the many options for carrying them out, but Utility Counter gets the nod purely because I'd really like to see if we have learned the lessons of Krilowatt, one of my favourite CAPs. Time Capsule comes next, if only because I really like the question it's asking, and I'd like to see what we could come up with. For the last three, Higher Ground is next because I'm more interested in the reduction or decentralisation aspect of the concept than the focus of the other two on actually making lesser-used strategies rise up in usage, which I am more interested in and think we could delve further into. The last two I am iffy about on a personal level, but on a purely objective level they are still excellent concepts; Perfect Nemesis comes before Weather Equaliser purely because it is a bit more focused and thus in my view easier to coordinate.

Good luck to all, and may the best concept win!



EDIT: OK who the hell changed my spider into a female human, own up

Not a fan of Birkal's due to how the metagame changes so much from game to game.

I really liked Deceiver the first time and I really like it now.

As for Perfect Nemesis, it really needs more love. I feel that what people keep missing when they criticize it is that this concept is very, very much about the process rather than the result. We "know" what a counter is on a superficial level, but do we really know how to make a counter successful? I don't particularly find that Gastrodon has been as successful as its fans may say. It's OU, but it's not used all that much and it's honestly not surprising. Perfect Nemesis isn't about how to make something countered by a Pokémon. It's about how to make a Pokémon more successful by giving it a niche of countering another Pokémon.

Utility Counter and Higher Ground are both very similar to CAP 10 and CAP 9 from the previous generation. I didn't really participate in those projects all that much. It would be interesting to see how the community has evolved from that time, as well as to be more exposed personally to the thought processes that created Krillowatt and Colossoil.

I'm not saying that Time Capsule and Weather Equalizer are bad. I just think that the others are better :(

A couple of the concepts seem very intent on creating some kind of catch-all counter to the current dominant styles of play which to me is inherently uninteresting. I believe this would just create an anti-Meta Pokemon that would be used everywhere until the next anti-anti-Meta Pokemon comes around. I'm not sure that there is much to learn from a concept that basically teaches us that strategies shift with new metagames and new Pokemon.

I wish Birkal's submission was worded better because it's one of the best ones up there but I think a lot of people are missing his point.


and at once I knew I was not magnificent
is a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

The reason why I think capefeather's idea would contribute the best is because I think massive risk/reward plays at the right time are what distinguishes experienced players from unexperienced ones. Knowing when to set up/come in/other move even if it's risky is definitely something players of BW2 should figure out how to do. 'Playing safe' is no longer the best way to play- because eventually, everyone will make a mistake, and it could cost them the match. A lot of players ditch certain pokemon because of the 'risks' they have- often ignoring the massive amounts of positive traits that certain pokemon could bring up. This will also throw a big middle finger to people who complain about 'focusmiss', haha

I really don't like the other concepts much, especially the Perfect Nemesis, which seemed to get a lot of support in the concept submission thread. In my opinion, the creation of such a Pokemon which is countered effectively by only one other will be detrimental to the metagame. I predict that this will cause many teams to carry both the Nemesis and its counter on their team (and maybe a counter to the counter as well), resulting in centralization of a similar playstyle and a race to see who can kill the counter first. This is why I like Rediamond's concept the most, as it brings back old playstyles and variety, causing people to have to think on their toes instead of having very obvious choices. I like to try to be original when it comes to battle strategies, and while most of them don't work because they aren't tried and true, I would like to see one come out of this that could be effective in the OU circle
capefeather Nothing else could be #1 for me. This is an amazing idea, capefeather. Feel proud of your accomplishment
FlareBlitz Field Effects are a cool concept. I'm so psyched for what Smogon could come up with...
Pwnemon This seems like a Zoroark+. This could create some very interesting changes to the CAP Metagame.
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