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CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

Discussion in 'CAP Process Archive' started by bugmaniacbob, Sep 24, 2012.

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  1. jas61292

    jas61292 used substitute
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Sep 30, 2010
    I just want to comment on the potential slate a bit. First of all we have Illusion. Now, as I have said in a few times already on IRC, Illusion itself is not really risky at all. In all honesty, it is a 100% positive ability who's effectiveness really depends on the rest of the Pokemon. Zoroark is a very risky mon, but that is because it is one of the frailest pokemon there is and that it depends on set up to do a lot of damage. I certainly think Illusion could work, but no more than it could work on any similar concept. It certainly can be on a risky Pokemon, as Zoroark proves, but I don't see anything specific about it that helps the concept.

    Moxie is an interesting one. It is all about a reward, but one that you won't necessarily get to use. Of all the pure reward abilities, I definitely think it is the best. Simply getting the boost from it means little if you have not set up the situation to allow you to take advantage of it. I just fear that we won't end up having enough risk with this ability, especially considering our fantastic neutral coverage. On the other hand, if we make it too slow, than this ability could be useless.

    Next is the ever controversial No Guard. I have to say, I have been pretty much against this one the entire time. Now, I definitely understand the arguments for it, but I don't think it would really do much to help the concept. Basically, the idea behind this one is that it provides reward with the consistency of never missing moves (and possibly making powerful inaccurate moves usable), while providing the risk of never avoiding opponents moves, especially Fire Blast, Stone Edge and Hurricane. In addition it provides the benefit of eliminating luck based risk so only the risk we focus on is being tested. However, I question if this is actually a good thing. luck is an inherent part of Pokemon, and limiting the missing is not eliminating this. In fact, they way I see it, it is eliminating an important balancing factor in the luck. Sure, attacks don't miss as much, but that just means the chances for crits, secondary effects and the like increases. No Guard is not really limiting luck at all. Even so, I don't think that is reason enough to not use it if the what it actually does is worth it. However, I don't really see the advantages of No Guard being worth it. Unless we give it some absurd moves in the movepool stage, there is no real advantage of it. No miss Megahorn is nice, but at this point, there is nothing else that I can really assume about it that would be worth taking ever single move thrown at it. In addition, the idea that the confidence it gives could help the way you play seems completely absurd to me. No one switches their Dark Pokemon into a Megahorn assuming it will miss, unless they have no choice, and it not missing means they lose anyways. Basically, there is nothing that No Guard does that is really beneficial enough to be worth the negatives it brings, unless we give it ridiculous moves, which not only would make it overly defining of the Pokemon, but would also only serve to eliminate risk, not help make a risky Pokemon.

    Then, there is Simple. I think this could work, but there are not really enough moves that it can take advantage of in a risky way. If we want to use this simply as a reward and not a risk, then that is ok. However, there are a few ways we can make it risky, either via making Curse the only boosting move if it has decent speed, or forcing it to rely on moves like Psycho Boost or coverage moves like Superpower. I don't think this is the best ability, but I think it certainly has some merit.

    And finally, we have Weak Armor. I want to once again state that this is my favorite of the bunch. If we want an ability that embodies both risk and reward, Weak Armor is by far the best of the bunch. The ability to freely get a speed boost by switching into a physical (and likely resisted) move is hugely beneficial. But at the same time, the Defense drop is definitely crippling. However, this only makes a difference if they opponent gets a chance to hit you, with the most worrying case being priority moves. But I feel the concern over these is overblown. Lets face it, with a double fighting resist, the only priority that really matters is Bullet Punch from Scizor. And sure, it will probably beat CAP4 after a Def drop, but then, it will likely beat it without a Def drop. Unless you resist it, Scizor 2HKOs pretty much anything. losing defense has nothing to do with that. Even so, I think the priority weakness is a good thing. It is exactly the kind of risk we should be looking at. You can get it without a hit and have some bulk, but be slow, or you can switch into a hit and have speed, but be vulnerable to priority. To me that is exactly the kind of situation we should be trying to create.
  2. YuuchyShi


    Aug 12, 2012
    I was reading around other people's posts, and I'm loving the idea of Simple. Some guy brought up getting to +6 in one turn with tail glow, but getting -2 from intimidate, but here's the thing I'm not liking so much- unless we give it a secondary/dream world ability that is the equivalent of a special intimidate, there is nothing that can reduce that at all apart from things like... I dunno, Psycho Boost.

    Although Simple is my primary choice, I have nothing against Unburden. It's such a funny ability. We could give it a berry, like that one that gives a +1 to Sp. Atk, and just sub away until it eats that berry, and gets a +1 Sp. Atk, and a doubled (I think) speed.
  3. HAiGAizZ


    Oct 12, 2011
    I really want to urge people to stay away from Illusion. It would be perfectly fine if CAP4 was the only poke to get it, but since this obviously isnt the case we're just gonna see a bunch of people slap CAP4 and zoroark + random spinner on the same team just to mindfuck the opponent. Doesn't seem like a great idea to me, as it just creates an asston of risk for the opponent.
    I really want to avoid going down this path, as all CAP4 is gonna be doing is being zoroark's partner in crime, and the whole scenario seems broken.
  4. MCBarrett

    MCBarrett i love it when you call me big hoppa

    Apr 12, 2012
    okay, this is really looking to be a tough choice cause there's really nothing that seems to jump out as the premier options so i'm just going to try to balance out the risk and reward of each ability and what its gonna bring to the table. (besides no guard because i've already expressed my opinion on that and there has been plenty of discussion on it already. by this point everyone probably has their stance set in place)

    Risk- Stealth rock weakness will make it pretty easy to identify when cap4 is actually entering the match.
    Reward- If the opponent doesn't realize cap4 is entering the field then there is a huge surprise factor given.

    Here I really think the risk outweighs the reward. Due to the stealth rock weakness there are few times when cap4 will truly be disguised. That of course eliminates surprise factor which is the whole point of the ability and basically renders it useless.

    Risk- Something must be taken out successfully to gain a boost. This means safe switch in at the right time must be made.
    Reward- A plus one attack boost with every kill. Nothing extraordinary but it can be just enough to pull off a sweep.

    Now that I think about it I really am liking this ability. There actually is risk involved when you look into it. Being weak to stealth rocks and hazards and potentially relying on an attack boost to do much of anything throughout the match is a pretty significant risk. And then the reward is just as good, a moderate attack boost for your good play, which will multiply as you keep going through the opposing team.

    Risk- Stat drops will be doubled.
    Reward- Stat boosts will be doubled.

    Pretty simple. However, stat drops are much less common and stat boosts are easier to control. Seems like reward outweighs risk here, unless a physical set is made, where intimidate is a somewhat common ability in ou. I think this could work but i am weary of it becoming overpowered with one of the comments i read. There was a proposition of simple with tail glow. Even simple swords dance or nasty plot is crazy, the only pokemon that uses simple that i'm familiar with is swoobat and it gets calm mind as its best boosting move. Granted swoobat is ru or something but thats mostly due to its very mediocre stats. So basically i think it could work but i'm weary of simple tail glows. That would be too much for me.

    Weak Armor
    Risk- Being hit by Physical attacks results in a defense drop. Becomes very susceptible to priority.
    Reward- Being hit by Physical attacks results in a speed boost.

    At first i really supported weak armor. I still do think it could work with a very specific stat spread. One that would let us determine what attacks we could take before and after defense drops and what we would outspeed after speed boosts, in order to find the best balance between risk and reward. However, such a specific stat spread isn't something really desirable when we want to look at risk and reward from as many angles as possible. Sure this would be one good way to look at it but it would limit us to just that and we aren't even sure if it would work. Thats why i think we should go with something less specific to be able to go forward with this project in as many effective ways as possible. This is really a cap where the secondary ability could end up being better than the primary one because its hard to tell how risk and reward will play out until we actually get to the testing stage.
  5. Birkal

    Birkal caw
    is a member of the Site Staffis an Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
    Super Moderator

    Oct 12, 2010
    Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm pleased with the current slate. I see the value of all five abilities, so good work team. I'm posting because I wanted to address one bit of an argument:

    Illusion is one of my favorite abilities on the slate because it does have risk. Can you use an Illusion-mon and tell me 100% that your opponent will or will not predict your bluff? Honestly, you cannot. If you give CAP4 a good enough movepool, it could potentially garner a huge reward in one turn by acting as a lure or setting up. The risk you take is whether or not your opponent will discover your bluff or not, and for that, I think it fits CAP4 excellently. It also would teach us about entry hazard management and how well an Illusion-mon can serve early game in relation to late game.

    In relation to your argument, jas, I don't buy it. You can't argue that one aspect of a Pokemon is completely reliant on its other aspects. They are all important and will go in shaping this Pokemon. Moxie has no value if CAP4 doesn't have a viable special movepool and SpA. Weak Armor is irrelevant if CAP4 isn't fast enough to abuse the power. All of these abilities rely on other factors; Illusion is no different. It adds the layer of opponent prediction to the concept, which I think is really digging into our concept. How we interact with our opponent in terms of making predictions is a lot more interesting to me than playing accuracy games.

    And for anyone out there saying that Zoroark and CAP4 would be abused on the same team, I have no idea where you are coming from. Zoroark gets very little use in OU and is generally regarded as a poor selection of a teammate. It has a niche but it's nowhere near broken. I doubt it would get much use during the CAP4 playtest at all.
  6. Pokethan


    May 4, 2009
    Alright going to help out the black sheep abilities at this point in the thread since not a whole lot of discussion is being made about them and I don't think we should miss an ability that could fit our cap simply because of the fact that nobody discussed it nearly enough for it to be slated.

    Toxic Boost/Flare Boost- These two abilities seemed to have be under discussed or disregarded early based upon not being that risk taking. I am here to disprove that point and get them back into the discussion time we have left. They improve a specific stat and with them carry a constant risk, damage that is greater than Life Orb recoil. Specifically with Toxic Boost which keeps adding more and more damage over time that can really add up especially if you are trying to do a sweep. Flare Boost does less damage but still has more constant damage than Life Orb and gives a bigger boost therefore creating a bigger risk by trading bigger damage for bigger recoil damage risk from using moves. And this risk is improved by the fact that you still take damage when you don't use Attacks. Life Orb is one of the most used items in OU and getting an ability that can boost attacks more (more reward) but at the same time give a more deadly recoil (more risk).

    Trace - This ability has been used in a CAP before and that was on Krilowatt which was also given Magic Guard. Guess which ability saw more play? The ability is hardly seen use in standard play but can be used for so many good things. It lets you take an ability from a pokemon on the other team and be used against them. This is another example of taking maximum risk for maximum reward and this single ability can turn games on its head if used correctly and this can't be said for a lot of abilities and once again with this ability its all about taking chances and I think that if we give this ability a chance so we can see what it can do we could see some great results.

    Analytic - Personally this is my dark horse of the abilities that we have seen so far. I really want to see this slated because we haven't really seen what it can do simply because the pokemon that have gotten it haven't been able to use it well. The idea is that we sacrifice a stat that can make or break a pokemon and we use that to our ADVANTAGE we make our pokemon and risk that we can take hits to deal out improved damage as a result of that risk. The risk that we take in doing this could actually make this pokemon a great switch in hitter. The fact that you can give your pokemon recoiless Life Orb damage is pretty big especially based on how many pokemon use Life Orb. With Life Orb and this ability we could risk going second for a move doing 60% more damage. Now isn't that a risk worth taking?

    Please give me counter-arguments if you feel the need. I want to see real discussion. Give me real reasons why my arguments are invalid or why these aren't risky abilities. I want to see these slated and discussion and counter-arguments are the only thing that can do that. So bring it please.
  7. Nomark


    Aug 22, 2012
    Time for my (potentially worthless) opinions:

    Moxie is... meh for me. The typing specifically was designed so that our STABs could not be spammed. This makes Moxie fairly weak, only useful as a late-game sweeper. If the CAPs counters are removed, however, it becomes an unstoppable killing machine, right? Maybe. Moxie is dependent on the stat spread, and could end up as an inferior ability.

    Illusion is in the same boat, as it's only slightly less dependent on stats, but we could at least see what happens when it is placed on a competent poke. It's an experiment. The question is, Is Smogon going to take the risk of putting this on it's CAP?

    No Guard is difficult. This ability is dependent on CAPs movepool, and many of the attacks that hit it super effectively are low accuracy. No Guard seems like it isn't worth the risk.

    Weak Armor seems like a good ability. Almost every team has some form of priority, and many of those are Mach-Punching Brelooms. Even if the opponent team doesn't have the pokemon this CAP seems to be born to counter, fighting is a very common coverage type, and the one that hits the individual types super-effectively. The defense drop makes sure CAP will think twice before sponging an attack, though, as it is potentially vulnerable to bullet punch.

    Simple is just a bad idea. It's like a mini-moody in that it has the potential to allow this CAP to get too many boosts too fast. If it gets Psycho Boost, I'll listen, but otherwise, no.
  8. Base Speed

    Base Speed What a load of BS!

    Sep 16, 2012
    It really bemuses me that Weak Armour is getting so much love while Quick Feet seems almost utterly rejected. Why? Because Quick Feet has nearly all the attributes that people are praising Weak Armour for, and Weak Armour has nearly all the attributes that people are criticising Quick Feet for. Allow me to explain...

    -Both abilities allow CAP4 to raise speed without taking up a slot for a boosting move or spending a turn using it. This needs no further explaining, I take it.

    -Both abilities do this at the cost of damage. In Weak Armour's case, it's by being hit to activate the move and in Quick Feet's case, it's residual damage from the status you're afflicted by

    -Both abilities require careful play to avoid a sweep being cut short. For Weak Armour, avoiding priority is an absolute must because you're likely to be KOed if hit by any. For Quick Feet, it's about finding the right time to sweep quickly before residual damage racks up against you.

    When one considers that CAP4 needs to be hit in the first place for Weak Armour to activate, and after that is left extremely vulnerable to priority, you're looking at it taking an awful lot of damage. I can't really see how, against any good player, you'll be taking more damage from Quick Feet abuse than from Weak Armour abuse.

    Thus, the only defining difference between the two abilities is that one allows more than a +1 boost in exchange for what will be, on average, more damage. To me, that makes Quick Feet the superior option.

    So then, if both abilities have roughly the same pros and roughly the same cons, someone tell me why one is hated so much yet the other so loved and why one is currently being slated and the other isn't?? It makes no sense to me.
  9. jc104

    jc104 Humblest person ever
    is a Contributor Alumnus

    Aug 27, 2009
    It's important to realise that the stronger of the two abilities is not necessarily the better choice. CAP4 would be a better pokemon with Quick Feet, no doubt. But we need not worry about how good CAP4 is right now really. We can make up for it at the stats stage. What matters much more is how "risky" the ability is - how well it fits the concept.

    I don't think, with Quick Feet, people would be likely to use a status orb in order to get the speed boost. The weakness to residual damage is already too great. Therefore I would imagine that Quick Feet would only be useful when switching into status moves (I'm still not sure that it would be a good idea to do this deliberately). It seems like Quick Feet would merely providing insurance against status, since other than taking the original status move there is no drawback. One of the things I like about weak armour is that it's exploitable for both sides. Yes, the two abilties are similar, but to me weak armour is clearly the better choice of the two. Therefore I think it seems silly to consider Quick Feet.
  10. Style_Dota

    Style_Dota formerly MikeDecIsHere
    is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Personally, I would have liked to see a Stat distribution before I make this opinion, but I'll throw in my two cents.

    Moxie is not a risk/reward ability. There is zero risk in running Moxie. The only bad thing is that if you have shit attack stat, to which you probably shouldn't be running a physically offensive Pokemon in the first place. Also, with a Bug / Psychic typing, this thing will most likely not be physical.

    No Guard is tempting, mainly because there are two perspectives to this. On the one hand, all of your moves hit, but this also means that all of the opposing moves hit (Stone Edge). However, I don't think that this is the best route to go, mainly because the insurance of being able to hit all of your moves doesn't highlight a risky situation in my opinion.

    Regenerator - No. There is no risk when you have leeway of switching out and regaining HP based on a crap mistake or hax.

    Simple is an ability that really is dependent on the Pokemon's Move Pool. For example, if this Pokemon got Quiver Dance, this Pokemon would be SOOOOOOO broken. I'm going to lean towards a no on this one, mainly because I want to have the option of Quiver Dance available.

    Illusion is a really cool idea, and is definitely my first choice of abilities, but I think that it highlights a different risky situation than the one that is desired for CAP. Illusion is mainly dependent on the opponent, rather than the user. However, if this comes in the final decision, I will probably be leaning towards this, mainly because Illusion is a cool ability that needs to be spread a bit more.

    Flare Boost is probably the #2 in my book. An SpA boost (and the possibility of Quiver Dance) at the cost of Burn Recoil and an SR weakness. Not to mention it might have to predict WoW in order to be useful? Sounds like a cool idea.
  11. adhdtv


    Aug 25, 2012
    @ Base Speed: While I do think that quick feet is a great ability, CAP4 would have to choose between only choosing only special moves and almost making Psyshock a commodity(We said it should be able to attack both spectrums) with a burn or taking toxic damage in addition to SR and neutral/SE moves, or relying on parahax not kicking in, as quick feet does not prevent full paralysis. In my opinion, flare boost, guts or weak armor would be superior to quick feet unless CAP4 has certain moves/movesets that in my opinion decreases the risk factor, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself.
  12. sax king

    sax king

    Mar 6, 2010

    Nothing says more reward than an attack boost, nothing says risk more than an accuracy reduction. Seriously, a megahorn hustle would be so insanely powerful but sooo risky. I don't have time to write a full argument for hustle, but I really think that it's the way to go.
  13. capefeather

    capefeather toot
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Apr 26, 2009
    I'm kind of amused at how some people say No Guard is too risky and others say it's too rewarding. But enough about that. Someone actually acknowledged the most recent arguments for it! Good job, team.

    Well, yes, nothing can eliminate luck in the game. That qualitative observation is known. I think that it's still worth it to do as much as we can, though. In fact, if we look at these factors qualitatively, it's clear that No Guard reduces luck on average the majority of the time. Stone Edge, for example, has a 1/4 total probability of either missing or landing a critical hit, while No Guard Stone Edge has a 1/8 probability of landing a critical hit. Therefore, whether or not a critical hit matters, the probability of the "baseline" result is increased. Same with Focus Blast: 10% SpD drop < 37% (SpD drop or miss) (critical hits are preserved so they don't affect the inequality). Zen Headbutt? 28% > 20%. So really, No Guard tends to balance inaccurate moves better than leaving the moves alone does.

    Look, guys, the whole "X is part of the game" argument is a great argument and all when applied to suspect test discussions. There is a definite case to be made against engineering the real game. However, consider that the whole point of this project is explicitly to engineer the game to achieve some end. The CAP Project has motivations that are very different from suspect tests, and so I don't think that arguments referring to something as part of the game are relevant to this endeavour. Kitsunoh, for example, broke many "perfect coverage" combos.

    If you're trying to sweep a team, the miss rate (and thus the luck-based instability of the situation) becomes that much more prominent. So No Guard would be more important in some situations than in others. Considering this can help us pair No Guard with an appropriate alternate ability.

    But that's the thing, isn't it? For a losing player, praying for a miss might be his/her best chance. Let's remember that the CAP playtest is very much like an experiment, just as it was in CAP 2 when you argued against Multitype :) Since in this concept we are looking specifically at how players interact with risk, randomness in the results of such interactions is undesirable. For this reason, I don't think that No Guard could fit much of any other concept better than this one. Again, yes, we can't completely eliminate luck from Pokémon. Yet, that's just like most experiments in science. Every test has random factors interfering with it and we can't get rid of all of them, but that doesn't make it pointless.
  14. Tira_ShadowHeart


    Jul 7, 2008
    I'd like to see Analytic and Unburden on CAP4. I think this combination would fit the idea of risk for both user and opponent: the user must outsmart the opponent in order for CAP4 to succeed, and the opponent is kept guessing as to which variant CAP4 is.

    Analytic-based CAP4s would invest more in bulk and depend upon prediction, with the reward of a free Life Orb boost (and, if you're feeling particularly risky, do as Pokethan suggested and slap another Life Orb on it to boost it even further). This kind of power could work as a counter to Unburden-CAP4's checks.

    Unburden-based CAP4s could go the speedy sweeper route with the risk of only getting one real chance, but the reward of outspeeding Analytic-CAP4's checks to KO. (Maybe it could carry an Air Balloon and switch into a Mach Punch, then set up its offenses while the opponent switches, or hold a Focus Sash and really depend upon Spin support.)

    I prefer Unburden over Weak Armor in this pair of abilities because Weak Armor may require users to invest into CAP4's defenses in order to survive any attacks at all, at the cost of CAP4's offenses. I think we can find a perfect Speed base for this: one that, without any sort of investment, is greatly able to take advantage of Analytic, but if invested in and doubled with Unburden, can outspeed many other threats.
  15. jas61292

    jas61292 used substitute
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Sep 30, 2010
    Just to clarify a bit of what I am saying, I do not mean that Illusion is any more dependant on the rest of the Pokemon than any other ability. What I mean is that it does not carry risk because at worst it fails to fool the opponent, which is the same as not having an ability. So at worst it has a net neutral effect. At best, it has a major positive. Of the other abilities on the slate, only Moxie, which I also don't really like here, can have the same said of it. There is no situation where either of these two abilities actually cause you to be worse off then if you did not have them. As I said, if we want to use them as the reward, then that is fine, but pretending that either of them is an actual risk is foolish, as there is nothing negative that they bring to the table themselves at all. It would be the rest of the Pokemon generating the risk.
    Also, just a brief word in response to this. I can't say I disagree with your reasoning, however, the conclusion I draw from it is still different. Yes, this is like an experiment. And yes, that means limiting other variables is important. However, while you reach the conclusion of "this is not about luck so lets limit it as much as we can", I look at it and think "this is not about luck so lets keep luck the as normal as we can." They are two different views of the same thing. Both are trying to limit outside variables, its just a differing view of whether no luck or normal luck is the correct way to limit it. Some people might take your view thinking that we should be looking only at the decisions made based on the risk we create and nothing else, and some people might believe the same as I do that taking the risk of what we create into account within the normal risk parameters of the game of Pokemon is the better way of doing things. This is just personal opinion, and I doubt anyone could convince someone to change their opinion on this matter.
  16. BlueStar99


    Aug 24, 2012
    I'm throwing my support behind Weak Armor and Hustle. They exchange one stat with another. For weak armor, it means it can be killed by priority and for hustle, it might mean missing at a crucial moment. Regenerator isn't risky at all. Just look at Tornadus-T. Also, No Guard isn't very good at all. As mentioned before, the possibility of spamming powerful moves is very likely, and the opponent's unaccurate moves are likely to hit anyway.
  17. B.Reinquist


    Sep 27, 2010
    Simple with Shell Smash. Is there anything riskier? Just sayin'
  18. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1

    Jun 30, 2010
    While disagreeing with Birkal is not going to get me into the Smogon good books, I do have to agree with jas here.

    I don't want Illusion on CAP4 because Illusion has many advantages with almost no drawbacks.

    Firstly, let's answer this question: What's the disadvantage if your opponent sees through Illusion? Simply put, nothing. If your opponent realises that you are hiding with Illusion, they'll attack you like normal, as if you had no ability. So they'll act as if nothing had ever happened, because Illusion had no effect. The opponent's not been messed with, but you haven't lost anything either. The only thing that you lose is your ability, and many OU Pokemon have shown time and time again that not having a great Ability doesn't matter (see: Lucario, Terrakion).

    But, what about the stuff you win with Illusion, when it works? You get a free turn, essentially. Your opponent either has to switch out to an appropriate counter (which may or may not counter CAP4, they're just countering the pokemon CAP4 is disguised as), or they attack and end up seeing the "It's not very effective" text pop up. Either way, CAP4 gets a turn to do whatever it wants. It can set up, it can get free damage or it could switch to another teammate to keep up momentum like a VoltTurn team would.

    "But Treadshot, what about Zoroark? Why does it get no usage?"

    Simple, Zoroark's stats and movepool let it down. Dark Typing also doesn't help it in Gen V where everything carries either U-Turn or a Fighting move.

    Going back to the two questions, what does Zoroark lose when the opponent sees it's a Zoroark? All of its health, because it's defense are shoddy. Zoroark is frail, it can't afford to take a hit from anything with even half-decent offenses. It's weak to common moves which doesn't help it at all, and it's not fast enough to pull off the Glass Cannon role that made Gengar famous.

    What does Zoroark gain when Illusion works? Well, Illusion should give it a free turn, to set up, to attack with or to switch (and thus cause a double switch to keep up momentum). That's what Illusion gives to pokemon, unfortunately our pal Zoroark can't do anything with it. Set up? There are far better pokemon for that role (Terrakion, anyone?) who all have better defenses to help them attempt a sweep. Attack for extra damage? MixApe could pull off better damage with a better STAB in Close Combat, while you might as well have used Draco Meteor off Latios for real damage (Zoroark also doesn't have the high base power moves to do much in one hit without boosts). And if you wanted to switch, why not use Rotom-W? Bulkier, better switching move in Volt Switch and with better coverage in its STABs just in case.

    Just because Zoroark isn't able to take advantage of it, doesn't mean Illusion is bad. It's just that Zoroark is not the pokemon to take advantage of it. For everything Illusion should give a pokemon, Zoroark has a downside to stop Illusion from working its magic. We need to evaluate Illusion on its own, without Zoroark holding it back. When Illusion is given to a pokemon which actually has defenses, then Illusion has no drawbacks aside from removing any other abilities from your pokemon. And that's minor, when you essentially get a free turn when it works.

    While I know we can always tailor the pokemon to be somewhat less powerful to compensate for Illusion's benefits, why bother? We'd just be making Zoroark v2, and we'd learn very little that way. Illusion is an ability that only results in benefits, and Zoroark is the embodiment of how bad we would need to make a pokemon, to keep Illusion in check. It is not Illusion that's bad; Zoroark needed to be nerfed to balance out Illusion.
  19. Numbuh 214

    Numbuh 214

    Dec 17, 2007
    My opinions on the popular abilities:

    Simple gives the reward of basically setup being doubly effective for the risks of relying on stat-up moves and being less able to rely on high-power stat-down moves. Acceptable, but not ideal.

    Hustle gives the reward of stronger physical moves for the risk of making them hit less often. Absolutely unacceptable. We don't want risk defined by Lady Luck.

    Weak Armor gives the reward of increased speed on any physical hit for the risks of decreased physical bulk with repeated attacks and absolute dread of any Pokémon with the ability Skill Link. Unacceptable, given the stance on counters for CAP4.

    No Guard gives the reward of being able to abuse moves balanced by their horrible accuracy for the risk of never avoiding an enemy attack. Acceptable, but only with another ability and subpar bulk. We already have enough bulky No Guard abusers to prove that having the bulk to take an attack makes you care less about being unable to dodge it.

    All discussed status boosting abilities (Guts, Toxic Boost, Flare Boost, Quick Feet) give the rewards of status immunity and some sort of stat boost for the risks of passive damage and effectively having no item if you use an Orb. Acceptable, considering Bug/Psychic is not immune to any of them OR weather damage.

    Moxie gives the reward of being able to become stronger as you take out enemy team members for the risk of being less motivated to sacrifice its boosts to preserve itself by switching. I'm sure we've all had that one moment where Moxie Salamence just doesn't yet have the power to take out the big threat staring it in its face, and it's faced with a switch-or-[STRIKE]die[/STRIKE]faint situation. Acceptable.

    Illusion gives the reward of mind gaming your opponent out of a turn and possibly the match for the risks of being found out and stuck with a useless ability. Acceptable, but only with another ability it could use.

    I will only say one thing; it's probably off-topic as hell, but I'm sure if anyone can get it done, they're reading this post right now: if Illusion wins out (hell, even if it doesn't), I'd really love for Pokémon Showdown to allow the trainer to pick which Pokémon to put in his/her sixth slot as well as which one he/she leads with; shoot, if you could make sure it only does this with Illusion users, then go right ahead. As it is now, you have even less control over Illusion in Showdown than you do on WiFi; I don't think we'll learn much from the concept if this remains the case.
  20. capefeather

    capefeather toot
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Apr 26, 2009
    <+Pwnemon> Cape looking at your arguments for No Guard
    <+Pwnemon> It looks like you have taken the concept of risk and morphed it into a concept of "FUK HAX"
    <&Birkal> well honestly
    <&Birkal> if you take away accuracy worries
    <+Pwnemon> And yes, i say this knowing you penned the concept
    <&Birkal> it allows you to dig more in depth with the risk concept
    <+Pwnemon> I disagree, birkal
    <+Pwnemon> It's a complete nonfactor
    <&Birkal> ok
    <+Pwnemon> It's like saying "not eating broccoli makes steak taste better"
    <+Pwnemon> If anything it removes risk/reward because you can't calculate the chances that hax will screw your opponent in any myriad of situations
    <Numbuh214> well, i personally like the point someone else brought up
    <Numbuh214> that no guard isn't the only accuracy boosting ability
    <+Pwnemon> Compoundeyes is no risk
    <+Pwnemon> Stop right now
    <+Pwnemon> I really think that risky business was the biggest misnomer to ever befall a concept
    * creepshow (~anonymous@synIRC-7A73927C.hsd1.nj.comcast.net) Quit (Broken pipe)
    <+Pwnemon> Cape's entire vision with the thing was to eliminate any semblance of risk ._.
    I honestly don't know how to make my argument any clearer. I have taken many measures to assure people that this isn't just about the hax. I have taken measures to point out how relevant hax is to the concept, even if we don't want to focus on it. Combined with jas's reply to me and the continued references to CompoundEyes, I am forced to conclude that reactions like this are because I am looking at the ability stage for this project differently from the people who are against No Guard.

    CAP 4's abilities do not have to be overly extravagant. We don't have to be in optimization mode for the whole project, especially here where it could actually lead to failure or irrelevance of the abilities. I fear that Simple would either be a generic rewarding ability or pigeonhole CAP 4 into a setup sweeper role and suck otherwise. Moxie is the kind of ability that only really works if you're already winning. The entire proposed slate has real potential to be entirely rewarding or entirely irrelevant. It is simply not necessary to have abilities that aim to alter CAP 4's role significantly, for the sake of learning about the metagame. We need the Pokémon, not the process, to be risky. We shouldn't have our efforts to push the concept forward end up pushing it backward or not at all.

    It is with this in mind that I disagree with the notion that somehow the "baseline" is the best control variable for the CAP project regardless of the situation. What we should control is entirely dependent on the concept. It is like testing the physical laws of motion on earth when they could be tested in outer space, claiming that the earth is what we know, so the earth is what's relevant. Yet, testing the laws of motion in outer space can prove to be more illuminating because we not only get to see how the laws of motion actually work, but also get to see what effects the factors native to the earth (e.g. air) have from a more objective angle. We already have so many examples of Pokémon that have the tools to "predict the opponent" and punish effectively (up to luck factors), that in this stage we are essentially trying to go off the wall to test risk in a different way. In this respect, No Guard is no different from the other suggestions, while being more likely to be effective in its purpose than the others.

    In the end, we do have a secondary ability stage. The second ability will depend significantly on what we choose as the first ability, and I think it will be especially difficult for the CAP 4 project to pair the first ability up with a complementary second ability without having one outclass the other. IMO, No Guard at least is not as affected by this as other abilities (in general, not just in the slate), and the arguments for it will essentially be the same regardless of it being proposed as the first or second ability. I think that No Guard will be better at pairing with other abilities (again, in general) than other abilities will be at pairing with each other.

    Truth be told, the weakness to Rock especially made No Guard more relevant than it otherwise could have been...
  21. jc104

    jc104 Humblest person ever
    is a Contributor Alumnus

    Aug 27, 2009
    "<+Pwnemon> I really think that risky business was the biggest misnomer to ever befall a concept" - couldn't agree more, not that it really matters.

    As for stuff that does, again I'm worried that people are criticising abilities for having no drawbacks. Having a useless ability in one situation is an enormous drawback compared to having an outrageously strong ability in another. As I've said, what we're looking for is the biggest difference between the best-case and worst-case scenarios. Illusion, for instance, makes an enormous difference, because it's so strong when you get it right, while I feel that No Guard makes only a small difference, even if it can be positive and negative. Clearly, if the ability is all positive, we would have to make the pokemon less strong overall, in stats and movepool, to maintain balance. What matters at the moment is accentuating the effects of risk, not whether an ability is good or bad.

    Back to my concerns with No Guard. To quote the concept "It should be emphasized that this concept is NOT about luck management" (I'm going to take luck to mean the RNG here since otherwise the whole concept makes no sense). That seems to suggest to me that luck is irrelevant, not that it should be removed. I feel that going so far as deliberately removing "luck" diminishes the effect of risk. I remember someone saying something along the lines of "rock shoudn't beat paper" due to the RNG. However, if you KNOW that rock has a 30% chance of beating paper, that adds an extra layer to the guessing game. After all, there was a roughly 1/3 chance the opponent would have picked scissors anyway. Is there really a distinction between these two types of luck? If both players know that Rock has a 30% chance of beating paper, that doesn't make rock or paper the superior option necessarily. So although the concept is "not about luck management", I don't believe luck management is in opposition to the concept. Had the concept said something slightly different I would have gone as far as to encourage it.

    I should also stress that the concept people voted for was what you wrote down, not what was in your head.
  22. CiteAndPrune


    Jun 6, 2012
    It's not yet voting time ShinyDreamer. There will be a new topic when that begins, you know.

    ...... the state of the slate as it is now leaves me rather pessimistic. If this were another project, with the aim of another concept, then I would be enthusiastic to see how the CAP community can explore them in detail and learn from these abilities. However, with Risky Business as our stated concept, I see abilities being passed off as risky that don't deserve that label.

    Illusion, as it's been said above, is not a risky ability - it's Zoroark that is a risky Pokemon stuck with that ability. And even if CAP4 and Zoroark were to be used on the same team to abuse Illusion, the fact they share a Bug weakness (hence U-Turn) would put heavy weight on the rest of the team to compensate. As for its benefits, I feel they are overhyped; the one turn of 'distraction' even if the enemy is fooled still lets them do something, such as setup their own sweeper, throw status or phaze away. It's hardly a 'free' turn. It we were exploring a concept for which Illusion is a natural fit from the start - something about player psychology - then by all means. But for Risky Business it's neither risky enough nor rewarding enough.

    Simple and No Guard, as has been said above, are very defining of CAP4 if they get chosen. It's clear what they do, and they'll require the right stats and movepool to truly abuse them. I'm not a fan of either, but capefeather's arguments have grown on me over time so I'll be willing to give No Guard a chance and study the 'other kind of risk', if we can capture that.

    Weak Armor I like because it has a clear defining disadvantage. I also think the weakness to priority users is overblown, in that I don't foresee CAP4 surviving Banded Priority (unless Fighting-typed) even without the defense drop (and for Scizor, it'd have to be ridiculously bulky). One way or another priority users WILL have to be eliminated before the sweep, so with them out of the way, the +1 Speed is what matters. Depending on the stats later, +1 Speed might not be enough, of course, but I still find this ability the most promising out of all those slated (and we wouldn't have to hold back so much on the stats up next).

    Moxie I have quite some hopes for. If it promotes physical sweeper sets, then I feel pairing it with Analytic for the opposite side - a special, wallbreaker set - would be very appropriate. With this in mind I'll probably vote on it if the slate doesn't change, although unlike Weak Armor it ought to cost CAP4 some vital stats so it's not overpowering.

    Remember folks, we almost certainly still have the secondary ability to choose, so just because your preferred option didn't make it here isn't the end. I'm counting on Trace more than any other, in this department, because it's situational enough that it should pair decently with any of the slated abilities if it ends up getting chosen (maybe except Illusion, since Trace announces itself upon switching in). No Guard/Moxie will probably synergize at least decently with Analytic so they're not bad first choices either.

    ..... I think I forgot something, but this post is long enough already. Okay, that's it from me.
  23. bugmaniacbob

    bugmaniacbob Was fun while it lasted
    is an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Sep 19, 2008
    3 hours to go. To cut a long story short (I really don't have that much time to spare) you are probably wasting your time if you are trying to convince me to remove No Guard, Illusion, Moxie, or Simple. I've found that these four are imaginative, unique ways of fulfilling the concept by different means, each with their own little thing to teach us - and no matter how much you rubbish them, I am adamant that they are worth our time. I think they have all been justified enough. Similarly, don't bother with adding new abilities.

    I want more discussion on Weak Armour. I have said that I didn't really know what to make of it, that maybe it had a little too much risk for not enough reward, or whatever it might have been. I've been flip-flopping on this ability for the whole day, even when I've been trying to do something else, and it's driving me nuts. Maybe it's simply because Weak Armour isn't very imaginative or original - when it comes down to it, we are simply creating a good Pokemon with Weak Armour, which is risky by definition regardless, in the same way that creating a glass cannon with Solar Power or Reckless would be.

    I would like to see both criticisms and praises made in this thread to be properly debated. I don't want to see "oh it fits the concept perfectly". Lots of things do this by the interpretation that we as a community took of the concept, in combination with everything else about the Pokemon - where Weak Armour exists in a vacuum as a risky ability, possibly to its credit.

    More opinions please. Go.

    EDIT: Actually, scratch that. There really isn't anything else to be said.


    No Guard
    Weak Armour
    Expect a poll shortly.
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