CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 4 - Secondary Ability Discussion

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Ain't no rest for the wicked

There is no question that harvest works best in the sun, but does that mean the ability is weather reliant? Harvest still has a 50-50 activation rate in other weathers and clear skies, and, while not optimal, would still be useable in these scenarios. At the end of the day, you are always guaranteed at least on use out of your berry regardless of weather or luck and strategies such as Sub+Salac aren’t unheard of in the OU metagame. Harvest would simply add an extra incentive to use such strategies. I’ve already mentioned how Harvest is a risky ability in this post, and I feel it ties in very well with the concept and is an interesting complement to weak armour. On the one hand weak armor is somewhat less risky but has an external locust of control; that is to say your opponent must activate your ability for you. On the other hand, you have full control over how you use Harvest and can use Substitute to bring yourself down to the HP threshold to abuse the pinch berries. I feel it would be neat to compare these two abilities in juxtaposition during the playtest.
I can no longer resist the temptation to comment on Mummy... I really don't get it. Mummy's effect on the vast majority of OU is minimal, a mild irritant at best. You check Moxie... maybe once. You do nothing to passive activation abilities like Sand Stream, Intimidate and Download. Physical Jirachi and Toxicroak are the only OUs that lose significantly from getting Mummy.

EDIT: Bah, I commit tense inconsistency and then it's quoted X(


The argument I saw for No Guard was to reduce luck-based risk...
That was not the main argument for No Guard. I can't help but think that this critical misunderstanding is behind a lot of the hate for No Guard (as well as behind the suggestions of Compound Eyes even though may of No Guard's biggest supporters hate Compound Eyes for missing the point). That No Guard reduced luck-based risk was just a nice side effect and nothing more. The argument for No Guard was that it was a perfect example of an ability that had the risk-reward dynamic already self-contained, with the risk being that there were many powerful moves that Riskymon would become even more vulnerable to and the reward being that there were many powerful moves that Riskymon could use to greater effect (with the additional benefit that the degree of reward was entirely under our control because we control the move list).

I look at it this way: Suppose No Guard is slated and wins the poll, and suppose it outclassed Weak Armor and everybody chose it in battles. Where is the slap in the face, exactly? In this scenario, the community chose No Guard, thereby slapping ourselves in the face, if anything. Additionally, I actually really like the fact that the metagame can slap us in the face by resolving our decisions in ways we didn't expect. We can be as democratic as we want. The metagame doesn't care. I do not get a say in how the metagame handles CAP 4 any more than I get a say in how the universe works.

Seriously, guys. This is a very important point. If we, as a community, pick abilities such that one outclasses the other, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We have no one to bitch at for slapping "the community" or "democracy" or whatever else in the face, because we did that to ourselves. Please don't be like "hurr durr No Guard already lost, present-us can't choose it now or else it might nullify past-us" or anything similar because it's completely nonsensical.
You know what, cape? You are absolutely right. I don't think that that's how a lot of the people who adamantly despise No Guard will see it, but you are right. If the majority of voters picked Weak Armor and then the majority of voters pick No Guard too and No Guard outclasses Weak Armor, then there's nobody to "blame" but the majority of voters.

That being the case, I guess I will put support behind No Guard again after all. I've been staring at the list of abilities on Bulbapedia trying to think of how to make something out of the box work, but I just can't figure out anything that works as well. I've considered things like Adaptability to encourage the use of less than stellar STAB options, I've considered thing like Filter to provide a defensive alternative to the sweepiness of Weak Armor, and I've even considered Big Pecks just for the irony of it, but nothing comes close to being as perfect as Analytic or No Guard, and bmb doesn't look like he's going to budge on his disapproval of the former.

Even considering the duality, though, (if I'm understanding it correctly, that is), I do think that No Guard and Weak Armor have an interesting relationship. Both are abilities that sacrifice bulkiness (Weak Armor by dropping defense when hit, No Guard by improving opponents' accuracies) for improved sweepiness (Weak Armor by increasing speed when hit, No Guard by improving Riskymon's accuracy), and yet they do those things in very, very different ways. In my mind, it does seem like they would run similar sets which would then just play somewhat differently.
Well, here's my opinion:

No Guard: I liked this as a primary ability, but now, it would totally outclass Weak Armor, so I oppose to this now

Illusion: It could work, but depend on the opponent's choices and if you can keep SR out.

Marvel Scale: I don't like this, as capefeather said, the defense boost doesn't compensate for the status

Mummy: While I believe that it can be useful, is just situational. What OU pokemons are affected? Heatran loses Flash Fire, but it can still hit you for heavy damage, Scizor loses Technician, but it will probably just U-turn, Reuniculus and Alakazam lose Magic Guard, but you are alredy killing them with your stab moves. I only see it being really useful agaist the Status orb set of Conkeldurr. The problem is that the oponent always can just switch.

Abilities that boost speed (Rattled, Quick Feet, Unburden, etc.): I believe that they are redundant and situational, so just no.

Simple: While this ability is very good, it totally outclass Weak Armor, so no.

Moxie: I like this ability, is balanced, doesn't outclass Weak Armor and is cleary a failsafe option, because we know it works

Analytic: This is my personal favourite. First, it complements perfectly with Weak Armor, because it promote a slow, bulky set, as oposed to the glass cannon sets with Weak Armor. Second, it boost both atk. and sp. atk. making easy to have different mixed, special and physical sets, providing CAP4 with unpredictability. I also believe that there's a great risk in using a slow attacker in a metagame full of fast and powerful threats.

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Given bugmaniacbob's caveat that we're not going to give it moves that wouldn't be viable with another ability (which means no to Zap Cannon and yes to Megahorn) I'm slowly being sold over to No Guard. I also like Illusion, but I do think No Guard does provide some duality to Weak Armor in that its risk structure is different, as are its rewards. While I wasn't comfortable with it as a primary ability, I think if we keep in mind its contrast to Weak Armor going forward we can make sure it doesn't overshadow it while allowing its good attributes to come forward.

Mark me down as a No Guard supporter if Flare Boost doesn't make the cut.
The biggest argument I have against No Guard is that it does nothing in how CAP 4 plays. It wouldn't be coming in on Stone Edge and Fire Blast anyway, so the "added risk" is really just a situational bargaining chip to get this thing No Guard. There are also no inaccurate STAB moves that would make this notable; Psycho Boost, Zen Headbutt, and Megahorn are the only remotely close options. Sure, we could make one, but what's the point in making an inaccurate move just so you can justify it with No Guard? You either take No Guard into account and make it no better than existing STABs, or don't take that int account and purposefully unbalance it (ex giving it a 120bp/50% acc move). So basically you're just reaching to give it coverage moves like Zap Cannon or Inferno or Dynamicpunch for the hell of it. It seems either pointless or intentionally overshadowing the concept and primary ability, depending on what you do with it, so it's a bad idea.

Illusion is similarly powerful and overshadowing. What's the point of Weak Armor if we give this thing a fantastic ability? Just pair it with Zoroark and 4 threats, and the match becomes a guessing game for your opponent. That's not risk, that's luck.

I like Marvel Scale or Moxie because they foil well with Weak Armor. Anything that changes your opponents "best move" based on your choice of ability conveys this sort of risk; you have to take into account many things to discern their ability or use risk factors to decide which ability is more important to handle directly. (like Terrakion- is it CB? Sub SD/Rock Gem? the former is beaten by Gliscor, but the latter loves baiting Gliscor)


The biggest argument I have against No Guard is that it does nothing in how CAP 4 plays.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that exactly what bmb just said that he wants?
So, my version would be as follows: that both abilities grant a specific positive and a specific negative that are distinct from one another, and importantly, that both have their own individual merit on similar sets.
To try once again to start thinking outside the box...

Reasons for Klutz I gave in my previous post and I still think it's a good choice, given duality with Weak Armor in particular. You close some holes and open up others. If people aren't warming up to it, though, I guess there's a reason it's dismissed so easily...

Mummy, and for that matter Trace I see potential in. Mummy moreso even than Trace, but that's because robbing the enemy of their ability would be generally harder than instantly seizing theirs to use against them (as Trace would with many weather-sweepers). If Swift Swim/Sand Rush were more prevalent in OU, Mummy shutting them down (after potentially a turn they set up Swords Dance too) would be much more valuable. However, I'm concerned these would outclass Weak Armor as an option.

I support Shield Dust on principle. If anything, eliminating secondary effects of attacks goes a long way towards 'stabilizing' our defensive backbone without messing with accuracy; but honestly, I'd prefer Shield Dust as a third ability and default for 'risky support' sets to pick.

Magnet Pull that Meganium Sulphate has brought up, I have faith in. The ability itself isn't the risky part - it's the choice of using CAP4 as our Steel Killer when just about every Steel out there could defeat it, that introduces risk. Trapping an enemy with you is usually the reward and all that people see in it - but when you're trapping yourself with that enemy as a risk to keep it trapped, and you could get demolished any turn while trying to carry out your strategy, there really isn't a risk that can compare. Magnet Pull would be risky in the same vein VoltTurn is a safe strategy - that switching is the easy way out. In the end, though, I'm afraid this'd would be hellish to justify flavor-wise (unless.... psychic-flavored telekinesis-powered Magnet Pull?).

In a similar vein Liquid Ooze, strangely enough, would appear proper Out of the different HP-draining moves (Giga Drain, Horn Leech, Drain Punch, Dream Eater, Leech Seed and that little Leech Life) CAP4 resists all that matters based on typing alone. The risk herein lies in picking CAP4 for our drain-hurter instead of, say, Tentacruel (although when did Tentacruel last turn to Liquid Ooze?) and check to Fighting types. The reward? Imagine if you switch in on the turn the Fighter needs to drain back HP (especially with Blissey out to lure), they get hurt, and are KOed by status/weather damage?

Moxie is still solid from the last poll and forms a decent duality with Weak Armor. I'd vote it if it got slated again. Alternatively, Justified isn't that bad, combining Weak Armor and Moxie's qualities and going with the Speed vs Power reward, but it'd present a more controllable risk for both the player and the opponent.

For what it's worth, Synchronize seems the better option over Marvel Scale to me, and would be easier to justify in flavor, while requiring more skill to make the most use of, however, paired with Weak Armor... might be too safe a default. Maybe.

Finally, Analytic is really an excellent choice in terms of duality with Weak Armor. I'll argue for it with all I can - because frankly, I think bmb skips over an extremely vital kind of risk that is inherent in it, and centered around the stats.

I believe in the previous discussion topic it was mentioned that there's no surviving a 2HKO from Tech CB Scizor's BP. That Skarmory's defensive stats wouldn't hold up, and CAP4 has much worse typing to compare. With or without the Defense drop from Weak Armor, we won't live through two hits - heck, depending on hazards and other damage, we'll be lucky to not slide into OHKO range over time.

Let's face it then, guys. CAP4 isn't going to go head to head with OU priority and live (barring Sucker Punch but let's not poll jump). That's why we need to get them on the switch; or set up Substitute (after SR that brings us already below half HP) and take them on with whatever move it might be. Then, once counters are eliminated, WE could sweep; whereas Analytic...

I don't recall a single case of slow AND frail (or at least average-defenses) sweeper successful in OU. They're dismissed as plain bad. Breloom has Spore and priority, Toxicroak bonus healing and priority. Can you imagine what it'd take to make a slow, frail, yet offensive sweeper Without priority work? I believe it's workable - though it would be risky - every turn of the way. Which is what this concept is all about. Risky decisions every turn of the battle, exploring new avenues that we haven't seen an example of in OU yet. That some people can't imagine how they'd work and just dismiss as too gimmicky or ridiculous to be effective.

But we won't know for sure unless we try. That's why I'm pushing for Analytic - I believe it deserves to be slated, and then, let the community decide. But if it isn't slated, we'll never learn what could-have-been.

About Illusion, No Guard, Simple and so forth...

Simple is too good, especially contrasted with Weak Armor.

Illusion has all kinds of flaws: if it fails and the enemy saw through it, you haven't lost anything but the element of surprise - on that basis it should be disqualified just like other abilities that offer an opportunity cost (see: Mummy). It also depends on the opponent's decision, and when all is said and done, no matter how much you bluff, that's a risk outside of your control, which I believe was also disqualified earlier during concept assessment. If our concept was exploring player psychology, then by all means, yes! But it isn't, so sorry, but no. Just save it for another CAP - there will be so many opportunities later.

No Guard I'm on the fence about. Its arguments have been reiterated over and over, qualifying definitions of what risk is or isn't, or whether it's the kind of risk we're interested in. They sound repetitive by now and they're not any more convincing than they were before. More than anything else, I'm certain that No Guard would outclass Weak Armor, unless that Speed boost is critical (and perhaps CAP4 has no other means to boost its Speed... then maybe?).

The biggest argument against it, however, is held in the exchange that cape and AR have going on.

IF No Guard was slated, and chosen, as a secondary ability, then that will be the community's decision. However if No Guard gets slated and chosen simply because no other suitable alternative ability is offered, because so many abilities are dismissed as early as this stage here, then that is not the community's true decision, but one made for the community.

That is my biggest concern right now. And so for the sake of avoiding that scenario, we have to think more outside the box than we have been thus far. There is an ability out there - with duality that complements Weak Armor just right - with more potential than one gimmicky set - waiting to be discovered.

And that's all I wanted to say.... phew, long post is long.
Defiant seems to be the only ability that actually achieves what bmb wants, from what I see.

Does it outclass Weak Armor?
Not at all. In fact, its far more situational. And for the most part, the main difference that will make itself prevalent is the lack of Defense drops and Speed boosts. Actively trying to induce the effects of Defiant is going to be difficult, situational and most importantly, risky.

Can it be played on a similar set to a Weak Armor set?

For physically based sets, yes. I'm not concerned that this is polljumping since we've pretty much already decided this CAP will have mixed capabilities. A physically based set would likely find it a tough choice between Weak Armor and Defiant- One turns you into a scary but frail endgame sweeper, the other turns you into into a powerful but more easy to exploit early/mid game wallbreaker. Both are totally justifiable.

Does it restrict our CAPs movepool?
I can't see how it would. You could make an argument that for example, Swords Dance would make it for the most part redundant, but I don't buy that. I would go so far as to say they would actually work in tandem with each other, with regards to people typically switching in Intimidators to buffer against DD/SDers and thus slow down momentum- in our CAPs case, it would instead increase the momentum for the CAP to unstoppable levels. Which leads me to the next point-

Is there a good risk/reward balance between the two abilities? Do they achieve "duality"?
This was kind of covered earlier. By using either ability, you are, for the most part, locking yourself into a role. With Weak Armor, you resign yourself to the role of dangerous late game sweeping. With Defiant, you present a more consistent threatening presence, but will have trouble breaking through whole teams in one fell swoop. Additionally, as I covered in my previous post, you get an interesting situation with regards to Landorus-T, Gyarados and Salamence. With both abilities you gain a way to one up these mons (and this is where I believe the Psychic STAB would come in very handy), but it depends on the scenario- and of course, theres always the possibility of Stone Edge/Fire Blast ruining your day.

I wholeheartedly believe Defiant is the way forward and the most complimentary ability to put forward with Weak Armor.
I think Analytic could work, (...). I think Weak Armor would make CAP 4 interesting enough, but Analytic provides another interesting point in that it works on the switch: Should that CC-locked Terrakion switch out and let you hit something else even harder, or should they stay in and possibly give you the Weak Armor boost?
Now that Weak Armor (really, why the 'u' spelling?) is set in stone, I find Analytic even more appropriate than before. Where Weak Armor would belong on a sweeper set that aims to setup and clear a team outright, Analytic would be more suitable to a wall-breaker set, especially one that fires off strong hits on the expected switch-in. Also, one favors a rather high Speed stat and Speed investment, whereas the other works best with the lowest possible Speed. Making the most of both when designing the stats would surely challenge the community, too.
These two posts combined contains all the reason why I'm going all out in supporting Analytic. I really can't say anything more. The only other ability I could see working is Rivalry, seeing as Pokemon Showdown randomizes gender, so that's equal chances of getting a 25% increase or decrease in attacking power.

Base Speed

What a load of BS!
The thing with Weak Armour is that it has unavoidable drawbacks. In my opinion that means the second ability should have unavoidable drawbacks too, in order to work well with Weak Armour - otherwise it'll instantly become a safer option and kill the concept.

With that in mind, I'd reject status activated abilities (Guts, Quick Feet and in particular Marvel Scale - you can't abuse it so it's only really a back up, a safe option when you think about it) along with Solar Power and Analytic. Many of the abilities with unavoidable effects could outclass Weak Armour. People are acting like we're in a vacuity but in actual fact whether any given ability is the better option will depend on stats and movepool too. Therefore, I'd like to give my support to No Guard and Simple (and possibly Klutz too, it matches what I've said we need). I think we can pull them off.
I will say it again, I dislike No Guard intensely, and am not remotely won over by the arguments for it. The main reasons? It's Boring. And sure as hell no one will use Weak Armour over it.

The 'Risk' aspect of No Guard is clear - you make yourself more vulnerable to Stone Edges, Fire Blasts, Hurricanes and even Sleep Powders. It's a boring risk as your playstyle and decision making doesn't change at all by using this. No one switches into a Terrakion CC thinking 'oh well, if it's Stone Edge at least it might miss'. No one stays in on a Heatran Fire Blast thinking 'well if it turns out to be scarfed and outspeeds me, at least it might miss'. Therefore the risk aspect of No Guard leaves us with almost nothing to learn. Boring.

When considering the 'Reward aspect of No Guard, it's impossible not to poll jump to movepool. BMB is right in that we have total control over how big a reward No Guard is. At the extreme, you have things like Dynamicpunch and Inferno, which are not competitively viable with Weak Armour and therefore according to BMB's rule, will be disallowed. So really, what will be the benefit from No Guard?

It will gain 100% Accurate STAB Moves that are normally inaccurate:

... that's it. Psychic STABs all have 90% or 100% acc. No Guard will not interact with our most risky STAB at all. Yes Megahorn will be better with No Guard but if you use Heracross or Escavalier in UU you'll know that the decision of whether or not to use Megahorn in any situation is almost always about its Type not its Accuracy. You use it if it'll do the most damage, you don't use it if can be walled by a Chandelure or Gligar. Accuracy is not a significant worry when using Megahorn. So, again, No Guard will not affect the player's thinking or playstyle re STAB moves, so the CAP community wouldn't have much to learn from the playtest. BORING.

It will gain 100% Accurate Coverage Moves that are normally inaccurate:
Focus Blast
Fire Blast
Stone Edge

If CAP4 gets ANY of these with the stats to use them, No Guard will significantly outclass Weak Armour. If it doesn't have the stats to use them, it will still use No Guard over Weak Armour all the time. Can you seriously imagine choosing a situational Def Drop/Single Speed Boost over a guaranteed, never-miss 120BP Fighting/Electric/Fire/Ice/Flying/Rock coverage move? Even if limited to one of those, CAP4 will be way stronger with No Guard.

Sorry to mention specific moves now but it is impossible to consider the benefits of No Guard without discussing what moves will allow us to reap the rewards of it.

TLDR - Don't allow No Guard. It will competitively outclass Weak Armour. Instead consider Abilities that genuinely pair well with Weak Armour and help us learn about different types of risk depending on whether you pick Weak Armour, Ability 2 or Ability 3.
I think that player psychology (well, more broadly, player decision-making) is very relevant to this concept. Unless it's the only recourse, good players aren't just going to guess wildly as to whether a given Pokémon is actually CAP 4 or, on the other side, whether the opponent will "take the bait". The "unless it's the only recourse" part is important, but it doesn't define the whole game the way some people have been insisting in this stage and the previous one. The risks are quantifiable in the same sense as classic game theory scenarios like the prisoner's dilemma have quantifiable risk factors. (If there's one thing I regret about my concept submission, it's that I didn't mention the prisoner's dilemma; rock-paper-scissors doesn't have the same effect.) Both No Guard and Illusion address player decision-making and risk-taking, since they alter the potential rewards and punishments for various decision pairings.

In general, it is a bit fallacious to suggest that there is an absolute baseline risk/reward value for a given decision pairing, and to determine risk and reward relative to this baseline. The one possible exception is if a risk or reward is so drastic as to make it appropriate to assume "no activated ability" as the baseline. If we're talking about Illusion, for example, the "baseline" of a scenario in which Illusion doesn't change anything can actually be viewed as a risk relative to the situation at hand. When you're counting on Illusion making an impact and buying you turns, having it not making an impact is a relatively negative outcome, even if it is neutral in the absence of Illusion. I'm not sure if this also applies to Analytic, but maybe it should be reconsidered in this light (I'm not saying accept necessarily).

I'm still apprehensive about Illusion's interaction with Weak Armour, but I still think that it is one of the better suggestions.

Some asides:

I would definitely encourage people to look for abilities that could jive better with Weak Armour than what has been suggested. I'm just not particularly convinced that any of them do, from what I've seen.

jagged angel, are you saying that No Guard does too much or that it does too little? You seem to be arguing both. Pick one.
Everybody's voicing great ideas; let me just say that I'm in favor of Analytic and Defiant (in that order) for a lot of the reasons mentioned already. I could also get behind Mummy - although that ability would definitely go best on an Egyptian-themed Pokemon and there are a lot of artworks I adore that aren't that style. Don't know if that counts as poll-jumping.

I'd love to vote for Contrary, but I don't know enough about it; yes, it reverses the effects of stat changes, but I could never decide if that was just from damaging moves or all moves. For example, if Contrary Serperior used Coil, would he be raising his own stats or lowering them? Nobody's ever said...
I'm inclined to agree with jagged here; No Guard doesn't significantly alter the way you play (would Machamp ever stay in on Tornadus anyways?), and for the most part just ends up being all benefits and no drawbacks.

I've been looking through the abilities again, and there's not a lot of risky abilities we haven't discussed. Rivalry is the most inherently risky, but I've changed my mind on it somewhat; I think we going for a more controlled type of risk than the 50/50 shot Rivalry presents.

With that in mind, I'd like to bring up discussion about Gluttony. With the pinch berries having been brought back with B2/W2 (they have, haven't they?), I think Gluttony provides a suitable risk/reward scenario: do you take the risk of letting your health fall below half in order to gain the boost the berries provide, or don't you? I also think Gluttony provides a few more strategies than Weak Armour, simply because Weak Armour involves only one strategy (get hit by a physical attack and live), while Gluttony's strategies are only limited to whatever berries you want to use with CAP 4. Sure, people will only use SpA. boosting berries or Speed boosting berries, but come on, work with me here.

I think another important thing to think about if we discuss Gluttony further is that Gluttony does not outclass Weak Armour. If anything, I'm a little iffy about whether or not Weak Armour outclasses Gluttony, but I'm not sure.
I'd love to vote for Contrary, but I don't know enough about it; yes, it reverses the effects of stat changes, but I could never decide if that was just from damaging moves or all moves. For example, if Contrary Serperior used Coil, would he be raising his own stats or lowering them? Nobody's ever said...
Contrary works both ways, so if you use a traditional set up move (Coil, Calm Mind, etc.) you end up lowering your own stats.
I have an almost identical opinion to ShinyDreamer's nominations. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages that aren't too much better than Weak Armor.

Defiant is probably the most complimentary of the abilities here, as meteor64 argued very well. It doesn't outclass Weak Armor, but it has a true "duality" that not many other abilities achieve. It's also rather situational, making it risky, what we're going for. The scenario of predicting a switch into Salamence or Gyarados and actually gaining an advantage with it is a perfect example of risky battling. Contrary is rather in the same boat as Defiant, the main difference is that we lose access to boosting moves and don't exclusively have to be in a physical set to make use of it.

Analytic also grabs my attention due to how it rewards stat and move-choice risk. If you're predicting a switch, you can not only risk getting a super-effective hit on them, but also get the additional power boost as well, really rewarding you for staying in at risk of getting killed or at least checked. Additionally, it works opposite to Weak Armor. If Weak Armor is to allow for more sweepy sets at the expense of defense, then Analytic is to allow for more tanky sets at the expense of speed. It better helps us avoiding just turning CAP4 into yet another sweeper, something bmb wants to avoid if I recall correctly.

Mummy is also last but not least. Cofagrigus had the right idea, but didn't have the stats and movepool to truly bring it into OU, leaving us out of best experiencing the potential of Mummy. From what we do know, however, it can really screw over certain threats like Scizor, acting as a rather pivotal change in pace. The opponent might be physically attacking you in hopes of revenge killing with a slower and bulky or priority using mon, not realizing that you are actually running a Mummy set, making CAP4 all the more rewarding if your risk plays out correctly.

Also, No No Guard. I wanted it before, but it's clear to me now that it would outclass Weak Armor almost 9 to 1.
No Guard "Completely" Outclasses weak armor

To all the people who say this, we don't know much yet. What if that +1 boost results in CAP4 outspeeding terrakion. What would become a late game sweep against you now becomes your late game sweep. What I love about No Gaurd is the psychological game it can produce. Likely if No Guard was give it would be the primary assumed ability, but there is beauty in that for weak armor. There are very few ways for the opponent to find out that is indeed using weak armor besides it's own activation. This allows for CAP4 to be held back, suddenly we're at the end of the game and that +1 boost means life or death for the opponent. If it is no guard he continues as he normally would and win, but if it is weak armor the opponent is swept hard. This can force the hand of the opponent to make a wrong play. Typically speaking if it is held to the end of the game they might assume it is weak armor, but what if instead of boosting on the hit, you boost with their switch. Suddenly becoming powerful.

I love the contrast of No Guard and weak armor, and the potential mind games it brings.
Classical, that applies to Weak Armour vs a lot of other good Abilities. For example, with Moxie/Weak Armour you wouldn't know whether to fodder a weak poke and bring in your counter, or whether foddering is fine but you have to avoid attacking with physical moves. No Guard isn't the only alternative that produces the game you describe.

capefeather I am not sure where the lack of clarity is. Other people seem to have understood.

I was trying to say that when it comes to movepool, we will decide the size of the reward that No Guard brings. To that end, I looked at all the possible reward moves (ones that will receive a significant Acc boost and are high-powered enough to use), and concluded that if we even give CAP4 a minimal abuse of No Guard (i.e. Megahorn and Focus Blast, or Megahorn and ThunderBlizzard etc) it'll outclass Weak Armour. It's also Boring because the playstyle for CAP4 will not change in relation to the elimination of the chance of enemy moves missing.

It's even more boring to imagine such a cool Ability on a CAP whose Typing, Concept and Primary Ability are not conducive to No Guard abuse. Woo, no miss Megahorn, just what I've always wanted >_> No Guard would be more fun and more synergistic with a concept that could actually abuse some of the lovely low accuracy moves like Inferno (50% acc, 100% burn), instead of our Riskmon who can't use any No Guard-compatible moves without eclipsing his Primary Ability Weak Armour.

Choose something that compliments Weak Armour and encourages an alternate playstyle to that which Weak Armour encourages.


It's also Boring because the playstyle for CAP4 will not change in relation to the elimination of the chance of enemy moves missing.
I'm sorry to be asking this yet again, but I didn't get any reply the first time that I asked it:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't not changing playstyle compared to Weak Armor exactly what bmb just said that he wants?
So, my version would be as follows: that both abilities grant a specific positive and a specific negative that are distinct from one another, and importantly, that both have their own individual merit on similar sets.
Because if I am understanding that correctly, then your specific kind of objection, jagged_angel, needs to be further expanded upon to explain exactly why not changing Riskymon's playstyle is bad. "Boring" isn't going to cut it because it's so completely subjective.
After reading the arguments on here, I strongly believe Their is no ability that currently exists that fulfills our objective of mandating a second ability that works with Weak Armour, and we should explore creating a new ability that does such.

Judging by the lack of originality in this thread that has had a strong backing, I feel nothing currently on the table is synergistic enough to accomplish what we're trying to do.



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jagged angel, are you saying that No Guard does too much or that it does too little? You seem to be arguing both. Pick one.
If I am understanding his post correctly, he is stating that it could be either, depending on what we give it in the movepool stage, but that either way it would be a bad choice. Give it the moves to make it useful, and it is too much. But don't give it those moves and it doesn't do much at all. The point is that the "risk" it provides isn't really risk at all. It stops you from getting lucky, sure, but in a minimal way, and not a way that you would be counting on unless you are backed into a corner with no other way out. As much as you say that this is about player decision making, No Guard will not effect that much, if at all. Its true, as you said that we need to look at it based not just on how much of a risk it is based on the reward situation, and not just a neutral situation, but I still don't think it makes a difference. Good players rely on these inaccurate moves because they provide the highest chance of success. A 70% chance at a KO is 100% better than a 100% chance to hit with a move that won't KO. Except in a few extreme scenarios, the way good players play will not be affected at all. The risk is essentially non existant as it will have almost no affect on how the player plays, and the results will be the same too, the vast majority of the time. It is not risky, and depending on what we do with the reward, it will either be better than Weak Armor 100% of the time, or it will be utterly useless. There is no in between.

Also, @ Asylum_Rhapsody, it sounds to me like he is saying that it won't change playstyle relative to not having No Guard. How it plays relative to Weak Armor does not appear to even have been brought up in his argument.

Now, moving on a bit, while it has become obvious that bmb and myself couldn't disagree more on the kinds of abilities we should be looking at, I definitely want to make sure there is something else on the slate other than the few that are likely already on it. As such, I'd like to talk about a few of the more recent suggestions. First, is Klutz. Klutz is a very odd ability, and I would like to think that its riskiness is self evident. Items are a hugely important part of Pokemon, and to you take a great risk by forgoing the ability to use one. At the same time though, it provides some very interesting rewards. Immunity to negative item effects means it can carry around a generally harmful item and punish people who try and use Trick. Just as importantly, if it has Trick or Switcheroo itself, it can use it to Trick items that normally would be harmful just to hold, such as Flame Orb, Choice Items, Iron Ball, or Sticky Barb. Now, this is pretty much the extent of the reward, and in general, you would probably think that this is not worth it. However, I think this meshes well with Weak Armor, as while both have inherent risk and reward, the risk and reward of Klutz is completely under your control, while Weak Armor, whos reward is arguably greater, is significantly harder to take advantage of.

The other ability I just want to briefly touch on is Mummy. I'll be honest when I say that I don't think mummy is the greatest ability ever for this concept, but in comparison to a lot of what is likely to be slated, I think it is a significantly superior choice. Mummy itself seems very much like Illusion in the fact that, when it works, it is a fantastic ability, but when it fails, there really is no true negative. Its no worse than not having an ability at all. However, the real risk of this ability is in how you have to use it. The main Pokemon in OU who it can and would want to affect are guys like Scizor and Salamence, who will likely be very threatening to CAP4. However, sometimes these Pokemon will have your team backed into a corner where mummy is one of the few ways that you can easily stop it. It is incredibly risky to switch into these Pokemon, as most of them have ways to beat you without even activating you ability. But, if you can predict right, and get in on that contact move, it can very easily help stop the opponent from clean sweeping you. I also think it provides an interesing contrast to Weak Armor, as Mummy takes on a much more defensive role than the primary ability, making them useful in different situations, but at the same time, there is nothing about it that means you can't just use it on the smae sets. Once again, this is not my favorite ability, but I definitely think it has merit for this Pokemon.
I support Anger Point, simply because it is a different idea than most, it is not No Guard (which seems to be the main selling point of all other abilities, including No Guard). There is a lot of luck involved in the ability being useful. The risk being your pokemon needs to survive the critical hit. The boon being the free belly drum. To use a similar argument that was used to support Weak Armor, we can make Anger Point balanced and viable in the movepool and stat spread stages. Not only that, we can make both abilities balanced and viable.

We are not restrained by an existing movepool or stat spread. We get to choose after we choose the abilities. In short, it is up to us to make them work together. If they do not work together, the community screwed up. We will only have ourselves to blame.

Even if Anger Point is not chosen, we are the ones deciding how CAP 4 turns out. You do not need to sit here and shout about how boring an ability is. You get to decide how exciting they can be, not let the ability decide how excited you get.


Was fun while it lasted
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Probably time to post my thoughts again. Do note that I won't be around for much time tomorrow, if at all, so don't expect many updates then. Still, keep posting. I'll read everything eventually.

I suppose I should address a concern that has been giving me some not inconsiderable trouble, reading the last few posts and even those before - the issue that some people seem to think that selecting a certain ability automatically mandates a certain playstyle in any and all circumstances. Quite apart from the view that I personally take that concentrating upon one particular playstyle is something not to be encouraged, there are also those who are poll-jumping quite considerably in labelling roles for a potential Pokemon with this ability - for example, Magnet Pull as a Steel trapper. To be honest, I can't see why you would bother to use Magnet Pull CAP4 as a dedicated trapper at all - Magnezone, at least, has its resistances, and Dugtrio has super effective STAB moves. What is to stop you from simply playing CAP4 as you would any other bulky threat, and only occasionally deviating to get a guaranteed revenge kill on a Steel-type? In that situation, Risk appears reduced - the kill is all but guaranteed. Just because something can be played riskily, does not mean it will be, or even that it is the most effective way of playing it. Another that I have seen thrown around quite a lot is one concerning Analytic. People seem to be under the impression that to use it well, you would have to forcibly make CAP4 slow; why should this be the case? If CAP4 was faster than the opponent instead, it could simply hit them twice and still do more damage overall - CAP4 is being hit once in either case, but if it goes first, it at least has a chance to not take a hit at all. The optimum will always be to make it fast, not slow. That's not a criticism of Analytic, but of the way people seem to have been interpreting it.

Still, I suppose I should make my position on Analytic as clear as possible, since it doesn't seem that most people can quite understand it, or if they do, they are ignoring it. I consider it to be essentially the same deal as Tinted Lens or Adaptability in that it is perpetually rewarding, and does not have any other redeeming qualities. What does it do? If you move second in a turn, you get a power boost. That's nice. The difficulty here is that there is no change, in either the set specifications of the teambuilding stage or the actions taken in battle, between having Analytic and not having Analytic. You merely receive an incidental power boost on certain occasions - that is to say that any incorrect predictions are mitigated, and any correct predictions are boosted further - thus, the whole movement is overall positive. On that note, I can't see Analytic is being risky - the risk taken with it tends to be as a result of the Pokemon itself, upon which Analytic merely serves as an ornament.

The one reasonable argument in favour of Analytic that I have heard - and I concede that this is convincing in support of it - is that it rewards risky play by increasing damage on a switch-in, and thus rewards a ballsy prediction made at the right time. And I can see that argument, certainly. There is something to be said for adding a little bonus to the "risky" option that is not carried over to the "safe" option - although I do not find this entirely convincing, as Analytic adds a power boost to any switch, irrespective of whether the switch-in is caught by a predicted attack or not. The boost for Analytic could, indeed, be construed as forcing safe plays on the part of the opponent, as if CAP4 is on the rampage, it is not unlikely that situations where there is one undoubtedly superior "safe" option - ie. where one move will kill the Pokemon currently in play or, thanks to Analytic, will kill any Pokemon that switches in, so your opponent is in a lose/lose situation where previously there was some risk - will occur directly as a result of Analytic. It supports safe options quite as much as it supports risky options. Furthermore, what Analytic attempts is, to be honest, already a given from the decisions we have already made - a Bug/Psychic with coverage for Steel-types - which are all types that have so many resistances to their attacks that there is already a significant reward to be had from making a risky play, and a significant risk involved in that decision, irrespective of Analytic. As such, I cannot bring myself to support Analytic. That's my ultimate position, without some very good arguments to the contrary.

Now, I expect the response to the above to be a form of tu quoque - why am I not applying the above to, say, No Guard, Illusion, or Moxie? Well, Illusion certainly does change the way one plays, such that almost every play made is made more risky - there seems to be a very definite, but in my view erroneous, consensus that the opponent will never call your bluff, and as such, that Illusion can never be negative. I feel I should address this. While it is a fair assumption that your opponent will fall for the bluff at least once (though a ballsy interpretation of Team Preview could mean otherwise), but that does not necessarily mean that the opponent will act in the way you expect them to. Illusion also casts a veil of certainty that can affect your actions, in such a way that yes, it can be a negative, especially if you fail to notice that the opponent has spotted a discrepancy between your HP stat and that of the Pokemon you were disguised as, and play accordingly. So is Illusion rewarding of good play and judgement? I think it's fair to say so. As for No Guard, I have made this point too many times now. There is a distinct positive and negative to No Guard as a direct consequence of deciding to use No Guard in the first place, and it also gets the positive of being an interesting way of removing luck, which we want to avoid. As for Moxie? I'll admit, I'm not as fond of it now as I was in the primary ability poll, and that's largely for the same reasons that I dislike Analytic. However, I'm still willing to consider it because the boost is not guaranteed by any means and requires a specific deviation from typical play in order to gain it, which makes it more interesting from a build perspective.

Now, I should probably address some of the other abilities that have popped up since my last post. Surprisingly, I find I rather like the idea of Mummy, if only for the way it is possible to be played in OU, as being a risky move to switch CAP4 in in order to stop Breloom/Scizor/Salamence/Gyarados/Conkeldurr/whatever else it might be from embarking on a sweep, in terms of sacrificing a member of the team in order to put yourself in a position from which you can recover, in a similar way to that of double-Intimidate, which was used a fair amount in DPP. The only thing stopping me from really liking it is that it is, well... a bit limited.

On the other side, Contrary and Simple still severely limit our movepool options, and as I am counting on the movepool to be one of those areas where we polish off this CAP with a resounding finish, I don't want there to be those sorts of issues (or at any rate, more of those sorts of issues). I don't quite see the appeal behind Defiant - its only real application is through switching into Intimidate. Everything else is entirely at random. I don't see how that helps us at all. Klutz is similarly limited, unless somebody can suggest a positive application for it that doesn't involve Trick or Switcheroo.

On the subject of No Guard as being either inferior or superior to Weak Armour irrespective of what we give this Pokemon, I think you are being a bit overly dramatic if you think that is what is going to happen - and you also don't seem to think much of what a potential +1 in Speed can do. For example, take a hypothetical set of CM / Bug Buzz / Psyshock / coverage. If said "coverage move" is Focus Blast or Hydro Pump, it makes sense to use No Guard. If, on the other hand, it is Fire Blast or Earth Power, there is something to be said for Weak Armour as an alternative. Just because it receives inaccurate moves does not make them automatically superior - particularly if that Speed boost is valuable.

Finally, to address some other questions:

A_R said:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't not changing playstyle compared to Weak Armor exactly what bmb just said that he wants?
That's correct, more or less, but as I have to accept that any change in ability is going to change playstyle in some manner, I'd prefer that the effect on playstyle is minimised while at the same time providing different advantages such that the choice risk element is maximised, which was the point I was trying to make.

Now a few more things:
  • Do not even consider mentioning the word "flavour" in here again. I thought this was obvious but apparently it isn't. Firstly, flavour has no bearing on competitive portions of the CAP and as such is entirely off-topic. Second, we are able to change the names of abilities to better suit the flavour if we wish, such as is the case with Arghonaut, and I think was discussed for Necturna (before NCA was decided).
  • No custom abilities. Seriously, there's no need for that.
  • Try to keep both practical and idealogical considerations in mind, not just one or the other. This should, I hope, be obvious.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the point of this CAP was to reduce luck-based risk as much as possible, which is why I don't believe Anger Point is a good idea for CAP4.

I've been reading most of the arguments in this thread, and I've noticed that every post that mentioned Moxie agreed that is was a solid choice. (except for bmb, but he ninja'd me as I was writing this, and he didn't say it was a bad idea) correct me if I'm wrong, but I still believe Moxie is the best choice for this CAP.

Defiant could also be useful, but it's too situational for my liking. Only Gyara and Mence have Intimidate in OU (and not always, some sets carry Moxie instead) and CAP4 cannot really beat either without an expansive physical movepool (also, good luck outspeeding Mence with a stat spread designed for Weak Armour). I know it's kind of poll-jumping, but I felt the need to bring that up.

I still have mixed feelings on Mummy, but I would vote it over No Guard if it comes to that (I'm not even going to comment on NG, it's been too over-discussed already). I'm neutral to Analytic, but could be swayed either way if people argue more about that, same thing goes for Contrary. In essence, it's the same as Defiant, unless we give CAP4 Overheat/Leaf Storm/Draco Meteor/Close Combat/Superpower in which case I don't see much risk in that at all.

EDIT: bmb's ninja brings up some good points. I don't think I'll be supporting Analytic, Contrary or Defiant unless someone brings up some good counterpoints.
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