CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 4 - Tertiary Ability Discussion

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Was fun while it lasted
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Ohh god please no more

Everybody try to get through this as best you can, I promise, it'll be over soon


Here we will be discussing the merits of competitive abilities on CAP4, as they pertain to the concept below. This is not the place to be discussing flavour abilities - if you wish to discuss these, please visit the Create-A-Pokemon Kitchen thread, where such discussion is allowed.

Below is CAP 4 so far:

Name: Risky Business
(formerly "Living On the Edge")

General Description: This Pokémon is very risky to play, but very rewarding if played correctly.

Justification: Many of the Pokémon that are successful in OU are relatively easy to play or have great "safe" options (e.g. U-turn). Yet, many other Pokémon look very powerful, but are less successful than they could be because of some large risks involved (e.g. Hydreigon), and some aren't successful at all (e.g. Honchkrow). This self-balancing concept intends to explore what it takes for a risky Pokémon to be successful, and how much inherent risk a Pokémon can get away with. It should be emphasized that this concept is NOT about luck management, but rather, it is about what the user can afford to do given his/her opponent's options, and vice versa.

Questions To Be Answered:

  • What is the relationship between risk and potential consequences, both positive and negative?
  • What kinds of inherently risky tactics are successful in the OU metagame?
  • Do risky Pokémon need some form of safe options (e.g. switch-ins) to be successful in OU, or can it get away with having few really safe options?
  • How does Substitute, a well-known "safe" move with nearly universal distribution, impact how this Pokémon is built and played?
  • How do existing Pokémon use and deal with risky situations?
  • Can risky Pokémon be played well in the early game, or are they better off put into action later on?
  • How do different playstyles interact with risky situations?
Typing: Bug / Psychic
Abilities: Weak Armour / Illusion / ???


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You know the drill. So what am I looking for here? I'd like an ability that has triality with Weak Armour and Illusion, and ability which, when all three are combined, equally usable, thus reinforcing our CAP's teambuilding risk element, and forcing the user to choose wisely.

Well... that's what I'd like anyway. Whether or not it's possible is another matter. I'm not going to spend much more time on this since this is really just an extension of the last discussion thread (and I am very tired) so if you could read my posts back then that would be great, and it would save my having to reiterate for the umpteenth time.

Go forth and endeavour.

Either No Guard to complete the set and have no side from Primary Ability Poll 2 be a loser or No Competitive ability to just end this.
Is there an option to nominate No Tertiary Ability?

In short, I heavily believe that to create a stat spread that can support Weak Armour and Illusion well enough to believe choosing one ability over the other has Risk/Reward, but I honestly believe it would be nigh impossible to

A.) Choose an ability that meshes so well with Illusion and Weak Armour that there is risk/reward to choosing the third option over the other two.


B.) Create the rest of a Pokemon (stat spread, movepool, etc) around predetermined abilities that already need very specific support to work effectively.

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Quixotic Final Attempt at Flare Boost HOOOOO-ooooh!

I still think removing the risk of status and having a potential countershifting strategy from Weak Armor would be warranted. I've done this twice before, I figure a third shot can't hurt.


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Unless someone has something really earth shattering, I don't think we should be adding any more competitive abilities (maybe No Guard but I am still not convinced). The relationship between Weak Armor and Illusion is strong enough (testing late game risk vs. early game risk) that I don't think we need to expand upon that anymore. I fear that adding another ability of significant competitive worth would skew that relationship. Please do not start bringing up abilities that you've been harping on before; they haven't been slated twice for a reason.

That being said, I think the primary discussion of this thread should be geared towards No Competitive Ability (NCA) versus No Tertiary Ability (NTA). For those of you who don't know, there is a large difference between these two. The former allows for a flavor ability or a gimmick ability that is outclassed by its first two abilities. The latter, however, prevents the Pokemon from choosing an ability that is "neutral". Mollux is a good example of the former. Illuminate, all though it has no competitive worth, still plays a role in its function; without it, no one could dream of running Mollux on a sun-based team due to Dry Skin. So although it received another ability (that had no competitve worth), note that it still ended up playing a role in how Mollux performs in Overused.

I think the distinction between these two is key to having intellectual discussion at this stage in the process. I honestly haven't made up my mind if I like NCA or NTA more; I'd like to see what you guys think!


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I'm also gonna put my support behind No Tertiary Ability, or at least, No Competitive Ability.

The fact is, as Birkal nicely pointed out in the secondary ability discussion (and again right above me, that ninja), the duality between Weak Armor and Illusion comes from being an late game vs early game strategy, even on the same move set. Due to this, i don't really see a third ability being able to synergistically fit in with those. There really is no such things as a mid game ability to fit between them, and otherwise, we will have something that will infringe on the use of one or the other without complimenting them like the current ones do for each other.

I really feel like choosing a third competitive ability would just be adding something on that does not fit in for the sake of "risk". In the context of the Pokemon we already have, no other ability fits in without taking away from what we have already chosen.

Now on the topic of NTA vs NCA, I see no reason not to have another flavor ability, but I believe that if we do want that, we should wait until after Art to decide between the two, as was done with Mollux. Illusion has no inherent negatives, so can technically be played as if you have no abilities, so I see no competitive reasoning not to allow a third ability, but once again, that is another discussion entirely.


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Like Jas, and Birkal, I'm going to have to go with No Tertiary Ability, or make it None Competitive at all (honey gather).

The way CAP4 has been set up allows it to do something early game, or do something late game with the same amount of risk imo, Throwing another wrench in the mix would just mess things up. It's probably better to just keep it they way it is now and proceed with making the pokemon, stats ect
I will again nominate Dry Skin. The risk of an added fire weakness and damage in sun is a risk (duh), but the immunity to water will not only allow it to switch in, but also heal off any stealth rock damage it might have taken. This would also allow it to either be a pretty good counter to rain teams, or a good member of a rain team, depending on what moveset you give it.


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Thanks for that BmB... D:

I'd like to show support for Flare Boost too. You could blag totally different ways of playing if you really wanted to. it would genuinely be difficult to pull off (risk) but incredibly powerful if you could get it to work correctly in your favour.


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I don't see why a third ability wouldn't work. Unless i'm missing something i don't think that illusion will require a specific stat spread to work. Therefore Moxie or No Guard could be viable as we determined that both would work well within the confines of the weak armor stat spread.
One of the issues that I see with No competitive ability and No tertiary ability is that the other abilities have that risk/reward balance whereas if we go with one of those two options someone will be able to do a "safer" option in playing the pokemon. I support Flare Boost because it still has the risk/reward balance that is the entire meaning of the CAP.
So let's see here.

Weak Armor - "Fragile Speedster"
An ability that sacrifices physical bulk for speed. It helps to create a sweeper's moveset. Has relatively low risk against the Fighting-types it resists anyway, but makes CAP4 extremely vulnerable to Stone Edge, Pursuit, and priority moves.

Illusion - "Element of Surprise"
An ability that veils the user with the appearance of another member of your team. It can lead to many set-up scenarios, but is just as likely to quickly subside should you use it recklessly. It plays entirely on the element of surprise, meaning that you're essentially without an ability if your opponent sees through your guise.

This means that CAP4 heavily plays on the aspect of knowing what your opponent is expecting. You quickly lose CAP4's effectiveness if you aren't killing things quickly with Weak Armor or aren't a turn ahead in momentum with Illusion. From this, we can deduce that CAP4 will be running sets that play as a sweeper, preferring speed above all else. If we want to balance this out, then I think our third ability should focus on creating risk with bulk, this leading to a support set or a tank set depending on what we choose. As such, we can choose from one of the following:

Marvel Scale
Much like the arguments for Flare Boost, Marvel Scale risks status for an increased stat. Flame Orb being used in unison with Marvel Scale creates drawback in that you can't go physical and you slowly take damage in exchange for immunity to Toxic, Paralysis, and Sleep, all things that would harm you immensely, and a little more physical bulk.

In fact, I believe that any point you make with Flare Boost can also be made with Marvel Scale, minus the specificness of your status having to be a burn, which is made moot when you consider that CAP4's potential will still heavily be decreased in effectiveness with the other three main status plaguing it on a defensive set. If we want a tertiary ability to balance with the other two so as to not make this a purely hit-hard-or-run-mon.

A unique ability
I'm definitely not counting on this to win, but obviously it's still an option. My idea was to create "risky bulk" by introducing an ability doubles both its resistances and weaknesses, much like something out of the Pokemon TCG called "Allergy Panic". This could make bulky sets all the more feasible, as it would allow risk-taking strategies to have a place in sets outside of just trying to attack.

Choice Scarf Tyranitar is about to attack your Heatran, so you are presented with risk in trying to send out CAP4 with Allergy Panic. If it uses Close Combat or Earthquake, you are essentially given a free turn as its move does only an eighth of the damage it would have normally done, forcing a switch. However, your opponent might predict a switch and use Stone Edge or Crunch, doing quadruple damage to you and KOing CAP4 for that battle. As far as I'm concerned, no other ability fulfills the concept as well as that, and would be an amazing addition to the concept of high risk, high reward.

I'm not looking for another glass cannon with this CAP. I want to see all aspects of risk explored, which we would gain with a defensive ability like Marvel Scale or Allergy Panic. Neither ability overshadows Weak Armor or Illusion because of how they are so situationally different from eachother. Could we not at least play around with the idea of risk with bulk?
I thought you said "may or may not contain spoilers," BMB! I was all like "Oh, hey, bunnies, that's relaxing and... Oh... Gonna have to kill myself now."

I know it's been discussed and done to death, but I kind of like the idea of Flare Boost. But since I'm pretty sure it was already decided that we don't like that one, I'm going to have to opt for Non-competitive Ability. I don't think we'll ever come up with yet another ability equally risky to but completely different from Weak Armour and Illusion.
I support No Competitive Ability.

My reasoning is primarily that CaP4 is built around risk. Illusion explores early game, while Weak Armor explores Late Game as others have mentioned. A somewhat risky ability added into the mix would completely mess up the duality, and would possibly undermine the entire reasoning behind choosing the last two abilities. Any ability of marginal competitive value will be completely outclassed by Illusion, making this the equivalent of NTA for the Pokemon. So, there really is no difference between NTA and NCA beyond flavor and more time later down the road. That decision really just comes down to personal preference.
Well, Illusion won, against my beloved Moxie. Oh well, at least it wasn't No Guard.
Anyway I see the merit in No Competitive Ability, though I'd like to have a third option to make our CAP even more versatile. Versatility (within the same stat spread, of course) would, I believe, do nothing but help our CAP, especially as it would create more opportunities to capitalize on risk since our opponent will not know our ability, and also it would allow CAP4 to fulfill a variety of roles for the team.

In the original two polls I was against Flare Boost, since I felt it was too suicidal and geared CAP4 towards the 'Glass Cannon' which we do not want it to be. However, now that CAP4 has two great options for primary abilities, I feel confident in nominating Flare Boost for tertiary ability. Although if enough people vote for Moxie then I'd support that too.

Though, if the majority decides not to give CAP4 a third competitive ability, I would vote No Competitive Ability over No Tertiary Ability any day.
Well...Since I took longer than 30 seconds to write this *sarcasm*, somebody probably ninja-ed me and said everything I'm about to say, but...

I have to ask if we really need another competitive ability. Having another risky ability would be cool, but could drastically over complicate things later on when it comes to making stats and a move pool. that, and I don't know what we'd learn by giving it something else competitive. It seems to be redundant, since we are trying to learn how taking risks can lead to rewards, and how much of a risk to take. We have to great abilities that help us learn that; what would a third add?

If anything, I say we explore the risks of No Competitive Ability. If I take the risk of choosing, say, Honey Gather over Weak Armor and Illusion, what rewards do I gain? Or have I just killed my strategy?
I kind of figured that the tertiary ability discussion would make more abilities plausible, not less. It was mainly Theorymon who gave some of us the idea that, say, No Guard could work out where it might not have worked out in the secondary ability discussion. There are also I suppose options like Flare Boost, since I'd imagine that it would be a lot more plausible as a contrast to two other abilities than as its own thing. Mainly, I'd like to see an ability that either concentrates on the midgame or has a relatively constant impact throughout a match (both No Guard and status orb abilities do this).
Still putting in a suggestion for Moxie. If not, then No Tertiary Ability - we should shy away from a noncompetitive ability on CAP4 altogether since it wouldn't mesh well with our theme.


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I don't think there should be any problem with a non-competitive ability. Unless I'm missing something, having Illusion will never be worse than having a "blank" ability.


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No Tertiary Ability or No Competitive Ability

That is all. If this is not the result, I will be very disappointed. If it's not slated, I might explode. *coughbugcough*
I already wanted Weak Armor to be all. Illusion was the lesser of the evils presented. Nothing more. Please.

EDIT: I don't care which. Illusion would never NOT be chosen over the noncompetitive Tertiary ability best as I can tell (provided it was truly 100% entirely noncompetitive.) Weak Armor of course is a different option which might be chosen too. But the noncompetitive Tertiary would have no competitive use and therefore no merit.
I'll start with the most important thing: those bunnies in BMB's post are damn cute. Now, onto business.

So No Guard is still my preferred ability, as it has been from the start. Of course, now I have to present it in the context of triality (that's not even a word!) with Weak Armour and Illusion. Whereas Weak Armour is late game risk, and Illusion is early game risk, NG is all-the-time-unavoidable-you-can't-get-away-from-it-risk. In addition, NG allows CAP4 to play a defensive or supporting role, in contrast to the offensive nature of the two existing abilities. While NG does aid CAP4 in the use of powerful moves (eg Megahorn) it also makes other status moves (Toxic, Will-O-Wisp, Whirlpool, yes, Whirlpool) more desirable because of their increased accuracy. At the same time the risk lies in the opponent's moves; Stone Edge or Fire Blast will always hit, Toxic or Will-O-Wisp will always hit. I find that a lot of matches between defensive Pokemon can be heavily influenced by luck: for example, if the opponent's move hits, you're screwed, but if misses you can get up a Sub (to avoid a status move) or use Recover/Roost/whatever (to survive another hit and kick ass). BMB did say in the concept assessment that: "I personally would consider concentrating on only one risk-related role to be a mistake" and "we have support and offensive as the different areas we want to be aiming for". WE, Illusion and NG all help with the offensive; but NG also helps with the supportive.

I think diversity is important for this CAP, because there are more types of risk that we can explore with three abilities than with two. So I'm firmly against No Tertiary Ability and No Competitive Ability. I wouldn't mind Moxie or Flare Boost, but these are both offensive abilities and I think we need a non-offensive ability now, which is why I'm favouring No Guard. Finally Marvel Scale: it would probably be my second choice for an ability. Second choie simply 'cause I favour NG :)
Wonder Guard
Magic Bounce
Speed Boost

Let's just go with what we have already... No Tertiary Ability. On a side note, if we are to go with a competitive tertiary ability, let's please not go with Dry Skin... I don't think we need yet another Rain abuser in a metagame that's already overrun with Rain abusers...
Okay, so what is all this about nobody wanting a third competitive ability? Yes, our abilities act as dualities, but does that automatically mean a third ability will ruin that? Does having a third ability suddenly make the first two outright unusable? Someone, please enlighten me as to why everyone thinks that we're reaching some sort of greater evil to create a triad of abilities of risk for CAP4.

Let us not forget that all we are doing is providing more playstyles for risk, therefore exploring risk. We're not making a riskier Syclant people, we're creating a Pokemon that sees risk and reward, and frankly we'll be missing out on learning everything we can about risk if we just go with two abilities that compliment a set-up sweeper's playstyle without anything else being emphasized. bmb wants a trio of abilities that create a balance of different kinds of risk in different situations, and we won't achieve that unless we find the gall to fit in a risky ability unlike Weak Armor and Illusion. We've got a late-game risky ability and an early-game risky ability. Now let's go for a mid-game risky ability before we just call it quits.

Again, unless somebody has a legitimate, truly convincing argument against it, I say we should go with Marvel Scale or some sort of defensively-risky-yet-rewarding ability. I see no reason to not complete a trio of abilities of risk when all it will do is help us explore the concept further.
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