CAP 16 CAP 5 - Part 1 - Concept Poll 2

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And we're back with round two of voting on our concepts! As usual, I encourage you all to read through each concept thoroughly and think critically about what they entail before voting. Three concepts remain for voting. This poll will be a single bold vote, which means that you vote for only one of the submissions. The details of bold voting can be found here. A typical vote might look like the following:

My Preferred Entry

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

IMPORTANT: When voting, use only the name of the author! The list of possible votes includes:

Base Speed

This poll will be open for 24 hours. The concept submissions are quoted below in order of submission.

Name: Type Equalizer

Description: A pokemon whose presence in the metagame increases the usage of one or more underused types and simultaneously decreases the usage of one or more overused types.

Justification: Take a look at the OU usage statistics for January and you'll see that 9 out of the top 10 pokemon have either steel, water, dragon or fighting as one of their types, and extending it to the top 20 shows 16/20 with those types. We should also be asking ourselves why these trends exist so strongly and what can be done about them. In creating this CAP, we'd have to discuss in depth many different aspects of what makes a type and opinions can ultimately being tested in the playtest.

Questions To Be Answered:

  • Is a types usefulness relative to the metagame or is it intrinsic? (Ie. Can any type be the "best" type given the right circumstances or do type match-ups, available STAB moves etc mean some types will always be better than others?)
  • What exploitable weaknesses do "good" types in OU have? Are their currently pokemon that can exploit them and if so, how do they function differently to CAP5?
  • How (if at all) will the targeted types adapt to the situation created? Will people choose different movesets, abilities, etc or will they just use them more/less? How is this linked to the way CAP5 functions strategically?
  • What effects will the changes on certain types' presence have on the metagame?
  • Which members of the targeted types will benefit and suffer from this most and why?
  • By creating CAP5, have we learnt any new ways to counter good types or use bad types?

Types have many complex interactions to explore - not just with one another but with abilities (eg, Magnet Pull, Water Absorb), moves and field effects (rain, Stealth Rock, etc), and sometimes even trends in the pokemon with the type. What I'm trying to present is a clear destination whose journey leads to good discussion and analysis of a large aspect of pokemon, whilst still being enjoyable. I feel one of the main strengths of the concept is that it has a wide variety of potential implementations which will help to promote discussion and creativity. The idea of a "bad" or a "good" type is rife throughout all areas of competitive pokemon, with CAP being no exception, so it seems valid to explore it.

A lot of people have asked how I envision this working. The short answer is it depends on which types we decide to take down and up. However, some general ideas can still be given:
Obviously we would want CAP5 to have the right type match ups for the concept. Resistances or immunities to the types we want to take down and weaknesses to those we want to bring up are ideal but not mandatory. Immunity granting abilities are a valid option to patch up not-so-ideal type match-ups later down the line. Between the two, we'd probably be hoping to make moves of certain types less spammable.
Statwise, the build very much depends on what we're targeting as well as the previous steps, so it's difficult to say much. I would suggest decent special defense to prevent people utilising hidden power rather than pokemon of our "bad" types, but that's not a necessity.
Choosing to target certain types might require CAP5 to have specific aspects: for example if we try to bring down water then an anti-rain element would be worth considering and if we're trying to bring up a stealth rock weak type then looking into anti-hazard methods would be a valid option.
Obviously, we should be mindful of specific threats of the targeted type(s) throughout, but we tend to do that well anyway.

Note that I haven't specified how many types we should target. This is really important. One of the big learning opportunities will be when we decide how ambitious we think we can be, as this will provoke discussion on just how firm type dominance is and contribute a lot to answering my first question in particular. I don't want that to be missed because I've said "we should focus on X number of types". That's for the community to decide.

This concept shares some similarities with Mollux in that they both try to make "bad" typings "good". However, the learning opportunities of Mollux were very much focused on the build of a pokemon itself, opting to alleviate typing's weaknesses by combinations of ability and movepool. I'm trying to look more on typing in relation to the build of the metagame and and what new opportunities existing pokemon will have in the modified metagame, without the presence of certain types.
Final Submission

Concept: Weather Warrior

Description: This Pokemon will be designed to fulfill two roles: 1) abuse one particular weather effect for a weather-based team, and 2) check or counter a particular opposing weather-based playstyle; however, the two roles will be mutually exclusive. Its build will focus on two of Rain, Sun, Sand, and Hail and on weather-abusing Abilities in order to best maintain an either/or dichotomy.

Justification: I think it's about time we tackle weather, and I think we should approach the weather wars from the inside. Picking off weather starters won't make their effects go away unless you've got your own weathermon waiting in the wings, so this concept will aim to work with weather as an understood presence in the BW2 metagame (which it is). The goal here is to create a weather-based CAP that can fit on a variety of weather-based and weatherless teams.

The two roles outlined in this concept are aimed at general approaches towards weather-based teambuilding: you need teammates to do work when your weather is up, and you need teammates to get momentum back in your favor when opposing weather is active. This Poke will be capable of both but only able to do one or the other with any given set. This way we can realistically approach two weathers at once without necessarily mandating any specific weather-starting teammates; it will be very educational to see which role becomes more desirable to players during the playtest. Keep in mind that this concept will still implicitly include the two weathers we don't focus on. I wouldn't be surprised if they get a boost from this concept as well, as they will most likely be able to foil whatever plan this CAP has (regardless of which role it chooses) by introducing an unfamiliar field condition, or will otherwise be able to take advantage of a weakened dominant weather (Drizzle).

Questions to be Answered:
  • Which weather-based playstyles could use some extra help, offensively? Which weather-based playstyles need extra help to effectively check?
  • How does weather control play into teambuilding? Is preparation required to confidently neuter an opposing weather team, or is superior gameplay enough?
  • How will a Pokemon with such vastly different (and ideally, equally viable) roles to play affect strategy-making during Team Preview?
  • Can the weather-counter side of this Pokemon give weatherless teams a better chance of controlling the field of play? What can weather checks like Gastrodon and Kingdra teach us about reacting to aggressive weather teams?
  • Can the weather-abusing side of this Pokemon stack up against current threats? What can threats like Venusaur and Keldeo teach us about maximizing weather's advantages?
Explanation: The scope of this concept is both broad and limited. I doubt we'll pick anything besides rain for the countered weather, but that doesn't mean we have to build something that beats Politoed and nothing more. Rain teams are known for their indestructible Steel-types, notably Ferrothorn and Jirachi, so this Poke could target them as a niche role. Good examples of the weather-counter aspect of the Concept would be Weather Trapper Heatran, Swift Swim Kingdra, and Latias. For the weather abusing side, I would say both Sand and Hail could use the most help, but Sun isn't out of the question. This aspect of the Pokemon would deal with synergy; we must consider current "standard" team builds and how to fit our CAP into them without it being outclassed or stacking up on common weaknesses. Excadrill would be a good example here for being an enormous threat in Sand but much more manageable under any other kind of weather. By simultaneously creating a nerf to one weather and a buff to another, we should be able to create a more balanced weather war or even turn it on its head.

I realize this concept is pretty similar to jc104's submission, so I naturally support that Concept as well and hope I distinguished my submission by comparison. The key difference I'd like to point out between the two is that Weather Balancer has a very broad scope and goal in mind that is probably excessive for a single Pokemon, while Weather Warrior has a unique focus that still (ideally) manages to affect the entire weather-based metagame without trying to actively equalize 5 very different playstyles all on its own.

Name: Setting the Pace
General Description: This Pokemon plays very differently against Pokemon slower and faster than it, exploring the concept of speed benchmarks.

Justification: Speed is one of the most defining aspects of a metagame. How "fast" or "slow" a metagame is largely defines the style of play and the usefulness of various moves, yet the concept of speed benchmarks remains largely unexplored. Pokemon fundamentally relate to other Pokemon on the basis of "faster" and "slower", and this concept would teach us about that relationship. Speed is a complex subject, since maximizing a Pokemon's speed is not always the best way to maximize that Pokemon's effectiveness, yet there are certain Pokemon that make such a great impact in terms of their maximum speed that they must be accounted for. Many Pokemon need to decide how much speed is enough, and understanding speed benchmarks will help us to understand that decision-making process.
Questions To Be Answered:

  • How do the important speed benchmarks in a metagame get set?
  • How do they react to new Pokemon that directly relate to those benchmarks?
  • Which moves and strategies most greatly impact slower Pokemon?
  • Which moves and strategies most greatly impact faster Pokemon?
  • How does the utility of a tactic change based on the speed of the Pokemon involved?

Explanation: A speed benchmark is the number that separates a slow-slow Pokemon from a merely slow one, a slow Pokemon from a midrange one, etc. For instance, Breloom and Politoed set the benchmark that no Pokemon of middling speed wants to dip below for OU at 263. In DPP, Tyranitar set this number at 245. Many moves such as U-turn, Baton Pass, and Substitute play very differently depending on the relative speed of the Pokemon and its opponent. Scizor is especially representative of this issue, as a slow Pokemon that commonly uses Bullet Punch and U-turn, both of which are moves that greatly impact and are impacted by Scizor's effective speed. Essentially, this Pokemon would tell us about the effect of speed benchmarks by playing very differently against Pokemon faster or slower than it, setting such a benchmark. The actual speed number is unimportant to the concept.
The competition is fierce; good luck to all three concepts!

Guys, weather is the defining aspect of today's metagame. 5th gen is ending and we may not have other opportunity to explore weather. If we finish this generation without fiddling with such an important part of it, I think we may not be going the right road.

I was originally going to vote for Base Speed, but thought about all the different ways we can accomplish reachzero's concept and decided to vote for Setting the Pace instead.
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