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With the most recent successes of Kitsunoh and Cyclohm playtesting, the CAP Project is now focusing more towards on improving the knowledge of past creations through playtesting them while isolated in OU, without any influence from other CAPs. In order to gain knowledge on how a single Pokémon was able to affect an entire metagame, our devoted CAP playtesters set out to find innovative ways to play and fight against different CAPs in standard Platinum OU. These tests and experiences were all taking place on none other than Doug's Create-A-Pokémon Server, which is essentially the heart of the project. From Syclant to Fidgit, the community gained some insight on each CAP that they did not realize before. Furthermore, with playtesting underway, it is a great opportunity for newcomers to jump in the fray, without having to consider dealing with eight new threats in the metagame. Many of us were surprised at our discoveries during these playtests.
Playtesting began with none other than CAP's first creation, Syclant. At the beginning of its creation, it had no direction to begin with, other than to beat Garchomp, during the earlier D/P times. The end product resulted in a highly powered Ice/Bug mixed sweeper, which dominated the metagame. Packing powerful moves such as Superpower, Bug Buzz, Tail Glow, Earth Power, and Ice Beam, barely anything could come in and kill Syclant off safely. In addition, Syclant also packed an ability called Mountaineer, which made Syclant immune to Rock type attacks—including Stealth Rock—on the switch-in. It also had Compoundeyes, making Blizzard + Tail Glow a very common and popular choice. To top it off, Syclant received a highly convenient 121 base Speed, capable of outspeeding Azelf, Starmie, and even Dugtrio, which made it a pain to outspeed and kill, as it packed base attack stats over 110 on both spectrums. As a result, Syclant got nerfed to a more weaker state, losing some important attacks in its movepool such as Superpower, as well as being demoted to 115 base speed and losing overall power in the process.
Revenankh, the Ghost/Fighting mummy of CAP, was definitely no laughing matter either. In its prime, Revenankh would singlehandedly sweep entire teams that were not prepared for it. Revenankh could recover quickly using Rest in combination with its Shed Skin ability for quick recovery as well as making a great status absorber, and had Bulk Up plus an unresisted STAB combo of Ghost and Fighting. Revenankh arguably made the biggest metagame shift in CAP history. Many previously neglected movesets and Pokémon were becoming the bog standard for the CAP metagame. Notable examples include Choice Band Staraptor, Metal Sound Zapdos, and Psychic Celebi. Similar to Syclant, Revenankh eventually got slightly nerfed, losing a bit of Special Defense in the process.
CAP's third project, Pyroak, is usually dubbed as the weakest CAP of them all. Being a Fire/Grass bulky tank, it packs two abilities, one being Rock Head, preventing Pyroak from taking recoil damage from its moves, the other being Battle Armor, which blocks critical hits. Defensively, Pyroak is very similar to Celebi, packing many supportive moves such as Leech Seed, Reflect, Light Screen, Roar, Stealth Rock, Aromatherapy, Synthesis, Toxic, and Will-O-Wisp. Offensively, Pyroak has Flare Blitz and Wood Hammer, both which are very powerful STAB moves that work in unison with its Rock Head ability; however, Pyroak only has 70 base Attack with which it can use these moves. In addition, Pyroak also gets Brick Break to deal with Tyranitar, Energy Ball, Grass Knot, Flamethrower, Fire Blast, and even Zap Cannon for Gyarados. At a glance, Pyroak does seem like a great option with such a wide variety of options to choose from, although it has previously shown to lack the ability to execute them, due to a glaring Stealth Rock weakness and a lack of reliable recovery, especially in Sandstorm.
Fidgit, a Poison/Ground utility Pokémon, introduced a wide variety of team support. Many believe Fidgit to be the most successful CAP of them all, as the previous creations before Fidgit were usually dubbed as too weak or too strong. Fidgit packed two useful immunities from two moves, which are Thunder Wave and Toxic. Fidgit thrived off of switching in and getting free turns to lay out entry hazards or Wish support, which is fairly easy thanks to its decent defenses, 105 base Speed, numerous resistances, and the move Encore, which forces switches from the opponent when used properly. Fidgit also encouraged different styles of play, being a staple on Gravity, Trick Room, and Stall teams. With Fidgit, the overall metagame shifted into a defensive state.
When Stratagem first hit the CAP Server, it shook the metagame completely with brute force. With an amazing base 130 Speed, base 120 Special Attack and an enormous movepool of attacks to work off of, this Rock-typed threat was like no other. Designed to "break the mold" in its field of typing, the typical high attack, high defense, and low speed of a stereotypical Rock type were turned upside down with Stratagem. Packing a wide variety of moves to work with, including its own custom move, Paleo Wave, Stratagem forced teams to run bulkier types of offense, using Pokémon such as Special Defense Tyranitar and Machamp to handle it.
Lastly, Arghonaut, a Pokémon designed to check the most common Pokémon in the metagame, definitely had a large impact on OU. Being built to beat top threats such as Scizor, Tyranitar, Gyarados, and Salamence, our Water/Fighting type squid boasted high Defense and the ability Unaware, ignoring stat boosts from the opponent. Set-up sweepers were stopped in their tracks with the arrival of Arghonaut, and offensively based teams had to resort to killing off Pokémon instantly using the hit-and-run method, moreso than a set-up sweep, which was extremely hard to pull off. The epitome of CAP Stall, as some might see it, nearly wiped out the existence of the standard bulky DD Gyarados.
Syclant kicked off CAP playtesting with a bang. Mostly due to its pre-nerf hype, a majority of teams at the start of playtesting focused on countering Syclant rather than utilizing it. At the beginning, almost every Syclant used Tail Glow and three attacks; however, as playtesting progressed, inspiration reared its head and newer, more creative sets began to emerge. One commonly used set during the middle and later periods of playtesting was Life Orb mixed Syclant. This Syclant made use of its unique ability, Mountaineer, which prevents direct and indirect damage from Rock-type attacks when switching in, and U-turn to weaken and scout its counters while taking little damage in the process. Lead Syclant also became increasingly popular as playtesting continued. Lead Syclant normally used Compoundeyes over Mountaineer due to the fact that it was in-play from the get-go, completely avoiding the issue of Stealth Rock. This allowed Syclant to use its most powerful STAB option, Blizzard, in place of Ice Beam. With Compoundeyes, Blizzard has 91% accuracy. Lead Syclant sometimes ran Taunt as well, to prevent Stealth Rock; but many forwent the use of Taunt for more varied attacking options. Swords Dance was rarely used during the testing period and was largely deemed a gimmick. Choice Scarf sets saw some use due to Syclant's varied movepool and ability to outspeed Salamence and Gyarados after Dragon Dance.
During playtesting, the use of Steel-types went up even higher than normal, due to the potency of Syclant's dual STAB attacks. Scizor usage followed a similar pattern due to its ability to OHKO Syclant with Bullet Punch while resisting Ice Beam and Bug Buzz. For this reason, some Syclant began running Substitute and Hidden Power Fire. One of the more creative sets that saw use during this period was a Vaporeon that focused on Special Defense rather than Defense. Vaporeon also commonly carried Hidden Power Fire and enough Speed to outspeed Scizor. At first, offensive teams were the norm, but as Syclant and Scizor usage increased, bulky, balanced teams became increasingly popular.
As playtesting progressed, it was obvious that Syclant was largely underwhelming. Weakness to Bullet Punch, low defenses, and lack of a strong Fighting-type attack contributed to this opinion.
From the most recent Revenankh playtesting, it was safe to say that there were many more attempts from our playtesters to handle Revenankh. In almost every team, at least one Pokémon would pack a STAB Psychic move, whether it be Zen Headbutt or Psychic. In terms of Revenankh movesets, there were the occasional Knock Off Revenankh, and more offensively oriented sets with three attacks and Rest. Before the Restalk Gyarados set became popular in OU and CAP, Gyarados would usually run a bulky spread along with the move Taunt to ensure that the opponent can not get more than one Bulk Up down. Tyranitar, on the other hand, makes a great teammate for Revenankh, as its weakness to Machamp is taken easily by Revenankh, while Revenankh's problems with Pokémon such as Zapdos, Psychic Celebi, and Rotom-a are handled by Tyranitar.
Overall, Revenankh's effect on the metagame was of no surprise—many Flying and Psychic types were running around CAP, packing hefty STAB moves, notably Psychic, Zen Headbutt, and even Bounce from the always-common Gyarados. Overall, the metagame shifted to a bulkier state, and stall-based teams were as viable as ever. The supposed best spin-blocker in OU, the Rotom formes. got much needed competition as a spin blocker now that Revenankh was in the game. Forretress could not hurt Revenankh with Payback unlike Rotom, and Revenankh could repeatedly switch into Rapid Spin Starmies who do not carry Life Orb and threaten them off more efficiently than Rotom-a. Additionally, without Fidgit on the field, most Rapid Spinners could barely touch Revenankh, apart from offensive Starmie with Psychic.
From this playtesting, we can conclude that Revenankh does have its niches in the OU metagame, making an excellent status absorber and spin blocker, but also has other uses as well. Much more creativity was put into team building than the previous playtesting with Revenankh. For example, Payback replaced Shadow Sneak frequently during this period, as its uses were discovered only recently. The Revenankh Playtesting as a whole was a great experience for the newcomers of CAP as well as the old-timers.
During the Pyroak Playtesting, it was apparent that many people were discouraged to use Pyroak, as it is outclassed by Celebi defensively at a quick glance. With a glaring Stealth Rock weakness and the lack of useful resistancess such as Water, Ground, and Fighting that Celebi carries, Pyroak barely saw any light. However, this realization allowed for some newer Pyroak sets to emerge. Notably, many offensive sets were discovered during this time period. Pyroak had a hidden niche that no other Grass type in OU could accomplish—a wall breaker. Packing Flare Blitz and Wood Hammer in conjunction with the ability Rock Head, Pyroak was sure to make a big dent into the famous "SkarmBliss" combination, as well as dealing massive damage to other common components of stall, such as Hippowdon, Swampert, Rotom-a, and Forretress with relative ease.
Overall, there was an abundance in creativity during this period of playtesting. Lead Pyroak, for example, was an undiscovered menace, packing useful support moves such as Stealth Rock, Light Screen, and Reflect, as well as STAB attacks useful in hurting some of the most common leads, namely Metagross and Swampert. Mixed Pyroak was another set used commonly with Pyroak during this period. Although Pyroak does get powerful physical moves, its overall base Attack is low and specially based sets usually packed more of a punch. Changes in the metagame included a rise in Heatran and Salamence usage, both of which Pyroak could not touch easily. Sub Pyroak was also a popular choice, as a Seismic Toss Blissey could not break Pyroak's subs with the correct HP investment.
While Pyroak may be one of the most unpredictable CAPs to this day, it is quite lackluster compared to the other creations. However, there are definitely niches in the metagame that Pyroak can fill that no other Pokémon can. Despite having a mediocre typing and low Attack for such a great combination of Flare Blitz and Wood Hammer with Rock Head, Pyroak still manages to put a dent in unprepared teams. Although we may have learned that Pyroak's capabilities may not shine out more than others in OU, we have learned that there are definitely things that Pyroak can accomplish that nothing else can.
Overall, it can be said that Fidgit performed even better during playtesting than when it originally debuted. Along with the banning of Garchomp, one of Fidgit's primary counters, Platinum changes brought along the immense popularity of Scizor, a Pokémon that is comfortably set up on by Fidgit. Because of its tendency to switch into resisted attacks, Encore them and set up hazards, many ordinarily popular grounded Pokémon like Scizor and Machamp became less viable. While many of them are slower and vulnerable to being set up on by Fidgit, Psychic-types managed to do okay during playtesting. Instead of being walled and forced to switch out, Zen Headbutt Metagross and Psychic Jirachi could hold their own. The true power in the metagame came from the powerful Water- and Dragon-types, especially ones with Recovery or immunity to Ground-type attacks. On the playtest ladder, it was not rare to see teams with two or more of Salamence, Gyarados, Latias, and Starmie. In particular, Gyarados saw a large boost in usage, as in addition to being able to switch into Fidgit with impunity, it also has great synergy with it, being able to switch into Ice-, Water-, and Ground- easily. "Gyarafidgit" combos became popular on both stall and offense, with Gyarados taking advantage of entry hazards either by using them to net OHKOs with a Dragon Dance set or by using Roar on a defensive set.
One large way in which Fidgit's presence affected the game is that it made stall become much more viable. Aside from being a powerful tank with decent resistances, Fidgit also boasted the title of best Rapid Spinner. The Rotom appliances, so-called the best spin blockers in the game, are all walled by Fidgit, except for Rotom-w with Hydro Pump. In addition, Fidgit can switch into Rotom appliances on their Electric STAB moves and either use Encore and force them out or attack back with Shadow Ball from its decent 90 base Special Attack stat. As a grounded Poison, Fidgit's presence also nullified the usefulness of Toxic Spikes almost completely. Spikes became dominant, both on offense and stall, racking up residual damage on opposing teams, making it easier to start a sweep or stall out the opposing team.
Creativity flourished during Fidgit's playtesting period, as battlers took advantage of its large support movepool to make a variety of sets with different goals. While the original staple Fidgit sets that had existed since the dawn of its creation still saw much use during playtesting, many new sets emerged designed to be pure Rapid Spinners, Wish supporters with Protect and U-turn, or even abuse dual screens with Light Clay. Fidgit almost exclusively used its Vital Spirit ability to be immune to sleep, neglecting its unique Persistent ability which boosts the length of time field effects such as Trick Room and Gravity are in effect. In the end, such strategies were deemed more novelty and were less practical that standard support sets. Overall, the Fidgit playtesting period was one of the most diverse and interesting, as can be expected from what is arguably the most diverse and interesting CAP creation.
Now that the most current Stratagem playtesting has taken place, many people have abandoned Technician Stratagem, which used to be the normal set for Stratagem. Using a combination of moves such as Giga Drain, AncientPower, Vacuum Wave, and Earth Power, Stratagem was notorious for sweeping teams late game. However, the current Playtesting showed that Levitate Stratagem was just as threatening, if not more. Boasting an immunity to Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Ground attacks, Stratagem could easily find a way to come in against common stallers such as Hippowdon and attempt sweeps. Many playtesters found themselves using Bullet Punch Metagross leads, in order to stay prepared for the common Stratagem lead, which surprisingly didn't see much light at all during the Playtest period. Stratagem, being the #1 lead on the server shown by the most recent server statistics, most leads needed to be prepared for it.
Stratagem influenced the metagame similarly to how it did nearly one year ago. It was common to see bulky offense running around. The usual Machamp, Tyranitar, and Metagross were common to see. Furthermore, with the new Platinum updates, Bullet Punch Scizor found its way on almost every team to counter Stratagem. Other threats who deserve mention are Iron Head Jirachi and Snorlax. Compared to its previous playtest, people playing in the Stratagem metagame were more prepared for Stratagem, and its impact on the metagame was already expected.
Looking back, it was surprising to not see any Stratagem leads, despite it being the #1 lead of May. During that time, Stratagem could easily 2HKO most leads and set up Stealth Rock, as well as being annoying to stall teams who had lost their Blissey. Even then, Stratagem carries Explosion, which makes even the most famous special wall on the lookout. Although not many new sets were introduced, perhaps there is undiscovered talent in Stratagem's wide array of moves.
With the impact on the OU metagame during Arghonaut's first debut, many people found other ways past Arghonaut while still being able to play offense with set-up sweepers. Toxic Spikes and Spikes were very common during this playtesting period, making the usual switches to Arghonaut in response to a Scizor U-turn much more risky. As such, it was common to see Roserade leads and Skarmory, both of which can handle Arghonaut alone as well. Other common Pokémon used during Arghonaut playtesting included Rotom-a, Celebi, Latias, Zapdos, and Metagross. Similiar to Revenankh playtesting, Pokémon such as Metagross packed Zen Headbutt in order to beat Arghonaut handily. Users of Trick such as Jirachi were also useful in making Arghonaut think twice before switching into an Iron Head.
Being the "decentralizer" of CAP, the Pokémon that Arghonaut set out to decentralize were used less as a whole. This includes Heatran, Scizor, Tyranitar, Blissey, and Gyarados. Offensively, Arghonaut does not perform as well as Swampert, who has STAB Earthquake and a more viable Special Attack, being able to go mixed. In addition, Swampert also gets Stealth Rock, making it useful in getting them up early as a lead. However, Arghonaut works better defensively as it gets reliable healing in the form of Recover, and a niche that no other Pokémon in OU can do, which is stopping stat-boosting Pokémon right in their tracks. That reason alone makes Arghonaut an important asset to stall.
Arghonaut was the last of the playtested CAPs. As a whole, the community did a great job on making innovative attempts at using Arghonaut. Utilizing Yawn, Roar, Stockpile, and other various support moves in Arghonaut's movepool, there was a wide variety of Arghonaut to play against, unlike Revenankh or Stratagem. Although the ability to completely stop set-up sweepers is indeed a feat, Arghonaut manages to keep a comfy place in OU, without centralizing the metagame as some may think.
The CAP playtesting has just about ended, and it's time to kick off CAP 9. We invite everybody to join the CAP server and play with our creations. Syclant, Revenankh, Pyroak, Fidgit, Stratagem, Kitsunoh, and Cyclohm will soon be allowed on the ladder. Now that the playtesting period is over, we would like to thank all the CAP playtesters for their contributions. With the many new discoveries of each CAP, playtesting was definitely worth it.
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