CAP Metagame Nerfing Process

By Jordy. Released: 2019/06/04.
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Ever since the late stages of the ORAS metagame, the CAP metagame has become much more relevant to CAP Discussions, with new projects specifically building around it. Additionally, past CAP Pokémon got "updated" to fit better into today's metagame, with some Pokémon receiving buffs like Arghonaut and others receiving nerfs, like Aurumoth and Tomohawk. As the metagame has continued to develop, with Mega Metagross, Arena Trap, and Zygarde getting banned, other Pokémon became increasingly problematic. With many people complaining about unhealthy Pokémon in the CAP metagame, namely Mega Crucibelle and Necturna, the CAP metagame has undergone a massive policy change within recent months; a council system has been introduced to "fix" those broken Pokémon. In this article, I will take a look at the nerfing process, our council, and how the Pokémon have been affected by these changes.

Nerfing Process

The first step of the nerfing process is identifying a broken or unhealthy CAP Pokémon. This can be done through several ways; the CAP metagame council will take all the input from Discord, the metagame discussion thread, high-level tournament gameplay, and more into consideration.

In a discussion thread, the community will discuss the simplest way(s) of "fixing" the broken or unhealthy CAP Pokémon. Some solutions may be changing its ability, reducing certain stats, or removing a certain move(s) from its movepool. The community will play a huge role in identifying what solutions are available, but the CAP Metagame Council will have the final say on what nerf is implemented. It should be kept in mind that the nerf(s) that are implemented have to preserve the identity of the CAP Pokémon. To preserve an identity, the Pokémon should ultimately stay true to its concept, which, for example, for Necturna would be that it makes use of Sketch.

The CAP Metagame Council

The CAP Metagame Council's job is to identify unhealthy or broken Pokémon with input from the community. Together with the community, they will aim to "fix" the issues with said Pokémon.

Jho's long-time Pokémon experience is important for the CAP Council, giving us on-hand perspective of competitive Pokémon history. His more recent tournament placings include winning the 2017 Winter Seasonal, reaching Top 4 in 2018 Summer Seasonal, and making Finals in the Jumbao playtest. Additionally, Jho has led the stats stage for CAP 26 and will be managing a team in CAPTT 5. With his surge of forum activity, including working on analyses and the VR, Jho's presence on the council cannot be understated.
With experience in OU C&C and organization, Jordy has helped to restructure a lot of the metagame's resources, shoring up many threads like Good Cores, managing Sets VR, serving on the VR team, and revitalizing CAP C&C. Debuting in CAPTT4 and playing CAP Fall and Winter Seasonals, he has recent experience in the metagame's tournament scene. Jordy has also been leading the ability stages for CAP 26, and just like Jho, he will be leading a team in CAPTT 5. With his hard work ethic and influence, Jordy makes for an integral addition to the CAP Metagame Council.
Taking an even more active role on forums in recent months, Mx's positions as a member of the VR, sets VR, and analysis QC teams, CAPTT 5 manager, and manager for the CAP Role Compendium show his dedication to metagame resources. With many good tournament placings, including 2nd place in the 2018 Winter Seasonals, 2nd place in the Pajantom Playtest, 2nd place in CAPTT4, and 1st in 2017 Summer Seasonals, Mx has performed well consistently over time. Additionally, Mx's position as CAP24's movepool leader shows his familiarity with the CAP Process. With these qualifications, Mx's position on the council is very appreciated.
As one of the metagame's most knowledgeable players, SHSP brings CAP Process and Metagame experience together. Having served as Typing TLT for CAP24, being elected as the TL for CAP 26, and joining the CAP Moderation team in late 2018, as well as running the Speed Tiers thread and serving on the VR, sets VR, and analysis QC teams, SHSP is familiar with nearly every part of CAP. Some of SHSP's tournament accomplishments include Top 16 in 2017 Summer Seasonals, Top 16 in the Jumbao Playtest, CAPTT4 Champion, and CAPTT 5 manager.
Debuting in ORAS CAP, snake_rattler has climbed the ranks in CAP, reaching CAP Moderator status in the summer of 2018. Serving as TL for Pajantom and as ability TLT for Kerfluffle and Caribolt / Smokomodo / Snaelstrom, as well as contributing heavily to CAP24, snake_rattler knows the ins and outs of the CAP Process. In addition, his metagame experience is vast, participating in CAPTT3 and leading the Pernicious Pajantoms in CAPTT4 while also winning the 2019 Spring Seasonals. snake_rattler's intimacy with CAP's more recent history will be an important perspective for his position on the CAP Metagame council.

Mega Crucibelle

Mega Cruci sprite

Why Was it Unhealthy?

Thanks to its access to two amazing abilities in Regenerator and Magic Guard pre- and post-Mega Evolution, respectively, alongside Head Smash and U-turn, Mega Crucibelle was an absolute menace to deal with. It was especially troublesome considering the metagame's lack of good Rock-resistant Pokémon, and the Pokémon that did resist Head Smash were either 3HKOed by it anyway or susceptible to one of Mega Crucibelle's other moves, making it rather easy to break through walls with Head Smash, especially late-game. To add onto that, Mega Crucibelle was rather hard to deal with offensively, as it could outspeed Pokémon such as Mega Diancie, Kartana, and Mega Latios. Thanks to its typing, it could also check very common Pokémon like Tornadus-T and Jumbao. Because of the combination of these traits, there was very little reason not to use Mega Crucibelle, resulting in it being an overcentralizing presence, and this became especially apparent when Zygarde got banned.

Possible Solutions

All of the following solutions were heavily discussed throughout the process:

mega cruci

By Yilx

Following all this discussion, the council came to the agreement that removing Head Smash and Low Kick and lowering Mega Crucibelle's Speed to 108 were the best possible options. You can find a summary of why the CAP Metagame Council went with these nerfs in this post.

How did this affect Mega Crucibelle's standing in the metagame?

Following the nerfs, Mega Crucibelle is now perceived as a much more niche option, because it faces much more competition from other Mega Evolutions like Mega Alakazam and from other Rock-type Stealth Rock setters like Mega Tyranitar and Mega Diancie. Not much of its niche was lost; while it can't break through teams as easily anymore, and while you can't just slap it onto any team and call it a day like you could before it got nerfed, it's still a good option as a Rock-type Stealth Rock setter that resists Fairy and can also act as a pivot on offensive teams. Ultimately, the metagame is much less centralized around dealing with Mega Crucibelle, allowing various different team structures to flourish.


Necturna Sprite

Why was it Unhealthy?

Between its amazing offensive and defensive typing, good offensive and defensive stats to break through most defensive staples and use common Pokémon like Tapu Koko as setup bait, access to Shell Smash, and great Speed tier to outspeed even the majority of Choice Scarf users at +2, Necturna could easily set up and sweep practically any team. Necturna had very few to no defensive checks, so people had to resort to using Choice Scarf users with more than base 109 Speed such as Greninja and Kitsunoh and Ice Shard users like Weavile and Syclant, which were all rather unreliable because they could easily be beaten under the right circumstances. Additionally, some people used Sucker Punch to deal with Necturna, but it could easily dodge this thanks to Substitute. It also forced certain Pokémon such as Arghonaut to run moves like Knock Off, as they were setup bait otherwise. To add onto all of this, Necturna also had a certain measure of versatility to it in that it could run just about any move it wanted to thanks to Sketch. This made for various different boosting sets such as Shell Smash, Shift Gear, and Belly Drum, which could all beat various threats. This versatility made it rather unpredictable and only added to its centralization.

Possible Solutions

All of the following solutions were heavily discussed throughout the process:


By Yilx

The council decided that removing Phantom Force and lowering Necturna's Speed by 23, bringing it down to base 58, was the best course of action. You can find a summary of why the CAP Metagame Council went with these nerfs in this post.

How did this affect Necturna's standing in the metagame?

Following Necturna's nerfs, the meta has taken a more offensive, fast-paced approach, which is actually possible now that Necturna does not outspeed the majority of fast Pokémon at +2 anyway. Necturna still stands strong in the metagame, however, and it has managed to adapt to this change, seeing as it now runs Shadow Sneak to pick off Choice Scarf users like Volkraken and Kitsunoh as well as faster Pokémon such as Mega Alakazam.

Final Thoughts

For the first two attempts at nerfing Pokémon based on the CAP metagame by the CAP Metagame Council, things went rather smoothly, and the CAP Metagame Council will continue to use this system. Currently up for nerfs is Aurumoth; make sure to check out this thread here, our Discord, and PS! room to join in on said discussion!

HTML by Jho.
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