ReCAP 26

By Jordy, snake_rattler, and Birkal. Released: 2019/07/15.
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CAP Pokemon

Art by StephXPM.

Introduction

Smogon's Create-A-Pokémon Project seeks to create competitively viable Pokémon that are usable on Pokémon Showdown. We've been creating Pokémon for over a decade now, and you can join in the process yourself on our forums! In November of 2018, we finished production on our 25th CAP, where we tried something new and synthesized a set of starters: Caribolt, Smokomodo, and Snaelstrom. While we learned a lot through their processes, the CAP community overall was exhausted from the Herculean effort it took to make three Pokémon simultaneously.

Still, we wanted to break ground on at least one more design before the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield: CAP26. As a community, we knew that we wanted to go back to making a "regular" Pokémon, unlike the starters we had just finished progress on. So, on February 10th of 2019, Topic Leader Nominations opened up to the public. In CAP, we publicly elect a Topic Leader (TL) to lead us through the process and keep the vision and spirit of the original concept alive. New CAP moderator SHSP was voted in, and he was raring to show us what he's capable of in an official leadership capacity. We also nominate a series of four users that make up the Topic Leadership Team (TLT), where each manages a specific competitive stage of the process: typing (GMars), abilities (Jordy), stats (Jho), and movepool (G-Luke). With our leadership structure in place, we were ready to begin the first step of making a Pokémon: concepts.

Concept Assessment

For CAP26, we had some awesome concepts submitted by the community, from a Pokémon that deters hazards to an offensive powerhouse that utilizes stat drops to win. But ultimately, we decided on Dogfish44's concept: to make a competitive user of delayed moves. Game Freak has only gifted us with two moves to work with in this category: Future Sight and Doom Desire, so the first real discussion we had on CAP26 was which move to focus this project around. We spent a lot of time looking at the few instances of these moves being competitively used, from Future Sight Slowking and Slowbro in NU to Tail Glow Doom Desire Dialga in Balanced Hackmons. The CAP community was extremely divided on which move would suit our concept better. The Future Sight camp argued that choosing Doom Desire would railroad us into Steel-type STAB, and that Psychic was ultimately the better offensive typing in our metagame. Other arguments that were brought up were that a Future Sight user would have to compete with Psychic-types and the difference between the BP of Doom Desire and Flash Cannon and Future Sight and Psychic. But at the end of it all, the TL, SHSP, found the arguments for Doom Desire to be better suited than those for Future Sight and made the executive decision to move forward with Doom Desire. It was also decided that CAP26 should serve as a pivot, meaning it could enter and exit the match frequently to launch off multiple Doom Desires should the situation arise.

Stages

The typing stage began with a couple of simple questions: whether CAP26 needed STAB on Doom Desire, and whether CAP26 should be able to threaten some Doom Desire switch-ins (rather than leaving them completely up to its teammates). The consensus led to GMars guiding discussion towards necessitating Steel typing, as well as establishing that CAP26 should generally pressure offensive switch-ins to Doom Desire but leave defensive switch-ins open.

Discussion with specific type combinations then opened up. Some typings like Steel / Fire and Steel / Grass were discouraged due to the immense competition CAP26 would face with Heatran and Ferrothorn, while other typings like Steel / Dragon and Steel / Water lacked the type resistances to effectively deal with CAP26's threatlist. In the end, the slate was Steel, Steel / Electric, Steel / Flying, Steel / Ghost, and Steel / Ground. If you didn't know, CAP does everything via polling, and the TLT makes up the slate from which you can choose to vote on the options. Steel would allow CAP26 more freedom with its coverage moves due to a lower power ceiling, while the others gave CAP26 varying levels of offensive coverage and defensive resistances. In the end, two polls were needed, with Steel / Ground winning the head-to-head with Steel / Ghost. While Steel / Ground lacked the sheer resistances that Steel / Ghost possessed, Steel / Ground's offensive coverage with STAB attacks alone and ability to block Volt Switch were deemed more favorable.

For the primary ability discussion, the TLT decided to do something that had never been done before: ban discussion on an ability beforehand. In this case, that ability was Regenerator, which had already been thoroughly explored via Discord, and as an ability, there's not a lot to say about it other than that it's just a generically great ability for any pivot. To prevent this ability from ultimately lowering the quality of discussion, the TLT banned discussion on it for 4 days. A lot of abilities got discussion throughout the thread, with most looking to give CAP26 more opportunities to switch into play. Some examples are Magic Guard, which would make CAP26 completely immune to hazards; Levitate, which would make CAP26 immune to Spikes and allow it to check common Ground-types like Garchomp—these were made a big point in the thread and grant it more opportunities to switch into play, respectively; and Bulletproof, which would turn CAP26 into a true check to Psychic-types such as Mega Alakazam that rely on Focus Blast to hit Steel-types. In the end, the TLT decided to slate Regenerator, Levitate, Water Absorb, and Bulletproof. Levitate ended up winning and is now CAP26's primary ability.

Moving on from the Primary Ability stage, the Secondary Ability stage came later down the line. This time around, the TLT decided to hold a quick discussion around the other slated abilities: Regenerator, Water Absorb, and Bulletproof. In the end, the TLT, together with the community decided that both Regenerator and Water Absorb were too defining to fit as a secondary ability; Regenerator had some serious risk attached to it by potentially outclassing Levitate, while Water Absorb simply affected the Checks and Counters stage too much at this point in the process. Bulletproof still got a lot of support, just like in the Primary Ability stage, but so did other abilities such as Filter / Solid Rock, Sturdy, and Thick Fat, with them all also enabling some niche situations. Surprisingly, the option of No Competitive Ability was also quite popular, with supporters believing that Equilibra simply didn't need a secondary ability and could easily make do with Levitate alone. Bulletproof, No Competitive Ability, Thick Fat, Filter / Solid Rock, and Sturdy ended up getting slated. Bulletproof won the poll for the Secondary Ability stage, winning by a landslide over the other abilities.

Stats discussion began with Stat Limits, the qualitative portion of the stage. There, posters experimented with the potential of CAP26 having mixed offensive stats and using Earthquake to improve its matchup with Calm Mind + Pain Split Magearna; Speed tiers and its following interactions with Pokémon like Magearna, Mega Mawile, and Heatran; and power levels for Doom Desire. In the end, Jho decided that the thread's arguments for high mixed bulk, good Special Attack, and average Speed would enable good combinations of Special Attack and Speed as well as good overall bulk while also leaving room for mixed Earthquake sets if desired. Furthermore, CAP26's ability to take special hits would be prioritized due to its threatlist, but its Defense wouldn't be far behind so that its ability to take Tapu Lele's Psyshock would not be neglected.

Thus, the stat submissions themselves became rather similar, with most submitters taking Tapu Lele, Mega Alakazam, Mega Mawile, and Heatran into account, as well as Earthquake from other physical attackers like Landorus-T and Garchomp for non-Levitate sets. However, one stat spread kept the mixed attacker option open, and all the stat submissions had different Speed stats, allowing them to outspeed Magearna or Mega Mawile with varying levels of Speed investment. In the end, Jordy's spread of 102 HP / 50 Atk / 96 Def / 133 SpA / 118 SpD / 60 Spe | 559 BST won, providing CAP26 the mixed bulk, good Special Attack, and decent Speed that it wanted.

Although the stages leading up to Moveset Discussion were important, this was the critical stage: finding not only the right moves to support Doom Desire, but also the moves that are too powerful with Doom Desire and those that discourage its use. When G-Luke, the movepool TLT, opened discussion with a series of questions, many groups of moves were discussed, including recovery moves like Recover and Moonlight, hazard setting moves like Stealth Rock and Spikes, hazard removing moves like Defog and Rapid Spin, setup moves like Nasty Plot, pivoting moves like U-turn, phazing moves like Whirlwind and Dragon Tail, and coverage moves like Thunderbolt and Ice Beam.

Through simple discussion, as well as preliminary tests on Quanyails's custom Pokémon Showdown test server, several moves were banned outright before moveset submissions were fully open. Nasty Plot allowed CAP26 to leverage its great bulk too well and could overwhelm counters too easily, so it was banned. Spikes was also outright banned, as laying down several layers of Spikes on forced switches means CAP26 isn't using Doom Desire on those forced switches. All 50% recovery moves were also banned, as Levitate CAP26 is extremely hard to chip down. Finally, any useful coverage, particularly Electric-, Fire-, and Ice-type coverage, was banned. Fire- and Ice-type coverage pairs well with Earth Power, meaning that CAP26 could eschew Doom Desire given any good utility moves. Electric-type coverage, on the other hand, risked breaking through counters like Arghonaut and Celesteela.

At this point, most posters realized that Doom Desire was, in fact, not a terrible move to have due to its ability to disrupt the opponent's positioning, which led to a shift in focus on moveset discussion. CAP26 had two flexible moveslots after running Doom Desire and Earth Power; the challenge for the rest of discussion was how to fill those moveslots effectively, but not too effectively. Most posters desired one of Rapid Spin or Stealth Rock, but not both, as this would be too much utility for CAP26. Pivoting moves, particularly U-turn and Volt Switch, were contentious. Spiky Shield (in conjunction with Leftovers) and Leech Seed were introduced to discussion as another alternative form of recovery. Some posters wanted Flash Cannon banned so that CAP26 wouldn't be tempted to run a more consistent Steel-type STAB move.

In the end, CAP26 received Rapid Spin due to its good matchup against most common hazard setters, as well as a plethora of other utility moves like Healing Wish, Memento, Dragon Tail, Roar, Pain Split, Trick Room, and Work Up. Although Toxic and Protect are required moves, over the course of the thread, they were realized to be important moves for CAP26 as well. Furthermore, Flash Cannon was allowed on CAP26 to serve as a test to see whether it really made a viable Doom Desire user, and Aura Sphere was allowed to ensure CAP26 mirror matches would not last forever if encountered. On the other hand, Stealth Rock was banned due to the inclusion of Rapid Spin, Leech Seed's recovery was deemed too powerful for CAP26, and Spiky Shield's upgrade over Protect was deemed "unnecessary". Furthermore, pivoting moves were not allowed, as CAP26 could slow pivot out to frail wallbreakers like Mega Medicham without too much hassle, and nothing can reliably switch into the combination of Doom Desire + Mega Medicham's moves, let alone multiple times in a match.


Sample Set

Like mentioned before, Doom Desire is Equilibra's core concept. Doom Desire lets it shift momentum and apply delayed pressure on Pokémon like Tangrowth and Jumbao for teammates such as Krilowatt and Tapu Koko, which can be really overwhelming to deal with when there's also a Doom Desire looming around. Additionally, it makes it possible to severely punish checks like Ferrothorn in tandem with another teammate like Heatran. Earth Power is really important for Equilibra to succeed in its defensive role, allowing it to efficiently check Pokémon such as Magearna and Mega Mawile without much struggle. Equilibra finds itself checked by Arghonaut and Rotom-W, meaning that it'll often force them in. Because of this, Toxic carries massive value by allowing it to cripple the aforementioned checks. Equilibra has multiple options for its last slot, making it pretty flexible to fit whatever its team needs. Protect should only be used in tandem with Leftovers to rack up recovery and Toxic damage. It also allows Equilibra to safely get a Doom Desire off in some situations. Equilibra matches up very well against common Stealth Rock setters such as Mega Tyranitar and Mega Diancie, making it an excellent Rapid Spin user fit for the current meta. Alternatively, Whirlwind can be used because it synergizes nicely with Doom Desire by preventing players from going into their dedicated check, which makes it easy to force lose-lose situations for the opponent.

The HP and Defense investment combined allow Equilibra to take a Knock Off into Sucker Punch from Mega Mawile. 84 EVs are put into Special Defense so that Equilibra will survive Tapu Lele's unboosted All-Out Pummeling after Stealth Rock damage. It also makes it easier for Equilibra to check Tornadus-T and Choice Specs Tapu Lele. 44 Speed EVs allow Equilibra to outspeed Calm Mind + Pain Split Magearna. The rest of the EVs are dumped into Special Attack so that Equilibra can fire off a slightly stronger Doom Desire, which lets it OHKO Z-Move Tornadus-T, for example.

Conclusion

While the process itself took quite a while, CAP26 is finally done, and the process went wonderfully thanks to the solid contributions and activity throughout it. Equilibra will make sure to be an amazing addition to the CAP roster as a Doom Desire user with a good typing and solid defensive and offensive niches all-around, and it is now playable on Pokémon Showdown!

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Puzzle Page

Alakazam art by Bummer

Art by Bummer.

Welcome to the nineteenth edition of the Flying Press's Puzzle Page. Thanks to everyone who sent in their answers to last week's puzzle page, especially Cheese5555, who conquered the last Puzzle Page's new puzzle types to ring in the only perfect score! Once again, thanks to all the members of the puzzle team who helped out with the puzzles in this edition, brought to you by lovemathboy and Level 51. As a reminder, this is the final page of the current cycle; who will take the grand prize home?

If, after completing the page, you haven't had enough puzzles yet, or if you'd simply like to meet the people writing them, join the Scavengers room on PS!


Anagrams

Anagrams consist of several Pokémon-related terms whose letters have been scrambled around. In order to solve them, you have to figure out which terms have been scrambled. For example, "Science Spy Hop" (Pokemon + Move) unscrambles to Espeon / Psychic.

  1. Bred Flies' Unchangeable Trajectory (Move + Pokémon that can learn the move + Item the Pokémon can hold in the wild)
  2. Luxury Of Expanded Rooster Spoons (Move + Ability + Pokémon that can learn the move and have the ability)
  3. Modernize Slums Via Lolly Brook (Item + Pokémon + Signature move it can't learn)

Portmanteaus

Portmanteaus are comprised of several Pokémon-related terms, each of which is in a set of [brackets]. Each term and its preceding and succeeding terms must "overlap" with each other with two or more of their letters. All of the overlapping terms, when combined, will form one large amalgam of terms, which is your answer! For example, [Gen V Dark-type Pokémon][Gen III Water-type Pokémon][Gen II Ground-type Pokémon] would form the term bisharpedonphan (a combination of Bisharp, Sharpedo, and Donphan). In addition, two adjacent terms may not be the same, and you also may not overlap entire terms in your answer (such as [Gastro Acid][Acid][Acid Armor] becoming gastroacidarmor). For the purposes of these puzzles, remove all accents from entries (Poké → Poke), and ignore capitalization, spacing, and punctuation (Porygon-Z → porygonz).

  1. [Gen VI Pokémon][Gen V Pokémon][Pokémon that shares an Ability with the previous Pokémon][Signature Ability][Signature Ability][Pokémon with Serene Grace]
  2. [Ghost-type Pokémon][Pokémon Ability][Non-Mega Electric-type Pokémon][Dragon-type Pokémon][Main series Pokémon Location][Pokémon with Prankster]
  3. [Steel-type Pokémon][Fairy-type Move][Starter Pokémon][Evolution of a Starter Pokémon][Signature Ability][Pokémon Location in Hoenn][Signature Move][Pokémon Move with a Base Power of 75]

Mashups

Each of the following lines consists of descriptions of two Pokémon-related terms, but the descriptions have been interleaved into one line. Each description's letters are in the correct order in the line relative to each other, but your job is to separate the two descriptions and deduce what they're describing! As an example, the line MSEGIGANKAANTGUASKRHANEMSOVEOFAALABKAILZAITMY (Ability, Move) is a combination of MEGA KANGASKHAN'S ABILITY and SIGNATURE MOVE OF ALAKAZAM, which are Parental Bond and Kinesis, respectively, so the answer would just be "Parental Bond, Kinesis".

  1. SSIICGKPONKATEUMORENZINOLMIOVVEIOFMNEICMIITKYYU (Move, Pokémon)
  2. EFLULELCTRYICEVTOYLPEVMEODVSETAWRITTEHHRIPGOHEKSTEBMOANSWEIPTHIONTWIMEIDRATE (Move, Pokémon)
  3. TIHICETSYPPEMOOVEWKIEMTOHAPONSSCIANBBLEEOBBTAASINEEDPOWWIETHRERXANTRGEINMGFERSOMOPNEEETDFROOTMWAOHNSWUERNIDNGAQRUEIDZ (Pokémon, Move)

Evolutionary Pokélink

For each evolutionary family in the puzzle below, draw a path from the Basic Pokémon to the Stage 1 Pokémon to the Stage 2 Pokémon by drawing a continuous line from square to square, horizontally or vertically. Additionally, the length of the line from the Basic Pokémon to the Stage 1 Pokémon must be the same as the length of the line from the Stage 1 Pokémon to the Stage 2 Pokémon. Every square in the grid must be filled, and lines cannot pass through other filled boxes or boxes with icons in them.

Errata @ 1413 UTC, 23 Jul 2019: The path beginning with Gible is ambiguous. It should begin by going downwards.

Pokémon Word Search

The grid below contains the names of 9 Pokémon that fit the descriptions below the grid. Find all 9 Pokémon, which are hidden in all directions, and denote where you have found them in the puzzle! You can use whatever method works for you to display that you have found the answers, but make sure it is legible and your answers are easily distinguishable.

Closing Remarks

The answers to the previous issue's puzzles will be posted here, and answers for this issue will be posted with the next issue. As usual, once you've completed one, some, or even all of the puzzles that this page has to offer, send your answers via a private message to Smogon's Flying Press on the forums (a Smogon account is required), with its title as "Puzzle Page: Volume 19". The deadline for answers will be 4 weeks. Good luck to all our participants, and we'll see you again in the next edition!

  1. Dot Agumon: 123 points (+24)
  2. Knuckstrike: 122 points (+24)
  3. SadisticMystic: 74 points (+24)
  4. Calm: 69 points (+13)
  5. Meicoo: 50 points
  6. Bartimaeus: 48 points
  7. ScarfWynaut: 46 points
  8. Cheese5555: 25 points (+25)
  9. Dogfish44, CryoGyro: 24 points
  10. super_mii2: 23 points (+23)
  11. Okamu, Yellow Paint: 21 points
  12. Leki: 17 points (+8)
  13. Aalbaniaa, Da Letter El: 10 points
  14. Ragmatho: 7 points
  15. Max. Optimizer: 2 points

Parameters

  1. DOU, RU
  2. Zap Cannon, Z-Recovery, ZU
  3. DUU, Snatch, !Thief

Selection Anagrams

  1. Paras, Rattata, Yanma
  2. Menacing Moonraze Maelstrom
  3. Leech Seed, Keen Eye

Assembly Portmanteau

  1. [Ice-type move introduced in Generation III][Fairy-type Pokémon introduced in Generation VI] - iciclespearomatisse
  2. [Psychic-type move with a base power of 70][Bug-type Pokémon introduced in Generation VII][Fighting-type move that is also Flying-type] - psychocutieflyingpress
  3. [Egg Pokémon][Ability that Sylveon can have][Fighting-type move with a Base Power of 15][Signature move that Volcanion can have] - exeggcutecharmthrusteameruption

Super Effective PokéSudoku

Answer

Cryptic Crossword

Answer

Solution notation

  • WORD*: anagram outcome of these letters
  • A(B)C: the word B inside the word AC
  • [-x]: the letter X removed
  • K_: K taken as the first letter of a word
  • _K: K taken as the last letter of a word
  • _K_: K taken as the center of a word, or a substring
  • CBA<: outcome of ABC being reversed
  • (a->B): letter A was formerly in the word, but has been replaced by B
  • [= "def"]: showing which word or phrase functions as the definition
  • (words): after the definition, additional notes to clarify things that may be a little confusing

Across

  • 1. REST (ddef.) [= "Remainder", "loaf"]
  • 3. SMOG(-on<) [= "Haze"]
  • 8. GRIM+ER [= "one that might have stench"]
  • 9. TAU+ROS(-e) [= "Bull"]
  • 12. TO+X(APE)X [= "Venomous creature"]
  • 13. (LOOPIPE)* [= "adhesive", as in UB Adhesive]
  • 15. PO IS ON POINT [= "potentially dangerous touch"]
  • 16. Spoonerism of "WIT LICK" [= "Alluring hottie]
  • 19. TEE+TERDAN*+C+E [= "it's confusing to everyone"] (where TEE = "Mark" (from bowls, curling, etc.)
  • 22. H_+ARVEST* [= "Produce"]
  • 23. EG+G+BOMB [= "Tough move"] (BOMB is a synonym for "founder", meaning to fail)
  • 26. aLbUm NeAr LeAk (removing even characters) [= "Legendary"]
  • 27. KABU(-ki) + TO [= "Shellfish"]
  • 28. SLAM* [= "strike"]
  • 29. (SAW+_K)< [= "Karate master"]

Down

  • 1. RAGE* [= "Thunder"]
  • 2. _S+C+I+Z+O_+R_ [= "Snappy sort"] (where Z = "final letter")
  • 4. MAR+ILL [= "mouse"]
  • 5. (j->G)ust [= "Clever move"]
  • 6. C(E+LAD)ON [= "Green"]
  • 7. HAPP(I+N)Y [= "Baby"]
  • 10. SpEcIeS+MIC+TO+SS [= "Throw"] (where SS = "Anne, for instance?", as in the SS Anne)
  • 11. CO+LO(RCHA*)NGE_ [= "Redecoration"]
  • 14. _UN A WAR E_ [= "innocent"]
  • 17. WEAV(IL)E [= "Pickpocket, perhaps"]
  • 18. I_+CEBEAM* [= "Cool move"]
  • 20. C(ACNE)A [= "cactus"]
  • 21. AM+AURA [= "One that might be revived"]
  • 24. P_+L+US [= "Pro"]
  • 25. S_+O(A)K [= "Steep"]

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