Introduction to the CAP Project Room

By Sulo. Released: 2023/03/17
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Art by Kolohe

Art by Kolohe.


CAP, or the Create-A-Pokémon Project, is an incredibly fascinating concept that I was interested in a few years ago, but never really got the chance to get involved. The community is very welcoming, diverse, and talented, with many people hard at work designing beautiful sprites and artwork for the different CAP Pokémon. This article outlines some of the aspects that make CAP worth looking into compared to base OU, and why you should play it!

Regarding the actual CAP Process, there are multiple facets in which people can contribute, some of which being submitting concepts to be built upon, creating art for CAP Pokémon, and discussing how to change up CAP Pokémon as they are updated and culminated into their final versions. Afterwards, these CAP Pokémon are playtested to see if they are healthy for the current metagame, underpowered, or in need of nerfs. There are multiple people that oversee these parts of the CAP Process and make sure each part goes swiftly and smoothly.

One of the CAP co-leaders, Quanyalis, oversees the "Flavor" part of the process, where the designs, sprite work, and Pokedex entries for the CAP Pokémon are covered. They help with a number of things, including scheduling CAP Process threads and their deadlines, reviewing submission legality for art, sprites, and dex entries, creating icons for CAP Pokémon on PS!, and submitting and giving feedback on designs for CAP Pokémon. There's a list of people that have contributed art and flavor that can be found here, and a schedule here. snake_rattler, the other CAP co-leader, oversees the competitive aspect of CAP. That is when the actual concepts, typing, abilities, and more, are discussed. This is where the fun begins; with the endless possibilities and ideas that exist for Pokémon already, it's nice to be able to make your own among a group of people.

Why CAP over other formats?

CAP at face value pretty much just looks like OU with fake Pokémon, with not much else to be said. However, the added CAP Pokémon really give OU more depth and personality, with each one performing roles that standard Pokémon cannot. I'll list a few Pokémon below that are entirely unique in what they do and how they provide a real breath of fresh air for OU.


Astrolotl is one of the most versatile utility Pokémon in the CAP metagame. It has access to good support moves in Will-O-Wisp, Spikes, Heal Bell, Defog, Encore, Healing Wish, and more. While Astrolotl's typing isn't the best defensively, its ability in Regenerator lets it come in and out multiple times and increases its overall longevity. It is also offensively threatening, utilizing Fire Lash to eliminate any semblance of passivity.


Pajantom is a fearsome breaker that takes advantage of Decidueye's signature move: Spirit Shackle. It traps switch-ins like Clefable and Ferrothorn for its teammates to capitalize on. Its ability Comatose makes it even harder to deal with, as it cannot be afflicted by status and ignores otherwise crippling burns. Pajantom also has coverage options to hit Steel- and Ground-types in Earthquake and Ice Punch, making a lot of Pokémon think twice before coming in.

Venomicon Venomicon-Epilogue

Venomicon was released in generation 8, being the first CAP to have two forms with completely different strategies. Venomicon-Prologue takes advantage of Nasty Plot + Stamina to muscle past Pokémon that would otherwise beat it. With Roost, it can accumulate boosts and outlast its checks, making it an incredibly threatening setup sweeper. While the second form, Venomicon-Epilogue, has an entirely different stat spread. It's ability Tinted Lens and boosting move in Coil let it break through Flying-resistant Pokémon like Rotom-W and Melmetal. Venomicon-Epilogue also has Roost, which makes it a threat all game long that needs to be accounted for multiple times.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to have a full team of CAP Pokémon for it to be valid, nor do you need only one CAP on a team. CAP Pokémon are made to add onto an existing metagame, not centralize it, and are therefore free for players to usem them as they see fit.


CAP is full of many wonderful contributors, with some major stand-outs that have gone above and beyond to contribute for the project. Here, I tried interviewing a long-time contributor, wanting them to share their thoughts on the CAP project and the work they've done as a whole.

Hi! To start us off, would you like to introduce yourself?

spoo: sure! i'm spoo, i'm a 21 year old living in ohio for college, and i own the CAP PS! room/mod the forums/do a bunch of other cool stuff for the project.

What had gotten you so involved in the CAP Process?

spoo: I've been lurking around CAP since kerfluffle's process in 2016, but it was only during the pandemic in early 2020 that i started to become invested in the project in any real way. it always felt like there were new things going on in the community, and when you're in lockdown and have nothing else to do all day, that can be a big draw. whether it was an ongoing tournament, a new process thread, some discussion on discord or PS, analysis writing, an art contest, or whatever else, there was pretty much always something that could occupy my attention span. beyond that, though, making friends with some people in the community is really what got me to stick around.

Do you think you've had a positive impact on the CAP Community? If so, how have you contributed?

spoo: I'd sure hope so! people keep letting me be in charge of stuff so hopefully that means i'm trusted to do a good job or something. at this point i think my contributions are probably too many to count, but as far as the major ones: being a part of the topic leadership teams or TLT (people who lead the competitive process stages) for chromera and venomicon, a ton of random meta-side work like VR/metagame council and redeveloping ORAS CAP, and recently a lot more administrative/logistical duties as a moderator.

Do you forsee yourself sticking around to contribute for much longer? Why or why not?

spoo: Well, it's impossible for me to see the future, but i'd like to stick around CAP for as long as i'm able to. i don't see myself getting tired of this community any time soon - if i retire, it'll probably be because real life obligations start to take too much of my time. there's more that i want to accomplish before i eventually leave, and i think it would just be very difficult for me to completely detach myself anyways given how integrated smogon has become in my life.

Do you have any significant history with any other CAP contributors? What are some major highlights regarding your time leading the community?

spoo: CAP is by far where i spend the most time on smogon so i have history with a bunch of users. i'd say the people i socialize the most with are probably other mods - wulfanator, snake_rattler, quziel, shsp, and tadasuke (now retired). i actually met tadasuke in real life when i visited his city, which was super fun. outside of those users, d2thew and jordy are both awesome people that i got to co-manage tours with, and lasen and dex are a couple other friends i talk to pretty frequently. there's a lot of great people here! as far as my highlights leading the community, i'm honestly struggling to think of any stand-out moments, but my first time on the TLT was a cool learning experience and getting promoted to moderator was also pretty rewarding.

Anything else you'd like to say?

spoo: join cap tours! vote in our polls, we have a lot of them! participate on the forums - or just lurk, that's fun too!

Thanks! Have a good day/night!


This section will go over some very common misconceptions about CAP and the project as a whole.

Can I make my own CAP Pokémon by myself?

No; the entire process is meant to be gone over with a group of people. It is far from an individual thing.

Aren't CAP Pokémon made to be better than OU Pokémon? Why are some unviable?

Not all CAP Pokémon retain their viability as the generations come and go. For example, the first CAP, Syclant, is still viable to this day. However, some newly created ones like Miasmaw and Chromera are being looked at for buffs, as they are currently lacking compared to behemoths like Saharaja and Venomicon.

Why is Necturna able to learn every move in the teambuilder?

Necturna is unique in that it can have one of its moveslots dedicated to Sketch, allowing it to have any move it wants in said slot. Due to Gen 5 breeding mechanics, it was restricted to using Sketch in such a manner. After Gen 5, however, breeding mechanics had changed and Necturna would have been able to learn Sketch as many times as it wanted to. Consequently, a "Necturna Clause" was put in place to limit this, establishing the rule of three natural moves, and one sketched move.

I see some pre-evolutions in the teambuilder. Can I play with those in a separate, dedicated format? Do these pre-evolutions also go through a similar process to their fully evolved forms?

Yes! CAP LC is its own format that allows you to use the pre-evolutions of CAP Pokémon without running into their fully evolved counterparts. It doesn't have its own ladder, though. As for the pre-evo process, that is a separate project under the CAP Forums that falls under the flavor section of things, with less focus on competitive viability and more focus on making solid, believable CAP pre-evolutions.

Get Out There

I really hope this introduction shined some light on the CAP Room and the community. It's an incredibly interesting format that truly lets us make our "What if?" questions into a reality (not all of them, of course...). Stop by the CAP Project Room sometime! Say hi, grab a sample while you're at it. Maybe play a game or two on ladder. See how it goes!

Stop by the CAP Project Room sometimes! Say hi, grab a sample while you're at it. Maybe play a game or two on ladder. See how it goes!

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