CAP 18 CAP 18 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment 1

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Entei languishes in the far depths of Limbo beside Pokemon such as Luvdisc, Unown and Corsola. Contrary to where Entei resides in these temporary tiers, it has shown itself to be able to hold its own in battle. Take into consideration Entei's usage statistics.
Entei - #132 in OU | Usage: 0.80213% | Raw count: 32,183 | Weight: 0.6767970672
What I would like to point out in this is Entei's weight. An average weight is around .5 where as Thundurus-Incarnate has .74, being used almost exclusively by high ranking players and winning a majority of battles it is in. A weight for a "good" Pokemon is .64, which by all means qualifies Entei as not the horrible, shit Pokemon people claim it to be.
Truly, no other Pokemon can affect a battle in quite the same way as Entei can, offensively spreading burns with its powerful Sacred Fire without having to lose momentum nor predict a switch with Will-o-Wisp while also taking repeated hits and shrugging them off. Nothing short of a Heatran can consistently switch in safely, either taking a powerful hit with a very high chance of burn or one of Entei's coverage moves, either way setting it up to be just as likely hit by a powerful Extremespeed as it is to force Entei out. Even Flash Fire Chandelure, being immune to both attacks, is of no avail since Entei can hit it with an instantly lethal Stone Edge. An Adamant Entei (required Nature for any Entei with the event move Extremespeed) has 2 more Atk than a timid Latios has SpAtk. In addition to this, Entei has the highest base HP of any Fire type to date. These factors would allow us to build a core where Entei's role is very much a central aspect of the core, preventing it from effectively being replaced with another similar Pokemon, such as Mega Charizard-X.

Regarding Builds: Entei is in a very precocious speed tier and, due to the nature required to have Extremespeed, can't have a beneficial nature. For this reason, I see Entei better suited by being built bulky rather than fast. For my own build, I use 172 HP/252 Atk/84 SpDef. This is enough to bring its SpDef up to par with its Def while bringing its Atk to a threatening 361, particularly powerful when combined with STAB Sacred Fire. For attacks, Entei really only has 5 moves. The standard Entei uses Sacred Fire, Stone Edge, Extremespeed and Iron Head/Bulldoze. The combination of Sacred Fire and Extremespeed is what gives Entei its punch, being able to hit for amazing STAB damage with a very high chance to cause a potentially crippling burn and then follow up with a high power and high priority move.

Regarding Weaknesses: Entei is predictable. That is its greatest drawback, but something that can be mitigated with our new core. Aside from this, Entei has a weakness to Water, Ground and Rock, all common attacking types. Furthermore, this means Entei has a weakness to one entry hazard and cannot avoid any of them. Entei is truly resisted and threatened by very few things: Ground/Water Pokemon, Jellicent and virtually any Rock type (read: Terrakion). Despite this, very few Pokemon can truly counter Entei because not much of anything would want to switch in on it. Not even Guts Entei can switch in, getting off one hit at the very most. Notably Heatran, Mega Charizard X and Chandelure can switch in effectively and effectively threaten/decommission Entei. Heatran and Chandelure soak up a Sacred Fire with their Flash Fire while Megazard-X has a double resistance to it (just a resistance if it hasn't yet gone Mega) and an immunity to burns. Heatran and Megazard-X greatly threaten Entei with Earth Power and Earthquake. Chandelure, however, can effectively cripple Entei by Tricking Choice Specs onto it. At least one member of the core should be able to mitigate or compensate for these drawbacks.

Regarding Items: I agree that Choice Band isn't the ideal item for Entei. In the set I have been testing, I chose to use Leftovers to compliment and strengthen Entei's bulk and increase its longevity. I could also see an Assault Vest giving Entei a great boost to bulkiness without hindrance due to its heavy reliance on attacks with minimal, if any, need for status moves. Life Orb can artificially boost Entei's damage, but at the cost of bulkiness. Expert Belt would be less than optimal for Entei as it relies very little on supereffective damage. A type boosting item, such as Charcoal or one of Arceus's plates, could provide an excellent power boost without sacrificing bulk. Weakness Policy is a good possibility, but in the event that something like Manaphy comes in, Entei would be better off switching out than trying to keep the +2 Atk. There's also a special niche for Sitrus Berry and berries that reduce super effective damage, providing Entei with a boost to bulkiness when most needed.
In short, I think that the best items for Entei are Leftovers, Assault Vest and type boosting items (Charcoal and Silk Scarf especially). The former two are for bulk (in very different ways) while the last group of options help boost Entei's damage in certain situations without any sacrifice to bulk.

Regarding Partners: Entei has many options to choose from. AriadosPerson already elaborated beautifully on the option of Zapdos, so I will focus now on Entei's other options.
The first clear choice to pair Entei with would be a specially bulky Pokemon with low physical bulk. Entei's constant burning of everything does much to artificially increase this bulk, making them difficult to topple. A few Pokemon that come to mind would be Milotic, Chansey/Blissey, Goodra, Latias and Togekiss. Chansey, Blissey, Latias and Togekiss can all act as a cleric to heal off damage and status afflictions Entei may have taken, further expanding his reign of fire. Milotic, Goodra, Latias and Togekiss both resist something that would be powerful enough to threaten Entei out (Milotic and Goodra taking almost nothing from Surf while Togekiss finds itself immune to Earth Power. Latias stands out as having both qualities.) which would allow a clean switch. The only shared weakness comes in the form of Togekiss's Flying type taking super effective damage from Rock, of which only Hidden Power, Ancientpower and Power Gem are special. As far as offensive presence is concerned, Goodra, Latias and Togekiss can hit where Entei cannot, such as bulky Water types and virtually anything Rock type, such as Terrakion. Latias additionally finds itself able to make use of Defog to clear out any hazards that would threaten Entei. All of these Pokemon also find themselves adept at spreading status conditions while Entei is away, with all but Latias already filling that role in the current meta.
Entei could also do well with an aggressive pivot that could switch in, take a hit and then threaten out the opponent while switching to the third member of the core. Latias, Slowbro, Manaphy and Rotom-Wash stand out as the best choices for this position. Rotom, however, is by far disqualified from being in this core because of its position of most used Pokemon in OU. That leaves us with Latias and Slowbro able to switch in and take repeated hits due to their recovery options (Latias with Recover/Roost and Slowbro with Slack Off and Regenerator). On the other hand, Manaphy has access to U-Turn is expected to spend its first turn in using Tail Glow, which would lead many opponents to switch to something that can take care of Manaphy, leading into a clean U-Turn to either Entei or the third core member.
The final form of partner that here is the specially offensive, bulky Water type. This would best be complimented by having the third be an aggressive Grass type. The Pokemon I could see filling this role would be Rotom-Wash, Mega Blastoise, Clawitzer, Manaphy, Slowbro and Milotic. Manaphy is well known for its use of the astoundingly powerful Tail Glow for offensive presence and its 100/100/100 defenses. Milotic is able to hit for good damage with Scald while also finding itself in possession of Dragon Tail, letting it phase out opponents. Slowbro has a number of good options to work with, including Calm Mind, Regenerator and Scald. (Spoiler alert, they all have Scald.) Mega Blastoise and Clawitzer are essentially the same Pokemon. Mega Blastoise has slightly better everything, but Clawitzer has the ability to use items and does not take up a Mega slot. I think Goodra deserves a special mention here since it accomplishes pretty much everything this category sets out to do while also being resistant or even immune to Grass as well as resisting Electric attacks.
The ideal Pokemon to pair Entei with for this, as far as I can see, would be Zapdos, Goodra, Latias, Slowbro, Manaphy and possibly Togekiss. Each one pairs well with Entei and covers some weaknesses without fully covering them all. The main uniting factor of these Pokemon it that they bring exceptional special bulk, decent special offense and resist something that threatens Entei, although none of them resist Rock and two of them even share that weakness. This gives us a good direction to go with regarding our CAP, but it also leaves enough room that each of these individual partners would have a different perfect fit for the third Pokemon of the core.

TLDR: I put 5 hours of thought and hard work into this, please don't skip over it.

Entei is just bad tbh. He was bad before he got Sacred Fire, and he'll still be bad after getting it. One move does not a Pokemon make, especially when it hits from his weaker attacking stat.
What do you mean weaker attacking stat? Sacred Fire is physical, Entei has 25 more Atk than SpAtk and Entei has access to moves such as Extremespeed.
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I'm probably going to sound like I'm beating a dead horse by bringing up my own suggestion from last night, and I'm probably going to sound like I don't know what I'm talking about because I won't be giving any concrete examples (because I really don't know much about the current metagame), but maybe I can get things going in a good direction by asking some questions.

Earlier: I made this outline for what a core might look like:

Psyco Josho's first outline said:
A - an already good offensive Pokémon with a unique or somewhat unique C&C list
B - our yet-to-be-created Major Third with a similar C&C list as A
- a Pokémon that is already a good partner with A, and thus almost certainly will be a good partner with B
And recently I've thought about an additional outline that looks similar to the above:

Psyco Josho's second outline said:
A - an already good offensive Pokémon with similar C&C list as B
- an already good offensive Pokémon with similar C&C list as A
- our yet-to-be created Major Third that will support both A and B, as well as be supported by them
The only real difference is which role already exists for the 2/3 core that we pick and which role the Major Third would fill. I don't think any of the seven options Detroit put forth would fit into this though...

Now here is the list of 3 single Pokémon plus 4 Pokémon partners that Detroit set out:

Detroit's list said:
1. Klefki
2. Gothitelle+Kyurem-Black
3. Latias+Lucario
4. Tornadus-Therian
5. Terrakion
6. Kyurem-Black+Victini
7. Entei
It would probably be better if I were to go over the C&C of all these Pokémon, but I don't feel like I''m going to have the time to do that, much to my own detriment. Fortunately, I was able to gloss over a lot of the discussion here, and that really helped. (It doesn't seem like much has changed from the few months that I've been away from lurking in the OU metagame.)

I'd like to go over Gothitelle+Kyurem-Black. This seems to me to be the most likely duo to fit into my first outline, with Kyu-B being A and Goth being C. The Major Third B would be a singularly powerful attacker like Kyu-B - possibly even with legendary stats hindered by a small useable movepool - but inferior, to prevent from creating a mon that would break away from our idea of the Major Third (and some notable Double Dragon descendants have a superior Pokémon to an inferior Pokémon, like Rayquaza to Salamence or Talonflame to Staraptor). The Major Third here would also have to receive the same support from Gothitelle, making this look a lot like when we used to have five dragons + Magnezone in Gen V.

Getting a little more specific - on types, the STABs of the Major Third would have to have similar coverage to Kyu-B's STABs. The additional coverage moves might look similar to Kyu-B's but their coverage could be a little different as long as they don't overlap too much (the idea is not to overshadow Kyu-B!). The Major Third should also be able to resist similar types of moves as Kyurem-B for the purpose of having similar C&C's

On stats, I was thinking something similar to what we see in Talonflame+Staraptor: one is fast, but relies on items and moves for real power while the other is really powerful on its own, but is a little slow while also using items to make itself more powerful. Obviously, it would be ridiculous to create a Pokémon more powerful than Kyurem-Black, and Kyu-B is already a bit slow while using Choice Band sometimes, so the Major Third would be the speed to compliment Kyurem-B's power.

For abilities, there could be a few flavourful ones to the side, but the important one decided first would have to be an ability that gives it a significant offensive boost or defensive boost. This is not to say that it should receive a damage boost for its significant move - in fact to keep the idea of being faster but less naturally powerful, it should not have any abilities that increase the power of any of its moves or attacking stats. So that it doesn't have a chance to break away from being like Kyu-B, it should not be able to have any significant supporting abilities like Prankster or Magic Bounce. I also think that there is a bad list of possible abilities it could have, but I'll just focus on what I think would be good abilities:

- No Guard comes to mind first, and it would be justifiable if we gave it a lot of powerful, inaccurate attacks to make up for it's low natural power.
- Intimidate to possibly give it a defensive presence similar to Kyu-B (although this will also lure in users of Defiant and possibly Competitive, which could be a problem with having a similar C&C to Kyu-B)
- Unaware is useful both offensively and defensively, although I am a bit suspicious about how this could affect the Major Third's C&C is useful both offensively and defensively, although I am a bit suspicious of how this could affect its C&C
- Mold Breaker in case all else fails, because why fix what ain't broke?

I probably have more to say, and that's just on this rather narrow option I'm bringing up, but I don't really know how far this could go, and I have other things to do anyway. In particular, all of the specifics I talked about are really important to keeping a similar C&C list as Kyu-B, but typing is the most important.

... And I'll be honest when I say that I don't really know what Kyu-B's C&C's look like. :P

Anyway, good luck to whatever gets to be the partner of the Major Third!
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I have to say that I completely agree with DetroitLolcat here on the idea of combining Klefki and Dragonite for the Major Third core. These two Pokemon cover each other's type weaknesses likely and do not share common ones, and they work well together already in that Klefki can neutralize threats to Dragonite (and the Major Third, once it's made) and allow the ladder two to set up and be extremely useful to the player. However, a common weakness that Dragonite and Klefki have is a household appliance going by the name of Rotom-Wash, which can easily check Klefki thanks to its Special Attack of 105 and access to powerful STAB-boosted moves not resisted by Klefki (Thunderbolt, Hydro Pump, etc.). Against Dragonite, it will likely be able to survive long enough (unless Dragonite has used multiple Dragon Dances) to burn Dragonite with Will-O-Wisp and possibly even get rid of it if it had Hidden Power Ice. Therefore, the Major Third would have to address issues stemming from this Pokemon and others like it in order to form an effective core with Klefki and Dragonite, covering their issues with the opponent while Klefki and Dragonite deal with whatever issues this Pokemon may have.
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Guess who's back? Na na na! *breakdances*
is a CAP Contributor Alumnus
I'm going to give my thoughts on some of the cores mentioned in DLC's post, as I think that there's a few great ideas mentioned in the thread so far that need to be brought to the forefront, while other ideas need to be carefully analyzed in regards to what the concept is and how we want the process of completing the concept to go about.

First, I want to bring up Kyurem-B. I am extremely mixed on its viability as both a Pokemon that specifically functions in a triple core and a Pokemon that matches the credentials of the concept. To remind some of the posters here, while the 1760 stats are our basis and are extremely valuable, we must remember the time period in which these numbers were accumulated. Kyurem-B's already decently high rankings were earned in a metagame where Mega Lucario existed, a Pokemon that severely hindered Kyurem-B's usage. Now, while this shouldn't necessarily be a knock on Kyruem-B outright, we must keep in mind that this is a Pokemon that has already proven very successful in competitive play in the current metagame. Statistics are nice, but we must also consider common sense and the knowledge that statistics only look into one specific period of time.

Looking at the Pokemon itself, Kyruem-B is a wallbreaker. Whether its a Sub + Three Attacks set, a LO + Roost set, a CB set and even a Scarf set, Kyurem-B is a wallbreaker. Even the Scarf set can punch holes through unprepared teams outside of a revenger role. This is a Pokemon that works tremendously as a lone Pokemon. I had similar reservations with Pokemon like Staraptor, which is a hole puncher that can fit onto most teams and needs little support to carry out its job. Kyurem-B has a high chance of being successful regardless of what Pokemon surround it (I'm not saying you can put five completely random Pokemon around Kyurem-B and have it optimized, but specific team building isn't really that much of a concern for Kyurem-B besides a potential hazards remover [if you want one]). It doesn't need to get rid of threats for it to be successful, as nothing can switch into it safely without fear of a OHKO or 2HKO. Meanwhile, it's hard for Kyurem-B to switch into things outright thanks to its rather unusual defensive typing, making a true "core" partnership hard to pull off. What Kyurem-B will provide for the core is no different than what Kyurem-B can provide for any Pokemon. That is not really conducive to the concept, in which we're trying to explore how a working triple core can collaborate with one another to overcome weaknesses of a double core. Now, Kyurem-B does have its shortcomings individually, and there are Pokemon that can help it wallbreak, but what Kyurem-B can accomplish really doesn't require much support, or at the most one Pokemon to provide minimal support. I don't see how Kyurem-B matches up to the concept, as neat of a Pokemon it may be to explore individually.

I'm indifferent on Pokemon like Klefki. Deck Knight made a decent point that "every Pokemon appreciates Dual Screens and status", but I do think he's overlooked the value of defensive typing in core synergy and that support universality doesn't detract from the fact that such support does indeed help out cores (which is the important part). I'm more against Klefki due to PR reasons (Klefki has a terrible reputation, and its role will not change regardless of what we create), but I have no problem with the theoretical positives of using Klefki in a core.

My favorite proposed core so far is Lucario + Latias. These are two very unique Pokemon that are hindered by very specific threats, compliment each other naturally and provide an interesting combination of offense and support. You can go quite a few different directions with a third pairing, whether you want an offensive connection with Latias support, a second supporter to help out Lucario, or a defensive switch-in to give both Pokemon opportunities to work. Furthermore, both Pokemon are fairly customizable, meaning that we won't be limited to just one specific set for each Pokemon (and the bigger point, forced to run one set for the core to work). This is the ideal pairing so far in the thread.

Individually, I think Tornadus-T is a decent choice, albeit a slightly underwhelming and out-classed option in the tier. Victini is a fine choice, as is Entei. However, these options need some more discussion concerning a potential partner for them (outside of Kyurem-B) before I can have a concrete opinion about a triple core.
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I understand that Kyurem-Black works amazingly on its lonesome, but my suggestion is that the best support for it would be a Pokémon that's very similar to itself. My thinking is that this would be like Rayquaza+Salamence or Talonflame+Staraptor, to repeat myself from earlier. I'm not working from the idea that Kyu-B is in any dire need of some specific support, but that a Kyu-B clone would be the best support it could receive.

Also, this would streamline the following steps after this, since we pretty much already know what our final result would look like - like Kyurem-Black! (Not to say that we wouldn't be able to make something different than that, only that this would be a lot easier.)
I am going to go with Terrakion as my core member of choice (from the list). Terrakion's weaknesses in the forms of steel, fairy, water, grass, ground, psychic, and fighting make me think that Celebi would be a really solid partner for Terrakion, negating every single one of the weaknesses besides fairy and steel. Terrakion can actually cover most steel types (barring Aegislash) with his secondary STAB, and he doesn't fear the tier's most powerful bug type that threatens Celebi, Volcarona. This leaves the main weaknesses remaining as fairy, steel, and ghost. The more covered weaknesses are ice and flying. A fire type would eliminate the fairy and steel weaknesses as well as the ice, and a fire/dark mon would eliminate the steel, ghost, and ice weaknesses. Perhaps an attacker with mixed bulk or a hazard supporter would be a good role for CAP 18 with this core.
I discussed Klefki/Dragonite in my last post, and it seems that there's a certain amount of resistance to using Klefki. I remember in the early days of XY people were very interested in a Mawile/Salamence offensive core, and this seems to share a lot of the synergy of that, while also going for a much more Dragonite focused playstyle. To be honest, I think it would be brutally effective, but as has been brought up, it would make playtesting a chore dealing with SwagKey. That said, I don't think SwagKey is the most effective set to use with Dragonite, though certainly viable, that increase in attack can be all that is needed to break Dragonite down before he has a chance to do anything. The support set seems much safer. My fundamental concern with this is that Dragonite is by no means underused, and Klefki has a terrible reputation in the OU metagame: I don't think this pairing would fulfill the concept. TogeKey is a pairing with a little more merit: Togekiss always enjoys paralysis support, which can give it the freedom to run more coverage moves, or even Wish, giving support back to the Key. This pairing does have a lot of appeal, to be honest. but it wouldn't be fun to fight against: do we really want to make a CAP working with a ParaFlinchFusion core? ....actually, maybe. 8D The other issue is, Electric and Ground types make this fall apart: the major third would have to deal with that. The core could enjoy leech seed and hazards support, too.

Entei seems like a nobler choice. I've seen it a couple times on ladder and it has been brutally effective. The addition of Sacred Fire to his repertoire gives Entei significant physical bulk, and an Assault Vest set could make him extremely tanky. That Burn support is definitely enjoyed by Goodra, who also resists Water, and can hit like a goddamn truck with a Specs set. The two of them have great Bulky Offensive potential, that is weakened slightly by strong attacks like Stone Edge and Earthquake, if burn doesn't come through. A major third would do well to resist these. Garchomp seems like one of the biggest threats to this pairing, being able to revenge kill either one of them with impunity. Charizard X could also be a major problem, often running EQ as coverage, and being immune to burn. The two of them also can't do much against Talonflame.

I'd be reluctant to choose a bulky water for an Entei partner, as it just invites the question, "why not use Rotom-W?" Latias is another great option, with great defensive synergy and Defog support. Togekiss is also an option, but Thunder Wave can be useless considering the burn chance is 75% of the reason to choose Entei anyway.
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1. Klefki
3. Latias+Lucario
5. Terrakion

I pretty much agree with DarkSlay in that I wouldn't want this CAP to be focused on Kyurem-B. As he said, Kyurem-B is great already, and doesn't need a whole lot of support to function. I'd rather take a pokemon that needs some more help than Cube, because it will me more interesting. Like Psyco Josho said, the perfect mate for Cube would be another Cube. To me, that wouldn't make as interesting of a CAP because we would have less to think about when it comes to making the chosen duo a good core. Not only that, but I'd rather make a niche or UU pokemon viable in OU than strengthen an A+ threat. But that's just me. (note: Victini however I have no qualms against.)

Tornadus-T would be a good choice because I love U-turn. :P Joking aside, I think it would be interesting to see why Tornadus-T is an outclassed U-turner and what kind of poke would help and make him more viable. He needs hazard control to function, and he likes to u-turn away from threats he can't deal with, so Latios would be a good second. Latios doesn't solve all his problems by any stretch of the imagination, so a CAP would be very fulfilling I think. Latios also has problems with pursuit trappers, and Tornadus-T can threaten them with focus blast. They also have problems with specially defensive pokes and certain steel types, so they can break down each others counters.

Entei is another choice I really like. He has two great moves in Sacred Fire and Extreme Speed, and also good stats that could go several ways. I really like the suggestion by Dragonblaze052 that Goodra be a partner, as Goodra is also a poke who would be good for this CAP. Many of his other suggested partners would be great, but Goodra is my favorite. Goodra has such potential, with good stats, a huge rainbow of a movepool, and a decent typing. Entei + Goodra is my favorite core suggested, as both are pokemon that have enough potential to be used anyway, and have good synergy with each other, both defensively and offensively. And both pokemon have flaws that are clear and would be interesting to discuss how to fix with on new poke, like Goodra's lack of recovery and Entei's problem with hazards.

Latias + Lucario would also be interesting, with their flexibility and such, and would be my third choice.

Terrakion is one of the lesser options in my view because he's so one-dimensional. That's not suppose to be a rag on Terrakion as a poke, but rather more that as a CAP focus he seems lackluster in the discussion department.

Finally, I like the utility of Klefki and his defensive typing, but I think it would be more interesting to make a CAP that supports and fixes the duo rather than an attacking partner for another attacking mon and Klefki.

So, to sum it up, my first choice would be Entei + Goodra, and second Tornadus-T + Latios.
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I'll go ahead and throw Gyarados and Thundurus-T out there.

1. Why are these two Pokemon are viable OU threats that are not seeing enough usage?

XY brings a lot of things to the table, most notably the Megas. Gyarados was lucky enough to get a Mega, but sadly his Mega form is just outclassed by a pretty big number of other mons. Charizard, Pinsir, Venusaur, and Mawile are all sitting comfortably higher, and those are just the ones who only see use if they've got a Mega stone. Gyarados still sees his fair share of use, coming in at #35, but there was a time when he was a major threat. Sadly, Gyarados needs setup time, and most will pass him over in favor of another Mega. SR weakness prior to going Mega doesn't help his case either, especially when he wants to be switching in and getting off those Intimidates.

Thundurus-T, however, is crying himself to sleep down at #83, while Thundurus-I is up at #13. Thundurus has a more than respectable SpAtk stat, and with 101 base speed, he's certainly fast enough to put it to work, especially with one of the most powerful Volt Switches around. Like Gyarados, he's got a SR weakness, which makes that a less-ideal strategy.

Gyarados and Thundurus have some reasonable synergy typewise. Gyarados's Electric weakness is handily covered by Thundurus's Volt Absorb, Gyarados is only neutral to Ice prior to Mega Evolving, but resists it if he does go Mega. Mega Gyarados's weaknesses (Grass, Electric, Fighting, Bug, Fairy) are largely covered by Thundurus. But I would say the goal with this duo is to consider non-Mega Gyarados for two reasons.

1) It saves your Mega slot - Go ahead and bring Scizor or Pinsir or whoever you will.
2) You want to be baiting electric moves - I'd hope everyone recalls Gen 4 and how good Gyarados/Electivire look on paper. Sadly, Electivire couldn't live up to the hype. Even if he did manage to get a Motor Drive, he just didn't have the power to make good use of it. But Thundurus will happily take the free HP, then hit back with lots of force.
3) Intimidate remains a really good ability - Mold Breaker certainly has its uses, but it fills a different role.

2. Why do these Pokemon not form an effective core right now? If they do, what can a third Pokemon do that improves that core significantly?

So I've sort of touched on it in the first section, but the biggest issue is their shared Rock weakness. One good Stone Edge stands the chance of wrecking Thundurus-T, and Gyarados would rather not be taking Rock-type attacks, even with Intimidate. Even more of an issue is Stealth Rock, which makes switch opportunities for these two even more limited. This makes Gyarados's Intimidate and Thundurus-T's Volt Switch notably less useful.

So the obvious thing to go for is a Rapid Spinner/Defogger. I'd say the most likely candidate here would be Excadrill. He 4x resists Rock, and is definitely the main spinner of Gen 6. Gyarados also has great type synergy, although Excadrill isn't looking to switch in to sponge too many hits for Gyarados. Other than Excadrill, there's the obvious Defog option.

You could go for Mandibuzz, but then you're just compounding the Rock-weak Pokemon, so we'll ignore him. Scizor is at least neutral to Rock, and offers a powerful U-Turn... which is exactly why he'd rather be U-Turning than Defogging. Despite being neutral to Rock, Skarmory is probably the best option, as it doesn't really plan to do much other than Defog, wall, and occasionally fire off Brave Birds.

3. Why will this third Pokemon form a great core with those two Pokemon more so than any other OU Pokemon.

Each of the three Pokemon above offer something that would really benefit a Gyarados/Thundurus-T duo, but none of them have it all. Excadrill has the typing, Scizor has a U-Turn to complement Volt Switch/Indimidate, and Skarmory has the bulk to bull off plenty of Defogs.

So looking at those qualities, the third member of the duo would need to roll all of it up into one. First and foremost, it would need to have a way to deal with hazards, be it Rapid Spin or Defog. Second is the ability to switch into Rock moves more than once, since that's the key weakness shared by the other two. This can either be through typing or bulk.

Third, it needs to be able to do something once it's switched in. Hazard removal is one thing, but what about other pro-switching strategies? U-Turn is the most common, but other things like Intimidate, Parting Shot, and Wish are also greatly benefited by switch-heavy strategies. Forretress highlights this, actually. With solid physical bulk, Rapid Spin, and Volt Switch, he's able to promote a pretty good switching strategy. The problem with Forretress is that he's just not capable of doing anything significant beyond removing/setting hazards, then fleeing. So the CAP needs to both be able to come in, but then be able to decide if it'll hold its own, or flee to one of the partners. If it's the latter, then the switch shouldn't be a free turn for the opponent, and there are plenty of moves and abilities that can make that happen.

It's hard to really be significantly more specific here without poll jumping, obviously.

tl;dr - Non-Mega Gyarados and Thundurus-T have good type synergy, but the shared Rock weakness is bad. CAP would deal with SR and sponging Rock hits, and promote a core strategy that allows Gyarados to get good use of Intimidate, and Thundurus-T to fire off powerful Volt Switches.
Seeing as Terrakion is on the list of pokemon to discuss, I'd like to submit a core involving it

Both fit the usage criteria, as Terrakion is #61 on the non-weighted, while Hydreigon is #68
Both have good synergy, with Hydreigon giving Terrakion a crucial ground-type immunity to work with as well as a stop to most Psychic-types, while Terrakion breaks through most special walls to help Hydreigon sweep.
The problem? The Fairy type stops this core cold and makes both set-up bait, while the Fighting type also hits both for SE damage. Additionally, mons such as Talonflame can deal with both using priority, which has led to the diminishing of both
A third pokemon could potentially wall the Fairy-types and the Fighting-types that plague this core, or could offer good physical bulk to stop the priority. Alternatively, it could simply wallbreak through the counters(such as Azumarill) to this core, or could act as a bulky pivot to aid this core.
I feel this core does merit discussion, and will add more to this post to justify this core later!

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All right, this concept's been assessed enough! (Well not really because there will be a second Concept Assessment thread opening after this one) After much discussion, I've decided that we're going to move forward with Latias and Lucario as the Pokemon we're designing our Major Third for. Although the former admittedly walks the line of "lesser-used", the latter Pokemon really fits the bill for what we're looking for with this concept. Lucario is a deadly Pokemon who finds itself overshadowed by some of OU's toughest threats. On the other hand, Latias is a great supportive Pokemon whose defensive typing matches up nearly perfectly with Lucario. There are a million different ways we can bolster this core, and that's what Concept Assessment 2 is for. I'll post my opening thoughts about that core at the top of that thread.

Thank you all for the many days of great discussion! Let's move forward!
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