CAP 18 CAP 18 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment 2

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As many people have already pointed out, our core really needs to focus on Lucario's unique traits, or else it could easily end up working better with a different attacker. As such, I will be covering mainly Lucario in this post, and what exactly could give him the edge during team building

1. Typing Synergy

On paper, Lucario has outstanding synergy with Latias between their somewhat unique typings, each covering the other’s weaknesses almost perfectly, and one could think that this alone gives him an immense advantage when competing for a team slot.
In practice, however, Lucario has a hard time putting this to any good use. With his extreme frailty, Lucario won’t be contributing much defensively anytime soon, being worn down quickly by even resisted moves, and in his role as set-up sweeper, he dislikes coming in too often in order to threaten the opponent offensively. Frail sweepers generally only get one chance to set up, so they just can’t risk losing health by pivoting around and covering their team’s weaknesses. For most part, our core would have to operate without Lucario’s support, making that great typing synergy go largely unused.
So why use Lucario as your set-up sweeper instead of something like Mega-Pinsir who can do the same job much more reliably? Mega-Pinsir might have difficulties with certain threats that Lucario can take out, such as Rotom-W and Skarmory, but there are just so few of those that this issue can easily be redeemed by appropriate team support, in order to enjoy the otherwise far greater benefits of using Mega-Pinsir. Besides, even a core utilizing Lucario as its sweeper would have to employ additional preparation against those threats, as on his own Lucario can by no means counter or even check them.

My point is this: Lucario really has to take advantage of his typing synergy in order to not be outclassed, and as a pure set-up sweeper he just can’t do that. Sweeping will always be Lucario’s main function, but the core has to support him in a way that allows him to take up roles outside of that.
Providing Lucario with frequent switch in opportunities (slow U-Turn, dual screens) and extending his longevity (Wish, Heal Bell, Healing Wish) would allow him to be a much more active and integral component of the core even before he attempts the sweep.
If Lucario manages to function reliably throughout the entire match, opposed to being a one-time-use Pokémon, he could finally take advantage of that great typing synergy by pressuring many Latias counters actively, something not many other sweepers can claim to do.

2. Versatility

Lucario possesses an extremely wide range of attacking options, to the extent where he can take out basically anything with just one turn of set up and the appropriate move. Even when we focus on only the physical attacking sets, his versatility lets him stand out from many of his competitors. Between Close Combat, ExtremeSpeed, Earthquake, Ice Punch, Iron Tail, and Crunch, or even Stone Edge, Bullet Punch, and Blaze Kick, the opponent will be hard pressed to find a safe switch in. Unfortunately for Lucario, he can’t run all those options on one set, forcing him to let certain Pokémon counter him no matter what. Still, the ability to threaten the majority of the metagame is a great asset when using Lucario, and will definitely have to be taken into account when building our core.
Lucario will be generally running Sword Dance, Close Combat, ExtremeSpeed, and a coverage move that takes care of fighting resists (mostly Earthquake, Ice Punch or Iron Tail). In my opinion, we should aim to have multiple similarly viable options for the last slot, so Lucario can freely choose which coverage move he wants to go with, retaining much of his unpredictability. A good way to achieve this is to give our CAP a similar movepool, enabling it to cover whichever Pokémon Lucario misses out on, but preventing it from dealing with all of them on its own. Both, CAP and Lucario would complement each other with their moves, but the ability to actually choose who of them covers what makes them much harder to predict and counter. Also, this is a nice way to bind Lucario to our core, as no other Pokémon could work in the same way with our CAP.

3. Late game potential

Few Pokémon are as reliable as Lucario when it comes to late game sweeping. This potential comes largely from his access to the prized ExtremeSpeed, a move that makes him notoriously hard to revenge kill once the opposing team is sufficiently weakened. Common priority users, such as Talonflame, Mega-Pinsir and even CB Dragonite, all have to tank one ExtremeSpeed, most likely backed up by a Sword Dance boost, before even being able to move. Also, Lucario is one of the few sweepers who aren’t completely stopped by paralysis.

I would say that this is the main advantage Lucario has over Terrakion, who otherwise has a very similar role, and the typing to potentially fit into our core. In order to make the most out of this advantage, our core has to ensure that Lucario can consistently set up a late game sweep in the first place. Latias’s Healing Wish is perfect for this purpose, not only recovering any damage Lucario might have taken earlier on, but also providing him with a free switch in and probably a good typing match up. If Healing Wish was used on a choiced Pursuit user, Lucario would basically get a free set-up turn, too, something the opponent always has to be wary of. On the other hand, the CAP could guide Lucario’s sweep by weakening the opposing team sufficiently, either by laying down entry hazards, or by acting as a wall-breaker.
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Okay, I'm finally back. I'm kinda bummed that I didn't make it to the concept poll, but that's beside the point. Now, about this concept...

If we really want to make CAP18 flourish when paired with Latias and Lucario, the first thing that needs to be done is by looking at mutual counters, which Albacore has helped us with. Alot of what I want to say isn't going to be appropriate for discussion just yet, though.

4. What role should CAP 18 have in this core?

Should CAP18 be a defensive pivot that Lucario or Latias can switch to if they find themselves in trouble?

My answer to this is yes, as in my opinion, CAP18 needs to be able to switch in, take hits, and switch out reliably. By doing so, it gives CAP18 opportunities to check the many problems that Latias and Lucario have. My idea would be a defensive passer/phazer, but that part of the discussion should be saved for later.

5. How are we going to make sure this Pokemon benefits Lucario and Latias more than any other Pokemon, especially Pokemon that perform similar roles as Lucario and Latias?

We can say that whatever can support Latias will help her brother as well, as there's so little separation between the two. Lucario, on the other hand, I think we'll have no problem with being able to support just Lucario.
So with SD Lucario and Defog Latias, I think the best route to take is a reasonably powerful and bulky pivot that doesn't need to be particularly fast (actually, slower might be better because of the opportunity for a slow U-turn or Volt Switch).

Offensively, I think that the CAP should play off of Lucario's 4MSS. Since, as mentioned by others, Luke can take out just about anything with the right coverage moves, the CAP could also have access to the important coverage moves - probably Crunch, EQ, and Ice Punch - as well as having similar STAB coverage to Luke in order to pull in the same walls (Fighting STAB would be nice here but is far from essential). Essentially, this route would end up compensating for Lucario's 4MSS by carrying the coverage moves Lucario can't. This would also give players the ability to choose how to distribute counters (is the CAP carrying Ice Punch, or is Lucario?).
I will say that I still think that an Offensive Hazard Setter would be best for this team. SD Luke NEEDS, NEEDS rocks to sweep consistently. Besides that, CAP18 could, again, break down counters to Luke, both ones they share and ones they don't. As for being a bulky pivot, that has no contradiction with my idea; in fact, it is a very good option for it. A bulky pivot with the ability to hit back relatively hard could easily use the switches it forces to set up rocks. Scaring Aegislash is, like many have said, pretty much mandatory, but that won't kill Aegislash if he just runs away. Use that turn to set up the rocks SD Luke so desperately needs. That leaves three moveslots to do whatever else you want him to do, like U-turn, STAB, and the coverage Luke can't run.

In other words, I am fine with CAP18 being a bulky pivot, as long as he also gets SR. In fact, I actually quite like the idea. But to me, it's more important that CAP18 be an offensive hazard setter than a bulky pivot. The poke I am imagining is like a more defensive, slower version of Mamoswine. Hits hard, sets up rocks, can take a hit. With the typing that makes him a partner to Luke and Latias and no one else.
I'm in agreement that this CAP needs to hit Aegislash hard, AND be able to capitalize on it switching out. Because of that, I feel that the CAP would do well to have a varied supportive movepool, including but not limited to SR, as well as the defensive stats, or typing, to take a Shadow Ball if Aegis is feeling lucky. These specifications rather demand that CAP18 would function as a bulky pivot.


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For the most part here I will say I am in agreement with alexwolf. I don't think simply being a pivot between Lucario and Latias is something that would be very successful at all. Neither is so threatening as to be able to sweep as is. If we want them to be successful, we need something that can add continued offensive pressure, and be a threat to a number of things that Lucario and Latias have problems with. It doesn't need to necessarily beat everything that scares those two. Indeed sharing some counters with each is probably necessary, as it will allow the core to soften things up for each other. However, some major things that threaten both of our chosen partners will be important to cover, and doing so in an offensive manner is probably the best fit for a core such as this. I don't think Lucario wouldn't really fit into any core that is not so offensively inclined.

With that said, another thing we really do need to keep in mind is that we want to play up the strengths of this core. For Lucario, for example, I believe the biggest strength it has as a physical sweeper is access to Extremespeed. This lets it out-prioritize even faster things, something that nothing else that it is really directly competing with can do. Obviously, this means things like Luke not being really scared of Talonflame or Mega Pinsir or whatnot revenging it. I think it is important that we remember our members strengths and don't make our Pokemon beat things or do things that take away from those strengths. In this example, this would mean not necessarily trying to make something that counters Talonflame or something like that, as doing so would help out other Physcial sweepers a lot more than it would help Lucario. That's not to say we should lose to things like that, but we don't want to do anything that makes Lucario's main advantage less desirable for a team. I'm not going to go any deeper into this, since this is not yet the Threats Discussion, but just to summarize, I think for a concept like this, it is just as important to not overshadow our partners advantages in the meta as it is to support and patch up their disadvantages.
I am going to make my post short as I do not have much time. I want to say that CAP 18 will be a *Physically Bulky Support/Pivot* I think that the main things for this pokemon are going to be:
  • taking strong physical hits for Latias such as CB Talonflame's Brave Bird
  • taking fairy and/or dragon hits for Latias
  • supporting Lucario in giving him hazards/batonpassboosts/tailwind
  • Being weak to Rotom-W, Thundurus-I
  • Maintain offensive presence, I am thinking of a Pokemon like Donphan, where it has supporty aspects such as Rapid Spin and Stealth Rocks, but is not set-up fodder like Forretress.
  • Being able to defeat Aegislash is an important one, and access to an ice move in the form of Ice Punch would be handy to defeat Gliscor/Lando-T for Lucario, as he cannot bypass them without Ice Punch.
  • EDIT: I want to add here that a fire move is actually more important than an ice move, to defeat Mega-Scizor, Mega-Mawile and due to the fact that Latias already gets Ice Beam. A move that is not contacting can also help CAP18 defeat Aegislash, while not outright nessecary, also helpful.
Sorry this is a bit short, but I have to go to school soon I hope this post isnt too late.
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I actually really like the donphan comparison, and do agree that the core really needs a method of taking physical hits. I've been doing some playtesting of the Latias/Lucario duo recently, and have found Mega Mawile can really give it significant trouble. A resist to Fairy type moves would do wonders for this core. I notice a lot of people specifying that Ice punch is necessary for Gliscor, but I'm skeptical: Latias already has the capacity to run BoltBeam coverage, so I feel that might be a bit superfluous. More importantly, I think a way to deal with the plethora of threats that run both fighting and dark moves, like AV Conk, could be useful: while Latias can Psyshock him, Knock Off really hurts, particularly on the switch as AV Conks are prone to doing when they come in on something they can threaten significantly with fighting moves, like say, Lucario. This can make countering him a bit of a crapshoot. Mega Scizor can also be troubling for the core, with Pursuit trapping capabilities, Knock off, a powerful bug bite, and serious priority. In addition, bar Blaze Kick, Lucario really can't threaten him back.
I'd love to write a big long post but I've been choked on time as of late. I'll still throw in my .02 though.

I agree with the previously stated sentiments that the CAP should be able to both apply offensive pressure and setup hazards. Since SD Luke suffers pretty heavily from 4mss, the CAP should be able to help deal with the threats that Luke won't be able to hit with his coverage moves. Beating Aegislash should probably be priority #1, since he causes quite a bit of headaches for the rest of the core. I agree with snowman that natural physical bulk would aid the core greatly, since Latias can tank attacks on the special side. Depending on the final typing, the ability to lure out mons that Luke can setup on would also prove beneficial.
I agree that CAP 18 needs to be physically bulky. Regardless of what role it ultimately winds up playing in the major third, CAP 18 won't make the core viable if a physically strong Pokemon can muscle through Lucario/Latias/CAP 18 with little effort. On a similar note, countering Aegislash is a must because it can hard counter Latias and can give any Lucario not carrying Earthquake a major headache. I also think Mudcrab brings up a relevant point in the threats like AV Conkeldurr that run Fighting/Dark coverage; Latias in particular hates getting hit by Knock Off, and Lucario gets outright KO'd by many strong Fighting attacks.

On the offensive side, I believe CAP 18 needs to threaten the Pokemon that Latias and Lucario have a hard time handling on their own, such as Mega Mawile, without being able to handle them all at once. Making it set-up fodder should be avoided at all costs, as that would surely doom CAP 18 to fail. In my eyes, the best way to provide this offensive pressure is to provide a combination of hazard support and coverage that will complement a given Lucario moveset without overshadowing it completely.


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All right, consider this concept assessed! To recap what we've decided prior to this post, we're going to be building a Pokemon that functions well with Lucario and Latias as partners. Although other sets may certainly be brought up, the two sets we'll be focusing on primarily are Swords Dance Lucario and Offensive Defog Latias.

To accomplish this, we're going to design a Pokemon that:

1. Can switch into Pokemon such as Aegislash that pose significant threats to both Lucario and Latias.
2. Can pose immediate offensive pressure against Pokemon that Lucario and Latias do not provide offensive pressure against.
3. Takes into consideration the Pokemon that Lucario can defeat that other, similar sweepers cannot defeat.
4. Serves as more than just a pivot against Pokemon that trouble the other members of this core.

We are not forced to build a set-up sweeper to accomplish this, but we have to be able to support Lucario's ability to sweep while not providing "generic support" that any Pokemon can and will take advantage of. If we would like this Pokemon to also serve as a pivot as well, it must be specifically designed to aid Lucario's sweeping efforts in a way Latias does not already. This core will be focused on letting Lucario either sweep or heavily dent the opponent's team so another Pokemon can clean up, and an important part of that is making sure Lucario synergizes with the team more than any other Pokemon. If we expand on the unique niche that Lucario provides us while taking into account the support Latias already provides Lucario, this will be a successful concept. Ultimately, the success or failure of this concept will depend on how desirable this Pokemon is to use in a core with Lucario and Latias.

And that's all for now! Let the Typing Discussion commence!
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