CAP 18 CAP 18 - Part 11 - Sprite Poll 1

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pink wingull
is a Top Artistis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Let's pick the sprite that will represent Volkraken in the simulator and in our imminent playtest! We have 7 awesome entries this time, thanks so much to all the spriters!


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Check out the submissions thread for sprite discussion, background and pokemon comparisons that can help you make your decision!

Harry.Buxton - non-transparent background

When voting, only use the submitters' names to indicate which entries you support.

Here is the slate:


And here are their entries:








This poll will be open for 24 hours!


CAP18 so far:

Leadership Team:

- Topic Leader
jas61292 - Typing Leader
PttP - Ability Leader
srk1214 - Stats Leader
ginganinja - Movepool Leader


Name: Volkraken

Concept: Major Third

General Description: A Pokemon that forms an effective offensive or defensive core with two lesser-used OU Pokemon.

Justification: Cores have always been an integral part of the metagame, whether you're running Talonflame/Staraptor to brute force everything, Slowbro/Amoonguss/Heatran for Regenerator-Leftovers stalling, or a whole team of Dragons + Magnezone. We've previously explored what it takes to make a successful partnership in CAP11 (Voodoom), but the metagame (and the simulator!) has changed dramatically since Voodoom's creation. I would also like to up the ante a little bit: Instead of just one, can we now take TWO Pokemon and find their missing piece? Whether we opt to build on an established two-Pokemon partnership or choose two previously unrelated Pokemon and put them together, I think that we can certainly find a Voodoom for a more offensive time.

Questions to Be Answered:
  • How do effective cores in the current metagame differ fundamentally from the cores of previous metagames, if at all?
  • Is synergy as important (relative to power) in the current metagame as it previously has been? (That is, has power creep rendered synergy unnecessary?)
  • What differences are there between tailoring a Pokemon to two others and tailoring it to one? What else must be considered besides weaknesses and resistances?
  • How does the addition of a Pokemon to a core change what other Pokemon can be effectively run alongside the core?
  • Does Team Preview make running cores more difficult?
  • Is it possible to create a core uncounterable by a single Pokemon? (For example, Celebi/Heatran/Jellicent was a very effective BW core that got slaughtered by Tyranitar. Can a core force opponents to counter it with another core?)
  • Tagging onto the above, what is required to "counter-core" a core? What combination of offensive and defensive characteristics among "counter-core" members achieves this?
Pokemon CAP18 should threaten:

It's important that, first and foremost, we threaten the Pokemon and strategies that our core has no answer to. In general, the degree to which a Pokemon threatens Latias and Lucario should be the degree to which CAP18 threatens that Pokemon.

Ghost-type Pokemon: Aegislash, Gengar
Fairy-type Pokemon: Clefable, Mawile predominantly. Togekiss, Sylveon and Azumarill to somewhat lesser extents.
Some Fire-type Pokemon: Mega Charizard Y, Heatran, Talonflame to a much lesser extent.
Bug-type Pokemon: Scizor, Forretress, Volcarona.
Ground-type Pokemon*: Landorus-Therian, Hippowdon, Excadrill.

When I say "to a lesser extent", I mean that CAP 18 should be a threatening presence to this Pokemon, but it should not be an ultra-reliable counter. CAP18 should perform well against every Pokemon on this list, but that doesn't mean CAP18 needs to unconditionally switch into and force out these Pokemon. It should likely be able to do one or the other, but countering all of these Pokemon is neither feasible nor recommended.

CAP18 should be able to handle, either by switching in or 1v1, the Pokemon that defeat at least one of our core members that the other one cannot switch into. For example, Mega Charizard X is a Pokemon that defeats Lucario 1v1 that Latias can't switch into. If Multiscale is active, so is Dragonite. Gyarados, before it Mega Evolves, fits this bill.

*With a weakness to Ground, this will be a difficult task. We should threaten these Pokemon as well as we can, but we should not expect to counter Ground-types, but rather defeat them 1v1.

Pokemon CAP18 should be threatened by:

We should be okay with CAP 18 losing to Pokemon that the rest of our core handles well. For example, Latias is a tremendous answer to Rotom-W, and CAP18 is weak to Electric and does not have a STAB that can hit Rotom-W even neutrally. Rotom-W isn't particularly bothered by Fire- and Water-type support options, so making Rotom-W anything other than a threat to CAP18 is fitting a square peg into a round hole. Keldeo is a similar example, although Keldeo is so commonly paired with Pursuit Aegislash (the bane of this core) that it's not safe to let Keldeo counter this CAP.

Bulky Waters: Rotom-W, Keldeo to a much smaller extent.
Bulky Dragons: Latias, Latios, Goodra.
Walls with minimal offensive presence: Chansey, Blissey.

Pokemon not on either of our threatlists should be overly specifically threatening or threatened by CAP 18. Just because a Pokemon is not in the second list doesn't mean it is our prerogative to beat it. The same goes with Pokemon not in the first list: we shouldn't be expected to lose to every Pokemon that we don't threaten.
Typing: Fire / Water
Abilities: Analytic / Infiltrator / ???
Stats: 100 HP / 45 Atk / 80 Def / 135 SpA / 100 SpD / 95 Spe
Final Submission

The competitive aim of this movepool submission should be considered an exercise in restraint, since this is CAP is already uniquely powerful by stats and ability. I don’t want Volkraken to have much of an unpredictability factor, so I designed this movepool to limit the CAP to two very similar standard movesets with 2-5 viable items to choose from. This way, the opponent doesn’t have to spend too long guessing at what the CAP is going to do next and can simply react to the incoming assault. We gave this CAP specific goals at the outset of this process, and this movepool ensures it will be able to accomplish those goals without requiring a handful of checks or plausible counter-strategies for every crazy trick it can pull out of its hat. Yes, there are moves here that could find use on gimmick sets; however, they are not the sort of moves that could lure and eliminate the CAP’s own established threats, which is absolutely crucial for a Pokemon like this.

Fire Blast and Hydro Pump are the primary tools here for dishing out damage, and I predict they will be Volkraken’s go-to options 90% of the time. To make this happen, I have included only a few options for rounding out viable movesets. U-turn is included for pivoting, which is very useful for the CAP when Latias and Lucario can immediately threaten many of its common switch-ins like Keldeo, Rotom-W, Blissey, and Chansey. Offensive coverage is limited to Power Gem, Flash Cannon, and Hidden Power, all of which are marginally useful at best and supply no surprise value to the Pokemon that can already switch relatively safely into the CAP’s STAB attacks, or at least require really good prediction in the case of Hidden Power.
Fire Blast
Hydro Pump
Scald / Power Gem / Overheat
U-turn / HP - Ice

This is an easily understandable nuke/pivot set that accomplishes all of the Aegislash checking and switch-in punishing goals we’ve been pushing for since the Concept Assessment. The coverage choice in Power Gem is highly specific, not generically useful, and crucially unable to overwhelm our decided checks like Blissey, Chansey, Goodra, Keldeo, Latias, Rotom-W, and other bulky Waters, which I think is vitally important when considering our STABs hit with obscene levels of damage. U-turn is great for momentum grabbing if you don't want to get locked into the wrong move, while Hidden Power - Ice wrecks the Latis but preserves Water-types as complete resistors to the moveset.

Choice Specs versions of this set will absolutely demolish switch-ins and faster Pokemon that cannot secure the KO. Choice Scarf would make a good cleaner against opponents that aren’t bulky enough to take both an Analytic-boosted hit on the switch and a follow-up attack. Assault Vest is the third viable choice here, which would beef up the CAP’s Special Defense enough to tank a few of Aegislash’s Shadow Balls while maintaing a strictly offensive presence.
Will-o-Wisp and Scald are a tankier CAP’s best mid-game options for preparing a Swords Dance Lucario sweep (in addition to U-turn), and that’s really all it has available. Lava Plume is absent because, between Scald and Will-o-Wisp, the CAP will have plenty of opportunities to spread Burn status and I wanted to keep the focus of the Fire STAB on dishing out Aegislash KOs. A bulky Lava Plume / Scald / Will-o-Wisp set would be too generically tanky and would not support the core any more than a generic OU team; I'd rather each move on the set have a purpose so as to discourage creating a goodstuffs Burn spreader for general use. I suppose Reflect or Memento could be tacked onto a set as last-ditch options for giving the frail Lucario some breathing room against aggressive offensive teams, and as far as gimmick options go, they are at least pro-concept in that way.
Fire Blast / Flamethrower
U-turn / Rest / Memento

This set should be a pretty popular option for players, as it takes a more general supporting role for Latias and Lucario by spreading burns while launching Analytic-boosted STAB attacks. These moves also make Infiltrator a plausible option, as they can catch Substitute abusers off-guard and still apply the pressure that the Burn status provides. This set should be able to do a decent job of staying alive just long enough into the midgame to wear down troublesome opposing teams into +2 Extremespeed KO territory for Lucario or sacrificing itself at low enough HP to give Lucario a decent chance of setting up against aggressive offensive teams.

This set would more likely than not employ a bulkier EV spread, so Leftovers would be the preferred item for providing generic and continuous healing for teams that rely more on Volkraken’s ability to tank certain threatening blows. A second option would be Chesto Berry, in which case this set would work a lot like Rotom-W's ChestoRest set, launching attacks and spreading burns and forgoing turn-by-turn healing in exchange for a one-time full heal from damage and status.

The Movepool:

Flavor-wise, I wanted to put as much of the personality of the art design into the movepool as possible by giving the impression that the CAP is a menacing creature from the deep abyss. This idea is mostly carried out in the Level-Up list, although the Egg Moves do a lot to help out in this regard. There is for sure a “hidden third typing” present in the art design (Dark-type), so I have included a healthy amount of Dark-type moves in the movepool that reflect this sinister attitude of the art design.

Vampire squids don’t actually produce ink like other squids and octopi, instead relying on their bioluminescence for evading predators and whatnot. I think this is a very cool and unique attribute of the CAP’s design, so I wanted to emphasize Volkraken’s use of bioluminescence over more traditional cephalopod-related inky moves. As a result, the movepool is devoid of any Poison-type or ink-based moves (like Octazooka) and more focused on Volkraken’s physical traits.

The CAP’s Water typing is very present in its Level-Up pool; being an aquatic creature, I thought it was appropriate to accentuate the Water moves there, as well as in the Egg list. As far as Volkraken’s Fire-typing goes, bringing out that aspect of a deep-sea squid was actually quite difficult. I’ve excluded Lava Plume and all physical Fire-type attacks (generally because they require prolonged exposed flames or lava or whatever, as far as I imagine them working); however, the typing is absolutely present enough in the Level-Up and TM lists to bring that crucial characteristic across (I still think the CAP should be switched to Water/Fire typing, based on the art design). There are 11 Water-type moves in this movepool and 9 Fire moves, so the overall picture should appear smooth and balanced, with enough flavor enhancements to bring our vampire squid to life, so to speak.

(17 moves, 8 RMs)

0 - Constrict
0 - Flash
0 - Bite
0 - Leech Life
0 - Reflect
0 - Water Gun
4 - Reflect
9 - Water Gun
14 - Whirlpool
18 - Fire Spin
23 - Flame Burst
28 - Scald
32 - Destiny Bond
37 - Dive
42 - Power Gem
46 - Aqua Ring
51 - Heat Wave
56 - Hydro Pump
66 - Memento

In the early levels, I wanted to play around with the whole “vampire squid” angle, mostly by creating the impression of a Pokemon whose natural predatory behavior revolves around trapping the opponent (victim? prey?), disorienting it, and slowly draining away its health, like a vampire. To show this, Volkraken learns Constrict (trap), Flash (disorient), Bite, and Leech Life (drain) as starting moves. This same idea reappears a short while later when the CAP begins learning more advanced STAB techniques with Whirlpool and Fire Spin, which sort of accomplish all of trapping, disorienting, and health draining all at once. Water Gun is added in between as a great low-level STAB that builds into Scald and Hydro Pump as the movepool progresses.

There is a transition into a more traditional move progression starting at L23, as moves start getting more powerful the more the CAP grows. It would be a crime not to include Scald in the Level-Up pool, so I included it in the learnset after Flame Burst, as though the Poke’s hot bursts of flames begin to boil the frigid waters of the deep sea. Remaining STAB attacks in the Level-Up list continue to grow in power: Dive is a flavorful choice that reflects Volkraken’s ability to thrive in the deepest parts of the abyss (as is Aqua Ring); Heat Wave works for a high-powered underwater Fire move because the CAP can conceivably have hot gasses inside its body that keep it from being crushed by the pressure of the abyss, or something; and Hydro Pump displays a mastery of its Water STAB.

Also included in the latter stages of the Level-Up progression is a bit of a "death" theme, in the spirit of vampirism and that hidden Dark typing. Destiny Bond, while not being very competitively useful, speaks to the vampiric quality of turning people into vampires, while Memento touches upon Volkraken's relentlessness even in death (or fainting; don’t want to get too morbid here). And yes, there is a 6-6-6 in there with the levels at which the CAP learns Hydro Pump and Memento.

Another theme I wanted to touch on with the Level-Up flavor was the CAP’s bioluminescence and how it uses its glowing parts both offensively and defensively when facing a threat. I put Flash in here as a L0 move, along with Reflect, to showcase a young CAP’s defensive use of its bioluminescence, first to blind the opponent and second to mask its escape route. This luminosity theme returns with a sudden burst of offensive power at L23 with Flame Burst, then again with Power Gem, CAP’s most exotic use of this ability, to finish the theme in the Level-Up pool.

I also threw in a couple subtle connections to other Pokemon families I felt were spiritually similar to this CAP. Reflect is learned at L4, which is when the Inkay/Malamar family learns it (they are also modeled after the vampire squid). The CAP also learns Dive at L37, the same level as Gorebyss and Huntail, which I think is a fun connection for the three of them to share, as they are all modeled after various deep-sea creatures and are presumably most comfortable at the deepest depths of the ocean.
(Water 1 / Water 2 Groups, 6 moves, 1 RM)

Aqua Jet - Alomomola, Azumarill, Basculin, Blastoise, Carracosta, Clawitzer, Crawdaunt, Dewgong, Dragonite, Empoleon, Feraligatr, Floatzel, Golduck, Kabutops, Luvdisc, Masquerain, Qwilfish, Sharpedo
Assurance - Sharpedo
Captivate - Gorebyss, Luvdisc, Milotic
Scary Face - Basculin, Feraligatr, Huntail, Masquerain, Sharpedo
Tickle - Alomomola, Azumarill, Lapras, Ludicolo, Lumineon, Milotic, Wailord, Whiscash
Water Pulse - Alomomola, Blastoise, Carracosta, Clawitzer, Corsola, Dewgong, Dragalge, Dragonite, Feraligatr, Gastrodon, Golduck, Gorebyss, Greninja, Huntail, Kingdra, Lanturn, Lapras, Luvdisc, Manaphy, Mantine, Milotic, Octillery, Omastar, Pelipper, Politoed, Poliwrath, Qwilfish, Seaking, Seismitoad, Slowbro, Slowking, Swanna, Wailord, Walrein, Whiscash

There must be some new rule at GameFreak because there were no Pokemon introduced in Gen. VI with more than 7 Egg moves (the average is 4 or 5), so to follow that precedent I have only included 6 moves here. Thankfully, I didn’t need anything remotely competitive from this list, so it wasn’t too hard to parse it down to a few flavorful moves. I have also only listed parents that can obtain these moves in Gen. VI; since Egg Move illegalities no longer exist due to the changes in move relearning, there’s no need to list past generation learning methods or any clutter like that.

Flavor-wise, I wanted to make sure to touch on the various themes I tried to establish in the Level-Up pool. Assurance follows up on the hidden Dark-typing theme, and also subtly hints at Volkraken’s primary ability, Analytic, as it nets a power boost of its own for moving after its target in certain scenarios. Captivate, at least in my mind, plays off of the idea of the CAP using its bioluminescent parts to distract its opponents. Scary Face was a must-have; I needed to address the “false face” of the art design somewhere in the movepool, and this was the perfect place to do it. Tickle is a common move for tentacled Pokemon to have access to, so I didn’t want to leave Volkraken out on all the fun. Finally, there are the two STAB moves, Aqua Jet and Water Pulse, which don’t have any competitive value for the CAP but do fit very flavorfully with a marine creature that already darts through the deep seas shooting beams of water and whatnot.
(36 moves, 22 RMs)

TM06 - Toxic
TM10 - Hidden Power
TM11 - Sunny Day
TM15 - Hyper Beam
TM17 - Protect
TM18 - Rain Dance
TM21 - Frustration
TM27 - Return
TM32 - Double Team
TM33 - Reflect
TM35 - Flamethrower
TM38 - Fire Blast
TM41 - Torment
TM42 - Facade
TM44 - Rest
TM45 - Attract
TM46 - Thief
TM48 - Round
TM50 - Overheat
TM54 - False Swipe
TM55 - Scald
TM56 - Fling
TM59 - Incinerate
TM60 - Quash
TM61 - Will-o-Wisp
TM66 - Payback
TM68 - Giga Impact
TM70 - Flash
TM87 - Swagger
TM88 - Sleep Talk
TM89 - U-turn
TM90 - Substitute
TM91 - Flash Cannon
TM100 - Confide
HM03 - Surf
HM05 - Waterfall

The TM list is where the CAP learns most of its Fire-type moves: Fire Blast, Flamethrower, Incinerate, Overheat, Sunny Day, and Will-o-Wisp round out the bunch along with Fire Spin, Flame Burst, and Heat Wave from the Level-Up list. The CAP can also learn the bulk of its Dark-type attacks here: Fling, Thief, Torment, Payback, and Quash.

I thought Payback would be a neat flavor nod to Volkraken’s Analytic ability, considering its base power doubles if the target has already moved that turn, and Analytic would boost that power to even higher levels. I like to imagine that Volkraken has come to possess the Analytic ability from its evolutionary adaptation to its pitch-black natural habitat (bottom of the ocean), so the fact that Payback is a Dark-type move makes this flavor element very elegant the way I see it. Within the same theme, Volkraken learns Assurance as an Egg move, which is another Dark-type move that does double damage when the CAP moves after the target (if the target has already received damage that turn).

Because Reflect, Scald, and Flash are repeated from the Level-Up pool, that means there are 33 moves and 20 RMs unique to this list.
(56 moves, 27 RMs)

Special Attacking RMs (10):

Fire Blast
Flamethrower / Flame Burst
Flash Cannon
Heat Wave
Hidden Power
Hydro Pump
Power Gem

Physical Attacking RMs (6):

Aqua Jet
Frustration / Return

Non-Attacking RMs (11):

Destiny Bond
Rain Dance
Sleep Talk
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pink wingull
is a Top Artistis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

HeaLnDeaL's is my favourite because of the shiny colours and the personality of the false face :)
Umbreonage, I LOVE yours but I just think it's over detailed for this purpose. Beautiful sprite though.

Thanks for your hard work everyone!


Let's Keep Fighting
is an Artistis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnus

I really love all of the sprites here, just way too hard to rank after this. Good luck to everyone!

Lots of good work this round! My favorite (after my own sprite) is Quanyails' for clean lines, good silhouette, and nice colors. Good luck to all!


mindless philosopher

Great work all around, dudes. Quany's is just too cute not to get top billing.

All the sprites were good, it was hard to pick one of these for the best, but HeaL's just took the edge in the end
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