CAP 24 CAP 24 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment

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With our concept decided, it's time for Concept Assessment! DrapionSwing will lead the discussion and take the opening post, in which we decide which direction we take the process. Subsequent posts should closely follow DrapionSwing's topics and questions.

Drew said:
  • Name - Snow or Shine (or Sand)
  • Description - A Pokemon that abuses 2 weather conditions for different effects
  • Justification - Currently in CAP, there is only one form of weather that is really worth using: rain, and only one really type of weather abuser: offensive sweeper. This concept means to address both of these issues by creating a new niche for two weather conditions. This concept would fill the archetype of a weather abuser, but I feel it also fits into the Actualization category as it would also aim to create a new role for a weather abuser for 1 or more different weather conditions.
  • Questions To Be Answered
    • Why are hail, sun, and sand underrepresented in the current metagame?
    • What makes rain the best weather condition currently?
    • How can this CAP encourage the use of other weather conditions? What do hail, sun, and/or sand need? Sweepers? Setters? Walls?
    • What weather effects are underutilized? How can we successfully use these effects?
    • How can one Pokemon utilize different weather conditions for different effects and sets?
    • Should this Pokemon be able to function outside of weather-based teams? If so, what niche would it need to fulfill? If it sets it's own weather, is it enough to abuse the weather condition on its own?
  • Explanation - For those who don't fully see how a not-sweeper weather abuser could work, take Lileep in LC for example. Lileep, mainly back in BW and XY as sand is quite uncommon in SM, is on most sand teams, as it can abuse its Rock-typing to boost Special Defense, the passive damage from sand, and its access to Recover and Toxic to become a weather abusing wall. Another possible interaction would be running Ferrothorn on rain teams to semi-nullify its Fire weakness. Not only typings are underexplored though! There are many moves, items, and of course abilities that can be used to abuse different weather conditions in a way that no Pokemon really does currently.
1) Pay close attention to the Topic Leader during this discussion. Their job is to keep us focused and to bring insight.​
2) Do not poll jump. Poll jumping is a serious offense in these threads, and you can get infracted for it. Poll jumping is when you discuss something that should be discussed in the future, like specifying a CAP's stats or typing. You're allowed to hint at such things to conclude a point or to provide an example, but do not centralize your post on a poll jump. Poll jumping hurts the focus of early threads and can cause us to go off on a tangent. If you're not sure if a particular argument is poll jumping or not, err on the side of caution and don't post it.​


CAP 24 so far:

Topic Leader: Drapionswing

Topic Leadership Team:
: Typing Leader
Drew: Ability Leader
reachzero: Stats Leader
mxmts: Movepool Leader


Eating it up, YUMMY!
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Hey Cappers! With CAP24 swiftly on its way, we are now at the concept assessment stage of the process!

Weather is a very delicate archetype in CAP, with Rain being a dominant weather controlling the spotlight entirely other weathers have fallen out of style. I'd like to evaluate the lesser weathers in enough detail to then be able to choose the most suitable weathers for this process. For now I just ask that we keep focused on the questions/commenting on other questions. Don't feel obligated to answer all of the questions.

1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?
2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?
3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?
4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?

Go wild folks! Just be careful not to polljump during this stage of the process.
1) Rain's advantages are the fact that it is one of the weathers that boost damage automatically, is not one of the weathers that damage potential teammates, the fact that it provides advantages to damaging moves from two other types beyond its automatic boost (thunder and hurricane), it is one of the weathers that provides automatic defensive properties (fire resistance), the fact that it has a great setter in Pelliper (access to U-Turn, bulky, has dual STAB boosted by Rain, looses a weakness to grass that water types struggle against), the fact that it has a plethora of abilities boosted by it, sread among many pokemon, including ones that are not water type and the fact that it doesn't have one of its best abilities stuck on a typing actually weak to the type directly boosted by it. Another thing is that one of the best Rain abusers is Mega-Swampert, which has a great defensive typing, is immune to one of water's weaknesses that is also boosted by rain (Thunder accuracy) and which synergises well with Pelliper which can U-Turn into Mega-Swampert. You want to hit the one with Electric, which the other is immune to and the other with Grass, which the first is neutral to, unlike most waters.

2) Define "abstract" for this purpose please.

4) I don't know about "underutilised", but I think every automatic weather effect and every move and ability interaction should at east be considered. There's stalling for hail or sand damage, the boost Growth gets in Sun, Harvest's boost in Sun and the reduction in power of water moves in Sun. I think the Special Defense boost for Rocks in Sand, Aurora Veil and Blizzard in Hail are all appreciated already.

EDIT: @Below:

What exactly do we mean by utilising multiple weather conditions?
Personally, I think it would be nice to have a pokemon that specialises in a different weather depending on the set, but can still take advantage of the other weather. Similar to Omastar. Part of the reason for this is that it means that it still benefits if the opponent shifts to the other weather. I also think it makes it closer to the "essence" of a multiple weather abuser, if that makes sense.

EDIT Again: Sand Rush as been mentioned, but I don't see Sand Force mentioned yet, so maybe that could also count for 4). Sand Force boosts the power of three different types of moves and gives a different form of offensive presence than added speed. This is a similar effect to Solar Power, but does not cost you health and instead, your opponent takes chip damage from the weather if they're the wrong type, even if they survived your initial attack.

EDIT: I just remembered that Shore Up is boosted by Sand. It currently has terrible distribution, but on a Rock-type, Sandstall could become a thing.
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I think the reason Rain is so good isn’t that the weather itself is powerful; Rain is so good because of how many things can take advantage of it properly. There are so many choices. There’s Swift Swim users in Kingdra and MSwampert, Pelipper as the setter, Tapu Koko with Thunder, and Tornadus-Therian with Hurricane. It isn’t even limited to sweepers. Ferrothorn and to a lesser extent Rotom-Wash are defensive Pokémon that thrive in Rain.

Outside of Rain, Sand is the best in my opinion. Plenty of abilities to take advantage of it (even if underutilized), the SpDef boost to Rock-types, and the chip damage make Sand the easiest to build a Pokémon around. The only major downsides are common weaknesses in Ground, Fighting and Steel. However, we can somewhat patch these weaknesses if we have CAP24 good defense if we so desired. The worst weather by far is obviously Hail. The only things it does are chip, perfect accuracy Blizzard and allowing Veil. If we do decide to pursue Hail, the last use is the one to go for, perhaps as a defensive Pokémon that can easily maintain Aurora Veil for the team. However, the only type that pairs with Ice defensively even slightly is Steel, leaving two common quad weaknesses in Fighting and Fire. Also, it would pigeonhole abilities into Snow Warning in order to even have a chance to compete with Alolan Ninetales. Also, Alolan Sandslash has Veil already, so there’s not a lot we can do with it. Overall, we should stay away from Hail. Sun is okay, and I think something fun we could do is make a wall for it, since we already have two setters here in CAP, and a proper sweeper in one of them (Charizard Y). If we figured out a way to simultaneously make Malaconda more viable with CAP24, that would also be nice. Perhaps some defensive synergy between the two could help. Heck, we could work the Scizor of the Sun concept into this, making a Pokémon that is not a Fire-type but is weak to Water that thrives in the sun.

tl;dr: We should focus on Sand and Sun. Screw Hail.
Well I want to ask something that will likely be pretty important in the making of this CAP.

What exactly do we mean by utilising multiple weather conditions?

I'll clarify using 2 examples: Heliolisk and Omastar.

Heliolisk is an example of a Pokémon who can utilize two weather conditions, but not On the same set. Dry Skin sets are able to utilize Rain to their advantage, while Solar Power sets make use of Sun; however, Dry Skin doesn't take advantage of Sun and Solar Power doesn't take advantage of Rain (except when it runs Thunder).

Example 2 is Omastar. Omastar can take advantage of 2 different weather conditions on one set. In Swift Swim, its speed is doubled and its Water STAB powered up, allowing it to easily sweep or clean; however, Sand boosts its Special Defense, which allows it to more easily gain Shell Smash boosts. While one weather is preferred over the other, it can also work really well in the other one.

It would be useful to clarify which of these paths we are going to follow as soon as possible--the one that can take advantage of different weathers based on the set, or the one that takes advantage of multiple weathers in one set.

Now, I'm gonna try and answer some questions:
1) Rain is the most powerful because it has the best abusers. It also has a really good setter in Pelipper, who also gives good role compression in being a slow pivot and Defogger so Rain doesn't need to run other Pokémon for that. Rain's Swift Swim users are all Water types (except for Armaldo and Beartic who are practically never used) who get their STAB powered up in Rain. This is also what gives Rain the edge over other weathers. Sand Rush and Slush Rush Pokémon get their speed doubled in their weathers, but not their STAB. Sun boosts Fire-type attacks, but none of the Chlorophyll Pokémon is a Fire-type.
Furthermore, common defensive Pokémon like Mega Scizor and Ferrothorn appreciate Rain lowering the power of the Fire moves they're weak to. Sun doesn't really have any Pokémon who can do this (one of the rejected concepts aimed to create something like that.) Rain also has the other benefit of giving Hurricane and Thunder 100% accuracy, which allows Pokémon like Tapu Koko to fire off strong never-missing Thunder nukes and gives Tornadus-T some breathing room in not being afraid of missing its main STAB. These Pokémon can then help other Pokémon on Rain teams out, for example Koko's Terrain can make an Electric Seed Hawlucha easily sweep. Sun, Sand and Hail teams can't really do any of these things as well as Rain does.
2) Tyranitar is an example of a Pokémon that takes advantage of Sandstorm's SpDef boost really well. Hawlucha fits well on Rain teams not necessarily because of the Rain but because of the good offensive synergy it has with other Rain sweepers. Zard Y sometimes runs Solar Beam to hit Water-types because it takes advantage of the instant use of the move in its own Sun. Other than that, I can't really think of anything.
3) I think the best weather outside of Rain is Sand, because it has a very viable setter (Tyranitar) and a good abuser too (Excadrill). I think the worst weather is Sun, because there's only one Pokémon that really takes advantage of it and that's Zard Y. Hail has Aurora Veil that holds together an entire archetype (although Veil teams are pretty rare nowadays) but isn't very good outside of that either. However Sun is for this concept likely easier to build around than Hail.
4) I'm afraid that listing my answsers to this will be seen as polljumping as most of these are very specific abilities or typings. One thing that instantly comes to mind, though, is Weather Ball. We're literally making a weather Pokémon so it'll almost inevitably get added anyway (but feel free to remove this part of the post if it feels too much like polljumping!) and it'd be interesting to see a Pokémon that can actually make use of it.
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Deck Knight

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The reason why Rain is king comes from a couple of factors:

1. Water typing is, next to Normal, the most neutral offensive and defensive typing around. It doesn't have major weaknesses to SR like Fire and Ice. It doesn't have 4-5 weaknesses a piece like Ice, Grass, and Rock. Rain's benefit is a direct damage and accuracy boost to it's own typing and then Thunder and Hurricane, two extraordinarily powerful coverage moves. It also weakenes Fire moves, which threaten the premier defensive typing in the game, Steel.

2. Setters: I never thought I'd say this, but Pelipper is a ridiculous setter. Aside from getting wrecked by Thunder itself, you couldn't ask for a better generic fat support mon with recovery and pivoting to set it. It is, ironic for being otherwise awful, the best possible Rain setter you could ask for. Politoed by contrast was always somewhat lacking even during the weather wars, but it was the only legal Rain setter so that's what was used. It did have decent support in Hypnosis and Perish Song, but even then it was only used because Rain is that strong of an effect, period.

Sand actually does have good setters, too. Tyranitar and Hippowdon are both excellent Pokemon, with Gigalith less so. The problem is that Rain crushes all of them into a fine SpD boosting powder.

Sun in CAP has Zard Y and Malaconda as decent setters, although Zard Y still hates Rain as a counter-weather.

Hail has a single good setter: Alolan-Ninetales. Abomasnow is Abominable. Vanilluxe is literally what other Pokemon eat for lunch, and Aurorus might as well already be extinct. Rain even counters Aurorus for goodness sake and Aboma's ridiculous list of weaknesses precludes it from being viable. TTar may have seven weaknesses as well, but at least it resists Fire, isn't weak to Rock, and doesn't have both its STABs walled by individual types [Fire and Steel in Abomasnow's case]

3. Abusers: Here again, Rain has a few stand-out ones. Kingdra is a staple Rain mon that can easily get out of hand, and so is Mega Swampert. Manaphy is also good all around and has some level of set variation thanks to Z-Rain Dance and Tail Glow. Defensively you have Mollux and more viably in previous gens, Tentacruel.

Sand has Excadrill. And Excadrill is amazing, but it's only one notable Pokemon, and it doubles up on Hippo or Ttar's weaknesses. If fairness, at least it neutral to Ice and Grass and resists Fairy, the off-SE typings for Hippo and TTar respectively. There are no good defensive Sand-mons that aren't generically good defensive mons like Ferro and M-Scizor... which both benefit more from Rain.

Sun has a few Pokemon that fit the archetype of threatening Chlorophyll Grass-type with Sleep Powder, but there's really no standout Fire-type except Zard-Y itself. There are zero good notable Sun mons that benefit from the Water power reduction.

Hail has Syclant, which wishes it was two points faster so it could outrun Greninja (who likes.. Rain). Alolan-Ninetales itself also counts, I suppose. Stalrein was epic defensively when weather was permanent, but it isn't now and so Stalrein shall live on only as a meme :(

- - - - -

So all that is kind of why rain is king. But the other questions do have answers that inspire hope. For each other weather:

Sun: Fire gets dunked on as a defensive type... but it has *six* resistances, and *all* of them are useful. [Fire/Bug/Grass/Ice/Steel/Fairy] Pyroak's and Mollux's successes in CAP are driven by the fact that the three crappy weaknesses are offset by several great resistances. Were it not for the fact Dry Skin makes using Mollux in sun detrimental, you'd see Mollux on Sun teams (and if it got Water Absorb way back when instead of Dry Skin, it'd be a staple on Sun instead).

The reason Sun is so hard to abuse isn't Fire, it's Grass. Grass is so awful defensively that the Chlorophyll mons *need* the speed boost to not get wiped by a huge portion of the metagame. A Fire-type abuser with Chlorophyll would match the benefits most Rain mons got with Rain - the speed boost and the STAB boost simultaneously. Think Volcarona with Chlorophyll. Actually, don't think that, that's scary.

Sand: Sand is in a middle ground right now precisely because it's very generic. It benefits Ground, Rock, and Steel and of those three Ground and Steel manage well enough on their own. Rock on the other hand, like Ice, is a strictly offensive typing and the SpD is mostly there as a fringe benefit. Stratagem is more threatening in Sand because it's harder to take down with Scalds (especially CM Strata which is scary as hell in Sand), but Sand isn't necessary to use it. Mega Crucibelle also benefits, but it doubles up on so many of the weaknesses of the Sand setters it's just better to use it separately most of the time.

Sand Veil Sand Rush exists to actually make Sand an Abusable Weather, ans notably Excadrill uses Sand Rush to great effect. This is mostly due to the fact Excadrill already has immense Attack and its mediocre speed gets boosted to above-Scarfer levels. If Stoutland had Excadrill levels of Attack you might see it more often too. Making a Sand Abuser is an easy formula.

Hail: Hail is the forgotten stepchild of weather. The best boost it could possibly have gotten is to be the only permanent weather left (RIP Stalrein). But that didn't happen so let's go with what it can do: Aurora Veil. Aurora Veil is awesome. It would be more awesome if the only other benefit of Hail, perfect acc Blizzards, didn't require you to pivot to another Ice type that gets wrecked by whatever SE hit is coming to your setter.

Unlike Sand Rush, I really don't like Slush Rush as an avenue to weather abuse because Hail's biggest problem is Setting. Right now you *cannot* viably follow up an Alola-Tales Hail / Veil setup with a Slush Rush user. Alola-Slash and Beartic have too many other problems. However, going a Slush Rush route my design means forming an Alola-Tales / CAP *Offensive* Core, and I feel that avenue is rife with too many problems. Being able to use both Alola-Tales and CAP in a tandem *support* core would be a much more compelling avenue to explore.
The other problem with Slush Rush is, lets say you made an exact duplicate of Excadrill but made it Ice/*type*. Excadrill works in part because Iron Head is a safe move to use because of 30% flinch and Earthquake has 100/100 BP/Acc. Ice has Icicle Crash which has imperfect acc, Ice Punch which is weak, or Ice Hammer which is conterproductive even if it hits (and still imperfect Acc). Going the special route to capitalize on Blizzard brings issues with AV Megearna and Chansey. Basically, Ice isn't as interchangeable as an abuse platform as the Ground/Rock/Steel trio is, and the risk of making a generically good offensive Pokemon with Slush Rush is that it might just be run without it anyway, especially if it isn't part Ice-typed.

What Hail really could use is a Hail / Aurora Setter that can actually pivot into Ice types by luring in Ice moves (the only moves Ice-types resist). Even if the setter takes Hail damage because of this, much like Flame Orb Soil and Naviathan, 6% HP is a small price to pay for the benefits of an instant dual-screen and residual damage effect. Hail's issue is a synergistic Hail mon, not necessarily how good or bad Hail itself is.
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1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?
Rain seems like a very strong weather due to Water being a great competitive typing in general. Additionally, Water is super effective against most of the Sun setters, Sand setters and abusers, and also resists Ice-type attacks, the type associated with Hail. Then you add in the fact that it makes a few great attacks automatically hit and the damage reduction to Fire-type attacks and great abusers you have a pretty great weather.

2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?
Stallrein is a great example as it's a type of weather abuse that isn't really replicated anywhere. You get it in under hail and you have this massive wall of blubber that doesn't really die too easily, heals each turn, and can just wait out toxic turns for days. But that kind of abuse is only really possible in Rain and Hail, as Sand and Sun do not have comparative abilities. Besides that, Weather Ball comes to mind as under a weather it becomes a 100 bp attack of that type and carries the type-changing property over when used as a Z-Move, which is pretty neat.

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

Sand is the best non-Rain weather as it has some really good setters in Tyranitar and Hippowdon and a few great abusers. The SpDef boost to Rock-types is also quite noticeable as well, which helps quite a bit with Tyranitar's bulk. Hail is definitely the worst as Ice is a generally poor typing defensively and is generally outclassed by Sand since it doesn't add in a boost of any kind to offense or defense like other weathers tend to.

4.) Are there any underutilized weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?

Outside of the aforementioned Weather Ball, which is marginally exploitable, none really come to mind. The accuracy of a few attacks being affected by weather is possibly one but does get enough consideration to possibly not be considered underutilized.
1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?
See Pelipper and Mega Swampert or any Rain team with swift swimmers for offense lol.
2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?
TTar and Hippowdon abuse it. TTar gets that nice boost in Sp. Def from it after Gen 3 which can give it a much easier time against Special Attackers without Focus Blast. Hippo can dwindle the HP of its foes using the sand, Toxic and hazards. Both also get the boost in offense because of it.
3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?
Best is Sand cause of TTar and Hippo and the worst is Hail. Alolatales sucks in OU and so does Mega Abomasnow and you would only really use it if ya want to feel like Blizzard's in Gen 1 again? Not really.
4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?
Sun and Hail. But Scizor of the Sun is for Sun so Hail. Also Weather Ball and Forecast for underutilized weather tools but Forecast is mainly due to how Castform is crap and the mons that get Weather Ball don't like running it sans Castform. You can exploit them (look at Gen 5 Kingdra) and we can be able to exploit them again but not as strong.
1. Through the generations, rain has always been the best weather, for a multitude of reasons:

A) It has an innate advantage over Sun and Sand, the two other more relevant weathers, due to the fact that Water hits Super-effectively Fire, Ground and Rock.

B) All Swift Swim users are able to abuse their boosted Water STAB, this is a huge advantage over Sun, as its abusers need to pick between a boosted Fire STAB and Chlorophyll, because this ability is associated with Grass Types.

C) Both offensively and defensively, Rain has great synergy with some of the best mons in the meta, such as A-Greninja, Tomohawk, Tapu Koko and Ferrothorn.

I would like to answer the other questions, but I'm on mobile right now.
1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?
Rain provides an additional boost to Water-type attacks, which already tend to be reasonably powerful beforehand, such as Scald, Surf, and Hydro Pump. In addition to a huge boost to their STAB, many Swift Swim users are Water-type as well. Common setters like Pelipper and abusers on par with Swampert complement each other's weaknesses as well, mostly due to their respective secondary typings. On top of that, Water can exploit the weaknesses of Fire, Rock, and Ground, which are all common types among sun and sand teams.

2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?
From a defensive standpoint, Rock-types receive a 1.5x Special Defense boost in sand, which Tyranitar (possibly Mega?) abuses due to its already excellent bulk all around and high base 134 Attack. Ground- and Steel-types do not receive this boost in bulk, but they do not take damage from sand either. Sun also allows some Grass-types to use Solar Beam or Solar Blade immediately, but they are even weaker to Fire attacks in a weather condition they also benefit from.

Hail lets some Ice-types use the poorly-distributed Aurora Veil, which functions as both a Reflect and a Light Screen on the same turn, but it can only work in hail. Ninetales-Alola is a somewhat common setter of both hail and this alternative to Dual Screens. Too bad Slush Rush, the speed-boosting Ability for snow, still damages non-Ice-types somehow. Poké Logic

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

Not taking rain into account, sand appears to be the next most viable due to having two powerful setters, both of which we know as Tyranitar and Hippowdon. While Ttar receives the aforementioned Special Defense boost and has excellent offensive capabilities, Hippo prefers physical bulk and reliable recovery while retaining the coveted sand immunity. Sand Rush users (unlike *ahem* Slush Rush abusers) take no damage from sand regardless of their typing, such as the Normal-type Stoutland, assuming one wants to use that lovable doggy on their team.

The worst one, with or without permanent weather, is hail. Even with access to Aurora Veil, Ice has been a terrible defensive typing to have on a team. This is also the only type of Pokémon immune to hail damage, even if a Pokémon has access to Slush Rush. Krilowatt has Magic Guard in the CAP metagame, but the little shrimp is more of the exception than the norm. Reuniclus is the closest to an official Pokémon we have to a non-Ice-type hail attacker due to having the same ability as Kril.

If you don't mind, I'd appreciate if you'd excuse the snark towards the game's mistakes with Ice. Seems that the devs just hate that typing.


Mercy Main Btw
1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?

As Deck Knight said, Rain has the best setters and abusers, and outside of this, the other weathers have a very few users:
- Sun setters are weak to the Stealth Rock and its sweepers don't have a STAB boosted from it
- Sand has only two viable abusers: Tyranitar and Excadrill
- Hail has only a viable abuser: Ninetales-Alola and it's weak to the Stealth Rock

Also, if a normal Drizzle user enters on a fire move, it will take only 1/4 of its usual damage (1/2 resistance plus 1/2 of the damage) but that's not for the other weather setters: Drought and Hail users take normal damage, Sand Stream users take supereffective damage (Tyranitar damage is a bit reduced due to its SpD boost)

2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?

A more defense inclined playstyle can be possible thanks to Dry Skin, Hydration and Leaf Guard

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

At the moment, Sand is the second best weather due to the good combinations of stats, movepool and abilities of their abusers.
Hail is probably the worst weather because it has Aurora Veil as a niche option, that is only used on hyper offense


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1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?

Rain was built to be superior by design, as Rain directly supports one of the best typings in the game in Water. It also halves the damage of Fire, a very strong offensive type, buffs the accuracies of Thunder and Hurricane which are two of the most power STAB attacks of Electric and Flying respectively. It does not harm teammates like Hail and Sand and Importantly, it grants both a Speed boost AND a Power boost to STAB in the case of Swift Swimmers. It also helps that Rain has the perfect setter in Pelliper, which has reliable recovery, U-Turn to bring in rain sweepers without losing momentum.

Also, Rain builds promote diversity in comparision to the other weathers. Four very good types can viably benefit from Rain (Water, Steel, Flying, Electric). In comparision, Sun only really fits two types, Sand can support up to three, and Hail stops at one.

Rain even has the best in terms of abilities (and distribution). Rain has Dry Skin, Hydration, Rain Dish and Swift Swim.

2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?

Flower Gift, Forecast and Weather Ball come to mind.

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

Sand to me is the best other weather right now in CAP, and thats due to both Tyranitar and Hippowdon having acceptable stands in viability, while Sand can be ran as a self contained core within a team, instead of requiring full team support to succeed. Hail is obviously the worst weather, fue to a myriad of problems, namely the poorness of the Ice type on a whole, only buffing Blizzard's accuracy and making Aurora Veil work, chip damaging every other type and the sole offensive ability having limited distribution (something to note, while Sand Rush protects you from Sandstorm damage, Slush Rush does not protect you from Hail).
4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?
So I think to gather different ideas it will be a good idea to list all relevant weather interactions. Underlined text is an effect I consider underutilized.

Sun - Boosts Fire-type attacks, weakens Water-type attacks, Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight are all boosted to recovering 2/3 of the user's max HP, Solar Beam and Solar Blade take one turn, Weather Ball becomes Fire-type, Chlorophyll, Leaf Guard, Flower Gift, and Solar Power are activated, and Growth doubles both attacking stats. 7 underutilized effects

Sand - Damages non-Steel-, Rock-, and Ground-types for 1/16 of their maximum health, Moonlight, Synthesis, and Morning Sun only recover 1/4 of the user's maximum HP, Rock-types receive a 50% Special Defense boost, Weather Ball becomes Rock-type, Sand Rush, Sand Force, and Sand Veil are activated, Shore Up heals the user for 2/3 of their max health. 5 underutilized effects

Hail - Damages non-Ice-types for 1/16 of their maximum health, Moonlight, Synthesis, and Morning Sun only recover 1/4 of the user's maximum HP, Blizzard bypasses accuracy check, Weather Ball becomes Ice-type, Ice Body, Snow Cloak, and Slush Rush are activated. Aurora Veil can be used.
4 underutilized effects

So basically my conclusion is that there is the most to learn from Sun and Sand, by using their multiple effects to the extent we can. I think the coolest effects we can explore are the boosting and weakening of health recovery, Growth, flower Gift, Rock-types' Special Defense boost (not listed as underutilized because of Tyranitar but I think we can do a better job exploring it), and Weather Ball. Also a quick note: I included Flower Gift in here as the legality discussion is currently going on, but I'd still like to mention it as boosting the user's Attack and Special Defense.
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this is the day of the expanding man
4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?

I want to focus on this question because it is at the core of what we will most likely be exploring in this project. And what better way to answer it than to list all the weather mechanics and a brief explanation of how Pokemon can exploit them?

  1. Damage of Water-type moves increases by 50%. The exploitation of this is trivial. It allows Water-types to be huge offensive threats with their boosted STAB attacks. Pokemon such as Ash-Greninja, Volkraken, and Keldeo are common abusers of this mechanic.
  2. Damage of Fire-type moves and Solar Beam decreases by 50%. Pretty much every good rain team features a Pokemon that abuses this mechanic to cover up for their 4x or 2x weakness to Fire. Pokemon like Ferrothorn and Scizor are some of the most common, as one of their main vulnerabilities is their 4x fire weakness, so reducing that really enhances their defensive capabilities.
  3. Accuracy of Thunder and Hurricane increases to 100%. Pokemon such as Tornadus-T, Tapu Koko, and Tomohawk take advantage of this boost to increase the reliability of their strongest STAB moves.
  4. Pokemon with Swift Swim are twice as fast. This is another ubiquitous feature of Rain teams. Along with the boosting of Water-type moves, Swift Swim allows some Pokemon to become offensive wrecking balls that the opponent must carefully work around. The prevalence of Swift Swim and its distribution on offensively strong Pokemon is the main reason why Rain flourishes as the best weather condition by a wide margin. Common abusers of Swift Swim include Kingdra, Mega Swampert, and Kabutops.
  5. Pokemon with Rain Dish and Dry Skin recover HP every turn. Defensive Pokemon can take advantage of this mechanic to convert the energy of time into hit points. The main abuser of this in CAP is Mollux, but it is rarely seen on Rain teams because its strongest STAB move is weakened in the Rain.
  6. Pokemon with Hydration get their status conditions cured every turn. Bulky offensive Pokemon often utilize this mechanic to last longer on the battlefield. It is especially used in tandem with Rest to get that sweet, sweet full recovery with no drawbacks. Manaphy and Goodra are the two main abusers of this ability.
  7. Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight only recover 25% HP. I suppose this could mess with some opposing walls who rely on these moves for recovery like Revenankh, Pyroak, and Tangrowth, but I don’t know how feasible it would be to build a Pokemon around this mechanic.
  1. Damage of Fire-type moves increases by 50%. Similar to Water-types in Rain, this mechanic gives a reason for all Fire-type Pokemon to come outside. Common abusers of this boost include Mega Charizard Y and Victini.
  2. Damage of Water-type moves decreases by 50%. This mechanic can allow Pokemon weak to Water-type moves to thrive as a defensive threat in the Sun. It’s almost like Scizor, but for the Sun! Oh, wait—
  3. Solar Beam and Solar Blade do not require a turn to charge. With this buff, Grass-types like Mega Venusaur and Fire-types like Mega Charizard Y and Heatran get a very strong STAB or coverage move with no drawbacks in the Sun.
  4. Pokemon with Chlorophyll are twice as fast. This can potentially allow for a super fast Sun sweep, but unfortunately Chlorophyll’s distribution is pretty bad. The best Pokemon with this ability are probably Venusaur and… that’s about it. Also note that every Pokemon with Chlorophyll is Grass-type, meaning they are all weak to boosted Fire-type moves in the Sun.
  5. Growth boosts the user’s Attack and Sp. Attack by 2 stages instead of 1. This is a somewhat underrated mechanic of the Sun, really only commonly utilized by Venusaur. But especially when combined with Chlorophyll, Growth can allow for an extremely potent sweep.
  6. Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight recover ⅔ of the user’s HP. Bulky Pokemon can use this feature to last a very long time in the Sun. Pokemon who can exploit this mechanic include Mega Venusaur, Revenankh, and Malaconda.
  7. Other abilities get activated (Flower Gift, Solar Power, Leaf Guard, Harvest). These abilities are alright, but not great. But there’s a lot of them, so if they were available on decent Pokemon they would provide some nice variety for Sun teams. Unfortunately the best options for abusers are Cherrim (obviously), Mega Houndoom, Tsareena, and Malaconda.
  1. Pokemon that aren’t Rock, Steel, or Ground type take 1/16 damage every turn. This is the most obvious feature of Sand, slowly crippling opposing Pokemon as they face your Sand threats. Pokemon with Magic Guard and Overcoat can also avoid this damage. It can’t really be exploited, since it’s more of a passive effect that has no positive impacts for the user.
  2. Rock-type Pokemon’s Sp. Defense increases by 50%. This mechanic allows Rock-types to finally become the mixed defensive tanks they have always strived to be. Pokemon like Tyranitar and Gigalith, both of which are also Sand Stream setters, take advantage of this feature to swallow attacks more easily.
  3. Pokemon with Sand Rush are twice as fast. This is where our good friend Excadrill comes in. Sand Rush allows Pokemon like Excadrill to excel as unrevengekillable sweepers in the Sand.
  4. Other abilities get activated (Sand Force, Sand Veil). These abilities are both kind of bad, but Pokemon can potentially abuse them in the Sand to either increase their offensive potential or their hax potential.
  5. Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight only recover 25% HP, and Shore Up recovers ⅔ HP. Similar effects to Rain and Sun.
  1. Pokemon that aren’t Ice type take 1/16 damage every turn. Again, this is the standout effect of Hail affecting almost all Pokemon and giving Ice-types a slight upper hand in battle.
  2. Accuracy of Blizzard increases to 100%. This gives all special-attacking Ice types a powerful, reliable STAB move.
  3. Aurora Veil works. This can not only be exploited by the Pokemon who uses it, but also by the entire team behind it. Aurora Veil was a welcome addition to Hail, making it actually seen on viable teams for once. Alolan Ninetales is obviously the main abuser of Aurora Veil.
  4. Pokemon with Slush Rush are twice as fast. Similar to the other speed-doubling abilities, Slush Rush can allow for a nice weather-fueled sweep. Its distribution just isn’t very good, only being available on Alolan Sandslash and Beartic.
  5. Other abilities get activated (Ice Body, Snow Cloak). Again, pretty mediocre abilities. But Ice Body can potentially allow a Pokemon to last longer, especially when combined with Leftovers.
  6. Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight only recover 25% HP. Similar effect to Rain and Sand.

Also, don’t forget about the Z-Weather moves, boosting the user’s Speed by 1 stage and potentially paving the way for a sweep. Just something to keep in mind as a sort of “effect” of the weather conditions.


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3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

Sand is probably the best weather of the remaining three. There are good setters like ttar and hippo and good abusers like Excadrill. On top of that, Sand Stream helps ttar and hippo outside of dedicated sand teams.

Sun has Malaconda as a pretty decent setter now. Mega Charizard Y shows us the power of Sun-boosted Fire-type STAB. However, the best Chlorophyll abusers are either really frail or have moveslot issues.

Hail suffers from worse problems in terms of abusers. However, we have a new way to abuse hail, which is Aurora Veil. I think this something to consider when we think about what’s the best weather - we don’t have to focus on making a CAP that’s only good on weather-specific teams. Outside of Aurora Veil, most setters and abusers are mediocre :(

Sand is the best given that we have good setters/abusers already. If we consider Aurora Veil as something for Hail to abuse, then Hail > Sun. Otherwise, Sun > Hail.
I love the fact we're doing a weather mon, will be fun.

1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?
As long as I could remember, Rain has stood above other weathers for a while. Personally I will look at Post-Swift Swim + Drizzle Ban Gen 5 Rain, Gen 6 Rain, and Gen 7 Rain as they were all very different but still prevailed over other weathers. In Gen 5, after Swift Swim and Drizzle together got banned, Rain was still used tremendously. Abusers in this time didn't need the speed boost, because of moves like Hurricane and Thunder which got buffed to 100% accuracy in rain. Not to mention even some mons utilized the Water Moves boost to hit more mons, such as Surf on Latios. Not to mention this would turn Ferrothorn into a bulky monster, utilizing the fact that fire moves do less. Due to this, HP Fire mons weren't as big as an issue. This shows that even without Swift Swim Abusers, the utilization of Thunder, Hurricane, Water Coverage, and having Fire be weaker made it prevail. A side note that Rain helps Hurricane and Thunder hit more, with Flying and Electric being fantastic offensive typings, while Sun has Solar Beam. And Grass coverage isn't very great most of the time (And Sand has nothing). In Gen 6, arguably the worst time for Rain in the past 3 gens, we had 8 Turn Rain (assuming Damp Rock), Politoed as our setter, and Mega Swampert + Kingdra as our main abusers. This Rain was under utilized and used a lot less. It had great match-ups but it was considered a "Gimmick". It was almost like how Sun is in RU right now; it's a Gimmick in RU. Viable, yes, usable, yes, but a Gimmick due to how it was used and the holes it has. In Gen 6, it was mediocre due to Politoed being a shit setter and the abusers being less viable; not to mention Mega Swampert didn't get Swift Swim the first turn it mega evolved. Now in Gen 7, Rain is a monster. Most typical teams having Swampert and Kingdra/Volkraken as the abusers, with a nice Ferrothorn/Mega Scizor in there for Spikes/Stealth Rock or Defog respectively, Pelipper to set the Rain, Koko to abuse 100% Thunders and momentum for the abusers, and the last slot could be Mollux, Hawlucha, etc. Usually if opting for Mega Scizor over Ferrothorn you would choose Mollux, but Mega Scizor Rain is less common than Ferrothorn rain, so there is less to touch on. This is very usable and viable for many reasons, such as Pelipper being an amazing setter with access to Defog, U-Turn, Hurricane, Roost, and actually has multiple sets compared to Gen 6 Politoed. This can range from hard hitting Specs, to fast U-Turn Scarf, or just regular Damp Rock Bulky Pelipper with U-Turn, Defog, Hurricane/Scald, Roost/Scald/Hurricane. All sets can bring Momentum and Rain to the other Abusers, not to mention there's a counter to it's huge electric weakness in the back, in Mega Swampert. Mega Swampert can break and run through Offensive Teams easily, and versus Defensive Teams it can clean when everything is weakened. Not to mention Specs Volkraken in Rain has legit no counters, and is easily capable of breaking defensive teams. Kingdra can do this too, but less effectively. This Rain is effective compared to Gen 6 cause it can reliably set up rain more and be more effective with its Abusers. All 3 of these have viable abusers that not only have an ability increasing their speed in this weather, but get boosts to their STABs. Hail and Sandstorm provide no boost to any STABs, and Sun has no Chlorophyll users that has Fire as one of their STABs.

2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?
An Abstract Abuse of weather that comes to mind was in Early USUM, in both CAP and OU, where Tyranitar would abuse the Sand, raising its SpD by 50%, while holding an Assault Vest, raising it by another 50%, to counter various Special Attackers, such as Naganadel, Blacephalon, Gengar, etc. This would later become a staple on many teams as not just their Naganadel check, but a wall to various Special Attackers. This utilized the 50% Buff to SpD on Rock Types that is provided by Sand to its fullest ability; something that isn't seen often. Another example of an abstract abuse of weather was Victreebell, where when paired in Sun it would utilize the weather to turn its Weather Ball into a 100 Base Power Fire Move and it would have its Growth buffed, where its offensive stats would get raised by +2 instead of +1.

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?
I believe the worst weather is Sun; this is due to the lack of good abusers. In Rain, Kingdra can run Specs Hydro Pump because not a lot of types resisted Water; and if it did, it didn't want to take it in Rain. In Sun, one of its main Chlorophyll Abusers, Venusaur, does not get a buff to its STABs from Sun. This is not even mentioning the fact that Grass + Poison are terrible STABs, walled by 2 types single handedly. The only real notable abusers of sun are Zard-Y, which sets up sun itself, and Mega Houndoom, which was (temporarily) banned from UU due to its power in Sun, later getting Sun banned from UU, and Mega Houndoom has great offense due to Nasty Plot, Solar Power, and Sun-Boosted Fire Blasts, but is too frail and worn down too easily for it to have any major success.

THE BEST WEATHER IS FUCKING HAIL. People say it's Sand. Many say it's Sand. Because of Tyranitar/Hippowdon + Excadrill. 2 Great Setters, One Abuser. Hail only has one true setter; Alolan Ninetales; but it has a MASSIVE amount of Abusers. This ranges from Mega Mawile to Conkeldurr to Manaphy. Under Aurora Veil, WHICH IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN HAIL, anything can become an Abuser. We've seen plenty of Aurora Veil teams in OU/CAP, some ranging to Conkeldurr, a near unviable mon, and makes it great. Aurora Veil has turned BL Mons into OU Mons; such as Manaphy. Aurora Veil was such a huge part of the meta that Alolan Ninetales was OU for many months; and it was BANNED from UU, SOLELY off of Aurora Veil. Any Set-Up Mon can be an Abuser in Hail, ANY Hard Hitter can be an Abuser in Hail, this weather ranges from anything to everything. This weather truly is a work of art, and it truly is the best weather to hit the metagame.

4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?
Weather Ball. I just want a viable mon with Weather Ball. This would be especially useful if it was viable in multiple weathers. It can be exploited by preventing the weather from coming up which turns Weather Ball into a dead 50 Base Power Normal-Type Move.


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1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?

Rain is the strongest weather for a few reasons: it has a solid weather setter and can be abused both offensively and defensively. Pelipper is an extremely underrated Pokemon; it has just enough defensive power to take hits, abuses the great resistances and immunity that the Flying type gives it, and hits like a truck with Rain-boosted Hydro Pumps and perfect-accuracy Hurricanes. Most significantly, it is the only weather setter not named Hippowdon to have reliable recovery and one of only two (Malaconda) to get access to U-Turn. And even more so, Pelipper switches into most other weather setters fine! Pelipper shuts down Mega Charizard Y, can usually come into Malaconda in a pinch, and shuts Hippowdon down. Switching Pelipper into Tyranitar isn't exactly a smart play, but Pelipper is faster than Tyranitar and forces it out. This comes into play more often than one would think given how often Tyranitar Choice-locks itself into Pursuit.

Rain can be abused in so many different ways it's easy to lose count; it buffs Water-type moves, gives Thunder and Hurricane perfect accuracy, and weakens opposing Fire-type moves. The best Rain sweeper in the tier, Mega Swampert, is an absolute nightmare to deal with. Excadrill is the only other viable "Weather Speed Boost Ability", and it doesn't hold a candle to Mega Swampert since the CAP metagame is so cruel to it. Excadrill is often a worse Colossoil, and the presence of bulky Pokemon such as Colossoil and Tomohawk render Excadrill much weaker than Mega Swampert. But even if Mega Swampert wasn't around, Rain wouldn't miss a beat. Tapu Koko can start bombing off Thunders instead of Thunderbolts under Rain. Tomohawk and Tornadus-Therian can click Hurricane and watch destruction unfold. It's more rare nowadays, but let's not forget Volcarona even fitting on Rain teams for the extra resistance and perfect-accuracy Hurricanes. No other weather can really boast the diversity of Pokemon that benefit it. Sun primarily benefits Fire and Grass type Pokemon. Sand really only benefits Rock-types and Excadrill. Hail exists solely as a conduit for Aurora Veil. But Rain? Water-types like it. Electric-types like it. Flying-types like it. Even Ferrothorn and Mega Scizor like it because they're bulky enough to take 2x-super effective Fire moves.

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

This depends on whether you mean "in theory" or "in practice". In practice, no other weather has entire teams built around it. There are no "sun teams" in Gen 7 because the only viable weather setter is Mega Charizard Y who can't abuse Heat Rock. If you consider any team with a Tyranitar and Excadrill a "Sand Offense Team", then I guess Sand has some decent options (that are heavily weakened in the CAP metagame by virtue of a certain hawk-like Pokemon). Hail teams have one viable option: Aurora Veil. A competent Slush Rusher might fit well on an Aurora Veil team as well.

Sand and Hail have a higher potential than Sun, IMO. Sand has the best weather setter in the tier (Tyranitar) but not much can take advantage of Sand offensively. Sand Rush granting an immunity to Sandstorm damage (even if the Pokemon is not a Rock, Ground, or Steel-type) gives us a lot of room to play with.

Hail suffers from Alolan Ninetales not being all that great and the rise of Tyranitar. It's harder for Ninetales to get the Aurora Veil up when the opponent is likely to have a Pokemon that will shut Ninetales down and possibly also set up Stealth Rock against it. For Hail to be improved, it needs to be stronger against Tyranitar/Sand. Other than that, every offensive Pokemon in the tier can benefit from Aurora Veil.
Warning: this opinion may not be entirely accurate; if so, feel free to correct me. Ivan always edit this post (if only to answer more questions).

1) Lesee, how could rain possibly be so powerful...
-Boosting what is frankly one of the strongest types in the game? Check.
-More flexibility, not the least due to A) Not damaging teammates that aren't a certain type, B) Not amplifying a glaring weakness of most of its prominent abusers, and C) Giving boosts to other moves other than its own type? Check.
-Way, way more good and/or diverse abusers than all the other weathers, possibly even combined, even after it's best strategy gets banned? Checkemundo.
-A type advantage, either in the form of resistances and/or super-effectiveness, over every other weather? Checkisimo maximusisimo.

There's likely more, but I can edit those points in later. Also, it's probably worth nothing that Volcarona, one of the premiere Sun users (at least IMO), has a perfectly viable Rain set in at least one metagame. Let that sink in.

3) In my mind at least, the weather hierarchy has always been Rain>Sand>Sun>Hail.

Sand has always had Tyranitar, arguably the best of the weather setters and the first one ever. Gen 4 gave another out in the form of Hippowdon, and both of these are OU viable to this day. Additionally, Sand gives out something the others don't - a star boost, specifically a(n often sorely needed) 50% SpDef boost to Rock-types. It also has Excadrill, which at one point was outright banned for letting Sand walk over everything else. Steel-types, among the best defensive types, can be out in the sand without suffering adverse effects. There may be more reasons, but it's easy to see why Sand has always been a solid second.

Sun suffers from a myriad of problems. Many of its prominent abusers suffer from a Fire-type weakness... which is boosted under Sun. Most of said abusers are also barely viable, if even that, outside of that. At least it's had Mega Zard-Y since Gen 6, which is awesome even in its own right.

And then there's Hail. Hail is a joke, and not a funny one, just honestly kinda sad. The only Pokémon to benefit from it are Ice-types, arguably the worst defensive types in the game. Any Pokémon that isn't Ice gets chip damage, which sounds good on paper, but severely restricts team-building in practice. Even among the Ice-types, viable abusers of Hail are few and far between. Up until this gen, the best/only Hail setter was Abomasnow, which was often only barely viable for that reason alone. Hell, I'm thinking if it weren't for Aurora Veil - and even then if one of the Hail setters hadn't gotten it - Hail would be completely unviable in Gen 7. Also, the other weathers completely stomp on Ice-types.


the pastor of disaster
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1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?

Sereg's answer to this question is already excellent and very comprehensive, so I'll mostly add the comparison to Sand, Hail and Sun and demonstrate how each is inferior.

As Sereg pointed out, Rain boosts Water damage directly, and the actually of two differently typed powerful attacks. What makes this great is that it is extremely pro-active; the fact that Weather teams all run on a timer requires them to be fast-paced by nature, and boosting damage is therefore a much better affect that Sand's SpD boost, this is dependent on the enemy using special attacks and at any rate doesn't help you kill the enemy faster, which is what you want Weather to do. In addition, Rain doesn't damage off-typed Pokemon on your team the way Sand and Hail do.

The biggest difference between the Weather is in quality of abusers, however, which brings be to the next question.

2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?

"Abusing" Weather is something we had better define now. Does it just mean, "benefiting from the effects of Weather"? If so, every Steel, Rock and Ground type is a Sand abuser, since they take no Sand damage while the enemy may. This sounds like a trivial example, but it raises the question of what constitutes a Weather team, especially for Hail. If Pokemon that benefit from Aurora Veil are Hail abusers, then that includes everything other than Shedinja. If we mean only Pokemon that benefit from a weather ability or a STAB boosted move affected by weather, there are far fewer abusers in general (like Scizor on Rain). In other words, there are degrees of Weather abuse, and figuring out the degree we want for each weather is important. Any Ground type by definition benefits somewhat from Sand (no Sand damage), Hail (Aurora Veil) and Sun (reduced Water damage), but we are almost certainly looking for more.

Rain has the best abusers in that they have the right STAB to get both Swift Swim and a damage boost simultaneously, while there are no Chlorophyll Fire types or Sand Rush Rock types. Slush Rush has no good users at all. Rain and Sun have a huge advantage in the tactical nuke which is Specs Volkraken.

Repeating type weaknesses is something we have to watch for especially; it is extremely easy to end up with a Sun team with two Grass types, two Fire types, and zero Zygarde counters, for instance.

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

Hail is by far the best Weather after Rain, because Aurora Veil is that good. It's terrible if you try to build a whole "Hail team", though, because the base effects of Hail are too marginal.

Sand is the worst Weather, even though (Mega) Tyranitar is the best Weather setter by a mile. Repeated weaknesses to Water/Grass/Ice and especially the presence of Tomohawk are a lot for Sand to overcome. Threats like Syclant and Protean Greninja can really put big pressure on Sand teams.

4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?

Aside from Weather Ball, which has been mentioned by others, I feel Weather effects have mostly been explored.


Master Procraster
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1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?

I think the thing that actually seperates Rain as the best one is simply the mons that can use it. Pelipper has a large number of tools that can really sustain itself throughout a match and set more reliably, and is generally a much more viable mon than Torkoal, Ninetales (both), Hippowdon, and Vanilluxe. Tyranitar does technically set Sand reliably due to Sand Stream, but it usually doesn't focus on actually being a reliable setter as much as Pelipper does, as it would rather be using its other traits to be an attacker or just straight up Mega Evolve, and besides its not actually very good in CAP anyways. Rain also has a lot more things that it can benefit due to its effect, such as giving Hurricane and Thunder perfect accuracy as well as boosting water type moves. All three of the other weathers certainly do give benefits for use, but not to the extent of Rain. Finally, I think that Rain just has a lot more viable users. Sure, MegaZard Y does exist and can Fire Blast almost anything into a pile of ash, but it doesn't really have a mutualistic relationship with the abusers like Pelipper does. The combination of Pelipper and Mega Swampert is straight up formidable in the correct playing hands, and thats not even accounting for stuff that reaps its other benefits like Ferrothorn, Scizor, and Kingdra.

While there is a lot of stuff, I would still probably say that the biggest reason why its so successful as a weather would be its setter being easy to use, sustainable, and actually works well with the mons using it.

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

For the worst weather, I would put Sand. Its setters are incredibly unviable in the current CAP meta, with Tyranitar suffering due to a terrible typing while Hippowdon is simply not used due to the prevalence of Colossoil and its passivity in battle. It also has a lot less cool effects compared to the other abilities, with the major noteworthy affect being that chip damage, which ironically is stopped a number of checks for common sand mons like Excadrill, and the special defense boost for Rock types, which only really benefits tTyranitar and rock is a terrible typing defensively in CAP anyways, especially since a number of its weaknesses have pokemon with both physical and special biases.

I'd agree with reach and say that Hail is actually a lot better than people actually believe it is, especially with a bit more embrace in Gen 7 with Slush Rush and Aurora Veil. Slush Rush is finally the speed boosting ability Hail has been asking for since its inception, and means that hail can finally be taken with a more offensive utilization, since Snow Cloak is banned and Ice Body is pretty meh. The only thing stopping it currently is bad distribution. We already know how spectacular Aurora Veil is with Hail setters, as it only requires one turn to setup and has a lot lower risk with the advent of more Snow Warning users. Its so good its been straight up banned in the lower tiers, so a pokemon that could actually use it would likely be really successful.

4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?

Weather Ball is automatically the one that comes to mind when thinking about this stuff, since it is already a very good coverage move on some abusers like Victreebel I guess. As well as combining with STAB, it can be a very hard hitting move. Only issue is that opposing teams could use different weathers to alter the attack before it comes, usually forcing a switch unless it has a setting move itself.
1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?

while rain was always the best weather since gen 5, it's pretty telling that the moment gen 6 came around with weather abilities having a limited number of turns to work with, almost every weather playstyle disappeared for a while. up until that point, weather abusers could be played in far more ways than simple bulky offense, allowing for stall and balance to shine, but by having a limited number of turns to work with, the only feasible playstyles require players to build under the assumption that you have to do something big for every turn given to you. to this end, the only weather one can feasibly build a team around is rain, not solely because its the only one with a fantastic setter (though it definitely helps), but because rain is the only weather that can take full offensive advantage of the few turns it allows.

even before taking into account how varied its teambuilding options are, rain has so many viable advantages going for it on a pure mechanical level. it boosts water-type moves, it lets anyone with swift swim outspeed almost the entire metagame, it turns hurricane and thunder from powerful but inconsistent to immediately spammable, it can boost the bulk of grass, steel and bug types by weakening fire type attacks... all of these things are advantages that can be immediately taken advantage of, and being able to not just boost water, but also give advantages to so many other types, allows for so many options that balancing out rain teams is pretty simple.

then you get to any other weather, and... there isn't much.

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?
(for the sake of having this post pace correctly, i saved question 2 for last)

sand's technically the best of the three, but its main thing doesn't really promote abusers, so much as it just promotes the setter to have a bit more bulk and/or give some extra chip damage, with its one good abuser, excadrill, mostly existing because it's already a good pokemon without the speed boost (and even then, it doesn't like losing mold breaker). pokemon like mega-garchomp having sand force sounds neat in theory, but the fact that it only really boosts the same three types that sand's always benefited means even that's as limited as ever. ultimately, even it's the strongest outside of rain, i'd say that sand has the least potential simply because it limits itself too hard.

hail's problem is mostly that modern day "hail teams" aren't really hail teams, so much as they are aurora veil teams. aurora veil is a pretty solid move, but teams built around it don't really pass as any sort of traditional hail team. as a nice side effect of this, however, hail arguably has the most potential, as a true hail abuser that can also make good use of aurora veil can offset the typing weaknesses that older hail abusers had by having so much overall bulk.

sun boosts fire type attacks... and then it lets pokemon that are weak to fire type attacks have more speed. so whereas rain complements many different typings that can be helped by it, sun complements exactly one other typing, and that typing is immensely weak to the one thing sun boosts. it doesn't exactly take too long to figure out why sun's the worst kind of weather to to teambuild, to say the least, but thankfully it's an issue that isn't too hard for CAP24 to potentially fix.

4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?

something i'd want to emphasize hard here is the importance of manually setting weather. one problem we're going to run into is the same problem with every other partner-focused CAP, because once you get down to it there's realistically one good setter for each weather type, and we don't know if those setters will be good enough in the future. allowing wiggle room for manual weather to shine helps ease it away from that, so it can still function on its own.

beyond this, though, there's not much that wasn't already discussed, so i'll try to poke at any that hasn't been talked about.

-sand veil and snow cloak are a hard pass, since making those abilities viable would most likely result in a pokemon with massively compromised competitive integrity
-ice body heals in very small amounts, which was fine when weather lasted forever but is terrible when you only get, at most, half your health back, after over eight turns
-solar power could be nifty, but it pushes us even further down the glass cannon problem that sun already has
-growth has only ever really been used as a sun-required nasty plot at best, but the fact that you're getting a swords dance and a nasty plot all in one turn hasn't really been explored fully, and has the potential for some nifty mixed sets
-slush rush, chlorophyll and sand rush would definitely be great, but IMO they shouldn't be allowed if only because there's nothing to learn from them. weather is good when it makes slow, bulky pokemon into fast bulky pokemon, there's nothing here that would truly educate us in any meaningful way
-flower gift is an absolutely golden ability that's been hidden off from its true potential due to it being attached to a trash pokemon, and it fits that potential bulky offensive that you want in a weather abuser. it also has the nice feature of being the exact opposite of the usual speed-boosting suspects, since rather than making a bulky, powerful pokemon fast, we could use the ability to instead add that power and defensive bulk and have the pokemon naturally have some other strength on top of that

2.) Can you think of any examples of abstract abuse of weathers?

this is a super vague question so it could mean a whole bunch of things, but i'm going to go with the idea that this is referring to "weather abusers" that don't take advantage of the weather itself, but still have great chemistry with weather teams. if you ever look at BW teams nowadays, a generation where all speed-boosting weather abilities are limited by ruleset, you'll catch a lot of pokemon that function a lot like this, with teams like this very recent sun team only having two abusers, and instead is built around the last three slots (dugtrio, forretress and dragonite) covering any problems those two abusers might run into.

another example of this in the current generation is hawlucha; the only reason hawlucha would ever exist on rain is because tapu koko's electric-terrain boosted, 100% accurate thunder is something that's very much appreciated on rain teams, and by holding an electric seed with unburden, it gets a defense and speed raise all at once. it never abuses rain directly, no, but it's so immensely good at snowballing and sweeping opponents that it lets you focus more on using your other rain abusers for pure wallbreaking potential, and you probably already want tapu koko on your rain team, so why not?

to me, this is a really good concept to float around when building CAP24. a lot of these weather options have the severe flaw that you might not be able to make full weather teams with just one new pokemon on its own (especially if we're limited to building around one or two viable setters), but if we could manage to have it fit into so many strong cores that other pokemon will naturally be able to fit into these other weather playstyles, then we could very easily make a pokemon that can hold these weather types on its back.
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1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?

As several people said, Rain benefits from having a big number of abusers and a good number of them doesn't rely of them to be threatening on their own right ( Ferro, Koko, Ash-Gren...). Morever, the CAP metagame is very kind to it since it adds many Pokemon which help and potentially abuse Rain like Tomohawk with Prankster and its accurate Hurricane, Mollux with Dry Skin and its typing which helps against Grass Types like Ferro, Bulu and Tang which are often annoying for Rain teams and to a lesser extent Krilowatt, Cyclohm and even Cawmodore who loses its only weakness under Rain... Plus, when you try to fully abuse a weather, you'll choose several Pokemon with a typing in common (Water in this case), but Pelipper, Swampert-M and Kindgra don't share a single weakness. The Water typing being pretty good defensively, covering its weaknesses, especially the Grass one, isn't hard at all. There are numerous way to abuse Rain (Thunder, Hurricane, Fire type being soften...) without having to stack Water types if you really want to avoid this.

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?

It's pretty hard for me to rank them, but I think Veil teams are better than dedicated TSS teams in my opinion, so... :

I think Hail takes the second place since Aurora Veil is pretty great. On one hand, Ninetales-A certainly likes Tyranitar being less common, but on the other hand, Set-Up sweepers commonly seen on Veil Team like Zygarde really dislike the popularity of Haezhawk and Arghonaut, but these are far from being a full stop to every set-up sweepers since Gyarados, Pinsir and Magearna among many others give them trouble. The CAP metagame also includes very dangerous Set-up sweepers like Aurumoth or Shell Smash Necturna too.

The third one would be Sandstream because of having two setter in Tyranitar and Hippodown which are viable in their own, although facing huge competition from Colossoil in CAP. They also benefit from having viables abusers like Excadrill and to a lesser extent Chomp-Mega, btu the fact every Pokemon mentionned struggles against the omnipresent Tomohawk is pretty disappointing.

The last one would be Sun in my opinion even though Zard-Y is better in CAP than in OU due to the popularity of Arghonaut, the main competitor to Toxapex and an even larger choice of Spinner, but it's still not that great in my opinion because I think that Volkraken, Heatran, Volcarona and Blacephalon are better offensive Fire types. The fact that Zard-Y can't hold an Heat Rock mean making a dedicated Sun team around it is almost impossible. CAP also have another niche setter in Malaconda, but unlike Rain, it's pretty difficult to have a good type synergy in a Sun team since most Sun abusers are either Fire or Grass types.
1.) Rain is the best weather in our metagame currently, what makes it so strong in comparison to the other weathers?
-Boost the damage of one of the best offensive and defensive types in the game.
-Rain have can play it as offensive with Swift Swim and defensive with hydration and rain dish/dry skin
-Can help to not water types pokemon only. Can help electric types with 100% accuracy same with flying type with hurricane but most notable can help pokemon that are weak to fire like ferrothorn or thangrowth. so in resume rain helps in total 5 types which are steel, water, electric, grass and flying and for 4 those types are really good in cap with the exception of grass which is decent but not great

3.) Competitively, what do you think is the best and worst weather, outside of Rain, and why?
That is hard to question for answer all weathers are good Sun can deal a ton of damage and can help to pokemon who are bulkier like chlorophyll venusaur, pyroak wall better and Malaconda as a setter and abuser. the main issue with sun is the lack of good setters the only good setter is charizad y and malaconda. Sand in other hand is really good but it only has one style which offense and is more easy to predict which pokemon will be the partner of course mega garchomp and excadrill. and aren't that good when you have bulu + clychomh core. Now Hail with aurora veil got really good making any set-up sweeper like KKirby said before. and the big problem of Hail is just had only ONE really good abuser with the ice type which is sandslash alolan.

In conclution: sun is the second worst beacuse it have a variete of abuser mostly bulkies and offensives
Sand is the worst weather imo because is really countereable with bulu and it has only physical abuser which are garchomp and excadrill which are easily countereable by defensive tomohawk and cyclohm + bulu core. and Sand don't give the boost of damage or accuracy
Hail imo is the best outside mostly because of the ability to make any set up pokemon a monster like aurumoth and the damage that hail does help to break sash and sturdy.
4.) Are there any underutilised weather mechanics worth noting in this process? Do you think they're exploitable?

Something I don't think I've seen mentioned is that Pokemon with the abilities Ice Body, Sand Force, Sand Rush, Sand Veil, and Snow Cloak don't take any damage from Sand/Hail (depending on which ability) regardless of type. Stoutland in particular has used this to its benefit in some metas, being able to run Sand Rush to make it a powerful cleaner without having to worry about additional chip damage. I feel that this is important to mention because it means we do not have to make our CAP the Ice type to benefit from hail, nor a Ground/Rock/Steel type to benefit from sand. For example a CAPmon that wants to use Earthquake as a STABless coverage move could benefit from the boost provided by Sand Force. Something important to note is that Slush Rush does not share this interaction.
I think first of all that the passive 50% damage boost of rain (and sun) is the fundamental basis of good weather. Sand has a comparable, though far narrower and less impactful, effect in the 50% special bulk increase for rock types. Hail of course has no corresponding buff. This means the opportunity cost of using sand/hail rather than rain/sun must be compensated for in a competitive team, which sand can realistically do to an extent. Hail of course cannot outside of Aurora Veil.

Secondly, to use this passive effect of sand you must be a rock type. This obviously restricts the scope of the weather's passive benefit to a small slice of any tier, let alone any given team. (This point can also extend to hail - only ice types learn Aurora Veil, and summoning hail to make a non-ice pokemon's non-STAB Blizzard 100% accurate is clearly not worth the hassle. Especially when that pokemon will presumably also be experiencing the negative effect of hail damage). Rain due to its many interactions, does not require that you be a water type, carry a water move, have an ability triggered by rain, or any such restrictive factor to benefit from it. Rain interacts with any pokemon that is likely to be using or receiving a water or fire attack which is a very general phenomenon. So it has many innovative passive applications such as making Ferrothorn resilient to Magnezone's HP Fire and thus harder to trap, which a weather such as Hail simply does not have in the locker.

IDK if this is what you mean, but Jirachi in the past has been a good example of a pokemon that looks like it should have nothing to do with rain, but with small tweaks (running Thunder instead of Body Slam, Water Pulse instead of a coverage move, and of course passively being rid of its fire weakness) suddenly looks very much at home in the rain. That kind of thing won't be too relevant to the CAP since you're shaping the pokemon for the weather from the get go. It just highlights how difficult this will be to actually achieve with Sand/Hail without rehashing something else, since they have far fewer unique interactions.

TLDR; Hail, and sand to a lesser extent, are very one dimensional and underpowered weathers that only interact with a small number of moves and abilities. As such it will be very difficult to design something to abuse them without rehashing something else, or designing new moves or abilities from scratch for those weathers to interact with.
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