CAP 24 CAP 24 - Part 4 - Primary and Secondary Ability Discussion

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Quanyails

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Now that we have our list of Pokemon to target, we will be moving on to abilities! The following stage will differ slightly from prior CAP processes. Pay close attention to our topic leader, Drew. Follow the rules in the opening post carefully, and do not suggest specific abilities until Drew allows it.

Some general rules for this discussion:
  • Custom abilities are banned. No exceptions. Posts suggesting custom abilities will be deleted.
  • There are ability banlists for the different stages of ability discussion. Posts suggesting banned abilities will be deleted.
  • Flavor abilities do not have any place in this thread. Do not bring up flavor reasoning. Posts that rely on flavor reasoning will be deleted.
The following abilities are banned from this discussion:
Air Lock
Aura Break
Bad Dreams
Battle Bond
Color Change
Dark Aura
Defeatist
Delta Stream
Desolate Land
Disguise
Fairy Aura
Flower Gift
Forecast
Full Metal Body
Fur Coat
Huge Power
Illusion
Imposter
Moody
Multitype
Neuroforce
Parental Bond
Power Construct
Primordial Sea
Prism Armor
Protean
Pure Power
RKS System
Schooling
Shadow Shield
Shadow Tag
Shields Down
Slow Start
Soul Heart
Stance Change
Teravolt
Truant
Turboblaze
Victory Star
Water Bubble
Wonder Guard
Zen Mode

Battery
Big Pecks
Friend Guard
Healer
Honey Gather
Illuminate
Pickup
Power of Alchemy
Receiver
Run Away
Symbiosis
Telepathy


Air Lock
Aura Break
Bad Dreams
Battle Bond
Color Change
Dark Aura
Defeatist
Delta Stream
Desolate Land
Disguise
Fairy Aura
Flower Gift
Forecast
Full Metal Body
Fur Coat
Huge Power
Illusion
Imposter
Moody
Multitype
Parental Bond
Power Construct
Primordial Sea
Prism Armor
Protean
Pure Power
RKS System
Schooling
Shadow Shield
Shadow Tag
Shields Down
Slow Start
Stance Change
Teravolt
Truant
Turboblaze
Victory Star
Water Bubble
Wonder Guard
Zen Mode

Arena Trap
Beast Boost
Comatose
Drizzle
Drought
Electric Surge
Fluffy
Grassy Surge
Innards Out
Magic Bounce
Magic Guard
Misty Surge
Prankster
Psychic Surge
Sand Stream
Snow Warning
Speed Boost
Stamina
Triage

Battery
Big Pecks
Friend Guard
Healer
Honey Gather
Illuminate
Pickup
Power of Alchemy
Receiver
Run Away
Symbiosis
Telepathy


------------------

CAP 24 so far

Topic Leader: Drapionswing

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

Concept
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.
Typing: Grass/Fairy

Threatlist said:
Pokemon we want to beat:

Sun:
Heatran, Blacephalon, Crawdaunt, Mega Latios, Pajantom, Zygarde,

Sand:
Heatran, Landorus-T, Tapu Bulu, Tomohawk


Pokemon we want to pressure/threaten:
Mega Mawille, Mega Charizard X, Cawmodore, Ash Greninja, Kartana, Marowak-Alola, Celesteela

Pokemon we want to check Cap24:
Fire-Types: Mega Charizard Y, Volcarona, Marowak-Alola, Pyroak(Sand)
Steel Types: Mega Scizor, Excadrill, Magearna
Poison Types: Plasmanta, Fidgit, Mollux, Crucibelle, Mega Crucibelle
Priority Users: Kitsunoh, Mega Pinsir, Mega Scizor, Syclant, Cawmodore
Other: Mega Alakazam
Special Wall: Chansey

Pokemon we want to counter Cap24:
Mega Venusaur
Pyroak(Sun)
Toxapex
 
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With our checks, counters, and threats decided, we move onto abilities!

There has already been a bit of discussion on the direction we should go with in regards to CAP 24, so hopefully we'll have some good discussion. This CAP is particularly reliant on an ability due to the nature of weather abusing, but I do not think the only options are direct abuse. Our typing leaves us weak to quite a few Pokemon that we'd like to threaten or check, so I think now is the time to patch up some of CAP24's holes. As a note, both primary and secondary abilities will be done at the same time, and depending on how discussion goes there may be one or two polls. And thus, here are the first set of questions:

1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?
 

snake_rattler

Bold to assume that I won't have the last laugh...
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2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?

Sun teams, without a doubt, would love speed control. Yes, speed control can be accomplished with moves, but then you have to sacrifice a coverage move to actually use that speed control move and find opportunities to use it. I think the ability stage is the perfect place to address Sun teams' speed control needs. Sun definitely does not need more wallbreakers though. Volkraken and Heatran already fill this department pretty well.

Sand would very much appreciate a wallbreaking ability. Whether or not it takes direct advantage of Sand, I think that's a toss-up. Not many of the Sand abilities really complement Grass / Fairy all that well, so I'd be interested to see what non-weather abilities can be used under Sand and perhaps under non-weather as well.
 

S. Court

[Takes hits in Spanish]
is a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

As it's been said during this process, Sun needs a good speed control tool, so an ability can grant us more speed by any ways will be appreciated for those teams.

On the other side, we have Sand teams, who need a wallbreaker can deal with the mentioned threads, so an ability can increase the overall damage output of some of CAP 24's moves could be useful.

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?

I think it's neccesary for Sun teams but no for Sand teams, because -at least in my opinion- if we give a speed control tool for Sand which lets it act as a wallbreaker as well, we might be giving too much advantage to Sand teams.

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

As it has been discused in Concept Assessment, CAP24 should have a niche outside weather, so I think making it can work as a wallbreaker even outside weather would be useful for CAP24.

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?

It depends, if CAP24 needs to outspace some of the Sun team's intended targets, yes, it'd need a ability to threaten them. Otherwise I'd say it's not needed at all. But for Sand teams I don't see the need an ability that it specifically needed to break our intended targets.
 
3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

No, I think this would be a terrible idea. This stage is the best one to cement our place in Sun/Sand teams, because If we give CAP 24 a non weather-based ability, then we'll be dependent on weather-based moves (which are almost all unreliable) and team synergy with existing abusers. CAP has shown to have a terrible record with partner concept, and after this stage there will be very few ways to prevent CAP 24 from falling on the same traps as those past projects. If for some reason we choose this path, it should be very important to ask: Why would I choose the already underwhelming weather mons such as Excadrill, Malaconda and Tyranitar as CAP 24 teammates instead of more generically good options?

I'll cover the rest of the questions later.
 
3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

I agree wholeheartedly with Snake's post about the state of Sand's wallbreaking power. Any ability it receives, unless it's Sand Force, will have an impact outside of the weather for it's wallbreaking capabilities. It seems quite counter-intuitive to even give it sand force in the first place, as it would potentially buff Ground type moves, allowing us to take out Poison and Steel type 'mons with ground coverage, such as Magearna, Fidgit, and even potentially Pyroak. The problem with this again, is the balancing factor; if the ability is too good it will be used more and more outside of weather, and if it's not good enough Sand will never become viable. But, to me, it seems almost natural that as a wallbreaking ability, it would function outside of weather.
 
Sun absolutely needs speed control from CAP24. As to not get into trouble, I won’t name anything, but we all know what ability this is gonna get. I frankly am in love with it. It’s obvious, but there isn’t a whole lot of other options to speed control.

For Sand, I would argue that while it may not seem like it at first, abilities that increase longevity also help us with wallbreaking (Snek, Dogfish and Wulf know what I’m talking about). If we can stay alive longer, we get more time to break walls, meaning we don’t have to go insanely powerful with our special attack. I’m just saying that abilities that don’t directly boost our offenses still aid in wallbreaking, even if indirectly (Again, people on the Discord server know what I’m referring to).

For the worry of abilities being out of weather, I think a good comparison for what we want is Hawlucha. Unburden of course is amazing out of weather. However, despite it not directly aiding Rain, it finds a place on it for pairing with Tapu Koko well and, more importantly for us, helping to break things that wall rain. Of course, Unburden is dumb for this, but an ability that works out of weather can still find a place on weather.
 
1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

I don’t think I need to explain the lack of speed control sun teams possess since this topic was previously beaten to death.

The real question arises when it comes to sand teams. The typing we selected was picked based around the necessity for better defensive answers to threats that plague both weathers. We are 100% capable of building a strong offensive mon capable of wall-breaking while still giving it more defensive potential. I believe giving CAP24 an ability that will support its longevity is most beneficial. Abilities that can make it take hits better or for longer are most optimal. This way, CAP24 can stay on its feet longer and deal more solid damage. An ability that supports longevity will also help mitigate the worry about residual sand damage. While a sand specific ability is cool, I believe we should look at other possibilities to avoid making CAP24 a niche pick.

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather?

I think making CAP24 specialize one of each ability for each weather is the way to go. I can’t even begin to think of an ability that can help satisfy the needs of both weather at the same time. I think using both abilities to satisfy our needs gives us some well needed breathing room

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

Yes. while our object was to create a weather Pokémon, it shifted more in favor of creating a better weather support. I’m a strong proponent for users being allowed to use a Pokémon the way THEY want, so we should not limit its use only to weather teams. CAP24 should be able to thrive outside of weather. If we don’t allow this to happen, we risk creating Pokémon that will rarely see the light of day because it is a niche pick.

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?

No. Some abilities can help break through threats indirectly. Like I said before, an ability that can help with CAP24’s survivability can do this. If CAP24 can take more hits, it can deal more damage, and, in turn, still break through its threats.
 
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3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?
In my opinion, no. No in big letters written on the side of a French building in muddy wine (Ha, literature references). Though, in all honesty, I don't draw that allusion in pure jest. From my point of view, there is no reason, since our typing helps us act as a weather support, to further augment that role. Giving CAP24 a strong, non-weather ability does exactly the opposite of what we want it to do. It incentivizes the main use of this CAP to be outside of weather. Whether or not you see this CAP as a weather support or weather abuser, you MUST agree that use outside of weather does not help either of those roles get filled. As such, giving this a very strong, generically good ability that isn't specifically pinpointing the ability to overcome obstacles for weather teams is contradictory to the entire purpose of this CAP. As such, I will humbly posit here as well that, while we agreed previously there should be functionality for CAP24 outside of weather, this doesn't mean we have to dedicate an entire ability slot to making it achieve that (But more on that later).

Consider the following: One weather-specific ability, one ability that isn't tied to weather, but helps the other weather not addressed by Ability 1 directly deal with some of its more egregious checks we don't feel confident can be dealt with in movepool alone. I think there's a key point we need to consider here. There are non-weather abilities that aren't just overtly, obviously, and obnoxiously good that will work here. Slapping on an ability that is generically good and justifying it by saying, "Well it helps weather by just being a good ability," in my view, is just lazy design, and I know that isn't what anyone is here is aiming to achieve.

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?
No... However, I dislike the mindset this question kind of sets up. Do we 100% have to give it this type of ability to make it a good mon? By no means. Yet, this may still be a path we want to consider. There are abilities that can help overcome checks in addition to being useful in other niche situations. For example, and to briefly address a concern popping up earlier. There are currently three Grass/Fairy types: Tapu Bulu and Whimsicott's line. By the very nature of our typing and how we currently seem to be leaning on stats, we already have a niche outside of weather, a specific typing with a stat spread the others with that typing don't have. For this reason alone, I find the argument that we need a non-weather specific ability to foster a niche a bit of a... hasty presumption to jump the gun with. But I digress.

On to matters of personal preference, I think we should be looking at offensive breaking abilities. I don't necessarily have anything against defensive abilities yet, but right now I'm not appealed to by the arguments presented. Specifically I'm confused as to the longevity argument. Yes, more health gives us more time to break, I don't deny that. However, this seems to be presented in the context of the sand role, which (as I've mentioned previously) has the means to get good HP recovery outside of ability. Additionally, stats can also help us to combat issues of longevity as well. Overall, when considering the alternatives, I'm frankly not seeing why this ability needs to promote longevity-based indirect breaking.
 

LucarioOfLegends

Saint of the Church of The Holy Pluffle
is a CAP Contributor
oh boy its ability time, I wonder how this will go <_<

1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?
Snake got it down pretty well, but Sun generally needs a better speed abuser since its teams tend to be quite slow right now and are commonly shut down by fast stuff. Sand has most issues breaking through the large amount of bulky stuff that it has to fight, so an ability that can help this wallbreaking ability would be quite splendid.

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?
For Sun, having a weather specific ability is a necessity due to the number of options to work with, and the importance of the niche that it has to fill to actually achieve the concept. Sand is quite a bit more loose in this regard, as it has a lot more possible abilities that can actually fulfill the criteria. I see no need to actually specialize ourselves to Sand to actually fill the wallbreaker need when there a lot of much more interesting options for abilities than the one's presented in the Sand specific column.

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?
If I remember correctly, don't we want this mon to have a niche outside of these two weathers? Sticking too closely to a concept during a cap process will generally hurt a mon's viability, which may affect its performance of said concept in the longer run (RIP Cawmodore sometimes). As such, I fully support ability diversification for the goal of non-concept viability. Once again, the Sand slot has a lot more flexibility in terms of what we can do to complete it, so using this slot for a more diverse ability would be best.

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?
Sure, the abilities can threaten these mons indirectly based on the abilities, but I see no reason to actually go out of our way to kill these mons on the "threaten" list specifically.
 
1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

In my opinion, all weather teams need the capacity to hit hard, and get OHKOs reliably. Weather is so limited without wather rock usage, and even then time is of the essence. Both weathers would love being able to hit the many Pokémon that wall it, so I believe offensive abilities will be the greatest help to weathers. Sun speed control has been discussed, and while valid, I believe it is secondary to damage.

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather?

Absolutely. Grass/Fairy derives no direct weather buffs from Rock SpDef increase or Fire Boosts, so it must rely on abilities to be viable over the competition. Sun-wise, it benefits from STAB on Solar moves, but that role is filled already by countless others (looking at you Exeggutor). Sand-wise, it only provides nice defensive typing, which is a role filled identically by many other Pokémon. The niche for this will come from abilities, as they will allow CAP24 to function specifically in the sand, not just during the sand.

Modedit: Please do not suggest specific abilities yet. :)
 
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1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

We've decided that Sun needs speed control and sand needs breaking ability. As such abilities that help with that make sense.

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?

Yes. Our typing is not directly benefited by either weather and our concept asks for an abuser of both weathers. We need to not only support weather, but to benefit from it. In addition, we've decided that Sun and Sand have different needs, so it makes sense to have different abilities to support those different needs. Also, having different niches in different weather not only makes CAP24 more interesting, but it also makes it less of an easily countered one-trick-pony

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

This concept asks for a weather abuser and our typing already fails to be benefited by weather directly. As such, abilities that are benefited by weather are more important. We want a mon that likes to have weather up, and it needs to like it a lot, or weather will not be brought out of obscurity as people will just use the CAP outside of weather. It should not be useless outside of weather, but mainly so it doesn't become a sitting duck if weather is removed. A non-weather ability should mainly exist to help it more easily get the weather it wants back up again .

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?

This should be kept in mind, but is not strictly necessary as stats and movepool can also help with this.
 
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2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?

I seen some ppl thinking about having a non-sand related ability to help Sand. I think getting chipped by Sandstorm is a great way to discourage this mon's usage on Sand. Having a defensive ability that lets us take more hits is made somewhat futile if we are putting ourselves on a timer with chip damage also, making it harder to switch around inside our own weather. Same goes for if this ends up being a wallbreaker that is going to have to take hits to deal out a lot of damage thanks to speed tier.
This mon has an underrated strength to hit a lot of the mons that dont receive Sandstorm chip- ground and rock types get hit by its Grass STAB, and certain steel types are on our "to-beat" list, so perhaps the benefits of the small pool of abilities that protect from Sand will actually do a bit more work than otherwise considered
 
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Our concept assessment stated that we should have a niche outside of weather. If we don’t have an ability that isn’t weather exclusive, then we fail that part of the concept assessment. Furthermore, if we only use Weather Ball as our coverage in Sun and Sand (Fire and Rock), then weatherless CAP24 already is by definition worse. We don’t need to nerf it even further. If we have a defensive ability that isn’t weather based, we can always run Leftovers if we are so worried about Sand damage. We even could give CAP24 reliable recovery to help with the Sand damage. There’s an ability that mitigates Sand chip and helps against Ash Gren and Earthquake.
 
1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?
The obvious ones exist which benefit from the Harsh Sunlight and Sandstorm Conditions

One of the biggest threats to a Sun/Sand Team is an opposing Rain Team. Being able to absorb rain boosted attacks through type-absorbing abilities would allow it to hit back hard, and regain momentum that way.

Speed Control; all work well enough here for reasons others have mentioned.

Snowballing abilities; Grass doesn't have a particularly effective way of hitting our chosen threatens with the exception of Crawdaunt; but it's not as though Crawdaunt is relevant anyway, and fairy covers it anyway, so one of our typings is defensive only; the ability to snowball gives it an increase threat the longer it stays in.

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?
Personally, I think not. I don't think the intention has even been to have CAP24 relegated to running on a weather team or not at all, and if we're required to only have 2 competitive abilities and 1 flavour ability, then that means that we'd be doing it a disservice should it not have an ability which works outside of a weather.

At the same time, the major part of the concept is to get a mon which works in both weathers equally; this shouldn't be forgotten, but there's nothing to say that an ability which works outside of a weather is going to be better served IN weather.

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?
The priority in CAP24 is that it works in both weathers, and should work better in both weathers; however, effort should be made so that its competitive abilities do not require weather to work exclusively.

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?
"Requiring" it is asking a lot of an ability to help it during weather and to break through specific pokemon. I don't think the necessity should be there.

I'm intrigued as to how it can be done with 2 Competitive Abilities, rather than 3.
 
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david0895

Mercy Main Btw
is a Pre-Contributor
1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

Sun needs of an ability that boost the speed of a good abuser, Sand needs of an ability that can help its breakers to pressure the opposing walls

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?

Yes, CAP24 needs of two abilities that allow it to be useful only in the weather that we have chosen

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

Since we decided that CAP24 will have a niche outside of the weather, the answer is yes, but depending on what answer will receive the second question and if the third ability needs to be uncompetitive, this point couldn't be respected

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?

I don't think this should be necessary, all the pokemon in the threatlist don't have some particularly high defenses, so CAP24 should pressure/beat them even without its ability
 

Dogfish44

You can call me Jiggly
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

Sun needs some form of viable Speed Control, courtesy of past threads. There are a handful of ways to do this (Direct Speed Boosting, empowered access to something such as Sticky Web, enabling Malaconda or Venusaur to take the role more effectively than they currently do).

Sand needs something to break skulls fast, and almost certainly wants an offensive ability.

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather ?

Yes. Sun's needs can't be solved by something that just breaks skulls, whilst Sand doesn't get any further from having another fast option. Ability is where we can differentiate CAP24 between it's two roles most effectively.

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

Not as a priority. If we think (and I'm picking the worst weather abilities for the sake of example) that Leaf Guard and Sand Veil most effectively solve the problems that Sun and Sand face respectively, then we shouldn't go out of our way to gimp our ability choices just to ensure that we have a pro-weatherless ability.

With that said, we certainly shouldn't enter this assuming that we have to have dual weather abilities. As long as CAP24 doesn't end up with an ability that it will alwayus run regardless of weather, I believe we will have succeeded on this front.

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?

This is a weird question I kind of want clarification on. I mean, I can't read this as anything other than "Should our Ability be how we deal with our threats, or will we solve that via coverage/stats instead?" - the answer to which would be "It's not the only tool, but it probably shouldn't be actively harming our ability to deal with threats".
 
1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

IDK how we're supposed to answer the questions properly (particularly this one) given the gagging order on mentioning any abilities. We all know what's being talked about when 'speed control in sun' is mentioned, but I'm not going to waste my time thinking up intimations for the other abilities I want to talk about.

2. Given CAP 24's typing and our threatlist, should CAP 24 specialize one of each of CAP 24's abilities for each weather?

I don't really understand the question. Are you talking about the actual weather or the weather teams CAP will find itself on? If you're asking if the sun/sand abilities have to rely directly on sun/sand to function then the answer's no, why restrict our choices to a tiny fraction of available abilities. If you're asking whether an ability has to benefit only sand teams or only sun teams then the answer's also no IMO for the same reason.

Besides dogmatic adherence to the concept, there's no reason why an ability shouldn't be useful for the same purpose in different weathers. Even then, it's possible for the same ability to have vastly different applications even on existing pokemon of the same type (Reuniclus/Alakazam for example). The differentiation of roles can be achieved at the movepool/stat stage, or even left to the community to innovate different sets.

3. Should CAP 24 have an ability that complements it outside of weather?

Not necessarily. It would make it a better all-round pokemon because even on a weather team, we cannot avoid having to operate without weather at times. But if 2 weather-dependent abilities turn out to be the best fit we shouldn't rule that out. Plenty of pokemon are perfectly viable despite having a useless ability (Keldeo, Zygarde, Hoopa-U, Weavile).

4. Does CAP 24's ability have to help it directly break through the Pokemon we need to threaten?

Not necessarily. I think this is better addressed at the movepool/stat stage.
 
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1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

Sun has the potential to leave Malaconda to speed control, however I think giving it to the cap would be far more effective. In terms of sand, I can’t imagine any weather specific abilities that would give the cap a great benefit here, compared to other regular offensive abilities or defensive abilities. It would be ideal to give this mon a defensive ability as we’ve already got the typing to stop most threats and further coverage and longevity would be the best way to secure this.
 

snake_rattler

Bold to assume that I won't have the last laugh...
is a Forum Moderatoris a Top CAP Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
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1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

I know I've answered this question once already, but I've been thinking on it some more. If we take another approach to the concept, that Sun-based cores should act as wallbreaking cores with Heatran and Volkraken, rather than having a full sweeping element to them, then that opens up the abilities that Sun could consider. Basically, since Sun actually has two big problems, bad setters and bad sweeping elements, it might be better to cut our losses, focus what Sun does pretty well already, wallbreaking, and fix the bad setters part rather than the bad sweeper part. Speed control would be accomplished like other teams would; via Scarfers and manual speed boosters, and instead Sun would focus purely on punching huge holes in the opposing team, like it already does, but struggles to do partly because of bad setters.

I'm not saying that focusing on the bad speed control is necessarily a bad approach either, but this is just another way for us to look at the concept.
 

david0895

Mercy Main Btw
is a Pre-Contributor
1. What kinds of abilities would best bolster sun/sand teams?

I know I've answered this question once already, but I've been thinking on it some more. If we take another approach to the concept, that Sun-based cores should act as wallbreaking cores with Heatran and Volkraken, rather than having a full sweeping element to them, then that opens up the abilities that Sun could consider. Basically, since Sun actually has two big problems, bad setters and bad sweeping elements, it might be better to cut our losses, focus what Sun does pretty well already, wallbreaking, and fix the bad setters part rather than the bad sweeper part. Speed control would be accomplished like other teams would; via Scarfers and manual speed boosters, and instead Sun would focus purely on punching huge holes in the opposing team, like it already does, but struggles to do partly because of bad setters.

I'm not saying that focusing on the bad speed control is necessarily a bad approach either, but this is just another way for us to look at the concept.
I disagree with this: one of the biggest advantage of the weather teams are the instant speed boosting abilities. If you look at Mega Swampert and Excadrill, if you remove their speed boost in Rain/Sand their niche is severally reduced (especially the first).
Also, an eventually added scarfer will fail to complete the team, becoming instead, a forced additional element
 
I disagree with this: one of the biggest advantage of the weather teams are the instant speed boosting abilities. If you look at Mega Swampert and Excadrill, if you remove their speed boost in Rain/Sand their niche is severally reduced (especially the first).
Also, an eventually added scarfer will fail to complete the team, becoming instead, a forced additional element
There are plenty of other ways in which speed can be controlled, however, without relegating the mon to be a weather sweeper.

Like you say, if you remove the speed boost, their niche is removed, and if the weather is not there to grant them the speed boost, their niche is wasted.

I'd rather see something where speed control exists elsewhere rather than from an ability, allowing us greater freedom with an ability. Perhaps where the weather assists in breaking down walls (but then again, Sun has a decent set of sun boosted Wallbreakers in Char Y/Volkraken, so I can't imagine the two sun-assisted Wall Breaking abilities being too useful here if it requires Sun to be up to break a wall.

Another ability that could assist Sun is the ability to switch in to Hazards. There are a couple of variations of this, but mon like Zard-Y don't appreciate Stealth Rocks being up. Being able to switch into hazards, remove them, and switch out to full health mon like Zard, or even Talonflame could be very nice utility and sustain, using CAP24 as a secondary sun setter through Sunny Day (like how Tomohawk can be a secondary Rain setter).
 

david0895

Mercy Main Btw
is a Pre-Contributor
There are plenty of other ways in which speed can be controlled, however, without relegating the mon to be a weather sweeper.

Like you say, if you remove the speed boost, their niche is removed, and if the weather is not there to grant them the speed boost, their niche is wasted.

I'd rather see something where speed control exists elsewhere rather than from an ability, allowing us greater freedom with an ability. Perhaps where the weather assists in breaking down walls (but then again, Sun has a decent set of sun boosted Wallbreakers in Char Y/Volkraken, so I can't imagine the two sun-assisted Wall Breaking abilities being too useful here if it requires Sun to be up to break a wall.

Another ability that could assist Sun is the ability to switch in to Hazards. There are a couple of variations of this, but mon like Zard-Y don't appreciate Stealth Rocks being up. Being able to switch into hazards, remove them, and switch out to full health mon like Zard, or even Talonflame could be very nice utility and sustain, using CAP24 as a secondary sun setter through Sunny Day (like how Tomohawk can be a secondary Rain setter).
I know that there are other ways to speed control, but the abilities are the best becuase they activate instantly. Why we have to choose another way that require a turn to set up (reducing the turns of our weather) or sacrifice the freedom of choosing the move that we want to use?
 
I dont think weather even needs any speed boost mon to make it worth using. ultimately the benefit of having a certain type boosted and another weakened is an abusable effect without any ability interaction. Psyspam can exist without having a "psychic rush" pokemon. Lets look at that sort of team instead- or a Grassy Terrain team that utilizes Tapu Bulu to help Kartana- this has been one of the strongest archetypes in the past. I see weather as just the same as terrain potentially, it needs a super successful setter and abuser to make up for it. We have mons in the metagame that can abuse Sun like Heatran, Volkraken, Volcarona, Victini, Zard X, Blacephalon. What we can make is a super-useful mon of its own accord like a Tapu that is also going to set Sun reliably, perhaps offer a utility for the abusers as well as utilize it itself. Sun has so many holes I honestly think its better to compare it to a terrain than to Rain as a playstyle
 
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david0895

Mercy Main Btw
is a Pre-Contributor
I dont think weather even needs any speed boost mon to make it worth using. ultimately the benefit of having a certain type boosted and another weakened is an abusable effect without any ability interaction. Psyspam can exist without having a "psychic rush" pokemon. Lets look at that sort of team instead- or a Grassy Terrain team that utilizes Tapu Bulu to help Kartana- this has been one of the strongest archetypes in the past. I see weather as just the same as terrain potentially, it needs a super successful setter and abuser to make up for it. We have mons in the metagame that can abuse Sun like Heatran, Volkraken, Volcarona, Victini, Zard X, Blacephalon. What we can make is a super-useful mon of its own accord like a Tapu that is also going to set Sun reliably and perhaps offer utility such as helping with the Rock/SR weakness and breaks through the opposite Pokemon to the sun abuser. Sun has so many holes I honestly think its better to compare it to a terrain than to Rain as a playstyle
Imho psychic rush doesn't exists because its user would be probably broken since it will be protected from priority.
For the rest, i don't terrains that the terrains were created to function like weathers. Despite there are some abilities that appreciate them like Grass Pelt and Surge Surfer, their users are really underpower, also one of the point that makes terrain kartana strong is that it is naturally fast, removing the necessity of a speed control
 
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