CaP 25 GFW - Prevo Discussion - Typings and Abilities

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Quanyails

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Caribolt:

I'm on board with preserving Grass/Electric and Galvanize for the entire Caribolt line. I can see the case for a different Hidden Ability. I like the idea of Lightning Rod, since Caribolt does have electric antlers, and it's a nice precursor to Galvanize. Static is another option that works.

I'm also fine with pure Grass with a change of Hidden Ability to match. Blitzle, Deerling, and Skiddo are hooved 'mons that get Sap Sipper, so that's a pretty safe option. Other options include Run Away, Grass Pelt, and Chlorophyll. (Chlorophyll -> Galvanize is neat flavor, too.)

--

Smokomodo:

We should have pure Fire for Smokomodo's first stage so it doesn't take more than 2x damage from Water to preserve the type triangle. I'm fine with either pure Fire or Fire/Ground for the second stage. I'm inclined towards Fire/Ground, since Smokomodo's movepool has some Ground-type moves early on which hint at a Ground typing earlier, but that's not absolute.

Technician feels more like an inherit part of the 'mon rather than a trait it has, so I'm reluctant to change it. We could give it Keen Eye (because of chameleon's independent eyes) Magma Armor, or other abilities, if we started with art instead of stats. I'm not strongly sold on changing the ability for Smokomodo's pre-evos, though.

--

Snaelstrom:

We should have pure Water for Snaelstrom's first stage to preserve the type triangle, and like with Smokomodo, I don't have a strong preference for whether we go with Water or Water/Bug for the second stage.

Poison Heal is fine as its ability in all three stages. I see the argument for the Triton snail not being mature enough to devour Toxapex, however, so we could do something else. We could do something like Immunity -> Poison Heal as Gligar -> Gliscor does, or have its pre-evos get something snail-like. Goodra and Accelgor both get Hydration, which would make sense on a Water-type snail 'mon. Gastrodon and Accelgor get Sticky Hold, which also sounds fitting. Other options include Gooey, Overcoat, and Shell Armor.
 

Deck Knight

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Just a brief summary on type change predecents:

Grass: Grass is all over the place and interestingly the only thing it *lacks* is a mid-stage change. Grass starts with both single and dual types.
Dual Type All: Bulbasaur
Single Type All: Chikorita, Treecko, Snivy
Change Final Evo: Turtwig, Chespin (Single-> Dual) / Rowlet (Dual->Dual)

Electric has the merit of not actually messing with the type triangle, so the Bulbasaur route is fine.

Fire: Fire has a split between second and final evolution change. All Fire starters start as pure Fire.
Single Type All: Cyndaquil
Change Second Evo: Torchic, Chimchar, Tepig
Change Final Evo: Charmander, Fennekin, Litten

There's no precedent for Fire swapping around dual types or starting as a dual type.

Water: Water has a strong bias to final evolution change. All Water starters start as pure Water.
Single Type All: Squirtle, Totodile, Oshawatt
Change Second Evo: Mudkip
Change Final Evo: Piplup, Froakie, Popplio

There's no precendent for Water swapping around dual types or starting as a dual type.

As mentioned, on abilities there is literally one precedent, on a Fire starter, of Hidden Ability changing at the final evo. I don't think such a change need necessarily hold only onto Fire as it's literally one example, but Grass has the most justification for changing in conjunction with some typing routes.

One thing I want to emphasize is we should not jump down the rabbit hole of what precedent has *not* established. We have 7 generations of precedent. Trends are fairly concrete with that population size. If we want the largest array of diversity consistent with keeping precedent and the type triangle intact, the combination would be:

Grass/Electric throughout
Fire type change Middle Stage
Water type change Final Stage.
 
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I might as well throw in my two cents here as well. In the most recent generations (6 and 7 especially), starters have started to only gain their dual type at their final stage, so I feel like the starters should keep their mono g/f/w types up until their final evolution.
I am proposing
Grass>Grass>Grass/Electric
Fire>Fire>Fire/Ground
Water>Water>Water/Bug
Movepools are obviously the greatest point of contention here, but starters gaining a fair deal of final evo typed moves before evolution has been pretty common recently. Both Braixen and Brionne are the best examples here, learning many psychic and fairy moves by level-up respectively, including moves that normally don't appear on non psychic/fairy types, such as psyshock and misty terrain.
For abilities, I feel like Fire and Water are both alright keeping technician/poison heal throughout the whole lines respectively, but Grass is a bit more difficult. A non-electric type getting galvanize would be odd, but not the end of the world level continuity breaking. I argue that the Grass pre-evolutions should get Lightning Rod. This keeps with electric typed tendencies before the pokemon gains the typing as a whole.
 
I don't really have a strong opinion on Smokomodo or Caribolt, but Snaelstrom seems like an odd case.
Looking at the starters that change type, all of them gain strong connections to the new type, through design and flavor. Charizard gains wings, Greninja is a shadowy ninja, Torterra is a world turtle, etc.
My biggest problem with Snaelstrom is that its bug flavor is very downplayed. It only has three level-up bug moves, two of which come very late, and it isn't even in the Bug egg group (a distinction it only shares with Armaldo).
My biggest problem with water-water-water/bug, is that there seems to be no flavor reason for Snaelstrom to change type to bug. How do you design a pre-evo that is LESS like a bug than Snaelstrom? If it starts and ends as water/bug, it could at least be ignored as an intrinsic part of the pokemon, like with bulbasaur's poison type. But that gets in the way of the starter type triangle, which is also a problem.
Ultimately, Snaelstrom's Bug typing puts it in a corner where there is no clean solution. Either it starts mono-water and makes little sense flavor-wise, or it starts water/bug and breaks the triangle.
 
My biggest problem with water-water-water/bug, is that there seems to be no flavor reason for Snaelstrom to change type to bug. How do you design a pre-evo that is LESS like a bug than Snaelstrom?
Easy. Draw a snail. Snails are typically legless. Pokemon snails and slugs typically aren't Bug-types (Slugma, Magcargo, Shellos, Gastrodon--am I missing any? Word on the street is that Phione and Manaphy are loosely based on a type of sea slug called a sea angel).

Snaelstrom having 6 limbs definitely helps it look like a bug (at least IMO). Ditch the limbs and you should be good.

(I never thought that snails made convincing Bug-types, anyway.)
 

DHR-107

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Okay so I am going to go through most of the posts and give some thoughts, and then sum up the general ideas we've discussed.

I agree that the first stage of all three should be Grass(or Grass/Electric)/Fire/Water, though i think I should point out a convention we'd be breaking by doing this. So far, there has not been a single Pokemon that gains the Bug typing upon evolution and only one Pokemon loses the Bug typing upon evolution, which is Skorupi. So we either have to go against the traditional rock-paper-scissors of the starter trio or we have to break the precedent of no Pokemon gaining the bug typing upon evolution. Since we have to do one or the other and this is a starter project, I think preserving the RPS interaction is most important.
This is something I have seen been asked a lot by various people. Honestly, my opinion is still the same. The Starter type triangle trumps the "bug not being added to a Pokemon" argument. If there is enough support I will add it for slating, but I am definitely 100% against it. We are aiming for realistic Starter Pokemon and I believe that we should do exactly that, warts and all.

My own personal thoughts are to make it a trio with everything done differently, for the sake of interestingness.

But honestly, if we absolutely MUST go for a trio of bland consistency, then I'd honestly say Water, Grass/Electric, and then I honestly dont care whether Fire goes monofire or fire/ground.

late note because i just realized something: Out of all these combinations, only Fire/Poison and Grass/Normal actually tie in well with movesets.
Making things interesting "for the sake if being interesting" is really not a good precedent at all. As far as I am aware, only a handful of Pokemon change secondary typing's; Alolan Exeggutor (edge case), Scizor (edge case), Tyranitar, Masquerain, Shedinja (edge case), Gallade (edge case), Dragalge and Decidueye; on evolution. Granted, one of these is a starter, but let's not go crazy with this. Pokemon in general tend to be extremely static with their typing's... Something CaP tends to miss sometimes. If you want to call it "Bland consistency", then you have difficulties with a lot of other Pokemon too.

I think Caribolt's basic form should be either pure Grass or Grass/Normal. My reasoning is that, pretending these three would be actual starters in an actual game, if one of the starters had an Electric typing, I feel they would have a big advantage in the early game, with lots of small Flying types around. But if it does end up Electric type, its Electric movepool should be very shallow early on so it feels like a Grass starter and not an Electric starter.
Issue with this is that Grass/Normal gains STAB for Tackle (it's "default" starter move). This gives it a pretty decent advantage in a game setting with a strong hitting Neutral STAB off the bat. Its an interesting take however.

1.) Secondly, however, we may want to change our prevos' abilities if we want to make them more interesting in CAP LC. I'm not huge into LC, but I would imagine that in a metagame with Berry Juice, Poison Heal wouldn't exactly get competitive players excited.
This isn't really a huge consideration for a flavour project, and most starters are not great in LC (Torchic [Banned] and Snivy notwithstanding). I would be surprised if any of these change the game to any huge degree.

It’s not Thunder Shock that’s the dealbreaker for me. It’s Galvanize. I still hold that there’s no really good reason for the Hidden Abilities to change - we had a long discussion about them in the main process, we built the patent CAPs with them in mind, and while there is precedent for the abilities to change in the Tepig line, I’m not particularly swayed that that means “yeah let’s just change all these abilities now.”
Complete agree here. Galvanize has very clear flavour precedent for not being changed. None of them should be because with have a single outlier in Tepig. The same can be said for type changes too!

Also, for the supporters of Water/Rock, Fire/Dark and other exotic typings, how can you even explain the lack of damaging attacks that correspond with that type. Claiming that their is precedent for types to abruptly change upon final evolution is fine and all, but how can you explain how a Dark type lacks STAB? A Rock type? Its a nonsensical notion that I hope is completely quashed after this statement.
This is definitely my line of thinking with a lot of this. A fair few of these suggestions are just too out there. Starters are about as formulaic as you can get with a Pokemon. People are forgetting this.

Easy. Draw a snail. Snails are typically legless. Pokemon snails and slugs typically aren't Bug-types (Slugma, Magcargo, Shellos, Gastrodon--am I missing any? Word on the street is that Phione and Manaphy are loosely based on a type of sea slug called a sea angel).
Slugma and Shellos were Pokemon I was going to bring up to help this discussion. Neither are bug typed, but both are obviously snails. Either way, we have some incredibly talented artists who will be able to come up with some solution!

After reading through a lot of these posts there is definitely a trend of no "out there" typings. I am pretty happy with that. Stealing Dogfish44's cute names for the babies. I'd like some more pointed discussions on the typings/abilities I am going to list below based on the discussions in this thread.

Carbibaby

Grass -> Grass -> Grass/Electric with Static/Lightning Rod -> Static/Lightning Rod -> Galvanize
Grass/Electric -> Grass/Electric -> Grass/Electric with Galvanize the whole way through
Other mentioned abilities were not really discussed, so if people do want to bring them up, now is the time.

Smokiddo

Fire -> Fire/Ground -> Fire/Ground
Technician -> Technician -> Technician

The above appears to be the general consensus here. This sticks with nearly all the markers of a Fire Starter as Deck Knight has pointed out. I am perfectly fine with the above and the only real change I could see is the final stage gaining ground rather than the secondary.

Smallstrom

Water -> Water -> Water/Bug
Water -> Water/Bug -> Water/Bug
Poison Heal -> Poison Heal -> Poison Heal
Sticky Hold -> Sticky Hold -> Poison Heal
Gooey -> Gooey -> Poison Heal
Immunity -> Immunity -> Poison Heal

This will likely be the most contentious one. I would hugely prefer the first form being pure Water and changing from there at either first or second evolution. A few different abilities were brought up, Sticky Hold, Gooey and Immunity among those more often.

I will likely be bringing the above to polls (unlikely in the fire case unless there are brilliant arguments made). You guys have about 24 hours to put in any last requests/changes you like! Please use the format above for suggestions as they are much easier to find and work out what people mean!
 
To try and add more variety to caribaby I'll be going over some potential abilities that could work on the first 2 stages, to keep galvanize for caribolt, along with some notes of them. I will not be mentioning lightning rod, static or galvanize as those are discussed already.

Analytic:
This is an interesting one, and could work, for observing its target and striking its weak points for more damage. I'm not a personal favorite of analytic, but it's a viable option.

Battery:
This one to me feels like a viable one, justifying access to electric moves despite not being an electric type, but could bring up a potential debate of grass/electric all the way through, either way I think battery -> battery -> galvanize could work, whether or not people decide to go with grass for the first two or grass electric.

Chlorophyll:
This one would feel really odd tbh, going chlorophyll -> chlorophyll -> galvanize, but it's a viable choice nonetheless, which is why I'm adding it.

Grass pelt:
This one fits the grass -> grass -> grass/electric more, and could be a replacement for the electric type flavour that seems common on the first 2 stages, electric type or not.

Illuminate:
Competitively speaking I'm not a fan, but this is a realistic ability for the first two stages, then turning into galvanize in the last stage, definitely an interesting approach though.

Leaf Guard:
Leaf guard is a common grass-type ability, and I think it would fit on caribolts two pre-evolutions, but it would mainly favour the grass -> grass -> grass/electric route.

Limber:
This is mainly for the grass route, to still add some electric type flavour into it, but in the sense of preventing paralysis, which would stick true with all 3 forms as electric types can't be paralyzed.

Minus/Plus:
I'll be putting these 2 together as they're more or less the same, in relation to electric type abilities. Not much of a fan but there's potential.

Motor Drive:
Much like lightning rod, this ability would provide an electric immunity, but instead of a special attack raise, they would get a speed raise. Not much to say about this as lightning rod is discussed, atleast in my opinion.

Sap Sipper:
Like lightning rod and motor drive, this would provide an immunity, but to grass instead, while giving an attack raise in the process.

Solar Power:
While this ability is usually linked with either ha charizard or mega houndoom, or just fire types in general, there are grass types that gets this (Sunkern, Sunflora and Tropius) and having another would be pretty fun, also reflecting the caribolt dex entries about absorbing sun, but instead of turning it into electrical power, it turns it into energy it can use in battle.

Volt Absorb:
Like lightning rod and motor drive, it helps provide an electric immunity, but recovers health instead of raising a stat. Would mainly benefit the electric flavour as a replacement to lightning rod, but I'd say it's more taste of which of the 3 abilities people like (Lightning Rod, Motor Drive and Volt Absorb)

These are all the abilities I found that I think could work or has a place on the pre-evolutions, both as a grass type and as an electric type. Since there's gonna be less than 24 hours, I'd suggest picking one or two of these and discussing if any interest you for the ha's of caribolts pre-evolutions.
 
I am in strong support of all three CAPs keeping their hidden abilities for all three stages, and that very much includes Snaelstrom's line. The argument that baby forms are not mature enough to handle healing from poison is astoundingly uncreative. There are loads of potential CAPw pre-evo concepts that fit the Poison Heal flavor just as well if not better than triton snails. The ocean is filled with critters, man! There are tons of things that are toxic, eat toxic things, and even co-opt their prey's toxins for themselves, even if you just stick in the world of mollusks. I think the main reason Gligar's ability changes upon evolution was because GameFreak was determined to upgrade the flyscorpion, which they did by adding a new evolution and ability during a later generation from it's inception. There is no reason our starters shouldn't be able to hold the same abilities throughout their lines. If we are going to be searching for reasons to change the abilities, and coming up with flavor-based arguments, then we should be doing this after the artwork is already chosen.

For typing, I am personally okay with breaking the type triangle precedent for the youngest forms, though I get that this is something most people want to preserve. My reason for being okay with breaking the precedent, by the way, is that some typings do not lend themselves to being added partway down an evolutionary line, and Bug is the textbook example. Pokemon who change type upon evolution do so in conjunction with a behavioral or lifestyle change. They grow wings, they develop armor, they get burlier, they begin to live at night or in the ground or in cold places. But you don't just become a bug. Bug typing is based on what you are as an organism, and that is much harder to change. There is not a single pokemon that gains the bug type upon evolution. Not once in the entire population of 721 pokemon. (Skorupi is not a counter-example--it merely loses the Bug typing, and that's because it's turning from a bug into an almost kaiju-like night monster.) I would argue that that is a stronger precedent than that of just seven trios of first-stage pokemon with a typing triangle.

So due to that precedent and the movepools of our CAPs, I think they should all keep their typings consistent.

That said, I get that those seven trios of first-stage pokemon aren't just ordinary pokmon--they're starters, and therefore any precedents with them can be argued to carry more weight than a complete lack of pokemon gaining the Bug type upon evolution. However if we do go with a pure-Water starter form, it absolutely should gain the Bug type immediately for it's second stage. Younger pokemon are more fluid, so its conceivable that a clever artist could design a pure-water starter form that develops into something bug-like. But middle-stage pokemon always have a solid identity of what they are--our design would by need to have some characteristics of a snail or slug by this time, and it would look utterly ridiculous for such a pokemon to not be of the Bug type.
 
I would like to point out that Hidden abilities are just hidden abilities. I don't think we should make them for flavor aspect because you aren't going to start the game with these abilities. I would like just abilities to stay throughout. For types, the Grass/Electric Fire Water is good.
 

Sunfished

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Very last minute thoughts, but there's a few things I wanted to share about the Grass starter.

First, while I'm not entirely against Grass/Electric, I feel like the dual-typing makes it far more "exotic" as a starter compared to the rest of the starters, both within cap25 and the official starters. To me, starters are meant to be very basic pokemon, and have been very basic outside of two outliers I want to discuss: Bulbasaur and Rowlet.

Bulbasaur's Poison-typing feels very natural with its Grass-typing, since plants are commonly seen as poisonous. Nothing about it strikes anything special. Rowlet on the other hand has the Flying-type, which to be honest, doesn't have much pairing with Grass. However, Flying is explained with it being a bird, which would look odd without it. Nevertheless, the flying type doesn't add onto it being different from the other starters; it's only there to fit in with it being a bird, which is inherent on the body it possesses.

Now looking at Grass/Electric, doesn't the typing feel a little too different than that of something more basic? Electric doesn't pair up as naturally with Grass like Bulbasaur's did, nor does it fit into a certain body type like Rowlet's does. This makes this starter very different from the other ones already, since it comes with a typing that looks and feels more complicated than the rest.

This is why I don't like the idea of making the starters dual-typed at the beginning unless it absolutely needs it to explain something. At this stage, there's no reason for us to make it dual-typed since we're doing this process backwards than how typical fakemon design works, so it leaves a much higher ability to create something flexible in terms of design.

Regarding abilities, I liked the suggestions of Static and other small "electric" themed abilities for the grass starter very fitting, only if to follow the precedent that the -ize/-ate abilities require the typing it boosts. The list Madis provided is a good idea of what I agree with it should have. Ideally, my choice would be:

Grass -> Grass or Grass/Electric -> Grass/Electric
"electric" ability -> "electric" ability -> Galvanize
 
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DHR-107

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So this is what I am going to take forwards into polls, we will poll for typing and then see where we are at for abilities:

Carbibaby
Types:
Grass -> Grass -> Grass/Electric
Grass -> Grass/Electric -> Grass/Electric
Grass/Electric -> Grass/Electric -> Grass/Electric

Abilities:
Galvanize -> Galvanize -> Galvanize
Static -> Static -> Galvanize
Lightning Rod -> Lightning Rod -> Galvanize

Smokiddo
Types:
Fire -> Fire -> Fire/Ground
Fire -> Fire/Ground -> Fire/Ground
Fire/Ground -> Fire/Ground -> Fire/Ground

Abilities:
Technician -> Technician -> Technician

No other abilities were strongly argued for. Technician will be all three stage's abilities.

Smallstrom
Types:
Water -> Water -> Water/Bug
Water -> Water/Bug -> Water/Bug
Water/Bug -> Water/Bug -> Water/Bug

Abilities:
Poison Heal -> Poison Heal -> Poison Heal
Sticky Hold -> Sticky Hold -> Poison Heal
Gooey -> Gooey -> Poison Heal
Immunity -> Immunity -> Poison Heal

I will be posting Typing Polls shortly, and as soon as those results come in, I will reopen this thread to discuss if the above abilities still work!
 

DHR-107

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So we now have our typings!

Grass -> Grass/Electric -> Grass/Electric

Fire -> Fire/Ground -> Fire/Ground

Water -> Water/Bug -> Water/Bug


How do we feel about this fitting in with the abilities listed in the post above? Has it changed anyone's thoughts? This will only apply to Caribolt and Snaelstrom, as we are keeping Technician for Smokomodo's prevos!
 

G-Luke

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Static seems like a cool ability for pure Grass Caribolt, tho Lightning Rod could fit thanks to horns.

Poison Heal all the way for Snael for me though. We already have one instance of ability changing. Lets not do it twice in one "generation".
 

Dogfish44

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Okay, so how do you justify a pure-Grass mon learning Zap Cannon, Spark, Thunder Shock, and Wild Charge by Level Up?

'Magnets' seems to be a fairly consistent answer - on our few rule breakers, we see 'Magnetic Flux' and 'Magnet Rise' pretty often within the movepool - the former isn't exactly common in general, either. I think it stands to reason that Plus and Minus would be solid options to invoke the idea of magnetism. Alternatively, Lightning Rod would hopefully get the flavour across well enough, and would thematically work with horns more than anything else.

edit @ G-Luke: ik you didn't design your movepool following the G7 conventions, but I did - and that means keeping the LU movepool throughout (with the exception of HS moves which get purged out). Replacing the moves would spit in the face of all known flavour constraints for starters ^^;
 
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I'll make this nice and short lol.

For Snaels pre-evos, I like the concept of them not being fully developed to digest poison. I support sticky hold, gooey, or abilities along that nature for the water pre-evos.
 

G-Luke

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Okay, so how do you justify a pure-Grass mon learning Zap Cannon, Spark, Thunder Shock, and Wild Charge by Level Up?

'Magnets' seems to be a fairly consistent answer - on our few rule breakers, we see 'Magnetic Flux' and 'Magnet Rise' pretty often within the movepool - the former isn't exactly common in general, either. I think it stands to reason that Plus and Minus would be solid options to invoke the idea of magnetism. Alternatively, Lightning Rod would hopefully get the flavour across well enough, and would thematically work with horns more than anything else.
Most of the electric type moves can be swapped out for alternatives. Sure its not ideal but you gotta learn to roll with the punches
 
I'm still in favor of Lightning Rod for Caribaby, the horns just makes something like that too obvious to not go for. I'm not too concerned about it having so many Electric LU moves, it's an established precedent for starters to have moves of their upcoming type and I personally think it's fine to put that ahead of the precedent of these specific moves distribution.

On Smolstrom I'm not really fussed over it. Immunity fits alright as a prelude to PHeal, but Sticky Hold and Gooey work equally as well on an aesthetic level. Shell Armor is another example but I feel iffy on that, given an ability like that might mandate the presence of a shell during the design stage and I like to constrict artists as little as possible.
 
I'm leaning more towards lightning rod and gooey

As I found out yesterday, half of the pokemons that learn lightning rod are not electric types, while the others are (Counting voodool/voodoom, it goes 11 non electric and 9 electric) and I really think it fits, compared to static which only electric types has, and I really do not want to change ha's 2 times because it gains electric type during the second stage.

Gooey to me feels like an interesting ability and one I could see fitting on a snail, plus it has some decent competitive viability (Just as a bonus), however I also wouldn't be against sticky hold, same reason but seems more I guess tame.
Poison heal is a no go in my opinion, being a small snail, I don't see it digesting poison yet since it was pretty much just born, or has evolved into a larger snail, which to me
I'm fine with immunity, but it's not my top choice.
 

Frostbiyt

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These are my thoughts on the possible abilities for Caribaby and Smallstrom
Caribaby
Galvanize - There are no Pokemon that have an -ate/-ite ability for a type that they don't get STAB on, so i think Galvanize should only be on either the final stage or the middle and final stages.

Static - As Madsi mentioned, Static is exclusive to Electric types(and has been since gen 3), so if we're going to ignore that we may as well do Galvanize instead.

Lightning Rod - I think this is the best option brought up so far. It is a very Electric themed ability but is not exclusive to Electric types and it fits with the antlers.

Plus/Minus - Not really a fan of this one, mostly just because it is a useless ability.

Quick Feet - This is one I'd like to suggest. It's not really directly Electric related, but I feel like it's close enough(plus, before I checked, the only mon I knew got it was Jolteon). High Speed is a common thing among Electric types including Caribolt and Quick Feet would (almost) make Caribaby immune to paralysis, which is a feature of the Electric type.

Smallstrom
Poison Heal - I agree with G-Luke on this, I really don't see any reason to drop this, especially if we're going to change Galvanize on Caribaby.

Sticky Hold/Gooey/Immunity - I know this is primarily a flavor stage, but the fact that Smallstrom doesn't get any reliable recovery moves aside from rest will really hurt its ability to be a defensive mon in LC.

Regenerator - This is one I brought up on Discord, but haven't mentioned here yet. If people want to drop Poison Heal for whatever reason, I feel like it needs to be replaced with an ability that helps it recover some HP and Regenerator would do just that.

Hydration - This is another option that would help it with recovery (Rest in the rain) and would make a lot of sense for this mon. Every Pokemon with Hydration is either a Water type, based on a snail or slug(Accelgor and Goodra lines), or is Smoochum.
 

Reiga

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Lightning Rod is definitely my favorite ability for Caribaby. It just fits all the bills: its electricity-related, but unlike Static isn't exclusively an Electric thing, and the only thing needed for it is any sharp appendage or horn, and guess what elk have? It just fits too well to skip, I feel.

For Smallstrom, I don't see why we should drop Poison Heal, since even if the prevos don't end up as Toxapex hunters, they're still goopy sluggy almost-Poison type sorta things, and that seems to fit the bill for PHeal, although if another ability would be chosen, having the line go Immunity -> Poison Heal like the Gliscor line is an alright enough alternative.
 
Lightning Rod or Static are fine for the first form of the Caribolt line, since it's pure grass.

There is no reason we should change the abilities for the others though. As I mentioned earlier, there are A TON of organisms in the ocean that are poisonous or feed on poisonous things, most of which are small, so the argument that a smaller Snaelstrom can't handle poison holds no water. There is one group of organisms, which I'll leave unnamed for now, that actually truly does take the poison of its prey and co-opt it for its own use--the best recipient of Poison Heal you could ask for--and it just so happens that they are tiny mollusks, similar in form to Snaelstrom, but much smaller. Let's not miss an opportunity here.
 
Caribaby I want Lightning Rod on both prevos for reasons above. Not gonna go too in depth about it. As for Smallstrom, I personally think we should do Pheal in all three stages. I just don’t see a reason to change them aside from because we can. If we have to change the abilities though, I would say Immunity, as Gligar has Immunity and loses it for Pheal when evolving.
 
I fully support lightning rod for caribaby. I see absolutely no reason to drop poison heal, so I say it stays for the entire snael line. Litten doesn't look all that intimidating, but it's clear that starters much rather keep their HA the whole way rather than switch it around. I say we keep that for snael as well, since having 2 lines that switch abilities just doesn't mesh well with me. Poison heal itself also isn't insanely flavor driven, and it's on both shroomish and breloom, so it has precedent for being on a whole pokemon line.
 
I support Lightning Rod for Caribolt's youngest stage, but I can go either way with with the middle stage. However, Snaelstrom's kids should retain Poison Heal regardless, as the only precedent for starters changing Hidden Abilities is Tepig's evolution line. Poison Heal isn't exactly the tastiest most flavorful ability, either, as ShunosaurusLii stated.
 

LucarioOfLegends

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Thoughts on different stuffs since I've been out of it lately.

I think all of the initials should be just their primary types. Caribolt and Smoko's prevos mostly for semantic reasons (Having a double weakness to such a common type in early game is kinda not great for smoko (Rowlet got away with it because Ice-types aren't common early game) and blowing the electric type card for caribolt prevo loses a lot of appeal in my eyes), but Snaelstrom prevo having a Water/Bug typing completely breaks the trinity early game.

In terms of other evolution places and types, think the ground typing should be added to Smoko mid-evo. Deck Knight's data shows that techically only Fire/Fighting types got that privilege, but it kinda just feels right imo. Think Caribolt electric typing should be kept until final, although hints in mid are fine. No preference towards Snaelstrom prevos as long as it ain't first evo. Probably mid is most preferable.

As for abilities, Technician and Poison Heal are fine on thier mons. Think they still fit in a flavorful manner, so it is worth it to keep imo. Galvanize I think is a bit too ambitious for a first stage, so also support changing that. For the options specifically I'm still hesitant to support Lightning Rod since it is so heavily based on design, but either Static or the aforementioned I think are fitting candidates.
 
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