CAP 26 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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I had considered Cloud Nine, but as it doesn't actually end the weather, and only removes the effects while out, thus encouraging it to stay out rather than pivot, it doesn't really support the playstyle.

Having stacked Stat boosts from Defog or Intimidate is encouraging for staying in, rather than switching out, thus not supporting pivoting out once Doom Desire is up: Competitive doesn't do what we want it to.
 

Birkal

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I am only able to post via phone, but I find the lack of discussion for Regenerator extremely worrisome. We could talk shop about how the TLT banned it from conversation initially and whether or not it ultimately facilitated the discussion, but that’s in the past. What’s NOT in the past is our primary ability, and in this situation, I feel that Regenerator is the most simplistic AND best fit for CAP26 as a pivot.

CAP has a tendency to way overthink parts of its designs. That’s good for conversation — you can see a lot of discussion went into some abilities that I honestly hadn’t considered for CAP26. But I think I can illustrate to you an example of a recent CAP in which we overthought our abilities: Jumbao.

When we made CAP24, we set out to make a mon that utilized two weathers. What’s the best way to utilize one? To set it up: Jumbao snagged Drought as its primary ability and has greatly bolstered Sun as a concept within the meta, from making Volk’s damage output even more insane to providing more diverse teambuilds than just Mega Charizard Y. It was a simple choice to make, but one that stood by our concept strongly.

The same cannot be said for Trace as its secondary ability. Sure, it can be put on sand teams, but Trace Jumbao has found itself a new role as a Wishpasser and defensive pivot thanks to some key matchups that the ability provides, most notably all Heatran sets without Z-Flash Cannon. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but it doesn’t strike me as particularly pro-concept, because I don’t feel drawn to include Jumbao on a sand team anymore than I would any core I’m trying to make, offensively or defensively. Trace Jumbao pairs with a ton of stuff, which increases its viability in a way it probably didn’t need in the first place, while also not supporting the concept in a significant way.

I hope this illustration demonstrates why Regenerator is our best option. Jordy aptly pointed out in his first post that Regenerator is the most simple option to choose for a pivot. He is absolutely right, and in this case, the most simple option is the best option. It provides a way to passively heal without clicking a move, and I can’t think of a mechanic more suited for a pivot trying to come into a match multiple times to throw out Doom Desire. Spending an additional turn to recover eats up too much time, and will ultimately lead CAP26 to pursue other options in terms of its most effective sets in the metagame. With Regenerator, CAP26 can guarantee that its own longevity in a match as a pivot with a fantastic defensive typing. I can appreciate how Jordy steered the discussion away from Regenerator in order to stimulate a more bombastic and thought-provoking series of posts. But now that Regenerator is open for consideration, I think we need to seriously sit down and parse out if any ability comes close to providing CAP26 with the tools to succeed conceptually. And in my opinion, I’m not convinced that any of these other abilities come close to providing the utility and flexibility that Regenerator does for our CAP.
 

snake_rattler

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I am only able to post via phone, but I find the lack of discussion for Regenerator extremely worrisome. We could talk shop about how the TLT banned it from conversation initially and whether or not it ultimately facilitated the discussion, but that’s in the past. What’s NOT in the past is our primary ability, and in this situation, I feel that Regenerator is the most simplistic AND best fit for CAP26 as a pivot.

CAP has a tendency to way overthink parts of its designs. That’s good for conversation — you can see a lot of discussion went into some abilities that I honestly hadn’t considered for CAP26. But I think I can illustrate to you an example of a recent CAP in which we overthought our abilities: Jumbao.

When we made CAP24, we set out to make a mon that utilized two weathers. What’s the best way to utilize one? To set it up: Jumbao snagged Drought as its primary ability and has greatly bolstered Sun as a concept within the meta, from making Volk’s damage output even more insane to providing more diverse teambuilds than just Mega Charizard Y. It was a simple choice to make, but one that stood by our concept strongly.

The same cannot be said for Trace as its secondary ability. Sure, it can be put on sand teams, but Trace Jumbao has found itself a new role as a Wishpasser and defensive pivot thanks to some key matchups that the ability provides, most notably all Heatran sets without Z-Flash Cannon. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but it doesn’t strike me as particularly pro-concept, because I don’t feel drawn to include Jumbao on a sand team anymore than I would any core I’m trying to make, offensively or defensively. Trace Jumbao pairs with a ton of stuff, which increases its viability in a way it probably didn’t need in the first place, while also not supporting the concept in a significant way.

I hope this illustration demonstrates why Regenerator is our best option. Jordy aptly pointed out in his first post that Regenerator is the most simple option to choose for a pivot. He is absolutely right, and in this case, the most simple option is the best option. It provides a way to passively heal without clicking a move, and I can’t think of a mechanic more suited for a pivot trying to come into a match multiple times to throw out Doom Desire. Spending an additional turn to recover eats up too much time, and will ultimately lead CAP26 to pursue other options in terms of its most effective sets in the metagame. With Regenerator, CAP26 can guarantee that its own longevity in a match as a pivot with a fantastic defensive typing. I can appreciate how Jordy steered the discussion away from Regenerator in order to stimulate a more bombastic and thought-provoking series of posts. But now that Regenerator is open for consideration, I think we need to seriously sit down and parse out if any ability comes close to providing CAP26 with the tools to succeed conceptually. And in my opinion, I’m not convinced that any of these other abilities come close to providing the utility and flexibility that Regenerator does for our CAP.
I think this discredits a lot of the discussion we've had. I agree, Regenerator is one of the top choices for CAP26. Using free turns to click Doom Desire instead of Recover is definitely a positive to Regenerator. However, Steel / Ground is actually one of the few typings that could have been picked where I think Regenerator isn't far and away the best choice. For Steel / Ghost and Steel / Flying, moreso. But for Steel / Ground? Look at our switch-in list from SHSP's final post of the threats discussion:

Switch Ins: Mega Crucibelle, Clefable, Tapu Koko, Most Tornadus-T, Magearna lacking Focus Blast
Frankly, we don't have many great switch-in opportunities as of right now because we lack relevant resistances. While we switch into Mega Crucibelle, Tapu Koko, and "most Tornadus-T," those run U-turn a good bit of the time (Tapu Koko has opted for Volt Switch lately, admittedly). Clefable is also trending downward. My point is, having 5 switch-ins by typing, 2 of which are shaky, 1 of which is not very relevant, means we're going to suffer switching in. This is why immunity abilities have been rather popular in the thread, and why the discussion before Jordy opened Regenerator has been extremely important.

I'm not saying that Regenerator is a bad option. Regenerator + Assault Vest is an option we can use to shore up our bulk, or we can just have really great natural bulk to allow us to switch into the metagame. However, I think that, with our typing, we can't discount the benefits of some of the good immunity abilities discussed, namely Levitate, Bulletproof, and Water Absorb. Specifically, Levitate is the ability that can contend with Regenerator's effectiveness the best.

To reiterate, Levitate provides a fantastic immunity to Ground-type attacks, meaning Garchomp, Jumbao, and Mega Tyranitar are forced to run Fire-type attacks to damage CAP26, Pain Split + Calm Mind Magearna and Mega Diancie are helpless against CAP26 unless they run suboptimal coverage (i.e. they go out of their way to beat CAP26, specifically), Landorus-T will have to resort to Superpower to reliably damage CAP26 (which is likely not going to happen, it'll just rely on U-turn), Tangrowth will have to rely on its less effective Grass-type STAB to wear down CAP26, and Excadrill, which has seen an upward trend with the more reliable sand teams, cannot reliably damage CAP26. That's a lot more switch-in opportunities that CAP26 can utilize, and these are relevant Pokemon in the metagame.

Moreover, Levitate has an extremely useful benefit of ignoring Spikes damage. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Spikes are prominent in the current metagame with great setters like Greninja, Ferrothorn, Arghonaut, and Ash Greninja (Syclant isn't terrible but hasn't run Spikes as much lately, in favor of Choice Band). What's indicative of Spikes' dominance is that the two best reliable Defoggers in the metagame are Tornadus-T and Rotom-W, which are immune to Spikes. Another upwards-trending Defogger is Tapu Fini, which can counteract the influx of Choice Scarf Volkraken while providing Defog support, and shut down Ash Greninja and Arghonaut, two of the aforementioned Spike setters. Bottom-line, if CAP26's only hazard chip damage is the 3% chip damage from Stealth Rock, CAP26 gains a lot of survivability, on top of the added immunity to the aforementioned Ground-type attacks.

Furthermore, there are other ways for CAP26 to heal besides using a recovery move. A prominent strategy among Pokemon without reliable recovery has been to run a 50% pinch berry like Iapapa Berry. For Pokemon like Rotom-W, non-Z Garchomp, and some Heatran variants, this is a valuable and viable strategy that CAP26 can use as an alternative to Recover. This is not to say that a Levitate CAP26 should have to run Iapapa Berry, but it certainly is an option.

As for Bulletproof and Water Absorb, these abilities are a lot more focused in what they do, but Bulletproof ensures CAP26 can wall prominent threats that it would wall aside from Focus Blast like Magearna, Mega Alakazam, Tapu Lele, Tornadus-T, and Aurumoth(see my last post on this). Water Absorb, while I find to be the least effective of these four, solidifies the Toxapex matchup, which can appreciably annoy CAP26's teammates trying to achieve a Doom Desire lock. Aside from that, it allows CAP26 to place pressure on Ash-Greninja (which always runs Choice Specs) and Volkraken (which always runs a choice item, mostly Choice Scarf now). Both of these abilities' attributes are valuable, even if niche.

So basically, I don't think we need to say "well Regenerator is the simplest, obviously best option, so let's go with that." We actually did have a productive discussion on immunity abilities that improve CAP26's ability to switch-in. Thus, I think we should consider Regenerator with as much scrutiny as the other abilites. I like how quziel puts it here:

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Both of these options are equally viable. We get more switch-in opportunities with an immunity ability, as I have outined more specifically above. On the other hand, we can give CAP26 a lot of natural bulk to compensate for its lack of relevant resistances and allow it to use Regenerator successfully.

As of now, I think I'm leaning Levitate > Regenerator >> Bulletproof > Water Absorb >> others. Any one of these abilities will improve CAP26's ability to pivot, which will give it opportunities to switch in, use Doom Desire effectively, and switch out. Regardless, the mindset that "Regenerator is obviously the shoe-in" died when we got Steel / Ground as our typing, rather than something that Steel / Ghost or Steel / Flying, which has an actual resist palate. Let's not confound the issue here.
 

Birkal

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I agree, let’s not confound the issue. I never discredited the previous conversation — I specifically mentioned “good conversation” in my post and admitted that I’ve grown to consider other abilities thanks to how the thread has been structured. Levitate was the option that most opened my eyes, and while I think Jordy argues the threat of spikes-stacking too much, there are a lot of convincing switch-ins it provides us, most notably Ferrothorn, and Arghonaut’s main set (even though it runs Knock Off for Iapapa, so I’m not entirely convinced it’s a great switch-in).

I think you provide some great metagame-grounded arguments in your post snake_rattler, but I don’t appreciate the way you defended against my post by strawmanning it. I never said “let’s go with that” with regards to Regenerator, nor that it is “far and away” the best option. I, like you, want to follow our TL’s wishes with regards to CAP26, and I feel that our opinions aren’t too far apart. I would probably rank Regenerator > Levitate > Other Niche Resistances >>> Other Abilities, but I will show that with my vote.

With my previous post, I didn’t aim to shut down conversation, and I agree that we should consider it with as much scrutiny as the other abilities we’ve discussed in-depth. In fact, I specifically said: “I think we need to seriously sit down and parse out if any ability comes close to providing CAP26 with the tools to succeed conceptually.” My post came from a place where Renegerator was talked about for WEEKS on Discord, and now that it’s finally allowed a platform for discussion, people have spent more time arguing for Cloud Nine and Competitive. I may be way off-base here, but I can’t help but have a sour taste in my mouth over how this discussion has been skewed against it.

To reiterate, Regenerator is an ability that makes a Pokemon so splashable in teambuilder. It’s why adding Torn-T to a team can feel so natural, or even Scarf Crucibelle; you know they will stick around and provide a great core with team support. Our concept discussion led us to a pivot, and I don’t think it gets much more apt than that. Even though switch-ins provided are appreciated, I don’t think they support the ability in as game-breaking of a way as Regenerator.

The more I’ve thought about Quziel’s post there, I’ve come to realize what doesn’t mesh with me personally on it. On paper, Levitate does provide more switch-ins numerically, but I don’t think it will play out that way in matches at all, at least compared to Regeneator, which allows you to switch into Spikes, U-turn, and pretty much any resisted STAB (all Clefable sets, Crucibelle), and leave later with a net gain. Levitate never produces a numerical gain, so while you’re getting momentum for predicting good switch-ins, you’re not gaining anything over a 40 turn match; your opponent will eventually predict you and lure in for a cripple or KO. Regenerator, meanwhile, gives utility against countless teambuilds in a way that OU viable mons are known for in cores. I think Regenerator gives a lot more breadth than Quziel implies, certainly more the depth Levitate provides.

This is all in my opinion, of course. Feel free to vote however you like; I think snake and I are pretty close to the same page on what this ability should look like, just with our #1 and #2 choices flipped. I think the discussion we had before was bombastic and extremely productive. So I’d personally like to have just as in-depth of a discussion about Regenerator before this thread closes.
 

snake_rattler

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I'm glad that we're seeing a little more eye-to-eye Birkal, but I wanted to point a couple things out in your post.

Levitate was the option that most opened my eyes, and while I think Jordy argues the threat of spikes-stacking too much, there are a lot of convincing switch-ins it provides us, most notably Arghonaut’s main set (even though it runs Knock Off for Iapapa, so I’m not entirely convinced it’s a great switch-in).
Just because we're immune to Spikes doesn't mean we suddenly become a switch-in to Arghonaut. At best, Arghonaut gets 3 layers of Spikes and CAP26 and Arghonaut and CAP26 are slowly chipping away at each other, and we know Arghonaut has Recover. Unless we get some serious super effective coverage, Arghonaut just gets free Spikes against us and we (likely) lose over time. The benefit of having a Spikes immunity is just helpful in most other situations, but switching CAP26 into Arghonaut, especially if it's an Iapapa Berry set, is not the right play. In the same way, having a Spikes immunity doesn't necessarily improve our matchup with other Spikes users.

To reiterate, Regenerator is an ability that makes a Pokemon so splashable in teambuilder. It’s why adding Torn-T to a team can feel so natural, or even Scarf Crucibelle; you know they will stick around and provide a great core with team support.
I agree to an extent, but Steel / Ground has some really common weaknesses and just not that many relevant resistances. The weakness to Ground, Fire, and Fighting really hurts in a metagame full of these coverage moves. Now, you might look at Toxapex and think that it's super weak to the common, powerful Psychic-types, but Toxapex comes with a lot of key resistances, specifically Fire- and Water-type. Steel / Ground just doesn't have the same resistances, as indicated by our rather pathetic switch-in list. Regenerator will make CAP26 more splashable for sure, but I'm not sure if it's to the extent you seem to imply.

The more I’ve thought about Quziel’s post there, I’ve come to realize what doesn’t mesh with me personally on it. On paper, Levitate does provide more switch-ins numerically, but I don’t think it will play out that way in matches at all, at least compared to Regeneator, which allows you to switch into Spikes, Voltturn, and pretty much any resisted STAB (all Clefable sets, Crucibelle), and leave later with a net gain. Levitate never produces a numerical gain, so while you’re getting momentum for predicting good switch-ins, you’re not gaining anything over a 40 turn match; your opponent will eventually predict you and lure in for a cripple or KO. Regenerator, meanwhile, gives utility against countless teambuilds in a way that OU viable mons are known for in cores. I think Regenerator gives a lot more breadth than Quziel implies, certainly more the depth Levitate provides.
I'm not so sure about this, and it might just be how you've used "numerical" in different contexts. Yes, Regenerator allows you to heal off Spikes damage, but Levitate makes it so you just can't take damage from them. Even if you can get a net heal with Regenerator, Levitate still allows for a good amount of breathing room.

Furthermore, Levitate does provide more switch-in numerically, and that's important. With Levitate, you actually beat out Garchomp unless it runs a Fire-type move, which are generally special (Fire Blast and Flamethrower rather than Fire Fang), and if it runs the Fire-type attack it's not running Swords Dance or Stealth Rock. Also, assuming 100 HP / 100 Def / 100 SpD bulk...

252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 326-386 (80.6 - 95.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 SpA Garchomp Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Excadrill: 132-156 (32.6 - 38.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Garchomp Fire Fang vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 144-170 (35.6 - 42%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock

252 SpA Diancie-Mega Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Excadrill: 230-272 (56.9 - 67.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Diancie-Mega Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Excadrill: 90-107 (22.2 - 26.4%) -- 58.6% chance to 4HKO after Stealth Rock

0 Atk Tangrowth Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 146-172 (36.1 - 42.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
0 SpA Tangrowth Giga Drain vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Excadrill: 88-105 (21.7 - 25.9%) -- 25.4% chance to 4HKO after Stealth Rock

+1 224+ SpA Magearna Hidden Power Ground vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Excadrill: 212-250 (52.4 - 61.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
+1 224+ SpA Magearna Twinkle Tackle (195 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Excadrill: 257-303 (63.6 - 75%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
(this burns Magearna's Z-move also)

252 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 356-420 (88.1 - 103.9%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Landorus-Therian Supersonic Skystrike (175 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 309-364 (76.4 - 90%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock (this is notably at +2)

252 Atk Excadrill Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 338-398 (83.6 - 98.5%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Excadrill Corkscrew Crash (160 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 268-316 (66.3 - 78.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock (also at +2)

252+ Atk Tyranitar-Mega Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 284-336 (70.2 - 83.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252+ Atk Tyranitar-Mega Fire Punch vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 214-254 (52.9 - 62.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock (this is if Mega Tyranitar is carrying Fire Punch though, as it wants Earthquake for Magearna and Toxapex, and it never carries both)

252 Atk Pajantom Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 222-262 (54.9 - 64.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Pajantom Spirit Shackle vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 133-157 (32.9 - 38.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock

There are other Ground-type moves from Pokemon like Mega Latios, Jumbao, some Tornadus-T, and others, but Levitate allows CAP26 to take resisted hits rather than have to try to stomach the super effective Ground-type attacks, that it would likely have to use two Regenerator switches to fully heal. It gives CAP26 a lot more room to breathe and function, actually throwing out Doom Desires rather than switching in and out trying to recover damage. Even if CAP26 does take the resisted damage from these Pokemon, it has actual Pokemon to switch into. Remember that CAP26 just doesn't have a lot of safe opportunities to even stay in, again, as shown by our really short list of switch-ins. Regenerator would be perfect for CAP26 had the typing to truly leverage its defensive typings, but unfortunately Steel / Ground just doesn't have that. Levitate provides the correct defensive utility that CAP26 will need to properly throw out Doom Desires - if it can't stay in on anything, it can't use Doom Desire effectively, even if it heals off damage switching out.
 
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jas61292

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In general, I think I agree with those people who are supporting immunity abilities. I am most intrigued by Bulletproof, and the unique set of switch ins it provides, but really, I think there are a number of good immunity options, which others have already made good cases for. What I would like to do with this post, is instead talk about why I think Regenerator is an exceedingly poor choice for this project.

While it is true that Regenerator is the most straight forward and simple option for a pivot, I think it actually would be a hindrance when it comes to our true goal of utilizing Doom Desire. In many ways I feel like you could say it is actually too good of an ability, and one that would discourage people from wanting to rely on subpar strategies, like the move we are trying to incentivize. I know that I personally would be more inclined to use weaker, but more straight forward moves if I had Regenerator, since it has such a simple and powerful playstyle that really has no need for an unusual twist. It is also important to note that, unlike immunity abilities, Regenerator only has an effect when you leave the battle. It does nothing to help us get in, nor does it do anything for us while we are in. Regenerator does not simply help with pivoting, it almost mandates it, because it doesn't do anything otherwise. The issue with this is twofold.

First, as has been pointed out by others, I think that the number one issue we are facing is that our typing is going to have some issue switching in. A lot of types that our typing resists are mainly utilized by Pokemon who also pack coverage moves that threaten us. If the opponent predicts our switch in to a lot of the thing we want to threaten, it could result in a severely weakened CAP, if not a KOed one. The issue here for Regenerator is both that it does nothing to mitigate this situation, but also that, if it actually occurs, it encourages an instant switch out to get health back, even if we were faster and could get of a move.

This ties into the second main reason I am against Regenerator. It encourages switching too much. Any time you have taken any damage, and the situation is not ideal, a Regenerator Pokemon wants to switch out, because healing one Pokemon while another takes damage is better than having one take damage and no one healing. It is in many ways like getting a switch advantage while still getting to use a move, especially if you have any sort of pivoting move to go with it. This often encourages a playstyle where you get in, use one move, and get out. And while that may seem like it is what we want to do with Doom Desire, I question whether or not that move would prove enticing enough to actually use. By clicking it, you are allowing a free switch to your opponent, and unlike with something like a hazard, all you get in exchange is one extra hit later, not some constant effect throughout the battle. A longer lasting effect or a more powerful direct attack both seem like more enticing options if you have no intention of ever staying in for more than one turn.

Also in the situation noted previously, if you make a poor switch and take a lot of damage, Regenerator encourages the double switch. As someone who believes we are going to be hard pressed to make people actually want to click Doom Desire, I believe that if we are actively encouraging people to switch without using any move at all, then we are headed in the wrong direction. I'd almost rather have an ability that does nothing defensively at all than Regenerator, as at least in that situation, you would be more likely to stay in and actually use the move we are building around. Getting off a Doom Desire right before getting KOed by something is a fine result for the concept. Switching out and not using any move at all is not.

I know we are building a Pivot, and I know that means we are aiming for a lot of switching. But that does not mean we need to switch all the time, after one or no turns of being in. That is the kind of playstyle Regenerator is about, and I just do not believe that is a playstyle that will have any desire to use Doom Desire.
 
Snake's post is brilliant but I was already like 75% done with this novel and I'm going to darn well post it :(.

I mega-posted on Magic Guard yesterday, so now it's time to talk about Regenerator. I can't dispute Birkal's closing point - Regenerator provides a ton of utility, flexibility, and power. It is the most obvious choice for a Pivot ability. A free heal on switch is a tremendous boon. It frees up CAP 26's movepool (it no longer has to run recovery to survive) and/or allows it to have more partners (it no longer demands wish-passing or hazard control to help manage its health total), and it opens the item slot up nice and wide (we can feel much better about ditching the Leftovers and running Assault Vest, Life Orb, Resist Berries, Steelium-Z, and even Choice items if we know that our ability has our recovery handled). It also helps carve us a clearer niche over Celesteela or Ferrothorn; we can focus stats on not needing Vest or Lefties and thus not be "allergic to knock-off" which has been a concern and a way to help us stand out compared to other defensive Steels. I think Jordy was very wise to ban discussion of it at the start of the thread, because it is the elephant in the room and would have dominated discussion to a degree that likely would have choked out any other option - on a purely numerical level, it is a cut above any other ability as a Pivot ability.

My concern is this - our concept is not "create the ultimate pivot". That has become a side-project due to Concept Assessment, but in two years if CAP 26 isn't actually utilized as a pivot, no one would say necessarily we "failed at the concept". Our goal is also not necessarily to make an A+ or S tier 'mon that is infinitely splashable either. That is the dream and is implied in our goal, but is not a mandate of the project. If CAP 26 ends up more niche, but fulfills its concept, than as long as it has a role in the metagame it would still be a success. I actually think it's fascinating that Birkal uses Trace Jumbao as an example here of a very powerful CAP that arguably fails at its concept, because that is exactly my concern for Regen CAP 26.

Our Concept and our mission is "Create a Pokemon that is the premier utilizer of delayed attack moves, specifically Doom Desire, in the CAP Metagame". If we had chosen a different typing, Regenerator might fulfill that mission nicely - but unfortunately, we are Steel/Ground and carry nasty weaknesses to several of the premier attackers in the metagame. Our switch-in list is paper thin, with five 'mons (two of whom are switch-ins with an asterisk and a prayer that they don't run a SE coverage move). Our list of 'mons that pressure us is vast, and that's a problem because it makes it very hard to set DD when we aren't actually forcing things out. 30% healing isn't realistically going to help us if we come in and eat 20% and then eat another 60%+ plus while we set DD. Regenerator will instead make us a more pure pivot; we'll come in and we'll never set DD because we'll never have a turn to breathe. When we do have a turn to breathe, we'll often be more rewarded for mashing immediate power than for setting up DD. We'll undoubtedly be powerful, and we may even see DD used purely as a Z-crystal Nuke (much like Kyurem-B utilizes its signature move), but I have concerns that we won't be able to afford setting up Doom Desire because we have so few 'mons we safely switch into and threaten immediately with Fire STAB.

An immunity ability feels crucial to CAP 26, because it gives it more opportunity to switch-in for free and force opponents to switch out because they are walled. We buy turns, as not only do we "waste" their attack and take 0% from an attack, we force them to spend a turn switching out so that we can do what we want (i.e., set up Doom Desire). Yes, CAP 26 will also need to solve its longevity problem, and that may mean it is reliant on its item slot or reliant on a partner or has to click a recovery move. But I feel like straight immunity just buys this concept more than a 30% heal.

Still, that's just a theory. This is much harder to test as Regenerator (and AssVest) are so stat reliant, but let's look at ol' reliable from our Threats thread and run a few calcs of CAP 26 versus several of the passive counters we want to checkmate and switch-ins we want to force out, with AssVest and without, to see if we can afford to take a hit while setting up DD. I'll also try to look at some of our checks with AssVest and without. As in Threats, I'll be utilizing a CAP 26 with cloned Heatran stats and a Ground/Steel typing, 252 SpA, and a modest nature. For AssVest, it'll have 252 SpD. For non-vest, it'll have 252 HP. I recognize these are impure and flawed calcs, and I'm open to another way but I can't think of one off the top of my head without poll-jumping.

For each, I am going to highlight that damage in Green or Red. Green means that we can safely set DD against that 'mon - for C&C and pressures it means we can afford to take a single hit on a mutual switch, while for switch-ins it means we can soak up to two hits if we need to, and then heal off all or almost all the damage with just Regenerator. Red means we cannot do that and are likely to be KOd under those parameters, or are unable to perform well over an entire match. Orange means we still take a huge chunk but Regen definitely helps us to do it at least once per match and maybe twice. I'll look at these in priority order - we NEED to be able to laugh off hits from our switch-ins several times per match, Next, we should be prepared to take a hit from a pressure but it's not the end of the world if we lose to them in a shootout. For checks and counters we want to live in a perfect world where we force out a switch-in and use our free turn for DD so we never have to take a hit. (and thus it's less of a huge deal if counters wreck our face). For ease of reference, I will also italicize match-ups that would swing to green with an immunity ability of the appropriate type. I do these calcs without any agenda - I want to try to get a feel for how Regenerator versus Water Absorb versus Levitate versus Bulletproof are going to work out for us in practice.

Switch-ins:
252 Atk Crucibelle-Mega Stone Edge vs. 0 HP / 4 Def CAP : 40-47 (12.3 - 14.5%) -- possible 7HKO

0 SpA Clefable Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 25-30 (7.7 - 9.2%) -- possibly the worst move ever
0 SpA Clefable Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 64-76 (19.8 - 23.5%) -- possible 5HKO

0- Atk Tapu Koko U-turn vs. 0 HP / 4 Def CAP : 24-29 (7.4 - 8.9%) -- possibly the worst move ever
172 SpA Tapu Koko Hidden Power Ice vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 26-31 (8 - 9.5%) -- possibly the worst move ever

0- Atk Tornadus-Therian Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 Def CAP: 60-71 (18.5 - 21.9%) -- possible 5HKO
252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 68-81 (21 - 25%) -- 0% chance to 4HKO

252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Focus Blast vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 120-142 (37.1 - 43.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252 SpA Magearna Fleur Cannon vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 54-64 (16.7 - 19.8%) -- guaranteed 6HKO
252 SpA Magearna Focus Blast vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 134-158 (41.4 - 48.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Primary Pressures
:
252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Focus Blast vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 168-198 (52 - 61.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Heatran Magma Storm vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 186-218 (57.5 - 67.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after trapping damage

252+ SpA Heatran Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 110-130 (34 - 40.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Heatran: 312-368 (96.5 - 113.9%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO


252 SpA Tapu Lele Focus Blast vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran: 134-158 (41.4 - 48.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran in Psychic Terrain: 57-67 (17.6 - 20.7%) -- possible 5HKO

252 Atk Caribolt Power Whip vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Heatran: 160-190 (49.5 - 58.8%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO

252 SpA Jumbao Flame Burst vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran in Sun: 112-134 (34.6 - 41.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252 SpA Jumbao Focus Blast vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran: 130-154 (40.2 - 47.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Checks
:

252 SpA Greninja Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran: 156-186 (48.2 - 57.5%) -- 89.5% chance to 2HKO

252 SpA Choice Specs Greninja-Ash Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran: 308-366 (95.3 - 113.3%) -- 75% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Greninja-Ash Water Shuriken (20 BP) (3 hits) vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran: 168-204 (52 - 63.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


252 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Heatran: 338-398 (104.6 - 123.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

0 Atk Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Heatran: 117-138 (36.2 - 42.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252 Atk Tough Claws Charizard-Mega-X Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Heatran: 482-570 (149.2 - 176.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Charizard-Mega-Y Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran in Sun: 260-308 (80.4 - 95.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


4 Atk Latios-Mega Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Heatran: 172-204 (53.2 - 63.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Volkraken Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran: 188-224 (58.2 - 69.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Volkraken Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Heatran: 188-224 (58.2 - 69.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

32 Atk Tyranitar Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Heatran: 180-214 (55.7 - 66.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Counters:
Chansey Seismic Toss vs. 0 HP CAP 26: 100-100 (30.9 - 30.9%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

0 SpA Toxapex Scald vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP 26: 54-66 (16.7 - 20.4%) -- possible 5HKO***

0 Atk Arghonaut Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Heatran: 148-176 (45.8 - 54.4%) -- 52.3% chance to 2HKO

0 Atk Arghonaut Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 Def CAP 26: 72-85 (22.2 - 26.3%) -- 11.7% chance to 4HKO

0 SpA Celesteela Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP: 70-84 (21.6 - 26%) -- 2.4% chance to 4HKO

0 SpA Rotom-Wash Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest CAP 26: 126-150 (39 - 46.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Switch-ins:
252 Atk Crucibelle-Mega Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 0 Def CAP: 40-47 (10.3 - 12.1%) -- possible 9HKO

0 SpA Clefable Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD CAP: 118-140 (30.5 - 36.2%) -- 52.9% chance to 3HKO
0 SpA Clefable Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD CAP: 46-55 (11.9 - 14.2%) -- possible 8HKO

172 SpA Tapu Koko Hidden Power Ice vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD CAP: 47-56 (12.1 - 14.5%) -- possible 7HKO

252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD CAP: 76-90 (19.6 - 23.3%) -- possible 5HKO
252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD CAP: 127-150 (32.9 - 38.8%) -- 99.8% chance to 3HKO

252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD CAP: 222-262 (57.5 - 67.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Magearna Fleur Cannon vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD CAP: 101-119 (26.1 - 30.8%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
252 SpA Magearna Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD CAP: 248-294 (64.2 - 76.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


Primary Pressures:

252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 310-366 (80.3 - 94.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran in Psychic Terrain: 105-123 (27.2 - 31.8%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

252 SpA Tapu Lele Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 248-294 (64.2 - 76.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 312-368 (80.8 - 95.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Heatran Magma Storm vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 338-402 (87.5 - 104.1%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after trapping damage

252+ SpA Heatran Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 204-242 (52.8 - 62.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Caribolt Power Whip vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 162-192 (41.9 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252 SpA Jumbao Flame Burst vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran in Sun: 210-248 (54.4 - 64.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Jumbao Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 240-284 (62.1 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 SpA Jumbao Hidden Power Ground vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 100-118 (25.9 - 30.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

Checks:

252 SpA Volkraken Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 350-414 (90.6 - 107.2%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Volkraken Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 350-414 (90.6 - 107.2%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

252 SpA Choice Specs Greninja-Ash Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 576-680 (149.2 - 176.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Greninja-Ash Water Shuriken (20 BP) (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 312-378 (80.8 - 97.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


252 SpA Greninja Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 290-344 (75.1 - 89.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 338-398 (87.5 - 103.1%) -- 25% chance to OHKO

4 Atk Latios-Mega Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 172-204 (44.5 - 52.8%) -- 22.3% chance to 2HKO


Counters:
Chansey Seismic Toss vs. 252 HP Heatran: 100-100 (25.9 - 25.9%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

0 SpA Toxapex Scald vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 102-120 (26.4 - 31%) -- guaranteed 4HKO


0 Atk Arghonaut Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 148-176 (38.3 - 45.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 Atk Arghonaut Knock Off vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 49-58 (12.6 - 15%) -- possible 7HKO

0 SpA Celesteela Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 130-154 (33.6 - 39.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

0 SpA Rotom-Wash Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 236-278 (61.1 - 72%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
A few more notes - all Scald calcs assumed we don't get burned. Argh's Knock Off looks purely at damage but obviously a Leftovers or AV CAP 26 will absolutely despise their item being knocked. I ignored Latias-M in calcs because I couldn't find consensus on what moves it usually runs. I ignored largely physical attackers on the pressure list due to them hitting any set super hard and generally not being answered by any set-up, but Regenerator is a smidgen better against, say, Weavile and other heavy physical pressures that can't outright OHKO us. For everyone else I looked only at its most damaging moves, so assume with the exception of Nature's Madness Tapu Koko that any other move hits for similar or worse.

(Re)Generating Conclusions:
- Regenerator, as Birkal said in his follow-up post, allows us to not only switch into our switch-ins and soak hits, but actually come out of that fight at a profit. AV CAP 26 may even be able to tank a SSS from Torn-T and come out ahead on health after Regenerator which is preeeeeeettttty good.

- Because our Counters are generally so Passive, Regenerator also allows us to set DD or use other utility moves in the face of those 'mons and still come out ahead. Is that good or bad considering they are supposed to be counters? I don't know. But it is certainly powerful.

- Regenerator is generally also fine to good at guarding against a wide spectrum of our pressures. It does a poor job against M-Alakazam and Garchomp but we lose to those 'mons unless we specifically take an ability to beat them. Heatran is difficult to beat, but AssVest Regenerator will have a better shot at it than a Flash Fire or Levitate CAP due to the weakness we sport to both attacks. We also generally have a more survivable time against Tapu Lele, Jumbao, and "random physical attacking pressures with neutral STABs" like Weavile, Caribolt, and non-Band Kartana when we can restore 30% of our HP after cleaning them up or teeing up Doom Desire. The option to run AV in particular helps a lot against the likes of Jumbao and Tapu Lele.

- The "flaw" of Regenerator is that most of our Checks still hard check us, dealing far more damage than Regenerator can reasonably be expected to heal off. There is no ability that magically makes us able to handle ALL of those, but on balance most immunity abilities handle MORE of them.

And that's the real closing thought. Regenerator, as a few others have said, makes us even better against A) Highly passive 'mons and B) stuff we already wall. That list of Pokemon is very small, but it means we are absolutely devastating against them. Water Absorb and Levitate let us switch into more stuff, at the expense of still taking meaningful chip from stuf we're good at answering. For my money, given the concept, I think coming in more often is better than being really really good at coming in on those six or seven 'mons, but I don't know if either way is wrong. These calcs have done two things for my vote - I think Regenerator should be slated even though I won't be voting for it, and I've lost a lot of love for Bulletproof (and other more niche immunities like Flash Fire, Lightningrod, Magic Guard, Cloud Nine) because I think if you're NOT going to go ham with a blanket immunity, you should "take the obvious choice" and go Regenerator.
 
Last edited:

Jordy

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Here is the slate:

Levitate
Regenerator
Water Absorb
Bulletproof
  • Levitate was highly discussed and got a lot of positive discussion, allowing CAP 26 to ignore Spikes and switch into Ground-types like Garchomp, Excadrill, and some Landorus-T, creating more opportunities for CAP 26 to switch into play and fire off a Doom Desire.
  • Regenerator has been pointed out to provide CAP 26 with a lot of flexibility, unlike most other abilities, allowing CAP 26 to switch into play more reliably rather than to create more opportunity like the other abilities.
  • Water Absorb is ultimately being put on the slate for similar reasons to Levitate; it allows CAP 26 to pressure Water-types like Toxapex, Rotom-W, Tapu Fini, and force situations with offensive Water-types like Ash-Greninja and Volkraken, though unreliably. We decided on Water Absorb because of its lack of downsides when compared to Dry Skin. This ability also gives CAP 26 more opportunity to switch into play.
  • Lastly, Bulletproof, similarly to Levitate, got a lot of positive discussion. It's being picked because it frees CAP 26 up from some unfavorable match ups against Pokemon like Mega Alakazam, Magearna, and Tapu Lele. This ability gives CAP 26 more opportunities to switch into play.
While we realize that this slate is very small, there were no other options that really deserved to get slated because they either got weak support or a good amount of backlash. These 4 abilities clearly stood out from the rest and will serve as CAP 26's primary Ability.
 
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