CAP 29 - Concept Chat

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Congrats to all seven of the chosen submitters! These are all great concepts and will all work well with CAP 29!

Anyways, my favorites as of right now are Bulletproof Glass and Game of Inches. We haven't had a more defensively-oriented CAP since Mollux, and it would be a nice breath of fresh air from the offensive ones. But all of these are so good that my opinions might be completely different when the polls open up!

I do have some concerns about Hidden Potential, though. I was a big PU player when it was back in Alpha, and there was a big reason why we banned almost all of our Silvally forms. The buff given to Multi-Attack just made it such a strong and reliable move, and because you didn't know what type the Silvally was until it was sent out, there was no way to know if you could handle it. This may have been an easier move to handle back in Gen 7 when it was only 90 BP, but now I'm unsure.
 
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Wulfanator72

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Hidden Potential has the capability to produce an extremely volatile final product for our metagame. We would be giving this CAP a 120bp move that can be any type in the game. Realistically, there would only be a few usable typings but that does not not excuse the problem it poses. In the same way levitate+bulletproof Equilibra created mind games, this CAP would be treated as having all of these relevant coverage options until the players takes damage to see the effectiveness. To balance this power, we would need to indicated the coverage typing similar to how Arceus and Silvally indicate their typings through their design. Do we even have the ability to do this in the project? I doubt it.
 
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Rabia

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The Multi-Attack submission screams insane to me; yeah you can argue it's weak to Knock Off sure, but CAP is not short of great Knock Off switch-ins, and a Pokemon that has 120-Base Power Hidden Power is just not right. I feel you'd have to go out of your way in far too many of the other stages to cater to how absurd this move is. At least Hidden Power was a fairly weak move that could be scouted; Multi-Attack is a nuke that pivoting around is no small task. Having to spend potentially multiple turns switching around just to figure out what your check is to CAP 29's signature move does not sound conducive to healthy gameplay; I don't think I can support this submission because it looks like it'd get out of hand very quickly.
 

Jho

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This is a really cool slate with a lot of interesting options but I just wanted to talk about Hidden Potential and why I think it would be a poor choice for us to explore for a couple reasons which I will go over.

Multi Attack is not a move thats feasibly possible to focus on, similarly to how Hidden Power was never the the cornerstone of a set. These moves which a Pokemon has access to that can change type are (almost) always used as coverage to beat its most common check (as we know with Hidden Power). This would mean that a CAP made in this process would just have to be generically good and it also has the option to beat whichever of its checks it likes with a 120BP coverage move of its choice - a somewhat comparable option to Z-Moves since they also have the opportunity cost of taking up the item slot. The difference between Z-Moves and Multi Attack as a way to remove a would-be check is that Multi Attack is not one time use and therefore cannot be baited; this CAP will always have the opportunity to remove a check.

I said almost always used as coverage because for Silvally, it is its main STAB but that is more so because Silvally does not have the option to change Multi Attack to fit its needs and 120BP STAB is insanely strong which would be the 2nd way of fulfilling this concept; making sure Multi Attack is always STAB. This is only accomplishable with Protean and Libero since RKS System is obviously banned but even without going into how strong flexible 120BP STAB with no drawback is you can very easily see how this route would also lead to an incredibly boring process that essentially boils down to "has a strong STAB". This route would also not really explore the concept since the OP specifies exploring the gap left by Hidden Power.

Either way this concept could go I don't see it being very engaging or producing an interesting final product. The design space to explore is extremely limited as strong chooseable coverage move / 120BP STAB is exceedingly narrow of a process.
 

quziel

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I feel like I should post my fears about Hidden Potential

There are several differences between Multi Attack on a hypothetical CAP 29 and Multi Attack on Silvally. On Silvally the Multi Attack typing is hidden until you bring it in. Yet, like, even given that small amount of hidden info, Silvally can, and will, win games purely off of a wrong guess, in a way that frankly feels very unfair. I would like to link some NU tour games from back in peak Silvally meta, but I am afraid I do not remember which ones exactly.

This can be contrasted to CAP 29, which, while likely not gaining the benefit of changing its defensive typing also does not indicate what type Multi Attack is until several turns spent attacking. Naturally it will provide some information based on meta trends/team structure, but that information is not perfect, and there will be games won or lost purely because the Multi Attack that is assumed (even based on several turns of attacking) is wrong. The only way to figure out what typing Multi Attack is, is after it has hit at least one SE hit (against a 4x), or after several turns. The sheer difficulty of figuring out which Multi Attack typing is something, that, even correctly priced into the total power budget, would be potentially uncompetitive, and as such it worries me heavily.

This pokemon has a large chance to fall into being very unfun to play against, or unviable, and while there is a goldilocks zone, it may not reach that.
 
I think I like the slated concepts pretty well overall. I've taken a little time to think about each of them, and I feel like sharing my immediate reactions to each.

Defective Ability--

I quite like this concept. I think this concept has several different, interesting ideas to explore. There's a fairly small set of negative abilities, but they're very different from each other, and I would be interested to explore most of them. Trying to manage the downsides, or even leverage upsides in a few cases is an idea that excites me. I do wonder a little bit about the power level. It's pretty inherently easy to make something that's too weighted down by some of these abilities, but I also worry a little that it would be easy to be tempted into overcompensating for them.

Game of Inches

This might be my favorite of the concepts on the slate. I think it would be interesting to explore a variety of gradual damaging or recovering effects. I think there's a lot of space to explore, and I think this is one of the more elegant, or flexible of the defensive concepts, in that it has a focus on what the pokemon does instead of trying to restrict what it cannot do. I feel that incremental recovery effects are an especially rarely used space, and it would be fun and novel to try to truly take advantage of them.

Limit Break

I think it is somewhat interesting to consider how to take advantage of being attacked by the opponent. I don't think there's quite as much space to consider here as for some of the other concepts, but it's a relatively rare thing to occur in mons, and it would still be interesting to work with. I think in particular it's interesting to consider the opponent's role in battle with this, where they might have some control over when and how this pokemon gets a boost. That feels like an exciting angle to consider.

Boxing Gloves

I can't say I feel especially excited by this concept. It would be interesting to explore how wallbreakers can compensate for their poor typing, but I fear this is just going to be a sort of high-statted pokemon that hits very hard. Maybe I'm not thinking of enough possibilities, but this just isn't one of my favorite concepts on the slate.

Hidden Potential

I think here I'm less concerned with the power level (although that is a concern), and more feel that the pool of results is not especially interesting. Pokemon with incredible coverage do exist, and can be balanced, but it's not exactly a design space that I feel interested in. Alternatively, if the pokemon winds up using only one multi-attack nearly all of the time, then the result is perhaps even less interesting to me. For example, if it winds up using using nearly only Multi-Attack Ice (just using an example type here), it's basically just like, Glacial Lance the pokemon, and it hasn't really explored multi-attack, but it still theoretically has the possibly problematic ability to blow past its checks with a different type of multi-attack. However, if it does use multiple attack types well, then that raises concerns about what reliably checks it, and how to effectively scout it. My reaction to this concept isn't fear, it's disinterest, which I think is worse.

Boosting and Blasting

I feel that this has an interesting similarity to Limit Break. If either B&B CAP or Limit Break CAP were to trade blows with an opponent, both concepts would get something out of it. However, I think that I'm more interested in Limit Break, which feels more novel to me. I'm also a little concerned about the power level here-- getting a boost while attacking is a strong effect, and I feeel that many of the best ways to showcase it are very high power as well.

Bulletproof Glass

I find this concept interesting. I think it's a difficult, yet fascinating task to make a good, useful bulkmon with relatively low defensive stats, although it has definitiely happened before. I feel like this would allow a huge amount of room to explore different possible defensive typings and abilities, which could be fun. I do worry a little that this could turn out overly metagame dependent. I think the most meta-game independent bulkmons are blanket checks that use high defensive stats and decent typings to check a wide range of pokemon. I think it's possible that this would wind up primarily targeting a handfull of attackers, and fall out of favor the moment those pokemon do. Still, I would like to explore this, and I think of it favorably overall. It just feels unusual that this is the main concept where I truly worry it could be underpowered in a slate with Defective Ability.
 
While all these concerns about hidden potential are right, I think there are a lot of possibilities to reign in a strong move like that.
For one Multiattack is not much stronger than any Life Orb boosted 90BP coverage.
I concede that having coverage for every type is a really powerful trait and that scouting will be a pain.
But we can certainly balance this trait.
What if 29s base typings were weak to rocks and generally poor defensively? What if Multi attack were it’s only viable move? What if it didn’t have access to recovery? What if the stats were specially biased? Or its base attack was below average? What if we added a hindering ability?
Funnily enough, I think spending a lot of our power budget on one move, would end up restricting the other stages in a lot of the ways, that have been suggested through other concepts and I believe, that we could have very interesting discussions around this particular move.
 

MrDollSteak

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I want to echo Amamama here to try and counter some of the doom posting about Hidden Potential. It is of course accurate to say that Multi attack is an incredibly powerful move and will be fairly hard to switch into as a result of the mind games. But that is absolutely something CAP can prepare for. Theres no need to give this CAP an absurd attack stat to capitalise off of it. One of the discussion questions directly addresses the possibility of a special mon using Multi attack as mixed coverage. What if CAP 29's other coverage options are horrific and therefore limits the versatility of viable multi attack options to preserve checks? I think the current concerns are valid to point out in the interests of balancing the process, but I dont think they should be taken as proof that the concept is unfeasible. The only argument that I do see as being likely to progress as to the concept's feasibility is that in attempting to balance it, the end result may not be as interesting as the process itself was and we end up with a middling or mediocre mon. Nevertheless, I still believe that Hidden Potential does have the potential to be one of the more interesting projects we could do!

As for the other concepts I'm interested in, I believe Game of Inches, Defective Ability and Bulletproof Glass in no particular order stand out. All three I think promote new playstyles and will result in similarly unique CAPs. If I had to suggest my favorite of the three, I believe Bulletproof Glass may lead to the most interesting discussions, particularly surrounding typing and stats.
 
I really think most of these concepts hold value and will make for a cool process.

The one I feel least inclined to is “boxing gloves”, as a) our last cap Miasmaw unintentionally treaded this ground imo and b) the concept is already fairly explored in common mons like Rillaboom, Melmetal or Scizor.

The other one that I still struggle to see how it will be engaging is “game of inches” although I must admit, that that’s mostly because I can only picture this mon as Ferrothorn basically.

Rn my favorite concepts Are “Limit breaker”and “Defective ability”, just because I think they will turn out some unique and fun mons, while having a lot of room for cool discussions.
 
heres my mild takes

Defective Ability is pretty interesting, this is a quintessential CAP concept bc its taking something underused and trying to make it good. Its not at the top of my list but I dont have anything bad to say about it. (assuming skill swap is going to be fully off the table...)

Game Of Inches is interesting also. Probably one of the most interesting concepts in honestly. However Im not sure if the two aspects of the concept ( incremental offenses and defenses) can coexist successfully. The only examples I can think of that work have high offenses to pair with the incremental recovery or reliable defenses to deal with being slow to attack. Ferrothorn might seem like a good example but it has nuclear lvl STAB BP attacks that help it work.

Limit Break is something that has popped up with different writeups a fair few times. Ngl I dont get the Final Fantasy reference but this doesnt really appeal to me. Theres a lot of gimmicky routes (im seeing berserk stall, stamina stall, WP, and pain split+5 hp things here) that I dont love and I assume would be popular if it won in order to maximise the exploration of the concept.

Boxing Gloves is ok. What I immediately think of here is something like Porygon-Z or Mega Crucibelle where you balance having shitty STAB coverage with ignoring resists anyway thanks to sheer power. On the other hand it could be a Kartana and balance it with super high offenses. Neither of those really call to me.

Hidden Potential is my least fav because I just dont think you can capture the essence of Hidden Power in one Pokemon, ultimately it boils down to having 1 or 2 useful coverage moves and that doesnt really seem to fill a CAP process with interesting discussion, and there's an awkward situation if the perfect-coverage mon becomes too strong.

Boosting and Blasting has grown on me massively. It has a lot of interesting end results and its easy for both meta and non-meta ppl to see the potential. It offers unique boosting combinations depending on the ability or it could even not rely on an ability at all and just use raw boosting attacks to good effect. There is some worry of snowballing but I trust the TL and TLT to not allow us down a self destructive road.

Bulletproof Glass is another concept I really like. Could lead to really interesting mons like Crobat or even something like defensive Volcarona. The concept encourages CAP to do something different especially in the stat stage, but the key point of it being defensive allows guidance through the earlier stages also.
 
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One potential caveat to Bulletproof Glass is that in the absence of good defensive stats, there's a good chance we'd have to rely heavily on a top-tier defensive typing and/or ability, and in that way it could be constraining. Of the example mons listed in the submission, only Crobat arguably has neither. Some other examples that come to mind are Poison Heal Breloom in past gens (acts as a defensive mon despite awful defensive stats because of an insane defensive ability), Defensive Mawile in PU pre-DLC2 (I don't know if it's viable anymore, but it was an extremely prevalent defensive mon with 50/85/55 defensive stats- it just had arguably the best defensive typing in the game as well as Intimidate), and perhaps even something like Clefable, which isn't actually that bulky, it just has a stellar ability and a good defensive typing.

I fully expect that ability discussion threads would be clogged with Magic Guard, Magic Bounce, Poison Heal, Regenerator, Prankster, etc. even more than they usually are, while Fairy and Steel typings would factor heavily into typing discussion. These are just by far the easiest ways to make a viable defensive mon with mediocre bulk.

I suppose it's ultimately a personal preference, but I love CAPs that explore underused abilities or traditionally mediocre typings, and this feels like it would inevitably lead to the opposite.

Edit: StarFalcon555 Oops, sorry, I'm not up to speed. Good to know!
 
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Bughouse

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I rarely post in concept threads, but felt a need to caution against a number of slated concepts that in my mind have serious risk for producing overpowered and unhealthy additions to the metagame and/or are just bad process-wise. I have not yet made up my mind about a preference for the remaining 4 concepts that didn't concern me, but I definitely can say that I would advise against each of the 3 following concepts:

Boxing Gloves presents a very high risk of a CAP that has inordinately high attacking stats, possibly even boosted by power boosting abilities like examples already mentioned by others in this thread (Beast Boost/Swords Dance on Kartana, Adaptability/Nasty Plot on Porygon-Z). While these sorts of Pokemon can be not-broken, they are still rarely healthy and result in matchup-fish. Given CAP already has a large preponderance of threats to prepare for, adding a Pokemon that almost inevitably will have tilted team matchups seems a bad idea.

Hidden Potential aside from being bad flavor and a frankly entirely unnecessary game element to study through CAP, runs a high risk of being overpowered. The only reason this works at all on Silvally as a non-broken Pokemon is the 1) relative predictability, 2) changing of typing of Silvally that makes using strong offensive typings like Ice have a drawback defensively, and 3) Silvally's well-rounded good but not excellent stats. In CAP world this Pokemon would most likely get a good, reliable typing, be totally unpredictable which of many strong attacks it is using, and likely have far more targeted stats to the point that it is a bona fide threat. And once the CAP has reliable typing and better stats, I strongly question whether it will genuinely use a Memory + Multi Attack vs any other item and move combinations.

Boosting and Blasting just has snowball written all over it. I place less faith in the CAP process than others do to avoid making (another) unhealthy set up sweeper after Aurumoth... and Cawmodore... and Pyroak... and ... you get my point. This just isn't CAP's strength and I'd certainly rather give it another go at least under a concept that doesn't so directly implicate it. I'd rather we find ourselves trying to make a set up sweeper because a concept leads us to that conclusion being the best at fulfilling it to one that just literally is: make a set up sweeper that uses a more unusual range of moves. At least the first kind of concept would hopefully provider some guardrails, while this one has roughly none.

In terms of the remaining 4, I do also have a few process related concerns about Defective Ability and Limit Break, so I guess that means by default my top 2 are Bulletproof Glass and Game of Inches? But I could be convinced that the former two can be managed effectively. I'm interested to read what others have to say about those concepts here.
 

Wulfanator72

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I will go ahead and make a quick post addressing some of the other concepts on the slate.

I am finding it difficult to write anything about Defective Ability. I would be curious to see what ideas this concept can generate with more time to dwell on the available tools, but I am not overly impressed by initial discussion seen in the discord. I think there are only a few bad abilities that have potential to perform well which makes an already shallow list of abilities even more limited. I do think this project will need to permit some level of poll jumping because elevating these abilities is purely dependent on other steps picking up the slack.

Limit Break feels like the type of concept to have very clear community favorite options that will dominate conversation. We have seen this happen before with Jumbao’s ability discussion (Chlorophyll vs Drought) and Astrolotl’s typing discussion (Fire/Dragon). It just leads to a very dull process which I would like to avoid. To ensure a diverse conversation in each step, this concept would require the TLT to thoroughly challenge the community’s ideas. Lastly, I will mention my concern for this concept in the event groups of people begin rallying behind vastly different options. Given the necessity for mechanic synergy some approaches will require, this concept has the potential to be very turbulent and result in a clunky final product.

I worry there is not much left to learn from Boxing Gloves. There are many Pokémon that already accomplish what is laid out in this submission: Rillaboom, Melmetal, Kartana, etc. I think somebody would need to present a truly groundbreaking approach to make this concept a robust learning experience.

I would really like exploring what Boosting and Blasting has to offer provided Contrary is excluded as an option. I think there are some interesting mechanics this concept can build with, but I fear they will fall to the wayside. Contrary is just a stupidly powerful ability that risks overshadowing any other approach, and I just do not have confidence that we can exercise the restraint required to maximize what we stand to learn.

It is now midnight for me, and I really don’t have the energy to write much more. I really like Bulletproof Glass since I feel there are several ways this mon can be built and fulfill the concept. Nothing stands out as the easy bandwagon approach which reassures me there will be meaningful and diverse discussion at each stage of the process. I think defining what mediocre defensive stats are is somewhat problematic, but otherwise it seems very promising.
 
One potential caveat to Bulletproof Glass is that in the absence of good defensive stats, there's a good chance we'd have to rely heavily on a top-tier defensive typing and/or ability, and in that way it could be constraining. Of the example mons listed in the submission, only Crobat arguably has neither. Some other examples that come to mind are Poison Heal Breloom in past gens (acts as a defensive mon despite awful defensive stats because of an insane defensive ability), Defensive Mawile in PU pre-DLC2 (I don't know if it's viable anymore, but it was an extremely prevalent defensive mon with 50/85/55 defensive stats- it just had arguably the best defensive typing in the game as well as Intimidate), and perhaps even something like Clefable, which isn't actually that bulky, it just has a stellar ability and a good defensive typing.

I fully expect that ability discussion threads would be clogged with Magic Guard, Magic Bounce, Poison Heal, Regenerator, Prankster, etc. even more than they usually are, while Fairy and Steel typings would factor heavily into typing discussion. These are just by far the easiest ways to make a viable defensive mon with mediocre bulk.

I suppose it's ultimately a personal preference, but I love CAPs that explore underused abilities or traditionally mediocre typings, and this feels like it would inevitably lead to the opposite.

Edit: StarFalcon555 Oops, sorry, I'm not up to speed. Good to know!
You got to admit though, that one thing that has been even more prevalent throughout CAPs history than CAPs with good typing, are fast bulky attackers, that have pretty optimized stat spreads and good to great abilities. So I don’t see how any other concept would really be different in what you see as something boring.
In reality I think this concept would do well in setting the result apart from almost all other CAPs.

Hidden Potential aside from being bad flavor and a frankly entirely unnecessary game element to study through CAP, runs a high risk of being overpowered. The only reason this works at all on Silvally as a non-broken Pokemon is the 1) relative predictability, 2) changing of typing of Silvally that makes using strong offensive typings like Ice have a drawback defensively, and 3) Silvally's well-rounded good but not excellent stats. In CAP world this Pokemon would most likely get a good, reliable typing, be totally unpredictable which of many strong attacks it is using, and likely have far more targeted stats to the point that it is a bona fide threat. And once the CAP has reliable typing and better stats, I strongly question whether it will genuinely use a Memory + Multi Attack vs any other item and move combinations.
This one has gotten a lot of talk about how it would bebroken and competitive.
I don’t believe it would. Actually I think this CAP will struggle to actually do anything of significance, because there is one thing immediately balancing almost all physical attackers that CAP could create, which is pur favorite Catbird :Tomohawk:.
This CAP would need an exceedingly high physical Attack to not be blanket walled by Tomo with any physical coverage, that is not STAB. SE non STAB Multiattack would need a fully invested positive nature 147 base attack to be able to reliably break through Tomo. Since you can’t boost Multiattack with an item, you would need to drop the coverage you could get through it and use it as a STAB.
A little lower there is another physical Wall called Toxapex that could handle anything below 126 Atk.
So if we don’t give it dedicated Special options to break past these, I fear rather than being broken it would just not become viable as a Coverage monster.

Now there are two concepts I really love to see happening.
The first one is „defective ability“ the second is „limit break“.
Both of these have a lot of interesting design space.
I don’t agree, that having only a small pool of viable abilities would be detrimental to the „defective ability“ process.
Actually I believe that these would have us think way outside the box and dissect what makes for a viable mon in unprecedented depth.
Looking into the question, if a bad ability could only be balanced by other stellar traits or if it is possible to achieve viability without going all out in the other areas is just so interesting to consider.
I also believe, that CAP 29 would turn out to be a unique mon that would be so cool to see in competitive.
„Limit breaker“ has much more depth, than most give it credit for. There are so many pretty unexplored mechanics, that would all need very different approaches.
While I think we would have to pick one early on in the process to determine how to proceed, I think each and every of them would turn out a mon that is fun to play with.
 
I have concerns that Game Of Inches, while fun to design, could result in some decidedly unfun gameplay. Combining defensive incremental recovery that aims to stall out opponents with incremental damage that aims to benefit from that stall feels like it’d result in a very long annoying game.
 
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