CAP 29 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment

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Reiterating what has been said by others before, I think it's fair to ditch abilities with no effect in battle (such as Honey Gather). If we want a mon that uses a bad ability to succeed, choosing an ability that does nothing completely misses the point of the discussion.

And complementing my previous answer, I pretty much agree that Role Play and Skill Swap shouldn't be considered.
 

Birkal

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We have roughly 24 hours before we head into Primary Ability Discussion for CAP29. In that time, I'd like to open the floor for any final questions, remarks, or ideas people have about our concept. But before that, I'd like to make a few "generalizations" about CAP29 that I've gathered from this thread as the intelligent community consensus. Some of these are hard rules that we are going to strictly adhere to, while others are more of informed guidelines. You'll be able to tell the difference based on the language used, methinks.

Generalizations about CAP29:
  • CAP29 Primary Ability Discussion will take place immediately after Concept Assessment. We'll have a Concept Reassessment stage after we decide on our primary ability to further discuss potential roles and guidelines for CAP29.
  • We will treat all ability-shifting moves (e.g. Skill Swap and Entrainment) as banned. Do not debate the use of them for CAP29, nor vote in the upcoming stages with the presumption that they will be allowed. SHSP, the Movepool Leader, may re-open discussion of these moves at a later date, depending on how the rest of CAP29 is built. There is also some nuance between Skill Swap and Entrainment that favors the latter, that we also might consider in the future. But for now, they are considered detrimental to the concept and our communal creation of this CAP; please do not vote in future stages presuming these moves will be allowed.
  • All meaningless abilities (e.g. Ball Fetch, Honey Gather, Illuminate, etc) will be considered inadequate for fulfilling our concept. In order to have a "defective" ability, we are looking for something that harms us in at least some way. A meaningless ability is just a pedantic way of stating that "having no ability is bad in competitive Pokemon," which is an obvious statement to make that doesn't have any clearly defined learning aspirations. Suggesting these will be considered off-topic in the upcoming Primary Ability Discussion.
  • There are a variety of different categories of bad abilities, and comparing and contrasting these categories will be key in conceptualizing CAP29. In some ways, it is silly to lump Emergency Exit and Color Change into one category, as they both do pretty wildly different things. We'll compare and contrast those two abilities directly (and many others) in Primary Ability Discussion, but putting them into categories does reveal how some abilities might be better suited for CAP29 than others. Let's discuss them a bit more here, and into Primary Ability Discussion as well. At the end of the day, we are not beholden to these categories/baskets, but having an understanding of them might lead to a deeper understanding of what it means to have a defective ability.

With that being said, let's jump into discussing that last bullet point. Pipotchi and Wulfanator72 have done a nice job putting together a list of some potential categories, and I think we're at the point in this discussion where we can start talking about the pros and cons of each one. This conversation will probably overflow directly into Primary Ability Discussion, but we're at the point where I think we can start focusing in on this a hair more. Let me go ahead and re-share their work from Page 2 here:

Purely Negative (Devastating) are abilities that only actively work against the Pokémon using it. The power-level required to elevate a Pokémon to a usable position is unreasonable or forces you to completely abandon the elements they impact. Defeatist, Slow Start, and Truant are valid examples.
Unreliable (Awkward) are abilities that are out of the control of the player. Color Change and Emergency Exit are the two that come to mind. Color Change is dependent on the move you are last hit by. More specifically, most of the power this ability has is dependent on matchup and opponent. Emergency Exit is just Eject Button that is dependent on a damage roll as opposed to just being hit.
Mechanic Dependent (Niche Dependent) are abilities that could see more reliable use, but their success is limited to specific mechanic interactions. Klutz, Stall, and Normalize all fall into this category. The problem with these options is that they are moveset dependent, and movesets are never guaranteed. Without these options, these abilities probably move into the purely negative category.
Give and Take are abilities that have an advantage but also have an associated negative effect with it. Weak Armor, Perish Body, and Hustle all fall into this category. Weak Armor and Hustle are self-explanatory since they grant a boost at the cost of defense and accuracy, respectively. Perish Body activates the Perish Song counter which impacts both players and could result in KOing your own Pokémon.
Contradictory (Self-Destructive) are abilities that create negative effects for the user based off how they interact with other mechanics. SHSP already mentioned something about Simple + moves that drop the user’s stats. This could also extend to terrain/weather + negatively impacted type or boost from specific type damage + 4x weak.

8) This final question (for these last 24 hours) is a four-part question that is intended to help compare and contrast these different categories of defective abilities. Read each one carefully to identify their differences.
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a strong CAP process, with varied and in-depth discussions at each step of the way (threats, typing, stats, and movepool)?
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a viable and balanced CAP for the CAP metagame, that ideally finds viability in spite of (or maybe because of) its defective ability?
  • Conversely, which of these categories do you think will lead to a weak CAP process, stifling specific stages from having good conversations?
  • And finally, which of these categories do you think will lead to a potentially broken threat in the metagame? Or a potentially unviable CAP in the metagame? Which categories might feature mechanisms that are considered unhealthy for a metagame?
Again, respond to as few or as many of these as you see fit. Feel free to also respond to previous questions, or other posters that have ideas that you think are worth pursuing. We're on the final stretch!
 
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Voltage

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Hooray, throwing away our "bad" ability is banned!


  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a strong CAP process, with varied and in-depth discussions at each step of the way (threats, typing, stats, and movepool)?
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a viable and balanced CAP for the CAP metagame, that ideally finds viability in spite of (or maybe because of) its defective ability?
I'm a really big fan of the abilities that are "awkward" and unreliable, if only because they really force the process to think about the competitive implications of the Pokemon the entire time. I know there's been discussion of it, but Color Change stands out as the ability that really forces this mindset of building and play and I think that it implies a very high skill ceiling. I think we dcould absolutely make a really cool Pokemon using Color Change here. Referencing Emergency Exit as well, I think that there's plenty of room for clever and inspired discussion ion all stages as well due to the fact that yu're working with a forced pivot at 50% health.

I would also argue taht Give and Take abilities like Perish Body also really inspire some fascinating discussion. In particular, I'm a big fan of the implications of Perish Body and how we might be able to make a Pokemon that can only last 3 turns on the field after contact, and whether or not that can be used in a viable competitive manner. There's a lot of ways that we can look at abilities like Perish Body, Weak Armor, and other abilities with trade-offs as well since at least in that regard, there's a lot of room to consider how typng and stats would really impact this Pokemon.


  • Conversely, which of these categories do you think will lead to a weak CAP process, stifling specific stages from having good conversations?
I think the self-destructive abilitiers have some inherent issue. For example, assume Simple is our ability so that we have like double the stat drops from Overheat, Close Combat, or something similar. What is stopping people from just not running those moves? Abilities like Simple can be maneuvered around by appropriate choices in building and play, but abilities that are inherently part of the Pokemon's identity cannot. I also beleive that the niche abilities like Stall aren't going to be as useful since there is still utility to always moving last in a match., I would argue that Klutz could generate a fascinating product, but I think that "grouping" is generally more unreliable with regards to process quality.

  • And finally, which of these categories do you think will lead to a potentially broken threat in the metagame? Or a potentially unviable CAP in the metagame? Which categories might feature mechanisms that are considered unhealthy for a metagame?
In my opinion, a Purely Negative ability will make this process and the product one very messy Pokemon. I fear that with our lack of nuance, an ability like Defeatist, Slow Start or Truant, will force us down either overcompensating every other stage, or will narrow our focus down to once very simple way to play (Truant + U-Turn spam for example). I think there are more intelligent and more interesting ways of accomplishing our task of a bad ability, and that just giving this Pokemon a Top 3 BAD BAD BAD ability isn't the way to go.

That's just my migrained take
 
Which of these categories do you think will allow for a strong CAP process, with varied and in-depth discussions at each step of the way (threats, typing, stats, and movepool)?

Ideally, I think our concept should focus on the Purely Negative/Unreliable categories, with the exception of Truant. For the most part, these abilities allow our concept to build around playing around these weaknesses; for instance, if we go with Defeatist, we ask, "How do we keep this mon above 50%," for Slow Start we ask, "How do we keep this mon in for 5 turns," for Emergency Exit we ask, "How can we use the switch to our advantage" and so on. These specific details I believe will lead to an overall interesting and focused concept. The only exception I see to this is Truant, which I believe doesn't really have a way to work around it besides spamming pivot moves, which obviously isn't a very interesting concept.

Conversely, which of these categories do you think will lead to a weak CAP process, stifling specific stages from having good conversations?

I have some problems with the Mechanic Dependent category, specifically, I feel like they will lead to very linear, gimmicky mons. Because these abilities are focused around one very specific mechanic, I fear that we are narrowing our discussion to purely optimizing that one mechanic. For instance, a discussion of a Klutz mon can't really go farther than Tricking a harmful item, and without Skill Swap, Normalize becomes nothing more than a normal type Spectrier.

I also dislike the abilities from the Contradictory category. It feels inherently wrong to build this concept around "Take a good ability and make it bad," whereas I feel the concept is intended to be "Take a bad ability and see how we overcome our weakness." Like I described earlier, I think the interesting conversations for this CAP will come from how we build around our weakness, and taking a good ability and making it bad doesn't really occupy that same space. Trying to build a mon to be the least optimal with a given ability while also being CAP-viable creates two goals directly at odds with each other.

Then, for the Give and Take category I honestly feel like most of these abilities like Weak Armor and Hustle are quite good. Going by this category brings us to the same issue with the Contradictory category, where we are trying to use a good ability in the worst way possible.
 
Ok, ive been lurking after coming out of my hiatus. And I got to say, interesting topic and great discussion. A lot of point I wanted to make have been already made. And as someone who wanted an ability based concept, Im super excited that primary ability discussion is coming right after this.
Based on these ability classifications, here are my responses to Birkals question.

But before going that, I want to see if my understanding of the concept is correct so here is my understanding: Pokemon has an ability typically seen as bad/unreliable/or very mixed, but either makes the most out of the ability, or has a way to get around the ability or has ways to compensate for a crap ability. Its like Mollux concept of being extreme makeover type edition but for abilities?
Ex: If a Pokemon has slow start, then the Pokemon can workaround it by having stats that don't care about atk and speed getting 1/2.

Ability categories I want to stay away from:
Purely Negative abilities is the main category I want to stay away from. Mons with these abilities like regi and Slaking are basically crippled by their abilities, leading them to being regarded as unviable. If we want to make a mon with these abilities viable in the CAP format, we would likely have to overture everything else leading to some weird discussion and a mon that either will be broken af or completely unviable.

The unreliable and meachanic dependent categories are styles I think will lead to an interesting discussion. They aren't abilities you can't ignore (unlike something like Simple and a stat dropping move in the move pool), but depending on the rest of the CAP Is configured, could lead to something that can shake up the format in both the discussion and end product. Kind of like Staff Bros or AAA (though to a far lesser extent), CAPs are build around to optimize the most out of their ability. But these abilities are not that powerful or reliable leading to some discussion of things like, "how do we make a unreliable ability reliable?" or making the most out of a mechanic dependent ability.

Using some examples Bikal used, you can't ignore Klutz defining the mons function when compared to an ability like Simple which there exists ways to ignore to an extent.
 
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8) This final question (for these last 24 hours) is a four-part question that is intended to help compare and contrast these different categories of defective abilities. Read each one carefully to identify their differences.
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a strong CAP process, with varied and in-depth discussions at each step of the way (threats, typing, stats, and movepool)?
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a viable and balanced CAP for the CAP metagame, that ideally finds viability in spite of (or maybe because of) its defective ability?
Unreliable (Awkward) are abilities that are out of the control of the player. Color Change and Emergency Exit are the two that come to mind. Color Change is dependent on the move you are last hit by. More specifically, most of the power this ability has is dependent on matchup and opponent. Emergency Exit is just Eject Button that is dependent on a damage roll as opposed to just being hit.
Mechanic Dependent (Niche Dependent) are abilities that could see more reliable use, but their success is limited to specific mechanic interactions. Klutz, Stall, and Normalize all fall into this category. The problem with these options is that they are moveset dependent, and movesets are never guaranteed. Without these options, these abilities probably move into the purely negative category.
Give and Take are abilities that have an advantage but also have an associated negative effect with it. Weak Armor, Perish Body, and Hustle all fall into this category. Weak Armor and Hustle are self-explanatory since they grant a boost at the cost of defense and accuracy, respectively. Perish Body activates the Perish Song counter which impacts both players and could result in KOing your own Pokémon.

These three categories offer the greastest chances for creativity and interesting discussion. Specifically, Mechanic Dependent and Unreliable abilities offer the most interesting and creative ideas, as they allow us to look at how to either utilize a mechanic that has never been fully utilized before, or to maximize the potential of an ability that relies on the opponent. Meanwhile, Give and Take most likely has the most potential as a viable CAP in the metagame, as its an example that we see with many viable pokemon already, such as Nidoking with Sheer Force or any pokemon with Guts. However, this doesn't speak negatively of the potential of Unreliable or Mechanic Dependent Abilities either, as both offer more interesting and unique pokemon with their own niches in the meta than Give and Take does.

  • Conversely, which of these categories do you think will lead to a weak CAP process, stifling specific stages from having good conversations?
  • And finally, which of these categories do you think will lead to a potentially broken threat in the metagame? Or a potentially unviable CAP in the metagame? Which categories might feature mechanisms that are considered unhealthy for a metagame?
Purely Negative (Devastating) are abilities that only actively work against the Pokémon using it. The power-level required to elevate a Pokémon to a usable position is unreasonable or forces you to completely abandon the elements they impact. Defeatist, Slow Start, and Truant are valid examples.
Contradictory (Self-Destructive) are abilities that create negative effects for the user based off how they interact with other mechanics. SHSP already mentioned something about Simple + moves that drop the user’s stats. This could also extend to terrain/weather + negatively impacted type or boost from specific type damage + 4x weak.

On the other hand, these two categories seem prime to stifle conversation and create an uninteresting CAP, though for both similar and different reasons. Contradictory seems like the most anti-concept category of the bunch, not creating a pokemon with a normally defective ability but instead one with an ability that is usually positive but is instead negative for this pokemon. This creates a few problems. For one, it doesn't really tap into the idea of a negative ability, but instead a poorly utilized one. if a pokemon has Simple but has to use stat dropping moves, or a pokemon with sheer force only has moves such as Charge Beam or Nuzzle to get Sheer Force's boost from, that's not designing around a bad ability, its designing an ability to be bad. this ties into the problem with going with a Purely Negative Ability, as in both situations, the solution to the issue is just to compensate for it in different areas. this can either lead to a grossly over optimized pokemon that's designed to compensate for its ability, or even worse, a pokemon that's designed to make it's negative ability neutral or a nonfactor in battle. making a slow special attacker with slow start or a bulky pokemon with defeastist at best is a pokemon with a neutral ability, which is something we've explicitly stated we want to avoid. At worst, its a pokemon that are weaker at certain points of the battle, which begs the question of "Why use this pokemon over another more reliable option" which just leads back into compensation part of the discussion. These categories don't post the question of how to make a pokemon viable in a unique way, but instead force the pokemon to be viable in a meta way, with the only unique part of their design being their flaws.
 

jas61292

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Which of these categories do you think will allow for a strong CAP process, with varied and in-depth discussions at each step of the way (threats, typing, stats, and movepool)? Conversely, which of these categories do you think will lead to a weak CAP process, stifling specific stages from having good conversations?

Honestly, I think just about any category could lead to a good and interesting CAP process. No matter the group we pick from, we would still have plenty to discuss and many different approaches we could take. Even the Purely Negative abilities that, with ability spreading off the table, pretty much mean we would be making a Pokemon that works around its ability rather than with it, can still have a variety of ways to go about it. We can always use a secondary concept assessment to give a solid direction so we are not just aimlessly trying to make something strong in spite of its ability. So with that said, really, I'm not concerned about which kind of ability we pick insofar as the process itself is concerned.

Now with this said though, I think that Give and Take or Contradictory abilities would be a poor choice. The reason for that being that they are, in many ways, relatively normal abilities. The concept itself stats that the ability we use should be "generally considered harmful." And looking at these categories, I don't think, for the most part, the abilities in either of these categories fit that description. Simple, the one used as an example for Contradictory, is an ability that often comes up in ability discussions because of its power. And Weak Armor, an example for Give and Take, is an ability we have seen in action on Aurumoth, and know how it can be good. Sure, these abilities can have negative effects, but these negative effects are rarely bad enough for the ability to be "generally considered harmful" and will only be harmful in actuality if we intentionally let them be. And if we do that, we are not really making a Pokemon that succeeds because, or in spite of, a poor ability. We would be making a mon intentionally crippled from taking advantage of its ability, which is not what I feel this concept is really about. As such, they would likely lead to a process that diverges too much from the concept for my taste. The process might be good, but it would not be what we are going for.

Which of these categories do you think will allow for a viable and balanced CAP for the CAP metagame, that ideally finds viability in spite of (or maybe because of) its defective ability? And finally, which of these categories do you think will lead to a potentially broken threat in the metagame? Or a potentially unviable CAP in the metagame? Which categories might feature mechanisms that are considered unhealthy for a metagame?

As for this, while I also think we are capable of doing a decent job with any of these categories, the one I would be most concerned about would be the Purely Negative abilities. The Give and Take and Contradictory categories are, in many ways, relatively normal abilities that would not be any harder to work with than the kinds of things that we normally choose, while those in the Unreliable and Mechanic Dependent categories are a bit more difficult, but ultimately provide us with unique direction, and hopefully a niche that we can build for without being overly crippled or going too far. Pure Negative on the other hand, is much riskier. We have already seen how Pokemon with insanely good stats and decent movepools can become utterly worthless because of abilities like these. While I think it is a tightrope we could balance, these abilities are easily the biggest risk and most likely to end in something that in not viable or balanced in some way.
 
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a strong CAP process, with varied and in-depth discussions at each step of the way (threats, typing, stats, and movepool)?
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a viable and balanced CAP for the CAP metagame, that ideally finds viability in spite of (or maybe because of) its defective ability?
  • Conversely, which of these categories do you think will lead to a weak CAP process, stifling specific stages from having good conversations?
  • And finally, which of these categories do you think will lead to a potentially broken threat in the metagame? Or a potentially unviable CAP in the metagame? Which categories might feature mechanisms that are considered unhealthy for a metagame?
Honestly, all the categories except "Give and Take" and "Contradictory" (since abilities there still seem to have the pros outweight the cons and official mons that work with them), sound good to me. On these, there seems to be a lot we can consider without losing the original purpose of the mon.
 

snake_rattler

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  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a strong CAP process, with varied and in-depth discussions at each step of the way (threats, typing, stats, and movepool)?
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a viable and balanced CAP for the CAP metagame, that ideally finds viability in spite of (or maybe because of) its defective ability
Here's my opinion. We got the Defective Ability concept - so let's go big. The Purely Negative and Unreliable categories look scary, but that's the point. We voted in a concept that's going to make for a relatively uncomfortable process, so let's get uncomfy and also have fun with it! There are some really interesting directions that we can go down with these abilities, and this is our chance to explore them. Let's not squander the opportunity.

While I see how the Mechanic Dependent and Contradictory abilities can fit concept, I think we'd be missing on exploring truly "Defective" abilities. I'm not opposed to them, but I'm more interested in Purely Negative or Unreliable.

The Give-or-Take category is a weak fulfillment of the concept at best; I think the other categories are much better for this concept.

Pure Negative on the other hand, is much riskier. We have already seen how Pokemon with insanely good stats and decent movepools can become utterly worthless because of abilities like these. While I think it is a tightrope we could balance, these abilities are easily the biggest risk and most likely to end in something that in not viable or balanced in some way.
I do see the fear here, but I think that the Postplay Lookback should assist with balancing issues like these. I'm confident we can make CAP 29 at least usable - if not good - in the metagame, while learning a lot about these defective abilities in the meantime.

----

tl;dr, We should aim high with this concept! We have an excellent opportunity to break the CAP mold during this process, a sentiment we saw from some Concept Submissions. For me, this means we should favor much more heavily towards Purely Negative and Unreliable.

***Side note: I don't think there's much we can do with Truant, despite my optimism. Aside from Truant, I will stand by my points above.
 
I agree with others that the purely negative and unreliable baskets are where we should be choosing from, and that we should stay away from contradictory and give and take abilities. Snake’s post summarizes my thoughts on the first two categories really well, and I agree with jas’s reasonings about why the latter two categories should be avoided. Mechanic dependent abilities should at least be left on the table, but personally I don't find them that interesting so I don't have too much else to say about them.

With regard to the purely negative abilities, I really disagree with the notion that these will lead to an unviable end product, an uninteresting process, or would require impossible compensation in other areas (with the exception of Truant, which I don't like at all). I truly don't think Slow Start and Defeatist are as bad as many are making them out to be. The two Pokemon that we've seen these abilities on don't have the tools to work around them at all, so using them as examples to argue against these abilities doesn't really hold water imo. I want to go way more in depth on Slow Start in the actual ability stage, but there are a bunch of Pokemon who don't make great use of their ability/attack/speed and can feasibly stay in for five turns, but would massively benefit from suddenly getting Pure Power and a doubled speed stat if they stay in long enough. My point is really just that we have the tools to make this ability work, and giving a Slow Start Pokemon 160 attack, 120 Speed, and a godlike typing is not necessary at all for something to viably run the ability.

For Defeatist, I have basically the same thing to say. I’ve also played around with the ability in some custom games, and while this is anecdotal evidence at best, it didn’t feel anywhere near unworkable to me and I have the utmost confidence that we can give something Defeatist and still have it be strong. Again, I want to go more in depth on this ability during the actual stage, but yeah right now I just think some people might be treating these two abilities like they're impossible and I wanted to give my own perspective. This isn’t to say that these abilities shouldn’t be approached with a level head and a lot of care; they’re objectively horrible, and out of all the baskets they undeniably have the greatest risk involved with respect to the end product’s viability, but the constraints are still super possible to work around.

I don’t have a ton of time right now to go into how much depth a process for purely negative abilities would have, but I think we stand to learn a huge amount from them, and others in this thread have already begun to point out some great questions that these abilities force us to ask ourselves. These abilities aren’t shallow at all in my mind and I don’t really like the whole “we’re just making archeops or regigigas but better” thought process. For the unreliable basket, I see more of a consensus about how the process would be super complex and lead to a great end product, which I wholly agree with, I just felt the need to come to the defense of the purely negative basket because I think those abilities have been a bit more controversial so far.
 

Bughouse

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If I'm being totally honest, I don't so much care about what bucket we're so long as the ability we end up exploring is one not already pretty well understood. In effect this does rule out some of the buckets entirely or almost entirely... but I am not thinking about it as the bucket as a whole.

Imo just about every "contradictory" or "give and take" ability has been pretty well explored. I do agree that there may be some use cases for a few of these, such as the example folks have given of Simple without boosting moves and instead with moves that drop stats such as close combat. Therefore, I am not sure that these types of abilities need to be strictly ruled out? But most of these abilities are probably not the best path, since most of them just don't have much of anywhere to go that we haven't seen before in an existing Pokemon. Just reskinning it in a new typing usually doesn't fundamentally make these "defective" and I'd argue a lot of these aren't even really defective to begin with, such as Hustle. This is all to say that while I think a CAP could be made from these groups that is still true to the concept and has a genuine chance at viability, if we're going to restrict options in the next stage by the general category, these are the ones at the greatest risk of not actually fulfilling the concept, since many could easily turn out to be not really have a major drawback at all. These ones are also (comparatively) more well distributed and thus there's less to explore here, on average, compared to other categories.

In terms of the "purely negative" abilities, I don't really think making a Truant pokemon is going to teach us anything more than we already know about Slaking. Or Slow Start with Regigigas (who we've literally seen in gens with and without protect and what differences that has made in SS now that it has it). To some extent I think Defeatist would function very differently on a different kind of Pokemon than Archeops, even just based on typing alone, but also the framework. Defeatist on a primarily defensive Pokemon could in some ways be interesting for example, i.e. this mon can threaten to 2HKO the things its meant to check, but has to keep health high, otherwise it no longer 2HKOs when in defeatist range because its already relatively low power output is now halved. So I'd almost want to allow discussion on Defeatist, but not the other two. I'm not so in love with Defeatist that we need to keep it around though, so I could also see this group be entirely barred. These are certainly going to be the hardest to make viable in an OU power-level metagame, and therefore also run a more serious risk of in fact being overpowered, when we give it say...680 BST like regigigas to compensate.

I think the categories that best provide a happy medium are "unreliable" and "mechanic dependent". This isn't to say that I think all such abilities in these categories will really work or be interesting (frankly, I think it'd be very hard to make a Klutz Pokemon do anything ever viably when Clefable exists and can probably do it better?) but I think the best candidates are in here. I'm personally interested in Stall as a super underexplored option that I think could be done viably, and I think other options in these two areas could work.
 

dex18

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I want to echo spoo's ideas. I agree that the abilities we should be choosing from are the purely negative, mechanic dependent, and unreliable abilities. This is because I think that if we go with a contradictory or "give-and-take" ability, the Pokemon we create will most likely turn out to be underpowered, or at least have no defined niche, as we attempt to counterbalance a normally good ability to be unimpactful. If you think about it, contradictory abilities really makes no sense, as there will always be better weather or terrain abusers than CAP 29, which would explicitly not benefit from it. This goes doubly for "give-and-take," as it would be akin to creating Hustle Togekiss, which is just simply terrible. It would force us to work around a normally powerful ability, all while not gaining any of the benefits of the ability. Therefore, both categories should be banned from discussion during the Ability stage.
 
  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a strong CAP process, with varied and in-depth discussions at each step of the way (threats, typing, stats, and movepool)?
Abilities which actively and constantly warp the way we need to approach using a Pokemon look to be the most promising, and I think abilities within the realms of Unreliable, Give and Take, and Mechanic Dependent are best suited. Many of these abilities feel unexplored due to being relegated as "gimmicks" on their respective users (Golisopod is definitely the best example as it has no other abilities to fall back on) or simply haven't seen much use to actually explore the potential intricacies of the ability in question. Also, they don't feel like something we'd need to "compensate" for, but rather question ourselves on how we can use something traditionally seen as bad to our advantage instead.

  • Which of these categories do you think will allow for a viable and balanced CAP for the CAP metagame, that ideally finds viability in spite of (or maybe because of) its defective ability?
I can't really point to one because given enough thought and effort the result should be good, especially now that the process is much more scrutinized and actively tested than before. Best suited might be Mechanic Dependent and Contradictory. These feel like they'd be the most familiar to work with and not as variable as those in other categories. Consistency in Pokemon is huge and the most balanced Pokemon tend to be those that function how you'd expect them to.

  • Conversely, which of these categories do you think will lead to a weak CAP process, stifling specific stages from having good conversations?
Purely Negative. These don't really make the discussion interesting: it's just another hurdle we have to consider when designing the CAP overall. Note that I consider Slow Start to not be purely negative since the halved Speed might be useful in the same vein as Stall, so that just leaves Defeatist and Truant, which are bad abilities through-and-through. At the same time, certain abilities from the other camps don't strike me as interesting for the concept. Hustle isn't amazing but it's not bad either and the ways to utilize it are pretty well known. What the other camps do have are abilities with a lot of potential depth to explore like Emergency Exit, depth we wouldn't really have when all our ability does it make us worse off.

  • And finally, which of these categories do you think will lead to a potentially broken threat in the metagame? Or a potentially unviable CAP in the metagame? Which categories might feature mechanisms that are considered unhealthy for a metagame?
Again, Purely Negative. I feel like taking this approach for CAP29 is either going to leave it unviable or over-centralizing, with any "safe zone" between the two so tiny it wouldn't be worth looking for. Another might be Give and Take. Depending on what is given and how it is used, what gets taken might be a moot point. Both heavily depend on how careful we are approaching the situation, with Purely Negative the more troublesome (and IMO least rewarding in the end).

So far there's been some support for going all-in on having a bad ability. My main gripe with the Purely Negative basket is that it feels like an empty concept. I understand that we don't have to do anything special: all that CAP29 needs is A) a bad/hindering ability, and B) to not suck. But making a Pokemon work with one of the series' worst abilities just for the sake of it feels really uninspired. I think it's a much better idea to fulfill the concept not with an ability that's just plain awful, but to utilize an ability practically all Pokemon wouldn't want to have by taking advantage of whatever positives it possesses. I feel that leaves a lot more room for creativity throughout the entire process.

That being said I feel like we should approach the Ability discussion with all of the bad abilities open for debate. I feel like blacklisting anything now isn't very beneficial for the process; I'd much rather have us come to a consensus as to which abilities aren't good for designing CAP29 and which of them are. As Birkal said, Emergency Exit and Color change aren't the same ability: they both do completely different things that affect how the user plays as a whole, even if they both have the same general effect of being an unreliable or awkward ability. Looking into each ability on a case-by-case basis allows us to better realize what we want CAP29 to become.
 

MrDollSteak

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I apologise for not being as active in this stage because of other commitments.

As far as the final question here, which I think is the most relevant to address, I want to echo support for the "Purely Negative" and "Unreliable Categories" first and foremost, although I would still be happy with the "Mechanic dependent" category too. At the end of the day, this concept is about making use of a bad ability and overcoming its drawbacks, for the mentioned abilities in the "Give and take" and "Contradictory" categories, this question is already in built into the fabric of the ability, and for the most part are already demonstrated to be powerful on existing Pokemon under the right conditions. I think anything other than the categories I support would lead to an inverted process, whereby instead of trying to make a mon that can thrive with a bad ability, we would be seeing how we could make a powerful ability weaker.
 
I feel like the issue with Purely Negative Abilities doesn't simply boil down to trying to hit the sweet spot between overpowered and unviable. Rather, it has to do with the entire title of the category-Purely Negative.

Since our goal here is to make this CAP into a viable mon, we need positive traits in order to reach that point, and thats where the issue of purely negative abilities shows itself-its not just the abundance of negative aspects, it's the lack of positives to build off of. If we start off with a purely negative ability, like defeatist, we start off negative, meaning our first goal is getting the pokemon back to or above neutral by making up for its ability. But when that point is reached, when we get the pokemon to the place where it's ability doesn't hinder it, then that's as far as the ability goes in the design of the pokemon. at its best, a purely negative ability is as good as Illuminate, and the issue with that is that it means this pokemon will have to compete with other pokemon with abilities that play more of a role in their moveset. If a pokemon with a purely negative ability is created, then at its best this pokemon will be at the mercy of the meta and at the mercy of any newcomers who enter and have a similar role to it but with an ability to utilize, and we'll either dance around that niche in order to ensure this CAP keeps its place, or introduce a new CAP that makes this one either obsolete or fight tirelessly to keep its place. The problem with purely negative abilities isn't just that they make a pokemon inherently weaker, but that even at their best they risk competing with pokemon who may have less raw power but can preform more specific tasks and be more reliable over the course of the game.
 

Sputnik

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Frankly I personally believe that the Unreliable/Awkward category is by far the most interesting. There's a few abilities in here that could potentially be explored; Color Change, Emergency Exit, Normalize (which could bleed a bit more into Give and Take but the negatives are so jarring I'm putting it as "unreliable" for this purpose), and Mimicry would be super cool to build a Pokemon around and could go any different number of directions. These abilities fall into a category that I would describe as being "Mostly negative but having conceivable upsides that could be taken advantage of". Designing a mon to exemplify these positives would make for an incredibly interesting process, and, frankly, likely more interesting than building a Pokemon around just coping with a Purely Negative ability.

Leading onto that, I disagree that Purely Negative is a good way to go about this. Realistically, there are four abilities that fall into this category: Slow Start, Defeatist, Truant, and Stall. I'm in agreement that Truant is an absolute worst case scenario and should be avoided at all costs. Defeatist is frankly very uninteresting to me. I can't see too many ways to build this without going into the "make it powerful and keep it healthy" realm, which is just really not interesting to me at all. Stall is kind of weird, and I guess building a Pokemon that explicitly doesn't mind moving last could be somewhat interesting (especially if we explored offensive options that didn't mind this ability), but overall I'm not super hot on it. Slow Start is also something that I'm kind of just...meh on? I agree with Bughouse that I feel Regigigas in its current state has been built around it so...again, meh. I think that it has the most potential overall of the Purely Negatives (making something that doesn't mind the ability if its running a defensive set while also being capable of stalling out the turns and going on the offensive with a different set could be interesting) but I still think that the Unreliable/Awkward category is miles ahead any of these and would make for a much more interesting building process and final product.
 
I also dislike the abilities from the Contradictory category. It feels inherently wrong to build this concept around "Take a good ability and make it bad," whereas I feel the concept is intended to be "Take a bad ability and see how we overcome our weakness." Like I described earlier, I think the interesting conversations for this CAP will come from how we build around our weakness, and taking a good ability and making it bad doesn't really occupy that same space. Trying to build a mon to be the least optimal with a given ability while also being CAP-viable creates two goals directly at odds with each other.

Then, for the Give and Take category I honestly feel like most of these abilities like Weak Armor and Hustle are quite good. Going by this category brings us to the same issue with the Contradictory category, where we are trying to use a good ability in the worst way possible.
I wholeheartedly agree with this take. Using an ability from these two categories would basically turn the intent of the process upside down.
Instead of trying to figure out ways to make a bad ability viable, we would be nerfing a perfectly good ability to be unviable or unnecessary.
So I think, that this should definitely be considered, when deciding, which ability we want to use for the process.

I also want to echo, that the purely defective abilities should be available for discussion during ability stage.
There is definitely a range to how interesting they are, both for the process and the metagame, as truant is probably just too linear to work with, while slow start could have distinct avenues to pursue.
But overall I think, they will not be as constricting as some have claimed and while I do favor unreliable abilities, I think purely defective abilities should be open for discussion during ability stage, as even if we don’t pick one of them to work with, we still might take away some new ideas from the discussions they’ll spark.
 
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Birkal

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We're ready to move on to Primary Ability Discussion! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. I am immensely proud of the contributions we've had thus far. To recapitulate, here are the end-results of this thread:

Generalizations about CAP29:
  • CAP29 Primary Ability Discussion will take place immediately after Concept Assessment. We'll have a Concept Reassessment stage after we decide on our primary ability to further discuss potential roles and guidelines for CAP29.
  • We will treat all ability-shifting moves (e.g. Skill Swap and Entrainment) as banned. Do not debate the use of them for CAP29, nor vote in the upcoming stages with the presumption that they will be allowed. SHSP, the Movepool Leader, may re-open discussion of these moves at a later date, depending on how the rest of CAP29 is built. There is also some nuance between Skill Swap and Entrainment that favors the latter, that we also might consider in the future. But for now, they are considered detrimental to the concept and our communal creation of this CAP; please do not vote in future stages presuming these moves will be allowed.
  • All meaningless abilities (e.g. Ball Fetch, Honey Gather, Illuminate, etc) will be considered inadequate for fulfilling our concept. In order to have a "defective" ability, we are looking for something that harms us in at least some way. A meaningless ability is just a pedantic way of stating that "having no ability is bad in competitive Pokemon," which is an obvious statement to make that doesn't have any clearly defined learning aspirations. Suggesting these will be considered off-topic in the upcoming Primary Ability Discussion.
  • There are a variety of different categories of bad abilities, and comparing and contrasting these categories will be key in conceptualizing CAP29. In some ways, it is silly to lump Emergency Exit and Color Change into one category, as they both do pretty wildly different things. We'll compare and contrast those two abilities directly (and many others) in Primary Ability Discussion, but putting them into categories does reveal how some abilities might be better suited for CAP29 than others. Let's discuss them a bit more here, and into Primary Ability Discussion as well. At the end of the day, we are not beholden to these categories/baskets, but having an understanding of them might lead to a deeper understanding of what it means to have a defective ability.

Here are a group of defining categories that can be used to compare and contrast abilities as we head into future discussions:

Purely Negative (Devastating) are abilities that only actively work against the Pokémon using it. The power-level required to elevate a Pokémon to a usable position is unreasonable or forces you to completely abandon the elements they impact. Defeatist, Slow Start, and Truant are valid examples.
Unreliable (Awkward) are abilities that are out of the control of the player. Color Change and Emergency Exit are the two that come to mind. Color Change is dependent on the move you are last hit by. More specifically, most of the power this ability has is dependent on matchup and opponent. Emergency Exit is just Eject Button that is dependent on a damage roll as opposed to just being hit.
Mechanic Dependent (Niche Dependent) are abilities that could see more reliable use, but their success is limited to specific mechanic interactions. Klutz, Stall, and Normalize all fall into this category. The problem with these options is that they are moveset dependent, and movesets are never guaranteed. Without these options, these abilities probably move into the purely negative category.
Give and Take are abilities that have an advantage but also have an associated negative effect with it. Weak Armor, Perish Body, and Hustle all fall into this category. Weak Armor and Hustle are self-explanatory since they grant a boost at the cost of defense and accuracy, respectively. Perish Body activates the Perish Song counter which impacts both players and could result in KOing your own Pokémon.
Contradictory (Self-Destructive) are abilities that create negative effects for the user based off how they interact with other mechanics. SHSP already mentioned something about Simple + moves that drop the user’s stats. This could also extend to terrain/weather + negatively impacted type or boost from specific type damage + 4x weak.

Finally, I'd like to summarize a bit of the intelligent community consensus from this final day of discussion.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to choosing an ability from any of these categories/baskets. However, the community seemed to be the most critical of Contradictory and Self-Destructive abilities. It was debated that this territory has been explored by several real Pokemon, and it also could potentially lead to a constrained process. This doesn't mean these abilities should be banned from Primary Ability Discussion, but it should be noted that the community at large didn't find them as concept-fulfilling as some of the other categories at this time. Next, the community seemed to be somewhat critical of Give-and-Take abilities and Purely Negative abilities. These were met with mixed reception, with some people thinking they were ideal for CAP29, and others thinking they would lead to a constrained process and/or end product. Finally, the community seemed to be less critical of Awkward and Mechanic-Dependent abilities. There wasn't overwhelming positive reception to abilities in these categories, but several community members noted this as a happy medium with good space to explore the concept.​

The above paragraph should not lead to any specific abilities being banned at the initial onset of Primary Ability Discussion. It's simple a "flag in the ground" to summarize how the community felt about each of these categories at this point in time. We may end up being convinced of an ability from the Contradictory basket, or turn sour on an ability in the Awkward basket; the point is that these opinions can be used to guide which abilities might lead to a better process and end product over others.

At this point, I'll be handing off the reins to Tadasuke for Primary Ability Discussion! I'll be seeing you all again afterwards for a Concept Reassessment stage.
 
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