CAP 29 - Part 1 - Concept Submissions

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This is going to come as a little jarring to some, but this is your 48 hour warning to finalize your concept. Concept submissions last roughly under one week, so this is par the course. Furthermore, the TLT and I have decided to have a 24-hour discussion on Wednesday about the finalized slate. It will give us time as a community to discuss the pros and cons of each slated concept, which should lead to more informed voting and a smoother process.

Up until this point, I have tried to remain as objective as possible, providing feedback to assist each concept in becoming the best it can possibly be. I am immensely proud of the roughly 40 concepts we have submitted in this thread, and think literally all of them have some merit. But unfortunately, we can't vote on them all, and only one can ultimately win. Therefore, the Concept Chat thread is going to get a bit more comparative and potentially critical. Do not take criticism or dislike of your concept as an attack of you as a person. Your ideas are not your identity, and it's our goal as a CAP community to select the best concept we have for CAP29. There's pros and cons to every concept, so don't be upset if your concept isn't the right fit for this CAP. So get those concepts finalized, read some other concepts, and join the conversation!

Here's some feedback for the most recently submitted concept that hasn't gotten feedback yet. Don't mind us!

The Metric System - Leading the Charge - You are correct to identify Team Preview as the primary fall of dedicated leads, but that doesn't mean this concept isn't worth pursuing either. I think your questions could be stronger if you asked questions about which types of moves are typically better used earlier than later (Knock Off, hazards, coverage to snag early KOs, etc). This sort of logic could be extended into how the other stages of CAP will work, like how a speed stat can matter (or not matter) at the start of the game, or how some abilities might be more useful to gain momentum early on. Is there a particular reason why your concept wouldn't allow this CAP to also perform well at the end of the game? You might want to elaborate on that, since it's an interesting restriction you're putting on the process.
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Rusty Bullet Train

Description: A Pokémon which is fast and hits hard, but also gets hit hard.

Justification: I would say this is an Archetype concept. It is something that can be useful to a team but saying it can faint quickly it is something you will need to use wisely. It explores the idea of knowing when to switch in and out of CAP 29 and using it to the best of its ability before it can faint.

Questions to be answered:
- What would this propose to the CAP metagame?
- Can this be a pivot or a tag team pivot?
- Could this be a mixture of sets and offensive moves?
- What are some Pokemon that are built similarly?
- If CAP 29 would be a Rusty Bullet Train, what concepts or builds would be an effective counter to CAP 29?
-Would CAP 29 be known for using switch out moves?

Explanation: Honestly, I just wanted something simply and easy to make an overall design for. The concept isn't that hard to understand, it is something that hits hard and something to is fast. But, it also can get hit pretty hard as well. I was thinking it to be more of only one offensive stat (physical or special) high and the other mildly high, same would go for the defenses, low and mildly low. This would be a big weakness for CAP 29, that's why I want it to have a typing with not to many weaknesses but just enough for it to not be unfair.
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Deus Ex Machina

Description: A Pokemon that specializes in taking advantage of what appears to be losing positions through unexpected ways.

Justification: Deus Ex Machina is an Actualization concept, the goal of which is to design a Pokemon that excels at using unexpected options (commonly called "tech" or "heat") to manipulate matchups.

Questions to be answered:
  • Through what means can a Pokemon circumvent/surprise checks and counters?
  • What is the difference between tech/heat and just good coverage/set variety?
  • How niche do various tech options need to be in order to not just be considered standard options?
  • Is a popular and effective standard set required for this Pokemon? What kind of standard set works best in encouraging tech options?
Explanation: Some of the most fun in Pokemon matches occurs when the unexpected happens. Most Smogon tiers have "heat" threads for this very reason, where niche and unusual sets can be posted and shown in action. This CAP would excel at the unexpected, being able to take advantage of what the opponent assumes the CAP's set is. There are plenty of examples of Pokemon successfully pulling off fringe sets to success- Defensive Defog Kartana being to take advantage of Kartana's access to Synthesis and a good rocker MU, ScarfTrick on defensive Pokemon like Clefable and Tapu Fini, Sash/BootsSturdy Counter, or the more extreme examples seen on many heat threads (like personal favorites of mine, Mean Look+Leppa Berry counterlead Hawlucha and Imprison Transform Mew). This CAP would have the options available to it to pull of many niche tech scenarios like the ones mentioned above. However, a solid standard set is likely required for a concept like this work, as without a main set with its own list of checks/counters, how can a surprise set even be considered surprising? A bit of a strange concept because it doesn't address the main role of the Pokemon at all, just that the role be conducive to running tech options, but I believe it would still be a fun and insightful process.
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Name: Future Shutdown

Description: A Pokemon designed specifically to shut down or dissuade the proper usage of Future Sight/Doom Desire (e.g Fsight+Breaker)

Justification: This would be a Target concept, as it is looking specifically at Future Sight and Doom Desire and what can be done on one Pokemon to mitigate the effects of those moves specifically

Questions to be answered:
  • What would the best way to mitigate the effects of these moves be? Is it through directly threatening the user of the move, sponging the move itself directly, or threatening whatever breaker comes in to take advantage of the move?
  • On a similar vein, should the Pokemon look to answer it offensively or defensively? Should it have an ideal typing to deal with the spam of both of these moves, or should it have a form of strong offense to screw with the Pokemon in front it?
  • Is it too much to focus on both moves with just one Pokemon? Should just Future Sight or Doom Desire be focused on instead of both?
  • Specifically, what wallbreakers that utilize the Delayed move+pivoting strategy should be focused on specifically to shut down? Should any one wallbreaker be focused on specifically, or should a larger demographic of wallbreaker be addressed?
  • Are there any abilities, typings, moves, stat spreads, etc. that haven't fully been explored in the context of the CAP meta that could potentially be key in shutting down this strategy?
  • Multiple Pokemon are capable of using Future Sight. Do we apply our focus to the main users of the move (Being the Slowtwins, in this regard) or does it focus on the move as a whole (This also technically applies to Equilibra as Jirachi also learns Doom Desire)

Explanation: Generation Eight has been the Generation of Future Sight. Virtually every tier that has a Pokemon that knows the move has been utilizing Future Sight to apply immense pressure to opposing teams and make their breakers virtually impossible to switch into. Access to the Slowtwins, who have their Regenerator+Teleport shenanigans to make the strategy even more effective, makes the higher tiers rife with difficult to punish Future Sight Spam. CAP is no different, as it is a tier based off of OU. In addition, CAP also has the extra addition of the excellent Equilibra, who uses Doom Desire very effectively to apply pressure to the opposing team in much the same way. The addition of Doom Desire to the equation gives CAP the designation of a tier that has more "Future Moves" than any other tier. And, for sure, the Pheromosa and Urshifu bans has helped take some pressure off, but threats such as Cinderace and Magearna still roam free and are capable of taking advantage of Future Sight in particular. I'm personally in the camp that the Future Sight+Teleport+Regenerator combo is borderline unhealthy, which is why I chose to submit a concept around shutting this sort of move down completely. I accept that this is a rather extreme viewpoint, however shutting down a strategy that is so potent, and, frankly, much maligned by many, is grounds enough to be the basis around a CAP itself in my opinion.

Shutting down this strategy in full is extremely hard due to the wide variety of breakers available, however with the proper typing, movepool, and defensive stats, I believe that it would be possible to shut down at least one of these almost in its entirety. Both would be ideal, and make for an incredibly interesting Pokemon, especially for bulkier teams that are looking for solid ways around these breakers.

I must recognize that this concept is rather similar to the hated "fix the meta" concepts that have happened a few times, however I do feel that this one is in good standing. This is due to its focus on the two specific moves, and the fact that with boots and such mitigating chip in metas all over Smogon. As such, I do not see Future Sight in particular going anywhere fast, even if the Slowtwins get banned, which is looking unlikely at this point. As such, I believe this CAP would have purpose later on in its lifespan.
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Final Submission: Hook, Line & Sinker

Description: A Pokemon that looks to have a specific primary role on the team, but is actually designed to lure in a specific variety of mons on the opposing side and cause a surprising amount of damage to them, whether that be through a direct method, or with the aid of an ally that it either switched in for or plans to switch into.
Justification: This falls into the Archtype category of concepts, due to the set role this Pokemon would hypothetically undertake. Sometimes you just want a really annoying mon gone so that the rest of your team doesn't have to deal with it any more and you don't get stalled out. Or there's a specific mon in the back that you're afraid will sweep or clean up your whole team in a moment's notice. Enter CAP28. I shouldn't have to explain what a lure does, but we all know how the element of surprise can turn the tide of the battle if implemented successfully. However, there are a lot of challenges that a designated lure faces in order to remain viable. With Hidden Power having been outright removed from the Sword & Shield metagame, for example, it loses one of the most customize-able tools it could have, and has to rely on a movepool that can very easily be researched beforehand. Experienced players can also scout out specific moves to minimize the risk of being caught off-guard, which defeats the purpose of a lure as a whole. This concept attempts to answer the question of whether a designated lure can still function in the Sword & Shield metagame despite its shortcomings, through using a primary role that it can competently accomplish as a guise to maximize its chances of success.
Questions to be Answered:
How big of a "net" should we equip CAP28 with so it can do its job regardless of what it faces? Should it target a specific type like... say, Steel-type?
How can we manipulate CAP28's sets so that its primary role remains unassuming, and no-one catches onto what exactly it's trying to lure in?
What are CAP28's targets likely to switch into, or otherwise how are they likely to enter the fray?
What is the typical CAP player expected to know upon first glance within Team Preview? Furthermore, how can CAP28's owner use that to his or her advantage?
Which of the many primary roles we can give each CAP would net the best results as far as luring in a solid range of targets goes?
When is the best time for CAP28 to spring its trap on the mon that it had lured in? Should it wait until its primary role has been accomplished and can't be undone?
Explanation: Of course, you might be wondering how we can give Pokemon a specific role on the team and try to use it to lure in a key defensive or offensive threat at the same time, correct? Well here are a couple of examples that'll hopefully shed some light on how it can be done.

As one such example, let's say we have a Bug/Ground CAP28, which manages to put rocks up just as Corviknight switches in. Surely you'd think CAP28 would have no choice but to bail from that fight and leave Corviknight free to Defog the rocks away free of relative charge. Well, we'll see how it likes a Zap Cannon from said CAP28 to the face instead. This is of course assuming CAP28 has No Guard, cause otherwise you'd be insane to even consider the notion, but it certainly shows how a Corviknight can easily be lured in and crippled. A second possible scenario can be seen below.

Here, we have a Rock/Ghost CAP28 that we've dedicated as our Defogger, and we also have a Volcarona in the back whose Heavy-Duty Boots have been Knocked Off. However, we have a dilemma. CAP28 has to Defog so that Volcarona doesn't get almost murdered by rocks, but it just so happens to be staring down a Bisharp. We prepare to sack CAP28, which can at least get the faster Defog off, but Bisharp winds up Sucker Punching, expecting CAP28 to have gone for some chip damage instead. This allows us to deal with the +2 Attack we "accidentally" gave the opposing Bisharp with an equally fast Haze, allowing us to survive its next attack regardless of what it goes for. Bisharp now has to think CAP28 is not offensive, and forgoes any more Sucker Punches, only to be swiftly OHKO'd by CAP28's Body Press.
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Name: You but Better (originally conceived as a Regional CAP Form)

Description: Finding a mon that has a niche in a lower tier that isn't replicated in higher tiers and making a mon that can perform a similar niche at a higher level.

Justification: This would be an Archetype concept. Much like how some regional forms "fix" bad Pokemon, I think CAP could take something interesting seen in lower tiers and build a mon around that niche but made viable for a higher tier.

Questions to be Answered:
  • What roles do some mons play in lower tiers that no mons play in higher tiers? For example, Drifblim could viably run an Unburden-based Status-Spreading Mixed Sweeper set in ZU, but nothing in OU would be able to (or arguably want to) compress all of those roles into a single set.
  • What keeps unique Pokemon in lower tiers from performing in higher tiers? Drawing from the original concept of a regional CAP form, you saw Pokemon like Muk who were basically unviable outside of PU jumping up several tiers just from having a Dark typing added to its Alolan form.
  • What Pokemon struggle to fulfill their niche due to a lack of something, and what could we do to fix that? Poorly worded, but consider something like Persian. Its stats remained mostly the same, but Alolan Persian was able to fulfill a completely different role as a fast defensive pivot with parting shot and (in SM) could even serve as a healer by abusing Z-Parting Shot or Z-Memento to quickly heal a party member in an emergency without needing to rely on Scarf Healing Wish. No other mons in higher tiers perform a role like that.
  • What might need to be taken away from a Pokemon to keep them from running rampant after other buffs are provided? Consider Obstagoon who, when they were first revealed, had people immediately considering the potential of a Belly Drum + Extreme Speed + Sucker Punch set, only for them to not actually learn any of those moves yet still prove to be a viable wallbreaker regardless. If a Pokemon gets the tools they need to perform their role in a higher tier, what might need to be toned down to ensure they aren't overpowered when they don't have the same flaws holding them back?

Explanation: Pokemon in lower tiers have a habit of filling strange roles due to the lack of competition from other, stronger Pokemon, and I think an interesting concept would be to take a Pokemon that does a strange duty and really run with it to see what they would need to perform a similar role in a higher tier. A lot of mons over the course of the generations will get one tool that suddenly causes them to jump up several tiers: Mantine learning Roost and suddenly being a viable defensive wall, for example. It's a very open ended concept.
And just to make it clear, the concept doesn't necessarily involve making an actual regional form. It's taking something seen in lower tiers and then improving it to make it work in higher tiers.
Name: The Sleeping Guard

Description: A Pokemon designed to use Rest as its main form of recovery

Justification: This is an Actualization concept, as it aims to create a Pokemon to abuse certain moves, in this case being Rest.

Questions to be Answered:
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Rest as recovery/status absorption?
  • Do we want to get rid of the Sleep status quickly or keep the Sleep status on the Pokemon as long as possible? If we want to get rid of the Sleep status, what are all the possible methods of doing this? If not, what can the Pokemon do while it is asleep?
  • While most Rest users have been bulky, are there advantages of using Rest on a frailer, faster Pokemon?
  • Is it necessary for this Pokemon attack while it is asleep, mainly through Sleep Talk? What moves can we give this Pokemon in order to overcome the randomness of Sleep Talk? Furthermore, since Sleep Talk can still select Rest, there is a 33% chance the Pokemon will not act. What other tools besides moves can make one turn of inactivity less detrimental?
  • What weaknesses can we give a Pokemon to make running Rest the best strategy for it?
In older generations, Rest was a viable healing option on Pokemon like Snorlax, Zapdos, and Suicune. However, with the wider distribution of moves like Recover and Roost, Rest has fallen out over the past few years. However, I believe Rest is a valuable form of recovery as it is one of the only moves to fully heal HP and cure status on the same turn. While being asleep is slightly detrimental, there are many ways to bypass or get rid of the sleep status, all of which has distinct advantages and disadvantages.

One of the biggest facets of Rest is another move, Sleep Talk. RestTalk had been a prominent strategy on Pokemon like Suicune and Snorlax and even metagame staples like Heatran, Rotom, and Gyarados. However, one of the biggest challenges in designing a Pokemon around RestTalk is the randomness Healing to full and still being able to move, while heavily RNG dependent, lets RestTalkers act as an offensive and defensive threat. As RaikouLover said in a thread about RestTalk in Gen 4, "The main goal of Sleep Talking is to increase the users lifespan thus allowing it to check / counter threats throughout the course of the battle WHILE executing your own strategy simultaneously." By taking inspiration from the great RestTalkers of the past and patching their weaknesses, I believe a RestTalker would make a great addition to the metagame as a status absorber.
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We have the technology.
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To the six users that have submitted concepts in the past 48 hours: please understand that I did not had time to give you feedback. The time I would have used to write up feedback I instead used to fully read and deliberate your concepts for the slate. So know that while I wasn't able to comment directly on your concepts, be aware that they have been considered thoroughly for the slate.


Below is the slate that I have deemed worth pursuing for CAP29, and is approved by our Topic Leadership Team (quziel, Tadasuke, 2spoopy4u, SHSP, and myself). I am truly proud of the 45 concepts that were submitted this CAP, and have felt incredibly inspired this past week. We're doing this for the 29th time, and there are still new ideas and questions sprouting up out of the ground! Concept submitters, thank you for taking the time to workshop and develop your concepts. Know that putting together a slate of seven concepts was agonizing, and if the stars didn't align for you this time, continue to dream and prepare for future projects. If you were not slated, remember that this is a community project, and your contributions to CAP29 are far from over.

Let's take a look at the seven slated concepts for CAP29:

Authored by quziel, Defective Ability is extremely well-written and asks the right questions. CAP has historically worked with 'bad' typings (Mollux, Crucibelle), so expanding that catalog into a CAP process that's about a hindering ability is an inspired idea. And thanks to the flexibility in the CAP29 process, we would be able to prioritize the selection of this ability during Concept Selection. Starting with a flaw and building up the mon's viability tends to lead for a strong process and final product that is enjoyable and unique to use in the metagame, without typically being overcentralizing.​
Conceptualized by Tommaniacal, Game of Inches strikes a happy medium between open, yet focused. There are lots of routes to explore here in how incremental damage plays out in every single competitive battle, across generational and tiering lines. But it also restricts us, which is a common theme people are requesting for CAP29, in a way that will force us to study the commonalities and differences between direct and residual damage, and how those play out practically in both teambuilding and battling. Game of Inches will lead to great discussions at each step of the CAP process about a facet of mons that's as relevant as ever.​
Envisioned by -Voltage-, Limit Break is a truly inspired concept. There is a certain artistry to finding inspiration from one medium and translating it to another. While Limit Break is the most focused concept on this slate, it will still lead to a variety of topics at each stage of the process. The limitation of requiring this mon to take damage is counter-intuitive in many ways, so exploring why a CAP might want to take damage has value. Plasmanta had a similar concept, but I feel that Limit Break is the fully-realized version of its concept, and could bring something bold and new to our metagame.​
Revitalized by Rabia, Boxing Gloves has a specificity that will lead to a fully realized CAP that links directly with its concept. Like Defective Ability, starting the process with the weakest part of the mon is a recipe for success. Rabia has also included some truly excellent and relevant questions that explore topics from defining what it means to be an offensive mon, to the nature of pivoting and its relevance on offensive threats. In some ways, this is the safest concept on this slate due to the plethora of examples and caveats presented thoroughly in the concept.​
Synthezied by chuckeroo777, Hidden Potential has the audacity to ask what a CAP might look like with access to Multi-Attack. This concept will require a heightened level of alertness, as if this mon is created without care, it could lead to degenerate play; however, the Topic Leadership Team and I feel confident that we can lead this concept to be balanced. I'm reminded of Necturna, where its wild concept was a challenge established by its author, Korski, and the community rose to that challenge to make a fantastic CAP, grown from some of the most fruitful conversations we've ever seen in this project's history.​
Proposed by Darek851, Boosting and Blasting reignites the captivating conversations we had around Flame Charge Smokomodo, and revisiting those conversations with an entire CAP proper has worth. This concept has zeroed in on which move(s) we select, as several CAPs have done successfully in the past (Pajantom and Equilibra), and that focused allowed Darek to ask some deeply thought-provoking questions. Obviously there is inherent risk to creating a centralized CAP that compresses two strong aspects of battling (dealing damage and boosting stats simultaneously), meaning this concept will require a cautiousness towards what our end product will look like in the metagame.​
Adapted by 2spoopy4u, Bulletproof Glass addresses a theme that has been present in several concepts this process: what it means to make a defensive CAP. This concept hits that goldilocks 'just-right' level, in giving us a significant restraint in having low stats, yet still has a goal for how this CAP could feasibly look in the metagame. The questions asked here are beyond thorough and intriguing, with considerations for conversations at every step for this CAP, but also room to explore the ideas of defensive roles, how to apply pressure, and effective team support.​

At this time, I request that all eyes turn to the Concept Chat thread, as we will be hosting a 24-hour discussion on the concepts featured on the slate. This slate is final, meaning we won't be adding or removing any concepts from the slate. Rather, this conversation will be about comparing and contrasting the seven concepts, leading to more informed voting on these concepts, starting tomorrow. Let's crush it this CAP!
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