CAP 29 - Part 10 - Moveset Discussion


Master Procraster
is a CAP Contributor
To the surprise of absolutely no one, we should avoid pivot moves in their entirety. The entire exchange of Color Change changing our typing is rendered almost pointless when we can just U-turn out when things look bad lol. They are also option that just tend to inflate viability regardless of their synergy with a concept, so we should avoid that if possible.

I also do echo Amamama in the interpretation of defensive pivot as an additional archetype a la Toxapex. While as a poison type we would be competing with the baneful bunker what Pex has in immortality we have instead in an actual offensive presence which means we shouldn't struggle too hard to find a niche in that department. Our typing shenanigans is also a great tool for a defensive pivot, although once again you have to pick your battles.

Hazards...I don't know. I agree with quziel that they are a great way to make progress in the turns that we will forcing switch (which we will since Color Change is cool like that). But I still remain skeptical for reasons that I have yet to fully figure out. I think I do support them, but until I figure out my bad juju with them I can throw myself 100% behind it.
Defensive Pivot is definitely a good route to take: pivot moves aren't something anybody seems comfortable with on 29, but it's also something we don't need to actually fulfill such a role. Our interesting set of resistances thanks to our strong initial typing and Color Change is appreciated for switching in along with great defensive stats of 85/115/100 plus a naturally-fast 100 base Speed. Being able to spread status through moderately-powerful attacking moves is a boon as well, as we can both take incoming attacks while being threatening enough against the right things so as to not just be set-up on.

I'm not comfortable with Hazards like Stealth Rock or Spikes. It seems a bit hard to imagine how it'd fit into the entire movepool and does feel like giving 29 strong options so it can be less "bad" or whatever. Toxic Spikes feel a bit more pro-concept IMO. The prominence of Steel and Flying types, HDB, Clefable, and certain Poison Types (pex) makes it pretty underpowered compared to other hazards, but they still have a place and their ability to force-in certain types could be something we use to our advantage.

Item manipulation is a touchy subject for me because I feel it's pretty overpowered as an option these days, but in terms of acting as a Defensive Pivot it would help us in freeing space for our team to breathe. Corrosive Gas or just Knock Off are both strong, straightforward means of accomplishing this, and for as much as I hate Knock-Off spam it would be a good way of getting some use out of our Dark-typing and Attack stat. Trick makes a lot of match-ups much more complicated and I don't like it either as a result, but the Black Sludge interaction is neat and something fairly-unexplored, having an item that we can use to heal ourselves or potentially trade for Leftovers that do the same for us but not our opponent. Would also mean that if we do lose our typing to Color Change we don't have an item that just kills us.
Apologies for a bit of a delay, school's been hitting me a little harder than anticipated, but I'm glad to see discussions gone so well as we've discuss archetypes further. The clear consensus is that CAP 29, in addition to its Bulky Special Sweeper archetype, also fits the Defensive Pivot mold. The important thing to note about these archetypes are that both are still pretty broad, and are going to take a lot of focus from us to figure out what can, and what should, fit into them as we work towards the final product. That's what we're going to move into now, starting with the primary and more important of the two, the core Bulky Special Sweeper build.

This archetype already has a fair bit defined already by virtue of Defining Moves and our earlier conversations. We know it's going to use Calm Mind, we know it will have access to that 50% recovery and will likely run that, and we have some idea of what to run in terms of our attacks with our initial STABs- specifically Sludge Bomb. Really, as we look at this set, we're looking at the one major question we have left- and arguably the biggest question of this stage as a whole- in what attacks are we using to sweep with? This is what I want to open the floor to, with a bit of a caveat. Specifically, I want us to look at more than just individual moves, but moves in tandem with each other, as we're really looking at two move coverage collectively rather than attacks on their own individual basis. As such, I'm opening this up to discussions of pairs of attacking moves for the Calm Mind set. A reminder that apart from the moves defined as "Required" in Defining Moves, nothing is on or off the table initially, including the moves defined as "Optional" in that step or moves discussed but left off of the Defining Moves list. Again, this is arguably the biggest question left to ask of CAP 29, and I'm very excited to see us discuss what pair(s) of moves are best suited for our project.


is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Apologies for a bit of a delay, school's been hitting me a little harder than anticipated, but I'm glad to see discussions gone so well as we've discuss archetypes further. The clear consensus is that CAP 29, in addition to its Bulky Special Sweeper archetype, also fits the Defensive Pivot mold. The important thing to note about these archetypes are that both are still pretty broad, and are going to take a lot of focus from us to figure out what can, and what should, fit into them as we work towards the final product. That's what we're going to move into now, starting with the primary and more important of the two, the core Bulky Special Sweeper build.

This archetype already has a fair bit defined already by virtue of Defining Moves and our earlier conversations. We know it's going to use Calm Mind, we know it will have access to that 50% recovery and will likely run that, and we have some idea of what to run in terms of our attacks with our initial STABs- specifically Sludge Bomb. Really, as we look at this set, we're looking at the one major question we have left- and arguably the biggest question of this stage as a whole- in what attacks are we using to sweep with? This is what I want to open the floor to, with a bit of a caveat. Specifically, I want us to look at more than just individual moves, but moves in tandem with each other, as we're really looking at two move coverage collectively rather than attacks on their own individual basis. As such, I'm opening this up to discussions of pairs of attacking moves for the Calm Mind set. A reminder that apart from the moves defined as "Required" in Defining Moves, nothing is on or off the table initially, including the moves defined as "Optional" in that step or moves discussed but left off of the Defining Moves list. Again, this is arguably the biggest question left to ask of CAP 29, and I'm very excited to see us discuss what pair(s) of moves are best suited for our project.
I think that the best two pair sweeping combinations I've seen are Sludge Bomb and Scald, and Ice Beam and Earth Power. The former pairing has the benefit of potentially starting off with at least one STAB move, good neutral coverage, and the benefit of both of its main attacks having powerful secondary effects in terms of 30% chances for Poison and Burns. The latter on the other hand has far more effective super effective coverage, and equally good neutral coverage. In addition, because CAP 29's main weakness is Ground moves, it's quite possible that it will occasionally gain STAB on the latter move. In addition, I think that by focusing on these four moves, it is still possible that a combination of Dark Pulse and Ice Beam is possible, which while in my opinion inferior than the two options listed here, is still an acceptable choice. Scald and Earth Power together as demonstrated on Pokemon such as Swampert and Gastrodon can be quite annoying, and is therefore also quite nice to explore. I think these four moves also open up the defensive pivot utility sets fairly well, with a hypothetical set of Knock Off, Scald, Recover and then one of Sludge Bomb, Earth Power or Ice Power being quite interesting.
I think sludge bomb + dark pulse, sludge bomb + scald, and dark pulse + scald are the three most obvious and the three most effective pairs we could be running. From what I can tell, this has been the most agreed upon fact about our moves, that some combination of STABs + scald will get us to where we need to go. All three combinations of these moves will probably be viable, and each has fairly different counterplay, too –– there's already a lot of room for variance in CAP29 with just three moves, and enough tools for it to run a different set based on what kind of team support it has.

As for other coverage, to be completely honest I don't think we even need anything outside of STABs + scald to succeed, but I'll talk about some other options anyways since I don't think one or two extra coverage types is necessarily a horrible thing. Ice beam + earth power as MDS suggested probably wouldn't be broken given that we underspeed garchomp, and it would let us tech into beating toxapex as well. Electric coverage is also fine, though I don't think we need both ground and electric in our toolbox, it should be one or the other so that we don't unnecessarily complicate counterplay. Any other coverage like fire/fighting/fairy has pretty awkward holes in its two-move coverage, though. Focus blast + sludge bomb, flamethrower/overheat + dark pulse, fire + dark, fire + poison, fairy + poison, etc etc all miss out on some unfortunate targets and I don't think that any of those moves would ever realistically be worth running, therefore I'd support just leaving them out altogether, although I could see an argument for fire as it's probably the least bad in conjunction with our stabs.
Agreed with MDS and Spoop that Sludge Bomb/Dark Pulse, Sludge Bomb/Scald, Ice Beam/Earth Power, etc. are our best attacking combos. I understand it might be too much, but I was wondering what people thought of Boomburst? It’s been mentioned quite a bit in previous steps of the process, but it hasn’t seen much talk during this stage, so I was curious. Do you think Boomburst/Dark Pulse (Boomburst as a catch-all and Dark Pulse for ghosts and steels) would be too strong as an additional option? Would love to hear people’s thoughts.
This is exciting, I've been waiting to make this post since Typing.

For our Calm Mind/Recover set, I propose the two move combination of Dark Pulse and Moonblast. This post is mostly going to be made in comparison to/contrast with the Dark Pulse/Sludge Bomb set that was mentioned by pretty much everyone else thusfar.

First and foremost, something that I think is fantastic about this combination, in contrast to Dark Pulse/Sludge Bomb, is that it can reliably hit almost every unbanned CAP and Pokemon in existence neutrally at worst with 3 non-viable exceptions in Galarian-Weezing, Mawile, and Klefki. Its combinations of Fairy/Poison, Fairy/Steel, and Fairy/Fire that are the only things that resist this combination, giving us plenty of power for what may very well be a pair of non-STAB moves thanks to our ability, giving us nice universal breadth and coverage.

Second, on the topic of STAB, when we switch in we will start with a Dark typing to give Dark Pulse its STAB. Ordinarily, that also applies to Sludge Bomb. However, when we change type, that sometimes changes to something inconvenient. Currently, it is safe or advantageous for us to switch in against a number of common Fairies such as Jumbao, Tapus, and Clefable, who we pressure by existing and the threat of Sludge Bomb. Not having Sludge Bomb however is not a major loss, in my eyes. If we switch in against a Fairy move, we change into Fairy, a unique interaction that we can take advantage of offensively with exactly this set. Fairy is neutral against all Fairies in the game except for those non-viable 3 mentioned earlier, and more importantly, neutral against everyone we would be switching in against. This gives us STAB pressure as a switch in, which we can still take advantage of offensively against the Fairy who hit us, and more importantly, gives us an against whoever switches in after the Fairy retreats. A switch out from Jumbao to Landorus or Garchomp for example will remain neutral or even become Special Effective rather than not very effective from the hypothetical Sludge Bomb that scared out the Fairy, and also potentially retains STAB. This is an interaction that I think is extremely interesting, taking our disadvantageous ability, and smartly using it to our advantage not just defensively as was extensively discussed thusfar, but also using it to our advantage offensively.

Third comes the shift in who we pressure. Sacrificing the Sludge Bomb does hurt with Rillaboom and Tangrowth, but our Fairy Matchups are all still strong. For example, if we switch in against a Tapu Lele, it will either use a non-effective Psychic move that forces it to switch out, a Moonblast that changes us to the advantageous Fairy type, or a Focus Blast. It doesn't matter what our 2 attacking moves are, we can set up for free against Moonblast/Focus Blast on a choice specs set with our stats. The Tapu has no choice but to switch out. However with this switch (and really, for all of the Fairies we pressure other than Koko), we can potentially retain our powerful Fairy typing. As for which matchups become advantageous, we very crucially threaten a lot of Pokemon such as Colossoil, Garchomp, and most noteably Tomohawk, giving us a nicer list of pressures based on movepool.

Finally, its worth talking about the drawback. Aside from not threatening to immediately kill Fairies, and the aforementioned hurt to Rillaboom/Tangrowth, this set does still remain weak to Blissey, Toxapex, Gastrodon, and defensive Heatran. However, these are still things that threaten the standard Sludge Bomb/Dark Pulse sets, meaning that these 4 remain as counters. Likewise, Moonblast struggles to deal with Steels and Poisons offensively, but that is not a significant change from Sludge Bomb having the same problems. In other words, Moonblast has a lot of weaknesses in common with Sludge Bomb. This means that an opponent is not playing an infinite guessing game like Bulletproof/Levitate Equilibra, but has some semblance of consistency they can fall back on, keeping it as a healthy matchup. The biggest thing we are losing is the 30% chance to poison, the initial STAB, and the Rillaboom matchup. However, considering the discourse on Scald/Dark Pulse, I don't think that the lack of the initial STAB/Rillaboom matchup effectiveness is all doom and gloom.

TLDR In Conclusion:
- Moonblast/Dark Pulse is a pretty much unresisted combo
- We still threaten Fairies. If we switch in against them and become Fairy, we are more threatening even after they run away
- We can cover a few more major threats such as Tomohawk
- A lot of the counters that can check Sludge Bomb also check Moonblast, such as Heatran and Toxapex

Therefor: Moonblast / Dark Pulse is the way to go.
I don’t think that Scald in particular is actually that great for us and by extension Scald Plus Sludgebomb is going to be awkward.
This Moveset leaves us open to a Core, that 29 was initially designed to beat or at least threaten Through the combination of its ability and typing.
Namely “King-Boomer”.

These two have proven to be surprisingly effective at dealing with 29 (if it doesn’t carry SE moves against Slowking), which, unable to really threaten Slowking with Sludge Bomb, will take a Scald and leave enough room for Slowking to just port to Rillaboom, effectively healing a lot of the dealt damage and giving the Boomer the freedom to click whichever move they like.
The fact that even with fully invested STAB at +2 we are barely able to 2hko Slowking, gives it all the opportunitie to not only beat us when we switch in, but also when it switches in on us.

STAB +2 252 SpA Abomasnow Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 183-216 (46.4 - 54.8%) -- 62.1% chance to 2HKO

This is full offensive investment, which was not the intention of the Spread and even with that Slowking can still deal with us 1v1 (although it can’t come in when 29 is already set-up).

Non STAB +2 252 SpA Abomasnow Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 122-144 (30.9 - 36.5%) -- 64.8% chance to 3HKO

STAB +1 252 SpA Abomasnow Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 136-162 (34.5 - 41.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Non STAB +1 252 SpA Abomasnow Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 91-108 (23 - 27.4%) -- 65.3% chance to 4HKO

Without STAB it already is a loosing matchup for 29.
Even if Slowking just came in on a Calm Mind and 29 is able to set up again or hit Slowking with a STAB Sludge Bomb on a Scald, they effectively can’t break past Slowkin.

Keep in mind that these are calcs for full offensive investment, which makes non invested Spreads even worse.

This might not be a problem, if “King-Boomer” wasn’t the most notorious pivoting core atm.
All this is even worsened by the fact that Scald+Sludge Bomb basi invites Dragapult and Pajantom in, which atm look to be our most effective counters if we aren’t running SE coverage.
All in all we have four of the most Viable mons In the tier that actively sit on this combination of moves. Add in Garchomp, that still beats us of the bat and 29 finds itself in a losing position against so many splashable top threats, that I doubt it’s viability with this combination.

While not as bad, Ground+Ice suffers from a similar problem as the above, as it is unable to realistically threaten Slowking.
At least it helps our matchup against the Dragon types that we fear atm.
While Quake Beam is superior in a vacuum I believe that Bolt Beam would be a better option in this particular scenario.

Other than that I think that our STAB combination is actually better than any other two move combination, as it offers both utility and very solid coverage, that lets us deal with the Pokémon we were designed to beat.

for comparison to the above:
STAB +1 0 SpA Abomasnow Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 198-234 (50.2 - 59.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO.
It seems to me at this point, given that having STAB isn't guaranteed, that any strong move we give 29 is equally viable in a vacuum. It just comes down to what your team needs to cover. If we end up giving it scald + sludge bomb + dark pulse and nothing else, then the move pool we'll have to work with is, in theory, extremely limited. I would say that giving something like Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, or Earth Power is going to end up helping us achieve the goal of making a viable Color Change mon.
While I agree that this mon is going to appreciate coverage options so that it can pick and choose its matchups, I do not think Earth Power should be allowed for how it impacts two of CAP 29's matchups, specifically Heatran and Toxapex. Both of these mons were identified as distinct checks to CAP 29, but Earth Power tilts the matchup heavily in favor of CAP 29 now that we know stats. For example, here are some calcs:

+1 252 SpA Drapion Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 416-492 (107.7 - 127.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Heatran cannot beat CAP 29 if it switches in on a CM, which is what it will most likely be doing. This allows for no counterplay with Heatran, which normally would be able to change its type or land a crucial Toxic on CAP 29. On the other hand, we have these calcs:

+1 252 SpA Drapion Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 276-326 (71.5 - 84.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+1 252 SpA Drapion Scald vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 184-218 (47.6 - 56.4%) -- 30.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

These are much more manageable to deal with as Heatran, allowing it to take advantage of Color Change or Toxic.

Now for Toxapex:

+1 252 SpA Drapion Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 200-236 (65.7 - 77.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Drapion Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 134-158 (44 - 51.9%) -- 13.3% chance to 2HKO

+1 EP into neutral EP is a guaranteed KO, meaning that Haze from Pex doesn't exactly prove to be the most consistent of counterplay. While it doesn't straight up beat Pex, it does make the matchup more favorable for CAP 29 than I'm comfortable with, and it denies Pex Toxic opportunities if its been previously chipped.

I know we've been talking about "using our power budget" here, but EP seems like it breaks some of the matchups that we already labeled as checks/counters to CAP 29 in the Threats discussion, so I see it as not a great option.

This isn't to say that Ground coverage would be broken inherently, I think that EQ would be a fine option for Coil sets since those sets would have their own list of distinct matchups, but EP seems a bit too strong coverage-wise.


We have the technology.
is a Top Artistis a Top CAP Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
In response to dex18, I just wanted to note that those calcs presume 252 SpA EVs, which has not yet come into the conversation. If you're putting that many EVs in SpA, you are going to lose a lot of bulk, specifically being OHKO'd by Garchomp EQ. It's hard to predict how people will run EVs in general, so 252 SpA is totally possible, but we've been predicting that CAP29 will not want too invest heavily into its attacking stat since its STAB is constantly changing. Either way, here's what they look like with the presumed 0 SpA EVs:

+1 0 SpA Drapion Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 336-396 (87 - 102.5%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO
+1 0 SpA Drapion Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 160-190 (52.6 - 62.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

That's still not ideal for Heatran, but at least it has a good chance of getting off the Toxic to stop a sweep. This Toxapex matchup is much nicer though, as when EP is revealed, it can switch out with Regenerator to a more solid check/counter. Your point still stands that Earth Power does mess with CAP's checks and counters, but I do also want to note that both Toxapex and Heatran were listed as potential checks, not hard counters. Toxapex we specifically mentioned would struggle with CAP29 depending on the coverage we chose, so I don't feel like it's against the concept for us to consider Ground-type coverage.

In terms of my own personal opinion, I am a big believer in Scald being on CAP29. Snagging a burn synergizes so well with Calm Mind, and it gives CAP29 something else to do besides come in and predictably CM every time it's on the field. Water-type is good two-move coverage for both of our STABs; it probably gets more SE mileage out of Dark Pulse, but having the double threat of also snagging a Poison with Sludge Bomb can be more appealing on defensive team builds. We're only talking about two-move coverage right now, but I think Scald also could feasibly open up to some interesting mono-attacking sets, depending on what utility moves we grant CAP29 later down the road.

Outside of Scald, I think there's a lot of routes we could go, but I do think we should add on some additional coverage. I'm probably most interested in the Ground/Fire route, as Earth Power is a dangerous mixup (as explained above), while Lava Plume could help CAP29 retain the utility of snagging a burn, while Overheat (as quziel has mentioned) can be surprisingly effective as a once-off at +1. I'm a little less keen on the Ice/Electric route, as I don't think it has quite the utility it once did, and they don't take full advantage of our Color Change bulk by fishing for more reliable secondary effects (burn/poison/flinch). Ice/Electric feels like bloat, whereas Fire/Ground would stand a legitimate chance of being used over our STABs. Ultimately, I'm still a touch wary on Ground-type coverage, so I think it might be worth simply adding Fire-type coverage to scoop up Lava Plume, Flamethrower, and Overheat to give us a secondary mixup outside of STABs and STAB+Scald combos.

I agree with SHSP's general philosophy that we should be stingy with what we add to prevent bloat. That's why I absolutely recommend Scald, and if we were looking to add one more typing, I'd aim for Fire-typing to keep with the idea of CAP29 wanting to score a burn, plus the additional coverage it can provide when paired with our STABs.


burn the midnight oil
is a Contributor Alumnus
I also don't like Earth Power.

+1 168 SpA Avalugg Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 388-460 (100.5 - 119.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

The minimum SpA EVs needed to always OHKO Heatran at +1 is 168 SpA. The minimum Speed EVs for outspeeding offensive Heatran is either 72+ or 172. It would be pretty easy to make a spread with 168 SpA EVs that still maintains a significant amount of bulk:

252 HP / 16 Def / 168 SpA / 72 Spe - Timid (overall decently bulky spread designed to lure and beat Heatran with EP)
40 HP / 128 Def / 168 SpA / 172 Spe - Bold (enough HP for lefties bump, always lives Lando-t EQ, still outspeed Heatran)
236 HP / 104 Def / 168 SpA - Bold (lefties bump, slower than offensive Tran, but you always live LO Garchomp EQ without hazards)

I think all three of the above spreads would be quite effective in the meta if we give CAP29 Earth Power. I don't want this mon to turn into a Heatran lure. EP just allows us cut out one of our most important checks, who already isn't even always a perfect check because +1 Scald still stings once you start investing in SpA. Pex may struggle with us anyways depending on our non-attacking moves, but Heatran is almost entirely based on whether or not we give this thing EP/EQ.
proposing another coverage option in aura sphere , in addition to one of its primary stabs + recover , or to be part of cm 3 attacks
  • Relevant calcs :
  • 252 SpA Skuntank Aura Sphere vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 124-146 (32.1 - 37.8%) -- 0.2% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • After rocks :
  • +1 252 SpA Skuntank Aura Sphere vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 184-218 (47.6 - 56.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • On the switchin ( more so to prevent a free switch ) : 252 SpA Skuntank Aura Sphere vs. 56 HP / 252 SpD Colossoil: 156-184 (37 - 43.7%) -- 99.7% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 252 SpA Skuntank Aura Sphere vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Equilibra: 112-134 (27.4 - 32.8%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
  • +1 252 SpA Skuntank Aura Sphere vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Equilibra: 170-200 (41.6 - 49%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
  • 252 SpA Skuntank Aura Sphere vs. 252 HP / 216+ SpD Tyranitar in Sand: 160-192 (39.6 - 47.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • +1 252 SpA Skuntank Aura Sphere vs. 252 HP / 216+ SpD Tyranitar in Sand: 240-284 (59.4 - 70.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • +1 252 SpA Skuntank Aura Sphere vs. 252 HP / 176+ SpD Ferrothorn: 166-196 (47.1 - 55.6%) -- 21.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
I feel aura sphere is the midground drawn between doing next to nothing with say dark pulse v/s completely destroying its checks in the form of earth power. Not too sure whether aura sphere in itself would be too overpowering since it does do the job of pressuring its defensive checks into not wanting to switchin "freely" , but the calcs show that it cant repeat the feat more than once. Agree with everything said about scald so far , burns forces progress and does not lose you momentum when you click calm mind.

credit to Slapperfish for the idea as well !


I am the Scientist now
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Simulator Driver
Yo, I'm gonna be trying to get as many games played using 29 on the Test server ( as possible from 2-4 pm today, and hopefully tomorrow. I should note that this ain't gonna give perfect info, but some info is always better than no info, so c'est la vie.

Edit: Making this an actual post.

I'm coming out in favor of Boomburst. One of the major issues I was facing when using CAP 29 is well, there's no set that feels anywhere as consistent as just "STABs", and Boomburst + Scald is the only thing that really gives you good initial power as well as pretty reasonable coverage which is somethign that like, literally every non-STABs spread really struggled with. STAB just has such a huge advantage over every other option because it can actually threaten stuff out turn 1 if you keep your base typing (very easy honestly).

Boomburst hits as hard as a STAB Sludge Bomb and a bit harder than a STAB Dark Pulse, but honestly, is a bit worse than either because unlike Dark Pulse it can't hit Slowking for heavy damage, and it cannot hax shit nearly as hard as Sludge Bomb. Its the only option I've tested that really lets you play nearly as aggressively as Dark Pulse / Sludge Bomb, because unlike stuff like Bolt/Beam it has respectable power without boosting. It also like, didn't feel broken at all across several test games because while its good consistent damage, that's really all it is, a way to deal STAB level damage at the cost of secondary effects and coverage. It'll hit Chomp for about as much as a STAB Dark Pulse, hit Pex for reasonable damage, etc.


I'll also argue in favor of rounding out our offensive movepool using some of the traditional "unreliable moves", aka Thunder / maybe Overheat, just because I do want this mon to be able to adapt to meta trends. I'm against stuff that lets us OHKO hard answers, eg Heatran with Earth Power, and there's a load of coverage that seems sorta unneeded, aka Focus Blast / Moonblast compared to our STABs / Scald.

Edit @ below:

Revelation Dance is not Clickable in game
Last edited:
I'm not a fan of Earth Power or Aura Sphere either. I do not think they meaningfully provide anything to our Pokemon for 2 ways.

1 - I feel as if each of these choices in a 2 attack set are actively worse than Dark Pulse/Sludge Bomb. They will never have STAB, Aura Sphere has a worse BP, and 3 of the 4 combos of those moves and either Dark Pulse or Sludge Bomb are checked by an entire typing if not 2. For a downgrade in coverage, they don't bring a significant boon in my eyes, helping only with specific matchups like Heatran or Tyranitar at the cost of major losses like the Tapus.

2 - They do not interestingly interact with Color Change offensively. One thing I like about this ability is we can exploit the change in typing to find a new stab (which is why I like Moonblast.) Getting STAB for a typing that is self-neutral is fantastic. Unfortunately, we can't exploit that with either of these. The vast majority of Pokemon that use Fighting moves actually resist fighting moves themselves, such as Tomohawk, Tornadus, or Kerfluffle. The only case we can actually exploit this with Aura Sphere would be against Equilibra, whose high SpD laughs at us anyways as it changes us to Ground (which it is immune to.) And speaking of Ground, that is our only weakness. We cannot afford to be taking a ground move from our Dark/Poison switch in, meaning we are putting ourselves in an extremely dangerous position if we ever want to use Color Change offensively with Earth Power.

Overall, both of these moves would end up being perpetually STABless with actively worse coverage on a 2 attack set than our base STAB combo, leaving us with a hugely missed opportunity with our ability offensively as well as minimal gains for the sacrifice.

To contrast those, I think Boomburst is very interesting. Generally, Boomburst's weakness is that it is a Normal type move. It hits nothing super effectively, has weaknesses against Rock/Steel/Ghost, and you're usually not getting STAB from it either. Conveniently, that makes it the perfect partner for Dark Pulse on CAP 29. It retains a lot of the same weakness as Poison in that it cannot deal with Rock/Steel/Ghost types, but it gains more universal coverage against everything else. Likewise, it loses the 2x effectiveness we get against Fairies and Grass types, but we retain neutrality at the very least. Furthermore, where Poison dealt 0x damage to Steel types (which Dark was only neutral against,) our Dark Pulse can hit the Ghost types that would be immune to Boomburst, meaning that entire typing still isnt safe to switch in against our Normal move.

The only downside is that it doesn't compliment our ability offensively. The only normal move you'll ever get hit by is Rapid Spin, and most of the relevant spinners like Ferrothorn or Equilibra resist Boomburst anyways. But it does compliment it really well in the sense that we will often lose our STAB, allowing us to still hit with a powerful 140 BP move when switching in against something like a Tapu Fini Scald or Hydreigon Dark Pulse. It works well with our ability.
Going to quickly throw in my support for boomburst.
On most non normal types it would be inferior to either STAB, because it lacks Super effective damage and additional effects.
But on a mon, that wants to run strong coverage AND has unreliable STAB, Boomburst is a way to deal consistent damage, regardless of the state of play.
Paired with Scald, which has seen nearly unanimous support, it is exceptional two move coverage, that doesn’t rely on STABs and would function very well on 29.

I also want to come in and defend bolt beam against fire ground coverage.
Its main advantage is, that it doesn’t forfeit the Slowking+Rilla matchup, which has proven to be very effective counterplay, without a way to deal with Slowking.
And while burn synergizes better with CM, paralysis from Discharge is another Status, that can be spread through damaging moves, that can help during a Sweep and provides utility for the team.
Last edited:
apologies for the misdirection earlier i don't know how i missed that move ban

Also throwing support behind Boomburst, while it does hit harder than our STAB Sludge Bomb (140 > 135) and is neutral versus more targets, the lack of secondary effects, inability to hit anything SE, and retaining weakness against Steel, Rock, and Ghost make it fit pretty well on our set. Obviously 140 BP is pretty ridiculous but considering what our C&C are it's not really letting us break through anything we wouldn't have been able to do before with Sludge Bomb or Dark Pulse and their secondary effects. More importantly is that its a good move to have with Color Change: we're expecting to lose our STAB frequently which is detrimental to our sweeping capabilities, so access to a move that's just naturally powerful is extremely useful. Having a Normal type is also rare with Rapid Spin being the only common Normal move, and that's generally not too impactful given how the most prominent spinners in the meta don't mind us being Normal (Libra and Drill both resist Normal and Tomohawk could just Aura Sphere us next turn), so we wouldn't have to worry about something like STAB Boomburst being readily attainable and potentially breaking our matchups, which IMO is the primary concern with giving out a move as strong as this.

Electric + Ice coverage is also an interesting avenue, it does slightly compromise some of our checks but we can't run everything and neither particularly help us through the likes of Heatran, TTar or Blissey. In terms of our ability to deal with Slowking-Rillaboom cores we may lose our STAB advantage but in turn have a more universally applicable offensive combo. Specifically Discharge and Thunder sound like perfect fits, the former helps in spreading status, while the latter is really good at applying pressure to some Water and Flying types we don't like, without being too overbearing as powerful coverage thanks to the low accuracy.
Great discussion so far, everyone- I'm glad to see this mammoth of a topic get addressed so well, it's certainly tricky and we're approaching it incredibly well to start off. There are a few takeaways from what we've been talking about so far, namely-

Our STABs are really solid: There's been a consensus so far that the 1-2 punch of Sludge Bomb and Dark Pulse is an absolutely valid option to run as our coverage. In addition, the majority of suggestions of two move coverage so far have also included one of the two. I think this is important to highlight going forward, as we consider additional options, that we're starting from a strong base.

Scald should be in our options: Scald was on the Optional list for Defining Moves, and it seems like one of the moves that most everyone agrees we should get. I agree: Scald is a really great fit for us, giving us immediate pressure, not overly strong Water coverage that meshes well with our STABs, and works well with boosting.

Earth Power should not be in our options: After initial suggestions of Earth Power, the majority of talk surrounding it has focused on its power being a bit too much for us, specifically with regards to the Heatran matchup. Earth Power is just too much for that and other matchups, and with a lot of other viable options for coverage, we should focus elsewhere.

There are a number of moves that I'm still curious about, so I'm calling for further discussion on the following:

Ice Beam: There was some initial talk about Ice+Ground or Ice+Electric coverage, and it seems that it leaned towards allowing it, though there were notes about Ice coverage's power and its impact on some matchups like Garchomp. Is this too much, or is this more in line with what we should be aiming for?

Boomburst: This has garnered a fair bit of discussion over the last day or so, as a particularly strong neutral option to pair with something like Scald or Dark Pulse. I feel like this absolutely deserves a bit more focus so we can come to a conclusion on where its power lies- is this a needed boost to power, or is the addition of usually not particularly good Normal type coverage not all that meaningful here?

Fire Coverage: Another set of moves that has generally gotten favorable thought, the question about Fire coverage is more about what move(s) in specific as well as how well they fit. There's been suggestions of everything from Lava Plume to Overheat, and varying reasoning for all of them, so I want us to narrow down what fits best as well as how this coverage fits with what's offered.

Other moves, like Aura Sphere and Moonblast, also are still open to discussion on their merits, but these three above I've found to be particularly important decisions to make. Looking forward to see how this discussion about these plays out! Consider a soft 48 hour timer on this discussion.
Scald has to be on there. It's just so useful for both the coverage and the burn chance.

I like Boomburst. I don't think it's too powerful as we'll never have STAB on it, and is only slightly stronger than a STAB base 90, and has no secondary effects. It is the only option comparable to STAB Sludge Bomb/Dark Pulse in terms of immediate power and has the obvious added benefit of not losing any power upon a type change. I think it works well as a catch-all neutral coverage option.

You don't even lose that much power vs a non-STAB SE hit:
0+ SpA Abomasnow Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 98-116 (24.8 - 29.4%) -- 100% chance to 4HKO
0+ SpA Abomasnow Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 85-100 (21.5 - 25.3%) -- 0.3% chance to 4HKO

I think the fact that Boomburst is weaker than a SE non-STAB Pulse is an argument FOR the inclusion of Boomburst, because it means that Boomburst isn't just going to be the best option to run no matter what.

Above all what Boomburst offers is reliability. You're never going to have STAB on it, and you're never going to lose STAB on it. You'll never have to spam it to fish for poison/para/burn or flinch. On a mon like 29 whose entire premise is an unreliable ability, I think Boomburst would be a welcome addition that would not necessitate its inclusion on every moveset.

Now for the other stuff:
I'm on the fence about Ice Beam and I haven't thought about it enough. My initial gut feeling was that its inclusion would prompt a lot of "Shit, does this have Ice Beam?" when hovering your mouse over Garchomp, and that's never a good feeling. I'm also wondering if Freeze Dry has been discussed at all? Freeze Dry is incredibly potent in combination with Scald, and would give 29 very good 2-move coverage. Obviously, Freeze Dry is better than Ice Beam, so I think if we went with Freeze Dry, we would need to really cut down on other options. I'm not for or against either at the moment.

T-bolt has mostly been discussed in conjunction with ice coverage, but I think it's a decent option regardless of whether we also have access to Ice coverage, especially on potential 3-attack sets as coverage for things like Slowking, Pex and Tomo.
252 SpA Abomasnow Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 124-146 (31.4 - 37%) -- 77.4% chance to 3HKO
That's a chunky hit.

Fire coverage like Lava Plume/Flamethrower improves our matchup vs Steels, but that's about it. Grounds and Glowking are the only other mons that resist Poison that fire hits. Scald hits Grounds and Glowking can't do much to us. Libra and Melm don't like Scald very much either. Fire is very useful specifically for Cawm/Skarm/Corv and Ferro/Kart. Tbolt can take care of Skarm/Corv and Ferro can't do much to us without T-wave. I think fire coverage is nice, but not as nice as some of the other options, if we had to pick. I would also rather spam Scald to fish for burn than Lava Plume.

I think the suggestion of including high-power unreliable elemental options like Blizzard/Thunder/Overheat is interesting, but there isn't a whole lot of precedent for having those moves but not the corresponding Ice Beam/Tbolt/Flamethrower (exceptions apply, of course). But that's interesting route I hadn't considered.

I think Aura Sphere and Moonblast are unnecessary. I don't think they warrant inclusion ahead of the elemental options, and I don't think they should be included alongside them lest we risk bloating 29's movepool to the point where an opponent has to spend 5 turns figuring out your exact moveset.

Overall, I think a special attacking movepool that looks something like Sludge Bomb-Dark Pulse-Scald-Boomburst-Tbolt-Overheat might be the move. I think a pool like that gives 29 a few nice staple options, a couple options to run a surprise 3-attack set, and the ability to adapt the metagame trends without overly bloating the movepool. Those last two moves could be changed to something like Bolt-Beam or Lava Plume-Thunder too.
Forgive me for dallying so long. I have been preoccupied with other matters for the bulk of discussion.

I'll say a short piece on each of the items under debate.

Scald: Absolutely we should have this. Water is an ideal coverage option, and burns greatly increase 29's ability to set up or else support the team.

Earth Power: Excessive at best. It has negligible secondary benefits unlike Scald, and there are few situations where 29 would rather click this move than something else under discussion. This feels like it solely targets Toxapex, who notably eats the majority of mandatory and optional moves thus far.

Boomburst: I championed this move in the Defining Moves phase here and here. Thus far, nothing has altered my opinion that we need this move. Since we opted to play it safe with our selection of setup moves, it is essential that we mitigate the drawback of Color Change in other ways. STAB-independent damage output is one such countermeasure. For an overview of what Boomburst actually targets (inasmuch as Normal coverage can actually "target" something), I recommend seeing the second post in particular.

Fire coverage: I'd call this one dicey. Ostensibly, the main draw of Lava Plume is spreading burns. But we're already considering Scald for that very reason. Not to mention Scald pairs excellently with Sludge Bomb or Boomburst. How does Lava Plume compare? It rolls off of Tyranitar with negligible effect, but erasing Kartana, Ferrothorn, and other Steels not named Equilibra is above and beyond a good trade. Flamethrower has even less justification because it exists only to target those things and remove them reliably. I guess Overheat is innocent enough on paper because it throws yet another drawback at 29, but I recall Krilowatt needing to have that toy taken away a long, long time ago.

Aura Sphere: Wait, what does this do? Nuke Tyranitar? Scald already hits Tyranitar, Heatran, and Equilibra just fine. If the argument is "Earth Power but safer for Heatran and Pex," I have only puzzlement to express because that does not leave many targets. Are we really so frightened of Ferrothorn that we're entertaining Fire and Fighting moves just for him? It seems off-track.

Moonblast: Jewvia makes a decent case for the move. One might question whether hitting Tomohawk and Garchomp for SE damage justifies running it over Sludge Bomb, but Ice Beam is also on the table for similar reasons. I don't see it proving disruptive or unpredictable like Fire coverage, so I am neutral on this one. Are we okay with the possibility of a 2HKO vs. Arghonaut?

Ice Beam: I am tentatively in favor of this move. Tomohawk and Garchomp are hit by either STAB option individually, and Ice Beam condenses those two items into one move slot. One thing I kind of like is that it hits Zapdos and Cyclohm for SE damage and nets a 2HKO w/ 252 investment. Those two enjoy nothing more than spreading status and clicking recovery until paralysis sets in, so they otherwise stand to cripple 29 before it even gets started. They also like to keep a stranglehold on 29's physical teammates. The only reason I can see for us to deny Ice Beam is if we decide Scald removes too many checks on its own; Landorus, Heatran, Colossoil, and Tyranitar are all Water-weak. However, whereas Moonblast greatly threatens Arghonaut, 29's Ice Beam is at least outsped by Garchomp.


is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
I'm very pleased to see Scald being accepted, a bit sad about Earth Power but I can understand the justification behind it potentially too strong against some of our checks and counters. With this in mind, I think it is worth going over some of the moves.

Ice Beam: As mentioned previously I think this is going to be quite important for our general toolkit. Although we can no longer pair it with Earth Power, and as Quziel said Ice Beam + Thunderbolt itself is fairly weak, I think it is still worth including as a tech option. Dark Pulse and Ice Beam still have pretty good coverage together even if it is worse utility overall. Being able to potentially bait and beat common switchins like Garchomp and Landorus-Therian has quite a bit of value.

Boomburst: I'm not really a massive fan of this move, but I do think without Earth Power it could be fine to run and gives us an additional source of power. I certainly don't think it will be too powerful, more just curious about whether it does what we want, but I'm leaning towards yes, as it is preferable to Sludge Bomb when paired with Scald against certain targets.

Fire coverage: I'm not a big fan of Fire coverage, while I don't think its particularly more powerful than Ground would have been, I think it just does too much against Steel Pokemon that we currently have no other particularly major way to beat outside of lucky Scald burns, particularly Scizor, Ferrothorn and Melmetal. Additionally, I don't think it forms particularly good cores with our existing stabs or coverage moves, save for potentially Dark Pulse and might end up being a distraction.

Electric coverage: I would place Electric coverage as pretty similar to Fire in general, although I would much rather we get access to it as it has better synergy with our approved moves, and has very strong potential with Ice Beam. It achieves similar things overall against targets such as Corviknight, Skarmory for example, but with better broad synergy across the board, particularly against Water-types without being oppressive. As Quziel pointed out, BoltBeam coverage is quite underwhelming overall without boosts, nevertheless I think it is something that is quite important to our long term success as tech options against certain teams. In addition I think the combination of BoltBeam makes triple attacking sets more effective, particularly when paired with Dark Pulse, or as Electric itself being a better third pair to Sludge Bomb and Scald.

Aura Sphere: Not a fan of fighting coverage for the most part, mainly because of how much it handles Tyranitar. It's very similar to Scald in terms of the targets it hits, although without much of the utility. I don't think we particularly need to ban it, but I just think it toes the line between either being useless outside of the specific matchup with Tyranitar and Ferrothorn, and potentially oppressive due to the role compression it might offer. It's hard to evaluate but I'm leaning towards not needing it, and preferring BoltBeam and Boomburst.

Moonblast: Similar argument to above, I don't think it hits enough meaningful targets over Ice Beam, apart from some fairly uncommon Pokemon such as Urshifu-R, Kyurem and Kerfluffle, and risks making our movepool too expansive.


Distilled, 80 proof
is a CAP Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Scorching Sands could be an alternative to Earth Power:

252 SpA Earth Power vs. 252/128+ Heatran: 72 - 85%
252 SpA Scorching Sands vs. 252/128+ Heatran: 56 - 66%
+1 252 SpA Scorching Sands vs. 252/128+ Heatran: 84 - 99%
252 SpA Scorching Sands vs. 0/4 Heatran: 83 - 98%

Same pro-concept arguments apply here as to Scald, and the two moves aren’t all that bad together when you consider you get a 30% burn chance on every attacking turn.

I also think Boomburst is a must, for what it’s worth, and I also think we should have Freeze-Dry as a less-powerful-but-target-compressing Ice-type move. Dark Pulse / Sludge Bomb / Boomburst / Scald / Scorching Sands / Freeze-Dry / Discharge is a really cool offensive toolkit for a long-haul booster, with a nice diversity of 2- and 3-move attacking options that will make the CAP somewhat less predictable, and I think with our current build we have the space to explore these options while remaining balanced overall.
Last edited:


burn the midnight oil
is a Contributor Alumnus
While the Scorching Sands calcs are definitely less scary than Earth Power, you are realistically ever using it over Scald for the purpose of hitting Heatran (assuming we have Boomburst for hitting the pex) making it feel a lot more like a tech option to bait Heatran. I think specialGround coverage runs into the issue that its either too weak that it wouldn't get run (Mud Shot) or you are using it to nail Heatran. I am generally pretty aversive to special Ground coverage as whole.

I think the rest of the coverage Korski listed (Dark/Poison/Normal/Water/Ice/Electric) is pretty much the exact list of viable type coverage I want for CAP29. Anything else runs the risk of beating some of our important checks, is too niche in application and bloats the movepool, or would be added purely for flavor without having much competitive merit (I don't think anyone would realistically run Shadow Ball.)

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)