CAP 29 - Part 10 - Moveset Discussion

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One thing I hadn't previously considered is that Freeze Dry invalidates Gastrodon as a counter, even if it's not run on every set. Is this something we want? I'm not sure how set-in-stone the checks and counters list needs to be, so hopefully more experienced contributors can chime in here.

What Freeze-Dry offers is moveset compression. You're able to hit ground types and water types SE with one move, which frees up the rest of your moveslots. You pretty much never need to run Tbolt anymore. Scald + Freeze Dry offers near-perfect neutral coverage. Destroys Gastro.

Running it (outside of a lure set) comes with opportunity cost. 2 attacks with Sludge + Freeze Dry loses STAB Dark Pulse/Boomburst for power and Scald for utility and burns. 2 attacks with Scald + Freeze Dry is quite weak in terms of immediate power.

On 3-attack sets, you either lose recovery or the set-up option, which is obviously not ideal.
Freeze Dry also doesn't significantly change matchups against mons that are not 4x weak. A non-STAB SE 2x Freeze Dry is only going to do a teeny teeny amount more than a non-STAB neutral Boomburst. Freeze Dry only hits Ghost types, 4x Normal resists and 4x Freeze Dry weaks harder than Boomburst.
In terms of increasing unpredictability, Waters and Water/Flyings will need to watch out for Tbolt anyway so it doesn't change much.

Bottom line:
Boomburst does the same damage to 2x SE mons (except for Ghosts and Rocks). It doesn't make 29 more unpredictable than Tbolt already does (except for...). So it seems like a "why not?" move to me. The why not is that it's a Gastro (and other 4x weaks) nuke that has a little utility outside of just being there to lure and nuke those mons.
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Freeze-Dry is a bit too much of a reach, not only demolishing one of our best defensives answers in Gastrodon, but it's pretty redundant to have with Electric coverage doing the job for Water types. Having only 70 BP and no STAB also means that Boomburst's 140 BP does practically the same thing, even when its resisted and Freeze-Dry hits normally.
252 SpA Mew Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Corviknight: 56-66 (14 - 16.5%)
252 SpA Mew Freeze-Dry vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Corviknight: 56-67 (14 - 16.7%)

So what Pokemon do we have an advantage against?
:gastrodon: and :swampert: are both threatened with 2HKOs.
That's it. If :jellicent: or any of the Water/Rock types were relevant they'd be a factor as well but we shouldn't worry ourselves over unranked mons.

All Freeze-Dry really does is take two Pokemon, one of which is considered a decent counter and the other I guess a temporary check, and tells them that they aren't allowed to exist if we so desire. Freeze-Dry's other benefit of easing prediction is also covered by Boomburst so all the move would accomplish is just bloating our movepool and letting us bypass one of our best answers.

Moving on to the Defensive Pivot set, I'm still a fan of Toxic Spikes solely because setting hazards is a productive thing we can do during free turns, while TSpikes themselves are not too powerful of an option that they might make us overtooled. I've also been thinking about other means of dealing chip damage we might enjoy having: Night Shade feels too weak for what we want to accomplish, but Super Fang feels like a strong middle-ground move that lets us get a lot of damage off without needing to give ourselves too much coverage or offensive investment, meaning we can go all-in on utility moves for the Defensive set. I don't imagine it would seriously break any of our matchups as it can only do a maximum of 50% if the target is at full, fails against Ghost-types (thus having bad synergy with Boomburst) and it's not even perfectly accurate.

Another thing I thought about was anti-Status support, namely Heal Bell. I'm not 100% behind it as I don't know if we'd have the room for such options, but we tend to dislike being statused so an option to relieve us and the rest of the team of their effects could be good to have.
I'm not really a big fan of Freeze Dry. The only thing it has going over Ice Beam is the ability to hit Water types super effectively, and us having Electric coverage completely nullifies that positive.

As for the defensive pivot set, two moves that I believe are necessary for that set are Knock Off and Toxic Spikes. Knock Off is pretty self explanatory, and Toxic Spikes allows us to make progress while also spreading status. Toxic could also work for that same reason, though it doesn't really let us make progress.
Absolutely agree. Having Toxic in particular gives us a sufficient option against Gastrodon without invalidating it as a pivotal defensive stop to CAP 29. And giving CAP 29 Toxic Spikes would give the defensive pivot set a much-needed progress making tool, and would give it more leeway to be used on balance teams alongside breakers such as Dragapult and Colossoil that benefit from Toxic Spikes support. Since Toxic Spikes thematically fits with CAP 29, more so than other hazards and similar options, and the general lack of users of Toxic Spikes in the tier, it could certainly be something worth considering.

Another thing I want to put on the table: although we're somewhat shifting away from offensive options, CAP 29's workable offensive stats, along with the powerful coverage we've laid out for it, could make an All-out Attacking or 3 attacks + Recovery set viable. As such, we can consider a few options to make such a set more viable. One option that sprung to mind for me was physical Fighting coverage in the form of Brick Break or Superpower (though the former is probably preferred, since deleting :tyranitar: in a single blow is probably too much to consider). From what I've seen, there hasn't been much discussion on physical moves aside from the obligatory Knock Off. Something to note is that regardless of Knock Off, one of CAP 29's greatest theoretical roadblocks is :blissey:, as not much from CAP 29 as it is right now can stop a potentially dangerous Teleport, or a Seismic Toss (changing our typing to Fighting) into a Toxic. Due to this, if CAP 29 were to find itself on a more offensive team with a more offensive set, despite its typing, it couldn't serve as a reliable Toxic switchin from the pink blob. But this takes us back to the crux of CAP 29's existence by creating a rare practical offensive use for Color Change's quirks: becoming a Fighting-type from Seismic Toss and utilizing it to properly punish an otherwise stalwart counter. I do think a mixed attacking set would likely be less optimal than the Bulky CM and defensive pivot options already established, and runs the risk of straying away from CAP 29's purpose a bit, but giving it the option to turn the tables on what looks to be one of its otherwise more reliable counters is certainly something worth considering in my opinion. After all, Color Change in and of itself, with a stat spread and typing like CAP 29's, encourages us to be open to experimenting with its movepool.

I certainly don't think the addition of a physical Fighting-type move would make CAP 29 very much harder to handle than it already would have been, considering its only decent offenses and Speed. It creates more of a :nidoking:-esque situation on the potential sets that would feature such an attack: it more than likely has to give up crucial special coverage for it, so that CAP 29 is walled more easily by something else, like :equilibra: or :slowking:, and regardless of its coverage on these particular sets, Pokemon like :gastrodon: and :ferrothorn: stand a good chance at stopping it cold.

TLDR: Brick Break would help to diversify CAP 29's movepool and strengthen the versatility that is evidently a key trait of this mon, serving as one of the few moves that makes use of Color Change offensively to punish (but not definitively beat) a major thorn in CAP 29's side in :blissey:. Still, I'm aware that it can be seen as sort of a "why not?" situation and is definitely not a necessary or primary component of the Pokemon. Open to opinions and suggestions, def want to see what the consensus is about an addition like this
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Might be a bit of a reach but I think that Aromatherapy could be an interesting option for its role as a defensive pivot. Like shnowshner above me said when discussing Heal Bell, status removal support could be a good addition to its defensive toolkit in conjunction with Toxic Spikes and Knock Off. For flavor reasons I think Aromatherapy fits better than Heal Bell (paints often have very strong odors, which can be very head-shocking), but that’s just me. I’d also like to suggest Light Screen and Reflect. In addition to the aforementioned Knock and TSpikes support, I feel that functioning as a screens setter could be a valuable option for its defensive niche. CAP29 finds multiple opportunities to switch in, as we’ve seen, which would greatly help its efficacy as both defensive pivot and screens setter.

As for the additions to its offensive arsenal, I’m fully in support of the conclusions we’ve drawn. For the discussion point on Freeze Dry, I think it’s a bit unnecessary since its primary function outside of move slot compression of Water/Electric effectiveness is to utterly nuke mons like Gastro (which is shaky, since we’ve stated that Gastro should be one of our checks) and Swampert. Aside from that, Freeze Dry seems kinda redundant at best.


burn the midnight oil
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Freeze-Dry: While this move offers some moveset compression, what it really achieves is allowing bulky spreads to 2HKO Gastrodon at +1 with 0 SpA investment. While offensive spreads can still break Gastrodon with Boomburst, I don't think we should give bulkier spreads the ability to completely nullify of their counters while also still maintaining a coverage option for Chomper, Lando-t, etc. Freeze-Dry is a no from me.

Toxic/Toxic Spikes/Status in general: These seem tentatively fine. They take advantage of our ability to use Color Change to create openings to do things; in this case, spread status. This Pokemon is going to be spreading poison/burns a bunch with Sludge Bomb and Scald anyways, so I don't think giving it the less RNG-based status moves is too much of a stretch. You are basically trading crucial coverage/additional chip damage for greater consistency on this mon, which suits a set with like Knock Off much better.

Knock Off: Good support move that can find use on both CM and status-focused sets. Not much else to say about Knock Off itself, but with Knock, Recover, and Scald, we have opened the door for us to do support shenanigans just fine, if not suboptimally compared to more consistent support Pokemon with superior abilities. I don't think we should be forcing this Pokemon too hard into the support role; it is already greatly outclassed by virtue of stat distribution (Mandibuzz) and ability (Toxapex).

Physical Fighting moves: I am fine with Close Combat and Superpower because absolutely no one would realistically use them outside of the playtest meta, but holy shit they are good flavor. Look at this unit, look at those HULKING TRICEPS. This beefy chap looks like it could handle a good brawl. Moveslots are so precious on this Pokemon that there is no way you viably run Combat/SP. TTar is made sour enough by potential Scald burns. The best thing this Pokemon does to Blissey is potentially knocking off its Boots imo.

Aromatherapy: I guess it removes Toxic from itself, but the set that cares the most about Toxic is CM. I suspect if you want to run a mono-attacking CM set, Sub or RestTalk will probably get you more value than Aromatherapy. Is a cleric support set viable? Aromatherapy is a very reactive move, and this Pokemon should be using CC to more proactive things imo: setting up, knocking off, spreading status, clicking TSpikes, etc. I really don't see what this Pokemon offers as a cleric over something like Clefable or Astrolotl. I would probably use Pyroak over CAP29 as a cleric, and Pyroak sucks eggs.

Dual Screens: Kind of cool since you can do some really cheeky stuff with Screens + Color Change. With that being said, I think situations where you run this as a screener over Regieleki or Tapu Koko are pretty limited. I think the only way this mon runs screens is if we give it like Memento or Parting Shot, since one move denies Defog and the other one allows you to grab momentum after screening regardless of whether or not they Defog. I don't think either of those moves are particularly good or interesting ways of interacting with our ability ("bad ability? at least I can Memento myself lol") so screens, while cool, are probably not viable on CAP29. With that being said, running screen support FOR CM CAP29? Now that is some spicy ramen.

Belch: I am mentioning this now because it went unmentioned before, but Belch + Shuca Berry is probably a viable variation of CM that gives you both a strong move to spam and a move that can get STAB fairly often. I don't think anyone is going to be objecting super hard to the incredible power of Belch, made famous by that horrid Hydreigon set in Gen 7, but I thought I would toss it out there.

Some other moves to consider:

Taunt: Probably the most effective move we have for shutting down a lot of our defensive counters. Blissey hates this, Toxapex REALLY hates this, and it is a generally good tool against bulky balance teams. The issue with Taunt is fitting it on a moveset: without Recover, breaking Blissey becomes pretty inefficient if it has Seismic Toss, which they will because that's how Blissey beats CAP29. Without CM, you can't pressure the Toxapex enough to prevent it from pivoting around you. That forces you into a mono-attacking role with CM Taunt, or tossing Taunt onto a support Knock Off set, which can take advantage of forcing Pex/Blissey to switch. It is an interesting option that I am unsure how I feel about.

Roar/Whirlwind: Definitely flavorful, probably impractical. The main appeal here is using Roar to disrupt pivoting against CAP29 with U-turn/Teleport/etc. Yes, you are rolling the dice of phasing your opponent to a Pokemon that cannot hit you effectively due to Color Change. This seems remarkably inconsistent and absolutely hilarious (example: you Roar a Gastrodon after it EQs you, and in comes Rillaboom) but I wanted to at least put phasing moves on the radar.

As a side note, I know we are focusing on the defensive/support side of CAP29, but I do think Nasty Plot warrants discussion before the thread closes now that Boomburst is on our docket.
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Haven't really said much here so thought I'd pitch in:

Freeze-Dry: Like many have mentioned, Freeze-Dry messes with Gastrodon as a solid counter, and is overall unnecessary to add. It should probably be disallowed.

Toxic Spikes: TSpikes are honestly pretty terrible right now. A very large portion of the meta is either Steel, Poison, Flying, has Levitate, or runs Heavy-Duty-Boots, so realistically Tspikes only has a chance of affecting 1-2 pokemon on a team. Even if CAP29 gets TSpikes, it's highly unlikely that it'll be viable at all so I guess(?) it's fine to add it but is also unnecessary.

Toxic and other status: Toxic honestly seems kinda meh considering that a good chunk of our switch-ins are Toxic immune, namely Heatran and Toxapex. Regardless, this mon is gonna be very 4 MSS'd, so it's unlikely that any sort of status move will be fit in anyway over a move with a chance to inflict status like Scald.

Knock Off: Knock Off's just a really solid move here, able to provide consistent progress, while also acting as a solid physical STAB if we get to keep our typing. It's just some solid utility that fits in nicely and doesn't mess with our checks to hard, so I'd say CAP29 should get Knock.

Close Combat/Brick Break/Superpower: I honestly don't get this one. Even on Coil sets it's likely to be difficult to fit, and it feels like it's just being pushed to hit Blissey, who's rarely seen currently.

Aromatherapy/Heal Bell: Another addition that doesn't seem particularly useful. In terms of status prevention, I'd say that Substitute will nearly always be the preferred option. We're Toxic immune the turn we switch into anyway, and Substitute already has very solid synergy with CM builds.

Reflect/Light Screen: To be frank, there isn't any way that CAP29 is going to be a viable screener when Regieleki and Tapu Koko perform the role perfectly well. CAP29 is slower, lacks electric STAB to pressure Defog, and lacks self-KOing/pivoting moves to preserve momentum. The only real use I could see is a CM set with Reflect, which still seems quite gimmicky. I suppose flavorwise it fits nicely, but I doubt it'll have any viable purpose.

Belch: Brambane brought this up and I just wanted to throw in my support. During playtesting for different stat spreads, I played against Belch a few times and I can't really say if it'll be good on this specific spread, but it's honestly just a very cool move, and Shuca Berry honestly seems like a solid item to run.

All things considered, this mon really wants to run CM+Recover+2 attacks, so it just seems really difficult to fit a lot of utility moves onto it. Because of that, I don't think our utility movepool really needs to run that deep.
I wanna throw my support behind a move that hasn’t really been mentioned, Torment.
Torment Synergizes with color change perfectly turning those shakey dragon and ghost match ups in to something that while not a100% is an exploitable match up assuming you can play around the sets properly.


Master Procraster
is a CAP Contributor
Thoughts on individual moves:

Freeze-Dry: Echoing consensus here, if we are getting Ice-type coverage already, then Ice-type coverage AND being able to beat one of our most solid defensive counters in Gastrodon is probably way too much.

Knock Off: What do you expect me to say, its Knock Off. This move provides so much utility for non-Calm Mind sets that its really good for us to include, especially since it works well with Color Change's ability to force switches. I'm honestly a bit skeptical if we actually want it since it is just so good, but if we get it I'm certainly not complaining.

Toxic: It's probably fine, but I am on the side of always urging caution with it since it has broken mons in the past. I am certainly less worried at least since two strong checks consist of both Pex and Heatran, and on any set we are working with a lot of 4MSS. Toxic is still a really nice tool for us since we can use switches really well, but I think for the most part it will possibly probably be fine.

Relevant Physical Fighting-coverage: Mostly seems unneccesary. Yea Blissey exists and it certainly would help against Heatran, but we are already strapped for slots and I simply don't think it will be very successful on either Calm Mind or Utility sets.

Light Screen/Reflect: We are already strapped for slots and we are 100% worse than Regieleki as a screen setter. This is an unneccesary addition.

More probably later.
Going to bring up another move (actually two moves, but we can pick which one based on the flavor) that I think could work great on the defensive pivot set, and that is Trick/Switcheroo. I talked a bit about it earlier so I won't go into too much detail, but this move plus a Choice item synergizes really well with Color Change. With the Trick/Switcheroo + Choice item combo, we can stop foes like Heatran from comboing move into us while greatly limiting what they can do in the process.
To echo taziathegreat's sentiment, I also would like to vouch my support for Torment as a support move because, as tazia mentioned, Torment's effect synergizes with Color Change in that, at the very least, it alleviates the negative impact of our Ghost and Dragon matchups. I would also like to add that Torment could make it so that Choice users in general would be forced to tread water.

That being said, Torment as an additional move does contribute to our 4MSS somewhat, and might throw off some of our matchups if used in combination with Trick.
I'd just like to share my opinion that while it fits the flavor of any poison mon, I don't like giving this Toxic.

I feel that it's just too much of an easy way out for what is supposed to be a bulky CM attacker.

In my view, the point of 29 is to strategize with color change, and to determine when you attack, setup, recover, or switch out according to the circumstances thrown at you.
It's a strategy that should (imo) take place over "many" turns against the opponent's team.
Like some "attrition" going on.

Sure with toxic you'll give up coverage or setup, but once you toxic the opponent then it seems to me that you are sidestepping/shortcutting the whole point of the strategy and you just switch and recover until the opponent dies from toxic.

And like, I personally want to see many types of pokes trying to manipulate cap29 as it would seem more interesting that way.
Toxic just prevents many cores/mons from being able to check it I think, and a ton of team builds cannot afford clerics.
There are actually a bunch of cores that don't include a poison/steel/magic guard.
Imo the move blocks your opponent from using some of their existing cores in creative ways to pressure 29, and on the flip side toxic would make using cap29 less challenging in a negative way.

Lastly I'm not a fan on how Toxic seemingly makes 29 one of the best checks to itself, as the badly status is one of the easiest ways to instantly cripple it.
When one 29 has it's type changed already and is about to recover, then the other 29 can come in and toxic while being immune to it on that turn.
A 1v1 situation of 29 vs 29 should only be based on their attacks, setup situations, and possibly fishing for side effect statuses from sludge or scald.
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Dicussion's slowed down so I would like to share thoughts on some moves to hopefully spark something:

Toxic: I'll be blunt about it: don't like this move. Toxic is a way to bypass a lot of our bad matchups. Consider Gastrodon and how that's a Pokemon we don't want to be easily overcoming. Sure we have outs like Dark Pulse flinches but Toxic is a very easy and quite safe (i.e. we're Poison and can't miss) way to immediately apply pressure onto it, making it much less sturdy as a defensive answer as it needs to Recover more often or switch out to avoid accumulating too much damage. Blissey less so because of Natural Cure but it would have to pivot out if it didn't want to take too much passive damage. Other checks like Arghonaut, Garchomp, and Tyranitar won't appreciate being worn by Toxic either, and the fact that one move slot can do so to all three + Gastro is a bit worrisome. Toxic is rather pitiful chip at first however and it won't help at all with our already constricted moveset or versus the Poison and Steel types we already have some issues with, so I don't think this is the most egregious move to add. What it does do is limit a lot of Pokemon that could otherwise come in quite freely by threatening them with a slow but steady killer, and we've seen before what happens when a Pokemon is given such an option.

Torment: I can only think of one Pokemon that's actually found some use for this move and that's Heatran. Why is this? Magma Storm. Trapping your opponent and preventing them from using their moves, like with Taunt, is extremely powerful, especially combined with Magma Storm's damage-over-time effect. Torment is different in that it's better against more offensive Pokemon, as it disallows them from using their strongest attacks, leading to some nasty interactions. As of now we don't have trapping on CAP 29. Unfortunately, Torment doesn't accomplish much when the opponent can just switch out, and the things it does provide have to compete with our slew of strong options. I don't see any reason to disallow the move, but I also have no real desire to explore it further. We're not really in the sort of position to make use of it. Preventing Ghosts and Dragons from hitting us SE with their STAB is cool and all, but you could also just, I don't know, click Dark Pulse/Ice Beam when they switch in?

Trick: Here's a move I hate more than Toxic, and to be fair I only dislike Toxic because of distribution and, in this case, how it affects 29's intended matchups. Trick is an absolute nightmare to play against. It's not so good that you always run the move if you have it, but it's an extremely powerful tool in restraining counterplay. Color Change implies shuffling moves sometimes to hit optimally, something Choiced Pokemon have to deal with and something we want to take advantage of. That, however, is an interaction that the opponent brings onto themselves: with Trick we can force that interaction on the opponent while also stripping a Pokemon of their essential duties on a team, which is the more direct effect. I had mentioned before that we could do something pretty novel with Trick and Black Sludge: we'd have an item that benefits us quite handily that can also be used to thwart the opponent. I'd be happy if this was all we could do with Trick, but once you factor in the ability to trick Choice items on the opponent things get real dicey real fast. There is good synergy with our ability here but I fear the consequences of such a move existing would be detrimental.

Knock Off: Boring but effective. Apply Knock Off to movepool and congratulations you can make progress and harass the opponent. Pretty useless for CM but the defensive pivot set would stand to gain a lot from using it, and it's honestly not a bad STAB move for fringe physical sets or just getting some nice chip damage off. I imagine you're as sick of seeing Knock everywhere as I am but if we were designing Pokemon to be cool and unique then A: we've already done that with Color Change and B: we shouldn't be designing for a competitive environment.

Screens: No. Screen setters need to be able to get them up reliably. Koko and Regieleki do this through Speed, and while Grimmsnarl has severely fallen from grace Prankster is essentially the same concept and was used in the past for said reasons. A Screen setter that doesn't break past Base 100 Speed or have some bypass like Prankster isn't going to cut it. I do like the idea of 29 behind Screens but only when it doesn't have to set them up itself.

Whirlwind/Roar: This is an interesting avenue to take. Damaging Pivot moves are our kryptonite as they are extremely effective at letting the opponent choose what Pokemon they want to take advantage of us with, due to our type changing in response. Phasing completely screws with that plan, and while it isn't reliable or necessarily that good, it is funny and surprisingly pro-concept all things considered. Would be especially cool if we got access to hazards.

Taunt: I think we stand to gain a lot from Taunt on the defensive set. It's great for shutting down other defensive Pokemon or slower setup users seeking to get free turns from us. It also means that we can stop stuff like non-Dark/Poison/Psychic moves > Toxic from crippling us. Forcing the opponent to attack us and thus change our typing or switch out instead could be something we use to our advantage as well, not sure how but there's definitely potential.
Might as well give my thoughts too while SHSP is writing his answers for POTW.

Toxic: I don't know how to feel about this one. On one hand, I think on paper Toxic isn't broken on CAP 29. It probably wouldn't outshine its role as a CM sweeper, though it does have the bulk and recovery to abuse it. In reality, the move is just so incredibly centralizing that we may be better off leaving it out of CAP 29's moveset. While mons like Suicune and Latias that have played similar roles on teams never ran Toxic, I don't think the risk is worth it.

Torment: Meh. It's not really a move that would do much for CAP 29. In all honesty I see it as a more of a flavor thing if anything, it's not a particularly competitively viable move, and probably wouldn't make its way onto any CAP 29 moveset.

Trick: Again, meh. There are better mons that take advantage of trick, namely Clefable, and the move doesn't seem to be all that great. Most trick scarfers have some form of offensive presence where they can still take advantage of scarf's speed boost, something this mon doesn't really have, especially if it eats a U-Turn.

Knock Off: Knock Off is another incredibly centralizing move, but in this case, I think it should be allowed for the Coil sets that want to run it. Given CAP 29's special leaning, I don't see it being particularly amazing like most STAB Knock Offs are, but it definitely would see some use on physical sets, so I think it'd be good to allow it.

Screens: There are better screens setters by a mile. Koko, Regieleki, and Astrolotl have a stranglehold on the screen-setter role, and this mon isn't going to dislodge that any time soon. Hard pass from me.

Roar: Kinda meh, though I do see the concept behind it. I think it's fine, though I doubt it would see any use given that this mon is going to be investing in Speed.

Taunt: This move could be really good on CAP 29. You can taunt stuff like Pex and Hippowdon that would attempt to remove CAP 29's boosts or phase it out, all while preventing them from clicking Recover. That being said, in reality I don't think the move would see use. Take Tapu Fini for instance as a CM sweeper with similar stats that uses Taunt. Fini compresses its recovery into STAB Draining Kiss, allowing it to run two attacking moves. CAP 29, on the other hand, would have to run a single attack in order to fit recovery, taunt, and CM into one moveset. I don't think Taunt is practical, and should probably not be allowed in the competitive discussion at least to reduce bloat.

Freeze-Dry: Hard no. The hardest of no's in fact. It outright busts the Gastrodon matchup and gives CAP 29 a move that is so incredibly spammable it would make playing against it at the very least incredibly annoying.

Belch: As someone who actually tested with Belch CAP 29, I want, no, need it to be allowed. It's an awesome mixup that actually could be viable on CAP 29 given its singular weakness to Ground. Is it good? Eh, probably not. But it is definitely a fun option to include, so I support it.


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Alrighty! After a lot of really good discussion, time for a few more decisions set in stone:

Freeze Dry: Gastrodon in particular is scared greatly by this, and consensus is that it's just too much to give it, so it's not making it on.

Hazards: The only one of these that really garnered any discussion were toxic spikes, and the consensus on those seemed to be that they're nice to have, but not a particularly good option in the current meta even if they fit well. Added.

Toxic: A terror of CAP processes past, Toxic is on the edge for a lot of people. We are checked mainly by things that are immune (Heatran, Toxapex), and it would fit the archetypes well, but it does carry a lot of power in a lot of other matchups if it's able to fit onto a set over other options. This seems best fitted for the 1.0 release, and if it's too strong, it can be addressed in lookback.

Knock Off: Feels a bit like a no brainer. Powerful utility that can find its way onto sets, is base typing STAB, and doesn't conflict too much with our goals of CM sweeping. Added.

Physical Fighting Coverage: Consensus is that though it's nice and low impact, it's also rather unneccesary, and I tend to agree. Not making it on.

Screens: Consensus here also correctly points out that compared to the prominent Screens setters in the meta, we don't really stack up, making these really low impact at best adds. Not making it on.

We're also realizing just how strapped for move slots we will be, and just how little in terms of movepool we really need to give this mon to be effective. I'd like to hear more about the following in the next 24-48 hours: Taunt, Aromatherapy/Heal Bell, Trick, Belch and Torment. Thank you guys for your patience and your great discussion again!
Just gonna pitch my thoughts on the moves I haven't talked about yet:

Taunt: I really dislike Taunt as an option here. I fear that it may be far too strong for what we're working with here. The set of CM/Dark Pulse/Taunt/Recover turns Blissey, Gastrodon, and Toxapex from our best answers into free setup bait for CAP29, while also allowing us to beat Heatran 1v1. While of course this set, being limited to only one attack, will still have some answers, the fact that this set beats the most common answers to the CM/Recover/2 attacks set creates a scouting nightmare for the opponent to play against. In testing, CAP29 has been able to capitalize really hard off of free turns, and requiring the opponent to scout for options gives CAP29 many more free turns to work with. Taunt should not be allowed.

Trick: Trick is in a similar vein to Taunt where it just creates a lot of scouting issues that make counterplay super difficult. Most of CAP29's best answers hate being tricked a Choice item, and although Trick will be very difficult to fit on a CM set, requiring the opponent to scout for Trick gives the standard CM set far more room to set up. I don't think Trick should be allowed either.

Torment: To put it bluntly, Torment is not a viable move. It's so bad to the point where I don't even know why it merits discussion. CAP29 already gets 4 MSS'd super hard, and compromising your moveset to deal with Dragapult and Pajantom, who hate switching in on Dark Pulse anyway, is laughably horrendous. Even in the best-case scenario, Torment causes CAP29 to take chip and change its type, and then force a switch But when players build with CAP29 in mind, most teams will have a more reliable, non-Dark-weak switchin on their team, so it's not like forcing this switch will get very far, especially since one of CAP29's moveslots is wasted on Torment.


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I think the Toxic blowback is pretty overblown. I understand why Toxic was scary on Pokemon like Astrololt and Equilibra - the roles these Pokemon performed exploited Toxic to its fullest. But Calm Mind sets simply do not have the slots to use it well. Calm Mind and Recover are next to mandatory, and Toxic + a mono attacking move just won't cut it.

As for utility sets, as far as I see, Toxic would probably help that set actually function long term, since we are most likely not getting hazard control from discussion. It probably needs the utility, as I do not think it will be that broken on such sets (It screws over Gastrodon with that set anyways).


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We are a Poison-type who is answered well by many Poison-types and Steel types. Toxic is, like, not gonna break us even minorly, and honestly is, at worst, gonna add a bit of set diversity. Its a good addition.

Torment is never going to be run seriously, but is fun, and probably fits flavor enough, so its a fine addition.

Taunt Dark Pulse CM seems like a niche set that trades a lot of initial power and flexibility for the ability to beat Gastrodon and Blissey. Ultimately I don't think its a huge issue, but it does break what are supposed to be counters. Can go either way on this.

Belch seems entirely irrelevant due to Sludge Bomb being nearly as strong and having a Poison Chance.

Trick seems just like, existent? This mon isn't gonna be a great Scarfer/Specs Breaker due to inconsistent STAB and a lack of strong pivoting options, overall this just seems like an off option that can occasionally annoy our checks. I'm very neutral on this.


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Echoing Darek's thoughts on Taunt. Taunt offers too much general utility in addition to punishing what should be reliable counters. I wasn't sure how good mono-attacking Taunt or support set with Taunt would be, but I think the same argument against Freeze-Dry and Earth Power can be applied to Taunt. Taunt screws with Gastrodon, screws with Pex, and in general feels like too strong a tech option that catches a lot of defensive counters in its net. My stance has shifted from being on the fence to being against Taunt.

Trick is bad not only because it cripples some of our more reliable counters, but also because we have Boomburst. Choice Specs is unironically on the table because Specs Boomburst, even without STAB, is extremely strong. Modest Specs Boomburst 2HKOs standard Toxapex, can 2HKO 252/252+ Lefties Arghonaut with spikes, can 2HKO 252/252+ Leftovers Gastrodon with spikes, 2HKOs HazeHawk, etc etc. Specs coverage also catches a lot of other mons too, like Scald 2HKOing Heatran. With Trick, you gain an option to disrupt Blissey and TTar as well. If we give CAP29 Trick, we can basically ship Choice Specs out the door. I would prefer giving Specs as few tools as possible, since it is the least interactive with Color Change I can possibly think of. I am emphatically against Trick.

Torment without a trapping move doesn't seem particularly good. Even if we gave CAP29 Jaw Lock or something, Torment is just going to create a super match-up fishy set that is designed to punish its counters like Gastrodon or Toxapex while being generally useless against most offensive teams. And you can't even trap Blissey without Taunt, which I am also against lol. Torment is fine as flavor since it wouldn't be consistently viable, but it doesn't need to be added now.

I REALLY don't think CAP29 is ever running Aromatherapy/Heal Bell over RestTalk or Sub on CM. If you are running a non-CM set, you are less vulnerable to Toxic anyways. Non-CM sets can't afford the slot for cleric moves. CAP29 benefits from a cleric for sure, but I don't think it needs to be, or ever would be, the cleric itself.
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I think there is a weakness in the mono-attacking Taunt CM set, while Taunt does help us flip some counters into setup-fodder, without our coverage we end up with a whole host of Pokemon that can ruin us.

If our only move is Dark Pulse than we seriously struggle with Arghonaut (who could easily phase us with a potential Circle Throw) and get bullied by other Dark resists like Hydreigon, Kerfluffle, and Tomohawk.
Our other STAB in Sludge Bomb means we lose to the ever-present Steels, and if you run Boomburst now you lose to Ghosts and still struggle with Steels and Tyranitar.
Scald means Gastro becomes a counter again, Ice Beam leaves us vulnerable to Heatran, and for both Waters tend to become an issue.

It's really hard to make mono-attacking work, you need some stupid stuff like TArrows to get away with a setup mon that only runs one attacking move.
The biggest concern is that Taunt adds a matchup-fishing element to 29's counterplay, and that's problematic for being competitive. This sort of pick-and-choose counters can make building against 29 a severe headache and if there were any justification to disallow the move, it would be for such a reason. Opportunity cost is a real thing, however, and while Taunt CM Dark Pulse lets us muscle through the likes of Blissey, Pex, and Gastro, we are compromising our ability to handle common threats like Hawk or Clef and practically inviting Dark-resistant offensive Pokemon to dance around us all day. Such sets are very dangerous in theory, but certain builds can scout the set quite safely, and mono-attacking Calm Mind sets will either work wonders in one game or be completely pointless in another.

Taunt looks to be the most impactful move for our C&C list of any move we're realistically going to get. I'm pretty neutral on it overall but I'm also one to ere on the side of caution (hence my disdain towards Toxic and Trick), and there does seem to be a growing concern for Taunt's ability to thwart a lot of our best answers.
Nice, we've got some of the more cool unorthodox options to consider now. Though I've really only discussed one option at length, I'm gonna take a crack at potentially the biggest point of discussion right now:

Switcheroo/Trick: A major concern about Switcheroo (as opposed to Trick because in my opinion it's thematically superior for this mon and Dark-types in general) that I'm seeing is that it makes many of the checks to the Calm Mind set much more difficult to utilize, especially as a result of Color Change potentially forcing, say, Heatran into using a resisted Magma Storm, or Toxapex into Scald. When considering this option I tend to think of the near-identical Trick CM set used by Clefable. The main shortcoming of Trick CM Clef is its passivity — Steel- and Poison-types like Excadrill, Melmetal, Equilibra, and Toxapex, can switch in and take advantage of a Clefable lacking all of Knock Off, Thunder, and Flamethrower after its item has been tricked away. In a similar vein, after it has tricked away its Choice Scarf, CAP 29 would be irreparably vulnerable to or walled by several threats (e.g. Arghonaut, Blissey, Clef, Pex, Astrolotl, Colossoil, Kerfluffle, and notably Hydreigon) if it has only Dark Pulse in the way of offensive options. Besides, if we give CAP 29 Switcheroo, players will almost certainly adapt and scout for it, which lessens the main reason to use the set, its surprise factor.

In the realm of Choice sets, the lack of consistent STAB and pivoting moves alongside wealth of specially defensive mons in the tier, ESPECIALLY the large amount of Steel-types to switch into Boomburst and the ubiquitous Regenerator pivots to take any other hit, makes offensive Scarf CAP 29 seem entirely suboptimal. Specs benefits a fair amount from Switcheroo in theory, but it's a case of an already not so strong mon losing too much power from using Switcheroo to push the set over the edge, likely preventing it from being more effective than its more defensive options.

However, I believe Taunt serves defensive sets as essentially an amplified version of Trick that runs the risk of allowing CAP 29 to invalidate more than one check per game. Important walls that would put a stop to a CAP 29 that has already Tricked away its item (especially assuming proper scouting) are instead set up on with ease, namely Blissey, Gastrodon lacking Clear Smog, Magic Guard Calm Mind Clefable, and Toxapex. Though coverage can hit the latter two hard, it's certainly not as effective as setting up to +6 in their face and proceeding to blow through the opposing team unopposed, especially in the case of Toxapex, whose otherwise ruinous Haze is stopped.

Without question I agree with Darek and Brambane on the point of Taunt causing CAP 29 to become much more difficult to defensively check in general, alongside the total nightmare of being forced to scout both Taunt and Switcheroo sets, on top of the existing CM 2 Attacks and Knock + Tspikes sets, and react accordingly. Overall, while I acknowledge that Switcheroo makes CAP 29 a good deal more versatile and harder to check, I feel that its potential does not outweigh the capacity to adapt to and scout for the move, especially considering its opportunity cost in some matchups. Taunt, on the other hand, I am strongly against due to how much more directly it invalidates checks with less immediate counterplay. Adding both moves would almost definitely break the Pokemon, but if only for the sake of versatility and flavor we should definitely add one, at least initially. If that is the case, I think Switcheroo is the better option of the two by allowing CAP 29 to better handle its checks while not giving it the ability to muscle through nearly any defensive core without one of a few specific Dark resists like Taunt can.


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Taunt Dark Pulse CM seems like a niche set that trades a lot of initial power and flexibility for the ability to beat Gastrodon and Blissey. Ultimately I don't think its a huge issue, but it does break what are supposed to be counters. Can go either way on this.
I wanted to flag this opinion as really strong, as I think it comes down to the philosophy of how we build CAP29. You look at the best setup sweepers in the metagame (Garchomp, Volcarona, Lando-T, Rillaboom, etc), and they all have options to beat their potential counters. That's part of what makes a setup sweeper viable: they could beat most every opposing mon, but are inhibited by a limited four moves (4MSS). This sort of logic can get dangerous, because it can lead to making bloated movepools that make a CAP too unpredictable, but with moderation, I think giving CAP29 some additional options is worthwhile in this specific case.

Taunt is a powerful option for CAP29, but it's not going to be its best option against every team. We also have a good chunk of our "power budget" remaining for CAP29, and I think it's worth splurging on Taunt (and Toxic, but that's another topic). Taunt is cool for CAP29 to use because it allows us to circumvent some of our current counters, but it's not a permanent solution. Once we've revealed that CAP29 is mono-attacking with Taunt, that opens it up to an entourage of new checks and counters. CM + 2 Attacks is still going to be the bread-and-butter here.

But as the Topic Leader, I have to emphasize how great Taunt is for our initial concept: make a CAP that could work with a defective ability: Taunt forces our opponent to engage with Color Change. If our opponent brings in Blissey while we're recovering or healing, we reveal Taunt on our next turn, preventing Blissey from using whatever support move it was going to use. Now, Blissey would normally be forced to switch-out, but now there's a reason for it to stay in and Seismic Toss: it will force CAP29 to Recover on the following turn, but also has removed its STAB and changed it to Fighting-type to abuse with the check that's now going to come in and abuse the fact that CAP29 is mono-attacking.

That was a hypothetical scenario, but it showcases how Taunt gives our opponent a bit more incentive to engage in Color Change, which also grants CAP29 turns to set-up again, with the caveat that it's now only running one offensive move. I don't see Taunt outclassing our two-attacking set, and I think it's worth adding a bit more sauce to CAP29 to cement its viability as a sweeper.
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Taunt seems tentatively fine for the 1.0 release. I believe we can treat it similar to how we're treating toxic, where we include it under the assumption that it will not break us, yet we keep a close eye on its performance during the playtest and can remove it during the final release if we deem it necessary. As others have already pointed out, it's true that Taunt invalidates a few excellent counters in blissey, haze pex, and gastrodon, while making the matchups against tran/ttar/others swing more in our favor; however, you are still giving up a ton by running a mono-attacking set, to the point that your team should (theoretically) still have its outs even if your blissey no longer beats an opposing CAP29. It's very difficult for me to accurately gauge the real strength of this move and how healthy/unhealthy it will be for us, but right now my thoughts are mostly in line with Birkal's––we have a decent amount of our "power budget" left to spend on Taunt (assuming taunt sets are decently-highly viable), and if Taunt sets end up being quite bad then, well, we should also be fine in that case. Granted, all of this is basically 100% theorymon, and I could end up being very wrong. But my gut says that Taunt will not break CAP29 at all.

Aromatherapy and heal bell seem really unnecessary to me and I think they will literally never be used, but it's not like they will make us broken either so whatever. This honestly just seems like a similar case to giving miamsmaw aromatherapy. I was actually in support of that at the time, because one of my main gripes with miasmaw was (and is still) that you can't safely switch into the stuff you want to beat because you are scared to death of getting burned. But, despite the fact that it seemed nice in theory, the mon just never runs the move because why the hell would you run aromatherapy when you could be running literally anything else. The fact is that every single mon not named Plasmanta would really like a way to dodge status, but there is a miniscule amount of cases where aromatherapy/heal bell is valuable enough to run selfishly (on a CM mono attack set in this case). Many more times you will be running it as a way to support your team, eg heal bell astro, so I could maybe see it ending up on a utility set like aromatherapy/knock off/recover/sludge bomb or something. But I still feel like that would be exceptionally rare and there are just better options that are going to exist. Despite however I worded this paragraph, though, I really don't feel that strongly about the move; I will always welcome new, viable clerics into the metagame because I think they are great to have. I just question if aromatherapy will be viable enough to not just be a random bloat move.

I don't really feel the need to comment extensively on Trick because pretty much everything I've seen about it has been negative so far, but I, too, am in camp "trick is bad." I also don't really see the reasoning to give out Belch given that we already have Sludge Bomb. It's a cool move I guess, but I am in agreement with quziel in that it just seems irrelevant for us. Lastly Torment is frankly a horrible move competitively but I guess it lets us throw a bone to CAP1v1 lol and it fits in with our flavor pretty well. It's not a move that will be enabling problematic cheese sets or anything super unhealthy, so honestly I am okay with adding it, as it fits flavor and concept well enough.
Freeze Dry
Absolutely not. This move has only ever been distributed to ice types and should stay that way until it has a very very good reason to not be.
It doesn't seem that bad to let it on to 29 at least for 1.0, and i can see some interesting sets that it could make with it.
Absolutely yes. Like Birkal said it creates an extremely advantageous position for 29 with color change, with at worst, neutral damage from an attack
(unless, of course, it's a dragon type move)
I see no reason why 29 shouldn't get toxic. It adds a way to let it spread some status, although a different option might provide some more interesting sets such as T-Wave
Heal Bell/Aromatherapy
As spoopy stated, more than likely 29 will never run heal bell seeing as we aren't giving it the tools to be a strong cleric.
This is interesting. Very few mons will ever actually want to run belch, given it's requirement to eat a berry before use, but with 29 being as bulky as it is it could be worth it, perhaps running a sitrus berry for some free recovery when 29's HP dips low enough, allowing it to counterattack pretty effectively against any fast sweepers that don't manage to OHKO 29, although i do understand and agree with the argument of "it already has sludge bomb so why belch?".
I'm in the middle ground for torment. With it 29 can try to force a switch, and seeing how it's mostly a status spreader on defense this seems quite beneficial, but also it's not the most important thing for 29.


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Figured I'd weigh in really quick as this is wrapping up.

My thoughts on a lot of these options are that it would make no sense to run them over a standard 2 attacks + recovery and CM set, but that doesn't necessarily mean any of them have to be disallowed. I definitely agree with G-Luke and quziel on Toxic + 1 attack not being threatening enough for us to have to disallow it. While it was broken on mons like Equilibra and Astrolotl, I think CAP 29 will function differently enough that adding Toxic isn’t that much of a risk. If it proves to be more of an issue, we’re always able to remove it for the 2.0 release. I feel very much the same about Taunt. As Birkal pointed out, it's a move that forces the opponent to engage more with the concept and encourages more mindful gameplay, and I'd definitely like to support that. While I don't think that a mono-attacking Taunt set would be too powerful by any means, once again this is something that would be better decided after the playtest, once we have a clearer picture in terms of how the mon works.

With regards to Trick, while I agree with quziel on how its choiced sets are generally gonna be an inferior option, I'm not the biggest fan of Trick allowing us to bypass a lot of counters in a more permanent way than something like Taunt. I could go either way on this.

The other moves just seem like they wouldn't serve much of a purpose in actual gameplay. I don't think there would be room for something like Aromatherapy or Heal Bell on a set. We're completely outclassed as a cleric, and the necessity to self-cure status is kinda diminished by the fact that we're a special attacker that switches in as a Poison type. Belch seems like a far worse choice than Sludge Bomb, given how it's a much more conditional STAB move that restricts our item slot. It also makes us less willing to switch in on something like a Knock Off, which we'd normally not mind as much. While Torment does have a niche interaction with our concept, I don't think it well ever be a good choice as a moveslot. No need to include it, but no reason to be forced to exclude it either. That pretty much sums up my opinion of the moves mentioned in this paragraph. I can see them being fun for some people, but none are going to be super impactful in competitive play.


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Okay, let's wrap this up- and with this, our 1.0 release! Getting into our last bit of business, consensus has spoken pretty clearly about our last set of moves, and I'm going to exclude Trick from our pool. It's mostly unnecessary and only really serves to help a set that we're not aiming for, in Choice (almost certainly Specs). Taunt is something that we've agreed should be in the 1.0 release, and the rest are mostly inconsequential. A minor note about a few moves that weren't mentioned in this stage, as well: Coil and Nasty Plot were brought up internally as this post was being drafted, and myself and the TLT decided it was best to leave them alone so to speak. They won't be on the preliminary movepool, but they won't immediately be banned from future stages like the Lookback thread and full movepool submissions. As such, thanks to help from Birk and the TLT, along with the mod team, mainly MrDollSteak, and Dogfish, here's our required moves, blacklisted ones, and our preliminary movepool:

Calm Mind
Dark Pulse
Ice Beam
Knock Off
Sleep Talk
Sludge Bomb
Toxic Spikes

Earth Power
Freeze Dry
Fighting Type Coverage
Fire Type Coverage
Pivoting Moves (U-Turn, Volt Switch, Teleport, etc)
Reflect and Light Screen
Trick and Switcheroo
Quiver Dance

Required Moves are in bold

Mega Kick
Pay Day
Hyper Beam
Giga Impact

Rock Tomb
Shadow Claw
False Swipe
Brutal Swing
Tail Slap

Body Slam
Ice Beam
Focus Energy
Sludge Bomb
Sleep Talk

Iron Tail
Calm Mind
Toxic Spikes
Dark Pulse

Zen Headbutt
Gunk Shot
Sludge Wave
Foul Play

Lash Out

Acid Spray
Bubble Beam
Conversion 2
Crush Claw
Destiny Bond
Double Team
Echoed Voice
Extreme Speed
Follow Me
Fury Swipes
Gastro Acid
Hyper Voice
Knock Off
Night Slash
Noble Roar
Perish Song
Poison Fang
Poison Jab
Poison Tail
Quick Attack
Reflect Type
Scary Face
Sucker Punch
Take Down

Tri Attack
Venom Drench
Work Up
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