CAP 29 - Part 3 - Concept Assessment 2

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CAP 29 So Far

Now that we know that Color Change will be our ability, it's time to reassess our concept as previously established in this post.

Name: Defective Ability

Description: This Pokemon manages to work around an ability that is generally considered harmful, and is viable, or even better for it.

Justification: Defective Ability is an Actualization concept; aiming to create a Pokemon that works around, or works with, an ability that would be considered bad on most pokemon.

There is not a single Pokemon ranked above NU that has a generally negative ability; for good reason, while most pokemon gain a benefit from their ability, these Pokemon are held back. Golisopod, the currently highest ranked pokemon with a negative ability is also unique among its brethren in that its movepool is set up to synergize, and benefit from its ability Emergency Exit, with First Impression benefiting heavily from being switched out directly after use. A non-exhaustive list of negative abilities is Color Change, Defeatist, Emergency Exit, Klutz, Normalize, Slow Start, Stall, Truant. These abilities are yet-untouched by CAP, and I believe that exploring them with typings, movepools, and stats specifically meant to work with, and work around their shortcomings can help us to understand more about how abilities interact with CAPs, and how important the ability slot really is. I do not consider a NCA to be a defective ability as it does not specifically have to be planned around.

This concept aims to question how impactful these abilities are when their downsides are specifically planned for, their strengths, if any, are accentuated, and how viable of a CAP we can make with a handicap in the ability stage.

Questions To Be Answered:

  • How much of a drawback is a negative ability? How much should a negative ability be compensated for in the typing, move, and stats stages?
  • Are there some negative abilities that are more suited to exploration in a CAP process? Why or Why not?
  • If a negative ability is chosen for a primary what abilities are suitable for a secondary ability slot? Purely negative ones, or is there a situation where a pokemon would prefer an ability generally thought of as negative?
  • How does typing interact with a negative ability like this; slow start obviously wants a Toxic immunity due to how long it'll stay on the field, but is it needed, do other abilities have strong typing-ability interactions.
  • How can movepool change the impact of a harmful ability? Golisopod shows that it is possible to leverage the early switch out, are other negative abilities something that can be leveraged or minimized with the correct movepool?
  • How much do stats have to compensate for a negative ability, what are the ideal stat spreads for each negative ability?
  • How can we define a "generally harmful ability"? What are some metrics to define it? Are comparisons with neutral abilities helpful?
  • Which abilities can be worked with? Which abilities can only be worked around? Is it better to choose an ability that can be worked with? or only around?
1) Pay close attention to the Topic Leader during this discussion. Their job is to keep us focused and to bring insight.
2) Do not poll jump. Poll jumping is a serious offense in these threads, and you can get infracted for it. Poll jumping is when you discuss something that should be discussed in the future, like specifying a CAP's stats or typing. You're allowed to hint at such things to conclude a point or to provide an example, but do not centralize your post on a poll jump. Poll jumping hurts the focus of early threads and can cause us to go off on a tangent. If you're not sure if a particular argument is poll jumping or not, err on the side of caution and don't post it.

CAP 29's TL Birkal will open the thread with his thoughts. Please make sure to read his initial post and his subsequent posts carefully and follow them for discussion! Keep posts civil and on topic, or else they will be deleted.


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Welcome back to Concept Assessment (2)! Now that we've chosen Color Change as "defective" ability, there are a few more questions we need to discuss before heading into Typing Discussion. Concept Assessment 2 (this thread) will last for about a week, as I have some imperative questions about the nature of CAP29 and how it will perform in the CAP metagame. There's a lot we can intuit about the nature of CAP29 by knowing just this ability, and we can use that to inform the process with which we make it, so let's get discussing.

As a reminder, please do not polljump in this discussion. Talking about a typing, stat spread, or moveset is against the rules. There will be more than enough opportunities to talk about those in the future. It might also be worth going back to read the generalizations we made about CAP29 at the end of Concept Assessment 1, just to freshen up.

Before we head into the meat of this discussion, we need to have a brief conversations (24 hours) about the existence of a Secondary Ability Discussion.

8) Do you think CAP29 should be allowed to have a secondary ability? Why or why not? If so, how could this lead to more in-depth learning within the CAP project, or lead to a more viable end product in the metagame? If not, what are the potential pitfalls you envision from us having a secondary ability? Do note that secondary ability in this context also means NCA (No Competitive Ability) and No Ability, so perhaps consider discussing the nuance of those differences as well in terms of how they relate to CAP29.​

I'm asking this question right at the top of the thread because it will determine the entire trajectory of our project. If we conclude that a secondary ability might be worth pursuing, then this thread will be paused immediately for Secondary Ability Discussion with Tadasuke to determine what that should (or shouldn't) be. I personally have some hang-ups with what a secondary ability might do to complicate the process, but I do think it's important for me to open the floor to the CAP community at large to see if there are any convincing arguments to be made for considering a Secondary Ability Discussion. Anything otherwise will result in us not having a secondary ability on CAP29, and we'll skip that stage entirely, moving forward into some more substantial questions tomorrow.
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Bono My Tires are Deceased
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CAP29 should not have any ability other than Color Change. The concept is built directly around abusing this ability to the fullest extent; any other ability, no matter what it is, goes against the concept. A NCA, such as Illuminate, would likely be better overall than Color Change, and even something truly abysmal like Klutz or Stall might end up being a better choice than Color Change for all we know. This mon will be designed around using Color Change, and therefore that should be the ability that it has to use.
We should not have a secondary ability. a) This ability would have to be bad. Our concept is "defective ability" and our secondary ability cannot suddenly be good. b) It cannot outshine Color Change. The secondary ability is not supposed to outshine the primary ability. Truly terrible abilities such as, I dunno, Normalize would fit the bill, but they would not ever be used, and defeat the purpose of a secondary ability.

This only really leaves us with certain abilities that aren't too good or too terrible. Emergency Exit might be an example of this, but in my opinion, Emergency Exit would be used over Color Change in most scenarios, so it's not an acceptable choice.

I can't honestly think of an acceptable choice, and I think that even if something somehow fell within the proper usability window, we'd have to deal with properly balancing a mon with 2 godawful abilities that never see competitive use. This is new territory for us, and balancing for 2 of these abilities at the same time is next to impossible.


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I'd like to quickly voice my opinion on the issue of whether or not we should have a secondary ability. I think giving CAP 29 a secondary ability would fundamentally oppose the integrity of the concept and how we fulfill it. Let me break this down logically.

At this point, we have four options:
  1. Give CAP 29 another negative ability
  2. Give CAP 29 a neutral ability
  3. Give CAP 29 a beneficial ability
  4. Do not give CAP 29 a secondary ability
If we choose option one, we're going to immediately divide the focus of the project into making a mon that can function using either negative ability, which will detract greatly from the quality of discussion that would otherwise be possible if we opted to simply have the one negative ability. Options two and three both invalidate the concept. How could we possibly learn how to benefit from a negative ability if we can instead choose to have the same tools (stats, moves, typing) available to us without the detriment inherent to the ability we voted on. Doing this would dodge the concept entirely instead of allowing us to address it. This leaves only the final option, which is not giving CAP 29 a secondary ability. It's the only way to ensure that we can properly address the concept and overcome its challenges.
Just the existence of a second ability would needlessly complicate this process. Not only would a competitive ability invalidate this process but an ability with no competitive value would also invalidate it. The only option would be another negative ability but I feel like that would distract away from color change.
I definitely think that we shouldn't have a secondary ability other than Color Change. The reason for any neutral or positive ability is obvious, it literally goes against the entire design. For negative abilities, however, the problem becomes that Color Change is too unique in its role to bond particularly well with any other abilities. If our CAP was designed too far in the direction of either color change or another ability, one would be used and the other would be forgotten. This means adding a second ability would complicate the process of creating the pokemon even more, and as such it shouldn't be attempted at all.


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Do you think CAP 29 should be allowed to have a secondary ability? Why or why not?
I don't think CAP 29 should have a secondary ability because even if the ability would have no competitive use, it would most likely be the better choice over Color Change because, well, the concept is designed for Color Change to negatively affect it. If we opt to have a secondary ability, what's the point of building off of Color Change when that secondary ability would most likely still be the most viable option?

If not, what are the potential pitfalls you envision from us having a secondary ability?
As I mentioned before, opting to have a secondary ability alongside Color Change would definitely cause that ability to be used more, regardless of it having no effect whatsoever. The main reason why this would be a bad thing as we go from process to process is that if want a secondary ability, why bother building CAP 29 around Color Change when the better option is right there? It detracts from the process as a whole knowing that our potential typing, movepool, and stats that will be created with Color Change in mind will have no meaning in battle when all variants of CAP 29 are running an ability like Honey Gather or Ball Fetch. It completely disregards the main concept and would basically turn it into a concept consisting of simply making a Pokemon with no ability.
hot take here, but imo another negative ability such as Defeatist or Slow Start could have some value as alternatives to Color Change especially since our main focus would of course still be Color Change, but seeing the responses so far is enough to convince me not to argue any further than mentioning this in passing. No secondary ability is cool, and obviously we wouldn’t do a flavor ability either. Only Color Change is fine:blobthumbsup:
Do you think CAP 29 should be allowed to have a secondary ability? Why or why not?
If not, what are the potential pitfalls you envision from us having a secondary ability?

I have not participated on this CAP in the forum discussions, only having limited interaction via the Discord and the Polls. That said I did want to speak up in this one regard. Do not give CAP 29 a secondary ability. It distracts from the core concept, it makes balancing much more difficult and it will only cause the rest of the CAP to become more muddled. No matter what ability we give it, it will have a tangible benefit in some regards. This includes the worst abilities in the game. That regard will let the user mitigate the inherent flaws with the CAP, making it harder to play around. Not every mon needs a secondary or hidden ability and I feel in order to make sure this mon succeeds we need to focus on the singular ability.
Just going to echo what everyone else is saying here real quick and say that CAP 29 should not have a second ability. There's a reason why almost every Pokémon with a detrimental ability only has that one ability- give it anything else and the bad ability is basically nullified. You could give Regigigas fucking Ball Fetch as its HA and that alone would be enough to make it shoot up to Ubers. Giving CAP 29 any other ability, even a completely useless one, would make it completely go against concept.
"I suggest Speed Boost as a secondary ability and As One for flavor"

Now that I've got the jokes out of my system, no secondary ability is the only way I see to go.
As others have pointed out, "defective ability" is our concept, and any other ability will either split the focus as we try to design for two bad abilities, or end up outshining color change by simple virtue of not being color change.
8) Do you think CAP29 should be allowed to have a secondary ability? Why or why not? If so, how could this lead to more in-depth learning within the CAP project, or lead to a more viable end product? If not, what are the potential pitfalls you envision from us having a secondary ability? Do note that secondary ability in this context also means NCA (No Competitive Ability) and No Ability, so perhaps consider discussing the nuance of those differences as well in terms of how they relate to CAP29.
Going to join in the chorus and say we should have no secondary ability whatsoever. Not the No Competitive Ability option, the No Ability option.
As others have mentioned, giving an ability with fewer drawbacks than Color Change is out of the question, since it would overshadow Color Change and defeat the point of the concept. There was some discussion about potentially pairing Color Change with an secondary ability that is similarly terrible or even worse, perhaps to lend some flexibility, but with an ability as volatile as Color Change, I think anything that distracts the process from it will ultimately be to the detriment of both Color Change and the hypothetical secondary ability, as we will be forced to consider both abilities and try to compensate for both accordingly, instead of just being able to focus on Color Change and its effects by itself.

Assuming that any extra ability becomes entirely flavorful and is not considered in any competitive part of the process, No Competitive Ability is weird to think about for this concept, as the normal definition of this option (an ability with little to no competitive use, like Run Away) would probably be a strict upgrade to Color Change. If I instead interpret No Competitive Ability as "not competitive with Color Change", it would have to be something like Truant, which we banned from discussion earlier because it was so terrible and such a drawback. Even then, it may have some use, as being able to hold onto our typing may be reason enough to want the alternate ability. Not getting an ability at all, on the other hand, would be a much simpler solution that prevents attention from being drawn away from Color Change at all, and also prevents every edge conflict that could happen between Color Change and any other ability. Color Change should be the only ability CAP29 has.


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Probably no point in echoing it, but Color Change should absolutely be the only ability CAP 29 has access to. Like Tadasuke said, having another negative ability would only serve to divide the focus of CAP 29, which will already be strained given Color Change's volatile nature. No second (or flavor) abilities should be allowed.


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Well, I guess I'm going to join in with the chorus here and say no, we should not have a secondary ability. Color Change might not necessarily be the worst ability out there, so I'm sure we could give a secondary ability and still have reason to use Color Change, the only abilities I believe would let us do that are ones that are themselves highly detrimental, and would be nearly as process warping. Trying to make both Color Change and, say, Slow Start, work at the same time would be absurdly difficult, and I think it would detract from both directions. And, of course, anything that's not quite so bad would just get used instead of Color Change, which would be very much against the whole point of the concept. So yeah... lets just not.


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Preaching to the choir, I also firmly believe that we shouldn't have any other abilities, neither competitive or flavour, as they would detract from the use of Color Change if it is as detrimental as anticipated.


Master Procraster
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Nothing to add that already hasn't been said, CAP 29 not receiving a secondary ability would be the best course of action. Choosing another ability automatically divides our focus quite a bit when we really can't afford with an ability like Color Change, which requires a notable amount of focus to work. Getting a secondary ability also risks overshadowing an ability that already offers a very low bar for being overshadowed, so we'd basically be working with the same abilities that were on the slate if we realistically wanted an option.


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Tadasuke adequately summarized what our options are and why no secondary ability is the only reasonable approach for the concept. There is no reason to divert our attention between two bad abilities, and there is especially no reason to give it an ability that is comparatively/definitively better than color change.
There isn't really much more to add other than we should not have a second ability. Even something as meaningless as Illuminate would impair the concept, because we would just take Illuminate instead of Color Change 99 times out of 100. Even if its a second "bad" ability, we will just not use Color Change over something less bad, and it would cause different restrictions. Picking between Defeatist and Color Change for example would be an extremely big mess to be working around.
In my opinion, some flavor ability that has no use would be a good addition to CAP 29. Having it would be a good way to see just how well this concept was executed. Color Change is an interesting ability that has enough potential uses that, if done well with a clear goal in mind, you'd probably still run over a useless ability. It's in my opinion not that good of an idea to try and "force" the concept to succeed by not allowing for a secondary ability, though I understand the argument that it may detract from Color Change.
Aside from the equally detrimental Mimicry for a flavour thing, there really doesn't seem to be a point to having another option.

I'm no secondary ability unless it turns out Colour Changes is so central for CAP to work it doesn't matter if it has anything else.
At first I was going to also say no to a secondary ability, but I think Jordy makes a great point here. We can go through the entire process completely ignoring our second ability and then use that useless secondary ability as an objective metric to see if Color Change can actually be used effectively. Although I personally think that the useless ability will probably end up better than Color Change, I see no reason not to include it. Given our two-stage release system, we can be more willing to fail, since in the worst-case scenario we can just remove the secondary ability with the full release of CAP29.
Aside from the equally detrimental Mimicry for a flavour thing, there really doesn't seem to be a point to having another option.
Mimicry wouldn't be equally detrimental. Mimicry would change type in exactly 4 situations where Color Change likely would change too. If thrown in against a majority of the meta or against teams not using Terrains, Mimicry is just an Illusion.
I wanted to add an argument, as to why Color Change should remain our only ability for the competitive stages.
Finding a fitting and trying to work around another ability would shorten the time we would have to go in depth into analyzing Color Change. Time I believe we need, to fully appreciate all of its aspects and facets.
Even if we don’t really need it, having more time to discuss during each stage should always be helpful and if we happen to not need it, we still can use it for additional live testing.
That said I can see us discussing a flavor ability, after all the competitive stages have been concluded. I think it could be beneficial to see if a flavor ability would negatively impact the viability of our detrimental Primary ability or if we managed to squeeze or enough positive features out of this detrimental ability, so that it would be viable over a flavor ability.
The people trying to rationalize a second ability seem crazy to me. Color change is massively detrimental to all aspects.

You have type resistances controlled by the enemy, and most 2-coverage mons will be able to juggle you to death with that. As such, we’ll need to get stronger than normal defenses.

We have unpredictable typing controlled by the enemy, meaning no reliable STAB. That means stronger than normal offenses or coverage options and/or a defensive lean.

We have a type that is in flux, likely meaning more coverage options than typically present.

We need to get the most value out of the first hit defensively, which likely means a strong starting type pairing with lots of resistances or immunities.

So... you want to give a ‘mon which will likely have a strong typing, strong coverage, and strong defenses, only held back by a detrimental ability... some other ability that isn’t as detrimental?

Even a similarly detrimental ability would just be awkward; we’d not be tailored around such things, so it’d have a massive mechanical disconnect.
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