CAP 29 - Part 5 - Concept Assessment 3

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CAP 29 So Far

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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Birkal! What are we doing here? A third concept assessment? Why?? These are all good questions; let me attempt to answer them. Welcome back to Concept Assessment.

I proposed this thread to the CAP moderators and the Topic Leadership Team because I thought it would be important to "pump the brakes" on CAP29 and reflect on where we're at right now. I've been insanely proud with how CAP29 has been discussed and built by the community thus far: we've had decisive victories in our concept, ability, and now typing stages. It seems like we're all generally in-sync with how CAP29 should function within the metagame. Unfortunately, the metagame is not entirely sure how it wants to look for CAP29 at the moment. Let's take a look at a calendar of events from the perspective of CAP29:
  • February 4th - We started Concept Assessment 2 the day that Spectrier was banned from OU (and consequentially CAP).
  • February 13th - We started Typing Discussion the day that Astrolotl was nerfed with the removal of Knock Off and Wish.
  • February 22nd - We started this thread today, the day that Cinderace and Magearna were both quickbanned from OU (and CAP).
That is a lot of metagame upheaval in the past few weeks, so I thought it might be prudent to ask a few questions about CAP29 now that we have a more clear picture of the metagame it's going to be thrust into at the start of our playtest. We also have a small delay in the process as the CAP moderators and the Policy Review Committee take some time to iron out the details of our next (and newest) stage: Defining Moves Discussion. I thought it would be wise of us to use this time to chat about the shifting metagame.

18) How do you predict the metagame will shift with all of these changes? I'm particularly interested in which mons already on the CAP Viability Rankings thread will likely see more usage with the removal of Cinderace and Magearna from the CAP metagame. I'd also be interested in hearing some predictions about where Astrolotl's nerfs might do to its status as an S Rank mon on the VR, and how low it will potentially drop, if at all.​
19) Do these four shifts in the metagame impact CAP29 directly? How so? It might be worth taking a look back at our Generalizations about CAP29 and scanning the Concept Assessment 2 thread (linked above) for any and all posts on Magearna, Cinderace, and Astrolotl. Remember, we listed Magearna and Cinderace as having a positive match-up natural against Color Change, while we noted a natural advantage CAP29 with Color Change would have over Astrolotl. Reflect on that and report back with any nuggets of wisdom you unearth.​
20) Will these bans/nerfs increase or decrease CAP29's viability from what we know at this point in time? In response to Question #18, do you feel that other threats will become even more prominent in the metagame now? Remind us how those mons naturally match-up with CAP29.​

This thread is going to run for roughly 24-48 hours. I might ask a few more questions as they pop up, so ping me on Discord or send me a message if you have any burning questions for me to ask the community. We're in a weird spot right now, in that Threats Discussion is still a few days down the road, so please avoid polljumping and trying to update our Generalizations about CAP29 based on our newfound typing of Poison / Dark. We're really here to talk about these four recently banned/nerfed mons, and how they'll impact the CAP metagame and CAP29 (specifically with Color Change and how it once interacted with these mons). We'll be digging into the implications of our typing, STAB, switch-in opportunities, and our ever-looming boosting moves discussion shortly enough. For now, let's focus on these recent metagame shifts.
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19) Do these four shifts in the metagame impact CAP29 directly?
Short answer: Kind of? We lost three mons that could play around us rather easily, but they were not huge considerations for us already. On the other hand, our Astrolotl matchup is potentially a little more dangerous, although likely not by much.
Spectrier got banned by the time CA2 started, but a quick summary of my opinion: Spectrier probably would've been a lost matchup for us. While our Dark/Poison type means we could have potentially staved off dying immediately, Ghost being super-effective against itself would mean that we'd get to boost or attack once at most before being chunked heavily by, or even fainting to, a super effective Ghost STAB. In addition, we would have the awkward distinction of being a Dark type that could not retain its typing and consequent resistance to Spectrier's moves. In theory we could potentially beat it if we were set up and they were not (especially if we carried Dark moves), and with enough bulk we could try to set up alongside it and try to threaten it out, but given Spectrier's power and likely ability to threaten us out mid-setup, I think these are unlikely scenarios. Regardless, it did not exist for long during this process, so to not beat the long-dead horse any further, Spectrier's ban means we don't have to worry about another potential counter, and we didn't worry much about it anyways.
Astrolotl is a bit of a weird case. I would say that the nerf itself does not affect us directly; Knock Off would be neutral at best without us being changed into a Dark-weak typing by another Pokemon first, and it doesn't combo particularly well with Fire Lash, either. Wish could be a move it could click while we set up, but Astrolotl has plenty of other moves for that. I think the real effect is that, with Knock Off gone, one of the formerly permanent moveslots is now free, and what move will appear there is a mystery. Stomping Tantrum could be a potentially dangerous move, both by itself (since it starts super effective) and comboed with Fire Lash, and Dragon STAB spam could be painful as well. However, Astrolotl does not currently run attack investment, meaning we could potentially shrug these hits off with setup or bulk, and it is currently just as likely to choose one of its many status moves instead of an attacking move, which were already a consideration in the Astrolotl matchup pre-nerf (although the nerf did remove a potential option here by taking away Wish). The danger of being hit supereffectively or annoyed in two ways instead of one does make things a little more dangerous, but I don't think it moves the needle a whole lot.
Cinderace being gone really just means we don't have to worry about it running circles around us. It mostly just circumvented us by clicking U-turn. Alternatively, its ability to click high-power STABs meant that it could potentially overpower us in a 1v1 situation. As a result, it was mostly ignored during CA2 and typing as a potential Pokemon to actualize Color Change against, and its ban doesn't have a huge effect on our expectations for CAP29 directly.
Magearna is in a similar spot as a Pokemon that we don't really have an advantage against. It's immune to Poison and resistant against Dark, and while we start neutral or immune (for Stored Power) to its attacks, it is just as likely to Volt Switch out, or even set up alongside us before chaining attacks. It was not a strong consideration during the typing stage, and its ban really just means another threat that we weren't already thinking about much being gone.
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18) How do you predict the metagame will shift with all of these changes? I'm particularly interested in which mons already on the CAP Viability Rankings thread will likely see more usage with the removal of Cinderace and Magearna from the CAP metagame. I'd also be interested in hearing some predictions about where Astrolotl's nerfs might do to its status as an S Rank mon on the VR, and how low it will potentially drop, if at all.​
Things are going to get weird, dare I say offensive.

Cinderace had the distinction of being the only relevant Fire-type to outspeed Cawmodore, which is significant because Bullet Punch-resists that can KO around Volt Absorb are in short supply. Cawm was a monster the first time the bunny was banned, and the room on PS uttered a collective groan today on realizing our prospective return to matchup-fishing hell. Further, I suggest that Cinderace was an important offensive check to Rillaboom. In its absence, Rillaboom has one less reason to bother chancing SD. Physically frail attackers with middling speed like Miasmaw will also enjoy the disappearance of Cinderace from CAP. Conversely, Fire-resistant pivots like Slowking may see a dip.

I don't think Cawmodore cared much for Magearna before, Specs Fleur Cannon notwithstanding. However, Banded Rillaboom's High Horsepower could easily OHKO Magearna lacking Shuca Berry, so it has all the more reason to double down on Grass moves now (i.e. Grassy Glide plus Wood Hammer). Otherwise, I suppose Jumbao may see a boost. Scarfbao possibly didn't like being resisted by Cinderace, but I'm more confident in saying the removal of the bulky Steel/Fairy does it a much greater favor. I don't think Magearna's ban will dramatically cause any negative effects, since checks like Blissey and Heatran are viable for broader reasons.
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18) How do you predict the metagame will shift with all of these changes? I'm particularly interested in which mons already on the CAP Viability Rankings thread will likely see more usage with the removal of Cinderace and Magearna from the CAP metagame. I'd also be interested in hearing some predictions about where Astrolotl's nerfs might do to its status as an S Rank mon on the VR, and how low it will potentially drop, if at all.
Pardon me since I'm not exactly a good competitive player but from what I understand, a Mon that will likely rise in usage a lot will be choice banded :rillaboom:. While neither cinderace or magearna were able to fully counter boom, both of them were extremely splashable Pokémon that could act as offensive checks to it, as they had the ability to prevent it from just spamming either it's grassy glide or wood hammer. The same state gets further increased by :kartana:, which actually was countered by these splashable mons and will likely rise in usage once again. Dragons also will have a field day on the meta now that Mag is gone and they lose some of their fear of just spamming Draco meteors.

Competition wise many fire types and steel types will come to rise in usage respectly. Examples include :heatran:, :equilibra: and :blaziken:.

Lastly, I can sense a fall in both :slowbro: and :slowking-g:, which countered race and mag respectfully. However, I feel like :slowking: will actually rise in usage due to reduced competition from its siblings and broken futureport support.
18) How do you predict the metagame will shift with all of these changes?
One of the more immediate effects is that Cawmodore is much stronger now that its best offensive check in Cinderace was banned, and unsurprisingly this makes it extremely dangerous since little resists +6 Bullet Punch that outpaces it naturally. Assuming at +6 and with 76% health left, there isn't much that can outspeed and live while able to KO. Zeraora fits the defensive bill but isn't exactly equipped to deal with Volt Absorb, and Blaze Kick does little to help. Banded Barraskewda has a good chance to nab a KO with Liquidation but this isn't 100% guaranteed, while its poor bulk means it needs to be kept pretty healthy in order to not outright die to Bullet Punch. Psychic Surge can potentially help other Pokemon deal with Cawm but Lele itself needs to be Scarf and needs to get a good roll on Focus Blast to KO. Other Scarfers can work too, you do need to preserve the Scarf and be sure to not getting RK'd by Bullet Punch. HazeHawk sets can give a team more breathing room, though it needs to be kept healthy enough to get a Haze off, otherwise it's a good enough answer. Finally there's Unaware Quagsire/Pyukumuku which definitely work but aren't exactly things you just slap on a team. TL:DR who the hell gave a steel/flying volt absorb lmao

Other effects include a revitalized Rillaboom now that two key Grass resists are up and gone from play, a distinct lack of a strong offensive Fire in the tier, and of course any Pokemon whose usage was partially dependent on beating Ace or Mag are going to be less common, though these two did a lot to beat each others checks so it is possible that these guys actually get a bit better. It's like when Dracovish getting banned freed Pex and Ferro to not go full PhysDef just so your balance team wasn't 6-0d by one move.

19) Do these four shifts in the metagame impact CAP29 directly?
3 of the 4 make 29 better on the surface level. Cinderace didn't like Color Change but also didn't have much trouble playing around it, and of course by that I mean clicking U-Turn. Magearna was problematic since it could chain certain coverage options together, and it's Fairy attacks were going to hurt us pretty hard. Spectrier was a Ghost type. All three contributed a lot to the OU power level and decreased power levels should work in our favor, considering we actively have an ability that's kinda leaving us worse off.

Astrolotl's nerf is the only possible concern, we still deal with Fire Lash spam alright, but with more open moveslots some players may find fitting Dragon coverage much easier, which is bad news for us. This isn't a certainty since it may still look towards utility moves and isn't the most offensively-oriented Pokemon in the metagame, but even before the nerf the potential for slotting in Dragon moves was there, and now that potential is much greater due to it needing to the space left by Knock Off/Wish.

20) Will these bans/nerfs increase or decrease CAP29's viability from what we know at this point in time?
Losing some annoying Pokemon we needed to deal with is great news, as is a landscape friendlier to offensive Grasses like Rilla, Kart, and Bao, but what looks to be a resurgence in Cawmodore spam is pretty bad. It's hard to set up when you get run over by a +6 Acrobatics. I think overall there's a net gain but not too much, and at this point it's really hard to say since we know nothing of stats nor movepool.
Answering the other two questions that I didn't answer in my initial post.
18) How do you predict the metagame will shift with all of these changes?
As others have done before me, I'll be ignoring direct impacts of the Spectrier ban, and focus on more recent events.
:cinderace: :magearna:
I won't talk much about the consequences of the Cinderace and Magearna bans, as I mostly agree with what's been said above. Grass types are big winners, particularly Jumbao, Kartana, and the much-discussed Rillaboom. Psychics, Dragons, and Fairies, particularly Tapu Lele, Garchomp, Hydreigon, Latios, and Tapu Koko may also see rises now that the sheer power of Magearna is absent from the tier. Cawmodore could potentially see a return to its end-of-IoA glory with its biggest check gone. Other frail attackers that normally would've been pressured by Cinderace and Magearna, like Miasmaw, could be on the rise as well. On the other hand, Rocky Helmet bulky waters like Slowbro and Toxapex may fall a little without two big proponents of U-turn/Volt Switch spam in the meta, although I doubt that either one of the bulky water archetype and pivot move spam are likely to disappear in any capacity. I also agree with the assessment that Slowking-Galar may fall without Magearna, a Pokemon it was often used to check, being around.
I do think Astrolotl's nerf will be enough to push it out of S, and in fact it was moved to A+ earlier today. Knock Off was a relatively safe move that could make permanent progress, and I think that Astrolotl will definitely feel the effects of this nerf. However, I'm not sure this will have a significant effect on the metagame. Although you are no longer able to compress Knock Off and Spikes so easily, Astrolotl still seems to be an effective Spiker, and to my knowledge there weren't any Pokemon that were significantly suppressed by losing their item, or used specifically to deal with it. Some Pokemon may rise a little in popularity without having to deal with losing their item or being able to fill in the niche of a Knock Off user, and Astrolotl may not reclaim its crown as an S rank Pokemon, but I don't think the meta will significantly shift as a result of the nerf.

20) Will these bans/nerfs increase or decrease CAP29's viability from what we know at this point in time? In response to Question #18, do you feel that other threats will become even more prominent in the metagame now? Remind us how those mons naturally match-up with CAP29.
I ultimately think CAP29's viability has increased. As I argued in my earlier response to question #19, we ultimately lost three threats that could either circumvent us or force us out, the Astrolotl matchup has not changed significantly, and Pokemon that we deal with well (Grass-type STAB spammers, Tapu Lele, Tapu Koko potentially Latios) are likely on the rise. On the other hand, a potential Cawmodore rise is a problem for us, as we will likely not be able to deal with its sheer power, and Dragons are also a significant threat because of their STAB. A potential decrease in Scald spam (a move we deal with well, the question of the effect of burns aside) could give us fewer opportunities to come in. Slowking-Galar's potential drop is also unfortunate, given our typing provides us opportunities to come in on Sludge Bombs and Future Sight hits. Overall, though, I'm more optimistic regarding CAP29's position in this new metagame, although it's hard to make any solid prediction so early.


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I am going to keep Questions #18-20 open for one more day for anyone that has additional metagame observations, but also I’m going to ask a final question here to round out our last 24 hours together. It’s a reflection on the generalizations we made about CAP29 throughout Concept Assessments 1 and 2. Take a look:

Generalizations about CAP29:
Note: These are a list of guidelines about CAP29, not rules. This is the cumulation of the intelligent community consensus from past and current threads. Our opinions as a community may change and differ on some of these specific points. We are not beholden to anything specifically on this list.
  • We will treat all ability-shifting moves (e.g. Skill Swap and Entrainment) as banned. Do not debate the use of them for CAP29, nor vote in the upcoming stages with the presumption that they will be allowed. SHSP, the Movepool Leader, may re-open discussion of these moves at a later date, depending on how the rest of CAP29 is built. There is also some nuance between Skill Swap and Entrainment that favors the latter, that we also might consider in the future. But for now, they are considered detrimental to the concept and our communal creation of this CAP; please do not vote in future stages presuming these moves will be allowed.
  • Our current operating view is that CAP29 is supposed to work with Color Change, as opposed to in spite of, because anything else would be us circumventing the concept. It may be necessary to work in spite of Color Change in some cases, but ultimately, it's our goal to make sure that CAP29 can optimally take advantage of the unique opportunities Color Change can provide competitively.
  • We will treat CAP29 as having solely Color Change as its only ability. We won't presume that it has a flavor ability (NCA) that it can choose over Color Change to circumvent the negatives of this ability. That being said, it is still our goal to make sure that Color Change CAP29 is an appealing option in the teambuilder. We should be asking the question: "Are we working with Color Change enough that it would hypothetically be chosen over NCA?" Tadasuke, the Ability Leader, may re-open discussion of a secondary ability at a later date, depending on how the rest of CAP29 is built.
  • This is a compiled list of mons (B- Tier and up) that have at least one set that Color Change has a natural advantage against:
:Astrolotl::Slowking::Hydreigon::Melmetal::Rillaboom::Ferrothorn::Latios::Barraskewda::Pelipper::Mandibuzz::Jumbao::Kartana::Kyurem::Tapu Lele::dracozolt::Suicune::Regieleki::Syclant::Tapu Koko::Torkoal::Urshifu::Victini::Zeraora:
  • This is a compiled list of mons (B- Tier and up) that have at least one set that Color Change has a neutral match-up against:
  • This is a compiled list of mons (B- Tier and up) that have at least one set that Color Change has a natural disadvantage against:
  • In general, we will try to lean into creating strong match-ups against the mons Color Change already has a natural advantage against. We may still look for ways to change some of our Color Change natural disadvantages into neutral or positive match-ups through future stages. But a goal of ours is to give CAP29 the correct tools to at least force out the mons that Color Change already excels against naturally.
  • The goal for CAP29's primary role will be to perform as a bulky set-up sweeper in the CAP metagame. How we define bulk within the context of CAP29 and Color Change will be covered during the stat and moveset stages. Furthermore, our set-up move(s) could potentially boost offenses, defenses, or both simultaneously; nothing is currently decided. Finally, CAP29 is not limited to having set-up sweeping being its only role, and any other roles that CAP29 possess in the metagame should not be considered a 'failure' to the project. Color Change is full of unknowns, so it's difficult to predict how exactly CAP29 will even function in the metagame at this point in time. But for now, we can focus on the role of a bulky set-up sweeper and build from there.
21) Now that we know CAP29’s typing, has any of this changed? Should any of this change? If you have a case to make for considering Entrainment later down the road, or an opinion about a secondary ability, or a revised idea about us classifying CAP29 as a bulky setup sweeper, now is the time to speak up. These generalizations are starting to firm up, and this might be one of the last chances to argue for or against anything you see here. Note that this isn’t the place to address the specific mons we mapped out the interactions for Color Change with, because we’ll be discussing that shortly in Threats Discussion in context with our new typing. For now, try to focus on the other generalizations and the four recent mons involved in our shifting metagame.​

So take some time to reflect on our generalizations and let us know if anything strikes you as odd or different at this time. In 24 hours, I’ll take some time to summarize our opinions as a CAP community on the recent bans/nerfs, and also make further recommendations to the TLT based on the feedback we receive right now on our generalizations about CAP29.

Thank y’all for the posts thus far! I know it can feel kind of awkward posting in a stage where we don’t have any specific end-goal, but I think the brief reflection period we’ve snuck in here will only help to strengthen the direction of CAP29. So if you have any burning questions or astute observations to make about CAP29 so far, now is the time to do it before we lunch straight into Defining Moves tomorrow.
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I don't have much to add in regards to questions 18-20.

Question 21 is interesting though, and I hope to speak to a few generalisations.

Firstly, I think that Skill Swap and Entrainment are probably not worth banning anymore, in the sense that I don't think they'll be remotely viable or dangerous. Colour Change is a pretty terrible ability to give to someone else and there may be some benefit to getting rid of it, but not at the cost of a moveslot. Particularly because both of CAP 29's STABs are self-resisting, meaning that it likely won't be able to take advantage of changing the opponent's type even if it can now safely keep its stabs. The only real upside to Skill Swap would be in terms of occasionally taking Regenerator away from things like Astrolotl and Toxapex and healing itself back up. While I don't necessarily think it's worth banning, it's also not particularly worth mandating, more of a fun flavour inclusion.

On that note, I definitely think we want to remain with there being NO secondary ability. Our stab combination is honestly quite potent in the sense that it is only resisted by Tyranitar, Colossoil and CAP 29 itself in the current CAP metagame, and being able to guarantee that we don't ever lose STAB means that being limited to our relatively low BP moves isn't as much of a problem as it is with Colour Change. In that sense basically any ability bar the truly detrimental ones such as Slow Start, Truant, Defeatist, and, because we are somewhat of a natural Rillaboom and Tapu Lele check already, Mimicry, would outshadow Color Change completely. As for having any of those four abilities as flavour abilities, I don't particularly see the point, because they still risk some potential upsides that we haven't factored in, that said, provided we have already finished our stat and moves stages, we might be able to ensure that one of these could be added without creating a superior set to anything that already exists, and as such is purely for flavour reasons, namely being that Kecleon the only current Color Change user has a Hidden Ability.

Finally, I agree that we should stick to prioritising being a bulky Set-up sweeper for future stages, whether that means having inherent bulk that allows us to use purely offensive boosts such as Dragon Dance or Nasty Plot, or choosing to supplement our existing bulk while boosting our offenses through moves like Bulk Up or Calm Mind. I think it is also crucial to note that we don't immediately restrict moves that don't automatically fit into this role, as there are a range of utility moves that naturally synergise with our Typing as well as the fact that Color Change will mandate a certain amount of pivoting. While we want to make sure that our set-up sets are still our best options, having the option to run a bulky pivot or utility set will still teach us a lot about how Color Change can best function.
I do not have anything big to say about question 21 other than I think we can retain these generalizations.

If we had to change anything, it is not worth banning Skill Swap/Entrainment since these two abilities actively harm us more than anything. Our STAB combo is a pair of self-resisting types, meaning that we are just giving our opponent a free resistance to us. It is much more time efficient to spend 3 turns boosting and sweeping than it is to go Entrainment -> Dark/Poison STAB(sometimes?) ->SE against Dark/Poison non-STAB. Rotating between Dark and Poison would also just be really silly. We gain nothing from either move, but they aren't actively damaging the concept either.
I don’t think, trying to predict the metagame shifts with 4 S and A rank mons banned or nerfed, is going to provide a lot of information, since the changes, affect so many moving parts.
Take for example :Moltres:. This Pokémon has fallen more and more out of favor since the first wave of bans in CT. At the start of the DLCII meta, there were a lot of threats that it could check decently, but with every ban round it lost some of these. With :Genesect::Pheromosa: and now :Cinderace: gone there’s mostly just :Rillaboom: left, that it can meaningfully check.
Or so you’d think, when only looking at what it used to do.
Now take the :Astrolotl: nerf into account.
Loosing Knock Off means, that :Moltres: suddenly becomes a good answer to its main sets. It doesn’t have to fear loosing boots, can eat fire lashes and dragon claws pretty well and is immune to Stomping Tantrum, while being able to defog Spikes.
It has to be on the lookout for Meteor Beam, but those are probably rare and not worth thinking about for the most part.
Another mon, that might see improved viability with the loss of Knock Off on Astro is :Heatran:. It’s not unlikely, that Astro will run mono Fire sets or Dual Stab, both of which Heatran will have a much easier time dealing with, than with Knock. Stomping Tantrum is a big risk factor here, but outside of the Heatran Matchup it’s such a bad move for Astro, that it still might not be run.
Interestingly now, :Moltres: is a solid check to :Heatran:, which means yet another big Meta Threat it can easily check.
The predicted rise of offensive grass types, that we might see, due to :Magearna: and :Cinderace: leaving means even more good matchups for :Moltres:
That said, :Cinderace: leaving means, there is an open spot for other offensive pivots on Teams. Most notably Pokémon like :Zeraora: and :Syclant: could see increased usage, both of which Moltres would not appreciate.
The possible decrease of usage of physically bulky waters like :Slowbro: and :Toxapex:, as well as Galarking, could mean :Slowking: manifesting it’s dominance in the meta, which again impacts :Moltres:.
You see, there are so many moving parts here, that it’s really hard to predict a meta Shift even just the impact of two major threats leaving or being nerfed on a single Pokémon.

Looking at how these 4 Pokémon leaving or being weakened might impact 29 looks a bit easier, since we at least can look at the individual Matchups.
All three bans are a positive for 29.
:Magearna: was one of I think only three Pokémon in the Meta, that resisted both its STABs. So it leaving means one less Pokémon 29 needs to worry about, checking it defensively (and using it as set up bait).

Even though our dark type means, that :Spectrier:might have had trouble with 29, 29 would still have had trouble with it as well since its matchup with ghost moves is still just bad.
Another good thing that might come from The horse ban is a decrease in usage for :Colossoil: and :Tyranitar: which are the only 2 Pokémon left, that naturally check 29s Stabs.
And :Cinderace: would have been a pain to deal with, since it would always have at least neutral STAB to deal with us.
:Astrolotl: on the other hand might have a slightly improved Matchup now.
While it’s not guaranteed, that it will start using dragon or ground moves, both of these options (basically the only ones, Astro has left, unless it opts for mono fire sets), are harder for 29 to deal with, than Knock Off with Fire lash (at least in theory).
21) Now that we know CAP29’s typing, has any of this changed?
Putting aside the lists of natural advantage/neutral/natural disadvantage for now, I don't think any of the other generalizations have changed with our typing determined.
  • I still think Skill Swap and Entrainment should be banned. Since this decision was made, we have managed to avoided giving CAP29 one of the more crippling abilities on the slate (ones like Slow Start and Defeatist), so we won't be realizing the full effect of these moves, and I agree that CAP29 would probably prefer to be running more useful moves, especially on the bulky setup set(s) we're prioritizing. However, even giving this Pokemon the option to do so doesn't sound like the best idea, since putting Color Change on the opponent likely forces free switches that we are in a prime position to take advantage of. Yes, our STABs are both self-resisting, which makes putting Color Change on the opponent awkward, but we are certainly capable of only running one STAB alongside at least one coverage move, or simply abandoning STAB altogether. I just don't think it's really worth introducing into the metagame in any capacity.
  • I still think that we should be working with Color Change whenever possible, not around it at all times. We've already spent an entire stage picking a typing that works with Color Change, and these past discussions (and the ones on Discord) have shown that it is possible to leverage Color Change to our advantage.
  • I still think that Color Change still remain our only ability. I think that adding a flavor ability, while potentially more in line with the existing Color Change Pokemon, is mostly just a distraction from Color Change. Most other abilities (including Mimicry) would allow us to retain our decent STAB combination without having a significantly detrimental effect on our ability to operate, which would potentially change our matchup with a lot of Pokemon (most Dragons and Ghosts are no longer completely losing, most Psychics become a non-issue, we can't get rid of our Ground weakness, we are less adept at dealing with self-resist spam that we don't already resist). Since Mimicry in particular was brought up, it would essentially trade a worse matchup with the terrain setters for much more consistent STAB and the matchup spread of a non-Color Change ability. If we were to have a flavor ability, it would have to be truly crippling (Truant/Slow Start level) in order to not be considered over Color Change. Even if the non-Color Change matchup spread doesn't turn out to be much better than our Color Change matchup spread, I don't really see the appeal of introducing yet another variable to this Pokemon at this time. Maybe if we further gear it specifically to Color Change, my opinion will change, although I doubt this will happen.
  • I think we should continue to lean into creating strong match-ups against the mons Color Change already has a natural advantage against. Since CA2, we've leaned even further into this direction with a typing that starts neutral or resistant to all of the typings that are self-resistant, in addition to being able to keep its dual typing when switching into two of those types (Poison and Dark). While the typing does allow us better matchups against Pokemon we said Color Change would have a neutral matchup with or a natural disadvantage against (particularly Slowking-Galar, Rillaboom, and Slowbro), and we will certainly lean into some of those, we should also keep building on the natural advantages Color Change gives as well.
  • We should still aim for CAP29's primary role being a bulky set-up sweeper in the CAP metagame. I just don't see a point in switching up what direction we're going in. I agree with MrDollSteak that we shouldn't completely shut the door on anything that doesn't fit into bulky set-up, especially since Color Change does lends itself to pivoting on self-resisted choiced attackers, and our typing affords us some utility through a conditional Future Sight immunity, but our focus should continue to be on that bulky set-up sweeper role.
On the compiled lists of mons, there aren't too many drastic shifts. Our starting Ground-type weakness does make a few of our neutral and positive matchups more awkward, as an Earthquake or Earth Power at the wrong time will do a considerable chunk to us, but our starting resistances also makes a few formerly negative matchups more positive. Our ability to retain our typing when coming in on Poison and Dark-type attacks is useful for retaining STAB, resisting those moves, and dodging Poison, and it can sometimes dodge an otherwise super effective combination, but it may also cause a super effective combination to happen as well.
Some Pokemon that have at least one set that Color Change has a natural advantage or neutral match-up against, but our typing makes the matchup at least a little more awkward:
:melmetal: (Double Iron Bash still does more damage, but coming in on Earthquake is harder) :nidoking: (cannot come in or stay in on Earth Power) :colossoil: (Knock Off -> Earthquake is still super effective):hippowdon: :syclant: :kyurem: :hydreigon: (offensive sets coming back, Dark Pulse -> Earth Power is still super effective)
Some Pokemon that have at least one set that Color Change has a neutral match-up or natural disadvantage against, but our typing makes the matchup at least a little better:
:slowking-galar: :rillaboom: :arghonaut: (ignores our boosts, but Knock Off -> Circle Throw is no longer super effective) :slowbro: :toxapex: :latios: (Psychic immunity makes it easier to come in)

EDIT: There was a recent viability ranking update, but the only new Pokemon that got moved from C or below to B- or higher was :skarmory:, which is immune to Poison, can phaze us out with Whirlwind, and generally doesn't care a whole lot about our presence. Also, :dracozolt: was the only Pokemon moved from B- or higher to C or below, and a decreased presence from it is good for CAP29, between chaining super effective attacks (including Dragon STAB spam) and just hitting us with an Earthquake as we come in.
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CAP 29 will work with Color Change instead of trying to go around it so Skill Swap, Entrainment and others abilities should stay banned. Skill Swap/ Entrainment offer little benefits and could even prevent CAP 29 from receiving coverage moves that are SE against Poison/ Dark to prevent it from going anti-concept.
Echoing the sentiment about the ban on Entrainment/Skill Swap; while not completely useless, our current direction leaning towards bulky setup doesn't leave us much room in our moveslots. We're going to need at least one setup move and likely two attacks seeing as CAP29 is inherently not Zygarde. This leaves us with one moveslot left, and one we'd rather have for coverage or utility like recovery, status, something like Substitute or whatever. While best case scenario is we steal some powerful ability that makes our sweeping potential possible, that's entirely match-up dependent, isn't consistent nor permanent, and even taking something as good as Huge Power could be replicated with the more straightforward SD, should we have (or want to have) it. I don't think our STABs resisting themselves is that big of an issue, seeing as there is no guarantee that we're even going to be using our STAB combo to deal damage anyway. Rather, the opportunity cost is what makes these moves less favorable. When sweeping you want to make sure you can hit as many things as hard as possible, and that nothing can potentially curb your ability to sweep. Exchanging or cloning our ability with/to the opponent doesn't really facilitate sweeping in either category more than other moves can, so it's not needed to have them completely banned from discussion.

I don't think there is any issue with the other generalizations seeing as we are going to move into Threats soon. Our decision to want Color Change to be an active part of how 29 plays is directly tied to our role, which further connects with not having a second Ability and trying to take advantage of the unique mechanics Color Change provides. Later down the line when we've solidified the Pokemon in our threatlists and know our stats, maybe there would be some room for discussion on a Secondary Ability, but I'd rather us focus around Color Change entirely and leaving it at that. I don't want us to do all this work based on Color Change just for every viable 29 set to run Illuminate instead.


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And with that, we're going to move on to the next stage in the process. Thanks for all of you who took these forty eight hours to reflect on CAP29 and how the process is going thus far, both here and on Discord! In summation of what was posted in this thread, we don't need to change the direction on any of our generalizations of CAP29 at this time. There was minor support for the potential unbanning of Entrainment and Skill Swap, but I will leave that decision for SHSP during Moveset Submissions later down the line. Ultimately, most people were still in support of these moves being banned for CAP29. Furthermore, the community consensus is that we still do not need a secondary ability, and that we should still aim to build a bulky setup sweeper.

In terms of the CAP metagame, it is difficult to exactly predict how all of these shifts will affect the metagame long-term. We might need to pay close attention to a rise in usage from Rillaboom, Kartana, Jumbao, Equilibra, Heatran, and Moltres, as these are all Pokemon that could potentially benefit from the recent bans and interact with Color Change in specific ways. Furthermore, our relationship with Astrolotl is now a lot more complex. It's still in our metagame, but there's still debate what its standard sets are going to look like, particularly for its coverage and utility. It running Dragon STAB or Ground coverage will change how it interacts with Color Change, but some sets might prefer to run support like Encore or Thunder Wave. Let's keep tabs on what Astrolotl is up to in the metagame in these upcoming weeks, but otherwise, we should be good to move into the next competitive stage.

And with that, I pass the baton off to SHSP for another brand new stage to CAP: Defining Moves! I'll see you all afterwards for Threats Discussion.
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