CAP 29 - Part 7 - Threats Discussion

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quziel

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CAP 29 So Far:

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In this stage, we will try to analyze which Pokemon sets could threaten or be threatened by us. Based on our typing, ability, chosen defining moves, and concept we will decide which specific threats we should focus on later stages, and which ones should be mostly left alone. Then, the Topic Leader will organize them into a list, following this basic format:
  • Switch in: The list of Pokemon on which we should be able to have a easy time switching in and then forcing them out, more than once in a game. This doesn't mean that we should be able to come into any of their moves, just their most commonly used ones.
  • Pressure: The list of Pokemon that might threaten us, but should not be able to switch in easily. They should not be able to check us easily.
  • Checks and Counters: The list of Pokemon should, in some way, threaten us. This might mean that they will probably be able to beat us 1v1, or at least severely cripple us. Certain Pokemon, in particular Revenge Killers might be included both in here and in Pressure, because once they switch in, they should be able to check us.
This threatlist should serve as a guideline for the rest of the project. However, this is not set in stone, and might change later if the Topic Leadership Team deems it necessary.

The following is a set of questions that we should try to answer during this discussion:

  • Going specifically by typing and ability, what Pokemon found in the CAP metagame will be able to comfortably give this project trouble?
  • What Pokemon will be major threats to this project right off the bat?
  • What Pokemon have the potential to become counters?
  • What Pokemon may end up as threats, but must be contained or dealt with per the concept?
  • Will the concept succeed with this list of threats?
  • Is this list of threats acceptable for the project?
  • What Pokemon will be threatened by the CAP based off of typing?
  • Are these Pokemon targets that we want CAP to hit?
  • Will these targets be "unavoidable" to threaten based solely on the typing?
  • What direction must the project go in now that a set list of basic threats has been identified?
  • What must be done in order to make these threats "wanted counters" or these threats be eliminated from counter discussion?
  • Are there any Pokemon that we want to completely counter?
No individual post has to answer every question.

Guidelines:

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.
3) Refer to Pokemon by specific sets. This way we can clearly identify which specific sets we should be focusing on, and what specific characteristics makes us threaten or threatened by them. Adding complete movesets, EV spreads and Natures is recommended, but not mandatory.
4) Assume that Stealth Rock in on both sides of the field, unless otherwise specified. This can be changed by the Topic Leader during the discussion.
4) This are the exact definitions of check and counter that we will be working with:

-Pokémon A checks a Pokémon B set if, when Pokémon A is given a free switch into that Pokémon B set, Pokémon A can win every time, even under the worst case scenario, without factoring in hax.
-Pokémon A counters a Pokémon B set if Pokémon A can manually switch into that Pokémon B set, and still win every time, even under the worst case scenario, without factoring in hax.
 

Birkal

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Phew, what a time to be alive! Before getting started here, I wanted to drop some major kudos to SHSP for doing a bang-up job on CAP's first ever Defining Moves stage. CAP29 is breaking ground in a lot of ways: from being the first ability-first process to dealing with four large metagame shifts mid-process. The work done by SHSP and y'all (the community) in Defining Moves has helped to create a more focused and considered CAP than ever before. Nicely done! I couldn't be more proud of how CAP29 is going.

Let's launch forward. Threats Discussion is going to be a curious affair this time around, as we've already done a good chunk of the initial legwork during Concept Assessment 2. The generalizations below will help refresh you on what we've covered previously. Now, we can revisit our initial match-up lists, and through the course of this thread, create more refined lists of 1) our switch-ins, 2) our middling pressure threats, and 3) our checks and counters. Mons that we once had a natural advantage against might move to being a check/counter for us (and vice versa), so our CAP29 match-up list may (and probably will) change significantly by the end of this thread. Take a look at the generalizations we made about CAP29 in previous threads, and particularly note the sprites in our match-up list as the foundation for this discussion:

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:
:Clefable::Landorus-Therian::Toxapex::Blissey::Slowbro::Nidoking::Colossoil::Amoonguss::Hippowdon:
  • 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:
:Cinderace::Equilibra::Magearna::Slowking-Galar::Tomohawk::Tornadus-Therian::Dragapult::Garchomp::Heatran::Hydreigon::Krilowatt::rillaboom::Tyranitar::Zapdos::Kerfluffle::Latios::Excadrill::Moltres::Aegislash::Cawmodore::Corviknight::Cyclohm::Hawlucha::Pajantom::Swampert::Arghonaut::dracozolt::Gastrodon::Stratagem::Venusaur:
  • 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.

Now, here's everything we've learned about CAP29 since we've made these generalizations:

  • We know that CAP29 is Poison/Dark type, which will significantly impact some of these natural Color Change match-ups, and hardly impact others. Remember that we have Color Change as our only ability, so a mon that might struggle against this typing initially might be able to circumvent it due to Color Change.
  • We know that CAP29's relationship with Astrolotl is going to change from our initial generalizations (Concept Assessment 3). Now that the metagame has settled a bit more since CA3, let's try to firm up our match-up with Astrolotl throughout this thread.
  • We also know the following moves that will be in CAP29's movepool (required), or could potentially end up in our movepool (optional). I'd encourage you to solely focus on required moves at this stage, as we cannot make any reasonable assumptions about optional moves at this time. CAP29 could end up with all of them, or none of them. Stick to the information we 100% know at this time, which would be required moves.
    • Required: Calm Mind, Consistent 50% Recovery (Recover and it's clones, alongside Roost), Sludge Bomb, Dark Pulse
    • Optional: Coil, Strength Sap, Gunk Shot, Knock Off, Scald, Ice Beam

Let's start with the most obvious category: switch-ins. As defined in the OP, this is "a list of Pokemon on which we should be able to have a easy time switching in and then forcing them out, more than once in a game. This doesn't mean that we should be able to come into any of their moves, just their most commonly used ones." With that definition in mind, let me post our initial questions for Threats Discussion:

1) Against which Pokemon sets should CAP29 be able to switch-in for free by virtue of its typing? This is as good of a time as any to remind you to use the CAP Viability Rankings thread to get an idea of which Pokemon (and sets) to bring up for discussion here.​
2) Against which Pokemon sets should CAP29 be able to force out by virtue of its required defining moves? STAB in particular is worth considering here, but the threat of CM could potentially force some slower special attackers out, for example.​
3) Are there Pokemon from our current match-up list (under Generalizations above) that Color Change has a natural advantage against that we should officially add to our switch-in list? Why do you think they should be added to our switch-in list, despite our initial typing and required moves not giving us an advantage? Asked another way: which viable Pokemon sets are immediately threatened by CAP29 switch-in solely by the fact that it has Color Change?​

For this thread please try to always talk about specific sets, as there are many Pokemon that might need very different approaches depending on their moves. In particular, it's important to note any choiced mons, as their relationship with Color Change can be volatile depending on the move they're trapped into. Any set that uses an offensive pivoting move (voltturn) is also going to have a natural advantage against those that don't against CAP29. And as per our discussion in Concept Assessment 1 and Ability Discussion, some opponents' sets will have an offensive move that leads into another SE offensive move, so it's important to differentiate those sets from the ones that don't offer that combo.

This thread will likely run for seven days, with two days being allocated to switch-ins and pressure respectively, while the last three will be devoted to discussing our checks and counters, which might be kind of tricky due to the variety of boosting sets we could feasibly run at this time. Press on!
 
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Sheer force is a super jank ability because many things that you wouldn’t think count as secondary effects are considered secondary effects by the game, with the most famous example being life orb recoil. One of these many weird interactions is that moves affected by Sheer Force don’t activate the target’s Color Change ability, which means that Nidoking cannot use its excellent coverage to mess with us.

We lose anyway because it has STAB Earth Power.

If not for this one little annoyance, Nidoking would be a perfect Pokémon to bring 29 in against and set up in front of. Unfortunately, I highly doubt we will have the bulk to stomach its Earth Power, considering that even Toxapex crumbles to it. So that’s one nifty way of getting in that we can’t use... shame.
 
1) Against which Pokemon sets should CAP29 be able to switch-in for free by virtue of its typing?
  • :rillaboom: (Banded variant): we resist moost of the commonly run moves (Grassy Glide/Wood Hammer/Knock Off), and are U-turn neutral. Wood Hammer's feasibility is admittedly dependent on bulk, but it often be clicking Grassy Glide, and we get to keep our typing on Knock Off.
  • :Slowbro: and :slowking: (assuming we are Calm Mind): we are initially neutral to Scald and resist it if they continue to click it.
  • :slowking-galar: (assuming we are Calm Mind): We resist and get to keep our typing on Sludge Bomb, in
  • :toxapex: : its three most common attacking moves (Scald, Knock Off, and Poison Jab) are all self-resistant and will be weak due to its low special attack, and two of them will allow us to keep our typing.
  • :arghonaut: : This is admittedly more of a technicality, as we resist Knock Off and keep our typing to prevent a super-effective combo into Circle Throw, but Circle Throw still sends us right back out, and Unaware means it won't be phased by our boosting.
  • :amoonguss: : we resist both of its attacks on switch-in, get to keep our typing on a Sludge Bomb, and absorb Toxic, although Spore is obviously a problem and coming in on Giga Drain means we need to get a boost up to prevent Sludge Bomb from chunking us out of Recover range.
  • :tapu lele: and :latios: (Choiced variants) : Grouping these together because their cases are essentially the same. This is entirely based on typing, as we are easily able to come in on Psychic/Psyshock for free, although neutral hits without the extra special defense from Calm Mind will definitely hurt.
  • :jumbao: (Scarf and supportive variants) : Again, purely based on typing, we should easily be able to tank a predicted Leaf Storm due to our resistance. Neutral scarf hits still hurt, though more manageable than the two Psychics. Defensive sets don't invest in SpA nearly as much, making it a lot easier to stomach neutral Moonblasts.
  • :kartana: (choice variants): Purely on typing, we easily tank Leaf Blade, and resist and keep our typing on Knock Off. Neutral hits sting as usual.
  • :mandibuzz: While we do get U-turned on, we get to keep our typing for free against Knock Off/Foul Play.
2) Against which Pokemon sets should CAP29 be able to force out by virtue of its required defining moves?
  • :tapu lele: and :latios: choice locked into a Psychic move should be pretty helpless against Sludge Bomb in the former's case and Dark Pulse in the latter's case.
  • :jumbao: being choice locked into Leaf Storm should already be switching out, but we threaten it out with Sludge Bomb for good measure (even unboosted). Defensive sets are a more solid force-out due to hitting weaker with Moonblast.
  • :slowbro: is threatened immediately by Dark Pulse (especially if we somehow keep STAB). :slowking: doesn't take nearly as much initially, but it needs to be wary of being set up on, at which point Dark Pulse becomes more threatening.
  • :slowking-galar: has the option of linking a Fire move into a Water move, but it fears getting set up on and threatened out by Dark Pulse.
  • :rillaboom: choice locked into a Grass move or Knock Off can be forced out on an unboosted Sludge Bomb alone.
  • :tapu fini: and :tapu koko: don't like eating even an unboosted Sludge Bomb.
  • Non-Haze variants of :toxapex: are setup bait and definitely want to switch out, but otherwise isn't threatened up front by our required moves.
  • :mandibuzz: is a weird case. It can't really do anything to us and we could theoretically set up in its face if it doesn't have U-turn, but U-turn is already a good move against a Color Change Pokemon and it would prefer to click it to get out of the situation anyways. It's technically a force -out, but not a super convincing one.
3) Are there Pokemon from our current match-up list (under Generalizations above) that Color Change has a natural advantage against that we should officially add to our switch-in list?
I would definitely add :Slowbro: and :Slowking-Galar: to the list. I think :Jumbao: can also fall here, as we can deal with defensive variants relatively easily and take moves from Scarf variants. :Slowking: is a bit awkward because it can just teleport out and let Regenerator remove most (if not all) from an unboosted Dark Pulse, but it otherwise gets set up on and Teleport is less directly impactful on us than U-turn is (as we don't change type). I would also argue for :Mandibuzz:, as it can't do anything to us other than U-turning out.
I'm not so sure about :Rillaboom:, as its ability to chunk us with Banded U-turn and bring in one of many Pokemon with moves to hit Bug types, or smash us on an SD Grassy Seed set, is not good. I'm also shaky on :tapu lele: and :latios:, as getting in on Choice variants is reliant on predicting a Psychic move (especially for Choice Specs) and Life Orb variants may be able to put the hurt on us regardless.

EDIT: Since no one has posted since I made this, I'll make a few edits:
I think I'm fine with leaving Band :Rillaboom: off the switch-in list. We will often be switching in on a move we already know we resist (especially the most common move in Grassy Glide), and as mentioned before, Rillaboom does not want to be in to take a Sludge Bomb. However, it is very difficult to get out of an encounter with Wood Hammer in even decent shape without unrealistic amounts of bulk, and getting U-turned on is not fun.
I think :Latios: is too shaky to be a safe switch-in, as it's basically a lottery of whether it clicks Draco Meteor or not when you switch in. I think the likelihood we survive two Draco Meteors from any common set (i.e. Specs/Life Orb/Scarf) is too low unless we invest in both HP and Special Defense (HP is probably not enough). The other moves commonly run on Latios (Aura Sphere, Mystical Fire, and obviously Psychic/Psyshock) are more doable, but being at risk of an OHKO (to Specs) or a 2HKO (to Life Orb/Scarf) by a mon that we likely won't outspeed makes me think this is not suited for the switch-in list.
:Tapu Lele: is a massive tossup. If we're slower than Timid 252 EV, Scarf (or Boots) has the lowest damage output, and Focus Blast is a fairly safe move to come in on, but trying to navigate around Moonblast could be dangerous. Life Orb can potentially outright kill by because it can switch moves, and Choice Specs can potentially 2HKO on a non-Psychic move. Our Scarf matchup doesn't change if we outspeed instead (since we won't try to run Scarf to match), but we are capable of doing more to the Specs set and Life Orb set with Sludge Bomb. Either way, this matchup is too shaky to consistently be in the switch-in list.
I'm also going to add (non-Toxic versions of) :torkoal:. The entirely possible scenario of coming in on a Lava Plume/Body Press/Rapid Spin and getting hit with Toxic afterward puts us on a timer that is pretty limiting to us without proper team support. Otherwise, it isn't really capable of doing much to us, and we can boost up in its face.
:Toxapex: is really uncomfortable because it will have something to mess with us unless it doesn't have Haze AND can't change our type and Toxic us, and it's extremely unlikely we'll run into that. Even though it would be ridiculously easy to set up otherwise, I don't feel like sets that lack the tools that otherwise really cripple or annoy us are common enough for us to put it in the switch-in list.
 
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1) Against which Pokemon sets should CAP29 be able to switch-in for free by virtue of its typing? This is as good of a time as any to remind you to use the CAP Viability Rankings thread to get an idea of which Pokemon (and sets) to bring up for discussion here.
I have a hard time extensively naming pokemon we can get in for truly free against, because even something like mandibuzz or rillaboom can u-turn as we switch in––the majority of times we come in will probably be on predictions or via pivoting moves. However, if we don't assume worst-case scenario (u-turning out as we switch), then cap29 is a perfectly fine switchin for those two mons due to our poison/dark typing; slowking, slowking galar, slowbro, clefable, ferrothorn, tyranitar, kartana, jumbao, amoonguss, and skarmory are some more pokemon that we should do okay against when switching in by virtue of our initial typing. Kjn's list above me is also very good and encompasses a lot of the same mons. I want to emphasize again, though, that so many of these mons can turn the tables on us if we switch in on a misprediction or if our opponent has the right teammates; for example, tyranitar can superpower->toxic, slowking can scald->tp into rillaboom or a toxic user, clefable may be able to out-cm us if we aren't running sludge bomb, and amoonguss can spore if it hasn't put something to sleep already. These matchups are even more questionable depending on how our stats + other coverage rolls out, as we may be unable to threaten, say, tyranitar enough to force it out, or have the defense to eat hits from banded kartana or rillaboom. So I feel that pretty much everything on this list is going to be shaky, but we at least have the potential to switch in against all of them fairly consistently.
2) Against which Pokemon sets should CAP29 be able to force out by virtue of its required defining moves? STAB in particular is worth considering here, but the threat of CM could potentially force some slower special attackers out, for example.
I think rillaboom, clefable, slowking, slowking galar, slowbro, tapu fini, tapu koko, jumbao, and mandibuzz should usually be forced out by the threat of our initial stab or the threat of turning them into setup fodder. I could also see mons like zapdos, cyclohm, or kyurem not want to stay in on us, if we are able to outspeed and use cm first. Many common physical attackers may also be forced out by the threat of a scald burn depending on how much physical bulk we have and what their interaction with color change is. The majority of this category is naturally going to overlap a lot with the list from the first question, though, just because of the connection between our initial typing and our stabs being defining moves.

3) Are there Pokemon from our current match-up list (under Generalizations above) that Color Change has a natural advantage against that we should officially add to our switch-in list? Why do you think they should be added to our switch-in list, despite our initial typing and required moves not giving us an advantage? Asked another way: which viable Pokemon sets are immediately threatened by CAP29 switch-in solely by the fact that it has Color Change?
I agree with kj that the slowtwins, slowking galar, and jumbao are all pretty safe to add to our switch-in list. Mandibuzz and ferrothorn are also safe enough, despite the fact that mandi can slow-pivot out and ferro's leech seed/potentially twave is a bit annoying for us. Things like rillaboom, kartana, zeraora, victini, barraskewda, melmetal, and urshifu-r will largely depend our level of physical bulk, but I think adding rilla+kart+zeraora should be okay. Honestly I think slow pivots are one of cap29's biggest weaknesses so it feels a bit strange to list them in this category, but at the same time these mons can't really do anything to us by themselves either, so there isn't really a strong reason not to list them as switch-ins if they fit the criteria.
 

quziel

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Minor post again cause I'm busy as all hell.

I believe we should have a fairly short but impactful Guaranteed Switchin list based on our chosen typing and Color Change.

This list should be a short list of mons that our base typing lets us answer well. I believe Choice Band Rillaboom, Assault Vest Slowking-Galar, and Spikes Astrolotl are three very viable pokemon that we have a very solid matchup against based purely on Color Change and our Base typing. These are all three highly ranked pokemon that we should endeavor to focus on, are very achievable based on the attributes we know so far, and regardless of our stats we should be able to answer fairly well. I don't believe we need a switch-in list significantly longer than this.

I believe this list should be fairly short as well, frankly, we don't know a huge amount of the impact of Color Change, and I would like a fair bit of freedom in upcoming stages that would not exist with a lengthy list here. If we make the list too long then it will be difficulty to have a lot of design space in the Stats stage, so I am in favor of a shorter list. The above pokemon represent the full spectrum of how CC/Typing interact, and having them listed implies a lot more stuff.
 

Voltage

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I am in favor of making the Guaranteed switch in list be VERY explicit. In past processes, we could be a little more lenient and flexible with how we wanted certain CAPs to threaten mons as a whole, but I think with the nature of Color Change, we will have to compensate by outright stating which sets from specific Pokemon we would like to be able to answer. I like Quziel's suggestion of having us be able to switch into CB Rillaboom compared to SD Rilla for example. This works well by virtue of typing as well.

Speaking of type based switch-ins, kj has compiled a very explicit list and I'm a big fan of it outside of maybe the choice of Arghonaut and Mandibuzz. I think it's very clear that a lot of the Pokemon that we'd be able to switch into are usually mons that are somehow Choice-locked into self-resisting STAB moves. I think this is probably the best basis to build off of when constructing our list of GSI. That being said, I would again like to refer to the point that, in my opinion, we'll need to be very explicitly stating which SETS we're switching into here (i.e. Scarf Kartana vs. SD Kartana). I think length-wise though, the GSI list should be shorter that KJ's first list, if only because, again to parrot quziel, it's imperative that we still leave flexibility in the later stage of the process.
 

Birkal

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I am in favor of making the Guaranteed switch in list be VERY explicit. In past processes, we could be a little more lenient and flexible with how we wanted certain CAPs to threaten mons as a whole, but I think with the nature of Color Change, we will have to compensate by outright stating which sets from specific Pokemon we would like to be able to answer.
I agree with this notion, especially since we know more about CAP29 than we've known about all previous CAPs (we have a typing and an ability). I think this will give 2spoopy4u and our stats contributors a firmer ground to stand on as they start discussing limits and eventually submissions.
As a reminder, we're attempting to make a list here that follows the following criteria:

"A list of Pokemon on which we should be able to have a easy time switching in and then forcing them out, more than once in a game. This doesn't mean that we should be able to come into any of their moves, just their most commonly used ones."​

This list doesn't have to be particularly big either; Astrolotl had six, and Miasmaw had seven (and only two of them were considered consistently safe switch-ins). Any mons we choose to not put on this list will likely pop up in our discussion on Pressure threats next. With that all in mind, I'm going to share a preliminary switch-ins list based on the feedback above. Let's use this as a "first draft" to discuss what we think should be added and removed before it gets finalized. As per points brought up by kjnjkmjk1 and 2spoopy4u, there are a good chunk of Pokemon that we switch into just fine, but they can still pivot out of us with relative ease. This puts us in a negative position, but it doesn't exclude us from switching in on them either. Therefore, this preliminary list is going to be split up into two categories:

Safe Switch-Ins
:slowking: Slowking​
:slowbro: Slowbro​
:slowking-galar: AV Slowking-Galar​
:jumbao: Jumbao​
:kartana: Choiced Kartana​

Offensive Pivoting Switch-Ins
:rillaboom: Choice Band Rillaboom​
:mandibuzz: Mandibuzz​
:tapu-koko: Tapu Koko​

Again, I have to emphasize that this list is a preliminary, draft culmination of the above discussion. Slowbro and Slowking are both going to struggle to do anything meaningful to our CM set, and AV has to resort to predicting the switch-in with a coverage move. Jumbao is very threatened by our STAB and ultimately can't do much to us either. CB Rillaboom has been brought up endlessly for this CAP, so it feels disingenuous to not have it listed here somehow, which is where I think having a second category helps. We can also slot Mandibuzz, Tapu Koko, and potentially other mons into this list as well.

So I'd like to see some discussion on the above list, but also on the following mons brought up by the previous posters:

Choice Band vs Choice Scarf Kartana - It's pretty clear that Scarf Kartana is a safe switch-in for us, but should we mandate Band as well? Why or why not?​
Ferrothorn - There's not a whole lot ferro can do to us, but are Twave and Leech Seed threatening enough to keep it off our list?​
Astrolotl - quziel just brought this one up, and there's been some good debate throughout this process how we should handle it. We like switching in on Fire Lash and Spikes, its two prominent moves, but the uncertainty of its other moves doesn't inspire confidence, and we don't like many of them (twave, encore, or tantrum). Should we intentionally put it on our safe switch-in lists?​
Amoonguss - Is Spore a big enough deal to keep this off our safe switch-ins list?​
Latios & Tapu Lele (Choiced) - Some of this seems to be prediction-based on choiced psychic moves. Do we think we need enough initial special defense (or speed to CM first on specs) to make it worth putting these mons on our safe switch-ins?​
Torkoal - Same as Amoongus: is Toxic enough to keep this off our safe switch-ins list?​
Zeraora - I think this fits perfectly next to Rillaboom, but only one person brought it up (spoo). Anyone wanna agree or disagree with this one?​
Feel free to debate anything on either of these above two lists, or bring up any other mons not yet mentioned. We're planning on moving into Pressure mons tomorrow, but if the conversation is hot enough, I'd be happy to extend that deadline by a day or two.

EDIT: Quick note that kjnjkmjk1 brought up a great point on Discord (y'all should jooooooin) that my initial questions didn't specifically ask for which Pokemon you think should end up on our switch-ins list. That's a lack of clarity on my part, apologies! Ideally, you can just put that below your answers to Questions 1 through 3 (or anywhere, really), because our switch-ins will likely be a combination of the answers we have to all three of those questions (they're mons that we come into for free, can force out, and don't overly abuse Color Change). Ultimately, you get to choose how to structure your posts however you'd like. But to be clear: yes, I am very interested to hear which Pokemon y'all believe should be on our switch-in list. My mistake for not being crystal clear!
 
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So, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if kartana is really worth leaving on our switchin list after all. Just to illustrate the difference between checking band kart and scarf kart, if we have eg 80 HP with max investment and no defense investment, our defense stat will need to be 48 points higher to live two banded sacred swords vs two scarfed sacred swords, with a 42 point difference in living two smart strikes. This isn't to suggest specific stat benchmarks or anything, more just to quickly illustrate the magnitude of difference between switching into band vs scarf sets. There's also the issue of being able to force it out once we switch in, which, given our defining moves, isn't a trivial feat right now. I think it's too constraining to expect us to check banded kartana reliably, and SD with knock/leaf blade/synth (probably its most common set) is not an immediately positive matchup, while checking only scarfed sets of kartana (least common variant ime) isn't enough to merit putting the mon on our switchin list imo. Taking it off the switchin list will only grant us more freedom and I'm not sure if the single set of scarfed kart is relevant enough in the first place to leave it on.

I do believe ferrothorn is a safe matchup for us though; it can't change our typing with knock, and power whip is self resistant + it denies leech seed, which already is just more of an annoyance than a real problem. Thunder wave is the most problematic move ferro could run for us, but it's a fairly rare move bc leech seed recovery is usually too important to pass up. I also want to mention clefable again, because it would be a shame if we didn't focus on the mon and ended up situationally losing to CM sets, and utility sets are already perfect switchin opportunities. As for astrolotl, I could probably be persuaded either way; on one hand, we theoretically match up well against it because its only attacking move is weak and self resistant, however, a set of lash/encore/twave is really annoying for a bulky setup sweeper like us. I agree with the notion that we should absolutely dedicate some focus to beating the mon in later stages, but I also think it's hard to argue that our matchup against astro is as positive as something like galarking, so it feels a bit wrong for them to be in the same category. Right now I'm leaning towards leaving the mon off of switchins, but like I said, I could be persuaded the other way.

I think the preliminary switchin list is accurate so far, and there are a couple mons that technically fit the criteria to be added, namely ferro/clef/zeraora. However, I think it's also important to circle back to quziel's earlier point about having a very selective list of guaranteed switchins in order to guarantee freedom in later stages. There are certainly a number of mons that would make sense for us to switch into, but the question is if adding them is worth whatever restrictions they will impose on movesets and especially stats. So, while I'm arguing here for the consideration of a few more mons, I'm not necessarily arguing for them to be added to the list yet. I don't 100% agree with the full list of mons that quziel proposed for our switchin list, but I definitely support having a shorter list in general, so it will be important to examine how much design space is kept free by leaving certain technically-fitting pokemon off of our list.
 
Choice Band vs Choice Scarf Kartana - It's pretty clear that Scarf Kartana is a safe switch-in for us, but should we mandate Band as well? Why or why not?​
Ferrothorn - There's not a whole lot ferro can do to us, but are Twave and Leech Seed threatening enough to keep it off our list?​
Astrolotl - quziel just brought this one up, and there's been some good debate throughout this process how we should handle it. We like switching in on Fire Lash and Spikes, its two prominent moves, but the uncertainty of its other moves doesn't inspire confidence, and we don't like many of them (twave, encore, or tantrum). Should we intentionally put it on our safe switch-in lists?​
Amoonguss - Is Spore a big enough deal to keep this off our safe switch-ins list?​
Latios & Tapu Lele (Choiced) - Some of this seems to be prediction-based on choiced psychic moves. Do we think we need enough initial special defense (or speed to CM first on specs) to make it worth putting these mons on our safe switch-ins?​
Torkoal - Same as Amoongus: is Toxic enough to keep this off our safe switch-ins list?​
Zeraora - I think this fits perfectly next to Rillaboom, but only one person brought it up (spoo). Anyone wanna agree or disagree with this one?​
I think a fair bit of this also hinges wholly on what our stat distribution ends up looking like. There’s not too much that we can say for what our initial switchin matchup would look like for some of these, solely because we don’t know what our bulk is going to look like yet. Are we going to be naturally physically bulky with enhanced special bulk via CM? Are we going to be more specially bulky than physical? What about our HP? These factors very much play into whether or not we’re able to more viably switch in to mons like Latios/Lele/Glowking/etc. vs Rillaboom/Zeraora/Kartana/etc.

On the subject of Kartana, the matter of Band vs Scarf also plays into what our eventual bulk will look like. Any neutral hit from banded Kart is gonna chunk us one way or another, but if we’re significantly physically bulky then it’s less of an issue. Taking a T-Wave from Ferro also may hamper us less if we’re not naturally speedy. The main thing is that we just don’t know what a lot of these matchups will look like yet, even off the basis of initial typing. I think keeping the list small is within our best interest, so that we don’t limit future stages for the process. I like the idea of focusing on common mons in the meta like Rillaboom, Astro, Glowking, etc. for our matchups, but that’s just me.
 
I want to echo 2spoopy4u on Clefable, especially utility Clefable, as a Pokemon that can't do all that much to us and that we can threaten out with Sludge Bomb/set up on mostly for free. Without Thunder Wave, the most it can do is Moonblast -> Knock Off -> Moonblast in order to try to get super effective damage on us, at which point we will presumably be set up enough to shrug off the hit.
The big question here is how much we're affected by Thunder Wave, and I agree with thundergoos that this is a rather stat-dependent question. I'll even add that it depends on how our threats list comes out. If our ability to deal with a lot of Pokemon we expect to beat depends on outspeeding them to avoid taking more hard hits (in particular, thinking of how even resisted Banded Wood Hammer from Rillaboom is extremely hard to take if we can't outspeed), then Thunder Wave becomes very crippling. On the other hand, if it only affects a small number of matchups, then Thunder Wave is more of an annoyance. This also plays into matchups like Ferrothorn; I think Leech Seed is mildly concerning, since it corners us into recovering more often, but the presence of Recover in the first place means we can offset any extra damage from Leech Seed, and Ferrothorn can't do much to us otherwise.
Our list of switchins so far isn't so speed dependent (except the aforementioned Rillaboom), so I'd say it doesn't have a large effect now. I do think it's worth gauging as we proceed, though.

To weigh in on a few other things:
I don't think Latios is salvagable as a switch-in. Outspeeding Latios isn't out of the realm of possibility, but it also seems rather unlikely unless we're willing to commit to full investment and positive nature, and we would need hefty special bulk (or a lot of investment) in order to avoid a 2HKO from Draco Meteor otherwise.
Tapu Lele is more doable all around if we try to out, but I'm not sure enough that we could reasonably put it on the switch-in list. We need base 127 speed to outspeed Timid max investment non-Scarf Lele with a positiive nature and no investment of our own, or 111 with full investment neutral nature (Lele's base speed is 95). Being able to take Moonblast (the most dangerous move we can run into) from Scarf well enough to set up and threaten it out is certainly less restricting on the stats than Latios, but it's still kind of dicey (about 95/95 special bulk to fully dodge the 2HKO with 252 HP EVs/0 SpD EVs, about 104/104 to fully dodge it with rocks up) and at that point I question how freely we can actually come in.
Zeraora is kind of weird. The most viable combination it can pull off is move that changes our type -> Knock Off -> Close Combat, which is definitely capable of at least forcing us into recovering, but its STAB is self-resisting, Knock Off means we can keep our type at the outset, and Close Combat by itself doesn't sting too much (assuming our physical bulk isn't too bad). I'd be OK with putting it in the offensive pivoting switch-ins list, although I agree with thundergoos that how safe this actually is is a bit stat dependent.

EDIT:
Thought of a few other things.
The Amoonguss matchup is a bit awkward from both sides. We are just as crippled as most other Pokemon in switching directly into Spore. We also have the dubious distinction of taking a decent chunk from a Giga Drain/Sludge Bomb combination in a 1v1, although it wouldn't be difficult to recover off the damage once we wake up. Amoonguss is also very capable of running Toxic, although it can block itself from doing so if it uses Sludge Bomb, can't do it while we're asleep, and we of course block it on the switch. In the end, it doesn't really pose an immediate danger, but we don't force it out immediately, and it'll likely leave us crippled when it switches out. I would like to see more conversation on this, but right now I don't feel super safe about it.
Having dug through replays from the seasonal, I'm still not sure how common Toxic is on Torkoal. I've seen one instance of Toxic being revealed on a Torkoal, and one instance of a Torkoal revealing all four moves and none of them being Toxic (set was Lava Plume/Rapid Spin/Body Press/Stealth Rock). Every other instance, the battle ended without Torkoal revealing Toxic or all four moves. I'd like some more opinions on this, but I think Toxic is a pretty big dealbreaker for us without proper team support because Calm Mind likely doesn't give us enough immediate power to just power through, and Torkoal is certainly capable of tanking a couple hits to change our type, then hit the Toxic. The fact that it is incapable of doing much to us otherwise makes me want to just separate the two and put non-Toxic Torkoal on the list, but I'm not sure that's a distinction actually worth making.
I don't feel super sure about putting Astrolotl on the list. It thankfully can't Toxic us, but there are many ways it can annoy us through the various moves it has (Taunt to prevent setup and healing, Thunder Wave to status us, Encore to lock us into a status move and provide a safe switch), and Fire Lash's defense drop both means that it's easier for another Pokemon to immediately force us out upon coming in, and that it and Stomping Tantrum can come out to be a dangerous combo if we don't invest in defense. I think this falls in the Amoonguss group of "doesn't pose an immediate threat, but we don't force it out immediately, and it will likely leave us crippled".
 
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I want to echo 2spoopy4u on Clefable, especially utility Clefable, as a Pokemon that can't do all that much to us and that we can threaten out with Sludge Bomb/set up on mostly for free. Without Thunder Wave, the most it can do is Moonblast -> Knock Off -> Moonblast in order to try to get super effective damage on us, at which point we will presumably be set up enough to shrug off the hit.
The big question here is how much we're affected by Thunder Wave, and I agree with thundergoos that this is a rather stat-dependent question. I'll even add that it depends on how our threats list comes out. If our ability to deal with a lot of Pokemon we expect to beat depends on outspeeding them to avoid taking more hard hits (in particular, thinking of how even resisted Banded Wood Hammer from Rillaboom is extremely hard to take if we can't outspeed), then Thunder Wave becomes very crippling. On the other hand, if it only affects a small number of matchups, then Thunder Wave is more of an annoyance. This also plays into matchups like Ferrothorn; I think Leech Seed is mildly concerning, since it corners us into recovering more often, but the presence of Recover in the first place means we can offset any extra damage from Leech Seed, and Ferrothorn can't do much to us otherwise.
Our list of switchins so far isn't so speed dependent (except the aforementioned Rillaboom), so I'd say it doesn't have a large effect now. I do think it's worth gauging as we proceed, though.

To weigh in on a few other things:
I don't think Latios is salvagable as a switch-in. Outspeeding Latios isn't out of the realm of possibility, but it also seems rather unlikely unless we're willing to commit to full investment and positive nature, and we would need hefty special bulk (or a lot of investment) in order to avoid a 2HKO from Draco Meteor otherwise.
Tapu Lele is more doable all around if we try to out, but I'm not sure enough that we could reasonably put it on the switch-in list. We need base 127 speed to outspeed Timid max investment non-Scarf Lele with a positiive nature and no investment of our own, or 111 with full investment neutral nature (Lele's base speed is 95). Being able to take Moonblast (the most dangerous move we can run into) from Scarf well enough to set up and threaten it out is certainly less restricting on the stats than Latios, but it's still kind of dicey (about 95/95 special bulk to fully dodge the 2HKO with 252 HP EVs/0 SpD EVs, about 104/104 to fully dodge it with rocks up) and at that point I question how freely we can actually come in.
Zeraora is kind of weird. The most viable combination it can pull off is move that changes our type -> Knock Off -> Close Combat, which is definitely capable of at least forcing us into recovering, but its STAB is self-resisting, Knock Off means we can keep our type at the outset, and Close Combat by itself doesn't sting too much (assuming our physical bulk isn't too bad). I'd be OK with putting it in the offensive pivoting switch-ins list, although I agree with thundergoos that how safe this actually is is a bit stat dependent.
I agree with a lot of why kj says here. Just as a note, Knock into CC doesn’t actually work, as we will retain our Poison typing on a Knock, which really makes CAP 29 have a pretty positive matchup into Zera.
 

Birkal

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Let's move forward here. I chatted with the TLT about this, and they advised me to combine the above lists into one. I think that's a wise idea, since the purpose of this list is to give our stats contributors a baseline to start constructing CAP29's stats. Please note that this list is hardly definitive; there will be more Pokemon that CAP29 switches into reliably and forces out by the time it makes it into the metagame. These are just the ones we found, as a community, to be the most relevant.

Switch-Ins
:slowking: Slowking
:slowbro: Slowbro
:slowking-galar: AV Slowking-Galar
:ferrothorn: Ferrothorn
:clefable: Utility Clefable
:rillaboom: Choice Band Rillaboom
:mandibuzz: Mandibuzz
:zeraora: Zeraora​

Jumbao was omitted from this list due to its continue drop in viability in the current metagame, although it is still a fairly safe switch-in for us, it's just not entirely relevant for our stat submitters to do gymnastics to accommodate its offenses. Torkoal was removed for the same reason as Amoonguss: status can definitely be a hinderance to us, but otherwise these mons don't have any meaningful calculations for us in the next stages. Tapu Koko and Band Kartana were removed for similar reasons to Jumbao, as spoo explained nicely above. Scarf Kartana is a good switch-in for us, but again it's not going to make or break our calculations. kjn brought up good points about Latios and Tapu Lele being overly restrictive to our Special Defense, so they've been removed. As we move forward, this list might change based on what we ultimately decide. But for now, these eight sets should be more than enough for us to focus on.

Now for our second category: pressure. As per the OP, "The list of Pokemon that might threaten us, but should not be able to switch in easily. They should not be able to check us easily." This might tie-in to some of the mons that we discussed earlier in this thread, but ultimately decided to exclude from our switch-ins list. Similarly, it also might include mons from our natural Color Change advantages list. Use both of those (and your own experience) as resources to answer the following question(s):

4) Which Pokemon will struggle to switch-in on us easily due to our Defining Moves? Which Pokemon will not be able to check us easily due to Color Change and our initial typing? Which Pokemon in the current metagame would we like to pressure with CAP29's presence, both in battle and in team preview?

This discussion will go on for roughly another forty eight hours. You can discuss the above question(s), any of the previous three questions, or bring up any other points you find relevant to threats discussion.
 
4) Which Pokemon will struggle to switch-in on us easily due to our Defining Moves? Which Pokemon will not be able to check us easily due to Color Change and our initial typing? Which Pokemon in the current metagame would we like to pressure with CAP29's presence, both in battle and in team preview?
Theses Pokémon mostly should not switch in on at least one of our required moves easily, due to being threatened by a SE attack.
:Slowking::Clefable::Dragapult::Slowking-Galar::Rillaboom::Slowbro::Kerfluffle::Latios::Pajantom::Tapu Fini::Aegislash::Jumbao::Tapu Koko::Tapu Lele::Victini:
That Said some of these Match ups aren’t clear cut. :Slowking:and:Slowking-Galar:are incredibly bulky on the Special side, which means they still might take an unboosted Dark Pulse, without immediately being in trouble.
:Slowking-Galar:also resists Sludge Bomb, which can give it a solid switch in depending, which of our defining moves we are actually running. The same goes for:Clefable::Dragapult::Kerfluffle::Pajantom::Tapu Fini::Aegislash:Jumbao:Tapu Koko:and:Tapu Lele:

These Pokémon should have Trouble checking 29 most of the time:
:Slowking::Slowking-Galar::Rillaboom:(Choice Band):Slowbro::Ferrothorn::Corviknight::Mandibuzz::Cyclohm:(sets without dragon moves):Kyurem:(SubRoost):Tapu Koko::Regieleki::Victini:
Although 29 should be able to beat thes Pokémon 1v1, most of these have access to pivoting moves, that make it harder for 29 to deal with them.
In addition to these I want to mention utility:Clefable:and:Toxapex:(without Haze)as well as:Suicune: as mons that we might be able to beat, depending on stats and moves.

I think the Slow family, Rillaboom and defensive Fairies should be our main pressure targets. Additionally I think that we should try to beat defensively oriented mons, that don’t have the fire power to immediately deal with 29, rather than focusing on the choice locked mons we initially made out as good matchups. Since our typing doesn’t have a lot of initial resists to these choice breakers, I think we have to forfeit these matchups.
 
CAP 29 presents multiple mons that are pressured to switch into it, in part thanks to its Dark/Poison typing that helps pressure many of the Ghost and Fairy types that Color Change doesnt like to deal with. Some that I noticed are:

:Dragapult:: Dragapult is not only a fierce attacker that utilizes the two types Color Change fears the most, but also has U-turn, another move that has been stated to be an issue for Color Change. However, Dragapult also dislikes coming in on Dark Pulse, regardless of STAB or not.

:Pajantom:: Similar to Dragapult, Pajantom trades speed and U-turn for bulk, as well as an added immunity to Sludge Bomb's poison. However, taking a Dark Pulse still isnt fun.

:Kerfluffle:: While Kerfluffle fears Sludge Bomb, its ability to hit the one-two punch of fighting STAB into Fairy, or even to just spam Neutral hit after hit with either of its STAB's puts 29 on edge.

:Latios:: Similarly to the previous Dragons, Latios's Draco Meteor scares 29 regardless of the special attack drop, and mystical fire is annoying for 29, but psychic immunity along with weakness to Dark Pulse along with neutrality to a Sludge Bomb and its poison keeps Latios afraid.

:Aegislash:: Aegislash has the best advantage of the Ghosts against 29's type, with an immunity to Sludge Bomb and solid defenses to stave off Dark Pulse. However, Aegislashes low speed means that 29 can outspeed and hit Aegislash with multiple Dark Pulses to deter it.

:Tapu Koko::Tapu Lele::Tapu Fini:: These three all share a similar matchup against 29, with each having Neutral fairy STAB offset by a weakness to poison, as well as a self-resistant typing. Tapu Fini's Bulk and utility and Tapu Koko's speed and access to U-turn give them strengths against 29, but not to the extent of the previously stated pokemon.

:Rillaboom:: Rillabooms been by far the most talked about pokemon in terms of 29's design process, and although Rilla fears a Sludge Bomb, both the ability to U-turn and its ridiculous power keep 29 on its toes.
 
I think our ability to threaten things is pretty drastically affected by losing STAB, some of this is also stat dependent. However, just being able to land super effective damage does allow us to make some Pokemon more scared of coming in on us, even without STAB.
I would definitely say that most of the meta-relevant Fairies that haven't already been listed should belong on the Pressure list, as most of them dislike taking even an unboosted non-STAB Sludge Bomb. This includes Jumbao :jumbao:, Kerfluffle:kerfluffle:, and Tapu Lele:tapu lele:. Tapu Fini:tapu fini: is a bit iffier because of its natural bulk, but it can't easily recover off Sludge Bomb damage and has a harder time doing damage to us if we boost on it. We already mentioned Band Rillaboom:Rillaboom:, but its other common variant (Grassy Seed Acrobatics) also hates taking a Sludge Bomb on the switch.
Dark Pulse's weaker power makes some of the Pokemon it hits super effectively more shaky pressure situations, although we can still land decent super effective damage. Aegislash:aegislash: is somewhat in our favor, as offensive sets need to open themselves up to a potential unboosted KO in order to damage us. On the other hand, the SubToxic set could immediately Toxic us, or use a Substitute to take a hit and change our type if necessary before switching forms using King's Shield and clicking Toxic, and we wouldn't be able to easily KO it in Shield Form, although we would likely chunk it in the process. Victini:Victini: is in a somewhat similar position, as it doesn't have a self-weak STAB to open us up with and doesn't appreciate taking multiple Dark Pulses (especially with Rocks up), although it can cripple us by Tricking us a choice item, and V-Create will hurt on the first hit. I would also argue that Kartana:kartana: should be here, as its frailty means it's not much of a reach for us to 2HKO it with even an unboosted, non-STAB Dark Pulse.
Dark Pulse is also somewhat awkward for the Dragons that we would otherwise pressure a lot harder. Dragapult :dragapult: can avoid the 2HKO depending on our special attack and remove us with Draco Meteor/Dragon Darts (although the optional Ice Beam makes the 2HKO a lot easier to secure), and Latios:latios: and Pajantom:pajantom: have even better special bulk and similarly powerful Dragon STABs to smash us with. None of these want to take multiple Dark Pulses, though, which does fit the criteria of the Pressure list.

EDIT:
We got a new viability ranking update. We didn't lose anything from the B- or higher tiers, but we did "gain" four new Pokemon, so I'll go over them.
  • Tangrowth:tangrowth: is probably the most relevant to this stage, as the physically bulky variant can get potentially 2HKO'd by an unboosted non-STAB Sludge Bomb, and, if we keep our base typing, Knock Off allow us to keep our type, while Giga Drain is not very effective. However, Earthquake can be dangerous for us if it gets run, especially when combined with Giga Drain, and it can have Sleep Powder, which makes it a somewhat questionable switch-in. The Assault Vest set takes a lot less from Sludge Bomb while being able to pull off the Earthquake/Giga Drain/Sludge Bomb combo. We can definitely weather it if we Calm Mind immediately to mitigate the damage from its special moves, especially since it won't be particularly difficult to outspeed it, but I think it's a pressure pokemon rather than a switch-in.
  • Scizor:scizor: is an awkward matchup for us. Its most common STAB in Bullet Punch is self-resisted, but it's completely immune to one of our STABs and is capable of just U-turning on us immediately, or setting up alongside us before comboing Knock Off -> U-turn (if our type has been changed before), or even Knock Off -> Superpower or Bullet Punch -> Superpower. One of the common variants is a specially defensive set that we won't likely do a lot to without a lot of boosts, although it can't do much to us besides U-turning out. I don't think it belongs as either a switch-in or a pressure Pokemon.
  • Crucibelle:crucibelle: is in a similar boat to Scizor, although its tendency to run Choice Scarf makes it easier to play around. Gunk Shot is both self-resisting and lets us keep our type, but it quad-resists Sludge Bomb and can Trick us its Choice item or just U-turn out. Raw Rock Slide on its own likely won't do a lot to us, but we can't do a whole lot to it without being set up. I don't think it belongs in either the switch-in or pressure categories.
  • Weavile:weavile: is a really powerful sweeper, to the point where +2 Triple Axel can potentially OHKO (or two Triple Axels from Band/Life Orb can KO us through the resistance from Color Change), assuming no Defense EVs. Icicle Crash doesn't quite reach the same sheer power, but +2 is still capable of 2HKOing with a neutral first hit + resisted second hit. On the other hand, we should be able to take its other moves (weight-dependent on Low Kick), although a neutral Knock Off will still hurt. I'm tempted to draw parallels to Rillaboom, except we don't resist its most powerful STAB to start, it doesn't prefer to click any one move all the time, and it can't pivot on us. I think the lack of predictability and initial neutrality makes it a lot iffier of switch-in than Rillaboom, and the fact that our moves do neutral damage to it and we will probably get outsped doesn't help our case either for pressure.
 
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Birkal

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Here's a compilation of the above posts about Pokemon that CAP29 pressures. Note that I didn't add any Pokemon from our switch-ins list, as we are naturally going to pressure those Pokemon by virtue of us forcing them out. This list is a lot more diverse than our switch-ins list, as we will occasionally have STAB to threaten with, as well as potentially a boost from CM or some other boosting move.

On that note, at least some of this list presumes STAB for CAP29. We'll discuss this more during Stat Limits and Submissions down the line, but losing our STAB due to Color Change can turn a lot of 2HKOs into 3HKOs, or worse. Many of these Pokemon won't like to switch-in on us, but aren't nearly as impeded if they're coming in off of U-turn or Volt Switch, which have caused CAP29 to lose its STAB.

Sludge Bomb (Poison-type STAB)
:rillaboom: Rillaboom (SD)​
:tangrowth: Tangrowth​
:jumbao: Jumbao​
:tapu-lele: Tapu Lele​
:tapu-koko: Tapu Koko​
:tapu-fini: Tapu Fini​
:kerfluffle: Kerfluffle​
:clefable: Clefable (CM)​

Dark Pulse (Dark-type STAB)
:aegislash: Aegislash (Offensive)​
:dragapult: Dragapult​
:pajantom: Pajantom​
:Latios: Latios​
:victini: Victini​
:kartana: Kartana​

Difficulty Checking
:corviknight: Corviknight (Can't check, but can U-turn out)​
:mandibuzz: Mandibuzz (Can't check, but can U-turn out)​
:regieleki: Regieleki (Can't check, but can Volt Switch out)​
:cyclohm: Cyclohm (No Toxic)​
:suicune: Suicune​
:toxapex: Toxapex (No Haze) - We still lose to Scald into Toxic, so it feels like this match-up is still pretty winnable for Toxapex in a 1-vs-1 situation. We're also not doing much back to it, even if we've set up a few CMs.
:kyurem: Kyurem (Sub-Roost) - Earth Power is immediately SE against us, and Freeze Dry afterwards is likely a threat.

Let's wrap this up with checks and counters discussion. As written in the OP: "The list of Pokemon should, in some way, threaten us. This might mean that they will probably be able to beat us 1v1, or at least severely cripple us. Certain Pokemon, in particular Revenge Killers might be included both in here and in Pressure, because once they switch in, they should be able to check us." Seems pretty clear to me! Use these questions to focus in on creating a checks and counters list for CAP29:

5) Which viable Pokemon sets will be able to check/counter CAP29 by its initial typing (Poison/Dark) and Color Change?
6) Which moves severely cripple CAP29? Which Pokemon sets are popular in the metagame that frequently run these moves?
7) Are there any Pokemon we'd like to check/counter CAP29 that don't already (based on Question 5)? Conversely, are there any Pokemon we'd like for CAP29 to avoid having as a check/counter? If you're answering this last portion, please explain why.​

I'm going to let this conversation run for roughly another 48 hours, then I'll give this thread a final 24 hours for any objections or reservations about the final threats list. Keep on going strong -- we're almost there!
 
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Small post, mostly just transferring some discussion on discord to here on the forums-

I believe cyclohm should be changed from "no dragon moves" to "no toxic," as we will probably beat cyclohm even if it's running draco meteor. Assuming average special bulk and the ability to outspeed, we should be able to freely switch in on any of cyclohm's moves; if they go for discharge or fire blast, we can easily set up, and if they go for draco meteor right away, we will be able to either click recover for 1-2 turns or set up and recover afterwards, depending on damage. The only things that could really mess with this are discharge paralyses or ending up with decently low special bulk+cyclohm running offensive investment. I think it's a fairly solid matchup for us though, and the biggest threat cyclohm can pose to us is the threat of toxic on certain defensive sets.
 

Birkal

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I agree 100% and have edited the pressure list to reflect this. Always happy to make changes to our previous lists if it's backed by sound reasoning!
 
5) Obviously, choiced attackers that use Ghost, Ground, and Dragon type moves such as Dragapult and Landorus-T will be a big issue for us. Additionally, offensive Pokemon that boast expansive coverage options like Nidoking and Krilowatt are also challenges for CAP 29. Bulky users of Toxic like Swampert and Colossoil will be problematic for CAP 29 assuming it is running a set of two attacks/recovery/setup, as in order to fully realize its concept assessment, CAP 29 will need to be on the field for multiple turns in a row. Finally, Haze users such as Toxapex and Tomohawk present a pretty big problem for CAP 29, as we will most likely be needing boosts in order to apply sufficient pressure to the opposing team.
 

MrDollSteak

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5) Which viable Pokemon sets will be able to check/counter CAP29 by its initial typing (Poison/Dark) and Color Change?

The first thought that comes to mind for me is Garchomp. The fact that Earthquake demolishes us if our type isn't changed, and Scale Shot sets up into itself nicely means that Garchomp should be one of our most effective checks. That said, I'd hesitate to call it an outright counter because of our potential access to Ice Beam and Scald that can ruin its effectiveness. Without these moves it is however a safe counter nearly 100% of the time.

Colossoil is another consistent check in that it can come in our stabs safely (isn't too devastated by a +0 Scald or Ice Beam unless we have an usually high Sp. Atk stat) and force us out with Earthquake and even U-Turn into something else.

Excadrill I would argue can also probably function as a check because of Earthquake, and the fact that Iron Head and Rock Slide can set up into a super effective combo with Earthquake, as well as the fact that any Rapid Spin boosts will more than likely result in Excadrill outspeeding us regardless of our tier. It definitely isn't a fan of the Scald that we may carry.

Landorus I would argue is a similar check, but likely to be overall less effective due to its secondary attacking moves not setting usup into a sequence as effectively, however, U-Turn is something that can result in us being easily exploited by another Pokemon.

Krilowatt is hard to categorise exactly, but I would imagine it's probably a check, in that it isn't incredibly discouraged by any of our main moves, even if they hit it neutrally because it can ignore the passive poison chance and has a pretty enormous HP stat. It's fairly fast and runs a lot of moves that chain effectively into one another such as Earth Power, Scald and Volt Switch, meaning that regardless of the sequence we will likely end up in a losing position.

Strangely enough I also think that Crucibelle is a realistic check, in that it is quite bulky on the special side of things meaning that we are rarely able to threaten it too much (apart from Scald), and it can then fire off a fast U-Turn on us and move into something that counters us afterwards.

As for a counter, this is unfortunately quite difficult to answer in that to satisfy this criteria it can't be too badly impacted by any of our stab or coverage moves either because it carries recovery or takes negligible damage in the first place, must be able to consistently force us out either with super effective physical moves regardless of our typing otherwise CAP 29 will proceed to continue setting up Calm Mind, or because it carries utility that dismantles our effectiveness. The only pokemon that really spring to mind as counters 100% of the time are Toxapex and Arghonaut in that they don't really care about Sludge Bomb, Dark Pulse, Scald or Ice Beam even at say +2 with an absurd special attack stat, and can force us out with Haze or Circle Throw respectively, and even set up on us with Scalds, Knocks, Toxics and Spikes. This isn't to say nothing else can counter CAP 29, more just to say they will be context dependent.

6) Which moves severely cripple CAP29? Which Pokemon sets are popular in the metagame that frequently run these moves?

U-Turn and Volt Switch are perhaps the most detrimental moves against us, because they hit us neutrally, change our type into fairly weak defensive options and subsequently allow for the opponent to swap into a Pokemon that can easily hit us super effectively from there. In particular, I think Krilowatt as mentioned previously will be a fairly large obstacle for us, because almost all of its moves lead into super effective chain sequences, meaning regardless of swapping in on a Scald or a Volt Switch, we'll realistically be in a losing situation. As for common U-Turners, as mentioned across the other stages, many of these pokemon are ones we would otherwise beat in the long term such as Mandibuzz, Rillaboom and Corviknight become slightly more problematic, and a few of our pressures like Dragapult can also demolish us if given the opportunity to come in.

I think that paralysis might be quite detrimental to the success of CAP 29 because Speed is something that will need to be maintained to avoid giving up any defensive advantage of Color Change. With this in mind things like Ferrothorn and Clefable may cause us some trouble, even if they would otherwise be switchins.
 
5) Which viable Pokemon sets will be able to check/counter CAP29 by its initial typing (Poison/Dark) and Color Change?
Our typing's only weakness is Ground, but there is no shortage of strong Ground-types in the meta, especially since they generally resist Sludge Bomb. Most of them dislike some combination of our optional moves in Scald and Ice Beam, but for the purposes of this post I'll be mostly ignoring them.
The following is basically a list of all of the Ground types in the viability rankings that either hit physically and/or carry Toxic.
  • Garchomp:garchomp: is one of the strongest Pokemon in the meta, and can either just Swords Dance into Earthquake immediately, or combo multiple Scale Shots.
  • Colossoil:colossoil: resists both of our STABs and is free to U-turn out on us, in addition to packing its own Earthquake. One thing that MrDollSteak didn't mention is that it can potentially bring Toxic, although defensive sets have been less common in the wake of Spectrier's ban.
  • Landorus-T:landorus-therian: is another very strong Earthquake user that can also easily U-turn out if necessary. It can technically also set up Stone Edge into Earthquake as well.
  • Excadrill:excadrill: is yet another Earthquake user, and under Sand Rush (or after a Rapid Spin boost) becomes very difficult to outspeed, along with the super effective combos mentioned by MrDollSteak. It also happens to be immune to Sludge Bomb thanks to its typing.
  • Hippowdon:hippowdon: wasn't mentioned by MrDollSteak, but its combination of Earthquake and Toxic makes it a potential danger to us. Although comparatively rare, it does have access to Roar as well.
  • Gastrodon:gastrodon: is another Pokemon in Earthquake/Toxic category that also happens to not mind either of our optional coverage moves, and can potentially make its own super effective combination in Earthquake -> Scald. This can potentially be circumvented by Calm Mind lowering the damage from Scald, but the threat of super effective damage into Toxic by itself looms pretty large.
  • Swampert:swampert: is pretty similar to Gastrodon: Access to Earthquake/Toxic, and can pivot on us (for potentially super effective damage no less) using Flip Turn.
I generally agree that these are checks, and with a focus on STABs, Colossoil:colossoil: stands out as something that can just tank those hits thanks to its natural bulk and resistances.
One Pokemon that appears to be missing is Equilibra:equilibra:, which is completely immune to Sludge Bomb and can potentially set up its own super effective combinations. However, it doesn't run Flash Cannon super often, and without it is mostly stuck setting Doom Desire and clicking neutral moves (and Earth Power after a Doom Desire hit), making it a potential target to get set up on in a 1v1 scenario. This makes me question how much of a check it actually is.

Other Pokemon:
  • I agree with MrDollSteak on Arghonaut:arghonaut: and Toxapex:toxapex: as Pokemon that can generally tank our moves and remove our boosts, and I also agree that we can likely put them in as solid counters.
  • To add on to the previous point: I also want to propose Blissey:blissey: as a counter (at least to the Calm Mind set), given that it is the special wall to end all special walls, can cripple us with Seismic Toss -> Toxic or just Thunder Wave, and Teleport out when it wants. We basically can't make any progress against it besides clicking Calm Mind to +6, hoping for Dark Pulse flinches or Sludge Bomb poisons, and wasting Seismic Toss PP.
  • I agree with MrDollSteak on Krilowatt:krilowatt: being a check. They pretty much covered everything on it, although I will mention that its effectiveness diminishes as we accumulate Calm Mind boosts. Crucibelle:crucibelle: is an interesting choice; as I mentioned in my previous post, it can U-turn on us, do flinch shenanigans with Rock Slide, or Trick us its item, and as MrDollSteak mentioned, it comes with pretty decent special bulk (and a quad resistance to Sludge Bomb).
  • Another Pokemon that I think serves as a check is defensive Heatran:heatran:, which can trap us and either Taunt or Toxic us, or execute its own Magma Storm -> Earth Power combination, and it really doesn't take a whole lot from our STABs. Offensive sets could go in here for also having Taunt/Toxic and their more threatening Earth Power, but they're more vulnerable to boosted Dark Pulse/Scald, so it seems more iffy.
  • Tyranitar:tyranitar:'s combination of resistances to both our STABs, access to Toxic, and the special defense boost it gets from Sand makes it a pretty decent check to us as well. It absolutely hates getting burned by Scald, but otherwise it can mostly sit in our face.
  • Melmetal:Melmetal: is mostly here for a couple reasons: it's immune to Sludge Bomb, Double Iron Bash absolutely sucks to take as a neutral hit, and it can combo Double Iron Bash -> Earthquake -> Toxic (or just click Earthquake -> Toxic immediately). Its low Special Defense means that at a high enough power level we can weather a Double Iron Bash and potentially threaten the 2HKO with Dark Pulse, but its sheer power combined with the threat of Toxic makes it a check in my eyes.
  • Tomohawk:tomohawk: is in a weird position. Hazehawk clears our boosts for free, and it does have the special bulk to take an unresisted hit (especially due to its resistance to Dark Pulse). It's also capable of doing Aura Sphere -> Hurricane to deal big damage to us. However, it hates Sludge Bomb poison, and can't come in for free or pull of its combo well if there are enough boosts in place, making it an emergency check (or counter?) at best.
Some more situational checks based on hitting super effective moves or just strong moves:
  • Syclant:syclant: is good at revenge killing us thanks to Band Earthquake, but it is rather frail and can sustain a lot of damage in the process of knocking us out. Though Miasmaw is slower, it's in a similar boat with of being frail but packing a very damaging Earthquake.
  • Cawmodore:cawmodore: can come in on Sludge Bomb for free, and if it manages to get set up will definitely wreck us, but most other moves on STAB or +1 hitting it on the switch can push it low enough to be KO'd before it can pull off the sweep.
  • Scizor:scizor: can set up alongside us and OHKO with Bullet Punch directly before we can KO it, and it comes in on Sludge Bomb for free, but without setup the most it can do is just U-turn out, seeing as Knock Off preserves our type and Bullet Punch is self-resisted.
  • Stratagem:stratagem: is a situational check, but it can click Meteor Beam to match a Calm Mind, then click chain super-effective hits via Earth Power, Fire Blast, and Paleo Wave, and it comes with a Sludge Bomb resistance in a pinch.
  • Magnezone:magnezone: is mostly just here because of the Sludge Bomb immunity. The Iron Defense set will eventually get threatened out by boosted Dark Pulse, but the Specs set is strong and hard to ignore unboosted, especially if it gets a boost from Analytic.
  • Offensive Hydreigon:hydreigon: carrying Draco Meteor is a pretty big threat, and unlike Latios and Dragapult isn't threated immediately by our STABs (it even resists Dark Pulse, though it hates Ice Beam). However, even with offensive variants becoming more popular than defensive ones in the wake of the Spectrier ban, Draco Meteor isn't super common.
  • Tornadus-T:tornadus-therian: is somewhat similar to Scizor; if it has Nasty Plot, it can boost alongside us at a faster pace, then hit us with a Focus Blast -> Hurricane combination, or simply U-turn out on a whim, although its damage does get affected by Calm Mind and it has no resistances against us. Utility sets are stuck just U-turning out on us.
  • Venusaur:venusaur: in sun can also boost alongside us at a faster pace and hit us with a super effective combination, although again its damage gets affected by our special defense boosts.
  • Weavile:weavile: can also boost alongside us with Swords Dance and has the sheer power to OHKO, but it's also dangerously frail, making its resistance to Dark Pulse mediocre.
One thing I do want to note is that a lot of Color Change combinations that can hit us super effectively are specially based, which means that we can negate the damage once we get our boosts up. This is particularly troublesome for Pokemon that don't otherwise boost, like non-Haze Tomohawk:tomohawk:, Zapdos:zapdos:, Moltres:moltres:, and Kyurem:kyurem:.
I think this is a pretty long list, although it is definitely not exhaustive (please feel free to discuss anything I missed or contest things on this list).

6) Which moves severely cripple CAP29? Which Pokemon sets are popular in the metagame that frequently run these moves?
In contrast to my extremely long post above, this section should be pretty short. I basically agree with MrDollSteak in all aspects: U-turn and Volt Switch are pretty big problems, and Paralysis makes taking advantage of Color Change's defensive qualities more difficult. I also want to add on Toxic from Pokemon that can inflict it on us, as we are a bulky setup sweeper that wants to stay in for extended periods of time. Our starting resistance is very valuable in that aspect, but there are also plenty of Pokemon that can easily take our typing away, tank a hit, and inflict Toxic on our newly vulnerable typing. Besides the obvious Toxapex:Toxapex:, the previously discussed Torkoal:torkoal: and Amoonguss:amoonguss: are capable of running it, as well as Toxic trapper Pajantmo:Pajantom: and defensive Aegislash:Aegislash:. I've also already mentioned a wide variety of Pokemon capable of landing Toxic in this very post.
Less severely crippling, but still rather annoying, is Taunt, as it prevents us from setting up or recovering. It's not a super common move, but Tapu Fini:tapu fini: tends to run it to prevent opposing setup, Heatran:heatran: may choose to run it over Toxic or Stealth Rock, and Astrolotl:astrolotl: may run it as one of its many utility moves. Encore is in a similar boat, although this is basically Astrolotl:astrolotl: exclusive. Both of these open us up to be switched in on by a teammate and threatened out.
 
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7) I may be alone in this, but I would like to see CAP 29 have some counterplay against Haze. CAP 29 is going to loathe having its boosts removed moreso than other setup sweepers as, without STAB, it may lack the sufficient power or utility to break through Haze users like other setup sweepers such as Volcarona and Tapu Fini can. I don't know the correct direction to take it, but in terms of mons that CAP 29 is probably beat by right now, Haze users would be at the top of my list for introducing meaningful counterplay against them.
 
7) I may be alone in this, but I would like to see CAP 29 have some counterplay against Haze. CAP 29 is going to loathe having its boosts removed moreso than other setup sweepers as, without STAB, it may lack the sufficient power or utility to break through Haze users like other setup sweepers such as Volcarona and Tapu Fini can. I don't know the correct direction to take it, but in terms of mons that CAP 29 is probably beat by right now, Haze users would be at the top of my list for introducing meaningful counterplay against them.
Realistically our options to deal with both Haze users at once (:tomohawk:Hawk and :toxapex:Pex) are limited. One avenue would be access to Taunt, and it can't exactly solve the issue that Hawk brings due to Haze being run alongside Prankster. Our Dark typing doesn't even help here since Haze isn't targeted meaning it goes off normally. Taunt into Pex will prevent it from Hazing our boosts away but preventing Prankster Haze would require predicting a switch and using Taunt, something that doesn't work on a slow U-Turn or KO switch. And that's not even mentioning our ability to fit Taunt into our movesets as a setup sweeper.

Electric coverage would help as it hits both Hazers SE, meaning that Pex cannot guarantee a Haze, and we can at least punish Tomohawk even though we can't stop our boosts getting removed reliably; but that brings up the question of whether Electric coverage on CAP29 is something we should allow. BoltBeam is a strong coverage combination so we stand to gain a lot, if not too much from its inclusion. Along with the two before, Electric coverage would skew our matchups against the previously-mentioned :corviknight:Corviknight,:tapu fini:Fini,:mandibuzz:Mandibuzz,:suicune:Suicune,:arghonaut:Arghonaut, and:tornadus-therian:Torn-T, all Pokemon which fall along the lines of Pressure/Check/Counter.
 
Electric coverage would help as it hits both Hazers SE...
We don't have Electric Coverage in our defining moves. What we do have is Ice Beam. While it doesn't help us with the two Hazers, it does help us with Tapu Fini, Mandibuzz, and Tornadus-T found later on in your post. Ice Beam can also be used to pressure out many other threats such as Rillaboom, Venusaur, and Nidoking, as well as every relevant non-Astrolotl Dragon.
 
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