CAP 30 - Part 18 - Post Play Lookback

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spoo

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CAP Co-Leader
CAP 30 So Far

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In this stage we will first reflect on the process so far, discussing what we've learned from this process, how this well we have fulfilled its concept, and what impact CAP30 had on the metagame. After that, we will discuss some possible minor tweaks to the product in order to better fulfill our goals. Please follow the Topic Leader's instructions and don't propose any specific changes until they say so.

Changes allowed:

  • Move additions and removals
  • Changes to secondary ability
  • Small stat changes
Changes not allowed

  • Typing changes
  • Changes to primary ability
  • Large stat changes
 

Wulfanator

Clefable's wish came true!
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Well, would you look at the time. Time to dust off the cobwebs and truly finish CAP 30 once and for all barring any need for a second post-play lookback. With the playtest well behind us, let us take some time to assess how both Venomicon-Prologue and Venomicon-Epilogue are preforming in the tier. Beyond an assessment of both forms, I will be adding a few questions regarding the general process and what we as a community can improve upon with future projects.

Questions:

Given that this was an ability-focused project, how has our concept held up following the release of both Venomicon forms? Did we achieve what we set out to explore or did our goal fall to the wayside in the pursuit of other priorities? Does CAP 30’s success equate to concept success?



Frameworks, more specifically multi-mon projects, continue to impose an increased workload on the community and TLT. The team spent a lot of time tailoring the stage order and individual stages to better meet the needs of this project. Now that we have two framework projects to reference when evaluating the process, how can we improve our execution of multi-mon projects? Were there any stages that went exceptionally well this project? What stages had problems either with execution or pacing? What potential changes can be made to circumvent these problems in the future? Should we still consider multi-mon projects for future frameworks given the additional time they require?

For the veteran users: we limited multi-mon frameworks to two mons with significant stage overlap. This was in response to problems of workload and burnout faced during CAP 25. Did this change resolve those problems or did they still manifest this project?


In Concept Assessments 2 & 3, we established “roles” we wanted both forms to fill. These roles were intended to provide additional direction moving forward rather than act as a strict requirement. We decided we wanted Venomicon-Epilogue to function as a utility wallbreaker and Venomicon-Prologue to take on the characterisitics of a tank. That was back in August and September, repectively. How has that held up 6 months later? If it has changed, what did they evolve into and was it for the better?


How well do both forms perform in the metagame? Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. What are both forms’ defining features that set them apart from other mons? Do both mons have all the tools they need to be successful or, like Astrolotl at its launch, have we provided either form with too many tools?


Compared to the last 4 projects (Equilibra, Astrolotl, Chromera, and Miasmaw), how do the Venomicon forms compare to the power-levels of these mons? Is this the power-level we want to strive for in the future or is this a project that will push us in the opposite direction (either more or less powerful)?


Lastly, does either form need competitive changes? If so, what is the reasoning behind your conclusion? Are theses issues with stats or movepool or both? What changes can we make that target these problematic elements without introducing excessive additions/removals?

Remember
: The goal of the post-play lookback is to fix problems with the project. If you are posting criticism of the project, be sure that it is constructive. Complaints without offered solutions will be moderated.
 

dex

I spoke to the devil in Miami
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Given that this was an ability-focused project, how has our concept held up following the release of both Venomicon forms? Did we achieve what we set out to explore or did our goal fall to the wayside in the pursuit of other priorities? Does CAP 30’s success equate to concept success?
I think both formes do a great job at utilizing their abilities. Obviously, Venomicon-E is more clear in its ability usage: dumby strong Brave Birds. Venomicon's usage of Stamina is more the risk of letting it get too boosted, allowing it to spook mons away from using U-turn.

Now that we have two framework projects to reference when evaluating the process, how can we improve our execution of multi-mon projects? Were there any stages that went exceptionally well this project? What stages had problems either with execution or pacing? What potential changes can be made to circumvent these problems in the future? Should we still consider multi-mon projects for future frameworks given the additional time they require?
While I think that CAP 30 was an absolute success of a project, I am of the opinion that multi-mon projects should not be allowed in the future given how much additional time they require. I think the TLT did about as much as they could to expedite each stage, but this project took a toll, and I think it would be best to avoid these types of endeavors in the future.

How has that held up 6 months later? If it has changed, what did they evolve into and was it for the better?
I'd say neither really inhabits those roles, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Each forme has figured out its own niche, with Venomicon inhabiting a bulky sweeper that offers its excellent defensive typing as mid-game utility and Venomicon-E dropping the "utility" part of its role and just blasting away with Swords Dance and Brave Bird, with Knock Off being more of a secondary thought than an actual utility option. This is totally fine. Both formes fulfilled the concept, and even though they don't adhere to the roles that we set out for them early on, we should be happy that each is successful.

How well do both forms perform in the metagame? Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. What are both forms’ defining features that set them apart from other mons? Do both mons have all the tools they need to be successful or, like Astrolotl at its launch, have we provided either form with too many tools?
Both formes are frankly excellent. Venomicon provides excellent defensive utility due to its typing and a pretty amazing sweeping capability, making it perform somewhat similar to 3 attack Zapdos, except it has Nasty Plot. I think it does perfectly well in the current metagame and realistically needs no further balancing despite the notion that it was too strong at launch. Venomicon-E, on the other hand, has easily overcome the limitations of being permanently Stealth Rock weak and relying on a recoil move like Brave Bird. It guarantees massive chip, and sometimes outright KOes, and is incredibly easy to set up with due to how imposing it is before it sets up. It isn't that we provided this mon with too many tools, it is more that Venomicon-E just has this innate ability to break open games by clicking SD, Roost, and BB. Toning it down should be looked at.

Compared to the last 4 projects (Equilibra, Astrolotl, Chromera, and Miasmaw), how do the Venomicon forms compare to the power-levels of these mons? Is this the power-level we want to strive for in the future or is this a project that will push us in the opposite direction (either more or less powerful)?
I think that Venomicon is the power level we want to strive for, not Venomicon-E. Venomicon, in my mind, fits nicely in the A- tier. It isn't impossible to check, but is threatening in its own right. In my opinion, we should be aiming for the B+/A- tier with every project, though obviously that is a fairly abstract goal. Compared to the brokenness of release Equilibra and Astrolotl and the relatively quiet natures of release Chromera and Miasmaw, I think Venomicon, or at least its base forme, hits a very nice middle point.

Lastly, does either form need competitive changes? If so, what is the reasoning behind your conclusion? Are theses issues with stats or movepool or both? What changes can we make that target these problematic elements without introducing excessive additions/removals?
Venomicon does not need competitive changes. If you had asked me last month, I would say that Earth Power needed to be removed. It does not. I think that, while it is a threatening sweeper in its own right, it is in a nice place right now, with enough offensive and defensive counterplay to be a healthy part of the metagame.

Venomicon-E, however, is a whole other kind of beast. It absolutely needs changes. I think that we thought the permanent Stealth Rock weakness and reliance on Brave Bird would be balancing factors. They do not do enough. This mon is surprisingly easy to justify building with, which is strange in and of itself given its awkward offensive typing, and can take over games by itself. The main reason I think it needs a nerf is this: If the opponent does not have a defensive check to Venomicon-E, it is incredibly easy for it to simply claim a kill each and every time it comes out. This is not an acceptable place for this mon to be. In my opinion, the only thing that can be changed about this mon is its insane stats. Its movepool is obviously not the issue, it realistically would win matchups with only 3 moves. Toning down its stats in a major way is the way forward.
 

spoo

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How well do both forms perform in the metagame? Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. What are both forms’ defining features that set them apart from other mons? Do both mons have all the tools they need to be successful or, like Astrolotl at its launch, have we provided either form with too many tools?

Lastly, does either form need competitive changes? If so, what is the reasoning behind your conclusion? Are theses issues with stats or movepool or both? What changes can we make that target these problematic elements without introducing excessive additions/removals?
While my thoughts on these CAPs have changed a ton since their release, it's extremely hard to deny that both of them are too good right now. I think each forme has just slightly too many tools; if they were released individually, they'd both probably demand a small tuning nerf to set them more in line with the power level of the overall tier. However, them being a bit overtuned isn't the root issue here. Much bigger problems arise once they start interacting with each other in the metagame at large.

What we have done in this project is release two top-tier Flying-type setup win-conditions with completely opposite counterplay (yes, completely). These creations –– in combination with the myriad of other offensive threats that CAP houses –– make playing and building for the tier a raging headache, and reinforce each other's problems to a highly problematic degree. Ask nearly anyone who has played or especially built SS in CAPCL, and they will tell you the same.

I strongly believe that we should remove setup entirely from one forme, restructure its purpose to be something more beneficial or selfless to the meta, and conduct a minor nerf on the other forme. I have a longer post drafted which elaborates on what I say here, but I wanted to get this opinion out first. While this route may seem dramatic (I don't actually believe it is), it is more than justified at this point.
 
What we have done in this project is release two top-tier Flying-type setup win-conditions with completely opposite counterplay (yes, completely). These creations –– in combination with the myriad of other offensive threats that CAP houses –– make playing and building for the tier a raging headache, and reinforce each other's problems to a highly problematic degree. Ask nearly anyone who has played or especially built SS in CAPCL, and they will tell you the same.

I strongly believe that we should remove setup entirely from one forme, restructure its purpose to be something more beneficial or selfless to the meta, and conduct a minor nerf on the other forme. I have a longer post drafted which elaborates on what I say here, but I wanted to get this opinion out first. While this route may seem dramatic (I don't actually believe it is), it is more than justified at this point.
This is a very exciting take, but with much respect I think it warrants some rigorous criticism because it is so radical.

If I understand correctly, your proposal is that we hamstring one form of CAP30 so its alter ego can maintain a healthier presence. Putting aside all questions of which, if either, is problematic: I am not aware of any circumstance when balancing a top-tier threat is done by removing its alleged enablers from competitive play. The Urshifu-S problem wasn't solved by targeting Slowking or, for that matter, Urshifu-R. The solution was banning Urshifu-S. This is all to say we don't rob Peter to pay Paul. If we are to treat the Venomicon forms as different Pokémon, which everyone above seems to be doing, the proposal that we make one form change careers or suck so much that it plummets out of our teambuilding considerations to balance the OTHER form doesn't make a lick of sense.

And that is all before touching on the serious questions your proposal raises about the nature of this project. Is our goal to make the most of Venomicon's two forms and explore two underutilized abilities, or is the bare minimum of one sufficient? Can we still consider it a success if one form falls completely by the wayside? Is putting one form of Venomicon in the ground an admission that we squandered its concept on something too powerful?

Make no mistake: I, too, think it is obnoxious that CAP has so many Flying-type setup wincons flitting about. There's 4-6 ranked B or higher even before Venomicon enters the equation (:cawmodore::dragonite::hawlucha::zapdos-galar::tornadus-therian::corviknight:), and it's disturbing how much defensive counterplay is riding on Zapdos and a handful of other load-bearing Pokémon. However, I get the sense that this is the reality we accepted when we decided to push out two Flying-types for CAP 30, one with its own Griseous Orb, both of them conspicuously circumventing the traditional Zapdos.

As for the original question, I don't know that I have the authority to comment. I was not very active in January. I've personally found CAP30b to be the more unpleasant between the two mainly on the basis of movepool (Nasty Plot + Earth Power) and insulation against passive damage (Heavy-Duty Boots + no recoil Flying STAB). I reckon the CAPCL crowd has a better handle than I do on where CAP30 went wrong, if it went wrong, but if I had to name a culprit it would be CAP30b. I'm putting it out there for completion. This post is mainly to question the wisdom of kneecapping one half of the project so the other can stand on its own merit because I was under the impression we wanted both halves to stand in some capacity.
 

shnowshner

You've Gotta Try
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Given that this was an ability-focused project, how has our concept held up following the release of both Venomicon forms? Did we achieve what we set out to explore or did our goal fall to the wayside in the pursuit of other priorities? Does CAP 30’s success equate to concept success?
Both forms definitely hit the mark. EBook I shouldn't have to explain much about, Tinted Lens is a very obvious Ability in what it provides and everyone knows the terror this thing presents each time it gets sent out. Base Venom's Stamina isn't exactly what some had anticipated, as Body Press has largely been ignored in favor of the Cane/EP/Roost/CM, but it nonetheless is paramount to the Book's success, letting it wall out would-be checks if it gets a boost or two, the mere threat of which can dissuade throwing out "safe attacks" like Knock Off, Scald, or U-Turn.

Now that we have two framework projects to reference when evaluating the process, how can we improve our execution of multi-mon projects? Were there any stages that went exceptionally well this project? What stages had problems either with execution or pacing? What potential changes can be made to circumvent these problems in the future? Should we still consider multi-mon projects for future frameworks given the additional time they require?
Typing and Stats were a bit messy, though that has less to do with it being a multi-mon framework and more to do with the specific multi-mon framework we chose: that said, a lot of other potential multi-mons would likely also share/have similar stats, whether that's something like base/regional form, out-of-battle form changes, even something off-grid like counterparts/doubles pairs ala Zangoose & Seviper/Plusle & Minun. Sharing BST can make balancing stats appropriately awkward, moreso in situations like these where adjustments seem necessary. This presented the problem of introducing two Pokemon that, ideally, are both viable, and share the exact same typing. Granted, the way these two interact with their typing are vastly different, both in stat bias, access to items, and use of STABs. These stages weren't bad by any means, but they did feel stressful IMO.

I think we should avoid doing multi-mon projects in the future seeing as our past two frameworks have been multi-mons: it'd be nice to see how the process works without such a heavy burden placed upon the community.

For the veteran users: we limited multi-mon frameworks to two mons with significant stage overlap. This was in response to problems of workload and burnout faced during CAP 25. Did this change resolve those problems or did they still manifest this project?
I am 100% a veteran user.

This was still a fairly long and cumbersome project, but I definitely feel like it flowed a lot better than what I remember seeing from CAP 25, in part due to lessened workload and having actually sorta done this before. We definitely had locked ourselves into a drawn-out process upon deciding to do a framework for CAP 30, and the one we did choose certainly made a few things easier (since much was shared between forms), so all things considered I feel the limits did help. Did they help enough to make multi-mon projects look appealing in the future? Seeing as I am eager to dive into a much more standard, easy process for 31, probably not lol

In Concept Assessments 2 & 3, we established “roles” we wanted both forms to fill. These roles were intended to provide additional direction moving forward rather than act as a strict requirement. We decided we wanted Venomicon-Epilogue to function as a utility wallbreaker and Venomicon-Prologue to take on the characterisitics of a tank. That was back in August and September, repectively. How has that held up 6 months later? If it has changed, what did they evolve into and was it for the better?
Epilogue's function as a utility wallbreaker largely boils down to forcing a switch and getting Rocks up so it can break things easier the next time it comes in. My original vision for Venomicon-E was that Tinted Lens letting it ignore resistances meant it didn't have to worry about filling its movepool with coverage, as all it really needed to get damage off was Flying STAB; this extra space could then be used for utility. In practice, this is still somewhat the case, but instead of more moderate damage output supplemented by strong utility options, you actually just 2HKO the entire metagame. I feel like what we've ended up with does still work to a degree, if not a tad overdone (sarcasm). Venomicon-E literally needs 2 moves—Brave Bird and Swords Dance—to threaten teams, which leaves space for whatever else it wants, one of which should usually be Roost so you don't wear down too quickly. The problem that arises is that Brave Bird and SD are so efficient on their own that other utility options are often not worth going for. Do you really need to use Knock Off to weaken a check when Venomicon-E can just blast through said checks with Brave Bird? Why set up Rocks if you can immediately disintegrate whatever Pokemon is unfortunate enough to be infront of you? Obviously I'm being superfluous, as something like getting Rocks up on a predicted sack is a smart move, and Knock Off is a good way to wear down threats without chunking your own HP, but you probably get the point: EBook is so dangerous as a breaker than not actively breaking can feel like a waste of its field presence. If we still desire for it to function as a utility wallbreaker, it needs to be more utility and less wallbreaker.

Describing Prologue as a tank is sorta stretching the definition: it's best run as a late-game bulky setup sweeper that boasts useful mid-game utility and defensive support in the same vein as something like CM Clef or NP Torn, as opposed to something more like Melmetal or Glowking that are capable of taking heavy punishment and returning the favor in full, but yeah, it's definitely good at tanking. I think Venomicon still fits the definition well enough through sponging hits with help from Stamina and good bulk to deem it a success.

How well do both forms perform in the metagame? Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. What are both forms’ defining features that set them apart from other mons? Do both mons have all the tools they need to be successful or, like Astrolotl at its launch, have we provided either form with too many tools?
Both forms immediately warped the tier to a noticeable degree: watching the playtest tour games, you'll see Landorus is actively using Stone Edge so it can hit both forms hard, while also having a heightened chance to crit through Stamina boosts. Rock coverage has been on a pretty noticeable downturn this gen, since Rock-type moves are ass, so this stuck out to me right away.

A lot of Pokemon have risen or fallen in response to these two Poison/Flying types being so dangerous if left unchecked. Epilogue is definitely the worse of the two in this regard: it's nightmarish to prepare for defensively, and many of the Pokemon that can withstand it lack reliable recovery, such as Lando-T, Melmetal and Magnezone. Base form isn't as explosive in power, but its also not something you want to give advantages to, and team structures have altered to accommodate for that: being weak to Flying isn't a good thing right now unless what you bring to the table is really worth it.

What sets base Venomicon apart is its ability to punish the opponent for mindless clicking moves. The practical and psychological effects of a Stamina boost on a Nasty Plot attacker are very evident, and playing carelessly is a recipe for disaster when facing one down. Being a bulky Poison/Flying type is also very good in general: while not the best defensive typing, what you do have provides a ton to teams, the big two being immunities to Ground (+Spikes) and Toxic. The latter is also a big point in its favor: a sweeper naturally resistant to a common form of passive damage in Toxic brings a ton of value.

Epilogue doesn't waste time with specifics and just makes itself distinct by being broken.

Compared to the last 4 projects (Equilibra, Astrolotl, Chromera, and Miasmaw), how do the Venomicon forms compare to the power-levels of these mons? Is this the power-level we want to strive for in the future or is this a project that will push us in the opposite direction (either more or less powerful)?
Libra and Lotl were so egregious on launch that the entire CAP Process ended up being reworked so we wouldn't do such things to ourselves ever again. Miasmaw and Chromera, naturally, are very meager in power level, though the reasons why are a bit more involved than just not wanting to repeat the past two: Miasmaw was designed around, and released into a metagame that it existed in for a whole five days before being completely annihilated by the Crown Tundra DLC, while Chromera, in my eyes, was more a creative exercise in how good you can reasonably make a Pokemon while giving it ability that actively makes it worse. While Epilogue is definitely veering more towards the former two, overall I feel we're moving in the right direction. Hell, the existence of this very thread is proof enough!

I feel that our CAPs should be somewhere a tad below where Venomicon-P is right now: something that is worth adding to your team and has a lot of distinct traits that let it shine, but has noticeable flaws that hold it back and should require support. I've always felt that B+ is the magic rank: it's enough to have an effect on the metagame and solidify itself as a threat, but doesn't shake things up too drastically. A- and maybe even A are still fine, Pokemon here can often just be good glue mons that don't really warp the tier around beating them as much as they just provide a lot to teams. Any higher is a bit too much. Being lower than B+ isn't bad until you either end up being "viable" in word only, or actually just downright awful.

Lastly, does either form need competitive changes? If so, what is the reasoning behind your conclusion? Are theses issues with stats or movepool or both? What changes can we make that target these problematic elements without introducing excessive additions/removals?
Epilogue definitely could use a nerf. I think the Brave Bird + SD combo can stay, as being a utility wallbreaker implies you actually need to threaten breaking walls, else you won't be able to find free turns to get use out of utility. We just need to tone down the strength of this combo so that utility becomes is more than an afterthought. Stat nerfs feel fine, whether that's reducing its damage output (preferred) or lowering Speed (makes it easier to force out but it still has almost no defensive answers).

Prologue is more manageable but I don't think it would hurt to reduce its damage output so it has to rely more on its defensive strength, rather than just being another scary setup-based wincon.

Also we should remove Knock Off solely because that move is equal parts boring and dumb. I am Biased, but proud about it.


I had wanted to go to bed by now and then this post popped up
This is a very exciting take, but with much respect I think it warrants some rigorous criticism because it is so radical.

If I understand correctly, your proposal is that we hamstring one form of CAP30 so its alter ego can maintain a healthier presence. Putting aside all questions of which, if either, is problematic: I am not aware of any circumstance when balancing a top-tier threat is done by removing its alleged enablers from competitive play. The Urshifu-S problem wasn't solved by targeting Slowking or, for that matter, Urshifu-R. The solution was banning Urshifu-S. This is all to say we don't rob Peter to pay Paul. If we are to treat the Venomicon forms as different Pokémon, which everyone above seems to be doing, the proposal that we make one form change careers or suck so much that it plummets out of our teambuilding considerations to balance the OTHER form doesn't make a lick of sense.

And that is all before touching on the serious questions your proposal raises about the nature of this project. Is our goal to make the most of Venomicon's two forms and explore two underutilized abilities, or is the bare minimum of one sufficient? Can we still consider it a success if one form falls completely by the wayside? Is putting one form of Venomicon in the ground an admission that we squandered its concept on something too powerful?

Make no mistake: I, too, think it is obnoxious that CAP has so many Flying-type setup wincons flitting about. There's 4-6 ranked B or higher even before Venomicon enters the equation (:cawmodore::dragonite::hawlucha::zapdos-galar::tornadus-therian::corviknight:), and it's disturbing how much defensive counterplay is riding on Zapdos and a handful of other load-bearing Pokémon. However, I get the sense that this is the reality we accepted when we decided to push out two Flying-types for CAP 30, one with its own Griseous Orb, both of them conspicuously circumventing the traditional Zapdos.

As for the original question, I don't know that I have the authority to comment. I was not very active in January. I've personally found CAP30b to be the more unpleasant between the two mainly on the basis of movepool (Nasty Plot + Earth Power) and insulation against passive damage (Heavy-Duty Boots + no recoil Flying STAB). I reckon the CAPCL crowd has a better handle than I do on where CAP30 went wrong, if it went wrong, but if I had to name a culprit it would be CAP30b. I'm putting it out there for completion. This post is mainly to question the wisdom of kneecapping one half of the project so the other can stand on its own merit because I was under the impression we wanted both halves to stand in some capacity.
I feel like we read one post and got two different meanings from it. To me, what Spoo is proposing is that, instead of having two setup-based mons, we rework one form so that only one is based on setup, and the other provides something else. Introducing two dangerous attackers, that use the same attacking type on different spectrums, is quite a lot on our plates at once, especially when both of them are, as implied, doing so in a more "selfish" manner. Giving them more separate niches means there's is less offensive pressure exerted at once.

What you seem to have understood is that this proposal seeks to fix the problem by instead nuking the one form to unviability so we only have to worry about the other. I seriously doubt that's what Spoo meant.
 
Given that this was an ability-focused project, how has our concept held up following the release of both Venomicon forms? Did we achieve what we set out to explore or did our goal fall to the wayside in the pursuit of other priorities? Does CAP 30’s success equate to concept success?

Both of Venomicon's forms use their ability well. Venomicon-E's role in battles and as it was being created always really centered on its ability to use insanely strong Tinted Lens attacks against anything it wanted, while base Venomicon's ability is more passive but still very good for it because it has settled into the role of a sweeper.

How has that held up 6 months later? If it has changed, what did they evolve into and was it for the better?

Both forms still have at the very least a trace of their original concept, although they both have changed. Venomicon has become a set-up sweeper with Nasty Plot which is tanky because of Stamina, but its not that focused on the tank aspect. Venomicon-E is still a wallbreaker, but it never uses any utility because it does not need to with Tinted Lens and Swords Dance, and it also works as a cleaner later in the game because of its high speed and offensive prowess. Venomicon's change was more unexpected for me from the start but I think that it has turned out well, especially since it still has clear weaknesses, and its change was good. Venomicon-E did not change as much, but I think that it is worse because it can change its role to whatever it needs it to be mid-battle because every role it can fulfill uses at least the same base moveset. If it was lesss splashable or fulfilled less roles I think it would be better in general.

How well do both forms perform in the metagame? Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. What are both forms’ defining features that set them apart from other mons? Do both mons have all the tools they need to be successful or, like Astrolotl at its launch, have we provided either form with too many tools?

Venomicon does decently well, but it has obvious and common counterplay in mons like Zapdos which make it useful but not overbearing. Its ability to set up Nasty Plots while gaining bulk passively from Stamina and the ability to hold an item is also nice. It does have a lot of coverage and status moves, but nothing is too strong and the different sets from a Stealth Rock set to a Nasty Plot set, for example, are very different. Venomicon-E has a lot of tools as well, but it does not use them because it does not need them to be good. Venomicon-E can be put into a game with the exact same set in almost every scenario and be successful in the battle for at least a short while. This is only because of Tinted Lens and its stats though, although it does have utility tools that it could theoretically use.

Compared to the last 4 projects (Equilibra, Astrolotl, Chromera, and Miasmaw), how do the Venomicon forms compare to the power-levels of these mons? Is this the power-level we want to strive for in the future or is this a project that will push us in the opposite direction (either more or less powerful)?

All 4 of those see usage, some more than others. I think Venomicon is somewhere in the middle right now, better than Chromera and Miasmaw, definitely worse than Equilibra and Astrolotol on launch, and still worse or about the same as them now. Venomicon-E is closer to being very strong like Libra and Astro, but I do not think it is so overpowering that it demands a nerf, although a small one would probably let it get closer to Venomicon's tier which would be good so that they both get a good amount of usage but not be broken. I think a good mid-tier mon, maybe a bit stronger is the tier that we should go for, somewhere around B to A-. I think B+ is probably the perfect place but A- or even A would not be bad since the draw of the meta is CAP mons, so them being better than worse is the better direction. Venomicon fits into B+ or A-, but Venomicon-E is more like A+.

Lastly, does either form need competitive changes? If so, what is the reasoning behind your conclusion? Are theses issues with stats or movepool or both? What changes can we make that target these problematic elements without introducing excessive additions/removals?

I think that base Venomicon does not need any changes. It started out as strong but the meta has adjusted and it is in a good spot right now. Venomicon-E is pretty strong because of how easy it is to put on a team, then in battle it can almost instantly force a positive trade. It does not necessarily need a nerf though, but it could use a small one. Its movepool is not the problem unless we remove something like Brave Bird or Roost, but I think those are too integral to what it does now. The best way to remove it would be to make it lose stats, either lowering its speed or attack to be less overbearing. It would also be cool to change its kit in general to make its utility more useful rather than just have it use 3 moves.
 

spoo

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This is a very exciting take, but with much respect I think it warrants some rigorous criticism because it is so radical.

If I understand correctly, your proposal is that we hamstring one form of CAP30 so its alter ego can maintain a healthier presence. Putting aside all questions of which, if either, is problematic: I am not aware of any circumstance when balancing a top-tier threat is done by removing its alleged enablers from competitive play. The Urshifu-S problem wasn't solved by targeting Slowking or, for that matter, Urshifu-R. The solution was banning Urshifu-S. This is all to say we don't rob Peter to pay Paul. If we are to treat the Venomicon forms as different Pokémon, which everyone above seems to be doing, the proposal that we make one form change careers or suck so much that it plummets out of our teambuilding considerations to balance the OTHER form doesn't make a lick of sense.

And that is all before touching on the serious questions your proposal raises about the nature of this project. Is our goal to make the most of Venomicon's two forms and explore two underutilized abilities, or is the bare minimum of one sufficient? Can we still consider it a success if one form falls completely by the wayside? Is putting one form of Venomicon in the ground an admission that we squandered its concept on something too powerful?

Make no mistake: I, too, think it is obnoxious that CAP has so many Flying-type setup wincons flitting about. There's 4-6 ranked B or higher even before Venomicon enters the equation (:cawmodore::dragonite::hawlucha::zapdos-galar::tornadus-therian::corviknight:), and it's disturbing how much defensive counterplay is riding on Zapdos and a handful of other load-bearing Pokémon. However, I get the sense that this is the reality we accepted when we decided to push out two Flying-types for CAP 30, one with its own Griseous Orb, both of them conspicuously circumventing the traditional Zapdos.

As for the original question, I don't know that I have the authority to comment. I was not very active in January. I've personally found CAP30b to be the more unpleasant between the two mainly on the basis of movepool (Nasty Plot + Earth Power) and insulation against passive damage (Heavy-Duty Boots + no recoil Flying STAB). I reckon the CAPCL crowd has a better handle than I do on where CAP30 went wrong, if it went wrong, but if I had to name a culprit it would be CAP30b. I'm putting it out there for completion. This post is mainly to question the wisdom of kneecapping one half of the project so the other can stand on its own merit because I was under the impression we wanted both halves to stand in some capacity.
What? I honestly understand your concern, but this is still a pretty egregious strawman of what I was saying; by no means will removing setup from one forme nuke it to unviability, nor would it be done for the sake of preserving the other forme.

It seems like a core assumption in your post is that removing setup from one forme will nerf it out of viability. I never implied this myself, though, and it's actually the last thing I want. Making my post out to be some kind of argument to "kneepcap," "hamstring," "rob" and "put in the ground" one of the formes is a claim that straight up comes out of nowhere. Yeah, the setup-less forme will probably drop in viability. Is this the worst thing ever, considering both are currently A+ (edit: Venom-E is A right now, but will be A+ in the next update) meta-defining and highly constricting threats? No, it's not that bad –– quite the opposite, really. Changing focus to a different use does not mean having no use at all.

These formes don't exist in some enabler-abuser sort of relationship either, a la the Urshifu-Slowking example you point to. In fact, these Pokemon don't enable each other at all (or at least in the way that it's framed in this post), given you cannot actually run them on the same team. They more exacerbate each other's problems; it's a nuanced point of distinction, but an important one. We wouldn't be nerfing the enabler to indirectly balance the abuser... my point was that, because of the very nature of how these CAPs play, a small and simple tuning where we address their problems individual of one another in a vaccuum outside the metagame would not address the core issue, that being how their simultaneous and overlapping presence is so limiting.

On a more general note, not necessarily related to the quoted post:
I know some people might not agree with removing setup because it "diverges from the design process," or something along those lines. I don't buy this argument, though. These mons are not finished, final products. The PPL is an extension of the process, meaning we are still actively designing these mons in this stage. Also important to note is that setup wasn't even a requirement of previous stages. "Ability optimization," "tank," and "utility wallbreaker" had nothing to do with setup options; we just decided in the moment that setup was the best path forward, and now we have the power to decide that a different route is. In fact, the roles themselves aren't written in stone, either: Wulf's OP even states "These roles were intended to provide additional direction moving forward rather than act as a strict requirement." We've pivoted designs mid-process in the past and we'll continue to do so in the future, it's not a huge deal so I see no reason to hold tight to setup on the grounds of a process-based justification. Like, come on –– Tinted Lens was supposed to reduce the need for powerful stats on the item forme (this didn't really happen), and we all spent half of the process thinking base Venomicon would run Body Press lol. I understand people might be hesitant to lean into a change like this, but again, I think it's justified.
 
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Given that this was an ability-focused project, how has our concept held up following the release of both Venomicon forms? Did we achieve what we set out to explore or did our goal fall to the wayside in the pursuit of other priorities? Does CAP 30’s success equate to concept success?
We definitely managed to create two mons that use an underused ability incredibly well.

Venomicon Epilogue uses its ability to full extend almost every turn it is in, to be probably the easiest to use breaker of all time barring maybe Zygarde.
Tinted Lens is at the forefront of what makes this Mon so incredibly threatening and challenging to play against, which shows, that we managed to leverage its power as well as possible.

For Base Venomicon it doesn’t look so clean cut, as its ability isn’t activated as often.
But the threat it poses to physical attackers that can’t sufficiently threaten it back, makes playing around it extremely iffy, to the point where you can force unoptimal plays just by coming in with it. Teams that don’t have a dedicated answer get ripped apart, as base Book has an incredible ability to trade hits even with some of its offensive checks.
While I don’t think we made the most of its ability, it definitely plays into its strengths as a hard to force out tanky wincon.
Now that we have two framework projects to reference when evaluating the process, how can we improve our execution of multi-mon projects? Were there any stages that went exceptionally well this project? What stages had problems either with execution or pacing? What potential changes can be made to circumvent these problems in the future? Should we still consider multi-mon projects for future frameworks given the additional time they require?
Parts of this questions I can’t answer, but I think for the most part, the way we arranged the stages worked really well for tackling the concept within mithelfen two Mon framework.
I do think, that you could feel the exhaustion of the community towards the end of the competitive stages, as participation in movesets and movepool started to dwindle, which has more to do with how long the process dragged on, than the arrangement of the stages itself.
I think for that reason, we should stay away from multi Mon projects for the most part.
The process benefits from being short and crisp, as interest and engagement is usually highest during the first stages of the process. The longer it takes, the harder it gets to move on imo.
I don’t think we need to ban multi Mon frameworks outright, but the restriction to two mons, that have to share a significant part of their characteristics should stay in place.
How has that held up 6 months later? If it has changed, what did they evolve into and was it for the better?
I think both mons veered of course from the original idea, imo partly due to their typing, as it is incredibly well suited for being a boosting wincon (in different ways for both mons).
While Base Book definitely is an incredible tank, it’s NP set overshadowed any more traditional approach to that role.
Once SD was added to Ebook it was obvious, that any additional utility was basically unnecessary. It does so much more with a turn of set up. If anything, the only utility that seems worth it alongside the set up breaker set is knock off, as it makes it easier to break through stuff.
I don’t think it’s an Issue in itself, that we didn’t adhere to the roles we set out to fill with these two mons.
But it’s obvious now, that our initial impression, that boosting would be incredible on a tinted lens flying type held up and that the item version is certainly overturned with at least Swords Dance atm.
I think boosting is much more reasonable on the base form, but I also think, that the nasty plot set waters down the importance of Stamina for how Venomicon plays.
How well do both forms perform in the metagame? Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. What are both forms’ defining features that set them apart from other mons? Do both mons have all the tools they need to be successful or, like Astrolotl at its launch, have we provided either form with too many tools?
As stated above, both feel slightly overtuned.
They definitely are self sufficient in the metagame and should be viable enough with what they have right now
They might be far from the splashability of release Astro, but both strain team building and playing in their own way and even moreso in conjunction.
Obviously they’re abilities help define them. Moreso the Item form as tinted lens is just incredible as an ability.
This gets further enhanced by its typing and item, which not only grants it a near unresisted superpowered STAB, but also some defensive utility, that other set up breakers lack. its resistances afford it with a lot of space for performing its role and make it self sufficient as a breaker in spite of its glaring stealth rock weakness.

Base Book doesn’t rely on its ability as much. Rather it is a combination of its Typing, Stats and absurdly coherent Nasty Plot set with hard to answer two move coverage, that make it so potent.
Outside of nasty plot It has felt like a solid, albeit somewhat underwhelming defensive mon, that is overshadowed by other more offensive flying types like Torn or Zapdos, (although I think utility focused sets might be better, if Ebook lost SD, as it would become a solid answer)

The most defining feature for both though imo is, that these are two hard to answer wincons/breaker, that force different, hard to reconcile answers on teams.
While building, it already feels like a win when you find a solid answer on your team for one of them, only to realize, that you now can’t fit an answer to the other one.
If you don’t ignore one of them, they (in combination with other potent mons like Urshifu or Tapu Lele) restrict teambuilding to only a small set of viable structures.
The only mon, that is able to answer both defensively in one slot is Zapdos and even that is strained by EBooks tinted lens in conjunction with SD, as it barely takes one hit, while at the same time struggling to actually break Base Book with the defensive set, that ebook forces.
Overall both are powerful forces, that atm strain the meta and definitely require toning down.
Compared to the last 4 projects (Equilibra, Astrolotl, Chromera, and Miasmaw), how do the Venomicon forms compare to the power-levels of these mons? Is this the power-level we want to strive for in the future or is this a project that will push us in the opposite direction (either more or less powerful)?
i think we slightly overshot, and a powerlevel between the books and miasmaw would be ideal, but I too think, that it’s easier to balance a slightly overpowered CAP with small adjustments in the PPL (see Astrolotl), than to bring an underwhelming mon to a solid power level (see Miasmaw).
Lastly, does either form need competitive changes? If so, what is the reasoning behind your conclusion? Are theses issues with stats or movepool or both? What changes can we make that target these problematic elements without introducing excessive additions/removals?
As shown above, both forms seem slightly overpowered.
The more obvious one, after having some time to play with them, is Venomicon Epilogue.
It’s SD set can’t be answered essentially (not in the builder at least) and in game you basically have the option of „getting rocks up and pressure it offensively until it dies“, „please let it trigger static now“ or click x.
At the center of this is definitely Swords Dance. Swords dance means one less chance of triggering static, triggering helmet or iron barbs one time less, not being able to spam recover until it dies to its own recoil.
IMO Swords dance definitely should be removed from Ebook.

The base form is less obvious and after the initial oh shit what even answers this, the meta seems to have adjusted a bit and it seems much easier to handle. I don’t think we have to cut moves (although I believe, that removing NP would let Stamina shine a bit more). I think we could definitely have a look at nerfing it’s bulk a bit, as it sometimes is ridiculous how much it actually can take, to the point where you easily remove would be answers like Tapu koko or Zeraora and heal back afterwards.
 
What? I honestly understand your concern, but this is still a pretty egregious strawman of what I was saying; by no means will removing setup from one forme nuke it to unviability, nor would it be done for the sake of preserving the other forme.

It seems like a core assumption in your post is that removing setup from one forme will nerf it out of viability. I never implied this myself, though, and it's actually the last thing I want. Making my post out to be some kind of argument to "kneepcap," "hamstring," "rob" and "put in the ground" one of the formes is a claim that straight up comes out of nowhere. Yeah, the setup-less forme will probably drop in viability. Is this the worst thing ever, considering both are currently A+ meta-defining and highly constricting threats? No, it's not that bad –– quite the opposite, really. Changing focus to a different use does not mean having no use at all.

These formes don't exist in some enabler-abuser sort of relationship either, a la the Urshifu-Slowking example you point to. In fact, these Pokemon don't enable each other at all (or at least in the way that it's framed in this post), given you cannot actually run them on the same team. They more exacerbate each other's problems; it's a nuanced point of distinction, but an important one. We wouldn't be nerfing the enabler to indirectly balance the abuser... my point was that, because of the very nature of how these CAPs play, a small and simple tuning where we address their problems individual of one another in a vaccuum outside the metagame would not address the core issue, that being how their simultaneous and overlapping presence is so limiting.

On a more general note, not necessarily related to the quoted post:
I know some people might not agree with removing setup because it "diverges from the design process," or something along those lines. I don't buy this argument, though. These mons are not finished, final products. The PPL is an extension of the process, meaning we are still actively designing these mons in this stage. Also important to note is that setup wasn't even a requirement of previous stages. "Ability optimization," "tank," and "utility wallbreaker" had nothing to do with setup options; we just decided in the moment that setup was the best path forward, and now we have the power to decide that a different route is. In fact, the roles themselves aren't written in stone, either: Wulf's OP even states "These roles were intended to provide additional direction moving forward rather than act as a strict requirement." We've pivoted designs mid-process in the past and we'll continue to do so in the future, it's not a huge deal so I see no reason to hold tight to setup on the grounds of a process-based justification. Like, come on –– Tinted Lens was supposed to reduce the need for powerful stats on the item forme (this didn't really happen), and we all spent half of the process thinking base Venomicon would run Body Press lol. I understand people might be hesitant to lean into a change like this, but again, I think it's justified.
Now where is this coming from? I'm not being malicious or inventing things.

My post does entertain what one might consider a worst-case scenario, but you were talking about "repurposing one form into something selfless" in a way that will "seem dramatic" because "much bigger problems arise once they start interacting with each other," all in contrast to "a minor nerf on the other form." It's sacrificial language with no clear limit on how far we'd need to go—only that it's not a minor loss, it's taken from Form A's core identity, and it ends when Form B is less of a headache—which begs some scrutiny. Without naming a specific alternative, it lends the impression that Form A's prescribed new purpose is simply to be selfless. I'll admit it's looking like I took a myopic interpretation of your post, and I apologize if I gave offense, but forgive me for reading it as something dramatic when that's exactly how it's presented.

Character assassinations aside, it also looks like we can ultimately agree on some fundamental points.
  • Both forms of CAP30 are holding up extremely well. Arguably too well.
  • The setup (movepool) of at least one form is essential to the overbearingness of both.
  • A CAP30 form that loses its setup will drop in viability. VR drops are a necessary evil of most nerfs. Viability itself is not a valid target.
  • Removing setup and exploring new roles definitely diverges from the process up to this point, but we wouldn't be here if some backtracking were out of the question. I don't know who needs to hear it, but "uses Nasty Plot" is not where we began this journey.
    • By the same token, even if Body Press got two-timed, anything we do with CAP30b is not necessarily grounds for restoring that vision.
  • They more exacerbate each other's problems; it's a nuanced point of distinction, but an important one. We wouldn't be nerfing the enabler to indirectly balance the abuser... my point was that, because of the very nature of how these CAPs play, a small and simple tuning where we address their problems individual of one another in a vaccuum outside the metagame would not address the core issue, that being how their simultaneous and overlapping presence is so limiting.
    • It is an important distinction. It's exactly what I was concerned about, and I thank you for addressing it. If we suppose the two forms' success is intertwined on any level, it would be more prudent of us to untangle them than flatly choose one to crack down on.
 
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Zephyri

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only answering the last question because other people have answered the other questions better than I can:

Lastly, does either form need competitive changes? If so, what is the reasoning behind your conclusion? Are theses issues with stats or movepool or both? What changes can we make that target these problematic elements without introducing excessive additions/removals?

Both book forms are amazing ingame, but where they cross the line is the builder; as someone who builds decently extensively, accounting for Venom-P and Venom-E is insanely difficult, not only because of how different their counterplay is, but also because of how limited it is, and how many other threats there are to account for. Venom-P's "reliable" counterplay is Haze SpD Pex, Slowking+Breaker that can do 37-47% after how many ever Stamina boosts it has, Twave/Discharge Rotom-W, Zapdos, Psych Up Libra, slow pivot+Lele, Weavile if you get it in before Venom-P has too many stamina boosts/np boosts.. and that's kind of it lol. Of these, Psych Up Libra and Weavile are invalidated by the MFire set, and Slowking faces significant competition as a bulky water in the current meta (although tbf its getting better). Also worth mentioning that 3 of these mons are bulky waters, so if you run like Fini or Argho, or even Shifu-R, your pool of counterplay becomes even more limited.

Venom-E's offensive counterplay is honestly solid; Koko/ScarfLele/Weavile/Pult/Zera are all viable mons that are required on offensive teams anyway because of their utility as speed control. However, Venom-E's defensive counterplay is.. pretty grim. There's Magnezone, PhysDef Pex, and Slowbro if Venom isn't at +2, and Magnezone/click x if venom is at +2 (venom gets to +2 by making 1 correct 50/50). Notice, again, that 2/3 of the defensive counterplay are bulky waters, a slot that faces huge competition.

In fairness, both of these mons are scarier on paper than they are in practice; Venom-E can be handled with rocks/helmet damage/abusing brave bird recoil/aggressive play, while Venom-P can sometimes struggle to find adequate setup oppurtunities, since it's always fearful of getting knocked/pivoted on/para'd. But that kinda plays into the point im trying to make here; beating these mons without the thin pool of counterplay, or even with the thin pool of counterplay, requires you to significantly outplay the opposing user; you have to make sure not to send mons that let them in, always keep your checks at high health (in the case of venom e), always get your 50/50s right, etc. When looking to change/nerf the books, I think it's important to try to increase the amount of common counterplay between the two, and increase their pools of counterplay overall.

Specific nerfs i want:

venom-p: remove ep

Removing EP adds Koko/Kril/Heatran/electrics in general as counterplay, and significantly reduces the weird gimmick-y nature of the last slot since there's a chance it's MFire, which turns Ferro/Corv into unsafe pivots/switchins; basically, removing EP significantly widens the amount of counterplay against venom-p while also reducing its uncompetitive last slot variance

venom-e: remove sd/reduce atk and speed
Removing SD turns slowbro/pex into counterplay that isn't beaten by a single wrong sd/bb 50/50 and turns venom-e from a weavile-esque wincon to something more like paj/blace, in my mind; a fast wallbreaker that's able to break holes in the opposing team, but requires pivoting/aggressive play to get in for the most part. removing sd is the only nerf i'm confident with rn, but I think, in general, veno-e is too strong and too fast; in my head a nerf to like, 105 speed and doesnt-2hko-ferro attack would be reasonable but i think i need to put more thought into it before saying too much here

I strongly believe that we should remove setup entirely from one forme, restructure its purpose to be something more beneficial or selfless to the meta, and conduct a minor nerf on the other forme. I have a longer post drafted which elaborates on what I say here, but I wanted to get this opinion out first. While this route may seem dramatic (I don't actually believe it is), it is more than justified at this point.
wanted to quickly address this post too; you've made it clear that a more elaborate post is coming so im not going to go too far into this but on first impression i want to say that a setup-less venom-p just seems... bad. like i haven't done a ton of testing with it but w/o nasty plot, it feels like venom-p would turn into a momentum drain-y sorta pivot that has ok defensive utility with rocks/roost/stamina/decent typing that ends up getting outclassed by the plethora of birds with better defensive utility. i'd love to maybe see replays/hear opinions that prove otherwise because im not as educated about this as id like to be. (the other possibility would be venom-e getting sd removed which im 100% for)

sorry for the progressively worse grammar in this post, i wrote this over 3 hours, while also like studying history concurrently so my brain's pretty fried.


:>
 

quziel

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Gonna keep this short and answer only the changes question.

Venomicon-E is clearly a mix of too fast and too strong (thanks to TLens) to have Swords Dance. Either it should lose a significant chunk of attack (up to 15 frankly), a significant chunk of speed (put it at 104 if you want), or Swords Dance. Keeping all three is likely to lead to a nerf process, so why not just make some steps in the right direction now. Coil exists as a far weaker version of Swords Dance that has nowhere near the raw OHKO power that Swords Dance does, and is thus more balanced.

Venomicon-P is a tad overtuned. While the meta is very against it currently, it still has fairly insane game-ending power when it wants. I don't know if I'd nix Earth Power, as that's a large part of its unique identity (separates it from NP Torn in a major way). I could see a case for replacing Earth Power with Scorching Sands to lower its power at +2, eg not guaranteed OHKOing SpDef Heatran, or docking a few points from its Special Defense. I don't have good numbers here, but the mon just needs a small adjustment downwards. Finally I think there's a case for significantly docking its base defense to force it to either invest there, or rely purely on Stamina to prevent physical revenge killing (interesting gameplan tbh).

Enjoy your day.
 
THE number man has been summoned by Quz.

Both books need nerfs. I'm not sure what direction to take them in, but I'd just like to echo the "nerf both books sentiment".

If I had to suggest stuff: dropping Ebook speed to below 350 means Latis check both of them, which adds a form of counterplay that hits both forms, as opposed to the status quo where u need to prep for them separately. Dropping ebook atk so it cant kill standard zapdos also works i guess. Idt replacing EP with Sands does much tho, since I doubt the Heatran that lives Sands is ever beating +2 book 1v1 anyway. Perhaps hit its SPA or bulk instead, to make it harder to 1v1 neutral MUs such as Garchomp?
 

reachzero

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Given that this was an ability-focused project, how has our concept held up following the release of both Venomicon forms? Did we achieve what we set out to explore or did our goal fall to the wayside in the pursuit of other priorities? Does CAP 30’s success equate to concept success?

Whatever the issues with the two Venomicon formes, it is unquestionable that their abilities are key to their success. The competitive issues show lack of appropriate consideration for the power of the abilities involved, which are now crystal clear.

How has that held up 6 months later? If it has changed, what did they evolve into and was it for the better?

Base Venomicon is a tank, for sure. It requires careful planning on the part of the opponent to make sure that you never run out of firepower to kill it--if at any time you run out of exactly the right firepower, you just lose, a la Blissey. It is one of very few Pokemon that can set up on Specs Dragapult one on one. It can't be poisoned. It's living the bulky offense dream.

Calling Venomicon-Epilogue a utility wallbreaker is underselling it a bit--it is fast enough that it is never dead weight against offense, and arguably even more devastating against bulky offense than against very fat teams. Using any Pokemon that allows ebook in safely (like many Clefable sets) is a really vicious liability right now, just because you don't want to lose a Pokemon instantly to ebook, or even worse allow it to Roost. The fact that you can really run just Swords Dance/Brave Bird/Roost and do everything you normally want gives you room for adding a non-contact move (Gunk Shot) or just some Stealth Rock role compression. Honestly, if I can't fit ebook onto a particular team, I consider carefully whether my team is structured poorly. It's that strong.

How well do both forms perform in the metagame? Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. What are both forms’ defining features that set them apart from other mons? Do both mons have all the tools they need to be successful or, like Astrolotl at its launch, have we provided either form with too many tools?
Compared to the last 4 projects (Equilibra, Astrolotl, Chromera, and Miasmaw), how do the Venomicon forms compare to the power-levels of these mons? Is this the power-level we want to strive for in the future or is this a project that will push us in the opposite direction (either more or less powerful)?


Base Venomicon feels close to okay. It does have clear answers (Zapdos, Tapu Lele), and it really helps that it is slow. It is just a little too tanky, especially on the special side--it has a chance to survive Specs Tapu Koko Thunderbolt, which is crazy. Most teams have one or two Pokemon dedicated to being able to kill Venomicon, and the rest of the team needs it to be at less than full health to have any shot at killing it. This makes Venomicon manageable, but also adds team building requirements and ensures that the majority of games involving it will revolve around it.

Venomicon-Epilogue is, in my opinion, extremely strong: short of Dragapult-strong, but almost as compulsory on a serious offensive team. The fact that it is almost impossible for it to have a negative team matchup is a great feather in its cap. It does have strong support options in Knock Off and Stealth Rock, but almost never needs to use them since any turn not spent using Brave Bird, Swords Dance or Roost often feels like it carries opportunity cost. It feels especially crazy to me that it got both Swords Dance AND Coil, considering the tools already at its disposal and its impressive speed.

Lastly, does either form need competitive changes? If so, what is the reasoning behind your conclusion? Are theses issues with stats or movepool or both? What changes can we make that target these problematic elements without introducing excessive additions/removals?

Base Venomicon is slightly too bulky for its best set to feel healthy, and the fact that it can choose between Earth Power or Mystical Fire is very annoying. It certainly won't dip out of strong viability, so I would make a small SpD cut and probably drop Mystical Fire.

Ebook has a lot of options that would help it fulfill its role that it doesn't ever need because Brave Bird/Swords Dance are all it really does. I honestly think removing Swords Dance is the best option for balancing it, as it allows things like Zapdos to handle it far more plausibly. Coil is probably okay, though I'd want to see it in action a little more.
 
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Voltage

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I'll keep my post brief as well, since a majority of people are echoing the things I've noticed.

I think that the base Venomicon, while ultimately very obnoxious to deal with due to its tankiness, is not invincible. I think the biggest issue I find with the base form is that it's not easily splashable, that is to say it's not just going to go on my team when I need X role. Don't get me wrong, teams built around base Venomicon have the potential to be lethal given Venom's immunity to Toxic and its ability to boost with Stamina, but I think that ultimately it's not as big of an issue as the other form. I think if we were to nerf the base form I would want it solely done in its stats to make it slightly less tanky on the SpDef side (i.e. moving 90 base SpD to something lower, not sure what yet though). This makes it so that Calm Mind boosting sets require a bit more thought to use effectively.

Venopmicon-E on the other than is just really good no matter what. Its speed tier is exactly where it needs to be to always find a spot on a team if you want it. Its ability to boost with SD, hit like a truck with Tinted Lens Brave Birds, and then recover from Roost makes it so that Venomicon can be a threat throughout multiple different parts of a battle. I've found that Venom-E is especially good of a choice when considering a Swords Dancing Pokemon. I think between its ability, the means it has to boost its attack stat, and its absurdly fast speed, Venomicon-E should be nerfed in some capacity. Personally, I think knocking off a few points from speed + removing Swords Dance is probably enough to not make it as big of an issue. But I'm obviously open to flexibility.
 

Wulfanator

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Thank you for all the feedback provided this past week. It is always helpful to see what the community thinks after we have finished a project.

This post will be addressing the topic of competitive changes and will open the floor to specific proposals by the community. Much of the discussion has been broad in how to address necessary changes. I have gathered the general changes purposed thus far by the community. Some of the recommended changes did not offer specifics (i.e. most stat adjustments), and we will need to address those before we move on.

This is a collection of individual tweaks for each form from the thread.

Venomicon
  • No change
  • Special Attack adjustment
  • Defense adjustment
  • Special Defense adjustment
  • - Earth Power
  • - Earth Power + Scorching Sands
  • - Mystical Fire
  • - Special Set-Up
Venomicon-Epilogue
  • Attack adjustment
  • Speed adjustment
  • - Swords Dance
  • - Physical Set-Up
  • - Knock Off

I am allowing users to discuss and create potential packages from the purposed changes we have already seen. Each package should target 1 form but can be a single change or multiple changes. We do need to be mindful that multiple changes are sometimes more impactful than we intend. Look at some of our past nerf processes. Be sure to provide specific reasoning for the changes you include in your package and what stress it alleviates in the meta.

When it comes to stat adjustments, we need to establish specific benchmarks. If you are in support of a specific stat adjustment, please establish what benchmark we should hit after the reduction. What is your purposed benchmark enabling in the meta (calcs/speed tiers appreciated)?

Edit: Be sure to share support for submitted changes if there is one you like
 
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I think I might be misunderstanding what is to be done, still in that whole Pyroak buff mindset for formatting.

WIP-E
- Physical Setup

WIP-P
- Earth Power
+ Scorching Sands


Just some simple move pool shifts should help balance out Venomicon based on what was discussed. Like was discussed, Scorching Sands keeps Prologue's niche in tact while toning it down. Likewise, its not as large of a nerf as Epilogue's, who needs to lose Swords Dance. No matter what buff package we go with, I am of the opinion that Swords Dance needs to go, and I am just trying to provide the bare minimum change as an option here.

EDIT1: Upgraded it from -Swords Dance to -Physical Setup. Even with Coil, I can see this book spiraling out of control. (pun not intended) Even with just a baseline 110 atk/120 speed and Brave Bird/Roost, Epilogue is a powerful choice to have on a team. It doesn't need setup to be viable. It does need it if it wants to break walls since it can't hit them SE, but unfortunately that's a line we crossed when we chose the typing, and its a choice we need to deal with.

Still WIP, will write more later.
 
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dex

I spoke to the devil in Miami
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In my opinion, Venomicon-Prologue needs no changes. While when it came out it seemed oppressive, I think the metagame has suitably adjusted to it. It is strong, and if anything is to be changed about it, I would suggest maybe -5 SpD, but honestly it should not be changed.

Venomicon-Epilogue, however, I think needs some changes. At this point I think a reduction in Speed to 110 is necessary. Additionally, Swords Dance needs to be removed. Venomicon-Epilogue has surpassed our expectations and limits. It has more longevity than previously thought due to its typing and easy ability to use roost. Reducing Speed lets Astro threaten it with Wisp, similar to the lando interaction. Taking away Swords Dance and forcing it to rely on Coil makes Zapdos a much more consistent check to it.
 

shnowshner

You've Gotta Try
is a Pre-Contributor
WIP (are we supposed to pair these???)

Venomicon-Prologue
-Mystical Fire
-5 SpA

-Knock Off

Venomicon-Epilogue
-Physical Boosting
-Knock Off

-5 SpA (to match P's 535)

Prologue is definitely beginning to settle in now that new toy syndrome is dying down, but I don't think it hurts to give it minor adjustments. Removing Mystical Fire allows a couple Steels to better check it and adds more insurance that your Special Attackers can force it out. The -5 SpA is mostly there to ever so slightly dampen its damage output, but it also makes Stratagem a better switch-in even against a maxed-out Venomicon, which is nice given it's a CAP and that means we'll always have it around.

+2 252+ SpA Venomicon Hurricane (Base 118) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Stratagem: 246-289 (76.6 - 90%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252+ SpA Venomicon Hurricane (Base 113) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Stratagem: 237-280 (73.8 - 87.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

Again, very specific and minor, but it's the little things that count.


Epilogue gets a pretty heavy-handed nerf: after thinking about it, I feel Physical Boosting is just too powerful and rewarding for our "utility wallbreaker." How well it can wallbreak without boosting is up in the air, but even unboosted Epilogue is very good against frailer, slower offensive mons, anything it can hit SE, and Flying-resists that rely heavily on their typing. I'm sort-of envisioning it as more of a Dragapult-type attacker, one that has very broadly effective coverage but can struggle to really dent the sturdier walls. Given its unique attributes, I believe this to be a fair trade-off. Knock Off gets axed as well because I promised, and by proxy it opens the door to some of Venomicon's more unexplored support options like U-Turn and Imprison. This also means that Prologue will never get the opportunity to run Knock Off as a way of bypassing some of its better checks, if such a situation were to arise in the future.
 

Dj Breloominati♬

1% chance 99% faith
is a Top Tiering Contributor
UPL Champion
With regards to e-book, SD needs to go. However I am in favour of keeping coil ; a +1 boost over +2 mean steels (ferro/corv/melm) check it much more reliably amidst other things like not being able to ohko zap (at +2) and lando (at +0). Without setup, other than being forever walled by bro and pex, i feel we also dont as reliably "wall break" since you need other external factors (prior chip/status/hazards) to make use of it effectively. As mentioned in the discord, a flying type with tinted lens and stab bb will never be bad, but i feel that we're overshooting the issue too much by removing setup entirely. No particular stance on the speed drop to 350, though i think -SD we have sufficient checks and that adding another might not be required (though im still open for change here)

With regards to the base form, am on board with the idea of it being fine as is. If people are on board with swapping ep for scorching sands, then i think thats the best path forward, since as quz said, ground coverage is what really sets us apart from np torn

Proposed changes
Venomicon
  • - Earth Power + Scorching Sands
Venomicon-Epilogue
  • - Swords Dance
 
WIP

Venomicon

-12 SpD +4 Spe

This nerf looks to make Venomicon less Bulky on the Special Side, while letting Corviknight always underspeed Book, making Corviknight a solid answer into Hurricane and Earthpower Combos.
The bulk reduction means, that Zapdos will be able to check it more efficiently without big SpA investment, while still running discharge.
In general this makes it harder for Base Book to continuously absorb Special attacks, while still being able to check Dragapult in a pinch.

Venomicon-Epilogue

WIP

-8 Atk -Swords Dance

This nerf looks to create more consistent counterplay to Venomicon and to force it to rely on more nuanced tools than just raw power.
The Atk nerf means, that both Corviknight and Max defense Zapdos cannot be 2hkoed (Zapdos needs its boots, while Corvi can come in on Ebook without lefties and stealth rocks up as long as it is at full health).
Removing Swords Dance means, that Pokémon like Slowbro, Zapdos, Corviknight, Toxapex and Ferrothorn can actually come in and use their recovery, force it out with the threat of Futuresight, Paralysis, Scalds or Discharge or pivot on it and bring in a Mon that’s able to revenge Ebook.
I chose to keep coil as the slower nature of the boosting means much more opportunity cost to ebook and generally only helps it once it’s checks are thoroughly worn down, while still giving it an option to increase power.
 

shnowshner

You've Gotta Try
is a Pre-Contributor
To keep things moving a bit (I imagine a lot of people are busy with work/CAPCL playoffs prep) I've been wondering about replacing SD and Coil on EBook with something a lot weaker: I don't know if this is the kind of place to suggest new nerf ideas but I've literally not much else to do with my time right now.

Swords Dance is a pretty obvious issue in terms of breaking/sweeping potential, so I was initially just going to leave Coil. However, the Defense boosting capabilities of Coil (and accuracy ig) soured me on that as well, so I elected to just axe both. Now, however, I'm wondering if Work Up might be a good replacement, it's the same boost as Coil but only increases our Attack and rather useless Special Attack. That way EBook can still threaten teams by boosting but not in such a severe way.

I've also wondered about Curse. While this does raise our Defense as well, the lowered Speed results in a much larger pool of Pokemon that can threaten us out, to the point where even neutral nature Heatran can potentially outpace us with heavy Speed investment. Essentially, we retain boosting as an option, but at a significant cost that limits the proceeding onslaught to slower mons, and leaves us noticeably weak to Special Attackers. Consequently, this would mean that base Venomicon gets access to Curse, which has implications, but given Acid Armor is already part of its moveset I feel this is a moot point. The Speed drop could make slow pivots out infeasible tho, which can make playing around it a lot harder.

edit: phone won't let me type Coil properly ffs
 

shnowshner

You've Gotta Try
is a Pre-Contributor
late af but i want to finish my ideas

Final Submission

Venomicon-Prologue
-Mystical Fire
-Dicharge
-5 SpA


Venomicon-Epilogue
-Physical Boosting
-5 SpA (to match P's 535)

Much of my reasoning is the same but I decided that Knock Off can stay, losing SD is already a big hit to Epilogue and base form isn't in as much need of heavy nerfing as it needs more solidified counterplay and pressure MUs. Axing Mystical Fire and Discharge does that just fine, nobody is using the latter anyway and NP/Cane/EP/Roost is already a fantastic set atm and helps set Venomicon apart from competition.

still not sure what the preferred way of doing this was but i needed closure so i can stop posting on this thread every other day

btw edit was me removing a "to" mfg can't type
 

dex

I spoke to the devil in Miami
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnus
If we are submitting packages like this, here is what I think we should do. Final Sub if that is necessary.

Venomicon-Prologue:
-7 SpA
-4 SpD

In my honest opinion, worries about this mon are overblown. It is definitely a good mon, but it is not so overbearing. It is like any other setup sweeper in that it has a particular win condition that it relies on its teammates achieving. I don’t think it is overbearing in any way. It should absolutely retain both Earth Power and Nasty Plot, though a slight SpD and SpA drop is understandable, and that is really the only nerf I could support. The combo of Earth Power and Nasty Plot is what separates Venomicon from the many other Flying-types in the tier, and, in my opinion, losing either would result in a nasty drop in viability, which I think we should avoid. Keep the book good.

Venomicon-Epilogue:
-Swords Dance
-Coil
-2 Atk

I also think that worries about this forme are slightly overblown; however, I think this nerf is appropriate. It still puts in work as a wallbreaker, but it will be punished more often by being forced to proc contact effects twice instead of once. This also solidifies Slowbro and Toxapex as checks, as Venomicon-E will no longer be able to sweep through them given the right chip/entry hazards. I think this nerf also sets Venomicon-E back on its intended “utility wallbreaker” track, as it frees its fourth moveslot to allow for running a combination of Knock Off / U-turn / Stealth Rock / Substitute. The reasoning behind -2 Atk has already been stated.
 
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