CAP 31 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment

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Rabia

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gonna chime in again on a few moves I didn't talk about at first hehehahahahaa

I think Spectral Thief definitely has appeal given the large swath of setup sweepers the tier has; between Garchomp, Zeraora, Cawmodore, and Dragonite, there'd certainly be ample targets to make use of the stat stealing. Additionally, it's been long established that Ghost is an incredible offensive typing, meaning we're not hamstringing CAP 31 early on by forcing it into having a poor attacking move. It'd still be a bit situational overall, but it's a cool option.

Photon Geyser is interesting if we dedicate to making use of mixed offensive stats. Necrozma doesn't really use the move to its full potential at the moment, almost always going specially offensive. Frankly, even just using it as a physical move has merit because we don't really see physical Psychic-type attacks at all in this metagame.

Jungle Healing is fun because it allows you to sit in front of status-inducing walls and just not care. Even though the recovery portion of it sort of sucks, the stallbreaking utility it provides is pretty cool, and having more status absorbers in the metagame is always a good thing. It does feel like we'd be dedicating to a setup sweeper role early on, but contrary to some posters' beliefs, I don't find that to be bad.

Secret Sword and Psystrike seem pretty uninteresting; I don't think there's a ton of room to further navigate what these moves do.

Diamond Storm I genuinely don't have much of an opinion on. We've only seen it used on Mega Diancie in previous generations, so it could be interesting to see it on a different Pokemon at least? This generation, NU Diancie has utilized Diamond Storm as a sort of setup move to buff Body Press, so that's cool. Beyond that, I'm unsure what it does beyond function as a potential buffer for an otherwise somewhat frail Pokemon.
 

dex

And then, Hefest got this run
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I wanna say why I think Techno Blast would be a bad decision moving forward. Techno Blast is a powerful move; however, there are a number of issues with selecting this move for the process that make it a less desirable option than a number of other moves.
  1. Techno Blast railroads CAP 31 into an offensive role. What type of mons like strong, varied coverage? That's right, offensive mons! Compared to options like Thunder Cage, Jungle Healing, and Diamond Storm, Techno Blast has little variability in how we can effectively implement it.
  2. Techno Blast makes CAP 31 inherently immensely weak to Knock Off. However, that is not the end of it; Knock Off effectively ends CAP 31's usage of its intended design. Techno Blast is just a 120 BP Normal-type move after Knock, which is just an 80 BP STAB move. This is not good. The entire purpose of the mon gets ruined by the most common utility move in the game. This is not like Krilowatt, a similarly Knock Off-weak mon, because Krilowatt's design does not revolve around its item, as a Techno Blast project would. Plus, even if you think it would be cool to see what we can do with strong, non-STAB move like Techno Blast, we already did that with Boomburst Chromera.
  3. Techno Blast has frightening implications when it comes to building. It is not unbalanceable by any means, but Techno Blast lets CAP 31 "pick and choose" its checks way more than any Pokemon in the current metagame. This sounds unhealthy and simply unfun to me.
 
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Techno Blast: I really don't like this move for us. I think it could be really unhealthy to play against, and the knock weakness makes it really all-or-nothing and severely limits the pool of pokemon you can switch in on.

Photon Geyser: The move is so versatile that I think we could pretty easily set it apart from Necrozma. Probably not in my top 5, but it's an interesting move.

Spectral Thief: IMO the move is inherently pretty broken. As a decent drawback-free physical ghost move, it would see usage on a lot of builds even without its absolutely bonkers boost-stealing effect, and I think making it not unhealthy would almost require putting it on a fatmon with very little offensive potential, on which it would basically be Haze+. To my mind that doesn't lead to an interesting process.

Wicked Blow: Cool move. I'm down.

Shadow Force: Hard to make work, but given how strong it is I think it's possible and perhaps worth pursuing. This is one of the moves we'd probably learn the most from.

I think Jungle Healing is really cool. Like Shadow Force, Jungle Healing would require a lot of thought to build around properly, but we already have clear evidence that it's possible to make good use of the move, and I think it'd be an incredibly interesting process.

I also quite like Thunder Cage, Diamond Storm, and Bolt Strike.
 
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Astra

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I'm not really fond of Techno Blast either for basically the same reasons already mentioned like the abundance of Knock Off in the metagame, but I think the Hidden Power / Multi-Attack comparison should be stressed a lot. Fire, Ice, Water, and Electric covers a very large scope of Pokemon within the current CAP metagame that's primarily meant to take big hits like Techno Blast; unless I goofed up a little bit, any type that isn't hit super effectively by any of Techno Blast's type options doesn't resist any of them either, which, on paper, sounds a bit concerning. I know this boon is contradictory to its likely weakness to Knock Off, but the element of mystery of what type Techno Blast is enough to pressure a good handful of Knock Off users, fluctuating depending on CAP 31's hypothetical Speed tier. Having to play around these factors in later stages just sounds like a huge constraint to me, and I can't really see us achieving a goal we're satisfied with.

Photon Geyser is probably the only move I'd be interested in focusing around that's actively used in the current metagame due to Necrozma never really utilizing its unique effect. The applications of it are pretty unique, too, in the context of the current metagame; having good offensive stats physically and specially opens the door to a lot of customization and creativity in our hands.

I don't really have any strong opinions yet on Spectral Thief, though I do agree that it's pretty intimidating on paper. Ghost spam is already pretty solid currently, so adding CAP 31 potentially into the mix could make the strategy very overwhelming, especially considering the fact the Spectral Thief is physical rather than special and its amazing secondary effect of stealing the targets stat changes.
 
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I've changed my mind on Techno Blast. While I think it is possible to make this balanced, I think the chance that it ends up being busted is more likely and would really constrain the later stages.

I've already talked about Photon Geyser, and I think it's awesome on paper, and I think it opens the door for some really cool mixed attacking capabilities. I am, however, concerned that it's not quite strong enough to be worth using without STAB, but considering the rise of Pokemon weak to Psychic like Venomicon and Toxapex, maybe this could work without STAB. I'm more worried about that than I am about making it different enough from Necrozma.

I do not like Shadow Force. I am sure it could be made to work, but that's not my issue with it. I just don't think the metagame is equipped to handle another Pokemon with a strong Ghost attack, the Ghost resists/immunities in the current metagame are not great, with Weavile being extremely frail and every other Ghost resist being below the A ranks on the Viability Rankings. I do not believe this is a particularly healthy option to pursue, even with the attack next turn aspect of it. As Astra said, Ghost spam is solid enough already and I don't think it needs to get better.
 
Aite, so I’ve never really vibed with the move, but here's my thoughts on Techno Blast. Personally, I take issue with its reliance on Drives and the infuriating guessing games it presents.

With a Drive, a Techno user is practically giving up its item, yet at the same time becomes deathly allergic to Knock Off. Using Techno would forfeit a possible Life Orb, Specs, Scarf, Boots, Lefties, etc. unless if we wanna use a slightly worse Boomburst. And of course, there's Knock Off, which is the most ubiquitous move in the game. It could be argued that letting the mon get Knocked is a misplay, but holding a Drive means that the mon's gameplan hinges entirely on that Drive. Once the Drive holder loses the Drive, its entire niche and concept is gone. I don't find the idea of a mon that basically dies to Knock Off compelling, especially since that already describes Krill pretty well and even Krill has the benefit of a Life Orb.

I also don't find it engaging to play against Techno in the slightest. There's the argument that playing against it would be like playing against Hidden Power from previous gens, but Techno is a lot stronger than Hidden Power, and any of the types it could be are great offensively. If you misread Techno, you're gonna get punished way harder than if you misread Hidden Power. That is not something I find fun to deal with. And I don't see how Techno teaches us anything interesting about coverage when it's already known how potent Techno's types are and said types could easily be replicated by just giving the mon actual coverage and not forcing the opponent to do harsh guessing games or bootstrap the mon to a non-boosting item.

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I've given my thoughts on Photon Geyser in a previous post, so I'm not gonna rehash that. I do see the arguments for it, but I still think Necrozma uses this move excellently, and I find other options much more exciting.

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Like Spectral Thief. This move is definitely a big risk, but I think it opens up a lot of avenues. It's basically Haze but real juiced up and could potentially fit a number of playstyles. A speedy utility mon ala Crobat, a tank-style build, something real defensive, and an anti-offense mon are all routes we can take with this. It doesn't even need to be STAB either, I could definitely see it being used as coverage depending on the mon's type. This is a cool move with a lot of design space.

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Head empty now but I just wanna voice some support for Thunder Cage. This move is pretty fuego, fairly strong but Grounds are on every team which gives it immediate counterplay. What intrigues me is looking into the chip TCage provides and how it can potentially turn 3HKOs to 2HKOs and 2HKOs into OHKOs. For Heatran and Magma Storm, the chip is really more of a bonus than something it truly takes advantage of, so leaning into TCage's chip would be pretty cool.
 
Techno Blast: Changed my mind on this and no longer think its worth pursuing. Really what made me change my mind was Rabia's post and me thinking about "How do we really play around this in game?". I could imagine this being very difficult to scout in-game, and considering how strong of a move Techno Blast is, one wrong prediction and suddenly your mon is just dead (Switch in Ferrothorn thinking its safe and suddenly its turned into fried... whatever the fuck its supposed to be (A durian or a chestnut? I'm honestly not sure)). While I'm all for adding ways of spicing the metagame up, but this just seems to punishing.

Photon Geyser: I'm not really a huge fan of this move either to be honest, and I never really understood the hype behind it. Necrozma already uses this move perfectly for the most part, as both its physical and special sweeper sets are fairly viable, so there isn't really a whole lot to explore on that front. As for mixed attacker sets, I'm just not really all that interested in it since it doesn't really feel like it would make for a super interesting process to build off of that idea alone. While mixed attackers have admittedly dropped in popularity these past couple of generations, they are still around (Couple examples are Scarf Lotl and Arctozolt), and I personally just don't find the idea of going from Physical to Special after an Intimidate drop to be really all that exicting, but that's just me I guess.

Spectral Thief: Probably one of my favorite options so far. While I'm not the biggest fan of putting this on an offensive mon, since Marshadow already has used this decently well in Ubers (At least before it got Poltergeist), where I think this move really shines is the defensive merit it brings. Putting this on something like a fast wall or utility mon could make for a really cool anti-offense mon (Death2TheWest brought up the idea of making something like ORAS UU Crobat as well, which I think would be another good route to take), and unlike a lot of other moves on the list, it doesn't really mandate STAB at all, so we have a lot of room to build around during the typing stage as well. Wile I understand the concerns that it may be a bit too powerful, I personally don't think that this would be very hard to keep in check, especially if we decide to take a more defensive route.
 
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Thunder Cage (and Thousand Waves): Personally don't like trapping as a mechanic in general because I'm bad. But I also feel that in Heatran we have a near-perfect user of this kind of trapping, plus we have Pajantom. I don't think having a common immunity makes either of these moves much more interesting.

Oblivion Wing: I really like this move, but the tier is absolutely overrun with Flying types at the moment. I feel like even with 75% healing, an 80 BP non-STAB move with a type that's not commonly used as coverage sounds... a little underwhelming.

Diamond Storm: The 50% chance aspect of this is annoying to me. There are other moves in this list that always activate their intended effect but I realize the 50% chance is part of the intended effect (like Scald or Discharge). It also isn't particularly strong. Wouldn't be mad about it though; cool move.

Jungle Healing: I like this. It's a completely unique effect, and as others before me have said, we can take this any number of different ways.

Core Enforcer: Thought it worked on Regen. It doesn't. Bad.

Sacred Fire/Searing Shot: See Diamond Storm.

Photon Geyser: I could see this being cool, but I think we would spend a lot of the process in the looming presence of Necrozma.

Spectral Thief: I like the idea of this on a defensive/utility mon. Could be an interesting exercise to ensure it doesn't spiral out of control too easily, but can threaten to. A little wary of adding another Ghost mon to check to the meta tho. It could probably work on a non-Ghost.

Techno Blast: I don't hate this as much as other people do, but being Knock weak is really shitty.

Shadow Force: ehhhhh this seems difficult to make work, and then if we do we have another strong ass Ghost move to worry about. This one I don't think would work without STAB.
 
Sharing thoughts on the more discussed moves thus far.

Spectral Thief has a fair bit of promise due to being a more aggressive form of setup prevention. Haze is largely exclusive to Pex right now and TrickScarf needs certain conditions to really work + limited distribution among actually good Scarfers. With HazeHawk at an all-time low and setup mons running rampant right now, I can see why this has garnered a lot of support. Offense and boosting is king in the current metagame and takes many different forms, so a move that's able to take advantage of the opponent's strategy sounds quite good.

Thunder Cage is an explored effect on a vastly different kind of move. Magma Storm has very limited switch-in due to how well Heatran abuses its effects with the combination of Toxic, Taunt, Earth Power, and more. Thunder Cage is a more reliable version of Magma Storm but with a typing easier to play around. This is a really cool move stuck on a Pokemon that couldn't care less about trapping the opponent, and making a strong trapper with obvious weaknesses has plenty of routes to explore (given that Pajantom's Spirit Shackle was way too strong to give it anything it can do once the opponent is trapped). Strong moves that accure passive damage over time are a great way to force progress through the opponent's team and is part of what makes Heatran so dangerous: a process that can further explore such a niche sounds promising.

Thousand Waves is not as cool as Thunder Cage but it does at least have more varied counterplay thanks to Levitate being fairly abundant and the many different Flying-types available right now. It being physical is another distiction from Thunder Cage that leaves it with an even broader list of checks and hurdles to overcome, and counterplay is always an important consideration going forward.

Photon Geyser isn't really calling out to me. Being Physical or Special is like, cool I guess, but you can sorta replicate that just by having Physical and Special moves. Mixed routes that change attacking bias sound worse than just min-maxing one direction in 90% of cases. Ignoring abilities is cool I guess, idk I feel like we've done enough setup recently and I don't see a way to get much use out of this besides setup.

Diamond Storm does feel slightly uninspired, but the effect is no less powerful, especially when placed on a move that's honestly really good and faces little direct competition given that Physical Rock-types are largely dead in the water right now.

Sacred Fire is a favorite of mine. Burn is an incredibly strong status that a lot of Pokemon need to respect else they get put out of commision for the match, or just succumb to chip. This move not only threatens Burn more consistently than most options in the game, but is hella strong in its own right. I can see a lot of avenues we can explore wrt Sacred Fire and what kinds of Pokemon can utilize it effectively.

Jungle Healing is a neat move but requires the right kind of mon to use it. I have confidence that we'd be able to piece together what said mon looks like, but I'm not sure how diverse the process would be in terms of direction, which is a bit sad. Refresh was a cool move and with this one also providing some recovery, it does stand out, so I don't have any real stake in it one way or the other.

Oblivion Wing and Wicked Blow are both similar to me: strong moves of a type that doesn't always have access to moves of that type and attacking bias. Special Flying-type moves are either strong but innaccurate or weak and for some reason still inaccurate, so one that has perfect accuracy with workable power and a strong secondary effect is really clean. Wicked Blow allows for a Dark-type Physical Attacker that doesn't exclusively spam Knock Off, and the 100% crit rate has some cool implications for what it matches up well against. What I don't like about these moves is that they're kinda... boring? Like it's just a good attack, no real unique effect or consideration. Oblivion Wing is at least the best draining move and would lead to a unique playstyle, but it's still just a draining move, compared to our other available options.

Techno Blast doesn't sound like a good idea because-
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nevermind you get the point
 
Round 2 under a day after my first post here weeeeeee

Spectral Thief:
Edited my original post this morning regarding it soooo
Spectral Thief can definitely be balanced around, and there are a fair number of roles that it can be used for. I do stand by the idea that the move could turn CAP31 into a breaker if we aren’t careful, and I find it less interesting than the other moves I like, but this one’s okay I guess.
Only thing I’ll add to this is that I will say more specifically that offensive roles for Spectral Thief are kinda what I’m a little anxious on but if we lean more defensively with Spectral Thief I think we can have a fun process that has more depth beyond simply “what Pokémon should we reverse the sweep on”. Still not my favorite by any stretch but it’s fine.

Techno Blast:
Not gonna go over it again since I mentioned it yesterday and dead horse. I’ll just say I agree with the consensus rn and move on.

Sunsteel Strike / Psystrike / Wicked Blow / Bolt Strike:
Lumping these together as they’re all big damage moves compared to others of their types. The order I listed them in is my order of preference for them, but I’m not as interested in any of these compared to moves like Thunder Cage, Diamond Storm, etc. Sunsteel Strike I’m genuinely interested in a process of exploring how to exploit the offensive capabilities of a type very much known for defensive strengths more than anything. Psystrike is interesting simply because Psyshock is an interesting move that wishes it was stronger. That said I don’t know if that could hold a full process, especially given how there’s really only two Pokémon in the meta who’d particularly care about Psystrike vs Psychic in Blissey and Glowking. Wicked Blow I sense would just be a balancing act process of making sure we don’t just make Urshifu-S again, and frankly I don’t find that very appealing. It’s cool as a Dark-type attack that isn’t Knock Off, but I’m not sure how much that can last versus the serious restrictions the rest of the process would see, especially with stats. Bolt Strike is cool but honestly with Zeraora already being a strong presence in the metagame I’m not sure if Bolt Strike’s whole thing of being a physical Electric type nuke is as unique as it sounds. We can obviously make something very different from Zeraora, but I definitely believe Bolt Strike gives us the absolute least direction of these moves. If you need to pick one, Sunsteel Strike is the way to go.

Photon Geyser:
I’m kinda ambivalent on this one. On one hand, Photon Geyser is a rather interesting move given how it changes attack category depending on the opponent’s defenses and ignores abilities. I think there is definitely something to be said about exploring a process of bringing back the mixed attacker (hell, we had a prominent CAP member propose a mixed attacker concept this time). That said, Necrozma itself uses it quite well as is, and I sense that it would be hanging over us for the whole process should we go with this move. Additionally, this would definitely run the risk of being rather annoying to build for if we aren’t careful, albeit nowhere near the risk level of Dead Horse Blast. I’m kinda leaning towards disliking it, but overall I’m sorta neutral, I guess?

Shadow Force:
This is definitely a very interesting one, as two-turn moves tend to be very poor uses of moveslots (unless you’re Meteor Beam), but Shadow Force’s combination of high power and amazing neutral coverage means that if there’s any two-turn move that can work without Power Herb, it’s this one. I’m slightly worried that we’ll underestimate the strength of it like Doom Desire on Libra, and I’m not fully convinced of Shadow Force compared to other moves just yet, but I definitely would like to hear more discussion of it.

Sacred Fire / Searing Shot:
I think both of these moves have value, but I have concerns for each of them. Searing Shot is basically Fire-type Scald, and while that obviously means there are different Pokémon that Searing Shot targets compared to Scald, I’m frankly not sure how much is there to fill out an entire process. Sacred Fire almost has the opposite problem. Its 50% burn chance does seem similar to Diamond Storm’s 50% chance to give +2 Defense, but in a meta without much in the way of viable clerics, 50% burn chance makes Sacred Fire even scarier to face down than Diamond Storm. I definitely think there is something to explore in that level of threat to physical attackers, but Sacred Fire is not a move we should choose lightly. It wouldn’t need the level of balancing something like Wicked Blow would need, but Sacred Fire definitely takes up a large amount of our power budget right out the gate. Unlike Wicked Blow, I can see Sacred Fire’s balancing act to be at least somewhat interesting to explore, which is why I’d be on board for seeing it as our move, but it definitely is on the upper end of moves we could choose. Searing Shot, on the other hand, I have no qualms about passing up. It doesn’t give very much direction, even compared to Sacred Fire, and 30% isn’t RNG I feel like I want to rely on for an entire process.
 
The way Spectral Thief could be made interesting in my eyes would be if the mon couldn't necessarily use the stolen boosts. An interesting take would be to put it on a defensive mon, it would be a lot more interesting than "haha my offensive mon clicks the funny button and funny reverse sweeps you".

I'm not convinced on the hype behind Jungle Healing. Sure, it allows a mon to set up and shrug off status, but a lot of posts already mentionned they didn't want to just throw another offensive threat in the metagame. If we consider a more defensive approach, I think we will have to ask the question "Would this mon be able to do its thing if it only had natural cure?"

I never considered Whicked Blow as an interesting option because of Urshifu and the stranglehold it had on the metagames it was allowed in. However, even if we just took Unseen Fists out of the equation, we already have a much more balanced move than we might think. 8 pp is abusable, especially if it can be protected against, and if we leverage the stats, stab(s) and abilities correctly, we could avoid the state of "balance nightmare" Urshifu was in. This move also doesn't railroad us in any direction (the power of the move makes it viable as strong coverage or a whicked stab move on an offensive mon or a reliable stab on a defensive or support mon, making it more of a threat). The moreI look at it, the more this move is appealing, as it feels like we have an opportunity to make a mon that isn't just bonkers broken with it.

R.I.P. Techno Blast, you might be missed maybe.


Mod Edit: Deleted Photon Geyser section for poll jumping
 
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snake_rattler

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More thoughts:

I want to pitch for Thousand Waves again, as people seem to crowd around Thunder Cage and then say "oh yeah Thousand Waves is there." Thousand Waves has more consistent counterplay with the number of sturdy Ground-type immunities in the metagame right now. There are many Flying-type options in the metagame (Tornadus-T, the books, Zapdos, more offensive options in Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres, etc.), and most of them won't fall over to a coverage move unless its super strong. Contrast this with Thunder Cage's immunities - overstressed Landorus-T, Garchomp that typically gets worn down over a match, and Zeraora which never really wants to switch directly into moves.

People also say that Thousand Waves CAP31 would be the same as Pajantom, and I disagree. Pajantom's Spirit Shackle functionally has no immunities - Blissey takes big damage from Pajantom's other attacks and can't do anything back to Pajantom (same with Chansey last gen). Therefore, we didn't want to give Pajantom a large list of moves to exploit its trapped victims - mostly offensive moves (granted, Heal Block was present last gen). Thunder Cage and Thousand Waves both have clear immunities, which opens up design space that Pajantom couldn't have or else it could trap and take advantage of most defensive Pokemon. Between Thunder Cage and Thousand Waves, I think there's a better opportunity to give a Thousand Waves CAP31 more auxiliary tools than a Thunder Cage CAP31 because there are just more ways to pivot around Thousand Waves. Contrast with Thunder Cage - give it any way to pressure Ground-types and suddenly Thunder Cage starts to strain the metagame pretty hard. The choices for Ground-types to stand up to current Electric-types are pretty slim, and I'm worried about adding an Electric-type trapper.

Granted, I'd love to explore Thunder Cage before a ton of moves on the banlist, but I think Thousand Waves just opens more design space. It may seem like Pajantom 2, but I really don't think it will turn out that way simply due to Ground-type moves being different compared to Ghost-type moves and how there's so many more ways to pivot around Thousand Waves. I honestly think it'll play a lot different compared to Magma Storm Heatran as well for similar reasons.

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Sunsteel Strike seems like a cool move, but I don't think its secondary effect has many applications in the current meta. It would allow CAP31 to bust past Multiscale Dragonite and the much rarer Unaware Clefable, which are admittedly useful, but Unaware Arghonaut will confidently sit in front of even boosted Sunsteel Strike due to its resistance and typically high Defense investment. On the other hand, Photon Geyser would have just about the same effect on Dragonite and have a worse matchup against Clefable, but it would absolutely annihilate Arghonaut. If we're interested in exploring Sunsteel Strike's Mold Breaker-ish secondary effect, I think Photon Geyser is just a better way to go. We also get to explore the mixed attacking capabilities that Photon Geyser presents, which Necrozma doesn't really utilize all that well at the moment. Rather, it usually runs fully physical or fully special sets, just taking advantage of Photon Geyser's naturally high base power.

It's important to note that Photon Geyser switches between physical and special only with pure stat changes. It's not the same as Shell Side Arm, so if a physical Photon Geyser CAP31 gets burned or gets tricked a Choice Specs, Photon Geyser will still remain physical. It makes Photon Geyser a little less cool, but we should be aware of the full mechanics of the move before fully considering it. I still think the presence of Intimidate and several key abilities choices could still make Photon Geyser a cool move to choose for this concept.

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Spectral Thief isn't a bad choice, but we'll have to play very cautiously with it. I personally wouldn't want to see a super offensive build with it, as there are already so many good Ghost-types in the metagame. On the other hand, I wouldn't want a super defensive build to just blank every setup sweeper in the metagame either. There's a balance to strike, and I'm not sure how unstable that balance is.

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Trying to balance Wicked Blow actually sounds kind of fun. With all of Urshifu-S's tools, Wicked Blow just ran through everything. However, in tandem with a weaker STAB combination, it ought to be a little more balanced, and it could lead to another way to address Ghost-types in the metagame, similar to Weavile.

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Jungle Healing seems cool for a defensive stat build which would otherwise be reliant on Leftovers for recovery, but actually it could crutch on the 25% healing effect rather than a proper 50% healing effect. If we treat Jungle Healing like Recover, it's not going to work. I'm coming around to Jungle Healing a little more, but I'm still a bit underwhelmed by the move overall. It'll just require specific builds that we ought to identify early in the process to ensure we have a proper target.
 
Well, at this point I don't think I need to point out my issues with Techno Blast, as many posts have torn it to shreds already. However, I would like to voice my support for Sacred Fire, as I personally feel like it allows for multiple design routes to be taken. Its combination of strong Base Power and 50% burn chance allow it to be strong both as STAB on both offensive and defensive mons, as well as great coverage for offensive pokemon. Even as a coverage type on a defensive mon it would do well, as being able to break through a majority of the steels in the tier while also threatening burns is an extremely valuable trait for defensive pokemon with serviceable offenses. This range of versatility means that we could create any number of combinations regarding types and roles, and Sacred Fire would most likely find a way to fit on that Pokémons moveset.

As a final support for Sacred Fire, I would like to point out its similarity to Bolt Strike. Both give us a physical move to work with from types that arguably dont have very many good physical moves. While Fire may have it better than Electric thanks to its access to Flare Blitz, Flare Blitz's recoil significantly hurts the longevity of the user, and beyond that it is limited to the incredibly underwhelming fire punch and the very inconsistent Heat Crash. Sacred Fire avoids both of these pitfalls handily, and with its 50% burn chance and more reliable accuracy, opens us up to far more roles and possibilities than the mostly offensively-orriented Bolt Strike.
 
One final post to rehash my support for Shadow Force. We really have no mons that can effectively us a 2-turn move outside of Herb Meteor Beam. I would like to explore how a mon could reliably and effectively use a 2 turn move without having to rely on Power Herb. I think that this would give us a move that is certainly powerful enough to be interesting, but with inherent counterplay. I think that with the addition of post-play lookback, we can sort of 'overbalance' the CAP, and pull back the reins if it's too overwhelming. I think that this move has been heavily overlooked in favor of Spectral Thief, which is interesting in its own right, but I think that its process would either lead to a bulky mon with 'better Haze' or an offensive mon that abuses good reliable physical Ghost STAB. We already have CAPs that fill these roles to an extent: Tomohawk and Pajantom. We have no mons that use a two-turn move well, with the very very rare Phantom Force Dragapult. The only semi-close thing to Shadow Force is Future Sight from the Slows, which is still radically different. If we want something unique, as many people are arguing for, Shadow Force is one of our best options. The only other 'truly unique' option that I see is Diamond Storm, which one can see my previous posts to learn about my distaste for it. I understand the points made against the amount of Ghost spam in the metagame; still, I think that if you want explore a Ghost type option, Shadow Force is much easier to answer than Spectral Thief. I've looked through all of the past posts, and I hardly see anything that mentions that this move could be too powerful or too overbearing. I think that this move gives us the most power budget, creativity, and room to learn of any move on the whole list. And isn't that what this whole process is about? While part of Wulf's post was that he wanted to explore 'using up the power budget early,' I think that the move is still plenty powerful, and can easily become too powerful if not respected. In my humble opinion, this move will allow us to do this concept with the greatest amount of creativity while still staying true to the submission's spirit.
 

dex

And then, Hefest got this run
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In terms of moves that have seen support, I think Diamond Storm, Thunder Cage, Spectral Thief, Sacred Fire, and Jungle Healing are absolute no-brainers that have interesting mechanics with a lot of design space to them. While I definitely have a preference for moves like these with more unique secondary effects, I wanted to highlight the 2 "strong af" moves that I think would still lead to good processes. I also wanna say that some moves that have gotten some negativity around them like Oblivion Wing and Photon Geyser are definitely still interesting options that are totally valid here, they just aren't my favorite. Also as a note on Shadow Force, I do like the move, I just prefer the following two.

Wicked Blow: Wicked Blow is a very interesting move if you look more into how Dark plays as a type in the current metagame. Dark is a very common coverage type among physical attackers; however, a large part of this is the fact that the Dark coverage move is Knock Off. Wicked Blow is much stronger than Knock Off, but does not come with Knock Off's absolutely amazing secondary effect, making it uniquely interesting to me as a move that is stronger than its counterpart in some ways and weaker in others. The more I think about the move, the more it interests me, and I think it is a great option.

Psystrike: Psychic is a surprisingly good coverage type given our Poison overlords Toxapex and Venomicon. Its secondary effect is similarly valuable, as many a special attacker seeks ways to circumvent specially bulky Pokemon. Psystrike interests me for those two reasons. As coverage, it is valuable, and its secondary effect, while not unique or unexplored, is also valuable, leading me to the conclusion that it would actually be quite strong in the hands of a good user and lead to very interesting and varied discussion across the board.
 
Just adding some more thoughts here:

I want to reiterate Snake's comments on Thunder Cage. I 100% agree that the counterplay for the move feels pretty limited, considering that the main immunity will be Landorus-T, which is already forced to blanket check a lot of threats in the metagame. Even just considering how the move interacts with Landorus-T, the design space for the move seems quite limited. As mentioned in my previous post, if CAP31 is an Electric type, it may struggle to differentiate itself from the other electrics in the meta, and may end up being unable to use Thunder Cage for most of the game due to Landorus's presence, preventing us from fulling exploring the effects of its trapping. Even if Thunder CageCAP31 is not Electric, its interaction with its most common immunity, Landorus-Therian, is still an integral part of how the mon will end up playing. Given this, I fear that Thunder Cage is much more restricting to the process than at first glance. I still find trapping fascinating conceptually, but I think that it is less restrictive with Thousand Waves, just as Snake said.

Also want to throw some support behind Wicked Blow. This move is dummy strong. I feel like there's a lot of design space here under the context of this CAP has one move that is way stronger than all its other moves, and exploring how a mon can function offensively despite low base attack thanks to strong moves. Granted, the same thing can be said about other legendary signatures, but the reason I like Wicked Blow is that the Dark typing offensively feels lacking outside of the move Knock Off.

Lastly, I want to talk a bit about Shadow Force. I'm not 100% sure how this concept will play out or how effective the move will be in practice, but on paper, this move seems to bypass a major flaw of other two-turn moves. Against most other moves of this fashion, the opponent can simply bring in a resist to the move once it is telegraphed. However, Shadow Force is a 120 BP move with almost no resists, which puts the opponent in a position where there is not always a clear answer of who to switch into once CAP31 vanishes. Furthermore, there's a lot of potential to explore based on 1 turn of immunity and doing everything we can to make the most of this turn.
 

ausma

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Hello!!! I wanted to get more involved with CAP so here I am. Hopefully you'll all see more of me (or will you?)

First and foremost, I wanted to give some support for one of my favorite options here in Shadow Force, a move that hasn't been too discussed here aside from a few posts that I can see. If we're talking about raw offensive 2-turn moves, Shadow Force is about as good as you get; it has high BP, packs one of the most flexible offensive types in the game, and you cannot use Protect against it which forces the use of a defensive check to mitigate its impact. On its own, it's obviously a high-reward offensive move, but as stated beforehand, what really makes it interesting is its 2-turn activation with one invulnerable turn and the threat of the move that's to come creating some immensely interesting dynamics regarding potential switch-ins. The invulnerable turn I feel is something that makes this move really interesting to look into. Options like status or items/abilities like Poison Heal/Speed Boost/Poison Touch that take advantage of residual turns really turn Shadow Force into a multifaceted tool that not only is threatening in of itself, but can generate empty turns and create safe, but consistent progress alongside accumulating secondary effects. This could make it a promising and potentially fun-to-balance option on a CAP that operates like Weavile, making progress through the utility of a high power STAB with a powerful secondary effect before having the potential to clean in the late game with a complementary STAB. Especially in tandem with its inherently highly powerful offensive typing with few switch-ins on top of a STAB that naturally dishes heavy pressure against Ghost-type resistances (Bug and Fairy-types being the big standouts) and could be augmented by pivoting moves to exploit the many switches the move would force, Shadow Force seems to me as though it has the potential to make for an incredibly fun and creativity-laden process due to the unique switching interactions that it intrinsically causes, alongside the leverage of the invulnerable turn allowing for unique interactions with passive damage/healing.

I'd like to voice added support for Spectral Thief, Jungle Healing, Thunder Cage, Thousand Waves, and Diamond Storm in descending order of what I like the best. The main reasons for these moves coming up so often has been explored in depth already, but I'd like to briefly mention the flexibility these moves all have, between offensive and defensive applications due to their secondary effects and/or powerful offensive types. Spectral Thief is my favorite and most unique of these options, but also the one I'm most scared of considering how it is such a versatile offensive move that could easily get out of hand and be difficult to work around due to its very fickle and potentially volatile synergy in tandem with other options. It could make for an intensely cool move on a more bulky CAP that is willing to take hits, but could also be worthwhile on something fast but maybe not as naturally strong, but pairing it with a powerful secondary STAB or consistent utility that makes it spammable could be dangerous, depending. I think there's a lot of potential to do something super fun and interesting with Spectral Thief, but it's something that should be taken very seriously balance-wise, in my opinion.

I'm also okay with Sacred Fire, but mostly as coverage! Considering that Sacred Fire is a move that is unlike Scald/Steam Eruption where the type that's immune to its secondary effect is also an adequate switch-in, counterplay is definitely far more feasible. Also considering that it has a highly practical secondary effect and packs a phenomenal coverage type, it could be interesting to work with on an offensive Pokemon that doesn't really use it as a STAB, not only reducing the move's innate spammability, but would instead appreciate it for high-powered coverage, and the status for setup opportunities or to make progress against potential checks. I'm also okay with Bolt Strike too in the same context, but I definitely favor Sacred Fire here since the burn chance is far more practical and could make for a more specialized CAP process, but that's just me.

As for the raw-power suggestions in Wicked Blow and Thousand Arrows, these are both moves that seem interesting when based around with the intent of balancing their strength, but that's about it as far as appeal goes for me. Focus around moves that are intrinsically spammable with no real nuanced interaction tend to make for very bland and linear Pokemon. You either use the move, or use a pivoting move/utility to pressure the check, rinse and repeat. Making a Pokemon that uses these moves in a balanced setting, I feel, will not really be much of a process, either. At the end of the day, you just really have to limit its raw strength, boosting options, and coverage, and then pair it with an option that interacts in greater depth with natural switch-ins. The latter could be fun on paper, but in execution I can't really say that I feel it would make for a very fun or perspective-laden discussion since spammable moves are, by nature, going to have a linear process. I'm okay with these moves should we choose to go forward with them, but I don't really support them, either.

It's been beaten to the ground already, but I definitely am not on board for Techno Blast, for all the reasons stated already in likely a much more elegantly way than I could manage.
 

spoo

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Thunder Cage, Jungle Healing, Spectral Thief, and Diamond Storm should be pretty obvious picks at this point.

I think Sacred Fire is a big contender for the slate at this point considering discussion, and is probably in my 2nd or 3rd tier of personal favorites. There are a few cool things we can do with this move, but I see it as a bit less interesting than something like, say, Spectral Thief which has such a unique secondary effect. I'd ultimately be quite fine if this option made the slate, but I'm still fairly lukewarm on it all things considered.

Wicked Blow is something I'm not as interested in. The premise of taking a move that seems so inherently strong and trying to balance it does sound pretty cool in a lot of ways (Thousand Arrows comes to mind), but I don't actually think it would be that interesting to balance. Yes, Dark is objectively one of the strongest offensive types in the metagame, and with the crit effect it's essentially a 120-BP move that ignores defensive boosts, but Urshifu had so much else going right for it beyond Wicked Blow - STAB CC, priority, U-turn, at least three viable sets (including setup), a huge Attack stat... I think it's hard to attribute Urshifu's brokenness to Wicked Blow in the same way that you could do with Zygarde and Thousand Arrows, and as such, the idea of "take the move that's only ever been broken and make it balanced" loses some appeal to me. This isn't me arguing for Thousand Arrows, either, to be clear - I just don't find Wicked Blow paths as deep as some others might.

I do want to shill for Photon Geyser and Shadow Force though. There's not a ton to say about Geyser that hasn't already been said, but to reiterate, by far the most interesting thing is that it can swap to be physical or special. I feel like there's quietly a very large amount of room to explore this secondary effect while also differentiating ourselves from Necrozma which already uses the move in 8 billion ways. This one is cool!

Shadow Force has flown under the radar this discussion, even for me - I really like ausma's post on it though, which elaborates on some of the ways the value of this move can really be extracted. CAP hasn't ever really broached two-turn charge moves, in part because most options are pretty bad, but Shadow Force stands out as the best one by no small margin. A process with Shadow Force could challenge us to not only get the most out of its single-turn use (if we even want to run Power Herb) but also to continue being a viable user of it afterwards, which is the much more interesting part. IMO a Shadow Force CAP would really put our creativity to the test and that's super cool to me. In some ways, this move reminds me of Libra and Doom Desire - ie, trying to optimize and uncover new applications for a two-turn move with obvious limits.
 
I've been reading here and there today, and I've got stuff on my mind... well mostly on the rise of Shadow Force. I honestly do not see the hype behind the move. It's not without merit of course, I wouldn't go that far, but there are a lot of things that make me doubt it. The biggest one is the obvious parallels that can be drawn between Shadow Force and Poltergeist. Both powerful physical ghost moves with low pp, with one being slightly more powerful and accurate at the cost of an extra turn to use it. Of course, there are ways to differentiate them, but we've seen the optimal use of this type of move in the past, which leads me to my second point.

The most obvious comparison that we have seen historically that uses a 2-turn move is Fly/Sub/DD/Roost Dragonite in gen 6. It was really good at stalling the opponent and build up leftovers recovery to get back multiscale. Obviously, I expect the project to take a different direction from that because, well, it already exists. In fact, when you think about it, we couldn't even do something similar with the same effectiveness since the pp on Shadow Force really cripples it in the time stalling department! Other than that, I don't really know what interesting direction it could take.

And this leads me to my last point: haven't we seen enough offensive ghost types this gen? I will say though that this point of concern is a bit more of a personal take, so don't hesitate to correct me. With that said, it's no surprise that ghost has become one of the best offensive types this past gen. With the removal of pursuit, ghosts can easily spam their stab moves against teams that don't really have too many options to deal with them defensively. It feels, from what I've seen, that there are already a lot of good offensive ghost-types in the metagame already. One of them, dragapult, could even do similar shenanigans to Shadow Force with Phantom Force! The typing alone is also the reason why I vouldn't touch Astral Barrage and Moongeist Beam with a 10-foot pole.

I really want to see more discussion around this move, as I'm willing to change my mind, but so far I'm not really convinced. Feel free to adress anything I've said in here!
 

SHSP

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Discussion's been great as usual, thanks everyone for great posts and giving the TLT and I a lot to work with, especially on some less than discussed moves. Consider this a 24 hour warning before we move to a poll stage and get to picking our Forbidden Fruit.
 
After reading through discussions here and on discord these are the most appealing moves to me.

Even if there wasn’t a lot of discussion on them I’m still a huge fan of the big boom moves.
The standout to me is still Bolt strike as there really isn’t any move quite like it.

Electric is a powerful attacking type, but physical electric attacks are incredibly rare.
The only Mon in the current meta spamming physical electric is Zeraora, which already is quite unique due to its absurd speed and almost perfect coverage options.
Bolt strikes power and Zeraoras unique build give Bolt Strike a lot of room to find its own niche.
I enjoy the fact, that this move seems incredibly open ended wrt the final product, being open to big stab designs or unique coverage, third STAB even defensively inclined builds.
Since there’s no gimmick attached to it, this one could really go almost anywhere.

Sacred Fire is a move I didn’t consider at first, but I’ve been warmed up to it (du dum).
While not quite as uniquely powerful I still think it’s similar to Bolt Strike wrt how open ended it is.
This move would seem great on a lot of different builds and its power and typing don’t railroad us into anything specific atm which I really like.

Diamond Storm might be my favorite, just because Rock is such a cool offensive (and interesting defensive typing), that rarely saw the light of day since the hay days of edge quake coverage.
Yes it pops up every now and then but it suffers more than anything from gf designs, which often don’t make a lot of what they could do. Stuff like Aero or Lycanroc are too frail and just slightly too slow to be good, Rhyperior is cool but it’s typing is at odds with its build, Ttar is best when it keeps something broken in check, even th
At the same time we’ve seen recently how insane rock can be with the rise of meteor beam spam (partly bc meteor beam is easily one of the best attacking moves available)
Its effect is also entirely unique and suits itself for some really cool different builds.

I really like HP management concepts and Dragon Energy obviously fits well on them.
Big nuke that turns weaker is a fun mechanic and building around it and leveraging CAP 31 on a timer sounds really cool and could make for a really unique build and and discussion around how to preserve health and trading blows, while nuking the opponent.

I could see this on a different concept though, so it’s probably lowest on my list.

Fleur Cannon seems similar to Dragon energy as it’s another move that has to make the most out of limited time. Obviously this one is different as it focuses more on pivoting, finding the right time to click a nuke and how to best trade momentum for the opponents health.

Spectral Thief Is probably one of the most role compressing moves that exist.
Being able to haze (without being blocked by taunt), boost and attack in one turn is incredibly stacked.
The fact that a 90 BP ghost move is already good on its own and that a lot of the meta revolves around stacking sweepers means, that we cannot go wrong with this one.
There have been concerns about how powerful this move might be, but as we’ve seen with CAP 30 we are capable of taking an incredibly powerful element and balancing it around our current metagame.
learning how to build with and play around a Mon that can reverse uno you in a single turn is fascinating and there’s a lot to explore, that hasn’t been seen yet.

All of the above are easy inclusions in my personal slate.
Now last but not least we’ve got the odd fellow.

Shadow Force… what to do with you.
I have no idea how I feel about this move.
It seems bad to waist a turn. But are there possibilities which transform this wasted turn into something useful? Probably. It’s fascinating to think about how to make a move like this the center of a Mon.
Then again this feels like “take something that is or seems bad and distill what could be good from it”, which we did recently with Chromera and which also isn’t quite in the spirit of the concept imo, where we would want to take something uniquely strong and see where it takes us.
Still I could see this work out and be an incredibly cool project, so idk.
I’d probably be happy to see it on the slate as well.
 

Voltage

OTTN5
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Hi, really small update, but after some consideration, consider this a small, but formal post for me backing Shadow Force to be on the slate.

Shadow Force on paper may look very detrimental to waste a turn simply using the attack and offering the opponent a setup turn, or an opportunity to escape attack, but it also creates a fascinating investigation into the way a battle works in this game with a different form of delayed move other than Future Sight / Doom Desire. We're seen, however, with Phantom force Dragapult, that the ability to force your opponent into an undesirable turn 2 of the attack is something that can absolutely win games if the mon using Phantom Force is able to avoid any retaliation (being knocked out, status, or having boosts taken away). This also would help from a defensive perspective by effectively adding 8 extra turns on the field, therein adding to stall. This isn't necessarily as effective as Phantom Force adding 16, but it still has minor defensive utility.
 

SHSP

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This stage has been full of great, diverse discussion and I really can't thank you guys enough for it. It's made my job significantly easier, putting together a slate, because of it. With that being said, let's get a slate up. Here's what's going to a poll, and a little bit about why:

Thunder Cage: Trapping moves like Cage and Thousand Waves attracted a lot of discussion this stage. The unique aspects of these moves compared to more well covered ground, like Pajantom's use of Spirit Shackle, have generally been agreed to be a strong foundation for a process with a number of curiosities surrounding immunities and the role of trapping itself. Thunder Cage makes the slate over Thousand Waves because of the nuances of its typing, its temporary trapping and the potential routes it can be taken with the additional chip damage.

Diamond Storm: Diamond Storm has been another sort of community darling and a solid slate option. The nature of the move gives a lot of direction, but keeps our options open as the stages progress: this can be offensive, defensive, or somewhere in between, with typing, stats and surrounding movepool given ideas of where to go but quite a bit of freedom to do so. The flexibility of Diamond Storm allows for a healthy project with a lot of creativity and a really cool end product were we to select it.

Sacred Fire: Sacred Fire is incredibly strong, and I have no fear about the viability of a project surrounding it. The existing users of the move- Ho-Oh and Entei- make use of it in similar ways, but they are far from the only approach we could follow. The move is very effective at a number of different roles, and the CAP we create would be able to make use of it in any number of ways. Sacred Fire would offer some really interesting challenges no matter if we make it offensive, defensive, on or off STAB, and the like.

Jungle Healing: Jungle Healing is a very unique move on this slate for being non damaging. Instead, it's a very unique and powerful effect that makes us incredibly effective into status, well shown off by its current user Zarude. The Zarude route is far from the only one that Jungle Healing lends itself to, however; this may actually be the option with the most flexibility on the whole slate and would take a very creative approach to the use of our forbidden fruit: building a movepool and an overall CAP around a utility option and a more subdued strength sounds like a very interesting challenge.

Spectral Thief: Spectral Thief was a bit divisive in discussion but overall I think is a strong addition to the slate. Spectral is a crazy powerful move that would interact with the power budget of the CAP in a way no other move on this slate can claim to. Its power can also lead it to fit many different chassis, and offer a lot of design freedom for the rest of the process around what it is so good at. Its basis of interacting with boosting is a very interesting and unique one that would certainly lead to a strong and creative process.

Photon Geyser: Despite being one of the more commonly seen Forbidden Fruit in the current meta, Photon Geyser is an incredibly deep move that Necrozma has only really scratched the surface of. The inherent flexibility in the use of Photon and the numerous different ways we can take advantage of that flexibility raise interesting questions surrounding most stages of the CAP process. I have no doubts that Photon would lead to a very different end product than its existing users and be a very fun ride along the way as we look at the very unique mixed nature of the attack and fit a creation around it.

Shadow Force: A late bloomer in discussion, Shadow Force falls into a type of moves that competitive Pokemon rarely looks at: two turn invulnerability attacks. A process surrounding Shadow Force would certainly be unlike any other and would force us to look at what makes these sort of moves- even ones as strong as Shadow Force- rarely used, what roles they lend themselves to in the creation of a CAP, and how we can best lean into those roles and strengths.

Wicked Blow: A former OU terror, the challenge of Wicked Blow is in its strength. Evaluating the move on its merits, divorced from Urshifu, would lead to a very unique process that draws heavily on the metagame while also leaning into what makes the move so effective in the first place. Asking questions surrounding the inherent strength of the move, how it interacts and pulls from our power budget, and what its power opens up for the role the CAP will end up taking will surely lead to a very interesting process.

As usual, any questions feel free to DM me. I'll see everyone back here after the poll(s) for a short discussion of our selected move before tossing it to typing.
 

SHSP

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The people of CAP have spoken: Diamond Storm is going to be our Forbidden Fruit! Before we jump immediately into typing and stick Dex with the hard part of figuring out what we want to do in that stage, let's take 24 hours and answer a few questions to get our heads on straight and move with purpose into our next step. As a reminder, Diamond Storm's description is linked here.

What sorts of roles does Diamond Storm lend itself to at first glance? Does anything stick out especially as to how we should make use of this move?

What, if anything, is particularly unique about Diamond Storm? What is so defining about the move- is it the power, the typing, the secondary effect? How unique can this move be?

How does Diancie use this move in this or past metas? What can we expand or differentiate from this usage?



Now, these questions aren't going to get a substantial answer in the next 24 hours, and I don't expect them to: these will be some defining questions we look back to throughout the process at large. What I want out of this last hurrah of Concept Assessment is to get our thoughts in order, letting us move into typing less ready to debate the ins and outs of the move itself, and more ready to follow Dex's lead towards a very effective typing stage. Thanks everyone again, I'll see you all in 24!
 
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quziel

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Answering the first question aka what roles is dstorm good for. The answer is every single one. Walls love defense boosts, even if they're not in love with the low pp. Wall breakers love to deny revenge killing, and are imo probably the best overall? Though that is debatable. Cleaners love stopping scarfers / Zera from forcing them out, sweepers too. This is an insanely flexible move and we can go in every direction.

Also pls don't choose typings/stats on the basis of maximizing body press, 80 BP isn't that good.
 
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