CAP 31 - Part 3 - Concept Assessment 2

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spoo

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With the knowledge that we're utilizing Diamond Storm as a pure Ground-type, it's now time to reassess our concept as established by this post.

Name: Forbidden Fruit

Description: This Pokémon is permitted access to a singular move from the prohibited moves list.

Justification: In most projects, we are barred from including these mechanics because they are considered some of the strongest options available in-game. Even with the addition of the clause allowing TL and Movepool SL to approve these moves, it is unlikely to ever be implemented given how late into the project this decision is made. This target concept aims to expand the project toolbox and explore how an immediate power spike in the project impacts subsequent design choices.

Questions:
  • While the prohibited moves list is dominated by many high base power moves, are there any lower base power or status moves worth considering over them?
  • How important should STAB be if we select a damaging move?
  • Should we aim to build a Pokémon that maximizes the potential of our move within the context of the CAP meta or that simply uses it as an additional tool in its kit?
  • What type of roles are enabled best by the inclusion of these moves compared to our basic toolbox?
  • Will selecting a powerful move early negatively impact the selection of stat limits or does it allow us to reprioritize the way we build stats?
  • Given the general distaste for the oversaturation of offensive threats in the meta, how will this external factor influence our decisions when faced with a move from the prohibited move list
  • Should this concept be expanded to all signature moves and not just the legend exclusive moves since they are often considered taboo to include?
  • How important should distinguishing our Pokémon from the original user be?

Explanation: Since this will be the last CAP of gen 8, I figured offering a concept that strips the project of one of its biggest limitations would send the generation off with a bang. There are many unique move mechanics locked behind the prohibited move list and it would be a nice change of pace to explore one of them this project. Instead of selecting a move out the gate and basing the entire concept around that specific move, I figured a community discussion and vote would be a more appropriate route to take this style of project. Users appreciate having more agency over project decisions, especially when it comes to breaking the mold, so the concept was deliberately left open-ended. The concept also aims to reduce the goal of fulfillment to a simplistic benchmark: use a prohibited move. This relaxed goal lets us focus on the elements of the move/Pokémon that truly interest us and avoids bogging us down early with artificial restrictions such as building to the maximum potential of the move. However, this concept does place greater emphasis on concept assessment when it comes to uniting us around a specific design path for the Pokémon. Lastly, I thought this would be a more interesting time to suggest this type of concept given the gripes people have with the meta and the oversaturation of threats. I am most curious to see how this mentality warps the design process.
Guidelines:
1) Pay close attention to the Topic Leader during this discussion. Their job is to keep us focused and to bring insight.​
2) Do not poll jump. Poll jumping is a serious offense in these threads, and you can get infracted for it. Poll jumping is when you discuss something that should be discussed in the future, like specifying a CAP's stats or typing. You're allowed to hint at such things to conclude a point or to provide an example, but do not centralize your post on a poll jump. Poll jumping hurts the focus of early threads and can cause us to go off on a tangent. If you're not sure if you're poll jumping or not, err on the side of caution and don't post it.​

CAP 31's TL SHSP will open the thread with their thoughts and a series of questions and considerations. Please make sure to read their initial post and subsequent posts carefully and follow them for discussion! Keep posts civil and on topic, or else they will be deleted.

CAP 31 So Far
 

SHSP

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Alright everyone, we have a typing to match our Forbidden Fruit in Diamond Storm. Going with Ground has left us significantly open ended, however, so before we jump into Ability I wanted to spend a little time getting our minds in order with what directions we can take CAP 31. With that, here are a few questions I'd like to ask us:

Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?

What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?

With those roles and directions in mind, what remain large challenges for our success going forward?


Want to call a preliminary 48 hour timer on this discussion to not take up too much time, but this may be revised to go longer if discussion requires. Thanks to everyone for how well this has gone so far, let's keep up the amazing discussion through this step!
 

Rabia

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I think the biggest issue right now is just gonna be ensuring there's a good enough reason to use CAP 31. Landorus-T and Garchomp are both really fucking incredible, and as a result a lot of other Ground-types are just super hard to fit on teams. I think it's pretty crucial we differentiate CAP 31 in a super meaningful way beyond "this Pokemon has Diamond Storm" for this reason.
 
Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?

What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?

With those roles and directions in mind, what remain large challenges for our success going forward?
The most obvious role a ground type can have is that of an electric immunity on a team. Pretty much every team wants one, and even if Volt Switch isn’t as prevalent as it has been in other generations, it has been really hard to find a reliable ground type this gen thatbisnt passive as hell.
With the Exception of Lando T, all semi offensive Grounds lose to at least one of the most common electrics atm.
A pure ground can probably fill that niche at the side of Lando.
Additionally resisting Stealth Rocks means, that pivoting becomes much easier and allows for essentially free item choice.
That makes Ground a great typing for offensive and defensive Pivoting
Other than that, there isn’t a lot that the ground type dictates.

I also don’t think that Diamond Storm necessitates a specific role.
I do believe, that it’s not particularly great for an entirely defensive role, as it’s low PP are going to be wasted fast if Diamond Storm doesn’t actually dent the flying types it’s supposed to hit as coverage.
Additionally the defense boost seems more impactful on a Mon, which is powerful enough to be threatening to its switch ins, if it procures a boost, that lets it stay in.
The chance to boost kind of wants us to stay in longer and click diamond Storm, but since it isn’t STAB and since Pure Ground doesn’t have any immunities to residual damage except Sand and is weak to Urshifus Surging Strokes I don’t think trying to build around defensive boosting will be the best option, unless we choose an ability that helps with status moves. Wanting to keep boosting is also at odds with Ground being an excellent typing for pivoting, with being immune to Electric and resistant to rocks.

The biggest challenge imo is now, creating a design, that actually wants to run and click diamond Storm most of the time, even though it isn’t STAB (considering that most grounds this gen haven’t been running Edge Quake as their preferred options), as well as finding ways to make use of the boosts from Diamond Storm, even though ground as a typing lends itself more to pivoting.
 
think the biggest issue right now is just gonna be ensuring there's a good enough reason to use CAP 31. Landorus-T and Garchomp are both really fucking incredible, and as a result a lot of other Ground-types are just super hard to fit on teams. I think it's pretty crucial we differentiate CAP 31 in a super meaningful way beyond "this Pokemon has Diamond Storm" for this reason.
Garchomp and Landorus-T have similar weaknesses. They're both defensively checked by mons such as Corviknight/Skarmory, Bulky waters (such as slowbro, tapu fini, toxapex to an extent), and ice types such as Weavile, and Zapdos. A pure ground type theoretically shouldn't immediately fall over and die to Weavile if kept healthy, and Zapdos is Diamond Storm Fodder. Discussion from the original concept posts were mainly how we're going to allow CAP31 to offensively check bulky steels, including corviknight, as well as not fear scald burns from said bulky waters, which would be a large boon over Lando/Chomp.

Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?
Pure Ground-type CAP31 has a few obvious advantages. Being an electric immunity, and a very good sponge for neutral/resisted hits that you threaten back with Earthquake (or earth power, but in this context, most likely eq) against Steel, Poison, Rock, and Fire types, and the mentioned Electric. Threatening these very common types goes into what makes a Bulky Ground such a good Rock setter.

What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?
Diamond Storm is a much more consistent way of breaking the usual checks of Landorus-T, Hippowdon, and Garchomp than Stone Edge/Rock Slide. For example, Zapdos is a common check to the ever-present Ground Types. Stone Edge from all 3 of these pokemon can be Roosted on by Zapdos to fish for dodges, or simply get lucky and dodge on the switch into these attacks, and threaten a Hurricane or Defog. Zapdos isn't the only example of this as well, this is a very common trend for defoggers such as Mandibuzz, Tornadus-T, and Corviknight (without even being threatened by Edge) and even opposing Landorus-T. Diamond Storm has this issue to a much lesser extent. The others cannot dodge-fish due to the 95% accuracy rate of Diamond Storm; and if they do, they could be punished by letting CAP31 boost to +6 defense and being incredibly threatening, being unable to be revenge killed by common pokemon such as Weavile.

For example, these are some calcs with common physical threats:

this is with just 95/95 bulk, uninvested

252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. +2 0 HP / 4 Def Donphan: 198-234 (59.8 - 70.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. +2 0 HP / 4 Def Donphan: 198-240 (59.8 - 72.5%) -- approx. 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Zeraora Close Combat vs. +2 0 HP / 4 Def Donphan: 62-73 (18.7 - 22%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Venomicon-Epilogue Brave Bird vs. +2 0 HP / 4 Def Donphan: 91-108 (27.4 - 32.6%) -- 68.9% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. +2 0 HP / 4 Def Donphan: 93-109 (28 - 32.9%) -- 85.5% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
 
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Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?
I mean, edgequake. We're a ground type that in theory beats flying types. CAP31 should be able to justify utilizing rock coverage where other popular ground types are, presently, not.

What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?
We don't necessarily need to be strictly offensive, but we do need enough offensive presence for DS to be useful.

With those roles and directions in mind, what remain large challenges for our success going forward?
Pivots. Two of the key defensive pivots in the tier, Landy and Corv, are immune to our STAB, take neutral from DS and can immediately maneuver into some special hitter that's not going to care about that +2 boost one way or the other. Rock/ground coverage isn't exactly well equipped to deal with water/psychic teleport, either.
 

LucarioOfLegends

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Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?

Another option for an electric immune past Landorus-T, Garchomp, and Colossoil is already a decently alright prospect. Being pure ground in particular with Diamond Storm is really nice as it assures that Zapdos really doesn't want to switch in onto us in fear of eating a powerful Rock coverage move. These are really basic thoughts but its what's coming to mind right now. (Might come back to this question after some more brainstorming.

What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?

It's a bit of a basic answer but realistically leaning entirely on either the boosts or the coverage seems like an ill-suited idea. It would be more successful as a straight coverage move but Rock / Ground does have some problems and it somewhat ignores the most interesting aspect of the move. Leaning entirely on the boosts, unless we get a way to fully guarantee the boosts, is far less sustainable due to Diamond Storm's low PP. Working it as a coverage move that can still capitalize on the boosts would probably be the best route for the concept. I'm personally more inclined towards something faster in that regard, but also something fat could work too.

With those roles and directions in mind, what remain large challenges for our success going forward?

Rock / Ground coverage as is has some deceptively large holes in its game plan, most important of all of them being Ferrothorn and Kartana (worthy of mention because its physical bulk is actually decent). Equilibra is also of mention since it completely blocks the combination with its typing and Levitate, even if it can't really do that much back to us. It's why you see an offensive mon like Garchomp running Fire / Ground coverage on its sets as opposed to traditional EdgeQuake coverage, just because it has a much better matchup against Ferrothorn and other important Steel-types like say Corviknight with Scale Shot being able to hit the other Flying-types it already needs to hit.

That's another factor actually: Landorus-T and Garchomp are already very solid Ground-types in the meta. Competing with them for a slot is inevitably going to be tricky, especially since Lando-T covers a more utility focused slot and Garchomp covers an offensive sweeper / wallbreaker slot. This doesn't even bring in mention of other good Ground-types like Colossoil who will also be pinning for that slot.

In short, Diamond Storm is in a tricky spot where I doubt that being a Ground-type with Diamond Storm is enough by itself to carve out a niche amongst the two very strong meta contenders it has to butt heads with due to its holes, but giving it certain coverage for viability would completely circumvent the want for Diamond Storm in the first place.
 
Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?
Being a solid answer to the tier's most prominent Electric-types has always been a defining part of Ground-types, and right now that distinction is best seen in Landorus-Therian, whose Specially Defensive set allows it to reasonably check the big three Electrics in the metagame right now: Zeraora, Tapu Koko, and Zapdos. A lot of other popular Grounds struggle to actually check these Pokemon: Colossoil is threatened by Zera's CC and Koko's Dazzling Gleam, Libra is also threatened by CC and doesn't like Heat Wave from Zapdos, Garchomp fears Gleam as well. None of these Pokemon (including Lando) enjoy taking a Knock Off or Hurricane either. Landorus not being vulnerable to Spikes, having a secondary Flying-type, and Intimidate softening Physical Attacks lends it the #1 spot in dealing with Electric-types in an efficient manner, among the other many things it provides to a team.

The simplest way to make ourselves distinct from other Grounds in the metagame is making sure we're able to check these Electric-types efficiently. Our biggest target here is likely Zeraora: its strong coverage, blisteringly fast Speed, access to Knock Off and Toxic, and ability to threaten late-game with Bulk Up makes its a huge headache for a lot of teams to handle effectively and seriously limits the Pokemon that are considered a good answer to it.

Just as important, however, is that we're able to deal with or pressure the Pokemon that will want to switch in for these Electrics, namely Flying-types and defensive pivots. Diamond Storm is great in that regard, as few of the Flying-types in the metagame are interested in taking a 100 BP Rock move coming their way, especially if they've been chipped prior or crippled with status/Knock Off. Alternatively, we simply use that turn our opponent switches out to make other forms of incremental progress, whether that's setting/removing hazards, regaining momentum, using status, or even just healing ourselves back to full.


What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?
I do feel this is a bit at odds with what Ground is best offering here, as us using Diamond Storm requires we have sizeable offensive presence. Otherwise we'll likely go the Lando route and just run EQ + three utility moves. Ensuring that Diamond Storm is vital to 31's ability to make progress against the opponent should be our top priority. Any direction that takes us towards "primarily wants to be attacking or dealing damage to the opponent as much and for as long as possible" is heading the correct way, and with only two attacks really required to function at a basic level, that leaves us with a good bit of flexibility in our kit.

With those roles and directions in mind, what remain large challenges for our success going forward?
I think we need to be smart with what we give 31, providing it enough to carve out a solid niche but not too much where Diamond Storm becomes an accessory that it maybe uses once it a while to inconvenience a Zapdos user, rather than an integral part of its moveset like we desire it to be. I don't think it needs to be a mandatory option per se, but it should be one of 31's better moves that helps define why it is successful in the CAP metagame.

This will require us to carefully consider how Diamond Storm is going to be used, and furthermore, how we put outselves in the position to get use out of it, instead of the more abstract "use it to hit Flying-types that are immune to Ground STAB," because the opponent will likely try to avoid sending in a Rock-weak mon to check us if they can avoid it. In a way, our Ground-type's current best answers, given what we know about it, are NOT the standard Flying-type, but rather physically bulky Pokemon like Slowbro or Ferrothorn that don't really fear our attacks and in turn force us out.

Identifying how Diamond Storm provides value to 31's niche, and in turn what 31 brings to the table that encourages slotting in onto your team, is paramount to a successful concept.
 

Brambane

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Agreeing with the general statement of "we need a reason to use CAP31 instead of Garchomp and Landorus-T." I think this can also be extended to "you also need a reason to use CAP31 instead of Gastrodon and Hippowdon." You have the former two which possess unique defensive qualities in addition to a substantial offensive presence, but more easily worn down by the Electric-types like Tapu Koko, Zeraora, and Zapdos. You are training sustainability for power, specific resists, and in the crucial case of Landorus-T, hazard removal + U-turn. The ladder two which tend to be more niche picks, sacrificing a ton of momentum and upfront power for the sustainability to weather repeated Dazzling Gleams or Knock Offs or Hurricanes.

Diamond Storm is principally an offensive move. I think we will always have to lean more towards the style of an offensive Ground-type, maybe with some useful defensive utility outside of Electric switch in. But I don't think it is trying to find the middle point, where the falling Lando meets the rising Hippo. Instead we should embrace a "Blue Ocean" strategy: create a unique identity for CAP31 that utilizes the offensive combination of Ground+Rock in a way unable to be replicated by the top offensive Ground-types.

While defensive utility is nice, I don't think we should hyper focus too much on making a Pokemon that tries to compete with the top defensive Ground-types of the meta, the Landos, Libras, and lesser used options like Hippo and Gastro. Simply put, we have sacrificed a moveslot for Diamond Storm. If you consider how a lot of these Pokemon function in a more defensive role (Lando-T an exception, but that mon does it all) you would rarely run such coverage unless you where shortchanged the usual defensive suite of options. I don't think gutting good defensive tools to shoehorn a Pokemon into a defensive role while running Diamond Storm is ever the correct move. While making a Ground-type with standout niche for its defensive utility is probably fairly easy, making one that will utilize Diamond Storm in a meaningful way is more difficult. As such we should not commit a great amount of our resources, explicitly BSR and abilities, to a predominantly defensive role outside what we can utilize with Diamond Storm Defense boosts. We should certainly be a good answer the the metagame's Electric-types, but other threats we want to answer defensively should be much more limited in scope imo.

Anyways, to answer the questions more specifically:

1. Ground-types are useful as switch-ins to Electric-types, this should apply to CAP31. There isn't a notable niche already established aside from having only 3 weaknesses and the ability to boost our defenses, making us able to situationally "sit on" some physical attackers. We lean to a more offensive role due the traits of Diamond Storm.
2. Primarily an offensive one, that leans in heavily on an ability, movepool, and stats that support QuakeEdge coverage. This can be an offensive Pokemon with useful defensive traits thanks to typing and potential boosts, but this should not be the priority behind the design process.
3. Honestly, I don't think there is a big challenge unless we start chasing ghosts trying to make this a mostly defensive Pokemon. There are plenty of avenues to utilize Ground+Rock coverage in a distinct way that highlights Diamond Storm.
 
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I think my original post missed the mark. I think I focused too much on the likes of Corviknight, which while threatening, is not our main concern. Our main concern is the likes of Tapu Fini, Toxapex (to a degree), and Slowbro. Having tools to check these pokemon is very valuable, and already solidifies our niche over common grounds. Diamond storm alone doesn't achieve this feat. I have heard a small discussion of a mixed stat pool, corrosion, coverage for said mons (power whip? gunk shot/sludge bomb? knock off? wild charge/thunderbolt?) but these, IMO, also miss the point.

I believe there are much better ways, in hindsight, to go about this as well. (I have edited out my bottom paragraph and below of my first post). I believe having an ability that fulfills all of these roles would be polarizing. For example, if we went for Neutralizing Gas, how would we be able to give this pokemon any other ability? No other ability would really fill that role, however, this would be fine if the ability uniquely affected the mon in more ways than "it now beats x and y", which is the very effect of giving it neutralizing gas, which, in total honesty, is definitely the more glaring issue with an ability like this.

Agreeing with the general statement of "we need a reason to use CAP31 instead of Garchomp and Landorus-T." I think this can also be extended to "you also need a reason to use CAP31 instead of Gastrodon and Hippowdon." You have the former two which possess unique defensive qualities in addition to a substantial offensive presence, but more easily worn down by the Electric-types like Tapu Koko, Zeraora, and Zapdos. You are training sustainability for power, specific resists, and in the crucial case of Landorus-T, hazard removal + U-turn. The ladder two which tend to be more niche picks, sacrificing a ton of momentum and upfront power for the sustainability to weather repeated Dazzling Gleams or Knock Offs or Hurricanes.
Landorus and Garchomp, both common grounds hate things such as scald burn. Brambane brings up a great point here. Looking at the bigger picture, as mentioned, is better because you can also see that a mon like Gastrodon ignores scald entirely. This mon needs to strike a perfect balance of not being overshadowed or overshadowing the other ground types currently in the meta.

I believe the ability we give to this mon should be defensive. Not because of Diamond Storm, but because what we need the ability to do is simple, and that is to increase the longevity of this mon against prominent bulky waters and steels, giving it a 1 up to the lando chomps, as well as keep it relevant offensively, giving it a 1 up to hippo/gastro. Strike that happy medium. For example, abilities like Natural Cure, Water Absorb, Poison Heal, or even Misty Surge.
 
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Astra

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I'd like to think that Rabia perfectly summarized the goal we need to achieve with CAP 31 already. Not only are Garchomp and Landorus-T incredible in the current metagame right now, but they’re so incredibly splashable, ESPECIALLY in Landorus-T’s case. It being able to compress so much into one team slot makes it so easy to put on teams over another Ground-type that can’t do as much as it can.

We can, however, as Brambane said, give CAP 31 a unique purpose on a team that lets it justifies itself over other Ground-types. Doing so does sound like a bit of a challenge, though, considering the scope all the Ground-types viable in the current metagame covers. It also doesn't help that, as I mentioned before, Landorus-T covers so much ground (heh) for a team. The other Ground-types like Garchomp, Colossoil, and even Equilibra and Gastrodon, despite the small list, has so many roles all combined that CAP 31 potentially may need to compete for on a team.

Again, the best workaround to this in my opinion is to give CAP 31 a unique role that can't really be done by any other Ground-type. I also personally that in order to do that, we shouldn't really cast Diamond Storm aside. That's obviously a given in my opinion, as it would go against our concept to do such, but most certainly be an important focal point to CAP 31's potential role.
 
As many others have already said, CAP 31 will need to do something differently from other great Ground types like Landorus, Colossoil, and Garchomp, and Diamond Storm isn't quite enough, especially given that all of those other Ground types HAVE Rock coverage but don't like using it. Of course, we can absolutely make it so that this Pokemon can use Diamond Storm effectively, given that there are lots of Flying types in the tier. But something additional is going to have to be decided, and keeping an eye on how close we are to other Ground types during this process will be absolutely crucial.

I agree with Brambane that we shouldn't use up a ton of our resources to try to make CAP 31 particularly defensive. I feel like the Diamond Storm boosts should be making a difference in our matchups, and maybe it doesn't have to be enormous, but it needs to be noticeable.
 
The most obvious role a ground type can have is that of an electric immunity on a team. Pretty much every team wants one, and even if Volt Switch isn’t as prevalent as it has been in other generations, it has been really hard to find a reliable ground type this gen thatbisnt passive as hell.
With the Exception of Lando T, all semi offensive Grounds lose to at least one of the most common electrics atm.
A pure ground can probably fill that niche at the side of Lando.
Additionally resisting Stealth Rocks means, that pivoting becomes much easier and allows for essentially free item choice.
That makes Ground a great typing for offensive and defensive Pivoting
Other than that, there isn’t a lot that the ground type dictates.

I also don’t think that Diamond Storm necessitates a specific role.
I do believe, that it’s not particularly great for an entirely defensive role, as it’s low PP are going to be wasted fast if Diamond Storm doesn’t actually dent the flying types it’s supposed to hit as coverage.
Additionally the defense boost seems more impactful on a Mon, which is powerful enough to be threatening to its switch ins, if it procures a boost, that lets it stay in.
The chance to boost kind of wants us to stay in longer and click diamond Storm, but since it isn’t STAB and since Pure Ground doesn’t have any immunities to residual damage except Sand and is weak to Urshifus Surging Strokes I don’t think trying to build around defensive boosting will be the best option, unless we choose an ability that helps with status moves. Wanting to keep boosting is also at odds with Ground being an excellent typing for pivoting, with being immune to Electric and resistant to rocks.

The biggest challenge imo is now, creating a design, that actually wants to run and click diamond Storm most of the time, even though it isn’t STAB (considering that most grounds this gen haven’t been running Edge Quake as their preferred options), as well as finding ways to make use of the boosts from Diamond Storm, even though ground as a typing lends itself more to pivoting.
a pure ground type with Diamond storm could definitely take on the role of a tank, similar to melmetal.
Having a pokemon that can not only reliably dish out damage while also being a volt blocker with EdgeQuake coverage and potentially setting stealth rocks sounds very fun to use.
 

spoo

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Mostly reiterating others here. Being an Electric immune is obviously a huge benefit of our typing from the start; 99% of teams need a Ground-type, and that's us. I definitely agree that we need to set ourselves apart from god Landorus-T, but I also think Lando's usage is probably inflated right now just because it's the single option available to soft check the most relevant Electric-types. Using any other Ground-type often feels like shooting yourself in the foot because you have to check those Electric-types in a different teamslot, which is way easier said than done –– Zeraora stands out among them as being a huge nuisance to find other checks for. Regardless of our role, I think if we're A) generically viable and B) have a neutral-to-winning matchup against Tapu Koko, Zapdos, and especially Zeraora, we'll have reason to be used.

In my eyes, one of our biggest challenges is just to maximize value from the Diamond Storm boosts. During Chromera's process there was a lot of talk about litmus tests, eg "would this CAP run Color Change over Illuminate," and I think it's helpful to make a similar-ish comparison here. Diamond Storm is a flat upgrade to Stone Edge, yeah, but a lot of Stone Edge users just want the Rock-type coverage first and foremost. If we can just swap out Storm for Edge at the end, and like, be more or less well off, we probably took a misstep somewhere. Making ourselves all but dependent on the boosts is a necessary challenge going forward. I know there's been a lot of talk about the value of getting boosts, especially WRT abilities, and keeping the boosts by not being immediately forced out by stuff like Pex, but IMO using the boosts in a distinct and identity-defining way is the biggest hurdle of those 3 and something we need to be mindful of at every stage.
 
I'd like to reiterate the point that CAP31 must differentiate itself from the preexisting Grounds. However, I'd argue that addressing specific matchups and enabling CAP31 to win them isn't the best way to go about distinguishing CAP31. For starters, teching for certain matchups feels a tad anti-concept. Excessive coverage gives us less incentive to utilize Diamond Storm as our main coverage option, for instance. Rather than saying "We need to beat Lando/Corv/Bulky Waters" we should look at what mons Diamond Storm lets us beat thanks to defense boosting. As KingRion has posted, a +2 defense boost allows us to potentially live certain hits from full that would be lethal to other grounds; Weavile Triple Axel and Scarf Kartana Leaf Blade come to mind.

Hence, I believe we ought to fully explore what the boosting side of Diamond Storm has to offer. In my eyes, exploring what it means to be able to simultaneously exert offensive and defensive pressure at the same time gives a lot of unique design space. Specifically, we can leverage the threat of obtaining a +2 boost to force switches from offensive threats, while simultaneously forcing defensive counterplay on behalf of the opponent.

From this, I think a major distinguishing factor we can give to CAP31 is Speed. Speed has great synergy with Diamond Storm, as it allows CAP31 to potentially boost its defense before getting hit. While Garchomp is already sitting at a comfortable speed tier, giving CAP31 even more speed tiers can help it deny Wisps from Astro, and force out Venomicon-E or even Weavile.
 
Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?

Electric immune. Insert dead horse. Additionally, a Ground type can threaten many metagame staples, such as Nihilego, Heatran, Astrolotl (when not statused), Koko, Zapdos, and Zeraora, and can soft check Stratagem by possibly switching into and surviving Meteor Beam. With the addition of our Diamond Storm, CAP31 is capable of threatening potential Flying answers, like Torn, Books, Dnite, and can chip Lando decently well. All of these Pokémon have an offensive bent, so I think the best niche for CAP31 is anti-offense. This is a nebulous term, and can be interpreted in many ways, and helps to differentiate from our common Ground types. Lando is just a jack of all trades pivot and utility and offensive and glue mon. Garchomp is an offensive threat capable of sweeping while also providing utility. Gastrodong is a fat stall mon with useful immunities and great bulk. Libra is a defensive pivot and hazard remover that can help its teammates wallbreak. Colossoil is capable of capitalizing on utility moves and pivoting around well. While some of these aren’t offensive threats, I don’t think any serve the role of directly countering offense. CAP31, especially with DStorm in the toolkit, makes for a potentially potent answer to more offensive and fast paced teams by forcing momentum loss through its immunity, coverage, and capability for stopping physical attackers.

What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?

To effectively create anti-offense, we need a mon that can switch into things it wants to threaten and force them to abandon the offensive momentum they seek to create. One of the most concrete examples I see CAP31 doing is swapping into Zeraora and forcing it to hard switch out, buying us time to boost and protect from a possible physical threat. This allows us to really swing the offensive momentum of the opponent into our favor. In order to do this well, CAP31 should have decent enough bulk to switch in on things, as it doesn’t actually have many resistances (rock and poison, woohoo). It needs to have enough attack to actually force out or threaten its offensive targets, and ideally would like to have enough speed to boost up on some physical threats before they attack. Speed is more dependent on how much we’d really like to check, and if we want to run Scarf on this thing.

With those roles and directions in mind, what remain large challenges for our success going forward?

Our major challenge is really trying to build up a threat list of what we want to be able to target with our coverage. This can help us to decide how much of everything CAP31 needs in order to pose a threat to offense and thus be a distinguishable and viable Ground type in our metagame.
 

dex

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Being a Ground-type instantly affords CAP 31 a place on many teams. The difficult part here is going to be differentiating it from the many good Ground-types that CAP already plays host to, namely Landorus-T, Garchomp, and Colossoil, each of which comes with their own great role compression abilities. Obviously, we want our differentiating factor to be Diamond Storm, which I think leads to the answer of CAP 31 being an offensive Ground-type as a great course towards differentiating it from the former three. This immediately gives it some breathing room from Landorus and Colossoil, as the two of those are rarely offensive in nature. Garchomp, on the other hand, is a sticking point here, as it is quite good in its offensive role and fits on a number of teams due to it being, well, chomp. Moves are going to play an incredibly large role in differentiating and justifying CAP 31 in the builder, but I think that the Ground typing affords CAP 31 a large amount of remaining power budget that we should liberally spend. I think Diamond Storm can be justified through ability and stats fairly easily, so with regards to role/direction, I think we should be looking to angle CAP 31 towards the wallbreaker/sweeper role. While directly competing with Garchomp could be tough, I don't think it is a death sentence by any means, as there is going to be an inherent difference between CAP 31 and chomp because of Diamond Storm. I brought this up in capcord earlier today, but a role akin to what Life Orb Jumbao played earlier in the Kyurem meta would suit CAP 31 quite well in my eyes, though that is obviously a limited scope.
 
Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?
Electric immunity, natch. More notably, CAP31 will not have a hideous 4x Ice weakness like Lando and Garchomp, meaning it can potentially stay in on Weavile with a defense boost from DStorm and could feel okay switching into someone like Arctozolt.

I've seen a few folks say Pivot as a role for CAP 31, and I'm not seeing it now. Sure, we resist Stealth Rock damage and that's nice and frees up our item choice somewhat significantly, but it just doesn't add up. With only two resists (to two uncommon attacking types) and one immunity, we don't have a ton of on-paper switch-ins. And any value to be had from Defense Boosts from DStorm are lost if we make a 'mon that, due to ability and movepool, wants to switch in and out constantly (and we'd need abilities and moves to do it - again, mono-ground isn't the most awesome pivoting type ever on its own). More critically - Lando is one of the best Defensive Pivots in the game, and I find it hard to imagine we'd make CAP31 better at that job than Lando.

Because EdgeQuake is so powerful and because CAP31 won't have any easily exploitable 4x weaknesses, I think that Tank, Sweeper, and Wallbreaker are much more natural directions for it. A Revenge Killer/Glass Cannon type (like a Ground Weavile) would also be interesting for the metagame, but not very good for Diamond Storm being anything more than a better Stone Edge.

One other thing in mind - CAP31 is a Ground type that won't be carrying a Fairy weakness, unlike 'Chomp and Colossoil. Fairy is unseen on the physical side and not that common offensively in general, but that's a perk we should be looking to maximize in our stat and movepool stages in order to better differentiate CAP31 from these two Ground-type titans.

What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?
Again, a bulky Sweeper, Tank, or Wallbreaker feels like the best fit to maximize the power of Diamond Storm.

With those roles and directions in mind, what remain large challenges for our success going forward?

We have a list of challenges to solve for CAP31. In rough order of criticality, imo at least:

  • EdgeQuake is great on paper as a near-unbeatable offensive combination, but in practice it isn't all it's cracked up to be. One major problem for any offensive CAP31 is that Corviknight, Landorus-T, Equilibra, and to a lesser extent Skarmory are immune to our STAB, neutral to Diamondstorm, and can help a different 'mon pivot in against us or start executing their own plan. S- ranked Ferrothorn is also a huge concern, resisting DStorm and being neutral to our STAB while being immensely threatening with Power Whip. Given Diamond Storm's limited PP, these 'mons ability to come into these moves and then create situations that force us out is troubling.
  • We're water-weak and don't want to get Scalded. We immediately are pressured by the bulky waters (Toxapex, the Slows) and can't ever switch into even the ones we deal heavy damage to for fear of a burn.
  • We don't resist Flying and don't have STAB on Diamond Storm - we will need to be really mindful of how we interact with the powerful flying types we'd like to kill with Diamond Storm.
  • We need to differentiate ourselves from the best Grounds in the meta - Garchomp, Lando-T, and to a lesser extent Equilibra, Colossoil, and Gastrodon. I'm not that worried here, but we need to do it to keep it in mind.
 

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Does a Ground type CAP 31 have any roles or niches that are obvious?

As many have already stated, CAP 31 being a mono-Ground-type comes with heaps of potential, especially as one with access to an option that can let it potentially have the edge in beating threats like Kartana and Weavile that exploit other Ground-types with ease thanks to Diamond Storm's defense boosts. Aside from that, being a Ground-type comes with an intrinsically positive matchup against Tapu Koko, Zapdos, and potentially Heatran and Zeraora. This is highly appealing, especially without a potentially detrimental secondary typing, due to how important it is to cover these Pokemon.

What sort of direction should we be taking to make the best use of Diamond Storm?


This is where things get interesting. Being a pure Ground-type with an incredibly synergistic coverage move that has the very realistic potential to augment its defensive profile, I feel, gives CAP 31 a lot of space to navigate both offensive and defensive niches. In my eyes, I think a generalist-type of Pokemon would be a fantastic way to extract value from such a versatile combination, especially considering the applications of Diamond Storm's secondary effect. In fact, I'm sure it will greatly enhance the value of both routes, giving it a stronger matchup into Pokemon that Ground-types may naturally struggle with, but also giving offensive variants the potential to find more turns to break or set up.

Though, as appealing as that is on paper, there's one very obvious problem to consider: Landorus-T, which pretty much does that perfectly as is. Simply because of how perfectly Landorus-T pulls off the generalist Ground-type route, I can entirely see wanting to lean into one side of the spectrum or other, and in that lies the dilemma of CAP 31. Is it even possible to create an actual viable alternative to Landorus-T? If not, what kind of role can CAP 31 play to with Diamond Storm in mind?

I think regardless of what route we take, Diamond Storm's boosts are going to be a lot more important than we may have originally anticipated. That's certainly not a bad thing, but it is of note, as it might mean we may favor one direction or the other to really sell that niche, simply due to the nuanced value that you may get out of Diamond Storm boosts, as well as when you'd realistically get them. If you ask me, I would think that value would mostly come offensively, not only because of the obvious EdgeQuake, but because of how Diamond Storm's boosts would give CAP 31 both more setup opportunities and more turns to threaten with damage.

With those roles and directions in mind, what remain large challenges for our success going forward?


I think there is one very big challenge to consider with CAP 31, and as stated profusely by others, that's competition.

I entirely concur with the idea that we absolutely need to give CAP 31 a consistent, practical edge over the tier's other Ground-types, though as stated, this is immensely tricky if we decide to play to both offense and defense with CAP 31 because of how well Landorus-T already fulfills that niche. It goes without saying that Landorus-T is obviously the best Ground-type in the tier, packing the best Zeraora matchup, a Spikes/Ground-immunity, having the stat spread and ability to make the best of both offense and defense, and being overloaded with tons of very useful utility options. That is a gigantic standard to live up to.

As for other Ground-type competition, Garchomp can do something similar and arguably better in some respects due to greater overall bulk, a built in Rocky Helmet and Water- neutrality to punish Urshifu-R, and a Magma Storm resistance; though, in some cases, less consistently due to a much poorer matchup into Tapu Koko and Scale Shot making it much more vulnerable to priority. Of course, there's also Colossoil and Equilibra to consider, both being solid removal options with unique utility, defensive matchups, and progress-making options but having a notably worse matchup into Zeraora which is really bad for a Ground-type to have. All of these Pokemon can fulfill both offensive and defensive niches, but the issue is that they either pack a heavily detrimental trait or two that offsets the practicality of having the Ground-type on paper, or simply are just Landorus-lite.

The latter Ground-types are obviously solid options, and have unique attributes that might make them worthwhile on the right structures, but in that lies the problem: they simply are not as versatile as Landorus-T, and even with their unique traits, need added team support to offset their unique weaknesses that Landorus-T simply does not need to worry about. As such, it's undeniable that Landorus-T is the gold standard of a versatile Ground-type, which is a monumental challenge for a generalist Diamond Storm-packing Ground-type to live up to. Though, these other Ground-types are a great frame of reference for how to, and how not, to build upon a unique niche as a Ground-type over Landorus-T.

Regardless of whether we choose to dip into offense, defense, or both, I think it's going to be important to consider what makes Landorus-T work as well as it does, and the other Ground-types to a lesser extent. Though, we will also want to consider even Landorus-T's downfalls so we can design CAP 31 in a way that makes it a legitimately consistent, and potentially worthwhile pick over Landorus-T, but with some tradeoffs that don't just render Landorus-T and the other tier's Ground-types entirely obsolete as options.
 
Something, that has become apparent in the discussion on discord is, that the big four ground types in the meta struggle with longevity. All of them have to rely on Lefties and their defensive profile to fulfill a bulky role, if they get knocked and or statused they are on a fast timer. A great way to set CAP 31 apart regardless of role, is a way to delay this timer, while still playing offensively. Be that reliable recovery or immunity/resilience to status or a nuclear option like regen or comatose.
Naturally there are other ways to go, but being easy to wear down seems like a common thread between most grounds in the tier and working to mitigate that definitely will help 31.

Edit: I also still think that mono ground is a solid type for pivoting. Yes it doesn’t have a lot of resistances, but at the same time it’s incredibly threatening attacking type, that affords you with a unique option for coming in unscathed and immediately shifting momentum in your favor, especially with a move, that tackles traditional ground answers in flyings or denies physically offensive ice and grass revenge killers.

Pivoting isn’t the only option obviously, but the niche of bulky physically attacking ground type is already stacked to hell and back as well. Just relying on bulk and offensive presence doesn’t make use of a ground type, that isn’t immediately threatened by common electrics coverage and imo also doesn’t play into the tempo swing as much, that the defensive boost of Diamond Storm affords
 
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Sorry about the bit of a delay here guys, but I'm glad to see discussion's been amazing as usual for this project. Here's some of the takeaways that we've worked through this stage:

We need a niche compared to other grounds: There's been a lot of focus this stage on what we need to do to actively get on a team, and a lot of that has been looking at our role compared to some of the other grounds in the meta. Differentiating us from Lando and Garchomp among others will do a lot of work to help CAP 31 find place in the meta.

Leveraging the +2 is very important: Another very prevelant topic of discussion is the role that Diamond Storm will play as a coverage sort of option, and I think posts by Darek and Spoo here have done a really good job at explaining this point of view. If we're not playing into and building this mon around the benefits of clicking Diamond Storm more than just "good Rock move," we can be doing better.

Offense might be king: Going with these two ideas in mind, there's been a push as well for a more offensive sort of chassis to work with going forward. I'm not going to mandate "we need to be offensive" exactly, but it's certainly something to keep in mind, both as a way to find ourselves a niche as a Ground and to leverage the +2 defense boosts.

With that, I'll be handing it off to Darek for the early stages of Ability shortly!
 
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