CAP 31 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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I really like the "Water-Immunity" abilities. I can see all of them working really well for us if we want to be able to capitalize on free switches, which Diamond Storm lends itself to with a chance to get free buffs. These abilities also distinguish us from the many prominent Ground-types in the tier, and give us a very solid use case even without considering DS. They all have up and downs though, which I've listed here for posterity.

Dry Skin: This one is kinda bad. We want to beat Fire-types over the head with our powerful moves, and adding a "weakness" to a type we're supposed to be powerful against doesn't seem like a good idea, especially in a metagame with strong Fire STAB flying around from Astrolotl, Heatran, and Blacephalon.

Water Absorb: The vanilla option is probably the best one for us here. Restoring 1/4 HP for switching in on a predicted Water move is pretty strong. There's no downsides to this either, with the only exception that it's fairly easy to play around, especially if we don't have a second viable ability. The team utility afforded by this free immunity is also worth noting, as less useful mons with a Water weakness gain substantial buffs when the opponent can't simply throw out Hydro Pumps.

Storm Drain: This ability doesn't synergize well with Diamond Storm, but I can still see arguments for a mixed attacker with Storm Drain being a possibility. I just don't think that's the way the project has been going so far, and giving us an ability that only benefits the attacking stat opposite our unique move just seems...wrong.

Other abilities I've grown attached to are Mold Breaker, Weak Armor, Unaware, and Battle Armor.

Mold Breaker: I wouldn't give this as it's only ability, but I think there's solid arguments for why this would be a strong option. Specifically it would let us handle Levitate users like Equilibra, Stratagem, Hydreigon, and others. There's really not much else to this ability. Just gives us better matchups against specific mons we might struggle with later.

Weak Armor: Hochi Mama. This ability is funky. It has the strangest possible synergy with Diamond Storm, and is actually kinda strong if we can capitalize on it later. Speed boosts aren't anything to laugh at, and with such a strong chance to undo the defense drops passively, it looks better and better. The one thing to keep in mind is that we have to get hit to get anything out of it, and if we're offensively oriented, low HP is almost a given.

Unaware: Do you hate setup sweepers? How about bulky walls that just sit on you with passive buffs (VENOMICON)? Then this is the way to go. We can benefit from this ability both offensively and defensively. It's a rather understated ability, but it sure does what it says on the can.

Battle Armor: I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits I hate dying to crits
(But actually getting crit through our defense buffs will suck)
 
I want to chime in on the immunity ability discussion.
If any of the immunity abilities deserve a place on the slate it’s Water Absorb and Flash Fire.
The other Water Immunities have significant downsides. I don’t think a Water immunity plus Recovery in Rain makes up for CAP31 being a ground type that has a negative Fire type matchup.
Storm Drain could work out, but considering our main move it’s effect seems a bit lost here and unless we are building around Special Attacks I don’t see the upside compared to Water Absorb. This could work as a secondary ability if we decide to go a mixed route.
I also don’t think that Sap Sipper provides a significant niche. Not because it isn’t unique, but because it targets only two and a half Pokémon. Making it harder for Kartana to revengekill CAP31 is neat and denying Ferros Leech Seed and Rillabooms STABs has value.
Both Kart and Rilla are far from being on every team and Blocking Leech Seed can be done by other means. I really don’t think we should spend our Primary ability on so few interactions, if we are still working with almost a blank slate.
Flash Fire is great and while I like Thick fat as option against fire types more, because it also opens up the ice type matchup, I think completely blanking fire type attackers on a Mon that has Super effective STAB or Coverage against them (outside of balloon Toad and chicken) is really good.
Other immunity abilities seem marginal and while I’d love a shadow ball absorber I don’t think any are worth exploring.
 

Astra

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In terms of more defensively-oriented abilities, I want to say that Poison Heal would be our best way in differentiating CAP 31 from the other Ground-types in metagame simply for the more reliable recovery it has, but even then, the difference is arguably not as notable in practice than it is on paper. Unless we also give CAP 31 reliable recovery (which honestly feels very overlapping with Poison Heal), I still think that it would be fighting with other Ground-types a lot for a spot on a team. While the 1/8th HP recovery each turn and pseudo-immunity to status, we would still need to make it on par with the utility other Ground-types can provide currently without making CAP 31 too overwhelming. This is projecting very far ahead into other stages, but I feel like it's something we would need to think about. We could take an offensive route with Poison Heal instead to differentiate it a bit, but I'm afraid we may easily get misguided in our vision.

I'm a much bigger fan of abilities that focuses on CAP 31's offensive capabilities, however. In particular, Moxie sounds like a really fun ability to build around; combined with Diamond Storm, Moxie can help CAP 31 become a great late-game sweeper that can capitalize on weaken teams, something that the current Ground-types in the metagame can't really fulfill. Speed Boost also sounds fairly interesting, but I could potentially see issues in the future making sure that its snowball potential isn't too overwhelming. Serene Grace similar has the same issue in making sure it doesn't apply so much pressure onto teams so easily, but it's admittedly very intriguing in regards to its interactions with Diamond Storm and other moves that can benefit heavily from it.

Abilities that help CAP 31 against status like Comatose and Shed Skin are a tad uninteresting to me, in all honesty, but it's still a fairly good option in case we want don't want to sway towards offense or defense just yet. I don't have much else to add besides that, though.
 
Going to go ahead and review most of the Abilities discussed so far now that Darek has abolished our right to torment artists with Parental Bond. I would make this in order of preference but I'm also organizing my thoughts as I do so and moving huge blocks of text sound annoying, so you'll just have to read them all and carefully consider what I say if you want to figure out which are my favorite!!! Truly the greatest CAP villain of all time.


I don't think any other suggested option would be as easy to secure 31 a niche than Poison Heal. You could definitely say likewise about the now-banned Magic Bounce, but Poison Heal is a lot less warping and has actual (albeit small) downsides, such as needing Toxic Orb to be run and then activate during a match.

I want to make sure people understand that Poison Heal is NOT another defensively-inclined Ability: it is straight-up one of the most versatile and generally useful Abilities in the entire game, so I'm going to talk about it for much longer than anything else I look at here. Think about how strong Gliscor has been in past metagames: not only does it has obvious defensive merits thanks to its typing + Roost, but being able to effortlessly stave off chip damage, absorb Status for the team, and blank Knock Off, makes it extremely durable. But Gliscor is not known only for its good walling capabilities: sets like offensive Swords Dance combine its unique defensive profile with the opportunity to sweep teams or break cores when given the chance, and without fearing other status crippling it or forcing a timer, it does so quite effectively without having to sacrifice too much utility.

This is a rare Ability, only having two fully-evolved users in the previously mentioned Gliscor and Breloom; unfortunately our own Snaelstrom doesn't really provide us with a ton of data that helps explains other reasons why Poison Heal is so good, so I'll branch off into the daunting world of Other Metagames to explain the depth of Poison Heal.

For starters, Poison Heal is outright banned in Almost Any Ability, after being suspected a little over a year ago, and the main culprit were Pokemon that were able to abuse its effects to both serve as a generalized defensive presence, but also having the option to turn themselves into offensive juggernauts capable of cleaving through teams unscathed from chip damage or status. (Here's the Suspect Thread if you want more info)

Elsewhere in Balanced Hackmons, Poison Heal has secured itself as a powerful Ability for similar reasons in AAA: enabling a Pokemon to have both useful defensive properties alongside enabling it to go on the offensive, with the classic example being Poison Heal Regigigas, who typically runs the bread-and-butter combo of Facade+SD to be a ferocious breaker/cleaner while being hard to take down due to great natural bulk and the insane longevity of Poison Heal. This set has existed for a long time, and even in the face of slow-but-steady power creep and plentiful new additions, continues to find success among high-level play for how simple yet efficient it is.

The big selling point about Poison Heal, for me, is that it grants us an obvious means of sustainability that doesn't cut into our movepool, while also not encouraging us to switch constantly like Regenerator would, and when our capability to stay healthy throughout a match is both passively enabled and noticeably strong, it allows us to put a greater emphasis on what we provide a team offensively. In short, when keeping ourselves healthy during a match isn't a priority, we can focus more on using our Ground STAB + Diamond Storm to the most of its potential. As for synergy with Diamond Storm: you have more room to stay in with extra passive recovery and aren't getting forced out by fear of statused once Poison Heal is active, meaning you can make full use of whatever Defensive boosts you acquired for a given situation. That's insane synergy.

The only real issue with Poison Heal is that it is incredible strong and would define a lot of what 31's identity is going forward, and would certainly lead to downsizing of the stats and movepool stages of the process. Pursuing a lower-power yet still viable alternative, or just a different route entirely, would let us branch out into areas that may otherwise be considered "off-limits" to a Poison Heal user, such as strong setup moves or high Speed.
This does one thing for us right now, and that's turn the 50% chance for +2 Defense from Diamond Storm into a 100% chance. Basically, if we hit the move, we get the Defense boost. In practice, this lets us go for more aggressive plays since we don't have weigh the potential of not getting our Defense boost, as it's a guarantee.

...at least, it is if we actually hit the move. Diamond Storm still lacks perfect accuracy, so our Defense boost is actually a 95% chance instead of a perfect 100%. Leagues better than 50%, but this just doesn't cut it for me as the main thing to build around. If consistency is the goal here, Serene Grace unfortunately falls short, and for the time being, only affects Diamond Storm.

I really don't have a lot to say about this one, as it feels too shallow and low-impact for where we are right now. I'd be more interested in Serene Grace as a potential 2nd option for those who want it, once we know a bit more about our build.
Moxie is a interesting option for sure, as it punishes sack plays, makes us a lot scarier to switch into for fear of a poor prediction on our opponent's end, and lets us go nuts late-game when any increases to our Defense suddenly turn a Revenge Killer into death fodder. This reminds me a bit of Triage Bulk Up Revenankh, which uses +3 Priority Drain Punch to both punch holes and claim KOs, but also patch-up its HP so that it can potentially live incoming hits from the opponent and keep the pressure up. In this case, we're using Diamond Storm as a potential avenue towards snowballing out of the opponent's control, as their options to deal with us are limited by how inflated our Physical bulk has become.

A Moxie sweeper that can also insulate itself versus common priority attacks like Snake mentioned is also a good actualization of using Diamond Storm to our benefit, versus using it as "good Rock move."

I see this as a generally solid option overall that also leaves enough space open for a secondary viable Ability to provide us with additional depth and utility.
This is a really fun(ny) ability all about maximizing our turns on the field so we can shrug off status, and opens the door to the near-guaranteed Rest as a viable source of longevity. In many ways this reminds me a fair bit of Poison Heal's extra longevity and in-practice status immunity, but less, well, ridiculous, while also being more practical than targeted anti-status abilities like Immunity or Water Veil, and even has some merit over Comatose, which prevents using Rest as an option entirely. A Pokemon capable of planting itself on the field, able to fend of Physical Attackers coming its way while not being as afraid of status, would make for a unique playstyle and cool addition to the metagame.
This isn't a flashy option, not doing much to improve our offensive or defensive capabilities. The name of the game with these two is "incremental progress." Contact moves are everywhere, and any coming our way un-Protective Padded are going to face the consequences. The amount of in-game utility and application these have are quite crazy for what they are. Just think about how much work Ferrothorn can get done against Pokemon it doesn't even always beat, simply because said Pokemon loses significant amounts of their HP for simply electing to KO it. Putting the opponent's chip-vulnerable Pokemon into range of being RK'd or worn down by other forms of passive damage are the kinds of things that can win games.

It helps that these synergize quite well Diamond Storm, as being able to tank more physical hits = more potential contact moves coming our way = more damage dished out by our ability.
This one's pretty hot. It sets us up as a Pokemon who is not terribly worried about Lando switching into us, despite our typing and moves of choice, and makes Astro think twice about clicking Fire Lash into the Pokemon packing a SE Diamond Storm that can outright blank the dropped Defense anyhow. Aggressive plays like switching in on Defog or being randomly blessed with random Moonblast/Shadow Ball stat decreases as we're readying an attack only make the deal sweeter.

The one issue I have with this is how Defiant is only as helpful as the opponent lets it be: we may as well not have this ability outside of fear factor if it doesn't proc once during a match. Deterrent is a real strategy, however, and that may be enough to let this succeed.
Extremely practical if uninspired. We take one of our three weaknesses and just remove it as a factor. Ground already has a low-profile in terms of weaknesses-to-resists, and Water Absorb just accentuates that dynamic. Having less weaknesses is great for us, as it makes garnering Defense boosts from Diamond Storm a lot more useful.

This is all surface-level stuff though. The real draw of Water Absorb is three-fold:
  1. We turn our horrendous match-up versus Urshifu-Rapid-Strike into a workable one, as the Defense boost-ignoring effects of Surging Strikes +100% crit chance are no longer an issue. We also become immune to its Aqua Jet, which is huge for faster offensive routes. Furthermore, it's a Water Immunity, on a Ground-type, so we are just generally better off versus any assortment of Water-types in the metagame we'd otherwise be disadvantaged against. Something like Scarf Fini is now way less threatening to us than it would otherwise be, and limiting our threatlist to get more benefit from Diamond Storm's ability to keep us in play is exactly what we want.
  2. We no longer fear the presence of Scald users like Toxapex, Slowbro, and the souped-up Steam Eruption of OU's rising star Volcanion. These moves are not only hitting us on our unprotected Special side, but also threaten Burns, which are awful for what will in some capacity be a Physical Attacker, even if mixed. Likewise, Water-types or Scald users weak to our Ground STAB are now deathly afraid of us coming in, instead of having an opportunity to neuter our attacking prowess. This isn't a full-on immunity to Burn, but it severely cuts down in how threatened we are at getting burned by the opponent.
  3. You get 25% of your HP restored if you can successfully have the opponent hit you with a Water-type attack. Not reliable on a game-to-game basis, but any means of staying power is a good thing, and being able to make clutch plays and stay alive against the odds is something we're already somewhat geared towards doing.
This is a fantastic list of upsides in terms of what Water Absorb is letting us do, and how it cements 31s place in the metagame. There is some overlap with other Water-immune Grounds like Toad or Gastro, but we still have a lot of freedom in how we can differentiate ourselves from them seeing how both tend to be played way more defensively, so this is barely an issue.
At a glance this is Water Absorb but we get owned by Fire-types we otherwise are sorta tasked with dealing. Which is badass.

The actual draw of Dry Skin is as Water Absorb but with significantly more practicality for and against Rain teams. Gaining significant passive recovery while Rain is up, not taking damage from Water-type moves, and being immune to Electric thanks to our Ground typing is the kind of stuff Rain teams love having, and would give is a potential niche on such builds outside of any regular niche we have. On the flipside, if you wanted a Ground-type that not only remains useful, but excels versus Rain, this is an incredible option.

I would like this more if Rain was a bigger part of the metagame right now, but I still see it as a valid option overall that could very well breathe new life into the playstyle (for better or for worse).
This one's simple. We're the Ground-type that can both fend off Electrics and doesn't immediately fold to Toxic like the rest of them fail to do. Easy stuff to understand, no less useful against the metagame. Leaves design space for the rest of the process wide open as well, which I love.
This one is cool, as it both shields us from stat drops like Clear Body, but also sends them right back to the opponent, basically outclassing it entirely. Largely a side-grade to Defiant that will probably let us get away with more powerful options, but also does fun things like turn Moonblast a bad idea to spam and makes the one Sticky Web user really hate us.
This would be amazing to pull off correctly, as the otherwise-negative effect of our Defense being dropped is greatly made up for with a huge boost to our Speed and the fact we can offset our lowered Defense simply by getting a lucky Diamond Storm boost. This makes our Forbidden Fruit have obvious purpose within our kit, as a means to overcome the downside of our Ability and reap the benefits from it.

I guess the one issue is finding situations we can use to proc this when we need it, as coming in on Knock Off means we lose our valuable item, and coming in on U-Turn means whatever's coming in can probably check us, though our +2 Speed would allow for us to limit switch-ins, which could be helpful.
This grants us increasing Speed as time goes on, and being faster means more chances to use Diamond Storm and fish for boosts. A Pokemon that can become faster than the entire metagame is bad enough to deal with, but one that also can become difficult to KO on the Physical side because it's using a coverage move is a whole lot worse.

I don't think Speed Boost is terribly broken if we're not dumb about it. Seeing as Blaziken, perhaps the most infamous and dangerous Speed Boost user, isn't even OU by usage despite all the tools at its disposal, I feel it's safe to say we can make this balanced with no issue. Also, a Ground-type that can eventually outpace the Electric-types it wants to beat, but also may tend to get worn down by in turn, is a cool way to set ourselves apart and ensure we have outs against them even when weakened.
The status-immunity effects of Poison Heal without the heavy baggage that would be doing the rest of the process with Poison Heal as our Ability. Blocking all status at once is very useful, makes us distinct as a Ground-type, and secures us a defensive niche for teams even if we don't go with an explicitly defensive orientation for our design. Basically, it's just good, and that's all we're really asking for here.
+4 Defense sounds nice and we can do some pretty silly boosting stuff, but getting our Attack halved by Intimidate is actually awful, and I could see us not wanting to go the setup route because of how explosive Simple can be, so we basically just hard lose to the ever-present Landorus. If we had more direction at this point, maybe, but I can't really get behind it right now.
This is a weird hybrid of a other Abilities we can use. It protects us from Scald Burns, but not Scald itself: it protects us from the secondary stat drops lots of moves have like Mirror Armor, but doesn't do anything to the opponent in turn. It also grants us other immunities, like no Confusion from Hurricane like Own Tempo, but without the Intimidate immunity, protects against flinching like Inner Focus, also without the Intimidate immunity, and for some reason just prevents Spirit Shackle from trapping us??? Even though it doesn't do that for Thousand Waves which is like the exact same effect? Ability jank aside, I feel this has a lot of useful properties for us, especially against stuff like Zapdos that are more than capable of screwing us over with Hurricane or Heat Wave, but while it does many things at once, it does wear itself a bit too thin in areas where other options excel, such as Water Absorb. Still, it's by no means awful and would help cement a lot of our match-ups as being in our favor.
This helps us out in dealing with Fire-types that we'll inevitably have to deal with during matches, as our Ground STAB and Diamond Storm both have them as prime targets. Being able to switch into these Pokemon with greater ease is a fantastic advantage, even if the Flash Fire boost itself isn't something we really make use out of. I think the biggest draw here is that we'd be excellent versus Heatran, which is a huge threat right now and can often make huge progress versus common Grounds either through the explosive power of Eruption or the incredible hard to switch into Magma Storm.

This also gives us minor Burn insurance against Wisp users like Astro, Heat Wave spammers like Zapdos and Torn-T, and whatever wants to run Lava Plume at the moment, something always handy for a physically-leaning Pokemon to have.

A solid choice overall that lets us stand out among our peers but still leaves space open to further differentiate ourselves moving forward due to not providing much else to us.
 
Speed Boost looks like a really good option, and it would prescribe a unique and conceptually synergistic direction for the remainder of the build while featuring a stats conversation that CAP has never had before (and that its members have literally formulated entire concept submissions around). Being weak to 3 common physical priority moves makes the +2 Def from Diamond Storm a potential game-changer if that’s your opponent’s last speed control or RKO option, and the guaranteed Speed boosts make it harder for opponents to punish you for fishing for the boosts in the first place. A win-win!
I find the speed control idea very pro-concept, which is why I'd like to also bring up Unburden. I've noticed some concerns with how Speed Boost's reliability could lead to power budget issues later, which is why I suspect Unburden may be a better option.

Benefits of this ability include it's specific activation methods, which would largely arrive via Seeds, Berries and Knock Off. This gives us synergies with the different terrains to give either an even bigger Def boost or a SpDef on the seed, with a huge benefit to Psychic Terrain given the priority weaknesses. Berries could also include Lum for the aforementioned status concerns.

Unburden also only activates once and we lose the speed on switch-outs, which makes Diamond Storm a more reliable option as we will want to commit to staying in, similar to the case for Moxie where we want to snowball with Diamond Storm boosts. I feel like this ability has more interesting interactions, gives us more to consider in the team builder and is still a potent choice.

I also like Moxie and Shed Skin as other options.
 
This grants us increasing Speed as time goes on, and being faster means more chances to use Diamond Storm and fish for boosts. A Pokemon that can become faster than the entire metagame is bad enough to deal with, but one that also can become difficult to KO on the Physical side because it's using a coverage move is a whole lot worse.

I don't think Speed Boost is terribly broken if we're not dumb about it. Seeing as Blaziken, perhaps the most infamous and dangerous Speed Boost user, isn't even OU by usage despite all the tools at its disposal, I feel it's safe to say we can make this balanced with no issue. Also, a Ground-type that can eventually outpace the Electric-types it wants to beat, but also may tend to get worn down by in turn, is a cool way to set ourselves apart and ensure we have outs against them even when weakened.
Disagree. The main balancing factor in OU with Blaziken is that it has 4mss (between SD, Flare Blitz, CC, EQ, and Tpunch), Poor defensive typing, rock neutrality, loses to almost all forms of priority, speed tier is poor due to needing jolly to outspeed pult/zera.

This mon would most likely not have 4mss issues, a great defensive typing, stab with no recoil, would not lose to almost any priority with a defense boost, and wouldn't be threatened by Zera and most likely simply ohkos pult with no issue after a possible sd, which, since it's unbalanced and won't be a thing, limits our defensive breaking power versus mons like slowbro, landorus-t, corviknight etc.

This mon would need to have its setup moves removed for it to be not super stupid with speed boost, and without them, would be unable to fit the breaker role that we currently want it to.
 

snake_rattler

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I am getting whiplash from reading through the last thread and then seeing these abilities proposed here. How do you get from “nobody asked for another tanky Ground-type” to “let’s give it high attack stats and an A-tier defensive ability”? That describes every single Ground-type in the tier, just about! It was the right call to make sure the CAP isn’t competing for a slot against Landorus, Garchomp, Colossoil, Equilibra, Hippowdon, and Gastrodon, because there is nothing new in stock at the tanky Ground store, and the pressure you are putting on yourselves for the later stages of the project is insane and not worth it, imo, when you are trying to carve out a niche amongst this group.
I definitely see where you're coming from here. There are parts of this that made me reconsider my preferred abilities, but I don't agree with you completely. There is merit in having our Ground-type CAP31 be tanky, as most teams need resilient Ground-types to stand up to the many Electric-types in the metagame. Also, to make good use of Diamond Storm boosts, CAP31 needs to be able to tank some hits, especially when boosted. While we shouldn't make a carbon-copy of the Ground-types you've mentioned, Speed Boost worries me because I'm pretty sure all Speed Boost users have historically fit on hyper offense teams only (or Baton Pass teams). It's definitely possible to make a Ground-type sweeper like that, but that's not how I'd envision the project. That said, we can definitely enable a CAP31 that can stand up to Electric-types much better than the current ones, namely by giving it some recovery option that isn't Leftovers (either via ability or movepool) and/or by giving it more universal sweeping potential.

Moxie is probably the best offensive ability in the mix right now and my absolute preferred ability, encouraging offensive sets that would use Diamond Storm, an attacking move that hits Flying-types, rather than using something like Toxic or other status to cripple Flying-types. I think this plays much better as a Ground-type that could potentially be a sweeper than Speed Boost because Moxie doesn't place as many restrictions on movepool as Speed Boost. Traditionally, Moxie users have been sweepers, but I feel like there's definitely space to make a Moxie user that is fit on non-hyper offense teams to pivot into Electric-types and start snowballing when it needs to, similar to how some Beast Boost users work.

Via ability ability alone, Poison Heal would be one of the best ways to differential CAP31 as a tanky Ground-type that doesn't occupy the same space as the current Ground-types. However, this Poison Heal pokemon would have to be offensive, as making one that's stally would very effortlessly drop Diamond Storm. I do think it's possible to make a more offensive Poison Heal user though!

Serene Grace still makes my new shortlist because it does enable Diamond Storm very well. However, I wish there was another obvious move for CAP31 to utilize with it, because I'd hate for it to turn into a flinch spammer. Mixed attacking options aren't very inspiring but could be interesting?

Water Absorb still doesn't provide the same sort of direction for Diamond Storm, but it certainly does segregate CAP31 from other Ground-types. It just relies on later stages make sure Diamond Storm is used.

Honestly, beyond this, most abilities mentioned so far haven't really inspired me. I think I agree with Korski regarding how mid-tier defensive abilities are probably not going to get CAP31 started on the right foot. Shed Skin or something low like Battle Armor just doesn't have the right oomph for CAP31 to make a solid niche over the other Ground-types in the metagame. Having them in the mix for secondary ability could be cool to keep opponents on their toes, trying to cover for both abilities of CAP31, but I don't think they fit for primary ability.
 
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SHSP

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I'll pop in to give some of my thoughts on what's been discussed so far (as I mourn the UConn loss last night... go huskies :[ )

Poison Heal is something that'd work out well and has been discussed to death so far, but I just am not that huge of a fan. I think it ends up giving us a lot, but also requires a lot more in later stages, and isn't amazing in terms of giving us direction going forward. It'd work, I'm pretty confident in that, but it's not something I'm personally very high on.

I'm low on Defiant compared to something like Mirror Armor, if we were to go one of the anti-stat change routes. Defiant feels limited to me in scope- we hit Lando harder, yes- but Mirror Armor I think fits this role better generally, though neither are particularly high on my list.

Moxie is one that I have fallen in love with, to take this post back to a more positive approach. I think it synergizes with the +2 boosts from Diamond Storm in a really unique way, making a +1 attack boost very scary to answer offensively. It reminds me of a concept that Quz mentioned the other day to me, sort of an "option select" mon that can shift gears with a Diamond Storm boost and force really unique game states.

Thick Fat is one of my favorites as well, but I'm beginning to think it's not up to par with what a Primary ability should be. Helping with some major threats- Weavile, Heatran, etc- is really cool, but it can fall into the "not as meaningful, defensive ability" trap that some are worried about.

Not a ton of strong thoughts on other abilities quite yet. Immunities are very powerful, and do a lot to separate us from other grounds on paper. Serene Grace seems alright; guaranteeing the boost is okay but feels relatively low impact overall compared to some others. That's all I've got for right now, but I'm very excited to see how discussion plays out with these going forward!
 
I have a few abilities I want to suggest that haven't gotten a ton of press so far.

First, some broad thoughts on our abilities.
  • We need our ability to be powerful. I am not remotely concerned about "too strong" here (especially with PBond banned). We are a most likely physical ground type in a meta full of Scald spam that will be competing with several common superstar Ground-type Pokemon. Our defining trait is a move that's is strong but not crazy strong, and which we won't have STAB on. I also think arguably that stacking our movepool when we get there is anti-concept; if we want to show off Diamond Storm that implies we will need to be fairly conservative on what sort of coverage and utility we offer CAP31. Between Stats and Ability phase, I'd prefer to spend our power budget here as it gives us our best chance of differentiating ourselves from 'chomp and Lando (two mons that already have very generous stat spreads).
  • We want abilities that incentivizes us to stay in, given the need to reward us for "Clicking Diamond Storm"
  • We want to deal with our major problems. As a recap of my own opinion, our major problems in priority order to solve are to:
    • Have a good match-up to the Ground-immune, Rock-neutral switch-ins in Corviknight, Landorus-T, and to a lesser extent Equilibra and Skarmory.
    • Not have to totally dread switching in on Scalds or Will-o-Wisps from the various bulky Waters and Astrolotls of the tier.
    • Have a better match-up vs Ferrothorn, another 'mon I anctipate will eagerly switch in on us.
    • We want to differentiate ourselves from the other grounds. That doesn't mean we have to totally ban Guts, Intimidate, Levitate, and Rough Skin/Iron Barbs - but we should be thinking really carefully about how we'd use those in a way that the other big grounds of the meta don't already explore.
  • One new thing I've thought of - I'd like to be Knock-Off resistant. Not in the sense of "resist Dark damage" - that ship has sailed, mostly. No, I mean that I think a great way to differentiate ourselves from Lando and Equilibra is to make sure we don't just lose the second we lose our item and that we don't have to dread switching in on Knock-Off. Knock Off is the single most common physical move in the tier, and if we want CAP31 to thrive it should be able to deal with it.

Now to be clear - no ability does it all. In fact, there's probably no combination of ability, movepool, and stats that do it all nor should there be - we'll have to give somewhere to keep a balanced 'mon. I like a lot of the abilities suggested so far, but wanted to suggest a few more.

Stakeout: Wanna know what is going to encourage us to aggressively Diamond Storm? The confidence of knowing it will hit for nuclear-level damage against our switch-ins. This is an ability that has been stranded on mediocre Route 1 'mons; in the hands of a real 'mon with a real stat spread and an amazing EdgeQuake base it will crush all comers. This has been brought up in Discord a few times, but I was surprised it wasn't here. How does it do against my "Big 5" Concerns?
  • This for sure punishes the Ground-immune 'mons for switching into us and eating a Dstorm, as now they're eating crippling damage.
  • This does nothing to improve our ability to switch in on Astrolotl or the Bulky Waters, a notable drawback.
  • This does make Ferrothorn fear switching in on us, especially with reasonable speed or coverage, but doesn't help us if he's already out.
  • This for sure differentiates us - from Ground types and from every 'mon in the tier.
  • This ability has no special reliance on an item to function, so no innate Knock-off worries. This ability does encourage (although by no means forces) Banded play, however, and so that's a consideration.
Analytic (EDITED - derp) is a move with a similar niche, trading a bit of power for greater applicability against faster/priority threats. But Stakeout hits more of what we want to address and I think the higher power, and higher risk/reward, would make for a more interesting project.

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For my second ability, I'd like to take an even crazier choice and petition to remove Water Bubble from the soft-banned list. Hold with me, I know this is nutso. But here's my reasoning. We have generally all liked Water-immunity abilities specifically to prevent Scald, with Water Absorb being an immediate stand-out (alongside some fellows like Dry Skin). But clearly, as nice as being Water Immune/Resistant would be for improving our defensive profile,the real draw here is Burn-immunity - to the point we've looked at stuff like Shield Dust to do it as well as stuff like Comatose, Shed Skin, or Poison Heal as ways to prevent more statuses more broadly. And we could look at something like Water Veil to shut off all burns, but that feels a bit low-powered; against we want our ability to be super strong out of the gate.

There's also been some traction for Flash Fire and Thick Fat to give us a beautiful Fire resistance/immunity, with Flash Fire having an edge thanks to its ability to protect us from Will-o-Wisp and not just damaging fire moves like Fire Lash and Magma Storm. The thing with these is, they don't protect us from Scald burns nor do they answer some of our main problems. They are attractive because they improve our defensive profile against 'mons like Astrolotl and Heatran we want to beat on the regular, but they're more about making us better at jobs we're already supposed to be good at than fixing some of our big issues.

The problem is that there is no ability that improves our defensive profile with an extra resistance or two while also protecting us from every source of Burn. Or is there? Enter Water Bubble. Combining the Fire Resistance we all like from Thick Fat with outright Burn Immunity (be it from Will-o-Wisp, Scald, Flamethrower, or Flame Body) is a beautiful one-two punch, one that differentiates us from the rest of the meta. As an added benefit (maybe) -we get STAB Water moves if we want them. Whether we use that or not is a matter for later, but the ability to me is infinitely better than Thick Fat.

To answer my own "big 5" concerns:
  • This does not directly help our switch-in problems, probably the biggest knock against it (and against all of the defensive-profile improving abilities). It would help if we wanted any water moves, even bad ones, versus Lando-T and Equilibra, but I wouldn't want to take that for granted.
  • This significantly improves out ability to switch in to bulky waters and fire-type threats - we absorb Will-o-Wisp, get resistance to fire moves, and while we'd still eat heavy damage against a Scald we never have to fear a burn from it.
  • This has no special interaction with our Ferrothorn match-up, leaving that as a problem to either solve later or accept as a check/counter to CAP31. Not the end of the world.
  • This is totally different from every ground in the tier; Colossoil doesn't fear burns but doesn't resist fire while 'chomp resists fire but fears burns. Even if we got 0 water type moves in our pool, we are already looking very different.
  • This ability is completely item-agnostic; it doesn't even indicate a specific ability as strongly synergistic. So no fear of switching in on Knock-off for us!
 
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I want to begin by talking about the water immunity abilities. Is our plan to switch in against bulky waters and then try and wear them down while we get Toxic’d? Or is the idea that these bulky waters cannot easily switch in and 2HKO us and end our boosting? I see the use in Water Absorb obviously; to heal us and pivot off of a would-be counter. I just think Water Absorb and all the alike abilities (Dry Skin, Storm Drain, Thick Fat to an extent), do not allow us to use Diamond Storm to it’s fullest extent. I ask proponents of Water Absorb/Dry Skin, how do they envision these abilities supporting the use of Diamond Storm? I don’t see it happening against the bulky waters just because we stop their STAB. Unless we have a very large attack stat, I don’t see how we can break through some of those mons before they take care of us via other methods that are not water moves.



I also want to throw out some undiscussed abilities for fun. The discussion so far has made them seem like plausible options to me, so why not. The first is Cotton Down, which I imagine would work like an off-brand Speed Boost. It may allow us to get a crucial second Diamond Storm off in key matchups, and there is some really unique stuff we can consider in the future with this combo. Who do we beat/lose to when up +1 speed (relatively) and +2 Def? What if we only have the relative speed advantage because we missed the proc on Diamond Storm? To boil it down, Cotton Down can be useful because it gives us a chance to turn 1v1s in our advantage and gives us a chance to get in our Diamond Storm boosts ahead of taking hits. I think the dynamic of two potential stat boosts, that can occur asymmetrically, is exciting. In a way, I like this ability for the same reason I do Moxie or Defiant.

We could also consider Steam Engine as a weaker combo/alternative to Thick Fat and Speed Boost again (not that Speed Boost is bad, I like it). Here we would be risking taking some bigger damage than Thick Fat for a huge boost in speed to assist with cleaning up the enemy team and getting important Diamond Storm boosts in before you can be hit. A similar idea would be Motor Drive, which is soft banned. If we are already going to be using our electric immunity, we might as well try and get some speed out of it. Again, this is an inferior alternative to both Speed Boost and Steam Engine I think.



Last, to talk about some of the abilities I like from existing discussions:

Speed Boost is very strong, and seems to be pro-concept. We carve our niche as a ground type, we synergize our ability with Diamond Storm, and we allow ourselves to consider dynamic match-ups in the stats stage. The obvious negative here is a quickly shrinking power budget for later stages, but is that really that much of a problem? (I don't believe so).

Moxie of course works well for a lot of the same reasons as Speed Boost. It is dynamic, it is unique for a Ground type, and it allows Diamond Storm to shine in a really unique way. I like Defiant more than Mirror Armor for the same reasons that I like Moxie and Cotton Down, the asymmetric dual stat-boosting.

Shed Skin is my favorite defensive-oriented ability. It helps us against Toxic, Burns, both threats to stop our clean-up/sweeping/whatever you want to imagine us doing. Of course it helps us to heal with Rest. It is pro-concept because it focuses on us staying in and using our boosts, and “shedding” off any threats of toxic/burns that harm us. I think this is a much better option than all the other status immunity type abilities, since it protects us from multiple status types, and allows us a janky healing via Rest. Abilities like Immunity, Poison Heal, Comatose, Shield Dust all fall in this category of worse abilities for using Diamond Storm. I would universally prefer Shed Skin to all those abilities, of course I am open to discussion on this.
 

quziel

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Hey, here to sub a controversial one.

Corrosion makes a ton of sense on this mon. If we wanna have a meaningful niche over Lando and Garchomp, its probably best for us to have some way to bypass some of their normal answers, i.e. Corv/Bro/Etc in order to actually get a place on a team. Also, Diamond Storm, while great at letting us stay in for extended periods of time, really, really struggles with people trying to PP stall it. In this context, being able to apply a ton of pressure to the mon that PP stalls Diamond Storm the absolute hardest (aka Corv) is great natural synergy. This also applies, to a lesser extent, to Ferrothorn, which Corrosion lets us have an unarguably winning matchup against, by letting us force a Toxic on a switch, and then gradually EQ it down, which only Garchomp really does atm. Aka Corrosion provides us with a natural answer to the question of PP stalling, synergizes amazingly with the bulk increase that Diamond Storm brings us, and our own Toxic weakness is a natural balancing point. Also we definitely have enough of the CAP left to balance it well. As to why a mon with EQ + Corrosion would run Diamond Storm? (I think this is important to answer) We need a way to pressure Tornadus-T, a mon that can semi-shrug off Toxic, as well as a way to break Heatran's Air Balloon, and apply more immediate pressure to mons like Zapdos.

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Shed Skin has great synergy with Diamond Storm for very similar reasons to Corrosion; Diamond Storm's defense boosts are going to give us the ability to stay in for extended periods of time, and Shed Skin's chance of removing status over a period of even like 5 turns is nearing 90%. This does a good job of making us far more status resilient, though the natural comparison to Sandaconda (also ground type) does worry me a tad. (Aka a mon with ground type + shed skin + semi-ok stats is Zu).

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Own Tempo is in the vein of Mirror Armor, Defiant, and the such, and has an important distinction. If we're going to be switching into Hurricanes semi-often (Zapdos + Torn) then I think the ability to be completely immune to Confuse hax is actually quite relevant. It also is immune to Intimidate, which is a great secondary benefit, and really improves our matchup into every single Flying-type except Venomicon-E, Gapdos, and Corv. Overall restrained, but very solid.

Defiant is definitely the strongest of the pack of Intimidate resistant abilities, and that may or may not be a good thing. We have to be a ton more careful in both stats and movepool if we pick this ability, and while it definitely does get us an immediate place on a team (31 + Gapdos could be very funny), the increased risk in balancing may or may not be worth it. Mirror Armor is another fairly solid choice, letting us just completely prevent Lando from doing anything at all to us beyond Toxic, however Toxic is a very good move, and the secondary effects here are semi-limited to just Astrolotl.

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Immunity and resist abilities are all fine. Flash Fire is probably the most relevant of them given that Ground-types are expected to take on Heatran atm, and this does that the best while also hard walling Lotl forever. Thick Fat does this to a lesser degree, notably making us sorta lose to Lotl if it presses wisp.
 
Now that we are officially entering busted town I want to ask to open discussion on Regenerator.
Some posters have suggested, that we don’t want an ability like Regen, because it incentivizes switching and we want to stay in as long as possible to Leverage the boosts of diamond Storm.
If you ever played with a Regen Mon you know it does the opposite of making you switch every turn. You stay in with pex on lando bc you can scald and burn it, you keep clicking moves with torn until the next might kill you. You click fire lash three times and then Stomping Tantrum with Astro vs a Tapu Fini bc you just heal off the damage. Regen let’s you play aggressively vs neutral hits and lets you stay in longer than you would without.
It doesn’t incentivize switching, it capitalizes on it.
You aren’t going to stay in longer just because you don’t have Regen unless you have Poison Heal or Rest Natural cure or 50% recovery.
If a Mon that threatens neutral damage comes in on you, you can stay in and Tank hits and deal back.
This is exactly where Diamond Storm shines. Both Regenerator and Diamond Storm are great at facilitating aggressive Trading and staying in longer than your bulk without their boosts would allow you to.
Regenerator will also easily set CAP31 apart from other grounds, but still isn’t so warping, that Diamond Storm would be relegated to sidekick.
 

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Poison Heal is a very popular ability here and its very easy to see why: it gives niche over other Ground-types in that it allows itself to be much more sustainable. The main two issues of Knock Off and Toxic that many face are for the most part ignored by this ability, and its fairly consistent healing for the entirety of a match, which none of Lando/Chomp/Colo can realistically say. Some have argued that it encroaches a bit too close to Gliscor, but our fundamental factors of being mono-Ground and having Diamond Storm already can help seperate us from it. There is also the point about how much it will affect the process around it, which I do concede to be somewhat true, but that doesn't mean Diamond Storm is pushed to the side because of it. It's overall a very promising, albeit strong, ability.

...Though being honest, I do personally like Immunity a touch more. It is a less powerful option and keeps options open for stats and moves, which can't be easily said for Poison Heal. It's not to say that Immunity's effects aren't bad though, being able to completely deny Toxic and poison in general is a really nice effect to have, even if it seems a little more...secondary. Shed Skin gets a cool mention here because it does work well with Diamond Storm and has a larger range of effect, but I guess I like Immunity a bit more.

Defiant is also really cool and I like it a bunch. It forces Defoggers and Lando to be much more careful on how they are coming in, and make clicking Diamond Storm easier since there is a lot more damage payout for clicking it. I do think quz is right in saying that we need to navigate carefully during stats since that can snowball out of control if not careful, but that doesn't dismiss it as a really solid option. Mirror Armor is also a great option for straight up denying Lando, and the more limited scope may be more up CAP31's alley.

Moxie feels similar here, but has really great synergy with Diamond Storm's boosting nature and being proactive is also a great boon. Don't have a ton of thoughts past that but it works well.

Water Absorb is I think the best of the immunity abilities, and completely eliminating a weakness is obviously a very strong thing for a Ground-type to do, especially since denying Scald is utterly massive and would certainly give CAP31 a solid niche. It is a bit...boring in my opinion since its a good type to be immune to, but still very solid. Don't really have much else to say on any of the other immunity abilities, they don't really strike me any anything massive.

Serene Grace has the best synergy with Diamond Storm, but being a mono-Ground-type makes this option thoroughly uninteresting since the type synergy with it is not there. Serene Grace is purely built to guarantee we get the Diamond Storm boost, and that single example is a bit shallow to really lock in as a great option.

Finally, a guilty pleasure. Cotton Down, while I do not expect it to get any actual traction, is an ability that works actually decently well with Diamond Storm from a synergy perspective. If a foe relies on being faster is now slower after a proc, then forcing a switch gives you a free click to actually click Diamond Storm and possibly get the boost. Hell, being faster the next turn could help get the boost in general when you need that +2 most. Its a weird ability and being reactive kinda does hurt it, but the synergy it does have with Diamond Storm could make a weird but unique option.
 
Figured I would bring up a couple of ability choices that aren't really being talked about right now, as a means to just put a couple more things into the spotlight.

Weak Armor:

Oddly enough, this ability actually synergizes with Diamond Storm really well. While it does suck to have to loose out on the Defense Boosts granted to us by Diamond Storm over time, being able to boost our speed with little to no consequence over the course of the game is an incredibly powerful tool (Given that we have at least decent luck, the defense drops from Weak Armor should for the most part be balanced out by the boosts from Diamond Storm). The big thing here really is that Diamond Storm would patch up the weakness to priority that Weak Armor would give us (Which is only made even more apparent given that we are weak to both Aqua Jet and Ice Shard, the two most common priority moves in the metagame right now). While I wouldn't really consider Weak Armor to be my favorite ability, I think it's actually surprisingly decent enough to warrant more discussion in my opinion.

Comatose:

Blocking all status is obviously incredibly powerful, while at the same time it's not quite as powerful as Poison Heal, which many users have expressed concern with in the thread, since it doesn't come with any sort of inherent recovery. Feels like this would be a good middle ground between abilities that can reliably block all of the status we need while at the same time not being insanely overpowered (Although I do acknowledge that Comatose is a pretty powerful ability in of itself).

Simple:

+4 Diamond Storm is obviously going to be very powerful, however I'm not sure how good this would be in practice. If we go with this ability, we are pretty much forfeiting our Lando match-up unless we give CAP31 Ice Beam or something, and even then you don't really want to be at -2 Attack at any point when at least one of your main attacks is physical.
I honestly like the idea of weak armor. I feel like everyone is focusing really hard on the defense boost access but honeatly one of the biggest perks of Diamond storm is that it’s like a stone edge that doesn’t miss as frequently. It has the same ammount of PP as well. I think a mon that can really use the rock coverage is also very beneficial which has been talked about. Ground/rock coverage is pretty solid.
 
Poison Heal - Clearly a top contender. It not only provides status immunity but also it provides health recovery, two major boons that come from this ability. Our typing also helps ensure this wouldn't become another Snaelstrom because it's Stealth Rock resistant and wouldn't be running Heavy-Duty Boots as a result. I feel like this actually could be TOO strong of a choice, and that it might put restrictions on later stages. I don't think it would make us downsize to the extremes, and picking something strong relatively early on and having to cut back later isn't necessarily a bad thing, just something to bear in mind. I also worry a bit about making something very similar to Gliscor.

Edit: I did not think about Facade, now I don't support Poison Heal at all

Shed Skin - This isn't a bad option, it's certainly weaker than Poison Heal, but it is still effective and might not put as much strain on future stages. If we really want to be different from other Grounds, status immunity abilities do help set it apart from Garchomp and Landorus-Therian, but bear in mind we also have Colossoil, another offensive Ground with a much better status immune ability than Shed Skin. Seperation from Landorus-Therian and Garchomp is still noteworthy too, and I'm not too worried about making another Colossoil, but it's something else that should be in the back of our heads.

Thick Fat - I honestly gotta say I don't like this one. I'm not a fan of abilities that make us directly take less damage from physical attacks, because it does a lot of the work that Diamond Storm should be doing for us. I think that Diamond Storm protecting CAP 31 from Weavile is one of its biggest perks, and Thick Fat takes it away. Diamond Storm can still protect us from other Pokemon like Kartana and Pajantom, and becoming a switch-in to Heatran is definitely nice, but I still don't think this is a good direction our ability should take IMO. At least with Water Absorb, most Water type attacks in the metagame are specially offensive. I'd probably like Thick Fat a tad more if we didn't beat Zeraora with our typing.

Sand Stream - Being high on another weather ability right after my Pyroak buff package, I know, but this one is pretty nice in the health recovery department, boosting Shore Up, and would certainly set us apart from all other relevant Ground types in the tier. Sandstorm's chip damage is nice on a Ground type Pokemon too, as it beats some of the Steel and Rock types that are immune to it like Nihilego, Heatran, Magnezone and Melmetal. It's powerful but not too powerful and I think would be a great option for CAP 31. I'm also not worried about outclassing Hippowdon since Hippowdon is a defensive Pokemon and CAP 31 is looking to be geared to being more offensive.
 
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Already elaborated on this on discord but i want to argue against poison heal.

My current issue with poison heal as an ability is that the longevity it brings is not one in which I can see diamond storm being used as effectively as it possibly could. Yes I can conceed that it will allow 31 to stay alive for a long time and will give it a very effective niche in the meta, but said effectiveness is very likely to stray away from the direction in which diamond storm would be used to its most effiency. I don't really see a poison heal mon wanting diamond storm when it can just exchange it with something that it can abuse way more in the long run, as opposed to diamond storm's limited 8 pp.
Some arguments i see about this position are:
  • It won't distract from the main niche of using diamond storm: I disagree, poison heal is an extremely potent and good ability for a mono ground type, and to not explore this design as much as possible would not only lead to a very subpar pokemon, but also one that is unable to even make the most use out of diamond storm in the first place.
  • We can limit its options in order to not let Diamond storm get overshadowed: Again, a very terrible way to look at the process. By limiting the options to be used alongside Diamond Storm we are making a mon that uses diamond storm not because it can milk all of its potential, but because it literally doesn't a a better option, which is a pretty terrible way to make use of this unique opportunity provided by the concept. It also means that whatever options this cap has to make to most out of Diamond Storm will have to be very specific / highly reduce the ability of this mon to run various sets and therefore not be as effective.
I do think Poison Heal could maybe work if we went truly careful with it but for the most part i really dislike it as an option.
 
Serene Grace- Serene Grace is the most obvious way to build on and focus on Diamond Storm, but I'm not a fan of it. In my opinion, it doesn't really work with what makes diamond storm special, and instead almost supercedes it. I think we could learn a lot more about the use of Diamond Storm if we focus on what actually makes Diamond Storm
Weak Armor- Weak Armor is in the opposite boat. It works against Diamond Storm, removing defense boosts instead of guranteeing them, but there's a lot of potetnial to really really hone in on the reliance of Diamond Storm here. I see two main interactions with Diamond storm here. 1- 31 comes in, threatens something out, uses diamond storm. Defense boost procs, hopefully helping against the switch in. This puts 31 in a position where it can safely get the weak armor boost without hurting its defense. Alternatively, weak armor procs before diamond storm does. Now diamond storm is relied on to shore up 31's defenses. Either way, the boost of diamond storm is important for weak armor to be effective. One of the biggest threats against weak armor- priority taking advantage of the lowered defenses that can ignore our boosted speed, with moves like Weavile's Ice Shard or Urshifu-R's aqua jet, both of which are threats to us.
 
I want to vocalize my support for Sand Stream. Having the ability to constantly force chip damage onto enemies is much more significant than many might think. I have an Ubers stall team in which I’ve won games because of Tyranitar’s sand chip. Due to the fact the CAP31 will probably force a lot of switches by its boosts, it can spend turns chipping down its foes and Sand can make the damage stick. See TSS structures from ADV to get some idea of how this is helpful. The one major issue with this (and it is glaring) is that it does nothing for our Corviknight and Landorus matchups, as they are both still immune to Sand chip and can still easily come in on us and forces us out. Dealing with these two imo is tantamount to CAP31’s viability.

This leads me to, once again, supporting Defiant. I won’t rehash what’s been said, but this ability is the most pro-concept, most pro-metagame, and most pro-CAP31 ability I’ve seen suggested.

I’d also like to note my souring on Water Absorb and other Water immunities. Others have pointed out that bulky waters that we should “beat” can just poison us, remove our items, set up Future Sight, and phaze and Haze our Diamond Storm boosts. The only matchup this significantly improves imo is Urshifu, which doesn’t seem like the most important mon for us to switch in on.

Others have voiced concern that Poison Heal is too nuclear, and I’m still on the fence about it. While it provides us with reliable recovery, status immunity, and Knock Off ‘immunity,’ which fits the bill of a unique Ground type, such a mon just seems too crazy good. Gliscor was balanced somewhat by his crippling Ice weakness; we have less weaknesses and the defensive tool of Diamond Storm. On the one hand, it’s super pro-concept; on the other, it could create a meta-warping threat. It depends really on what we are valuing most here at CAP. I’m new here, so I’m not sure what’s more important. Just wanted to voice this mostly to let people know what on both sides see here!

I think an interesting potential option that hasn’t been mentioned or explored really in CAP is Beast Boost. While it shares many similarities with the popular Moxie, Beast Boost gives us the flexibility to boost Attack or Speed (or even Defense if CAP31 gets Body Press). This allows us to have the best of both Speed Boost and Moxie in one ability slot. I won’t go into why boosting the specific stats are good, as others have covered it. (Additionally, this means that we get to design a UB CAP, which is freaking sick.) I think that this is super pro-concept while allowing us great flexibility in later stages and in potential CAP31 niches.
 

dex

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Defiant - This is a generally good ability. I think it is solid in what it tries to do, specifically in deterring Landorus-T from switching in and Tornadus-T from Defogging. I like it, though the comments about switching into Astrolotl are not super accurate considering that mon runs Wisp

Analytic - This hasn't seen the discussion it deserves. Analytic is all about capitalizing on how good Ground + Rock coverage is, and it makes switching into CAP 31 dangerous, even for Landorus-T.

Moxie - Definitely a strong option. I think it will have to be accomplished in a weirder sort of way compared to other Moxie users, but I think it is totally doable and the ability is good.

Thick Fat - Those who say they don't like this ability because you can't switch into Weavile are naive. This is the one Ground that isn't forced out by Weavile. That's massive. A lot of teams rely on Weavile forcing Landorus-T out. Now it doesn't. Thick Fat is extremely good.

Mirror Armor - I am not as big of a fan of this as I used to be, actually. It is definitely nice and totally workable; however, its main draw over Defiant is that it doesn't take Shadow Ball drops, which is tough cause the Shadow Ball users are pretty strong in their own right. I don't think it meshes with what we are trying to accomplish.

Poison Heal - Very good. It is Poison Heal, after all. Status immunity, excellent recovery, Knock absorber, the ability does everything.

Immunity - Definitely an ability that is looking to save some power budget for stats, which I can get behind. I think it is fine for what it does (essentially denying Landorus-T the ability to pressure CAP 31).

Water Absorb - Water Absorb is strictly better than its counterparts, so it'll be the one I talk about. Water Absorb is perhaps my favorite possibility for this mon. It takes away Shifu's ability to revenge after a Diamond Storm boost and it denies Slowbro, Toxapex, and Tapu Fini from meaningfully pressuring CAP 31. I saw some mention that Pex would just Toxic, but Toxic Pex is a very, very niche set. It is not something that should be worried about whatsoever. Water Absorb is legit.

Misty Surge - It's a cool option that sort of covers the Immunity basis while giving CAP 31 a resistance to Draco, important for avoiding the most common revenge killer. It's good, I just prefer the other status-driven abilities.

Shed Skin - I'm not really a fan of Shed Skin, mainly cause it would result in a CAP that is super reliant on RNG. I think it could work fine, but I would absolutely prefer Poison Heal.

Speed Boost - This ability is hilarious. I love it. At first I thought it would be too strong, but I do think it is totally balanceable. Stacking boosts to make use of Diamond Storm's limited PP sounds great to me.

Weak Armor - On the other hand, I don't really like this one. Part of Diamond Storm is that +2 is a massive boost; taking away part of that seems counterintuitive.

Serene Grace - Serene Grace does one thing, and that thing is not even that interesting or helpful. No Ground moves really benefit from Serene Grace, and I think this ability is misplaced on CAP 31. Hard no.

Sap Sipper - There are simply not enough Grass-type attackers to justify this imo. Ferrothorn rarely runs Power Whip, Kartana is just one mon, and Rillaboom has gone by the wayside in usage. Water Absorb is the superior immunity ability.

Unaware - Unaware is sorta funny in its design, but I do get where it is coming from. Not my favorite, but I don't dislike it.

Magnet Pull - no.

Filter - Interesting idea that I could get behind; the main issue with Filter is that Ground is most often hit specially super effectively, limiting the number of times this ability actually interacts with Diamond Storm.

Rattled - I've spoken before about why Rattled is not good. Here is what happens with Rattled: You get hit by U-turn, opponent pivots into a check, your speed boost means nothing. OR: You get hit by knock by one of the common knock users, most of which are slow. They don't care about your Speed boost. your speed boost means nothing.

Flash Fire - Definitely good, especially with all the balloon frog running about. I prefer Water Absorb, but Flash Fire has a strong case as well.

The rest of the abilities that I did not mention I did not deem necessary to talk about.
 
Before i start blabbering, I should make myself clear that i think CAP 31 should be a bulky offensive tank similar to Melmetal or Metagross, with the benefit of being able to check the many electrics of the tier. I also think that ever since CAP 31's typing was unveiled, Diamond Storm has become almost an accessory- a benefit rather than the main focus. That might shine through in my post.

I've heard talk of Stakeout and I'm honestly on board with it. As stated before. Edgequake is fantastic coverage but there are many pokemon that can handle the combination-- many of which (libra, lando, hippo) are ground types that our CAP31 is meant to compete with. Stakeout makes these switchins less reliable, notably negating Landorus' Intimidate for a turn. It's up there with Poison Heal as my favorite ability. I should make myself clear though- If this mon DOES get poison heal, i do not think it should get reliable recovery. I feel that it would be near impossible to take down if it did.

Personally, i dislike Shed Skin. Diamond Storm's gimmick is inherently RNG-- you only have a 50% chance to get the defense boost. Shed Skin is ENTIRELY RNG-- only having a 1/3 chance to remove status. Diamond storm plus shed skin could make this pokemon too dependent on RNG, which makes it inconsistent and unfun to play against and possibly unfun to play with.

Mirror Armor has also seen some discussion-- it contrasts with my idea of what CAP 31 should be, however i can definitely see the reasoning behind it if CAP 31 becomes more offensive. Not having to deal with spdef drops from pult's shadow ball or get intimidated by the omnipresent Landorus is very good here.

Serene Grace is an interesting pick. I think that again, my idea of a defensive CAP 31 would not benefit from it, but an offensive CAP 31 would. It would also make Diamond Storm the main focus. Unfortunately, no physical ground moves are both good and utilize Serene Grace.

Immunity Abilities were unbanned for discussion-- This is really good. Of course, the immunity ability that is being discussed the most is Water Absorb- i dont think volt absorb would be very useful
Water Absorb turns a weakness into an immunity and creates fantastic role compression as an electric immunity AND a water immunity, which is something Poison Heal cannot do. Of course, p-heal has its other benefits that make it arguably better than water absorb. This also makes it invulnerable to Scald, which is always great for a physical attacker such as this.

EDIT: APPARENTLY STAKEOUT IS 2X ON SWITCHES INSTEAD OF 1.5X LIKE I THOUGHT IT WAS. i dunno if i want stakeout anymore
 
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Yo, great discussion so far. Just wanted to quickly summarize the ongoing discussion and ask some new questions. This post is super long, so don’t feel obligated to answer every single question or talk about every single ability. Before going on to questions, here’s another announcement about soft bans.

Sap Sipper is now banned. Compared to other immunities it’s just not useful enough, so while not terrible, is clearly outclassed and not worth discussing.

Stakeout is banned. The ability is incredibly warping to play against and extremely constraining for the process. Luckily there’s also this cool ability called Analytic that you guys can talk about.

Flash Fire is unbanned. There’s been enough discussion on it to show its merit.

Now, moving on to questions and such:

This includes, but is not limited to, Poison Heal, Comatose, Misty Surge, Shed Skin, Guts, Immunity, and Water Veil.

I’m gonna be upfront and say that at least one anti-status ability will be on our final slate. It is clear that a status immunity is an incredible boon for CAP31, immediately distinguishing CAP31 from the other Grounds as well as helping significantly into Toxic Lando-T. That being said, I want to focus my questions in this category on deciding which of these to pick.

How much power budget are we willing to invest into our ability? Should we be worried about limiting ourselves for future stages or not being able to create a strong enough product?

On Poison Heal: Some users have mentioned that Facade may end up being used over Diamond Storm. Given the immense power of the ability, do we have enough space remaining to focus on Diamond Storm and make it the preferred option?

On Shed Skin: How does play and counterplay with CAP31 change when curing status comes down to random chance? Would opponents click status moves into CAP31? Would players be willing to switch into status moves freely?
Water Immunities have proven to be a powerful contender in the discussion. They give us an immediate identity separate from other Grounds as well as hampering the effectiveness of bulky Waters as checks to CAP31, effectively allowing CAP31 to click Diamond Storm more. It also has the added bonus of removing the always-crit Surging Strikes as a worry for us. I’m also just gonna say that picking which specific immunity ability is kind of trivial. Storm Drain is clearly outclassed as we are physical, and Rain is far too fringe a playstyle to justify a pseudo Fire weakness. So we will focus on Water Absorb.

How effective is Water Absorb at deterring Water type switch-ins? Which Water types are no longer able to check us, and which ones still do not care?

How effective is Diamond Storm into these Water types? Do we run the risk of forcing CAP31 into matchups where Diamond Storm isn’t encouraged?
Despite lacking a weakness to Fire, the discussion on Flash Fire has demonstrated its merit. Flash Fire gives us the luxury of hard switching and bullying Heatran and Astrolotl, providing free space to click Diamond Storm.

Current Ground types matchup mostly well into the meta’s Fires at the moment, and are pretty safe switch-ins to SpDef Heatran and non-Wisp Astrolotl. Should we be concerned about being unable to differentiate ourselves from other Ground types?
Thick Fat acts similarly to Flash Fire, trading a complete immunity to Fire and Will-o-Wisp for the ability to not die to Weavile Triple Axel, a factor that instantly differentiates CAP31 from the 4x weak Landorus and Garchomp. Thick Fat also theoretically has greater interaction with Diamond Storm than other immunities, as +2 Defense can compound with reduced damage to eat hits very efficiently.

How important is CAP31’s Weavile matchup compared to other matchups in the tier?
This includes, but is not limited to, Defiant, Mirror Armor, and Own Tempo.

All three of these abilities are centralized on one idea: Dunking on Landorus. This is especially important, as denying Landorus-T’s ability prevents common teambuilds from making a safe midground pivot into CAP31, enabling CAP31 to make much more progress over the course of the game. Even generally, a Ground type that Landorus-T can’t switch into serves plenty of value on its own. Defiant takes an offensive spin on this, heavily dissuading Landorus-T from coming in and allowing CAP31 to exceptionally pressure Defog Zapdos and Tornadus. Meanwhile, Mirror Armor takes a more defensive approach, not only hindering Landorus but allowing us to potentially eat Dragapult Shadow Balls as well. Own Tempo offers a more low-power option with the added benefit of letting us not worry about Hurricane as much, which is valuable into Zapdos and Tornadus-T.

How often would these abilities actually come into play if the opponent knows to play around them? Is the existence of these abilities alone enough to justify their usage?

On Defiant: How concerned should we be about balancing CAP31 at +2 Attack? Could this potentially have negative impacts on how CAP31 plays at +0?
Moxie offers a lot of potential by providing Diamond Storm with greater option coverage into the opponent’s sacks. Boosting in this manner has great synergy with Diamond Storm, as being at +2 Defense makes CAP31 difficult to revenge kill and thus enables CAP31 to potentially sweep.

How does Moxie’s power budgeting affect how CAP31 plays in the early game? Should we be concerned that balancing around Moxie’s power may leave CAP31 lacking when it cannot pick up KOs?
This includes, but is not limited to, Speed Boost and Weak Armor.

It’s generally agreed upon that accruing boosts has great synergy with Diamond Storm, and that high speed also has great synergy with the move as well, so naturally, abilities that boost speed are a solid pick, as well as being a method of differentiation from other Grounds. Speed Boost has a lot of interesting implications as a mon that uses the ability in a non-HO fashion, and Weak Armor has some really neat synergy by allowing Diamond Storm to cover its Defense Drops.

How constraining is speed boosting in future stages of the process? Do these abilities threaten to funnel us into offensive cleaner roles?

I also want to highlight some abilities that I find haven’t gotten the conversation they deserve so far. You can answer the questions, but feel free to discuss these generally too.
Serene Grace has been met with mostly contempt in this thread, but when compared to the likes of Parental Bond(not sorry) and Simple, Serene Grace more or less occupies the same space, just without hax.

What are the implications of having a Defense boost that is guaranteed? How does avoiding hax entirely alter play on behalf of the user and the opponent?
Analytic has the fantastic ability to punish switch-ins and enables Diamond Storm to become an even better option than it already is. It also has the added bonus of not being Stakeout(We are not doing Stakeout).

Analytic does a great job of utilizing Diamond Storm as Rock coverage. How much potential does it have to take advantage of Defense boosts?
These abilities make CAP31 extremely difficult to KO physically when combined with Defense boosts, giving CAP31 potential to trade well into threats like Kartana and Weavile.
Pretty sure literally only Ama has talked about Regenerator so far but I’m still on the fence about keeping it banned so I’d like to see it discussed more. Regenerator is a great way to maintain longevity without sinking turns into recovery, which is a very simple, but effective way of letting us click Diamond Storm more. Wearing AV and getting +2 Defense also has interesting implications.

Note that this does not mean that Regenerator is unbanned yet. I will see how the discussion on this ability goes and then make a decision.
Unaware is really funky for its potential to be run on something that isn’t just a fat wall. CAP31 effectively explores the offensive and defensive potential of the move, as it can ignore Defense boosts from the likes of Venomicon as well as deny the opponent from using Swords Dance to break past its on Defense boosts.

How relevant is Unaware into the setup mons of the tier? Can CAP31 effectively check them even if it has Unaware?
 
Mega post time! Sorry for not answering the questions directly, but I feel I would be able to more easily articulate my thoughts by just discussing mentioned abilities. I think I hit the key points of the questions in doing so, though. (Darek posted while I was making this so I did try to work in what he said/asked into here as well.)

Status Abilities - I'll be starting with Poison Heal, since it's gotten the most attention so far. I do like this ability for the ways in which it distinguishes us from the other Grounds in the meta. Not having to worry about status and Knock Off alike is great, and the healing is nice too. However, I am souring on it due to the amount to which it would center the process around itself as opposed to Diamond Storm, which should be our focus. Moreover, while being weak to rocks was definitely part of it, Snaelstrom has demonstrated that Poison Heal without a recovery move is not as strong as it appears to be on paper. Gliscor has run Roost on every set it has had since XY. While the passive healing is greater than Leftovers and not susceptible to Knock Off like Lefties are, Poison Heal's impact on longevity isn't as big as it has been made out to be. Poison Heal certainly has a sizable impact, but it will not be as distinguishing from Landorus-Therian and its ilk as it appears on paper. I would prefer a status ability such as Misty Surge, given that it similarly blocks both Toxic and Burn, which I feel annoy us to equal degrees for different reasons. Compared to Poison Heal, I feel that Misty Surge would be less of a focus in terms of what CAP31 is and likewise put less stress on stats and moves. The fact that Misty Surge is also temporary does mean that we are not completely invincible from status if we stay in long enough. However, status spreaders like Astrolotl and Toxapex are now the ones who have to come in and status us, as opposed to us feeling unable to switch in on them, especially in the case of Toxapex and other bulky Water-types. In short, Misty Surge provides the distinguishing factor versus other Ground-types of not fearing status while providing more flexibility down the line in stats and potentially secondary ability. Moreover, I feel Misty Surge will not take the focus away from Diamond Storm to the extent Poison Heal would. As a nice bonus, Misty Surge has the side effect of allowing us to switch into Draco Meteor from Specs Dragapult and other Dragons practically for free, which is neat. Regarding Immunity and Water Veil, I feel both could easily work, but I personally just would rather deal with both of those statuses at once. Comatose would work for this, but is definitely a stronger option, perhaps close to Poison Heal. For some reason I prefer Misty Surge over Comatose, perhaps due to being slightly weaker, though I can't say for certain. It's definitely good, I just prefer Misty Surge. Shed Skin, on the other hand, is an ability I find unsavory due to us stacking RNG effects. Diamond Storm is already a coin toss, so adding a 1/3 chance to remove status just does not sound like a good idea.

Moxie / Beast Boost - I honestly do like Moxie for CAP31. It is a clear way to take advantage of the Diamond Storm boosts, allowing us to snowball into a threat that is terrifying to face down once it gets started. However, I am frankly not interested in making an HO sweeper out of Diamond Storm. That said, I do still like the ability for its potential outside of HO roles. Beast Boost, on the other hand, feels like it would just swallow stat stage whole in terms of being able to customize boosts and all. It is hardly the worst suggestion for CAP31, but I'm not feeling it.

Sand Stream - Genuinely do not understand this one. Sure, we deal chip damage while taking none ourselves, but it feels very tangential to Diamond Storm, especially given how prominent answers to Diamond Storm such as Ferrothorn and Landorus-Therian also do not take sand damage. Diamond Storm does not benefit from sand, and neither does CAP31 itself. If we were a Rock-type this would be a different conversation, but I honestly feel Sand Stream is a waste of time.

Defiant / Mirror Armor / Own Tempo (feat. Shield Dust) - Defiant is definitely a targeted ability, primarily trying to catch the twin Therians off guard with Defog and Intimidate, threatening both with boosted Diamond Storm. However, I do not particularly care for it due to the boost being out of our control, as well as how Defiant could ultimately not matter against even the likes of Tornadus-Therian, who is a rather fast and powerful Pokemon which can pivot. Mirror Armor I feel is slightly better, as unlike Defiant, Mirror Armor serves as... armor for CAP31 as opposed to us praying our stats get dropped to actually do something. That said, its value is overstated against the likes of Astrolotl, who carries Will-o-Wisp rather often. Dragapult also won't care if it has its Special Defense dropped unless we are mixed. Own Tempo is certainly interesting, given how it both blocks Intimidate and avoids confusion from the Flying-types we threaten most with from their Hurricanes. That said, I find the ability rather weak for a primary. I would also like to take this time to briefly shout out Shield Dust, as while I do feel that it too is somewhat on the weaker side, it manages to avoids Hurricane confusions, Scald burns, and drops from moves like Dragapult's Shadow Ball and Astro's Fire Lash.

Analytic: I see the appeal of Analytic, given how it punishes moves like pivoting into Landorus-Therian, but I think I simply prefer other offensive abilities like Moxie. Also, I feel Analytic does not really use Diamond Storm any differently than it would Stone Edge, which turns me away from it.

Water Absorb / Flash Fire / Thick Fat: There is a lot to love about Water Absorb. It instantly turns our matchups against most if not all bulky Water-types in our favor, shuts down Scald, gives us a second immunity to give this mono-Ground more switch-in opportunities, and blocks the one move in the metagame which can ignore our Diamond Storm boosts in Surging Strikes. The other Water immunity abilities wish they were Water Absorb. It is worth noting, though, that both Arghonaut and Urshifu-R resist Diamond Storm, making its usage against them not advised. Arghonaut and Slowbro are also physically defensive and are neutral to Earthquake, which means Arghonaut could just Circle Throw us out or Slowbro can click Future Sight or Teleport with ease. Flash Fire (has this even been allowed for discussion? Pretty sure it's soft banned) takes a different approach, turning pressure matchups against the likes of Heatran and Astrolotl into ones where we blank them entirely. I personally find Water Absorb more useful in terms of what it accounts for (Scald burns are more likely to be seen in a match than plain Will-o-Wisp), but Flash Fire is a good ability in its own right. Thick Fat effectively lets us come in on the actual attacks of those Fire-types just mentioned while also making us not forced out by Weavile, which absolutely distinguishes us from every other Ground-type in the metagame other than Equilibra (which hates Knock Off like little else anyway, plus it's a Ground which can't really check Heatran as much as it would like to). I personally find dealing with status the more pressing issue in terms of defensive abilities, but these are a close second. My rankings of these are Water Absorb > Thick Fat > Flash Fire.

Unaware - Having Defense boosts which can't be bypassed by anything not named Urshifu-R is very cool, and being able to ignore Venomicon's Stamina is fantastic. There are numerous setup Pokemon in the metagame right now, from Tapu Fini to Dragonite to Garchomp to Pyroak. Unaware can give CAP31 more breathing room to check these setup threats thanks to Unaware, and I frankly am all in favor of it. I don't know exactly where it falls in my mind compared to other defensive abilities, but it is definitely one we should very much be considering.

Speed Boost / Weak Armor - The more I think about Speed Boost, the more I am interested in it. We can definitely balance it, although it is most certainly strong. It snowballs similar to Moxie, but in a way to where defensive answers which would be slower anyway emerge as a way to halt our progress. While the ability is famously known for sweeping on Pokemon like Blaziken, I feel that Speed Boost Diamond Storm fits an anti-offense sort of Pokemon or even a defensive one, getting Defense boosts before the foe can use their high-powered moves. This would definitely distinguish CAP31 from other Ground-types as well, given how none of the viable Ground-types are faster than Garchomp's 102. Garchomp may have Scale Shot, but it doesn't click it every turn. Speed Boost is the real deal. Weak Armor, on the other hand, just feels counterintuitive and anti-concept. We should not be having our Defense lowered, especially when that lowering of Defense is not in our control. Don't slate Weak Armor.

Filter / Solid Rock - Given the fact that we have only three weaknesses, I can see why people may be interested in these two. However, I frankly feel that of the Pokemon which are super-effective against us, Rillaboom and Kartana are strong to where it will likely not matter whether we have Filter or not. As for Water-types and Weavile, Water Absorb and Thick Fat handle those much better. Pass.

Serene Grace - Frankly this just seems boring given that Ground does not have a move that uses Serene Grace. No thank you.

Regenerator / Natural Cure - Frankly while I understand these abilities I do not want to be pivoting around. Regen in particular seems a bit overkill given the other defensive abilities we have. Next.

Water Bubble - I like how it combines a burn immunity with taking half from Fire to completely shut down Astrolotl and Heatran while also letting us not worry about Scald so much. I would argue for this to be unbanned.... but CAP cannot be trusted with Water Bubble to not give Water moves. Despite me liking its defensive traits, CAP would not keep it to just the defensive elements and the pseudo STAB thing is distracting, taking away from the moveset freedom aspect of our mono-Ground type. I don't even know if anyone else has brought it up yet, but I'm bringing this up now to get ahead of any arguments for it. Keep it banned.

Well, that should basically be everything! I am going to go pass out now, goodnight
 
How much power budget are we willing to invest into our ability? Should we be worried about limiting ourselves for future stages or not being able to create a strong enough product?

On Poison Heal: Some users have mentioned that Facade may end up being used over Diamond Storm. Given the immense power of the ability, do we have enough space remaining to focus on Diamond Storm and make it the preferred option?

On Shed Skin: How does play and counterplay with CAP31 change when curing status comes down to random chance? Would opponents click status moves into CAP31? Would players be willing to switch into status moves freely?
Looking at what will be our competition, I believe, that we should invest a lot in Power during ability. The existing physical Ground Types have almost all they want. Lando lacks one physical STAB, but so do we and otherwise Lando has basically every generically good option in its Movepool, between Set-Up, Coverage, Utility Attacking, hazard Control and Status.
Garchomp has an incredible varied offensive Movepool an busted STAB combo, can reasonably run Mixed sets, as well as valuable utility in Stealth Rock and Toxic.
Colossoil Can run STAB Knock Off, has great Coverage options, Rapid Spin and Toxic.
Literally the only Move Option none of them have is 50% Recovery.
On Top of that, all of them have pretty insane Stats. Lando probably has the weakest, since it’s not as Mon maxed as the other two, but it still has humongous Attack, which means uninvested it’s as strong as a Max Adamant base 100 Attcker and its much better defensive Typing makes everything out of its solid bulk. Garchomp obviously has insane Stats, that allow it to be incredibly versatile for something that looks only like a physAttacker and Colos stats are stupidly min Maxed.
None of their abilities are bad or useless as well, so I believe that only choosing an ability, that creates a niche isn’t meaningful. I believe we need an ability, that sets CAP31 apart AND is at least as strong Intimidate, especially since we might be more limited in Movepool, due to not wanting to overshadow Diamond Storm and there’s only so much you can do in Stats without looking ridiculous.

Facade on Poison Heal might end up being preferred over Diamond Storm, mostly because it has better PP and is a solid midground attack, that doesn’t necessitate prediction as much.
Technically you don’t need anything else than EQ and Diamond Storm as there are like only Four mons, that you can hit harder with Facade.
So it’s a toss up and depends on what extra coverage we get and on how much 31 wants to play the long game, which tbf Poison Heal favors.

With Shed Skin I think you still play like you would a Mon without anti status ability. You don’t actively switch in to absorb status, because it still crippled you and there’s generally better options for status absorption, especially considering, that the main source for burns is Scald, which means we are not coming in.
I think there’s one pro argument for Shed skin, which is, it encourages staying in when your statused, which means it plays into wanting to stay in with Diamond Storm boost. But it feels marginal and relying on double RNG to meaningfully set us apart from other Ground types seems gimmicky. I’d rather revisit shed skin during secondary ability, if we happen to not give an anti Status primary ability.
Current Ground types matchup mostly well into the meta’s Fires at the moment, and are pretty safe switch-ins to SpDef Heatran and non-Wisp Astrolotl. Should we be concerned about being unable to differentiate ourselves from other Ground types?
I think Flash Fire is pretty distinctive.
With the exception of Garchomp, the existing offensive Grounds still take a Lot of Chip from Heatrans Magma Storm and Eruption, which has seen some play on Balloon Sets recently, straight up 2HKOs any ground not named Gastro, Swampert or Garchomp. All Grounds except Colossoil fear being burned as well, making them awkward to hard into Astro, especially given that it’s faster than all of them and Regenerator will help it Recover damage from a burn halved EQ pretty fast.
Flash Fire would allow CAP 31 to threaten Fire Types For Free, which is huge for any Ground type, especially considering how they get chipped pretty easily.
How important is CAP31’s Weavile matchup compared to other matchups in the tier?
Being an offensive Ground with a most likely positive Weavile Matchup is a huge distinction to any other offensive Ground ATM. Barring situations, where Weavile already has set up a swords Dance , it’s very likely, that CAP31 will be able to even force out Weave once or twice a game, with the threat of Diamond Storm (another incentive to click it) and straight up denies is the Revenge Kill if it is boosted and/or not at a very low HP. I think it’s also neat to consider the improved Hail matchup. While Hail is declining it still can easily fish for games and having a Ground, that doesn’t necessitate doubling around Zolts Bolt Beam coverage is cool.
How effective is Water Absorb at deterring Water type switch-ins? Which Water types are no longer able to check us, and which ones still do not care?
I actually don’t think it deters switch ins at all. Bulky waters still easily bully us out, with neutral Attacks or just by sitting on us. The exception are Toxapex which becomes Uber passive against us, but we already have a slightly positive matchup into it, especially if we are already in and Tapu Fini, which now has to trade neutral Attacks instead of threatening 31 Super Effectively.
Forcing Urshifu into a fighting Move or Uturn can be nice for prediction. But Close Combat is still nuclear and we are not going to win a neutral 1v1 against Shifu without Super Effective Coverage or humongous Attack.

Honestly Water Absorb imo is mostly not for improving the Water Type Matchup in general, but used to not fear Scald Burns, deterring the opponent from clicking Scald or Surging Strikes and snatching some HP from time to time, which still are solid traits.


How often would these abilities actually come into play if the opponent knows to play around them? Is the existence of these abilities alone enough to justify their usage?
Not necessarily answering this question, but I want to say that Mirror Armor does not Help against Pult.
We are not switching in a Neutral Ground Type, without Humongous SpD or if we go for a build, where we heavily invest in SpD. Additionally the SpD drop on Pult seems meaningless since we aren’t cut out to be a Special attacker at the moment. Actually Defiant is better at dealing with Pult in that Case, Since we can reasonably run Scarf.
On Defiant: How concerned should we be about balancing CAP31 at +2 Attack? Could this potentially have negative impacts on how CAP31 plays at +0?
Honestly Defiant is still situational enough and needs skilled manouvering to come into play.
Gapdos has a great offensive typing, huge Atk and a solid Speed tier and still is balanced in most situations.
I think Defiant should be a “This Mon was threatening enough already but now oh shit I triggered it” instead of a “ye this Mon does little, unless I trigger Defiant and even then it’s manageable”.
How does Moxie’s power budgeting affect how CAP31 plays in the early game? Should we be concerned that balancing around Moxie’s power may leave CAP31 lacking when it cannot pick up KOs?
Moxie Seems similar to Defiant to me. You’ll play with the threat of snowballing early game (considering we are likely to OHKO one of the best mons in the Tier, this isn’t even unreasonable) and use the boosts late game to Sweep. I think Scarf Kartana is a pretty good blueprint wrt to playstyle.
It’s solid bulk and defensive typing afford it with a fair few opportunities to come in early and threaten stuff, while forcing Chip on Switch ins and the excels at cleaning late game, if it’s switch ins have been removed.

ON Regenerator
Please consider, that Regenerator Does Not Incentivize Switching. Yes it benefits Pivoting, but that doesn’t mean CAP31 will be switching out every turn to capitalize on it.
Every evidence we have shows, that Regen actually benefits mons, that want to stay in on neutral Attacks and make aggressive progress, which they could not do without it. It allows frailer mons like Astro and Torn to essentially play like a bulky tank like Melmetal or Heatran, while still being fast and not having UBER Stats or defensive typing with a huge list of resists.
Considering, that with our typing, we are going to eat mostly neutral Attacks, especially from the flying types, that want to switch in on us and the Electrics and Fire types we want to come in on, Regerator affords us the ability to stay in one or two turns more, while not sinking offensive momentum into 50% recovery and actively gives us the ability to leverage the defensive boosts from Diamond Storm more aggressively.
Consider a matchup where we managed to get to plus 2 with Dstorm and now are in against a Kartana with say like 80% health. Without Regenerator you probably have to switch immediately, because you can’t KO Kartana faster than it will KO CAP31 even with +2. With Regen you might stay in though, take 60% and scout the Set/Move Kart locked in do 40% back and switch to a safe option the following turn.
 
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Already elaborated on this on discord but i want to argue against poison heal.

My current issue with poison heal as an ability is that the longevity it brings is not one in which I can see diamond storm being used as effectively as it possibly could. Yes I can conceed that it will allow 31 to stay alive for a long time and will give it a very effective niche in the meta, but said effectiveness is very likely to stray away from the direction in which diamond storm would be used to its most effiency. I don't really see a poison heal mon wanting diamond storm when it can just exchange it with something that it can abuse way more in the long run, as opposed to diamond storm's limited 8 pp.
Some arguments i see about this position are:
  • It won't distract from the main niche of using diamond storm: I disagree, poison heal is an extremely potent and good ability for a mono ground type, and to not explore this design as much as possible would not only lead to a very subpar pokemon, but also one that is unable to even make the most use out of diamond storm in the first place.
  • We can limit its options in order to not let Diamond storm get overshadowed: Again, a very terrible way to look at the process. By limiting the options to be used alongside Diamond Storm we are making a mon that uses diamond storm not because it can milk all of its potential, but because it literally doesn't a a better option, which is a pretty terrible way to make use of this unique opportunity provided by the concept. It also means that whatever options this cap has to make to most out of Diamond Storm will have to be very specific / highly reduce the ability of this mon to run various sets and therefore not be as effective.
I do think Poison Heal could maybe work if we went truly careful with it but for the most part i really dislike it as an option.
I find your argument and counterpoints regarding Poison Heal interesting and pretty well thought out ... I'm wondering do you think Immunity and/or Misty Surge would also distract from DS and also force a limiting of options?
 

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How does Moxie’s power budgeting affect how CAP31 plays in the early game? Should we be concerned that balancing around Moxie’s power may leave CAP31 lacking when it cannot pick up KOs?
We don't have to look at Moxie like Gyarados or Selemence. Rather, Moxie CAP31 could emulate more like Buzzwole and Kartana, which most often (and should only) boost Attack with Beast Boost, essentially having Moxie. Buzzwole is able to tank hits and weave into and out of battle until it picks up kills, where it could potentially snowball if it wants to. Kartana is much more in a sweeping role, but it has enough defensive utility to get by. I think pure Ground-typing allows CAP31 the opportunities to act in either capacity, being able to pivot into Electric-types (a very useful niche) and waiting for the opposing team to be weakened before really snowballing. I'm not advocating for carbon copies of these Pokemon, or even for stat spreads that have weak special defense, etc. - I just advocate for seeing how they play in general and potentially applying that to CAP31.

Basically, balancing around Moxie's power could be offset by making CAP31 be able to still check Electric-types very well, and then having the ability to pressure the opponent with Moxie should it wear down the opposing team. Moving forward with EdgeQuake coverage and Diamond Storm's +2 Defense boosts makes Moxie very appealing.

I will also reiterate that Moxie encourages Diamond Storm simply by encouraging CAP31 to click damaging attacks to pick up KOes, and Diamond Storm is an attacking move that CAP31 should never drop. I find this ability to be most inspiring and flexible moving forward, and I think it encourages Diamond Storm to be used.

Current Ground types matchup mostly well into the meta’s Fires at the moment, and are pretty safe switch-ins to SpDef Heatran and non-Wisp Astrolotl. Should we be concerned about being unable to differentiate ourselves from other Ground types?
Landorus-T, Garchomp, and Colossoil all get chipped pretty quickly by Heatran's Magma Storm and Astrolotl's Fire Lash. Being able to blank these Pokemon would be pretty great for a Ground-type. It also improves CAP31's matchup against Heat Wave Zapdos and Fire Blast Stratagem, forcing them to use less accurate or less powerful attacks instead. I certainly don't like this ability as much as I do Moxie, but it's a lot more applicable than I first gave it credit for, and it might be my favorite immunity ability for this project.
 
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