CAP 31 - Part 6 - Defining Moves

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Before I get into specifics, I believe that offensive boosting is an especially important part of this CAP. While on paper it's difficult to find resistances to both Ground on Rock, in practice the metagame is particularly unkind to EdgeQuake coverage, with the likes of Landorus-T, Ferrothorn, and Slowbro coming in easily. As such, offensive boosting is a great tool for CAP31 to be able to exert offensive pressure against these mons without relying on an oversized base Attack stat or a damage-boosting item.
While a plethora of other options have been discussed that allow CAP31 to still be useful against these switch-ins, I find boosting to be the most compelling due to its synergy with Diamond Storm. As others have already discussed, boosting allows us to leverage our +2 boosts particularly well by enabling us to gain more value off of avoiding revenge kills. Speed boosting has the added bonus of letting us strike first with Diamond Storm to proc a +2 boost before getting hit.

Now for specific moves:

Swords Dance has fantastic synergy here, and will undoubtedly be useful for CAP31, but it's not my personal favorite for a few reasons. I would argue Swords Dance is much more volatile compared to Dragon Dance and Shift Gear; Swords Dance offers far greater immediate power at + 2, whereas a number of pokemon can likely switch in on a +1 Attack CAP31. I feel like Swords Dance funnels CAP31 into a wallbreaker role, at least to some extent, which while certainly a viable option, is not necessarily desirable.

Shift Gear is certainly interesting, but I don't see it being much different from Dragon Dance in practice, as any variation between +1 and +2 Speed can alternatively be accommodated in the stats stage. I don't see the benefits of +2 over +1 Speed being significant enough to justify building around Shift Gear over Dragon Dance, so I'd rather just look at Dragon Dance instead.

Dragon Dance: Dragon Dance is probably my favorite option here. It's far less volatile than Swords Dance, as Lando-T and Ferrothorn are likely safe switch-ins to a +1 CAP31. Swords Dance has more immediate power over Dragon Dance, not only in a literal sense, but also because Dragon Dance primarily becomes useful in the late game when Lando-T and Ferrothorn have sustained enough chip. As such, there's a lot more room for CAP31 to operate- it can function as a bulky wincon fulfilling a primarily defensive role in the early game, or still lean into an offensive game plan. Even though a +1 Attack boost isn't likely to make immediate progress against opposing threats, I find the ability to boost to be especially important, specifically because it prevents Lando-T from pivoting in and out on us. Similarly, boosting speed is great for us as mentioned before, and gives us more breathing room for our base speed in the stats stage.

All things considered, I think all three of these moves should be included as optional defining moves, with Dragon Dance being my personal preference of the three. So yeah. Also Power-Up-Punch is a bad move
 

Brambane

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I favor Dragon Dance and Swords Dance. Seems like most people are leaning towards one or the other, but not many are viciously opposed to either of them; I am in the same boat. Speed manipulation always adds a layer of depth to stats, as talks of Dragon Dance and Thunder Wave + Swords Dance indicate. I favor DD slightly more, but both fit very well.

Shift Gear I think should be an optional move for BSR/Stats Limit discussion. The way BSR works with really low Speed makes Shift Gear ripe for abuse, which leads to a strong discussion point for the specific stat limitations for spreads incorporating a the move. It's a treat to work with a Speed modifier as high as +2 after a turn in CAP by itself, let alone also +1 Attack. We should definitely explore it during the stats limits stage. If we cannot reach a solid community consensus on what the limits of Shift Gear should be, it's easy enough to cut it out and default back to Dragon Dance. Making Shift Gear optional for now seems like a zero risk move that generates more interesting discussion down the line, so I am all on board for it.

I am going entertain the idea of Calm Mind + Earth Power. The synergy is pretty simple in that you need a move to hit Flying-types, thus Diamond Storm. This one feels unique in the sense that it does really heavily lean into the Defense boosting of Diamond Storm. You end up in the sorta Reuniclus style of boosting mon that doesn't need to sacrifice coverage to boost both Defenses. We don't have Toxic immunity like Reuniclus at all, but on paper this seems distinct and wicked. We don't have that many strong Special Attacking Ground-types, and virtually no mixed ones. I would be very interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this direction before this stage wraps up, if only to fully explore the potential Diamond Storm affords.
 

Rabia

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Alright, here's our updated required/optional moves list:

Required Moves: Diamond Storm, at least one of (Earthquake/High Horsepower/Earth Power)
Optional Moves: One of (Milk Drink/Soft-Boiled/Recover/Slack Off), Pain Split, Grass-type coverage, special Fire-type coverage, Taunt, Thunder Wave, one of (Swords Dance/Dragon Dance/Shift Gear)

Additions are marked in blue as per last time.

Setup got a lot of support in this discussion phase, with Swords Dance and Dragon Dance both receiving the majority of it. Swords Dance is particularly helpful for it negating Landorus-T's Intimidate and really affirming our offensive nature, whereas Dragon Dance gives us a lot more room for creativity with stat and EV spreads going forward. Shift Gear, while not as supported, is still getting the nod because it's functionally quite similar to Dragon Dance and doesn't seem to be particularly bonkers even with the extra Speed boost.

Priority is just not seeing the support to make me comfortable adding it anywhere here. Sorry :(

It's now that I am imposing a 24 hour deadline on further discussion regarding our current defining moves list. Any questions, comments, and concerns are welcome---this is your last opportunity to make a big push for a move you support or oppose. Afterwards, I'll be closing this thread and passing it off to our stats TLT, Wulfanator!

edit: fixed optional moves saying Overheat instead of special Fire-type coverage
 
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spoo

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I am going entertain the idea of Calm Mind + Earth Power. The synergy is pretty simple in that you need a move to hit Flying-types, thus Diamond Storm. This one feels unique in the sense that it does really heavily lean into the Defense boosting of Diamond Storm. You end up in the sorta Reuniclus style of boosting mon that doesn't need to sacrifice coverage to boost both Defenses. We don't have Toxic immunity like Reuniclus at all, but on paper this seems distinct and wicked. We don't have that many strong Special Attacking Ground-types, and virtually no mixed ones. I would be very interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this direction before this stage wraps up, if only to fully explore the potential Diamond Storm affords.
I toyed around with this idea earlier and it’s very cool on paper, but ultimately I’ve got a hard time believing we can pull it off. CAP 31 already wants a lot out of stats, and something like this seems to only add further strain; it takes a pretty substantial Attack stat to 2HKO relevant offensive Flyings, and the defensive ones feel out of reach entirely. IE, being totally helpless vs the #1 mon in the tier is prob not ideal (unless we’re pulling off some fat Taunt setup build a la Tapu Fini, but again, that demands a ton from stats). Not quite sure what nature/evs something like this would wanna run either. I always love mixed sets in theory but sadly they’re often not 100% practical.

WRT other final stuff, Rapid Spin can probably be optional? I don’t think rocks/fog etc need to be listed bc they don’t really affect power level in stats, but Rapid Spin totally does, so I’d stick it on this list. I’m not that high on the move myself, but there was decent in-thread support and it has interesting synergy with other moves like SD so why not.
 
I think the current defining moves list is really solid and doesn't really need much change, if any at all.

A utility move I did not mention that I think is worth consideration is Aromatherapy. Pyroak has shown that mons can be viable with it, and it has good synergy with our Diamond Storm Defense boosts, helps out against Heatran and Astrolotl, and it is another way to set it apart from Landorus-Therian and Garchomp.

Court Change I think is another cool option that is a more unique form of utility, and I think it would be a cool option to get. I prefer it over Rapid Spin because I think it would help it stand out against Colossoil, which already has Rapid Spin, and it is a much more unique move, actively going "no u" with hazards and potentially doing stuff like stealing Aurora Veil isn't something any other Pokemon in the metagame can do and might help give it a place in the metagame.

I agree with spoo that Calm Mind + Earth Power is a bad idea, it puts extra unnecessary strain on our stats, and Earthquake is a better move than Earth Power anyway, it has a higher base power and Heatran and Astrolotl go specially defensive in their EV spreads. Calm Mind offers nothing to us and just makes it harder to build.
 
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Zetalz

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Have to agree with spoo regarding weird mixed options like CM and EP, stats on 31 are going to be pretty tight and pushing weird mixed directions isn't going to help things, or really be that helpful to Diamond Storm. Wouldn't even bother including EP in the STAB section for this reason. Spin should probably be put in optional for it's exact interaction with SD, honestly don't think it would make a meaningful enough impact on stats without it to be necessary for the list though.
 

Rabia

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Here's the final defining moves list:

Required Moves: Diamond Storm, Earthquake
Optional Moves: One of (Milk Drink/Soft-Boiled/Recover/Slack Off), Pain Split, Grass-type coverage, special Fire-type coverage, Taunt, Thunder Wave, one of (Swords Dance/Dragon Dance/Shift Gear), Rapid Spin

Rapid Spin was added because of a bit of increased support at the end and its synergy with Swords Dance being potentially interesting. It's an overall small chain move but has notable application in a metagame where Spikes are so abundant.

Earth Power also was removed because discussions about special sets got a bit too much, and those would certainly take away from Diamond Storm's practicality. I also removed High Horsepower because for all intents and purposes, Earthquake is superior and what people will be doing damage calcs with anyway.

Tagging SHSP for a final lookover and Wulfanator so he's aware this is done. Thank you all for making this stage go so smoothly!
 

SHSP

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Rabia's post is a great wrapup to this stage, I think we've done an excellent job of setting up our defining moves. Next stage is a big one, I'm more than excited to hand it to Wulf for stats: let's keep up the good discussion for it, cause it's gonna matter a lot. Thanks everyone!
 
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