CAP 32 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment

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spoo

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After two days of polling, we're finally here with D2TheW's concept Bang Average! This stage is incredibly important, as it informs the direction of the entire rest of the process. Please carefully read the concept, quoted below, and review the guidelines for participating in this stage as well.

Name: Bang Average

Description: This pokemon will attempt to circumvent average or below average stats to become viable.

Justification: Ou has always shown a massive preference towards mons with great statlines and high base stats, but there have always been exceptions to this rule. However in Cap we have always exclusively made mons with good to great stats, meaning we have left a lot of interesting design space untouched. There's a variety of ways we could go about a concept like this and I think this would be an illuminating and interesting project for us to engage with.

Questions:
What actually counts as average stats?
This will likely be up for some debate, as this is somewhat relative. 85 speed is a perfectly good speed stat on fini, but if zera had 85 speed it'd probably be in ru. As for bst, the lowest bst of ou ranked mons at the conclusion of ss (sv is a bit young to draw conclusions from) is Pelipper at 440, with Clefable in 2nd with 483. Both of these are undeniably average but 3rd lowest is Ferrothorn at 489, whose statline could definitely be seen as above average. It'd be pretty hard to deny that Toxapex has a better statline than Alolatales, despite the 10 point bst difference being in the fox's favour. Particular attention will have to be paid to how the stats synergise, rather than a flat interest in BST

How much stat efficiency is permissable?
To return to the above example part of what gives Ferro and Pex above average stats is the efficiency with which their bst is divided, with speed and various attacking stats being dropped in favour of juicing up defenses. Conversely, to use a lower tier example, Cobalion has a bst 91 points higher than ferro, but that bst is inefficiently distributed giving Cob mediocre attacking stats and good bulk on only one side. Despite it's high bst, Coba has pretty average stats. Obviously some degree of efficiency will be necessary but to what extent. Breloom has a frankly awful statline with the exception of it's attack, finding use through it's unique combination of other strong attributes. Is one stat pushing 130 fundamentally antithetical to the concept or is it permissable if all other stats take hits? Where do we draw that line?

Do we actually do stats first?
This is obviously a very stat centric concept, but there's good reasons that stats are usually done so late in the process. It'd certainly be a shake up to the process but you could probably still achieve a similar result with a more standard process order.

How does this affect our power budget?
The Chromera process afforded a large power budget to other aspects of the process to account for it's bad ability. To what extent, if any, do we allow that here? Remember that the goal here is using stats that are average or below average, not explicitly bad. The sort of affordances allowed in chroms process are almost certainly over the line, and honestly we could potentially make a perfectly reasonable end product without dipping into anything explicitly overpowered.

What types suit average stats, if any?
For example, dragon might be more suitable for it's access to strong stabs like Draco and Outrage that mitigate ower attacking stats. Psychic on the other hand may suit less well due to its reliance on weaker stabs. Are there typings that can work around mediocre bulk by leveraging unique or valuable defensive profiles?

What can we learn from gen 9?
The early stages of SV has given us some interesting examples of successful mons with average stats. In particular, we've been given two excellent examples of what to avoid. Espathra and Houndstone both clearly have very average stats with both having a sub 500 bst and highest individual stats of 105 and 101 respectively. These two became the lowest bst mons to be banned to ubers since Mega Sableye in oras. Houndstone isn't particularly interesting, as it was purely broken by virtue of having one of the most cracked moves to ever exist. Espathra is more notable, as it initially fell to uu before rising through the ranks thanks to it's stored power shenanigans and ridiculous tera synergy. Espathra shows us that even with pretty shit stats, we have to be careful to not overtune in other stages, which is definitely a tendency that we have in cap projects.
Guidelines:
1) Pay close attention to the Topic Leader during this discussion. Their job is to keep us focused and to bring insight.​
2) Do not poll jump. Poll jumping is a serious offense in these threads, and you can get infracted for it. Poll jumping is when you discuss something that should be discussed in the future, like specifying a CAP's stats or typing. You're allowed to hint at such things to conclude a point or to provide an example, but do not centralize your post on a poll jump. Poll jumping hurts the focus of early threads and can cause us to go off on a tangent. If you're not sure if you're poll jumping or not, err on the side of caution and don't post it.​

CAP 32's TL spoo will open the thread with their thoughts and a series of questions and considerations. Please make sure to read their initial post and subsequent posts carefully and follow them for discussion! Keep posts civil and on topic, or else they will be deleted.

CAP 32 So Far
 

spoo

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It's finally decided, Bang Average will be CAP 32's concept! I recommend rereading its submission linked in the OP so that we're all on the same page moving forward. Now, CAP has actualized similar concepts in the past; Crucibelle and Chromera both asked us to create a viable Pokemon with an undesirable typing or ability, respectively, but this is our first time exploring a restriction on the Stats stage. Keeping in mind what we learned from these old processes and how their end products fared will be helpful for much of the discussion we're soon to have.

Please stay on topic during this stage and not leap ahead to specific stats, abilities, moves, or typings that you think would be good choices. We'll be zooming out as much as possible for this initial batch of questions -- here's what I think is most important for us to nail down right now:

The concept lists Pokemon like Clefable, Breloom, and Clodsire as examples of "average" stats. Do we agree that these Pokemon fit the mold we're going for? In more specific terms, what actually counts as "average" stats?​
What are other good examples of OU viable Pokemon with average stat lines, and what are the commonalities or patterns between them? What do they tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"?​
How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?​
Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?​

I'll be taking this stage one step at a time. I expect this first round of discussion to last for 48 hours, though I may move things along earlier if I feel like the questions have been sufficiently answered. Hop to it!
 

Garrett

Banned deucer.
what actually counts as "average" stats?
I think "average" generally qualifies as something that requires investment in order to be threatening in that stat. You can't have average speed if you naturally outpace much of the meta; you can't have average bulk if, ignoring extra considerations like abilities/weather/etc., you comfortably stomach a typical offensive hit from a typically-offensive mon in Gen 9 CAP.

For example, should CAP 32 comfortably avoid a 2HKO on 252 SpAtk Jumbao Moonblast after Stealth Rock? That's a strong attack all things considered. A mon that can currently do that most would not call "frail or with average bulk." In the same vein, we don't need Bang Average to necessarily be something that can't reach important benchmarks, but we do want this sort of situation to be with intent. Think Rotom-Wash running max HP and max Def/SpDef to accomplish its goal.

What are other good examples of OU viable Pokemon with average stat lines, and what are the commonalities or patterns between them? What do they tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"?
Their movepool has unique utility, and their main ability overly compensates as "extra bulk/utility/reliability" for whatever role it's performing. Examples (not all gen 9):
  • Rotom forms, especially Rotom-Wash - Reliable in terms of pivoting, fear of status moves, good typing with ability, prior to gen 9 it also threatened Pain Split
  • Swampert - Reliable in terms of pivoting, hazard setter that can punish immediate removal (pivoting/Yawn)
  • Breloom - Unique status threatening (that is, "nothing is really like Breloom that performs this good, reliable strategy")
  • Serperior - Bit of a stretch, but the stats are very average. I think it's worth highlighting: Glare and/or Leaf Storm give it powerful utility in either a boosting offensive threat, or a Screens setter.
  • Gliscor/Seismitoad/Arctozolt/Nidoqueen/Nidoking/Bronzong - Amazing ability abuse that lack pivoting (I am getting typing more)
A general pattern includes a mon that does not stay in very long: it has an idea and this idea forces your opponent to respect its threat. When it is on the field, it has a clear role that it can do that, say, a mon with higher BST or stats would not fulfill with the same efficiency/reliability.

Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?
I think as long as there is a concrete idea in mind about Bang Average by the end of the concept assessment, then the normal order would be ok. I think the departure from the normal stage order (for example, stats/moves earlier) would indicate that we had too loose of a concept by the time we need to formulate specifics about CAP 32. That being said, I can't say doing moves and/or typing and/or ability earlier would be bad. My worry is that the concept would become patchwork the earlier we commit to the most specific elements of CAP 32.
 
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How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?​
My immediate thought here is that compensating for poor stats with a single "broken" part of the pokemon doesn't actually seem like a satisfying or creative solution to this concept. Anything can be strong if it has an ability that lets it take 100 turns at once, or a Sig move that has 500BP - imo we should put proper focus on building strength with a number of elements working together rather than taking the easy route and just giving it, like, shadow tag and letting it hang out with wobbafett.
 

SHSP

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The concept lists Pokemon like Clefable, Breloom, and Clodsire as examples of "average" stats. Do we agree that these Pokemon fit the mold we're going for? In more specific terms, what actually counts as "average" stats?
I think Garrett's post above sums up my thoughts on this rather well. We don't want this to effortlessly handle whatever benchmarks we come up with that are important; we want to make CAP32 very limited in that regard and force it to commit to a direction/invest in whatever stats. The Rotom-W comparison I think is really fitting.

How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
Synergy-focused is probably the best way to go about this, but that shouldn't lock us out of a "broken" element- or multiple, depending on how the stages play out. There are ways to brute force CAP32 to be viable through something insane- a Magnet Pull mon designed to kill all the good steels, some movepool full of Geomancy-tier setup/infinite coverage, etc- but that seems like a very shallow approach to the concept. Instead, we probably need to look at overcoming the weakness of mediocre stats with a clear idea of what we want to do and allowing ourselves to weave typing, ability and movepool into something effective. Good example of this could be something like Crawdaunt- maybe a bit high of an attack stat for what we're looking at, but a strong typing+really effective movepool+ability that enables it.
 
The concept lists Pokemon like Clefable, Breloom, and Clodsire as examples of "average" stats. Do we agree that these Pokemon fit the mold we're going for? In more specific terms, what actually counts as "average" stats?
Clodsire's pretty optimized so it might be pushing it but I agree on the others. "Average stats" is a really complicated thing to codify and I don't really know how to answer this question satisfactorily. I'm not entirely sure it's possible. I will say that a single really high stat (like in the case of Breloom) should probably be punished with quite low stats in other relevant areas, and there definitely has to be some sort of limit: a Rampardos-style spread, while the mon is bad, doesn't fit our concept, no matter how bad its defenses are. On the other hand, for a perfectly rounded spread, 100-across-the-board spreads are too high as well, giving only decent offenses but very impressive bulk and good speed.

What are other good examples of OU viable Pokemon with average stat lines, and what are the commonalities or patterns between them? What do they tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"?
Rotom-W, Corviknight, Pelipper, Amoonguss, Slowking, Scovillain, and Hawlucha probably all qualify (with varying viability). Most of these are relatively slow, bulky Pokemon which harness their good defensive typings, mostly very useful defensive abilities, and utility to earn their place in the metagame (or Pelipper could literally be Weedle with drizzle and still get used). Scovillain and Hawlucha are niche frail sweepers with good offensive typings and synergistic kits.

How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages
? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
We don't need a broken element in the sense of a 180 base power move or a top-5 ability. I agree with BobKingOfSeagulls that having multiple elements work together to make a really well-constructed package will be enough.

Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process
? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?
I think typing, then ability, then stats makes sense. Each stage will heavily inform the next.
 
The concept lists Pokemon like Clefable, Breloom, and Clodsire as examples of "average" stats. Do we agree that these Pokemon fit the mold we're going for? In more specific terms, what actually counts as "average" stats?
I think these three Pokémon together serve a good example as to a bit of the sliding scale that I see in this concept:
:Clefable:: This is the prime example that everyone thinks of when they see this concept. While it's got some good stats, none of them exceed 100, and along with them its got plenty of fairly underwhelming stats as well.

:Clodsire:: This is a good example of what I think doesn't fit this concepts goal. Its stats are all over the board, with 130 HP and 100 SpD being contrasted by 45 SpA and a pathetic 20 Speed, and more specifically, its two best stats are intrinsically linked to one another, giving it absurd special bulk at the cost of literally every other stat.

:Breloom:: Now, this is the example that I find interesting. While I would say that Breloom is not a great example for this concept, it does have one thing that I want to note: unlike Clodsire, it's absurdly high stat, its 130 attack, isn't supported by a 100 speed stat that makes that helps to emphasize the strength of that attack. I want to highlight this in particular because to me, average stats imply that one of the four BSR rankings (PS, SS, PT, ST) doesn't dwarf the other rankings, nor are all the rankings sufficiently high. a Pokémon eith average stats can have a playstyle it does well at, but its stats can't compliment each other enough to where it excels at that playstyle without the intervention of strong moves or abilities.


What are other good examples of OU viable Pokemon with average stat lines, and what are the commonalities or patterns between them? What do they tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"?
:Venusaur:: Venusaur has been occasionally usable in OU, and I think it's a great example of Bang Average overall. Venusaur's BST of 80/82/83/100/100/80 perfectly demonstrates average stats, and its role in OU as a sun sweeper with Growth shows us the option of setup to boost this Pokémon into viability.

:Gliscor:: Gliscor somewhat stretches the definition of Bang Average, but like Breloom, it's a Pokémon I want to mention. Its 125 defense is similarly high, but unlike something like Clodsire, it lacks another strong stat to support it, with only 75 HP and 75 SpD to round out its bulk. On the other end, its 95 attack and speed, while good, are also not great either. What this stat total results in, then, is a strong defensive Pokémon who can also bring some offensive utility to the table, which is emphasized by its Ground/Flying typing and ability in Poison Heal, which let it serve a few different roles in a team.
 

ausma

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The concept lists Pokemon like Clefable, Breloom, and Clodsire as examples of "average" stats. Do we agree that these Pokemon fit the mold we're going for? In more specific terms, what actually counts as "average" stats?
Something I notice with these examples is the mention of Breloom and Clodsire; both of these Pokemon may have average BSTs, but they undoubtedly excel in specific areas, particularly in power and special bulk respectively. Furthermore, the threshold of "average" tends to oscillate quite a bit between offenses and defenses. 100 offenses are generally seen as mediocre, but 100/100/100 bulk is seen as well above average. I would not exactly call their stats "average" in the department of their given roles, especially as they have the types/moves to properly take advantage of them and not only work, but can excel.

I'm inclined to agree with Garrett's evaluation, as it treads the line between a stat that requires particular attention as being potentially underwhelming, but also being sufficient with proper dedication. Oftentimes we see Pokemon like Clefable (who is mentioned) often need investment to properly succeed in their given roles in spite of unideal stat distribution. In SS OU/CAP, Clefable is cited as a Pokemon that checks Pokemon like Weavile or Garchomp, for example, but it absolutely cannot do that unless it actually bothers to invest physical bulk proper. For offensive stats this roughly applies but we will have to consider that offensive stats being the same as defensive stats does not mean they are equally effective in practice.

Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?
This is tricky. On one hand I think having a rough idea of stats early on is good for helping us understand what may be necessary for abilities/moves, but on the other that's hard to do unless we actually have an idea of this Pokemon's rough matchups and the roles we can expect it to play. I believe it would be best to tread a gray area; we should set a range for each stat after typing and role, but before moves and abilities. This accomplishes a few things:

1: We understand what stats we will naturally be wanting to focus on, and how to do so

It is a fairly tall order to actually make stats for CAP 32 if we don't even know what we want it to accomplish. Role is probably the most important thing to consider here. If we want CAP 32 to be more defensively inclined, then we can focus on giving it enough offense/defense to beat a specific set of threats 1v1, or if we want CAP 32 to be offensively inclined, we can focus on giving it enough offense to break certain Pokemon 1v1, and so forth.

This is also relevant because of how BP of its main STABs will likely scale. If it's a physically-oriented Fighting-type we're dealing with versus a specially-oriented Poison-type, the BP of Close Combat versus the BP of Sludge Bomb will impact the threshold of "average" quite a bit.

2: We obtain baseline matchups of CAP 32, allowing us to hone in on our stat range

Typing is often a centerpiece of what a Pokemon is capable of checking. It doesn't take a genius to know that a Steel-type is going to check your Fairy-type, and that a Fire-type is going to be able to pressure your Steel-type. By understanding what we want CAP 32 to work against, and what we want it to struggle against, we can isolate a range of effectiveness before going into moves and abilities, which are, in my opinion, the most influential stages for CAP 32's viability.

The actual variance of the range and specifics can be up for further discussion, but I think this way we can have a more informed move/ability stage while not charging blindly without a clearer image of what we want CAP 32 to accomplish.
 

shnowshner

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The concept lists Pokemon like Clefable, Breloom, and Clodsire as examples of "average" stats. Do we agree that these Pokemon fit the mold we're going for? In more specific terms, what actually counts as "average" stats?
We had some lengthy discussions on Discord regarding what average looks like, and after about 50 quziel messages worth of "is this bang average," there's a couple ways we can narrow down the definition.
  1. Obviously, BSR is more important than BST. Silvally's BST of 570 is comparable to that of Legendaries, Ultra Beasts, and Paradox Pokemon, but each stat being 95 leaves it feeling rather weak, though there are other fundamental issues with the Pokemon. You could look at Arcanine or Kingdra as similar examples, the latter especially as it has no stats which breach 100. Plenty of Pokemon have lower BST totals, but use their stats way more efficiently, like Weavile or Corviknight.
  2. Not all your stats need to be low in order to be average. Breloom was in D2's concept sub and is packed with an impressive 130 Base Attack: everything else, however, is pretty sad, with 60/80/60 bulk leaving a ton to be desired, and a rather lame speed tier to boot. There's more however, we can look at ORAS Talonflame which only has good Speed and then not a single stat above 90, or even Orthworm this gen with 145 Defense but low offensive stats and meager Special Defense. There's obviously a lot of factors that go into the strength of a mon, you can have high attack but low BP moves (Kartana) which results in lower-than-anticipated offensive power. Having one strong stat doesn't suddenly mean you have an ideal stat spread, it just means you have the capacity to excel in one area. Is two good stats too much? That's trickier to answer because a mon like Barraskewda is clearly not average even though anything outside of Speed and Attack is atrocious. I think it depends a lot on what the stats are. I mean, something like Leafeon has 110 Attack and 125 Defense, along with workable 95 Speed, but it doesn't stand out to me as having a strong stat spread.
  3. Bulk has much more scrutiny than offenses. I feel this is a natural consequence of how investment works but also just comes down to our expectations for offensive Pokemon. Consider something like Mew, which has 100 across the board. 100/100/100 offenses is rather underwhelming, occupying a crowded speed tier outpaced by any "fast" Pokemon, and lacking that same high attacking stat we've come to expect. Meanwhile, 100/100/100 defensives are quite solid, letting you specialize into one area quite easily while also not compromising too much on the other side. Investing in bulk is somewhat more efficient than offenses: generally, offensive mons dump their EVs into an Attacking stat and Speed, however only the Attack stat actually influences damage done, as Speed is only important versus other fast Pokemon. Defensive mons, meanwhile, can invest into their preferred Defense, and also HP, which equates to a greater total of EVs going into a particular "stat" (that is, the % of HP lost when taking damage), with the benefit of HP investment influencing both sides of the defensive spectrum.
What are other good examples of OU viable Pokemon with average stat lines, and what are the commonalities or patterns between them? What do they tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"?
Couple groupings I found, you have "low stats but it's got the brokens" like Drizzle Pelipper (sets rain for team, free 50% boost to Water STAB, accurate Hurricanes, random utility) or Clefable (great typing, two stupid abilities, huge stupid movepool).
You then have highly specialized Pokemon like Arctozolt, which relies on Slush Rush and its excellent offensive typing and high BP moves to threaten teams, or Quagsire, where your somewhat meager stats are offset by a great ability in Unaware, having just enough moves to make a workable set, and a typing that many Pokemon can struggle to hit hard.
The last group are just super cohesive Pokemon which lack any significant flaws. Rotom-Wash is a great example, Water/Electric is already a strong typing, but is only made better with Levitate giving it protection from Ground-type moves and Spikes. A Volt Switch user that packs a strong Hydro Pump makes it difficult to take back momentum, and its ability to threaten status with Wisp/Discharge/TWave/Toxic (in older gens) cannot be ignored. Its stats aren't anything to right home about, but the Speed is good enough to outrun defensive mons and slow breakers or work as a Scarf user (that even learns Trick), the STAB combo is still threatening even uninvested, and your low HP is offset by a singular weakness to Grass, useful resists, and decent Defenses. There's not really any one element of Rotom-Wash that I can look at and say, "yeah that's why it's so strong." Everything just works together seamlessly.

How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
This is definitely the path of least resistance as the majority of low BST mons that have found success in modern OU possess one or a combination of traits that make them strong. Houndstone broke into Ubers in about a day of playing because Last Respects is just ungodly strong, sure Sand Rush helped get it there as well but the mon without Last Respects is at best RU with a tiny niche in UU sometimes. Get even lower than that and you have stuff like Azumarill which has Huge Power bolstering its tiny Attack stat into a fantastic one, which is very easily identifiable as its "broken" element. The latter is more compelling from a design perspective, but can easily get messy with the differing visions we'll inevitably have on what CAP32 wants to accomplish.

Really, what's the difference between two A-rank Pokemon where one has a very strong element and the other has a number of good elements? Both are around equal strength, and if the one is "broken" because of a singular element, than the other is "broken" because of the sum of its elements. So like 8 + 2 is equal to 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2. That's the analogy. I mostly feel that having a singular "broken" element isn't really pushing the bar much. Going back to Azu, the mon has a small BSR rating, but you factor in Huge Power and max Attack investment and suddenly the thing has Base 149 Attack instead which means the effective BSR is way higher. This is the most extreme and linear example as Huge Power really is just a means for Game Freak to say "well actually it does have a high Attack stat." The point I am making here is that, it feels somewhat like cheating to make a mon with low stats only to then beef up the effective power of those stats through external means. I would get into this more but I feel that'd get rather polljumpy, so I'll leave it at this: we're obviously going to need to compensate for our low stats, and how we do that is either going to be straightforward "stat padding" that hones in on a specific set of tools, or a perfect storm of assets that lets the mon eke out a place in the metagame.

Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?
I'm open to the idea of moving around stages but I also don't see a reason we have to. I think we should always do Typing before stats. Typing implies a lot about what we match well into, and what moves we'll probably be using. It's hard to imagine us making stat spreads when we don't know how we interact with the type chart unless we operated under the assumption we just largely wouldn't, which feels like a poor choice. I can see us pushing Abilities back if we wanted to settle on a typing and statline first, and then look through which abilities can be compliment our current build. Overall, however, the standard CAP process flow is perfectly acceptable.
 

Wulfanator

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How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?

Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?



“This pokemon will attempt to circumvent average or below average stats to become viable.” From the wording of the concept description, it would seem like stats or BSR limits need to be established early in the project. In order to circumvent the burden average stats pose, they need to be known. The problem is that the 3 other stages are needed to properly shape the limits. This is why stats has historically come at/near the end of the project. I think we may need to alter our understanding of the concept to best execute it while also staying faithful to spirit of the submission.

Since the 3 other stages are so intertwined with stats, the stats stage should still be slotted last in the project order. In this ordering, we aren’t overcoming an obstacle. We would be using the information from the other stages to see how low we can drive the stat limits down while still being productive. The primary goal is now trying to spend as much of the power budget upfront before stats.

This leads into the third question. It really doesn’t matter if we go for a singular broken mechanic or spread it out to build synergy between typing+ability+moves. As long as the bulk of the budget is spent before we get to stats, we should be able to achieve our goal fairly easily.

Going all in on a singular mechanic doesn’t mess with the process drastically. We can run the stages like normal and reach the end goal. Problems start to arise when we want to build strong synergy. The current project rules disallow polljumping. This means you really can’t talk about the specific interactions with the mechanics reserved for future discussion threads. This makes the project trickier. If this is the route we want to pursue, there will need to be some adjustments to the stage order.

If we want to build with synergy in mind, we need to start by narrowing the scope of the project. Selecting a primary role to build for will give us immediate direction. Most pokemon occupy multiple roles, and I don’t expect CAP32 to be any different. We simply need to identify the main one we want to build for and let the other roles develop naturally over the project. The purpose of selecting a role this early keeps us from fracturing into vastly different mindsets: offensive, balance, defensive, etc.

Once we have a role selected, I personally recommend running a preliminary defining moves discussion. The goal of this discussion would be to make a comprehensive list of all the tools that could help us accomplish our primary role. This is intended to mirror the regular defining moves stage and how it is used to discuss stats without polljumping. The only difference is that this list can now be used while discussing typing and ability. Being able to say move X works well with typing A, that ability B furthers the effectiveness of tool Y, or vice versa in each case helps keep the conversation fluid. Synergy can be discussed openly without it being a polljump or reserved for theorymon discussions in the discord.

Beyond these two deviations from the standard project, the stages can still be run in a more traditional way: typing -> ability -> defining moves (revisit) -> stats.
 
what actually counts as "average" stats
These examples seem to focus on an average BST compared to the range of existing BSTs for all Pokémon. There’s definitely a version of this, where we would look at only the BST - or imo even better the BSR - of existing OU Pokémon (or at least with higher viability) and see where these examples fit in there. I’m pretty sure that their BST and in parts BSR is actually far below the typical average of OU.
Another interpretation of being average is one, that doesn’t allow the stats to have exceptional spikes, which imo already might exclude Breloom from being Average as it’s Attack is very obviously above average both for all Pokémon and in OU itself (Although Tbf its Physical sweepiness stat might still be average or even below bc of its poor speed). While this would be more restrictive than just taking low BST examples from OU, id like to see how we could manage a Mon whos individual BSR would only be average across the board, with no real outlier in both sleepiness and Tankiness.
What do they tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"
At first glance there are four categories for this. „Fill an important niche for an Archetype, that nothing else can (weather setters, weaker Unaware Walls)“, „very high power ability plus great move(pool) plus great typing combo (not necessarily with great synergies between those e.g. Clefable“, “middling to great ability plus middling to great type combo plus great move(pool) (Breloom, Rotom)“ and „false“ averages that cheat BSR/BST with dump stats (Slowking/Bro, Toxapex)


How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
Obviously lower, less targeted stats will afford us with the option to give out (a lot) more power in other stages. That said Pokémon like Rotom-W show us, that it’s possible to work with seperate elements, that on their own wouldn’t be considered top of the cut (maybe you could argue that for levitate) and create such strong synergies, which result in a highly viable product of „lesser parts“.
I’m very interim this approach. That said I’m unsure if our process is cut out to enable such synergies, as these would certainly require us to allow more feedback between the different stages (poll jumping) to show how a specific typing/ability/move combination with less powerful seperate elements could still end up as or even more powerful than one broken element or a combination of several broken elements.


Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?
I think this could go either way honestly. That saidthe farther we go into the process without idea of the stats, the more I fear we would focus on specific threats and thus benchmarks, that our build would be supposed to beat. I could see us losing the focus of the concept over trying to match stats with a role/typing/ability we chose.
Going back to the previous questions I think having a more integrated process with more feedback between stages would be good to ensure we can hit the powerlevel we are aiming for even with not so great stats.

… Still a WIP gonna work on this more
 
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Da Pizza Man

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How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
I would say that a synergy-focused approach would be the best route to take for this project. While it is more than possible to just slap on some broken shit and call it a day, I really think that doing this would be an overall pretty big diservice to the concept at hand, since you aren't really exploring any of the intricacies of how being focused to have "average stats" is really going to affect how we handle this process. Meanwhile, a Pokemon like Rotom-Wash, while it has fairly average stats, has a bunch of tools that are solid but not exceptional that synergize well together in a way that makes it not just a solid Pokemon, but in fact an amazing one, and I believe that exploring how we can replicate that makes for a much more thought-provoking and satisifying concept.

Another problem I have with the approach of just making ourselves broken in a certain area is that it is very easy for us to overcompensate (We learned this lesson from Pyroak's buff process, which resulted in us having to nerf Pyroak twice due to just how strong of an ability Contrary is). On the flip side, it is much harder for us to course correct if we create a Pokemon that is broken because of an individual element as opposed to how all of its seperate elements interact with each other (Look back at how relatively painless it was to nerf Saharaja last gen as opposted to the multiple nerf processes the aformentioned Pyroak went through). While I do understand where shnowshner was coming from when he says that "8+2 isn't much different from 2+2+2+2+2", I would like to highlight some comments D2TheW made on Discord as way to counter this argument.

Screenshot_20230301-100458-149.png


I might answer some of the other questions later on, I just felt like tackling this one first since it was the one I felt the most strongly about.
 
what actually counts as "average" stats?

The average BST of all Fully Evolved Pokemon is 520.3594203 (521 something including Eternarus-Eternamax). Note this includes Ubers legendaries, so it would probably be lower if we excluded those, I think this provides a good threshold on what we shouldn’t go over for our BST, and a possible definition could be “A Pokemon that is under the average BST: 520.” Not to try to define the process, I think stat distribution should be something we focus on. Breloom, despite having a low BST, still has 130 Attack, 33 points more than the average of all Physical Attack stats, and Breloom’s next highest stat is 80, its Defense, very optimized towards Attack. Arcanine, despite having a 555 BST, has very average stat distribution, having only 30 points between its highest and lowest stats. I think this is another good route we could take. People have said, and I agree with, that we shouldn’t have much of an outlier between our sweepieness and tankieness in our BSR.

What do they (Pokémon with average stat lines) tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"?

In my previous example, Arcanine is still RU, and the average gap between highest and lowest stats in most OU pokemon is roughly 50. Most Pokemon are very optimized towards their goals either Fast Sweeper or slow tank. For example, Toxapex has VERY high defensive stats, but crap offensive and speed stats. Most Pokémon with average stats are defined by their Abilities, Clefable and Clodsire respectively ulitize Unaware while Toxapex and Cyclizar (Ik it’s Ubers but a good example) use Regenerator to amazing effect for their strategies. Which leads to the next question…

How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages?

I agree with most in saying, I think we should have multiple elements that synergize well with each other. Breloom uses Spore, STAB Mach Punch, and Poison Heal to use its high attack but low speed to balance out each other. Clefable utilizes a great defensive typing (in both iterations), diverse movepool, and two great abilities to be a great Mon. I don’t think one singular element should define CAP32

Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?

I don’t think there should be any modifications. We should keep the concept in mind during the other stages, but I see no reason to change the process
 
The concept lists Pokemon like Clefable, Breloom, and Clodsire as examples of "average" stats. Do we agree that these Pokemon fit the mold we're going for? In more specific terms, what actually counts as "average" stats?​
Clodsire I don't think is a great example of bang average. Despite its low BST, it is distributed very well, with its special bulk being very good, and while its physical defense stat is bad, it would be much worse with a low HP stat, which it definitely does not have. The other two are good examples. While Breloom has a high Attack stat, it is certainly not fast as it would like to be, nor is it bulky enough to be a bulky attacker. All of Clefable's stats are below 100, and while a bulky mon, its physical bulk leaves a lot to be desired.

Basically, it's not the BST that matters, it's the distribution of the stats. If we give a mon the stats 120/25/120/25/120/25 for example, sure it might have a very low BST of 435, but it still has the bulk of Arceus and would not care about its lack of power and speed at all if as long as it had that bulk. CAP 32's stats should have defined weaknesses for the roles that it is trying to fulfill.

What are other good examples of OU viable Pokemon with average stat lines, and what are the commonalities or patterns between them? What do they tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"?
Weather mons, specifically Pelipper and Torkoal. Pelipper does not have the offensive stats or the defensive stats to meet what is typically expected of OU/CAP, while Torkoal has one good stat and the rest are pretty bad.

This might be a stretch, since you asked specifically for OU viable Pokemon, but Dracovish I think is a pretty good example too (it was in OU at one point so I think it counts). Its highest stat is Defense at 100, and it doesn't even have a defensive role.

All of these Pokemon have pretty extreme qualities. Pelipper and Torkoal provide weather support, while Dracovish has an absurdly powerful STAB move.

How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
It would be harder, but also probably more interesting, if we had our other attributes synergize well with each other, instead of just giving it a broken move/ability and calling it a day. This isn't to say we shouldn't have powerful abilities/moves, but choosing one extremely powerful element to center the process around doesn't sound like an interesting process.
 

quziel

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W.r.t. stats I broadly agree with the above. We should need to invest fully to reach meaningful benchmarks in any stat. Look at how Rotom-Wash is forced to sorta invest fully in bulk to merely have good overall special bulk (dies to 2 pult dracos), vs Melmetal which can afford to spend half the overall investment (just max spdef, no HP) to have similar special bulk, and then also have top tier physical bulk, and top tier wallbreaking prowess. To sorta put it like this, I think we should have stats that force us to specialize. We should only have one top tier stat at max, and a case where we have multiple is failing concept. Our goal shouldn't be to min-max our stat spread with respect to BST, but rather to see how far we can get with "gen1 stats".

Speaking of "Gen1 Stats", Nidoking is a great example for this concept. It uses 403 of its BST (attack is almost entirely wasted on it), has mediocre special attack, but has insane wallbreaking prowess thanks to how its coverage, ability, and typing interact. It has mediocre bulk at best (81/77/75), if not outright poor bulk, and only above average speed. Another mon that (was) able to excel despite average stats is Talonflame, where the synergy between its movepool (ORAS Wisp), typing (even pre-boots Fire/Flying is great), and ability (Gale Wings OP) took a mon with 81 attack to be a legitimate wallbreaker in OU.

As for our goals, I think our foremost goal during this process should be trying to maximize in-kit synergy. I'm thinking back to Venomicon, where despite overall "average" stats, it really punched far above its weight class because of how well every part of its kit played with its role as a bulky setup mon. Poison/Flying typing is arguably just an ok typing, with numerous weaknesses, but it provided a great neutral stab to run on a NP set, toxic immunity to let it stay in, and several free switchins. Stamina then came in, and worked with the Toxic immunity in order to let us essentially roost stall a ton of mons that could normally force us out. This roost stalling eventually would give us a free turn due to a switch or them just not doing enough damage to get up a NP.

Rotom-Wash is fairly similar. Levitate gives it spikes immunity, which gives you both free switchins, and the ability to click volt without much punishment. Water/Electric defensive typing is then basically a pure benefit, with the ground weakness being completely cancelled, turning the normal Volt-blockers in the tier into complete fodder, while Water-typing gives you even more free switchins. The only resists to its stabs are dragon types and grass types, which are then neutered by its Will-O-Wisp access.

Breloom is a final aspect here. It has mediocre offensive and defensive typing, broadly mediocre stats, but it has the two best abilities it could wish for, and spore. Spore really carries a ton of the weight here, as it essentially removes a lot of the drawbacks of Loom's offensive typing, by threatening to put anything that would normally resist Flying or Grass to sleep. This also synergizes great with Technician Mach Punch because it forces a brutal guessing game. If Loom is in vs a mon weak to Mach suddenly you have to either take the risk it'll click Mach and stay in, hoping to KO it before it can spore, or swap out to a Mach resist hoping you read right, and potentially get you best answer put to sleep.

If we want to make low, or broadly average stats work, imo we need to either maximize our internal synergy, and really just ensure that every part of the mon supports every other part, or we need to make one aspect outstanding. Personally I think the internal synergy approach is ideal, but that doesn't mean we have to lock out traditionally OP elements. Loom has great internal synergy, as said above, with Spore being great alongside Mach Punch as a 50/50 simulator, however Spore is also a traditionally OP element. Talonflame, in ORAS, had great internal synergy with Gale Wings + Wisp forcing a similar 50/50 choice between letting your frail mon die, and letting your counter get burned. We should not shy away from strong options in any stage out of fear that it'll prevent us from getting synergy; these options also have synergy with other aspects, and would let us have even more average stats.

To sorta echo Wulf's post, we should keep likely try to spend as much of our power budget early, trying to keep routes for synergy in mind, and then restrict stats enough to fulfill concept. Synergy is imo far preferable to a single outstanding aspect, and we should try to ensure that we have only one outstanding stat at max, hopefully being able to function with all our stats being in the realm of average. We likely want a good, if not great typing, a good, if not great ability, and a good, if not great movepool, and then also a lot of synergy between the parts of our kit. If we have a OP ability or move we can likely relax needing on the the other categories. We're ultimately trying to compete in OU, and OU is hella strong.
 
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The concept lists Pokemon like Clefable, Breloom, and Clodsire as examples of "average" stats. Do we agree that these Pokemon fit the mold we're going for? In more specific terms, what actually counts as "average" stats?

I agree with most of the consensus so far, but I find that we're missing a lot of context regarding how a Pokemon's intended role plays into how we perceive its stats. Take Victini as an example. On paper it's pretty clear that 100/100/100 bulk is well above average, while 100/100/100 offenses are pretty average. As such, in a vacuum, I would say that 100/100/100/100/100/100 stats are above average. But now consider Victini's role and playstyle: Access to absurd offensive tools like V-Create and Bolt Strike, combined with a lack of defensive options creates a mon that plays very offensively despite what its stats might suggest. As such, I argue that Victini has average stats: Even though it has above average bulk, it wouldn't mind working with an 80/100/80/100/80/100 statline, which is pretty average. Compare this to something like Mew, who in SS relied on its bulk to set up Cosmic Power/Stored Power tomfoolery. Hence, while having identical statlines, I would say that Victini has average stats while Mew has above average stats. Stats cannot be deemed as "average" or "not average" in a vacuum.

Following this, I believe a Pokemon with average stats is a Pokemon that doesn't rely on its stats to perform its intended role. Under this premise, I contend that Breloom does not have average stats. It very much relies on its massive attack to force switches and gain opportunities to Spore. However, I would consider Torkoal to have average stats, as while it has stellar physical bulk, it doesn't heavily rely on its physical bulk to perform its role- it could make do with having decent bulk. Similarly, even Pokemon with extreme statlines, such as Krilowatt, are still pretty average.

Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?

Given the importance of a Pokemon's role in determining whether its stats are average, I think it would be a mistake to do the Stats stage first. I find that doing Stats first would arbitrarily pigeonhole this CAP where we are either forced to play into the mold given by our stats, or overcompensate to break free of that mold.
 
Won't touch much on the other questions as I agree with those above, in particular I agree around how Clodsire as an "average" example isn't super accurate as it's BST may be low but it's specialized SpDef bulk definitely differentiates it. An "average" stat Pokemon doesn't stand out amongst others in its role based on raw stats.

How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
I don't think we need a "broken" element necessarily - but CAP 32 does still need to excel in it's role. We need to allocate other project budget so it is equally as strong as other contenders in the same niche, with unique attributes that make it desirable in the team builder. A single powerful move or ability may not be enough to find this balance, particularly if we do not equip CAP 32 with enough tools to leverage it.

An example Pokemon where I think this concept falls flat is Falinks. No Retreat is a potent set-up option that circumvents underwhelming stats, and on a specialized mon that does not mind the switching restriction, would be incredibly strong. But Falinks doesn't have the movepool or abilities to actually leverage the "broken" option. If we allocate a particularly powerful option - we need to design a synergy around it so this isn't a band-aid.

Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?
I think we need to align on a role before we approach typing - but otherwise I think our order should remain the same. So long as we have a clear idea of how CAP 32 may fit on a team, we do not need to accelerate stats in the process.
 
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What are other good examples of OU viable Pokemon with average stat lines, and what are the commonalities or patterns between them? What do they tell us about how to keep up with OU's power level despite being "bang average"?

While there are a few key examples of average statline Pokemon making it into OU sharing similar characteristics, I feel that there is a much starker conclusion to be drawn from the "average" Pokemon that do not find success as compared to those that do. I'll start off with what I consider to be the clearest example:

Gastrodon - Water/Ground - 111 / 83 / 68 / 92 / 82 / 39 - 475
Quagsire - Water/Ground - 95 / 85 / 85 / 65 / 65 / 35 - 430


Both of these Pokemon are great in their own right, and have seen temporary rises to OU usage in past generations. Currently they sit in a respectable place in UU, but why aren't they seeing much play in OU? Well...

Clodsire - Poison/Ground - 130 / 75 / 60 / 45 / 100 / 20 - 430

They're outclassed by a Pokemon that fulfills the same role. By comparison, Clodsire boasts better stat efficiency, Toxic immunity, all the while filling the same niche of setting hazards, spamming recovery, and choosing between either a water immunity or Unaware. Clodsire sits at A- rank on the OU VRs, crowding out its cousins to D and C rank, respectively. However, Clodsire actually sits at B rank in the CAP VRs! Though not a death sentence, that's a pretty sizable drop, and Clodsire hasn't changed a bit. Looking at CAP, we see why:

Arghonaut - Water/Fighting - 105 / 110 / 95 / 70 / 100 / 75 - 555
Mollux - Fire/Poison - 95 / 45 / 83 / 131 / 105 / 76 - 535


Just like Clodsire's presence had caused similar options it outclassed to drop in viability, new options in CAP have crowded Clodsire out of its own niche. Clodsire does still hold on thanks to its typing, eating up the coverage Unaware-fearing sweepers pack for the much more common Arghonaut, but it still struggles much more than it does in OU.

For every example like this where we have a nearly scientific control group between differing metagames, we have many more "average" Pokemon with reasonable use cases pushed down to lower tiers for being outclassed. Looking at simply role and ignoring the type considerations of teambuilding, how would I ever justify building a core with Infernape over Greninja? Rotom-Mow/Heat over Rotom-Wash? Bronzong over Corviknight? Crobat over any other more specialized setup cleaner or utility flying? The list goes on.

I would argue that the lesson to be learned is that CAP 32 desperately needs to fill a niche that is as close to unique as possible. A lower stat version of something that already exists in OU is almost always going to be tossed aside in favor of what's more powerful. What many of the low BST OU-viable Pokemon have in common is a key trait that sets them apart and finds them a home on teams. The likes of Spore on Breloom, weather on Pelipper/Torkoal, and Magic Bounce on Hatterene. Even Pokemon listed as "generalists" within this archetype, Clefable, Rotom-Wash, and Corviknight, have truly unique tools that they bring to the table in their highly coveted type and kit combinations.

I believe that we should try to pin down as soon as possible what we want to make CAP 32 "worth using", and make sure the rest of the process supports that niche. The absolute worst case scenario in my eyes is that we create a master of none, outclassed by more specialized options in each of its main use cases.

What this means for process I don't have the experience to say, so all I have for now is a ~6 paragraph response to one (though arguably two) question out of four.
 
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How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
---
While it doesn't have average stats in the slightest, there's a relevant concept to be observed in how Blissey threatens damage with Seismic Toss despite its poor attacking stats. Rather than trying to get the most out of those stats, Blissey uses Seismic Toss to ignore them completely. This calls up a distinction between two methods of operating with speed/power/bulk despite low stats: boosting vs. bypassing.

When a pokemon boosts, it multiplies its stats, but the base stat is relevant to its eventual power level. Examples would include Scovillain boosting to respectable power and speed thanks to Sun, Chlorophyll, and Growth, Hawlucha using Swords Dance and Unburden, or Pelipper boosting Hydro Pump with its own rain. In these cases, low stats become serviceable thanks to easy access to multipliers.

When a pokemon bypasses, however, it uses moves/abilities/items in a way that renders a stat completely or nearly irrelevant. While it isn't an OU Pokemon, this can be observed much better by Murkrow's success in VGC. Rather than boosting speed and power like the aforementioned mons, it bypasses speed for most of its options with Prankster, and when it wants to attack, it can outsource its attack to the opponent with Foul Play. In both cases, while it is using status moves first or attacking, its low stats don't matter at all because they never even factor into the calculations. This means it doesn't need to invest in speed or attack at all (unless trying to outspeed other priority or use Brave Bird) which lets it maximize bulk with investment and Eviolite, taking the boosting rather than bypassing route for bulk.
It's trickier for bulk to be bypassed than for power or speed, but there are possible examples in mass immunities or surprises that negate attacks like Shedinja or H-Zoroark, as well as a mixed example where Magic Guard bypasses chip damage, effectively boosting natural defenses.

So, with that in mind, I want to ask:
In each category of power, bulk, and speed, will it best for the concept to boost, bypass, or neither?

Almost all of the Pokemon mentioned so far except Rotom have some amount of either boosting or bypassing that they commonly use, but bypassing is less explored. Since bypassing allows part of a role to be performed even without EV investment, this opens up synergies quite a bit, with medium-to-strong options becoming enough to be viable without tapping into the broken stuff if we choose this route.
 
Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?​
While it seems a lot of people are fine with keeping the stats at their current stage in the process, I personally disagree. I think if we form some understanding of the stats (even if it is just general BST/vague distribution) then the rest of the process will be answering the question "how do we make a viable pokemon based on these stats" which I think fits the spirit of the concept.

However, if we deal with other aspects first with just the general idea of having a higher power budget then we will be approaching those stages with just "oh we will have lower stats at some point later" with no coherent idea to focus our planning around and so the stats stage will just turn into "how low do they need to be for the other stuff we've given it to not be too powerful". Maybe it's po-tay-toe po-tah-toe to other people but I think those two approaches are different, and the latter doesn't fit the concept as well nor does it make for as engaging a CAP creation process.
 

quziel

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Short followup post, but I'd prefer a very open role discussion, identifying some roles that have been shown, or could work with less outstanding stats before typing, and then moving into a very focused role discussion, identifying 2-3 clear roles we could take post typing. While the field of options is fairly open atm, post typing it will narrow a lot, and identifying roles that we can fulfill as a function of typing feels like a good approach once we know our typing.
 

LBN

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One aspect I want to touch on since most have, is in which different directions bang average can succeed, and what is likely doomed to fail. I'll use pokemon as an example in each to start with, and explain how they work within their concept, using previously mentioned pokemon or pokemon that function in lower tiers aswell, since i think the concept can use some inspiration from lower tiers aswell.


Archetype: The Broken Ability (Offensive Inclination)

All of these Pokemon have generally poor stats overall, leaning various ways. To succeed with minimal BST on an offensive threat, the easiest (and most boring) way is to shore it up with an ability capable of bringing that average above to new heights. Nidoking without Sheer Force is a potential PU contender, but the combination of it's fantastic moves and how they synergize, leads to it being among the most threatening wallbreakers around, almost entirely through Ability. Crawdaunt and Azumarill perform mostly the same in practice but branch off a slight amount. Both are nuclear strength slow waters with Abilities broken enough to bolster them. Azumarill's raw stat of 50 is poor, but Huge Power is broken enough to elevate it farther than most Pokémon even within CAP. Crawdaunt holds a higher base stat, with Adaptability improving it's already acceptable power to ludicrous levels. Crawdaunt however, exchanges bulk and a slightly worse typing for more spammable attacks and slightly better speed (which actually matters a lot). Additionally, they are capable of firing off strong priority attacks so they aren't sitting dicks in most cases, which is a trend you'll notice these Pokémon have. Breloom follows this trend, but more in the vein crawdaunt does than Azumarill. Brelooms speed is the best of these 3, but has the worst typing, but best movepool aswell as having 2 broken abilities of roughly equal quality. Poison heal allowed Breloom to play a great offensive defensive game and stick around longer than it's answers, boosted further by Spore being broken itself. Technician however, is a less broken ability by far but Breloom puts technician to work arguably better than Scizor does, with common moves exentuating its power and coverage vs Flying types with Rock tombs increased accuracy over stone edge, and Breloom being fast enough to outpace and Flying type; or most pokemon in general at -1.

The biggest trend you'll see with these though, is their typing. One of the biggest boons these pokemon have, nidoking especially, is their typing is very useful in finding ways to come in. If this concept is to succeed, it needs a typing that both allows for entry effective enough, and has the ability to make people be cautious through OHKOs. For instance, Mega Absol struggled with this. While it was strong statistically, it struggled to both enter and find meaningful OHKOs vs alot of UU, so this is another thing we need to take caution with.

Takeaways:
  • Typing is hugely important and is likely the primary mold we'll have going forward, regardless of offensive or defensive bend, and some typings can doom this concept.
  • Priority is very important, and allows these Pokémon to circumvent poor bulk/speed


Archetype: Defensive Ability

Here we have something that values typing pairing together with Ability far more. First we'll get the Pixie out of the way. Magic Guard is the go to broken ability for any defensive pokemon, allowing you to cheat past alot of flaws a defensive Pokémon can have singlehandedly. Clef has been discussed enough already, so i'll move to the other 2. What matters here is how unique what they cover is, and how wide a scope they cover is. Gastrodon's chart is shockingly good. Water/Ground with a water immunity is fantastic, which lets it cover a unique variety of targets in the game that usually don't overlap. Weezing, while a lower tiered mon, can be looked at here for inspiration aswell. It's ability scope is frankly incredible, 3 godlike abilities for various circumstances and all having merit. Neutralizing gas has been explored with Miasmaw so i'll skip its introduction, but levitate allows it to completely bypass something that would hinder its viability hard, while misty surge provides nice team support, and it's unique scope lets it be one of the best physical fighting checks in the game. These Pokémon all cover unique ground that is difficult to replicate with other pokemon, providing valuable defensive range that others can't replicate using their ability in tandem with typing.

Takeaways:
  • Abilities, especially immunity based abilities allow you to artificially increase the scope a Pokemon can cover that typing alone can't
  • The goal we want to replicate should we assume a defensive angle is how to maximize it's scope and allow it to survive the test of time


Archetype: Sum of their parts (Balanced bend)


Might be a hot take to include some of these in bang average, but personally, I think these are the best examples of well rounded bang averages, combining all aspects together to create a really good Pokémon. Truthfully, designing something like this doesn't need to the be direct path, but something like gliscor's capabilities is likely a grand sign of success. As for the Pokémon themselves, Bisharp is similar to breloom in statistical placement, with slightly more speed and defense, better typing, stabs, resistances, better near everything honestly. its like me to pannu im just better. That said, the others are far more interesting. Pyroak needs no introduction, pre nerf pyroak is a very good example of bang average truthfully, middling stats spread out awkwardly, yet still showed itself capable with its typing and stats creating a great snowballer thanks to contrary and its natural bulk. Excadrill also needs no introduction, probably the most ?? bang average mention, with 135 attack and 110 hp. But the defenses are floatzel level bad, so it evens out fairly well into like, 80 80 80 in reality, while it provides immense versatility and threat potential with its strong abilities and spin. Gliscor is easily the best example i can think of. Solid speed for a defensive bent pokemon at 95, acceptable power with earthquake coming off 95 aswell. Defense is the highest stat at 125, but nothing groundbreaking with everything else below 100. But despite that it has a phenomenal movepool with variety to spare, godlike longevity thanks to recovery in roost, poison heal and status immunity post activation. Capable of being one of the best tanks in the game, Gliscor is the posterchild of this concept that we should strive for.

Takeaways:
  • Consistency is key, this concept needs to be something you can rely on to do it's job, while having enough versatility to have its unrevealed set not be a formality, unless the set is effective enough that it doesn't matter
  • The model of a bruiser, where you take shots well and send them back aswell fits the concept nicely if executed well
Now for what i find is most interesting, what can we learn from the unique cases of balancing attempts, whether successful or not. What are these unique takes on balance design we can use?




Mega Banette is a case of Failure. The attempt is interesting though, the use of a massively high stat balanced by lacking the powerful attacks to make it truly absurd. The proper culmination of this design philosophy is Kartana, where it's sky high attack is dragged back a bit by its relatively weak STABs. Banette even as a mega fits into Bang average though, everything besides it's attack is straight up bad, and it's ability isn't designed to compliment it's stats well. If done properly, replicating a reverse of this would work, where it's super strong stabs are held back by low stats.

Obstagoon is a case of success. Surprisingly, on paper it looks statistically similar to gliscor. Packing a highest stat of defense, yet unlike gliscor, makes no attempt to lean into that with it's abilities and moves showing a more offensive footnote. Additionally, it takes an interesting attempt with its typing aswell, much like H-Zoro recently, tries to use immunities as it's entries with little to zero resistances whatsoever.

Lickilicky and Klingklang are both a case of failure. Lickilicky is strictly a product of nothing of note. However, we can see what the dangers of picking a type wrong here is. Lickilicky has absolutely no resistances to help it out, so it's acceptable bulk goes from just that to poor very easily, while also having passivity issues. Klingklang however, this is one i think we can make work. The idea of relying on one single aspect specifically, and using that aspect to gloss over holes in what else there is. Shift gear is an absurdly broken move, originally there to cover up it's average offensive capabilities, while it's very good solo type provides it the chances it'd need to get going. I think there is truly potential for a solo typing here should we go either direction and when typings get discussed i'll touch on that.

Speaking on typings though, Dhelmise is here for one reason. Steelworker. Should we lean into the option of a single typing CAP, which hasn't been done much whatsoever, the option to cover over the cracks by giving it a "second stab" is an option we can make use of. Of course, steelworker isn't the only ability that can do this, The tundra regi abilities, aswell as the -ates + galvanize also fit this bill. This "pseudo stab" as i'll call it for now, could shore up cracks in the type decision process and let us preserve defensive integrity while also giving extra firepower as coverage outside our current mold.

Overall Takeaways:
  • Should we use an offensive angle, priority and defensive typing matters alot in smoothing over the poor stat limitation, and the offensive numbers can be smoothed over with insert broken ability (more prone to power creep)
  • Should we take a defensive angle, standing out with role compression has a proven trackrecord, aswell as a lack of passivity remidied by status, knock off or outlasting. (less prone to power creep)
  • Speed stat, regardless of it being slow, matters alot in terms of both sides, as a faster defensive pokemon is harder to kill, and a slower offensive breaker will find more chances to attack with even 5 more points, abusing speed creep wars to it's advantage.

As for the questions, I'll just rapid fire

How will the restriction on the Stats stage affect our power budget in the remaining stages? Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?​
Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Would it be better to have a rough idea of our stats before going into other stages, or to build our stats with the full knowledge of typing and ability in mind? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?​
For stat placement, I find myself agreeing with bobking for the process placement, keeping the spirit of the concept and building around that fits the concept better, as working with stats is the primary focus.

As for broken element, It depends. On offensive build, I think we do. Should we design an offensive CAP to last through powercreep, it needs a broken element to keep up, as even other CAPs with better stats like voodoom, are solid pokemon but fell off tremendously from powercreep, showing a lack of longevity. Defensivesly and balanced, no I don't think we need one. Role compression or a good skew for stats is something that can make defensive pokemon shine, as while gliscor has that broken ability, it's stats are half of the reason. The speed is so huge, that i find that stat will be the most important one regardless of our direction. For balanced, excadrill doesn't have any element that screams broken, atleast in 2023. But it has a lot of generic good stuff that put together creates a good pokemon. So overall, it'll entirely depend on which angle we go to.
 
Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process?
Stats normally have the benefit of being the easiest stage at which to account for the power level created so far by the process, but because the concept is inherently restrictive to the range of allowed stats, some of the justification for keeping it the final stage goes away. Despite that, I have to agree with the majority in keeping the Stats stage in its current position in the process, because the finetuning of the stat distribution is still able to exert a good amount of control over the checks that CAP 32 will have based on its typing and ability. Deciding on stats upfront before typing is entirely unreasonable, as the decisions would have to be based either on nothing at all, or on inappropriate theory-crafting. Placing stats before Ability is thinkable, but with just a typing and assumed baseline movepool, the role of CAP 32 is still not nailed down enough to make informed decisions about which calcs are the most important, or, considering offense-boosting Abilities, even to make the calcs themselves.

On the other hand, it's quite reasonable to place the Stat Limit stage before Ability. Having a firm idea of what levels of bulk and offense CAP 32 is permitted, a concrete specification of the concept itself, makes Ability an informed choice when otherwise the discussion might be likely to default to whatever high-power soft-banned ability is easiest to consider and not forbidden by the Topic Leader.

Do we need a "broken" element to compensate for our middling stats, or is a more restrained and synergy-focused approach possible?
This is certainly not necessary - many Pokemon have been viable without a single "broken element" in previous generations, and Snaelstrom has managed in the current generation despite even an average typing. That said, I want to push back against the idea that only using balanced elements will create an educational process and enjoyable final result. The issues with Cawmodore are issues specific to high power set-up sweepers, not to "broken" elements in full generality. Synergy ought to be the focus regardless, but with average stats, many otherwise "broken" elements cease to be broken. That said, it would be a cop-out of the concept to circumvent a low set of stats by simply giving CAP 32 moves with high BP and an ability like Sheer Force which has effectively the same effect as a stat boost. "Broken" elements should be allowed if they don't function as a uniform boost to damage or bulk, and can be balanced through realistically low stats.

I want to echo Lesbeon's comment that CAP 32 needs to fill a unique niche, and if a broken element is helpful to do this, we should keep it in our arsenal.
I would argue that the lesson to be learned is that CAP 32 desperately needs to fill a niche that is as close to unique as possible.
what actually counts as "average" stats?
This is the most subjective question. I consider average stats to be those such that there's no individual stat or combination of stats which makes the Pokemon rank high in a competition for damage-dealing or damage-absorbing. 60/120/80 bulk would still count as having average bulk even though 120 is a high defense stat, because a Pokemon with those stats would not be turned to when looking for one of the bulkiest Pokemon of its type profile.
 

Gekokeso

Mind the bad garmmar.
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Where should we put the Stats and Stat Limit stages in the process? Do we need to modify the order of the other stages at all?

This will be a weird proposal so let me elaborate on it as much as I can:

I do think that for this process, Stat limits can be brought up somewhat sooner in the process, while stats themselves can be placed where they usually take place. Now it is common for the stat submission stage to happen inmediately after the stat limits stage, but I do think that having an idea of what the stat limits we have for CAP 32 can help steer the concept into a way more concrete direction, as with stat limits in place we can have a general idea of what were are allowed or not allowed to work with. Now, I do want to address some issues people might see with this proposal. For starters. one might argue that having stats limits decided from the get go will severely limit our design space down the line, however, I do believe this isn't that big of an issue for 2 reasons.

1. If this concept wants to succeed, we are already inclined to choose a general direction to take this process from the concept accessment. LBN above has made a fantastic post examining the different routes in which the process can be explored, from an offensive mon supported by a strong ability, to a bulky defensive mon supported by an ability that helps it keep its longevity by covering its weaknesses. I think that determining very early on which of these routes we should try to pursue, then drawing inspiration from mons that are known for having average stats while applying to that archetype (example: taking nidoking as an example of a good offensive Pokémon with average stats and identifying what makes it work) will result in a very good final product rather than just going blind and expecting one aspect of the CAP to get carried out by the rest of its components.

2. Stat limits aren't there to force a general direction of a mon, but rather set the boundaries of what it should be allowed to acomplish. You might be given a very high physical rating but that doesn't mean you are forced to make a physical attacker. Stat limits are there so you aren't allowed to bypass the limitsof what a mon is allowed to do based on stats alone, and is quite perfect for this type of concept. By establishing stat limits early we are able to stay true to the concept while also giving us a good idea of what we should be looking to optimize and compensate in the later stages rather than grabbing a generic good typing and ability and just hoping stats will be good enough.

To ilustrate how having the stat limits decided way earlier in the concept, let me ilustrate some possiblities:

Having Stat Limits before ability:
By establishing stat limits before the ability stage, we are able to better determine what abilities can synergise the best with the strengths of CAP 32. For example, if our stat limits are determine to give us a decent amount of physical tankiness for a defensive pokémon, we could choose to go full in with abilities that take advantage of a decent defense stat (eg. Flame Body, Weak Armor, Stamina) or abilities that help improve its special bulk to compensate for more physical tankiness (eg. Ice Scales, Purifying Salt). If our stat limits give us a decent amount of physical sweepness we could try to improve that power with an offensive ability (Sharpness, Tough Claws, Adaptability) or give our mon better chances to switch into the field safely (eg. Multiscale, inmunity abilities).

Having Stat Limits before Typing:
It is no secret that some typings work better in some scenarios than in others, and having stat limits helps us steer the concept in a direction that will best fit the role ours stats will be trying to archieve. For example, if we have a high Physical Tankiness rating we should avoid picking types weak to common physical attacks such as rock, Normal or Ice and instead try to pick types good against physical attacks such as ground, flying or fighting to optimize our defenses. Or if we have a good special sweepness rating we should have types with good special attacks such as fire, electric or water.
 

dex

I spoke to the devil in Miami
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Having discussion about stats before typing is folly. Typing is absolutely the most informative section for the process. What informs typing? That would be concept assessment, where we can determine what goes into making a mon that fulfills the concept. Stats do not inform typing; actually, the reverse is true. Typing is the BIGGEST influence on the rest of the process, and we should determine it first before getting into any other stage. Typing is particularly informative concerning stats because, and this should be obvious, but STABs impact calcs, not to mention the defensive calcs that are essential to the stats stage. I could see stats preceding ability, but for the record, I think no change to the process order is best.
 
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