CAP 32 - Part 1 - Concept Submissions

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Yu_IOTJ

formerly NoahIOTJ
is a Community Contributor
Final Submission

Name
: Debuff Specialist

Description: This Pokemon excels at debuffing the enemy team through whatever means available.

Justification: In a high powered metagame such as this one it's easy to get bowled over without strong defensive options. This Pokemon would be an option not necessarily to be a defensive stalwart in its own right, but rather go bolster the ability of defensive teammates to make progress through a game through various debuffs such as status and stat drops, as well as using the desire to switch out of stat debuffs we inflict to our advantage.

Questions to be Answered:
  • Should the mon be self sufficient in its debuffs and use them to the Pokemon's own advantage, or should it be more reliant on its teammates?
  • How can we best abuse the opponent wanting to switch out of our status afflictions?
  • How can we differentiate ourselves with our status further from support mons that have come before, i.e.: Astrolotl, Grimmsnarl, Tomohawk, and what status and stat drops could we explore more effectively?
  • What abilities can be used to further facilitate debuffing the opponent?
  • Is offensive support or defensive support more useful when deciding the stats and movepool?
  • Should we utilize the debuffs to benefit more offensive structures as well?
  • Do we want debuffing moves such as Acid Spray, or other moves of the same ilk that lower defenses, to be considered for pressuring with more immediately threatening damage?
Explanation: This one's a sort of mirror-world version of Astrolotl's concept, whereas Astro was meant to be an offensive cleric this concept seeks to focus on status and stat drops inflicted onto the opponent as team support whilst being more defensive in nature. Ideally, a mon with this concept would help slow the pace of games down and get players to think more methodically.
 
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Final Submission

Name:
Trap Card

Description: A Pokemon that receives power from its opponent.

Justification: The game provides many forms of you receiving power from your opponent. They are uncommon simply because they are much less convenient. But the benefit (as well as the interesting part) of these kinds of boosts is that they punish the opponent’s actions. This concept aims to explore this side of it, and to create opportunities where the opponent must play extra carefully or else they will be benefiting you instead of themselves.

There is also plenty of flexibility in terms of the various stages of the CAP process, and should lead to plenty of interesting discussions. For example, there are lots of abilities that achieve the idea of powering up from your opponent, and we don’t even have to use an ability in order to do that.

Questions:
  • What kind of boost is the best boost? Is it a boost to speed, bulk, raw power, or something else?
  • What area should we target the power boost? Is our best choice an ability, an item, or something else?
  • How big should this power boost be?
  • How much should CAP 32 depend on this power boost?
  • Is there a risk of CAP 32 not being able to find enough opportunities to receive power from its enemies?
  • How do we ensure that CAP 32 will be able to find opportunities from its enemies as the metagame evolves?
Explanation: This is something that I’ve had in my head for a while, ever since Saharaja’s process wrapped up. The thing about Pokemon, or really any competitive video game, is that you are the one in control. There is still RNG stuff like misses and flinch chances, but in general, you are the master of your own Pokemon. If you want to increase your damage output, you will use a boosting move like Swords Dance or Nasty Plot. If you want to restore your health, you will use a healing move such as Recover or Slack Off. If you want to go faster, you will equip a Choice Scarf, use a speed boosting move like Rock Polish, or pack a priority move like Shadow Sneak. You power yourself up because it is more convenient.

One thing I was worried about was whether or not this would age well going into Gen 9. But I think it absolutely does. Gen 9 introduced the Mirror Herb item, the new move Rage Fist, as well as a buttload of abilities that fit the description of getting power from your foes, such as Electromorphosis, Thermal Exchange, Anger Shell, Well-Baked Body, and Wind Rider. Not to mention the stuff we already had, such as Weakness Policy, Rattled, Justified, Steam Engine, Defiant, and plenty of others. There is a lot to work with here.

Flash Fire Heatran is a very good example of what I’m talking about here. You had to be really careful using Fire type moves against teams that had this Pokemon, or else you would end up increasing the power of its Eruptions and Magma Storms and making it harder for yourself to switch into. Any Pokemon with Defiant is a great example too, you have to be careful using Defog or else you end up giving your opponent a free Swords Dance. I would argue Contrary Pyroak counts too, since if Astrolotl uses Fire Lash on it, then it ends up becoming bulkier. I want CAP 32 to radiate this feeling. I want CAP 32’s presence to strike anxiety in any player that is carrying what it needs from them to become more powerful.

As spoo said the questions are the most important part, I am looking for feedback on how to improve mine. Thank you for your time, and good luck to all the other concept submitters.
 
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Wulfanator

Clefable's wish came true!
is a Forum Moderatoris a Top CAP Contributor
Moderator
Final Submission

Name:
Atypical Type Usage

Description: This Pokemon would be built contrary to the biases its typing would suggest.

Justification: The offensive and defensive value of typing is a fundamental part of mons. Types and their various combinations possess varying levels of offensive/defensive bias. When one bias greatly outweighs the other, it is easy to lose sight of the value on the other end of the spectrum. This project will pick a typing with substantial bias in a singular direction and proceed to explore the other bias in greater detail.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What characteristics make a type/type combo offensively or defensively biased? How has the current landscape of the metagame impacted these biases?
  • Given the lack of a specific release date for Pokemon HOME, how does this impact the selection of our type/typing? Does this alter the fact we “build for the current meta” at all?
  • Given the previous 2 questions, is there a relationship between metagame state and a typing’s bias, or is the bias independent of metagame changes?
  • Do some types have more tools (abilities and moves) available to them when pursuing the other bias?
  • How does terastallizing impact the scope of this project? Should we build with it in mind, or does it diminish what we stand to learn?
Explanation: If memory serves me correctly, the last time we have touched a typing concept was 2016 with Crucibelle’s project. It seems like a typing concept is long overdue. With this in mind, I ended up in the builder looking for inspiration on where to take a typing concept. While there, Skeledirge caught my eye. Fire/Ghost, which historically has taken a more offensive approach because of the bias (Chandelure, Marowak-Alola, Blacephalon, Typlosion-Hisui, and Ceruledge), was being used very defensively and to great success. This caused me to reflect on other mons that had typing that suggested one bias but were built for the other: Kartana, Mega-Swampert, Garganacl, Deoxys-Defense, Cofagrigus, etc. I’ve listed some of the strongest examples, but there are many that have fallen flat on their face. While there are a multitude of existing examples to compare to, there isn’t a well defined reason for why some succeed and why some fail. This project would ultimately try to establish why some types can flip the script so effortlessly and why some stall out of the gate.
 
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[FINAL SUBMISSION]

Name:
In the Big Leagues

Description: This pokemon runs a strategy/build normally only seen in past gen lower tiers.

Justification: Even ignoring the impacts of terrastilisation, SV has ramped up the trend introduced in SWSH of removing and updating a number of abilities, moves, distribution, and available pokemon. This had me think about the impacts that these changes have on strategies, typings, and other aspects of a pokemon that have until now been relegated to the lower tiers of past gens. We've already seen how the introduction of a new move, Shed Tail, hugely boosted a number of strong or average threats right into ubers - but less attention has been put on what changes made can push something right into the sweet spot of OU without being outright broken.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What OU-level tools have been nerfed/rendered less common compared to previous generations?
  • Did those tools previously push specific strategies into lower tiers of past gens?
  • What new tools are available for pokemon to take advantage of?
  • Are there any strategies/types/abilities/items that have so far been the domain of past-gen lower tiers?
  • Can any of these new tools improve the quality of these low-tier strategies?
  • Will these new tools turn them into viable OU material or poor-quality cheese that would get banned to ubers?
Explanation:
There are a lot of types, abilities, and general strategies that in a given generation are far more common in the lower tiers of past gens than in higher ones. Even going back to gen 1 where fighting types were almost entirely in the low tiers of play. Similarly, changes between generations can free them of these restrictions (going back to gen 1, the introduction of dark and steel in gen 2 massively helped the fighting type in terms of actually having some mons in OU).

Thinking about the massive changes gen 9 has made to existing moves, the changes to abilities and distribution, and new items/moves/etc as well as the impact of the non-national dex shows a massive potential for previous 'poor quality' concepts to become viable in OU. As an example, changes to hail (snow) and the ability to tera out of the poor defensive typing of ice could allow a pokemon with this type to flourish in OU despite ice types being generally considered poor in past generations.
 
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WIP

Name:
NAP TIME
Since I submitted pretty much this same concept for CAP 31, this one is naturally one of my favorites. I'm gonna give you the same advice you gave me when I submitted that concept, which is to narrow the concept to Spore user. Most other sleeping moves involve RNG, and Grass types being immune to it makes it more balanced. I guess there's still Yawn, so I can see value in keeping the concept sleep move user for the potential chance to explore that move. Just something to chew on.
 
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Since I submitted pretty much this same concept for CAP 31, this one is naturally one of my favorites. I'm gonna give you the same advice you gave me when I submitted that concept, which is to narrow the concept to Spore user. Most other sleeping moves involve RNG, and Grass types being immune to it making it more balanced. I guess there's still Yawn, so I can see value in keeping the concept sleep move user for the potential chance to explore that move. Just something to chew on.
I’m going to agree with this and say if it’s not Spore there’s no real incentive to use it in this meta
 

LucarioOfLegends

Master Procraster
is a CAP Contributor
WIP

Name:
Not All Dragons Are Dragon-type

Description: This Pokemon emulates the attributes of a specific type without directly being that type.

Justification: This concept focuses on inspiring discussion into typings and the elements that make them unique and effective, and asks how we can seek to mimic these elements without being said typing completely. This is meant to highlight both the offensive coverage and defensive traits of a type, though a 1:1 emulation is realistically not possible, so discussion on which aspects of the selected typing are most important to emulate come to the forefront. The role of the CAP would be extremely dependent on what type is actually chosen to mimic, but regardless it creates a mon with a unique role since it is not necessarily bound to the same pitfalls of the chosen typing and can function on its own.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • How large of a role does typing play in forging a Pokemon's viability in the current metagame in comparison to other elements like ability, stats, and movepool?
  • What types are easier to emulate? What types are harder?
  • Do certain typings naturally fall into specific roles and archetypes? If so, why is this the case? Should the CAP also seek to emulate these roles as well?
  • Are there certain moves that different types gravitate towards for one reason or another? Would they still be viable for CAP to receive and use even if they do not have the correct typing?
  • Which would be easier for a different type to emulate: a type's defensive capabilities, or a type's offensive coverage? Which would be more interesting to explore?
  • How much of a typing's natural attributes should be emulated by this CAP? Should they seek to emulate the weaknesses of the typing or is it more important for this process to emulate just the strengths?
  • While still focused on emulating a typing, how much should the actual typing of the CAP be able to stand apart from the chosen typing to emulate?
  • Terastallization would allow CAP32 to turn into the selected typing completely. Is this something that the CAP would naturally gravitate towards, or is the opportunity cost compared to other Tera Types or users too large for CAP32 to consider it an option?
  • Following the above, is Terastallization an option that should be leaned into for CAP32, considering the benefits turning into the selected typing could offer?
Explanation:
This mostly spurred from a joke line in Pokemon Masters referring to Lance, where when asked about why his team isn't actually a mono-dragon team, he boldly proclaims "Not All Dragons Are Dragon-type!" It was meant as a throwaway line poking fun at the genuine lack of Dragon-type options in early generations, but it led to the thought on how would you actually make a Pokemon function like a Dragon-type without actually being like a Dragon-type, and later into this concept proper.

CAP is of course no stranger to doing weird stuff with typings, dating as far back as Stratagem by turning the natural archetype of Rock-types on its head, then Mollux through its use of a poor typing, and finally Crucibelle by using an undervalued one effectively (and being a Mega at the time). Where I think this concept differs is a specific focus on trying to make on typing work similarly to a different typing, as it spurs discussion into what makes certain Pokemon and types fall certain ways in terms of their role in the metagame.

Gen 9's funny mechanic Terastallization throws a serious curveball for the concept as a whole, since it essentially would allow the CAP to become the chosen typing to mimic, seemingly undermining the entire point of the concept. Terastallization mechanically does have some major caveats however, most notably it being locked to a single Pokemon per battle and losing your secondary typing, and the sheer number of other possible Tera Types the CAP could entertain makes it a genuine question if the CAP would consider it worth its time to turn into the type its emulating, which only adds to the nature of the concept.
 
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WIP: Going to review this with a couple of more experienced Smogonite friends

Name: Bone-shaking!

Description: Punishes U-Turn, Ghost and Dark spam via Bulky Rattled (and Stored Power).

Justification: In Scarlet and Violet, Ghost spam, Dark types and U-Turn are palpably popular. With Gholdengo, Meowscarada, and many more knock and u-turn users, something has to gain momentum off of the momentum gained by these moves. The role of this CAP is to be a resilient wildcard which would make any opposition think twice before clicking what would otherwise be beneficial.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • How interesting would it be to second guess whether or not to make what should be an obvious, simple move?
  • How reliable of a win condition could such a Pokemon be?
  • What impact does this have on the current meta staples and their ease of use?
Explanation:
Consistently, I find Pokemon which make people question very carefully what would be the easiest move to be the most enjoyable. If you had a Pokemon that you know could reliably take a hit, and turn the momentum the opponent would have back onto them, would that not be a blast? The constant Ghost and Dark threats completely stomping the tier, and a lack of any real way to interrupt their progress and convert it into your own. With this concept, you can, but not entirely for free. If they do predict you and choose not to use a move which procs Rattled, you're not necessarily getting the opportunity to snowball or instantly win, but you're still ahead. You're in possession of somewhat meager offenses, and you require setup, which balances out the concept, but the opportunity to set up and stored power remains with you, so tread lightly.
This is unrelated to the concept, therefor should be ignored; I'd personally see it being partial steel type.

tl;dr: proc rattled with high bulk, set up, snowball with setup and stored power, create momentum with dark, ghost and u-turn spam
 
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Final Submission

Name:
Low Life God

Description: This Pokemon should kill itself NOW! This CAP is viable despite having exceptionally poor longevity due to self-inflicted damage.

Justification: This concept seeks to explore how a Pokemon can best operate on a limited timer. Compared to Pokemon that can preserve health thanks to options like Recovery or Speed+HDB, we aim to justify using a Pokemon that can only be used for a strictly finite number of turns. This concept is NOT necessarily creating a frail mon, nor a mon that uses a suicide move, but rather a mon that must die after a certain point.

Questions:
  • What tools in terms of items, ability, moves, etc. force CAP32 to play on a timer? How do we force CAP32 to run self-hurting options over other options in its toolkit?
  • Conventionally we have seen Pokemon with low longevity fall into the role of powerful wallbreakers. Is it necessary for CAP32 to follow suit, or are there other ways to gain value out of limited turns?
  • What role does CAP32's item play? Specifically, is it acceptable to have CAP32 run Leftovers or HDB? If not, how do we dissuade CAP32 from these items?
  • Is there a lower limit on CAP32's survivability that we should be wary of? If so, how can we identify this threshold?
  • How should we account for team support options that boost CAP32's longevity, such as Wish/Healing Wish, Revival Blessing, or Magic Bounce? If we design around these specific team options, how do we avoid overreliance on these support options?

Explanation: Since the introduction of Heavy-Duty Boots in Gen 8 we have observed a trend toward an emphasis on longevity. SS was largely characterized by fast offensive threats like Weavile and Zeraora being able to go entire games without getting hit, coming in over and over until the opponent's team eventually broke. Continuing into Gen 9, while the metagame is faster than Gen 8's, the emphasis on longevity still remains. This problem is exasperated in CAP, where common trends in processes lean towards solid bulk, 50% recovery, and abilities like Regenerator or Magic Guard. Granted, past projects have come close to achieving this, but still miss the mark: Venom-E reflects this playstyle with its Stealth Rocks weakness and reliance on Brave Bird, but fails because it is still able to sustain itself (mostly) indefinitely thanks to Roost. Guts Colossiol is another example of a mon that is set on a timer due to burn, but Colo has found niches outside of Flame Orb, and as such a lack of longevity is far from a defining characteristic of Colossoil. Even outside of CAP this process is relatively unexplored; Solar Power Charizard provides a good example of the concept in action, but I would argue that it doesn't quite hit the mark in terms of viability. Floatzel also fits the role relatively well, but is only functional on Rain, and can force progress with Liquidation after fat threats are taken down. As such, the design space offers a fresh new area in which to explore.
 
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Wulfanator

Clefable's wish came true!
is a Forum Moderatoris a Top CAP Contributor
Moderator
Mod note:
tl;dr: proc rattled with high bulk, set up, snowball with setup and stored power, create momentum with dark, ghost and u-turn spam
Letting you know that your concept is illegal based on the rules outlined in the opening post of this thread.

  • Specific Abilities are not allowed. This applies to existing abilities and new abilities. Do not attempt to circumvent this rule by mentioning specific battle effects that can only be achieved by the implementation of an ability. For example, the following phrases would be illegal:
    "This pokemon should have a defensive ability like Intimidate or Marvel Scale..." "This pokemon has an ability that steals the opponent's held item..." "When this pokemon is switched in, all weather conditions are nullified..."
 
WIP

Name: Idle Hands

Description: This Pokemon takes advantage of the turns in which it can do nothing.

Justification: The concept of units that act infrequently but deal massive damage when they do act has always intrigued me in gaming. However, Pokemon is often so decisive and fast that many moves are straight up ignored. I want to suggest a Pokemon that gains a decisive advantage by waiting around.

Questions to be answered:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of moves that require a turn of charging (like Meteor Beam)?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of moves that require a turn of cooldown (like Giga Impact)?

When is it worth using these type of moves? How should these moves stand out from other, more generally applicable options?

What can trainers do to take advantage of their opponent doing nothing for an entire turn?

How can such a Pokemon be balanced in such a hostile and power-crept metagame as Gen 9 CAP?

Explanation: I am bitterly nostalgic for Gen 1 Hyper Beam
 
  • What abilities can be used to facilitate debuffing the opponent?
I think Poison Point and Flame Body stand out as pretty punishing that open up lots of room for team synergy, particularly with items like rocky helmet which punishes moves like Rapid Spin and U-Turn. And gives even more utility when you add teammates like :dragapult: and :skeleDirge: that use Hex.

  • Can it be self sufficient in its debuffs and use them to the Pokemon's own advantage, or should it be reliant on its teammates?
I feel like last gen's VGC :Incineroar: kinda answers that for you. Thing was crazy self-sufficient lol. Had access to Burning Jealousy, Snarl, Parting Shot, Wisp, Intimidate, and I'm probably missing some others. I feel like that meta benefitted from a lot of debuff mechanics because they could turn Dynamax threats into wet noodles. So you would see a lot of things like :RegiEleki: with Electroweb and Eerie Impulse or :Grimmsnarl: with Fake Tears and Spirit Break to support teammates. A singles meta prioritizes different stat buffs than a doubles one, meaning there's a lot to explore and a lot to build off of too.
 

shnowshner

You've Gotta Try
is a Pre-Contributor
Name: Nth Time's the Charm

Description: Take a historically poor typing, identify what strengths/weaknesses it has, and convert it into a CAP worth using.

Justification: This is an Actualization concept, which seeks to identify a typing that has failed to make a significant impact on the higher tiers, despite belonging to multiple different Pokemon, because of how the typing in question took more away from the Pokemon than it gave back. The goal is to settle on which “bad” typing has the most room for exploration and eventual functionality within the CAP metagame, either in spite of, or perhaps in part thanks to its typing.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What makes a certain typing bad? How can we deduce whether the typing is the main issue for the poor performance of one or multiple Pokemon?
  • What options are available to alleviate the problems a bad typing faces? Should the threat of facing said problems or lack of ways around them be part of this CAP’s identity?
  • How much should our typing impact how we play and what we match well against? If our STAB combination isn’t desirable, do we focus more on coverage, or attempt to make it work anyway by other means?
  • Can we ensure that our chosen type is able to provide intrinsic value, versus fixating on a small subset of threats that it heavily relies on being around to remain a worthwhile choice?

Explanation: This may seem similar to previous concepts such as Undervalued Typing, and in some aspects it is asking similar questions about what makes a certain type/typing bad and the benefits which can be potentially extracted from them. The major difference is that we’d be looking at existing type combos that have seemingly proven themselves to be more detrimental to their users than helpful.

In general, I’m aiming this concepts towards relatively common type combos versus ones that have 1-2 existing Pokemon (CAPs included, if applicable); though I wouldn’t consider it fully necessary and don’t want to enforce a boundary on what is “common enough,” I feel like this concept works better the more Pokemon we can look at and see how their typing negatively affects them, or how they might fail to utilize said typing’s positive aspects. This can be monotypes like pure Bug, or dual-types like Normal/Flying, the only stipulations being that it appears as fairly undesirable at a glance, and has various examples we can look at to see why they've underperformed.

For Q2, the second half is asking if a typing’s major weaknesses should be a factor in how you play against this CAP, instead of having it never be a problem in the first place. Just as an example, if we took pure Ice and said, “being weak to hazards is a problem for this type,” and our solution was Magic Guard, than hazards are almost never going to be a factor in how it ends up playing. If, instead, we chose an ability like Ice Scales, that means we’re looking at our hazard weakness and embracing it as something our CAP needs to prepare for, serving as a sort of limit on what we can and can’t do (in this case, wanting to run Heavy-Duty Boots to avoid hazard damage, and thus being wary of Knock Off/Trick users, as opposed to Magic Guard largely nullifying the effect of hazards no matter our item).

Q3 is somewhat of a follow-up to what Q2 asks, in that we have the capability to almost entirely negate the flaws a typing can have through Abilities, strong coverage, or even just high stats. This is an obvious route to take when trying to make a bad typing work, so I figured it’d be worth asking if retaining such issues might be valuable to build with too: having a type with glaring holes still function regardless could teach us more about the importance of typing for a Pokemon's success, instead of “sidestepping the issue" and succeeding simply through sheer padding elsewhere.
 

SHSP

is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top CAP Contributor
Moderator
Final Submission

Name:
Mini-Uber

Description: This Pokemon replicates or is inspired by a strategy, play pattern or niche used by an Uber Pokemon.

Justification: Many of the Pokemon that reside in Ubers- be it this gen or in past gens- have playstyles and niches that are totally foreign to most other Pokemon and tiers. This concept seeks to explore both the design space of those roles and niches, as well as how balance and strength work in Pokemon, to create something that draws from the unique elements of the chosen Uber without being worthy of the tier itself.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What makes an Uber Pokemon interesting beyond just the power level?
  • What roles or niches, or playstyles are unique to or common among Uber Pokemon?
  • On average Ubers have better stats, abilities, and movepools than OU Pokémon - out of those 3, which are safe to take away without removing a Pokemon's identity? What of these traits define what Ubers?
  • Will a Pokemon still be useful even when taken out of its native context (i.e. without the specific metagame threats it checks)?
  • Is there room to explore certain Ubers' unique defensive and utility potential in addition to their offenses?
  • How do the roles of past Ubers- those not currently available in SV- translate to the modern generation?
  • How can Pokemon already deemed too strong for OU be replicated in a more balanced fashion?
Explanation: This was one of my favorite concepts from CAP 31, and I am hear to carry the torch for it in BALLSMASHER's stead. There are a lot of Pokemon in Ubers that play in really fascinating ways, like this gen's box legends in Koraidon and Miraidon, the multitude of interesting walls (most of them unreleased as of now) like Lugia and Giratina, or the unique offensive threats like Genesect. A lot of these play patterns, roles and niches are just not observed in OU metagames, where the users of them either have no real reason to or are far too strong for the tier. Enter Mini-Uber, a chance to take some of these very unique Pokemon and challenge ourselves to create something inspired by them that rests on an equal playing field as OU's rank and file.

At its core, this concept challenges us in a number of very unique ways. Firstly, and most clearly, it involves us taking a deeper dive into a meta that is generally less explored by most of us, as we'd be looking at Ubers themselves and how they play in Ubers. Translating the Uber to our metagame would make us take a deeper look into what makes these Pokemon tick: how they function, why they function that way, and why they are too strong for OU. It has the potential to keep us engaged with all stages of the project and produce a really fascinating end product.
 
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Hook, Line & Sinker

Description: A Pokemon that looks to have a specific primary role on the team, but is actually designed to lure in a specific variety of mons on the opposing side and cause a surprising amount of damage to them, whether that be through a direct method, or with the aid of an ally that it either switched in for or plans to switch into.
Justification: This falls into the Archtype category of concepts, due to the set role this Pokemon would hypothetically undertake. Sometimes you just want a really annoying mon gone so that the rest of your team doesn't have to deal with it any more and you don't get stalled out. Or there's a specific mon in the back that you're afraid will sweep or clean up your whole team in a moment's notice. Enter CAP32. I shouldn't have to explain what a lure does, but we all know how the element of surprise can turn the tide of the battle if implemented successfully. Back in Sword & Shield, the removal of Hidden Power would've made this concept much more difficult, as CAP32 would otherwise have to use moves that can easily be used beforehand. However, a new move exclusive to Scarlet & Violet has come to pick up the torch that Hidden Power left behind. That move is Tera Blast, and with it (and the ability to Terastallize as a whole) CAP32 has a whole new way to capitalize on the mons that it can lure into the fray.
Questions to be Answered:
  • How big of a "net" should we equip CAP32 with so it can do its job regardless of what it faces? Should it target a specific type like... say, Steel-type?
  • How can we manipulate CAP32's sets so that its primary role remains unassuming, and no-one catches onto what exactly it's trying to lure in?
  • What is the typical CAP player expected to know upon first glance within Team Preview? Furthermore, how can CAP32's owner use that to his or her advantage?
  • When is the best time for CAP32 to spring its trap on the mon that it had lured in? Should it wait until its primary role has been accomplished and can't be undone, or strike while the iron is hot, so to speak?
  • How does Terastallization come into play in terms of how CAP32 does its job? Can it actually stop CAP32 from being too predictable?
Explanation: Of course, you might be wondering how we can give Pokemon a specific role on the team and try to use it to lure in a key defensive or offensive threat at the same time, correct? Well here are a couple of examples that'll hopefully shed some light on how it can be done.

First, let's say we have a Bug/Poison CAP32 that specializes in laying down hazards (Webs, Spikes etc.) Of course, Great Tusk would love to just come in and Spin all of those away, but what if, instead of letting it, CAP32 is also able to flinchhax it to death with Air Slash? Or alternatively just outright delete it with a Tera-Fairy Dazzling Gleam or something?

Alternatively, we could have that same Bug/Poison CAP32 but it tries to take over for Corviknight as a defogger, and ironically face the same "problem" in Gholdengo being the freeist switch-in of its life. And then we see how Gholdengo likes the taste of Crunch
 
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Final Submission

Name
- Thick Paper
Description - This is a defensively-oriented Pokemon with a very bad defensive typing.
Justification-

Successful defensive pokemon are usually in the vein of Corviknight/Toxapex (tons of resistances and few weaknesses) or Dondozo/Blissey (broadly neutral typing and insane stats). This concept would allow us to go in a different direction, plumbing the grungy depths of commonly ignored typings and making a useable defensive Pokemon that doesn't fit the common mold.​

What new territory will your Concept Pokemon explore, why do you believe it’s interesting, and how would it interact with the metagame?

We don't have that many Pokemon historically that have competently served defensive roles with bad defensive typings. The quintessential example is probably old-gen Tyranitar, which did exactly that, checking several important Pokemon using a typing with scores of weaknesses to relevant types. Current gen Garganacl is another decent example, but such Pokemon are few and far between. Crucibelle can be viewed as sort of an inverse of this, being used offensively with a poor offensive typing, and exploring the reverse of that should make for a very interesting process.​
How does your concept motivate in-depth discussion at each stage of the process, and why do you believe the CAP Project community should discuss these topics?
The typing stage is opened up to many typically overlooked defensive typings, which provides an interesting process of finding good aspects of bad typings (even outside of status/type immunities and resistances– if nothing else, the right typing can allow a defensive mon to use a specific STAB move to check a certain threat). We'll look at some threats in the metagame a given typing might answer, and analyze how we can overcome that typing's downsides and accentuate its strengths. This CAP's typing must have some specific benefits for us to build around, and potential niches we find for this Pokemon will give subsequent stages focus. The ability stage will offer many unique synergies to explore with the weird typing we choose, and stats and movepool will allow us to flesh out and expand our role in the metagame.​
Questions To Be Answered -
  • Can we give this Pokemon broad usability, instead of being incredibly niche in the vein of Avalugg or Articuno on old-gen stall teams?
  • How can we avoid making this Pokemon overly reactive to the current metagame, instead giving it a longer-lasting unique role?
  • How do we define "very bad" defensive typing? Is it ratio of weaknesses to resistances? Crippling 4x weaknesses? The lack of relevant resistances in general? Weakness to hazards? Some combination of these?
  • Are there defensive typings so bad that they're not salvageable, even for a community process built on making a viable Pokemon?
  • To what extent can we "work with" the chosen typing– while recognizing its faults?
  • Can we make this Pokemon not more reliant on Tera than the average Pokemon in the metagame?
  • What creative ways can we avoid making this Pokemon a "stat ball"?
Explanation -

I was inspired by the idea of Bug-type being a somewhat useful defensive typing (tera or otherwise) in the OU metagame due to the presence of Great Tusk and the lack of offensive Flying-types. Additionally, something like Garganacl should show us what's possible for bad defensive typings when they're built around properly.​
I don't know exactly how to define a "very bad" defensive typing, and I think I shouldn't be overly specific, but more weaknesses than resistances might be a good example guideline. On the other hand, a typing such as Ice/Steel has plenty of useful resistances, but it's coupled with severe 4x weaknesses to Fighting and Fire, which are crippling enough that the typing might arguably be considerable here. I don't think we should be boxed in, and the gray area here should make for a fruitful discussion.​
I'm using "defensively oriented" here not to constrain us, but to signify that this mon should be tanking hits often. I specified this because it's easy to make use of a bad defensive typing if you outspeed and kill everything and never take a hit, and it's important to avoid that. But we shouldn't feel that this needs to be specifically a stall or even balance mon. Maybe it hits pretty hard, maybe it has utility, maybe it even sets up, but the point is that it tanks hits.​
 
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  • Name - Brains & Brawn
  • Description - This Pokemon is capable of boosting both of its offensive stats, through different means, and intends to make use of both.
  • Justification-
    • What new territory will your Concept Pokemon explore, why do you believe it’s interesting, and how would it interact with the metagame?
      Mixed attackers have fallen out of favour, but it would be wrong to claim that they're completely unviable. One of the reasons they fall short compared to dedicated physical and special attackers is because they lack the raw power to break through many of the staple walls of the metagame. Rather than suggest a mixed attacker as a concept, I feel that this more specific take on one would already offer a solution to one of their main drawbacks.
    • How does your concept motivate in-depth discussion at each stage of the process, and why do you believe the CAP Project community should discuss these topics?
      There are various different ways to boost certain stats. Moves like Dragon Dance and Nasty Plot immediately come to mind, as well as the rarely seen Work Up that can boost both offenses at once. However, there are other methods to boost a stat; abilities like Moxie or Flare Boost, for example. Pinch berries like Petaya, consumables like Weakness Policy, or damaging moves like Power-Up Punch and Meteor Beam.
  • Questions To Be Answered -
    - What would be the best combination of ways to boost each stat? Would it be easier to boost special via move slots and physical via abilities, for example?
    - Would a Pokemon built around being a mixed attacker still be able to function effectively as a dedicated physical or special attacker? What would be needed to be make mixed sets more viable and attractive from a teambuilding perspective?
    - What Pokemon in the current metagame are blanket checks to either physical or special attackers, and would a mixed attacker be a decent answer to both, either, or neither?
    - What types of coverage would be most valuable in dealing with certain blanket checks? For example, some physically-biased Pokemon run Ice Beam specifically to score a KO on Lando-T through Intimidate.
    - Would it be better to have certain type coverage physical-only or special-only? For example, a Pokemon being able to run both Earthquake and Earth Power could potentially be overwhelming, but would limiting the Pokemon's learnset to include only physical ground coverage or special ground coverage ease prediction?
    - Without being able to minmax its offensive stats so one is unusably low, how do we distribute what stat points are left into its speed and bulk?
  • Explanation - Old mixed attackers like Infernape could run Close Combat on Nasty Plot sets specifically to hit Chansey and Blissey. Mixed attackers in the current gen are similarly running off-focus coverage mostly to nail specific targets hard. A Pokemon like Pyroar is a special attacker with the Moxie ability, but has no boosting moves to take advantage of its special stat and basically no physical stat to take advantage of Moxie with. Ultimately, I just think that building a dedicated mixed attacker would be an interesting balancing act, keeping it strong enough that it can afford to use either of its attacking stats but necessitating that it play differently from Pokemon that excel in one or the other.
 
Name: Pseudo-Third STAB

Description: This Pokemon, whether through its ability or the environment, essentially possesses three STABs.

Justification: There are, as of Gen IX, two Pokemon with three STABs: Dhelmise, a Grass/Ghost type with Steelworker and Bombirdier, a Dark/Flying with Rocky Payload. Unfortunately, despite this niche, they have historically been ranked NU at best. So, let's see how we can give a CAP three STABs and remain viable for generations to come.

Questions To Be Answered:

  • What three types work the best with each other?
  • How should its third STAB be reliably achievable?
  • Terastalisation has helped us out in that it can give a Third STAB if your Tera type is different to your natural Type. How much should it impact this CAP?
Explanation: Believe it or not, CAP has also played with this idea once with Jumbao, whose Drought gave it Psuedo-STAB Flame Burst. Of course, Flame Burst was snapped, so there's that. As for how we could achieve it, there are about six abilities that can directly change a move type, seven abilities that reliably boost a damaging move of a certain type, and five area effects that boost certain moves.

WIP
Name:
...and Substitute my own.

Description: This Pokemon shines best when it is behind a Substitute, whether said Substitute is set up by itself or an ally.

Justification: This concept is an archetype with a target: to build a Pokemon whose flaws can be patched up by having a Substitute. Many, many games are being decided by effects such as Status Conditions, Item removal, and now Salt Cure, the newest addition to this strategy of small, accumulated gains and incremental progress favoured by the host of offensively-challenged defensive Pokemon that dominate the OU metagame, such as Toxapex, Clodsire and even certain Garganacl sets that would be kept in check.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What are the defining characteristics of strong Substitute users?
  • Which Substitute abuse tactics are the most effective in addressing a range of defensive Pokemon as diverse as Toxapex, Garganacl and Astrolotl?
  • How have traditional benchmarks associated with Substitute abuse moved?
  • Shed Tail also gives us an option to get a Substitute up, how much will this affect the Pokemon?
Explanation:
Building upon Reachzero's Substitute Teacher, the addition of Shed Tail has given us another aspect to play with. Admittedly, the current legal user we can use for CAP is Orthworm, but it's still an option. Anyways, with the addition of Tidy Up and the threat of Sound-Based Moves, Substitutes aren't as invulnerable as they once were, but they're still an incredibly good tool to threaten passive attackers.
 
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Final Submission

Name:
Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel

Description: This Pokémon excels in finishing off weakened or crippled Pokémon in the lategame, while mostly providing utility if it comes in earlier in a match at all.

Justification: Most generations of OU/CAP play have seen late-game cleaners, a certain archetype of Pokémon which would mostly be kept in the back until it was time for them to KO a weakened team, through varying means. However, some of these Pokémon would instead also come into play early to provide utility for either its team or for themselves when they would return later on in the game. In this new generation, with distribution for moves like Knock Off and Toxic at an all time low, we've seen a bit of a decline in this type of Pokémon. What we got back for that are some interesting new utility tools which we can explore, while the options we have for cleaning are certainly still plentiful.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • There are/have been a variety of Pokémon that excel as late-game cleaners. What qualities do these Pokémon share and how can we apply those to this CAP?
  • How much do we want the opponent's team to be weakened or crippled before we would consider sending out this CAP to clean up?
  • How can we incentivize the use of utility moves earlier in a match rather than straight up damage or setting up for a sweep?
  • What approach are we taking in order to clean up a game? Would we rather take advantage of a free turn to set up a sweep or rely on high raw offensive power through base stats, moves or abilities?
  • What counterplay exists to stop a Pokémon from cleaning up a team, and how much of that do we want to prevent?
    • In addition, how does Terastallizing influence our ability to clean up a team from both an offensive and defensive point of view?
Explanation:

Keeping a Pokémon in the back in order to have it around and healthy for the endgame of a match is a strategy a lot of teams make use of, and as such we've seen this done time and time again. Planning how you're going to set up your win conditions and keeping your Pokémon healthy in order to facilitate this is a big part of matches involving these types of teams. But the different types of win conditions can vary a lot, from making use of a free turn to set up and sweep the opponent's team, to meticulously keeping opponents' Pokémon HP within a certain threshold in order to blow past them with single strong attacks.

Most "wincon" Pokémon don't like to be out on the field until their designated checks and counters are weakened enough for them to blow past them, but sometimes you'll see a Pokémon provide utility for their team or themselves earlier on and switch to a more aggressive playstyle later on in the match. Let's look at some existing examples in order to clarify what this concept aims to achieve:
  • One of the most clear-cut examples for this concept is Zeraora in gen 8. Because most of its checks and counters (most notably Landorus-T and Garchomp) relied heavily on Leftovers for their recovery, you would sometimes see it come in early and force a Knock Off, setting itself up for success later on in the game. This was especially relevant for Bulk Up sets, because once its checks and counters had been weakened enough it could go for a Bulk Up on a predicted switch-in and proceed to clean up the rest of the opponent's team afterwards.
  • Certain Dragapult sets would cripple incoming answers with a fast Will-O-Wisp early on in order to help its team out or win the game with boosted Hex in the endgame.
  • While not necessarily always the dedicated win condition of a given team, certain varieties of Rotom-Wash and Rotom-Heat would act as a bulky pivot for most of a game, then use Nasty Plot to gain a surprise boost in power and overwhelm the opponent's would-be checks.
  • Swords Dance on defensive Scizor sets has been seen for a few generations now, allowing it to be useful as a cleaner later in the game once the Pokémon it was trying to check before had been defeated or sufficiently weakened.
  • In Gen 7, Battle Bond Greninja would often carry Spikes to set up on turns it could force out a weakened Pokémon, and then later return on the field to sweep with strong choice boosted STAB moves like Hydro Pump and Dark Pulse.
    • Similarily, in CAP we've seen Syclant use Spikes on forced switches as well before going ham with choiced boosted moves.
  • In Gens 5 and 6, as well as now in Gen 9, Breloom would often click Spore earlier on in order to cripple its switchins and then blow past them when they returned to switch in, still asleep, during the endgame.
    • In a similar vein, Serperior would paralyze switchins with Glare and then start clicking Leaf Storm to set up and win later on.
  • Honorary Kingambit mention, it can set up Stealth Rock early and then use its Supreme Overlord ability to deal massively increased damage when more and more of its teammates are knocked out.
 
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WIP

NAME: Black Market Salt

DESCRIPTION: This pokemon aims to be a solid counter to potentially both Garganacl and Gholdengo

JUSTIFICATION: These two mons real good. They do not of course dominate the metagame but alone their respect abilities and signiture moves can be fairly polarising on what CAPs are viable. This pokemon aims to be an answer to both in order to give the player options when considering them in team building.

QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED;
• What typing would best help this pokemon fulfill it's assigned role? Are there any type combinations which can be effective against both their stabs + common coverage while being effective at what it aims to do? Are there any types which provide a special utility vs. these pokemon? To what extent should we consider the interaction of this Pokemons typing to hazard weaknesses?
• What abilitie(s) would best suit this pokemon? Are there any which would help with taking attacks from these two better/helping switch in? Are there any abilities which can negate the effect of salt cure/purifying salt/good as gold? To what extent would any of these abilities increase this Pokemons effectiveness elsewhere? Should the different abilities provide different functionality in facing both/either of these pokemon?
• To what extent would this pokemon benefit from terrastallisation?
• If this pokemon is facing a gholdengo or Garganacl and they switch, what can this pokemon do to not let it be in such a bad situation?
• Should this pokemon fit on all styles of team or only specific ones e.g. bulky offence stall etc.
• Should this pokemon be allowed or prevented from hard countering any other metagame threats once ideas about it begin to be developed? Which already existing pokemon should be hard counters to it and to what extent would they synergise with/offer support to gholdengo and garganacl?


DESCRIPTION:
Both gholdengo and Garganacl are actually quite straightforward pokemon and it would not be that hard to workshop a pokemon which has certain attributes to which it would have a good matchup into them. There will always of course be some options these pokemon can take like tera blast or maybe just something like trick gholdengo, but these things being the case so still restrict the utility or threat of these two pokemon otherwise. I believe while these two pokemon are strong they are not broken enough that if this pokemon was created it'd be on every team lol. But what this idea would bring to team building I believe would be both healthy and fun
 

SirinC&Kokomi

Siri.Sirin.C?
is a Tiering Contributor
WIP

Name: Unstable Stallbreaking abuser
Description: With a limited power, coverage and bulk,This Pokemon is likely to keep switching-in and out, to chip and wear down its opponents constantly,as well as interefering status moves.

Justification:
In this fast paced meta,long term battling seems only to appear when removing counters.What if we add something which could make chipping and removing them more easily?
With various kinds of harassing moves, this Pokémon may take advantage of dealing constant damage instead of its weakness in 1v1s.It’ll be much more interesting to deal or cope with this mon while teambuiling&battling

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What amount of bulk makes this mon fragile,but just being able to take one common hits or two?
  • It was meant to be a fast abuser on both offensive and defensive sides.How could it deal a reasonable amount of chip with ways to counteract?
  • It needs to goes on and down freely, but will it can't be handled if hazards can't hurt it?
  • Incase to nerf its raw power, is it able to just giving it some low BP moves or just use a dull basestat?
  • There still needs a common stall mon or two to counter this thing,or might it'll be too unfair if it blocks all the stalling moves?
  • I don't think this mon shall work as Torn-T.Besides not giving high BP STAB, Does limit pivoting by increase speed or adjusting more-aggresive chipping such as phazing reasonable?
  • Putting terastallize not to be its best choice versus heavy-tera related,which can give it more space to perform(Take Grass/Ghost for example.Not-that-good resistance but it blocks some kinda of hot types well)
 
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WIP


Name: Keep Your Hands Off CAP 32!

Description: This Pokemon aims to dissuade the usage of contact moves against it as much as possible.

Justification: This most closely resembles a combination between an Actualization and a Target concept, as it aims to target the many users of contact moves within the metagame while also creating a Pokemon with a niche we haven't seen since Ferrothorn.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What are the different kinds of adverse side effects brought on by abilities, moves, and items that dissuade contact? What makes some of these kinds of anti-contact measures better than others? What makes some of these anti-contact measures worse than others?
  • What are some common traits Pokemon that commonly use contact moves share, and how can we take advantage of these traits to prevent a Pokemon from using their contact moves?
  • What are some unique ways of dissuading contact moves that have not been explored yet? Why haven't these ways of dissuading contact moves been explored yet? How can we put them to good use, and what combining traits are needed for us to do so?
  • Adding onto the previous question, what are the most common roles that Pokemon who block physical moves assume in the metagame? Are they mostly offensive or defensive? How do we go against these common roles to create something different while still maintaining a viable final product?
  • What anti-contact moves, abilities, and items synergize better with an offensive Pokemon, and which synergize better with a defensive Pokemon?
  • Almost all special moves do not make contact. How can we make sure this CAP does not fold to these moves? Is it, in fact, a necessary weakness for a Pokemon who aims to block physical moves to have? (see: Ferrothorn's 4x weakness to Fire and Garchomp's 4x weakness to Ice)
Explanation: Contact moves have been an ubiquitous part of the metagame ever since Generation III. Some of the best moves in competitive, specifically U-turn, Knock Off, and Rapid Spin, make contact, not to mention the plethora of good physical attackers in the metagame, such as Dragonite, Great Tusk, Revanankh, Roaring Moon, physical Iron Valiant variants, Kingambit... the list goes on and on. There are many ways to dissuade a Pokemon from using a contact move, but the most common ways in the past have been through the item Rocky Helmet and the Abilities Iron Barbs and Rough Skin. In past generations, Ferrothorn was the poster boy for this role, with its Iron Barbs ability often being paired with a Rocky Helmet to wear down contact use movers immensely, but it has been Dexited from Generation IX, leaving the role ripe and open for the taking. Garchomp can play a similar role with Rough Skin, but the majority of metagames see it shine best as a powerful physical wallbreaker. There are, however, many other ways that a Pokemon can dissuade another from using a contact move in ways that have not been explored before. These of course include status-inducing abilities like Flame Body, Static, and Poison Point, the latter two in particular having seen good utilization with Zapdos and Moltres. Even then, there are other ways to disincentivize contact moves, with weather/terrain setting Abilities Sand Spit and Seed Sower, Speed-decreasing Abilities such as Gooey and Tangling Hair, and even moves such as Spiky Shield, Baneful Bunker, Obstruct, and Silk Trap. In this CAP, we would explore these lesser-used avenues of dissuading contact and how they interact to make the most viable CAP possible.
 
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Final Submission
Name: Non-Stop Pain Train

Description:
This Pokémon pushes through obstacles, avoiding switching, instead choosing to power through, maintain momentum, and reverse pressure

Justification: Actualization Concept
Pivoting/switching has always been essential to competitive strategies. Avoiding, and perhaps even punishing it could effectively alter how options are deployed to remove or circumvent counteroffensive threats

Questions to Be Answered:

  • What characteristics allow/prevent a Pokémon from remaining in battle?
  • What measures would be in place to ensure this style doesn’t become problematic or broken?
  • How would such a strategy be any different from other presently available options?
  • What archetypes presently exist historically capable of accomplishing similar goals?
  • What traits were utilized by those archetypes?
  • What measures might be available to counter its typical playstyle?

Explanation:
Gen 9 has been an incredible testing ground for multiple high-powered strategies, many of which have permeated the upper tiers of playability. Despite this, many strategies involve switching out to avoid losses and disrupt the opponent. My concept would be to avoid self-switching and encourage the opponent to do so by maintaining and ultimately reversing pressure. This could often terminate in lasting effects from having said option present for a prolonged period. Even threats like Garganacl may often fail to maintain pressure in the same way, even if status problems do not initially present a serious obstacle. It is exactly this methodology that would serve to hopefully prevent the “Pain Train” from becoming problematic, at least compared to other viable options. I do find this strategy necessary, or at least a welcome and interesting one, as opposed to those more commonly employed at present. Such options in overcoming the “Pain Train” playstyle include: status affliction (paralysis, confusion), stat debuffs, stat change removal (Haze), Mirror Herbs. My goal with choosing a strategy that prioritizes powering through and the advantages it enables is exactly what I’m striving for, within a conservative means. Variety in utilization is ultimately the preference to keep the game fun and engaging
 
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Astra

talk to me nice
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Final Submission

Name:
Anger Management

Description: This Pokemon is able to greatly punish fast aggressive plays immediately on the same and/or following turn.

Justification: This would definitely be considered an Actualization concept. There are plenty methods of punishing your opponent that you can do within the same turn of them making an aggressive play (i.e. switching in Ferrothorn against Urshifu-S's Surging Strikes to rack up Iron Barbs contact damage), some of which haven't really seen the light in the current metagame, so partaking in this concept could help us explore the variety of such methods. I also would say that this can be considered a Target concept, targeting the metagame's huge bias towards offense and wanting as much damage as possible as fast as possible.

Questions to be Answered:
  • In the context of the CAP metagame, what would be the current best methods of punishing fast aggressive plays?
  • How can a Pokemon punish its foe on the same turn their foe made the play to be punished? The following turn?
  • How much should this Pokemon be able to limit the opponent's ability to make fast aggressive plays?
  • How much of an influence would Terastallization have on this concept?
Explanation: In a game like Pokemon, fast play is needed to get the advantage on your opponent, whether it be through dropping high-damaged attacks that can barely be walled by your opponent's team to aggressive double switches that force you opponent to make the predicted play. There are methods available to you to prevent your team from becoming a victim to such fast play yourself, but the amount of pressure that you'd need to circumvent can easily get too overwhelming for your team, rendering your forms of punishment to such team style ineffective. Some threats within the CAP metagame that play well with a fast aggressive turn-to-turn playstyle only need a small crack in the opponent's defense in order to become nigh impossible to stop. This concept's goal would be to alleviate the pressure caused by this playstyle through a reliable means of punishment that puts the pressure back on the opponent immediately.

When it comes to actually defining what an "aggressive play" is, it's very likely that many people would have different definitions of it. For the purpose of this concept, I would like to define an aggressive play as a play that one makes in order to greatly put themselves in an advantageous position but has the risk of backfiring heavily against them. I gave an example in the justification; Urshifu-S using Surging Strikes when the opposing team has Ferrothorn can be described as an aggressive because such a play can end in two ways. It can backfire hard against the Urshifu-S, taking massive amount of recoil from Ferrothorn's Iron Barbs, or if the opponent predicts incorrectly, it can end up getting big damage on an improper switch-in. The aggressiveness comes from the amount of riskiness the play has. Could you end up in a pretty bad position if you misplay? Yes, but in the event that your opponent predicts incorrectly, the rewards can easily place you in a winning position or even grant you the game.
 
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Final Submission

Name
- Hands-Free

Captura de pantalla (137).png



Description - This Pokémon is able to function well on a team without relying on its item, to the point it doesn't mind losing it at all / not having one in the first place.

Justification- I believe this is an actualization concept. Items have been an extremely key aspect of battling for the past 2 decades of competitive Pokémon, with the item highly determining the set and role that a Pokémon performs in a team. Some mons are already so good that they can run a large variety of items and pull up different sets (Landorus, Dragapult), some that are heavily dependent on their item (Volcarona), and some that can function even without having an item (Toxapex, Clefable). This latter category is the one the concept will explore, as there are multiple cases when certain mons are forced to spend the rest of the battle with their item manipulated and are still able to function well, as well as even extreme cases where not running an item is even beneficial.

Questions To Be Answered -
  • How much does the existence of an item play a role to the viability of a Pokémon?
  • How can a Pokémon make up for a lack of an item? What would be required of it to perform during a battle?
  • Are there any situational advantages to not holding an item? If such, which are those situations?
  • What about taking away opposing items? Is taking away a beneficial item mid-game similarly effective to holding that item from the start, or does it turn out to be more dis/advantageous? What about replacing a clearly disadvantageous item like Ring Target and passing it to a rival?

Examples of itemless sets throughout the gens:

:gengar: :nidoking: :jynx:
Back in gen 2, the use of leftovers was nearly universal. Due to the lack of good damage boosting moves and items, as well as considerably bulkier mons, most mons ran leftovers since it was the best item by miles. However, the second most used item also casually happened to be itemless. This weird decision to not run an item had a good explanation behind it: thief. By utilizing thief, the Pokémon in question would gain leftovers for itself while stripping an opposing mon from his. This doesn't seem like much, but in a metagame where battles are expected to last hours and hundreds of turns, losing leftovers can be a huge detriment that strips away the longevity that GSC Pokémon are required to have to survive in the metagame.

:slowbro: :slowking: :slowbro-galar:
The Slowbro and relatives are a special case. Back in the earlier days of SWSH, a couple of slow family sets ran no items, especially the members that were found at the lower tiers like Galar-Bro and Slowking. By not running an item, members of the slow family would avoid taking knock offs with the item boost and be able to keep pivoting into teammates. Hell, here in CAP itemless Slowbro was an especially effective tech utilized to counter Revenankh at its peak, allowing it to be immune to its best stab in poltergeist to continue to keep switching around in a match without problems. Nowadays the strategy has died but it was a really interesting example of when a mon's other attributes are good enough to make up for the lack of item, as well as generally demonstrating advantages of not running an item.

Item removal / manipulation in SV has become significantly less common, with just a very few amount of mons getting Knock Off or Trick. Similarly there are quite a number of mons in the meta that really dislike losing their items, and our knock absorbers are also becoming more limited.
 
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