CAP 33 - Part 1 - Concept Submissions

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Final Submission

: The Last Rulebender

Description: This Pokemon is permitted access to an ability from the fully banned ability list.

Justification: There are several competitively viable banned abilities that are unlikely to ever see much usage in CAP, whether that be because of the overall weakness of their owners (Cramorant, Castform) or the excessive strength of their owners. (M-Rayquaza, Primal Groudon) This concept seeks to explore the effect that these (not necessarily overpowered) abilities would have on the current metagame. As these abilities have never been up for discussion, they also could lead into some unique interactions not possible elsewhere. Obviously, abilities banned by Smogon will remain off the table, such as Moody or Shadow Tag.

Questions To Be Answered:

Should we aim to create a Pokemon that uses the ability as a central part of its kit, or should the ability supplement the Pokemon?
Should creating a CAP with multiple battle forms (such as with Stance Change or Disguise) be allowed?
How can we create a Pokemon that uses these abilities effectively without it essentially being a copy of the original, just stronger?
What new strategies become available with this new pool of abilities? How can we effectively use them?

[Edit] Both of my original concepts were not allowed.
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A pokemon that revisits old existing concepts and takes a more modern spin on it while going a completely different route with its execution than we did previously. Creating a distinctly different CAP functionally while still being notably similar through concept. (Think Convergent Species esque)

Justification: It's no secret to any CAP player that as time goes on, older-generation CAPs tend to lose touch with their initial concept. Whether that be buffs / nerfs needing to make them fit better in the current generation's metagame or the execution of the concept being products of their time, it's safe to say that sometimes no amount of reworking can save a CAP conceptually. Since we are soon going to be in DLC 1 of gen9, revisiting one of these more ancient concepts and executing it completely differently than we previously did while adapting it to work within generation 9 seems like a particularly fun prospect at this point in time as we have some sort of idea what works now. With the generation now having some time to marinate, I find taking a more broad concept like this more appealing than the very particular ones as we are going to be solving a new metagame soon.

Some examples of potential exploration might include;
-With the modern CAP framework avoiding custom abilities and moves, what would Colossoil's concept look like now? In the modern meta colo has kind of strayed away from its initial intention and is more of a bulky pivot that provides hazard removal, however, it faces a lot of competition currently as hazard removal and is easily overwhelmed due to its typing and general lack of longevity.
-Tomohawk was a CAP specifically designed as a response to the BWOU metagame, as such its role has gradually strayed away from its initial concept since generation 5 alongside a gradually drop in viability. How might a CAP with Tomo's concept look now? How can we make a CAP with the same concept that is more generalized than Tomos initial creation?
-Kitsunoh was created in a metagame that lacked team preview, how might a pokemon of a similar concept look now? The lack of team preview was an important aspect of Kitsunoh's creation and people of the time couldn't have predicted team previews addition and its impact on how we play the game.
-Malacondas concept in today's metagame would likely end up wayyy different than its previous execution due to the addition of the fairy typing, type chart changes and the power creep being higher than it was in gen5.

Questions To Be Answered:
-How can we adapt a concept designed for an older generation to fit within our current environment, while preserving its initial identity?
-What niches/roles are considered valuable in generation 9 CAP? What niches/roles are not? How would that influence which concept we choose to redo?
-How can we make CAP32 distinctively different than its predecessor?
-How would we react to particular core features removed from the games that otherwise existed during the previous CAPs concept creation?
-How would an older concept react to newer features? (abilities, moves, mechanics etc...)
-Should we target a more complex concept or a simpler one? An ancient concept or one that is more recent in history?
-Should we target a concept that is used by a CAP that has fallen out of favor or a concept used by a still viable CAP?
-Should we choose a "failed" concept or a concept that was historically successful? (Plasmanta vs Astrolotl)
-What past concepts should we consider unsalvagable? How should we determine which concepts are still viable in generation 9?
-Should we stick to one concept altogether or find concepts that are similar functionally and combine them?
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  • Name - Jester's Smokescreen
  • Description - This supportive pokemon seeks to deceive/fake-out the opposing player from understanding the player's/user's next move, through tactics that seem almost nonsensical in competitive play.
  • Justification - Competitive Pokemon is all about trying to predict the opponent's next move, and respond with the most efficient action. In the process of tailoring pokemon for competitive play, each is regulated to 2 or 3 roles, designated as the "most efficient" ways they can act in play. While these roles restrict a pokemon to a few key moves in their movepool, or a specific stat spread, it's exciting when a pokemon is able to pull off using a move that is unexpected or sees little competitive play regularly. These unexpected plays not only make for great entertainment, but also challenge players' understanding of competitive play beyond the established meta. This pokemon would be a wildcard support/attacker that relies on pulling off unexpected, or nonconventional plays that challenge their opponent's understanding of their strategy.
    • What new territory will your Concept Pokemon explore, why do you believe it’s interesting, and how would it interact with the metagame?
      • I can see this pokemon forcing the opponent to take gambit wether or not to play it safe (switch to a defensive pivot, hide behind a substitute, etcetera), or to trust their gut and risk the offensive. Ideally this pokemon will pressure the opponent into choking up, and create openings for it or its teammates to strike.
    • 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?
      • To create this pokemon, the forum will need to discuss what a red-hearing or deceptive play mean in the context of a battle. Once a specific type of deception is chosen, we would need to figure out how it will be integrated into the movepool and role this pokemon serves.
      • While CAP pokemon aren't necessarily square blocks forced into triangle holes, the forum has a tendency to contort the concept into the whims of the current meta. The last CAP process with Hemoglobin illustrates how even a concept designed to be counter-culture to our understanding of "competitive viability" is given a lot of popular moves in the current meta (and a still rather high BST; while 479 definitely isn't great, it's a lot higher than other low-BST pokemon CAP 32 was modeled after).
  • Questions To Be Answered:
    • How this pokemon's unpredictable nature be used in ways that are engaging/thought-provoking, rather than frustrating/too much of a "get out of jail" playstyle?
    • Would this pokemon's deceitful nature better be used in a supportive pivot role, or a wallbreaker/priority hybrid? Perhaps this pokemon should have attributes of multiple/many roles to add to its unpredictable nature?
    • Because of the ability for players to view their opponent's team before battle, how can this pokemon's unpredictable nature be maintained overtime, regardless if the opponent knows they are facing it?
  • Explanation - With this concept I wanted to create a wildcard opponent that challenges our understanding of pokemon that are most efficient when they stick to a formula. This is the first concept I've submitted, so there's definitely some kinks to iron out in terms of wording and overall vision.


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Hello everybody! I wanted to spend this time to give formal feedback to every submission on page 1 and assess them based on the qualities I value in a concept. They won't be super elaborate since there are a ton to get through, but I wanted to get this out to help guide people's submissions sooner than later. I will be rating every submission that has justifications, descriptions, and questions, so if your concept isn't here despite being on page 1 that's probably why! If you do want feedback after you edit, please DM me or feel free to run it through the CAP Discord.

If you're beyond Page 1, though, don't worry! I intend to go through every submission. Once I've assessed the submissions on Page 2 and 3 I will be issuing a 48 hour warning before I launch the slate. I hope to get page 2 and maybe page 3 feedback out by tomorrow.

While this is a sub you have to read through a few times to get a good understanding of, I believe there's a very nuanced discussion to be had around the ways that an ability dichotomy can influence the effects of certain moves, and how move depth can enable unique interactions with abilities. I admit that it does sound a bit difficult to navigate, and there may be limitations regarding the range of abilities that don't usurp each other, but I appreciate that the questions do well in addressing this. Overall pretty good and I don't really have any direct feedback.
I think focusing more on the pawn to illustrate your concept as opposed to directly defining it would help outline the design space a lot more effectively and also more consistently inform your questions, especially as pawns are given strength through numbers and their combined pressure which makes it difficult for me to see how practical this could be unless you focus your questions a bit around the inherent executional differences that come from the difference in numbers. If you want to play entirely to the pawn even with that limitation, though, I'm curious about including the potential to become insanely strong if it "makes it to the end of the board" so to speak. A sacrificial/tool that rewards you for progressing enough to become extremely potent sounds cool as fuck and for me personally makes the concept substantially more interesting to me.

Regardless of what approach you take there, your question section needs to be cleaned up desperately. There are a lot of questions here that feel like they have pretty obvious answers and for the ones that are good to have, it's hard for me to really parse their significance while also connecting them to the role of the pawn. Imo it's either rework the parameters of the concept or make the questions more clearly reflect your definition of a pawn and focus more on the differences of Chess with Pokemon.
This was a concept that was somewhat done already with Kitsunoh, but a lot of its strength as a concept back in the day came circumstantially through the mechanics of Gen 4. That being said, obviously this doesn't disqualify it, but it's because of this that I would focus on how scouting works in Gen 9, and how mechanically it differs from when a scouting concept was previously explored. Not only does that help create more practical parameters, but it also lets us think about how the role evolved across generations.
I do wonder to some extent how far this concept really can take us, as the design space is very contingent on interactions that are either loosely viable (ETerrain as you mentioned), can be easily limited (TSpikes), or simply don't have much reason to be worth exploring (Weather abusers).

I think questions that address inherent limitations in relying on teammate support would be smart as, to me, it will really help inform us regarding the practicality or uncharted territory of some effects over others. Generally cool to me but I think exploring how practical this concept can be will help create direction.
I think there's merit to this concept, but my main worry is how far it will get before we just settle on your bread and butter debuffs of status spreading and Knock Off. I feel like framing this to avoid focusing too hard on effects that are already widespread would help in making this concept feel more worthwhile to dissect.

Your questions are good, but maybe adding a question or two about how debuffs are used in modern generations and defining the parameters of a debuff in the context of this concept may help with the aforementioned concern.
This is a concept that I am definitely a fan of, simply because many Pokemon are fundamentally very "in-the-driver's-seat" when it comes to creating progress and getting into advantageous positions. Exploring a concept that instead aims on achieving the opposite by exploiting the opponent sounds really cool to me.

Though I think your questions are somewhat weak as I don't feel they respect the design space you otherwise establish in your description. I don't think "leeching" should be the goal with your questions here; instead I'd aim to explore the nuances of punishing opponents' decisions, and looking into how progress can be made if you aren't the one directly making it.
My main problem with this one is that the design space for this is obscenely limited, or at least just not worth looking into. The main weathers with mechanical nuance are Rain and Sun, but there's only really so much you can do with those that haven't been looked into already, and Sand/Snow are even more limited. I feel like to sell me more on this one, you really need to flesh out your questions section to look into the mechanical nuances of weather and explain what makes this concept worth looking into even with all the weather users that exist, CAP and canon.
The rebranding of this concept makes me like it far more. While there are many Pokemon and some CAPs that employ this concept, there are a lot of tools available that are geared around disarmament, with several being outright unexplored. I think most of your questions are good, but I'd probably remove some of the more tenuous ones (namely questions 4 and 6) and create some clarity for the wordier ones.
GM Nap Time, did you get a haircut? In all seriousness, I think the idea of Spore mostly playing as an ambassador for a Sleep-oriented process is definitely chill with me, though I admit it's a concept that's a rough sell without some compelling questions. I think your questions are a bit off-center and would benefit from exploring the dynamics of Sleep, including the volatility of the sleep counter and the role of Speed tiers.
As a Scream Tail enjoyer, this concept is cheating. I really like it a lot and I think when it comes down to design space, the role of Speed in defense is a really interesting angle that has a lot of breathing room, while also being an interesting case study on Speed beyond just offense. Your questions are straight forward and well-aimed, so I have very little to criticize here. Great job.
My main problem is... why special bulk specifically? Obviously disregarding flavor, I feel like this concept is nearly there, but falls flat because there's not really any dialogue around the dichotomy of Special bulk vs Physical bulk. Some questions around the role Special bulk has over Physical bulk would really give this concept more direction.
My main problem with this concept is that it's just, bluntly, not all that interesting to discuss in its current state. I feel like anything that has an appropriate defensive typing, solid bulk, and some progress-making tools will make for a good pivot if it randomly gets a pivoting move; see how Galarian Slowking has shifted going into Gen 9. To sell me on this concept you have to focus it on the nuances of pivoting as a whole beyond just your bread and butter stuff. I don't care about making a good pivot if it means we've learned nothing about pivoting on a fundamental level.
As simple as it is, I'm for it. I think there's an interesting dialogue to be had around what incentivize mixed offense over dedicated offense, but I think you definitely want a more holistic justification regarding the advantages and design space regarding mixed offense and some more questions even if the ones you have right now are fine. As is I feel like it's just missing some nuance; you could explore the relationship of EVs, your nature, or your Speed-tier to list a few.
While I feel this is better than the weather version of this concept as terrain mechanics have been seldom explored by comparison, there are still far too few mechanics extremely worth dissecting that haven't been, to some extent, explored already. And those that haven't been all that explored just aren't that nuanced.
While cool on paper, in practice I sort of struggle to see the depth of your concept's design space that are wide, practical, and interesting. The most effective approach to this would be pinch abilities and maybe pinch berries, but these either have very linear directions or err toward gimmicky in the face of Gen 9 CAP's goofy Speed tiers and rampant priority. I feel like some questions exploring the downsides of low HP, the opportunity cost, and the range of rewards would help increase the range of your design space.
If this concept was achievable, I would love this concept and slate it in a heartbeat, but in execution it is torn down by how players actually improve at the game, as well as how metagame reliant this CAP would be to succeed at its role. Players often improve through a wealth of factors beyond how to use a certain Pokemon, and most notably, metagame conditions are a massive contributor to building skill. How would you make a single Pokemon that can help improve players when a metagame that contributes to skill development is constantly shifting, especially when we have to also consider DLCs and then the actual post-play lookback? I really do want to make clear I love this concept and I really want to be wrong, but to sell it you have to explain how this would even be possible.
This concept explores a fairly standard aspect of Smogon singles yet one many people take for granted. I think there's room for this concept to really shine especially as incremental progress is something not frequently discussed on a fundamental scale in spite of its inherent importance. Your questions are generally fine but I would recommend focusing a bit on the relationship incremental progress has in tandem with other mechanics, be it other incremental effects or turns outright, as that's where the design space really comes through.
This concept has definitely grown on me, especially after its edits. I think there's definitely a dialogue to be had about the prominence of game states, the transitions between them, and how Pokemon perform with or without that degree of progress. Your questions are also pretty good. My only gripe would probably be the justification as it doesn't really explain much about why game states are worth exploring.
I sort of want a timeless CAP anyway, so this concept is way, way too directionless with that in mind. Not really much else to be said.
I like this one! I think it discusses a really cool subject, being the importance and depth of the punishment game. I enjoy the flavor of this a lot as a fencing junkie, but I do think this concept would benefit more from being more directly grounded in the nuances of punishment as a whole, including timing. It helps make the concept more clear while also establishing a feasible direction.
The issue I have with this one is that I sort of feel like the idea of stats being a limiter is stale rn. Obviously this isn't the same as Bang Average, far from it, but stats as a limitation just doesn't feel all that interesting to me atm when we've just recently explored the ways low stats can be remedied in a Gen 9 metagame. This is a concept that could definitely be reposted in the future, but for me it's too soon.
Final Submission

: Sharpshooter

Description: This Pokemon's kit is centered around a high probability or even a guarantee of landing critical hits, whether through abilities, moves, or a combination of the two.

Justification: There has been a great rise in set up sweepers, bulky set up Pokémon, and screens in the Gen 9 meta. Critical hits bypass both defensive set up and screens, which could make them extremely potent in countering threats such as :venomicon: or Curse :dondozo: if they were to land consistently. Generally, the random aspect of critical hits makes them unreliable, but with the freedom of CAP we could find creative ways to make them work consistently to our advantage. Additionally, in the past few generations, many moves and abilities have been released that have to do with critical hits, whether buffing damage or increasing frequency. With the flexibility afforded to us by these new skills could allow us to theorize several variations of a critical hit abuser. It could be a stall breaker or a fast and powerful sweeper. One may say that this is quite limited as a concept, but if you think about it more, there are a lot of ways to make this work. Merciless, Wicked Blow, Focus Energy, and even Super Luck are all a few viable workable options for this concept. In conclusion, the state of the current meta coupled with the new tools makes for an opportune time to explore the power of critical hits in the meta.

Questions to be asked:
  • How can one ensure that landing critical hits are vital to the function of a Pokemon? Is it best caused by moves that guarantee or elevate the ratio, abilities that guarantee or elevate the ratio, or abilities that elevate the damage of critical hits?
  • Do Pokemon prefer to land critical hits because of the raw increased damage? Or rather, is it the defensive bypass that can help them break bulky set up Pokemon, stall, or screens? Which is the best function?
  • How do we balance Pokemon around the increased damage they will inevitably deal because of critical hits?
  • What types operate best with elevated critical hits? Why could some work better than others?
  • What recent developments in the meta allowed for guaranteed critical hit moves like Wicked Blow and Flower Trick when moves like that weren’t seen before?
  • Why is nearly every move with an elevated critical hit rate physical? Is it possible to create a viable specially inclined critical hit centered Pokémon?
  • Should we take items such as Focus Lens into consideration when making the Pokemon's kit? What other aspects of critical hit stages should we lean into to try to mitigate the random aspect of landing critical hits?
Critical hits are an essential part of competitive, for better or for worse. The random aspect of them makes it entirely possible to win or lose games based on an opportune landing of a critical hit. However, there have always been some ways to mitigate the randomness. Moves with an elevated critical hit ratio, like Night Slash, have been present for a long time and are occasionally used in conjunction with Focus Energy or Focus Lens to land more often, especially on Pokemon with Sniper. And in more recent generations, there have even been moves and abilities like Wicked Blow on :urshifu: and Merciless on :toxapex: to guarantee a critical hit under some condition. I personally feel that the extent of the critical hit mechanic has not been fully explored on either of these Pokemon. Something I explored recently was that critical hits ignore the stat changes of BOTH Pokemon, not just the one that is being attacked. A move like Draco Meteor can be used repeatedly without a negative effect assuming a critical hit is landed every time. :kingdra: was used like this before, but it suffers from other issues that hinder its viability and was more of a gimmick than anything else. Overall, the increased damage and the ignoring of screens and stat changes make critical hits a very interesting mechanic. I believe we can explore very effectively through a CAP project, and see just how powerful a Pokemon that exploits this mechanic consistently and effectively can be.
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Final Submission

Identity Crisis

Description: At least one of this CAP’s four major design components (Typing, Ability, Stats, Moves) lies in stark contradiction to its primary role.

Justification: Trying to maximize synergy between each stage is CAP’s modus operandi, but we rarely explore the opposite: taking two elements that clash with each other, and building from there. This concept forces us to engage with a fundamentally different design philosophy than usual, shedding light on new and interesting possibilities for Pokemon design that may have never even been considered by our project, much less pursued.

  • How often do contradictory or anti-synergistic elements manifest in Pokemon designs? Which ways are the most common, and are some ways more successful than others? If so, what’s behind this success?
  • Are some contradictions deeper or more interesting than others, and if so, which ones?
  • Do certain roles tend to prefer specific anti-synergies?
  • What are some Pokemon that embody this concept well in their respective metagames, and what can we learn from their design(s)?
  • Why might (or might not) anti-synergy be something to actively pursue in this metagame? Are there certain niches or “holes” in the metagame that can only be filled by a pokemon with contradictory elements?
  • Is anti-synergy inherently a bad thing, competitively speaking? What's the difference between working around these contradictions versus working with them? How can we be successful because of these contradictions, and not merely in spite of them?
  • How might this concept affect the way the CAP process is structured? Would we need to make any adjustments to the order of stages? How should we go about choosing our intended role?
  • How can we design a CAP with this concept in mind, such that it is still a coherent final product and not just a mess of disconnected design elements?

The idea of built-in contradictions or "anti-synergy" in a Pokemon's design might sound vague or abstract, but it's really not a complex concept; in fact, many pre-existing Pokemon can be seen exhibiting varying degrees of it. For example, Tyranitar has an incredibly bad defensive typing but is often used as a special wall; likewise, Kartana's offensive typing is quite poor, yet it's a phenomenal SD wallbreaker and Choice Scarf user. You could imagine a defensive Pokemon with an overtly offensive ability like Tinted Lens or Stakeout, or perhaps a fast offensive Pokemon utilizing something like Unaware or Intimidate. Moltres-Galar is perhaps an example of stats contradicting role: its bulk is actually much better than its offenses, yet it's generally a double dance set-up sweeper in SS that largely succeeds because its special bulk and Dark typing let it serve as a rare Dragapult check and Psychic immunity on hyper offense. (Hemogoblin is also arguably an example of a stats contradiction, as well as the insanity that is XY UU Diancie). Moves is probably the trickiest here (and IMO least interesting), so I'll omit examples for the sake of brevity. In general, anti-synergy can be difficult to implement intentionally––but, if done right, I think it leads to some of the most fascinating, unique, and beautifully weird Pokemon designs out there.
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Final Submission

Silver Nitrate Heels

Description: A CAP mon with poor defenses that uses strong utility threats and switch moves to serve as a defensive pivot.

Justification: While we may have pivots, even pretty damn good pivots in this metagame, beyond Rotom-Wash, the idea of a pokemon utilising poor defenses but utility threats to accomplish defensive goals - whether spreading status or simply clicking a switch move - is woefully underexplored. Even Rotom, the shining example, has an amazing defensive typing and levitate. Let's explore all the way down - Gen 9 has given us references in the lower tiers with Grafaifai and Cyclizar - how we can make a pokemon with poor defenses that still serves an intrinsically defensive/balanced pivot role.

  • How much does the ability to offensively pressure targets enhance a pokemon's defensive utility?
  • What utility options should be given in order to help such a pokemon create pressure (think wave, wisp or knock)
  • How should we distinguish this pivot from a purely offensive one when we provide it with damage?
  • How important are speed and typing a factor in the success of a pivot that cannot rely on bulk alone?
  • How will we let this pokemon be able to switch in to common pokemon in this metagame?
  • Should recovery be provided to this pokemon?
  • How will we emphasise the use of switch moves to distinguish this pokemon from other defensive pivots?
  • What is "poor bulk"? Does stronger defenses on one side or another play a part in assisting defensive ability? How does EV investment play into that?
  • How should this pokemon compete or play in synergy with purely defensive pivots such as Libra or Glowking?
  • Will this pokemon be most prevalent in bulky offense, balance or stall (pls no)

Rotom. 50/107/107, no recovery. And yet for many generations, it's been played as a surprisingly defensive or balanced pokemon - Heattom being the best check to LO clef in Gen 8, Washtom reliably serving as a defensive pivot with 252Hp/244Def/12Spe or variants in many metas. Even Mowtom, played highly aggressively in most of the metas it's in, is still something you switch in to take nasty hits, and then just click volt switch. I think what inspired this post was the classic UU experience earlier this gen of "Switch Mowtom in, take 70%, pivot out, still coming on top". It's really interesting to see these mons use their stellar typing, but more critically the immense offensive/utility pressure they exert out, to shine in a balance/defensive role. We've had CAP pivots, but nothing similar to this. Whether it is pressuring targets with wisp, knock off, rapid spin or other moves, this mon is likely to focus on forcing switches with utility pressure - then getting out with a pivoting move.
With Generation 9 dropping in more pokemon like this (AV Cyclizar is a shining example; 70/65/65 bulk but in UU it was a common switchin to a lot of stuff), I think it's worthwhile to explore a pivot that plays like this. Silver nitrate came from an odd analogy I had - a photosensitive compound (frail) that possesses a lot of fast-acting medical effects (fast, utility), which is nevertheless quite caustic - think a cyclizar's meteor; not the strongest hit, but will definitely sting quite a little, and deters walls without recovery in conjunction with knock off. Furthermore, this mon will likely be using pivoting moves such as volt switch or flip turn to cement it's identity as a pivot.
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Final Submission

Perfect Four

Description: This Pokemon has only four viable moves, decided first in the process.

Justification: This concept does not explore the metagame with its intention; it is entirely about exploring the CAP process itself. Defining moves is an integral early stage in the process, but moveset submission is among the final steps. This concept pulls it to the forefront, repositioning the Movepool Leader's stage as the first stage after concept assessment. Rather than a pool a move, the Pokemon is built around four moves. And only four moves. We commit to a singular direction and a singular set from the earliest point in the process. Rather than keeping options open, as many past projects have tried to achieve during the project, this one immediately hones in on where it wants the Pokemon to go and how it wants to play.

  • What Pokemon have four perfect moves currently, or in the past?
  • Pokemon have functioned in proper offensive roles without dual or any STAB before. What kinds of moves function well even without STAB?
  • How does the impact of knowing a Pokemon's exact moveset affect stages such as typing, stats, and ability?
  • Is it better to lean more in an offensive or defensive direction when you are locking in only four moves?
  • How effective can a perfectly predictable Pokemon be in the current metagame?
  • Are there any move combinations that can facilitate multiple playstyles based on items or abilities?
  • Is it worth considering leaving a slot open for "generic STAB", or just committing to the four moves exactly?
CAP projects shine when they have at least one element decided at the beginning of the project with unshakable direction. And in my opinion, the best projects do that with moves. Saharaja's Diamond Storm secured the identity of a physical attacker, as did Pajantom's Spirit Shackle. This concept is the natural evolution of this idea, but instead of focusing on a single move, focusing on an entire moveset. While moveset submission is usually an end-of-project step, this moves the idea of users submitting a moveset as the project's focus. After moveset submission, every subsequent stage is about actualizing those moves in an impactful way.

A lot of emphasis is put on the Movepool Leader for this project, which is fair considering how many projects in the past have placed greater emphasis on other stages such as Ability or Typing first and foremost. I don't think we have ever had a project that moved movepool, definitely movesets, to the front. This will be an exploration of the community and projects ability to come together and make an awesome product from an entirely new starting point.
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CAP Circuit Champion

Tempo Thief

This pokemon is designed to disrupt the opponent in the early game, to prevent them from starting at their preferred tempo and gaining momentum.

CAP processes often focus on specific competitive elements, such as building around a single move or building to mitigate some assigned weakness. We don't usually create a pokemon for a specific role within a game, and we have never designed a cap to perform in a specific stage of the game. Moreover, the majority of caps are designed to perform well in the midgame, such as Argh, Libra and Paj, or in the endgame with sweepers like Hemo and Cari. The only caps that were really designed with the early game in mind are fidgit and tomo and frankly, those mons were designed for extremely different metagames and took a "everything but the kitchen sink" approach to guaranteeing success. That leaves with a lot of interesting space to work in, and a hole in the meta that we could aim to fill.

  • What tools are useful for disrupting your opponent early game? How can these tools be useful across an entire game?
  • Is disrupting opposition tempo enough of a niche on its own for this cap to be viable? Would this cap need to broadly useful early game tools like hazards or pivoting to be worth using, or is it sufficient focus on messing with the opposition?
  • What playstyles would this cap fit on? How could this role to be useful across playstyles?

Just as balance was the defining playstyle of SwSh and weather wars were the face of BW, offensive teams have been at the forefront of SV since it's inception and have come to define the meta. The obvious reason for this is the plethora of threats in the current metagame, both breakers and sweepers but there is another factor in the consistent success of these teams: strong early game tempo. Offensive teams have access to a variety of excellent early game go getters, that can set and/or prevent hazards as they see fit such as Great Tusk, Samurott-Hisui, Venomicon, Meowscarada, Greninja, Tomohawk and Hatterene. These pokemon can all provide offense with a strong start, able to set hazards, disrupt opponents and deal damage. This lets the offense player set their own tempo and play to it, quickly gaining momentum. Against balance and fat teams this can immediately put the offense user on the front foot, as they start to break through their cores. In offense mirrors, the early game can be decisive, as finding yourself on the back foot in these matchups can make recovering your position a massive task. Hazard leads aren't the only culprit here either, screens leads such as Dragapult and Grimmsnarl trade a worse matchup into fat for an improved offensive mirror and their ability to set screens and pivots grants easy momentum.

Good dedicated leads aren't new, the likes of Exca and Shuckle have had niches as hazard leads on offense across generations, and screens setters are a dime a dozen. Mons with great early game utility are also a fixture of most metas, Landorus-Therian being the primary example across multiple generations. In response to these mons came Tempo Thieves, mons like Serperior in oras and sm which disrupts hazard setters with taunt or defog and abuses webs so hard that it caused a significant drop-off of the playstyle in oras. Urshifu-Rapid-Strike performs similarly in the more balanced focused swsh meta, threatening out common rockers like lando and heatran and seizing momentum with U-turn. The most successful example of this is probably Mega-Sableye in oras, which used magic bounce, status and knock to make it near impossible for many teams to gain any tempo whatsoever. This was such a vital part of the success of stall that MSab was banned late into oras time as current gen.

Despite the abundance of early game monsters in SV, there aren't a huge number of options to deal with them. The resident magic bouncer hatterene is the most obvious example but hat struggles taking hits, can't switch into venomicon sludge bombs and can't stop Samurott-Hisui at all. Pult is another option, and one that shows this concept isn't limited to magic bounce and taunt users. Pult can use dragon darts to threaten sash users or uturn for momentum, both of which allow the user a strong start. Loaded Dice Bax can perform similarly, forcing taunts from mons like meow to prevent it from setting up and threatening out venomicon. There are other interesting options such as red card amoongus and hemogoblin but there's plenty of room for a mon that focuses on this role and plenty of fertile ground for us to work in.


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Alright, here we are with everything up to this post! This is also where I'm going to officially cast the 72 hour warning for finalizing your submissions.

Page 1: (i forgot one sorry)

This is definitely a solid concept and I definitely think it's a cool case study into what makes Pokemon who use unique strategies inherently weaker, whether that's certain aspects of their kit like their typing or stats, or if it's the strategy itself. The concept is there, but your questions I think miss the mark a bit. I don't think recreating a Pokemon should exactly be the goal, but rather the strategy. As such I think if your questions focus more on what makes a lower-tier strategy fail at a higher power level, there's not only more to dissect with this concept but you also create more deliberate discussion around the decided-upon strategy.

Page 2:

This one is really awesome. I think the way you word this concept really hits that sweet spot when it comes to loose direction, providing a lot of wiggle room for how it can be executed while creating a very clear approach. I think your questions are very well handled too, so I have very little to critique. This is just a good ass concept.
Frankly, I love this concept. I think it creates a really solid direction and allows us to think more about the role of sacrifice in Pokemon, which I think is something that isn't all that explored! I think there are also a lot of ways we can approach this because sacrifice is such a fluid concept and there are a lot of mechanics centered around punishment.

I feel as though maybe a question or two that explores the nuances of what defines a successful sacrifice in this concept would help put everyone on the same page, but barring that your questions are very well designed. I'd be really interested to see what a CAP with this concept turns out to look like.
I have to admit I'm a bit conflicted on this one. I think on one hand there's a very compelling dialogue worth having about the way Pokemon use items effectively, but on the other, items tend to have a lot less nuance to what really extracts the most value out of them compared to a move or an ability that tend to interact with several different factors of a Pokemon.

That being said, I'm not exactly saying this concept doesn't have design space nor that it isn't slate worthy, because the idea of picking an item to build this CAP around certainly does create that degree of depth and could make for a cool as fuck process. I think maybe what you can do is hone your justification around what makes optimizing a Pokemon around an item a worthwhile process, and then some questions around how/why an item may exactly be chosen, because otherwise I struggle to see how the process wouldn't be a bit sloppy.
Revival Blessing is definitely a move that is unique and sparingly distributed enough to be possibly worth building around, but at the same time I also struggle to see directions that wouldn't just lead to a very tanky Pokemon dedicated to using the move as easily and consistently as possible as per your questions. Offensive Revival Blessing Pokemon, as we've seen, definitely work, but I think Pawmot honestly explores that design space more than fine anyway. I personally don't really take too much interest in this concept on principle, but I do notice that your justification is extremely bare bones. If you can argue what makes Revival Blessing specifically worthwhile to explore outside of the Pokemon that use it being bad I'm more than open to discussing it more.
I think my problem with this concept is that there are so few ways you can actually make this concept work in practice that aren't named Anger Point. In fact I can't think of anything besides Anger Point. I have genuinely no idea as to what the design space for this concept looks like because there's no real reason in-canon you would want to be hit by critical hits outside of a very fringe ability, and even then critical hits are extremely RNG reliant so building around this concept is just so hard. I don't see how we can feasibly proceed with this concept, sorry ;;
I can sort of see the direction of this concept after giving it a couple reads. I think the title of your concept is a bit misleading because it seems your concept is designed more around taking advantage of commonly used moves as opposed to negating the turn outright, but other than that I think the concept is fundamentally sound. I think your questions could use a bit more though; maybe some questions built around why certain moves are used as frequently as they are and working to take advantage of their mechanics could be worth it.
This is a pretty simple concept with a fairly intriguing premise since Gen 9 brought about a bunch of goofy moves and abilities. I think the difference between moves and abilities sort of makes the direction a bit sloppy though, so I think having a question or two that focuses on that dichotomy and creating a more clean direction would help make your concept less awkward to navigate as we initiate the process.
No Retreat is definitely a cool move, and honestly I'm weirdly down for looking into it simply because to me it's a very rare case of an omniboost that is actually reasonably balanced, letting us specifically explore the relationship of every stat when they're all relevant at once which is something you only get with mixed attackers. I think with No Retreat, though, your questions need to dive a bit into the nature of the omniboost itself and the inherent versatility you get out of simultaneously jacked offenses and defenses. I'd also look into questions regarding the nature of being trapped as well and how that can potentially change progress-making dynamics.
This concept is pretty cool to me for similar reasons as Version 3.3, but instead with design space geared more around strategies that see consistent viability nowhere. That's a pretty big parameter to have and it's one I do find very intriguing to look into, so I would definitely be down for a CAP centered around this concept.

However your questions are honestly really questionable. They're too general and very weirdly directed, so you're not really looking at the meat and potatoes of your concept. With this concept there's an inherent appeal to dissecting why strategies that have unique and potentially very useful mechanics aren't used that often (if at all) anywhere, and I think you really should play to that because that's really what makes your concept shine. You could also think about strategies that have seen inconsistent but usually very shaky viability like Trick Room; things like that would really help create a stable direction that your justification otherwise suggests.
On paper I can see the merits of the concept, but in practice I personally am just kind of ambivalent to the idea of it as we progress. It feels like to me the really only interesting thing you're gonna get from this is the initial concept assessment, and then from there it's pretty clear what you're gonna do since what makes a Pokemon excel with a limited (or optimal, rather) movepool is clear cut. If it's utility, give it a couple utility moves, a STAB move, and recovery. If it's offense, give it a boosting move, STABs, and coverage/priority/what have you. It's one of those concepts where I'm open to learning more about it but to me you have to argue how the future stages would have nuance in spite of that.
I love Gravity as a move and I wish it was a more successful/consistent strategy because its effects (namely the accuracy modifier) are really cool. Though I have to admit I do worry about Gravity as a dedicated concept simply because a lot of the process would probably center around taking advantage of famously powerful moves that are debilitated by accuracy and having a Ground-type STAB to round it off. I think your questions are really how you address this and if anything I would try to focus around Gravity mechanically as well as setting it up in general so we can really understand the design space Gravity allots you outside of the obvious.
I think there's merit to the spirit of your concept; conventionally punishing checks without coverage or what have you is really interesting as we get to explore what options Pokemon can have to make progress into their checks without having a way to handle them immediately, which definitely could be worth dedicating a process to. I think this concept needs help at the question stage though. You ask some tenuous questions (namely #3, #7, and #11), too. I think this concept would be substantially more interesting if you focused more on progress-making into Pokemon that wall you offensively a la Regieleki or Gen 8 Spectrier (but not broken), where you may sometimes need to switch out before you can get to a point where you can stay in, as opposed to wanting to stay in always regardless of your immunity, and if you focus more on the mechanics of pressuring Pokemon without coverage outright, you wind up with a more compelling concept overall.
On paper this is a concept that sounds not all that worth it, but when I thought about it more I actually realized this concept is really cool. There's a very clear dialogue to be had around the mental aspect of your positioning and how opposing Pokemon not on the field may actively influence that. The first thing that comes to mind for me immediately is Regieleki, which often pressures you to preserve your Ground-type even if it's a Pokemon you'd rather sack; that kind of relationship is something that, while abstract, can be grounded in very real elements through threat factor. I think your questions are your main shortcoming though; instead I'd be trying to focus more on questions that explore how Pokemon exert pressure through their natural kit, and how the strength of some checks over others may force you to play a certain way to preserve your resources.

Page 3:

From a policy standpoint I'm not really sure how feasible this actually is, so I'm uncertain about slating it. By its own merits though I think there's definitely some reason to consider it and I'm naturally very much so a fan of regional variants/convergent Pokemon, though it would very much require a shake-up to the standard process so I think regardless of whether this submission is legal or not, that's something you should address in your questions.

EDIT: I checked, it is not allowed. Sorry!
This concept was very close to winning last time and for a good reason. I feel like there's a lot we can ironically learn from ourselves instead of the game at large, allowing us to evaluate how we used to assess concepts and ascertain why they worked, how they worked, and possibly why they didn't after the fact so we can recognize methods to improve our process in ways maybe we didn't think of. I don't have a ton to say here because I'm sure most of you are familiar with this concept. I'm not unlike spoo here; I also like it a lot.
I'm going to be honest, I'm a bit unsure how I feel about this since the framework of your concept is strangely conveyed? I can sort of see what you're going for in the sense that this CAP would want to use options that aren't conventionally understood to be the best choice on it, such that you can effectively make progress just in a bit of a goofy way. My first instinct is something like Imprison Landorus-T from last gen to out-pivot it, or just the overall nature of Tera Blast to snipe random things, which I think does have some merit, but even after several reads I'm not sure this is even what you mean. I just think you really need to make your concept clearer and elaborate more on what exactly your definition of deceitful is here if you want your concept to have an easily understood direction. Right now it feels very difficult to digest and discuss.
Critical hits are not really things you see as a consistently useful mechanic in Pokemon, mostly because the options to consistently land them are either fringe or limited quite substantially by distribution. A Pokemon that uses them as a tool to either stallbreak or just make progress in general sounds quite cool and I think would make for a fun process, but the design space feels very vague and also limited without much to encourage dissecting how they're used. I think though your questions need to hone in a bit more on critical hits mechanically so the design space parameters are more evident; what I mean by this is talking about the ways critical hits are utilized in canon, and discussing their limitations (the fact you only really see them often via RNG, for instance).
I am weirdly fascinated by this; the main concern I have is that we'd definitely have to shake up the process a bit and figure out how to approach this CAP when we want to build it around an aspect that is contrary to how it would actually be used. That's not too hard, but it's something we'd definitely have to figure out in concept assessment. Barring that, I am honestly a big fan of this and I think your questions are very well written as well to reflect the idea that anti-synergy design in Pokemon is not inherently a death sentence, and if anything can be a strength in some cases. It's for that reason I think this could make for a very unique and thought-provoking process, but one we definitely would have to arrange the process of beforehand.
So in other words... just an offensive pivot? I know this isn't what you mean, but I feel like with the way you worded this, that's really what this concept conveys. A Pokemon that uses pressure as a tool to force switches and accrue momentum is, by nature, an offensive pivot, even if it's not in the conventional sense. I feel like you definitely don't mean to convey this based on your examples of Grafaiai and Cyclizar, so I would heavily suggest finding some way to really try and discern what you mean and use your questions to parse raw offensive pressure versus progress-making pressure.
My worries for this one pretty much mirror One-Hit Wonder, so you can see that for the general vibe I get from this, but I do think this has some intrigue in what you propose for the actual change to the process; as such, I am a bit more open to it, and you do have excellent questions to bat. I'll probably be discussing this with the TLT a bit.
I honestly love these kinds of Pokemon, and what's more is that I love how it proposes an interesting take on the definition of momentum. I think to make that clearer it would be good to have a dialogue about what defines tempo and the parameters of them. Barring that, I think limiting this Pokemon to the early-game does feel a bit awkward as it sort of suggests that this Pokemon lacks utility by nature when it feels utility-based in concept, if that makes sense, so I feel like framing this to be more of a general-purpose momentum thief would make for a more compelling process.

With that, that's everything up to this post!! If anything else is submitted in the next 72 hours, I will try to give feedback on the CAP Discord. Though, if you're not on there and want feedback anyway I would implore you reach out to my DMs so I can give you my thoughts that way. This is the final stretch for submissions, so let's close out strong. Remember to finalize your submissions!
I really appreciate everyone's feedback on my concept - I agree it likely makes more sense to revisit in a more stable meta so I am looking forward to resubmitting with all the notes I've collected. I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites:

Version 3.3
I like this better than Mini-Uber as I find there's more options to select from. There's a bunch of Mons I'd suggest if this won, and I think that stage in particular would be fun and would set us up for a solid concept in terms of elevating the archetype.

One Trick Pony
There are definitely some Pokemon that already fill this niche, but I think there are some underexplored stats where we could have a lot of fun with this concept. I think the design restriction around having one super stat is a healthy one that will lead to interesting debate at all phases of development. I also think two stat concepts in a row is a positive, since it's top of mind how we design around stats.

No Shuckles Given
The name is excellent, and so is the concept. I love defensive mons this generation, I think the healing PP nerfs and move distribution changes actually give them more of an opportunity to stand out. I think building something really, truly designed to only be defensive would push CAP out of the comfort zone in a good way, 32 Pokemon in and there's few to none that are truly a wall.

Identity Crisis
This seems like a lot of fun, and honestly any of the stages I think could be fun, the hardest but most rewarding discussion we have will be which is the best one to pursue (I'm personally kind of fascinated by the idea of an anti-synergistic movepool myself). I also really like that concepts exist around a specific anti-synergy but I prefer that this is a community decision in this submission.

The Ultimate Elemental

Description: This Pokémon’s ability changes its secondary typing, altering the effects of its signature move.

Justification: The typing of a Pokemon can often be the driving force of the difference between S-tier pokemon and F-tier pokemon. This Pokemon aims to change its possibilities and opportunities in battle by cycling through its different secondary typings every other turn. This concept intends to explore new territory by independently changing the way the Pokemon operates every other turn.

Questions to be answered:
What will this concept bring to the metagame?
What singular typing synergizes well with various other typings?
Is it possible to balance the secondary typings without making one too strong or overpowering/making one typing completely throw off the others by being better by a significant margin?
What opportunities will each typing bring the Pokemon?
  • Should the opportunities be vast differences or minor changes?
What typings will synergize well with the primary typing?
What typings could make or break this Pokemon?
How many secondary typings should this Pokemon have?

Explanation: This CAP concept's origin stems from Morpeko's Hunger Switch, primarily because I thought it changed Morpeko's typing from pure Electric to Electric/Dark. The concept intends to take this further by including Aura Wheel's mechanics in the CAP's type cycling.


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Hi everyone, it's the moment you've all been waiting for; today I have a finalized slate, and it's one I'm really happy with. I want to give a massive shoutout to the TLT as well as the overall CAP community for their incredibly thorough and comprehensive thoughts that have helped me really figure out how to approach this. This was a massive task with the truly mind-blowing amount of great concepts there were to choose from. As such, I'm going to be putting honorable mentions for concepts I was considering to slate in a spoiler beneath the slate itself to help convey that these were great concepts and I would support seeing them come back in a future CAP!

Without further ado, here are your voting options:

Version 3.3 - Brown4Sides
This concept is interesting with its design space being geared around the roles power and centralization play on what strategies are often seen as optimal at a higher power level. It also allows us to see why more unique strategies may struggle to take liftoff in a high power format but see success otherwise. A lot of the strength of this concept comes from the assessment process, making us think more deeply about just how power creep and the strength of some options over others may affect the ways we view more niche interactions across formats. Even more interestingly is the fact that CAP doesn't often analyze the ecosystems of lower tiers, which could make for a really one-of-a-kind process.

Very Fast Immovable Object - quziel
When we think about Speed, we tend to think about the role it plays on offense, as Speed is what allows these major play-makers to consistently apply pressure into different structures with different kinds of threats. However, oftentimes Speed is not really critically considered as a whole; just as it can be a tool to sweep, it can be a tool to either win 1v1s you couldn't otherwise, get off a key utility move that can limit an offensive Pokemon, or make guaranteed progress. This concept offers us the ability to analyze the role Speed plays beyond just offense and the interactions a high Speed stat can more readily enable across the defensive spectrum, something often not considered even in CAP.

Position is Key - kenn
Game states are a very strange concept of Pokemon to talk about, and frequently only come up when it comes to Pokemon that play very obvious roles such as a hazard lead or a dedicated late-game cleaner. Though, thinking about how the strength and utility of a Pokemon fluctuates throughout the game as progress is made on both sides is a dynamic that is seldom discussed. For a CAP process, especially, there is a lot of really deep conversation and very unique design space we can have with this concept with Gen 9 introducing several new game state oriented tools and the ways Pokemon have historically shifted roles throughout a game.

Parry and Riposte - Voltage
Mechanically this is a really fun concept, focusing on the value perfectly timed reactions and a deliberate punish game can achieve for a smart player. In general, this concept provides us a process that forces us to focus on how Pokemon are positioned throughout a game and how good positioning can create progress against Pokemon that are often seen as risky to try and make a certain play against. At the very least, I believe this will make for a really engaging process and allow us to evaluate how to take advantage of centralization in a timeless way.

No Shuckles Given - Wulfanator
This concept has received overwhelming support from the community and it's not shocking to see why. Having a CAP that is completely detached from any form of offense is incredibly novel; even major juggernauts like Venomicon and Arghonaut have tools at their disposal to pose some degree of an offensive threat. Thinking about how we can make a Pokemon that isn't easily exploitable in spite of having little offensive pressure can be seen as really worthwhile on a fundamental level, and Generation 9's exhibition of continued power creep shows that the timing is ripe for a dedicated defensive concept.

Catch-22 - viol and bass
The role of sacrifice in Pokemon is one often associated with sacking, and while that's the most obvious example, sacrifice has many fluid interactions as a result of varying Ability and Move interactions. This concept allows us to dive deep into the nuances of opportunity cost in Pokemon and how being able to force it can be both useful and diverse throughout the game.

Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal - Baloor
A rather meta concept, but one that honestly has a lot of angles to make for a really special CAP. It's no secret to anyone that CAP has really changed in its philosophies and style over the years- even recently so. It's for that reason that we actually have a lot we can learn from ourselves, including various stages of our processes, where things may have went wrong, or maybe things that were actually rather bold and worth recognizing as positive! Regardless of the turnout of a CAP with this concept, we can learn how to keep up an upward trajectory while having a reflective and enjoyable process to bat.

Identity Crisis - spoo
This concept may be uncertain of itself, but we're sure not. Identity Crisis forces us to make a CAP that has an element that conventionally contradicts the rest of its kit. This is fascinating, because oftentimes when we build CAPs, every stage tends to work closely together to build a cohesive end product, but we wouldn't have that here. Having a stage that sets us back may seem rather close to Bang Average, but in actuality not really, as we may be able to extract some unique value out of a certain element that is normally not seen as helpful or even conducive to what it is designed to do. This process would be able to teach us to find ways to actualize every nuance of a certain element regardless of if it seems actively deleterious or worthless.

Now, I would like to share a list of concepts I was considering to slate, but either didn't include due to overlap with the slated concepts or due to personal preference. Please keep in mind that if your concept is not seen here, it wasn't that it was bad or that I didn't like it; I actively encourage you to keep refining your ideas if you are confident in them, and do what you can to make them work for future CAPs.

Schrödinger's CAP
Wind-up Soldier
Debuff Specialist
Wounded Warrior
Game of Inches
Optimised Item User
A Rising Star
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