CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 1 - Concept Poll 2

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Two concepts remain for voting. This poll will be a single bold vote, which means that you vote for only one of the submissions. The details of bold voting can be found here. A typical vote might look like the following:

My Preferred Entry

If the voter wishes, he may post comments on his vote below the actual vote. Only the vote itself should be bold and none of the supplementary text should be bold.
Note that any posts that do not contain a vote will be moderated and the poster warned. If you feel compelled to say something in your own vote, you may do so, but please don't try to incite a discussion here. Keep discussion to the IRC channel, #cap, or to the voices in your head.

IMPORTANT: When voting, use only the name of the author! The list of possible votes includes:
This poll will be open for 24 hours. The concept submissions are quoted below in order of submission.

Name: Risky Business (formerly "Living On the Edge")
General Description: This Pokémon is very risky to play, but very rewarding if played correctly.

Justification: Many of the Pokémon that are successful in OU are relatively easy to play or have great "safe" options (e.g. U-turn). Yet, many other Pokémon look very powerful, but are less successful than they could be because of some large risks involved (e.g. Hydreigon), and some aren't successful at all (e.g. Honchkrow). This self-balancing concept intends to explore what it takes for a risky Pokémon to be successful, and how much inherent risk a Pokémon can get away with. It should be emphasized that this concept is NOT about luck management, but rather, it is about what the user can afford to do given his/her opponent's options, and vice versa.

Questions To Be Answered:

  • What is the relationship between risk and potential consequences, both positive and negative?
  • What kinds of inherently risky tactics are successful in the OU metagame?
  • Do risky Pokémon need some form of safe options (e.g. switch-ins) to be successful in OU, or can it get away with having few really safe options?
  • How does Substitute, a well-known "safe" move with nearly universal distribution, impact how this Pokémon is built and played?
  • How do existing Pokémon use and deal with risky situations?
  • Can risky Pokémon be played well in the early game, or are they better off put into action later on?
  • How do different playstyles interact with risky situations?
Explanation: This concept has been a rather long time coming. My main inspiration actually comes from obi / david stone and his battling AI, Technical Machine. Part of me imagined Technical Machine playing in a metagame containing this kind of Pokémon to see how it would play it, and by submitting this now I risk never having that come to fruition, but it doesn't seem like it will be finished for this generation any time soon. My other inspirations mainly comes from examples of risky Pokémon in other metagames. Honchkrow in UU, for example, has a deadly combination in Sucker Punch + Brave Bird + Pursuit, and with enough balls (or a good opportunity), it can use Roost to keep on trucking past Life Orb recoil. Another arguable example is Ursaring in Glitchmons. It is successful for having an extremely powerful priority STAB move, but at the same time, its other priority moves aren't quite as powerful, and sometimes it has to resort to a move like V-create, which punishes its low Speed.

Now, some may have noticed that there was no mention whatsoever of the term "prediction" throughout this submission. This was intentional. I feel that "prediction" has very much become a sort of buzzword even among seasoned battlers, and people get the heavily simplified idea that Pokémon is just about predicting your opponent's move. Yet, as anyone who's played poker or even competitive rock-paper-scissors will tell you, there is an inherent risk in every read, and these risks have to be considered to be successful. The aforementioned Technical Machine has no inherent concept of "prediction" at all. Hopefully, by making a Pokémon that embodies risk and reward, we will have a better understanding of the long-term implications of risk in a Pokémon match.

I know bugmaniacbob said he wants a concept focused on how to build a Pokémon more than what the metagame does when presented with a certain Pokémon. I know that this concept is pretty heavy on the latter, but I definitely chose this concept with the former in mind as well. There are a lot of good possibilities for making risk happen, and I am eager to see what people come up with.
Name: Perfect Nemesis
General Description: Pick a good-but-not-great OU Pokemon, and then concoct a Pokemon that threats the majority of Overused tier, but is hard countered by the base Pokemon we previously selected. This is similar to the way Gastrodon's usage rose dramatically due to its ability to counter to its Perfect Nemesis: Politoed.


This concept would give us the chance to discuss a plethora of aspects that define competitive Pokemon as we know it. First, we'd discover how exactly counters work, from deciding what makes a good counter to discussing the tools Pokemon use to counter and check threats. There is confusion between what exactly is the difference between a check and a counter; this concept also aims to clear up that confusion with in-depth discussion on specific defensive and offensive strategies that are used in the Overused tier to both stop and dethrone threats. In fact, it aims to dive even further into our current understanding of these terms to give us more knowledge.

Through this concept, we'd also perform an in-depth analysis on the current composition of the Overused metagame, similar to the "decentralizer" concepts. Which strategies dominate it, and how can we threaten those strategies? The Perfect Nemesis would need to make a statement in the tier, so we'd need to discuss how to create a Pokemon that can make a splash in OU.

Finally, we would get the chance to discuss outclassed Pokemon. When selecting our currently existing base Pokemon, we'd consider which advantages that Pokemon has that sets it apart from the others. Getting to dissect the positives of an often overlooked group of Pokemon could be fascinating. Furthermore, it would be certainly exciting to breathe some life into that Pokemon by giving it a brand new role and purpose in the Overused tier!

Questions To Be Answered:
  • In order to create the Perfect Nemesis, we need to make a Pokemon that threatens the Overused tier. What strategies, moves, and abilities can be introduced to threaten OU as a whole? What are the tiers "weak points", so to speak?
  • What exactly is a counter? What is a check? How does the good-but-not-great Pokemon use these definitions to take on the Perfect Nemesis?
  • What are the current positives to the base Pokemon we select? What unique niches does it hold over other Pokemon that currently outclass it?
  • What strategies are more effective for the base pokemon we choose, as a result of having a Perfect Nemesis? Can it run more than one effective set to defeat our creation? Does it also do well as a check or counter against the Perfect Nemesis' regular teammates?
  • How does the base Pokemon fare in Overused with the introduction of its Perfect Nemesis? Does it counter or check other Pokemon besides the Perfect Nemesis? How?


This concept might have given you a bit of déjà vu. The fact is, this concept submission is based heavily off of the winning concept of CAP11 (Voodoom), which was Perfect Mate (much of the credit for this concept belongs to DougJustDoug). However, it is the inverse of that concept; instead of making a partner to raise a base Pokemon's usage, we'll be making a nemesis to raise a base Pokemon's usage. I feel that Perfect Nemeses are something that occurs often in our tiers. Gastrodon is a prime example of this, thanks to its fantastic ability to counter Politoed, and by extension, rain. Dugtrio is another great example of this since it could take out many of the newly introduced BW threats with ease. Many of these Perfect Nemeses are created when a new Pokemon is introduced. In the case of Dugtrio and Gastrodon, Generation 5 occurred. So in our case, the base Pokemon we select will rise in usage and viability when its Perfect Nemesis that we create is introduced. Simply put, our goal would be to create a threat that opens a gap for a currently outclassed Pokemon to shine brightly in Overused.

The Pokemon that we choose as our base Pokemon could represent a host of traits. Perhaps it is a fantastic bulky, defensive Pokemon that has an unfortunate Achilles' heel, like a x4 weakness or a lackluster movepool. On the other hand, maybe we choose a fast and frail Pokemon that could come to defeat the Perfect Nemesis that we create. That Pokemon might not shine at the moment because of being outclassed by others that currently do its job better. There are a lot of directions in which we could take this; the concept is flexible.

Also, know that I am completely aware of the Counters page on the CAP site. While I think it is a fantastic source of information, I am not overly convinced that every kind of Pokemon can be defined by its rules. Remember, that page gives guidelines for what makes a hard counter, not a simple counter or check. Furthermore, it doesn't dig down to discuss the variability of being a counter or a check; I'd argue that is a bit of an unexplored area of competitive Pokemon in general. With this concept, however, we'd get to talk openly about all of the blurry generalizations about checks and counters, which would certainly be beneficial for all of us. I hope we can refer to that page when discussing this CAP's counters, absolutely. I am simply stating that I am skeptical if we have truly learned everything there is to know about counters and checks just yet, so why not push for even more understanding?

As you can probably tell, this concept is a bit of a complete package. We get to have some in-depth discussion on which strategies are the best against the Overused tier, and then create a Pokemon that takes full advantage of those weaknesses. Also, we'd get to have some fun with picking a base Pokemon to the ranks of OU, which would teach us about how outclassing works. Along with that, we'd talk about why the base Pokemon we select doesn't currently thrive in OU; what holds it back? We'd even get the chance to discuss what makes a counter and what makes a check when deciding our base Pokemon. Finally, this concept would allow us to explore how to take out threats in Overused. There's a lot for us to learn with this concept; if you vote for this, then I hope that you are hungry for knowledge!
capefeather's concept intrigues me more, but designing a pokemon on taking risks all the time seems, well, risky. It could work, but it might not. Specifically it's movepool. What would it consist of? Inaccurate moves?

However, Birkal's Perfect Nemises seems to almost take a backward approach to pokemon-building. Instead of countering something, we would instead making a mon for the sole purpose of being countered by something else. How would the movepool and ability be tailor-made to be countered by a lesser-used mon? Even then, it might not work. Look at Terrakion.
Got doubts about both of these.
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