CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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Right. Just today, life got a little more complicated, so you may be seeing fewer updates from me as I start trying to get myself organised. Rest assured that I'm not likely to disappear all of a sudden. There's still work to be done, after all.

Anyway, as I alluded to in the previous thread, I want to go for abilities first, largely because there is significant potential for one or more powerful abilities, and that stats and abilities clash more than they would for any other project, in my view. I believe that both stats and abilities are important, and as such, it is a good idea to ensure that both of them can coexist adequately. I believe that it is best, therefore, for our purposes, for stat spread submitters to have as much information as possible before they begin, as I recognise that there is a lot of ground to cover on that subject. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Here we will be discussing the merits of competitive abilities on CAP4, as they pertain to the concept below. This is not the place to be discussing flavour abilities - if you wish to discuss these, please visit the Create-A-Pokemon Kitchen thread, where such discussion is allowed.

Below is CAP 4 so far:

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?
Typing: Bug / Psychic


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See the above post for important information regarding this stage of the Process.

So, a lot of you will recall the list of abilities that I put in Concept Assessment – I am not going to re-post it here, because I do not necessarily agree with it any longer – but in any case, if you wish to look at it, it gives us an admirable starting point, and gives us an idea of what we are shooting for. What we are looking for here is an ability which simultaneously provides both a Risk and a Reward for its use – that is not to say, of course, that all abilities that fit this criterion will be entirely suitable, but it gives us a good idea to start with. For example, an ability such as Solar Power provides a boost to offensive ability at the expense of HP, and thus overall durability – hence there is a perpetual Risk to its use alongside the Reward.

On the other hand, such borderline abilities, such as Analytic, are not entirely what I am looking for. I fully appreciate that in order for one to take advantage of the ability itself, one must put oneself in Risky situations (such as taking advantage of a switch, or going up against faster opposition) – but in this case, specifically, the Risk is almost entirely concentrated on the fact that you used a slow Pokemon, rather than anything inherent to Analytic. The Risk would remain even if you had something like Pure Power or Wonder Guard. As such, they are not entirely what I am looking for, at least for the primary ability.

On the other hand, there are other borderline cases, such as Flare Boost and Guts – these are abilities which are Risky when applied to certain strategies, such as Toxic Orb abuse + Façade, but merely serve to decrease the effect of a potential setback in any other case, in the same way that Shed Skin or Solid Rock would, albeit in a very roundabout way. As such, I do not favour these abilities either, though you are perfectly free to argue this point if you feel that they can suit our concept better than I currently believe possible.

Well, anyway. Feel free to start discussing abilities and what not. I'm sure you all have good ideas to propose, but try not to poll-jump and for God's sake don't stir up any petty arguments.


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#10 The Death's Head Hawk Moth

Fascinating Fact said:
Ah, the Death's Head Hawk Moth, so named for the marvellous skull pattern on their thoraces. I'm not fond of moths as a rule, but this one is the general exception. Aside from its questionable aesthetic taste and a bizarre habit of squeaking loudly when annoyed, its most interesting feature is its ability to attack beehives, one of nature's strongest fortresses. As a nocturnal creature, it attacks when bees are less active, and is difficult to sting to death thanks to a thick cuticle and an adaptation that gives it resistance to bee venom; in addition, once inside the hive, it can mimic the bees' scent, allowing it to grab the honey it came for, and leave, virtually without detection.


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I'm not wholly sure which abilities to post right at this moment, but there are a few slightly worrying signs as to what people consider "risk" to be.

An abilty that carries both advantages and disadvantages does not necessarily entail risk. For example, in the case of Solar Power, both the positive and negative effects occur at once. Where's the risk there? The only risk I see in solar power is that you need to have sun up - in other words, if you "play correctly" and win the weather war, you are at an advantage while otherwise you are not. The negative effect does nothing but slightly offset the positive. I mean on IRC, someone (apologies for forgetting who you are) was suggesting No Guard because they believed that making the opponent's moves accurate was a "risk", rather than quite the opposite (risk for your opponent is risk for you). To me, that's not a risk, that's just a disadvantage to you. Making a pokemon worse does not mak it more "risky".

What we're looking for is an ability that is highly useful in certain scenarios that can be engineered, but much less useful in others. There need not be a negative effect, just a large disparity. A negative effect is pretty much irrelevant if it occurs all the time, or when you play right, while a positive effect is more or less irrelevant if it occurs all the time, or when you play badly. We're just looking to accentuate the difference.
There are three abilities I really like for this concept.

Weak Armor, Hustle (or a special equivalent), and Trace

Weak Armor
is a very good example of risk/reward. You lose defense in exchange for boosting your speed, which in some cases could be the difference between a win and a loss. If CAP4 is at a speed where it NEEDS the boost to be effective, Weak Armor may be the best Risk/Reward we have

Hustle/Special Hustle gives a sort of luck based risk/reward (I know that's not exactly what we want, but it's still a risk!). The possibility of missing with any one of your attacks is very scary. I think to make this truly work, we'd need to remove accuracy boosting moves as a possibility on this mon, just because that gets rid of the element of "risk".

Trace may not be the first think to spring to people's minds when "risk" is involved, however this may be one of the riskiest abilities there is. The possibility of getting a stellar ability, or one that may hinder you (or just not help you at all) is quite risky in my opinion. This risk is very situational and may be just what we're looking for however.

Just my opinion on those 3 which I think would fill this concept well!
(Also yay posting and not being inactive :P)


One ability that we discussed briefly on IRC is No Guard, and if my understanding of what we're looking for from our ability is correct, then No Guard is the ability that I think best fits the concept and would be best for our Riskymon. With No Guard comes great reward and well as great risk. The reward comes from the ability to use moves without fear of missing, which is fantastic if we end up giving our Riskymon powerful STAB attacks like Psycho Boost or Mega Horn or even potent status moves like Hypnosis. The risk comes from the fact that opponents' moves need not fear missing either, though, which is especially troublesome considering that common, powerful, lower-accuracy attacks like Fire Blast and Stone Edge are super effective against our Riskymon; if you mis-predict and switch in on one of these moves, for example, you don't have the second chance that maybe they'll miss. As an added bonus, I know that there's been some confusion or disagreement with regards to whether using low-accuracy moves counts as risk management or just luck management, so giving our Riskymon No Guard would remove that factor from the equation completely and allow us to better follow through with the concept and assess it without that confounding factor.

Base Speed

What a load of BS!
I'd like to put Quick Feet forward. It's another one that was discussed on the IRC and seemed to be fairly popular as a way to raise CAP4's speed quickly in exchange for a chance your sweep is cut short. It seems like a nice risk/reward situation to have. One could counter argue that it takes away risk because CAP4 no longer has to worry about status, but I personally disagree, as status is still going to be highly detrimental to CAP4 - it'll still be loosing HP or at risk of full paralysis.
To gain much from Quick Feet, CAP4 would have to be very quick setting up and sweeping otherwise entry hazard damage, weather damage AND the status could all add up and limit it to only a couple of KOs - it requires control of the field to be most effective which matches the original concept well.
A major downside is that to abuse it, you'll need a status orb and thus will have to forgo a Life Orb or Choice item, which may or may not be something CAP4 will need. Nonetheless, I feel Quick Feet matches the concept well.

I certainly won't be crying if No Guard was chosen. But I feel there are too few good, low-accuracy STABs available to CAP4 and fear it might work against it too much.
I'm gonna go ahead and propose Download and Regenerator.

I feel they both suit the concept very well. Download has the inherent risk of switching into the wrong stat boost. It's perhaps not a big risk, but if you combine said ability with somewhat less convincing stat boosting moves, then you're ability to sweep may be more reliant on netting the right Download boost than just getting in and press the almighty Shell Smash or x Dance button.

Regenerator is where I personally feel the magic really happens.
CAP4 takes 25% damage from SR, which, in a CAP4 plagued metagame (playtest) will most likely always be up. Even if we don't think of CAP4, SR is up most of the time. Add in some additional damage like Spikes, Sandstorm, the fact that you take a hit, albeit hopefully resisted when switching in and you're taking a good chunk of health from switching in every time. This makes a choice set much more unlikely, even though Choice sets, with proper stats, can net great results in crucial moments.
By giving CAP4 Regenerator, you give CAP4 access to a range of choiced sets that would otherwise be too risky. Also, Regen CAP4 is still a risk to switch in. After you switch in once, you can bet on it that the next time switching in, you may not be switching in on a resisted hit. The risk of getting will likely increase over time as your opponent learns. The reward then is that once in, you can do some scarf revenge killing or release some banded/specced fury, and still live to switch in another time due to Regenerator.
I'm against No Guard and Guts/Quick Feet/Marvel Scale. They remove risk, period: once you have No Guard you no longer care about moves missing and once you got Guts you no longer care about status hindering your physical sweep.

Look at any Pokemon that were successful in OU that had these abilities. Was Machap risky to use because of No Guard? Quite the opposite - you could click away that Dynamic Punch only fearing a Ghost would jump in, and anything getting hit by it (bar Own Tempo Slowbro, for example) would take confusion on top of damage, giving you the advantage. Similarly Conkeldurr with Guts is not just safe from burns, he reduces risk for the entire team, acting as a reliable status absorber.

I feel that whatever abilities we choose, they should be rather underrepresented in OU, otherwise we may fail to learn as much as we could from our riskmon.

I'd like to throw in my support behind Hustle, but with the condition that it wouldn't be our only offensive option. If it was paired with a secondary offensive ability (say, Rivalry) then the decision during team building whether or not to use Hustle will be up to the player and be meaningful. I also don't think that, if we choose Hustle, accuracy-raising should be disallowed - quite the opposite, in fact, because that will encourage the distinction of CAP4 being vulnerable pre-setup but extra dangerous after set-up.

Unburden and might be worth a look, as opposed to Quick Feet; because you only have one shot with that ability, timing it just right is key.

Also, although I'm not a huge fan of it, I feel that throwing out Moxie might be worth a look. With how many Pokemon in OU are supposed to check CAP4, particularly by outspeeding and hitting it for SE damage, there is a very real risk in choosing to continue the sweep with Moxie on CAP4, unless the remaining pokes have been sufficiently weakened (paralyzed? Or there's Trick Room set up?) to allow CAP4 to sweep unhindered. It'd certainly raise its threat level; but I'm iffy about it because it focuses heavily on rewarding the physical side and will provide its bonus whenever we score a KO, even if we achieved that through very safe means rather than taking a risk and succeeding.

EDIT: About Regenerator. It has one very basic problem - how do you make that safe option not outclass just about every other ability we give CAP4? And if his safest ability is also the best one, would that encourage risky play?

I feel Regenerator is too good. Reliable recovery with every switch - and on a mon that, if we choose to give it U-Turn, will get STAB on it. I don't think that would do the concept justice.
Flare Boost
Toxic Boost

- You all can head to smogon's strategy dex and look up what these abilities do. But why should we choose either of these? Isn't guts better? Yes, Guts is better. It activates under paralysis, burn, or poison/toxic. Flare Boost activates only under burn. Toxic Boost activates only under poison/toxic. But that is why I am suggesting them. They are riskier than Guts.

More so, Psychics have a tendency to favor SPA. Flare Boost, unlike Toxic Boost and Guts, boosts SPA. So, while Flare Boost would be riskier than Guts, in that it is more unlikely to activate, the reward would likely be more beneficial considering the typing.
I think an ability that could work really well is Regenerator, this one works great in tandem with a STAB U-turn, and opens up a better supporting role for CAP4 in that he can do stuff such as setting up screens and switch afterwards, this is a great way to treathen potential switch ins and avoid becoming death fodder after doing your job. Getting Pursuited would also become a bigger deal, and having to do decide either to leave and recover health, but being potentially KOed beore you can do so, or staying in and risking getting KOed anyway without having accomplished your goal.

Altough I don't know if this would be better as a secondary ability since this could be an interesting choice between a more offensive ability and the "safer" option that regenerator, helping you with Stealth Rock and LO recoil, in exchange of the power needed to get around some of your counter seems like it would be a great example of RvR.
I'm thinking we should not remove much "risk" from CAP4 by giving it "safe" or beneficial abilities. Quick Feet, Guts, Marvel Scale, Toxic Boost and Flare Boost may have a negative effect, but their positive effects as well as immunity to status they provide can easily be exploited. In the case of No Guard, the risk it gives CAP4 of being hit by an inaccurate move is very small compared to the reward it gets by abusing inaccurate moves itself. Regenerator is just too good. Right now, I'm supporting Weak Armor, as trading Defense for higher Speed embodies a "risky" ability. Aslo, if the simulatos just ramdomizes gender to make it similar to Wifi play, Rivalry would have been a very nice "risky" ability.
I'm against Regenerator for the same reason that CiteandPrune provided: it's counterintuitive when considering the theme of CAP4 since it reduces risk by a rather large margin. Giving Regenerator to CAP4, a Pokemon that will certainly have U-Turn available, does not seem like the correct decision when considering that CAP4 should be a high-risk high-reward mon.


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My definition of "risky abilities" is different than I have seen others mention. I mean "risky abilities" in terms that choosing to put Ability 1 on your pokemon makes it somewhat "opposed" to choosing Ability 2. So you, as a team builder, make a conscious choice that is somewhat risky. Obviously all pokemon with two viable abilities force you to make a choice, but I'm referring to a fairly specific pairing of abilities.

The closest example I can find off the top of my head is Bronzong. You choose to address Zong's fire weakness or its ground weakness, but you can't get both and there is "risk" in making that choice, depending on how you want Zong to play. Now, in reality we know that Zong is always Levitate, because immunity to Ground is a lot better than reduced damage to Fire. But hopefully you get where I am going, in terms of "opposing abilities" and "risk".

I see Porygon-Z as having kinda the same "risky choice ability pair" with Adaptability and Download. You choose to increase STAB or increase your attacking stat, with a clear tradeoff, but the tradeoff is confined to a specific "theme". In PoryZ's case, it is "attacking boosts". With Bronzong it is "defensive weakness mitigation". The abilities have synergy, and they have a somewhat risky choice. Whereas most other pokemon may have unreliable or high-risk-reward abilities, but that's not the same as trying to give two synergistic abilities that require a risky choice in team building.

If we wanted to try and give this pokemon a "risky pair" of abilities as I mention above, then we probably can't do that with the normal CAP process. Because normal CAP process picks one ability from a slate of choices, then the second ability is picked from another slate. It would be practically impossible to end up with synergy between both abilities, at the level I am talking about. We would have to pick the abilities as a pair, kinda like we pick Typing as a pair now. (For you newer CAP members, we used to pick typing in two separate steps)

Anyway, I'm just throwing out there the concept of ability risk in terms of teambuilding, and not just the ability mechanics by itself. Because you could have two abilities, that by themselves don't have any real risk, but when paired with the right other ability, could present an intriguing risk-reward proposition to the team builder.
I nominate Rattled as a primary ability.

With weaknesses to Ghost and Bug, and a neutrality to Dark, CAP can come in on these attacks, and with specially designed stat builds that allow CAP to survive some of these attacks, but not others (Maybe CB TTar Crunch vs Leftovers, or a Genosect U-Turn before Rocks, but not after), you can attempt to sweep, through the educated risk of guessing the opposition's EV Spread and item.

In another scenario really applicable to today's metagame, imagine switching in on a weak U-Turn (Think Xatu, Zapdos, maybe Celebi) getting the boost, and they switch into their faster poke to punish your switch. Now the player with CAP has to decide if their +1 CAP (or +2 with a Choice Scarf) can outrun the new switch-in (which is a huge deal with Volt-Turn having a lot of Choice Scarf users of their own) creating another high risk, high reward scenario.

I believe Rattled is one of the best choices available for this CAP. Utilizing an ability not commonly explored in today's metagame is an experience I think this project enjoys. In an environment where CAP4 is threatened by a lot, but not hard countered by anything, it will not only take a lot of risky, skill based choices in team building and creating EV spreads that can tank, outspeed, and/or threaten users of Bug/Dark/Ghost attacks, but the chance to receive a stat boost for a skillful prediction, without having the typing to abuse said opportunity throughout the match.
I'm going to voice my opposition towards Regenerator, Download, Moxie, and No Guard.

does not add any sort of risk, in fact, it cancels out the risk of switching in and out by nullifying SR damage. If you've seen Tornadus-T, you know that 'risky' is the last word that will come to mind. 'How can I kill this thing?!' usually comes first.

Download is just plain silly. If you don't get the right stat boost, how is that a risk? In most cases, you will be getting the one you want because you're switching into a pokemon you planned to do something to. You know what boost you're getting almost all the time. I can't speculate on the moveset on this point, but if it has U-Turn and a special move pool or Volt Switch with a physical move pool, it will never get a useless boost.

The fact that you may not get a Moxie boost, or that you may get several and then refuse to switch out even in a horrible situation, isn't a risk. I think this ability is fairly stable, kill something and you can kill more. Minimal risk.

And finally, No Guard is probably the least risky ability currently being discussed. Your opponent is already more likely to hit Stone Edge, Fire Blast, or Hurricane than they are to miss, No Guard just guarantees the move they'd use anyway will hit. On the flip flop, you now have the power to spam moves with extremely low accuracy with no repercussions. It's almost all benefit with the only risk being that you forgot to click OHKO clause and your opponent has Sheer Cold.
I really like the approach DougJustDoug brought up. Whether we end up picking such a pair of abilities (if at all possible) it merits some further looking into.

One ability that I totally skipped previously, that fits so much because we have a Bug type here, is - Swarm. Swarm gives its situational boost only when the player willingly puts their mon in a risky position, at low HP, when just about any attack is deadly. But Swarm also rewards good play - through clever switching, one could use Stealth Rock to their advantage to get into Swarm range and start sweeping. Whether or not this would be effective is another thing, but it's an option and it would boost both physical and special moves at our disposal equally.

Base Speed

What a load of BS!
I'm against No Guard and Guts/Quick Feet/Marvel Scale. They remove risk, period: once you have No Guard you no longer care about moves missing and once you got Guts you no longer care about status hindering your physical sweep.

Look at any Pokemon that were successful in OU that had these abilities. Was Machap risky to use because of No Guard? Quite the opposite - you could click away that Dynamic Punch only fearing a Ghost would jump in, and anything getting hit by it (bar Own Tempo Slowbro, for example) would take confusion on top of damage, giving you the advantage. Similarly Conkeldurr with Guts is not just safe from burns, he reduces risk for the entire team, acting as a reliable status absorber.

I feel that whatever abilities we choose, they should be rather underrepresented in OU, otherwise we may fail to learn as much as we could from our riskmon.
I feel that Conkeldurr is an irrelevant example to our case for 2 reasons:

1. It resists Stealth Rock while CAP4 is weak to it
2. It gets Drain Punch

Put simply, these two combined mean Conkeldurr cares less about status. Unlike CAP4, who'll take 25% from Stealth Rock, Conkeldurr is taking 6%. Conkeldurr can then smack his opponents around with a STAB Drain Punch and restore all the residual damage he's getting from his status abuse. He cares so so so much less about loosing HP than CAP4 will that it's just not fair to say a status-activated ability is non-risky on CAP4 because it's non-risky on Conkeldurr.
Speed boost

Speed boost, if combined with a low base speed offers so many desicions. We could have it outspeed most of the metagame at +2 (Barring High speed scarfers) but at +1 if you pick the wrong coverage it could be sereverly maimed by a hypothetical latios or terrakion. Both of which will still threaten you. Maybe even a scrafty like speed stat, this would mean that even at +2 could be outsped by scarfers and high speed pokemon. This would mean that even with speed boost it could have viability with +spe boosting moves.

If you opt for protect you miss out on a coverage move and could be walled. I'm going to offer a hypothetical situation where you sucsessfully switched into a Deoxsys-D spikes and they have a heatran and a latios in the wings. You have Focus blast (Most powerful fighting coverage specially) along with Megahorn and psychic. Heatran is bulky enough to survive a focus blast (not to mention a miss) and latias can maim you with a draco meteor (SR + LO + Meteor = Sweep over)

A four attacks set with life orb (Maybe even expert belt) is very threatening with correct prediction a fire or ground coverage attack or bug,psy,fire,ground coverage would be incredible painful hitting a lot of the meta for super effective coverage, but without correct it is threatened and killed the first few turns become incredibly risky. Sucker Punch can be a dead stop to a set like one of these, and if combined with pursuit produced all sorts of risky mind games. But even with four moves you will get walled by something. more than likely.

A boosting set could play very well, but would require the removal of scarfers and still with only three moves you could likely power through alot of the meta, but still faces heavy opposition to switch in. A stealth rock weakness means that you can't attempt to set up with impunity and switch out if your opponent makes the right prediction. Without a grass coverage move (Which would likely never be used) and if not life orb then quagsire could be a really solid check. Just to prove it wouldn't be another blaziken heres some calcs. (And don't say quagsire is obscure bad pokemon, the beautiful quagsire is actually very viable in OU)

252 +modest base 130 Special attack STAB bugbuzz vs. 252/252* careful quagsire [153 (39%) -180 (46%)]
...... good point Base Speed. Conkeldurr has other qualities that mitigate the negative effects status and residual damage bring to it.

However, when it comes to a status-focused ability, I feel that Synchronize is much more proper for our concept. It's definitely a situational ability - it doesn't work on Sleep or Freeze statuses, and sometimes it'll fail due to immunity (such as attempting to burn a Fire type back). However, I think it can be fairly effective at bouncing Toxics and Thunder Waves (even from Ground types?), and also Will'o'Wisps from Ghosts/Water types (via Scald) that might try to cripple CAP4, which is already vulnerable to every status out there. Mew and Umbreon are two examples of Pokemon that have what it takes to cripple someone trying to take them out with status - if you're familiar with how they play around with the lower tiers, they're particularly troublesome to stall teams that don't have the strong SE coverage to take them out through direct damage (as both have Taunt and recovery to tear stall apart, though Mew is Mew and has all the other toys to be a menace).

Plus, CAP4 is part Psychic. This may not be the most convincing argument, but it's sure less universally powerful than Guts (and less universally-situational than Trace, although that might not be a bad one for our high-risk high-reward... I prefer other options to it though).
I suggest:
Would allow a physical hone claws set to beat the fact that it’s most powerful physical stabs have a miss chance, with a risk of missing when un-set up and a reward of a swords dance that fixes the missing. Also would allow for potential coverage moves like cross chop, blaze kick, bonemerang to be used that would be usually be limited by accuracy, but once set up not. One problem is it would make almost any other boosting move Over Powered. Another way to make use of simple as an ability is to help increase the inherent risk of moves like Psyco Boost and Overheat.
Sheer Force
Adds quite a bit of power to many moves on either side of the spectrum, the most notable physical ones being the STABs Zen head butt and steamroller and the coverage moves of low sweep/force palm, fire punch, blaze kick, SACRAD FIRE, FLARE BLITZ, and bulldoze. On the special side there are the STABs Bug Buzz and Psychic getting a boost, and the coverage of Focus blast, flamethrower, fire blast, BLUE FLARE, and earth power. By the way the CAPITALIZED words will pobalbe be ruled OP but here’s hoping.
I'd like to throw in my support behind Hustle, but with the condition that it wouldn't be our only offensive option. If it was paired with a secondary offensive ability (say, Rivalry) then the decision during team building whether or not to use Hustle will be up to the player and be meaningful.
I agree with this completely. It might seem to be the obvious choice, but for a good reason. It is by definition a risk ability and it's a very good one at that. Take a Choice Band Durant for instance. Nothing wants to be in its way to take a CB Hustle hit from base 109 Attack, but on the other hand, trusting that a Hustle Stone Edge will miss against your Ninetales could hurt you greatly. Also, a second ability would be pertinent for special attacking sets. Let's go Hustle!
Out of all the abilities discussed so far, the only one I really hate is Regenerator - it really does reduce switch-in risk. I totally understand why Yllnath suggested it - CAP4 is going to have a pretty difficult time fulfilling the 'High Reward' aspect of its concept without a fairly awesome ability. In order to maintain the risk of switching in, this awesome ability should be offensively geared.

Some offensive abilities have already been suggested and here are the reasons I don't think CAP 4 should have one of these:
Download - Promotes CAP4 slapping on a Choice Scarf and acting a lot like Genesect with Bug STAB and 3 coverage moves

Rattled - A simple 1 stage speed boost in return for being hit by a Bug/Dark/Ghost attack? Not remotely powerful enough. Also, CAP4 is already weak to those attacks, and if it is taking entry damage switching in, it needs to avoid supereffective attacks at all costs!

Hustle - Only one pokemon is really at all effective with this and that's Durant. Even with great Attack and Speed, it still is only mid/low UU. The only boosting moves that pair well with Hustle are Coil and Hone Claws, neither of which are that powerful. This just isn't a powerful enough ability for CAP4.

No Guard - Reduces risk, not many low accuracy STAB moves to abuse it with. Now if CAP4 was Fire/Electric, we'd have a winner!

Guts/Flare Boost/Toxic Boost - The negative effect of HP loss on this already SR weak 'mon is not going to be encouraging it as much of a threat.

Some truly great offensive abilities:
Tinted Lens, Serene Grace, Pure Power, Huge Power, Adaptability, Contrary, Mold Breaker, Sheer Force, Technician, Speed Boost, Simple

Any of these could be good, but my favourites are Technician, Sheer Force and Simple

Technician - This would allow 90BP Hidden Powers, giving CAP4 strong special coverage and allowing us to focus on giving it the key Physical moves that it'll need in order to threaten all of OU. It also boosts Bug Bite to 90BP making it the best Bug STAB next to Megahorn (oh, and Attack Order) and Silver Wind to 90BP making a viable if risky alternative to Bug Buzz. Pin Missile also has the possibility to do major damage (max 105BP) but it's still not as good as Megahorn. Bone Rush, Bullet Seed, Icicle Spear and Rock Blast could all be added if we wanted to give CAP4 strong coverage for any of these types. Plus of course, should we give CAP4 any priority moves, these will be as powerful as if they had STAB. All in all, a solid offensive Ability.

Sheer Force - This would also enable us to give CAP4 very strong Special coverage, so could be complemented by another, more Physical Ability or a large Attack stat. Of course it does boost Zen Headbutt to a respectable 104BP. It would boost Bug Buzz and Psychic to 117BP, and coverage moves such as Thunderbolt, Ice Beam and Flamethrower would be significantly boosted also. The lack of Life Orb recoil would be very welcome and would allow CAP4 to keep switching between moves.

Simple - This would require us to give CAP4 the boosting moves to abuse Simple with, and would increase the risk posed by Intimidate users and attacks such as Crunch that would have a 40% chance to lower CAP4's defence. Still, can you imagine our little PsychoBug boosting up to 6x SpA in one turn with Tail Glow? A sort of Special Belly Drum without the HP drop. Don't worry, Bullet Punch Scizor and Scarfers would ensure this wasn't GG.
I'm gonna go ahead and nominate Analytic and Swarm for possible primary abilities.

Analytic is useless unless the user moves last, which is of course a great risk/reward scenario. If you go last, you are risking taking potentially lethal damage in return for a significant power boost, on par with a Life Orb boost. This forces you to consider many scenarios differently to how you would if you were using a generic "risky" fast sweeper, such as Alakazam or Starmie.

Swarm boosts just Bug-type damage, and only when at low HP, but what's great about this ability is that the power boost is 50%, much higher than that of analytic. It also means you are not forced to go last to utilise it effectively. Of course, the risk/reward scenario is simply - is taking unwanted damage worth the risk of a super-effective or critical hit, in return for the potential to skyrocket your bug-type damage? There's also the great factor of Swarm in that many players never even realise when Swarm / Blaze / Torrent / Overgrow are activated at all, allowing you to wreak havok with a powered-up Bug type assault.
An interesting option that hasn't been brought up is Analytic. (NVM ninja'd)It raises the attack power of moves by 30% if you go last, for those who don't know about the ability. This gives us a lot to think about in terms of speed, if we're slow with all of these weaknesses there is a lot of risk in trying to be a powerful, but slow offensive threat.

Other abilities I like that have been mentioned are Rattled and Hustle. Both have a high risk/reward aspect to them. Either gain speed by getting hit with super effective attacks, or have more powerful but less accurate moves. These both work spectacularly with the concept.

Two I feel should definitely not be included here are Regenerator and No Guard. I really don't see how getting 50% health back when switching out makes us less risky, it aids the whole concept and has NO downside. So we're SR weak, it lets us switch in more, which really doesn't add any risk to this concept. No Guard gives us perfect accuracy and while I can see the risk in always being hit, we shouldn't be banking on the idea that being missed is important. If we're battling well we should always assume our opponents moves hit so our strategy fights is against the opponent, not luck.


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I missed out on the irc discussions, but I don't understand the "riskiness" of Regenerator or No Guard. They seem frankly to be the LEAST risky options on the block.

To me the best option for risk seems to be Unburden. It is an ability inherently useless until the item is used. It also is an entirely multifaceted ability as the item used can have such dramatic effects, being activated by everything from Tricking to Pinch Berries to Gems, etc.
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