CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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Is Illusion just some kind of taboo subject? It caries probably the most risk out of any ability in the game. You are essentially not only bluffing an item, difficult to do already, but bluffing an entirely different pokemon. This ability was one of the main reasons I liked this concept.

Unburden is another great idea. Basically, you trade an item for a powerful ability. Sure, you get a free salac boost, but at the cost of no item. How can you play around this? It would be very interesting.
Unburden & Illusion

Unburden lets CAP 4 be a very speedy pokemon, though at the cost of no item. Using this in conjunction with a gem is a thing to think about.

Is Illusion just some kind of taboo subject? It caries probably the most risk out of any ability in the game. You are essentially not only bluffing an item, difficult to do already, but bluffing an entirely different pokemon. This ability was one of the main reasons I liked this concept.

Gato took my words out of my mouth.
I "took a survey" of some of the riskier abilities of the types of insects and psychics and found these.I then added some in because they either represent the type well:

Quick Feet
Weak Armor
Toxic Boost

Of that list, I personally feel that Toxic Boost and Analytic are the two most logical for the typeage and competetively risky and viable. These abilities also both allow for a physical and special set, respectively adding to the pokemon's unpredictability. Toxic Boost requires the owner to be poisoned, effectively lowering its life span and item choices as well, meaning it is not as safe as a Pokemon with leftovers. Analytic requires the user to be slower and either take a hit from the opponent or predict very well on the switch in, leading to risky plays. However, if i were to pick a third ability, it would definitely be Illusion. It is essentially one of the hardest abilities to pull of successfully due to hazards, amount of damage, and item. However, if you manage to fool your opponent, they could lose a key pokemon in the process

Some good combos imo
Illusion/Toxic Boost
Analytic/Toxic Boost
Analytic/Weak Armor or Rattled


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I think weak armor has got to be the way to go for cap4 at this point for a few reasons.
1. It requires skill to be used in the most advantageous way. To activate it must be hit by a physical attack and it must survive so those are both things that must be taken into account.
2. There is added risk in gaining boosts with this ability. This is something that can't be said with speed boost or moxie. cap4 will be more easily revenge killed and more susceptible to priority but raising the speed stat can be extremely rewarding. just look at blaziken.

I also think it would be interesting to see how we could really make cap4 situational through the stats process. Between the specificities of gaining a boost and what the boost provide we could really control what cap4 can come in on to become a threat. For example, the defense stat would have to be high enough to take certain physical attacks and we could control what we would outspeed after 1 boost, 2 boosts and so on. There would also of course be some physical attacks, like stone edge that we likely wouldn't be able to come in on.

Basically what i'm getting at is that we can really maximize risk and reward through this ability since there is more than one aspect to it.
I'd like to support Hustle, provided that a secondary viable ability with some offensive use is selected alongside it. Hustle is risk that grants a huge amount of power, but we've already decided we don't want to go along the luck route. So, I'd like to see there be another option- a "safer risk" as much as this is possible. This would force more risk even in picking abilities. While the other ability may not grant the raw destruction, it would come with the knowledge that every attack with 100% accuracy would work (or every attack, if No Guard). Effectively, it would force people to consider luck as a risk, and how much it is worth taking for a huge payout.

Of course, the rest of the Pokemon would still need to be risky, but I think that having Hustle+Offensive ability would add an entire new level to how much we can learn about the relationship between luck and risk.
I would like to supprt illusion as well. Illusion can be used to great advantage especially with this typing because it gets some good resistances. One problem though, is the obvious stealth rock damage dilemma. If your opponent sees something coming in and it takes stealth rock damage when it shouldnt he will get suspicious. This plays to the risk of guessing your opponents intelligence. or even the risk of him staying in and firing off an attack that wouldnt do very much to the illusion but it does to CAP4. Illusion would be a very good ability for CAP4. Not to mention it goes very well with the psychic typing.


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I've got to say that Moxie is currently my favorite ability on the table. I think since we're aiming for CAP4 to have more checks than counters, this adds a whole new layer to the risk/reward situation. Taking the chance that you can beat their counter (outspeeding/surviving their attack) means that you've now successfully murdered their counter with your increased attack stat. I think this really fits with the concept well if we're hoping for CAP4 to take offensive risks. When using CAP4, you're going to want to risk KOing something in order to get the boost and cause further mayhem. I like it a lot.

Other abilities I like are Illusion and Magic Bounce. The former is really interesting because there honestly aren't that many Pokemon that CAP4 can pose as that are frequent in Overused. It's weak to both forms of hazards. However, it invites the situation that your opponent might not use both forms of hazards, so you can take the risk to use Illusion on CAP4 and hope for no hazards and/or keep them off the field. Magic Bounce is cool for the reasons listed, but I fear that it may become overpowering, a la Krilowatt. I'd need to hear a good case for it, and I think it has potential.


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Magic Bounce doesn't really fit with Risk/reward since getting crippled by status is the second biggest risk in Pokemon, only second to fainting. It simply removes the second most important risk factor in the game on a Pokemon designed to be risky.

Stuff like Toxic/Flare Boost are more fit for status-based stuff because you still have to deal with the fact you've got either building poison or halved attack, and very limited turns in general when abusing the boosts.

Weak Armor is currently my favorite suggestion, taking a speed boost for dying to the next incoming physical attack, basically. With SR damage, it's a very risk ability to carry around with how frail you become. I could imagine stuff like Scarf Breloom popping up just to troll this thing with Bullet seed thanks to the defense drops probably cleanly KOing this thing in 3 (or 4 if it's bulky as hell) hits thanks to the defense drops.
I would like to throw my support behind Weak Armor

Weak Armor can allow CAP 4 to start a sweep without having a speed boosting move (Agility, Quiver Dance, etc.), allowing it to use a forth coverage move or a more powerful boosting move, (Swords Dance, Tail Glow, etc.) However, this leaves it very venerable to priority attacks (other than of course Vacume Wave) I think like it as mush as I do because it can help CAP 4 best abuse his one bright spot defensively, the double resist to Fighting moves.

I also wouldn't be against No Guard. While It can offer a bit more reward than risk, (Depending of course on the moves it will be able to abuse with it) I like how it removes almost all of the probability based risk that is present in the game. It may be completely unnecessary to remove it, but it would be fantastic if we did.

Justified could be a cool secondary ability to make pursuit trappers a bit more wary, but adds no real risk init of itself.

I am borderline about Illusion. I now see that it matches the "hard to pull of, but rewarding if done well" aspect, but for some reason it just feels sorta..... "taboo"? (Gato hit the nail on the head with that) I was against it when I started writing this post, but then when I read Birkal's last post here, and that made it a legitimate proposal in my mind, but it still feels sorta.... "icky". I want to find out what it could reliably pose as before we get too much farther with it.

I don't really like Download as a "risky" ability at all. You can tell most of the time what you are going to switch into, and what stat that is going to boost. The rare occasion that your opponent predicts the switch, and switches into a counter/check for CAP 4, is not enough of a risk from my point of view to justify it.

Additionally, Magic Bounce seems too rewarding, as it bounces of all forms of status, but most notably burn and paralysis. Maybe Rebound would be better, as it would still leave it open to the speed drop from para and the attack drop from burn while still giving it some more chances to switch in.
I am here to explain my stance on why No Guard is absolutely my most preferred ability:

My first point has been touched on a lot in this thread. No Guard removes miss-based luck from both the user and the opponent. Why is this important? As people said, No Guard is especially relevant to this typing because it is weak against inaccurate moves such as Fire Blast, Stone Edge and Hurricane, while being neutral to the potentially rain-boosted Hydro Pump. No Guard was, in fact, one of the first abilities that came to mind as soon as people started talking about being weak against Stealth Rock in the typing stage. On the user's side, No Guard broadens the options that we can put on CAP 4, with moves like Focus Blast (I always feel a bit uneasy whenever we put Aura Sphere on a CAP) and Thunder, as well as status moves. Megahorn and even Zen Headbutt also benefit from No Guard.

But that's largely been covered already. How is all this relevant to risk versus reward? The basic answer is that the choice pairing that both players make resolves in the way that it's "supposed" to; the RNG doesn't get to decide that rock beats paper for this round. Both players have to own up to the consequences of their decisions. This is actually very important because luck impacts the decisions of players and this impact is often not conducive to decision-dependent consequences. Consider the scenario in which someone is trying to stop a Reuniclus sweep by compelling it to keep using Focus Blast (say, by switching in a Steel-type). If Focus Blast hits (and the target is KOed), the opponent failed on what we'll assume for the sake of argument was its best move. If Focus Blast misses, the Reuniclus failed on its best move. So the resolution is either that the target is punished at a rate of 70%, or that the user is punished at a rate of 30%. It's not just about whether a move is more likely than not to hit because punishment for making the best move goes both ways.

The luck factors in Pokémon compel behaviour that is perverse in the sense of maximizing the importance of skill over the importance of luck. Often, the optimal decisions increase the effects of the RNG for the sake of increasing one's chances of winning. We can argue all we want about how much luck there is in a single rock-paper-scissors / poker / prisoner's dilemma scenario. At least said "luck" depends entirely on the players and not on an outside factor like the RNG.


I'm also going to go ahead and name some suggested abilities I like, both of which I didn't like at first but warmed up to after some thought. Weak Armor sounds on its face like a pretty gimmicky ability that maybe "works" once in a battle against someone unsuspecting. Yet, it could actually bring an interesting dynamic, as supporters have said. It's a way to give CAP 4 a good switch-in to physical attacks and great Speed, while simultaneously weakening it against priority moves (all of the relevant ones are physical) and faster physical moves. The player has to decide on how CAP 4's matchups are altered after switching into a physical attack. I also kind of like Analytic, even if CAP 4 doesn't turn out to be all that slow, particularly because it works on opponent switches. A power boost by Analytic could be counterbalanced by lower offensive stats, so that CAP 4 can land 2HKOs and OHKOs on switches, but if the opponent stays in, CAP 4's offense is significantly weaker. All that said, I'm not sure of what people who want a setup sweeping set out of CAP 4 would think about Analytic now that I've brought this up.

The thing I personally don't like about Unburden is exactly that it's kind of a one-shot thing. Yet, I know that this is just my preference, and people are free to disagree. A similar sentiment goes for Illusion, since it breaks as soon as the user is hit. On the subject of status boosters, well, I'm not sure of what I think of them. Guts / Toxic Boost / Flare Boost in particular are pretty much "extreme Life Orb", which I can see being argued either way.

I think that's everything I wanted to cover...
no to Sniper and Anger Point relying on a crit to get some effect is terrible when generally will only happen about 6% of the time.
Well even though I posted the abilities at the wrong time, I'd like to state them again. If we look at the typing, and think about what would be risky, working with our typing, and help this pokemon really dish out damage, there are 4 notable Abilities that standout from my favorite to still great -

Unburden - Speed boost with a held item, helping start a sweep, but only usable once? Sounds like a great, but risky ability.

Tinted Lens - This ability comes first when I think of Bug/Psychic. Plus this will allow great coverage with few moves, allowing for a boosting move, and a possible status move (to neuter counters).

Compound Eyes - Allows increased accuracy of important moves (like Megahorn) that will be vital to this mon's success, and doesn't increase the opponents (like No Guard). Can be really useful for status moves w/o 100% accuracy too.

Illusion - Very risky, fun ability. Allows this pokemon, with the right speed and coverage able to stop ANY counters like we've discussed. This is because the opponent may not expect this mon to be a copy, especially if this pokemon has two abilities with this as one of them (even more fun, and potentially frustrating).
OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here with this one, but I think it will work.

I choose: Lightningrod

No, this isn't sour grapes about Elec/Psy. Let me explain:

In order for our Pokemon to fulfill the concept, it not only has to be risky, it has to generate risk. Lightningrod does this excellently, by making two things happen:

1. Immunity to Thunder Wave to prevent parahax from stopping a sweep (Except from like BSlam Jirachi).

2. Creating a switch-in win condition based on exploiting a popular move in OU, Volt Switch, and turning its utility on its head.

Lightningrod would not only give CAP4 a free switch-in on an otherwise riskless move (bar Ground types that don't like switching into Rotom-W much) but by turning that move on its head and creating an opportunity to pull off a sweep.

Moreover, opponents can circumvent the Volt Switch portion with a regular switch, and given CAP4's Stealth Rock weakness and general vulnerability to common attacks, including U-turn and most priority, it provides a scenario for high risk, high reward.

It's a different take, but I like what Lightningrod brings to the table.

I'm also fond of Trace and Analytic, but I thought I'd throw this idea in here first.
I'm surprised that Trace isn't getting more love; IMO it is the pinnacle of a risky ability, as its usefulness is totally dependent upon teambuilding and prediction. For example, you could try to switch CAP4 into Toxicroak to get Dry Skin, but end up with Poison Touch if your opponent uses it as a lure (or something completely different if your opponent switches). Actually, many weather-related strategies and abilities follow a similar risk/reward paradigm when viewed with regard to Trace (think Swift Swim, Chlorophyll, etc), which would give CAP4 a niche in the weather-dominated metagame: it has the potential to adapt to any of them. Trace would also give CAP4 a reason to switch into Scizor or Genesect (to get Technician or Download) and risk getting KO'd, furthering the idea that every switch has to count.

Other than that, I'm liking Moxie, Hustle, and Weak Armor for this CAP. I'm neutral on Illusion, but don't think that Tinted Lens, No Guard, or Magic Bounce really carry any risk.


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my idea for the pokemon is Analytic, a good ability for a pokemon of this typing, and it serves a risk in it's own, high risk high reward. Though with sacrificing speed you put yourself at a major risk if you don't have enough bulk to back up the lack of speed, especially in the current OU metagame, Having big threats with flying types moves all around. Pokemon such as Tornadous-t and Scizor (depending on the stats) will be able to tear this pokemon apart, without the proper support that is. Since having the proper support and the right move pool could make this pokemon a very notable threat to the OU metagame even though it's going to be hard to use. Thus making it more of a high risk high reward pokemon.


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capefeather, I thank you for explaining clearly to everyone that risk =/= luck. That was never my issue with No Guard, though.

I fail to see how No Guard does absolutely anything that actually promotes riskiness. If we have decided riskiness has nothing to do with accuracy aka luck, then No Guard has no relevance to the concept whatsoever. I am not trying to play devil's advocate. I simply want to know why No Guard actually has so much support.

The ability options seem to fall under 3 categories (I've listed the clearest examples in each):

1) Personal stat boosting risk - Unburden, Flare/Toxic Boost
Generate a benefit to the user itself at the cost of something else.

2) Prediction risk - Illusion
Generate riskiness based around mindgames. We already know how this works with Zoroark quite well. BTW to all the lovers of Illusion... I'm skeptical. This may not be quite as feasible with so little of OU weak to SR.

3) Win-condition Risk PUT ON OPPONENT - Moxie (note: incredibly hypothetical Dragon Dance Moxie a la Scrafty for exaggerated example)
Puts risk on the opponent knowing that they may switch their Tentacruel out (fearing being outsped and OHKOed by a Zen Headbutt) into their Starmie, which resists the Zen Headbutt and would normally outspeed and fire off a rain-boosted Hydro Pump for the kill. However, CAP4 instead may Dragon Dance on the switch and Starmie can no longer stay in as CAP4 outspeeds, OHKOes with Megahorn, and goes to +1 Speed +2 attack which, depending on the team, may be a win condition. Moxie certainly generates risk. I'm not convinced it is the RIGHT TYPE of risk.

To reiterate concept: "This Pokémon is very risky to play, but very rewarding if played correctly."

It says risky to play. NOT risky to play against.

Abilities like Illusion and Moxie place risk on the opponent, while abilities such as Unburden and Toxic/Flare Boost place risk on the user. Of those sorts of options, Unburden seems by far the most nuanced, versatile, and interesting for exploration.
I have to say I am quite convinced by Capefeather's selling of No Guard. There are as many inaccurate moves that will be used against CAP4 as will be used by CAP4 (if not more), so it is a very straightforward "mixed blessing" ability. Another attractive thing about this ability is it doesn't "hog the concept", so to speak. It will obviously have an effect on CAP4's performance, but it isn't going to redefine how it plays. A more conservative, but very appropriate, choice.

Weak Armor and Rattled both appeal to me, as well. Weak Armor forces a setup set to make difficult choices when switching in on a physical attack, as your speed boost might force a switch or allow a sweep where you otherwise couldn't; but it also makes you more susceptible to dying while you try to set up and from revenge killers with priority or who still outspeed. A wallbreaking set, on the other hand, would probably simply love to have this ability since it is likely to be throwing around attacks every turn. Such a thing might violate the idea that the wallbreaking set can't sweep, though. Rattled is a little different in that it doesn't lower your defense, but is likely to make you sacrifice a larger portion of your health and is more limited in the number of moves that will activate it. This is good in situations where you don't want to lose defense, but worse in situations where you want the speed. Basically, it's less risky and less rewarding. Both will discourage U-turners from gang banging you, which is cool. I think the best choice between the two will really come down to what the stats are (which we are deciding after ability afaik). Weak Armor is probably the safer choice of the two, not knowing the stats, since it doesn't make as much of a requirement of our defensive stats; after all, Rattled would be fairly useless without enough bulk to actually take a super effective attack. I honestly wouldn't mind seeing both of these abilities at the same time, and seeing which one is more generally useful.

I want to mention Magic Bounce even though it probably isn't that appropriate anymore. BMB has made a lot of demands about the offensive capacity of this CAP, and throwing this ability on something with the offensive performance he outlined would probably be overpowered. I still really like the idea of it just because of the risks associated with being a great switch-in to support moves and balancing that with being a not-so-great switch in to direct attacks. At any rate, the concept has already veered away from this direction pretty strongly I think; you could argue that Espeon is already the paragon of this idea, since it has the stats of a glass cannon, a support-oriented movepool, and Magic Bounce. This is exactly the kind of thing we would need if we wanted our "reward" to be support oriented, as Magic Guard would add a ton of support utility that movepool alone simply couldn't accomplish. You'd have to limit coverage, though, and that kind of between-stages foresight together with the quirkiness of the role we'd be designing would make it a much harder course for the concept to go and still be successful.

One interesting thing about Illusion and how it relates to risk is that it encourages you to run other SR weak pokemon in order to keep up the illusion. I don't particularly like the idea, but it is interesting how it could spread the riskiness of cap4 into the rest of your team.
You can't look at No Guard through a literal "risky ability" lens. The point is that the risk/reward relationship is far more controllable when such luck elements are removed. Otherwise you aim Megahorn and Starmie comes in (in this example, you are slower), and yet you STILL might be forced out while achieving nothing. Making that decision and randomly not having it pay off for no reason whatsoever is not conducive to rewarding risk.
I'm liking Rattled, Unburden, Quick Feet, Weak Armor, Trace, Justified, No Guard, Analytic, Flare Boost, and Toxic Boost.

Rattled is very risky because CAP4's speed will go up, but at the price of being hit by a move that will hurt. Bug, Dark, and Ghost are all SE damage on him.

Unburden because you can only get a reward at the risk of running no item/losing or using it.

Quick Feet because you are faster, but suffer damage, possible not moving, and even possibly attack stat loss through the statuses.

Weak Armor because you get to go faster, but at the cost of less defense and more damage done to you.

Trace because, in the wise words of Forrest Gump, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know whatcha gonna get."

Justified because Dark gets SE damage on our little guy but you hit harder afterwards.

No Guard becuase CAP4 will never miss with low-accuracy moves (megahorn, Psycho Boost, etc.) but neither will your opponent, and with powerful SE low-accuracy moves going around (Fire Blast, Stone Edge, etc.), it could be very dangerous.

Analytic because you hit much harder, but only if you get hit first, or your opponent sets up, or something to that effect.

Flare Boost because you get an important SpA raise, but are hurt if you put it to use.

Toxic Boost on the same note because you get an attack boost, but again are hurt.

I see the argument for most of these, and I like all that I put up there, but the best ones in my opinion are Rattled/Justified*, Trace, No Guard, and Flare/Toxic Boost*.

*Rattled/Flare Boost if we plan to go normal Psychic special attacker, Justified/Toxic Boost for strange physical attacker. It sucks we have to pick this first...
I don't know if this is allowed but...

Ok, I don't know how odd this is, but I thought of a reverse defeatist, which me and some others thought up to be something like this


When the Poke'mon is under 30% health, it's natural instincts kick in and it recieves a rush of adrenaline, boosting it's Attack and Special Attack by 25%.

I think this would encourage the "risk" part because you need to decide if you can survive the attack to have just the right amount of hp to strike back, and hard. If you get lucky/play your cards right, you could elimante a couple of opponents.

If this is too much or just too out there, then alright, I just thought this might do the trick.


The Royal Guard, CAP policy, as I understand it, is not to introduce custom game mechanics (moves, abilities, etc.) unless it becomes evident that they are necessary for the fulfillment of the concept. If you want to propose a custom ability, then the first thing that you have to do is prove to everybody that the concept cannot be pulled off with any existing ability.

I still think that No Guard is miles ahead of any other possible proposed ability, but since I've already argued for that, I just want to add that my two favorite other ideas are Weak Armor and Analytic.
I brought up Analytic to bmb as my initial example when I was trying to make sure that I understood what he was going for, and he didn't seem very taken with the idea, but I still think that it in combination with other factors (low speed) fit right in with the concept by creating a risk-reward scenario. The major problem is with the poll-jumping required to seriously propose it, and I'm pretty sure that bmb is looking for an ability that creates a more self-contained risk-reward scenario on its own, which is why he doesn't so much like abilities like Flare Boost, Guts, and so on, because on their face they're just made to make the best of a bad situation.
I don't know what it is about Weak Armor that intrigues me because it sounds like a way-too-gimmicky suggestion at first. I really just waiting for somebody to come along and do a really detailed explanation of its merits. I really want to be convinced to like it and that it's a good idea.


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For all those talking about having to use an SR-weak poke to masquerade as when using illusion, have you forgot about rapid spin? It's essential for bringing in things like volcarona, so it's essential to keep your illusion alive. Or, you could just use sr-weak pokes. That would make it even trickier to use, although spikes are not carried around as much as stealth rock so it could often masquerade as dragonite and tornadus-T
But are we going to too much risk Gato? I support trace because I personally love porygon in lc, and know full well the risks attached to it, and yet it's not to risky, besides we're running a pretty risky pokemon as it is.
My second choice would be weak armor because as a bug, it probably won't be too bulky and it wouldn't be too much of a loss if it got hit once for a boost in power and speed
Third choice analytic. this imo fits the full motif of the psychic/bug and is about as risky as you can get, once again low bulk will make it so you can't take too may hits without some sort of auto recover.
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