CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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Weak Armor, Moxie, Swarm, and Download are all cool as previously mentioned.

Weak Armor could be great in overcoming hurdles in speed or revengers, but is inherently risky because it requires you to take a hit. You need to switch in on a resisted move... play wisely!

Moxie allows you to become a huge threat if you predict your opponent and get a kill off, a huge reward but at the risk if your opponent can deny KOs they have little to fear.

Swarm also means you have to take hazards or take a hit to activate it, but the power boost is great and has no direct drawback (which I think graduates this CAP beyond the cliche "low accuracy, drawback moves" kind of risk)

Download is risky because you can't always get the boost needed. Genesect shows us how it can be used sort of safely though, so it's definitely the most iffy here. It relies on limitations in stats and movepool to be balanced/risky.

Immunity Abilities like Flash Fire, Dry Skin (which has a downside, but was just used in CAP 3 so... idk), Levitate, etc. seem odd since they're not exactly "risky". They're kind of a tip of the hat to the inherent downsides we've built into a riskymon; we give it more chances to switch in, but at the same time we potentially are increasing the chances for it to switch into an unfortunate move. (Ex: nobody can deny Honchkrow's risky playstyle. It relies on immunities to switch in. However, it you predict an EQ enough, eventually you'll end up eating a Stone Edge.)


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We're going to suck risk because that's what the concept is about? Risk management - a pokemon with illusion would be very, very tricky to use, yet potentially have great rewards for anyone who could play its strengths well. It offers many possible options to play the pokemon while remaining very user-based risky.
I know I'm a tad late to the party, but I figured I'd add my 2 cents:


I'm definitely behind looking into Doug's different take on the idea of 'risky' with this, since 'risky' is kinda a loose term that doesn't have to mean just individual abilities w/ inherent risks. Granted, most people just opt for Levitate on 'Zong anyway, but it best illustrates the idea.

Definitely yes to Weak Armor, Reckless,and Swarm; all of those have some inherent risk involving self damage in exchange for some sort of a reward (although Reckless would depend on whether we give it recoil moves or not), w/o being a Life Orb/Guts clone. Now that I know that Analytic works on switches, it's interesting to consider how that would work, depending on the stats we give it. Defeatist is an interesting idea; Archeops is crazy powerful.....until it decides 'meh, fuck it' & halves its own attacking stats. Then again, it's that ability that has made the ancient chicken mostly unseen, so maybe that's not a good idea. Trace is good, as it can easily backfire; others have already covered that plenty already. If we're allowed to reuse old CAP-made abilities, then I agree that Rebound's worth a look, since you could be conned right into a super-effective attack if you guess wrong.

I'm on the fence about Illusion, and more so on Simple. Simple can be a large double-edged sword......but not that many mons use stat-downers beyond direct damaging moves that have extra effects. After reading more comments, I'm not sure about No Guard now, either, since the typing means Stone Fail & Hurricane smack it around w/ no worry (plus the concept creator made a very valid argument for it).

No to Regenerator; it removes risk, not adds it, by making SR damage moot. I nsee Rattled being TOO risky, barring some serious defensive stats & EVs, and that might not even be enough to keep it from dying just for a +1 boost.

I originally had Hustle on my yes vote, but then I saw that we're trying to avoid luck-related stuff, so yeah.
While I stil think Regenerator is still a great ability that represents the Reward vs Risk apects of the cap (namely being able to abuse STAB U-turn but being week to Pursuit and SR), I like the idea of No Guard due to making CAP4 ess reliant on moves hitting but at the same time wary about Stone Edge/Fire Blast/Hurricane

I really don't think Weak Armor is that great, whie the +1 Speed is great and could open up for a sweep, being at -1 Def means that you're gonna get revenged by Scizor easily, even with 100/100 defenses you ony need to switch into SR and an attack that does more than 5% (you know, the one you need for Week Armor to activate) and you're into KO range for Bulet Punch, which is what was already said was not something we wanted, being revenged so easily is imo too much of a risk, more considering you're SR week, and likely, won't get a second change to set up for a sweep, or do whatever you want

Tinted Lends in another I have mixed feeling about, if only because, while it's an amazing ability, it's so good actually it would alow CAP4 to hit every pokemon in the game for neutral damage with it's STABs alone, letting him use the last two slots for coverage, recovery, some status, etc... while that's really takes us a long way into the having no real counters thing, It also reduces the risk about having the necesary move to hit switch ins and the like

PS: No, Shedinja doesn't count, Shedinja never counts...

Magic Bounce is realy cool, and an interesting one as risk goes, as the pokemon that normally use status/hazzards in OU all (potentialy) have a SE move with which to hit CAP4: Skarm (STAB Brave Bird), Jellicent (STAB Shadow Ball), Chansey (Flamethrower), Gliscor (STAB Acrobatics), Heatran (STAB Fire Attack), etc... so stopping the opponent might not be as easy a it seems. It also helps by making sure you don't get statused, at least not directly, helping you in your sweep. This also opens a few niches, for example as a counter for Breloom, Ferrothorn (depending on your speed), Deo-D, an depending on your SpD to Celebi and Tentacruel
What if we considered a custom ability? I have a concept in mind based on increasing the damage of super effective moves both ways (possibly reducing resisted ones as well), as it emphasizes the need to play well and have the right coverage to deal heavy damage. Just a random 1-in-the-morning idea!
The ability, in my opinion, is best as offensively rather than supporting such as magic bounce. As I pointed out earlier we have to balance out the risk otherwise the pokemon won't be rewarding enough to justify taking the risk.
I suggested Tinted Lens because even though it gets excellent neutral damage, it still would need to telly on coverage to hit for Super Effective damage on certain threats. If this is deemed to overpowered for this concept I guess I would have to second No Guard.
What about the ability justified?

High risk because it's weak to dark, high reward because it increases attack. Imagine being against, for example, tyranitar. Pursuit won't KO you if you don't switch and instead will give you just enough boost to sweep. However staying in would be risky since tyranitar carries stone edge or crunch and would KO you. Just an example.


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Okay well after reading through the thread I think Flare Boost and Unburden would be a great pairing of competitive Abilities for this CAP, and I think both should be slated. Unburden doesn't look like it needs any more detailed support, so I'll keep this post short.

What I like about these two Abilities is that they both lead the CAP toward unique offensive directions while sacrificing crucial information about the CAP's moveset to the opponent. Revealing the CAP's strategy at the wrong time could completely ruin its chances of capitalizing on its strengths, which is something I would like to embrace with this Project. Flare Boost requires a specific Item and an all-Special moveset to be reliable; in other words, every aspect of the Poke's design will be geared toward Special sweeping, which has a cohesiveness I like. It also fits adequately with the Risk/Reward concept imo, as such a 'mon is both harder to set up and easier to wall, while at the same time it offers an enormous benefit if the user can find a free turn to, say, Quiver Dance AND activate the Flame Orb (how many boosts would that be in one turn?). Even a 4-attacks build could benefit enormously from this boost as a late-game cleaner, given a good Speed stat. The "status immunity" is nothing compared to the HP lost while in play, and the Burn timer will make going for a second boost even riskier and possibly more rewarding with the incredible offensive boost this Ability provides. Obviously, defensive bulk and hazards/weather will play a part in just how long a Burned CAP can last in play, but clearing away all other forms of passive damage should reward the user with an easier time sweeping, and this Ability allows just that.

EDIT: In general, I think we should shy away from the Abilities like No Guard, Simple, and the like that are essentially "always in play," or in other words generically useful. We should use the Ability slots to pursue specific avenues toward success and use them to dive deeper into the concept. Picking Sheer Force or Tinted Lens now is pretty much just kicking the can down the road (or at least admitting that we've already conjured up enough risk with the typing, in which case we are either just redoing CAP3 or electively taking a shallow approach to the concept).
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest Zen Mode. Not only would it increase game diversity considering Darmanitan is currently the only poke with it, but this ability is also unused in competitive gameplay because it is so risky. Perhaps too risky! (but this could easily be mitigated by granting CAP4s initial form some slightly bulky stats). This could also allow CAP4 to serve duel purposes on a team as its second form could possess the frail defenses and high speed/attack of a sweeper. This way CAP4 serves as a wall until his hp reaches 50% at which point it can release a hail Mary and hope his opponent isn't faster or has priority.


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Zen Mode seems like a really cool idea, in that we could make CAP completely unique and introduce elements of risk that have never really been evaluated before. We'd have complete control over the ability's effects and niches by designing the second form from scratch, purely so that the synergy between the formes encourages risky plays and manuveurs. It's definitely not a safe option, but it would certainly create a unique process and CAP building experience.
Actually my favourite ability is Rattled.
With a pokemon weak to all the that types we can give him more bulk (to take a hit) and a bit less speed, some number that once our Bug/Psychic get hitted once, Rattled gives to him a +1 Speed that allow him to outspeed the metagame (or very few threats can outspeed or speedtie with him and must be scarfed). I think that's a good idea and a good example of high risk, high reward. (and i like the idea to see one mon that can abuse this ability)

Weak Armor is maybe my second choice and i see this as the uber version of Rattled, so if we going for a speed boost ability, i prefer to choose Rattled since that Bug/Psychic resists 4x one of the most common physical move (Fight).

Unburden is another good ability to use and it's very risk but it gives you an high reward. I've used a lot in NU with AcroBlim (Acrobatics Drifblim) and it's fantastic but you have to be very careful to using it since is a one time use.

Rivalry & Swam i like the first most, but is a bit too situational for me, since the gender is pretty much always choiced at random. Swarm is boring, i hate this kind of ability, but i've to admit that trying to get the Swarm boost is pretty risky and maybe worth a try.

Simple sounds good but i like to suggest that if we're going for this ability, we have to give to our pokemon a ridicolous low defenses and HP since i prefer to give to him a +2 boosting ability like Nasty Plot, Sword Dance or Rock Polish (we can even go for Shift Gear or lolShell Smash but i think that this can be too much) for distinguish him from real life pokemon that uses Simple (Curse Bibarel, Calm Mind Swoobat).

No Guard sounds good even, but we have to choose kindly the moves for him (it can be fun to see a pokemon that can finally abuse Zap Cannon or the other move that 100% burn), but maybe that's less risky but with High reward (i think that depends from us).

Flare Boost and the others status boost abilities are a bit too much for a pokemon weak to all hazards, but if i've to choose one, i probably choose Flare Boost since is the less used, and this pokemon can abuse his pretty much obvius special moves that we'll give to him.
Hustle is an appropiate ability for CAP4 because of it's risk but what bothers me is that the effectivness of CAP4 is dependent on luck.
On the other hand, Trace is less risky but more in the spirit of 'rewarding if played correctly'. The problem with trace is that it is very hard to play with so I propose Rivalry. It is a combination of the 2 above and I think it could be really usefull and risky for CAP4.

Other abilities I like are Illusion and Serene grace. Illusion looked like a really strong ability but zoroark couldn't really pull it off. CAP4 might could because of a strong double-stabbing attack. Serene grace could be intresting too because it is risky and tactical. As special sweeper bugg buz and psychic come to mind. Also alot of other attacks like fire blast and thunder bolt will be much stronger. As physical sweeper zen headbut and steamroller could become a nice combo.
I would like to go out on a limb and throw Harvest into the pool of possible abilities.

First, Harvest's inherent risks should be apparent: in theory, CAP must live through multiple turns to get use out of this ability (potentially risking crits, scalds, and other probability factors) AND must dip below 25% health (50% if using Sitrus) in order to consume berries to be re-harvested. This forces CAP to use moves like Substitute or Protect or gamble taking a hit and being KO'd in the attempt to try to proc a Harvest.

Second, Harvest has the interesting mechanic of always activating under sunny conditions. In OU, where Ninetales provides infinite sun, this ability has great potential. A Bug/Psychic harvesting Pokemon under the sun in itself creates a risky situation with great rewards as CAP is weak to fire, yet could amass itself multiple, guaranteed boosts with Petaya, Liechi, or your preferred berry. This nullifies the inherent probability risks from proccing Harvest, making it more of an elective action on behalf of the player at the risk of gaining a debilitating achilles' heel.

As an aside, Harvest has great potential competitively and is only rarely seen in the depths of NU (and competes with Chlorophyll on its two users: Exeggutor and Tropius, making it all the more obscure). Further, the potential of Harvest can never be fully explored below OU since Drought is banned in those tiers. Thus, we learn more from CAP outside of what "Risky Business" teaches us--we get to explore an obscure ability with great potential.


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Weak Armor, Justified, Rattled - these three abilities, and to a lesser extent the likes of Lightningrod, Sap Sipper and Volt Absorb are abilities that forces a CAP4 player to make calculated risks - either take a hit, or switch out and lose the edge. That's why I'm very inclined towards putting forward those moves. DK's Lightningrod idea removes some risks off from CAP4, allowing the potential rewards to influence a teambuilder when deciding whether to put CAP4 on a team - that, I can understand fully.

Cape's point about No Guard is valid too - removing RNG-based luck helps remove risks from the battle and allow us to observe the impact of the lack of risk with a specimen not named Machamp. But I'd like to ask if we can better explore the concept without those inherent risks within the game mechanics (that are altered by No Guard).

Other abilities that got into my head is Moxie. Just as stated by Birkal, it offers reward where the risks are already present in our multi-weaknesses typing. Unburden, however, isn't that valid as a rewarding risky strategy - the benefits of an item in a drawn out, multiple-switching battle weighs far more than the temporary boosts gained by losing it. Illusion also deserves a mention, creating risks around the team rather than CAP4 itself in a vacuum.

Should the CAP mods approve of DJD's Ability Pair suggestion, then I'll probably going to put up Rattled / Moxie. A Rattled CAP4 forces defensive statsbuild, taking chances against a SE attack that might not come, then attempts to sweep at a compromised situation. A Moxie player, however, waits for the opportunity to get the snowball rolling with the slightest impedance, then starts an avalanche all the way to victory. Both requires risk-assessment in their own situations, coming up with specific tactics to deal with different risks. That's the point I'm seeing that makes the pair an interesting opportunity to allow us to study Risk versus Reward in a wider spectrum.
Would like to nominate wonder guard.
Think about it, A pokemon that has a lot of switch ins with the ability, but is suspectable to S.E moves that can OHKO it.
Can set up (Quiver Dance) and sweep.

Basicly, an improved Shedinja...

Another option is a unique ability like Zen Mode, which in a pinch changes the base stats to an offensive powerhouse (but because you need to be in 33% HP or less - really risky to sweep).
Woo, first post!

I personally think that illusion would be a powerful ability on this mon that also displays the concept. The arguments have already been discussed, but I think finding partners for this would allow for learning about the metagame, and seeing what would happen when a non-zoroark illusion user in in play.

Lightningrod (as suggested earlier) would also work, but only if the secondary or dw ability doesn't display a message when the poke is sent out, and it was ajusted for a type that hits bug/psychic super-effectively (maybe dark). It would be risky for the opponent, who would be thinking, do I pursuit this thing and kill it off, or would that just give it a boost? Risk on the part of the opponent adds risk to your side, because it makes them harder to predict. This would also benefit the other ability(s), making them effectively bluffs, which in turn benefits this ability, allowing our poke to gain extra boosts.


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alright i am here to nominate WEAK ARMOR real terror

but seriously what is more risky than losing your defenses upon being hit
I like Illusion, Weak Armor, and Zen Mode.

Zen Mode is the one that has least supporters so here's its best reason. Unlike the other abilities that make you have to be hit, Zen Mode allows the most customization by the CAP community. It is also unique, so that adds to the cool factor if nothing else.
I'm wondering about Color change. Color change switches types with the move it was hit by. It's risk because the opponent may have a move superefective to the move he used against you. I also think about guts. Guts is good because you have to have a status condition for it to activate. Give it a toxic orb or flame orb. The pokemon decreases it's HP, a risk, while having massive attack, reward.


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Please be aware that if we pick Zen Mode, this project will take twice as long as we will have to make two arts, two stats, and two typings. Plus it will completely fuck over threat dynamics.

Also, in practice, Zen Mode is a really useless ability since you have zero control over when you can use it aside from focus sash.
Like Zarco said, any form of immunity granting abilities, Magic Bounce, Volt Absorb, Lightningrod, Storm Drain, Water Absorb, Sap Sipper etc. or any kind of immunity only works in "high risk" because they are usually played to gain momentum or advantage, not because of immunities themselves create risk. It's strategy that is risky, not the concept; the concept makes the Pokémon far more safe to play with. Blaze, Overgrow, Swarm and Torrent are also probably in the same category. Similiarly weather related abilities are also in this category(except Solar Power, Dry Skin and maybe Forecast)

Gluttony exists to reduce the risk of using pinch berries, and while the strategy is still risky, I think the reason why the ability exists is very much against what we want to accomplish.

Regenerator is only not good when you are the last man standing, if the CAP4 is going to die for Pursuit, it is going to die for Pursuit.

Rattled(and similiarly Justified) sounds interesting, but I am not sure if it will work for CAP4. On the other hand, Weak Armor might have some promise, due to CAP4's 4x resistance to Fighting-type moves.

No Guard is one of the most interesting one, as it ensures CAP4 to be a brilliant sweeper/wallbreaker with possibly neat support abilities(%100 accuracy Will-o-Wisp and Zap Cannon maybe?), however I fear that the only reason risks exist when using this ability is because of how metagame is currently geared towards high risk-high reward tactics, rather than the inherent risk of the ability creates it, as most sweepers would have preffered high-accuracy moves if they didn't need to quickly dispatch opposing team members(well except for Rock-types and Rock-type moves as there is no safe option except Power Gem).

Hustle, while being the prime example of high risk- high reward concept, is not a good idea for CAP4, as mentioned before, the risk it provides is not only out of player's control, but it is also rather eash to patch(Coil, Hone Claws), as such it will either provide too much uncontrollable risk that will be insufficent compared to the reward, or a risk that is easily managed.

Moxie is something I am unsure of, though that might be because the risk is generally created due to the users' weaknesses(be it typing-wise, stat-wise or movepool-wise) than the ability itself.

Analytic's risk, like bmb said, has nothing to do with the ability, but the strategy it has to be provided with. And not mention, the ability needs something that is custom tailored for it to be good enough to be utilized.

Download sounds fantastic in theory, however since we want CAP4 to be good in both ends of offensive spectrum, chances are there won't be much cases of "getting the wrong Download boost", as it will most likely utilise whichever boost it gets, unless there is a case where it needs to use super-effective move or otherwise it will fail to KO and die.

Flare Boost, Toxic Boost, Quick Feet, Marvel Scale and Guts all provide high rewards, and high risks, but risk exists because you put it on a timer, and everything else(possibility of losing the Pokémon due to a misplay for example) stems from that... then again we suggested the Bug typing for Stealth Rocks and other hazards so...

Unburden fits the theme very well, so I support it, even though I don't like it very much on CAP4.

Trace is very much like Imposter Ditto, it is only good as the opponent, or more generally the tier it is in. Since most OU Pokémon has good abilities, Trace is only "useless"(ex: Special oriented Pokémon vs. Iron Fist Infernape), "insufficent"(ex: 70 Based Pokémon vs. 80 base speed Venusaur) or "only has utility purposes like not taking damage from x weather" (ex: Sand Veil Garchomp vs. a Normal-type) at worst.

Compoundeyes, Super Luck, Victory Star and Serene Grace provides risk only because their rewards are small enough to not completely elimate the risk factor, which exists due to luck factor. Sniper does the same thing, just in the complete opposite way(increasing the reward instead of decreasing risk).

Evasion abilities like Sand Veil and Snow Cloak and luck based abilities like Shed Skin, Early Bird, Wonder Skin, Cursed Body, Flame Body, Poison Point, Poison Touch, Stench are all in the same category as Hustle. Either luck factor is too large to be efficent, or too minor to be risky, or since it is based on luck, it is out of the user's hand.

Simple, Defiant and Contrary without self stat decrease moves are 50-50, on one hand, they provide what we need, on the other hand, they either have too much risk for little reward or too much reward for too little risk(only common not luck or status based stat decrease in OU is Intimidate and there are only three users of it, four if you count Staraptor).

Illusion on the other hand is hands down one of the best abilities for this theme, and pretty much everything about why has been said before me... so yeah.

Stall, and Color Change has very limited use, Klutz has a very specific use, and Truant, Defeatist and Slow Start are just terrible, even with Entrainment or Skill Swap.


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I don't think that zen mode is a considerably "risky" ability, because by getting down low enough, you are just starting from scratch right there. It will be completely useless unless you're pretty much at 1HP, and then you only have to fear priority. If the entire goal is to get it to 1 HP and transform, I don't really see how you could overcome a risk like that through clever playing. You might as well call dugtrio a risky pokemon.

For some reason, people seem to think that things like download and trace are risky. No, these are just plain good, they'll give you a bonus 95% of the time. Sure, you might not know what ability you're gonna get, but that doesn't make it risky, it just makes it chancey. There's no downside to those abilities, and that's what risk is all about - playing to something's strengths to mitigate its downside, which it should have.


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So, after watching a lot of the discussion here, I think my favorite ability mentioned so far is Weak Armor. There are few abilities that in my mind better embody both risk and reward to the same extent as it does. As we decided in the threats discussion, we will most likely be carrying some strong mixed offenses to stop anyone from truly countering CAP4. Of course, like any sweeper, CAP4 will likely be susceptible to revenge killing. Weak Armor provides a unique way to partially avoid this, by making you faster with each physical hit you take, allowing you to outspeed normally faster revengers and scarfers who would typically beat you. However, at the same time, the defense drop means priority moves become a significantly greater threat to you. Additionally, depending on what speed stat we decide on, some of the games faster Pokemon may still outspeed after a single boost, making you more vulnerable than normal without having gained anything worthwhile. Overall, I feel that no ability in the game truly embodies what we are looking for as much as Weak Armor.

At the same time though there are a few other abilities that I think could still work well. First among these is Flare Boost. As already mentioned, CAP4 will likely be threatening from both ends of the offensive spectrum. Flare Boost is an interesting way to supplement powerful mixed offenses, as it powers up one of them at the cost of both HP and the other offense. This would be especially interesting with a higher natural physical offense, as it would force the player to decide if the potential to have a more powerful special attacker and a burn absorber is worth forgoing a dangerous physical threat. It would also provide an interesting out for physical based mixed sets, preventing them from becoming completely useless if burned.

Unburden is another ability that I really like here. Doubling your speed can change a slow attacker into a sweeping monster, especially when there is the potential for an offensive boost via pinch berry or the like. This certainly does a good job of providing the reward we need. At the same time, it is incredibly risky as it gives you just a single chance to work. Screw up your chance, and not only is your ability useless, but you are now left without any item. I personally find the defense drop risk of Weak Armor more compelling, but I think this would be a fine way to go about things as well.

Lastly, Rattled and Justified also work with a similar risk factor as some of the above, being forced to take a hit to truly be effective. However, requiring these hits to be super effective means that CAP4 will likely not survive long enough to take advantage. It could be a fun way to punish pursuit users if you decide to stay in on the pursuit, but otherwise I fear it would just be inferior to the other abilities I mentioned.
The abilities so far that I like are Hustle, since it can be a risky ability because you are forced to rely on moves with accuracy like focus miss or stone fail. Durant is a good example of how potent this ability can be if on the right Pokemon.

I also like Unburden because the risk here is a lack of item but it can make Pokemon dangerous due to the speed boost. I dislike the abilities that require taking a hit because this CAP seems like with its myriad of weaknesses would be difficult to switch in anyway. Also, Regenerator is a major safe option an should not even be considered seriously.
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