CAP 15 CAP 4 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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I'm in favor of No Guard, Weak Armor, Flare Boost, Rattled, Compound Eyes, and custom Zen-Mode.

No Guard: The arguments have been made a thousand times over, but I think that this poke should risk based, NOT luck based. It can abuse status conditions(will-o-wisp, toxic, hypnosis/sleep powder), as well as focus blast and megahorn (among other moves)

Compound Eyes is a safer option, which reduces the luck factor for the player but not the opponent.

Weak Armor: Its a simple concept. You risk getting KOed at the reward of KO-ing first, and unlike justified, does not favor a single side of the spectrum.

Flare/Toxic Boost: I said I did not want to favor one side of the spectrum, but flare boost is more advantageous over toxic boost because the damage done by burn is constant, while toxic is exponential.

Rattled: Ghost/Bug/Dark are all threatening, and semi-punish u-turners, who are forced to switch into a bulky or scarfed pokemon, and the game begins there, considering the fact that CAP4 should not truly have a true counter.

Custom Zen Mode: A dynamic change in stats seems an amazing, yet underwhelming concept for most pokemon that can change in-battle. Meloettas tend to prefer steppe form I have yet to see one that alternates. And zen mode Darm is quite peculiar, as it has better defenses only at half health. I'm pretty sure that it would function better if it was faster below half health, to either heal up and become semi bulky again, or attack with more speed, risking priority abusers (Hi Scizor). That said, "Zen Mode" is at the bottom of my list because it has way too many nuances.
No guard seems to be really controversial but I'd support it.
Compare no guard and hustle (both of which were put forward). Hustle creates luck based risk, which is what we don't want. No guard gets rid of that annoying focus blast miss, which makes it easier to figure out risk/reward.

What it seems like srk was saying (correct me if this is wrong) is that because we don't want this poke to be about luck risk we shouldn't give it an ability that affects that.
However, imo we want to actively get rid of luck based risk, so no guard would be a good choice.

Ppl have also said that it makes it gives the opponent more less luck as well, but that just adds to the risk (for ex: switching in to stone edge) and removes the chance of getting lucky and making the wrong choice but but being rewarded for it.

Weak armor and illusion both sound interesting, they have no users in ou which could be good, we'd learn something, but also bad, we have no idea what to compare them to.
I dont really understand all the support for Weak Armor. All im hearing is " Well it a risky ability, you either outspeed and KO or get KOed yourself thanks to the defense drops". That just seems way too one sided to me. I know there's also other factors to consider, but getting wreaked by stealth rock on the switch and getting hit for a speed boost isn't something I would personally use.


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Weak Armor - and yes, I'm still gonna put Rattled's likes here - is affected by statspreads. Like BMB said, unless we give CAP4 godly defenses, yadda yadda, its unlikely that it'll pull off. And then Rattled is still only affected by 3 types of SE moves.

Now, why am I jumping on this? Because yes, just about everyone and their younger sister is going to use those SE moves in the playtest scenarios, offering us a chance to see how it works out. Please don't tell me CB Tyranitar is gonna forgo Crunch for Stone Edge against CAP4. The main concern that there will be very little opportunities to observe it in action is not solid enough on its own - we have to remind ourselves that playtests will only have CAP4 and the OU party in town.

And then there's No Guard. Eurgh, gorgive me if I soud biasedly against that. It's a given that Hydro Pumps, Hurricanes, and Focus Blasts are there in OU, but are those moves present in CAP4's movepool? Not unless someone intend to commit themselves to poll-jumping. Why can't we see that No Guard is dependent on CAP4's movepool to create rewards, just as Weak Armor is dependent on statsbuilds?
Can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet, even after djd's post and his bronzong example.

Basically, another idea that I'd support is the combo of Flash Fire/Mountaineer. Just like bronzong, except that both are equally viable and provide different benefits in addition to the different immunes (Flash Fire grants the Special Attack boost and is permanent, while Mountaineer gives us a glorious SR immune). Choosing one comes at the cost of the other, and in certain matches you'll be happy about your choice, and during others vice-versa. Additionally, it creates some cool situations against Pokemon like Tyranitar (Fire Blast or Stone Edge or risk a Dark move and having a fighter come in?) and Infernape, and of course pokemon that are reliant on their STAB to deal damage to Riskymon (Heatran probably, Terrakion often). Of course, we could experiment with other immunity ability pairs, but Mountaineer exists and would greatly help CAP 4 and pairs nicely with Flash Fire.

Other than that, I oppose No Guard because I find it the antithesis of risk, Weak Armor I just find nonviable and weak and conditional (we could just give it more speed and less defense in its stat spread??) and Guts/Flare Boost/Toxic Boost (forcing status upon yourself sucks, you lose your item if you want reliability, and most good Guts users never rely on Guts for their primary damage but rather see it as a situational benefit).

Abilities I support are Illusion and Analytic because both are viable (keep in mind that CAP4's typing is solidly average and will need some major boon to make it viable over other Bugs and Psychics), both are widely applicable (will affect almost every single match) and because both are relatively unexplored abilities that we have a lot to learn from.


At the risk of getting in trouble for posting too much in this thread...
I remain utterly unconvinced of the benefit to concept of No Guard, as quite frankly there has not been a single logical, substantive argument made arguing how it actually enhances risk, rather than removes luck.
I'm struggling very much with trying to figure out why so many people are struggling to understand how No Guard increases risk. It seems so straightforward to me. So that we can better help you understand, please, explain to me exactly what part of this step-by-step explanation you have difficulty with:

Risk, according to, is "exposure to the chance of injury or loss" (if you have a different definition, then please let us know what it is). What does No Guard do? It does two relevant things: it causes all moves used against you by your opponent to hit, and it causes all moves used against your opponent by you to hit. Let's look at some of the fantastic and popular moves that are super-effective against our Riskymon: Fire Blast has 85% accuracy, Hurricane has 70% accuracy, and Stone Edge has 80% accuracy. Because it's right in the middle and an easy number, let's examine Stone Edge and its 80% accuracy. The "chance of injury or loss" (from the definition of Risk given above) when an opponent uses Stone Edge against our Riskymon is 80%. In the same scenario but with No Guard, that "chance of injury or loss" increases from 80% to 100% (a 20% or 25% increase depending on how you want to do your math). In other words, No Guard results in a higher "chance of injury or loss" in that scenario and therefore increases risk.

No Guard is actually one of the few abilities being proposed that on its own increases risk. The likes of Analysis, Flare Boost, and Rattled do not do that (having one in any scenario would not on its own actually increase the chance of injury or loss). If we want to get into a debate about whether No Guard increases risk too little or too much, then that's one thing that I think would be worth discussing, but that it increases risk at all is self-evident to me.
Jagged Angel said:
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!
I agree completely. The most common bug/psychic stabs would probably be U-Turn, Bug Buzz, Psychic, and Psyshock, which all have 100% accuracy. The only somewhat viable stab that No Guard would help is Zen Headbutt, which, at 90% ACC, doesn't really need it anyways, not to mention the fact that a majority of psychic type Pokemon are special attackers. If anything, No Guard hinders this Pokemon as it gives Stone Edge, a common attack it's weak to, 100% accuracy. If there are any moves that this ability could help, they would be Hypnosis, and maybe Sleep Powder/Stun Spore/Poison Powder. There are other moves it helps, but I don't think it fits the concept well.
Hey guys, I've got a (hopefully interesting) concept for a custom ability.

Wonder Strike(?): Super effective attacks do more damage--non-effective (and neutral?) hits do less damage.

Now, I'm not a math genius, so I'm not going to give any sort of actual numbers prediction. But I will say this--this idea fits pretty darn well with the ideas of risk bouncing around! For a positive prediction, you get bonus damage and the ability to take out a switch-in check--a misprediction will leave you with barely anything. We'll be removing the luck portion of risk (because honestly, I wanna be able to hit things! I don't want to spend a match with my fingers crossed!) and adding in a massive risk-reward scenario.

I'd rather not say what it would multiply damage by--honestly, I have no idea what would be effective in this situation!--but I do think with some calculations, this kind of ability would be the answer to this CAP's prayers.

Unrelated--I don't like the idea of weak armor. I don't think speed boosts are worth the loss of defense or having to deal with taking hits, but I do recognize that it would fit the theme well. I do like the idea of unburden!


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A_R, at the risk of being a jerk... you advanced my point. The only benefit to No Guard you pointed out is that it REDUCES LUCK. As I said was all had been pointed out before...

This is not equivalent to enhancing risk. We agreed that Hustle was not a viable option on this CAP as accuracy-modifying was NOT considered to have anything to do with riskiness. By that same principle, No Guard's accuracy affecting nature should be rejected.

Provide ONE good way that No Guard actually enhances risk. NOT reduces luck as has now been done countless times.

Why can't we see that No Guard is dependent on CAP4's movepool to create rewards, just as Weak Armor is dependent on statsbuilds?
Basically, people are arguing wildly in favor of No Guard without looking ahead. We will then either give CAP4 only very accurate moves, in which case No Guard will be an awful option since it is purely detrimental by making opponents Stone Edges/Fire Blasts/etc never miss or we will give CAP4 moves such as Hypnosis, Megahorn, (heck lets go whole hog and say Zap Cannon) and CAP4 will be DEFINED by No Guard. I cannot see a middle ground under any circumstance in which No Guard doesn't either define the CAP or absolutely suck.

That some people are rejecting Weak Armor or Unburden or Flare/Toxic Boost offhand because they would potentially define CAP4 yet support No Guard is frankly idiotic.


In my opinion I have no need to defend my position that No Guard fails to enhance risk as I have no position to argue against. There has been zero well-articulated argument in favor of No Guard that is not luck-based, as yours was. (You claim it wasn't yet your ENTIRE argument was based around accuracy - aka luck. That's not a personal attack. Of course your argument was luck-based, because that is all No Guard affects.)

A true fair argument for risk in competitive Pokemon should be much more global and match-based. Now I'm not going to claim that Drifblim is OU-usable. It's NU for a multitude of reasons. However, there are enough benefits to a Calm Minding ChestoResto Unburden set or an AcroGem Unburden set to offset Drifblim's poor defense and poor offensive typing that Unburden Drifblim is usable as high as UU.

Any time you add any given Pokemon in a teambuilding process the goal should always be that that Pokemon fills holes on the team and hopefully can be traded 1-1 (or better) in such a way that enables one of the other five teammates to do better. For example, carry a 3rd Gen HP Bug Dugtrio to trap and KO Celebi so your Medicham has an easier time. In the extreme you have 4Drag2Mag strategies.

Now a Pokemon with No Guard carries very little to no risk in this context. For a clear example, see Lead Machamp in Gen 4. It was essentially used as a 1 for 1 (or 1 for SR) strategy. Now I'm not saying CAP4 will get DynamicPunch, but it will get SOMETHING with low accuracy-high reward, else No Guard just makes no sense at all from a logical standpoint.

So why's Unburden Drifblim risky even in the depth that is NU? Drifblim actually carries the risk of being entirely ineffective. If an opponent carries an Absol or Skuntank, ChestoResto Drifblim is useless before Absol/Skuntank is eliminated as Sucker Punch OHKOes. (Yes, AcroGem Drifblim runs Will-o-Wisp and Substitute for that precise purpose, but this is hardly relevant to my point anymore.) That being said, against an unprepared opponent, or after proper preparation, Drifblim easily has the capability to sweep whole teams.

Risk is a global concept. If a Pokemon has the potential to either be fodder or take out 2+ opponents depending on set and matchup - THAT is risk.


I don't think that anybody is arguing that No Guard doesn't reduce luck or that reducing luck and increasing risk are the same thing. Seriously, nobody thinks those are the same thing. That No Guard reduces luck, as I said in my first post in the thread, is just a nice side effect. And we most certainly did not agree that modifying accuracy has nothing to do with riskiness; what we agreed was that riskiness related to the luck associated with low accuracy was not the type of riskiness that we wanted to explore with this concept.

Are you having trouble distinguishing between the examples demonstrating increased risk and demonstrating reduced luck just because those happen to take place in the same example? Because those things are not mutually exclusive, so saying that the example demonstrates reduced luck does not preclude it from also demonstrating increased risk. I might as well ask, how doesn't No Guard increase risk? Like, don't reference luck at all in your explanation, just as I didn't in mine. I mean, you clearly recognize that No Guard is of detriment, because you just said so yourself. Is it that you think being of detriment alone does not increase risk? And if so, can you explain what you perceive the difference to be in this context?


I don't understand what you set out to accomplish with your addition. Pretty much everything you said after saying you didn't think you needed to justify how No Guard isn't risky sounds like irrelevant rambling to me. I'm not saying that to try to be insulting. I just sincerely have no idea what you're trying to get at or why it matters here. Would it be possible at all for you to go back and point out exactly where in my explanation you got lost? Or answer some of the questions that I asked here in this post? The answer to them is important because I'm actually trying to understand what you're misunderstanding.

I want to zero-in on this, though, if I can:
"You claim it wasn't yet your ENTIRE argument was based around accuracy - aka luck... Of course your argument was luck-based, because that is all No Guard affects."
Accuracy and luck and risk are not mutually exclusive concepts, so I don't see how having an argument that is partially based on accuracy or luck automatically precludes it from also being based on risk. Yes, No Guard does affect luck. I don't think there's anybody that says that it doesn't. But that's not the only thing that it does, it's definitely not the only thing that's relevant to this concept, and it certainly wasn't the focus of the explanation. It is exactly as a result of reducing the impact of luck that No Guard increases risk, just as Hustle increases risk (just not the kind of risk that we want increased for this concept) by expanding the impact of luck. As far as I can tell, you are arguing against No Guard by drawing false distinctions.
If you want a condensed versions of my explanation, then maybe "It increases risk because it means you take more DPR" might make more sense?
This is not equivalent to enhancing risk. We agreed that Hustle was not a viable option on this CAP as accuracy-modifying was NOT considered to have anything to do with riskiness. By that same principle, No Guard's accuracy affecting nature should be rejected.
I don't think that is why we tossed out Hustle as an option. The reason really is that Hustle created more probability based risk. No Guard is probably liked so well by people because it flat out removes a large chunk of probability and luck based risk. If you make the right prediction with a low accuracy move with (or against) a No Guard CAP 4, you don't face the chance of a miss.

I like No Guard because it insures that "paper never beats scissors". The player who makes the best prediction about their opponent's actions always wins.

Provide ONE good way that No Guard actually enhances risk. NOT reduces luck as has now been done countless times
I thought that most of the examples given demonstrated both at the same time. It can clearly be a detriment when used against CAP 4, but also gives it access to better coverage moves that normally wouldn't be reliable enough to use over other similar options, (i.e. Thunder & Thunderbolt, Focus Blast and Aura Sphere). This all depends of course on what coverage moves we give it, but still you get my point.

Speaking of moves...

We will then either give CAP4 only very accurate moves, in which case No Guard will be an awful option since it is purely detrimental by making opponents Stone Edges/Fire Blasts/etc never miss or we will give CAP4 moves such as Hypnosis, Megahorn, (heck lets go whole hog and say Zap Cannon) and CAP4 will be DEFINED by No Guard. I cannot see a middle ground under any circumstance in which No Guard doesn't either define the CAP or absolutely suck.
It is pretty safe to assume that if No Guard is an ability, that it will get some inaccurate moves when we get to that stage. The only concern that I have is that we may go overboard and give it too many good options, (Zap Cannon and Hypnosis especially), and we may have to over compensate in the stat building stage, but I trust BMB and the mods to prevent much of that sort of madness. No Guard probably would be greatly abused to great effect, but I think that the typing and stats will be what will ultimately define it.
As far as Weak Armor goes, it's worth noting that, assuming no Weak Armor, a lot of physical bulk is required to have a good chance against opposing priority users. A hypothetical 0/0 Skarmory without the Steel typing does not survive Choice Band Scizor's Bullet Punch after Stealth Rock and two turns of Life Orb recoil and sandstorm damage. Salamence, an actual example, experiences a similar situation if Scizor comes in to revenge kill (i.e. not Intimidated). Cloyster without a Shell Smash takes 40.24% - 47.71% so it might survive. So yeah, a LOT of physical bulk. I'm trying to decide what this means for the Weak Armor suggestion, but it is pretty interesting that CAP 4 would probably have issues with at least Choice Band Scizor and Choice Band Dragonite without a Defense drop.

Now, as for No Guard, maybe it's best to communicate it from a different angle. What I said before could be interpreted as a criticism of the luck factors in Pokémon in general, so I suppose that that could warrant a better explanation. See, we all know that luck is part of the game. A lot of things are part of the game, but the whole point of CAP is to alter the game to learn about some aspect of it. In this case, I claim that miss-based luck factors get in the way of the current concept. They're not irrelevant to choice-based risk; on the contrary, they are more relevant than they could be for perhaps any other concept we could come up with.

Think about it as an experiment. Consider Salamence switching into Therian Landorus (say it has to for some reason), which has a counter to the possible switch-in with Stone Edge. Stone Edge has a miss rate, so we now have two layers of risk in the same turn. Therian Landorus has to use Stone Edge to catch Salamence (and remember, there may be other factors affecting the decision), AND the move has to hit. Hence, even if our focus is on learning about the former form of risk, the latter form has a significant impact, altering the "result" of the "trial". In essence, with No Guard, we are controlling one variable to focus the results of the other. You can say whatever you want about whether luck and risk are the same or whatever, but it's not really relevant when we definitely can identify two (or more!) distinguishable forms of risk in situations like what I described.

My hope with this concept has been to look at the long-term impact of "risk" on an entire match. A decision that's generically considered a "risk" may or may not be taken depending on the overall match situation. A losing player might make unpredictable desperado moves. If a specific opposing Pokémon is a pain to your team, you might take "risks" to try to get rid of it. Every decision has a context behind it. Sometimes a match degenerates into a last turn guessing game. Okay. I'm not sure how that's supposed to be detrimental to the overall idea of risk throughout a match, though.
I'm curious of the thoughts of others on creating a custom ability that does something like Weak Armor, Rattled, etc with a larger boost. the generally arguement is "they aren't strong enough" and I'm curious what the populus thinks it needs to be strong enough

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Srk1214 is right that No Guard is too defining. Arguably what No Guard does is completely eliminate risk for the opponent, because switching CAP4 in means that unless the opponent is using a self-targeting attack, CAP4 will be hit. This isn't too bad for Machamp because Fighting is an excellent offensive and decent defensive typing, but Bug/Psychic isn't like that. At all.

If we really want to measure risk, we should not choose the one ability that makes it a non-factor for whichever side is switching in. There is no way to test "bring Scarf CAP4 in on a Band Terrak hoping for CC or a Stone Edge Miss" Because that Stone Edge Miss will never happen.

No Guard should thus be dissallowed because its entire *point* is to suspend the psychological aspect of risk. It will also affect the movepool in profound ways, and not ways I particularly like, much as I am a fan of Zap Cannon.

I feel the priority abuser argument against Weak Armor is overstated. First, not every attack activates it, just physical ones, and there is absolutely nothing stopping us from giving CAP4 say Cotton Guard or Reflect if we're really that concerned about getting revenged. Either way, there's no denying that the fact CAP4 Doesn't resist Bullet Punch means that Scizor is going to tear a hole in it anyway. Mach Punchers on the other hand can't even gain traction after two hits, and Sucker Punch and what few Shadow Sneak users there are could be circumvented with our own priority. There's nothing, for example, stopping us from giving CAP4 Special Fire Extremespeed in a hypothetical example if we feared Scizor-doom so much.

I also think Flare Boost doesn't necessarily lend itself to Glass Cannon status, because of one move: Psycho Shift. Psycho Shift basically tells physical attackers to push off, and in fact if we combined something like Weak Armor with Flare Boost, suddenly we would have two very different sets that work in vastly different ways. Scizor switches in on what it thinks is a Weak Armor CAP4 only to see it burned, and have to shove off before Psycho Shift cripples it, just as a hypothetical example. If TTar comes in, well, we have Flare Boost, so its SS Boost is negated by our FB boost, so our Bug attacks deal what would be considered Sandstormles damage (or we could Burn TTar too, it hates that just as much). Such a set would also need a recovery option, but since Roost is a tutor now and there's a bajillion examples of winged bug Pokemon, with Roost, I'm gonna say neither flavorwise nor competitively either task would be difficult.

In general I like Weak Armor and Flare Boost alone, but especially as a combination package.
I strongly agree with what srk is saying about No Guard. If we wanted to remove luck (as in accuracy) as a factor from CAP4, we could limit its movepool to 100% accurate moves instead, at a later stage. See, AR, this is why I thought that the concept suggested that inaccurate moves were off limits for us, because in the spirit of it, there's really nothing risky about knowing you are doomed by that 120 STABed SE move. As Deck Knight put it, that Stone Edge Miss will never happen.

As far as the psychological/mindgames factor of risk goes, no player should send in CAP4 counting on the SE move to miss anyway, unless last one standing the miss is the last chance we have of not losing the match then and there.

Then there's this line by MCBarrett I'd like to expand upon.
And lastly to go along with what srk said, there hasnt been an argument to show what no guard would add to the concept. I think this is mostly because it cant add anything, it only eliminates moves missing. But no guard really doesnt enhance the project at all like people would think. You would really need no guard on everything on the field to see how having moves hit every time would truly affect the outcome of matches.
Even if there was such a global ability (or field condition - Gravity comes close) we wouldn't learn anything new. It's already happening. Why moves like Ember and Water Gun are shunned in favor of Flamethrower and Surf? Because Accuracy (and PP) are the balancing counterpoints to Base Power and every player ever (unless they just like the risk) knows that reliable damage (if sufficient to KO) is better than unreliable (overkill) damage in every situation that counts. All that would happen if moves couldn't miss is that players would jump to spam the newly 'strongest-reliable' moves on everyone that has them, and the relative stat-spreads (bulk especially) would shift to reflect this, and the less bulky mons would fall out of favor for not catching up. It doesn't take a genius to foresee all the logical conclusions of this. (I probably come off as too harsh here... please don't be offended, I just meant to stress this point).

I'm still a proponent of Swarm, Rivalry, Analytic, Synchronize and Compoundeyes, although these all seem like a lost cause to advocate. I would be fine supporting Weak Armor over other options (actually, doesn't also Steadfast exist? But getting a flinch is even less manageable than taking and surviving a physical hit) and I believe Unburden is still the best of the lot of abilities for its one-off all-or-nothing risk. Its arguments have been reiterated back and forth by now, however.

I was going to mention Magnet Pull myself, eventually, but Meganium Sulfate beat me to it. I think this is quite appropriate actually; it's not that the ability itself is risky, but that it is risky on our CAP4, who gets walled by Steels (bar coverage) and will probably not be able to survive any hit from them (Heatran's Fire STAB, Skarmory's Flying STAB, Jirachi's Fire Punch, Metagross has enough ATK to Steel STAB for heavy neutral damage, Scizor maims it, Ferrothorn could spread hazards/cast Leech Seed or just hit with Gyro Ball, and Forretress does its job and Volt Switches out, to something else that CAP can't stay in on).

So the question comes: why use CAP4 over Magnezone in this case? I believe that if given the right tools for the job, then CAP4 could setup all over these Steels that otherwise wall it, but it would be forced to dedicate its set into becoming a Lure/Steel Killer (including appropriate Hidden Power probably). It would benefit all Pokemon that enjoy the removal of Steels, while simultaneously having the potential to be a setup sweeper in its own right if running whatever is chosen as its other ability. For the player, the risk is CAP4 not doing this job right; for the opponent, whenever they see CAP4, they'd need to pause for a moment to consider 'is that a sweeper or a Steel killer?' and take a risk trying to stop it, accordingly. If they mispredict and switch a Steel into the Lure, they'll end up with a giant hole blown wide open in their team's core, and something else set up to sweep them outright.

As regards Flare Boost, I'm afraid Deck overestimates the usefulness of that strategy. Psycho Shift Sigilyph can afford to run Burn Orb for Psycho Shift because it has Magic Guard, so it doesn't worry about burn damage, hazard damage, or weather damage, and it STILL needs Roost to stay alive throughout the match. The extra offense from Flare Boost won't be an adequate reward if all the damage adds up to bring it down (unless rather than spend a turn Roosting it gets Giga Drain/Dream Eater to both heal itself and deal boosted damage at the same time).
I'm liking Illusion and Zen-Mode, because we know very little about them metagame-wise, we can make them very risky if we want to. Otherwise, I like unburden as a safer, more constant option.
Eyes...watering...if I'd realized this thread was this long, I wouldn't have started reading it at six in the morning in a darkened room.

Weak Armor and Analytic might actually go together...if it has speed that A: makes it go last most of the time, and B: is just high enough to handle the boost. I'm not voting for anything (not even my own suggestion) until the voting board is actually put up, but I think this would work.
No guard has already been somewhat denounced by a bunch of people, and I completely agree with them.

I also don't like Weak Armor. The whole strategy is very risk based, but is a 1 stage speed boost honestly worth the defense drop?

Think about it. CAP 4 is already vulnerable to a bunch of hazards, and then it gets hit by a physical move. Let's use stone edge as an example. CAP 4 is weak to stone edge, and it is very unlikely it will survive said stone edge after SR damage. After that, you get a +1 speed stat, and even this may not be effective, depending on the stats we give CAP 4. All the opponent will do is crush you with a priority move, and CAP 4 has ultimately died, because it has an overall crappy ability that isn't really going to make CAP 4 a success in the metagame.

The one way I see this working if CAP 4 has endure and reversal. If it endures the hit, and then uses reversal (it is assumed to go first due to speed boost (more on that later)), CAP 4 could be something. But this makes CAP 4 centered on only one strategy, and maybe another one which branches off of it, which would be the pinch berry tactic.

Coming with Weak armor is also the complication of speed. What should the speed stat be, in order for it outspeed most of the meta once it gets a boost? It obviously must be slower than most of the meta at first, because if it is faster, the whole point of weak armor is defeated. The metagame is too varied for this.

A summary of everything above, weak armor isn't worth basing a whole strategy and a pokemon around. I keep my vote behind Illusion and Unburden (which shouldn't have been dismissed so quickly, imo).


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Alright, I think this thread has run its course. People are repeating arguments made pages ago and certain people - I don't exactly have the right to specify, as I'm not a moderator - seem to be directing their comments towards antagonising those in opposition to their views, rather than constructively trying to examine their arguments. Well, this is CAP, and that happens. But I feel that there is little point going on if we have descended into the pettiness. This was a good discussion thread, and I am glad that so many people felt confident enough to put their opinions forward. I'm grateful for all of them. Still, consider this a 24 hour warning.

Before I go any further, I should like to impress the following upon those of you continuing to suggest Zen Mode or a similar custom move: You have to specify what exactly it is you are proposing. It's not good enough to just say "Zen Mode" because that implies the mechanic "turns into Darmanitan-Z at 50% HP or lower. And "Custom Zen Mode" is equally unhelpful. So please, be a little bit more specific. You don't have to define every point of your changed forme, but you could at least give us a clue as to whether it is supposed to be stronger, weaker, of equal overall strength but different in some way, or whatever else your inventive minds may happen across. Not that I am likely to slate it without an argument to shake the foundations of heaven and earth, but hey, it's all in good fun.


Here is my slate as it currently stands, in alphabetical order:

No Guard
Weak Armor
Most of these I have already accounted for. Illusion plays in an interesting manner with the typing Bug/Psychic, and is not terribly underpowered for all the drawbacks that the typing lends to the strategy - and as I have said before, I am interested to see how the very significant risk of failure to maintain the Illusion can be maintained on a Pokemon with greater potential than Zoroark. Moxie... I have said before that I want to shy away from abilities that only increase a single attacking stat, but Moxie is the only ability I am prepared to renege upon on this point, as it does require careful forethought and strategy to amount to anything, and gives a very great reward for efforts expended. No Guard is a little bit of everything - easily modifiable risk and reward, a control against factors outside the user's domain, and an interaction between the user and the opponent. As such, it is about as close to perfect as I was hoping for. Simple has a few interesting mechanics that I could see working in our favour, especially in how it relates to not-necessarily-beneficial stat-up moves such as Curse. Lastly, Weak Armour... I really don't know. I'm still not sure about it, even now. But I think that it's an injustice to not give it due consideration, even if the reward is dubious, perhaps.

As for the entries I have discarded... Unburden really only works on sets which are designed to abuse Unburden. They are Risky, yes, but the only set you could hope to use Unburden on successfully is one that revolves around Unburden. So in effect, the second ability does not matter. By the same token, I have excluded Swarm. Lastly, Sheer Force is, to a large extent, similar to No Guard - it is removing aspects controlled by the RNG in return for some form of advantage, but does not involve the opponent in any way. As such, it is, in my view, inferior, and does not merit consideration.

Please feel free to use the rest of the time remaining in this thread to lobby me for your favourite abilities, or whatever other grievance you may have. Of course, if you complain like a child, I would prefer that you keep your opinions to yourself.

EDIT: Oh and before I forget, just because something is not put on the slate for the primary ability does not mean it won't be put on the slate for the secondary ability. Thank you for listening.


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The argument against Unburden is dubious. No Guard sets will abuse No Guard just as Unburden sets would abuse Unburden, Simple sets abuse Simple, Weak Armor sets abuse Weak Armor, etc etc. To suggest otherwise is silly.
I'd still like to push for Reckless as it is actually designed as a risk vs reward ability, far more so than Moxie or Simple. It would likely require a custom move to work, but its not like we haven't done that before. I do like Illusion and Weak Armor from the slate as well with the typing we have.


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I still have my entire support behind Illusion. The only problem that I could ever see with it is using zoroark + CAP 4 on the same team, which may just turn out very, very cheap...I've made my point on this ability already. It's still my favorite.

A custom zen mode, seems to me, risky on the opponent's part. You don't have to "risk" anything at all to get some free boost/reduction at 50% or lower. Say that it lowers speed but raises offenses, which is stupid. That's why darmanitan-z is terrible. If it changed your offensive stats around, then you'd just have to rely on the boost to make the poke good. It would be like having meloetta with crap stats in normal forme but god stats in step forme. It would rely on the ability. But now, say it decreased bulk and raised speed? This is where things get interesting. I view that as risk on the opponent's side...are they going to hit you with a move that may raise your stats? You don't have much control about when you're getting the boost, unless you're switching in and deliberately taking SR damage...I just view that as a weak strategy and not how this poke should be played. Also, unless we ramp up the speed to base 200 or something or give it a base 100 power priority move, nobody is going to go for the transformation anyway, because the revenge killing will just destroy it. Nobody in their right mind is going to decrease something's HP to get a speed boost when you know they have a revenge killer. That's not risky, it's just stupid. And if you remove their revenge killer/priority user first, then there's no risk involved. It just seems to be more of an autowin/lose situation based more on the opponent's team than your playing.

Enough arguments have been made about no guard and I'm not keen on starting another.

I didn't really like moxie, but now that I think about it, if the poke relied on moxie to sweep, ie lower stats to begin with, then that I could see as risky. A poke with already high stats like salamence doesn't "risk" anything by killing something too early and being "robbed" of a sweep. Not when it could sweep to begin with. But have this poke need that moxie...that's something interesting. A custom moxie would work best, that raised both attacking stats, or the stat of the move that was used to kill the opponent. I think that would allow it to raise both stats on choice without being too cheap and getting a free boost in both offenses.
I really like the slate we have so far. The only problem I see with Illusion is that the only pokemon it can disguise itself as without revealing it's presence via stealth rock damage are also rock weak. So it doesn't really help with the glaring rock weakness. Other than that it is quite neat, would make a good lead.
An ability that's not on the slate I would really like to be is Trace. It kinda fell out of the conversation however I don't think is was ever disliked. I think trace is an excellent choice due to the riskiness of getting a good ability.
I'm going to provide a link to my earlier post,, which I feel is still valid, and solves the "not powerful enough" issue outright.

...and also discuss my opinions on the slated abilities!

Illusion - I dunno. I get the concept of risk behind this idea, but I'm not sure how outwardly effective it'd be. It's just a short mind game--it didn't make Zoroark worthwhile, IMO, so why should it make this CAP? I could totally get behind it with proper backing.
Moxie - Here we go! Moxie is something worthwhile that builds up naturally and reflects the attitude of the CAP in general. It's a risk worth taking!
No Guard - I don't like this concept whatsoever. Even with the allure of instahitting zap cannons and utility moves, I can't see a risky pokemon that relies on utility being something that I'd want to squeeze onto a team.
Simple - A really cool idea! Simple is a neat ability, and not too many things use it terribly well. Imagine pairing it with quiver dance...
Weak Armor - As I stated before, I'm not a fan of weak armor.
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