CAP 16 CAP 5 - Playtest

Maybe it's because I'm still fighting lower-ranked players, but my OU team (which isn't arranged for CAP) is doing pretty well right now simply by virtue of having a Balloon Heatran with Taunt. Everyone is using Sun, and most people seem to be relying on offense to check Heatran, so a lot of these Malaconda teams are really getting manhandled by neglecting to have an actual answer to boosted fire attacks.

Granted, I'm not sure if raising Heatran usage is really in the spirit of "raising UU type usage"--the problem is that even if fire is a lesser-used type, an OU fire type like Heatran will still outclasses things like Charizard and Entei regardless, so all this Malaconda Sun team mania doesn't really improve the usage of any lesser-used pokemon to my knowledge--it just increases the usage of pokemon that are already OU that happen to have those lesser-used types.

The same goes with bugs. Yeah, there are a lot of bugs out there who could do extremely well against Malaconda, but it doesn't matter when Scizor and Volcarona already outclass all of them anyway. And increasing Scizor usage isn't really my image of "diversifying the metagame."


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Has anyone just not used Malaconda at all so far? At this stage of the metagame, everyone is so prepared for Malaconda that it struggles to do anything for my team, so I eschewed it and forewent a spinner for my team. With Malaconda spinning on everyone's team, there have been fewer hazards in general and I haven't felt the need for a Spinner so far, although any team with one SR-weak Pokemon really does appreciate spinning, so I'm not going to say that Malaconda is a liability, just that it isn't for every team.

I definitely like Deck's spread the most for when my team did use Malaconda, and Malaconda is definitely a great Pokemon for Sun teams. However, Sun is my no means the only viable weather and competes with Sand as the best weather in the tier. Speaking of Sand, Landorus-Therian is one of the best Pokemon in the tier right now. Great Stealth Rock setter, wrecks Malaconda with a super-powerful U-Turn, and it has impeccable bulk.

Rain is much weaker in this metagame from what I've seen, as Malaconda really does a good job of neutralizing Rain's heavy hitters in Politoed, Starmie, and Latios. Rain is certainly viable, but it's playing third fiddle to Sun and Sand at the moment.

Another Pokemon I'm loving in this metagame is Kyurem-Black. If you invest a few dozen EVs into Kyurem-Black's HP, you can get your Substitutes bulky enough to Survive a Malaconda's uninvested Crunch. Which reminds me not to mention that Malaconda should always run a few Attack EVs.


Robot from the Future
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I haven't been using Malaconda at all so far, but in all the matches I've played where the opponent has used it it hasn't done anything really for them. I'm not using either of the Lati's, Politoed or Starmie and my team has no trouble with it at all. Having 2 strong physical U Turner's (Landorus T and Scizor) though is likely why I am not having issues.

I have also noticed that Super Power Tyranitar can outpace and massively cripple Malaconda if not out right KO it.
Sitrus Berry Malaconda is quite possibly the best paralysis spreader in the game right now.
It can safely stay against virtually any special attacker without STAB SE moves, paralyze them with Glare and then keep spamming Glare over and over while endlessly walling the special attacker thanks to Sitrus Berry. This is especially true if the opponent is choiced.
This forces the opponent to either run out of PP or switch out and having the next pokemon getting paralyzed 90% of the time.
Glare has 48 PP, so PP stalling is typically not an option for the opponent.

Here's a replay:

As for the Sitrus Berry vs LumRest debate, both have pros and cons.

With LumRest you have to give up a moveslot for Rest and if the weather isn't sunny and Harvest doesn't activate at the right time you might be in trouble. However it makes Malaconda immune to status and you can attempt to stall moves that can't kill it at full health.

With Sitrus Berry you have an extra moveslot you can use to either attack or support the team. I use Aromatherapy which protects Malaconda from status (except Sleep and Freeze) and allows it to support the team. Malaconda can't be healed above 75% HP this way, but since you don't need to use Rest each few turns you never lose momentum unless the opponent keeps spamming status move to force you to run out of Aromatherapy PP.
Any non-SE special attack will rarely do more than 30% to Malaconda so Sitrus Berry is probably better if you play it as a defensive pivot.
Hax/predictions was not with me that game, max speed skarm lost a speed tie to breloom, another 50/50 on hurrimiss, some poor 50/50 guesses on predictions such as the EQ on volcarona (not Stone Edge), encore fail and then protect fail from politoed. Alas it still shows malaconda had little impact from both our teams.

I enjoy the fact that it counters Latios though and beats Jellicent as a spinner, two things that are welcome in this metagame :) shame nobody is using Jellicent OR latios because of that snake though.

Things I have observed:

Landorus-T is currently great in this meta as most sun teams seem to be weak to it and have few if any switch ins.

U turn usage has spiked, especially on pokemon that may not otherwise use it often, such as celebi, I used a rocky helmet heatran for a while it was literally awesome watching things like Landorus-I take 27.5% + SR damage instead of ohkoing heatran :P

Malaconda is actually REALLY good and balanced, not like uberhawk with its 3 excellent abilities and endless move pool, shame its hardwalled by scizor of all things but hey.. its not pursuit weak! I am currently using a simple lum berry rest set I threw on rapid spin for the heck of it but I think I prefer:

-Power Whip

I can certainly see malaconda + dugtrio or magnezone working considering who some of the best malaconda switch ins are.

edit: Also encore+protect politoed actually deals with malaconda.. unlike silly ice beam sets

edit 2: This is a good watch, this guy had a very very interesting team for this meta, highly reccomend you watch entire replay
I've noticed pretty much no Malacondas on sun. Like, I've seen maybe one or two, but they've never made an impression on my standard-play team. Only one of my Pokémon have U-turn, so it's not like I'm really exploiting anything in specific against Malaconda. Additionally, I've seen more sandstorm Malaconda than I have sunlight Malaconda. The matter of fact is, with everyone trying to prepare for fighting sun, nobody is really using it. Malaconda is, for the most part, a very underwhelming CAP.

The only thing I really notice is that Pokémon that usually give my team trouble, such as Ferrothorn and Gliscor, aren't there as often. I also actually have to pay attention to Fire-type moves now that they exist.

For the remote few of you interested, my team is SkarmBliss, Starmie, Dragonite, Metagross, and Infernape. It works surprisingly well in the playtest, even with two Pokes weak to Fire and a Pokémon specifically meant to lose to Malaconda.
I can honestly say Malaconda has been very underwhelming. I tried it out and it is almost as big a momentum loser as Forry. It has 4MSS and a lot of stuff switches into it very comfortably. Right now I'm at 8th on the ladder after 23 games using Windsong's sun stall and the combination of Heatran + Forry + Ninetales shuts down any Malaconda down cold. If anything, Malaconda makes Sun lose to Sand even harder if it's used over Forry or Donphan.

One of the losses was because of a Landorus crit :P
Here's what I think of Malaconda:
If you can get Malaconda to work, it works really well, but Pokémon like Landorus, Heatran, and Terrakion (especially because it's faster than Malaconda, and has Close Combat) make it nearly impossible for it to function to the best of its ability, especially if all three are on the opponent's team.
Here's what I think of Malaconda:
If you can get Malaconda to work, it works really well, but Pokémon like Landorus, Heatran, and Terrakion (especially because it's faster than Malaconda, and has Close Combat) make it nearly impossible for it to function to the best of its ability, especially if all three are on the opponent's team.
I run Sitrus Berry in a rain team and none of them give me problems.
Aside the fact that Glare cripples them so they can't safely switch in, Heatran is walled in the rain, Landorus is 2HKO'd by Foul play and can't OHKO without U-Turn and most Terrakions won't attempt to switch on it fearing a Power Whip.

Keep it away from anything with Substitute or U-Turn and it shouldn't disappoint you. Even if it gets taunted, if you manage to rapid spin it has done its job.
I run Sitrus Berry in a rain team and none of them give me problems.
Aside the fact that Glare cripples them so they can't safely switch in, Heatran is walled in the rain, Landorus is 2HKO'd by Foul play and can't OHKO without U-Turn and most Terrakions won't attempt to switch on it fearing a Power Whip.

Keep it away from anything with Substitute or U-Turn and it shouldn't disappoint you. Even if it gets taunted, if you manage to rapid spin it has done its job.
That's why Heatran is usually on sun teams...
Malaconda is easily OHKO'd by Landorus-T's U-Turn (which is essential for it in this playtest); you just yourself said that you should keep Malaconda away from anything with U-Turn (which, in this case, makes it difficult to switch out anyways).
Terrakion can easily outspeed Malaconda and use Close Combat against it... I doubt very many people would stitch out Terrakion on an obvious Power Whip. Most likely, your opponent would only switch to Terrakion (or any of the above) after you've already KO'd one of their Pokémon, putting you into a tricky situation (which is a reason to have a Ghost-type on your team).
Everyone is running Harvest sets and other stuff along those lines but I think the best way to use Malaconda is as a really good partner for Keldeo or Thundurus-T. It's so sad that the main things that it is trying to check it benefits just because of how well it deals with Latias and Celebi which allows Keldeo to do so much. Malaconda can even help Politoed win the weather war by using U-Turn to gain momentum on Ninetales (potentially into Duggy, I haven't tested that out yet). Malaconda can act as the Tyranitar of a KelTar combo while running a rain team. This lessens Tyranitar's usage as most sand teams can rely on KelTar are pretty much better off using Politoed/Malaconda/Keldeo instead given you are good enough at teambuilding to afford to make 3 slots. It also makes Sun LESS viable if more people catch on to the idea that rain can use it to gain momentum on Ninetales. Of course I'm not taking out the fact that it can also function in sun well with Harvest and all those crazy sets. However, I think that Malaconda's viability in sun is also hampered by stacking a Tran weakness, and stacking grass-types on the team (admit it, Malaconda and Volc don't really synergize well with each other). Of course it does have Rapid Spin with a Dark-typing, which is an absolute godsend to stop hazards and such. This makes Malaconda kinda hard to work around when it comes to synergy and what it will actually achieve. Lastly, Sun teams tend to work well against most sand archetypes nowadays and the fact that Malaconda can potentially give TTar a run for his money means some grim days for sun.

I'll try to wrap this up to make it a lot easier for people to understand my point. Malaconda not only fills a niche in sun teams, but it also fulfills a niche on other teams that do well against sun teams. It also has a possibility of lessening the playstyles that sun does good against, effectively giving sun less good team matchups. In a metagame where team matchup is so important, I don't see Malaconda fulfilling its goal in the long run after the playtest. Is it proper to make an RMT during the playtest so I can prove my point further because I am absolutely willing to do that given I play this meta a bit more.
One thing I've noticed that is slightly disappointing is that the majority of top players are not in fact using Malaconda. Myself included, 5 of the top 6 generally do not use Malaconda at least in the matches I've observed. This may tell us that it is easier to exploit the use of Malaconda by preparing for it than fitting on a team. Just an observation, I'm not concluding anything from this.


lurks in the shadows
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The top players may not be using Malaconda because everyone is so disgustingly overprepared for it. Terrific offensive Pokemon such as Genesect and Landorus struggle to do something against teams that are overprepared for them, so what you expected from Malaconda, a defensive Pokemon which is harder to make its presence felt? In a metagame where everyone is using Sun teams, multiple U-turn users, and Fighting-types, what you expected from Malaconda? This is just a problem of the current system that we test CAPs. And don't forget that Malaconda isn't supposed to be an all around good defensive Pokemon, it is supposed to be a sun supporter that aims to fix specific problems of sun teams, so people that slap it on a team and expect it to be an amazing defensive Pokemon get disappointed. People that are expecting things from Malaconda that it isn't supposed to do will be disappointed, but this doesn't mean that Malaconda didn't succeed in its concept.


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FWIW, I'm currently eighth on the ladder using Malaconda, and I've been as high as fourth with this team. (I don't think that ladder success is all that meaningful here, but just mentioning it since it was brought up.) I think Malaconda's just fine. I'm using a set of Power Whip / U-turn / Rapid Spin / Rest and it does a great job of spinning, keeping up momentum, and preventing rain from pretty much ever staying up for more than a few turns. Since switching to this set I have never questioned that Malaconda deserves a place on my team.

It's not a bad thing that people are topping the ladder without it; this thing wouldn't be top OU as a real Pokémon but we didn't build it to be top OU. Non-sun teams likely shouldn't be using it in general, and if the entire top of the ladder was nothing but sun that would be a sign that we broke something. As it is, what we've done is made sun the favourite in the matchup against rain but not heavily changed how it preforms against other team types. That's all we really wanted or needed to do.
I remember reading an analysis a while ago that said something along the lines of "just slapping this Pokemon on your team is likely to make it worse but if you use it well it is difficult for your opponent to deal with." I can't for the life of me remember what Pokemon it was, but the same is definitely true of Malaconda. I'm not participating in the play test (Showdown and my iPad don't like each other) but I have observed a number of battles in which Malaconda is often ineffective (even OHKOd) however I attribute that mainly to him being played poorly. I think people are still working out how to play Malaconda, but hopefully by the end of the play test we'll see him being much more effective on, and only on, the teams that require his services.


Banned deucer.
after four straight playtests where all the top players were definitely using the mon being tested, i can safely say that mally's usage is a relief, not a problem.
I've found that Raikou works as a good counter to Malaconda, especially in rain. If it doesn't have a Lum Berry and has been paralyzed beforehand, it works even better:
Easily the worst demonstration of argument I've ever seen. Your Raikou didn't counter Malaconda at all, it already had 3 CM Boosts because your opponent was rock stupid with their Blissey. CMKou doesn't have a prayer of countering Malaconda. Paralysis cripples it, Crunch can break subs, and Raikou won't be able to beat it with Aura Sphere without several boosts.
some background on me: i didn't participate in CAP5, haven't seen any arguments or sets or anything for malaconda. when the playtest began, I thought it would be fun to see something new. I took a look at malaconda's stats and abilities and scanned the moveset before I started laddering.

I used the same OU volt-turn offensive inclined team I use on the main OU ladder. I made zero changes to my team in preparation for malaconda. In OU I rank around 1730. on the playtest ladder, i'm currently 8th with 1939.

The playtest ladder is obviously more defensive based, which hasn't really affected me too much except that it takes a little longer to win a battle. My team did contain latios, but malaconda never really threatened it because I don't throw latios out randomly and spam dragon or psychic attacks lol. I use latios mid-late game and by then i've taken out malaconda with volt-turn or weakened it enough for latios or one of my other offensive pokemon to win.

Ironically malaconda directly hampers my 2 defensivemons, rotom-w and tyranitar, but I have scizor and lando-I for u-turning, so this combo really limited malaconda's effect on my team. Scizor being faster means i can play around glare by having my 2 defensivemon absorb glares (they're meant to absorb status anyway) and then hard-switch scizor in with predicting, usually a powerwhip. the threat of a faster u-turn forces malaconda out and I start shifting momentum with my offensivemons.

maybe twice malaconda did what it apparently was designed to do, deal with my latios by baiting a psyshock to pony or terra and choice-trapping me, but then a couple other times i predicted the mala switch and tricked my specs onto it. so I really didn't notice too much hinderance to my latios to be honest.

In my humble opinion as a lurker who ladders for the fun of the game, if one of the goals of CAP is to influence the metagame instead of breaking it by creating OPmons, this one seems like a success.
Malaconda can be safely awarded the best Harvest-Pokemon. It also is a good paralyze spreader (though i was hoping it gets sleep powder too and maybe Prankster? haha).

Malaconda's true objective of being a type equalizer and to counter Rain oriented Water Pokes has been twisted due to the fact that it is also good under the rain. It counters Latios and Latias quite nicely though.

Using it under Sun, it gets the job of being the Rapid Spinner and counter to Water pokes, which it does nicely.

It is also good, balanced and certainly not overpowered.

All in all, Malaconda gave Psychic types problems in OU, but Malaconda alone cannot shift or change the usage of particular types of Pokemon. I suggest we make other Type Equalizer to strengthen this effect.


i'M gIvInG iT aLl I'vE gOt
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I really, really like Malaconda as a Pokémon, and I think it's great fun to play with. Not to mention that the creation process was one of the most balanced and fun of all the CAPs I've seen. However, while Malaconda has manipulated the usage of a few Pokemon, I can't help but feel it didn't have as great an effect as we wanted it to. I've definitely seen an increase in the usage of Fire-types like Volcarona, Heatran, and Ninetales, and STAB Poison attacks are more popular now, but Water-types are still about as common as they were before, with Tentacruel and Jellicent being great partners for Malaconda on Rain and balanced teams. I also haven't really seen a decline in Latios usage as such; people are just more conservative in using it than they were before, using partners such as Keldeo and Landorus to take chunks out of Malaconda before bringing in the big guns.

Deciding to make a Sun support Pokemon ultimately gave Malaconda an indirect influence on typing distribution rather than a direct one, which had potential to misfire. I don't really think that's the case here, but I also think that choosing to directly lower the usage of a typing would have been a more sure-fire way of achieving the concept goals (for example, Storm Drain Electric/Poison to remove Water types or similar)


Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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The cool thing about this project is that we will have 100% verifiable metrics on how Malaconda impacted the metagame. Antar will have stats for Malaconda playtest in his April and (eventually) May stats. These two sets will (very) roughly split the Malaconda playtest in half and will actually show an initial shock to the OU meta of Malaconda and then how the metagame reacted to it.

We won't have to resort to feelings. This is a project that inherently will have stats attached to it. All we have to do is take Malaconda Test stats and find the discrepancies with the standard OU stats. More importantly, aside from individual Pokemon usage stats, we can compare the Metagame analyses.

For example, comparing the general OU stats to the CAP metagame stats, we see that Sun is used 9.15% of the time in OU, but only 4.61% of the time in CAP. That's a humongous difference. All we'll need to do is compare Malaconda Test to OU and we'll have our answers.

We'll be able to see these stats in due time and so we don't really need to speculate. Showdown has us covered.

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