CAP 17 CAP 6 - Part 1 - Concept Poll 1

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Welcome to CAP 6's first poll! This will be a multiple bold vote, which means you vote for as many entries as you like. This is unweighted so order does not matter. Make sure to bold your votes and nothing else and spell them correctly. A vote looks like this:

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The available options are as follows:

Base Speed

Thanks to everyone who submitted a concept. Best of luck to those who were slated. I can't wait to get started on CAP 6. This poll will be open for 24 hours. Get at it! The selected concept submissions are listed below. Make sure to read them thoroughly to make an educated vote.

Name: Show Me Your Moves!

General Description: A good user of moves with effects not frequently used in the OU metagame.

Justification: There are many moves in Pokémon with great effects, but they often end up unused. Moves such as Gravity, Snatch, and Safeguard have potential in OU, but they are neglected for several reasons: the moves are apparently overshadowed, have poor distribution, or are inefficient compared to another strategy. This CAP uses a combination of typing, ability, and stats to make these underused moves not only feasible, but also capable.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What mechanics of Pokémon determine how viable moves are?--not only the Pokémon's typing, stats, and ability, but also its interaction with playstyles and momentum.
  • What new strategies might emerge by giving a new OU Pokémon underused moves?
  • What challenges do Pokémon that use lesser-used moves face compared to ones that use a more standard moveset?
  • If the Pokémon has options of staple OU moves (high-powered STABs, offensive stat-boosting moves, reliable recovery, Substitute), will those moves be useful to it, even if it's specialized toward a separate and distinct strategy?
  • Can underused moves increase other underused moves' viabilities?
  • Can one user of a strategy unrecognized in a metagame massively influence a pre-existing playstyle?
Explanation:My inspiration for the concept stems from Sigilyph. Take the move Cosmic Power. It is a defense-boosting move, and it is avoided by OU user Jirachi, as even though Jirachi can wall and/or stall with this move, it is susceptible to multiple threats. First, it can be the recipient of a status effect that limits its walling capability. Additionally, opponents can put a Substitute up and boost their stats, while Jirachi is unable to break the Substitute without giving the opponent an advantage in terms of boosts. Using Cosmic Power Jirachi makes it a sitting duck.

However, take a look at Sigilyph. This Pokémon is able to remove the flaws of using Cosmic Power through a combination of other lesser-used moves. Any status conditions it receives can be given to the opponent with Psycho Shift, and as it gains stat boosts with Cosmic Power, Stored Power increases in damage, making Sigilyph not only a sturdy wall, but also an offensive threat to non-Dark-types. It can Roost off any damage it does receive and thus continue boosting. That is just one possibility Game Freak has granted to the Pokémon metagame. Many moves that appear flimsy on their own chain well with other moves, and a Pokémon's typing, ability, and stats will increase their viabilities. Users of lesser-used moves can reveal an unexplored niche in the metagame and restore the viability of a lesser-used playstyle, giving fresh life to OU.

Additional: I had a small compilation of 'interesting' moves that originally was in my Justification, but it became too lengthy. The moves included in it are Reflect Type, Soak, Aqua Ring, Telekinesis, Role Play, Whirlpool (and clones), Entrainment, Imprison, Heal Block, and Power Trick.
Name: Setting the Pace

General Description: This Pokemon plays very differently against Pokemon slower and faster than it, exploring the concept of speed benchmarks.

Justification: Speed is one of the most defining aspects of a metagame. How "fast" or "slow" a metagame is largely defines the style of play and the usefulness of various moves, yet the concept of speed benchmarks remains largely unexplored. Pokemon fundamentally relate to other Pokemon on the basis of "faster" and "slower", and this concept would teach us about that relationship. Speed is a complex subject, since maximizing a Pokemon's speed is not always the best way to maximize that Pokemon's effectiveness, yet there are certain Pokemon that make such a great impact in terms of their maximum speed that they must be accounted for. Many Pokemon need to decide how much speed is enough, and understanding speed benchmarks will help us to understand that decision-making process.
Questions To Be Answered:
  • How do the important speed benchmarks in a metagame get set?
  • How do they react to new Pokemon that directly relate to those benchmarks?
  • Which moves and strategies most greatly impact slower Pokemon?
  • Which moves and strategies most greatly impact faster Pokemon?
  • How does the utility of a tactic change based on the speed of the Pokemon involved?
Explanation: A speed benchmark is the number that separates a slow-slow Pokemon from a merely slow one, a slow Pokemon from a midrange one, etc. For instance, Breloom and Politoed set the benchmark that no Pokemon of middling speed wants to dip below for OU at 263. In DPP, Tyranitar set this number at 245. Many moves such as U-turn, Baton Pass, and Substitute play very differently depending on the relative speed of the Pokemon and its opponent. Scizor is especially representative of this issue, as a slow Pokemon that commonly uses Bullet Punch and U-turn, both of which are moves that greatly impact and are impacted by Scizor's effective speed. Essentially, this Pokemon would tell us about the effect of speed benchmarks by playing very differently against Pokemon faster or slower than it, setting such a benchmark. The actual speed number is unimportant to the concept.
Name: The Big Dipper

General Description: A wallbreaker that focuses on breaking your opponent's core through other means outside of brute force.

Justification: In the current meta, there exists many ways to "break" your opponent's core, through downright brute force through wallbreakers like Mamoswine or Specs Keldeo in the Rain. This mon specializes in dismantling your opponent's core and neutralize it.

Instead of using brute force, this mon breaks your opponent's core by neutralizing parts or all of it before they notice or by forcing your opponent into a situation that they have to sacrifice part of it in order to prevent themselves from losing the game.

We will be exploring if there be other ways to run a "Wallbreaker" outside of outright brute force. Maybe through status? Misleeading your opponent into a false sense of security?

Basically, it's a wallbreaker that does not utilize huge attacking stats with high powered moves to break through your opponent's team core, but rather through other means; by the time your opponent knows their core is broken, they are already dead.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What defines a "core"? Celetran, Toed/Ferro/Jirachi, etc are all considered "cores", but we do not have a standard "definition" for one. Is it just a triplet of Pokemon that work together very well in unison, or a pair that has perfect coverage on the meta?
  • What defines "Wallbreaking"? Most think of this as just using things like Rock Gem SD Terrak to break through Gliscor or using LO Mamo to just punch holes in your opponent's walls in general. However, can we do more past that?
  • How will a specific Pokemon get around rigid defensive cores or switch into strong offensive cores? Good typing and stats? Or perhaps a specific movepool that allows it to do both?
  • Can we do this without turning the mon into "just another" setup sweeper? Or is that one good way of doing this?
  • How will this Pokemon preserve it's "surprise" factor even when people prepare for it?
  • Is there a way to cause your opponent to be "losing" without them knowing it? Like bluffing a Expert Belt Scizor as a CB Scizor through the match and setting up SD to get a clean sweep when the time is right?
Explanation: For most teams, the moment a key mon in a specific core goes down, the rest of the team falls apart very easily because of their pivot or specific wall being gone. Because of this, most people would try to keep their core alive as much as possible; be it through good plays and prediciton or just using as much recovery as they can.

However, if there was a mon that specialized in taking these "cores" apart, people would have to prepare for it. However, preperation and guessing can only get one so far; not everything in a match will go according to what one predicts. Putting hax aside, surprise factors and gimmicks are called so because that is their limit. It will be interesting if there was a mon that could turn it's "gimmicks" into deadly ways to puncture your opponent's team.
Name: Punishment

Description: A pokemon who specialises in causing and capitalising upon skill-based mistakes from the opponent

Justification: Nobody can battle perfectly, and even in high level play, trainers will make errors. However, these mistakes are complex affairs, with a lot of factors influencing what causes them and their consequences. It's an aspect of gameplay that's relatively unexplored and I hope creating a CAP focused around it will give a deeper insight into it.

Questions to be answered:
  • What kinds of mistakes occur commonly in high level play? Why do they occur and what are their consequences?
  • How can a player influence the chances of their opponent making an error and what can they do to maximise their gains when they do? Conversely, what measures do players take to minimise their own chance of errors and limit their consequences when they do occur?
  • How do various types of errors each interact with and involve other battle aspects such as momentum, switching, luck and prediction?
  • How do the various parts of a pokemon's build (typing, ability, etc) help it to induce and abuse errors?
  • What existing pokemon are particularly good at causing and/or benefiting from errors? Which are particularly susceptible to them and which are safer options? Why is this the case?
  • What new ways of forcing errors and using them have been found during the creation process? Can they be applied to any existing pokemon?

Mistakes are a massive aspect of pokemon because they decide who wins the battle and who loses. Everyone makes them too. Surely that makes them intriguing? Focusing a CAP around it could give us a deeper understanding of this vital battle aspect.

The mention of "skill-based" mistakes in my justification was meant to help define the term somewhat, and help focus the idea. This is about mistakes that experienced and intelligent players make. Not misclicks or a newcomer using Scald on your Gastrodon, they're not interesting. And while it is technically a mistake to not consider how probability effects your gameplay, random number generator luck is often totally beyond the player's control and thus isn't a skill based error. It should be avoided in future discussions.
You might ask, then, whether this is just a concept about prediction. Maybe. It certainly seems the most likely . But that's a discussion I want to see and not something I should simply state in my concept.

The idea here is to use typing, ability, stats and movepool to both create "game theory" like situations and to maximise your reward from winning one. Perhaps using abilities like Flash Fire and Storm Drain, that seek to benefit from a poorly timed attack, or Arena Trap or Magnet Pull (take a look at Dugtrio), to exaggerate the consequences of a bad switch. We could opt for some sort of partnership, like making a pokemon that somehow baits the opponent into using water moves with the intention of switching a Storm Drain or Water Absorb user. (Though I confess, this option would be a lot like Voodoom). A don't-let-this-guy-set-up-at-all-costs approach, like Shell Smash Omastar, is a possibility too, as it would punish the opponent for letting it set up. Of course, there's no need to limit ourselves to one approach and any valid approach could be combined with others.
Name: Swiss Army Knife

General Description: This Pokemon can fill a role for any team archetype, but focuses on its role with the team rather than itself.

Justification: This concept places an emphasis on versatility, affecting both its placement during the Team Building stage and its usage during actual gameplay. With the evolution of team building in Generation V, which focuses on both themes like weather and playstyles like bulky offense and stall, the metagame has found itself in a state where the threats are varied but the Pokemon themselves (and as a result the playstyles) are[/FONT] fairly straightforward. The definition of "versatile" also finds itself to be unclear. Pokemon like Landorus-I and Keldeo can be seen as versatile due to their sheer power and typing, but Pokemon like Celebi and Jirachi can play multiple roles, hence their "versatility".

Questions To Be Answered:
· What is "versatility" by Generation V's standards? Is it who the individual Pokemon is, or what the individual Pokemon can do?
· How important is it for a Pokemon to be versatile?
· How does versatility impact the Team Building stage? What would a team-centric Pokemon do to shape team builds?
· How does versatility impact in-game decisions of both the player and the opponent? How does a player react to different kinds of versatility?
As stated in the Justification section, there are mutliple ways to look at "versatility". Landorus-I is a versatile Pokemon: it can threaten most of the Pokemon in the metagame, which gives it the ability to fit on almost any team. Celebi is a versatile Pokemon: it can run an offensive set, it can run defensive sets, it can support the team, and it can even Baton Pass boosts. The goal of this concept is to look at the way the term "versatility" is seen and how it applies to the team creation stage and how it's used in battle. While the justification may seem like the project will lean towards the Celebi build, the way a player views "help for the team" is purely subjective and open for debate. We could approach this topic from many angles, so long as the focus lies on enabling multiple team builds to succeed.

This does not mean the CAP should be forced to play a support role. There is a difference between "supporting the team" and "using Support to help the team". For example, Gen IV Celebi ran a lure set that was specifically designed to bring out and OHKO Scizor. For the team, that played a huge role in paving success. It was also an offensive way of helping the team out. Another example is Gyarados. Dragon Dance sure is nice, but when a team needs a bulky phazer, RestTalk Gyara is employed to help dish out residual damage. That's the exact kind of versatility we're talking about: something to help out the team it's on achieve its goal.

The best part about this kind of concept is how wide open it is: questions in the metagame that are so broad, yet are specified enough to have concrete examples, give us both the freedom to make choices that cater to our needs while having the structure of direction for the project. Personally, I can't say for sure what the stats, abilities, movepool, or typing of this Pokemon will be, as the concept leaves pretty much all of that up in the air
Name: Blunt Force Trauma

General Description: An offensive threat who gets no effective use of its STAB.

Justification: Looking at the on-site OU analyses, currently 2 pokemon have sets that do not utilize a STAB move with 75 BAP or higher. Those pokemon are Blissey, the infamous pink blob, walling special attackers to the moon and back since gen II, and Scizor, reigning crown of OU posing a strong threat since the release of Platinum. Of those two, we essentially have one pokemon in the entirety of OU who does not utilize a decent STAB move on a regular basis (that being Blissey, not Scizor). We really have no insight, for this generation anyways, as to how a pokemon without the ability to use its STAB competitively would work in the metagame. The main goal here would be to see what it takes in terms of stats, movepool, ability, to make a STABless pokemon effective.
Questions to be Answered:
  • How are coverage moves chosen for a STABless mon?
  • What is the difference between having a good typing and having a good STAB in the OU metagame?
  • How do checking and countering interact with a pokemon who relies entirely on coverage?
  • In terms of power, just how much does that 1.5* boost to moves affect a pokemon?
  • How much is a pokemon put at deficit from the beginning, just by not having decent STAB moves?
  • What steps must be taken to overcome this deficit in terms of movepool, stats and ability to keep this pokemon effective in the OU metagame?
Explanation: The best example of what fulfills this concept well would have to be gen 3 Gengar, the ghost who couldn't use its STAB. This lack of same typed moves, didn't hold it back however, as Gengar stayed well in OU. Something that can do just that in Gen 5 would be a loose goal for this concept.

Now when I say "gets no effective use of its STAB" that is pretty vague. What I mean by this is that the pokemon in question may have STAB, but it just can't use it properly for whatever reason. A Grass-Type pokemon with Vine Whip is hardly going to be using it, despite the same type of the user and the move. Likewise, a pokemon with 20 base Special Attack won't be using Energy Ball to a great extent. Overall this pokemon just cannot use its STAB moves and stay relevant.

A pokemon who completes this concept, in my opinion, will also have a very different effect on teams than conventional attackers. It won't be used for its great attacking type, but rather it'd be an offensive pokemon who is looked for other specific attributes when teambuilding.
Name: Last Man Standing

General Description: A pokemon that performs particularly well in last pokemon endgame strategies, without being an overpowered all-purpose setup sweeper.

Justification: Endgame planning is a big part of competitive battling strategy, and in previous generations, last pokemon strategies were a legitimate factor in competitive play. But the art of the "last pokemon comeback" has waned in the 5th generation. There are many OU pokemon capable of pulling off a sweep with proper team support, but very few OU pokemon (if any) are best suited to sweep when they are the last remaining pokemon on the team. By making a competitive BW pokemon that can excel as a last pokemon, we will explore and analyze a wide variety of endgame scenarios, and learn more about endgame planning and positioning in general.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • What is "the endgame" in competitive pokemon? What does that term really mean?
  • What are the most common endgame scenarios in current BW OU play?
  • What are good endgame strategies?
  • Which existing pokemon are most helpful in successfully executing endgame strategies?
  • What is the difference between a generically good pokemon and a good "last pokemon"?

This concept came about when we were talking in #cap about Curselax in the 3rd generation. Back in the day, Snorlax was a great pokemon that could play a variety of roles on OU teams, but it was notorious for its ability to stage comebacks as the last unfainted pokemon on a team. When talking about BW, we remarked how there really is no "modern day Snorlax" that can reliably perform as a last pokemon. Sure, there are plenty of pokemon that can sweep at the end of a game, and there are plenty of stories about endgame comebacks based on luck or other battle factors -- but there is no well-known "last pokemon" in BW OU play.

Focusing on the last pokemon is a vehicle to allow the CAP community to discuss endgame play in general, which is often mentioned, but has never been analyzed in detail. This will be an opportunity to involve oldtimer battlers from previous gens and mix them with new battlers from the current gen, as we dissect endgame planning, attempt to resurrect a strategy from yesteryear, and make it relevant and balanced in the wild world of current competitive play.
Name: Extremely Hazardous

General Description: A Pokemon designed to control the flow and impact of entry hazards for one or both teams.

Justification: Some players in OU believe entry hazards to be broken, others find them to be completely necessary for a fun, competitive metagame. This Pokemon would allow us to do more research on the effects of hazards on the metagame and how dangerous they are when used correctly.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • Does the possibility alone of hazards on the field severely limit certain Pokemon from being viable in OU?
  • Does removing hazards from the field allow for some playstyles to become more effective than others?
  • Do some Pokemon absolutely require hazards to be on the opponent's field to be effective?
  • How crucial are hazards to the balance of the metagame?
  • Do some Pokemon become less viable if they are unable to place or prevent the placement of hazards?
  • What reasons are there to use some hazard setters as opposed to others? For what reasons would you use hazard removers over other hazard removers?
  • For what reasons would you use Spikes and Toxic Spikes over Stealth Rock?
Explanation: There have been countless arguments started in the OU subforum of the site over whether or not hazards are broken. There was even a thread made to start discussion about said topic, which ended in the OU PRC deciding there will be a hazardless ladder near the start of 6th gen. Many people believe banning hazards would simply just cause a shift in the main types that are used, with Fire, Flying, and Bug Pokemon seeing much more usage. I believe the CAP Community is capable of creating a Pokemon that is influential enough that it can control all aspects of hazards in the metagame, as well as be able to abuse whether or not hazards are present. I would like to point out, this is not simply a Pokemon that removes hazards. This Pokemon is supposed to abuse hazards on both ends, whereas it could also place hazards if it wants, or abuse hazards as to whittle down the opponent to achieve it's own goal (it could use the residual damage to help nab KO's through stall, or need one layer of Spikes to OHKO Tyranitar with a move, for example).
Name: Inspiration through Translation

General Description: This Pokemon performs a role in the current Overused metagame identical to that of another Pokemon’s role within another metagame.

Justification: The state of the Overused metagame is about as solidified as it is going to get for the fifth generation of Pokemon. However, many of its players are still unhappy with how the metagame plays, and opt out to play other tiers and metagames (both past generations and other current tiers). In choosing the metagame that is widely celebrated, and pinpointing a Pokemon’s role that brings success to that metagame, is it possible to convert our current Overused metagame to become more enjoyable?

Questions to Answer:
· What makes a desirable metagame? What doesn't?
· Which metagames exhibit desirable characteristics? What makes them that way?
· Which Pokemon lend themselves most towards making that metagame desirable?
· What roles of those Pokemon are absent in our current metagame? Why are they absent?
· How can we revive or rebuild that role within the current Overused metagame?

Explanation: If you’re familiar with Voodoom’s concept (CAP 11), this follows the same rhythm in that it attempts to build a Pokemon with the assistance of a currently existing Pokemon. Where they differ is that Voodoom worked at forming a core, while this concept aims to replicate a Pokemon’s role from another metagame into our current Overused metagame. The goal here is to teach us about the “enjoyability” of a metagame, which is something we haven’t delved into in the past. What makes a metagame fun? What are the reasons for that?

I’m purposefully leaving this concept vague in order to give us maximum flexibility. This concept is open to literally any metagame. We could dive all the way back to second generation and look into forces like Curselax and Zapdos. We also have the flexibility to work with a current metagame that differs from Overused, such as Underused, Neverused, or even something obscure like Balanced Hackmons. The role that the Pokemon performs can be as centralizing as Kyogre in current Ubers, or as obscure as Scraggy being a late-game setup sweeper in Little Cup. Our goal would be to discuss which metagames are fun, and more importantly, why they are so enjoyable. Once we pinpoint that down, we can work towards creating a Pokemon that would shift Overused in that direction.

As a result of the vagueness, we may need to have some extra polls and discussions here, similar to how we voted on which Pokemon to pair Voodoom up with during CAP 11. Those extra topics and discussions give us a bit of a break from the typical CAP process, which also leads into some curious conversations. Our conversations will also be subjectively based around obscure concepts like fun and enjoyment, which should allow us to learn more about what kind of a metagame we’re all striving to play. This concept will lead to conversations that we've never had before as a Create-A-Pokemon Project, and that’s worth exploring.
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