CAP 17 CAP 6 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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let's run defeatist

With this thing, I think it's going to be similar to most Baton Passers, like Ninjask (while not actually Baton Passing, of course) - you're going to get one chance to kill. To have a Pokemon come in (or stay in), Belly Drum, eat a Sitrus Berry, and get a speed boost would be terrifying, and probably the only way to encourage using it. Kind of like a one shot, one kill sort of thing (it could also abuse Belly Drum + Acrobatics or something).

Therefore, I'd love to give my voice to Unburden. It emphasizes the one-chance-so-take-it attitude this thing needs to bring in order to properly abuse Belly Drum, and could really influence how used it will become. As repetitive as my suggestion sounds to the ones above me, it'd really help CAP6 become effective at what it was intended to do when we picked Belly Drum - nuke the field. This thing is kinda like bringing back a less-risky Explosion.
I've come around to the idea of Magic Bounce, because I feel it's fantastically in line with one of the main conclusions of the second concept assessment:

capefeather said:
We have tied CAP 6's balance to its concept by aiming to make Belly Drum the focus of its best set, but not necessarily have that be its only set.
from CAP 6 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment 2

Magic Bounce does have some potential to open new niches up to bellycap, but these sets will, by the nature of the process, be basically tacked-on and sub-optimal. A utility bouncer whose only role is to stay alive long enough to reflect hazards and status? Sure, but if we're wise enough to restrict its tools we can make this not only inferior to the belly drum set, but inferior to Xatu/Espeon too.

While the other sets that it may facilitate will exist simply to compliment Magic Bounce, the Belly Drum set will actively take advantage of it by seizing the setup opportunities it grants rather than passively letting it do its thing as Xatu and Espeon may be accused of. To me this is an indication that Belly Drum will indeed be its best set.

Though other posters have already made this clear, it bears repeating if only to make sure my post isn't completely abstract: Magic Bounce would be a colossal help to CAP6 in setting up on everything it needs to. More pertinently in my eyes, it has little to no negative interaction with the threatlist as it currently stands; Skarmory, losing whirlwind and spikes, is the only check that really ceases to be a check, but since it could never actually threaten bellycap in any other way this doesn't seem like a great loss. Everything else can just beat CAP6 down the way nature intended: by beating the crap out of it.
I'm surprised no ones suggested CLEAR BODY. Because it prevents stat reductions, once capmon sets-up nothing aside from wow or phasing would drop its attack stat
I still think wonder skin is a good ability for it. Its almost a given that capmon will get another ability, Wskin is good enough without being the best so that a second ability can also see some use. Sorry if this comes across as poll jumping


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So I already posted about Unburden, but this is what I guess you could call the other half of that post, addressing other abilities that have been brought up.

Magic Guard
I recall bringing this up in #cap myself once or twice. I never pursued the idea very far as the reaction was always overwhelmingly negative. In any case, most of the justification for this one died when we picked a typing that is naturally immune to Spikes, sandstorm, and Toxic. That's nearly everything as far as sources of passive damage that are both common (not hail) and actually countered by Magic Guard (not burn) go, aside from the most common one of all: Stealth Rock. Certainly SR is meaningful, but being that we're not even weak to it, it seems rather silly to spend our primary ability on just that. (There is Life Orb too of course, but if we need more power to get KOs we can just increase the Attack stat.)

Motor Drive
This ability is being vastly, vastly overrated. Korski talked about how it helps the CAP with its three major problems in status, speed, and setup chances. This is technically true, but in the latter two areas its usefulness is quite limited. As far as speed boosting goes, it is very unreliable, which makes that aspect of it barely meaningful. It really isn't that difficult to avoid using Electric moves (even if your opponent is using Gyarados). It is sort of nice in that a Volt Switch can often be reasonably predictable, but choice-locked Volt Switches are not as common as they used to be, and the most common user of the move, Rotom-W, will almost certainly be able to do 50% with Hydro Pump if we try to set up on it. So the speed boost is mostly a thing that can sometimes happen; this is not by any stretch a "real" speed-boosting ability. But what about the setup opportunities it offers?

The likes of Ferrothorn, Forretress, and Jirachi have been brought up as Pokémon that an Electric immunity helps to set up on. All three of them are somewhat sketchy. Ferrothorn can at the very least use Leech Seed, and can likely deal enough damage with Gyro Ball that, in concert with Stealth Rock and Belly Drum, CAP 6 is brought low enough to be KO'd by Iron Barbs upon attacking. (Assuming Gyro Ball hits 150 BP, which it most likely will, defences as high as 95 / 90 would let it deal the 25% necessary to pull this off.) Forretress really can't harm us without Volt Switch, but its Volt Switch would likely only be doing in the neighbourhood of 25% anyway, so we can set up on Explosion-less Forretress with or without the immunity. Thunder or Thunder Wave Jirachi does indeed become a major problem, but Body Slam still has high usage at 35% (which would only go up if Motor Drive CAP 6 was a thing) so you can't try and set up there until you're sure it's not carrying that.

In short, Motor Drive does a lot of nice things, but it does none of them with any degree of reliability. (This all pretty much applies to Volt Absorb, too.)

Water Absorb
Switching in on Scald is nice. I don't have lengthy criticisms here like I do for Motor Drive as it seems like the supporters of Water Absorb aren't trying to claim it does much beyond letting us do that. Between the likes of defensive Politoed and Tentracruel which really can't do anything without Scald, and choice-locked Water moves from the likes of Specs Politoed and Scarf Keldeo, this ability does add a decent amount of reasonably common setup opportunities. (It really sucks if that Keldeo turns out to be Expert Belt though.) If we want an immunity ability, this is the best one as it takes advantage of the fact that Water is generally a highly spammable type in OU. While it's far from being my favourite as I really feel a Speed-boosting ability is necessary to sweep effectively, this isn't an awful choice as an ability that make setup easier.

This is basically an inferior Unburden, and if Unburden's power level is unpalatable this is my second choice. However, while it is worse than Unburden, it really needs to be clarified what the practical difference is between them. In particular, it is not a meaningful statement to say that Unburden makes us "faster" than Gluttony does, just because it gives us a larger boost. We have not chosen a Speed stat yet, and the choice of ability will without a doubt weigh into that decision. Regardless of which one we choose, we can hit whatever benchmark we like with the Speed stat. If we want to outspeed most scarfers but lose to the fastest ones, we can run 70 Speed with Unburden or 109 with Gluttony. If we want to outspeed "everything", we can run 86 with Unburden or 131 with Gluttony. And so forth.

Instead, the real difference between the two is that Gluttony does not let you use Sitrus Berry for healing while getting a speed boost. While I objected to ginganinja's calculations as an argument against Unburden, one thing they do show beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Sitrus Berry is a very useful item for CAP 6. This is borne out by the fact that it is the most commonly used item on Linoone in NU. Sitrus Berry is likely to be useful regardless of ability, though only Unburden "needs" it. (Gem Unburden is potentially usable too, of course.) However, Gluttony does literally nothing when your item is Sitrus Berry, and certainly the main reason you would ever use Gluttony is the Speed boost from Salac Berry. Gluttony is almost like not having an item at all, since it's using an item and an ability to do a job that could be (mostly) done by an ability alone, and that is the thing that makes it weaker than Unburden.

Magic Bounce
This is not an ability I thought I would ever find myself having some support for, but Fuzznip's post about it was very convincing. This is another excellent choice if aiding setup is deemed the best use of our primary ability (though it isn't). I don't have much to add to Fuzznip's post as far as points in favour go. It's worth noting that the same point I made for Motor Drive applies here as well regarding the ability to set up on Ferrothorn, namely that the combination of Stealth Rock, Gyro Ball, and Iron Barbs can easily spell a dead CAP after only a single KO. Magic Bounce does help against the Stealth Rock part of that equation, though switching in a Belly Drum sweeper several times in the early game seems questionable. In any case, like Water Absorb this is an ability that would be one of my favourites if I weren't so convinced of the need for a speed-boosting ability.
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lurks in the shadows
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The thing is, there is literally nothing CAP 6 can do back to them. Using Toxic can only get you so far with the plethora of Steel-types waiting in the wings. Therefore, you take this perfect opportunity to Belly Drum and go to town. Also, the idea of early-game Magic Bounce support by bouncing hazards and prevent phazing and then late-game Belly Drum sweeping with status and phazing protection is excellent. Lastly, there's nothing stopping you from using a defensive Belly Drum set. This is far superior than running Toxic as your only means of doing significant damage.
You know what, actually you are right! Seems like Magic Bounce is good to go after all, even though it won't be so good against offense as i wanted, it still fits the concept quite nicely.


The sets you mentioned would be both horrible and huge setup bait for Steel-types (if you don't like the defensive ones that you wall take offensive ones such as CM Jirachi, SD Scizor, and Heatran). Would you really want to use a set of Toxic + Protect or a Rest Talk set on this thing instead of taking advantage of Belly Drum to do something actually useful? The only successful Toxic stallers in OU can threaten steel-types and there aren't any really successful RestTalkers in OU. Belly Drum would still be the most useful set that the CAP could use and Magic Bounce would compliment it in an interesting and unique way.

Opinions about Intimidate guys?
I'm surprised no ones suggested CLEAR BODY. Because it prevents stat reductions, once capmon sets-up nothing aside from wow or phasing would drop its attack stat
After a +6, I don't think CAP 6 would mind an Intimidate. Most stat drops are side effects of moves. No one really uses moves that do nothing but lower the foes stats because switching out takes care of it. The attack drop from burn hurts it even at +6(effectively making it a +2) and is unaffected by Clear Body. While Clear Body can be useful on some Pokémon, I feel it's irrelevant for this one.
Definitely throwing my support behind Unburden. Though there isn't much else I could add to it's discussion as it's been talked to death.

For items your basically limited to three options...
Sitrus Berry - giving you a one time heal to help ensure you get to use belly dance.
Flying Gem - or some other gem for a one time extra powerful attack, especially with Acrobatics.
Lum Berry - for a one time cure against Burn, Paralysis, and Sleep.

If anyone wanted to run Lefties, Expert Belt, or whatever, Unburden becomes, if you'll excuse the pun, a burden. Making a reason to choose the secondary ability, if we decide for one, which would be more suited to those items.


Copying deli meat to hard drive
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I feel like a lot of the ability suggestions are heading in the wrong direction and will result in a de-centralized CAP. We should be focused instead on improving the consistency of Belly Drum.

Belly Drum itself can be inconsistent for two reasons. The first is not enough upside. This was coming up in the threats discussion and was probably the reason people felt it was inconclusive. Half of us wanted to improve the upside of Belly Drum, by allowing us to sweep a larger portion of the metagame on a successful boost. The other half wanted us to err on the side of caution when in came to improving this side of Belly Drum. I think the reason we largely felt it was inconclusive is because we didn't define what aspect of Belly Drum we were trying to improve when we chose our threats. Options like unburden also seem to be trying to improve the upside of Belly Drum. This is inherently inconsistent. This will never be a reliable option if only because we cannot control our opponent. We can debate and debate and debate but the truth is we will never make a pokemon that always does it's job if we try to improve the upside. People will find a way around it.

Instead we should be trying to decrease the downside. The bad things about Belly Drum can really be split into two things: health cut and the discouragement to switch out. Abilities that lessen either of these can be useful, as they both increase consistency. Regenerator does both of these, as it lets you recover health and lessens the impact of switching out. Volt Absorb and Water Absorb also help with this, although to a much smaller extent. Even having wish support helps with this.

In fact, this whole situation reminds me of back in Concept Assessment when we were talking about what makes a move viable, and how an opponent's control factors into this. We should be decreasing our opponent's control on a situation, not putting all our eggs in one basket with unburden or gluttony. This is the challenge of our concept. How can we design a Pokemon that is consistent with one of the most all or nothing moves in the game? We can do this now. We took steps in the right direction with our typing choices. Lets continue in that direction.
Huh, Magic Bounce is one of the first things I think of when I think of overpowered potential abilities, but here it gives exactly what we need and little more. IF we wanted a lesser, but similar option, Rebound is established already, though I doubt it would get much support.
So, Magic Bounce will probably achieve what we want from the ability for CAP6 - it helps turn most defensive 'mons into setup opportunities (and for particularly hazard weak teams, possibly brings the opportunity for some pre-BD utility if it can switch in on the opposition hazard setter). That being said, it's somewhat of a sledgehammer approach to solving our problem - it's a generically good ability that improves very nearly any Pokémon that gets it. Not to mention that it just screams optics issues...

Right now, I particularly like Quick Feet, but for it to work we'd need to make a significantly more firm decision on what our threats are. If we were to decide that we want to be primarily to be dealt with by CS users and some of the ridiculously fast 'mons, but out-speed most other significant threats, I see this being very nearly the perfect ability. While status will still be painful, in order for a defensive 'mon to do anything to us other than switching out they're going to have to neuter their team's main response to CAP6 by giving it the ability to out-speed. While 25% chance of not moving on Paralysis is annoying, it's certainly not something you'd want to rely on to protect your revenge killer if that's all that's standing between you and a BD sweep. Burn could be a touch more painful, but after a BD our attacks are still going to hurt, particularly if we're almost guaranteed to out-speed. Rather than being a generically good boost, this essentially means that unless the opponent is carrying multiple Pokémon that can out-speed (or a hard counter such as Heatran), it massively increases their own risk when they hit CAP6 with status. Alternatively, if CAP6 goes down the route of using priority to handle faster 'mons, Guts becomes quite a viable option if we put our Attack stat in a sweet spot where it'll miss some key KO's without the boost even after a BD. Either way, the crux of this approach is that we make CAP6 easier to handle when it is status free, such that the detrimental effects of status are outweighed by the additional risk placed upon its opponent.

The one other ability I really like, but which falls back towards the generically good end of the spectrum, is Regenerator. Whereas most of the abilities on offer focus on maximising sweeping potential once CAP6 is out on the field, Regenerator removes some of the pressure to get it right first time. Potentially, it even allows CAP6 to be used to try to lure out some of its counters for a teammate to trap (Dugtio or Magnezone are both candidates to support CAP6 here), without being crippled by repeatedly switching into SR. Also, if somebody managed to find a slot for Heal Bell/Aromatherapy on their team, it gives a slim chance that a statused CAP6 will managed to get back into action healthy. Basically, rather than focusing on pulling off one perfect sweep, it decreases the risk associated with switching CAP6 in and out and makes it more likely that at some point in the match it will get a chance to setup.

Were a vote to be held today, I'd probably be voting Quick Feet, then Regenerator, and then very reluctantly Magic Bounce.
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I'm the coolest girl you'll ever meet
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Even without any supporting moves, magic bounce with a good defensive type provides an enormous amount of support on its own. It is probably the strongest ability in the game with the possible exclusion of huge/pure power and weather starting abilities, do we really think we will only run belly drum when we can better abuse that ability by running a more defensive set? And to those of you saying "we can run a defensive set then sweep lategame." Thats just not how it works... if youre running only defensive investment you no longer have the speed/power to successfully sweep, even against defensive teams.
right now the abilities we have on hand fall into two classifications

"this kills the cap" and "this ability is shit"

this includes but does not only extend to magic bounce, magic guard, unburden, all weather-related boosting abilities, quick feet, serene grace and thick fat regenerator

i don't believe i have to go through each one of them individually to explain why each one is either going to shift our focus away from actually setting up a drum and sweeping or give us a better role to play instead of 'drum sweeper'

i don't mean that 'drum sweeper' is the only set we have to play but if we give it regenerator for example people will use it as a defensive tank in a core instead of a sweeper because steel/flying is that good of a typing or if we give it magic bounce people will use it as an "espeon that dosen't suck"

as far as which abilities are as close to the "middle ground" as this goes, i'm going to root for an ability that can help us switch in; this includes the immunity abilities like water absorb and even intimidate/limber

since we want to be threatened completely by 'zone, the electric ones are obviously out, so things like water absorb, limber, intimidate and sap sipper (lol) will help us in finding more opportunities to spin and heal switch in painlessly

intimidate is much harder to bargain for though as it admittedly turns you into some kind of god-forsaken physical wall i mean look at qwilfish ffs

gluttony is also more reasonable than unburden is for the simple reason that it does not FREAKING DOUBLE your speed and is more flexible as to which path you choose to take after drumming (salac? sirtus? etc)


From Now On, We'll...
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all of you stop

Unburden? Technician? Adaptability? These sound like great abilities, but do you know what they help us do? Win harder. Do you know what they do NOT help us do? Get into a position of winning.

Steel/Flying is hit for at LEAST neutral damage by almost everything in the entire fucking game. We need 50% of our maximum HP to set up. We are already taking 1/8 of our max HP every single switch in due to Stealth Rock. Unless we have the bulk of Skarmory, we are not going to be able to withstand even most Neutral hits.

Numbers time.

252 Atk Salamence Outrage vs. 224 HP / 252+ Def Skarmory: 57-68 (17.43 - 20.79%) -- possible 7HKO

This is against one of the most single physically bulkiest pokemon in all of OU. It is still dealing nearly 1/5th of Skarmory's HP, god forbid it use Fire Blast on a predict which deals

4 SpA Salamence Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 168 SpD Ferrothorn: 288-340 (81.81 - 96.59%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Again. This is a bulky pokemon with insane physical bulk and full defensive investment, against one of the weaker dragons of OU. CAP6 isn't setting up in front of that. Stronger dragons it obviously does considerably worse against, and absolutely no Pokemon that has its stab resisted by CAP6 lacks a coverage option to nail it. What CAP6 NEEDS are opportunities to set up, and obviously any offensive ability isn't going to provide those. Magic Bounce cannot provide this - it will entirely overshadow Belly Drum and it will be OP as shit regardless. Motor Drive cannot provide this - it is far too limited and unreliable. Water Absorb might provide this - but is still risky and doesn't always come up. And nothing else is going to fare much better

My answer?

Sand Rush

Let us take Stoutland as an example. Coming in at a measly 100 base attack, 85/90/90 defenses, a lukewarm typing, and 80 base speed, without Sand Rush, he would have basically no reason to exist. However, with Sand Rush and Choice Band combined, he becomes an absolute monster when the sand is up, outspeeding literally almost everything that lacks a speed boost in the entire game. This combined with his great coverage makes Stoutland an absolute terror when the conditions are right, as either a fearsome late-game sweeper or a blazingly fast revenge killer capable of outspeeding even many +1 threats, and even some +2 ones!

So, imagine this: A world where CAP6 could be either a Choice Band sweeper/revenger, OR a Belly Drum revenger/setup sweeper, so long as sand is kept up. Suddenly, CAP6 obtains opportunities to both punish poor calls as well as set up when it otherwise, by all rights, should not be able to - via careful, calculated, ballsy plays. Just how it should be with something this all in. Multiple sets (Band, Gem/Belly Hybrid, SitrusBelly), ballsy plays, the ability to set up Belly Drum, and the ability to still be useful outside of Belly Drum - all in one package that isn't incredibly overpowered, as we can still make it so it isn't all that powerful outside of Belly Drum, as well as the constant difficulties in winning Weather Wars.

Not to mention the immense pressure CAP6 would put on opposing weather, making it easier to win the all-important weather war for Sand teams (albeit more important at the same time).

Why not list Chlorophyll?

Because sun is already incredibly difficult to set up and simply lacks the team slots. Plus Venusaur would outclass.
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all of you stop

Unburden? Technician? Adaptability? These sound like great abilities, but do you know what they help us do? Win harder. Do you know what they do NOT help us do? Get into a position of winning.

Steel/Flying is hit for at LEAST neutral damage by almost everything in the entire fucking game. We need 50% of our maximum HP to set up. We are already taking 1/8 of our max HP every single switch in due to Stealth Rock. Unless we have the bulk of Skarmory, we are not going to be able to withstand even most Neutral hits.

Well then howabout Multiscale? I haven't really seen much talk about it as an ability, but part of being a flying type was because it meant that we could avoid Spikes damage. Now, obviously, it locks us into requiring rapid spin support so that we don't instantly lose the ability on switch in.
AND, obviously, we lose this ability AS SOON as we actually get off our belly drum, but if our plan ends up being to give our CAP good, but not amazing, speed and rely mainly on bullet punch, which really sounds like it might be how we end up going, it means that we can actually set up well against pokémon that will outspeed our belly drum.
It helps us set up, and that's it. Once we belly drum, the ability does absolutely nothing, but it really DOES help us set up against more things, because, suddenly, we can set up against more pokémon. i.e. water and ice would hit for half damage now instead of full damage, so that makes Donphan pretty much a FREE set up, for example, since, if it chooses to try to use ice shard against us, it's going to get its damage halved and do very little, and any other attack it could consider using would be even worse. And it even would allow us to potentially setup on something like infernape depending on what he's choice locked into and what defensive stats we give ourselves.
How about Harvest???
Harvest allows us to set up easily as we can harvest sitrus berries enough to retain the health necessary to tank a hit post Drum and sweep.
I agree with Nyttyn's post thoroughly! I have an alternate solution however.

I'm a huge fan of Regenerator.

There seems to be two basic schools of thought: make your sweep better (unburden, gluttony) or make setup easier (motor drive, thick fat, limber). I think that there's a powerful limitation in making your sweep better, as there's an incredibly fine line between "countered too easily to be useful" and "simply centralizes the metagame into X number of pokemon that reliably can counter +6 CAP." Making setup easier is a more viable route, but I still think that there's a reason Volcarona requires a spinner: it's too easy to get worn down. Sand rush would give us speed, but relying on a weather is unreliable and distracting for this project.

We've less tools available to us because we've chosen Belly Drum: We must use primarily physical offense, we will have limited opportunities to run support options, and taking time to do anything but Belly Drum or Sub on turn 1 it is out is usually a waste of time. Our move of choice is predictable and easily dealt with (hence its underused status), but I think Regenerator mitigates all of these concerns.

1) It's the third option aside from making setup opportunities better or easier: It makes them repeatable. By making the act of switching better, we immediately make our pokemon less predictable as it now has 4 moves and 5 teammates to choose from.

2) It encourages the use of at least a single support move. We can scout status with substitute with no fear of lost HP, and subsequently switch to an appropriate counter or go on to set up. We could Wish and threaten to heal 83.3% (between 2 pokemon) next turn or undo the self-inflicted 50% of a Belly Drum - an interesting option, if CAP has above average defenses. Other support options down the road might include status moves, Roost, Stealth Rock, Phazing, Mud Sport (haha), or anything!

3) We can really utilize this great typing. Skarmory's defensive prowess is legendary not because it walls everything, but because it forms an effective core with several other defensive pokemon (by, of course, switching). By incentivizing the switch, CAP's defensive synergy becomes relevant with pokemon like Blissey/Lati@s/Celebi/Rotom-W who can all in turn help out CAP with moves like Heal Bell/Aromatherapy, Healing Wish, Memento, Wish, and Trick (and who are all solid pokes in their own right).

It makes designing a threatlist a little more breathable because threats can't just force it out once and be essentially rid of it. I don't think it inherently breaks anything - we'd still have full control over secondary ability, movepool, and stats to adjust its power level to "just right." I'd love something that could spend most of its time flitting in and out, scouting and threatening the Drum (or offering support with Wish or Glare) until it finds its way in safely on a choice-locked something or a Ferrothorn that can't break its sub.
Looks like I have to fight for Magic Bounce given the number of people that just don't get it. The argument that "people won't use Belly Drum anymore" baffles me to such a mind-blowing extent I just can't take these people seriously.

First thing's first: Magic Bounce is not making a better Espeon. CAP 6 and Espeon are entirely different Pokemon and fulfill entirely different roles. Magic Bounce is simply making a better Belly Drum sweeper. It's not steering us on the wrong path in any way. What else is CAP 6 going to do if you don't want it to use Belly Drum? Seriously. "Oh I'll just use Toxic and maybe Protect and a couple attacks?" If you're actually considering some shit set like this, I don't know what to tell you bud. That set on this particular Pokemon is horrific. You know what you'll end up becoming? A gargantuan sitting duck. You can do nothing back other than bounce hazards and status (too bad not Scald burns). That's it. Have fun letting Scizor, Lucario, Taunt Gyarados, and Reuniclus, among tons of others, set up all over your ignorant face. CAP 6 isn't getting any Whirlwind or Will-O-Wisp or Spikes or Stealth Rock or Roost or maybe even Taunt (Taunt still sucks bad on this). Skarmory will forever outshine CAP 6 with Magic Bounce as a supporter because it provides a thousand times more utility than CAP 6 can ever muster up. Without Magic Bounce, how do you expect CAP 6 to even set up adequately? The threats that we are supposed to threaten, the defensive ones at least, are nowhere near threatened. We have nothing to force anything out because CAP 6 is so reliant on Belly Drum to do something. Ferrothorn will happily Leech Seed + Protect stall you or cripple you with Thunder Wave, Blissey has no issue paralyzing you, Hippowdon and Donphan will bellow with the force of a thousand suns and prevent you from sweeping... I can go on. What do you expect CAP 6 to set up on and how do you expect it to do so? "Oh, I'll just run Taunt." It doesn't work like that. You're going to sacrifice an additional severely important moveslot open for a coverage move for Taunt? Taunt is actually a very unreliable move. Are you going to hit yourself in the head when you predict wrong against Blissey, thinking that it was going to Thunder Wave but instead Seismic Tosses or Flamethrowers? You just lost what could've swept your opponent's entire team so you definitely would hit yourself in the head. Or maybe you thought Hippowdon was going to Roar, but your opponent brings out Infernape instead and you Taunt that. Come on, seriously. Magic Bounce is one of the greatest abilities in the game, arguably the best even, but I'm not suggesting it just because it's so good. I'm suggesting it because it fulfills the "setting up" aspect CAP 6 100% needs to have. It doesn't provide CAP 6 with anymore more and nothing less. It's not going to make CAP 6 a defensive supporter, if anything, it will become a defensive Drummer because there's nothing else it can do. I will personally have to kill you if you continue to strongly believe CAP 6's supporter set will somehow outperform its Belly Drum set without any good reasoning. :)

In terms of some of the other abilities suggested so far, here are my viewpoints:


Not a fan. This doesn't help CAP 6 with anything. Nada. You're telling me that not only are you going to Belly Drum once, but you think you'd be able to pull off Belly Drum twice, or even three times in the same match against the same opponent? What you have to consider is if you failed your first Belly Drum, you have to switch out a minimum two times to regain all of that lost health. What this means is that you have to switch CAP 6 in safely, without taking a scratch, two times, while your opponent can take complete advantage of you as you flail in desperation to do so. Steel/Flying is a decent defensive typing, it is, but it gets hit neutrally by so many things and even resisted hits by powerhouses like Salamence and Scizor are still going to hit you very hard without Skarmory-esque defenses, something CAP 6 is far from getting. Regenerator is an awful ability for these reasons and it doesn't help CAP 6 sweep with Belly Drum or set up Belly Drum in any way.


I like Intimidate for the reason that it kind of operates as an offensive Magic Bounce in a way. It can help ease set up against particular threats such as Scizor and Outrage-locked Pokemon, but I still don't think it's good enough. Viewing the calculations provided by alexwolf, CAP 6 is still hit hard even with Intimidate factored in. You can't switch into some of these threats, you have to sac a Pokemon to do so. To me, CAP 6 needs more physical bulk to reliably set up against these Pokemon. I'm a little on the fence with this one.

Absorption Abilities

Please no. These are far too situational and they end up removing a weakness or neutrality of CAP 6's, which is not what we should try to be doing as far as I'm concerned. There are simply better options to consider because the support they offer is very limited and generally underwhelming for a Belly Drum sweeper.
How about Harvest???
Harvest allows us to set up easily as we can harvest sitrus berries enough to retain the health necessary to tank a hit post Drum and sweep.
Uhhh man there was a CAP called Malaconda who had Harvest as its quirk. Reusing Harvest for this CAP will give us nothing new to learn, period.

About Multiscale, this limits us to run abysmal speeds because if we're even a tiny bit faster than the opponent, you break the ability via BD yourself. And from what I read in the threats, we should generally be threatened by the faster revenge killers/priority, not some random mons that outspeed us like Volcarona and Dragonite. After a BD and broken Multiscale, how do you expect to sweep with low speed?


Banned deucer.
Overall, I am happy with the way this thread has been going. Rather than most CAPs, which are more than anything an exercise in yelling at people to exercise restraint, we've already restrained ourselves simply by choosing Belly Drum, and it's now an incredible puzzle to figure out the proper answer. We're working with a real catch-22 this CAP: "A Pokemon that can't set up and sweep is too weak and a failure. But if it can set up and sweep, then it's too powerful and will be a failure." I'd like to apologize to everyone, then, for the way I worded the OP, because I kind of made it sound like we were choosing either to be able to set up or to be able to sweep perfectly, and the other one would be basically neglected. Taking such an approach is not really plausible with any sweeper: either its sweeping conditions are too specific and it is impossible to set up, and put aside for something more consistent, or its strength will be lacking and it'll be put aside for something that actually accomplishes things. On the other hand, taking an approach which perfectly accomplishes both of these things (or even one) is going to be overpowered—i would like us to both be able to set up imperfectly and to sweep imperfectly. This said, I'll address some points, and then talk about the major abilities that have gained ground:

Nyktos said:
This is another excellent choice if aiding setup is deemed the best use of our primary ability (though it isn't).
(Yes it is). One turn of set up is always better than two. Apart from our ability, ways to avoid taking things like Leech Seed and Thunder Wave are basically... Taunt, Sub, or force a switch. I shouldn't need to point out why Substitute is not a great idea when we're already losing 63% hp between SR and BD; forcing a switch against physical walls at +0 sounds like a bad idea considering we want to be stopped by physical walls at +6, and Taunt leaves us very vulnerable with an extra turn at +0 with nothing to help us sponge hits. Once our CAP is at +6, it can solve any problem by just doing damage (not that we want it to be able to solve every problem but it theoretically could), without the aid of an ability. However, Ability is the only place that we can really help the problems that plague us at +0.

Motor Drive:

The approach which Motor Drive takes is one I am very fond of in theory. Rather than taking an ability which aids either setup or sweeping, and then relying on Movepool or Stats to pick up the slack, Motor Drive takes the 'why not both?' idea right from the bat. The main question which plagues me with this ability is: will it be enough? The most common Thunder Wave users—Celebi and Ferrothorn—each have another option for a support move which would cripple CAP6, the former using Perish Song and the latter using Leech Seed. On the same token, Motor Drive doesn't really let us switch into any offensive Electrics other than Jolt—I fear hydro pump or wow from rotom-w and focus blast from thund-t, and we can't scout choiced electric moves because they're probably Volt Switch. As such, it'll be extremely difficult to actually get the motor drive boost, as Electivire has shown. Motor Drive does afford us two setup opportunities—on Blissey and Forretress—and immunity to one revenge killer—jolteon (and Magnezone without hp fire)—but is that enough? Without a consistent promise of +1 spe from an elec move, I'm not too convinced that it will actually help enough.

Magic Bounce:

The exact opposite of what I just said about Motor Drive, I fear this ability would help too much. Lots of people have been pointing out that a MB CAP would neglect belly drum in favor of a defensive set. Even ignoring the argument that the CAP would neglect belly drum (i mean if espeon's psychic typing and 65/60 defense can use a magic bounce support set, what can't), I see another problem. We can't have Magic Bounce let us set up on what we want to set up on without also throwing the entire concept of a defensive answer to CAP6 out the window. The same ability that reflects Hippowdon's Whirlwind reflects Skarmory's too. Defensive checks, such as Skarmory, Heatran, and Jirachi could still exist, but they'd all have to pack a way to KO the cap, instead of using their usual methods. And until the CAP is down, defensive teams can't really risk the usual stall setup. I understand that a Magic Bounce CAP could still have a healthy amount of offensive checks and have a solid presence in the metagame without being underpowered or overpowered. This is more than I can say for any of the other abilities I have yet seen proposed. However, even if we can keep Belly Drum as the main set, a magic bounce belly drummer would be incredibly difficult to handle for defensive teams. while this isn't a necessary violation of the concept, it's something I, like capefeather, would rather avoid.


While this ability does give the CAP more breathing room after having set up, it still doesn't help us set up. Unfortunately, a Pokemon that can't set up, no matter how good it is after setting up, is garbage. I don't like Unburden, because it does like I said in the top of the post: focuses on sweeping perfectly, while letting setting up fall by the wayside.

Any Ability that lets us blow through our counters but doesn't help us set up or avoid being revenge killed (like Mold Breaker):

because +6 wasn't enough power, and 50% hp isn't low enough?


The above poster has made a good case for Regenerator until you consider that the argument is basically that Regnerator CAP won't use Belly Drum, which goes against the concept itself. When it comes to using Regenerator because then the CAP gets multiple opportunities at setting up—it's a fair point, but why should a Pokemon that can't set up the first time be able to set up any more often afterwards?


I really do like Intimidate. It, like Magic Bounce, allows us to set up on a wide swath of Pokemon, but it, unlike magic bounce, is not horribly overpowered and threatening to break an entire archetype across its knee. At first glance, our typing really works against us, as almost all physical attackers carry neutral Rock or Fighting coverage, which is still enough to break us after Drum and Rocks. however, intimidate turns a lot of those "just enough"s into "not enough"s. I would encourage everyone to pay more attention to intimidate.
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About Multiscale, this limits us to run abysmal speeds because if we're even a tiny bit faster than the opponent, you break the ability via BD yourself. And from what I read in the threats, we should generally be threatened by the faster revenge killers/priority, not some random mons that outspeed us like Volcarona and Dragonite. After a BD and broken Multiscale, how do you expect to sweep with low speed?
Well wouldn't say "abysmal" I'd say "mediocre" because, honestly, as potentially powerful as belly drum is, we shouldn't be able to set up on everything. But I digress. We WILL in almost 100% likelihood have a priority bullet punch with +6 attack to help us, and even with mediocre speed, we will outspeed enough mons to use our STAB flying attack for OHKOs. and we can always give our CAP agility, automatize, rock polish or Flame Charge to help with his speed once he gets set up.
As I mentioned in my post for the typing thread, there are 2 things that I feel are absolutely necessary. One is a way to switch into water attacks to set up, and the other is immunity to burn. If this thing gets burned, it becomes useless without using up turns to cleric. Switching into water is much less important, though. I strongly advocate Water Veil as its ability.
I do understand why something like Adaptability can be considered bad, but I fear we won't be forcing enough switches. For example, without Adaptability, we can't OHKO something like Conkeldurr (bad example I know). We do jackshit damages to Scizor etc... All of this is, of course, assuming +0, but I think Adaptability help us to find new opportunities to set up.

However, I like both of Thick Fat and Intimidate. They both help us to take weak hits without making us too resistant. Especially Intimidate which force switches like nearly no other abilities.
I changed my mind about Unburden. As others said, it will boost our speed to sky-high levels, and we don't want it. However, both of Glutonny and Rattled aren't as powerful as Unburden. Rattled is inexistent as a competitive ability while it seems very good to this Mon. Moreover, CAP will make very great use of its typings, with partners like Lati@s. I like Shield Dust too, but CAPMon won't like to tank some attacks doing secondary effects (Scald under rain). However, it is really great to set-up on Jirachi.

I don't think Filter and Regenerator. Filter doesn't help us to set up (because, frankly, I won't try to set up on Heatran). Those hits still do severe damages, only less severe. Regenerator goes against the concept of Belly Drum : a one time sweep. I fear we may use CAPMon as an offensive pivot with Regenerator. Magic Bounce is simply too defining.


mindless philosopher
@Sonic The Hedgedawg: There are issues with that logic. First off, we DON'T know that CAP6 will have Bullet Punch, since we have a number of fast, frail Scarfers (e.g. Latios) that we want to threaten CAP6. Secondly, Agility/Autotomize/Rock Polish are complete non-starters, since a CAP already at half its HP will absolutely NOT want to risk getting killed just to boost its speed, since even in the unlikely event that it survives the second hit, Scizor (and potentially Dragonite) can just pick it off with priority. Multiscale is too situational to work with a Belly Drummer, I believe, since we're very likely to run into one of the following scenarios:
-CAP6 will break its own if the opponent doesn't attack or misses as we set up (rendering it pointless).
-If we switch in on Stealth Rock, Multiscale is broken.
A big part of the reason Multiscale is so great as a setup aid on Dragonite is that it doesn't need to slash its own HP in order to set up.

Thoughts on the other suggestions:

-Filter/Solid Rock don't help us set up, really, since taking 1.5x damage instead of 2x from SE attacks won't make an appreciable difference after we've cut half our health off (and Stealth Rock has likely hit us too). These are complete non-starters.
-Pwnemon basically said everything I wanted to about Motor Drive, Regenerator, and Unburden. Not good enough for us.
-Gluttony seems like an appealing option, since we can set the Speed stat such that CAP6 is outrun by the appropriate enemies at +1 and opens up the possibility of Acrobatics (an underused move) as a good attack for it. Doesn't really help us set up, but if Magic Bounce ends up getting banned, then this would likely be my choice.
-Water Absorb is iffy, since it helps us switch in with more reliability than Motor Drive or Volt Absorb, but the only setup aid it gives us is the ability to walk all over Tentacruel. Personally, I don't think it's enough.
-Intimidate seems like a decent fallback option if the best idea (Magic Bounce) fails, but it doesn't help us threaten anything that we want to threaten, except perhaps Landorus-T.

Fuzznip has already said pretty much everything that could be said about Magic Bounce. I firmly believe it's the best option here. With regards to Pwnemon's qualms about its potential to completely shred stall, I just want to point out that Black Kyurem has done a pretty good job of that already. This might be the last nail in the coffin, but I don't think it makes a huge difference either way. Magic Bounce is the only way for us to really threaten Hippowdon, Donphan, and Ferrothorn (in fact, Blissey and Celebi do a decent job of handling us pre-Drum without Magic Bounce as well, which throws capefeather's threatlist completely out the window).
If we are afraid of being burned, then there are a few ways to go about preventing or at the very least weakening the burn.

Natural Cure will cure the burn upon switching out, but the obvious downside to this is that you have to switch out, meaning that if you Belly Drum upon entering the battle, you will not get that chance again.

Hydration will cure the burn if there is raining, but at the risk of two things. The first is that the reliability for this ability is low. Of all the Pokemon on greatest threats list, a burn will likely be caused by either a fire type, a water type with Scald, or WoW from Rotom-Wash. Of those three, only Rotom and and the water type would have a reason to set up the rain. This leads into the second risk, which is that if it were raining and one of these two Pokemon were responsible for it, chances are that it will skip trying to burn us entirely and go straight to savagely destroying CAP 6 with high power water attacks. Leaf Guard gives the same problem, but reversed. Fire types will be the only ones that use Sunny Day practically and they will be focusing more on OHKOing our Pokemon rather than burning it.

Shed Skin gives CAP 6 a 30% chance to lose the burn, but is this something we really want to put up to chance? We set up, but then we are rendered useless until the burn wears off, so unless it is gone by the end of the first turn, we might as well be knocked out.

Heatproof and Magic Guard protect us from losing health from the burn, but that is not what we are worried about. Sure, losing health always sucks, but having our attack severed is the real problem that I see here. Neither of these really help the problem at hand.

Guts is the last ability I will be bringing to light here, and is the one I support over all the others listed above. It completely negates the attack drop from the burn, and even buffs the attack while paralysed and, if we are using Sleep Talk, asleep. This ability solves the entire problem of the cut to our attack from a burn without being completely over powered, and also proves to be at least slightly useful in other situations too.

All of the above only applies if we are worried losing our hard-earned attack from being burned. Having someone take out what is left of our health is always a greater threat, and perhaps this particular counter measure is better set for a secondary ability, leaving the primary ability for something that helps protect us against a post Belly Drum OHKO.


Distilled, 80 proof
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So here's my post on Magic Bounce.

Fuzznip has brought up some excellent points with sound reasoning in favor of Magic Bounce, as evidenced by the support MB has gotten in this thread. I don't doubt that we could balance out the ability in later stages and make a good OU Poke out of it, and it certainly offers a great deal of reliability to a very unreliable strategy. However, these are the same exact reasons I am against giving CAP this ability.

First, as the pro-Magic Bounce posts themselves suggest, we will need to be hyper-vigilant in stats, secondary ability, and movepool to make sure the ability doesn't trump our intended goal of making Belly Drum work. Looking at it with my mod glasses on, I don't like this at all. Suddenly, the conversation shifts from "how do we make a good Belly Drum user" to "how do we balance Magic Bounce," which is in and of itself a distraction from our original concept, one that is (supposedly) about not nerfing the movepool down to just STAB attacks and Belly Drum. And why would we want to hamstring the later stages in deference to our primary ability, which is not and never was the central aspect of this project? I, for one, think we have the most to gain from unhampered discussion at every stage for a fully cohesive project, and Magic Bounce will not let us do that.

My second point here is that Magic Bounce support very clearly comes from a desire to affix reliability to this Pokemon, which is understandable but not really focused on our current direction. Just about every OU Pokemon does something reliably; in fact, 'reliably' is one of the most recognizable adverbs in any discussion of the Smogon metagame. My problem with this is that reliability, in the case of Magic Bounce, completely flies in the face of Belly Drum and actually gives CAP users a great reason not to use the move. I don't understand where users are getting so much confidence that people will still run BD if we give it Magic Bounce; in every single case, when a Poke possesses any 'reliable' competitive element, all of its unreliable options get instantly shoved into the 'gimmick' category, especially Pokemon with Belly Drum in their movepools. We aren't making a Pokemon with a gimmick Belly Drum set; we're making a Poke with a primary Belly Drum set. I'm not saying this CAP shouldn't be reliable, not it the least; what I am saying, though, is that if we give this CAP any reason not to use Belly Drum, it will take it. Don't take my word for it, either, just scroll through the analyses of any Poke with Belly Drum in its arsenal (except Linoone, of course, who has no better options) and you'll get the idea.

From a discussion standpoint, I think people should avoid comparisons to Espeon or Xatu, if only because they operate on a completely different plane than the one we are pursuing. Espeon runs Dual Screens and Baton Pass because it has a pretty bad mono-typing and even worse defenses. It doesn't resist any attacks coming from hazard setters, status users, or Phazers like Forretress, Ferrothorn, Hippowdon, Skarmory, Landorus-T, Vaporeon, etc. Xatu isn't even OU, despite having a decent typing and support movepool. By typing alone, CAP already stands out from these two Magic Bouncers by resisting just about everything that common defensivemons can throw at it, which alone is enough reason to not kill its HP with Belly Drum. "Well it can't set up on offensive Pokemon with Magic Bounce, so it's balanced" is not a good response here, because CAP was never going to be able to do that in the first place, regardless of ability. "You can't accomplish anything if you don't run Belly Drum, even with Magic Bounce" is another response that glosses over the fact that Pokemon teams carry six members in them and that many setup bait Pokemon exist and are still commonly used in OU for their other purposes.

I'm not looking to enter into a back-and-forth with anybody here; we've already gotten enough of that in this thread. I will summarize this post by saying, yes, I have read all the posts, I understand all the arguments, and I considered all of the arguments when writing this. There is an obviously enormous opening for getting free turns to Belly Drum if we go with Magic Bounce and it is indeed a powerful ability. As far as I'm concerned, though, there are some potentially disastrous implications for the rest of the process and for the CAP itself if we go this route that overshadow the pros of this ability.
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