Since CAP 26 is pretty close to coming to an end, I figured that now would be a good time to show off the team I built that has shaped a pretty big sub archetype within the CAP Metagame as of this post.
I immediately knew that I wanted to start this team off with the core of Mega Alakazam and Garchomp. Both are very dominant Pokemon in the current metagame that thrive from a lot of trends within the metagame, such as the dominance of Arghonaut, Greninja, and Heatran, as well as the fact that a lot of teams rely on a softer combination of Steel-types to check Mega Alakazam.
The core of Mega Alakazam and Garchomp faces several issues that I wanted to patch up early on in the process. Electric-types like Krilowatt and Tapu Koko tend to be really annoying for Mega Alakazam and Garchomp to deal with. To add onto that, opposing Psychic-types like Aurumoth and Mega Alakazam, as well as Weavile, are also major issues to deal with. Because of this, I settled on the defensive core of Tangrowth and Magearna, which have outstanding synergy together, without sacking the momentum of the team easily.
Up to this point, the team really struggled to reliably break Grass-types, while also lacking a reliable Defogger. Because of this I went with Tornadus-T, which is an absolutely incredibly splashable Pokemon within the CAP Metagame. Not only does Tornadus-T provide the team with a way to reliably handle Grass-types, it also provides the team with a way to cripple Celesteela and a fast pivot to get Mega Alakazam and Garchomp into play.
This is pretty much what I'm known for doing; slapping a Kitsunoh on a team with 5 OU Pokemon. While this is indeed incredibly lazy, Kitsunoh provides so much for the team nothing can really compare to it. Kitsunoh provides the team with a way to keep Aurumoth in check, which can quickly get out of control even with Magearna on the team. In addition to this, the defensive utility that it provides against other Psychic-types like Tapu Lele and Mega Alakazam is also really valuable.
A Closer Look
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 12 HP / 24 Def / 220 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball
As I said, Mega Alakazam is an incredible Pokemon in the current metagame, being able to pretty much always make progress without much trouble. It provides the team with a very solid check to Heatran, while also being able to consistently take advantage of common staples like Arghonaut, Toxapex, and Protean Greninja. The given EV spread allows Mega Alakazam to take an unboosted Shadow Sneak from Necturna after Stealth Rock damage, which makes it easier to handle. Knock Off is an option to improve the teams matchup against really fat teams, but I find that the ability to hit Aurumoth and Necturna with Shadow Ball often outweighs this.
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
- Stealth Rock
Garchomp forms a really great core with Mega Alakazam. It's very good at wearing down usual checks to Mega Alakazam, like Celesteela and Tangrowth, while simultaneously setting Stealth Rock. It also provides an incredibly important Electric immunity, which is really useful against Tapu Koko. Additionally, it takes pressure off Mega Alakazam to check Heatran.
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Spe
- Giga Drain
- Knock Off
- Sludge Bomb
- Hidden Power [Ice]
Tangrowth provides the team with an important check to Krilowatt and Tapu Koko. It's also a pretty good check to Caribolt, Garchomp, and Excadrill that doesn't hand the momentum over to the opposing team. In addition to all this, it punishes Celesteela really well, which can make it much easier for Mega Alakazam to break through balance teams. Payback can be run instead of Knock Off to slightly improve the matchup against Necturna.
EVs: 252 HP / 168 SpD / 88 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Flash Cannon
- Volt Switch
- Heart Swap
- Pain Split
Magearna definitely is what holds this team together. Steel-types are incredibly important in the CAP metagame to check Psychic-types like Mega Alakazam, Aurumoth, and Tapu Lele, as well as Fairy-types like Mega Mawile and opposing Magearna. In addition to all this, Magearna provides the team with an important resistance to Dark , as well as Volt Switch, which makes it much easier to get Mega Alakazam and Garchomp into play. I like to run 88 Speed EVs to outspeed Arghonaut and 204 Speed Mega Mawile.
EVs: 224 HP / 84 Def / 200 Spe
- Knock Off
Tornadus-T provides the team with a Defogger and another way to force Knock Off onto Steel-types like Celesteela, Ferrothorn, and Magearna, which is really useful for Mega Alakazam. This team desperately needs its ability to take advantage of common Grass-types, while also removing hazards. I have also toyed around with Heat Wave instead of Taunt to break through Ferrothorn more reliably, but I prefer the improved matchup against bulky teams that Taunt provides. Heat Wave also helps against Cawmodore, but it's very rarely used to make it worth running Heat Wave for.
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 220 Atk / 36 SpD / 252 Spe
- Shadow Strike
- Meteor Mash
Kitsunoh is a great Choice Scarf user in the metagame that provides a lot of useful things for this team. It's a secondary check to Psychic-types like Mega Alakazam, and more importantly, Tapu Lele, which can overwhelm Magearna if played patiently. It's also quite the useful check to setup sweepers like Aurumoth (which can overwhelm Magearna with the right moves), Shift Gear Magearna, and Hawlucha. I prefer Trick for its improved matchup against balance and bulky offensive teams, but both Foul Play and Will-O-Wisp are plausible options to beat Cawmodore and cripple Pokemon like Kartana and Garchomp respectively.
Syclant is really hard to play around, as it has access to Ground coverage, meaning that Magearna isn't that good of a check defensively, outspeeds most Pokemon on the team, and can use Garchomp and Tangrowth to switch into play. Generally speaking, though, it's really frail and you'll be fine if you play proactively with Mega Alakazam, Magearna, and Kitsunoh.
While it doesn't really get many opportunities to set up, Necturna can be really annoying to deal with behind screens.
Kartana is rather annoying to switch into, but between the lack of opportunities to switch into play alongside the threat of Mega Alakazam and Tornadus-T being able to revenge kill it relatively well, it is a very manageable matchup.
Krilowatt in general is really annoying to deal with for teams like this. Between Ice Beam, Volt Switch, Earth Power, and its base 105 Speed stat, it'll almost always be able to generate positive momentum against the team. Luckily, it does not switch into play easily and Tornadus-T can really take advantage against the type of teams that use Krilowatt.
Landorus-T and Garchomp
Similarly to Kartana, Landorus-T can be very devastating defensively. However, it can be revenge killed relatively easily and the team has what it needs to play around Z-Moves. Add to this that Landorus-T really doesn't see all that much usage, usually being dropped in favor of Garchomp, the team is fine against it. The same things go for Garchomp but to a lesser extent.
With a specially defensive Magearna, the team is usually fine against Tornadus-T defensively, though the fact that it can force a Knock Off on Magearna can be rather annoying in the long run, especially when Tornadus-T is run alongside an offensive Psychic-type.
I'd just like to take this as an opportunity to thank all my friends from Smogon, Discord, and Pokemon Showdown! for being awesome. I don't really want to tag anyone because that'd mean I'd have to tag everyone, but you know who you are.
CAP is a meta that I got into about 10 months ago, and I really enjoy it. While it's often frowned upon, the community is really nice and the tier is really not that bad as many people make it out to be. If you ever want to play CAP, feel free to hit me up on Discord or on Pokemon Showdown and challenge me to a battle. I hope you enjoyed the read, have a great day!
Also, here's another variation of the team with an improved matchup against stall and fat balance teams that I enjoy using from time to time.