CAP29 - Final Product & Playtesting (Submit Your Replays & Teams Here!)

Birkal

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On November 7th in 2011, I made my first post in the Create-A-Pokemon Project forums. It was a pretty lame concept (based around punishing an opposing Pokemon for being reliant on its ability (which CAP28 made happen with Neutralizing Gas nine years later)), but the feedback I got on that concept on SynIRC (now Discord) and the forums propelled me to contribute even more to the project. In the span of CAP13's process (Necturna), I became the first Community Contributor in the history of Smogon, became an OU Forum Moderator, led the Dream World metagame, led art for The Smog, and posted and drew all over Smogon. But I always had my sights set on contributing to CAP here on Smogon, and on March 6th of 2012 (a mere four months after my first post), I was promoted to CAP moderator. At the end of that year, DougJustDoug promoted me to Super Moderator and CAP Head Mod.

In the course of a year, I went from making my first concept to basically leading the entirety of this project. And for the following 8 years, that's what I did. I share my story to make this point: any of you reading this can participate meaningfully in CAP. Any of you can lead CAP. Looking back, I was wildly unqualified to lead this project in 2012. But I had a deep love and appreciation for the CAP, and if you truly listen to the people around you, you can do this magical thing we call Create-A-Pokemon.

If I had one piece of advice to give to everyone, it's this: always share your ideas, and understand that your ideas aren't your identity. I've had some great ideas in CAP, from proposing here that we build CAPs for the CAP metagame instead of OU, to asking Zarel back in 2011 if we could upload CAPs to his fancy new simulator: Pokemon Showdown (which had under 100 members at the time). I've also had some bad ideas, including the CAP Concept Workshop (*shudders*) and suggesting we cascade our CAP creations to save time. But I've come to realize that my ideas aren't my identity: I have always stood for the CAP community, both competitive and flavor, and will always do so, even in my retirement. Y'all, keep on submitting crazy concepts. Keep on advocating for policy changes. Keep on bringing inventive new teambuilds to your CAP tourney matches. Keep on drawing, even after you lose that elusive Art Poll. Keep on sharing, because THAT'S what CAP is all about. I shared my lackluster concept about ability reliance during CAP13, and even though everyone universally disliked it, that didn't stop me from submitting another concept next CAP, and improving with every new idea. Keep on keepin' on, friends.

Back in 2011, if you had told me that I'd spend the next decade facilitating and moderating CAP, I would have laughed at you. This forum was, in my mind, an elite group of artists, battlers, writers, and debaters. And now that I look back on it, I see that my impression was right. You all ARE the best and what you do. Thank you for letting me have a small part in all of it. Capping off this journey with CAP29 has been the highlight of it all, and you all are to thank for this wild and crazy ride.

Let's jump into a victory lap of congratulations and handshakes here at the end of CAP29! Exactly 100 days ago, the CAP community voted for me to be its Topic Leader (by a single vote), and we jumped straight away into CAP29. quziel was the first contributor on the scene with his "Defective Ability" concept, which went on to win at the polls handily. Those five days of concept submissions were probably the most fun I've ever had with the Create-A-Pokemon Project ever, in my entire decade of contributing to these forums. I loved picking apart each of the 45 concepts submitted and providing meaningful feedback to all of them. My goal was to help each user make their concept the best it could possibly be; my feedback was intended to be as objective and non-coddling as possible. It was a serious time investment, but I do hope future Topic Leaders can pull from this model of critiquing Concept Submissions and adapt it themselves for future CAPs.

This CAP had a record-breaking three Concept Assessments, and that was only to be expected. Our concept required us to choose our ability first (which was unprecendented), so I handed it over to our Ability Leader to help select our eponymous defective ability. Tadasuke is an old CAP soul to some, but he's still a young pup to me! He absolutely crushed it as lead over abilities, and worked with a practical hand that wouldn't allow for any nonsense to sneak its way onto the polls. Color Change turned out to be the best ability we could have chosen for CAP29; all of our discussions from this point onward were filled with fascinating points and hypotheses; to even this day, we're STILL not 100% sure how CAP29 is going to play due to its insane ability! I also have to give Tadasuke props for his leadership in CAP tournament running. Keep at it, my guy.

For the first time ever, CAP chose its ability before its typing, which meant that Typing Discussion was going to be more unusual than ever before. quziel was a bit nervous having to lead such an important stage, coming off of leading CAP28's typing, which had a loud, vocal minority that didn't support Bug/Dragon. But quziel managed to shake it off and dig even deeper into the pros and cons of each typing suggested for CAP29. His slate was magnificent, and I think he's "cracked the code" on how to lead Typing Discussion with utter perfection. Future Typing Leaders: I'd recommend consulting quziel, because he's got it figured out.

Threats Discussion was terrifying, as CAP hit a record FOUR metagame changes from the time we'd started CAP to that particular stage. Spectrier, Magearna, and Cinderace were all banned in the scope of that time, and Astrolotl received some significant nerfs. This is where I need to thank YOU, the CAP community, for doing such a bang-up job with CAP29 in general. You navigated this discussion in such a professional and simplistic way. From my perspective, it looked almost effortless how y'all had such a clear vision of what should and shouldn't threaten CAP29, even as the metagame was shifting literally day-by-day. I'm hoping many of our predictions come to fruition in the new CAP metagame that features Chromera.

2spoopy4u, our Stats Leader, found himself in a tough spot. We'd made a Pokemon thus far with a negative ability and a great-but-not-stupendous typing. CAP29 was running out of rope to find its viability, but it would also be unwise to just dump a bunch of stats on CAP29 and call it a day, resting on the laurels of its huge stats. No, this concept required us to work with Color Change, which called for very specific defensive benchmarks. But CAP29 also needed to be an offensive juggernaut, even without its STAB. All of this sounds like a tall order, and spoo managed it with an expertise I've only seen in seasoned CAP veterans. His slate was fair and diverse (remember Brambane's spread?), and we ended up with a spread that is powerful, yet still restrained where possible.

Rewind the clock. Before Threats Discussion, we had yet another new feature to the Create-A-Pokemon Project: Defining Moves. The Policy Review Committee had to rush the completion of this new stage to accommodate for CAP29, and it was truly daunting to ask our Moveset Leader SHSP to conduct this completely new stage with almost no initial guidance. He confided in me some trepidation about this new stage, but jumped into it with his signature can-do attitude. SHSP, you honestly did a better job leading this stage than I think any single CAP contributor could have. In ten days, you managed to take a bizarre concept with a competitively-unknown ability and wrangle down a set of required moves that is both minimalistic and robust. Calm Mind + Recover will go on to define this CAP's playstyle and fulfillment of its concept, and that's all thanks to you and your leadership over this stage. Highest kudos to you, SHSP.

And with our preliminary movepool all set, we can officially release CAP29 into the CAP metagame! 2spoopy4u and I just completed our inaugural battle which featured Chromera quite heavily! I chose to bring my CAP29 in almost immediately to pressure out his Clefable and fish for burns with Scald. spoo brought some tricky Aegislash and Hydreigon sets to the match that were specifically built with CAP29 in mind. Midway through the battle, my Chromera did 60% to Zapdos off of a +1 Boomburst (wow), but at the cost of taking a Toxic from its type shifting to Fairy-type from Color Change. spoo wisely saved his CAP29 for later in the match, but it found itself pinned against the previous CAP: Miasmaw and its Neutralizing Gas. With some clever maneuvering, spoo took down most of my team, but not before I made a last-ditch effort with Healing Wish Scarf Jumbao sacrificing itself for a final Chromera sweep. Even with my misplay at the end, spoo had the match on lockdown thanks to stalling with his Aegislash, and he won the match 1-0. Congratulations to 2spoopy4u for winning the first ever match with CAP29, and HUGE thank you to Darek851 for building this team for me. You are both amazing users who are going to do amazing things here in CAP, I can sense it!


And heyyo, I've always been a cat person! I have the entire flavor team (and especially Gravity Monkey, the artist behind its design) to thank for this incredible design. Chromera is an imposing, yet lovable, lion that is sure to leave an impression on the metagame. In our playtest, we can already tell that this has an extremely unique playstyle; it will probably take some extra time to suss out exactly how good this Pokemon really is. This design really matches how intimidating and shifty CAP29 really is. I am beyond excited to see how the remaining flavor stages play out for CAP29. But for now, let's focus on the CAP Metagame and how CAP29 is doing within it. Use this thread to post your thoughts, opinions, and replays of CAP29! I'd especially love to see a lot of replays, teams, and analyses in this thread.

Here are the links to the CAP29 Playtest Tournament rounds. They contain a lot of great replays for us to gather some more data.


Whew, after all that, here's your CAP29!

Name: Chromera



Concept:
Name: Defective Ability

Description: This Pokemon manages to work around an ability that is generally considered harmful, and is viable, or even better for it.

Justification: Defective Ability is an Actualization concept; aiming to create a Pokemon that works around, or works with, an ability that would be considered bad on most pokemon.

There is not a single Pokemon ranked above NU that has a generally negative ability; for good reason, while most pokemon gain a benefit from their ability, these Pokemon are held back. Golisopod, the currently highest ranked pokemon with a negative ability is also unique among its brethren in that its movepool is set up to synergize, and benefit from its ability Emergency Exit, with First Impression benefiting heavily from being switched out directly after use. A non-exhaustive list of negative abilities is Color Change, Defeatist, Emergency Exit, Klutz, Normalize, Slow Start, Stall, Truant. These abilities are yet-untouched by CAP, and I believe that exploring them with typings, movepools, and stats specifically meant to work with, and work around their shortcomings can help us to understand more about how abilities interact with CAPs, and how important the ability slot really is. I do not consider a NCA to be a defective ability as it does not specifically have to be planned around.

This concept aims to question how impactful these abilities are when their downsides are specifically planned for, their strengths, if any, are accentuated, and how viable of a CAP we can make with a handicap in the ability stage.

Questions To Be Answered:

  • How much of a drawback is a negative ability? How much should a negative ability be compensated for in the typing, move, and stats stages?
  • Are there some negative abilities that are more suited to exploration in a CAP process? Why or Why not?
  • If a negative ability is chosen for a primary what abilities are suitable for a secondary ability slot? Purely negative ones, or is there a situation where a pokemon would prefer an ability generally thought of as negative?
  • How does typing interact with a negative ability like this; slow start obviously wants a Toxic immunity due to how long it'll stay on the field, but is it needed, do other abilities have strong typing-ability interactions.
  • How can movepool change the impact of a harmful ability? Golisopod shows that it is possible to leverage the early switch out, are other negative abilities something that can be leveraged or minimized with the correct movepool?
  • How much do stats have to compensate for a negative ability, what are the ideal stat spreads for each negative ability?
  • How can we define a "generally harmful ability"? What are some metrics to define it? Are comparisons with neutral abilities helpful?
  • Which abilities can be worked with? Which abilities can only be worked around? Is it better to choose an ability that can be worked with? or only around?
Explanation:
Wishiwashi in NU and Archeops in NU are two examples of pokemon adapting to, and changing their playstyles from what they otherwise would be thanks to negative abilities, arguably for the better. ORAS Era Archeops looks to initially be a nuclear wallbreaker, sporting 140 base attack, a 110 BP STAB, and great coverage, yet, thanks to its ability Defeatist, it often runs a bulky set with Roost that aims to keep it above half HP as long as possible, and uses its naturally high base Attack to still hit like a truck. This is a case where a pokemon that would not normally run recovery and defensive EVs ends up doing so often to work around its ability, and has more depth as a result. Wishiwashi is a Gen 8 example, which was run with a very bulky set through much of NU this generation because of its ability Schooling, and its necessity to stay above 25% HP. I believe this concept has a lot of room to work because the existing negative abilities are often paired with movepools and stat spreads that do not give any room to work around them.

Slow Start is on Regigigas, a Pokemon with literally Rest and Leftovers to help it get through the 5 turns needed, Truant is on a pokemon without even a single pivoting move, Defeatist was on perhaps the frailest Pokemon imaginable, where even resisted hits could put it below 50% HP. These abilities are all paired with stat spreads and movepools that are deliberately set up to make it difficult to work around them, and even minor changes could yield a lot of information about how impactful a bad ability is.
Primary Ability: Color Change

Typing: Dark/Poison

Stats: 85 HP / 85 Atk / 115 Def / 115 SpA / 100 SpD / 100 Spe (600 BST)

Height: 2.5 m / 8'02"
Weight: 215 kg / 474 lbs
Color Group: Purple
Gender Ratio: Chromera is Genderless
Egg Group: Chromera cannot breed

Required Moves are in bold

TMS:
Mega Kick
Pay Day
Hyper Beam
Giga Impact
Rest
Snore
Protect

Thief
Facade
Swift
Rock Tomb
Bounce
Payback
Assurance
Shadow Claw
Round
Retaliate
Snarl
False Swipe
Brutal Swing
Dig
Tail Slap

TRS:
Body Slam
Ice Beam
Blizzard
Thunderbolt
Thunder
Focus Energy
Substitute
Sludge Bomb
Endure
Sleep Talk

Crunch
Iron Tail
Taunt
Calm Mind
Toxic Spikes
Dark Pulse

Zen Headbutt
Gunk Shot
Sludge Wave
Foul Play
Scald

Tutors:
Lash Out

Other:
Acid Spray
Belch
Bite
Boomburst
Bubble Beam
Conversion
Conversion 2
Copycat
Crunch
Crush Claw
Destiny Bond
Double Team
Echoed Voice
Endeavor
Extreme Speed
Feint
Follow Me
Fury Swipes
Gastro Acid
Headbutt
Hyper Voice
Knock Off
Leer
Lick
Memento
Night Slash
Noble Roar
Perish Song
Poison Fang
Poison Jab
Poison Tail
Quick Attack
Recover
Reflect Type
Roar
Safeguard
Scary Face
Screech
Slash
Sucker Punch
Swagger
Take Down
Taunt
Toxic

Tri Attack
Venom Drench
Venoshock
Work Up

Topic Leadership Team:

Topic Leader: Birkal
Typing Stage Leader: quziel
Ability Stage Leader: Tadasuke
Stats Stage Leader: 2spoopy4u
Movepool Stage Leader: SHSP

Let me provide a brief explanation on the Topic Leader flavor decisions of CAP29. There are certain flavor implications that were decided when CAP29 was determined to have a 600 BST, and those rules were further narrowed by the decision to have no pre-evolutions for CAP29. After considerable consultation with the CAP moderators and the Topic Leadership Team, we've decided to confirm that Chromera would follow the classic Legendary mold from in-game Pokemon. This would put it in the same general group as Pokemon such as Latios, Latias, Heatran, Cresselia, Zygarde, and Necrozma. With that in mind, it made sense to make Chromera hulking and imposing. I went for an impressive 2.5m to help give it the imposing stance it would need to loom over the battlefield. It's the same height as Mamoswine and Mudsdale, but still shorter than Solgaleo. It's no secret that this design is pretty thick, so I went with a hefty weight of 215kg, which is on-par with Xerneas and a bit lighter than Lapras and Camerupt. Its legendary status means that Chromera is Genderless, and all movepool creators should remember to not give it any Egg moves as a result.

Thanks to everyone who helped me figure out how CAP29's legendary status should be handled. If you know anything about me, I haven't enjoyed a single Pokemon game since Generation 5, so I was honestly clueless on the differences between mythicals, pixies, legendaries, box legendaries, and all of that stuff. CAP also has a dubious history with a previous Topic Leader who tried to label a CAP as legendary, so I really didn't want to overstep any bounds. The CAP moderation team gave me the green light to announce CAP29's legendary status here to help aid movepool creators and Pokedex writers in the upcoming flavor stages; thank you mod team for helping me navigate those rocky waters. I'm also going to go ahead and predict that the 3D modeling team will do an absolutely stunning job with the Chromera model, so thank you all for your hard work on bringing its final render to life.

And that's a wrap! Thank you all again for this incredible journey. See you soon for CAP30!

There are too many people to thank over the past ten years for my life-changing time with the Create-A-Pokemon Project. I'm going to note a few key ones though! Thanks to everyone who has ever been a CAP moderator, from Wyverii to MrDollSteak, for dealing with my schedule and crazy ideas over the past several years. You were all much brighter than me, and your feedback and suggestions are really what has propelled CAP to its current status. Thanks goes to reachzero for being a great mentor for several years, and a real role model to me for how to post with knowledge and grace. A heartwarming thanks wouldn't be amiss here for jas61292, who has always been my rock for the days where I felt frustrated and alone. You really helped me through some dark times, so thank you for all of your advice. And I gotta thank the big man himself: DougJustDoug. You have been a primary mentor, both in CAP and in real life. Your positive influence has helped me grow into a leader, husband, and father that is compassionate, firm, and understanding. You are the real deal. Thank you.

And finally, I have one final person to thank, the most important person of all: you. The lurker who reads but never posts, the newbie who's thinking about contributing more next CAP, the ladder player who doesn't have any badges, the newest rising star, all of you. I won the CAP29 Topic Leader Poll because of people like you, and it's been my entire responsibility in leading CAP to serve you all this past decade. CAP has always been for the people, by the people, so my deepest thanks to you all for bringing me to this place today. So now that I'm stepping down, it's time for you to step into the spotlight, don'tcha think :)?
 
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Amazing to see Chromera in the inaugural battle between you and spoo! I hope Chromera is a master beast indeed.
 
this post was very heartwarming to read, thank you for all youve done for the community all over the years , even if we dont say it out loud , we heavily appreciate your constant presence / guidance so :3

as for Chromera , purely in terms of the competitive aspect , i think it turned out better than expected for something based on colour change , so good job to the team all around for making it sure it turned out this way!
 

Zephyri

we are, we are, we are not beautiful
is a Top Artist
Oh my god that post was both heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time, gl in your future endeavors Birkal, hope you'll stick around! This CAP has been an astounding success imo, huge props to the TLT team for leading this so so well :)
 
Thx and Congratulations to Birkal, the TLT and the rest of the community. Chromera certainly made Color Chnage a viable ability and it’s very fun to use. I think we did an amazing job and learned, that not every ability is unsalvagable.

Now let’s pon the replay:
Fun ladder game featuring Chromera on both sides, showcasing how Heatran works as a very solidcheck if 29 doesn’t run scald and how it can be really hard to beat once physical attackers on the opposing team have been removed.
It also shows that keeping the moveset unpredictable until the sweep can help pressure otherwise solid checks and keep them out until it’s too late.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8cap-1329193408
 

MrDollSteak

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Moderator
So even though I lost in Round 1 of the playtest tournament, I think this particular replay shows off Chromera in a fairly positive light - effectively being able to sweep through four Pokemon after having been used as a sort of utility defender in the early game fishing for Burns. Although I was somewhat willing to sack it earlier in the match with some risky plays, once Garchomp was out of the way it could get through the rest of the team, including a Haze Hawk, solely through the utility afforded by Color Change in combination with the Sp.Def boosts from Calm Mind.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8cap-1332018785
 
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jas61292

used substitute
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I want to say congrats to everyone who was involved with this project. it looks awesome. This community put in some absolutely excellent work, as they always do.

But I want to especially congratulate my friend Birkal. I was so excited to see you finally have this chance to lead a project. Just reading this final project its clear that this project involved plenty changes and new approaches that sound very much like the kind of things you have often advocated for. I only wish I could have been around for more of it. Sadly, real life gets in the way sometimes, but I can't wait to find some time to read through this process and see all of what I missed. It looks absolutely fascinating.
 

Bughouse

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Echoing that I am impressed with the final product being something that genuinely does benefit from Color Change. I don't mean that in the sense that the best possible ability or even one of the best possible abilities for Chromera is Color Change because, I mean, of course not. It's at best a double edged ability. But this CAP genuinely does take advantage of it well with its bulk and recovery. I do to some extent question whether the attacking options and initial typing even ended up mattering all that much, but certainly the decisions related to the general build have enabled the concept to pan out well. Color Change is benefited well by a bulky CM and recovery mon, and a bulky CM recovery mon can benefit from color change too. If anything, the initial impression I've gotten from replays is that Chromera may even be overly powerful and in need of slight nerfing (though this may be difficult to do if we stick to established canon of 600 BST legendary :P )
 
Chromera, between the design, the typing, the BST, the stat distribution, even the hand that it was dealt with in color change, has turned out to be the most interesting CAP yet.
On a side note, I'm glad to be able to contribute to Chromera's development however limited it may have been.
 

Birkal

We have the technology.
is a Top Artistis a Top CAP Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
Just wanted to make y'all aware that 2spoopy4u is gathering data from the CAP29 Playtest Tournament here:

https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/sword-and-shield-cap-metagame-discussion.3656824/post-8843123

Obviously the usage statistics are going to be skewed, specifically towards using Chromera and mons that counter/check it. Still, I think some interesting inferences can be made about mons that are thriving in this playtest. There might be a correlation between offensive mons that are significantly faster than CAP29 doing well (Zeraora, Dragapult, and Garchomp all have a 50%+ win rate), and slower offensive mons that CAP29 outspeeds (Kyurem, Rillaboom, and Scizor all have an under 50% win rate), for example. I'd be interested to see what other trends people notice, especially as we start getting data from multiple weeks.

To help with accessing this competitive information, I've put links to each CAP29 Playtest Tournament round in the OP of this Final Product. You can find them directly above the art of Chromera, and below the inaugural playtest. Feel free to highlight matches that you think showcase Chromera well (or poorly) by posting them in this thread. I'm particularly interested in which sets people are finding success with. There's a plethora of CM sets out there (STABs, Scald+Boomburst, BoltBeam, and hybrids), but also quite a few utility sets with Knock Off and/or Taunt. This isn't the place to talk about nerfs or buffs to the 2.0 release just yet, but I think now is an appropriate time to start sharing your initial impressions. The CAP Viability Ranking has placed Chromera initially at B+, so that might also be something you wish to discuss. And, as always, share your ladder matches, your teams (especially if you lost the tournament), and any other thoughts you have.
 

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