"How the CAP Meta Tried To Fix Gen 6 OU"


fudge jelly
Intro: Hello, I've been one of the most active players on the CAP meta in the past year and a half and have participated in the development of the Gen 6 CAP meta ever since X and Y were released. I'm probably one of the most well known players among the CAP meta community and am both a former chat mod there and was briefly a Policy Review member. While I think this is a bit of a niche topic for most Showdown players I think looking at how CAP reacted to the developments in OU and the difference in teambuilding philosophy is an interesting topic that deserves a little recorded history. I think an above average article length would benefit the message greatly, but I could cut it down if you think there's too many paragraphs.
Summary: This article examines how the use of CAP-mons allowed a tightly balanced meta heavily centralized in bulky offense to develop out of the gimmicky mess that was early Gen 6 OU, what the major Pokemon were that allowed these types of teams to thrive, and how certain Pokemon considered too powerful for standard OU (Mega Kang, Deoxys, Aegislash, etc) could be reliably countered by most CAP teams. The timeline starts with the origins of the archetype- from the end of the Gen 5 CAP meta to the creation of Cawmodore just after X and Y's release, and the search for reliable answers to devastating sweepers like Aurumoth and Necturna. After explaining how the “balance core” operates, it continues on to how badly the banning of Genesect and later Aegislash threw the archetype (and by extension, much of the metagame) out of whack, and how the “balance breaker” trio of Kyurem-B, Landorus and Clefable caused enormous problems for these types of teams. Finally it looks at whether or not the changes in ORAS have been kind to balance cores and the CAP meta in general, and what kind of hypothetical changes to existing CAP-mons might serve to make the archetype a dominant force again.

-Early Gen 6 Pokebank OU was a “wild west” of a meta, dominated by overwhelming sweepers with very specialized counters that severely limited team options and made for team matchups that could decide a winner before the match even started
-multiple examples of Pokemon that were too difficult for standard OU teams to deal with
-physical sweepers dominated
-example of what an early team looked like​

-CAP Gen 6 came with even more baggage, not only requiring teams to respond to the biggest Gen 6 threats but also to some incredibly overwhelming sweepers like Aurumoth and Syclant that seemed impossible to counter
-Early Gen 6 CAP teams depended heavily on momentum and were loaded with priority/hyperoffense
-The release of Cawmodore was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back
-The use of bulky Cyclohm as a counter to Cawmodore also allowed other threats to be countered reliably​

-The increasingly heavy usage of specially tweaked Cyclohm sets eventually turned into a teambuilding philosophy:
-No free kills- pressure should be on the attacker to predict intelligently, not the defender
-Bag of tricks approach- Each team should have enough versatility that, even after losing some of your team, any threat could be dealt with through a combination of intelligent moves
-Outlast and outmuscle- Easy recovery, good bulk and access to powerful attack moves being signs of good Pokemon​

-The “balance core” eventually became one of the standards for what a successful, consistent Gen 6 CAP team would look like
-The six basic roles
-What a balance team might include​

-The archetype had problems right from the start, but team balancing was continually tweaked to handle even the strongest OU threats
-The sheer bulk and versatility of certain CAP-mons allowed them to endure attackers standard OU teams could barely handle
-This also prevented physical attackers from dominating as they had in OU
-CAP players had no influence on what Pokemon were allowed or banned in the meta, and thus spent a great deal of effort trying to push the CAP tools they had to the absolute limit to try to force the meta into a balanced state
-Standard core setups made it easy for new players to build a solid team and get into the meta
-Examples of banned OU Pokemon that could be countered by CAP threats​

-One of the reasons some players liked bulky CAP battles over standard OU
-Influence of RNG and team matchups were minimized
-Momentum could swing back and forth several times a match and one lucky guess could not win you a battle
-Access to a tight, extremely utilitarian core of 2-3 CAP-mons allowed for a lot of unusual strategies and sets that most OU teams would not have room for
-”Chivalric” attitude from players that preferred solid play and chess-like mindgames over gimmick sets and banking on one-off surprises​

-Even at their peak balance cores had exploitable weaknesses, and primarily had difficulty with dedicated stall teams, powerful special attackers, and ice/fairy types
-However, access to powerful steel types and devastating Mega attackers kept these counter-archetypes in check
-Eventually many of them were banned from OU, which forcibly banned them from CAP even though players in the tier did not consider them broken
-This had a chain reaction of unbalancing the CAP meta that the players there were forced to react to
-Genesect was a particularly nasty case​

-The loss of many powerful steel types due to bans was devastating to the balance core
-The big three threats to the balance core, and practically every CAP-heavy team in general- Kyurem-B, Clefable, and Landorus
-CAP Pokemon simply became less necessary over time as the Pokemon they countered became banned from the tier
-Fairy types in particular proved increasingly frustrating to deal with
-Balance cores tried to adjust but could not stay as consistent as they were before
-Many players started moving away from balance and towards heavy stall cores or hyperoffense not too unlike what you see in OU​

-The current debate over Mega Metagross seems like a repeat of what we've seen which damaged these cores in the first place
-Despite many players considering Mega Meta too strong, it is easily checked by Tomohawk + Colossoil and straight up hard countered by Cyclohm
-The loss of yet another bulky, hard hitting steel type means fairy types are stronger
-Mega Diancie can beat many standard fairy counters in CAP, if Mega Meta is banned it may prove to be the most dominant mega in both CAP and OU​

-The formulaic, extremely bulky cores of the past are no longer considered highly effective, but a more nimble, offense heavy variant is still a viable and effective playstyle
-Trapping and pursuit focused mons more common
-Less immediate utility and less bulk, but more powerful wallbreakers
-New sets like Pyroak tanks, Assault Vest Colossoil being used
-Volt-turn momentum becoming more popular through other sources such as Landorus-T and Talonflame
-Tomohawk/Cyclohm/Colossoil trio still the groundwork for most teams
-Mega Latias, Mega Scizor, and Magnezone may start seeing more popularity to help balance teams become more momentum based and deal with the major threats more easily​

-The development of the Gen 6 CAP meta is an excellent study of how different Pokemon that were in no way designed to interact with each other or future generations of standard Pokemon can be tweaked and repurposed into a coherent, balanced game
-Also shows how balance fixes for one meta can have unplanned detrimental effects to another meta
-Begs the question of whether or not Gamefreak even deliberately tries to create counters and checks for the Pokemon they create, or just make whatever they think is interesting and hope the players figure it out​
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fudge jelly
You might want to ask Jas61292, HealNDeal, or Tadasuke if you looking for people active in the CAP metagame section

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