Announcement np: SM CAP Stage 3 - Gold [Aurumoth Nerfed]

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Jordy

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Now that CAP 26 has finished all its competitive stages and CAPTT is just around the corner, the CAP metagame council has decided it's time to look at the legendary bug itself, Aurumoth.

Thanks to its great bulk and expansive movepool, Aurumoth has positioned itself as the best wincon in the entire metagame. Its bulky Quiver Dance set is capable of setting up very easily against foes like Arghonaut, possibly multiple times if the opponent doesn't immediately switch to a Pokemon capable of forcing it out. With the help of coverage in the form of Focus Blast and Thunder, Aurumoth can easily blow past most common checks to Psychic-types like Ferrothorn, Heatran, and Celesteela after a boost and sweep through virtually any team.

Unpredictability is another major factor that contributes to Aurumoth's dominance. While bulky Quiver Dance is its most common set, Aurumoth has a wide array of options that can surprise the opponent, making it incredibly versatile. Z-Move variants can use the extra power to muscle past threats like Heatran and Magearna more easily. Bug Buzz, Blizzard, and Overheat are other coverage options that can easily bypass checks like Mega Latias, Reuniclus, and Magearna. Tail Glow is an alternative boosting option that can pose a much more immediate threat to bulkier teams. While none of these options are problematic by themselves, they only exacerbate how difficult it is to play around Aurumoth, as assuming the wrong set can prove to be deadly.

Choice Scarf users: It is not particularly hard to outspeed Aurumoth at +1 Speed, so many common Choice Scarf users such as Kitsunoh, Greninja, and Volkraken are capable of revenge killing it. However, because of its incredible bulk, not even Volkraken is capable of always OHKOing a boosted Aurumoth, so all of them require prior damage. Choice Scarf Weavile has seen use precisely because it's able to OHKO a boosted Aurumoth using Punishment. It is also important to note that Kitsunoh is the only one of these that can switch in relatively safely, but even then, it takes significant damage from Thunder. Furthermore, because of its low damage output, Kitsunoh needs to resort to using Trick to cripple a healthy Aurumoth with its Choice Scarf, as otherwise Kitsunoh risks putting Aurumoth in range for its Berry, and doing so sacrifices most of its utility against faster threats and fails completely against sets with a Z-Crystal.

Steel-types: Magearna is usually one of the safest checks to Aurumoth, but its lack of reliable recovery means that it is quickly worn down, Z-Moves can overwhelm it with relative ease, and it needs to watch out for the rare Overheat. Other Steel-types like Heatran, Ferrothorn, and Celesteela can pressure Aurumoth, but Focus Blast and Thunder make them very unreliable checks.

Priority: This method can be used to pick off a weakened Aurumoth, but it is rather unreliable, as Aurumoth's great bulk means that even strong super effective moves like Mega Mawile's Sucker Punch fail to KO from full HP, and because Aurumoth usually runs pinch Berries, it's also hard to put it into range of weaker ones like Syclant's Ice Shard.

Chansey: The blob is always the most obvious blanket check to special attackers, and it can tank most of Aurumoth moves. However, after a few boosts, Focus Blast can 2HKO it, so it tends to lose 1v1 unless it carries Toxic, an uncommon move on modern sets.

Other generically bulky Pokemon: Clefable, Mega Latias, and Reuniclus are capable of tanking Aurumoth's most common moves and can use Calm Mind to prevent a boosted Aurumoth from overwhelming them, although a well-timed Z-Move can overwhelm them, and the latter two fear Bug Buzz. Tangrowth and Jumbao don't take too much damage, but unless Aurumoth has been already weakened, it can boost past them.

As can be observed from this list, Aurumoth has the ability to trump any of its supposed checks. For this reason, many teams need to pack multiple checks to stop it, and even in these cases, Aurumoth might still find a way to break past them, especially with proper team support. This makes Aurumoth a very oppressive presence in the metagame, capable of winning games by itself if given just a single free turn, and immensely restrictive to teambuilding, forcing teams to run one of the few select Pokemon capable of preventing it from sweeping.


Here's a replay showcasing Aurumoth in action:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7cap-880742922

In this game, Aurumoth comes in late-game once Jordy's team has been weakened and tanks a Hurricane from Tornadus-T in order to set up a sweep. This perfectly showcases how Aurumoth's bulk lets it easily find setup opportunities to turn the tide of the game in its favor, even on seemingly unfavorable matchups.

Process:

snake_rattler said:
1. The CAP Metagame Council identifies a broken/unhealthy threat. Input from the metagame discussion thread, Discord, high-level tournament replays, etc. are ways the community can voice their concerns to the CAP Metagame council.
2. The CAP Metagame Council begins a thread. The OP, written by the CAP Metagame Council, summarizes why the Pokemon is broken. Metagame shifts, game mechanics changing, or OU bans can be potential points. The CAP Metagame council will also include a checks and counters list. Hard-counters to soft-checks, hazard damage, relative ability to switch-in, etc. should be considered. Keep in mind that with the broken Pokemon in the metagame, we can continue to understand why it is broken.
3. In the thread, the community discusses the simplest solution(s) to making the CAP not broken. Here, we can well-define a new list of checks and counters. Some solutions may be changing its ability to one that's similar but not as good, reducing its speed tier, removing some of its bulk or attack, or removing a certain move or two from its movepool. The community will play a huge role in identifying what solutions are available, but CAP Metagame Council will have the final say on what nerf is implemented. Keep in mind that the nerf(s) that is(are) implemented MUST preserve the identity of the CAP (i.e. Necturna uses Sketch, Pajantom uses its powerful trapping move, etc.).
======
/!\Rules for posting in this thread/!\
Do not post one liners, nor uninformed posts;
Do not hold discussion on other potential nerfing processes;
Do not hold discussion on the nerfing process;
You are required to make respectful posts.
If you fail to follow these rules, your post will be deleted and you will be infracted.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask Jordy, SHSP, snake_rattler, Jho, and/or Mx.
 

Jordy

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Over the past couple of days, I've been thinking about what I believe is the simplest and best option to balance Aurumoth.

First of all, I'd like to address what I believe is the main issue with Aurumoth in the current metagame. To me, the big issue with Aurumoth is that it is capable of setting up on a pretty big part of the relevant Pokemon within the current metagame, such as Tangrowth, Arghonaut, and for whatever unholy reason, bulky Tornadus-T. As a result, using Aurumoth comes with pretty little risk and doesn't actually incentivize skilled gameplay, sometimes just pulling wins out of nowhere. While this is sort of expected from sweepers because their whole purpose is to overwhelm teams and sweep them, the consistency at which Aurumoth manages to do this, even to prepared teams, is simply too much for the metagame to deal with.

Its coverage is pretty insane too, boasting high Base Power moves such as Thunder, Blizzard, Focus Blast, and Overheat which it can use with practically no drawback thanks to No Guard, allowing it to tech for pretty much everything, which makes it incredibly hard to adequately deal with defensively for many teams. As a result, Aurumoth has pretty much forced Choice Scarf Kitsunoh and Weavile onto every team, which are otherwise pretty mediocre Pokemon that would probably not see nearly as much usage as they do now. I do feel like I should also address that even these Pokemon are often not enough because of Aurumoth's sheer bulk, allowing it to live a hit from Kitsunoh after Stealth Rock damage, for example.

With all this said, you'd probably guess that I'd like to see Aurumoth's movepool or bulk get hit. However, I actually believe that it is Quiver Dance that is the main issue here because it enables Aurumoth as a sweeper. As we can tell from metagame results, sets that do not use Quiver Dance, like its Tail Glow + 3 Attacks sets, are not nearly as overwhelming, despite its still pretty insane coverage, in the current metagame because it's unable to boost its Speed, which leaves it below Pokemon like Tornadus-T, ultimately making it much easier to revenge kill.

While I can see an argument for removing coverage moves from Aurumoth's movepool instead, just removing Quiver Dance would be a much simpler fix. Though, I can understand why Overheat could still be seen as problematic and I'd personally like to see it get reviewed as well because I believe that Aurumoth shouldn't be able to make Magearna a non-factor so easily.

I'd also quickly like to address Dragon Dance because I've made a pretty big point about why Quiver Dance is so good because it boosts Aurumoth's Speed, so you may be wondering why I haven't mentioned Dragon Dance at all until this point. The simple reason why I don't believe Dragon Dance sets are/will be broken is because the coverage just isn't all that great, with Aurumoth not having access to physical Electric- or Ice-type coverage, making it overall much less threatening defensively. To add onto that, it wouldn't be very functional for the sole purpose to boost Speed on double dance sets because a pretty key part of the set is that Quiver Dance provides it with a Special Defense boost. Lastly, and maybe even more importantly than anything else, I believe that we should only address what is currently causing the issue. Dragon Dance is not the issue right now and because of that, we should leave it alone to minimize what would essentially be pointless nerfs. Of course I could be wrong and maybe Dragon Dance sets do prove to be broken in the next meta, but then we can always hold another nerfing process to address that; I'd rather not make this decision without any practical evidence.
 
Alright well Jordy kind of nailed the issues on the head, but I’d like to single out the part I’m all in for: just removing Quiver Dance is the simplest effective way to fix this. Unlike Jordy, I don’t want to see anything else take a hit on this magnificent, monstrous Bug. Take away Quiver Dance and that is enough. Jordy already outlined why and how it fixes the issue of Aurumoth’s consistent sweeping, and I agree with that, but I’d argue for a “less is more” approach here. To summarize: nerf, don’t neuter.
 
Discussion has been extremely slow both here and in the Discord, but at the moment I'm tending to agree with axing QD. Speed really is the problem that let's Auru blast every playstyle, don't have too much to add on that.

I've been one of the vocal critics of Overheat and since Jordy wanted more talk on it figured I'd drop some thoughts. The primary issue of course with Overheat is how it trivializes AV Mage while maintaining other important mu's like Cele. Something to consider with the removal of QD is TG becoming it's new standard set, it can still blow past SpDef Mage with Z-Thunder/Z-FB after a boost. That's to be expected but unlike Thunder/FB, Z-Overheat doesn't need a TG boost to OHKO standard SpDef mage with only a little chip.

252 SpA Aurumoth Gigavolt Havoc (185 BP) vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Magearna: 124-147 (34.1 - 40.4%) -- 50% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+3 252 SpA Aurumoth Gigavolt Havoc (185 BP) vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Magearna: 310-365 (85.3 - 100.5%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Aurumoth All-Out Pummeling (190 BP) vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Magearna: 128-151 (35.2 - 41.5%) -- 80.2% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+3 252 SpA Aurumoth All-Out Pummeling (190 BP) vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Magearna: 317-374 (87.3 - 103%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Aurumoth Inferno Overdrive (195 BP) vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Magearna: 262-310 (72.1 - 85.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+3 252 SpA Aurumoth Overheat vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Magearna: 436-514 (120.1 - 141.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Clearly Overheat isn't affecting the SpDef mu that much, but the real problem arises with how it enables Auru to blast through the AV set
+3 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunder vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 124-146 (34.1 - 40.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
+3 252 SpA Aurumoth Gigavolt Havoc (185 BP) vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 208-245 (57.3 - 67.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

+3 252 SpA Aurumoth Focus Blast vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 135-159 (37.1 - 43.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
+3 252 SpA Aurumoth All-Out Pummeling (190 BP) vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 214-252 (58.9 - 69.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

252 SpA Aurumoth Overheat vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 118-140 (32.5 - 38.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Aurumoth Inferno Overdrive (195 BP) vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 176-208 (48.4 - 57.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
+3 252 SpA Aurumoth Overheat vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 294-346 (80.9 - 95.3%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+3 252 SpA Aurumoth Inferno Overdrive (195 BP) vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 438-516 (120.6 - 142.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

With all that said I think regardless whether or not QD gets the boot, Overheat should get the boot. It has no right having the option to blow past one of it's better checks in AV Mage that easily. If people really want to make Mage a harder check we'd be having to ditch Thunder and FB too, but I think that's both unfeasible and undesirable. Just removing Overheat alleviates the pressure on Mage enough to help it be more consistent.

EDIT: also good lord people start posting, this thread been deader than marco polo's dog
 

Jho

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While I agree that the QD set is clearly what makes Aurumoth so strong, I'm not completely sold on the idea that QD is the reason it's broken, I would be fine with removing it but want to offer an alternate idea. Personally, I think No Gaurd is what pushes moth over the edge.

No Guard to me is what gives Aurumoth 0 risk when setting up, you know you can sweep due to the boosts + high BP coverage, which would normally have the downside of accuracy. A psychic type with No Guard Focus Blast is already extremely powerful, not to mention everything else Moth has going for it. Whilst this doesn't directly change any matchups for Moth, it does make Aurumoth far more inconsistent but still lets it perform its role as a powerful sweeper, should you take the risks. I also think removing No Guard is a less impactful change that would knock Aurumoth from the top spot without completely neutering it. For what its worth, removing No Gaurd would also play into Aurumoth's original concept of risk vs reward as you risk using high coverage moves at the cost of accuracy. This also asks the question of whether or not the lower BP versions should be removed to force the accuracy issue, or if forcing it to run Ice Beam etc is enough of a damage penalty already.

Just wanted to post an alternate idea of mine since this thread has had very little activity compared to the last two, I encourage you to post any and all opinions on Aurumoth changes you might have as it really helps us out as we go into discussions in the near future.
 
I just want to give one quick thought real quick - removing just Quiver Dance isn't going to necessarily fix the speed problem, because Aurumoth also has Dragon Dance. There's little reason to use it at the moment, since Quiver Dance is essentially better for most purposes, but if QD was banned I think Dragon Dance would just slide on in. Close Combat, Megahorn, and Zen Headbutt all would be boosted and are powerful options, and Aurumoth's Special Attack and potent typing-based Special coverage is easily good enough to be potent without the SpA boosting. Now, I might be wrong about this since I've been out of the meta for a while - maybe physical damage is worthless now or something, and mixed Auru would be completely non-viable. But I'm going off my experiences from before I left, and hoping they're worthwhile still.

I think removing No Guard would maybe do a little more than removing only QD, but at the same time Aurumoth still gets Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, and Psychic, so I feel Aurumoth doesn't necessarily actually lose much by removing the moves that are stronger. Aka, I doubt removing No Guard, or only low-accuracy coverage, would have much effect. It's the coverage in itself that's the issue, with the speed and bulk. It also raises the question of a new ability and the potential ramifications of that.

So we have three options the way I see it, with each one targeting part of the problem: We could remove Dragon Dance AND Quiver Dance (essentially making Tail Glow the only setup for Aurumoth), remove several typings of coverage (like removing Overheat, along with Thunder AND Thunderbolt, so Auru has no options besides Hp for the types), or to literally nerf Aurumoth's defensive stats, which is radical, probably a bad idea, and might not even fix the issue. So probably best to remove coverage by typing groups, or to remove both the speed-based setup moves.

Edit: snake_rattler valid point. I guess I’m still operating under old CAP mentality of rare edits, and trying to think how to ensure its strength is lowered in a single blow nerf. If we are looking at multi-stage updating now though, first of all, great - I’ve been wanting this forever now. Second of all, you’re right. That means we can take our time with this and just do things gradually to test the waters. I’ll leave the rest of my post up for context on your reply, but I’m glad we can pick and choose more. My thoughts on needing to prune at the coverage above all still stands, but the part about Dragon Dance we can shelf since as you said it’s a problem for another day, if a problem at all.
 
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snake_rattler

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I just want to give one quick thought real quick - removing just Quiver Dance isn't going to necessarily fix the speed problem, because Aurumoth also has Dragon Dance. There's little reason to use it at the moment, since Quiver Dance is essentially better for most purposes, but if QD was banned I think Dragon Dance would just slide on in. Close Combat, Megahorn, and Zen Headbutt all would be boosted and are powerful options, and Aurumoth's Special Attack and potent typing-based Special coverage is easily good enough to be potent without the SpA boosting. Now, I might be wrong about this since I've been out of the meta for a while - maybe physical damage is worthless now or something, and mixed Auru would be completely non-viable. But I'm going off my experiences from before I left, and hoping they're worthwhile still.
I want to make a more complete post soon with my thoughts on Aurumoth nerf, but I find this reasoning somewhat flawed.

First off, we don't know whether Dragon Dance is a problem yet. It doesn't make sense to "fix" a problem that doesn't exist - if we remove Quiver Dance and Dragon Dance Aurumoth becomes just as overbearing as Quiver Dance, we'll just undergo another nerf.

Second, Aurumoth's physical coverage is just that - Close Combat, Megahorn, and Zen Headbutt. Deviating from that coverage for a mixed set is pretty much impossible too; you want Zen Headbutt to break past Arghonaut and Toxapex, Close Combat to hit Steel-types, and Megahorn so that you aren't walled by Psychic-types. Compared to Quiver Dance sets, which has access to much wider coverage, this set is much more predictable. Furthermore, what's contributing to Aurumoth's brokenness is its bulky set, which can set up against usual checks like Choice Scarf Volkraken and continue to set up because of Quiver Dance's Special Defense boost, which Dragon Dance notably lacks. For these reasons, I don't see a one to one comparison between the DD set and the QD sets.

So, if, hypothetically, Aurumoth loses Quiver Dance and its Dragon Dance set becomes broken, we'll take another look at it. If Aurumoth loses Quiver Dance and the Dragon Dance set becomes a good, but balanced sweeper, then we've accomplished our goal - we're looking to make Aurumoth not broken with the evidence that we have.

Now, I still want to explore all the avenues of this nerf myself - whether it's Quiver Dance, No Guard, bulk, or coverage that has to go is for another post. But I don't think Dragon Dance is on the table for this nerf at all because there's no evidence suggesting that it's broken now.
 

Frostbiyt

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On the subject of coverage, I think something worth discussing is whether it's really a bad thing that Aurumoth can force its way past Magearna with the use of Overheat. Remember that any changes we make will affect the metagame as a whole, and Magearna is already sitting up at the top, so I think removing Aurumoth as a potential check may not be worth it and that it may be a good idea to explore removing different coverage options instead.
 

MikeDawg

I COULD BE BANNED!
On the subject of coverage, I think something worth discussing is whether it's really a bad thing that Aurumoth can force its way past Magearna with the use of Overheat. Remember that any changes we make will affect the metagame as a whole, and Magearna is already sitting up at the top, so I think removing Aurumoth as a potential check may not be worth it and that it may be a good idea to explore removing different coverage options instead.
I'm not sure that AV Mag needs to be "checked" per se because it's an inherently passive set. Other Magearna sets are definitely threatening, but they can be easily broken by Aurumoth's other coverage moves without the boost from AV. Moreover, I don't think I'd consider Aurumoth a check to Mag when Mag is the one switching in to stop Aurumoth.
 

MikeDawg

I COULD BE BANNED!
I agree with removing Quiver Dance, but here's another fun idea (posting from mobile, so apologies for any typos):

Remove Quiver Dance, add Shell Smash, remove No Guard, bump down Speed/HP to reasonable benchmarks for revenge killing.

The goal of Aurumoth was to explore high risk/reward, right? Part of the reason Quiver Dance is so problematic is because it's an incredibly safe setup move due to the combined special defense and speed boosts. Shell Smash was designed to be the opposite of that: a huge offensive boost coupled with a debilitating bulk drop. That bulk drop is really notable for Aurumoth. For example, it turns Mawile's Sucker Punch into a clean 1hko, and it makes Pinsir's Quick Attack a clean 1hko after rocks.

You can run White Herb to mitigate the drop, but then you miss out on the huge survivability boost from Wiki Berry or the crucial offense boost from a z-move. Note that even with White Herb, Shell Smash still results in reduced special bulk compared to Quiver Dance. This (combined with the lack of healing item) is a huge boon to any special mons who can take a hit and respond, like Mega-Alakazam, who can now 1HKO with Shadow Ball. Or Avest Magearna, who can KO with Fleur Cannon after rocks and is safe from any Z-move surprises. Same deal regarding special priority, like Ash-Greninja's Water Shuriken, which now has a good chance to kill after rocks.

This slight bulk reduction pairs super well with the removal of No Guard. Due to the decrease in base power across the board, Aurumoth only gains a bit of extra power from Shell Smash, which is balanced by the reduction in bulk (defense drops/no Wiki Berry) or lack of Z-move to break typical checks. For reference, +2 Thunderbolt does only 5% more damage to Heatran than +1 Thunder. Additionally, Unaware mons become much better counters to Aurumoth overall, as they are unaffected by the increased stat boost, but they love the lower base power; this would help alleviate the pressure of thr Tail Glow vs stall matchup as well. Of course, people could start running Modest to help offset the BP reduction, but that +speed nature is actually pretty significant for avoiding revenge kills (I'll talk more on that later). This means that aforementioned category (mons who can take a hit and respond) doesn't shrink nearly as much as you would think. Meanwhile, the amount of mons who can do solid damage to Aurumoth grows significantly. All-in-all, these changes help transfer Aurumoth's impact from the teambuilder to the game. What I mean is that teams don't need to fear as much that Aurumoth can use a mon as setup bait, but you need to make more thoughtful plays in-game to ensure that your checks stay healthy enough to tank slightly stronger moves. Reducing matchup importance is an incredibly healthy shift, imo. Additionally, I think this accomplishes the original risk/reward goal much better than the original moveset.

Finally, let's talk stat nerfs. The biggest concern with Shell Smash is speed. That's why almost every official mon with access to the move has abysmal speed. Then again, Shell Smash sees practically no play in OU, so perhaps Gamefreak has been a bit too conservative in it's distribution. We don't need to turn Aurumoth into Aurusnail, but it could be beneficial to reduce either speed or bulk (or both) depending on whether we're more interested in creating offensive or defensive answers.

Here are a few speed benchmarks that help preserve current revenge killers. Note, though, that the inherent bulk and/or survivability drop from Shell Smash makes priority (like the aforementioned Pinsir and Ash Greninja) more potent.
  • 70: one point below scarf Kitsunoh
  • 79: one point below scarf Greninja
  • 81: one point below scarf Weavile.
Regarding Modest vs Timid: we would only need to take away just 1 point in speed for Scarf Weavile to outspeed +2 Modest Aurumoth, and 3 points for Scarf Greninja to outspeed. When the numbers are that high, the 10% nature boost makes a massive difference. Especially if we opt for a speed nerf, the power boost from Modest comes with a much worse matchup against revenge killers, especially considering the -1 Def/SpD from Shell Smash or lack of Wiki Berry, and the missing +1 SpD from Quiver Dance (again, risk/reward).

Nerfing bulk is an option as well. I won't touch too much on it since the premise is the same as the aforementioned bulk reduction from Shell Smash, but a few tweaks could certainly open more options for revenge killing. Specifically, reducing bulk would benefit defensive checks to Aurumoth who have no interest in outspeeding anyway. It could be worth exploring a few close benchmarks, but I feel as if the speed reduction combined with lower base power moves is probably sufficient.

All in all, it would be sad to simply lose Quiver Dance, because being a risky but potent sweeper is one of Aurumoth's defining traits, and QD has proven to be a fantastic move for that purpose (see: Volcarona). Shell Smash is a similar option that comes with the major downside of either reduced bulk or the loss of an item. I feel that removing No Guard and tweaking stats can sufficiently balance the "buff" that Shell Smash brings. Specifically, it greatly increases the quantity of options available to check Aurumoth while reducing the potency of each one, meaning that an Aurumoth sweep will be based far more on in-game skill than on lucky matchup.
 
Remove Quiver Dance, add Shell Smash, remove No Guard, bump down Speed/HP to reasonable benchmarks for revenge killing.
not quoting the entire post.

Adding moves is not/should not be on the table, no matter what the circumstance is. We can't add options to a mon we're trying to nerf, let alone an option that is literally BETTER than it's current suspect move. In your own post you outline how SS would be so much better than QD that auru would also need big stat nerfs and to lose it's ability. (Which I'd like to add, removing No Guard helps Auru in the survival department since it can't dodge FB or Hurricane while it's got NG)

Why isn't just removing QD, a more simple solution, the more desirable one? This isn't an update or a rework, we're nerfing Auru by tweaking the options it already has, we're not giving it any new tools. Moreover even if such an option was available it's so much extra work for an outcome that is far more questionable, and at the end of the day we want to do things in the most efficient way possible. Less is more, and all that.
 

MikeDawg

I COULD BE BANNED!
Adding moves is not/should not be on the table, no matter what the circumstance is. We can't add options to a mon we're trying to nerf
Why? The goal of CAP isn't just to make balanced mons, it's to make compelling ones. Like I said, removing Quiver Dance would mean removing Aurumoth's defining trait as a risky sweeper. If we just want a kinda slow mon with massive offensive stats... we already have Tail Glow Manaphy, Hoopa-U, Medicham, Mawile, etc.

let alone an option that is literally BETTER than it's current suspect move. In your own post you outline how SS would be so much better than QD that auru would also need big stat nerfs and to lose it's ability. (Which I'd like to add, removing No Guard helps Auru in the survival department since it can't dodge FB or Hurricane while it's got NG)
But it's not explicitly better, it's just different. And those differences are significant in correcting Aurumoth's most glaring flaws (e.g. being too tanky to be "risky"). I specifically outlined why I think that's the case. If you want to respond to my points, I'm all ears. But right now your argument isn't particularly convincing, and you're blatantly ignoring the negatives that I discussed.

It doesn't help that you consider No Guard a liability when it's almost singlehandedly responsible for Aurumoth's massive raw power. As for your examples... Tornadus-T gets outspeed and killed by Thunder anyway (and fails to kill through +1 SpD I believe), and Aurumoth 4x resists Focus Blast... There is not a single situation where losing No Guard would be a buff.

This isn't an update or a rework, we're nerfing Auru by tweaking the options it already has, we're not giving it any new tools.
Like I said, just removing QD would imo ruin Aurumoth as an interesting Pokemon (and maybe destroy it's viability too). I began my post agreeing that removing QD would be a fine solution. I don't know why you're being so hostile over a suggestion, especially when you havent even bothered to respond to my points. :/

Moreover even if such an option was available it's so much extra work for an outcome that is far more questionable, and at the end of the day we want to do things in the most efficient way possible. Less is more, and all that.
"Far more questionable" by whose standard? Again, I addressed a number of concerns. If you want to talk about those points, then I'd be happy to; it's a discussion.

I don't see why it's "so much more work" either. What does that even mean? I'm not being sarcastic, I truly don't see why adding a move is so much more work. :P Especially when it could benefit as a whole, like I outlined. It's pointless to apply arbitrary limitations without even talking about the idea. It's just a suggestion. I wanted to contribute to a pretty dead thread. :)
 
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lyd

OFWGKTA
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look im kinda new to cap and all, but this is utterly ridiculous. first and foremost, shell smash is not a nerf to this cap, it's a huge buff.

even with the speed loss to say base fucking 70, you still need a base 110 scarfer to do the trick and that's ridiculous. sure, cap does run these scarfers more commonly, but it's because of overcentralization as far as i can tell, of necturna and aurumoth. making these pokemon one of the few ways to actually deal with it will make the meta a thousand times worse and centralized around these pokemon. like sure, you bring up bulk, but if aurumoth is slower than a pokemon before setting up (and most offensive pokemon will be faster at base 70) it takes the hit before the defense drops, meaning even with, say, -20 to base hp, def, and spd you still tank hits such as offensive garchomp's stone edge and choice band kartana's smart strike. not to mention the fact that moth can simply set up on a wall that doesnt treaten it, or do you really want people to have a team of 6 pokemon that can all ohko this moth? and of course, there's literally no defensive counterplay to +2 +2 aurumoth, even chansey is guaranteed a 2hko after stealth rock.

overall, your proposal, if anything, skews the risk reward concept even more, as suddenly the reward for literally clicking one move is kind of winning the game after some turns. do you not realize how broken this moth would be?

and sure, remove 200 bst from it to make it balanced or whatever. you're still missing the point. this is just a nerf, not a "how can we make this cap more interesting and loyal to it's concept", because honestly, many caps don't quite achieve their concept and that's alright. i see that as more of a guideline than an obligation. and it's not like game freak designs with competitive concepts or anything like that lol, so that's not the main priority here. the main goal is for this moth to simply get nerfed and make the cap metagame more enjoyable and competitive. like, do you really think giving this shit shell smash a week before cap team tour is a good idea? lmao
 

Jordy

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I agree with everything lyd said, but I'd also like to point out that Shell Smash would constrict counter play even more. This is because it enables special, physical, and mixed sets, and you most likely won't be able to perfectly guess what moves it is running on team preview. Because of this, I just don't see it as a nerf and I believe that it's actually closer to a buff than a nerf.

We could prevent this and remove a bunch of moves from Aurumoth's movepool to balance this out, but that's much more "complicated" (for lack of a better term), than simply removing Quiver Dance and maybe 1 or 2 questionable coverage moves. I'll just quote this part of the outlined process:
In the thread, the community discusses the simplest solution(s) to making the CAP not broken.
I'm not speaking for the council as a whole; these are my personal thoughts.
 

MikeDawg

I COULD BE BANNED!
Fair enough! :) I definitely don't disagree. Just wanted to throw the idea out there.

Switching subjects, I think just removing QD maybe isn't the most ideal move on second thought for the reasons I mentioned before.

Removing No Guard and potentially Overheat would be a massive drop in power without destroying its role as a sweeper, and I think would be sufficient as far as nerfs go.

If QD is removed, I think replacing it with Calm Mind is worthwhile (if it isn't too much trouble) for the sake of flavor & maintaining similar utility paired with Weak Armor, and it definitely wouldn't cause balance issues if that's the main concern with adding new moves.
 
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Why? The goal of CAP isn't just to make balanced mons, it's to make compelling ones. Like I said, removing Quiver Dance would mean removing Aurumoth's defining trait as a risky sweeper.
How does removing QD make it less of a risky sweeper? The entire reason we want to remove QD is because it removes all risk. By this definition removing QD increases risk does it not? I super don't get this.

But it's not explicitly better, it's just different. And those differences are significant in correcting Aurumoth's most glaring flaws (e.g. being too tanky to be "risky"). I specifically outlined why I think that's the case. If you want to respond to my points, I'm all ears. But right now your argument isn't particularly convincing, and you're blatantly ignoring the negatives that I discussed.

It doesn't help that you consider No Guard a liability when it's almost singlehandedly responsible for Aurumoth's massive raw power. As for your examples... Tornadus-T gets outspeed and killed by Thunder anyway (and fails to kill through +1 SpD I believe), and Aurumoth 4x resists Focus Blast... There is not a single situation where losing No Guard would be a buff.
But it is explicitly better. It turns 2 turns of set-up into 1 and enables mixed sets. +2 CC does more than +2 Z-Focus does to Chansey and let's it bop all the SpDef steels in the tier harder. Forcing Sucker to revenge auru is not healthy and also impractical, as it could opt for subsmash shenanigans like Nect did.

Like I said, just removing QD would imo ruin Aurumoth as an interesting Pokemon (and maybe destroy it's viability too). I began my post agreeing that removing QD would be a fine solution. I don't know why you're being so hostile over a suggestion, especially when you havent even bothered to respond to my points. :/
If you think QD is the sole most interesting thing about Auru then I don't know what to tell you. The mon learns a bajillion cool moves and has a unique type and design. I'm not being hostile at all, I'm countering your arguments by breaking down their logic and reasoning, that is how these things work after all.

I don't see why it's "so much more work" either. What does that even mean? I'm not being sarcastic, I truly don't see why adding a move is so much more work. :P Especially when it could benefit as a whole, like I outlined. It's pointless to apply arbitrary limitations without even talking about the idea. It's just a suggestion. I wanted to contribute to a pretty dead thread.
Remove QD: 1 action
Remove QD, Add SS, Reduce Stats, Remove No Guard: 4 actions
The more actions are taken the more they're going to connect and can have additional unforseen or unwanted consequences. This is why simplicity is heavily desired. Jordy's post hit on that better tho
 

Bughouse

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Removing No Guard is the correct place to start. Aurumoth was meant to focus on risk. Weak Armor is such an ability, No Guard is not.

Trading the ability to use 100% accurate powerful moves for being hit by opponents is not truly risky because it’s asymmetric. You get a chance to QD and then who cares that they’re able to hit with 100% acc hurricane? They’re eating a +1 Thunder, Blizzard, etc first. And dying. No Guard just means you can’t set up on a prayed-for miss. Which isn’t a risk anyone should take anyway.

To be sure, removing QD would sufficiently nerf Aurumoth, but I think it’s overkill, and just removing No Guard instead is a better path.
 

Funbot28

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Oops forgot to post in this thread a while back but I would generally go the route of removing QD instead of touching its abilities. I think the value Moth has a special sweeper with access to low accuracy moves with No Guard is quite fair and unique to what its concept was intended to be (besides the whole Illusion fiasco but we shall not speak of such dark times). If we should remove QD, it still can boost and break its checks via Tail Glow but does not have access to a great matchup versus offensive teams as well due to its slightly below average Speed which leaves it prone to a multitude of revenge killers in the tier. Weak Armor Berry sets might still be an issue, however those sets are generally less consistent compared to the No Guard + QD sets running rampant rn and what is contributing to Moth's unhealthiness imo.

I am open to removing Overheat as well, making Magearna a more solid check to it unless it decides to utilize a Z-move to nuke it, but I think removing QD overall targets the main problem of Moth atm.
 

MikeDawg

I COULD BE BANNED!
I think the value Moth has a special sweeper with access to low accuracy moves with No Guard is quite fair and unique to what its concept was intended to be
Counterpoint: No Guard is just a glorified BST boost most of the time. Considering the ubiquity of strong, 100% accurate special moves, you could accomplish the same thing as No Guard by bumping Aurumoth's special attack stat.

Base 117:

252 SpA Aurumoth Thunder vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Aurumoth: 167-197 (46.2 - 54.5%)

Base 154:

252 SpA Aurumoth Thunderbolt vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Aurumoth: 167-197 (46.2 - 54.5%)

When you look at it that way, Aurumoth is just a really strong special mon with a perfect movepool. A better alternative for emphasizing low-accuracy moves would be something like Victory Star, but imo accuracy hax isn't the type of "risk" we should be exploring.

That insane psuedo-SpA is the main thing holding Aurumoth back from being interesting but not overwhelming. It's really hard to balance around that kind of power. If we remove No Guard (and maybe Overheat), we don't have to destroy its signature Quiver Dance sets, and we can replace it with a weaker-but-more-interesting ability.

On that note, one option that fits really well imo is Quick Feet, which gives a 1.5x speed boost while statused. That could make for some cool plays like switching in on a predicted twave or other status move, despite the risk of taking a strong special hit or limiting future turns via burn/toxic damage. Additionally, it gives an incentive to use non-QD sets, though the boost is still appreciated alongside QD of course.

In terms of flavor, it pairs well with Weak Armor as a conditional speed-boosting ability.
 

Drapionswing

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I support No Guard as a nerf to Aurumoth, as mentioned by Jho , it's a way to refocus on Aurumoth's concept while alleviating the stress on the metagame. Once Aurumoth QD's you instantly get a safe sense of security that not many other Pokemon get; A boost to not only your power and speed, but bulk limiting revengability. This combined with No Guard alleviating the risk of moves such as Focus Blast, Thunder and Blizzard then allows it to use high base power moves freely with it's power boost. It's really strong.

Removing No Guard calcs:

+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunder vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Celesteela: 242-286 (60.9 - 72%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunderbolt vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Celesteela: 200-236 (50.3 - 59.4%) -- 79.3% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Celesteela: 384-454 (96.7 - 114.3%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO after Leftovers recovery ( This is Thunderbolt, so it doesn't have any effect on this matchup generally)

+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunder vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Kitsunoh: 192-226 (63.7 - 75%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunderbolt vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Kitsunoh: 158-186 (52.4 - 61.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Kitsunoh: 305-359 (101.3 - 119.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO(Tbolt again)

+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tornadus-Therian: 298-352 (82.3 - 97.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunder vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tornadus-Therian: 364-430 (100.5 - 118.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tornadus-Therian: 578-682 (159.6 - 188.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunderbolt vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Volkraken: 272-322 (79.7 - 94.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunder vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Volkraken: 334-394 (97.9 - 115.5%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth All-Out Pummeling (190 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Volkraken: 288-339 (84.4 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunderbolt vs. 208 HP / 0 SpD Moltres: 314-370 (84.1 - 99.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 SpA Aurumoth Thunder vs. 208 HP / 0 SpD Moltres: 382-450 (102.4 - 120.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO


Generally Thunderbolt would still be an acceptable option if you are going z Thunerbolt, and If you go z Fight, Thunderbolt still nabs the same 2hkos that Thunder did, but misses out on a few ohkos, not factoring in SR or chip. I'd say that if we're to go this route you'd probably still want to get rid of Thunderbolt so that it can't just run it as an alternate option. But then overheat is again still a good option for z Sets, but makes the berry sets less valuable as these are the harder to revenge kill sets.

e: will add more calcs, had to go
 
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I think Aurumoth is a really complex CAP to analyze, as it has so many things going up for it. Quiver Dance means that it can act as a powerful sweeper, capable of dismantling offensive teams without a proper way to revenge kill it. Its amazing bulk means that revenge killing it is actually incredibly hard and gives it many opportunities to set up. Its coverage means that there aren't really any definitive switch ins, because Aurumoth will always have a move capable of overwhelming them.

If we want to boil down Aurumoth's problem to a single move, I think that Quiver Dance is always going to be what we end up with, because that moves enables Aurumoth to boost its Speed and Special Attack simultaneously, which leads to it having a great matchup against bulky and offensive teams alike. This means that removing it would probably always be the most optimal way of nerfing Aurumoth if we want to keep it simple. Without it, Aurumoth could still use Tail Glow to threaten bulky teams, but its matchup against anything faster would be devastated, as it can't even boost its Special Defense like Tapu Lele to protect itself from random special attackers making it much easier to revenge kill. I think that if we do go this route, then I'd definitely say that no more nerfs would be needed. Even though Overheat could still allow it to bypass Magearna, I think that would be balanced by the fact that Aurumoth could no longer sweep teams by itself.

No Guard is the other aspect of Aurumoth that has been proposed to be removed. However, I think that this is not really the right way of looking at the problem, because No Guard as an ability can only be good alongside with the right moves. In Aurumoth's case, In Aurumoth's case, the two main moves it abuses are Focus Blast and Thunder. The first one will almost certainly still be used in the majority of sets because of its invaluable coverage against Heatran and many others, so the only change here would be the accuracy drop, which don't think its really that relevant in balancing a mon, because no one should plan their game hoping that one move misses. Losing 100% accuracy Thunder on the other hand would be a much more impactful loss, as it's unlikely that Thunder will be run, as it can be replaced by other, less unreliable coverage. However, even in this situation, I believe that Aurumoth will still remain a problematic threat. Celesteela could still be overwhelmed with relative ease due to its lack of recovery, and other coverage options like Overheat and Thunderbolt. In regards to revenge killing, Aurumoth would have some more trouble with Kitsunoh, but that mon still fails to KO even after SR damage, and could still be KOed by a boosted Aurumoth after some prior damage. This makes me believe that removing No Guard would not be enough to make Aurumoth balanced, at least by itself.

I think that the main way of nerfing Aurumoth that hasn't seen much discussion yet is removing coverage. This would aim to reduce the amount of versatility that Aurumoth possesses, while still maintaining its place as a speed boosting win condition with No Guard. I also think that this is reasonable nerf, because the fact that Aurumoth has the coverage needed to deal with more or less whatever it wants is one of its most uncompetitive aspects. Despite this massive movepool, I think we can safely narrow down our suspects to just a few:

Thunder/Thunderbolt: In practice, I think that removing Thunder would be similar to removing No Guard, as this would be the move that would most probably be dropped in that case. For the same reasons, I don't think this would be enough to properly balance Aurumoth. However, I think that removing this move would be preferable to removing No Guard, because I think that Aurumoth's massive movepool inherently uncompetitive, No Guard effect of raising accuracy is less problematic, at least by itself. Removing Thunderbolt should be considered too, as it still targets the same mons, and it just requires a bit of extra damage in order to achieve the same benchmarks.

Focus Blast: Without this move, Aurumoth would struggle a lot more against Heatran, Mega Tyranitar, and Ferrothorn. I think that if we choose to the remove moves route, this would probably be optimal move to eliminate, as it would increase the number of defensive checks to Aurumoth. I think there is some merit on removing this move alone, as this increases the number of checks quite a bit. However, it's also important to note how this move mainly targets bulky Pokemon, which means that removing it would little effect on revenge killing Aurumoth, which I'm not sure is something we want.

Overheat: While this move currently doesn't see much use, this still allows Aurumoth to bypass otherwise solid checks like Magearna and Jirachi, which just exacerbates how hard it is to prepare against Aurumoth. Alongside with the rest of its movepool, this is incredibly uncompetitive, because it means that some of its most reliable checks can easily be bypassed. I think that this could be removed as a secondary nerf, making Aurumoth more overall predictable.

I think that with this moves, there are many possible combinations that could be chosen, each one with their own benefits. Right now, my personal pick would be removing Focus Blast+Overheat, although I'm not sure fully convinced at all. This would makes Steel-types like Heatran and Ferrothorn much more solid checks and means Aurumoth won't be able to lure Magearna and Kitsunoh with Overheat. With this, Aurumoth would still be a big threat to offensive teams that rely on Choice Scarf users to deal with it, but I think that's fair for a sweeper which can't break fat team so easily.
 
Im very new to CAP, but I think another option would be to maybe keep quiver dance, but reduce it's bulk. Being able to always tank a hurricane unboosted is stupid, especially if it means the hurricane user gets punished. I personally don't have an opinion on removing quiver dance, as I haven't used moth really that much, but having played against it, I think it's bulk should personally be chipped down a little, especially it's special defense.
 

reachzero

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I believe it is intuitive, simple and sufficient to nerf Aurumoth in two steps:

1. Remove Quiver Dance
2. Remove Overheat

Much has been made in this thread above removing No Guard, which I feel would be insufficient to the task of ensuring that Aurumoth is not oppressive to the health of the metagame.

I would like to call your attention back to a logical and traditional set, in fact the same set run on almost every Illusion Aurumoth.

Aurumoth @ Firium Z/Fightinium Z
Ability: Weak Armor
EVs: 40 HP / 172 SpA / 124 SpD / 172 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Psychic
- Bug Buzz
- Overheat/Focus Blast

This set does not need No Guard to be oppressively strong. It still functions as a super bulky, dangerous set up sweeper with few reliable counters. The lack of No Guard *does* make it tougher to run an HP berry, but that's about the extent of its impact. Removing No Guard *and* removing additional coverage moves (i.e. Overheat AND Focus Blast) would probably work, but at that point it's far less simple than just removing Quiver Dance, and we risk still not doing enough. Quiver Dance is the reason set-up sets feel so bulky, and sweep entire team. Tail Glow sets already feel balanced and viable, so why protect Quiver Dance, especially when Volcarona is still available to play that role in the metagame?

Overheat I feel less strongly about, but I do think it makes it too easy for Aurumoth to eliminate Steel counters and checks--Magearna checks almost every set without Overheat, and I feel that considering Aurumoth's movepool bloat, losing one attack to gain several checks is good value.

If we remove one element, that element should be Quiver Dance. It guarantees that Aurumoth will not be broken (because it can't outspeed most things that can kill it), like leaving existing viable sets (i.e. Tail Glow) untouched.
 
As a fairly new player myself, feel free to take this with a bucket of salt

The nerfing-scenarios I could possibly see as a solution to Aurumoth’s polarizing sweeping-prowess are the following:

Removing Quiver Dance; most probably the easiest and cleanest route we can take. However, I beg to deviate, largely because I believe it’d overkill Aurumoth’s viability; Quiver Dance is and has easily been Aurumoth’s defining set ever since its creation and has always been a lot better than Tail Glow. Another reason (one that probably won’t appeal to players that only see a competitive side in CAPmons) why I do not like taking this route is because Aurumoth was designed as ‘The Legendary Bug’ and artistically speaking, it’d be very hard to justify not giving a legendary moth the move that is literally called ‘Butterfly Dance’.

However, if Quiver Dance is removed, nothing else should be nerfed! I see a lot of ‘drop QD and Overheat’ with the reasoning ‘it’d make Vest Mage a better check’, but I firmly believe dropping QD would be more than enough to tone down Aurumoth and indirectly buffing Magearna is not in the best interest of the current metagame for obvious reasons.

Removing No Guard; not a supporter of this either. Even though No Guard contributes heavily to the offensive pressure Aurumoth can exert on the opposition, it can easily continue to pressure checks by dropping Thunder for Thunderbolt and even if No Guard were to be removed, Focus Blast + a potential Fight Z would still be one of the best coverage options on Aurumoth’s sets. Also, nerfing a Pokémon through accuracy is not an effective solution. We shouldn’t ever rely on checking Pokémon through evading its moves.

Removing coverage; in my eyes, one of the better solutions. Simply removing Focus Blast and Electric-type coverage (so Thunder and Thunderbolt) makes the Aurumoth matchup a lot easier for both offensively and defensively inclined teams, leaving only Overheat (a move with obvious drawbacks) to break through defensive steels and Blizzard or a Z-crystal to bypass Torn-T. It’d also make it a LOT less unpredictable and as a bonus, it’d make Heatran a hard counter to sets sans Close Combat and Scarf Volkraken a very solid check.

I guess we could also drop Aurumoth’s bulk but that too clashes with the ‘Legendary Bug Theme’ by dropping its BST, so I’m not going to support that. The entire project of a CAPmon is based on a theme and if we were to just drop/damage that theme, it feels like the origin of every CAP is just a moot point in the competitive scene (albeit after a few years).

tl;dr: remove Focus Blast, Thunder and Thunderbolt
 
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