Replacing Custom Moves/Abilities with Standard Counterparts


The Scientist is Gigalith
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  • Barriers to Learning: One of the major blocks for new players when learning the cap metagame is memorizing the fairly large number of custom moves and abilities, some of which have particular bits of nuance that a player will not come into contact with that often (e.g. look at how even seasoned CAP players occasionally screw up with rock moves vs Syclant). Furthermore, while these are often fairly well documented, the implementation is not perfect; see the turn counter on Fidgit's Persistent Trick Room.
  • Later Additions to the Game: In many cases the custom moves used for many of our caps have been essentially replicated by later Game Freak additions. Examples include Shadow Bone being a very close replica of Shadow Strike, with an identical effect (different %) and very similar BP, as well as similar flavor, or the Power Gem Buff in generation 6 making it a very close replica of Paleo Wave.
Given that these moves and abilities do present a barrier to learning the CAP metagame, making it less beginner friendly than it would be otherwise, and that Game Freak has introduced many suitable replacements since certain CAPs have been created, we should endeavor to replace any custom moves when possible.

Example Replacement:

  • Power Gem
    80 Accuracy
    100% PP
    32 No additional effect.
  • Paleo Wave
    85 Accuracy
    100% PP
    24 20% chance to lower the target's Attack by 1.
As seen above, Power Gem is nearly a one-to-one replacement for Paleo Wave, thus allowing a trivial replacement, and reducing the custom move count by 1.

Potential Difficulties:
  • Non-Trivial Replacements: In many cases while there are similar abilities and moves to the custom abilities and moves we would like to replace, they are not similar enough. One example is comparing Rebound (Colossoils signature) to Magic Bounce, where Magic Bounce is essentially Rebound, but active on every turn. While it is likely that giving Magic Bounce to Colossoil would not change its power level (guts would still be preferred) the level of similarity between proposed replacements and the custom abilities must be taken into account.
  • Changing Power Levels: To reference the above example of Power Gem vs Paleo Wave, while Power Gem has a very similar BP, and higher PP, the lack of a secondary effect and 5 BP decrease does technically leave Stratagem weaker than before. Is the decreasing power level from such a change an issue? For a more complex possible change, would replacing Mountaineer with Magic Guard leave Syclant in a problematic place?


During the initial updates (or at another time) for a new generation, check for any new moves/abilities introduced, and if any match the concept or behavior of custom cap abilities, see if a direct substitution is possible.

During the initial implementation of this policy perform said check either at generation updates, or a later date for all currently implemented custom abilities and moves.
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formerly pokehimon
is a Pre-Contributor
I think this is certainly an interesting question. I agree in principle with some of the changes, especially regarding custom moves. At this stage with MovExit too, it makes sense for Moves to be rethought, and I think in the case of custom moves, it makes complete sense to remove bloat and stick with the established moves from later generations that fit similar niches.

That being said I think as you've raised with the abilities, these are unfortunately a little bit harder to accommodate accurately. In the case of Fidgit, Persistent has no direct comparisons at all, and would severely affect the viability of Trick Room strategies. I personally am not opposed to changing these abilities, but I think it will be a fairly tricky process because there are quite a bit more considerations that need to be made. I think Magic Bounce Colossoil is pretty reasonable, however Magic Guard Syclant is as you've raised potentially quite scary, since the buff will also cancel out things like Spikes and Life Orb making it a much more dangerous U-Turn abuser. Then of course as I mentioned, Fidgit becomes a completely differenet Pokemon in effect.


used substitute
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This seems like a fairly reasonable suggestion, and with the situation in the games as it is right now, there is probably no better time for such a change to be made. As mentioned though, not every case is an obvious one. Personally, I think the best course of action would be to consider these when updates are being done, and look at each one on a case by case basis. Determination of whether or not to change the move or ability should be based on how big an impact it has, and whether or not such a change would fundamentally alter how the Pokemon works. I don't think this is something we can have a default policy on, as I think each case is unique, and so it is better to discuss each individually.

Ultimately, we should want CAP to be as newcomer friendly as possible, and so, if a unique mechanic is unnecessary anymore, it is only beneficial to retcon it to a non-custom mechanic that does the same job. But CAP Pokemon are composed of many parts that make a greater whole, and we should not just change a part, no matter how similar the replacement, if the effect on the whole is too big.


Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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I generally agree with others in this thread that
1) it's reasonable to axe custom moves in a generation that has other moves disappearing anyway
2) however, not every move can actually be replaced all that close to 1:1
3) therefore, they should be considered one by one in each update

I do not think however that Dexit should be used as an excuse to replace custom abilities. While I'm open to discussing them, I don't think any of the existing CAP custom abilities have even remotely close to a 1:1 replacement and the two that have semi-related options are straight buffs, and I don't think we need to be buffing CAPs like this.
Persistent has no parallel at all.
Mountaineer is straight up worse than Magic Guard, since Magic Guard also grants immunity to other forms of passive damage. While I suppose Mountaineer is also a rock immunity for the turn you switch in, this is definitely much less useful than the overall benefits of Magic Guard.
Rebound is quite literally just worse Magic Bounce.


We have the technology.
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I think your proposal is fair. It would be impossible right now to replace all of the custom content we have in CAP from Gen4, but it is impossible to predict whether or not those tools will become available to us in the future by GameFreak. Having a general policy set up to consider phasing out these moves seems ideal. We won't be able to substitute much of anything at the start (as outlined by Bughouse above me), but this does seem like an optics-friendly proposal to implement that doesn't harm the history of CAP much.

If there are no further comments in the next 48 hours, I will push this proposal forward. Thank you quziel for bringing it up!


the pastor of disaster
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I think this is a bizarre time to make this change, knowing what we know now about Generation 8.

At the end of Generation 7, I agreed with this process pretty strongly; custom elements seemed a bit silly and often individually overpowered (Shadow Strike especially). Signature moves were pretty limited in scope, so having unique elements was a pretty bad optics issue.

Like so many other things, Generation 8 has changed my perspective on this. Dragon Darts, Fishious Rend, Bolt Beak, Clangorous Soul: Generation 8 has lots of significant signature moves, and more significant unique abilities (Gorilla Tactics comes to mind). The CAP custom elements no longer seem as weird or overpowered and they once did, and it would almost be stranger now if we *didn't have any*. I think we should keep the ones we already have, though I think it's still preferable to not add more.

That being said, Shadow Strike's 50% secondary effect is disgusting, and I wouldn't object too strongly to seeing that changed.

Deck Knight

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To add on to reach's point, Gamefreak has been doing a lot to make every single newly introduced Pokemon line unique in some way, be it regional variants or unique abilities or moves. Here'a a sampling of every new move introduced from Generation 6 onward, excluding Gen 6 Fairy Moves since Fairy Types were introduced that Gen.

Of 61 Moves introduced in Gen 6, 25 of them were Pokemon-specific moves shared by one or two lines at maximum.
With the sole exceptions of Brutal Swing, Smart Strike and Aurora Veil, Every single one of Gen 7's newly introduced moves were unique to one to three lines maximum naturally and one to six with breeding.
Generation 8 follows the same pattern as Gen 7, with Body Press and Steel Beam being the only moves with more varied distribution. Notably, Gen 8's TMs + TRs proliferated a number of the more unique Gen 6 and Gen 7 moves (Psychic Fangs, Eerie Impulse, Play Rough, etc.)

Abilities track similarly, with Bulletproof and Tough Claws being two of the only Abilities introduced in Gen 6 to become somewhat more common, and Slush Rush introduced in Gen 7.

So while it doesn't track completely back to Gen 4, we're on solid ground as far as each new generation introducing a large array of brand new attacks or abilities for Pokemon. Unfamiliarity is not really an issue when each newly introduced Pokemon comes with a question to answer of "wait. what does X do again?" [*insert Stamina, Gulp Missile, Grav Apple, Baneful Bunker, etc. as you like.]

I will agree on not adding more. Gamefreak releases insane amounts of unique stuff every generation now. If we can't lift something from what they introduced yet, it might come up next Gen.
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Master Procraster
is a CAP Contributor
Wow its been a while in here.

While I understand some of the reasoning that reachzero provides, about how there are so many of gen 8 additions are so closely tied to their respective mons that the ones we have here do not seem weird anymore, I still fully think this is a really good idea and one we should act upon. For ones we can do I do think it will help reduce the number of variables, and it is a relatively pain-free process.

One important thing that I do think is important is that we should only replace these custom elements if there is a very close in-game element to mirror it. That means if there is an ability that is incredibly similar to one of our own and could be considered a mirror to it, then we should be able to replace our custom with the one in game. I say this simply because right now the amount of actual parallels in game are honestly not too high, and changing out the custom elements would greatly effect the CAP with them, especially with regards to custom ability holders. Moves are a lot closer as they are also more numerous but I still urge caution and think they should be as close as acceptably possible.

With that said I think it is up to whoever is leading whatever update (probably done through generational updates) to decide whether or not it is the correct time to replace a custom element, as I think with more generations we will only get closer to finding the perfect match.


formerly pokehimon
is a Pre-Contributor
Sorry to bring this thread back from the grave, especially with updates finished. I just thought it might be a good time to come back to the moves in particular, now that the issue with Shadow Bone has been resolved, as well as with the advent of new tutor moves that may want to be added to CAPs. While I dont think the custom moves are too hard to learn about or are against game freak's philosophies per se, the fact that we now have Shadow Bone and Poltergeist to run for Kits, and a buffed Power Gem and Meteor Beam really does make both Shadow Strike and Paleo Wave feel redundant.

I think it may be worth discussing these custom moves again in a future update process that may add the new move tutor moves.

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