Metagame Sword and Shield CAP Metagame Discussion


Ok, one thing I don’t understand is how much Kitsunoh is slept on.
It’s Steel/Ghost typing is amazing to say the least. Shared with Aegislash, which is amazing itself.
What sets Kitsunoh apart from Aegislash is its speed and movepool.
Having 110 Base speed is amazing in such a slow Metagame, and Kitsunoh has so much coverage to beat serious threats.
Iron Fist Meteor Mash for Clefable, Kyurem, Jumbao, and Terrakion.
Close Combat for Equilibra, Ferrothorn, Excadrill, Bisharp, and Colossoil.
Play Rough for Tomohawk, Dragapult, Hydreigon, Arghonaut, Pajantom, and Conkeldurr.
Shadow Strike Aegislash itself, other Ghost types, psychic types, and as an easy way to pressure bulkier walls like Toxapex that otherwise would stop it.
Oh, then it also has Earthquake, Bullet Punch, Shadow Sneak, Thunder Punch, and Ice Punch too.
That’s then just for mostly offensive moves.
Kitsunoh has access to;
Defog, Fake Out, Endeavor, Knock Off, Memento, Perish Song, Taunt, Trick, U-Turn, and Will-o-wisp.
Kitsunoh also was indirectly buffed by the removal of Pursuit, which makes it an even better speedy pivot than before. And as a pivot, it has an excellent defensive typing to let it switch in frequently.

Also thanks to it’s decent bulk with that amazing typing, as well as it’s pretty good power, it’s not too common for a Pokemon naturally faster in on Kitsunoh.
In total, that’s about 26 Pokemon, including shitmons like Ninjask, that can outspeed Kitsunoh without a boost, and most of the viable Pokemon that outspeed it don’t really want to switch into it either.
 

Jho

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Ok, one thing I don’t understand is how much Kitsunoh is slept on.
It’s Steel/Ghost typing is amazing to say the least. Shared with Aegislash, which is amazing itself.
What sets Kitsunoh apart from Aegislash is its speed and movepool.
Having 110 Base speed is amazing in such a slow Metagame, and Kitsunoh has so much coverage to beat serious threats.
Iron Fist Meteor Mash for Clefable, Kyurem, Jumbao, and Terrakion.
Close Combat for Equilibra, Ferrothorn, Excadrill, Bisharp, and Colossoil.
Play Rough for Tomohawk, Dragapult, Hydreigon, Arghonaut, Pajantom, and Conkeldurr.
Shadow Strike Aegislash itself, other Ghost types, psychic types, and as an easy way to pressure bulkier walls like Toxapex that otherwise would stop it.
Oh, then it also has Earthquake, Bullet Punch, Shadow Sneak, Thunder Punch, and Ice Punch too.
That’s then just for mostly offensive moves.
Kitsunoh has access to;
Defog, Fake Out, Endeavor, Knock Off, Memento, Perish Song, Taunt, Trick, U-Turn, and Will-o-wisp.
Kitsunoh also was indirectly buffed by the removal of Pursuit, which makes it an even better speedy pivot than before. And as a pivot, it has an excellent defensive typing to let it switch in frequently.

Also thanks to it’s decent bulk with that amazing typing, as well as it’s pretty good power, it’s not too common for a Pokemon naturally faster in on Kitsunoh.
In total, that’s about 26 Pokemon, including shitmons like Ninjask, that can outspeed Kitsunoh without a boost, and most of the viable Pokemon that outspeed it don’t really want to switch into it either.
This is nice and all but very misguided; Kitsunoh's speed tier and movepool are the only things that give it any sort of niche, no one is debating that. The issue with Kitsunoh is that it is incredibly weak and frail, unlike Aeglisash (which it fills a completely different role too so shouldn't be compared to). Kyurem is never staying in on or switching into Kitsunoh, and neither are Jumbao or Terrakion. Clefable can easily scout whatever you choose to lock into with protect and go to the appropriate check - which is pretty easy to do considering Toxapex, Tomohawk, and a Ghost resist are pretty commonplace and do this easily depending on which move it locks into.

With regard to some of the bulkier Pokemon mentioned - Kitsunoh doesnt do enough to beat them outright almost ever

252 Atk Kitsunoh Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 80 Def Equilibra: 212-250 (51.9 - 61.2%) -- 95.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Kitsunoh Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 92 Def Tomohawk: 166-196 (40 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
-1 252 Atk Kitsunoh Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 92 Def Tomohawk: 112-132 (27 - 31.8%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
252 Atk Kitsunoh Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Arghonaut: 124-148 (29.9 - 35.7%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

All of these Pokemon actually beat Kitsunoh even when switching in, with the exception of Equilibra which cannot switch into a CC but will beat it if given a free switch in thanks to Earth Power. Obviously Bisharp cannot switch into CC lol but it still has to play Sucker Punch games vs Colossoil and Bisharp. This also doesn't address the fact that Kitsunoh can only have 4 moves, 2 of which are pretty much dedicated to Shadow Strike and U-turn, on top of that it needs Meteor Mash really due to how common Clefable, Kyurem etc are. This gives it typically 1 free attack slot to run additional coverage or utility, and is typically reserved for Trick so that it can cripple the aforementioned walls that it cannot break. It simply does not have the moveslots to run all of the coverage it could want, and even if it did, it doesnt really help it overcome the fact that it is so weak.

:ss/Kitsunoh:
Kitsunoh @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Limber
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Meteor Mash
- Shadow Strike
- U-turn
- Trick

I actually think the best Kitsunoh can do in the current meta is something along these lines that looks to abuse Clefable, however; Moonblast + Rocks still does a decent chunk which means Kitsunoh cannot switch in too many times this way, and there are much better Clefable abusers in the metagame like Excadrill, Aegislash, or the big one, Equilibra. On top of this, whilst Kitsunoh is indeed very fast, many teams dont typically need this level of speed control due to the fact that, as you said, the meta has slowed down significantly, to the point where this doesn't really hit anything too important outside of Scarf Dreigon, which has better counterplay. Whilst the Steel- and - Ghost typing is pretty solid, Kitsunoh doesnt really have sufficient bulk to make it work defensively as attacks such a Clefable and Jumbao's Moonblasts, Kyurem's Ice Beam, and Astrolotl's Dragon Claw etc still chunk it out. Overall all of these flaws are what make Kitsunoh not very highly used.

Just so that this isn't a Kitsunoh bashing post, I've been having a lot of fun with Astrolotl! Its a really customizable Pokemon and is just really fun to play with in general. The set I have been using the most is this:


Astrolotl @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Regenerator
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 144 SpD / 112 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Heal Bell / Toxic / Idk literally anything you want
- Spikes
- Knock Off
- Fire Lash

The speed is for creeping Bao here but I've been toying with creeping Smoko and Hydreigon too. If you opt to run Dragon Claw I definitely think the extra speed is worth it but I have found that Heal Bell is often really valuable on the standard Balance archetype as removing burns from Libra and Toxapex and Toxics from Tomohawk greatly improves their longevity. Its also much harder to deal with Equilibra if Astrolotl is able to set spikes freely, which it often can because it beats most removal options handily.

One other set that I have seen do work is the "anti-pex" set with Fire Spin, Fire Lash, and Explosion and I think that looks really interesting and need to try it out for sure! I'm very interested in seeing what everyone thinks of Astrolotl in the meta; what sort of teams it fits on, what it partners well with, and what sets you guys are finding success with!
 
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Ok, so I was trying to theorymon suicide lead Astro to work on the basis it gets everything lead Mew does bar Rocks and is faster. But I was constantly having trouble finding a way to deal with spinners like lead Excadrill and Equilibra (there's precious little space for Fire STAB). Exca consistently beats Astro with Spin-->EQ and even though Libra is slower after a spin, it takes a moveslot up just to 2HKO it or phaze it and getting hazards up against it is impossible otherwise.
Then I remembered something someone mentioned in OU about Terrakion using Bulldoze to slow and beat lead Exca. Astro gets Bulldoze! Job done right?
Well... Not exactly. It requires max Attack and an Adamant nature to guarantee the 2HKO, which makes you slower than other Astros, among other things, and means no bulk too. Having Bulldoze means choosing between Taunt, Magic Coat or another utility move. And just to cap it off, you then cannot touch Libra. You could replace Explosion with Flare Blitz and go for minimum bulk to KO yourself that way... Or you can take inspiration from a HO style last gen.
Landorus-Therian (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Explosion
- Earthquake
- Rock Tomb
Greninja @ Focus Sash
Ability: Protean
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Spikes
- Taunt
- Toxic Spikes
- Ice Beam
Remember these two? In particular, both of them together. They both excel at beating leads the other has issues with, and together throw down a load of hazards for 4 sweepers of choice to abuse.
Smokomodo @ Focus Sash
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Def / 0 SpD
- Taunt/Defog
- Stealth Rock
- Bulldoze
- Flare Blitz
Astrolotl @ Focus Sash
Ability: Regenerator/Magician
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Explosion/Healing Wish
- Spikes
- Taunt/Magic Coat
- Thunder Wave/Knock Off/Magic Coat/other utility/STAB
And here is CAP's version! I know I mentioned Terrakion, but it lacks a way to KO itself and gain momentum, though it gets Taunt, Rocks and Bulldoze still (plus CC to pressure Libra). Smoko trades some speed for access to Flare Blitz to KO itself after being hit to its Sash. Minimised defences ensure it is as likely as possible to be hit to its Sash before it KOs itself. Bulldoze already 2HKOs Drill, so Blaze is the ability of choice to give the strongest Flare Blitz possible. Taunt prevents slower hazard setters setting Rocks with good prediction, Defog is an option that clears up hazards against leads that just sac themselves to do so (e.g. Drill getting up Rocks before dying).
Astro benefits from Smoko beating Drill and Libra, which opens up its moveset and allows it to run a considerable amount of bulk. Regenerator is the #1 ability choice in case Astro takes chip and is forced out, restoring its Sash if hazards are clear. Magician is an option to steal another item after consuming its Sash, but I don't think it works with Explosion, which is Astro's most used attack on this set.
The biggest downside to this pair is Dragon Dance Dragapult, which does a handy job of just OHKOing both of them with Dragon Darts, and even uses them as setup fodder unless they have a move to punish it (which is one of the reasons I like Thunder Wave in the last slot on Astro). Astro not having Toxic Spikes also makes it less versatile than Greninja.
So thoughts and suggestions?
 
DLC thoughts


Magearna

Magearna is looking like a big threat even without Z-moves

It's sweeping sets are still powerful as CM can beat Levitate Equilibra with Aura Spere and Pex with T-bolt However being walled by Bulletproof Equilibra not ideal

Agility sets don't look as good because Astrolotl is great on offense and walls Agility Magearna and even if Astrolotl is damaged +2 Magearna is slower then Zeraora and Dragapult

Specs look pretty good as tricking a Choice Spec on Chansey can be game changing and Fleur Cannon is a Powerful Spamable Stab move

The AV set looks like a good pivot/counter to Dragapult,Stratagem,Jumbao,Specs Aurumoth,Alakazam,Tomohawk and Hydreigon

Overall Magearna will most likely be A to A+ tier

1593564763630.jpeg
Urshifu Single Strike thoughts

Band is uhh...

-1 252+ Atk Choice Band Urshifu Zen Headbutt vs. 252 HP / 94 Def Tomohawk: 190-224 (45.8 - 54.1%) -- 96.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex on a critical hit: 172-204 (56.5 - 67.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Black Sludge recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Urshifu Poison Jab vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Togekiss: 300-354 (96.4 - 113.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

252+ Atk Choice Band Urshifu Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 28 Def Magearna: 280-330 (77.1 - 90.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

Kind of good It's only check that I know of are max defense tomo

-1 252+ Atk Choice Band Urshifu Zen Headbutt vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tomohawk: 148-176 (35.7 - 42.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

so Band is kind of broken it as other sets like Scarf,Bulk up and LO taunt but band is so good that that's what 70% of Urshifu are going to be (20% will be scarf)

I think Urshifu Single Strike will be at the top of A+ teir with the only reason it is not S is because of how good tomo is

Urshifu Rapid Strike thoughts coming soon
 
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quziel

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Hey, so had a discussion on discord which made it apparent that this resource may be helpful.

Formula for Building Bulky Offense

I doubt I'm the first to put this into words, but if you look at most successful bulky offense teams they're structured somewhat like this.

  1. Wallbreaker that loses to but forces damage onto wall(s) X (This can be a lure, or just crazy strong)
  2. Sweeper or Cleaner that can win game if wall(s) X are dead or at 30% HP
  3. Pokemon that can switch into and take advantage of wall(s) X (either wallbreaker, hazard setter, or pivot, see Ferrothorn, Slowking, Plasmanta)
  4. Fill out defensive holes
Let me explain the rationale behind this. A defensive team (Balance/Stall) is at its happiest when it has 6 walls that independently wall all of your 6 pokemon because it can just chain switch between them and abuse free attacks to wear you down. To look back, consider the core of Spikes Skarmory + CM Blissey vs Sub SD Heracross + CM Raikou in ADV era. The Heracross + Raikou player has no real way to win vs the Skarmbliss user because even though Heracross can switch into Blissey, the SkarmBliss user can simply go into Skarm and spike up, a process which the Offense player will eventually lose. However, lets consider a different core; Curse Selfdestruct Snorlax + DD Salamence. The Curse Selfdestruct Snorlax can set up curses and force in Skarmory, and then explode to OHKO it, at which point the DD Salamence can sweep and win game. Unlike the previous core, the opponent is forced to wall two of your pokemon with one of its walls, and once that wall is dead, the game is over. To connect to the earlier list, this core then needs something that can switch into Skarmory in case its played offensively and is doubled in when Lax comes in; Magneton does this well.

Lets now apply this formula to CAP, and the Astrolotl release game, which I believe demonstrated this building style pretty well. I was facing Jho with the team of Boom Astrolotl / SubCM Primarina / Equilibra / Tomohawk / Mrise Plasmanta / Hydreigon. In this case the team was designed such that we have Boom Astrolotl in order to force in, and explode on Toxapex, Primarina to sweep once Toxapex is dead, and Plasmanta to switch into and apply pressure on Toxapex. This is offensive synergy in action; without Astrolotl Primarina would have been inable to get anything of note really done in that game beyond burning Pex. While both of the two lose to Pex, both of the two also force damage onto Pex, and the choice of Boom is just flashy; Spikes and Knock Off also force permanent damage onto Toxapex. Plasmanta is the final element to this core, and is another reason as to why it works; as both of the two lose to Pex you need insurance in case your opponent makes an aggressive double, and having a mon that can come in on your wall of choice and easily force it out is key to Bulky Offense as a whole. Secondary synergy includes Plasmanta and Primarina to come in on Tomohawk, which is another major threat to Astrolotl. Defensive synergy is then filled out with the classic EquiTomo + Water type core, and scarf hydreigon which is literally always a good choice in CAP.

Examples of some cores that demonstrate this in action:

1594147487212.png
1594147511822.png

Urshifu + Slowking:
Wall Targeted: Tomohawk
Method of forcing damage: Urshifu uses Wicked Blow to force in Tomohawk, Future Sight from Slowking can then OHKO Tomohawk, Slowking switches into Tomohawk (2 mon compression of the usual 3 mon core).
Method of recovery: Use Slowking to switch into Tomohawk and force it out with the threat of a teleport or future sight.


Heat Wave Tomohawk + CM IDef Magearna + AV Slowbro
Wall Targeted: Equilibra
Method of forcing damage: Use Tomohawk to force in libra, stay in and heat wave.
Method of recovery: Use AV slowbro to switch into and force out libra.

I've only provided 2 cores because explicitly doing this stuff is kinda annoying. Hope this helps with building, and ye, I did sorta leave the last step (aka the hardest part) as a single step because this is all about offensive synergy, not defensive synergy.
 
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quziel

The Scientist is Gigalith
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Yo, so we just got done with week 1 of CAPPL and I have some thoughts on the metagame as I've experienced it from playing way too many test matches.

:urshifu: This mon is honestly a tad ridic. Its trivially easy to pair it with Slowking (this mon comes in on its main answer, Tomohawk) or Equilibra (comes in on everything else) and legit make progress every time. Slowking can even remove all of the risk by clicking Teleport. There's a reason that legit like every team is either offense, or Tomo/Mandi kinda builds, and support from legit just like Toxic Astrolotl, or the aforementioned delayed damage mons means that its often quite trivial to bypass these answers.

:equilibra: Ye, this got nerfed last gen, but its still got stupid bulk, 2 abilities that you have to guess right on, and thanks to DD, it guarantees progress in every game. I don't know exactly what aspect makes it feel over the top for me, probably just the raw bulk, but this will force progress in every single game it is in.

:astrolotl: This mon again will make progress in essentially any game it is in because it has the bulk to stay in on most of its answers once, regen to recover from that, and the choice of Toxic, Fire Lash, Spikes, or Knock Off (there are a lot of options that still haven't been explored that do fun stuff, eg Fire Spin + Explosion to remove anything) to cripple a ton of its answers. Tomohawk is a great check to Urshifu until Astrolotl borderline forces a Toxic onto it and escapes unpunished, Slowking can answer Equilibra until it loses its Heavy Duty Boots, Ferrothorn answers Krillowatt until its facing 3 layers of spikes. This mon just has a wealth of ways to grind down almost any defensive core in the game, which is sorta exasperating a few of the other issues. Ironically its too good at its concept, but I place blame mostly with Toxic forcing damage onto a load of its checks for teammates.

:clefable: This mon is potentially not broken anymore with the meta changes, though I'd wait a bit before even considering reintroducing it.

:cawmodore: this mon is still very dumb in terms of "you either have an answer or lose", and is a lot as to why people can have issues getting into the meta. That is, if you don't have a mon with > 118 speed that can deal 75% to cawm and take a +6 Bullet Punch you lose the game (barring like, circle throw argh, or hoping cawm has the wrong coverage).

I'd have replays, but we've got one week so far, and my memory for games is bad.
 
:clefable: This mon is potentially not broken anymore with the meta changes, though I'd wait a bit before even considering reintroducing it.
Totally agree with this. I wasn't here for the ban but personally didn't agree with it especially with DLC coming out about a week after. I think unbanning Clef is something the CAP council and CAP community should consider unbanning.
 
Totally agree with this. I wasn't here for the ban but personally didn't agree with it especially with DLC coming out about a week after. I think unbanning Clef is something the CAP council and CAP community should consider unbanning.
On that note, I can see a suspect test coming on afterward.
 

As quziel said, Astrolotl is too good at its concept.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8cap-1153030098-1qxfr2q1fs7i16j5jxcoron5ah6y3owpw
In this game, for example, it
- Gets up spikes 3 times
- Poisons Tomohawk
- Knocks off Krilowatt
- Knocks off Dragapult
- Poisons and Knocks off Rotom-Heat
=> It came in and switched out 7 times out of 48 turns on Rotom-Heat, Tomohawk and Scizor (healing approximately 220% damage).

This isn't even an extreme example, I've seen many games where Astrolotl just stuck around by switching in and out making progress for the entierity of the game. Regenerator + Heavy-duty Boots along with its decent bulk allow it to come in safely on most defensive pokémon of the metagame and threaten them with so many different things that it's remotely impossible to predict. It doesn't really care about being poisoned because it usually doesn't stay in for too long.

Astrolotl is one of the best switch-ins to its main checks. The Astrolotl checks right now are : Toxapex, Mandibuzz, Tomohawk and Slowbro. It loves facing them and coming against them. They don't like at all staying on it, because it just sets up spikes on their face, knocks them off and poisons them all at once. They just switch out as soon as possible. The main (or only) counterplay to Astrolotl right now is pivoting around with a slow mon, usually letting it free for 2 turns, and going to something that can survive a hit and kill it in one (which is actually not that common when you looks at it).

It's vastly annoying to play against, and probably deserves a nerf. Quziel brought up Toxic, which I agree with. One could also make an argument against Knock-off, or even Spikes. Maybe nerfing its bulk is an option, although I don't really like that idea.
 

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