CAP Pokémon in the CAP Metagame

By Qwilphish. Art by Bummer.
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An Introduction to the CAP Metagame

For those who are unfamiliar with the Create-A-Pokémon Project (shortened to CAP for the rest of the article), it is a community-based project that creates new Pokémon for use in the OU tier. An important note with respect to this article is that CAPs are created without regard to any CAPs that were created previously, and also with respect to the current OU metagame at the start of the project. This means that if a Pokémon was allowed at the beginning of a CAP process but is banned halfway through, then during the playtest of the CAP, the banned Pokémon will be allowed. At the time of writing, the CAP Project has completed 16 Pokémon, and the seventeenth is in its final stages. With this many CAPs, a CAP metagame has been formed that allows all 16 Pokémon to be used within the current OU metagame. The CAP project has spanned generations and tier shifts leading to a range of viability among the CAPs. Like every other metagame, Pokémon change in order to become more viable in the tier, and for CAPs this sometimes leads to them playing very differently to how they did during their playtest. This article will highlight to six of the CAPs in this pure-CAP metagame and will evaluate how the addition of other CAPs has changed the way that these Pokémon are played. It will also talk about their effectiveness in the metagame and their best sets.


The first CAP created was Syclant, an Ice / Bug type with high mixed attacking stats and Speed. Given that it was the first CAP, Syclant's building process was much more lenient than the one in place today. This does not mean it is any better or worse than modern CAPs, but it did have the pleasure of getting a custom ability in Mountaineer, which negates Stealth Rock damage and Rock-type moves upon switching in, something that is no longer allowed. In the DPP metagame, Syclant saw many problems due to its poor defenses and bad defensive typing leaving it vulnerable to many common Pokémon in the tier such as Heatran and Scizor. Despite this, it managed to find a niche as the fastest Spiker in OU, which combined with its high attacking stats allowed it to threaten almost every common lead.

Today's pure-CAP metagame is much kinder to Syclant than DPP's. The addition of later CAPs such as Fidgit, Cyclohm, and Tomohawk have allowed for Syclant's offensive prowess to truly shine. Syclant's high Speed also allows it to outspeed most of the unboosted tier, which is much more valuable in the heavily offensive BW metagame than in the more balanced metagame of DPP. Syclant's ability, Mountaineer, also gives it an edge over other Ice- and Bug-types such as Weavile and Volcarona by removing its massive Stealth Rock weakness. While Syclant is certainly a very viable Pokémon in the metagame, there are also many obstacles that keep it from being a top-tier CAP. The first is its paper-thin defenses, which leave it extremely vulnerable to priority moves, especially from Scizor, as well as to common Choice Scarf users such as Terrakion. The second is that Syclant typically doesn't have the power to take down targets it can't hit super effectively from full health, meaning that Syclant is very difficult to use early-game. Despite this, Syclant is extremely potent, especially when used on hail teams, where it can utilize STAB Blizzards without the Stealth Rock weakness that usually plagues hail teams. Syclant's most effective set is its wallbreaker set, which uses its great mixed offenses to break apart defensive cores such as Chansey + Tomohawk and Cyclohm + Ferrothorn.

Syclant @ Life Orb
Ability: Mountaineer
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Ice Beam / Blizzard
-Bug Buzz
-Earth Power / Earthquake / Hidden Power Fire


The seventh CAP, Kitsunoh, was built to be the perfect scout in a metagame without Team Preview, a feature today that is often taken for granted. Kitsunoh was blessed with the coveted Steel / Ghost typing, which granted it one of the best defensive typings in the game, making up for its less than stellar defenses. Kitsunoh's claim to fame, however, is its Speed combined with its limited yet effective movepool. ShadowStrike, Kitsunoh's signature move, comes with a nifty 50% chance of lowering the opponent's Defense, making it one of the most spammable moves in the game. Kitsunoh was very effective at its scouting role in DPP, with its WispyKit set being able to force out many of Kitsunoh's normal counters, such as Skarmory and Gliscor, through a combination of Substitute and Will-O-Wisp. Kitsunoh also utilized an effective stallbreaker set that was basically the same as WispyKit except that it had Taunt over Substitute, which allowed for it to dismantle stall teams which failed to prepare for it.

Kitsunoh in pure-CAP is one of the best Pokémon in the metagame due to its great defensive typing and its high Speed, which allow it to outspeed most of the commonly used Pokémon of the tier. Because of these traits, Kitsunoh can check some of the most dangerous sweepers in the tier, such as Aurumoth, Revenankh, and Necturna. It must be stressed that although Kitsunoh has one of the best defensive typings in the game, its defenses are poor and thus it cannot tank many neutral or even resisted hits without major defensive investment. Kitsunoh's Attack stat, while not terrible, is also not too impressive, sitting at only an average 103 base. ShadowStrike's Defense drops often allow for Kitsunoh to break past weaker walls should the player get lucky enough, however. Kitsunoh's staple WispyKit set is just as effective in the CAP metagame, although the attacks can be swapped around depending on what your team needs more. It can also utilize a Choice item, namely either a Choice Band or Choice Scarf, efficiently because of its access to Trick and U-turn, allowing Kitsunoh to scout the opponent.

Kitsunoh @ Leftovers
Ability: Limber / Frisk
EVs: 16 HP / 240 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
-Substitute / Taunt / U-turn
-Earthquake / Superpower / U-turn


The tenth CAP, Krilowatt, is often thought of as one of the messiest projects when looked at in retrospect. While it was meant to be a utility counter, capable of checking all Pokémon in OU, but not at once, the unforeseen side-effect of its ability Magic Guard transformed it into one of the most versatile special attackers in the tier. In DPP, its ability Magic Guard allowed for it to use a Life Orb without any drawbacks, effectively giving Krilowatt an unboosted base 125 Special Attack stat. Its wide movepool along with its base 105 Speed made Krilowatt a great all-out attacker. It also had decent 151 / 73 / 74 defenses, meaning that it could take a moderately powerful hit should it need to before taking out a Pokémon.

The CAP metagame molded Krilowatt into one role, an all-out attacker. With many CAPs being able to threaten Krilowatt very easily, such as Collosoil and Stratagem, not being able to immediately attack isn't an attractive option. Its movepool, which includes all of Thunderbolt, Surf, Ice Beam, Earth Power, Low Kick, and Hidden Power, allows for Krilowatt to heavily damage any Pokémon with the correct coverage move. Krilowatt is technically uncounterable; however, like its concept required, it cannot defeat everything at once. Any Choice Scarfed Ground-type, such as Garchomp or Collosoil, can reliably revenge kill Krilowatt, though this play can be obvious so it is important to play smartly when against Krilowatt. Overall, the best way to defeat Krilowatt is to whittle it down, as it will be worn down quickly because of its lack of Leftovers, which means that VoltTurn teams are especially effective at taking it out.

Krilowatt @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk) / Naive Nature (+Spe, -Def)
-Ice Beam
-Earth Power / Earthquake / Low Kick / Hidden Power Fire


CAP 11, Voodoom, was built as the "perfect partner" to Togekiss; however, during the playtest it was discovered to have better synergy with Zapdos. This is beside the point, however, because during DPP, Voodoom was a solid Pokémon. It had good synergy with Zapdos, with Voodoom being able to take out Blissey for Zapdos, and Zapdos being able to beat Heracross. Voodoom was a very effective attacker because of its nearly unresisted STAB coverage combined with its respectable Special Attack stat and good Speed. However, it found itself unable to take many attacks with its only decent bulk, and its STAB coverage, while great for hitting most Pokémon neutrally, lacked the ability to hit many Pokémon super effectively. Despite this, late-game, it wasn't a rare sight to see Voodoom sweep with its neutral coverage alone.

The CAP metagame isn't as kind to Voodoom as it is to the other CAPs. While it certainly isn't a bad Pokémon by any means, Voodoom often finds itself unable to break through opposing Pokémon as easily as other CAPs. An interesting note about Voodoom is that while its primary ability during DPP was Volt Absorb with a flavor ability of Lightningrod, with the transition to BW, Lightningrod got a buff that gave Voodoom a way to boost its Special Attack. With good prediction, Voodoom can often gain a boost and then sweep through a weakened team. Voodoom can also check Collosoil and Necturna with its resistances to Dark and Ghost, but often finds itself walled by other common CAPs such as Mollux, Revenankh, and especially Tomohawk. However, it is important to remember that Voodoom was built with a core in mind, so, with the right partner, Voodoom can still achieve the fame that it achieved during its playtest.

Voodoom @ Life Orb
Ability: Lightningrod
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
-Pain Split
-Aura Sphere
-Dark Pulse


Tomohawk was the first CAP that was created for the fifth generation. Because it was created in early BW1, it had to be able to fulfill its concept with threats such as Excadrill and Thundurus still roaming in the tier. Despite these powerhouses, Tomohawk was able to fulfill its concept thanks to its bulk combined with Intimidate, its excellent defensive and offensive typing, and its base 115 Special Attack stat. Tomohawk also had access to a great supporting movepool consisting of Stealth Rock, Rapid Spin, and Prankster Roost. During the playtest, Tomohawk was most often seen running an Intimidate tank set that allowed it to check many of the physically offensive Pokémon in the tier, perhaps most importantly Excadrill. Tomohawk also ran a useful Baton Pass set that utilized Prankster to pass priority Substitutes and possibly Bulk Ups as well.

The CAP metagame has been nothing more than Tomohawk's personal playground. With the banning of Thundurus, and then later on, Tornadus-T, many of Tomohawk's would-be checks left the tier, leaving Tomohawk to thrive. At one point, Tomohawk had up to a 50% usage rate in the CAP statistics with many people considering it to be the best Pokémon in the metagame. Despite everything that has been said about it, however, Tomohawk still has checks in the tier. The most common checks are specially defensive Cyclohm and Thundurus-T. Even so, Tomohawk is able to run a variety of effective sets depending on what your team needs. It is difficult to decide which set is its most effective as Tomohawk's stats allow it to go bulky or offensive or a little bit of both. However, Tomohawk is typically more useful when utilizing its bulk, so its tank and SubRoost sets are the most common. This does not mean that offensive sets aren't just as viable, but because of Tomohawk's low-ish Speed they are more niche than the defensive ones.

Tomohawk @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 32 SpA / 232 Spe
Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
-Aura Sphere
-Hurricane / Air Slash
-Rapid Spin / Stealth Rock / Taunt

Tomohawk @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
-Hurricane / Air Slash / Toxic
-Aura Sphere / Toxic


Necturna was the second fifth generation CAP and the thirteenth one overall. It was created behind the premise that it would have access to the move Sketch once, and only once. This led to extreme precautions being enforced to make sure that Necturna was not broken. Necturna was, somewhat unsurprisingly, best seen using some sort of offensive set that utilized its access to one of Shell Smash, Belly Drum, or Soak (which allowed for it to hit every Pokémon for super-effective damage after transforming them into a Water-type). Necturna could also go for a Choice Band set that forewent a boosting move for a coverage move, such as V-create or Sacred Fire. Necturna also utilized its good Special Defense to use a defensive set somewhat effectively. Despite its unpredictability, Pokémon such as Heatran and Skarmory could normally wall most of Necturna's sets, bar a coverage move for said Pokémon.

The CAP metagame flipped the tables on Necturna's sets. Necturna's boosting sets took a huge dip in viability with the introduction of bulky Pokémon such as Tomohawk and Cyclohm, both of which are able to easily tank a hit from Necturna and severely damage it in return. For this reason, Necturna is best seen running its specially defensive set, using its natural access to Toxic Spikes and whatever other support or offensive move it chooses to support the team. Along with Tomohawk and Cyclohm, Mollux also stops many of Necturna's sets with its access to Rapid Spin and ability to absorb Toxic Spikes. Necturna is not the best CAP; however, it has many, many tricks up its sleeves and thus can fit on a variety of teams depending on what role you want it to go for.

Necturna @ Leftovers
Ability: Forewarn
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe
Careful Nature (+SpD, -SpA)
-Toxic Spikes
-Horn Leech / Shadow Claw
-Rapid Spin / Will-O-Wisp / Spikes
-Pain Split / Recover


The addition of 16 new Pokémon has changed the OU tier that we know into a new beast, with new offensive and defensive threats that must be accounted for when teambuilding. Beyond the six CAPs that were discussed, there are ten others that have also changed with the transition from OU to CAP. As the fifth generation comes to a close, it is safe to assume that CAP has managed to create a fairly balanced tier, with no one Pokémon standing out as obviously being broken. With the release of the sixth generation, the pure-CAP metagame is bound to see another massive shift; what movesets will be the most viable, however, has yet to be seen.

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