CAP Pokémon in the CAP Metagame

By sparktrain and cbrevan. Art by HeaLnDeaL.
« Previous Article Home Next Article »


Create-A-Pokémon Project

The Create-A-Pokémon Project, often known as the CAP Project, or simply CAP, is a long standing community project centered on Smogon. The main project has been responsible for the creation of 19 Pokémon throughout the DPP, BW, and XY eras, and a dedicated side project has churned out numerous pre-evolutions for these Pokémon. CAP's main goal is to create viable Pokémon for the OU metagame and learn more about Pokémon and the OU metagame as a whole through these projects.


The final phase of each project is to implement the created Pokémon on Pokémon Showdown! so that it may be used in real battles. The playtest consists of the regular OU tier with the addition of the newly-created Pokémon and follows the banlist and releases for the time that the project was started. For example, the latest CAP Pokémon, Plasmanta, was made before the Mawilite ban in OU. Despite Plasmanta's playtest occurring after this ban, Mega Mawile was legal during Plasmanta's playtest to stay true to the metagame that it was created for. Through playtesting, the community can determine whether the Pokémon has succeeded in the goals that its original concept established for it.

Playtest ladders are temporary; they generally stay up for a few weeks before disappearing. At the end of the playtesting period, the top eight users on the playtest ladder compete in a best-of-three single elimination tournament. The winner of this tournament is declared the Playtest Champion.

CAP Metagame

The CAP Metagame, not to be confused with the playtests, has a permanent ladder on Pokémon Showdown!, only being removed during the playtesting periods. The CAP Metagame is comprised of the current iteration of OU with the addition of all the previously created CAP Pokémon. At this point in time, the CAP Metagame consists of 19 additional Pokémon. If a Pokémon such as Greninja or Mega Salamence is banned from OU, it is also banned from the CAP Metagame. Likewise, if a Pokémon or ability becomes legal in OU, such as Contrary Serperior or Sheer Force Feraligatr, then it becomes legal in the CAP Metagame. This may seem like an odd way to let a metagame develop, but the unique properties of the CAP Pokémon, as well as the fact that the majority of the Pokémon banned from OU were equally broken in the CAP Metagame, have led to a surprisingly balanced and diverse metagame.

Here are some of the Pokémon that you'll encounter in the CAP Metagame!

#8 Cylohm

Lefties Cyclohm @ Leftovers
Ability: Shield Dust / Static
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Def
Bold Nature
- Discharge
- Fire Blast
- Slack Off
- Heal Bell / Roar

Cyclohm was created back in Gen IV to make the most out of two uncommon abilities, Shield Dust and Static. While it was a potent offensive threat in the last two generations, Cyclohm has cemented itself as one of the most reliable physical walls in the CAP Metagame, with physical bulk equal to Hippowdon and an arguably better defensive typing. Cyclohm's resistances to Flying, Steel, Water, Fire, Electric, and Grass, as well as its access to good support moves such as Slack Off, Heal Bell, and Roar make it a great check to Flying-type attackers, as well as powerful Mega Evolved Pokémon such as Mega Metagross and Mega Scizor. Shield Dust allows Cyclohm to switch into Scald and Lava Plume reliably, while Static allows Cyclohm to punish U-turn users such as Talonflame and Scizor. Cyclohm does have significant trouble getting past Fairy- and Ground-types, so pairing it with teammates that can handle them is a necessity.

Physically defensive Cyclohm holds an important niche as the metagame's best answer to Cawmodore, avoiding the 2HKO from any attack and cleanly KOing Cawmodore with Fire Blast. Cyclohm can check most Flying- and Steel-types with ease, although it can't check Ground-types reliably. Discharge is Cyclohm's main STAB option, spreading paralysis and getting a solid hit on Flying- and Water-types. Fire Blast is used to ensure the KO on Cawmodore, although Flamethrower can be used if the low accuracy is something you don't want. Slack Off allows Cyclohm to heal itself constantly throughout the match, separating itself from other defensive Electric-types such as Rotom-W and Plasmanta. Heal Bell helps get rid of status and can allow Cyclohm to act as a cleric for its team, while Roar allows Cyclohm to phaze setup sweepers such as Mega Slowbro.

#9 Colossoil

AV Colossoil @ Assault Vest
Ability: Guts / Rebound
EVs: 252 Atk / 80 Def / 176 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Earthquake
- Pursuit / Sucker Punch
- Rapid Spin

<Plus-> colossoil gets da rebound
<Plus-> the best basketball player
<Plus-> ever
<Plus-> he's over 8 fucking feet
<Fuzznip> and he's dark

Colossoil was created in Gen IV to punish users of status moves, which it does successfully with its access to Guts and its own custom ability in Rebound. Rebound is essentially a poor man's Magic Bounce, which allows Colossoil to bounce back any move that Magic Bounce can, but only on the turn Colossoil switches in. It should be noted that custom moves and abilities are no longer tolerated under the CAP process and that the presence of them on existing CAP Pokémon only shows that they were created in the early days of the CAP Project before the ban on such moves and abilities became policy.

In the CAP Metagame, Colossoil has benefitted massively from the shift to Gen VI, even with the introduction of Fairy-types. Assault Vest works off of Colossoil's massive base 133 HP to make it a special tank, allowing it to survive otherwise untankable attacks such as Mega Gardevoir's Hyper Voice and Volkraken's Hydro Pump and answer back with a powerful Earthquake. Knock Off's buff and the revamped type chart has given Colossoil unprecedented coverage with its STAB moves alone, hitting the majority of the metagame for at least neutral damage. Colossoil's bulk and Ground / Dark typing allow it to act as one of the best Rapid Spinners in the metagame, as it can destroy opposing spinblockers with a strong STAB Knock Off. It can act as one of the most reliable Pursuit trappers as well, as it can tank hits from even Life Orb Gengar, Life Orb Latios, and Kitsunoh and hit them hard with Pursuit if they try to switch out. In addition to this, Colossoil also has access to a strong priority move in Sucker Punch. All in all, Colossoil is a top tier threat in the CAP Metagame thanks to its reliability and utility in Rapid Spin.

Colossoil is most commonly seen running a variant of this set, as its bulk and power make it one of the most effective Rapid Spinners in the metagame, as well as one of the metagame's best Pursuit trappers. Colossoil's effectiveness as a Rapid Spinner stems from its Dark typing and access to Guts, which allow it to beat every spinblocker save for Metal Burst Mega Sableye and physically defensive Revenankh. Earthquake and Knock Off are Colossoil's two main STAB moves, allowing it to deal solid damage to most of the metagame. Colossoil's Assault Vest-augmented bulk and access to Guts make it one of the best switch-ins to Heatran and Mollux in the metagame, as it can avoid the 2HKO from Heatran's Fire Blast and Mollux's Eruption and shrugs off burns from Lava Plume. Assault Vest also allows Colossoil to put many Electric-, Psychic-, and Ghost-type Pokémon into a checkmate position, as it can tank a Hidden Power Ice or Focus Blast and threaten to KO the foe with Knock Off or Sucker Punch or deal heavy damage on the switch with Pursuit.

#12 Tomohawk

Rocky Helmet Tomohawk @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
- Roost
- Air Slash
- Earth Power
- Haze

Tomohawk was the first CAP Pokémon made for the Gen V and was centered around the idea of momentum—specifically, creating and stealing momentum from the opponent. In this respect, Tomohawk is a complete success, as its great stats, which had to be able to contend with powerful attackers such as Landorus and Excadrill, has translated well into the current generation. Tomohawk's massive movepool and access to the coveted Prankster has made Tomohawk one of, if not the, most versatile and effective Pokémon in the CAP Metagame. With its ability to run a plethora of sets, ranging from defensive behemoths such as Reflect / Haze sets to a powerful offensive set with Hurricane, Earth Power, and priority Nature Power thanks to Prankster, Tomohawk can find a place on nearly any team and playstyle, providing a variety of roles in one teamslot. Tomohawk is most often used as a sturdy defensive wall and pivot, providing a reliable check to common threats such as Colossoil, Landorus-T, Necturna, and even Cawmodore, all while supporting its team with several supporting options from its expansive movepool.

This particular set is just a mere sample of the numerous combinations of moves that Tomohawk can possibly run; it could easily substitute Earth Power or Haze with an entirely different move and still remain an effective set. This set's main goal is to provide a solid check to set up sweepers while being able to deter some of its common switch-ins with Earth Power. Both Air Slash and Earth Power make use of Tomohawk's good base 115 Special Attack, and they help Tomohawk check Pokémon such as Pyroak and Mollux more easily. One of the most common moves seen on Tomohawk is Haze. With Prankster, Tomohawk can stop threatening set up sweepers such as Cawmodore and Shell Smash Necturna in their tracks with a priority Haze. Haze also allows Tomohawk to function as an emergency stop to setup sweepers such as Mega Altaria or Calm Mind Clefable if absolutely necessary. Rocky Helmet provides extra residual damage against the physical attackers that Tomohawk checks so well, most notably the metagame's most common Pokémon, Colossoil. The lack of passive recovery provided by Leftovers is mitigated by Tomohawk's access to priority Roost. Like all Tomohawk, this set needs to be paired up with teammates that can handle opposing Fairy-types, such as Heatran or Pyroak. Colossoil is also a common teammate to Shed Shell or Baton Pass variants of Tomohawk, as Colossoil can easily switch into Gothitelle and eliminate it with Pursuit, while also checking the Electric- and Psychic-types that threaten Tomohawk.

#13 Necturna

Colbur Berry Necturna @ Colbur Berry
Ability: Forewarn
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Sticky Web
- Will-O-Wisp
- Power Whip
- Shadow Sneak / Shadow Claw

Necturna's purpose was to see how a Pokémon with good stats and a decent movepool can be balanced with access to Sketch. Necturna is one of two Pokémon able to learn the coveted move, but it can only learn it once, creating a surprisingly balanced Pokémon with a variety of usable sets. While access to any move in the game may seem to be pushing the limits, its lackluster Special Attack and average Speed along with its limited movepool limit the number of viable sets it can run. Necturna is best at using the offensive potential Sketch can afford alongside its good base 120 Attack or its decent bulk and access to low-distribution moves such as Sticky Web and Spore. Offensively, Necturna usually utilizes Shell Smash or Shift Gear to clean up opposing teams. An all-out attacking set with Choice Band or Life Orb can also be used to take advantage of the coverage options that Sketch can provide, such as Dragon Ascent, V-create, Bolt Strike, and Precipice Blades.

Necturna's best niche by far, though, is its Sticky Web set, as it has a better mix of offense presence and staying power than any other user of Sticky Web, not to mention it can spinblock courtesy of its secondary Ghost typing. Sticky Web is, of course, the Sketch move of choice in this moveset. Will-O-Wisp allows Necturna to burn physical attackers after Sticky Web is set up. Power Whip is Necturna's most powerful STAB move, and, most importantly, it OHKOes all variants of Colossoil, the most common spinner in the metagame. Shadow Sneak or Shadow Claw are solid secondary STAB options; the former provides weak but situationally useful priority and the latter gives Necturna a more powerful Ghost-type STAB move. Colbur Berry allows Necturna to easily handle Colossoil, which is otherwise a massive threat to this set with its ability to bounce back Sticky Web and Will-O-Wisp with its custom ability, Rebound, and hit Necturna hard with Knock Off.

#14 Mollux

Scarf Mollux @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Dry Skin
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Fire Blast
- Sludge Wave
- Hidden Power Ground
- Trick

Mollux's original concept was to take advantage of a traditionally poor typing with help from its ability, movepool, and stats. It was certainly able to fulfill this, as Dry Skin turned its weakness to Water-type attacks into an immunity, which was extremely helpful during the rain-infested Gen V OU metagame. In addition to this, Mollux has numerous supporting options such as Rapid Spin, Heal Bell, and Stealth Rock, as well as a wide offensive movepool and good defensive stats, allowing it to take full advantage of the resistances offered by the normally subpar Fire / Poison typing.

In today's CAP Metagame, Mollux is commonly seen taking advantage of its great base 131 Special Attack as a revenge killer with a Choice Scarf. Fire Blast and Sludge Wave allow Mollux to easily revenge kill Pokémon such as Cawmodore, Syclant, and Mega Gardevoir. Hidden Power Ground lures and 2HKOes opposing Heatran and Mollux. Trick is a big selling point of Choice Scarf Mollux, as it allows Mollux to cripple its traditional defensive checks such as Chansey. In addition to a Choice Scarf set, Mollux can viably run several other sets, as it can set entry hazards, remove entry hazards with Rapid Spin, clear its teammates of status with Heal Bell, or even set up and attempt a sweep with Calm Mind.

#15 Auromoth

Colbur Berry Aurumoth @ Life Orb / Colbur Berry
Ability: Illusion
EVs: 24 HP / 252 SpA / 232 Spe
Timid Nature
- Quiver Dance
- Bug Buzz
- Psyshock / Psychic
- Surf / Shadow Ball

Aurumoth's original concept was to create a Pokémon that was very risky to play, but very rewarding if it is played correctly. It's questionable whether or not this concept was truly fulfilled, as Aurumoth has several boosting moves, great offensive stats, three useful and powerful abilities in Weak Armor, No Guard, and Illusion, not to mention a highly expansive offensive movepool. This aside, Aurumoth has a plethora of useful traits that it can put to great use in the CAP Metagame and is one of the most powerful setup sweepers.

Aurumoth has several highly effective and threatening sets that it can run. It can act as a dangerous setup sweeper with Quiver Dance or Dragon Dance, a fearsome wallbreaker with Tail Glow, or even a specialized lure and revenge killer with Choice Scarf + Illusion + Final Gambit. Aurumoth's most potent set is arguably the Quiver Dance set, which can be run viably with either Illusion or No Guard. The set shown above takes advantage of Illusion, which is probably the most frightening variant of Aurumoth to go up against, as it can threaten to tear huge holes in the opposing team at several points during the battle, and the opponent will be constantly on their toes as to whether or not Aurumoth was sent out. Once Aurumoth has a Quiver Dance under its belt, it can deal heavy damage with its STAB moves. Surf lets Aurumoth take on Heatran and other Fire-types, while Shadow Ball deals heavy damage to opposing Mega Metagross and Kitsunoh and can OHKO them at +1 if Aurumoth holds a Life Orb. Though Life Orb is usually preferred to boost Aurumoth's power significantly, Colbur Berry can be used to tank Sucker Punch from the likes of Colossoil and retaliate back with a strong Bug Buzz. Luckily, Aurumoth's susceptibility to every kind of entry hazard can be used as an indicator when playing against Illusion Aurumoth; a Pokémon that takes the wrong amount of damage from entry hazards, such as a Flying-type taking Spikes damage, is definitely Aurumoth, allowing you to react and prepare accordingly.

#17 Cawmodore

LO Cawmodore @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Belly Drum
- Acrobatics
- Drain Punch
- Bullet Punch

Cawmodore's original concept was to make use of a move not commonly seen in the OU metagame, and it does just that as an incredibly threatening user of Belly Drum. Despite being somewhat one-dimensional, Cawmodore is still one of the most effective late-game sweepers and influential Pokémon in the CAP Metagame thanks to its high base 118 Speed and access to Belly Drum. After a Belly Drum boost, Cawmodore can muscle past incredibly bulky foes with its 110 Base Power Acrobatics and can keep itself healthy with Drain Punch, which also serves as a tool to muscle past opposing Steel-types.

The above set is Cawmodore's flagship set in the current CAP Metagame. Once Belly Drum is used and Sitrus Berry is consumed, it can clean up weakened teams with ease with an absurdly powerful +6 110 Base Power Acrobatics. Drain Punch keeps Cawmodore's health high, making it even more difficult to revenge kill, while Bullet Punch gives it a form of priority to deal with opposing priority users. Bulky Electric-types such as Cyclohm and Zapdos are your best bet when it comes to dealing with Cawmodore; with their typing and bulk, they'll be able to tank a hit and retaliate back with Flamethrower and Heat Wave, respectively. Faster Pokémon that resist Bullet Punch, such as Talonflame, can also serve as a check to the mighty bird. Cawmodore can also run a seldom seen but incredibly effective Substitute + Salac Berry set, allowing it to demolish teams that rely on Talonflame, Choice Scarf Mollux, Choice Scarf Volkraken, and other fast Pokémon as a method of checking it.

#18 Volkraken

LO Volkraken @ Life Orb
Ability: Analytic
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Fire Blast
- U-turn
- Power Gem / Flash Cannon

Volkraken was the first CAP Pokémon created for the Gen VI. It was intended to form a viable core with two lesser used Pokémon in OU, specifically Lucario and Latias. In the CAP Metagame, Volkraken can take advantage of its high base 135 Special Attack, Analytic, and unique Water / Fire typing with an all-out attacker set, usually holding Life Orb or Choice Specs. Volkraken gains a further 1.3x attacking bonus from Analytic if it moves last, or if the foe switches, making it an incredibly difficult Pokémon to switch into. Furthermore, it has access to U-turn, allowing it to pivot on the few Pokémon that can claim to stomach a hit from Volkraken, such as Chansey, and switch out to a teammate who can trap it or take advantage of its passiveness by setting up.

Hydro Pump and Fire Blast provide Volkraken with two very high powered STAB moves and allow it to hit everything except Dragon-types, Water-types, and Mollux neutrally. This doesn't stop Volkraken, though, as an Analytic-boosted Fire Blast or Hydro Pump will hit incredibly hard, even against Pokémon that resist the moves. Power Gem allows Volkraken to blow past Pyroak and Mollux, and Flash Cannon allows Volkraken to deal heavy damage to Mega Altaria. Volkraken is also commonly seen running a Choice Scarf set, as its base 135 Special Attack makes it a powerful revenge killer and late-game cleaner. Even with the higher Speed of a Choice Scarf set, Analytic is still a very viable option as an ability, as it make Volkraken an even tougher Pokémon to switch into. Infiltrator does have its merits, however, as this allows Volkraken to revenge kill Pokémon behind a Substitute. Volkraken has a few other interesting options it can take advantage of as well, such as Memento and Destiny Bond.

#19 Plasmanta

Black Sludge Plasmanta @ Black Sludge
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 252 HP / 154 Def / 100 Spe
Bold Nature
- Sludge Bomb
- Hidden Power Fire / Hidden Power Ice
- Haze
- Encore / Taunt

Plasmanta is the 19th Pokémon created by the CAP Project and also the most recent Pokémon to have come out of the process. It was centered around the idea of making a Pokémon that can discourage the opponent from KOing it. This led to it being paired with Mega Gyarados with the intention of making it weak to the Ground-types that Mega Gyarados can set up on, paving the way for Mega Gyarados to come in and sweep. As such, Plasmanta has an unavoidable weakness to Ground-types, and despite Plasmanta not quite achieving the goals set out for it, it is still a solid Pokémon in the CAP Metagame. Its Electric / Poison typing gives it a favorable matchup against many of the metagame's top threats, such as Clefable, Tomohawk, and Cawmodore. It also has great physical bulk, which, when coupled with important resistances to Steel-, Bug-, and Flying-type attacks, as well as an immunity to Water-type attacks thanks to Storm Drain, allows it to fulfill the role of a bulky supporter quite well.

The goal of this set is to check boosting Steel-types, such as Cawmodore and Mega Scizor, as well as slower Fairy-types such as Clefable and Sylveon. Hidden Power Fire provides good neutral coverage alongside Sludge Bomb, allowing Plasmanta to get past Steel-types such as Scizor, Ferrothorn, and, most importantly, Cawmodore. Hidden Power Ice can be used instead to deal considerable damage to Ground-type switch-ins such as Landorus, Garchomp, and Gliscor. Encore and Taunt are used to help get past slower walls and to help create momentum for Plasmanta and its team. Haze allows Plasmanta to reliably check certain setup sweepers, such as Mega Scizor, Cawmodore, and Mega Slowbro, and prevents Plasmanta from becoming setup fodder. A similar variant of Plasmanta runs an Electric-type STAB move such as Thunderbolt or Discharge in the last slot, which allows it to get past Flying- and Water-types. As anyone would expect, Plasmanta has to be teamed up with Pokémon that can easily shrug off or wall Ground-type attacks, such as Tomohawk, Gliscor, and Mega Scizor.


With 19 additional, unique threats to prepare for, in addition to all the usual powerhouses of the OU metagame, the CAP Metagame is a diverse and exciting environment to battle in. In addition to the nine Pokémon we covered above, there are 10 more potent CAP Pokémon to utilize and prepare for in the CAP Metagame, each with their own unique niches and capabilities. To keep up with CAP Metagame trends and discussion, visit the subforum or the PS! CAP Project room on Pokémon Showdown! for live discussion. Be sure to check out the main CAP Project as well, where we've just finished our 20th CAP, Naviathan!

« Previous Article Home Next Article »