CAP 9: Questions and Misconceptions

By Plus. Art by CyzirVisheen.
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Meet Colossoil, CAP's very own Dark/Ground Narwhal who eats, crushes, and destroys the secondary status and damage of the OU metagame. From November 11 to November 27, the dedicated playtesters of CAP have tested the effects of such a Pokémon in the OU environment. With the CAP 9 Playtesting just about over, it's time to answer a few of the questions that arose during day one of the project, as well as a few other common misconceptions from those who missed the chance to participate in one of the most booming projects of all time.

The Questions:

How would a Pokemon with such a large niche be able to fit in a competitive team?

Many people have not used Colossoil simply for stopping the secondary, although slapping it on a team really does show how less prevalent secondary is as opposed to in normal OU. Apart from stopping the secondary, Colossoil makes a potent revenge killer, thanks to Sucker Punch and Pursuit. Of course, being able to discourage status moves and the use of Choice items is definitely a godsend for OU; however, there are other selling points to Colossoil as well.

Colossoil is without a doubt the best offensive Ground-type in its metagame. You can forget about Mamoswine and Flygon, because Colossoil takes the cake with its offensive prowess and ability to force the opponent into a defensive state. On top of that, you can stop throwing Tyranitar on teams every time you want a Pokémon who can beat Rotom-A as well as revenge kill Pokemon like Latias. The icing on the cake is Colossoil's wide array of moves, which can be tailored to fit many different teams. If your team is in need for some speed, run a Choice Scarf set with U-turn. If you need a Rapid Spinner, Colossoil does just that. It's probably the best Spinner in OU as well, because Colossoil deals with Ghost-types easily. These different selling points are what make Colossoil shine in OU.

How large of an impact would the reduction of non-damaging effects and moves have on the metagame?

With Colossoil around, offensive teams get the advantage of an Electric-type immunity, something that all offensive teams in OU would love to have. As stated above, using something like Flygon isn't necessary anymore if an Electric-type immunity is needed. Colossoil has just that, and can easily beat the most common Electric-types with ease, namely Jolteon, Rotom-A, and Zapdos. Colossoil encourages the mindset of pure offense, and takes a bit of the burden off of "how will I be able to deal with status, which cripples most of my sweepers". Is it a positive effect on the metagame? I would say so.

What, if any, would happen to the types of teams being used?

Defensive Colossoil simply does not work. Stockpile Colossoil is terrible, and the only "defensive" set that one could pass off as semi-defensive would be the Rapid Spinning set, which isn't nearly as common as the other offensive sets that Colossoil runs. Some Pokemon who dropped in usage include Blissey, who would risk getting demolished by Guts Colossoil or having Toxic bounced back if she chooses to use Toxic. If Blissey gets out of Colossoil alive, then the rest of the stall team will still need to deal with Colossoil's anti-stall tactics, such as Taunt, meaning that Skarmory will have a tough time setting up entry hazards. You can expect any stall team that is used in the metagame to be running at least one bulky Water-type, Skarmory, and Rotom-A carrying Leaf Storm or Hydro Pump, either running Substitute or hitting 290+ Speed.

How would this affect the usage of these types of moves?

For a Pokémon who makes Rotom-A hesitant to use Will-O-Wisp on a Scizor, you can't really deny that Colossoil has had some effect on the metagame. The only Rotom-A who playtesters saw in the metagame were Rotom-W and Rotom-C, both of who pack Hydro Pump and Leaf Storm, respectively. Rest + Sleep Talk Rotom-A are close to nonexistent on the ladder as well, mostly due to Pursuit Colossoil and its immunity to Thunderbolt and Discharge, resistance to Shadow Ball, and Guts, which turns Will-O-Wisp into an Attack boost. In a nutshell, Colossoil made straightforward attacks more straightforward than ever.

How much of an effect does typing have on the ability for ANY Pokémon to perform this duty?

Dark/Ground isn't the typing that comes to mind when stopping the secondary. However, Dark/Ground is a typing that encourages an offensive Pokemon. Most people would think of stopping the secondary as a Pokémon who is immune to secondary, like a Steel/Ground-type with Flash Fire and Levitate. Instead, Colossoil's ability to stop the secondary comes from its movepool, typing, and ability. Its typing, Dark/Ground, gives it two great STABs, which fare well against users of secondary based moves. Colossoil threatened Rotom-A and Celebi, for example, with STAB Pursuit, Crunch, and Sucker Punch. As for its Ground-typing, an immunity to most forms of paralysis was beneficial to Guts, as it is the one status that Guts does not entirely benefit from, due to the drop in Speed. Typing definitely plays a role in Colossoil's duty as a secondary deterrent, although typing alone does not make Colossoil what it really is.

Guts versus Rebound -- Which is better?

Rebound is essentially a Magic Coat that happens on a switch in. Basically, Colossoil comes in, and bounces back any status effects and other types of secondary at the opponent. It's quite interesting, but falls short to Guts in terms of usage. Rebound is a very situational ability, but still has its small niches, such as bouncing back Spore on lead Smeargle, or giving Blissey a nasty Toxic. In the long run, Guts was deemed a better ability as it was less situational than Rebound. Additionally, having a monstrous attack due to Guts combined with a Life Orb lets Colossoil 2HKO all of the OU metagame, although it will fall relatively fast.

Was there any "metagaming" against Colossoil? You bet. During each and every playtesting, playtesters play knowing that they will beat the playtested CAP using many different checks and counters, if possible. In a way, I think it is safe to say that Rebound did not get much use because Colossoil already discouraged the secondary so much with its typing and movepool. While Guts is currently the favored option among the two abilities, perhaps there is some light for Rebound in the future.

Did it fulfill its concept?

I think Colossoil fulfilled its concept. Sure, it may not have completely wiped out the secondary, but it sure stopped a lot of it. Stopping all of the secondary would be insane -- OU should be able to maintain offense and defense, primary and secondary moves, and Pokemon of different types and niches.

Common Misconceptions:

It's broken!

No it isn't. Try a few battles on the ladder and you will see that Colossoil is not broken. Guts + Status Orb dies very quickly, and Colossoil will not score kills unless it is played under the correct circumstances. This means that Colossoil does not get many chances to switch in, as it lacks certain resistances. Colossoil really has no concrete counter, but the term "counter" is thrown around so loosely nowadays, and people think that having no counters instantly puts it in the Uber position. However, when comparing it to a Pokémon like Gengar who also has no concrete "counter", it is apparent that having no concrete counters does not make a Pokemon broken. Colossoil, despite having Moonlight and bulk, does die fairly quickly. You need to get in all the kills you can, and maximize the potential of Colossoil's offensive prowess before it dies out. It shifts the metagame, so it's broken, you say? Tell that to Blissey, who effectively walls the majority of special sweepers in the game. CAP is here to observe and learn about the changes in the metagame that these CAPs bring to the table, believe it or not. CAP encourages metagame shifts. Our main purpose isn't for people to just stare at the final product and go "Ooh...pretty". I'm sure we all do, but that isn't our main purpose!

Its movepool is too big!

This isn't really a misconception, but its been brought up in every CAP so far. People want to test as many things as possible in CAP, hence the large movepools, which isn't really a bad thing whatsoever. I am aware that this may look bad for one who may simply glance over the final products and judge each CAP through pure theorymon. However, one must understand that these Pokemon are not real. CAPs are here to answer the "what ifs?" of OU. What if Scizor had Flame Wheel? What if Electivire had Swords Dance? Questions like these are what power the CAP process and feed the curiosity of the Smogon population. Before one heads into the "big movepools make it broken category", he or she should be aware that our main priority is to test and learn.

That's dumb, it's just a Guts + Status Orb Sweeper! That's not stopping the secondary!

The Guts + Status Orb set is very overrated. If I were to look at the set that the top battlers of CAP use, then I would actually be seeing the Life Orb set, which is arguably Colossoil's best moveset. Unlike Guts + Status Orb, Life Orb Colossoil does not necessarily need to lose health each turn it is in, and while the power of Life Orb is not as powerful as Guts, Life Orb has enough power to break through what it needs to. Colossoil still scores OHKOs on Latias and Starmie with Sucker Punch as well as 2HKOing Gyarados and Salamence with Sucker Punch. The set Taunt / Earthquake / Sucker Punch / Pursuit in particular is one of the most successful sets used during playtesting, which effectively shuts down common moves, such as Spikes, Roost, Wish, Protect, Substitute, and Stealth Rock. After the opposing Pokemon has been Taunted, it is either forced to switch out and get hit by Pursuit, or forced to use regular attacks, only to be beaten by Sucker Punch.


This ends Colossoil playtesting! Be sure to check out CAP 10 which will start in a couple of weeks, and the CAP revisions, where we will be revising our first three CAPs, Syclant, Revenankh, and Pyroak. For more information on these creations, check out the CAP Website!

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