CAP 32 - Part 1 - Concept Submissions

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Voltage

OTTN5
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As a Smash player I love this concept, it's a cool idea. If I think about a move like Marth's Down B, i feel like the shielding moves make a lot of sense: King's Shield, Baneful Bunker, Silk Trap, Spiky Shield protect the user from damage while inflicting some effect on the opponent if they use a contact move. Unfortunately, because of switching and how priority/speed can affect turn order it's hard to achieve a satisfying true parry unless you use taunt before the opponent tries to use a status move. Based on the definition you provided, it doesn't feel like there are enough viable game mechanics that allow you to prevent the opponent from attacking or setting up.
This is a really good point and I've added a question to my section to allow us to ask the question "what kinds of actions can be put under the umbrella of 'parry' and 'riposte'?". I think that you're thinking a little too specifically since while yes, shield moves are an excellent example of the concept in action, there's more parry-like actions that can be made in a match beyond simply lowering a foe's stats imo.

I mentioned it in the write up, but switching in a Pokemon with Magic Bounce when a foe attempts to set up hazards or use a status move is a parry in my eyes since you're active avoiding the negative effect your opponent is attempting to put onto your side of the field and returning it back on their end. Another concrete example I can point to right now is Venomicon-P that can switch in on a predicted resisted move and immediately get a +1 to its defense and a potential Nasty Plot to +2 SpA in the opening it has created, which immediately applies pressure on the opponent. another small example would be to switch in something with Rough Skin or Iron Barbs on a low-HP opponent attempting to use Rapid Spin, for example.

I suppose you could boil the concept down even further to "this Pokemon rewards good predictions and opponent reads through its inherent qualities" and it's up to us, should it be selected, to figure out what those abilities are.
 
As a heads up, "lower tiers" always refers to official tiers that are not OU i.e. Ubers, UU, RU, NU, and PU with some exceptions (there are official tiers that are not lower tiers like Monotype, Doubles, and LC due to their inherent mechanical differences). What you mean is past gens, which you should state clearly if that is what you are referring to.
Good to know! I've updated my WIP to reference specifically past-gen lower tiers/lower tiers in previous generations.

I suppose you could boil the concept down even further to "this Pokemon rewards good predictions and opponent reads through its inherent qualities" and it's up to us, should it be selected, to figure out what those abilities are.
To me, the difference between just rewarding good reads and the idea of a 'riposte' is that the 'riposte' is doing some active damage/harm to the opponent rather than just putting them in a good position. Swapping a fairy/psychic mon into a fighting/dragon type's close combat is a good play, but swapping magic bounce into a hazard move to actively put a hazard on the enemy field is a riposte.

modedit: merging double posts
 
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Back again for another round of feedback/general thoughts. I didn't quite get through all of page 2, but I figured I'd share now instead of making you wait for me to finish tomorrow afternoon like I initially planned. Here we go!

Cantrip - NoahIOTJ
Really interesting concept, I like the parallels drawn to Astrolotl. You're definitely asking the right kinds of questions -- I especially enjoy the one about whether to use debuffs selfishly or selflessly, and the one about how to abuse side-effects of debuffs such as the opponent's impulse to switch out or spend the turn on a non-attacking option. You could also ask a question about what the place of other debuffing options is, like Metal Sound/Acid Spray and whether they fit within the concept or not. I'd change the name to something more accessible too, maybe I'm in the minority but I had to look up what it meant lol.

Trap Card - Brown4Sides
The gameplay implications of this concept are very cool. Maybe this is a weird comparison, but I'm reminded of how Libra's concept tried to force win-win situations via the use of Doom Desire. Past strategies like DeoSharp really capture this for me; your opponent is either forced to play with hazards up, or give your Bisharp a +2 Attack boost, but either way you benefit. Rage Fist could demonstrate this too -- your opponent either attacks and gives you a boost, or awkwardly goes for some non-attacking move / makes a risky switch. Asking about how "traps" like these can engineer win-win scenarios, or how to best abuse the indirect effects of a trap (e.g. Defiant making your opp less likely to Defog) could be another good question.

Atypical Type Usage - Wulfanator
Love this one. We talked about this in private already but the similarities to Stratagem's concept are really cool, in some ways it's just a direct improvement. CAP has done a lot of move-based and ability-based concepts lately, but iirc the last time we messed with typing was Crucibelle -- this is a shame to me, because typing is by far the most defining aspect of a Pokemon. I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of interesting questions you come up with.

In the Big Leagues - BobKingOfSeagulls
Initially I thought that this concept was "take a lower tier mon and retrofit it for CAP," but after reading through the whole thing, it's actually much broader than that; if I'm understanding correctly, anything from a specific move, ability, playstyle, etc that's more common in lower tiers is fair game to work with. I quite like this approach, but my concern is that lower tiers as a whole are very undeveloped because of SV's newness -- NU just got released this month, and PU doesn't even exist yet. Is it possible for a concept like this to be successful when lower tiers as a whole are still finding their identity? This would probably be a better idea for later in the generation. If you want to make this concept the absolute best it can be, though, reading through Old Dog New Tricks and Mini-Uber might give you ideas for improvement.

Not All Dragons Are Dragon-type - LucarioOfLegends
If I'm understanding right, this concept has two routes (though not mutually exclusive ones), those being imitating a typing offensively vs imitating one defensively. I think the latter is much more interesting; there seems to be a lot more to think about if we try to make, for example, a Grass- or Dragon-type that competes for a team slot with Argh, Pex, and Washtom, as opposed to offensively replicating a Water-type by just using Hydro Pump in our moveset. I worry that this has a lot of overlap with the other typing-based concepts though, so perhaps leaning into the natural questions that this concept raises about teambuilding would help? Your concept really forces us to think about why we use the mons that we do, what exactly they provide for a team, and how to replicate those same effects on a completely different chassis; these are the things that I'm most intrigued by here.

Bone-shaking! - Demanufacture
Not gonna say anything about this because it looks like it's under revision still. Make sure to carefully read the rules in the OP before editing/submitting a new one.

Low Life God - Darek
Really creative idea. I love your questions here, this would be a damn good process and result in a mon that plays like very little else. The only potential issue I see is a limited amount of options to work with. Recoil moves and the 3(?) abilities that benefit from status infliction are the obvious routes, and beyond that, we have Solar Power, items that cost HP (can't think if there's anything other than Life Orb), and like Curse/Substitute? Explosion if that's allowed? Looking at this list, we might be a little pigeonholed into certain roles, but I think there would be interesting discussions to be had regardless.

Idle Hands - What should by name be?
Not too sure about this one. If this concept means to explore turns in which we do literally nothing as a result of immobilization, then the only routes we have are two-turn moves and moves that require recharging. There are ways to circumvent the former (Power Herb) and the latter seems to have no upsides at all. Perhaps this is me being overly cynical or unimaginative, but I believe that a turn in which we do nothing is by definition a wasted turn. I think this concept could be improved by zeroing in on two-turn moves specifically, such as Phantom Force, Geomancy, Freeze Shock, and so on. A concept like this would embrace that the charge-up effect is almost always going to be exploitable, but work to create something viable and interesting even despite the restriction.

Nth Time's the Charm - shnowshner
Another very cool typing concept. I like that this encourages us to look back at the reasons for certain unsuccessful Pokemon in the past, the historical analysis element is always something I enjoy. The questions here are nice as well, notably the ones about whether to sidestep a typing's flaws vs lean into them; we've had similar decision to make in past processes (Chromera comes to mind), and I think it's an especially important discussion to have here. Really solid submission, not much more to say that I haven't talked with you about already.

Mini-Uber - SHSP
Obligatory BALLSMASHER9000 shoutout (Please Ban Gliscor Holy Fucking Shit). This one is so good though. Taking a mon/strategy that's way too strong for CAP and replicating it with a lower power level results in this really interesting effect, where we're basically boiling off all the extra power from these absurd legendaries while preserving their most basic elements; I think that this process of distilling something down to its identity is more interesting than building something up from scratch (e.g. replicating a lower tier mon), and the fact that we're not restricted to pastgens means it's very accessible.

Hook, Line & Sinker - Admiral_Stalfos19
I'm worried that this concept is self-defeating. The reason you run lures is because your opponent won't expect them, but if we design a CAP to be a lure, then surely the opponent will see it coming. My intuition for how to get around this is to design the CAP such that it can lure so many different Pokemon that the opponent can't possibly know what it's trying to target. But honestly, that just sounds unhealthy to introduce into the metagame.

Thick Paper - viol and bass
I'm being 100% honest when I say that I enjoy this concept quite a lot -- your writeup is excellent, and you're asking all the right questions -- but it does bear some striking similarities to the other typing-based concepts, specifically shnow's. On one hand I'd be ecstatic to make a purely defensive CAP for the first time in years (if you want proof, I subbed Bulletproof Glass for the past two CAPs), but on the other hand, mandating a defensive build is still narrowing the scope a fair bit; something like shnow's allows for a greater spectrum of possibilities, also having the historical analysis element which I find interesting. I'm not quite sure what my advice would be on how to distinguish your submission, but as I said, it's still a concept I really enjoy.

Brains & Brawn - ArcanineLover
Mixed attackers are awesome. I think this is a fine concept overall. My feedback here is entirely subjective, and really just boils down to personal preference: the past 4 CAPs have featured setup on their design in some way, and I'm eager to explore different territory. If we were to do a setup concept, though, others like Snowballer are still more intriguing to me. Maybe try to take some inspiration from the questions that Joeshh's concept asks, or even setup concepts that have been slated in the past.

...and Substitute my own. - Ayecrusher King
I think what made this concept strong in CAP28 was how few Substitute users there were. We've seen a lot in Gen 9, though -- Venom-E, Skeledirge, Volcarona, Dragapult, Ceruledge, probably a few more that I'm forgetting. I also worry that this concept will be pigeonholed into setup (what do all of my examples and 90% of historical Substitute users have in common), and as I said for the submission above this, there are other setup concepts that pique my interest more.

Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel - Scizivire
Lots of similarities here between this one and Pip's, main difference being the scope: Speed Demon is broader in the roles that it allows for, while this one zeroes in on a very specific build. There's an argument to be made for both approaches, I'll have to think some more about which I prefer. Your examples do a good job at illustrating the kinds of diverse routes that we could take with this. I also really like the potential discussions that this concept would foster about how to balance early-game utility vs late-game cleaning power, and the role of setup vs more immediate output.

Black Market Salt - doctrielk
I don't think that we learn anything interesting from a process about "how to beat X Pokemon," I don't think that these kinds of concepts are always as healthy for the metagame as they claim to be, and I don't think that these concepts age well into future metagames. I'm sorry, but I won't be slating this

Hidden Potential - chuckeroo777
I didn't plan on getting to this concept until later but I figured I'd throw it in now since my feedback is so short. Techno Blast and Multi Attack were snapped from Gen 9, this concept literally wouldn't work
Yeah, for Idle Hands I think 2-turn moves in which you’re in a semi-invulnerable state like Dig, Fly, and Phantom Force is far easier to build a Pokémon around.
 

ausma

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Final Submission

Name:
Tools Without the Trade

Description: This Pokemon uses moves/abilities that have utility-centered effects to make itself more threatening.

Justification: The idea of this concept is to flip the script on the standard application of utility effects, which are generally used as options to support the team. Utility is fundamentally rooted in creating progress and/or enabling allies, but who's to say a Pokemon can't use its own utility to make itself more threatening? The idea of self-centered offensive utility is one not directly explored in CAP, in part due to its abstract and unconventional nature when used on offensive Pokemon. Because there are a lot of ways we can define and explore the boundaries of self-centered offensive utility, especially in the department of balancing defense and offense, there are a lot of really fascinating avenues we can take with this concept to really bring it to life and bring a unique offensive presence that uses unique combinations of tools to the SV CAP metagame. As such, this is an Actualization concept.

Questions To Be Answered:

- What gives a certain effect or move "offensive utility"?
- How can a dedicated user of utility moves best extract value from said moves for itself as opposed to its teammates?
- What effects might a self-centered utility user value the most? What makes them valuable to this Pokémon’s game plan?
- Can dedicated stat boosting options be considered pro-concept? Why or why not?
- How do we incentivize usage of utility moves to support our damage output over higher power damage-dealing options?
- How do we balance defensive merits to enable our usage of utility with offensive merits to be threatening in the first place?
- What lessons can we take from in-canon examples of selfish utility users/strategies? How can we make CAP 32 unique from them/use them uniquely?

Explanation:

Historically, utility in Pokemon is understood to have a very clear purpose: to provide support to the team. Whether it's spreading status to better enable setup or make steady progress against a durable wall, utility is fairly dedicated to supporting teammates for the most part. Because of its more team-centric nature, most utility users are built around using their utility options as efficiently and as consistently as possible. You will see them used most often on Pokemon packing defensive investment and, situationally, Speed. This basically takes a new spin by directing the focus and value of utility toward the utility user itself, incentivizing a more offensive angle and execution of options often geared toward supporting the team.

Since this is a bit of an abstract concept on paper, I wanted to give some quick brief examples of options that I feel would be pro-concept and show how this concept has a lot of unique avenues that aren't too limited or too similar to Astrolotl wrt offensive utility. Bear in mind these are just surface level examples and I guarantee there's a lot of room for discussion regarding specific combinations of moves/abilities that haven't even been mentioned here.

Rapid Spin: +1 Speed and hazard clearing, definitely can be used selfishly but it's a super lame option imo because Saharaja already does this. Maybe a different angle could be taken though.

Mortal Spin: The cooler Rapid Spin but harder to work with.

Hex/Venoshock: Very pro-concept, it literally becomes more powerful when you spread status.

Infernal Parade/Barb Barrage: Same deal as Hex but with more moveslot compression.

Stone Axe/Ceaseless Edge: Offensive moves that apply pressure and set hazards to enhance pressure further.

Knock Off: Removing items that can be annoying for CAP 32 to deal with is pretty convenient but this sort of forces physical

Assurance: This is pretty swell with hazards

Leech Seed: SubSeed.
Merciless: Provides critical hits when you spread status, enhancing damage output. Very strong ability that needs to be balanced carefully

Poison Touch: Making contact can spread status. Pro concept

Intimidate: Used to make sponging hits easier for team, but you can easily use it selfishly. you can definitely make an argument for this

Immunity Abilities: Normally I would be whatever on this but Tera makes this a lot more interesting an option

Weather Setting Abilities: Very fickle since this will fundamentally support the team no matter what, but making it something a la Drought Mega Charizard is possible, and Snow's new effect is something to consider too

In terms of actual existing examples in-canon, there are several. For example, the offensive hazard setter archetype falls under this. Ash Greninja famously uses Spikes to bolster its own offensive presence. Another example is SS OU Weavile's tendency to use Knock Off to remove Leftovers, Heavy-Duty Boots, and Rocky Helmet to make its boosted Triple Axel more threatening.
 
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spoo

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Hi everyone. Just dropping a 24 hour warning for concept submissions (Saturday 6pm gmt-5). I'll be working on compiling the slate tomorrow night that I'll be ready to share on Sunday (48ish hours). You can continue editing your concept up until I post the slate, but be aware that I might not see your edits if you make them after the 24hr mark. You're also welcome to ping me somewhere if you want me to look over what you changed.

If I haven't given you feedback on your concept yet, you can expect a post either tonight or early tomorrow (gmt-5). This next round of feedback might be less thorough because I've been crunched for time the past two days, but hopefully it'll still be useful. I really couldn't be happier with this batch of concepts, so thanks for all your valuable effort and creativity so far. Let's keep up the incredible work through the rest of this project :heart:
 

spoo

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Finally caught up with everything. Nothing else to say that I didn't cover in my last post, so let's go straight into the feedback:

Unstable Stallbreaking abuser - SirinC&Kokomi
This seems really scattered to me. It's a CAP that is average in all respects, is good at chipping down walls, and spreads status? I'd tell you to just focus on one of these things, but two of them are already covered in other concepts (Bang Average and Reliable Status Abuser). A concept about wearing down opponents long-term is probably your best bet.

Keep Your Hands Off CAP 32! - StarFalcon555
I feel like contact punishers have been fairly well-explored throughout the gens. TankChomp, Zapdos/Moltres, Ferrothorn, etc already occupy a lot of the design space here, and as such, I question how much left we have to learn from this concept. The more niche abilities/moves you mention are really cool and unexplored, but also seem like rather niche/limited options to work with. My advice would be to justify how we could learn something about punishing contact moves that we don't know already via existing examples.

Non-Stop Pain Train - IronTemplar
Switching is a fundamental part of mons, so it would be interesting to see how well we could function without that option at our disposal. On the other hand, every single mon is walled by something and revenged by something, so I'm not sure how practical this concept is. Think some more about unique ways or existing examples in which we can apply pressure without getting pressured ourselves, and see if you can justify your concept's premise better.

Anger Management - Astra
Fascinating on its surface but it comes with some baggage. You've made aspects of this concept a little less abstract, which I think helps it a lot, but I worry that it would still result in a lot of confused and divisive discussions. There's a sweet spot between too abstract and too straightforward, and I think that this concept lands too close to the former for a project of CAP's nature; while it's probably one of the concepts we stand the most to learn from by pursuing, I feel like it's also one with the greatest risk of failure, despite how much the central idea intrigues me.

Hands-Free - Gekokeso
I have a hard time believing that we can make a CAP that prefers not having an item outright, while a CAP that doesn't mind losing its item feels like it's operating within a very limited design space. Knock Off distribution is also much smaller this gen, making our niche smaller as a result. Overall this seems a bit narrow.

Fun-Sized - Gravity Monkey
My feedback lines up with what quziel had to say. Reframing this around BSR would be a more effective means of accomplishing what you're envisioning. There's genuinely a lot to explore by doing a CAP without busted stats, but I'm more biased towards Bang Average's similar approach.

Crystal Collector - ryangregory78
I stated in my opening post that I wasn't interested in Terastallization focused concepts and this one isn't an exception

Good artists copy, great artists steal - Baloor
Redoing an old concept has always been interesting to people. Da Pizza Man's submission is asking to redo Aurumoth's, for example. I know some people prefer to just pick one to redo (like DPM did), but I actually prefer leaving it open. Concept Assessment would have some interesting discussions about which past concepts have aged well or not, if we should pursue a "failed" idea (Auru) or something more successful, if the concept can be updated in any ways, and so on. We would likely have an extended CA stage, as we not only have to pick which concept to do but also reassess it, but this isn't necessarily a downside. Overall, this concept is justified very well, we have a lot to learn from it (and also see what we've learned from past CAPs), and I think it would result in a great end product.

Workaround - Gaboswampert
This one is pretty cool. There's a lot to explore in bypassing opposing immunities, as well as using them to your own benefit, and I'd be especially interested to see if we could do both at the same time. I'm not super drawn towards ability-based concepts after the last few CAPs, but typing would also be hugely relevant to this process, so I think that there's still fresh ground to cover.

The Paradox/ Regional/ Covergent Variant - Kowasabii
This seems like a more flavor-based approach to the same concept that Baloor posted. I prefer the competitive focus of Baloor's, so this submission doesn't pique my interest unfortunately.

Third Act Reveal - Lesbeon
Reminds me of the Hook Line & Sinker lure concept, but much more interesting. One of my favorite features in mons is versatility and being able to run multiple sets successfully. Unfortunately, CAP is also really bad at engineering this historically, but perhaps that just makes for a better challenge. The questions here are strong and thought-provoking, and the concept's central goal is one that interests me a lot. However, I think that this concept heavily implies certain design choices (namely an offensive bias) and feels a little narrow as a result. Not totally sure where I stand on this submission yet, but it interests me a lot on the surface.

Parry and Riposte - Voltage
The part about being able to "support teammates through skillfully-timed play" throws me off a little, because I imagine we'd be utilizing parries/ripostes more selfishly than selflessly, but aside from that this concept is excellent. I mentioned this in Astra's feedback, but there's a sweet spot between abstract and straightforward and I think this submission nails it. While the different ways to accomplish this concept without resorting to gimmicks may be on the smaller side, it's still enough to support deep discussions and an interesting process. I also support any submission that includes a replay where binpin gets owned as an example of concept fulfillment.

Budget Miraidon - Geysers
This concept is legal, but just barely... I think we end up with ETerrain as our ability 99/100 times, which doesn't result in a very interesting process for me. Concepts should have more than one direction at every step of the way. I would change your focus to simply enabling or interacting with Paradox mons. I'll be frank and say that I still don't love this approach, but it opens up your concept to have more routes than just "eterrain user."

Tools Without the Trade (Selfish Utility) - ausma
Already talked to you about this a little, but I think there is a ton of interesting stuff to unpack here. I love the parallels to Astrolotl's concept and the writeup here is very strong. I'd argue that selfish use of utility options is a bit more common than it's being presented as -- imo there is really no shortage of historical examples that fulfill this concept -- but I'm still quite confident we could create something that explores new ground. Aside from the somewhat crowded design space, this concept checks a lot of boxes for me.
 
WIP

Name
- Mitigator
Description - A Pokemon that wants to use its stat control, such as EV distribution, choice of nature, and in-battle stat buffs, to mitigate its weaknesses rather than further enhancing its strengths.
Justification- Competitive Pokemon has a very strong tendency towards min-maxing in builds, investing in their existing strengths. Pokemon that are naturally suited to being attackers usually want a nature, EVs, and a Swords Dance/Nasty Plot that make them better at attacking, bulky pokemon tend to invest in improving their walling further with even more bulk. It's not hard to understand why: specialization is more potent than well-roundedness when you have a whole team to help you play around each individual's weaknesses. When investment is given to a pokemon's weaknesses, the investment is usually minimal and designed to hit specific benchmarks against common threats in the meta. This general heuristic for stat management is so pervasive that it raises an interesting question: What would a pokemon need to look like such that this approach isn't optimal?
Questions To Be Answered -
  • How does one even create a pokemon that would rather invest in it's weaknesses than strengths, and is still viable in the tier afterwards?
  • How would such a pokemon compare or compete with a naturally well-rounded or versatile pokemon that can afford to invest in its strengths?
  • What sort of influence would a pokemon with a less specialized role (at least from a stat perspective) have on team composition?
  • Would it be pro or anti-concept for such a pokemon to have some degree of focus on support, status, or other mechanics that don't interact with the stats system?
  • Would such a pokemon, which in its design may seem to favor cautious generalism, be incompatible with bolder, more defined strategies and team compositions?
Explanation - Sorry spoo, you were probably not hoping for anymore subs after your last post. I'm not sure exactly how this concept would work,or if actualizing it is even feasible, but perhaps one direction it could be taken is a pokemon who has a well defined strength in, say, Special Attacking, and it's bulk is just a little bit lower than it wants without investment. It isn't fragile by default, but fragile enough to really struggle in OU without investment. Then, perhaps this shortcoming could be made up for with a good ability and movepool, for instance.
 
WIP

Name
- Mitigator
Description - A Pokemon that wants to use its stat control, such as EV distribution, choice of nature, and in-battle stat buffs, to mitigate its weaknesses rather than further enhancing its strengths.
Justification- Competitive Pokemon has a very strong tendency towards min-maxing in builds, investing in their existing strengths. Pokemon that are naturally suited to being attackers usually want a nature, EVs, and a Swords Dance/Nasty Plot that make them better at attacking, bulky pokemon tend to invest in improving their walling further with even more bulk. It's not hard to understand why: specialization is more potent than well-roundedness when you have a whole team to help you play around each individual's weaknesses. When investment is given to a pokemon's weaknesses, the investment is usually minimal and designed to hit specific benchmarks against common threats in the meta. This general heuristic for stat management is so pervasive that it raises an interesting question: What would a pokemon need to look like such that this approach isn't optimal?
Questions To Be Answered -
  • How does one even create a pokemon that would rather invest in it's weaknesses than strengths, and is still viable in the tier afterwards?
  • How would such a pokemon compare or compete with a naturally well-rounded or versatile pokemon that can afford to invest in its strengths?
  • What sort of influence would a pokemon with a less specialized role (at least from a stat perspective) have on team composition?
  • Would it be pro or anti-concept for such a pokemon to have some degree of focus on support, status, or other mechanics that don't interact with the stats system?
  • Would such a pokemon, which in its design may seem to favor cautious generalism, be incompatible with bolder, more defined strategies and team compositions?
Explanation - Sorry spoo, you were probably not hoping for anymore subs after your last post. I'm not sure exactly how this concept would work,or if actualizing it is even feasible, but perhaps one direction it could be taken is a pokemon who has a well defined strength in, say, Special Attacking, and it's bulk is just a little bit lower than it wants without investment. It isn't fragile by default, but fragile enough to really struggle in OU without investment. Then, perhaps this shortcoming could be made up for with a good ability and movepool, for instance.
Unless I'm misunderstanding your concept fairly deeply, I think Gen 9 CAP and OU already have several examples of Mitigators that invest in not their strongest stats - indeed often glaringly low ones:
  • Astrolotl's base stat spread is 108/108/74/92/64/114, yet it likes sets like this with high investment in its glaringly low Special Defense:
    • Astrolotl @ Heavy-Duty Boots
      Ability: Regenerator
      Tera Type: Fairy
      EVs: 32 HP / 252 SpD / 224 Spe
      Jolly Nature
      - Fire Lash
      - Stomping Tantrum
      - Will-O-Wisp / Encore
      - Defog
  • Dondozo's Curse sets tend to invest in its rather low Special Defense - this is notable because Dondozo has a base stat spread of 150/100/115/65/65/35:
    • Dondozo @ Leftovers
      Ability: Unaware
      Tera Type: Grass / Dragon
      EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
      Careful Nature
      - Curse
      - Liquidation / Wave Crash
      - Body Press / Rest
      - Protect / Sleep Talk
  • Due to Gholdengo's Heatran-like base stat spread of 87/60/95/133/91/84, it can plausibly run a defensive set that invests in every single one of its stats but its Attack, and its Scarf set notably maxes out its thoroughly mediocre Speed (note that this defensive set is actually more of a post-HOME spread and the benchmarks it hits involve Iron Valiant, Tornadus-T, Enamorus, and outspeeding defensive Rotom-W):
    • Gholdengo @ Leftovers / Covert Cloak
      Ability: Good as Gold
      Tera Type: Water / Flying / Fairy
      EVs: 252 HP / 96 Def / 12 SpA / 128 SpD / 20 Spe
      Calm Nature
      - Shadow Ball
      - Make It Rain
      - Nasty Plot
      - Recover
  • Despite Kingambit ending up with a low base Speed stat of 50, it still invests deeply in Speed (in order to outspeed Corviknight):
    • Kingambit @ Heavy-Duty Boots
      Ability: Supreme Overlord
      Tera Type: Flying / Fire
      EVs: 112 HP / 252 Atk / 144 Spe
      Adamant Nature
      - Swords Dance
      - Iron Head
      - Kowtow Cleave
      - Sucker Punch
  • Skeledirge's base stat spread of 104/75/100/110/75/66 leaves it in a speed tier where speed creep is viable despite its low 66 base Speed, and it generally invests deeply in its lower Special Defense:
    • Skeledirge @ Heavy-Duty Boots
      Ability: Unaware
      Tera Type: Fairy
      EVs: 252 HP / 40 Def / 188 SpD / 28 Spe
      Bold Nature
      - Substitute
      - Torch Song
      - Shadow Ball
      - Slack Off
 

sun_dew

formerly JAGFL
is a Pre-Contributor
Final Submission

Name:
Usually Useless 'Mon

Description: This Pokémon is designed to effectively use moves that are considered to be "usually useless" on most other Pokémon.

Justification: There are a lot of interesting moves in Pokémon that are incredibly interesting and unique but are not widely used due to being near-unusable on the Pokémon that have them within their movepools. Fling, Snore, Power Trick, and a whole host of other moves all have a whole lot of potential but are considered to be "usually useless" on most Pokémon who can learn them. The fact that these moves are so seldomly used gives this concept the potential to bring something wildly new to the meta. There is also a lot of variety within usually useless moves, making for a lot of different routes that a Pokémon designed with such moves in mind could take during the design process. Many of these moves are status moves, but there are also some very strong attacking moves that are held back due to requiring that either a specific condition be met, or the Pokémon must recharge for a turn after use. Meeting and working around these conditions could lead to an interesting and uniquely powerful Pokémon being created.

Questions To Be Answered:
  • Usually useless moves are determined relative to the Pokémon they are on. What makes a move "usually useless" more generally speaking?
  • For what reason are some moves determined to be "usually useless"? Is it possible to work around these reasons?
  • What role in a team would a Pokémon designed around "usually useless" moves fulfill? Would other Pokémon on said team have to contribute to meeting the atypical conditions of some of these moves?
  • Some "usually useless" moves are actually very useful in doubles metagames. Should such moves be considered "usually useless" or not for the sake of this concept?
  • What, if any, value do "usually useless" moves that are just weaker versions of more viable moves bring to the table?
  • Would this concept work better if the Pokémon used primarily "usually useless" moves, or if the Pokémon was designed around a single specific "usually useless" move?
Explanation: There are a LOT of "usually useless" moves that have really interesting and unique effects, but of course these don't see much use due to how gimmicky they are. Designing a Pokémon that could make one or more of these moves competitively viable (and all the hurdles would have to be cleared in order to reach that goal) is something that I would find incredibly interesting. There are very few Pokémon that take advantage of "usually useless" moves in this way, but there are a few notable examples, such as whirlpool Tapu Fini, fling pickup Ambipom as a gimmicky doubles pick, and a good amount of mons in Gen 1 OU and Ubers, such as flash Mewtwo. Personally, I'd like to see something done with Power Trick, since it is an incredibly interesting move that can be used offensively or defensively, completely changing the function of the mon in question, but no Pokémon has ever been given the tools to use it properly (unless you count Shuckle or something).
 
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spoo

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Alright, 24 hours and some change have passed so I won't be considering any new submissions from this point forwards. The final slate should be ready in another 24, and I'm currently aiming to have 7-8 options. Like I said earlier, you can continue to polish your concept until I post the slate, but I'd recommend getting your edits in sooner rather than later.

This thread will remain unlocked in case people want to discuss the submissions. I encourage everyone to post about your favorite concepts, or on the flip side, maybe there's a popular submission that you think would be a poor choice. Being able to gauge the community's opinions on the field of submissions is always helpful in constructing a slate.

That's all for now. Thanks again for so many great submissions. I'm looking forward to reconvening and sharing what I've picked!
 

Cheryl.

Celesteela is Life
My favorite submissions from this thread:

- Speed Demon (I think a naturally fast CAP would be a perfect way to create a viable one that could help against the current "speed demons" of OU while not being too busted on the surface. It reminds me of sets like LO Deoxys-Speed that aren't too strong but thrive off of being ridiculously fast.)

- Setting the Stage and all the other terrain-related concepts, including Paradox Support here too. Terrains are pretty underdeveloped since they were pretty easy-bake to use back in Gen 7/8, now we're back to having terrain setters that kind of suck, and that sucks! I think having something that could effectively support the future Paradoxes would be really cool, or even something like a good Misty Surge user to support the entire team with a status immunity.

- Tools Without the Trade seems like a fun way to make a utility user that isn't just about the utility. There's a few mons that can do this already but I think having a project focused on this concept could produce something totally interesting.

other good ones I read were Parry and Rispote, Workaround, and King of Thieves. I've played around with fun Thief sets like Cheek Pouch Dedenne with Thief after it's used up it's berry, I think there's defo potential with that move.
 
This is a list of my favorite concepts at the moment. Man, there are a lot of good ones though.

Third Act Reveal

I initially had some concerns about balance with this one (the exact phrasing "multiple threatening sets each with distinct checks" has been used in many metagames as a ban justification unto itself), but after reading through the writeup and the examples, I'm more convinced that we could balance this and that it would be a fulfilling process.

Tools without the Trade

This type of mon is just cool, and there are a lot of directions to go with it. I'm on board.

Workaround

This concept is really flexible, having been expanded to cover both overcoming the status/type immunities of your opponent and capitalizing on your own status/type immunities. There's a lot of breadth here and a lot of depth, so it's one of my favorites.

Debuff Specialist

Good concept. There aren't a ton of viable mons whose gameplan centers on debuffing the opponent, and there are a lot of intriguing options.

Extremist CAP

I can imagine there being some process-related concerns about this one, but as someone who's not involved in running it, I think it sounds fun as hell. Yolo dude

Bang Average / Fun Sized

These are pretty similar. I like concepts like these that center on working around restrictions (mine is in this category as well). They're both presented well, but between the two, I've been convinced that Bang Average gives a little more flexibility in terms of allowing mons with poor stat distribution but relatively high BST. That's obviously not the only direction we can go, but leaving the option open is probably good.

Parry and Riposte

Fantastic writeup, really interesting concepts. I'm a little bit concerned about the somewhat limited number of ways to actually fulfill the concept, but overall I'm a fan.

Old Muscular Dog, New Muscular Trick

My only concern is that some of these ideas are hard to make work in gen 9 (this is addressed in the post), but I think the ones that are feasible are pretty interesting. I'm curious if others feel the potential avenues are too few to work with, but right now I feel pretty good about this one.

Also Thick Paper is pretty cool heehoo
 
This is a list of my favorite concepts at the moment. Man, there are a lot of good ones though.

Third Act Reveal

I initially had some concerns about balance with this one (the exact phrasing "multiple threatening sets each with distinct checks" has been used in many metagames as a ban justification unto itself), but after reading through the writeup and the examples, I'm more convinced that we could balance this and that it would be a fulfilling process.
Thanks for the kind words! Third Act Reveal has come a long way since I originally posted it, and I'm glad people seem to be giving it a second look. (credit to Amamama for the name btw)

On the topic of feedback, I'd like to throw my hat in the ring on a few pairs of concepts that seem to overlap, and what I think sets them apart:

Snowballer vs Non-Stop Pain Train
All of the Pokemon I can envision fitting within Non-Stop Pain Train's description also fall under Snowballer's umbrella, which is a stark comparison. I definitely think that exploring the tools game freak has given us that allow for persistent power increases over the course of a match (most of which are now missing from OU) are more interesting to explore than Pokemon that leverage abilities like speed boost and moves like torch song to stay in past their welcome, especially since Game Freak has done the latter to death at this point.

Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel vs Tools Without the Trade
Despite popular opinion thus far, I greatly prefer Fish in a Barrel's take on offensive utility over Tools'. As clever as it is to look at common utility moves for their offensive benefits, I'd much rather have a discussion on how Pokemon like Infernape or Greninja make use of their utility to play more roles than simply offensive cleaners, as opposed to a discussion on how Great Tusk appreciates the speed from rapid spin, or Defog's evasion drop could allow for focus blast to more consistently hit rockers. I feel that there are currently a number of examples of the latter in the metagame currently, whereas examples of the former have historically been pushed out of OU to lower tiers or banned to Ubers, though notably Greninja is finally at a reasonable power level.

Old Muscular Dog, New Muscular Trick vs In the Big Leagues vs Mini-Uber vs Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal
I group all of these together because they are at face value rather similar processes. Among them I'd have to say my favorites are Good Artists Copy, and Old Muscular Dog. Having the ability to revisit a concept that missed the mark with the benefit of hindsight and experience sounds amazing, and allows for a greater exploration of our own shortcomings outside of the updates process. As much as I do like Old Muscular Dog and the twist it puts on analyzing a "playstyle" compared to its peers, I do worry about the actual feasibility of translating older gen playstyles to newer ones, specifically the level of metagame understanding it requires this early into generation 9. Similarly the other two concepts suffer from this as well, even moreso since their targets will also be working on finding their footing at time of writing. These concepts are still good, absolutely, just more difficult to actualize at this time than they might be otherwise.

Parry and Riposte vs Trap Card
While the general pool of options for both concepts is rather small, unfortunately Trap Card's is just that much smaller. I absolutely adore Parry and Riposte's exploration of counterplay, and though I also love Trap Card's ideas on "threat of activation", I find that writeup to be lacking in comparison.

Extremist CAP vs Speed Demon
This connection is arguably tenuous, as unlike some above examples the overlap is more of a venn diagram rather than a circle within a larger circle. While I love the design space Speed Demon asks us to explore (trick room???/?), I have to say that I would really look forward to the constraints Extremist would place on our design process. Having to change our way of thinking to keep something absolutely bonkers in check feels like the logical endpoint of a few recent CAP concepts. Worth noting I've heard others say the exact opposite, which is honestly very fitting for "Extremist" to be rather divisive.

Bang Average vs Fun-Sized
This one is rather unfortunate, the two concepts are almost identical, and though I love both I prefer Fun-Sized's writeup to Bang Average. The last few questions it asks are the crux of my preference, and the fact that they can stand on their own without having a paragraph dedicated to each is a plus.

There's so many good concepts, I can't wait for slate tonight! I absolutely do not envy Spoo having to choose only 7-8 among these all-stars.
 
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Name; Baby it's cold outside
Description; This pokemon is intended to enable a team or playability focused around the updated snow mechanics introduced in gen 9.
Justification; Hail has always been the red-headed step child of all the various weathers within various Pokémon generations; the best I remember it being Gen 3 with Stallrein. Since then, the meta has developed faster than Hail has managed to keep up with, although Sun, Rain and Sand was impacted less. Gen9 brought a big redirection for this weather, yet it still feels as though it's relatively unexplored in either OU or CAP. This should provide great opportunities for analysing what makes certain weather's work well enough, and what will
Questions To Be Answered;
- Snow provides additional bulk to Ice Types; is it necessary for CAP32 to have this type natively
- If so, how do we build around the apparently intentional Achilles heel of Ice-type resistances or lack thereof?
- Do we want to have CAP32 viability without needing to be part of a Snow Team? In other words, how do we prevent it from being another tool in the arsenal of other weather archetypes?
- Does CAP32 necessarily need to be a Snowsetter?
- If so, what other weather setters do we want to play around in order to allow Snow to be reliably set?
- What holes are there in a team utilising snow that CAP32 can fill/mitigate?
- Conversely, what roles are already covered and shouldn't be duplicated by CAP32, yet would appreciate being complemented by CAP32?
- Can we use snow to destabilise other teams reliant on their own beneficial weather; e.g Sun Teams who lose access to Chlorophyll, damage boosts, resistances, healing effeciency, etc.
- Similarly, do we want CAP32 to potentially benefit from an opponent trying to implement their own weather in place of Snow?
- What lessons can be learned from our previous CAPs which work within Weather concepts; such as Jumbao?
Explanation; I've always liked Hail. It allow me to try a meme team an excuse being bad at Pokémon as me trying to use this weaker archetype. The change of direction in Gen9 for it to no longer be chip damage, and instead provide some decent bulk I'm fairly interested in exploring - it doesn't need to completely morph the meta, but it would be lovely to see it rose out of what amounts to essentially non-viability.

Massively appreciate any feedback/suggestions :)

Edit; oops missed spoos post. I'll keep this up for trying again next cap :)
 
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dex

I am fucking perfect
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Hail has always been the red-headed step child of all the various weathers within various Pokémon generations; the best I remember it being Gen 3 with Stallrein. Since then, the meta has developed faster than Hail has managed to keep up with, although Sun, Rain and Sand was impacted less.
Fun fact of the day, Hail was very good in Gen 8. Arctozolt + Alolan Ninetales were on the infamous Ox Hail team that was always a threat in OU. The big issue with hail historically has always been that there are no good setters and/or there are no good slush rushers. Gen 8 was different because Alolan Ninetales was really the perfect setter due to its typing, Speed, and access to awesome utility in Taunt/Aurora Veil/Hypnosis/Encore. Right now in Gen 9, there are neither a good setter nor a rusher; I don't think one CAP can fix that issue.
 

spoo

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Thank you to the TLT for helping me construct this slate and organize my ideas, thank you to everyone who shared their insights and personal favorites in this thread or on Discord, and of course, thank you to everyone who submitted a concept for giving me no shortage of great options to choose from. I tended to favor concepts that had a large breadth of possible routes, provided a clear direction to follow, ventured into new territory for CAP (and mons as a whole), and were not overly metagame-specific. There were some exceptions, but this was my general approach.

Without further ado, here is the final slate:

Atypical Type Usage - Wulfanator
Out of the many excellent typing-based submissions, Atypical Type Usage earned its spot on the slate for its thorough investigation of the inherent strengths and weaknesses behind certain type combinations, and more importantly, how to effectively subvert them. If you've ever looked at an offensively insane type combination and wondered "what possible defensive use could this serve?" or vice versa, then this concept is for you.

Bang Average - D2TheW
CAP has never pursued a stats-based concept before. This is because they are particularly hard to do well, but Bang Average manages to exceed; the question of what actually constitutes average stats is much more complicated than it may seem, and the task of making those stats work is harder still. This concept thrusts us into unexplored territory, and challenges us to make a CAP that is truly greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal - Baloor
There is a lot to learn by redoing an old concept. Everyone has their preference for which one to pursue, and we've seen some users resubmit specific concepts of ages past, but this approach leaves the choice much more in the hands of the community. While we would be explicitly retreading old ground, we would also have the chance to apply what we learned the first time around and breathe new life into a well-established design.

Mini-Uber - SHSP
There were a few concepts that asked us to replicate an existing Pokemon, but I found this one to strike the best balance between breadth, accessibility, and intrigue. It's no secret that Ubers Pokemon do some fascinating and unique things, and this concept asks how we can replicate them within the context of a much less powerful metagame. By pinpointing the foundational identity of a legendary beast, and methodically building up a new Pokemon around it, we can explore competitive game design on a level that few other concepts offer.

Schrodinger's CAP - Explosion Badger
Pokemon are always more than mere collections of discrete, isolated features; this concept acknowledges that, and explicitly aims to explore the unique interactions between different abilities and moves. While this concept places limits on certain stages, most notably Ability, it forces us to stretch these limits to their absolute bounds if we hope to deliver on the concept's promise of a layered and versatile end product. As a result, this concept has one of the highest ceilings for creativity out of the slated bunch.

Snowballer - Joeshh
This submission is fully within the spirit of Gen 9. Pokemon that gradually get stronger, be it while they're on the field or throughout the course of the game, are commonplace now; however, most of them simply miss the mark when it comes to their level of strength. By opening up so many fascinating mechanics and forcing us to get intentional about how we actualize a Pokemon of this nature, we can create a CAP that adds another level to strategic gameplay that few other Pokemon successfully do.

Speed Demon - Pipotchi
It's commonly said that Speed is the most important stat in Pokemon, yet CAP has never fully committed to exploring what should be such a great place to learn about game design. The only restriction here is that we should be able to reliably move first; otherwise, nearly everything is fair game, and there's really no shortage of possible routes to take. This is a concept that we stand to learn a lot from, and one that would result in an end product entirely unique for CAP.

Trap Card - Brown4Sides
Trap Card incentivizes careful and methodical gameplay, well-timed predictions, and thoughtful positioning like nothing else on the slate. As with Snowballer, this concept takes advantage of many of Gen 9's new features and offers us a plethora of directions to take this seemingly simple idea in. The gameplay implications of a Pokemon whose full strength is partially or entirely dependent on the opponent's actions would result in a thought-provoking process and mechanically interesting end product.

Finally, I will take some inspiration from Wulfanator's time as TL and include my honorable mentions. The majority of these concepts were incredibly close to making the slate and I encourage them to be submitted again in the future. If you don't see your concept here, that doesn't mean it was a bad submission; every TL has their own preferences, and many concepts can improve leaps and bounds just through their writeup and questions.
In no order:
Old Muscular Dog, New Muscular Trick
Extremist CAP
Tools Without the Trade
Third Act Reveal
NAP TIME
Anger Management
Debuff Specialist
Nth Time's the Charm
Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel
Workaround
Parry and Riposte
 
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