CAP 33 - Part 3 - Primary Ability Discussion

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✧Rey de los Snom✧
is a Top Social Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Thinking about abilities that help CAP 33,
I am not a big fan of abilities that punish attackers. Personal take: abilities like Rough Skin that punish attackers upon contact work against this Speed-oriented strategy. If CAP 33 is outspeeding opponents and causing them damage through Rough Skin, it could inadvertently weaken the need for its Speed advantage, potentially undermining its core identity.
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Thinking about abilities that help CAP 33,
I am not a big fan of abilities that punish attackers. Personal take: abilities like Rough Skin that punish attackers upon contact work against this Speed-oriented strategy. If CAP 33 is outspeeding opponents and causing them damage through Rough Skin, it could inadvertently weaken the need for its Speed advantage, potentially undermining its core identity.
Strongly disagree with this post. In general, these abilities are very strong when you switch in because the opponent already selected their move. If we have recovery, we can switch in on a strong contact move, take damage, and then heal or cripple the opponent before they have the chance to attack us again. This is just one way that speed greatly advantages a mon that wants to be touched. Will make a stronger case with specific interactions when we can discuss specific abilities.
1. How does an ability complement the idea of being a "fast wall"? Should we take advantage of our Speed or should we focus more on our defenses? I think that we really wanna hone in on the idea of making the concept shine so seeing what abilities can benefit from 33 being fast and/or bulky will allow us to do just that. If we do think that being faster is worth more than being bulky, that can be answered hopefully with this question.
Mostly repeating what other people have said here: I think an ability that takes advantage of our speed is more interesting. We already have one of the best defensive typings possible, and our concept gives us plenty of leeway to choose a bulky stat spread, so we aren't reliant selecting a defensive ability to be a viable a wall. Having a defensive mon that typically outspeeds the pokemon it walls opens up unique interactions that could really shine with the right ability — fast status/utility and fast recovery are two that stand out.

2. Since most CAPs are built to be offensive, how do we want our ability to exemplify being defensive? Are immunity/resist giving abilities more important or do general purpose abilities sound more appealing? Taking a defensive approach to a process is new as most CAPs are built with some offensive nature inherently built into the concept or by nature of going through the process. Deciding which approach we wanna take defensively can help fine tune what we want CAP 33 to accomplish while fulfilling the concept.
I don't find type immunity/resist abilities very interesting. These kinds of abilities usually function to shore up the weaknesses of the chosen typing, but in this case our typing is already really good. If a type immunity/resist ability really helped us with a key matchup then it might be worthwhile, but a strong case would need to be made for why this is necessary. Abilities that grant immunities to status effects/hazards/field effects might worth looking into however, especially as statuses like paralysis and toxic constrain our ability to function as a fast wall.

3. Should any defensively potent abilities with offensive potential baked into them, such as Water Bubble or Magic Guard, be discouraged? Yes? No? Why? I think there is discussion to be warranted when it comes to "goodstuff" abilities and whether or not they are worth exploring for CAP 33 to be a fast wall but at the same time they would more than likely take a big chunk of the power budget which may not be ideal so early on in the process.
If the non-offensive benefits of such an ability are compelling enough then it's worth considering, but this needs to be weighed against the constraints such an ability places on subsequent stages. Personally I'd rather avoid these kinds of abilities, as I don't think CAP 33 needs an especially strong ability, and I'd rather not have the hassle of trying to reel this mon's offensive potential back in through the stats and movepool stages, especially when Water/Fairy is already pretty solid offensively.


You've Gotta Try
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1. How does an ability complement the idea of being a "fast wall"? Should we take advantage of our Speed or should we focus more on our defenses?
Seen a couple posts that felt this was suggesting Abilities that "influence" our Speed, credit to Ama for first addressing this notion as misguided but it bears repeating that abilities which take advantage of our Speed don't need to be affecting Speed as much as they are affected by the Speed stat. This latter definition is better here as it encompasses the former while broadening the list of options. I.E. an ability such as Weak Armor which increases Speed conditionally is affected by our Speed as what exactly we can outpace at +2, +4, depends on how fast we are allowed to go initially: you benefit a lot more from Weak Armor if you're in the middle Speed tiers (let's say Base 60-90 range) versus the slowest tiers where the boosts still leave you outpaced, or the highest tiers where that additional Speed starts being superfluous. Of course, Abilities which are affected by Speed aren't always direct. The Multiscale example demonstrates this to a tee, as being able to heal before the opponent can hit us again reactivates Multiscale, bolstering our defense in a way a slower Wall could only dream of.

For the question proper, an Ability whose effectiveness is improved as a result of being faster than the opponent is significantly more novel than one that just makes us a better wall, especially when you consider than CAP 33 is poised to do this better than any other prospective wall we could make in the future by virtue of, that being the whole bloody point? This doesn't mean that an Ability which makes us stronger defensively is inherently bad, just less interesting in relation to the process. No matter the case, since our Speed and our functionality as a Wall is looking to be intertwined, there's not a wrong option here in my eyes, but rather a choice between focusing in on our Speed being the best defensive aspect, or solidifying our defensive profile to observe how being unusually fast influences such a Pokemon.
2. Since most CAPs are built to be offensive, how do we want our ability to exemplify being defensive? Are immunity/resist giving abilities more important or do general purpose abilities sound more appealing?
Allow me to play the Devil's Advocate (I don't get to do this much we're not on good terms).

A lot of people have shown disinterest with immunities due to feeling less interesting, not really interacting much with our concept, and overall a feeling of being "overdone" or "lazy." In some ways, I agree, we tend to enjoy endowing our CAPs with immunities to shore up defensive holes we see, and sometimes this is done out of lack of confidence in our current direction. Here's the thing, though: we don't have to use immunities this way, and we've been significantly more nuanced about this in the past than you may think.

On the surface, Saharaja's Water Absorb may look like us going "oh, our mono-Ground type doesn't have a lot of benefits over other Ground-types, we should give it an immunity so it stands out among competition!" Such a view ignores how fantastic of an option Water Absorb was to support our concept. Yes, the benefit of being immune to Water on a Ground type is as simple as that, but being immune to Water specifically was because Urshifu-Rapid's Surging Strikes was challenging the usefulness of Diamond Storm's +2 Defense boost due to the 100% crit chance. Being immune to this move was a great way to better leverage our Defense boost. Not only that, but since Diamond Storm is a strong physical move, and thus it was safe to assume we wanted at least the capacity to use our Attack stat, being immune to Scald and its high Burn chance was great to keep our offensive potential safe during a match. Water Absorb was more than just goodstuffs for the sake of goodstuffs: it actively improved the function of Diamond Storm, and thus wound up one of the most pro-concept choices available.

What I am illustrating here is that an immunity Ability shouldn't be off the table, especially if it directly improves our function as a fast wall. What I don't really want to see is us supporting an Ability like Sap Sipper because "we're weak to grass as a water type... but what if no????" or Levitate because "ahh we should be immune to baxcaliburrr earthquake or else we lose to +2!!" since that is the boring and tacky approach most people are distasteful of. Rather, there should be a specific reason as to why that Ability is benefitting our fast wall in a way a slower wall wouldn't appreciate.

Resist Abilities haven't seen the same backlash as we are still taking damage, and I feel similarly about them as well. Water/Fairy doesn't really need either but the immunities eat up a good deal of our power budget compared to a simple resist. Even for a Water type, Flash Fire sounds like a much better deal than Heatproof even when the latter reduces burn damage, simply because no damage is infinitely better than some, and it lets us remain a hard answer to Fire-type moves should we Terastallize. These abilities aren't super common and many feel redundant here, but there's nothing particularly bad about them.

As for general purpose Abilities, I still feel the more desirable options are those which our Speed stat directly influences the use of, but I am less stringent on this aspect here because a lot of the Abilities which fall under this category are more unique paths for us to pursue. There's a couple really strong Abilities in this camp I would like us to avoid using as a viability crutch for CAP 33, yet as I mentioned with regard to immunities, if it's pro-concept than we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss it.
3. Should any defensively potent abilities with offensive potential baked into them, such as Water Bubble or Magic Guard, be discouraged? Yes? No? Why?
I'm in the camp of having our Primary Ability be geared towards walling specifically, and if we have the room to do so a Secondary that lets us be a more proactive threat. So you can imagine I'm not very high on Abilities which blur the line between defense and offense. These feel more restrictive on our build because of a cascading (water pun) effect on process scope. Being fast is a great trait in general, so although we want to be a wall, if our STABs and Ability let us play offensively than there's a good chance we do just that, unless we severely cripple our attacking stats to avoid this situation, at which point we aren't threatening offensively unless we go out of our way to be, and then we're probably overly passive and end up a less good wall out of a preemptive fear of not being one in the first place. If an ability lets us function a little better offensively that's fine, but we should be extra cautious here to make sure we're not overdoing the offensive potential of our CAP; this is something we can accomplish quite easily during Stats and Moves stages and don't need to make it a priority here, when our Ability can provide us a function the other two can't accomplish in the same manner.


formerly Dunsparce Fanboy
As Part 2 (Typing) has just ended, there's a major problem regarding CAP 33's viability that hasn't been addressed yet, and that the ability slot will be crucial in fixing.
The current CAP meta has Equilibra and Venomicon sitting at insane usage rates of 57.53% and 53.98% respectively. Fun fact: even Lando often failed to reach those usage rates in OU.
And Venomicon runs Sludge Bomb off its 118 base SpA, which simply nukes Fairy types. What this means is that CAP 33's presence, assuming it is competitive, will be fodder for Venomicon to go even higher, likely beyond 60% usage rates.
This creates a vicious cycle where CAP 33's viability will be further reduced and it would possibly need to be sevely overtuned to stand a chance in the current meta, but in the future that might backfire and make CAP 33 "broken".
But basically, for an average power CAP 33 to be competitive in the Venomicon meta is impossible, unless either
  1. CAP 33 makes a good core with Venomicon, which works but leaves Venomicon centralizing.
  2. CAP 33 has a favorable matchup against Venomicon, which would solve both issues.
I apologize if that's straying a bit off topic, but if the issue isn't addressed now, we might have to make CAP 33 an offensive behemoth with Ice Beam out of necessity, which limits our creativity.
I believe the ability slot is an opportunity to fix this issue, and I know the people here are amazing so there will be good ideas to mitigate or even fix the problem.


I am the Scientist now
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I feel that using 1760 stats for a meta as small as CAP can be is perhaps a mistake. Accounting for the weighting of the stats, you're drawing from approx 393 games, or just 10 games per day. This is not a large sample size, and means that the data gathered in those stats is reflective of a very small number of players.
EDIT: I misread something, but the point still stands, if you draw from a very small sample size, its hard to avoid sampling from a very small number of players repeatedly, thus degrading the quality of the stats gathered.

When you go down to 1630 stats you see the following:
| 1 | Hemogoblin | 52.48206% | 7938 | 46.378% | 5621 | 43.280% |
| 2 | Venomicon | 42.84250% | 5232 | 30.568% | 4138 | 31.861% |
| 3 | Equilibra | 37.66599% | 3503 | 20.466% | 2810 | 21.636% |

Venom and Libra are still trucks in the meta, but like, we'd hardly be the first defensive mon to have a negative at best matchup into Venom and still be viable. Great Tusk is infamously worse in CAP that in OU, but that is just a difference of S rank vs A+ rank. It also shows how certain utility moves can reduce our weakness to the book. Beyond that, Water/Fairy is actually a fairly good typing to pair with Poison/Flying, as we help out Venom's weakness into the sun staples a fair bit (notably Walking Wake).


Beyond that our ability choice should just affirm our primary role as a wall, and we should exercise care that it doesn't shift our primary role to eg cleaner, tank, etc. That doesn't mean we should ignore abilities with offensive potential, just that we should exercise a bit of care with them. Magic Guard is likely a lot safer of a choice for a wall than Tough Claws, even if Tough Claws benefits Foul Play.
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But basically, for an average power CAP 33 to be competitive in the Venomicon meta is impossible, unless either
  1. CAP 33 makes a good core with Venomicon, which works but leaves Venomicon centralizing.
  2. CAP 33 has a favorable matchup against Venomicon, which would solve both issues.
Dont rly agree with that conclusion, just quick skim of the VR has :arghonaut: :great-tusk: :equilibra: :hemogoblin: :cinderace: :sneasler: :ting-lu: :toxapex: :zamazenta: all losing to various venoms while being amazing and i couldnt really be bothered to explore lower than the A ranks
There's a reason why moves like spikes and knock off and twave and uturn and wisp and wish etc etc are all popular as ways to make progress on mons even when a counter switches in and this is literally a necessity for any wall in the modern metagame, dead turns are not acceptable for any mon focused around passivity and that will be the case if this cap is passive also. Ive seen mons walled harder by equally popular mons without such an easy way through as a neutral STAB that can hit back, and still find place in a metagame as a defensive wall. Example would be Corviknight with its Gholdengo matchup earlier in the tier, still being an OU mon, or various psychic, fairy and ground mons during the era of Equilibra dominance.

Aside from that, just wanna list some things about the ability choices we have so far. This typing that we have is really very excellent. We started off very strong, which means that there is a freedom in concept exploration thanks to not needing to patch things up any further in regards to matchups in order to fit our intended purpose. So lets be careful to "waste" stages on buffing viability and matchups when this is a very vital stage to explore concept.
I would therefore rank ability groups in the following order, for the most part:

1) Abilities that synergise with clicking very fast utility or defensive moves (for instance, taking advantage of a fast recover)

---a chasm here---

2) Abilities that help you be faster / bolster your defensive typing against offensive pokemon
3) Abilities that provide generic team support you might like from a wall/supportive pokemon
4) Abilities that bolster your defensive typing against generic defensive/passive pokemon
5) Abilities that improve your offensive potential only

I split them into different criteria than in kenn's questions because i do think defensive abilities that work against offensive pokemon are different than defensive abilities that focus on venom, argho, etc. there's some abilities like bulletproof and shield dust that dip into both fields and we'll have to decide how much they really help against the offensive threats in order to determine how concept-relevant they are for us.
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Prince of the Halidom
is a Community Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
So discussion business is booming here and I love it!

Everyone has done an excellent job at not only answering these questions, but also providing examples of what can be accomplished thanks to 33 being a wall with a legit Speed stat.

In regards to the questions, it seems that most people are in line with leveraging 33's ability to accentuate its defensive capabilities via its Speed. Examples such as fast recovery and fast status have been the main points brought up in the thread, which I do agree is the main focus of being faster than the opponent. There has also been some support for purely focusing on 33's defenses and how they can be utilized to tank hits or make progress against the opponent and while it may not line up with the idea of being a "fast wall" as much, I still think we should be conscientious of how a defensive ability interacts with our Speed or even how it can complement our build. choosing 33's ability. I also saw quite a bit of support for no need of immunities and potentially extra resistances as 33's Water/Fairy typing is already a very potent typing that can take on a multitude of threats on its own. Focusing on generally useful abilities seems to be the consensus to make sure that 33 can do its job effectively without being overtuned. Lastly, the support for defensive abilities that have offensive potential baked into them seems to not be there due to the idea that 33 may lose its role as a "fast wall" and just wanna become offensive as Water/Fairy are also very potent STABs to have.

Before we get to what y'all came here for, I wanna mention a few stipulations. Due to the lack of support for a full immunity ability when answering the questions, I wanna say that full immunity abilities are fully banned! There is no need for us to be immune to a type, let alone a weakness, as Water/Fairy is already a fantastic typing defensively and needs no further optimization when it comes to how we interact with other types. I also wanna point out that, outside of aforementioned full immunity abilities, any of the soft banned abilities are open for discussion but if myself, ausma, or any of the rest of the TLT disagree with your proposal, they will stay banned!

With all that being said, I think we have a clear idea of where we wanna go when it comes to finding the right ability for CAP 33, so without further ado, you may now begin discussing specific abilities! Make sure that you provide reasoning as to why this would work with the potential matchups that 33 might have or how it may allow 33 to force progress as a "fast wall".
I would like to request to have Protean unbanned during the ability discussion stage. (Even though we already have our typing)

In my opinion, Protean is (or was) primarily banned because of its offensive prowess. Cinderace and Greninja were nearly unwallable in their debut generations, leading to their eventual ban. The defensive utility that Protean provides, however, is generally an afterthought. Permanent STAB (pre-nerf, at least) is the real draw of the ability.

However, this goes out the window when viewing the ability from a defensive slate. Despite its enormous defensive potential, it has seen minimal use in that regard, generally due to the poor bulk of its main users. Being able to change your typing once per switch-in has massive effects on CAP 33's defensive utility. Need to resist Electric or Grass? Synthesis has you covered. Want to turn your Poison weakness into an resistance? Get up Stealth Rock. And of course, you can use either of your STABs to eliminate the weaknesses of your other type. Pre-nerf Protean would probably be too powerful (or annoying) with this mechanic, but the ability only activating once per switch-in is a good middle ground in my opinion. Additionally, given that we are already bulky and fast, with a powerful base typing to boot, I do not think the offensive implications of Protean are relevant.

Protean as a defensive mechanic is really only useful on a fast wall. Without the bulk to back it up, the defensive type change is barely useful, and if you aren't moving before the opponent, the type change won't really be of any use. While it may make some of the stages more complicated, I definitely think the concept is at least worth exploring.

This ability would allow us to turn many of our poor matchups (Krill, Caribolt, Venomicon) into conditionally positive matchups. Changing types comes at a cost. There is the obvious implication that it can only be done once per switch, as well as removing our strong Water/Fairy typing. Additionally, we are limited to four moves, so at maximum four different typings are possible. And of course, while some types are certainly better than others, they may not have the most useful status moves, such as Steel. Steel would force CAP 33 to not only waste a moveslot on a suboptimal move, but also to essentially waste a turn using that move to gain said typing. The ability has tremendous upside, but I do not think it would be overbearing defensively.
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I think an ability that negates other abilities, such as Mold Breaker or, if we’re going for a higher power ability, Neutralizing Gas, could be incredibly useful. Being able to inflict status conditions or other debuffs compliments the idea of a fast wall well, and allows for it to switch in on pokemon it would normally struggle against and cripple them.


Never Give Up
is a Pre-Contributor
you may now begin discussing specific abilities!

With that being said i honestly still liking Cloud 9 as its ability. When i thought of Cloud 9 for the ability im not going to lie some of the reasoning is that i hate sunny day sweepers, but more importantly to stop any weather for being on the few is quite huge for cap 33 and for its teammates. Stopping the likes of getting solar beam in sun or even Thunder in rain to increased the Cap 33 survivability is highly appreciated. On top of it being fast combine with the ability, it'll be able to nullify the effects of weather but be fast enough to do some decent chip to anything that stays in or swaps out. The ability might be narrow due to its only purpose being anti weather teams but its still worth it :D

Another one i been liking too is Mold Breaker. Just being able to outspeed and the status the likes of Garganacl and Gholdengo is always going to be incredible in my opinion. This might be irrelevant as well but ignoring counters like mollux dry skin makes me a high believe on Mold breaker.
Armor Tail or it's alternatives Queenly Majesty/Dazzling depending on flavor seem rather appropriate for a Fast Wall. It can't be targeted by Priority, which means ESpeed (especially Caribolt) and Sucker Punch, as much as they'll be disincentivised elsewhere, which then means that it can rely on its own fast speed to then do what it needs to.

Opportunist takes advantage of being able to switch into a Dragon Dance to preserve its own speed and maintain its ability to act as a wall. With no chance for an opponent to bypass speed without effects like Tailwind, Scarf, Trick Room etc, the Fast Wall is maintained. Admittedly, speed results in ties between who can grab a KO, but of we're reliant on speed to be a wall and an opponent is boosting to bypass that, CAP33 can hit that.

Simple. I just love it, man, especially in combination with multi post moves. Curse could be an interesting; is there an interesting break point achieved at -2 speed say for +2/+2? It does mean that any potential offence is largely limited to special in case of Intimidate, but Water and Fairy have plenty of STAB potential if they do wish. Switching into a Fire Lash, although resisted may not necessarily be an option however as -2 Def hurts.


I am the Scientist now
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Its been talked up in the discord a thousand times, but Multiscale is perhaps the ability that directly turns speed into bulk the most out of basically anything. An easy sequence would be switching in, taking a hit htat breaks multiscale, and then clicking Roost/Recover/Etc before you can be hit again, letting you abuse Multiscale's damage reduction twice in a row. This is a frankly absurd steroid for our bulk, and this ability is just sorta perfect here.

I'll edit in more later.


✧Rey de los Snom✧
is a Top Social Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
I want to nominate Drizzle
Drizzle's primary function is to summon rain on the battlefield, lasting for five turns under standard conditions. This rain provides notable advantages, such as reducing the power of Fire-type moves, boosting Water-type moves, and enhancing the accuracy of Thunder, allowing CAP 33 to better manage threats that rely on these types of attacks. Furthermore, Drizzle promotes team synergy by supporting rain-dependent teammates, encouraging strategic compositions that capitalize on the weather effect, as rain would enable more team compositions. While it's crucial to consider the rain's finite duration, Drizzle remains a compelling ability choice that aligns with the concept's goals of control, disruption, and team support. Would also disrupt Jumbao's or Malaconda's Solar Beam/Blade, and reduce the damage from Fire attacks for the team.
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A lot of good ideas already. I really like Natural Cure. Firstly, status absorbing from pult, non-gunk cinderace, and gold is wonderful. We switch decently well into all of them and can absorb a twave/will-o and then switch out. Secondly, the toxics that have been the bane of the existence of walls won't stick on us. But most importantly, it's less powerful than something like Multiscale or Drizzle Or even Serene Grace, mostly giving us a nicety and letting us continue building this guy however we want to without making any large decisions yet.
Abilities I Like

Multiscale -
Very pro concept ability that takes advantage of our Speed stat. This means we don't have to be as bulky, and we essentially convert Speed into bulk. Switching in, taking a hit that breaks the Multiscale, and then using a move before your opponent is capable of damaging you with a full powered attack could allow for so many cool interactions. I won't list any specific ones to avoid polljumping, but you know they're there. I've heard people say they don't like this ability because it forces us to run Heavy-Duty Boots, but that is not a big deal because it's already such a great item that we might be running regardless.

Toxic Debris - People love Rough Skin for punishing contact moves, but how about we take it a step further and punish all physical moves entirely? This also allows for our ability to activate against extra Pokemon that Rough Skin cannot, such as Baxcalibur. Toxic Spikes is not the best hazard, but it certainly becomes better when you don't have to waste a moveslot on it, and it wouldn't be broken given how common Heavy-Duty Boots is, as well as Pokemon immune to Toxic Spikes such as Prologue, Galarian Slowking, Gholdengo, and more.

Shield Dust - The main draw of this is being immune to Salt Cure, and honestly, that alone is good enough to make this ability worth it. Now we don't have to run Covert Cloak to be an answer to Garganacl, allowing us to spend our item on something else. Other nice side benefits include preventing a Sp. Defense drop from Dragapult's Shadow Ball, preventing a Sp. Attack drop from Enamorus's Moonblast, and not flinching from Baxcalibur's Icicle Crash.

Soft Banned Abilities That Should Be Unbanned

Regenerator -
Walls really took a hit this generation with all standard recovery moves being nerfed to 8 PP. Regenerator gives us more opportunities to heal ourselves up. It's a bit generic, but it leans into the idea that we are a wall and that we like healing, which I think makes it worth considering.

Abilities I Don't Like

Cloud Nine -
I suppose we take less from Hydro Steam, but I feel as though this is just unnecessary padding for a matchup that is already favorable for us. The Thunder interaction is also irrelevant as we do not want to be taking that attack regardless. I think we can be doing better things with our ability here.

Simple - We'd be hard pressed to find a setup move that doesn't turn us into an offensive threat. Any attacking boost that is even +1, which is already dangerous, becomes +2, and at a +2 attacking stat with high speed we are no longer a wall. We could lean into moves that only boost Defenses, but I'd rather not be forced to go down that route.

Drizzle - I feel as though this would detract from making a wall and railroad us into a rain support mon. Also, with a high speed stat and powered up Water STABs, we're likely not a wall anymore. Weakening Fire type moves is irrelevant since we resist those moves anyway, and mentioning Thunder feels rather random.


✧Rey de los Snom✧
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Another ability I want to support is Sticky Hold. Sticky Hold offers CAP 33 a significant advantage by preserving its held item, enhancing its longevity and durability as a defensive wall. This ability introduces an element of surprise in battles, catching opponents off guard and emphasizing CAP 33's disruptive nature. Additionally, it empowers CAP 33 with item-based versatility, allowing it to adapt to different situations. However, it's crucial to consider that Sticky Hold doesn't directly affect CAP 33's speed or stats, requiring strategic team composition to optimize its benefits. In essence, Sticky Hold aligns well with CAP 33's fast defensive wall concept, providing both defensive consistency and strategic depth to its gameplay. We could have Heavy-Duty Boots, to enter in and out, Leftovers that will keep healing, Covert Cloak for Salt Cure, and we can't be tricked Choice Items.
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Rough Skin/Iron Barbs deserves some consideration for a few rsns:

  • it interacts really well with the uturns available to many fast offensive mons that we check, punishing them despite them keeping momentum: :roaring-moon: :greninja: :cinderace: :dragapult: etc

  • it makes it much less appealing to trade hits for recovery vs this mon, as youll be getting chipped down. this might be a great boon for having less extreme defensive stats and still be able to recover on powerful neutral hits doing 40-60%, due to us wanting to also be pretty high speed stat and likely investing in it. An example is how zapdos has average stats for a wall but still makes it awkward to chunk repeatedly with neutral hits to take away recover pp because of static

  • if your team can fit a rocky helmet, or in this case rough skin, its generally a boon to your team composition to finish off weakened mons. and paired with our speed, this ability to switch in and chip an opponent AND outspeed it for more damage can really lead to good blanket revenge killing options which is really in line with being a fast wall for me- without just piling on the damage with raw offensive stats. I felt like a fast wall can take a 80% hit for instance to finish off a huge threat with chip damage, and still come back from that later in the game thanks to its speed allowing it to find a nice turn to recover hp.
Outside of these concept relevant interactions, having something that punishes both knock off and rapid spin is impactful against midgame pokemon and can boost this mon's capabilities as a hazard setter if it went that route (optional). Overall, this should not be written off compared to S-tier abilities and is both an impactful and imo concept-interactive/relevant choice.
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I'm on board with the sentiment that Ability can be more of a quality of life improvement than a decisive part of 33's threat level. Recommending Misty Surge as an interactive buffer against paralysis and toxic, and a terrain disruption niche. This makes it difficult, but not impossible, to use status as counterplay against 33, which is more interesting and balanced than something like Garganacl's blanket status immunity.

Throwing in support for Natural Cure for similar reasons, Sticky Hold particularly for the Trick immunity, and Opportunist for its unique way denying the opponent a speed advantage and threatening setup wallbreakers.
throwing my support for Rough Skin. It's a strong ability that mitigates the "do-nothing wall syndrome" which plagues bulky weak mons and has a large amount of untapped design space for walls and fast mons. It pairs nicely with speed (allowing you to hit a scald or willo or twave or strength sap or throw up a screen or whatever before they attack you thereby weakening their hits, making it worse for you) and it generally plays nicely with bulky mons that have good typing. Shield Dust is also a fun ability, I like it and Natural Cure/Pastel Veil to shore up some minor vulnerabilities without taking up too much of the power budget or directing the rest of the process too much.

A new one I want to mention is Speed Boost. In my head the optimal base speed here would be 80-85, slow enough that it will outpace very slow threats on switch-in, outpace decently speedy threats after a turn, outpace very fast threats after two, and outpace everything after 3 or 4. This is a very strong ability that eats into a lot of our power budget and kinda forces stats into one or two kinds of builds, but I think that it could be very very interesting to have a mid-speed tank with speed boost.


formerly Dunsparce Fanboy
I'll express my support for the following abilities, but also want to open debate on how they should be treated and if it's feasible at all:

Multiscale - While I support it and think it's an excellent showcase of what a fast wall could do, the problem is that smaller chip damage will break through it, and afterwards we will have justify using one of our 8PP of recovery move to get it back, which is hardly a good deal. If only we had access to Jungle Healing/Lunar Blessing, it would be appreciable, but then again what's the point getting a typing specifically tailored against fast mons if we're trying to defend against wallbreakers?

Simple - What makes it a great pick is specifically that here, we know what we're doing. To use it in a purely defensive manner is completely unexplored and lets us setup defensively in a solid manner. The problems arise however, when moves like Cosmic Power and Stockpile are *too* strong. In two turns you'll have, and safely thanks to your speed, tripled your physical and special bulk, which combined with a recovery move and any of Seismic Toss/Night Shade/Power Trip/Stored Power/Body Press, makes for a godly wincon. How do we balance that?

Toxic Debris - An ability that's great but balanced in normal play as its user dies in two hits, but here we'll be not only laying those toxic spikes for free turn-wise, but also moveslot-wise. Just by existing we'll be constantly laying out toxic spikes. I like it because it's a surefire way of making CAP33 viable and it benefits from its fast wall niche. But at the same time doesn't it also make the meta even more convoluted around the same mons. ie. Venomicon, Equilibra, Kingambit, Krilowatt, Cawmodore, Cresselia, Snaelstrom, etc?

I dislike Rough Skin, as Rocky Helmet has already been explored up and down left and right as a concept and it just feels redundant.
I'd like to propose the classic ability Pressure. It feels kinda perfect on our designated defensive mon, and fits our role very nicely. Pressuring opponents' PP in a way that you or your teammates can take advantage of is a pretty neat and unique role that's uncommonly seen in the current metagame. It can even interact in cool ways with speed: let's say you come in on an opponent who's doing 57% with an attack. Being faster allows you to use a recovery move a few times until its PP is drained or they're forced out, losing little health in the process, whereas being slower means you would die. We've seen the success of this ability on a defensive mon with something like Corviknight, which might do something like roosting on a stone edge to quickly drain its PP, or even come in on an opposing pokemon using Stealth Rock, defog away the hazards, and force that scenario repeatedly until Stealth Rock's PP was drained (Pressure does apply to opposing Stealth Rock and Spikes for whatever reason).

A couple other neat examples of successful defensive Pressure users are Giratina, which exemplifies basically the stalliest possible build, being able to stall out even opposing status moves with Rest for example, and Specially Defensive Eternatus, which is a neat example of a fast defensive Pressure user which shows how we can use speed to our advantage in this role.

It's just a neat ability that really leans into the defensive side of our concept and enables a number of cool builds and strategies!
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Multiscale and Rough Skin/Iron Barbs are my two favorite abilities so far, mostly thanks to alleviating pressure on our stats. Taking a look at the VR, Water/Fairy is a typing that wants to be able to hit decently hard with its STAB moves. That is, being able to score 2HKOs with super effective hits on the Pokemon it can switch into is very valuable for a wall, but it presents an interesting challenge: stats will get spread a bit thin trying to have the bulk, power, and speed required for this concept.

Multiscale helps CAP33 wall Pokemon by boosting its bulk as long as it can keep its HP up. Between its stat spread and 8 PP recovery moves (or alternate recovery options), I think this would make for a Pokemon that takes some decent skill to pilot; however, Multiscale would enable the gameplan of a fast wall extremely solidly. We saw how bulky Defog + Multiscale Dragonite worked last generation despite its 4x weakness to Ice and unstabbed coverage. I'm confident that a optimized stat spread, typing, and movesets will make CAP33 a solid user of Multiscale as well.

Rough Skin/Iron Barbs, on the other hand, helps CAP33 shore up its damage output, applying pressure just by switching in and making damage output from STAB moves less critical. This reminds me of Rocky Helmet Tornadus-T applying pressure to Kartana in Gen 7 and forcing it out the following turns. Water/Fairy is a fantastic typing to have Rough Skin as well, having a laundry list of very positive interactions in the S/A ranks on the current viability rankings alone:

:Dragapult:: CAP33 is immune to otherwise strong non-contact Dragon Darts, and it resists U-turn, potentially punishing basically any Dragapult set that wants to scout.
:Kingambit:: CAP33 should be able to switch into Kowtow Cleave easily and Iron Head decently, forcing chip damage.
:Arghonaut:: Both Knock Off and Circle Throw make contact, making CAP33 an even better switch-in.
:Equilibra:: CAP33 can punish Equilibra's Rapid Spin and well as pressure it with a STAB Water-type move (barring Tera).
:Great Tusk:: Same logic as Equilibra.
:Hemogoblin:: A very chipped Hemogoblin might be forced to KO itself from the Rough Skin/Iron Barbs damage, as using another move may not be possible due to Moonblast.
:Cinderace:: Gets chipped if CAP33 switches into U-turn; though CAP33 has to watch out for Gunk Shot.
:Dragonite:: Same logic as Hemogoblin, but it's pressure by STAB Fairy-type attacks instead (again, barring Tera).
:Iron Valiant:: Any set utilizing Close Combat or Knock Off, which is quite a few, will risk taking chip.
:Hisuian Samurott:: Basically all of its moves will activate Rough Skin/Iron Barbs.
:Zamazenta:: All of its moves make contact. Wild Charge is its only move that threatens CAP33, which is usually dropped in favor of Psychic Fangs and still makes contact.
:Roaring Moon:: Very similar reasoning to Dragapult.

This list doesn't include interactions that could be possible by Terastallizing, which could capture improved matchups from Sneasler and Venomicon (Body Press or Knock Off), as well as more positive matchups from the B/C ranks. However, it should be obvious that Water/Fairy's resistance to Dark, Bug, and Fighting (and immunity to Dragon for the Dragapult/Roaring Moon matchups) enables CAP33 to really dish out chip damage. Notably, Baxcalibur and Walking Wake avoid Rough Skin/Iron Barbs; however, CAP33 already has a positive matchup into them by typing alone.

The reason why I like Rough Skin/Iron Barbs as opposed to other contact-punishing abilities like Flame Body and Static is that Rough Skin/Iron Barbs doesn't force CAP33 to commit to certain paths. Sure, Rough Skin/Iron Barbs might imply CAP33 running Rocky Helmet some of the time, but it leaves the door open to CAP33 running any status-inducing move it wants to. It's also extremely consistent - you know that switching CAP33 into a contact move will always deal the chip damage, rather than hoping for a 30% chance to activate.


A couple honorary mentions:

Shield Dust turns the Garganacl matchup around, prevents CAP33 from being overwhelmed by drops from Dragapult's Shadow Ball or Hoopa's Psychic or being flinched by Baxcalibur's Icicle Crash. However, CAP33's typing means that one of the biggest benefits of Shield Dust - eating Sludge Bombs or Sneasler's Dire Claw without fearing the poison/status chance - is not be leveraged. I don't feel comfortable with how Shield Dust's main advantage is the Garganacl matchup, which is not drastically improving CAP33's ability to be a fast wall.

Serene Grace has some interesting interactions with STAB moves - some of which would help with the stat spread issue I mentioned before - but I still need to think about how this ability really interacts with everything.
I stated in my last post that I think our ability should help us retain our speediness - here's a few abilities that I feel would help us do that:
  • Limber - if our niche is that we're faster than other walls and we outspeed certain offensive threats, paralysis will likely be common counter-play. This lets CAP33 continue to do its job without fear of being ruined by that status.
  • Shed Skin - not as good as Limber in terms of preventing paralysis, but can help CAP33 recover from it and comes with the chance to get rid of Toxic/poison.
  • Clear Body - prevents the stat drop from Sticky Web, though to be honest I'm not sure how prevalent that is in the metagame.
  • Prankster - Lets us be 'speedy' with status moves regardless of stat drops or paralysis. One drawback is that Dark types have become immune to our status moves, though they may be threatened by Fairy STAB.
Other abilities I like are Multiscale and Serene Grace for how they work well with higher speed. I was initially opposed to Iron Barbs/Rough Skin, but have been persuaded by some of the above posts.

I'm not convinced by the arguments for Mold Breaker or Sticky Hold, because they don't interact much with the speed. They're fine defensive abilities, but would work just as well on a slower wall. Also not a huge fan of Natural Cure or Misty Surge - I feel like a wall wants to stay in for a while, but the former requires you to leave the field to activate and the other's effect wears off after a few turns. I'd like them better if we were aiming for some sort of pivot.
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