CAP 33 - Part 3 - Primary Ability Discussion

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Gonna quickly drop in with some thoughts.

Multiscale and Rough Skin everyone’s already gone on about so I won’t belabor it, but just know I’m fully in the camp that these two are the best choices we have for ability and they deserve a spot on slate.

Filter is kind of decent, I can see the appeal for it; Filter can let us come in on some SE hits it otherwise wouldn’t and force certain things out, depending on stats. I don’t mind this one being slated, but I do feel I agree with ausma that it’s a bit overrated and not the most interesting by a long shot.

Mold Breaker is one I hadn’t thought about before, but given ausma’s above post, I’m inclined to agree that it’s at least got enough notable interactions in this metagame to deserve a slate spot (if nothing else so that this isn’t a 2-3 ability slate lol). That said it’s not my preferred choice for Primary given how it is still somewhat meta specific.

Serene Grace I think is a question of how afraid of SG-boosted STABs we are. Personally, I think it could be possible to balance CAP33 around this ability even with both types getting beneficial STABs, but this would imo be just as defining as Multiscale in this scenario, if not more so. This is definitely an ability that people need to think more carefully on; I don’t necessarily think it shouldn’t be slated, but idk if it’s getting enough credit as potentially risky.

Pressure exists, I guess. I’d be ok with it on slate but it’s not exactly something to write home about. Idk it’s late

Everything else kinda has no business being slated imo. Static/Flame Body seem too annoying to work around gameplay wise, as described by ausma, and every other suggestion just hasn’t really sold me.
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some quick thoughts before/during/after I eat-

Multiscale is really strong. Its interactions are really clear, it really fits the concept well, and I think it'd be an excellent pick. It's really been discussed to death by now, and my one worry with it is how it would impact the rest of the process just due to it being really strong.

I'm also a big fan of Pressure. Do I wish it was still SS for this to be really impactful? Yeah, absolutely, but its still quite strong here. Ausma's post really sums up the defensive merits to it in terms of absorbing low-PP moves, and it also works really well with that sort of fast healing interaction- being able to switch in, drain 2 PP from something, and threaten to stay alive and keep more potential for draining going. It's a really sleeper powerful ability in the right circumstances, and I think our current CAP fits those strongly right now.

Ausma's post also sold me entirely on Mold Breaker. Admittedly, I was already kind of big on Shield Dust despite it having kind of lacklustre effects for us (being weak to arguably the second best/most common secondary effect sucks), but Mold Breaker covers the ground I really loved Shield Dust covering, plus more, and also works really well with being fast. Being a wall with a better matchup into Garg- which feasts on a lot of fat mons over time and creates some difficult gamestates- is really huge, and being able to do something similar with Ghold is similarly huge. The rest of the effects, though reasonably minor, are still pretty nice to have. Mold Breaker also interacts a lot more specifically with the speed stat compared to Shield Dust, which I think is a lot more pro-concept and helps sell me on it pretty hard.

Also a fan of Rough Skin, though I don't love it, and it's been discussed to death already so I'll save my breath on repeating what it does.

As for what I don't like- I really wanna echo Spoo's post on Flame Body and Static. They're incredibly swing-y abilities that create really unhealthy play patterns, and though they fit this sort of a concept really well, I think they are something we really aught to avoid putting more of into the game. Additionally, I don't really love Serene Grace. The allure of much more consistent drops and statuses are great for concept, but I think fall into a very similar category of pushing some really difficult play patterns, and I don't think it'd lead to a very interesting process.
Might as well make a post of the abilities I would like to support:

Multiscale and Rough Skin

Feels like its been discussed to death, but its just perfect for our fast wall concept for the former, and for our matchups with our typing for the latter.

Cursed Body

It is RNG based, but when it does trigger, there should be very little an opponent can do to wallbreak without switching out, providing us with a free turn to play with. I prefer this over more permanent effects like Static, which would be much more powerful and unfun to play against when fighting a fast wall. For this reason, I think that it is a bit more beneficial towards our concept of Fast Wall as it plays into the power limits of what would be acceptable for an RNG based defensive ability. Also unlike all those contact moves, it lets us target special attackers as well, widening possibilities for stats stages.

Serene Grace - It does benefit from us being fast, and it does play into us being a wall as we are focused more on proccing effects than we are about the damage of the moves. All the STAB moves that are not legendary signatures that interact with this ability are:
- Moonblast - SpA Drop
- Play Rough - Atk Drop
- Bubble - Speed Drop
- Liquidation/Razor Shell - Def Drop
- Muddy Water - Accuracy Drop
- Water Pulse - Confusion
- Waterfall - Flinch
It feels hard to not be poll jumpy, I am not pointing at any of these moves in particular, this is just the full list of STAB possibilities with Serene Grace, which I think is fair to mention given the nature of the ability only interacting with these STABs and with coverage. Of particular note is Play Rough, which was on the "Universally Assumed Moves" list from PRC that I think will be active for CAP 33's movepool phase, giving us an idea that a Serene Grace route may contain an Atk Drop from outspeeding at the very minimum of possibilities.

Not a fan of Mold Breaker. Its not that its just too niche, but I think inflicting status or Garganacl or Gholdengo isn't that great of a deal to be our focus for a primary ability, especially as both can still just break through us afterwards. I also don't like speed boosting abilities like Speed Boost, and I think Filter is just less interesting than Multiscale for similar goals. Toxic Debris also seems like a really weird choice, as the Pokemon that are immune to the Toxic Debris are the same Pokemon that want to switch in on us and click on their STAB. If we were a different typing, I'd have liked Misty Surge or Shield Dust, but I think that the status immunity doesn't interact the best with our Electric/Poison weakness for the latter and our nature as a wall potentially wanting to use our own status for the former.
I might as well summarize my final thoughts of a slate too.

Rough Skin is a great ability which I wrote about already. Pairs really well with revenge killing without pumping damage into stats, can actually recover back later in the match after taking big hits thanks to speed, etc etc etc. Above all it is incredibly simple to tackle and I think we would do a good job here.
Multiscale is something Ive changed my opinion on. Please read this bc the framing of this ability I think does matter as to whether its a good choice or not. Originally, I felt off about the idea of a more passive lugia-style "im using multiscale to pseudo-nullify your boosts and then i'll force you out while i recover or cripple/phase you" because I felt like preserving the hp on the mon would feel overall awkward and recovery would be forced when taking a hit most of the time, meanwhile offensively I found it hard to imagine it actually threatening bulky offensive setup mons out which would awkwardly suggest having a utility move just for the purpose of crippling, and then suddenly the 4 moveslot syndrome kicks in and it doesnt provide anything in terms of playing mid-game like hazards or item manipulation, or we waste our excellent dual stab. A more passive multiscale route I imagined playing on the back foot a lot, and in a gen with less recovery pp it would just exacerbate this weakness further by putting its longevity on a timer. And I do still feel like this is a bit awkward.
But recently, I have been thinking a lot about mons like Mega Latias as inspiration for a very fast, offensive tank that uses its typing as invaluable checks to certain things but also very much focusing on meaningful damage output. To a lesser extent, Zamazenta offers something similar in the current metagame but skewed incredibly offensively (and one-time usage), while Mega Lati would offer 2 or 3 very threatening attacks while backing it up with recovery, and sometimes slot in a useful utility like defog or twave. For me, this could be a very effective route for Multiscale and if this wins then an offensive route should imo be looked at very seriously and not considered anti-concept- after all, this was one of the leading mons in the creation of the concept. This suddenly makes dual stab feel much more meaningful, 4mss is improved drastically and providing offensive pressure helps with its 8pp timer and reliance on recovery- whats more, being a cleaner in its own right grants it an additional purpose that makes it a more capable choice for teambuilding. Id also like to add that Dragonite is putting in a lot of work in its defensive set thanks to 134 attack/100 SpA- this is the most translatable example of multiscale that we have (I dont know if lugia really translates its walling set to OU, ubers is weird and sometimes things that are bad work there, like defog/toxic/wisp/rest giratina.... plus i think its only seen on FULL stall?) so I think we need to be very avoidant of passivity here. With this reframing, I really like this ability.

Honestly- these are the only two abilities that I really feel deserve to be picked for this CAP for primary. Im gunna list some abilities I dont like:

Flame Body/Static: as already stated by others, I agree that these are feelsbad abilities. Matches our concept excellently, but I really just dont like them or their effect on the metagame.
Cursed Body: Im grouping this with the above, having lost many games to cursed body procs at the wrong time. While in a 1v1, cursed body feels relatively harmless, on crucial turns it can win/lose you the game in a way that is different to static/flame body's ability to just spam recovery to fish for crippling effects. Getting the 30% cursed body proc to instantly stop a sweep after playing the whole game to enable your one chance to set up and finish the game is just miserable and can't be played around. Sometimes, you'll knock out a cursed body mon also and get disabled, allowing in a sweeper who will be able to take advantage of this to set up and end the game. The steps/repositioning required to avoid the 30% chance is even more ridiculous than for contact abilities as this activates on every move, and ultimately disable shenanigans are so lame that I seriously question what you'd gain from putting this into the metagame in the first place.
Toxic Debris: An ability that can improve an RU/NU mon to OU. Not only that, but the step up from rock/poison suicide lead to water/fairy wall with recovery is just absurd. I cannot stress enough how much this is unnecessary for the project and how freely this mon can litter the game with tspikes when the most popular spinners are hit super effectively and most popular poison type is not grounded. Even if these additional things weren't true, I would still be against this ability for how insanely powerful it is.
Bulletproof: An excessive ability that turns our amazing typing into the best typing matchups in the game. Im not afraid of making something like this in projects, but I want to explore fast walling tactics for this project, not create a laundry list of things we hard counter. We arent clamouring for more switchin opportunities.
Filter: Bit like bulletproof, not looking to improve matchups here. Filter is even more awkward as it does not guarantee even flipping matchups.
Shield Dust: Not sure how I feel about this one. Im not afraid to put a Covert Cloak on my water type to deal with garg, and... ultimately this ability provides a lot of use against midground mons and not much to match the concept. So Id rather do something else so we can explore it during the process and hold a cloak if its helpful.

Lastly, some abilities that I like but I think fit the role of secondary ability (or realistically nca depending on how excellent the primary is):
Pressure: Great concept-relevance here. Has a few useful scenarios. Ultimately does not take a big role in the success of its current abusers.
Natural Cure: There's not that much status in the tier. Getting hit by a sludge bomb is probably the most likely place to get statused, and that isnt something we want to happen. Rest + Natural Cure is honestly a bit shit in modern mons. But this could shrug off a burn from Ace/Pult and T-wave techs.
Mold Breaker: A nice list of small interactions, aside from the whopper which is defog vs gholdengo. I dont wanna polljump to assume that this will get defog though, so overall this is a small, relevant ability.
Compound Eyes: Hasnt been brought up before but an accuracy boost helps with choice of water STABs and improves some fast supportive moves like wisp to guarantee hits which makes them much more clickable in an otherwise dangerous scenario if you miss (think back to cinderace wisping tusk or lando for instance). But its minor outside of granting ridiculous moves like sleep and also assuming wisp is a polljump.
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A bit late, but I'd like to at least try to have people consider Grassy Surge as an option. The extra recovery and an Earthquake resistance will do wonders for our longevity at best when we're dealing with EQ users, and at worst it'll still give the free recovery. It might seem like the resistance is only helping us against mons we already beat, but in this case, I think that's a great thing for us. As a wall, an opportunity to not be forced into recovery and becoming a sturdier check into what we're supposed to deal with is huge. A concern I've heard brought up in the Discord is that Earthquake is now not the only Ground move, now that Headlong Rush exists. I don't think this is a huge issue, since Headlong Rush simply isn't common, only being seen on Colossoil and some Great Tusks (and Ursaluna, but we shouldn't be risking the Facade anyway). Another huge aspect of Grassy Surge is that we can share it, meaning that both our opponents and our teammates can benefit from it. I can see how this can turn off people from the idea of having it, but I think it'll be fairly easy to build around Grassy Surge to benefit more than your opponent can without warping your own team too much. The terrain won't always be up, firstly. Even if we're in a game where we'll have to be in a lot, terrain won't be extended every time we're out. Secondly, not counting the mons that outright benefit from it, most mons are either neutral into terrain or have different options they can use to bypass what would be a weakness too it. It also amplifies our Grass weakness, but we barely have any matchups vs. Grass coverage users that we don't lose anyway. This really is a great choice imo, it gives us a cool cleric-type role that would be tons of fun to work with.


You've Gotta Try
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gonna spitball thoughts on abilities before the clock hits 11 so i dont post for the next two hours!!!

this is getting slated

Rough Skin
this is getting slated

Mold Breaker
i am a hater, i don't see why this ability is so popular. the benefits of ignoring abilities like purifying salt and good as gold simply don't stack up to me as a primary, maybe as a secondary it'd be okay but i struggle to see the relevancy here and feel like this isn't getting much out of being faster than the average wall. garg is already threatened by our water stab, and yes it likes to tera but then you force tera and you can definitely build a team to take advantage of this. or tbh if you want to ruin garg's life just run cloak.

Grassy Surge
this is a stranger option that leans more into team support given the properties of grassy terrain, but i don't hate it. extra recovery is always nice and should help free the item slot a fair bit, the eq resistance is quite nice for mons like baxcalibur, lando-t, defensive tusk, curse garg, ting-lu, some dragonite i guess. could also let us lean into grass moves as coverage, and if we would want to run say tera grass to cover our electric and grass weaknesses then you'd be boosting such moves even more. we shouldn't have to worry about some nebulous "this makes us stop being a wall and start being a terrain setter" because what honestly can abuse grassy terrain that wouldn't just be like glide rillaboom? (who has this ability already)

Serene Grace

Flame Body/Static
these are cool when gamefreak gives them to us on their mons but i'm not as interesting in building a mon that uses these to their true potential, it doesn't sound engaging.

Cursed Body/Poison Point
funnier and somehow less obnoxious but still leaves our ability impact as a random chance, granted one we can eschew in our favor given speed + recovery + bulk but it's not really vibing with me as much

with the PP nerf to recovery this gen i think pressure is kinda neat, it punishes 16 PP moves and means we're evening up the playing field like you used to do with 16 PP recovery. if we have good status moves and proper bulk we can likely pp stall more than you'd think, and thus pressure feels pretty apt as a lower-power yet still relevant option.

so long as we use this properly instead of just benchmarking it to where the ability to stomach strong hits better isn't just something we could have accomplished with 25 more base stats i think this is pretty cool, and could have some interesting ramifications with tera.
Might as well go into the abilities being discussed and give my thoughts on them:

Multiscale: I don't need to say too much about this, it's a very strong ability for this concept. The ability to move before the opponent and heal makes this ability incredibly strong, as it lets us sponge hits that would normally hurt a lot more. Good ability!

Rough Skin: It's definitely a strong ability for a defensive concept such as this, but it feels like it doesn't take advantage of 33's speed too well, save for later on when its targets are low enough for lower power attacks to KO foes.

Flame Body/Static: I'll agree with others that these abilities seem incredibly unfun to face up against. Playing a game of roulette in order to decide if one of your mons is crippled until the game end seems extraordinarily frustrating, and to add onto that, I don't even feel like this ability does a particularly good job of working with the concept as a whole. Sure, being a wall that can punish physical powerhouses for doing their job is a powerful trait, but it doesn't really care about our speed. In fact, they arguably utilize the mons speed LESS than just giving this mon Will-o-Wisp or Thunder Wave, as that allows us to take advantage of the pressure that crippling those pokemon puts on the opponent, rather than simply switching in and possibly getting a lucky burn or para on them.

Mold Breaker: While the ability's not huge in its scope, with only a small few pokemon being targetted by it, it still feels like a rather useful tool for making 33 even more of an annoying presence for the foe to deal with.

Serene Grace: While its presence is mostly limited to Scald and Moonblast, those two moves is all a fast wall like 33 needs to threaten foes with high chances of lowering either of their offensive stats before they even get a chance to attack. definitely could see this working out well.
Final post talking about some abilities that gained momentum after my first:

A Water/Fairy wall with Grassy Surge has a lot of fun and interesting traits, but I question whether it serves the concept. It's good for a wall with our typing, yes, but does it make speed defensively valuable? I don't think it does.

Serene Grace, on the other hand, may not affect much, but the offense-decreasing effects it can impart really benefit from CAP 33 outspeeding the competition. One of the better low-power abilities to slate.


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Going to throw in a small post supporting Filter as an ability for the sltae. I think there's a ton of merit to having strictly defensive abilities, and Filter allows us to really take on a strictly defensive role, that then forces us to consider what it means to then want to be a *fast defensive* Pokemon. Filter remains especially interesting to me because Water/Fairy's shortcomings can be bolstered strictly through the ability, and therefore allows us to focus specifically on getting some really optimized stat distributions in later stages and allows both us in the process and the user outside of the process the ability to customize CAP33's speed and defenses in a really fascinating way. I really disagree with the sentiment that this isn't interesting, because you're removing 25% of the damage from super effective moves on a mon that would otherwise rather not come in on Pokemon like Krillowatt, Meowscarada, Iron Moth, and Sneasler solely based on typing. If we are a mon that aims to eventually check these Pokemon with our own speed, how are we going to be able to mitigate a STAB Super Effective attack in our efforts to check these Pokemon? I think there's a general alignment with the goals and questions of this project, like "Are there any options that are open to a wall specifically because of a high speed stat that may not be open to slower walls, even accounting for ability choice?" because we immediately investigate the idea of how the ability can play with defensive capabilities over the course of the whole match, including pre- and post-Terastalization.

Lastly, to rebut ausma's point about filter being a strictly defensive ability that gives us little incentive to use our speed, I personally disagree. By giving ourselves an initial platform / high floor in terms of defense, we can more intently focus on how speed plays a role in assisting these already present defenses. If we know that 25% of damage from Super Effective moves is in play, we can then consider how much speed and bulk we want simultaneously in figuring out what we want to switch into and how fast we need to be to make sure that the match's tempo and play are controlled by CAP33. I see filter more as a way to mitigate super effective attacks from mons we would like to check, rather than managing less damage from coverage moves. I think as long as we're intentional in the stats stage in making a more evergreen product that focuses on speed (as difficult as that may be) will yield a fascinating process and hopefully a meaningful product. In general, I think that having an intrinsic defensive boost provided to us via ability won't then narrow our focus in the stats stage.

tl;dr Filter is neat, I'd like to throw one more post of support behind it.

and of course, other abilities i'm a fan of without justification include:
- Multiscale
- Pressure
- Rough Skin
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I'm going to throw my support behind Serene Grace in the twilight of this thread, with the caveat that I hope everyone knows this is not a low strength ability. 60% drop moonblasts and 60% burn scalds are individually very strong and together are extremely strong. I personally like this about it, and we can always remove one or both of these tools and add others for balance; we aren't voting on moves yet. But yes, it has great power potential and we'd need to hash out what we want our role to look like more quickly.


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Well guys it is the moment y'all have been waiting is the slate!

Rough Skin
Mold Breaker

I am super happy with this slate and think that each one has a unique interaction with what we want 33 to accomplish. Now as to why I chose each one!

Multiscale has been discussed to death throughout this thread consistently as well as in CAPcord and for good reason as it explicitly uses our Speed to complement the bulk we have by allowing us to have implied access to fast recovery, keeping our ability intact. While this may force us to run Heavy-Duty Boots, I think the item is solid enough on its own that being "forced" to use it isn't the end of the world. I also have seen concern for Multiscale being a little more complex in terms of potential builds and relying on being at full HP for our bulk and while that is a concern, we still have 2 major stages to help ease those issues and the pros of this most definitely outweigh any cons.

Rough Skin
This is another solid defensive ability that leverages our implied Speed in a way that makes us able to threaten OHKOs/2HKOs by virtue of chip damage. Being faster than things like Meowscarada or Cinderace and other common fast U-turn Pokemon allows to not only gain chip on them but also potentially get them in a range where we can threaten to finish them off with our STABs after 1 or 2 activations of Rough Skin due to us being faster. While it seems to be of "lower power" than Multiscale, it definitely can hold its own as a contender and therefore is on the slate.

While not as high powered as the first two, Pressure provides us with the ability to get rid of coveted PP on certain Pokemon's moves such as Hemogoblin's Extreme Speed or Iron Moth's Fire Blast, allowing presumed teammates such as Dragapult or Equilibra to have an easier time handling them. While this doesn't necessarily utilize our Speed, it makes for a really good defensive ability that has key points in terms of team support.

Filter allows 33 to potentially take some coverage moves such as Choice Specs Iron Valiant's Thunderbolt with ease while also potentially improving matchups against things we wanna wall such as Iron Moth, Krilowatt, and Meowscarada as 33 resists one of their STABs but is weak to the other. I couldn't have said it better than spoo myself in that there may be other reasons to run Speed than just beating things on the switch-in, but Filter enables Speed investment because it eases the ability to wall certain threats. Being strictly defensive with this ability means that it improves 33's matchup into faster Pokémon.

Mold Breaker
Ausma made an excellent post on why Mold Breaker can fit 33 so well. Not only can we potentially disrupt Gholdengo, Garganacl, and Hatterene via good utility moves, but it also allows us to bypass immunities such as Clodsire's Water Absorb as well as hitting Dragonite through Multiscale and not activating Contrary from Pyroak and Enamorus. With Mold Breaker, 33 can have an easier time dispersing utility against the opponent thanks to not being stopped/affected by most abilities.

As to why certain abilities like Cursed Body, Flame Body, Static, Serene Grace, and Shield Dust didn't make the slate...Cursed Body is kinda outclassed by Rough Skin in terms of making progress versus the opponent whereas Flame Body, Static, and Serene Grace make gamestates that feel way too haxy and give 33 too big of an advantage over the opponent so I deemed them too powerful for this particular stage. Shield Dust was unfortunately on the other end in that it didn't do enough to be considered a great choice for primary as the main interaction of avoiding Garg's Salt Cure was its only redeeming quality when it got looked at under a microscope due to 33 being weak to Sludge Bomb and Discharge and therefore not caring about avoiding the poison or paralysis chance as it could be 2HKOed by the move anyways.

Gonna turn things over to ausma to give it the ole thumbs up!


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Yep, this gets my approval! Our build will make for a very strong CAP regardless of the game-to-game application of our ability, so I support the inclusion of some lower-power abilities to supplement the ones that have been well-established to be pro-concept and worth considering. I also support the overall focused nature of this slate given the very rigid boundaries of good, decent, and bad between different abilities and their applications relative to CAP 33. Let's get to polling!
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