CAP 30 – Final Products (2.0 release)

Wulfanator

Clefable's wish came true!
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A little more than 2 weeks ago, Venomicon-Prologue and Venomicon-Epilogue released into the meta. This has been 5+ months in the making and I am glad to see we are finally here. Given that this was our 2nd ever implementation of framework projects, the custom and overlapping design elements outlined by Giratina-style Forms posed many unique problems for the TLT to solve and better accommodate the project’s needs. Before I continue, I need to immediately thank Tadasuke, spoo, Lasen, and kjnjkmjk1 for their thoroughness throughout their respective stages and assisting during other stages. The unfamiliarity with how to navigate this style of project makes it crucial for the TLT to work together from start to end and they are the main reason for the successes we had this project.

Framework submissions were, arguably, the most intimidating part of this entire process from a new TL perspective. Without the TLT to lean on for support, responding to and selecting from the nearly 45 submissions was always going to be a tough task. I remember spending hours trying to keep up with the submissions as they rolled in. I decided early on to build a larger than normal slate that covered a range of frameworks (multi-mon, custom element, flavor-first, and blacklisted mechanics) while avoiding substantial overlap between options. It was a very exhausting start to the project, but I think it was well worth the effort looking back on it now.

After the selection of Giratina-style forms, the community selected the remainder of the TLT and we immediately rolled into concept submissions. Concept submissions were made more challenging by having to account for an additional mon that shared typing and movepool. Establishing two unique identities with these limitations was a high priority for many. Beyond that, I felt that selecting concepts that we would be able to work well based on our past successes seemed like the most intuitive decision. It gave us a chance to act on some of the lessons learned from past projects while entering unfamiliar territory with the project structure.

While multiple concept assessments can slow the pace of the project dramatically, it was a necessary evil this project. Hashing out stage order for our concept and framework made for a smoother process and yielded stronger products. The decision to follow the Ability 1 > CA 2 > Typing > Ability 2 > CA 3 structure let us build to the strengths of both abilities far better than any other structure would have allowed. Also, assigning ability 1 to a form after it was selected helped limit the distractions caused by our custom item and multiple forms. It really helped being able to focus on smaller details as we moved through the project as opposed to trying to manage everything all at once.

Tadasuke did a fantastic job handling the split ability stages. Having yet another ability-first concept was not ideal, but Tada went above and beyond establishing the foundation that would eventually snowball into the two mons we have now. Tada and I spent several nights in voice call discussing the various options the community presented and figuring out what questions still needed to be posed before the thread closed. Download, Filter, Poison Touch, Simple, Stamina, and Tinted Lens was a crazy slate, and I don’t think I have ever been as excited for a slate as I was with this poll. Following typing, the list of available abilities that met the community’s expectations of our project and worked well with the existing typing narrowed drastically. It also did not help that two abilities heavily dominated the ability 2 discussion. Despite these negatives, Tada still managed to craft an insightful discussion and create a slate that played into the strengths of Poison/Flying typing. I know there were a few times our ideas for the stage clashed, but I have to admit his handling of the stage was far superior to anything I could have managed.

Spoo had it rough with the typing stage. Spoo’s availability did not lineup with when the stage needed to be run, but he made time to uphold his obligation to the project. I have a great amount of respect for Spoo because of that. He also got the short end of the stick this project because he knew only a few details about a singular form and had to formulate a discussion around that. Having to discuss typings that directly benefitted from Tinted Lens while leaving design space for another form was a monumental task. I distinctly remember there was some trouble ensuring the slate was both diverse and adequately resembled the opinions of the community, especially after 6 pages of discussion. I think the slate we ended up had a lot of potential no matter which option won. All in all, spoo worked harder than most of the team to lead his stage. This does not even begin to acknowledge how incredibly vocal he was from start to end of the project. He regularly offered his ideas when the other SLs needed advice and was a great presence.

One thing I do want to note is that there was a massive decline in activity part of the way through the project. A lot of that can probably be attributed to the exhaustion experienced following the last team tour, growing irl responsibilities, and traditional activity declines throughout a project. The absence of these users meant we did not get all the insight we needed when making competitive decisions. It also made it more difficult to accurately gauge community consensus during different parts of the project. The TLT started relying on polling for consensus to better inform our decisions, but this made the latter half of the project more difficult to lead.

Lasen had his work cut out for him with the drop in activity. The stat limit discussion was divided to focus on one form at a time as to not overextend ourselves this late into the project. The stat limits Lasen settled on were very generous and tried to accommodate as many of the varying approaches the community wanted to take both 30b and 30i. We decided to stagger the submissions and polls to allow users the opportunity to prioritize some flavor elements in their spreads (i.e. matching base hp). While these elements were optional, we knew voters would value these elements, and it stood to give some candidates a leg up in the polling process. It also made it easier for users to match BST totals as outlined in the framework without awkward dump stat rules. Like with all the slates, having a diverse selection was a high priority. Lasen managed to capture that well with his slates and did so practically by himself since the time zone difference made it difficult for us to adequately support him.

Kjnjkmkj1 took on the task of leading moveset discussion as a first time SL. I knew from the start that this was going to be the most work out of all the stage, and I was curious to see how Kj would run the stage. Leading up to the defining moves discussion, kj went through the prc, past projects, and other resources to fully understand the stage. In his search, he ended up uncovering an old PRC the mods had approved regarding defining moves and archtypes. I appreciate this level of thoroughness because I know I would have never caught this. Kj worked tirelessly to ensure quality discussion questions and to make decision based on the desires of the community. I think the way Kj ran his stage is the way other move SLs should strive to execute the stage in the future. It was an outstanding showing of Kj’s leading ability, and I hope to see him apply for a future project.

With this project, we had two inaugural battles: one showcase for each form. I first extended invites to Da Pizza Man and snake_rattler since they were the submitters of the winning stat spreads. We thought it would be fun idea to have the submitters appear in the showcase and use their respective winning spread. We then extended an invite to Estronic since they had been one of the most active users this project with many quality posts that regularly helped informed the decisions the TLT made. Lastly, we asked spoo to participate in the inaugural as the TLT representative for the project. Here are the replays if you missed it and you can click the user’s name for the pokepaste of the team they used.

30b: Estronic vs Da Pizza Man
[Gen 8] CAP replay: Da Pizza Man vs. Estronic - Pokémon Showdown (pokemonshowdown.com)

30i: snake_rattler vs spoo
[Gen 8] CAP replay: snake_rattler vs. spoo - Pokémon Showdown (pokemonshowdown.com)

With all that out of the way, here is CAP 30.

Framework:
Name: Giratina-style Forms

Description: This CAP has an out-of-battle form change like Giratina- the form change is only accessible through holding an unremovable custom item like Griseous Orb.

Restrictions:
-The mons, like Giratina, will share its typing, and movepool.
-The abilities can be completely different between forms.
-The stats can be different between forms, while maintaining the same base total. Note that this does not need to swap offenses and defenses like Giratina's forms, though this is not to exclude that option either. The way that stats differ between these two mons should be decided at the stats stage.
Concept:
Name - Optimized Ability

Description - This CAP would seek to utilize one or more Abilities which are, at face value, competitively viable, but which are only found on unviable or excessively niche Pokémon, or are paired with objectively better Abilities. The goal is to explore how these Abilities could impact the metagame if they were properly utilized.

Justification- Archetype: This CAP seeks to explore one or more underutilized Abilities which could have a meaningful impact on the metagame, but are rarely or never seen because of the Pokémon they are found on, or the other Abilities they have to compete with. With two Forms we can explore the same Ability from two differant angles, or explore two differant Abilities, providing us with greater insight into how these traditionally neglected Abilities could function.

Questions To Be Answered-
  • Why are some Abilities seen as better or more viable than others? Is it strictly a function of the Ability itself, or are other factors involved? What are those factors?
  • What new strategies become available with optimized Abilities? Are these strategies competitively viable, or just gimmicks?
  • Are there Abilities that may have been overlooked or disregarded because of poor utilization? Are some worth a second look, even if they lack immediate competitive merit?
Name: Venomicon-Prologue (CAP 30b)


Typing: Poison/Flying
Primary Ability: Stamina
Flavor Ability: Power of Alchemy
Stats: 85 HP / 70 Atk / 113 Def / 118 SpA / 90 SpD / 64 Spe | 540 BST
Height: 0.8 m
Weight: 11.5 kg
Color Group: Purple


Name: Venomicon-Epilogue (CAP 30i)


Item: Vile Vial

Typing: Poison/Flying
Primary Ability: Tinted Lens
Stats: 85 HP / 102 Atk / 85 Def / 63 SpA / 85 SpD / 120 Spe | 540 BST
Height: 0.8 m
Weight: 12.4 kg
Color Group: Purple

LucarioOfLegends requested I add some of the reasoning for the decisions on height and weight. Both height and weight had little competitive impact for either form. This decision along with color group is usually made by the TLT behind the scenes, but I decided to change it up a bit this project. Given that the decision would have been based solely on flavor reasoning, I decided to offer these decisions to Unsee since they were the winning artist. I figured Unsee could set these values to better reflect what they had envisioned with their design. Once Unsee had an idea for where these values should be for both forms, I worked with them to make sure the final values matched the types of weights/heights we see in the official games. The only real difference between the forms is their weight, and Unsee based that difference on the weight of a full 2-liter bottle. This was intended to be a one-off thing.

Pokedex Entries:
Venomicon, the Cursed Tome Pokémon

Sword: A living relic from a dark, bygone era, this Pokémon is said to have been created by a vengeful sorcerer.

Shield: Each solstice and equinox, this Pokémon appears during the night at an ancient library deep within the Crown Tundra. Its cries are eerily human.

Venomicon-Epilogue

Sword:
After plunging its pen-like head into a forbidden inkwell, it darts about the skies in a berserk rage. When not flying, it shudders violently.

Shield: Venomicon’s vision has been enhanced beyond the material plane, but its ink distorts everything into moving targets. If it spots you, there is no escape.
1.0 Movepool:
Acid Armor
Attract
Body Press
Brave Bird
Coil
Discharge
Drill Peck
Earth Power
Endure
Facade
Gunk Shot
Hurricane
Imprison
Knock Off
Mystical Fire
Nasty Plot
Poison Jab
Protect
Rest
Roost
Round
Sleep Talk
Sludge Bomb
Snore
Stealth Rock
Substitute
Swords Dance
Thunder Wave
Toxic
U-turn
2.0 Movepool:
I've decided on a much more conservative movepool that doesn't go totally overboard on one specific gimmick, but it does still contain a few moves to hype up its status as a cursed tome.

1 Peck
1 Poison Sting
5 Withdraw
10 Confuse Ray
15 Air Cutter
20 Venoshock
25 Hex
30 Toxic
35 Drill Peck
40 Poison Jab
45 Roost
50 Coil
55 Hurricane


Level Up is built in 5s, which happily mirrors fellow multiform 'mon Indeedee and gives enough room while still being somewhat reasonable for a single stage mon.

Constructing the level up proper was somewhat tricky due to the constraints Gen 8 places on them, but how I ended up going about it was having a series of two STAB attacking moves, then a series of either non-STAB attacks or status moves. This pattern alternates between the two offensive biases going physical>special>physical>special for the level-ups duration (poison does not get a move after hurricane since very little tends to come after it) to give both forms attack opportunities.

Getting into the moves proper, Peck and Poison Sting lead off the movepool as the starting STAB attacks to utilize Venomicon's quill for attacks. Withdraw is a slightly weird choice, but I think its very justifiable if you consider the quill receding into the book (which is very clearly hardback from the art) and closing its covers like most other Withdraw users recede into their shell. Confuse Ray is a solid status move that fits the ghostly flavor that Venomicon has, and is also tended to learned quite early. Air Cutter fits nicely as a solid mid-game Flying-type move (that for the record has not been cut in Dexit tyvm) and is a cute nod to the tendency to get paper cuts. Venoshock works well with Venomicon's tricky nature, and is pretty synonymous with Poison-type midgame who don't have options for Poison Tail or Poison Fang. Its also another reason towards choosing Poison Sting early, since Venoshock does have synergy with it while Acid does not. Hex further leans into the tertiary Ghost-type flavor and has synergy with Confuse Ray as well, while Toxic fits well with official distribution at this level and works well with Venomicon's previous attacks.

Drill Peck and Poison Jab work to emphasize the quill again whilst jumping back to the physical side of Venomicon. Its a fairly simple attack and since the quill can be seen as very similar to a beak its plenty justifiable. Roost is mostly just required at this point, but I like to see it as snuggling up with a good book to decompress and heal off the damage. I don't really have such excuses for Coil: its required and just works best at the level to follow other mons who get it. The capstone of the movepool is Hurricane, which is very often learned late and still follows the nice pattern I set up here whilst giving special side a strong final option.

I think the trick of the movepool is making it so both forms could reasonably be used without one side resorting entirely to TMs/TRs in a SwSh playthrough, and thats hopefully what I achieved here.

Egg Group: Amorphous

Clear Smog (Gengar)
Knock Off (Machamp > Gardevoir)
Mean Look (Dusknoir)
Memento (Chandelure)

Amorphous is the cleanest fit for Venomicon, since it adds extra to the Ghost-type flavorings of Venomicon. I considered Flying for a moment, but it doesn't really fit well among the birds and bats who overwhelming fill the group and I don't think it fits close enough to Drifblim to fully justify an exception. As for the gendered argument: I personally think that Venomicon is a bit of a Klefki case here as opposed to something like Magnemite, and I think that the actual mon is the quill as opposed to the entire book, mirroring something like a Dwebble find its shell or something.

Clear Smog is very dubiously flavored as its actual move description calls it a special mud but every other medium portrays the move as a type of smoke. I decided its a decent fit in egg under the funny idea that in the case of Venomicon it is actually just a giant glob of white-out. Knock Off is required and doesn't particularly fit cleanly anywhere in Level-Up, so think of it as knocking a book off a shelf. Mean Look is very fun flavor especially for Epilogue forme considering the eyes, but works well enough between both forms considering the quill. Memento is very fun flavor and fits perfectly on a cursed tome.

TM06 Fly
TM08 Hyper Beam
TM09 Giga Impact
TM10 Magical Leaf
TM14 Thunder Wave
TM19 Safeguard
TM21 Rest
TM24 Snore
TM25 Protect

TM26 Scary Face
TM30 Steel Wing
TM31 Attract
TM39 Facade
TM40 Swift
TM44 Imprison
TM56 U-turn

TM57 Payback
TM58 Assurance
TM60 Power Swap
TM61 Guard Swap
TM72 Magic Room
TM74 Venoshock
TM76 Round
TM77 Hex
TM79 Retaliate
TM86 Phantom Force
TM92 Mystical Fire
TM95 Air Slash


Required moves aside, this leans quite hard into the cursed tome elements, adding in a bunch of Ghost-, Dark-, and Psychic-type flavor. Some interesting additions include Safeguard, which I wasn't completely digging at first but later took to interpret as safeguarding its own mystic pages from anything that may come to tarnish them. Magic Room was chosen from the three Rooms because it literally has Magic in the title and its effect on items specifically is a funny nod to Epilogue's reliance on its own, and it should be noted that very few mons (especially non-Psychic ones) get all three of the rooms together. Similar case for the Swap moves, and I decided that Speed Swap fit the least of the three. Scary Face is learned by a lot of things, and has similar reasons to Mean Look for getting in. Magical Leaf works off of the fact that paper is made from trees, and Swift is both a solidly distributed move that I can't find reason not to give Venomicon, but also mirrors Magic Missile: a classic spell for any wizard and mage. Steel Wing is probably the most dubious, but I think considering how wing-like the book covers can be interpreted (and how being slapped by one of those bad boys fucking hurts) its solidly justifiable.

TR01 Body Slam
TR11 Psychic
TR13 Focus Energy
TR20 Substitute
TR22 Sludge Bomb

TR25 Psyshock
TR26 Endure
TR27 Sleep Talk

TR33 Shadow Ball
TR38 Trick
TR40 Skill Swap
TR46 Iron Defense
TR54 Toxic Spikes
TR57 Poison Jab
TR58 Dark Pulse
TR66 Brave Bird
TR67 Earth Power
TR68 Nasty Plot
TR73 Gunk Shot
TR76 Stealth Rock

TR78 Sludge Wave
TR81 Foul Play
TR89 Hurricane
TR91 Venom Drench
TR99 Body Press

More of the same for TRs, outside of required moves leaning heavily into that Ghost-,Dark-,and Psychic-type flavor. Body Slam is learned by weirder (hi Equilibra) and it has a solid surface to actually slam: the book. Focus Energy is a pretty common move and I really couldn't figure out good reason to not include it, plus it works if you consider a lot of spells need time to cast. Trick is a fun one since it works well with the tricky flavor, even if its really only usable by Prologue. Toxic Spikes is really not that expansive among poison types, but have you ever pricked yourself with a pencil/pen. Shit hurts. More seriously the answer comes from the spikes in Epilogue's form, since I could see it throwing its ink out before solidifying it onto a caltrop-like shape. Venom Drench works on similar concepts, just drenching the foe in Venomicon's toxic ink.

Dual Wingbeat
Lash Out

Debated for a bit on Burning Jealousy and Corrosive Gas, but I decided neither really fit it supremely well. Dual Wingbeat uses its covers as wings again, and Lash Out work well with the cursed tome flavor. Burning Jealously's only Poison-type appearance is Skuntank, who is already a Dark-type, so I really can't justify it that way and doesn't quite feel right either. Corrosive Gas is contestable on the grounds of being a gas, and this movepool has generally strayed away from that area almost completely.

Air Cutter
Air Slash
Assurance
Attract
Body Press
Body Slam
Brave Bird
Clear Smog
Coil
Confuse Ray
Dark Pulse
Drill Peck
Dual Wingbeat
Earth Power
Endure
Facade
Fly
Focus Energy
Foul Play
Giga Impact
Guard Swap
Gunk Shot
Hex
Hurricane
Hyper Beam
Imprison
Iron Defense
Knock Off
Lash Out
Magic Room
Magical Leaf
Mean Look
Memento
Mystical Fire
Nasty Plot
Payback
Peck
Phantom Force
Poison Jab
Poison Sting
Power Swap
Protect
Psychic
Psyshock
Rest
Retaliate
Roost
Round
Safeguard
Scary Face
Shadow Ball
Skill Swap
Sleep Talk
Sludge Bomb
Sludge Wave
Snore
Stealth Rock
Steel Wing
Substitute
Swift
Thunder Wave
Toxic
Toxic Spikes
Trick
U-turn
Venom Drench
Venoshock
Withdraw
Topic Leadership Team:

Topic Leader: Wulfanator
Typing Stage Leader: spoo
Ability Stage Leader: Tadasuke
Stats Stage Leader: Lasen
Movepool Stage Leader: kjnjkmjk1

I will see you all again after the new year for the post-play lookback. Happy holidays!

Post-Play Lookback Results:
With the conclusion of post-play lookback, we have finalized CAP 30. Following the change polls, the only changes made targeted Venomicon-Epilogue where we reduced base attack by 8 points (now 102 ATK) and removed swords dance from the movepool. Since our framework dictated that both forms share BST, 8 points were added to Venomicon-Epilogue's SPA to maintain 540 BST between forms.
Alright, with all the polls wrapped up, this is what we're left with!

Venomicon-Prologue:
  • No Changes
Venomicon-Epilogue
  • -8 Attack
  • +8 Special Attack
  • Remove Swords Dance from movepool
In order to balance out their shared BST, +8 Special Attack to Venomicon-E was chosen over -8 Attack to Venomicon-P in the interest of preserving their 540 BST and because Venomicon-E's SpA is unusually low compared to other Pokemon.
 
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Da Pizza Man

Pizza Time
is a Pre-Contributor

Process was long as hell but the final result was definitely worth the wait. This was the first CAP I participated all the way through in several years and I'm glad to have came back to participate in it. Great job by everyone all around here, especially the TL and TLT for being able to handle everything.

Also I would like to give a special shoutout to Binacle Pinnacle for jinxing me in the 30b Inauguration Battle.
 

spoo

whip-smart
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I know many people have their reservations about multi-mon processes –– or simply frameworks as a whole –– and those feelings are never felt more acutely than when we find ourselves in the midst of one of these projects. More specifically, prolonged process length and contributor burnout are two large factors. However, I will echo the sentiment that this was wholly worth it. These kinds of ambitious projects are what keep me hopeful and excited about the future of CAP.

Wulfanator –– from the beginning I had full faith in you to lead a successful project, and you still somehow exceeded every expectation. Speaking as a TLT member who was in close communication to you from start to end: you blew this one out of the water. Your confidence, professionalism, and consistently thoughtful feedback in both public & private were huge reasons we succeeded. Congrats dude, wouldn't have had anyone else get us here.

Also a huge shoutout to the other three SLs. You guys objectively had longer and more work-intensive stages than I did (like genuinely twice the work of a normal project), so it was incredibly refreshing to see you all not only push through your own sections in good spirits but continue to be engaged and helpful when it wasn't your stage. I had a lot of fun working on this project and I hope ya'll did too.
 

DougJustDoug

Knows the great enthusiasms
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Applause for the TLT and the mods for navigating the various twists and turns of CAP 30. As a framework CAP, I think everyone expected it to be a wild ride and Venomicon did not disappoint! I did not participate in anything outside of flavor, but I really enjoyed reading the competitive threads and learned a lot along the way. Thanks to all the active posters and CAP participants that provided us with a good "intelligent community consensus"!
 
I can say I was part of that decline in activity. There was a point (I wanna say when we were discussing abilities) that the conversation had been exhausted, and we were 100% ready to vote, but the discussion stayed open close to a week longer at that point. Pretty sure my only critique in the whole process would be to throw up a poll when the discussion stagnates or starts to chase its own tail.

Beyond that....looking forward to trying this bad boy out in my draft league :)
 
I really enjoyed being able to participate in the first half of this project! I sadly dropped activity midway after the ability stages due to finals and some other remaining school work. Wulfanator did a stellar job as his first time as TL, and the same can be said for TLT! I can't wait to be able to participate in more (pending work status lol)!
 
First project I participated in and I can see how its a weird one. I mostly kinda sat in my corner and make like 2 posts but like MrMeat said we were always ready to vote lol. I really liked how it turned out (cant wait to use Prologue in BBP lol) and the TL and T did an amazing job! Odds are I'll just continue lurking for the next one since I'm still not super confident yet but who knows? Super excited to see how movepool turn out eventually and to participate in future projects!
 
I can firmly say after this that I am ready for CAP 31 to be a return to norm. Having the Chromera process, which already shook up the procedure, immediately lead into our Giratina-style form framework and all the little pitfalls and technicalities that came along for the ride has been a bit exhausting.

That being said, for such an experimental project the TLT and Mods did a fantastic job keeping things moving when so much was able to go wrong. I think the recent deconstruction of archaic CAP precedents that often got in the way more than they helped is a massive step forward and this framework project has exemplified that: we could not have gotten here as we did without the willingness of the community and leaders to bend the rules towards making a solid CAP first and having a standardized process second. Active playtesting and reorganizing the project timeline to best suit the concept feel so obvious in hindsight.

I definitely believe my understanding of CAP has improved following 30; for a while a lot of the expectations and conduct wasn't exactly clear to me which was why it took until recently that I actually started actively contributing after having lurked since the Gen 7 era. Having a more open-to-interpretation process instead of a very linear one made it easier to break down why each stage was important and needed to flow between each other in an effective manner.

I don't think there's been a better time to have been involved than now and have high hopes for what 2022 will bring.
 

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