CAP 30 - Part 18 - Post Play Lookback

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spoo

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If a simple interpretation of our concept is "these Pokemon's abilities are central elements to their playstyle or viability," then I think we succeeded in our concept 110% for Venom-E and like 60-70% for base Venom. I guess I would frame it as: if you replaced Tinted Lens with Run Away on Venomicon-E, it would make far more of a difference than if we replaced Stamina with Run Away on base Venom. That's not to say it isn't valuable in interactions against many Pokemon such as Weavile and non-Encore Astrolotl, but it doesn't 100% feel like a core element –– more so a sweet perk that helps it do what it already does a little bit better, but is still inconsequential (or at least mildly underwhelming) more often than not.

Speaking as someone who was on the TLT and actively posting throughout most stages of the process, I didn't feel the workload was particularly daunting. For context, I had objectively the easiest stage out of the TLT, took steps back when I needed to, and in general I probably have a higher tolerance for some of the more burdensome parts of CAP participation than a lot of people do. Still, I was also simultaneously active in other parts of the community, had IRL priorities in university, and TLTed CAP29 right before, so I don't know how much sympathy I have for people besides my other TLT members who felt very burnt out. Admittedly, I do agree this process ran for longer than was desirable, but I don't think that was the end of the world either. Here are some interesting stats about process length, courtesy of Tadasuke:
30: Playtest Signups: 12/5/2021; TL Apps: 7/10/2021 | 4 months 25 days
29: Playtest Signups: 4/18/2021; TL Apps: 1/7/2021 | 3 months 11 days
28: Playtest Signups: 10/26/2020; TL Apps: 7/6/2020 | 3 months 20 days
27: Playtest Signups: 6/12/2020; TL Apps: 2/1/2020 | 4 months 11 days
26: Playtest Signups: 6/21/2019; TL Apps: 2/10/2019 | 4 months 11 days
CAP30 was surprisingly close in length to 26 & 27, but compared to the last two processes we can see the difference. It's likely that CAP30 didn't have to be quite as long as it was, and for future framework projects I would absolutely support enforcing heavier timeboxing on stages and mapping timelines out from the start (neither of which were really done for CAP30). That said, I still don't believe it was a major problem besides for the delay that manifested itself in the 2021/22 tournament circuit, which was quite inconvenient. For however long that frameworks continue to exist in CAP, I am okay to keep doing multi-mon projects –– the end product(s) from CAP30 feel worth whatever extra time and effort went into creating them. Perhaps we can look at increasing the restrictions on them (ie "must share typing" and similar stuff), but I honestly think it went fine. The mons obviously ended up overturned as well, but it's not like we can chalk that up to it being a framework, either, when these are far from the first CAPs to be overpowered on release.

The question about roles is sort of a messy one. From the start, they were meant to be helpful guides and not I think we collectively interpreted them a little too strictly at points, and it was frustrating when any suggestion that diverged from "tank" or "utility wallbreaker" felt immediate resistance. Many users also had very different ideas of what a "tank/utility wallbreaker" even meant –– like, are we working towards a utility wallbreaker a la Spikes Greninja, WispHex Pult, Melmetal, Scizor, etc... everyone seemed to have their own biases and personal ideas. This phenomenon is doubly weird when we realize that the roles didn't even end up sticking that much. The most "utility" Venomicon-E has to offer is Knock Off, which it uses quite selfishly (there's the very occasional SR set but w/e), and while base Venomicon certainly has moments where it functions as a tank would, it seems more in line with other bulky setup sweepers like SD Scizor or CM Clefable than a traditional "tank" (though this also is my bias showing for what a traditional "tank" should look like).

With this thread closing soon I wanted to expand a little on my last post and propose some options for the nerf. My biggest issues with these mons basically boil down to them being both overpowered and not adding much to the tier.

I think we're all familiar with the overbearing strength and pressure these mons often exert in-game and (arguably more importantly) in the teambuilder; teams are forced to prepare for two incredibly strong Flying-type setup sweepers with literally 0 overlapping counterplay, and with the myriad of other threats that teams need to account for in this tier, it really becomes a headache inducing task. Moreover, these CAPs provide very little back to the metagame. Compare them to options like Tornadus-T or Weavile that offer huge role compression and help keep in check some of the tier's biggest threats. Like, maybe if Venomicon-E wanted to run Stealth Rock sets more often, it would be a unique fast & offensive rocker in a tier that has no good ones. Instead you just miss the value of running SD and breaking teams open. Sure, both formes check stuff like Ground-types, some Fairies, and offensive Grasses, but... it's not like the meta or teambuilder was asking for more checks to those mons to begin with. In essence, these CAPs limit options and team structures overwhelmingly more than they enable new ones.

It's for these two reasons that I don't trust a minor re-tuning of each forme would be sufficient. Instead, I strongly believe we should refocus the niche of one forme by removing setup options entirely, and slightly re-tune the problematic elements of the other forme. Basically, larger nerf + restructure purpose of one forme, smaller nerf of other forme. Through this, I would hope to 1) add more checks to both CAPs, thus easing teambuilder struggles and 2) make at least one forme less selfish and add more to the tier. This is the broad framework I'm approaching this PPL with, but it also makes picking a concrete nerf option somewhat of a dilemma.

I guess the best way I can put it is:
-Setup is easier to remove from Venomicon-E because it's less central to its identity; it has more than enough tools to be fine without setup, but by that same token, setup isn't necessarily the root of the problem as much as its raw 2HKO power and Speed
-Therefore, it would make sense to pursue a more targeted stat nerf on Venomicon-E and remove setup from Venomicon instead, as NP is a huge part of why its checks are so limited and why it can easily force trades against faster wallbreakers; however, its identity is so reliant on setup that removing it leaves Venomicon in a much more awkward and stranded place

It's a weird struggle and I'm not confident what the best approach is, but here are a couple ways you could probably go:

Venomicon-E:
-8 Atk (236+ Defensive Zapdos now avoids the 2HKO)​
-10 Spe (Still outspeeds Kart / Alolatales, but Astro now threatens with Wisp)​
OR​
-2 Atk (Tapu Koko can always switch into Brave Bird on a hard read, + minor damage nerf overall)​
-16 Spe (Krilowatt, Kart / Alolatales, Blace, base 110s, and Astro now outspeed)​
Venomicon:
-NP (I believe some extra compensation is necessary if we do this)​
+Fire Blast, Flamethrower
+Stats
Very hard to say what the right amount would be: +3 SpA = 252+ EP always 2HKOs physdef Pex, +8 SpA +4 Spe = outspeed and 2HKO Corviknight with 0 SpA Fire Blast (either w/o Leftovers or w/ Stealth Rock), +12 SpA = 0 SpA Fire Blast always OHKOs 0 SpD Ferrothorn, +14 Def = +2 LO Kartana's Smart Strike never OHKOs with 0 Def investment & you can EV to live +2 Weavile Triple Axel & Body Press does more damage across the board, there may also be other benchmarks I'm missing but these were the most notable to me​
*Could argue for +Defog, as we match up well against common hazard setters​

Venomicon-E:
-SD & Coil (Cannot break through Slowbro / Pex / Corv / sorta Ferrothorn as easily; also worth noting is that this is not as big of a nerf as many people believe it is, because our speed allows us to simply click BB twice in most interactions and effectively replicate SD -> BB)​
-2 Atk (Same reasoning as before)​
*Could argue for -10 Speed as well, though I suspect this is an overnerf​
*Could argue for either -U-turn or -Knock Off to remove guessing games about what coverage moves a 3Atk set is running and lower its efficacy overall, as BB / Knock / U-turn still sounds very strong on paper​
Venomicon:
-Earth Power & Scorching Sands (Very clean nerf that allows Electric-types and Heatran to be more consistent into it while slightly improving matchup against Slowking-G and certain Steel-types)​
OR​
-Bulk
Frankly no clue what the right numbers are here, but it preserves arguably our most unique element (Flying + Ground coverage) while making it harder to find easy setup opportunities and trade with revenge killers / strong wallbreakers. The flipside is that our bulk enables us to switch into Pokemon like Dragapult and situationally other wallbreakers like Revenankh, Dragonite, and Kartana, which I think is one of the more valuable things that these Pokemon add to the tier​

IMO route #1 is ideal for Venomicon-E while #2 would be ideal for the base forme. In theory you could do -stats for Epilogue and -coverage for base forme, but I think both mons being setup-based win-conditions is polarizing enough that we should attempt to address it; admittedly, I could end up being totally wrong, but that's still what my stance is right now. I also appreciate that setup-less base forme would likely end up being much more of a "tank" or a cool blanket check to physical mons that can force things out with great offensive coverage, while setup-less Epilogue forme is now incentivized to run a more utility-based fourth move as dex pointed out above. This post was very long, probably too long, but I had a lot to say on this topic and wanted to get it all out before the thread closes.
 
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quziel

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Losing NP would mean we sorta lose a ton of the reason to actually put Venom-P on a team; especially when competing against the other Flying-Types in the tier, which is perhaps the most strict competition possible.

I agree with Spoo's -SD, -2 Attack, -Coil package, it solves a lot of the problems with Venom-E.

Gonna propose a very minor nerf to Venom-P;

Venomicon-Prologue

-6 Defense
-7 Special Attack


The Defense drop ensures that you cannot tank a +2 Stone Edge from defensive Landorus-Therian, which you had a small chance to do before. The Special Attack change ensures that offensive Heatran can take a single Earth Power from uninvested Venomicon-Prologue, which it had a small chance to survive before. This also ensures that Krilowatt, Victini, and Volcanion can both survive a single +2 Earth Power from full, which they had a small roll to die to. This is a fairly minor change, and is more just a small reduction in power from a mon that's just a tad over where it should be.
 

dex

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I think there is something to be said for retaining both Venomicon forme's playstyles. Simply, the two mons are both incredibly fun and unique. For this reason, I do not think removing NP from Venomicon-P is the right path for any nerf. Same goes for Ground coverage, and while I think a SpA nerf makes way more sense than -EP +Sands, as long as Venomicon-P retains Ground coverage, I suppose that is fine. Additionally, NP is really what separates Venomicon-P from the rest of the bulky Flying-types in the tier. I am not confident in this mons ability to compete with Landorus-T, Tornadus-T, and Zapdos without NP. Luckily, removing SD and Coil from Venomicon-E does not impact its playstyle. It still performs its role as a utility wallbreaker, perhaps even more so since it now has a moveslot freed. Ultimately, no matter what nerf is chosen, these things should happen:

Venomicon-P: Retains both Nasty Plot and Ground coverage.

Venomicon-E: Loses physical boosting.

I really like the -7 SpA from Quziel's sub, and while I think it is better paired with my -4 SpD, both nerfs make sense.
Spoo introduced the idea of -SD, -Coil, -2 Atk, which enables defensive Zapdos as a 100% consistent check. I like this a lot, and honestly it is probably the best way forward for the mon.
 
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Wulfanator

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Alright. Thank you for all the recommendations. I greatly appreciate the surge of last minute entries because it allowed me to fill out a preliminary slate. Speaking of which, here is the preliminary slate.

Venomicon-Prologue
No Change
- Earth Power + Scorching Sands
- 6 Def - 7 SpA
- 12 SpD + 4 Spe
- Nasty Plot + Fire Blast + Flamethrower + 8 Spa + 4 Spe (subject to change based on reasoning below)

Venomicon-Epilogue
No Change
- 8 Atk - 10 Spe
- 2 Atk - 16 Spe
- SD - 8 Atk
- SD - Coil - 2 Atk

As you can see, no change is an option by default. The slate aims to target a little bit of everything I highlighted in my general post here. I have also acknowledged a problem with some of the submissions. Some of them are contingent upon one form retaining specific traits to justify a removal. To remedy this, I will be staggering the polls for each form. I am currently leaning towards starting with Venomicon-Epilogue as it has the most controversy surrounding it, but I am open to other ideas.

Feel free to pose additional changes/amendments as we take 24 hours to finalize the post-play lookback and give users an opportunity to correct the slate before polling.
(D2TheW) I know there was talk about removing ground or fire coverage that has not made slate. Also, I did arbitrarily pick a bulk reduction from Spoo’s first Venomicon-Prologue tweak since a single adjustment was not specified.
 
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Voltage

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I have some general thoughts on the buff and nerf packages, but all present on the slate look fine to me. I would advocate for starting with voting on Venomicon-E nerfs as I believe it is the far more dangerous of the two forms. In addition, the slate is far less complicated than that of Venomicon-P as most, if not all changes involve an attack drop and a speed drop compared to the broad spectrum of nerfs present for Venomicon-P. These two mons are essentially two different beasts so I think they should probably also be judged independently of each other overall.

Some minor notes / opinions I have based on Venomicon-E's nerf packages: I'm very pleased that we're definitely nerfing it, but clearly not overnerfing the way we often have in the past. Removing some general speed and attack with still keep Venomicon-E a very potent threat while still providing it some much needed checks. I think I'm the biggest fan of spoo's package only because I think the biggest issue with Venomicon is its ability to set up a Swords Dance and then immediately get a kill. While I'm obviously a fan of USING this set, I can acknowledge that the reason Venomicon-E is so good is because it can set up in the first place. I'm most concerned with Venomicon losing its speed as I think that making it slower doesn't ultimately solve many of its issues of being a hugely potent wallbreaker. That's more or less it here, I'll reserve judgement on Venomicon-P if we decide to nerf that one first, I still have to consider the wide variety of options available.
 
Wouldn't there be a problem is seperating the stat change packages, as one of the requirements when we were making Venomicon was that they would retain the same BST? As an example, there is not a single nerf on Venomicon-E on this slate that does not change its BST, while Venomicon-P has the Earth Power/Scorching Sand swap as an option that has no change in BST. Are we going to reopen this thread for a day to re-adjust how we will change these Prologue submissions to make up for the new BST after the Epilogue poll concludes? If not, I expect that some may vote on Epilogue's changes not based on what changes they want for Epilogue, but rather what changes they want for Prologue that coincide with Epilogue's changes.
 
I guess in case Epilogue ends up with some stat reduction while Prologue does not, we might just dock Prologue's attack of the required amount so that the two BSTs remain equal, which wouldn't do a thing to Prologue.
 

Wulfanator

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Wouldn't there be a problem is seperating the stat change packages, as one of the requirements when we were making Venomicon was that they would retain the same BST? As an example, there is not a single nerf on Venomicon-E on this slate that does not change its BST, while Venomicon-P has the Earth Power/Scorching Sand swap as an option that has no change in BST. Are we going to reopen this thread for a day to re-adjust how we will change these Prologue submissions to make up for the new BST after the Epilogue poll concludes? If not, I expect that some may vote on Epilogue's changes not based on what changes they want for Epilogue, but rather what changes they want for Prologue that coincide with Epilogue's changes.
Apologies for not addressing this. Earlier in the project, there had been talk about TLT handling stat discrepancies. We ultimately avoided it since it directly impacted user submissions, but, in this case, I figured this would be a more appropriate time to implement it. The easiest solution I see is the TLT adjusting the opposing form's weaker offensive stat to maintain BST. It will remove the strain of this crucial flavor element and let the voters focus solely on the competitive implications of each change. If there are objections, we can reopen the thread similar to how stats was handled.
 

Wulfanator

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Moving forward with the original slates. We will be polling Venomicon-Epilogue first. Poll will go up when there is an available mod. Don't be surprised if it is not for a few hours to make the mods' lives easier. Timezones and stuff.

Venomicon-Prologue
No Change
Change 1
Change 2
Change 3
Change 4

- Earth Power
+ Scorching Sands
- 6 Def
- 7 SpA
- 12 SpD
+ 4 Spe
- Nasty Plot
+ Fire Blast
+ Flamethrower
+ 8 Spa
+ 4 Spe

Venomicon-Epilogue
No Change
Change 1
Change 2
Change 3
Change 4

- 8 Atk
- 10 Spe
- 2 Atk
- 16 Spe
- SD
- 8 Atk
- SD
- Coil
- 2 Atk
 

spoo

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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.

Tagging Marty and Kris to please implement, thank you both!
 
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