CAP 31 - Part 17 - Post Play Lookback

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spoo

whip-smart
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CAP 31 So Far

-----

In this stage we will first reflect on the process so far, discussing what we've learned from this process, how this well we have fulfilled its concept, and what impact CAP31 had on the metagame. After that, we will discuss some possible minor tweaks to the product in order to better fulfill our goals. Please follow the Topic Leader's instructions and don't propose any specific changes until they say so.

Changes allowed:

  • Move additions and removals
  • Changes to secondary ability
  • Small stat changes
Changes not allowed

  • Typing changes
  • Changes to primary ability
  • Large stat changes
 

SHSP

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It's been a minute! CAPPL and the Saharaja Playtest have wrapped up, and we have had plenty of data and time to play with CAP's latest creation. Lets take some time to see both how the process held up and how Saharaja has been in the metagame. A few questions:

How successful were we in accomplishing the concept? How does Diamond Storm fit Saharaja and its kit?

How effective is Saharaja's preliminary movepool? Is the mon missing anything? Does it have too much?


This is the first move-centered concept since Equilibra. What did we learn from processes since then that helped here? How was returning to a move-centered concept? What can we take from this process going forward?

Lastly, how is Saharaja's role and position in the metagame? Does it need competitively centered changes? Is it healthy for the meta, or more damaging?
 

dex

En Aften Ved Svanefossen
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How successful were we in accomplishing the concept? How does Diamond Storm fit Saharaja and its kit?

We were super successful. Diamond Storm is a key part of Saharaja's kit and it uses it to devastating effect. We created a mon that takes massive advantage of Diamond Storm's secondary ability and uses Diamond Storm as important coverage.

How effective is Saharaja's preliminary movepool? Is the mon missing anything? Does it have too much?

A bit too effective, in my opinion. It has a pretty insane amount of tools at its disposal, and while it has settled into a main set (quake/storm/SD/spin), this main set has proven to be too powerful, often winning matchups that it would otherwise be negative in. That is not even considering it has tech options like Power Whip to punish Slowbro and Body Press to hit Equilibra. Herein lies the area Saharaja should be changed: its movepool is too effective in too many matchups. I think a nerf to its coverage, that would be removing Power Whip and maybe Body Press, and removing Rapid Spin, which gives it way too much snowballing potential, would be appropriate.

This is the first move-centered concept since Equilibra. What did we learn from processes since then that helped here? How was returning to a move-centered concept? What can we take from this process going forward?

Not to brag, but I think there was a really important and great conversation that happened in the Typing stage about the importance of STAB; I'm really glad that we ended up with a non-Rock typing despite disliking the results at first, as it has shown that STAB is not always necessary depending on the type.

Lastly, how is Saharaja's role and position in the metagame? Does it need competitively centered changes? Is it healthy for the meta, or more damaging?

Saharaja is a fairly easy win condition to fit on most balance/bulky offense teams. It offers a unique set of defensive attributes that justifies its usage as a team's Ground-type, though oftentimes it fits seamlessly alongside other Ground-types. As to if it needs competitively centered changes, I think the answer is a clear "yes". Traditional checks to Ground-types, like Corviknight and Ferrothorn, cannot withstand its Swords Dance-boosted onslaught, and offense has trouble dealing with it not only due to Rapid Spin but also due to its bulk and Diamond Storm's effect. Its snowballing potential is pretty insane, and it has the ability to come in on a number of common mons like Heatran and Tapu Fini. As to if it is healthy for the metagame, I think the answer is, surprisingly, also "yes". The metagame relied heavily on Landorus-T as the SpD Ground-type of choice, and while SpD Garchomp has taken off as of late, Saharaja remains the most specially bulky option out there for your Ground-type consideration, making it a unique, easy-to-use, and fun option for teambuilding. It's also inspired the rise in viability of other mons: Rotom-W, Tangrowth, and Equilibra are all much better now than they were before. I think that, at the end of the day, Saharaja has had a positive influence on the metagame, it just needs to be toned down a bit.
 

Zetalz

Expect nothing, deliver less
is a Pre-Contributor
How successful were we in accomplishing the concept? How does Diamond Storm fit Saharaja and its kit?
I'd say we were successful despite doubts of Diamond Storm lacking purpose without STAB. As is DS is very essential to Raja's gameplan and dropping it for something else feels really bad, which is a good thing! If the intent of the concept was to maximize Diamond Storm there would be room for improvement but thankfully it was not.

How effective is Saharaja's preliminary movepool? Is the mon missing anything? Does it have too much?
As is think we're definitely on the side of having a lil too much fat we can trim off before handing it over to movepool folks. Stuff like Grass coverage (except Horn Leech it's really cool I will die on this hill gdi) and Body Press is pretty superfluous stuff that only lets it fish vs it's counters. Also we shouldn't have allowed Rock Slide/other SG moves to begin with lol. Twave is similarly dumb but it seems popular so idk how people feel on it.

The major thing I wanted to talk about regarding moves though is Rapid Spin. It is unquestionably one of Raja's best moves and gives it a ton of value to be placed on teams, but it's also one of, if not the sole contributor to Raja being yet another snowbally wincon that one has to play around in SS CAP which is lamerino. Without RS Raja doesn't have the same ability to close out games by getting a Speed boost off, but loses out on a lot of it's value to be placed on teams over Lando (which is not a bad thing, merely an observation). As it stands I'm leaning on the side of not removing it because while speed boosting aspect of Raja is annoying it's not super brainless or anything and without it it finds a lot more competition in it's slot. More on that later.

This is the first move-centered concept since Equilibra. What did we learn from processes since then that helped here? How was returning to a move-centered concept? What can we take from this process going forward?
My big takeaway is that there was significantly less doom-saying going on the whole way through. Turns out when you have faith that a good move is in fact good, it turns out good! People were very skeptical that DS as coverage and not being STAB would ever be a staple move but it's positive traits assuaged those fears pretty quickly.

Lastly, how is Saharaja's role and position in the metagame? Does it need competitively centered changes? Is it healthy for the meta, or more damaging?
I think Raja is the the closest to being perfect out of all the gen 8 caps (astro and books overshot, mera and maw undershot). It is only very slightly overbearing and a lot of that I feel still has to to do with usual growing pains of new mons dropping and as usage rates for everything shuffles around. Personally I think we could reasonably walk away from this PPL without nerfing it explicitly and be fine, but in the interest of not having another unhappy incident like pbook getting off scot-free I do think something is in order.

Right now I'm mostly leaning towards stat nerfs of some degree, mostly in the realm of Speed to reduce how easy it is for it to outspeed shit with RS without killing it's main set completely. Not really down for hits to bulk because that's one of it's most desirable elements, an Attack hit I could see to make it less immediately threatening but I'd have to run some numbers first.
 

Brambane

protect the wetlands
is a Contributor Alumnus
How successful were we in accomplishing the concept? How does Diamond Storm fit Saharaja and its kit?

Yes, Diamond Storm is critical coverage and can be used, as designed, to stomach hits from Pokemon like Weavile, Melmetal, and even Ferrothorn if you get the boost. Since Saharaja is principally an attacker, Diamond Storm is essentially required on every set. Even the enticing Rock Slide + Serene Grace combo is eclipsed by Diamond Storm, indicative of our success.

How effective is Saharaja's preliminary movepool? Is the mon missing anything? Does it have too much?


Saharaja's entire movepool could basically be boiled down to 6 moves and the mon would be as viable as it is now: Swords Dance, Rapid Spin, Earthquake, Diamond Storm, Pain Split, and Body Press. Everything else is either gross tech (Power Whip is basically the Argh and Rotom fuck you button, and this mon doesn't need that) or never used. I think we can clear out the fluff in its movepool to make the mon more predictable. Maybe keep Stealth Rock, I have seen rocks Raja like once but that option is nice I suppose.

Body Press is kinda iffy, I would not raise an objection if people wanted it gone, but it basically enables the Serene Grace set which imo should be the only deviation of the bread-and-butter worth entertaining.

What did we learn from processes since then that helped here? How was returning to a move-centered concept? What can we take from this process going forward?

Honestly, I think move-centric concepts are fare superior to ability centric concepts. This one in particular was quite good because it was left extremely open other than the fact we had to be somewhat physically offensive to leverage Diamond Storm. I think a move like Diamond Storm is a much better choice than Doom Desire or even Spirit Shackle; the typing of it works better as coverage which keep things open and interesting. Going forward, move-centric concepts that utilize attacking moves should favor moves that work as either STAB or coverage. It leads to a better typing stage.

Lastly, how is Saharaja's role and position in the metagame? Does it need competitively centered changes? Is it healthy for the meta, or more damaging?


Camel is bulky ground that also remove da hazards and also sweep da endgame. Or you SD and start chonking Ferrothorn. It's honestly a nice compression mon in builder; its a buffer against a lot of threats, while also slotting removal and a win-con together. That is its strongest aspect. Camel can do so many things with the same set that you can play it however you need to depending on the match-up. Despite being fairly predictable (outside of the weird tech shit we gave it, which should be axed anyways) it has a lot of flexibility in-game.

The cleaner/sweeper part is where my issue with camel mostly lies. How many times have we seen camel SD and spin to win? It is digustingly good at this since its so tanky. It works well as a double dancer, almost reminds me of old school Groudon sets lol. I think camel needsbulk and removal in its kit somehow, that is a big part of why its competitive with the other Ground-types in the meta, but mitigating how easily it can run away with games after a Spin would be nice.
 

Da Pizza Man

Pizza Time
is a Pre-Contributor
How successful were we in accomplishing the concept? How does Diamond Storm fit Saharaja and its kit?

We most certainly accomplished the concept with Saharaja, despite a lot of doubts that were going on due to the lack of STAB on Diamond Storm. Diamond Storm's main use is that it functions are fairly important coverage whose secondary effect gives us a lot of potential to snowball during a match.

How effective is Saharaja's preliminary movepool? Is the mon missing anything? Does it have too much?


Saharaja's movepool is just an overstuffed turkey right now. A lot of the status moves (Leech Seed, Thunder Wave, Taunt) and Serene Grace moves (Rock Slide, Poison Jab) see absolutely no use and removing these entirely would have zero competitive impact, and I think it would be a good idea to consider removing them just to keep its competitive movepool a lot more focused than it is right now. On the flip side of things, Grass coverage and Body Press need to go, they don't really provide anything to the mon apart from just turning it into a matchup fish. I would also like to talk about Rapid Spin, but I think my thoughts on that are better left for my answer for a different question.

This is the first move-centered concept since Equilibra. What did we learn from processes since then that helped here? How was returning to a move-centered concept? What can we take from this process going forward?

I wasn't around for Equilibra's process so I can't really give a proper answer to this question unfortunately. I think the best thing I can really say is that this is a good lesson in that having trust in the process is going to get us a better result, since there was a lot less doom posting this time around.

Lastly, how is Saharaja's role and position in the metagame? Does it need competitively centered changes? Is it healthy for the meta, or more damaging?


Saharaja basically functions like a bulkier version of Swords Dance Excadrill. It's a bulky ground that removes hazards and also functions as a very good late game sweeper thanks to double dancing. I would consider it to be fairly healthy in its current state for the most part, as I like that it's presence makes Landorus-Therian feel a lot less mandatory when building, and having a Ground-type rapid spinner that isn't weak to fighting is a pretty big boon for the meta as well. That being said, in addition to what I said about trimming off its move pool, I do think that we should look into reducing its speed, as Saharaja just feels like it's way too fast after it gets even just a single Rapid Spin off. I think that -12 Speed would work fairly nicely, as it allows Dragapult and Modest Choice Scarf Tapu Lele to outspeed us even when we are at +1 Speed, while at the same time still allowing us to outspeed Heatran even when unboosted. This also indirectly addresses the issue of bulk that a lot of people were having, since just barely being able to outspeed Heatran with max speed investment gives Saharaja a lot less freedom to invest in bulk. That being said, I would be opposed to the removal of Rapid Spin, since I think that Saharaja adds a lot to the tier with hazard removal.
 
CAP 31 So Far

-----

In this stage we will first reflect on the process so far, discussing what we've learned from this process, how this well we have fulfilled its concept, and what impact CAP31 had on the metagame. After that, we will discuss some possible minor tweaks to the product in order to better fulfill our goals. Please follow the Topic Leader's instructions and don't propose any specific changes until they say so.

Changes allowed:

  • Move additions and removals
  • Changes to secondary ability
  • Small stat changes
Changes not allowed

  • Typing changes
  • Changes to primary ability
  • Large stat changes
ratio

How successful were we in accomplishing the concept? How does Diamond Storm fit Saharaja and its kit?
Diamond Storm is both near-mandatory on Saharaja and one of its best tools; having strong Rock coverage alongside STAB Earthquake and Swords Dance lets it remain threating versus much of the metagame. It's also important to note that Diamond Storm has a lot of intrinsic pressure when it comes to playing around Raja, as the Defense boost can often screw with short-term gameplans, and preventing those situations where it wants to hit your side of the field SE with Diamond Storm is something I find myself doing a lot versus it. This move works wonders for our CAP: it's not only effective in providing ample coverage, but also gives Saharaja a unique identity as an offensive threat capable of gaining an sudden edge over the opponent simply by letting it attack.

How effective is Saharaja's preliminary movepool? Is the mon missing anything? Does it have too much?
SD+Spin EQ+DS is honestly the only thing Saharaja needs to succeed. The compression here is incredible: almost perfect coverage for the metagame, highly dangerous late-game potential with your three different boosting moves, and an additional layer of utility from Rapid Spin clearing hazards, all wrapped up in a useful Ground typing, excellent Special Defense, and a valuable Water immunity. I don't think there's anything else you could add that would realistically help the mon in its current state without likewise tipping it over the edge.

I would say that this movepool is a bit bloated. There's a couple matchup-fishy options and some genuinely dumb stuff that both shouldn't be used and I don't want to face the possibility of my opponent using. Power Whip is the most significant of these moves: Arghonaut and Levitate Equilibra are two of the best checks to this mon, and Power Whip provides an very targeted way of blowing past both of them: max PhyDef Argh can fall to Whip if even slightly chipped, and Equilibra relies a lot of hardwalling the EQ + DS set to force Raja out. I would like to preserve these two as strong checks, since they are innately available to the CAP Metagame going forward. Horn Leech is more modest in power and only starts breaking Argh with hazards up if you go Adamant + Life Orb, which is a rather specific set.

screw it tabvle time, here's my opinions on everything that isn't the standard set. potentially contentious stuff marked as (?)
Mandatory moves we don't have the ability to removeMoves that are balanced secondary/tech options or inoffensiveMoves that are unnecessary competitive bloat, but not super dangerousMoves that disturb balance or offer nothing positive competitively
Protect
Rest
Sleep Talk
Substitute
Attract
Endure
Round
Snore
Body Press
Heal Bell
Pain Split
Stealth Rock
Horn Leech
Leech Seed
Poison Jab
Sucker Punch(?)
Taunt(?)
Power Whip
Thunder Wave(?)

I would be fine with everything on the right side of the table being axed. Horn Leech, Poison Jab, and Sucker Punch are unneeded coverage I'd rather not give spoo/D2/Brambane the pleasure of beating me with, Taunt IDK how to feel about but it's probably safer to not have, Leech Seed is just kinda dumb, and Thunder Wave has no place on this mon.

Body Press does let you bypass Libra but does almost nothing otherwise, compared to Whip which helps versus other bulky Waters and Grounds while directly benefiting from Swords Dance. Heal Bell is rather awkward to fit on the mon IMO, Pain Split makes defensive sets cool, and Stealth Rock is appreciated. None of those four stand out as problematic to me.

You may have noticed Rock Slide is not present. I will discuss Rock Slide later.

How was returning to a move-centered concept? What can we take from this process going forward?
This was a rather monumental process and I'm glad I was able to contribute as much as I did to its development up to this point. Going into our concept I don't think any of us envisioned our chosen move being both an Attacking move and not STAB, but by God we did it and it's made a really fun and I'd say generally healthy addition to the metagame.

I think the biggest takeaway here is that out-of-the-box ideas for a concept are not only viable, but also creatively refreshing. We absolutely could have gone the obvious "Diamond Storm is a good STAB move for a type with zero good STAB moves on the Physical side" route and made a Rock-type, and I don't doubt such a creation would have been just as good if not better than what we have, but Saharaja is a mighty fine CAP in spite of its unintuitive direction and the value this information brings is more than anything we'd have learned from a Rock-type. I guess I feel like CAP31 showed that there's many different avenues to approach a question of "how could we best utilize a given move:" making it our strongest and most defining move may be one route, but so is having it be a complimentary piece to a greater whole.

Lastly, how is Saharaja's role and position in the metagame? Does it need competitively centered changes? Is it healthy for the meta, or more damaging?
Well it's as simple as having a Ground-type in the metagame that does important Ground-type things is cool: we relied a lot on god Lando-T to keep everything sensible prior as most of the other Grounds available really struggled into popular Electrics and failed to fill teambuilding holes like Lando could. Saharaja has given the old man a break for the first time since DLC2 dropped. You've got this fat SpDef Ground that does well into Electric-types without being overtly passive, retains the ability to clear hazards (though not as easily/safely as Lando can), and even provides a crucial Water Immunity that lets you do dumb stuff like stack certain Grounds on the same team without much detriment to composition.

I don't consider Saharaja to be perfectly balanced, but the goal wasn't to get things 100% right from the start, that's what PPL is for. I would like to spend time going over some options to tone down Raja's strength, it would be rather silly to let another obviously strong and dangerous mon go unchanged even if we like what it's offering right now.

One of the most pressing matters is Rapid Spin. Spin is fantastic on Saharaja: its a move it gets to use selfishly to boost its own Speed, which only makes the potency of Swords Dance and your Ground/Rock coverage even higher, but also provides an additional layer of team support in the same slot when attempting a +2 Attack +1 Speed assault isn't yet possible or worthwhile. This move is a vital part of Saharaja's success: while Diamond Storm provides great synergy to its kit, Rapid Spin is the selling point. There have been concerns that this combination of SD + Speed Boosting + random Defense boosts from Diamond Storm is overwhelming: the raw power of this combo is something we figured out pretty early on in testing, and it's remained true months later. When Raja gets going it can be really hard to stop, with only a handful of Pokemon able to Revenge Kill in these scenarios. Yes, it does take three turns to get there, but its not a hard sequence to come by if you make a smart read on your opponent and force them into an awkward situation.

There's two main ways of addressing the Rapid Spin problem:
  1. Remove it so Saharaja has to rely solely on Attack and Diamond Storm boosts to sweep
  2. Lower Speed to the point where a single Rapid Spin isn't enough to reliably outpace the metagame
I wouldn't be happy with the first option unless we gave it Defog in compensation. I know some people aren't going to like the idea of Defog on Saharaja thematically considering the association with Flying-types or other airborne/winged Pokemon, but there's a sizeable list of exceptions to this rule.
:conkeldurr::xerneas::volcanion::lurantis::skuntank:
All of these learn Defog and it's not really clear to me why, and there's a couple other oddballs I didn't even include. If you wanted precedent for Raja to learn Defog, I don't think it gets better than these otherwise completely unrelated Pokemon all sharing the move. I can't say how good the move would be in place of Rapid Spin but I wouldn't want to remove its strongest team support option outside of setting Rocks. As for Speed, I know we're not at the point of suggesting changes outright, but gosh -12 Speed works so well. Da Pizza Man summed up prior discussion on the change and there's nothing else I can really add other than how precisely perfect it is relative to Speed tiers.


Next, there's probably some room to reduce Attack or Defense. Everyone seems pretty happy with our Special Tankiness (spdef ground stocks only going higher), so there's not a good reason to touch HP or SpDef. I don't really have exact numbers down: Saharaja has very customizable EVs so I think just knocking things down a peg would do well enough, something like idk -5 Attack -10 Def or vice-versa would probably be nice, maybe less if combined with a the Speed nerf. Just enough to keep it a bit more inline with the power level of the metagame, as its stat are genuinely incredible.


I also want to talk about Serene Grace for a bit (read: four paragraphs), and in accordance Rock Slide. I will admit to being eternally tilted after losing to Serene Grace Rock Slide during Playtest after requesting a substitute when I actually didn't have to. Still, it begs questioning: Is Serene Grace adding much of anything to Saharaja's niche in the metagame? I don't really think so. You are able to bluff Water Absorb rather convincingly because who wouldn't run it, so it's not a huge detriment to slot in even if running the usual set: a 50% chance is relatively common to proc multiple times in a row for Pokemon standards, and you won't always be using the move often enough for people to get suspicious. There is nice reassurance in knowing that Diamond Storm will boost if the move connects, as it can allow for specific gameplans to work out in your favor where Water Absorb may fail.

I'm mostly arguing that this small benefit of Serene Grace isn't really worth the uncompetitive side of the issue, which is the combination of Swords Dance + Rock Slide. Saharaja is unique among SG mons: it's got a combination of Speed, Attack, and bulk nothing really compares to, and atm still has Rapid Spin to let it outrun other fast mons and a strong EQ that's not really going anywhere. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth: I'm not as much of a fan of the bluffing aspect of Serene Grace as I was before, because its such an abstract thing to scout for, and I'm definitely not a fan of a ~54% chance to be flinched down by such a strong and bulky Pokemon.

The easy solution would be cutting Rock Slide, but that runs into the issue of precedent: there's no fully-evolved Ground-types that don't learn Rock Slide except for two: Wormadam-Sandy and Ursaluna. The latter is exclusive to Legends: Arceus which is a side-series game (Ursaring even learns Rock Slide naturally so what gives), and the former is just... weird with its multiple forms. I guess Wormadam could be enough on its own and I'd be for it, otherwise the only messy thing with Serene Grace is the difficulty in telling if its in play or not, and that's simply too little to care about: it could just mean that I predict Saharaja to switch out as I click Hydro but then it stays in and dies and the VC pops off.

If people aren't comfortable with cutting Rock Slide however because of how ubiquitous it is with Ground-type identity, I am in support of finding a suitable replacement for Serene Grace that maybe sorta has a niche but is greatly overshadowed by the strength of Water Absorb, preferably something easier to notice and subsequently play around.
 

spoo

whip-smart
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Mostly echoing others in saying that Saharaja fulfilled concept extremely well. I think if we swapped out Diamond Storm for Stone Edge, Saharaja would still be quite strong, but the +2 Defense is incredibly important to deny revenge killers after positioning itself for a sweep and is a large reason why the mon is as good as it is. Saharaja's preliminary movepool is obviously quite effective, too; arguably, Rapid Spin is more notable here than even the move we chose to design around. It has settled into a very strong and consistent moveset while still having room to branch out, which is an excellent place to be. Some of the fat can definitely be trimmed, though - coverage like Sucker Punch, Grass-type options, Poison Jab, Body Press, utility like Heal Bell/Leech Seed, etc shouldn't all be there. It's hard to argue for the removal of these options when they don't really see use and are clearly "balanced" tools. Still, they're broadly unnecessary and some (not all!) should definitely go. Pain Split, Body Press, and maybe Stealth Rock and Taunt are the moves I would like to see kept, while the rest are pretty irrelevant to me.

On the topic of Saharaja's competitive balance, it is much too strong right now. That said, it is also very healthy in my eyes. Any good alternative to Landorus-T is extremely welcome and Saharaja adds a great and truly unique flavor to the tier. I think the combination of Rapid Spin + SD (especially the former) is the root cause of its undue strength, but getting rid of either is a poor idea; Raja absolutely needs SD to be able to make any real progress, and I truly believe Spin is the main reason we have seen Raja at literally #1 usage, even if the mon isn't necessarily the most reliable hazard remover. The role compression of SpD Ground + Removal is largely what enabled Lando to be as good as it was for so long and is also what has enabled Raja to even compete in the same ballpark as Landorus. Saharaja has a very clear niche right now and I believe we should just make it slightly less powerful in this niche instead of disrupting it altogether by changing its moveset. Stat nerfs are my preferred route here, and I think Speed/Attack/bulk (or some combination) are all valid areas to hit.
 

Rabia

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look at rabia being right about this mon being broken wow incredible job me!

I think Saharaja fits insanely well into the format. It's a fantastic glue Pokemon that makes team building easier by virtue of how much it offers; it's just got so much going for it. I think where it's over-tuned is movepool: it has a few too many tools, many of which it never (or rarely) uses anyway.

Moves like Power Whip, Poison Jab, Sucker Punch, Leech Seed, Heal Bell, and Thunder Wave should probably go. Power Whip isn't really used but messes with checks and counters enough to where I'd rather we nuke it anyway to narrow the guessing game down. Similarly, Poison Jab is very much just there and doesn't really add a whole lot of anything, and Sucker Punch seemed cool at the time but ends up being wildly impractical because it targets truly nothing at all. Meanwhile the utility moves listed above are also just not seen because there's no good reason to use them.

I disagree that Rapid Spin should be removed as some have suggested. I don't think Saharaja's snowballing power is too much as it stands, and given how bulky setup sets are stronger and more common as it stands, I feel we'd be looking at the wrong variant of setup camel. If the standard set is viewed as too much, I'd instead argue for a slight nerf to special bulk so that Saharaja isn't living rent-free in the heads of Pokemon like Dragapult and offensive Zapdos.
 
If we're trying to nerf Saharaja, I don't see the point in removing its niche moves. Removing moves like Poison Jab and Sucker Punch do nothing to actually fix Saharaja, and I don't think it's something to focus on considering removing them does nothing to change how it plays or how stupid its snowball potential is. It just feels like a distraction from Saharaja's real issues to me. I mean, you didn't see people clamoring for Imprison to be removed when Epilogue was getting its first nerf.

That being said, there is a move that I think there is merit in removing, and that is Swords Dance. Swords Dance is, IMO, its most unhealthy quality. Saharaja has a lot of good qualities in the metagame, being a Rapid Spinner in a tier with few Spinners is really nice, it's a Ground type that can actually take on Electric types in part due to its good bulk, and being immune to both Electric and Water is cool. Those are all really valuable qualities. But there is nothing positive about Swords Dance. It just makes for another cheesy setup sweeper and we already have plenty of those. Swords Dance is responsible for its insane snowball potential, its what helps it break through Ferrothorn, and it allows it to have three separate boosting moves all on the same set. I don't think Saharaja would be bad without Swords Dance too, it's still a bulky Ground type that is able to take on Electric types well, as well as Water types, something the other good Ground types could only dream of, and it would still provide a bulky spinner in a tier where the only other relevant spinner is Equilibra. I think it has enough good qualities to be able to get by without Swords Dance, but removing Swords Dance would make it easier to handle defensively.

If not that, however, I also like Da Pizza Man's -12 Speed suggestion, it hits some notable benchmarks that make it easier to handle offensively, though it admittedly does nothing to make it easier to handle defensively.
 
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Zetalz

Expect nothing, deliver less
is a Pre-Contributor
Having a think about specific stat nerfs, found some values I think are interesting.

Everyone on board with stat nerfs agrees for the most that we likely needed a combination of hits to at least 2 of Rajas attributes between power/bulk/speed but so far the only specific value for stat nerf given was -12 speed, so I started from there and worked forward based on other suggestions in the thread. Keep in mind I attempted to be conservative as not to overly diminish things.

I'm really not a fan of hitting Raja's Attack or coming after SD, going after either I think pushes it too far away from the offensive direction it's currently leaning, so with Speed already taking a hit in this scenario I took a look at some bulk numbers. For my purposes I used a spread of 92 HP / 252 Atk / 164 Spe Jolly, as it is a close approximation of it's current set, and without being able to outspeed Pult/Zera at +1 anymore the next most relevant benchmark becomes Weavile (Koko isn't real it can't hurt you).

Staring with SpDef, -10 pretty succinctly adds some more breathing room to checking Raja on the Special side without deeply cutting into the value it's SpDef provides. Offensive Zapdos is now guaranteed to 2hko with Hurricane after rocks, and Specs Pult has a much higher chance of 2HKOing with Sball, and Specs Lele is more likely to OHKO with Psychic.
130 SpDef
152+ SpA Zapdos Hurricane vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja: 144-169 (47.3 - 55.5%) -- 76.6% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Shadow Ball vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja: 130-154 (42.7 - 50.6%) -- 2% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Choice Specs Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja in Psychic Terrain: 252-297 (82.8 - 97.6%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

120 SpDef (-10)
152+ SpA Zapdos Hurricane vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja: 153-181 (50.3 - 59.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Shadow Ball vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja: 141-166 (46.3 - 54.6%) -- 59.8% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Choice Specs Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja in Psychic Terrain: 270-318 (88.8 - 104.6%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

Physdef was a little more awkward to find a satisfying number having to take into account both boosted and unboosted Raja, but -8 Def did stand out. Lando EQ becomes a guaranteed 2hko on unboosted Raja (high change even without Rocks), Ferro has a 30% chance to OHKO with whip unboosted where previously it had no chance, and on the boosted side of things Kart now has a chance to OHKO with Leaf Blade after rocks (low but it's there).
105 Def
0 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 92 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 144-169 (47.3 - 55.5%) -- 17.6% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 92 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 144-169 (47.3 - 55.5%) -- 76.6% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. 92 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 236-278 (77.6 - 91.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Leaf Blade vs. +2 92 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 237-281 (77.9 - 92.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

97 Def (-8)

0 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 92 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 153-181 (50.3 - 59.5%) -- 80.9% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 92 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 153-181 (50.3 - 59.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. 92 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 254-300 (83.5 - 98.6%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Leaf Blade vs. +2 92 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 252-299 (82.8 - 98.3%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
There's almost certainly more things I could take into account but these were just what I thought of initially, wouldn't mind hearing some more suggestions for the physical side of things.

All in all this combined with the aforementioned -12 Speed nerf would lower Raja's overall BST by -30, putting it down to 550. It sounds like an unnecessarily large hit on paper but considering how high Raja's BST was to begin with (you're welcome!) in practice I think this would be a satisfying level of nerf. Of course a big grain of salt should be taken as there is the distinct possibility the set I used as a baseline doesn't end up becoming standard, if people decide to swing full-offensive or run more tanky variants it could heavily skew these proposed numbers one way or the other.
 

SHSP

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Moderator
Thanks everyone for the commentary! Was super insightful to hear about what everyone has thought about Raja, its tools, process, and its position in the metagame. With this post I wanna zero in on some of the competitive suggestions and start letting yall put together slates of tone-down nerfs for our favorite camel.

Taken from thread, I've noticed support for the following major suggestions:

-Removal of Rapid Spin
-Removal of Swords Dance
-Lowering of Speed
-Lowering of Bulk (Spdef, HP, Def, some combination of the three)
-Lowering of Attack


When it comes to stat nerfs, there have been some numbers thrown around already (-12 Speed, -10 Spdef, -8 Def), but I want to leave this as open to the community as possible to come up with whatever suggestions you'd like to come up with, so I'm keeping to letting you submit your own stat change proposals.

In addition, there has also been a lot of attention put onto the lesser used moves in Saharaja's kit, and their status. I'll group those here separately, as they are somewhat less impactful suggestions to the major or primary set:

-Body Press
-Horn Leech
-Power Whip
-Leech Seed
-Poison Jab
-Sucker Punch
-Rock Slide (noting with this one that it stands a bit apart from the other moves listed here due to Serene Grace possibilities)
-Thunder Wave
-Heal Bell
-Taunt


I'm going to keep this thread open to submissions for a while, and I'll give updates on timing as they come. For now, I'm interested to see what you all come up with!
 
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Zetalz

Expect nothing, deliver less
is a Pre-Contributor

Pictured above; Zetalz after witnessing what his stat spread has wrought

Major Nerfs

-13 Defense (105 > 92)
-10 Special Defense (130 > 120)
-12 Speed (90 > 78)
-35 BST (580 > 545)


Mostly the same stat nerfs from my last post but notably with a little extra cut out of Defense. -8 was okay enough for giving Ferro & Kart even a chance to OHKO an unboosted/boosted Raja respectively, but the chances were low. Subtracting an additional 5 gives both of them a coin flip or better to grab the KO. Also means Lando EQ is always a 2HKO unboosted regardless of hazards/chip. Speed and SpDef are the same as before, opening up more opportunity for Special breakers to get past it and prevents it from outspeeding the entire tier at +1.


Minor Nerfs

-Power Whip, Leech Seed, Sucker Punch, Rock Slide, Thunder Wave


These are the moves I feel are problematic enough to cut, or at the very least not worthy of keeping before moving on to movepool. Individual thoughts as follows.

Power Whip & Leech Seed: Tbh I'm not really a big hater of Whip but there's been enough of a hullabaloo about how it lets it break Argh by people so I kinda defer to the crowd on that one. Horn Leech I did not include because they are fundamentally different. Horn Leech is the same power as EQ into neutral targets, it's main use is giving Camel sustain while accruing chip damage and not solely for breaking through would be checks like Argh. Leech Seed is mainly just for fat-trimming purposes since out of the 3 weird grass moves the mon gets I believe Horn Leech to be the least problematic of the bunch. (also it's based and epic and I will fight on this hill until my dying breath)

Sucker Punch, Rock Slide & T-Wave: These really only enable cheesy and/or fishy strats, a headache waiting to happen for everyone. Rock Slide is the most egregious of these by-far, I don't care if it's not consistent or particularly viable I ain't tryna get paraslided to death lol (Brambane is still in the infirmary from what snake_rattler did to him). Sucker is something I pushed on I think single-handedly lol but in practice it's not particularly usable considering what is required of Raja on most teams, so it's become another sort of fishing tool we can do without. T-Wave is a mixed bag, some enjoy status spreading utility and some don't. I personally find myself a bit on the side of not caring for it, Raja already has one strong method of speed control and focusing on that I think would be better for it.
 
hi

Nerf Package:
Code:
New stats: 70/115/87/65/130/78
-5 Attack
-18 Defense
-12 Speed

Move removals:
Power Whip, Leech Seed, Thunder Wave, Rock Slide, Poison Jab, Sucker Punch, Taunt,


I think it's fitting that Zeta and I have similar ideas here given we had basically the same preliminary spread.

Saharaja is honestly a very customizable mon so I didn't feel bad dropping its stats so much. I like keeping SpDef the same, as its one of Raja's greatest benefits to teams and the metagame, and letting people lean into that as much as they can now feels appropriate. The other stat reductions are a sort of stealth nerf to our Special bulk anyhow, since investing in other stats is going to feel more necessary. As an example, 160 Speed on the current spread lets you outrun Weavile after Spin without requiring an extra 4 EVs and a positive nature, unlike 78 Speed, meaning you can't further bolster either Attack or Special Defense.

On that note -12 Speed is hella based and I shouldn't have to explain why any further.

The Attack drop is largely done under this reasoning: less base stats means more dedication to reach benchmarks means greater sacrifices elsewhere. I didn't want to bring Attack too low since having a strong Ground is useful, but felt a little trimming wouldn't hurt. 115 Attack means that, without any EVs or Nature, you cannot 2HKO Slowbro with Swords Dance boosted Earthquake, making it a safer check, and it also happens to prevent +2 EQ OHKO on Kartana after Spikes damage, which is neat I guess.

-18 Defense is a heavy bulk cut, with the primary goal of applying yet more strain on our EV spread and increasing reliance on Diamond Storm to 1v1 against Physical attackers.

For 252 HP Saharaja this makes the Lando matchup a lot trickier
(0 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 168-198 (48.8 - 57.5%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery)

After doing some math, it also allows CB Weavile to OHKO 252 HP Raja after a Diamond Storm boost.

Ice Shard 17.4 - 20.9%
Iron Tail 33.7 - 40.1%
V-create 49.4 - 59.3%

17.4 + 33.7 + 49.4 = 100.5
(god i hope they make triple axel work properly in the calc one day)

Obviously these are arbitrary EV amounts but the idea was that if you wanted to run maximum SpDef Saharaja you'd start running into these sorts of problems. I think the more you need to cut losses and forfeit certain matchups, the better for having solid counterplay, and as long as Raja keeps the whole "fat specially defensive ground with snowball potential and additional hazard control" niche it's going to continue being a great asset to the metagame.



Move removals are pretty straightforward, it's largely the list I had before except I now realize that 2x Horn Leech is as strong as Earthquake thank you cappers for teaching me basic math. Everything else is either too volatile or too weird for me to keep, in the case of Thunder Wave both actually. Rock Slide seems to have been given the okay in terms of getting axed, and without it Serene Grace is a fine if somewhat cheeky secondary ability for the spitfires of the world.

Okay I've made three posts today it's 1:26 AM I need to go to bed
 

spoo

whip-smart
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I think Saharaja's offensive potential as a wincon is the most problematic feature of the mon and is what I'd like to see toned back. "Checks" like Ferrothorn and Landorus-T are often quite poor in practice because of how quickly they can become overwhelmed in the face of offensive SD sets; Raja really has no right breaking past these Pokemon as easily as it does, so I believe a minor Attack nerf is in order, ideally something between -5 and -10. A nerf to Speed is also directly relevant to this goal of making Saharaja less potent as a wincon. In addition to +2 EdgeQuake packing a bit more punch than I think we'd want, Raja's ability to outspeed Koko, Zera, and especially Dragapult after +1 Speed means it finds itself in winning positions way too often. -12 Speed has been suggested a few times and I think it's pretty clean here.

I don't love the idea of cutting bulk, especially physical bulk. As I said, I think the root issue is Raja's offensive potential, not it being too useful defensively or something to that effect. Raja's status as a strong, role compressing bulky Ground-type (emphasis on bulky) is largely why the mon is generally seen as positive for the metagame despite its faults. Its comparatively low Defense to other Ground-types like Lando/Garchomp already means Raja team structures are fairly susceptible to being Zeraora'd, and while this isn't the most common offensive Electric right now by any means, I think nerfing Defense – and thereby putting a greater burden on Saharaja's teammates to make up for its Zera weakness, a mon you traditionally rely on your Ground slot to answer – kind of diminishes the teambuilding glue aspect that people seem to love about the mon. If we want to make it easier to revenge kill, cutting Speed will already factor into this. I wouldn't argue against a small SpD nerf, maybe around -5/10, but aside from that I think our nerf budget is best spent elsewhere. Any nerf that goes beyond a total of -20/25 BST is probably too much for our purposes; Raja really doesn't need all that much taken away, it's just winning a few too many games by itself right now.
 
Nerf Package:
- Leech Seed
- Swords Dance
- Thunder Wave
+ Morning Sun

This buff aims to tone down Saharaja's unhealthy snowballing offensive qualities while preserving its good defensive qualities. I already talked about the benefits of cutting Swords Dance and the impact it currently has earlier in the thread, so I won't say too much about it here. Basically, the removal of Swords Dance makes it much easier to check defensively, it can't just set up on everyone's face and sweep the game anymore, and Ferrothorn becomes an actual issue for it.

However, Saharaja's good bulk is what makes it so valuable. Its special bulk helps set it apart from Landorus-Therian, and its physical bulk, while not amazing, lets it check Zeraora better than Equilibra or Colossoil ever could. Its bulk is a really good trait, and I fear that gutting it too much could send Landorus-Therian right back to 50% usage.

That being said, there have been concerns that removing Swords Dance is also too large of a buff, and they're understandable. Which is where Morning Sun comes in. It turns Saharaja from a cheesy snowball to a defensive glue mon. I figured a 16 PP Recovery move has the potential to be too much, so I settled on 8 PP. No other Ground type in the meta has 50% recovery move (except Gastrodon but do we really count that), so it would certainly be able to see usage over other Ground types.

I'm not really into removing fat moves just for the sake of removing them, but I removed Leech Seed and Thunder Wave since I think there is risk they could replace Diamond Storm on defensive sets.

Saharaja @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
- Earthquake
- Diamond Storm
- Rapid Spin / Stealth Rock
- Morning Sun

This particular set is physically defensive but you could mix the EV's around if you want a specially defense set or mixed.

The goal here is to make sure Saharaja still has a place in the metagame, as in still in the A ranks, and ensuring Landorus-Therian still isn't the most used Pokemon (though that does not mean Saharaja would be the most used either), while making it less of an offensive nightmare and easier to check. I think it's very important that Saharaja isn't nerfed too hard, as the metagame needs it, Ground types were pretty scare before the Saharaja meta and overall I think it is more valuable than harmful.
 
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If you want to nerf Attack I would suggest the following nerf instead because the attack is very useful for Diamond Storm:

-Earthquake +Land's Wrath

100 BP is stronger than 90 BP and thus this is an effective nerf.

trust.

---

I guess this reads a little too much like a shitpost (it was one for Thousand Arrows until I saw the light) so I'll try to add onto the post a bit. Personally I'm a fan of approaching this nerf this way instead of nerfing Attack because:
  • The extra Diamond Storm damage is useful against stuff like Weavile and Zapdos, and I believe this is probably an aspect worth keeping for the best EdgeQuake user in the metagame.
  • It still does a lot of the same things as the Attack nerfs I've seen for Earthquake damage, Kartana isn't OHKOed (u need 8 Def though, big deal), Slowbro takes comfortably less to where it's able to just Teleport and take the Regenerator recovery and come back in later if that's called for.
  • For max rolls there's also a big difference between doing 30 and 33 to Arghonaut with Stealth Rock and 1/2 layers of Spikes up.
Along this nerf I would definitely like to see either a Speed nerf if you wish to maintain Rapid Spin, and otherwise just removing Rapid Spin. Not sure about compensating with Defog because Saharaja is really really good at removing and it genuinely doesn't need to be doing it to be great.

Definitely agree with trimming down its movepool too, stuff like Power Whip, Taunt, Heal Bell, Thunder Wave, etc. just gives it too many options that can make it a bit of a headache.

Not sure if Land's Wrath is even legal but I was told it was ok so.
 
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Brambane

protect the wetlands
is a Contributor Alumnus
MAJOR CHANGES
- Rapid Spin
+ Defog
+ Rock Polish

MINOR CHANGES
- Power Whip
- Sucker Punch
- Thunder Wave
- Leech Seed
- Poison Jab
- Rock Slide


Saharaja's issue is it has too good a stat spread for SD + Spin, or SD + Spin is too good for its spread. Its really a matter of perspective of which one you want to preserve. I personally like the camel's absolute stat ball. The spread is super synergistic with Diamond Storm, as it was designed to be during the stats stage, and the bulk is enough uninvested that Raja provides a good defensive buffer while maintaining offensive presence. But this also means its bulky enough to set-up SDa and sweep after a Rapid Spin boost, or bulky enough to just spin away hazards consistently in most games. The camel can do both, and do both very well as displayed in CAPPL.

This change means Saharaja can't fit hazard control and speed control on the same set. To borrow from the Venomicon thread, I think this makes the camel a more "intelligent mon" that requires a lot more team planning and mindful play. Right now its really, really easy to slot camel onto teams for the combination of utility, Speed, and offensive presence it brings to the table. I want to nerf camel by taking away its ridiculous role compression, while keeping the fantastic stats.

I am okay with keeping Horn Leech and Body Press, since together they make AV Camel kind of feasible. I don't think Body Press was ever super egregious; its a viable tech and lure option that sometimes whiffs unless you use Serene Grace. And that itself has its own costs, but makes the mon more interesting because of it! I do think we can cut a lot of the fluff that never gets used, as well as Argh-slaying Power Whip. Rock Slide is also kind of bogus and just distracts from more interesting (and less cheesy) sets.
 

Da Pizza Man

Pizza Time
is a Pre-Contributor
Nerf Package:
- 20 Defense
- 12 Speed
- Power Whip, Body Press, Poison Jab, Rock Slide, Leech Seed, Thunder Wave, Sucker Punch, Taunt


(New Stats: 70/120/85/65/130/78, 548 BST)

- 20 Defense: This turns Ferrothorn into a much more reliable check, as it now has the ability to always OHKO uninvested/unboosted Saharaja with Power Whip, and even after a Diamond Storm boost it still has a pretty good chance to 2HKO.

0 Atk Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Saharaja: 282-332 (100.3 - 118.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
0 Atk Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. +2 0 HP / 4 Def Saharaja: 140-168 (49.8 - 59.7%) -- 78.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

- 12 Speed: Minimum Speed needed to outspeed Timid Heatran. We all know what this does.

Move Removals:

- Power Whip & Body Press: Grouping these two together for the exact same reason. They are just extremely fishy moves that don't really provide anything positive to Saharaja. I think everyone here is on board with the idea of cutting Power Whip for this reason, but I think Body Press is also guilty to an extent since it just prevents Equilibra from really doing a good job at checking us (In it's current state +2 Body Press always 2HKOes Equilibra and even with my proposed Defense nerf it just feels like it's creating an unnecessary gamble for both players). Saharaja fulfills its concept just fine without Body Press anyways, so we aren't really compromising anything by removing it.

+2 4 Def Saharaja Body Press vs. 252 HP / 100 Def Equilibra: 226-266 (55.3 - 65.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 4 Def Saharaja Body Press vs. 252 HP / 100 Def Equilibra: 188-222 (46 - 54.4%) -- 54.3% chance to 2HKO

- Rock Slide: Serene Grace Rock Slide on something that can boost its speed is the epitome of uncompetitive, we should get rid of this asap.

- Everything else: Pretty much just random moves that Saharaja isn't going to be using to any meaningful capacity anyways.
 
hi

Nerf Package:
Code:
New stats: 70/115/87/65/130/78
-5 Attack
-18 Defense
-12 Speed

Move removals:
Power Whip, Leech Seed, Thunder Wave, Rock Slide, Poison Jab, Sucker Punch, Taunt,


I think it's fitting that Zeta and I have similar ideas here given we had basically the same preliminary spread.

Saharaja is honestly a very customizable mon so I didn't feel bad dropping its stats so much. I like keeping SpDef the same, as its one of Raja's greatest benefits to teams and the metagame, and letting people lean into that as much as they can now feels appropriate. The other stat reductions are a sort of stealth nerf to our Special bulk anyhow, since investing in other stats is going to feel more necessary. As an example, 160 Speed on the current spread lets you outrun Weavile after Spin without requiring an extra 4 EVs and a positive nature, unlike 78 Speed, meaning you can't further bolster either Attack or Special Defense.

On that note -12 Speed is hella based and I shouldn't have to explain why any further.

The Attack drop is largely done under this reasoning: less base stats means more dedication to reach benchmarks means greater sacrifices elsewhere. I didn't want to bring Attack too low since having a strong Ground is useful, but felt a little trimming wouldn't hurt. 115 Attack means that, without any EVs or Nature, you cannot 2HKO Slowbro with Swords Dance boosted Earthquake, making it a safer check, and it also happens to prevent +2 EQ OHKO on Kartana after Spikes damage, which is neat I guess.

-18 Defense is a heavy bulk cut, with the primary goal of applying yet more strain on our EV spread and increasing reliance on Diamond Storm to 1v1 against Physical attackers.

For 252 HP Saharaja this makes the Lando matchup a lot trickier
(0 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Saharaja: 168-198 (48.8 - 57.5%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery)

After doing some math, it also allows CB Weavile to OHKO 252 HP Raja after a Diamond Storm boost.

Ice Shard 17.4 - 20.9%
Iron Tail 33.7 - 40.1%
V-create 49.4 - 59.3%

17.4 + 33.7 + 49.4 = 100.5
(god i hope they make triple axel work properly in the calc one day)

Obviously these are arbitrary EV amounts but the idea was that if you wanted to run maximum SpDef Saharaja you'd start running into these sorts of problems. I think the more you need to cut losses and forfeit certain matchups, the better for having solid counterplay, and as long as Raja keeps the whole "fat specially defensive ground with snowball potential and additional hazard control" niche it's going to continue being a great asset to the metagame.



Move removals are pretty straightforward, it's largely the list I had before except I now realize that 2x Horn Leech is as strong as Earthquake thank you cappers for teaching me basic math. Everything else is either too volatile or too weird for me to keep, in the case of Thunder Wave both actually. Rock Slide seems to have been given the okay in terms of getting axed, and without it Serene Grace is a fine if somewhat cheeky secondary ability for the spitfires of the world.

Okay I've made three posts today it's 1:26 AM I need to go to bed
Got permission to revise this so I'm gonna do that

Nerf Package:
Code:
New stats: 62/120/105/65/130/78
-8 HP
-12 Speed

Move removals:
Power Whip, Leech Seed, Thunder Wave, Rock Slide, Poison Jab, Sucker Punch, Taunt
There was discussion on -18 being too much alongside the other changes, and the -5 Attack wasn't seen as wholly worthwhile by others + made Dstorm worse. This is a different version of that concept that trades less Defense for a bit of Special Defense as well: Saharaja has leaned a lot more into Special Defense than originally anticipated, and with the Speed changes meaning fast spreads often have extra EVs floating around, I feel that this is a fair trade-off. 62/130 is still really good when investing into HP alone.

Since Grounds are the go-to Electric answers for teams it's important that Raja has the capability to actually check Electrics, which the previous package muddied quite bad. I'm still not fully against a harsh drop since the only Electric really affected is Zera, and Raja could definitely be a lot more honest in its spread. What 62 HP does is let you run something like 252 HP / 92 Def / 164+ Speed and still have mostly-good odds into Bulk Up Zeraora, if that's what your team needs, allowing Saharaja to function as an Electric answer while retaining its useful Boosting capabilities and high natural Special Defense.
 

spoo

whip-smart
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
Submission:
-8 Atk, -7 SpD, -12 Speed
New Stats: 70 / 112 / 105 / 65 / 123 / 78
-Power Whip, Poison Jab, Rock Slide, Leech Seed, Sucker Punch, Thunder Wave

General concept:
I mentioned in an earlier post that Saharaja's primary issue is its offensive potential, so this nerf mainly targets Attack and Speed. Offensive sets can too easily bypass bulky staples like Landorus-T and Ferrothorn over the course of a game, and are too capable of slipping away from revenge killers like Dragapult. Still, Saharaja is not far off from where it needs to be. It's quite telling that even despite the majority sentiment that Raja is OP, the same sentiment exists that Raja is a healthy and good addition to the tier. It just needs a little less potency as a late game wincon.

I have also elected to cut special bulk by a small amount. I really, really don't think bulk is the primary issue here, which is why I haven't dropped it to the same extent as other nerf packages. Saharaja already has a hard time as-is preserving its HP just due to its status as a powerful, specially bulky Ground. A lot of Raja sets in my experience also opt to invest heavily in bulk and drop Speed/Attack because the team wants something with more longevity, but these aren't the problematic sets people usually refer to when we talk about Raja being too strong. While heavier bulk cuts would still result in a more balanced Saharaja, I think they ultimately miss the point. Nerfs to physical bulk are especially wack to me - this is already Raja's weakest point, and while it might be nice to be squishier at +2 Defense, you end up just gimping Raja's natural bulk and its ability to check the mons that your bulky Ground is typically required to answer at +0 (its most common state by far). All that said though, 130 SpD is still kind of a silly number to me, so a conservative -7 was chosen to bring it in range of a couple new 2HKOs.

Benchmark reasoning:
Speed:
-Outspeeds Heatran while underspeeding Pult/Zera at +1 Speed

Attack:
-Now cannot 2HKO Landorus-T at +1 after Rocks
-Now has unfavorable roll to OHKO Kart at +2
-Still has a 94% chance to OHKO Weavile with Diamond storm
-Still has a 99% chance to 2HKO Pyroak

Bulk:
-Offensive Zap spreads now 2HKO with Cane after Rocks/Lefties
-Still avoids the 2HKO from defensive Zap Hurricane
-Dragapult now 2HKOs with Shadow Ball after Rocks/Lefties

+1 252 Atk Saharaja Diamond Storm vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Landorus-Therian: 161-190 (42.1 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
(Rocks + 2 turns of lefties cancel out)

+2 252 Atk Saharaja Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kartana: 234-276 (90.3 - 106.5%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

252 Atk Saharaja Diamond Storm vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Weavile: 280-330 (99.6 - 117.4%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO

252 Atk Saharaja Diamond Storm vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Pyroak: 190-224 (49.8 - 58.7%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO

56+ SpA Zapdos Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja: 139-165 (49.4 - 58.7%) -- 98.8% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

0 SpA Zapdos Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja: 120-142 (42.7 - 50.5%) -- 2.3% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Saharaja: 136-162 (48.3 - 57.6%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
 
Nerf Package:
- Rapid Spin
+ Defog
- Thunder Wave
- Power Whip
- Leech Seed


I don't think stat changes are necessary. I see rapid spin on Saharaja being the problem and replacing the move with something more balanced on it. Other removals are mostly to get rid of moves that are frustrating to deal with on Saharaja.
 

SHSP

is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top CAP Contributor
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Apologies for being a bit late, there's been a lot of hectic-ness going on for me in the last bit. I've been looking over the submissions and discussing them with the TLT and we're deciding to move forward with the following for the poll to decide what happens to Raja:

Zetalz's proposal: One of the heavier proposals submitted, this attacks both ends of Raja's bulk and speed well while pruning some of the wider movepool options.

Shnowshner's proposal: A lighter approach than Zetalz's that aims to do something similar, attacking bulk through HP as well as speed. One of few that adds Taunt to the move removal list, as well.

Spoo's proposal: This stat nerf's main point of attention is the attack drop, one of only a handful that suggested hitting Saharaja's offensive strength. It's a different way of making the camel a bit less effective as a wincon, and one that I think should be represented on the slate.

Brambane's proposal: One of a handful that avoided stats entirely, this is the best of the Rapid Spin axing proposals, maintaining removal potential and bulk while removing access to removal+setup in one slot (and really, one moveset).


Thank you guys again for your submissions and patience! It's been very interesting seeing the differences in ideas proposed to adjust Raja, and I'm excited to see what we vote to do!
 
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