CAP 31 - Part 9 - Secondary Ability Discussion

Status
Not open for further replies.
Gonna reply for my favorite abilities, so this is both answering the question and showing what I support.

Moxie
  • How susceptible is CAP31 to getting revenge killed given its Speed tier? Are they infrequent enough for Moxie to see notable usage?
I can see 90 speed feeling a bit slow for a Moxie pokemon, but I think the boosts from Diamond Storm and the threat of Water Absorb (assuming it hasn’t revealed either yet) should let it get quite a bit of damage done. I personally think that this ability is my favorite and would take Cap31 in a very unique direction.

Serene Grace
  • What effect does scouting play with Serene Grace? Is it a problem if players cannot tell if the opposing CAP31 has Serene Grace, or was just lucky?
Ah yes, I too am hopping on the Serene Grace train. I think that prediction of CAP31’s abilities will be an important part of playing against it, and I think being able to attack and guarenteed boost your defense is a very helpful method of annoying opposing teams.


Basically these are the abilities I support, and I‘m making this post short as I don‘t want to repeat what others have said too much.
 
Only doin a few sorry

  • Own Tempo/Mirror Armor
    • How impactful is improving our Landorus-T matchup over losing our Water immunity?
    • Own Tempo helps remove Hurricane hax and Mirror Armor helps against Astrolotl and Dragapult. Are these perks, combined with the Intimidate answer, enough to be used over Water Absorb?
There's a real angle of "we can bluff Water Absorb while running these two" but once the gig is up we're a lot weaker against many teams. So if we come in on a pivot into their Water type, they're very likely to not try and hit us with our potential immunity, but if our Ability is triggered via Intimidate (or, for Mirror Armor, any stat drop), we get a short-term benefit but lose out on the long-term benefits of Water Absorb.

For Own Tempo I do feel that the additional insurance against Hurricane confusions is very nice, especially as an element of the Ability the opponent can't really scout for given it's a 30% chance assuming cane even hits at all. Immunity to Intimidate is nice for offensive sets as you're able to pressure Lando a lot more.

252+ Atk Life Orb Silvally-Ground Diamond Storm vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Landorus-Therian: 161-190 (42.1 - 49.7%) -- 27.3% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

Beyond that a Lando sack late-game is only going to provide a free switch instead of neuter you offensively, which is nice.

Mirror Armor feels like a good choice because it has both a lot of upsides considering the frequency of stat-drops in the metagame, and especially of Pokemon we're likely to come in on/switch into us. Turning something like Lando into a setup opportunity thanks to Mirror Armor is genuinely very useful, as is not being compromised by an untimely Defense/Special Defense drop. I also really like how this interacts with Fini's Moonblast, as that's going to be what we want to switch into or encourage it using, but Moonblast is also a move that can reveal our Ability.

I do think that against certain structures being able to significantly chip/KO Lando is important and leveraging our ability to dissuade Water-type moves into us on preview alone would give it value being run on occasion, which is really all I'd want from a Secondary.
  • Unaware
    • What specific threats does Unaware enable CAP31 to beat?
Big target here is going to be Venomicon. SD can obviously get us far but if we want 31 to threaten an already-boosted Venom, Unaware is the only real way of doing so. It gives us the ability to both switch into it easier and actually threaten it out, which is not easy for a lot of mons. There's more things it helps in (cm koko, bu zera, pyroak to an extent, any defense booster) but I'd say the main focus here is that we're much better at dealing with Venom.
  • Serene Grace
    • What effect does scouting play with Serene Grace? Is it a problem if players cannot tell if the opposing CAP31 has Serene Grace, or was just lucky?
We talked about this for a good bit today on VC; if our abilities are Water Absorb and Serene Grace, then the tell between the two is that Diamond Storm fails to boost: otherwise there isn't a way of knowing, as 50% odds of getting a boost are quite high when considering how many separate matches Diamond Storm will be used in. It honestly isn't unreasonable to see Diamond Storm boost three times in a row: 12.5% chance isn't high in a single-game setting, but across multiple games it's going to happen. It does become more likely to be Serene Grace the more you get a boost, but by nature the only guarantee is that a boost doesn't happen.

This sort of situation means that you could run Serene Grace and benefit from the knowledge that you have 100% boost chance on a successful hit (still 95% accurate) while still bluffing the potential of Water Absorb.

I'm honestly not too much of a fan of this dynamic: I feel like we'd want our secondary to give up something important for us, but with the threat of Water Absorb being the biggest selling point, what's going to stop Serene Grace from giving us the benefit of an effective 95% boost rate while also still dissuading Water Absorb? Really the only thing would be pattern observation and meta knowledge: if Serene Grace is standard then you can probably assume its not Water Absorb, but then complacency would leave the doors open for Water Absorb to come back.

Part of me feels this isn't a huge issue but it's also not a design that sits with me well. At this point, I'd much prefer Water Absorb remain our go-to and have our Secondary be something the opponent is readily able to figure out, which would make bluffs harder to pull off.
  • Heatproof
    • How distinct is CAP31 with Heatproof from Garchomp, another Ground-type with a Fire resist?
Mono-Ground versus Ground/Dragon has a lot of implications, but I think the big one is that we match-up a lot better into Fairy. Specifically Garchomp doesn't want to come in on Fini, but 31 is quite comfortable, and Fini is just as common and splashable a mon as Heatran, which is a main target for Heatproof. Obviously, if we pick one Ability, the other mon becomes more problematic. But until we've revealed our Ability, Fini doesn't want to mindlessly go for Water STAB, which gives us opportunities to come in even with Heatproof, while retaining our extra resistance to Fire when the time comes. This goes further with 31 being quite good into Koko whereas Garchomp, at best, needs to be kept quite healthy to tank a hit.

There is a good amount of overlap between these two but I do feel it's fine, if Heatproof 31 is just a sort of lure set that's generally worse than Chomp but can get the jump on the opponent, I think that's an okay Secondary to have.
 
Part of me feels this isn't a huge issue but it's also not a design that sits with me well. At this point, I'd much prefer Water Absorb remain our go-to and have our Secondary be something the opponent is readily able to figure out, which would make bluffs harder to pull off.
I won't go into much more depth on the others except to agree to this point. My concern with Serene Grace is that I feel it'll end up with a frustrating guessing game when opposing CAP 31. Being weak to water is a big detriment but having such a high bluffing ability doesn't seem necessary to make this an effective concept.

I do prefer alternate secondaries like Mirror Armor because it's easier to determine if that's the CAP 31 bluff. I also feel like this still has enough of a niche to be viable on specific comps
 

Brambane

protect the wetlands
is a Contributor Alumnus
One thing I want to quickly comment on about Serene Grace that points me in favor of it is we still have a lot of room in movepool for synergistic options. There are a couple moves that CAP31 would legitimately use as a compression option between coverage and utility if it had access to Serene Grace. I have no clue if it's process jumping to list them, so a mod should feel free to edit these out, but the synergy with SG is worth acknowledging:
- Lava Plume: we noted how valuable special fire coverage could be, this is a weaker option with way more potential as a midground play
- Body Slam: remember this move lmao, being able to paralyze Lando-T on the switch is kind of cool, and it's weak enough to not displace Diamond Storm
-Scorching Sands: see Lava Plume, but worse

These three moves alone make sense given CAP31 so far, and I think bump Serene Grace to a niche enough place in terms of option variety to be interesting to me in comparison to Water Absorb.
 
What do people think about these questions in regards to figuring out Serene Grace vs Water Absorb? :

1. Do you think you could tell from team preview if it's Water Absorb or not?

2. How likely do you think it would be to have the situation where your Water-Move user is facing an opposing teammate of their 31, you force this mon out and lure 31 in? Essentially the situation where you can throw the water move out for free to see if 31 comes in or not, when Water Absorb usually would come in.
 

Da Pizza Man

Pizza Time
is a Pre-Contributor
Heatproof
  • How distinct is CAP31 with Heatproof from Garchomp, another Ground-type with a Fire resist?
Biggest positive matchups we have over Garchomp are Tapu Fini, Tapu Koko, and Scarf Astrolotl. All of these mons are relatively common, so having positive matchups against them gives us a very good reason to be used over Garchomp. We also don't do quite as poorly into Syclant and Weavile as Garchomp does, as even though we don't want to be switching into them, at all, we can still tank hits from them at full.

What do people think about these questions in regards to figuring out Serene Grace vs Water Absorb? :

1. Do you think you could tell from team preview if it's Water Absorb or not?

2. How likely do you think it would be to have the situation where your Water-Move user is facing an opposing teammate of their 31, you force this mon out and lure 31 in? Essentially the situation where you can throw the water move out for free to see if 31 comes in or not, when Water Absorb usually would come in.
1: You could make a logical guess just based on if they are running any other Water resists or not. That being said, it is not perfect. While running Serene Grace without another Water resist is probably not a good idea, the same cannot be said for running Water Absorb with one.

2: I'm honestly not entirely sure to be quite honest. During playtesting, I've found that Tapu Fini is a pretty good partner for CAP31 (Fini deals with Weavile and Arghonaut while CAP31 deals with Pex and Electric Types), and given that both can potentially resist/be immune to water, it wouldn't be hard to see people switching to fini instead of CAP31 to avoid revealing Water Absorb, which I feel makes this situation less frequent on teams featuring this type of core. This goes for pretty much any pokemon that is capable of resisting Water by the way, I just picked Tapu Fini here as it was the one that was most relevant to my experience. On the other hand, I can see it coming up fairly often if the team doesn't have another Water resist(s) or said Water resist(s) are dead.
 
Last edited:
the one thing that I'm kind of hesitant about when it comes to giving Serene Grace to CAP31 is that we're going to end up in a situation where most of the time people are going to be running an ability that the CAP wasn't really built around, because DS boost consistency almost always matters more when we're considering general use and not specific teams. We're too slow to threaten Urshifu (and even then we don't reliably check it like we said we'd try to do), didn't vote on stats with Poison Fang in mind, and don't have a whole lot in the way of options besides Lava Plume, as mentioned by Brambane. That said, Serene Grace is much more faithful to the concept than Unaware.

Moxie isn't a good fit. The potential to grab attack and defence boosts while simultaneously attacking is strong. Piling two different means together is insane and almost certainly result in a rework after playtesting. Compressing turns is something Serene Grace already functionally does, but Moxie makes it more broken and inconsistent. IMO Defiant is healthier

Unaware is super boring and doesn't really fit the concept, but gives CAP31 some actual utility on a team beyond being a mediocre water check. Might be problematic with Diamond Storm though.
 

Zetalz

Expect nothing, deliver less
is a Pre-Contributor
Moxie isn't a good fit. The potential to grab attack and defence boosts while simultaneously attacking is strong. Piling two different means together is insane and almost certainly result in a rework after playtesting. Compressing turns is something Serene Grace already functionally does, but Moxie makes it more broken and inconsistent. IMO Defiant is healthier
Defiant is most certainly not healthier than Moxie. The ability to get a free +2 on a defogger (which we match-up very well into most of them even without WA) or +1 on lando is significantly more volatile than having to work to get a boost, you just get to jump straight into breaking without needing a set-up turn. Moxie has a weird duality where Moxie 31 without SD really isn't great since you can't easily force progress, but with SD 31 doesn't even really need or want Moxie to do so.


Also on the topic of Lava Plume since it's been brought up relative to Serene Grace, we really shouldn't give this thing Lava Plume, or any special fire coverage at all. A lot of times in testing mons like Kartana, Ferrothorn and Buzzwole have been very important for checking boosted 31 and having a lure option to invalidate them would be frustrating. If any additional SGrace moves are going to be added they need to be something more mild that doesn't completely throw checks out the window.
 

Brambane

protect the wetlands
is a Contributor Alumnus
the one thing that I'm kind of hesitant about when it comes to giving Serene Grace to CAP31 is that we're going to end up in a situation where most of the time people are going to be running an ability that the CAP wasn't really built around, because DS boost consistency almost always matters more when we're considering general use and not specific teams. We're too slow to threaten Urshifu (and even then we don't reliably check it like we said we'd try to do), didn't vote on stats with Poison Fang in mind, and don't have a whole lot in the way of options besides Lava Plume, as mentioned by Brambane. That said, Serene Grace is much more faithful to the concept than Unaware.
With all due respect, the idea that Serene Grace would ever displace Water Absorb is completely asinine. The breakdown of what MU's you sacrifice or gain by switching from Water Absorb to Serene Grace makes that readily apparent:
1. Almost certainly lose to every Tapu Fini set with Scald or Hydro Pump
2. Cannot safely switch in on non-Toxic Toxapex, pretty much every Slowbro or Slowking, and Krilowatt anymore
3. Always pressured out by Urshifu, even if we have Swords Dance and/or Power Whip
4. You definitely cannot switch in safely to Volcanion
5. The MU into the common rain builds goes from exceptional to horrendous
6. Rotom-Wash can do more than just wisp you, now NP sets beat you too
7. Scald Glowking how has a chance to fish for burns

In return, SG Diamond Storm helps with what:
1. Better Buzzwole MU
2. Less likely to be revenge killed by Kartana or Weavile
3. Some better counterplay options against Pokemon like Gapdos and Melmetal

I think that is really it for relevant MUs the SG Diamond Storm improves, but here is the thing with Serene Grace in general. It's conditional on you being in the position to click Diamond Storm and also stay in to utilize the boost, and you always have a 47~% chance to get 100% of the benefit from Serene Grace every time you click Diamond Storm, regardless of the ability. This isn't like Simple, where you are straight up doubling the value. You are just increasing the consistency, which is good and synergistic but why would I ever realistically pick the consistency of +2 Defense from a move that comes at an oppurunity cost (staying in and clicking Diamond Storm vs switching / clicking any other move) than an ability that improves a massive selection of MUs PASSIVELY from the very start of the game? Serene Grace Diamond Storm is consistent relatively to non-Serene Grace Diamond Storm, but Water Absorb let's me have my cake, and eat it too 47% of the time.

I like Serene Grace solely in the context of two things:
1. It opens up options for other moves to utilize the effect other than just Diamond Storm
2. Even if its distinctly worse (I would argue borderline unviable) than Water Absorb, the synergy with Diamond Storm is readily apparent and reinforces the concept; basically, optics

I really want to drive this point home because if you are opting for Serene Grace because we think SG Diamond Storm is on par or somehow better than Water Absorb, you are looking at it with an unfocused lens. There is really only two or three abilities we are looking at that I think that are truly competitive with Water Absorb: Unaware, Moxie, and maaaaybe Mirror Armor. Everything else seems simply too non-impactful or lacks a specific niche not outdone by Water Absorb.
 
The breakdown of what MU's you sacrifice or gain by switching from Water Absorb to Serene Grace makes that readily apparent:
1. Almost certainly lose to every Tapu Fini set with Scald or Hydro Pump
2. Cannot safely switch in on non-Toxic Toxapex, pretty much every Slowbro or Slowking, and Krilowatt anymore
3. Always pressured out by Urshifu, even if we have Swords Dance and/or Power Whip
4. You definitely cannot switch in safely to Volcanion
5. The MU into the common rain builds goes from exceptional to horrendous
6. Rotom-Wash can do more than just wisp you, now NP sets beat you too
7. Scald Glowking how has a chance to fish for burns
If you play intelligently, most of these won't try. While you do lose the ability to switch in on water moves and opponents can go for an educated guess, especially if they've seen you proc the boost a few times, the threat of Water Absorb helps 31 almost as much as the ability itself. I would envision this would even the gap between Serene Grace and Water Absorb to a point where Water Absorb is still the generally better choice, but Serene Grace is certainly a viable option regardless, which is exactly what we want from a secondary ability.
 

Brambane

protect the wetlands
is a Contributor Alumnus
If you play intelligently, most of these won't try. While you do lose the ability to switch in on water moves and opponents can go for an educated guess, especially if they've seen you proc the boost a few times, the threat of Water Absorb helps 31 almost as much as the ability itself. I would envision this would even the gap between Serene Grace and Water Absorb to a point where Water Absorb is still the generally better choice, but Serene Grace is certainly a viable option regardless, which is exactly what we want from a secondary ability.
So while bluffing the immunity is possible and Serene Grace is definitely not telegraphed (this is a big difference compared to like Flame Body vs Flash Fire Heatran right), my general thought is that you are limiting your own outplay potential by counting on the bluff. You are taking control out of your hands and putting it more in the opponent's, so to speak. For me it goes back to the point that the consistency of SG Diamond Storm just doesn't outweigh the inconsistency of risking the MUs without Water Absorb, especially since you still have a good chance of boosting your Defense. But I do see your point, and I have seen that kind of bluff work before. I remain skeptical how much it will work in this scenario.
 
With all due respect, the idea that Serene Grace would ever displace Water Absorb is completely asinine. The breakdown of what MU's you sacrifice or gain by switching from Water Absorb to Serene Grace makes that readily apparent:
1. Almost certainly lose to every Tapu Fini set with Scald or Hydro Pump
2. Cannot safely switch in on non-Toxic Toxapex, pretty much every Slowbro or Slowking, and Krilowatt anymore
3. Always pressured out by Urshifu, even if we have Swords Dance and/or Power Whip
4. You definitely cannot switch in safely to Volcanion
5. The MU into the common rain builds goes from exceptional to horrendous
6. Rotom-Wash can do more than just wisp you, now NP sets beat you too
7. Scald Glowking how has a chance to fish for burns

In return, SG Diamond Storm helps with what:
1. Better Buzzwole MU
2. Less likely to be revenge killed by Kartana or Weavile
3. Some better counterplay options against Pokemon like Gapdos and Melmetal

I think that is really it for relevant MUs the SG Diamond Storm improves, but here is the thing with Serene Grace in general. It's conditional on you being in the position to click Diamond Storm and also stay in to utilize the boost, and you always have a 47~% chance to get 100% of the benefit from Serene Grace every time you click Diamond Storm, regardless of the ability. This isn't like Simple, where you are straight up doubling the value. You are just increasing the consistency, which is good and synergistic but why would I ever realistically pick the consistency of +2 Defense from a move that comes at an oppurunity cost (staying in and clicking Diamond Storm vs switching / clicking any other move) than an ability that improves a massive selection of MUs PASSIVELY from the very start of the game? Serene Grace Diamond Storm is consistent relatively to non-Serene Grace Diamond Storm, but Water Absorb let's me have my cake, and eat it too 47% of the time.

I like Serene Grace solely in the context of two things:
1. It opens up options for other moves to utilize the effect other than just Diamond Storm
2. Even if its distinctly worse (I would argue borderline unviable) than Water Absorb, the synergy with Diamond Storm is readily apparent and reinforces the concept; basically, optics

I really want to drive this point home because if you are opting for Serene Grace because we think SG Diamond Storm is on par or somehow better than Water Absorb, you are looking at it with an unfocused lens. There is really only two or three abilities we are looking at that I think that are truly competitive with Water Absorb: Unaware, Moxie, and maaaaybe Mirror Armor. Everything else seems simply too non-impactful or lacks a specific niche not outdone by Water Absorb.
I agree with all of this, and think it's all very heartening that other people are saying it too. I'm very afraid of giving 31 a high impact ability that either threatens to become its niche, overshadow water absorb, or be very annoying with water absorb bluffing. SG is in a place where it would not quite be high impact without water absorb, and with water absorb bluffing becomes a good amount of power I think. As has been stated, if you use diamond storm and then stay in twice per match, that's a 1/4 chance serene grace does nothing to help you over water absorb, it just makes diamond storm more consistent. Even if SG ends up being unused I like the synergy with DS, anyway.
 
Before the discussion ends ima give my thoughts on my personal favorite ability, Moxie. Moxie has the capability to give CAP31 a unique offensive role, improving the matchups vs frailer teams and teams weak to Ground + Rock coverage to act as a unique wincon or even snowball into a sweep. Although this may seem counterintuitive to the defensive capabilities of CAP31, its solid Atk stat coupled with Moxie could pose a unique threat in the metagame, especially with the ability of CAP31 to feign Water Absorb until it gets a Moxie boost, which will always be an element with this CAP. Moxie and Water Absorb could work together well and not compete with each other, so as to keep a balance within the CAP.
 
Jumping on the Serene Grace train, it's pretty nice too. It definitely the sweet spot between competitiveness and abusing Diamond Storm. It has some large niche even though Water Absorb is still more useful overall. It also slightly enables Body Slam shenanigans, especially against Landorus-T.

I also like Own Tempo for making us more reliable against both Hurricane and Landorus-T. It is really focused on these two cases but is really great at this, making it a good alternative to Water Absorb in case you really need a stronger birb check.
 
Alright everyone, here’s our slate for secondary ability:

Moxie: Moxie has received near-unilateral support in the thread, and for good reason. It has great synergy with Diamond Storm and CAP31’s toolkit as a whole, and pushes CAP31 in a more offensive-leaning direction distinct from Water Absorb.

Heatproof: Presenting itself as a low-power option, Heatproof aims to avoid the messy scouting issues of Flash Fire while also enabling CAP31 to become a reliable check to Heatran. Although it is far weaker than Water Absorb, it serves a distinct purpose on teams with healthy water resists that are looking for a Heatran answer.

Serene Grace: Providing a 100% guaranteed Defense boost on Diamond Storm gives Serene Grace the most direct synergy with Diamond Storm. At the same time, Serene Grace’s lack of utility outside of Diamond Storm effectively budgets its power level so as not to surpass Water Absorb.

Mirror Armor: Circumventing Landorus’s Intimidate is a great boon for CAP31, and also enables CAP31 to function as a reliable answer to Dragapult and Blacephalon. Similar to Heatproof, it’s overall a pretty low-power option but has a distinct role for teams that can forgo the Water immunity and need an answer to certain threats.

No Competitive Ability: While the abilities here have their own clear-cut benefits, Water Absorb is a fantastic ability for any Ground-type to have, making a secondary ability far from necessary for CAP31’s success. As such, No Competitive Ability is still a solid option for CAP31.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top