CAP 34 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment

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spoo

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After two days of polling, we're finally here with Gekokeso's concept Collector's Edition! This stage is incredibly important, as it informs the direction of the entire rest of the process. Please carefully read the concept, quoted below, and review the guidelines for participating in this stage as well.

Name - Collector's edition

Description - This Pokémon is built to be able to use an item/s not typically seen in competitive Pokémon.

Justification - Items have been an extremely key aspect of battling for the past 2 decades of competitive Pokémon, with the item highly determining the set and role that a Pokémon performs in a team. In these past gens (especially in SWSH) items like Heavy Duty Boots, Leftovers and the Choiced items are seen present in nearly every team, largely drowning out other options for items with the exception of rare cases such a Power Herb Stratagem or Loaded Dice Baxcalibur. This concept aims to explore an item more rare than the above examples and create a Pokémon that uses it to its fullest extent.

Questions To Be Answered -
  • What are the most common items in the current metagame? What led to these items becoming so common?
  • How can a Pokémon justify running an item that isn't common, which items can make it worth it? What makes it so good?
  • Are there any examples of said items being used sucessfully in the past on viable sets?
  • What traits about a pokémon led to it using these items? How does it justify running these items instead of more common options?
  • What role can this pokémon employ that leads to it being able to use a rarely seen item?
  • Should we focus on only using one particular item, or would it be better to explore a whole group of them?
  • Should we look to only explore more the items themselves or should we look to explore any unique interactions they might have (Fling, Trick, etc...)?
Guidelines:
1) Pay close attention to the Topic Leader during this discussion. Their job is to keep us focused and to bring insight.​
2) Do not poll jump. Poll jumping is a serious offense in these threads, and you can get infracted for it. Poll jumping is when you discuss something that should be discussed in the future, like specifying a CAP's stats or typing. You're allowed to hint at such things to conclude a point or to provide an example, but do not centralize your post on a poll jump. Poll jumping hurts the focus of early threads and can cause us to go off on a tangent. If you're not sure if you're poll jumping or not, err on the side of caution and don't post it.​

CAP 34's TL dex will open the thread with their thoughts and a series of questions and considerations. Please make sure to read their initial post and subsequent posts carefully and follow them for discussion! Keep posts civil and on topic, or else they will be deleted.

CAP 34 So Far
 

dex

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Our concept has been chosen, and we have much to do. For Collector's Edition, we are going to have to look at items that don't currently see a lot of play and may never have. This is a difficult thing to do, as we have no guarantees of whether something is viable or not. Our first step towards achieving the concept is going to be to figure out just what we want out of it. Here are some questions to hone in on that:

1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.

2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?

3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?

4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?

5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?

6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?

Remember to put everything in the context of the CAP metagame. I'm looking forward to what y'all have to say!
 

Samirsin

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1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
It has to be chosen as the first step for this to be a successful concept, the item(s) must be decided and then we build around it, otherwise the mon may end up preferring other thing if it is done too late.

2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
Ability and Moves for sure. If the item is not used a lot, then there is a reason for it, and maybe the power budget has to go into making sure the item is beneficial, otherwise it will fail.

3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
I would like to propose that we check analyses on Smogon Dex and see what is not being used this gen in recommended sets.

4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
This heavily depends on the item and strategy. Items with permanent effects tend to be more consistent, however, Berries or consumable items are one time only but with the right combination they can be a menace.

5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
A utility-based item can be used to create offensive advantages and viceversa, they both work with the concept and can have their own interactions.

6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?

It needs to have specific interactions otherwise items like Heavy-Duty Boots or Choice Items will be easier to manage and more consistent. Why choose Wise Lens or Muscle Band when Life Orb exists? It must answer questions like that.
 
When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
A good bunch of item choices absolutely relies on having a typing, ability, stats and/or moves to abuse them in the best way. Thus I agree with this sentiment. Choosing our item first to identify which of these aspects we have to tailor make is tantamount.
What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
That’s going to vary a bit depending on item m, but I think overall typing is the key component to making items work that aren’t overused.
Defensive typing will determine if you can forgo a defensive item like Boots or lefties, while STAB coverage is going to be essential for determining if a Choice set isn’t worth running.
That said a lot of items that are rarely use will require very specific abilities or stats to work as intended and become top picks.
In general I think this concept is kind of a restrictive concept a la Hemogoblin and Chromera as we want CAP34 to run the best items as little as possible, so our overall power budget is likely a bit higher.
How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
if an item is part of (a) main set(s) of a majority of viable Pokémon it should be excluded. If a highly viable Pokémon runs a underutilized item but is the only one or only one of a few select mons the item should still be included. Idt we need to define a numeric value or anything though.

How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
Single use items are among the best choices we have, as they can grant highly powerful effects at the right time, that traditional items can’t, though this doesn’t mean we have options for items with more consistent impact.
Imo rather than looking at single use over repeated use we should look at the mode of activation. Anything that needs the opponents action to trigger seems much more unreliable and much harder to build something that’s more than a telegraphed lure.
Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
With how good, consistent and prevalent the top defensive items are, I believe most of our choices lie with offensively geared items, though we still might have options for something more defensive.
How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
honestly idt you really can assign power levels to items without knowing the ways the Pokémon can leverage them, except for those few really common items.
 
When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
We should pick it now, in concept assessment. Although I think certain classes of items could be taken as a group for now– if we build around 1.2x boosting items, I don't think we need to choose which one in concept assessment. We can regard them as a group.

What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
Certain items we could choose completely railroad the ability stage, while others strongly imply but do not necessitate specific abilities. The item will have some influence on the chosen typing, but not to the same extent as ability. The moves stage will probably be heavily impacted by the choice of item, with some items necessitating certain classes of moves. There may well be some implied power budgeting to various stages from the item we choose.

How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
I think if it's used on a common set of roughly 0-2 pokemon, it's fair game (like Maushold doesn't make Wide Lens invalid for this concept).

How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
It has to be very high impact once, or a solid impact repeatedly to compete with the top-tier items. Single-use items are okay, but the vast majority of them are not good enough to build a mon around. We have to be very careful with this.

Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
Either is fine, but I think we have more good options among the pool of offensive items. A lot of utility-based items don't compete with boots and leftovers, whereas offensive items can do so more easily. One thing that I think is very important is that we choose a proactive item rather than a reactive item to build around. Proactive items are ones you have control over the activation of; reactive items activate based on the opponent's actions. reactive items tend to be too inconsistent or meta-dependent to reliably be chosen over other options, or perhaps they are chosen as lures (type resist berries for example), but lures don't work if they are a pokemon's primary set.

How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
Powerful. I think we realistically have 8-10 options. The vast, vast majority of items in general are not good enough to actually be chosen over other options on a regular basis.
 

ausma

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1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
ASAP. There is no reason for us not to; haphazardly running around Ability, Type, and Movepool with no scope will lead to a lack of adhesion to the item in question, which the entire concept centralizes around. Determining the item in concept assessment will help guide discussion and voting for the rest of the process, and make a successful turnout more probable.

2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
This may be a cop out answer, but... I think everything is going to be radically affected, especially if we design the bulk of our build around optimizing usage of our chosen item. If we opt for something more niche, it makes sense that we are going to probably have a bit more of an open-ended power budget to make the CAP (and, by extension, the item it excels with) more tantalizing. However I will say: we need to be very deliberate, or else it's possible that our CAP will want to opt for a different item. For instance, Heavy-Duty Boots are so important in this metagame that we are having to actively compete with them for a slot, no matter our role. Not only is the whole of the process warped by the situational utility of our chosen item, but we are also having to consider the plight of item competition.

3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
I think the "Popular items" list on Showdown provides a really strong metric for the power level of items we're aiming to avoid. It's obviously not binding, but I do think items that are simply not very widely applicable to a range of Pokemon (which the list on average accounts for) is a good definition to think about when determining what would adhere to the concept and what wouldn't. My thought process is that the listed items are used widely for a reason.

4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
Single-use items are absolutely tenable answers. Even if some items are single-use, their ability to be expended is often tied to immediate impact, which provides a powerful effect at the cost of the item. Consumable items are balanced around this, so I don't think "repeated impact" makes a difference. It's all about what the impact itself is.

5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
As I've mentioned in the TLT chat already, I don't believe thinking of it in this binary is really conducive. There are many items like Leftovers and Heavy-Duty Boots that have multifaceted applications. They are utility oriented, of course, but their utility can easily be used to enable its users in a more directly offensive way (like pivots and bulky setup sweepers respectively). I think in deciding our item, we need to think of this less like a binary between two classes of items, and more like a spectrum of flexibility, where one extreme represents high versatility and high usage across a massive range of Pokemon, while the other applies to items with effects that are extremely niche and are either only viable on one or two Pokemon, or only viable in specific situations. I think since we are committed to specializing to an item anyway, it wouldn't really hurt to explore items that are more fundamentally niche, and assessing their effects in both a defensive and offensive context.

6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
I wouldn't say power necessarily matters; it's all about how well CAP 34 adheres to the item of our choosing. As long as it is a reasonably uncommon item (which Showdown thankfully has a rough outline of in the builder) that requires us to think more critically about the item at large (why it hasn't been used, the situations it could be used in, etc.). Obviously not all items are created equal, but that doesn't mean a niche effect can't be powerful!
 

Brambane

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Picking the item should be the first step, it is the guiding point for the rest of the project. I would stick to a single item here.

I think that generally items with repeated impact are not ideal here; the good ones are already well-represented and do not fit our criteria outline in the concept. The bad ones are truly outclassed in every aspect and building a Pokemon around them would inevitably result it in running something like HDB, Leftovers, Choice items, etc. These good items are good for a reason; you want long-term value and they have it in spades. There are few exceptions I can think of that are very typing, meta, and moveset dependent, such as Protective Pads, which could be solid picks for the concept.

Single use items (are supposed to) provide immediate and meaningful value, and if you can win the game or regain lost ground off of that item interaction then its excellent. When you think of items like the elemental terrain seeds, Booster Energy, or Colbur Berry in a pre-Tera world, you think of gaming swinging, momentum-gaining (or regaining) impact. I think any item we pick, even if its not consumable, should focus on allowing the Pokemon to force a lot of progress when the item comes into play. That is how you are going to justify running it in the first place.

I don't think there is a clear delineation between offensive and defensive items, but I do think that an offensive, especially a hyper offensive style Pokemon, is more likely to forgo items like HDB and Lefties in favor of a less common item choice. Even items that feel defensive (i.e. resist berries) are used most often in an offensive function; creating enough space to set-up or bait an answer. Trying to go more defensive with this concept is a fool's errand that will end up nibbling on Lefties or with nice shoes.

Imo the power of the item itself is less important than how much CAP34 relies on said item to succeed. The concept is worded kind of vague and non-committable with " to be able to use " uncommon items, like Dragapult is able to use Yache Berry as much as any other Ice-weak Pokemon and it could win me a game if I load a MU against an Ice Sharder but most people would probably agree that is generally techy and suboptimal. I would like to commit to the idea that whatever item we pick, CAP34 finds its niche in the metagame because of that specific item. That item is synonymous with CAP34. If we can make a great Pokemon that puts an underutilized or otherwise awful item to work, then that is fantastic; that should be the goal. If not, in the end, I think a mediocre barely viable Pokemon that relies on a weird item to function is better concept execution and more meaningful learning space than a great Pokemon that uses HDB/Choice Scarf/etc.
 
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1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
I dunno why this is even a question; obviously, given that our whole concept revolves around this item - that CAP 34 is best holding said item - we should make it our priority, like :Chromera: with Colour Change, :Saharaja: with Diamond Storm and :Hemogoblin: with its stats.

2. What stages are most affected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
Honestly, everything is going to be affected, albeit I'll rank it as Move | Stats > Ability, because I think the effect most existing Abilities have aren't going to be synergistic with Items.

3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
From the criteria set by Geko, I'd interpret it as "This Item has a niche, but said niche isn't commonly encountered." From their examples, :Loaded Dice: is an Item that is run by :Baxcalibur: and (to my knowledge) mostly multi-hitting Technician mons (:Breloom:,:Cinccino:). One is an Uber, the others are UU at best. We could look at the bottom of the list of popular items in terms of usage, but I don't think that we should disregard other Items if their main users aren't high tier either.

4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
I'd argue that a single-use item is more than likely what better fits the criteria than a repeated impact Item, though thats not to say that the latter is less important. The priority is that CAP 34 would prefer to hold this Item(s) over a more popular choice like :Life Orb:,:Leftovers:or:Heavy Duty Boots: We could be holding a Berry, we could be holding a Type-Boosting item, as long as that Item isn't used much by more popular OU/Uber ranked mons and CAP 34 is optimised to fulfil this item(s)'s otherwise unfulfilled niche, I feel like we have achieved the concept.
 
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1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.

Item First.

2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?

Ability, Stats, and Moves (ok, so most of the Pokemon) are most affected by our choice. Ability has the most potential synergy with certain items to the point where an item can be picked that pretty much invalidates the need for the ability stage, such as Scope Lens -> Sniper, or Terrain Seeds -> Unburden.
Stats also have an effect on what item we use simply because the more offensive a spread we have the more likely we are to run something like choice band or on occasion life orb while more defensive spreads are more likely to use Leftovers (and Boots is always viable no matter what.) Moves also directly synergize with certain items as the item's function IS to directly synergize with moves, for example Scope/Wide lens, Loaded Dice and Throat Spray.

3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
Anything that's uncommonly used in the CAP metagame is fair game to me. This means we can take a good look at lower tiered mons (wide lens maushold, scope lens kingdra, etc) to gain insight on how certain uncommon moves are used.


4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?

Single use items are absolutely viable during this process. Single use items such as Eject Button/Pack or Throat Spray have significant impact when they are used and in many cases require skill to know when exactly to use them since you won't have them for the rest of the game.

5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
Neither is more on-concept, and I don't think we should have a preference. It should be noted that often times offensive mons will run utility items, such as Azumarill running Sitrus Berry, or everyone and their mother running Boots.

6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
It needs to have a significant impact on CAP34's playstyle, either not working without it or being much less viable without it. The power of an item isn't really objective as different mon make use of different items.
 
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snake

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1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
Picking the item in Concept Assessment would be best. Leaving the item ambiguous will make the project more difficult in later steps.

2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
Potentially all stages are affected, depending on the choice of item. Specific ability-item and move-item synergies will likely have a big impact on the project. Typing will be affected less directly but will likely be affected by projected ability and move choice.

3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
I would rather pick an item that's still somewhat common and would make for an interesting project rather than picking an obscure item for the sake of it. For example, Assault Vest is a somewhat underplayed item that requires specific attributes to work - you can't just slap an Assault Vest on just anything and expect it to go. Exploring what makes for a good Assault Vest user - how to make it want AV over any other item (especially Leftovers!) - could be a valid interpretation of the concept, as it is written, if one considers Assault Vest "not typically seen in competitive Pokemon."

That is to say: I don't think the "somewhat commonly used" items should be necessarily off the table if we can really dissect how a "somewhat commonly used" item really works. See my answer to question 6 for a little more commentary.

4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
Single-use items can work, but they need to be chosen carefully. By nature, these items are less consistent than repeated-use items, so we should consider what build paths are available for proposed single-use items.

5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
I'd rather evaluate all items in this stage that would lead to an interesting project whether they're "utility-based" or "offense-based." But, when an item is picked, we should play into the strengths of the item chosen and stick with it.

6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge with this concept is not making the CAP want to use the chosen item. It's making the CAP want to use the chosen item when it also has the clear option to use established items like Heavy-Duty Boots, Leftovers, and Choice Items. For example, let's say we choose Expert Belt as our underplayed item. Not much would CAP34 from the ability to run Choice Band / Specs and achieve better damage rolls or Heavy-Duty Boots so that it doesn't have to worry about hazard chip. It might be unreasonable to expect CAP34 to never run these established items, but, in this example, I struggle to find ways to make Expert Belt CAP34's #1 used item.

The reason why I bring this up is that, generally, the more obscure and specific the item is, the greater this will hold true. To discourage CAP34 from wanting to use the established items more than it would our chosen item, our chosen item needs to provide a) a powerful enough effect on its own AND b) provide an effect distinct from the established items. This is a big reason why I've answered Question 3 the way I have. The "somewhat commonly used" items have more of a shot at beating the established items, but making that happen still won't be necessarily easy. After all, the "somewhat commonly used" items still require certain builds to pull off.
 
I'd rather evaluate all items in this stage that would lead to an interesting project whether they're "utility-based" or "offense-based." But, when an item is picked, we should play into the strengths of the item chosen and stick with it.
This is actually something very important. There might be some solid item choices, that have applications which make them good enough to run over other consistent items, but also railroad the process too much to be really interesting.
I think choosing items, that can have varied implications in Any stage should be prioritized over how realistic the usage of an item is. Items like Power Herb, Scope Lens and Punching Glove might allow for fairly realistic builds but also somewhat railroad the following stages into very specific options.
 
1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
As many other people have said, I believe that in order for this to be successful, we need to pick the Item as soon as possible, as
if we don’t pick it now, then we are gonna have to squeeze the item in somewhere, and It might conflict with what we have already created.
2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
I think it depends on the item. If we’re doing something like assault vest, then the stage most effected would be the stats. If we picked one of the Super Effective-halving berries, then the stage most effective would be the stats. If we did something like Loaded Dice or Punching Gloves, then the stage most effected would be the movepool, etc.
3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
I think we should use an Item that has seen success on a few Pokémon, but is still not used as much as the meta-defining items, and those users of the item are few and far between.
4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
I absolutely think that single-use items can be used. There a ton of single-use items that can have a massive effect on the game if used correctly and wisely, and might be able to fit the concept as some of the multiple-use items(Salac Berry, Power Herb, etc).
5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
I think that both are equally on-concept with the concept, as the concept states that any niche item can be usable, no matter what category they are in. However, I do prefer a utility-based item, as these are more niche and I just want to see them get use.
6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
It shouldn’t be some niche item that never gets use and is actively worse for the Pokémon than just running the more mainstream items, but it should be something that is at least somewhat competively viable in the CAP metagame, that has seen competitive success before.
 

quziel

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Way I see it we have a few options going forward.

1) Items that are niche, but are strong:
These items, e.g. Scope Lens definitely are strong enough to get main set use provided we choose a very specific ability, move, or typing to make them work. If we decide to go these I feel we're probably gonna be constraining at least one stage heavily.

2) Items that are strong, but border on being widely used:
This category contains stuff like Assault Vest, Rocky Helmet, Air Balloon; items that get fairly regular usage, but are definitely several steps lower in usage than stuff like Heavy Duty Boots, Leftovers, etc. These abilities definitely do not constrain the following stages much, requiring only minor concessions, but I think there's gonna be a lot of debate as to whether they actually fit concept.

3) Items that are a bit niche, and are not very strong:
Stuff like Silk Scarf, Sitrus Berry, etc fit here. These are items that absolutely have strong synergy with existing move or ability options, but even considering that would struggle to really get use over stuff like Boots, Specs, etc.

-----

1) is imo where a lot of our strongest options lay, but if we pick a specific one from 1) I fear we'd end up effectively railroading our ability stage. I think I would prefer if we just identify some very strong options now, and then commit after the ability stage to one or another item.
 
Items that are niche, but are strong:
These items, e.g. Scope Lens definitely are strong enough to get main set use provided we choose a very specific ability, move, or typing to make them work. If we decide to go these I feel we're probably gonna be constraining at least one stage heavily.
From the conversation on discord I think maybe a viable option would be an idea that Quziel brought up, which is to not pick an item immediately in CA but instead move the ability stage to be the first stage and pick an item in conjunction with an ability/justifying abilities with item choices. That way we wouldn’t railroad the ability stage as much, which seems to be the one stage that might be affected the most by picking an item first.
 
1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
There should be room for, at minimum, discussion of specific items during this concept stage, and I think the number of items that are powerful but unused enough to be capable of fulfilling the concept will be pretty small once we discuss the options and narrow things down. Since some items require very specific move and/or ability choices to work though, it may be difficult to discuss some options without poll-jumping. In particular, many berries and other single-use items converge on wanting certain abilities, so it may be good to discuss that before entirely settling on the item.

2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
Like others have said, all of them but it depends on the item. Typing is probably the most flexible, since we'll want to avoiding making something that wants Heavy-Duty Boots regardless of our item choice, but it could still matter a lot for item choices that really want to run specific moves.

3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
I think there's an argument for anything other than Leftovers, Heavy-Duty Boots, Booster Energy, or Choice items, depending on how we approach this. Making a Pokemon that will actually want to run something else 100% of the time I think is enough of a challenge that even semi-common items like Rocky Helmet should be fair game, especially since a lot of those semi-common items will lend themselves to a more flexible and explorative design process. Conversely, I think we should avoid items whose path to viability / fulfilling the concept is overly straightforward, even if they are technically not seen very often, such as Icy Rock.

4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
Single-use items are tenable answers, but we'll have to be able to get a lot of leverage out of them in order for them to consistently beat any of the common items that give long-term benefits, which may be difficult to do without the element of surprise. Utility or offense either works, neither is more pro-concept than the other.

6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
Like snake and others are saying, our item needs to be powerful enough to consistently be a better choice than any of the items more common than it. I think this will depend somewhat on our role but in general there are some items that will be too weak no matter how hard we try to design around them, because we always have to beat the competition of Lefties/etc.
 
Conversely, I think we should avoid items whose path to viability / fulfilling the concept is overly straightforward, even if they are technically not seen very often, such as Icy Rock.
You see, I absolutely agree with his standpoint. You see, the whole point of CAP 34 is that we are making a creative, but competively viable Pokémon using a niche item. Items like Icy Rock would be too easy.

This person by sharing this opinion has now gained my utmost respect.
 
1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
Item first, 100%. Not an original opinion but wanted to add my support to this.

2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
Some item will lead type to have a substantial effect, however a number of them (burn orb, toxic sludge, etc) are used enough that I don't think they fit this concept. Otherwise, abilities and especially available moves will have a large impact.

I also think that, generally speaking, we should absolutely squeeze the life out of this item to get every bit of power we can. If power can go into making the item better we should heavily consider it.
 

a fairy

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1. When do we want to pick our item? As the TL, I am in favor of picking it before any other stage, as that makes the most sense to let the rest of the process be informed by it.
I agree. The select item(s) will greatly lead our direction for the entire process. Ensuring we are all on board with the item we chose before handling other stages will allow us to not scramble during stages or need to limit ourselves when selecting what item(s) we want to explore. Should we do another stage before items, I fear it may result in people hedging their bets with their submissions and discussions or subconsciously poll jumping in the foundations of what they put forward. Both of these seem detrimental so early in a CAP's concept.

2. What stages are most effected by what item we choose? Are there going to be differences to our power budget because of the concept?
Plenty of smart folk have already talked about the first question, so I want to focus on the second one. Items not used often are not used often because they are limiting, niche, or inferior. As such, I believe our power budget is likely going to be larger than normal, but not by much. By "locking into" an item that sees not a lot of use, in order to maintain some level of competitive relevance, this 'mon can't be relying on the "tried and true" stuff. I think that by expecting this 'mon to not use the tried and true stuff, this 'mon likely needs to be able to justify itself against 'mons that are gonna use those items.

3. How are we defining items that adhere to the concept? Just how used/not used does an item have to be?
I genuinely think it'll be a little bit of "you know it when you see it." The dex has a list of items, and it shows you what 'mons have a build that includes it. Leftovers and Heavy Duty Boots have lists as long as the day is long, but Big Root and Grip Claw have 0 in any generation they've been in. I don't think we need a specific number, especially given the variety of formats on the site, but I think the more 'mons listed on an item (that isn't specific to a group of 'mons like Booster Energy) the less reasonable it is to consider an item to be "not used", with some sanity checks.

4. How much of a repeated impact does our chosen item need to have on the course of a game? Are single-use items tenable answers?
I think it's fine if our item has one impact before going away. Air Balloon changes the game for the 'mons using it, White and Power Herb are vital parts of the strategy for many 'mons that use it, and I don't think anyone would call Booster Energy "low impact" due to its once and done status. I would advocate that our item considerations, while maybe not necessarily those specifically (certainly not BE!) should not discard out of hand any item that will go away after an activation.

5. Do we prefer utility-based items or offense-based items? Is one more on-concept than the other?
I think both have justification. If asked to make a choice, I think more utility-based items explore our concept better. I've spent like five minutes trying to type this paragraph, but I don't think it'll get better than "offensive items just kinda say what their deal is and don't provide enlightment towards a Pokemon's deal". I feel like this opinion will probably change wildly depending on the item(s) presented for consideration, but offensive items just feel straightforward, whereas utility or defensive items can really explore a 'mon and its place in the metagame.

6. How powerful does our item need to be to see use while sticking to the concept?
When I was considering the questions and the concept, Ring Target kept running back around in my head. An objectively negative item that exists to be Tricked away, Ring Target's probably not going to see much actual discussion or votes, I think it does provide some level of where my mind is at, at least. I don't think the item needs to be particularly powerful. OTOH, I think that the more powerful an item is, the less reasonable it is to be considered, because the powerful items are used often....
 

spoo

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I think we should pick the item at the very last stage of CA, or second-to-last if there needs to be a final discussion about rearranging stage order. I disagree with the idea of choosing a handful of items, going through the Ability stage or further, and then determining what item fits us best. A lot of these items have such niche or small upsides that they require a large degree of optimization around them to actually function; I fear that if we simply choose the item that fits our build the best, instead of actively designing our build around a given item, we won't achieve that high level of optimization. Like a fairy just wrote, waiting longer than CA to select our item also raises worries about poll jumping and poor submission/voting patterns, so choosing our item early is the safest bet for any number of reasons.

Perhaps this is straying away from the concept's specific wording a bit, but I'd argue that sheer usage statistics shouldn't be the only metric we use to rule out the overdone items. I think we should also look at which items already have exemplary users, regardless of how common they are. For example, Assault Vest is not the most common item by any means, but we have legitimately perfect users of the item in multiple generations and metagames, so I question how much design space is left to explore. Similarly, something like Power Herb has phenomenal users like Stratagem, Necrozma, SS Nihilego and Celesteela, Geo Necturna, and so on. These items are some of the best candidates if we only care about the concept's success (i.e.: CAP34 will prefer this item above all others)––but is there really anything left to learn from pursuing them? Can we truly explore new territory with another Power Herb, AV, Flame Orb, etc. user? I ask this because I think the spirit of the concept is not just about creating something rare, but something genuinely unexplored and unseen in an OU context. I'm not even sure of the answer myself––maybe we can!––but I thought I would at least raise the idea.
 
It might be worth considering both Items and Ability at the same time. From looking at discussions in discord and post on the forum, it seems as Abilities have the biggest interactions with our item, at least in this stage of the process.


For example, someone would suggest
Regenerator + Assault Vest, and their reasoning would be that Regenerator provides passive healing so CAP34 can take more hits, or Sniper + Scope Lens, so CAP34 can hit more critical hits more often.

This summarizes the synergy between item and ability for CAP34, granting us a solid launch pad for the rest of the stages. It also alleviates the railroading of the Ability stage as we haven't got a specific item yet.

In regards to items I think Assault Vest, Power/Mental Herb, Rocky Helmet, etc. are all too good or too conventional for an interesting process. Yes, they are all less commonly found, but they have been used to their fullest potentials multiple times before with other Pokemon both in SV and in previous gens, and there isn't much room to explore left.

The idea of having abilities and items chosen as a pair also addresses this somewhat because the poster would present a unique idea with an item that has been used in multiple ways before. That being said, I'll still pick Wide Lens before Assault Vest.

Wherever the item is picked, though, there should be a "ban list" of sorts: items not allowed for being Too Good for the concept.
 

dex

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Awesome stuff! I want to summarize some consensus here:
  1. We have identified that picking our item before other stages is the path forward. This allows for all stages to be informed by our choice and we can cohesively build towards supporting that one item.
  2. Ability will be a stage that is most important to sync with our item, as it is probably the most affected by our choice. It is a positive for an item to not preclude that many abilities.
  3. Items that are "somewhat common" (Assault Vest, Rocky Helmet, etc.) probably should not be on the table. I think a good metric, as mentioned by ausma, is the "Popular Items" section on PokemonShowdown. Now, you could debate whether some items should or should not be on that list, but it is a good starting point.
  4. Single-use items are totally fine for the concept. Single-use items can provide great momentum swings and are powerful options that are often more niche.
  5. It is fine for our item to be offensively or defensively focused. This leaves a lot on the table for us to cut down.
  6. The item we choose needs to be powerful enough to be used on CAP 34's main set. This means it needs to be more optimal than things like Leftovers, Heavy-Duty Boots, and Choice items, something we will need to keep in mind while we are selecting.
I've prepared a few questions before we go nominating items:
  1. What are some items that are pro-concept and have the requisite power to be used?
  2. What are some items that toe the line between pro- and anti-concept? Which of these, if any, do you think apply to the concept?
  3. What are some items that avoid restricting future stages, such as Ability? Are there any that may be too restricting?
  4. Should we pair items with abilities or can we effectively select items that are not too constricting? This scenario would have Ability as the first stage.
 

shnowshner

You've Gotta Try
is a Pre-Contributor
Some ramblin before I get to questions stuff.

I think there's two main camps popular items fall into right now:

Longevity: Leftovers and Boots are the big ones here, as they do the most in terms of negating chip damage you take from SV's oft hazard-laden battlefield. I would consider Assault Vest and Air Balloon to apply as well: no where near as common as the former, but AV shoring up your Special Defense proves useful for the handful of Pokemon that use it. Air Balloon is unstable as an item but you can absolutely play it with preservation in mind, and it does keep you safe from grounded hazards while active.
Impact: The bulk of other items fall into this camp: Choice items, Life Orb, any 1.2x STAB items. Single-uses are also everywhere here. Booster Energy is the big one, as the stat increase is not only powerful, but requires no outside conditions to be active. From there you have the Terrain seeds, the vast majority of Berries, troll items like Red Card/Eject Button/Eject Pack meant to swing tempo back in your favor, and Focus Sash.

Something we need to consider about the items that fall closer to the latter is that they are staples of highly offensive structures looking to give the opponent as few turns to retaliate as possible. This isn't a hard rule, of course, but a more balanced structure that's prepared for longer games prefers the reliability of stuff like Lefties and Boots instead of having a single-use item you need to awkwardly manage for the right time – one which may never actually arise during a match, mind you.

As many have noted by now, any Pokemon we make that wants to enter the field, lets say more than two/three times, will be heavily skewed towards running Leftovers or Boots, as they are far and away the best defensive items you can get. Single-use items really need to be on Pokemon that are vying to make big progress the moment they enter the field, and thus also need to provide a substantial effect. I don't think we can make the bulk of uncommon items work and also have a flexible Pokemon while doing so. Our item choice needs to be heavily inferred going forward, and provide much of what our CAP wants.

I find that longevity-focused items are much harder to work with when the competition is as tough as it is. If you want to play defensively and don't have some resistance to Hazards, you almost certainly want Boots. Flying-types and Levitates are either going to prefer Boots if they are weak to Rocks, or Leftovers otherwise. It's just really hard to pass up on chip damage prevention even for those with recovery.

Now these two categories I made don't fully encompass every item (Rocky Helmet for example), however I do feel this is the bulk of how items are allocated to sets. If you need help sticking around for a fight you want Lefties/Boots, otherwise go for items that grant bigger numbers or stronger positioning.


All said, I want to rule out items which I personally don't feel need further exploration from this CAP. I won't go over anything in the Popular Items category as even the underused ones either have known strong users/obvious usecases or like, shouldn't even be there (looking at you, nerfed pinch berries...). Lots of text so into the spoiler tag that goes.

Berries aren't super common but can pop on mons that have extremely high short-term value and particularly bad weaknesses or vulnerabilites. Think Shuca Heatran and Chople Tyranitar, mons with solid defensive profiles that many will want to find an avenue to eliminate ASAP. A resist berry can save them from death and let them fire off a strong attack or like click Rocks, the exact situation trying to be avoided. Lum Berry honestly should be in the Popular Items category IMO, it's a very strong pick for stuff like Kingambit that often has to contend with status-spreader like Dragapult or Cresceidon. The weirder ones like Liechi and Salac have some potential: it's a more awkward Booster Energy but we don't need a Paradox Ability to use them + the boost is higher if not Salac. We do lose the benefit of Booster Energy's unique modifier, but oh well. I'm not super big on these, however, as they feel either very hard to actualize, and/or harder to use consistently.

Air Balloon is a great item, though its got a limited userbase the effects it brings are incredible. One item grants you full Ground-type immunity and protection from the ever-prevalent Spikes. Losing it when taking damage is a chore to play around, sometimes unavoidable, but with the right moves you can get a ton of value out of this and the popularity of Balloon Gholdengo is proof enough.

I'm gonna group Eject Button, Eject Pack, and Red Card together as I did before. These are rare items but certain Pokemon absolutely enjoy using them (think EButton Hatterene on Offense structures, blocking dangerous status moves while granting a free switch if taking damage). I will add that Eject Button and Red Card are also kinda BS to play against unless you're able to call the set/team out which does dour my opinion on them. Eject Pack is more interesting as it lets you turn a move with a negative effect into a one-time momentum grabber. I've definitely witnessed it on Great Tusk before and it's honestly a cool tech for Offense, and might be worth exploring more than the other two.

White Herb has seen a good amount of play before and its usage is basically "you have Shell Smash." Not worth pursuing.

Flame and Toxic Orb are very straightforward in their benefits and there's little extra depth we could add. Like the only unique route is a Quick Feet user that isn't dogwater.

Terrain Seeds have seen plenty of play both in SS and SV given the power of terrain-focused Offense structures, especially HO.

Sticky Barb is weird and very rare, but its depth boils down to having Magic Guard and Trick. If the mon is built around this interaction specifically it won't be interesting or good because such a set only works if you do a bunch of other things.

Shed Shell is only good when there's a strong trapper in the metagame, which SV lacks. Even if trapping was more common, it's seen a fair amount of use on fatter teams already, especially Stall.

The 1.2x STAB items aren't really used much nor do they have a lot of interest backing them up. I guess you have an angle of "what does a mon look like that is willing to dedicate its item slot to making one STAB stronger," to which the answer is Black Glasses Kingambit. Doable but sorta boring.

Light Clay has gotten banned before we stay away from this one.

Terrain Booster/Weather Rocks are used to make field condition teams have more field condition. Used and extremely limiting.

Some I'm less confident about. Weakness Policy sorta skirts the line but when the most notable Policy user is Aurumoth I think we can look further. Protective Pads (and its estranged brother Punching Glove) have pretty straightforward users but I can definitely see more being done with them given how much anti-contact you can find in the metagame. There's also a Mirror Herb Zamazenta running around which is cool but Mirror Herb still has a lot of funny business behind it that I'd like to see more of, should we choose to. Loaded Dice has Miasmaw which is a legitimate mon, and there's some other funny users out there, though I'm not sure the item has a ton of depth: we all know multi-hits are good, and clearly good enough that you'd run it on the Bug-type Miasmaw. Finally Metronome has seen play but that was when the item was implemented wrong; making the significantly worse and cart accurate version worthwhile is a valid option.

I'll need some time to think about all the options available to us however: I haven't left a whole lot for myself and surely someone is seeing technology available where I don't. I just find it hard to hone in on an item that checks all three of being not commonly run, strong enough to warrant using, while also not being outclassed by one of the even stronger items you generally should be using
 

Samirsin

✧Rey de los Snom✧
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:snom:
I would like to share a table I made with all of the OU Pokémon and CAP Pokémon with a strategy on Smogon Strategy Dex with all of the Pokémon and their recommended items to use as a guide with other things, such as the "Popular items" in Teambuilder, to see item popularity.
AlomomolaHeavy-Duty Boots
BarraskewdaChoice Band
CinderaceHeavy-Duty Boots
ClefableLeftoversHeavy-Duty Boots
ClodsireLeftoversHeavy-Duty Boots
CorviknightLeftoversRocky Helmet
DarkraiLife OrbHeavy-Duty BootsChoice Scarf
Deoxys-SpeedFocus SashMental HerbLife OrbExpert Belt
DondozoHeavy-Duty BootsLeftovers
DragapultHeavy-Duty BootsChoice SpecsFocus Sash
DragoniteHeavy-Duty Boots
EnamorusChoice ScarfChoice Specs
ExcadrillAir BalloonLeftovers
GholdengoAir BalloonHeavy-Duty BootsChoice Scarf
GlimmoraFocus Sash
GliscorToxic Orb
Gouging FireHeavy-Duty BootsBooster EnergyChoice Band
Great TuskBooster EnergyHeavy-Duty BootsLeftovers
HattereneLeftoversEject Button
HeatranLeftoversAir Balloon
Iron BoulderBooster Energy
Iron TreadsBooster EnergyEject Button
Iron ValiantBooster Energy
KingambitBlack GlassesAir BalloonLum BerryHeavy-Duty Boots
KyuremChoice SpecsHeavy-Duty Boots
Landorus-TherianRocky Helmet
MeowscaradaHeavy-Duty BootsChoice BandChoice Scarf
Ogerpon-WellspringWellspring Mask
PelipperDamp Rock
PrimarinaAssault VestLeftovers
Raging BoltLeftoversBooster Energy
RillaboomChoice BandTerrain ExtenderAssault Vest
Roaring MoonBooster EnergyChoice Band
Samurott-HisuiFocus SashChoice ScarfAssault Vest
SerperiorLeftovers
SkarmoryRocky Helmet
SkeledirgeHeavy-Duty Boots
Slowking-GalarHeavy-Duty Boots
Ting-LuLeftovers
TorkoalHeat Rock
VolcaronaHeavy-Duty Boots
Walking WakeChoice Specs
WeavileHeavy-Duty Boots
ZamazentaHeavy-Duty BootsLeftovers
Arcanine-HisuiChoice Band
AzumarillSitrus BerryChoice BandAssault Vest
BasculegionChoice Band
BlazikenAir BalloonLife Orb
BlisseyHeavy-Duty Boots
CeruledgeFocus Sash
CinccinoLoaded Dice
ComfeyLeftoversGrassy Seed
CresseliaLeftoversCovert Cloak
Deoxys-DefenseHeavy-Duty BootsLeftovers
EmpoleonLeftovers
Enamorus-TherianLeftovers
GarchompLoaded Dice
GarganaclLeftovers
Goodra-HisuiAssault Vest
GreninjaLife OrbChoice SpecsFocus Sash
GrimmsnarlLight Clay
HawluchaGrassy Seed
HippowdonLeftovers
Hoopa-UnboundChoice BandChoice SpecsAssault Vest
HydrappleAssault VestHeavy-Duty Boots
IndeedeeTerrain Extender
Iron CrownLeftoversBooster Energy
Iron HandsChoice BandLeftovers
Iron JugulisBooster Energy
Iron MothBooster Energy
KeldeoChoice Specs
KingdraChoice Specs
Kommo-oThroat Spray
LatiasLeftovers
LatiosChoice ScarfChoice Specs
Lilligant-HisuiLife Orb
MamoswineFocus SashLoaded Dice
ManaphyLeftovers
MandibuzzHeavy-Duty Boots
MausholdWide Lens
MiloticHeavy-Duty Boots
MoltresHeavy-Duty Boots
Moltres-GalarSitrus BerryHeavy-Duty BootsWeakness Policy
Muk-AlolaLeftovers
NecrozmaPower Herb
Ninetales-AlolaLight Clay
OgerponHeavy-Duty BootsLife OrbChoice Band
Ogerpon-CornerstoneCornerstone Mask
PecharuntHeavy-Duty Boots
PincurchinTerrain Extender
PolteageistFocus Sash
ReuniclusLeftoversLife Orb
RibombeeFocus Sash
Rotom-WashLeftovers
Sandy ShocksHeavy-Duty BootsBooster Energy
ScizorChoice BandLife Orb
Scream TailLeftovers
SinistchaLeftoversHeavy-Duty Boots
SmeargleFocus Sash
SuicuneLeftovers
TentacruelLeftoversHeavy-Duty Boots
Thundurus-TherianChoice SpecsHeavy-Duty Boots
TinkatonLeftovers
Tornadus-TherianAssault VestHeavy-Duty Boots
ToxapexLeftoversCovert CloakAssault Vest
TyranitarChoice BandSmooth Rock
UrsalunaFlame Orb
VenusaurLife OrbLeftovers
VolcanionHeavy-Duty BootsChoice Specs
Weezing-GalarHeavy-Duty BootsLeftovers
ZapdosHeavy-Duty Boots
ZarudeLeftoversLife Orb
ArghonautLeftoversCovert Cloak
AstrolotlHeavy-Duty Boots
AurumothHeavy-Duty Boots
CariboltLeftoversMagnet
CawmodoreSitrus Berry
ChromeraChoice Specs
ColossoilFlame Orb
CresceidonHeavy-Duty BootsRocky Helmet
CrucibelleAssault Vest
CyclohmHeavy-Duty Boots
EquilibraLeftovers
FidgitFocus SashMental Herb
HemogoblinHeavy-Duty Boots
JumbaoHeat RockChoice Scarf
KerfluffleChoice Scarf
KitsunohCovert CloakLeftovers
KrilowattLife Orb
MalacondaHeat Rock
MiasmawLoaded Dice
MolluxHeavy-Duty Boots
NaviathanFlame Orb
NecturnaWhite Herb
PajantomChoice Band
PlasmantaLeftoversLife Orb
PyroakHeavy-Duty Boots
RevenankhSpell Tag
SaharajaLeftoversHeavy-Duty Boots
SmokomodoLoaded Dice
SnaelstromToxic Orb
StratagemPower Herb
SyclantNever-Melt Ice
TomohawkRocky Helmet
VenomiconHeavy-Duty Boots
Venomicon-EpilogueVile Vial
VolkrakenChoice SpecsChoice Scarf
VoodoomChoice Specs
148 Analysis

NombreUso
Heavy-Duty Boots
45​
Leftovers
42​
Choice Band
14​
Choice Specs
14​
Life Orb
12​
Booster Energy
11​
Focus Sash
11​
Assault Vest
10​
Choice Scarf
9​
Air Balloon
5​
Loaded Dice
5​
Rocky Helmet
5​
Covert Cloak
4​
Flame Orb
3​
Heat Rock
3​
Light Clay
3​
Sitrus Berry
3​
Terrain Extender
3​
Grassy Seed
2​
Mental Herb
2​
Power Herb
2​
Toxic Orb
2​
Black Glasses
1​
Cornerstone Mask
1​
Damp Rock
1​
Expert Belt
1​
Lum Berry
1​
Never-Melt Ice
1​
Smooth Rock
1​
Spell Tag
1​
Throat Spray
1​
Vile Vial
1​
Weakness Policy
1​
Wellspring Mask
1​
White Herb
1​
Wide Lens
1​


1708324392299.png


In there we can see that out of 148 analyses, the top items are Heavy-Duty Boots :heavy-duty boots:, Leftovers :leftovers:, Choice Band :choice band: and Choice Specs:choice specs:.
Heavy-Duty Boots :heavy-duty boots: has a 30.4% usage and Leftovers:leftovers:a 28.3% usage out of all 148 analyses.
 
What are some items that are pro-concept and have the requisite power to be used?
  • Metronome
  • Blunder Policy
  • Throat Spray
  • Power Herb
Note: I removed Quick Claw from this list due to being uncompetitive, Eviolite for being dull, and Weakness Policy for depending too much on the element of surprise.

What are some items that toe the line between pro- and anti-concept? Which of these, if any, do you think apply to the concept?
  • Air Balloon
  • Assault Vest
  • Covert Cloak
  • [Terrain-based Seeds]
  • Loaded Dice
  • Punching Gloves
  • Rocky Helmet
  • Toxic Orb
What are some items that avoid restricting future stages, such as Ability? Are there any that may be too restricting?

Items that are pro-concept but highly restrictive:
  • Flame Orb
  • Sticky Barb
  • Iron Ball
  • Kings Rock
  • Salac Berry
  • Scope Lens/Razor Claw
  • Protective Pads
Should we pair items with abilities or can we effectively select items that are not too constricting? This scenario would have Ability as the first stage.

Based on the above analysis, there are very few viable and pro-concept items that will not severely constrain our choices in future stages. I think we need to balance concerns about railroading against our desire to fulfil the concept as successfully as possible.
 
What are some items that are pro-concept and have the requisite power to be used?
What are some items that toe the line between pro- and anti-concept? Which of these, if any, do you think apply to the concept?
What are some items that avoid restricting future stages, such as Ability? Are there any that may be too restricting?
I’m gonna start here with excluding the most obviously overused Options.

None of the following items falls within the scope of the concept:
  • Booster Energy
    Activates the Protosynthesis or Quark Drive Abilities. Single use.
  • Choice Band
    Holder's Attack is 1.5x, but it can only select the first move it executes.
  • Choice Scarf
    Holder's Speed is 1.5x, but it can only select the first move it executes.
  • Choice Specs
    Holder's Sp. Atk is 1.5x, but it can only select the first move it executes.
  • Eviolite
    If holder's species can evolve, its Defense and Sp. Def are 1.5x.
  • Heavy-Duty Boots
    When switching in, the holder is unaffected by hazards on its side of the field.
  • Leftovers
    At the end of every turn, holder restores 1/16 of its max HP.
Explored but underused

The following options have seen extensive use this gen or before with sometimes several applications, making most of them less appealing to me.
That said they are by definition underused this gen and some of them still could be interesting to explore and capable of creating a fun product. I’ve highlighted the options which interest me in Italic and added a short blurb why I like or don’t like them.


  • Air Balloon
    Holder is immune to Ground-type attacks. Pops when holder is hit. (Obviously this has been somewhat explored but mons like Balloon Heatran or Dengo are so cool to me and while skill issue polled badly, I think designing a Mon around an item, that can be leveraged to immense effectiveness by a skilled player seems really cool to me)
  • Focus Sash
    If holder's HP is full, will survive an attack that would KO it with 1 HP. Single use. (One of my favorite archetypes in general is Sash spam offense, because it rewards skillful play around hazards so much and Armarogue is just the funniest Mon to ever exist)
  • Misty Seed
    If the terrain is Misty Terrain, raises holder's Sp. Def by 1 stage. Single use. (The most interesting of the seeds, as it would imply Misty Terrain in some way, which currently isn’t in use, while not creating a new meta archetype like esurge. This would be fairly narrow but looking at the synergy between weakening Dragon moves, status immunity and a SpD boost might be kinda cool)
  • Red Card
    If holder survives a hit, attacker is forced to switch to a random ally. Single use. (Sorta on the fence here. My biggest issue is that the random element of this item makes it fairly volatile with how impactful it is, which as we have established is very important for single use items)
  • Weakness Policy
    If holder is hit super effectively, raises Attack, Sp. Atk by 2 stages. Single use. (Weakness Policy is fairly explored in terms of usage, but I think similar to Air Balloon, making a Mon that a skilled player can leverage to high degree is interesting to me especially since we are providing the chassis, that allows for making the most out of a weakness)
  • Electric Seed
    If the terrain is Electric Terrain, raises holder's Defense by 1 stage. Single use. (This means we make an electric terrain setter, which I don’t want to unleash on this project.)
  • Grassy Seed
    If the terrain is Grassy Terrain, raises holder's Defense by 1 stage. Single use.(Most commonly used option, feels explored between mons that want to soften Knock offs, Unburden and Stored Power Sweepers
  • Psychic Seed
    If the terrain is Psychic Terrain, raises holder's Sp. Def by 1 stage. Single use. (This one is somewhere in between Misty Seed and Grassy Seed for me
  • Damp Rock
    Holder's use of Rain Dance lasts 8 turns instead of 5.
  • Heat Rock
    Holder's use of Sunny Day lasts 8 turns instead of 5.
  • Icy Rock
    Holder's use of Hail lasts 8 turns instead of 5.
  • Smooth Rock
    Holder's use of Sandstorm lasts 8 turns instead of 5.
  • (I think these are much too straightforward to make something interesting)
  • Assault Vest
    Holder's Sp. Def is 1.5x, but it can only select damaging moves. (This item just feels overly explored to me)
  • Chesto Berry
    Holder wakes up if it is asleep. Single use. (This item just feels overly explored to me)
  • King's Rock
    Holder's attacks without a chance to flinch gain a 10% chance to flinch. (Banned)
  • Life Orb
    Holder's attacks do 1.3x damage , and it loses 1/10 its max HP after the attack. (This item just feels overly explored to me)
  • Light Clay
    Holder's use of Aurora Veil, Light Screen, or Reflect lasts 8 turns instead of 5. (This item just feels overly explored to me)
  • Loaded Dice
    Holder's moves that hit 2-5 times hit 4-5 times; Population Bomb hits 4-10 times. (This item just feels overly explored to me, even if it’s a newer addition, we’ve seen it put to use very effectively this gen.
  • Lum Berry
    Holder cures itself if it has a non-volatile status or is confused. Single use. (This item just feels overly explored to me)
  • Power Herb
    Holder's two-turn moves complete in one turn (except Sky Drop). Single use. (This item just feels overly explored to me, since it’s tied to basically one move. That said it’s also one of the funniest moves ever so I wouldn’t mind it)
  • Protective Pads
    Holder's moves are protected from adverse contact effects, except Pickpocket. (If we were in SS I’d definitely consider this but atm Contact Punishment isn’t super big, so I don’t think we have a lot of direction to go with this.)
  • Rocky Helmet
    If holder is hit by a contact move, the attacker loses 1/6 of its max HP. (This item just feels overly explored to me)
  • Salac Berry
    Raises holder's Speed by 1 stage when at 1/4 max HP or less. Single use. (Endure-Salac-Reversal Gapdos is fun and all, and Sub-Salac Cawm is even funnier, but I also think it’s sorta gimmicky in a gen with so much good priority)
  • Shed Shell
    Holder may switch out even when trapped by another Pokemon, or by Ingrain. (Lack of common Trappers)
  • Sitrus Berry
    Restores 1/4 max HP when at 1/2 max HP or less. Single use. (This item just feels overly explored to me)
  • Sticky Barb
    Each turn, holder loses 1/8 max HP. An attacker making contact can receive it. (Requires Magic guard and for the Mon to have other sets to be viable)
  • Toxic Orb
    At the end of every turn, this item attempts to badly poison the holder. (This item just feels overly explored to me)
  • White Herb
    Restores all lowered stat stages to 0 when one is less than 0. Single use. (This basically means Shell Smash the Mon, which doesn’t seem interesting)


Compelling underused items
  • Black Sludge
    Each turn, if holder is a Poison type, restores 1/16 max HP; loses 1/8 if not. (This one is a curious case as prior to Gen 9 it was a fairly widespread item on Poison types. With the advent of Tera though many defensive mons don’t want to run it over Leftovers, as it cripples them when they need to tera. I think it would be interesting to see how you make an item work that hinders you from terastallizing but otherwise is in the same tier as boots or leftovers. To me this is the most interesting utility focused option. I think regarding exploration, this is also pretty interesting, since we are working with a previously strong item, that fell out of favor)
  • Eject Button
    If holder survives a hit, it immediately switches out to a chosen ally. Single use. (On the fence with this one for similar reasons as Red Card. That said this item gives the user more control over it than red card and similar to Items like Focus Sash and Weakness Policy I think it can hold a very compelling experiment into building a Mon made for high skill turns)
  • Eject Pack
    If the holder's stat stages are lowered, it switches to a chosen ally. Single use. (Again falls close to Eject Pack and Red Card, but this time the user has almost all control over it, especially since this gen sees much less Intimidate. As with the other items, Looking into leveraging these high skill turns should make for a very deep process.
  • Kee Berry
    Raises holder's Defense by 1 stage after it is hit by a physical attack. Single use. (This is sort of a weird one based on my history with it. Back in gen Five I used this on Volcarona to make it even more threatening, allowing me my first 2000 Elo run. I sorta think making a Mon that can turn an enemy attack into something potentially game ending is fascinating to me. At the same time I don’t know if this item is impactful enough, compared to other options, bug my success with Volcarona at least has me somewhat optimistic.
  • Metronome
    Damage of moves used on consecutive turns is increased. Max 2x after 5 turns. (Idk how feasible this one is but I’m sorta curious what elements made a set like Sub Roost Kyurem work in previous gens and if it’s possible to replicate such a success in a different meta.)
  • Razor Claw
    Holder's critical hit ratio is raised by 1 stage. (We know where this leads but it’s one of those tried and true items, that we’d be able to get guaranteed use out of, which tbh is fairly rare, looking through this list
  • Scope Lens
    Holder's critical hit ratio is raised by 1 stage. (See Razor Claw)
  • Throat Spray
    Raises holder's Special Attack by 1 stage after it uses a sound move. Single use. (I believe this is an item, that is worth exploring and has varied options, but for some reason I’m not super exited by it)

  • Ability Shield
    Holder's Ability cannot be changed by any effect. (This is incredibly narrow, bc it’s almost exclusively realistic on an Unaware mon that doesn’t wanna loose to Miasmaw, which begs the question, why currently used unawares rarely use it)
  • Blunder Policy
    If the holder misses due to accuracy, its Speed is raised by 2 stages. Single use. (Could be fun but feels very gimmicky due to being reliant on Hax)
  • Clear Amulet
    Prevents other Pokemon from lowering the holder's stat stages. (Similar to Pads I think this would have been much more interesting in SS where Intimidate was so prevalent thanks to Langod)
  • Covert Cloak
    Holder is not affected by the secondary effect of another Pokemon's attack. (I think this is a cool item, but the use cases are just so narrow, that I don’t know if we get enough depth from this)
  • Flame Orb
    At the end of every turn, this item attempts to burn the holder. (I don’t really see a lot of space for this and most of that space has been explore even if there are two abilities that are basically not used despite interacting with it)
  • Grip Claw
    Holder's partial-trapping moves always last 7 turns. (Why have mons like Heatran and Toxapex never run this, despite basically being designed for abusing it)
  • Lagging Tail
    Holder moves last in its priority bracket. (This is too detrimental to make work outside of lures)
  • Mental Herb
    Cures holder of Attract, Disable, Encore, Heal Block, Taunt, Torment. Single use. (Might be semi interesting as it has seen use on some leads and walls before, but idk if it’s powerful enough to make work over other items)
  • Mirror Herb
    When an opposing Pokemon raises a stat stage, the holder copies it. Single use. (Maybe interesting, but feels very hard to make use of)
  • Room Service
    If Trick Room is active, the holder's Speed is lowered by 1 stage. Single use. (Room Service ~~Unburden~~ Acrobatics (would you judge me if I told you I’ve used this on Cawmodore before?, also Trick Room is ass)
  • Safety Goggles Holder is immune to powder moves and damage from Sandstorm or Hail. (Holder is immune to Sandstorm)
  • Terrain Extender
    Holder's use of Electric/Grassy/Misty/Psychic Terrain lasts 8 turns instead of 5. (This fall kinda into the same territory as Weather Stones imo)
  • Utility Umbrella
    The holder ignores rain- and sun-based effects. (This is bad)
  • Iron Ball
    Holder is grounded, Speed halved. If Flying type, takes neutral Ground damage. (Maybe interesting in the context of low speed and Trick)
  • Ring Target
    The holder's type immunities granted solely by its typing are negated. (Maybe interesting on Regieleki with trick. Considering, that it would be telegraphed it might also lead to a high skill ceiling product, but at the same time feels very gimmicky and easy to replace with other better items)
Pinch Berries

Pinch Berries are mostly not worth it anymore in most cases. There might be something interesting in a Mon that can turn 1/3 of its HP into a high impact turn, but idk how feasible that is. For that reason I’m of the opinion, that the most interesting of these would be Custap Berry and then maybe Liechi and Petaya, though similar to Salac Berry I question wether these are even more than a gimmick considering all the priority moves in the tier.
  • Aguav Berry
    Restores 1/3 max HP at 1/4 max HP or less; confuses if -SpD Nature. Single use.
  • Apicot Berry
    Raises holder's Sp. Def by 1 stage when at 1/4 max HP or less. Single use.
  • Custap Berry
    Holder moves first in its priority bracket when at 1/4 max HP or less. Single use.
  • Figy Berry
    Restores 1/3 max HP at 1/4 max HP or less; confuses if -Atk Nature. Single use.
  • Ganlon Berry
    Raises holder's Defense by 1 stage when at 1/4 max HP or less. Single use.
  • Iapapa Berry
    Restores 1/3 max HP at 1/4 max HP or less; confuses if -Def Nature. Single use.
  • Lansat Berry
    Holder gains the Focus Energy effect when at 1/4 max HP or less. Single use.
  • Leppa Berry
    Restores 10 PP to the first of the holder's moves to reach 0 PP. Single use.
  • Liechi Berry
    Raises holder's Attack by 1 stage when at 1/4 max HP or less. Single use.
  • Mago Berry Restores 1/3 max HP at 1/4 max HP or less; confuses if -Spe Nature. Single use.
  • Maranga Berry
    Raises holder's Sp. Def by 1 stage after it is hit by a special attack. Single use.
  • Micle Berry
    Holder's next move has 1.2x accuracy when at 1/4 max HP or less. Single use.
  • Petaya Berry
    Raises holder's Sp. Atk by 1 stage when at 1/4 max HP or less. Single use.
  • Starf Berry
    Raises a random stat by 2 when at 1/4 max HP or less (not acc/eva). Single use.
  • Wiki Berry
    Restores 1/3 max HP at 1/4 max HP or less; confuses if -SpA Nature. Single use.
Resist Berries
Resist berries are a curious case of these were good, why aren’t they anymore? Idt most of these work really. The most compelling case is Colbur Berry for making Knock off much less powerful. I think these would heavily depend on Typing, so any decision would be if we go with a resist berry or bot and then decide typing and how to make use of those berries.
  • Babiri Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Steel-type attack. Single use.
  • Charti Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Rock-type attack. Single use.
  • Chilan Berry
    Halves damage taken from a Normal-type attack. Single use.
  • Chople Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Fighting-type attack. Single use.
  • Coba Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Flying-type attack. Single use.
  • Colbur Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Dark-type attack. Single use.
  • Haban Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Dragon-type attack. Single use.
  • Kasib Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Ghost-type attack. Single use.
  • Kebia Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Poison-type attack. Single use.
  • Occa Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Fire-type attack. Single use.
  • Passho Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Water-type attack. Single use.
  • Payapa Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Psychic-type attack. Single use.
  • Rindo Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Grass-type attack. Single use.
  • Roseli Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Fairy-type attack. Single use.
  • Shuca Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Ground-type attack. Single use.
  • Tanga Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Bug-type attack. Single use.
  • Wacan Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Electric-type attack. Single use.
  • Yache Berry
    Halves damage taken from a supereffective Ice-type attack. Single use.
Type Boosting
Maybe sorta interesting for why a select few Pokémon can run these. Though in my opinion easily answered with I have broken Stab and Priority or second STAB move that hits common switch ins harder than the main STAB.
  • Black Belt
    Holder's Fighting-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Black Glasses
    Holder's Dark-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Charcoal
    Holder's Fire-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Draco Plate
    Holder's Dragon-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Dragon type.
  • Dragon Fang
    Holder's Dragon-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Dread Plate
    Holder's Dark-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Dark type.
  • Earth Plate
    Holder's Ground-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Ground type.
  • Fairy Feather
    Holder's Fairy-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Fist Plate
    Holder's Fighting-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Fighting type.
  • Flame Plate Holder's Fire-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Fire type.
  • Hard Stone
    Holder's Rock-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Icicle Plate
    Holder's Ice-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Ice type.
  • Insect Plate
    Holder's Bug-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Bug type.
  • Iron Plate
    Holder's Steel-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Steel type.
  • Magnet
    Holder's Electric-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Meadow Plate
    Holder's Grass-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Grass type.
  • Metal Coat
    Holder's Steel-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Mind Plate
    Holder's Psychic-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Psychic type.
  • Miracle Seed
    Holder's Grass-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Mystic Water
    Holder's Water-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Never-Melt Ice
    Holder's Ice-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Pixie Plate
    Holder's Fairy-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Fairy type.
  • Poison Barb
    Holder's Poison-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Sharp Beak
    Holder's Flying-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Silk Scarf
    Holder's Normal-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Silver Powder
    Holder's Bug-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Sky Plate
    Holder's Flying-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Flying type.
  • Soft Sand
    Holder's Ground-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Spell Tag
    Holder's Ghost-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Splash Plate
    Holder's Water-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Water type.
  • Spooky Plate
    Holder's Ghost-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Ghost type.
  • Stone Plate
    Holder's Rock-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Rock type.
  • Toxic Plate
    Holder's Poison-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Poison type.
  • Twisted Spoon
    Holder's Psychic-type attacks have 1.2x power.
  • Zap Plate
    Holder's Electric-type attacks have 1.2x power. Judgment is Electric type.
Weak, Conditional Stat Boosts
These are generally very weak items, so the biggest question to answer here is how the fuck do you make a Mon run these over the most used items, which is just the most basic question of this concept and sorta uninteresting.
  • Expert Belt
    Holder's attacks that are super effective against the target do 1.2x damage.
  • Muscle Band
    Holder's physical attacks have 1.1x power.
  • Punching Glove
    Holder's punch-based attacks have 1.1x power and do not make contact.
  • Quick Claw
    Each turn, holder has a 20% chance to move first in its priority bracket.
  • Razor Fang
    Holder's attacks without a chance to flinch gain a 10% chance to flinch.
  • Wide Lens
    The accuracy of attacks by the holder is 1.1x.
  • Wise Glasses
    Holder's special attacks have 1.1x power.
  • Zoom Lens
    The accuracy of attacks by the holder is 1.2x if it moves after its target.
Should we pair items with abilities or can we effectively select items that are not too constricting? This scenario would have Ability as the first stage.
I think that we have a wide enough pool to select an item that doesn’t restrict ability, but at the same time some of the most easy to apply items Are going to railroad ability, which is why I still believe, that looking at abilities in conjunction with items before ultimately choosing an item might be worth it to preserve the Ability stage for these items. Honestly idk how much this applies, but I worry, that items which railroad ability are by definition of the Concept Submission rules illegal, similar to how specifying a stat or ability in the concept would be illegal.
 
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