CAP 34 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment

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What are some items that are pro-concept and have the requisite power to be used?

Wide Lens (allows for the use of accurate crash moves such as High Jump Kick, possible synergy with abilities like Reckless)

Punching Glove (Boosts Punch moves and protects from Static and Rough Skin)

Throat Spray (Sound moves are always cool and synergizes with a few different abilities like Punk Rock, Unburden, or even Simple)

Eject Pack (allows for quick momentum gain, but only once per battle. Good for when you want your Draco Meteor to also be a switch move.)

Eject Button (also allows for momentum gain once per battle but you have less agency over it. Still useful for if you want momentum)


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?

Assault Vest ( Already been done with Tangrowth, Melmetal, Archaludon, etc. not much room for exploration. Does not apply.)

Power Herb (done to capacity as well.

Air Balloon (I can't help but feel air balloon is already done to capacity by Excadrill, Gholdengo and Heatran. Does not apply.)

Flame Orb ( guts. There is still room for exploration with Flare Boost/Quick Feet, so I do think it is a viable option.)

Toxic Orb (the only way this would apply is with Poison Heal which is already explored by both Sea Snail and Gliscor. Does Not Apply.)

Terrain Extender ( Requires Terrain abilities.also has seen common use on both koko and fini. I don't think this applies but I can see cases made for it.)


What are some items that avoid restricting future stages, such as Ability? Are there any that may be too restricting?

Eject pack/button don't necessarily have any ability that they suggest.

Wide Lens and Throat Spray have some abilities that they synergize with more than others but are otherwise fairly open since they affect moves more than our ability. Throat Spray specifically only defines out role as a sweeper, while still giving us room for abilities.

Terrain Seeds pretty much guarantee we'll be wanting the Terrain abilities due to a lack of tapus.

Scope Lens is perhaps the most restricting item here for our Ability stage.

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 believe suggesting items with abilities is the best option forward cuz of my reasoning here:
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.
Tldr; is it gives a solid foundation for the rest of the process, alleviates railroading somewhat, and can give the opportunity for already treaded-on items such as AV to have a new avenue explored.
 
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a fairy

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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.
What are some items that are pro-concept and have the requisite power to be used?
Now that I'm answering this question last (read bottom up if you want my thought process), I've got some idea of things I want to be on the table. Someone else mentioned Metronome, and I'm a big fan of that one! It's an item that you can see the use of, but gets passed up plenty for more immediately powerful moves. Serperior doesn't use Metronome, because it really likes Scarf or Boots or Leftovers.
Resist Berries and Weakness Policy and similar weakness-based items are items that explore a unique side of 'mons that I think this concept is uniquely situated to address, while also being items that are less explored (berries more so than WP, admittedly). While Tera does admittedly complicate the process for these items, I don't think it does so irredeemably so.
Loaded Dice, Big Root, Grip Claw, Weather Rocks, etc are all consistent items that serve a single hyper-focused purpose, be that unique move side effects or multihits or weather or what have you. I think these would be fine, there is exploratory potential in these items, but risk being discarded for more powerful items with more immediate effects if we aren't careful.
Clear Amulet, Ability Shield, Air Balloon, etc are all items that serve the purpose of disrupting an opponent's strategy, such as nullifying a benefit or taking advantage of a weak spot. I think these have strong exploratory potential for this concept, as it would allow us to explore the unique ties between a 'mon and whatever it is that the item is protecting.
And, my personal favorite, Black Sludge. It's not by far and away the best thing on the list, for sure, and may unduly limit our discussions in the future, but as someone who remembers Gen 4 Tentacruel running it and trying to bait out Trick from the opposing team, I would love to see this item being given consideration.

If I had to give a list of five items I wanted to be given serious consideration, those items would be Metronome, Resist Berries, Grip Claw, Clear Amulet, and Black Sludge. I think others have made good arguments for other items that I definitely see the value of, but I can only champion so many causes, and I think the ones I've chosen are the ones I feel the best about that we could explore an exciting design space for.

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?
You know what items I think toe the line between pro- and anti-concept? Toxic Orb and Burn Orb! This is the third question I'm answering, and I wanna polljump talk about Trick. I think that items that are detrimental - Ring Target, Sticky Barb, Lagging Tail, Iron Ball - are items that we are going to learn nothing from. Items that our user wants to hand off at first opportunity are "neat" concepts and are underexplored in 'mons, but they're also going to be hard sells to equip in the Teambuilder.

I think that while we shouldn't entirely disregard the learning potential of item manipulation, I think that it shouldn't be what we're aiming for right off rip. I think genuinely if our decision is "our Pokemon should explore this cool underutilized item by immediately trying to push it on its opponent", not only does it become a bit of a sad state of affairs, but it also makes the Pokemon incredibly transparant in Battle. Oh, CAP34's coming in, it's gonna try to give me an Iron Ball then outspeed me... This is on top of it being hard to justify items like that in the teambuilder.

That being said, there certainly are items that are "too weak" - RNG items like Focus Band or King's Rock don't really deserve our attention, nor do items like Muscle Band or Enigma Berry that are strictly outclassed nowadays by better items.

What are some items that avoid restricting future stages, such as Ability? Are there any that may be too restricting?
From the wide range of every legal ability we could grab, every item will be restricting. Some are going to be more restricting than others - White Herb or Power Herb will no doubt have certain expectations when we get to movepool, and a nebulous "resist berries!" will set clear goals when we get to Typing. That being said, something like Toxic and Burn Orb, while maybe not justifiable for this concept (can you tell I'm answering these questions in reverse order?), would absolutely make the Ability stage functionally irrelevent. An Assault Vest, definitely not valid for this concept IMO but as an example, would necessitate serious discussion around Stats and Movepool.

That being said, as I glance through a list, I don't think we should eliminate out of hand any item for being "too restricting" on a future stage. It may come as of discussion that we should put an item down for being too limiting, but I think if an item has genuine reason to be considered "underutilized", worries about a future stage should not eliminate any discussion about a specific item. Sure, Toxic/Burn Orb will set our Ability discussion to within some incredibly limited parameters, but I don't think we should dismiss them out of hand.

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 don't think we need to worry too much about abilities. Our item(s) choice may impact what we may choose for our ability, such as discarding Levitate if we want to explore, say, Air Balloon, but I don't think that ability is going to need special treatment after items. Maybe we pick an ability that provides some defensive benefit if we go for something like Weakness Policy, like Intimidate. Maybe we go for a more offensively presence ability if our item is something more defensive like Rocky Helmet. But I don't think as a result we need to immediately rush to figure out our ability, even in these more drastic cases.
 

SHSP

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  1. 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 we can absolutely find items that don't mandate abilities (even something like, say, Scope Lens doesn't exactly mandate Sniper or something of the sort), but it's important to find a good pairing between the general fabric of the mon we're making and the item we end up picking. The best stage to do this is probably going to be Ability, so putting it first and putting an early focus on it makes a lot of sense. Most of these items are specific at best; it's gonna take a specific build to make them the de facto #1 option over something like Boots or Lefties or w/e. Synergy between the rest of the kit and the chosen item is absolutely crucial if you ask me and something that we need to keep in mind going forward. I don't exactly think we need to directly pair items to abilities- if anything that sounds more constricting (or like a cluster) when we can select an item first, and then run a very tailored ability stage.

I'm not going to harp on items- there's plenty of really solid lists already in thread- but I would like to highlight some that come to mind for that "they don't suggest any one ability strongly, but can be really tailored to in ability" category. Metronome, the Eject items, Pads/Glove, even some of the consumables like Custap or WP can be strong enough individually, but significantly higher power level when the mon is synergistic around them.
 
1. What are some items that are pro-concept and have the requisite power to be used?
Others have already listed a lot of items, so I'll mention that the ones which especially stand out to me (in having the most potential for consistent viability while still being both uncommon and not fully explored) are Weakness Policy, Eject Pack, Scope Lens, and Throat Spray.

This is the opposite, but some that have been brought up that I can't see being on a main set ever are Blunder Policy (too inconsistent), Big Root and Grip Claw (very hard to justify over Leftovers), Black Sludge (restricts Tera for very little upside), and probably any resist berry (also bc Tera).

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?
Previously I was ready to argue that some items in the Popular Items section should be considered, but that would be more of an "item actualization" process which isn't quite what the concept is actually asking for- using an item not typically seen, and I think the pool of actual uncommon or unused items is strong enough that we don't need to resort to this. (maaybe Air Balloon or Salac Berry, but definitely not like, AV)

3. What are some items that avoid restricting future stages, such as Ability? Are there any that may be too restricting?
I think almost no items are so restricting that we would be entirely ruining a future stage (except maybe Sticky Barb), but there are definitely a lot that can only work with really specific builds. I think that's just kind of how this concept is though so I don't want to rule too much out on that basis, I'd rather focus on what's restricting in the sense that they don't give us enough unexplored design space (status Orbs, Terrain Extender/weather Rocks, probably Light Clay, and so on).

I almost mentioned Scope Lens here, but there are at least 2 good abilities to choose from and enough different ways to approach them that I think there's enough to work with here for it to be a valid choice. Wide Lens and Loaded Dice are in a somewhat similar boat w.r.t. railroading defining move choices a lot, and I wouldn't count them out either, though I'm less excited about them.

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.
We can effectively choose items that aren't too constricting I think, but Ability should probably be the first stage anyway (after item before the others). Almost all items, even if they strongly imply certain abilities, do have some options that should be discussed properly in a full stage, and a very linear Ability stage wouldn't be the end of the world anyway.
 
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dex

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I am loving all the options y'all are throwing out! This has been a great discussion so far. I want to get a few things clear: we will choose an item before any other stage, including Ability. We can have a Concept Assessment after this poll to determine if Ability should leapfrog Typing in stage order, but CAP 34's item will be chosen on its own. This matter has supporters on both sides, but it really comes down to whether you think there are enough interesting items that don't railroad ability. I think there are. I want to remind everyone that this item will need to be on a set that is viable in the current CAP metagame. Showing proof of that in an item is a big bonus for it in my eyes.

I also wanted to give my own opinion on some of the more popular items. Feel free to:
  1. Resist berries have been used sparingly across many generations, and Gen 9 is no different. While they can be seen as more "lure-y", popular berries like Colbur and Shuca, among others, provide doable paths. There is definitely worry here with competition between Leftovers and HDB, but thinking of sets like ColburBro and Yache Lando from the past makes me think that this is a situation where it could coexist with a bigger item. That being said, these are situational items, so they may not be strong enough to make it onto main sets. Because this item is very typing-reliant, resist berries should be grouped together for discussion purposes to avoid poll jumping. It is alright to talk about certain ones, but what will go to poll will be a general "resist berries" should it be slated.
  2. Air Balloon, while having seen play on other Pokemon in the past and in this generation, is a pro-concept item that is certainly strong enough to see use over more traditional items. While it too impacts typing heavily (you need to be weak to Ground to realistically have this see use), the use case for it is quite varied (everything from sweepers like Kingambit to defensive pivots like Gholdengo to whatever Heatran feels like being run it).
  3. One item that I think is somewhat overhyped is Eject Button. It is honestly pretty killer on Ability, and I don't think it is consistent or good enough to see main set usage, but I could be convinced otherwise.
  4. Eject Pack, on the other hand, is quite interesting, as it puts the activation of the item into the user's hands. I don't think this item is restrictive on any one stage, and though the overall build may not be as interesting as some others, I think Eject Pack has enough to lead to a fruitful and interesting process.
  5. Like Eject Button, Red Card is just not enough to be put on a main set in my opinion. To be honest, it may be worse than Eject Button, since there is even less about the effect of Red Card that is in the user's control. The item is good, but just doesn't have the effectiveness. I don't see this one.
  6. Focus Sash is exceedingly interesting to me because it has a truly powerful effect. I think there are a couple paths for it, nothing like Air Balloon or resist berries, but enough that the process would be totally fine.
  7. Terrain Seeds are inherently tied to the metagame and what terrains are available. Anything that does not have that terrain available would require the matching surge ability; we cannot expect CAP 34 to create a terrain archetype around itself if one does not exist already. This really limits this to Grassy Seed and, arguably, Psychic Seed. Now, I do think Seeds give a little more leeway to Ability than it has been made out to be, but they are inherently restrictive. I could go either way here.
  8. No item may be more frustrating to play against than Metronome. Metronome's use cases over Choice items are so weird and varied that I do think the item would cause the process to be much more difficult than other ways to overcome existing "good" items. There is some merit to it, but I am worried about it.
  9. While you may think Throat Spray mandates Punk Rock, it really doesn't. Boomburst (and sound moves in general) are pretty strong, and I think the item provides just enough to give us the required work space. While the item is most obviously offensive, I think there are quite a few ways you can capitalize on the boost Throat Spray gives.
  10. Black Sludge is not good in my eyes. I know that there is some support for it so far, but let me recharacterize the item for you. Black Sludge is just Leftovers, a banned item from this concept, but it railroads typing to include Poison and you can't Tera CAP 34 until after you Trick. In previous generations, Black Sludge is almost always equated to Leftovers, and the only reason it applies to this concept now is that Terastallizing exists. I don't think that the item makes for a viable path. Now, considering that, if y'all really do think Black Sludge has more merit beyond those things, let me know here.
  11. Loaded Dice is... an item. It is a weird one because yeah, it applies to the concept, as it has just a couple users, but it does just do one thing. I think it is somewhat varied that you may think at first glance because you can make the case for something more like Mega Heracross to exist, but it isn't amazing by any stretch. It would definitely be an easy item to ensure it gets used, I am just not convinced it is interesting enough, flatly.
Right now, my favorites are Air Balloon and Eject Pack, and I think those two are pretty safe locks to make slate. On a separate note, here are some other matters that I think should see a bit more discussion:
  1. Trick- and Fling-reliant items like Lagging Tail and Sticky Barb, Orbs (sometimes), and Weakness Policy to a certain extent all derive some amount of value from their surprise factor. If these items are "main set", then that surprise factor comes into question. Given this, are Trick- and Fling-related items worth pursuing?
  2. More niche single-use items like White Herb and Power Herb have seen a bit of discussion. Are any of these (or ones I didn't mention) worthy of our time?
  3. Two items, Rocky Helmet and Assault Vest, have come into question as possibly not pro-concept due to past use. What are your thoughts on these two? If we simply avoid certain traits often associated with them (Contact effect + Helmet, RegenVest), can we turn them into pro-concept items?
  4. Pick an item (or 2 or 3 or all of 'em) that you think deserves more conversation. What are the pros and cons of basing a process around that item?
If you agreed/disagreed with me or have answers to the above two questions, please say so! And please, highlight items you think are the best choice. A slate of items will be made in 24 hours. Ish. Around then.
 
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first time posting in cap I think. hi

Air Balloon, while having seen play on other Pokemon in the past and in this generation, is a pro-concept item that is certainly strong enough to see use over more traditional items. While it too impacts typing heavily (you need to be weak to Ground to realistically have this see use), the use case for it is quite varied (everything from sweepers like Kingambit to defensive pivots like Gholdengo to whatever Heatran feels like being run it).
I think my main issue with air balloon is that it doesn't feel like an underexplored item. It's never been a top tier item, but I feel like "not wanting to get hit by a ground type move" usually means 'this pokemon has a crippling weakness to ground type', either from your usual 4x weakness types/awful defenses or because the pokemon has such a good defensive spread that adding another immunity even if temporarily will let it snowball/hold defensively, and we've seen both the former (toxtricity, heatran) and the latter (kingambit, gholdengo) in practice, sometimes at once (heatran).

So to me it feels like we're either going to create a pokemon that needs to avoid ground type moves as much as possible (and also make it so tera + another item isn't a better answer, which isn't too hard but might take off some options) and/or make it a really really good pokémon that just needs to avoid eq spam for a bit so it can let loose. Both are fair, but I think not the most interesting paths with this type of concept?

I will admit im not the most skilled so I could be looking at it in the wrong way/too narrowly. I hope my post made sense, at least
 
I want to chip in some items I find interesting that haven’t been mentioned:

:Zoom Lens: Zoom Lens: This could be quite a cool concept. A slower powerful Pokémon that has inaccurate moves it relies on. Zoom Lens would be pretty interesting.

:Wide Lens: Wide Lens: Not completely explored. About same as Zoom Lens. Cool idea.

:Flame Orb: :Toxic Orb: Flame / Toxic Orb: This wouldn’t be hard to build around and while they aren’t the most underexplored items, there’s still plenty to see. (Like a useful Toxic Boost user)

:Float Stone: Float Stone: I don’t know about this one, but an idea nonetheless!
 
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  1. Trick- and Fling-reliant items like Lagging Tail and Sticky Barb, Orbs (sometimes), and Weakness Policy to a certain extent all derive some amount of value from their surprise factor. If these items are "main set", then that surprise factor comes into question. Given this, are Trick- and Fling-related items worth pursuing?
Personally I think that trick is worth it because it can make the Pokémon a literal collected able to use almost any item after giving its opponent a necessary debuff to win. I don’t like fling as much because it’s just a one off attack then no item making them not really need an item.
2. More niche single-use items like White Herb and Power Herb have seen a bit of discussion. Are any of these (or ones I didn't mention) worthy of our time?
I think they could be worth it in some scenarios but would probably have to be the Pokémons only way to do something. Like with say absorb bulb that’s it’s only way to boost special attack. Absorb bulb and the other absorb items could be interesting to work with especially if it has a choice between to or more of them.
3. Two items, Rocky Helmet and Assault Vest, have come into question as possibly not pro-concept due to past use. What are your thoughts on these two? If we simply avoid certain traits often associated with them (Contact effect + Helmet, RegenVest), can we turn them into pro-concept items?
I am against these items because they aren’t, in my mind, uncommon. Additionally, I don’t see many unique possibilities for either of them.
4. Pick an item (or 2 or 3 or all of 'em) that you think deserves more conversation. What are the pros and cons of basing a process around that item?
I want to talk about the absorb items, Absorb bulb, luminous moss, Cell battery and Snowball. I think all of these item could have more use than they do. They have the benefit of making it safe to switch into the items associated type Additionally the items can be used defensively to bait what would have been super effective into being a stat boost. If multiple of these items are usable on this Pokémon it can be used for mind games in which your opponent doesn’t know how to attack it. As a final note I feel like that these items should be it’s best way to boost itself.
 
Trick and Fling items are interesting because you have to justify using them over tricking a Choice item. Would this mean we need CAP34 to be useful itemless, or would we have specific targets we are trying to hit with Trick in order to get specific items? How would we incentivize getting said items via Trick instead of just putting them on in the builder? I'm not totally against them but I'd prefer if we had an item with more use than just getting rid of it.

Single use items are definitely worthy of discussion. Consumables are a very solid expression of skill since you have to determine when and where to use them, if you can. While I think White and Power Herb are pretty much as explored as they will get, Throat Spray piques my interest somewhat as there are a few abilities and a whole slew of moves for it to interact with.

I agree that more commonly used items can be picked if there is enough unexplored space, but there generally isn't much unexplored space with these.

The item that I think deserves more discussion is perhaps Wide Lens. It has a very subtle effect but it has a huge impact on gameplay. It is also surprisingly delicate balancing act that leaves us with many questions. Should we give CAP34 only inaccurate moves to incentivize using Wide Lens? How inaccurate do we get before Wide lens loses its practical effect? Do we want to give this Pokemon status moves, and if so, what are the implications? Lots of little things to gnaw on that would make it either a fun challenge or an absolute pain to work out.
 

snake

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My philosophy for items that will work for this concept heavily hinge on how easily it is for them to be replaced by Leftovers, Heavy-Duty Boots, or Choice Items. If an item can be easily supplanted with these more common items, I worry about our execution of the concept. I also value flexibility in later steps; I don't want items that railroad multiple subsequent steps too much.

There are three items that I feel confident in: Assault Vest, Scope Lens, and Throat Spray.

Assault Vest
Assault Vest provides something that many items mentioned in this thread do not: flexibility in later steps. While Assault Vest requires relatively specific builds, it does not mandate as narrow of a band of potential typings, abilities, or movepools than other items commonly suggested in this thread would. Providing this flexibility allows for more a wider range of builds in later steps, making for more colorful submissions.

I will reiterate that while many Pokemon have successfully used Assault Vest in the past, only a few have used it as their #1 used item, with Leftovers commonly as an alternate item in previous gens and Heavy-Duty Boots as an alternate in more recent gens. Thus, while Assault Vest has been explored in the past, there is room to explore how to make THE Assault Vest user, a Pokemon that wants it over Leftovers/Boots/Choice basically all the time. Assault Vest is a strong enough item to pull this off - we just have to find the right build for it.

In fact, the fact that Assault Vest has succeeded can be a strength, as these examples provide perspective on what works and what doesn't. It may not be as interesting or novel as some items, but doing a deep dive on this particular item would be a valid interpretation of this concept.

Scope Lens
Scope Lens provides something that other items cannot: the ability to hit Unaware Pokemon with massively boosted hits while having no drawbacks like choice-lock or Life Orb recoil. That is a clear niche which, combined with ability, means that a Scope Lens build can find a lot of use over the Leftovers/Boots/Choice. A wallbreaker or sweeper whose boosts cannot be stopped by Unaware users is not a novel concept, but a build centered around Scope Lens could succeed using this approach. Scope Lens notably leaves typing fairly wide open, as there are many moves that can take advantage of trying to maximize the number of critical hits, so I enjoy it for the relative flexibility that it provides for later steps.

Throat Spray
This item will likely only be successful for sweeping sets, as wallbreaking sets will undoubtedly prefer Choice Specs. However, being a late-game sweeper who can activate its boost while dealing damage is a strength that I cannot ignore. Additionally, while the role is relatively fixed as a special sweeper, there are many typings and abilities that would work with this style of sweeper, as DLC2 just provided additional sound-based moves to the game, including two brand-new ones (Psychic Noise and Alluring Voice) as well as Sparkling Aria.

There's one item I'm becoming more confident in but am still considering: Eject Pack

Eject Pack
Eject Pack has the advantage of making a high-BP, potentially STAB move into a one-time use pivot move. I understand the vision if it's to build a dedicated hyper offense lead and uses this move to pivot out, starting off the battle with a bang. On slower, more balanced teams though, this one-time swing in momentum quickly gets averaged out as the game drags out for more and more turns, and in this scenario, it would prefer Leftovers, Boots, or even a Choice item if if needs damage / speed. I think this item can be successful - the role where this item can succeed is fairly narrow. Where this item is more redeeming to me is that there are plenty of moves to pair with Eject Pack, meaning later stages are less constrained in their options.

EDIT: I believe that this item could work on bulky offense builds, but I still worry that CAP34 is more likely to drop Eject Pack the slower the build is.

There are two other items I think could work but have my doubts: Wide Lens and Air Balloon

Wide Lens
While increasing the accuracy of moves is generally good, for most moves it's not worth using over Leftovers, Boots, or a Choice Item. For example, despite Cinderace wanting to have more accurate Pyro Ball and Will-O-Wisp, you don't see it ever considering Wide Lens. However, there is a specific list of moves where Wide Lens could be very useful to have. The problem is that the list is literally four moves long (five if you count a move that's effectively a duplicate). Unfortunately, this doesn't leave very much flexibility in later steps, but if these four moves are leveraged, I can see a final product that does use Wide Lens...if at the sacrifice of having a fairly railroaded moveset and typing stage.

Air Balloon
My opinion on Air Balloon is that it's a surprise when a Pokemon is not running an established item like usual and suddenly has a Ground-type immunity. However, if that Pokemon is expected to run Air Balloon, that "surprise" is much less impactful. If we build a Pokemon that heavily relies Air Balloon, then I worry that it might not be able to provide the swing that Air Balloon usually provides. If we build a Pokemon that doesn't heavily rely on Air Balloon and can stand on its own without it (much like the examples that Dex provided - Kingambit, Gholdengo, and Heatran), then how well did we execute the concept? Can we motivate a build that runs Air Balloon most of the time and then it's a surprise when it's actually not running it? While I do think Air Balloon is one of the better items suggested in this thread, I have my doubts.
 
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I want to expand on Assault Vest because I think I have a formula to make it easily preferred over anything else. The Mon would have pretty good stats across the board with a middling Special Defense. Access to a draining attack could weaken an excuse to use Leftovers. A resistance or immunity to hazards would easily take Heavy-Duty Boots out of the equation. A subpar Attack / Special Attack or middling Speed could discourage a Choice item.
 

SHSP

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Trick- and Fling-reliant items like Lagging Tail and Sticky Barb, Orbs (sometimes), and Weakness Policy to a certain extent all derive some amount of value from their surprise factor. If these items are "main set", then that surprise factor comes into question. Given this, are Trick- and Fling-related items worth pursuing?
Trick items, I don't think so. Honestly, I think the biggest issue here is immediate impact; compare it to the other popular Trick strats of sending your opponent a Choice item. Those can have immediate impacts the turn after that really matter AND can be a lot more impactful for longer. The orbs especially don't really do much for a while or unless the target is very well aimed, and some of the others (lagging tail) don't feel particularly worth it rather than a potential trick-scarf or what not.

I wouldn't lump WP in with this batch, for what its worth. Its nice with surprise factor, but I think there's an interesting play-counterplay to playing for a proc, playing to deny a proc, and even potentially playing to take advantage of your opponent being forced to respect and avoid it. I have NO idea if this would carry a set to be the main set something runs, though.

  1. More niche single-use items like White Herb and Power Herb have seen a bit of discussion. Are any of these (or ones I didn't mention) worthy of our time?
I was initially pretty low on these, but I think some of them could really work out. Power Herb I'd honestly wonder if its too common for the concept, but it definitely offers a variety of ways to take advantage of its effect and what comes after its use. Another I've been seeing often in recent weeks of SPL and the like is Custap Berry, mostly on mons like Primarina and even Ghold now, that has been catching my eye. It has a similar sort of play-counterplay dynamic to Weakness Policy I mentioned earlier, and the effect is really powerful and unique. I think, additionally, its worth mentioning that consumables do have an upside of being nice for some structures after the use of the item as knock absorbers, though that varies wildly depending on the item and the mon using them.

  1. Two items, Rocky Helmet and Assault Vest, have come into question as possibly not pro-concept due to past use. What are your thoughts on these two? If we simply avoid certain traits often associated with them (Contact effect + Helmet, RegenVest), can we turn them into pro-concept items?
Personally, I'd pass on these. I don't think they're inherently too anti-concept, but I think we can push the envelope a lot further.

  1. Pick an item (or 2 or 3 or all of 'em) that you think deserves more conversation. What are the pros and cons of basing a process around that item?
I've mentioned Custap already here, so I'll add a bit about Eject Pack. Snake's post above is definitely right that it's going to almost surely mandate an offensive mon on an offensive sort of build- but I don't think that's much different from a lot of other items discussed, most of these just tend to have strong-yet-niche offensive effects. I also wouldn't consider it locked to hyper offensive structures as opposed to just some sort of offensive one; it's a TON of potential momentum, a bit of an ease on prediction, can set up some really brutal scenarios for your opponent, etc. Consumable status can also lean into that anti-Knock role that I mentioned lightly earlier and fill a hole for boots-heavy offenses, too. Think it's a surprisingly deep item to cover and opening up "this isn't a pivot, but it is now for once" is a really interesting design space.

Lastly, some quick asides. Not a fan of sash/balloon for reasons like AV/Helmet (not overly common, but too common for my tastes). Throat Spray is a cool one with some clear possible lines that have depth to them. Scope Lens doesn't railroad us that hard, I don't think, and is one of the clearest and most direct effects of the batch. I still like Pads, but I think the use-case is too far out of our hands and too meta dependent at a point- certainly wouldn't complain about making a contact-heavy behemoth, though. Metronome is so weird, I mostly like it but it feels arguably the trickiest of the bunch. Very specific spot to make a mon that wants to spam one move a lot, but have potential flexibility to change move that Choice would lock it out of, and also potentially want to be active long enough that Metronome outdoes a Band or something.
 
Trick- and Fling-reliant items like Lagging Tail and Sticky Barb, Orbs (sometimes), and Weakness Policy to a certain extent all derive some amount of value from their surprise factor. If these items are "main set", then that surprise factor comes into question. Given this, are Trick- and Fling-related items worth pursuing?
I don’t think trick items necessarily need a surprise factor, as the pressure of finding the right trick absorber (much like Knock Off) can lead to suboptimal plays.
That said, more niche items like Lagging Tail or Ring Target don’t necessarily exert the same kind of pressure as Choice Items, since they are much more specific in what they restrict, making it easier to find an adequate switch in. They also don’t add to the pressure of finding a switch in by boosting offenses like Choice Items do, in fact they are detrimental until they get tricked off. Having to decide between potentially eating a Choice boosted hit and getting tricked is often a tough ask, while worse tricking items often require surprise to function. The only Non standard Trickable item I could see working is Iron Ball, as it can be a boosting item for very specific builds and has two solidly applicable effects, that can cripple defensive switch ins in removing their airborness and halving their speed.
I think Iron Ball is a very niche item, but of all the very niche items I think it has the most usable benefits.
More niche single-use items like White Herb and Power Herb have seen a bit of discussion. Are any of these (or ones I didn't mention) worthy of our time?
i don’t think so. Realistically there aren’t any unexplored use cases for these items. White Herb is literally only main set viable for setting Trick Room, as other lead tactics are common enough, that you could just pick another lead and also often benefit from going first anyway (think lead Deo-s).
Power Herb suffers more from being good enough to have seen use and kinda feeling explored. There are two moves that interact with it in a way that makes it desirable and we have seen that executed on different mons. That said their build is mostly the same. Mons with solid coverage and either solid bulk or great speed, that can “snowball” if they get that one early boost. I actually believe that this kind of snowballing effect is where we’d have to steer towards, as while Meteor Beam is a powerful momentum swing, on more traditional sweepers it definitely could be replaced by simple boosting.
Two items, Rocky Helmet and Assault Vest, have come into question as possibly not pro-concept due to past use. What are your thoughts on these two? If we simply avoid certain traits often associated with them (Contact effect + Helmet, RegenVest), can we turn them into pro-concept items?
i don’t think the suggestion of ignoring their best synergies is a good path forward. I’m not particularly hyped by these items, as they don’t really motivate diversity in exploring them. The path forward is pretty clear and in contrast to Scope Lens for example, that narrow application feels overdone. Making the perfect abuser of an item that has a long history of near perfect abusers isn’t as interesting to me.
My opinion on Air Balloon is that it's a surprise when a Pokemon is not running an established item like usual and suddenly has a Ground-type immunity.
There is a surprise factor to it, in the sense that an Air Balloon can throw a gameplan made during team preview out of balance, but it differs from items like Weakness Policy and Focus Sash as it announces itself once the Pokémon hits the field and doesn’t require the actions of the opponent to have an effect like Red Card or Weakness Policy. Moreover Pokémon like Heatran and Gholdengo have shown, that it’s possible to leverage this item - despite being one time use - throughout large stretches of a game. This is one reason I really like the item, as it can be a huge one turn momentum swing, thanks to its surprise factor, that disrupts usual play patterns but also due to its ability to be used as a more consistent item, that increases the power of your defensive typing.
I wouldn't lump WP in with this batch, for what its worth. Its nice with surprise factor, but I think there's an interesting play-counterplay to playing for a proc, playing to deny a proc, and even potentially playing to take advantage of your opponent being forced to respect and avoid it. I have NO idea if this would carry a set to be the main set something runs, though.
i agree very much with this notion, that even if your opponent knows your item, it is possible to bait in the right moves to trigger WP or to use the opponent avoiding certain coverage to your advantage. Especially so since we have a say over typing, ability, moves and tera types, that all can leverage this interaction and make it more easily applicable in teambuilding and during a game.

I want to encourage the inclusion of Air Balloon, as I believe it’s an item, that can reward high skill play a lot and both has meaningful applications as a momentum swinging lure and a (semi-)consistent item, that affords you more switch in opportunities on the right Mon. Granted I also think it’s an item, that might still be supplanted by more consistent ones, due to its semi reliable nature.
I believe that Eject Pack falls into a similar category of item, that gives the user a lot of control over it, while being able to create high momentum turns through skilled positioning and use. While it is an item that I can see being overshadowed as well, I think the possibilities it offers for this concept in exploring team strategies, team building and the execution of game plans are very compelling and would lead to a great process.
Focus Sash falls into the same space as Eject Pack. It is one time use and gives you an incredible powerful game swinging option if used right. I’m not particularly interested in making a sash lead though, as what’s really interesting to me is how you can maneuver a Mon through a game while keeping the Sash in tact, so it can be used in that exact moment that turns the tide of the game. I love Sash Psy terrain Spam and especially Armarogue.
One caveat is that this meta is full of powerful Priority users, so one of the big questions with this item is how to circumvent that.
Custap Berry is an odd one, but I think it’s somewhere between Eject Pack and Focus Sash, where you can create a powerful momentum swing at the right moment. Though I struggle a bit more to envision, where I would use it.
Weakness Policy still falls into this category albeit with less emphasis on being possible to control when it triggers. I think there’s a valid opinion, that this item relies too much on the opponent’s actions to be more than a lure. I still think, that you very much can control the game around this “lure” and create sequences, where your opponent will activate it.
All of the above items fall into this category of leveraging a precious item through
skilled play and spending their effects at the right moment, which to me is a much more compelling reason to explore them, then the question wether they are material for #1 used item on CAP34 and able to outcompete the top items in most cases

Honorable mentions in this section go to Kee Berry and Throat Spray.

Throat Spray is an item you have all control over, which is a huge benefit. The boost it provides certainly is good for a sweeper and falls in a very similar play pattern as Meteor Beam with Power Herb. I prefer throat spray of the two, as it is less explored, though I still think that the design spaces are quite similar.
I also don’t agree with snakes assessment, that it’s particularly interesting for a cleaner, since having to sit back with your potentially most powerful move until the late game seems unoptimal unless you are on a HO composition. This is something we do have a say in though as we can decide the offensive typing and move(s) of activation.
Kee Berry is a favorite of mine due to personal history and requires the opponents actions to activate, though the activation method is so easily accessible, that I don’t think it’s an issue here. Due to its fairly low impact the biggest challenge would be to make it not entirely outclassed by other items though and probably would need a fairly specialized build to work, that stacks additional effects on the items. Imo it’s still in the same tier as terrain seeds and weakness policy, which similarly can have a huge impact on the right build.

I endorse all of the above items as great options for this process. They might not be the easiest to apply and might heavily compete with more common items even if we succeed with a perfect build. But I believe these items hold the most depth for exploration during the process.
Additionally I’m mildly interested in Iron Ball bc it’s another tier below those items and still could lead to a cohesive product, I’m just not sure how many viable pathways this has.
 
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Brambane

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I would support Kee, Maranga, Sitrus and Chesto Berries. I don't like resist berries, they really want elemental of surprise unless the mon has like 1 or 2 weaknesses, and are more situational in a tera meta. I wouldn't design a mon around them, but would be content to consider them as an "additional option" along the way. They are the easiest berries to activate and the impact they have is reasonable. I think Kee and Maranga are basically worse than elemental seeds in a lot of aspects, Kee especially, but there are some synergy components with Berries you could definitely explore with abilities and moves. Sitrus and Chesto are much more accessible since they have seen use in the past, Sitrus on Pokemon like Cawmodore and Chesto in combination with Rest. Wiki I think falls short compared to Sitrus in this meta since its a lot harder to bring yourself to that HP threshold than Sitrus.

Other than that, I like Scope Lens, Throat Spray, Eject Pack, Air Balloon. I would consider as my ideal slate:
Custap Berry
Kee/Maranga Berry
Sitrus Berry
Chesto Berry
Scope Lens
Throat Spray
Eject Pack
Air Balloon

Focus Sash and Assault Vest are too obviously good, tried, and true for me to be interested in. Air Balloon is similar but I think its skill expression and design space of situational immunity is high enough to offer tremendous exploration space.
 
Liking the discussion so far, chiming in to bring suppport to Eject Pack and Air Balloon, as well as make an argument for the inclusion of at least 1 trickable item on the slate, be it one of :flame orb:, :iron ball: or anything more niche.

It is no secret that I am inherently biased towards to move trick, it even was evident in the concept submission I made. However, there are significant advantages to a trick item based mon I can think of.
  1. Simulatenous item removal and item stealing: This is the biggest reason. A significant amount of mons in the meta, be it Hemo, Venomicon or Tusk run nearly the exact same items on the set as each other, and thecases where they run potentially self damaging items like black sludge or toxic orb is significantly reduced when compared to other metas.It is also no secret that in a meta where spikes are so incredibly devastating that heavy duty boots dominate the meta, which has made knock off extremely common on anything that gets the move. Trick is an inherently unique item removal option in that a lot of common knock off switch ins (Venomicon, Gliscor, Clef) can get extremely screwed up if they are given an incompatible item, which is able to make a lot of progress against a team. A trick user would be able to leverage its threat of potentially crippling a mon to prevent the opponent from switching its check into it at the wrong time. It also helps that while CAP 34 can get mileage out of its own item while its opponent can't, CAP 34 can take advantage of the opponent's item to become even more powerful.
  2. Ability to help deter item removal: Paradoxically, the concept that aims to create a mon built around its item, can also happen to act as a fantastic knock off absorber should it go the route of the trick user mon. This is an idea I hope we get to explore a lot more during the next phase should we choose a consumable item even if a non-trick item wins, but 34 being built with trick in mind is a great way to deter it from making it rely too much on the item to the point it isn't able to function without it. If built around a set with a trick item in mind, 34 can still find value in a fight by removing an opposing pokémon's item, allowing it to still help its teammates should its item be removed.
  3. Allowing for items that see less use: While there are a myriad of options that are good enough yet very straightfoward (Flame Orb, Toxic Orb), there are also a significant amount of items that could be worth the time. Most notably is :iron ball:, an item that not only halves your speed, but also grounds you, which when tricked can help cripple not only fast pokémon, but also some pokémon inmune to twave (Booster Tusk, Caribolt) and mons who rely on the ground inmunity (Equilibra, Venomicon, Gliscor). Other options are Ring Target for a similar effect, lagging tail for even more speed dropping, or sticky barb for general chip damage.
I understand that many believe a trickable item would lead to a narrow concept, but I feel like the potential is defintely there. Out of these options, I believe that Iron Ball and Flame Orb should make the slate.
 

Da Pizza Man

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Wanted to make a quick post since I've not contributed really anything to this so far, despite really wanting too.

Pick an item (or 2 or 3 or all of 'em) that you think deserves more conversation. What are the pros and cons of basing a process around that item?
I'm very much a fan of Punching Gloves. Contact punishment, while admittedly not quite as common as it was last gen, still sees enough prominent usage that I believe a mon built around this item would have a very legitimate reason to run it over other power items such as Life Orb and Choice Band. I mostly prefer this item over Protective Pads as I think the more restrictive nature helps make for a more streamlined process overall, and I think the power boost offered by Punching Gloves, while admittedly not amazing, is enough to quell fears about it being outclassed.

On the flip side, I'm really not a fan of any of the Trick-based items such as Lagging Tail and Iron Ball. dex pretty much hit the nail on the head earlier that these items get most of their power from their surprise factor, something we inherently are going to be forfeiting with this process. I'm also not really convinced that using these item to make a slow pivot is really a strong path either, as we are inherently putting ourselves in a situation where we compete with other slow pivots in the tier (Galarian Slowking comes to mind) who are able to hold an item. I believe is a huge difference maker in the metagame in particular, as a lot of pivots right now really want to be holding Heavy-Duty Boots due to how die hazard removal is right now, which is a luxury that we are not going to have.
 

kenn

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Trick- and Fling-reliant items like Lagging Tail and Sticky Barb, Orbs (sometimes), and Weakness Policy to a certain extent all derive some amount of value from their surprise factor. If these items are "main set", then that surprise factor comes into question. Given this, are Trick- and Fling-related items worth pursuing?
I can see use cases for Trick/Fling but overall I don't think it is worth it as usually Trick is relegated to Choice sets to cripple walls that may switch in and Fling is very hit-or-miss, being essentially a one-time use a la Berry/Seed and I'd rather focus on those.
More niche single-use items like White Herb and Power Herb have seen a bit of discussion. Are any of these (or ones I didn't mention) worthy of our time?
As for Weakness Policy, I think it lines up more with the 2nd question so I'll start off this question with saying that I think Weakness Policy is a fantastic item for us to leverage against the opponent, who may be forced to hit us neutrally or with not-very-effective for fear of proccing it while CAP could utilize its Tera to "trick" the opponent into proccing Weakness Policy among other things such as having bulk that SE huts are the only way to make progress. As for other single-use items, I feel like Power Herb and White Herb have been explored naturally enough that they are good choices, but don't really teach us anything throughout the process so I would not recommend these as potential choices for CAP 34's item of choice.
Two items, Rocky Helmet and Assault Vest, have come into question as possibly not pro-concept due to past use. What are your thoughts on these two? If we simply avoid certain traits often associated with them (Contact effect + Helmet, RegenVest), can we turn them into pro-concept items?
I think of these two, Assault Vest can most definitely be a pro-concept item if we avoid the obvious cop-out of RegenVest and explore what it would be like as a "patch" to special attacks it would want to take but couldn't based on just its SpD alone. It is not my top option by any means, but I wouldn't count it out either.
Pick an item (or 2 or 3 or all of 'em) that you think deserves more conversation. What are the pros and cons of basing a process around that item?
I really believe that having Throat Spray on the slate or be in contention is a fantastic execution of this concept as there are a ton of sound moves that can be utilized with this and can make for an intriguing process as time goes on. We have things like Metal Sound that could effectively give +3 or Boomburst for a big nuke as well as previously mentioned new sound moves in Psychic Noise and Alluring Voice. Eject Pack is another fun one that has been mentioned and it could be nice to provide a form of pivoting to something that doesn't have access to a pivot move.

In conclusion, my ideal slate would look as such (in order of my most favorite to least favorite):
Weakness Policy
Throat Spray
Scope Lens
Seeds (group these together as it allows more flexibility in future stages and narrow it down once we decide on ability or something)
Eject Pack
Custap Berry
Assault Vest
 
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a fairy

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Trick- and Fling-reliant items like Lagging Tail and Sticky Barb, Orbs (sometimes), and Weakness Policy to a certain extent all derive some amount of value from their surprise factor. If these items are "main set", then that surprise factor comes into question. Given this, are Trick- and Fling-related items worth pursuing?
I think it should be secondary to the concept and not primary, a garnish rather than the goal. Like I saw on the mention of Air Balloon being weak due to it needing some level of surprise factor, I think if this 'mon begins to rely on Trick as its main method of creating progress, it becomes clear at Team Preview what its goal is and then becomes something that the opponent expects when it switches in. I do think it's worth exploring, but only after we pick our item if it makes sense to explore. I don't think Trick and Fling should drive our item selection - we're here to explore an item's connection to its 'mon, not explore how quickly we can toss away an item we equipped that we don't even want.

More niche single-use items like White Herb and Power Herb have seen a bit of discussion. Are any of these (or ones I didn't mention) worthy of our time?
I think they are. Resist berries especially are something I am a fan of and would like to see explored, in addition to the other berries other folks have mentioned. I think you've done a good job listing out the ones that have good attention placed on them. What I'd maybe like not to see is the ones from the Absorb Bulb school of thought, those feel like they'd be incredibly difficult to set up. I'm also in agreement on reading snake's post about Air Balloon being difficult to manage due to the surprise factor inherent in Balloon's success.

Two items, Rocky Helmet and Assault Vest, have come into question as possibly not pro-concept due to past use. What are your thoughts on these two? If we simply avoid certain traits often associated with them (Contact effect + Helmet, RegenVest), can we turn them into pro-concept items?
I think Assault Vest is not pro-concept. It feels too popular to me! It's definitely on a list in my head of items that at a glance I would dismiss as being too prevalent, but that's just the general vibe feeling rather than any statistical approach to what items get used. Rocky Helmet, on the other hand, I think is certainly a viable choice when it comes to how often it does or does not get used. I do wonder if it's anti-concept due to not being much to explore - it's an item that deals damage when the 'mon is touched, it feels maybe difficult to go anywhere with that?

Pick an item (or 2 or 3 or all of 'em) that you think deserves more conversation. What are the pros and cons of basing a process around that item?
Gonna "re-up" Ability Shield and Clear Amulet as items I haven't seen discussed much. Clear Amulet especially, I can see an interesting exploration of boosting and how you play around a set-up sweeper. OTOH, how present is Haze really? I'll also shout again about Grip Claw, such a flavorful item that would really drive a concept of what the 'mon does and tries to accomplish. Binding Band in a similar vein, I think a dual-item concept of a pseudo-trapper that can use either and tools its kit in the direction it needs as a result would be very interesting and explore a side of competitive 'mons I don't think is all too explored.



As an aside, some quickfire responses to points dex made about various items:
Resist berries: I agree that it should be a generalized grouping rather than any specific set or one. I think these berries have the opportunity to teach us a lot, in the way Gems did during Gen 5. There's a lot you can do with a mon surviving a hit that you'd expect it to faint to.
Air Balloon: I'm not a fan of this one. snake said it best, I think, in that I read snake's comment on it and it basically zeroed out the support I had for this item. Gliscor's Toxic Orb works despite the fact you know it's coming, Ceruledge's Weakness Policy works despite the fact that you can see the 'mon in Team Preview and you know fully that it's a possibility. Air Balloon works because you can't assume the Kingambit or Heatran has it.
Eject Button/Pack, Red Card: I genuinely don't understand the reason to use these items, but maybe that's all the more reason to encourage it and vote for it? I don't think I'd be these items' first soldier, though. They don't seem powerful enough to make them work as a single-use item that you know is coming.
Focus Sash: I think this is a fine slate inclusion! Maybe this is my pre-Team Preview days where you had defined lead metagames, but Focus Sash is a truly fine item that has a lot of exploratory process I think we can do.
Terrain Seeds: I think that these are just inferior selections to weather rocks and the terrain extender, which are already "not great". Let's not Voodoom ourselves with a 'mon so dependent on not just their item being present in the game but also the terrain being viable.
Metronome and Black Sludge: As [Metronome/Black Sludge]'s potentially biggest fan, these are fair criticisms. It will certainly be playing the "why use this over the big stuff" game on [hard/easy] mode, and I don't think it is going to be a major loss if they got snubbed from slate, especially with how many fascinating items have been brought up worth exploring.
Throat Spray: I think this is a good item to explore. You know it's coming when you see Toxcitiry or Kommo-o in Team Preview, you know you need to play around it, and yet it accomplishes its goals anyway. That's really difficult for a one-time-use item to do, and Throat Spray excels - why?
Loaded Dice: I think this is actually too common, maybe. Maybe I'm Kyurem-pilled, but I am of a mindset perhaps that this item would be the "most used item" on a slate with other suggested items, which doesn't bode well for something that as dex said, is a bit uninteresting.
 
Pick an item (or 2 or 3 or all of 'em) that you think deserves more conversation. What are the pros and cons of basing a process around that item?
:expert belt:
While this is a “popular item” on Showdown, it’s not at all? I think the value of boosting SE attacks is kinda underexplored. I think Val used this? But I think it could work on any Mon if wasn’t for Choice Items/Life Orb

:salac berry:
A Gen 3 staple, salac is gone from the meta that I think could have very interesting applications.

I support :throat spray: :eject button: :black sludge:

I don’t agree with :air balloon: rn cause we have a great user in Gholdengo and also :loaded dice: has been plenty explored since its release
 
Trick- and Fling-reliant items like Lagging Tail and Sticky Barb, Orbs (sometimes), and Weakness Policy to a certain extent all derive some amount of value from their surprise factor. If these items are "main set", then that surprise factor comes into question. Given this, are Trick- and Fling-related items worth pursuing?
I would be vary wary of moving onward with any item that relies on surprise factor, resistance berries included. Trick sets can be main sets IF the item is one the original user benefits from, ie choice scaf rotom-w. There are very few items that even do that, a lot of them are either commonly used anyway or ability dependant to an arguably anticoncept degree. Were we to move forward with something obscure and nonbeneficial to the user like ring target it'd be crucial to identify which mons exactly we're trying to target. There's some niche in iron ball on trick room with fling, or to cripple fast mons with trick, but they're ultimately demanding of a moveslot and their effects are outclassed.

More niche single-use items like White Herb and Power Herb have seen a bit of discussion. Are any of these (or ones I didn't mention) worthy of our time?
These items are just as move dependent, but arguably have better and more interesting moves/effects to work with. Either of these items would require us to identify which move(s) we wanted to work with before moving on to any other stage. I'm not against items being tied to moves (or abilities for that matter) but move dependent items like Big Root, Binding Band, Throat Spray and Punching Gloves don't require us to figure out any specific moves just yet fwiw.
 
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quziel

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Items I think are neato:

Scope Lens has a fairly unique interaction with such an Unaware infested meta, and just generally provides heavy breaking power to mons that have the tools to take advantage of it. I played SSNU for a fair bit last gen, and we effectively had a Scope Lens + Super Luck mon in the meta for a while (Sirfetch'd), and while it did often run Choice Band, Leek still got fairly heavy usage just because a 50/50 chance to hold band is pretty insane when you get to change up your moves as well. I should note, this is not remotely the only path forward; we saw some limited usage of Focus Energy Archaludon last meta, and Sniper Kingdra is an all time classic. Quz Rating: Watermelon

Consumables such as Throat Spray, Pinch Berries, Seeds, and Normal Gem are all honestly very interesting. I think all of these have at least two very solid routes available to them, and with proper ability choice I definitely think we can manage to get them used over standard items. I do think the list of abilities that excel with them are a bit narrow, but at the same time I'm in favor. Terrain Seeds are my least favorite here, as they already see fairly solid use, but I'd be in favor of many of these. Quz Rating: Navel Orange

Air Balloon is a case where we absolutely know how to make this work, and absolutely can make it work. As such while it is definitely an underused item, I can't find myself that excited for it. I feel much the same about Rocky Helmet, plus we just made Cresceidon, which sorta is like a very solid user of the item. Quz Rating: Red Delicious Apple

Wide Lens is almost a perfect example of an item that places very heavy constraints on moves, and minor constraints on typing, but imo places very few constraints on typing or really stats. We absolutely know where it excels, that is, on Triple Axel style mons, and I have faith we could make a successful product out of this. Quz Rating: Banana

Punching Glove and Protective Pads are both items that only excel in metas with very heavy contact punishing. This meta merely has some contact punishing, but its nowhere compared to last gens Ferro/Zap/Molt apocalypse. We can definitely make this work with very specific move choice (Triple Axel again), but I feel its a bit too meta dependent. Quz Rating: Canteloupe

Eject Pack is an item where I'm a bit conflicted. This is an item that often is a secondary slash on a set, and there's really not many mons where its the primary slash. The only ones I can think of atm are Duraludon from last gen's NU, Appletun from early gen NU, and not a ton else. Still, neat item, and provides a lot of very unique interactions. Quz Rating: Honeydew Melon

Custap Berry is just great. I have no complaints here. Quz Rating: Royal Riviera Pear

Metronome and Expert Belt are sorta polar opposites in terms of what movesets they encourage, one wanting us to pull of Genesect levels of dumb coverage, one wanting us to just have an insanely solid STAB. While I think they're both potentially overshadowed, there is likely enough strength inherent here for us to work with. Quz Rating: Gala Apple
 
Wanted to throw some support out for Zoom Lens. This item makes 80% accurate moves 96% accurate, 90% accurate moves 108% accurate, and 70% accurate moves 84% accurate. It could be really cool with something bulky with Analytic + Hydro Pump/Stone Edge/Gunk Shot/any other powerful 80% accurate move.

I also really like Binding Band and Grip Claw. Partial trappers feel relatively unexplored, and these options could prove to be really cool to build around.

Finally, Expert Belt could be an interesting option with some incredible coverage like Freeze-Dry+Earth Power.
 
I don’t really have any long explanations for this, but here’s my ranking from Best to Worst:
BEST
BIG ROOT(Sounds kinda cool to have a wall or offensive pokemon that just gets health as it attacks, very flexible and very cool)
Eject Button/Pack( Very creative to make a last- resort pivot)
Weakness Policy(Something not too much people talk about, but I think it’s a cool concept)
Assault Vest(Love this item, but might be too popular)
Custap Berry( CLUTCH ITEM )
Wide Lens(Help with accuracy lacking moves(my stone edge can finally hit))
Metronome(I don’t know dosen’t sound like we could make it healthy for the meta)
Punching Glove(Dosen’t seem too useful in the current meta)
Protective Pads(see punching glove)
Scope Lens(Kinda sounds like we need sniper as an abiliTy, sounds restricting)
Expert Belt(No reason to use this over LO, or Choice Items)
WORST
 
Trick- and Fling-reliant items like Lagging Tail and Sticky Barb, Orbs (sometimes), and Weakness Policy to a certain extent all derive some amount of value from their surprise factor. If these items are "main set", then that surprise factor comes into question. Given this, are Trick- and Fling-related items worth pursuing?
I don't think that creating a Pokemon based on surprise is reliable and viable. At least in the long term, because if its only set is based on these items and Trick/Fling, players will just find a way to counter it since they'll all know the strategy behind it. The set can become less popular or even forgotten if we follow that logic.
But it we really want to go that way, we have to ensure that the strategy is viable in the long term and that the Pokemon won't be forgotten.


More niche single-use items like White Herb and Power Herb have seen a bit of discussion. Are any of these (or ones I didn't mention) worthy of our time?
I think that Power Herb with Electro Shot or Meteor Beam or a STAB based on the same concept is an interesting idea.


Two items, Rocky Helmet and Assault Vest, have come into question as possibly not pro-concept due to past use. What are your thoughts on these two? If we simply avoid certain traits often associated with them (Contact effect + Helmet, RegenVest), can we turn them into pro-concept items?
These two items are too common for the concept, in my opinion. If we want to choose them we should find a way to avoid the "classic" associations you mentioned, e.g. we could do an Assault Vest + SpeDef Big Splash (just an idea).

Pick an item (or 2 or 3 or all of 'em) that you think deserves more conversation. What are the pros and cons of basing a process around that item?
All items mentioned before are good ones :).
I would find a concept based on the Luminous Moss, the Absorb Bulb, or the Snowball interesting, as these three aren't used at all in competitive battles. Absorb Bulb especially could be a great option to switch in Flip Turn and have an instantly SpeAtt boost.
I would also mention the Big Root, as it is a cool item but pretty niche, and we could create a Pokemon around healing attacking moves like Parabolic Charge and Giga Drain, eventually a physical alternative with Drain Punch, Leech Life, and maybe a STAB. Triage could be an improvement for the Pokemon, but we should pay attention to not create another Comfey.
 
A few people have already mentioned it but I feel like reiterating that the wisest option is to avoid items that have similar functions/end results as other, more common items. An example of an item I dislike for this reason would be Big Root due to how much more splashable Lefties is. For Big Root you have to use draining moves specifically, and you can't gain the boost on 'downtime' turns at all, where you want to use a status move. Lefties on the other hand grant the healing no matter what, and would cumulatively grant more HP restored over the course of a match.

Most single use items I dislike for a similar reason for the restrictions they place on the movepool stage and how in my eyes they funnel us into a specific use case. For example, if we were to choose Cell Battery as the item, it is easy to imagine that the movepool stage would have to prohibit attack boosting moves like DD, SD, and BU in order to prevent the better option being just running one of those moves and choosing a better/more consistent item. We could start from the premise that we chose Cell Battery as a means to punish electric moves on the switch, but again, there are other, more consistent (and repeatable!) ways to do that through our typing and ability. Otherwise, my fear is that it will feel like we will be nerfing ourselves in these stages just to accommodate a highly specific use case for an item, which if I'm being honest, just doesn't sound like fun. If we do end up choosing a single use item, it would be wisest to choose one with a unique effect, like Custap, Sash, the Policies, or the three ejection items.

As for the items I like the most, I'm throwing my support behind Binding Band and Grip Claw. Partial trapping moves have a lot of design space to exploit about the dynamics of switching and sapping momentum away from the opponent by preventing it. Of the two I think I like Grip more for the consistency it adds to the moves it effects, and if we design around it it is less likely there would be questions of if something like LO would be better since both it and Binding both boild down to "deal more damage".
 
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