CAP 34 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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What are some specific abilities that can help CAP 34 set up?
Abilities that provide an extra immunity, with Levitate being the best example, are the obvious answer since they allow more switch-in opportunities for CAP34 to get in and set up.

What are some abilities that can help facilitate a sweep for CAP 34?
The obvious answer is Unburden. It synergizes well with the concept of using Throat Spray, accentuates the "All-In" nature of using Clangerous Soul + Throat Spray extremely well. It's also the boring answer specifically because of how obvious it seems on paper but there are other ways an ability can help facilitate a sweep. Mold Breaker, for instance, can help CAP34 muscle past Unaware 'mons as well as allow any potential coverage moves not care about opposing immunity abilities. Dazzling/etc. would help by keeping it up longer due to making it harder to revenge kill it since Priority is likely to be the easiest way to do so. On a similar note, abilities that reduce the amount of damage CAP34 takes, such as FIlter, Fur Coat, and Thick Fat will also be worth consideration for various reasons. Although they (along with Magician, imo) might work better as secondary abilities. Stamina is also a nice choice for similar reasons, however it doesn't produce the immediate results that Soul + Spray wants and may not be as great a fit as a result (which is also why I'm not a fan of Speed Boost)
Edit: Suction Cups and Guard Dog also fit here since they prevent you from being forcibly switched out

Are there any abilities that can be seen as more partial to whether or not we decide to utilize Clangorous Soul? If so, are those worth exploring over generically "good" offensive abilities?
Clear Body and Mirror Armor are two abilities that get better when you factor in the fact that you will have Stat buffs to protect in just about any game. Magician, is also a lot better since you'll generally be able free up an item slot to allow you to steal an item from an opponent.
 
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a fairy

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What are some specific abilities that can help CAP 34 set up?
Simple seems like a decent choice to me, as it strongly encourages Throat Spray, but I'm much more worried about it if we're putting stock into Clangorous Soul, which seems anti-Throat Spray if the mon becomes a double omniboost sweeper. I flat out don't think we can have Simple if we have Clangorous Soul. Unburden is a solid option and has seen good presence on similar 'mons, like Hawlucha, in the past. I dislike Speed Boost, however, as it feels like its own thing and not very connected to our concept.

What are some abilities that can help facilitate a sweep for CAP 34?
Dazzling got its attention already, well deservedly, and seems better for this case than Suction Cups, though I wouldn't entirely discard the latter. I swear I saw someone mention Shell Armor or something similar but I simply can't find it! I like Shell Armor if we head in the direction of Clangorous Soul especially, but it's also just a useful sweep facilitation move. Other abilities mentioned like the third-stab abilities (Steelworker, Water Bubble) or Mold Breaker are... fine. They aren't exactly motivating in my mind. I like Clear Body as mentioned by Project_Mars, thanks for getting that post made right before mine, so I could remember it!

Are there any abilities that can be seen as more partial to whether or not we decide to utilize Clangorous Soul? If so, are those worth exploring over generically "good" offensive abilities?
I'm a big Magician (or Pickpocket, less so) fan, but that might be a secondary ability discussion. I actually left myself a note to push for it when the time came, but this is definitely a weaker ability to be considered for Primary compared to the others I've seen discussed. Levitate is fine, I find that more motivating than the third-stab abilities I mentioned earlier, though perhaps if that gets selected our secondary ability should be a bit more - think how Bronzong in early Gen4 CG sometimes played mind games with Heatproof, bluffing Levitate. But we're a bit off concept maybe at this point.
 
While I do find myself a fan of abilities such as Unburden, Speed Boost, and Armor Tail/Dazzling/Queenly Majesty, an alternative idea that’s been bouncing around in my head for a while is Limber. While this is definitely a lower power, more targeted option compared to most others that will be suggested, given our one-and-done nature, paralysis is arguably the most threatening common status effect to CAP34, given our natural Poison immunity and how we likely won’t care about Burn. While Cresceidon is the really only common TWave user, and Serperior/Malaconda the only Glare users, being able to more safely switch into them (and not having to worry about the rare Thunderbolt paralysis) is a pretty decent boon for a sweeper. Not my top choice, since again it’s low power, but if we wanted something like that I think it’s worth considering.
 

dex

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Another reminder that I'm postin' as a user, not as a TL here.

What are some specific abilities that can help CAP 34 set up?

Levitate
gives CAP 34 a wider range of set-up options, adding Landorus-T, Gliscor, and Great Tusk lacking Ice Spinner to the list. I think this should not be the point of focus for the ability. CAP 34's typing is rich defensively but somewhat poor offensively, so I think the ability should focus on making sure the sweep is easier to accomplish. Levitate is fine, though, as it also does that.

What are some abilities that can help facilitate a sweep for CAP 34?

Onto the good stuff. The ability that immediately came to my mind for CAP 34 is Dazzling (or any of its counterparts). Priority is common in CAP, and CAP 34 is only neutral to the two strongest priority moves: Hemogoblin's Extreme Speed and Kingambit's Sucker Punch. Removing those options from our list of revenge killers makes CAP 34's sweep more likely to find success. Another option I like a lot is Supreme Overlord, which synergizes quite well with being a one-off sweeper. Supreme Overlord helps CAP 34 by giving it that extra oomph to get through Unaware Pokemon towards the end of a match. Mold Breaker works similarly, though it does tread into Miasmaw's niche a little. Also similar to Supreme Overlord but less powerful is Punk Rock, but I too don't know if it is strong enough considering CAP 34 will most likely be running just Clanging Scales unless Boomburst comes through. It does justify using something like Psychic Noise as coverage, I guess. Of these, I think Dazzling and Supreme Overlord are the most compelling.

Are there any abilities that can be seen as more partial to whether or not we decide to utilize Clangorous Soul? If so, are those worth exploring over generically "good" offensive abilities?

The only abilities that can get messy with Clangorous Soul are Unburden and Simple. Unburden because there is a big difference between being +1 Speed and faster than everything in the world, killer of all who do not carry a priority user, and Simple because yeah that's probably too many stats. I'm also just not sold on Simple being very good, it seems like such a small difference to justify making CAP 34's main ability that. Unburden also worries me because of how good Terrain is right now (I dislike Psychic Surge for the same reason). It would distract from the concept.

Right now, I think Levitate, Dazzling, Supreme Overlord, and Mold Breaker are all good options, but there are a good few more paths to go down as well.
 
I think this is the point where we really need to start distinguishing between abilities, that will need Clangorous Soul and abilities, which can work with Clanging Scales.

Realistically Clanging Scales is constrained to the Speed boosting options Unburden, Speed Boost, maybe Mold Breaker (if we have a pretty high natural speed but need a plus 1 to start breaking stuff) or - if it were allowed - Beast Boost.
These abilities are made for a sweeper and synergize with being able to grab momentum with a move that damages and boosts at the same time.
Doubling down on the item boost seems crucial here. Functionally Throat Spray needs to be one of the strongest assets this Mon has, bc realistically a +1 boost is not much and other abilities start having utility with other items.
Simply pivoting around with Levitate or basically consistently blanking Hemo with Dazzling and Boots for example.

I have seen Stratagem mentioned as example of a Mon that can make use of an +1 boost attached to a move and item.
The crucial difference is that Meteor Beam requires the item to be run. Stratagem only has access to its strongest asset with that item.
Clanging Scales is different in that it can be spammed with any item. Since the moveset doesn’t make Throat Spray the strongest item, Ability needs to step in. Imo for a Clanging Scales set to be used with Throat Spray instead of another item, this CAP needs an ability, which functionally leaves CAP 34 without an ability if it doesn’t use Spray, which is pretty much only Unburden, since Simple interacts badly with Clanging Scales.
I still believe that Speed Boost and to an extent Moldbreaker can work with the right Stats. (Which means: Free Beast Boost?!)


Clangorous Soul is much freer in ability choice.

Imo the strongest Option would be Mold Breaker as it means you become immediately more threatening to Walls like Arghonaut, Ting Lu and Heatran as it deactivates their abilities.
Dazzling and clones are fairly decent too here to protect vs priority users picking you off.
Levitate is the only defensive ability that really means something for this Mon imo. I don’t like it but I see the vision.
More OffKilter options like Water Bubble or Suction Cups or Magician could be neat, but even if they are good, they aren’t in the same tier as these top three.

TLDR: Clanging Scales: Unburden, Speed Boost or Mold Breaker
Clangorous Soul: Mold Breaker, Dazzling, Levitate.
 
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Psychic Surge should be considered with extreme caution, not because of its implications for CAP34, but because of its implications on the metagame as a whole. There hasn't been a good Psychic Surge setter this generation and introducing one could potentially have large ramifications to the metagame, potentially enabling things like Hawlucha again or even expanding force Deo-S. and disabling Hemogoblin (and to a lesser extent, Kingambit) for 5-8 turns depending on if psychic surge makes us run Terrain Extender or not.
 
I’ve seen tremendous support for Unburden and Levitate and I’m only gonna add mine to it. One provides incredible synergy with Throat Spray while the other covers one of the more serious threats, especially if we choose to maximize our sweeping potential. Had both of those rattling around in my head before type became official. Either one would be of fantastic value
 
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What are some abilities that can help facilitate a sweep for CAP 34?
Right off the bat, Unburden is the most obvious choice, as it's an easy tie-in with our consumable item. Because of the complete control we have over Throat Spray's activation, Unburden essentially turns the sound move being used into a special version of Shift Gear + whatever original function it had. Along with this, it's somewhat difficult to justify any other item over throat spray with Unburden, as it would mean that 34 has to be more careful about preserving its unburden boost, and the consumable items with the closest reliability don't offer the same power boost that Throat Spray does. Unless we give 34 a setup move, it's difficult to see even Grassy Seed overtaking Throat Spray.
 
I do wonder if people will use Weakness Policy with Unburden.
It may be strictly worse than Throat Spray though, since it means you need to get hit by a SE move.

I feel that priority spam can very much be a thing, and so with Clangorous Soul, it seems that Dazzling would fit better since we're already getting a speed boost.
Unless we feel that Substitute would work well with Soul, which helps against two big priorities.

However, if we don't really centralize around Soul, then Unburden would fit well, and we could potentially kill two birds in one stone in 1. outspeeding Booster Energy speed mons & 2. preserving bulk to take priority.

I personally think Dazzling is more interesting, but it seems Unburden is less restricting.
 
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Samirsin

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Another ability that would help with setup is Sticky Hold. As mentioned in previous steps, Knock Off is very threatening to us as switch-ins become problematic if we lose our item when entering the field. With Sticky Hold we don't fear the potential Knock Off and makes many match-ups a lot easier, for example, against Venomicon. However, not being able to lose the item means that Knock Off's power will double each time is done until we consume the item, so that's something to consider.
 
I think this CAP's main issue is being walled too much. So I think a more offensive ability would make more sense, so I'd like to suggest Corrosion and Mold Breaker as potential options. Mold breaker lets break through most the major walls it would have trouble with via coverage like equilibra and heatran while letting ignore unaware. Corrosion makes more sense thematically and while it wouldn't help it break through counters, it would let it cripple them for rest of the game
 

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^Sticky Hold comes up almost every project. It is a decent ability, downright good in some contexts, but it doesn't really help this Pokemon answer any of the two key questions:

1) Why does CAP34 run Throat Spray over any other item?
2) Why do I use Throat Spray CAP34 on my team?

We are kinda halfway there to answering both these questions with typing; we have a strong sound move, and our typing is uniquely equipped as a Dragon to break through Fairies. But there are still a lot of better items, and a lot of really good Dragon-types and Poison-types in CAP, so much so that I would argue they are among the most competitive typing coverage to slot onto a team with options like Dragapult, Kyurem, Miasmaw, Walking Wake, Venomicon, Slowking-Galar, the resurging Mollux, and others being very threatening.

I want this stage to answer the above question definitively. Our ability should, by completely answering one question, also answer the second by extension.

Abilities that answer "Why should CAP34 run Throat Spray?"

Unburden: Good enough, although it is packing a LOT of a mons kit into a single move. You are basically committing your item slot and your entire ability into making Clanging Scales +1 SpA / 2x Spe / -1 Def. That is decent value for a move, but you only get to do it once. You don't get the benefit of other set-up moves where you can greedily stack boosts against passive threats, or weave other set-up opportunities with Healing Wish or smart double-switches. This also isn't like Hawlucha, who is getting a net +1 Def / 2x Spe and then can choose to attack, use a utility move, or set-up. Self-proccing Throat Spray is not comparable to the other Unburden users, it is inherently slower tempo but you do get some ability to reserve when you want to use it. I think this ability definitely answers why we use the item, but it leaves CAP34 hungry for more in the other stages since the effect is a lot of investment of your resources on a Pokemon. You would use CAP34 as a cleaner with Unburden, although it has a lot of competition for that role.

Simple: This is a bit of a weird one, since I think you need to treat this where the -2 Defense from Clangorous Soul is actually a downside to BALANCE a really strong Pokemon. Basically think of it like Throat Spray turns this into an absolute offensive juggernaut at +2, but you get the turn it uses it to absolutely hammer it with a physical move if you are slower, or try to revenge-kill it with a physical move. I think its easy to just look at it as"+2 SpA good" but it is really about making a mon that balances an extreme upside if you commit an itemslot with an equally extreme downside. It's a cool design, but a very difficult needle to thread. This is one of the rare situations I don't really believe in us as a community; this seems like a formidable challenge to execute through the step-by-step democratic CAP process. You would probably use CAP34 more as an aggressive early-mid game breaker, or perhaps a finisher for teams. I think Simple makes more sense as a "I am going to force my opponent to Tera early" kinda Pokemon for offense teams.

Abilities that answer "Why do I use CAP34 on my team?"

Dazzling: Priority is good, immunity to it is theoretically even better. An offense Pokemon that doesn't fear the revengekilling of Hemogoblin or Kingambit is very unique and stands out in the crowd. This makes sense for a Throat Spray Clanging Scales user, or just a Clanging Scales user in general. I will say, I don't think Dazzling by itself convinces me to run Throat Spray even with Clanging Scales. There are a lot of other good items for our typing; by virtue of picking Poison, I think Air Balloon is an immediately intriguing option and as a Dragon-type, unless we make the rare Dragon-type that doesn't learn Draco Meteor (not opposed to this) then even Eject Pack seems high value, that equally appreciate Dazzling. As such, the "why we run Throat Spray" more comes down to the value of Clangorous Soul. This seems like one of the best overall abilities suggested thus far.

Mold Breaker/Neutralizing Gas: I assume we wouldn't do NGas because we never will again, as everyone loves Miasmaw's niche, but Mold Breaker carves a clear niche as a sweeper. Again, you probably want Clangorous Soul, but this build could maybe get by without it and play more like a early-midgame offensive pressure machine into bulkier teams that is effective at forcing early Teras or a lot of damage onto something like Ting-Lu for your other offensive Pokemon. It could go either way; Clang Soul opens up more sweeping like Miasmaw, non-Clang Soul means you have to play more like a breaker most likely.

Speed Boost: This is an ability that generates most of its value after staying in for a few turns, so an item that also encourages you to stay in for a few turns makes a lot of sense. It's somewhat funky how the two work together, but I can absolutely see this working as a lategame force for offense teams, where you would use a Pokemon that can protect itself passively from Booster Energy or even Unburden revenge killers. There are some interesting tricks you can do with Speed Boost, as it is an ability that really wants a free fourth slot for its tech moves, either Protect or Destiny Bond or whatever speedy shenanigan suits it. That means getting the compression of fitting your SpA boost into your item slot is decent value. For a non-Clangorous Soul direction, I think Speed Boost makes the most convincing case for why you use CAP34 and why it uses Throat Spray.

Levitate: This is good with Clangorous Soul. I don't really see it using Throat Spray otherwise until I see the specific stat spread and moveslot of CAP34, though.
 
Levitate/(Earth Eater)

I am a huge fan of immunity abilities on CAP 34, specifically as it helps us against the common Ground-types in the tier such as Great Tusk, Gliscor, and Equilibra, which will try to switch-in on us due to our STAB-combination.

Simple

I think Simple is an AMAZING way to make Throat Spray CAP 34’s main item. However, my main qualm with it is 1.) if Clangorous Soul is still a defining move CAP 34 becomes BAF, 2.) Simple has terrible synergy with our STAB move, Clanging Scales, leaving CAP 34 very vulnerable to revenge killing.

Unburden

While not my personal favorite ability, Unburden is very pro-concept, it’s been talked about to death.

Moldy

Mold Breaker is very good; however, it feels kinda niche? Like, it’s really only here to target Unaware mons, which are a big roadblock, but do we need our whole primary ability to do that?

Dazzling vs Psychic Surge

Blocking priority is a very good idea for CAP 34, especially with Clanging Scales dropping our defense; however, Psychic Surge is a TERRIBLE idea, we don’t need to invite in Deo-S or other PsySpammers onto the field?
 

ausma

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Hey, just wanted to drop in to give some support for some of my favorite options and diss a couple I think are not all that great.

Ones I'm a fan of

Mold Breaker is a low power alternative with very obvious utility, but in spite of its simplistic functions on paper I believe it is probably my favorite. Blanking Unaware Pokemon is a massive deal since we have Pokemon like Skeledirge and Arghonaut to deal with, and can also have bonus utility into Pokemon like Ting-Lu. Mold Breaker opens up usage of moves like Taunt and Encore into Magic Bounce, Good as Gold, and Oblivious if we want to take a more nuanced angle of setup, and also smites Levitate users in a way relevant to our desired offensive profile. If I'm honest I am big on this ability. It's very much a low power ability and that is in and of itself a fairly noteworthy appeal for designing a Pokemon with more diverse design angles, but Mold Breaker itself encourages some really funky and interesting dynamics in the context of designing a setup sweeper and I think it deserves more serious consideration.
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Dazzling abilities are pretty neat. I think their utility is very salient for our build, especially since we're likely going to be committing to Clanging Scales as our primary STAB which lowers our defense stat. Being able to safely dispatch Pokemon like Raging Bolt post-Tera or Kingambit is obviously nice, but I think maybe my favorite interaction is with Hemogoblin. We already resist Bitter Blade, and having an immunity to priority effectively means that we can take advantage of Hemogoblin--one of the best Pokemon in the metagame--for setup by blanking its other STAB.
_

Levitate is pretty obviously a strong choice for designing a powerful Pokemon imo. I think any ability that enhances our defensive profile is going to be of help no matter what, as they expand the list of Pokemon that we can find setup opportunities against. However Levitate is a really particularly strong complement for a Dragon/Poison setup sweeper; not only are we trading a Ground-type weakness for an immunity, but we also gain a Spikes and Sticky Web immunity naturally. Being able to mostly ignore Spikes by themselves is a gamechanger for a setup sweeper (and especially matters if we take the route of Clangorous Soul) and also disincentivizes Heavy-Duty Boots by existing.

I think my only possible issue is that Levitate could be too strong given the inherent strength of our defensive profile. Earth Eater is the obvious alternative but I feel the Spikes immunity makes such a huge difference in a metagame infested with hazard stack compositions and really just invites dropping a big weakness for the sake of making our already great defensive profile generically better. Levitate's big appeal to me is the Spikes and Sticky Web immunity, and with that Ground-type immunity makes it actually quite a high power ability in the context of our current build. It's something we should be wary of, but I think it has potential to be a pretty cool option.
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Unburden is a very obviously good choice, and one I support on the condition that we are cautious with what options we give this CAP. The utility is extremely coherent with our build; we're making a setup sweeper that uses a consumable item that complements a powerful STAB to make itself stronger. Doubling of Speed in tandem with a SpAtk boost is really powerful and encourages a commitment to a single setup opportunity. Though seeing its utility with Grassy Terrain does make me worried about the potential of trailing off into Grassy Seed, which, while uncommon compared to some other things, is used near always with set-up oriented Unburden Pokemon to effectively be anti-concept. Unburden I believe is a complete shutdown to Clangorous Soul for that reason, since Grassy Seed synergizes absurdly well with that move on paper, but I actually think that's completely fine and may encourage using this Pokemon in a more nuanced way.

Ones I do not like

Simple is fickle and too volatile for my liking. As cute as it sounds, the +2 Throat Spray boost is not worth magnifying priority as a weakness thanks to Clanging Scales and overtuning the hell out of Clangorous Soul to a point where it should be completely removed from the equation with this ability. Barring these though there's not too much else to say; it's just really volatile and magnifying a weakness to something that will be so commonly used against us just doesn't feel like it offsets the benefits of Simple Throat Spray.
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Psychic Surge is too disjointed to be worth it. On paper, boosting Psychic Noise as coverage alongside the priority immunity sounds cool, but realistically speaking Clanging Scales or Clangorous Soul is almost always the choice for activating Throat Spray, and we value Steel hitting coverage too much to drop it for Psychic Noise in this context. I suppose it could be neat if we avoid Clanging Scales, but... why would we when we're a Dragon-type sound move user? I personally just don't think it's salient enough.
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Speed Boost is... fine, I guess? I personally like Unburden more as a Speed boosting ability and believe it makes for a more nuanced process by directly synergizing with the usage of Throat Spray, directly incentivizing it. Speed Boost is a powerful sweeping ability that can function independently of it and let CAP 34 use generically good items with Clangorous Soul while still getting the mileage it wants to sweep properly.
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Lastly, I'm going to add Berserk or potentially Anger Shell into the fray if they haven't been suggested proper already. Their utility alongside Throat Spray and synergy with Clangorous Soul's drawback I believe is super coherent and takes the positive components of Simple while omitting the negative ones. I think what's also neat about it is that it isn't reliant on Clangorous Soul to make a powerful and effective setup sweeper wrt getting the desired Speed tier and SpAtk boosts. I think Anger Shell could be a really fascinating choice in part because of the defense drops that don't overly magnify like Simple and the jointed Speed boost that doesn't require a dedicated setup turn, but it is certainly more volatile. Though, Dragon/Poison does still pack some decent priority resistances (Grassy Glide, Thunderclap, Vacuum Wave, etc) and we can definitely make use of them if we are conscientious of how to check them alongside Anger Shell.
 
I feel like simple and unburden would give CAP34 too much boosting thus making him lose some base stats or making the movepool a lot more restricted. Also additional stab abilities just does not feel right with CAP34's concept. As for Speed Boost and Psychic Surge they could incetivise other main items that are not Throat Spray, thus making me go in other directions. This leaves for me interesting abilities like Dazzling and its clones, Guard Dog and Suction Cups, Mold Breaker or Levitate (I do not think other type immunity abilities are usefull to CAP34).
 
I personally think Dazzling is more interesting, but it seems Unburden is less restricting.
I'd argue that Unburden is more restricting than Dazzling, if only by a little. The presence of other consumables like Grassy Seed makes it so that we will be walking a razor's edge when it comes to ensuring movepool incentivizes Spray while also making sure stats preserve our revenge killers. Dazzling removes Spunch from Gambit and Espeed from Hemogoblin among a few others, which is great if using Clanging Scales, but does not really provide the chaos or volatility that Unburden could potentially; realistically it changes a few interactions (which is very valuable, don't get me wrong), so prove to be much more "stable" in terms of its creation and meta interactions. I also don't see Dazzling becoming less useful as a meta develops as priority has been a prominent aspect of every meta for as far back as I remember.

Lastly, I'm going to add Berserk or potentially Anger Shell into the fray if they haven't been suggested proper already. Their utility alongside Throat Spray and synergy with Clangorous Soul's drawback I believe is super coherent and takes the positive components of Simple while omitting the negative ones. I think what's also neat about it is that it isn't reliant on Clangorous Soul to make a powerful and effective setup sweeper wrt getting the desired Speed tier and SpAtk boosts. I think Anger Shell could be a really fascinating choice in part because of the defense drops that don't overly magnify like Simple and the jointed Speed boost that doesn't require a dedicated setup turn, but it is certainly more volatile. Though, Dragon/Poison does still pack some decent priority resistances (Grassy Glide, Thunderclap, Vacuum Wave, etc) and we can definitely make use of them if we are conscientious of how to check them alongside Anger Shell.
I’ll point out real quick that these two abilities require being hit to get the procs, so something like a Clangorous Soul after hazard chip or something would not actually proc either one, so we’d have to be looking to get hit to activate the ability. I personally don’t believe it’s an attractive route to go that way but if that’s something we want to explore then it would be a really cool concept especially Anger Shell.

Aside from those comments, nothing is really directly standing out to me too much right now, but I do like Dazzling and Suction Cups as they both are straightforward in what they do and have clear changes in certain interactions which benefit us. Mold Breaker does a pretty similar thing in terms of changing certain interactions but it's not too compelling for me. I think if we want to go the Ground immunity route then Earth Eater should be the play over Levitate, as it would keep us mindful of hazards while also providing the potential of some sick prediction play. The issue with all of these abilities, though, is the element of synergism with Throat Spray. It would be great to realize "works best w/Throat Spray" in movepool and stats, but I concede that it is probably best to start implementing some of that synergy in this stage.
 
Howdy! I want to start things off by first addressing the abilities I think we should absolutely avoid.

First up is Simple. Simply put (ha), I just really do not see a world where we can possibly balance this ability while having Clangorous Soul. It goes without saying that a sudden +2 in everything and +4 in Sp. Attack, all in a single turn, is just a little bit nutty. The -2 Def for each Clanging Scales just isn’t enough to balance it out. Opting for Simple would be such a massive expenditure of our power budget very early on in the process, and that would have massive cascading effects down the line in our stats and movepool stages. Frankly, I really don’t find the idea of making this kind of Big Big Statball mon possible without giving it Route 1 Bug type level base stats, and that’s just not an attractive option to me. What do we stand to learn from such a process? Very little that I can foresee.



In a similar vein, I also think Speed Boost just isn’t really the move here. It’s a powerful ability, to be sure, and it’s always an attractive option for a sweeper. But I’m gonna echo what others have said in that Speed Boost just kinda feels like a distraction from our concept. Speed Boost sweepers have historically been their own sub-section of the sweeper archetype. Blaziken is a prime example. We’re not going for that archetype. We’re going for a Throat Spray sweeper, and the odds are, based on how discussion is going, Clangorous Soul is pretty likely to be our chosen pathway for that. I believe we should be focusing on how best to support that specific sweeping plan rather than Mon That Will Be Faster Than Literally Everything In Three Turns. As a final point to this ability, it’s also been observed in the lower tiers that Yanmega will sometimes run a Throat Spray set with Bug Buzz and Speed Boost. Tinted Lens is usually the more attractive option due to damage, but the precedent of a Throat Spray Speed Boost Mon does exist. If you want to see what that entails, look no further. I don’t think we have much to learn from this process if we also elect to go that route.



Psychic Surge is in a similar boat where I just don’t see it as supporting our concept enough. It feels like too much of a departure, and while it does boost Psychic Noise, it also makes us more vulnerable to the opponent’s Psychic moves, and the anti-priority effect is also achieved by another ability I’ll get into later, without the drawbacks.



I’ve seen Magician thrown around, and while I do think it’s a cool ability, there’s a big reason that I don’t think we should even consider it for a secondary ability. If we go with Magician as a secondary, a set running that ability gives up a massive amount of control over the sweep to the opponent. Magician, if you’re unfamiliar with what it does, steals the opponent’s item when you hit them with a damaging move. The problem there is that we could acquire an item that entirely messes up our sweeping game plan. For example, say we steal a Choice item from the opponent. There goes the versatility of our coverage, and now we’re much easier to wall. We’ve given over control to the opponent and the sweep has been halted.



Lastly, Sticky Hold/Suction Cups, while undeniably serviceable for our purposes of keeping Throat Spray intact to enable our sweep, just seem kinda boring to me? Like, sure, we keep our item so we can use it and get our boost. But then after boosting, we functionally have no ability since we no longer have an item to worry about. Meh. There are much stronger and more enticing options.

— — —

Now! Onto the abilities I actually really like.

Dazzling is, of course, a highly attractive option for us given the cushion this would give 34 in the Hemo/Gambit matchups. I think this is a highly effective ability for our purposes due to its interactions with our threats, and the way it aids in facilitating setup for a sweep. It’s just an all-around good option that I think should definitely see the slate, if nothing else.



dex really opened up my mind to Supreme Overlord, I’ve gotta say. I’ll admit that I didn’t even know this ability boosted Sp. Attack too until I looked it up, but lo and behold, it does! This is honestly the most compelling option of them all, to me. It has really interesting implications for our design process in that it asks us the question of what game state we want 34 to find its maximum success in. Supreme Overlord inherently suggests that 34 would be most successful in the late game, serving as both a cleaner and sweeper in a single slot. There’s also an interesting effect of a SO 34 posing a latent threat at Team Preview, since the opponent would have to play with a potential endgame 34 sweep in mind, taking precautions to prevent or otherwise mitigate facilitating that sweep as much as possible. Dex raised another point about Supreme Overlord serving a similar effect to Mold Breaker in somewhat cushioning the Unaware matchups. This would be really helpful for us, since Arghonaut is shaping up to be a real nuisance for us. While this ability does aid us after boosting, it also provides us an amply threatening presence even before setup, with proper positioning. Couple that with the aforementioned effects on game plan, both that of the opponent and our own, and it makes for a really interesting setup. I really think Supreme Overlord is the most compelling option here, and it has all of my support.



Since I mentioned it just above, I will also say that Mold Breaker is certainly an attractive option for removing our worries of Unaware mons. However, I do think that Supreme Overlord, while not nullifying Unaware altogether, accomplishes a similar enough effect while also offering a whole host of other more compelling effects. There’s also the point that Amamama raised about the necessity of differentiating between abilities that aid us in setting up, and abilities that aid us after setting up. Mold Breaker definitely seems to fall into the latter category. Still, I’d support seeing it slated, if nothing else.



Unburden is cool and fun, and I think it would be very, very strong for us. However, I do think it would pose some concerns for us later down the line to balance its very powerful effect. Getting a +2 Sp. Attack boost and suddenly outspeeding practically everything not named Regieleki, all in a single turn, is needless to say pretty powerful. It’s an attractive option, to be sure, but one I think we would need to be really careful with.



Other abilities I find solid but perhaps less interesting include Levitate, Punk Rock, and Adaptability. Levitate is a strong option, for sure. Immunity abilities always are, and removing our Ground weakness is no exception. Punk Rock is obviously cool since Haha Big Sound Move Damage, but outside of Clanging Scales and Clangorous Soul, will we have space to fit in another sound move? We’ll need Sludge Bomb/Wave and maybe a Fire/Fighting/Ground move for Steel coverage, will we be able to fit another sound move with which to take advantage of the ability? Adaptability is always fun for more Haha Big Damage, but the possibility of the Mon opting for Specs as a result is there. In general, while these three abilities are certainly strong and could be utilized to create a viable product, I just think there are more compelling options available to us.

There are some abilities I’m a little unsure about and would like to hear some more discussion on, primarily Anger Shell and Berserk. These are both abilities with very strong effects that require us to tank a hit to reach the power level these abilities would afford us. That said though, their effects are undeniably powerful, Anger Shell more so. I’m curious to hear more thoughts about these abilities, Anger Shell specifically.

That’s all from me for now! Thanks for reading. Cheers, mates :D
 
but does not really provide the chaos or volatility that Unburden could
I don’t think you get less volatile with Dazzling because it requires Clangorous Soul for it to be run with Throat Spray consistently. Other activation methods won’t be enough to make Spray the preferred item, so what is true for Unburden with other consumable items (most of which are uncommon with basically the exception of Grassy Seed) is true for Dazzling if it isn’t build alongside Clangorous Soul.
Moreover the items that would replace Spray on Dazzling without Clang Soul are likely much more common items.

If you then assume that Clang Soul is a given with Dazzling, it still is similarly volatile when trying to build Stats. The speed boost is less powerful, but Dazzling also removes other common revenge options and getting plus two Special Attack means a stronger boost, which requires us to look at Stats differently than a simple plus 1.
At this point the only difference is, that Dazzling with Clang Soul basically guarantees the use of Throat Spray, whereas Unburden would guarantee the use of a consumable item, which given other possible assets is probably still Throat Spray.
 
I'm going to go against the grain here and say Simple + Clangorous Soul isn't as broken as we think, providing we have Clanging Scales. Firstly, the -2 Def really encourages we use our weaker poison stab to avoid defense drops, but even at +4 you won't be able to muscle through venom, and steels don't care how high you boost, forcing you to use Scales. And with Scales, you suddenly become a lot weaker than we initially think. For reference, with 75/125 bulk and after 5 allies fainted, black glasses Kingambit almost always kills us after we use clanging scales once. Uninvested Ting-lu Earthquake always kills us at after we use scales once (and at +4 Clanging Scales doesn't even guarantee a 2hko with Leftovers with 100 SpA) After a second Clanging scales, an unboosted Hemoglobin with Extreme Speed and Weavile with Ice Shard always KO. And god forbid we have to use it a third time. Keep in mind this is with base 75/125 bulk, of which we can easily lower.
Offensively , it is obviously unwallable. Right? As I said before, even at +4, Ting-Lu is still a very solid check depending on our SpA Stat. It can faze or simply kill CAP34. Unawares don't care, at all, of course. Argh would still stonewall this Pokemon assuming it's not incredibly chipped. The rarer Clodsire acts as the perfect counter. And as I said before, to utilize our most powerful move, we need to take -2 in defense every time we use it, becoming frailer and frailer.

Now I'm not saying simple csoul wouldn't require a lot of compromise in the later stages (like we may be making another Bang Average stat spread) but it is definitely balanceable.
 
I'm going to go against the grain here and say Simple + Clangorous Soul isn't as broken as we think, providing we have Clanging Scales. Firstly, the -2 Def really encourages we use our weaker poison stab to avoid defense drops, but even at +4 you won't be able to muscle through venom, and steels don't care how high you boost, forcing you to use Scales. And with Scales, you suddenly become a lot weaker than we initially think. For reference, with 75/125 bulk and after 5 allies fainted, black glasses Kingambit almost always kills us after we use clanging scales once. Uninvested Ting-lu Earthquake always kills us at after we use scales once (and at +4 Clanging Scales doesn't even guarantee a 2hko with Leftovers with 100 SpA) After a second Clanging scales, an unboosted Hemoglobin with Extreme Speed and Weavile with Ice Shard always KO. And god forbid we have to use it a third time. Keep in mind this is with base 75/125 bulk, of which we can easily lower.
Offensively , it is obviously unwallable. Right? As I said before, even at +4, Ting-Lu is still a very solid check depending on our SpA Stat. It can faze or simply kill CAP34. Unawares don't care, at all, of course. Argh would still stonewall this Pokemon assuming it's not incredibly chipped. The rarer Clodsire acts as the perfect counter. And as I said before, to utilize our most powerful move, we need to take -2 in defense every time we use it, becoming frailer and frailer.

Now I'm not saying simple csoul wouldn't require a lot of compromise in the later stages (like we may be making another Bang Average stat spread) but it is definitely balanceable.
Technically we would have to use Clanging Scales twice on Ting-Lu in order to get to OHKO range since we are assuming we’ve used Clanging Soul once, meaning we started with a +2 Def.

While it may not seem too bad, this in conjunction with Tera and Tera Blast makes this CAP able to beat pretty much any non-Unaware check it chooses, since at +2 speed it will outspeed the majority of them.
 
Technically we would have to use Clanging Scales twice on Ting-Lu in order to get to OHKO range since we are assuming we’ve used Clanging Soul once, meaning we started with a +2 Def.

While it may not seem too bad, this in conjunction with Tera and Tera Blast makes this CAP able to beat pretty much any non-Unaware check it chooses, since at +2 speed it will outspeed the majority of them.
0 Atk Ting-Lu Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kommo-o: 194-230 (66.6 - 79%) -- guaranteed OHKO
After 1 scales and 1 clangorous soul we're at +0 Defense and 67% HP and get got by ting lu

Additionally, while tera could help us break through technically anything we want, that's... true of any offensive terastilized Pokemon. Tera is a huge commitment and if you make that commitment you should reap those rewards. And even when you tera you still maintain that priority weakness (even if you, say, tera Fire to resist hemo, you're still neutral to Gambit and suddenly Rillaboom starts to become relevant as you dont 4x resist it anymore. If you tera Dark, you resist sucker but become weak to Espeed and neutral to Rillaboom, and so on)
 
I was thinking soundproof so it can use throat spray but everything else can't but simple could also work of course unburden can work typing wise but I still feel like soundproof sounds the best
 

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I'm gonna defend Speed Boost a bit more.

Speed Boost sweepers have historically been their own sub-section of the sweeper archetype. Blaziken is a prime example. We’re not going for that archetype. We’re going for a Throat Spray sweeper, and the odds are, based on how discussion is going, Clangorous Soul is pretty likely to be our chosen pathway for that. I believe we should be focusing on how best to support that specific sweeping plan rather than Mon That Will Be Faster Than Literally Everything In Three Turns. As a final point to this ability, it’s also been observed in the lower tiers that Yanmega will sometimes run a Throat Spray set with Bug Buzz and Speed Boost. Tinted Lens is usually the more attractive option due to damage, but the precedent of a Throat Spray Speed Boost Mon does exist. If you want to see what that entails, look no further. I don’t think we have much to learn from this process if we also elect to go that route.
Speed Boost is specifically an ability that can be run without Clangorous Soul, similar to Unburden. Yanmega's only dex set is Speed Boost Throat Spray, you can't say "Tinted Lens is usually the more attractive option" when it clearly is not. I think there absolutely is a lot to learn here because we are not Yanmega, and the tier we're building for is not RU. There's a lot of worth in trying to bring a set that does work in lower tiers, and adapting it to an OU power level, and beyond that, there's a large difference between Bug/Flying and Poison/Dragon.

Speed Boost is... fine, I guess? I personally like Unburden more as a Speed boosting ability and believe it makes for a more nuanced process by directly synergizing with the usage of Throat Spray, directly incentivizing it. Speed Boost is a powerful sweeping ability that can function independently of it and let CAP 34 use generically good items with Clangorous Soul while still getting the mileage it wants to sweep properly.
Again I think the advantage of Speed boost is that it provides a route for us that isn't just Clangorous Soul (which mind you was not even a defining move for Poison/Dragon as listed in the typing stage). As a contrast to Unburden it also gives us an ability that heavily synergies with Throat Spray, and while it definitely wants us to attempt a sweep now, it provides the ability to switch out and still have an ability. We've all used Hawlucha with Unburden, and we all know how punishing it is to switch out.

I'm a bit more in favor of Speed Boost, which, obviously, would probably benefit from running an item which is not our Throat Spray and as a result is probably not great to select, out of an abundance of caution and wariness of our power budget.
Simply put I don't think other items are as good as Throat Spray for Speed Boost. Yanmega ran Life Orb in SMRU, and runs Throat Spray now for a very simple reason; Life Orb is simply not that good of an item in Gen8+. Running Life Orb means you simply get worn down too fast when you can't apply hazard pressure to walls, and there's a reason that the only mons that are currently OU and runs it are Darkrai (which very often runs Sash instead on NP sets), and not a single other mon. Other item choices you could potentially run are Choice Specs, which really sucks on our typing, Air Balloon which still fulfills concept, and well, Boots, which is always a potential choice on literally everything but maybe unburden. There are some LO mons that are ranked, eg Blaziken itself (even if it often runs Air Balloon) and Deoxys Speed, which is a weird case, but genuinely Throat Spray almost definitely outclasses Life Orb on a potential Clang Scales / Tect set.

-----

Here are some abilities that I think are too weak for us to use:

Berserk and Anger Shell seem very unreliable for when looking at potential Clangorous Soul sets because of a bit of math. 12.5 + 33.3 = 45.8, 50.0 - 45.8 = 4.167. Aka with Rocks up, we have 4.167% leeway before Clang Soul makes both of the abilities useless. A single spike and we're out of an ability, a single turn of sand chip (admittedly uncommon), and we're out of an ability, a single prior switchin, and we're out of an ability. Berserk is a great ability for a mon that uses Boots and Recover to slowly become unstoppable, or for a mon that uses Sitrus Berry to get that extra +1, but idt it is great for Throat Spray and Clang Soul. Anger soul is weirder, but hey, great Sash Ability if we wanna fully change directions. If we're not looking at them with Clangorous Soul, then franklky I think they just want different item choices. Neither of these abilities can be triggered by Clangorous Soul.

Clear Body is probably functional, but simply its not very strong overall, especially in a format where we have very few SpA dropping moves. It helps you to tank Moonblast's 30% drop chance, but realistically that's not hyper common, and beyond that most stat drops you're gonna see are well, Lando Intim cycling, which isn't huge. If we were doing Eject Pack I'd love this, but we aren't.

Soundproof is straight up too weak; there's not enough sound move users in the meta, and it shifts the mirror match to "both lose" to "both win", which is not a net difference.

-----

0 Atk Ting-Lu Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kommo-o: 194-230 (66.6 - 79%) -- guaranteed OHKO
After 1 scales and 1 clangorous soul we're at +0 Defense and 67% HP and get got by ting lu

Additionally, while tera could help us break through technically anything we want, that's... true of any offensive terastilized Pokemon. Tera is a huge commitment and if you make that commitment you should reap those rewards. And even when you tera you still maintain that priority weakness (even if you, say, tera Fire to resist hemo, you're still neutral to Gambit and suddenly Rillaboom starts to become relevant as you dont 4x resist it anymore. If you tera Dark, you resist sucker but become weak to Espeed and neutral to Rillaboom, and so on)
Couldn't you just run Dragon Pulse instead of Clanging Scales and be at +2 defense?
 
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I'm gonna hop in and give my praises for Speed Boost as well. its a strong option for ensuring that CAP 34 has an ability both before and after Throat Spray is used, and also enjoys the longevity that Throat Spray gives us, as being able to gain a power boost without having to switch out to change moves or wear itself down means Speed Boost can accumulate boosts more easily.
 
0 Atk Ting-Lu Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kommo-o: 194-230 (66.6 - 79%) -- guaranteed OHKO
After 1 scales and 1 clangorous soul we're at +0 Defense and 67% HP and get got by ting lu

Additionally, while tera could help us break through technically anything we want, that's... true of any offensive terastilized Pokemon. Tera is a huge commitment and if you make that commitment you should reap those rewards. And even when you tera you still maintain that priority weakness (even if you, say, tera Fire to resist hemo, you're still neutral to Gambit and suddenly Rillaboom starts to become relevant as you dont 4x resist it anymore. If you tera Dark, you resist sucker but become weak to Espeed and neutral to Rillaboom, and so on)
My mistake. I didn’t factor in the HP drop from Clangorous Soul!
 
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