CAP 34 - Part 4 - Primary Ability Discussion

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Couldn't you just run Dragon Pulse instead of Clanging Scales and be at +2 defense?
You could, but you deal ~23% less damage and thus can't break thru ting lu at all and do chip to argh. We could also not give it dragon pulse but that is a bit fraudulent
If I had to pick one standout ability for this CAP, it's have to be Speed Boost. Speed Boost provides us an incentive to stay in as it lets us accumulate speed increases, contributing to the sweep in letting us outspeed threats. This goes hand-in-hand with how CAP 34 wants to stay in to keep Throat Spray. Unburden does this as well, but the speed increase being tied to the sound move CAP 34 is running puts a lot of pressure on it to click that move as soon as it comes in, Speed Boost in contrast gives you the freedom to do something else and still get the boost. Additionally, Speed Boost appreciates the compression Throat Spray gives it because gives it space to run Protect, as quizel already mentioned. Because of this CAP 34 can also get the Speed Boost much easier than with Unburden, provided it's running Protect.
Now, some people are concerned that a Speed Boost CAP 34 wouldn't run Throat Spray because of the power the ability holds in letting CAP 34 set up for a sweep, however in addition to loving the moveset compression it provides Speed Boost also loves how Throat Spray lets it boost without wearing it down like Life Orb, with that recoil only being made worse by a STAB that lowers it's defense. Additionally given our typing CAP 34 is not going to want to run Specs as its STABs are horrible to be locked into, this also means that even if it didn't mind that it'd want to switch out quite a bit to minimize the damage from being locked into it's STABs, which doesn't gel with Speed Boost requiring it to stay in to get the most of the ability. Additionally, Unburden also has its own issues with potentially running other items. Most notably Grassy Seed, which some would argue still fulfills the concept, but given Grassy Seed is highly used with Unburden, and that we're specifically building for Throat Spray now, I would not. Either way however on Unburden Throat Spray has to compete with Grassy Seed for that item slot, while at a disadvantage. One thing that hasn't been noted about Unburden that should be: Grassy Seed and Unburden work so well because you instantly get the boost as you're sent out, Throat Spray doesn't have this benefit, instead being reliant on clicking our sound move, which as I already mentioned puts pressure on it to do that as soon as it gets out.
Overall both abilities work, but I personally prefer Speed Boost. Despite Unburden's obvious synergy Speed Boost synergizes nicely with Throat Spray in a way Unburden doesn't, making more effective use of it and benefiting more from it, in addition to lacking most of the issues Unburden has.

Now for something quicker, I'm going to show some support for some other abilities already mentioned for the sake of not making another post later.

Dazzling and its clones are nice, not only do they eliminate priority as something we need to worry about but they also help patch up the defense drops from Clanging Scales and make it harder for the foe to pick off CAP 34 after a Clangorous Soul. Very solid, even if it doesn't directly tie into Throat Spray, instead making it easier for CAP 34 to set up and preform its sweep.

Mold Breaker is another one that works nicely here as a way to get past the Unawares and Ting-Lu. While I do believe Clangorous Soul prefers this, it works with both and can be an effective choice either way. Nothing much else to say here.

Now for an ability I really don't like.
Simple is flawed, severely flawed. To get the obvious out of the way, Simple + Clangorous Soul seems like overkill, and not just in the way of it being a massive boost, but also in the sense of +4 being more than CAP 34 realistically needs. Because of this, I feel like it's possible Clangorous Soul Simple sets wouldn't run Throat Spray, they already get a +2 to Sp.Attack, so instead of going all in on offense they could try to use the item slot for other purposes. Even then, Simple still has another issue that this time affects both Soul and non-Soul routes, that being Simple turning that -1 defense drop from Clanging Scales into -2. Already the defense drop hurts us as it opens us up more to revenge-killing but making that a -2 drop makes the issue much worse as we're dropping our defense so much quicker. To me this kills Simple sets without Soul, but even then there's another issue, being Dragon Pulse's significant drop in power from Clanging Scales, sure it works but that's the kind of drop you'll really feel. Even then, that kind ties into the overlying issue. Yes it works, but with how many hurdles we have to jump through to get this in a reasonable spot, is it worth it? Do we want to go with an ability that we need to work so hard to balance, when we can go with an ability that doesn't have nearly as many issues while working better with Throat Spray and overall being a stronger ability? Personally, I don't think it is. Simple simply isn't worth the effort.
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An ability that I haven't seen mentioned yet is Stakeout*, which has a neat synergy of sorts with Throat Spray and our offensive typing.

Stakeout is an ability that punishes switches. Stakeout mons often create situations where their foe is likely to stay on the field, even if they don't have a great matchup, because a bulky check is literally half as effective when switching in.

Throat Spray works nicely with this dynamic. A bulky resist trying to switch in will not only have to take the Stakeout boosted attack, but will then may also have to take a Throat Spray boosted follow-up attack. Meanwhile, if a foe is trying to avoid the Stakeout damage by staying in, Throat Spray is a huge tool is for winning those 1v1s, especially if they might otherwise be drawn out and suspect to randomness. It's also interesting how the downside of Clanging Scales will interact in those situations - it's an interesting anti-synergy to work around for an interpretation of the concept centered around psuedo-trapping.

Stakeout normally would work better alongside Choice items, but Dragon and Poison are very suspect as types to Choice lock into. (Boots are also kind of discouraged considering the utility of a Grounded Poison type) Throat Spray also interacts with this because if a move that would activate Throat Spray hits a foe that is immune, it won't activate. This can actually let CAP 34 put on a lot of pressure though, as no Fairy switching in to absorb a Clanging Scales is going to want to eat a Poison attack, even if it's unboosted, and if they do successfully absorb the attack, CAP 34 won't consume the Throat Spray and can still threaten to activate it again later. And it goes without saying, but a foe switching constantly around a Pokemon with Stakeout is playing a dangerous game.

This definitely steers the idea in a bit of a different direction, but I don't think it's too crazy to consider.

* (Specifically without Clangorous Soul)


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Hey guys! Quick pop in to give y'all your 24 hour warning before the slate and while I am seeing some fantastic discussion on the "obvious" choices such as Simple, Unburden, Dazzling, Levitate or Mold Breaker, I would love to see some more thoughts on abilities that are kinda on the fence for me, and the rest of TLT, right now but still could be beneficial such as Supreme Overlord, Berserk, and Anger Shell.

See y'all in 24 hours with the slate!
I would love to see some more thoughts on abilities that are kinda on the fence for me, and the rest of TLT, right now but still could be beneficial such as Supreme Overlord, Berserk, and Anger Shell.
I was thinking about Berserk versus Anger Shell, and I’m pretty confident Berserk is the more efficient of the two.
While Anger Shell has the higher stat boosts, I don’t think the drawbacks fit with CAP 34’s concept. Considering that Clanging Scales is our most prominent move, it’s already lowering 34’s defense every time we attack, so if Anger Shell procs after we use our most common move, we’re at -2 Defense. This will leave us incredibly vulnerable to Hemogoblin revenge killing, as priority E-Speed would take out CAP 34 regardless of the speed boost.
Berserk, on the other hand, raises our special attack, which coincides really well with both Throat Spray and Clangorous Soul. While the latter doesn’t proc the ability, if we use C-Soul and are then hit below half, which we can most likely survive thanks to the omniboost, we’d be +3 in Special Attack and +1 in all other stats. I think this would solidify CAP 34’s role as a sweeper.
While Dazzling is still my favorite of the suggested abilities thanks to the unique value it gives to CAP 34, Berserk has definitely become my second favorite option with Clangorous Soul in mind.
I'm not sure why everyone's talking about Dazzling when Armor Tail is competitively identical and almost certainly better flavor given our typing. I'm also fine with having Dazzling/Queenly Majesty/Armor Tail as a single item on the slate and choosing among those three in a future flavor stage if it wins.

Supreme Overlord seems like a decent option. Since we want to be able to sweep late game, there's a good chance that we'll already have several fainted allies by the time we use Throat Spray.

I'm not a fan of Anger Shell or Berserk, since activating them is entirely in our opponent's hands (unless we use two moveslots on Clangorous Soul and Substitute, which seems like a bad idea for a sweeper whose STABs are both walled by steel).
Edit: apparently these abilities are only triggered by attacks
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Since Berserk and Anger Shell only activate if hit by a direct attack, neither will be good with Clang Soul really bc realistically taking rocks plus any hazard damage almost kills their ability boost:
if you fall below fifty without the opponent attacking, which means with like even the smallest amount of additional chip from spikes or switching in on a resisted move, you lose access to your ability.
I believe that both these abilities in conjunction with Clangorous Soul would mean CAP34 runs boots to be in control of the HP threshold.
As mentioned above by Scepticskep Anger Shell also has weird synergy with Clanging Scales as it drops defenses even further, making CAP 34 even more prone to being revenge killed with Priority, although that is slightly offset by also boosting Speed making it capable of outrunning faster threats.
I think Berserk is the more stable option, although repeatedly using Clanging Scales will put you in the same spot as Anger Shell, while not providing a boost vs faster mons.
I think they might work with Clanging Scales but they could also incentivize other items while not having the same powerful impact that unburden or speed boost have.
Berserk and Anger Shell have gotten little discussion because they deserve little discussion. As posts above me have detailed further, their benefits are not worth taking the required chip and lack of control we have over them.
Supreme Overload is definitely an option, and while it's not my favorite I can see us finding success with it. Supreme Overlord is Kingambit's cherry on top; a bulky sweeper with a neutral offensive profile that can muscle through nearly anything with sheer power. We can definitely build CAP34 this way as the typing is offensively neutral and defensively viable and we have good coverage to beat or dent what stands before us.


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FYI, if we slate abilities that have functionally equivalent other abilities -- all the functionally equivalent options will be listed on the slate. And then the flavor that works best for the chosen art will be used in the final product.

Flavor should not impact competitive decisions, and the reverse is true also, if it can be avoided.

So if priority-prevention ability is slated, it will be slated as Armor Tail/Dazzling/Queenly Majesty and voted as such.
If this CAP ends up getting three abilities, I would love for it to have Dazzling, Psychic Surge, and Mold Breaker! All of these would have great use for this CAP as it'll be flexible in how it wants to abuse sound moves, and Dazzling is a good defensive ability for it if it tries to setup, whereas the other two are good for it if it's going full offense and in the latter's case, PsySpam :3
Hey guys! Quick pop in to give y'all your 24 hour warning before the slate and while I am seeing some fantastic discussion on the "obvious" choices such as Simple, Unburden, Dazzling, Levitate or Mold Breaker, I would love to see some more thoughts on abilities that are kinda on the fence for me, and the rest of TLT, right now but still could be beneficial such as Supreme Overlord, Berserk, and Anger Shell.

See y'all in 24 hours with the slate!
I am so glad you asked about Supreme Overlord, because I am still super gung-ho on that one. As I stated in my previous post, I really think Supreme Overlord presents one of the most compelling possible processes due to how it affects game states. With SO, our approach is likely that we want to come in as late into the game as possible to optimize our sweep/cleaning to the utmost. I understand that this may seem undesirable to some who would prefer to position CAP34 such that they can come in at any time and threaten a sweep. However, I do think there are some latent variables to SO that make it compelling in spite of that (valid) concern.

First, as we’ve seen with Kingambit, SO presents a massive threat at team preview, since one would immediately understand they will need to play carefully to prepare for the inevitable entrance of the SO mon late in the game. If one lets their Gambit check/counter(s) go down too early, then Gambit will likely be unmanageable at a late game state due to SO. I think this effect would result in a similar level of latent threat with CAP34, which might help with forcing a switch when 34 enters the field, allowing for setup.

Second, SO in a late game state is a very helpful cushion for making our matchup into Unaware mons a bit easier. Since SO’s boosts are not checked by Unaware, if we’re the last on the field that makes us more immediately threatening even to a mon like Argh or Clodsire. Of course, Mold Breaker neutralizes Unaware altogether, but I do think the additional damage that SO offers for our sweeping potential makes it a stronger option altogether.

Ultimately, I think Supreme Overlord offers some very powerful benefits to us that will enhance our sweeping ability to a higher degree than other abilities, and certainly in a more compelling way than something like Adaptability or Punk Rock. I think Supreme Overlord would have some complex effects on our process that would make it very interesting, and presents a highly compelling learning opportunity.
Some thoughts on some underrated/less talked about abilities:

Levitate has been discussed pretty heavily, and I like it a lot, but I also want to draw attention to its alternative, Earth Eater. While the loss of a Spikes immunity is a massive blow, especially if we run Clangorous Soul, the healing we get from Ground type moves helps to offset this a bit. The extra longevity it provides for us could allow us to potentially set up Clangrorous Soul multiple times per game, allowing us to sweep in the mid games as well as the late game. Levitate is probably better considering the Spikes immunity, I think Earth Eater has its merits.

Supreme Overlord is a fascinating Ability for this concept and makes us a really unique sweeper. We have to be really strategic with when we bring CAP34 out and when we activate Throat Spray in order to maximize its sweeping potential, but the rewards will be INCREDIBLE. I also think this Ability would actually be more balanced on CAP34 than it is on Kingambit since our item options are restricted to Throat Spray and we probably won't have any access to priority moves to create revenge killing mindgames. The more I think about it, the more I love this ability. Probably my favorite Ability for this CAP all things considered.

Berserk and Anger Shell are both just okay to me. Of the two I prefer Berserk as Anger Shell's defense drops makes us more susceptible to revenge killing, but they're both extremely straightforward in what they do for CAP34, which makes them effective but boring IMO. I wouldn't mind if these abilities got on the slate or won, but I wouldn't be jumping for joy about it either.

I don't like Psychic Surge. Dazzling/Armor Tail/Queenly Majesty all do much better jobs at preventing priority moves, and while I do like that it would let us run Psychic Noise as essentially a third STAB, it's not a very good coverage move for our type combo (does nothing to solve the Steels issue) and it would end up enabling Psyspam teams too much. Hard pass from me.
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Gonna talk about a couple abilities real quick.

Psychic Surge: While I do think this would be pro-concept, I don't like the meta implications this brings. Psyspam is already a very legitimate playstyle, and one that can often be frustrating to play against, in its current state. Adding a (presumably) much better setter than can also sweep/wallbreak (Depending on what direction we decide to take this process) just doesn't really sound like something I think should be added to this metagame.

Berserk / Anger Shell: Quite frankly, I'm not at all convinced that you would run Throat Spray with either of these abilities. Both of these abilities would vastly prefer some sort of healing item to be able to trigger them multiple times during the game, which is something that we often see being the case on Galarian Moltres. While granted, Weakness Policy is also a commonly run item on Galarian Moltres, the boost you gain from that item is greater than what you would get if you were to activate your ability twice, which is a luxury that is not shared with Throat Spray, and given that we have a fairly solid defensive typing, I don't think it would be unreasonable to expect us to be put into position where we can pull off the double ability trigger somewhat consistently.


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Just going to touch on some abilities I've seen in the thread.

Abilities that directly encourage Throat Spray:

Unburden: This one feels fairly natural. Sure, you don't get the instant speed boost with Throat Spray, but using a sound move gives you essentially a special Shift Gear after a turn. It's definitely for Clanging Scales routes because it's redundant with Clangerous Soul.

Speed Boost: Speed Boost provides a tradeoff with Unburden. On one hand, it forces Protect onto our moveset, which can lose momentum and is a move that Unburden doesn't have to run (thereby letting it have a more useful 4th slot). On the other hand, it's a bit more flexible in how it gains its speed than Unburden, allowing CAP34 to have a little more utility mid-fight. While this might sound not like a one-time sweeper, as we deny it basic utility moves like pivoting and hazards, CAP34 will still have to focus the sweeping role. On the other hand, it's hard to be a Speed Boost sweeper without some way of boosting your offense, so Throat Spray is still useful. Again, this would be for a Clanging Scales build.

Mold Breaker: This heavily encourages Throat Spray so that CAP34 can actually get something out of the ability: circumventing Unaware users with the Throat Spray boost. It also other unique, secondary interactions with coverage moves that CAP34 can find useful but not really without Throat Spray. While it would be especially strong on Clangerous Soul builds, a naturally fast Clanging Scales build would also appreciate this ability a lot.

Dazzling: Similar to Mold Breaker, this ability fits well on Clangerous Soul builds and naturally fast Clanging Scales builds. Avoiding priority is huge, even if CAP34 is neutral to several forms of it by typing alone, especially when Clanging Scales degrades CAP34's defense. It lines up well with Throat Spray because there's much more value to avoiding priority while in the process of sweeping.

Abilites that work but don't directly encourage Throat Spray:

I prefer the above options more, but these abilities will be more than serviceable for the project.

Supreme Overlord: This ability is great for a late-game sweeper. It does provide CAP34 an alternative way of boosting, but Throat Spray stacks with the boosts, providing a cumulative 2.25x boost after Throat Spray + 5 Fallen Allies.

Levitate: Providing Spikes immunity in a Spikes-heavy metagame and an immunity to a weakness will always be good. This ability definitely focuses hard on the Clangerous Soul setup, as I think Throat Spray + Clanging Scales just doesn't get the right encouragement from Levitate itself.

Abilities that shouldn't be slated:

Anger Shell / Berserk: These are just Supreme Overlord with extra steps, especially since they have terrible interactions with hazards + Clangerous Soul chip and have 0 interaction with Clanging Scales + Throat Spray.

Simple: Clanging Scales dropping Defense by 2 stages is awful, and the ridiculous boost that it provides to Clangerous Soul is actually severely overkill, to the point where CAP34 will be useless before boosting. There are other, better ability that make CAP34 a threatening presence on the field.

Psychic Surge: If you want to dodge priority, Dazzling should be your first choice! There's no need to turn CAP34 into a Psychic Surge setter with the current chosen role.
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.
Not really gonna touch on this further.

I'm gonna push real quick for Earth Eater. I think that Earth Eater is far more compelling than Levitate because of the crucial differences in their own abilities. Obviously, while both retain the Ground immunity, Earth Eater grounds us. This is huge mainly with regards to hazards and specifically Spikes immunity. I believe that Levitate is a cop out that ignores the issue of 34's hazard weakness and will ultimately lead to undue pragmatism stats-wise. I think it is completely fine to keep a weakness to hazards because, as cliche as it is, 34's team will consist of 5 more mons. Regardless of whether 34's team comp is HO-style (which is the likely option) or if it is bulkier, it's logical to punish teams using 34 for 1. letting hazards go up and 2. not having any counterplay to it, especially in conditions where 34 is considered a primary wincon. Our being grounded carries the very slight perk of Toxic Spikes absorption as well.

Earth Eater's healing aspect is also valuable to the potential tools of 34 in my opinion. It allows for 34 to not be complete deadweight until the time it decides to set up, and it allows for hazards and other chip damage to not completely end the threat it poses. In doing this, it punishes the use of Ground moves much more than Levitate, where a careless Earthquake could re-enable a huge threat; the change in play around a mon with Earth Eater is ultimately the biggest asset of the ability itself. I'll say that although what I'm saying does increase 34's longevity, it still very much can and should be held to the "one and done" standard. This can effectively be achieved through the one-time use of Throat Spray and careful management of stats; I think given smart distribution the viable use of Boots could be easily avoided. This could create a very unique mold of sweeper, ironically in some ways similar to Cawmodore but likely requiring more finesse to use regardless of the teams it will find itself on.
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My question with Earth Eater vs Levitate is this: If we were to go with no secondary ability or wind up picking one that isn't at least on par with it in terms of viability then most people would just not click Ground-type attacks into it if they could help it meaning the healing aspect kinda gets wasted unless you want to use it as a switch-in for Ground-type attacks before you pull the trigger on setting up... but ideally it wouldn't be taking damage to get healed if you do that (unless hazards are in play) and you risk getting predicted and taking damage which isn't a good thing. Sure you do get the ability to slurp up Toxic Spikes with Earth Eater since it is grounded... but the same is true for every other ability not named Levitate.
I believe that Levitate is a cop out that ignores the issue of 34's hazard weakness and will ultimately lead to undue pragmatism stats-wise. I think it is completely fine to keep a weakness to hazards because, as cliche as it is, 34's team will consist of 5 more mons. Regardless of whether 34's team comp is HO-style (which is the likely option) or if it is bulkier, it's logical to punish teams using 34 for 1. letting hazards go up and 2. not having any counterplay to it, especially in conditions where 34 is considered a primary wincon. Our being grounded carries the very slight perk of Toxic Spikes absorption as well.
In general for a sweeper with freedom to chose any item I wouldn’t disagree with this idea as in many cases the pros of earth eater outweigh the cons.
With this process though, the boosting move of choice with Eartheater is very likely Clangorous Soul, which in conjunction with Throat Spray gives a massive boost. But throat Spray with Clang Soul looks like a massive greed option compared to Heavy Duty Boots (at least if you put a theoretical Eartheater next to Levitate), since you are likely ending up around fifty percent health before you even started a sweep.
With even a little additional chip Healing with Eartheater won’t be enough to allow for another sweep.
remember you heal 25% of your Health at max Which doesn’t even offset Clang Soul.
If this Mon wants to click Clangorous Soul it’s very likely to comit to a sweep, bc coming back will be awfully hard especially if you’re also taking hazards.
I also think that levitate actually has more utility if you want to try and pivot+break before committing to a sweep, giving it more flexibility mid game, bc it’s much easier to not take significant damage if you take no Spikes damage

In general though we have to consider any ability that likes to use Clang Soul, will result in a Mon that has to deal with being able to sweep around 50%HP.


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And with that, may I present to you...the slate!

Speed Boost
Armor Tail/Dazzling/Queenly Majesty
Mold Breaker
Supreme Overlord

As the most obvious choice for this CAP that uses a consumable, Unburden should come as absolutely no surprise to why it made the slate. Gaining 2x Speed alongside the +1 Special Attack from Throat Spray can make CAP 34 threatening immediately and ready for a sweep.

Speed Boost
This ability kinda takes what Unburden can do and applies it more slowly albeit more consistently. It allows CAP 34 to still have an ability should it be forced out unlike Unburden while still applying the same pressure of being able to clean/sweep even if Throat Spray has been activated.

Armor Tail/Dazzling/Queenly Majesty*
While this ability doesn't directly synergize with the use of Throat Spray as much as the first 2 mentioned, it does allow CAP 34 to not be revenge killed by Pokemon such as Kingambit and Hemogoblin. A priority immunity helps to ease the Defense drop from Clanging Scales or ease sweeping after setting up with Clangorous Soul.

*The exact ability would be decided by the winning artist to fit the flavor of their design

Mold Breaker
This ability aims to particularly make sure CAP 34's +1 boost from Throat Spray, as well as a potential omniboost from Clangorous Soul, doesn't go to waste against the fat Unawares of the tier as well as being able to bypass other abilities with the appropriate moves.

While this may seem a bit out of place as CAP 34 wants to be as on the offensive as we can, Levitate allows CAP 34 to avoid hazard damage from Spikes, which can help ease setup with the likes of Clangorous Soul. It also has the added benefit of taking away one of CAP 34's very common weaknesses as well.

Supreme Overlord
A little more of a late bloomer, this ability was mentioned as a way to incentivize CAP 34 coming out later in the game/being more powerful when it does. While it is more of a "generally good" ability, SO has proven to make for a deadly lategame sweeper (just look at Kingamabit) and it wouldn't be any different here for CAP 34.

As for others such as Simple and Berserk/Anger Shell, none of them just really held up or stood out to me enough to be worth a slot over one that did make it on the slate and therefore weren't slated!

Turning it over to dex to give the thumbs up!
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